I M essenger NOVEMBER 8, 2019
STOPPING TRAFFIC DEMETRIA OBILOR LEAVES DALLAS P10
VOL IX NO 12
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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 8, 2019
COMMENTARY by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson
Billions Lost in Healthcare
When the final history of the United States Congress is written, the name John Conyers, Jr. will stand regal and resolute, and the â€˜Dean of the House of Representativesâ€™ will be recognized as an influential giant of the American Democracy. Only five members of Congress served longer tenures in the House than the recently departed member from Detroit, Michigan who served as chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee and the instrumental Committee on Oversight and Reform during his more than fifty-two years in the House of Representatives. As one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chairman Conyers helped to birth an exemplary organization that became the â€œConscience of the Congress,â€? one with a highly-respected national and global voice and vision. When others were afraid or unable to speak, Chairman Conyers rose from his seat and spoke passionately against the evils of apartheid in South Africa, police brutality in American cities, and the declaration of war against Iraq. He was a gracious patriot
who believed in rewarding those who served our country. He fought to expand monetary benefits for families of police officers and firefighters who
were killed while serving our communities and its residents. It was chairman Conyers who waged a fifteen battle, often with few allies, to have the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. designated a national holiday. Chairman Conyers saw the prescience and meaning in Dr. Kingâ€™s life when some in Washington and throughout the nation branded Dr. King a traitor and a communist. Undaunted, he persisted until the only national holiday in the United
States named for an ethnic minority was created. Many do not know it, but Mrs. Rosa Parks, the civil rights icon struggled to find suitable employment after her refusal to surrender her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus during a city-wide boycott. It was Chairman Conyers who offered her a job in his Detroit congressional office in 1965. Mrs. Parks was a trusted aide to Congressman Conyers until her retirement in 1988. It was indeed a delightful and educational experience working with Congressman Conyers in the House of Representatives. He was a sincere and disciplined gentleman whose compassion was extended far beyond those he knew, and those he represented. Everyone was aware that when Congressman Conyers entered a room, his very presence was regal and resolute. His matchless brilliance and his lawyerly manner preceded him as legions will rightfully testify, and as our nationâ€™s history shall rightly record.
*Congresswoman Johnson represents the 30th congressional district of Texas in the United States House of Representatives. She also chairs the Committee on Science, Space and Technology in the House of Representatives.
Roland Martin Unfiltered
When you think of death, you’re going to get a wide range of opinions. Just think about the comments spoken to someone who is experiencing a loss.
Washington, DC - On September 4, 2018, Roland Martin’s vision became a reality. That “vision” was of a digital show dedicated to providing the Black community with news and information from an explicitly African American perspective.
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” – Thomas Paine, an EnglishAmerican writer, and political pamphleteer.
NOVEMBER 8, 2019
MY TRUTH by Cheryl Smith, Publisher
I just called to say I love you When you think of death, you’re going to get a wide range of opinions. Just think about the comments spoken to someone who is experiencing a loss. Last week, long time friends and colleagues lost the matriarch of their family. I was at a loss for words because as a member of the “club” I wouldn’t wish the loss of a mother on anyone. Within a short span of time, I heard from Joycelyn Johnson Mrs. Flora Brown and Roland Martin, about the loss of Roger B’s mom, Mrs. Flora Brown. Many may remember Joycelyn as the “voice” of Soul 73 KKDA and veteran journalist Roland and I also worked at the now-defunct station, with Roger B. who was the sports director and host of “Talking Sports with Roger B.” And then there’s his dynamic sister, Alicia, who is known, respected and loved for her comMrs. Gloria Roque munity/public service and kind I’ve loved viewing pictures of heart. Mrs. Brown and it has been a NOVEMBER 8, 2019
joy reading the stories her former students have shared. If Mrs. Brown had been my teacher, I would have loved her. Not just because she taught one of my favorite subjects, English, but because she really cared about her students. Services were held in Mississippi on Monday and I know it was a wonderful celebration of life for her 88 years. It is a blessing that Mrs. Brown, like my mother five years ago, transitioned peacefully. Which brings me to my truth. Sadly, that was not the case for Mrs. Gloria Roque, 79, who was sitting in her Dallas home when several shots were fired, hitting her in the back, last Thursday night. She later died, from her injuries, at the hospital. To date, no suspects have been identified, nor have any witnesses come forward about the 10:52pm drive-by shooting. Although there have been remyimessenger.com
ports that the shooting was random, this was not the first time Mrs. Roque’s home, located at South Malcolm X Boulevard and Meyers Street in South Dallas, had been hit by gunfire. I’ve heard nothing but kind, positive reports about Mrs. Roque, who was a retired piano teacher. A member of Warren United Methodist Church, the mother of three was alone in the house with her daughter. Her daughter, thankfully, was not harmed, at least physically. On Facebook, Pastor Joshua E. Manning wrote, “For decades, your joyous spirit and bubbly demeanor have impacted the lives of many. Thank you for firm handshakes and warm embraces. Thank you for lending your voice to this choir and tickling the ivories when necessary. Thank you for the regular Facebook messages to offer words of affirmation and remind me that you were thinking of me.” She sounds like such a jewel! I think I would have loved having her as a teacher too! My heart goes out to the family. This is not the way it should be, how it should end. I have never felt good hearing about bad things happening to anyone, but when the victim is a child or the elderly; I become really incensed. No one should be victimized but it is especialmyimessenger.com
ly disheartening to hear about cases involving those who are helpless or hampered in any form. We must be interested in what is going on with the elderly. Whether it is violence, physical/financial abuse, neglect, or psychological or sexual abuse, please know this issue should concern you. You may not think it is an issue, but live long enough and it will be. The only way you won’t have to deal with growing old will be if you die first. According to the World Health Organization, elder abuse is an important public health problem and globally, the number of cases of elder abuse is projected to increase as “many countries have rapidly aging populations whose needs may not be fully met due to resource constraints.” Thelma Youngblood died earlier this year and prior to her mother’s death I used to marvel at the patience and love she displayed as she took care of her bedridden mom for over a decade. I also have seen folks who couldn’t care less about their elder relative’s needs. As I watched my mom become bedridden, I wanted to show her the love she showed me from the moment she found out that she was carrying me. 5
I put her needs before mine, which I would say to others to find a happy balance because you can’t take care of someone else if you don’t take care of yourself first. Still the thought of her being mistreated never entered my thought processes and I wouldn’t allow anyone else to. Then there’s the mistreatment of the young we have to be concerned about. Sadly there have been too many instances where young babies and children have been the victims of gun shot and other abuses, some beginning with the transfer of drugs (prescribed or illegal), alcohol, sexually transmitted diseases or tobacco. Actually the statistics for children are considerably higher. Talk about being a voice for the voiceless, our babies and our elderly are definitely in need of more advocates. We need someone, anyone with information about the shooting of Mrs. Roque to contact John Valdez at 214-2834828 or send an e-mail to john. firstname.lastname@example.org and refer to Case No. 220747-2019. Or call CrimeStoppers at 214373-8477. As we go through life, we must, as Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Roque did, care about others and make positive contributions to society. I Messenger
NOVEMBER 8, 2019
RMU CELEBRATES MORE THAN 100M VIEWS & 500K PODCAST PLAYS Washington, DC - On September 4, 2018, Roland Martin’s vision became a reality. That “vision” was of a digital show dedicated to providing the Black community with news and information from an explicitly African American perspective. Now, a little more than a year later, #RolandMartinUnfiltered has evolved into a powerhouse daily digital news and information platform, amassing 100.7 million views across YouTube, Facebook and Periscope, with nearly 435 million minutes viewed. “Many people told me I was crazy to do this, but as someone who launched the first Black news source audio podcast at the Chicago Defender in 2005 and a video podcast in 2006, I understand that African Americans were tired of mainstream media ignoring the many issues impacting us on a daily basis,” Mr. Martin said. “And as a student of history, when I think about pioneering Black media journalists such as Ida B. Wells-Barnett; John Russwurm NOVEMBER 8, 2019
and Samuel Cornish, the first two editors of the nation’s first Black newspaper - Freedom’s Journal; Robert Abbott of the Chicago Defender; C.A. Scott of the Atlanta Daily World; and Edwin Nathaniel Harlston of the Pittsburgh Courier, we have always had Black media outlets that spoke to our issues and concerns from a Black point of view, with no filters.” As a completely digital platform, and with the fast
emergence of streaming technology, the past National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Journalist of the Year is positioning #RolandMartinUnfiltered to be one of the major providers of Black news and informational content to the nation. With NBC News and Fox News launching streaming news services in the last year, as well as digital expansion at CBS News, ABC News, CNN and myimessenger.com
other networks, Mr. Martin says he launched his venture at the right time. “Black America has never relied on mainstream media to tell our stories. We also want to serve as a conduit to the many Black professionals and experts who would never get a shot on broadcast and cable news,” says Mr. Martin, who is credited with advancing the careers of frequent cable news commentators such as Angela Rye, April Ryan, Laura Coates, Shermichael Singleton, Paris Dennard, David Swerdlick, Paul Butler, Gianno Caldwell, Monique Pressley, Scott Bolden, Yodit Tewolde, and so many others. Establishing Mr. Martin’s point, during the past year, # R o l a n d Ma r t i n Un f i l t e r e d covered a plethora of topics, events and personalities critical to the Black community, including: Being one of the first national outlets to shine light on the deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean in the L.A. apartment of Democratic donor Ed Buck; Interviewing presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren; Bernie Sanders; Kamala Harris; Cory Booker; Beto O’Rourke; Julian Castro; Andrew Yang; and Marianne Williamson; The case and trial of Amber Guyger, the white Dallas police officer who shot and killed myimessenger.com
Botham Jean; The impact and influence of Black women on the 2020 elections; Activities in observance of the 50th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination and the historic Sanitation Worker’s Strike in Memphis, TN; and The ongoing fight between the state of Maryland and it’s HBCUs. After just one year, the data indicates that #RolandMartinUnfiltered has indeed been effective in reaching African Americans with its coverage through utilization of its multiple digital platforms. The breakdown on individual platforms show: 46,785,767 video views and 60,710,510 minutes viewed on Facebook. 48,567,507 video views and 364,600,637 minutes viewed on YouTube. 5,376,852 video views and 9,678,650 minutes viewed on Periscope. With regard to social media reach for one year, #RolandMartinUnfiltered has: 1,061,719 Followers and 1,005,843 Likes on Facebook. 528,513 Followers on Twitter. 361,105 Subscribers on YouTube.
386,170 Followers on Instagram. For the year, the #RolandMartinUnfiltered audio podcast has had 455,928 plays. When it comes to audience, the platform has a significant following among women as evidenced by the following demographic breakdown; On Facebook, the platform’s audience is 60% women and 39% men. On YouTube, the audience is 68.4% men and 31.6% women. On Twitter, the audience is 65% women and 35% men. On Instagram, the audience is 64% women and 36% men. With regard to market penetration, the top markets for #RolandMartinUnfiltered are: Facebook: New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and Dallas. YouTube: Texas, Georgia, California, Florida and New York. Twitter: Texas, Georgia, Florida, Maryland and New York. Instagram: New York, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago and Washington, D.C. #RolandMartinUnfiltered is available on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and Tune In.
NOVEMBER 8, 2019
NOVEMBER 8, 2019
POWER XIV: SONS V “He’s So Talented!” WHAT’S ON MILES’ MIND? BY MILES JAYE DAVIS www.milesjaye.net
Talent is power! Talent has the power to fascinate and captivate. Talented people possess the power to influence and to persuade, that’s why singers and actors are used to sell products on TV—folks trust people with talent. Talent, combined with charisma, swag, and even a fair degree of good looks, can yield a powerful, inexplicable, almost inescapable force over those exposed to its allure. I get a little uncomfortable when someone tells me, “you’re so talented.” Not to complicate a compliment, but a child can be talented. That same compliment can be true of a precocious 6-year old or a gifted 12-year old. I come from a world where talent was a starting point not a destination. Time is the factor! It’s a question of sustained hard work and sacrifice over time. Talent is the seed, it’s not the salad. It’s the grape, it’s not the wine. Wine takes time! When I board a plane, I don’t want to hear, “no need to worry folks, both pilots are talented.” I want to know that there is a Captain and a First Officer on board. I want to know the Captain is in charge, because he or she is the most skilled and has the most training and cockpit-time operating that aircraft. I imagine the same is true of doctors. “Dr. Williams is not a board-certified surgeon, but she really is quite a talented physician— you’ll be just fine.” My last visit to the dentist, a dental hygienist was assigned to perform the checkmyimessenger.com
up on my gums. I was not happy to see her approaching my mouth with that sharp hooklike object instructing me to open wide. Where was the dentist? In the arts, we work toward mastering our craft. I like to think of myself as having mastered my craft-- the art of songwriting for example, or my style of jazz violin. I’ve put many years of work into both. I was striving for mastery. In music, a master is called a virtuoso or Maestro. In the martial arts, a sensei or sifu, after mastering some form or system of karate or kung-fu, after many years of study and training, is then qualified to instruct-- he or she, is called a Master. “You’re so talented” somehow, unintentionally, negates the work and sacrifice required for accomplishment. Perhaps also unintentionally, we teach our kids that talent is the X-factor. They’re so caught up with the talent thing that they’re convinced that absent an obvious gift for athletics or music, they are unlikely to enjoy the opportunities life has to offer. The fact is, opportunity is born of every hour of hard work you apply. Sadly, and ironically, the talent setup hurts the talented ones the most, as they’re led to believe that talent alone is enough. Will Smith said: “I’ve always thought of myself to be just average talent and what I have is a ridiculous, insane obsessiveness for practice and preparation.” Talent is a setup! Think about what we teach our sons about talent. If you have it,
you’re special, if you don’t, you’re not. Then what about drive, determination, practice, preparation? What about character, perseverance, tenacity, persistence? What about courage? What about faith? Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” said: “We all have possibilities we don’t know about. We can do things we don’t even dream we can do.” Napoleon Hill, author of “Think and Grow Rich” said: “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” He also said: “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” The Apostle Paul, author of 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 said: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another speaking in tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” How many of us even teach our sons what the Word has to say about talent? Every son has the ability, the potential, the talent, to be a great son, a great father, husband, co-worker, neighbor-- a great man. Every son has the gifts needed to make his mom and dad proud, but he is just the seed, and like any seed, he requires cool water, warm sun, and the love of fertile soil to blossom and grow to his full potential. That’s what’s on my mind!
Miles Jaye is an award-winning R&B/Jazz singer, musician and producer. He is also an author, painter and trained chef. email@example.com www.milesjaye.net
NOVEMBER 8, 2019
Demetria Obilor says farewell to Dallas-Fort Worth By Eva D. Coleman Texas Metro News
For the past two years, Dallas-Fort Worth has been home to a master conversationalist. Since Demetria Obilor’s October 2017 arrival from Las Vegas to the WFAA-TV News 8 Daybreak set as a traffic ensemble anchor, mornings have never been the same. You see, she really got us talking. The half white, half Nigerian sister with the big hair, vivacious curves, bold persona and bright smile was the subject of numerous discussions and household disruptions. I recall married women curious as to why their husbands suddenly had an interest in watching the morning news, and particularly, Channel 8. While some of those wives quickly caught hold of and embraced Ms. Obilor’s charm, others grabbed the remote to change the channel.
By “Chance” you’ve heard this before. Then, there was the clap back now known around the world. A white woman attempted to body shame Ms. Obilor and she wasn’t having it! Jan Shedd’s criticism of Ms. Obilor’s body and dress size elicited a direct response. “I don’t believe in stepping out in fear,” Ms. Obilor said. “I’m into believing in myself one-hundred percent of the time and being who I am set me on the trajectory for what happened.” Ms. Obilor’s social media response went viral, grabbing headlines, celebrity endorsements and support, and definitely worth mentioning, an unmistakable rise in viewership and ratings for WFAA. Chance the Rapper even chimed in on the incident via social media, to which Ms. Obilor thanked him. With both of them being present at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) convention in Detroit of which I served as convention chair in August 2018, I was NOVEMBER 8, 2019
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determined to connect them face-to-face. The reaction was priceless. “It was great meeting Chance,” Ms. Oblior said. “I don’t even know if he realized the impact that his tweet made and how symbolic it would be and what it transformed into.” She added, “It’s about taking a stand for what’s right. That moment of racism and body shaming, taking a stand, it was a beautiful thing.” The Kansas City, Missouri native smiled as she recalled young girls approaching her since the incident, and hearing from them about how she’s impacted their lives and confidence. “If you have a voice, you need to use it and I’ve always used mine because it’s the right thing to do,” she said.
Black people paving the way to make their dreams come true and you don’t see that in a lot of places,” she said.
Danger zone ahead
While being an on-air media professional may come with perks, a side the general public rarely hears about are the risks. If you take a closer look at Ms. Obilor’s social media posts, specifically the comments section, you’ll see unsavory messages on full display. While some of the replies she receives may appear as harmless flirtations, some are scary and disgusting. “Oh, and you haven’t even seen the DMs
A taste of Texas, not the food
While Ms. Obilor didn’t have a favorite dining spot to share, she does have experiences she treasures most. “It’s not so much the places, but the people in them,” she said. The University of Kansas graduate shared that she’s a very family-oriented person and that being away from her family was hard, however she found people who were like family. She especially enjoyed seeing Minnie’s Food Pantry in action. “Cheryl Jackson and the people she works with have created an environment that feels like home that is welcoming and accepting with kindness, dedication and love,” Ms. Obilor said. “I’ve enjoyed the people I’ve met who have big hearts and won’t stop, who give their last for Demetria Obilor with Chance the Rapper at NABJ Convention others.” Ms. Obilor shared that she also enjoyed time at the Dallas Museum of Art and The (direct messages),” she replied in response to Dallas Arboretum. While she helped viewers me sharing things I’d observed in the public navigate their morning commutes throughout comments. the metroplex, her personal travel experiences in On numerous occasions, Ms. Obilor has faced Dallas were amusing. extreme danger. From her time in Dallas, she’s “I liked going to the airport because I like to learned lessons and says she’s grown in the areas leave,” Ms. Obilor laughed. “There’s some cool of security and boundaries. people at Southwest Airlines!” “Never taking for granted your safety,” With prior news stints at the NBC affiliate Ms. Obilor said. “As a female in a new city, a in Kansas City and the CBS affiliate in Vegas; victim of stalking three times over in a new city, working for the ABC affiliate in Dallas afforded trusting intuition and being totally aware of your Ms. Obilor the opportunity to witness something surroundings.” different. A chosen career in television in a big city and “It’s amazing to see the entrepreneurship, a very identifiable space set the stage for negative NOVEMBER 8, 2019
activity. “TV was the reason because it allowed people to know when I was at work, exact location, where to show up, and all of it was rooted in television,” she said, adding there were challenges she faced. “Working in a studio that is glass, people showing up trying to marry you, trusting natural instincts inside of you, and people disregarding the seriousness of it.” She also confirmed that as a result of stalking behavior towards her, three people went to jail. "It’s about never compromising or secondguessing yourself when it comes to your safety,” Ms. Obilor explained. “Trusting yourself and remaining strong, that’s something I’ll take with me.” Being a public figure can oftentimes be marred by others seeking to do harm. Therefore, some whose careers are public actually spend a lot of time alone. Such was the case with Ms. Obilor.
Hanging it up
The 28-year-old “traffic bae” chose not to renew her contract with WFAA-TV and is charting a new path for her life. “I’m never doing local news again,” Ms. Obilor vehemently said. “I’m not interested in local news. I’m grateful for the skills that I’ve learned and perspectives I’ve gained, knowledge that I have and relationships I’ve gained.” With long-time aspirations of wanting to have her own show and give commentary, she says she’s “moving to Vegas for now and working on new opportunities in some new cities.” Ms. Obilor thanks Dallas-Fort Worth for the support over the years and says she doesn’t take any of it for granted. Her experiences have left her with many valuable takeaways, including “picking your battles, refining that, learning how to play the game a little bit better,” she said. While the road has led Demetria Obilor out of Texas, there are signs everywhere with her name on them… in women standing up for themselves, little girls appreciating their bodies and the skin they’re in, people learning there are consequences for crossing the line and exuberant confidence for all man-kind. For her, the pathway has been carved out and is clear. “Everything is necessary, every step is necessary,” Ms. Obilor said. “It’s time to take another step and bet on myself.” myimessenger.com
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Pre Halloween Costume PartyBlue Martini-Plano on 10/26
Confessions of an Exotic Dancer
NOVEMBER 8, 2019
DA CROONER inducted into Hall of Fame
FAMILY AND FRIENDS JOIN WILLIS JOHNSON
Willis Johnson, veteran broadcaster at KKDAAM joined 20 people who were inducted into the 2019 Texas Radio Hall of Fame on Saturday, November 2 at the Texas Museum of Broadcasting in Kilgore. “When you take a look at that man’s track record, as a DallasFort Worth radio entertainer and more importantly the man’s community outreach, its immeasurable,” said Josh Holstead, Texas Radio Hall of Fame owner and operations manager. “It was a special day NOVEMBER 8, 2019
for me to be inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame and I am so grateful for my family to be with me as well as Mayor Mike Rawlings, Developer Jack Matthews and Linda/Mitch Hart. It’s quite an honor,” said Mr. Johnson. A native of Gladewater, Johnson started at KKDA in 1975. His show’s lineup which included community affairs, politics and music was an instant hit and he became the voice in the community until his retirement. “Radio is a service that I loved… I
did it for 36 years,” said Mr. Johnson. “I feel we touched communities because radio is a connection to the community it serves.” He was program director, executive producer and on-air personality during his career and won numerous broadcast awards including the Silver Beaver Award, the Juanita Craft NAACP Award and the Urban League of Greater Dallas President’s Award. Congratulations and accolades from friends and former listeners continue to flood
Johnson’s social media. “Congratulations to a wonderful civic leader,” said businessman Pete Schenkel. Other inductees include Glenn Hicks, Linda Austin Ware, Jimmy Aiken, Lee Randall, George Gimarc, Dave Rios, Billy Thorman, Johnny Goyen, Ben Downs, Steve Lamb, John Mitton, Redbeard, Bob Hathaway, Michael Harris, Scott Sparks; Posthumously Inducted Individuals Jim WW Travis, Dick Wheeler, George Erwin, Harwell Shepard. myimessenger.com
Cedar Hill grad reigns at Florida A&M University By Arianna Reamey Special to Texas Metro News from The FAMUAN Living up to peers’ expectations may be more complicated than it may seem for current Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) King of Orange and Green Sidney Fleeks. “Same titles, similar crowns, but different reigns,” Fleeks said. The 2019-2020 King of Orange and Green is serving up school spirit but in a new and fun fashion. Aside from his position on the FAMU Royal Court, Fleeks is a senior public relations major who is also the CEO of his own multi-media agency, Street Culture Media. “I use my public relations skills and efforts to help share our beloved FAMU experience with others. Through my reign I want to make Rattler spirit a national phenomenon,” he said. During his campaign, one of Fleeks’
main platform points was called “Advance Broadcast.” Through this initiative he plans to create a web series that highlights not only the HBCU experience, but the FAMU experience. In turn Rattlers will be given the chance to showcase their talents, as well as tackle real issues. “I want to utilize my platform to bridge the gap between student leaders and students. I want to be transparent with students to show them that I am a real person too. In addition, I never want the student body to ever feel like they can’t come to me and talk to me,” said Fleeks. “The only difference between the Sid from freshman year and now is a haircut and a title.” Differences between Fleeks’ and his predecessor leave some on campus with a little bit of getting used to. Students still have to get used to different forms of spirit.
Former Miss Junior Attendant, Kamiah Millner, said, “With being on the court with Mark, I have seen and appreciated what he did for the student body. This year, I love to see the new approach Sid has brought to his title. He has redefined what it means to make your reign yours.” “I would let Sid know that king or not, student comes first so take care of yourself and make sure you’re at a good place so that you can be the best king you can be for your classmates,” said Mark Nicolas, the 2018-2019 King of Orange and Green. Fleeks understands. “Comparison is the thief of joy. I’m my own king. My personal legacy started when I won my title as the first write-in candidate ever for King of Orange and Green,” he said. Arianna Reamey is a senior public relations major from Detroit, MI. She has interned with Ignition Media Group and The Allen Lewis Agency. She has held several leadership positions in on-campus organizations and is currently interning at VISIT FLORIDA. Sidney Fleeks attended Cedar Hill (TX) High School. A Public Relations major with a creative vision for photography and art. event planning chair for various organizations throughout the campus. He is seeking a Bachelors of Science degree in Public Relations and wants to become a publicist and or event planner.
Dareia with Deya at F.A.L.L. Summit
By Daria Tolbert-Jacobs Texas Metro News
Deya Smith- Taylor is an amazing woman and life coach. The event surpassed everything I expected. The panel speakers were engaging, God-filled and offer simple nuggets to start the work of being FILLed. F.A.L.L. Edition of the Super Self-Care Power Summit Music, dancing, mindfulness, massages, food, drinks, vendors, myimessenger.com
and more! The F.A.L.L. Season -- which stands for the theme and categories of focus: FIX. ALIGN. LOVE. LEVERAGE -- is where women come to enhance relationships with themselves, each other, and, with men. Self-care is important for maintaining a
healthy relationship with yourself. It means doing things to take care of our minds, bodies, and souls by
engaging in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress. SelfCare is knowing your I Messenger
self-worth, social and emotional intelligence, stress management, life-work balance, and more intentional living vs. existing, and better physical health. Subjectmatter experts include celebrities, physicians, therapists, beauty and health professionals, and entrepreneurs speaking on panels to provide tools and share personal testimonials to help you take your life and relationships to the next level. NOVEMBER 8, 2019
by Vincent Hall
Trump - An American Tragedy QUIT PLAYIN
Parenthetically, if it’s strange that any Black man in America can say “Our Constitution,” you have company. The two words were never formed sequentially in my mouth until Representative Barbara Jordan’s famous 1974 speech to impeach Richard Millhouse Nixon qualified it. “Earlier today, we heard the beginning of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States: ‘We, the people.’ It’s a very eloquent beginning. But when that document was completed on the seventeenth of September in 1787, I was not included in that “We, the people.” I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and
By VINCENT L. HALL Vincent L. Hall is
an author, activist
and award-winning columnist
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” – Thomas Paine, an EnglishAmerican writer, and political pamphleteer. W h e n Thomas Paine penned; “The Crisis” on Christmas Eve in 1776, he sensed that the experiment we know as “A m e r i c a n democracy” would eventually come to a crossroads. Paine could not Attorneys Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort Jr. with President. have known that his Christmastide treatise would resurface on Halloween 2019, but Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. the truth is tailor-made for all times. But through the process of amendment, “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet interpretation, and court decision, I have finally we have this consolation with us, that the harder been included in “We, the people.” the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What Most will agree that African-Americans have we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is been legislated into “We the People.” Meanwhile, dearness only that gives every thing its value.” we understand that legislation without brotherly Paine posited this speech to persuade his love or public policy can still get you killed by the readers to support the experiment by enlisting Police. Anyway… American soldiers for the revolution. He pelted The “summer soldiers and sunshine patriots” his solemn argument with a tone of authority, that make up the Republican Party, and especially concise diction, and elegant similes. those seated in the U.S. House and Senate, should “Hell” as he portrays it is a useful hyperbole heed Paine’s call. for the last four years of Donald Trump. Trump’s All of the excuses they offer so far have been resurrection of a pre-civil rights brand of useless utterances. They argue to let “the people” tribalism and White supremacy has fanned the decide 13 months from now. Meanwhile, poor flames of hubris and hatred. The state of “Our” criminals are jailed until they can prove their Constitution could get even more hellacious. NOVEMBER 8, 2019
innocence. The question that begs for an answer is whether the Presidency of these United States bears an inherent and exclusive right to subvert the laws of our sovereignty without protest, penalty, or punishment. The framers of the Constitution commissioned the power to indict and punish a President to the House and Senate. The President has no similar oversight. They never intended to create a monarchy or establish a kingship. Even if you lack a law degree from nowdefunct Trump University, the Constitution is clear. If you accept the premise that “All men are created equal,” Trump has to be treated like everybody else. Al Capone, Bill Cosby, and Jeffrey Epstein were Americans too! If Donald Trump can continue to disobey laws, obstruct the investigations of those breaches of the law and engross his personal enterprises without penalty; then let all the captives go free! If ignorance of the law is no excuse for the poor, then millionaires ought to tow the same line. Thomas Paine would confront the crisis we see today. Paine would speak out against our laws being flaunted by a wannabee dictator-in-chief. Furthermore, if Trump were a Negro from the ghetto, a Mexican from the barrios, or a poor White boy from a trailer park; he would already be playing checkers with Paul Manafort and Micheal Cohen. Thomas Paine ended The Crisis as emphatically as he began it. “This is our situation, and who will may know it. By perseverance and fortitude, we have the prospect of a glorious issue; by cowardice and submission, the sad choice of a variety of evils.” We have a crisis!
HARRIET By Hollywood Hernandez Any kid who took high school history is aware of the iconic character in Black History known as Harriet Tubman, but the movie HARRIET takes us into the life of the abolitionist and teaches us about the woman, Harriet Tubman. She had almost superhero type powers. First, freeing herself with a 100-mile journey to Philadelphia, then making the trip 10 more times over a 13-year period freeing family members and friends and other enslaved American Blacks who wanted to be free as well. In total, she personally led over seventy slaves to freedom. She had a strong faith and an even stronger desire to be free. With her Christian background, she believed that no man should be able to own another human being. It was that strong faith that gave her her myimessenger.com
relentless spirit to free fellow slaves and lead them to freedom.
The movie shows her tragedies and her ability to triumph over the impossible obstacles that she faced. There’s a scene in the movie where she jumps into a river from off a bridge where she tells her master, she would rather be dead than to not be free. She had an amazing spirit. She had a lifetime of historic firsts, such as being the first army commander to lead a
group of American soldiers in battle. HARRIET also started out as a person who used safe houses to help slaves travel to freedom in the north to become the conductor of the underground railroad. HARRIET isn’t a “Black story.” It’s a story about a woman who was a true hero. It’s an inspiring and uplifting story about a woman who never gave up, no matter what the odds. This is a story for all Americans. In her later years, Tubman worked with Susan B. Anthony on issues involving women. She also established a nursing home where former slaves could get free medical care. She was an amazing woman who lived to be 91 years old. The movie is rated PG-13 for violence and has a run time of 2 hours and 5 minutes. On my “Hollywood Popcorn Scale” I rate HARRIET a JUMBO. I Messenger
NOVEMBER 8, 2019
Giddings recognized for support of Alzheimer’s Research By Earnestine Cole
ITWPA Journalist & Photographer
Seated at the head table with Daniel Podolsky, M.D., President of UT Southwestern Medical Center, former member of the Texas House of Representatives Helen Giddings, was recently recognized by UT Southwestern and The Texas Alzheimer’s Research and Care Consortium. This International Symposium on Neurodegenerative Diseases dinner and panel discussion, was held at the T. Boone Pickens Biomedical Building in Dallas. Some of the world’s greatest brain and Alzheimer’s researchers, attended this high-level dinner. “Helen Giddings was responsible for our initial funding for the Texas Alzheimer’s Research and Care Consortium,” said Rita Hortenstine, the Current Chair of the Consortium. “She got the ball rolling and helped grow it to the
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nearly $50 million that we have in for what we’re doing. We are very aggregate today. We owe a debt to focused on curing or slowing down Rep. Helen Giddings for all that she Alzheimer’s Disease. I look forward has done for us. She has been so to working with you in the future.” In January, after a stint of 26 wonderful.” Along with the Panel Moderator William Dauer, M.D., featured inter-national neurodegenerative disease experts were: C. Frank Bennett, Ph.D.; Marc Diamond, M. D.; Jeffrey Kelly, Ph.D.; and Berge Minassian, M.D. They shared informative new research on, “New UT Southwestern & Texas Alzheimer’s Research & Care Consortium (l-r): Debbie Hanna, Current Chair; Helen Giddings, Former Texas State House of Representative (District 109); Hope For Treating Rita Hortenstine, Past Chair; and Daniel Podolsky, M.D., President of UT Southwestern Neurodegenerative years, Ms. Giddings left the Texas Diseases.” Dr. Dauer, expressed his House of Representatives. She admiration for Ms. Giddings’ self- tenaciously served District 109 less work in the southern sector of – Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Lancaster, Dallas, that has spread worldwide. Wilmer, Hutchins and part of Glenn “Thank you for all that you are Heights and Oak Cliff. Ms. Giddings remains strongly doing for us,” said Dr. Dauer to Giddings. “Your support is critical committed to serve North Texas.
Her goal centers around focusing on the empowerment of women as well as continuing the valuable work she started on various community projects to improve health care in the African American community, such as bringing more awareness to Alzheimer’s Disease. “I want to continue doing anything I can,” she said. “I know that a higher percentage of African Americans are being affected by Alzheimer’s than other populations. We don’t know what causes this disease and there is no cure. We have some medications to intervene, but there’s no indication that they really help.” According to Avery McEntire, Manager for the Dallas and North Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, “in the United States, there are approximately 638,000 people living with Alzheimer’s Disease.”
THAT CELEBRITY INTERVIEW
MTV’s Teen Mom Ashley Jones By VALDER BEEBE
I adore my job! Talking to millennials (born 1980-1994), Gen X (born 1965-1979) and my favorite Baby Boomers (born 1944-1954) and the Silent Generation (born 1928-1945). Everyone’s favorite MTV “Teen Mom: Young + Pregnant” girls - Ashley, Brianna and Kayla - are back for season 2 as they navigate the new challenges of motherhood. This season, they are joined by two new momsto-be Kiaya and Rachel who are just starting out on their journey. Invited into the Valder Beebe Show studios Ashley Jones, (22). Ashley’s tumultuous relationship with Bar, her daughter Holly’s father, has had a lot of highs and lows, but his ongoing lack of motivation has Ashley at her breaking point. As she shifts her focus to school, she decides to end things with Bar and work on their co-parenting, but when Ashley starts hanging out with Chicago rapper 600Breezy, Bar is not happy.-Text provided by Ashley’s publicist VBS: Ashley’s in the Valder Beebe Show is here to bring us up on Teen Mom “Young Plus Pregnant.” Ashley what myimessenger.com
can you enlighten my audience about MTV Teen Mom? AJ: There’s a lot of good stuff coming up and some interesting stories.
VBS: Tell us about your story, it promoted as tumultuous. What does that mean to you? AJ: I do have a lot of moving parts in my life. My child’s father and I are trying to figure it out. My family and I are trying to figure it out. This season the viewers will see a lot of growth in my story. VBS: When you say “trying to figure it out”? What does trying to figure it out mean? I am going to assume that you have had your child. Mothers 23
usually have or have a plan for a platform to work from. So what does figure it out mean? AJ: Ideally I would have had my cards in order before having a child. I think life has a funny way of making its only decision. I think parenting is just an everyday decision that you learn to make. VBS: On the show Teen Mom, will we see your parents involved in your life and the life of their grandchild? AJ: Yes. My parents are a big part of my support system. VBS: You say you have gained self-confidence. What have you learned from your very public journey of life? What can my audience learn from your journey? Ashley’s full interview……. ValderBeebeShow.com Valder Beebe hosts the Valder Beebe Show on FM and streaming TV: ValderBeebeShow. com; SoundCloud.com/ValderBeebeShow; FM Broadcast: KKVI FM 89.9, KRER FM 102.5; Streaming on ROKU & Amazon Fire:YouTube/ValderBeebeShow; VBS affiliate broadcasters; PChatman Network [Roku TV] I Messenger
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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
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
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 8, 2019
From Marva with By Marva Sneed
On From Marva with Love I interviewed Visionary Linda D. Lee, the CEO and founder of LL Media Group, LLC, a personal development consultancy. She is a Professional Certified Life Coach (PCLC), Certified Christian Mentor (CCM), international speak-er, multi award-winning author, and a voice for the voiceless. She humbly teaches women how to build healthy relationships with positive competencies, sustainability plans while equipping the next generation in alternative rite of passage ceremonies. Mrs. Lee said she truly believes every woman has a voice that needs to be heard. Mrs. Lee begins with her story BY HIS STRIPES anthology a caregiver story. MS: Can you give us a little background about being a caregiver? LL: I want to share as you stated and bring awareness to care giving from a different perspective. My story “In Bed with a Snake Anthology,” deals with care giving and also access denied. So I’m coming from this perspective, I was NOVEMBER 8, 2019
pregnant and I was denied access to health care many years ago. But then I also experienced my ex-husband being denied health care on his death bed. So I want to bring awareness from the perspective to help others understand that they have a right to medical care. MS: What H a p pened? LL: What happened in my story “In Bed with a Snake Anthology.” I was pregLinda Lee nant. I was having symptoms that caused me to be alarmed. I approached my doctor after I had been to appointment a week before and we found that I was leaking fluid around the baby and he didn’t feel that there was a reason to be alarmed. With any situation with your body causes you to panic. I tried to stay calm but each day it seemed like more fluid was leaking from around the baby. To fast forward I went to work. I worked at a subsidiary of The Dallas Morning News. I
felt the fluid leaking and called my doctor. He agreed to see me and he still didn’t see any reason for alarm. Again I was denied access to care. I went home I was in bed and I felt ill I knew there was something wrong with my body. That’s the question that I ask people all the time Have you ever been denied medical care? From a caregiver’s perspective, the one that gives care and even the one that needs care. We all have to be aware that people’s needs have to be met at a specific time. And at that I needed emergency care. My doctor didn’t think that I did. My pregnancy was early and he wouldn’t send me to the doctor for care. I timed my pain and I was in labor and no one would receive that I was in labor. My husband didn’t believe I was in labor, the doctor didn’t believe I was in labor. I called the doctor again and asked him to send me to the emergency room? Back then you had to have approval from your doctor to go to the emergency room. For more of the interview with Mrs. Linda Lee’s “In Bed with a Snake Anthology” go to BlogTalkRadio Cheryl’s World, ‘From Marva with Love.’ myimessenger.com
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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
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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NOVEMBER 8, 2019
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Flow of Ci and Co As always, 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’ve survived 100% of your bad days,” is a quote from Cierra, as she talked about defeating bad days because they don’t last forever. Remember to always stay positive throughout your journey. “You’d be surprised who’s watching your journey and being inspired by it. Don’t quit,” is the quote from Courtney, that mentions that we are all on our own journey and to always remember that someone is rooting for you. On the 6th episode of the Flo of Ci & Co, we discussed many topics from: A Gender Reveal Explosion that left a grandmother dead; Tornado destruction in Dallas; Breaking away from a 9-5 job; and, the most recent shooting near Greenville, Texas where during a homecoming party for Texas A&M Commerce students, two young men were shot and killed while others were injured at
the scene. Gun violence has got to be put to an end in our community. Cierra: We bring our attention to another shooting that has taken place at Texas A&M Commerce. It is really unfortunate that this happened, especially at this event. I will never understand why situations like this happens, especially being at a fun event. Why would someone want to come to an event like that and cause trouble? How was the shooter able to maneuver through the security guards? Courtney: I feel like every club should have a male security guard and a woman security guard. The reason is because males don’t like to check females and females don’t like to check males. You signed up for this job, so take it seriously. Cierra: For example, females don’t get checked as hard as males. It is easy for a female to carry a weapon in their purse into the club because their bags are not being checked as hard. That could’ve easily happened. There are so many questions being raised about this
incident. Courtney: I was talking to someone about Texas Gun Laws and they were saying that they don’t agree to the gun laws in Texas. Most of the people I talk to about this are not from Texas, so they all have different opinions. Cierra: Texas gun laws are pretty lenient. We pretty much have an open carry policy, but of course there are restrictions on where and when to carry. What are some gun laws in Michigan? Courtney: I’m not quite sure about the gun laws in Michigan. I know for sure that you can’t openly carry in your car. If you do it has to be locked away in your glove compartment. Prayers to those who are affected by the shooting near Commerce. 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/ CherylsWorld, and you don’t want to miss it.
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