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I M essenger VOLUME 8

JULY 12, 2019

ISSUE 47

C heryl P olote -W illiamson

R enaissance woman

E ntrepreneur , P hilanthropist , A uthor


IMessenger An IMM LLC Publication MAILING ADDRESS 320 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway Suite 220 Dallas, TX 75203 WWW.TEXASMETRONEWS.COM 214-941-0110 Cheryl Smith PUBLISHER - EDITOR news@texasmetronews.com S. Curet GENERAL MANAGER stewartcuret@myimessenger.com Nina Garcia Marketing/Sales Manager Marva Sneed EDITORIAL ASSISTANT EDITORIAL TEAM Lajuana Barton Eva Coleman L. Diane Evans Dorothy J. Gentry Vincent Hall Dr. Felicia N. Shepherd Monique P. Stone Dareia Tolbert Andrew Whigham III Chelle Wilson

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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.

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INSIDE

FROM CONGRESS

Meharry

QUIT PLAYIN’

The hundreds of thousands of distressed desperate women with babies, children and men from Central America, South America and Africa who journey thousands of miles from their countries, risking their lives and leaving those that they love behind to enter the United States for a new life will not be stopped by a Southern border wall.

Should Meharry Medical College, a Historically Black College (HBCU) established in 1876 in Nashville, have accepted $7.5 million from Juul Labs, the controversial e-cigarette company that provides an alternative to smoking tobacco?

The Texas Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to the recognition of broadcasting greats in the Lone Star State. Their mission is to only recognize the highest caliber of people who have largely made Texas the focus of their good work.Â

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MY TRUTH by Cheryl Smith, Publisher

Tears

Overcoming the feeling of loss is not easy for everyone and people grieve in different ways. During a discussion in class, one student would not accept that his reality was his alone and he couldn’t rely on his own narratives to describe or rationalize for the actions or feelings of others. Too often people will expect others to act as they would in a situation, foregoing what is real for that person. Loss, pain, joy, sorrow, happiness— everyone reacts differently but too often we become judgmental if we feel that the response is not adequate, normal or appropriate. You know the people who will tell, almost demand that you smile; and they don’t have a clue about what is going on in your world. Or, the person who tells someone that you saw them and didn’t speak, when you were totally in another space, dealing with your own issues and really didn’t see them. Compassion is always good. Judgmental behavior is usually negative. When do people learn to JULY 12, 2019

stop trying to make their reality the reality of others? When do they realize that the only shoes they are walking in are their own, so they don’t know your truth? Which brings me to my truth. I am in pain. My heart aches. But life has to go on and I must have faith that “this too shall pass.” But right now, I don’t know if I can be consoled. You see, it was July 6 when I heard the news that the Chicago Defender would no longer be available in print. Instead I would have to read the digital version. Now there will most likely be those who say, “don’t worry, don’t despair.” Guess what, I am worried and I do have a feeling of despair, frustration and almost anger. The Chicago Defender is family to me and Real Times Media is a major media force and source in America, especially Black America. I know times are changing and change is good; however I think about the 4

readers who don’t have use of electronics or internet/wifi service. Sounds illogic, but I submit to you that everyone in this great country does not have all the “necessities” or “luxuries” that you enjoy. According to a study conducted by the PEW Research Center, “roughly one-in-five American adults are “smartphone-only” internet users – meaning they own a smartphone, but do not have traditional home broadband service.” Also, about 73% of U.S. citizens over 65 use the Internet. So what about the other 27%? I realize that print newspapers have been declining for decades, but did you know that online news sources have experienced a decline in recent years? The most successful newspapers are those that can embrace and capitalize off of multimedia platforms. Digital is not the enemy, it’s the future. Sometimes I have felt, however, that for those of us in the business of the Black Press, myimessenger.com


as hard as we work, we never get the love from those we are a voice for, Black People. Sadly, most Black-owned newspapers are free and still you have Black People, who are the main focus, will turn up their nose, waving their hands as if to say “move aside,” or “get out of my face” if you try to pass one to them. At I Messenger Media, we are using print, broadcast, digital and if we have to, drums; to tell our stories, to continue being a voice for the voiceless. We love our people and we love the stories we are able to share that might not ever be told. We appreciate the love we receive from many. There are those who show love when they see us coming and they make up for those who will jump for joy and post all over social media when they see themselves in mainstream publications, but barely acknowledge Black Press coverage, until they get into trouble. Just like the Black College, or Black-owned businesses, and even the Black Church; the Black press suffers myimessenger.com

tremendously in America from a mentality that was a direct result of post slavery advances. Once we were given the “privilege” of partaking; ours for some, will never be good enough. Recently I picked up the Korean Weekly. At first glance, I was sure it was a monthly or an annual publication. Imagine my surprise to learn this more than 160 page publication comes out every week! The

Korean business, church and education communities support that paper. Founded in 1905, the Chicago Defender did receive significant support, at one time. It was considered to be “The Newspaper,” even printing daily for several decades. I have so many wonderful stories about the Chicago Defender and I wish Mr. Hiram Jackson much success, because I will be watching and learning as we also 5

continue diversifying our revenue streams and hopefully continue providing a print copy to the percentage of readers that have no desire to read electronically, for whatever reason. It hurts to see the change with the Chicago Defender, and I know I will manage; but I take solace in knowing that there’s strong leadership and a visionary leader at the helm. I just hope that people will support the efforts. It’s about survival and the Black Press not only needs, but deserves support. I hurt, just like when I hear about a Black college or business closing. I don’t need to hear “this too shall pass,” or the likes of “that’s the way of the world.” My pain is real but I use it to move me to action, to make me work harder to put out a better product and to earn support from the communities we serve and the business communities. So, like so many others, sometimes when I am not smiling, just think of the song, “Tears of a Clown,” and give a person some space. JULY 12, 2019


SPOTLIGHT

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WHO’S WHO

Featuring UBER EATS

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COMMENTARY by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

A Fool’s Folly

The hundreds of thousands of distressed desperate women with babies, children and men from Central America, South America and Africa who journey thousands of miles from their countries, risking their lives and leaving those that they love behind to enter the United States for a new life will not be stopped by a Southern border wall. That belief is simply folly, or at worse, political rhetoric designed to win over emotional voters that can be easily manipulated during the election season by an administration whose life expectancy, many predict, will conclude in 2020. Serious thinkers understand that a comprehensive federal immigration strategy and a working relationship with the leaders of nations such as Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are critical to stem the tide of the massive numbers of migrants myimessenger.com

that are moving north. Perhaps the president and those who help him to shape his immigration policy might consult with people such as the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, who recently suggested that migrants would main in the country that he leads if there sufficient employment and a safe environment. President Bukele recently urged Washington to become his country’s partner in creative a massive jobs programs in El Salvador. He said that he believes his government, with assistance from President Trump, could create nearly 400,000 jobs that do not exist today. Those jobs, President Bukele said, would discouraged Salvadorans from seeking a life in the United States, he added, saying “… if people have an opportunity for a decent job, a decent education, a decent health 9

care system and security, I know that forceful migration will be reduced to zero.” No one wants to leave their home. If the average person were to examine their own lives and found that they were jobless and fearful, they would search for a place where they could earn an income and raise their families in peace. Isn’t that what the first settlers in this country did when they fled what they characterized was tyranny in England? So, history teaches us that those who stand at our Southern eager to enter and those who are walking towards it are not much different from those who settled what is now the United States of America, which we have declared as the ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave.’

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Exonerated Five discussed on Anthony’s “Leadership” Council

Anthony Council

that proved they were innocent from the crime, however, before the trial, the investigators had the boys videotaped, where the five of them confessed only because they were

they dealt with in prison, the courtroom and even the park itself. Within the documentary Series, there have been many reviews from young people with each episode.

told they could go home if admitted guilt. The young boys: Raymond, Yusef, Korey, Antron, and Kevin were all sentenced to six to eight years in prison. The Netflix series “When They See Us” showed the boys and what

The Netflix series is a four-part series and everyone should watch it. I got to interview Mr. Kurtis Willis who was around during that year and I got his input on the case and the Netflix series itself. AC: “As a Black man,

By Anthony Council Texas Metro News

On April 19, 1989, five young boys were accused, charged and convicted of raping and beating a woman in Central Park. The five boys were questioned without their parents’ consent by investigators and officers; about the case, being abused and hit upon. The person who handled this case was an attorney and New York City prosecutor focusing on crimes of violence against women and children. She was the head of the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office from 1976 until 2002. Her name is Linda Fairstein. During the trial, in the courtroom, there was DNA evidence JULY 12, 2019

how do you feel about the judicial system?” KW: “The judicial system and African American men are handled differently. We are not innocent until proven guilty. We are guilty and in most cases and therefore when we enter this system the thought process for most prosecutors is you are going to have to prove you are innocent. In this system, you are guilty by association because of the color of your skin.” AC: “What do you do if you are in a vulnerable situation where you have nowhere to go?” KW: “You have to find someone that you really can trust, finding someone that can lead you in the right path. Everywhere you go there's going to be that pocket of a city of crime or reputation. Find people that can help you and mentor you so you can grow and be safe. The first thing I would do is know my surroundings.” Tune in to Anthony’s “Leadership” Council Every Tuesday From 2 to 4 pm

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COMMENTARY by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Meharry’s Juul Grant is Good News

Should Meharry Medical College, a Historically Black College (HBCU) established in 1876 in Nashville, have accepted $7.5 million from Juul Labs, the controversial e-cigarette company that provides an alternative to smoking tobacco? Meharry says it will use the grant, the secondlargest it has ever received, to study public health issues and African Americans, including the health effects of tobacco products. They will establish a Center for the Study of Social Determinants of Health, and, according to its President, Dr. James Hildreth, “ begin conducting fully-independent research into the health conditions and issues related to tobacco and nicotine-delivery products.” Critics say that Meharry has made a deal with the devil since African American people smoke more and have a higher death rate from tobaccorelated illnesses than other racial and ethnic groups. They think Meharry should have passed on the Juul donation because they don’t believe that the historically Black Meharry can’t take Juul’s money and continue to make a difference in Black lives. I say nonsense! Juul will not be dictating the topics or terms of research with Meharry. The College’s President, Dr. James K.K. Hildreth, Sr., who has been determined to increase the amount of research that Meharry students are doing, says the college approached Juul, not the other way around, and they did it with their eyes wide open. He says he is confident that the new research center Meharry will establish will be independent of Juul. They won’t have input to the research topics that Meharry tackles, nor will they determine the course or direction of research. Most medical colleges, including Meharry, turn down contributions from tobacco companies. As Meharry and Juul were exploring the possibility of the donation, Altria, a tobacco company, acquired 35 percent of Juul. Should that have killed the deal? It caused Meharry to pause. But eventually, they decided to accept myimessenger.com

the money because they believe they can use it for the greater good. I agree. President Hildreth has been a biomedical researcher for more than 36 years. In a letter to the Meharry community, he reminded them that, “The bodies of black Americans have historically been the subject of scientific experimentation with no control on our part. If it takes an unorthodox partnership to change that dynamic, then let the research begin.” I can’t read that part of Hildreth’s letter without

thinking of the Tuskegee syphilis experiments, where the federal government funded research on the effects of untreated syphilis on black men. Medicine to cure syphilis was withheld from the men in the experiment. The federal government did this! The commercial use of Black bodies included the harvesting (and reproduction) of the cells of Henrietta Lacks, a Black woman whose DNA is still being used today for medical research. And, when we think of experiments on Black bodies, one must think of the odious J. Marion Sims, who was called the “father of modern gynecology.” He earned his fame by conducting painful experiments on enslaved women. Thank goodness New York City removed his statue from Central Park! Meharry doesn’t aim to hurt the six million African Americans who are smokers or to profit from them. They aim to have a seat at the research table, a place from which Black

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researchers, and Black research institutions, have often been excluded. Juul’s contribution allows Meharry to pull up a chair to the research table and participate in the scientific inquiry about the health effects of cigarettes and other tobacco products, critical investigation given the fact that African Americans are more likely to die from tobacco-related illnesses than others. Dr. Hildreth’s letter to the Meharry community outlines several research questions. What is the long-term impact of e-cigarettes? Does vaping cause developmental health issues? Are vaping devices effective as smoking reduction or cessation devices? Will laws prohibiting tobacco sales for those under 21 improve health outcomes? San Francisco recently passed legislation outlawing the sale of vaping devices. How effective are such laws? These are questions worth answering through research. From where I sit, Meharry should have negotiated for a much more substantial contribution from Juul, and perhaps they will. After all, according to Dr. Hildreth, the tobacco industry “has taken our money and delivered sickness and death in return. “We at Meharry intend to advance the fight for better health and longer life by turning that insidious relationship on its head.” Bravo, Dr. Hildreth. If Meharry’s research can help us learn more about addiction, and if the research can be used for tobacco use prevention, then Meharry is doing the right thing. I don’t see others lining up to fund Meharry’s research, and fundraising for HBCUs is extremely challenging. I look forward to the work that the Center for the Study of Social Determinants of Health will produce. Dr. Julianne Malveaux is an author, economist, and social commentator.

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Cierra’s Interlude

Are you really healthy? By Cierra Mayes Texas Metro News

Cierra’s Interlude is a podcast platform I created to give current college students and former students the opportunity to tell their truth. My show airs on Blog Talk Radio Wednesdays 2 to 4p.m. I talk about different subjects that are related to the student experience on and off campus. I am a recent graduate from the University of North Texas with a focus in broadcast Journalism. Recently, I wrote an article “If I would’ve known, what I know now” about my personal experiences in college and growth over the years. I chose to create a podcast that would help out the student community. Recently I interviewed one of DFWiRadio’s show hosts, and we talked about the importance of health and fitness. Now are you really as healthy as you think? Aside from DFWiRadio, Zhamir is working on becoming a licensed fitness trainer before the end of the year. His JULY 12, 2019

experiences motivated him to stay chocolate. So, I decided to change my healthy and be passionate about what diet. he is putting into his body. CM: When you cook, what do you CM: How did you get into health and usually fix? fitness? ZW: I usually fix chicken and fish. I ZW: One of the reasons I got into bake chicken multiple ways and I eat health and fitness is because 22 years all types of fish. Fish is one of my ago my grandmother died of a massive favorite foods. I bake catfish, salmon, heart attack. With the conjunction of snapper, and more. I always look at having diabetes, high blood pressure, people crazy when they say Tilapia is high cholesterol and being slightly a man-made fish because it’s not. overweight. As a kid, knowing what CM: It’s not?! happened to her I didn’t want to go ZW: It is not. It’s a down that road. fish that is found in East Africa and that’s CM: Yes, I why we say that here haven’t had a because it is not made drink of soda in a in America. while. I definitely learned something new there ZW: It’s funny because I was one that you said of those who always that, because I said Tilapia is manrecently just made made. I enjoyed the a Facebook post conversation we had. that on Saturday it will be 20 years since I have had soda Zhamir also shared tips on how to or candy. When I was in high school, stay active in and out of school. I worked out intensely. Part of it was Remember to tune in to Cierra’s because when I was in 7th grade, I Interlude every Wednesday from 2 to went to get a physical. I had developed 4p.m. You don’t want to miss it. If ring worms really bad and the doctor you do, you can also always check out told me that it could be my diet. I had the archives. them longer than usual and around that time I had been eating a lot of

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From Marva with By Marva Sneed

Soulful Prayers

– no matter where he or she is in their relationship with God.” MS: What was the intention with Soulful Cheryl Polote-Williamson is an Prayers? award-winning entrepreneur and CPW: The intention behind Soulful executive producer, best-selling author, Prayers, the book came about because speaker, philanthropist, and a noted transformational leader – helping over so many people would ask me how I can 200 individuals in their quests to becoming best-selling authors and has instrumentally catapulted their careers through what she has coined “AuthorPreneurship.” Cheryl is the CEO of Cheryl Polote Williamson LLC, in addition to the CEO of Williamson Media Group. Last month she held the launch and book signing of Soulful Prayers: The Power of Intentional Communication with God. The book features selections from 52 authors with prayers dedicated to every situation (good or bad) that may occur in one’s life. From “A Prayer for Soulful Purpose” by co-author Tilda Whitaker to “Waiting for Justice” by co-author Charmaine Roots Castillo to “Jobless: But, God I Trust You” by co-author Tammy L. Woodard, and “The Ability to Lean on the Lord” by bestselling co-author Courtney Williamson -Cheryl Polote-Williamson Soulful Prayers will powerfully change the lives of whoever has it in their grasp. The proceeds of the book will go to pray to God, I don’t speak eloquently. I Cheryl Polote-Williamson’s non-profit Soul don’t know what to say. Prayer is a simple Reborn - for underserved women providing conversation with God you don’t have to lectures, classes, summits and conferences have the right grammar, you don’t have to on leadership, entrepreneurship, money have the whereto and thou fore’s, or turn to management, etiquette, storytelling, and Luke 12 chapter this or that all God wants is to hear from you. philanthropy. I started sharing with people that they On From Marva with Love on BlogTalkRadio.com Cheryl’s World, Mrs. could just say Jesus Jesus help me and Williamson said, “Soulful Prayers is the God would help them or Jesus Jesus orjust quintessential book for every believer moan. People then started to believe that God heard their prayer and they didn’t myimessenger.com

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have to be eloquent. I began to take this into my spirit and I asked God what you want me to do. God said to me I want you to gather people from all over the globe together and do books on prayer. So people who feel like their prayers are not being heard and they don’t know what to say to me “God” they can grab a prayer out of this book and realize it’s just an intentional conversation with me “God.” I crying out to you “God” it’s the desires of my heart. The Desire is for people to have a work book, a tool, a vehicle so that when they need a job, or grieving the loss of a child, or justice. There is a prayer in this book for you. The Intention is everybody to know that when you go to God in prayer it is a conversation between you and Him with no middle man just you and God. MS: You have written 13 books. In your bio it states you have helped people in their quests to becoming best-selling authors. How would a person start if they wanted to write a book? CPW: I always love it when people ask me this question and the answer is just start. People feel like they have to get a writing coach, or I have to take classes. The thing is those are the things that will hold you back because you are constantly looking out. Look within yourself. Go to the dollar store and get a note book and start writing, don’t edit it, don’t ask anybody’s opinion. Everybody will tell you why you can’t write the book and nobody will purchase it. Get a note book and just start writing. Carve out time every day. Don’t format it just write. Tune in to From Marva with Love, every Friday at 11am-1pm on BlogTalkRadio.com.

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QUIT PLAYIN

by Vincent Hall

Willis Johnson – A Homegrown Hero The Texas Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to the recognition of broadcasting greats in the Lone Star State. Their mission is to only recognize the highest caliber of people who have largely made Texas the focus of their good work. They seek individuals who demonstrated exemplary skill, recognition from their peers and were absolute stand-outs. Those qualities made a candidate eligible for nomination to the Hall of Fame, which resides in the Piney Woods of East Texas in Kilgore. There were 16 living legends inducted this year and four others selected posthumously. Listed in the middle of the 16 was our own Willis (Da Crooner) Johnson. It’s a fitting irony that the State of Texas is 286,597 square miles, but Willis will be inducted a mere 15 miles from his birthplace in Gladewater. Willis is a “homeboy” who made a name and reputation for himself by taking care of home. Johnson will join three other powerhouses from Dallas Black radio alumni. Linwood Henderson otherwise known as “Cuzzin Linnie” along with Dewayne Dancer and the “Flyjock”, Tom Joyner already have residence in Texas’ most prolific dormitory of D.J.’s. Johnson came to Dallas in 1975, fresh out of college. It wasn’t long before his time at KKDA developed some lifelong friends. Willis was part of Dallas’ own famous foursome. Ambassador Mayor, Ron Kirk, U.S. Senatorial prospect and Texas Senator Royce West and Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price; all cut their teeth at Soul 73 KKDA. JULY 12, 2019

Soul 73 KKDA was all about the Black community. Willis marshaled forces for everything from a weekly “Thunder Thighs” competition at a local nightclub, to a mass gathering to protest injustice. Interestingly, his reach was dominant without being heavy-handed or demanding. Willis

stated the facts; made a case for his position and let you decide…that he was probably right! The AM radio game back in the day, was a sun-up to sundown proposition. Willis ran the first leg. He was at the mic by 6:00 a.m. and most would tune-in just in time for his monologue. There was some carryover from late night personality “Da Wolf ” and the freaky behavior that Dr. Louie White whipped up on the regular, but Willis carried more than his weight. Six years ago, his listeners went to hear him and the show was gone. Soul 73 had been sold and sounded like Seoul 73. Dallas’ Black community radio had become Dallas Korean Radio. Social media and Facebook are fine, but Willis gave his audience a voice, a vote and a vision. All of that was lost. When contacted, Price wasted no

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time congratulating Johnson and making his own observations about his friend and colleague. “Willis is one of those rare radio personalities who knew how to mix some business with the bulls@&! He was obliged to broadcast. For this community, he balanced what we wanted with what we needed. He was the bridge that moved us from the party bus to planning business mixers. As a result, Willis had been able to connect willing entrepreneurs and corporations to small businesses in our community that want and deserved to grow.” Before and since the station closed on New Year’s Day 2013, Johnson has spearheaded his own successful marketing firm and was a close confidant to the last two mayors. His ability to grasp the needs and concerns of both sides of Dallas, make him a valuable commodity to those who want to do business and do it right. Johnson is a fierce proponent of equity and parity when it comes to procurement and contracts. Congrats to Willis! His earnest love for people and especially for this Dallas community has made a name for him. At one time he used the “Dear Crooner” to help us all with our love problems. HE was the Black male Dear Abby long before Steve Harvey and others sampled his moves on the airwaves. As an honoree of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, Willis will have a lasting place of prominence among his peers and fellow professionals. That is the greatest honor he could ever receive. #HomeGrown

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Big Tex is Hiring: State Fair of Texas Seasonal Job Applications Now Available The 2019 State Fair of Texas® is a little more than 90 days away, and Big Tex is officially looking for job applicants. Seasonal job applications are now available online for a variety of departments and positions. The State Fair is a beloved Texas tradition, so it’s easy to see why working at the Fair is just as fun as attending the annual event. The Fair provides more than 7,000 seasonal job opportunities every year, with approximately 2,200 people employed directly by the State Fair of Texas. The minimum wage for job openings paid by the State Fair of Texas for 2019 is $11.15/hour, raised from $10.00/hour in 2018. As the annual event is a collection of small businesses, the remaining seasonal positions report to independent contractors including concessionaires, ride operators, and vendors. Applications for seasonal positions can be found online, with opportunities available in the following areas: Clean Team, Commercial Vendor Booths, Coupon Sales, Creative Arts, Food and Beverage, Games, Gates, Greenhouse/Landscape Operations, Guest Services, Livestock, Maintenance, Plumbing, and Security. To apply for a seasonal position at the State Fair of Texas, please visit BigTex.com/Jobs. In addition to encouraging job seekers who don’t have access to a computer to visit their area public library, the Fair has partnered with several local organizations who will be opening their computer facilities to those wanting to fill out job applications. Assistance with the application process, resumes, creating professional email accounts, and myimessenger.com

virtual phone numbers will also be offered at specific locations through CARDBoard Project. Please find details on all participating locations: Cornerstone Baptist Church 1819 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Dallas, TX 75215 (214) 426-5468 Monday – Friday, 10 am – 5 pm Saturdays, 10 am – 1 pm Cornerstone Kitchen (with online application assistance in partnership with CARDBoard Project) 2815 S. Ervay St., Bldg B. Dallas, TX 75215 (214) 421-5532 Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10 am – 1 pm Frazier House 4600 Spring Ave. Dallas, TX 75210 (214) 324-4443 Mondays & Wednesdays,10 am–2 pm Martin Luther King, Jr. Library (with online application assistance in partnership with CARDBoard Project) 2922 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Dallas, TX 75215 (972) 571-3202 Wednesdays, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm West Dallas Public Library (with online application assistance in partnership with CARDBoard Project) 2332 Singleton Blvd. Dallas, TX 75212 (214) 670-6445 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm Details related to future potential locations will be posted as they become available at BigTex.com/ Jobs. Themed “Celebrating Texas Creativity,” the 2019 State Fair of Texas runs Friday, September 27 through Sunday, October 20 in Fair Park.

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#ustoo Phenomenal Woman Transforms the Narrative

Volunteer shares experience as docent at African American Museum By Patty Bates-Ballard Special to Texas Metro News

I recently became a volunteer docent at the African American Museum of Dallas. I’m White, and I have invited friends of all backgrounds to take tours with me. At a time when most Americans say race relations are getting worse, I’m on board with Dallas’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation effort to transform our country’s false narrative about African Americans and other People of Color. Curated by Jennifer Cowley, the #ustoo Phenomenal Woman art exhibition is a PHENOMENAL oppor-tunity to experientially transform our narrative. Featuring JULY 12, 2019

20 local African American woman artists, the exhibition was conceived in response to Bette Midler's #metoo tweet referencing the John Lennon/ Yoko Ono song, "Woman is the N----of the World." The false narrative about African Americans I learned growing up -invented to justify slavery -- involved many dehumanizing messages and images. But the entire narrative can still be conveyed in the one very powerful, hateful, hurtful n-word. The #ustoo Phenomenal Woman exhibit responds powerfully in oils, acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, photographic works, and music. Vivid colors, unexpected materials, skewed perspectives, exaggerated brush strokes, and affirming language convey

literal messages yet also stir emotions that take the viewer beyond the visible to discover even deeper meanings. A number of works evoke strength and resistance to discrimination and oppression. Stacie Monday’s “Rebel” is a beautiful portrait of a confident African American woman surrounded by the words, “In a society that profits from your self-doubt, loving yourself is a rebellious act.” An incredible hand-lettered trio of “Phenomenal Woman” paintings by Nicole Angelica lifts up three remarkable Black women: Maya Angelou, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey. Abi Salami’s painting, “Lady African Defiantly Shackled” personifies Africa’s unwillingness to succumb to the vestiges of colonialism myimessenger.com


and her “unapologetic belief that she deserves a proper seat” at the international table. Missy Burton’s “Dada” and “A Woman’s Work,” Yolanda Burton’s “Balance,” Tyra Goodley’s “Bus Stop,” and others exude the perseverance, camaraderie, and ingenuity African American women offer each other and the world day after exhausting day. Yet many works, including Monday’s “Ain’t I a Woman,” Jennifer Cowley’s “Shadow of Herself: Mommy’s Got You,” Tschaner Sefas’s “Nurture Me Please,” and Fiera Smith’s “Don’t Tell Me to Smile” explore the vulnerability of Black women and insist that Black women be supported in their vulnerability. These paintings are vital because a 2017 Georgetown University study found that adults view young Black girls as less innocent and in less need of protection than White girls of the same age. The Georgetown researchers say they think this “adultification” of Black girls may contribute to the higher rate of school suspensions for Black girls (five times more likely than White girls). Artist Classi Nance Jimoh’s artist statement transforms the narrative with the assertion, “We are all women enough to deserve the covering of love and safety.” Choke’s “Atabey” and “Fire Panther” and J. LeShae’s exquisite “The Secret Society of Womb Guardians” explore the divine feminine while VET’s “Love Potion,” Lauren Cross’s “So Great in Her Gardens,” and Kaneem Smith’s heart-rending “Cotton Belt Memorial” creatively pay homage to those who myimessenger.com

have crossed over to the other side. The exhibit is a celebration of Black beauty, Black resilience, Black hair, Black bodies, Black creativity, Black girl magic, and Black lives, interpreted by artists who live life as African American women. The sense of freedom and joy expressed here invites a reconsideration of our still mostly White male-dominated society. At the artists’ talk in May, it was clear that these 20 African American women have found a rare, life-sustaining connection that promises more inspiring art to come. I’m convinced that for our city and

nation to heal and progress, we must shed our false narrative and embrace a more authentic narrative about African American people that centers their beauty, brilliance, talent, and generosity. The exhibit continues through August 3. I hope you will call soon to schedule your tour and come prepared to be transformed. Patty Bates-Ballard is Creative Director and Owner of WordSmooth, co-author of the book Navigating Diversity, and developer of the Harvesting Respect communications education program. Previously the Diversity Director for the Greater Dallas Community Relations Commission, she has worked in the field of multi-cultural relations for more than 20 years. She coordinates the student Culture Club at Dallas Academy and is a volunteer docent at the African American Museum of Dallas.

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Dallas County’s Expunction Expo to help citizens clear records The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, The Dallas County Public Defender’s Office, and the Dallas County District Clerk’s Office are hosting the 3rd annual Expunction Expo. The Expo aims to clear criminal records of people who, by law, are eligible for an expunction. “We want to help people who qualify for an expunction get a fresh start so they can become productive and contributing members of society,” says Criminal District Attorney John Creuzot. “Many people may not be able to obtain gainful employment, attend college or serve in the military because of something on their record that can be eliminated. This is an opportunity for them to change their lives for the better.” The Expunction Expo is convened in partnership with local volunteer attorneys, as well as students from the University of North Texas (UNT) Dallas College of Law and the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Dedman School of Law. Dallas County myimessenger.com

District Judges and the Dallas City Attorney Community Courts are

grand jury;  They have a criminal charge that was dismissed;

Dallas County District Clerk Felicia Pitre and Chief Public Defender Lynn Richardson with District Atty. John Creuzot at Press Conference P : C M hoto

also vital partners in this endeavor. This year’s Expo is at Jubilee Park Community Center, 907 Bank Street, Dallas. Since its inception in 2017, this event has helped clear over 400 criminal records. Per Texas statute, individuals who have offenses on their criminal record MAY qualify for an expunction if any of the following apply:  They were arrested but a charge was never filed with the DAs Office or was no billed by the

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ayes

 They were acquitted on their charge by a judge, jury, or appellate court, or;  They were convicted of a crime but later pardoned by the Governor of Texas or the President of the United States. You are not eligible for an expunction if:  your case is still pending;  you were convicted, even if you just paid a fine; or  you were placed on probation, community supervision, or deferred adjudication,

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even if your case was later dismissed. How To Participate in the Expunction Expo:  Anyone who believes they are eligible for an expunction must preregister between July 8, 2019 through July 28, 2019 at www.dallascounty. org/expunction; or in person at one of the designated locations listed below.  If the individual has any offenses that may be eligible for expunction, they will be contacted and invited to meet with a volunteer attorney at the Pre-Qualification Clinic on Saturday, September 14, 2019.  Those granted expunctions will be invited to a graduation ceremony on Saturday, December 7, 2019.  Only Dallas County offenses will be considered. LOCATIONS:  Clerk’s Office Frank Crowley Courthouse  Clerk’s Office George Allen Courthouse  City of Dallas Community Courts For additional information, individuals may call (214) 653-2905.

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SPIDERMAN:

FAR FROM HOME BY HOLLYWOOD HERNANDEZ

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Celebration of Life

Dr. Wright Lassiter, Jr. Friday, July 12, 2019 Viewing: Evergreen Memorial Funeral Home 6449 University Hills Blvd. 12:30-5:00pm Visitation w/ Family Concord Church 6808 Pastor Bailey Drive Dallas, TX 75237 7:00pm Saturday, July 13, 2019 Service: Concord Church at 11am

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ASK ALMA Who’s tripping? Dear Alma, I have never been this shocked and pissed all at the same time. My niece must be trippin! She has got to be crazy! I just received a group email of pictures of her wedding with a note that says here are the pictures from my wedding. What wedding! I didn’t even know she was getting married. This was not a backyard just pulled together in a couple of days weddings either. This was in a beautiful location in one of the historic districts in our city. She had a large bridal party of 10. Everybody in our family was there, all of our family and friends. I have four sisters and all of them were there except me. All of our cousins, aunts, and uncles. The only two people who weren’t there were me and my mother. I talk to my sister on a regular basis and how in the world could she not mention her wedding. I can’t believe this! How could she pull off such an elaborate event without INVITING us? Dear NOT invited, Well, as kind and as gently as I can declare, TBT, she didn’t want you or your mother to attend. Which brings to mind this JULY 12, 2019

question: What exactly did her auntie and grandma do or say that would exclude them from her wedding? Why did she obviously tell her mom/your sister/her grandma’s daughter and the rest of the wedding party not to include you in the planning? Ok see, you ain’t giving me all the ingredients to this cheesy beef casserole. Where’s the meat? You and I both know that every bride that’s able painstakingly takes the time to dream, plan and execute the best wedding she can possibly imagine. She surrounds herself with the people she loves and all the friends and family members who are important to her and her impending groom. Again, I ask, what did you do? You had to say or participate in something so hurtful or trifling, that it made her not want to share this special day with you. Think back. What was it? Clearly, whatever it is, it’s huge. The four of you, yes, I said four, the bride, her mother (your sister), you and your mom need a cool and calm, let me try to understand where you’re coming from. No weapons allowed. Sit down around the kitchen table. And you need to find out the 28

root cause of the problem. I’m sure you, as her aunt, and your mom, her grandmother were heartbroken to find out about the wedding in a group email and on Facebook. Carry that empathy to the table. Let her know you were surprised and shocked that you missed such a special occasion in her life and even more dumbfounded that you were not invited to be a part of it. Keep it plain and simple, all you need is one word: Why? When she speaks, keep silent, and listen. Stop, rewind, press play – I said yawl (you and your mama); you just need to listen. She has something heavy on her heart that needs to be said. If you listen with your broken heart and overflow of unconditional love, you can mend this. There will be many a sad occasion for everybody to congregate. You know kinfolks are never too busy to attend funerals, and life’s too short to miss out on joyful celebrations. Be the first to apologize and fix this family foolishness. Stop wasting what should be treasurable (is that a word? LOL) times and magical memories. All of our days above ground with family are a blessing. Alma myimessenger.com


LIFESTYLE by Valder Beebe

That Celebrity Interview:

A Nigerian Story

Charity and watchdog group Save the Persecuted Christians and coalition member the International Committee on Nigeria (ICON). Nigerian activists have descended on Washington and other U.S. cities this week looking for your support….. what would you be willing to do if your daughter went missing? What would you do if your culture was being threatened and annihilated? In the Valder Beebe Show studio my guests; Alheri Magaji, daughter of Adara Senior Chief, her father, the Chief was unjustly imprisoned for 100 days by Kaduna state government. Mercy Maissari, an Adara victim kidnapped, ransomed and then released. Napoleon Adamu, a survivor of Benue programs. All are here in the United States traveling from their home country Nigeria to give firsthand account of the tribulations, terror and tensions of being a Christian in Nigeria. These distinguished guests (Mercy is a daughter of a Nigerian Chief) share insider details about kidnappings, killings, rape of women, men, children and Christians. VEB: To set an understanding for the reader; my guests are in the United States from Nigeria. Thanks to Talk Show

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host Ester Davis, Ester Davis Show, for arranging this studio interview for the Valder Beebe Show. Boko Haram waving the black and white flag used by the Islamic State and wearing balaclavas, military fatigues and ammunition belts, members of the group released some of the abducted girls in Dapchi early in February 2018. Over 100 girls have been released since then, but many are still missing. Alheri Magaji, Mercy Maissari and Napoleon Adamu are a part of a delegation to the United States to present their case for the United States for intervention in their political strife at home. The group is attempting to get an appointment with Vice President, Mike Pence in Washington, D.C. The Valder Beebe Show was granted this interview. VB: Your delegation is here seeking assistance from the U.S. for multiple situations happening now and the recent past in Nigeria, tell me about them. I am aware that you are the daughter, Alheri Magaji, of Adara Senior Chief in Nigeria. Your father was incarcerated for 100 days unjustly by the government. Your ethnicity has been threatened as the Islamic military faction are trying to wipe away

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your Tribe. I’m attempting to get my audience to understand why your father was imprisoned unjustly and what this is such a travesty? Alheri Magaji: Thank you for listening to me and giving me time to talk. The matter is complicated and I will attempt to make it as short as possible. The Governor of my region who is Muslim, abolished my Tribe without due process, as if we no longer exist. My Tribe which is 95 percent Christian is the largest Christian community. This was done recently. We are a threat, because we are Christians. Unjustly imprisoning my father was also a way to say ‘we do not exist’. VB: I believe what Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his reference to justice so I will paraphrase ‘a threat to Christians anywhere is a threat to Christian’s everywhere’. ValderBeebeShow.com, 411RadioNetwork.com, Youtube.com/valderbeebeshow, 411RadioNetwork. com; Podcast audio: Soundcloud.com/valderbeebeshow, Soundcloud.com/kkvidfw, 411RadioNetwork.com, PChatman Streaming TV Network

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COMMUNITY CALENDAR

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Profile for Cheryl Smith

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