Page 1



Houston’s Leading Black Information Source

Volume 87 | Number 19 MARCH 8, 2018 |FREE

NATIONAL SHIRLEY CHISHOLM senators fight for statue

P4 NEWSTALK SHEILA JACKSON LEE hosts FEMA Recovery Town Hall meeting





KENDRIC DAVIS top guard at Sam Houston


Greg Carter

directs ‘5th Ward’ It’s been 20 years since filmmaker Greg Carter first made the film, “5th Ward,” based on the historic Houston neighborhood. Now, the talented director is revising his look at inner city life as his film comes to the Urban Movie Channel.


Young students

fight gun violence


Youth activism is on full display as students across the country galvanize with protests, walkouts, and marches to bring attention to the gun violence epidemic in America. Gina Gaston and Misty Starks at the Making It Better Guild Luncheon.


6 • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years





Councilmember Larry Green dead at 52 hood safety.” Turner noted that Green also fought on the city’s behalf in Washington, D.C. During a recent trip, Green advocated for a Houston City Councilmember Larry Green is being remembered as a caring public servant and community advocate. $9.4 million grant to pay for new technology to alert drivers to high water at 40 flood-prone intersections, including Alt. Green, 52, was found dead in his home on March 6, apparently U.S. 90 and Beltway 8 in Green’s district. of natural causes. Green’s staff members alerted police when he During the March 6 City Council meeting, Turner missed a morning meeting and failed to answer phone calls. announced the city had just landed Green was sworn into office in 2012 that grant. It’s proof, his coland represented the newly formed District May 5th Special Election leagues said, that even though K, which encompasses the edge of the Green’s chair may be empty, he’s to fill Green’s seat Texas Medical Center and the portion still fighting for the everyday of Houston in Fort Bend County. people in his district. The district includes the Reliant/ Green, a lawyer, earned his B.A. in Political SciAstrodome complex, HISD and Fort Bend ISD. He ence from the University of Houston and a Doctorate chaired the Transportation, Technology and Infrastrucof Jurisprudence from Texas Southern University’s ture Committee. Thurgood Marshall School of Law. “I am shocked and grieving over the untimely He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, death of Houston Councilmember Larry Green,” Inc., Greater Houston Partnership and a former board said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “But one person’s trustee of Brentwood Baptist Church. He served on the feelings are secondary to the fact that all of Texas Black Expo board and TSU’s College of Science Houston has lost a groundbreaking advocate for and Technology Advisory Board. equality, economic opportunity and neighborDefender News Services

Visit Larry Green Photo Gallery Online

Colleagues admired Green

Accomplishments on Council • Brought more than $20 million worth of economic development projects to District K • New Southwest police station • Tax increment reinvestment zone (TIRZ) for Hiram Clarke and Fort Bend-Houston area • New lighting along South Main • Extensions of major streets to open vacant land for development • Organized Neighborhood 101 meetings • Led efforts to increase minority and women-owned business participation goals • Pushed to ensure women-owned businesses were included into Houston’s affirmative action contracting program • Educated residents on such topics as drafting a will, running a civic club or using city regulations to beautify or protect their neighborhoods • Organized aggressive tree-planting program • Championed a program that hires artists to beautify electrical boxes at intersections • Held special events for the elderly

“Houston has lost a groundbreaking advocate for equality, economic opportunity and neighborhood safety. Larry Green was the right person to give definition to [District K’s] new alliance of neighborhoods and businesses: A hard worker. Not a grandstander. He shared in the economic advances and public safety strides of the district without taking the credit for himself.” – Mayor Sylvester Turner “The City of Houston has lost one of its greatest assets, but his legacy will continue and support for his efforts will surely grow throughout the community. His tireless commitment to constituents in District K should be admired by all. I will always remember Larry as a dear friend who was filled with kindness and compassion for others. He will be deeply missed.” – Congressman Al Green “Although the years of his life were short, the life lived in those years by Councilman Larry Green was vibrant, dynamic, purposeful, and directed toward service to others. Larry was an extraordinary human being with an unsurpassed exuberance and passion for our city, its neighborhoods, its future, and most of

all, its people. Larry worked for me, helping to serve the constituents of the 18th Congressional District and I am proud to have served as one of his mentors . – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee “As we grew up, we talked about how we would make our community better. He worked every single day as a public servant for District K. His only wish was to serve the community honorably with passion and dedication. He did just that and more. He was my frat brother, my colleague and one of my closest friends. His loss has left a hole in the hearts of many in the community, including myself. Rest in peace, Larry.” – State Sen. Boris Miles “Larry was a true servant leader, determined change agent, and an incredible friend. He had a love for his district that was only matched by their love for him and his efforts. He was smart, giving, full of life and loved by so many. He led by example and had a wonderful heart and humor. He left a lasting legacy in the community from his service.” -City Council member Amanda Edwards • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years



Streaming on the fastest Internet is easy with Xfinity. You don’t just want easy—you want easy easy. That means streaming your favorite movies and shows on the fastest Internet. It means getting the best WiFi in and out of the home to watch your entertainment anywhere. It even means that you can now get up to five lines of Xfinity Mobile included with your Internet, so you can save more. That makes your life simple, easy and awesome. Go to, call 1-800-Xfinity, or visit an Xfinity Store today.

Restrictions apply. Not available in all areas. Internet: America’s best ISP based on download speeds measured by over 111 million tests taken by consumers at Speedtest by Ookla. Actual speeds vary and are not guaranteed. Mobile: New Xfinity Internet customers limited to up to two lines pending activation of Internet service. Pricing subject to change. Call for restrictions and complete details. NPA213124-0004

125572_NPA213124-0004 Easy ad 9.75x13 Houston.indd 1

3/2/18 2:24 PM





Trump campaign manager expected to target Blacks Defender News Services

President Donald Trump’s social media guru, who targeted Black voters with “dark posts” during the 2016 campaign, is in place to continue his tactics for 2020. The president’s re-election campaign announced that it hired the digital strategist to serve as campaign manager. Brad Parscale, 42, began working for the Trump organization seven years ago as a website designer and media strategist. He was hired to head social media for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. That’s when he utilized “dark Brad Parscale posts” on Facebook to diminish Black voter turnout for Hillary Clinton. “He has our family’s complete trust and is the perfect person to be at the helm of the campaign,” Eric Trump, the president’s son, said in a statement, according to CNN. He added that Parscale was “pivotal to our success in 2016.” Dark posts don’t appear in the sender’s Facebook news feed. Only the targeted Facebook users can see the message. Con-

sequently, the posts can be tailored to specific recipients without getting blasted to everyone. It can easily silo scores of people with one click and without any accountability. In one message during the 2016 campaign, Parscale disseminated dark posts to certain Black voters to remind them about Clinton’s “super predator” comment in 1996, in which she used the phrase to describe young Black males who were gang banging and selling crack cocaine. Twenty years later, Clinton apologized for the term and her support of a 1994 crime bill that some say ushered in the wave of mass incarceration of Black people in the 1990s. Back in 2016, it was unclear if dark posts for political messaging would work. However, Parscale was certain that his tactic would “dramatically affect” turnout for Clinton. Critics say he is probably already hard at work devising a scheme to diminish the Black vote in 2020.

Harris wants Capitol honor for Chisholm Defender News Services

A Florida state representative is thanking God for U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris and U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, both Democrats, are sponsoring legislation to erect a statue of Shirley Chisholm who was the first Black woman elected to Congress. “Shirley Chisholm deserves a permanent place among other defining figures in the Capitol,” Clarke posted on social media. “Representation matters.” Several other Democratic senators are co-sponsoring the bill, including Shirley Chisholm Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tim Kaine and Bernie Sanders. They are joined by Chuck Schumer as well. The measure would see the Joint Committee on the Library agree to get the statue up within five years of the bill being passed. Chisolm is considered an ideal candidate for the honor

what with the beginning of Women’s History Month. Throughout her monumental political career, she was the first Black candidate and the first female candidate to run for the presidential nomination. Chisholm served in Congress from 1969 to 1983.She fought to increase the minimum wage as well as supported veterans and worked hard to expand access to healthcare. Chisholm also helped found the Congressional Black Caucus and the National Organization for Women. She once said, “I’d like them to say that Shirley Chisholm had guts. That’s how I’d like to be remembered.” It is in fact how she is remembered to this day and soon there might even be a statue in honor of this great woman.

QUESTIONS STILL SURROUND THE SHOOTING by 19-year-old James Davis Jr., who reportedly shot his parents in his dorm room at Central Michigan University. Officials think the teen might have killed James Davis Sr. and Diva Davis after a “bad reaction” to drugs. Speaking on Facebook, his old brother said, “It’s so surreal, I’m in shock and even in denial. It’s a hard pill to swallow, a heavy load to bear. I can’t wrap my mind around this, nor make any sense of this.” He added, “To the media and opinionated people, please don’t make a villain of my brother.” Davis Jr. remains in police custody……..THANKS TO A CHARITY CREATED IN PHILANDO CASTILE’S name, not one student in the Saint Paul, Minn. school system will carry a lunch debt this year. Philando Feeds the Children, named after the man a St. Anthony police officer shot and killed in 2016, has raised enough funds to eliminate every child’s outstanding balance in the district Castile worked for at the time of his death. For two years Castile served as a cafeteria supervisor at the J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School. The charity started off smaller as a college class project to raise just $5,000 and has grown to over $130,000 in donations. They plan on continuing to raise funds to help students in the future…….AN ASHEVILLE, N.C. NEWS OUTLET PUBLISHED disturbing bodycam footage showing a white police officer beating a Black resident, prompting public apologies from city officials. The graphic video shows officers chasing Johnnie Rush, 33, throwing him to the ground, shocking him with a stun gun and beating him as he cried out in pain and shouted for help. The white officers stopped Rush on his way home from a dishwashing shift at a Cracker Barrel restaurant. They claimed Rush was trespassing and jaywalking.

VOLUME 87 • NUMBER 19 MARCH 8, 2018 Publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Ad/Client Relations Selma Dodson Tyler Strategic Alliance Manager

Clyde Jiles Art Director Tony Fernandez-Davila

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

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


Greg Carter



‘5th Ward’ film shines a light on Houston “M O V E M E N T T H AT ’ L L M O V E Y O U” –New York Magazine

Nephew Tommy, Mya Harrison, and Gary Sturgis star in ‘5th Ward’

documentary-style interviews with residents, people who were models in appearance and story to the four main characters on the show. When Greg Carter headed to Texas I wanted to give it that feeling. A&M University, he planned to follow I hope some viewers unfamiliar with the his parents’ request and pursue a career in neighborhood’s history may find information engineering. But it wasn’t long before the threaded through the show. I combed through movie-making bug bit and after studying at archival photos and music, old and new, Rice University’s Department of Visual and for his opening credits. I didn’t want the Dramatic Arts, he decided to dive all the way TV to be just what I wrote. I wanted to in and make his first feature film. integrate interviews into each show. So The “5th Ward” film was featured at the it’s not just me telling a story. Its giving SXSW Film Festival in 1998 and set Carter people a platform to tell their story on a path of writing, directing and producing Defender: What are some of the feature films. Carter went on to make other challenges you faced in making the film? movies, but “5th Ward” never left his heart. Carter: People don’t understand That’s why the filmmaker revised the how tough it is to get things going. First story and made it into a television series curyou have to get people rently airing on UMC-TV. to believe. I called my Here, Carter talks with the team, told them what I “5th Ward” Defender about the movie wanted to do and everyUMC.TV starring Mya Harrison, one came on board. But New episodes every Friday Nephew Tommy and Gary the journey hadn’t been Sturgis. easy. Defender: The show has been applaudDefender: What’s next for you? ed for its authenticity Was that purposeful? Carter: I’m working on a couple Carter: Historically, the Fifth Ward has feature films. I’m also working on not always been Black and poor. There were adapting a TV show, it’s a prequel to people who lived there who were poor, but “Straight Out of Compton.” I’m also there were also middle-class white and Black working on a feature film about the life people. You’d go down the street and see of Granville T. Woods, an inventor. doctors and lawyers and teachers and musiDefender: You brought several cians and politicians, not vacant lots. But jobs here in the filming of this there was a spiral that happened when movie. Can you see yourself doBlack people moved out of the hood ing other work here? and into the suburbs. It’s a story Carter: I really want to you hear about in a lot of inner bring movies and projects cities, about how they ended up back to Houston. I’m a single the way they did. I wanted to infuse dad living in LA, but my son the show with a feeling of graduates in June. I’d absoauthenticity, so I preface lutely love to do more each episode with movies here. BY RESHONDA TATE BILLINGSLEY Defender News Services

Michael Jackson Jr. Photo by Andrew Eccles

Masazumi Chaya Associate Artistic Director

Robert Battle Artistic Director

March 16 - 17

3 Performances

Ailey Tour Sponsor

713.227.4772 Society for the Performing Arts Bringing the World’s Best to Houston

Official Airline

Preferred Hotel • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years Defender.indd 1

3/6/2018 1:15:48 PM







outh activism is on full display as students across the country galvanize after the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Between meetings with lawmakers, protests, walkouts, marches and demands for new restrictions on guns and access to guns, thousands of students are making sure their voices are heard. “It’s sad that so many people are dying from things that could be prevented. We need safety in our communities again. Parents shouldn’t be scared to let their kids be kids,” said Jada Smith, 17, a senior at Ridgepoint High School in Fort Bend ISD. Smith will join thousands of other teens as they participate in a National School Walkout. The national event will take place March 14, but due to Spring Break, Ridgepoint will walk out on March 20. Other Houston area schools are planning a walkout on April 20. There is also a March for Our Lives protest Saturday, March 24 at Tranquility Park. That march is part of a national campaign.

“It’s their way of trying to remove it from the partisan politics of what’s going on in Washington,” said Tom Maher, a lecturer who studies youth social movements and organizations. “It’s really hard to stay in this framework where you’re arguing for this policy outcome that traditionally has been associated with one party at the expense of another. The challenge for the adults is that you don’t step all over what the kids are doing. Let the youth lead.”

ERA OF MASS SHOOTINGS Most of today’s high school students were born after the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, and many were in late elementary school or middle school when 20 first- graders were shot to death at Sandy Hook. They’ve grown up in an era of practicing emergency lockdowns and active shooter drills and they’ve grown up on social media. “I think their anger and their outrage, combined with their prowess on social media, enables them to amplify their own voices,” said Shannon Watts, the founder of the guncontrol advocacy group Moms Demand Action. “I think this is the time that all of this came together.” Student activism is not a new phenomenon, POWER TO BRING CHANGE After the Florida shooting which took 17 lives, Texas said Jonathan Zimmerman, a professor of education history at the University of Pennsylvania. Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to Mike Morath, the Texas College and high school Education Agency commisstudents participated en sioner, ordering that safety March for Our Lives Houston masse in Vietnam war information be distributed to protests and demonstraall schools, and asking him Saturday, March 24, 9 a.m. tions during the Civil Rights to take steps to ensure that Tranquility Park Movement. schools have completed safety 400 Rusk St. “One way of thinking audits and have a multi-hazard about the Civil Rights Moveemergency plan in place. ment is as a youth moveStudents say more must ment,” Zimmerman said. “Let’s remember that the be done and they’re tired of waiting on the adults to figure sit-ins, the people being arrested, were not Martin it out. Luther King Jr.’s age. They were college students “It could be one of us shot or injured next time and we can’t sit quietly. We can’t let this die out,” said 17-year- and sometimes high school students.” Students have seen protests over the past old Kayla Brown. She plans on attending the downtown year, such as the Women’s March, the Black Houston march because “the only way to grab attention Lives Matter Movement, and demonstrations to and promote change is by mass demonstrations.” support young undocumented immigrants known “This is a powerful, no-B.S. constituency that is as Dreamers. Now, they’re using everything from now very angry and very active and very much calling for change and calling for action,” added Mark Barden, whose Facebook and Twitter to old-school flyers and word of mouth to spread the word about their son Daniel was killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook concerns. Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. “More “I don’t know if there’s something different than calling for it, these young people are demanding it.” about this or new about this. But it’s exciting to Their fight is not without challenges as they struggle see youth empowered and supported and lifted to convince people that their pleas for stricter gun laws up in this way, because I think as a culture we transcend traditional Republican or Democratic politics, even though gun violence and its causes is one of the most devalue youth,” said Anne Thalheimer, a fellow with the organization Everytown for Gun Safety. divisive issues in the nation. Critics of gun control are also pushing back against students, saying that their voices should not be the final say A UNIFIED VOICE While some have pointed out the discrepancy in policy debates, and that they are susceptible to manipuin support and media coverage for Black teens who lation by other political forces.

have protested gun and police violence in the past and the majority white teens from Parkland, the students aren’t letting their mission be clouded by a race debate. Several of the Parkland teens recently met with students in Chicago to combat gun violence nationwide. The teens gathered to discuss how gun violence has impacted their communities. The students say the meeting was meant to include voices often underrepresented in the national conversation. “Those who face gun violence on a level that we have only just glimpsed from our gated communities have never had their voices heard in their entire lives the way that we have in these few weeks alone,” said Parkland student Emma González. “The platform us Parkland students have established is to be shared with every person, Black or white, gay or straight, religious or not, who has experienced gun violence, and hand in hand, side by side, we will make this change together.”

Students a anniversary of C to support their The Natio of locations, has not to support it student survivor for stricter gun l Here’s wh should know: 1. The goa The walk to “pass legis our schools, worship,” acc


Find out about walkouts near you http://act.indivisible. org/event/nationalschool-walkout/ search/

What parents should know

are preparing to walk out of schools April 20 (the 19th Columbine) and some parents are questioning how best children. onal School Walkout, a protest taking place in hundreds s become a topic of controversy as some schools vow t. The walkout is part of a greater movement spurred by rs of the Parkland, Fla. school shooting, who are asking laws. hat parents of children participating in the walkout

l kout’s purpose is to issue a call to Congress slation to keep us safe from gun violence at on our streets and in our homes and places of cording to Women’s March Youth EMPOW-

ER organizers. 2. How long The walkout will take place at 10 a.m. in every time zone and will last 17 minutes to honor the 17 students and staff members killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Valentine’s Day. 3. Some students could face suspension Some schools are not recognizing the walkout and plan to discipline students who participate. Curtis Rhodes, superintendent for the Needville ISD in Texas, said he knew “there is a ‘movement’ attempting to stage walkouts/disruptions of the school” and he threatened that students who participate in “any type of protest or awareness” will be suspended for three days. HISD, Fort Bend, Alief and Spring ISD have notis-

sued statements on what they will do to students who walk out. The American Civil Liberties Union said schools have the right to punish students the same way they could if they missed class. 4. Walking out probably won’t impact college admission More than 250 colleges have released statements saying disciplinary action because of responsible participation in peaceful protests will not hurt admission to their institution, as cited by lists compiled by teachers and students. 5. It’s meant to be peaceful The walkouts were organized as a peaceful protest. If students become violent, they could face harsher consequences from the school and authorities.




Harvey town hall addresses resources, ongoing issues thousands are still displaced. “Stay connected,” advised FEMA representative Keith Turi. Area residents still “Call your case workers. Remain recovering from Hurricane an active participant in your case.” Harvey met face-to-face with Many attendees face the representatives from FEMA, the real possibility of homelessness American Red Cross and other after March 12, the date organizations to obtain solutions residential assistance is due to to their plight. end. The Road to Recovery “Most of us are renters,” FEMA Town Hall Meeting was said a frustrated Lori Washington. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee sponsored by Congresswoman “When they kick us out of the Sheila Jackson Lee and held at Kashmere High hotels, it’s a wrap. We’re on the streets. All you School agencies have these acronyms. Well, we have one “Have no shame,” Jackson Lee advised too. It’s HELP – Hey, even the little people. We attendees. “We’re still in recovery. Recovery from need help.” a catastrophic hurricane like Harvey takes years. Kashmere-area residents also met with I don’t want you to suffer for years, but it takes representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor, years. There is no shame that you’re still needing Small Business Association, City of Houston and help. And the only way [you] can be helped is that others. Many applied for jobs with Julia Hogan [you] persist with these agencies.” McNeil, owner of Julia Cooks Organic Food More than six months after Harvey, Truck. By ASWAD WALKER Defender

NAACP files lawsuit against Capital One Defender News Services

The Houston Branch of the NAACP, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) District VIII and a former bank employee have filed a major federal racial discrimination lawsuit against Capital One Bank. The suit alleges Capital One has engaged in a conscious and deliberate plan to close banks in Black and Latino communities while keeping banks in white communities. It also claims Black and Latino customers are encouraged to use ATM cards to transact their business with the bank, which reduces the possibility of minority customers applying for mortgages, credit and traditional banking services. Black and Latino customers are welcome as “bank debit card customers only,” the suit alleges. The suit also alleges, “Capital One has set about a plan to extend banking services to minorities through a bank debit card only, while providing full-service banking services to predominately White communities. To pacify Black and Brown customers, Capital One chose popular and respected Black actors to unwittingly push Capital One’s debit cards in commercials asking ‘What’s in your Wallet?’ ” A feature of the suit is the presence of a former Capital One employee as a named plaintiff. The plaintiff is said to have lost her job because she complained about the bank’s discriminatory practices.

HISD works on replacing Carranza Defender News Services

The HISD Board of Trustees is considering its options for replacing Superintendent Richard Carranza, who is leaving Houston to become New York City’s next schools chancellor. “We have three options,” said Board President Rhonda-Skillern Jones. “We can choose a short-term interim and do a search immediately. We can choose a long-time interim and postpone the search until the time is certain or we can post the position and hire immediately.” Mayor Sylvester Turner said he was among those surprised by Carranza’s decision to resign. “I wish him well but we certainly will not let the abrupt departure create chaos for the state’s largest school district,” Turner said. “Our focus today is the district’s 215,000 children, each and every child enrolled in about 284 schools. The students’ academic achievement is the priority.” Carranza is leaving at a time when HISD is facing various challenges, including a $115 million budget shortfall, ongoing recovery from Hurricane Harvey and the threat of a state takeover. “It has been an honor and privilege to have served the students of the Houston Independent School District and bring a voice to communities that have historically been underserved,” said Carranza, who came to HISD in August 2016.



March primary results:

How Blacks fared Defender News Services

Texans went to the polls on March 6 to vote for Democratic and Republican candidates who will square off against each other in November. Here is a rundown of African-American candidates with opposition who either won the nomination or are headed to the May 22 runoff. U.S. CONGRESS – In Democratic U.S. representative races, Tawana Walter-Cadien and Letitia Plummer are headed for runoffs in their respective races. Sheila Jackson Lee and Adrienne Bell won their races. STATEWIDE – Winners included Democrats Joi Chevalier for comptroller and Lawrence Allen Jr. for State Board of Education. STATE SENATOR – Democrat Fran Watson is in a runoff. STATE REPRESENTATIVE – Five Democratic incumbents won their races: Ron Reynolds, Jarvis Johnson, Harold Dutton, Shawn Thierry and Garnet Coleman. FORT BEND COUNTY – In a Democratic justice of the peace race, Joel Clouser is in a runoff with Tanisha Green. Daryl L. Smith (D) won his constable race. Cynthia Ginyard (D) won her

county chairman race. HARRIS COUNTY – Numerous judicial candidates were on the ballot. Republican winners included Charles Johnson, Melanie Flowers and Angelina Gooden. Democratic winners included Latosha Lewis Payne, Angela Graves-Harrington, Linda Marie Dunson, Ronnisha Bowman, Sedrick T. Walker II and Tonya Jones. Roslyn “Rozzy” Shorter (D) is in a runoff for district clerk and Gayle Young Mitchell (D) is in a runoff for county clerk. Democrats Prince E. Bryant II and Danyahel (Danny) Norris are in a runoff for the same county school trustee position. Democrat Lucia Bates won her justice of the peace race. In another justice of the peace race, two other Democrats, Sharon Burney and Cheryl Elliott Thornton, are in a runoff for the same position.

classified Insurance Marketing Services RFP Houston First Corporation requests proposals from highly-qualified insurance brokerage firms to provide insurance marketing services. Please visit for full details.




Kobe Bryant wins Academy Award By MAX EDISON Defender

Joe Johnson

After a basketball career that spanned 20 years and included five NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs and an NBA MVP honor, Kobe Bryant has literally done it all. Now Bryant will have to clear some space on his mantle for his latest trophy, an Oscar. At the 90th annual Academy Awards Bryant recently won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, “Dear Basketball”. The other nominees in the category were: “Garden Party,” “Lou,” “Negative Space” and “Revolting Rhymes.” With “Short” being the operative word, the film is a mere six minutes long and is based on Bryant’s retirement letter in the Players Tribune from 2015. In the letter, Bryant described his passion for basketball. Bryant’s poem begins: “Dear Basketball, from the moment I started rolling my P.J. Tucker dad’s tube socks, and shooting imaginary game-winning shots in the Great Western Forum, I knew one thing was real: I fell in love with you.” It reflects on how time is running out. “I can’t love you obsessively for much longer,” it says. “This season is all I have left to give. My heart can take the pounding, my mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.” The animated short film describes Bryant’s love of the game in his own words. Staring at the award in disbelief, Bryant delivered an accepform your dream may take, it’s through passion and tance speech that had a word for conservative critic perseverance that the impossible is possible.” Laura Ingraham of Fox News. Ingraham advised Bryant said he received his inspiration to turn the LeBron James and Kevin Durant to “shut up and project into a film from his 11-year-old daughter Gianna, dribble” after the two players were shown in a video who told him, “Dad, you always tell us to go after our criticizing President Donald Trump. dreams, so man up.” “I’ve always been told that as basketball players In a post-award press conference Bryant compared the expectation is that you play,” Bryant said. “This his feelings to his basketball accomplishments. is all you know. This is all you do. Don’t think about “I feel better than winning a championship, to be handling finances. Don’t think about going into honest with you. I swear I do,” Bryant said. business. Don’t think that you want to be a writer, He recalled the response he received from so-called that’s cute. I got that a lot. What do you want to do experts who thought his decision to write was a pipe when you retire? ‘Well, I want to be a storyteller.’ dream. That’s cute. This is a form of validation for people to “That’s cute. You’ll be depressed when your look and say, ‘OK, he really can do something other career’s over. To be here now and have this sense of valithan dribble and shoot.’ ” dation, this is crazy, man,” Bryant continued. “I wake up “It’s a message for all of us,” film director Glen in the morning, I can’t wait to write, I can’t wait to get Keane said during his acceptance speech. “Whatever to the studio.”

Retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant took home an Oscar for “Dear Basketball.”

About Bryant

• Born Aug. 23, 1978 in Philadelphia. • Lived in Italy eight years while his father, Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant, played in Italian Professional Basketball League. Learned to speak fluent Italian. • Attended Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Penn., and was country’s top high school basketball player. Led team to a 31-3 season record and state championship. • In 1996 selected by Charlotte Hornets as 13th pick in first round of NBA draft and entered league straight out of high school. Traded by Charlotte to Los Angeles Lakers. At 18, was youngest player in NBA history at that time. • Played entire career with Lakers from 1996 to 2016. • Five-time NBA champion (2000-2002, 2009, 2010). • Two-time NBA Finals MVP (2009, 2010). • NBA Most Valuable Player (2008). • Eighteen-time NBA All-Star (1998, 20002016). • Nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team (2000, 2003, 2004, 2006-2011). • Two-time Olympic gold medalist (2008, 2012). • In 2010 surpassed Jerry West’s career record of 25,192 as Lakers’ all-time leading scorer with 25,208 points. • Scored 60 points in final game in April 2016. Ranked No. 10 on Forbes’ list of world’s highest paid athletes that same year. • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years Best backcourt tandem at Sam Houston MSTC By DARRELL K. ARDISON Defender

It was the topic of a season-long debate. What team has the best high school basketball backcourt in the Houston area? Following Sam Houston MSTC’s 65-64 double-overtime victory over Cypress Falls that eliminated the defending Class 6A state champions from the playoffs, Tigers’ head coach Ralph Barreras didn’t mince his words. Guard Henry Hampton scored a team-high 23 points and made his last four shots in the game, including a 3-pointer, two Houston’s Henry Hampton (5) and Kendric Davis (1) are two of the top high school guards tear drops and a put-back Sam in Houston. conversion. “This cat came to play the ups and downs. There were a lot of lead tonight,” Barreras said. “You talk about big changes toward the end of the game so it was shot after big shot and they were trying to deny important to stay together and pull out a win.” him the basketball. Hampton took up the slack when Davis was “He came through in a senior moment with forced to the sideline after picking up his fourth the spotlight on and the gym was rocking. The foul. ball found him and he found the basket,” Bar“I had to step up and score because at cerreras said. tain points of the game he (Davis) couldn’t,” Despite picking up his fourth personal foul Hampton said. “When he had to go out with the with 4:45 remaining in regulation, point guard fourth foul I had to keep the guys up and keep Kendric Davis had 13 points and five steals to them together until he could come back.” go along with two made free throws with 21 Sam Houston led by as many as 15 points in seconds left in the second overtime that proved the third quarter (37-22) before Cy Falls began to be the game-winning points. mounting a comeback. “Any time we go into battle with these two The additions of Chris Green and Noah Maguys we have a chance to win,” Barreras said. son helped fortify the Sam Houston lineup. “These guys are solid. They are great seniors “We have a lot of new pieces to go along and I wouldn’t trade them for anybody else. with Kendric and Henry and it was a team win “You can talk about all the great guards in for us,” said Barreras, who guided the Tigers to Houston and there are a lot of them. But I think the Class 6A state tournament in 2016. “Noah they are the two best guards in Houston,” BarMason and Chris Green have done a great job reras said. for us. The Sam Houston victory over the defend“We won it on the defensive end the way ing state champs avenged a playoff loss to the we were supposed to win it. I knew when we Eagles a year ago. got the big lead that they were going to come “Last year we thought we should have won back on us,” Barreras said. “They are the dethat game,” said Davis, a TCU commit. “Comfending state champions but it just happened to ing back we knew they were going to give us a be our night tonight. test. “People are going to be talking about this “We just tried to stay together through all game for quite some time.”



sportsbriefs UH unbeaten at home The University of Houston is spending millions of dollars to renovate the new basketball facility on campus. Perhaps in the wake of their performance playing home games at Texas Southern University’s H&PE Arena they could save that renovation money. The Cougars played their final home game of the season defeating UConn 81-71. Houston finished the regular season with a 24-6 overall record and 14-4 mark in American Athletic Conference play, tying for second in the league with No. 11 Wichita State. The 2017-18 team became the 12th in school history to win 24-plus games in a season and the first since the 1991-92 team went 25-6. More importantly, the Cougars finished the season unbeaten at home at the TSU facility, their first undefeated home record in 34 years.

Cougar track honored UH sprinter Elijah Hall was named the 2018 USTFCCCA South Central Regional Indoor Track Athlete of the Year for the indoor season, while his coach Leroy Burrell took home the region’s Head Coach honor and Carl Lewis earned the Assistant Coach honor. Hall is the only runner in the nation to finish in the topfive rankings in both the 60- and 200-meter dash. He broke his own school record in the 200 on Feb. 3 with a time of 20.51 at the Charlie Thomas Invitational, the same track he’ll compete at the NCAA Championships. Hall won the American Athletic Conference indoor championships in the event.

No. 2 Yates falls to No. 1 Yates led Silsbee 83-82 to start the fourth quarter despite 6-foot-8 post Mitchell Seraille only playing eight minutes due to foul problems. Then top-ranked Silsbee put together a 38-17 spurt to close the game and claim the Region III-4A crown at Johnson Coliseum in Huntsville with a 120-103 win over No. 2 Yates. Braelon Bush scored a game-high 37 points to lead the Tigers and teammate Devon McCain added 36, including 25 in the second half. Jock Hughes tallied a team-high 29 points for the 25-3 Lions. “This really was a state game. It was the two top-ranked [Class 4A] teams in the state and the game everyone’s been waiting for,” Bush said. “Mitchell is a great player and we knew it would be big if we could get him out of the game with foul trouble. That opened up things for us and we took advantage.”

Playoff winners, losers Both Wheatley and Cypress Creek girls lost in the state semifinals. Wheatley fell to eventual state champion Argyle 62-46 in Class 4A. Argyle has won four consecutive state championships. Cy Creek lost to Plano 64-53 in the Class 6A division……..The Tompkins boys will make the school’s first trip to the state basketball tournament following a 6043 triumph over Alief Taylor in the Region III-6A championship game at the Berry Center. C.J. Washington led Tompkins (29-8) with 20 points while Jamal Bieniemy added 12. Tompkins will join Allen, South Garland and Austin Westlake in the 6A tournament field……..Port Arthur Memorial is the Region III-5A boys’ champion. • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years



Happening in Houston For event coverage email:


MAKING IT BETTER GUILD LUNCHEON……..Making It Better, an racial gathering of men and women standing in support, especially of Black organization dedicated to closing the literacy gap for underserved and atwomen running for political office. Attendees included Kandile Webber, risk youth, recently held its 5th Annual Making It Better Guild Luncheon. Dee Coleman, Dr. Roni Dean-Burren, Jacobi Ford, Michael Stephens, For more than a decade Making It Better has been on the frontlines of Shannon Buggs, Dr. Carla Brailey, LaTreshia Hamilton, HISD Board closing the literacy gap, and many of the organization’s compassionate and President Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Trustee Wanda Adams, State Rep. highly trained reading interventionists and their supporters were on hand Shawn Theirry, State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, Shekira Daniels, Diane for the festivities that took place at the Junior League of Houston. Attendees Mosier, Noelle Margis-Milford, Shayz Endurance, Terra Lewis and many included Making It Better’s executive director Jacque others.…….. 35TH ANNUAL MR. & MISS TOP TEEN Daughtry, keynote speaker Yvonne Streit, founder PRESENTATION BALL……..The Houston Chapter Defender TOP EVENTS More photos on Councilmember Jerry Davis, emcee Gina Gaston of Top Ladies of Distinction hosted the 35th Annual Mr. (ABC13), Sandra Brown, Shoalah Nosrati, Laura & Miss Top Teen Presentation Ball. Several teens made Allen, Jennifer Williams, Ashley Danna, Robin their formal debut to society during the event themed “A Rayford, Vicki Townsend and many more………MARCH FOR BLACK Masquerade of Elegance.” The event also served as a vehicle for raising over WOMEN……..Black Lives Matter and Houston Rising organized and $55,000 for scholarships. Attendees included Katherine Wilson, Mr. Top hosted the March for Black Women, an event designed to recognize, support Teen Jalon Jackson, Miss Top Teen Jaylan Wright, Valerie Leverett, Kim and celebrate the contributions of Black women and Black womanhood in Topps, Kathy Wilson, Margaret Williams, Mark Snow, Karen Baker general globally. Women of all ages were out in force and j joined by a multi Sonier, Kesha McNeil and others.

Robin Rayford, Jacque Daughtry, Kintra Blackmon

Kandile Webber, Dee Coleman

Jaylan Wright, Jalon Jackson

Sandra Brown, Jennifer Williams

Cristina Nunez, Brittany Blackwell

Kim Topps, Camaya Hayes

Gina Gaston, Misty Starks

Terra Lewis, Shayz Endurance

Valerie Leverett, Trinity Parker, Margaret Williams • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years

Houston Defender: March 08, 2018  

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

Houston Defender: March 08, 2018  

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