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Houston’s Leading Black Information Source

Volume 82 | Number 17


Texas Black Legislative Summit

NEWSTALK DELOYD PARKER pleased with settlement


PRESIDENT OBAMA outlines education plan

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P3 ENTERTAINMENT LL COOL J returns to musical roots


Lil Wayne under fire

Mike Robertson prepares team

Rapper Lil Wayne is no stranger to explicit lyrics, but his latest X-rated reference has put him on the hot seat. Learn how he insulted the memory of a tragic figure. Discover why the controversy could actually be educational. Relive the heartwrenching details of a heinous crime.

Coach Michael Robertson and members of the Texas Southern University baseball team are gearing up for a special tournament. What other HBCU teams will join the TSU Tigers on the field? Why does the event provide a unique opportunity? How are inner-city youth benefitting from the experience?

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H Page 16 • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


City Controller Ronald Green and Anthony Hall Jr. at Black history event





SHAPE supporters applaud settlement ago to EZ Trust for $81,000 as a result of an out-of-state default judgment of $69,000 was awarded to debtors. A Harris County judge, however, approved a temporary restraining order that halted the transfer of SHAPE to EZ Trust. The recent rally was organized to garner community support in what looked to be a protracted struggle to put SHAPE back in the hands of the community. However, Hall successfully negotiated with the creditors and court, and O’Connor and Associates paid off the debt, leaving all involved pleased with the outcome.



HAPE Community Center received some good news when the prior constable sale of the center’s property was voided and the property returned to SHAPE. A community rally in support of SHAPE, which took place before the Harris County courthouse, turned into a victory celebration as word broke out that, true to the words of the center’s director, Deloyd Parker, SHAPE would stay put. “SHAPE belongs to the community, and we are pleased that there is no further challenge to our property relating to this debt,” said Parker, encouraged by the support SHAPE received from Houston and beyond. “Like I said before, SHAPE SHAPE’s Deloyd Parker is joined by such supporters as Congresswoman Shelia ain’t going nowhere.” Jackson Lee and Rev. Bill Lawson at a community rally. “The case has been settled; the property has been returned,” said of O’Connor & Associates. center attorney Ben Hall. For nearly 44 years SHAPE has provided The settlement’s terms indicate that the parties a variety of services, including children’s involved have agreed to entry of a judgment to order after-school enrichment, educational Constable May Walker’s office to cease from further programs, parenting workshops, elders’ efforts to collect the challenged $60,000-plus debt from programming, and a community food SHAPE, the iconic community center located in the shelter. SHAPE has served as ground zero heart of Houston’s Third Ward. for countless social justice meetings and Moreover, SHAPE received even more love in The center’s Elders Council of Wisdom listens to news about the Third Ward events, as well as Houston’s annual celthe form of not having to pay any monies to any of the institution. ebration of Malcolm X Day and Kwanzaa. defendants because O’Connor & Associates tax consultSHAPE has hosted some of this country’s ing agreed to pay off any amounts owed by SHAPE, “My clients are pleased to have brought this conand the world’s most impactful history makers, an acronym for Self Help for African People through troversy to a conclusion,” said Ky Jurgensen, counsel including former South African president Nelson Education. for the defendants. “We wish SHAPE the very best.” Mandela. “It would have been terrible to see SHAPE lose the Parker added, “Ain’t no power like the power of SHAPE was sold at auction nearly two weeks building and we’re glad they didn’t,” said Pat O’Connor the people. And it’s real.”


localbriefs CONGRESSMAN AL GREEN is pleased that three amendments he sponsored were accepted by the Financial Services Committee. The amendments are related to the effects of cuts to the Securities and Exchange Commission, veterans housing and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. “We must ensure that the SEC’s role as the financial police in our economy is not diminished,” Green said. The veterans housing amendment ensures that the committee will continue to review and promote coordination between the Department of Housing and Urban Development and other agencies in their efforts to address veterans’ issues. The fair housing amendment will

ensure that the committee continues to review whether the principles of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 are upheld. Additionally, Green was selected as ranking member of the Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee…….. STATE REP. SENFRONIA THOMPSON and San Antonio State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte announced comprehensive legislation to continue and strengthen the battle against human trafficking. “I firmly believe that the state of Texas is moving in the right direction to continue the fight against this scourge on humanity,” Thompson said. “We have worked tirelessly together on this issue and we will continue to fight

for the victims of this heinous crime.” Often referred to as “modern day slavery,” human trafficking is a crime in which labor – often in the form of sex trafficking – is forced from its victims……...DETAILS OF A PLAN to eliminate the backlog of untested sexual assault kits were announced by Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston Police Department. Under the plan, the untested kits will be sent to two outside labs for testing. It is anticipated the work will be completed in 12-14 months and cost the city $4.4 million, which will be covered with grant funding already awarded to HPD and dollars set aside by City Council in the current budget. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



U.S.briefs FORMER CONGRESSMAN Jesse Jackson Jr., and his wife, former Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, are expected to plead guilty to federal charges in a U.S. district court. He is accused of spending campaign cash to buy luxury items, memorabilia and other goods. She is charged with filing false tax returns for six years. He faces up to five years in prison while she faces up to three years. Jackson resigned his seat in Congress, citing health issues and the ongoing federal probe. Sandi Jackson also gave up her political position. “Over the course of my life I have come to realize that none of us are immune from our share of shortcomings and human frailties,” Jackson said……..THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION has released an interactive College Scorecard which provides students and families with information they need to make decisions about higher education. The scorecard is designed to help students choose a school that is priced affordably and consistent with their educational and career goals. An interactive tool lets students and their families choose among any number of options, including location, size, campus setting, and degrees offered. More information can be found at……..CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS and congressional leaders have joined together to advocate for the passage of the Harriet Tubman National Historical Parks Act. It would establish two historical parks, one in Maryland and one in New York.  “Harriet Tubman is truly deserving of this honor,” said Hilary O. Shelton, NAACP senior vice president for policy and advocacy and Washington Bureau director. “Fearlessly risking her life over and over again to deliver hundreds of African-Americans enslaved in the south to freedom, she changed the course of American history and her legacy has inspired generations of civil rights activists.  We urge Congress to honor Ms. Tubman with this tribute in both Maryland and New York.”


Obama outlines education plan Defender News Services

President Barack Obama has called on Congress to expand access to high-quality preschool to every child in America. As part of that effort, he is proposing a series of investments that will establish a

continuum of high-quality early learning for a child – beginning at birth and continuing to age 5. “In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children…studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form

more stable families of their own,” Obama said. “We know this works. So let’s do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind.” According to the White House, children from lowincome families are less likely Continued on Page 13

Educators cite need for Obama’s plan NNPA News Service

VOLUME 82 • NUMBER 17 - FEBRUARY 21, 2013 Publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Advertising/Client Relations Selma Dodson Tyler Strategic Alliance Manager Clyde Jiles Multimedia Manager Tiffany Williams Online Editor ReShonda Billingsley

Print Editor Marilyn Marshall Art Director Tony Fernandez-Davila People Editor Yvette Chargois Sports Editors Max Edison Darrell K. Ardison Contributing Writer Aswad Walker

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 2013 copyright. (No material herein may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher).

By striving to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America, President Barack Obama is giving hope to educational advocates such as Donna Harris-Aikens, director of Education Policy and Practice at the National Education Association (NEA). “This administration has always been committed to early childhood education,” Harris-Aikens said. “But, this is encouraging, this is inspirational. All kids need to be in quality early childhood programs.” According to the Organization of

Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States ranks 28th out of 38 countries in the number of 4-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education. Yet studies have shown that high quality pre-school is the best way to prepare kids for their educational future. Under Obama’s proposed plan for early education, funding would be provided through a federal-state partnership to expand programs for low and moderate income families. John Jackson, president of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, hopes that Obama’s plan signals a

shift in the focus of educational reform. “Raising the bar on tests doesn’t improve outcome alone,” Jackson says. “We have to ensure that students have access to resources that can help them achieve. Include resources for teachers and resources for students that extend educational, social and medical support.” Jackson adds the next step is to have advocates work with elected officials to ensure the right outcome. “We already know what investments need to be made,” Jackson said. “The next step is to invest in advocacy that turns the investments into action.” • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years




LL Cool J returns to musical roots


Defender News Services

t has been five years since LL Cool J’s last album. The two-time Grammy-winning recording artist returns to his musical roots with the release of his 14th studio album, “Authentic,” in April. He said he wanted to make “powerful” music that would speak to his fans. “With ‘Authentic,’ I wanted to work on a project that was for the true fans,” LL said. “I’m not trying to compete with 17-year-olds on the radio, but I am talking directly to the folks who came up with me. We may not be teenagers anymore, but we do still like to have fun.” LL recently hosted the 55th Annual Grammy Awards and closed the show by performing his new song “Whaddup” from “Authentic” with Travis Barker (Blink-182), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Chuck D, and DJ Z-Trip. Since arriving on the music scene nearly 30 years ago, LL has found great success in multiple mediums. He currently stars on one of the consistently highest rated shows on television, the CBS hit primetime drama series, “NCIS: Los Angeles.” His performance on the show has garnered him a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series three years in a row for his role as Special Agent Sam Hanna, a former Navy Seal. LL has appeared in more than 30 films and has starred opposite such acclaimed actors as Samuel L. Jackson in “S.W.A.T.” and Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx in “Any Given Sunday.” Other film credits include “Deliver Us from Eva,”

“Charlie’s Angels” and “Kingdom Come.” He is also a New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur and philanthropist. L.L. Cool J was born James Todd Smith in 1968 in Long Island, N.Y. He did not have a happy childhood. At the age of four, he saw his mother and grandfather shot by his own father. His mother later began to date another man who abused Todd physically and verbally, which led to Todd becoming a bully himself. As he grew older, Todd found a way to escape the effects of his abuse and his bullying attitude – hip-hop music. He fell in love with it at the age of 9, and by 11 he was writing lyrics. At 15, he and a friend came up with his stage name, which stands for “Ladies Love Cool James.” In 1984, at age 16, he made a single with NYU student Rick Rubin, and sent it to an artist manager named Russell Simmons. Rubin and Simmons co-founded Def Jam Recordings, and LL’s debut album, “Radio,” was released in 1985. LL began his acting career in 1985 as well by making a cameo appearance in the film “Krush Groove.” Today, at the age of 45, LL gives his family credit for making him the man he is today. He and his wife Simone are the parents of four children, Najee, Nina, Samaria and Italia.

what’sup LIL WAYNE hasn’t had much to say about the controversy surrounding his vulgar sexual reference on the unauthorized remix version of rapper Future’s track titled “Karate Chop.” Wayne delivers a line that says “Beat that p--sy up like Emmett Till,” a reference to the 14-year-old Black teen savagely murdered in 1955 in Mississippi for allegedly flirting with a white woman. FUTURE, however, said no harm was intended. “The record it was done from a good place, good art, he ain’t have no bad intentions when he was thinking about it like that,” he said. Epic Records chairman ANTONIO “L.A.” REID apologized to Till’s family for the remix and said his label was working to remove it from circulation…….. TRACY MORGAN has more time on his hands now that NBC’s “30 Rock” has ended. Morgan will

embark on an “Excuse My French” comedy tour and will be in Houston on May 30. Morgan also said former “30 Rock” co-star ALEC BALDWIN should apologize if he used a racial slur against a New York Post photographer taking pictures of him outside his apartment. Baldwin denies calling the photographer a “coon.” The Post said NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the alleged tirade……..FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA is coming to C-SPAN. The public service network has launched a 35-part series on America’s first ladies that will last for a year. Most of the presidents’ wives will each be featured in a 90-minute episode. The show’s producer says the stories are an interesting way to look at political and social history……... DWAYNE “THE ROCK” JOHNSON is one of Hollywood’s

busiest personalities. In the new movie “Snitch,” he plays the father of a teenager who inadvertently gets set up as a drug trafficker. Johnson is set to star in three other upcoming movies, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “Pain and Gain,” and “Fast & Furious 6.” Last month, Johnson returned to his original role as a wrestler and won the WWE championship for the eighth time……..QUINCY JONES has launched a new music education application which teaches users of all ages how to play the piano and read music. It’s called Playground Sessions, and Jones compares it to the music version of Rosetta Stone, the computer-assisted language learning software. “The concept is brand-new,” said the 79-year-old composer and producer. “I have been praying for this for a long time…I’m blown away by this.” • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years






Comcast celebrates Black history


Viewers can watch “Betty and Coretta” starring Mary J. Blige and Angela Bassett.

Defender News Services

his February, Comcast Xfinity customers can receive access to special programming celebrating Black History Month across four platforms – TV, On Demand, online and on mobile devices. “We are thrilled to celebrate Black History Month this year by sharing with our customers the rich culture and contributions of the African-American community,” said Ruben Mendiola, vice president and general manager of Multicultural Video Services. “We invite all Xfinity customers to join in the celebration On Demand throughout the month of February and visit our new online destination at” features award-winning movies, TV shows, videos, celebrity interviews, talented actors and directors, behind-the-scenes footage and the latest in entertainment news. Subscribers will have access to exclusive content on Xfinity On Demand and other services, while non-subscribers will also have the opportunity to explore a range of entertainment options. Black History Month programming includes films, documentaries, biographies, sports and specials featuring African-American entertainers, artists and historical leaders. Highlights include biographies from the BIO channel, sports specials from ESPN, music videos from Music Choice and FUSE, Black History specials from the History Channel, Lifetime, Shalom TV and TV One, and feature films from A&E and iN Demand including, “Ali,” “Betty and Coretta,” “Good Hair,” “Invictus,” “Malcolm X,” “Somewhere in Africa” and “Married but Living Single.” This February also marks the third year of Xfinity’s Black Cinema On Demand, a year-round offering that features themed movie collections that highlight African-American films, filmmakers and actors.





WELLNESS Walgreens is committed to helping sustain communities. We do this every day by helping customers get, stay and live well. African-Americans develop high blood pressure earlier in life and have higher average blood pressure rates compared with other ethnicities. Lifestyle changes help, including a heart-healthy, low-salt diet, limited alcohol intake, maintaining a low cholesterol level and routine physical activity.1,2 Taking your prescribed medications daily and as directed helps you to better manage your blood pressure. Skipping even one dose may lead to a blood pressure spike, which can cause damage to the heart. Before stopping any medications, talk with your doctor or pharmacist first.2,3 To help maintain control between doctor’s visits, track your blood pressure levels and write them down to give to your doctor.3 Visit any Walgreens where you can check your blood pressure anytime at no cost.

1. 2. HighBloodPressure/Prevention-Treatment-of-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_002054_Article.jsp 3.



Texas Trailblazers paved the way Part I

Bessie Coleman


frican-Americans have a rich history in the Lone Star State, and a number of pioneers are included in the Texas Trailblazer Series sponsored by the Houston Place Preservation Association and edited by Patricia Smith Prather and Bob Lee. Here are profiles of two unconventional Texas Trailblazers. Bessie Coleman (1892-1926) probably had no idea when she left the cotton fields of north Texas that she would become the first licensed African-American aviatrix. What Bessie did know when she left Waxahachie, Texas at age 23 was that she intended to follow her mother’s advice and “amount to something”. Bessie’s life began to change when she moved to Chicago in 1915. After her brother returned from France, Bessie noted that French women had careers and were even piloting airplanes. Bessie was refused pilot’s training in America so she studied French, left her job as a manicurist in Chicago and sailed to France. In 1921 she became the first African-American to earn an international pilot’s license from the distinguished Federation Aeronautique Internationale in Paris. Bessie sailed back to America and became front page news in Black newspapers across America. She became popular on the speaking circuit and performed exhibition air shows. In 1925, she returned to her native Texas. Her

first air exhibition was in Houston and she eventually performed in air shows all over Texas. Her life ended in Florida in 1926 when she crashed during a test flight. Bill Pickett (1870-1932) became a legend in his own time for his method of subduing bulls. Pickett invented a popular rodeo event known as “bulldogging.” The feat is still thrilling audiences years after Pickett’s way with bulls became known to the public. He estimated that during his lifetime he bulldogged over 5,000 head of cattle both on the range and in the rodeo arena. In the 1890s Bill and four of his brothers formed the Pickett Brothers Bronco Busters and Rough Riders Association in Taylor, Texas. Pickett later began performing at rodeos all over America in 1903. Pickett was so popular that he was featured in a film, “The Bull-Dogger,” during the days of silent movies. Born to Thomas Jefferson Pickett and his wife, Mary, in about 1870, Bill was one of 13 children. After graduating from the fifth grade he worked for several ranches and by age 16, was riding broncos for audiences and passing his hat for spending money. By age 19, he was married. He and his wife, Maggie, had nine children. In 1971, Pickett was inducted into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame, becoming the first AfricanAmerican so honored. Bill Pickett

Black History Month schedule of events Macy’s Galleria at Hidalgo, 5135 W. Alabama, pays tribute to the late filmmaker, photographer, author and composer Gordon Parks on Thursday, Feb. 21. A panel discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. on Level 2, and special guest is Parks’ son, David Parks. At 7 p.m. on Level 1, there will be a Soul Jam Party. To RSVP call 877-884-3751. Through Feb. 28, visitors to celebrate can enter for the chance to win a trip for two to the American Black Film Festival in Miami and a $1000 Macy’s shopping spree courtesy of American Airlines. The Houston Ebony Opera Guild presents its Annual African-American Music Gala: A Concert of Works by Black Women Composers at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 and 4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 24 at Christ Church

Cathedral, 1117 Texas Ave. Contact: or 713-335-3800. Earthen Vessels, the dance company founded by former Houston Ballet dancer Sandra Organ, hosts its 15th anniversary concert for Black History Month on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Hobby Center, 801 Bagby. Guest performer is Lauren Anderson. Contact: or 713-701-7798. A free conference titled The Past and Present of Race and Place in Houston will be held Tuesday, Feb. 26 and Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 9 a.m. at Rice University in the Kyle Morrow Room, Fondren Library, 6100 Main St. Contact: Prairie View A&M University sponsors a President’s Lecture Series with University of Texas histori-

an David Oshinsky on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 1 p.m. at the Juvenile Justice Auditorium. Contact: 936-261-3566. The University of Houston-Clear Lake hosts several activities. An exhibit commemorating the Emancipation Proclamation and March on Washington runs through Feb. 28 in the Bayou Building’s Atrium I. A Make Your Own Quilt event, including basics of African-American quilts, is Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 4 p.m. in the Student Services and Classroom Building, Student Lounge. Contact: 281-283-2575. An exhibit titled Negro Spirituals: A Triple Middle Passage continues through May 25 at the African American Library at the Gregory School, 1300 Victor Street. It features the work of Port Arthur artist and poet Harvey Johnson. Contact:





African-Americans achieve firsts Defender News Services

Through the years, countless African-Americans have succeeded against the odds and made history in areas ranging from politics to business to sports. Following is a list of some of the men and women who have achieved firsts: Phillis Wheatley became the first known AfricanAmerican woman to publish a book in 1773. Richard Allen founded the first national Black church in the United States, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in 1816. Edward Alexander Bouchet became the first African-American to earn a doctorate degree in 1876. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity became the first Greek letter organization established by AfricanAmericans in 1906. Madam C.J. Walker became the first AfricanAmerican millionaire in 1910. Alice Coachman became the first Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in 1948. Dr. Ralph Johnson Bunche became the first African-American to receive a Nobel Peace Prize in 1950. Marian Anderson became the first African-


2 0 1 3


Dr. Ralph Bunche

Ella Fitzgerald

American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1955. Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald became the first African-Americans to win Grammy Awards in 1959. Walter Harris became the first African-American chess master in 1963. Thurgood Marshall became the first AfricanAmerican appointed to Supreme Court in 1967. Arthur Ashe became the first African-American to win the U.S. Open in 1968 and the first AfricanAmerican male Wimbledon champion in 1975. Max Robinson became the first African-Ameri-

can broadcast news anchor in 1978. Robert Maynard became the first AfricanAmerican owner of a daily newspaper, the Oakland Tribune, in 1983. Aretha Franklin became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Gen. Colin Powell became the first AfricanAmerican to chair the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1989 and the first African-American appointed U.S. Secretary of State in 2001. Douglas Wilder of Virginia became the first African-American elected governor since Reconstruction in 1990. Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman to travel in space in 1992. Tiger Woods became the first African-American to win the Masters Golf Tournament in 1997. Robert L. Johnson, the founder of BET, became the first African-American billionaire in 2002. Tony Dungy became the first African-American head coach to win the Super Bowl when the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in 2007. Fred J. Luter Jr. was elected first Black president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2012.


Honoring the Accomplishments ...Perpetuating the Legacy

This February, Channel 13 honors those who have dedicated their lives to the progress and enrichment of African-American culture


and heritage in our community.

Frederick Douglass educator, orator, author, statesman & reformer.

18 T H CO N G R E S S I O N A L D I S T R I C T O F T E X A S

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African A Legislativ


Summit addresses pressing issues


The summit also provides an he members of the opportunity for Caucus members Texas Legislative Black Caucus are concerned to honor and celebrate members about the issues that of their community as well as an affect their constituents. opportunity to give back to the They will address those community through the awardissues and more during ing of scholarships to high school the 2013 African American Legislative students. Summit, which takes place Sunday, Feb. Defender: What do you expect 24 through Tuesday, Feb. 26 in Austin. attendees to get out of the sumThe theme is “The Building of our mit? Community Starts With Me,” and some Turner: We anticipate at4,000 attendees are expected to attend. tendees to become more educated Houston State Rep. Sylvester Turner, and informed regarding issues that chair of the Texas Legislative Black impact their communities. Those Caucus (TLBC), said the three-day event who have attended the summit in gives elected officials and members of the past have noted that it was a the community a chance to network while terrific event that left them feeling sharing ideas. The event is free and open inspired and enthusiastic in efforts to the public. to improve their communities. State Rep. Sylvester Turner Summit sessions will cover a vaDefender: What impact will riety of topics, including healthcare, the the summit have on the agenda of Africancriminal justice system, gun violence, wealth creation and American legislators during the session? Turner: Without the knowledge, input and desires of the African-American media. Special guests include civil the grassroots leaders in attendance, the legislators may rights activists, nationally known politicians and big-name not be certain of the most important issues to the Africanentertainers. American community. In addition, Caucus members will be joined by Ebrahim Rasool, South African ambassador, and Baleka Mbete, Defender: Why has the TLBC chosen to honor Milton African National Congress chairperson and former deputy Carroll? president of South Africa. In an interview with the DeTurner: [He is] a pioneer in the oil and gas industry as fender, Turner talked about the summit and what it hopes to well as a trailblazer in the corporate boardroom. We felt it accomplish. fitting to honor a hero from the Houston area who does not Defender: Why is such a summit needed? always receive proper due. Turner: The summit is essential in bringing together Defender: One of the sessions is on the criminal jusAfrican-American city, county, state and community leadtice system and the Black community. What can the TLBC ers from all over Texas during the legislative session. This do to address the subject, especially in Houston where summit provides leaders and members of the community an police brutality remains an issue? opportunity to network, share ideas and become educated Turner: African-Americans are overrepresented in both on the legislature and issues which impact the Africanthe juvenile and adult criminal justice system in Texas and American community. it’s an issue that is highly concerning for the members of

Milton Carroll


Sunday, Feb. 24 7 p.m., Chairman’s Award Dinner (invitatio only), honoring Milton Carroll and featurin Yolanda Adams, Austin Grand Ballroom, H Hotel

Monday, Feb. 25 8 a.m., Registration and all sessions at Cap building 8:30 a.m., Welcome and opening session 10 a.m., Sessions: Building on Internationa lationships; CTE & Vocational Trades & Tes Federal Mandate for Healthcare; Young Pe

For registrati

the Caucus. Several members of the Cau aim to address these issues and Caucus m pressed strong concern over the years reg in cities such as Houston. Defender: There is also a session on on the TLBC agenda concerning the Af healthcare in general? Turner: Member of the TLBC are co support of the need to expand and provid • Serving th


About the

American ve Summit


Yolanda Adams

Mayor Kasim Reed

Rev. Al Sharpton

ative summit schedule

on ng Hilton


al Resting; eople

Roundtable; Just Us: The Criminal Justice System and the African-American Community 12 noon, Luncheon on Capitol grounds presented by Prairie View A&M University, Texas Southern University and the University of Texas 2 p.m., Sessions: Guns, Violence and Mental Illness; School Choice: Vouchers; Doing Business with State Agencies and Governmental Entities; Corporate Boardrooms: Who is Missing; Discussion with Black Elected Officials 7 p.m., Scholarship banquet (ticket required and issued on a first-come basis), guest speak-

er, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed; performance by Hank Neal; @ Hilton Hotel 8:30 p.m., Free comedy show featuring by J. Anthony Brown, @ Hilton Hotel Tuesday, Feb. 26 – all events @ Hilton Hotel 8 a.m., Community Awards Breakfast (ticket required and issued on a first-come basis), guest speaker, Rev. Al Sharpton; performance by Hank Neal 10 a.m., Sessions: South Africa: Still the New Frontier; Rags to Riches: Building and Creating Wealth; Growing or Dying: Black Media

tion information visit

ucus have filed bills that members have exgarding policy brutality

n healthcare. What is ffordable Care Act and

oncerned and truly in de health care to more

citizens in this state. The reticence of leadership to push through health care for all endangers the lives of citizens and the constituents that the Caucus represents. Defender: How and why was the theme chosen? Turner: This theme was chosen in order to support the concept that any change or improvements in African-American communities is contingent upon each individual person taking action. Texas is a large state and we must have the participation of all citizens in order to improve the conditions and the lives of African-Americans in this state.

he Houston area for over 80 years

Texas Legislative Black Caucus History

The Texas Legislative Black Caucus was formed in 1973 to address issues facing AfricanAmericans in the state. The founding members were State Reps. Anthony Hall, Sam Hudson, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Mickey Leland, Paul Ragsdale, Senfronia Thompson, Craig Washington and G.J. Sutton.


The TLBC is comprised of African-American members of the Texas House of Representatives. (State Sens. Rodney Ellis and Royce West, the two members of the Senate Legislative Black Caucus, are included in TLBC initiatives as well). The members of TLBC are: Austin – State Rep. Dawnna Dukes Beaumont – State Rep. Joe Deshotel Dallas – State Reps. Stefani Carter, Yvonne Davis, Helen Giddings, Eric Johnson and Toni Rose Fort Worth State Rep. Nicole Collier Frisco – State Rep. Scott Turner Hillister – State Rep. James White Houston – State Reps. Alma Allen, Garnet Coleman, Harold Dutton, Borris Miles, Senfronia Thompson and Sylvester Turner Missouri City – State Rep. Ron Reynolds San Antonio – State Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon


In addition to the Legislative Summit, other TLBC programs include: Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis at UT-Austin – Turner spearheaded an effort with the University of Texas at Austin to establish the Institute for Urban Policy, Research & Analysis and Black Studies Department, which were both launched in 2010. The institute works closely with the Texas Legislature to address and study issues affecting the AfricanAmerican community and the state’s rapidly growing urban population. African-American Higher Ed Initiative – Under the leadership of West, the caucus is working with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and others to increase and retain the number of African-American students in colleges and universities in the state. Scholarship program – Every biennium, the TLBC Research & Education Fund awards over 60 scholarships ranging in value from $1,500 to $4,000 to qualified high school students from across the state. Students are recognized during the summit scholarship banquet. The scholarship program and summit are sponsored by the TLBC Research & Education Foundation.





Lil Wayne insults memory of Emmett Till By GEORGE E. CURRY NNPA Columnist


he murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955 was a watershed moment, marking the beginning of the modern Civil Rights Movement. While visiting relatives near Money, Miss., the Chicago native was murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman. The brutal act was intended to send an unmistakable message to Black boys everywhere: If you even whistle at a white woman in the Deep South, you could pay for it with your life. Like everyone else, I was appalled to learn that rapper Lil Wayne had made a vulgar reference to Till’s death. On a re-mix of an upcoming CD by Future called “Karate Chop,” Lil Wayne essentially spewed the line: “Beat that [female sex organ] up like Emmett Till.” When I sat down to write this column, I planned to excoriate Little Wayne about his insult. I started to remind him that musical artists don’t have to be ignorant fools, even while showing their underwear on stage. I was going to say that Curtis Mayfield of my era and Chuck D of his generation demonstrated that African-American artists can make good music and provide uplifting race-conscious lyrics at the same time. Rather than spend another nanosecond on Lil Wayne, we should use this Black History Month moment to educate young people who may not have ever heard of Emmett Till. While serving as editor of Emerge magazine, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mrs. Mamie Till Mobley, Emmett’s mother. For the 40th anniversary of his death in 1995, I wrote a story on Emmett Till. This is how it began: Mamie Till Bradley was about to experience a mother’s worst nightmare. She had to identify the corpse of her only child, 14-year-old Emmett Till, who had been abducted, beaten, shot in the head and tossed into the Tallahatchie River near Greenwood, Miss., for allegedly whistling at a White woman. As she approached the cold, metal slab that held the mutilated body at A. A. Rayner & Sons funeral home in Chicago, the grieving mother thought to herself: “I got a job to do and it’s not going to be easy.” Mamie Till wanted to look directly into her son’s face, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Not yet. So she started with the lower extremities and worked her way up.

“Those are his feet,” she concluded. The ankles? Yes, those were her son’s skinny ankles. Next, she surveyed the knees. Most people have sharp, pointed kneecaps. But the mother and son had flat ones. “Those are the Till knees,” she told herself. Her eyes continued up her son’s body and stopped on his genitals. Later, she would be happy that her inspection included that section of her son’s body because some people later would say, incorrectly, that Emmett had been castrated. Now, she would know otherwise. Mrs. Mamie Till Bradley Mobley — who will be

called Mrs. Till hereafter to make it easier to follow the cast of characters in this drama — examined Emmett’s hands and arms, which provided more confirmation of what she did not want confirmed. Finally, she took a deep breath and looked at her son’s decomposed face. This, too, she did piece by piece, separating his face into imaginary compartments, starting with his chin and moving to the top of his head. “Bo,” as he was known, had flashed a perfect set of teeth during his short life. Now, in death, only one or two were visible. “Oh, my God,” his mother thought. “Where are the rest of them?” The bridge of his nose, though all chopped up, was recognizable. She looked for his right eye — it was missing. There was only an empty socket. She looked at the left one and it was detached, dangling from the socket. “That’s his hazel eye,” Mrs. Till said. “Where is the other one?” She searched for one ear and it, too, was missing. Peering through the ear hole, she could see daylight on the other side. The remaining ear protruded from her son’s head, just like hers— another family trait. “That’s Emmett’s ear,” she said, softly. His hair? Yes. After inspecting the outstretched body inch by inch, Mrs. Till came to the sad but inescapable conclusion that the remains of what remained before her were those of Emmett Louis Till. Still, she turned to Gene Mobley, later to become her third husband, hoping he might have noticed something that she had not, anything that would cast the slightest doubt about whether this was indeed Bo. But Mobley had identified young Till in his mind long before the child’s mother had finished her methodical examination. The barber had recognized the haircut he had given Emmett two weeks earlier, just before Bo left for Mississippi. Mrs. Till had one thought over and over: What kind of person could do this to another human being, especially a 14–year–old boy? Her second thought was that this was a sight so ghastly, so inhumane that people would have to see it for themselves to believe it. “Gene, I want you to go home and get some of Bo’s pictures,” she said. “We’ll spread the pictures around.” The undertaker politely asked, “Do you want me to fix him up?” Mrs. Till did not hesitate: “No, you can’t fix that. Let the world see what I saw.” Obviously, Lil Wayne never saw that story. If he had, he would have realized this isn’t something to be taken lightly.

Obama..Continued from page 3 to have access to high-quality early education, and less likely to enter school prepared for success. By third grade, children from low-income families who are not reading at grade level are six times less likely to graduate from high school than students who are proficient. Often, the high costs of private preschool and lack of public programs also narrow options for middle-class families. The president’s proposal includes: Quality preschool for every child. Obama is proposing a new federal-state partnership to provide all low- and moderate-income 4-year-old children with high-quality preschool, while also expanding these programs to reach additional children from middle-class families and incentivizing full-day kindergarten policies. This investment – financed through a cost-sharing model with states – will help close America’s school readiness gap and ensure that children have the chance to enter kindergarten ready for success. Increasing learning opportunities. Obama will call for a significant investment in a new Early Head Start child care partnership. Competitive grants will support communities that expand the availability of Early Head Start and child care providers that can meet the highest standards of quality for infants and toddlers, serving children from birth through age 3. Extending voluntary home visiting. Such programs enable nurses, social workers, and other professionals to connect families to services and educational support that will improve a child’s health, development, and ability to learn. Obama has committed $1.5 billion to expand home visitation to hundreds of thousands of America’s most vulnerable children and families across all 50 states. Obama reiterated that education has to start at the earliest possible age. “Study after study shows that the earlier a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road,” he said. “But here’s the thing: We are not doing enough to give all of our kids that chance… “Most middle-class parents can’t afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool,” Obama said. “And for the poor children who need it the most, the lack of access to a great preschool education can have an impact on their entire lives. And we all pay a price for that.”







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2/11/13 6:34 PM




Flex your movie muscles By CHERYL PEARSON-MCNEIL Nielsen


t’s award season. And so far what a season it’s been. Kelly Rowland was stunning in her gown during the 55th Grammy Awards, which LL Cool J hosted, while more than 28 million viewers tuned in. Surprisingly, that’s not as many as the 40 million who watched the previous year. How can that be with LL Cool J and all? Well, remember, last year’s Grammys followed the death of the late great Whitney Houston, and millions tuned in just to watch the tribute to her. The 44th Annual NAACP Image Awards delivered its biggest overall audience in four years, and matched its highest adult 18-49 rating since that same year. Three million tuned in to this year’s show versus 2.9 million last year – a 3 percent increase in total viewers. Nielsen insights show that African-Americans are more inclined to watch TV shows and movies that include characters portrayed by people who look like us. So are you ready for this year’s Academy Awards? With nominees like the adorable 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis (Best Actress in a Leading Role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”) and the always amazing (and handsome, too), Denzel Washington (Best Actor in a Leading Role in “Flight”), Hollywood’s biggest night could again draw a record Black viewing audience (I may just host a Denzel viewing party myself). Additionally, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Django Unchained” are nominated for Best Picture. Both have African-American stars in leading roles. “Django” features Jamie Foxx, the

lovely Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson. Last year’s broadcast of the Academy Awards was the second-highest rated awards show among African-Americans with about 3 million Black viewers, according to Nielsen’s African-American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing 2012 Report. It was a big year for Black Hollywood as well. The fabulous Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer were both nominated for “The Help,” and Spencer won Best Supporting Actress for her role in

the movie. Remember the 2010 Academy Awards? AfricanAmerican viewership for that year was up a whopping 43 per cent over the previous year. We represented 11 percent of the 26.8 million Americans who tuned in. Again, we had major representation that year. The highly acclaimed movie “Precious,” had multiple nominations, including Best Supporting Actress won by comedienne Mo’Nique, and newcomer Gabourey Sidibe was nominated for

classified Invitation for Bids Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. is soliciting bids for subcontractors and vendors for construction of the following project no. C 50-8-86 on US 290 from West of Eldridge Parkway to West of FM 529, bid date is March 7, 2013. Quotations may be mailed to Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc., 1701 Directors Blvd, Suite 1010, Austin, Texas 78744 or faxed to (512) 707-0798 or emailed to DBE/HUB contractors are encouraged to submit bids. Plans and specifications are available to be reviewed at TxDOT Plans On-line: E.O.E. For information contact Brian Ficzeri at (512) 707-0797.

NOTICE OF REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL FOR HIV Prevention Social Marketing, Media and Mobilization Initiative The City of Houston Department of Health and Human Services is requesting proposals that may lead to a contract award for the delivery of comprehensive HIV/STD Prevention Services in Houston/Harris County, specifically related to HIV Social Marketing. The HDHHS will fund one (1) social marketing, media and mobilization project to support the delivery of prevention messages to high-risk HIV-negative and HIV-positive persons in designated areas of Houston/Harris County. The RFP will be released on Friday February 15, 2013. The RFP package can be picked up at: City of Houston Department of Health and Human Services 8000 N. Stadium Dr. 5th Floor Vanessa Braithwaite Houston, Texas 77054 or it can be found online at: The City of Houston, Texas will receive submissions at the City’s Secretary’s Office, City Hall Annex, Public Level, 900 Bagby, Houston, Texas 77002 until Friday, March 8, 2013 at 2:00 P.M. Questions concerning the RFP will be responded to during the Pre-Bid Conference on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at 8000 N. Stadium Dr. 2nd Floor Classroom Houston, Texas 77054 All submissions will be required to comply with City Council Ordinance No. 78-1538, passed August 9, 1978, relating to Equal Employment Opportunity Contract Compliance. The City reserves the right to reject and/or accept all or any portion of a submission deemed to be in the City’s best interest.

Best Actress. Also, the venerable Morgan Freeman was nominated for Best Actor for his role in “Invictus.” Turning to the movies themselves, according to Nielsen National Research Group’s 2012 American Movie-Going Report, 70 percent of Americans ages 12-74 reported seeing one or more movies at a theater in the last year. The survey, conducted among a representative group of more than 3,000 Americans across age, gender and race, shows that overall attendance for new release movies was pretty much the same as a year ago – an average of 6.8 movies per person

compared with 6.9 in 2011. African-Americans comprise 11 percent of the movie-going population, led by the Baby Boomers in our group. Hispanics are the heaviest movie-goers, representing 18 percent of the movie-going population and accounting for 25 percent of all movies seen. The American Movie-Going report shows that although there were slightly more female movie-goers (51 percent) than male movie-goers, 49 percent), men nonetheless accounted for 55 percent of theatrical attendance. While it’s always fun to root for our favorites during awards season and see how our movie-going trends vary

– or not – from year-to-year, this is big business. Hollywood speaks fluent “green,” as in moolah, or cash. Our behavior is watched very closely by the entertainment industry and advertisers who tailor their products, their decisions and the way they reach you according to how you choose to wield your economic clout at the box office with your pocketbook or with your remote at home. So, if you enjoy seeing quality movies that are inclusive of Blacks, show up in large numbers when those movies come out. That’s truly the only way for everyone to have a happy ending.


Wilkerson receives tennis award Defender News Services The Texas branch of the United States Tennis Association (USTA Texas) recently honored John Wilkerson, senior director of tennis at the Zina Garrison Academy, with the Lloyd Sessions Education Merit Award. The award was established in 1973 to recognize tennis professionals who emphasize education and its importance in the development of junior tennis at all levels. Wilkerson was a legendary tennis coach at MacGregor Park, and Garrison and Lori McNeil became two of his most successful players. Born in San Antonio, Wilkerson was a senior in high school before picking up his first tennis racquet. “My brother and his friend used to play tennis on weekends and they always tried to get me to go along. One day, I don’t remem-

ber why, I decided to go with them,” he recalled. The next week, Wilkerson tried out for his high school tennis team, and not only earned a spot on the team but beat everyone on it in the process. He went on to win district and state singles and doubles title before enrolling in Prairie View A&M University on a tennis scholarship. He subsequently enlisted in the military, spent two and a half years in Germany, and later graduated from Texas Southern University. In 1974, Wilkerson became the tennis director at MacGregor Park, where he found his real passion, teaching young people on and off the court. Hoping to provide similar opportunities to other young people, Garrison and Wilkerson later founded the Zina Garrison Academy in 1993. McNeil returned to Houston last year to become director of tennis at the academy.

John Wilkerson





Urban Invitational

returns to Houston


By MAX EDISON Defender

or the second consecutive year, Major League Baseball is bringing the Urban Invitational back to Houston’s Minute Maid Park. The tournament was designed by MLB to give historically Black colleges and universities some national exposure. The participants are four of the top HBCU college baseball programs in the nation: Prairie View A&M University, Texas Southern University, Alabama State University and Southern University. “This annual event is an important and special opportunity for the sport to showcase the talent and skill level demonstrated by HBCU programs deserving of national attention,” said Frank Robinson, MLB executive vice president of baseball development. “We are proud to work alongside the Astros organization to not only provide a wonderful experience for those playing the games on the field, but also offer opportunities away from the diamond for the Houston community.” The Urban Invitational is a comprehensive baseball experience, offering much more than just a college tournament. MLB and the Astros will host a youth baseball clinic on Feb. 23 at the Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy at Sylvester Turner Park from 9-11:30 a.m. Players from each of the participating teams in the Urban Invitational will help provide instruction to academy boys and girls from local Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities programs. In addition MLB and the Astros will host a college and career fair at Minute Maid Park on Feb. 22 from noon to 3 p.m. Participating colleges and universities will provide information about college preparation, undergraduate and graduate degree programs, financial aid and scholarship opportunities, and local businesses will also be on hand to provide career advice and discuss

Dominiq Harris, a PV first baseman, came from San Jacinto JC.

Urban Invitational schedule The MLB Urban Invitational kicks on Friday, Feb. 22. Texas Southern and Southern will play at 3 p.m., followed by Prairie View and Alabama State at 6:30 p.m. Alabama State and Southern will meet at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, followed by Texas Southern and Prairie View at 7:30 p.m. The tournament concludes Sunday, Feb. 24, with Alabama State vs. Texas Southern at noon and Southern meeting Prairie View at 3:30 p.m. The Feb. 23 games will air live on MLB Network and potential job opportunities. Despite an ownership change, the Astros remain a solid partner in the Urban Invitational. It is a commitment fortified through the Astros Urban Youth Academy. “The Houston Astros are very excited that Major League Baseball has chosen to return the Urban Invitational to Minute Maid Park this year,” said Daryl Wade, manager of the Astros academy. “Last year’s event was a great success for the Astros, Major League Baseball and the city of Houston. We all look forward to continuing this relationship with the ultimate goal of continuing to provide local youth, students and young professional instruction, support and opportunities for their future successes.” The head coaches of the participating schools are happy to be included. Southern head coach Roger Cador has been a part of the invitational since its conceptual days. “This event has more of a special meaning to me because six years before it really happened, it was talked about at a symposium in Richmond, Virginia, with Jimmie Lee [Solomon, former MLB executive VP] who was a part of who started it. I tell you it’s really been a big hit.” Alabama State head coach Mervyl Melendez echoed the same thoughts. “It is an honor for us to be a part of Major League Baseball and the Urban Invitational,” Melendez said. “I have been a part of all six, and this is an event that is first class and we want to be involved every single year.” The PV Panthers participated in their first Urban Invitational last year and head coach Waskyla Cullivan was pleased with the exposure for his program and the university. “We were very excited last year,” Cullivan said. “It was a great opportunity for our university and also our kids, to be able to participate on a national stage, a national televised game as well and the great

Adrian Losoya, a TSU pitcher, attended Aldine High School.

Corbin Smith, a TSU outfielder, attended Pearland High School.

facilities, playing in a major league ballpark. So we were excited to be having our first opportunity there. And this year, we very excited to have a consecutive opportunity.” As the former head coach at Prairie View and current TSU top cat, Mike Robertson is grateful for the privilege to participate in the invitational, validating the hard work of HBCU programs. “We work so hard with our kids and our programs so that we will give our kids an opportunity to get the exposure they expect when they come to an HBCU school,” Robertson said. “Last year, being our first year playing in it, it was just a huge success for the city of Houston and TSU.” Tickets to all games and events at Minute Maid Park will be available to the general public for $10, and parking for Minute Maid Park is also available for $10 in the Diamond Lot and $5 for the other Astros controlled lots. High school students and younger with a valid student ID will be admitted to the ballpark for free. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Foundation. Andre Oliver, a PV middle infielder, attended Westbury High School. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



Clear Springs girls epitomize teamwork By Darrell K. Ardison Defender It’s a familiar refrain among Clear Springs High School girls’ varsity basketball players. Whether it comes from Tulane University pledge and all-around performer Courtnie Latham or threepoint specialists and ball handlers Brooke McCarty and Kaylin Roher or defensive stalwart and rebounder Ryshinique Ball, they all know what makes the Chargers tick on the basketball court. “When everything is good, we’re playing team ball, we’re playing help defense and we’re doing everything that we’ve been taught to do,” said Roher, whose three-point shooting helped give Clear Springs a fivepoint halftime advantage (36-31) over taller Port Arthur Memorial in an area round playoff game. “When our chemistry is 100 percent, nobody can stop us.” Clear Springs improved to 36-2 on the season with the 7159 victory over Port Arthur Memorial. McCarty had the hot hand in the second half. “I got a little momentum in the second half because we were only up by five points and we knew that wasn’t going to take

Coach Pam Crawford

Ryshinique Ball

us to the next level,” McCarty said. “When we work together, we all step up and do our thing. Pass and post is our game.” Latham, one of the team’s tallest players at 5-foot-9, serves a number of different roles for the Chargers, whether it’s out front on the perimeter or down deep in the post. “We didn’t play as well as we normally do at first, but once we had the lead we did a good job of protecting it. We stuck together and played team ball,” she said. The 5-foot-8 Ball agreed with Latham. “Courtnie and I have to keep boxing out and battling and rebound-

Courtnie Latham

Kaylin Roher

ing because we do have a lot of short people on the team,” Ball said. “We have to continue to work hard and play as a team. We just have to go out and get this thing. It’s going to be a tough road but we’ve been there before.” Head coach Pam Crawford has guided her squad to the regional semifinals the past two seasons. Clear Springs opened the 2013 postseason with a 73-34 victory over Kempner. To get to the region finals will likely take facing Manvel and Bellaire, two of the Houston area’s top seeds. Yet with six se-


Brooke McCarty

niors and five juniors on the roster, Crawford knows what her players are capable of doing. Over the past three seasons, Clear Springs has won 44 consecutive district contests. “We don’t necessarily offset what taller teams are trying to do against us,” Crawford said. “We just play as hard as we can. Our advantage is that we’re quick and we play at a speedy pace. It isn’t always pretty because we’re playing at a different level in the playoffs. My girls know what their roles are and I’m very proud of them.” McCarty says the team came into this season with a different mindset. “We’ve been to the fourth round before but we have the attitude that we’re going all the way to state,” she said. “We’ve got some tough games ahead of us and we’re just looking forward to the next game.”

Worthing hosts All-Star event In conjunction with the NBA All-Stars Weekend and the NBA Retired Players Association, Worthing High School hosted a Black History Month celebration titled “Reclaiming Our Success: Continuing the Dream” with visits from noteworthy Worthing alumni that played in the NBA or are prominent in the community. There was a schoolwide assembly and visits to individual classrooms from Dwight E. Davis (former NBA player with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors), media veteran Ralph Cooper (KCOH Radio and KTRK-TV) and Milton Carroll of CenterPoint Energy. “We wanted to remind the students and inform others in the community of the rich legacy of Sunnyside and Worthing graduates,” Davis said. “Our situation was similar to theirs and giving up or settling for a lesser dream was not an option for us and should not be for them.” Other former NBA players who graduated from Worthing include David Lattin, Phoenix Suns; Greg Anderson, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks; and Larry Micheaux, Chicago Bulls. It should be noted that the Worthing girls’ basketball team coached by Leslie Harris recently made its 12th consecutive playoff appearance.

Basketball playoffs underway Houston area basketball enthusiasts can find high school playoff games throughout the city in both the boys’ and girls’ divisions. The girls’ Region III-5A tournament will be hosted by the Aldine ISD Campbell Center on Friday and Saturday. Boys’ area round playoff games will be at different venues across the city. The girls’ state tournament is March 1-2 at Austin’s Erwin Center.

NBA All-Star wrap-up The 2013 NBA All-Star game has come and gone and the weekend lived up to the hype. Celebrity watching was as much of an event as the actual athletic contest themselves. If you think that’s a stretch ask anyone who was in the Galleria when it closed early because of the crowds. For the hip-hop generation there was no shortage of young athletes and artists in town. For the oldschool generation there were also a lot of familiar names in town. The legendary Bill Russell, Julius “Dr. J” Ervin, George “The Iceman” Gervin and Bob Lanier, for example, were all present and accounted for. Houston’s legends did a great job serving as impromptu hosts. It was great to see former players like Calvin Murphy, Robert “Big Shot” Horry, Major Jones, Tina Thompson, Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and even Yao Ming in the mix enjoying the many festivities. Current Rocket Chandler Parsons had 13 points in a solid showing in the Rising Stars game. Point guard Jeremy Lin was a gamer in the Skills Challenge. Also a quick shout-out to Houston native, now Indiana Pacer Gerald Green, who participated in the Dunk Contest. Finally, major “props” to Houston Rocket James Harden as a member of the West All-Star team. Harden, an Olympian, had 15 points in the game and showed that he is truly one of the elite players in the NBA. The West beat the East 143-138. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

18 DEFENDER | FEBRUARY 21 | 2013

Hennessy V.S All-Star



J. Prince Jr. and Meek Mill Christina Milian and guests Andre Johnson and Trinidad James Kevin Durant Friday Hennessy rolled out the red carpet as the NBA All Star-Weekend kicked off at The Drake featuring Trinidad James, Meek Mill, Christina Milian, Flo Rida, Kevin Durant, Andre Johnson and DJ Irie.



BBW Malaysia and friends

Kevin Hart and his girlfriend Saturday the party moved to the Compound….Nas, Common, Kevin Hart, Nelly, Chamillionaire, Victor Cruz, Adrienne Bailon and more partied at several “Hennessy V.S All Star Takeover” events in Houston, TX during NBA All-Star Weekend. Kevin Hart and his beautiful girlfriend were joined by Common and DJ Biz Markie for the Hennessy V.S day party at the Compound tent. Hart showcased his comedic chops and grabbed the microphone to commentate a dance battle that was heating up on the dance floor.


Nas and Common

Laz Alonzo

Dj D Nice and Anthony Hamilton Sunday the “Hennessy V.S All-Star Takeover” came to an end with two amazing events. First up was the Under Armour Sports Line “Kicks & Grits” event with Common, Laz Alonso, Talib Kweli and his wife DJ Esque, DJ D-Nice, Anthony Hamilton, Tank and ESPN’s Chris Broussard. Common surprised the crowd when he decided to grab the mic and perform for the industry elites in attendance.

Nelly and Kenny Burns

Special thanks to: Gina Torres

YMCMB star Drake hosted the finale event at the Drake Oasis Tent. Nelly, Adrienne Bailon and Basketball Wives: L.A.’s Malaysia joined Drizzy in the two story tent to celebrate the closing of All-Star weekend. Victor Cruz, Adrienne Bailon, Julissa Bermudez, and guest

Guest and Hennessy Girl

All photos by Collins Metu Photography


For Event Coverage...visit

Kenedi Wolridge, Easlynn Lee, Cortney Fontaine and Jasmine Geyen

Constable Alan Rosen and Chief Lofton Harrison

Anthony W. Hall Jr., Chief Charles A. McClelland Jr.

Jean Jones, Charlene James and Jarmese Morris



Alex Fontenot, Queen Jeanette Poole, King Carl Dotson and Nalyah Johnson

U.S. District Judge Gregg Costa and Constable Alan Rosen

Georgia Provost, Joyce Thomas and Gary Chaffee

a few. We salute organizers Jean Jones, Charlene INTER-GENERATIONAL SENIOR PROM…..One James and Jarmese Morris. Continued success!..... of the most touching events Ms. Chag has covered was SWEARING-IN CEREMONY…..Harris County the 10th annual inter-generational senior prom held for the Precinct One Constable Allen Rosen was recently residents at Manda Ann Convalescent Home titled “Heart sworn into office during a community to Heart.” This community service ceremony officiated by United States partnership nurtures the hearts of Join Yvette Chargois District Judge Gregg Costa and senior citizens and the disabled and is Events of the Week hosted by the Rosen family. Constable sponsored by the associates, teens and More photos on Rosen has served in almost every mothers of the Houston Chapter, Jack See Events on KTRK Ch.13’s Crossroads law enforcement capacity between and Jill of America, Inc. The teens with Melanie Lawson Sunday Morning @ 11 a.m. the Harris County Sheriff’s Office earn community service and entertain and the Constable’s Office. He was a the seniors by dancing with them major and commander of the Special Operation Bureau and crowing the king and queen of the prom. Resident for the sheriff’s office and as constable he worked in Carl Dotson was crowned king and resident Jeanette Poole was crowned queen. The beauty of seeing the patrol, mental health, criminal and fugitive warrants teens dance with the seniors, some in wheelchairs, was and investigations during his over 21 years of service. overwhelming. Some of the teens spotted dancing Rosen received a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from the University of Houston and earned a included Kenedi Wolridge, Easlynn Lee, Courtney master peace officer license. Keeping his commitment Fontaine, Jasmine Geyen, Ashley White, Kendrick to bring diversity to the constable’s office, he swore in Jones, Nalyah Johnson and Alex Fontenot, to name

Bishop James Dixon, Constable Alan Rosen, Major Edwin Davis and Rabbi Mark Miller

City Controller Ronald Green and Honoree Anthony W. Hall Jr.

Lofton Harrison to become the newest member of his command staff. Chief Harrison has over 23 years of law enforcement experience in the sheriff’s office where he rose to the rank of lieutenant managing multiple divisions and units. He received a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from the University of Houston Downtown and also earned a master peace officer license. Congratulations!.....AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY PROGRAM…….Each year City Controller Ronald Green hosts an African-American History program. The program includes a visual narrative of photos and artifacts highlighting significant events and people. His partners this year included the AfricanAmerican Library at The Gregory School, Provost and Associates Photography and the Robert J. Terry Library at Texas Southern University. Additionally, former City Attorney, Chief Administrative Officer and City Councilmember Anthony W. Hall Jr. was honored for his many contributions to our city. Great event!.....From Chag’s Place to your place, have a blessed week! • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

20 DEFENDER | FEBRUARY 21 | 2013

Houston Defender: February 21, 2013  

Houston's Leading Black Information Source

Houston Defender: February 21, 2013  

Houston's Leading Black Information Source