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Houston’s Leading Black Information Source

Volume 87 | Number 29 MAY 17, 2018 |FREE

NEWSTALK MAY 22 RUNOFF Blacks on the ballot

Gabrielle Union

BREAKSBlack colleges in h t i W OUT ‘BREAKING IN’

P2 NATIONAL DANIEL HAHN walks fine line as Black police chief




H.S. ZONE KYNNEDY FLANNEL shines at state track meet


Rodney Ellis

fights for minorities The Precinct One Harris County commissioner is going the extra mile to build the case for a program that will reflect the county’s demographics and give small and minority businesses a piece of the $3.3 billion-dollar pie.


Clint Capela


Rockets pivotal player The league is taking notice after Capela outshined other stars in the first two rounds of the playoffs. Capela is proving that he is a pivotal piece to Houston’s success as the team enters its showdown with Golden State in the Western Conference finals. H PAGE

9 • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years

Devin Williams, Destiny Medina and Bryan Taylor celebrate with the Defender Prom Experience.



DEFENDER | MAY 17 | 2018


Bowers joins Rice Board of Trustees Defender News Services

Business leader Donald Bowers has been elected to the Rice University Board of Trustees. He will serve a fouryear term, along with newcomers Bart Broadman and Holli Ladhani. “We’re excited to welcome Donald, Bart and Holli to the Rice University Board of Trustees,” said Board Chairman Bobby Tudor. “With expertise rangDonald Bowers ing from banking and investing to energy industry leadership and community engagement, they bring valuable perspectives as the board focuses on the university’s Vision for the Second Century, Second Decade (V2C2).”

“We are adding three talented people with a great diversity of experience and perspectives,” Rice President David Leebron said. “We look forward to working with Donald, Bart and Holli and tapping their expertise as we execute our new strategic plan for the university.” Bowers is vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Houston branch. He has a B.A. in managerial studies from Rice, where he lettered in football, and an MBA with a concentration in banking and finance from Sam Houston State University. He is a senior fellow of the 29th Class of American Leadership Forum Houston Gulf Coast Chapter.

localbriefs HISD HAS APPROVED A RECOMMENDATION from the Audit Committee. It calls for an external performance audit in order to ensure that HISD is utilizing scarce resources as efficiently and effectively as possible. In addition, it will help the board and administration in the decision making and budget for the 2019-2020 school year and beyond, to build public trust by exhibiting good stewardship of public dollars. The firm selected to perform the audit will be required to present a full draft to the board no later than April 2019. Trustees will have until June 2019 to approve a budget based on recommendations from the audit. The cost of the audit is not to exceed $2.5 million…….THE SUPREME COURT HAS ALLOWED ALL STATES to legalize sports gambling but a ban in Texas remains in place, and recent history suggests that state leaders will be in no rush to lift it. The high court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a 1992 federal law that barred states from legalizing sports gambling, violates the U.S. Constitution. The ruling made immediate waves, with some states already preparing to take up sports gambling legislation. Some estimates predict as many as 32 states will offer sports betting within five years. In some of those places, it could begin as soon as next month. In November 2015, Gov. Greg Abbott asked state lottery officials to stop collecting information about potential sports betting games, writing that he did not want the agency to consider any expansions…….METRO IS OFFERING A SUMMER OF FUN PASS, a unique fare card offering K-12 and college students free rides on all Metro light-rail, local bus, and Park & Ride service June 1 through Sept. 1. Apply online at……..THE HOUSTON CHILDREN’S CONCERT CHOIR is looking for children in grades 4 through 8 to audition for the critically acclaimed choir. Visit for more details.


Blacks on the ballot Defender News Services

Texans will go to the polls on Tuesday, May 22 to vote for Democratic and Republican candidates in the runoff that resulted from the March primary. Early voting ends Friday, May 18. “The primary run-off election is very important because it decides who will be running on the November 6th ballot,” said Ann Harris Bennett, Harris County tax assessor-collector & voter registrar. “Make a decision today to let your voice be heard and get out to the polls and vote.” Here is a rundown of African-American candidates on the ballot.

Tawana Walter-Cadien (D) U.S. Rep. District 10

Joel C. Clouser Sr. (D) Fort Bend County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

Gayle Young Mitchell (D) Harris County County Clerk

Fran Watson (D) State Sen. District 17

Letitia Plummer (D) U.S. Rep. District 22

Tanisha C. Green (D) Fort Bend County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

Roslyn “Rozzy” Shorter (D) Harris County District Clerk

Prince E. Bryant II (D) Harris County School Trustee Position 6, Precinct 1

Danyahel (Danny) Norris (D) Harris County School Trustee Position 6, Precinct 1

Cheryl Elliott Thornton (D) Harris County Justice of the Peace Precinct 7, Place 2

Sharon M. Burney (D) Harris County Justice of the Peace Precinct 7, Place 2

For more information visit or • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years

MAY 17 | 2018 | DEFENDER



DEFENDER | MAY 17 | 2018


Black police chiefs grapple with treatment of minorities Defender News Services

As high-profile police shootings continue to shake the country, a growing number of Black police leaders are grappling with a crisis in their officers’ treatment of young men of color. These police chiefs face high expectations, from their cities at large but particularly from minority residents within, as they work to attract a more diverse team of officers, curb deadly confrontations with the public they serve, and rebuild relationships with Black, Hispanic and other minority neighborhoods. In interviews with NBC News, Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn several Black police executives spoke about their personal and professional experience in confronting the problem of police disproportionately targeting minority communities, an issue with deep institutional roots. “Diversity is important and valuable, but it can’t be separated from the police culture, from the way we view what our job is, the way we view the community and the way we are viewed by the community,” Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said. “It’s a complicated problem that takes a nuanced solution.” Police departments have been struggling for decades with allegations of racism and issues of brutality and trust, and with becoming more Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross diverse. But protests in 2014 after two defended his officers, saying those involved in the recent StarBlack men, Eric Garner in New York bucks arrests “did absolutely nothing wrong.” and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., died in confrontations But after facing a torrent of criticism on social media, he with white officers, and riots a year later after another Black later apologized to the two men who were arrested, and for his man, Freddie Gray, died of wounds suffered in the custody of choice of words immediately after the incident, saying he had Baltimore police, touched off a renewed sense of urgency. inflamed the situation. Researchers have found that having significantly more Ross, 54, who became commissioner in 2016, stressed Black officers could ease tensions between police and Black communities, while others found that increasing the number of in a Facebook video after the incident that his officers were Black officers may drive down police killings of Black people, trained to prevent biased behavior and learn the history of “atrocities committed by policing around the world.” He also but only when Black representation on the force reached a promised to examine the Starbucks case to see “what we can “sufficiently high” critical mass of 35 percent or more. Nationally, the most recently available government report do better.” Hahn said he was troubled by the notion, expressed in from 2013 found that local police departments were 12 percent many Black neighborhoods, that “when you’re blue you’re not Black and 73 percent white. Black anymore.” That “erases” his upbringing and identity, he What diversity alone does not solve are the biases many said, and undermines the goals of increased diversity. officers bring to their work –perceptions of Black men as “There are bad Black officers, bad gay officers, bad more threatening, for example – which are heightened by a female officers,” Hahn said. “Just because you’re a certain race police culture that emphasizes strength and power. That drives or have a certain experience doesn’t automatically mean you racially disparate arrests and the use of force, researchers say. have the character to be a good police officer.” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross also

U.S.briefs POLICE IN ALPHARETTA, GA. SUSPENDED AN OFFICER and opened an internal investigation regarding a May 4 traffic stop where a 65-year-old grandmother was pulled from her car. The dash cam video shows officer James Legg approaching another officer as he attempted to pull Doris Campbell from the car after a traffic stop. “Hey, you’re not in charge! Shut the f— up and get out the car!” Legg yelled at Campbell, who said she was terrified as they attempted to arrest her. Legg was suspended as a result of the investigation. Campbell has hired an attorney, but has yet to decide if she wants to take legal action……..YALE UNIVERSITY POLICE OFFICERS WHO RESPONDED to a call about a Black graduate student who fell asleep in the common area of a campus residence admonished the white student who reported it. The officers interviewed both students and then told the complaining student that the other woman had every right to be there, according to Yale Vice President for Student Life Kimberly GoffCrews, who said she found the episode deeply troubling. The Black student, Lolade Siyonbola, told police she fell asleep while working on a paper. Siyonbola said she saw the statement from Goff-Crews as “a move in the right direction.”…….. CALIFORNIA CONGRESSWOMAN MAXINE WATEERS was honored by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Waters said that she was surprised by the recognition and “felt very, very blessed” to receive the honor. In a commentary about the award, “Black-ish” actor Yara Shahidi wrote that Waters, “a.k.a. Auntie Maxine, has made my generation proud to be nieces and nephews.” Waters said that for many young people, she is one of the few lawmakers willing to step outside of the box of a traditional, non-confrontational lawmaker to speak truth to power.

VOLUME 87 • NUMBER 29 MAY 17, 2018 Publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Ad/Client Relations Selma Dodson Tyler Strategic Alliance Manager

Clyde Jiles Art Director Tony Fernandez-Davila Videographer

Jodie B. Jiles

Editors ReShonda Billingsley Marilyn Marshall Contributing Writers Aswad Walker Sports Editors Max Edison Darrell K. Ardison Engagement Manager Margo Williams Hubbard

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). • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years

MAY 17 | 2018 | DEFENDER



Gabrielle Union

Breaks out with ‘Breaking In’

were like, “No, no! She got home, she took off her shoes.” But nooooo, we just don’t do that. The audience is In the year since “Get Out” gonna be like, “Ewwwwww.” was released, few other films Literally, that was some person’s have broken genre tradition by poor job where anytime you could putting Black people at the center see the bottom of my feet – because of a thriller. But “Breaking In,” they’d turn black – they’d wipe off the new movie that sees Gabrielle the bottom of my feet. It can’t distract Union as Shawn, a mother despeople. And then the second she has perate to save her children from a the bad guy tied up, I’m like, she group of burglars, needs to take his shoes. We can’t do a The 88-minute adrenaline whole movie with this because people puzzle leaves any pretense of a will be like, she’s still barefoot! She’s damsel in distress behind in favor running barefoot! Which was not my of a smart, resourceful heroine. favorite part There are no unbearable scenes Gabrielle Union fights to save her children in “Breaking In.” Defender: Why do you think where Shawn makes a nonsensiaudiences are resistant to seeing people of color, specifically Black cal decision or delivers an unrealistic monologue. women, in these kinds of roles? Union put her best foot forward not only as “Breaking In’s” Union: I think we’ve been given so few leading roles, period, protagonist, but executive producer alongside Will Packer. This is her fourth time playing the lead role behind the camera, proving that when and there’s just not a ton of diversity in those leading roles. We women of color tell their own stories the final product is always better. would be perfectly okay if my character was a white woman with a strong Black friend who gives amazing advice who she Defender: What drew you to this script? calls as she’s on her journey toward self-discovery and saving Gabrielle Union: Basically, the fact that she herself. But we don’t often get to see women of color saving saves herself. There’s no one that comes to her rescue but her. Through this strength and intelligence themselves, using their brains and wit. It’s just very, very rare. When you see my character is technically an angry Black and wit and cunning of her and her daughter, woman, but she’s not a stereotype. they figure out how to save themselves. And Defender: Did you feel prepared to undertake this from when the man shows up, when the dad shows a producer standpoint? up, he’s actually a liability. Union: As talent and also as a producer, I know what it Defender: In the movie, you’ve got takes for talent to come to set, feel good, feel grateful to be your plain T-shirt on. You’re barefoot. there and deliver the kind of performance that we need in a Your loved ones are hostages of moneytimely fashion. Most talent, at some point in their careers, has grubbing crooks. This is your Bruce functioned as a producer…On season three of “Being Mary Willis in “Die Hard.” Jane,” I was added as an executive producer. Later, I brought Union: I fought the shoeless thing. on Will Packer to executive produce with me on “BMJ.” This I lost that battle. I was like, “In the Black is actually our third project that we’ve produced together. I’m community we don’t do barefoot outside.” actually not new to this, I’m true to this. I’ve been at this for We really don’t do barefoot inside, it’s just a while. not a thing in our community. And they Defender News Services

what’sup “Empire” star TARAJI P. HENSON said she almost fainted when her boyfriend, former NFL cornerback KELVIN HAYDEN, asked her to marry him. Henson revealed her engagement via Instagram and shared a photo of her diamond ring. “He started with the Cartier love bracelet BUT that was my #Mothersday gift and then he dropped to his knee and I almost passed out!!!,” said Henson, who is 47. Hayden, 34, is a Chicago native. He earned a Super Bowl ring while playing for the Indianapolis Colts. He later played with the Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears……..Multitalented DONALD GLOVER continues to take the

entertainment industry by storm. His musical alter ego, CHILDISH GAMBINO, scored his first No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his new hit, “This Is America.” The song was bolstered by a viral music video and ended a 15-week reign by DRAKE’S latest singles, “Nice For What” and “God’s Plan.” “This is America” was the most streamed track of the week ending May 10 with 65.3 million U.S. streams. Glover recently hosted “Saturday Night Live” and his acclaimed FX series, “Atlanta,” has wrapped up its second season. At last year’s Primetime Emmy Awards, Glover won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for

“Atlanta” and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series.He also stars in the upcoming “Star Wars” film, “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” He plays Lando Calrissian, a role made famous by BILLY DEE WILLIAMS……..During a concert in Greensboro, N.C., R. KELLY promised fans he would continue to perform as long as they supported him. Outside the concert, demonstrators protested his presence amid allegations of mistreatment of women. “Sometimes, some storms ain’t gonna stop,” Kelly told the audience. “As long as my fans are calling for me, I’m gonna be on that stage, singing these songs.” • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years


DEFENDER | MAY 17 | 2018


HARRIS COUNTY CONTRA Commissioner Rodney Ellis advocates for minorities Defender Exclusive

Harris County spends billions of dollars on contracting and procurement services each year and is among one of the few major local governmental entities that does not have any type of small business or minority business program that ensures those firms have a fair shot at competing for those lucrative contracts and other opportunities. County Commissioner Rodney Ellis is going the extra mile to build the case for establishing a county Minority Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) program that will level the playing field for historically underutilized businesses by first funding a disparity study through Precinct One. The study will clearly identify inequitable contracting policies, other barriers to economic inclusion, and goals for establishing an effective MWBE program. In an exclusive one-on-one conversation, Commissioner Ellis explained the dynamics of what he is trying to achieve.


gender-conscious business program like a MWBE or similar initiative. A disparity study will clarify any inequities in the County’s contracting process and provide the basis to adopt a remedy, The ultimate goal including a robust MWBE of a successful MWBE program. On May 1, we program is to ensure that took the first step toward the County’s contract implementing a MWBE spending reflects our program when Commisregion’s diversity, which sioners Court approved an will help strengthen our interlocal agreement that local economy, mitigate allows the County to utilize inequality, foster job the City of Houston’s congrowth and help create County Commissioner Rodney Ellis tract for a disparity study. wealth in communities The vote allows the county to negotiwhere it’s needed most. ate with Houston’s disparity study conThe primary objective of the dispartractor to determine if the county wants ity study is to identify the ways in which to enter into a contract for the company’s specific barriers may exclude minority service. The county still maintains the businesses from accessing contracting opportunities and create unfair competition at right to consider all interested vendors by issuing a request for proposal to perform a the County, which is essential for develdisparity study, which – if approved – will oping an effective MWBE program that take about a year to complete. levels the playing field. I also plan to advocate for a small business program that – while race and Describe the process or gender neutral – can begin helping disadsteps that need to be vantaged small businesses better compete taken to accomplish the for contracting and procurement opportunigoals along with the timetaties at the county now. ble? A disparity study is the first step the county must take to establish a race- and What are your objectives or goals related to the County and minority businesses?


The Fred Hartman Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge in Harris County.


Harris C Projected S

What is a disparity study? Disparity studies compare the ASTRODOME regional availability of minority- and HARRIS COUNTY HOSPITAL DISTR women-owned businesses in the sectors where FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT government contracts and procures with the COUNTY ROADS actual level of participation of minority- and HARRIS COUNTY TOLL ROAD women-owned businesses in the government’s COUNTY CENTRAL contracting and procurement processes to help TECHNOLOGY SERVICES identify barriers and set goals for increasing meaningful MWBE participation. When disparities exist and are confirmed by a study, a gender- or race-conscious apOver the past several years, H proach is appropriate and allowable. A disparity study also lions of dollars to companies for c helps governments legally justify a MWBE program by ensurprocurement services provided to ing the program meets a compelling governmental interest—in Local government contracting this case, remedying past discrimination in contracting and source of economic opportunity fo procurement—and is narrowly tailored to further that interest. central role in helping these busine create jobs in their communities an Explain the county budget and what economy. potential opportunities are available for minority contractors? Why is it important With a $3.386 billion that draws from various funds, the minority business p County wields a tremendous amount of spending and purchasGiven its tremendous ing power. ing power, Harris County has an o


5 • Serving the H



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Other Harr is County o missioners fficials mad Court: e the follow ing comme Commissio nts at a rece n e r Steve Ra nt Comand you stro dack: “If th ngly believ is is somethin e in it, put y in your bud g you stron our money get. Do it… gly be out there an I will vote ally do you d do it…Yo lieve in, to allow you to that favor. u have mon spend your Commissio ey money. Ok n e r ay. I’ll actu Jack Cagle sioner sittin : “…That is g at this tab the responsi le in terms contractors bility of eac of assisting within our h commisyour office precincts. County En in the selec g ti in o n of those e er John Blo contractors unt: “…As met MWB o f E category With subs, either on th last court, 33 percent we’re look of our prim e state list o in g a t a b out 31 perc e County Ju r the City o e d f n g H t… e ouston list… E ” d Emmett right witho : “…Some ut being fo times gove rced to do w on what we rnme hat’s right. do, not on w And I agree ntal bodies do what’s hat we say. of improve that w And so you ment, but I kno know I’m to e should be judged that we wa tally open to nt everybod w during my just ove r any idea y in this co I think as th unty to be a a decade here it’s bee e statistics n real clear participant show witho city. And th in county b ut h at’s not a k usine nock on the aving a program, we a deep brea ’ve done be ss. And city, but I w th, and step tter tha o u ld ba there’s a w ay to impro ck, and let’s all look a urge everybody to sort n the t v w of e it hat we’re d we’ve unco oing and se take vered some . And if a few months e in fr pro om now, C g if there’s a pro ommission blem. Then blems or maybe peop er Ellis, le will have , let’s addre good job ri ss it. But I th come and to ght now.” ld us ink we’re a ctually doin g a pretty

can uniquely generate.

County Spending

$105 million RICT $70 million $120 million $700 million $200-400 million $35 million

Harris County has paid bilcontracting, consulting, and the County. g can serve as a significant or MWBEs and can play a esses grow their company, nd stimulate our region’s

t the county have a program? spending and purchasobligation to ensure that its

related policies are fair and inclusive. We also need to promote healthy economic growth that provides equitable benefits to all communities. In one of the most diverse regions in the country, minorities and women help drive the local economy as small business owners and entrepreneurs in key industries. But far too many minority and women business owners have encountered roadblocks on their path to opportunity, which has undermined fair competition and held them back from reaching their full economic potential. These roadblocks include reduced access to capital, loans and lines of credit; relatively limited social and professional networks; marketplace discrimination; and other well-documented barriers that a disparity study will help address. A minority business program is an inclusive economic growth strategy that helps remove these barriers by fostering fair competition, which will benefit all our communities. When minority-owned businesses unfairly lose out on contracting opportunities with the County, so do the communities, schools, and families that would have directly benefited from the types of job creation, social development, and community-driven economic growth that successful minority-owned businesses

Houston area for over 85 years


What’s your best guess on what percentage of the business goes to MWBEs? Using the available but limited data from Harris County, a vendor payment study was conducted by B2G Now at my request and it suggests that MWBEs are likely to be under-utilized at the County. For example, the preliminary analysis indicates that Harris County contracts with minority-owned and women-owned business enterprises less than about 10 percent of the time, but there is no way to know for sure without a disparity study. Also, looking at B2G Now initial findings, the County’s utilization rates of prime contractors for minority-owned and women-owned firms over a 5-year period are notably low, as are the dollars spent with minority-owned and women-owned businesses. And it’s also important to note that this analysis only examines prime contractor utilization—the county does not record any information for subcontractors, which is where many MWBEs struggle to compete. These are reasons why we clearly need a disparity study.


Why are you paying for the disparity study and not the county?

I cannot meet my commitment to ensuring equitable access to contracting opportunities without the data that a disparity study will provide. That’s why I’m willing to commit Precinct One funds to pay for the study. In fact, the law requires a disparity study before an entity can put a MWBE program in place. My colleagues believe that the current process is adequate. I believe there is always room for improvement and that we should make economic policy decisions based on sound data and evidence. However, given the lack of comprehensive data collection, Harris County cannot claim with any certainty that our current contracting and procurement procedures are fair or inclusive nor can we make fully informed policy decisions on this matter without a disparity study. Likewise, the B2G Now analysis does not definitively prove exclusion or discrimination, but it does provide strong indicators that some disparities exist and we need to do something about it. A disparity study is the best way to clarify these questions and develop effective and inclusive economic policies like a MWBE program.


DEFENDER | MAY 17 | 2018

Three Black doctors detail unique journey would pick him up.” Semien had to shed a street reputation that One used to deal drugs on included dealing drugs and the streets of New Orleans. an anger problem that got Another grew up in Chihim in trouble. He dropped cago with two drug-addicted out of Xavier at one point, parents. A third survived the joined the military, retough streets of New York enrolled, dropped out again, and Washington, D.C., where and finally returned and met he once stared down the barJohnson and Madhere. rel of a gun. Madhere describes All three young Black in the book the troubled men became board-certified Brooklyn neighborhood doctors. where his mother lived after In an interview with divorcing his father. He rethe Associated Press, Pierre calls one day when a young Johnson, Maxime Madhere Black man was shot in front and Joe Semien Jr. said they of her apartment building. knew the odds were stacked “This was my first enagainst them when they counter with death. The imentered Xavier University of age of this man dead on the Louisiana in 1998 with hopes pavement, with the police of becoming doctors. and paramedics swarming Black men make up a around him, was immediatesmall percentage of doctors ly burned into my 7-yearin America, and they knew old mind. It remains there to getting through college and this day,” he wrote. medical school wouldn’t be Johnson writes of being easy. 3 when he and his mother Their early lives, college frantically ran from his struggles, and victories are father “who was high out of chronicled in “Pulse of Persehis mind.” verance: Three Black Doctors Both parents struggled on Their Journey to Success.” with addiction, and Johnson They said they wrote the Drs. Joseph Semien Jr., Pierre Johnson and Maxime Madhere wrote a book about succeeding against the odds. wrote: “I learned as a young book to show African-Amerboy that one of my purposes ican boys that athletes and “We started a conversation about how things in life was to help others who could not help entertainers aren’t the only examples of Black were going and the struggles we were going themselves.” achievement and success. through in class and ultimately decided we The three doctors decided to tell their stories Madhere, an anesthesiologist in Baton needed to band together…and we saw that same in one project because they’d already proven Rouge, said they’re fortunate and have a responenergy in Joe,” Johnson said. they could work together. Johnson said he plans sibility to share their experiences with the next “We held each other accountable,” Semien to push his friends to write a follow-up. generation. recalled. “When one was falling short, the other “Young boys need to know it’s not a game in these streets. They need to know that we are completely marginalized as people of color when we mess up. They also need to know you don’t have to rap or shoot a ball to get out of their circumstances,” said Madhere. Semien, Johnson and Madhere each set a goal early on to become a doctor. Semien, an obstetrician/gynecologist from New Orleans who practices in Lake Charles, describes in the book how he became intrigued by a sixthgrade anatomy class. Madhere discovered his love for medicine after volunteering at a hospital. Johnson said he “just knew” he wanted to heal people after dealing with his parents. Getting there, however, wasn’t easy. Four percent of doctors in the U.S. are AfricanAmerican, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The men chose Xavier, knowing that the nation’s only historically Black Catholic institution consistently places Black students in medical school. Johnson, an obstetrician/gynecologist working in Chicago, writes about Xavier’s nurturing environment, which helped spark the trio’s friendship. Johnson said he often saw Madhere in class and around campus but noticed that he, too, was “always in the library.” Associated Press

MAY 17 | 2018 | DEFENDER


As Rockets enter finals, Capela key player Associated Press

“What he does has been unbelievable,” D’Antoni said. “And he’ll be overlooked. They’ll say he’s a role player and it’s not true.” The Rockets insist that their high-powered,

Houston’s Clint Capela certainly isn’t a household name and doesn’t get nearly the attention other centers like Ruby Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns receive. But after he outshined those stars the first two rounds of the playoffs, the league is taking notice that Capela is one of the pivotal pieces to Houston’s success as the team goes against Golden State in the Western Conference finals. “What he does is as good or better than anybody in the league without a doubt,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. Capela leads the NBA this postseason in blocks (2.8 a game) and offensive rebounds (4.1 per contest). He’s fourth with 12.2 rebounds a game overall and his 14.4 point average in the playoffs ranks third on the Rockets behind James Harden and Chris Paul. This came after a regular season Center Clint Capela is a pivotal player for the Houston Rockets. where the fourth-year player posted three-point centered offense wouldn’t work the way career highs in virtually every statistical category. it does without the 6-foot-10 Capela. His work as He averaged 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 the finisher in Houston’s pick and roll has proven blocks in helping the Rockets to 65 wins and their valuable in 3:53 the playoffs so far. first No.FRO-17031-HoustonDefender-PeopleBusiness-9p75x6p5.pdf 1 seed in franchise history. 1 8/21/17 PM

His prowess in that area was on full display in Houston’s Game 5 win that eliminated the Timberwolves in the first round. Harden has often said this season that Capela is the player that makes everything else work for the Rockets and said that he’s undoubtedly developed into one of the league’s best centers. To that end Capela is constantly trying to learn and add new wrinkles to his game. He was always picking the brain of eight-time All-Star Dwight Howard when he backed him up in his first two NBA seasons and he’s developed a close relationship with former Rockets star and Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon. Capela can often be seen working with and talking to Olajuwon at practice and Capela said Olajuwon has been impressed with the 23-year-old’s progress. “He just said I was great and playing with confidence and energy and to keep it up,” Capela said. Capela also appreciates a particular skill of another former Rocket. There are times after Capela blocks a shot that he wags one of his long fingers in the air as Dikembe Mutombo often did during his more than decade-long career in the NBA. “Just having fun and also sending a message that it’s still my paint,” Capela said with a laugh.


DEFENDER | MAY 17 | 2018


Texans rookies report for first day at mini-camp By MAX EDISON Defender

The first day at work on a new job can be an awkward experience. “Am I parking in the right spot?” “How will I get along with my new co-workers?” “Where are the restrooms?” “What time is lunch?” Those are just a few of the questions that confound new employees on their first day, and it’s no different for Texans recent draft picks and first-year free agents. The Texans recently held their two-day rookie minicamp, which is essentially a welcome-to-the-NFL orientation for first-year players. Head coach Bill O’Brien discussed the ABCs of what goes on in rookie mini-camp. “We talk to them,” O’Brien said. “First of all, I don’t believe there are any weak NFL teams. I think every week is a dogfight in this league, and I have said that to you guys now going on five years. It is a brutal league when it comes to the competiSafety Justin Reid tion and the coaching and the playing on both sides of the ball. “One of the things that you have to educate rookies on is how fast can they get used to the challenges that this league presents, whether it’s in the weight room or training room and taking care of their bodies. In the meeting room [they must be able] to take that information and play at a high level at their positions out on the field,” he said. “I think that is a big thing that you try to educate them on – show them tape on it, walk through it and then obviously, do it. The guys that really meet that challenge the fastest are usually the guys that have the most success.” Whether rookies come from major universities or played in smaller conferences, the largest adjustment first-year players have to make is the mental requirements of the game. “The biggest jump initially is the mental side of it, the ability to process information and take

Head coach Bill O’Brien

that information out to the practice field,” O’Brien said. “This weekend is a weekend where we give them a lot of information, so they have to figure out how to take notes on certain things and listen to other things.” The Texans top pick (68th overall), safety Justin Reid, outlined his rookie mini-camp experience and what he hoped to accomplish. “This weekend is just getting with the guys, getting with my coach [Anthony Midget], learning as much as I can, soaking up as much information as I can and really getting the playbook and getting involved with the team,” Reid said. “I want to impress them with the energy that I bring. I want to impress them with my due diligence with how hard I’ve been reviewing the playbook, how much I know, how I can learn quickly and how I can provide an impact early on.”

Receiver Keke Coutee

For fourth-round selection (103rd overall) Texas Tech receiver Keke Coutee, who operated in a spread offense at Lubbock, the Texans offensive playbook is a brand new world. “The system is completely different, the roster completely different,” Coutee said. “This is like a new world to me. I’m taking it all in and just trying to process it all. It’s different at every level, so it’s a little difficult right now. I’m still learning.” Time will tell how many players from the group actually make the 53-man roster or the practice squad. Nevertheless they’ll always have their mini-camp experience. Welcome to the National Football League. • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years Houston kids shine at state track meet By DARRELL K. ARDISON Defender

AUSTIN – Houston-area athletes hauled in gold medals at the 2018 UIL state high school track and field meet faster than the Houston Rockets drain three-pointers. Alvin’s Kynnedy Flannel and Kesean Carter of The Woodlands repeated as state champions in their respective events. Flannel won the gold medal for the second year in a row in the girls’ Class 6A 100-meter dash in a time of 11.35 seconds to hold off Kailei Collins of Cypress Ranch (11.45). Kynnedy Flannel Kesean Carter The senior University of Texas commit shrugged off the disappointment of not being able to defend her title in the 6A girls’ long jump due to a tender ankle and established a 6A state meet record in the girls’ 200-meter dash with a time of 22.95 seconds. Flannel’s mark broke a 37-yearold record (23.04) set by La Shon Nedd of Dallas Skyline in 1981. “I’m known for running the curve slow and my coach has been on me all year to go all out through the entire race,” said Flannel, the lone state meet qualifier from Alvin High School, who settled for two gold medals instead of the three she won DeAngelo Alexander last year. Jake Lanier “I finally ran the curve fast The Woodlands accumulated 68 points, 19 more than runnertonight and that’s how I ended up with 22 seconds,” Flannel said. up Converse Judson (49). Klein Collins and Seven Lakes tied for “It’s a mental thing with me. I try not to watch everybody else and third place (38) in the boys’ 6A team standings. concentrate only on my own personal goals.” Perhaps the highlight of the meet was the Highlanders’ Carter, a senior going to Texas 800-meter relay unit of Carter, Ethan Tech to play football, completed a Bonner, Jake Lanier and DeAngelo remarkable two-year run in track and Alexander that set a national record with field for the two-time boys’ state team a time of one minute, 23.25 seconds. Find out how Fort Bend champion Highlanders. “We just wanted to come out here Marshall boys fared at meet “I really didn’t like track my and put on a show,” said Carter, who ran sophomore year and just showed up the anchor leg. for practice,” Carter said. “My coach “It’s even sweeter now that we’ve [Juris Green] put it in my head last year that I could be among the become the first school to sweep team cross country and track titles best in the state and that’s when I caught on.” two years in a row,” said Alexander, a transfer from Port Arthur Carter repeated as boys’ Class 6A 100-meter dash champion Memorial, who earlier moved to Texas from Ohio. with a time of 10.22 seconds to lead a Houston area sweep in the “I like making this a habit,” Highlanders head coach Green event. Jacolby Shelton of Pearland Dawson was the silver medalist said. It’s got a nice feel to it. We got points in events we weren’t (10.38) and Katy’s Joshua Oglesby (10.42) took home the bronze expected to score in so it was really a team effort.” medal.

MAY 17 | 2018 | DEFENDER


sportsbriefs PVAMU wins softball title For the first time in 20 years the Lady Panthers are the “Queens of the diamond” in SWAC softball, winning the conference tournament at the Barbara Williams Softball Complex in Montgomery, Ala. The Lady Panthers did it the hard way, winning six consecutive elimination games in three days, including three in one day. The championship is the second in program history and the first since 1998. PVAMU beat Alabama State 5-3 in championship game one before winning 4-3 in the winner-take-all finale to bring home the title. Laurisa Hernandez earned SWAC Tournament MVP honors after going 10-for21 at the plate with 10 RBI. She was joined on the all-tournament team by Crystal Castillo, Destinee Williams, and Kyler Ward-Flowers. The PVAMU women will face Texas A&M in the NCAA Regional on May 18 in College Station.

TSU’s Dukes named MVP Texas Southern University’s Kamren Dukes was voted the SWAC Player and Hitter of the Year, as the league announced its 2018 baseball postseason honors. The honors were voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Dukes, a Pearland native, led the SWAC in batting average this season with .394, runs scored (57) and hits (84). The senior also racked up 40 RBI, which ranked eighth. His 84 hits ranks third nationally. In conference play, Dukes was fourth in batting average (.448), scored 26 runs and had 32 RBI to help lead the Tigers to a West Division Title. Dukes also has an active streak of 34 straight games with a hit.

AT&T Stadium hosts games The University Interscholastic League (UIL) announced that AT&T Stadium in Arlington will host the high school football state championship games following the 2018 and 2019 seasons. All 12 title games, including the 11-man and six-man football championship games, will be decided during a four-day span (Dec. 1922). “We are pleased to bring the UIL football state championships back to AT&T Stadium for another two years,” said UIL executive director Charles Breithaupt. “The UIL is excited to showcase the best high school football in Texas during this unique championship experience.” AT&T Stadium hosted all 11-man title games from 2011-2014 and again for the past two years (2016-2017). The six-man championship games were moved to AT&T Stadium for the past two years (2016-17). NRG Stadium hosted the 2015 games due to a conflict with the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys.

HTA offers scholarships The Houston Tennis Association (HTA) is accepting applications for college scholarships to be granted to graduating seniors in the greater Houston area. The scholarships will range from $1,000 to $2,500 and will be awarded to high school students who have participated in high school varsity tennis and/or USTA Texas tournaments or programs. Students attending college on a tennis scholarship are not eligible. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on financial need, academic record, a personal letter explaining why the student deserves the scholarship, extracurricular and volunteer activities and two letters of recommendation. Call 281-580-8313 for information or visit for an application. The deadline to apply is May 25. • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years


DEFENDER | MAY 17 | 2018

Happening in Houston For event coverage email:


MAXINE WATERS KEYNOTES TMSL HOODING CEREMONY….. winning application and received a dozen roses from Sonny Messiah Jiles. The limo TSU’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law had the pleasure of welcoming California was provided by Bryan Taylor and Taylor Elite Transportation. Ibiza’s executive Congresswoman Maxine Waters as its 2018 Hooding Ceremony keynote speaker. chef Charles Clark and Corporate Sales/Special Events director Cecilia Edwards With 40 years of public service, Waters (Auntie Maxine) is considered one of the reserved candlelight seating and a personalized menu for Devin and Destiny. From most esteemed women in U.S. politics and a no-nonsense champion of justice. As there, it was off to the prom at the Corinthian………ATTUCKS ENGLAND’S a prelude to the official TSU Commencement, the TMSL Hooding Ceremony has INFLUENCEHER……..InfluenceHER, a unique evening presented by small become an honored and respected tradition. Attendees included business consulting firm Attucks England and its partners Asheli U.S .Reps Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green, TMSL Interim Atkins, Warren Luckett and Cornell England, celebrated Defender TOP EVENTS and pampered women of various generations. The event hosted Dean Gary Bledsoe, HISD Trustee Jolanda Jones, Cherrise More photos on Traylor, State Senators Sylvia Garcia and Borris Miles, by Verizon, represented by Shomari Williams, benefited Ambassador Sidney Williams, Alberta Bledsoe, Ashley Scott, Reagan Flowers’ CSTEM program. The food was provided Kathy Adibe, Shawnta Adams, Brian King, Marina Banks by Chef Evelyn Garcia, former winner of Food Network’s and many others.………DEFENDER EXPERIENCE: PROM EDITION…….. “Chopped.” Spirits were provided by Asina Wines owner/winemaker Ntisiki Inaugural winner of the Defender Experience: Prom Edition, Devin Williams, along Biyela. Photographer Taren of Pure Conceptions captured the images of guests Tia with his date, Destiny Medina, enjoyed star treatment including SUV limo service, Monteca, Kristal Palmer Krystal Nelson, Toni Mooney Smith, Gaynell Drexler, photo & video session, first-class dining and a red carpet stroll upon arriving at the Laquita Passmore, Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, Patricia Luckett, Gayla Thomas Alief Taylor High School prom. Eleanor Williams, Devin’s mother, completed the and more.

Ashley Scott, Shawnta Adams, Kathy Adibe

Devin Williams, Destiny Medina, Bryan Taylor

Warren Luckett, Asheli Atkins, Cornell England

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Devin Williams, Eleanor Williams

Toni Mooney Smith, Shomari Williams

Tamara Foster, Freddie Gabriel

Devin Williams, Chef Charles Clark, Cecilia Edwards, Destiny Medina

Chef Evelyn Garcia, Ntisiki Biyela • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years

Houston Defender: May 17, 2018  

Houston Defender e-Edition. Houston's Leading Black Information Source.

Houston Defender: May 17, 2018  

Houston Defender e-Edition. Houston's Leading Black Information Source.