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Volume 83 | Number 17

FEBRUARY 27, 2014 |FREE

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FEATURE AL SHARPTON speaks out during Houston trip

P6 LOCALS REAGAN FLOWERS receives White House honor

P13 HS ZONE JADEVEON CLOWNEY

s l o o h c S ing? s o cl under fire HISD

8 e g a P H

works to impress NFL teams

P14 CHAG’S PLACE

Sylvia Brooks and Dr. James Douglas at HCC gala

P16

Louis Farrakhan seeks justice

Edith Irby Jones paved the way

Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan is frustrated with America’s judicial system, and is offering a solution to the problem. Read about his revolutionary idea. Hear his thoughts on stand-yourground laws. See what he has to say about Black history-makers.

As Black History Month comes to an end, medical pioneers such as Houston physician Dr. Edith Irby Jones are remembered for their achievements. Why is Dr. Jones’ name included in history books? How did other doctors, scientists and researchers make a difference?

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DEFENDER | FEBRUARY 27 | 2014

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newstalk

Vote on March 4, take photo ID

The ribbon is cut on Texas Southern University’s new technology building.

Defender News Services

Spearman Technology Building opens at TSU Defender News Services

Texas Southern University launched a $31 million investment in current and future STEM students with the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Leonard H.O. Spearman Technology Building. The 107,791-square-foot facility features the latest in technology for instruction and research, and will help offset the inadequacy of STEM education for African-American and Hispanic students. Named after TSU’s fifth president, the building houses 35 state-of -the art labs, such as a full motion flight simulator lab, a vehicle emission testing lab, an air traffic control lab, and various other engineering, physics and computer science labs. The departments of Aviation Science and Technology, Computer Science, Engineering Technology, Industrial Technology, Physics and Transportation Studies academic programs will be housed in the building. “Technology is going to be a great part of creating jobs

for TSU graduates,” said TSU President Dr. John Rudley. “This building, which is a great part of the legacy and vision of President Spearman, will not only be a place for students to train and study for the jobs of the future, but will provide them with the resources to participate in the research that our provost [Dr. Sunny Ohia] is pushing.” The facility is also home to the Center for Transportation Training and Research and the new National Science Foundation Center for Research on Complex Networks. Together with the science building, the Spearman building forms a complex that brings all of the departments in the College of Science and Technology into one area of campus to better foster research and learning. “I am so pleased to see this step in our college’s evolution,” said Lei Yu, dean of the College of Science and Technology. “As we build more interdisciplinary programs that focus on incorporating technology and research into potential careers for students, the facilities in this building will be critical to our success.”

The Democratic and Republican primary elections are Tuesday, March 4. Voters will elect candidates running for numerous offices, including governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. senator, U.S. representative, attorney general and district judge. Voters are reminded that photo IDS are required to cast ballots. State approved IDs include: • Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) • Texas Election Identification Certificate (EIC) issued by DPS • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS • Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS • U.S. military identification card containing the person’s photograph • U.S. citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph • U.S. passport With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate and some military identification, the ID must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented at the polling place. Voters can apply for an EIC at no charge at DPS during regular business hours if they do not have one of the credentials on the list of acceptable forms of photo ID. In addition, certain DPS offices in Harris County will be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through March 1 to issue EICs: For information visit HarrisVotes.com or call 713-755-6965.

localbriefs FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF AN INMATE who died in custody at the Harris County jail are demanding answers. Kenneth Christopher Lucas, 38, died Feb. 17. He reportedly was being disruptive and was restrained by specialized response unit. He was found unconscious after the unit left and later pronounced dead at a hospital. The sheriff’s office is conducting an investigation into Lucas’ death, the cause of which has not been determined.…….. THE CITY OF HOUSTON’S Municipal Courts Department and Houston Police Department will participate in the 2014 Great Texas Warrant Round-Up. HPD will be assisted by the Texas Attorney General’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit to

search for individuals with outstanding warrants beginning Saturday, March 1. Arrests can take place at any location, including the defendant’s home, school or workplace. A special task force will focus on locating defendants with outstanding warrants through a license plate recognition program. Information on warrants can be found at houstontx.gov/courts or by calling 713-8370311…….. THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON offers free online courses for students planning to take the College Board’s AP calculus and statistics exams this May and for high school teachers and administrators who want to improve their classroom management skills. The

students’ courses start March 17. The course for teachers and administrators begins April 7. For more information visit coursera.org……..THE HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY (HPL) has been selected as one of five winners of the Toyota Family Learning grant, which is designed to fund new family learning programs. HPL will receive a $175,000 funding grant and a wide range of resources to further family learning efforts among vulnerable families. “The Houston Public Library is proud and honored to be selected as the very first public library to receive the Toyota Family Learning grant,” said Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, HPL director.

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FEBRUARY 27 | 2014 | DEFENDER

national

U.S.briefs CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS met with President Obama and members of his cabinet to discuss the “1963-2013: 21st Century Agenda for Jobs and Freedom,” a formal document with more than 90 legislative policy and priority recommendations. The meeting covered a broad spectrum of concerns. The agenda focuses on five primary objectives: Economic parity, educational opportunity, voting rights, elimination of healthcare disparities and criminal justice reform. Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, said a goal of the agenda is to engage other government agencies and departments. “This administration is always looking for new ideas. The agenda was just a comprehensive way of presenting those ideas,” Campbell said…….MASSACHUSETTS GOV. DEVAL PATRICK will not rule out a presidential run in 2016 or beyond. Patrick made the comments in Washington, D.C. where he joined other state leaders for a meeting of the National Governor’s Association. Patrick told Politico he could “maybe” see himself as a candidate for president, saying he would wait to see “what time tells.” Patrick gained national attention when he provided updates during last year’s Boston Marathon bombing tragedy…….. POINTING TO THE VERDICT in the death of Jordan Davis and widespread concern about the continued devaluing of the lives of Black children, the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) and Community Healing Network called on the Congressional Black Caucus to schedule public hearings on the continuing effects of the lie of Black inferiority and ways to eradicate it. Taasogle Daryl Rowe, Ph.D., president of ABPsi, said, “For nearly 400 years, the world has been fed toxic lies about people of African ancestry and they continue to exact a heavy toll on Black people in every conceivable way. It is time to stop repeating them to ourselves, to each other and letting others teach them as truth.” 

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Farrakhan blasts court system

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Defender News Services

ation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan told a crowd of 18,000 in Detroit that AfricanAmericans should set up their own courts due to bias in the judicial system. “We want equal justice under the law,” Farrakhan said during his annual Saviours’ Day speech. “Our people can’t take much more. We have to have our own courts.” Farrakhan also criticized stand-yourground laws. “How long must we let people stand Minister Louis Farrakhan their ground, shooting us and getting away with it while we don’t get justice?” he said. “We want justice. Equal justice under the law. We want the federal government to intercede to see that Black people get justice in accordance with the law. Otherwise, I’m going on record with this today…we have to have our own courts.” He suggested that African-Americans rely on the Quran and Bible to help establish a legal

system that would be fairer. “Has America been just to us?” he asked the crowd. “No,” the crowd responded. “So ... if we retaliate, you can bring out your soldiers. We got some, too.” Michigan Congressman John Conyers and Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones were among those in attendance. Farrakhan noted that the Nation of Islam started in Detroit in 1930. “I want Detroit to know we’re back to stay. This is a great city,” he said. Farrakhan spoke on the last day of the annual Saviours’ Day convention. The theme was, “How Strong Is Our Foundation: Can We Survive?” In the background on stage were photos of such notable African-Americans as Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “We’re standing on the shoulders of those who went before us, and we, hopefully, will be the shoulders of those who come after us,” he said.

Minimum wage hike would help poor workers VOLUME 83 • NUMBER 17 FEBRUARY 27, 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).

NNPA News Service

Increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 would lift nearly 1 million low-wage workers out of poverty, according to a recent report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Although a majority of low-wage workers are white, people of color would be disproportionately affected by an increase in the minimum wage. Blacks work in low-wage jobs at higher rates than whites, according to federal statistics. Blacks account for 11 percent of the workforce, but 16 percent of workers that would see their wages increase.

“When you look at the CBO report, part of what stands out is that the CBO confirms that many millions of workers with low or modest incomes would get significant income gains,” said Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Families living below the poverty line will get a $5 billion bump in their income, about 20 percent of the estimated $31 billion. Roughly a third would go to families making three times above the poverty line. According to the Census Bureau, more than 27 percent of Blacks live in poverty compared to less than 10 percent of whites. Nearly 40 percent of Black children live in poverty.

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DEFENDER | FEBRUARY 27 | 2014

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opinion

What Dunn verdict says

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By MARC H. MORIAL NNPA Columnist

here is another mother’s anguish. Another unarmed Black teenager in Florida shot dead for no good reason. Another indefensible instance of stand your ground rearing its ugly head. Eight months after the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, justice again has been compromised in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. On Nov. 23, 2012, Michael Dunn, a 47-year-old white man, fired 10 rounds into a SUV after arguing over loud rap music coming from the vehicle with Jordan and three other unarmed African-American teenagers. Three of the bullets struck and killed Jordan Davis. Like Zimmerman, Dunn claimed self-defense and used Florida’s stand-your-ground law to bolster his justification of the killing. As his lawyer stated in his closing argument, “His honor will further tell you that if Michael Dunn was in a public place where he had a legal right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force.” Dunn claims Jordan brandished a gun so Dunn shot first. But there is one big problem with his story. Jordan had no gun and neither did anyone else in the SUV.

Two weeks ago, a jury found Dunn guilty of three counts of attempted murder, one for each of Jordan’s three friends, and shooting into a vehicle. But they deadlocked on the fifth count – first-degree murder in the killing of Jordan. Dunn could get at least 60 years and may spend the rest of his life in prison for the four lesser counts. But the failure to convict him of murdering

Jordan Davis raises critical questions about the devaluing of the lives of young Black males in America and confirms the need for a repeal of Florida’s repugnant law that sanctions the use of deadly force by anyone who merely thinks – or claims – they are in danger from a perceived assailant. A recent Urban Institute analysis found that

in stand-your-ground states, “When the shooter is white and the victim is Black, the justifiable homicide rate is 34 percent. When the situation is reversed and the shooter is Black and the victim is white, shootings are ruled to be justifiable in only slightly more than 3 percent of cases.” These statistics and their underlying racial disparities, tell us that expansive self-defense laws such as stand your ground are doing more harm than good, and when coupled with implicit racial bias and unfounded preconceptions, young Black males are especially at risk. Dunn’s own bigoted words in letters from jail clearly show his disregard for their lives, as he wrote: “The jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs. This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these [expletive)] idiots when they’re threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.” This view and those like it are why we must commit today to action against the devaluing of our young Black lives. Even as the Dunn trial was getting underway, we learned that Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, had planned to capitalize on the death of a young Black male by participating in a “celebrity” boxing match – when his only claim to fame is killing an unarmed Black teenager and getting off. The bout was cancelled. Such a blatant disregard for the value of a Black male’s life should be a wake-up call to all Americans. We must intensify our fight against standyour-ground – and the underlying mentality – that justify the killing of young Black men whose only “offense” is being Black.

Closing schools poses critical crossroad The Houston Independent School District is proposing to close five schools and the community is outraged and rightfully so. This is not a new problem so why can’t it be fixed? When there is a bond election the school district comes to the community soliciting the Black vote, visiting churches and the organizations making all kinds of promises: better facilities, better programs, more contracts, and more jobs. Are these false promises made with no intent of fulfillment? It appears that way. The No. 1 objective is a quality education for our children, which rests squarely on the shoulders of the district. Superintendent Terry Grier claims the main reason for the closings is under enrollment of students. One example is Jones High school with only 440

students attending when the school capacity is 1425. Grier also cited that Jones only attracted 54 out-of-zone students to its STEM magnet program while 915 students zoned to Jones chose to transfer to other schools. WHY? Has the district asked why those 915 students chose to transfer and not go to Jones? If those students returned to Jones then the school would be almost at capacity. There are enough students in the neighborhood to meet the capacity. So what is the mystery behind attracting those students back to Jones? The district has tried throwing money at the problem by giving more dollars per student and that is not the answer either. The district cites changing demographics in the district

and shrinking numbers in the inner city as another reason for the closings. But the trends indicate that the affluent tend to move back into the inner city. Who says that schools have to be so big facility-wise? It’s said that smaller schools means more focus on the students resulting in more learning. Isn’t that what we want? We don’t want run-down schools, we don’t want weak curriculums and we don’t want promises that are not kept. ATTENTION SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS: Be accountable to your constituents and do the right thing. We are at a critical crossroad. The closing of the schools is equivalent to raping our neighborhoods of a vital resource that impacts our social, cultural and economic well-being. This will not be tolerated.

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entertainment

FEBRUARY 27 | 2014 | DEFENDER

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns Alvin Ailey Dance Theater’s Belen Pereyra and Antonio Douthit perform in Kyle Abraham’s “Another Night.” (Photo by Paul Kolnik)

The Society for the Performing Arts is welcoming the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater back to Houston. There will be three performances at Jones Hall – Friday, March 14 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, March 15 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday night’s performance will include “Grace,” a depiction of individuals on a journey to the Promised Land. The Saturday matinee performance will feature “Another Night,” a mixture of the many aspects of American dance. Saturday evening’s performance will include Ohad Naharin’s “Minus 16.” Each night’s performances will conclude with “Revelations,” a signature of the Ailey Theater. “Revelations” uses African-American spirituals and gospel songs to explore emotions ranging from joy to grief. Tickets can be purchased at spahouston.org or by phone at 713-227-4772.

League City native trains to be Ailey dancer

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By CIERRA DUNCAN Defender

erri Wright was constantly surrounded by dance, music and art while growing up. As a child she took classes at Houston’s Exclamation Dance Company. She also participated in multiple classes at the Met, Houston Dance Company, Kim’s Performing Arts and Debbie Allen’s Houston Dance Academy. Wright, a 2011 graduate of Clear Springs High School in League City, is now a student at the Ailey School in New York City. She is in the Ailey/Fordham University BFA dual program. The Ailey School was founded in 1958 by Alvin Ailey, a dancer and choreographer who aimed to showcase AfricanAmerican artists through cultural and modern dance. “When I first saw the Ailey company perform, I cried with joy,” Wright said. “I knew I wanted to be a part of it.” As a student, Wright has worked with professional Alvin Ailey dancers on several projects in New York City while she

studies computer science. “I look up to many members of the company, not only because of their amazing talent, but because of their amazing dedication to honing their craft,” Wright said. “They give me hope.” Wright also teaches youth classes at the Ailey School in Manhattan on weekends. She said being immersed in the arts and studying at the Ailey School has been a great experience. “My participation in the arts allows me to express my connection to those who have come before me, the ancestors, and current events,” she said. “Just think, a little girl from Galveston County is connected to the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater,” she added. Wright encourages everyone to come see the Alvin Ailey dancers perform at Jones Hall In March. Her favorite performance is Revelation. She says the storyline, music, and the dancers’ incredible movement and technique make an “extraordinary” show. “It can change your life,” she said. “It’s a must see.”

Terri Wright is training at the Ailey School in New York City. (Photo by Manigold Multimedia)

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DEFENDER | FEBRUARY 27 | 2014 defendernetwork.com

Sharpton reflects on struggle today

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By LaGLORIA WHEATFALL Defender

ev. Al Sharpton said the erosion of voting rights continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing African-Americans today. Sharpton made the comments during a trip to Houston, where he was guest speaker at Houston Community College’s Black History Gala. Speaking with reporters before the gala, Sharpton said the National Action Network – which he founded – is at the forefront of the fight for rights. In addition to serving as president of NAN, Sharpton is host of a daily television show on MSNBC and hosts a nationally syndicated radio show “Keepin’ it Real.” A native New Yorker, Sharpton began his ministry at the young age of 4. Five years later he was licensed to be a Pentecostal minister in Brooklyn. At 16, Sharpton founded the National Youth Movement, which focused on voter registration, cultural awareness and job training programs. Sharpton prides himself on taking the side of “rejected people,” and is vocal on topics ranging from gay rights to racist stereotypes to gun control. Here, he talks about civil rights and more. Defender: What are the biggest challenges facing the civil rights struggle today? What are you doing to address them? Sharpton: Well, I think the biggest challenges are voting rights. We have seen an erosion of our ability to vote without impediments, [such as] changing the voting laws of voter ID, cutting down early voting and stopping same day voting. The leader of the pack has been this state. I think the criminal justice system is very challenging. Look at what just happened with the Michael Dunn case in Florida. We are on that. I will lead the rally out there on the

10th of March. With voter rights, the National Action Network, has been at the forefront of fighting these state laws, as well as stand-your-ground laws… The problem I think that many have is that you can’t fight the 1960s battles now. You have to fight today’s battles. And today’s battles are to make sure that we do not have laws changed

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Rev. Al Sharpton discusses pressing issue at Houston Community College.

state by state and we fight for public opinion not to be swayed with misinformation. Defender: This year is the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s war on poverty. Why are African-Americans still struggling? Will we ever achieve income equality? Sharpton: The shortest war in history was the war on poverty. Johnson announced it in 1964 by 1966 there was a war in Vietnam, which took all the money out and they never went back. So we never fought the war on poverty, we never finished it. Dr. Martin Luther King was on his way to Washington to push for this campaign, then later was killed. So I think a lot of times when we talk about the 50th anniversary, we act like we’ve being doing this 50 years. We didn’t… I think we will achieve income equality. You know as hard as things seem and as much as we have to fight, I’ve seen so many things change in my lifetime that I know we can win. I think about the fact that I stood in the square in Johannesburg, in 1994 and watched them proclaim Nelson Mandela as the president. Nobody ever thought that would happen. I also sat on the platform, two rows from Barack Obama putting his hand on the Bible and becoming the president of the United States. So I’m a firm believer in what appears to be impossible can happen if we keep going. Defender: You once said the late James Brown taught you how to be a man. What do you mean by that? Sharpton: When I was a teen, James Brown’s son and I were close. His son was killed in a car accident, so James Brown kind of took me as the son he lost. My father left when I was nine and I started in civil rights when I was about 12 or 13, but I’ve never had a father-son relationship with anybody. I’ve had mentors, I’ve had teachers but James Brown actually would let me stay with him, would advise me on things that men would advise their son on, so though I was never in show business and he never was in the ministry – man, the things I learned from James Brown.

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DEFENDER | FEBRUARY 27 | 2014

District generates debate

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By MARILYN MASHALL Defender

An HISD proposal to close or repurpose five schools due to under enrollment has angered many members of the African-American community, and some have called for the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier. Parents, students and concerned citizens gave their thoughts on the proposal at community meetings held at each of the five schools – Dodson, Nathaniel Q. Henderson and Port Houston elementary schools, Fleming Middle School and Jones High School. Information gathered will be presented to the HISD board for a final decision on each proposal. Trustees are expected to vote on the proposals at their March 13 board meeting. In an exclusive with the Defender, Grier and proposal opponents Charles X White and Quanell X weigh in on the controversy.

Opponents speak out against closings

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wo outspoken members of the Black community opposed to the school closures are Charles X White, executive director of Charity Productions, and activist Quanell X. Here, they explain their dissatisfaction with Dr. Terry Grier and offer suggestions about HISD. Defender: Why are you askCharles X White ing for the resignation of Terry Grier? White: The core of the problem with HISD is an out of control board’s misuse of power and public policy. Mr. Grier is an example of having some good programs as well as having a dark side, particularly when it involves students, parents and schools labeled disadvantaged. We used the example of a serial killer in the matter of Mr. Grier closing schools in AfricanAmerican and Hispanic neighQuanell X borhood schools repeatedly. (The FBI originally defined serial murder as involving at least four events that take place at different locations and are separated by a cooling-off period.) After voter approval of a bond referendum, Mr. Grier closed Grimes and other

schools located in the Black community that were not lowperforming and did not have low enrollment. [There is also] Mr. Grier’s breach of verbal promise in his 2012 State of the School address, in which he said, “We’re determined to recruit back hundreds of students who have left these historic neighborhood schools by offering them what they want and deserve: safe schools that offer rigorous teaching that leads to consistently high achievement…” Mr. Grier and the board continuously execute bad decisions like proposing the closing of Jones High School when low enrollment exodus was manufactured by years of district neglect and the systematic removal of competitive programs, thus students followed the better programs. Quanell X: We are demanding the resignation of Superintendent Grier because he deliberately misled the African-American community and asked us to vote for a $1.8 billion bond and said a lot of the money would be used to revitalize historically Black educational institutions in historically Black areas that have been financially neglected for decades. They even put signs up in the community saying ‘Vote for a new Jones.’ We read

o h Sc s o l c u HISD

the signs only to learn later that Grier never had any intent whatsoever to put money back into historically Black schools and make them decent, strong schools. We see this man as having no legitimate concern for Black education. We see him as an enemy to our community when it comes to the leadership of HISD. He’s flying in contractors from across the country, friends of his to do work to revitalize the schools. Yet many of the qualified Black contractors right here in city of Houston can’t even get a contract. Defender: If these schools are closed, what impact will it have on the neighborhoods? White: The negative impact is blight, crime, gentrification and an open invitation for developers. All of these proposed school closings are located in neighborhoods known as underserved or vulnerable even though from 1945 to 1997 these neighborhoods were the homesteads for blue and white-collar workers contributing to the tax roll and local economy.

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erpage

s l oo ? g n i s r fire

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defendernetwork.com See Terry Grier’s response to calls for his resignation. Read what alternatives Quanell X and Charles X White are suggesting. Roughly 70 percent of HISD’s budget comes from homeowners. That should translate to better public policy and more accountable use of tax-based funding. Quanell X: It will kill the neighborhoods because people will move out and no one will relocate there because the community will have no decent schools. There is no such thing as allowing the schools to close. Because remember, the board members must vote to support this idea and if any Black board member or any Hispanic board member votes to close these schools we should work like hell to get them off the board.

the Houston area for over 80 years

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Dr. Terry Grier talks with a student during tour of Ortiz Middle School.

Q&A with Grier

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ISD Superintendent Terry Grier said the school closures proposed might not be popular but they are well-intentioned. He also noted a positive side to the controversy in responding to Defender questions about the proposal. “Whatever the outcome on March 13 when the HISD Board of Education votes on each of these proposals individually, there has been one heartening development in this process,” Grier said. “Thousands of stakeholders in HISD have turned out to voice their commitment to keeping neighborhood schools viable and strong.” Here are Grier’s other responses. Defender: Some critics charge that the under enrollment of schools in the proposal is an indictment of HISD’s inability to create curriculum that attracts neighborhood students. What is your response to that criticism? Grier: The data our in-house demographer used to project ethnic, age, and housing patterns throughout HISD for the next seven years also showed a feature unique to HISD: the number of our students taking advantage of our open enrollment policy. Those figures show us the level of neighborhood support for each school, and how many families are choosing to attend other HISD schools throughout the district. In the 1970s, magnet schools were the birth of school choice in our district. Since then, we have worked to create schools with a unique feature or emphasis, such as arts or programs for gifted-and-talented, or math, or aviation, that would attract students naturally to neighborhoods they might not ordinarily venture into. In recent years, our school choices have exploded into dozens more magnet programs, Montessori schools, International Baccalaureate programs, Early College High Schools, dual-language academies, schools with an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), and career-focused programs, such as our Futures Academies. Those schools are in fact an anchor for the neighborhood and the students it serves and provides opportunities for community engagement, involvement and participation. We will continue to find ways to strengthen schools throughout the district. Defender: The problems that exist at the five

schools did not occur overnight. What action has the district taken to increase enrollment at the schools before proposing to close them? Grier: Naturally, we didn’t make this recommendation lightly. As most everyone knows, the proposal to close Jones has been on the table for several years due to their academic and enrollment struggles. Likewise, HISD has continued to struggle with exactly how to help Jones. But, we have tried. Over the past few years, the district has infused Jones with per-pupil funding well above most other HISD schools – hoping that the additional resources would help keep this school open and make it a stronger option for neighborhood students and a more attractive magnet option for students from across the city. Last year, for example, Jones received $10,377 per pupil funding. In contrast, HISD schools on average receive $4,997 per pupil. It is important to note that the school’s low enrollment is significant. Today, Jones only attracts 54 out-of-zone students to its STEM magnet, while a whopping 915 students zoned to it choose to transfer out to other schools. With a building capacity of 1,425 and a mere 440 students attending Jones today, it would be irresponsible for HISD not to critically evaluate it – looking to nearby campuses to see if the consolidation of students and resources could lead to better, stronger schools. Defender: Neighborhood schools are an anchor of a community. What can the district do to help sustain those neighborhoods? Grier: I totally agree that neighborhood schools can and should be an anchor for their communities. Changes in communities, though, impact schools. When a community changes and no longer has enough children within its zone to support a fully operating school, it must be evaluated because there is much at stake from an academic and economic perspective. When a neighborhood school’s enrollment drops to levels that make it difficult for it to offer equitable resources and programming to what other schools across the district, then other options must be evaluated. Closing a neighborhood school is never our first option. The district constantly works with schools with low enrollment to look at ways they can attract more students to their school. We understand the importance of schools to communities but our priority is the education of all students.


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to fight against injustice and the positive stories of our existence. Advocating, Educating, Informing, Entertaining, and Defending--- Today, the Defender TEAM expresses our appreciation of your 84 years of support and readership

THANK YOU, HOUSTON…. Houston’s Leading Black Information Source Eddie Robinson Distributor

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Sonceria (Sonny) Messiah-Jiles CEO & Publisher

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FEBRUARY 27 | 2014 | DEFENDER

11

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Medical pioneers made healthcare history Dr. William Augustus Hinton (1883-1959) developed a test for syphilis in 1927 that was easier, less expensive and more accurate than previous methods. He wrote an acclaimed book on syphilis and taught preventative medicine and hygiene at Harvard. Mary Eliza Mahoney (1845-1926) was the first Black professional nurse in the U.S. She attended nursing school in Boston and became one of the first Black members of the organization that later became the American Nurses Association. Dr. Daniel Hale Williams (18561931) was the first doctor to successfully perform open-heart surgery in 1893. Williams founded Provident Hospital in Chicago, the first black-owned hospital in America, and helped organize the National Medical Association. Dr. Louis Sullivan (1933-present) was founding dean of Morehouse School of Medicine. Sullivan was secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (1989-1993) and founding president of the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools.

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Dr. Edith Irby Jones

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© 2013 McDonald’s

African-Americans have made great strides in the medical field, including the following men and women. Dr. Alexa Canady (1950-present) became the first Black female neurosurgeon in the U.S. when she was accepted as a resident at the University of Minnesota in 1976. Canady served as chief of neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital in Michigan from 1987 to 2001. Dr. Charles Drew (1904-1950) was a surgeon and researcher who developed a method to efficiently store blood plasma. He established the first blood bank. Drew also protested against racial segregation in the donation of blood. Dr. Joycelyn Elders (1933-present) became the first African-American to serve as U.S. surgeon general in 1993. She began her career as a nurse’s aide and eventually earned an M.D. degree from the University of Arkansas Medical School. Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller (1872–1953) was the nation’s first African-American psychiatrist. He helped pioneer the field of degenerative brain diseases and made significant contributions to the study of Alzheimer’s disease.

Sources: Defender files and news services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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From left: Leanna Archer, Beverly Johnson, Roland Parrish, Gladys Knight, Dr. Steve Perry, Kenny Williams, and Charles Orgbon III.

We applaud the few that inspire the many. For this year’s 365Black® Award recipients, each day is exceptional. They stand for greatness and bow with selessness. Through their dedication and service, they inspire a world of change. We’re proud to honor them all for staying Deeply Rooted in the Community,® 365 days a year. To learn more about this year’s honorees, go to 365Black.com.

Dr. Charles Drew


12 DEFENDER | FEBRUARY 27 | 2014

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Yates, Brock played a role in church history Houston’s Black community has a rich religious history. Here are two of the local pioneers who helped pave the way. John Henry “Jack” Yates (18281897) left a legacy as a minister, education advocate and community leader in Houston. Growing up as a slave in Gloucester County, Va., Yates learned to read and write, even though it was illegal. While in bondage he married Harriet Willis of a neighboring plantation. They had 11 children. Harriet’s master moved to Matagorda County, Texas around 1863 and Yates came along. When Texas slaves were set free in 1865, the Yates family moved to Houston. Jack Yates was the first pastor of historic Antioch Missionary Baptist He became a drayman (wagon driver) Church. Antioch is located at 500 Clay Street. and Baptist preacher. As a minister, Yates conducted missionary work among Blacks for Blacks in Houston. Yates organized Bethel who moved to Houston after the Civil War. In 1866, Baptist Church in 1891. Jack Yates High Yates became the pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist School in Houston was named in his honor in Church, the first Black Baptist Church in Houston. 1926. Yates led the church to purchase its historic site in Richard Brock (1824-1906) was one of Freedmen’s Town. the first Black aldermen in Houston as well as Yates was instrumental in organizing the Old businessman and church leader. Land Mark Association, the first Baptist association In 1869, Brock became a founding member of St.

Texas football legend Earl Campbell says

A

Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, located in First Ward on Edward Street. Brock helped purchase the church land for $250 and built the first structure. He arranged for the laying of the church cornerstone by Magnolia Lodge No. 3, Free & Accepted Masons, and an organization that he co-founded. The church building was also used as a school to help newly freed men, women and children learn to read. Within 10 years, the school was located in a separate building behind St. Paul A.M.E. and was known as the First Ward School for Colored. (The school was renamed in Brock’s honor in 1927). Brock operated a blacksmith shop in Houston. As a pioneer land owner, he owned property on Bingham Street and near Emancipation Park. Brock’s contributions are noted on the Texas historical marker in front of St. Paul A.M.E. Church. Sources: Texas State Historical Association, Texas Trailblazers Series by Patricia Smith Prather and Bob Lee.

2 0 1 4

S A L U T E

T O

“Your

loved ones

need you.”

▲“Unveiling of historic bust of abolitionist and Earl Campbell (left) lost family members to complications from diabetes. He is pictured here with his brother Willie, who now has control over his diabetes by learning diabetes self-management skills.

Diabetes complications can be avoided, so you can be around for all the important moments with your family. Sign up for FREE diabetes self-management workshops. To sign up for a FREE workshop, please call 1-800-725-2633 or find workshop providers on our website www.diabeteshealthforlife.org

women’s rights activist, Sojourner Truth in U. S. Capitol Rotunda, April, 2009.”

“Freedom should never be taken for granted.” ▲ Still marching to protect our voting rights.

“Our rich history continues”....

Re-elect

C O N G R E S S WO M A N

18 T H C O 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 This material was prepared by TMF Health Quality Institute, the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Texas, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy. 10SOW-TX-EDC-14-10

Paid for by the Sheila Jackson Lee Re-Elect Campaign.


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FEBRUARY 27 | 2014 | DEFENDER

13

Flowers honored as White House champion Defender News Services

what’sup Reps for PAULA PATTON and ROBIN THICKE aren’t giving any details about their recent split, such as whether a divorce is in the works. Thicke, 36, and Patton, 38, have separated after eight years of marriage. They met in Los Angeles when they were teenagers and married in 2005. They have a 3-year-old son, Julian. “We will always love each other and be best friends, however, we have mutually decided to separate at this time,” the couple said in a statement……..Luling, Texas native TAMRON HALL has been named a co-host of “Today’s Take,” the third hour of the “Today Show.” Her co-hosts include AL ROKER. In addition to her role on “Today,” Hall is the anchor of MSNBC’s “NewsNation.” Hall joined MSNBC in 2007. She is the host of Investigation Discovery’s “Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall” and TLC’s “SisterWives.” Hall earned a broadcast journalism degree from Temple University…… .“American Idol” winner CANDICE GLOVER has released a love-themed debut album titled “Music Speaks.” The album shot to the top of iTunes’ R&B chart. Glover found the recording process intimidating at first.

“I didn’t know how to act or what to do, and I was in the studio messing up and singing off-key because I was nervous. After a while, I kind of warmed up to it and I thought it was a lot of fun,” she said…….. Jury selection recently began in the civil case against rapper DA BRAT, who is accused of breaking a liquor bottle over an Atlanta Falcons cheerleader’s head during a 2007 altercation at a club owned by JERMAINE DUPRI. The cheerleader’s attorneys said she suffered permanent damage to her face and possible neurological damage. Da Brat became the first female rapper to sell 1 million copies of an album with her 1994 debut “Funkdafied.”……..KEVIN

Dr. Reagan Flowers

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LEGAL NOTICE

These Texas Lottery Commission Scratch-Off games will be closing soon:

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Houstonian Dr. Reagan Flowers was recently honored by the White House as one of 10 “Champions of Change” recognized for their innovation in creating diversity and access in STEM fields. Flowers is the founder of C-STEM Teacher and Student Support Services, a non-profit organization providing services to teachers and students in areas of communication, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals, businesses and organizations doing “extraordinary things” to empower and

inspire members of their communities. Flowers and other champions in her field are creating opportunities for young people typically underrepresented in STEM industries by using unconventional approaches to enhance student exposure ranging from photography and film to hip hop music. Flowers began her education career as a high school science teacher. She established C-STEM in 2002 using her personal resources and has led the organization in unprecedented expansion of services and revenue growth. The organization has impacted more than 100,000 students. Flowers has authored two books about STEM education and has received numerous honors for her work.

For detailed odds and game information, visit txlottery.org or call 1-800-37LOTTO.

Must be 18 or older to purchase a ticket. The Texas Lottery supports Texas education. HART was a big winner at © 2014 Texas Lottery Commission. All rights reserved. the NAACP Image Awards. He was named Entertainer of the Year and Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for “Real Husbands of Hollywood.” The BET fake reality show also 1 Comedy TX8105_HNDF_EOG_AFAM_0227.indd won Outstanding Series. The saved Outstanding None printed at 2-20-2014 4:28 PM tsalazar-MB15R from by Tommy Salazar / Eddie Jacobson at Motion Picture award job info a Slave.” approvals fonts & images went to “12 Years jobincluded # creative dir None TX8105 Fonts Other winners client art director None TEXAS LOTTERY Helvetica Neue LT Std (95 Black, 77 Bold Condense KERRY WASHINGTON, densed), Helvetica Neue (Medium, Bold), Arial (Reg headline/tag MARCH EOG AD copywriter None account mgr NORMA VARGAS x 3.25” Outstanding trim Actress in a4.79” Images bleed proofreader None None None live“Scandal;” None Drama Series, LL color setup BW notes COOL J, Outstanding Actor Inks vendor/pub HOUSTON DEFENDER Black media type NEWSPAPER DUE: 02/20 in a Drama Series, “NCIS: die cut None PUB: 02/27 Los Angeles;” FOREST WHITAKER, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, east ninth street • austin, “Lee Daniels’206 the Butler,” andtx 78701 t 512.479.6200 f 512.479.6024 Angela Bassett, Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture, “Black Nativity.” Prepared by LatinWorks Marketing, Inc. 2012. All rights reserved.

classified Attention Private Non-Profit Schools – Houston, Texas

Action Required:

Private non-profit schools with students enrolled who reside within the Houston ISD’s boundaries may be eligible to receive equitable services from certain federal Title programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (Section 1120 of Tile I, Part A and Title IX, Part E, Subpart 1 – Participation of Children Enrolled in Private Schools). This notice applies to the 2014-2015 school year. You may contact the Houston ISD for more details. Title I, Part A and Title II, Part A – 713-556-6928 Title I, Part C and Title III, Part A – 713-556-6961 Due to program deadlines, please contact our office(s) by Monday, March 3, 2014


14

DEFENDER | FEBRUARY 27 | 2014

sports

NFL Combine offers shopping spree

Clowney is a standout defensive end for South Carolina.

Texan GM Rick Smith and rookie head coach Bill O’Brien have been window-shopping at the Jadeveon Clowney display. Clowney, from South or many consumers the most anticiCarolina, is 6-feet-5, 266 pounds and runs a 4.47 pated shopping day of the year is 40-year-dash. Black Friday, the day after ThanksMeanwhile, owner Bob McNair and his giving that begins the first day of son Cal were spotted looking longingly Christmas shopping. at the quarterback displays of LouisThe NFL Scouting Combine is a ville’s Teddy Bridgewater (6-feet-3, bit like that for franchises. They evalu214), Texas A&M’s Johnny ate the available pool of rookie talManziel (5-feet 11, 207) ent against their team needs and and Central Florida’s make a shopping list of what Blake Bortles (6they would like to acquire feet-5, 232). to improve their teams. Even though At the combine 355 it’s the Texans athletes are interviewed, third time measured, poked, prodin 12 years ded and sent through with the top a variety of drills to pick (worst determine what team record), is going to add them in it’s never an their shopping cart at easy decision on who the NFL draft on May to select. 8-10. Offensive tackles According to NFL such as Jake Matthews Network draft analyst Mike (A&M, 6-feet-5, 308) and Mayock, this year’s combine Greg Robinson (Auburn, is loaded with talent that should 6-feet-5, 332) are “timeless lend itself to a very deep draft. items” and go with anything. Jadeveon Clowney “With the array of talent we’re seeGreat deals can be found with offening, this year’s draft could be one of the deepest sive linemen Seantrel Henderson (Miwe’ve seen in 10 years,” Mayock said. ami, 6-feet-7, 331) or Trai Turner ESPN analyst Todd McShay agrees that the (LSU, 6-feet-3, 316). Defenbounty of talent in this year’s combine will prosively, who can resist a linevide for a very good draft. backer such as Adrian Hub“Quality talent abounds in all of the skilled bard (Alabama, 6-feet-5, position,” McShay said. “This is also a very good 255) or a big cornerback crop of offensive linemen. Smart teams can really like Stan Jean-Baptiste help themselves if they do their homework.” (Nebraska, 6-feet-3, 215). Like a shopping trip, you find higher priced With the uncertainty at items at exclusive stores and more reasonably running back, perhaps Lache priced items at discount retailers. Every team has Seastrunk (Baylor, 5-feet-10, a budget and they’re all seeking the best bang for 210) would be a perfect insurance policy to the buck. team with Arian Foster. The Houston Texans, by virtue of their 2-14 Sam Houston running back Timothy Flanrecord, will be the first team allowed to enter the ders (5-feet-9, 212), Tennessee State tight end A. “mall” with the No. 1 pick, since being bad has C. Leonard (6-feet-4, 245) and defensive tackle its advantages. The Texans will look at expensive, Dan McCullers (Tennessee, 6-feet-6, 348) are also name brand talent to turn their fortunes around. quality talent that can contribute to an NFL roster. They have multiple needs and a limited budThe Texans have their list and they’ll be get. They’ll be able to buy one premium player checking it twice, possibly three or four times. and then likely will have to leave the exclusive They’ve got almost three months, because for stores and hunt for bargains elsewhere. them, Christmas comes in May.

F

defendernetwork.com

By MAX EDISON Defender

Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville is another top quarterback prospect.

Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M is one of college football’s top QBs.

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h.s.zone

FEBRUARY 27 | 2014 | DEFENDER

15

sportsbriefs Girls make school history

The Manvel girls win 2014 Region III-5A crown and advance to the state tournament.

Manvel girls head to state tournament It appeared Manvel was going to have its hands full with Cypress Woods in the regional final. The Ogwumike sisters, Erica and Olivia, were bolstered by the return from injury of 6-foot-9 t’s the matchup the eyes of Texas have longed for since the sophomore post Nancy Mulkey. season began last November. Yet Manvel utilized its superior athleticism, pressure defense Two-time defending Class 5A state champion Duncan- and speed to jump out to a 15-3 lead and never looked back. The ville could face state-ranked Manvel in the girls’ high school Lady Mavs led 24-13 at the end of the first quarter and 37-24 at title game. It could happen if both schools win state tournahalftime. Manvel took a 48-33 edge into the fourth quarter before ment semifinal games at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. winning by 16. Unbeaten Duncanville (34-0) takes on San Antonio Wagner Brianna Turner (committed to Notre Dame) led the way with (25-10) and Manvel (36-2) 16 points and Jordan Hosey (Texas) will face Plano West (27-5). added 11 points. The Lady Mavs The Class 5A state chamhave averaged 34 victories over pionship game is set for the past three seasons. Erica Learn what motivated the Manvel girls to earn their March 1 at 8:30 p.m. Ogwumike led Cypress Woods first state tournament trip. Actually, it would be (32-6) with 13 points. a rematch. One of Manvel’s “We knew it was going to be two losses was administered by Duncanville in the a dog fight and it was,” said Bessard, who has signed to atPasadena Tournament when the Lady Mavericks led tend the University of Minnesota next fall. “We had to come by 14 at halftime only to lose 56-50. out aggressive to start both halves and push, push, push the “We know what their strengths and weaknesses ball to play our game. are and we definitely have an advantage with an our “We made some adjustments to get their big girl in foul inside presence,” said senior forward Rangie Bessard, trouble and played great defense,” Bessard said. “When we who scored 13 points in Manvel’s 58-42 victory play great defense, we are unstoppable.” over Cypress Woods in the Region III-5A Bessard is looking forward to the week at title game that advanced the Lady Mavs school leading up to the state tournament. to the school’s first state tournament “It’s a blessing to be going to the state berth. tournament. I’ve never made it this far,” she “They are a good defensive team said. “We can’t wait to receive the support and we know that we have to slow from our school. things down and not rush our shots,” “We also know that we have to get right Bessard said. “Even in our guard play back in the gym and work over a few things,” we’ve stepped it up both defensively she said. “There is no place I’d rather be than and offensively. So at the end of the day here with these girls. They are so outstanding and it’s going to be a really good matchup and work very hard. “The main thing is just playing we want to bring the championship back to together, having each other’s back and having fun,” Houston.” Bessard said.

I

By DARRELL K. ARDISON Defender

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With only three playoff victories in school history prior to this season, Montgomery put the pedal to the medal and won four postseason games during the 2014 high school basketball playoffs. Montgomery’s season came to a close with a 53-42 loss to defending Class 4A state champion Georgetown in the Region III-4A title game. “This has been a great, fun year,” said Lady Bears head coach Stacey Blalock. “It didn’t end, of course, how we wanted it to, but we have to look at what we accomplished. We’re extremely proud of our players. Montgomery’s roster included nine seniors and three of them led the way against Georgetown. Shelby Saefke and Heidi Schroeder scored a team-high 12 points while Malloree Schurr added seven. Playing in the regional tournament for the first time, Montgomery finished at 31-5 to cap the best season in school history.

Boys battle for spot at state State-ranked Atascocita is still alive in Region II while North Shore, Fort Bend Bush, Cypress Woods, Seven Lakes, Cypress Lakes and Manvel advanced past the area round of the Class 5A playoffs in Region III. In Class 4A, Fort Bend Marshall, Beaumont Ozen, Wheatley, Angleton, Friendswood and Beaumont Central made it to the regional quarterfinals. Cy Woods (26-5) is in the playoffs for the first time in four years. The Wildcats edged Westside 66-64 in the area round. “Whether you’ve got a lot of tradition or none at all, it’s always big when you win a playoff game and make it to the next round,” said Cy Woods coach Chris Draudt.

Williams wins at Olympics U.S. bobsledder Lauryn Williams made history at the recently concluded Winter Olympics in Sochi. Williams and driver Elana Meyers captured the silver medal in the two-person bobsled. Lauryn became the fifth athlete to ever win medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympics and the first American. An All-American sprinter at the University of Miami, Williams was a member of the gold medal-winning 4x100 meter relay team at the London games in 2012. She was the only African-American to medal at the recently concluded games.

Rockets deal at deadline It wasn’t exactly the blockbuster deal we hoped for and it didn’t involve center Omer Asik, but the Rockets made a deal at the trade deadline. The team acquired guard/forward Jordan Hamilton from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for guard Aaron Brooks. Hamilton (6-feet-7, 220 pounds, Texas) has averaged 6.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 17.2 minutes per game over 39 outings (11 starts) with Denver this season. Originally drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round (26th overall) of the 2011 NBA draft, Hamilton had his draft rights traded to the Nuggets by the Mavericks in three-team, draft-night deal. As a collegian at Texas, Hamilton was one of the 10 finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy as a sophomore. Hamilton was named to the six-person All-Big 12 First Team in addition to garnering All-America honors from the USBWA, NABC and AP in 2010-11.

Rangie Bessard

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16

DEFENDER | FEBRUARY 27 | 2014

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For Event Coverage...visit

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chag’splace

Cheryl, Roxanne and Melanie Lawson

Rev. William and Audrey Lawson

Beverly Joseph, Stephanie Dixon and Dawona Miller-Miles

Angel Hudson, Alexa Medina and Daishonta Chisley

Honorees Sylvia Brooks and Dr. James Douglas

Alex Koby, Eric Lawson and John Guess Jr.

Beverly Harmon, Rev. Al Sharpton and Dr. William Harmon

Kyndal Omokaro, Bryan Cabiz and Kyerra Chandler

Rights Continues,” was the theme chosen by Houston THE LAWSON’S LOVE STORY…..Rev. William Community College for its annual Black history “Bill” Lawson and his wife Audrey recently celebrated scholarship gala. The keynote speaker was Rev. Al their 60th wedding anniversary at the Ensemble Theater. Sharpton, the celebrated civil rights activist, minister, The event was hosted by the Lawson family and over 200 author and talk show host. Other guests attended to wish these love birds speakers included HCC Coleman congratulations. During their courtship Join Yvette Chargois College for Health Sciences student in the early 1950s they exchanged Events of the Week Olufunke Kuku and HCC Northwest over 600 love letters. Guests were More photos on defendernetwork.com College student Frank Msigna. treated to a recital of several of these See Events on KTRK Ch.13’s Crossroads Community leader Sylvia Brooks and letters, a love song/dance performed with Melanie Lawson Sunday Morning @ 11 a.m. Texas Southern University professor by the Theater’s actors and a roast and toast by several of their friends. Some Dr. James Douglas received the Joyce M. Reynolds Lifetime Achievement Awards. The attendees included Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, Rabbi gala’s leadership gallery of “unstoppable leaders” class Samuel Karff, Clarice and Dr. Thomas Freeman, of 2014 included Roynell Young, Drs. Timothy and Laura and Dr. Harold Mullins, Drucie Chase, Jennifer Sonya Sloan, Sharone Mayberry and Pastors Rudy and and Willie Miles, Alma and Dr. Vernus Swisher, Cleo Juanita Rasmus. Kyle Turner and Friends provided Thomas and Barbara and James Williams, to name the entertainment for the over 600 guests in attendance. a few. Congratulations and God bless!.....HOUSTON We salute acting chancellor Renee Byas, honorary chairs COMMUNITY COLLEGE BLACK HISTORY trustees Christopher Oliver and Carroll Robinson, gala GALA…..”A Tapestry of Triumphs: Our Call for Civil

Dr. Rod Paige and Councilman Jerry Davis

chair Dr. William Harmon and the entire committee for a great gala. Continued success!.....MAKING IT BETTER GUILD’S INAUGURAL LUNCHEON….. Making it Better (MIB) is a non-profit organization that improves literacy, leadership and life skills for underserved elementary students. MIB was founded in 2006 by Councilmember Jerry Davis to address the severe disadvantages faced by low income children in the Houston area. Their first program began with 91 students at Walnut Bend Elementary and included math and reading tutorials, along with an after school program. This year, the organization will serve over 1,700 students attending 10 HISD schools and five apartment complexes. During the inaugural luncheon, former U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Rod Paige was the special guest speaker and a musical presentation was performed by several MIB students. The mission of the guild is to support MIB by assisting with program activities and events, help raise program funds and spread awareness. Continued success to your also….. From Chag’s Place to your place, have a blessed week!

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February 27, 2014