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Houston’s Leading Black Information Source

Volume 83 | Number 28

MAY 15, 2014 |FREE


Robbie Tolan

DR. CESAR MALDONADO named new HCC chancellor

P2 HS ZONE KENDALL SHEFFIELD wins gold at state meet

Quest for justice


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FEATURE TERRY CREWS finds success in acting


Eileen Morris and Joe and Yolanda Sample at Ensemble opening night


Anika Noni Rose thrilled by role

Jadeveon Clowney picked by Texans

Tony Award-winner Anika Noni Rose can be seen on Broadway in the revival of “A Raisin in the Sun.” She’s also starring in the new film “Half of a Yellow Sun.” See why she was excited to land the part. Hear what she says about her journey from stage to screen.

South Carolina linebacker and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is ready to make Houston his home as the Texans No. 1 draft pick. Find out why “supersized” applies to Clowney’s new team. Discover why the Texans have high hopes for their “impact” player.

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DEFENDER | MAY 15 | 2014


NAACP demands HISD accountability for closures

HCC names chancellor “The board of trustees has worked judiciously and diligently Cesar Maldonado, in taking one of the most Ph.D., P.E., PMP, is important decisions for the new chancellor of HCC’s future,” said Houston Community Neeta Sane, HCC board College. The institution chair. conducted a nationwide “We are proud to search for its next leader select Dr. Maldonado as and selected Maldonado, HCC’s next chancellor who successfully transiand we look forward tioned his private industry Dr. Cesar Maldonado to his leadership as we management expertise navigate and address many important into public higher education adminisopportunities that will help to define tration. the HCC of the future.” Maldonado is an engineer, civic Some of the early issues Dr. Maland business leader and higher educadonado will face include identifying tion administrator. Prior to HCC, he new funding sources and innovative served as president of Texas State partnerships, as well as to determine Technical College in Harlingen. Defender News Services

the best, most appropriate allocation of the funds generated from the bond passage. “What an honor and privilege it is to be named chancellor of one of the leading community colleges in the country,” Maldonado said. “We have some real opportunities ahead of us to create what HCC can and will be for our students, our community and our region.” Maldonado earned bachelors and masters degrees in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University, a doctorate in systems and engineering management from Texas Tech University, and is an alumnus of the Berkeley Haas School of Business. He and his wife Liz have four children and two grandchildren.

Top TSU grads

Texas Southern University recently held its spring commencement ceremony. More than 1,100 degrees were conferred to undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. Houston Attorney Joe Jamail gave the keynote address. At right, TSU First Lady Docia Rudley (third from left) is joined by three top grads (left to right): Ariel Bowman, co-valedictorian with a 3.935 grade point average (GPA); Francisca Eta, class salutatorian with a 3.93 GPA; and valedictorian Donna Scott, right, who finished with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

The NAACP Houston Branch filed an original petition for injunctive relief and application for temporary restraining order against HISD for violation to give proper notice on the repurposing of Jones High School. Dr. James Douglas and Carol Mims Galloway, the plaintiffs, allege that HISD failed to give the public the required 72 hours notice when it pulled a “bait and switch” action to place the repurposing of Jones on its March 13, 2014 school board agenda. Both Douglas and Galloway argue that the agenda only gave notice that the consolidation of high schools was to be addressed, essentially disallowing the ability for individuals to intelligently speak on the new subject matter being presented to the public. According to a coalition of civil rights and social justice community organizations, HISD’s recent school closures and consolidation of schools in minority communities demonstrate a blatant discriminatory practice of educational inequity. The NAACP argues that HISD inadequately educates minority students in the district and it is producing a large amount of minority students who are underprepared for the workforce.

localbriefs MAYOR ANNISE PARKER dropped a provision from her proposed nondiscrimination ordinance that specified no business open to the public could deny a transgender person entrance to a restroom consistent with the person’s gender identity. The move was viewed as a compromise. Some opponents of the ordinance, however, are still not satisfied, and say it gives sexual predators access to families. Protestors, who included local Black ministers, gathered outside City Hall to voice their opposition…….. A NEW STUDY FINDS childhood poverty reaches into the lives of young adult women, contributing to their propensity to be overweight. The study was conducted

by the University of Houston Department of Health and Human Performance (HHP). “We know that having a low socioeconomic status during childhood contributes to children being overweight or obese,” said HHP’s Daphne Hernandez. “We’ve found a connection between the long-term exposure to poverty during childhood and obesity rates among young adult woman.” Hernandez examined nearly 4,000 young adults born between 1980 and 1990 and the number of years from birth to age 18 that they were exposed to poverty…….. AN APPEALS COURT stayed the execution of Robert James Campbell, convicted in the 1991 rape and murder of a Houston bank teller.

Campbell’s lawyers argue that he is intellectually disabled and ineligible for execution. The ruling, which came three hours before Campbell’s death by lethal injection, will allow his lawyers to file a new petition alleging his disability. Campbell would have been the first inmate put to death since the botched execution of an Oklahoma man last month……..A TEENAGE BOY is accused of killing 16-year-old Arrijana Hill, who was found stabbed to death inside her Pearland home in March. Investigators learned that Arrijana was pregnant with twins when she died. DNA analysis determined that the murder suspect was the father of the unborn babies. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

MAY 15 | 2014 | DEFENDER

4% of convicts sentenced to die innocent NNPA News Service

Since 1973, more than 300 innocent defendants have been sentenced to death, largely because Blacks are overrepresented among murder convictions and among those who are wrongfully condemned to die, according to a recent report. “The size of the group of innocent people sent to death surprised me, said Samuel Gross, co-author of the study and a law school professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. “I would not have predicted it was anywhere near that large.” The study, published in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” estimated that between 1973 and 2004 about 1 in 25 (4.1 percent) defendants that received a death sentence were falsely convicted and would have likely been exonerated if they remained on death row indefinitely. Gross said that most of these undiscovered, innocent capital defendants have been re-sentenced to life in prison, and then forgotten. Although death sentence cases account for roughly one-tenth of 1 percent of prison sentences, they represent about 12 percent of the known exonerations between 1989 and 2012. “A major reason for this extraordinary exoneration rate is that far more attention and resources are devoted to death penalty cases than to other criminal prosecutions, before and after conviction,” stated the report. Blacks account for roughly 13 percent of the population in the United States but nearly 42 percent of the prison population on death row, compared to whites who make up 63 percent of U.S. population and about 43 percent of the prisoners serving time on death row. Since 1976, 34 percent of prisoners executed have been Black and 56 percent were white.



Vitamin D deficiency linked to prostate cancer


NNPA News Service

he relationship between melanin and vitamin D – the nutrient that sunlight provides – could explain why African-American, Caribbean and other men of African ancestry have the highest rates of prostate cancer than anyone in the world, according to a new study. The study by a team of researchers at Northwestern University found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of diagnosis among Black men, but not among white men. “If vitamin D is involved in prostate cancer initiation or progression, it would provide a modifiable risk factor for primary prevention and secondary prevention to limit progression, especially in the highest risk group of African-American men,” the report stated. One in seven American men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. However, Black men are 60 percent more likely than whites to be affected, according to the American Cancer Society. Although the mortality rate is among the lowest of all cancers, it is more than twice as high for Black men than white men. Vitamin D primarily allows the body to absorb calcium, but it also plays a role in regulating cell growth and creation. Although the nutrient can be

found in a handful of foods, such as fatty seafood, the body primarily creates its own vitamin D by absorbing sunlight. Melanin, which naturally blocks the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, alters this process. “The darker the color of the skin, the less effective sunlight is in producing vitamin D in skin,” said Dr. Donald Trump, president and CEO of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “An African-American person is more likely to have lower levels of vitamin D than a European person, because the same amount of sun exposure doesn’t generate the same amount of vitamin D for darker skin as it does for lighter skin.” He recommends a vitamin D-level test for his patients who are diagnosed with prostate cancer. In his experience, at least 70 percent diagnosed men are deficient, and he prescribes supplements.

Pastors say gay rights, civil rights differ VOLUME 83 • NUMBER 27 MAY 15, 2014 Print Editor Publisher Marilyn Marshall Sonceria Messiah-Jiles People Editor Advertising/Client Relations Yvette Chargois Selma Dodson Tyler Sports Editors Multimedia Manager Max Edison Tiffany Williams Darrell K. Ardison Online Editor Local Editor ReShonda Billingsley LaGloria Wheatfall Art Director Contributing Writer Tony Fernandez-Davila Cierra Duncan The Defender newspaper is published by the Houston Defender Inc. Company (713-663-6996.. The Defender is audited by Certified Audited Circulation. (CAC). For subscription, send $60-1 year to: Defender, P.O. Box 8005, Houston TX 77288. Payment must accompany subscription request. All material covered by 2012 copyright. (No material herein may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher).

Defender News Services

One hundred Black pastors from Detroit are denouncing a judge’s ruling overturning a voter-approved amendment to the Michigan Constitution that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. The pastors said the ruling is under the guise that the majority of people of Michigan are discriminating against gays due to their sexual orientation or preference. They are also are offended by the comparison of marriage redefinition to Black civil rights struggles. “To state that marriage redefinition is in any way similar to the Civil Rights Movement is intellectually

empty, dishonest and manufactured,” said Minister Stacy Swimp, founder of Revive Alive Ministry. “When has anyone from the LGBT demographic ever been publicly lynched, specifically excluded from moving into neighborhoods, prohibited from sitting on a jury and denied the right to sue others because of their sexual preferences?” Pastor James Crowder of St. Galilee Baptist also addressed the issue. “Judge Bernard Friedman is sanctioning the staging of a false story,” Crowder said. “On stage are many actors who pretend that redefining traditional marriage is as valid as Blacks fighting against the carnage of chattel slavery and the humiliation of Jim Crow.” • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


DEFENDER | MAY 15 | 2014

MAY 15 | 2014 | DEFENDER



Anika Noni Rose

stars on Broadway, in film By KAM WILLIAMS Special to the Defender


ony Award-winner Anika Noni Rose currently stars alongside Denzel Washington in the Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun.” Her outstanding performance has not only earned her critical acclaim but also a Tony award nomination. She recently starred as Whoopi Goldberg’s daughter in the madefor-TV movie, “A Day Late and a Dollar Short.” On the big screen, she portrayed Lorell Robinson in “Dreamgirls.” In addition, she voiced Princess Tiana in the animated feature “The Princess and the Frog,” which Anika Noni Rose and Thandie Newton play sisters in “Half of a Yellow Sun.” introduced Disney’s first AfricanRose won a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a American princess. The film received three Oscar Musical for her role in “Caroline, or Change.” nominations and Rose became the youngest inductee Born in Bloomfield, Conn. in 1972, Rose received ever to be honored as a Disney Legend. her MFA from American Conservatory Theater and Her other film credits include “Imperial Dreams,” holds an honorary doctorate from Florida A&M Uni“For Colored Girls,” “Just Add Water,” “As Cool as I versity. Am” and “Khumba.” Here, she discusses her new film, “Half of a YelNo stranger to television, she most recently low Sun,” co-starring Thandie Newton and Chiwetel starred in the Hallmark special “The Watsons Go to Ejiofor. It is based on the novel by Nigerian author Birmingham.” She has also appeared on some of the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and tells the story of the highest-rated network shows. Biafran War.

KW: What interested you in making this movie? ANR: I read the book when it came out, and I loved it. That book really excited me and moved me. And I read a lot. I remember thinking back then that it would make an amazing film. So, I was beyond thrilled when the call came asking whether I might be interested. KW: Is your character Kainene very close to the character in the novel or were a lot of liberties were taken in the script? ANR: She’s very close to the character in the novel. I tried to keep her as tight to what Chimamanda described as possible. The only differences, I think, are the physical differences between our bodies, and there’s nothing I could do about that. KW: How long has your journey been to get where you are and how hard was the transition for you from Broadway to film? ANR: I have been acting professionally since 1997. I didn’t feel that the transition was extraordinarily difficult, style-wise. The first film I did was not a great film, but I had a great time, and I learned a lot about things that were important to me, primarily, “Where is the camera right now?” and “What is the angle?” The big film I did was “Dreamgirls,” where I was lucky to be able to bring Broadway to the screen. But I did not feel like there was a huge difference between how I do, what I do, onstage and onscreen.

what’sup The Standard Hotel in New York City is trying to discover who leaked the security video which appears to show BEYONCÉ’S little sister SOLANGE KNOWLES punching, kicking and screaming at JAY Z in the hotel’s elevator. The video has gone viral and received more than 3 million views in 24 hours on TMZ’s YouTube channel. The hotel said in a statement that the video violates the confidentiality of it guests. “We are investigating with the utmost urgency the circumstances surrounding the situation and, as is our customary practice, will discipline and prosecute the individuals involved to our fullest capacity,” the statement said……..There are reports that former Destiny’s Child member KELLY ROWLAND recently married TIM WITHERSPOON, her manager and fiancé, in Costa Rica. According to Us Weekly, the pair exchanged vows in front of 30 people, including Beyoncé, Solange, their mom

TINA KNOWLES and MICHELLE WILLLIAMS. A source described the ceremony as “quick” and “simple.” Rowland announced her engagement last December on QUEEN LATIFAH’S talk show and talked about keeping a low-profile relationship. “It’s been a while. We’ve kept it very, very low – for years, to be completely honest,” she said…….WHOOPI GOLDBERG’S production company, One Ho Productions, has signed a deal to develop a docuseries around her daughter, ALEX MARTIN, and her extended family. The show looks at how Martin, the mother of three children, copes when her oldest daughter moves back home, resulting in three generations living under one roof. She receives support from her best friend Leisa. “I wanted to tell the story of two best friends who experience all of the major phases of a woman’s life together,” Goldberg said……..DON CHEADLE begins shooting a film about

the late jazz trumpeter MILES DAVIS in Cincinnati this summer. Cheadle is also directing the film. His costars include ZOE SALDANA and EWAN McGREGOR. Davis was considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, and played with such jazz giants as CHARLIE PARKER, JOHN COLTRANE, COLEMAN HAWKINS, SONNY ROLLINS, CANNONBALL ADDERLEY, HERBIE HANCOCK and ART BLAKEY. He died in 1991 at age 65……Several Black stars appear in network TV shows that are being cancelled. ABC shows not returning include “The Neighbors” starring TOKS OLAGUNDOYE. CBS cancelled “Bad Teacher” starring DAVID ALAN GRIER. Fox cancelled “Enlisted” starring KEITH DAVID. NBC shows getting the axe include “Crisis,” starring LANCE GROSS; “Believe,” starring DELROY LINDO, and “Revolution,” starring GIANCARLO ESPOSITO. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


DEFENDER | MAAY 15 | 2014

Buckle up or pay Defender News Services

The Texas Department of Transportation will hold its “Click it or Ticket” campaign May 19 through June 1 to warn motorists to buckle up or pay. Drivers or passengers caught not wearing seat belts face fines and court costs up to $200. “Seat belts save lives,” said John Barton, TxDOT deputy executive director. “That’s a fact. Buckling up will keep you from getting a ticket, and more importantly, it could save your life. “Whether you’re the driver or a passenger, everyone in the vehicle is required by law to wear a seat belt for every trip. The cost of not using one just isn’t worth it,” Barton said. The National Highway Traffic Safety estimates that since its inception, the “Click It or Ticket” campaign in Texas has resulted in 3,962 fewer traffic fatalities while preventing 66,823 serious injuries and saving more than $15 billion in related economic costs. Wearing a seat belt increases the chances of surviving a serious crash by 45

Non-drug treatment available for asthma Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital is offering an innovative treatment designed to provide better day-to-day breathing and a higher quality of life for people who suffer with severe asthma. Asthma patients who received the bronchial thermoplasty treatment demonstrated significant improvement in their asthma symptoms as well as a reduction in the number of severe asthma flare-ups and emergency department visits. “There is a muscle layer which actually gets bigger in people with asthma and when the muscles get bigger, they contract more vigorously. Bronchial thermoplasty basically de-bulks those muscles,” said Victor Salcedo, M.D., a pulmonologist affiliated with Memorial Hermann Southwest. With the patient under light sedation, the interventional pulmonologist guides a long, flexible tube through the patient’s mouth as far as possible down each airway. An attached camera and light allows the physician to view the airway on a video screen. The thermoplasty device travels inside the tube and has an array of electrodes on its tip that extends and expands to make contact with the airway walls. The electrodes are then heated with radiofrequency energy, shrinking the muscle and creating a larger opening or airway.

percent. In 2013, there were 943 fatalities and 5,383 serious injuries in Texas resulting from crashes in which drivers or passengers were not wearing seat belts. When the campaign began in 2002, only 76 percent of Texans used seat belts. Today, 9 out of 10 Texans buckle up. Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle to be buckled up, including back seat passengers. For information visit







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MAY 15 | 2014 | DEFENDER



A slow response to Nigerian atrocity By JULIANNE MALVEAUX NNPA Columnist


Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

ong after completing his eight-year presidency, Bill Clinton acknowledged that he should have intervened in the conflict in Rwanda. Hundreds of thousands perished from the genocide that shaped the country. In his zeal for international peace President Clinton intervened in Ireland, the Middle East and Bosnia. He acknowledged that had the United States intervened in Rwanda, at least 300,000 deaths may have been prevented. Now nearly 300 Nigerian girls have been kidnapped from their school by an extremist group that calls themselves Islamic (I don’t know of any legitimate Islamic group that approves of this kind of activity). Beyond the 300 stolen, it is not clear how many others have been taken from their schools. This extremist group opposes “Western education” and uses their beliefs to justify their action. Some have shrugged that this is a “cultural” or internal matter that Nigerians must settle among themselves. The United States and the United Nations are nodding on Nigeria if they choose to do little more than offer lip service in this crisis situation. It has been documented in Bosnia and Rwanda that rape was an instrument of war. What about Nigeria? Dozens gathered outside the White House and out-

side the Nigerian Embassy to plead that the powers that be “bring back our girls.” First Lady Michelle Obama has also carried a sign to that effect. Nearly a month after the girls were seized the international community has begun to pay attention to this vile kidnapping. Again, this capture may well be the tip of the iceberg. Who knows how many girls have been captured from their homes or their schools. Women have too often been tools in genocide, yet too often this form of genocide has been ignored. The United Nations spews pithy pronouncements and declares one year or another the year of human rights. But as former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has often declared, “women’s rights are human rights.” President Barack Obama, referencing his own

daughters, has offered relief. There have been “high level” meetings to talk about the ways that U.S. can intervene in this repugnant situation. Our intervention is spot on, but why did it take so long? Were these Bosnian women would there have been so much “deliberation?” As grateful as I am for U. S. intervention, the pace of it saddens me. Were we nodding on Nigeria? The status of women and girls should be a global concern. Nigeria is one of the countries that visibly impose inequality. We have intervened in human rights that have no gender component all over the world, but have been notably silent when the African continent is involved. We say that these are “internal matters” that countries must settle on their own, but when human rights activists are massacred in China, we manage to get involved. To again quote Hilary Clinton, “women’s rights are human rights.” To suggest that women deserve any less is to deny our humanity all over the world. We cannot fight for social and economic justice by taking weapons from half of the army. The women who have experienced direct subjugation are often, also, the most passionate spokespeople. Our country has been a champion of human rights all over the world, and when we nod on Nigeria we are suggesting that women’s rights do not matter. We know about 300 Nigerian girls today. How many will we learn about tomorrow? How many in another country? How many will be swallowed in world patriarchy because we refuse to act?

Top priority: HISD accountability As a district where minorities are a majority of the students, HISD should be doing everything it can to ensure that children of color excel in the classroom. However, too many aspects of our children’s education are lacking, and for that the district must be held accountable. Two events this semester exemplify the district’s lack of accountability – the school closure fiasco and the Children at Risk annual report card grading area districts. With the school closures, HISD held community meetings to obtain input before making a decision. However, many supporters are still upset that Jones High is being repurposed and Dodson Elementary is closing. Why hold community meetings if you’re going to

ignore community feedback? In response to the school closure controversy, the Houston Branch of the NAACP filed an injunction against HISD for violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act regarding the Jones repurposing on the school board agenda. The NAACP believes that in general, HISD inadequately educates minority students and underprepares them for the workforce. The NAACP is demanding that HISD make accountability a priority, and we couldn’t agree more. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the recent Children at Risk report. Once again, too many predominantly Black schools received F’s, and that

is unacceptable. We are pleased to see that a number of HISD schools received good grades, but year after year, historically Black schools can be found at the bottom of the list – schools such as Yates, North Forest, Madison, Jones, Wheatley, Sterling, Kashmere and Worthing. All are schools with proud histories, but something is terribly wrong when they all receive failing grades. We realize that parents and students have an important role to play in the success of their schools, but that doesn’t let HISD off the hook. Be accountable, HISD. Do something about the problems plaguing minority schools and minority students. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


DEFENDER | MAY 15 | 2014


Robbie Tolan Quest for justice

Family wants end to racial profiling



he Robbie Tolan case has been thrust back into the headlines, with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals must revisit the case. Once again, the Tolan family wants to see justice done, while ending the assault on young Black men. “We all experienced this as a family, as a community, and as a culture but my prayer is that we have not missed the meaning,” Tolan said. “This is bigger than Robbie Tolan. This is bigger than Trayvon Martin. This decision has undoubtedly been a blessing.” Marian Tolan, Robbie’s mother, said Black men should not be targeted by law enforcement. “I want laws changed,” she said. “There are laws against racial profiling but they are not being enforced. It’s time for that to change.” In 2008, Tolan, then 23 years old, was shot and seriously wounded in the driveway of his parents’ home by Jeffrey Cotton, a white Bellaire

Tolan case timeline 2008

In the early hours of Dec. 31, Robbie, then 23, and his cousin, Anthony Cooper, were returning to the Tolan home. Bellaire Officers John C. Edwards and Jeffrey Cotton mistakenly thought Robbie was armed and driving a stolen car. Cotton had entered a wrong license plate number. Robbie’s parents came outside. They protested the treatment of the two men and tried to explain that the car was theirs and that they lived at the house. Robbie was shot by Cotton as he started to get up from the ground, protesting the treatment of his mother who was pushed toward the garage. The bullet travelled through Robbie’s lung, and punctured his liver, where it remains today.


On May 4, jury selection was completed in the trial for Cotton, who was tried on one count of aggravated assault by a public servant and faced a maximum possible sentence

police officer. Cotton mistakenly believed Tolan was armed and driving a stolen vehicle. After the incident the family sued the City of Bellaire and the officers involved for civil rights violations, saying they were the victims of racial profiling. That lawsuit was thrown out after Cotton’s attorneys successfully argued it should be dismissed. The Supreme Court recently ruled that the civil lawsuit was unconstitutionally dismissed without adequately weighing evidence presented by Tolan.

of life in prison if convicted. On May 11, jurors deliberated fo fore finding Cotton not guilty.


On April 2, a federal judge dism the Tolans had sued the officers, th and mayor claiming their civil and c violated. Judge Melinda Harmon ruled th not established that the officers vio rights.


On May 5, the Supreme Court Court of Appeals must hear the Tol take in to account whether Robbie’ violated. The high court also said th to acknowledge key evidence offer

“The Supreme Court said that this lans’ new lawyer Benjamin Crump, wh Crump joined the Tolans, commun concerned citizens at a recent press con “It will take all of us working systema lar basis to make sure this shooting is n said. Crump added that it is “incredible heard the Tolan case because of the ov • Serving th


or nearly four hours be-

missed a lawsuit in which he Bellaire police chief constitutional rights were

hat the Tolan family had olated their constitutional

ruled that the 5th Circuit lans’ lawsuit again and ’s civil rights were indeed he court “failed properly red by the [Tolans].”

s should go to a jury,” said the Toho represented Trayvon’s family. nity leaders, elected officials and nference held at the Power Center. atically and continuously on a regunot swept under the rug,” Crump

e” that the Supreme Court even verwhelmingly high number of cases


Bobby and Marian Tolan and their son, Robbie, listen to attorney Benjamin Crump. Aove right, the Tolans receive support from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Windsor Village UMC Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell and Congressman Al Green.

they are presented with. He then said it is “miraculous” that the court ruled in their favor. “It is historic when you get a unanimous decision from the United States Supreme Court,” Crump said. “For all nine justices to agree that what happened was wrong…all glory goes to God.” Crump said that every mother would be “proud to call Robbie their son” and that there was no reason for him to be shot and his family to be victimized. “This is a model family,” Crump said. “If this can happen to them, can you imagine what can happen to other families?”

A “miracle”

The Tolans called the Supreme Court ruling “a miracle” and say that their faith has helped them as they continue to pursue justice. “Our pastor constructed a prayer just for this case and the Supreme Court,” Marian Tolan said. “In that prayer we prayed for each Supreme Court justice, we asked God to give them a clean heart so that they can do His will. “From the beginning, I’ve asked God to use this case for change,” she continued. “God saved Robbie for a reason. This decision has placed us in a position to bring that reason forth.” Extended family, community members, church leaders and elected officials have gathered in support of the Tolan Family. “There are a lot of people who can be inspired by the dogged determination that has been exuded by the Tolan family,” said Kirbyjon

he Houston area for over 80 years

Caldwell, pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church. “We have to change these laws,” he continued. “This is not just about what happened six years ago. This is still happening today.” Congressman Al Green said that there cannot be a law that allows police to shoot an unarmed person on their own property and go unpunished. “I agree with the Supreme Court that it is important that this case be reviewed again,” he said. “The circumstances of this case, the shooting of an unarmed young man in his parents’ yard, are deeply troubling and raise many questions. I trust that after a just review, a jury will be able to sort through the facts and come to a just resolution.” Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee urged the community to unite behind the Tolan family and support them as they pursue a new trial. “We must leave this place and demand a new trial for Robbie,” Jackson Lee said. “The trial he never had.” She also said she and Green will meet with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and ask for an investigation in the case based on civil rights and any “criminal aspects” in the case. She said she will take a copy of the Supreme Court’s ruling, along with pictures and sound bites from the media, into the meeting to further show how the Tolans were victimized. “We must get the community to understand that the shooting of Robbie is the same as any other Bellaire student who does not look like him,” she said.


DEFENDER | MAY 15 | 2014


Women in business gather for 2-day expo Defender News Services

More than 1,500 women business owners along with exhibitors, corporate procurement executives and federal contracting officers will convene in Houston for the Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance Expo. It will be held May 28-29 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The WBEA expo helps fund certification support, educational programs and scholarships for over 800 women business enterprises (WBEs) and more than 48,000 employees. “The expo is the go-to place where women business owners connect with corporate buyers, showcase their products and services, and develop key relationships,” said WBEA president April Day. “WBEA holds a supportive network of top women CEOs from every industry.” Expo activities include a cocktail reception, oneon-one sessions, other networking opportunities, a trade

show and awards luncheon. The luncheon is Thursday, May 29 at 11 a.m. at the Hilton Americas Hotel. Guest speaker is Christine R. Spray, best-selling author and founder of the National Business Development Association. Headquartered in Houston, the WBEA is an affiliate of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and serves a 94-county Texas region with programs, activities, and educational opportunities designed to support and promote women-owned enterprises. As a third-party certification agency, WBEA provides nationally recognized certification for women- owned business interested in pursuing corporate and government contracting opportunities. Day said becoming certified is an important step for entrepreneurs. “The WBENC certification for womenowned businesses is one of the most widely recognized and respected certifications in the nation,” she said. For more information on the expo visit

April Day

Businesses owned by minority women grow Defender News Services

The number of businesses owned by women of color has increased rapidly since 1997 when there were just under 1 million. Today, that number has more than doubled to an estimated 2,934,500 accounting for one in three (32%) of women-owned firms. That’s one of the findings of the 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express Open. The report found that while firms owned by women of color are smaller than non-minority women-owned businesses both in terms of average employment and revenues, their growth in number and economic clout is generally far outpacing that of all womenowned firms. In addition: • Firms owned by African-American women number an estimated 1,237,900 as of 2014. These 1.2 million firms employ more than 287,000 workers in addition to the owner and generate an estimated $49.5 billion in revenue. The greatest number of AfricanAmerican women-owned firms are located in New York (126,800), followed by Georgia (108,900) and Texas (98,800). • Firms owned by Latinas

number an estimated 1,033,100 as of 2014. These firms employ 433,600 workers in addition to the owner and generate an estimated $71.1 billion in revenue. The greatest numbers of Latina-owned firms are located in California (228,500), followed by Texas (190,000) and Florida (144,600). • Firms owned by Asian-American women number an estimated 675,900 as of 2014. These firms employ 676,000 workers in addition to the owner and generate an estimated $115 billion in revenue. The greatest numbers can be found in

California (195,300), New York (70,500) and Texas (64,700). • Firms owned by Native American or Alaska Native women number an estimated 119,900 as of 2014. These firms employ 40,600 workers in addition to the owner and generate an estimated $10 billion in revenue. The greatest numbers of Native American/Alaska Native women-owned firms are located in California (21,400), Oklahoma (9,100) and Texas (8,400). • Firms owned by Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander women number an estimated 20,000 as of 2014. These firms employ more than 15,000 workers in addition to the owner and generate an estimated $1.9 billion in revenue. State-level data can be shared from only three states: Hawaii (5,200), California (4,600) and Florida (600). Business is booming for women in general. Overall, women are starting 1,288 new businesses per day. The report, which includes detailed analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, found that during the past 17 years, the number of women-owned businesses has increased at 1.5 times the national average. “The report clearly shows that women are choosing the path of entrepreneurship at record rates,” said Randi Schochet, a vice president with American Express Open. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

Metro plans to improve bus service

MAY 15 | 2014 | DEFENDER


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Defender News Services METRO unveiled a new proposal which offers faster commutes, reduced wait times at bus stops and more frequent service seven days a week. “The improvements in this plan are incredible; these are not just tweaks but significant changes that will positively impact how and when you ride,” said Metro Board Chairman Gilbert Garcia. “The city has changed and grown dramatically, and this plan tackles the challenges of putting service where it’s needed most.” Under the reimagined plan, frequent service would result in a bus arriving every 15 minutes or better, 15 hours a day, seven days a week. The plan also includes simpler, straighter routes, updated route numbering to help customers better navigate the system and better maps. The proposed network reduces the number of street level freight rail crossings by 30 percent each day. Service frequency was key in developing the better network. Currently, less than 30 percent of Metro riders have access to routes that run at least every 15 minutes seven days a week system. Under the plan, the number increases to 73 percent. “I ride our local buses. Metro is my daily commute,” said Christof Spiler, a Metro board member. “I know that frequency is freedom. If the bus runs often, I can go where I want to go, when I want to go. I’m not planning my life around the bus schedule.” The transit authority’s next step is to share the draft with the community to gather input. Metro will host public meetings across its service area, as well as visit transit centers and civic organizations to reach out to riders and spread the word. The goal is to adopt a final plan this fall and implement the new system in the summer of 2015.




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DEFENDER | MAY 15 | 2014


Texans go big in NFL draft By MAX EDISON Defender The term “supersized” certainly applies to the players the Texans selected in the recent NFL draft. Starting with No. 1 overall pick linebacker/defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (6-feet-6, 266 pounds) and proceeding throughout the early rounds, one gets the impression that physical size along with skill will be a staple of the new-look Texans. For those wondering what the team will look like under new head coach Bill O’Brien, imagine New England Southwest. With both O’Brien and Texan defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel being former Patriot coordinators, you can see the New England parallels. By drafting Clowney, the Texans obtained the consensus top player in the entire draft. He was rated the top high school player in the Jadeveon Clowney, a linebacker/defensive end from South Louis Nix, a nose tackle from Notre Dame, was selected in the third round. nation three years ago. Carolina, was the Texans No. 1 pick. GM Rick Smith was all was the number one guy in smiles with the selection of the country coming out my Clowney. senior year. I was like, ‘OK, “I’m obviously very well I’ve got my chance Round Pick# Player excited with the selection of now. [Playing college ball Jadeveon and what he can add 1 1 Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina for South Carolina] has been to our organization and our the best three years of my 2 1 Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA football team, our community and our defense,” Smith said. life…” “He’s an impact player. We always talk about impact play3 1 C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa Clowney bears a striking physical resemblance to former ers and adding those types of athletes to our organization. He Patriot great Willie McGinest and will play the same position. 3 19 Louis Nix III, Notre Dame certainly fits the bill.” In the second and third rounds the supersized theme For Clowney, the opportunity to play in the NFL is the 4 35 Tom Savage, Pittsburgh kicked into high gear with the selection of Xavier Su’a-Filo culmination of a childhood dream. (33rd overall, OG, 6-feet-4, 307 pounds), C.J. Fiedorowicz 6 1 Jeoffrey Pagan, Alabama “This is a dream come true for me. When I was little I told (65th overall, TE, 6-feet5, 265) and Louis Nix (101st overall, my mom I wanted to play in the NFL,” he said. 6 5 Alfred Blue, LSU NT, 6-feet-2, 331). All three players were rated at or near Clowney was in the 11th grade when he learned, the top in their positions and give the Texans a great deal of 6 35 Jay Prosch, Auburn “I versatility. TSU women win SWAC softball title

Of course, the similarity of Fiedorowicz to the Patriots Rob Gronkowski and Nix to

Xavier Su’a-Filo, an offensive guard from UCLA, was chosen second.

Texan draft picks




Andre Hal, Vanderbilt




Lonnie Ballentine, Memphis


Vince Wilfork is merely coincidence, right? The team finally selected a quarterback in the fourth round (135th overall) when they grabbed Tom Savage (6-feet-4, 228) from Pitt. O’Brien gave an assessment of Savage. “We felt like he was a guy who was an accurate passer,” O’Brien said. “We felt like he was a guy that stood in the pocket and took some hits and delivered the football. When we went to Pittsburgh we met with him and we watched him and we were able to sit down and talk to him …we liked what we saw.” The Texan picks are just building blocks or pieces to the puzzle to move the team back into the realm of a playoff contender. With a brand new regime in place, it will be interesting to see if they bring that New England winning formula to Houston. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years Sheffield shines at state track meet Sheffield said he wasn’t nervous coming into the meet because of his familiarity with the facility. “I’ve been gearing for this moment since last year. I couldn’t wait to get up this AUSTIN – Out of more than 1,000 talented high morning and come out to the track,” he said. school track and field athletes from throughout Texas, he Perhaps a better question for Sheffield was clearly the center of attention. could have been what does he plan to do for an Fort Bend Marshall hurdler and two-time gold medalencore? ist Kendall Sheffield was anointed “rock star” status Sheffield’s 4X200 meter relay teamand engulfed by the local and state media at mates were involved in arguably the Mike A. Myers Stadium on the first day of most intriguing race of the meet. The the 2014 University Interscholastic League Marshall quartet of Cederian Lynch, (UIL) track and field state championships. Shamon Ehiemua, Gerald Mills and Sheffield (13.63 seconds) and teamMark Barre appeared on the verge of mate Amere Latin (14.03) finished 1-3 in winning the gold medal when Texarthe boys’ Class 4A 110-meter hurdles and kana nipped them at the tape. there were questions about that. Texarkana’s foursome of Later in the meet, Sheffield Jacorian Walker, Treveon Walker, came back and captured the 4A boys’ Travonne Monk and Kevin Harris 300-meter crown in a time of 36.34 finished in a time of one minseconds. He was questioned about ute, 24.26 seconds to stave off that. Kendall Sheffield of Fort Bend Marshall won two gold medals at the UIL track championships. Marshall’s 1:24.47. Both marks Sheffield was asked about eclipsed the former Class 4A winning gold medals in the same state meet record of 1:24.89 set two events he won silver medals in Find out about other area track by Lancaster in 2012. as a sophomore. He was quizzed & field medalists “Coming to state was a about setting personal-best times in great experience for us,” Mills each event during the same meet. said. “We came together as a team and produced our best time He was asked his feelings about his Marshall team (48 points) falling two points short of Texarkana (50 points) for the of the season. We came out with a medal together and we’re really proud of that.” boys’ team title. Defending boys’ team champion Summer Creek settled Yet mostly Sheffield fielded questions about his anticifor third place with 39 points, but the 4X400 meter relay team pated meeting with University of Texas track and field officials of Sydney Washington, Damian O’Neal, Dominique Lang and the following day. The local media was abuzz about whether Aaron Sharp brought home a gold medal in the meet’s final Sheffield was considering attending UT, but he’s only a junior event with a time of three minutes, 16.46 seconds. Sharp also at Marshall. won a silver medal in the 200-meter dash. “Last year I came in second in both events and this year I “We were the defending champions in the event and it came in first,” Sheffield said. “It’s good to see that all my hard was only fitting that these guys went out on top,” said Summer work paid off. I set personal-best times in each event. Creek coach Shelton Ervin. “We knew that the Class 4A com“I am going to meet with university officials and strike petition was going to be hotter than Class 5A this year, so we up a relationship,” Sheffield said. “I’m sure we’re going to talk just wanted to take our best shot and see where we stood.” about academics and some other things.” By Darrell K. Ardison Defender

MAY 15 | 2014 | DEFENDER


sportsbriefs State track & field tidbits The 2014 University Interscholastic League (UIL) state high school track and field championships marked the first time student-athletes in wheelchairs were able to participate in the 100-meter dash, 400-meter dash and the shot put at the state meet. Eleven athletes competed in the three events. The Houston area didn’t have any participants. Abby Dunkin of New Braunfels Canyon swept the three girls’ events. On the boys’ side, Cleburne’s Keyber Majano won the shot put while Rockdale’s Dustin Strelsky won the 100 and 400……..Laser measurement was utilized for the first time in the horizontal jumps at the state meet. A change was made to increase the accuracy and speed of measurements……..North Shore boys track and field coach Garrett Cross was named the National Federation Boys Track & Field Sectional Coach of the Year.

Travis fares well in triathlon Members of the Fort Bend Travis High School triathlon team recently competed in the Springs Back Triathlon held in Fulshear. The sprint course included a 400-meter swim across an open lake, a 15-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run. There was also an Olympic distance course that included a 1,500-meter swim, a 26-mile bike ride and a six-mile run. Sophomores Justin Rose and Gavin Horrocks placed second and third, respectively, in the male Olympic division. In the female sprint distance category, senior Ericka Wheatley won a gold medal and sophomore Taylor Davenport took home a silver medal. Junior Travis Cooper placed second in the male sprint distance division. All five athletes competed in the 15-19 age group division.

Lady Tigers win SWAC The Texas Southern University Lady Tigers erupted for a four-run sixth inning to capture their first SWAC softball tournament championship with a 6-3 win over defending champions Mississippi Valley State recently. “This is truly a great feeling,” said TSU head coach Worley Barker. “We’ve been playing our best softball the past couple of weeks. I’m extremely proud of this group of young ladies. This was an overall team effort that allowed us to accomplish our goals and win this championship.” The Lady Tigers finished the season with an overall record of 31-18. TSU captured its second overall title and will receive the SWAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Softball Tournament.

Cougars land b-baller Coach Kelvin Sampson continues to add talent to the University of Houston basketball roster. The Cougars recently signed former Purdue guard Ronnie Johnson (6-feet, 180 pounds), who competed during the last two seasons at Purdue. Under NCAA rules, he will sit out the 2014-15 season and will play as a junior in 2015-16 with two years of eligibility remaining. “Ronnie is a left-handed point guard who plays fast and is a talented open-court player. He pushes the ball, gets into the paint and fits well with our up-tempo style,” Sampson said. An Indianapolis native, Johnson was a two-time Associated Press AllState selection. Johnson started all but one game for the Boilermakers last season and finished as the team’s second-leading scorer with 10.8 points.

Summer Creek’s 4X400 meter relay team of (l. to r.) Aaron Sharp, Dominique Lang, Damian O’Neal and Sydney Washington brought home a gold medal.


DEFENDER | MAY 15 | 2014

Terry Crews Former NFL player finds Hollywood success Defender News Services

Since retiring from the NFL 17 years ago, Terry Crews has traded in his helmet and cleats to launch a successful acting career. He is currently a series regular on Fox Network’s award-winning comedy series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” alongside Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher. Crews will soon add game show host to his resume. He has been named the new host of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” and will take over for Cedric the Entertainer. Crews will join the show beginning with its 13th season in national syndication in fall of 2014. “I’m beyond thrilled to be joining ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ and the Disney-ABC family. ‘Millionaire’ is such a beloved franchise and I can’t wait to get started as the new host,” Crews said. “In addition to my film projects including ‘Blended,’ ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and now being a first time author, hosting has always been a dream of mine, and I couldn’t have asked for a greater opportunity.” In recent years, Crews has demonstrated his acting range as a husband and stepfather in “Are We There Yet?,” an

x 3.25”H

overworked dad in “Everybody Hates Chris,” a tough guy in the “Expendables” franchise, a loveable goofball in “White Chicks,” Will McAvoy’s

Terry Crews has found fame as an actor since leaving the NFL.


SOW_HoustonDefender2014paths.indd 1

9/12/13 8:12 PM

The Ryan White Planning Council Invites You to Meet Houston Public Leaders and Give Public Comment on…

Ryan White Part A, Part B & State Services Service Definitions for 2015 Also learn about the results of

2014 Houston Area HIV/AIDS Needs Assessment

Wednesday, May 27, 2014 at 7:00pm This televised Public Hearing will be held at the Houston City Hall Annex - City Council Chambers 900 Bagby Street, Public Level - Free Parking in Back To register for free Childcare or Transportation, you must call by 5pm on Friday, May 23rd: 713 572-3724 (TTY: 713-572-2813) Ryan White Planning Council Office of Support 2223 West Loop South, Suite 240; Houston, TX 77027

bodyguard in “The Newsroom,” and a pec-popping Old Spice pitchman. This year, Crews appeared in Tyler Perry’s film “The Single Moms Club,” and Ivan Reitman’s “Draft Day.” Next up is the comedy “Blended” with Adam Sandler, and he will reprise his role as Hale Caesar in the third installment of the “Expendables” franchise. Crews also penned his first book, “Manhood,” which will hit shelves on May 20. Crews was born in Flint, Mich. and attended Flint Southwestern Academy. He earned a scholarship to attend the Interlochen Center for the Arts and then Western Michigan University. While completing his studies as an art major, Crews was a key member of the WMU football team, earning all-conference honors as a defensive end. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1991 NFL draft. He carved out a career that lasted six seasons, including stints with the Rams, San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. Crews and his wife Rebecca have five children.

MAY 15 | 2014 | DEFENDER

For Event Coverage...visit

Honorees Pretta VanDible Stallworth, Constable Mae Walker and Councilmember Larry Green


Honorees Kim Roxie, Chris Noble, Janice Walker and Dr. Bonita Davis

Commissioner El Franco Lee and Louise Truitt

Winners Melvenia McNeil, Mary Nowlin and Louise Truitt

Myrtis and Dr. Dezra White

Sharon Murphy and Rev. William and Audrey Lawson


Honorees Loris Anderson and Ray Carrington and chapter president Janice Scimmons

Delsie Stoute, David Benson and Ruby DeLeon

Eileen Morris and Joe and Yolanda Sample

TOP LADIES OF DISTINCTION…..The Sugar members for a successful event. Congratulations!..... Valley chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. hosted PRECINCT ONE SPRING TEA…..On a beautiful their annual luncheon and fashion show honoring Wednesday afternoon, Harris County Precinct One distinguished leaders who impact our community. Commissioner El Franco Lee hosted his 2014 spring The honorees were Chris Noble, tea for senior citizens. This annual Loris Bradshaw Anderson, event is held at the Mickey Leland Join Yvette Chargois Ray Carrington III, Constable Memorial Park and was attended Events of the Week Mae Walker, Councilman Larry by over 200 seniors all dressed up More photos on V. Green, Kim Roxie, Pretta in their Sunday best. Awards were See Events on KTRK Ch.13’s Crossroads VanDible Stallworth, Dr. Bonita given for the most unique tea cup and with Melanie Lawson Sunday Morning @ 11 a.m. Davis, Janice Martin Walker most beautiful hats. This year’s most and State Rep. Sylvester Turner. unique tea cup winners are Melvenia The event was held at Brady’s Landing and attended McNeil, first place; Mary Nowlin, second place, by over 300 guests. Spotted at the event were Sheri and Louise Truitt, third place. The most beautiful Cole, Bobbie Moorehead, Jackie Carter, Shwanda hats winners are Henrietta Cage, Wilma Richard Warner, Lillie Lacy, Bettye Narcisse, Regina and Gloria Jolivet. The seniors are treated to lunch, Carrington and Marsha Penn. Jose Grinan with musical selections, a poetry reading, door prizes and KRIV TV served as master of ceremonies and the much more. Many thanks to the event planners Delsie fashions were by Le’Chic Boutique. Kudos to chapter Stoute, David Benson, Ruby DeLeon and the many president Janice Munks-Scimmons and all committee volunteers that make this day extra special for our

seniors. Continued success!.....OPENING NIGHT AT THE ENSEMBLE.….. “The Old Settler” written by John Henry Redwood and starring Roc Living, Detria Ward, Samantha West and Bebe Wilson opened at the Ensemble Theatre recently. “The Old Settler” is about people who have loved and lost love and who are desperately trying to hold on to or find love. It’s a beautiful story of two middle-aged sisters who share and apartment in Harlem in 1943. The sisters quarrel amiably, but they share a wounded history that becomes revealed as the tale unfolds. An earnest by unworldly young man travels up from the south to board with the sisters while he searches for his beloved lady friend. To find out what happens, you need to go see the play. It’s playing until June 1. Spotted at the play were Janelle Flanagan, Judge Bill Littlejohn, Myrits and Dr. Dezra White, Sharon Murphy, Yolanda and Joe Sample and Drucie Chase, to name a few. Great entertainment!..... From Chag’s Place to your place, have a blessed week! • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



DEFENDER | MAY 15 | 2014




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Houston Defender: May 15, 2014  

Houston's Leading Black Information Source.

Houston Defender: May 15, 2014  

Houston's Leading Black Information Source.