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March 31-April 1

R  C P Ridgeland, Mississippi A juried fine arts festival featuring 100 of America’s finest artists


March 28 - April 3, 2012



800-468-6078 •

March 28 - April 3, 2012



1 0 N O . 29

contents TWITTER


6 Violence Begets … The community has spent the last week dealing with young people as victims and criminals. WYATT EMMERICH

Cover photo of Hernan Bermudez by Virginia Schreiber



Newspaperwoman Celia Emmerich’s life is worth celebrating as James Dickerson’s tribute attests. AVLXYZ

mahmoud a. manzoul electrical or telecommunications engineering. Beginning next fall, Jackson State will offer a bachelor’s program in electrical engineering. As department chair, Manzoul is responsible for developing the curriculum, teaching, and recruiting students and faculty. In 2009, he received a grant for $500,000 from Entergy. Most of the money will go toward a new lab, and $100,000 will fund student scholarships. Manzoul’s vision is to increase enrollment in telecommunications engineering. “Telecommunications engineering is a unique program with only two accredited and graduate programs of its kind in the nation—one at Jackson State University and the other at the University of Texas at Dallas,” Manzoul says. Companies like Comcast, T-Mobile, Verizon, DIRECTV and AT&T have jobs to fill, and Manzoul is helping JSU recruit students for the field. JSU offers a summer program for students who plan to attend the university and major in engineering. Before joining JSU, Manzoul taught for 15 years at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He is married to Einas S. KamilOmer and has four sons. Saad, the oldest, is an physician who lives in Washington, D.C. Waleed has a master’s degree in computer science and works in software development in New York City. Khalid, 16, is in the 10th grade, and Imad, 10, is in the 4th grade. —Tam Curley

36 A Warm Hug Sometimes comfort food just calls to us, especially in times of stress. Now, science tells us why.

42 Loving Jacktown When it comes to loving Jackson, it doesn’t hurt that the city has one of the coolest events in the nation.

Mahmoud A. Manzoul always wanted to be a teacher. “When I came to the U.S., I went for my master’s and Ph.D. so I could teach,” he says. Manzoul, 58, was born in Omdurman, Sudan. In high school, he was good in math and science. He had a relative who worked in engineering, and Manzoul decided to go to college to study the same thing. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Khartoum, Sudan, and his master’s degree and doctorate in the same subject from West Virginia University. Jackson State University used some of its money from the Ayers desegregation settlement for its computer and civil-engineering programs. In 2001, the school hired Manzoul as the founding chair of the Department of Computer Engineering. Manzoul developed two undergraduate programs: computer engineering and telecommunications engineering. “Computer engineering is growing, because now computers are used all over, everything we do, we use computers. … Computers are embedded in everything,” Manzoul says. In 2008, the university used some of the Ayres funds to complete a 90,000-squarefoot engineering building. It offers a master’s program in computer engineering with four different focuses: computer, computational,


4 ............. Editor’s Note 4 ................... Slowpoke 6 .......................... Talks 10 ........................... Biz 12 ................... Editorial 12 .... Editorial Cartoon 12 .................. Kamikaze 13 ................. Opinion 24 .............. Diversions 26 .................... 8 Days 27 ............. JFP Events 28 ........................ Film 31 ...................... Music 33 ......... Music Listing 34 ..................... Sports 36 ....................... Food 39 ................ Astrology 39 .................... Puzzles 41 .............. Body/Soul 42 ..... Girl About Town

A Good Liberal


R.L. Nave Reporter R.L. Nave grew up in St. Louis, graduated from Mizzou (the University of Missouri), and lived a bunch of other places before coming to Jackson. Contact him at 601-362-6121 ext. 12. He wrote the cover story.

Virginia Schreiber Staff photographer Virginia Schreiber is a recent graduate of Millsaps College. When she’s not working, she spends her time watching films of the Peter Pan genre. She took many of the photos in this issue.

Casey Purvis Casey Purvis is a Fondrenite who loves planting flowers and watching birds in her backyard. She is owned by Phoebe, a 9year-old Lhasa apso. She works as a nurse in one of the local hospitals in her spare time. She wrote the food feature.

Jacob Fuller City reporter Jacob Fuller is a former student at Ole Miss. When not reporting, he splits his time between playing music and photographing anything in sight. He covers the city for the JFP. He wrote Talks and arts and music features.

Jasmin S. Searcy Jasmin S. Searcy holds a bachelor’s in psychology, a master’s in clinical and community counseling from the Johns Hopkins University and is pursuing her doctorate in clinical psychology at Jackson State. She co-wrote the BodySoul feature.

Dr. Timothy Quinn Dr. Timothy Quinn is a family physician practicing in Ridgeland who integrates lifestyle modification and education into his medical care. He received his M.D. from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. He co-wrote the BodySoul feature.

Jacob Rowan Jacob Rowan is a writer and artist who lived in nine different places before arriving at Jackson and attending Belhaven University. He wrote a Diversions feature.

March 28 - April 3, 2012

Amanda Beach


JFP Account Executive Amanda Beach, a Milan, Tenn., native, just moved to the Jackson area with her husband, Ross. She is the mother to a 2-year-old beagle/ hound mix named Wrigley, who she is currently trying to teach how to use her new doggy door.


by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief

Two Steps Forward


eave.” That one-word tweet came from a conservative dude in Louisiana, not Mississippi. But he wasn’t pleased that I was talking about crazy legislation that the right wing has wrought upon Mississippi once again. I have a way of raising the hair on the necks of folks who prefer empty rhetoric over research-based criticism, especially when I’m talking about issues like women’s health and reproductive services; sex ed; voter ID; or, yes, race. That wasn’t the first time someone on the right has proclaimed some version of “If you don’t like it here, why don’t you just leave?” Back in 1983, I did just that. I grew up amid blatant racism and way too much belittlement of people who had “liberal” ideas (like not letting children starve and ensuring quality public education was accessible to everyone). Like so many young Mississippians, I high-tailed it out of here to go live in places that I didn’t feel would try to force me to conform and be mean to people with less than I had (which, admittedly, wasn’t much). Unwittingly, I became part of one of Mississippi’s core challenges: our brain drain. You know the drill: Either you go along with the program here (or lack of one), or you get the hell out. You don’t speak up about problems that really matter to “belong.” For many of us, that meant being belittled by adults, such as those who called me an n-lover for challenging nasty comments about blacks, or my teacher who told me the Bible said women shouldn’t have equal rights. (Yes, in public school.) Way too many young people can’t take the nastiness of the truly idiotic bigoted antiimmigration legislation or the repeated attempts to ban abortion (even if they don’t really mean it, and know that Tate will kill it anyway. Wink, wink). Meantime, those legislators get a line for their next campaign mailer (“I fought the immigrants trying to take your JOBS!”), and bright young people start looking for an apartment many states away. While they’re in exile, they create and innovate and become parts of other folks’ exciting economies, just coming home for the holidays. Meantime, their mamas and daddies back here keep voting against their own interests because some fool scares them into thinking that some dark-skinned person wants their money or their jobs, and our state stays on the bottom. Rinse. Repeat. And don’t dare bring up race in front of those folks because they couldn’t possibly be racist, no way, even if they are supporting policies that clearly hurt one group of people more than others. They might even do as Rep. Gipson did when explaining his anti-immigration stance and say he couldn’t possibly be racist because he helped start a Hispanic ministry at church. (Yes, he really reworked the old “some of my best friends are black” excuse that shows a complete ignorance of what racism is.) I’ve been in a number of disturbing conversations recently at where more than one white person has let

loose (not using their real name, of course) on black communities because of their conditions and crime. But when I asked them why they think those conditions exist (because if they thought it was because of race, that would make them racist), you could hear crickets. It’s as if they’ve never considered the need to look at why things are the way they are in Mississippi. They don’t seem concerned that we have some of the easiest access to guns in the nation and some of the highest gun-related crime rates. They want to rail against “single (black) mothers,” but are against sex education and access to birth control. The reasons clearly don’t matter to them. And, yes, a lot of it is about our race history and problems caused by it that too many have never wanted to acknowledge, much less fix. So we all live with the results of underfunded schools, a bigoted drug war, lack of good jobs, tragic poverty and resulting crime. I especially love it when someone proclaims that I believe that I am trying to be the hero of black people, as one of them did recently on our site. (That meme is the current rendition of “n-lover.”) The joke is on them, though. Why? Because I’m not obsessed with being anything for African Americans other than being fair and kind and compassionate about what people who look like me have done to their communities. If I have an obsession at all, it’s with white people. I grew up completely befuddled and horrified at what people with my skin color were capable of—and not just in individual ways, but in systematic kill-you-if-you-try-to-vote ways. Lynching parties complete with laughing children. Burning the symbol of the faith they supposedly followed in the yards of people who actually followed it. Killing children

because they whistled (or wore a hoodie). African Americans are not the only ones scarred by our history; many white people struggle every day with what our ethnicity has been capable of doing and defending. It makes no sense. I’ve read a series of books recently (including the amazing “There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975)” that have helped me realize that it is “whiteness” that piques my interest. I am not willing to lock away a significant part of my own history because it makes some white people uncomfortable, and especially if it contains the key to fixing our future (and it does). We can study our past to ensure it doesn’t happen again (ahem on anti-“illegals” efforts). I’ve watched people writhe with shame even as they ask, “Why do we have to keep talking about the past?” Meantime, they are content to allow our communities to be divided by a street or railroad tracks, black and crumbling on one side, white and “nice” on the other. I’m not. I choose to live and think differently and give voices to others who do as well. The Trayvon Martin case gives us whites a reason to examine the rock we live under if we choose to. We should speak up for Martin, for instance, not because he was perfect, but because he was a child of God and because we want to live in a different type of world than the one that blames him for his death. We can no longer allow children to be killed without the need to seek justice—no matter what race they or their killers are. And to stop these cycles, we must take a look at our own history to find the answers we need. We must look backward to move forward. That, my friends, is the answer to the Mississippi riddle.

10th Annual Two Rivers Gala

1 J A C K S O N


We brought the great outdoors indoors!

Saturday April 7, 2012 7:00 p.m. Jackson Medical Mall

On the Main Stage:

Eric Benet Eddie Cotton

and the Cotton Club Mo’ Money Band feat. Henry Rhodes Chic Bang Theory

On the Jazz and Comedy Stage: Steve Brown (BET Comedian)

Scan QR for more information

Jackson Only Indoor Bouldering Facility! 127 Dyess Road|Ridgeland, MS 39157|601-977-9000 JFP Lights AD.pdf



9:16 AM

D. Scott & Tiger Rogers Jessie Primer III & Band And Gospel in the Auditorium with Doug & Melvin Williams (The Williams Brothers)


Information/Tickets: 601-977-7871 Ticketmaster/Coliseum: 601-353-0603






AUDITIONS WILL BE APRIL 27TH We are engaging children ages 3­12 years old in a talent search  that is sure to spark their creativity. Children can audition to  be the next star of the Mississippi Children’s Museum’s print,  radio and television advertising. CHILDREN MUST REGISTER  ONLINE TO PARTICIPATE. Admission to the event is $10 per  person and auditions will be first come, first served.




877.793.KIDS (5437)

BIG ou our ne STA xt R?


By 2050 Latinos will make up 30 percent of the population. They, along with other minority groups, will comprise the majority of America’s population. SOURCE: CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS

news, culture & irreverence

Wednesday, March 21 Deryl Dedmon, 19, pleads guilty to the murder of James Craig Anderson and receives two life sentences, one for murder and one under state hate-crime statutes. ... NFL suspends New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton for 2012 season for the payfor-play bounty system.

Friday, March 23 The Ole Miss baseball team tops Alabama 11-7, and Mississippi State crushes Arkansas 11-2. ... Pope Benedict XVI lands in Silao, Mexico, beginning his first trip to Spanish-speaking Latin America. Saturday, March 24 Fondren hosts the Zippity Doo Dah Parade and Festival. ... Rick Santorum wins the Louisiana Republican Primary with 49 percent of the votes. ... John Sanderson of Madison was gunned down at Mississippi State University; hours later, Nolan Ryan Henderson was murdered at a party near Jackson State University. Sunday, March 25 Hundreds of Jacksonians rally at City Hall to call for justice in the death of Trayvon Martin by the gun of a neighborhood watch patrolman. ... President Barack Obama arrives in South Korea for an international nuclear summit in Seoul.

March 28 - April 3, 2012

Monday, March 26 The Jackson Transportation Committee passes a proposal to raise the amount taxi cabs are allowed to charge passengers. ... The Court of Appeals in Ontario, Canada, strikes down laws that prevent prostitutes from starting brothels and hiring bodyguards and drivers.


Tuesday, March 27 A wildfire spreads near Denver, Colo., burning about 4,500 acres and killing at least two people. ... After a cheating scandal rocked Long Island, N.Y., SAT and ACT officials announce students will have to upload their photos when they sign up for the exams. Get news updates at

JSU Shooting Details Sketchy

by R.L. Nave


etails about the shooting death of the incident occurred off campus and urged son Free Press went to print. 19-year-old Nolan Ryan Henderson anyone with information about the shooting At a rally held Sunday at City Hall for at the Palisades apartments over the to contact police. Trayvon Martin, the black 17-year-old shot weekend are slowly emerging, but According to the news release, JSU Presi- and killed by a Latino neighborhood watch much still remains unknown. dent Carolyn W. Meyers met with Hender- patrolman in Florida, only cursory acknowlAssistant Police Chief edgment was given to the Lee Vance confirmed that events that had transpired investigators recovered here the previous night. two handguns from the Much of what is known scene and a projectile from about Henderson’s case Henderson’s body that have is through his family and been sent to the state crime friends’ social-media posts. lab. Vance said he hopes A woman who claims to to have the results of that be Henderson’s cousin wrote analysis by early next week. on her Tumblr page that afIn the meantime, JPD ter Henderson accidentally investigators are talking to bumped into a member of people who can help police the Jackson State Univerpiece together what hapsity football at a pool party, pened. Most of the people the players “jumped� him interviewed have been cothree times and chased him operative, Vance said. around the apartments. “The most important “This story needs to be thing is that we had a young Nolan Ryan Henderson’s brother posted this photo of Ryan (left) to Twitter after spread across the country. Henderson was shot and killed over the weekend. person lose his life. We just We are outraged when anwant to conduct the best other race kills our own, yet investigation that we can, get closure for his son’s family Tuesday afternoon. we are killing each other,� she wrote. family, get whoever is responsible for it locked “This is the time to step forward,� Meyers Henderson’s brother, Damien, called his up. That’s what we need to do right now,� said in the statement. “We need to do what- brother “his everything� and used Twitter to Vance said. ever we can to help the Henderson family and express his grief: “I’m doing better. Just trying JSU officials declined to speak with the Jackson State family. We are all grieving.� to get the word out there. There’s yet to be media representatives on Tuesday, but the Meyers was scheduled to release a video anything done,� he wrote in one. university emailed a statement stressing that statement on Tuesday evening after the JackComment at TWITTER

Thursday, March 22 Dedmon, Dylan Wade Butler, 20, and John Aaron Rice, 19, pled guilty to federal hate-crime charges in the death of James Craig Anderson. ... Australian officials capture Malcolm John Naden, a man wanted in connection with two murders and the sexual assault of an underage girl, ending a nearly seven-year manhunt.

Imam Ali Siddiqui on unity, religion and activism. p9




Trending buzzwords for the week



























































































































































Hunger Games Roller Derby Bachelorettes John Ryan Church Keys JSU

Sweet Potato Crossroads Local Trayvon Figment MSU Water Liars

Fondren NCAA Wilder Hoodie Queen Wrestlemania


news, culture & irreverence

by Jacob Fuller

Jackson Rallies for Trayvon Martin JACOB FULLER

place in 1955, and we’re saying, ‘It will not happen.’ Trayvon will get his due process, and we’re going to be sure that we’re the folks to do it.� About a dozen speakers followed Yarber, including preachers, activists, student leaders from Jackson State University and Tougaloo College, and City Council members LaRita Cooper-Stokes of Ward 3 and Chokwe Lumumba of Ward 2. Protesters carried signs that read “I am Trayvon Martin� and “No Justice, No Peace,� a chant that roared from the crowd more than once during the gathering. One protestor, who identified himself as C.J., played an audio tape over the speakers of a 911 call from a woman who reported she heard someone yelling outside her house. Someone on the tape, presumably Martin, can be heard yelling in the background for about 45 seconds before gunshots are heard. “I’m 40. I’m white, and I’m Southern Baptist,� C.J. said. “So they can’t call me a racist when I say they’re not doing justice. Zimmerman was not standing his ground. He was pursuing and murdering a boy.� Yarber said he collected information on enough participants to continue to organize the call for justice for Trayvon Martin. He and co-organizer Gerald Mumford will provide a road map for people to protest by way of social media and a letter write-in campaign. Comment and see a photo gallery from the rally at A young protester holds a sign showing photos of Trayvon Martin and his killer, George Zimmerman.


CITY WATCH: Bills, Busses and Closed Doors

City Council members met at City Hall March 20. Margaret Barrett-Simon of Ward 7 and LaRita Cooper-Stokes of Ward 3 were absent.

Bueller ... Bueller ... ?



Republican Recuse


by Jacob Fuller


JATRANâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cleaning Up



If Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll Excuse Us ...



rotesters dressed in hoodies and carrying signs gathered at City Hall Sunday to rally for justice in the name of Trayvon Martin. A resounding message followed: Anyone there could have been the one to die at the end of a gun barrel. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It resonated loudly with me, because my son could easily be stereotyped, just as Trayvon was,â&#x20AC;? said Ward 6 City Councilman Tony Yarber, who organized Sundayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rally. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think (the gathering) was an opportunity for us to rally the troops to speak loudly against this injustice and demand this particular kind of situation be dealt with, not only in this case, but systemically. We need to deal with an entire system of injustice.â&#x20AC;? Martin, 17, was shot and killed in Sanford, Fla., by neighborhood-watch volunteer George Zimmerman Feb. 26. Zimmerman and police officials claim he shot Martin in self-defense. However, police found Martin carrying nothing more than a bag of Skittles and an ice tea. Zimmerman has not been arrested. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve heard some folks ask, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Why in the world are we dealing with stuff thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on in Florida, in Jackson, Mississippi?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Yarber said to the crowd. â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;We got enough problems going on in Jackson. Why would we deal with whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on everywhere else?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Well, to that I simply say that whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on in Florida is a direct representation of what went on in 1955, when a young man named Emmett Till, at the age of 14 years old, did not have the opportunity to have his due process. And we are standing here in the same state that this took



by Jacob Fuller and R.L. Nave

Rankin County Teensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Hate Spree Punished

The Legislature: Week 12

March 28 - April 3, 2012



Deryl Dedmon of Brandon pleaded guilty to the murder of James Craig Anderson (pictured) last year.

co-conspirators, began punching and kicking Anderson. Dedmon straddled Anderson and struck him repeatedly. After the assault, Dedmon, Butler, Rice and other conspirators returned to their vehicles. As Dedmon was leaving in his green Ford F-250, he spotted Anderson stumbling away. He then ran Anderson over with the truck, killing the 49-year-old

auto plant worker, then drove away. The federal prosecutors presented an outline of their evidence against the three Brandon men Thursday, which included multiple incidents occurring between April 1, 2011, and Feb. 15, 2012, in which Dedmon, Butler, Rice, and others sought out and assaulted African Americans in Jackson. The prosecution said the victims were selected based solely on their race and location. On separate occasions, the three traveled to what they referred to as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jafricaâ&#x20AC;? to â&#x20AC;&#x153;f*ck with n*ggers,â&#x20AC;? the prosecution said. During one such trip, Dedmon struck an African American man in the back of the head with a beer bottle. On another, the three punched and kicked another African American man in a West Jackson parking lot until he begged them not to kill him. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a case of racist thugs who made sport of attacking African Americans in Jackson,â&#x20AC;? said Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez. The three were not the only people involved in the incidents, and it appears hatecrime charges may be brought against others involved, as well. Federal prosecutors referred to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Co-conspirators A, B, C and Dâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;other persons, known and unknown,â&#x20AC;? during the hearing Thursday.


After the hearing, Perez and FBI Special Agent Daniel McMullen said the investigation was ongoing, but would not say if any other suspects will be charged. Sentencing for Dedmon, Butler and Rice on federal hate-crime charges is scheduled for June 8 at 1:30 p.m. Andersonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sister, Barbara Anderson Young, spoke at Dedmonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Circuit Court hearing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We, the Anderson family, are praying for racial conciliation, not only in Mississippi, but all over this land and country. We are praying for the defendant, Dedmon, and his family, that they find peace,â&#x20AC;? Young said to those in the courtroom. Before sentencing him on March 21, Weill said after hearing Dedmonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s admission that â&#x20AC;&#x153;the very walls of (the) courtroom cry out for justice.â&#x20AC;? He then compared Dedmonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s actions to the 1964 murders of civil-rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Your prejudice has brought shame upon you and placed a great stain on the state of Mississippi,â&#x20AC;? Weill told Dedmon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All the hard work weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done to move our state forward from that earthen dam in Neshoba County to here has been stained by you, a stain that will take years to fade.â&#x20AC;? Comment at








s people rallied across the nation calling for justice in the racially charged shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida, Jackson was center stage for a landmark hate-crimes hearing. Three Brandon men, Deryl Dedmon, Dylan Butler and John Rice, pleaded guilty Thursday, March 22, to one count of conspiracy and one count of violating federal hate-crime laws in the murder of James Craig Anderson. It was the first time that federal justice officials used the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which Congress passed in October 2009, to prosecute a case involving an incident that resulted in the victimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s death. The day before, March 21, Dedmon pleaded guilty in Hinds County Circuit Court to James Craig Andersonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s murder on June 26, 2011. Judge Jeff Weill sentenced Dedmon to two life sentences to be served concurrently. Dedmon, Rice and Butler left a party on the night of June 25 in separate cars, with the intention of finding, harassing and assaulting African Americans in Jackson. Rice and Butler spotted Anderson in a motel parking lot and began harassing him. When Dedmon arrived, the three, along with other, unnamed

Gov. Phil Bryant allocated more money toward fully funding education in a revised budget recommendation.


by Ronni Mott

Raise Your Voice

Talk a little bit about the role of religious activism. It doesn’t mean to me evangelism. I am not going to evangelize anybody. I have a calling because I am a Muslim, and God’s commandment is to stand up for justice, to speak for those who are voiceless, to provide assistance to those who are weak, and also working for human rights and civil rights. This is what it means to me. Where I’m coming from: I’m coming from a call from God. God tells me because of my faith that I cannot just sit home. I have to go out and help those who are in need. … You have to come out in public. Raise your voices for victims, for those who are ex-

What about religious freedom? Does that have special meaning? It’s the freedom for anybody and everybody to choose what they believe in, as long as that choice doesn’t step on someone else’s rights. And that goes for those who are agnostics or total non-believers—they don’t believe in God or any faith. The have the right to choose what they like. In the Islamic concept of faith, religion is only one part of Islam. We call it a way of life, just like Hinduism and also Buddhism is a way of life. … It has the religious aspect of it, it has the social aspect of it, it has governance, and it has family and everything else. So now, this is a right to everybody else. … I shall protect your right. … I am a Muslim, everybody knows; Religious activist Imam Ali Siddiqui is the keynote speaker at the 6th Annual SCLC-MIRA Unity Conference March 30 I do not hide anything … and 31 at the Mississippi Arts Center. I stand up; I stand with those who are oppressed, I give them a voice. I sit with them. In case of economic rights, I visit understand things and open to make your their employers … and sit there and pro- own decisions. That’s freedom. And that vide moral support, if nothing else. freedom comes from the Islamic concept that God almighty has created us, made us MIRA’s materials mention the responsible, but has given us free choice— “liberation philosophy” of Islam. that we make the decision about what is Can you define that? right and wrong, based, of course, on the Liberation has a religious connota- teachings that are there. tion, and also, in the words of Malcolm It’s all about choice, and we are held X, he says, “Lincoln may have freed your responsible for the choices we make. That body, but Islam frees your mind.” That concept is very liberating. At the same time, (means) free thinking, that you’re open to the holy Quran says, “What is wrong with

you that you do not support those who are oppressed?” That is a call from God almighty that we have to be standing with who are oppressed and free them. Or provide the opportunity so that they can free themselves. … Everyone should have the right to earn a living. Actually, minimum wage doesn’t cut it. It has to be a living wage where they can sustain their life. Then, they’ll be free when they are not oppressed, they’re not exploited, and they can have time with their family. They make enough money so they can take care of their family, and then they can think freely about what is right and what is wrong. They’re not always, pardon me saying it, under the gun, of employer, plantation owner or what have you. What is the path to understanding as you see it? Let me first tell you that self-righteousness is self-destructive. Having said that, yes, there are a lot of opportunities for starting a dialogue with people who are termed as fundamentalists, evangelical, conservative, not only among the Christians, but among the Jews, among Muslims—across the board. The approach I have taken— and I’ve been working with interfaith dialog for a long time … (is) dialogue, not debate. This is how I function in America: … There is a common ground, and we can work together … (with) clear understanding. When you have understanding, you have respect. … In the words of Dr. (Martin Luther) King, to create understanding doesn’t happen through words, it happens with action. “Stand With Us: Uniting the Interracial Interfaith Communities of Color,” the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance 6th Annual Unity Conference and Awards Dinner, is March 30 and 31 at the Mississippi Arts Center (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Cost for the conference is $25; dinner is $30; attend both for $50. For information, visit

What does unity mean to you? Unity means working together and creating a working relationship where we can work with our differences, whether it is a religious difference or an ethnic difference, maybe sometimes just a difference in personalities. But we can still set all of that aside and work for a cause, for a common interest.

ploited, those who have not been given their rights or mistreated, even strangers.



mam Ali Siddiqui is intimately familiar with the destructive nature of religious fundamentalism and the problems of immigration in the modern world. Born in 1944, his family fled their native India in 1950, in the wake of that country’s liberation from the British Empire and India’s partition into Hindu and Muslim countries. That division created majorityMuslim Pakistan, and the Siddiqui’s family settled there. The imam has a long history of activism. In 1969, he was forced to flee Pakistan, when speaking out against the military regime created a dangerous environment for his family. “Things became quite rough because of my activities,” he said. Siddiqui is the keynote speaker at the 6th Annual SCLC-MIRA Unity Conference dinner March 30. He spoke with the Jackson Free Press via telephone from California.



by Jacob Fuller

Fondren Plans Back on the Table

to Par

eP robl em

Part of th eS

m ble ro

on, Not the uti P ol

March 28 - April 3, 2012

ft h he tt Solution, No




fter nearly a year of dormancy, Watkins Development’s plans for the Fondren strip on North State Street are back in action. Jason Watkins, a partner in Watkins Development, is negotiating a contract to purchase the Pix/Capri Theatre from owner Logan Young. The plan, Watkins said, is to renovate the Mississippi historic site, located at the north end of the strip, and reopen it as a movie theater. But what those renovations entail will not totally be up to the developer. The Pix/Capri, built in 1939, achieved historic-landmark status in 2004, which means the Mississippi Department of Archives and History will have to approve any renovations to the building. As far back as 2008, Watkins Development planned to purchase and demolish the entire strip of stores adjacent to the Pix/Capri to make way for a mixed-used development. But the grass-roots organization Save Our Strip started a petition to stop the plan and convinced company officials to rethink the development in early 2011. “We hope that the focus on the Capri is a sign that Watkins Development wants to preserve the historic fabric of Fondren,” said Arin Clark Adkins, spokeswoman for Save Our Strip. “Restoring and preserving the Capri would lend nicely with restoring and preserving the strip.” The purchase of the Pix/Capri would give Watkins, along with his father, David, ownership of the entire portion of the strip from the Butterfly Yoga building, located at 3025 N. State St. just north of the theater, to The Antique Market at 3009 N. State Street. Real estate broker Sam Peters, who represents both Watkins and Young, said the deal is not final, though. “I’m assuming that it’s going to close, but I can’t guarantee you that the sale will happen at all,” Peters told the JFP. “Not every single thing that goes under contract sells.” The purchase would leave the buildings that house Wells’ Quality Cleaners, SE Lock and Key, and Jackson Shoe Repair as the only properties on the strip not owned by Watkins Development.

Developer Jason Watkins currently has a contract to buy the Pix/Capri Theatre from owner Logan Young. Watkins said he expects the contract to close “in the near future.”

Jason Watkins said the plan is no longer to demolish any part of the strip. “We’re working with people in the community to look at some alternate designs,” Watkins told the JFP. “That strip area? We’ve just decided that we want to hold off on any kind of redevelopment there until I’ve focused more on the Pix area for redevelopment. I think that the Pix area will serve as a good anchor for the rest of the development that will take place in the strip area.” After focusing on the Pix/Capri, Watkins said the plan is to begin construction of the large mixed-used development, Whitney Place, on the unoccupied land behind the strip on North State Street. Owners Want to Stay Carol Moore owns Wells’ Quality Cleaners, which has been in her family for more than 80 years. Her building, owned by John Cooper, borders the Watkins-owned portion of the strip. She said she has heard Watkins has more plans for the strip. “We’re phase four from what I hear,” Moore said. “He’s going to do the Capri, start building back behind, do all that work, and then work up to (us). We’re the last phase of his plan so, hopefully, that’ll never come to pass. I don’t want to be put out of business.” In 2010, David Watkins said the buildings he owns on the strip have significant

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structural and electrical damage and that they have “no economic value,” only sentimental. Moore said that is not the case for the building she rents from Cooper. “We’re just hoping and praying that (our landlord) hasn’t sold (the building) and that somehow David can incorporate leaving these buildings that are sound,” Moore said. “The ones (Watkins) purchased (to the north) are in dire need of repairs. Ours are not. Our buildings are sound. “Build whatever you want, David. Build it, I’m all for you. Just leave us little people alone.” Moore, a Fondren resident, said she doesn’t want to see a shopping center like Renaissance, in Ridgeland, built in Jackson. “You know, you can’t stop progress. And if David wants to do it, he’s got the money to do it,” she said. “You have to let him do it. I just pray to God he doesn’t get these buildings.” The building that houses Butterfly Yoga is located just north of the main strip. Jason Watkins said there are no current plans to demolish the building. Butterfly Yoga founder Scotta Brady could not be reached for comment at press time. Back to the Movies If the Pix/Capri is reopened, it will be a long-overdue return to movies on the big

screen in the capital city. Jackson has not had a movie theater in more than a decade, since Meadowbrook Cinema Six and Metrocenter Four closed. Jason Watkins said he hopes to start renovations before the end of 2012. Meanwhile, Flowood, Ridgeland, Madison, Pearl and Clinton all have operating cinemas. Pearl’s Tinseltown and Madison’s Malco Grandview were built after Meadowbrook Six and Metrocenter Four closed. David Waugh, president of the Fondren Association of Businesses, said the Pix/Capri opening would be a positive thing for Jackson, but he would like to see the old theater be more than just a cinema. “There’s not a theater in this area, and there’s not a performance space,” Jason Watkins said by phone Monday. “A bunch of us have been hoping to have a place for live performances as well as movie performances.” The theater has hosted only a few live performances in recent years, including the annual Holiday Showcase by Jackson-based record label Esperanza Plantation. Duling Hall, located on nearby Duling Avenue in Fondren, serves as the neighborhood’s regular concert hall. Watkins said he hopes to be able to provide more than the theater’s original onescreen layout. “Our preference is to have more than one screen. We are working on our configuration of that now,” Watkins said. Because of ongoing negotiations with Young and the need for the Department of Archives and History to approve any renovations, Watkins said he could not divulge any more information on his plans for the theater. The theater was built in 1939 as the Pix, a 500-seat movie theater that also hosted the occasional live performance. It first closed in 1957, but reopened as the Capri in 1962. After changing hands a few more times, the Pix/Capri closed as a movie theater for the last time in 1985. Since then, producers have sporadically used the theater for independent film showings and live performances. Comment at


by James L. Dickerson

Farewell to a Newspaperwoman


Celia Emmerich was a writer, champion of the arts, volunteer and mountain climber.

We laughed about the Super Scooper Award, which John gave to reporters who excelled in news gathering. Celia rolled her eyes when I mentioned it, understanding full well that reporters did all they could not to win the award, even to the point of hyping the work of competitors so that they would win the award. No one wanted to be Super Scooper because it seemed pretentious and scatological at the same timeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;just the sort of thing that could dog you and end up in your own obit. After the class began, I asked each person what kind of book they wanted to write. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want to write my memoir,â&#x20AC;? Celia said. Then she laughed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure what to do with it after I write it.â&#x20AC;? She wondered if I thought anyone would be interested. At that point, I should explain that Celia Emmerich is an important woman in Mississippi newspaper history, standing alongside Betty Carter of the Greenville Delta Democrat-Times and Hazel Brannon Smith of the Durant News. That in itself would be enough to interest a publisher in her life experiences. But there was much more to it than that. Celia and John Emmerich were partners in the newspaper business. She was the unrepentant liberal who never wavered in her convictions; he was the nervous moderate who was always second-guessing himself. Together, they worked for civil rights and community

development and helped make Mississippi a better place to live. In her spare time, Celia championed the arts and volunteered at the Leflore County Health Center. Needless to say, I was proud to have her in my class. She had something to say about just about everything I brought up in class. She had lots of questions. She earned her opinions the hard wayâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; through experience. Curious about the Himalayan Mountains, the former Ole Miss cheerleader traveled there by herself in the late 1980s. In the 1990s, while in her sixties, she bravely sailed the Maldives Islands. She was always going to France for one thing or another. When the class concluded, I noticed she stayed seated while I gathered my papers. Once everyone was gone, except for a promising childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book author named Tony, she fished her walker from its hiding place, snapped it into place and proceeded to the door. Tony and I walked her to the elevator and asked how in the world she ever made it to the third floor with that contraption. She smiled but didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t answer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Can you make it down the front steps?â&#x20AC;? I asked, concerned. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oh, sure,â&#x20AC;? she said. Tony took her walker, and I offered her my arm for support and ever so slowly walked her down a very steep stairway of steps. Once at the bottom, with her at the wheel of the walker again, we scooted across campus to the parking area, where her son, Wyatt Emmerich, was supposed to pick her up. Unfortunately, he wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t there yet. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t I wait until he comes?â&#x20AC;? I asked. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No need to do that,â&#x20AC;? she said, nodding in the direction of two strapping male students who quickly volunteered, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be here a while.â&#x20AC;? I left her in good hands, looking forward to seeing her again in class. I wanted to hear more about her memoir. But that was her first and last day in my class. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know exactly what happened, but she ended up in the hospital. After she was released, she collapsed at her home, felled by a heart attack, the same illness that killed her husband. The last time I saw John Emmerich, he handed me a first-place award for editorial writing at the Associated Press banquet dinner in New Orleans. The last time I saw Celia Emmerich, she stood, walker in hand, eager to begin the adventure of writing her memoir. Some great stories never become books, leaving us with little more than our imagination to sort out the details. I can only guess at the fearless spirit that would have inhabited her book. Celia was quite the lady journalist. James L. Dickerson is co-author of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sons Without Fathers: What Every Mother Needs to Knowâ&#x20AC;? and author of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Love on the Rocks: Romance to the Rescue.â&#x20AC;?



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hen I entered the classroom at Millsaps College, where I teach a continuing education course for writers, there was a bright-eyed student seated at the table, notebook opened and ready. She looked to be about 80. We talked as the other students filed in. She seemed vaguely familiar, and I sensed that I probably knew her from some distant time and place. As we talked, I discovered that she was Celia Emmerich, widowed wife of journalist John Emmerich, for whom I worked in the 1970s at the Greenwood Commonwealth. We reminisced about the old days in Greenwood and shared fond memories of the newspaper, where our columns sometimes ran back-to-back.


jfp op/ed

opining, grousing & pontificating


Stop the Wedge-Issue Politics


onservatives love to rail against the size of government and the prospect of more government intrusion into American citizens’ lives. However, in looking at the bills the Mississippi Legislature is concentrating on, the trend toward hypocrisy and away from solutions should be apparent. Take, for example, the proposed anti-immigration legislation. The conservative theory, debunked by think tanks and immigration experts, is that immigrants steal jobs from hard-working Americans and tax dollars from their pockets. Leaving aside for the moment that no white American can claim “native” status in this country, conservatives seem hell bent on using already stretched-thin government services—police, sheriffs and jails—to duplicate enforcement of federal law by a special federal police force that taxpayers already pay for. Reproducing immigration law at the state level simply does not fit the conservative “small government” mantra, regardless of how you spin it. Another example: Conservatives do not want the federal government intruding into their personal lives to mandate purchasing health insurance. Once again leaving aside the obvious, how then can they then justify reaching into every woman’s business and dictating how and when she can control her natural reproductive functions? The obvious can’t be left aside, of course, and that’s the fact that Mississippi has the least healthy citizens in America. Those problems already cost taxpayers billions, especially among the hundreds of thousands of uninsured Mississippians. The level of disregard for health issues in favor of enforcing fundamentalist religious ideology in the bedroom is the apex of government intrusion and completely antithetical to stated conservative principles. What is clear is that our newly Republican-majority Legislature is favoring bluster about ideological wedge issues over getting to work on the real issues facing Mississippians in 2012. Where, for example, are the jobs programs in a state with a higher-thanaverage unemployment rate? Where are the programs designed to keep kids in school? Mississippi’s high-school dropout rate is, again, higher than the national average. Low rates of education feed directly into the cycle of poverty, poor health and high crime rates (and subsequently, reach into every Mississippi taxpayer’s pocket), yet the Legislature can’t seem to gather the will to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program as mandated by law. That law—one that is actually on the books already—is simply not the concern of Mississippi lawmakers. Much better, apparently, to make new laws privatizing education. If you’re tired of your lawmakers playing games with our state’s future, give them a call, write them an email, make your voice heard. And lawmakers? It’s time to do the job you were hired to do: govern for the people.


All About Justice


March 28 - April 3, 2012

iss Doodle Mae: “Our boss, Jojo, organized a spiritually charged and thought-provoking staff meeting this morning. He did this in response to the “shoot first and don’t ask questions later” actions of a neighborhood watch captain who gunned down a teenager carrying Skittles and a can of ice tea. “The Jojo’s Discount Dollar Store staff became concerned about this violent incident and the surge of hatred in America. Reverend Preacher said a prayer of justice for the slain teenager’s family and everyone else affected by this unfortunate incident. Sister Encouragement, from the Reverend Cletus Car Sales Church Broadcast, encouraged the staff to remain poised during these challenging times when it seems like only skin color matters. “Then, Jojo followed the prayer and encouraging words with his own insightful thoughts.” Jojo: “In 1964, civil-rights activist Ella Baker said: ‘Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother’s son. We who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.’ This means that the staff of Jojo’s Discount Dollar Store will motivate our customers into community activism regarding the Trayvon Martin shooting with a special sale of hooded jackets with the Ella Baker quote, plus DVD and VHS copies of the new Kunta ‘Rahsheed X’ Toby documentary titled ‘They Killed Cornbread: A Retrospective Look at Injustice Toward Young Minorities in America.’” 12 Miss Doodle Mae: “At Jojo’s Discount Dollar Store, it’s all about justice.”


Your Child or Mine


t’s frustrating to think that what happened to Trayvon Martin will probably happen again somewhere. It’s even more unsettling to think that Jackson is primed for similar incidents to occur right here if we’re not careful. Hundreds showed up this past Sunday to rally for a young man that none of the participants knew personally. I hope that assembly was not in vain. And, yet, history strongly suggests that this tragedy will repeat itself. Why? Well, it’s simple. We just don’t get it. Another young, black male is shot down under questionable circumstances? We hear a TV personality say it’s “his” fault because Martin wore a hoodie. We hear a presidential candidate say that President Barack Obama is a “separatist” because the president said if he had a son, “he would look like Trayvon.” Then you have the bloggers and Internet pundits who talk about how black folks should be more concerned with black-on-black crime. Or they even say that the organizers of the Jackson rally should be more concerned with “crime in Jackson instead of Florida.” Let’s be clear. It’s a tragedy when any of our babies die. We would mourn Trayvon regardless of whether he was black, white, Hispanic or LGBT. Young people shouldn’t die so young, period.

But let’s also be clear and just acknowledge that if Trayvon was not black, he would probably still be alive today. We can agree that a huge disparity exists in the number of cases where trigger-happy cops or citizens who with “questionable” views of black people kill black youth. It’s getting more difficult even for middle-of-the-road thinkers like myself to justify America’s obvious devaluing of black life. Honestly, until some white folks actually begin listening instead of trying to tell black folks how we should “feel,” nothing will change. Until some stop accusing us of being victims while knowing nothing of being victimized, nothing will change. Until some white folks realize that because I’m smart enough to assume that all white people aren’t serial killers, pedophiles, school shooters or Klansmen, Geraldo Rivera should be wise enough to know that a hoodie does not represent a criminal. And it’s high time someone in this city said it. Remember these words. Because Jackson, unless you start using some damn common sense instead of succumbing to fear mongering, what happened in Florida will happen here. And it could be your child or mine who is the victim. Wake up! And that’s the truth ... shonuff.

CORRECTIONS: (Vol. 10, Issue 28) • In “Gluten-Free and Delicious,” by Jane Flood, we inadvertently cut off the last few words in the print edition. The last sentence should have read “Find rice noodles in the gluten-free or international sections of the market. • In “Et Tu, Pix,” the correct photographer is Christine Ezelle. • In “JXN ROX” by Natalie Long, we incorrectly listed Cody Cox and Taylor Hildebrand as performers at the Sweet Potato Queen Come On In Party. Neither were scheduled for the event. The Jackson Free Press apologizes for the errors.

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Screaming in Stereo EDITORIAL Managing Editor Ronni Mott News Editor Elizabeth Waibel Reporters Jacob Fuller, R.L. Nave Events Editor Latasha Willis Deputy Editor Briana Robinson Copy Editors Dustin Cardon,Tam Curley, Contributing Editor Valerie Wells Music Listings Editor Natalie Long Fashion Stylist Meredith Sullivan Writers Torsheta Bowen, Quita Bride, Marika Cackett, Scott Dennis, Bryan Flynn, Brandi Herrera, Diandra Hosey, Pamela Hosey, Robyn Jackson, Garrad Lee, Larry Morrisey, Robin O’Bryant, Eddie Outlaw, Julie Skipper Editorial Interns Elyane Alexander, Brittany Kilgore, Whitney Menogan, Adria Walker Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris

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ast night, my 3-year-old son kept screaming out in the night. Most nights he sleeps really well, but as any parent can testify, he has those occasional nights when peaceful rest is nothing more than an elusive dream. This was clearly going to be one of those nights that my wife, Leann, and I would rise to the challenge (literally) many times before morning. Some doctors and physiologists would argue that we should let him be. They might say that these are the “witching hours,” and that we should allow him to cry it out. The problem with that theory, however, is that we also have a 1-year-old just down the hall, and if we fail to avoid the potential sobbing chain-reaction, we end up with screaming in stereo. Besides, I am not best at processing long-term behavioral strategy at 3 a.m. Couple that with the fact that it is already late into the week, adding to my sleep deficit, and the net result is that I crawl under the Thomas the Train cover and try to go to sleep in my son’s bed with him. It seems that my childhood and my son’s childhood collided last night because I remember dreaming that the General Lee, from “The Dukes of Hazard,” was racing Percy the tank engine from “Thomas and Friends.” Of course, he wakes up refreshed, energized and with a sweet disposition, as I’m running behind, groggy, with a stiff back. I try to remember what it’s like to be his

age. Some of my earliest memories are from when I was 3 years old, so I try to reach back in the archives of my consciousness in an attempt to relate to his 36-inch-high perspective. What I’ve come to realize is that the perspective of a small child simply doesn’t have the depth that comes with age. The relationship between cause and effect has not matured to the point that they fully understand the consequences of their mistakes. And even if they do, it will be at least another 30 minutes (eternity in toddler years) before they are caught. Everything is a new experience—an adventure—and mistakes are just part of the equation of knowledge. Fast forward some 35 years, and it seems that I know all too well the consequences of my mistakes. I’ve even developed a mechanism for blocking said mistakes from my memory. Blocking mistakes from your past is not a healthy approach because, as someone once said, “He who covers up his mistakes intends to make some more.” I recently read “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter” by Tom Franklin, and a couple of sentences in that fictional Mississippi-based novel really stood out: “Time packs new years over the old ones but how those old years are still in there, like the earliest, tightest rings centering a tree, the most hidden, enclosed in darkness and shielded from weather. But then a saw screams in and the tree topples and the circles are stricken

by the sun and the sap glistens and the stump is laid open for the world to see.” How poetic and true that is. No matter how much time goes by, at the core of each of our lives exist the set of experiences that have helped define us. Mississippi is a prime example. Why not forget about the troubled race relations? people ask. Why not forget about slavery, oppression or civil injustice? Those were all dirty deeds of the prior generations, right? The reason that you don’t forget is that it is part of our core existence, and no matter how many years or decades go by, it always will be. If we forget, then we are destined to oppress a minority culture again—such as trying to discriminate against the Hispanic population—or distance ourselves from continued inequalities. I hope my son will continue to learn from his mistakes. I hope that I remember the lessons that I have learned from my own mistakes. I hope we both continue to dream, and to dream big. Sometimes in your dreams, the slow-starting but strong tank engine even wins the race against the rebel-flag-clad muscle car. Scott Dennis is a Morton native who lives in Pearl. Dennis earned a computer-science degree from Mississippi College and works as an IT specialist with the U.S. Geological Survey. He is blessed with a wonderful wife and a small but growing family.


No ‘Sunshine’ Here


hat if nobody stood between you— a law-abiding citizen of the state of Mississippi—and everyone else who would do you harm? What if a governor pardoned violent criminals, and no one was there to try and stop it? What if giant, money-hungry corporations stole your hard-earned paycheck, and not one person made them give it back? What if a company defrauded a state agency out of hundreds of millions of dollars, and the state agency did nothing about it? If House Bill 211 and Senate Bill 2084 become law, that’s exactly what may happen. The more than 200 men and women of the state attorney general’s office—who now help shield residents from these misguided acts and wrongdoers—will be unable to properly protect them. That’s why every effort must be made to put down any shortsighted attempt to strip the people of a constitutionally empowered attorney general and replace him with handpicked lawyers doing the bidding of a few politically minded individuals. It’s a recipe for disaster, legally and ethically, and will cost taxpayers millions of extra dollars each year. The efforts by some legislators to virtually eliminate the mandated authority of a duly elected officeholder that you—the voter—saw fit to elect is bad in itself. But to create a situa-

tion whereby Mississippi could end up with a host of different lawyers with competing interests representing our citizens in state legal matters is government chaos in the making. And Mississippians will be the losers. These legislators should read the state constitution, which says there shall be an attorney general, not several. The drafters of our constitution knew that the state should only speak with one voice in a court of law. The proposed legislation would allow multiple state agencies—from the Board of Massage Therapy to the Division of Medicaid—to initiate, defend and control lawsuits without central oversight from the attorney general. The taxpayers will bear the cost of this fractured, counter-productive system without one benefit to the citizens of Mississippi. Think about it: If this were already law, the state would have received $3.5 million from the MCI WorldCom lawsuit; the State Tax Commission would have settled the case. But because the attorney general’s office had the authority and good sense to pursue the case, we collected more than $100 million. That’s just one example of what could happen if this misguided effort succeeds. Here’s another: The state would not have a health-care trust fund or a $4-billion tobacco settlement, because the governor and the Division of

Medicaid would have over-ridden the AG’s efforts to secure that money for our state. The current system works well. Over the past seven years, the attorney general’s office has recovered more than $500 million for taxpayers from wrongdoers, and it did not cost the taxpayers one dime. The law already allows agencies to take action on their own if the attorney general’s office declines or opposes them. But state law is clear: Mississippi speaks with one voice in the courtroom, and it comes through your attorney general. Voters elect an attorney general every four years to represent their interests in matters of law. To circumvent this system is to open the door to every kind of corporate wrongdoer, eliminating our ability to punish them and to recover money taken from you. The office of attorney general is your shield, your designated hitter when it comes to representing you in court. It’s as old as our constitution of 1890. There is not one valid reason to change it. I urge you to contact your representatives and senators and let them know that HB 211 and SB 2084 are bad for Mississippi. Call them at 601-359-3770. Find additional information at Jim Hood is the attorney general of the state 13 of Mississippi.

Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer


Promised Land

Are Mississippi’s Anti-Immigrant Efforts Bad for Business?

March 28 - April 3, 2012

by R.L. Nave



srael Martinez sat patiently in his car as police officers inspected a half-dozen vehicles ahead of him, shining their flashlights in the faces of the drivers and letting them go one by one. It was around midnight on May 19, 2011, and Martinez was heading home after a long day of moving his businesses to a larger location on Old Canton Road in Ridgeland. When the light shone on Martinez’s young, angular brown face, the then-25-year-old brandished his vehicle insurance card and International Automobile Drivers Club card as proof of his identity. Then a cop asked him the question he’d somehow managed to avoid in the seven years since he arrived in the United States from Veracruz, the Mexican port city where he grew up: “Are you here illegally?” Martinez answered that he was in the process of acquiring the paperwork that would make his being here legal. Police took Martinez into custody and booked him into the Madison County Jail around 2 a.m. For the lesser infraction of driving without a valid driver’s license, the Canton cops slapped him with a $300 citation, which friends rushed to the jail to pay. But his troubles had really only just begun. Because he was in the United States illegally, the police loaded Martinez and others, mostly fellow Spanish speakers, caught in the dragnet, into a small van and headed for an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Pearl. From there, they boarded an even larger van with even more Spanish speakers bound for an ICE regional detention center in the Tensas Parish, La., town of Waterproof. Martinez recalls the palpable sadness among the frightened people as ICE’s drivers barked ethnic slurs about “f*cking Mexicans,” even as the detainees represented a cross-section of Central and South American nations, including Brazil. Women, Martinez said, were told they would never see their children again. “They treat you like a killer,” he said of the verbal abuse—what he considers as “psychological violence”—and the tight shackles that cut into his wrists and bound his hands at his waist. In the Tensas facility, which takes in ICE

Israel Martinez, 26, is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, who owns two successful small businesses in Ridgeland.

No Choice But Work Martinez left Mexico when he was 17 to join his mother who came to the U.S. on a temporary work visa, first in Washington state and, then, in Mississippi. With Mexico’s languishing economy offering few opportunities for industrious young people, Martinez decided she would attend college in the U.S., and his mother paid a man to arrange what he believed would be his legal immigration into the country. But when Martinez and others showed up, it became clear they would be smuggled across the border. If he backed out, he would lose his money. When he got to Mississippi in 2003, his lack of a Social Security number precluded him from enrolling in college. “I had no choice but to work,” Martinez said an interview in his conference room in Ridgeland. Actually, he did have choices. He could have returned to Mexico or copied the behavior of many of his American-born peers and mooched off his mom. Instead, he went to work at her side at a local chicken plant he declined to name and other companies, putting in up to 18-hour workdays. “It’s hard. It’s nasty. The pay is little,” he said. From Martinez’s paltry $320-per-week salary, the company deducted state and federal income taxes. Calculated into the monthly rent of the three-bedroom home he lives with his mother and three siblings are property taxes that help fund local schools. Like regular Americans, the Martinezes and other immigrant families get their groceries from Walmart and Kroger; Northpark Mall is a favorite weekend destination of immigrant teens and Americans alike. By early 2008, Martinez had had enough


74,000 2% 23





Annual Personal Earnings of Hispanics Annual Personal Earnings of Non-Hispanic Whites Annual Personal Earnings of Non-Hispanic Blacks

$18,000 $29,300 $18,000

32 31 38



Hispanics 17 and Younger Non-Hispanic Whites 17 and Younger Non-Hispanic Blacks 17 and Younger Hispanics 18-64 Non-Hispanic Whites 18-64 Non-Hispanic Blacks 18-64

33% 18% 48% 23% 13% 29%

$18,000 33% 48%


of the chicken plant and his four other jobs that included working in a warehouse, for a construction company and volunteering at a computer shop. Despite the low wages he had earned, he demonstrated the fiscal responsibility to tuck away $5,000 to start a computer repair business. “You don’t have to have a lot of money to save; you have to have good management,” Martinez said. He estimates that his computer business, Kismar, which can do everything from fix network connectivity problems to building new PCs from scratch, spends between $5,000 and $10,000 per month on parts. In 2009, he launched another business, now called Lingofest, for locals who want to learn Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian or English. Most of his clients are young, transplanted professionals. Businesses with sizable native Spanish-speaking work forces can hire Martinez’s company to provide interpreters or to serve as a cultural liaison. A growing portion of his business also assists companies in marketing products to central Mississippi’s small but growing Latino population. During his first year of operation, Martinez received about 15 anonymous calls telling him that he should shutter Lingofest; the calls have since ceased. The two signs that hang above his door cost $3,000 each, which he paid to a local company. In total, he estimates his businesses pull in $145,000 in income yearly, which he pays taxes on using an IRS-issued individual taxpayer identification number, or ITIN. At 26, Martinez is living the American Dream—not taking Americans’ jobs. Using his labor and intellectual capital, he filled a niche in the market to meet American demand, which in turn, has pumped thousands of dollars into Mississippi’s economy over the years. If he had been born in Europe at the turn of the 20th century, we would exalt his story as symbolic of the American ideal. If his family’s roots were in India or Cuba, he might be urged to run to run for elected office.

Instead, some elected officials are spearheading a movement to run people like Martinez out of Mississippi. Targeting ‘Aliens’ Just before midnight on Wednesday, March 14, the Mississippi House of Repre-

‘Reasonable suspicion usually goes to a crime, something you can measure. Reasonable suspicion that you are unlawfully present is not something you can observe.’ sentatives began floor debate on House Bill 488. Coming a year after a similar attempt failed attempt, the act asserts that the state has a “compelling interest” to “discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United States.” More than 40 states have tread into immigration on everything from implementing immigration status verification requirements for employers to reining in human trafficking. The models for the Mississippi newest version are laws enacted in other states, most notably Arizona and neighboring Alabama. Utah, Indiana, Georgia and South Carolina followed Arizona’s example by enacting broad-reaching immigration The controversial Arizona law, for example, requires all law-enforcement personnel to determine the immigration status of anyone they come into “legitimate” contact with. The

Alabama law requires law enforcement to determine the status of any person they suspect is undocumented and says immigrants must produce authorizing documents on demand. Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, chairman of the House Judiciary B Committee, changed the bill, which fellow Republican Becky Currie of Brookhaven introduced, to apply only to arrests. Its original language closely mirrored laws enacted in other states, even taking its official title, the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, from Arizona. In some ways, legal challenges to other states’ laws made the Mississippi House bill passed weaker than what supporters wanted. Lawsuits have successfully blocked parts of Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah’s laws. The US Department of Justice filed complaints in four of those states, including Arizona—a case that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on this summer. To get around the constitutional issues those laws raised, Gipson modified the language to require law enforcement to check the status of suspected “illegals” after they are arrested, presumably for an unrelated crime. HB 488 would require police officers to make a “reasonable attempt” to determine the immigration status of anyone they arrest—if officers have “reasonable suspicion” that the suspect is in the country illegally. If the suspect is undocumented and is convicted, the bill says, law enforcement then must notify federal immigration agents about the suspect’s status. The state can also transport the prisoner directly to the ICE office, but the law does not require it. Karen Tumlin, managing attorney for National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles, said the vagueness of the reasonable suspicion language, which is currently only in effect in Alabama, has confused police agencies across the country.

PROMISED LAND, see page 16

detainees from Mississippi and Louisiana, Martinez was surprised to find guards who were more humane than their transporters had been. There, an ICE official tried to make him sign a voluntary deportation form, but because he had done his homework in preparation for this day, he knew that he had the right to see a federal judge and refused to sign the paper. Others just signed the form (Martinez sensed they would just sneak back over the border in a week or two), and those who didn’t had to pay fines between $5,000 and $20,000 or they would sit until jail until the judge would see them. Martinez was lucky. The businessman had about $3,000 in cash that he could use toward his $5,000 fine. The same friends who paid his traffic ticket again came to his rescue to supply the remainder. Four days after his arrest, Martinez returned to Jackson to continue running his businesses. As a result of his detention, ICE issued Martinez a photo ID, documentation that he is officially in the custody of federal authorities, which protects against immigration double jeopardy. While Martinez waits to see the judge, he cannot be arrested again due to his status, and he can continue providing for his family.


PROMISED LAND, from page 15

March 28 - April 3, 2012


“Reasonable suspicion is a concept that law enforcement is familiar with,” Tumlin said. “The problem is that reasonable suspicion usual goes to a crime, something you can measure. Reasonable suspicion that you are unlawfully present is not something you can observe.” HB 488, which Tumlin characterizes as “very far-reaching,” (she added that her organization would sue if Mississippi passes the bill) also indemnifies law enforcement from civil lawsuits for enforcing, or not enforcing the law, as long as their actions or inactions are in “good faith.” HB 488 also says that race, color, and national origin cannot be used to enforce the act and that “the immigration status of any person who is arrested shall be determined before the person is released.” Proof of legal status, under the act, includes a Mississippi driver’s license or state ID card, a tribal enrollment card, or an ID from another entity that requires proof of legal residence to issue it. Bear Atwood, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi, said police might interpret the lack of an ID or the possession of a foreign ID as reasonable suspicion that a person is in the country without documents. “If someone gets detained while the police check their immigration status, that’s not 20 minutes on the side of the road. That can take days,” Atwood said. Riding in an overcrowded car or hanging out in areas known for having a high frequency of undocumented immigrants could also provide a legal basis for reasonable suspicion, said Justin Fox, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrant Rights Project. Although much care was taken to protect police officers and local governments from civil lawsuits for enforcing the law, it also provides some recourse for legal residents against a government agencies that limit or restrict the enforcement of federal immigration laws. The award for such a failure, under the act, would be no less than $500 but no more than $5,000 per day that the law remains in effect after the plaintiff filed their complaint. The act also forbids business transactions, including applying for or renewing a car tag or driver’s license, between unauthorized immigrants and the state government but carves out an exception for international business executives. The high-profile arrest of Detlev Hager, a German Mercedes-Benz executive, in Alabama caused the state much negative publicity and embarrassment. Alabama’s law prohibits businesses from employing unauthorized immigrants and prevents anyone from transporting, concealing, harboring or housing them unless they are providing child-care or emergency services. Mississippi did not include those provisions. Groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform support state-led immigration efforts because, in their view, the federal government has been derelict in enforcing 16 immigration. “While immigration is a federal

L. Patricia Ice, legal director of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, and Israel Martinez testified at a March 13 hearing on HB 488.

government issue, the state level is where the bills get paid,” said FAIR spokesman Ira Mehlman, who is based in Seattle, Wash. FAIR would like to see the federal government slash the rate of immigration from the current level of 1.1 million per year down to 300,000. The organization’s stance is that the presence of unauthorized immigrants hurts American workers, contributing to an already-saturated market for low-skilled labor and driving down incomes for Americans. These workers also perpetuate degraded health and safety conditions, which discourage legal residents from seeking the jobs. “It’s not the jobs, it’s the wages and working conditions that Americans reject—and they should reject them,” Mehlman said. Supply and Demand When people think of places that might be attractive to immigrants, few think of Mississippi. New York City, Chicago, and Seattle are logical because each has a large, diverse immigrant population and, despite early cultural clashes, long histories of welcoming new residents from other nations. The idea of immigrants also makes sense in the border states of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas or in places like Florida, where the influx of Cuban immigrants since the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s created a Latino-friendly culture. Bill Chandler, executive director of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance and longtime labor organizer, came to Mississippi from Texas in 1989, a time when there were just two Mexican restaurants in the state. A Los Angeles native who worked on

labor organizing campaigns with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers in the late 1960s, Chandler has observed immigrants swell in numbers, partly because of supplyand-demand economics that resulted from old-fashioned southern racism. Throughout most of Mississippi’s history, Chandler explains, African Americans supplied their labor to cultivate crops like cotton and sweet potatoes. But state-sponsored racial violence and intimidation spurred the exodus of hundreds of thousands of blacks from the Deep South, leaving too few laborers in Mississippi’s fields. In the early 1980s, then-Gov. William Winter pushed through his Education Reform Act of 1982, which leveled the playing field between funding black and white schools. Black graduation rates in the state rose, and more African Americans graduated from high school, went on to college and entered high-wage professions. White Mississippians didn’t fill the void, resulting in even fewer field hands. When blacks left these jobs, immigrants from Mexico and Central and South America began filling the vacuum, slowly at first but more quickly in the mid-1990s when President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA’s original purpose was to promote economic development in Spanishspeaking North America but seemed to have the opposite effect. American agribusinesses moved into the Mexican countryside and pushed small family farms out of business. Many factories in Mexico—and the U.S.— moved to China.

In Mexico, NAFTA helped displace millions of workers. Meanwhile, the financial capital from America’s high-tech sector opened up even more opportunities for native-born Americans to make money in ways other than slaving away in poultry factories. Trying to build support for their efforts, immigration reformers have long maintained that immigrants, willing to work for belowmarket wages, pushed African Americans out of certain industries. Dr. Steven Pitts, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, tackles the black-brown labor gap in a paper titled, “A Note on the Research Concerning Blacks, Immigration and Employment. If it were true that foreign-born workers under-priced blacks out of work, Pitts reasons, cities with massive immigrant populations should have higherthan-normal black unemployment and lower wages—but that’s not necessarily true. Pitts examined the black unemployment rate in 13 cities compared to the size of foreign born in the work force. In Birmingham, Ala., which had a 4.3 percent foreign-born work force in 2007, black unemployment stood at 12.3 percent. In Memphis, black unemployment stood at 28.3 percent with a foreign born population of 6.1 percent. However, Miami’s work force was 45.7 percent foreign-born, yet the black jobless rate remained at 10.4 percent, demonstrating no connection between the two.

PROMISED LAND, see page 19

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PROMISED LAND, from page 16 Addy wrote. Rodney Hunt, a Jackson dental surgeon, and director of the Mississippi Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement, believes Addy’s cost-benefit study is flawed. “It’s a misconception that Americans won’t do certain jobs. Americans will do the jobs if they’re offered a The owners of La Guadalupe, a taqueria on Old Canton Road., fair wage for the work fear that Mississippi’s anti-immigrant efforts could hurt their business, more than 60 percent of which comes from immigrants. that they do,” Hunt said. Hunt points to Alabama, which saw its unemployment rate dip perceive is run by xenophobic bigots. from 9 percent in September 2011, when the Ultimately, Addy believes Alabama and state implemented parts of its immigration Mississippi’s anti-immigration policies underlaw (a federal judge blocked some provisions mine a core American ideal: freedom. from going into effect), to 7.8 percent in Janu“I mean, we talk about human rights to ary 2012. However, the Alabama trend closely the rest of the world, and then we turn around mirrored the national unemployment situa- and do this to our own people?” Addy said. tion, which was also at 9 percent last September and now stands at 8.3 percent. ALEC’s Invisible Hands Addy’s economic analysis of the AlaNo discussion of immigration, or many bama law also considers the added costs for other state legislative proposals, is complete law enforcement to pull over and detain every Mexican-looking vato they encounter, not to mention whatever damage is done if tourists PROMISED LAND, see page 20 and businesses stay away from the state they

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immigrant presence—is much easier for a reason so simple that even a state lawmaker who’s only taken freshman economics can understand it: the law of demand. “The economy is made up of people, institutions and property—that’s all it is. And anybody who tells you otherwise does not know much economics,” Addy told the Jackson Free Press. “Because of the people, there is demand in the system. The more income that people make, the more they can demand. And that’s how the economy grows.” Since economies are demand-driven, any policy that reduces demand will shrink the economy, no matter how well intentioned, Addy said. Assuming the proponents of the Alabama anti-immigration law got their wish and 80,000 “illegals” suddenly vanished from the state, Addy estimates a loss of 59,536 jobs for a total reduction of nearly 140,000 positions. Let’s say those 80,000 people earned $25,000 per year—that’s a $7.7 billion hit to Alabama’s gross domestic product, another $189 million in state sales- and income-tax loss, and $66.5 million in city and county taxes, according to Addy’s analysis. “Instead of boosting state economic growth, the law is certain to be a drag on economic development without considering the costs associated with its implementation and enforcement,”


Between 2000 and 2010, Latinos increased their numbers 106 percent in Mississippi, the Pew Hispanic Center reports. In fact, Latinos expanded more rapidly in the South than all other regions with Alabama’s rate accelerating the fastest in that period, at 145 percent. Anyone curious about the economic benefits that immigrants bring to Mississippi need just turn their attention eastward to Alabama, which passed HB 056 in 2011. In January, the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa’s Center for Business and Economic Research published a cost-benefit analysis of that state’s anti-immigration law. Dr. Samuel Addy, who authored the study, concedes that the departure of immigrants might yield some benefits in terms of savings on health care and education, increased safety for legal residents and more opportunities for legal U.S. residents. From what we do know about the behavior of undocumented immigrants—who avoid hospitals and, contrary to stereotypes, have fewer children than Americans—Addy believes that any effect their numbers have on health-care costs is minimal. However, quantifying those benefits is nearly impossible because no reliable data exists on the size of Alabama’s undocumented population. Measuring the costs of the Alabama law—or, to put it another way, the benefit of










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Moak isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t certain which of his fellow legislators are also in ALEC, which remains tightlipped about its member roster and how exactly it gets money. Kaitlyn Buss, who handles public relations for ALEC, told the Jackson Free Press in an email that the group doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t publicize its member list. She did not immediately respond to follow-up requests for an interview with the organization. However, a review of ALECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s IRS records provides some insight into where the big money it funnels into state Legislatures comes from. In 2010, ALEC collected $7 million in revenue, including $1 million from conferences, $84,883 from member dues and another $6 million from contributions, gifts and grants, according to tax records. The Center for Media and Democracy estimates that Bill Chandler, a longtime labor organizer and executive member dues represent only 2 director of the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, percent of ALECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s revenue, and explains that educational improvements for blacks created a labor vacuum that immigrants filled. the rest comes from corporate members paying from $7,000 without talking about the powerful influence to $25,000. A sizable chunk of the American Legislative Exchange Coun- also comes from conservative foundations, incil, or ALEC. cluding the Charles G. Koch Foundation and Corporations, trade associations and Claude R. Lambe Foundationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;both constate lawmakers pay to join ALEC. When a nected to the billionaire oil baron Koch famcorporate member wants a law passed, ALEC ilyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;as well as the Allegheny Foundation and sets them up with a like-minded legislator to the Castle Rock Foundation, which has ties to introduce one of the hundreds of ALEC-writ- the beer magnate Coors family. ten model bills prepared on subjects ranging ALECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s board of directors consists of two from tort reform to virtual schools. legislative chairmen from each state. In 2010, Immigration is one of ALECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chairmen were former Republiissues. (Others include the renewed push for can lawmakers Sen. Billy Hewes III, R-Gulfcharter schools, voter identification and tort port, and Rep. Jim Ellington, R-Raymond. reform in Mississippi. Hewes unsuccessfully sought the Republican The progressive nonprofit investigative nomination for lieutenant governor in 2011 journalism group Center for Media and De- against then-state Treasurer Tate Reeves while mocracy, headquartered in Madison, Wis., Ellington lost his seat in the recent November provides most of what is known about ALEC. election to Democrat Brad Oberhoausen. The group maintains an extensive database of The Mississippi ALEC legislative chair ALEC model bills and other information on positions are currently vacant, ALEC spokesthe organization at woman Buss said. At least two of ALECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bills related to imRon Scheberle, who runs the Irving, migration were introduced in some form dur- Texas-based political services firm Scheberle & ing the current Mississippi legislative session. Associates, serves as ALECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s part-time execuHB 488 and HB 1153, which died in tive director, collecting $204,000 per year for committee, are nearly identical to ALECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 25 hours of work per week. Immigration Law Enforcement Act and No State records show that Mississippi taxSanctuary Cities for Illegal Immigrants and payers paid ALEC $2,950 between 2006 to Safe Community Police Act, respectively. 2008 for employee training at the state Deâ&#x20AC;&#x153;It is an organization funded by large partment of Marine Resources, the Division corporate interests in order to push their of Medicaid, and the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office. The agenda. Most people are too busy making a Jackson Free Press has submitted public-reliving to worry about what ALEC is doing,â&#x20AC;? cords requests to the agencies to determine the said House Minority Leader Bobby Moak, nature of the trainings. D-Bogue Chitto. He has attended ALEC Former Pascagoula Rep. Brandon Jones, gatherings and once received one of the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scholarships to attend a conference at Disney World. PROMISED LAND, see page 22 Despite having once been a member,



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La Guadalupe sells an assortment of products from Latin American nations.

a Democrat, has been critical of ALECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s presence in Mississippi. Now executive director of a political action committee called the Mississippi Democratic Trust, Jones calls ALEC â&#x20AC;&#x153;a cynical vehicle for memorializing partisanship on the state legislative level.â&#x20AC;? Voters, he said, should take notice, because Mississippi lawmakers appear to be offering copy-and-paste ALEC bills with little input from their constituents. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People might be ready to accept shocks and brakes from an assembly line,â&#x20AC;? Jones said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not ready to accept an assembly-line approach to their laws.â&#x20AC;? Interestingly, many of the same corporations who appear to be ALEC members are also members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has taken a number of conservative stances in recent yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and pumped a lot of money into congressional campaigns and Mississippi political races to help Republican candidates, including Mississippi Supreme Court justices. But the U.S. Chamber has shied away from statelevel immigration reforms such as the bill Mississippi is now considering. The Chamber has a quiet initiative called the Essential Workers Immigration Coalition made up of agricultural product trade councils that criticize local and statefocused immigration efforts like HB 488. Their argument: Leave immigration enforcement to the federal government. According to information from the EWIC, state Legislatures enacted 84 bills about immigration in 2006, and more than double that number, 170, in 2007. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many of these bills seem to contradict federal immigration laws, confusing employers and even state labor department officials,â&#x20AC;? reads a statement bearing the U.S. Chamberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s logo on the EWIC website. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This wave of legislation includes mandates for employers prohibiting the employment of undocumented workers, imposing penalties for non-compliance and requiring work-authorization verification, sometimes beyond what Congress requires,â&#x20AC;? the statement says. The legislation also includes proposals to eliminate state services and benefits to undocumented immigrants, new mandates on

state and local law enforcement, and demands for federal action.â&#x20AC;? Diminishing Returns Hernan Bermudez, 60, is seeing the effects of anti-immigrant fervor on his businessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; bottom line. Bermudez, who owns La Guadalupe taqueria and a grocery store of the same name specializing in products from South America and pre-paid phone cards, said the recession coupled with talk of immigration reform has been a onetwo punch for his businesses in the past three years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mississippians are not racist. I think the people like the immigrants. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the politicians,â&#x20AC;? Bermudez said. Bermudez emigratedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;legallyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;from Cali, Colombia, with his wife and young son 17 years ago to escape the violence of the notorious drug cartels of the early 1990s. After a year-long stay in Miami, Bermudez, who had been an industrial engineer for Goodyear in Colombia, moved the family to Forest and became a poultry plant supervisor. Eleven years ago, Bermuduz opened a small grocery store in south Jackson. Over the next several years, he would open six stores throughout Mississippi in Jackson Philadelphia, and Ripley. He also earned his American citizenship. When the economy worsened, Bermudez closed or sold off all the businesses except La Guadalupe, near Old Canton Road and County Line Road. Bermudez also went from having eight employees down to six. He approximates that 60 percent to 80 percent of his business relies on immigrants. If Mississippi follows Arizona and Alabama, Bermudez does not think he will be able to build his businesses back up to their pre-recession level. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The politicians and media are making comments like, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The immigrants are causing the economic downfall.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not good because those people are working,â&#x20AC;? Bermudez said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Most politicians need to learn about the different cultures. They have to know that people come here to work, to invest. If theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re living here, they are spending their money here in Mississippi.â&#x20AC;? Comment at



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8 DAYS p 26 | FILM p 28 | MUSIC p 31 | SPORTS p 34

Doris the Storyteller

Storyteller Doris Jones performs at the Mississippi Children’s Museum Saturday, March 31. COURTESY DORIS JONES

by Jacob Fuller


March 28 - April 3, 2012


on’t expect to find someone sitting in a chair quietly reading to her audience when you bring your kids to hear stories from Doris F. Jones. Jones puts the books away and uses her voice, puppets, audience members and costumes, as well the imaginations of everyone listening, to bring stories to life. A former biology major, medical technologist and librarian, Jones found her calling about 20 years ago in humanity’s original medium—face-to-face storytelling. “I didn’t really know what I was meant to do until I had my own children and started reading to them. It was like a whole new world opened up,” Jones says. Oral storytelling is probably the oldest form of entertainment in human society. Since the introduction of spoken language, people have entertained, educated and informed with stories, and they passed those tales and fables from generation to generation. As a storyteller, Jones has entertained and enthralled children and parents across Mississippi with her vibrant, engaging performances. She will perform at the Mississippi Children’s Museum on Saturday, March 31, as part of an event to promote literacy and storytelling. Whether she is telling a story from a classic fable, a new children’s book or one of her own original stories, such as “Buster the Bird,” Jones is never the only actor in her performances. “You never know what the audience is going to give you, and I interact very closely with my audience,” Jones says. “I will go around and make faces at the children and stuff like that, so I am very much interacting with them. They are in the play.”


It is that connection with her audience on a personal level, Jones says, that gives her art form an audience. While televisions and smart phones provide super-fast transfer of information, and movie screens tell stories with bigbudget production values, video screens don’t provide close human interaction. “I see a real hunger for connection—human-to-human connection—in our society,” Jones says. “Screens do work, but they don’t relate well, and we’re losing that person-to-person contact. When I go into a school and work with a class, the teachers are really excited about what I’m doing, because a lot of the children I work with don’t get a parent reading to them at home.” For new stories, Jones usually goes to the public library

in Madison, where she worked in the ’90s. She says she knows she has found a story she wants to perform when it just speaks to her. The fun starts for her in finding how to get her audience involved. “I look in that story for the points of connection— how you can make your audience not just listen, but participate,” Jones says. “They get to play with you. And that’s a lot of fun.” Jones’ performance will begin at 2:30 p.m., March 31, at the Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive, 601-981-5469). Admission is $8, or free for museum members and children under a year old. Visit mississippichildrens for more information.

 Fruits of Education


or most college students, graduation is the capstone of their last four years and a marker of achievement. However, diplomas don’t mean as much as they used to, and graduation isn’t always the proof of success that it should be. At Belhaven University, visual art majors demonstrate the fruit of their education through the rigorous ordeal of a senior show. For the last four years I, along Kevin Lindsey’s ”Coastlines” is just one of the many pieces presented in The Collective exhibit.

with 11 of my friends and colleagues, have worked to build a body of work. Rather than creating a show out of a collection of our favorite class assignments, we have sought to assemble a body of artwork that accurately reflects our individual visual languages and our ability to produce a cohesive series of pieces. The influence of a mentor’s hand is always present in a student’s work. The guidance and teaching of Bob Pennebaker, chair of the Visual Arts Department at Belhaven, as well as the rest of our dedicated faculty, help unify the show. Yet, the exhibit also highlights the

diversity of 12 different artists—12 different voices speaking through a wide array of styles and media. We hope this exhibition manifests the quality of Belhaven’s education, our dedication as artists and the beauty of well-crafted art. Belhaven University presents The Collective a Senior Art Exhibition, from March 22 through April 8 at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St., 601-960-1500). Admission is free; hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. —Jacob Rowan

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BEST BETS March 28 - April 4, 2012 by Latasha Willis Fax: 601-510-9019 Daily updates at



Mississippi Community College Board Executive Director Eric Clark speaks during History Is Lunch at noon at the Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Bring lunch; call 601-576-6998. … The Millsaps Visiting Writers Series with Rick Moody, Wesley Stace and Joe Pernice is at 7:30 p.m. at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.), room 215. $10; call 601-974-1305. … “The Bodyguard” 20th Anniversary Screening is at 7:30 p.m. at Malco Grandview Theatre (221 Grandview Blvd., Madison; $12.50; call 601-898-7819) and Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl; $11.50, $10.50 seniors and students, $9.50 children; call 601936-5856). … Debo’s Lounge has Karaoke and Bike Night from 7-11 p.m. … Brian Jones is at Fenian’s. … Baby Jan and All That Chazz perform at Underground 119. … Dreamz JXN has Wasted Wednesday. … Sofa Kings play at Kathryn’s.

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church (5400 Old Canton Road). $20, $5 students; call 601-594-5584. … … Dreamz JXN hosts Centric Thursday. … Shaun Patterson is at Burgers and Blues. … The Amazin’ Lazy Boi Band performs at F. Jones Corner.


The SCLC-MIRA Unity Conference kicks off at 8 a.m. at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.); runs through March 31. $50, $25 conference only, $30 dinner only, $25 students; call 601-968-5128 or 769-233-4847 (Español). … Screen on the Green is at 7 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.) in the Art Garden. Free; call 601-960-1515. … Webb Wilder with Buddy and the Squids perform at 8 p.m. at Duling Hall. $10 in advance, $15 at the door; call 601-292-7121 or 800-745-3000. … The Jackson Bike Advocates Community Bike Ride is at 6 p.m. at Rainbow Whole Foods (2807 Old Canton Road). Visit jacksonbikeadvocates. … The grand opening of Morningbell Records (622 Duling Ave., Suite 212) is at 10 a.m. The concert at 6:45 p.m. includes music from the Ming Donkey One Man Band, Spacewolf and Overnight Lows. Call 769-233-7468. … The FIGMENT FUN-raiser is at 7 p.m. at North Midtown Arts Center and features DJ Young Venom, and DJ Hot and Lonely. For ages 21 and up. $5 cover; visit … PyInfamous’ “Final Discussion” CD release party is at 9 p.m. at Suite 106. … Bloodkin plays at Martin’s.


The Renaissance Fine Arts Festival kicks off at 9 a.m. at Renaissance at Colony Park (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland); runs through April 1. Free; call 601-853-2011. … Morningbell Records (622 Duling Ave., Suite 212) continues its grand opening celebration at noon with music from Taylor Hildebrand, ¡Los Buddies! and more. Call 769-233-7468. … The roller derby bout between the Magnolia Roller Vixens and the Capital Defenders is at 7 p.m. at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). $12 in advance, $15 at the door, $5 children; visit … The Jazz and Percussion Ensembles Concert is at 7 p.m. at Belhaven University Center for the Arts. Free; call 601-974-6494. … The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra presents “Bravo V: Ode The Bachelorettes reunite to give a benefit concert March 31 at 9 p.m. at The Commons.

March 28- April 3, 2012

The Mississippi Puppetry Guild’s Puppetry Jam kicks off at 9 a.m. at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum (1150 Lakeland Drive); runs through March 30. $8, $7 per child in a group; call 601-977-9840. … The opening reception for the Mississippi Celebrates Architecture Exhibit is at 5:30 p.m. at the Municipal Art Gallery (839 N. State St.); exhibit hangs through May 1. Free; call 601-432-4056 or 800647-7542. … The Diamond Bear Beer Dinner is at 6 p.m. at Parker House. $55-$65; call 601-856-0043 to RSVP. … Fit 4 Change 5K is at 6 p.m. at the Mississippi State Capitol (400 High St.). Proceeds benefit Victory Sports Foundation. Free, donations welcome; call 601-398-0950 to register. 26 … Harpsichordist Mitzi Meyerson performs at 7:30 p.m. at


The annual Fondren Easter Egg Hunt is at 2 p.m. at The Cedars Historic Home (4145 Old Canton Road). Call 601981-9606. … DirtRoad Cadillac plays at 3 p.m. at Pelican Cove. … Eddie Cotton performs at 6 p.m. at The Med Grill.


Amos Brewer performs from 6-9 p.m. at The Penguin. … Senior music students perform at 7:30 p.m. at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.) at Ford Academic Complex. Free; call 601-974-1422. … Hunter and Rick are at Fitzgerald’s.


Fondren Theatre Workshop Playwright Night featuring Joseph Frost is at 6 p.m. at Brent’s Diner and Soda Fountain (655 Duling Ave.). Free admission, food prices vary; call 601301-2281. … Pub Quiz at Hal & Mal’s.


The Parents for Public Schools Lunch Bunch is at 11:45 a.m. at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.), in the Community Meeting Room. RSVP. $5 lunch; call 601-969-6015, ext. 320. … Novelist Howard Bahr speaks during History Is Lunch at noon at the Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Bring lunch; call 601-576-6998. More at and Otis Clay performs March 31 at 9 p.m. at Duling Hall. DRAGAN TASIC


to Joy” at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall. $20 and up; call 601-960-1565. … The Bachelorettes give a reunion concert at 9 p.m. at The Commons. Proceeds go toward buying wigs for patients at UMMC. $5 suggested donation; call 601-352-3399 or 601-540-1267. … Otis Clay and the Revelations featuring Tre Williams perform at 9 p.m. at Duling Hall. $10 in advance, $15 at the door; call 601-292-7121 or 800-745-3000. … Akami Graham performs at Last Call. … Gary Burnside is at Ole Tavern. … Diesel 255 is at Bourbon St. at 9 p.m. $5.


Crossroads Film Festival April 13-15, at Malco Grandview Theatre (221 Grandview Blvd., Madison). Enjoy dozens of independent films and workshops at the three-day event. Discounts available for members, seniors and students. $8 film block, $20 one-day pass, $59 all-access pass; call 601-3455674; visit Sante South Wine Festival April 14, 6:30 p.m., at The South (627 E. Silas Brown St.). Sample dozens of fine wines and gourmet food. The VIP tasting is at 6:30 p.m., and the grand tasting is at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association of Mississippi. $125 VIP tasting, $80 grand tasting; call 601-987-0020.

HOLIDAY Fondren Easter Egg Hunt April 1, 2 p.m., at The Cedars Historic Home (4145 Old Canton Road). The annual event is on the front lawn. Call 601981-9606.

COMMUNITY Critters and Crawlers, April 14, 10 a.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). The program is for toddlers ages 2-3 and their caregivers. Discounts available for members. Prices vary; call 601-352-2580, ext. 241. Humanities Festival Week 2012 through April 1, at Tougaloo College (500 W. County Line Road, Tougaloo). Cultural events are at several campus locations, including the play “Flyin’ West” March 30-31 at 7 p.m. and April 1 at 2 p.m. in Ballard Hall. Visit for a schedule. Free; call 601-977-7749. “History Is Lunch” March 28, noon, at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Mississippi Community College Board executive director Eric Clark presents “The Necessity of Compromise in Preserving a Healthy Democracy.” Bring lunch; coffee and water provided. Free; call 601-576-6998.

Having Fun, Interactively


he FIGMENT FUN-raiser is Friday, March 30, at 7 p.m. at North Midtown Arts Center (121 Millsaps Ave.), and features DJ Young Venom, and DJ Hot and Lonely. Ages 21 and up, please. $5 cover; FIGMENT Jackson brings the community together for a multi-day, family-friendly explosion of interactive creativity April 28-29. Highlights from last year’s event included a life-size camera obscura, wearable sculptures and a 50-foot interactive model of the Pearl River. One of the most elaborate pieces was the Samplotron, a Mobius sculpture made from reclaimed metal and wood. Visit jackson.

Community Bike Ride March 30, 6 p.m., at Rainbow Whole Foods Co-operative Grocery (2807 Old Canton Road). Jackson Bike Advocates is the sponsor. Visit Figment FUN-raiser March 30, 7 p.m., at North Midtown Arts Center (121 Millsaps Ave.). Enjoy music from DJ Young Venom, and DJ Hot and Lonely, and adult-sized games such as Giant Twister. Proceeds go toward the FIGMENT arts festival in April. For ages 21 and up. $5 cover; visit jackson.

“Breaking Barriers 2” Film Premiere and Forum March 29, 6 p.m., at Cardozo Middle School (3180 McDowell Road Ext.). The goal is to determine ways to improve the lives of African-American males. Free; call 601-960-8672.

Mississippi Valley State University Alumni Association Scholarship Breakfast March 31, 10 a.m., at Embassy Suites Hotel (200 Township Place, Ridgeland). Brigadier General Augustus Leon Collins, adjutant general of Mississippi, is the keynote speaker. $15; call 601-421-8556.

Diamond Bear Beer Dinner March 29, 6 p.m., at The Parker House (104 N.E. Madison Drive, Ridgeland). Enjoy a four-course dinner paired with five select beers. Reservations required. $55-$65; call 601-856-0043.

Mayor’s Pride Ride March 31, 11 a.m., beginning at Christ Tabernacle Church (1201 Cooper Road). Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. highlights landmarks and new developments in the city during the bus tour. Free; call 601-960-1084.

SCLC-MIRA Unity Conference March 30-31, at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). The goal is to foster unity among people of different faiths. The program includes a dinner and awards program March 30 at 7 p.m., and activist Imam Ali Siddiqui is the keynote speaker. Registration required; scholarships available to cover fee. $50, $25 students, $25 conference only, $30 dinner only; call 601-968-5128, 601- 906-1717 or 769-233-4847 (Espanol).

Community Day March 31, noon, at Christ Tabernacle Church (1201 Cooper Road). The third annual event includes food and family-friendly activities. Free; call 601-373-1711.

Millsaps Forum March 30, 12:30 p.m., at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.), in room 215. Michael Reinhard, assistant professor of political science at Millsaps, reports on the results of his four-year study of higher education in Afghanistan. Free; call 601-974-1305.

Hinds County Federation of Democratic Women Membership Tea March 31, 2 p.m., at Municipal Art Gallery (839 N. State St.). Enjoy light refreshments and drinks. Former Sen. Gloria Williamson is the speaker, and she talks about women engaging in politics in Mississippi. Free; call 601-319-1021. Magnolia Roller Vixens Roller Derby March 31, 7 p.m., at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). The team takes on the Capital more EVENTS, page 29


istoric driving tour of Oxford and the University of Mississippi on the famous Double Decker bus. Tour will include stops at two historic homes: the L.Q.C. Lamar House and Cedar Oaks Mansion.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children and include admission into both homes. Tour departs from Skipwith Cottage on the Square.

Tour Dates Saturday, March 24 at 1pm Saturday, March 31 at 1pm

Saturday, April 21 at 11am (Ole Miss Red/Blue Game)

(Downtown Council Spring Open House)

Friday, April 27 at 3pm

Saturday, April 7 at 1pm

(Double Decker Weekend)

Saturday, March 31: Downtown Council Spring Open House includes: pictures with the Easter Bunny from 10-12, and an egg hunt and egg decorating on the Courthouse Lawn beginning at 12:15. Plus, enjoy shopping with our Downtown Council members.

For ticket information, contact the Oxford CVB at 662-232-2477.

Jackson 2000 Luncheon April 11, 11:45 a.m., at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). The speaker is Israel Martinez, vice president of the Latin American Business Association (LABA-Link). RSVP. $12, $10 members; email bevelyn_branch@


Women in Politics Summit March 31, 8:30 a.m., at New Hope Baptist Church (5202 Watkins Drive). Get tips on becoming a political candidate. Lunch served. Free; call 601-291-9315 or 601-573-3978.



South of Walmart in Madison

ALL STADIUM SEATING Listings for Fri. Mar. 30- Thurs. Apr. 5 2012 3-D Wrath Of The Titans PG13

A Thousand Words PG13

Wrath Of The Titans (non 3-D) PG13

3-D Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax PG

Mirror Mirror


The Hunger Games PG13 October Baby


21 Jump Street R 3-D John Carter PG13 John Carter (non 3-D) PG13

by Anita Modak-Truran

Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds PG13 Act Of Valor


Journey 2 (non 3-D)


Safe House


Opens Wednesday 4/4 3-D Titanic


DAILY BARGAINS UNTIL 6PM Online Tickets, Birthday Parties, Group & Corporate Events @

Movieline: 355-9311

JACKSON MISSISSIPPI March 28 - April 3, 2012

Films Under the Stars

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (non 3-D) PG









“The Goonies” is the first film of the Screen on the Green series, hosted by the Crossroads Film Society and the Mississippi Museum of Art.


eep within the well of nostalgia lie carefree memories of families and friends packed in wood-paneled station wagons heading for an entertaining evening at the drive-in movie theater. The movie magic was not so much about sitting in the car, cramped against your brother or sister or best buddy, but rather the liberating feeling of being under the stars, seeing a funny film, laughing with friends, munching on candy and popcorn, and sipping impossibly large sugar-laden sodas. While drive-in movie theaters have all but disappeared, the Crossroads Film Society and the Mississippi Museum of Art offer the same experience (sans vehicle) with their upcoming “Screen on the Green” series. Family and friends can kick back, relax and watch classic films a la fresco. The Screen on the Green series begins Friday, March 30, at the Art Garden of the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St., 601-960-1515) at 7 p.m. This week’s movie is the 1985 cult classic “The Goonies.” The film, directed by Richard Donner and scripted by Chris Columbus, revolves around a pack of kids living in the “Goon Docks,” near Astoria, Ore. The group, led by Mikey (Sean Astin before “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy fame), idolizes James Bond and other action icons, and the kids find themselves on a high-octane adventure to find treasure stolen by One-Eyed Willie, a ruthless pirate (as if there’s any other kind) from the 17th century. In his child’s mind, Mikey believes that the gold coins will prevent his family’s move out of Oregon. His comrades are an assortment of loud, smart and funny, and their nicknames say it all. Mouth (Corey Feldman) is the talker. Data (Jonathan Ke Quan) is the wiz kid, and Chunk (Jeff Cohen) is the chubby comic relief. The picture introduces two girls—Andrea (Kerri Green) and Stephanie (Martha Plimpton)—late in the story to provide a touch of romance. “The Goonies” hinges on fantastical flights of ad-

venture that all ages can appreciate. On April 24, “Driving Miss Daisy” takes center screen in the garden. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Alfred Uhry, this 1989 film tells the story of a black man named Hoke (Morgan Freeman) who is hired as a chauffeur for Daisy, an aging and bellicose southern belle (Jessica Tandy). The film, directed by Bruce Beresford, chronicles the social changes that took place in the South between 1948 and 1973, and the friendship between Miss Daisy and Hoke that embraces those changes. Because she is Jewish and he is black, both are outsiders, and that shared status provides an unexpected point of alliance. “Driving Miss Daisy” garnered the most Oscar nominations of all films in 1989 and received top awards for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Screenplay and Best Makeup. Screen on the Green will feature “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” May 24. This funny 1986 flick is about a teenager (Matthew Broderick) skipping high school so he can spend time with his girlfriend, Sloan (Mia Sara). Along the way, Ferris helps his best friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck), earn some self-respect. It’s all played out in the concrete playground known as Chicago. Directed by John Hughes, this picture is whimsical and endearing. On June 24, the 2009 film “(500) Days of Summer” will complete the first of, hopefully, many Screen on the Green series to come. In this romantic comedy directed by Marc Webb, Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a reclusive artist working at a greeting card company, meets a new employee, Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel). The free-spirited Summer sweeps Tom off his introverted feet. This film is a breath of fresh air and offers witty insight on the complicated dance of dating and romance. The free “Screen on the Green” series takes place March 30, April 24, May 24 and June 24 at 7 p.m. (around dusk) at the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Art Garden (380 S. Lamar St., 601-960-1515).

from page 27

Defenders. Doors open at 6 p.m. $70 season passes available. $12 in advance, $15 at the door, $5 children; email Hops and Habanas Third Anniversary Party April 1, noon, at 419 Tredwell Drive, Madison). Enjoy a crawfish boil and beers on tap. RSVP. $25, $35 couples; call 601-853-7449. Cradle to Prison Pipeline Presentation April 3, 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.), in the Liberal Arts Building, room 266. Psychologist Dr. Umar Johnson talks about issues such as exploitation and black-onblack crime. Free; call 601-353-4455. Community Town Hall Meeting April 3, 6 p.m., at Pearl Street AME Church (2519 Robinson St.). The prelude to the National Justice Conference features psychologist and Frederick Douglass descendant Dr. Umar Abdulla-Johnson, and Jamie and Gladys Scott. Free; call 601-353-4455 or 601-957-2969. Parents for Public Schools Lunch Bunch April 4, 11:45 a.m., at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.), in the Community Meeting Room. The topic is Ask for More Arts, a schoolcommunity-arts partnership. RSVP. $5 lunch; call 601-969-6015, ext. 320.

WELLNESS Fit 4 Change 5K March 29, 6 p.m., at Mississippi State Capitol (400 High St.). The race includes participation from state legislators. Registration required. Proceeds benefit Victory Sports Foundation’s obesity-prevention efforts. Free, donations welcome; call 601-398-0950. Community Health Fair March 31, 9 a.m., at Belmont M.B. Church (14011 Highway 18, Raymond), at M.K. Nelson Family Life Center. The fair includes health screenings and educational services. Free; call 601-502-7390. Health Fair and Fitness Walk March 31, 9 a.m., at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). The event includes health screenings, a 5K walk and one-mile fun run, healthy-eating tips and prizes. Free; call 601-918-3046.

STAGE AND SCREEN Student Production Showcase March 29-31 and April 2-3, 7:30 p.m., at Belhaven University Center for thr Arts (835 Riverside Drive) in Theatre 151. Students direct and star in performances. $10, $5 seniors, students and children; call 601-965-7026. Spring Dance Concert March 29-31, at Belhaven University (1500 Peachtree St.) at Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center. The Belhaven University Dance Ensemble performs. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. with an additional 11 a.m. performance March 29. Free for children and Belhaven faculty, staff and students. $10, $5 seniors and students; call 601965-1400. Fondren Theatre Workshop Playwright Night April 3, 6 p.m., at Brent’s Diner and Soda Fountain (655 Duling Ave.). Dinner is at 6 p.m., and Joseph Frost reads four short works at 7 p.m. Free admission, food prices vary; call 601-301-2281. “The Bodyguard” 20th Anniversary Screening March 28, 7:30 p.m. The film stars Kevin Costner and the late Whitney Houston. • Malco Grandview Theatre (221 Grandview Blvd., Madison). $12.50; call 601-898-7819. • Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). $11.50, $10.50 seniors and students, $9.50 children; call 601-936-5856. Puppetry Jam March 29-30, 9 a.m.-noon, at Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum (1150 Lakeland Drive). The Mississippi Puppetry Guild hosts the performing arts festival. $8, $7 per child in group; call 601-977-9840.

DON’T MISS IT! Free Crossroads Film


njoy a free showing of the Mississippi documentary “The Year of Our Lord on Thacker Mountain Radio” with the Crossroads Film Society. The documentary is based on the book “The Year of Our Lord,” by T.R. Pearson. The book and movie focus on Lucas McCarty, a Mississippi Delta resident and the only white congregant in the African American Trinity House of Prayer Holiness Church in Moorhead. McCarty can’t speak due to cerebral palsy, but he sings with the choir every Sunday. The free showing is at Albert’s Place (119 W. Capitol St.) Thursday, March 29. Appetizers and cash bar 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.; film at 6:30 p.m. Director Thad Lee and author T.R. Pearson will be on hand. The Crossroads Film Festival is April 13 to 15. RSVP on Facebook, visit or contact Shawn Rossi at shawnzrossi@

Crossroads Film Society Membership Drive and Media Preview Party March 29, 5:30 p.m., at Albert’s Place (119 W. Capitol St.). Enjoy appetizers and see the documentary “The Year of Our Lord on Thacker Mountain Radio” at 6:30 p.m. Director Thad Lee gives remarks, and T.R. Pearson signs his book “Year of Our Lord.” RSVP. Free, $19.95 book; email “Monster Bash” March 29, 6 p.m., at Georgia Blue (111 Colony Crossing Way, Madison). The Detectives Mystery Dinner Theatre presents the four-act interactive comedy. $49; call 601-937-1752. Screen on the Green March 30, 7 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Crossroads Film Society hosts the monthly outdoor film series in the Art Garden. This week’s feature is “The Goonies.” Cash bar. Free; call 601-960-1515.

MUSIC Ardenland Concert Series, at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). $10 in advance, $15 at the door; call 601-292-7121 or 800-745-3000. • Webb Wilder with Buddy and the Squids March 30, 8 p.m. Webb Wilder is a multi-genre singer and guitarist, and Buddy and the Squids is a surf-rock cover band. Cocktails at 6:30 p.m. • Otis Clay March 31, 9 p.m. The R&B, soul and gospel singer is known for the hits “When the Gates Swing Open” and “Trying to Live My Life Without You.” The Revelations featuring Tre Williams also perform. Cocktails at 7:30 p.m. Senior Recitals April 2, 7:30 p.m., at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.). Senior music students perform. Free; Call 601-974-1422.

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An Evening of Compassion March 29, 7 p.m., at Christ Life Church of the Highlands (670 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). The concert features Point of Grace and Bebo Norman. $15; call 800-965-9324. Mississippi Academy of Ancient Music Concert March 29, 7:30 p.m., at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church (5400 Old Canton Road). Harpsichordist Mitzi Meyerson plays music written during the reign of Louis XIV. $20, $5 students; call 601594-5584.



Jazz and Percussion Ensembles Concert March 31, 7 p.m., at Belhaven University Center for the Arts Concert Hall (835 Riverside Drive). Belhaven students and the Jackson Community Symphonic Band perform. Free; call 601-974-6494.




Bravo V: Ode to Joy March 31, 7:30 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the Millsaps Singers and the University of Mississippi Chorale perform. $20 and up; call 601-960-1565.


Vine-yl Night, at North Midtown Arts Center (121 Millsaps Ave.). On the last Friday of each month from 5:30-10:30 p.m., play, sell and swap records, and enjoy an artist reception, free wine and $2 beer specials. Free; call 601-376-9404.






Events at Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N.). Call 601-366-7619. • “New Delta Rising” March 29, 5 p.m. Photographer Magdalena Sole signs books. $38 book. • Lemuria Story Time March 31, 11 a.m. Listen to Julie Fogliano’s “And Then It’s Spring” and make tissue paper flowers. Free. • “Forsaking Mimosa” April 3, 5 p.m. Valerie Winn signs books; reading at 5:30 p.m. $22.95 book.

Anniversary Tour Snazz

March 30 | 9:00pm



Blue Party

Millsaps Visiting Writers Series March 28, 7:30 p.m., at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.), in room 215. Novelist Rick Moody and writer-musicians Wesley Stace (also known as John Wesley Harding) and Joe Pernice are the presenters. $10; call 601-974-1305. Story Time Tuesday April 3, 10 a.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). A zookeeper reads an animal story, and the kids get to do a related craft project or have an animal encounter. Free with paid admission; call 601-352-2580.

CREATIVE CLASSES Shut Up and Write! Sign up for one of Donna Ladd’s new creative non-fiction class series. Only 11 seats a class! Starts at $50 for one-day workshops up to $150 for the six-class series. Email or call 601-362-6121, ext. 15. Spring Community Enrichment Series, at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.). Most classes start April 2 and fall into several categories. Fees vary; call 601-974-1130 for a list of classes.

EXHIBITS AND OPENINGS Events at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). • Fine Art of Fashion March 30, 7 p.m. J. Bolin hosts the fashion show and art exhibition. $15 in advance, $20 at the door; call 601-594-8781. • The Collective: A Senior Art Exhibition through April 8. See artwork from 12 Belhaven University students. Free; call 601-960-1557. Mississippi Celebrates Architecture Exhibit through May 1, at Municipal Art Gallery (839 N. State St.). The art reception featuring chef Julie Levanway is March 29 at 5:30 p.m. Free; call 601432-4056 or 800-647-7542. FIGMENT Art Festival Call for Entries. The Greater Jackson Arts Council seeks artists and volunteers for FIGMENT, a free interactive arts event, April 28-29 at North Midtown Arts Center (121 Millsaps Ave.) The deadline is March 30. Free; call 601-874-7993. Renaissance Fine Arts Festival March 31-April 1, at Renaissance at Colony Park (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). The festival includes an art show and sale, and children’s activities. Open March 31 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and April 1 from noon-6 p.m. Free; call 601-853-2011. Celebrate Mississippi with MCM March 31, 10 a.m., at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive). Storyteller Doris Jones performs. $8, children under 12 and members free; call 601-981-5469. Check for updates and more listings. To add an event, email all details (phone number, start and end date, time, street address, cost, URL, etc.) to or fax to 601510-9019. The deadline is noon the Thursday prior to the week of publication. Or add the event online yourself; check out for instructions.


South of 20

March 31 | 9:00pm

Women Are Representing (W.A.R.) Silent Protest March 29, 10 a.m., at Smith Park (Yazoo Street). Participants march to the Mississippi State Capitol (400 High St.) for a rally to protest recent reproductive health legislation. Email Racing for Donation 8K Run/Walk March 31, 7:30 a.m., on Liberty Road, Flowood. The Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency is the host. The race also includes a one-mile fun run for children ages 12 and under. Parking available at the agency’s parking lot (4400 Lakeland Drive, Flowood). $25, $5 fun run; call 601-933-1000. Walk for Babies March 31, 9 a.m., at Little School Learning Center (202 Visconti Place, Madison). Registration is at 8 a.m. The event includes a three-mile walk and a kids’ fun run. Proceeds benefit the Mississippi SIDS Alliance. $20, $10 ages 6-12, children 5 and under free; call 877-471-7437. Easter Egg Hunt March 31, 10 sm, at Highland Village (4500 Interstate 55 N.). At Center Court. For ages 8 and under; door prizes included. Proceeds benefit the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi’s Camp Kandu. $5; call 601-957-7878.

March 28 - April 3, 2012

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Cigars and BBQ March 31, noon, at Havana Smoke Shoppe (4760 Interstate 55 North Frontage Road, Suite F). Enjoy cigar and drink samples, and free food. Proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Donations welcome; call 601-706-9273. Fight Against Obesity 5K March 31, 9:30 a.m., at Jackson State University, Walter Payton Recreation and Wellness Center (32 Walter Payton Drive). Runners, walkers and cyclists welcome. The event includes a one-mile fun run/ride. Register by noon March 29; registration available at Proceeds go toward scholarships for the Camp Tiger Tails Summer Program. $15, $50-$60 team of three to five, $10 fun run/ride/JSU students; call 601-979-1557. The Bachelorettes Reunion Concert March 31, 9 p.m., at The Commons at Eudora Welty’s Birthplace (719 N. Congress St.). Proceeds go toward buying wigs for patients at University of Mississippi Medical Center. $5 suggested donation; call 601-352-3399 or 601-540-1267.


by Greg Pigott






The Bachelorettes are Back

Veteran showman Webb Wilder brings his mix of roots music and rock â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; roll to Fondren.

by Garrad Lee

by Jacob Fuller


ebb Wilderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s southern blend of roots music and rock is nothing new for Jackson. The Hattiesburg native has been driving out distorted guitar licks on stages across the region and country for more than 30 years. The stage veteran will rock Duling Hall in Fondren Friday, March 30, with surf-rock cover band Buddy and the Squids opening the show. Wilderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature khaki hat and thickrimmed glasses give the impression of a 1950s detective more than rock star. But as soon as the first notes come from the self-proclaimed â&#x20AC;&#x153;Last of the

PyInfamousâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Final Discussionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

J 1

How does â&#x20AC;&#x153;Final Discussionâ&#x20AC;? fit in with the rest of the series? What does it bring new to the equation?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Final Discussionâ&#x20AC;? is the final installment in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Discussionâ&#x20AC;? series that Sam and I have been working on for the past four or five years. For those listeners and fans who have followed the series, a significant amount of growth and depth will be evident on this project. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Intelligent Discussionâ&#x20AC;? had a bit of diversity, and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Extended Discussionâ&#x20AC;? was a fairly mellow record. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Final Discussionâ&#x20AC;? reflects the emotional and musical landscape of everyday people. There are some mellow grooves, and there are some high-energy re-


ackson hip-hop artist Jason â&#x20AC;&#x153;PyInfamousâ&#x20AC;? Thompson, who last year won the Coors Light Search for the Coldest MC award through a nationwide vote, just released a new record March 30. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Final Discussionâ&#x20AC;? is the last part of a trilogy of albums PyInfamous has recorded with Rochester, N.Y., producer Sam.I.Am. This is probably Pyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best work yet (and that is a bold statement). In advance of the release, I caught up with him to discuss the new project.

PyInfamousâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; next album, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Final Discussion,â&#x20AC;? comes out March 30.

cords that I think give a complete picture of who I am as an artist and the complexity of people in general.


Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s it like working with Sam?

Sam.I.Am the Son. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s my guy. Extremely dope producer. He channels J Dilla in that he isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afraid to explore all genres and types of music to make music. You can never tell what heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to pull out next. His basement is like a record-archive library or something. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a genuine vinyl junkie.

Sam has continued to grow as a producer and has really begun to help sculpt music rather than just making beats. We made it a point to be sure that we were in the studio together to record this project, because we wanted the energy and synergy to be palpable for everyone who listens, and I think we were able to achieve that.


What is your favorite track on the album?


What is coming up next?

My favorite record on the album would have to be â&#x20AC;&#x153;Praise.â&#x20AC;? Sam crafted a jewel of a beat, and it allowed me to share more of my spiritual side with the fans, which is important to me. I hope this record has the most impact on fans, because more than any other issue I talk about in music or day-to-day, spiritualityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the tenets and beliefs that guide our daily lives and connect us to peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;is critical. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure Sam and I will be working on something new pretty soon. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll just have to come up with a new name! For the next few months, my plan is to get out on the road as much as possible and get folks to hear the music. Connecting to fans

throughout the southeast and the country is very important, since this is the first new project in a while. This year, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m also trying to get a lot of the music out that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been holding on to, so Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be dropping â&#x20AC;&#x153;Great Minds Think Alike,â&#x20AC;? produced by Colin Dunbar, in conjunction with Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the record â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blissâ&#x20AC;? is fromâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the winning song for the Coors Light Search for the Coldest MC competition. After six years in the making, Demo Beatz and I will be releasing â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Exception.â&#x20AC;? Hopefully, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get that out by the third quarter, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m working on â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Struggle Has Just Begun Part IIâ&#x20AC;? with Bros. Wilson, which will drop in the second half of the year. I want to thank everyone in Jackson and throughout the state, region and country for all of the support you have shown over the years. I will continue to create dope music for you. The release party for PyInfamousâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; new album is at 9 p.m. March 30 at Suite 106 (106 Wilmington St., 601-940-7059). $10 admission comes with a CD. Go to iTunes or to download â&#x20AC;&#x153;Final Discussion.â&#x20AC;? You can also purchase a physical copy and stay up to date with Pyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new music at

The Key of G

Wilder Rolls Back In

Full Grown Men,â&#x20AC;? there is no denying his precision with an ax and ear for rock-and-roll detail. Maybe thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why Wilder has managed to be a mainstay on the American music sceneâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;which tosses aside more casualties every year than cigarettesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;despite little to no radio air play, magazine covers or MTV appearances. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The tour is like 30 years old or something. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just sort of doing different stuff all the time,â&#x20AC;? Wilder said in an interview. Wilderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last album release, 2009â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;More Like Me,â&#x20AC;? features everything from the slow ballad â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Not Romanticâ&#x20AC;? to the steady, fast-paced rock of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ju Ju Manâ&#x20AC;? and the country-roll of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Honky Tonkinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (in Mississippi).â&#x20AC;? Though he hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t played in Mississippi in a while, Wilder says itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always special to come back and play in his home state. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A little over a year ago, I was in Jackson because I was inducted into the Mississippi Musicianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hall of Fame, which was a tremendous honor for me,â&#x20AC;? Wilder said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We always want to see some new faces. In this case, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re really looking forward to seeing some old familiar faces, too. We have a lot of great memories of all those shows we did at Hal and Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and different venues around Jackson.â&#x20AC;? See Webb Wilder perform with Buddy and the Squids Friday, March 30, at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave., 601-292-7121). Doors open with cocktails available at 7:30 p.m..The show starts at 9 p.m.Tickets are $15 at the door and $13.30 on





Open for dinner Sat. 4-10pm Thursday

March 29


w/ DJ Stache


AJC & The Envelope Pushers Saturday

March 31

Gary Burnside Monday

April 2

PUB QUIZ 2-for-1 Drafts Tuesday

sponsored by

April 3

2-for-1 Beer Specials Highlife, Highlife Lite, PBR, Schlitz, Fatty Natty


April 4

KARAOKE March 28 - April 3, 2012



FREE WiFi Open Mon-Sat, Restaurant open Mon-Fri 11 am-10 pm & Sat 4-10 pm

601-960-2700 Tavern

“Shake Back Shimmy” comes out March 31.


hen The Church Keys release their new album, it’s bound to be a funky night. With songs such as “Scrimshaw” and “NSFW,” the album should prove to be a crowd favorite. The Jackson-based Church Keys lineup as of 2009 is: bassist and backup singer Kelly Adams, drummer Chris Crothers, guitarist and co-lead vocalist DeMatt Harkins, percussionist Nathan McHardy, and guitarist and co-lead vocalist John Scanlon. Robert Chaffe plays the organ

on “Rook City” and “Scrimshaw.” “Shake Back Shimmy” was recorded at Tweed Studios in Oxford, Miss., between August and December last year, and it has 14 original songs. Several songs that didn’t make it on “Shake Back Shimmy” will likely appear on another album, which the band has already started working on. Anne Scott Barrett, a friend of the band, created original artwork for the album sleeve cover after listening to the CD. The first track, “Blown Up,” sets the stage for the remainder of the album. It starts with a catchy, fast-paced guitar lick that repeats throughout the song, followed by a groovy bass line. “Rook City” begins sounding like one of the softer songs on “Shake Back Shimmy.” The vocals are high and yearning, matching the lyrics. Harkins sings about losing a girl without knowing why: “It’s hard to step back when you’re the one involved/And it’s hard to learn a lesson when this mystery’s unsolved.” Harkins wrote the song before The Church Keys were formed. Since then, the song has evolved with the band. “Scrimshaw” consists of four short lines but is almost four minutes long. “I just

by Briana Robinson

wanted something nonsensical there,” Adams says. “It’s more of a vocal melody than lyrics.” There’s a guitar solo and an organ solo, giving it something different from the rest of the songs. Adams, who wrote this song, says the idea for the song originated when he saw a piece of scrimshaw carving on television. Bands such as Little Feat, The Replacements and The Raconteurs influence the Church Keys as well as jazz, funk and classic rock. Adams says he was influenced early on by Red Hot Chili Peppers, which “NSFW” exemplifies. “It’s been a blessing having five people from diverse backgrounds come together and each bring their own flavors to the band,” Adams says. The Church Keys’ release party for “Shake Back Shimmy” is 9:30 p.m. March 31 at Cherokee Inn (1410 Old Square Road, 601-362-6388). The $5 cover includes an album. Purchase “Shake Back Shimmy” at MorningBell Records and Studios (622 Duling Ave., Suite 212, 769-233-7468) or through iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and BandCamp. Visit or to hear them for free and to find out more about the band.

Phantom Limb: Profane and Holy


ater Liars recorded its debut album, “Phantom Limb” (out now on Misra Records), in three days at drummer Andrew Bryant’s home in Pittsboro, Miss., while singer/guitarist Justin Kinkel-Schuster was visiting for a long weekend. What came out of the recordings, mostly recorded with one microphone, was a 10-song album of southern folk-rock and acoustic originals, and a few unusual mixes. “Things that seem to not always go together is really interesting to me,” Kinkel-Schuster says. “I’m always interested in things being at odds with each other.” Never is this more apparent than on the album’s seventh track, “Fresh Hell/Is It Well,” which starts with a short original song, followed by the old gospel hymn “It is Well,” with a reading of British occultist Aleister Crowley’s poem “The Pentagram” in between. As a whole, the album is a standing example of the butting heads of noise and music, ugly and beautiful, profane and holy. And that seems to be exactly what Water Liars was going for. The album’s lead track, “$100,” begins with sharp feedback and heavily distorted metal chords, which give way after about 40 seconds to a short, bouncy, well-crafted

by Jacob Fuller

southern-rocker featuring Bryant and Kin- doesn’t hold the same faith. kel-Schuster harmonizing over drums and a “Short Hair” is the album’s most fun less-distorted electric guitar. song, and stands with “Rest” and “$100” as “Dog Eaten,” the second track on the album’s most accessible tracks. It’s hard the album, quiets things down to a finger- not to smile when Kinkel-Schuster sings, picked acoustic as Kinkel-Schuster’s lofty “First thing you know, they got you by the voice, which brings to mind Band of Horses’ short hair, my friend.” Ben Bridwell, sings of inter-family theft and The battle between beauty and ugliinnocent love. ness, faith and profanity, comes to a culTrack 3, “Whoa mination on the final Back,” sounds like it track “On the Day,” could have been on a slow, wondering laan early Black Keys ment about Kinkelalbum. The slow Schuster’s last day on blues-rocker visits the earth. The last half idea of faith and the of the track caps off profane, which drives the album with three the record, with lines minutes of screechlike “Christ will come ing white noise many again/He’ll be my will find as unlistenfriend/Whoa, back, Water Liars bring the ugly and the able as (and nine beautiful, the holy and the profane son. Oh, goddamn.” times longer than) together in their debut album One of the high- “Phantom Limb.” the album’s purely lights of the album filler track “C.H.W.” is “Rest.” The guitar, Water Liars will drums and backing vocals bring to mind play at Hal and Mal’s (200 S. Commerce early Shins tracks, while the harmoniz- St., 601-948-0888) in the Red Room at ing vocals sing through a series of verses 9 p.m. Friday, March 30. Tickets are $5 that once again visit the idea of faith in a at the door, and only those 21 and up will higher power, one Kinkel-Schuster says be admitted. You can buy the album at has always fascinated him, even if he COURTESY MISRA RECORDS

Weekly Lunch Specials


Shimmy to The Church Keys















THIS WEEK WEDNESDAY 3/28 New Bourbon St. Jazz band (DR) Barry Leach (DR)

THURSDAY 3/29 Restaurant open as usual


Now offering a full dinner menu. Now accepting reservations. Wednesday,March 28th

CHALMERS & BABY JAN (Jazz) 8-11, No Cover

Thursday, March 29th


Sofia (Swedish folk singer) (DR)

(Blues) 8-11, No Cover

Water Liars (RR) $5 cover

Friday, March 30th

SATURDAY 3/31 Grant Terry & Friend (DR)

TUESDAY 4/3 PUB QUIZ w/ Erin & friends (restaurant)

Coming Soon FRI 4.06: Swing de Paris


(Funk) 9-1, $5 Cover before 8:30 $10 Cover after 8:30

Saturday, March 31st


(Blues) 9-1, $5 Cover before 8:30 $10 Cover after 8:30

Tuesday, April 3rd


SAT 4.07: Dax Riggs

(Blues) 6-11, $5 Cover

FRI 4.13-15: Crossroads Film Festival

Wednesday,April 4th

WED 4.18: Eilen Jewell & The Hackensaw Boys

Monday - Friday Blue Plate Lunch with corn bread and tea or coffee



As well as the usual favorites! Seafood Gumbo, Red Beans and Rice, Burgers, Fried Pickles, Onion Rings and Homemade Soups made daily.

Fridays: Catfish Plates are $9.75

$4.00 Happy Hour Well Drinks! visit for a full menu and concert schedule


200 S. Commerce St. Downtown Jackson, Mississippi


(Bluegrass) 8-11, No Cover

Thursday, April 5th


(Blues) 8-11, No Cover

Friday, April 6th


(Funk) 9-1, $5 Cover before 8:30 $10 Cover after 8:30

Saturday, April 7th


(New Orleans Funk) 9-1, $5 Cover before 8:30 $10 Cover after 8:30

Coming April 21 Ardenland Presents Marcia Ball

Tickets available on

119 S. President Street 601.352.2322



Bryan’s Rant

Winner Take All xxx/cvuufsgmzzphb/ofu

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our teams are left standing in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. All four have a chance to win it all and cut down the nets in New Orleans on the night of Monday, April 2. This year, the championships don’t have a party crasher from a small conference. It’s the Kentucky Wildcats from the SEC, the Ohio State Buckeyes from the Big 10, the Kansas Jayhawks from the Big 12, and the Louisville Cardinals from the Big East that make up this year’s final four. Louisville is the Big East tournament champion and the shutdown defensive team. The Cardinals is not a team that impress you with its scoring, but it will grind out games with scrappy play. Ohio State is looking to win the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1960. That year, the Buckeyes won the tournament, but only 25 teams got bids. Today, 68 teams make the tournament. Kansas is college-basketball royalty and is looking to win its fourth championship, the first since 2008. Year-in and year-out, the Jayhawks put together nice seasons, and this year’s team has the ability to win it all. Kentucky has the most talent of any tournament team, and it has shown. In each round of play, the Wildcats used that talent to run away from their opponents.

Louisville and Kentucky in one national semifinal spotlights the Bluegrass State’s two best hoops programs. A rivalry game with a trip to the national title game should be fun to watch. Ohio State and Kansas should be a good game as well, and either team will make the final great—but especially if it is against Kentucky. The Buckeyes’ Jarod Sullinger might be the best player on the court for both teams. One more small note on Ohio State: Former Murrah High School star LaQuinton Ross is on the Buckeyes bench. Ross doesn’t get a ton of playing time, but if you are looking for a Mississippi connection in the final four, Ross is it. My pick to win it all is Kentucky. The talent on the Wildcats is outstanding, and the team can go on a scoring run to put any game out of reach in a moment’s notice. The best part about Kentucky, though, is that the youthful Wildcats play an unselfish brand of basketball. It is something you don’t always see on talented teams. Something else you don’t see on talented teams is defense, but the Wildcats play tough defense. In one winner-take-all game, any of the four final teams can win. But if they play like they should, Kentucky will win the national championship.

by Bryan Flynn

I am such a sports geek, I don’t know what I am Xxxx more jacked up about: NCAA Tournament Final Four or WrestleMania Sunday night. THURSDAY, MAR. 29 NBA (6:00-9:30 p.m. TNT): It is an NBA Finals rematch as the Dallas Mavericks head to South Beach to face the Miami Heat. FRIDAY, MAR. 30 NBA (6-9:30 p.m. ESPN): The Dallas Mavericks continue their trip through Florida on Friday night against Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic.

March 28 - April 3, 2012

SATURDAY, MAR. 31 College basketball (5-10 p.m. CBS): The Final Four kick off from New Orleans with Kentucky against Louisville, followed by Ohio State versus Kansas.


SUNDAY, APRIL 1 College basketball (5-10 p.m. ESPN): The Women’s Final Four double header live from Denver to set up the championship game Tuesday night. MONDAY, APRIL 2 College basketball (7-10:30 p.m. CBS): Last year’s Men’s Basketball

Championship Game was a snoozer, but this is a new year and a new hope for a good game. TUESDAY, APRIL 3 College Basketball (7:30-10 p.m. ESPN): And speaking of last year, the Women’s Basketball Championship Game blew the men’s game out of the water. My fingers are crossed to make this a second year in a row. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4 MLB (6-10 p.m. ESPN): The 2012 Major League Baseball season starts up with defending champion St. Louis Cardinals taking on the Miami Marlins with their new look. Yes, I love watching wrestling, and I can’t wait to see the Rock against John Cena but, more importantly, it’s the Undertaker against Triple H with Shawn Michaels as special quest referee on April 1. Follow Bryan Flynn at, @jfpsports and at

Grab ya beads and come on out!


Thursday - March 29 Ladies Night: Ladies Drink Free

Friday - March 30

ghost town Saturday - March 31

Wednesday - March 28 Karaoke - No Cover Thursday - March 29 Big Happy Hour Blowout with Mike from Mike and Marty 5 - 7pm | 2-for-1drinks | free admission Ladies Night Ladies - No Cover Men - $5 Cover Live Dance Music from Snazz


2012 NCAA March Madness New $5 food items $1.99 House Draft

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Friday - March 30

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Wednesday - March 28





Redefining Comfort Food

March 28 - April 3, 2012



aking the first bite of fried chicken or sticky-sweet barbecued ribs can transport us to a dimension where times past still exist in a kind of suspended animation. We remember family cookouts and snicker at visions of the token crass uncle wandering around in his sauce-stained button-up, exhorting children to “pull my finger.” A sip of freshly squeezed lemonade puts us under the backyard sprinkler again, where we chased our best childhood friend, squealing and giggling under the wet spray. Such is the nostalgic power of food. Food can heal. It can bring a loved one back to life, if only for a moment. It can make time stand still or rewind us to a time before the mortgage and the kids and the daily grind. After years of adhering to a ridiculous no-cooking oath, I have turned to the kitchen for solace. My relationship with my kitchen has gradually evolved into an easy friendship. When I am lonely, the stovetop and oven beckon lovingly. My kitchen speaks in whispers: “You can commune with Great-Grandmother Pearl again. Cook a chicken pie.” The kitchen never lies. I stir the batter for the crust and almost hear my great-grandmother’s voice and catch the scent of her favorite soap. If I listen closely, I can hear my great-grandfather’s footfalls as he traverses from the rocker on the front porch to the propane-heated shelter of the kitchen. For a blessed moment, as I remove a freshly baked chicken pie from the oven, I reconnect with two people who had an expansive hand in my upbringing. Two of the few constants in my life remind me that they never truly left. A pint of Ben & Jerry’s caramel sutra ice cream heals achy muscles after a grueling string of 12-hour nursing shifts. I don’t need to see research for proof. I’ve done plenty of couch-bound research to know it’s my drug of choice. I recently received an envelope from Kroger, stuffed with coupons. I felt as if I’d won the lottery when I pulled a coupon for a free pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream or fro-yo. My comfort foods have also evolved. A bout of sinus congestion spurs me to the Thai House for tom kha gai. I’m still intimidated by the prospect of putting my culinary savvy to the test to prepare this celestial soup. When done right, sweet and heat merge in a coconut-milk base to produce a fairy-tale taste-bud wedding. Clogged sinuses open,

the body warms and all is well for a while. This Thai version of chicken soup has turned me away from the considerably tamer western versions I’ve sampled. In the Deep South, food is a form of communication. We comfort the bereaved with caramel cake or a freezable casserole dish. We celebrate births with homemade spinach dips served up in bread bowls. We ring in a new year with platters of sausage balls and a Crock-Pot full of warm Ro-Tel dip and admonish partakers not to double dip. A flock of fried birds may inundate a fellow church member home from the hospital with a craving for fried chicken. Cooking often takes the place of heartfelt prose as we frantically scan the pages of our most tried and true cookbooks for the best combination of ingredients to convey our emotions. Most comfort foods aren’t elaborate or fancy, and we all have our own ideas of what constitutes the ideal comfort food. Two polar opposites might find common ground over a hash-brown casserole. Families reconnect around a table boasting the dishes they grew up with. Legacies are established and passed down in recipes our grandparents hastily jotted on scrap paper and stuffed in coffee cans. Ultimately, comfort food is love expressed in its edible form.

Why Does It Comfort? Does a physiological explanation exist for the array of comfort food-evoked emotions? My Internet search yielded multitudes of blogs, accompanied by positively pornographic images of gourmet grilled-cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, and sweet potato pies. Merriam-Webster defines comfort food as “food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal.” It’s a relatively new concept. MerriamWebster cites 1977 as the first year we used the term. The Oxford English Dictionary added it in 1997 and defined it as “food that comforts and affords solace.” I noted without surprise that many foods identified with comfort are high in fat, sugar and carbohydrates. We may be genetically hardwired to reach for the fatty-food offerings that bombard us on a regular basis. Consuming fat can actually improve our mood, suggests a study by Dr. Lukas Van Oudenhove at the University of Leuven in Belgium. The study included 12 healthy, non-obese individuals who listened to sad or neutral music and viewed sad or neutral faces while a functional MRI scanned to document which areas of the brain lit up when individuals reported sadness. Researchers then fed subjects an infusion of either saline or fatty acid via feeding tubes. Those fed the fatty acids reported feeling half as sad as the participants who got the saline. With the feeding tube, researchers took taste buds out of the equation. This study suggests that fat may play an important

by Casey Purvis

role in regulating our moods. Other research revealed that mice preferred fried potatoes instead of boiled potatoes. The food industry capitalizes on our love of comfort foods. Most of us don’t have to drive far to find an establishment serving up our favorites. If we’d prefer to prepare our own comforting concoctions, we have only to Google “comfort food” for a plethora of recipes to soothe our ailing souls. Do we associate certain foods with safety? A Nielsen survey of grocery stores showed a spike in snack food and instant potato sales in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. After Hurricane Katrina, I frequented the Rally’s drivethrough more than I like to remember, devouring battered french fries slathered in ketchup and wolfing down double cheeseburgers as if an apocalypse was going to strike every Rally’s off the face of the earth. Will research provide us with a solution to our compulsion for our fat-, sugar- and salt-infused safety nets? Only time will tell. For now, I need some French toast, and it won’t make itself.

CHICKEN POT PIE I love this chicken pot pie recipe I found in “Best of the Best from Bell’s Best Cookbook” (Quail Ridge Press, 2006, $16.95) by Gayle Hall. Over time, I have made some changes to the recipe making it a little healthier than the original version by using organic and low sodium ingredients. Many grocery stores now sell organic, free-range chicken. It’s more expensive, but worth the price in terms of flavor. Here is my healthy version of comfort in a casserole dish. 1 pound organic, free-range, boneless-skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed 4 hard-boiled organic, free-range eggs, sliced 1 cup low-sodium, organic, free-range chicken broth 1 10.75-ounce can low-sodium, organic cream-of-chicken soup 1 12-ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables, cooked 1 stick organic, unsalted butter 1 cup self-rising flour 1 cup organic skim milk salt and pepper to taste

Boil the chicken or sautée it in a light layer of oil. I sauté my chicken in a skillet with a thin layer of canola oil on medium-low heat, and season it with salt, pepper and paprika. Cut the cooked chicken into small cubes and layer it in a casserole dish. Layer egg slices over the chicken. In a separate bowl, mix broth, soup and vegetables. Pour this mixture over the chicken and eggs. Melt butter and mix with flour and milk. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Pour batter over the top of the mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until the crust is browned. This is so easy to make and wonderful to eat. You can opt for whole milk for a fluffier crust, but you can also cut back on the fat if you’re willing to sacrifice some fluff and browning. For a thicker pie, cut back on the chicken broth. Serves four to six. Used with permission. Contact Quail Ridge Press at 800-343-1583 for more information.



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Cups Espresso CafĂŠ (Multiple Locations, Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s local group of coffeehouses offer high-end Arabica beans, a wide variety of espresso drinks. Wi-fi.


Babalu (622 Duling Ave., 601-366-5757) Fresh guacamole at the table, fish tacos, empanada, smoked pork sholders, Mexican street cornâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Mexicanâ&#x20AC;? specialties mix extremely well with their â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best of Jackson 2012â&#x20AC;? magaritas. Jacoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tacos (318 South State Street) Tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Tex-Mex at its finest and freshest. Tacos come with a side of butter-based mantequilla sauce for dipping. Enjoy the the patio and full bar service.


Bourbon Street in the Quarter (1855 Lakeland Drive, 601-987-0808) Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hot new spot for great New Orleans cuisine, live entertainment and libations from the bar featuring daily lunch specials and happy hour in the landmark Poetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location. Reed Pierceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (6791 Siwell Rd., Byram, 601-376-0777) Eat, Drink, Play! Burgers, Po-Boys, pub fare and dinner specialties including ribeye, filet, fried shrimp and more. 9-Ball lounge features tourney tables, full bar, live entertainment. Hal and Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (200 S. Commerce St. 601-948-0888) Pub favorites meet Gulf Coast and Cajun specialties like red beans and rice, the Oyster Platter or each dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blackboard special. Best of Jackson winner for Live Music Venue for multiple years running. Burgers and Blues (1060 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland 601-899-0038) Al Stamps (of Cool Alâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fame) does it again with his signature approach to burgers, chicken, wraps, seasoned fries and so much more. Plus live music and entertainment! Cherokee Inn (960 Briarfield Rd. 601-362-6388) Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Hole in the Wall,â&#x20AC;? has a great jukebox, great bar and a great burger. Plate lunches, cheesy fries and tons more, including a full bar and friendly favorites. Cool Alâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (4654 McWillie, 601-713-3020) A Best of Jackson fixture, Cool Alâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature stacked, messy, decadent, creative burgers defy adjectives. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget the fries! Fenianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pub (901 E. Fortification St. 601-948-0055) Classic Irish pub featuring a menu of traditional food, pub sandwiches and beers such as Guinness and Harp on tap. Last Call (3716 I-55 N. Frontage Road 601-713-2700) Burgers, sandwiches and po-boys, plus sports-bar appetizers and specialities. Pay-per-view sporting events, live bands. Martinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Restaurant and Lounge (214 South State Street 601-354-9712) Lunch specials, pub appetizers (jalapeno poppers, cheezsticks, fried pickles) or order from the full menu of po-boys and entrees. Full bar, massive beer selection and live music most nights. Time Out Sports CafĂŠ (6720 Old Canton Road 601-978-1839) 14 TVs, 1 projector and two big-screens. Daily $9 lunch specials, pub-style appetizers, burgers, seafood and catfish po-boys, salads, and hot entrees including fish, steak and pasta. Ole Tavern on George Street (416 George St. 601-960-2700) Pub food with a southern flair: beer-battered onion rings, chicken & sausage gumbo, salads, sandwiches and weekly lunch specials. Plus, happy hour 4-7pm Monday through Friday. Sportsmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lodge (1120 E Northside Dr. in Maywood Mart 601-366-5441) Voted Best Sports Bar in 2010, Sportmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t disappoint with plenty of gut-pleasing sandwiches, fried seafood baskets, sandwiches and specialty appetizers. Underground 119 (119 South President St. 601-352-2322) Jumbo lump crabcakes, crab quesadillas, beef tenderloin parfaits, orange-garlic shrimp, even â&#x20AC;&#x153;lollipopâ&#x20AC;? lamb chops. Add a full bar and mix in great music. Opens 4 p.m.-until, Wed-Sat. Wing Stop (952 North State Street, 601-969-6400) Saucing and tossing in a choice of nine flavors, Wing Stop wings are made with care and served up piping hot. Every order is made fresh to order; check out the fresh cut seasoned fries!


Pan Asia (720 Harbor Pines Dr, Ridgeland 601-956-2958) Beautiful ambiance in this popular Ridgeland eatery accompanies signature asian fusion dishes and build-your-own stir-frys using fresh ingredients and great sauces. Fusion Japanese and Thai Cuisine (1002 Treetop Blvd, Flowood 601-664-7588) Specializing in fresh Japanese and Thai cuisine, Fusion has an extensive menu featuring everything from curries to fresh sushi.






$10 Daily Lunch Specials Happy Hour Everyday 4p-7p

Late Night Happy Hour Sun - Thur, 10p - 12a

Daily Lunch Specials â&#x20AC;˘March 26 - 30 Includes: Dessert, Iced Tea, & tax. Take Out Orders are welcomed.

Mon | Hamburger Steak or Chicken Fresco Tue | Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich or PanĂŠed Tilapia & Shrimp Wed | Almond Encrusted Chicken or Molasses Baked Ham Thu | Corned Beef & Cabbage or Chicken & Bowtie Pasta Fri | Fried Swai or Pork Shoulder Steak


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Another Broken Egg (1000 Highland Colony #1009 in Renaissance, 601.790.9170) Open Daily 7am-2pm for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Egg, benedict and omelet dishes, pancakes, waffles, specialties, burgers, salads and sandwiches. Mimosas, coffees and more!

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Broad Street Bakery (4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-362-2900) Hot breakfast,coffee espresso drinks, fresh breads and pastries, gourmet deli sandwiches, quiches, soups, pizzas and dessert. For Heavenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cakes (4950 Old Canton Road 601-991-2253) Cakes and cupcakes for all occasions including weddings, parties, catered events. Beagle Bagel (4500 I-55 North, Suite 145, Highland Village 769-251-1892) Fresh bagels in tons of different styles with a variety of toppings including cream cheese, lox, eggs, cheese, meats and or as full sandwiches for lunch. Paninis, wraps and much more!


High Noon CafĂŠ (2807 Old Canton Road in Rainbow Plaza 601-366-1513) Fresh, gourmet, tasty and healthy defines the lunch options at Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own strict vegetarian (and very-vegan-friendly) restaurant.


Best Fried Chicken In Town & Best Fried Chicken in the USA Voted Best Veggie Burger

Two Sisters Kitchen (707 N. Congress St. 601-353-1180) Frequent Best of Jackson winner for fried chicken offers a buffet of your choice of veggies, a salad bar, iced tea & one of four homemade desserts. Lunch only. Mon-Friday, Sun.

707 N Congress St., Jackson | 601-353-1180 Open 11am-2pm, Sunday thru Friday

Hickory Pit Barbeque (1491 Canton Mart Rd. 601-956-7079) The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Butts in Townâ&#x20AC;? features BBQ chicken, beef and pork sandwiches along with burgers and poâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;boys. Haute Pig (1856 Main Street, 601-853-8538) A â&#x20AC;&#x153;very high class pig stand,â&#x20AC;? Haute Pig offers Madison diners BBQ plates, sandwiches, poboys, salads, and their famous Hershey bar pie. Lumpkins BBQ (182 Raymond Rd. Jackson 866-906-0942) Specializing in smoked barbeque, Lumpkinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offers all your favorites for on-site family dining or for catered events, including reunions, office events, annivesaries, weddings and more.


The Pizza Shack (1220 N State St. 601-352-2001) 2009 and 2010 and 2011â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s winner of Best Pizza offers the perfect pizza-and-a-beer joint. Creative pizza options abound along with sandwiches, wings, salads and even BBQ. Sal & Mookieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (565 Taylor St. 601-368-1919) Pizzas of all kinds plus pasta, eggplant parmesan and the fried ravioli. Best Kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Menu & Best Ice Cream in the 2011 Best of Jackson. Plus, Pi(e) Lounge in front offers great drinks and a fun atmosphere for catching up with friends.


Lunch Specials are listed daily at 200 South Lamar St. T: 601.714.5683


March 28 - April 3, 2012






BRAVO! (4500 Interstate 55 N., Jackson, 601-982-8111) Wood-fired pizzas, vegetarian fare, plus creative pastas, beef, and seafood specials. Awardwinning wine list, Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s see-and-be-seen casual/upscale dining. Ceramiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (5417 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-919-28298) Southern-style Italian cuisine features their signature Shrimp Cerami (white wine sauce, capers artichokes) along with veal, tilapia, crawfish, chicken and pasta dishes. Now with liquor license!

STEAK, SEAFOOD & FINE DINING Crawdad Hole (1150 Lakeland Drive., 601-982-9299) Serving up fresh seasonal crawfish, shrimp and crab legs the Crawdad is Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crawfish destination. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll also want to try their delicious gumbo while enjoying Friday night karaoke! Crabâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Seafood Shack (6954 Old Canton Rd., Ridgeland, 601-956-5040) Crabâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offers a wide variety of southern favorites such as fried catfish and boiled shrimp. Full bar complete with multiple televisions for all of your favorite sporting events. Eslavaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Grille (2481 Lakeland Drive, 601-932-4070) Danny Eslavaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s namesake feature Latin-influenced dishes like ceviche in addition to pastas, steaks, salads and other signature seafood dishes. Rockyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (1046 Warrington Road, Vicksburg 601-634-0100) Enjoy choice steaks, fresh seafood, great salads, hearty sandwiches and much more in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;polished casualâ&#x20AC;? dining room. Open 24/7 in the Riverwalk Casino.


Mediterranean Fish & Grill (The Med- 6550 Old Canton Rd./601-956-0082) Serving a fabulous selection of fish, gyros, and heart-healthy vegetarian food for over 10 years. Now serving fried catfish & bone-in pan trout. Aladdin Mediterranean Grill (730 Lakeland Drive 601-366-6033) Delicious authentic dishes including lamb dishes, hummus, falafel, kababs, shwarma and much more. Consistent award winner, great for takeout or for long evenings with friends. Mezza (1896 Main St., Suite A, Madison 601-853-0876) Mediterranean cuisine and wood fired brick oven pizzas. Come experience the beautiful patio, Hookahs, and delicious food. Beer is offered and you are welcome to bring your own wine.

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901 Lakeland Place, Suite #10 | Flowood, MS in front of Walmart |

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2155 Highway 18, Suite E | Brandon, MS across from Home Depot |

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40 The Following Is Not For Print/For Information Only Placement: Jackson Free Press. 2012. 9.5â&#x20AC;? x 6.167â&#x20AC;?. Commissioned by Robby Channell.

by Dr. Tim Quinn and Jasmin Searcy read more Body&Soul stories and the blog at

Change Your Mind; Change Your Life FILE PHOTO


Changing your thinking can result in a better outlook on life, allowing you to change destructive or negative habits.


1 The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;All-Naturalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Anti-Depressant Have you ever experienced these common â&#x20AC;&#x153;mentalâ&#x20AC;? symptomsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;stress, anxiety, worry, sadness or unexplained fatigue? Have you tried alternatives such as medication, exercise and meditation, but it just did not seem to improve your overall mood? If so, consider using cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of therapy that is proven to help these problems rapidly and without the side effects of medication. It is, by far, one of the best all-natural â&#x20AC;&#x153;medicationsâ&#x20AC;? for the issues many of us face. Cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, is an evidenced-based psychotherapy often used to treat depression and anxiety, according to the American Psychological Association. CBT can also be helpful in treating a variety of other clinical presentations, including dealing with stressful life events, such as the loss of a loved one, divorce or unemployment. CBT is a type of talk therapy that focuses on helping individuals change their behaviors and thoughts so that it can positively affect their mental health, thus improving their overall mood. CBT is not like traditional therapies, which tend to be free flowing, leading to endless talking and no action. Rather, in CBT, the therapist and client work together to identify and change negative thinking and behavior patterns that may contribute to emotional and physical psychopathology (depression, for example). The aim in CBT is to change these thoughts, or selftalks, which express oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beliefs and perceptions. Cognitive therapy exercises work to replace oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thoughts, beliefs or self-talk with others. For example, in Mrs. Martinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s





case, she could transform her belief of being â&#x20AC;&#x153;worthlessâ&#x20AC;? into â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have a purpose in life.â&#x20AC;? CBT is focused, structured and goal-oriented and requires a person to put forth effort, all in a supportive environment. It requires one to think positively, focus on the future and not constantly look back at the past. This form of therapy uses homework, teaching and practicing life skills, and measuring and monitoring symptoms. Some of the benefits of CBT include feeling empowered and supported, according to the American Psychological Association, providing an overall better outlook on life by focusing on the positives rather than the negatives. In the case of Mrs. Martin, two years after her first visit, she came back for a follow-up. In addition to having a better outlook on life, Mrs. Martin had lost another 40 pounds, and her vibrant smile lit up the room. Moreover, she had great news: She was engaged to be married and would soon be a bride.

y first encounter with Mrs. Martin (not her real name) was the day before my birthday in August 2010. She came to my office complaining of fatigue. She was 49 years old and working as a secretary. I noticed during our initial conversation that she made poor eye contact. In further questioning, she revealed that she had no children, had never been married and had unhappily worked the same job for the last 15 years. During the interview, I noticed that she had a flat affect, or an unemotional response, and she responded negatively to all my questions. This led me to ask her additional, specific questions to help determine if she was depressed. Early into the questioning, she started to cry. Mrs. Martin reported general sadness, decreased energy and concentration, increased appetite, and thoughts of not waking up. When I asked if she wanted to hurt herself or someone else, she answered no. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I simply feel worthless,â&#x20AC;? she said. Significantly, the physical exam found that she was overweight and had borderline diabetes, significant hypertension and elevated cholesterol. Mrs. Martin told me that she had been prescribed blood-pressure medication in the past, but stopped taking it after a couple of weeks. She said she saw no point because she had no symptoms. I asked Mrs. Martin if she wanted to make a change, and she told me she did. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to live,â&#x20AC;? I told her. I told Mrs. Martin that we first had to gain control of her medical conditions, including the elevated blood pressure. I asked her to imagine two trucks hired by the same company to transport goods from Jackson to New Orleans and back every day. One truck carried bricks, and the other transported paper cups. I explained that both trucks would do fine for the first few years, but the truck carrying the bricks would start to break down sooner. I asked her to imagine that her heart pumping blood against her elevated blood pressure was like the truck transporting heavy bricks. I told her that she must take her blood-pressure medication for now to keep it down and protect her heart. The effect would be like taking the heavy load of bricks off the truck. I told her that with lifestyle modificationsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;including diet, exercise and significant weight lossâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and with proper medical monitoring and management, we might be able to get her off the medication in the future. Eighteen months laterâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and 80 pounds lighterâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Mrs. Martin no longer needs to take blood-pressure medication. She is no longer a borderline diabetic, and her cholesterol level is better than mine. This transformation took more than a year, a total lifestyle change, persistent medical management and plain, old-style coaching. One of the most important components of her success was that I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just put her on anti-depression medication. Unfortunately, for many people seeking medical assistance, that is what happens in cases similar to Mrs. Martinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Instead, I referred her to a local psychologist for a trial of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy.


by Julie Skipper

Parades and Passion

398 Hwy. 51 • Ridgeland, MS (601) 853-3299 •

• Plate Lunches • Daily Lunch Specials • Salads • Home-Made Desserts • Cosmo Burger On Fridays • Take-Home Casseroles 2947 Old Canton Rd Suite G • Fondren Village Jackson, MS 39216 • 601.983.4450

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Hop On In For Special Savings At Our Pre-Easter Sale Saturday, March 31st March 28 - April 3, 2012

Shop Bargain Boutique for “eggcellent” discounts on your spring wardrobe.


The first 100 customers may choose an egg filled with additional discounts. ONE LUCKY WINNER will receive 75% OFF his or her entire purchase! There will be drawings for a festive basket filled with Easter goodies and Easter outfits for one family.*

COLONIAL MART SHOPPING CENTER • 5070 Parkway Drive • Jackson, MS • 601.991.0500 Mon-Fri 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. & Sat 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. • FACEBOOK US! This is limited to immediate family members only.

This reveler’s green suspenders, tie and newsboy cap earned him the Most Dapper Spectator award in my book.


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iving in downtown Jackson is fantastic all year long but it is even more wonderful on what is one of the best weekends of the year. I speak, of course, of Mal’s St. Paddy’s Parade weekend. This year marked the parade’s 30th anniversary, so I knew I’d be in for lots of nostalgia. Turns out, it was a weekend that led me to reflect on my downtown history, to be grateful for the neighborhood I’ve come to know and love over the past five years, and to look forward to what’s ahead as downtown continues to evolve and grow. Friday evening, revelers participated in the Second Line Stomp, which traced the original parade route, traveling from CS’s (1359-1/2 N. West St., 601-969-9482) to Ole Tavern on George Street (416 George St., 601-960-2700), to Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St., 601-948-0888, halandmals. com) in a sort of pub crawl. I have to confess, though, I missed out on it because my parents were in town that evening, so I ended up at dinner at Parlor Market (115 W. Capitol St., 601-360-0090, instead. Being in a place that quickly became a downtown institution (and is a deeply meaningful place to me) seemed an appropriate way to start a weekend that’s all about celebrating what is uniquely Jackson. Several other downtown neighbors were at the bar enjoying a quiet pre-parade night and, as we chatted about plans for the next day, I looked forward to the revelry. Being in the restaurant, though, reminded Proper nourishment me that late chef is a key component of and owner Craig parade day. Noone’s signature green suit would be missing this year. St. Paddy’s seems to hold a special, almost sacred place in the hearts of those who are passionate about this city, and nobody’s passion ran deeper than his. The restaurant and the memories remind me to keep loving Jackson, keep giving to it, and to keep enjoying all the people and fun it has to offer. That’s exactly what the parade does, too. It is an understatement to say that we owe parade founder Malcolm White a huge thank-you for creating and growing it, while ensuring it remains “the people’s parade.” Perhaps just making sure to enjoy it with gusto is an expression of thanks, and I think everyone did that this year, as always. My friends Tammy and Ramel Cotton and Maggie Middleton all live at a downtown property with a great balcony overlooking the parade route. They offered to play hosts-withthe-most for a pre-parade gathering of friends.

Of course, on parade morning, I woke up at 6 a.m. feeling like a kid on Christmas. Well before parade time, I had donned my green sequined shorts, applied sunscreen, walked around to see the early tailgaters arriving and eased my way into the day with some Champagne. (Breakfast beverage of parade champions?) The balcony quickly filled with breakfast food, Guinness cupcakes, friends and, yes, some obligatory green Jell-O shots. After a morning of enjoying the view from above, we headed to the street for the main event. It’s always a thrill to see the crowd on Capitol Street—young and old, all races, all having a great time. A few highlights of this year’s parade: the live camel and the marriage proposal in front of the judges’ stand. Afterward, of course, was the street party at Hal & Mal’s, and some of my companions even headed to Underground 119 (119 S. President St., 601-352-2322, later that night. Some folks like to say that after the party, there’s the after-party, but for me, after a party, the next day’s rehashing of events is fun, too. So Sunday afternoon, when I received a text from another downtowner that folks were going for an early dinner on the patio at Wasabi Sushi and Bar (100 E. Capitol St., Suite 105, 601-948-8088,, I eagerly replied that I’d be there, of course. Enjoying the company of friends on a spring evening and talking about the fun we’d had the day before, our conversation soon turned to more important issues facing our state. It was on to politics and getting involved to change things that matter to us. It wasn’t the conversation I’d expected, but it perfectly punctuated the weekend, because to continue to make Jackson great, we need to be people—like Malcolm, Craig and all those who have come before us with visions they made tangible—who talk about things, come up with ideas, and then go out and make our ideas real.

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Baria-Williamson is investigating claims of dangerous side effects and injuries in women who have taken YazÂŽ, YasminÂŽ or OcellaÂŽ birth control pills. Adverse effects include serious bloodclot injuries, pulmonary embolism, heart attack or stroke, deep vein thrombosis and sudden death.

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