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Local youth get ready for annual Street Olympics P15

Houston’s Leading Black Information Source

Volume 81 | Number 33 WEEK OF JUNE 14, 2012 | FREE


Juneteenth edition


New Black slavery

willing to compromise



follows teenage dream

H Page 8

P13 SPORTS BRADIE JAMES likes role with Texans


Creflo Dollar tells different story Atlanta Pastor Creflo Dollar Jr. is one of America’s most recognizable ministers. He’s currently in the spotlight for a different reason, and his family members are giving conflicting stories. Dollar says one thing and his 15-year-old daughter says another, but he believes a certain scripture says it all. H Page


Joe Sample makes special return Acclaimed musician and composer Joe Sample is one of Houston’s most famous natives. Sample, a member of the legendary Jazz Crusaders, remembers his roots. Local fans can hear him perform for free at an upcoming event. Later, Sample makes a special return to Texas Southern University for a special reason. H Page 3 • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


First Lady Doris and Pastor Joe Ratliff at Brentwood luncheon





Stay Connected! Experience the Defender on the world wide web.

Top diseases killing Black women What are the top diseases killing Black women and how do you reduce your risks? At

What to do this weekend Looking for something to do this weekend? The Defender has a list of things to do in the Houston area at

Joe performs at the Arena Theatre Saturday, June 16, at 8 p.m. Lyfe Jennings also appears.

Black coach shortage?


Do you have trouble forgiving people who’ve mistreated you? That’s why Bishop T.D. Jakes offers us this informative and empowering invitation to Let It Go. In this book, Jakes compassionately explores the importance of forgiveness as a spiritual truth universal to all Christians. At

Why can’t colleges find Black coaches? The story at

See more on: defendernetwork T:9.75”




PLAY RESPONSIBLY. Must be 18 or older to purchase a ticket. The Texas Lottery supports Texas education. © 2012 Texas Lottery Commission. All rights reserved.


newstalk Metro seeks public input at meeting


Defender News Services

etro is asking for the public’s input on the agency’s General Mobility Program (GMP) and upcoming referendum at a special board meeting. It takes place Monday, June 18, from 6-9 p.m. at 1900 Main, second floor board room. The GMP, which is set to expire in 2014, was established to enhance regional mobility and ease traf-

fic congestion.The program provides funding for the construction and maintenance of streets and roadway, bridges and grade separations, traffic-control signals, sidewalks and hike & bike trails, streetlights, drainage improvements and landscaping. “It’s important for people to attend the meeting and share their thoughts about the General Mobility Program as the Metro board tries to decide what should be on the ballot,” said board chairman Gilbert Garcia.


“We want to make sure we hear from all parties and hopefully reach a compromise that will meet the community’s every growing needs for buses, rail and other transit options and still assist the City of Houston, Harris County and the multi-city members in funding their mobility projects,” Garcia said. Those who wish to speak can register the day of the meeting at sign-in tables located on the first floor. Each public speaker will be limited to three minutes. For more information visit

Texas Black Expo returns for four days


Defender News Services

he ninth annual Texas Black Expo returns to Houston with a myriad of activities for African Americans of all ages. As part of its Juneteenth summer celebration, events include a business forum, legislative luncheon, women’s panel discussion, college fair

Co-Pastor Mia Wright

Expo president Jerome Love said the event is committed to strengthening businesses, inspiring youth and building better lives. “As we head into our 10-year celebration we looking forward to doing our part to improve the quality of life in the communities in which we all live,” he said. Love said the Expo organization helps businesses year-round with a monthly lunchand-learn. “At the twoand outdoor concert. day Expo itself, it’s a There are also health phenomenal opportunity screenings, hair shows, for businesses to vendors and giveaways. promote their products The Expo takes place and services to the Thursday, June 14 through community-at-large. Sunday, June 17 at three “A lot of times different venues in people want to support the downtown area. Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson minority businesses but Thursday evening they don’t know that they exist,” Love said. and Friday daytime events are at the “So it’s an affordable avenue and platform Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar. A for them to promote the business to 15,000 Friday evening concert is at Discovery to 20,000 people during one weekend.” Green at 1500 McKinney, and This year, the Expo features a Texas Saturday and Sunday events are at the Legislative Black Caucus luncheon at noon George R. Brown Convention Center. Friday. Magic 102’s Kandi Eastman

“That’s very significant,” Love said. “TLBC is an esteemed institution and joining forces with them adds further credibility to who we are and what we are doing. It also helps us in our goal of building a statewide coalition of businesses that are supporting one another.”

Expo events include: • An Eco-Enterprise Summit and Small Business Forum from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.Friday at the Four Seasons • A concert with George Clinton, PFunk, Whodini and ConFunkShun from 6-10 p.m. Friday at Discovery Green • An HBCU College Fair and “Handle Ya’ Business” Youth Forum from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the George R. Brown • A Diva Dialogue Celebrity Women’s Forum from 1:30-3 p.m. Saturday at the George R. Brown moderated by Majic 102’s Kandi Eastman and featuring actress Wendy Raquel Robinson and two local co-pastors, Mia Wright and Saundra Montgomery • A health and wellness pavilion open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday at the George R. Brown For a complete schedule, ticket prices and other information visit

localbriefs SOUTHEAST HOUSTON RESIDENTS ARE MOURNING the loss of 63-year-old Theresa Landry, who was brutally beaten to death on June 11. Landry’s neighbors called her “Momma Theresa,” and describe her as kind, gentle and generous. Her lifeless body was found near her home at 5400 Chennault near MLK Blvd. A resident heard a woman crying for help around 1:40 a.m. The resident then looked outside and saw Landry lying on the sidewalk covered in blood. “I don’t know why somebody would do this to my Mom,” said Charise Landry. She said her mother could have been walking to a nearby store when she was attacked. Houston police have no

motive or suspects in the case..……..THE PORT OF HOUSTON AUTHORITY COMMISSION could be headed for a shake-up. There are reports that Port Chairman Jim Edmonds, whose term will soon expire, might not be reappointed for two more years. Among those mentioned as possible replacements are lawyer and former mayoral candidate Gene Locke, and current port commissioners Elyse Lanier and Janiece Longoria. The port chairman is jointly appointed by the county and city……..LOCAL YOUTHS ARE FINDING SUMMER JOBS thanks to a $50,000 grant to the Houston Parks & Recreation Department from Bank of America’s Summer

Youth Employment Initiative. The initiative is a partnership with city youth programs in coordination with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to provide teens with jobs at nonprofits and businesses in 18 communities across the country. Young people from low-income households in the Houston area will work as pool entrance attendants. “Teens have been disproportionally affected by the recession with unemployment rates at an all-time high,” said Bank of America Houston Region President Kim Ruth.  “Summer jobs provide more than just a paycheck to young people – they build leadership, direct work experience and help build additional skills…” • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



LegaL notice

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Economic and Property Damages Settlement Providing Money to Individuals and Businesses If you have economic loss or property damage because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, you could get money from a class action settlement with BP Exploration & Production Inc. and BP America Production Company (“BP”). Go to for more information, including information on how to file a claim.

Who is included in the economic & ProPerty damages settlement? The Economic and Property Damages (“E&PD”) Settlement Class includes people, businesses, and other entities in the states of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, and certain counties in Texas and Florida, that were harmed by the oil spill. The website has detailed descriptions and maps to help you determine whether a geographic location may be included in the E&PD Settlement. Additionally, you can call 1-866-992-6174 or e-mail questions@ to find out if a geographic location is included.

What does the economic & ProPerty damages settlement Provide? The E&PD Settlement makes payments for the following types of claims: (1) Seafood Compensation, (2) Economic Damage, (3) Loss of Subsistence, (4) Vessel Physical Damage, (5) Vessels of Opportunity Charter Payment, (6) Coastal Real Property Damage, (7) Wetlands Real Property Damage, and (8) Real Property Sales Damage. There is no limit on the total dollar amount of the E&PD Settlement; all qualified claims will be paid.

hoW to get Benefits from the economic & ProPerty damages settlement You need to submit a Claim Form to request a payment. You can get a copy of the various Claim Forms by visiting the website or by calling 1-866-992-6174. Claims can be submitted online or by mail. If you have

questions about how to file your claim, you should call the toll-free number for assistance. The deadline to submit most E&PD claims will be April 22, 2014 or six months after the E&PD Settlement becomes effective (that is, after the Court grants “final approval” and any appeals are resolved), whichever is later. There will be an earlier deadline to submit E&PD Seafood Compensation claims. The earlier deadline to submit Seafood Compensation claims will be 30 days after final approval of the Settlement by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (regardless of appeals). Actual claim filing deadlines will be posted on the website as they become available. Valid claims will be paid as they are approved, beginning shortly after the Court-Supervised Settlement Program commences. It is highly recommended that E&PD Settlement Class Members complete and submit their claim forms promptly. Please read the Medical Benefits Settlement notice because you may also be eligible for benefits from that settlement.

your other oPtions If you do not want to be legally bound by the E&PD Settlement, you must Opt Out or exclude yourself by October 1, 2012 or you won’t be able to sue BP over certain economic and property damage claims. If you stay in the E&PD Settlement, you may object to it by August 31, 2012. The Detailed Notice explains how to exclude yourself or object. The Court will hold a hearing on November 8, 2012 to consider whether to approve the E&PD Settlement. You or your own lawyer may ask to appear and speak at the hearing at your own cost. The Court will also consider Class Counsel fees, costs, and expenses including an interim payment of $75 million and additional awards equal to 6% of class claims and benefits paid. Class Counsel fees, costs and expenses under the Economic and Property Damages Settlement Agreement and the Medical Benefits Settlement Agreement jointly cannot exceed $600 million. Class members’ payments will not be reduced if the Court approves the payment of Class Counsel fees, costs, and expenses because BP will separately pay these attorney fees, costs, and expenses.

1-866-992-6174 | WEEK OF JUNE 14 | 2011 | DEFENDER LegaL notice

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Medical Benefits Settlement Providing Benefits to Clean-Up Workers and Certain Gulf Coast Residents If you have a medical claim related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, you could get benefits from a class action settlement with BP Exploration & Production Inc. and BP America Production Company (“BP”). Go to for more information, including information on how to file a claim. Who

included in the medical Benefits settlement? is

The Medical Class includes (1) clean-up workers and (2) certain people who resided in specific geographic areas in coastal and wetlands areas along the Gulf Coast during specific periods in 2010. The website DeepwaterHorizonSettlements. com has detailed descriptions and maps to help you determine whether a geographic location may be included in one of these zones. Additionally, you can call 1-866-992-6174 or e-mail to find out if a geographic location is included. What

medical Benefits settlement Provide? does the

The benefits of the Medical Benefits Settlement include: (1) payments to qualifying people for certain acute (short-term) and chronic (ongoing) medical conditions occurring after exposure to oil or chemical dispersants; (2) provision of periodic medical examinations to qualifying people; and (3) creation of a Gulf Region Health Outreach Program, consisting of projects to strengthen the healthcare system. Benefits (1) and (2) will be provided only after the Court grants final approval and any appeals are resolved. hoW to get Benefits from the medical Benefits settlement

You need to submit a Claim Form to request benefits. You can get a copy of the Claim Form by visiting the website or by calling 1-866-9926174. Claims can be submitted by mail. If you

have questions about how to file your claim, you should call the toll-free number for assistance. The deadline for filing a Claim Form is one year after the Medical Benefits Settlement becomes effective (that is, after the Court grants “final approval” and any appeals are resolved). The exact date of the claim filing deadline will be posted on the website. It is highly recommended that Medical Class Members complete and submit their claim forms promptly. Please read the Economic and Property Damages Settlement notice because you may also be eligible for a payment from that settlement. your other oPtions

If you do not want to be legally bound by the Medical Benefits Settlement, you must Opt Out or exclude yourself by October 1, 2012 or you won’t be able to sue BP over certain medical claims. If you stay in the Medical Benefits Settlement, you may object to it by August 31, 2012. The Detailed Notice explains how to exclude yourself or object. The Court will hold a hearing on November 8, 2012 to consider whether to approve the Medical Benefits Settlement. You or your own lawyer may ask to appear and speak at the hearing at your own cost. Class Counsel will ask the Court to consider an award of fees, costs, and expenses of 6% of the value of the benefits actually provided under the Medical Benefits Settlement Agreement. Class Counsel fees, costs, and expenses under the Medical Benefits Settlement Agreement and the Economic and Property Damages Settlement Agreement jointly cannot exceed $600 million. Class members’ payments will not be reduced if the Court approves the payment of Class Counsel fees, costs, and expenses because BP will separately pay these attorney fees, costs, and expenses.






Holder will compromise

but won’t resign


Defender News Services

hreatened by a contempt citation, Attorney General Eric Holder rejected a GOP call to resign during a recent heated Senate hearing. Holder also said he is willing to compromise on demands that he hand over more documents concerning the flawed Fast and Furious gun operation. During Holder’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican Texas Senator John Cornyn called on him to resign. Cornyn told Holder he had “defied the lawful and legitimate oversight responsibilities” of Congress. “I am prepared to make compromises with regard to the documents that can be made available,” Holder said. “I want to make it very clear that I am offering – I myself – to sit down...and come up with ways, creative ways, in which to make this material available. But I’ve got to have

a willing partner. I’ve extended my hand, and I’m waiting to hear back,” he said. The Justice Department has already produced 7,600 pages of documents to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That committee, which is looking into the gun-smuggling probe,

Attorney General Eric Holder

announced it would consider holding Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to produce certain documents it is seeking, and scheduled a contempt vote for June 20. Holder is the first African American to hold the attorney general position. The proposed action would be only the fourth time in 30 years that Congress has held a vote to hold an executive branch member in contempt. Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the committee, said Holder has failed to meet his legal obligations by not providing information requested in a subpoena issued as part of the committee’s investigation. The Fast and Furious program was an ATF sting operation designed to expose gun traffickers, but instead supplied drug cartels with thousands of weapons. Two of the guns connected to the operation were found at a crime scene in Phoenix where a U.S. border protection agent was killed in 2010.

Dollar, daughter tell different stories Defender News Services

Nationally-known Atlanta Pastor Creflo Dollar Jr. and his 15-year-old daughter have given conflicting stories about what happened prior to his arrest. Dollar was taken into custody on June 8 after his daughter said he punched and choked her during an argument over a party. Dollar’s daughter – whose name was not released because she is a minor –told an emergency dispatcher that she felt “threatened” in the house and “it was not the first time it’s happened,” according to an audio recording of the 911 call. Her televangelist father, however, told members of his World Changers Church International that the allegations were false and he should never have been arrested.

“I want you to hear it personally from me,” he said from the pulpit. “All is well in the Dollar household. A family conversation with our youngest daughter got emotional. Things escalated from there.” He added that abrasions seen on his daughter’s neck were remnants from a case of eczema. Dollar’s daughter called 911 about 1 a.m. and said she and her father ar-

Pastor Creflo Dollar Jr.

gued because he wouldn’t let her attend a party. His 19-year-old daughter, who witnessed the incident, told police her younger sister was telling the truth. Sheriff’s deputies arrested Dollar and charged him with simple battery, family violence and cruelty to children. He was released on $5,000 bond. He said the incident was part of the devil’s plan to “discredit” his ministry. “Malicious witnesses testify against me,” he said, quoting Psalm 35. “They accuse me of crimes I know nothing about …May those who rejoice in my discomfort be humiliated and disgraced.” Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of his 30,000-member church. It has satellite churches across the country, including in Houston and Dallas. He co-pastors the church with his wife, Taffi. They have five children.

U.S.briefs GEORGE ZIMMERMAN’S WIFE was arrested for allegedly lying at his bond hearing about the couple’s finances. Shellie Zimmerman, 25, paid her $1,000 bail and was released. Her arraignment is scheduled for July 31. During her husband’s bond hearing in April, she said the couple did not have financial means to assist in his defense. She also testified under oath that she did not know how much money had been raised from a website for Zimmerman’s defense in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Prosecutors alleged that George Zimmerman actually had about $135,000. He was recently ordered back to jail for lying about his finances……..THE SUPREME COURT refused to hear an appeal challenging President Barack Obama’s U.S. citizenship and his eligibility to hold office as president. The appeal was filed by Alan Keyes, Wiley Drake and Markham Robinson, members of the American Independent Party. The three men allege that Obama, whose father was Kenyan, was born in that African country, rather than in Hawaii. They claim his birth certificate is a forgery even though Hawaii officials have repeatedly verified Obama’s citizenship. Keyes, a Black conservative activist and former diplomat, ran against Obama in the 2004 Illinois Senate race. He also ran for president in 2008 and received some 47,000 votes…….. THE NUMBER OF VIOLENT CRIMES reported to police across the country fell 4 percent last year when compared to 2010, the fifth straight year of declines. According to the FBI’s Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, violent crimes, which include murder, rape, robbery and assault, dropped 4 percent in 2011 from the previous year. In addition, property crime – covering burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft – edged down by 0.8 percent. The FBI said the final report will be released in the fall. The data is collected from statistics provided voluntarily by police agencies across the country.

VOLUME 81 • NUMBER • 33 WEEK OF JUNE 14, 2012

Publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Advertising/Client Relations Selma Dodson Tyler Print Editor Marilyn Marshall Online Editor ReShonda Billingsley

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

The Defender newspaper is published by the Houston Defender Inc. Company (713-663-6996.. The Defender is audited by Certified Audited Circulation. (CAC). For subscription, send $60-1 year to: Defender, P.O. Box 8005, Houston TX 77288. Payment must accompany subscription request. All material covered by 2012 copyright. (No material herein may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher). • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years | WEEK OF JUNE 14 | 2012 | DEFENDER

Juneteenth Fifty percent of wrongfully convicted are Black By FREDDIE ALLEN NNPA News Service


1975, Carter was sentenced to life in prison. Three decades later, still professing his innocence, Carter reached out to a non-profit group specializing in exonerating wrongfully convicted inmates through the use of DNA. That evidence was lost, but a curious police officer found the

had served 35 years in prison for crimes he didn’t commit.

Faulty convictions

n October 24, 1974 Carter’s story was just one of the an unidentified man nearly 900 cases chronicled in the robbed and raped a National Registry of Exonerations, a pregnant Wayne State database that tracks cases of men and University student in women in the U.S. who were later a bathroom on campus. The student later picked 19-year-old Edward George Carter out of a photo lineup that contained multiple pictures of the Black teen. None of the physical evidence – fingerprints, semen and seminal fluid – collected from the scene connected Carter to the crime. Still, he was arrested and charged with sodomy, armed robbery and assault in Detroit. Carter’s lawyer was a court-appointed public defender with the ink barely dry on her law school degree. She allowed Carter to waive his right to a jury trial, permitted the prosecutor to submit the photo lineup as evidence and raised no objections to Prisons are inhabited by an unknown number of African Americans wrongly convicted. the prosecution’s theory about why the semen and seminal fingerprints from the crime scene and freed after faulty convictions. fluid didn’t match Carter’s blood type. ran them through the FBI database. University of Michigan law There is no record that she The prints matched another man, professor Samuel Gross, editor of the requested fingerprints from the scene a habitual sex offender convicted of registry, said: “In most cases we never from the police department. two armed rapes committed on the learn about them. The defendants The young attorney, just 18 Wayne State campus among other serve their time and try to put it months into her career, met with charges. Ironically, another group of behind them or die in prison. In those Carter just twice, once at his young attorneys working with the cases that we do, find out about years preliminary hearing and again the day University of Michigan Clinical Law after the fact, sometimes decades after before his trial, when she learned that Program helped to free Carter. A judge the fact, it’s very hard to go back and he had a 17-year-old girl as an alibi vacated his conviction two years ago. figure out what happened.” witness. By then it was too late. In By then, Edward George Carter The Registry, a collaborative

effort between the University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University, has been 10 years in the making. Gross said that it’s likely that many more cases of exonerated defendants exist that they just don’t know about. In 2008, 38 percent of state and federal prisoners were Black compared to 34 percent white. Yet, Blacks accounted for 50 percent of the exonerations while whites accounted for 38 percent of the false convictions. “Unfortunately it doesn’t surprise me,” said Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project. “We know that African Americans are over-represented in the justice system. “When it comes to the exonerations, what we’re seeing to a certain extent is an overlap between issues of race and class,” Mauer said. According to the National Poverty Center, 27.4 percent of Blacks and 9.9 percent of whites were poor in 2010. “Low-income people frequently don’t have good legal representation or access to expert witnesses or investigations on their cases,” Mauer said. These factors make it more likely that poor people face the chance of being falsely convicted. According to Gross there is no official record-keeping system for exonerations in the U.S. Researchers

Continued on Page 12







his Juneteenth, Black Texans will once again commemorate June 19, 1865, when slaves in the state received word that they were free. Yet today, 147 years later, the disproportionate number of African Americans in prison in many ways resembles a new kind of Black slavery. The new slavery takes away their freedom while they are behind bars and continues to shackle them once they are released back into society. “The growing rate of Black incarceration may be the most virulent killer of the African- American dream,” said Dannye Holley, dean of Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law. For many, the election of the nation’s first Black president signaled America’s triumph over its ugly history of discrimination, exclusion and racial caste. However, Michelle Alexander, civic rights lawyer and author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” begs to differ. According to Alexander’s research, there are more African Americans under correctional control today – in prison or jail, on probation or parole – than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. In addition, as of 2004, more African-American men were disenfranchised (due to felon disenfranchisement laws) than in 1870, the year the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified prohibiting laws that explicitly deny the right to vote on the basis of race. The premise of Alexander’s book is that once a person is labeled a felon, all of the old forms of discrimination Blacks fought to overcome during the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements – employment and housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, unequal education, denial of public benefits and exclusion from jury service – become legal. This reality becomes highly problematic when taking into account the high rates of Black arrests, convictions and imprisonment. Even more troubling is the fact that the skyrocketing numbers of Blacks being incarcerated over the past few decades goes against national trends which show crime decreasing over this same period.

“The drug war was part of a grand and highly successful Republican Party strategy of using racially coded political appeals on issues of crime and welfare to attract poor and working class white voters who were resentful of, and threatened by, desegregation, busing, and affirmative action.”

Mass incarceration

“There is a colorblind explanation for all this: crime rates,” stated Alexander, a graduate of Stanford Law School and Vanderbilt University. “We’re told that the reason so many black and brown men find themselves behind bars and ushered into a permanent, second-class status is because they

New B


happen to be the bad guys. “The uncomfortable truth, however, is that crime rates do not explain the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African Americans during the past 30 years. Crime rates have fluctuated over the last few decades – they currently are at historical lows – but imprisonment rates have consistently soared; quintupled, in fact. “And the vast majority of that increase is due to the War on Drugs, a war waged almost exclusively in poor communities of color, even though studies consistently show that people of all colors use and sell illegal drugs at remarkably similar rates. In fact, some studies indicate that white youth are significantly more likely to engage in illegal drug dealing than black youth.” Drug offenses alone account for about two-thirds of the increase in the federal inmate population, and more than half of the increase in the state prison population. In some states, African Americans comprise 80-90 percent of all drug offenders sent to prison.

Alexander pointed to the 1982 declaration by then President Ronald Reagan of a war on drugs as leading directly to today’s mass incarceration of Blacks. “The drug war was part of a grand and highly successful Republican Party strategy of using racially coded political appeals on issues of crime and welfare to attract poor and working class white voters who were resentful of, and threatened by, desegregation, busing, and affirmative action,” said Alexander, who added that Democrats who wanted to appear tough on crime endorsed many of these same policies.

Wrongful convictions

Compounding this problem are the disturbing statistics reported recently by the National Registry of Exonerations that show 50 percent of wrongful convictions in the U.S. between 1989 and 2012 involved Black defendants. Hence, countless Black males are being falsely labeled felons and denied the basic rights and privileges of citizenship. “The disparate impact on African Americans from wrongful convictions may be worse than those indicated by the National Registry,” said Dannye Holley. “Of the first 292 • Serving th



Blacks in prison Facts & figures


very DNA cases, almost 70 percent (60 percent African American and 9 percent Hispanic) of the wrongfully convicted are persons of color.” “The clock has been turned back on racial progress in America, though scarcely anyone seems to notice,” said Alexander. “All eyes are fixed on people like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey who have defied the odds and achieved great power, wealth and fame.” Holley believes the mass incarceration of Blacks is a national crisis. “Our country’s ideals call for a plurality community with equal opportunity for all; ideals that were seen by the rest of the world as an experiment in creating a great society based on democratic principles. If the opportunity to participate equally is closed for a group based on little more than the characteristic of race it dooms that great experiment,” he said. The rippling affect within the Black community because of this reality has been devastating. Alexander said, “A black child born today is less likely to be raised by both parents than a black child born during slavery.

e Houston area for over 80 years

The recent disintegration of the African American family is due in large part to the mass imprisonment of black fathers.” “Most people don’t like it when I say this. It makes them angry. In the ‘era of colorblindness’ there’s a nearly fanatical desire to cling to the myth that we as a nation have ‘moved beyond’ race,” said Alexander, who contends change won’t happen until Americans are willing to face this inexplicable and discriminatory reality. Alexander’s book, published in 2010, has led to countless forums and conferences across the country through which local leaders seek to give this issue more public expression so solutions can be found. “When we pull back the curtain and take a look at what our ‘colorblind’ society creates without affirmative action, we see a familiar social, political, and economic structure—the structure of racial caste,” she said. “The entrance into this new caste system can be found at the prison gate. This is not Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.”

• As of year-end 2009, the U.S. incarceration rate was 743 adults incarcerated in prisons and jails per 100,000 population (the highest documented incarceration rate in the world). At year-end 2007, the United States had less than 5% of the world’s population and 23.4% of the world’s prison and jail population (adult inmates). • U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that as of 2008, there were more than 846,000 Black men in prison, making up 40.2 percent of all inmates in the system. • The likelihood of Black males going to prison in their lifetime is 28% compared to 4% for white males and 16% for Hispanic males (1997 U.S. Department of Justice). • If a Black male drops out of high school, he has a 32.4% chance of going to prison while his white and Hispanic counterparts have a 6.7% and 6% chance, respectively (1997 U.S. Department of Justice). • On January 1, 2008 more than 1 in 100 adults in the United States were in prison or jail. • When combined, in 2008, approximately one in every 31 adults in the United States was behind bars or being monitored through probation and parole. • In 2008 the breakdown for adults under correctional control was as follows: one out of 18 men, one in 89 women, one in 11 African Americans (9.2 percent), one in 27 Latinos (3.7 percent), and one in 45 Caucasians (2.2 percent). Roughly 70% of prisoners in the United States are nonwhites. • Though crime rates have declined by about 25 percent from 1988-2008, in recent decades the U.S. has experienced a surge in its prison population, quadrupling since 1980, partially as a result of mandatory sentencing that came about during the “war on drugs.” Violent crime and property crime have declined since the early 1990s. • There were 86,927 young people held in juvenile facilities according to the 2007 Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (conducted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. • According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics non-Hispanic Blacks accounted for 39.4% of the total prison and jail population in 2009. However, according to the Census Bureau, Blacks (including Hispanic Blacks) comprised only 13.6% of the U.S. population.



Juneteenth TV’s Judge Mathis reaches out to prisoners bachelors and a law degree,” Mathis told Defender News Services inmates during a visit to the Fulton County Jail As the star of the syndicated television in Atlanta. “I used that same courage when the courtroom show “Judge Mathis,” Greg Mathis road blocks of life came my way. I didn’t punk combines a mix of social commentary, humor out and return to my old ways in the hood. I and humanity. He also knows what it’s like to didn’t blame the sysbe caught up in the tem. I told myself if I legal system. can be strong behind Growing up bars I can be stronger in Detroit, Mathis outside.” was a thief and Mathis said he gang member, fulfilled the deathbed and spent nine wish of his mother to months in jail. He change his path. now reaches out “I spent nine to others in similar months in jail awaitsituations through ing trial,” he recalled. a nationwide pro“I pled guilty to a gram he founded, Judge Greg Mathis encourages an inmate at Wayne lesser charge and the Prisoner County Jail in Detroit. the judge gave me Empowerment a second chance. Education and My mother had come to visit me and told me Respect Initiative (PEER). how I had humiliated her all these years. She Through his program, Mathis provides was sickened with cancer at that time and that motivation, information and support to exencouraged me to change my life. offenders and those who are currently incarcer“I thank God I was able to overcome and ated. Mathis visits jails and prisons throughout now I try and use myself as an example to so the country sharing his personal testimony of many others to let them know they can overtriumph. come as well,” he said. “I walked out of prison, I got a GED, | WEEK OF JUNE 14 | 2012 | DEFENDER111

Juneteenth Calendar: Who, what, when, where Friday, June 15

The Friends of Emancipation Park sponsor their second annual golf tournament at 8 a.m. at Hermann Park Golf Center. An awards luncheon is at 1 pm. Fees vary. A free movie night is 5-8 p.m. at Emancipation Park, 3018 Dowling Street. Contact: 713-443-9774 or The Galveston Island Juneteenth Coalition and National Juneteenth Committee host a two-dayAfrican American Museum Juneteenth Festival 10 a.m. -7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday. It takes place in the parking lot of Courville Football Stadium, 27th Street and Avenue M. There will be live entertainment, food, vendors and activities for kids. Admission is free. Contact: or 1-888-GAL-ISLE.

Saturday, June 16

Galveston County sponsors a Historic Mainland Bus Tour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants will be transported to the historic Stringfellow Orchards in Hitchcock and the 1867 Settlement, a Reconstruction era community in Texas City. Tickets are $10. Contact: 409-935-5219. The second annual Acres Homes Juneteenth Parade begins at 10 a.m. at the Acres Homes Multiservice Center, 6719 W. Montgomery. It will head north and end at Greater

Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1620 Dolly Wright.Contact: 713-683-6363. The Friends of Emancipation Park host a genealogy workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the park. The C. Anderson Davis Memorial 39th annual Juneteenth parade begins with a 4 p.m. line-up at Texas Southern University and ends at Emancipation Park with entertainment and food. Contact: 713-443-9774 or The Alumni and Ex-Student Association of Schools of Freedmen’s Town sponsors a Juneteenth scholarship and history festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the football field of Gregory-Lincoln Education Center, 1101 Taft St. Contact: 832249-0258. Galveston’s annual Juneteenth Jubilee Parade starts at 4 p.m. at McGuire Dent Park, 28th Street and Avenue R. It will travel down Martin Luther King Drive and end at Courville Football Stadium. Contact: juneteenth or 1-888-GAL-ISLE. A Gospel Explosion is 5-9 p.m. at Mount Olive Baptist Church, 3602 Ave. H, in Galveston. It features music, praise dancers, prayer and kids’ activities. Contact: 409-762-0088.

Tuesday, June 19

The 33rd annual Al Edwards Emancipation Proclamation Reading and free Prayer Breakfast is 8:30 a.m. at

Ashton Villa, 2300 Broadway in Galveston. Contact: 409599-5520. The Friends of Emancipation Park annual Juneteenth Festival is 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. at the park and includes story-telling, entertainment and arts & crafts. Contact: 713-443-9774 or Reedy Chapel’s annual March, Musical and Reception begins at 6 p.m. at the Old Galveston County Courthouse, 722 Moody St., and ends at the church, 2015 Broadway in Galveston. There will be a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation , African-American Spirituals and refreshments. Contact: 409-392-5887. The Houston Museum of African American Culture and Holocaust Museum Houston present A Walk to Remember at 6 p.m. at the HMAAC, 4807 Caroline. Guests will begin by viewing the exhibition “PrintMattters.” At 7 p.m. they will walk down Caroline Street to HMH to remember those who walked off plantations. Admission is free but seating is limited. Contact: 713-942-8000 or Houston’s Institute for Culture presents Houston’s Juneteenth Celebration at 7 p.m. at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Special guest is local legend Joe Sample, a founding member of the Jazz Crusaders. There will also be blues and zydeco performances. Contact: 832-429-4432, or

Happy Juneteenth!


n 1872, a group of visionary African American Houstonians led by the Rev. Jack Yates, a Baptist minister and former slave, purchased 10 acres of land to hold a Juneteenth celebration — and named it Emancipation Park in honor of their freedom.


This Juneteenth, ABC-13 celebrates the enrichment of our nation through the contributions and heritage P O L . A D V. A N N I S E PA R K E R C A M PA I G N

We are continuing that legacy today by rejuvenating and expanding this historic park. And we all owe our special thanks to State Senator Rodney Ellis, State Representative Garnet Coleman and Dorris Ellis and the Friends of Emancipation Park for their hard work to make this project a reality.

of our African-American community. After all, it is our freedom which unites us all.

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Fifty Percent... Continued from page 7 rely on the known cases to piece together the tragic picture of lifetimes lost and unsolved crimes. Gross found that mistaken eyewitness identifications played a significant role in false convictions, including 80 percent of all sexual assault exonerations. Blacks accounted for 25 percent of the sexual assault convictions compared to 32 percent for Whites. Although interracial rape is rare, sexual assault convictions involving Black defendants and white victims made up 53 percent of all sexual assault cases with mistaken eyewitness identifications. Gross said that cross-racial identification is an obvious problem that not only threatens the accuracy of eyewitness evidence, but the entire American criminal justice system. In “They All Look Alike: the Inaccuracy of Cross-racial Identifications” article published in the American Journal of Criminal Law, John Pr. Rutledge wrote: “A cross-racial ID occurs when an eyewitness of one race is asked to identify a particular individual of another race. The last half-century’s empirical study of crossracial IDs has shown that eyewitnesses have difficulty identifying members of another race, though the degree to which this difficulty affects the accuracy of an eyewitness ID is not certain. Likewise, it is unclear whether all races are affected. “Known as the ‘own-race’ effect or ‘own-race’ bias, eyewitnesses experience the ‘cross-racial impairment’ when attempting to identify individuals of another race. The ‘own-race effect’ is ‘strongest when white witnesses attempt to recognize black subjects,’ and apparently less influential to black witnesses.” Gross, editor of the online registry, observed: “African Americans are a minority so African Americans deal with Caucasians much more than Caucasians deal with African Americans. Many white people have very few dealings with African Americans and don’t learn to distinguish them from each other. African Americans can’t afford that.” The most common causes of false convictions were perjury (51 percent), mistaken eyewitness identification, (43 percent), and official misconduct (42 percent). As more cases continue to come to light, Gross said that researchers will better understand the causes of false convictions and learn how to prevent them. “I hope the vast majority of the time that people are convicted are guilty,” Gross said. “But we make mistakes and we should keep that in mind when we consider cases after the fact when someone is able to present evidence that they may be innocent.” Mauer agreed, adding that the Registry should help call attention to the need for greater safeguards and oversight in the criminal justice system. “There are evolving new standards for how we use eyewitness identification, which has been a significant problem,” Mauer said. “There’s a need for more vigorous DNA testing in appropriate cases and ultimately better resources for the court systems and particularly defense attorneys.”



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WEEK OF June 14 | 2012 | DEFENDER



Coco Jones

follows her dream at 14


By KAM WILLIAMS Special to the Defender

fresh-faced, bright-eyed, Southern beauty, 14-year-old recording artist Coco Jones will grace television sets across the world on June 15 when she stars in the Disney Channel original movie “Let It Shine” opposite Tyler James Williams and Trevor Jackson. Coco plays the role of Roxie, a teenage singing sensation whose music label is sponsoring a songwriting contest at a teen club. Based on the play “Cyrano de Bergerac,” “Let It Shine” relates a tale of young love with an underlying message about summoning self-confidence. The movie airs again on June 16 and June 30. Coco can also be seen regularly guest-starring on Disney Channel’s “So Random” and on “Good Luck Charlie.” Recently, she has been in the recording studio. One of the hottest tracks to drop is a duet called “Whodunit?” with “Zeke and Luther” star Adam Hick which peaked on the Radio Disney charts at No. 20. Born in Columbia, S.C., in 1998 to former NFL star Mike Jones and session vocalist Javonda Jones, Coco was raised in Lebanon, Tenn., where she began singing as soon as she learned to speak. The young actress/singer/rapper’s first stage performance was at the age of six when she belted out “America the Beautiful” to a wowed crowd of parents at her kindergarten graduation. In 2010, she released her debut CD, “Coco Jones.” Last year, Coco was one of five finalists in Disney’s

“Next Big Thing” competition, an achievement which further helped. KW: What interested you in the role of Roxie in “Let It Shine?” Coco: When I first read the script, I fell in love with it. Singing, dancing and acting! The part was right up my alley. Plus, the thought of playing a rock star was like a

dream for me. KW: What message do you think people will take away from the movie? Coco: The main message of this movie that everyone will take away is to believe in yourself…my character, Roxie, learns to be confident in her singing. Another great message that girls will take away from Roxie is to love yourself. All girls my age know about wanting to fit in. I think that they will watch Roxie trying to do

the same thing with her clothes, make-up and her entire performance. Over the course of the movie, she learns to be herself, to develop her own style, and to not change herself to please others. KW: You sing, rap, dance and act. Which is your favorite? Coco: I honestly love it all, which is why I enjoyed playing Roxie. Through the character, I was able to showcase all of my talents. KW: You’re only 14. How do you balance the demands of school and career? Coco: Well, sometimes it is hard because my schedule is crazy. I am home-schooled, so my school travels with me. My parents have one rule for me: I can’t do any of this if I have any C’s on my report card. KW: What do you plan to study in college? Coco: I’d love to major in music. I love what I do, but I want to really understand it more in depth. KW: Are you happy? Coco: I am sooooo happy! I have a great family that loves me, a record deal at 14, and I get to do what I love every day. KW: Who led you to become the person you are today? Coco: My parents are the people that led me here. My mom helped me learn to sing and she travels with me. My dad always told me that I could be anything I wanted, if I was willing to work hard enough to achieve it. KW: How do you want to be remembered? Coco: As a sweet Christian girl, who was always loving and kind to everyone.

TSU holding auditions for Sample project Defender News Services

Award-winning pianist and composer Joe Sample returns to his alma mater to lead an innovative, eight-week master course that will explore a selection of movements from his recently recorded suite,“Children of the Sun.” The class will be called the Texas Southern University Jazz Orchestra Project. City-wide auditions will be held Monday,

June 18 and Wednesday, June 20, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Rhinehart Auditorium on the TSU campus. Auditions will consist of knowledge of basic major and minor scales, sight reading and jazz improvisation of a Herbie Hancock standard, “Maiden Voyage.” The first day of rehearsal will be June 21. An ensemble of 30 musicians will be chosen and guided through the music by Sample in a personal, hands-on, interactive environment.

The ensemble will meet three days a week through Aug. 9 with Professor Horace Alexander Young, a renowned musician and composer. Auditions are open to any musician who qualifies and college or continuing education credits are available. Appropriate fees will be assessed at the auditions. The project will culminate with a December concert with the TSU Jazz Orchestra. For more information contact or 713-313-7337. Joe Sample • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years




Texan Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips expects to build on the success the defense enjoyed in 2011

Texan defense

refuses to rest T

By MAX EDISON Defender

he Houston Texans defense made a miraculous turnaround last season. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips turned the league’s worst defense (2010) into the league’s best in 2011 (total defense). That defense contributed significantly to the Texans best season in franchise history and a win in the playoffs. Now comes the tricky part. What does the Texan defense do for an encore? The team just concluded three weeks of organized team activities (OTAs) and three days of mini-camp, and for the defensive players it was almost like going back to school. The dean of the Texan school of defense, Dr. Wade Phillips, taught graduate level classes on his version of his specialty, the 3-4 defense. Last year, because of the NFL strike, there were no OTAs or a mini-camp. It’s actually unbelievable when you consider how well the defensive students performed with a brand new defensive scheme and a host of new coaches. During this year’s pre-training camp workouts Phillips is sharing many of the small nuisances of the defense that time did not permit during the 2011 season. The “hows” and “whys” of the defensive scheme that should make the defense even better in 2012. “Our defense looks good right now,” Phillips. “They have a lot of confidence in what they’re doing. We’re doing the same things we did last year and they picked up well from last year, but I think just the confidence going in makes them better.” Safety Danieal Manning echoes the sentiments of his professor. “We’re going over the finer points of the defense in these workouts now,” Manning said. “We’re getting a better understanding of how all the different parts work together to make the defense click. “It’s amazing how well we came together last year picking this stuff up on the fly. We had never played this defense and we had new

guys like myself and Johnathan [Joseph]. The stuff we’re learning now will make us even better this season,” Manning said. Defensive stalwart and linebacker Brian Cushing sees the difference that OTAs and mini-camp are making and how they will improve an already outstanding young defense.

“We were learning our defense as we went into camp and throughout the first half of the year,” Cushing said. “Now, with a full year under our belt and with the OTAs going into training camp, we feel that we have a big advantage.” Another factor that should facilitate the quality of the defense is the signing of former Cowboy linebacker Bradie James. The former LSU standout played four years in Dallas in the exact same scheme Phillips is using in Houston and can be considered a graduate assistant. Head coach Gary Kubiak immediately recognized the value of James to the defense. “He’s doing great. He’s just what [linebackers coach] Reggie Herring and Wade said he was,” Kubiak said. “He’s a leader, a very sharp guy who knows our defense inside out. [Brady has] very good movement skills and fit in with the group right away…I’m very pleased.” In just a few short weeks of workouts, James is pleased with what he has seen. “It’s really coming together,” James said. “This is the guys’ second year in the scheme and everybody’s making plays and kind of know what’s going on. My job is to make sure everybody is calm in the chaos and that we go out there and do what we’re supposed to do.” Coming from the Cowboys, James is used to teams with high expectations placed on them. “The only thing you can do is build on the success from one year to the next,” James said. “It’s really difficult to duplicate the previous year because every year you have new faces. That means everybody has to do their job. That’s when you really have to make sure that all eleven are on the same page. That’s what I try to convey to everybody. Even though you might think you know, sometimes when you don’t know it’s all right to ask and I’m going to tell you. That’s my job,” James said. Class is now in recess mode until training camp begins in mid-July. How well the students progress under Phillips’ curriculum could make the difference in how successful the Texans 2012 campaign will be. The addition of former Cowboy linebacker Bradie James (left) will improve a Texan defense that already includes playmakers Danieal Manning (#38 above) and Brian Cushing (right). • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


sportsbriefs Chester Pitts bowls for kids

Street Olympics

In January we introduced you to the charitable foundation of former Texan Chester Pitts that promotes the cultural arts to underprivileged children. Pitts’ foundation presents its second annual Stars & Strikes Celebrity Bowling Challenge which features NFL, NBA and MLB stars. The event will be held Thursday, June 21 from 7-10 p.m. at the 300 Houston Bowling Lounge, 925 Bunker Hill Road. “The funds raised through this event will provide new programs and opportunities for many kids in the Houston and surrounding areas,” Pitts explained. “It is important to expose our youth to new opportunities, as well as to give them a creative outlet to cultivate their talents.” Expect lots of local sports stars to be in attendance, with plenty of opportunities for autographs and photos.

kick off 26th year Defender news Services

jacks. The winners in each division from the centers compete for medals in the final games at Reliant Arena on Aug. 3, when the closing ceremonies are held. The other core components of the program include the fiveweek, 3-on-3 basketball competition with players throughout the Houston area contending for top spots in the finals on July 12 and 13 at the Fonde Recreation Center. The Harris County Aquatics Program

“Let the games begin!” No, it’s not the opening of the Olympic Summer Games in London. It was the declaration at the opening ceremonies for the 26th annual Harris County Precinct One Street Olympics held at Mickey Leland Memorial Park. A highlight of the ceremonies was the lighting of the torch. But the 80 boys and girls from Lincoln Park Community Center and the NFL Youth Education Town (YET) Center provided the real action when they demonstrated their skills in several of the summer games’ sports, which are modeled after traditional street games. “Take these lessons, remember them and recall them to use in school and throughout your lives,” Harris County Precinct One Commissioner El Franco Lee told the youth. The free, nonprofit summer program was created by Lee in 1986 to provide structure and safe environments for summertime street games. It is also a fun way to learn self-confidence and leadership. Victor Landaverde of YET Center practices the Hula Hoop. There were 200 boys and girls and a conducts learn-to-swim sessions handful of venues in the first Street throughout the summer. On July Olympics. Today, 25 years later, 27 at the Harris County Aquatics there are 43 participating agencies Center, children from those classes that operate 85 youth centers at will compete for ribbons in “Splashparks, churches, schools and apartdown.” ment complexes. The month-long Discovery Street Olympics officials send Camp at Deussen Park introduces outreach “trainers” to the sites where a total of 3,000 children com- children to the wonders of nature flora and fauna, through nature pete against other at their respective walks, games, crafts and meetlocations. ing native animals “up close and Youths between the ages of six to 15 compete in age divisions in 12 personal.” The closing ceremonies include sports, including kickball, shuttle the Bright Futures Fair. While the relays, Hula Hoop, softball toss and


PV sweeps SWAC Awards For excellence across the board in men’s and women’s sports, the Prairie View A&M Panthers have swept all of the SWAC’s post-season athletic honors by winning the Magee/Jacket, Henry and Frank Awards. The Magee/Jacket Award is presented for achievement in women’s sports within the conference. Prairie View won just one team title in the 10-sport standings as the bowling team captured its first-ever title. (The women’s basketball tournament title that the Panthers won doesn’t count). Still, PV outpaced second place Alabama State by 6.5 points in the final women’s standings. The Henry Award is presented for achievement in men’s sports within the SWAC. Prairie View won one men’s team sport in the eight-sport standings as the baseball team closed out the SWAC championship season this spring with its first championship since 2007. The Panthers were 16 points better than second place Alabama State. The Frank Award, also referred to as the Commissioner’s Cup, is presented for the combined achievement of the men’s and women’s programs within the SWAC. Prairie View finished well ahead of second-place Alabama State. Mississippi Valley State finished third overall.

Commissioner El Franco Lee, right, applauds as torch bearers (l. to r.) Anna Marie Munoz, Meashell Crosby and Michael Butler walk toward the Olympic flame.

athletes are not participating, they can wander through the fair and visit more than 100 health care agencies, businesses, museums and nonprofit organizations’ booths full of fun, educational and in many cases interactive activities. One year-round component, the Northeast Adolescents Program, addresses urban health and social issues affecting teens and young adults in inner-city neighborhoods. The mission of the Street Olympics is to implement and sustain programs that provide training, support and resources that lead to healthy and productive lives for the Houston area youth. Information can be found at or by calling 713-741-0851.

classified HOUSTON INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT NOTICE TO PROPOSERS The Houston Independent School District located in the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center at 4400 West 18 th Street Houston, Texas 77092 will accept proposals, until the stated date and time deadlines, in the Board Services Office, Level C1

Project 12-04-10 RFP – Audiometers: Calibration, Maintenance and Purchase District Wide – with a deadline of 10 A.M. June 27, 2012. The pre-proposal conference for this project will be in Room 2NE51 at the above stated address on June 20, 2012 at 10:00 A.M.

Project 12-04-11 RFP – Photography and Video Taping Services – with a deadline of 10 A.M. June 27, 2012. The pre-proposal conference for this project will be in Room 2NE51 at the above stated address on June 20, 2012 at 2:00 P.M.

Project 12-05-05 RFP-Positioning Survey for Administration Services with a deadline of 3:00 P.M. June 27, 2012. A pre-proposal conference is not a requirement for this project. Proposals are available on the HISD web-site at

The District reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, or, to accept the proposal that is most advantageous to the District. The District sells obsolete assets on-line at • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



For Event Coverage...visit


and Jessie Woods. Congratulations and continued A PEARL CELEBRATION…..Brentwood success!.....FELA!….. Jones Hall was packed on Community Foundation hosted their 30th opening night for the musical “FELA!” presented Anniversary Fashion Show & Luncheon at the by the Society of Performing Arts, the Defender, Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel with over 900 Andrews Kurth Law Firm and Amegy Bank of folks in attendance. To date, over $1 million has Texas. It takes place in Lagos, been awarded to students in the Nigeria in the late ‘70s and is the form of scholarships and grants Join Yvette Chargois story of the hottest musician in to more than 1,000 deserving Events of the Week Africa, Fela Kuti and his club students. For the past 13 years, More photos on called The Shrine. He’s created Macy’s has been its corporate See Events on KTRK Ch.13’s Crossroads a new kind of music, Afrobeatpartner and has helped sustain with Melanie Lawson Sunday Morning @ 11 a.m. pounding eclectic rhythms mixed the organization’s pursuit along with incendiary lyrics to openly with their presentation of fabulous attack the corrupt and repressive fashions. No one could be more military dictatorships that rule Nigeria and much proud of its success than Rev. Joe Ratliff, pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church, First Lady Doris Ratliff, of Africa. The packed audience was totally engaged with the production. Great musical!..... executive director Glenda Hopkins, chair Lamar WEARABLE ART…..Art patrons, artists and Frazier, co-chair Mittie Anderson and committee fashionistas got the wow treatment when the exciting members Sheila Wheatley-Clark, Augusta Green, world of wearable art stepped out for the second Darlene Jordan, Druella Mays, Myrtle Morrow, annual competition “For the Sake of Art 2012.” The Lillian Poats, Marshenell Sells, Wilford Stevens

Mittie Anderson, Lamar Frazier and Glenda Hopkins

First Lady Doris Ratliff and Pastor Joe Samuel Ratliff

Ekanem Ebinne and Charlotte Kennedy

Enola Cushenberry, Robert Riley, Tammy Riley and Victoria Drop

Sarah and Willie Trotty

Judges Tina Knowles, Jeffery Williams, Danielle Burns and Cesar Galindo

event was held at the University Museum at Texas Southern University. The artists were challenged to create improvisational designs inspired by works of art from the University Museum’s permanent collection. The highlight of the evening was the runway presentation of the 10 competition finalists. Kudos to Alvia Wardlaw, director of the University Museum, and hosts of the evening, Joy Sewing, fashion and beauty editor for the Houston Chronicle; Lloyd Gite, journalist and owner of The Gite Gallery, and Tony Whitaker, designer and competition coordinator. An incredible panel of judges included Danielle Burns, curator for the African American Library at the Gregory School as well as the Houston Museum of African American Culture; Cesar Galindo, designer to the stars; Tina Knowles, acclaimed visionary designer and Jeffery Williams, season two winner of BRAVO TV’s “Fashion Show with Isaac Mizrahi.” Fabulous show!.....From Chag’s Place to your place, have a blessed week!

Louis and Esther Brown

Deidre Samuels and Kimberly Samuels

Hosts Joy Sewing, Lloyd Gite and Alvia Wardlaw • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

Houston Defender: June 14, 2012  
Houston Defender: June 14, 2012  

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