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Houston’s Leading Black Information Source

Volume 87 | Number 50 OCTOBER 11, 2018 FREE

NEWSTALK SYLVESTER TURNER urges Houstonians to vote on Nov. 6

P3 FEATURE Pamela Davis

Keith Eason


DONALD TRUMP fudges history on Blacks

Chad Brawley

Houston Ministers of

Michael Pickett


Mu sic Extraordinaire


scores big for Astros

Noelle Wheeler


Rudy & Juanita Rasmus honored Black Methodists will meet in Houston and honor St. John’s co-pastors.


Deshaun Watson

leads Texans victory


Head coach Bill O’Brien said it wasn’t pretty, but quarterback Deshaun Watson and the Texans defeated the Cowboys in the state NFL battle. See why, despite the dramatic overtime win, there are still concerns about the Texans Snoop Dogg at “Redemption of a Dogg” Meet & Greet



P20 • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years





Turner urges citizens to vote

Mayor Sylvester Turner is encouraging Houstonians to “buck the trend” and cast their ballots in the midterms. “When there is no presidential election on the November ballot, many people don’t vote, even though they are eligible to vote,” Turner said. “They don’t think that stakes are high enough for them to spend the time to cast a ballot for candidates and on referendums. They could not be more wrong.” Turner said only a third of the 2 million people registered to vote in Houston and Harris County cast their ballots in the November 2014 election. “Now, four years later, I urge all registered voters in the city of Houston to buck the trend in the Nov. 6 election, for which early voting starts Oct. 22.” he said. Mayor Sylvester Turner

On the ballot

Turner said the choices include candidate s for Congress, governor, lieutenant governor and dozens of other important positions. “Also on the ballo t are city Propositions A and B, which are the ReB uild Houston vote and the vote on the firefighters’ unio n salary referendum. There’s so much at stake at the voting booth,” he said.

Confederate group’s license plate backed by commissioner Associated Press

Texas’ agriculture commissioner says he will back a Confederate group’s latest attempt to sell specialty license plates, because “there’s no profit in hiding our history.” The Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Texas chapter proposed a license plate in March that features a rebel soldier carrying a Texas regiment’s special flag at a Civil War battle. The specialty tag won’t include the Confederate battle flag. Commissioner Sid Miller wrote a letter of support in March that said the Department of Agriculture would sponsor the plate. He said he sees nothing wrong with the group’s push for the specialty tag. “The Confederate flag is one of the six flags that flew over the state,” he said. “There’s no profit in hiding our history and trying to rewrite history.”

Yates High School’s grand opening and library dedication will be held Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 2 p.m. at 3650 Alabama. The new $65 million facility includes a three-story academic wing with flexible core learning centers and a one-story, high-volume performance wing with an auditorium, fine arts and JROTC spaces, gymnasium and athletics area, large dining commons with floor-to-ceiling windows, and library space. The library dedication will honor namesake Hazel Hainsworth Young, a Yates High School teacher and counselor who was among the first teachers when the school opened in 1926.

“Only residents will make and I hope all voters Propositions A and B, of the d en opositions at the selections on these pr ht ticket aig str “Voters using the ballot,” Turner said. litical po gle candidates of a sin option to vote for all on the tes vo ’ ditional ‘yes’ or ‘no party must make ad to ms ite e os selections on th propositions for their hall wn to of t ormation and a lis count.” For more inf visit ns itio os Turner on the prop meetings hosted by / 18 /houstonvotes20

Harris County

Other couthatntisoemse city residents live in

Turner added Fort Bend (www ontgomery (ww ernment) and M r county ould contact thei counties. They sh g information. officials for votin

Look for future Defender “Voters Unite” articles leading up to the Nov. 6 election.

Democratic opponent Kim Olson, who will face Miller in the Nov. 6 election, questioned the move. “Kids are hungry, farmers are struggling, rural communities are suffering, and this is his focus?” said Olson’s campaign manager Kolby Monnig. “Kim Olson is working to reach all voters, because the Texas Department of Agriculture must represent all Texans.” The Texas chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans sought the state’s approval more than a decade ago for a different specialty license plate design that included the group’s name and a square Confederate battle flag. The board that oversees the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles rejected the plan, and the issue turned into a legal battle that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court upheld Texas’ authority to reject the plate.

New Yates grand opening Oct. 16

positions to vote on About theofpthro cit e y are qualified

Residents who ar e not sure if they are registered to vote in Harris County can visit https://www. Search. For inform ation on how, where and when to vote ca ll 713- 274-9550 or visit www.har “T here’s also an explanation of w ho can vote and how to vote by mail,” Turner said . “The informatio n is available in English, Spanish , Vietnamese an d Chinese, as required by law.”


localbriefs FORT BEND ISD IS SEEKING SUGGESTIONS FOR THE NAMING of a new elementary campus to be located in the Aliana community. The deadline to submit names is Oct 23. Those who wish to make a nomination must submit a statement (no longer than 250 words) containing biographical information or historical data, and reasons justifying the suggested name. If a person, the individual should have attained prominence locally or nationally, and have made a significant contribution to society. If a place, the name should include historical relevance. Complete nominations online using a form available at WILL HOLD A SPECIAL EDUCATION Fall Parent Summit

on Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th St. The morning session is 8-11:30 a.m. with registration at 7:30 a.m. The afternoon session is 12:30-4 p.m. with registration at noon. A vendor and informational fair is scheduled 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The summit will provide parents with the opportunity to meet with special education professionals and attend learning sessions. It will address topics such as Child Find (part of the Disabilities Education Improvement Act), autism, behavior inclusion and transition. Former special education students will serve as keynote speakers. Childcare will be provided. For information call 713-556-7042 or email: • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years





House of Representatives top staffers lack diversity Defender News Services

A new report by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that white Democratic and Republican members in the U.S. House of Representatives have very few top staff of color, even though they represent relatively diverse districts. The report found that nearly three-quarters of U.S. House members have not one person of color in any of the following positions: chief of staff, legislative director or communications • In the personal offices of director. Overall, people of color make up 38 white Democratic members, percent of the U.S. population, but only 13.7 less than 8 percent of top percent of all top House staff. staff are people of color, even White Republicans are actually doing though these offices represent a slightly better job in some areas, boastdistricts that are, on average, ing more minority chiefs of staff than their over 37 percent of color. Democratic counterparts. • Congressional Black “We found that Americans are Caucus members hire a greater more likely to elect a member of color percentage of top staff of color to the House than House members in their personal offices (just Spencer Overton themselves are likely to hire a top over 63 percent) than members staffer of color,” said Spencer Overof other major caucuses. ton, president of the Joint Center. “This is not just • Not one Latino, Asian-American/Pacific Islander charity – this is about adequately representing the (AAPI) or Native American serves in any of the 40 country.” committee staff director positions or in any of the 24 Key findings from the report show that: top staff positions in the four top leadership offices • Of the 329 personal offices of white U.S. House of either party. members, only 16 (under 5 percent) are led by • Women account for almost 61 percent of Black chiefs of staff of color. Six work for Democratic top staffers, almost 45 percent of Latino top staffers, members and 10 for Republican members. and just over 31 percent of AAPI top staffers.

THE OFFICER WHO SHOT 12-YEAROLD TAMIR RICE in 2014 has landed another job. Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann shot Tamir, who was playing with a pellet gun outside of a recreation center. Surveillance footage showed Loehmann and his partner drove up on the 12-year-old and shot him within two seconds. Loehmann was never indicted for the killing and it took nearly three years for him to be fired as a police officer after it was discovered he was deemed “unfit for duty” at a previous department. The Bellaire Police Department in Ohio has reportedly hired Loehmann because “he deserves a second chance.” Samaria Rice, Tamir’s mother, said he doesn’t belong on any police force, anywhere…….. FIVE POLICE OFFICERS CHARGED IN THE 2015 DEATH of Freddie Gray in Baltimore want the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case against the city’s top prosecutor, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. Gray, 25, died in police custody after suffering fatal spinal cord injuries he endured while handcuffed in the back of a police van. His death sparked nationwide protests demanding justice. Medical examiners ruled Gray’s death a homicide, however, Mosby’s prosecutors failed to indict any of the officers charged in his death. The Baltimore officers have accused Mosby of maliciously investigating and defaming them and invading their privacy. An appellate court determined Mosby has “prosecutorial immunity,” which shields prosecutors from being sued for actions in a case……..PHILADELPHIA AGREED TO PAY $1 MILLION to avoid a lawsuit filed by the family of an unarmed Black man shot and killed by an officer last year. David Jones, 30, was shot in the back by former officer Ryan Pownhall while fleeing a traffic stop. He later died at the hospital. Pownhall was fired and has since been charged with criminal homicide and remains jailed without bail.

Susan Rice might run for Senate seat in 2020 Defender News Service

The African-American woman who served as former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser said she will decide after the November midterms whether to run for the Senate in Maine in 2020 and challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins. Collins made headlines after announcing she would cast one of the deciding votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Rice said Collins put party and politics over her own stated principles of supporting equal rights and reproductive rights. “I think in a way that I really regret saying, she has betrayed women across this

country,” Rice said. Kavanaugh’s confirmation was stalled by accusations of sexual misconduct when he was in high school and college, but Collins and others were persuaded by his denials and an FBI report they said produced no evidence corroborating the allegations. Rice, a Democrat, gave a hint about her interest in a Senate run in a one-word tweet, responding “me” to an open question about who wanted to run against Collins. Rice served as United Nations ambassador from 2009-2013 and national security adviser from 20132017. She worked in the Clinton administration as part of the National Security Council in the 1990s.

VOLUME 87 • NUMBER 50 OCTOBER 11, 2018 Publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Ad/Client Relations Selma Dodson Tyler Strategic Alliance Manager

Clyde Jiles Art Director Tony Fernandez-Davila Videographer

Jodie B. Jiles

Editors ReShonda Billingsley Marilyn Marshall Contributing Writer Aswad Walker Sports Editor Max Edison Engagement Manager Margo Williams Hubbard

The Defender newspaper is published by the Houston Defender Inc. Company (713-663-6996.. The Defender is audited by Certified Audited Circulation. (CAC). For subscription, send $60-1 year to: Defender, P.O. Box 8005, Houston TX 77288. Payment must accompany subscription request. All material covered by 2012 copyright. (No material herein may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher). • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years

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Fact or fiction

Trump fudges history on Black vote Associated Press

Facing pivotal November elections, President Donald Trump is misrepresenting the history of African-American voting and exaggerating his influence in boosting income and controlling prescription drug prices. He laments in campaign speeches on behalf of Republican candidates that Blacks’ support for Democrats had become “habit,” having voted for them “for 100 years,” and insists his administration’s policies are changing that. In fact, most African-Americans were effectively blocked from the right to vote until 1965. Much of the income gains he claims for Blacks and other minorities came during the Obama administration. On drug costs, Trump says he is “bringing them down.” But few drug-makers have actually lowered prices as a result of his pressure. A look at Trump’s recent claims:


President Donald Trump makes false claims about what he has done for African-Americans.

TRUMP on Black support for Democratic candidates in recent elections: “It’s only habit. It’s habit, because for 100 years, African-Americans have gone with Democrats.” FACTS: No, Black Americans did not primarily vote Democratic for 100 years, or anywhere close to it. Most African-Americans for much of U.S. history were disenfranchised, then effectively deterred from voting via poll taxes and literacy tests until passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which outlawed racial discrimination in voting. African-Americans who could vote before then generally backed Republican candidates until the 1932 election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. His New Deal programs of economic relief won their support and helped spur a longer-term shift of Black voting from Republican to Democrat. The Voting Rights Act eliminated literacy tests, clamped down on poll taxes that the 24th Amendment had banned in federal elections a year earlier and required a number of mostly Southern states with a history of discrimination to get advance federal approval to make changes to their election laws. Before that, only an estimated 23 percent of votingage Blacks were registered nationally, says the Library of Congress, but by 1969 that had jumped to 61 percent.


TRUMP: “How does your African-American, how do you vote for somebody else? I’ve done more for them in two years…And their median income is the highest…” FACTS: He’s wrong about median income now being the highest for African-Americans. He also exaggerates the economic gains he’s accomplished for Blacks. The median income last year for an African-American household was $40,258, according to the Census Bureau. That’s below a 2000 peak of $42,348 and also statistically no better than 2016, which was Democratic President Barack Obama’s last year in office. Many economists view the continued economic growth since the middle of 2009, in Obama’s first term, as the primary explanation for recent hiring and income gains. More important, there are multiple signs that the racial wealth gap is now worsening and the administration appears to have done little, if anything, to address this problem specifically.

Racism rears its head in Keith Ellison race disrupt the gathering. with Nation of Islam leader Louis FarIn a since-deleted comment thread on the Itasca rakhan, as well as his record of criticizing the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Taxpayers Alliance’s Facebook page, captured by DuEvery time U.S. Rep. Keith luth’s WDIO News, one person said, “My friend and I Gaza. Ellison, an African-American are going…dressed as a camel.” Now as Ellison runs for Minnesota atprogressive and the first MusSome of the comments on the Itasca Taxpayers torney general, pursuing the first statewide lim in Congress, tries to move elected post in his career, he is encountering Alliance page also tied an abuse allegation against the up in politics, he grapples with congressman to his Islamic faith. a less disguised form of prejudice. the same attacks in one form or Ellison has been accused of domestic abuse by his Recently, a local Democratic-Farmeranother. former girlfriend Karen Monahan. An Oct. 1 investiLabor Party – as the Democratic Party is His opponents portray the gatory report, prepared for the DFL by a Minneapolis known in Minnesota – relocated a planned Minnesota Democrat as either attorney, found the allegation to be “unsubstantiated,” meeting with Ellison following news that an Islamic fanatic, an antialt-right activists were planning racist, anticiting Monahan’s repeated refusal to produce a video Semite, an extremist Black Minnesota Democratic Congressman Muslim protests at the event. that she claims showed Ellison trying to drag her off a radical or some combination of Keith Ellison, who is running for state attorney general, is encountering The Itasca County party had advertised bed. the three. prejudice. Virtually from the moment Ellison was accused of a meet-and-greet with the congressman at its During his unsuccessful domestic abuse in mid-August, far-right critics have headquarters in Grand Rapids. That is, until race for the chairmanship of the the charge to accentuate existing Islamophobic party chairwoman Cyndy Martin learned that alt-right Democratic National Committee, fellow Democrats • Serving the Houston area for used over 85 years smears against him. objected to Ellison’s long-since-disavowed relationship activists were mobilizing on Facebook to possibly Defender News Services



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Soweto Gospel Choir to perform in Houston Defender News Services

South Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choir returns to Houston on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. in Jones Hall for the Performing Arts for an evening of joyful performances of spirituals and gospel tunes, presented by Society for the Performing Arts (SPA). The two-time Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir has been spreading joy to audiences across the globe for nearly two decades. Comprised of 20 of the best artists in South Africa, the choir invites Houstonians to enjoy the power of African gospel music. The performers have shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music including U2, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Robert Plant, Celine Dion, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Josh Groban. For the first half of the concert, the choir will perform “Songs of the Free,” a rousing program celebrating the centenary of the birth of the father of their Rainbow Nation, Nelson Mandela. Following that, the performers will share international gospel classics including their hair-raising take on Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Soweto Gospel Choir was formed to celebrate the unique and inspirational power of African gospel music and draws on the best talent from the many churches in and around the town. As world-wide ambassadors of South African culture, Soweto Gospel Choir routinely brings audience members to their feet – clapping, stomping, singing, and being transported by the choir’s exuberant performances. The choir is known for their famously vibrant robes, swaying with deft ensemble choreography. Tickets are $30 to $90 and can be purchased online at, by phone at 713-2274772 or at the courtyard level ticket office at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. Hours of operation are 9 a.m.5 p.m. Monday–Friday. For groups of 10 or more call 713-632-8113. Prices are subject to change.

Members of the Soweto Gospel Choir will bring their uplifting music to Jones Hall on Oct. 24.

what’sup BILL COSBY has only been behind bars for two weeks, and he is already working hard to get out. Cosby’s lawyers have filed a motion requesting that the courts overturn his conviction and sentence on account of errors made in his sex assault case and trial. Cosby’s defense team claims the judge should’ve recused himself from the sentencing hearing following the 2017 mistrial and retrial earlier this year. Lawyers called the sentence more punitive than necessary. Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in state prison and fined $25,000. The District Attorney’s office is expected

to reply to the motion within days….KANYE WEST has deleted all his social media accounts following his bizarre MAGA-filled rant during his guest performance on Saturday Night Live. West returned from a year-long hiatus in April. Since then he has said everything from announce his admiration and loyalty to President Donald Trump to call for the abolition of the 13th amendment. The backlash against him has been severe, with many diagnosing the rapper as being in the proverbial sunken place. After cameras cut off, social media footage showed Ye, Kanye’s new name, ending the show with a

lengthy speech in support of Trump….CHANCE THE RAPPER, who is becoming known as the philanthropist of hip-hop, has pledged to donate $1 million to mental health services in his hometown of Chicago. During his annual summit for his nonprofit, SocialWorks, Chano discussed his “My State of Mind” initiative which will work to ensure that Chicago residents have access to mental health resources. To kick off this initiative, SocialWorks will be giving $100,000 grants to six mental health providers in Cook County. Chance isn’t stopping there. He also pledged to expand on his donations to Chicago Public Schools. • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years





2018 Houston Ministers


Music Extraordinaire


By VON JILES Defender

n any given Sunday, churches across Houston come alive with music and songs thanks to the ministers of music. Under the direction of these talented men and women, the church choir sets the tone with praise and worship preparing the souls for the words of GOD. To acknowledge these unsung heroes and “sheroes,” who often go unrecognized, the Defender Network asked a group of peers from the church music


The Fountain of Praise (Mega Church) Hometown: Indianapolis Favorite gospel song: There are so many that I enjoy. Favorite gospel artist: I have a list of many and could not name them all. How did you get into music and who influenced you? I was influenced by my parents who invested in my talent, also family and close friends of my parents who were wonderful musicians and vocalist. If you could ask the Lord for something BIG, what would it be? Something BIG, is the life that GOD has given me and the people I have met through the duration of my life that have planted seeds for me to continue to water as grace and mercy continues to show favor and cover my life.

community to assist in selecting Houston’s Ministers of Music Extraordinaire. In an effort to be fair and inclusive, the peers created five categories: starter church (less than three years), small/average church, medium church, large church and mega church. The five 2018 winners give us insight into who they are, who influenced them and their favorite gospel artists. Visit for more about the winners including a video interview with each one.


The Fort Bend Church (Large Church) Hometown: Houston Favorite gospel song: “Never Would Have Made It” Favorite gospel artist: Marvin Sapp, Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin How did you get into music and who influenced you? I was influenced by watching wonderful singers in my home church at the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church (Houston). Some were educators (Mamie Reed Lee, Bennie Creswell and Alexton Mallory) and some were international performers (Barbara Tucker and Glenn Burleigh). I could not escape the calling of music on my life with those huge influences in the house. If you could ask the Lord for something BIG, what would it be? If I could ask the Lord for anything big, I would ask him to allow me to continue to grow spiritually, musically and academically. I want to continue to grow not only as a musician but a wellrounded person. • Serving the



The Luke Church (Medium Church) Hometown: Houston Favorite gospel song: Any song that is well-written with great melodic lines and lyrics that are truthful about GOD, especially if they share the actual gospel. Favorite gospel artist: All Houston artists are my favorites. Additionally, I really enjoy Daryl Coley, Marvin Winans and CeCe Winans. How did you get into music and who influenced you? As a child, I spent Sunday mornings at Wesley Chapel AME Church with my attention fixed on the music staff. My parents enrolled me in the Mayron Cole Music Conservatory for piano lessons. As I grew musically, my parents moved me to All About Music for lessons with Mrs. Shirley Joiner and Lydia Alston. During my years as a classical piano major at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, I studied privately with Meltonia Thomas. At Johnston Middle School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Mrs. Theola Booker recognized my potential for music ministry and invited me to serve at Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church as one of the youth musicians. I’ve gone on to serve at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, The Potter’s House, Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church and The Luke Church. I always like to mention some of the major teachers/influencers/ mentors in my music life: Theola Booker, Shirley Joiner, Rise Joiner, Lydia Alston, Ed Artis, V. Michael McKay, Ronald Materre, Steve Lawrence, Sylvia Strong, Meltonia Thomas, Brenda Waters, Dr. Danny Kelley, Dr. Jan Taylor, Clyde Owen Jackson, Juanita Nash, Arlan Potts, Dr. Curtis Powell, Kathy Taylor, Glenn Burleigh, Bettye Nelson, Dr. Robert Morgan, Pat Bonner, Terry Jackson, Charles Tyrone and Dr. Jacqueline Chambers. If you could ask the Lord for something BIG, what would it be? GOD, please allow me to perpetually serve and positively impact people’s lives across the world…as mine is impacted as well. For the Brawley group to become a major player in ministry consulting and equipping. I ask that GOD will allow me to write, record, publish and distribute music that will become the soundtrack of our lives and help us grow as a family of humanity. I would also like to help with social justice concerns, particularly for the marginalized.



Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church (Small/Average Church) Hometown: Akron, Ohio Favorite gospel song: Whatever is ministering to me at the time. Favorite gospel artists: Donald Vail, Thomas Whitfield, Walter Hawkins, Andraé Crouch, Darryl Coley, Donald Lawrence, Smokie Norful, Kathy Taylor, Karen Clark How did you get into music and who influenced you? My mother sang in the church choir for a short time when I was very young. I loved the choir, its music and the church organ. Instead of getting organ lessons, Mom started me on and bought a piano. My neighbor taught me my first song by ear and I started taking lessons after that. I was primarily an instrumentalist who grew to love the choir and vocal music. As I excelled, I encountered, played for and was influenced by many of the best singers in Cleveland, Ohio, where I went to college. In college I learned to write music. If I were to name names of influential people, some of whom are well known and some not so well known, some who are alive and others who have gone on to glory, I would have to say: Mary Richburgh, Ben Drone, Richard Smith, David Thomas and Danny Cason, Donald Vail, Thomas Whitfield, Andraé Crouch, Walter Hawkins, Richard Smallwood, Leonard Burks, Carol Antrom, Bernard Pinder, Hortense Wilborn, Brenda Waters, Norful and Earl Preston to name a few. If you could ask the Lord for something BIG, what would it be? I am at the point in my life, considering the things I have already done and accomplished, where the biggest thing GOD could do for me is to bless my children and draw them to Him more intimately. A hit song or impressive performance venue portfolio would be nice, too. But I believe myself primarily a church musician, so ways of being a blessing to the body of Christ would be the biggest things I would ask GOD for. With that said, I think taking a choir on tour overseas or to the Holy Land would be what I would ask for. It would be a way of going to the utmost parts of the world as witness to His goodness and offering that privilege to others who would not otherwise go on their own.

Inspiration Church (Starter Church) Hometown: Detroit Favorite gospel song: “Here I am to Worship” Favorite gospel artist: Todd Dulaney, Travis Greene, Shana Wilson-Williams, LaJune Travis, David and Nicole Binion How did you get into music and who influenced you? I was born and raised in a [musical family]. Starting with my grandparents on both sides of my family, it was easily passed down to the next generation in the family. Both my mom and dad were active in church and music. My father plays the guitar and my mother sings and writes music. It was a natural talent for my siblings and me. Growing up in church and watching my grandfather preach sermons and sing and watching my grandmother sing “I Won’t Complain” every time before she preached, showed me how strong my family is musically. All of my aunts, uncles, etc. can either sing or play an instrument well. Getting to where I am now vocally, I would say the person that has influenced me the most would be my former worship leader and mentor Lisa Brunson in Columbus, Ohio. If you could ask the Lord for something BIG, what would it be? It would be for me to have the ability to minister in front of millions of people and watch them transform in front of my eyes; watch GOD move and heal souls, see people walk out of wheelchairs, be delivered all in one place. I would ask GOD to give me songs to write specifically for the hurting, and have the ability to do it not only in this country but every country so that GOD will get the glory and people will see his works through the gift GOD has given me. I would love to be able to minister in every language. I have a passion for GOD’s people even if they are away from God right now.

e Houston area for over 85 years






projected to rise in minorities Defender News Services

The U.S. burden of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias will double by 2060, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study, published online in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, is the first to forecast Alzheimer’s disease by race and ethnicity. CDC researchers predict that Hispanic Americans will have the largest projected increase due to population growth over the projection period, although

because of the relative size of the population, nonHispanic whites will still have the largest total number of Alzheimer’s cases. By 2060, the researchers estimate there will be 3.2 million Hispanics and 2.2 million AfricanAmericans with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The increases are a result of fewer people dying from other chronic diseases and surviving into older adulthood when the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias increases. “Early diagnosis is key to helping people and their families cope with loss of memory, navigate

Aging agency offers Medicare counseling Defender News Services

Medicare beneficiaries now reviewing their 2019 health and prescription drug plan options can get free help from benefits counselors with the Harris County Area Agency on Aging (AAA), a division of the Houston Health Department. Medicare open enrollment begins Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7. It is a period for beneficiaries to compare all their Medicare options and make changes to their health or prescription drug coverage for the following year. “Seniors and people with disabilities enrolled in Medicare quite often need advice on how to better judge the many health care options available to them,” said Rose Ortega, a benefits counselor with AAA. “They can feel overwhelmed but the advice our benefits counselors provide helps them find the plans that best meet their health needs.” Open enrollment for most beneficiaries may be the only time they can make changes to

their Medicare coverage. They can: • Change from original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan or vice versa. • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another. • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan without drug coverage to another one with drug coverage or vice versa. • Join or drop a Medicare Drug Plan. • Switch from one Medicare Drug Plan to another one. Benefits counselors staffing AAA’s call center do not recommend or endorse any specific insurance product, insurance company or plan. They provide information and advice so beneficiaries can make their own decisions. People can enroll in Medicare if they are 65 or older, under 65 and have a disability or have either end-stage renal disease or ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease. Medicare beneficiaries or their legal representatives can obtain benefits counseling or more information by calling 832-393-4301.

the health care system, and plan for their care in the future,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. Alzheimer’s disease is the fifth most common cause of death for Americans ages 65 years and older. It is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and, eventually, a person’s ability to perform even the simplest tasks. Among people ages 65 and older, AfricanAmericans have the highest prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (13.8 percent), followed by Hispanics (12.2 percent).

Residents urged to get flu shots now Defender News Services

Flu outbreaks can occur as early as October and last as late as May. The Houston Health Department (HHD) recommends everyone six months of age and older get a flu shot now, and preferably before end of October. “Now is the perfect time to get a flu shot,” said Dr. David Persse, Houston’s local health authority and EMS director. “It’s hard to predict the start and the severity of the flu season but getting vaccinated today will help ensure people are protected whenever our area goes through the big yearly spike in the spread of illness.” People can visit their doctor, neighborhood pharmacy or local health department to get a flu shot. Many grocery stores also offer the vaccine. People at high risk for flu are young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, and those age 65 and older. They also are at greater risk of severe complications if they get the flu. The flu – caused by different related viruses – is a contagious disease that results in symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, cough, nasal congestion, sore throat and body aches. People with a combination of these symptoms need to see a medical provider promptly. Most people recover in one to two weeks, but some develop complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus and ear infections. Flu also can make chronic medical conditions worse. Doctors can prescribe antiviral medications that help make the illness shorter and milder. Antiviral medications work best if started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. In addition to vaccination, people can help stop the spread of the flu and other illness by: • Washing hands frequently • Covering coughs and sneezes • Staying home if sick and until at least 24 hours after their fever is gone, except to get medical care. HHD offers flu shots at its health centers to uninsured and underinsured people on a sliding scale basis that ranges from free to $15. To find the nearest health center, call 832-393-5427 or the City of Houston’s 311 information line. Visit • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years



A Defender and Kelsey-Seybold Clinic Alliance


Breast cancer screening is essential BY EARL LOMBARD, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.


lthough breast cancer is slightly less prevalent in African-American women, you’re two times more likely to die from it, which puts black women at high risk. Additionally, about 47 percent of black patients, versus about 37 percent of Earl Lombard, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. Caucasian patients, will have cancers that have spread from their breast to nearby lymph nodes at diagnosis. When the disease has spread, it typically presents a greater treatment challenge. In fact, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer patients with distant metastasis (disease that has traveled to another organ such as the liver or bone) is 26.9 percent compared to 98.9 percent for those with a localized disease. Black women also are two to three times more likely than white women to get an aggressive type of breast cancer called triple-negative breast cancer.

The gold standard for detection

Screening mammograms are considered the international gold standard for detecting breast cancer early. An X-ray picture of the breast, a mammogram can be used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. During a mammogram, your breasts are compressed between two firm surfaces to spread out the breast tissue. Then an X-ray captures black-andwhite images of your breasts and displays them on a computer screen so that a doctor can examine the images for signs of cancer. Mammograms are also used for diagnostic purposes, such as investigating suspicious breast lumps, breast pain, unusual skin appearance, nipple thickening, or discharge. It’s also used to evaluate abnormal findings on a screening mammogram.

Screening recommendations

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends offering annual mammograms starting at age 40 for most women of average risk. Through a shared decision-making process, you and your OB/GYN or gynecologist can decide on your individual screening schedule. Women

with a higher risk of breast cancer may benefit by beginning screening mammograms before age 40. Your risk factors, such as a family history of breast cancer or a history of precancerous breast lesions, may lead your doctor to recommend other studies in combination with mammograms.

Lifestyle choices to help lower risk

Women of all ethnicities can take steps to keep their risk of breast cancer as low as it can be. Talk to your doctor about your risk of breast cancer and lifestyle choices you can make to help lower that risk, such as: • Maintaining a healthy weight • Exercising • Eating a healthy diet that’s low in processed foods, sugar, and trans fats Be vigilant about breast cancer detection. If you notice changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor. Dr. Earl Lombard is a board-certified OB/GYN specialist at Kelsey-Seybold’s Berthelsen Main Campus, Woman’s Center, and Meyerland Plaza Clinic. To make an appointment with him, call 713-442-0000.

Get KelseyConnected


Healthcare that Revolves Around You. KelseyConnected is a smarter approach to your healthcare – because it revolves around you. As a Kelsey-Seybold patient, you have an entire healthcare team that can share your medical history through one electronic medical record and collaborate on medical care that’s right for you. Being KelseyConnected makes your experience with us easy and convenient with: n


Locations close to home and work. Choose the location most convenient for you at 24-Hour Nurse Hotline. Speak with a Kelsey-Seybold nurse after 5 p.m. and on holidays and weekends.


MyKelseyOnline. Email your doctor’s office, make appointments, refill prescriptions, view test results, and more.


Appointments today! Book a Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, or Pediatrics appointment online at

24-Hour Appointment Scheduling: 713-442-0000 |



Applications accepted for Debt Boot Camp Defender News Services

Debt Boot Camp, a free program offered by Capital One Bank in partnership with Windsor Village United Methodist Church, is accepting applications through Nov. 17. The program is designed to walk participants through the process of becoming debt-free and financially sound. The next session will be held Nov. 17 at The Kingdom Builders’ Center, 6011 W. Orem. Sessions are held one Saturday a month from 9 a.m. to noon for seven months. Interested applicants must attend an orientation on Oct. 27 or Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The collaborative program is centered on a successful course study proven to help individuals and families eliminate and manage debt. Participants will also learn the importance of establishing savings and improving their credit score. In addition to obtaining access to premium personal financial education at no cost, those who register for the program receive free one-on-one confidential financial counseling from experts with the BridgePath, as well as coaching from

Capital One bankers. Capital One also offers participants the opportunity to open a no-fee savings account and earn a $100 match after saving $500. Benefits offered by partners in the program include Covenant Community Capital’s Individual Development Account for participants working toward homeownership, which features matching funds up to $1,000, or $2,000 for participants who meet certain income and other guideline qualifications, an estate planning package from Earl Carl Institute and additional legal services for those who qualify. The program has graduated more than 500 people from across the Houston area since 2012. Many of them have seen their credit scores increase. Some have been able to establish an emergency savings or purchase cars and homes, a goal they once thought was unattainable. Applications are available at www. or on the events page of www.kingdombuilders. com. For more information call 713-7262519 or email debtbootcamp@thekbc. com.

Men Who Cook will showcase culinary skills Defender News Services

Phenomenal Pearls Educational and Charitable Foundation and the 100 Black Men Houston Metropolitan Chapter announce the third annual Men Who Cook event. The chef competition is Sunday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. at the Texas Southern University Student Life Center. Bennie Childs This year, more than 30 local chefs will prepare their best entrees, appetizers, side dishes and desserts for guests to sample. Among the featured chefs are Bennie Childs, Ryan Miles and Jerome Harrison. Guests can purchase a cookbook for $20 filled with some of the participants’ favorite recipes. Ticket prices are $25 for adults and $10 for students and children 3-18. Kids 2 and under Jerome Harrison get in free. Proceeds will benefit scholarships for high school students and support community programming. Visit



Black Methodists meet in Houston Oct. 18-20 Defender News Services

The Texas Caucus of the Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) will hold its South Central Jurisdictional Annual Meeting Oct. 18-20 at the Houston Marriott South at Hobby Airport, 9100 Gulf Freeway. The theme is “The Journey,” and is inspired by Judges 18:5-6. In addition to business meetings, the conference features workshops and fellowship activities that include an address by featured speaker Dr. Cedrick Bridgeforth, a communion service, bishops’ panel and journey presentations. Another highlight is a Spirit Celebration on Friday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m., with a performance by Brian Courtney Wilson Dr. Michael Bowie Jr. noted gospel artist Brian Courtney Wilson. The honorees will be Pastive Houstonian. tors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus of St. John’s Church BMCR is the organized Black caucus of the UMC Downtown. and one of the denomination’s five U.S.-based ethnic Dr. Michael Bowie Jr., South Central Jurisdiction caucuses. BMCR represents more than 2,400 Black coordinator and pastor of St. Luke Community United United Methodist congregations and approximately Methodist Church in Dallas, said BMCR is the pro500,000 African-American members across the U.S. phetic voice for all “marginalized and underserved” Its purpose includes empowering Black Methodpeople in the UMC. ists for effective witness and service among pastors, “We are also called to raise up new, prophetic laity in local churches, conferences, schools, and leaders who speak truth to power,” said Bowie, a nathe larger community and encouraging and involvFRO-17031-HoustonDefender-ThePerson-9p75x6p5.pdf



10:00 AM

ing Black Methodists and others in the struggle for economic and social justice. Bowie said the Texas Caucus is pleased to recognize Rudy and Juanita Rasmus for reaching out to the “homeless and hopeless in Houston.” St. John’s began with nine members in 1992. Its membership has grown to include thousands of people of every social and economic background. Rasmus attributes the success of the church to “a compassionate group of people who have embraced the vision of tearing down the walls of classism, sexism, and racism and building bridges of unconditional love, universal recovery and unprecedented hope.” The non-profit Bread of Life, which began by serving meals to the homeless in the sanctuary at St. John’s, has changed the landscape of Downtown Houston, providing a variety of services to homeless men and women. St. John’s is also one of few faith communities in the U.S. providing HIV/AIDS testing to churchgoers on Sundays through the Get Tested Project. Tickets to the Spirit Celebration are $50 and dinner is included. For more information and meeting registration call 713-523-6392 or email:


DEFENDER | OCTOBER 11 | 2018 worker raises. If approved, 517 staffers would receive a $12,000 annual salary increase. “Sometimes we do feel like we don’t get enough attention,” Wold said. “Not just from the Legislature, but from the media and from the community and so we do feel like we have to continually try to get our message out, make sure people are aware of who we are and what we do.” Read more of this story at

classifieds Location of Person Wanted Anyone that knows the whereabouts of Catherine Alexander, please contact attorney Gavin M. Richard at 225-706-8449, ext. 210.

Horizon International Group Is inviting all subcontractors to bid on the Administration & Maintenance Buildings for the Northeast Water Purification Plant (NEWPP) Expansion Project. The project consists of construction of a three-story, steel frame Administration facility with concrete decks, precast concrete walls, and metal roof deck with a membrane roof. The 42,000 square-foot facility will also include, electric vehicle parking and charging, and perforated screen walls to provide wind debris protection and metal canopies on the breezeways.

Agency caseworkers leaving Adult Protective Services ploited. That’s on top of job hazards like foul stenches, roaches, rats and bed bugs. In fiscal year 2017, Adult Protective Services confirmed 51,314 cases of abuse, Charla Gilliam has her morning routine down pat, neglect or exploitation. complete with her gospel music, Joel Osteen sermons While Adult Protective Services is often looked and reading case files for vulnerable older adults and at as the Child Protective Services for adults, the disabled people she needs to see. two agencies differ. Both conduct investigations and As an Adult Protective Services caseworker for the state, she has 40 or more cases of people who have provide services, but the adult agency doesn’t remove people from their homes like Child Protective Services been reported to the agency for potential abuse or does. Workers may connect clients to services like neglect. There’s the man whose family padlocked the shelter, food, medication, transportarefrigerator shut. There’s the man who tion and assistance paying rent and became paralyzed after a suicide at“When you have utilities. tempt. There’s the husband who took Wold said he loses sleep thinking his wife with multiple sclerosis off of turnover in a about what could happen to clients his health insurance plan after finding complex job like APS as turnover in his agency continout he wasn’t the father of their child. best case scenario ues. In the first three quarters of the “A lot of the time you just never you become 2018 budget year, 17.4 percent of its know what you’re walking into,” Gilworkforce left the agency, according liam said. inefficient, worst to a Texas Department of Family and The agency – which is part of the case scenario Protective Services report released in Texas Department of Family and Prosomebody makes July. tective Services – is experiencing high a poor decision or The agency, which has 524 casecaseworker turnover and caseloads as workers statewide, projected it would these staffers work through the emosomebody fails to lose 78 first-year workers before the tional toll of supporting and providing identify a root cause end of the budget year. The fiscal year services for older and disabled Texans. or fails to identify a has ended, but the department doesn’t Caseworkers are also unhappy safety issue.” have new turnover numbers available. about workers at Child Protective “We’re relatively unstable,” Wold Services – which is part of the departsaid. “When you have turnover in a ment – getting significant raises after complex job like APS best case scenario you become high-profile scrutiny from media and state leaders. As inefficient, worst case scenario somebody makes a legislators head back to Austin for the 2019 legislative session in January, it’s unclear how much attention the poor decision or somebody fails to identify a root cause or fails to identify a safety issue.” agency focused on protecting vulnerable adults will Gilliam said if she had to come into the job at the receive. “I do not want a client to die because we didn’t do current starting pay, she wouldn’t have done it; the pay is not equal to the difficult work they do. Her annual our job and do it to the best of our ability,” said Kezeli salary is $52,045. A first-level caseworker typically Wold, associate commissioner for Adult Protective makes $31,923, annually, according to The Texas Services. Tribune’s Government Salary Explorer database. Caseworkers like Gilliam watch heartbreaking Wold and other agency officials are hoping situations of older and disabled Texans not taking care legislators will approve their $17.8 million request for of themselves, being hit, forgotten or financially exTexas Tribune

The Administration Building of the facility will house offices, work stations, control room, and a sample lab. The Maintenance Building will house a Warehouse, Small Parts Shop, and 5-ton bridge crane. Major features and components of each facility include, but not limited to: SCADA/Communications Workshop Control Room Water Quality Sample Lab

Offices Outdoor Terraces Walkways/platforms & handrail

All parties interested in providing subcontracting or material supplier services must contact Michael Brown at with the email subject “NEWPP Admin/Maintenance”. All information regarding this project will be provided electronically via bid invitations on Building Connected. Bids for this project are due on October 11th, 2018. Horizon has been and will continue to be an advocate for minority, woman, and small business inclusion on both public and private projects. The use of subcontractors certified by the City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity as an MBE, WBE and/or SBE is required in the construction of this project. Due to the size of the bid packages, the use of teaming and mentor-protégé agreements for this project is highly encouraged. Please contact the following individuals for more information on the project: Subcontractor Registration: Michael Brown, Diversity Outreach Manager 713-660-8282

Horizon International Group Owner’s Representative for Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church

Is inviting all subcontractors to bid on the expansion of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. Tellepsen Builders, L.P., has been selected by Horizon as the CM@Risk General Contractor. The project consists of demolition of existing infrastructure, a new fully-developed Sanctuary, a shelled Christian Education Center, and associated sitework and is schedule for construction from fall of 2018 to spring of 2020. All parties interested in providing subcontracting or material supplier services must prequalify by contacting Mercedes Lopez-Berrios at with the email subject WABC Prequalification. Bids for this project are due on November 6th, 2018 at 2:00pm. Potential teaming opportunities in the following trades:* •Concrete •Plumbing •Metals •HVAC •Finishes •Electrical •Structural Steel

*There are subcontracting opportunities in all trades on this project. Horizon has been and will continue to be an advocate for minority, woman, and small business inclusion on both public and private projects. To that end, all parties involved are requiring the use of local minority and women owned firms in the construction of this project. You do not need to be certified by a particular agency, but you should identify what level of participation you anticipate to be able to provide. The use of teaming and mentor-protégé agreements for this project is highly encouraged. For updates on the project, please enroll in the project website: Please contact the following individuals for more information on the project: Project Updates: Morris Bennett Project Manager 713-660-8282

Subcontractor Registration: Michael Brown Diversity Outreach Manager 713-660-8282

2018 | DEFENDER OCTOBER 11 | 2018


Astros defeat Indians, advance in playoffs Defender News Services

The Astros passed their first October test as the defending World Series champions with flying colors, burying the Indians with a relentless offense and solid pitching to earn a champagne celebration they hope won’t be their last. Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run double in the seventh inning to break a tie, and George Springer etched his name in history by cranking two first-pitch solo homers to send the Astros to an 11-3 win over the Indians at Progressive Field and a threegame sweep of the American League Division Series. A three-run homer by Carlos Correa – his first hit of the ALDS – capped a six-run eighth inning George Springer continues to impress in the playoffs. as the Astros secured their first don’t back down and don’t settle. Our team really shows playoff sweep in franchise history. up.” “When we have an opportunity to advance, you’ve The Astros advanced to the AL Championship got play well against really good teams,” Astros manager Series, awaiting the winner of the Red Sox-Yankees A.J. Hinch said. “Cleveland is really good. Their pitching contest. staff is really good. I know we scored runs, I know we “They present a lot of challenges, and they’re worput pressure on them, but our team stays the course. We thy of moving on,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.

“Whoever they play, they’ll be a handful.” The Astros dominated the series, outscoring the Indians, 216. Houston was 11-for-30 with runners in scoring position, compared with 0-for-6 for Cleveland. “We just came in here knowing we were a better ballclub,” Astros outfielder Josh Reddick said. “Going up 2-0 at home was huge. We’ve been the best ballclub I’ve seen on the road. We came in here with all the confidence in the world we were going to get the job done. Credit the pitching staff for setting the tone for us so we can stay in games.” Springer, last year’s World Series MVP, homered in the fifth inning to tie the score and become the Astros’ franchise leader with nine career playoff homers. He added a solo blast in the seventh for No. 10, and his eighth in his past nine postseason games, tying a record held by Reggie Jackson (1977-78), Jim Thome (1998-99) and Carlos Beltran (2004 with the Astros). “It’s not about personal stuff here,” said Springer, whose 32 playoff hits are the third-most in franchise history, behind Craig Biggio (39) and Lance Berkman (34). “It’s about the team. So I’ll take it.”

Wednesday, October 24 • 8:00 p.m. • Jones Hall For tickets, visit or call 713.227.4772



sports Texans win state battle, some questions remain


By MAX EDISON Defender

or the first time since the Texans’ inaugural game in Week 1 of the 2002 season, the Houston Texans defeated the Dallas Cowboys in a regular season game. Granted, they’ve only played five times in the regular season, but a win over “America’s Team” is still significant. More importantly the Texans improved their record to 2-3, winning their second consecutive game in the young season. The Texans dominated the Cowboys statistically but it took an overtime period to beat them and questions still remain about the Texans and decision- making at critical moments in the game. On the positive side, the Texans won back-to-back games in overtime for the first time since Weeks 11-12 of the 2012 season. On the negative side, they never should have been in that predicament. The Texans gained 462 total net yards (88 rushing and 374 passing) on 76 offensive plays (6.1 avg.), yet only had 16 points to show for their effort in regulation play. After the game head coach Bill O’Brien had nothQuarterback Deshaun Watson and the Texans beat the Cowboys 19-16 in overtime. ing but praise for his Give credit to the Texans’ defense for keeping the “That’s the way he plays troops game close by throttling a potent Cowboy offense. They the game and he enjoys “Great team win. held the NFL’s leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott to just 54 that part of the game, to Guys hung in there,” yards on 20 carries. The previous week’s AFC Defensive be honest with you. I he said. “It wasn’t Player of the Week, Jadeveon Clowney, explained the think it’s something that pretty [and we have] a mindset of the Texans’ defense. we continue to coach. lot of work to do in the “When you’re facing adversity, show up and answer We don’t want [him to red area and things like the bell,” he said. “We’ve been showing up the last two take] an abundance of that. Deshaun [Watson] games and answering the bell. We’re improving each hits, but sometimes it is a great competitor. He week. Guys are tired of losing; we’re coming out here does happen.” never thinks his team is and competing. We’ve never had any problems with Watson believes out of the game and just competing since I’ve been here, going on five years right there’s nothing to be keeps coming back. It now. We’re coming up with wins now. We have a big one concerned about. was a tough game.” tt before a B Dak Presco Q s la next week.” “I just try to al D ed If there was an area lowney sack Jadeveon C Despite predictable play-calling and questionable do what’s best for of concern it had to be the Linebacker ston crowd. ou H decisions in the red zone, the Texans find themselves still the team,” he said. amount of punishment that in charge of their own destiny. They host a resurgent Buf“Sometimes what’s best for the team is protecting Watson, Houston’s secondfalo team next with a chance to improve their record to myself, but when we’re down there at the goal line, I’m year quarterback, took when he decided to run the ball, .500 after beginning 0-3. It doesn’t appear that anyone in trying to get in the end zone. That’s my mentality…if in many cases electing to take on defenders rather than the AFC South is going to run away with the division. there are three dudes like it was tonight multiple times, slide or run out of bounds. In the locker room following The Texans have yet to play their best game offenI’m going to try to fight my a-off to get in the end zone. the game, he looked like a guy who had been in a UFC sively. If they can limit the hard hits on Watson and the Whatever it takes. I’m built to take those hits, and I’m octagon. defense continues to play well, it could be an interesting just going to give all my will and my guts and try to get “We’ve got to do a better job of making sure that season. the ball in the end zone.” maybe he doesn’t take as many [hits],” O’Brien said. • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years

H.S. sports



High school players get

AGENTS? Coaches weigh in


By JODIE B. JILES Defender

ocal high school coaches have mixed opinions about a new proposed NCAA policy that will allow “elite” male senior basketball players to hire the services of an NCAA-certified sports agent. Though the ruling only applies to basketball players, some observers wonder if high school football players could eventually be allowed to hire agents. The rule changes are a response to a September 2017 announcement of a federal investigation into fraud into college basketball and are designed to: 1. Provide college players more freedom and flexibility to decide their future. 2. Minimize the leverage of outside influences on high school recruits and college athletes. 3. Make the NCAA investigations and infractions process more efficient. 4. Set stronger penalties for schools and individuals who break the rules. 5. Bring in independent investigators and decision-makers to enforce rules. 6. Add public voices to the NCAA Board of Governors for fresh perspectives. NCAA president Mark Emmert and Division I Board of Directors announced the new policy in August, and it will go into effect once the NBA and National Basketball Players Association approve that high school players can go straight to the pros. Currently, male basketball players must be at least 19 years old or one year removed from high school to be eligible for the NBA draft. (NFL players, who are not part of the new NCAA policy, must be at least three years removed in order to be eligible for the pro draft. WNBA eligibility policies require players to be 22 years old and have completed college or be four years removed from high school). In Anglo-dominated leagues like the MLB and NHL, senior high school athletes are permitted eligibility to the pros straight out of high school. The NCAA also grants college hockey and

baseball players access to gain certain free career advice from “advisors” who are actually agents. In addition, there are countless international student-athletes that are playing professional basketball against grown men overseas before they even reach the age of 16. The benefit of the NCAA’s new policy is that it finally at-

Should high school players have agents? Let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter or

tempts to create a more open process where high school studentathletes can communicate with Division I college programs avoiding fraud and other under-the-table deals.

The limitations of the policy are that agents are only able to represent “elite” players, which is a small sample size. Here is what some area coaches had to say about the policy: • Richard Flores, Cypress Falls basketball coach: “On the positive side I definitely foresee an opportunity for the high school coaches, AAU coaches and parents to figure out what is going to be the best avenue for this kind of player as long as they’re on the same page. I tell my guys as long as somebody is looking out for you and they have the best interest of you and your development currently and in the future, then it’s a good thing.” • Tom Nolen, retired Lamar football coach: “I’ve had big-time recruits in football and I’m sure basketball is the same thing. You can either deal with one agent or deal with a hundred college coaches.” • Shawn Narcisse, Madison football coach: “The bad side of it is that I don’t think kids need to be focused on that right now. I think the most important thing is to get in school, do your three or four years and then worry about getting an agent. Doing it straight out of high school is going to be more of a distraction for the kids because you have all these different people coming at you and it can take away from what your main focus is. I think the best thing for elite high school players is to rethink it and do it the way it’s been done…” • Kevin Hall, Manvel football coach: “It’s insanity. It’s the most insane thing I have ever heard of. These guys are seniors in high school. The fact that [the NCAA] would even consider doing something like that just speaks volumes about the ignorance that is going on somewhere in the NCAA.” Emmert, who has led the NCAA since 2010, contends the policy will benefit players. “These changes will promote integrity in the game, strengthen accountability and prioritize the interest of studentathletes over every other factor,” he said. “We remain committed to promoting fairness in college sports and creating an environment that will champion the success of studentathletes.” • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years



Happening in Houston For event coverage email:


REDEMPTION OF A DOGG MEET & GREET……..The incredibly TEW president LaToshia Lewis Payne and event MC Lisa Malosky welcomed successful play, “Redemption of a Dogg,” written and directed by the 2018 honorees: Angie Murray, Laura Schilling, Anita Sehgal, Marie Myers, Houston’s own Je’Caryous Johnson and based loosely on the life of Carol Wood, Dr. Melanie Johnson, Claudia Aguirre, Sara Wise, Dr. Ericka iconic rapper Snoop Dogg, held a meet & greet prior to the five shows Brown, Terry Morales and Rising Star Ashley Turner. Others in attendance that electrified the Bayou City. At the event, sponsored by Constable included Gina Gaston, Dr. Juan Munoz, State Sen. Sylvia Garcia, Ursula Alan Rosen, Johnson and cast members Snoop, Tamar Braxton and Washington and many others……..GHBC 2018 PINNACLE AWARDS……..The Eric Benét shared with those gathered the spiritual significance of the Greater Houston Black Chamber hosted its 24th Annual Pinnacle Awards honoring play. Local pastors and others were on hand to show African American entrepreneurs who have not only succeeded support, including Dr. James Dixon, Minister Keshia Defender TOP EVENTS in business but have positively impacted the Houston-area Powell-Byerly, Pastor J.J. Williams, Ashley Turner, communities and industries they serve. GHBC leadership Jeffery More photos on Kathy Griffin, Janice Weaver, Ebony Valdez, Radio D. Wallace, Courtney Johnson Rose, MC D’Artagnan Bebel, Richh, State Rep. Alma Allen, Congresswoman Sheila and event chairs Sherifat Lawal-Price, Marguerite Williams, Jackson Lee, Erica Davis and many more……..WOMEN ON THE MOVE Bob Harvey and Cheryl and Percy Creuzot celebrated Lifetime Achievement 33rd ANNUAL AWARD LUNCHEON……..Texas Executive Women hosted its Award winners from Ebony Magazine – Linda Johnson Rice, Willard Jackson and Women on the Move 33rd Annual Award Luncheon recognizing 10 of the city’s Michael Gibson – and a host of other award finalists and winners including Marcus best and brightest businesswomen and one rising star. After a panel conversation and Mel Davis, Gerald Womack, Donovan Casanave, Dr. Milton Moore, Bonita on mentoring featuring Felicia Wenah, D’Juan Mansfield and Carolyn Watson, Billings, Deidre Mathis and other business leaders.

Eric Benét, Tamar Braxton, Je’Caryous Johnson

Snoop Dogg

Laura Mayorga, Ashley Turner, Bryce Kennard

Dr. Ericka Brown, Nicole Streeter, Dr. Carla Brailey, Councilmember Amanda Edwards

LaTrisha McIntosh, Linda Johnson Rice, LaTasha Taylor

Marguerite Williams, Sherifat Lawal-Price, Horace Price

Minister Keshia Powell-Byerly, Dr. Devon Powell

Dr. Juan Munoz, Gina Gaston, Nory Angel

Michael Gibson, Jeffery D. Wallace, Willard Jackson • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years

Houston Defender: October 11, 2018  

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

Houston Defender: October 11, 2018  

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