December 11 - 17, 2013
3MILE FOR 3ANTA
Santa Photos: Monday - Saturday 10:00am - 8:00pm Sunday 12:00pm - 6:00pm
JACKSONIAN YVETTE BROWN
on’t be fooled by the glitzy name—Studio 34 (2906 N. State St., 769-2338411) is not a play on the famous Hollywood dance club. It is a symbol of Yvette Brown’s determination to not let life stop her from her dreams. The name is in honor of her father, who passed away at age 51, just two weeks before Brown’s 34th birthday. Brown, a Jackson native, knew from age 5 that hair was her calling. She liked to style doll heads but graduated to more life-sized subjects in high school. She says she starting doing her mom Lynda Smith’s hair around age 14 or 15. With her mother’s encouragement, she set off for cosmetology school, but the road to her degree would be fraught with misfortune. She started school in 1992 but didn’t get her license until 2001. In those nine years, Yvette’s first school, Jackson Academy of Beauty, closed down, and her brother and the fathers of her two oldest children died. Through it all, though, Brown never lost sight of her goal, eventually earning her cosmetology license at the Shirley Little Academy of Cosmetology in 2001. Two years ago, Brown was selected to be a product educator for Design Essentials, a hairproduct line based in Atlanta, after meeting Robert Peavie, the only distributor in Mississippi. He offered her a job as an educator. In that position, Brown, 40, gives demonstrations to aspiring stylists in cosmetol-
ogy schools, established salon professionals and consumers. Brown balances her time traveling across the country for hair festivals with devoting time to her second hair salon, Fondren’s Studio 34. The salon, which just celebrated its fiveyear anniversary, also celebrated its first year in its Fondren Corner location. The diversity of the Fondren district as well as the close-knit business community make it her dream location. “People aren’t trying to hurt you or pull one over you. It’s just a very uplifting area,” she says. She hopes to bring her experience educating people about Design Essentials to the Fondren community by having classes at the start of the new year. Getting a broker’s license is also on her to-do list, so she can be on schedule for her goal of having her own real estate company by next May. But hair remains her passion. She has a special interest in giving her African American clients tips on how to keep their natural hair healthy. “I could charge them $65 to style their hair, but at this point I’ve started to show them how to care for their hair on their own,” she says. Brown currently resides in Brandon with her 17-year-old daughter Jayla and her 15year-old twins Jillian and Karleton Jr. She has another son, Tevis Mitchell, 20, and a granddaughter, Addyson, 2. —Mo Wilson
Cover photo of Quardious Thomas courtesy Tonya Greenwood
12 Electric Education
JSU is banking on the technological edge that digital tools provide to help the campus stay relevant and ahead in terms of modern education.
32 Calling Oscar
“(Jared) Leto’s Rayon is the sweet spot in ‘Dallas Buyer’s Club.’ He lashes out one-line bombs of funny that serve to defuse escalating tensions. In a New York Times interview, Leto provided some insight into the character: ‘You’re in Texas in 1985, and you walk through a supermarket in drag, you learn how to be funny very quickly as a survival mechanism.’ “(Matthew) McConaughey and Leto deserve Academy Award nominations for their performances. The acting is marvelous. Their performances are transcendent.” —Anita Modak Truran, “Emotional Rodeo”
36 A Decade of Jazz
The Mississippi Jazz Foundation celebrates its 10th year with a concert featuring Lalah Hathaway among others.
4 ............................. EDITOR’S NOTE 6 ................................................ YOU 7 .......... BEST OF JACKSON BALLOT 9 ............................................ TALKS 14 ................................ EDITORIAL 15 .................................... OPINION 16 ............................ COVER STORY 23 ......................................... FOOD 28 ................................. WELLNESS 29 .............................. DIVERSIONS 32 .......................................... FILM 33 ....................................... 8 DAYS 34 ...................................... EVENTS 36 ....................................... MUSIC 37 ....................... MUSIC LISTINGS 38 ..................................... SPORTS 39 .................................... PUZZLES 41 ....................................... ASTRO 42 ............................................ GIG
COURTESY FLICKR / DANINGRAM67; COURTESY VOLTAGE PICTURES; COURTESY JACKSON STATE
DECEMBER 11 - 17, 2013 | VOL. 12 NO. 14
by R.L. Nave, News Editor
From Nelson to Quardious
very January, for several years during the mid- to late-1980s, my mother and I would bundle ourselves up for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day March through downtown St. Louis. What I imagine were thousands of us wore Tshirts and ball caps bearing likenesses of our heroes like Dr. King and Malcolm X. We adorned our hats and jackets with buttons featuring famous quotations from the civil-rights legends. We sang “We Shall Overcome” and “Kumbaya.” We chanted slogans from the movement that defined the day: “End Apartheid!” “Divest now!” Back then, I had only a vague idea of what either of those concepts meant except that they had to do with South Africa. Thanks in small part to the divestment movement and some Westerners’ decision to boycott corporations doing business with the white-supremacist government of South Africa, apartheid did at last end. Then, in 1994, the majority-black nation elected Nelson Mandela its first black president. Eventually, mom and I stopped attending the MLK marches. I got older, became a teenager, interested in teenage things. I got into teenage mischief, like the rest of my adolescent peers. I like to tell myself that I wasn’t on a trajectory to become a hardened criminal. But who knows? In the hands of a zealous business owner or prosecutor looking to make example of a young punk, I could have easily wound up in front of a youth-court judge. Would it matter if all kids have (insert the name of any youthful indiscretion we’ve all been guilty of)? Probably
not. And if it came to that, rest assured that some middle-aged person would shake his or her head in shame and wonder where my parents were, as if I didn’t have the good sense to do dirt outside of the view of my mother and father.
If Facebook were around back then, there might even be a meme of my shameful mug next to Dr. King or Mandela’s photo. “Is this what they fought for?,” Internet posts would say. It didn’t come to that. I never wound up the back of a police squad car, never got a criminal record—it should be noted that I was also fortunate to have parents with the resources to keep me out of any kind of serious trouble—and I went on
to graduate from college. Today, I have a career doing what I love for a living. Only through providence and dumb luck was this possible—not because I was smarter, a harder worker or came from a better family than anybody else. Quardious Thomas (see this week’s cover story, “Killing Quardious Thomas,” starting on page 16) wasn’t so lucky. He did get caught—once by the police for burglarizing a home last year and again on July 12 for breaking into a truck. Based on my conversations with people who were close to him, he was bright, gregarious, and had a loving, strong family network of relatives and close friends. After his arrest, Thomas seemed to be getting his life back on track. He finished his high-school equivalency and would have started college this fall had he not been shot and killed this summer by a homeowner for alledgedly breaking into cars. So much for second chances. Thanks in part to the many second chances I received, I had the opportunity to travel through southern and eastern Africa a few years ago. I spent part of the trip in Soweto, the famous township near Johannesburg that is a symbol of South Africa’s hope and its hopelessness, its poverty and its prosperity. Being there, I felt the same thing I feel driving along U.S. 49, near where the Emmett Till murder episode played out, or when I visit Montgomery, Ala., one of the cradles of the Civil Rights Movement—the inescapable power of history and place. In Johannesburg, I walked the same streets as Hector Pieterson, the boy who became the first casualty of the 1976
I like to tell myself that I wasn’t on a trajectory to become a hardened criminal. But who knows?
Soweto Uprising, when students protested the government’s plan to force them to learn in Afrikaans, the language of their white oppressors. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel laureate, lives near the bed-and-breakfast where I stayed. Naturally, I visited the home on Vilikazi Street where Nelson Mandela lived before he went to prison on Robben Island for conspiring to sabotage the national power grid. Now a museum, the matchbox house bears bullet holes and Molotov cocktail scorches, scars from the struggle against tyranny. One of the rooms contains glass showcases displaying a pair of Mandela’s boots and a belt American championship boxer Sugar Ray Leonard gave him. The kitchen contains coal stove and a metallic dustbin cover, which legend has it Mandela used to shield himself from against bullets. In one of the bedrooms, a bed is covered with a blanket made from Jackal pelts. Even freedom fighters need warmth. We prefer to wrap ourselves in the whitewashed version of Mandela as a gentle, as peaceful leader who told his fellow countrymen to turn the other cheek, to embrace reconciliation. Let us not forget that as a young man, Mandela’s government believed him to be a very dangerous criminal. (President Ronald Reagan even had Mandela’s African National Congress designated a terrorist organization). As far as I can tell, Quardious Thomas was no freedom fighter, but unlike Mandela, who died last week at the age of 95, or myself, Thomas doesn’t get the rest of his life to become a different man than he was at age 20. Rest in peace, Madiba. Rest in peace, Quardious.
December 11 -1 7, 2013
Editorial Intern Mo Wilson is a Millsaps College student. He enjoys pizza, the Internet, dancing alone in his bedroom, social justice, politics and giggling. He wrote the Jacksonian and an art feature.
City Reporter Tyler Cleveland majored in news/editorial journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi. He enjoys sports, southern cuisine and good music. He wrote for the talk section.
Music Editor Briana Robinson wants become an expert on all things music. She also loves dance and photography. Send her music scoops at briana@ jacksonfreepress.com. She helped compile event listings and Eight Days a Week.
Kelsie Hughes is a senior at Belhaven University. She’s been a part of the Jackson community for years, and believes there’s a lot of beauty to be found in this city. She wrote the food feature.
Genevieve Legacy is an artistwriter-community development consultant. She works at Hope Enterprise Corporation and lives in Brandon with her husband and youngest son. She wrote a wellness story.
Trip Burns is a graduate of the University of Mississippi where he studied English and sociology. He enjoys the films of Stanley Kubrick. He took many of the photos in this issue.
Kimberly Griffin is a fitness buff and foodie who loves chocolate and her mama. She’s also Michelle Obama’s super secret BFF, which explains the Secret Service detail. She sold many ads for the issue.
David Joseph, former restaurateur and long-time Jacksonian, serves as the director of operations for Jackson Free Press. He loves watching the JFP grow, and he enjoys his two new grandchildren.
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE HOLIDAY SEASON? Garrad Lee Three weeks off work. Tara Hunter Playing Santa and bestowing surprise gift cards on strangers while out shopping. I try to randomly do it throughout the year, but like to do it even more during holidays. Tracie No NonSense Kelly LEGO Jackson. Ashley Drummer ClichĂŠ to say family so Iâ€™ll go with shopping, lol. Mark Michalovic Coming home to Mississippi to visit family and friends. Lonnie Stringfellow Oh, â€œNational Lampoonâ€™s Christmas Vacationâ€? and Record Store Day. Jo Ann Crooks Hall Palpable kindness as people interact in stores, in traffic and in the workplace.
December 11 - 17, 2013
Eric Steven Achee Its end.
Whatâ€™s Up with the Name â€˜Redskinsâ€™? Bob Costas (who I donâ€™t like) and President Obama would like the Washington Redskins to change their name. It is their opinion that the term â€œRedskinsâ€? is a slur word and is offensive. There is also a pest-control company here in the south that services Alabama and Mississippi. It is Redd Pest Solutions. At the end of their commercial on TV, they have a young lady dressed up like a young female Indian, and she sings: â€œCall the Redman, call the Redman; Redman come and drive our pests away.â€? Is this a slur or offensive? Michael Vincent Byram, Miss.
Lessons from Germany Thanks for your very thoughtful and forthright article on the Mississippi state flag (â€œMississippiâ€™s Flag: A Blow at Civilization,â€? Editorâ€™s Note, Oct. 30, 2013). This is an important issue if Mississippi really wants to move in a new direction and become an inspiration for our whole country and the world. Have you heard about Germany? According to a British Broadcasting Corporation news survey, Germany is now the most popular country in the world. After losing two World Wars and being bombed to pieces, the German people are totally unmoved by any display of their nationâ€™s flag. Also, the Nazi swastika flag is completely illegal; you can get arrested for displaying it. Who know, maybe thereâ€™s a lesson to be learned from the Germans? George Albertz Rifton, N.Y.
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Prevent, Protect, Empower
n addition to our annual Best of Jackson bash (be sure you are subscribed to jfpdaily. com for clues about the secret theme and location, and to get on the invitation list), coming the last weekend of January, we at the JFP are already planning another big event for 2014. Our annual Chick Ball is turning 10 this year, and weâ€™re going bigger and better to celebrate. As always, the event will help the Center for Violence Prevention. This year, we are dedicated to preventing domestic violence, protecting victims and empowering women to rebuild their lives and their families. To get involved with the most amazing JFP Chick Ball, yet, visit jfpchickball.com, email email@example.com or call 601362-6121, ext. 23. You can join our committee, volunteer your time, sponsor the event, donate items to the silent auction and more. Prevent. Protect. Empower. JFP Chick Ball 2014. Join us to help families.
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The 12th Annual
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