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Joaquinn Arch, Dr. Anthony Webb, and Robert Melvin are three of San Antonio’s African American businessmen who are enjoying the advantages of entrepreneurship. During each exclusive interview, they share insight about their areas of expertise, what keeps them inspired, and the significance of meaningful relationships.

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FROM THE EDITOR Christopher C. Herring






COVER FEATURE Interviews with Businessmen Joaquinn Arch, Dr. Anthony Webb & Robert Melvin
















IN THE SPOTLIGHT Lois Washington







MAGE Magazine was launched to spotlight the vast achievements of African-American leaders throughout Texas within the corporate, educational, religious, and private sectors. It is our desire that you are inspired by the stories of the individuals who are featured, motivated to contribute to the betterment of society, and encouraged to achieve your own goals with passion and persistence. We are excited to work through the lense of our editor, Christopher Herring, who extensively travels the state of Texas as a leader of the Chamber of Commerce. The cover story for this premeire issue features Robert Melvin, Dr. Anthony Webb, and Joaquinn Arch, three successful African American entrepreneurs who are making an impact in their respective fields. Also in this edition is knowledge and insight from San Antonio leaders: Dr. Dorinda Rolle, Mario Salas, and Mayor Ivy Taylor, in addition to other articles of interest relevant to Black culture. As we broaden our content with each issue, our editorial team is dedicated to providing you with information on health, leadership, financial concerns, spirituality, statewide and national events, youth issues and various thought-provoking topics. With each edition, we will expand our distribution to ensure that our partners receive optimum visibility for their product or service. Be sure to support our advertisers who make it possible for us to serve you by publishing a quality magazine for your reading pleasure. And remember to tell your family, friends, acquaintances, and colleagues, about IMAGE - the New Magazine in Texas!

Diane Hannah Publisher 4 IMAGEMAGAZINETX.COM • FALL 2015

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Tremell Brown Red Baklava Photography ADVERTISING Diane Hannah Christopher C. Herring MARKETING/PUBLIC RELATIONS Urban Media Group of Texas CONTRIBUTORS Heath Muhammad Charles O’Neal Dr. Dorinda Rolle Mario Salas Mayor Ivy Taylor Freddie Willis Contact Us FOR LETTERS TO THE EDITOR & SUBMISSION OF MATERIALS FOR REVIEW OR PRINT SEND EMAIL TO: Editor@imagemagazinetx.com TO ADVERTISE SEND EMAIL TO: Info@imagemagazinetx.com

IMAGE Magazine is published quarterly. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. Articles and letters will be edited due to space limitations as necessary. The views expressed in any story or column in this publication are those of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or advertisers. The publisher is not responsible for errors in advertising copy. IMAGE Magazine reserves the right to reject any article or advertisement for any reason. IMAGE Magazine will not be held liable for services or products advertised in IMAGE. All product names, brand names, and trademarks may belong to their respective holders. Printed in the USA. IMAGE Magazine is committed to providing editorial content that is relevant to the interests of Blacks in Texas with the intent to inspire each reader to use their gifts, talents, and resources to make a positive impact in the world.


FROM THE EDITORChristopher C. Herring

“ As the Editor of



n 2003, I read the book 1999, written by former President Richard Nixon. In his last chapters, the President painted a very dismal picture of Africa as a wasted charity case, plagued economically, and full of corrupt governments. Twelve years later, I was presented with the opportunity by the University of Texas to sponsor and host the 2014 and 2015 Mandela Washington Fellows in San Antonio. I had flashbacks about the book 1999 and my own early education whereby my text books made either no reference to this continent and her people or only provided references to slavery which always disturbed me. Before President Barack Obama, Africa only fit into the box of being inferior to America with people that we were supposed to take pity on. I have realized this portrayal and brainwashing is not the world view we should have or share with others. We must change our image of Africa and develop a deep and rich love for our people. If we look at ourselves and tell the truth, we will acknowledge that we have suffered from the race game. We have looked down on those who are on a continent that most of us have never seen. We have perfected self-hate in many different ways. As the Editor of IMAGE Magazine, I hope to provide you with positive views of Black Business, Education,

IMAGE Magazine, I hope to provide you with positive views of Black Business, Education, Leadership and Society that will drive personal change for people of African descent in our great state of Texas .” Leadership, and Society that will drive personal change for people of African descent in our great state of Texas. I learned through firsthand experience working with Black businesses in the state through the Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce and the United States Black Chambers, Inc., that we have to continue to educate and inform the masses to make changes in how we think. What really changed my mind about Africa and her people was the warm human interaction between myself and the Mandela Fellows which indicated we have far more in common than we have differences. If we recognize that we are descendants from the cradle of civilization, and both groups suffer at the hands of those who choose to exploit us with no opportunity to build up our children, our streets, or our communities, we will quickly lose the real reason why President Obama created the bridge of hope through the Mandela Washington Fellows Young Africans Initiative. IMAGE Magazine, as a media source, will take on the issues that need to be tackled to change the way in which we think about ourselves. As descendants of Africa, we have to run away from denying where we come from. Certainly, our Black culture has fallen into stereotypes of what has been said about the cradle of civilization. In our Amer icanized minds, we have not only denied our DNA, but we have also denied the very people who are painted in our same skin color with the same noses and s a m e b o d y s t r u c t u r e s . We h a v e l e t s l a v e r y, a s a f o r m o f a h o l o c a u s t , make us lose our minds and the true i m a g e o f w h o w e a r e . L e t ’s t u r n to the next chapter, together. It’s time for a New Image!

C hristopher C . H erring

Follow me on Twitter@BlackAmerica Christopher C. Herring (bottom center) with the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellows in front of San Antonio City Hall. Photo by Melendrez Entertainment 6 IMAGEMAGAZINETX.COM • FALL 2015


A NEW KIND OF LEADER By Dr. Dorinda Rolle

“True leadership always inspires change. Successful leaders have a determination that does not give up in the face of adversity or failure. Yes, that’s right, failure. Leaders are not always winners, they are just not quitters!”


f asked to name three leaders on the spot that you admire, who comes to mind? Perhaps the President of the United States, a minister you respect, or the coach of a successful sports team? Chances are, these leaders possess or display the traditional traits attributed to leaders such as integrity, charisma, intelligence and determination. Most people would put integrity as the number one trait expected in a leader. I define integrity in a leader as one perceived as being moral and ethical in both their public and private life. Yet, time after time in recent years, leaders have failed us because of a lack of integrity. How many times have we watched on television as a leader apologized for a “mistake”? Many leaders possess a certain charisma or charm that attracts people to them and gives them the ability to inspire or invite devotion. Charismatic leaders are often well liked and even loved, regardless of their message. In 1976, researcher Robert J. House put forth a theory of charismatic leadership that implies that charismatic leaders behave in ways that have a strong effect on people. For example, charismatic leaders have a high degree of self-confidence and are able to translate their beliefs and values to people around them. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John F. Kennedy were both charismatic leaders. Today, their words are still recited by school children and quoted by politicians. Over the past 100 years, researchers have studied the subject of leadership which is the ability to influence others to follow the leader’s direction, guidance or vision. In other words, leadership is a process. True leadership always inspires change. Successful leaders have a determination that does not give up in the face of adversity or failure. Yes, that’s right, failure. Leaders are not always winners, they are just not quitters! Age is not a factor in the new kind of leader. Traditional leaders have a determination that is sometimes evidenced by their ability to exercise dominance over others. No one will argue that diligence, persistence, and determination are qualities in people who get things done. The problem comes when leaders reach back to the playbook of Niccolò 8 IMAGEMAGAZINETX.COM • FALL 2015

Machiavelli, a 14th century military leader and politician. In his book, The Prince, Machiavelli seems to endorse the phrase “the end justifies the means”, which has been interpreted to mean, do anything to get the desired result regardless of morality, legality, the cost, or who gets hurt in the process. We’ve seen leaders like that who are bent on getting their way so much that they have no concern for how others may be affected. Think about the U.S. government shutdown of 2013. In my research on leadership development over the past few years, I have noticed a new kind of leader emerging. This new kind of leader has the traditional traits of integrity, charisma, intelligence and determination, but they also have others that are noteworthy. This new kind of leader also has a high level of emotional intelligence, expert knowledge or intelligence in their subject matter, a sense of their own self-confidence, agility, and sociability. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, perceive and interpret the emotions of others with the proper response. It is also the ability to express and control one’s own emotions. The new kind of leader identifies with followers and has a keen sense of selfawareness. The traditional leader believes they are different from their followers and may unknowingly project a position of aloofness or detachment. They hang on to the old notion that familiarity breeds contempt, never allowing transparency or vulnerability. A new kind of leader allows transparency and is able to respond appropriately to their followers emotions about them being human. Expert knowledge. A leader is not expected to know how to operate every piece of machinery in a plant or even how to manipulate the latest social media; however, the new kind of leader is an expert in the issue they are leading because they are setting the trends in that given arena. If one fancies him or herself to be a leader in civil rights but has little knowledge of civil rights history, chances are, they are not a new kind of leader. If one wants to be a leader of something they feel called to do or are passionate about, they should study that subject, learn all they

can about the topic, create new knowledge for others to digest about the topic, create a vision for others to get excited about, and establish themselves as experts or the go to person on that topic. Self-Confidence is one’s belief or certainty in their ability or decisions and is the result of competencies, skills or knowledge of a given topic. Seldom do you hear a trained athlete say, “I think I can do it.” They typically speak in the affirmative, “Yes, I can do it”, because they know the sport well and have trained over and over again. That’s what gives them self-confidence. A new kind of leader trains for his or her role to get to a place of self-confidence and trains to stay in a position of leadership. Gone are the days when organizations and movements maintain the same leaders decade after decade. Leaders must remain relevant. Agility is moving quickly with ease and the ability to think on one’s feet. The new kind of leader embraces change and even creates change. A new kind of leader respects the past and the contributions of those who have paved the way and opened doors for them, but they are not tied to the past. The agile leader has learned how to navigate in and out of certain systems and audiences. For example, civil rights leaders in the past have used marches and boycotts to gain attention and results. An agile leader might use those methods, but also use social media such as Twitter, MoveOn. com or may develop an app for smart phones and iPads to further their mission. The agile leader is comfortable working and engaging with a variety of constituents, colleagues, and customers. The new kind of leader is not married to a process, but will quickly adjust when things are not working or producing desired results. Sociability as it relates to the new kind of leader is closely identified with charisma and emotional intelligence. Sociability is demonstrated with good interpersonal communication skills. Leaders who rank high in sociability are able to show empathy for others and often put the needs of others above their own. They seek positive social relationships that often lead to collaborations with other individuals and organizations. They gladly assist others with their visions and work without fear that helping others will diminish their own vision or work. They understand the law of reciprocity and give freely to others believing that whatever they put in the atmosphere will come back.


A new kind of leader is emerging. Traditional leadership traits of integrity, charisma, intelligence and determination will always be needed and desired, but they are not enough for the challenges faced by leaders today. A new kind of leader is one who is not afraid to buck some of the old ways in favor of embracing a leadership style that gets results and respects followers, but more importantly, models behaviors and attitudes for the next generation of leaders who are watching. The five traits of a new kind of leader in this article is not exhaustive. There are many others. A new kind of leader is one who sparks and inspires real and lasting change because they continually evolve themselves. Dorinda Booker Rolle, PhD is a San Antonio, TX based Organizational Leadership Consultant, Executive Coach, and Adjunct Professor of Leadership Studies. FALL 2015 • IMAGEMAGAZINETX.COM 9



















t often seems the only time Black Texans think about Black-owned businesses is when it’s time to complain about shoddy customer service, or the difficulty in finding them conveniently, or their failure to carry preferred brands. Rarely do we equate these perceived shortfalls to the rate at which we patronize these businesses. It’s actually a pretty simple formula: support Black-owned businesses and (magically) customer service will improve; they will be able to expand new locations and carry the brands you can’t live without. This current failure to consider Black-owned businesses has not always been the way Black Texans viewed the critical need to support our businesses. Did you know that the FIRST Black chamber of commerce was started in Dallas, Texas in 1926? Keep in mind this was only five years after Tulsa’s Black Wall Street was firebombed into oblivion for simply being successful in business. Nine years later, in 1935, Houston’s Black business community gave birth to the nation’s second Black chamber, the Houston Citizen’s Chamber of Commerce (now the Greater Houston Black Chamber). Here’s the good part: Just a year later, in 1936, the leaders of the Dallas Black Chamber and the Houston Citizen’s Chamber -- along with business men and women from across the state -- met in Dallas during the Texas Centennial celebration and formed the Texas State Negro Chamber of Commerce, the predecessor organization of the current Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC). Their commitment to the economic future of Black Texans spawned a network of chambers across the state, in big cities and

small towns alike. From Texarkana to Corpus Christi to the Panhandle to Sherman-Denison (tiny Ennis still boasts their Ennis Negro Chamber, dating from 1947!) these businessmen and women went about the business of business. Their concerns, of course, were not only with profit making. These visionaries realized that to the extent that Black Texans could stabilize, develop and grow Black-owned businesses, we could employ community residents, maximize our political muscle and significantly improve public education. Sound familiar? Nearly 80 years later these simple goals continue to frustrate those of us in the business of Black business. Twenty-three chambers/business organizations currently comprise TAAACC’s membership while four new chambers are in varying stages of development. All this activity indicates that – despite the difficulties associated with being Black in business in Texas – there is still strong support for growing Black business with a goal of strengthening employment, political power and educational outcomes. In a renewed effort to reacquaint Black Texans with their historic connection to business development and reignite the passion that gave birth to America’s first Black chamber and first statewide business organization, the Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce and the Texas Publishers Association have committed to doing our part to keep you abreast of issues impacting Black-owned business in our state. The publishers of Texas’ 26 Black-owned newspapers, businessmen and women in an industry that has been hit especially hard by social media and the “Digital Age,” are still Black Texas’ most reliably trustworthy source of information affecting our lives. Clear, distortion-free communication is absolutely critical to the growth, development and expansion of Texas’ Black-owned businesses and we are elated about the prospects our working together will mean for Black businesses in our state. Well before the 2020 census, Texas will have the 2nd largest Black population among the 50 states. Pitifully, even in this state’s dynamic economy, Black Texans lag behind in business receipts, political power, employment and educational attainment - even after nearly 80 years of effort to improve these outcomes. I am optimistic that Black Texans will make the connection between where and how they spend their hard-earned money and the difficulties we continue to experience in other areas. I know we can, because brave men and women came together in 1936 when no hotel would sell them a room, no restaurant would seat them and they couldn’t try on a suit unless they bought it first… their answer: have your own hotel, restaurant and clothing store. Seems like the perfect time to go “back to the future…” Charles O’Neal is President of the Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce. Contact him at cro@taaacc.org FALL 2015 • IMAGEMAGAZINETX.COM 11

ROBERT MELVIN DR. ANTHONY WEBB JOAQUINN ARCH When these three relentless entrepreneurs arrived for the mid-morning photo shoot in downtown San Antonio — all pretense was set aside. Instead, a sense of camaraderie set the scene. IMAGE Magazine sits down in an exclusive interview with these down-to-earth brothers to glean insight from their entrepreneurial success.” Facilitated by Diane Hannah • Photography by Tremell Brown



IMAGE: What brought you to San Antonio? MELVIN: Well, I’m originally from Houston. My wife and I were living in New Haven, Connecticut, and it was coming a time for us to choose a permanent home. I had the opportunity to attend a luncheon and purpose of that gathering was that the Texas economic development team was in the process of recruiting CEO’s in corporate headquarters from their home base in New York and trying to get them to relocate or establish business operations here in Texas. And he told those CEO’s, if you want to make more money, if you want your businesses more profitable, you want your employees to bring home more of their paychecks, you need to pack your bags and move to Texas as soon as you can. And as I drove back to Connecticut, I felt like he was talking directly to me, so I got home that afternoon and I told my wife that I wanted to go back to Texas and she decided to follow me. [Laughs] IMAGE: Tell me a little about your educational background? MELVIN: I completed my undergraduate studies at Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana where I pledged Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. I graduated with a bachelors in Political Science and Psychology, and then I got my law degree from Michigan State University College of Law in Lansing, Michigan. IMAGE: Have you ever worked in the field of Law? MELVIN: I did early on. I knew in my second year of law school that practicing law was not what I wanted to do. It was from there that I decided to consider what passions I had. I’ve always been involved in politics and to a lesser degree, economic development; so it was natural for me to work with businesses and their processes. IMAGE: What do you currently do? MELVIN: I’m the CEO of Alpha Omega Strategic Partners which is my consulting firm. We assist businesses in their growth and development strategies. I’ve been doing that on my own since 2010. Most recently, I was Governor Perry’s small business advisor within his economic development team. There were businesses that really had a lot of potential for exponential growth but there were limitations on the amount of resources that could be provided just based on the way that the government is set up, so I decided to go out on my own so I could work with these individuals and entities one on one and provide them with any and all resources that I had at my disposal. We’re also in the oil and gas business; that’s a family business. FAITH: What are your responsibilities in the oil and gas business? MELVIN: Companies have to purchase materials such as piping, gloves, disposables, steel, tubing and other items; all of these things they have to purchase in order for their business to extract hydrocarbons out of the earth. They need assistance; they have to purchase goods to get that done. They dump carbon into the ground to force the hydrocarbons up. We’ve put ourselves in that chain of providing them materials. IMAGE: What do you enjoy most about your work? MELVIN: I’m able to spend a lot of time with my two children

and my wife because of the flexibility of my schedule. IMAGE: How would you describe yourself? MELVIN: Intelligent, caring, and passionate IMAGE: What are you passionate about? MELVIN: Anything that I’m engaged in. I tend to approach things with an all or nothing mentality. IMAGE: What do you believe has led to your success? MELVIN: I’ve always had good people around me. The support system in any entity is vital; meaningful relationships are important. No one can do it on their own. My wife is my number one advocate. She speaks volumes about me when I’m at my lowest. IMAGE: What is your life’s motto? MELVIN: Try to get better every day. IMAGE: Who were your mentors? I have a lot actually. I think for different aspects of your life you need different mentors. MELVIN: Certainly, my brother, Timothy Melvin. My wife is a fantastic mentor, and my mother-in-law. There are many who have enhanced me, and I credit everything that I’ve been able to do, to their presence in my life. IMAGE: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs? MELVIN: Entrepreneurship is a labor of love. In order for you to succeed---depending on what your drive is, your passion, and your business model—you have to be willing to dedicate everything you have to pursuing those goals. Also, never be the smartest person in the room. If you’re the smartest person in the room then you need to go to another room. One of the things I always do is continuously surround myself with good people. If you are not adding value to this relationship then it’s just not going to happen. It’s a harsh truth. IMAGE: Did any aspect of your childhood influence you to become an entrepreneur? MELVIN: I’m the grandchild of a serial entrepreneur. My grandfather had a 5th grade education; he could barely read and write. He owned several gas stations throughout the city of Houston. (Theo-Gene Thibodeaux) A package store that is still

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IMAGE: How many years have you been in business? WEBB: I’ve been in practice for 14 ½ years. I graduated from the University of Houston in 1999 and started my private practice in 2001. IMAGE: Were you always interested in this field? WEBB: No. I wanted to be in the military as a child. I went to Georgia Military College and spent 4 years in the army. That’s actually what brought me to Texas. I did some training at Fort Sam, and I was stationed at Fort Hood the entire time. My interest in optometry was spurred by a friend I met in the military who was a physician and loved what he did. So, I got out of the military and decided to go back to school. IMAGE: Are you still serving in the military? WEBB: Yes. I did a branch transfer from the Army to the Air Force Reserve. IMAGE: Do you like one more than the other? WEBB: We probably don’t even want to go there. [Laughs] They’re different. One thing I liked about the army is that it was more physical. I went to airborne school which is parachuting school. I propelled from helicopters and did a lot of fun things. I’m also a Persian Gulf Veteran. IMAGE: How was that experience? WEBB: Eye opening. It definitely made me appreciate the United States and everything it has to offer. IMAGE: Did it change your life in any way? WEBB: It sure did. I grew up. I didn’t have a choice. I think I became more focused on what I wanted and what I didn’t want, and I think my appreciation for academics went up a notch. IMAGE: What is the most rewarding and satisfying part of your job and being in this community? WEBB: The last time I saw my grandfather before he passed away, he was blind. So for me, being able to give 14 IMAGEMAGAZINETX.COM • FALL 2015

someone something that a lot of us take for granted is a blessing. God built us pretty well, but over time things wear out, and we get diseases. Being able to keep someone seeing their grandchildren or their great grandchildren being born, or seeing the leaves change and things like that are very important to me. Each day when I come to work, I thank God for allowing me to come in and help people. I love practicing in this community, and I love the people. I love the east side of the city. IMAGE: What do you enjoy most about San Antonio? The River Walk? WEBB: [Laughs]No! You can’t talk about the water here with a person who is from Florida. Years ago I asked God what He wanted me to do, and I did that. I prayed about it, and this is where I am. San Antonio is where I’m meant to be. IMAGE: What do you want people to know when they come into your office? WEBB: That they are going to get the best care. IMAGE: What are your future plans and goals for your business? WEBB: Continuing to evaluate some things and improve upon our processes. We’re growing with grace, and sometimes when you ask for something and then you get it, you’re not always prepared for it. We’ve experienced such fast growth. I don’t know that I was really ready for it. I feel like we’re already out growing this building. I’ve closed my end of the practice at this W.W. White location. Unless a patient requests for me specifically to see someone outside of them or their family, the appointment will be scheduled with someone else. IMAGE: So you’re not taking any new patients? WEBB: Correct. IMAGE: What do you believe has led to your success? WEBB: My faith and hard work. When I started working, I worked 7 days a week for about two and a half years. I think that my upbringing lent itself to that because I had a lot of family members who worked really hard. My mother, my grandmother, aunts, and uncles were all hard working people, and for me to not work hard would be a disservice to them. IMAGE: What’s your advice for aspiring business owners? WEBB: Listen and learn from those who are already in business. I went to anyone who had a business, and it didn’t matter what kind of business they had. A lot of what I learned about managing a business didn’t come from people who were in healthcare because we don’t know much about the business aspect of entrepreneurship; we don’t spend a lot of time on it in school which is why I went back to get a Master of Business Administration (MBA) to learn more. IMAGE: Tell me about a difficult time in your career and how you overcame it. WEBB: I spent a year out of school after my sophomore (continued on page 29)


IMAGE: How long have you been in business? ARCH: 6 years. IMAGE: Where did you attend college? ARCH: Prairie View. My undergraduate degree is in Social Work. I decided to get my license in Community Development because I wanted to be respected as a business owner. IMAGE: Your business is on the East Side, correct? ARCH: Yes, it’s on North New Braunfels Avenue. The name of the building is The Arch Center, and the name of my company is Straight Line Management. We are a construction management/ project management company. IMAGE: Why have you chosen to have your business on the East Side? ARCH: Because of the growth potential of downtown. I am trying to take advantage of the opportunity now instead of another 5 years from now when you won’t be able to afford to invest because it will be all over San Antonio. IMAGE: When did you purchase the building? ARCH: In 2009. It’s 2200 square feet. I saw the potential here for an investment to make a profit at some point. This building will be my legacy building as I acquire other properties. IMAGE: Do you feel that you are on to something that other people are not by being here? ARCH: Making this investment has allowed people to see potential, and we have had some good feedback. I knew something was about to happen on the East Side but not to this magnitude. IMAGE: What aspect do you feel has led to your success so far? ARCH: The company is female owned, by Sherrika Arch who is my boss/wife and we are one of the only African American owned project construction management businesses in San Antonio. We’re partners. I take care of the business development. I make sure we stay relevant. I make sure that all the entities know who we are, and that we are on task and that everything is running smoothly. IMAGE: How do you grow your business? ARCH: Through relationships. Relationships are key because in order for people to give you their business they have to know and trust you, and they have to trust that you know what you are doing. You need a track record of integrity, honesty, good work and timeliness. In construction, they want their jobs to be complete before time and on time. IMAGE: What is it like being in partnership and working alongside your spouse? ARCH: It works out very well. There is no conflict because my job is to make sure that people know who we are, that we continue to get new work, that our company is growing, and that we are represented well. My wife has entrusted me with that, and I trust her that if there is an issue that she takes care of it. She takes care of the money, she takes care of making sure that people understand that she knows what she’s doing. She’s an engineer, and she has been over some very large construction projects. The functioning of the business, the actual project management, she handles that. It’s an advantage for us that she is competent and knowledgeable about the industry. We are not

just in the business to get contracts that are for minority and women owned businesses like some people are. There are some men who put their wives over their companies to get contracts, and their wife doesn’t know anything about the industry. IMAGE: What did you do before you began working in construction management? ARCH: I was in Sports Management. I used to promote concerts and parties. I worked for CPS for about a year as a special investigator, and I worked under Sheila McNeil at City Hall. I was a Special Events Coordinator. IMAGE: What advice do you have for aspiring business owners? ARCH: Understand the industry you are about to go into and do research to find out what the market trends are and if there is a need for your business. Understand the demographics of the city that you are doing business in. Find your niche. IMAGE: What inspires you to stay motivated? ARCH: My family inspires me, and I’m self motivated because I like to be the first. Like here on New Braunfels, we were the first to get down here and show that it is possible to do something. So when others come after us, they will know that it is possible. I want to stir the pot. I want to get there first and stay ahead of the game. I want to be a leader and be a guy that was known to be a part of the movement. IMAGE: What are your future goals and plans? ARCH: Continuing to grow and get to the next level. To build and develop a warehouse into a living space for college graduates 24 to 35 years old on the East Side if there is any space left to do it. IMAGE: Is working in Construction Management something you always wanted to do? ARCH: No. As a child, I was all about sports. Football was my first love, and then I fell in love with basketball. I was a star athlete at St. Gerard and only played football until my sophomore year. It started getting hot, they started hitting harder

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B y T. M A X M C M I L L A N



ong ago, when I still wore barrettes and yelled “Zero Zing Zing!” to be first in a round of double dutch, bigger kids would pick on me. If they were my age and gender, my mother would not get involved. She deemed it a rite of passage, a necessary evil in juvenile maturation that I would contend with people who didn’t like me, said mean things about me, made fun of my hair, my buck teeth, or my knobby knees. But if I were ever confronted by a kid much bigger than I, especially if it were a boy, or even worse - an adult - she gave me stern instructions to come find her. If not, go get a teacher or a pastor. The lesson was clear – when the fight is fair, fight your own battles. When it is not, expect and demand that someone on the same level of your attacker be there to assist you in the battle. There have been many battles in my life since then. And as we wait for more facts to trickle in about what happened to Sandra Annette Bland - the 28 year old Black woman whose cross country move to Texas was punctuated forever with a traffic stop by a maniacal police officer who would arrest her unlawfully and send her to the jail that would be the site of her death – I can’t help but to think of her battles as well - specifically, her final, unaided battle on a Texas sidewalk where she was assaulted by a civil servant whose conduct was undeniably oxymoronic to his title of ‘Peace Officer’. It was in this unnecessary and unfair battle with the officer who had forcibly removed her from her car by threat and intimidation, who twisted her arm to a degree that she yowled in pain and would later tell her sister that she thought it was broken, who slammed her into the concrete and pressed his full weight into her back with his knee – that I imagine that Sandra would have wanted help. I imagine she would have wanted advocacy, support, representation, and reprieve. I was not there, but I would imagine that for a split second, the activist who spoke into the social media galaxy to tell her people she loved them, who looked up as she was being assaulted and abused, whose body was thrown about like inconsequential refuse, saw a Black female officer approaching and breathed - as I would have. I would have sighed, full of relief and pride from my impending vindication. The Calvary had arrived and her name was ‘Sistah’. But this Black female officer did not offer assistance. She made no inquiry. With the assuredness of someone who had seen the interaction from its genesis (she had not), this Black female officer, who we now know as Pennie Goodie, entered the situation to the immediate aid of Officer Encinias. She is even heard saying, “Stop resisting!” to Sandra Bland. This other woman. This Black woman. The one who was best positioned to feel Sandra’s frustration, relate to her physical and historical pain, and to be a voice and a force in her literal “time of affliction”, further assaulted Sandra Bland with her actions and her inaction. This is not to say that every black woman is automatically expected to “get black women out of trouble”. Some sisters do wrong, just as people of every race do, and the fact that one is Black or a person of color, should not entitle them to escape the 16 IMAGEMAGAZINETX.COM • FALL 2015

consequences of illegality or subvert the due process of law. It is to say that as a Black woman, this Black female officer should be cognizant of how little it would take for her, with a quick wardrobe change from police garb to a summer maxi dress and from a badge to hoop earrings, to be where Sandra was, face down on a public sidewalk, handcuffed, her body the visual representation of victimization by personal bias and police overreach. She’ll then ask questions. Inquire. Something. Anything. In the days that have followed this incident, many, including myself, have asked, “How could Officer Goodie offer no help? What kind of sister is this that would help a White man bodily subdue a Black woman and slam her head into the concrete?” Our full lips turn up in disgust, and our side eye of disdain is achieving ocular acrobatics at her expense. Yet, every time one of our sisters is being maligned – whether it be in the public sphere or the private arena – and we stand by, either ambivalent, apathetic, or in the interest of good ol’ selfpreservation and offer no advocacy, no words of encouragement, no advice, no counsel, no loving reproach firmly coupled with assistive guidance – we become a bit more like Officer Goodie. We, Black women, are a powerful force to reckon with, collectively and individually. I, for one, do not plan to wait for the conditions to be right, all of the facts to be in, and the exposure to be circumspect enough, to be there for my sisters. In some cases, I may be there publicly, and in others, we will form a sisterly bond as I hold her hand in private empathy and encouragement. But whatever I do, I refuse to stand idly by and let my sisters get slammed into the ground – literally or figuratively. I simply cannot and will not allow that – not on my watch. Officer Goodie may have done her “good duty” with the police department, but she failed her duty to her sister. Let that never be named among any of us.

“I refuse to stand idly by and let my sisters get slammed into the ground– literally or figuratively.” T. Max McMillan is Assistant Editor of IMAGE Magazine.





By Freddie Willis

ouston Cougars head basketball coach, Kelvin Sampson, had a conversation with his father Ned when he was an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets. The discussions were deep and perhaps too personal to share, but two days before Ned Sampson passed away on February 18th of last year, he did make some points to his son Kelvin that convinced him that it was time to take another shot at coaching in college basketball. Shortly after, Kelvin Sampson returned to the college scene when he was named head coach of the University of Houston Men’s Basketball Team. Sampson is an accomplished coach whose accomplishments came at three different schools taking them all to the NCAA Tournament. In his seven seasons at Washington State, Sampson had two 20 win seasons and made it to the NCAA Tournament in 1994 leading the Cougars to a 20-11 record in his final season. At the University of Oklahoma is where Sampson experienced the most success making 11 NCAA Tournament appearances in 12 seasons including a trip to the Final Four in 2002. Sampson would rack up 279 wins, second only to the legendary Billy Tubbs, for the most wins in the school’s history. After stints as an NBA assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks and most recently with the Houston Rockets, Sampson returned to college coaching. He initially

figured his next head coaching gig would be in the NBA and was preparing to make a run at potential vacancies in the league when a third party called to gauge his interest in Houston. The initial reaction was no, but when the Cougars made a second overture, Sampson accepted. He was impressed by the financial commitment to basketball which included the new practice facility and plans to upgrade aging Hofheinz Pavilion. “There’s so much room for growth here,” Sampson said. “Coaching is what I love to do, and I think I’m pretty good at it. I’m excited about being back in college basketball.” Freddie Willis is a freelance writer and contributor to IMAGE Magazine.

“Coaching is what I love to do,

and I think I’m pretty good at it. I’m excited about being back in college basketball.” FALL 2015 • IMAGEMAGAZINETX.COM 17

By Heath Muhammad

DEPRESSION “An estimated 1 in 10 adults report some form of depression; the key word being report. Many view depression as a sign of weakness, to the point that those who are enduring a serious bout of this disease will simply live in silence rather than seek proper help.”


ccording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “depression is a mental illness that can be costly and debilitating to sufferers. Depression can adversely affect the course and outcome of common chronic conditions such as arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Depression can also result in increased work absenteeism, short-term disabili-

ty, and decreased productivity.” You may have either suffered from depression or know someone who has. An estimated 1 in 10 adults report some form of depression; the key word being report. Many view depression as a sign of weakness to the point that those who are enduring a serious bout of this disease will simply live in silence rather than seek proper help. With all due respect to those who give advice over Facebook and who love to fashion


yourselves as a life coach, you may not be considered “proper help” in dealing with the many faces of depression. Some of our children are dealing with depression on their own because they are not allowed to discuss issues with parents who fear the root of their child’s depression. When it comes to drugs, sexual orientation, or being bullied at school, some parents would rather sweep these issues under the rug than

talk with their children about what is bothering them. Parents, having a child with these type of issues does not make you an incompetent parent. Our children have been reaching out to us for years for help, but to no avail.

Reality of Depression As I have scoured the internet looking for statistics of depression in the African American community, I have commonly found articles linking depression in men to homosexuality. It seems that a lot of people in my community erroneously relate depression to so called “sins.” Then the next common sites for Blacks and depression are those that deal with Black life in The Great Depression. This shows the depth or lack of research done. The truth about depression is that: 1. 63% of African Americans believe that depression is a personal weakness. 2. Depression is the main cause of suicide in America. 3. One African American dies by suicide every 4.5 hrs. 4. Suicide was the 16th leading cause of death overall in 2003 for African Americans. 5. Depression afflicts women twice as often. 6. Depression affects more Black women than White women. 7. The rate of suicide in males is higher than that in females.

5. Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping 6. Irritability, restlessness, hyperactivity 7. Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex 8. Overeating or appetite loss 9. Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment 10. Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings 11. Thoughts of suicide and suicide attempts Depression is not a ‘White thing’ that only affects the weak and so called “hell bound” (some religious circles believe this). It is a real thing that affects indiscriminately regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof. It is something that has to be dealt with within every community and we must work to relieve the stigma that suppresses many African Americans’ cries for help. Whether you have a mistrust of psychology or lack proper knowledge of it, depression has been a part of the Black experience regardless of whether or not we talk about it. In the time that we waste believing these feelings will work themselves out, or that our children are just going through growing pains, someone in the community has already attempted or successfully committed suicide. This excerpt was taken from an article previously published on www.thyblackman.com. Used with permission.

8. Only 7% of Black women are receiving help for depression compared to 20% of White women. 9. In some circles, it is better to report that you know someone in prison than to report you know someone getting help with depression. 10. Many more people are hospitalized for nonfatal suicide attempts than are fatally injured. Furthermore, an even greater number are treated in ambulatory settings or are not treated at all for injuries sustained during a suicide attempt than those who are actually hospitalized.

Signs of Depression 1. Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions 2. Fatigue and decreased energy 3. Feelings of inappropriate guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness 4. Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism

Heath Muhammad is a Rehabilitation Specialist and staff writer for www.thyblackman.com. FALL 2015 • IMAGEMAGAZINETX.COM 19


The historic African American cemetery which is located on the city’s East Side, is the resting-place of Lafayette Walker, whose remains are located in the Old United Brothers of Friendship (UBF) section of the cemetery near the entrance of a gateway called the Household of Ruth on Montana Street. He was a Civil War veteran who fought the slave owning power of the southern plantation owners as a Union soldier. Lafayette Walker was an African American political leader that controlled Black votes in the City of San Antonio immediately after the Civil War and helped to stabilize the presence of a Black community for future generations. San Antonio’s African American community is blessed to have had two research studies conducted on its history. Kenneth Mason’s exhaustive study (1994), Paternal Continuity: African Americans and Race Relations in San Antonio: 1867-1937, is perhaps only one of two works which provides insight into the political and social structures of African Americans in San Antonio. The other was written by this author as a thesis in 2004 and was titled Patterns of Persistence: Paternal Colonialist Structures and the Radical Opposition in the African American Community of San Antonio, Texas 1937-2001. San Antonio’s Black community did experience mob violence. It was reported that a White mob chased a man in front of the Alamo, and a few years later, a man bragged about having a severed thumb of a Black man that was lynched. In a book titled, Robert Minor: Artist and Crusader, with a copyright dated 1956 by Joseph North, the following is recorded on page 26: “One day as Bob walked




review of the historical, political, cultural, and social context of the evolution of African Americans in San Antonio reveals that Africans were in the San Antonio area perhaps as early as the 1500s. Historians have noted that the explorer, Cavaza de Vaca, camped in the area of the headwaters of the San Antonio River. If so, then the Black explorer Esteban would have been with him. Also of importance was the colonization of San Antonio by the Canary Islanders who in addition to being Spaniards were also Black Moors. Upon arrival to San Antonio in the 1700s, Black Canary Islanders were forced to live on the eastern side of the San Antonio River under the Spanish form of racism. One could hypothesize that the future home of San Antonio’s Black community was laid out in this early segregation scheme on the east bank of the river. Hence, the origin of the Black historic East Side is revealed. Many of these residents would have been darker Islanders of Moorish descent, Native Americans, and mixed race Afro-Mexicans. Interestingly, this Black and Afro-Mexican population rose to 28% in 1776. After the Civil War, this area was populated with freedmen who established the Black Baptist Settlement east of the river in the late 1860s. East of the San Antonio River was the original home of the historic Mt. Zion First Baptist Church on Santos Street in 1871. The area is steeped in history in many ways. In the 1870s, Lafayette Walker, an African American political leader, lived on the eastern side of the San Antonio River. 20 IMAGEMAGAZINETX.COM • FALL 2015

the dusty streets of San Antonio on an errand, he heard cries on the public square in front of the ancient Spanish fort, the Alamo, and a shouting crowd ran past. The boy joined the crowd running and learned from a panting man with dilated nostrils that they were pursuing a Negro whom they were going to lynch as soon as they ‘catched’ him. The Negro had struck a deputy, the man said, and he had to be lynched. The boy halted in his tracks and walked home thoughtfully, suddenly fearful. Four years later, now sixteen, a carpenter’s apprentice, he stood, manlike, in a saloon drinking beer when a stranger approached and began to talk. The man took something out of his pocket and showed it to Bob. It was the severed thumb of a Negro, souvenir of a lynching in which the man had participated and about which he was now boasting.” Because of the proximity to Mexico which abolished slavery and served as a haven for runaway slaves and those who desired to escape the Jim Crow institutions of Texas, many slaves simply escaped to Mexico where they could live free. A review of Mexican history reveals that an Afro-Mexican president, Vicente Guerrero, abolished slavery in Mexico in 1829. According to Dr. Phillip Tucker, in his book Exodus from the Alamo (2010), this led to the Battle of the Alamo in which Santa Anna used Black Mexican troops to kill most of the defenders that ran out of the Alamo walls. The Alamo defenders were pro-slavery men bent on making Texas a slave state. Eventually, many famous African Americans left the Jim Crow South for Mexico, including Langston Hugh’s father and Jack

Johnson, the heavy weight boxing champion in the early 1900s. After the Civil War, Blacks in San Antonio were organized by northern unionists. James Newcomb, one such unionist and the registrar of voters in Bexar County, controlled the Black vote with promises of community improvements and social uplift. African Americans were not content with this arrangement and soon broke away creating an independent voting-block that was organized into a central political force that controlled San Antonio city politics until 1937, first through Lafayette Walker and later through Charles Bellinger. The political and social system Walker helped to create was inherited in the early 1900s by political leader Charles Bellinger, who started the San Antonio Register Newspaper in 1931. The Register was the most popular African American newspaper and exists even to this day. Much of San Antonio’s Black history has been unknown. Until recently, many were unaware that segregation sought to keep Blacks out of White churches and institutions, and hence, many Black institutions were founded to maintain the separation of the races. This was the case for St. Philips College. African Americans were resilient, inventive, and mindful of the constraints of segregation. The Black residents of San Antonio turned St. Philips College into a venue of community fellowship, hope, progress, and survival, paving the way for social and political improvements in later years. There is a myth that a Black woman named Artemisia Bowden founded St. Philips College, but this does not stand up to the historical record. Little is said about the history of the founder of St. Philips, James Steptoe Johnston, a racist Confederate soldier that wanted to keep Blacks in check by offering them segregated inferior schools. This was his aim, and he would have kept a White teacher over St Philips if not for the radical Blacks that demanded a Black teacher, thus resulting in the appointment of Artemisia Bowden. Artemisia Bowden was forced into accepting an inferior status for the school in her position. This history is generally not known, it has been hidden on purpose. James Steptoe Johnston was a prisoner of war after being captured by Union forces at New Orleans. He served about one year as a Confederate prisoner of war before being released in Illinois. He later became a Bishop with the Whiteonly Episcopalian Church. The White Episcopalians had given up on trying to “make Christians of the Negroes” and instead sought out ways to make them docile and conform to the “White ways.” This project was to be accomplished by creating a Black school that would serve the needs of Whites and keep Blacks from competing with Whites in certain areas of employment. Part of this conformity was to give freed slaves an inferior education by establishing segregated schools. With a segregated school system, Blacks could be kept away from White institutions and a good education. If one went to St. Philips College in the 1960s, one could still see the results of this scheme by the White elite to keep African Americans in check. There was a vocational curriculum which included sowing classes (tailoring and washing clothes) and a curriculum that sought to produce domestic servants, auto mechanics, and other non-academic

focused courses. James Steptoe Johnston founded St Philips for all of the wrong reasons. Later, African Americans would help to overcome this racist curriculum, but would not know that the very founder of the institution set it up to deny Blacks an education. Racialized Whites did not want Blacks or Mexicans to get the same education they were offered because this would empower minorities and place them in direct competition with Whites for jobs. A second-class educational system was set up to deny educational opportunities to African Americans and Mexicans. St. Philips College was to be the Black inferior school, while San Antonio College (SAC) was set to be the White only school. A vocational curriculum was set in place at St. Philips, while at SAC, an academic curriculum was offered to Whites. Public schools were the same during the days of segregation. Phyllis Wheatley High School was set up to be an inferior institution while White schools like Alamo Heights, were set up for Whites. This method of control ensured that Whites would occupy a higher status in the job market and be the first hired while Blacks and Mexicans were the “last hired and the first fired” for any reason the system might come up with. For years, the former mayor, Walter McAllister, tried to enforce racist segregation on his own property and as a leader in the now named Alamo Community College District. Hence, the origins of St. Philips College are that of racial oppression. Blacks were expected to stay in their “place” and the place that Whites set aside was segregated schools. The founder of St. Philips created the school to enforce the ideas of a socalled “Redeemer Movement”, which was made up of racist exConfederate soldiers who wanted to see Blacks completely under control once the slave system was abolished. To prevent Blacks from rising out of slavery and enjoying life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, a rigid system of inferior education was set in place. This segregated system was enforced by official policy and law, and anyone attempting to break down the system was dealt with in the harshest manner. This was true of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) activists in the 1960s that were persecuted in San Antonio when they attempted to organize Black Student Unions in the Alamo College District. We owe a round of thanks to those SNCC activists that challenged Walter McAllister and his segregationist policies. In the past, the Alamo Community College District had a long history of racial oppression. After the death of Bellinger in 1937, the Black community was active in encouraging block-voting by holding mock “Sepia Mayoral Campaigns” and “Anti-Poll Tax Rallies” on the east and west sides of the city. Local Black labor activist, John Inman, participated in these mock mayoral campaigns which were organized by the Negro Chamber of Commerce during this period. Later, Rev. Claude W. Black became the pastor of Mount Zion First Baptist Church and was one of a handful of progressive religious leaders who actually protested racism in the traditions of church militancy. In the 1960s, SNCC activists in San Antonio saw Rev. C.W. Black as more representative of a community fighting against oppression; he was one of the few religious

“Racialized Whites did not want Blacks or Mexicans to get the same education they were offered because this would empower minorities and place them in direct competition with Whites for jobs.”

(continued on page 29)



Dr. Mateen Diop

Shares his beliefs about single gender education and the founding of the Young Men’s Leadership Academy. Dr. Mateen Diop is the Executive Director of Special Projects and Partnerships for San Antonio Independent School District. He is a proven leader who is committed to the educational advancement of inner-city youth. Dr. Diop is an avid proponent of single gender learning which he implememted in the classroom setting during his years as a school administrator. This framework of single gender education for targeted grade levels was met with overwhelming success. In this interview, Dr. Diop shares his responsibilities for the development of the Young Men’s Leadership Academy (YMLA) in San Antonio which will open in August and why he is confident that this single gender boys school which will be located on the current campus of W.W. White Elementary will replicate the high academic achievent of the Young Women’s Leadership Academy. What is your role in the planning and development of the Young Men’s Leadership Academy in San Antonio? As an educator, I have always believed in the concept of single gender education. My doctoral thesis focused on the issue, and I implemented the setting at each level of school leadership.  In my writings on single gender education, I conducted a study on the very successful Young Women’s Leadership Academy in San Antonio and have always wanted to create a similar environment for boys.  My superintendent, Dr. Sylvester Perez, gave me the green light, so I wrote a white paper, presented it to our board of trustees, and it was approved. My role was to achieve buy-in from our community stakeholders and to ensure that the school would be ready by August 2015. 22 IMAGEMAGAZINETX.COM • FALL 2015

What is the mission of the school? The mission of YMLA is to prepare these young men to graduate on what is known as the Distingushed High School Graduation Plan which consists of the most rigorous course work completed by Texas high school students. We want to ensure that these young men are prepared to enter high school without remediation of any sort, graduate from high school and eventually go on to college or wherever their journey will take them. Academically, they will be prepared. In what ways will the school benefit the boys that a co-ed school doesn’t? Boys and Girls learn differently. I don’t think there’s any

debating that issue. They have innate differences - not good or bad, just different. By separating the boys, you can focus on their strengths and tailor instruction to really meet their needs. When will the school open? The school will open in August 2015 with 4th, 5th and 6th graders, and we will add a grade until we reach 8th grade. How will the closing of W.W. White Elementary affect its current student population? W. W. White closed as a result of our successful bond which was passed a few years back. Our neighboring campuses (Hirsch and Cameron Elementary) have been remodeled and students will be zoned accordingly. YMLA is based on an application process and is not a “boundary” campus; it is open to students throughout Bexar County. What are a few of the reasons based on your personal experience (as a principal) that boys and girls are more successful academically as a result of single gender classrooms? As I mentioned, boys and girls learn, think, play, act and behave differently.  Not an absolute statement, since there are girls who play football, but that competitive nature in boys is really the rule-not the exception. We must use that natural competitive nature in the classroom and throughout the school.  Do co-ed classrooms in some ways affect the willingness of boys and girls to participate during class? If so, why do you believe this is the case? Certain ly, let’s look at an orchestra for example.  In a coed school, who would (for the most part) play your wind instruments (flute etc..)? Girls! Who would play drums, etc.? Boys!  Well, in any school, to have a successful orchestra, you need strings, drums, wind instruments, etc., and in this single gender environment, there will be boys playing various instruments.  It’s just exposing them to possibilities they may not otherwise receive. Has the Young Women’s Leadership Academy proven to be successful? If so, how? YWLA is a National Blue Ribbon School. Also, the YWLA has one of the highest SAT average scores in the state of Texas. Those girls have created a culture of leadership and discipline like no other, and we aim to replicate that model at YMLA.

“We want to ensure that these young men are prepared to enter high school without remediation of any sort, graduate from high school and eventually go on to college or wherever their journey will take them.” Do single gender classrooms reduce behaviors that are disruptive and distracting? Those natural behaviors as students mature will be reduced. The boy/girl distractions will be completley eliminated. How will the administration of YMLA encourage parents to volunteer and work with the school to ensure in the academic success of their children? Parental involvement is required for acceptance; it’s not optional. What special programs will be the focus at YMLA? The school will be tech rich and incorporate models not generally utilized. The use of “Artists in Residence” for example, where our young men will be exposed to classical guitar, yoga and other non-traditional courses through their normal health and music classes. Would you like to see SAISD incorporate more single gender classrooms in the years to come? Absolutely! For more information about YMLA, visit www.saisd. net/schools/ymla Dr. Mateen Diop is Executive Director of Special Projects and Partnerships for the SAISD, Founder/ CEO of All Things Educational, and a published author. For more about Dr. Mateen Diop, visit www.Drmateendiop.com

For what age groups do you believe single gender classrooms are the better option? The earlier the better, but 4th grade is what research suggests is a good starting point. Are the teaching methods different in single-gender classrooms? Teaching methods will be different in that we will focus on “boy” behaviors, and ongoing professional development is a required component for our school to be successful. FALL 2015 • IMAGEMAGAZINETX.COM 23



How many years were you in the field of education? I worked in the field of education for 39 years - all for the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD).

What is your educational background? I graduated from Sam Houston High School in 1969. I attended San Antonio College for two years and transferred to Southwest Texas State University ( which is now Texas State University) where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a Specialization in English in 1973. After several years of teaching, I attended the University of Texas at San Antonio and received my Master of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a certification as a Reading Specialist in 1976. I also received a certification in Supervision in 1978 and a certification in Mid-Management in 1980 - both from the University of Texas at San Antonio. What are the different positions you held while employed by SAISD? I taught grades 1-6 at Bowden Elementary School for 19 years. Of those 19 years, 15 were spent teaching 5th grade. I served as Assistant Principal at various schools in the SAISD for 9 years. My last 13 years were spent at Bella Cameron Elementary School/Academy as Principal. What did you enjoy most about your career as an educator? Although I loved teaching 5th grade, I thoroughly enjoyed my principalship. What did you least enjoy? I least enjoyed being moved from

grade level to grade level each year until I establish-ed seniority at Artemesia Bowden Elementary School. However, as I took on other endeavors in my career, that experience was indeed helpful. What is one challenge that you dealt with as a principal, and how did you handle it? One of the biggest problems that I encountered not just as the principal, but as the Black principal of a school, was the lack of respect and trust - as it pertained to my ability and knowledge - which is automatically given to White principals. That respect and trust was not automatically given to


me by others of a different race as well as by some of my own race. I would akin this scenario to that of President Obama and the Republicans. There were those who formed a group and met to challenge my authority, ability, and knowledge. What words of wisdom do you have for someone who aspires to become a school principal? The words of wisdom that I would offer are: Have at least ten years of experience as a teacher in as many grade levels and subjects as possible; have an overwhelming amount of knowledge in curriculum and instruction (the what and how) because principals

serve as instructional leaders on campus; possess the ability to win over or get buy-in from the teachers, parents, and the community which will place them in a win-win position to be successful. Did you have mentors that were educators? Yes, as a teacher, my mentors were Mrs. Nellie Massey, Mrs. Joan Collins, and the late Mrs. Charles Lorraine Broussard. As a principal, my mentor was my late husband, Mr. Donald L. McClure Sr. What role do you believe that parents play in the success of their children? In my personal experience and from what experience has shown me as an educator, I believe that parents, in the majority of cases, play the most important role in the success of their children. They must be the ones who establish the expectations for their children and make sure that their children are doing those things in school which will allow them to go to college, graduate, and become successful. I have seen so many brilliant students who did not have the drive or will to do well in school and go to college because the parents have such low expectations for them and live such poor lifestyles in front of them.

them and live such poor lifestyles in front of them. Why do you feel there is such an achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students and those who are not economically challenged? Economically disadvantaged students have so very few experiences, opportunities, and simply put, things in life, than those who have money, which inherently puts them at a disadvantage, especially when most research regarding the curriculum and instruction in education is done with and geared towards middle class students. What is to be taught and how best to teach it does not take into consideration the economically disadvantaged student. Teachers working with economically disadvantaged students must try to fill in that gap plus teach the material dictated from the district’s curriculum personnel in the time given. Thus, a lot of the time you see failure. Parents and students can make up some of the gap by reading for enjoyment. Get a library card, go to the library, check out books, and just READ. What changes would you like to see take place within school districts to better prepare stu

dents to become successful contributing members of society? (1)I would like to see the enhancement of technology in all schools for student usage. (2) Spelling and English books which concentrate on usage and mechanics which I thoroughly believe would enhance the writing abilities of all students. (3) Promote excellent teachers with a curriculum and instruction background and at least ten years of teaching into principalships and curriculum jobs. (4) Provide more forms of art (music, theater, dance, etc.) daily to all studens. (5) Concentrate on the basics (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) of math in elementary school. (6) Choose curriculum and instruction that is conducive to teaching and learning as far as economically deprived students are concerned and (7) Let teachers teach. How would you describe your overall experience working for the SAISD? I enjoyed my tenure in the SAISD. It was my desire to contribute and give back to the district in which I was educated, and I was able to accomplish that. My only hope is that I inspired and/or helped the students I came in contact with during my 39 years as an educator.

“I have seen so many brilliant students who do not have the will nor drive to do well in school and attend college because their parents have such low expectations of them and live such poor lifestyles in front of them.” FALL 2015 • IMAGEMAGAZINETX.COM 25



By Mayor Ivy Taylor am not a native San Antonion, but I have developed a deep love and interest in East San Antonio in the 16 years that I have lived in Texas. My husband, Rodney, was born and raised in this community, and we have spent many hours traveling its streets with me listening to stories about the neighborhoods, his years growing up and observing the current conditions. East San Antonio’s story is not very different from similar neighborhoods in other major American cities. During a period of time, Blacks were limited to purchasing and renting homes in that part of town. As a result, many of the significant Black historical and cultural institutions are still in East San Antonio. Those include the oldest churches, cultural centers, fraternity and sorority houses, and other landmarks. Starting in the 1970’s, many Blacks began moving to other parts of the city for reasons including bigger and better housing options, proximity to employment, better school districts and educational opportunities. About six years ago, Rodney and I moved back to the Eastside, and I strongly encourage others to consider doing the same. Both of us worked in the downtown area, and we always attended a church on the Eastside. My sorority house is on the Eastside, Rodney’s barber shop and business interests were in the area. It made sense to us to move back, but many other “middle-class, up and coming” young Black families thought it was a little kooky. It’s been a great investment for us as we are part of a

EAST wave of investments and interests in several neighborhoods in East San Antonio. I initially became interested in our neighborhood, Dignowity Hill, as a result of attending the area’s neighborhood association meetings in conjunction with a project for my job at an affordable housing agency. I was so inspired by the energy, commitment and vision of the neighbors in Dignowity Hill that I went home and told my husband, “We have to buy a house in this area!” While Dignowity Hill has certainly taken off with the continued engagement of the active neighborhood association, a city plan focused on the area as a reinvestment priority area, and the independent actions of several real estate developers, there are other bright spots in East San Antonio as well. A broad collaborative effort that includes the United Way, the San Antonio Housing Authority, the City of San Antonio, Trinity University and SAISD is focused on the area dubbed “Eastpoint” or the old Wheatley Courts and the surrounding area. Over the course of the next four years, Wheatley Courts will be torn down and rebuilt into a new mixed income housing development; key improvements will be made to the schools in the area, (including the possibility of an Early College High School at St. Philips College, a community centered school at Wheatley Middle School and a Pre-K 4 SA lab and training center at St. Philips) and new single family housing will be built on lots that are currently vacant or contain dilapidated housing. These revitalization efforts will also


These revitalization efforts will also include an emphasis on key commercial corridors in the area like New Braunfels Avenue. Better retail and commercial options in the area will take time as those type of businesses require more density than the neighborhood currently has. I will admit that East San Antonio has some hotspots, but those are distributed throughout the city as a whole. In addition, the redevelopment will likely drive out those crime ridden areas. The Eastpoint effort includes dollars and a focus on creating safe environments. Since 2010, as a result of our city led Eastside Revitalization Initiative, SAPD has had a special emphasis on the crime hotspots and we have had great success. Expanded educational options is another reason that many middle class families head out to the suburbs, but East San Antonio has a variety of options as well. SAISD is working to make improvements to its schools, and Sam Houston High School reported a huge increase in their graduation rates after some sustained efforts. In addition, several nationally ranked charter schools have made inroads in the area, and there are private schools in the area and in nearby neighborhoods. My hope is that these revitalization efforts will result in a vibrant, diverse, mixed income community. Gentrification is not our goal, but during the East Side’s heyday, middle and upper income Blacks were anchor residents in our neighborhoods. Why shouldn’t that be the case today as well, especially when so many of our historical cultural assets (continued on page 29)



(continued from page 13) rolling today - Thibs Package Store. He would come and pick me up from school randomly. So, it wasn’t uncommon for me to get a note from the teacher that my grandfather was there to pick me up on a random Wednesday, and we would go and make our rounds as he would call it which was to go and check on activity at the various businesses. My father died when I was four, but he and my mother were also entrepreneurs. I’ve always seen that so I think that bug has always been there. IMAGE: How did your father’s death affect you? MELVIN: I’m blessed to have had a lot of father figures who were very influential role models that positively impacted my life. FAITH: Tell me about your perspective about this generation of African American males and their future? MELVIN: I have given talks at UTSA and I’ve talked to the undergraduate student body and the one thing that stands out is the definition of manhood. You have a generation of men who are growing up without a father or a father figure in their lives and a lot of these kids are being raised via tv, music, external factors that aren’t always true to what they appear to be and that concerns me. IMAGE: What are your plans for the future? MELVIN: To continue to grow, to put a lot of time, money, and effort into the business, and to keep looking at new ways to increase revenue streams. (continued from page 14) year of college. I just really needed to get my life together and get myself refocused to make some better decisions. My mom was a great support system for me during that time. Other people who should have been a good support system and should have been people I could count on were not there, and it was tough because some of them were family. IMAGE: Was your father in your life? WEBB: Barely. IMAGE: So many African American children are growing up without the presence of their father, how did you overcome that reality in your own life to accomplish your goals? WEBB: My mom wore both hats, and

although I didn’t and still don’t

have a relationship with my father, I’ve had other male figures in my life uncles and grandfathers who were quite influential. I’ve also had some fantastic female role models. My mother is amazing; she’s a strong hard working woman.

IMAGE: What inspires you to stay motivated? WEBB: My children are a huge motivation for me. I have two wonderful daughters. IMAGE: How do you believe life should be lived? WEBB: By giving it everything you have. This is your life. Whatever you want, you can have. (continued from page 15) [Laughs], and I was accustumed to playing defense, and they tried to push me to offense. IMAGE: You didn’t want to make the shift? ARCH: It wasn’t for me. I started to see that I was a better basketball player than football player, and I chose the one that would help me get to college. IMAGE: You’re still involved in sports. Tell me about that. ARCH: I mentor and train athletes, and I do some management of professional athletes. I also assist athletes in matching them with a college that needs their talent. IMAGE: How would you like to be remembered? ARCH: As a trailblazer, and a game changer. As one that gave back and helped change and improve lives. IMAGE: What’s your life’s motto? ARCH: Always go hard. Always work hard. Always put forth your best. If you are going to step out, make sure that you step out all the way. Go full speed. IMAGE: Who instilled that in you? ARCH: I guess I would say my grandmother because that’s who I was raised by. I’ve just always been a hard worker. IMAGE: So what do you enjoy doing? ARCH: Sports, that’s my get away. I still play basketball. I still do seasonal training. I like to sit back and see how the athletes I’ve trained and mentored have developed over the years. (continued from page 21) against the White power elite. Rev. Black later became a San Antonio City Councilman in the 1970s as a result of his progressive stands. In 1978, the City of San Antonio adopted a single-mem-ber district city council ensuring that the African American community would have a representative voice. In the 1990s, Frontline 2000, a civil and human rights organization and human rights organization, made up of former SNCC and Black Panther Party members and organizers, church members, community organizations, and individuals, fought for a Martin Luther

King, Jr. state holiday. The issue was being discussed and popularized by Rev. R.A. Callies, who almost single-handedly made the issue of a march for King a reality. However, it was Frontline 2000 and the efforts of Rick Marshall Greene, that developed a winning strategy which would force the State of Texas into passing the bill. San Antonio is considered by many to be unique in terms of the political and cultural dimensions of Black life. San Antonio’s Black community still has Black newspapers, and there has been an increase in the number of Black-owned businesses across the city. San Antonio’s African American population has grown with the increase coming from northern cities and New Orleans in the wake of Katrina. African Americans are no longer exclusively concentrated on the city’s East Sside, but are scattered throughout the city and working in a number of professional areas. However, the Northeat quadrant of the city is experiencing a large increase in the African American population. Mario Marcel Salas is an American Government instructor and a former San Antonio City Councilman. (continued from page 28) and institutions remain in those areas? Our children can learn from the examples of our forefathers who didn’t have the access and the financial resources that we have today but who still built brick churches, solid homes and neighborhoods, and community institutions. And for those of you who are only interested in the financial bottom line, I assure you that our neighborhoods are a good investment. Several months ago, I came home and found that a neighbor on my block had listed his home for sale for over $600,000! Something different is happening in this corner of East San Antonio. It’s Time to Look East.

Ivy Taylor is the Mayor of San Antonio. (continued from page 30) them to get as much education as they eed and to open their own funeral home business. How have you managed to successfully operate the business? Robert trained several employees, and about seven are still here. Whenever I go to them for information, they always assist me, and they are very respectful. They are the greatest help. FALL 2015 • IMAGEMAGAZINETX.COM 29


Lois Washington

Joint Owner and General Manager, Lewis Funeral Home, San Antonio

“ I always tell wives to pay attention to what is told to you because it can be very helpful later. ”

How would you describe your leadership style? Service and integrity oriented. People come to us at a time when many of them are in shock because they have just lost their loved one, so we want to be sure we give them the best service that we can. And you must have integrity in order to stay in business. What year was Lewis Funeral Home founded? In 1909 by Mr. Lewis.When Mr. Lewis died in 1960, his step-son, Mr. Larremore, took over the business. My late husband, Robert Washington, worked as an employee under Mr. Larremore; then when he died in 1989, that’s when Robert took over the business.We were first located on Center Street behind St. Paul Square, and then we moved to Hackberry Street. We moved to our current location on W. W. White Rd. because most of the blacks started moving out this way. Did you ever think growing up that you would be in the funeral home business? Never. I retired from my regular job at the end of 1998 as a claims representative with the Social Security Administration. I’m from New Orleans originally and was going back and forth at that time because my mother was ill. When she died in 2002, I stopped going there as much, so my husband suggested that I start answering the phones at the funeral home. I agreed, and then he started giving me more and more work to do. I started doing the death certificates, insurance claims, and other duties until my husband became ill. Most of the time, I was at the hospital with him, and then when he passed in April of 2011, that changed the complexity of everything because even though he was ill, I still considered him as the person to make the decisions and not me. But then when he died, I became the person to make the decisions and to do whatever necessary at the funeral home, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. 30 IMAGEMAGAZINETX.COM • FALL 2015

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your job? I enjoy having meetings with the employees. Not only giving information that I want them to know or discussing changes that need to be made, but I appreciate it when they provide me with feedback and share their thoughts. What advice do you have for aspiring female business owners? I have told a lot of women I know that throughout the years I was married to Robert, I had my own career, and many times when he would come home from work he would tell me things that I wouldn’t pay any attention to. But after his death, I realized that I should have listened because the information that he provided me with a long time ago is useful to me now. I really wasn’t listening back then, and as a result, I don’t have that information. It may not be in a business; it may be in the household or another area, but I always tell wives to pay attention to what is told to you because it can be very helpful later. You never know when you will need that information. Do you find that many women are now getting into the mortuary business? Yes, indeed. Lewis Funeral Home is a funeral home that trains a lot of people from various nationalities who are going into this field. Many are assigned here by San Antonio College. After training, a lot of the trainees want to stay at Lewis to work, but we can’t hire all of them so they go to different funeral homes to work. We want

(continued on page 29)


Serving San Antonio and surrounding areas for over 100 Years

• Professionalism • Integrity • Care Lewis Funeral Home has been a tradition in the San Antonio community since 1909. In addition to serving families with care during their most sorrowful moments, Lewis is committed to serving the community as a whole. Lewis is a major sponsor for numerous youth groups, senior citizens, religious institutions, educational programs, sororities/fraternities, social and civic clubs, and many other community projects.

811 So. W.W. White Road San Antonio, Texas 78220 (210) 227-7281 • (210) 227-4400 Fax Line (210) 532-6464 Watts Line 1-800-468-2151 Email: admin@lewisfuneralhome.com

LOIS C. WASHINGTON President & General Manager

TONY R. HENDRICKS Chief Operating Officer




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IMAGE Magazine - TX  

Black Business, Leadership, Education & Society

IMAGE Magazine - TX  

Black Business, Leadership, Education & Society