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HOLIDAY AT

December 18 - 24, 2013

3MILEFOR3ANTA

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Santa Photos: Monday - Saturday 10:00am - 8:00pm Sunday 12:00pm - 6:00pm


COURTESY BARBARA BLACKMON

JACKSONIAN ENYLA BLACKMON

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t only 8 years old, Enyla Blackmon has done things most children only dream of. She has recorded a hip-hop song, placed highly in gymnastics competitions and performed alongside her mother in a dance recital. But the most incredible thing this little girl has done in her short eight years of life is donate $5,000 to the American Cancer Society in early November. Not many children can say they’ve done that. Her great-grandfather, Fred Sanders, recently died of cancer, and Blackmon learned from her grandmother Barbara Blackmon, of Blackmon & Blackmon law firm in Canton, that her grandfather, Edward Blackmon Jr.’s father, Edward Blackmon Sr., and Barbara’s father, Julius Martin Sr., had also died of cancer. Blackmon decided to start collecting change for a cancer society donation. “It showed a lot of compassion and initiative for someone at that age to be one to focus on something as serious as cancer,” Barbara Blackmon says. Enyla began collecting donations at the end of September. “Everywhere she went, she was collecting money for cancer so she was cleaning out everyone’s change,” her grandmother says with a laugh. “She cleared out her piggy bank.” Her pastor Jeffrey Stallworth at Word and Worship Church in Jackson announced

CONTENTS

her project to the congregation, and said that they had to match whatever Enyla raised, totaling out to $5,000. Barbara Blackmon remembers Stallworth telling the congregation, “A baby should not be leading the way for what this church should already be doing.” On Nov. 3, Blackmon presented the money to Tracie Wade, director of the American Cancer Society. “Tracie was floored that a child had thought about saving money for cancer,” Barbara Blackmon says. The young philanthropist is in third grade at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, and she loves school. She is also a gymnast with Madison County Gymnastics. In her first competition, Blackmon placed first in all categories and had the highest score. In her second one, she placed second and third in all categories. The precocious Blackmon also loves music. When Enyla was 6, she recorded a hip-hop song titled “P.o.l.o. I Stay Fresh.” Enyla doesn’t see herself being a dancer or singer or hip-hop artist, though. Her new dream is to be a lawyer. She has already walked into her grandmother’s law firm asking for her own office. Enyla is the daughter of Madison Edward Blackmon, a local hip-hop artist who goes by the stage name Korleon, and Enola Kelly, a teacher at John Hopkins Elementary School and a dance instructor for the Golden Dazzlers. —Amber Helsel

Cover photo of Donna Ladd’s Fifth-Grade Class

9 Wrong Profile

Immigrant-rights activists are seeking justice for Rosi Lopez. Police looking for a homicide suspect mistakenly invaded her home.

31 Tat It Up

Alan Kolody’s silver tatting is a delicate and intricate art form, based on lacemaking and fiber arts.

34 Christmas Drag

“What’s good about the Madea character is that it enables Perry to show a purely farcical side of himself, and he has some inspired moments. Madea’s telling of the birthing of Jesus to the little children is gut-wrenchingly funny. And when Madea smiles, (Tyler) Perry is more likeable as a movie star than he has ever been before.” —Anita Modak-Truran, “Farcical Seasonal Romp”

jacksonfreepress.com

4 ............................. EDITOR’S NOTE 6 ............................................ TALKS 12 ................................ EDITORIAL 12 .................................. STIGGERS 12 ................................ SLOWPOKE 13 .................................... OPINION 14 ............................ COVER STORY 27 ......................................... FOOD 31 .............................. DIVERSIONS 32 ....................................... 8 DAYS 33 ...................................... EVENTS 34 .......................................... FILM 35 ....................................... MUSIC 36 ....................... MUSIC LISTINGS 37 ..................................... SPORTS 39 .................................... PUZZLES 41 ....................................... ASTRO

COURTESY TYLER PERRY COMPANY; COURTESY ALAN KOLODNY; R.L. NAVE

DECEMBER 18 - 24, 2013 | VOL. 12 NO. 15

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EDITOR’S note

by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief

Build an Army for Kids, Not Against Them

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was mortified, if not really surprised, to see some of the angry responses to R.L. Nave’s excellent cover story last week about the killing of Quardious Thomas. They ranged from the absurd— that you can’t call the 20-year-old a victim or say that he was “killed” because he was (allegedly) breaking into a car—to the downright vicious and un-American defenses of the right to execute a young man before he’s proved guilty of breaking into a car. No investigation was needed, they allege repeatedly. Property crime should bring punishment by death. And it got worse. He was a “thug.” He was one of “them,” clearly raised by bad parents in “their culture.” Most of us know what they’re saying. Reading the comments, I couldn’t help but think of the very different responses I read after the white Ole Miss student dragged a police officer to his death or a drunk white kid hit a car after leaving a reservoir, killing a family of children. Those young men were good kids who made a mistake, the reasoning went. But when it’s black youth who screw up, they are thugs raised by terrible parents and deserve what happens to them. Granted, this kind of “kill the thugs” rhetoric may be jarring, but can be expected from a certain unreformed element. Many Mississippians are familiar with people who were raised on the slavery-spawned myth that people of color are more violent, which served as a primary justification to keep segregation and even lynching in place; nearly always, an alleged crime was the rationale. And our state had the most lynchings. White people were raised here to believe that blacks—especially young men—were violent in order to justify brutality against them, keep the vote from them and ensure white supremacy (and control of wealth and opportunity) stayed in place. Sadly, the powerful have long pitted poor, uneducated

whites against people of color: a divide-andconquer strategy that keeps power and money where they want it. In other words, many of our people were taught to hate against their own interests—and too many still do. Fortunately, fewer whites are now

All God’s children deserve a chance to live, grow and prosper. raised to believe that people of color are born or raised to be more violent—but too many still hold onto that learned myth. It’s not like those beliefs went “poof” the minute the U.S. Supreme Court finally ended Mississippi segregation laws in 1970. Remember that a 60-year-old of today was 17 then and perhaps set in his beliefs. It hasn’t helped that we are suffering a new fear wave, fueled both by the gun lobby and conservative groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC, which controls a number of legislators right here in Mississippi, is responsible for a wave of gun laws, such as Stand Your Ground and various versions of the Castle Doctrine, that allow and encourage individual citizens to put themselves in danger to fire on suspected criminals, not to mention to truncate the due-process laws that have long governed American criminal jurisprudence.

It’s working. When I was growing up, I would often hear racist sentiments.. But I did not often hear justification of stomping outside to blow away someone trying to break into your car. Or that someone was justified in stalking and then killing an unarmed teen who might do something bad. We now have a black president, and probably because national figures like Sarah Palin made this kind of paranoia OK to again utter out loud, young blacks are becoming the hunted again. Even if they’re unarmed, even if they’re troubled, even if they’re not doing a damn thing but buying Skittles. And don’t even think about them having a right to self-defense against those stalking them. I’ve said it before: It’s not that some fools still hold these beliefs about non-whites that terrifies me so much; it’s how many people will openly justify violence against “thugs” and come out and say things like “blacks commit more crimes in Jackson” (duh, in a city that is majority-black). You sure don’t see the same kind of passion directed at the real violence that plagues every neighborhood in the metro, regardless of who lives there, their race, and how much education or money they have: sexual assault, incest, neglect and abuse of children, not to mention women. But here’s the thing: White people aren’t the only ones turning their backs on young people of color. In the Quardious Thomas killing, every major player we know of who has not demanded or brought a real investigation is black. On the JFP Facebook page, a young black woman said he got what he deserved because he was (allegedly) breaking into the homeowner’s car. Thus, the reasoning goes, it made sense that the homeowner grabbed his gun, went outside and fired six bullets into the unarmed Thomas. Oh, and then for the police and district attorney to drop the ball on the investigation.

Put another way, the Quardious Thomas case is probably not attracting national attention because the homeowner and the “investigators” are black. Thus, it matters less to national media, who would likely have jumped all over it had the shooter been white. We’ve seen that before, too. The most horrifying irony of all of this, though, is that these attitudes actually increase crime. Don’t take my word for it: The research is voluminous and easy to find (including in this GOOD Ideas issue). Our nation’s and state’s history of demonizing, dehumanizing and executing young black men—often with an inadequate or no trial and for crimes they did not commit—has created the violent culture we have today. And the response that cruel and unusual punishment should be meted out without a judge or jury for property crime by certain people will only feed into violence going forward. Not to mention, the kinds of severe legal punishment that befalls non-whites more often than whites for lesser (and often drugrelated) crimes contributes to recidivism. That is great news for the gun lobby, which gets to sell more guns as a result, and groups like ALEC that thrive only if fewer people can vote against their bought-andsold legislators (they push voter ID, too). But if you’re a citizen who wants your families and your friends and your neighbors to be safer, please don’t jump down the nonsensical and brutal rabbit hole where young people are riddled with bullets for breaking a window to gladiator-like applause. Instead, I urge you to join a growing army of people, including right here in the metro, who believe that all God’s children deserve a chance to live, grow and prosper regardless of the family circumstances they were born into. This GOOD Ideas is dedicated to every young person in Jackson.

December 18 - 24, 2013

CONTRIBUTORS

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Amber Helsel

R.L. Nave

Genevieve Legacy

Dustin Cardon

Tommy Burton

Briana Robinson

David Rahaim

Zilpha Young

Editorial Assistant Amber Helsel wanted that dinosaur sweater so badly, but alas, she could not have it. She wrote the Jacksonian.

R.L. Nave, native Missourian and news editor, roots for St. Louis (and the Mizzou Tigers) and for Jackson. Send him news tips at rlnave@jacksonfreepress.com. He wrote for the talk section.

Genevieve Legacy is an artist-writer-community development consultant. She works at Hope Enterprise Corporation and lives in Brandon with her husband and youngest son. She wrote an art story.

Copy Editor Dustin Cardon is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. An English major from Brandon, he enjoys reading fantasy novels and wants to write them himself one day.

Music Listings Editor Tommy Burton plays bass with Lately David, collects records, sees movies and travels a lot with his wife, Michelle. He wrote a music column.

Music Editor Briana Robinson wants to become an expert on all things music. Her other passions include dance and photography. Send her the music scoop at briana@jacksonfreepress.com. She wrote the music story.

One day Account Executive David Rahaim will finish his first novel, he promises. It may just be after he finishes his second. He sold many ads for the issue.

Delta State University grad Zilpha Young is the new ad designer at Jackson Free Press. When she’s not designing things, she can be found watching Netflix or drawing a cephalopod. She designed many of the ads for the issue.


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Friday, Dec. 13 An estimated 100,000 mourners line up in Pretoria to view Nelson Mandela on the final day before his burial; officials have to turn half of the overwhelming crowd away. ‌ North Korea’s state-run media announce that Jang Song Thaek has been executed and portrays him as a morally corrupt traitor who saw the death of Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, in December 2011 as an opportunity to make his own power play. Saturday, Dec. 14 Bells toll 26 times in a memorial to honor the children and educators killed one year ago in a shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

December 18 - 24, 2013

Sunday, Dec. 15 Nelson Mandela is buried in his hometown of Qunu in a state funeral that blends modern with ancient tribal rituals.

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Monday, Dec. 16 The United Nations announces it will need nearly $13 billion in aid in 2014 to reach at least 52 million people in 17 countries. ‌ A judge hands down a 28year prison sentence to a man convicted of masterminding a $100 million, crosscountry Navy veterans charity fraud. Tuesday, Dec. 17 The European Union says it has warned Israel against any new West Bank settlement construction following an upcoming Palestinian prisoner release, saying it will be held responsible for any resulting failure of ongoing peace talks.

Lumumba Wants More Siemens Oversight by Tyler Cleveland

J

ackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba has taken a city-first approach to infrastructure—he wants to pave city streets and fix the water and sewer network by hiring local contractors instead of handing work, and money, to businesses located outside the city limits. Every decision he has made since he came into office, and some even before— from the water and sewer rate increases to expanding the city’s public works department and changing his director—has been in that same vein. Except for one. And he doesn’t like it. When the city signed the $90 million contract with Siemens Industry Inc., a subsidiary of German infrastructure giant Siemens, to buy and install new water meters, it was essentially saying it needed outside help. The contract was not Lumumba’s idea, but as the city’s mayor, he’s now bound to support it. To be fair, he could not really stop its implementation. The preceding administration had already sold the bonds for the $90 million the city needed to pay the contract, and the city attorney said that doing anything else with the money could open the door for litigation. Instead, the current administration tried to insert fail-safes to ensure the city got the most bang for its buck. When he was still serving as Ward 2 city councilman, Lumumba successfully lobbied the former administration to include clauses in the contract mandating certain percentages of minority participation and jobs for Jacksonians. “I would have done a couple of things differently,� he said in an interview last week. “There are two things I would have done, specifically, that would have made me feel

New high-tech water meters could save the city money and cut down on labor, but at what cost?

comfortable putting it before the council. One, I would have made sure there was money set aside for the city to hire a monitor and make sure the minority and Jacksonian participation percentages were above board, and two, I would have addressed concerns about fluff in the contract, which is tough to measure without the manager‌ . If Siemens complied with that, and everything was OK,

I would have put this before council.� Although Lumumba has tried to secure a contract with a company to monitor the implementation of the contract, a familiar problem has come up: funding. The contract doesn’t include any money for a third-party monitor, and Lumumba says the going rate PRUH6,(0(16VHHSDJH

CHRISTMAS BRAIN GAMES A

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(SOURCE: KIDS.NIEHS.NIH.GOV)

ANSWERS: 1. WHITE CHRISTMAS; 2. CHESTNUTS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE; 3. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY TWO FRONT TEETH!; 4. OH HOLY NIGHT; 5. IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR; 6. OH COME ALL YE FAITHFUL; 7. AWAY IN A MANGER; 8. DECK THE HALLS; 9. WE THREE KINGS; 10. SILENT NIGHT; 11. GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN; 12. SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN; 13. LET IT SNOW; 14. GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN; 15. RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER!; 16. WHAT CHILD IS THIS?; 17. JOY TO THE WORLD; 18. HARK THE HERALD ANGLES SING!; 19. THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS; 20. SILENT NIGHT; 21. OH LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM; 22. JOLLY OLD SAINT NICHOLAS

Thursday, Dec. 12 Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s law minister says that the government has not abandoned efforts to make homosexuality legal, and that the country must take swift action to challenge a Supreme Court decision banning same-sex relations.

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TRIP BURNS

Wednesday, Dec. 11 The U.S. Senate begins an aroundthe-clock talkathon over some of President Barack Obamaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nominees as embittered and outnumbered Republicans refused to let the Senate take a break given new, Democratic-driven â&#x20AC;&#x153;nuclear optionâ&#x20AC;? curbs on the GOPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s power. â&#x20AC;Ś The U.S. and Britain say they are suspending deliveries to rebels in northern Syria of nonlethal aid such as communications equipment and laptops after some of the gear was seized by Islamic militants.

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MISSISSIPPI MUSEUM of ART Thursday, December 19

Museum After Hours 5 PM cash bar; Galleries open until 7 PM Thursday, December 19 on the BankPlus Green

Screen on the Green “Christmas Vacation” 5:30 PM cash bar & concessions; 7 PM movie

sponsored by The Clarion-Ledger and Gannett Foundation

Friday, December 20

Look and Learn with Hoot 10:30 AM

sponsored by Jackson Healthcare for Women and Woman’s Hospital

MUSEUM HOURS: TUESDAY - SATURDAY, 10AM - 5PM; SUNDAY, NOON - 5 PM; MONDAY, CLOSED 380 SOUTH LAMAR STREET JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI 601.960.1515 MSMUSEUMART.ORG

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COMIC COMMANDER

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TALK | development

6,(0(16 IURPSDJH

for such a service on a project of this size is $9 millionâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;far more than the city can just pull out of the bank on a whim. Still, the mayor said he wants to find the money, because the project is that important. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It may hurt us in some other parts of the budget, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something we need to do,â&#x20AC;? he said. In the meantime, Lumumba said the city is trying to monitor contracting to ensure at least 51 percent minority participation through the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contract compliance department. One of the selling points from Siemens when the contract went for its only stop before the current city council on July 22, 2013, was Chris McNeil, the former

Mississippi State football star who served as senior account manager for Siemens in the Jackson deal. McNeil stood at the podium in council chambers and personally guaranteed that Siemens would abide by the Equal Business Opportunity portion as it would any other section of the contract. At that time, he said Siemens had already exceeded the 51 percent rate for minority contracts that the agreement requires. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a checks and balances system in place to make sure the money stays here in Jackson,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Ś Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gotten a chance to deal with a bunch of people inside the city. You hear stories about people who are out there trying to find jobs, or trying to pay rent. This contract breathes a little life into that. There are major firms getting some work, but there are a lot of small companies and individuals who are getting work out of

this deal. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a privilege to be on this project, and if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t abide by the rules, then weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find someone to replace you.â&#x20AC;? Before putting the final decision in the councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hands, McNeil offered one final pledge: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never been a person for fluff,â&#x20AC;? McNeil said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mr. (Charles) Tillman, I give you guys my word. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had my word for three years now, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve followed through on everything Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve promised to this point.â&#x20AC;? Tillman is the president of the Jackson City Council. McNeil left Siemens â&#x20AC;&#x153;about a monthâ&#x20AC;? after he gave that speech to go into private business with his new partner Dusty Rhoads, McNeil said Friday by telephone. Records on the secretary of stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website show that Rhoads, a Flowood alderman and the son of Flowood Mayor Gary Rhoads, had the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name, McNeil Rhoads, incorporated on July 12, 2013â&#x20AC;&#x201D;10 days before McNeil

made his pledge to the council. Although heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been contacted by his successor Earl Byrd for clarification on the contract since he left, McNeil said he and his partnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new businessâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;selling and installing water metersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;has no current business in Jackson and has not contracted with Siemens on the project he helped negotiate. The deal will put a new water meter on every residence and commercial business in Jackson with the capability of being turned off and on by remote. Once installed, the city wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to send out public-works employees to turn water off and on when service has to be connected, reconnected or disconnected. The city has already paid more than $20 million to Siemens in relation to the contract since August. Email city reporter Tyler Cleveland at tyler@jacksonfreepress.com.

Federal Money Restarts Projects by Tyler Cleveland

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TRIP BURNS

December 18 - 24, 2013

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he Jackson City Council recently came up with an alternate method that Hemphill Construction is working to approved a pair of emergency involved using another type of rock. Af- reconstruct the streetâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a process that is change orders to restart work on ter testing proved the new method suc- more involved than a regular repavingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Capitol Street and the problem was an increase Fortification Street. in the cost of work. At the Dec. 9 meeting, CivilTech Engineering the council green-lighted $2.2 President Elmore Moody, who million in federal funding, sewas hired to oversee the project, cured through earmarks and said he had kept a close eye on highway funds, to restart both costs for the project, but that projects, which had stalled they had sky-rocketed in recent due to lack of funds for unmonths because the nature of foreseen circumstances. the work the crews were doing On Capitol Street, engihad changed. neering firm Neel-Schafferâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Normally, (the monthly point man Mark Beyea told bill) has been running about the council that soft soil un$500,000 a month,â&#x20AC;? Moody derneath the street needed said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But the last couple of to be solidified before workmonths, they had their guys ers can lay new pavement, out there putting in the street and that change would cost lights and some other bigroughly $218,000. ticket items. The bill jumped â&#x20AC;&#x153;The issue on Capitol to $800,000 one month, and Street deals with sub-grade then $1 million the next.â&#x20AC;? soils,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When we deCouncilman Tony Yarsigned the project, we includber asked if it had happened ed some pricing to deal with suddenly, as Moody said, or the soils that we anticipated gradually. would be a little softâ&#x20AC;Ś. At â&#x20AC;&#x153;Basically, they had the end of October we began crews out there doing dirt City Councilman Tony Yarber said something has to change to remove pavement, and work and drainage,â&#x20AC;? Moody about the way items are introduced as emergencies, or the city as we expected, some of the said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Then they hit these will eventually get caught holding the bag. soils were soft and required more expensive items.â&#x20AC;? some procedures to harden Interim Director of Pubthem so we can lay more malic Works Willie Bell urged terials down.â&#x20AC;? cessful, it was time for Beyea to go to the council to pass the emergency item, sayThe stabilization didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work as ex- council to fund the slightly more-expen- ing if they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, the work would cease pected, but the engineers, in conjunction sive change. and the crews would leave and pull all with contractor Eutaw Construction, On Fortification Street, where their equipment with them. Eventually,

he said, it would cost the city a â&#x20AC;&#x153;remobilizationâ&#x20AC;? fee when it decided to bring them back to work. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t realize the time issue until earlier this week,â&#x20AC;? Ward 7 City Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Obviously from a PR standpoint, to prevent pulling that equipment and workers off that project and all of that when we do have funding here seems reasonable and common sense to me. I think weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got some of the bravest citizens in the city trying to do business there on Fortification Street while this construction is ongoing.â&#x20AC;? Council passed that item 5-0 as well. The bigger gripe coming out of council before the vote was the reasoning behind their presentation as emergency items. In the past, council members have complained about items of import that do not appear on the council agendaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; but then Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and his department heads end up presenting them at the end of the meetings on an emergency basis. Yarber said the only thing that saved the two road projects in this instance is that the funding is federal. If it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, he said, the city would have to close shop on both projects for a year or more. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to support this emergency item because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something we have to do,â&#x20AC;? Yarber said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But I think we need to look at the question â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;How do we stay out of these situations in the future?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Because at some point, its going to be the city footing this bill.â&#x20AC;? Email City Reporter Tyler Cleveland at tyler@jacksonfreepress.com.


TALK | justice

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ES - O - TER - I - CA:

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arly the morning of Dec. 3, Rosi Lopez, like every other parent in Jackson, was getting her 6- and 7year-old sons ready for school when her front door came crashing in. At first, Lopez thought it might be a home invasion—her Archer Street house has been robbed before—but as it turns out it was U.S. marshals looking for a murder suspect named Lucious Perkins. Perkins and Lopez look nothing alike. Perkins is an African American man, and Lopez is Mexican American, born in Rankin County. Shots were fired, although it is unclear who fired first or whether someone inside the house fired. The Associated Press reported that a bullet fired by another officer hit a Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agent in the stomach; Arturo Rodriguez, Lopez’s nephew from Mexico, suffered a head injury. Lopez rushed her boys out of the home to a neighbor’s, but an officer dragged her by her hair back to her house, she says. “It’s not right,” Lopez said last week. Not only did authorities not have the right home, but Lopez said members of a task force, made up of marshals, Mississippi State Highway Patrol, Jackson Police Department and the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office, barked anti-Mexican slurs at occupants. Lopez, backed by immigrant-rights advocates, wants the U.S. Justice Department, which oversees the Marshal’s Office, to investigate the incident. Bill Chandler of the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, saying that the task-force members violated Lopez’ and Rodriguez’ 14th Amendment rights. “Apprehending dangerous criminals is an important government function. However, the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution does not disappear when law enforcement officials are carrying our

important government functions,” Chandler wrote to Holder. A call to the U.S. Marshal’s office in Jackson placed Tuesday morning was not returned by press time. Latinos, who make up just under 3 percent of Mississippi’s overall population, are frequent targets of both crime and police harassment. Chandler doubts law-enforcement would have used such heavy-handed tactics in northeast Jackson or if the residents of the home had been white. “I think it’s outrageous that when law enforcement encounters Latinos, they either ignore them, show indifference, all the way up to (committing) racial profiling,” Chandler told reporters. Despite the fact that Lumumba and Lewis have been supportive of MIRA’s efforts, Chandler said the city should implement the anti-profiling ordinance Lumumba sponsored when he was on the city council and better train officers. As of now, there are no Latinos on the Jackson police force or Spanish-speaking officers, but the department did acquire electronic translators last year. Chandler and other people who work closely with the capital city’s small, but growing Hispanic community say that government agencies often fail to protect Latinos and sometimes even target them for abuse. His group frequently fields calls from people who are attacked because thieves assume that Latinos often carry large amounts of cash. They say they contact the police but receive no help. Rosi Lopez said she never received so much as an apology from the officers who roughed her up and frightened her children; her neighbors were more sympathetic, offering their sympathies afterward. She has not returned to her home on Archer Street and said she probably never will. Email R.L. Nave at rlnave@jacksonfreepress.com. Comment at www.jfp.ms.

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Law enforcement raided the home of Rosi Lopez (center) home in early December looking for a homicide suspect. Lopez, a U.S. citizen, said her family was a victim of racial profiling because the officer beat her and a relative and used ethnic slurs. She is pictured with Bill Chandler (left) and her son.

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TALK | healthcare

Expanding Medicaid: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Something Smartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; by R.L. Nave

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avid Becker believes the Jackson Medical Mall Dec. 12 21st century will be the That deal is outlined in Becker health-care era. Based on and Morrisseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s analysis showing a report Becker co-authat Mississippi taxpayers would thored, Mississippi will practically spend $579 million between 2014 be stuck in medieval times if poliand 2020, but draw more than cymakers continue to fight Medic$1.4 billion in tax revenues as a reaid expansion. sult, and generate upwards of $14 Even with the intense debate billion in total new economic acof the last year or so, the convertivity. It would also create 20,000 sation over Medicaid expansion in new jobs and provide an $848 milMississippi has focused on the costs lion increase in net state and local and benefits to the state and to the tax revenues. health-care industry in broad terms. Those benefits would eventually Beckerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s report, commissioned by trickle down to cities and counties. one group promoting Medicaid Jackson would get the biggest boost, expansion, goes a step further and representing more than $1 billion in looks at Medicaid expansionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s effects total economic activity over the sevon regions and local communities. en-year period between 2014 and Democratic State Sen. David Blount said his party It shows that billions of dollars are 2020. In the Jackson metropolitan will try once again to convince their Republican colleagues to consider expanding Medicaid, which at stake in Medicaid. area, including parts of Madison could jolt the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy. The report, authored by and Rankin counties, that benefit Becker and Michael Morrisey, both would be closer to $2 billion. researchers at the University of Alafrom adding more people to the state-run Medicaid expansion would also bama at Birmingham, affirms previous insurance program for the poor. mean 2,712 new jobs for the capital-city studies showing millions of dollars in adâ&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a deal that seems too good to area, Becker and Morrissey wrote. ditional economic activity would come pass up,â&#x20AC;? said Becker, speaking at the â&#x20AC;&#x153;When new Medicaid enrollees TRIP BURNS

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and a stronger state economy.â&#x20AC;? Medicaid-expansion advocates, who lost a legislative fight to expand the program, believe the numbers make a solid case for lawmakers to revisit expansion in the next session. â&#x20AC;&#x153;By refusing to expand Medicaid, our state leaders are costing our cities and

counties thousands of new jobs and economic activity,â&#x20AC;? Roy Mitchell, the Mississippi Health Advocacy Programâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s executive director, said in a news release. Despite backing from the healthcare industry, Medicaid expansion has remained a casualty of politics in Mississippi and several other states where Re-

id you know people used to believe that mistletoe grew from dung? The name itself is Anglo-Saxon for â&#x20AC;&#x153;dung-on-a-twig.â&#x20AC;? So why do we kiss under it? Here are a few beliefs behind that silly custom. Ancient Druids believed mistletoe had magical properties. They thought the plant could serve as a poison antidote, ensure fertility, cure a nervous system disease, ward off evilâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;some even though it was an aphrodisiac. In ancient Greek culture, couples

Kissing under the mistletoe is a strange tradition with many possible origins.

would kiss under mistletoe at festivals and weddings. It served as a promise

to marry and a prediction of happiness and a long life. Anglo-Saxons associated the plant with Freya, the goddess of love and fertility. The legend said that a man had to kiss any young girl who accidentally found herself under mistletoe. Men would pluck a berry and when the last berry was gone, they wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t kiss anymore. In Norse mythology, the god Hoder killed the god Balder with a mistletoe arrow by while fighting for Nanna. (SOURCE: COOLQUIZ.COM)



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publicans are standing firm against the Affordable Care Act. Championed by President Barack Obama, the ACA was designed to force states to grow their Medicaid rolls or lose federal funding, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2012 that states did not have to expand Medicaid. Justices upheld rest of the health-care law as constitutional. Gov. Phil Bryant. House Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves have all opposed Medicaid expansion, saying the state could not afford to add more people to Medicaid, citing a fiveyear-old study Gov. Haley Barbour commissioned in 2010. Democratic lawmakers failed in passing a Medicaid expansion bill in the 2013 legislative session, but state. Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, said lawmakers should take another shot it in 2014. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have an opportunity to do something smart,â&#x20AC;? Blount said. Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email R.L. Nave at rlnave@jacksonfreepress.com.

     

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have access to health coverage, they will also have more disposable income to directly spend in other sectors of the economy such as grocery and retail stores and even housing,â&#x20AC;? Becker said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The billions in new federal funding would create a demand for thousands of new jobs, a healthier workforce

11


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Getting Creative with Kwanzaa

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oneqweesha Jones: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Greeting, television viewers. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m your backon-the-scene reporter coming to you live from Jojoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Discount Dollar Store. I heard that Jojo and his staff are about to set the stage this holiday season with the premiere of Chief Crazy Brothaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s theatrical play titled â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;An African American Santa Claus Celebrates Kwanzaa.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Miss Doodle Mae Jenkins, associate store manager and marketing representative, is with me to provide some information about this event. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Miss Doodle Mae, why doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Jojoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Discount Dollar Store have an old-fashioned holiday sale like the other stores?â&#x20AC;? Miss Doodle Mae: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This holiday season, Jojo decided to move away from the status quo. So he asked for some creative input from his staff. Chief Crazy Brotha, our store display manager, cashier and resident playwright, suggested that during store hours members of the Ghetto Science Team Repertory Theatre perform an abbreviated version of his play, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;An African American Santa Claus Celebrates Kwanzaa.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Jojo and the staff loved Chief Crazy Brothaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s idea and approved the play to be performed on Christmas Eve in the gift-card section of the store. Jojo loves to treat his customers with dignity and respect. He believes in providing them with low-priced items and thought-provoking entertainment.â&#x20AC;? Boneqweesha Jones: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Please give my viewers a brief summary of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;An African American Santa Claus Celebrates Kwanzaa.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Miss Doodle Mae: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a play about a depressed African American male, haunted by the ghosts of poverty, unemployment and apathy, who experiences hope and cultural awareness through the celebration of Kwanzaa.â&#x20AC;?

City Must Give More Notice to City Council

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12

Why it stinks: Gov. Bryant seems to be continuing a bizarre trend of going on record to say Mississippi would disobey federal laws it disagrees with. Last year, it was the idea that President Obama and the feds wanted to take Mississippiansâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; guns. This time around, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the implementation of Common Core state standards for math and English, which some 40 other states have already adopted. But if Rep. Moore, who serves as a chairman of the House Education Committee, believes Mississippi parents are concerned that an outside force might usurp their kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; education, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s way off base. Based on lawmakersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; refusal to fully fund the public-education funding formula to the tune of more than $1 billion and growing, Mississippi parents should be concerned about internal forcesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;namely, the Repbulican-led Legislatureâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;more than outside authorities.

he Jackson City Council was frustrated last week when the Mayor Chokwe Lumumba introduced two emergency items at its special meeting Monday afternoon. It isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the first time the mayor has asked council to make a big-money decision without notice or time to research it. This time, the mayor asked for funding to restart a couple of stalled road projects to the tune of $2.2 million. The mayorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s practice of presenting â&#x20AC;&#x153;change ordersâ&#x20AC;? at the last hour, in turn, allows companies to bid as low as they want to win a contract, then make up the difference by citing â&#x20AC;&#x153;unforeseen factorsâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;previously unknown complicationsâ&#x20AC;? that force them to jack up the price of finishing the project. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not saying thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the case with these two projects (although Ward 4 Councilman Deâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Keither Stamps has a point when he rhetorically asks how long weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been building on Yazoo clay, and how much longer weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to accept its existence as one of these unfortunate, unforeseen problems work crews run into). The soft soil under Capitol Street and the cost run-ups on Fortification Street (see â&#x20AC;&#x153;Federal Money Restarts Projects,â&#x20AC;? page 9) may be totally legitimate. The point is, we will never know if the matter isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t brought before the council in a timely enough manner that the problem can be talked out and resolved before approving additional money.

And never mind that this funding wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t coming out of City of Jackson coffers. Even federal dollars come from somewhere, and whether it came from the luxury tax on the New York Yankeesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; extravagant payroll or a midwestern familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard-earned income tax, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all coming from the same pie that can only be sliced so many times. The real issue here is that the emergency items truncate the process, and that process isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t in place because it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t workâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s there because it does work. To date, this council has proved itself to be open, aggressive and forthcoming with constructive criticism, but they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t firefighters. They canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be effective if they are asked to do their job with no preparation and adequate time to make educated decisions. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard work being responsible for all the moving parts of a city of 175,000, and sometimes things fall through the cracks. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why it must be high priority for this mayor to be ever-vigilant, and keep himselfâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and this city councilâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;out of crisis mode. The council and the citizens deserve ample notice to consider important requests; they must not be procrastinated. Councilman Melvin Priester Jr. was right when he said that, with emergency items, â&#x20AC;&#x153;weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re missing a real opportunity to hear the peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voice.â&#x20AC;? He sounds like another Ward 2 councilman we remember â&#x20AC;Ś right, Lumumba?

Email letters to letters@jacksonfreepress.com, fax to 601-510-9019 or mail to 125 South Congress Street, Suite 1324, Jackson, Mississippi 39201. Include daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Or write a 300-600-word â&#x20AC;&#x153;Your Turnâ&#x20AC;? and send it by email, fax or mail above with a daytime phone number. All submissions are subject to fact checks.


TOM HEAD

They Always Get Away EDITORIAL News Editor R.L. Nave Features Editor Kathleen Morrison Mitchell City Reporter Tyler Cleveland Music Editor Briana Robinson JFP Daily Editor Dustin Cardon Editorial Assistant Amber Helsel Events Editor Latasha Willis Music Listings Editor Tommy Burton Fashion Stylist Nicole Wyatt Writers Torsheta Bowen, Ross Cabell Marika Cackett, Richard Coupe, Bryan Flynn, Genevieve Legacy, Anita Modak-Truran, Larry Morrisey, Eddie Outlaw, Julie Skipper, Kelly Bryan Smith, Micah Smith Bloggers Dominic DeLeo, Jesse Houston Editorial Interns Justin Hosemann, Mo Wilson Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Art Director Kristin Brenemen Advertising Designer Zilpha Young Staff Photographer/Videographer Trip Burns Photographer Tate K. Nations ADVERTISING SALES Advertising Director Kimberly Griffin Account Managers Gina Haug, David Rahaim BUSINESS AND OPERATIONS Director of Operations David Joseph Bookkeeper Aprile Smith Operations Assistant Caroline Lacy Crawford Distribution Manager Richard Laswell Distribution Raymond Carmeans, John Cooper Jordan Cooper, Clint Dear, Ruby Parks ONLINE Web Editor Dustin Cardon Web Designer Montroe Headd Multimedia Editor Trip Burns CONTACT US: Letters letters@jacksonfreepress.com Editorial editor@jacksonfreepress.com Queries submissions@jacksonfreepress.com Listings events@jacksonfreepress.com Advertising ads@jacksonfreepress.com Publisher todd@jacksonfreepress.com News tips news@jacksonfreepress.com Fashion style@jacksonfreepress.com Jackson Free Press 125 South Congress Street, Suite 1324 Jackson, Mississippi 39201 Editorial (601) 362-6121 Sales (601) 362-6121 Fax (601) 510-9019 Daily updates at jacksonfreepress.com

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arius Simmons was 13 years old when the old man next door killed him. John Henry Spoonerâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;white, 76, and angryâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;was sure the black kid had stolen his guns, and even surer when the kid denied it. When Spooner saw Darius taking out the garbage, he stepped outside and shot the boy dead. And while thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot to hate about what happened, one cold and terrible message especially stands out for me: John Henry Spooner loved his missing guns more than he loved the child next door, and he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind writing that out in blood. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what the American debate over Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine laws has increasingly become: a question of whether the lives of our young people matter more than our craven and sometimes baseless suspicions that our property will be taken away from us. When an anonymous website commenter warned earlier this week on the Jackson Free Press website that potential burglarsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;or, as he called them, â&#x20AC;&#x153;little sh*tsâ&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;would take everything we own if we werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t willing to kill them on sight, I thought of what Michael Dunn wrote in prison as part of a letter to his father. Dunn, a 45-yearold white man, fired into a car full of black teenagers because he thought they were playing their music too loud; 17-year-old Jordan Davis was shot dead, and two of his friends were wounded. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The jail is full of blacks,â&#x20AC;? he wrote to his father, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and they all act like thugs ... [I]f more people would kill these [expletive] idiots ... eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.â&#x20AC;? Even after he had killed a teenager, Dunn saw his victimâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;not himselfâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;thug.â&#x20AC;? Recent white vigilantism in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict has given us a horrifyingly long list of examples like these. The most recent to get national attention was the death of Renisha McBride, 19, her beautiful face blown off by 54-year-old Theodore Wafer in suburban Detroit because she knocked on his door after surviving a late-night car accident. The death of 20-year-old Quardious Thomas, mowed down in Jackson for allegedly breaking into an unoccupied car earlier this year, fits the pattern less neatlyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the shooter was black, and Thomas wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a completely innocent bystanderâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;but local law enforcementâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s casual response to

the shooting sends the message that his life wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worth very much. And when you take into account one police officerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s suggestion that a local business owner â&#x20AC;&#x153;buy a gunâ&#x20AC;? to prevent burglaries at his office, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clear that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve reached a point where weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re comfortable with the idea of young peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and, in nearly every case weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve encountered, young black peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; getting shot down because we think they might break something or steal something. If we look back at the shooting that started this recent wave of vigilante killings, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clear that it was motivated by the same kind of thinking. George Zimmerman had chased down 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a kid walking home at night, because â&#x20AC;&#x153;they always get away.â&#x20AC;? Zimmerman, who had called police 46 times over the previous two years, decided to chase one of â&#x20AC;&#x153;themâ&#x20AC;? down and personally make sure he wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t escape. Zimmerman, it is clear, saw himselfâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and may still see himselfâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;as a hero. The same is certainly true of Dunn, and may also be true of Spooner and Wafer. And it plays into a very well-established American mythology surrounding the glamorous vigilante crimefighterâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;dating all the way back to Wild West gunslingers, and all the way forward to todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s superhero flicks. Even if we could completely rely on the accuracy of our suspicions, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing remotely heroic about trading the lives of our young people for material things. The violent fantasies that animate public policies surrounding Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine laws arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t rooted in legitimate heroism; they come from our arrogance, greed, and pride. We each only get one life, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a horrible fact of our lives that many of us have to do without things that are stolen from us. But these families have lost their children. And these often innocent and sometimes guilty but confused young people whose very selves are snuffed out by vigilantesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not â&#x20AC;&#x153;little sh*ts.â&#x20AC;? Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re our dead. And if we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t muster up the courage to grieve for them, we should grieve for our own capacity for tenderness, and the spirit of vengeance, the bloody-minded callousness, that has replaced it. Tom Head, Ph.D., is a Jackson native. He is author or coauthor of 25 books, including â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Absolute Beginnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guide to the Bibleâ&#x20AC;? (Que/Pearson, 2005, $26.99).

John Henry Spooner loved his missing guns more than he loved the child next door.

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Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer

13


for Girls & Boys The Truth About Today’s Youth by Donna Ladd

The ratio of

Rates of robbery and serious Youth incarceration dropped property offenses are at the lowest in more than 40 years high-achieving, high-income among black youth; rape and murder rates are the lowest since the rates were first calculated in the 1960s. (SOURCE: FBI, BUREAU OF JUSTICE STATISTICS)

Mississippi has become a

leader in juvenile-justice

policies in the last decade. (SOURCE: NATIONAL JUVENILE JUSTICE NETWORK)

December 18 - 24, 2013

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14

oday’s generation of young people may be the safest, smartest and most resilient we’ve ever experienced. Yes, including here in Jackson and Mississippi. Really. It has long been true that young people—including those who grow up in challenged communities—are not the monsters many adults assume they are. A huge problem that child experts warn about is media perpetuation of myths about children. Violence sells. So do dramatic, hand-wringing stories about children getting in trouble. That media coverage doesn’t help, however. Neither do myths about our younger generations, their schools (know that schools have long been safer than homes for children?) and their neighborhoods. And even the most needy communities and families need less hype—which actually increases hopelessness and crime—and more opportunities to improve their own conditions. If we can separate fact from fiction, and stop silly blame games, we are much likely to support families in ways that help them and the community as a whole. Tamping down the hype about teen violence is a good place to start (as is learning the difference between a car break-in and an actual act of violence). Ask many Mississippians (or Americans, for that matter) for the biggest problem facing the state (or nation), and many will say youth violence. And when they say that, many of them mean violence by young non-whites. Put bluntly, what may be a growing number of Americans of various races are afraid of young people of color. Look

69 percent in

Mississippi from 2001 to 2010 after students to high-achieving, lowjumping 94 percent from 1985 to 2000. incomestudentsintheU.S.population is only about two-to-one. (SOURCE: NATIONAL JUVENILE JUSTICE NETWORK)

(SOURCE: BROOKINGS INSTITUTION)

Youth Court referrals

Childhood obesity dropped 23 percent declined in Mississippi this year. (SOURCE: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL)

no further than the killing of black youth around the nation (from Trayvon Martin in Florida to Quardious Thomas in Jackson to Renisha McBride in a Michigan suburb) to understand that many Americans are so afraid of young people of color that they use that fear to justify hysterically responding to unarmed young people with lethal force. Obscured under all those layers of fear is good news that you may not have heard. Politico.com, and then the Atlanta Black Star, reported in November that, despite the media-driven beliefs about kids of color, violent crime is actually down among African

MYTH BUSTER

• Murder and violent crimes are very rare among African Americans—less than 2/10 of 1 percent.

American youth in the United States. Here’s what a lot of media aren’t telling you: “The latest figures from the FBI, Bureau of Justice Statistics and public health agencies show that among black youth, rates of robbery and serious property offenses are the lowest in more than 40 years. Rates of murder and rape are now lower than when nationwide crime statistics first appeared in 1965—and those were far less thorough than today’s,” the Atlanta Black Star reported, citing Politico.com and FBI reports. We also learn that violent and other criminal victimization of young blacks has fallen to record lows. So have drug abuse, unplanned pregnancy and

in Hinds County from 2011 to 2012. (SOURCE: MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES.

school dropouts—a surprise to many. Still, “[d]espite the sharp decrease in crime in America, and other industrialized countries, the mainstream media continues to propagate an image that black males are a growing threat to the safety of the general public,” the paper reports. The tough reality, still, is that African Americans are still “over-represented” in many crimes—meaning a larger percentage commit some crimes than whites. Many of those are young black men who are growing up in impoverished, crime-riddled neighborhoods that have been neglected by the larger community (and, usually, were abandoned by whites who resisted fully integrated neighborhoods). The response from the larger community is usually overly simplistic: Blame the parents. The problem with that response is that the historic breakup of families of color—dating back to slavery times and then through Jim Crow, the drug war and over-incarceration of black men and then women—means that many of the young people committing the crimes don’t have strong families present for them. Often, at least one parent is in prison for a drug crime, or had such deep emotional wounds from cycles of poverty and violence that good parenting seems beyond their reach. This happens with people of all ethnicities, of course. But the peculiar and devastating psychology of impoverished neighborhoods—and being continually distrusted and castigated by a majority culture that created the conditions in the first place and then won’t commit the resources to repair them—combine to create very volatile

conditions for young people growing up there. And through no fault of their own. The cycle, of course, isn’t helped by the eventual flight of young people who excel despite the conditions, leaving fewer successful role models in the community, not to mention less tax base. This is a vicious cycle by definition, but it is not one any of us should be content to allow to continue. This GOOD Ideas issue is dedicated to what each of us can, and should do, to help reverse these trends that ultimately hurt us all by sowing distrust and fear, not to mention actual crime committed by young victims of our neglect of the larger beloved community. The ideas in this issue are just a start, and you may disagree with some of them. But the point is to be motivated to think about these issues from a much deeper and more spiritual place than a surface fear of young people. Put simply, we cannot shoot

NEWS TO SHARE

• Since the early 1990s, homicide deaths and arrests have fallen 70 percent among young blacks.

ourselves out of the box our historic wrongs and neglect have built for us all, but we can choose a corner and start hammering away with proven solutions. That is what this issue is dedicated to: solutions. But, first, let’s figure out why both the problems (and the perceptions) exist, then turn the page and get to work.


Character: What Kids (Really) Need by Donna Ladd

MARY MCILVAINE PHOTOGRAPHY

These lists of assets are not exhaustive, but they are research-based, meaning that they work. Let’s make sure our kids get what they need. We all pay if they don’t. In his book, “How Children Succeed—Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character” (Mariner Books, 2013), journalist Paul Tough looked at the efforts of two New York City schools—one public and one private—to supplement academics with characterbuilding in their students. In his book, as reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Tough warns that character “isn’t about morality.” He writes: “It’s more about learning a set of skills to help kids achieve their goals.” That’s good news if you think about it. Character can be broken into skills that can be learned and treated as a craft that can be honed and improved throughout life. That fact also disproves myths that some kids are “bad kids” who cannot be helped. Tough writes about seven character traits that the schools focused on—resulting in academic and interpersonal improvements.

1&2

Paul Tough says IQ alone isn’t enough.

more complicated than that, but it is accessible to everyone, regardless of family configuration. And those who aren’t parents can help offer “assets” and character-building to children with less-than-stellar (or overworked) parents.

The Socially Intelligent Child 1. Start very young to build your child’s interpersonal skills. 2. Support their friendships and help them work through differences. 3. Expect your child to relate to others the way you relate to her and others. Be respectful and tactful. 4. Teach that all people are important, thus the reasons to be kind, on time and respectful. These tips are from Dr. Laura Markham at jfp.ms/socialkids. Also see jfp.ms/socialkids2 and jfp.ms/socialkids3.

Grit and self-control Neuroscientists these days like to talk about “grit,” or resilience, as an indicator of whether a person has the strength to do the hard work of being successful, as well as overcome tragedy and difficult challenges. Research psychologist and McArthur “genius” fellow Angela Lee Duckworth pushes grit, along with self-control, as the main predictors of success in young people. She defines grit as “the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals”: that is, to stick to something long enough to succeed (as in school, college, music, sports, writing, etc.) Self-control is how you make short-term good decisions. Learn more about grit (and self-control) and find grit scales for adults and

Ideas for Grateful Kids Heather Johnson (theidearoom.net) has a super list of tips for instilling gratefulness in young people. They include: 1. Start saying “no.” If you give them everything they want, they don’t learn to be grateful when they get what they want. 2. Don’t compare what you have (and don’t) to others. It’ll make you unhappy, too. 3. Stop talking about material things like new houses and cars, or even clothes. 4. Model saying “please” and “thank you” to everyone, from your kids to the office cleaning person. 5. Give them opportunities to work and do chores. Make sure you don’t communicate that work is bad and play is good. Stop the complaining about your job: They need to learn a good work ethic from you. Read more at jfp.ms/gratitude.

children at jfp.ms/gritscales. See Duckworth’s TEDTalk on grit at jfp.ms/gritted.

3

Curiosity It’s obvious, if sometimes elusive: We need to be curious to be great learners. We need to want to know. “[R]esearch shows that it is a child’s internal desire to learn (their curiosity), not external pressure, that motivates him to seek out new experiences and leads to greater success in school over the long term,” the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families tells us (zerotothree.org). Kids need to be around adults who are mindful and interested in the world around them and encourage them to be. See more KIDS, on page 17

How to Raise Curious Adults 1. Follow your children’s lead. If they’re interested in something, encourage them to learn more. 2. Answer questions clearly and let them know if you don’t know. Then, go learn together! 3. Use the public library. It’s a great place to go wander and find and pursue new interests. Just “read” the shelves until

your child settles on something he or she wants to pursue. 4. Ask your child open-ended questions to encourage them to think. And ask their opinions. 5. Create interesting, stimulating environments. Think art, color, whimsy. Rotate to keep it fresh. 6. Let them decide what to create and how. Coloring outside

the lines can open minds. 7. Be interested and mindful about the world around you: the stars, moon, flowers, art, animals, everything. Ask “why” a lot. Give yourself permission to wonder out loud—in front of your child. Do it often. Adapted from zerotothree.org.

jacksonfreepress.com

I

t’s common for some folks to fire off a simplistic answer to what kids need, like “good parents,” or “a father and a mother.” The truth is that not all children have good parents, and giving birth or marrying a person of the opposite gender does not turn people into good parents. Not to mention, good parents don’t guarantee perfect kids. The experts say that giving children what they need is

15


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KIDS, from page 15

4 5

Social Intelligence This is another biggie: socially (or emotionally) incompetent kids become troubled adults who have a tough time in relationships or having good attitudes at work. That is, children need good â&#x20AC;&#x153;people skillsâ&#x20AC;? to get along and cooperate with others. Zest Merriam-Webster defines â&#x20AC;&#x153;zestâ&#x20AC;? as â&#x20AC;&#x153;lively excitement: a feeling of enjoyment and enthusiasm.â&#x20AC;? Sadly, many adults lose it by adulthood and then pass on their unhappiness and dull approach to life to their kids. If you have children, learn to get your zest on. Pursue your interests and focus on learning to love life. Model it, and teach your kids to do the same. If you live in tough circumstances, a dose of zest just might give you the energy to pull out and change it. And if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re mentoring a child in an unhappy family, be sure to bring zest and healthy excitement into their lives.

6

Optimism Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true: People who believe the future will be good are more likely to see (and help) that belief come true. And we believe in ourselves more when we accomplish tough tasks. Elizabeth Scott, M.S., advises families to help children experience success by giving them tasks from an early age, then give them credit for succeeding. Watch what it takes for them to succeed and then help them develop those skills, she says. Get more of her tips at jfp.ms/raiseoptimists.

How to Raise a Pessimist COURTESY ELISABETH SCOTT

Dr. Bruce Perry warns on scholastic.com that the â&#x20AC;&#x153;less-curious child will make fewer new friends, join fewer social groups, read fewer books, and take fewer hikes. The less-curious child is harder to teach because he is harder to inspire, enthuse and motivate.â&#x20AC;? Here are three ways that adults snuff out a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s curiosity: 1. Fear: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fear kills curiosity. When the childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world is chaotic or when he is afraid, he will not like novelty. He will seek the familiar, staying in his comfort zone, unwilling to leave and explore new things. Children impacted by war, natural disasters, family distress, or violence all have their curiosity crushed.â&#x20AC;? 2. Disapproval: â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t touch. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t climb. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t yell. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take that apart. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get dirty. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Children sense and respond to our fears, biases and attitudes. If we convey a sense of disgust at the mud on their shoes and the slime on their hands, their discovery of tadpoles will be diminished.â&#x20AC;? 3. Absence: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The presence of a caring, invested adult provides two things essential for optimal exploration: 1) a sense of safety from which to set out to discover new things and 2) the capacity to share the discovery and, thereby, get the pleasure and reinforcement from that discovery.â&#x20AC;? Read more at jfp.ms/kill_curiosity.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;IQ was not the only difference between my best and my worst students. â&#x20AC;Ś What we need in education is a much understanding of students and learning from a motivational perspective â&#x20AC;Ś.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Former public-school teacher and McArthur â&#x20AC;&#x153;geniusâ&#x20AC;? fellow Angela Lee Duckworth

Elisabeth Scott, M.S., warns on About.com about parental practices that, though well-meaning, can squelch your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s optimism. She writes: 1. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t praise when not warranted: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Optimism researcher Martin Seligman believes that telling a child that everything they do is greatâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;rather than helping them experience real successes and persist in the face of reasonable obstaclesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;puts the child at a disadvantage, creating an overly strong selffocus and actually making them more vulnerable to depression.â&#x20AC;? 2. Avoid negative labels: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Correct unacceptable behavior, but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t label your child with negative labelsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;ever! Children tend to live upâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;or downâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;to our expectations, so if you say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Jackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our whiner,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Lucyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our shy child,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; what may have been a passing phase becomes a more permanent identity. This is much more damaging to a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s self-concept than some parents realize, and it perpetuates the very behavior you find so objectionable.â&#x20AC;? 3. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be a poor example: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Children watch us and see us as constant examples, whether we like it or not. The good news about this is that we can teach by doing. Practice optimistic thinking yourself. When you achieve success, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t downplay it with false modesty, but give yourself credit for a job well done. When things go wrong, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t catastrophize; put things in perspective.â&#x20AC;?

7

Gratitude Turns out that your mama was right: It is healthy to give thanks. The focus of prayer is healthy, but you can take it even farther with your child. Have him do a short list every day (perhaps in a fun journal) of what he is grateful for. It can be anything: his new puppy, her teacher, a good grade, a cartoon, a sports figure. A gratitude list brings a sense of balance and grace to your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life, and can become a life-long habit. Adults should do it, too, to fight stress and instill more mindfulness. Grateful children also tend to be healthier. (Same with adults.)

I

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ll. Teach children a skill they will have for a lifetime, such as drawing, swimming or dancing.

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 +HOS HVWDEOLVK D TXDOLW\ GD\FDUH SURJUDP IRU FKLOGUHQ RI VLQJOH ORZLQFRPH SDUHQWV ZKR ZRUN RU DUH ORRNLQJ IRU ZRUN 15. Help impoverished city children broaden their perspective and enrich their lives by taking them for a day in the country, highlighting activities such as hiking, swimming, fishing or canoeing.

jacksonfreepress.com

Move Over, IQ:

Curiosity: The Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ts

Many Ways to Help Children

17


Digging up the Roots by Donna Ladd

W

hen discussing the very difficult issue of violence, we find there are two types of people: those who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t care why criminals resort to violence, and those who get that preventing it can only come from attacking it at the roots. That is, we stop crime before it happens by trying to understand and fix why a young person takes that turn in the first place. Yet, if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hold the clearly racist belief that young blacks are statistically more likely to commit crime because theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re black, then logic dictates that we should seek out the reasonsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and then change those conditions. The Atlanta Black Star presented a compelling and unflinching â&#x20AC;&#x153;5 Reasons Young Black Men Resort To Violenceâ&#x20AC;? that circulated Facebook recently. In it, they quoted the late Dr. Amos Wilson, a Hattiesburg-born psychology professor and expert on black crime, who found that young black men resorted to crime due to a system that had â&#x20AC;&#x153;excluded and oppressed them for centuries.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Personal responsibility is a factor, but understanding how the minds of young black boys have been negatively impacted by racial oppression may provide insight on what solutions will be effective in remedying the problem,â&#x20AC;? Andre Moore wrote in the piece. Here are the five reasons the piece gave; please consider with an open mind (and read to the end):

1. Slavery and Racial Oppression

December 18 - 24, 2013

Anyone who has a child or has been one, or who is the child of an alcoholic, knows that tough family issues can affect a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s self-esteem and chances for success. Now, imagine that your family descended from (recent) generations of oppressed people. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to deny the clear truth that a history of enslavement, brutality, rape and disparagement of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family can leave extremely deep scars. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The trauma caused by this psychological brutality resulted in severe damage to the mind of the victims, which manifested as an identity crisis, self hate, low self worth, and a distrust of the world at large. This mentality has been passed down through generations,â&#x20AC;? Mooreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Atlanta Black Star post stated. And those practicesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and legal discrimination such as red-lining and job/education discriminationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;led directly to the conditions of impoverished neighborhoods today: â&#x20AC;&#x153;low socioeconomic status, social deprivation, inadequate education, high unemployment, and the criminal industrial complex has reinforced this negative mentality,â&#x20AC;? Moore wrote, backed up by scads

18

of scientific research on the psychology of oppression. Put another way, the hunted can become the hunters if weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not careful and proactive about changing the conditions caused by historic actions and brutality. SOLUTIONS:

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2. Being Devalued

It makes a lot of sense that young people growing up in devalued cultures then act in aggressive ways to try to command some sort of â&#x20AC;&#x153;respectâ&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;even if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a negative, violent kind. This is why it is so harmful for media and members of the larger community to make assumptions about children of colorâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;or to apply double standards to them as happened in the Trayvon Martin case where his â&#x20AC;&#x153;self-defenseâ&#x20AC;? wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t considered as important as that of his killer. Experts find that cultural biases, often redistributed through skewed media coverage and obsession with reporting crime over positives in a community, contribute to the devaluation of a young person in his own mind, often leading to acting out or worse. Lisa Firestone, a clinical psychologist and expert on the criminal mind, wrote in Psychology Today that people who resort to violence often have â&#x20AC;&#x153;voicesâ&#x20AC;? (negative thought processes) that flood their minds, setting the stage for aggressive behavior. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Understanding what is going on in the mind of someone who is violent allows us to better assess the risk

How Violence Grows

For shame to turn into violence, several conditions need to be presentâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;ones that are more likely among uneducated, unemployed, unskilled, poor and homeless people, and members are groups subjected to systemic shaming by society: 1 The person hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t developed the emotions of guilt and remorse that keeps them from hurting others. 2 The shame and humiliation are so strong that they threaten â&#x20AC;&#x153;the cohesion and viability of the self.â&#x20AC;? 3 The person doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe he has â&#x20AC;&#x153;sufficient nonviolent means by which to save or restore his self-esteem.â&#x20AC;?

for violence and to intervene, protecting both the potential perpetrator and victim,â&#x20AC;? she advises. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many risk factors for violence canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be changed, but a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thinking is a risk factor that can be.â&#x20AC;? Dr. James Gilligan, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine who specializes in the causes of violent crime, writes that being shamed is a major cause of violence. [P]eople resort to violence when they feel that they can wipe out shame only by shaming those who they feel shamed them. The most powerful way to shame anyone is by means of violence, just as the most powerful way to provoke anyone into committing violence is by shaming him,â&#x20AC;? he writes. Gilligan warns that traditional punishment of both children and criminals often induces shame, which in turn can make the receiver more violent. The violence is a direct reaction, he says, of the lack of self-love; his findings show that being aggressive is often a way to reclaim self-respect, or self-love.


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3. Self-Hatred

This one is straightforward and seems commonsensical: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Feeling devalued in society creates self hate. Denied the love of others, a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s self-love, or soul, like money in a savings account, slowly but surely begins to wane,â&#x20AC;? The Atlanta Black Star writes, referring to findings by Dr. Gilligan. Young people, especially those in challenged communities, soak up the shame that the larger culture showers on them before theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve even had a chance to do something bad. That pressure doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the perhaps-intended effect of shaming young people out of trouble; it can affect their psyches and instill a sense of self-hatred in them. Put another way, if society doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expect them to be great, why should they believe they could be? Most families know this is true of their own children: they need their parents and teachers to have faith in them and believe in their potential. Consider, then, how difficult it is for young people growing up amid a culture that expects them to mess due to their race or their neighborhood. Couple that with generations of a shaky family structure (see No. 1 above for a major reason), and these kids can get the shame inside their own homes and from the culture at large. In turn, they â&#x20AC;&#x153;may develop false sense of pride or an over-inflated ego to compensate. Challenges to this exaggerated self-image cannot be tolerated by the individual who possesses it,â&#x20AC;? the Black Star writes, referring to research by Firestone. Kids saddled with self-hatred (through no fault of their own) often compensate by seeking an â&#x20AC;&#x153;aggrandized self-image.â&#x20AC;? And, yes, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where the worst behavior kicks in, often enabled by easy access to weapons.

4. Mistrust

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Social mistrustâ&#x20AC;? contributes to violence among youth, especially those who grow up in communities historically mistrusted by society, a serious problem that is exacerbated by sensationalistic and biased media coverage. People who grow up in and then choose to live in divided communities that distrust the â&#x20AC;&#x153;otherâ&#x20AC;? contribute directly to this problem, the Atlanta Black Star reported. Social mistrust is a negative outcome from the perceptions that crime is â&#x20AC;&#x153;hopelessâ&#x20AC;? in a community; such perceptions, in turn, fuel mistrust among residents and make it more unlikely that residents will believe that they can tackle the crime in their own communities. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re fearful, and lock themselves inside the house, for instance, rather than getting out into the streets and being activeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;which helps prevent crime, as well as presents positive, confident images to the kids of the community. It also can mean that the criminal element â&#x20AC;&#x153;wins.â&#x20AC;? Dr. Firestone warns about people assuming â&#x20AC;&#x153;a self-protective and defended posture from a perceived danger. Because the paranoia and misperception makes the threat seem real, people feel justified in acting out violence to protect themselves.â&#x20AC;? This can cut both ways: Young people feel continually mistrusted and under attack so they might as well act out; and those who fear young people are more likely to respond to their fears with excessive violence (as in the Quardious Thomas shooting that the JFP featured last issue. See jfp. ms/quardious.) That, in turn, continues the mistrust/violence cycle, leaving no end in siteâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;only more violence. The Atlanta Black Star reported that research shows the long history of white supremacy, and the violence that kept it in place, has had a devastating effect on many African Americans, leading to self-hatred and distrust, which feeds the violence cycle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This distrust is also prevalent among black youth, who sees his black peers through the eyes of his oppressorâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;someone who is different and not to be trusted,â&#x20AC;? it added. This problem isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t likely to be healed overnight, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one that must be tackled for us to have hopes of making young people safer, and more trusting and secure.

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5. Violent American Society

This may be the toughest problem: violence begets violence. We live in a city where police do not seriously investigate the killing of an unarmed young man allegedly breaking into a car. Many justify lethal force against petty criminals. A man with Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and a teen girl seeking help in a white suburb were gunned down. Not to mention our own stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s violent history of enforcing white supremacy. The Atlanta Black Star doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mince words on the challenges young people of color inherited: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Black people have been inculcated by a violent experience that includes white mob violence, lynching, slavery, suffering and death. The history of violence against black people is so horrific as to be almost beyond belief. â&#x20AC;Ś The violence we see among our Black youth is an emulation of the cultural ways of their oppressor.â&#x20AC;? It added that psychologist Amos Wilson called internalizing the ways of the oppressor is called â&#x20AC;&#x153;intropression.â&#x20AC;? Acknowledging this rather obvious truth does not need to mean excusing the violence that results from historic oppression and the other issues above. But it does mean understanding why the violence may be happening in the first placeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and where the cycles came from. If we can do that, it makes it easier to engage if less shaming and blaming and, instead, embrace solutions that can make the community over all safer. It can also, with any luck, replace the wild and usually false rhetoric about communities of color being â&#x20AC;&#x153;more violent,â&#x20AC;? which historically simply is not true. Instead, we can get past assumptions about the â&#x20AC;&#x153;other,â&#x20AC;? mentor more, have rich and informative conversations, and SOLUTIONS: take more seriously the need for more-than-adequately fundâ&#x20AC;˘,QPHQWRULQJVLWXDWLRQVDGXOWVFDQXVHWKHLUH[SHULHQFHV ed schools and other programs that help lift young people out DQGVWRULHVWRFRQYH\WUXVWWR\RXQJSHRSOHDVZHOODVHQ VXUHWKDWSRVLWLYHLPDJHVRIVXFFHVVIXO\RXWKDQGDGXOWV of the cycles they were born into.

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Love Fights Crime

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Mentoring: A Friend for Life by Donna Ladd

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he word “mentor” is incredibly common these days—a good sign that more and more people understand the need to help young people, especially those unfortunate enough not to have a strong family support bases. But making a real difference in young people’s lives isn’t as simple as calling yourself a mentor, sending them motivational quotes or having coffee now and then (although those things certainly don’t hurt). And it’s certainly not about lecturing— whether about studying, abstaining from sex or choosing the right way to worship. Great mentors truly engage in their mentees’ lives and model successful life skills, which includes emotional intelligence, grit and the other assets that young people need (see pages 15-17). But mentoring is not without pitfalls, especially for children from the most challenging low-income backgrounds, and kids with behavioral issues can have the hardest time finding an adult to help them. Then there’s the longevity issue. Shortterm mentorships are the most common type—an adult mentors a young person for a few months or maybe a year. Short-term mentorships, however, are not long enough to make a real difference in the lives of young people, especially those from high-risk backgrounds. And they can actually cause harm when the child experiences another adult not staying in their lives for very long. Jean B. Grossman of Public-Private Ventures of Philadelphia, Pa., and Jean B. Rhodes of the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign studied 1,138 young, urban adolescents who had applied to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. The study (jfp.ms/mentor_study) found the greatest mentoring benefit was to young people

Mentor + Mentee Math Emotional Support + Positive Feedback Modeling Success

December 18 - 24, 2013

Positive Development

Improved self-perceptions, attitudes, behaviors SOURCE: JFP.MS/MENTOR_STUDY

in relationships of a year or longer. Those in very short-term mentoring relationships actually “functioned” (to use the language of the study) worse than before. The terminated relationships were often with teenagers experiencing difficult circumstances. “Matches with adolescents who were referred for psychological or educational programs, or had sustained emotional, sexual, or physical abuse, were more likely to break up. Additionally, matches involving 13–16 year olds were 65 percent more likely to break up in each period than matches with 10–12 year olds,” the authors wrote. The lesson is that mentoring is a serious commitment with a good outcome likely if both sides stick to it: “Mentor relationships that take hold, on the other hand, are likely to grow progressively more effective with time. Researchers generally agree that mentors promote positive developmental outcomes through role modeling and the provision of emotional support and positive feedback.” None of this means, however, that any of us should give up on short-term mentoring relationships we’re in—but it does indicate that the Jackson community should look

D e s i g n Your Life

20

=

=

toward ways to create and sustain long-term mentoring programs that allow a young person to have a consistent adult in their lives, whether or not it’s a parent.

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The Grossman-Rhodes study found evidence that mentors can also have a positive effect on the people close to the mentee, including their parents: “By helping adolescents cope with everyday stressors, providing a model for effective conflict resolution, and indirectly reducing parental stress, mentor relationships are thought to have the capacity to facilitate improvements in parent– child interactions.” SOURCE: JFP.MS/MENTOR_STUDY

Model Mentoring: Friends of the Children Friends of the Children (friendsof children.org) is a long-term mentoring program founded in Portland, Ore., by entrepreneur Duncan Campbell. His idea was to make a real difference in the lives of children

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Friends’ Goals for Mentees:

Goal 1 Goal 2 Jackson Prep has a structured mentorship program that pairs a mentor with a 10thgrader in a three-year relationship that includes breakfasts at the school together and training meetings.

who need it most: those from high-poverty areas with unstable support bases who are likely to act out and get in trouble. The program succeeds with many kids because it pairs each of them with an adult for at least three years. The adults, who are paid to be

Success in school with a minimum of a High School Diploma (preferred) or a GED Positive youth engagement including avoiding involvement in the juvenile justice system Pursue a healthy lifestyle including avoiding early parenting

Goal 3

Tips for Mentoring

1 2

Be Consistent. Don’t be flaky or disappoint your mentee. Keep an open mind. It’s OK if they come from a different background with different experiences. Model, don’t judge.

3 4 5

Be firm, and friendly. Challenge them to push through their comfort zone, but with compassion. Partner with the child’s parent(s). Most parents want the best for their children—and know they can’t do it alone. Offer a different, new perspective. Good mentors help open a child’s mind behind what is right in front of them. SOURCE: NEW YORK METRO PARENTS (MORE: JFP.MS/MENTORTIPS)

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Keys to Mentoring Success • Training for mentors • Structured activities for mentors and youth • Frequent contact: kids need stability, and a mentor can provide it • Parent support and involvement • Monitoring the implementation of the program SOURCE: JEAN E. RHODES AT INFED.ORG.

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Karaoke w/ Matt Types of Mentoring You may think that mentoring is only about one person helping another—and often someone younger. But mentoring can work a variety of ways, including: • Group Mentoring: One adult works with a group of kids at one time, often collaborating on a specific activity or project. • Team Mentoring: More than one adult works with several children at a time. • Family Mentoring: An adult works with an entire family, often over a period of time, to help them develop skills to cope with challenges. SOURCE: NEW YORK METRO PARENTS (MORE: JFP.MS/MENTORTIPS)

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DONNA LADD

mentors, must spend at least four hours a week with the mentees every week including summertime. Each child is mentored for a full 12 years, typically starting in kindergarten and ending with graduation. As a result, the program reports remarkable success, such as with a boy The New York Times described in 2011 (see jfp.ms/ mentorNYT). Samuel, a Harlem resident who never knew his father, went from being a troublemaker to an emotionally intelligent child with wide experiences, including museums, rock climbing, kayaking and tennis. He even became a role model for other children. The group’s philosophy is to insert good support in each child’s life as early as possible—and before they reach the stage when they might get in serious trouble. “With someone to look up to, count on, talk to, help them with school work, comfort them, and align them with goals for the future, with someone who will be there for the long haul, these children will thrive. What they need is a Friend,” its website states.

21


RESOLVED: Help Young People in 2014

H

ow do you resolve to make a difference in the lives of young people? Feel free to list them below and send to ladd@jacksonfreepress.com, post under this story at jfp.ms/kids2014 or just put on your fridge to remind yourself throughout the year. Meantime, here are a few thoughts we gathered on Facebook in answer to that question: Langston Moore Invigorate them on a small change in their

environment. Plant a one-bed raised garden. Ask for more fresh, Mississippi-grown products in the lunch line. Any small victory we can empower them to achieve will lead to a greater good in their community. Assist them in learning the process on a small scale. It is easily transferable to a larger scale. We have young, bright brains here. It’s a matter of us encouraging, teaching and giving them the ball to run. I vow to plant another garden with my son. I proclaim that 2014 will be the continual lesson of those who have made Mississippi history and are right now.

to help, Langston. They built raised beds for me as a learner project but have greater goals: Self-Sustainability in Mississippi (find on Facebook). Kass Welchlin I resolve to make a difference in young lives

by being a consistent mentor, available friend and respectable role model. Helping by showing them the difference between a real friend and a Facebook friend. Show them the value of volunteering. STEM project that teaches them how to construct from scratch a computer, a model plane, and a telephone (putting STEM in motion). Rashida Walker I will make a difference in young lives by

continuing to teach a weekly Senior Rites of Passage class to about 22 high school seniors. It’s Bible-based, but a few years ago I saw the need to be more on their level of what they face daily. So I developed a block of classes: Avoiding the Trap: sex, drugs, and alcohol. It has been a powerful movement. This

Your Turn:

I, _____________________, resolve to help children of our community in 2014 by: 1. _____________________________________ 2. _____________________________________ 3. _____________________________________

year we had seniors that were in college to come back and share how those classes impacted their decisions as they were now in college trying hard to avoid the traps! Larry Butts Baxter Hogue at Imagine Behavioral Health turns

young people’s lives around every day. He uses a treatment philosophy that affects the way they see themselves and the world around them.

When You Reach Out to Help Young People …

A

team of researchers studied youth mentoring programs and developed these principles to ensure that the program or effort is ethical—and doesn’t backfire. Read the explanations at jfp.ms/mentor_ethics,

1

Dawn Beasley Macke We have a local group that would love

Promote the welfare and safety of the young person.

• Build rapport with protégés, as well as their primary caregivers to better understand expectations, belief systems and family circumstances. • Do no harm. This includes sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation, but it means learning the skills to mentor well and use sound

judgment. It also means not misusing your power (including religious or political proselytizing) and recognizing differences caused by class and privilege. • Mentors can use their advantages for good, however, as a form of social capital to help the mentee with connections, experiences and resources. • Establish appropriate boundaries with attention given to the problems with playing multiple roles in a child’s life.

2

Be trustworthy and responsible.

• Never leave a mentee relationship with no communication.

Plan transitions. • Hold yourself and others accountable to mentoring guidelines and best practices.

3

Act with integrity.

• Don’t change plans unless unavoidable. Be on time. Return calls and emails. • Conduct selves with integrity in mentees’ schools, homes and communities. Respect their customs and routines. • Be wary of getting involved financially with the mentee. Express generosityby going through a brokered third party, for instance.

4

Promote justice for young people.

• Be careful that your biases do not result in prejudicial treatment of protégés. Seek out training in cultural competence and sensitivity. • Use first-hand experience of challenges faced by young people to help redress social ills and policies that promote their well-being and health. Communicate what you learn to other adults.

5

Respect the young person’s rights and dignity.

• Respect the mentee’s right to make choices. • Don’t be the morality police. Behave in a fashion that helps, not interferes, with the

right of protégé and her family to exercise their own reasoning and moral judgment. • Repect your mentee’s and his family’s right to privacy and confidentiality. • Honor your protégé’s confidences—while making it clear that you must report any plans to harm themselves or others. • Report to the mentoring program suspicions that child has been abused or neglected. • Seek out training on how to deal with sticky confidentiality situations. SOURCE: “FIRST, DO NO HAM: ETHICAL PRINCIPALS FOR YOUTH MENTORING RELATIONSHIPS”; READ MORE AT JFP. MS/MENTOR_ETHICS.

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1/2 off Martinis & House Wines 2 for 1 Draft & Wells

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-Best of Jackson 2003-2013-

1029 H WY 51 N. S UITE A M ADISON 601.607.7885 WWW.THECITYGRILLE.COM FIND US ON FACEBOOK

-Food & Wine Magazine-

707 N Congress St., Jackson | 601-353-1180 Mon thru Fri: 11am-2pm â&#x20AC;˘ Sun: 11am - 3pm

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Call Us For All Of Your Catering Needs! BBQ Party Pack

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Serves 10 - $44.95 (2 lbs pork/beef or 2 whole chickens; 2 pints beans, 2 pints slaw, 6 slices Texas toast/10 buns)

Rib Party Pack Serves 4 - $52.15 (2 whole ribs, 1 pint of baked beans, 1 pint of slaw, 1 pint of potato salad, 4 slices of Texas toast)

601.664.7588

boomjackson.com

1002 Treetop Blvd â&#x20AC;˘ Flowood Behind the Applebeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on Lakeland www.fusionjapanesethaicuisine.com

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Where Raul Knows Everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Name -Best Barbecue in Jackson- 2003 â&#x20AC;˘ 2006 2008 â&#x20AC;˘ 2009 â&#x20AC;˘ 2010 â&#x20AC;˘ 2011 â&#x20AC;˘ 2012 1491 Canton Mart Rd. â&#x20AC;˘ Jackson â&#x20AC;˘ 601.956.7079

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December 18 - 24, 2013

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To sign up visit boomjackson.com/subscribe/ or call 601-362-6121 x16 * $18 covers shipping and handling for six bi-monthly issues of BOOM Jackson magazine.


Season’s Eatings by Dustin Cardon

FLICKR/SOULMARKET

Let the telephone be your main cooking tool this Christmas, and order in your holiday food.

Broad Street Baking Company & Cafe (Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 101, 601-362-2900). Broad Street offers a holiday catering menu that includes Christmas wreath king cakes with chocolate chips, eggnog and rum for $21.95 each; Christmas sugar cookies in various holiday shapes for $2.65 apiece; muffins and pastries; brunch items; chocolate cranberry bread; and German Christmas stollen bread with brandy-soaked fruit, rolled in sugar. Add a dozen Christmas sugar cookies to king cake order and get $5 off, Or you can order butternut squash bisque; spinach and goat cheese salad; and couscous salad with orange ginger vinaigrette. The restaurant is accepting Christmas orders for catering until Dec. 19 and will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas day. Crazy Cat Bakers (Highland Village, 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 173, 601-362-7448). The restaurant is offering sausage and grits casserole, bread pudding with brandy butter sauce, milky way

pound cake and Geraldine’s chocolate cake. Crazy Cat will take orders until at capacity, please pick up before Christmas Eve. Diamond Jack’s Hotel (3990 Washington St., Vicksburg, 601-636-5700). The casino hotel is open all day Christmas and offers a $15.99 buffet special from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Julep Restaurant and Bar (1305 Northside Drive, Highland Village, 601-362-1411). Open Christmas Eve by appointment only from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Dec. 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for catering pickup. See the holiday catering menu online at juleprestaurant.com McDade’s Market (Multiple locations, Woodland Hills, 653 Duling Ave., 601-366-5273). Bring in turkeys or hams to McDade’s where they’ll smoke it for you for only $14.95. For details, call and ask for the meat department. All locations also offer meat trays; dressing; various casseroles such as sweet-potato casserole; mashed potatoes; vegetables (collards, turnips, green beans, lima beans and peas); and various baked goods such as cakes, pies and rolls. Primos Café (2323 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-

936-3398 or 515 Lake Harbour Drive, Ridgeland, 601898-3600). Open for the regular menu breakfast Christmas Eve, from 6:30-11 a.m. Catering orders will be available the same hours for pickup. Visit primoscafe.com for more. Grant’s Kitchen (2847 Lakeland Dr., Flowood, 601665-4764). The restaurant will serve its regular menu, along with Thanksgiving dishes such as turkey and dressing. Customers can order vegetables and sides in pints, quarts, gallons and half gallons. For prices, visit grantskitchen. com. Pick up catering orders by 2:30 p.m. Christmas Eve. Cookin’ Up a Storm (1491 Canton Mart Road, 601957-1166). The restaurant is adding spinach Madeline to the menu. It will be open Christmas Eve, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. jacksonfreepress.com

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hile filling stockings and wrapping presents for your friends and family, don’t forget to get a gift to yourself this holiday—a day off from cooking and cleaning. Plan to pick up a catered meal for Christmas Eve or Christmas day and cross another thing off your to-do list.

Sugar Magnolia Takery (5417 Highway 25, Flowood, 601-992-8110). Sugar Magnolia Takery will have a full holiday menu including asparagus casserole, butter beans, turkey, spiralcut ham, dressing and cranberry salsa. The restaurant will accept orders until the last minute. It will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas Eve. 27 See and add more at jfp.ms/christmascatering2013.


JFPmenus.com

Happyfrom Holidays Last chance for

Christmas Catering

order by Friday, Dec. 20th! Choice of:

All-Natural Oven Roasted Turkey Breast Applewood-Smoked Ham Garlic Herb & Olive Oil Roasted Chicken Breast Seitan Turkey with Focaccia & Cornbread Dressing with Gravy Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts Yeast Rolls $18 per/person Assorted Desserts starting at $12 per person

2 Locations 125 S. Congress St. 601.969.1119 200 S. Lamar Ave. 601.714.5683

Paid advertising section. Call 601-362-6121 x11 to list your restaurant

AMERICAN/SOUTHERN CUISINE Primos Cafe (2323 Lakeland 601-936-3398/ 515 Lake Harbour 601-898-3400) A Jackson institution for breakfast, blue-plates, catfish, burgers, prime rib, oysters, po-boys & wraps. Famous bakery! Two Sisters Kitchen (707 N. Congress St. 601-353-1180) Lunch. Mon-Fri, Sun. Koinonia (136 Adams St. 601-960-3008) Coffeehouse plus lunch & more! Broad Street Bakery (4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-362-2900)Hot breakfast, coffee drinks, fresh breads & pastries, gourmet deli sandwiches.

PIZZA

Opening January 15

Adobo too! @ the Capitol Standard Life Building @ Roach & Pearl and now

@ our state Capitol too! Under the front steps

904 Basil’s (904 E. Fortification, 601-352-2002) Creative pizzas, Italian food, burgers & much more. Casual dining in the heart of Belhaven. Sal & Mookie’s (565 Taylor St. 601-368-1919) Pizzas of all kinds plus pasta, eggplant Parmesan, fried ravioli & ice cream for the kids! 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

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. Huntington Grille (1001 East County Line Road, Jackson Hilton, 601-957-2800) Mississippi fine dining features seafood, crayfish, steaks, fried green tomatoes, shrimp & grits, pizzas and more. The Islander Seafood and Oyster House (1220 E Northside Drive, Suite 100, 601-366-5441) Oyster bar, seafood, gumbo, po’boys, crawfish and plenty of Gulf Coast delights in a laid-back Buffet-style atmosphere. Que Sera Sera (2801 N State Street 601-981-2520) Authentic cajun cuisine, excellent seafood and award winning gumbo; come enjoy it all this summer on the patio. The Penguin (1100 John R Lynch Street, 769.251.5222) Fine dining at its best. Rocky’s (1046 Warrington Road, Vicksburg 601-634-0100) Enjoy choice steaks, fresh seafood, great salads, hearty sandwiches. Sal and Phil’s Seafood (6600 Old Canton Rd, Ridgeland (601) 957-1188) Great Seafood, Poboys, Lunch Specials, Boiled Seafood, Full Bar, Happy Hour Specials

MEDITERRANEAN/GREEK

Downtown Jackson • 601.944.9501 Monday - Friday • 11:00 am - 6:30 pm

Aladdin Mediterranean Grill (730 Lakeland Drive 601-366-6033) Delicious authentic dishes including lamb dishes, hummus, falafel, kababs, shwarma. Vasilios Greek Cusine (828 Hwy 51, Madison 601-853-0028) Authentic greek cuisine since 1994, specializing in gyros, greek salads, baklava cheesecake & fresh daily seafood.

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

Blue Plate Special

$8.99

1 Meat, 3 Veggies, Bread and Drink

live music dec18 - dec25

wed | dec 18 | 5:30 - 9:30

Jesse “Guitar” Smith thur | dec 19 | 5:30 - 9:30

Matt Hines fri | dec 20 | 6:00 - 10:00

Jon Clark sat | dec 21 | 6:00 - 10:00

Southern Grass

December 18 - 24, 2013

sun | dec 22 | 4:00 - (:00

28

Brian Jones mon | dec 23 | 6:00 - 9:00

Karaoke tue | dec 24| 5:30 - 9:30

Jesse “Guitar” Smith 1060
E
County
Line
Rd.
in
Ridgeland Open
Sun‐Thurs
11am‐10pm Fri‐Sat
11am‐Midnight
|
601‐899‐0038

Happy Hour

Tuesday - Saturday • 5:00 - 6:30 pm

Wine Down Wednesday Ladies Night on Thursday

Live Music Thursday-Saturday

Now Open For Lunch

Tuesday-Friday 11am-2pm

Beginning Tuesday December 17th Nominated

Best Italian Restaurant Best Of Jackson

Visit www.ceramis.net for specials & hours.

601-919-2829

5417 Lakeland Drive ~ Flowood, MS 39232

Burgers and Blues (1060 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland 601-899-0038) Best Burger of 2013, plus live music and entertainment! Capitol Grill (5050 I-55 North, Deville Plaza 601-899-8845) Best happy hour & sports bar, kitchen open late, pub food with soul and live entertainment. 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. City Grille( 1029 Hwy 51, Madison (601) 607-7885) Southern with Blue Plate Specials; Seafood and Steaks, Happy Hour, Kid Friendly Cool Al’s (4654 McWillie, 601-713-3020) Cool Al’s signature stacked, messy, decadent, creative burgers defy adjectives. 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 & Irish beers on tap. 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. 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. Mc B’s (815 Lake Harbour Dr. Ridgeland (601) 956-8362) Blue plates, amazing burgers, live music, cold beer, reservoir area Mississippi Legends (5352 Lakeland Dr. Flowood (601) 919-1165) American, Burgers, Pub Food, Happy Hour, Kid Friendly, Late Night, Sports Bar, Outdoor Dining 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.

ASIAN AND INDIAN Crazy Ninja (2560 Lakeland Dr., Flowood 601-420-4058) Rock-n-roll sushi and cook-in-front-of-you hibachi. Lunch specials, bento boxes, fabulous cocktails. Fusion Japanese and Thai Cuisine (1002 Treetop Blvd, Flowood 601-664-7588) Specializing in fresh Japanese and Thai cuisine, an extensive menu features everything from curries to fresh sushi Nagoya Japanese Sushi Bar & Hibachi Grill (6351 I-55 North, Ste. 131, Jackson 601-977-8881) Fresh sushi, delicious noodles, sizzling hibach & refreshing cocktails from one of jackson’s most well-known japanese restaurants. Ruchi India (862 Avery Blvd @ County Line Rd. 601-991-3110) Classic Indian cuisine from multiple regions. Lamb, vegetarian, chicken, shrimp and more.

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-vegan-friendly) restaurant adjacent to Rainbow Whole Foods.


voted the

ve We Ha e for Spac Ample Parties y Holida erings th a and G

Best Place For Luanckcshon

In WesJatckJson 2013 Best of

136 S. Adams Street Jackson (Located on Metro Parkway) 601.960.3008 koinoniacoffee.net

Entertain at Home This Holiday Season with Duggan’s Award Winning Seafood Gumbo

Gumbo Fest Loved Us!

2013 International Gumbo Festival Restaurant Category Winner Bowls and Quarts Available *Advance Orders Requested

Best Gumbo Best of Jackson 2014 Finalist

Or Bring The Family In Sunday Morning for Authentic New Orleans Brunch 2801 North State Street • Fondren District 601-981-2520 • www.QueSeraMS.com

MEDITERRANEAN GRILL & GROCERY 730 Lakeland Dr. • Jackson, MS Tel: 601-366-3613 or 601-366-6033 Fax: 601-366-7122 DINE-IN OR TAKE-OUT! Sun-Thurs: 11am - 10pm Fri-Sat: 11am - 11pm VISIT OUR OTHER LOCATION 163 Ridge Way - Ste. E • Flowood, MS Tel: 601-922-7338 • Fax: 601-992-7339 WE DELIVER! Fondren / Belhaven / UMC area WE ALSO CATER! VISIT OUR GROCERY STORE NEXT DOOR.

NEW! Mahi Mahi Special served w/ rice, salad, hummus & sauté veggies $15.99

50¢ Boneless Wings

K I T C H E N 601.665.4764 . 2847 Lakeland Drive Open Daily 11am - 8:30pm

Holiday Gift Card Special!

For every $50 you spend in gift cards get a $10 bonus gift card.

Every Mon & Tue All Locations

Domestic Beer Specials THE WORD IS OUT, JACKSON! You Know Our Dishes Rock!

(or if you don’t come see for yourself)

Voted one of the Best Sushi Restaurants in Best of Jackson by You!

Crazy Happy Hour Specials Start at Mon - Fri 4:30 - 6:30 Sat & Sun 3:00 - 5:00

$8 Pitchers • $3 Pints

0[[H^d2P] 4Pc3aX]Z

$25 per person • Dine In Only Every Thursday • 6 - 11pm State Street Location Only Tax Included

Best Wings In Town? Your Vote Decides on December 15th! jfp.ms/ballot

Call In & Carry Out 925 N State St, Jackson 1430 Ellis Ave, Jackson

601-969-0606

398 Hwy 51 N, Ridgeland

601-605-0504

1001 Hampstead Blvd, Clinton

769.251.0119 Suite 102, 3100 N State St. Jackson Mon - Sat 11 am - 10 pm

601-924-2423

2560 Lakeland Dr. • Flowood 601.420.4058 • like us on

Or Order Online

www.Wingstop.com

jacksonfreepress.com

601-969-6400

29


THIS WEEK

xxx/cvuufsgmzzphb/ofu

WEDNESDAY 12/18:

Brian Jones (Restaurant)

Jason Daniels Band: Video Premier Party 9pm (Red Room) THURSDAY 12/19:

A Very Awkward Christmas 2K13 (Red Room)

FRIDAY 12/20

Scott Albert Johnson (Restaurant)

Mustache Christmas 10pm (Big Room)

SATURDAY 12/21

An Evening with Webb Wilder Call for reservations: 601-948-0888 (Restaurant)

Rocket ’88 w/ Holy Ghost Electric Show 9pm (Red Room)

CLOSED 12/23 - 12/26 SATURDAY 12/28

The Weeks / Jr. Astronomers / Pell Tickets $15 at the door / $12 in advance at lostlegend.com or ticketmaster.com (Big Room)

BUY GROWLERS

Come Try The Newest HotSpot In Town! Daily $10 Lunch Menu Great Place to Watch the Game Happy Hour 3:00 - 6:30 & 9pm - close M-F Brunch Served Saturday and Sunday!

Daily Bar Specials:

Martini Mondays Two-for-Tuesdays Wine Down Wednesdays

.99 Draft Beer 2pm-5pm M-F

O F Y O U R F AV O R I T E BEER TO TAKE HOME $24 for first time fill for high gravity beer. Refills are $20.00

$19 for first time fill for regular beer. Refills are $15.00

Upcoming Music Listings Thurs, 12/19

Brian Jones

December 18 - 24, 2013

6:30-9:30

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810 Lake Harbour Visit HalandMals.com for a full menu and concert schedule

601.948.0888 200 S. Commerce St. Downtown Jackson, Mississippi

Drive, Ridgeland Across from McB’s

601-427-5853 Like Us on Facebook

Xfflmz!Tdifevmf Npoebz

Uivstebz

9 – 9:45 am: Tabatas 10 – 11:15 am: Power Flow 12 – 1 pm: Free Yoga Glo 5:30 – 6:45 pm : Level 2

12 – 1 pm: Level 1 6 – 7:15 pm: Vinyasa (Mixed Level)

Uvftebz

12 – 12:45 pm: Tabatas

12 – 1 pm: Level 1 5:15 – 5:45 pm Tabatas 6 – 7:15 pm: Level 1

Xfeoftebz 12 – 1 pm: Restorative Yoga 5:30 – 6:45 pm: Yoga Basics

Gsjebz Tbuvsebz 9 – 10:15 am: Level 1 10:30 – 11:45 am: Yoga Over 50

Tvoebz 3 – 4 pm: Yoga at Crossfit 601 5:30 – 7 pm: Bellydancing

4136!Opsui!Tubuf!Tusffu!.!Gpoesfo!Ejtusjdu!.!712/6:5/3424


8 DAYS p 32 | FILM p 34 | MUSIC p 35

Pearl’s Joyful Tatter by Genevieve Legacy

COURTESY ALAN KOLODNY

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Though Alan Kolodny is a full-time minister, he still finds time to craft heirloom-quality jewelry by silver tatting, a method which requires the utmost patience and attention to detail.

by pulling out the stitch, mistakes in tatting lead to the time-consuming task of un-knotting. Once wire has been looped and tightened into a knot, it can’t be used. When asked how to fix a mistake in tatted wire, Kolodny responds without hesitation. “Very carefully—with fine silver wire, it’s possible to cut out a section, but it will never be the same. I’ve had to adapt, come up with some new techniques,” he says. When not perfecting his tatted fine jewelry, Kolodny serves as pastor at New Beginnings Community Church in Natchez. Still what he calls “a baby church,” the congregation celebrated their four-year anniversary in May of this year. As pastor, he is allowed four Sundays off per year, but he usually only takes off one during the weekend of the Chimneyville Crafts Festival. He also displays at the Handworks Holiday Market in Jackson each November.

Kolodny’s Etsy shop features a range of lacy medallion earrings and pendant necklaces. A few pieces are mixed with cultured pearls or crystal beads, including an especially lovely pair of fan-shaped earrings with a single, crystal raindrop dangling below. Included in the mix are a number of bent-wire bracelets made from copper and silver with turquoise and lapis beads. Prices range from $20 to $145. Kolodny’s jewelry is also available year-round at b. fine art jewelry (215 W. Jackson St., Ridgeland) and at the Mississippi Crafts Center (950 Rice Road, Ridgeland), among others. Keep your eyes open for a how-to book on tatting with wire. Following the wise counsel of his wife and friends at the Craftmen’s Guild, he is not going to share the details of his craft until he writes the book. Visit joyfultatter.etsy.com to see more of Kolodny’s work.

jacksonfreepress.com

atting is a lace-making technique from the era of Jane Austen, candlelight and wire spectacles. Knotted motifs, souvenirs that sailors crafted for their wives and sweethearts, are thought to be the precursor to the durable, 19th century lace. While the men were at sea, the women translated their half hitch knots and picots (loops) into an ornamental fabric. Brooklyn native and Pearl resident Alan Kolodny, 53, is a full-time minister and artisan who’s putting his own spin on the rarified craft that transforms thread into collars, cuffs and doilies. Kolodny’s take on tatting replaces thread with fine silver wire, creating luminous, heirloom-quality earrings and pendants. “I’ve been tatting for about six years,” Kolodny says, “I had a friend that wanted to learn how. She knew I enjoyed crochet and other crafts so she talked me into learning so I could teach her. I taught her, but then she decided that whenever she needed something tatted, she’d just call me.” Many hours and infinite yards of thread later, Kolodny was selling his tatted lace and fiber art at the Mississippi Craftsmen’s Guild’s annual Chimneyville Crafts Festival. After the festival ended, a fellow craftsperson gave him a generous gift and another challenging task. “She’d seen other types of lace made with wire, but she’d never seen tatting made with wire,” Kolodny explains. “She gave me some silver wire and challenged me to learn how to tat with it.” Needless to say, he took up the gauntlet and quickly discovered why no one else was tatting with wire. The difficulty lies in the unforgiving nature of metal wire. As you twist or bend the wire, it hardens and is easily broken, especially if the wire is made from a mix of metals, such as sterling silver. To avoid this, Kolodny works primarily with fine silver. “The difference between sterling silver and fine silver is a matter of percentages,” he says. “Sterling is .925 percent silver, with copper or another metal added, but fine silver is .999 percent pure. Fine silver doesn’t tarnish as quickly, and it can be worked with longer before it hardens.” Unlike mistakes in crochet that can be corrected

31


WEDNESDAY 12/18

FRIDAY 12/20

WEDNESDAY 12/25

Belinda Stevens signs and reads from “Just Out of Reach” at Eudora Welty Library.

Victoria Cross performs at Mediterranean Fish and Grill.

Years of Yuletide: Christmas in Jackson is at Old Capitol Museum.

BEST BETS DEC. 18 - 25, 2013

COURTESY REMEDY KREWE

WEDNESDAY 12/18

“Falstaff” is at 6:30 p.m. at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). $20, discounts available; call 601-936-5856; cinemark.com. … Frameworks, Waypoint, Les Doux and Sucio perform at Rampage Extreme Park (931 Highway 80 W.). $8; Call 601-653-7267; rampagextremepark.com.

THURSDAY 12/19

COURTESY DEAD GAZE

Writers Live! is at noon at Eudora Welty Library (300 N. State St.). Belinda Stevens signs and reads from “Just Out of Reach.” Free, books for sale; call 601-968-5807. … Higher Grounds Coffeehouse Fall/Winter Enrichment Series is at 7 p.m. at St. Alexis Episcopal Church (650 E. South St.). Local actor Michael Guidry performs David Sedaris’ “The Santaland Diaries.” Free, donations welcome; call 601-9440415; stalexisjackson.org. … Song Eternal II: Handel’s Messiah is at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The Mississippi Chorus’ reunion choir performs. $10$30; group discounts available; brownpapertickets.com.

New Orleans-based funk band Remedy Krewe performs Dec. 20 at Iron Horse Grill.

Grill (320 W. Pearl St.). Free; call 398-0151; email info@ theironhorsegrill.com; remedykreweband.com. … Victoria’s Best Kept Secret Concert is at 9 p.m. at Mediterranean Fish and Grill (6550 Old Canton Road). $10; call 601-6247706; jacksonncrowd.com.

SATURDAY 12/21

Christmas Grab is from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at The Church of Philadelphia Ministries Baptist Church (257 Maddox Road). Free; call 601-922-4090. … Toys for Tots Drive and Spa Party is from 5-8 p.m. at Village Apartments ComBY BRIANA ROBINSON munity Center (386 Raymond Road). $13 in advance, $15 day JACKSONFREEPRESS.COM of event; call 769-216-0227; email spaparties2012@yahoo. FAX: 601-510-9019 com. … Festively Fabulous and DAILY UPDATES AT Free Christmas Concert is at 7 JFPEVENTS.COM p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church (6000 Old Canton Road). The Mississippi Community Symphonic Band, the Mississippi Swing and the Mississippi Boychoir perform. Free; call 769-218-0828; mcsb.us.

December 18 - 24, 2013

EVENTS@

Photamerica Showcase and Heartalot Fundraiser is Dec. 23 at Photamerica Popop Studio and James Patterson Photography. Live music, including from Dead Gaze, is at the Pix Capri.

FRIDAY 12/20

“Amahl and the Night Visitors” is at 7:30 p.m. at Madison Square Center for the Arts (2103 Main St., Madison). $20, discounts available; call 601-960-2300; msopera.org. 32 … Remedy Krewe performs at 8-11:45 p.m. at Iron Horse

SUNDAY 12/22

Winter Solstice Yoga Practice is at 2 p.m. at Tara Yoga Studio (Energy in Motion, 200 Park Circle, Suite 4, Flowood). Free, donations welcome; call 601-720-2337; email info@tara-yoga.net; tara-yoga.net. … The Music of Christmas is at 6 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church (1390 N. State St.). The First Presbyterian Choir and the Mississippi

Symphony Orchestra perform. Free; call 601-353-8316; email info@fpcjackson.org; fpcjackson.org.

MONDAY 12/23

Photamerica Showcase and Heartalot Fundraiser is at 5 p.m. at Photamerica Popup Studio/Heartalot (3009 N. State St.). See photographer Josh Hailey’s 100 prints and photos, and the Story Projectors art installation. Heartalot founder Brittany Schall’s exhibit is at James Patterson Photography, and enjoy live music at the Pix Capri. Free, donations welcome, $10 concert; call 601-214-2068; email info@ heartalot.com; find Heartalot on Facebook. … Microphone Monday is at 9:30 p.m. at Jackson State University, Walter Payton Center (32 Walter Payton Drive) in Studio A. $5; call 601-979-1646 or 601-979-1647.

TUESDAY 12/24

Family Christmas Eve Carol Service is at 4 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church (1390 N. State St.). Free; call 601353-8316; email info@fpcjackson.org; fpcjackson.org. … Open-Mic Night is at Time Out Sports Cafe (6720 Old Canton Road) and at Fenian’s Pub (901 E. Fortification St.).

WEDNESDAY 12/25

Christmas on Ice is from 1-9 p.m. at Baptist Health Systems, Madison Campus (401 Baptist Drive, Madison). $15 skating and ice slide,; call 601-500-5970; christmasonice.com. … Years of Yuletide: Christmas in Jackson is at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Free; call 601-5766800; oldcapitolmuseum.com.


*&0 30/.3/2%$%6%.43 Best of Jackson Party Jan. 26, 6-11 p.m., location TBA. Save the date for the JFP’s annual celebration of all things Jackson. By invitation only; JFP Daily subscribers should check their inboxes for details. Sign up at jfpdaily.com. Finalists can email party@jacksonfreepress.com to get on the list.

(/,)$!9 Events at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). Free with regular admission; call 601-352-2500; jacksonzoo.org. • Cookies with Santa Dec. 21, 9 a.m.-noon. Activities include putting wish lists in Santa’s mailbox, decorating cookies and pictures with Santa. Bring a camera. • 12 Days of Christmas Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 29. Includes lighted pathways, special sights such as Candy Cane Lane, Santa’s Workshop and the Winter Wonderland tree display, and hot cocoa. Events at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive). $8, children 12 months and under free; call 601-981-5469; mschildrensmuseum.com. • The Santa Institute Day Dec. 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Researchers from the Santa Institute explain the science behind Santa and his holiday helpers. • Holiday Tree Design Showcase through Dec. 31. See trees decorated by local schools. “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 18-20, 7:30 p.m., at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). Enjoy the musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel about a miser’s encounter with three spirits. $25, $22 students and seniors, $18 ages 12 and under, $75 family package, group discounts available; call 601-948-3531; newstagetheatre.com. Screen on the Green Dec. 19, 5:30 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Watch the film “Christmas Vacation” in the Art Garden. Includes a cash bar and concessions. Free; call 601-960-1515; msmuseumart.org. Christmas at the Governor’s Mansion through Dec. 20, at Governor’s Mansion (300 E. Capitol St.). See holiday decorations with seasonal greenery in the historic section. Guided tours held Tuesday-Friday from 9:30-11 a.m. on the halfhour; closed Saturday-Monday. Groups of 10 or more must RSVP. Free; call 601-359-6421. Showtime with Santa Dec. 21, 1-5 p.m., at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Meet Santa, and enjoy performances from Eddie Williams, Eriel Paymon, Shasa Cohren and more. Free; call 601-497-6796. Pics with Santa Dec. 21, 10 a.m.-noon, at Highland Village (4500 Interstate 55 N.). At Center Court. Package options include four 5-by-7 photos or 10 4-by-6 photos. $40 sitting fee; call 601-982-5861; email info@highlandvillagems. com; highlandvillagems.com. Christmas in the Park Dec. 22, 2 p.m., at Poindexter Park (200 Poindexter St.). Volunteer to help feed the homeless. Contact the facilitator to confirm. Free; call 769-257-0815 or 601-291-8687. Christmas in Canton Victorian Christmas Festival through Dec. 23, at Historic Canton Square (Courthouse Square, Canton). At the Canton Welcome Center inside the Historic Trolio Hotel. The annual month-long celebration includes vintage car, truck and train rides, animated museums and light displays. $3 museum admission, $1 rides; call 601-859-1307 or 800-844-3369; email canton@cantontourism.com; cantontourism.com. Wrap It in Ridgeland! through Dec. 23, at

Ridgeland. Gather with family and friends and savor the region’s finest shopping, dining and hospitality. Free; visitridgeland.com/wrapit. Winter Holidays Exhibit through Dec. 20, at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Enjoy the model trains of Possum Ridge, period toys and Christmas trees. Open Monday from noon-4:30 p.m., Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Free; call 601-576-6800.

#/--5.)49 Writing a Grant Proposal: The Basics Dec. 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at Mississippi Center for Nonprofits (201 W. Capitol St., Suite 700). Topics include grants research, developing a needs statement, creating a budget and assembling the proposal package. Registration required. $139, $99 members; call 601-968-0061; msnonprofits.org. Precinct 3 COPS Meeting Dec. 19, 6 p.m., at Jackson Police Department, Precinct 3 (3925 W. Northside Drive). These monthly forums are designed to help resolve community issues or problems, from crime to potholes. Free; call 601960-0003. Alignment Jackson Ward 6 Town Hall Meeting Dec. 19, 6 p.m., at Peeples Middle School (2940 Belvedere Drive) The focus of the meeting is to improve Jackson Public Schools. JPS parents are encouraged to attend. Free; call 601-960-1089; jackson.k12.ms.us. City of Jackson Local Sales Tax Town Hall Meeting Dec. 19, 6 p.m., at Word and Worship Church (6286 Hanging Moss Road). The Jackson City Government hosts the meeting to discuss the one-percent local sales tax referendum. Free; call 601-960-1084.

6A0=3E84F A M A LC O T H E AT R E

South of Walmart in Madison

ALL STADIUM SEATING Listings for Fri. 12/20 – Thur. 12/26

American Hustle R Saving Mr. PG13 Banks

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas PG13 Dallas Buyers R Club

3-D Walking With Dinosaurs PG

Frozen (non 3-D) PG

Walking With Dinosaurs (non PG 3-D)

Hunger Games: Catching Fire PG13

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues PG13

OPENS WEDNESDAY 12/25 The Wolf Of Wall Street R The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty PG Grudge Match PG13 PG13 47 Ronin Justin Bieber’s Believe PG

3-D The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug PG13 The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (non 3-D) PG13

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

Movieline: 355-9311

Merry Christmas and Elf You Improv Show Dec. 20, 8 p.m., at Warehouse Theatre (1000 Monroe St.). In the style of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”, the Misfit Monkeys take suggestions from the audience and acts out scenes on the spot. Doors open at 7 p.m. $7; call 818-645-4404; misfitmonkeyscomedy.com.

Ladies Drink Free 9 pm - until Dj Young Venom 10pm until

THURSDAY

5 -9PM

12/19

2 FOR 1 DRAFT FRIDAY

12/20

UP UNTIL NOW

(1320 Records, Recently On Tour w/ STS9 & Umphrey’s Mcgee)

10 P.M

SATURDAY

12/21

ROBBY PEOPLES & FRIENDS W/ ROOSTER BLUES 10PM MONDAY

12/23

OPEN MIC/ TALENT

SEARCH NIGHT

TUESDAY

12/24

SHRIMP BOIL 5 - 10 PM

MATT’S KARAOKE

Crazy Cross Country Run Dec. 18, 6 p.m., at Madison Middle School (1365 Mannsdale Road, Madison). Fleet Feet host the 5K dirt trail run on third Wednesdays. After-party at Papitos (111 Colony Crossing Way, Suite 1200, Madison). Free; call 601-899-9696; fleetfeetjackson.com.

Higher Grounds Coffeehouse Fall/Winter Enrichment Series Dec. 19, 7-10 p.m., at St. Alexis Episcopal Church (650 E. South St.). Local actor Michael Guidry performs David Sedaris’ one-man play “The Santaland Diaries.” Coffee and snacks provided. Free, donations welcome; call 601-944-0415; stalexisjackson.org.

LADIES NIGHT Ladies 1/2 off 5-9

1.50 Pick & Grab Beers & 2 for 1 draft

7%,,.%33

34!'%!.$3#2%%.

12/18

Local bands tryout for gigs On stage w/ pro sound & lights Both bars open

Coffee and Conversation Dec. 20, 7-8:30 a.m., at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Interact with business professionals, leaders, and other community members, and learn about upcoming city projects. Free; call 601-576-6920.

Free Adult Counseling Consultation MondaysWednesdays, 6-9 p.m., at Middleway Counseling Practice (7048 Old Canton Road, Suite 221, Ridgeland). Schedule a free 20-minute counseling consultation with licensed professional counselor Angela Essary. For ages 18 and up. Free; call 601421-9566; schedulicity.com.

WEDNESDAY

5 - 9 & 10 - close

$1 PBR & HIGHLIFE $2 MARGARITAS 10 - 12pm WEDNESDAY

BIG RICHARD Friday, December 20 & Saturday, December 21 824 S. State St. Jackson

www.clubmagoos.com

601.487.8710

12/25

MARTINS ANNUAL CHRISTMAS JAM

with Cedric Burnside Project 10pm

UPCOMING SHOWS 12/27: Eric Deaton Trio 12.28: Mississippi Shakedown 12/31: NYE Blowout w/ Parallax & The Tombigbees 1/3: Static Ensemble 1/4: Jason Daniels Band SEE OUR NEW MENU

W W W. M A R T I N S L O U N G E . N E T

214 S. STATE ST. 601.354.9712 DOWNTOWN JACKSON

jacksonfreepress.com



33


COURTESY TYLER PERRY COMPANY

DIVERSIONS | film

Farcical, Seasonal Romp by Anita Modak-Truran

H

o, ho, no! She—really he, being it’s Tyler Perry—is back! Festive and smart in pearls and Mrs. Claus gear, Madea dishes out her special Christmas cheer and engages in naughty and nice repartee with Larry the Cable Guy. This film, which marks Perry’s 17th movie, may not be the darling of critic circles (so far scoring 16 percent on the Rotten Tomato meter), but it does what it sets out to do, which is to entertain those who want to be entertained by Perry’s style of Madea humor. One of the things Hollywood used to be good at was producing enjoyable, seemingly effortless screwball comedies such as “Big Momma’s House,” “Tootsie” and “Mrs. Doubtfire.” These movies were factory products and commercial as all get up and go, but took off into their own sphere of men-in-drag. Women trussed up as men, such as Barbra Streisand in “Yentl” or Julie Andrews in “Victor Victoria,” are serious affairs and don’t tweak the same funny bone. Methinks, like Shakespeare, that women and men pre-

tending to be women have much more fun than any version of male. Tyler Perry has capitalized on that, laughing all the way to the bank, ignoring the shards of criticism hurled at his Madea pictures. Headquartered in Atlanta and admirably working with local businesses and talent, Tyler Perry undeniably has created a formidable, super-sized screen persona. I joined the Madea fan club with “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” Who doesn’t love a matriarch without a verbal filter? She says what we think, and then acts on her impulses. My favorite Madea moment is her Solomon-esque splitting of marital assets with a chainsaw. Madea has never been better than in “Diary of a Mad Black Women,” but she is always watchable. In “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas” (as if we need reminding that Tyler Perry and Madea are one and the same), Madea takes a holiday job at an upscale department store at the urging of her niece Eileen (Anna Maria Horsford). When Lacey (Tika Sumpter), Eileen’s only child, says she can’t make it home for Christmas, Eileen and Madea hitch a ride with Lacey’s old boyfriend (J.R.

Tyler Perry (right, with Anna Maria Horsford) reprises his cross-dressing role of Madea for a silly seasonal romp in “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas.”

Lemon) and road trip to the rural Alabama community where Lacey lives. Lacey has dumped city life for teaching in a struggling school. She holes up on a farm and has a good-looking country boy named Connor (Eric Lively)—or, as Madea says, “Coroner”—looking after her “crops.” Connor’s parents (Larry the Cable Guy and Kathy Najimy) arrive shortly after Eileen and Madea take over the house. Family tensions run high, a Christmas pageant is on the brink of ruin and Scrooge is not Madea, but Eileen, who has a hard time reconciling some black and white issues. Larry the Cable Guy and Najimy infuse some “Duck Dynasty”-esque laughs. Tika Sumpter and Eric Lively are bewitch-

ing to the eyes, and you can feel the camaraderie among the cast. What’s good about the Madea character is that it enables Perry to show a purely farcical side of himself, and he has some inspired moments. Madea’s telling of the birthing of Jesus to the little children is gut-wrenchingly funny. And when Madea smiles, Perry is more likeable as a movie star than he has ever been before. That doesn’t take away from the sappy sentimentality flowing through this movie like the sweet sugar high in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Perry’s the Frank Capra of our generation. Let’s hope that we’re not too cynical to want to see good things happen to all people.

Writing to Change Your World, at JFP Classroom (Capitol Towers, 125 S. Congress St., Suite 1324). Enroll in the winter series of Donna Ladd’s creative nonfiction classes. Classes meet Jan. 11, Jan. 18, Feb. 1, Feb. 15 and March 1 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Includes materials, light breakfast and evening wrap-up party. Registration required. $150-$150; call 601-362-6121, ext. 15; email class@writingtochange.com.

Third Thursday Art Reception Dec. 19, 5-8 p.m., at View Gallery (Township at Colony Park, 1107 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 105, Ridgeland). The monthly event features new artwork. Wine and cheese served. Free; call 601-856-2001; viewgalleryart.com.

)5203$*(

Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales Dec. 21, 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., at Mississippi Coliseum (1207 Mississippi St.). The stories of Cinderella, Snow White and Beauty and the Beast come to life in the performance. $15-$45; call 800-745-3000. Sky Shows through Dec. 31, at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Options include “George and Oatmeal Save Santa,” “The Planets,” “The Alien Who Stole Christmas,” “Rusty Rocket’s Last Blast” and “Season of Light.” Visit the website for a schedule. $5.50, $4.50 seniors, $3 children (cash or check); call 601-960-1552; thedavisplanetarium.com.

-53)#

December 18 - 24, 2013

Synergy Night Second Saturdays, 9 p.m., at Mediterranean Fish and Grill (6550 Old Canton Road) 99.7 FM WJMI DJ Maranda J hosts the open-mic and jazz event featuring live music. $10, $5 open-mic participants; call 956-0082; like Synergy Nights on Facebook.

34

,)4%2!29!.$3)'.).'3 Telling Tales Dec. 19, 10 a.m., at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Mississippi First Lady Deborah Bryant reads. Free; call 601576-6920; email info@oldcapitolmuseum.com; oldcapitolmuseum.com. Writers Live! Dec. 19, noon, at Eudora Welty Library (300 N. State St.). Belinda Stevens signs and reads from “Just Out of Reach.” Free, books for sale; call 601-968-5807. Lemuria Story Time Saturdays, 11 a.m., at Lemuria Books (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). Children enjoy a story and make a related craft. Call for book titles. Free; call 601-366-7619; email info@lemuriabooks.com; lemuriabooks.com.

#2%!4)6%#,!33%3 Events at Easely Amused (Trace Harbor Village, 7048 Old Canton Road, Suite 1002, Ridgeland). Registration required. Call 601-707-5854; email paint@easelyamused.com; easelyamused.com.

%8()")43!.$/0%.).'3 Events at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.) through Dec. 31. Free; call 601960-1557, ext. 224. • VSA Community Art Group’s “High Time” Art Exhibit. See works from members of the group of adults with disabilities. • LEGO Jackson Exhibit. See Dr. Scott Crawford’s exhibit of Jackson landmarks built from LEGO blocks. • Tommy Reaves Art Exhibit. See the artist’s ceramic and painted works in the Upper Atrium.

American Pink Floyd (formerly Set the Controls) Dec. 20, 9 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). The Pink Floyd cover band has been performing since 2008. $15 in advance, $20 at the door; call 601-292-7999; ardenland.net.

• “Brushing Branches” Painting Class Dec. 21, 2-4 p.m. Make a painting of a Christmas tree with a paisley pattern. $28. • “Funky Christmas” Painting Class Dec. 21, 7-9:30 p.m. Create a holiday painting of ornaments and add glitter. $32.

Make a Joyful Noise 2013 Dec. 21, noon-6 p.m., at Metrocenter Mall (1395 Metrocenter Drive). Enjoy soloists, choirs and performance groups at Center Court. Free; call 601-9697633, ext. 22.

• Museum After Hours Dec. 19, 5 p.m. Enjoy a cash bar at 5 p.m. and exhibition tours at 6 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. Intended for young professionals, but all ages welcome. Admission varies per exhibit.

Bellydancing Sundays, 5:30-6:45 p.m., at Butterfly Yoga (3025 N. State St.). Randi Young-Jerome to learn the basics of the popular dance. $10-$15; call 601-594-2313; butterflyyoga.net.

• Look and Learn with Hoot Dec. 20, 10:30 a.m. This educational opportunity ages 5 and under and their parents features a hands-on art activity and story time. Please dress for mess. Free.

Events at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Call 601-960-1515; msmuseumart.org.

The Women of Fondren Holiday Art Show through Dec. 20, at The Cedars Historic Home (4145 Old Canton Road). See works from 14 artists including Roz Roy, Elizabeth Robinson and Sandra Murchison. Free; call 601-981-9606; fondren.org. Mississippi Artists’ Guild Fine Arts Exhibition through Dec. 31, at Madison Square Center for the Arts (2103 Main St., Madison). See the latest creations from guild members. Free; call 601-853-0291; mississippiartistsguild.org.

"%4(%#(!.'% Inspire a Child Campaign through Dec. 31, at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive). The MCM seeks donations to continue programs such as lowcost field trips and outreach programs. Donations welcome; call 601-981-5469; mschildrensmuseum.com/supportus. 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.


DIVERSIONS | music

Rocket 88 performs at 8 p.m. Dec. 21 at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St., 601-948-0888). Holy Ghost Electric Show also performs. Visit rocket88music.com, or find the band on Facebook.

A Musical Gumbo by Briana Robinson

What are some main genres you cover?

We definitely have some white gospel and black gospel types of songs, and also some that are folk in a way. When you’re asked to describe a certain type of song, it may be an amalgamation of several genres of music, so it’s hard to put a label on it. Why is it important to not stay in one genre?

There’s a difference between having an album that has different sounds where the listener is not bored with a par-

COURTESY ROCKET 88

O

xford-based band Rocket 88 prides itself on combining genres such as juke joint gospel, old-time country and Americana. Rocket 88 consists of vocalist, rhythm guitarist and Vicksburg native Rosamond Posey; vocalist, lead guitarist, harmonica player and Meridian native Jamie Posey; keyboardist, organist and New Orleans native Robert Chaffe; bassist and Pontotoc, Miss., native Nathan Robbins; and drummer and Forest, Miss., native Ryan Rogers. The members have played with Eric Deaton, Kudzu Kings, Shannon McNally and Geronimo Rex. In 2008, Rocket 88 released its debut album, “Full Circle,” at Tweed Studios in Oxford. The title track references coming back to music after the Poseys’ three-year hiatus before forming Rocket 88 in 2005. The band plans to have two or three releases in 2014. It currently has about 40 songs finished of different genres. I spoke with Jamie Posey about Rocket 88’s music.

Oxford-based Rocket 88 performs Saturday, Dec. 21, at Hal & Mal’s.

We’re open to all ideas when we write a song and explore, which I think is a strength. A lot of times you get locked into one idea and you close your mind off to other ideas. But those other ideas—even the ones that aren’t good at first—can lead ideas that may be good. … Plus we all trust each other enough to where we can brainstorm a goofy idea just to get across some piece of what you’re trying to say. (Say) you don’t have it completely worked out in your head, you can still blurt it out, and then it’s there for everyone to work with. It’s very free. What is your main goal with the music you create?

ticular sound. You have to pick songs that mesh together well. They can have a common sound even though they may be different. And that’s where the art comes into play, I believe. One thing we can definitely say about the next work is that we’re going to invest in the great resources that we have all around us. These people are friends, and they’ve done a lot of great work. We’re going to try to tap into that and create a real Mississippi sound that the state will be proud of and that we’ll be proud of.

A release. … There is a spiritual realm on stage and in music, (like) telecommunication with other beings and other people. The communication is so much more accurate than verbal, nonverbal and other forms of communication. We can play music, and you hear and create this soundscape. … Those words almost don’t do it justice. It’s a spiritual thing that you might not be able to practice, but you hear it in that instance. … It’s spontaneously instant, when the magic happens. That’s a big reward and a huge release.

Tell me more about the art behind your work.

How would you briefly describe your music?

With the art of the song … typically we have a sound in our head, with the phrasing and everything a lot of times. And then we’ll write the words on top of that soundscape. Plus we have friends that come over and write with us.

I would say it’s a gumbo of Mississippi music. We’re influenced by the town and regions that we play in. … So many great bands have come through and we’ve been listening to them as well as what we grew up listening to.

in the mix

by Tommy Burton

• Elvis Presley’s “If Every Day Was Like Christmas” Elvis’ Christmas music is among the best. His first holiday record came out in 1956, and Elvis recorded spiritual music throughout his career. Tons of his Christmas compilations exist, but this one is all you’ll ever need; it has all of his holiday recordings.

FLICKR/AFFENDADDY

O

ne of the most unique things about holiday music is that it is usually only good for about a month. No one goes caroling in July, and no one wants to hear “Jingle Bells” on Valentine’s Day. As long as rock ‘n’ roll has been around, its practitioners have been trying to add their spin to season’s greetings. Chuck Berry told Rudolph to run, and Brenda Lee went rockin’ around the tree. I love Christmas music. I also love rock music. Melding these two loves can sometimes be a tedious task. As a result, I have amassed quite the collection of yuletide recordings. Here are a few that are quintessential for any fan of popular music.

Phil Spector’s 1963 holiday CD is the one all other seasonal releases aspire to be.

• “A Christmas Gift For You” from Phil Spector This is the Christmas rock collection others aspire to be. Just about everything before it was pretty schlocky, and everything after it imitated it. Phil Spector, the producer who invented the “Wall of Sound,” gives listeners the big arrangements that made him

famous with artists such as The Ronettes. This collection still holds up after all this time. Besides, you can’t beat Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” • The Beach Boys’ “Christmas Album” The first side of this classic features that signature Brian Wilson surf sound with perennial favorite “Little Saint Nick.” The second side has lush arrangements like “White Christmas,” complete with that beautiful Beach Boys harmony. • “A Very Special Christmas” When this came out in 1987, it raised the bar for pop Christmas collections. While several follow-ups have emerged, nothing can beat the original with Run D.M.C.’s “Christmas In Hollis” and The Pointer Sisters’ “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town.” Also, this set has one of my favorite versions of “Silent Night,” sung by Stevie Nicks. • “The Ventures’ Christmas Album” The instrumental surf band set Christmas music on fire with its version of “Sleigh Ride.” The recording is a romp through ’60s pop as the band mixes standard carols with a big beat and quotes from popular artists.

For those who like to delve a little deeper, here are a few of the oddballs—recordings that are either better than they should be, or just too weird to classify. • David Bowie and Bing Crosby’s “Little Drummer Boy.” This will go down as possibly the oddest musical pairing of all time. The Thin White Duke meets Der Bingle, and the results are surprising. • Bob Dylan’s “Christmas in the Heart.” The album plays out like old-school recording. It’s classic in every way, but Dylan’s older, more grizzled voice adds an air of strangeness to the proceedings. Of course, Dylan sings it all fairly straight, only adding to the confusion. • “Dr. Demento Presents: The Greatest Christmas Novelty CD of All Time.” With a title like that, you know it’s got to have those dogs barking/singing “Jingle Bells” along with “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” by Elmo and Patsy. You’ll hear more than a few chuckles when playing this in the car.

jacksonfreepress.com

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree

35


MUSIC | live

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$%# 7%$.%3$!9

$ 2happyfor 1 well drinks hour m-f 4-7 pm Open for dinner Sat. 4-10 2 for 1 house wine

starting at Wednesday, December 18th

BIG EASY THREE 6:30, No Cover

Thursday, December 19th

BOOKER WALKER 8, No Cover

â&#x20AC;¢

â&#x20AC;¢

â&#x20AC;¢

â&#x20AC;¢

pm

Thursday December 19

LADIES NIGHT W/ DJ Stache â&#x20AC;¢ Ladies Drink Free

Friday December 20

Oh Jeremiah! w/ Filter the Noise

Friday, December 20th

LUCKY HAND BLUES BAND 9:00, $10 Cover

Saturday December 21

Saturday, December 21st

StoneCoats

BEAT DADDYS (R&B/Funk) 9:00, No Cover

Thursday, December 26th

TRIPLE THREAT (R&B/Funk) 6:30, No Cover

Happy Hour!

December 18 - 24, 2013

2-for-1 EVERYTHING* 36

Tuesday-Friday from 4:00-7:00 (*excludes food and specialty drinks)

119 S. President Street 601.352.2322 www.Underground119.com

Tuesday December 24 2 for 1 Highlife & PBR

Open Mic with Wesley Edwards

Wednesday December 25

KARAOKE with DJ STACHE FREE WiFi

416 George Street, Jackson Open Mon-Sat Restaurant Open Mon-Fri 11am-10pm & Sat 4-10pm

601-960-2700

facebook.com/Ole Tavern

COURTESY FLICKR/ANDREASNILSSON1976

9.99

Weekly Lunch Specials

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DIVERSIONS | jfp sports

SLATE

by Bryan Flynn

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and what should appear? The start of college football bowl season—the end of football is near.

THURSDAY, DEC. 19 College basketball (8-10 p.m., CSS): Mississippi State hosts the darling of last year’s NCAA Tournament, Florida Gulf Coast. FRIDAY, DEC. 20 NHL (6-8 p.m., FSS): Your weekly hockey fix features two of the better teams in the Eastern Conference, with the Carolina Hurricanes hosting the Washington Capitals. SATURDAY, DEC. 21 College football (8-11 p.m., ESPN): You can choose from four bowl games today, including Fresno State-USC, but I give the nod to Tulane making its first bowl appearance in more than a decade against Louisiana-Lafayette. SUNDAY, DEC. 22 NFL (12-3 p.m., Fox): This will be a huge game in the NFC South between the New Orleans Saints at the Carolina Panthers, with first place in the division and playoff seeding on the line. MONDAY, DEC. 23 NFL (7:30-11 p.m., ESPN): Monday Night football features the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Atlanta Falcons, who could affect the playoffs with a win. TUESDAY, DEC. 24 College football (7-10 p.m., ESPN): Spend Christmas Eve watching a football game played in sunny Hawaii as the Oregon State Beavers take on the Boise State Broncos. WEDNESDAY, DEC. 25 NBA (7-9:30 p.m., ESPN): ABC and ESPN air basketball all day long, but the best game might be between the San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets after Christmas dinner. I will be snug in front of my TV eating baked goods and watching meaningless football games from now until the new year. And I wonder why I get fatter during the holidays.

bryan’s rant .OT-Y(EISMAN6OTE

I

didn’t watch this year’s Heisman Trophy presentation Saturday night. I knew who was going to win the award. It was a foregone conclusion, and I disagreed with it. Sure enough, a quick check of Twitter after the show was over told me the award went to Florida State redshirt freshman Jameis Winston. Most believed that Winston was the Heisman favorite for the last two months of the season. Winston won with 2,205 votes—well over double that of second-place Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and his 704 votes. The win makes Winston the second-straight redshirt freshman to win the award, behind Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel. Florida State is undefeated and will play Auburn for the national championship after playing a schedule (ranked 66th by ESPN) so weak it made Ohio State’s schedule (ranked 59th) look daunting. Personally, I couldn’t vote for Winston after news came out that he had been accused of sexual assault more than a year ago. A YEAR AGO. Last December, before he became the starting quarterback for the Seminoles and led them to undefeated season, Winston was accused of sexually assaulting a fellow student. While the police sat on the investigation for a year, Winston was able to put up gaudy numbers against extremely weak competition. The accuser’s family even claims that a detective on the case told them, “Tallahassee is a big football town,” and her life could be ruined if she pursued the case. After a quick investigation, Willie Meggs, the state attorney for the 2nd Judicial Circuit, which includes Leon County and Tallahassee, decided the evidence wasn’t enough to pursue the case or bring charges. Meggs graduated from a Tallahassee high school, and got his bachelor’s and law degree from Florida State. How authorities handled the case would force me to withhold my Heisman vote for Winston (if I had a vote). Apparently 115 other Heisman voters have a moral compass and didn’t just rubber-stamp Winston the winner, leaving him off their ballots completely. ESPN’s Ivan Maisel and Yahoo’s Pat Forde (along with many others, by the looks of Winston’s 668 first-place votes), both great sports writers, stated they felt free to vote for Winston because charges weren’t filed. I guess I have a higher standard of burden for proof. I’m a son, a husband and father to a daughter. With the way the case was handled, I can’t give Winston my Heisman vote just because he wasn’t charged. The fact that officials waited a year to investigate leaves a bad feeling in my gut. I don’t know if Maisel or Forde have daughters, but I can’t turn off being a dad when giving an award. If the investigation had been handled in a timely manner, my thoughts might be different. I would rather deny Winston the award—even if he is innocent—than chance fate and victimize the victim again (if she was assaulted) by waxing poetically about Winston’s excellent season against inferior foes. I am not alone. Maybe 115 others who voted feel the same way.

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175 Hwy 80 East in Pearl * 601.932.2811 M­Th: 10­10p F­Sa 10­Mid Su: 1­10p * www.shopromanticadventures.com

v12n15 - Good Ideas for Girls and Boys  

How We Can Help Them Thrive pp 14-22 Health-Care Economics pp 10-11 Bryan's Heisman Vote p 37

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