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Houston’s Leading Black Information Source

Volume 82 | Number 43

AUGUST 22, 2013 |FREE


Unfinished business

GEORGE CURRY explains why we march


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DON LEMON hosts special on march


Russell Simmons under fire Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons found himself on the hot seat after airing a parody sex tape about noted abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Find out what Simmons plans to do next in response to criticism. Read what he says about political correctness, Black women and a broken heart. H Page 3

Zina Garrison gives back

Marla Gibbs and Eileen Morris at Ensemble Theatre gala


Former tennis pro Zina Garrison cherishes the time she spent learning the game at MacGregor Park. See how her tennis academy continues to make a difference in the lives of local youth. Learn about a big event coming up, and discover what she has to say about the people in her life. H Page 11 • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

Visit faces




Change Happens! receives health insurance grant Community health centers are preparing to help enroll The Third Ward nonconsumers in coverprofit Change Happens! has age. In addition, been awarded $785,000 in the Department of navigator grants to assist Health and Human Harris County consumers Services has begun with enrolling in health training other indiinsurance marketplaces beviduals who will be ginning this fall, according providing in-person to Congresswoman Sheila assistance, such as Jackson Lee in a news agents and brokers release. Congresswoman Sheila and certified applicaMarketplaces are a Jackson Lee tion counselors.” component of the Affordable Navigators will be trained to Care Act, and are designed to makprovide unbiased information, in a ing buying health coverage easier and culturally competent manner, to conmore affordable. “The navigators will sumers about marketplaces, qualified be a key resource to help many conhealth plans, and public programs such sumers in our communities understand as Medicaid and the Children’s Health their coverage options in the marketInsurance Program. place,” Jackson Lee said. They will also be trained on “There will also be many other adhering to strict security and privacy resources to assist with enrollment. Defender News Services

Board of education seeks input

The State Board of Education is seeking input from educators and community members as it begins to restructure graduation requirements to address recent changes in state law. House Bill 5 (HB5), passed by the Texas Legislature this spring, made substantial changes to the state’s graduation requirements. The new plan requires the state board to make a number of policy decisions, such as

standard, including how to safeguard a consumer’s personal information. “Beginning on October 1, millions of Americans will have brand-new access to affordable private health insurance coverage,” Jackson Lee added. “The new marketplaces will provide individuals and families a choice among various quality private health insurance plans and will also make the coverage affordable through slidingscale premium tax credits.” Change Happens! is formerly known as Families Under Urban & Social Attack. It provides a variety of free programs, including HIV prevention, homeless supportive services, re-entry mentoring and risky behavior prevention for young people. Rev. Leslie Smith is the agency’s founder and executive director. For more information on health insurance marketplaces visit

deciding which courses will count as advanced math, English and science courses. The board will hold a public hearing Sept. 17 in Austin to receive input from educators and others about the changing graduation requirements. After the hearing, the Texas Education Agency staff will craft a proposed rule dealing with graduation. A final vote on

UH regents elect officers The University of Houston System Board of Regents recently elected new officers. They are Jarvis V. Hollingsworth, chair; Nandita Venkateswaran Berry, vice chair, and Welcome W. Wilson Jr., secretary. “I am honored that the board of regents showed confidence in my leadership abilities by electing me to serve as chair of the board of this great university Jarvis V. Hollingsworth system,” Hollingsworth said. “This is an exciting opportunity, and I am looking forward to working with my fellow regents and the incredible leadership team led by UHS Chancellor Renu Khator.” An alumnus of the UH Law Center, Hollingsworth was appointed to the board in 2009, and previously served as vice chair and secretary. He is a partner in the Houston office of Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP.

the changes is expected during the board’s Jan. 29-31 meeting. Those who wish to submit comments about the graduation changes can send their comments to sboesupport@tea.state. through Sept. 10. Updates about the graduation programs will be posted on graduation.aspx.

localbriefs CANDIATES FOR MAYOR participated in a recent forum sponsored by the Baptist Minister’s Association of Houston and Vicinity. Attending were Mayor Annise Parker and challengers Don Cook, Eric Dick, Ben Hall and Victoria Lane. Parker and Hall are considered the two front-runners in the race, and he has challenged her to six debates. She has agreed to participate in one……... MINORITY MALE college students in Texas are expected to benefit from a new initiative. The Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color officially launched this summer. It represents all sectors of education with the participation of K-12 school districts, community colleges

and public universities. Based at the University of Texas, the consortium plans to advance research on best practices to improve educational outcomes for male students of color. In addition to UT, other consortium partners include Texas A&M University and the Long Star College System……..THE HOUSTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE board voted to establish a conditional 6th and 9th grade pre-admission program. Parents or guardians of 6th and 9th grade students in the HCC service area will receive a letter of conditional admission informing students that if they graduate from high school with a 2.5 grade point average and meet other minimum require-

ments, they will be admitted to HCC and receive an Opportunity 14 Scholarship to help pay for their education. “Hopefully, the pre-admission program will help reduce the dropout rate and motivate more students to focus on getting themselves college and workforce-ready by the time they graduate from high school,” said Trustee Carroll G. Robinson…….. HARRIS COUNTY RESIDENTS are asked to beware of identity thieves who are calling about jury service in order to obtain personal information. Residents are reminded that the District Clerk’s Office will never call and ask for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or other sensitive information. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



U.S.briefs THE NUMBER OF LOW-INCOME children in Head Start preschool programs will be reduced by more than 57,000 during the next school year because of automatic federal budget cuts. The cuts have slashed more than $400 million from the federal program’s $8 billion budget. “The cut has been very painful throughout the country,” said Yasmina Vinci, executive director of the National Head Start Association. Head Start provides preschool services for children 3 to 5 years of age. Twenty-nine percent of the participating children are Black, 37 percent are Latino and 41 percent are white. California has the largest reduction, serving 5,611 fewer children, followed by Texas, serving 4,410 fewer children. Nationwide, about 1,600 grantees receive federal Head Start funding. …….. THE NATION’S CREDIT CARD DEBT is declining. In a recent report to Congress, the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System said by the end of 2012, cardholder debt was lowered to $850 billion, a significant decrease from the 2008 peak period when consumers owed more than $1 trillion. Additionally, card delinquencies that peaked in 2009 at nearly 7 percent shrank to only 2.7 percent by the end of 2012, their lowest levels since 1994. The results are attributed to consumers cutting back on spending and many credit card issuers tightening credit availability……..FORMER CONGRESSMAN Jesse Jackson Jr. could be released from jail in 25.5 months based on good behavior. Jackson was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for using $75,000 in campaign funds for personal use. His wife Sandra, a former Chicago alderwoman, was sentenced to a year in prison and will have to serve all 12 months. The judge agreed to stagger the sentences to allow one parent to remain home with their two children. Sandra Jackson will begin serving her sentence a month after her husband is released.

VOLUME 82 • NUMBER 43 AUGUST 22, 2013 Publisher Print Editor Marilyn Marshall Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Art Director Advertising/Client Relations Tony Fernandez-Davila Selma Dodson Tyler People Editor Strategic Alliance Manager Yvette Chargois Clyde Jiles Sports Editors Multimedia Manager Max Edison Tiffany Williams Darrell K. Ardison Online Editor Contributing Writer ReShonda Billingsley 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).


Simmons plans positive project about Tubman


Defender News Services

fter coming under fire for a controversial Harriet Tubman sex tape parody video, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons said he will work with descendants of the noted abolitionist to tell her real story. Simmons tweeted that he had spoken to Tubman descendants Rita and Geraldine Daniels. “They have not only accepted my apology but we agree that we should begin immediately to develop the story of Harriet Tubman,” he said. Simmons released a three-minute parody sex tape between Tubman and her white slave master on his All Def Digital YouTube Channel. In the parody, Tubman has another slave record her having sex with her slave master to later use as leverage and show that he “loves” his Black slaves. The video quickly grew criticism from members of the Black community, who expressed shock that someone as noted as Simmons would consent to the video to be created and air it on his channel. Simmons later had the video pulled from the YouTube channel, but the video was recorded and re-uploaded on another YouTube channel. Simmons issued an apology on Twitter and on his hip-hop blog “In the whole history of Def Comedy Jam, I’ve never taken down a controversial comedian,” Simmons said in a statement. “When my buddies from the NAACP called and asked me to take down the Harriet Tubman video from the All Def Digital YouTube channel and apologize, I agreed.” Simmons called himself a liberal person with a “thick skin” in his statement. “And with

“When my buddies from the NAACP called and asked me to take down the Harriet Tubman video from the All Def Digital YouTube channel and apologize, I agreed.”

Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master? I thought it was politically correct. Silly me. I can now understand why so many people are upset.” He said that he would never condone violence against women, and when he learned that Black women were disturbed by the video, “it broke my heart.” Columnist Julianne Malveaux, the former president of Bennett College for Women, questioned how Simmons could demean an emancipation heroine. “Harriet Tubman is credited for freeing more than 400 enslaved people,” Malveaux said. “She is credited for pulling a gun on some who ambivalently embarked on the Under Ground Railroad, then wanted to turn back to ‘massa.’ “It’s complicated, but no matter how complicated it was, the depiction of Harriet Tubman as a sex object is not only disparaging to a freedom fighter, but to every Black woman who stands on her shoulders,” Malveaux said. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



opinion Why we’re still marching



that we should have reached wherever we were marching to by now. The reality is that we haven’t reached our destination. Black unemployment has been twice that of whites for the past five decades. The progress made by expanding the Black middle class has been eroded by the Great Recession and Blacks are profiled while walking the streets of New York City or Sanford, Fla. At a panel at the recent National Urban

or a while, it looked like the 50th anniversary observance of the March on Washington would expose a sharp split in the Civil Rights Movement. Al Sharpton jumped ahead of his colleagues by cornering Martin Luther King III and the two of them announced a March on Washington for Saturday, Aug. 24. Other civil rights leaders were planning events around that time and complained privately that Sharpton and Martin III had locked up key funding from major labor groups, a primary source of funding for the movement. A series of high-profile events – the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder gutting the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, remanding a University of Texas affirmative action case back to the appellate level for stricter scrutiny and George Zimmerman being found not guilty of second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of 17-year-old unarmed Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons Fla. – left African-Americans and their supporters clamoring for an outlet to express their disgust. League convention assessing the progress made Suddenly, the march organized by Sharpton since the original March on Washington, Sharpton became the focal point. With Sharpton still worksaid, “You say why march about voting? Well, ing on other leaders in the background, urging that’s how we got it the first time. We did not get them to come aboard, the pieces began to quickly voting rights at a cocktail sip, trying to have racial fall in place. harmony sessions. We got it by organizing and galAt this point, it looks like all of the major civil vanizing and the only way we are going to make rights leaders – including Marc Morial, president changes is by organizing and galvanizing.” and CEO of the National Urban League; Charles Let’s not forget that Trayvon Martin’s name Steele, CEO of Dr. King’s old organization, became a household word only after marches led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference by Sharpton, college students and activists around (SCLC); Jesse Jackson, founder of the Rainbow the nation, insisting that George Zimmerman be PUSH Coalition; Ben Jealous, president and CEO brought to trial for murder. of the NAACP, among others – will join Sharpton It’s the combination of marching and a speand King as headliners of the Aug. 24 march. cific agenda that leads to change. And while we’re Of course, there are the usual detractors who on the subject of marches, not everyone marched argue, as conservative talk show host Armstrong in the demonstrations of the 1960s. There was not Williams does, that we’ve been marching so long unity among civil rights leaders – Roy Wilkins, for

example, was intensely jealous of Dr. King – and many people did not jump on the King bandwagon until after he was assassinated in Memphis and lived thereafter through his “I Have a Dream” speech and on U.S. postage stamps. Unfortunately, there will be two observations of the 1963 March. One on Aug. 24 co-chaired by Sharpton and Martin III, and another one, more of a celebration of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, on Aug. 28, the actual date of the original March. President Obama, who has had difficulty in the past uttering Dr. King’s name in public, will speak at the second event organized by Bernice King, the sole surviving daughter of the slain civil rights leader. To those who question the need for another march, they should examine a graphic created by the Economic Policy Institute that compares goals of the 1963 March with today’s reality (visit infographic-unfinishedbusiness-1963-march/). Goal: We Demand an End to Ghettos. Reality: We still live in ghettos. Forty-five percent of poor Black children but only 12 percent of poor White children live in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty. Goal: We Demand an End to School Segregation. Reality: Seventy-four percent of Black children attend schools that are 50-100 percent non-White, resulting in fewer resources than majority White schools. Goal: We March for Jobs for All. Reality: In 2012, the Black unemployment rate –14 percent – was 2.1 times the White unemployment rate (6.6 percent). Goal: We March for a Living Wage. Reality: The minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is well below the $11.06 an hour a full-time worker needed in 2011 to keep a family of four out of poverty. That’s why we’re still marching. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


“We shall not be moved today.” —Asean Johnson, age 9, protesting the closure of Chicago public schools

At the 1963 March on Washington, we sang, “We shall not be moved.” Today, our children are showing the same resolve, continuing the work we started and reclaiming the promise of public education. A high-quality public education for all children is an economic necessity, an anchor of democracy, a moral imperative and a fundamental civil right. We march for neighborhood public schools that are safe, welcoming places for students like Asean. We march to reclaim the promise of public education. Like a tree that’s standing by the water, we shall not be moved.

Reclaim the Promise. #ReclaimIt




Jobs No. 1 Black issue By FREDDIE ALLEN NNPA Washington Correspondent


ivil rights leaders will march on Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Aug. 24 to observe the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Now economists, labor groups and community stakeholders want to make sure that the Black jobs crisis gets top billing on the agenda. Some researchers say that the economic agenda of the 1963 march was largely forgotten as Blacks won hard-fought victories for voting rights and anti-discrimination policies in public and the workplace. “There has been an incomplete representation of the Civil Rights Movement. Bayard Rustin (left) and Cleveland Robinson were two of the organizers of the On one hand people struggled 1963 March on Washington. tremendously, people fought, people died and we did have Today, many Blacks still live in poverty, tremendous success, because of the 1963 March attend poorly funded, mostly segregated schools, on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,” said and suffer unemployment rates that are twice as Algernon Austin, director of the Race, Ethnicity, high as whites. and Economy Program at the Economic Policy Austin said that many of the struggles that Institute (EPI). Blacks are facing today are connected to the “We did get the Voting Rights Act and the economic inequality and the disempowerment Civil Rights Act, in part, because of the pressure of the American public and that the influence of from the 1963 March on Washington. Unformoney and lobbyists in politics is making a bad tunately, some historians situation worse. have focused just on the “Clearly the govVisit ernment success and have ignored is dysfuncto read the report “The Unfinished March.” tional, by design, in everything else.” Austin made his comsome respects,” added ments during a recent panel Clarence Lang, associdiscussion on the forgotten history of the 1963 ate professor of African and African American march during a symposium coordinated by the studies at the University of Kansas. “I don’t EPI, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. know that the federal government, at this point “The Unfinished March,” a report by the in history, is the vehicle for the kinds of changes EPI authored by Austin, detailed a number of that we might be envisioning.” goals outlined during the march that have been Ultimately, it falls on everyday Americans largely left behind. to drive that change starting in their own comAccording to the report, organizers knew munities. that the civil rights Blacks gained would be “You have to fight where you’re standing. diminished without economic opportunities that Whether that’s in Kansas or New York state or had the power to lift millions of Blacks out of Michigan, we have to begin to build and dig poverty. where we stand,” Lang said.


Unfinishe business

Some economists believe that the fight for economic equality needs a strong labor movement. William Spriggs, chief economist for AFL-CIO, said that a smaller piece of the economic pie is going to workers. As the pie shrinks, workers fight among themselves. “We need the government to take the side of those of us who are earning our pay versus those of us who are speculating on Wall Street and betting on horses,” Spriggs said. Pushing the labor movement as a change agent may be a tough sell for today’s workers, who participate in unions with less frequency than generations past. Even though 13.1 percent of Black workers are union members, the Labor Department reported that the union membership rate for all workers was just 11.3 percent in 2012. In 1983, the membership rate was 20.1 percent. “While an outcome of the 1963 march was the establishment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it wasn’t enough,” Spriggs said. “What people need to think about with the Trayvon Martin case is to understand what that


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ry was saying about young Black men.” Roger A. Clay Jr., former president of the Insight Center or Community Economic Development, said that the fear of lack males goes back hundreds of years. “The simple answer is people are afraid of us,” Clay said. Generally, the fear is not based on experience and it’s not ased on fact.” The Labor Department reported that Blacks 16-19 years d faced a 41.6 percent unemployment rate and less than 30 ercent were either employed or looking for work in July, comared to 20.3 percent jobless rate and a 37 percent labor force articipation rate for whites. Black men still suffer the worst unemployment rate among l adult worker groups. “We’re not going to get racial justice until we end disparies in the criminal justice system,” said Kica Matos, director f Immigrant Rights & Racial Justice Center for Community hange. “The criminal justice system touches the lives of so any people of color and so many communities.”

he Houston area for over 80 years


Black leaders speak out Rev. Jesse Jackson, president, Rainbow PUSH Coalition

Marc Morial, president & CEO, National Urban League

Ben Jealous, president & CEO, NAACP

Rev. Al Sharpton, president, National Action Network

“The 50th anniversary must revive the movement to address this unfinished agenda. Only now the stakes are even greater. A majority of babies born in the United States are now children of color…The agenda of economic justice remains unfinished. The demands of the marchers in 1963 resonate today: full employment, affordable housing, equal and excellent public education and a minimum wage the equivalent of $13 an hour in today’s terms.”

“If this year has shown us anything, it’s that the work of the 1963 march is not yet finished. Texas and South Carolina are sprinting forward with voter ID after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. African-American unemployment has flat lined. Our children are gunned down each and every day in senseless acts of violence. Trayvon Martin lies in the ground after one such senseless act.”

“The challenge before us now is to create a new Civil Rights Movement for economic empowerment and justice – a continuation movement that stands on the shoulders of progress and that brings people from all walks of life, dispositions and orientations together to work to ensure that the promise of life, liberty and economic opportunity becomes real for this generation.”

“Though Black people may no longer be forced to drink from separate water fountains or sit at the back of the bus, justice across all levels of society has yet to be fulfilled. I often say that we have much to celebrate in terms of progress, but more challenges remain for us and for the generation that follows. Recent rulings like the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, and laws like the imbalanced ‘stand your ground’ prove our work is far from over.”

Events commemorate march From a massive rally in the nation’s capital to bell-ringing ceremonies around the world, Americans are commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in various ways. Events include:

Saturday, Aug. 24

Thousands will rally for jobs, justice and freedom at 8 a.m. at the Lincoln Memorial. Speakers include Congressman John Lewis (one of the original march speakers), Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III and family members of Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till. A Global Freedom Festival will be held throughout the day at the National Mall and continues on Aug. 25 and Aug. 27.

Sunday, Aug. 25

An SCLC worship service is at 11 a.m. at Howard University.

Wednesday, Aug. 28

D.C. will observe the original march date with a 9 a.m. interfaith service at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. A “Let Freedom Ring” ceremony follows at 1 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial, and President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak. Houstonians are encouraged to join in an international bell-ringing observance of the march on Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 2 p.m. by the City Hall reflecting pool. Local organizations, churches and schools are asked to ring bells as well for no more than 15 seconds.




Don Lemon

hosts special on march


By KAM WILLIAMS Special to the Defender

orn in Baton Rouge in 1966, Don Lemon anchors CNN Newsroom during weekend prime-time and serves as a correspondent. Based out of the network’s New York bureau, he joined the network in 2006. He began his career in New York City as a news assistant while attending Brooklyn College. He won an Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of the capture of the Washington, D.C. snipers, and an Emmy for a special report on Chicago real estate. Lemon made news when he came out of the closet and discussed his homosexuality in an autobiography titled “Transparent.” He recently received criticism from a number of African-Americans for agreeing with commentator’s Bill O’Reilly’s criticisms of the Black community. Lemon said O’Reilly was not a racist for saying that some young Black men have destructive habits influenced by illegitimacy, drugs and an entertainment industry that markets gangsta culture. Here, he talks about “We Were There,” an oral history of the March on Washington featuring Congressman John Lewis and other attendees. The special debuts on CNN on

Friday, Aug. 23 at 9 p.m. KW: What interested you in doing a special about the March on Washington? DL: We had been talking about it for a while as the 50th anniversary approached, and I kept

indicating that I would love to be a part of it. Somewhere, somehow, somebody heard that, and they said, “Don really wants to do this. Let’s have him do it.” KW: Does the documentary have a theme? DL: There are, for me, a few different themes. People like John Lewis and A. Philip Randolph put their lives on the line to participate. So, the first theme that stands out to me is courage. The second theme was the hope they exhibited in “the teeth of the most terrifying odds,” as James Baldwin said. Thirdly, Bayard Rustin, who many call the Architect of the Civil Rights Movement, finally gets his due. I think that’s a fair characterization to some degree. He’s the silent, strong man who made the march happen. But because he was gay and people tried to use that against him is probably why we don’t hear so much about him. KW: I asked Ellen DeGeneres if she thought African-Americans would feel differently about homosexuality if a famous Black icon came out of the closet. How do you feel about that, as probably the most prominent Black celebrity to come out? DL: I don’t consider myself a celebrity. I’m just a journalist. Frank Ocean is a celebrity. Yeah, I was in the forefront, and took a lot of heat for it. I think the President’s evolution in terms Continued on Page 9

what’sup “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” starring FOREST WHITAKER and OPRAH WINFREY, performed better than expected at the box office, opening at $25 million. “We expected to do well, but we didn’t expect to do this well,” said a spokesman for the Weinstein Co., the studio behind the film……..WESLEY SNIPES is officially part of the star-studded lineup of “Expendables 3,” which is scheduled to begin production this fall. Returning cast members include SYLVESTER STALLONE and TERRY CREWS. Snipes was released from prison in April after serving a three-year sentence for tax evasion……..MICHAEL STRAHAN is marking his first anniversary with the daytime talk show “LIVE with Kelly and Michael” starting Sept. 2. Special guests will include JENNIFER HUDSON, CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER, ARSENIO HALL,

JOHN LEGEND and TAMAR BRAXTON. As part of the celebration, viewers can visit livekellyandmichael. com now, vote for their favorite memorable moments, and receive a chance to win a trip to New York City and tickets to the anniversary taping. Strahan, who earns $4 million a year on the show, recently made TV Guide’s list of the highest paid stars on television. He’s No. 3 on daytime/syndication list, and AISHA TYLER of “The Talk” is No. 5 with $1 million…….ROBIN THICKE said in a lawsuit he has the utmost respect and admiration for the late MARVIN GAYE, but did not copy his composition. Thicke and collaborators PHARRELL WILLIAMS and T.I. filed the preemptive suit after Gaye’s family claimed that Thicke’s hit summer song “Blurred Lines” copied elements from Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.” To date, “Blurred Lines” has sold 4.6

million tracks and spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart …….. ARETHA FRANKLIN canceled an appearance at a luncheon sponsored by Major League Baseball due to health reasons. She was scheduled to receive an award from MLB for embodying the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. “I greatly appreciate being a Beacon Award recipient,” she said in a statement. “Presently, I am unable to travel as I continue my treatment. I am working toward a full recovery.” Franklin, 71, has canceled several concerts because of undisclosed health reasons……... Minister and gospel artist DEITRICK HADDON is one of six Southern California “mega-pastors” featured in “Preachers of L.A.,” which premieres in October on Oxygen. The series will document the pastors’ professional and personal lives. Haddon is known for such hits as “Sinner’s Prayer.” • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


Don Lemon... Continued from page 8 of gay marriage has helped change many people’s minds. I think it’s empowering for a person to live an authentic life. It can only help when prominent and successful people of color come out and live authentically, because younger people, who are being bullied and might be questioning whether they should continue to live, might have second thoughts about taking their own lives. So, yeah, I think any celebrity who comes out can only help a young person struggling with the stigma. KW: What about all the blowback from your recent remarks agreeing with Bill O’Reilly about the Black community? DL: I don’t feel any blowback, but I will say this, whether you agree with whatever I said or not, at least I got a conversation started. That was my goal, and I think I accomplished it. I think if you’ve watched or read my work over the years, you know that I’m pretty much at the top in terms of taking on issues that have to do with African-Americans and profiling, and with race and racism…Journalism is about having a diversity of opinion. And just because I’m African-American does not mean I have to feel a certain way because I’m Black. You don’t have true freedom until you allow a diversity of opinion and a diversity of voices.

Actor commits suicide Defender News Services

Lee Thompson Young, who portrayed a detective on TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles,” was found dead at his Los Angeles home on Aug. 19 after committing suicide. He was 29. “Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor; he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed,” said Jonathan Baruch, Young’s manager. “We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family and friends at this very difficult time.” Police were sent to Young’s home after he failed to show up for filming. “Rizzoli & Isles” executive producer Janet Tamaro said the cast and crew were “devastated” by the news. “We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man,” TNT said in a statement. “He was truly a member of our family. Lee will be cherished and remembered by all who knew and loved him, both on and off screen, for his positive energy, infectious smile and soulful grace. “We send our deepest condolences and thoughts to his family, to his friends and, most especially, to his beloved mother.” Young appeared in such movies as “Friday

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8/14/13 1:54 PM

Night Lights” and “Akeelah and the Bee.” He starred in Disney’s “The Famous Jett Jackson” from 1998-2001. He was a native of Columbia, S.C., and an honors graduate of the University of Southern California.

Lee Thompson Young





TSU football hopes to bounce back in 2013

Le’Tevin Wilcox

By MAX EDISON Defender


o paraphrase Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” it was the best of times and worst of times for Texas Southern University football

in 2012. The Tigers opened the season in their beautiful new home, the $85 million, BBVA Compass Stadium, arguably the finest FCS stadium in the nation. They also began the season with a new head coach, Darrell Asberry, who brought an impressive resume from Division II Shaw. Things went downhill from there as the team finished a disappointing 2-9, Defensive back Wilcox (No. 29) and the rest of the defense hope to improve. Coach Darrell Asberry’s TSU Tigers open 2-7 in SWAC competition. For 2013 the season against Prairie View A&M the Tigers hope to rebound to a level of type of kid, that type of person, that type of Jarius Moore (sophomore) and defensive backs Le’Tevin University on Saturday, Aug. 31 at BBVA respectability. Compass Stadium. Wilcox (redshirt junior) and Tray Walker (junior) will provide athlete.” After winning three Central Whoever gets the nod at QB will have a nucleus of talent for Vite to work with. Intercollegiate Athletic Association Asberry is working hard to stabilize the Tiger football a talented group of playmakers to choose from. Championships in five seasons at Shaw, Asberry received a program. The talent is in place, but it’s an inexperienced Edward Perkins- Loving (senior) and Daveonn Porter harsh initiation into the upper echelon of HBCU football, the group. Facing the Tigers later in season will be a (junior) will lead an aggressive tandem of running backs. Southwestern Athletic Conference. tougher task than the first month. Asberry just Tight end Billy Rosenberg (sophomore) and wideouts Fred His mission is to rebuild a program that was the best in the Plummer (senior), Dedric Shipman (redshirt senior) wants to keep things basic and let the rest take care SWAC in 2010. of itself. and Malik Cross (redshirt sophomore) all have “When you have to rebuild a whole program you have to “The biggest thing we need to do is stay big-play potential. pull and patch the positions that you really need the most, get healthy,” he said. “If we can get them to the The Tigers will depend on a youthful that taken care of,” Asberry said. field on August 31, we’re going to let the offensive line to protect and open holes for Because of NCAA sanctions the Tigers were not allowed chips fall where they may.” their skill position players. Brandon to participate in spring workouts, so Asberry has had to make Charles (sophomore), Kendrick improvements on the fly during preseason workouts. Williams (junior), Marvin Hollie “We didn’t have the spring so we’re trying to cram a lot of (redshirt junior) Glenn Jackson things in without getting anybody hurt or seriously banged up,” (redshirt sophomore) and Adrian Jackson Asberry said. “The most important thing was we had about 54 (freshman) will provide muscle up front. kids in summer school. That was very important. Defensively, the Tigers gave up an average “We hired a new strength and conditioning coach, Marof 38 points per game in 2012, a number shall Hayes who’s done an excellent job with these guys...The that’s a recipe for disaster. In an attempt biggest thing we have to do is stay healthy; depth is a concern.” to stop the bleeding, Asberry brought in Asberry’s teams are known for being explosive on ofa new defensive coordinator, Michael fense. Last year his offense struggled because they could not Vite. get reliable play at the quarterback position. As a result he has Vite has had coordinator stops at no fewer than nine QB’s on the depth chart. Shaw transfer Gilford College, Morgan State, Southern Wide Homer Causey (redshirt sophomore) figures to win the sweepIllinois and Southern University. He will receiver stakes. Plummer have to develop a youthful, inexperienced (No. 1) has Asberry said when the light turns on Causey’s head, group, but he is not totally devoid of talent. big-play “there won’t be a quarterback in the country who can play like Defensive linemen Greg Brady (senior), potential this kid. Our quarterback problems will be solved. He’s that for Texas Amir Bloom (redshirt sophomore), linebacker Fred Plummer Southern. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


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sportsbriefs Where’s Arian Foster?

Zina Garrison gives instruction to youth at her tennis academy.

Houston Texan fans are starting to get a little antsy regarding the health of Pro-Bowl running back Arian Foster, who has been a no-show for the Texans since OTAs in early June. Foster had a problem with a calf strain, which seemed pretty pedestrian. Now we are three weeks into the preseason and Foster has not returned to full practice or played a down in the preseason. Most recently, Foster has had nagging issues with his back. At this point even head coach Gary Kubiak seems a bit befuddled. “He just has some lower back soreness that is bothering him in his legs a little bit,” Kubiak said. “He’s had some injections to try and alleviate some of the soreness and stuff. The way I understand it right now, we’re trying to get through the injection process. It’s causing some discomfort and it’s something that’s going to take some time for him to get through.” It’s too early to worry, but Foster has been the backbone of the Texan offense and it seems that bone is aching. Stay tuned.

Wright heads to Tampa

Garrison’s academy celebrates 20 years


By BUCK BEDIA Defender

s a former tennis pro who learned the game on the courts of MacGregor Park, Zina Garrison knows the importance of mentoring young players. Since 1993, thousands of Houston youngsters have been mentored at the Zina Garrison Tennis Academy (ZGA), a non-profit organization with a mission to develop stars in the classroom, on the court and in the community. ZGA will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a gala on Nov. 16 at the Houstonian Hotel. The fundraiser also falls on Garrison’s 50th birthday. Expected guests include sports legends Billie Jean King, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and George Foreman. Garrison’s academy uses tennis to teach life skills, positive values, healthy habits and education. Its free programs include boys’ and girl’s leadership, academic support, community service, a college summer jobs program and tennis sessions held in the summer and during the school year. Garrison said community involvement “has always been something in me. When I was young my mother always told me to give back.” Her sports journey began at age 10 at the

Homer Ford Tennis Center, where she met her mentor and coach, John Wilkerson. She excelled at the sport, and at age 18, won the U.S. Open juniors tournament and the 1981 Wimbledon junior title. During her 15-year professional career with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Garrison won 14 singles titles and 20 doubles titles, as well as a 1988 Olympic gold medal. On the WTA tour, Garrison often partnered with Lori McNeil in doubles matches. McNeil was mentored by Wilkerson the same time as Garrison, and is now director of Tennis at ZGA. Wilkerson is the academy’s senior director of tennis. “I am truly blessed to have the people around me in my life,” Garrison said. “John and Lori and the directors of my board have all been extremely helpful in the success of the academy.” She is excited about the upcoming gala. “My [focus] for 2013 is love, caring for children and paying it forward, and this celebration hopefully will do that. And, we can raise some money for a new facility,” Garrison said. “The academy is for sure the best thing I have done, but this would not have happened without the great people in my life.” For more information visit or call 713-857-3241.

The Astros recently traded left handed reliever Wesley Wright to Tampa Bay. In 54 relief appearances this season, Wright was 0-4 with a 3.92 ERA (18ER/41.1IP). He had been with the Astros organization since being selected from the Dodgers in the Rule 5 Draft in December, 2007. He had always been a willing participant, serving as a team representative in the community. “Wesley has been a great member of the community during his time in Houston,” Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said. “We appreciate everything he did for the organization and wish him the very best.” We hate to see Wright leave, but at least he’s headed to a contender at Tampa Bay.

Jamaican sprinters dominate Just when we thought it was safe for U.S. sprinters to hit the track again, we are reminded to ask the Jamaicans for permission first. At the recently concluded World Track and Field Championships in Moscow, Jamaican sprinters of both genders once again flexed their muscle. We have come to expect Usain Bolt to be a beast and he was. Bolt captured gold in the 100 and 200 meters and anchored the gold medal winning 4x100 meters relay team. Those wins made Bolt the most decorated athlete in world championship history with eight golds and two silvers, moving past Carl Lewis (eight golds, one silver, one bronze) and Michael Johnson (eight golds). Bolt’s female counterpart, ShellyAnn Fraser-Pryce, was equal to the task in the women’s category. Fraser-Pryce dominated, winning the 100 and 200 meters and anchoring the Jamaican 4x100 meter relay team and barely seemed to break a sweat. She became the first woman in world championship history to sweep the sprint events. “As a country, we should be elated,” Fraser-Pryce said about her country’s performance. If you’re keeping count, it’s Jamaica 6, USA 0, in the sprints. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



For Event Coverage...visit

Actress Marla Gibbs and artistic director Eileen Morris

Valda McCray, Sandy Dotson and Jean Lloyd

Omar Reid, Tobin Hawkins and Mike Koehler


Gala chairs Laurie Vignaud and Sharon Murphy

Honorees A. Renee’ Logans and Lois Bullock

The Williams’ family Isham Jr., Doris, Bridgett and Isham III

Sherry Green and Paula McHam

McKinley and Lisa Parker

Evelyn Williams, Donna Mitchell and Jocelyn Wright

CREATING MAGICAL MOMENTS…..The Ensemgala dinner chairs Sharon Murphy and Laurie Vignaud, ble Theatre celebrated another year of stellar theatrical board chair Argentina James, board president Jackie performances. This year’s theme for their annual gala Phillips, executive director Janette Cosley and artistic was Creating Magical Moments: All the World’s a Stage. director Eileen Morris for another successful event. It brought to life the mission of The Continued success!.....THE BUTEnsemble, which is to showcase the LER…..Houstonians were spotted at Join Yvette Chargois African-American experience through the movies enjoying “Lee Daniels’ The Events of the Week the arts. The 2013 celebrity honorees Butler,” a historical drama directed by More photos on included Marla Gibbs, Lifetime Lee Daniels, written by Danny Strong See Events on KTRK Ch.13’s Crossroads Achievement Award; Kim Coles, and featuring a star-studded cast which with Melanie Lawson Sunday Morning @ 11 a.m. Actress of the Year Award and Mykel includes Oprah Winfrey, Terrence “Miss Mykie” Yowman, Rising Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Star Award. Other awards presented included H-E-B, Kravitz, David Oyelowo and many more. Based on the Corporation of the Year Award; Spectra Energy, Corporeal-life account of Eugene Allen, the film stars Forest rate Founder’s Award; Becky and Ralph S. O’Connor, Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, an African-American White Individual Founder’s Award, and A. Renee’ Logans, House butler who eyewitnesses notable events of the 20th president/CEO of Access Data Supply, President’s Award. century during his 34-year tenure serving eight presiThe Community Partner of the Year was presented to dents. The film includes historical events from the fedLois Bullock, president/CEO of Energized for STEM eral integration of Central High School in Little Rock to Academy, Inc. We salute honorary chair Regina Rogers, Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. It’s about

love, family and history and truly a must-see movie……. A NEW AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT…..The 2013 Cigna Forum, held at the Houstonian Hotel, was attended by local businesses health professionals and government leaders. At this year’s forum the objective was to shine a light on the myths and truths behind health and health costs, sharing insight and revelations that made you think differently about benefits. Program participants included Mike Koehler, president and general manager, South Texas, Cigna; Rosanna Durruthy, chief diversity officer, Cigna; Dr. John Bertini, chairman, Renaissance Physician Organization, and Omar Reid, director of Human Resources, City of Houston. The keynote speaker was Houston Rockets’ General Manager Daryl Morey. Some of the attendees included Tobin Hawkins, regional vice president-Texas Market Lead, Sherry Green, Paula McHam, Evelyn Williams, Donna Mitchell, Jocelyn Wright, Nicole Everline, Kim Bowie and Stefani Farris, to name a few. Great forum!..... From Chag’s Place to your place, have a blessed week! • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

Houston Defender: August, 22, 2013  

Houston's Leading Information Source.

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