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NEWSTALK COMMUNITY MEMBERS SPEAK OUT ON PROPOSED SCHOOL CLOSURE, P3 defendernetwork.com

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BLACK HISTORY

Houston’s Leading Black Information Source

Volume 83 | Number 15

FEBRUARY 13, 2014 |FREE

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Valentine’s Day Speci al

REV. AL SHARPTON to speak at HCC gala

P9 HS ZONE MONICA MORALES plays guard for Milby

P11 CHAG’S PLACE

to meet your mate H Page 6

Constance White and Beverly Johnson at Macy’s Black history event

P12

ONLINE Lawsons’ love story on defendernetwork.com

Kerry Washington

Roman Banks

The NAACP Image Awards are coming up, and Kerry Washington of “Scandal” is one of the stars receiving more than one nomination. Learn when the show will air. See what other entertainers are up for awards. Discover which actor will be honored.

As the SWAC men’s basketball season hits the home stretch, Southern University coach Roman Banks hopes to guide the Jaguars to the championship. Read about the team breathing down Southern’s neck. See what Texas Southern player has taken SWAC by storm.

H Page 5

H Page 10

nominated twice

coaches Southern

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DEFENDER | FEBRUARY 13 | 2014

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HISD hosts community meetings HISD is hosting meetings at the five schools which could be closed or repurposed, and the one school set to be re-zoned. Those in attendance will hear from district officials, and will have the opportunity to ask questions and speak directly with school principals and other HISD team members. The proposed changes will not become official unless the Board of Education votes to approve any or all of them at its regular monthly meeting on March 13. Three community meetings remain: Monday, Feb. 17, 6:30 p.m. – Port Houston Elementary School, 1800 McCarty Street, and Fleming Middle School, 4910 Collingsworth. Tuesday, Feb. 18, 6:30 p.m. – Billy Reagan K-8, 4842 Anderson Road. For more information visit houstonisd.org.

Jones High School students show their support by chanting the school’s motto during a community meeting convened by HISD.

Jones High supporters oppose school closure By CIERRA DUNCAN Defender

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oncerned parents, students and community members recently gathered at Jones High School to discuss the school’s future. Supporters want Jones to stay open, and asked HISD to consider other options. Jones is one of five under-enrolled HISD schools being considered for closure or repurposing at the end of the school year. According to the district,

the proposed plan will allow enrollment and resources to be better distributed across campuses. “Roughly 2,000 children are zoned to Jones High School but only an estimated 440 students are currently enrolled,” explained Michael Cardona, HISD’s interim chief high schools officer. “When you want to offer services such as electives and [advanced placement] courses, it becomes more difficult the smaller the school gets.” If Jones is closed, students would

be re-zoned to Sterling or Worthing High Schools. Some supporters believe HISD has not considered students and parents in the proposed closure. “HISD wants to know how to bring children back to the school but they haven’t asked the community,” said Assata Richards, vice chair of the Houston Housing Authority. “If you don’t ask your consumers that question, how do you create a product that your consumers want?” Another Jones supporter, a concerned parent, said HISD should invest in the community.

“In the movie ‘Field of Dreams’ there is a quote that says ‘If you build it they will come.’ There is no building in our community, and because there is no building they are not coming,” the parent said. “You all are going to have to step out on faith and money and invest in our community.” Other supporters said HISD should bring work training and college preparatory programs back to the campus. The community’s feedback and the proposed closures will be presented to the HISD Board of Education on Feb. 20.

localbriefs QUESTIONS ARE BEING RAISED about HISD’s bidding process. It is reported that nearly two-thirds of all 2012 bond contracts went to political donors. According to KTRKTV, one firm “gets a lot of HISD jobs and has done good work in the past,” but was also the third largest political donor to the campaign pushing to pass the most recent bond referendum. HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier denied any connection between donations and district contracts. “The key is there are no promises made. No promises made to anyone who donated money. There’s no quid pro quo; you give money to the campaign,

you get work,” Grier said……..THE LACK OF HEALTH INSURANCE in Houston is a “significant problem” said Mayor Annise Parker. She said the city is implementing an emergency management response system with community-based partners to coordinate enrollment initiatives with the Affordable Care Act. Residents can enroll in health care at onestop spots linked to Neighborhood Centers and Get Covered America. “We are treating the opportunity to enroll the uninsured the same way we would respond to a natural disaster: with attention and coordination,” Parker said…….. MINORITY DONORS are asked to donate

blood at a 3 Lives Blood Drive on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 9 a.m. at Remington College Webster Campus, 20985 Interstate 45 South. 3 Lives is a national effort held in partnership with the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) and America’s Blood Centers. More than 11,500 pints of blood have been collected since the program began. Donors should be healthy adults at least 17 years old and weighing at least 100 pounds. According to SCDAA, African-American donors provide blood with unique antigens that are vital for those with sickle cell disease. The disease affects more than 70,000 people in the U.S. For information visit 3Lives.com.

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FEBRUARY 13 | 2014 | DEFENDER

national

U.S.briefs BLACK UNEMPLOYMENT INCREASED from 11.9 percent in December to 12.1 percent in January according the Department of Labor’s latest report. The Black rate is nearly double the national unemployment rate of 6.6 percent. The rate for Black men over 20 jumped from 11.5 percent in December to 12 percent in January. The jobless rate for Black women over 20 did not change, staying flat at 10.4 percent. Young Blacks 16 to 19 years old continue to experience the highest unemployment among all groups with a rate of 38 percent……..THE CANCELLATION OF THE PROPOSED “celebrity” boxing match between George Zimmerman and rapper DMX is being applauded by the nation’s largest online civil rights organization. ColorOfChange. org, which has more than 900,000 members, commended fight promoter Damon Feldman for “making the right decision. “It is appalling that Zimmerman would ever be considered a celebrity for killing a child, and the fight would have accomplished nothing beyond further victimizing the family of Trayvon Martin,” the organization said.…….. BLACK MEDIA CRITIC Richard Prince has launched a series of attacks on a National Newspaper Publishers Association-led delegation for a trip to Morocco in early January paid for by the government. Prince criticized the 14-member delegation for taking the all-expense paid trip because of journalistic standards. In one article, Prince quoted the travel policies of the New York Times and Washington Post, which have significantly more financial resources than the Black Press. “Of course, we understand that it is preferable that we pay our own way on such trips,” said NNPA Chairman Cloves C. Campbell, Jr. “But since we’re not getting our fair share of ad dollars and therefore don’t have the resources to pay for the trips, we have to come up with creative ways of covering Africa because the Motherland is too important for us to ignore.”

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STEM gap

threatens success

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NNPA News Service

new study finds that the United States will halt its economic success unless the racial gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is addressed. The report, “STEM Urgency: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education in an Increasingly Unequal and Competitive World,” examines the inadequacy of STEM education, particularly among AfricanAmericans and Latinos, and how that inadequacy impacts U.S. economic power. The report was presented by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think-tank. According to the report, just 17 percent of degreed and employed Black professionals hold a STEM degree. In the field itself, Blacks make up just 3.9 percent of the ranks of all science and engineering occupations. White STEM

professionals hold 71.8 percent of such jobs. “While these trends are troubling for the nation overall, a disproportionate number of people of color – particularly African-Americans and Hispanics – are even further away from becoming STEM-literate and having the ability to thrive in a hyper-competitive, global marketplace,” the report stated. “Closing the gap in college graduation rates for AfricanAmericans and Hispanics could add a significant number of people to the workforce able to do jobs that require advanced skills and are in high-growth areas of the economy.” Additionally, the gaps in STEM education have implications on employment. The national unemployment rate has been above 5 percent since the recession, peaking at 10.2 percent in 2009 – or nearly 16 percent for African-Americans. Meanwhile, jobs that depend on STEM skills will grow 17 percent in the next four years. The study stated that possible solutions will require public-private partnerships and investments.

Not enough Blacks receive HIV treatment VOLUME 83 • NUMBER 15 FEBRUARY 13, 2014 Publisher Print Editor Marilyn Marshall Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Art Director Advertising/Client Relations Tony Fernandez-Davila Selma Dodson Tyler People Editor Strategic Alliance Manager Yvette Chargois Clyde Jiles Sports Editors Multimedia Manager Max Edison Tiffany Williams Darrell K. Ardison Online Editor Contributing Writer ReShonda Billingsley Cierra Duncan The Defender newspaper is published by the Houston Defender Inc. Company (713-663-6996.. The Defender is audited by Certified Audited Circulation. (CAC). For subscription, send $60-1 year to: Defender, P.O. Box 8005, Houston TX 77288. Payment must accompany subscription request. All material covered by 2012 copyright. (No material herein may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher).

Defender News Services

Only about one in three Blacks with HIV – the virus that causes AIDS – have their infection under control. According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many HIV-positive Black patients are not getting the care and treatment needed to live healthy lives. Researchers found that among Blacks with HIV, only 46 percent had received antiretroviral drugs to help suppress HIV, and only 35 percent had achieved the treatment goal of viral suppression. Donna Hubbard McCree, associate director of CDC’s Health Equity Division of HIV/AIDS Pre-

vention, said that viral suppression is the outcome of being in care, staying in care, being on meds and adhering to meds. She added that achieving viral suppression allows patients to get the HIV virus levels low enough to be healthy and reduce transmission to others. Causes for failure to receive treatment include a lack of health care and health insurance, and the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. “If you don’t have the means to see a doctor, you may not get treatment,” McCree said. “If you cannot afford the basics in life, you may end up in circumstances that increase your risk and affect your care.”

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DEFENDER | FEBRUARY 13 | 2014 defendernetwork.com

Seniors can defer tax payments

presidents’ day

Defender News Services

Homeowners who are age 65 or older or who are disabled as defined by law may postpone paying current and delinquent property taxes on their homes by signing a tax deferral affidavit at the Harris County Appraisal District Office. Once the affidavit is on file, taxes are deferred – but not cancelled – as long as the owner continues to own and live in the home. Taxes accumulate with 8 percent interest per year. A filed tax deferral affidavit keeps homeowners from losing their homesteads because of delinquent property taxes. A pending sale to foreclose on the homestead’s tax lien will also cease as a result of filing a tax deferral affidavit. In addition, no taxing unit can start or continue a lawsuit to collect delinquent taxes once an affidavit is filed. There are no penalties on delinquent taxes during the deferral period; however, a tax deferral does not cancel penalties that were already due. “Homeowners with a mortgage on their home should first check with their mortgage company to make certain the deferral does not violate the terms of the deed of trust securing the mortgage on the property,” said Chief Appraiser Sands Stiefer. “Most deeds of trust require that taxes be paid currently.” For information visit hcad.org or call 713.957.7800.

Tuition program deadline approaches Defender News Services

The deadline to apply for the Texas Tuition Promise Fund is Feb. 28, and Texas Comptroller Susan Combs urges families to enroll. The program will help students avoid future increases in tuition as well as the required fees at Texas public colleges and universities. Under the program, families of students can save money by locking in the cost of undergraduate tuition and other required fees based on current prices. The fund allows parents of participants flexible payment options, which can help budget toward a college education. “The future cost of children’s college education can weigh heavily on families as they set their budgets,” Combs said. “Fortunately parents can ease concerns about those costs by locking in prices through the Promise Fund.” For children under the age of 1, the deadline for enrollment will extend to July 31. Sept. 1 is the next annual enrollment period for the 2014-15 academic year, and will include updated contract prices for Texas public college costs. For more information visit TuitionPromise.org or call 1-800-445- 4723.

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FEBRUARY 13 | 2014 | DEFENDER

entertainment

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NAACP Image Awards air Feb. 22

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Defender News Services

he accomplishments of people of color will be highlighted during the 45th annual NAACP Image Awards, which air Saturday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. on TV One. The show honors men and women in television, music, literature and film, and also recognizes individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. Anthony Anderson hosts the show and Dennis Haybert is the in-show announcer. Presenters include Michael Ealy, Arsenio Hall, Gabrielle Union, Regina Hall, Octavia Spencer, Rickey Smiley and Lou Gossett Jr. Forest Whitaker will receive the NAACP Chairman’s Award in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service. Awards are given in more than 50 categories. One of the most anticipated awards is for Outstanding Motion Picture. Nominees this year are “12 Years A Slave,” “Fruitvale Station,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” and “The Best Man Holiday.” A number of stars have received more than one nomination. Kerry Washington is nominated for Outstanding Actress for her TV role in “Scandal” and her movie role in “Tyler Perry Presents Peeples.” Idris Elba is nominated for Outstanding Actor for his TV role in “Luther” and his movie role in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” John Legend received nominations for Outstanding Male Artist, Outstanding Album and Outstanding Music Video. Janelle Monáe received nominations for Outstanding Female Artist, Outstanding Album, Outstanding Song and Outstanding Music Video. Other nominees in entertainment include Don Cheadle, Kevin Hart, Aisha Tyler, Sofia Vergara, LL Cool J, Taraji P. Henson, Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, India.Arie and Charlie Wilson.

Kerry Washington

Idris Elba

John Legend

Janelle Monáe

what’sup The Broadway production of “A Raisin in the Sun” starring DENZEL WASHINGTON is going through changes. DIAHANN CARROLL pulled out of the upcoming revival and has been replaced by LaTANYA RICHARDSON JACKSON, the wife of SAMUEL L. JACKSON. LaTanya was last seen on Broadway in the 2009 revival of “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.” She is excited about her new role. “This is an incredible dream. I could cry, but I don’t have time,” she said. Carroll, 78, withdrew due to the vigorous demands of the performance schedule and rehearsals. The production also stars ANIKA NONI ROSE and SOPHIE OKONEDO, and opens April 3…….. HALLE BERRY has begun filming “Extant,” a new summer series on CBS. It’s described as a mystery thriller about a female astronaut trying to reconnect with her family after returning from a year in outer space. 

Her mystifying experiences in space lead to events that will ultimately change the course of human history. Berry is a coexecutive producer of the show and STEVEN SPIELBERG is an executive producer……..Filmmakers TYLER PERRY, SPIKE LEE, LEE DANIELS and MALCOLM LEE will be honored by Essence Magazine on Feb. 26. The celebration, titled “Black Men in Hollywood,” takes place in L.A. during Oscar week. On Feb. 27, the magazine hosts its annual “Black Women in Hollywood” luncheon. Honorees include actress LUPITA NYONG’O, writer and director AVA DUVERNAY, and CHERYL BOONE ISAACS, president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. Special recognition will go to MAYA ANGELOU, NICHELLE NICHOLS, JIM BROWN, DENISE NICHOLAS and CLARENCE WILLIAMS III, among others……. “The X Factor,” which

featured KELLY ROWLAND as a judge, has been cancelled by Fox. The show, which was in its third season, suffered a huge drop in ratings. SIMON COWELL, the show’s creator and Rowland’s fellow judge, will join the British version of the show. Rowland said the show had stiff competition from programs such as “American Idol” and “The Voice,” but she remained positive. “It was an incredible experience and I made new friends,” she said……..JOHN SINGLETON of “Boys ‘N the Hood” fame is executive producer of a new documentary that explores how Black photographers have used pictures for social change. It’s titled “A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People,” and Singleton said the film “moved” him. “This documentary highlights the ongoing battle that Black people face defining themselves image-wise,” he said.

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DEFENDER | FEBRUARY 13 | 2014

cove

to meet yo

I

By TIFFANY L. WILLIAMS Defender

t’s almost Feb. 14 and millions of Americans will flock to stores across the country looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for their significant other. However, there are millions more who are simply reminded by this holiday that they don’t yet have that someone special. Instead of feeling down, singles should evaluate the different options available. Sure, dating can be difficult, and finding someone who shares your values, beliefs and interests can seem almost impossible. There are, however, other options outside the traditional “boy-meets-girl-at-a-coffee-shop” scenario. Everyday people are turning to the Internet, speed dating or singles’ groups in search of Mr. or Mrs. Right. Whether you’re skeptical of alternative dating options or working up the courage to give one a try, there are some things you’ll want to consider before making a decision.

ONLINE DATING

Online dating, in a nutshell, is when one seeks a mate online for romantic purposes. Typically, he or she will use a general dating website such as eHarmony.com or a more specialized dating site such as BlackPeopleMeet.com, which caters to those looking to date Black men and women. While each dating site has its own criteria, most require one to post a profile online with information about his or herself. Tracey Wash, a local magazine publisher, met her current husband of four years online within a few weeks of posting a profile. “We went out on July 4, 2010, and got married the following July 4,” she said. Wash, who is 51, was 46 the first time she tried online dating and admits she had been single for 20 years, following a divorce from her first husband. “I dated a lot (traditionally) over the years, but it was always trial and error,” she said. Sales executive Candice, who doesn’t want her last name used, turned to online dating for about four years before meeting her current boyfriend in June last year. “With online dating you can check off what you want and what you don’t want,” she said. “But you have to be realistic with what you have to offer somebody. If you’re messed up on the inside you shouldn’t be dating until you fix that.” Wash said she too liked the fact that certain information is revealed upfront so she can avoid finding out about relationship “deal breakers” after she’s already invested a lot of her time. “I wanted someone who didn’t smoke, who was from a Christian home,” she said. “I didn’t have to wait until date number three to find that out.” Even though people are supposed to reveal information upfront, you may still run into someone who lies on his or her profile or who ignores what you say you want in a mate. “I’ve received random emails from people trying to meet up,” Candice said. “They may say they want a long term relationship but they’re just damaged beyond belief or you see something that’s just not right – some people are a little off.” While Wash and Candice have had relatively good experiences with online dating, they both said they always use precaution. Candice said she and her friends would exchange information about the person they were seeing, such as the time, date and location of the date. She even said they sometimes drove by each others’ dates or checked in via call or text to ensure everyone was safe. “I always had a back-up plan,” Wash said. “I had the guy meet me at a venue that I frequented so people there knew me.”

Play it safe with onli

D

ating can be tricky, especially when you’re just getting to know the person. Here are some tips on online dating safety from BlackPeopleMeet.com. Protect your online access information. Use caution when accessing your account from a public or shared computer so that others are not able to view or record your password or other personal information. Remain anonymous until you feel comfortable. Use a third-party, anonymous email address. Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe or threatened, cease communication immediately.

Aside from taking precautions, both women also said it’s better to go in with an open mind and to practice patience. “People think it’s a magic bullet but you have to be patient,” Wash said. “Don’t expect to meet the love of your life in a month. It takes time.”

MEET-UP GROUPS

Another dating option some singles are turning to is meet-up groups. Sites such as Meetup.com have a variety of groups made up of people who share similar interests. While the website is not exclusively for dating, there are several singles’ groups that cater to people looking to date. Candice said she likes online dating more than meet-up groups because online you know exactly what you’re getting. “Meet-ups are not effective because it’s hard to gauge what kind of people are going to be there, and most of the time it’s women,” she said. Despite Candice’s feelings about meet-ups, there are several meet-up groups in Houston to choose from. There are groups for people who are parents, who are newly divorced, who are in or above a particular age group, who want to date outside their race and who are just looking for friendship. Some are even geared toward professionals. According to Black Singles of Houston, a meet-up group with more than 900 members, their meet-up events include happy hours, sporting activities, traveling, “speeddating,” potlucks, movie nights and a host of other activities. Numerous churches also offer singles’ ministries for their members. However, many of them stress that they are not dating groups; rather, they are for singles who need support or spiritual guidance.

SPEED DATING

If you’re not comfortable with online dating or meet-up groups, speed dating is an option that lets participants go on multiple dates for short periods of time during a particular event. Houston Pre-Dating.com event coordinator Debra, who does not wish to reveal her last name, said speed dating is great because it gives individuals an opportunity to meet face-to-face without having to sit politely through a date he or she may not wish to finish.

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our mate

ine dating Get to know the other person online before meeting them offline. Get as many details about the person as possible by using sources such as Internet searches, governmental resources and databases or paying for a background check. Avoid people who don’t give you straight answers. End communication with someone who talks in circles or seems uncomfortable when you ask them questions. Block abusive users. Block any member who behaves or treats you in an abusive way and report the behavior to the website immediately.

“With speed dating, it can either be the fastest five minutes of your life or the longest five minutes of your life,” she said. In most cases, all participants are given something to identify them at the start of the evening such as a number or color that they’ll wear all night. At Debra’s events, the women are prompted to sit the entire time, while the men alternate from table to table, giving each member of the opposite sex an opportunity to meet everyone in the room. Each date lasts five minutes, and then a bell rings to notify participants when their time is up. Debra said she doesn’t allow more than 17 couples to participate on a given night. After all dates are finished, participants write down the numbers of the persons he or she is interested in following up with after the event. So, if participant number 5 chooses participant number 8 and participant number 8 also chooses participant number 5, then the two are provided each other’s contact information by the dating agency. Debra said each participant is also given the contact information of anyone who chose him or her, even if he or she did not choose that person. For instance, if a woman chooses five guys and 10 guys choose her, she would get contact information for all 10 guys. And of the five guys she chooses, she’ll only get contact info for the ones that also chose her. “We typically have a good success rate,” Debra said. “Most of the time about 60 percent of people that attend meet someone that also selects them. Sometimes, it’s over 80 percent. It depends on the night.” Every speed-dating event is different and the host or organization throwing the event typically sets the rules. A different night may have different time limits, age groups, themes, sexual preferences or even races. Debra threw a speed-dating event for Black singles but didn’t get a good turnout, she said. “Only one guy and about three or four ladies registered,” she said. “And the guy was white.” Candice and Wash said those looking for love should be flexible. “You have to widen your net a little,” Wash said. “You might have to increase the age or change ethnicity. You want someone who is going to share your values and love you.”

he Houston area for over 80 years

Rev. Bill and Audrey Lawson

A different kind of love story is still going strong after 59 years of marriage. Find out more on Valentine’s Day at

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DEFENDER | FEBRUARY 13 | 2014 defendernetwork.com

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

she Arthur A

Shirley Chish

olm

Marie Daly

Frederick Douglas s

25 men and women who

paved the way Part II

Here are some of the trailblazers who achieved national firsts.

Military

William H. Carney – first Black to win a Congressional Medal of Honor (1963) Robert B. Elliott – first Black general (1870) Daniel “Chappie” James – first Black four-star general (1975) Hazel Johnson – first Black female general (1979) Colin Powell – first Black to chair Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989)

Politics

Carol Moseley Braun – first Black woman elected to the U.S. Senate, Illinois (1992) Shirley Chisholm – first Black woman elected to Congress, New York (1968) and first nominated for president (1972) Frederick Douglass – first Black nominated for vice president (1872) John Willis Menard – first Black elected to Congress, Louisiana 1868) Carl B. Stokes – first Black mayor of a major city, Cleveland (1967)

Religion

Richard Allen – first founder of a national Black church, African Methodist Episcopal Church (1816) Absalom Jones –first Black ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church of the United States (1804) Fred J. Luter Jr. – first Black president of the Southern Baptist Convention (2012)

Vashiti Murphy McKenzie – first female bishop of the A.M.E. Church (2000) Augustus Tolton – first Black Roman Catholic priest (1886)

Sports

Arthur Ashe – first Black to win the U.S. Open (1968) and first Black male Wimbledon champion (1975) Alice Coachman – first Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, high jump (1948) Tony Dungy – first Black head coach to win the Super Bowl, Indianapolis Colts (2007) Jack Johnson – first Black heavyweight boxing champion (1908) Tiger Woods – first Black to win the Masters Golf Tournament (1997)

Science/Inventions

Benjamin Banneker – first Black scientist for his invention of a clock (1753) Marie Daly – first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry, Columbia University (1947) Sarah E. Goode – first Black woman to receive a patent, folding cabinet bed (1885) Thomas L. Jennings – first Black to receive a patent, dry cleaning process (1821) Percy Julian – first Black chemist inducted into the National Academy of Sciences (1973) Sources: Defender Files & New Services, biography.com, “Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America” by Lerone Bennett Jr.

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FEBRUARY 13 | 2014 | DEFENDER

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Black History Month schedule of events

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he Houston Public Library presents World Café: Remembering Mandela with Dallas State Rep. Helen Giddings on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 2 p.m. at 500 McKinney. World Café is a public forum co-sponsored by the United Nations Association. Giddings is honorary consul of South Africa. Contact: houstonlibrary.org or 832-393-1313. The University of Houston presents a panel discussion on Blacks in the Law on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 2:30 p.m. in Agnes Arnold Hall, room 210. Speakers include U.S. Attorney Vernon Lewis and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cedric Joubert and Quincy Ollison. Contact: uh.edu/class/aas/ or 713-743-2814. Willowridge High School presents “We Remember,” a celebration of AfricanAmerican culture, on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. in McNair Auditorium, 16301 Chimney Rock. The free event will focus on achievements made during the Harlem Renaissance and Civil Rights Movement. An art gallery viewing is at 6 p.m. Contact: fortbendisd.com or 281-634-1100. Prairie View A&M University presents a President’s Lecture Series with Congressman Al Green on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at

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1 p.m. in Don Clark Auditorium. Contact: pvamu.edu or 936-261-3566. The Making it Better Guild sponsors a luncheon Thursday, Feb. 20, at 11 a.m. at the Houston Racquet Club, 10709 Memorial. Guest speaker is Dr. Rod Paige, former U.S. Secretary of Education and HISD superintendent. Tickets are $25. Contact: mibtx.org or 713-952-9162. The University of Houston Clear Lake’s monthly farmer’s market celebrates Black History Month by hosting local African and African-American vendors on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 11 a.m. in Atrium I, Bayou Building. Contact: uhcl.edu or 281-283-2578. Houston Community College’s Black History Committee presents Rev. Al Sharpton as keynote speaker for its Black History Scholarship Gala on Friday, Feb. 21, at 6 p.m., , at the Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar. Contact: hccs.edu/bhc or 713.718.5242. The Houston Public Library Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research hosts presentations by nationally-recognized genealogist Tony Burroughs and author Franklin Smith. A presentation on the Buffalo Soldiers is Friday, Feb. 21 at 3 p.m. at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, 3816

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Caroline (713-942-8920). A discussion on genealogical research is Saturday, Feb. 22, at 9 a.m. at the Julia Ideson Building, 550 McKinny. RSVP at 832-393-2600. Visit houstonlibrary. org/clayton-genealogy. The Dance Department of Houston Community College Northwest hosts its annual Ak-

waaba Dance and Drum Festival Feb. 20-22 at various times at the Spring Branch campus, 1010 West Sam Houston Pkwy N. Activities include dance and drum workshops, panel discussions and lectures, and an African market. Contact: hccs.edu/africandance or 713-718-5305.

R YAN W HITE P LANNING C OUNCIL M EETINGS FOR 2014 January-no meeting February 13 March 13

April 10 May 8 June 12

July 10 August 14 September 11

October 9 November 13 December 11

Meetings are open to the general public; only Council members are allowed to vote but public comment is always welcome at the beginning of every meeting. The Council meets at Noon at our offices located in the Galleria area (near METRO bus routes 73, 81, 82). Call to request a calendar, a membership application or more information.  Attend a Meeting  Apply for Membership  Be a Participant 

The calendar of all Council and Committee meetings and a wealth of other information is available on our website. Check the calendar regularly for topics of specific interest to you. We hope to see you soon! Houston Ryan White Planning Council 2223 West Loop South, Suite 240, Houston, TX 77027 Phone 713 572-3724 TTY 713 572-2813 Fax 713 572-3740 www.rwpcHouston.org

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Southern coach Roman Banks has led his team to the top of the conference.

Aaric Murray of Texas Southern University is the SWAC’s top player.

Alabama State coach Lewis Jackson hopes his team can win the title.

SWAC basketball hits home stretch By MAX EDISON Defender

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s the SWAC men’s basketball season hits the home stretch with just seven games remaining on the schedule, the Southern University Jaguars are clearly the class of the conference. With a 9-1 conference record (13-10 overall) the Jags will battle to maintain the conference top spot with Alabama State University breathing down their necks in second place, 8-2 (14-7). With the conference tournament looming on the horizon – March 11-15 in the Toyota Center – teams are busy jockeying for seeding and trying to seize momentum at just the right time. No fewer than five teams are bunched in the middle of the pack tied Malcolm Miller of Southern University leads a balanced Jaguar attack. for third place looking up at the Jaguars and Hornets. year,” Banks said. “I think we’re growing. My In his third year at the helm, Jaguar head coach concern is being focused and in tune with the basRoman Banks has resurrected a program that was ketball game. If we’re all focused and aware, then clearly flat-lining at the bottom of the conference most nights we’re pretty good.” standings. The Jags, barring a total team collapse, No team in the conference has been a bigger should head into Houston at the very least the surprise than the Alabama State Hornets. With no SWAC’s No. 2 seed. fewer than 11 new players to the program, head Junior Calvin Godfrey (13.7 points per game coach Lewis Jackson has to date performed the and 8.6 rebounds per game) and senior Malcolm SWAC’s best coaching job, keeping the Hornets Miller (11.7 ppg and 4.8 rpg) lead a balanced within shouting distance of Southern. Jaguar attack that has been on all cylinders during The diminutive backcourt of sophomore Jamel conference play. Waters (5-feet-9,14.4 ppg and 5.7 apg) and junior “It’s all about being consistent this time of DeMarcus Robinson (5-feet 10, 11.7 ppg) lead the

Hornets in scoring. The Hornets were predicted to finish at the bottom of the pack, but coach Jackson’s philosophy has been simple – play team basketball. “Play the game,” Jackson said. “Don’t worry about the predictions, who’s scoring or anything. Just play team basketball, and good things will happen.” The biggest enigma in the conference continues to be the Texas Southern University Tigers. Despite a pre-conference victory on the road over Temple, the Tigers have struggled in conference play, and are currently in a fiveteam log jam in third place. TSU center Aaric Murray is the SWAC’s top performer. Murray dropped a season high 48 points on Temple, which is the nation’s top output this season. He leads or is near the top in most statistical categories. Murray is the SWAC’s leading scorer 23.6 (ppg), among the leaders in rebounding (8.1 rpg) and leads the conference in blocked shots with 46. Even though Murray has towered above the competition, the Tigers have been woefully inconsistent, losers of three straight on the road. Winners of the conference regular season title last year, the Tigers have six games to turn their season around and live up to their vast potential.

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h.s.zone Milby girls complete journey to playoffs

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By DARRELL K. ARDISON Defender

t was a work in progress that took nearly 14 years to complete. The last time the Milby High School girls’ varsity basketball squad had qualified for the postseason was during the 1999-2000 school year. That streak came to a screeching halt recently as the Lady Buffs advanced to the playoffs as the No. 4 seed out of District 21-4A. Milby completed the regular season with a 42-27 victory over district rival Waltrip to finish 12-9 overall, including 10-6 in district play. The Lady Buffs faced Tomball Memorial in the bi-district round of Milby head girls’ coach Sam Hines (left) and assistant Tammy Bookman (far right) join the playoff-bound Lady Buffs. the playoffs. Despite coming off a points in the victory over one-win season a year ago, Waltrip. Sheemea Catley also first-year head coach Sam to find out what coach Sam Hines says about had 10 points and Morales Hines and assistant coach coaching boys and girls. chipped in with nine points. Tammy Bookman saw a “We have some good glimmer of hope from the athletes so we started with an up-tempo approach to see if we could returning players. get some easy baskets in transition,” Hines said. “Then we started Hines is a Milby graduate who played basketball for the boys’ running our plays in the half-court so that we could play both ways. program and went on to play collegiately. He served as an assistant Once they bought in a little bit, we went on a pretty nice little roll.” boys’ basketball coach at Milby for 18 years before taking over the girls’ team at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. “I opened the gym for the girls over the Christmas holidays in 2012 and noticed they had some talent,” Hines said. “I decided to work with them and then the head coach left and went somewhere Monica Julie else. The opportunity came along and I decided to accept it. Morales Alcocer “The most important thing in coaching is seeing what your players can do and adapting your coaching style to their strengths,” Hines said. “We also had to get them used to winning habits, which means working a little extra and harder on things that makes the difference between winning and losing close games.” Hines said that during the early stages of the season, all his team could work on was conditioning because their gym was closed for repairs. “All we could do for a month and a half was run and that ended up being a good thing,” Hines said. “I needed to find out who was willing to sacrifice for the team and who would accept their role. A few of them quit but I think we ended up with the right 10 players.” One of the cornerstones of the playoff-qualifying Lady Buffs HOUSTON INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT was sophomore point guard Monica Morales. NOTICE TO PROPOSERS “I was excited about coach Hines taking over because my The Houston Independent School District located in the Hattie Mae aunt played at Milby and she told me he is a good coach,” Morales White Educational Support Center at 4400 West 18th Street Houston, Texas 77092 will accept proposals, until the stated date and time said. “He and coach Bookman never gave up on us and we just deadlines, in the Board Services Office, Level C1 wanted to make them proud of us.”  Project 14-02-01 – Vehicle Rentals District and Non District Travel Julie Alcocer had endured three losing seasons before capping – with a deadline of 2 P.M. March 5, 2014. The pre-proposal off her senior year with a trip to the playoffs. “It’s been a huge conference for this project will be in Room 2C12 at the above stated address on February 17, 2014 at 11:00 A.M. turnaround and an amazing journey from the past three years until this year,” she said. “It was difficult to change our mindset at first, Proposals are available on the HISD web-site at www.houstonisd.org. but it was well worth it.” The District reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, or, to accept the proposal that is most advantageous to the District. Five seniors, two freshmen, two sophomores and one junior comprise the Milby roster. Clarivel Castillo had a team-high 10 The District sells obsolete assets on-line at www.PublicSuprlus.com.

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FEBRUARY 13 | 2014 | DEFENDER

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sportsbriefs Michael Sam comes out Missouri All-American defensive end and Hitchcock native Michael Sam recently fired the shot that reverberated around the sports world; he acknowledged that he was gay. Sam revealed his sexual orientation during the taping of ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.” A Lombardi Award finalist, Sam (6-feet-2, 260 pounds) is projected to be a mid-round selection in the NFL Draft in May. The SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Sam shared why he made the public declaration. “I understand how big this is,” he said. “It’s a big deal. No one has done this before. And it’s kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be. I want to be a football player in the NFL.” If drafted, Sam would be the first openly gay player in the league.

Alabama, A&M thrive Six of the 33 players signed on the recent National Football Signing Day by the University of Alabama were given five-star ratings by ESPN, Scout, Rivals.com or 247sports ratings services. No other school had more than three five-star players. The only Texan in ‘Bama’s recruiting class was Beaumont Ozen cornerback Tony Brown, who was ranked as high as the second best player at his position in America. Brown is already enrolled at Alabama and plans to participate in spring drills. Texas A&M University’s class of 22 signees includes six offensive linemen, five defensive linemen, four defensive backs, four receivers, two linebackers and one quarterback. The Aggies’ haul was ranked as high as fourth in the country and as low as sixth. Arlington Martin defensive end Myles Garrett is considered the plum of the class.

UIL re-alignment radical The latest University Interscholastic League bi-annual re-alignment, which will be implemented for the 2014-15 school year, is a far departure from years past. For instance, in Class 4A Football Division 1 District 11, four members of HISD, including Furr, Sterling, Washington and Wheatley, will be grouped with perennial powerhouses Navasota and Sealy. In Class 4A Football Division 2 District 10, HISD schools Jones, Kashmere, Scarborough and Worthing will be in the same district as multiple state champion La Marque. Yates was a late addition to Class 5A District 20 along with Austin, Davis, Lee, Madison, North Forest, Sharpstown and Waltrip in both football and basketball.

Sugarland 5k event planned Former NFL wideout and Fort Bend Austin standout Devard Darling has planned a 5k family fun run/walk for Sunday, Feb. 23 at the Sugar Land Skeeters’ Constellation Field/Ball Park beginning at 8 a.m. The 4th Annual Darling Dash 5k & 1k is a fundraiser benefiting the As One Foundation and Operation Hydration, which Darling started in honor of his late twin brother, Devaughn, to educate and increase awareness of sickle cell trait while encouraging youth to achieve their dreams in the face of life’s challenges. Devaughn Darling lost his life due to exhaustion during spring football practice at Florida State University. Expect a host of former and current NFL and NBA stars to be in attendance. For more information visit www.AsOneFoundation.org


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Dr. Steven Schnee and honorees Gwen and Judge Ed Emmett

Al Riley and Geraldine Royal

Dr. Kase Lawal, Cary Yates, Pastors Mia and Remus Wright and Dr. Willie Trotty

Farryl and Dr. Melanie Lawson

chag’splace

Dr. Faith Stone, Gerald Womack and Marshenell Sells

Howard Middleton, chairman Donald Middleton and Warner Ervin

Macy’s executives Kristyn Page and Sean Turon

Kathleen Prince and Naomi Hines

Joy Sewing, Constance White and Beverly Johnson

FRIENDS OF MHMRA OF HARRIS Geraldine Royal and the entire steering committee COUNTY…..The 10th annual Mardi Gras gala and staff for an outstanding evening. Continued hosted by the Friends of MHMRA of Harris County success!.....BLACK HERITAGE COMMITTEE was a tremendous success. The organization was WESTERN GALA…..The Houston Livestock established as a proactive response Show and Rodeo Black Heritage to provide additional services Committee held their 21st annual Join Yvette Chargois that are needed by consumers of western gala at Reliant Arena, and Events of the Week MHMRA, but are not state funded. about 2,000 cowboys and cowgirls More photos on defendernetwork.com Programs that assist consumers were in attendance. Each year, See Events on KTRK Ch.13’s Crossroads in their journey to independence several African-American leaders are with Melanie Lawson Sunday Morning @ 11 a.m. by providing moving expenses recognized and this year’s honorees and household items, workforce included Cary Yates, senior vice training, transportation and much more are part of president, market growth & development manager its mission. Gwen and Judge Ed Emmett were this and corporate non-profit manager, Wells Fargo; year’s honorees along with special recognition given Kase Lawal, CEO, CAMAC Energy, Inc.; Carlecia to the Harris County Legislative Delegation for their Wright, director, Office of Business Opportunity, support throughout the years. The event was held at City of Houston; Dr. Willie Trotty, vice president Bayou City Event Center and attended by over 350 for research and dean of the graduate school, Prairie individuals, business leaders and corporate sponsors. View A&M University; Pastor Remus Wright and A very special thanks goes to board president Co-Pastor Mia Wright, Fountain of Praise Church, Dr. Steven Schnee, gala chair Marshenell Sell, and Henry “T-90” Davidson, wagon master,

Southwestern Trailriders Association and wagon boss, Southern Outlaws Trailriders. We salute chairman Donald Middleton and the entire committee for a great event. Congratulations!.....MACY’S CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH….. Macy’s Galleria celebrated Black History Month with an “In Conversation” discussion on how AfricanAmerican fashion influenced pop culture through the decades. The event was hosted by Houston Chronicle fashion editor Joy Sewing and featured journalist and style expert Constance White and model and actress Beverly Johnson. Together they led a lively discussion and guests were treated to a special reception and fabulous fashion show. Spotted at the event were Dana and Gabriel Beckham, Dr. Melanie Lawson, Farryl Lawson, Diedra Fontaine, Sherea McKenzie, Phyllis Bailey, Vernitta Harris and Rev. Leslie Smith, to name a few. Kudos to Macy’s executives Kristyn Page and Sean Turon for a great celebration……From Chag’s Place to your place, have a blessed week!

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February 13, 2014