Page 1


Houston’s Leading Black Information Source Volume 80 | Number 34

week Of JUNe 23, 2011 | FREE


MARLA MCNEAL-SHEPPARD First woman principal of Yates HS


JOSET B. WRIGHT Advocates for minority business




Joe & Yolanda Sample with George Thomas


Ocr warns texas:

Don’t cut Black colleges


Annise Parker tackles issues Leading the nation’s fourth largest city is a big job, and Mayor Annise Parker has a full plate. Budget cuts continue to be a major concern for Parker, the drainage fee issue will not go away, and the former affirmative action department has undergone a considerable change. Parker discusses the tasks at hand and leading by example.

M. Clarke Duncan enjoys acting His latest role is the voice of a character named Kilowog in the new movie “Green Lantern.” Michael Clarke Duncan enjoyed the role, and didn’t even have to memorize his lines or show up on the set. Duncan has more to say about working in Hollywood, including why he’s lost weight and the most important lesson he’s learned.

H PAGE 3 • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years





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

In The Book Corner The End of Anger:


News & Opinion

Watermelon Beach Bucket

chenault and immelt Push Jobs

Learn how to choose a watermelon and find out about its health benefits. Check out the Living channel on

A New Generation’s Take on Race and Rage by Ellis Cose “The End of Anger is an exploration of why it is that many blacks are feeling optimistic these days…

Question of the Week Should the Office of Civil Rights protect Texas Black college funding?

Marc Morial

Automotive highlight 2011 LEXUS RX 450H FIVE-DOOR SUV

See more on:

LTL_Houston_Defender:Layout 1 6/16/11 11:19 PM Page 1

Farmers Insurance - Live The Life Ad Houston Defender

9.75 x 6.5

Customer : Muse





Job # 1106047


Heinz Weber Inc. • 2345 Pontius Avenue • West Los Angeles, CA 90064 • Tel 310 477 3561 100 l/s C-15 / M-75 / Y-0 / K-45 /


newstalk Budget, other issues localbriefs keep Parker busy


Graves to get $1.4 million for wrongful imprisonment


By Aswad Walker Defender

ayor Annise Parker has a full plate. Overseeing the implementation of a drastically slimmer city budget, participating in a three-member panel charged with deciding the fate of City Councilwoman Jolanda Jones, instituting change within the infrastructure of City Hall, and responding to citizen reaction to drainage fees drastically higher than she predicted, are the pressing issues of the day Parker seeks to address. Recently, Parker was selected as the nation’s top winner for large cities in the 2011 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards, an initiative sponsored by The U.S. Conference of Mayors. The award recognizes mayors for innovative practices in their cities that increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It seems fitting that Parker, leader of a city synonymous with energy, would garner such an award. However, Houstonians seem less enthralled by Parker’s Green Buildings Initiative that won her national acclaim than they are by her local actions in relation to the city’s current challenges. The chief concern for most local residents is the how the quality of city services will be effected by the city’s drastically reduced budget.

“If you recall, we made a number of cuts last year,” said Parker. “So, what has transpired recently has been cuts on top of cuts. But cities are essentially service organizations. Most of our money is in salaries and overhead. “We tried to minimize the impact of these cuts on the community in terms of services. But realize, cities across the country are laying off workers and cutting programs like swimming pools and community centers.” Houston’s cuts have been far less severe than those endured by other cities. For example, Cincinnati had to drastically reduce its revered city pool program. Camden, NJ, enacted massive police layoffs and experienced a 19 percent spike in violent crimes. “There have been 750 persons the city has laid off, but no city safety employees – no police, no firemen,” she said.

Leading by example

Parker noted that the fact the city had to do make service cuts at all was disheartening, but the first cuts came at the expense of her own staff. “They had to,” said Parker. “The Mayor’s Office had to lead by example.” For some, the mayor’s leadership came into question when residents began receiving drainage fee bills drastically higher than the fee rates predicted by Parker. In response, Parker instructed the director of the Houston

Gov. Rick Perry recently signed a bill authorizing payment of $1.4 million to Anthony Graves, who spent 18 years in prison for murders he didn’t commit. Under the Timothy Cole Compensation Act, inmates who are freed from jail after being found innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted are entitled to $80,000 for each year of wrongful imprisonment. In 2006, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Graves’ 1994 conviction. Prosecutors dismissed charges against Graves in October.

Marshall says news coverage of Costa Rica trip racist Houston Independent School District trustee Larry Marshall said a recent article about two trips he took last year to Costa Rica – arranged by his friend State Rep. Borris Miles – were “blatant racism.” Marshall made the comments about the Houston Chronicle article to Texas Watchdog. The article, which concerned ethics in HISD, noted that Miles is an insurance agent who contracts with HISD and promotes health care options in Costa Rica. It was reported that Miles has contracted with HISD for several years, with his insurance agency earning nearly $900,000 since June 2009. Miles is quoted as saying: “We don’t even have the health insurance for HISD. I do flood insurance for HISD. We were just trying to show them ways to cut costs.”

City looks at options after ruling on red-light cameras Now that U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes has invalidated the referendum that turned off the city’s red-light surveilance system, local leaders are assessing their options. Hughes ruled that the referendum was improperly placed on the November ballot, and the city cannot be forced to turn off the cameras. City Attorney Dave Feldman said the city must either cancel the contract with the camera vendor, keep the contract in force and turn the cameras back on, or hold another referendum and let voters decide.

Continued on page 12

Marla McNeal-Sheppard

New Yates principal makes school history By Aswad Walker Defender

Marla McNeal-Sheppard, who grew up in the Third Ward neighborhoods served by Yates, was recently named the first woman to lead the historic high school. She most recently served as principal of Fleming Middle School, transforming it from an “unacceptable campus” to one that earned the state’s “recognized”

rating last year without the benefit of the Texas Projection Measure. For her diligence, McNeal-Sheppard was named HISD Secondary Principal of the Year. McNeal-Sheppard is eager to begin her new position. “I look at Yates as being almost a sleeping giant,” she said. “I know that Jack Yates High School has a very proud legacy, and I want to add to that.” Her personal goals for Yates include expanding

college-level dual credit course offerings and increasing the school’s level of academic rigor. She plans to set additional goals for the campus after working with and hearing from the Yates staff, students and surrounding communities. “I won’t make any pre-judgments until I get there and see for myself what’s going on,” said McNealSheppard. “It’s one thing for me to have a vision, but it’s important to include the stakeholders of Yates in • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

Continued on page 12




First Lady’s trip to Africa timely Defender News Services

Michelle Obama’s weeklong trip to South Africa and Botswana is a timely one. Though the focus of the First Lady’s visit is youth leadership, education and political and cultural heritage, there could be much more to the trip. While President Obama has roots in Keyna, the First Lady’s visit marks only the second to sub-Saharan Africa by a member of the Obama family since the President took office more than two years ago. In addition, recent unrest on the continent has strained its relationship with the US and South Africa. President Jacob Zuma has called for NATO to ends its campaign in Libya and has maintained a blurry stance on the election situation in the Ivory Coast. Michelle Obama’s visit could be seen as a symbolic handshake “This visit is a political exercise as much as it is a public relations exercise,” Chris Landsberg, a politics professor at the University of Johan-

Black institute calls for end to ‘failed’ war on drugs The Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) is galvanizing support to end the “War on Drugs,” which was launched 40 years ago by President Richard M. Nixon. The goal was to halt the trafficking of illegal drugs in the U.S. However, Dr. Ron Daniels, president of the New York-based IBW, said the “war” had a destructive impact on Black communities across the nation. IBW recently co-sponsored a forum on the subject in Washington, D.C., with Rev. Jesse L. Jackson as keynote speaker. “Far from stemming the tide of illegal drugs, the War on Drugs quickly became a war on us,” Daniels said.

Best Buy agrees to settlement of discrimination suit

nesburg, told The Wall Street Journal. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t send some key messages to South Africa’s decisionmakers from her husband.” Accompanied by her mother, her daughters and a niece and nephew, she arrived at Waterkloof Air Force base in Pretoria. She was greeted by U.S. Ambassador Donald Gips and his family and the South African Chief of Protocol Grace Mason. An unexpected highlight of the trip was a 20-minute meeting with former South African president Nelson Mandela. There had been rumors about

the 92-year-old Mandela’s health, and he had not been seen often in recent months. Mrs. Obama met with the First Lady of South Africa, Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, before attending a reception with South African leaders organized by the U.S. Embassy. She planned to highlight education by inviting disadvantaged students to spend the day at the University of Cape Town, before meeting with groups that work to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS. Between 5 million and 6 million South Africans live with the deadly disease. Mrs. Obama also was scheduled to meet with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and key figure in the struggle against apartheid.

Cain resists ‘African-American’ label By AFRO Staff One presidential candidate’s perspective on race has ignited commentary and discussion about racial identity and its importance in the 2012 race. When Bloomberg News interviewed Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, the conservative said he did not like to be labeled as “African-American.” Instead, he said he preferred “American.” “I don’t like people trying to label me. African-American is socially acceptable for some people, but I am not some people,” Cain said.


Gerren Gaynor, a journalist with, agreed with Cain and said most African Americans had no close ties with their African lineage, and are “unidentifiable” to their “mother country.” “African-Americans/Blacks/Negroes have no true sense of identity,” Gaynor wrote. “If you’re African-American, you’re more than likely far removed from the African continent and culture.” Gaynor said that terms such as “African-American” are attempts to find an identity for a culture that has been “misplaced.”

“Cain couldn’t be more right. Identity is quite arbitrary, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with omitting “African” from our nationality,” Gaynor said. BET commentator Cord Jefferson refuted Cain’s statement, calling it “one of the stupidest sentences uttered” in the Black community. “Believing that it is somehow inaccurate or unpatriotic for a person to call himself an ‘African-American’ rather than just an ‘American’ is absurd, and this is a question that needs to be put to rest,” Jefferson wrote.

Retail chain Best Buy recently settled a discrimination suit with an agreement to change its human resources policies. The most significant change is the company’s agreement to post job openings so that all store employees can see them. Best Buy also agreed to pay $290,000 to the plaintiffs and up to $10 million in attorney and court fees. The lawsuit, filed in 2005, alleged that Best Buy discriminates against women, African American and Latino employees by denying them promotions and more lucrative sales positions. The settlement remains subject to court approval.

Black dads surveyed in poll believe they get a bad rap In a survey conducted by, Black fathers overwhelmingly responded that they are viewed in a “negative manner” in society. Nearly 80 percent of the men believed Black men get a bad rap. The survey included the responses of 292 men, 245 of them fathers. Sixty-four percent blamed the media primarily for the ways in which Black men are perceived. Another 21 percent placed responsibility with Black men themselves. The men were optimistic in one area – 84 percent said they expected their children’s future success to be better than their own.

VOLUME 80 • NUMBER • 34 JUNE 23 - 28, 2011

Publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Editor Von Jiles Associate Editors Reshonda Billingsley Marilyn Marshall Art Director Tony Fernandez-Davila

Columnist Yvette Chargois Sport Editors Max Edison Darrell K. Ardison Contributing Writer Aswad Walker Webmaster Corneleon Block

The Defender newspaper is published by the Houston Defender Inc. Company (713-663-6996.. The Defender 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 2011 copyright. (No material herein may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher). • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years | WEEK OF JUNE 23 | 2011 | DEFENDER


Š 2011 Target Brands, Inc. Target and the Bullseye Design are registered trademarks of Target Brands, Inc. All rights reserved. 61062

Š 2011 Target Brands, Inc. Target and the Bullseye Design are registered trademarks of Target Brands, Inc. All rights reserved. 61062




Keefe, The Denver Post


Saving Houston Public Pools Thank You, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee


The conspiracy to steal the 2012 election


By Julianne Malveaux NNPA Columnist

ttorney Barbara Arnwine, leader of the D.C. based Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, is on a mission. She wants to make sure that every citizen has the right to vote. On its face, it seems like a retro mission, since the right to vote has long been established. But one look at her Map of Shame, a map she shared at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s 40th Anniversary and annual conference, and the mission becomes quite urgent. States are passing laws that require people to have a government issued photo ID in order to vote. Arnwine’s Map of Shame shows 8 states – Kansas, Texas, Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina – that require a government-issued photo ID for voting. Often when these laws are enforced, the government issued photo ID must include a “current” address, which poses barriers to those who have moved. Americans have a mobility rate of 14 percent, and African Americans have a mobility rate of 18 percent. In the middle of a move, many do not change the address on their driver’s license. Government-issued photo ID does not include a Social Security card, but is usually restricted to a driver’s license or

a passport, and 25 percent of African Americans do not have driver’s licenses. What about passports? The process of obtaining a passport often takes weeks, and costs upwards of $100. Requiring a government-issued photo ID may be a burden for some Americans. Yet that is precisely the intent that legislators that are assaulting voting rights have. When elections are close, it is in their interest to exclude young people, seniors, and African Americans. These voter ID laws do exactly that. Additionally, in some high unemployment states, those who owe child support cannot get a driver’s license. The Map of Shame shows that more than 20 states are considering the repressive laws that have been passed in the eight states that have frontally attacked voting rights, along with the two, Ohio and Florida that require proof of citizenship. Is it any coincidence that these are “swing states”? How much does this have to do with the upcoming 2012 election, where the stakes are high and the Tea Party seems determined to push our country backwards? The bottom line – many are planning to make voting harder in 2012 than it was in 2008. They are planning to steal the 2012 election, and activist lawyers like Barbara Arnwine are passionately fighting back. Check out the Map of Shame at

hanks to the work of U. S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, 8 public pools and seven community centers will reopen in Houston for the full summer season and families, seniors and children can cool off during the long hot summer. With City of Houston budget cuts proposed by Mayor Annise Parker and City Council pending, the swimming pools were on the chopping block with no savior in sight. Some questioned whether the budget cuts were disproportionately placed on the backs of those least able to afford the loss of city services from pool closing to city employee layoffs. But no one is questioning Rep. Lee’s concern for our children. As founder and co-chair of the Congressional Children’s Caucus, her actions demonstrate that political gains have been set aside. Instead she has taken the initiative to recruit private sector monies to serve our community and especially our children. Thanks to the generous leaders of Marathon Oil Corporation and ConocoPhillips $350,000 has been donated to the City of Houston to ensure the pools at Alief, Cloverland, Finnigan, Hobart Taylor, Judson Robinson Jr., Independence Heights, Lansdale and Love were open, and also the community centers at Almeda, Charlton, Cherryhurst, Independence Heights, Platou, Swiney, and Tuffly. Packaged as a win-win for the community and the energy industry giants, the theme marking the donation announcement was “A Summer Full of Energy and Fun!” And summer without a splash in the pool is no fun. Well now our children can truly enjoy the summer. Thanks to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

nextweekonlineopinions End Nixon’s 40 Year War on Blacks and Latinos

Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

HistoryMakers’ Are Still Making History

George Curry

Kenya: Attention African American Entrepreneurs

Maternal Depression: Helping Mothers, Helping Children Marian Wright Edelman

Harry C. Alford • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

T:9.75” | WEEK OF JUNE 23 | 2011 | DEFENDER



NCIS: Los Angeles® available on XFINITY On Demand


NCIS: Los Angeles® now available at

Switch to XFINITY® and SAVE on TV, Internet and Voice for a year when you bundle all 3. Your Favorites Are On Demand

Watch And Talk All You Want

Watch your favorite movies and shows, anytime, anywhere. At the push of a button, access over 60,000 On Demand shows and movies, including hit HBO® original series, on TV and online at Watch it all in stunning HD.

Whether you’ve got the gift of gab or you’re all about the business, you’re in control with the fastest Internet available. Get XFINITY® Internet for online video, research and entertainment. Plus, get unlimited nationwide calling with XFINITY Voice.





For 12 months when you bundle all 3.

HBO & HD ®

Service included for 3 months

OR step up to an HD TRIPLE PLAY and get a Visa® Prepaid Card worth up to



Call 1-866-352-2253. All backed by the 30-Day Money-Back Comcast Customer Guarantee. Offer ends 9/21/11, and is limited to new residential customers. Not available in all areas. Requires Digital Starter TV, Performance Internet and Comcast Unlimited® service. After 12 months, monthly service charge goes to $109.99 for months 13-24. After 3 months, monthly service charge for HBO® goes to $10 until March 31, 2013, then regular rates apply. After 2 years, or if any service is cancelled or downgraded, regular rates apply. Comcast’s current monthly service charge for Digital Starter TV, Performance Internet and Comcast Unlimited® service is $129.99, for HBO® ranges from $19.95$19.99, depending on area and for HD ranges from $8.00-$8.50, depending on area. After 3 months, monthly service charge for HD goes to regular rate. TV and Internet service limited to a single outlet. Equipment, installation, taxes, franchise fees, the Regulatory Recovery Fee and other applicable charges (e.g., per-call or international charges) extra. May not be combined with other offers. TV: Basic service subscription required to receive other levels of service. On Demand selections subject to charge indicated at time of purchase. Internet: Actual speeds vary and are not guaranteed. Voice: $29.95 activation fee applies. Service (including 911/emergency services) may not function after an extended power outage. Money-Back Guarantee applies to monthly recurring charges and standard installation. Two-year contract and automatic bill payments required with prepaid card offers. Cards issued by Citibank, N.A. pursuant to a license from Visa® U.S.A. Inc. and managed by Citi Prepaid Services. Cards will not have cash access and can be used everywhere Visa® debit cards are accepted. Call or visit for restrictions and complete details. ©2011 Comcast. All rights reserved. HBO® and related channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.







OCR Warns Texas:

Don’t cut Black colleges

Don K. Clark Building, PVA&M



HBCU timetable

Righting historical wrongs

In her letter, Ali reminded Perry of the state’s obligation as a result of he State of Texas’ commitfederal legislation, legal precedent ment to historically Black and voluntary commitment aimed at  1983 – Texas plan implemented colleges and universities “eliminating the vestiges of segregacould be in jeopardy due to  1999 – OCR finds disparities traceable tion.” severe financial shortfalls. It was in March of 1999 when to dejure segregation at PVAMU & TSU But any cuts to HBCU’s will not be taken OCR officials indicated they had lightly, according to the Office of Civil  2000 – Committee adopts OCR findings reached a preliminary conclusion that Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of disparities traceable to dejure segrega 2010 – State begins budget cuts Education. tion still existed at Prairie View and Russlynn Ali, assistant secretary  2011 – OCR sends warning to state about cuts to HBCUs Texas Southern. for civil rights at the department, has These disparities were in the areas written a letter to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, of the mission of the universities, the warning him that in this time of budget anced budget shouldn’t come at the expense of land grant status of Prairie View when cuts, “Texas may violate the law if reductions in HBCUs, which are already battling a history of compared to Texas A&M University, program dufunding for Texas Southern or Prairie View that deficiencies. plication, facilities, funding and the racial identifiimpair either institution’s ability to fulfill its mis“As an accountant by training, I understand ability of public universities in Texas. sion” occur. full well the critical importance of meeting the The Governor’s Office agreed to respond to It’s an issue that already has leaders at both bottom line. As a university president, I recogOCR’s concerns through the Coordinating Board’s institutions working overtime to ensure the state nize that there are revenue-generating factors higher education planning process, the mechanism meets its obligation to HBCUs. that accompany an educated populace that far the Board has used to develop a new plan for pubTrying times outweigh the costs of educating these students – lic higher education in Texas. The issue has sprung to the forefront or not educating these students. In other words, Thus, the issues raised by OCR were recogbecause the state is in a period of serious beltthe return on investment that comes with edunized as particular and important aspects of an tightening as it grapples with a massive budget cating students is a factor that must be considoverarching issue for the state: closing gaps in parshortfall, and funding for higher education is ered,” Rudley said. ticipation and success in higher education across being cut across the board. “Like all Texans and the institutions and Texas for all the people of the state. “This session, every state agency and agencies that serve them, Prairie View A&M The committee agreed that PVAMU and TSU program is being reviewed by the Legislature as University must and will do what is required of would be enhanced and strengthened by ensuring lawmakers continue to work to streamline state it to help the state transition through this crisis,” that any student attending these universities would government and scrub the budget,” said Perry added Frank Jackson, governmental relations receive the best quality education available in an spokeswoman Lucy Nashed. She added that the officer at PVAMU. environment conducive to high levels of student governor is committed to working with law“However, we will always keep first and achievement and success. makers to ensure that “at the end of the day, we foremost in our budget planning and implemenThe committee adopted its recommendations have a balanced budget that protects essential tation plans our primary charge to do what is unanimously at its final meeting on April 28, 2000. services, including education, without raising in the best interest of our students. We believe Those recommendations were used as the basis taxes.” that by working together, we will emerge on the for a priority plan, which called for an ambitious TSU President Dr. John Rudley says he other side of these very trying times, stronger, set of actions to raise the educational success of understands the state’s dilemma, but the balwiser and better because of the experience.” students, particularly in retention and graduation.

A Texas Sou researcher c of the stateTSU student and experim find cures fo and other ill The universi partnership Texas Medic College and designed to knowledge about their allow them abroad and United Natio

The plan also lishing or improv the infrastructure high quality educ student services. of the plan are ea to guide and ensu under the plan.

Schools weigh

Both schools since the agreeme says there is muc which is why it’s • Serving the


Electrical Engineering Building, PVA&M

Kennedy Building, PVA&M

uthern University student conducts an experiment in one -of-the-art labs on campus. ts are involved in research ments that will one day help or sickle cell, cancer, diabetes lnesses that plague society. ity has several collaborative ps and fellowships with the cal Center, Texas Chiropractic d others entities which are o give students first-hand and practical experience research. Student studies to study locally as well as places like Vietnam, the ons and others.

o placed emphasis on estabving systems and developing e to support the delivery of cation and provide excellent In addition, the components ach to be tied to a benchmark ure each institution’s progress

h in

s have made significant strides ent was signed, but Jackson ch more work to be done, s crucial that they work to

HBCUs in Texas   ensure that the state maintains its financial commitment to HBCUs. “Many times, the funding from the state is often triggered by state statute. The university works hard during the interim between the legislative sessions and during the regular session of the legislature to keep state lawmakers, their respective staffs and various state agencies aware of the great work being done at PVAMU,” said Jackson, who just returned from Austin where he met with legislators regarding the issue. Rudley says TSU also remains in ongoing

e Houston area for over 80 years

    

Huston-Tillotson University, Austin Jarvis Christian College, Hawkins Paul Quinn College, Dallas Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View Texas College, Tyler Texas Southern University, Houston Wiley College, Marshall

conversations with representatives who are fighting to preserve funding for programs and even discover new sources for campus improvements, student support services enhancement, and the strengthening of academic offerings. He adds

that the issue will stay at the forefront of his agenda – even as he battles the question many have regarding the relevancy of HBCUs. “Education in a global economy requires that American students are prepared to compete with students from around the world. This means students must not only be welleducated in their field of study, but also comfortable with diversity. HBCUs are the most diverse campuses in the nation,” Rudley said. “To compete globally as a nation, we need more graduates. HBCUs fulfill this crucial role.”



LaToya Jackson writes about Michael in book Defender News Services

shows.” Dr. Conrad Murray, who practiced in Houston, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Michael’s death, and his trial is set for September. La Toya said that she confronted Murray in the hospital shortly after Michael was pronounced dead, and he gave her only “evasion and excuses.”

Trim: 6.5"

As you guide him,

let us guide you Find quality child care today. Selecting quality child care is not the kind of decision you should rush into without guidance and reliable information. Collaborative for Children is devoted to providing child care referral services at no cost to help parents understand their options and make good decisions every step of the way. If you’re searching for child care, Collaborative for Children can help.

Call 2 -1-1 or visit

Services are provided in partnership with Workforce Solutions and United Way 2-1-1

Trim: 6.5"

© 2011 Target Brands, Inc. Target and the Bullseye Design are registered trademarks of Target Brands, Inc. All rights reserved. 61062

Trim: 4.79"

Trim: 4.79"

Two years after the death of Michael Jackson, his sister, LaToya is releasing a book titled “Starting Over.” In it, she talks about her brother’s state of mind before he died of a sedative overdose on June 25, 2009. She said Michael’s daughter, Paris, told her that “Daddy was always cold” and that “he would always cry.” LaToya said that the first question that came to mind after she learned of the superstar’s death was, “Who killed Michael?” She also said Michael predicted he would be killed over his estate and music publishing catalog. When Michael died, he was a few weeks away from launching a string of

50 shows in London. At first, only 10 concerts were announced, but 40 more shows were added after tickets sold out in less than an hour. LaToya writes that she later searched Michael’s bedroom and found it “torn to pieces.” She found notes she believes Michael wrote. They indicated that he wanted his father Joseph to help get “these people out of my life” and that he “only agreed to 10


entertainment Michael Clarke Duncan in the


Green Lantern By Kam Williams Defender

Born on December 10, 1957 in Chicago where he and his sister were raised by a single-mom, Michael Clarke Duncan is a survivor who went from homeless to bodyguard to aspiring actor to a Hollywood star with an Oscar-nomination on his resume’. And his career has continued to flourish since that critically-acclaimed performance in the pivotal role of gentle Duncan, who is an Oscar nominee, is the voice of Kilowog in the Green Lantern. giant John Coffey in MCD: No, I was never on the preparation you have to do is take “The Green Mile.” set, Kam. Martin [Director Martin a shower and brush your teeth. You Here, he talks about his latest Campbell] had me in a studio in Burdon’t even have to memorize your outing as the voice of Kilowog in the bank. He knew what he wanted and lines. The script is right there in front Green Lantern. was very specific. He’s an excellent of you. So, yeah, I love voiceover KW: Hi Michael, thanks so director who really drives you and work. It’s right up there with acting. much for the time. pushes you hard. KW: Because of your size, you MCD: Hey, how’re you doing, KW: Do you enjoy doing are often cast in a role of “The Kam? voiceover work? Heavy.” Since that is not the real KW: I’m fine, thanks. You play MCD: Oh, of course you have you, how difficult is it to assume voice of Kilowog in Green Lantern. to love it any time you can go to that role? Did you ever have to be on the set the studio in pajamas, and the only MCD: It’s kind of difficult, befor this role?

cause once people enjoy you as “The Heavy,” they want to see you as that all the time. And if you become pigeonholed, then there are only certain limited roles you can play. To help, I’ve trimmed my weight down to a solid 275 instead of being over 300 pounds. KW: What is the most important lesson that you have learned working in Hollywood? MCD: Save your money. Save your money, because you could be very busy for a year, but then have the next one off. That’s happened to me, but I put my money in the bank, Kam. I don’t splurge. So, my best advice about working in Hollywood is: Save your money! KW: Well, thanks for another great interview, Mike, and best of luck with both Green Lantern and the new TV show. MCD: Hey, much love, Kam, and give your wife and son my regards.

what’sup H Noted saxophonist Clarence

H Inmate claims he robbed, shot

H Tracy Morgan meets with teens

Clemons dead at age 69

Tupac Shakur in 1994

after anti-gay comments

Clarence “Big Man” Clemons, famed saxophonist of singer Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, died June 18, a week after suffering a stroke at his home in Florida. He was 69. “His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly 40 years,” Springsteen said. “He was my great friend, my partner, and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music...” Clemons suffered from several health issues. Most recently, he was afflicted by a spinal ailment and a condition that forced him to have knee surgery. In addition to his work with Springsteen, Clemons collaborated with such artists as Aretha Franklin and Lady Gaga.

A Brooklyn inmate has confessed his involvement in the 1994 robbery and shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur, an assault commonly credited with inciting the deadly rap feud that ultimately led to the deaths of Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. Dexter Isaac, who is serving life in prison on unrelated murder and robbery charges, told that hip-hop mogul James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond paid him $2,500 to assault Shakur inside a Manhattan recording studio. “It’s a flat out lie,” Rosemond’s lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman told the New York Daily News. “Dexter Isaac is not claiming this 17 years later to clear his conscience. He’s doing it because he’s told anybody who will listen he doesn’t want to die in prison…He can’t be trusted.” Tupac was shot five times in 1994 but survived the attack. Two years later, he was shot and killed in Las Vegas.

Comedian and “30 Rock” star Tracy Morgan has been under fire for remarks he made about gays during a stand-up show in Nashville. Morgan recently announced that he has partnered with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in its efforts to combat anti-gay bullying. In his first major project with GLAAD, Morgan met with New York City youth from the nation’s largest organization serving homeless LGBT youth. During the meeting, Morgan said he would return to Tennessee to apologize to those he offended. In his act, Morgan said he would “take out a knife and stab” his son for being gay. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



Budget, other... Continued from page 3 Department of Public Works and Engineering to adjust drainage fees for every property owner required to pay the fee. The adjustment will be accomplished by reducing the amount of impervious surface used to calculate the fee for each property by 1,000 square feet. The change will reduce the median residential drainage utility charge from approximately $8.25 per month to between $5 and $6 per month. “This will address the concerns of homeowners who expected that the average monthly fee would be about $5,” said Mayor Parker in a prepared statement. “I had previously indicated we would study the various alternatives for ensuring that voters could have the fee they thought they were voting for. Today’s announcement makes good on that promise in a fair and equitable way.” A key cog in the city’s infrastructure dedicated to ensure fair and equitable distribution of business contracting opportunities was the Department of Affirmative Action and Contract Compliance. It has since been reorganized and renamed the Office of Business Opportunity. Carlecia D. Wright has been named the new director. Wright comes to Houston from New York where she has been serving the dual positions of executive director of certification and recruitment and executive director of policy, planning and operations for the city’s women-owned business enterprise program.

we’ve neglected. For example, instead of requiring a company to hire a certain percentage of minority contractors, a process where often they would return saying they found none qualified, we will now tell these firms, “Here are five companies that meet your qualifications. You are free to use them or find your own.” Parker envisions the matching strategy increasing the number of minority business operations that secure contracts, which will in turn strengthen hiring companies by expanding their network of suppliers and contracting agents. “The OBO will also get involved earlier in the process, when job specifications are being developed, so we will know about job opportunities earlier on rather than after the fact,” added Parker. On the Mayor’s immediate schedule is concluding the three-member panel talks focused on the action against Councilmember Jones for ethics violations found by the Office of the Inspector General. The panel, which includes Parker, Jones’ representative, Councilmember C.O. Bradford, and Councilmember Sue Lovell, who is representing Councilmember Mike Sullivan who filed the official complaint against Jones. The panel is meeting privately to hear the evidence and decide if this matter should go before full City Council for a public hearing.

Marla McNeal-Sheppard... Continued from page 3

creating that vision.” As principal at Fleming, she instituted programs that led to significant increases in the number of students not only passing the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, but also achieving at the tougher “commended” level. Her efforts to reorganize the special education program allowed the school to meet federal No Child Left Behind standards every year. She was also responsible for making Fleming a 21st Century Technology School with state of the art computer labs, projectors, docu-cams, and SMART boards in every classroom. In addition, McNeal-Sheppard used student data to create an in-school tutorial program called “Upgrade.” McNeal-Sheppard attended Ryan Middle School and graduated from Booker T. Washington High. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Houston. She was a math and science teacher in HISD from 1995 until 2002, instructing at Lanier and Welch middle schools and Madison High School. In 2003, she was named dean of students at Revere Middle School. McNeal-Sheppard is a product of the HISD Secondary Principalship Academy and landed the Fleming principal’s position in 2006.

          

         

                                     

  

 

                       




Expanding opportunities

Parker says the OBO will operate with an identity and focus that expands upon its former mission as the Department of Affirmative Action. “Look at the names. The old office focused on certification and making companies jump through hoops to get certified rather than being entrepreneurial and connecting them to business opportunities. The OBO does have minority contracting goals, but what we want is a rising tide that lifts all businesses,” Parker said. The new office will operate with a matching goal that


   


 



 

           


             

     

                                

                                                            

                     

       

                                                                       


 

   

              

                                                                                                        

              

                                                                                                   

  

   

  

  

                            




MBE advocate stresses supplier development By AswAd wAlker Defender oset B. Wright is president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), a private non-profit organization that expands business opportunities for minority-owned companies of all sizes. Wright was the keynote speaker at the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council’s (HMSDC) Plan of Work Matchmaking Connections Luncheon. The Defender spoke with Wright, a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, about her keynote topic, “What exactly is minority supplier development and how it affects today’s marketplace.” Defender: What exactly is Minority Supplier Development? Wright: Intentional utilization of qualified minority business suppliers in a supplier chain. I say “intentional” because a corporation can


want diversity and issue a general RFP, then use the same suppliers they have used for years. Being intentional is critical in this process. Defender: How does it affect today’s marketplace? Wright: One, corporate chief purchasing officers are risk adverse. They seek to minimize risk at every turn. Most corporations aren’t looking to add new suppliers to their supply chain because it is viewed as risky. Thus, over time there are fewer opportunities for MBEs to establish relationships and participate in the supplier diversity process. But when these opportunities come they will be bigger. Thus corporations have to be intentional in seeking MBEs for several reasons.

Doing so allows them to honor their role as corporate citizens. It’s good for PR. And it’s important not to default to their regular suppliers. With minority supplier development there is more risk and also more to gain. Defender: What are the main tools that will assist MBE access to participation in corporate supply chains? Wright: We offer national trade fairs. Also, local councils have trade fairs that are an invaluable tool to get your product, name, or service in front of companies. If you can’t buy a booth,

come to talk to businesses with your cards in hand, and ready to give your elevator speech. At the local councils there are innumerable opportunities to find out key programs and workshops designed to help businesses with information specific to the issues of MBEs. Defender: What is the value proposition of supplier diversity development? Wright: First, make sure suppliers can do it in a cost-effective way. MBEs possess an extra need for that kind of coaching, mentoring and development from their corporate partners because they haven’t been there before. The more [corporations] partner with MBEs, the better they will be. It’s like dating. When you date someone you see has potential the more willing you are to put in the investment to make sure the relationship develops in a way that is mutually beneficial. The more you invest the more you get out.

No kid should have to worry about living without electricity. Sometimes even the hardest working parents get hit with unexpected expenses. We know about those times. That’s why we have a program called TXU Energy Aid. Nobody should have to suffer without power for fear of an electricity bill they can’t afford. We’re proud to provide temporary bill payment assistance to thousands of customers in critical situations each year, right in your community. Since 1983, TXU Energy Aid has provided more than $66 million in bill payment assistance, helping 390,000 families in need. Learn more at SM


TXU Energy is proud to partner with

©2011 TXU Energy Retail Company LLC. All rights reserved. REP #10004

txu_ea_HoustonDefender_052311_d1.indd 1

5/23/11 2:23 PM




Cougar Chris Carter

dominates C-USA track & field


By Max Edison Defender

n what has become essentially an open secret, University of Houston track and field star Chris Carter has been the most dominate performer in Conference USA this season. The senior from Hearne, TX, was recently named 2011 Conference USA Male Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year. Earlier this season he was named the conference’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Year as well. He is one of only four C-USA male studentathletes to ever win both titles in the same season. Carter’s specialty is the long jump and triple jump and in C-USA no one does it better. Carter dominated the horizontal jumps during conference championships this season. He is a 3x triple jump champ and this year he added the long jump as well. He won both during the indoor season and repeated that feat during the outdoor season. He qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in both the long jump and triple jump and took All-American status in the triple jump with his 16.14m/52-11.5 mark. “The long jump was something I could always pop off from time to time. I was never as consistent in it as the triple jump,” Carter said. “This year when I became more consistent with my long jump good things started to happen. “When I was able to have success in the indoor season and then keep that success in the outdoor season it helped me win the awards.” A talented athlete from a small town, Carter is proud that his success has helped present a positive image of what Hearne represents. “All the awards are great

honors because it puts a positive light on my hometown of Hearne,” Carter said. “There had been some negativity in the past associated with Hearne and in other cases some people have not even heard of it. “What I’ve done along with my friend Patrick Edwards in football [AllConference receiver], who’s also from Hearne, has shown that good things and

good people can come from Hearne and that’s something I’m proud of.” For all his success at Houston, Carter need only look at his head track coach, Olympian Leroy Burrell to keep his accomplishments in perspective and inspire him to do even more. “When you have someone that has accomplished as much as Coach Burrell has it keeps you motivated. It keeps you pushing to do bigger and better things, even when you think you’ve done your best. Whatever you do, he’s done even more. “He’s been an Olympian and a gold medal winner. It shows me that you can have that kind of success coming from Houston. It shows me anything is possible if I keep working.”

For Carter, the success of the 2011 season has only shown him that he’s capable of doing even more. “I think there’s still a lot more I can do in the triple jump,” Carter said. “I’ve got the USA Championships coming up next in Eugene, Oregon.

My immediate goal is to jump well enough to qualify for the World Championships later this summer. I’m very close to the qualifying marks and I’m confident that I’ve got it in me. “The key for me is just continuing to work hard and improving my technique. It’s kind of funny because even though I’ve done well, I know I can do even better.” In four years Carter has accomplished some big things and has literally leaped his way to the verge of greatness. With a little luck he could be the next Olympic candidate to hail from the University of Houston, an accomplishment that would make the city of Hearne beam even more.

For his success in the triple jump, Carter has earned All-American status.

Cougar Chris Carter has been named C-USA Field Athlete of the Year for the Indoor & Outdoor Seasons. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


sportsbriefs McDuffee named Gatorade softball Player of the Year


Perfect for soaring heat By Darrell K. Ardison Defender

The greater Houston area had experienced 30 consecutive days of 90 degree or higher heat before it officially became summer on June 21st. So what better activity for people of all ages to engage in than swimming? Swimming is an activity that burns lots of calories, is easy on the joints, builds muscular strength and endurance, improves cardiovascular fitness, serves as a great injury rehabilitation tool while cooling you off and refreshing the body from this searing heat. “Getting in the pool and doing my exercises was the best activity of all for me last summer when I was rehabbing my ACL knee injury,” said Kris Gray, a former lifeguard, who will be starting his freshman year at Arkansas Baptist University this fall. “It was peaceful, calming and the perfect way to cool off from the Houston heat.” Today swimming is the second most popular exercise activity in the United States, with approximately 360 million annual visits to recreational water venues. Swim clubs, recreation centers, YMCAs and many other facilities feature swimming pools. If you don’t know how to swim already, take lessons. You’re never too old to learn. If you have small children, now is the time to get them started. Some Houston area swimming pools have remained closed this summer due to City of Houston budget cuts. Yet there should be a recreation center, fitness center, YMCA or City of Houston swimming pool open within a few miles of a pool that is closed. Chances are, they offer swimming lessons as well. Either call or go online to find out their schedule. You may have the choice of group or private lessons. Opt for a private lesson if you have a strong fear of water. Otherwise group lessons will work just fine. Qualified swim instructors will have some form of certification (for example American Red Cross-certified)


Paige McDuffee of The Woodlands High School has been named the 2010-2011 Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year. The 5-foot-9 junior left-handed pitcher led the Lady Highlanders to the Class 5A state championship, a 44-1 overall record and the No. 1 national ranking by ESPN Rise Magazine. McDuffee posted a 37-1 record while toiling in the circle, including 12-1 in the playoffs, with a 0.97 earned-run average with 227 strikeouts in 202 innings pitched. The all-state selection hit .405 with one home run, nine doubles and 42 RBIs. She owns a career record of 62-4 in two varsity seasons with The Woodlands.

Jaylon Hicks selected Houston area boys’ track MVP The Defender has named Jaylon Hicks MVP for the Houston area. Hicks easily won the Class 5A 100-meter dash gold medal at last month’s state track and field meet in Austin. He tied the national record of 10.15 seconds while doing so. Hicks ran a leg on North Shore’s goldmedal winning 800-meter relay unit that helped the Mustangs win the 5A team title for the second consecutive year. Recruited by a number of the nation’s top collegiate track programs, Hicks made the shocking decision to attend the Academy of Art Institute in San Francisco this fall to pursue his dream of majoring in animation while continuing to run track on the college level.

PV Lady Panther bowlers gain academic honors Youngsters of all ages enjoy the pool at Sunnyside Park.

and will be willing to speak to you before hand to explain how things work. Adults generally need one hour for beginning sessions, but that might vary based on your health and fitness level. Children age six and younger usually need 15 to 30 minutes for beginning sessions. Ages six to 12 require 30- to 45-minute sessions. If you already know how to swim, go to your local pool and get busy. The list of reasons for learning to swim is endless. There’s no ground impact when you swim, and so you protect the joints from stress and strain. In fact, the Arthritis Foundation strongly recommends swimming and other water activities (water aerobics, etc.) for this reason, so much so that they sponsor water classes all over the country. Even when you jump in the water, since you’re buoyant in the water, you do so with less force on the joints in the water. Since there’s hardly any joint stress in the water, you can swim throughout your lifetime. If you consult the United States Masters Swimming web site for age categories of their swim competitions, you will find

a 100- to 104-year-old age group. Swimming improves endurance. In one study of sedentary middle-age men and women who did swim training for 12 weeks, maximal oxygen consumption improved 10 percent and stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped with each beat which indicates heart strength) improved as much as 18 percent. In a study of men who completed an eight-week swimming program, there was a 23.8 percent increase in the triceps muscle (back of the arm). Everyone won’t gain muscle mass, but you certainly will add muscle tone and strength with a swimming regimen. When athletes are injured, they are often told to swim in order to maintain their fitness level and rehabilitate the injury, particularly in the lower extremities. That’s because water makes the muscles work hard without the resistance experienced on land. There’s nothing like swimming during the hot days of summer whether it’s in the pool or at the beach. It’s an activity you can do alone or as a family.

After posting a solid year on the lanes, three members of the Prairie View A&M bowling team were also successful in the classroom as they earned 2010-11 National Tenpins Coaches Association Academic Honors. Receiving NTCA honors were seniors Kristina Sadler, Alejandra Castillo-Ochoa and sophomore Roonesia Newsom. The recognized student-athletes were required to maintain a minimum grade-point-average of 3.40 for the 2010-11 academic year. First, second and third team distinction was accorded based upon the NTCA postseason AllAmerica voting. The NTCA is the organization of NCAA bowling head coaches. Under the guidance of head coach Glenn White, the Lady Panther bowling team had another historical season in 2010-11 as they were crowned SWAC West Champions for the first time ever and have participated in the championship round of the SWAC Bowling Tournament for consecutive seasons.

Dynamo/TSU Stadium construction well underway The dirt is turning at the new home of the Texas Southern Tigers football team. The excavation is well underway and the constructions crews are busy pouring concrete for the foundation of the new Dynamo/TSU Stadium. The structural work is scheduled to begin in August. The stadium, which will be shared by the Dynamo and Texas Southern, is expected to be completed in May 2012. Spectators will be able to experience unobstructed views from both the lower and upper seating bowls, which are supported by a single concourse. The concourse provides full access around the stadium with easy access to concession and toilet facilities. The fan experience will be enhanced by modern sound and video elements throughout the stadium. Fully integrated broadcast facilities will allow viewers and listeners to feel part of the atmosphere. You can follow the progress of the stadium’s construction by watching the Dynamo Stadium live webcam. Visit for the link. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



For Event Coverage...visit

Helen George, Candy Fontenot and Betty Enard

Caravella Johnson, Toni Hickman and Dr. Valarie Hill-Jackson

Carlecia Wright and Renee Logans


Joe and Yolanda Sample and George Thomas

Gospel Singer Vanessa Bell Armstrong

John Smith and Kenny Calloway

Shelly Millwee, Rosanna Smith, Misti Miller, Cheryl Solomon and Aabba Brown

Charles Bush and Anthony Hall

GIRLFRIEND…….The American Heart Association REUNION RECEPTION………In 2005, jazz pianist, hosted a free health and wellness conference designed to Joe Sample created the non-profit organization, the Joe educate and empower African-American women to live Sample Youth Organization, Inc., dedicated to raising heart-healthy lives. Heart disease is funds for Houston’s inner-city still the No. 1 health threat for women, African-American Catholic schools. Join Yvette Chargois but learning how to manage risks is Recently he hosted a reunion reception Events of the Week what this conference was all about and and was joined by jazz musicians, More photos on included health screenings, interactive George Thomas, Robert Sanders, See Events on KTRK Ch.13’s Crossroads cooking demonstrations, education Al Campbell, Horace Alexander, with Melanie Lawson Sunday Morning @ 11 a.m. sessions, financially fit classes with and others who entertained the sellWells Fargo and get moving fun out crowd at Café 4212. In the mix physical fitness activities. Vanessa Bell Armstrong, a were Yolanda Sample, Candy Fontenot, Betty Enard, Deardre Baker, Al Donatto, Marva Fontenot, Renee premiere gospel music vocalist and Stellar Award- winner, Llorens, John Smith, Kenny Calloway, Cora and performed for the attendees. We salute Shelly Millwee, Judson Robinson and Jim Francies and his family, Roxanna Smith, Misti Miller, Cheryl Solomon, to name a few. Continued success!.........GO RED Aabha Brown, and everyone who made this a very

Val Thompson and Jennifer and Willie Miles

successful event. Congrats!.......... A BIG HOUSTON WELCOME…Houstonians gathered at the Hilton Americas Hotel to welcome, Carlecia D. Wright, Mayor Annise Parker’s choice to lead the City’s new Office of Business Opportunity, formerly the Department of Affirmative Action and Contract Compliance. Carlecia comes to Houston from New York where she served the dual positions of executive director of certification and recruitment and executive director of policy, planning and operations for the city’s women-owned business enterprise program. Her enthusiastic and proactive leadership as well as her extensive experience will be utilized to build opportunities for minority and women-owned small business enterprises in Houston. We welcome Carlecia and her husband, Philip Wright, to Big H!........From Chag’s Place to your place, have a blessed week! • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

Houston Defender: June 23, 2011  

Houston's Leading Black Information Source