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Houston’s Leading Black Information Source

Volume 83 | Number 3



District D

runoff candidates

PRESIDENT OBAMA is on the defensive


H Page 8 SPORTS LACHE SEASTRUNK runs for Baylor Bears


Dwight Boykins

Georgia Provost

Morris Chestnut returns in sequel Deadly shooting investigated

Local authorities are still seeking answers in the deadly house party shooting that left two teens dead and 20 other people injured. Learn about the search for more suspects. See what an activist has to say about a rush to judgment. Read about eyewitnesses and social media.

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Actor Morris Chestnut enjoyed a breakout role as the bridegroom-to-be in “The Best Man.” He’s back in the sequel to the movie, “The Best Man Holiday.” Hear what he has to say about the star-studded cast. Discover his advice for aspiring actors. Find out what excites him.

H Page 6 • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

Texan Danieal Manning and La Tesha Manning at museum gala






More suspects sought in party shooting

Bruce Austin

Defender News Services


he investigation into a deadly house party shooting that left two teens dead and 20 other people injured continues to take twists and turns. Qu’eric Richardson Local authorities Arielle Shepherd are looking for more “Don’t put innocent people in suspects connected to the shooting in jail because you may have a lazy a Cypress neighborhood, and say the investigator just in a rush to destroy tragedy might be the result of a gang somebody to satisfy the public apdispute. petite,” Quanell X said. “This young The shooting resulted in the man, Mr. Young, has been put in jail, deaths of Qu’eric Richardson and mistreated, taken out of his home – Arielle Shepherd, both students at literally with no clothes on – and put Morton Ranch High School in Katy in jail for a crime he never commitISD. ted.” In the meantime, charges have Sheriff Adrian Garcia said in a been dropped against one of the destatement that the department had fendants, 21-year-old Willie Young. multiple witnesses who identified Another man arrested, 18-year-old Young, and followed up on “every bit Randy Stewart, remains in custody. of information” it felt was critical. Community activist Quanell X About 100 people attended the accompanied Young outside the HarNov. 10 birthday party for 18-yearris County Jail, and said the sheriff’s old Mariah Boulden. It was promoted department rushed to judgment. through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

Dave Wilson Randy Stewart

and text messages. Witnesses said Stewart and Young refused to be patted down by a bouncer at the entry and entered through the gate. At around 11 p.m., someone fired a gun into the ceiling during the party, and someone else began shooting into the crowd. Some of the injured were treated for gunshot wounds, and others were injured trying to get out of the house. Garcia said social media “caused part of the problem we’re dealing with.” He said social media could also help find the suspects. “We are asking those armed with social media to help the Harris County Sheriff’s Office bring closure to this incident,” he said.

Did candidate fool voters? By CIERRA DUNCAN Defender

Bruce Austin, a longtime member of the Houston Community College Board of Trustees, said he lost the recent election because of deception on the part of his opponent. Small business owner Dave Wilson beat Austin by 26 votes on Nov. 5. Wilson received 50.1 Continued on Page 10

localbriefs THE ANNUAL BLACK MALE SUMMIT will be held Saturday, Nov. 23, at 10 a.m. at Lone Star College North Harris, 4141 Victory Drive. Admission is free, and the event features workshops, mentorship opportunities, giveaways and complimentary lunch. It is organized by local activist Deric Muhammad. To register visit BlackMaleSummit2013.eventbrite. com…….. FORMER WILLIAMSON COUNTY D.A. Ken Anderson has been ordered to serve 10 days in jail and give up his law license for hiding favorable evidence in the 1987 trial of Michael Morton, who served almost 25 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. Morton was wrongfully accused of

killing his wife and exonerated by DNA evidence. “I hope this provides some measure of closure for Michael Morton,” said State Sen. Rodney Ellis, one of Morton’s supporters. “There’s no way to make up for the nearly 25 years he wrongfully spent in prison, but the system acknowledging that a mistake was made is a step in the right direction,” Ellis said…….. MATH SCORES for 4th graders and 8th graders in Texas public schools are higher than the national average according to 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress results recently released. The report showed that 4th and 8th grade student groups in Texas – including African-American, Anglo, Hispanic,

Asian/Pacific Island and English language learners – outperformed their national counterparts in math. The score of 273 for African-American students was higher than the national score of 263 in that peer group and ranked fourth nationally………PATTI LABELLE’S BODYGUARD was recently acquitted of misdemeanor assault in a 2011 confrontation with a West Point cadet at a Houston airport terminal. A Harris County jury cleared Efrem Holmes of the charges. According to trial evidence and testimony, cadet Richard King was intoxicated when he approached LaBelle’s limousine and verbally abused her. LaBelle took the stand during the trial. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



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President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a recent Affordable Care Act event at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas.

Obama on defensive over healthcare glitches


NNPA News Service

nder unrelenting attacks –including from Democratic supporters – President Obama and White House officials continue to struggle as they try to blunt criticism that the president stretched the truth in describing coverage options for consumers who already had health insurance before the roll out of In a number of speeches leading up to and following the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Obama assured American citizens that if they liked their health insurance, they could keep it. However, for about 5 percent of people who purchased their health insurance on the individual market, that’s not the case. Thousands have received letters informing them that their current plans don’t meet the standards of the ACA, and that their current plans will have to be upgraded. In those instances, some will have to pay more. During a recent forum on the ACA hosted by the National Urban League, Anton Gunn, director of external affairs in the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, acknowledged the problems with the rollout of, but said that the law is still valuable. “We are at very critical and important time for so

many people in this country that never before had the opportunity to access health care coverage,” said Gunn. In his remarks, Gunn steered clear of the technical problems of and the heated Capitol Hill hearings on Obamacare. Instead, he focused on the goals of the ACA – covering people with pre-existing conditions, making health insurance more affordable, and mandating that insurance companies spend at least 80 cents of every dollar on actual health care and no more than 20 cents on administrative costs. Gunn said that the law also insures more than 3 million young adults, at least 500,000 of them Black, and allows those under 26 to continue to get coverage through their parents insurance plans. He also sought to clear up the controversy over health insurance plan cancellation letters millions of consumers have received because of the ACA. “People are not getting dropped or getting cancelled,” said Gunn. “Nobody is losing coverage.” Gunn said that the ACA requires that all health insurance plans meet a set of basic standards that all health insurance companies must comply with or risk penalties. Now those companies are playing catch up. White House officials have said that 5 percent (15 million) of Americans will need to have their plans upgraded to meet minimum ACA requirements.

A COLUMNIST with the Washington Post is under fire for his commentary about the biracial family of Bill de Blasio, the newly elected mayor of New York. Richard Cohen wrote that, “People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a Black woman and with two biracial children… “(Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.” Though Cohen has received criticism for the column, Katherine Weymouth, the Post’s publisher, appears to stand by him. She called his column “brilliant” in a tweet……..CONDOLEEZZA RICE was approached by a firm helping Penn State look for a new president but isn’t interested in the position. Rice, a former secretary of state, is currently director of Stanford University’s Global Center for Business and the Economy. Penn State has been embroiled in controversy since the arrest of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on child molestation charges……..A BLACK NEWSPAPER contends that Roslyn Brock, national chair of the NAACP, is declining to denounce racism. According to the Richmond Free Press, Brock is refusing to call for the Washington Redskins to change its “racist nickname that is derogatory to Native Americans.” Brock is vice president with a healthcare company that has a partnership with the Redskins. Raymond H. Boone, the newspaper’s publisher, sent Brock a letter urging her “to speak out against the racist nickname and the football team’s vending policy that allowed the selection of the super-rich football team’s corporate vendors over Black and other local vendors in Richmond.” Brock said the nickname controversy and vending policy were “local matters.”

VOLUME 83 • NUMBER 3 NOVEMBER 14, 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).




Senseless shooting UH, fix the problem The University of Houston has a big problem. It is neglecting the Black community in the areas of student enrollment, faculty recruitment and business contracts. Based on the facts, these problems have progressively gotten worst over the last five years. The community should demand that it be fixed. The legislators should demand that it be fixed. The board of regents and especially the new board chair should demand that it be fixed. The president and chancellor should demand that it be fixed. Just as UH went after Tier One status, the university should make a serious commitment to inclusion and diversity of its students, faculty and contractors. The emphasis is on inclusion. The chancellor and her administration need to roll up their sleeves and get to work on making a change. In fact, UH should present a plan to the Black community outlining a strategy (step-bystep) of how they will address increasing the Black student enrollment, increasing the number of African-American faculty (tenured and non-tenured) and growing the number of contracts with African-American businesses. At the end of the day, the University of Houston is a state funded public institution supported by our tax dollars, which are generated from a diverse base of taxpayers. That same diversity should be reflected at the University of Houston. UH, fix the problem now.


any Houstonians are shocked and saddened by the recent shooting on the northwest side at a teenage party. It was horrific, with 20 people injured, two dead, one arrested and more to come. But the number of victims far exceeds those mentioned – friends, family and the community are in mourning. Watching the news reports we have grown to understand how some of the events led up to the shooting, but the real question is “Why?” One reason is social media according to Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, who described the scene as a “birthday party gone wild” and said that the problem started when party organizers used Twitter, Facebook and other means to promote the event. “Anytime you promote a birthday party on social media, you have no control over who to expect at your door,” Garcia said. “What it does indicate is that you’re saying to the social media world, ‘I don’t know who you are, but you’re invited.’ That’s not a good practice.” Another reason is a lack of security. Granted, the young people had the foresight to search party-goers, but let us assure you that this is not the first nor will it be the last party where gunfire has occurred at a teen party. We live in an age where guns are easily accessible and gangs are prevalent. This combination demands extra security for any teen party and there are still no guarantees. Parental guidance and supervision also play a role. One parent said she did not even know her child was at the party. Many parents have experienced the switch-a-roo but we need to keep a tighter rein on our children, especially

Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

those under 18. But even if the parents were present or knew where their kids were, could they have made much of a difference? At the core of the issue is GANGS. Not drugs, not alcohol, but gangs. These gangs have replaced the family for many young minority males. The love, camaraderie, respect and acceptance these young men are seeking is offered through gangs. In addition to those who take lives, the community is left with blood on its hands because ultimately, it is our responsibility to teach and protect our children. We must participate and support programs to engage our young Black males. If we don’t, who will? This was a senseless shooting. Ask yourself, “What can we do to keep it from happening again?” Then do something!

Misleading voters in HCC election The Houston Community College race for the Board of Trustees District 2 between 24-year incumbent Bruce Austin and businessman Dave Wilson is attracting national attention. A recount has been requested to contest the results, in which Wilson avoided a run-off with a narrow victory of 26 votes unofficially. The headlines have touted “race” as the underlining factor suggesting that: “A white guy wins after leading voters to believe he’s Black” (KHOU-TV); “White candidate wins local race after pretending to be Black” (MSNBC) and “White, anti-gay Republican wins local election after pretending to be Black” (Huffington Post). Reportedly, Wilson distributed a flier featuring photographs of smiling African-American faces with the caption “Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson.” Another mailer implied Wilson was “endorsed by Ron Wil-

son” which some Houston voters thought was a former state representative. But the fine print stated “Ron Wilson and Dave Wilson are cousins” referring to one of Wilson’s relatives living in Iowa. The color of a candidate is not as important as the character of the candidate. Transparency and trust go hand-in-hand. To mislead or misrepresent brings to question whether a person is trustworthy. To deceive the voters raises the concern of lying to constituents for self-interest. There is an old saying that “What you do speaks louder than what you say.” If Dave Wilson is the ultimate winner in this election, the voters of District 2 should keep a watchful eye out, because the strategy and tactics of a campaign are a reflection of a candidate’s character. In Wilson’s case, the warning light is on – beware of what lies ahead. Misleading election transcends to misleading constituents. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years




what’sup JOHN LEGEND has formed a partnership with the NAACP to launch a nationwide campaign to promote voting rights and register Americans to vote. The campaign was launched at his recent concert in Durham, N.C., where he asked fans to join him in taking a stand for voting rights by texting “LEGEND” to 62227 and helped eligible concert-goers register to vote. North Carolina has one of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the country……... The Broadway hit “The Trip to Bountiful” is currently in production in Atlanta for a TV adaptation to premiere on Lifetime in 2014. CICELY TYSON, VANESSA WILLIAMS, BLAIR UNDERWOOD and KEKE PALMER star in the story of one woman’s quest to reconnect with her past in order to ensure her family’s future. It is set during the final years of the Jim Crow South……..Hip-hop lyricist and poet NAS is the face of a new fellowship founded and developed at Harvard University. The Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship is funded by an anonymous donor who selected Nas as the focal point of the program. Two applicants will be chosen to engage in comprehensive research of the hiphop genre……..DIONNE WARWICK and KEITH SWEAT will be honored during the Soul Train Awards, which air Dec. 1 on BET. Warwick, 72, will receive the Legend Award. She is a five-time Grammy Award-winner and has produced such hits as “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Alfie” and “Déjà Vu.” Sweat, 52, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. His hits include “I Want Her” and “Make It Last Forever.” He was a member of the “supergroup” LSG featuring GERALD LEVERT and JOHNNY GILL……..The History Channel is planning a new eight-hour “Roots” miniseries. The network is beginning discussions with writers for the project, which will draw from the original series and book by ALEX HALEY. “Roots,” which followed the enslavement of Haley’s ancestor KUNTA KINTE, became a cultural phenomenon when it aired over eight consecutive nights in 1977. It broke ratings records and the conclusion drew 100 million viewers, almost half of the entire country. Cast members included LEVAR BURTON, BEN VEREEN, LOU GOSSETT JR., LESLIE UGGAMS and JOHN AMOS……..Actor ANTHONY MACKIE was arraigned on two misdemeanor counts of drunken driving in New York City. Mackie, 35, was arrested and released after appearing in criminal court. His next court date is Dec. 19. He is charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Morris Chestnut (second from left) joins Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard and Harold Perrineau in the sequel, “The Best Man Holiday.”

Morris Chestnut

returns in ‘The Best Man’ sequel By KAM WILLIAMS Special to the Defender


orris Chestnut was born on New Year’s Day 1969 in Cerritos, Calif., where he was a student-athlete in high school, en route to majoring in finance and drama at California State

University. He made his big screen debut opposite Ice Cube in John Singleton’s ‘Boyz n the Hood,” and subsequently enjoyed a breakout role as the bridegroom-to-be in Malcolm Lee’s “The Best Man.” The handsome heartthrob has been a much-indemand leading man ever since, starring in such hits as “Think Like a Man,” “Identity Thief,” “Two Can Play That Game,” and “The Perfect Holiday.” A dedicated family man away from work, Chestnut and his wife, Pam, live in suburban L.A. with their son, Grant, and daughter, Paige. Here, he talks about reprising the memorable role of Lance Sullivan in the eagerly-anticipated sequel, “The Best Man Holiday.” The star-studded cast

includes Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau and Monica Calhoun. KW: What did it mean to you to reunite with the cast to shoot this sequel? MC: It was just wonderful coming together again after all these years, especially since we’d had such a great experience before. It gave me a good feeling inside to reunite, almost like family. We’d accomplished so much the first time, and it was pretty much the same with the sequel. KW: How did you feel about the arc of your character this go-round? MC: I was really excited about how all the characters were layered and had depth to them. Malcolm wrote a really great script. As for Lance’s arc, I think this is one of the best roles I’ve ever had in a movie. KW: What message do you think people will take away from the film? MC: There are so many messages, because the film has a number of storylines. One thing I love about making an ensemble film like this is that you can have • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

Continued on Page 11


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datenights and







runoff can


Dwight Boykins takes part in the Sisters Network walk/run.

Boykins discusses moving forward Defender: What are income for those looking for the differences between a second chance, including you and your opponent? non-violent ex-felons. Boykins: I have some Defender: Name three original and innovative specific changes you will • Profession: President and CEO, ways to move District D implement in District D if d Boykins Consulting Firm forward, some of which elected? • Education: BBA in Marketing, include the creation of Boykins:I plan to dea long-term permanent velop an incentive program Texas Southern University sustainable fund used for focused on bringing brand • Community involvement: the development of jobs name retailers to the comSHAPE Community Center, and the development of a munity that will provide second chance program. jobs to our community. I NAACP, Hurricane Ike Relief Also when elected as Housalso strongly support more Fund Board, ReBuild Houston ton City Councilmember funding toward the city’s Oversight Committee for District D, I intend to after-school programs. These • Family: Married to Genora establish a fund to assist programs need to be properly seniors on fixed incomes funded in order to provide Boykins living in District D with top of the line education and “minor” home repairs at no youth development. These cost to them. programs are a great way of deterring crime for I am the only person in this race who is preyouth belonging to low-income communities. pared to hit the ground running on day one. The Also when elected, I intend to establish a fund to people of this district need a councilmember who assist seniors on fixed-income living in District D is qualified and going to fight for their needs. with “minor” home repairs at no cost to them. Defender: Crime is a problem in District D. Defender: Why should District D constituWhat are your plans for addressing the issue? ents vote for you? Boykins: There is a direct correlation beBoykins:I am the only candidate who is tween crime and unemployment. I want to give prepared to hit the ground running on day one. people in our community a chance to get back to The people of this district need a councilmemwork through my second chance program. This ber who is qualified and going to fight for their program is a creation of a long-term permanent needs. The citizens of District D are facing some sustainable fund used for the development of serious times and need a serious candidate. I have jobs. This program is an initiative to provide worked hard as your public servant and I will long-term employment opportunities, economic continue my service when elected as your Housdevelopment, crime reduction and sustainable ton City Councilmember.

About Dwight Boykins


he race to represent District D on Houston City Council has been a heated one. Twelve candidates filed for the Nov. 5 election, and two of them – Dwight Boykins and Georgia Provost – are headed for


District D

Population: 192,932 Race/ethnicity: Black, 55%; Hispanic, 26%; white, 12%; Asian, 6%; other, 1% Age: 5 and under, 8%; 5-17, 17%; 18-64, 64%; 65 and over, 11%; Education: No high school diploma, 22%; high school diploma, 29%; some college, 26%; bachelor’s or higher, 23%; Household income: under $25,000, 27%; $25,001$50,000, 26%; $50,001-$100,000, 31%; over • Serving th



ict D



Georgia Provost visits with two community members.

Provost talks about district’s needs Defender: What are the right to purchase weeded and dilapidifferences between you and your dated houses and lots that they have opponent? been taking care of for years. Provost: I have lived and Defender: Name three speowned a business in District D cific changes you will implement • Profession: CEO, Provost & for over 30 years. Not only did in District D if elected? Associates Photography I graduate from Texas Southern Provost: (1) Focused work• Education: B.S. in Technology, University, I’ve raised scholarships force training. Establish a partnerTexas Southern University for our young people to also attend ship with Houston Community Community involvement: Texas TSU. When elected I will be an College and area apprenticeship Metropolitan Organization, TSU independent voice for District D, programs for District D residents Bayou Bend Alumni/Ex-Students because I won’t owe any lobbyat Sunnyside Multi-Service Center, ists and City Hall insiders political Palm Center and Third Ward MultiAssociation, T.F. Freeman paybacks and favors for campaign Service Center. (2) Better paying Ministers/Laity Summit, contributions. JOBS. Work with Metro to improve Black Texans Council for Higher The experience I will bring to bus and MetroLift services and Education City Hall is as a mother, grandwork directly with local cham• Family: Widow of Herbert mother, business owner, neighborbers of commerce to bring more Provost; son, Jerome hood activist and someone who business and better paying jobs to knows first-hand the needs of District D. I will also work with the residents of District D. I am a residents and businesses in District coalition-builder who understands that more fees and higher D to attract more grocery stores and restaurants. (3) Hold a taxes aren’t needed in District D. What’s needed are more street, sidewalk and infrastructure improvement town hall jobs, safer neighborhoods, better streets and more affordable meeting to hear directly from District D residents on priorihousing. tizing Capital Improvement Projects (CIP). This will be done Defender: Crime is a problem in District D. What are before the start of the City’s CIP process. your plans for addressing the issue? Defender: Why should District D constituents vote for Provost: First, host a District D public safety summit at you? Palm Center. At that summit, we are going to bring together Provost: I am the best qualified and most capable of residents, law enforcement officials and coordinate a plan representing the entire district. I have more real life and pofor law enforcement agencies to coordinate police patrols. litical experience. My relationship with other elected officials Second, bring together management districts to help pay for is as a PEER, NOT as a PAID lobbyist. City Hall still needs security cameras and more bicycle and horseback patrols. to have an African-American woman’s perspective at the Third, fight for a civilian review board with subpoena Council table. If I am not elected, there will be no such voice, power. Fourth, conduct bi-monthly public safety meetings experience or perspective at City Hall. Diversity is not just a across the district with civic clubs and Super Neighborhood matter of who gets business at City Hall; it’s also a matter of councils. Fifth, I will work with our local state legislators to who is independent enough to stand up and TELL IT LIKE secure legislation that will allow District D residents to the IT IS and that’s me.

About Georgia Provost

the December 14 runoff. Boykins received 42.9% of the vote and Provost received 14.3%. In a Q&A with the Defender, both candidates talked about their qualifications and plans for the district if elected.

D profile


$100,000, 16% Landmarks: Emancipation Park, Hermann Park/Houston Zoo, Museum District, Texas Medical Center, Texas Southern University, University of Houston Super neighborhoods: Astrodome, Greater Hobby, Greater OST/South Union, Greater Third Ward, MacGregor, Medical Center, Midtown, Minnetex, Museum Park, South Acres/Crestmont Park, South Belt/Ellington, South Park, Sunnyside Source: City of Houston

he Houston area for over 80 years



Fool voters... ...

Continued from page 2 percent of the vote for the HCC District 2 race. Austin, a 24-year incumbent, received 49.9 percent. District 2 is a predominantly African-American Democratic area that covers parts of North and Northeast Houston. Austin believes Wilson was able to get so many votes because he deliberately deceived voters into thinking he was Black. Wilson, a white Republican, did not have his picture on his website or campaign materials. His direct mail pieces featured only African-Americans and one mailer advertised he had the support of Ron Wilson, the same name of the former African-American state representative. In the fine print it stated that “Ron Wilson is Dave Wilson’s cousin.” “We learn in a democracy it depends on honesty and transparency so that voters can make an informed decision,” Austin said. “In the case of Wilson, fraud undermined the integrity of our political system. “If you look at the problem, he plotted from the very beginning to deceive voters. He sent out pieces that had lies and misinformation in them. This is the relationship he has established with the constituents of District 2.” Wilson could not be reached by the Defender for comment. However, he told KHOU-TV that he was surprised by the victory. “I’d always said it was a long shot,” he said. “No, I didn’t expect to win.” When asked about his cousin’s endorsement, he said, “He’s a nice cousin. We played baseball in high school together. And he’s endorsed me.” Wilson said on his website he is “uniquely qualified” to be on the HCC board because of his business background and his commitment to education. He also said he is committed to keeping “our” money for “our” children. Austin encourages voters to pay attention to who is running during elections and their campaign platforms. He said he will request a recount after the narrow loss. “I haven’t finished the election,” Austin said. “There are things that are yet to be done in terms of checking the process. I don’t know what the future holds but I hope for the best. What I’m doing is what I can to make sure justice is served.”

Correction: In last week’s issue, information about two political races was incorrect. Andrew Burks will face David Robinson in the City Council At-Large Position 2 race. Robert Glaser will face Phil Kunetka in the HCC District 5 trustee race.

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10/31/13 10:17 AM


Morris Chesnut...Continued from page 6 ....

10 people come away from it with 10 different messages. KW: Would you consider your role in “The Best Man” or in “Boyz n the Hood” to be your signature role, since both are iconic? MC: I‘d like to think that they both are. “Boyz n the Hood” definitely put me on the map and really brought me into the game. Hopefully, this one does the same thing, twenty-something years later, because I feel very strongly about it. It’s a great, emotional role in a great movie overall. KW: You have been in the movie business for decades. What advice do you have for aspiring actors who want to achieve longevity? MC: I would say focus on your craft. Nowadays, a lot of people come to quoteunquote Hollywood thinking that they just have to be different or do something outlandish or have a huge personality to become a star. But I think that if you just focus on the craft, you’ll have a better chance at longevity. KW: What is your favorite dish to cook? MC: I don’t really cook, but I like to eat sweets. When I go to a restaurant, I’ll read the dessert menu before I even look at the entrees. I love sweets, especially chocolate…Now I’m getting hungry. KW: What excites you? MC: Well, I’m excited by my family, sports and desserts. KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see? MC: Nothing special… just me. KW: What was your best career decision? MC: Signing on to do “The Best Man Holiday.”

KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for? MC: For this movie to have instant box office success and make over $100 million. KW: If you only had 24 hours to live, how would you spend the time? MC: With my family. KW: What is your earliest childhood memory? MC: One Christmas, my brother and I woke up at about 2 in the morning. These dirt bikes were there under the tree, so we went outside and started riding them around our tiny backyard in the middle of the night. KW: Is there anything that you promised yourself you’d do if you became famous, that you still haven’t done yet? MC: I never made any promises like that to myself, because I didn’t pursue acting to become famous. I was actually just trying to make a living. KW: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose? MC: I’d say the ability to fly. KW: If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be? MC: Dr. Martin Luther King. KW: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you’d like to star in? MC: Yes, “Mahogany.” KW: What is your favorite charity? MC: Children’s Miracle Network. KW: What key quality do you believe all successful people share? MC: Perseverance. They don’t give up. They just continue to strive for what they want. KW: How do you want to be remembered? MC: Just as someone who has always done right by others.

Morris Chestnut and his wife Pam have a daughter, Paige, and son, Grant.

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Social Security debate looms


NNPA News Service

eep beneath the surface of endless partisan wrangling between the White House and Congress is the Social Security debate. And while it’s considered one of the most complex and intricate policy issues in Washington, it’s also one of the more consequential discourses in modern American politics. It’s simple: the U.S. population is rapidly aging. The more it ages, the more concerns over issues such as Medicare and Social Security nudge themselves into the forefront of election cycle talking points. According to the Census Bureau, there are now 41 million Americans aged 65 and older, and senior citizens now constitute 13 percent of the total population. This trend provides the background noise for an endless debate on the viability and future of Social Security. Stakes are high, considering more than 56 million people, or one in every six Americans, collect some type of Social Security benefit. Critics of Social Security view it as a gigantic welfare program or entitlement that’s sapping the country’s economic future. Such rampant opposition to Social Security has prompted the Obama White House to meet conservatives in the middle on the issue, with a proposal from the president to change how an-

nual benefits are calculated. Politically, Obama’s proposal seeks to placate budget hawk Republicans who wouldn’t mind doing away with Social Security altogether. Fiscally, it could become a legacy feather in the cap for the president if it saves $230 billion over 10 years as planned. In many ways, Social Security was intended to function as a standalone and self-financed program: it simply collects payroll taxes from workers and employers and pays benefits to eligible retirees, disabled workers, spouses and surviving spouses and children. But, the Heritage Foundation’s Romina Boccia contends that the view of Social Security as a sort of retirement account is misguided and somewhat false. Boccia points out that, in reality, Social Security is operating on a pay-as-you-go system — whereby worker payroll taxes go toward paying the benefits of current retirees. In other words, a 35-year-old worker who believes a portion of their payroll taxes is going into their own individual retirement account is being duped — that money is really going towards paying the benefits of their 85-year-old grandmother. In the meantime, aging population trends will send ripples across the electoral landscape. “If reforming Medicare and Social Security persist as policy issues, the votes of older persons may increasingly be affected to a much greater degree than in past elections,” said Dr. Robert Binstock of Case Western Reserve University.


Noted AME Bishop Sarah Frances Davis dies Defender News Services

Bishop Sarah Frances Davis, president of the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, and vice president of the World Methodist Council, died Nov. 9 after a brief illness. Services will be held Saturday, Nov. 16, at The Church Without Walls, 5725 Queenston Blvd. An Alpha Kappa Alpha ceremony is at 9 a.m., the viewing is at 9:30 a.m. and the funeral is at 11 a.m. As a clerical trailblazer, she was only the third woman in the 218-year history of the AME Church to reach its highest level, the office of bishop, in 2004. At the time of her death, she was the presiding prelate of the16th Episcopal District. That district is made up of churches and schools in South America, the Windward Islands, the Caribbean Islands and Europe. She was known as the “Prayer Bishop” because of her consistent emphasis on the importance of prayer in the life of the church. Her ministerial career included several firsts, beginning with her appointment by AME Bishop John Bryant as the first female pastor of the 115-year old Bethel AME Church in San Antonio. She was also the first female in Texas to lead a major AME church. She was a member of the board of trustees for the Houston Graduate School of Theology, served as chair of the Global Development Council of the AME Church (2009-2011), and was a member of the Jamaica Council of Churches at the time of her death. Bishop Davis earned a doctor of ministry degree from Southern

Methodist University Perkins School of Theology, a master’s of divinity from the Houston Graduate School of Theology, a M.S. from Pace University in New York and a B.A. from the

Free credit scores coming to millions NNPA News Service

University of North Texas. She is survived by her husband, Claytie Davis Jr., her sons Corey B. Davis, Dr. Claytie Davis III and his wife Yolanda, and a grandchild, Alexandra.

Millions of Americans will soon be able to access their FICO credit scores for free. FICO scores are used by nearly every major lender to assess the creditworthiness of credit card and loan applicants. But these scores are mostly invisible to consumers, unless you go to FICO’s website and sign up for a subscription of $14.95 per month, a service you need to cancel within 10 days if you don’t want to be charged anything. That’s going to change, however. The company recently announced that it plans to allow any lender using FICO scores to make the scores available to consumers for free through a program called FICO Score Open Access. This will make it possible for customers to know exactly how they’re being viewed by their lenders, and help them better assess the types of credit and rates they should be able to qualify for. FICO is in talks with lenders, and expects at least 25 million customers to have access to free scores by the end of the year. In addition to getting credit scores, customers at participating banks will be able to see the two main factors impacting their particular score, whether it’s late payments, a lack of credit history or large amounts of debt.


SOW_HoustonDefender2014paths.indd 1


9/12/13 8:12 PM

classified Houston Independent School District NOTICE TO PROPOSERS The Houston Independent School District located in the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center at 4400 West 18th Street Houston, Texas 77092 will accept proposals, until the stated date and time deadlines, in the Board Services Office, Level C1 between the hours of 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. for the following projects:

Project 13-11-03 – RFP/Video Content Creation, Editing, and Production Services – with a deadline of 10 AM; December 3, 2013. A pre-proposal conference will be held at Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center at 4400 West 18th Street Houston, Texas 77092 at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 in room 2NE32.

Proposals are available on the HISD web-site at The District reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, or, to accept the proposal that is most advantageous to the District.

ATTENTION SENIOR CITIZENS Penelope 54 – II Apartments are now under construction at 8113 Creekbend Dr. Houston, TX 77071. On Monday, November 18th and Tuesday, November 19th, applications/interviews will be held from 9am to 4pm each day at Penelope 54 – I Apartments located at 8111 Creekbend Dr. Houston, TX 77071. Each applicant should be prepared for an interview and bring with you, your Social Security information, ID’s, pensions, assets, banking, medical, pharmaceutical information including addresses of those listed for third party verification. The minimum age requirements are Head of Household must be at least 62 years of age and not to exceed the maximum household income limits of: 1 person $23,200 2 persons $26,500 100 applications will be available on a first come, first served basis and will be ranked in chronological order of the postmark.




Baylor Bear football flirts with greatness


By MAX EDISON Defender

t has been a big year in college football. Traditional powers such as Alabama and Florida State have continued to dominate their respective conferences and the top of the polls. The biggest surprise of the season to date has been the outstanding performance turned in by the undefeated Baylor Bears. Predicted to finish around the middle of the pack in the Big 12 conference, the Bears are sporting a perfect record Coach Art Briles has (8-0), the first time in school the Baylor offense history. They demolished working at peak Oklahoma, last year’s Big 12 efficiency. champ, by a score of 41-12, and now find themselves ranked No. 5 (BCS) in the nation. Known for his highpowered offensive attack while at the University of Houston, Baylor head coach Art Briles has the Bear offense working at peak efficiency. The offense ranks No. 1 in 11 different offensive categories, including scoring (63.9 points per game) and total offense (718.4 yards per game). Record setting junior QB Bryce Petty (6-feet-3, 230 pounds) feels the team’s success is a result of Briles’ influence. “He came in and basically changed our whole mentality as far as how we approach things,” Petty said. “…My hat’s off to Coach Briles, because he had a vision since day one and that’s what you have to have to change a program. And he’s not only done that with us but with every program [where he’s coached]. I’m really blessed to have him as a coach.” Baylor’s success has not been an overnight occurrence, but a consistent building process. Many thought the program had peaked when Robert Griffin III won the first Heisman Trophy (2011) in Baylor football history. That’s obviously not the case.

Running back Lache Seastrunk is nationally recognized.

Quarterback Bryce Petty is a record-setting junior.

The program is continuing to trend upward and the success this season is another example. “We won a bowl game in 2008 and in 2012 and these guys have won a bunch of football games,” Briles said. “They’ve done a lot of good things together. So when we get on the field we know what we’re doing and we have outcomes that are predictable and that’s what you like as a football team.” The success of the Bears offense has not gone unnoticed nationally. Petty and All-American candidate running back Lache Seastrunk (junior, 5-feet10, 210 pounds) have both been named as two of the 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award, given to the Collegiate Player of the Year. Although the offense garners headlines for its potency the Bears feature a staunch defense. The unit features eight returning starters led by Ahmad Dixon (senior S, 6-feet, 205 pounds), Bryce Hager (junior LB, 6-feet-2, 235 pounds), Eddie Lackey (senior LB, 6-feet, 220 pounds) and Chris McAllister (senior DE, 6-feet-3, 255 pounds). The Bears defense ranks among the NCAA’s top 11 defensive teams in eight categories, including red-zone defense (first, 55.0 percent conversion rate), scoring defense (sixth, 15.9 average) and total defense (11th, 316 yards per game). The schedule only gets tougher for the Bears in the weeks remaining. They face the meat of the Big 12 with games against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas on the immediate horizon. With the construction of a state-ofthe-art $260 million on-campus, riverfront stadium, scheduled to open sometime in 2014 and a football team performing at a record-setting pace, things are looking good in the heart of Texas. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

NOVEMBER 14 | 2013 DEFENDER Hill, Mitchell among Lamar’s unsung heroes “They’ve been the heart and soul of this team for two years and done a great job. Hopefully, we’ll do well in the playoffs.” om Nolen’s words have proven to be proBoth Hill and Mitchell point to a 28-21 victory phetic. over District 20-5A rival Bellaire a week earlier as a Following Lamar High School’s memo- significant hurdle during the 2013 season. rable run to the 2012 Class 5A Division I “They gave us a good push and the game came state title game, the Houston Touchdown down to the fourth quarter,” Hill said. “The defense Club’s high school football coach of the year told the shut them down when it mattered and that’s one of the media not to shed any tears for his team. “We’ll have highlights for me.” 12 or 13 starters back next season and we’re going to After slicing through District 20-5A competition be okay,” he said. previously, Mitchell believes the Bellaire game had Nolen’s most recognizable returning players some added significance. “It was a wakeup call for us,” included quarterback Darrell Colbert, running back he said. “We need to turn it up and get ready to play Ronnie Wesley and defensive back John Bonney. Yet better teams in the playoffs.” the Redskins’ longtime head coach knew he had so Both players say there are no secrets to why Lamar much more. has had an unprecedented two-year run. “We go out to Fast forward to the 2013 regular season finale as practice and work hard so that we can focus on what we Lamar dismantled Chavez 63-0 at Barnett Stadium. have to do and that’s keep winning,” Hill said. Colbert threw two touchdown passes and Wesley Mitchell, who takes pride in reading and breaking opened the scoring with a 19-yard TD run. However, down what offenses are trying to do, echoes the work two other players that were starters on last year’s team ethic. “I work hard made significant contribuevery day in practions. tice and when it Junior Holton Hill, a comes time to play for comparisons between last year’s state finalist two-year starter at cornerin the games, I try team and the current squad. back, returned a punt 78 to read the plays,” yards for a touchdown to he said. give the Redskins a 14-0 advantage in the first quarter. “He’s been on the cusp of doing that all year,” Holton Hill (5) and Kyran Nolen said. “He’s a great athlete and is going Mitchell (59) are standout to get a lot better. Soon as I saw him take a players for Lamar’s defense and special couple of steps, I said touchdown.” teams. Senior linebacker Kyran Mitchell gave Lamar an insurmountable 28-0 edge when he intercepted a Chavez pass and returned it 17 yards for a TD with one minute, 49 seconds left in the first quarter. “Kyran is probably our best defensive player and he’s had a great year,” Nolen said. “We just announced this week that he’s going to SMU.” For a second year in a row Lamar will advance to the postseason with an unbeaten record (9-0). “This is just a credit to the kids that are seniors,” Nolen said.


By Darrell K. Ardison Defender



sportsbriefs Girls’ basketball preview If you’re looking for a favorite to represent the greater Houston area in the Class 5A girls’ state basketball tournament next March, look no further than Manvel or North Shore. Manvel advanced to the regional quarterfinals in their first year of varsity competition last season before losing at the buzzer to regional champ Clear Springs. Manvel is loaded, with Notre Dame pledge Brianna Turner, Texas pledge Jordan Hosey and Minnesota commitment Rangie Bessard. North Shore returns all of its top players and adds freshman point guard Chasity Patterson. Clear Springs has the best point guard in the area in Texas pledge Brooke McCarty. Other schools to watch include Pearland, Dekaney, Hightower, Cypress Ranch, Klein Forest, Cypress Woods, Kingwood and The Woodlands. Among Class 4A and private schools watch Kinkaid, Lamar Consolidated, Tomball, Brenham and St. Agnes.

Boys’ basketball preview Fort Bend Bush has one of the state’s finest high school basketball coaches in Ronnie Courtney and the Broncos are the Houston area’s highestranked school in the preseason Class 5A state poll. Fort Bend Austin could be a sleeper with the twin brother tandem of Trevin and Trevon Woods. North Shore, Manvel, Bellaire and Pearland will also be factors. In Class 4A, Dawson will be formidable with the return of Tony Upchurch and Trey Sumpter. Fort Bend Marshall and Wheatley should also be good. Yates headlines Class 3A favorites with the return of J.C. Washington, Melvin Swift and D.J. Lewis. Booker T. Washington could have a monster season. The private schools are loaded with the likes of Justin Jackson (HCYA) and Justise Winslow (St. John’s).

Preseason all-SWAC named The SWAC recently announced its preseason All-Conference Men’s basketball team selections. Southern senior guard Malcolm Miller and Prairie View senior center Jules Montgomery were chosen as the SWAC Preseason Player of the Year and SWAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year respectively. Along with Miller, the first team consists of guard, Ray Penn (Texas Southern), forwards Demarquelle Tabb (Alabama A&M), and Davon Hayes (Arkansas-Pine Bluff) along with center Daniel Broughton (Arkansas-Pine Bluff). Montgomery rounds out the second team, along with guards Terry Rose (Grambling State) and LeAntwan Luckett (Alcorn State), forward Javan Mitchell (Southern) with Aaron Clayborn (Texas Southern). TSU was picked to win the men’s title.

Showdown looming The SWAC football championship game will roll into town in four weeks and it appears that with just one conference game remaining, we’ll see an epic match-up for all the marbles. Jackson State with a perfect 8-0 conference record (8-2 overall) has captured the East division crown and Southern with a 6-2 conference record (6-4 overall) is poised to win the West division. Jackson State won the East title last year and lost to Arkansas Pine Bluff in the championship contest. It’s been a bounce back year for Southern. The Jaguars were 3-6 in SWAC competition last season in route to a 4-7 record overall. Expect the fur to fly when these two perennial conference foes collide. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



For Event Coverage...visit

HMAAC chairs Jennifer and Willie Miles

Sherridan Schwartz and Russell Price

Marietta McGee and Carole Pinkett


HMAAC honorary chairs Danieal and La Tesha Manning

Professors Karen Kossie-Chernyshev and Alexander X. Byrd

Yvonne Cormier, Geoffrey Cormier and Elizabeth Campbell

Dr. Alvia Wardlaw, John Guess Jr. and Gaynell Drexler

Olivia Madison and Shayla Owens

Diedra Fontaine and Doug and Sharon Owens

Melanie Lawson and Demond Fernandez. Many thanks to WE ARE CULTURE…..The Houston Museum of African HMAAC’s CEO John Guess Jr., honorary chairs La Tesha American Culture (HMAAC) celebrated its fifth anniversary and Danieal Manning and chairs Jennifer and Willie Miles gala and chose the theme, “We are Culture.” The wellfor an evening filled with fun and culture. attended event was held at the Ensemble Congrats!.....WRITERS WORKSHOP Theatre and included cocktails, dinner Join Yvette Chargois SERIES…..The Association of Rice and plenty of entertainment, followed Events of the Week University Black Alumni (ARUBA) by an after party at HMAAC. Guests More photos on and the Community Relations in the participated in a “You’ve Got Talent” See Events on KTRK Ch.13’s Crossroads Office of Public Affairs at Rice coshow hosted by the emcee and comedian with Melanie Lawson Sunday Morning @ 11 a.m. sponsored the Rice Alumni Writers Eddie B with performances by singer Workshop Series featuring Dr. Karen Amir Bellamy, the Urban Soul Dance Company and the Ensemble Theatre Kossie-Chernyshev, a Rice alumna and professor at Texas Southern University. She discussed her Young Performers as well as audience contestants Kimberly most recently published book, “Recovering Five Generations Mayberry and Kierra and Jarod Hunter. In the mix were Hence, The Life and Writing of Lillian Jones Horace.” Based Audrey and Rev. William Lawson, Viet Hoang, Carolyn and John Guess III, Patricia and Wayne Luckett, Dr. Alvia on her 10-year research, Lillian Horace (1880-1965) is now confirmed as Texas’ and perhaps the South’s earliest known Wardlaw, Renee’ Logans, Dr. Reagan Flowers, Rosalyn African-American woman novelist for the modern period. Simpson, Eugene Foney, Phillman Bellow, Lisa Ashley, “Recovering Five Generations Hence” contains Horace’s Yvette Campbell-Smith, Ester and Theldon Branch,

historic novel in its entirety and explores the significance of Horace’s contributions to African-American literature and history in Texas and beyond. Those sharing in the discussion included Sherridan Schwartz, Russell Price, Dr. Alexander X. Byrd, David Medina, Jan West, Olivia Madison and Shayla Owens. Continued success!.....THE CRYSTAL BALL…..In celebration of its 25th year, the Huffington Center on Aging at Baylor College of Medicine and its Development Board hosted their annual Crystal Ball at River Oaks Country Club. The Huffington Center is committed to improving the quality of life for individuals as they age through conducting leading-edge clinical science research, delivering healthcare through Baylor College of Medicine affiliated clinics, hospitals and other health service-oriented institutions and much more. Spotted at the ball were Sharon and Doug Owens, Carole Pinkett, Marietta McGee, Atty. Elizabeth Campbell, Diedra Fontaine, Dr. Yvonne Cormier and Geoffrey Cormier. Great evening!.....From Chag’s Place to your place, have a great week! • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

Houston Defender: November 14, 2013  

Houston's Leading Black Information Source.