DALLAS POLICE HUNT SERIAL RAPIST ATTACKING MEMBERS OF DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY P3
Houston’s Leading Black Information Source Volume 80 | Number 52
MOAMMAR GADHAFI buried in Libya
WEEK OF OCTOBER 27, 2011 | FREE
Black women under 45 Threatened by aggressive breast cancer PAGE 6
SAMMY BROWN steps up for UH
P10 CHAG’S PLACE
James Dixon II celebrates pastoral anniversary with parents
protests locally Activist and comedian Dick Gregory joined members of Operation People for Peace and Occupy Houston in picketing BP’s headquarters. The protest was in support of victims of the massive BP oil spill, which struck the Gulf Coast in 2010. Protesters say many of the poor, minority victims are still waiting for compensation for their losses.
Former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams has found a home on the stage. She’s currently on the road as a star in the play, “What My Husband Doesn’t Know.” She previously appeared in stage productions of “Chicago” and “The Color Purple.” Williams still likes to sing and is preparing for an inspirational R&B project.
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DEFENDER | WEEK OF OCTOBER 27| 2011
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The Cartoon of the week Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons
In The Book Corner Ashamed to Die: Silence, Denial, and the AIDS Epidemic in the South By Andrew J. Skerritt
HIV/AIDS remains a significant public health and social justice crisis in the United States, and the South in particular is heavily burdened. “Ashamed to Die” is a sobering manifesto practically begging African Americans to acknowledge the omnipresence of an escalating plague decimating the community.
News & Opinion Black land loss increasing
Question of the Week Was it time for the U.S. to pull out of Iraq?
highlight 2011 Toyota 4Runner Trail 4X4
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Discover the New Look, New Size, New Content, New Attitude Designed for your convenience, the new Defender is packaged in an easy to handle tabloid size, with a colorful contemporary flair featuring more content as we celebrate 80 years of service to the African-American community. The new Defender logo with the large star reflects that “You Are the STAR.” Each week you are invited to share your opinions and comments on our stories and the issues confronting our city on the defendernetwork.com. Let your voice be heard and invite others to join you. Look for the Defender at community locations, Krogers, Fiesta, Gerlands and soon CVS pharmacies.
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WEEK OF OCTOBER 27| 2011 | DEFENDER
newstalk Minorities picket localbriefs BP headquarters
Police hunt rapist who attacked Dallas Deltas
By ASWAD WAlKER Defender
ganized more than 10,000-plus claimants, and has been classified as one of the most effective organizers of low-income workers who have been neglected in the claims payments of the affected spill states. According to Donahue, Kenneth Feinberg, the governmentappointed administrator of the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund, has stated that the claims are all
BP’s response to OPP
Tom Mueller, a BP spokesman, has said that the company he phenomenon spawned is not involved with the claim by Occupy Wall Street distribution. has come to Houston in “BP appreciates their right full force. Participants to protest, but the company does in Occupy Houston teamed with not manage the claims process,” members of Operation People for Mueller said. “So the appropriPeace (OPP) to stage a focused ate place for these comments and event – Occupy BP Headquarters. these concerns to be aired is with The genesis behind Occupy Ken Feinberg.” BP is the fact that many of those Claimants severely impacted by organized by OPP the BP oil spill have include landscapnot been compeners, dishwashers, sated for their losses servers, laborers, to date. carpenters, plumbers According to and assistants, janiOPP members, most tors, taxi drivers and of those people are teachers who are now minority and poor unemployed due to people who BP has lingering BP oil spill chosen to ignore issues. while settling with Others affected others who are wellby the oil spill range connected politically. from pastors who Legendary hulost church offerman rights activist, ings to women who comedian and actor babysat the workers’ Dick Gregory was in children. town, along with Dr. “As far as we’re E. Faye Williams, concerned Occupy Dick Gregory (center) is joined by former State Rep. Al Edwards (left). chair of the National BP in Houston was Congress of Black a success because Women; Art Rocker, OPP chair, legitimate, and requested that the we were able to go to BP in force, and claimants who traveled from claimants be organized by OPP to and Occupy Houston and Amnesty Florida, Alabama and Louisiana to expedite payments. International got involved,” said picket BP headquarters. OPP members charge FeinRocker. They want the company to berg and BP with stalling in payRocker added that an OPP keep its promise to clean up the ing the claimants. delegation traveled to BP’s corpooil spill that seriously damaged “We’ve met with Feinberg rate headquarters office in London the Gulf Coast region in 2010. over 15 times, and every time and demanded a meeting with “We are facing tremendous he’s lied to us, saying, ‘I’m going BP’s President and CEO, Robert challenges in view of the BP oil to pay these claims tomorrow, in Dudley. spill disaster that occurred on two weeks, in three days’,” said There, after being denied a April 23, 2010 in the Gulf Coast Rocker. “Feinberg met with over meeting with Dudley, they were region, which is now threaten81 ministers and lied to them. He directed to go to the Houston ofing our shores unlike anything met with hotel workers who had fice to get claims paid. However, we have ever previously expejust lost their jobs, and lied to in Houston, they were met with rienced,” said Jessica Donahue, them too. It’s just stall tactic after African-American security guards information contact for OPP. stall tactic.” to quell their demands, rather The organization has or-
Dallas-area police are looking for a suspected serial rapist who they believed attacked four alumni members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority during the last 11 months. The women, all in their 50s and 60s, were attacked in their suburban homes. During the assaults, the man revealed that he knew personal information about the victims. The suspect is a Black man in his late 30s to mid-40s. DST is advising area members to avoid wearing or displaying anything identifying them as Deltas, and to remove personal information from networking sites.
White assistant dean files suit against Texas Southern Patricia Garrison, assistant dean of academic support at Texas Southern’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law, is suing the university. Garrison claims she was discriminated against because she is white. Garrison, who has worked at TSU since 2007, said troubles began when Dannye Holley became dean of the law school. According to Garrison, Holley embarked on a campaign to make her life difficult because of her race. She said he micromanaged her work and refused to give her the authority she needed. TSU isn’t commenting on the case.
HISD conducts annual evaluation of Supt. Grier The Houston Independent School District has begun its formal evaluation of Superintendent Terry Grier’s performance. The nine-member school board is looking at such areas as public support and confidence in HISD schools, student college readiness and recruiting and retention of teachers and principals. Board members will complete the evaluation by Nov. 3. “I’m real proud of the progress our principals and teachers have made,” Grier said at a recent district community meeting. “We had a good year.”
Early voting underway for Nov. 8 election in Harris County Harris County residents have until Friday, Nov. 4, to take advantage of early voting for the Nov. 8 election. There are 18 early voting sites located inside Beltway 8 and 19 sites located outside Beltway 8. The ballot includes constitutional amendments and mayor, city council and school board positions. During the second week of the early voting period, Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, voting hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For information visit www.harrisvotes.com or call 713.755.6965.
Continued on Page 8
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DEFENDER | WEEK OF OCTOBER 27 | 2011
Libya and Iraq:
U.S. gains foreign affairs victories
begin a national reconciliation process, secure weapons and dangerous materials, and bring together armed groups under a unified civilian leadership,” Obama said. “As they take these steps, the United States will continue our close cooperation with our international partners and the UN Support Mission in Libya to help advance a stable, democratic transition.”
Defender News Services
The collapse of Moammar Gadhafi’s dictatorship in Libya and the end of the war in Iraq represent victories for the Obama administration. President Obama said the U.S. looked forward to working with the new Libyan government, and that Gadhafi’s death marked the “definitive end” of his regime. “Our military played a critical role in shaping a situation on the ground in which the Libyan people can build their own future,” Obama said. “Today, NATO is working to bring this successful mission to a close. The day after Gadhafi was killed, Obama, who pledged to end the Iraqi war as a presidential candidate, announced that remaining American troops would be home by the end of the year. “After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,” he said.
Death of a dictator
Gadhafi, 69, was killed on Oct. 20 after being captured by Libyan fighters. He was buried in secrecy five days later along with his son Muatassim and former Defense Minister Abu Bakr Younis. His burial ended the grisly spectacle of his corpse on public display in a freezer after he was killed in his hometown of Sirte. Questions remained about his slaying, and the location of his son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam. The leaders of Libya’s Transitional National Council (TNC) are under international pressure to investigate Gadhafi’s death, and issued a statement saying they disapproved of any prisoner being hurt or killed.
End of a war President Barack Obama
“On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the people of Libya on today’s historic declaration of liberation,” Obama said. “After four decades of brutal dictatorship and eight months of deadly conflict, the Libyan people can now celebrate their freedom and the beginning of a new era of promise.” Obama said the TNC must turn its attention to the political transition ahead. “We look forward to working with the TNC and an empowered transitional government as they prepare for the country’s first free and fair elections,” he said. “The Libyan authorities should also continue living up to their commitments to respect human rights,
In announcing an end to the war in Iraq, Obama recalled that after taking office, he presented a new strategy to end America’s combat mission in Iraq and remove all troops by the end of 2011. “As Commander-in-Chief, ensuring the success of this strategy has been one of my highest national security priorities,” he said. “Last year, I announced the end to our combat mission in Iraq. And to date, we’ve removed more than 100,000 troops. Iraqis have taken full responsibility for their country’s security.” Obama said he spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki. “I reaffirmed that the United States keeps its commitments. He spoke of the determination of the Iraqi people to forge their own future. We are in full agreement about how to move forward. “So today, I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. Over the next two months, our troops in Iraq – tens of thousands of them – will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home.” Obama also discussed the future of U.S. relations with Iraq. “Even as we mark this important milestone, we’re also moving into a new phase in the relationship between the United States and Iraq,” he said. “As of January 1st, and in keeping with our Strategic Framework Agreement with Iraq, it will be a normal relationship between sovereign nations, an equal partnership based on mutual interests and mutual respect.”
UT affirmative action case heads to higher court Supreme Court justices will likely agree to hear an affirmative action case of a white student who said she was denied admission to college due to her race, according to a New York Times report. A decision on whether affirmative action will be eliminated in public universities could be made by June. Abigail Fisher said she was not accepted by the University of Texas in favor of more diverse but less qualified candidates. The lawsuit challenges whether policies and procedures at UT, which grants preferences to students based on race, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
As gang membership grows, illicit activities expand The gang problem in the United States is growing. According to a report by the National Gang Intelligence Center, approximately 1.4 million gang members belonging to more than 33,000 gangs were criminally active in the U.S. as of April, 2011. Gangs are increasingly engaging in such crimes such as illegal immigrant smuggling, human trafficking and prostitution. Gangs are also engaging in white-collar crimes such as counterfeiting, identity theft and mortgage fraud. In addition, gangs are becoming increasingly sophisticated, employing new and advanced technology to enhance their criminal operations, and connect with other gang members and potential recruits nationally and internationally.
Unpaid student loans will top $1 trillion this year For the first time, the amount of unpaid student loans will exceed $1 trillion this year, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Last year, $100 billion in school loans were taken out, the most ever. According to the report, Americans now owe more on student loans than on credit cards. For some young people, the debt could hinder them from buying a car or a home, getting married or having children. The College Board reports that a full-time undergraduate student borrowed $4,963 in 2010, an increase of 63 percent from one decade ago.
VOLUME 80 • NUMBER • 52 WEEK OF OCTOBER 27, 2011
Publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Advertising/Client Relations Selma Dodson Tyler 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).
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WEEK OF OCTOBER 27 | 2011 | DEFENDER
entertainment Michelle Williams
finds new destiny on the stage By Kenya Vaughn Special to the NNPA from The St. Louis American
“I’m like okay God, is this what you want me to do, because I’m having so much fun,” said singer/actress Michelle Williams. While her former Destiny’s Child group mates Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé are holding their own in the music industry, Williams feels as if the stage is somehow tied to her purpose in the entertainment industry. In 2009 she became the first AfricanAmerican lead on the London stage in the UK production of “Chicago” and now she comes to St. Louis as the co-star of David Talbert’s latest play “What My Husband Doesn’t Know” at the Fox Theatre. “I love his work and the substance of his plays,” Williams said of Talbert. “We’ve been trying to work together for six years.” When she was in rehearsal to take on the role of Shug Avery for “The Color Purple” on Broadway, she got the call that the stars were aligned. And Williams couldn’t be more thrilled with the Talbert production. “The cast is amazing – I mean you have Ann Nesby, the legendary Clifton Davis, Morris Chestnut,” Williams said. “We all get along. It’s an amazing group. And the energy…I said to myself in the first rehearsal ‘we’ve got a good show’.” But what Williams loves most about the
show is the message she feels it will present to the audience. “This show captures everything,” Williams said. “People see the love, the mistakes that have been made as well as the redemption and restoration.” Williams plays the wife of a construction mogul who is being pulled in every direction and neglects his relationship in the process. “I don’t want to give the story away, but we are sharing our man with so many other people and he may not have the time to be with us,” Williams said. “He gets so caught up and he starts forgetting the little things.” Her hope is that “What My Husband Doesn’t Know” will bring the idea of moving past mistakes and secrets into the hearts of the audience, and that they have a good time doing it. “Get ready to laugh, cry and scream ‘you go girl’,” Williams said. In addition to her stage work, Williams is prepping for an inspirational R&B project to be released in 2012. “It’s going to be music with a message, and something amazing,” Williams said. “I just want to do something fresh. I’m at
an age where I listen to music and think ‘does this help me solve anything?’ If nothing else, I want to make sure that I have a solution to my music.” In the meantime, she is thrilled to be on the road with her latest stage performance.
Ma’at represents Houston on ‘X Factor’ Houston native Ma’at (and great-great niece of the Defender’s own Ms. Chag) is wowing judges on the blockbuster show, “X Factor.” Ma’at is one of 10 talented teenagers in the group, inTENsity, mentored by X-Factor judge, Paula Abdul. The 12-year-old attended Poe Elementary School and Pershing Middle School, where she sang in the choir. inTENsity made it through the first live show in the groups category and will now proceed to the next round, where viewers will cast their votes beginning Wed., Nov. 2. Log on to www.thexfactorusa.com to vote.
BEYONCÉ & JAY-Z are sparing no expense getting ready for their baby due in February. They are expanding their New York City loft to make room for a 2,200 square-foot nursery says Us Weekly. They shouldn’t have any problem filling up the huge room. After Beyoncé announced she was pregnant, gifts rolled in from such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna and former Destiny Child’s member Kelly Rowland……..MARIAH CAREY & NICK CANNON introduced their twin babies, Moroccan and Monroe, during an interview with Barbara Walters on “20/20.” Married since 2008, they shared details about their struggle to conceive and Carey’s high-risk pregnancy. They also talked about how they’re parenting their twins, nicknamed Roc and Roe. The boy and girl were born on the day of their third wedding anniversary. “I don’t think I understood the enormity and the magnitude of what it does to your body,” Carey said of her pregnancy. “Unless
somebody’s been through it, it’s difficult to understand what I’ve been through”……..TYLER PERRY is starting production in Atlanta on a new Lionsgate film titled “The Marriage Counselor.” Actress Jurnee Smollett of “Friday Night Lights” and “The Defenders” has the lead role. The new Perry film will also include Kim Kardashian. The film is based on one of Perry’s plays about a marriage counselor whose love life falls apart when her husband’s parents move in. Perry’s previous films for Lionsgate have grossed nearly $600 million at the North American box office…….. WASH ALLEN was recently honored for 45 years in broadcasting at the Houston Enriches Rice Education (HERE) Legacy Award ceremony. Allen began his radio career as a teenager in Memphis, and later majored in speech and drama at Tennessee State University. He worked at stations in Nashville, Cleveland, Washington and Detroit before coming to Houston. He has been with KCOH since 1971……..
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DEFENDER | WEEK OF OCTOBER 27 | 2011
Black women under 45 Threatened by aggressive form of breast cancer By RESHONDA TATE BILLINGSLEY Defender
hen people see Nichelle Breux in her pink wig, they immediately assume she’s striving for some bold fashion statement. The Southwest Houston resident is trying to make a statement – but not about fashion. She’s hoping the wig will spark conversation about an issue that hits close to home – breast cancer. “People ask me about the wig and I use it as a chance to make them aware of the disease – particularly the growing epidemic of young Black women being diagnosed as triple negative,” she said. In March 2007, at the age of 39, Nichelle made a discovery that would change her life. “My mother is a survivor and I’ve been getting tested since I was 28,” she said. “But I actually skipped that particular year and I was doing a self-exam when I spotted a lump.”
reduce known risk factors as much as possible by avoiding weight gain and obesity, engaging in regular physical activity, and minimizing alcohol intake. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among African- American women (lung cancer is first).
A triple threat
Nichelle is among a growing number of Black women who are finding themselves at increased risk for aggressive, difficult-to-treat triplenegative breast cancer. According to Breastcancer.org, triple-negative tumors do not express estrogen or progesterone receptors or HER2 and are three times more common among Black women than among white women. Triple-negative breast cancers are more likely to come back and don’t usually respond to the most common drugs and therapies. The form is rare – it accounts for roughly 10 to 20 percent of all breast cancer cases nationally—yet its still cause for concern. “A lot of people don’t know about • 26,840 new cases of breast cancer this form,” said Karen Jackson, presiwere expected to occur among dent of the Sisters Network, Inc. a breast cancer awareness organization based in African-American women in 2010. Houston. • The incidence rate of breast cancer “Initially, when Sisters started 17 years ago, there was no such thing as among women under 45 is higher triple negative. Now, it disproportionfor African- American women ately affects African-American women under the age of 45. Statistics show we compared to white women. have a harder, more aggressive type of • The five-year relative survival tumor. Its harder to find, its harder to treat and more of us don’t survive triple rate for breast cancer diagnosed in negative.”
Breast cancer facts & figures
A growing problem
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among African-American women. An estimated 26,840 new cases of breast cancer are expected to occur among Black women in 2011. The overall incidence rate of breast cancer is 10 percent lower in African-American women than in white women. Among younger women (under age 45), however, the incidence is higher in African Americans than in whites. For now, there is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer. Doctors say a woman’s best overall preventive health strategy is to
1996-2004 among African American women was 78%, compared to 90% among whites Source: American Cancer Society
While triple negative research is relatively new, experts agree early detection is still the best scenario for any patient. And as with any other cancer, Jackson says complete treatment is key.
“Women are still not going to get their mammogram. including ultrasound in the combination so they can have 10 tion if there’s something going on in their body. Most of us don’t know that a mammogram only gives what’s going on. If you want 100 percent, you need mammo sound,” Jackson said. Both Jackson and Breux say they work to not only rais get women to make their health a priority. “You have to be an advocate for yourself; to know wha Jackson said. “That means get checked; seek out a medical f on the educational side. Go see a surgeon who is a breast sur general surgeon. All of these things are important to your sur “I’ve met women that are younger than me with the di Breux, who now undergoes chemotherapy on a daily basis. “ progress to the stage to be fatal if people get tested and find i more chance of curing this. And it doesn’t have to run in the woman needs to be tested regardless of her family history.” Jackson says the old belief of waiting until age 40 to be outdated. “If I were not a survivor, under age 40, I would still be get it at 35, just to be sure. It is difficult to get your physician mogram, but if you are persistent, it’ll get done. Its not some happens. You’ll have to ask for it, demand it.” And demand it now, she adds. “Forget the hair, forget the nails. Breast Cancer is not w check it off on your to-do list. Make your health a priority or tomorrow.”
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Stiletto event combats breast cancer Defender News Services A Texas nonprofit organization is encouraging men and women to strap on pairs of fancy shoes for Houston’s first annual Stiletto Stampede for the Cure, a 100-yard high heel dash benefiting the Houston Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The fundraising event will take place at CityCentre Houston, 800 Town & Country Blvd., on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 10 a.m. The Stiletto Stampede for the Cure was founded in 2009 by a group of volunteers in Austin. The founding group’s members shared a passion for serving their community and improving overall health. “We are extremely excited to bring this signature breast cancer awareness event to the city of Houston,” said Melissa Dawson, event chair. “Our goal is to positively impact the lives of young adults and the overall community by stressing the importance of early detection and education.“ The purpose of event is to educate young women and men about the risks of breast cancer, while empowering them to prevent the disease by utilizing overall breast self-awareness through early detection, screening methods and education. The event will feature race heats for every age and running level including a Survivor Stampede honoring cancer survivors, a 100-yard High Heel Dash for men and women, a Pooch Scootch for dogs and their owners and a Stroller Stampede for parents. Awards and prizes will be presented to the winners of each category. Attendees can also enjoy a fashion show, concerts, a bounce house, face painting, live entertainment, spa massages and pedicures, raffle prizes and the opportunity to take advantage of special discounts at participating CityCentre Houston’s retailers and restaurants. Runners and onlookers are encouraged to wear pink. The cost of registration is $40 and can be submitted by visiting www.stilettostampede.org. For additional information contact 713.907.0080 or email@example.com.
The Sisters Network • Locations: 42 cities, 22 states • Goal: To increase local and national attention on the devastating impact that breast cancer has in the African-American community. • For more information: www.sistersnetworkinc.org Left to right Mary Douglas Carroll- President, Sister Network North Harris County Chapter, Landa Harris-President, Sisters Network Bayou City Chapter, Demertria Trice, President, Sisters Network Missouri City Chapter , and Karen Eubanks Jackson, Founder & CEO. Sisters Network Inc.
he Houston area for over 80 years
DEFENDER | WEEK OF OCTOBER 27 | 2011 | defendernetwork.com
DMV to vote on Confederate license plates By Aswad Walker Defender
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles board will vote Nov. 10 on a controversial proposed license plate emblazoned with an image of the Confederate flag. The specialty plate is sponsored by Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson on behalf of a group called the Sons of Confederate Veterans. In an April vote, the DMV came to a split decision, a 4-4 tie, neither approving nor rejecting the plate. Local elected officials, ministers and other concerned citizens gathered at the courthouse recently to voice their opposition to the license plate. A contingent of those against the license plate will be in Austin when the DMV votes, bringing with them a letter signed by more than a dozen legislators opposed to the design. Pastor James Nash, a member of Houston Ministers Against Crime, added his voice of dissent regarding usage of the Confederate flag. “It represents to me, hatred. We should not even be addressing this subject today; it should have been laid to rest many years ago,” Nash said. “The Confederate flag is a symbol of oppression,” said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. “[It represents] the brutality of slavery and it is a symbol of fear and intimidation.” Frank Johnson, a Sons of Confederate Veterans member, disagrees with Jackson Lee and others, stated that his group is a heritage organization not a hate organization. “They make it sound as if there’s some brazen banner on the plate,” said Johnson. “It’s a three-by-three logo. It’s
not the battle flag. It’s the Sons of Confederate Veterans logo.” Still, with the DMV board’s vote just weeks away, opponents are making sure their position is heard. “We do not honor that which has dishonored us, and we reject the idea of the Confederate flag on our license plates or anywhere in the state of Texas,” said Reginald Lillie, president of NAACP Houston. State Sen. Rodney Ellis also opposes the license plates. “Some of my ancestors fought for the Confederacy,” said Ellis. “They don’t know me and I don’t know them but I’m glad they lost. They were on the wrong side of history and that’s what this is about today.” State Rep. Garnet Coleman voiced his opposition in a letter to Victor T. Vandergriff, chairman of the DMV board. “There are universally recognized symbols that evoke deep, visceral, negative reactions in people. For me and my community, the Confederate battle flag is one of those symbols,” said Coleman. “Just as the state would swiftly dismiss from consideration the use of other hurtful or hateful symbols, such as the swastika, so should they dismiss this particular symbol. There are simply too many painful memories, fearful references and negative connotations associated with this image to allow its placement on a state sanctioned license plate.” Nine other states have approved similar, Confederate flag license plates. In states where opposition arose, the Sons of Confederate Veterans have sued and won. Johnson is confident of a similar outcome in the Lone Star State. “The Sons of Confederate Veterans have always won these suits in other states,” said Johnson. “There’s nothing to
Minorities picket.. Continued from page 3 than a BP decision-maker. “BP is an old British company that went into Africa and stole their oil, then they came to the U.S. and are treating us in the same disrespectful way. But we’re not going away. We’re coming back to Houston and will occupy BP until they pay the under-served and under-represented,” said Rocker. Gregory is encouraged by the movement’s past work and present course. “Our movement stands the same way it always stands when you get a multi-trillion dollar company that flexes their muscles in the face of opposition. But we’re turning the lights on them, and watching the roaches scatter, because what we have on our side is truth,” said Gregory.
‘Educating the masses’
“There are so many pension funds invested in these big companies that folk get scared,” Gregory continued. “We’re educating the masses so they don’t have to be afraid. And when a mother who has a claim in hears on the news that BP has settled for $8 billion, she thinks its over. “But our claimants aren’t getting paid. What a lot of folk don’t know is most folk haven’t been paid. We’ve got to educate and keep going around and getting all up in BP’s face.” Gregory talked about the negative publicity the company is receiving. “Every time you dirty BP up, that softens
contest. If we don’t get the plate, why should anyone else get the plate?” Coleman, however, believes history is on the side of the opposition. “President Lincoln spoke of a time when we as a people would swell the chorus of the Union, when our memories would again be touched by the better angels of our nature. We should put aside these symbols from the time when our country lay divided against itself, and instead move forward in celebration of our unity, guided by those better angels,” said Coleman.
them up,” he said. “They plan on being a big player in the upcoming London Olympics. But companies won’t want to be associated with them with all this bad publicity. So our time in Houston was incredible.” Williams, though concerned with claimants receiving their promised awards, is also focused on the ongoing oil spill-related health issues. “I’m concerned about the health and welfare of Black women and children; the affects of the oil spill on children not right now but later on in life,” said Williams. “BP continues to send Black women security guards out to confront us and put us down, telling them that we are merely professional protesters – the same tactics and charges used against Dr. Martin Luther King and others during the sixties. “But we’re not on anyone’s payroll, and we will not be dissuaded. This just increases our resolve to get the job done,” said Williams. Though OPP members left Houston after their October protest Rocker promises a return to the Bayou City. “We will come back and occupy BP Houston, and then occupy BP in DC, and then occupy BP in London.” “BP must make generations of individuals, businesses, churches and children in the Gulf Coast whole and save the people in the Gulf from harmful toxins,” added Donahue.
defendernetwork.com | WEEK OF OCTOBER 27 | 2011 | DEFENDER
connections We’ve made important moves to strengthen your network. You may have heard. AT&T and T-Mobile are planning to come together. What will that mean to you? More cell sites and spectrum means better service sooner. And it means your Internet is about to take a big leap forward with LTE — a super-fast mobile broadband technology. We are going to deploy it to more than 97 percent of all Americans, giving you access to a cutting-edge wireless network and all the opportunities it brings. So keep your bonds strong by reaching out to those you care about the moment they need you.
© 2011 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved.
DEFENDER | WEEK OF OCTOBER 27 | 2011
Sammy Brown & Phillip Steward:
Cougars linebackers double trouble By MAX EDISON Defender When you think about the University of Houston Cougars and the success they’ve had this season, the first thing you think about is their prolific offensive production. The Cougars rank No. 1 in the nation in both passing yards per game (441.7) and points per game (49.3). The second thing you think about is sixth year senior quarterback Case Keenum. The Abilene native recently set the record and became the all-time Division I leader in total offense. The third thing you observe is a seemingly endless supply of playmaking wide receivers and running backs. By now, if you’ve been keeping count, we’re four deep in keys to the Cougars success and have yet to mention the defense. The defensive unit has been much maligned in recent years, but has made major strides in the past few weeks. One reason the defensive unit has improved is the play of its outside linebackers Phillip Steward and Sammy Brown. Weak side linebacker Brown (senior 6’3” 240 lbs.) has stepped up his game this season and the results are evident. Brown is ranked No. 1 in the nation in tackles for losses, leads the team in sacks (7.5) and is tied with fellow linebacker Marcus McGraw for the lead in solo tackles (31). Brown’s success has Sammy Brown
not gone unnoticed. The Wiggins, Miss., native was recently added to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, which is presented annually to the country’s top defensive player. Brown was an honorable mention All-CUSA performer last year, his first as a Cougar (JUCO transfer), but struggled at times in the new 3-4 defense. What a difference a year makes and Cougar defensive coordinator Brian Stewart has seen the difference. “Last year Sammy freelanced a bit in an effort to make plays and at times made the defense vulnerable,” Stewart recalled. “This year he has dedicated himself to working within the confines of the defense and the results are pretty evident. He’s having a pretty good year and he can still play better.” Brown agrees that his understanding of the defense and hard work in the summer has enhanced his play. “I’ve tried to get stronger in the weight room and I’ve worked on different pass-rushing moves. I’m also made an effort to spend more time in the film room,” Brown said. The fact that he’s beginning to receive national attention as one of the elite linebackers in the country has not altered Brown’s focus. “It feels good to get national recognition,” he said. “I just try everyday to get better as a player. I’m just trying to stay focused on my assignments, eliminate mistakes, help this defense play better and help this team win.” Phillip Steward (junior
6’2” 230 lbs.) has started at outside linebacker since the middle of his freshman year. The former All-State performer from Fort Bend Hightower is now the strong side linebacker in Coach Stewart’s defensive alignment. Steward was recently named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week after a two-interception performance Phillip Steward in a simply dominating defensive showing by the Cougar defense holding East Carolina to just three points. Coach Stewart is equally pleased with the production of No. 42 Steward. “We get quality, consistent play from Phillip,” Coach Stewart explained. “He’s not known as a pass rusher, although we send him from time to time. He does a great job containing the quar-
terback. He’s very athletic and does very well in coverage. He’s studying hard and understanding the defense and just getting better every week.” Steward is known for being an instinctual player who always seems to have a nose for the football. He is second on the team in interceptions, third in tackles and leads the team in fumble recoveries. “I’m just looking for the ball all the time,” he said. “I’ve always had a knack for being close to the ball. I even make bets with the DBs and safeties on who will have the most picks.” As the undefeated season continues and the Cougars continue to rise in the national polls, Steward knows the team must stay focused and handle success accordingly. “We know we can’t get caught up in all the hype, the rankings and so forth. We’ve got to stay focused and just go out and play every week. We get caught up in all that other stuff we could easily lose.” The Cougars are on a history-making trek and Sammy Brown wants the ending to be as good as the beginning. “This has been a big year, but it’s far from over,” Brown said. “Our goals are clear; we want to win the conference [C-USA]. We’ve got some big games coming up. We need to keep working hard and not get ahead of ourselves. We’re on the right track.”
Linebackers #8 Sammy Brown & # 42 Phillip Steward anchor the improving Cougar defense.
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WEEK OF OCTOBER 27 | 2011 DEFENDER
feature high-wire act By DARRELL K. ARDISON Defender
However, here’s a daunting thought for Furr and upcoming Kashmere playoff opponents. The Rams can still win comfortably when Wiltz is limited to 80 passing yards on sixof-19 attempts with one interception against Worthing. Jacobs sat out the Worthing game with an injury. So sophomore running back Albert Davis shouldered more of the offensive load with 83 rushing yards on 14 carries. Wiltz opened the
With 10 defensive starters back from a squad that advanced to the playoffs a year ago, Kashmere head football coach Garry Dunham felt good about his team’s prospects for the 2011 season. Yet while the Kashmere defense has more than held its own, particularly in district play, it’s the Rams’ offense that has lit up the scoreboard in 2011. A 21-10 victory over Worthing is the lowest amount of points Kashmere has scored in District 22-4A. Kashmere put 28 points on defending district champion Wheatley (28-7) while surpassing the 30-point plateau in victories over Booker T. Washington, Jones and Scarborough. A victory over Furr at Delmar Stadium and Kashmere will clinch The Kashmere Rams are on the rise in District 22-4A. an outright district championship. Instrumental in the success of the game’s scoring with a six-yard TD run. Kashmere Rams this season has been Wiltz can beat you with his the play of quarterback Anthony Wiltz, throwing arm or his feet. The senior one of only four returning starters on signal caller is adept at eluding the offense. pass rush and keeping plays alive long Wiltz threw for 1,400 yards and enough for his receivers to find an 20 touchdowns in 2010. Wide receiver opening. Robert Jenkins caught 10 of those TD In a 42-14 victory over Jones, passes last season and he’s doing more Wiltz passed for 210 yards and four of the same this season. touchdowns. He has TD passes of 41 With the return of Jenkins along yards to Jacobs, seven and 24 yards with stellar play of Rontrell Randall to Randall and nine yards to Jenkins. and Joshua Jacobs, Wiltz has blosWiltz also ran for 51 yards on 10 carsomed into a strong candidate for ries. Offensive Player of the Year in Against Wheatley, Wiltz tossed a District 22-4A. 22-yard TD pass to Jenkins, a 30-yard “I’ve got a quarterback that TD pass to Jacobs and ran one in from can sling it and we’ve got some rea yard out. A crowd of better than ceivers that can go get it,” Dunham 10,000 crammed into Delmar Stadium said. “That’s something we can for that one. definitely do.” In what was supposed to be a
marquee match-up against Washington, Wiltz had TD runs of five and one yards while pitching TD passes of 30 and 32 yards to Jenkins and 44 yards to DeAndre Land as the Rams prevailed 33-10. “We left a number of scoring opportunities out on the field,” said Kashmere assistant coach Dwayne Colbert. “We could have scored a lot more points.” Two-way lineman Nathaniel Hawkins and linebacker Levi Stevenson anchor a Kashmere defense that has not yielded more than 10 points in district play. Hawkins (6-foot-4, 300 pounds) is a good pass rusher who explodes off the ball. He is the centerpiece of Dunham’s 4-3 scheme. Stevenson (6-1, 205) made the pivotal defensive play in the victory over Worthing when he recovered a third-quarter fumble in the end zone to increase a 7-3 halftime advantage to 15-3 following a two-point conversion. The Hawkins/Stevenson tandem has been swarming opposing offenses all season long. Kashmere has ball hawks in the secondary and recorded four interceptions in their last outing. Linebacker Grant Ross opened the theft brigade while Paul Banks recorded two interceptions. Senior K.C. Jones pilfered one of his own. Kashmere put together a great run during district last season to clinch a playoff berth for the first time in five years. They’ve got a chance to surpass that in 2011 as the district champs with an opportunity to advance past the bidistrict round of the playoffs. For Dunham’s coaching staff and the rest of the Rams, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Katy, Port Arthur Memorial ranked in state top ten In the latest Texas High School Coaches Association state poll, Katy and Port Arthur Memorial are the only Class 5A schools from the Gulf Coast area listed in the Top 10. Katy is ranked No. 2 and Port Arthur Memorial comes in at No. 9. Among Houston area 5A schools, Katy is ranked No. 1 and P.A. Memorial is No. 2. Memorial outlasted Beaumont West Brook 32-27 to improve to 8-0 on the season while Katy reached eight wins without a loss by shellacking Houston Memorial 45-0. Katy’s defense is allowing a paltry 4.3 points per game. The Tigers are getting similar efficiency on the offensive side of the ball as quarterback Brooks Haack has yet to throw an interception this season. Allen is ranked No. 1 in the state among 5A schools.
Klein Collins volleyball program loaded with talent Klein Collins is one of the top Class 5A volleyball programs in the Houston area with a 30-8 overall record and deadlocked with Tomball atop the District 13-5A standings at 11-1. A unique aspect about this season’s roster is the level of talent. The Tigers boast five Division I college prospects, including Kristen Stehling (Southern Methodist), Amy South (Central Arkansas), Molly McCage (Texas), Heidi Otto (Southern Mississippi) and Kaili Crow (Army). Klein Oak and Klein appear to have the inside track to the district’s two remaining playoff berths.
NBA prepares to cancel more regular season games Don’t look now, but with no end in site to the NBA lockout, the league is preparing to cancel two more weeks of its regular season. The NBA has already wiped out the preseason and the first two weeks of its regular season, which was set to begin on Nov. 1. “This thing is on a slippery slope and we’re already losing games, the first two weeks,” union head Billie Hunter said. “If we continue to go in that decline, it may become intractable to get people to move from their respective positions.” At this point there is a very real possibility that the annual Christmas day slate of games could be in jeopardy. At press time there are no talks even scheduled between the league and its players association. With regular season games being cancelled, how much longer before the commissioner pulls the plug on the entire season?
Texans Manning out for a month; team awaits return Texan free safety Danieal Manning fractured his fibula at Tennessee while making a leaping interception in the second quarter. He was on crutches in the second half and after the game. Manning, one of the Texans top free agent acquisitions in the off season, is expected to miss at minimum four weeks. Troy Nolan, a third-year player from Arizona State, will take over for the injured Manning. Although Manning will be out for four games, Coach Kubiak does not plan to place him on injured reserve, which would cause him to miss the remainder of the season. “We’d love to wait on Danieal. We’d love to get him back before this season’s over,” Kubiak said. “We did the work today and then we’ll see how the progression goes over the course of the next three weeks and see if that’s going to be a possibility, but right now we think it is. That’s good news.”
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DEFENDER | WEEK OF OCTOBER 27 | 2011
For Event Coverage...visit
James and Carrol Dixon and Bishop James Dixon II
Honorary Chairs Dr. Elwyn Lee and The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee
VP-Jimmy Choo USA, Savvas Kaminarides and Event Chair Merele Yarborough
Linda Brown Coleman and Paige Cawthon
Dr. William Harmon and Fashion Icon, Kay King
Hynes and Suzette Perkins
Gala Chairs Goodwille and Jacquelyn Pierre and Honorary Chair Willard Jackson
Lowell Pye, to name a few. Tributes to Bishop Dixon were 30th PASTORAL ANNIVERSARY.....An evening of given by Je’Caryous Johnson, Benjamin Hall, Rev. elegance honoring Bishop James W. E. Dixon II was William Lawson, the Honorable Al Green, Howard recently held at the Bayou City Event Center to celebrate Jefferson and his family. Over 600 guests attended three decades of discipling, developing and making a including his proud parents, James and difference by faith. Several months Carrol Dixon. Congratulations and God ago, after surviving a horrible accident, Join Yvette Chargois Bless!.......PUMP-A-LICIOUS........The he knows that he is “alive on purpose” Events of the Week National Kidney Foundation, Tootsies, and plans to do even more. Honorary More photos on defendernetwork.com and luncheon chair Merele Yarborough chairpersons for the event included See Events on KTRK Ch.13’s Crossroads hosted a fashion presentation titled, Dr. Elwyn and the Honorable Sheila with Melanie Lawson Sunday Morning @ 11 a.m. “Pump-A-Licious” to kick out kidney Jackson Lee, the Honorable Adrian and Monica Garcia and Willard disease. The Crystal Slipper award was and Kym Jackson. Others serving as presented to Dr. Garabed Eknoyan chairpersons were J. Goodwille and Jacquelyn Pierre, and former astronaut Joan Higginbotham. Attendees Tommy and Toni Cormier, Kirk and LaDon Ward and included Savvas Kaminarides, VP wholesale/J. Choo Michael and Debra Burton. Comedian Jonathan Slocumb USA, Inc., Paige Cawthon, Linda Brown Coleman, was the master of ceremonies and musical selections were Roxanne Chargois, Vanessa Gilmore, Sharon Owens, performed by Johnny Williams, Shawn McLemore and GiGi Scott, Kim Prince, Winell Herron, Lesa Jones,
Vanessa Gilmore, GiGi Scott, Sharon Owens and Roxann Chargois
Susie Dixon, Sophia Clarke and Aichell Demerson
Cheryl Ramagno, Rosalyn Boyd, Kimberly Caldwell, Cheronda Harrell and Chalita Cyprian, to name a few. Mia Gradney of Channel 39 served as mistress of ceremonies and the Ensemble Theatre performed an overture, “There’s No Business Like Shoe Business.” Continued success!.....FASHIONABLY FABULOUS...... Fashion design educator, mentor extraordinaire and fashion legend Kay King recently retired her post as the division chair of Lifestyle Arts & Design Careers for Houston Community College Central after three decades with the institution. A reception was held at the Decorative Center Houston in her honor and Dr. William Harmon, president of HCCC, presented her with the Eagle Award. In the mix were Beverly Harmon, Ed Smith, Jackie Martin, Susan Bischoff, Yekcira Burnom, Clarease Yates, Susie Dixon, Sophia Clarke, Aichelle Demerson, Suzette and Hynes Perkins and Andrea Bonner. Congrats!......From Chag’s Place to your place, have a blessed week!
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