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Squire • Howe • White • DownEs • Davison

PLAYING THREE ALBUMS IN THEIR ENTIRETY

 ŶăĊčŶĄĂăą April 3 - 9, 2013

-thalia mara hall-

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TRIP BURNS

JACKSONIAN SARAH BROWN

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his May, Sarah Brown will be the first in her family to obtain a bachelor’s degree. One of four children—she has three brothers, one younger and two older than she is—Brown, 21, is a general physics major and education minor at Jackson State University. She’s also a Jackson native who graduated from Forest Hill High School in 2009. Brown originally wanted to go to Mississippi State University to study broadcast meteorology, but a lack of financial aid changed her plans. In addition to her studies, Brown is active in several campus clubs: She’s a member of the Student Government Association, the Meteorology Club and the JSU Society of Physics. She also volunteers at Stewpot Community Center, where she helps serve food to homeless people and has donated food and clothing. Brown figured out a way to balance everything while maintaining a 3.7 grade-point average. “I’ll go the coffee shop to study for six hours,” she says. Brown also has one more title to her name: Miss JSU. People who know Brown gave her the idea to run for the crown in the spring of 2012. “I guess they saw something in me that exemplified a queen … a woman of excellence and community service,” Brown says. Her campaign platform was “Think Big.” Brown remembers the atmosphere on the night she was crowned last April, as she sat in a room with hundreds of people. “I was

CONTENTS

so nervous,” she says. “All I remember is ‘The next Miss JSU is (in my head I was just saying, ‘please let me hear an S’)—Sarah Brown!’ I started crying. ... Everyone around me started crying.” As Miss JSU, Brown decided to make an impact not just on campus, but in the community as well. She started a tour of Jackson Public Schools called “JPS Girls Rock,” to let girls know that they matter and that they, too, can make an impact in the world. When she visits schools, Brown gives motivational speeches and workshops to the girls. “I just share my testimony,” she says. The workshops include self-esteem activities and a chance for the girls to tell their stories and seek guidance. Brown says the stories touch her soul, and she does her best to give them good advice. Brown plans to turn JPS Girls Rock into a non-profit organization, and she hopes to be able to organize a summer camp. The entrance requirement would be an essay titled: “What does it mean to be a strong, black woman?” Brown’s time as Miss JSU will end when she graduates in May, but she’ll still be around campus. She has been accepted into the JSU environmental engineering doctoral program. Brown’s career goal is to be an environmental hydrologist, traveling the world, researching ways to prevent global warming, and sharing her research with other schools and colleges. —Octavia Thurman

Cover photographs of Chokwe Lumumba by Trip Burns; photo of Hal White by R.L. Nave

10 Fighting for Ward Four

Gerald Austin Sr. and Barron Banks outline their plans for a better Jackson if they are elected to the city council’s Ward 4 seat.

23 Say ‘Olé!’

As the newest restaurant in Fondren, Café Olé is serving up Latin flavor on North State Street.

30 Masterworks

“One of Monet’s ‘Water Lilies’ is strategically placed at the far end of the gallery; make it worth your while to walk the gallery length while watching his image slowly disintegrate into nearly abstract patches of color.” —Chris Eden, “Impressions of Old Masters”

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4 ............................. EDITOR’S NOTE 6 ................................................ YOU 8 ............................................ TALKS 12 .................................. BUSINESS 14 ............... EDITORIAL CARTOON 14 .................................. STIGGERS 15 .................................... OPINION 16 ............................ COVER STORY 23 ....................................... FOODS 26 .................................... HITCHED 28 ................................. WELLNESS 30 .......................................... ARTS 32 .......................................... FILM 33 ............................... EIGHT DAYS 34 ............................... JFP EVENTS 36 ....................................... MUSIC 37 ....................... MUSIC LISTINGS 38 ..................................... SPORTS 39 .................................... PUZZLES 41 .............................. ASTROLOGY 41 ............................. CLASSIFIEDS 42 ............................................ GIG

PHOTOS BY TRIP BURNS

APRIL 3 - 9, 2013 | VOL. 11 NO. 30

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EDITOR’S note

by Ronni Mott, News and Opinion Editor

Move Your Feet

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ufus Straughter’s warm, intelligent brown eyes peered at me across the polished surface of the table where we sat under the soaring ceiling of the state capital. Seeming inordinately large on my little white recorder, a pin-point red light signaled that I would not mistake his words later. At first, Straughter, a small-boned, trim man, chose his soft words carefully. His precise language defined him as clearly as his tailored gray suit and silk tie, his grizzled, close-cropped hair and gold-framed glasses. That day a couple of weeks ago, we talked about the importance of education in Mississippi. I’m about as white as Straughter is black—a good reason for his caution. At 75, Straughter knows what it’s like to live in a violently repressive society. He grew up in a place where people who look like me tried to crush the spirit, and often the life, out of people who look like him. His shoulders visibly relaxed after I told him about my parents who grew up in another infamously tyrannical era: 1930s Europe during the rise of Nazi Germany. Our families’ histories, converging as they do in brutality, allowed Straughter to trust me, I think. In 1960, Straughter’s father let two of his eight sons to take his 1959, dark green Chrysler Saratoga for a ride. Straughter and his brother were walking from a store back to the car when a woman—a white woman—called after them. Straughter kept walking. Their father and practical reality had taught Straughter and his 13 siblings to walk away when white people, especially white women, tried to talk to them. Just five years earlier, two boys fishing in the Tallahatchie River discovered Emmett Till’s drowned and tortured body. Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam murdered 14-year-old Till for supposedly flirting with Bryant’s wife,

Carolyn—a white woman—at Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market in Money, Miss. A jury acquitted Bryant and Milam; they later confessed to the murder in an interview with Look magazine. The year 1960 was too soon for the blacks to snub white women in Mississippi. Someone complained that the Straughters had cussed out the woman they tried

Democracy is people, and the people are us. to ignore, though neither had said a word. Someone else said Straughter’s brother was waving a gun. The deputy sheriff arrested them. Authorities released the young men after some rough questioning. The incident left an indelible scar on Straughter’s soul. Maybe, even in 2013, I was another white woman who would misrepresent him. A few weeks earlier, I was speaking with a political pollster. I asked for his opinion on why so few Americans show up at the polls. He confirmed what I already knew: People don’t believe their votes count. He cited the Electoral College, which serves to define sharply the divide between red states and blue states. For a while, I didn’t connect the two disparate conversations. But they are con-

nected. The Civil Rights Movement was all about gaining equality for African Americans. Key among the rights people fought and died for is the right to vote. I find it insidious that so many Americans believe it doesn’t matter. But I admit: I thought about skipping the trip to the polls last November. More than any other motivation, I knew I wouldn’t be able to face my colleagues without an “I voted” sticker Wednesday morning. “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain,” was ringing in my head as I drove to my precinct just in time to cast my ballot after a long day getting the JFP to press that Tuesday. But voting matters more than having the right to criticize. Perhaps it matters more than a black man’s freedom to speak openly to—maybe even disparage—a white woman in Mississippi. It matters because the rights depend on each other. I can’t think of another right that is more pivotal to the creation of a free society than having a voice in its leadership. The voices of our leaders must be our voices, or the entire system breaks down. It’s easy to see why attempts to limit votes are never-ending. Voter turnout for municipal and state elections is even lower than for national elections. But local leadership decisions affect us more directly and immediately than the indecision inside the Capital Beltway in Washington, D.C. Funding for our children’s education, the subject of my conversation with Straughter at the Mississippi Capitol in March, isn’t dependent on the president or even the Congress. To the contrary, and with all due respect, a former Hinds County deputy sheriff (Gov. Phil Bryant), a bean counter from Florence (Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves) and a lawyer from Clinton (House Speaker Phillip Gunn) will largely shape whether our children will get adequate educations in Mississippi. A

strong steel cable links our votes, or our lack of votes, directly to the outcomes for our children. Today, Straughter is a state representative. He entered politics after teaching math for 25 years in Humphries County in the Mississippi Delta. More than most of us, he understands the power of each American’s vote. With an MBA from Jackson State, Straughter wanted to be an accountant, like Reeves, but knew no one would hire a black accountant back then—the people with the money in 1960s Mississippi usually didn’t look like him. Individual voting voices have changed life for many African Americans since then, though not nearly enough. Voting voices changed the outcomes for working people, for women and children and disabled people. And—don’t blink—they will transform the lives of millions in the LGBT community when (not if) America grants them equal rights. Next month, voters in Jackson will decide the slate of men and women who will ostensibly work for their interests on the streets of the city. Whether you believe the current administration and city council is doing a good job or a bad job, the future belongs to those who get off the couch and vote. More than that, it will belong to the people who participate in council and school board meetings, who show up for community association meetings and all those other “boring” machinations of our democratic society. Democracy isn’t some complicated and difficult hypothetical. Democracy is people, and the people are us. Civil-rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis is fond of saying, “When you pray, move your feet.” It’s never enough to hope things will get better; our actions make the difference. Move your feet.

April 3 - 9, 2013

CONTRIBUTORS

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RL Nave

Tyler Cleveland

Octavia Thurman

David Joseph

Amber Helsel

Mo Wilson

Andrea Thomas

Latasha Willis

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 601362-6121 ext. 12. He wrote for the cover story.

Reporter Tyler Cleveland is a former student of Southern Miss. When not reporting on city politics, he spends his time around Fondren, listening to music and pulling for Mississippi sports teams. Contact him at 601-362-6121 ext. 22.

Former intern Octavia Thurman recently got her bachelor’s in political science at Tougaloo College. Her hobbies include cooking and traveling. She loves being competitive. She wrote the Jacksonian.

New Director of Operations David Joseph is a former longterm restaurateur Great food, close family, his entrepreneurial spirit and love of Jackson keeps him going. Email him at david joseph@jacksonfreepress. com.

Editorial intern Amber Helsel, a native of Brandon, holds a bachelor’s in journalism from Ole Miss. She is a silly person who loves writing, photography, food and memes. She wrote the food feature.

Editorial intern Mo Wilson is a Mississippi College student. He enjoys pizza, the Internet, dancing alone in his bedroom, social justice, politics and giggling. He wrote the Gig feature.

Andrea Thomas, the JFP’s advertising designer, is a native of Ridgeland and an Antonelli College graduate. She loves to sing, dance and write poetry in her free time. She created many of the ads in this issue.

Events Editor Latasha Willis is a native Jacksonian, a freelance designer, and the mother of one cat. She shamelessly promotes her design skills at latashawillis.com. Email events into to events@jacksonfreepress.com.


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Write us: letters@jacksonfreepress.com

In Memoriam From Jesse Houston’s food blog at jfp.ms/houston:

April 3 - 9, 2013

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On Thursday, March 28, Jackson lost Hal White, co-founder of Hal and Mal’s. People all over the city and on social media remembered his legacy this week. Here is a sampling. day we worked together. There was an entire blue crab claw sticking out of it. As I dug deeper in, I found half of a crab body. Further excavations of the gumbo revealed another crab claw, and

From stories at jfp.ms: suemscott: Continued prayers for the whole family .... for such a wonderful family & the legacy it carries. hdmatthias: My condolences to his family. What a wonderful man. darryl: This is such sad news. My thoughts and prayers to his family.

RL NAVE

The kind folks at the Jackson Free Press have asked me to write about all things food in the Food Blog, be it restaurants, cookbooks, trends, events, drinks and the secret lives of chefs. So I’ll be posting here often, bringing you bits and pieces of what I’ve got going on, where to go eat, what’s in season, what chefs to go check out and more. Before I go any further, I’d like to dedicate this entry to Hal White of Hal and Mal’s, who recently passed away. In my almost three years in Jackson, Hal and Mal’s became a temple of music, beer and great food. I’ve had some of the best moments of my life at Hal and Mal’s, and although I never got to be super close with Hal, I remember a time when we were both cooking together at the Children’s Museum, each doing a separate course. Hal, of course, made his famous gumbo, and I believe this version had duck in it. I remember him hastily slopping it into bowls, and although it may not have looked pretty, I slurped down a bowl of the dark brown murky soup and stood completely dumbfounded by the depth of flavor and complexity that was there. I had been told often that Hal always made the soup at Hal and Mal’s, and was known as the Soup Master. Friday night, the evening of Hal’s passing, I went to Hal and Mal’s, blurry-eyed and very sad and bellied up to the bar to order my first cup of Hal’s gumbo since that

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From Facebook: James Bowley What a life; what a loss for us all. Larry Davidson Thoughts and prayers, indeed!

Hal White

ShaWanda Jacome So sad. Prayers go out to his family for comfort during this difficult time. BlackButterfly Horton Sorry to hear this. My thoughts & prayers are with his family and the team at Hal & Mal’s. Cristin Coleman Great loss. Hal and Mal’s won’t be the same, still great but not the same. My thoughts are with the White family. Kimberly Mason Terrible. What a tragedy.

Rhonda Richmond Let us continue to lift the spirit of Hal!

Theresa Trussell RIP. will be truely missed. He was a Jackson icon.

LaRue Owen Rest In Peace.

Gretta May A sad day in Jackson today....

David Rae Morris Miss you already, Hal. Thomas Barnes I am so sorry to hear this sad news. Prayers for his family... Bridget Smith Pieschel What a terrible loss to the state of Mississippi. God rest his soul.

another. A leg. The other half of the crab body. In this tiny 8-ounce cup of liquid gold was an entire crab! I found out later, talking with Hal’s son-in-law P.J., that Hal only puts four crabs into a batch of gumbo, so I think maybe Hal was smiling down on me, giving me an extra generous portion to remember him by. I won’t forget it. Read more of Jesse Houston’s blog and comment at jfp.ms/poppingin.

Richard Laswell Although I’d never met him, I have seen his fingerprints on many of the things that I like best about Jackson. Rest in peace, Hal, You will be missed.

Melissa Burks Dearman Praying for all. Such a wonderful person! Kathleen Conner Strickland Godspeed, Hal. Prayers going up for the White family. Melinda Casey RIP. Many prayers for his family and friends. Margaret Burkes My prayers with his daughter and family. Jason Stanfield Sad news. Godspeed, Hal. Stephanie Brown So sad.

From Twitter: Burns Strider @BStrider: A remarkable Mississippian. RIP, sir. If in MS I’d be headed to Hal & Mal’s‌ Laura Conaway @oleta: Thank you, Hal White, for never throwing us out of your kitchen no matter how late it was or how ridiculous we were. Rick Cleveland @rick_cleveland: RIP Hal White: friend, husband, dad, granddad, allworld guy. He loved to cook and play golf. He was a better cook. You can also read Tyler Cleveland’s obituary for Hal at jfp.ms/HalObit and his long interview with Malcolm White at jfp.ms/ Malcolm. Read R.L. Nave’s Jacksonian profile of Hal at jfp.ms/HalJacksonian.


JONATHAN LEE

DEMOCRAT FOR MAYOR

GETTING IT DONE FOR JACKSON For over a decade, Jonathan Lee has run a secondgeneration business, Mississippi Products, Inc. He took over the business after the sudden illness and death of his father. Jonathan has roots that span three generations in the heart of Georgetown. Jonathan has played an active role in helping improve Jackson through his work with non-profit, civic, and faithbased community organizations. He has worked diligently with people all over Jackson to develop specific plans to address the city’s problems. Now’s the time to make a change and get the job done.

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Thursday, March 28 Protesters gather at the state Department of Education to protest SB 2659, which would provide funding for armed guards at primary and secondary schools. ‌ Restaurateur Hal White succumbs to complications from a brain aneurysm. Friday, March 29 The state House approves a compromise on Senate Bill 2795 requiring a doctor to personally oversee the administration of abortion-inducing drugs. ‌ North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warns that his rocket forces are ready “to settle accounts with the U.S.â€? after B-2 bombers dropped dummy munitions in military drills with South Korea. Saturday, March 30 Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant orders state flags to half-staff to honor the death of Rep. Jessica Upshaw, R-Diamondhead. ‌ Authorities break up a major dogfighting ring at a barn in north Mississippi. Police arrest nearly 50 people and rescue 20 dogs. Sunday, March 31 The Mississippi House votes down a bill to fund the state’s Medicaid program. ‌ Pope Francis makes a passionate plea for world peace on his first Easter Sunday as pontiff.

April 3 - 9, 2013

Monday, April 1 Jackson State University names Otha Burton Jr., chairman of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, as executive director of JSU’s new Institute of Government. ‌ Gov. Bryant withdraws the nomination of lobbyist Terri Herring to the state Health Board, citing geographic issues.

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Tuesday, April 2 The U.N. General Assembly approves the first international treaty regulating the multibillion-dollar global arms trade. ‌ With no debate, Mississippi House members approve a House-Senate charter-school bill. Get news updates at jfpdaily.com.

Hal and Mal’s: A Jackson Landmark by Tyler Cleveland

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rothers Harold and Malcolm White, commonly known as Hal and Mal, had a vision. They wanted to create a gathering place for all of Jackson—a bar, but also a family restaurant that serviced a wide array of customers from every walk of life. Boy, did they succeed. The now-landmark bar and restaurant known as Hal and Mal’s on South Commerce Street has grown into a social hub for much of Jackson. The capital city rightly celebrates the White brothers’ success, but now comes the hard part: admitting the joint may just never be the same. Last Thursday, one-half of the establishment’s two-man namesake, Harold “Halâ€? White, passed away after suffering a brain aneurysm. The void left by the business’ halfowner, soup chef and officially-unofficial spiritual leader is one that is impossible to Hal White, co-owner of Jackson landmark Hal and Mal’s, passed away last week. fill, both for the restaurant and for Jackson. “Hal was the rock, and I was the roll,â€? Malcolm White said Sunday night. “His passing has touched an incredible nerve with Ramada, Hal the Holiday Inn. briefly, and it ended up being the perfect a huge population of people who recognize The duo cooked their plan, much like setup for what came next. While Malcolm a couple of things: One, they recognize the Hal cooked his famous soups, slow and learned the business of live music and tied hard-working, steady guy, sort-of unsung steady, in New Orleans for two years while himself to various projects in Jackson, Hal hero in this story. Two, they recognize the living in an apartment on Royal Street. They earned money working in oil and met the love and the partnership of a set of brothers worked together at the Bourbon Orleans love of his life, Ann Getwan, in a Columbus who supported and worked hand-in-hand Hotel, where Malcolm served as assistant boot store. to achieve the American dream.â€? general manager. Malcolm signed the lease to the wareWhat the two brothers achieved is a “We would be in New Orleans at house on Commerce Street where Hal and great success story by itself, but the story of Pascal’s Manale restaurant and say ‘OK, our Mal’s stands today, in 1983. It was a twohow they got there is even better. oyster bar is going to look like this,’â€? Mal- night-a-week operation at first, with 25-cent - Create 3/29/13 3:57 PM They came up with the idea while Wordlecolm said. “We would go catch live music at longnecks and a DJ on Wednesday nights, they were competing against each other as Tipitinas and say, â€˜â€Ś and our place for live and $5 all-you-can-drink beer on Saturdays rival assistant general managers of hotels music is going to lookCreate like this.’â€? with a black Forum show-band. Home Gallery Credits News FAQ Advanced in Hattiesburg in 1975. Malcolm ran the They split up in the late ’70s, but only When it became apparent the RL NAVE

Wednesday, March 27 Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant nominates anti-abortion lobbyist Terri Herring for the state Board of Health. ‌ The U.S. Supreme Court debates a section of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that says marriage may only be between a man and a woman for federal purposes.

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In Memoriam:

Harold (Hal) Taylor White Hal White, co-owner of Hal & Mal’s in downtown Jackson, passed away March 28 from complications related to an aneurysm. In his honor, this word cloud contains words used in posts on the JFP’s website and Facebook page to describe him. May he rest in peace.

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drinking age was going to change in 1985, Malcolm called his brother and told him he’d found the site for their restaurant, and it was time to act on their dream. Hal obliged. He moved to Jackson and got a job at Paul’s Restaurant on Highway 80. He worked there at night, and he and Malcolm fixed up the future site of Hal and Mal’s during the day. They opened in 1985 and immediately started booking acts like The Temptations, Albert King, Tyrone Davis and Delbert McClinton. They got the crowd from Southeastern Conference football games at Veterans Memorial Stadium. They raised money for just about every fundraiser in town, and they built a minicommunity right there in the bar. Business boomed for a decade. Then people started leaving Jackson. For big acts, the casinos in Vicksburg and on the Coast could pay triple what Hal and Mal’s could. Ole Miss and Mississippi State took their footballs and went home, and the economy of Jackson slid into a recession as businesses left town. “We went through some really hard times, too,� Malcolm White said. “We missed on the microbrewery. We opened it up 10 years too soon, and ended up closing it down four years before the craft-beer boom hit. But we were always trying stuff and always experimenting. We tried Soulshine Pizza, and at one point opened up a disco in the red room.� The brothers never did recapture that

fast-money atmosphere, but they hung in there. Today, the restaurant helps support about 12 families and is still providing a quality product and family atmosphere. It’s the nerve center of the Mal’s St. Paddy’s Parade, which brings millions of dollars into the local economy every year. At Hal’s funeral Monday morning at St. Richard’s Catholic Church, a standingroom-only crowd paid their respects. As if that wasn’t hard enough, there are decisions that have to be made about the future of the restaurant. “We are going to keep it open and see how that all plays out,� Malcolm said. “It supports a lot of people, and we have employees and friends that have worked there 10, 15, 20 years—people who have been with us since the beginning. There’s been no conversation about closing it.� Mal said he’s even more inclined to keep it open now than he was two years ago, given the resurrection of the downtown community and his belief in Jackson’s future success. “It’s beginning to circle back around, and we’re beginning to feel a little bit better footing. The downtown revitalization is coming around. ... The way we look at it, every time someone moves into an apartment downtown, our chance of survival increases.� Read Tyler Cleveland’s complete interview with Malcolm White at jfp. ms/Malcolm. Email Tyler at tyler@ jacksonfreepress.com.

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Scotta Brady and Jerusha DeGroote Stephens will be offering a combination yoga/acupuncture class. You will receive the powerful, synergistic benefits of both modalities in one class! To attend this or any other future yogapuncture classes, you will need the physician referral.. You can download that form at butterflyoga.net.

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We are excited and honored to once again host DesirĂŠe Rumbaugh for a weekend yoga workshop. Her technical ability, sense of humor, strength, vulnerability, and deep inspiration have endeared her to many here in the Southeast and many others all over the world!

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April 23 & 24 Jackson’s Thalia Mara Hall @ 7:30 pm Ticketmaster.com 1-800-745-3000

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DISH | Ward 4 Candidates

Austin: Ready to Lend an Ear by Tyler Cleveland

A

TRIP BURNS

s a barber, it’s Gerald Austin Sr.’s who was also a hair stylist. He learned most job to spark conversation with everything he knows about business and behis customers, and he hears their problems loud and clear. Now he’s looking to give those customers a voice as city councilman for Ward 4. “I’m invested in Jackson,” Austin said. “I’ve lived here my whole life, and I’m raising my five kids here. I want to see this city and this ward move forward, and that’s why I’m running for city council.” Austin says the most important thing to him is his wife, Arletta, and his five kids: Teanna, Jayla, Katelin, Tyler and Gerald, Jr., ages 14 to 5. He grew up attending Greater Bethelehem Temple un- Ward 4 city council candidate Gerald Austin Sr., der the late Bishop Coleman, and shown with his wife, Arletta, says he wants to leave a now attends Holy Hill Pentecos- better Jackson to his five kids. tal where his stepfather Roosevelt Brown serves as pastor. ing a positive male role model from his menThe 33-year-old graduate of Forest Hill tor, Joe Goodwin, and took over Goodwin’s High School and Traxler School of Hair management of the barbershop six years ago. owns Westside Barbershop at 1669 WigNow, Austin is branching out. He gins Road. His career takes after his mother, has currently classified as a sophomore

at Jackson State University to go back to school, and he wants to get a degree in social work. And he’s running for the Ward 4 council seat, soon to be vacated by mayoral candidate Frank Bluntson. Why are you running?

I thought about it in the last race. We can sit around the barbershop and talk about these problems, and then turn on the television, and (see that) nothing is being done about them. I prayed about it. I asked if I should run and asked if it was meant to be, if the Lord would open doors. After that, doors started opening, and I walked through them. I have a heart for the people, and I’m not just running for myself. I’m running for my people. I’m not going to take downtown a personal agenda. I’m taking a community agenda, a Ward 4 agenda, a Jackson agenda. I’m not looking to build my character. God does that. My sign says “’Moving forward and making a difference.” That’s from the heart. … I want people to know I will be a visible councilman. You don’t have to wonder where I am and what I’m doing for you. You

can come right here to the barbershop. I’ll even cut your hair while you tell me what your problem is. Then when I get finished with my last head of the day, we’re going to get in my car or yours, and we’re going to go address it. Because you are the one who put me in this position, and I work for you. Once your kids graduate high school and any secondary education, how will you convince them to stay in Jackson and not move to a suburb or another big city?

We need to quit going outside of Jackson to recruit people to move here and do these jobs, and hire our people who are already here in the city. We shouldn’t hire anyone from outside the city when there are qualified people here already. Nobody is going to stay where there are no jobs, because they won’t have money to feed their families. We have to come together and create jobs instead of giving it to the people who live in Madison. We have people who live right here in Jackson who can do these jobs. Read the rest of the interview and comment at www.jfp.ms. Email city reporter Tyler Cleveland at tyler@jacksonfreepress.com.

Banks: Bringing Experience

April 3 - 9, 2013

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hen Barron Banks turned 18, he registered to vote. When he tried to exercise that right in 1964, it took federal marshals accompanying him to the polls. Now, the 65-year-old pastor is asking the next generation of Jacksonians to exercise that same right and elect him as city councilman for Ward 4. Banks has deep Jackson State University roots. He graduated in 1969 with a degree in social science before heading to Mississippi State University to seek a master’s degree. Just 31 hours short of achieving that goal, Banks got a scholarship to attend the prestigious University of Pittsburgh School of Divinity, and he took that opportunity. After getting his master’s of divinity, Banks returned to the Magnolia State. Since then, he’s been a man of many hats. The Tchula native has served as national chaplain for the Jackson State Alumni Association, the reverend of New Hope Baptist Church in Meridian, a coordinator of several faith-based community outreach programs and an adjunct professor of history and philosophy at Jackson State. Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. appointed Banks to

the city planning board during the mayor’s first term and has served in that capacity ever since. Now, the reverend and civil servant is asking the people of Ward 4 to allow him to serve them as city councilman.

TRIP BURNS

by Tyler Cleveland

City infrastructure has been a hot issue lately. What would be your plan to fix our streets and water distribution system?

It’s not going to be easy to have community development, city development and economic development with our poor infrastructure. … People want to come somewhere where the streets are drivable; they want to set up nice restaurants where the customers can get to them. I’ve been on the planning board for nine years. I was appointed by Mayor Johnson. When it comes to voting down a little pawn-shop, I do that. We don’t need too many gas stations on the same block. We don’t want these businesses coming in and opening, not having enough money coming in, and then they go out of business, and their vacant building is another blight on the community. … So let’s sit down together and

Rev. Barron Banks brings a lifetime of experience to the table as he runs for the city council seat for Ward 4.

see if all of the wards can come together and build something together. If we’re going to bring in development like Farish Street and a downtown arena, let’s do that. But we have to do things that are going to create revenue for us to fix our streets and our pipes.

Can you talk about Jackson’s crime problem and what can be done about it?

I think Jackson has a crime problem. I think, like any other city that has its problems with crime, it can be dealt with. When you have a lack of parenting and training, where there needs to be more education on parenting for young people, then it’s wide open for crime. … I would have to say yes, we have a crime problem, but there are ways to deal with it by involving the community and teaching kids the value of ethics and staying in school. We have a bad dropout rate, which opens the door to more crime. But we need to get our churches involved and help parents understand what it takes to raise a child. I don’t even want to talk about it, but I have visited our detention centers, and there’s just no reason to have 12 young men between the ages of 15 and 17 locked up for murder and kidnapping. The perception in some areas, some more than others, is bad, but we can’t start dividing the city up. One place is not that far from another. Read the rest of the interview and comment at www.jfp.ms. Email city reporter Tyler Cleveland at tyler@jacksonfreepress.com.


LEGISLATURE: Week 12

Can’t Get Enough by R.L. Nave

proposed charter schools in that district. Pre“It’s a very storied athletic program, and viously, the Senate wanted charter schools in they deserve to have a stadium on their camC districts, which became a sticking point pus,” said Rep. Rufus Straughter, D-Belzoni, that threatened to thwart charter-school ef- a JSU alumnus. Jackson State, whose officials forts altogether. “Though we hoped for a bill that would not send the message that ‘C’ was OK in Mississippi, we agreed to compromise to give 125,000 Mississippi children an opportunity for success,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said in a statement on the compromise. Under the statewide accountability standards, Jackson Public Schools has an overall “D” rating. JPS officials did not Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves buckled this week and agreed to a compromise that adopts the House version respond to an email seekof the charter-school bill that contained provisions he ing the district’s reaction previously rejected. by press time Tuesday. R.L. NAVE

Jackson Mostly Shafted The House and Senate agreed to a $196.4-million bond bill to pay for construction, mostly at Mississippi colleges and universities. This sum includes $31 million toward a new medical school for the University of Mississippi in Jackson and $11.3 million to Jackson State University for repairs to the Margaret Walker Alexander Center and the school of education, and for furniture at a building JSU owns in downtown Jackson. Noticeably absent, however, were any funds for the proposed 50,000-seat state-ofthe-art domed stadium that JSU envisions will accommodate football and basketball games as well as serve as a concert venue. Some African American members of the House Democratic caucus railed against what they perceived to be the latest in years’ worth of slights to Jackson State.

had no comment, had requested $75 million over three years to help offset the estimated $200 million price tag. This followed last week’s decision by the Department of Finance and Administration to relocate the state Department of Revenue to Clinton over the Landmark Center in downtown Jackson and other locations in the capital city area. In its recommendation, DFA stated that the Clinton site—the former WorldCom headquarters—was the cheapest option, but DFA’s request for proposals reveals that the agency only considered leasing, not purchasing. Leasing the Landmark center would have cost taxpayers $51.7 million compared to $41 million for WorldCom building. However, the state could have saved millions of dollars by buying the Landmark building outright, which lists for around $7.5 million.

Downtown booster Leland Speed released a statement calling for a probe into the DOR’s decision, but said he has not received a response from House Speaker Philip Gunn, who represents Clinton. “I expect people to balance the wider good with their own personal interest,” Speed said of Gunn. Earlier in the session, a local-option sales tax proposal that would have allowed Jackson to hold an election to raise money for capital projects died. One bright spot remains for Jackson: The bond bill’s conference report provides for an unspecified amount for the repair and rehabilitation, or replacement and reconstruction, of the Woodrow Wilson Avenue Bridge in Jackson. The city will get $3 million for the project. More Abortion Regs Legislators mostly eschewed some of the more controversial reproductive health bills this session. Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, did file a bill prohibiting doctors from performing abortions when a fetal heartbeat is present, but it never made it out of committee. Instead, the abortion cause célèbre this time around was regulating abortion drugs. Senate Bill 2795, which defines an unborn child as the “offspring of human beings from conception until birth,” would restrict the use of mifepristone (formerly known as RU-486) and misoprostol, passed the House 84-30 and went to the Senate for approval. SB 2795’s provision would force women taking the drugs to see their doctors at least four times, which opponents say will make their use prohibitively expensive, especially for uninsured women. It bars women from taking misoprostol at home, which is the current practice, and also prohibits doctors from consulting women about using the drugs remotely via teleconference. Comment at www.jfp.ms. Contact R.L. Nave at rlnave@jacksonfreepress.com.

910 Lake Harbour Dr. Ridgeland, MS 601-956-2929 Mon • 5 - 9pm Tue - Sat • 5 - 9:30pm

A True Taste of Italy Best Of Jackson • 2008 -2013

jacksonfreepress.com

B

y this time next week—barring Gov. Phil Bryant calling for a special session—the 2013 legislative will be over. The most foreboding question facing lawmakers involves the future of the Medicaid program. For the fourth time, with Democrats leading the charge, the House voted against the Medicaid program. Democrats are holding up reauthorization and funding of Medicaid in the current fiscal year to force an up or down vote on Medicaid expansion that the federal health-care mandate allows. “The decision by House Republican leadership and the governor to not allow a full debate, much less a vote, on Medicaid expansion, could cost the taxpayers $30,000 per day if a special session is called,” House Minority Leader Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, told reporters. In the meantime, Republicans are playing the part of compassionate conservatives and blaming Democrats for risking the health of more than 700,000 poor and elderly Medicaid enrollees. For the time being, with three-fifths of votes needed—about 60—to move any Medicaid measure forward, the parties are at loggerheads: Democrats don’t have the votes for expansion, and Republicans don’t have the votes to pass Medicaid without at least debating expansion. Meanwhile, another of the session’s most contentious issues, a charter-school bill, cleared a big hurdle this week. After debating the issue well past midnight earlier in the session, the House approved a charter-school bill without a peep from opponents. The fate of charter-school legislation seemed murky up until last night when the Republican leaders of the House and Senate worked out a compromise. Under the deal, announced late on the evening of April 1, the Senate agreed to the House’s version of the bill, which gave school boards in C-rated school districts veto power over any new,

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TALK | business

Building a Creative Incubator by Tyler Cleveland

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three years. Kresge is headquartered in De- as keeping up the landscaping around the troit and provides grants to promote the arts building, painting walls and making sure the all over the country. building is secure at night. “As you can see, the building needs a lot That’s the business model for the incuof work,” she said as she gives a tour of the bator going forward, and the more tenants it building, pointing to a room with mildewed has, the better it will be for the people who walls. “But once we get the mold out and get some of these walls knocked down, we’re going to have plenty of room for workshops and studios.” After raising money to get the building up to par, structurally, and laying the plans for a self-sustaining cooperative, Grant’s hopes are that the foundation will make another investment to get the incubator off the ground. The goal is to offer rental space to artists of all San Antonio native Whitney Grant moved to Midtown sorts, where they will share in 2012 and became Midtown Partners’ first creative equipment, ideas, workspace economies coordinator. and a showroom, all at an affordable rate that make it feasible for a young share the space and the more tools the incuentrepreneur. bator can acquire for the artists to use. One young artist, Greg Gandy, is al“It has a chance to be something very ready renting space in the building. The cool,” Gandy said. “Whitney has really painter, a graduate of the Mississippi School helped this project take off and done a great for the Arts, has been renting studio space job. I can tell you it’s really starting to grow and helping revamp the old building for by leaps and bounds.” The next step for the incubator will be more than a year. “When I first entered this building, more planning and then, this summer, the there was trash and storage up to my eye- first round of fund-raising. Grant said it’s too balls in nearly every room,” Gandy said. “So early to give a firm estimate, but it will likely they got me one of those big industrial-sized take anywhere from $100,000 to $400,000 dumpsters, and I cleaned out the big room to get the building into shape. in the back by myself in one afternoon. After “We still have to get a building inspecthey saw what I had done, they got me an- tor in here and let them take a look at the other dumpster, and I got to spend an after- structure,” she said. “That’s going to be a big noon directing 30 or 40 volunteers to get the day for us because we’ll find out exactly what rest of the garbage out of here.” we need to get this place back into shape.” Gandy receives adjusted rates for the Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email Tyler space he rents for providing services such Cleveland at tyler@jacksonfreepress.com.

April 3 - 9, 2013

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601.664.7588

1002 Treetop Blvd • Flowood Behind the Applebee’s on Lakeland www.fusionjapanesethaicuisine.com

roups of college students with the Else School of Management at Millsaps College are conducting surveys to determine the market viability of bringing a dine-in cinema concept theater—-similar to the Alamo Drafthouse—to the Pix Capri Theatre building in Fondren. “My class is testing the viability of the concept similar to the Alamo. There are actually a variety of theater con-

TRIP BURNS

DINE-IN CINEMA SURVEY

cepts students are testing,” said Penelope J. Prenshaw, director of the business administration

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he old warehouse at 126 Keener Ave. in midtown doesn’t look like much from the outside, but it’s what’s going on inside that is important. Midtown Partners is prepping the building for a major makeover so it can be transformed into a creative businesses incubator—an artist’s haven that operates like a cooperative for young creatives to get their careers off the ground. Midtown Partners’ first-ever Creative Economies Coordinator Whitney Grant is spearheading the project. Grant moved to midtown in 2012. A 2009 graduate of Mississippi State’s School of Architecture, she has a vision of what she wants for the incubator, if not a firm timeline, yet. “The idea of this incubator has been stirring for a while as a partnership between Midtown Partners and the (Millsaps College) Else School of Business,” Grant said. “They’ve been looking at how to turn this building into the first creative business incubator in the state.” Business incubators exist in the area, Grant said, but none of them are doing what this one hopes to. The San Antonio, Texas, native is a veteran of community-development projects. Grant has worked has been producing a Jackson event for Figment, an organization that promotes the arts in cities all over the country by showcasing projects at regular events. The next Figment Jackson will be May 18 and 19 at the incubator. Grant has incubator models to follow. She cited a cooperative called The Steel Yard in Providence, R.I., as a model for her project. The Steel Yard is set up in an old ironworks factory, and offers workspace, classes and a yard that doubles as a gallery for artists. It promotes itself as “a sponsor and catalyst for innovative approaches to urban revitalization and arts promotion.” The privately run $3.1 billion Kresge Foundation is funding Grant’s position for

by Dustin Cardon program and professor of marketing at Millsaps’ Else School. “This particular survey is one of four going on regarding the dine-in theater concept. “The business model is similar to the Alamo, including things like showing firstrun films. Different theater concepts also offer different

food and beverages. We are trying to measure preferences among Jacksonians for a variety of concepts. “The students have been very engaged in this project. It’s a concept that very much appeals to them. I’m looking forward to hearing what their recommendations are.” To participate in the surveys, visit fondrentheater.com/ surveyconsent or surveymonkey. com/s/6ZRLNVZ.


jacksonfreepress.com

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4/1/13 2:42 PM


Justifying Foolishness

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t times, this country is a model for intolerance. Our compassion is thrown to the wind, and our grand ignorance is on display for all to see. Gay marriage—gasp!—is the thing that’s going to destroy the fabric of America ... this week. Some are up in arms over other human beings’ desires to be treated fairly under the law. Some scoff at the notion that LGBT people are regular citizens, and that they, like you and me, simply want the right to have their proclamations of love recognized by the law. They want the same benefits that my wife and I are entitled to. Seems simple enough. Let’s put all the cards on the table, shall we? I’m a Christian; that isn’t up for dispute. I’m no Bible scholar, though, and won’t be able to match wits with folks who point to passages in the Bible that say being gay is “wrong,� or that gay marriage will lead to the downfall of society as we know it. I do know that over the years I’ve seen different people of different beliefs use the same book to justify all kinds of foolishness—including the Ku Klux Klan. So if the Klan has, perhaps, misinterpreted the Bible, who’s to say that anti-gay marriage fanatics aren’t doing the same? Look, I’m just one guy—an African American male who has been discriminated against—who loathes attempts to stifle the lifestyles of others. Folks once said that blacks being equal members of society would “destroy the fabric of America.� Klansmen invoked God and rebuked black folk, “in the name of Jesus.� Folks once said that blacks and whites getting married was an abomination. Folks invoked scripture to explain why that was wrong, too. I’m not trying to quantify which civil-rights issue is more important. What I’m trying to say is that two people who love each other should be able to get married. Period. Not one thing—not one—about our day-to-day lives is going to change because two men or two women are joined in matrimony. For the life of me, I can’t understand why we care so much about the personal lives of others. You want to know what’s destroying the fabric of America? Intolerance, prejudice and ignorance, in that order. And that’s the truth ... sho-nuff.

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Why it stinks: Terri Herring, whom Gov. Phil Bryant nominated for a spot on the state’s powerful Board of Health, has spent more than a quarter century fighting to end a woman’s legal right to abortion. Now, she’s also speaking out against the rights of gay and lesbian couples. The rights of married people do not begin and end with procreation, as many fundamentalists have argued. If that were true, couples unable to, or those that choose not to have biological children could not enjoy those rights. Marriage is a legal contract that provides a range of benefits. “I came to understand that ‌ we cannot continue to blindly disqualify people from becoming parents—just as we should not deny an entire group of people the basic civil right of marriage—simply because many of us fear what we do not understand,â€? Musgrove wrote in a Huffington Post column. “Like a majority of Americans in recent years, I came to understand that fear of homosexuality was leading our governments ‌ to deny the equal rights to an entire segment of our population that are afforded all of us under the Constitution.â€?

JPS’ Cedrick Gray Deserves Fairness

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few months ago, The Clarion-Ledger ran a splashy Sunday A1 story about alleged financial mismanagement at the school district Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Cedrick Gray formerly managed. The story, which other Jackson news outlets picked up and recirculated, referenced an ongoing probe by the Tennessee state comptroller’s office. The comptroller released the resulting audit of Gray’s former Fayette County School District—and other Fayette County government agencies—last week. The allegations, which whiffed of sloppy management and cronyism on Gray’s part, were not insignificant. On Gray’s watch, the district’s cash reserves went from $1.3 million to less than $200,000, mostly due to mistakenly paying the employees’ share of insurance contributions. Auditors also noted the district failed to follow competitive bidding procedures for office equipment. The audit generated a new round of sensational headlines, led by Jackson’s daily newspaper. In its initial story about it, the Ledger seized on the fact that auditors issued findings and boldly declared the audit to be evidence that “JPS Superintendent Gray’s former district broke state laws.� But a closer examination of the report reveals that auditors never said the district broke any laws. In fact, audits are rarely so explicit. The Tennessee audit notes “deficiencies were noted in the maintenance of general cash ledger accounts� that were not in accordance with the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Eventually, even the Ledger realized that the irresponsibility of intimating that Gray broke the law was a stretch, and it toned down the headline of its story to “Audit cites fiscal misdeeds at JPS leader’s former district.� But that’s still only part of the story. Had anyone bothered to read the entire Fayette County audit, they would have seen that the comptroller pretty much issued findings—some material—against every department in the county, from the mayor’s and sheriff’s office, to the register of deeds and public works. But by then the damage was done. Television news outlets, prone as they are to taking their cues from the print media, ran with the Ledger’s Graybroke-the-law meme. In turn, JPS Board President Monica Gilmore-Love put out a statement saying the board is monitoring events in Tennessee as they unfold. Certainly, the way Dr. Gray handled the budget at his old district is relevant to his new role at JPS, an under-resourced and shrinking district that’s seen inconsistent if not lackluster leadership in recent years. And with less than a year under his belt managing a school district 10 times the size of Fayette County, people have a right to know if Jackson’s kids and JPS finances are in capable hands. People also have the right to get complete and accurate information from their media. In the case of Dr. Gray, that hasn’t happened, yet. Read the Fayette County audit document at jfp.ms/FayetteAudit.

Email letters and rants to letters@jacksonfreepress.com, fax to 601-510-9019 or mail to P.O. Box 5067, Jackson, Miss., 39296. Include daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, as well as factchecked.


RICK CLEVELAND

Remembering Hal EDITORIAL News and Opinion Editor Ronni Mott Features Editor Kathleen Morrison Mitchell Reporters Tyler Cleveland, R.L. Nave Events Editor Latasha Willis Copy Editors Dustin Cardon, Molly Lehmuller Editorial Assistant Leigh Horn Music Listings Editor Natalie Long Fashion Stylist Meredith Sullivan Writers Torsheta Bowen, Ross Cabell Marika Cackett, Richard Coupe, Jim Pathfinder Ewing, Bryan Flynn, Genevieve Legacy, Anita Modak-Truran, Larry Morrisey, Eddie Outlaw, Julie Skipper, Kelly Bryan Smith Editorial Interns Angelica Allen, Nneka Ayozie, Bethany Bridges, Krista Davis Amber Helsel, Mo Wilson Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Art Director Kristin Brenemen Advertising Designer Andrea Thomas Production Designer Latasha Willis Staff Photographer/Videographer Trip Burns Editorial Cartoonist Mike Day Photographers William Patrick Butler, Tate K. Nations, Amile Wilson ADVERTISING SALES Advertising Director Kimberly Griffin Account Managers David Rahaim, Brad Young Sales Assistant Samantha Towers Marketing Intern Tamika Smith BUSINESS AND OPERATIONS Director of Operations David Joseph Executive Assistant Erica Crunkilton Distribution Manager Richard Laswell, Distribution Raymond Carmeans, Jeff Cooper, Clint Dear, Robert Majors, Jody Windham ONLINE Web Editor Dustin Cardon Web Designer Montroe Headd Multimedia Editor Trip Burns CONTACT US: Letters Editorial Queries Listings Advertising Publisher News tips Fashion

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The Jackson Free Press is the city’s award-winning, locally owned newsweekly, with 17,000 copies distributed in and around the Jackson metropolitan area every Wednesday. The Jackson Free Press is free for pick-up by readers; one copy per person, please. First-class subscriptions are available for $100 per year for postage and handling. The Jackson Free Press welcomes thoughtful opinions. The views expressed in this newspaper are not necessarily those of the publisher or management of Jackson Free Press Inc. © Copyright 2013 Jackson Free Press Inc. All Rights Reserved

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ong before he became a restaurateur, raconteur and half of the namesake for Jackson’s famous Hal and Mal’s, Hal White was a quarterback. And a safety, a kicker and a punter. “He was just about all I had,” said Jim Drewry, whose first year as head coach at Booneville High was Hal White’s senior season of 1965. “Hal played hurt that entire season, and he was still our best player.” Drewry went on to become the winningest coach in the rich, storied history of Mississippi high school football. His teams won 347 games. His first Booneville team won one. They lost eight and tied one. “We’d have won a lot more if I had had more Hal Whites,” Drewry said a week ago, shortly after he had learned of Hal White’s death as the result of a brain aneurysm. “We’re just devastated up here in Booneville,” Drewry said. Much of Jackson and mid-Mississippi is devastated, too. I have lived in this town for nearly 34 years. I can’t tell you how much more entertaining and interesting Hal and Malcolm White have made my hometown. Malcolm was the front man for Hal and Mal’s, the heartbeat of Jackson. Hal mostly worked behind the scenes. Through tough economic times and stalled downtown development, they have teamed to turn a dilapidated warehouse into a Jackson institution. I cannot imagine this town without Hal and Mal’s. Hal always has run the kitchen with his trademark soiled apron and alternating scowls and smiles. His specialties were gumbos and soups. He had taken his last breath only a few minutes earlier that Thursday afternoon at St. Dominic when Malcolm came down from ICU to greet mourning friends. Hugs and tears were exchanged, and then one of us asked Malcolm if there was anything we could do to help in any way. Malcolm thought for a long second. “Can you cook soup?” he asked, and managed a chuckle. “Seriously, what are we going to do without Hal’s soup?” We’re going to miss more than Hal’s soup. We’ll miss his stories about Booneville and Mississippi State. We’ll miss the gleam in his eye when he talked about his family, especially his lovely Ann. Most who read this will know Hal and Mal White always follow a New Orleans brass band to lead the Mal’s St. Paddy’s Parade, dancing down Capitol Street in front of tens of thousands, delivering flowers and kisses. With that image, most could scarcely imagine a father nicknamed “War Daddy” raised the two brothers. Harold T. White Sr. was the John Wayne-like football coach at then-Perkinston Junior College. “Hal was 5, and I was 3 when our mother died,” Malcolm said. “Dad raised us with a lot of help from family and friends.

Dad coached football, taught classes, went to school at night and raised us.” Harold T. White Sr. was legendary for his old-school discipline. He was called War Daddy because he came straight from the Army Air Corps to coaching. “My dad had enormous influence on everybody he encountered and especially his sons,” Malcolm said. “He was a giant of a man, a force to be reckoned with.” Malcolm White remembers Perk practices: The players doing hundreds of sit-ups; his daddy hollering, “OK, tighten up boys!” He remembers War Daddy walking across the player’s stomachs in his football cleats. At times, Malcolm saw much of his father in Hal. “I’m talking about his toughness, his work ethic and his values,” Malcolm said. “I could look at Hal and see my dad in his mannerisms, the way he talked.” From football coach at Perk at the southern end of the state, Harold T. White Sr., moved to president at Northeast Junior College at Booneville on the northern end. Hal and Malcolm were teens. This was the ’60s. “We still played ball, but a big part of us wanted to be hippies,” Malcolm said. “My father didn’t approve. There was some conflict there as in a lot of families at that time, but we got through it.” They remained as close as brothers can be, and we are much the better for it. War Daddy lived to see his two oldest sons open Hal and Mal’s. He did not live to see the institution it has become, and that’s too bad. Getting back to what we will miss about Harold T. White, Jr. (Hal), besides watching him dance down Capitol Street with brothers Malcolm and Brad and Hal’s son, Harold T. White III, called Taylor … We will miss his red beans and rice. We’ll miss him holding court at the south end of the main bar. We will miss the huge role he played in Hal and Mal’s Oyster Open, a golf tournament he founded and never came close to winning, although he always seemed to have the most fun. The Oyster Open raises money for a fully funded scholarship in Harold T. White Sr.’s name at Hinds Community College. It’s a hotel/restaurant/hospitality scholarship. The recipient also works at Hal and Mal’s, learning the restaurant business from the inside. The Oyster Open is the only tournament in which I’ve played where my group gladly allowed two other groups to play through because we were too busy slurping down oysters on the half shell. Hal was one of those golfers who loved to play no matter his score. “I’m a bogey golfer,” he said. “I’ll always be a bogey golfer. I might as well be a happy bogey golfer.” He wasn’t about to let a shank here or a three-putt there ruin a nice stroll in the sun with good friends and cold beer. There’s a lesson in there for the rest of us. Cheers, Hal.

THIS WEEK WEDNESDAY 4/3:

Whit & Wynters (Restaurant)

THURSDAY 4/4:

Scott Albert Johnson (Restaurant)

FRIDAY 4/5:

North MS Allstars (BIG)

SATURDAY 4/6: RTB2 (Restaurant)

MONDAY 4/8:

Central MS Blues Society’s Blue Mondays (Restaurant)

TUESDAY 4/9:

Pub Quiz w Erin and Friends (Restaurant)

Coming Soon

4/11: Matthew Hoggatt 4/12: That Scoundral 4/12: Doubleshotz 4/13: Jarekus Singleton 4/13: Thomas Jackson 4/18: Lane Rodgers

Thank You! Hal and Mal’s sincerely appreciates all the love and support from the community. We look forward to many more years celebrating our city & Hal’s legacy, within and outside our walls. Much Love & Hal On! Visit HalandMals.com for a full menu and concert schedule

601.948.0888 200 S. Commerce St. Downtown Jackson, Mississippi

jacksonfreepress.com

Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer

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JFP INTERVIEW

Chokwe Lumumba:

From Militancy to the Mainstream by Jacob D. Fuller and R.L. Nave

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April 3 - 9, 2013

TRIP BURNS

hokwe Lumumba Chokwe Lumumba first came to Jackson in the early Born: Edwin Finley 1970s as a civilTaliaferro in Detroit. rights activist. He returned to MichiAge: 65 gan shortly after to attend law school, Political Experience: returning to Mississippi in 1988. City Council since ’09 He’s been in Jackson ever since, and now he’s running for mayor of the capital city. Professional If his views and policies don’t set him apart, Experience: Lawyer his name will stand out on the ballot. Lumumba chose the name—which he stresses is African, Family: Widower, wife, not Muslim—in the late 1960s. Nubia, died in ’03, three “I picked the name Chokwe because in children: Kambon, my African history class I learned that the Rukia and Chokwe Chokwe tribe, which is a tribe that still exists, was one of the last tribes to resist the slave trade Education: Kalamazoo successfully in northeast Angola,” Lumumba ’69, Wayne State told the Jackson Free Press. “The name literUniversity Law ally means ‘hunter.’ School ’75 “The second name, Lumumba, was the name of a great African leader who began to lead Africa to decolonize, to independence. He was from the Congo. Lumumba means ‘gifted.’ So literally, it means ‘gifted hunter.’” When he was growing up, Lumumba felt close to the civil-rights conflicts in the South as the son of an What role did you Alabama-native mother. It didn’t take long for him to join to play in forming the fight for freedom, and he hasn’t given it up, either. For more New Afrikan People’s than 35 years, Lumumba has defended civil-rights cases in Organization? the courtroom and from the rally podium. He also helped I was one of the start the New Afrikan People’s Organization. founders of the New AfriWard 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba, a longtime activist and attorney, wants to bring He helped defend Jamie and Gladys Scott, who received kan People’s Organization. his experience as a human-rights organizer to the Jackson mayor’s race. double life sentences for a 1993 armed robbery that netted That was in 1984. I was anywhere from $11 to $200, depending on who was testify- involved in it in the city of ing. In December 2010, then-Gov. Haley Barbour suspend- Detroit. It was founded in ed the sisters’ sentences on the condition that Gladys donate a three different locations: one was in Detroit, one was in Los people, not just us—we support this for all people, in terms kidney to her sister. “We thanked him when he let them go,” Angeles and one was in New York. of self-determination—have to be given an opportunity to Lumumba said. “We’re still trying to get them off parole. We participate in self-governance, economic development, politihaven’t done that.” What is the goal and purpose of that cal development and things of that nature. Lumumba has also represented rapper Tupac Shakur organization? Some people have interpreted it to say that we’re sepaas well as Lance Parker, who was accused of trying to shoot Basically: human rights for human beings, with the fo- ratists or something. That is not the case. We’ve never been the gas tank during the assault on a white trucker, Reginald cus on trying to vindicate the oppression of black folks, trying separatists, nor have we ever been segregationists. What we’re Denny, during the 1991 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. to make sure that black people are put in a position for self- saying is that whatever our numbers are in a particular popuLumumba, who won an acquittal for Parker, argued that his determination. When we say self-determination, what we lation, we should be able to participate in governance comclient discharged his weapon to aid Denny. mean is giving the opportunity to govern themselves com- mensurately with those numbers. Lumumba has served one term as Jackson’s Ward 2 city mensurate with their numbers in the particular population. In areas that we are in the majority, we have to be able to councilman. There, he has continued to fight for more miWhat that means is that we feel that the thing that hurt maintain the majority of that responsibility. (We’re) not trynority representation on city contracts, and gladly reminds us the most, in terms of the whole estrangement from Af- ing to subjugate or discriminate against other people, because listeners that the city is between 75 and 80 percent black on a rica, the enslavement and middle passage, is not actually the our highest goal is human rights. We’re very tight in respect regular basis. The JFP sat down with Lumumba in his office specific experiences of slaves on middle passage, but the liq- to the universal declaration of human rights. 16 on Mill Street to talk about his campaign for mayor. uidation of our rights to self-government. We feel that any What we want to do is do a better job than our pre-


Didn’t the Republic of New Afrika call for a separate black state? The Republic of New Afrika advocated for an independent nation. That’s different from a separate nation. Well, it’s different in this respect: At no point in time did the Republic of New Afrika advocate for anything that was going to throw white people out or exclude white people…. My philosophy has always been human rights for human beings. To underscore that, I’m the one that helped sponsor the anti-racial profiling ordinance and that’s going to help immigrants if we get it rightly enforced. Occupy Jackson was a predominantly white organized movement where they wanted to stay at Smith Park. I’m the one that spoke up for them, not quietly but publicly.

Go way back to Cairo, Egypt. Egypt used to be black, but it attracted cultures from everywhere. That’s why it looks like it does now. The same thing with New York City. That’s what I want to see. I want to see an opportunity for us to advance immensely here in Jackson. I’m not going to be counting the number of blacks who walk through the door, or the number of Hispanics who walk through the door. Anybody that wants to get down with this process and really do it well, I’m down with them.

Give an example. I have given a lot of the impetus for the Siemens (water How, specifically, as mayor would you assure and sewer improvement) project, for instance. Siemens came that when contractors come in that they do give to me, for whatever reason, before they came into the city jobs to Jacksonians and specifically to minority council, and before, I believe, they came to the (Johnson) Jacksonians? administration. I can’t speak to when they came to the adI think there are two ways. Number one, we’re already ministration, but it was at least a couple years before the city supposed to have a policy that is supposed to encourage— council actually got it. People brought Siemens to me to ask and I’ll have to revisit the policy—but last I heard, it was me what my view was in Siemens trying to get this (water) supposed to encourage 8 percent minority involvement. It’s project. supposed to be a goal as opposed They were trying to conto a quota. vince me there would be a lot of jobs available, and it would 8 percent? be good for the city. So what I I think it’s 8 percent, the did is, I told them what I tell evlast I heard. Harvey (Johnson) erybody. I said, ‘Yeah, we want says he strives for higher than your business. We need business that. I think that the actual, spohere in the city. There are two ken policy is 8 percent, which things that I’d like to see. I’d like is ridiculously low. I’ve thought (commitment) to giving jobs to about having an articulating Jacksonians, and I’d like to see policy that we can have agreed you committed to what we call upon and approved by the City the so-called minority level. That Council, hopefully, which would is, as far as your contractors and be larger than that. sub-contractors, a good porFirst of all, I think we tion of them are either black or should have a goal. You really Hispanic so other people have would have to talk about this in a chance to do these contracts terms of a goal. You can’t make it years down the road, other than a quota. You want to have a goal Lumumba wants to change the perception the small groups we have workof encouraging all businesses that that he is an anti-white militant by touting his ing them now. come here to have more than 50 championship racial-profiling ban. Those are the two things percent, or 60 percent of their I said. I thought (Siemens’ offiemployees be Jacksonians. You cials) were genuine. I still think want at least 50 percent of their they’re genuine, in terms of saying what they’re going to do. contractors and sub-contractors, except in special situations, If you look at what they’ve done, it’s pretty representative. to be minorities. That’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about, OK? I’m not That’s how we’ll make it work. When these people emtalking about cutting anybody out of this. Certainly, I’m not ploy more people from the city, that’s going to increase the trying to exclude businesses, which would be profitable to income in the city. They contract with more sub-contractors Jacksonians from coming in. that reflect the population of the city, and other oppressed I’m not just trying to get black people to come to this people who may not live in the city. They live around the city. I think if we do what’s supposed to be done in this city, city. If they do that, that’s going to spread the skills pool, the city is going to attract a lot of people, not only black and white, but globally. That’s what happens to cities (that) 17 MORE LUMUMBA, SEE PAGE 19 really do well. KENYA HUDSON

We’ve heard you mention the percentage of African Americans in Jackson and wanting to see that percentage more in government. As mayor, how would you look to implement that belief, and would you use the belief in looking at hires for city jobs and city contracts? What I’m looking for is the empowerment of the population of the 80 percent (African American population) that’s there. As far as I’m concerned, I’m looking for the empowerment of all the population. You can check my background in terms of the cases I’ve had and causes I’ve championed. As far as that’s concerned, there were a lot of poor white people, too. It so happens that in the city of Jackson, except for the south side where you do have some poor white people who, I believe, are (of) modest income, for the most part, what we’re greeted to on the northeast side are white people who are fairly well off. They are not really in the economically oppressed class. What I am looking for is the empowerment of that population, the empowerment of the urban population, period. Black population is principal of that, because it’s 85 percent of it, or 80 percent of it. What I’m looking for is we need that 85 percent to have jobs. We can never get it done if we have people who come in and give the black population 20 percent of the jobs, give another part of the population 60 percent of the jobs and another one 20 percent of the jobs. That’s not going to work. … It’s self-defeating, not only for the black population, but it’s self-defeating for the city of Jackson. If most of your population is not enjoying the opportunity to get work, then of course, you’re going to be a poor city. … If you’re fighting to keep that 80 percent in peonage, then your whole state’s going to be in peonage. You’re going

to have some rich people, but a good number of the white people are going to be poor. The black people are going to be poor. The state is going to be poor, relatively speaking, to other states. That’s what I don’t want. Do I expect there to be white businesses and white jobs and plenty of them? Of course. Any of the white businessmen who have dealt with me can tell you that.

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decessors in terms of those who control us, not turning the tables. We’re trying to do a better job. We’re trying to fight not just for a different complexion of people in office, but a better idea in office and things of that nature.


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LUMUMBA from page 17

and the contractor pool, getting people where they can do projects big enough where they can get bonded, they can get insured. Then we can have a bigger pool of people participating. I believe the bigger the pool participating, the more the economy grows. One of our problems right now is that even as far as black people are concerned, or minorities, (we’re) building too small of a pool. If you keep shipping the same contracts to the same people, first of all, in many instances they’re not really able to handle all the contracts. So what they do is go out and contract someone else the work that they’re supposed to be doing, and it defeats the whole purpose to why you gave it to them in the first place. By having those two things as goals—A, having those who you contract with having over 50 or 60 percent of their people from Jackson, and then having at least 50 percent of the sub-contractors being from the minority pool, and that includes women, Hispanics, blacks, and Asians and others—those two things, I think, would help economically help our population.

You don’t lose as much as Sanders did in Detroit, either, do you? Yeah, that’s right. That is true. That is one of the considerations I had to have as far as deciding to run (for mayor). I had to make sure my son (Chokwe) was in a position where he could take over a lot of my responsibilities as far as my law firm is concerned. I can’t do both. Those things are not compatible. How did a lawyer from little old Jackson, Miss. get involved with all these high-profile cases and clients? Because I was an activist first before I was a lawyer. I went all over the country helping in causes and demonstrations–students rights, prisoners’ rights, women’s rights. TRIP BURNS

You seem to be suspicious of capitalistic enterprises. How will that affect your relationship to businesses and business groups in terms of attracting them Jackson? We’re in a transitional economy in many respects. Capitalism, at its rankest form, is not a humanistic economic system. It allows the most powerful to tear into the economic fabric of the least powerful. It allows people with big money to control people with no money, low money and small money in many ways including politically because the people with the money the determinant of who runs for office.

Sanders when he quit the Detroit Lions. I saw Barry at the airport and asked him, “Barry, man, we didn’t want you to quit. We wanted you to stay.” He said, “You don’t think I’ve done enough?”

How receptive do you think white business owners and groups like Downtown Jackson Partners will be to Despite health problems that put him in the hospital in 2012, Lumumba is your ideas? confident he is up to the rigors of the mayor’s office. I’m very much for the development of downtown, and I think it can be done together with outskirt areas: Highway 49, Medgar Evers. Highway 18. We need a front- When you’re involved in those struggles then you become age road on parts of I-20. The infrastructure areas planned for a lawyer you’re in high demand for people who have those downtown need to be expanded beyond downtown. kinds of cases. And for a time in my career, I was able You’re not going to get any major department store to to live off those kinds of cases where people were being relocate in downtown, Jackson. It doesn’t happen in other politically or racially prosecuted, or being prosecuted becities so why would it happen here? You’re not going to get cause of gender. them in the big shopping centers like Metrocenter. They live on stretches like Lakeland Avenue, and that’s why Rankin As mayor, what would you do if someone sued County is doing so well developing that stretch. the city of Jackson for police brutality? You’ve always been on the victim’s side of those cases. What about One Lake? Well, first of all, I’m going to do a thorough investigaI think it’s a good idea. We’ve got to develop waterfronts. tion. If the police are responsible, we’re going to have to settle. Waterfronts are profitable all over the country, and sometimes And this is going to be an incentive to make sure we have the the best aspects of the cities are right there on the waterfront right kind of police department. And sometimes the police so we’ve got to take advantage of that. aren’t culpable, and I’m going to protect them. … Crime is like this: I’m in a unique position to underHow do you plan to balance your work as a stand people who have problems and people are marginal lawyer with your work as mayor? as far as crime is concerned. Our attack on them has to be I don’t plan to have work as a lawyer. I can’t do it. It’s get them a job, to reorient their values. You’ve got to reduce rough enough from the city council perspective. the pool of people who might become criminals … that’s It’s time for me to move on from being a lawyer, anyway. going to be a joint effort with churches, people like me who I’ve been doing this thing since 1976. I feel about like Barry ran basketball programs.

Secondly, we have to get them a job. Thirdly, we have say to those who continue to commit crimes that we’re going to sit down at this table and make a promise: You’re going to stop committing crimes, and I’m going to try my damnedest to get you a job, to create programs to get jobs, to encourage businesses to drop the “misdemeanor box” so you don’t get dropped from the job because you have to check off that you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor. What your promise is going to be is you’re going to get out of the drug game, you’re not going to break into people’s homes. If you do that, you’ve breached our promise. The city has a lot of contracts ahead of them, including approximately $400 million worth of work on the sewer system from the Environmental Protection Agency’s consent decree. How, as mayor, would you look to fund that over the next couple of decades? First of all, I think the Siemens contract addresses that in a small way. It’s a way that we can increase the revenues from water, so we’ve got to look at that. We know that we’ve got to increase those revenues and use some of that money toward that. The other thing is that we’ve got to get that (local option) sales tax through, or at least give the people a chance to vote on it. If the people don’t want it, then of course they won’t vote for it. On the 1-percent sales tax situation, we just need to get it straight and, hopefully, shed that (oversight) commission. That’s one of the ways that we’re going to be looking at it. There are other companies out there that have lease-to-own programs in terms of repairing old water systems. What they do is, the city pays on it over a period of time, on a sort-of lease-to-own situation. For instance, just a hypothetical, a company comes in, and they put in like $400 million of pipes and change the system around. They own it. What happens is (the city) begins to pay them back. So you’re leasing it until you pay them back. That’s a possibility. We’ve got to investigate those. People came to me with those while I was on the council. I referred them to administration. For whatever reason, (administration) didn’t use them. I’m not saying they should have. I don’t know. That’s one of the problems, I think, with the present way that things are done. I should know, because I’m on the council, and we should be working on these things together, but I don’t know. That kind of stuff is not shareable to me nor the other council members. I think the philosophy of how we deal with things economically lacks collectivity, which I think is not good. I think that should we ever be placed in the situation that we were several years ago—remember when the water system broke down? We declared an emergency. I think the State declared an emergency too, for the Jackson area. (U.S. Rep.) Bennie Thompson was head of the Homeland Security Committee at the time. I called Thompson and the mayor. I called Bennie first and asked if he would be receptive to hearing a request from us that the president declare a state of emergency for the state of Jackson, and give us some money. Bennie said, “Well, is Harvey going to ask for that?” I called Harvey, and Harvey told me he didn’t think we needed it. I disagree with that. If we have that opportunity again, at least go for it. Look for those types of opportunities, because that could have created a whole new day for Jackson. (I believe) $300 million is not all that much coming from the federal government, in terms of their contribution, but in MORE LUMUMBA, SEE PAGE 20

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JFP INTERVIEW

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JFP INTERVIEW

LUMUMBA from page 19

terms of us receiving it, that’s a lot of money. That gives you a whole new economic frontier. That’s the kind of thing that I’m certainly going to be looking out for. At the same time, the hard work of trying to get the sales-tax thing through is something we’re going to have to do. I think that will generate a lot of income, if we can get it through.

What did you mean when you said we’ve been hustled? Well, I think that the problem is that the Watkins Development group—that is supposed to have been doing the Farish Street thing—has not had the capacity to do it. Their lack of capacity has stymied us for a number of years in terms of getting it done. Why have they lacked the capacity? It seems to me that they have been in a lot of different projects and playing with our money. Like the Standard Life building: The city sold that for a million dollars to David Watkins. Then, we’ve got the Farish Street thing they’re involved in. Later on, (Watkins) was involved in the Metro Retro project (to revitalize Metrocenter Mall). I’m not sure that David really ever had enough resources to do all those things. That’s what I’m saying. Maybe “hustled” is too strong of a word. I kind of think he was trying to get some money, at certain points of time, that some of the money he was trying to get for one project may have been going to another project. Apparently, according to what we’ve been told, he’s had some success with the King Edward. I haven’t heard much about the Standard Life, but I’m assuming he’s had some success with that. I think that, sometimes, you need to consider other

“I expect someone to come along that’s greater than me.”

How important is it to make Jackson a tourist destination? It’s important. That’s a good question. I think it’s important, because all major cities nowadays, maybe always, have used that as a portion of their economy. I don’t think we should get beyond ourselves. I don’t think we should be thinking of ourselves as a New Orleans, or (an) Orlando, Florida, or something like that. That’s primarily what they are. I think that we have to have industry. We have to produce something here. We’ve got to address the needs of people who live here, and not just think about bringing other people in. I think (tourism) is an important part. I believe that an important part of that is to do something with Farish Street. I think we’ve been hustled on Farish Street, but I don’t know. Farish Street is an issue that’s lasted a lot longer than me. I just got into public council in 2009.

sources, or at least it needs to be re-vetted. You can’t just assume that because he’s had two successful projects that the third one is going to be good, or the fourth one is going to be good. I don’t think we did our due diligence in terms of the Farish Street project. Is it time to look for another developer on Farish Street? Yeah. Yeah. I think so. I think that we need to look for another developer. If the developers that have it now can jump up and say, “Look, we’ve got it. We’ve got the money. We can do it,” then, of course, you don’t put them out so they can never do it. You’ve called for recruiting undocumented immigrants to Jackson to spur economy growth. Yeah, I want them to become citizens because I think their blend into the political process as well as the economic process could be healthy for us. What we need here is a new culture. It’s a new idea, a new way, a new justice frontier. We have not only a black culture, we have white people who have their culture. We have Hispanics. We have Asians. And something’s going to happen as a result of that. Something always does when you have a new blend of people. The question is it going to be something good or something bad? What we need is a new culture with new ideas that leads up to becoming a model city in the world. You were in the hospital last year. Do you feel physically up to the task?

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JFP INTERVIEW

Is that what the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s Jackson Plan is about? Yeah, that’s part of the Jackson Plan to develop a progressive leadership that’s going move Jackson forward and make it a better place. (Another part of the Jackson plan) is to build Peoples’ Assemblies all over not just Jackson but all over Mississippi where people will express their concerns to city, state and national governments and at the same time be able to learn more about what this organizations are doing. Comment at jfp.ms/lumumba. Email R.L. Nave at rlnave@jacksonfreepress.com. See all mayoral interviews to date at jfp.ms/mayorsrace2013.

by R.L. Nave

I

n September 1955, a young Edwin Taliaferro saw an image that would shape his thinking over the next five decades. The photograph, published in Jet Magazine, was of Emmett Till’s mangled 14-year-old face in an open coffin. Chokwe Lumumba, as he is now called, describes Mamie Till’s decision to allow her son’s visage, ruined by vindictive racists in Mississippi, to be splashed on the national magazine’s cover an act of bravery, the event that first pricked his political consciousness. But it was the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 13 years later that became Lumumba’s entrée to human-rights activism. To hear that Lumumba adheres to the teachings of King, a Baptist pastor who preached non-violence, might surprise Lumumba, pictured with wife, Nubia, said Dr. Martin followers of Lumumba’s career, Luther King Jr. and Kwame Toure (nee Stokely which now includes a run for Jack- Carmichael) influenced his political philosophy. son mayor. However, Lumumba believes King’s philosophy of eradicating “infecLumumba, 65, is hypersensitive to tious discrimination, racism and apart- the fact that he is, in the imaginations heid” is perfectly in sync with his own way of many people, an anti-white bigot saliof thinking, which the first-term council- vating at the opportunity to expel all of man would bring to the mayor’s office. Jackson’s non-pigmented people and seize “My development was always mak- their property for redistribution to the ing the world better. I was always sensi- city’s black majority. tive to any kind of repression. My thing “We’re not looking for a bloody revwas fairness, and I was offended by un- olution in the city of Jackson. We don’t fairness,” Lumumba told the Jackson Free want to offend anyone else’s rights. HowPress recently. ever many white people there are in Jack-

son, they have to be treated by the highest levels of human standards as anybody else, because if we don’t do that, not only do we offend Martin Luther King’s philosophy, what we do is betray our own revolution. “Our revolution is for the better idea; it’s not just for the change in colors. So it’s not a question of whether in a predominantly black jurisdiction that you’ve got to oppress white people. Where that notion comes from, I don’t really know.” Part of the perception stems from Lumumba’s radical roots that include his cofounding the New Afrikan People’s Organization, which wanted black people to have their own nation, called the Republic of New Afrika, in the southeastern United States. In August 1971, police and agents from the FBI raided the house used for RNA’s headquarters in west Jackson. Police lieutenant Louis Skinner died in the melee, and another police officer and a bureau agent were wounded. Lumumba was not involved in the shootout that resulted in the arrests of 11 New Afrika members including its president, Imari Obadele. “The Republic of New Afrika has been miscast as the black flip side to the Ku Klux Klan when, in reality, the Declaration of Independence prohibited color, class and gender COURTESY CHOKWE LUMUMBA

No lingering problems that people should worry about? No, nothing you should worry about. Win or lose, I’m going to be around a long time. But I’ll tell you this: I don’t intend to be in office for 12 years. I think that’s too long. I have enough sense to realize that I’m not the answer to every question. The answer is developing a system and building new leadership. Part of my job is to address the problems of Jackson as best I can. The other part is to develop leadership for Jackson. In my administration, you’re going to see a reflection of that in the types of people I hire–younger people, women. And we’re going to make sure that it’s an administration that forward looking and not backwards looking. I expect someone to come along that’s greater than me, and if I don’t do that, I haven’t succeeded.

A ‘New Justice Frontier’

MORE JUSTICE, SEE PAGE 22

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I had pneumonia last year. I feel great now. ... I’m going to get it accomplished. It was the first time in my life I came down with pneumonia, and pneumonia’s rough. So I was in there… a week or two weeks?

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JFP INTERVIEW

JUSTICE, from page 21

COURTESY CHOKWE LUMUMBA

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Pictured here with his children, Rukia (center, top) and Chokwe (center, bottom) and wife, Nubia (right), who died in 2003, Lumumba is intensely involved with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), which promotes universal human rights. A part of the MXGM called the Jackson Plan seeks to develop young Jacksonians into leaders.

discrimination,” Lumumba said. “What they were was ahead of their times, especially in terms of no gender discrimination because a lot of people in the movement at the time were still practicing gender discrimination. So what the RNA was saying was that in states like Mississippi (that) had dead, cold frozen black out of the system, then blacks have a right under international law to ask for a plebiscite, a freedom vote, on what they want their destiny to be.” For Jackson, which has the second highest concentration of African Americans of any city larger than 150,000 residents in the U.S., Lumumba wants that destiny to ensure that businesses operating in the city hire residents, 80 percent of whom are black. That part of his political development stems from a strain of Black Power ideology that Stokely Carmichael and the Southern Nonviolent Coordinating Committee espoused. It focuses on political and economic self-determination for African Americans. “SNCC had resolved that they would take a more affirmative fight for power. It wasn’t just going to be access. In other words, not just being able to sit at the counter. They wanted to own the store, and they wanted blacks to have that opportunity to own the store,” Lumumba said. Lumumba’s reputation as an activist

earned him a laundry list of high-profile and sometimes controversial clients including Fulani Sunni Ali, indicted in the 1980 Brinks armored-car robbery for whom Lumumba secured an acquittal; the irascible Tupac Shakur; Lance Parker, who was accused of trying to shoot the fuel tank on Reginald Denny’s 18-wheeler during the Los Angeles riots; and Mississippi’s Scott Sisters. Likewise, his activist training has sometimes landed him in hot water with judges and the legal community. In 2005, the Mississippi Bar Association suspended Lumumba’s law license for six months for saying in court that a Leake County circuit judge possessed “the judicial demeanor of a barbarian.” Lumumba cites the anti-racial-profiling ordinance he championed on the city council in 2010 as evidence that he wants all Jackson residents to create a new blend of people. “It’s a new idea, a new way, a new justice frontier. We have not only a black culture, we have white people who have their culture; we have Hispanics, we have Asians,” he said. “And something’s going to happen as a result of that. The question is: Is it going to be something good or something bad? What we need is a new culture with new ideas that leads up to becoming a model city in the world.”

April 3 - 9, 2013

“Our revolution is for the better idea.”

22

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Fondren’s Newest Flavor

Café Olé brings fresh, made-to-order cuisine with a Latin flair to a neighborhood that is evolving into a foodies’ paradise.

TRIP BURNS

in the restaurant business since college. He started out working at restaurants such as T.G.I. Fridays and Tony Roma’s and eventually decided to open his own, starting with Panino’s in Jackson, Laurel and Hattiesburg, and Alexander’s in Madison. Those restau-

The tacos are Café Olé’s most popular menu item.

rants are gone now, and Café Olé in Fondren is his latest. “(Fondren is) a fun place to live and to be,” Sivira says. “People are nice here. People are very knowledgeable of different cuisines. They know what they want.” Sivira prides himself on the freshness of the menu and has been pleased with—if a bit unprepared for—the high demand for his cuisine. “Sometimes when we get backed up a little bit, it’s because we make everything to order,” he says. “We’ve had a couple of complaints of, ‘Well, we waited too long,’ (while) we’re packed. Well guess what? We cook everything to order. When you’re getting something, it’s getting made in that moment.” Despite its newness, Café Olé is enjoying steady business. The lunch rush is big for the restaurant, and then the volume slows as the afternoon wanes on. Even then, the café will have people in for late lunch, sometimes two or three tables at a time. The dinner rush is slower, which Sivira says is good because he can really cater to those people. The Cuban is one of the most popular

dishes right now, and one not easily found at many Jackson restaurants. It is a hot-pressed sandwich with ham, pork, pickles and Swiss cheese—mustard and mayo optional. The salsa is the restaurant’s own recipe, and the chips—which are one of the few things the restaurant fries—complement it perfectly. Sivira says that the tacos are the most popular menu item, followed by the Cuban and then the empanadas. He says the tamales are a hot choice, too. For dessert, Café Olé offers traditional flan and churros, but it is the 3-Leches, a cake soaked in three types of milk, that many people are talking about. It is a signature dessert—Sivira has served it at all his restaurants. It is a family recipe, as is most of the cuisine at the restaurant. “Everybody loves it,” he says. Sivira’s concept is simple: Give the people fresh, tasty food, and they will come back for seconds and even thirds. I know because I have been back twice already. Visit Café Olé at 2752 N. State St. For more information, call 769-524-3627 or find them on Facebook. 23

jacksonfreepress.com

I

walk into the brightly lit Café Olé off State Street where I introduce myself to the owner Alex Sivira, an older man from Venezuela who is currently looking for his glasses. The tiny cafe is located in the old Capitol Medical Supply building across from Regions Bank on North State Street in Fondren. The top of the long outside awning is painted a bright orange with makeshift palm trees and tiny plants in ornately painted pots. The interior is a dusky orange, which is offset by a black ceiling and silver slatted walls. Each table is painted with a different abstract design (mine was a zebra stripe pattern). Once he finds his glasses, Sivira sits at one of the larger tables near the front counter to chat. “We’re trying to give a different product,” he says of the restaurant’s Latin cuisine, which features dishes from places such as Mexico, Honduras and Venezuela. “Fresh, cooked to order with fresh ingredients, no preservatives or anything, and an affordable price.” Sivira has worked in the restaurant industry for 30 years and has lived in and around Jackson for 40 years. “This is a home for me,” he said. “This is my home.” Sivira has degrees in architecture and computer science from the University of Southern Mississippi but found himself

TRIP BURNS

by Amber Helsel


DINEJackson Paid listyour yourrestaurant.r restaurant.r Paid advertising advertising section. section. Call Call 601-362-6121 601-362-6121 x11 x1 totolist

AMERICAN/SOUTHERN CUISINE Another Broken Egg (1000 Highland Colony #1009 in Renaissance, 601.790.9170) Open Daily 7am-2pm for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Two Sisters Kitchen (707 N. Congress St. 601-353-1180) Lunch. Mon-Fri, Sun. Koinonia (136 Adams St. 601-960-3008) Coffeehouse plus lunch and more! Broad Street Bakery (4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-362-2900) Hot breakfast,coffee espresso drinks, fresh breads and pastries, gourmet deli sandwiches. For Heaven’s Cakes (4950 Old Canton Road 601-991-2253) Cakes and cupcakes for all occasions including weddings, parties, catered events.

PIZZA The Pizza Shack (925 E. Fortification 601-352-2001) New locations in Belhaven and a second spot in Colonial Mart on Old Canton Rd. in Northeast Jackson. Sal & Mookie’s (565 Taylor St. 601-368-1919) Pizzas of all kinds plus pasta, eggplant parmesan and the fried ravioli. Bring the kids for ice cream! Mellow Mushroom (275 Dogwood Blvd, Flowood, 601-992-7499) More than just great pizza and beer. Open Monday - Friday 11-10 and Saturday 11-11. ITALIAN BRAVO! (4500 Interstate 55 N., Jackson, 601-982-8111) Award-winning wine list, Jackson’s see-and-be-seen casual/upscale dining. Cerami’s (5417 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-919-28298) Southern-style Italian cuisine features their signature Shrimp Cerami. STEAK, SEAFOOD & FINE DINING Islander Seafood and Oyster House (601-366-5441) Seafood, po’boys and oyster house. Casual fine dining that’s family-friendly with a beach vibe. Crab’s (6954 Old Canton Rd., Ridgeland, 601-956-5040) Crab’s Seafood Shack offers a wide variety of southern favorites such as fried catfish and boiled shrimp. Eslava’s Grille (2481 Lakeland Drive, 601-932-4070) Latin-influenced dishes like ceviche in addition to pastas, steaks, salads and other signature seafood dishes. Rocky’s (1046 Warrington Road, Vicksburg 601-634-0100) Enjoy choice steaks, fresh seafood, great salads, hearty sandwiches. The Penguin (1100 John R Lynch Street, 769.251.5222) Fine dining at its best. SOUTH OF THE BORDER Babalu (622 Duling Ave., 601-366-5757) Fresh guacamole at the table, fish tacos, empanada, smoked pork sholders, Mexican street corn. Jaco’s Tacos (318 South State Street) Tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Tex-Mex at its finest and freshest. La Morena (6610 Old Canton Road Suite J, Ridgeland, 601-899-8821) Tortillas made fresh order. Authentic, Mexican Cuisine (not Tex-Mex). Mexican Cokes! Fernando’s Fajita Factory (5647 Hwy 80 E in Pearl, 601-932-8728 and 149 Old Fannin Rd in Brandon, 601-992-6686) A culinary treat traditional Mexican. MEDITERRANEAN/GREEK Aladdin Mediterranean Grill (730 Lakeland Drive 601-366-6033) Delicious authentic dishes including lamb dishes, hummus, falafel, kababs, shwarma. BARBEQUE Hickory Pit Barbeque (1491 Canton Mart Rd. 601-956-7079) The “Best Butts in Town” features BBQ chicken, beef and pork along with burgers and po’boys. Haute Pig (1856 Main Street, 601-853-8538) A “very high class pig stand,” Haute Pig offers Madison diners BBQ plates, sandwiches, po-boys, salads. COFFEE HOUSES Cups Espresso Café (Multiple Locations, www.cupsespressocafe.com) Jackson’s local group of coffeehouses offer a wide variety of espresso drinks. Wi-fi. BARS, PUBS & BURGERS Burgers and Blues (1060 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland 601-899-0038) Best Burger of 2012, plus live music and entertainment! Hal and Mal’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 daily specials. Cherokee Inn (960 Briarfield Rd. 601-362-6388) Jackson’s “Best Hole in the Wall,” has a great jukebox, great bar and a great burger. Cool Al’s (4654 McWillie, 601-713-3020) Cool Al’s signature stacked, messy, decadent, creative burgers defy adjectives. And don’t forget the fries! Fenian’s Pub (901 E. Fortification St. 601-948-0055) Classic Irish pub featuring a menu of traditional food, pub sandwiches and Irish beers on tap. Martin’s Restaurant and Lounge (214 South State Street 601-354-9712) Lunch specials, pub appetizers or order from the full menu of po-boys and entrees. Full bar, beer selection. 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. Underground 119 (119 South President St. 601-352-2322) Pan-seared crabcakes, shrimp and grits, filet mignon, vegetarian sliders. Live music. Opens 4 p.m., 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.

April 3 - 9, 2013

ASIAN AND INDIAN Mr. Chen’s (5465 I 55 North, 601-978-1865) Fresh authentic Chinese Food, located within an actual grocery store with many unique produce offerings. Ruchi India (862 Avery Blvd @ County Line Rd. 601-991-3110) Classic Indian recipes, lost delicacies, alluring aromas and exotic ingredients. Fantastic Indian cuisine from multiple regions. Lamb, vegetarian, chicken, shrimp and more. Pan Asia (720 Harbor Pines Dr, Ridgeland 601-956-2958) Beautiful ambiance and signature asian fusion dishes and build-your-own stir-frys. Thai House (1405 Old Square, 601-982-9991) Voted one of Jackson’s best Asian 2003-2012,offers a variety of freshly made springrolls, pad thai, moo satay, curry.

24

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VEGETARIAN High Noon Café (2807 Old Canton Road in Rainbow Plaza 601-366-1513) Fresh, gourmet, tasty and healthy defines the lunch options at Jackson’s own strict vegetarian (and very-veganfriendly) restaurant adjacent to Rainbow Whole Foods.


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LIFE&STYLE |

Paper, Please by Kathleen M. Mitchell

I

but the slightly more retro look of letterpress—stamped- it happens before the bridesmaids’ dresses come in and in lettering—is trendier these days. the wedding dress comes in, so the invitations are the first Upchurch says that though individual styles vary, real thing you see.” a focus on quality is important to the brides she works For Upchurch, it’s a meaningful time to be a part of with. “I think people know when they receive a good paper stock and a really pretty printing method,” she says. “It’s just really great to see people appreciate the way the paper is crafted. A lot of our customers are paper people—that’s why they are sitting there for three hours looking at paper.” Fresh Ink works with several well-known designers, such as Crane, but they also have in-house designers that can do custom work for a bride who can’t seem to find the perfect template. “Brides now have so much exposure to lots of different things, and These days, most brides go for “classic with an update” invitations. sometimes they really just need our help pulling it all together to figure out what’s within their budget and what’s most important to someone’s life. “I have a 3-year-old daughter, so its special them out of the lots of things they probably like,” Up- to see mothers and daughters come in and to work with church says. them, share that experience with them,” she says. “I know “The best thing is when they come and pick them that my friends’ kids are going to be getting married beup and see them for the first time, because everything is fore we know it, and then my kids. It’s really just fun to getting really real when they see it on paper. A lot of time, have a part in that cycle.

A

lthough some might argue all you really need is an invitation, the sheer number of paper pieces you can actually order for a wedding is dizzying. Be sure to consider your individual budget and desires.

the essentials • save the date cards • bride’s stationary • mother of the bride’s stationary • wedding invitations • personalized napkins • personalized cups • wedding programs

the extras April 3 - 9, 2013

BEFORE THE BIG DAY

26

a. bridesmaids • will you be my bridesmaid cards • note to tie on their dress when they pick them up

b. web site • custom wedding web site graphics • custom email communications c. engagement party: • invitations • custom napkins & cups • hostess gifts • tags for hostess gifts d. bridal shower • invitations • custom napkins & cups • hostess gifts • thank you notes d. wedding invitation • custom postage • calligraphy (referrals)

THE WEEK OF

f. welcome baskets • custom bags or labels • mad libs • welcome card • itinerary • map & contact info card

i. gifts • hostess gifts • custom napkins & cups • bridesmaids gifts • groomsman’s gifts • gift for your groom

g. rehearsal dinner • invitations • custom napkins & cups • menus • custom placecards, table cards • mad libs • post-toast invitations

THE BIG DAY

h. wedding day brunch • thank you notes

j. ceremony & reception • wedding guest book & pen • wedding programs • maps to reception • table cards • placecards • stickers or gift cards for favors • favors • notes from guests • food signs for buffet • cocktail and beverage signs

• other custom signage • custom yard signage to venue • custom guest towels for powder room • custom drink stir sticks • custom food or cupcake toppers • custom koozies • custom matchbooks AFTER THE BIG DAY

k. a few more things • more thank you notes! • wedding announcements

COURTESY FRESH INK

n an age when most written communication has gone digital, the wedding invitation stands stalwart as a physical, mailable item. In fact, if anything, the world of wedding paper is only growing, as now brides plan entire stationary packages, from Save the Dates to menus to thank-you cards. Elizabeth Upchurch, owner of local paper and design boutique Fresh Ink, says she breaks it down into two lists when working with brides: the essentials and the extras. Within all that, though, is a myriad of choices based on budget and personal style. “It is so much fun because it just really runs the gamut and every bride that you sit down and work with is different,” Upchurch says. “Brides can express themselves a little more than they used to. The moms come in and they say, gosh, when I got married the choice was white or ivory,” she adds. “But its fun, it can be a marriage—‘classic with an update’ is where most people here seem to land. They want it a little different but they still want it to be pretty and elegant and timeless.” These days, Upchurch says, more trend-forward brides are seeing sparkles. “We see a lot of metallic inks, gold and silver engraving,” she says. “A lot of our brides are starting to appreciate foil, which is kind of like engraving, but a little bit sparklier and can be found in a wide variety of colors. It’s a really hot trend—foil accents with printing or embellishments. Any kind of metallic is a really big trend, which I guess ties in with people loving sequins and glitter and all that kind of stuff.” Other popular trends right now include chevron designs, shots of neon and a vintage look. Hand-drawn maps, portraits of the couple or other elements are soughtafter as well. Custom monograms of the couple’s initials have been around for decades and are still popular, although these days lettering is becoming more graphic and bold. Embossing, or raised lettering, is a classic technique,


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LIFE&STYLE | wellness FLICKR/STIFTELSEN ELEKTRONIKKBRANSJEN

Miracle Juice by Kathleen M. Mitchell

Making your own juice is quickly moving from trendy juice bars into home kitchens.

I

know a lot of juiceheads. All over my social circles, people are talking about getting fit by juicing … thankfully, not the kind of juicing that gives you unwanted body hair and Hulk-like neck muscles, though. Juicing your own fruits and vegetables is the latest trend, and I want in. So what is juicing, and how is it different from making a smoothie? Smoothies blend every part of the fruit or vegetable (or other item) together into a thick concoction. Juicing, on the other hand, extracts only the watery but nutrient-filled juice from the raw materials you put in, leaving behind a husk of sorts—all the dry parts, including the pulp and the peels. The two processes require different machines, a blender of some kind for smoothies and a juicer for, you guessed it, juice. The health benefits of juicing are fairly obvious: fruits and vegetables are good for you. But I have been amazed to hear some of the benefits my friends describe: more radiant skin, cleared-up ear infections, overcoming a life prone to respiratory infections—even a miracle hangover cure. Local realtor Allison Allen has been juicing on and off for about two and a half years with her husband, Scott. They got into the trend after watching the documentary

“Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” by Joe Cross. “We were on board when we heard we could lose weight, and then all the health benefits that go along with it—because you’re getting your nutrients by juicing that you couldn’t get by eating,” 32-year-old Allen says. “You couldn’t eat that much food in one day to get the same amount of nutrients and minerals.” Many people use a juice diet as a way to detox, to kick off cleaner eating habits by going on a juice cleanse or fast—essentially consuming nothing or little besides juice for a set period. “We were real crazy about it for a few months—we actually did a fast in the beginning for like three days, which was very difficult, because it’s a very mental thing,” Allen says. “You’re so used to putting food in your mouth and when you’re not doing it, its very strange. And its not for everybody, but it was good to do to have a cleanse and do it for a few days.” These days, the Allens implement juicing into their breakfast routine nearly every day, along with solid food such as fruit or an omelet. “Sometimes, if we are running late or if we don’t have the produce because we haven’t been to the grocery store, we might skip a day or two, but we do try to do it every morning,” Allen says. “And we basically just do it for health. If we go three days or so

JUICE COMBINATIONS TO TRY:

April 3 - 9, 2013

A classic:

28

Beets, carrots, apples. You can play with the proportions, but a good guide is 1.5 beets, 4 carrots, 1.5 red gala apples.

Something spicier: 1 orange bell pepper 3 carrots 1 orange 1/2 grapefruit 1/2 inch slice of ginger root

Or go green: 1/2 bunch kale 4 stalks celery 1 cucumber 1 cup grapes

without doing it, we can feel it, physically.” Allen says the health benefits they experience include more energy, skin improvement, internal regularity and a noticeable difference in her husband’s psoriasis. Although people tend to reach for as many fruits as possible for smoothies, Allen says vegetables are the way to go for juicing. “One thing that I’ve read is that you don’t want to do too much fruit because your caloric intake can go up without you realizing it,” Allen says. “So we try to keep it all vegetable and throw in one fruit with it, (such as) green apple, pineapple or lemon to offset the taste. We do kale, it’s one of our favorites. Its probably the highest as far as your micronutrients go, that’s where you’re going to get them, in kale. So we do kale a lot, we do spinach, cucumbers and celery for antiinflammatory. We do beets a lot, which are a really good detoxifier of the liver.” Allen’s favorite juice is what she calls “the mean green,” which includes kale, spinach, celery and cucumbers. Sometimes she will add ginger, carrots or lime, plus a fruit such as green apple or pineapple to sweeten it up. “We don’t get too creative with it, we just stick to the ones that we know are going to be beneficial to us.”

SOME TIPS (AND TRICKS): Interestingly, you can juice pretty much any fruits except banana, mango and papaya— they tend to work as smoothie ingredients only. You can use the leftover dry pulp in a variety of way, such as mixing veggie pulp into lean cuisines, tuna or egg whites. Plenty of other recipes can be found on the Internet. Red, orange, and yellow bell peppers are a little spicy but delicious. Green bell peppers, not so much. Juicing in advance isn’t advised—it just doesn’t taste as good when the juice isn’t fresh. Beet juice looks like human blood and is very good for pranks.


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Saturday, April 13, 2013

29


ARTS p 31 | FILM p 32 | 8 DAYS p 33 | MUSIC p 36 | SPORTS p 38

Impressions of Old Masters by Chris Eden

I

April 3 - 9, 2013

TRIP BURNS

t has been a great month for art historians in Mississippi. works around him, which depict frivolity and sensuality. The Impressionists and Post-Impressionists round out the For the first two weeks of March, much of the world’s His subject matter is somber, and his arrangement of fig- collection, complete with superstars Renoir, van Gogh media focused on Vatican City, especially the Sistine ures is carefully planned, ordered and stable. He sets the and Monet. Chapel, with its Renaissance masterpieces splashed stage for one of the great artistic battles just around the One of Monet’s “Water Lilies” is strategically placed across TV screens in the background of nearly every seg- gallery wall. at the far end of the gallery; make it worth your while to ment. As March comes to a close, Mississippi welcomes the Turning the corner into the middle third of the exhi- walk the gallery length while watching his image slowly foremost French artists from a time period when Paris served bition reveals a confrontation of the Neo-Classicists David disintegrate into nearly abstract patches of color. as the center of the Western The exhibit includes art world. one of the many self porThe Mississippi Mutraits of everyone’s favorite seum of Art’s new exhitortured artist, van Gogh. bition, “Old Masters to He looks particularly frail Monet: Three Centuries of in this 1887 version, which French Painting from the he finished just three years Wadsworth Atheneum,” before his death. And if covers all the major players you think of paintings as and artistic movements beessentially flat, move in tween the Renaissance and closer to examine his layPost-Impressionism in an ering of paint upon paint. almost overwhelming colYou’ll find defined peaks lection on loan from the and valleys in these rough first public-art institution brushstrokes. in the United States. Though the usual old A first pass through friends of art history are the galleries might leave a all included here, there is good many viewers strugstill room for a couple of gling to see the connecsurprises. It is nice to see tive threads among all the Vigée Le Brun take her competing artwork, but rightful place among an the exhibition’s essentially otherwise all-male array. chronological sequenc- The Mississippi Museum of Art displays some of the world’s most famous artists in its latest exhibit. She was popular in her ing brings some order to own right during her day, the chaos. It’s refreshing and a favorite of Marie to physically step back and see a broad timeline of artistic and Ingres with their Romantic counterparts Géricault and Antoinette, whose portrait is on view. progression: how these painters reacted against or took in- Delacroix. David and Ingres continue Poussain’s classical More surprising is Louis Anquetin, whose paintings spiration from their contemporaries and predecessors. It influences of clarity, balance and idealized style. David’s are fairly rare to see in America. His “L’Avenue de Clichy” might be helpful to stop every two or three paintings to “The Lictors” is the most explicit with its Greco-Roman embodies what the product of a Gauguin-van Gogh colfind your place, noticing how styles change or reappear setting while Ingres’ portrait of Ferdinand Philippe is more laboration might resemble. Sadly, he painted few of these after a brief lull. sculptural than painterly. Duke Ferdinand would surely be more progressive works before turning to a more conservaPoussin’s “The Crucifixion” is a good place to start. at home among any of the famous classical Greek statues; tive style that provided him a more stable livelihood. (And It physically dominates the first section of the exhibition, all he needs is a quick coat of whitewash. The emotions who can really blame him for that?) The various vignettes nearly as large as the wall on which it hangs. The painting here are rather cold and staged. sprinkled throughout the exhibition are where the exhibit is an impressive one, if only for its size. It is more interestGéricault and Delacroix are among those artists really shines. Though they may appear geared toward a ing for failed restoration attempts than for serving as a par- whose styles move in the opposite direction. Their canvas- younger audience, they offer great insights into placing the ticularly good example of the artist’s particular style. Left es are dynamic and dramatic. Brush strokes become visibly artworks in context and are highly interactive. abandoned and unfinished, murky browns and reds domi- apparent, and it is hard to make out where colors begin or Tickets to Old Masters to Monet are $12 adults, $10 nate the canvas due to the quickly degrading experimen- end. Oranges meld with reds. Blues flow seamlessly into seniors, $6 students. Museum members and children 5 and tal paints the artist used. Initial conservation techniques greens and lighten to pinks. Moving beyond this turbulent under are free. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, damaged the painting further before a successful cleaning corner of the museum, it is clear that the latter third of 10 a.m.–5 p.m, and Sunday, noon–5 p.m. The exhibit runs in the 1990s. But Poussin stands apart from the other art- the exhibition was greatly influenced by these Romantics. through Sept. 8.

30


DIVERSIONS | arts

Natural Talent by Krista Davis

A

Cook’s mural is a good stopping point for children who may have become restless while their parents explore the museum. “We look at it as a family corner,” Cook says. Visitors can become imaginary Impressionists by dressing up in a beret, holding a palette and stepping into a certain spot along the mural. Cook built a fence and imitation bushes to make the display three-dimensional, and beanbags and children’s books relating to French art entertain minds young and old. Working with Carol Cox Peaster, Cook also created a felt board where visitors can create their version of a countryside home in France. Jackson native Cook feels art has always been instilled in her. “It is a natural talent. It was bestowed upon me,” she says. She completed her BFA at William Carey College where she learned, “You can’t be successful on talent alone!” Now married three Stepping into an interactive mural allows museum years with a 1-year-old visitors to become imaginary Impressionists. daughter, Cook finds herself maintaining her passion of art in every aspect of her est, she received the task to recreate a French life, including as studio program coordinacountryside with very little time to complete tor at the Mississippi Museum of Art. This it. “I had to have it done before the great art summer Cook will be coordinating a sumwas hung here,” she adds. Cook threw her- mer art camp for children at the MMA. self into the challenge, as she approaches her From kids camp to recreating other artistic endeavors. Now it rests among Renoir, its all in a day’s work for Ginger great masterpieces. Williams-Cook.

TRIP BURNS

s you turn a corner in the Mississippi Museum of Art, you come face-to-face with a larger-than-life Renoir-esque work. Local artist Ginger Williams-Cook painted the Pierre Auguste Renoir-inspired mural to serve as an interactive element of the latest exhibit, Old Masters to Monet.” “I did it in a short time,” Cook says. Although its sounds like she is just being mod-

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n added bonus to the “Old Masters to Monet” exhibit is an adjoining exhibition focusing on Mississippi native Theora Hamblett entitled “Symbols of Faith, Home, and Beyond: The Art of Theora Hamblett.” Her connection to the French painters seems a bit of a stretch save for the irony of her being born in Paris—Paris, Mississippi, that is. Her paintings are at once bright and colorful, full of emotion and vibrancy. Each work feels like looking into a dream sequence, slightly nostalgic and a little surreal. The viewer is placed in a position overlooking entire scenes while being uninvolved in the action, literally occupying the mind’s eye of Hamblett. This quick showcase makes me want to dive deeper into a better understanding of this artist and her thoughts. Perhaps a trip to Oxford, where the rest of her collection is housed, is what’s in store for April’s art historical adventures. Admission to “Old Masters” includes Theora Hamblett. The exhibit runs through June 23.

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DIVERSIONS | film COURTESY PARAMOUNT PICTURES

Big Men With Big Guns by Anita Modak-Truran

“G

.I. Joe: Retaliation” is a liveaction version of Hasbro toy soldiers caught in a Ramboon-steroids videogame. Acting isn’t required here. And an actual story would make this film too intellectual. In fact, a story and acting might even get in the way of what this movie is about—what big men with big guns can do. Ooh-rah! But to be fair and balanced, equal opportunity in the new millennium of filmmaking means female combatants. Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki), the one notable woman in the unit, has long lush hair, large eyes and looks good detonating explosives. She can bark out the banal dialogue screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick provide as well as any of her male compatriots. Let me introduce you to the inner G.I. Joe team. Captain Duke Hauser (Channing Tatum) leads the pack. He’s funny and likes to tickle little kids. He has an easy smile and broad shoulders—he’s Magic Mike in commando gear. Roadblock (Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson) is second in command. He has even bigger shoulders than Duke, and his biceps

are moving forms of art, complete with riveting tattoos. The inner circle also includes Flint (D. J. Cotrona), who likes to joke around; Snake Eyes (Park Ray), a mysterious black-masked Ninja; and the aforementioned Lady Jaye, who has father issues. Rounding out the team is General Joe Colton (Bruce Willis), a please-call-me-Joe-commander who lives in the shadows of retirement, but keeps his home well stocked for emergencies. Like all good soldiers, the G.I. team follows orders. They don’t question them. The president (Jonathan Pryce) sends the elite G.I. Joe team on a top-secret mission, which goes awry. An unknown threat neutralizes their unit. Roadblock puts the pieces together and suspects that the person he voted for wants them dead. But why? (It doesn’t really matter why; this provides the necessary cover to blow stuff up.) While the Joes are incapacitated, their arch nemesis Cobra Commander, led by another masked man (Luke Bracey), executes a plan for world domination. The impassivity of the story and the wooden expressions of the G.I. Joe team

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is Roadblock in “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”

make it plausible for brutality to be a matter of routine. And you get to see a KamaSutra version of violence in every position and with all kinds of weapons. Knives. Swords. Hatchets. Pistols. Revolvers. Machine guns. Tanks. Missiles. Nukes. Miraculously, death is not a bloody affair. And equally inexplicable, killing is disassociated from pain. Under the direction of Jon M. Chu (“Justin Bieber: Never Say Never”), the movie shows us bloodless, painfree violence. The killing is hideously graphic, yet because it has no emotion (with one exception not to be revealed here), it has no impact

on us. We feel nothing toward the victims of death; we have no empathy. As soon as one person gets it, we’re looking forward to the next shoot out. The scenes of carnage are big, overwrought spectacles for the delight of the audience. “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” deletes the morality-play dimension. It’s impersonal, almost an abstract exercise in brutalization. In fact, at one point Duke and Roadblock play a video war game on a giant flat screen in the living room of Roadblock’s house, positioned under the largest flag that can fit on a wall. This scene, more than any other, explains it all. Killing is a patriotic sport. Ooh-rah!

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Fri. 4/11

3-D The Croods PG The Croods (non 3-D) Olympus Has Fallen

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32

DAILY BARGAINS UNTIL 6PM Online Tickets, Birthday Parties, Group & Corporate Events @ www.malco.com

Movieline: 355-9311


THURSDAY 4/4

FRIDAY 4/5

fondRUN is at 6 p.m. in Fondren.

Art House Cinema returns to the Davis Planetarium at 7 p.m.

SATURDAY 4/6 Watch the Magnolia Roller Vixens at the Jackson Convention Complex at 7 p.m.

BEST BETS APRIL 3-10, 2013

COURTESY STEPHENIE MORRISEY

WEDNESDAY 4/3

The play “Shipwrecked! An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont” is at 7:30 p.m. at Belhaven University Center for the Arts (835 Riverside Drive) in Theatre 151; runs through April 6. $10, $5 seniors and students; call 601-965-7026.

THURSDAY 4/4

Bring your family to Gathering on the Green at the Old Capitol Green April 6 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

University Dance Ensemble performs at 6:30 p.m. at Belhaven University, Bitsy Irby Center (1500 Peachtree St.); runs through April 13. $10; $5 students and seniors; call 601-965-1414. … Art House Cinema returns to Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.) with the Rolling Stones films “Charlie Is My Darling” at 7 p.m. and “Some Girls” at 8:45 p.m. Runs through April 7. $10 per film; show times at msfilm.org. … The April in Paris Gala is at 8 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.), in the Art Garden. $100, $150 VIP; call 601-960-1515.

COURTESY THE JAG

SATURDAY 4/6

The Biggest Loser Run/Walk is at 7:30 a.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). $85 half marathon, $45 5K, $15 kids’ race; biggestloser.com/runwalk. BY LATASHA WILLIS … The Mississippi Petrified Forest (124 Forest Park Road, JACKSONFREEPRESS.COM Flora) hosts a 50th Anniversary Preservation Celebration today FAX: 601-510-9019 and tomorrow from 9 a.m.DAILY UPDATES AT 6 p.m. $1.10, 55¢ students; JFPEVENTS.COM call 601-879-8189. … The Traffick Jam at Sneaky Beans (2914 N. State St.) includes a walkathon from 9 a.m.3 p.m. and a concert from 7-11 p.m. Benefits Hard Places Community. $10 registration to walk plus $100 fundraising goal, $10 concert only; email hardplacesdrew@gmail.com. … NatureFEST is at 10 a.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). $4-$6; call 601576-6000. … Gathering on the Green is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Enjoy food, crafts and music. Free; call 601-576-6920. … The Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival is from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Renaissance at Colony Park (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland).

EVENTS@

The JAG performs at Duling Hall April 4 at 8:30 p.m.

St.); runs through April 6. For mature audiences. $7 (cash or check); call 601-948-3533, ext. 233. … Moon Taxi and The JAG perform at 8:30 p.m. at Duling Hall. For ages 18 and up. $8 advance, $12 at door; call 601-292-7121.

FRIDAY 4/5

The Chatham Art Showcase kicks off with a preview party from 6:30-9 p.m. at St. Richard Catholic Church (1242 Lynwood Drive) in Foley Hall. Main showcase April 6 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Advance tickets. $25 per day, $40 both days; call 601-366-2335; saintrichard.com. … The Belhaven

Continues April 7 from 1-6 p.m. Free; call 601-519-0900. … The roller derby bout between the Magnolia Roller Vixens and the Diables Rouge is at 7 p.m. at the Jackson Convention Complex. $12 advance, $15 at door, $5 children; email info@magnoliarollervixens.com. … Nameless Open Mic is at 9 p.m. at Suite 106. $5, $3 to perform.

SUNDAY 4/7

The Blásta Wine Tasting is from 2-5 p.m. at Fenian’s. $25 in advance, $35 at the door; call 601-366-6644. … The Yung Life Spring Kickball Game is at 2 p.m. at Legion Field (400 South Dr.). Includes concessions and music from DJ T-Money. Free; call 601-454-7004 or 702-483-9074.

MONDAY 4/8

WJSU hosts “An Evening of Jazz, Art and Poetry” from 6-8:30 p.m. at Yellow Scarf. Free; call 601-979-2285.

TUESDAY 4/9

The Crossroads Film Society Pre-festival Fundraiser is from 5-9 p.m. at Swell-O-Phonic (2906 N. State St.). Free admission; crossroadsfilmfestival.com. … The Detectives Mystery Dinner Theatre presents “When Cletus Met Elizabeth” at 6:30 p.m. at Kismet’s (315 Crossgates Blvd., Brandon). RSVP. $39; call 601-937-1752

WEDNESDAY 4/10

JSU professor Dr. Leslie McLemore talks about the Mississippi Freedom Trail during History Is Lunch at noon at the Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Free; call 601-576-6998. More at jfpevents.com and jfp.ms/musicvenues.

jacksonfreepress.com

Fondren After 5 is from 5-8 p.m. and includes the monthly pub run fondRUN at 6 p.m. Free; call 601981-9606. … The opening reception for the Four Seasons of the Cedars Spring Art Exhibition is from 5-8 p.m. at The Cedars (4145 Old Canton Road). Free; call 601-366-5552. … The April Art Show featuring works from Martha Ferris and Gretchen Haien is from 5-7 p.m. at Fischer Galleries (3100 N. State St.). Free; call 601-291-9115. … MADDRAMA presents “On the Wings of Love” at 7 p.m. at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.) in McCoy Auditorium; runs through April 7. $10, $5 seniors and students; call 601-979-2872; maddrama.com. … Third Day performs at 7 p.m. at Broadmoor Baptist Church (1531 Highland Colony Parkway, Madison). $25 and up; call 800-965-9324. … New Stage Theatre’s play “9 Parts of Desire” is at 7:30 p.m. at Warehouse Theatre (1000 Monroe

33


*&0 30/.3/2%$%6%.43 “9 Parts of Desire” April 4, 7:30 p.m. April 5, 7:30 p.m. April 6, 7:30 p.m., at Warehouse Theatre (1000 Monroe St.). The play is about the lives of Iraqi women. For mature audiences. $7 (cash or check); call 601-948-3533, ext. 233.

#/--5.)49 American Board Teaching Career Information Sessions. Learn how to earn a professional teaching license. Held at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Bachelor’s degree required. Free; register at abcte.org. • April 3, at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.), in the Community Room. • April 10, at Ridgeland Public Library (397 Highway 51, Ridgeland). Events at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.). • International Week April 8-12. The Division of International Studies is the host. Activities include sampling international food, a parade of flags, dance, sports and an awards banquet. Most events free; call 601-979-3972 for details; visit jsums.edu for a schedule. • Tribute to Chinua Achebe April 9, 11:30 a.m.1:30 p.m., in the Liberal Arts Building, room 166/266. The English Department honors the late Nigerian author of the novel “Things Fall Apart.” Free; call 601-212-3362. Events at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.). • Summers Lecture April 4, 11:30 a.m., at Ford Academic Complex. Rhodes College professor John Kaltner speaks on the topic “Biblical Char-

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Events at Mississippi Basketball and Athletics (2240 Westbrook Drive). • PrimeTime Sports Regional Basketball Qualifier April 5-7, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Boys and girls in grades 3-12 compete. Players must register. Free for spectators, registration fees vary; call 972355-3788; primetimesportz.com. • Boxers Rebellion Hybrid Kickboxing April 3-June 8, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Registration required. $150; call 601-974-1130. Precinct 1 COPS Meeting April 4, 6 p.m., at Jackson Police Department, Precinct 1 (810 Cooper Road). The monthly forums are designed to address community issues. Call 601-960-0001. Vicksburg Civil War Heritage Fair April 5-7, in downtown Vicksburg. Enjoy performances, presentations, walking tours and craft demonstrations. Free; call 601-636-0583. Muslim Women Association of Mississippi Banquet April 5, 7-9 p.m., at Fondren Hall (4330 N. State St.). MWAM provides outreach services for the needy. $25; call 601-906-1131 or 601-894-2743. World Catfish Festival April 6, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., in downtown Belzoni. Includes a run/walk, a pageant, a catfish-eating contest, the play “The Wizard of Oz” at Depot Theater and music. $5, children 10 and under free; worldcatfishfestival.org.

 

Homebuyer’s Forum April 6, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum (1150 Lakeland Drive). Topics include securing a low interest rate, choosing a realtor and downpayment assistance. Registration required; lunch included. Free; call 601-957-5602; realestateforum2013.eventbrite.com.

All 4 Children Consignment Sale April 8, 3-7:30 p.m., April 9, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., April 10, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and April 11, 8:30 a.m.-noon, at Plantation Commons (105 Plantation Cove, Gluckstadt). The pre-sale is April 8, and hours are 3-4:30 p.m. for new moms. $10 pre-sale, free admission for other days; call 601-566-7046.

7%,,.%33

Critters and Crawlers April 6, 10-10:45 a.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). The program is for toddlers ages 2-3. Discounts for members. $15, $40 series; call 601-352-2580, ext. 241. La Reina de Cinco de Mayo Mississippi Pageant, Segment 2 April 6, 2 p.m., at Hilton Jackson (1001 E. County Line Road). Watch pageant contestants participate in interviews. Free; cincodemayomississippi.com. LifeSupport Medical’s A Night to Remember April 6, 6 p.m., at Hilton Jackson (1001 E. County Line Road). Health-care professionals are welcome to attend the dinner and networking event. RSVP. Free; call 601-376-8146. Thick And Proud Sisters (T.A.P.S.) Model Casting Call April 7, 3 p.m., at Dreamz JXN (426 W. Capitol St.). Must be 21 or older and at least size 14. Wear stylish attire and heels, and style the hair away from the face. Do not bring guests. Chosen models will be in the November model showcase. Free; email thickandproudsisters@aol.com.

Events at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). • BAM! Health Fair and Fitness Walk April 6, 9 a.m.-noon. Free; email beactivemississippi@ gmail.com. • Sickle Cell Patient and Parent Support Group April 6, 11 a.m., in the Common Area. Free; call 601-366-5874. “Spring into Health” Health Fair April 5, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Metrocenter Mall (3645 Highway 80 W.). Free; call 601-376-4867. First Friday Free ADHD Screenings, at the office of Suzanne Russell, LPC (665 Highway 51 N., Ridgeland). Appointment required. Call 601707-7355.

-53)# Events at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). • Live at Lunch April 9, noon. Enjoy jazz music in the Art Garden. Free; call 601-979-8672. • Composers’ Orchestral Reading Session April 4, 5:30 p.m. Members of the Mississippi

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Jackson Audubon Society First Saturday Bird Walk April 6, 8 a.m., at Lefleur’s Bluff State Park (2140 Riverside Drive). Bring binoculars, water, insect repellent and a snack. Adults must accompany children under 15. Free, $3 car entrance fee. Free; call 601-832-6788.

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acters in the Qur’an.” Free; call 601-974-1328. • T’ai Chi (Taiji) April 4-May 23, 6-7:30 p.m. Registration required. $140; call 601-974-1130. • Rabbi Perry Nussbaum Lecture Series April 5, 12:30 p.m., in the Leggett Center. Civil rights icon Myrlie Evers Williams is the speaker. Free; call 601-974-1000.

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,)4%2!29!.$3)'.).'3 Events at Lemuria Books (Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). Call 601-366-7619. â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;&#x153;Against the Oddsâ&#x20AC;? April 9, 5 p.m. John Pendergrass signs books. Reading at 5:30 p.m. $16.95 book. â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;&#x153;Life After Lifeâ&#x20AC;? April 10, 5 p.m. Jill McCorkle signs books. Reading at 5:30 p.m. $24.95 book. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Darkest Night: Geminiâ&#x20AC;? April 6, 1-3:30 p.m., at The BookShelf (637 Highway 51, Suite AA, Ridgeland). A. LaQuette signs and reads from her book. $34.99 hardback, $19.99 softcover; call 601-853-9225. â&#x20AC;&#x153;War Paintâ&#x20AC;? April 6, 2-6 p.m., at Books-A-Million (4950 Interstate 55 N.). Gary â&#x20AC;&#x153;W.R.â&#x20AC;? Benton signs books. $14.95 book; call 601-366-3008 or 601-941-8866.

#2%!4)6%#,!33%3 Shut Up and Write or Create! Sign up now for one (or more) of JFP Editor Donna Laddâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s upcoming writing and creativity classes. Sign up for two classes and get a 10 percent discount. Your fee is not refundable. Gift certificates available. Call 601-362-6121, ext. 15 or email class@ jacksonfreepress.com for more information. â&#x20AC;˘ Shut Up and Write! April 6-June 1. Six classes, every other Saturday, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Learn to write sparkling non-fiction stories, memoirs and essays. $150, includes materials. â&#x20AC;˘ Shut Up and Create! April 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. This interactive workshop will involve games, exercises and tools to help you be more creative. $50 includes materials and light lunch.

%8()")43!.$/0%.).'3 Events at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Call 601-960-1515.

â&#x20AC;˘ Open Studio April 7, 1:30-4 p.m. Learn about the creative process behind an artist or exhibit, and create art to take home. Adults must accompany children. $5, members free. â&#x20AC;˘ Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Mississippi Regional Competition April 7, 12:30 p.m. The reception is at 12:30 p.m., and the awards ceremony is at 2 p.m. at the Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). Free.

"%4(%#(!.'% Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fund 10th Anniversary Celebration April 4, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fund of Mississippi (Plaza Building, 120 N. Congress St., ninth floor). Bring office supply donations. RSVP by April 2. Free; call 601-326-3001; email kathy@ womensfundms.org; womensfundms.org. Walk and Roll April 6, 10 a.m., at Methodist Rehabilitation Center, East Campus (1 Layfair Drive, Flowood). Walkers and wheelchair participants race one to three miles. Proceeds go toward research efforts at MRC. Free registration, fundraising encouraged; call 601-364-3598; wilsonfoundation.org. Dancing with the Vicksburg Stars April 6, 6-9 p.m., at Vicksburg Auditorium (901 Monroe St., Vicksburg). Contestants include Delores Coomes, Dr. Kenya Gaskin and Wyattâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hip Hop Group. Benefits the United Way of West Central Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Workforce Assistance Program. $20; call 601-636-1733Ă&#x;. Road to Recovery Volunteer Driver Training April 9, 2-3:30 p.m., at American Cancer Society (1380 Livingston Lane). Learn more about volunteering to drive patients with cancer to their treatments. Free; call 601-321-5503 or 800-227-2345. Check jfpevents.com 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 events@jacksonfreepress.com or fax to 601-510-9019. The deadline is noon the Thursday prior to the week of publication. Or add the event online yourself; check out jfpevents.com for instructions.

WEEKLY EVENT CALENDAR WEDNESDAYS

4/3

MINNESOTA W/ DCARLS & PROTOHYPE 9 p.m. 18 & Up

THURSDAYS

$4 Appetizers â&#x20AC;˘ 5 -9pm

ROLLING IN THE HAY

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COURTESY STOP THE TRAFFICK

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35


DIVERSIONS | music

Back with a Vengeance COURTESY ERIC BLACKWELL

by Natalie Long

Eric Blackwell hopes his songwriting chops can bring something new to the Jackson music scene.

W

hile he may be a relative newcomer to Jackson and to our music scene, Eric Blackwell is no newbie to music. Born in Hattiesburg, Blackwell grew up in Houston, Texas, and at 14, started playing guitar in local punk bands in the neighboring city of Texas City. Blackwell then left to pursue his dream of being a professional musician by moving to Austin and playing in different bands in the city’s thriving music scene for five years. After opening up one night for rockabilly/psychobilly band, The Hillbilly Hellcats based out of Denver, Colo., the group asked Blackwell to join the band and tour with them, traveling all over the United States and Europe. He then moved back to Hattiesburg, where he decided after years of playing and performing, that he would take a much-needed sabbatical from music. Blackwell’s time off only lasted two years, and once he decided to get back in the music world, he took off with a vengeance, performing with southern punkers Before I Hang, Feature Seven and Pure Fire Project. Blackwell also became friends and music partners with local Hattiesburg favorite, Mark Mann, helping him record his new album, “Brand New American” with his band the Marked Men. Blackwell also stayed on and became a member of the Marked Men, playing dates in the Pine Belt as well as regionally. Blackwell says it was a bit of a transition moving from Hattiesburg to Jackson and getting acclimated to our diverse music scene, but he seems to have made the adjustments well.

Blackwell believes that Jackson’s music scene could benefit multiple artists. He appreciates seeing different genres of music collaborate, turning others on to different types of music that they wouldn’t normally listen to on their own. Blackwell also enjoys giving advice to budding singers and songwriters. He believes in playing as many open-mic nights and singers/songwriters nights as possible, as well as recording and distributing your material via the Internet or EP’s to develop a fan base. “Playing other venues in other cities, as well as writing songs from your heart will help you relate to the common man,” Blackwell says. When it comes to writer’s block, Blackwell says the important thing is to keep writing, pushing through and suffering through the block. “It’s hard to write about what you know sometimes without incriminating someone or a certain incident,” Blackwell says. “But keep writing anyway.” He also adds that taking a break from songwriting, then coming back to try it again, has boded well with him in his music career. In 2011, Blackwell and his wife, Katherine, moved to Jackson after he graduated from USM with a degree in tourism, and landed the job as assistant manager at Guitar Center (1189 E. County Line Road, Suite 4.) Right now, he balances a full-time job and focusing on his new band, The Troubledors, with Katherine and friend Hollis Jones. They are all working on material for an upcoming EP with a predicted late spring/ early summer release.

music in theory

by Micah Smith

Locked in a Darkroom

April 3 - 9, 2013

36

into that run-down near-deathtrap before, so I’ll paint a picture: Imagine a hole-inthe-wall bar that no longer serves alcohol. Despite the inherent lack of style, atmosphere or any of the usual things one might want in a locale, every weekend The Darkroom was brimming with highschool students and musically inclined undergrads from the nearby LSU. Droves would stampede through the bulky double doors, regardless of the night’s lineup. The Darkroom wasn’t a place of musical discrimination, either. Metal, posthardcore, indie-rock and pop-rock bands would often cohabit the same elevated stage on a single, crowd-packed night. It became a place where local bands such as As Cities Burn and Meriwether could thrive, well-liked alternative bands wanted to play, and I wanted to be. I was more than willing to chuck handfuls of cash at the show promoters so long as I could keep that experience going. Like plenty of you, I went to the As Cities Burn reunion show at Hal & Mal’s in January, and I was floored by the sheer mass of screaming nostalgia in attendance, crowding the back room. I kept thinking,

“Where are all these people during shows normally? If only we could manage a crowd anywhere near that size for every

made patrons of The Darkroom attend night after night—soon-to-collapse roof and bad opening acts aside. I know we’re adults. We all have responsibilities, and we all have grand social pursuits that can’t be dropped just because there’s somebody playing somewhere in Jackson (as there always is). It’s not reasonable to tell you that pride in your venues, or in your local bands, means making it to every independent gig blarIf only Jackson could inspire crowds to support music ing out of Ole Tavern or every night, all over the city—the way they do for certain concerts at key venues like Hal & Mal’s. wafting onto the sidewalk from Underground 119. But if you’re one the local band performing.” many people distraught at the idea of a I was reminded what sets places such music-less Jackson, wondering why your as The Darkroom apart from the handful favorite bands never venture into the unof excellent, yet inexplicably dwindling, justly undervalued southern states, don’t venues here, besides Jackson’s superior skimp on a show just because of that $10 quality and ambiance. It’s the ownership. cover charge. Consider it an investment. Obviously, I don’t mean the employees or Email Micah Smith at micah@ staff, but rather, the personal pride that jacksonfreepress.com.

TRIP BURNS

I

hate to admit my insurmountable shame this early into my career in music journalism, or even this early into my column, but it can’t be helped. I wasn’t raised on classic rock or ’90s alternative, or really any genre or period of music that could be considered remotely cool or sophisticated by the general populace. Sure, I was familiar with The Beatles, with Nirvana, or with whomever I could click past on MTV and see in misinterpreted wonder. Instead, though, I joined my older sister Azia and my twin sister, Britta, in such reprehensible acts as purchasing Hanson CDs and watching the music videos that would run like stealthy commercials on The Disney Channel. But as I grew up, and the Internet made discovering new artists an easy task, I had a revelation that, for me, has stood the test of time: Modern pop music can be really stupid. Music knocked me flat on my back for the first time when I was only 10 years old, during trips to one of the few all-ages venues in Baton Rouge, The Darkroom, named after the fact that it was, in actuality, a dark room. You’ve likely never ventured


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MUSIC | live

37


DIVERSIONS | jfp sports

the best in sports over the next seven days

SLATE

Mind Over Muscles by Bryan Flynn

J

COURTESY JARRETT BECKS

arrett Becks looks like an average the competition of lifeâ&#x20AC;? Becks says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I teach mainly on ground attacks instead of Judoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guy. He is certainly not the largest non-violent self-defense because Brazilian throwing techniques. Ground attacks took person in the small room. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hot Jiu-Jitsu is most effective when being at- the focus off the more powerful, stronger, even after a hail-producing storm tacked, not (when) attacking.â&#x20AC;? or those with superior reach. Instead, it focame through the area a few short hours earThis confirmed my first observation cuses on getting an opponent on the ground lier. All eyes are on him as he lies on his back that Jiu-Jitsu practitioners use the other per- where students learn how to maximize and calls one of his students over to show sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s momentum and weight against them. force using mechanical strength and not them newest move they are going learn in Watching the class, all the techniques I saw pure strength. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. used defensive positions. This makes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a good I watch as Becks explains the next lesâ&#x20AC;&#x153;First thing I always teach is awareness technique to learn and use when awareness son to his students, who are about as diverse and non-violent prevention,â&#x20AC;? Becks says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If and prevention fails. as you can getâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;women and men, young I can avoid a confrontation, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve already won â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the anti-bullying class, we teach and old, black and whiteâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;all of them are the battle without having to be physical.â&#x20AC;? how to hold off someone trying to hurt here to learn. you and yell for help,â&#x20AC;? Becks The group breaks off into pairs. says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We do the same in the Each twosome looks like they are womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s self-defense but also working on a dance; they perform teach more of the submission each movement with purpose and and choke holds that are easy to in a specific order. use.â&#x20AC;? He would love to see more After watching the class for women and kids in his classes, nearly an hour, I have two obserhe says. vations. The first is that Brazilian Becks continues while Jiu-Jitsu is designed to use your demonstrating: â&#x20AC;&#x153;(Brazilian Jiuopponentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s weight and momentum Jitsu) builds on realism and to gain control over him or her. My teaches muscle memory and other observation is that this is seri- Jarrett Becks teaches anti-bullying classes to young students. not to panic if you end up on ous exerciseâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the workout has sweat the ground.â&#x20AC;? pouring off Becks and his students. He explains the mental Becks began studying martial arts These are the principles Becks teaches aspect to learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It when he was 5 years old. He started with in his anti-bullying class and in his womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is like a chess match,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our bodTae-Kwon-do and moved on to other styles self-defense. He goes on to explain that what ies are the pieces, but our mind is doing throughout the years. he teaches works for the average person be- the thinking.â&#x20AC;? In 2011, Isreal Gomes of the American cause you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be the strongest or Locally, No Limit/Killer Bees studios Killer Bees awarded Becks his black belt. most fit person to do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. are located in Brandon, where Becks teachSince earning his black belt, he has named Becks explains that the founder of Bra- es, (1024 Highway 471, Brandon, 601his studio No Limit/Killer Bees and has sev- zilian Jiu-Jitsu, HĂŠlio Gracie, invented the 383-2495) and Clinton (322 Highway eral locations in the metro area. new martial art out of necessity. 80 E., Suite F, Clinton, 601-966-8358). A After class, I spoke with Becks about The Gracie brothers had learned Judo third branch in Madison opens April 10. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the different types and had begun teaching the art, but HĂŠlio Monthly prices are $80 for adults, $60 of classes he teaches. Becks was especially was unable to perform many of the tech- for kids and half-off for each additional famexcited about two of his favorite classes: his niques of the art that required direct op- ily member. anti-bullying kids program and his womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position to his opponentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strength. He was For more information on the stuself-defense classes. naturally frail. dio, visit nolimitkillerbees.com or find it â&#x20AC;&#x153;The most important competition is HĂŠlio Gracie based Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on Facebook.

Bryanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rant

April 3 - 9, 2013

F

38

Last Cinderella at the Ball

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by Bryan Flynn

This is one of my favorite weekends in sports and entertainment. WrestleMania is sandwiched between the Final Four and national championship games. THURSDAY, APRIL 4 NBA (8:30-11 p.m., TNT): Two of the best teams in the NBAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Western Conference collide when the Oklahoma City Thunder host the San Antonio Spurs. FRIDAY, APRIL 5 MLB (6:30-10 p.m., FSS): The Atlanta Braves begin a three games series at home against the Chicago Cubs before hitting the road for the first time in 2013. SATURDAY, APRIL 6 College basketball (5-10 p.m., CBS): The Final Four kicks off with Wichita State against Louisville, followed by Michigan battling Syracuse. SUNDAY, APRIL 7 NASCAR (noon-4 p.m., Fox): Dale Earnhardt Jr. hopes to add to his point lead as the stars of NASCAR go to the short track of Martinsville, Va., for the STP Gas Booster 500. MONDAY, APRIL 8 College basketball (8-11 p.m., CBS): The winners of Saturdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Final Four games battle for the 2012-13 NCAA Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Basketball National Championship. TUESDAY, APRIL 9 College basketball (7:30-10 p.m., ESPN): The men are done, and the ladies finish out the college basketball seasons, as two TBA teams play for the 2012-13 NCAA Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Basketball National Championship. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10 NHL (6:30-9:30 p.m., NBCSN): Your weekly hockey fix this week is a matchup of Eastern Conference foes, as the fourth-seed Boston Bruins take to the road against the seventh-seed New Jersey Devils. This weekend, I get the answers to two questions: Can Wichita State reach the title game on Monday? Can the Undertaker run his WrestleMania streak to 21-0? Follow Bryan Flynn at jfpsports.com, @jfpsports and at facebook.com/jfpsports.


HOME FOR SALE

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41


TRIP BURNS

Gig: Music Manager by Mo Wilson

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Hmmmm. I don’t remember (he laughs). I would say a musician.

Describe your work day in three words. “What I like.”

What tools could you not live or work without? A computer, definitely, as well as the inventory.

What steps brought you to this position? NAME: Drew McKercher AGE: 32 JOB: Owner of MorningBell

records and studio engineer

Well, I was an operations manager for a corporate music store for six years. That really prepared me to own my own business. Then, a series of random events lined up. My wife and I bought a house in 2008, and we had a disaster that happened. We had to do an insurance claim that gave us money for our house, which then

gave us the means to get the loan to open the store.

What’s the strangest aspect of your job? I guess just working completely for myself— not really having any kind of oversight. Being able to do what I want to do and to trust myself to do what I want to do.

What’s the best thing about your job? Being able to make my own decisions and not worry about bureaucratic decisions.

Gig is a new spotlight on interesting jobs around the Jackson metro area. If you have a great job, or know someone who does, suggest it for a future profile. Email kathleen@jacksonfreepress.com.

Write stories that matter for the publications readers love to read.

The Jackson Free Press and BOOM Jackson are seeking hard-working freelance writers who strive for excellence in every piece. Work with editors who will inspire and teach you to tell sparkling stories. Enjoy workshops and freelancer events.

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42

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and
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v11n30 - JFP Interviews: Chokwe: From Militancy To The Nainstream  

JFP Interviews: Chokwe: From Militancy To The Nainstream Remembering Hal White: Your Tributes, Malcolm Speaks & Rick Cleveland