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ance has always been a major part of Kayla Jones’ life. The Callaway High School junior figures that her love for the art form began around age 2. “What I like most about dancing is the ability to express yourself,” she says. Jones is currently in her sixth year with the Dancing Dolls, a Jackson-area dance team that Dianna Williams formed in 2001. The squad is currently the focus of a new reality series on the Lifetime television network called “Bring It!”, which documents the team’s journey as it prepares for competition. The squad scored a major victory in Memphis March 29 at the Bay Area Battle, where it was crowned the Grand Champs for the seventh year in a row. Competition can be nerve-wracking, Jones says, but that’s not always the main emotion. “Depending on who you battle, it’s sometimes fun,” she says. Jones has served as the team captain for three years. Being featured on the television show and at the receiving end of the subsequent attention, has been an eye-opening experience for Jones and the other dancers. “To actually experience that, it’s crazy. It’s fun, though,” she says. Her school has been abuzz about the series since its March 5 debut. “Now every time I come to school, it’s about the show,” she says. “It’s different.” Jones, the daughter of Tina Jones and Terrell Vaughn of Jackson, admits to having little involvement in activities other than dance at


the moment. “There’s no time,” she says with a laugh. When not at school, Jones can usually be found at the team’s studio, Doll House Dance Factory (1410 Ellis Ave.), where she practices four evenings a week. It is her lifelong love for dancing and performing that keeps her motivated. “Since I’ve been doing it for so long, I can say I don’t want to stop,” she says. “I can stay on this team until I’m 80. The people around me, what I do, my squad and Miss D., that’s what inspires me.” While currently undecided about her college plans, Jones says she wants to become a dance teacher. She says that the television show has presented her and the entire team, with enormous opportunity. “We’ve been here and been a great team for a long time. The biggest accomplishment was them picking us,” Jones says. In the wake of the show’s debut, the team traveled to NewYork City, where they performed on Bethenny Frankel’s television show and visited the A&E Television Networks office. While the team’s fan base has grown nationally as a result of the show, Jackson remains at the core of everything Jones holds dear. “My family is here, my dance team is here, we originated from here. Here in Jackson, they’ve shown us a lot of support,” she says. “Bring It!” airs on Lifetime Wednesdays at 9 p.m. For more information on the Dancing Dolls, visit —Demetrice Sherman

Cover photo of Anna Williams by Trip Burns

6 Police on the Front Lines

Jackson’s D.A.R.T., crime task force is hitting west Jackson, where crime has spiked in recent weeks.

25 Artificial Intelligence

“When I imagine the genesis of (‘Transcendence’), it’s a conference room filled to capacity with the world’s greatest engineers, scientists, theologians and creative types teleconferencing with a few evangelicals, a politician and hippie-generation pothead while a stenographer dictates the conversation. Then a screenwriter starts the daunting process of putting pen to paper—or most likely, fingers to keys.” —Jordan Sudduth

29 Blinded by Music

Roscoe Robinson’s gives tribute to the gospel group that first brought him to prominence on a national stage, The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, through the formation of a new group, The Birmingham Blind Boys.

4 ............................. EDITOR’S NOTE 6 ............................................ TALKS 12 ................................ EDITORIAL 12 .................................. STIGGERS 13 .................................... OPINION 14 ............................ COVER STORY 22 ......................................... FOOD 24 ....................................... BOOKS 25 .......................................... FILM 26 ....................................... 8 DAYS 27 ...................................... EVENTS 29 ....................................... MUSIC 30 ....................... MUSIC LISTINGS 31 ..................................... SPORTS 33 .................................... PUZZLES 33 ....................................... ASTRO


APRIL 23 - 29, 2014 | VOL. 12 NO. 33



by R.L. Nave, News Editor

The Amazing Toughness of Kids


ike a lot of people, I spent this past Easter Sunday at a friend’s house full of kids. The smallest of them, a 10month-old boy, seemed really into crawling under the coffee table and toward electrical sockets before the nearest adult could scoop him away to safety. The biggest kid was a buddy of mine who leveraged his 6-foot-8-inches to a considerable advantage in a water-gun battle through the house, his nemeses consisting of 8- and 9-year-olds and one 2-year-old girl, who didn’t have a water gun, but wielded her glittery plastic scepter menacingly enough. Occasionally, a momentary wail indicated that one of the smaller children had a painful encounter with a hard plastic toy, the floor, a piece of furniture or a piece of another child. “I’m sure they’re fine,” I shrugged, presumably signaling a nonchalance that prompted playful skepticism from friends about my fitness for parenthood. There are many reasons I probably shouldn’t be a dad, but that isn’t one. I just happen to know how tough kids are, especially when they have proper nurturing and support. When my sister, Gabrielle (or GG, as we call her), came along 21 years ago, I was a teenage boy. Having a baby sister was like being handed a remote-controlled car whose remote control usually didn’t work properly. Such a strong-willed little girl, GG climbed up and fell off many things, bumped her tender head, hit me in tender places and put things in her mouth before I could take them away. Many of those interactions ended with my baby sister in tears, physically or emotionally injured. (It was the same story with Josh, our younger brother, who came along a few years later; GG dutifully executed her responsibilities as big sister to bring Josh to

tears as often as possible.) A cursory booboo kiss and a little tickle-monstering, and they were fine. In other words, all kids need is love and attention, and they’ll grow into amazing people; just look at the roster of our Amazing Teens, which includes National Honor Society members, community volunteers, inventors, athletes and class presidents from all over the Jackson metro. In reading their profiles, it becomes clear that these young people have been

A little ticklemonstering, and kids will be just fine. loved and nurtured since birth. As soon as I start to think that “love is the answer” is too trite a theme for this space, I’m reminded that being loved is not everyone’s norm. On that point, several national and local news stories caught my attention last weekend. One was about a 16-year-old who hopped an airport fence and stowed away in the landing gear of a Boeing 767 from San Jose, Calif., to Maui after arguing with his family. Amazingly, the teen survived the fivehour flight without oxygen and in subzero temperatures. Physicians told news outlets that youth worked in the boy’s favor. “No adult would have survived that,” one doctor told Time magazine. No other information is known about the family fight that the boy said caused to him to run away, but upon landing in Hawaii, the boy was placed in the care of child-welfare officials. Closer to home, in Jackson, there was

a story whose facts are a little harder to take in. According to police, two teenage boys were charged with carjacking, kidnapping and rape of a woman on Saturday, the day before Easter. Like the stowaway teenager from California, we don’t—and possibly won’t—know much about the circumstances of those kids’ lives before April 19. I suspect that the local news outlets that released the kids’ names and mugshots, which the Jackson Police Department provided, won’t follow up with any substantive stories about who these people are. As little as we’re likely to find out about their past, we do know a lot about the tragic future they could face. This week, I write about a new report from the Atlanta-based Southern Education Foundation about education in youth prisons. Youth advocates agree that Mississippi’s youth-justice system has vastly improved over the years, but we still have a long way to go. Two things about the SEF report stuck with me. The first is that in Mississippi, where African Americans are not even 40 percent of the population, black kids make up 81 percent of the population of long-term, or “residential,” youth correctional facilities (e.g. the troubled Walnut Grove). The other, which is the main thrust of the SEF report, is the awful quality of education incarcerated children receive, if they receive an education at all, despite the fact that so many kids are sent to these places with judges’ orders that they complete their education. “There is every reason to predict that today most of these students, like those who came before them in the juvenile justice systems, will never receive a high school diploma or a college degree, will be arrested and confined again as a juvenile or adult, and will rarely, if ever, become self-supporting, lawabiding citizens during most of their lives,” SEF authors write. However, they continue, “substantial

evidence shows that, if these children improve their education and start to become successful students in the juvenile justice systems, they will have a far greater chance of finding a turning point in their lives and becoming independent, contributing adults.” Compounding the problem, new information from groups monitoring conditions at Walnut Grove shows that violence, drugs and inadequate staffing levels continues to plague Walnut Grove, a privately run youth prison in Leake County. The company, MTC of Utah, denies the monitor’s report. The odds may not be in theses kids’ favor, but there is an amazing network of fearless advocates who are working to save their lives. Two exciting opportunities are planned for this week. On Wednesday, April 23, the Hinds Community College-backed Minority Male Leadership’s advisory council, of which I am a member, will meet over lunch. Also, this week, the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color will hold its annual Gathering of Leaders at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., on April 23-25, 2014. It’s heartbreaking to think of the simple things that might have prevented some of these children from ever encountering law enforcement in the first place. What if, like GG, Josh and the kids at Easter, they had a big brother, parent or other relative who made time—or who could afford to make time—for catch and ticklemonster games or water-gun fights after Easter dinner? Or, more simply, what if they had been born into a society that treats them like children, little human beings possessing amazing potential, before it treats them like they are a problem (especially is they’re black, brown or poor)? How amazing would that be? Email News Editor R.L. Nave at rlnave@

April 23 - 29, 2014



Demetrice Sherman Jacquelynn Pilcher Editorial Intern and Mississippi Delta native Demetrice Sherman loves animals, books and chocolate, all in abundance. Name a movie and chances are, she still hasn’t seen it. She wrote the Jacksonian.

Hattiesburg native Jacquelynn Pilcher lived in New York City and Philadelphia for a while but rests her roots in Clinton. She loves sushi, sunflowers and performing with her band across Mississippi. She contributed to the cover package.

Genevieve Legacy

ShaWanda Jacome

Tommy Burton

LaShanda Phillips

Trip Burns

David Rahaim

Genevieve Legacy is an artistwriter-community development consultant. She works at Hope Enterprise Corporation and lives in Brandon with her husband and youngest son. She contributed to the cover package.

ShaWanda Jacome is a homeschool mom and freelance writer. She lives in Canton with her husband, Mike, and son, Mateo, and their miniature Schnauzer, Duchess. She contributed to the cover package.

Music Listings Editor Tommy Burton is keeping the dream alive one record at a time. He can usually be seen with a pair of headphones on. He contributed to the cover package.

Freelance writer LaShanda Phillips is a recent graduate of Jackson State University. She is the third oldest of seven children. She helped write about amazing teens for this issue.

Staff Photographer Trip Burns is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, where he studied English and sociology. He enjoys the films of Stanley Kubrick. He took many photos for the issue.

One day, sales representative David Rahaim will finish his first novel. He promises. It may just be after he finishes his second. He managed many accounts for this issue.

. A e w k o h C A . y t t B A M



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Thursday, April 17 Iran converts most of a nuclear stockpile that it could have turned quickly into weapons-grade uranium into less volatile forms as part of a deal with six world powers. ‌ Lawyers for two Oklahoma women and the county clerk who would not give them a marriage license go before a federal appeals court for a hearing on the legality of Oklahoma’s gay-marriage ban. Friday, April 18 Dashing hopes of progress raised by a diplomatic deal in Geneva, pro-Russian insurgents occupying government buildings in Ukrainian cities say they will not leave them until the country’s interim government resigns. ‌ The National Archives releases about 7,500 pages of documents from former President Bill Clinton. Saturday, April 19 Syria frees Four French journalists who have been held prisoner for ten months. The journalists cross the border into neighboring Turkey. Sunday, April 20 Divers finally find a way into the submerged ferry off South Korea’s southern shore, discovering more than a dozen bodies inside the ship and pushing the confirmed death toll to 50.

April 23 - 29, 2014


Tuesday, April 22 Jackson voters go to the polls in a special mayoral election following the sudden death of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba. The polls had not closed as of press time; see for results and full election coverage.

by Haley Ferretti


lthough crime in Jackson has been on a steady decline over the last three years, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t flare up in certain areas in sudden, dramatic ways, such as recently in Precincts 2 and 4. That’s when the Jackson Police Department’s Direct Action Response Team steps in. The team of patrol officers, commonly known as D.A.R.T., works as JPD’s “troubleshooting� unit by patrolling areas of the city that may be experiencing a more-than-average amount of crime, typically dealing with property crime or drug reinforcement. D.A.R.T. officers differ from beat officers in that they are freed from the obligation of responding to dispatch calls, allowing them time to be more visible and watch for suspicious activity. “They are troubleshooters,� Assistant Chief Lee Vance told the Jackson Free Press. “We look at the crime map, and if there’s an area of town where we’re having problems, we’ll put them there, and the results have been phenomenal.� Currently, D.A.R.T. has been focusing on areas in Precinct 2 that have been experiencing a number of property crimes as well as a few aggravated-assault cases. The current COMSTAT report shows that, aside from grand larceny, the number of property crimes has slightly increased since the week before; however, all property crimes remain in single digits. There was also an increase in aggravated assault, jumping from two cases the week before to 12 cases within the week of April 7-13. Vance attributed much of the aggra-

A DART patrol car parked on West Street in downtown Jackson.

vated assault to “friendsâ€? getting into arguments and assaulting one another. Vance said he hopes D.A.R.T. will lessen the cases of aggravated assault but says it’s difficult task to accomplish when violence can be unpredictable. “Violent crime is much more difficult to predict and to prevent because it’s impromptu,â€? Vance said. “There are not a lot of indicators. ‌ Conflict resolution is something that is really lacking in a lot of parts of our city. We hope by ratcheting up visibility in certain areas, with D.A.R.T. in particular, we can calm that down. â€? D.A.R.T. also aided in a string of auto-burglaries and house burglaries that were taking place a few months back in

northeast Jackson in Precinct 4. D.A.R.T. Sgt. Barry Hale explained that the unit helps Jackson precincts when they need it, adding that the community usually responds well to their added presence. “Precinct 4 has the most businesses out of the whole city,â€? Hale said. â€œâ€Ś It’s just the perfect place for an auto burglary to hit. We had to hit those areas hard. We were able to help Precinct 4 get their numbers down.â€? “You get these officers to ride through parking lots with their blue lights on—it’ll deter crime. A lot of people don’t understand that. It may bother people, but I’ll PRUH'$57VHHSDJH

A Purrfect Business Plan


t’s like every caffeine-addicted cat lady’s dream come true: a magical place where you can sip a latte and pet a sweet feline at the same time. These cat cafÊs are increasingly popular in Asia, especially Japan. Several different business models are in play—some charge an hourly surcharge to hang out, while others only charge for ingestibles. Some specialize in a certain type of cat, offering all black cats, rare breeds or even fat cats. Now, several versions of the cat cafÊ are in the works in California, and a pop-up cat cafÊ opens this week in New York City. Many of these cafÊs


Monday, April 21 The 118th running of the Boston Marathon begins under heavy security a year after the bombings near the race’s finish line.

Taking a D.A.R.T. Out of Crime TRIP BURNS

Wednesday, April 16 A ferry carrying 462 people sinks off South Korea’s southern coast, leaving more than 280 people missing despite an hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters. ‌ NATO strengthens its military footprint along its eastern border in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, sending air policing aircraft to fly more sorties over the Baltic region and deploying allied warships to the Baltic Sea, the eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere.

Cat cafÊs are big business in other countries—Jackson should jump on board and set the standard in the United States.

join forces with a local shelter, acting as a sort of halfway house for cats that are available for adoption. Jackson has a chance to jump out ahead of the trend here in the United States,

by Kathleen M. Mitchell

but I propose our city improves on the concept by making one simple switch: Lose the coffee, grab a beer. My proposal is simple: Lucky Town Brewing Company and Community Animal Rescue and Adoptions should team up to open a cat bar. Lucky Town can set up taps while CARA provides the cats for patrons to play with and pet. It would be yet another draw for the midtown neighborhood, and be quite a tourist attraction for our fair city. Bonus points if Lucky Town brews up a special beer just for the bar—Catnip Cask Ale, perhaps?

Parent! You are More Prepared Than You Think!


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t Fusion April 25 a






April 23 - 29, 2014



tell you a lot more people are happy about it than bothered by it,â€? Hale added. Hale said that after D.A.R.T. officers are assigned to a high-crime area, they usually work two shifts a day, which typically consists of working any special events, organizing traffic stops and patrolling their assigned area. Since the areas they work are experiencing high crime, Hale says that it is not unusual for them to spend time chasing criminals on foot. “People are constantly running from us,â€? Hale said with a laugh. Vance and Hale agreed that D.A.R.T.’s high visibility has been the key component in combating crime flare-ups. “Our best chance at crime reduction is high visibility,â€? Vance said. “What we try to do and what we think is the most workable solution at our disposal now is to create a large presence out in the community so we become a deterrent to crime in the first place.â€? Before it was disbanded in recent years, Precinct 5 originally did much of the legwork that D.A.R.T. does now. The unit is modeled after a similar task force that the New Orleans Police Department was using to combat crime blitzes. Vance explained that JPD’s precincts are synonymous with New Orleans’ nine police districts, and the district commanders have their own task force of 10 to 15 officers. The original purpose of the unit was to establish a presence in downtown Jackson; however, due to the retention issue JPD has been experiencing, the group of 12 officers work with all precincts and are sent all over the city. Vance’s goal is that JPD will eventually be able to expand D.A.R.T. from its current number to more than 40 officers, with approximately 10 officers per precinct. However, Hale says that although the task force is small and their schedules can change at the drop of a hat, they do their best despite several of them having families. “My guys, I’ll tell you what, they suck it up,â€? Hale said. “They don’t complain‌ We have a good group of guys who work hard and love their job.â€? Email Comment at

Will Helm Place Revitalize Farish District? by Haley Ferretti


ven as the Farish Street Entertainment District has been a hot topic during the special mayoral election, a development around the corner may move ahead this month, promising needed economic development for the neighborhood. Helm Place, an 88-townhome, affordable-rental housing project that includes a 4,000-square-foot community center, is set to begin construction in the Farish Street Historic District by mid-to-late April, according to the project’s Oxford-based developer. Chartre Consulting Ltd. President Clarence Chapman said construction will officially begin once the wet weather of April dies down. Preleasing is expected 30 to 45 days before the end of construction, which Chapman hopes will be completed before the end of the year.

American culture and commerce during the age of Jim Crow because segregation created this wonderful niche of businesses, churches and homes that lasted until about the late ’60s to the early ’70s,� he said. Ironically, Farish Street prosperity came to an end with the removal of Jim Crow legislation, Rhodes said. He explained that the hard times that the area eventually experienced was due in large part to the unintentional consequence of desegregation. Many African Americans began moving into neighborhoods and visiting businesses they were once forbidden to enter. With many residents leaving Farish Street, many houses fell into disrepair and businesses suffered. “What has really kept as it alive as it is—and it’s almost on life support—is the churches and the few businesses that have stayed,� Rhodes said.



Helm Place, an 88-townhome, affordable-rental housing project that includes a 4,000-squarefoot community center is coming to the Farish Street Historic District.

The law requires that the market-rate, tax-credit lease-purchased townhomes be rented out for the first 15 years to people who qualify as low-income, who will then have the opportunity to buy the homes at a bargain price. The development is planned for next door to the historic Mt. Helm Baptist Church, considered the oldest black church in Jackson. First Baptist Church of Jackson, then segregated, created Mt. Helm in 1867 as a separate church for slaves who had, until then, worshipped in the white church’s basement. The Rev. C. J. Rhodes was pastoring at Mt. Helm Baptist Church when city officials approached him about the project roughly a year ago. In an interview, Rhodes, now the rector at Alcorn State University, explained that Farish Street used to be known as the second-wealthiest area for African Americans in the country, after Harlem. “It was really the center for African

Mt. Helm Baptist Church hosted the groundbreaking ceremony for Helm Place on Thursday, Feb. 13. Former Gov. William Winter, Gov. Phil Bryant and then- Mayor Chokwe Lumumba were in attendance, just 12 days before Lumumba died. “I was invited back to open the ceremonies with a time of worship,� Rhodes wrote on his blog. “Hymns, responsive reading, and an invocation marked yesterday’s event as something more than your average political gathering where elected officials exult another economic expansion. The oldest black church wanted to let the watching city and state know that it was still, first and foremost, a church.� Resistance for the project first came about when it was originally designed for Jackson State University. Chapman said that JSU also had a new stadium in the works that was to be built across the street from area designated for the housing development. He explained that the resistance came from the

university not wanting to jeopardize the construction of the new stadium. However, Kimberly Hilliard, executive director of community engagement at JSU, said that the project moved due to opposition from JSU’s surrounding community. Lee Harper, co-founder of Koinonia Coffee House, led several community meetings about the project and told the JFP that the possibility of a stadium was never brought up during meetings. Until she found out that the project was being moved to the Farish Street area, the community was under the impression that the project was moving forward on the original site near JSU. Since the townhomes would have been rented out people who qualify as lowincome, Harper said that the residents had many questions in regards to whether the people renting the homes for the first 15 years would actually be able to afford ownership after that time period was up. She reasoned that although the project was never under heavy opposition, maybe it was the community’s questioning that caused Chapman to move the project. “Maybe it scared him off,â€? Harper told the Jackson Free Press. Chapman and his company worked with the city and decided that the area around Mt. Helm would be a much better site for the project, he said. “It’s probably a five-times-better site for our housing, our residents and what it’s going to do for the community there than at Jackson State, where we were in a controversial position that we didn’t understand, didn’t like and didn’t want to be in,â€? he said. The project also met resistance from residents and Mt. Helm congregation members when it was moved to the Farish Street district. Chapman said that the residents’ reticence was mainly due to what he says is an erroneous notion that the townhomes would be geared toward a more “white collarâ€? community and, thus, gentrify people out of the area. “When we went in and wanted to work with and around Mt. Helm, putting in market-rate, tax credit-purchased townhomes ‌ they (residents) had some heartburn with that because they thought all that should go in the area is basically what had been in the area, which is some shotgun houses and some older 1920s and ’30s houses that are now torn down or dilapidated.â€? Chapman said the solution to combating that resistance was educating

TALK | housing the community about the project and reassuring them that their rents would include people like “policemen, firemen, teachers—all kinds of city workers and university workers.” He also worked with the Mississippi State Department of Archives and History, which informed the commission that the residential portion of the Farish Street Historic District should not be included in the district

any longer because so many structures had already been torn down. This opened the doors for the commission to have a much broader range of what they could accept as far as the designs for the area, Chapman said. Rhodes admitted that he and several Mt. Helm church members were initially wary of the project and wondered if the company had an ulterior motive. “There was some suspicion for us at the

church because we were, you know—I’ll be frank, they were white developers in a predominantly black area, and we were trying to figure out, ‘Who are you, and what do you want?’” After a trying time filled with disagreements and resistance, the project is finally on its way to beginning construction. It is the hope of Chapman, Rhodes and other Farish Street residents that Helm Place will be the spark that Farish Street

needs to return it to prosperity. “The intention was for it to be a spark—to be a leading-off for other parts of the District,” Rhodes said. “We really see this as the first real, significant transformation of the District that will hopefully ultimately lead to the prosperity of not only the residents but also a ‘bringing back to life’ of the whole area.” Comment at

Party Switchers Cause Rifts by R.L. Nave


ing party labels and has complained in the past about not receiving support from state and national Republicans in previous bids to unseat Democrats. Former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers, a conservative Democrat from north Mississippi who lost his congressional seat to Republican Alan Nunnelee in 2010, is aiming for the Democratic nomination for Senate. Sullivan told the JFP that he had assurances from party officials that, for these reasons, Marcy’s petition to be added on the ballot would not be certified. Rickey Cole, the state Democratic chairman, said he could not comment on conversations he had with Sullivan, citing the ongoing litigation. Democrats responded by asking a court to dismiss Sullivan’s suit on the grounds the chancery court lacks power to consider the complaint and that Sullivan failed to contest Marcy’s qualification through official party channels. Sullivan, who is representing himself in the case, writes in his complaint that Marcy “has described the Democratic Party as the party of slavery, segregation and bigotry.” In fact, Sullivan also has an interesting history with slavery. In 2013, Sullivan helped Mississippi ratify the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery in the U.S., 148 years after the Civil War ended when a friend of Sullivan’s the discovered the Federal Register, for unknown reasons, never received Mississippi’s paperwork to ratify the amendment.

Cole, the Democratic chairman, said the 80-member executive committee determined that Marcy met the statutory requirements to appear on the ballot under state law. Mississippi Democrats have been burned by trying to kick people off the ballot before. In 2007, Democrats attempted to boot longtime Democratic Insurance Commissioner George Dale off the primary ballot for publicly supporting then-President George W. Bush, a Republican, for re-election. A judge later ordered Dale back onto the ballot, but he lost the primary to Gary Anderson, who ultimately lost the election to Republican Mike Chaney. In certifying Marcy, Cole said little discussion took place before the committee approved his petition on a voice vote. “We went through our process,” Cole said, adding that Republicans went through a similar ordeal in qualifying Gene Taylor to compete in the GOP primary. Taylor is a former Democratic congressman from the Coast, who lost the seat in 2010 to Steven Palazzo. After Taylor announced that he would switch parties and challenge Palazzo as a Republican, the party’s state executive committee, a 25-10 vote, certified Taylor to appear on the ballot for the primary. Joe Nosef, the state Republican Party chairman, thought it would be better to avoid a court battle and let the people of the 4th Congressional District sort it out.


t might not contain all of the melo- public appearances and in his campaign drama now playing out between Mis- literature. Marcy’s website from that race resissippi Republicans, but the Mississippi mains active and states, “Bill Marcy is a comDemocratic Party is having to deal with mitted Fiscal and Social Conservative” and its own, smaller, civil war—and all because of a Republican. Ken Dale Sullivan, a Democrat who lives in Wesson, has twice run for a seat in the Mississippi Legislature—for the House in 2007 against Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, and for an open seat in the Senate in 2011. He sued his party earlier this month for allowing Bill Marcy’s name to appear on the party primary ballot as a Rickey Cole, the chairman of the Mississippi Democrat for U.S. Senate. Democratic Party, said Dems certified former Marcy lives in Jackson and Republican Bill Marcy to run as a Democrat because ran as a Republican in 2012 he met all the state legal requirements. against eight-term Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson. In Sullivan’s complaint, filed in Copiah County Chancery Court that “Bennie Thompson has demonstrated earlier this month, he argues that Marcy his support for the Liberal Agenda time and should not have been certified to compete as time again.” a Democrat because he is “not in accord wit “It is clear that the longer elected ofthe principles and the rules” of the party as ficials stay in Washington, D.C., the more outlined by the party’s constitutional bylaws. out of touch they become. Representative “It makes our party look weak,” he told Thompson has been in Washington long the Jackson Free Press in a telephone interview. enough and it is time to send him home,” Sullivan points to statements Marcy Marcy’s site states. made against Thompson two years ago in Marcy has said that he is merely switch-


TALK | education

Report: Youth Jail Schools Still Bad by R.L. Nave



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come under fire for myriad shortcomings, including failure to properly educate the children in their care. Hinds County officials and attorneys for children detained at the county’s

and came to a settlement for allegation of physical abuse by staff members Despite court orders that youth confined at Walnut Grove be allowed to complete their education “the facility prevents FLICKR/VICTOR



ost states require kids to go to school through the first year or two of high school, but when it comes to juvenile-justice facilities, education is almost an afterthought for state officials. A near-uniformity exists between or with states on how to educate children in juvenile-justice facilities. Such disregard for the education of incarcerated youth can perpetuate a vicious cycle of negative outcomes, particularly in the south, a new report from the Southern Education Foundation states. “There is every reason to predict that today most of these students, like those who came before them in the juvenile justice systems, will never receive a high school diploma or a college degree, will be arrested and confined again as a juvenile or adult, and will rarely, if ever, become self-supporting, law-abiding citizens during most of their lives. Yet, substantial evidence shows that, if these children improve their education and start to become successful students in the juvenile justice systems, they will have a far greater chance of finding a turning point in their lives and becoming independent, contributing adults,” write authors of the report, “Just Learning: A Study of Juvenile Justice Schools in the South and the Nation.” Of the approximately 70,000 young people in the custody of the juvenile-justice systems in 2010, one-third of them were in the south. In the south and throughout the nation, the kids in these systems are overwhelmingly black and Hispanic. Data show that Mississippi leads the nation, with black kids making up 81 percent of youth in its juvenile-justice facilities. Across the South, African Americans make up 52 percent of incarcerated youth compared to 41 percent for the rest of the nation. The report focuses on long-term, or residential, facilities, but several juvenile detention centers in central Mississippi have

Kids who do not receive a high school diploma or a college degree are more likely to be arrested and confined again as a juvenile or adult, preventing them from becoming lawabiding citizens, a new study finds.

Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center are again at odds over how much improvement has taken place at the youth jail in the past two years. In 2011, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Disability Rights Mississippi sued the county over allegations of abuse that included “forcing children to stay in small cells for 20 to 23 hours every day with little human contact, exercise or access to education and rehabilitation programs; verbally abusing and threatening physical harm to children and their families; and withholding medication from children with serious mental health problems,” which led to a federal consent decree. The SEF report also mentions conditions at Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility, which the SPLC also sued in 2010

most youth from accessing even the most basic education services—fewer than half of the 1,200 youth imprisoned in WGYCF attend school,” SPLC alleged in its complaint. In 2003, the U.S. Department of Justice conducted an investigation of Oakley and the now-closed Columbia Training School in response to three federal lawsuits alleging abuses ranging from staff forcing students to eat their own vomit, to hog-tying students and leaving them naked in dark cells for days at a time. The DOJ successfully sued Mississippi to correct the brutal treatment of inmates and the deplorable conditions of the facilities in 2005, and worked with the Mississippi Department of Human Services to devise and implement a plan of action. Email R.L. Nave at rlnave@jacksonfree Comment at

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The Bill Collector at the Door


oneQweesha Jones: “You are watching the Ghetto Science Team Public Television spring fund-raising marathon. The federal government’s budget cuts are kicking our butts at G.S.T. Public Television. Today, a small, overworked, and underpaid staff must get on its knees and beg ‘pleeeease, baby please.’ This fundraising marathon makes me think of lyrics by Gwen Guthrie: ‘Boy, nothing in life is free. That’s why I’m asking you what can you do for me. I’ve got responsibilities. So I’m looking for a man who’s got some money in his hands.’ “Right now, G.S.T. Public Television needs the public’s assistance because the bill collector is at our door. We have three volunteers at the phones waiting for you to call 1-800- 2HELP-US and contribute to the primary source of educational programming for low-income children and adults. “Ghetto Science Team Public Television received a nice financial contribution from Congressman Smokey ‘Robinson’ McBride’s Ghetto Science Community Stimulus Fund. He informed us that his stimulus fund is running low, and he must cut back. “For your financial contribution to Ghetto Science Team Public Television, we will give you Inspector ‘Beatdown’ Lipscomb’s health, wealth and safety DVD titled ‘The Poor People’s Self-Defense Guide in America.’ In this information-packed DVD, Inspector ‘Beatdown’ Lipscomb will show you how to survive a ‘stand your ground’ encounter inside a gated community. “Call 1-800- 2HELP-US, and help G.S.T. Public Television continue broadcasting substantial information, entertainment and education, without the gossip, chatter and nonsense at your mind’s expense. Thank you!�


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Why it Stinks: Speaker Gunn’s early advocacy for a teacher-pay increase led to legislative dialogue and, ultimately, a spitting match with Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves over who loves teachers more. Eventually, teachers got the raise they deserve. But the only people Gunn is really interested in retaining are teachers in Clinton, one of the highest-achieving and most desirable districts for teachers to work. But if Gunn and the Republican leadership were truly interested in recruiting and retaining the best and brightest, they’d get serious about fully funding the public education formula, the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. There’s talk that the leadership may beef up MAEP next year, an election year, which proves who lawmakers really care about retaining.

Jackson Needs a Transparency Movement


very time Jackson has a city election, the Jackson Free Press news team spends the last week or so following the money, trying to track down shadowy, unregistered or unreported, groups that are either funding the candidates, paying for last-hour attack ads and, usually, lining up for payback and contracts. The problem isn’t so much that contractors, engineers and developers fund their favorite candidates; they have the right to donate. The problem is when there are clear efforts to hide the backers and helpers from public view. One way this is done is by simply ignoring laws that require campaign donors and vendors to be revealed to the public in advance of the election. At the time of this writing, for instance, a shadowy PAC called Citizens for Decency has yet to file paperwork revealing who paid for an attack ad using an embarrassing video of Councilman Tony Yarber. In another example, while doing that investigation, the JFP learned Monday that a group of prominent conservative lobbyist and campaign operatives were placing his television ads and being paid 15 percent of all the costs—but without the Republic Group being named in his campaign reports. In another instance, the ENI PAC gave too little information to easily ascertain who it was spending his money with and on behalf of which campaign

(it apparently gave to both and more to Yarber). Every election, we make a huge deal about this PAC problem—which results in little if an enforcement of the law and a lot of old-school politicking that hurts the entire process. This cycle, many residents are seeing how an unreported PAC can actually hurt both candidates in the case of Citizens for Decency but without bothering to reveal its own identity and funders. Jackson residents need to work on this transparency crisis between elections to be ready for the next one. Speak out, regardless of who you voted for. Demand that our elected officials be transparent immediately. Tell the secretary of state to enforce the laws. And demand that state legislators strengthen sunshine laws, not ignore them in their own interests. Meantime, the Jackson Free Press pledges to begin a transparency project to both test the laws and put our elected officials on notice that this is unacceptable. We will also continue investigating these shadowy PACs and report the findings as we can. We will monitor who gets what contracts and how that tracks with who donated to certain campaigns. We will also help citizens have access to the tools of transparency and be able to help “follow the money.� Please help us clean up elections in Jackson and the state. The public has the right to know.

Email letters to, 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 “Your Turn� and send it by email, fax or mail above with a daytime phone number. All submissions are subject to fact checks.




I Am A Feminist EDITORIAL News Editor R.L. Nave Assistant Editor Amber Helsel City Reporter Haley Ferretti Features Editor Kathleen Morrison Mitchell Music Editor Briana Robinson JFP Daily Editor Dustin Cardon 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, Jordan Sudduth, Larry Morrisey, Ronni Mott, Eddie Outlaw, Julie Skipper, Kelly Bryan Smith, Micah Smith Editorial Interns Brittany Sanford, Demetrice Sherman Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Art Director Kristin Brenemen Advertising Designer Zilpha Young Graphic Design Intern Jesse Flowers 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 Assistant to the Publisher Leslie La Cour 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 Editorial Queries Listings Advertising Publisher News tips Fashion 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

The Jackson Free Press is the city’s award-winning, locally owned newsweekly, with 17,000 copies distributed in and around the Jackson metropolitan area every Wednesday. The Jackson Free Press is free for pick-up by readers; one copy per person, please. First-class subscriptions are available for $100 per year for postage and handling. The Jackson Free Press welcomes thoughtful opinions. The views expressed in this newspaper are not necessarily those of the publisher or management of Jackson Free Press Inc. © Copyright 2014 Jackson Free Press Inc. All Rights Reserved



s a teen, I have plenty of opinions. Not everyone will listen, because I am only an adolescent. But that will not stop me from voicing them. Lately, I am finding myself voicing my opinion on women’s rights. That would classify me as a feminist. I am not afraid to say it. I am a feminist. Too many people have a negative connotation with the word feminist. Merriam-Webster defines feminism as the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. Nothing wrong with that, yes? So, why do so many people shy away from that word? We need feminists in the world. We need to remind women of all races, ages and creeds that it is absolutely OK to ask for equality. Celebrities such as Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Carrie Underwood seem afraid to use the word “feminist.” In fact, Carrie Underwood has been quoted as saying: “I would not go so far as to say I am a feminist; that can come off as a negative connotation. But I am a strong female.” Why does feminism have a negative implication? How can women simply wanting equal rights as a man be a touchy subject? Not to mention, Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker both quoted playwright Wendy Wasserstein as saying, “I’m not a feminist, I’m a humanist.” The whole point of feminism is not to put women above men. It is not meant to be a fight between the sexes. Men on average get paid more than women. How come one gender gets more money for the same job that the opposite gender is equally qualified for? There is a segregation of sexes between far too many things. There are guy jobs, guy cars, guy shows, guy movies and guy things. We are 14 years into the 21st century; shouldn’t we be past all the gender isolation by now? Feminism is about so much more than just designating certain concrete and abstract items as belonging to one gender. For example, little girls are told they are meant to be seen, and not heard. I remember being told that. I questioned the person who told me that. Why can’t


women be heard? The more important question is why it is supposed to be acceptable for men to be seen and heard? The point is not to make men the enemy. Men are not the enemy. The point is that “boys will be boys,” and girls will be told what they can and cannot do. Feminism is not a girl thing. Men are feminists as well. In fact, male feminists are needed. It is important for everyone to realize that both genders are noticing the inequalities women are facing. It is a misconception that feminism is a one-sided affair. While both men and women can be feminists, there are also men and women who oppose feminism. They may not outright say they oppose it, but they definitely are not standing up to support equal rights and pay for women. It is important to stand on the side of equality. It sends a good message to everyone around you. The human race is one that relies on the acts of others. Feminism is an act that needs to spread. We need more women, and men, in the world to stand up and let people know that women’s equality is needed. Inequality affects everyone. Feminists have existed throughout time. Earlier feminists include Abigail Adams, Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Addams and Susan B. Anthony. Modern feminists include Yoko Ono, Ellen Page and Joan Jett. The importance of feminism has been spoken about and written about, yet it still is not enforced enough. Plenty of influential people who have spoken on the behalf of women, but yet too many still see it as more of a curse word. It is not bad to want equality between genders, nor is it a competition between genders. Feminists should not put down men just because they’ve been taught to separate the genders. It is sexism, but we are taught from a young age that boys do certain things, while girls do other things. Society teaches females to separate ourselves from typically male-oriented activities. When, instead, we should not have to worry about anything feminists have been fighting against for the past hundreds of years. Savannah Hunter is a sophomore at Jackson Preparatory School.

We need to remind women of all races, ages and creeds that it is absolutely OK to ask for equality.

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Teens N

umerous teenagers in the Jackson area are already making a difference in their communities, and soon they will be affecting the world. These 16 teenagers, as well as their peers, are preparing themselves to further their dreams and visions. Some are striving toward becoming nurses or doctors or athletes, and others hope to become accountants or journalists. Regardless of their chosen paths, one thing remains clear: Their treks will change the world and bring it closer to what we all want it to be.


Comelia Walker

Lawson Marchetti

by ShaWanda Jacome

by Tommy Burton


April 23 - 29, 2014


360 Scholar of the Week in December. Because she took more than the required math and science classes in 9th through 11th grades, Walker is able to leave school at noon each day to volunteer at a daycare in her community. She has been accepted to Jackson State University. “I start school four days after I graduate (from high school),” she says. Walker will participate in a bridge program for math and science majors. Her goals are to graduate from JSU on the Dean’s List and further her education at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in its pharmaceutical science master’s and doctoral program. Walker says her friends would describe her as determined, dedicated and responsible. Currently living with her disabled grandmother, she has to assume a role of responsibility for her three younger sisters, ages 9, 13 and 16. “Sometimes it interferes with me wanting to do things with my classmates, but I know that it’s a job that I have to do,” she says without even a hint of negativity. “It’s not a choice for me not to do it, because if I don’t do it, who will?” Walker views her caregiver role as an opportunity to inspire her siblings to well in life. “Whenever we get our report cards, it’s like a competition,” she says. “They’re always trying to succeed like me, and I’m so glad that I can be that bar that they try to succeed to and excel to. (With) everything I do, I try to succeed because I know they watch me even when I don’t think they are.”


awson Marchetti, 15, has a passion for performance. The 9th grader at Jackson Preparatory School is a member of the school’s junior show choir, Fusion, and he recently joined the nationally ranked senior choir, Reveillon. The audition process included singing a solo and dancing. He is also an actor and wants to become a filmmaker. Marchetti placed second in the state for the Poetry Out Loud competition. The National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation sponsors the national event. Its purpose is to bring students closer to poetry through memorization and recitation. Jackson Prep English instructor Katie Bonds encouraged Marchetti to participate in the school’s preliminary Poetry Out Loud competition. After winning, Marchetti went on to claim regional first place before competing in the statewide event. Although the first-place winner goes on to nationals, Marchetti’s performance so far is encouraging to him. “I still have three years to participate and feel I did really well considering my age,” he says. The preparation for Poetry Out Loud is rigorous. Marchetti began his journey with a poem with more than 25 lines. “I found one that I really liked after hours of searching,” he says. “I recited that for the class, and then I had to find another one. You keep on adding to your repertoire.” One of the poems Marchetti performed was Bob Hicok’s “After working sixty hours again for what reason.” Students select the works from the Poetry Out Loud website. Performing in the competition has given Marchetti a new appreciation for poetry. “I’ve grown to enjoy pulling apart a poem and comprehending each line, figuring out hidden meanings,” he says. “It teaches you a lot of skills. It’s fun, and I’m glad I did it.” Poetry Out Loud has also helped Marchetti prepare for a future in show business. “I want to be a movie director,” he says. “I want to be involved in the film industry. I love acting, and it has taught me more stage presence.”



ome people in life just have that “it” factor. Something about the way they carry themselves or the way they talk assures you that they have what it takes to succeed in life, and Comelia Walker has “it.” This spirited 17-year-old Canton High School senior has taken on various leadership roles; she is president of the junior class, drama club and foundation club. Walker helped start the foundation club to address the failing test scores at her school. The Madison County Business League selected her to participate in the Madison County Youth Leadership program. As one of only two students selected from her school, Walker had the opportunity to tour the State Capitol and several businesses including Butler Snow, C Spire and Mad Genius. “It was amazing,” she says. “We got a chance to tour things that we didn’t know existed around us.” Walker is also Miss Canton High School, a title that her peers voted her as. Well-known on campus, she is often referred to as “grandmother.” She has acted in grandmother roles in several school plays and is also the matriarch persona among her peers. “When (my friends) do something that they’re not supposed to do, I always try to correct them and tell them that they know they wouldn’t do that in front of their mom or grandmother,” she says. “They say I sound just like their grandma.” An academically strong student, Walker is part of student government and the National Honor Society, and she was the BankPlus Student

by Tommy Burton of Pounding the Pavement to future senior classes at Jackson Prep. “Dr. Neeley has asked if we would let the senior class do it every year so it can live on here,” Buchanan says. The two students have been friends TOMMY BURTON

since meeting in seventh grade at Jackson Prep. Crawford has been active with the school’s nationally recognized show choir, Reveillon, as the stage manager. Buchanan has been a member of the school’s renowned spirit team, The Pacers, since 10th grade. Both young women plan to stay close beyond graduation. “I’m going to Mississippi State, and I want to major in biological sciences and become a nurse,” Crawford says. Buchanan wants to be a neonatal nurse practitioner. Caring for others seems to run deep within the two friends.

named her Player with the Most Heart. “It meant that I played my heart out and was dedicated to the game,” she says. During the game, which the team won 54-6 against Hartfield Academy, Tucker scored 11 points in her 20 minutes of action. The outgoing teen already has an extensive résumé. She volunteers at BAM! (Be Active Mississippi) and is a member of the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership’s Youth Leadership Jackson program. She is involved with Girl Scouts of America and the Governor’s Youth Advisory Council. She also won H&R Block’s Best Essay Award last summer. Tucker credits her mother, Shirley, for her success so far. “My mom (Shirley) is my role model. She is such an amazing woman, just an extraordinary person,” Tucker says. “She goes out of her way to help people. She’s just a wonderful woman.”


ee Newsom is wrapping up a great year as a junior at Mt. Salus Christian School and is enthusiastic about life for a number of reasons. Newsom says 11th grade was completely different from the first two years of his high school career. Over the last year, he lost almost 70 pounds and started playing football. He is also planning a web-based business, and his grades are better than ever. For a young man, Newsom has faced more than his share of challenges. His mother was unable to care for him after his father died when Newsom was 10. He spent several months in foster care until his grandparents became his legal guardians. Several years ago, he was diagnosed with scoliosis and had to undergo two debilitating surgeries to correct the curvature in his spine. He was bedridden for extended periods, resulting in weight gain. “I was in bed for a month, and my motivation level went down,” Newsom says about his journey. “My grades were terrible during my

freshman and sophomore years; I had no motivation.” He reached a turning point last summer when he realized that a lot of opportunities are available to him; all he had to do was reach out. One was participation in a six-week small-business training at Millsaps College. As a result, this budding entrepreneur is developing an Amazonlike website for small businesses and a fitness app for smart phones. Other than staying in shape for another football season with the Mt. Salus Eagles, doing homework and designing his business logo, Lee has been participating in 2013 Youth Leadership Jackson. In the program, he’s learned about economic development, health care and the criminal-justice system. “It’s a great program,” he says. “I’ve met a couple of friends and people who have helped me a lot.” Lee is proud to have given what he calls the “valedictorian” speech at the Youth Leadership Jackson graduation ceremony 15 on April 22.


affected him. “It inspired me to make sure that in my life that I strive to be happy, love people and make a difference in other people’s lives,” Mann says. He is involved with many activities at Canton High, including marching band, student government association, National Honor Society, superintendent student advisory council and the dual enrollment program through Holmes Community College. “(My Western Civilization course) was great. It gave me a head start with my college credits,” he says. For 2013-2014, Mann’s peers voted him Mr. Canton High, giving him the chance to ride in the homecoming parade and serve his community. Mann is a member of the Greater Faith Calvary Pentecostal Church in Canton, where he is a mentor in youth ministry and part of the hearing-impaired ministry and choir. Mann plans to attend Mississippi Valley State University in the fall on a full scholarship for academics and band.

by Genevieve Legacy

by Brittany Sanford



orn and raised in Canton, 18-yearold Marderius Mann has enjoyed the rare opportunity to explore the world outside his community. While a sophomore at Canton High School, he was nominated for the one-month People to People Student Ambassadors Program that took him on a summer bus tour from Zurich, Switzerland, to Great Britain. The highlight was a chance to learn local customs through a home-stay in Germany. Now a senior, Mann traveled to Washington, D.C., in February to attend The Congress of Future Medical Leaders, which the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists sponsored. The purpose of the three-day conference was to honor, inspire and motivate high-school students who want to go into the medical field and have a GPA of 3.5 or above. From a young age, Mann has had the desire to become a nurse practitioner since his mother, Tameka, lost her arm. Mann says conference speaker and author Brendon Burchard’s words

Lee Newsom

Taylor Elise Tucker eleprompters, cameras, microphones and good lighting are all essential for what Taylor Elise Tucker plans to do. She loves English and public speaking, so she plans to major in broadcast journalism. She has even picked out a possible station. “One day you may see me on WLBT as a news reporter for a couple years,” Tucker says. “Then (I might pursue) teaching broadcast journalism.” For now, the 15-yearold attends Jackson Academy and loves life. “I enjoy waking up every morning and going to Jackson Academy,” Tucker says. “I’m meeting new people every day because the school is so big. I love the diversity there. It’s an awesome place.” The active and athletic sophomore is on the JA varsity girls basketball team and the track team. In 2013, Tucker was named Most Improved Basketball Player on the team. After the 2013-2014 season-opening basketball game, the Jackson Heart Clinic

by ShaWanda Jacome



wo seniors at Jackson Preparatory School will leave a legacy that promises hope for families throughout Mississippi. Anna Grace Buchanan and her best friend, Cara Lee Crawford, both 18, organized the Pounding the Pavement for a Cure 5K race after losing loved ones to cancer in 2012 and 2013. Dr. Cindy Townsend, director of the Global Leadership Institute and Community Service at Prep, spoke to the students when they were juniors about organizing a project for Make A Difference. “Immediately, Anna Grace and I knew that we wanted to participate in this program,” Crawford says. Her grandfather was diagnosed with cancer in March 2012, and Anna Grace’s dad was also diagnosed. The two started organizing the September 2012 race during May that year. “The head of the senior high, Dr. (Luke) Neeley, asked if we would do it as a senior class project,” Buchanan says. “So we got a few more people involved, and we had the second one this past December.” With the second race, which was at Liberty Park in Flowood, the teens raised $14,360.11 to help fund cancer research at UMMC. The two-year total for both 5Ks is more than $26,000 for cancer research. Both girls are leaving the planning

Marderius Mann


Anna Grace Buchanan and Cara Lee Crawford

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livia Ladd doesn’t like the way women are misrepresented and treated unfairly, so she plans to do something about it. The 18-year-old is only a senior at Northwest Rankin High School, but she’s already mapping out how she is going to use her passion for writing to shake some things up. It was two years ago when Ladd decided to devote her life to fighting gender inequality. She started watching documentaries and researching strong feminists such as Gloria Steinem. With Jackson Free Press Editor in Chief Donna Ladd (no relation) mentoring her, she focused her senior project on “Journalism and Racial and Gender Representation in the Media.” Ladd wants to expand women’s rights through her writing. Though Ladd wants to join the fight against sexism, she plans to major in mu-

sic business with a minor in journalism at Middle Tennessee State University in the fall in order to prepare her to become a music journalist or a band manager. “Writing about music would be great because it is combining two art forms,” Ladd says. “I want to bring communities together and expand (new artists’) audiences.” Although newspapers have been on the decline, Ladd decided early on that journalism was the career for her. “There is real honesty in journalism,” she says. “I want to inform and educate people.” Ladd writes poetry, and she stays on top of current events and writes about them. She also aspires to write a novel. Her hobbies include reading, kayaking and going to live concerts.

Malik Newman by Amber Helsel him one of three freshmen or sophomores to ever receive the title. Malik also is the nation’s top prospect for 2015, according to, and he was able to travel to Las Vegas to attend the LeBron James Skills Academy, an invite-only camp for the nation’s top 20 college basketball prospects. This month, MaxPreps added Newman to its 2013-14 Boys Basketball Junior All-American First Team. TRIP BURNS

alik Newman has the world at his fingertips. Many colleges across the region, including Mississippi State University, University of Southern Mississippi, North Carolina State University and Duke University, want to recruit the Callaway Chargers shooting guard for their 2015-2016 classes. This season, the Callaway High School junior led the Chargers basketball team to its third-straight Class 5A ranking with the Mississippi High School Activities Association. He averaged 29.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. “He’s a dynamic kid with a really high basketball IQ,” Chargers Coach David Sanders told the Jackson Free Press in December. “His work ethic is amazing, and that’s what separates him from a lot of kids these days. He makes the hard plays look routine, and that’s so hard to do.” Along with playing high-school basketball, Newman has traveled to compete in the international basketball championship. He helped the USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team win gold at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Uruguay with a record of 5-0. He started in all five games, averaging 16 points per game, and he earned 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship Most Valuable Player. In 2013, The Clarion-Ledger named him Metro Player of the Year, making

Newman is the son of LaKeysha Newman and Horatio Webster, who played basketball at Mississippi State University. His stepmother is Katherine Robinson-Webster.


by LaShanda Phillips

urner Crews has an adventurous and servant heart. “There are some people that can’t defend themselves or protect their own rights,” he says. “So people who are able to and have gifts from God should use those talents to help others.” The 17-year-old Canton native leaves in June to start his journey defending others as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. “I know what to expect, but I don’t know what to expect,” he says. “… I’m leaving everything behind. I can barely take any of my personal belongings. I can’t take any of my family or friends with me.” The lengthy process of joining the academy included essays, recommendation letters, a fitness assessment and a congressional nomination—which U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson gave Crews. Crews plans to study electrical engineering and hopes to become a fighter pilot. He originally planned to attend school in Mississippi through ROTC, but his plans changed when a brochure for the Air Force Academy arrived last spring.

“I felt compelled to do it,” he says. Crews, whose parents are Jim and Allison Crews of Canton, is a hard-working young man who has excelled academically, athletically and socially. He is a senior at Canton Academy and will graduate with honors and a 3.9 GPA. He is the president of the student body and of Beta Club and is a member of the varsity track team. During the 2012-2013 school year, he participated in the Madison Youth Leadership program and is a Youth Leadership Jackson graduate. “I’ve always been an outgoing person, but those two experiences really helped me get to where I wasn’t nervous talking in front of people, going up to people and introducing myself or making friends easily,” Crews says. Through First Baptist Church of Canton, Crews has served his community by helping to raise more than $5,000 each year at the Canton Flea Market for student missions, doing yard work for elderly members and beautifying the grounds at Son Valley, a Christian intermediate-care facility for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Anna Williams by Genevieve Legacy


nna Williams is a soft-spoken and self-assured junior at Murrah High School. The list of classes she’s taking this year is impressive: Spanish II, pre-calculus, AP biology, U.S. history, debate and accelerated English III. Her favorite class is AP biology because she likes to learn about basic structures and how everything is put together on an atomic level. To top it off, she’s also a theater major at APAC. An inquisitive young woman who enjoys nature and being outdoors, Williams has been a member of the National Honor Society since middle school. While she appreciates biology and science, her interests and long-term plans lie elsewhere. “I’m not interested in science as a career,” Williams says. “I want to go into criminal justice and technology.” To that end, Williams has been a member of Murrah’s Technology Student Association, a national organization for students who are focused on science, technology, engineering and math, since last year. TSA students from schools across the counTRIP BURNS

Olivia Ladd


by ShaWanda Jacome

try compete on a district, state and national level, giving presentations in an expansive range of categories, including animatronics, engineering, fashion design and website development, and extemporaneous speech. “My first year in TSA, I did an event called ‘Career Preparations,’” Williams says. She placed first in the district and second in the state competition. In late June, Williams and her peers will represent Murrah High School at the TSA National Conference in Washington, D.C. As a six-member team, Williams and her cohort will compete in a category called “Chapter Team,” which centers on the teams’ knowledge and use of parliamentary procedure. To round out the year at APAC, Williams will perform in a production of Arthur Miller’s riveting play, “The Crucible.” Seemingly undaunted, this inspiring teen will play the central role of “Rebecca Nurse,” a benevolent 71-year-old grandmother who is falsely accused of witchcraft. A standing ova17 tion seems altogether possible.

Amazing Teens 2014 from page 15

Turner Crews

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Amazing Teens 2014 from page 17

Ronza Anderson Jr. by Jacquelynn Pilcher


ot only did Provine High School senior Ronza Anderson Jr. serve as a page during this year’s legislative session, he also plays football, is the student body president, and is an active member in the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Beta, National Beta Club, Mayor’s Youth Council. His favorite subjects at school are English and math.

“I love to talk. Speaking well and properly will get you far in life, and math gives me the chance to count. I want to be an ac-

countant,” he says. This fall, he will attend Jackson State University where he will major in accounting and strive to reach that goal. “I want to have my own accounting firm first and foremost, but I would love to work for a national broadcasting company such as NBC, ABC, CBS or ESPN as a broadcast technician, too. That’s my backup plan.” Anderson, 18, has held his spot on the honor roll since freshman year by studying hard and paying attention to his teachers. His trigonometry instructor, Mrs. Mary Wilson, has been his biggest influence. “She’s helped me through my high school career and has been there for me always. She’s like a second mom, basically,” he says. “But I have to really thank my parents. They’re my true backbone. They’re always pushing me to strive to do bigger, better things.” Within the next five years, Anderson hopes to be interning at a successful accounting firm or one of his dream network companies. “Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted,” Anderson says.


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arnessia Georgetown isn’t waiting for the world to become a better place for women—she’s making it one. Georgetown, a junior at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, started the group Girls’ Country with another local teen, Zaria Williams. The idea started from a racial reconciliation program at the William Winters Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi, which Georgetown and Williams attended. The program challenged them to think about problems in their community and then gave them resources to help turn those thoughts into actions. “It was so crazy that I had to go all the way to Oxford to meet someone who attends Murrah,” Georgetown says. Girls’ Country’s purpose is to do community outreach and to build bridges between teen girls at various schools within the Jackson-metro area. Georgetown says she has friends at many schools in JPS, and wants to be able to reach out to more girls because she knows people everywhere. “We are by no means done,” Georgetown says.

When the group first formed, the duo structured conversation around topics they assumed most girls would be interested in, but after taking a survey, they realized that some of the main topics girls wanted to talk about included relationships and dating, sex education, bullying and body image. Overall, Georgetown says Girls’ Country is all about empowering young girls ages 1318. “We chose that age group because we knew we could have the most influence with girls our age, but we want to reach a much younger age group,” Georgetown says. Georgetown’s plan is for Girls’ Country to continue after she graduates from St. Andrew’s next year. “I do not want this to stop—I want it to go beyond what it is now,” she says. Teen girls interested in joining Girls’ Country can email Georgetown at Georgetown sees herself in a career that works to empower women, perhaps in a women’s rights advocacy organization where she can work on getting people to talk. “This is the best thing I have done ever … the people I have gotten to talk to, the viewpoints, the diverse ideas,” Georgetown says.

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Amazing Teens 2014 from page 19

James Bennett by Brittany Sanford


ames Bennett doesn’t fight the itch. “When I feel the urge, I have to build something,” he says. He builds things ranging from massaging shoes with optional settings, to triangular elevators made of tin and glass that travel seven feet in the air. “They are models. You’d have to see them to understand,” Bennett says. “They aren’t patented. I just build them and afterwards … I just feel great.” The Provine High School junior has many talents, one of which is balancing so many activities. Between going to class everyday and consistently being on the honor roll, Bennett has very little time to spend at home. He works and volunteers at the Jackson Zoo, does community service at Stewpot Community Services and his church, New Dimensions, and is a member of the Youth Leadership Jackson Program and a step member in Kappa Alpha Psi. He also participated in the Mississippi Blues Marathon earlier this year. Bennett, 17, and his science partner won third place at the international symposium for their project with leukemia cells and cancer. He also won his school’s science fair and is a recipient of $100 and $50 essay-writing awards, and his school

nominated him for the IEEE Presidents’ Change the World Competition. Along with his hobby of building, Bennett also likes fishing, speed skating, swimming and writing short stories. He favors scary stories but writes a variety of genres, including comedy, tragedy, romance and horror. So far, he has finished three, each of which are about four to six chapters long. COURTESY BENNETT FAMILY

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After graduation in 2015, he plans to go to college and major in agricultural environmental science and chemistry. Bennett says he wants to be all he can be just like his role model, Oprah Winfrey. “She came from little old country Mississippi just like me and became a ‘somebody’ to not only change history, but to make it,” Bennett says. “And she is still making it today.”

Doneisha Jenkins by Jacquelynn Pilcher


April 23 - 29, 2014


reenville native Doneisha Jenkins moved to Jackson in December 2006 and will always call it home, but she hopes to travel the world and change lives in each city she visits. She plans to attend either Alcorn State University or Tougaloo College to pursue a biology degree in order to become a registered traveling nurse. She has been offered financial scholarships at both institutes, and both would be lucky to have her. Jenkins, 18, is a senior at Lanier High School where she participates in JROTC, cheerleading and the National Honor Society. She plays the clarinet in the high school band. Outside of school, she served as a Mississippi Senate page for a week during the 2014 legislative session. Jenkins is very active in her church community as well. She sings in the youth choir, serves as a youth usher, and loves to dance, praise and worship every chance she gets. She is most passionate about praise dancing. Jenkins’ hard work and self-discipline is paying off, she says, because two women


have really made an impact on her life and helped her get this far. “My mother has pushed me harder than anyone,” she says. “Even when I am down, she lifts me up and makes me strive to achieve the best. I love her.” Jenkins looks up to her English teacher, Mrs. Elkins. “She pushed me to get to this point in life and in school,” Jenkins says. “She is reliable, helpful and always motivates me to do better.” This straight-A student has big goals for her future. Once she completes the nursing program, she wants to spend time at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to gain knowledge and experience in the medical field to later start her voyage as a modernday traveling nurse. This teen has a loving heart and is sure to do great things for many people; it is her calling, after all. With such strong faith in herself and God, she believes she can do anything. Jenkins refers to Philippians 4:13 and says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Amazing Teens 2014


hen her physical-education teacher saw Kyla Lewis running around the gym with the other students, she told the then-sixth-grader that she should try running track. Since then, the sport has consumed Lewis’ life. “I started to compete and started to realize that I’m actually pretty good at it, and my parents did, too,” she says. “(They) invested in it because they realized I was good at it. They got me a trainer and made sure I had everything I needed so I could fulfill my career. Now, it’s paid off.” Her trainer of four years now is Jackson native and University of Mississippi graduate Savanté Stringfellow, who was part of the U.S. Olympic Team in 2000. Stringfellow took silver for long jumping in the 2001 IAAF World Championships, won first place in the 2002 IAAF World Cup and in 2004 brought home the gold in the IAAF World Indoor Championships. In her seven years of running track, ZLewis has earned several accolades. In

Central Mississippi Cheerleading until she was 15. “I miss cheerleading sometimes,” Lewis, now 17, says. “But it came to a point where I realized that I don’t think

cheerleading would take me as far as track would if I actually worked on it. So I decided to just quit cheering and work solely on track.” She was thinking about college when

she made that decision, but she would love to go farther. “Olympic golds have always been in my head. ... I definitely want to go to the Olympics; that would be a dream come true,” she says. “Or even to make it to Olympics tryouts, just to be in the atmosphere of professional athletes would be pretty cool, especially since I’m from such a small city.” For now, Lewis plans to study sports medicine to one day become a physical therapist specializing in sports-related health. Her commitment to family is strong, and her appreciation toward her parents, Laneisha and Eric Lewis, shows when she races. “I definitely do what I do in track for (my parents), because I don’t like seeing them disappointed in me,” Lewis says. “I want to run a good race just so I can go back into the stands and see my parents proud of me.” Lewis believes that she has learned several important life lessons though track. “When people say failure is not an option, I don’t really agree,” Lewis says. You have to know what it feels like. If there’s nothing but success, then what is there to look back on? What is there to improve on?”

by Briana Robinson

both 9th and 10th grade at Murrah High School, Lewis helped the track and field team earn two state championship tournaments. In her 10th grade year, Lewis placed third in the 400-meter dash, which she calls her signature race, and in 11th grade, she won the 400-meter dash portion of the state championship tournament. The Murrah High School senior is working on lowering her time, which was 56.4, to 54 seconds in order to bump her track scholarship to Ole Miss to cover a full ride. “If I wasn’t running track, I wouldn’t know what I would do,” she says. “It’s been a part of my life for so long; it’s kind of like second nature now.” From a young age, Lewis excelled and impressed others with her athletic abilities. Running wasn’t always her passion, though. When Lewis was in first grade, she accompanied her sister to a Central Mississippi Cheerleading camp. Lewis stood out to the coach when she was able to perform some of the moves and techniques that the older girls couldn’t do. At 6 years old, she became a cheerleader, and she continued to participate in competitive cheerleading with


Kyla Lewis

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Gluten-Free Goodies by Kelly Bryan Smith


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 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 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 Shea’s on Lake Harbour (810 Lake Harbour Drive, Ridgeland, MS 39157 (601) 427-5837) Seafood, Steaks and Southern Cuisine! Great Brunch, Full Bar Outdoor and Seating

MEDITERRANEAN/GREEK 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.

COFFEE HOUSES Cups Espresso Café (Multiple Locations, Jackson’s local group of coffeehouses offer a wide variety of espresso drinks. Wi-fi.

BARS, PUBS & BURGERS Capitol Grill (5050 I-55 North, Deville Plaza 601-899-8845) Best Happy Hour and Sports Bar in Town. Kitchen Open Late pub food 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. 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. Time Out (6270 Old Canton Road, 601-978-1839) Your neighborhood fun spot! Terrific lunch special and amazing Happy Hour! 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. The Wing Station (5038 Parkway Dr. 888-769-WING (9464) Ext. 1) Bone-in, Boneless, Fries, Fried Turkeys, and more. Just Wing It!

April 23 - 29, 2014



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 hibachi & refreshing cocktails from one of jackson’s most well-known japanese restaurants.

LATIN/MEXICAN Cafe Ole’ (2752 N State St, Jackson, 769-524-3627 ) Authentic Latin cuisine at its best. Jackson’s restaurateur Alex Silvera combines the flavors of his homeland with flavors from around the world.

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.

Campbell’s Bakery makes gluten-free treats that appeal to folks with several types of dietary restrictions, such as celiac disease.


t was a lazy Friday after school when my son and I wandered into Campbell’s Bakery for gluten-free Friday, planning to pig out big time. The display case closest to the door was stocked with a selection of gluten-free goodies, from cupcakes to some giant chocolate-chip cookies. My 4-year-old carefully selected two gluten-free treats, a lemon cupcake and a chocolate chip cookie, and two with-gluten treats, a frosted sugar cookie and a petit four (merely for scientific comparison, of course). Neither of us is sensitive to gluten, and some of the gluten-free baked goods I have tried at friends’ homes have honestly tasted a little off to me. But everything we sunk our teeth into at Campbell’s was divine. I could not have picked a favorite, and I could not have said which items had gluten and which didn’t. They were also comparable in price—fortunate, since sometimes glutenfree items can be expensive. So what is this gluten-free diet that everyone is talking about? It isn’t the latest fad diet or a weight-loss secret. Gluten is a protein found in some grains, such as wheat, barley and rye. Some doctors recommend that patients with celiac disease (an immune-system disorder in which the body has an intestinal reaction to gluten) avoid oats as well. Celiac disease is a serious ailment that can have a wide range of symptoms, from weight loss to weight gain, rashes, bone density change, joint pain and a host of other things so random that the diagnosis can easily slip under a doctor’s radar. Once suspected, a blood test and an endoscopy in can confirm the diagnosis. Some folks who do not have celiac disease can still be sensitive to foods that contain gluten and might have digestive symptoms or other problems when they eat foods with gluten (similar to being lactose intolerant). Some people who are not diagnosed with celiac disease until adulthood have problems with eating other foods, such as dairy

products, as a result of long-term digestive tract damage from gluten consumption that inhibits digestion of other proteins like lactose. Those who eat gluten-free also need to monitor their diet to be certain that they get enough fiber, vitamins and minerals after removing some whole grains from their diet. One of the most difficult things about diseases like celiac disease and conditions like food allergies is constant vigilance. It can be difficult to eat out at restaurants, school, church, friends’ homes, or even birthday parties or weddings. Potlucks are a minefield. A lot of extra planning is often needed for things like travel. When my son had a dairy allergy (which he fortunately grew out of at age 3), I felt like I could barely leave the house without packing a cooler so that he would have safe, healthy food to eat wherever we went. We couldn’t just grab something at the last minute, because dairy is in so much of the food we eat—even fast-food French fries, for example, have whey protein. Well-intentioned friends, relatives and food service staff may lack the knowledge to read food labels well enough to serve foods that are safe for consumption, so it is often up to the people with celiac or food allergies to do the research for themselves and their families. But fortunately, as awareness about celiac disease and food allergies increases, more and more local stores and restaurants are responding to the need. Campbell’s Bakery is expanding from gluten-free Fridays to offer gluten-free choices on a more regular basis. BRAVO! Italian Restaurant and Bar is another local establishment to offer a surprisingly extensive list of gluten-free options, in addition to its vegan night. With places like these, kids (and adults) can take a break from being the person who has to ask a litany of questions and just enjoy a delicious chocolate-chip cookie like the rest of us. Kelly Bryan Smith is not a medical doctor—please consult your physician before making lifestyle or dietary changes.


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The Natchez Novelist I


n 2011, author Greg Iles was just a week away from the deadline for his next novel, a follow-up to the best-seller “The Devil’s Punchbowl,” when he was involved in a horrific car accident near his hometown of Natchez. “I’ll tell you that Mississippi may be last in many things,” Iles says, “but the doctors and nurses at the University (of Mississippi) Medical Center are as good as anyone out there. They saved my life.” Iles was airlifted to UMMC, where he was kept in a medically induced coma for eight days and lost part of his right leg. His recovery was long and arduous, but Iles kept a humble perspective. “If you ever think your life sucks, I invite you to go down to the Methodist Rehabilitation Center and watch the patients with spinal injuries,” he says. “As bad as my injuries were, I was much better off than they were.” “The nurses shaking my shoulder and telling me that God isn’t done with me, yet” gave Iles a revelation as he worked through his injuries and the long road to recovery. “I came close to death and realized that I needed to see life as it really is, and that much of the stuff I was involved with didn’t matter,” he says. From this experience comes his latest book, “Natchez Burning.” Instead of the original book he had planned to write, a sequel picking up right where the last one left off, “Natchez Burning” is an 800-page first book of a planned trilogy about Penn Cage, a southern man trying to clear his father’s name after the elder Cage was accused of murdering an African American nurse. It is a fictionalized account of Mississippi and the nation’s sad and brutal history of race relations. “So many of us who grew up in Mississippi don’t know the real story of the civil-rights struggle,” Iles says, adding that he felt he needed to tell this story and to be brutally honest about it. “Natchez Burning” will be released April 29 but already has many fans and admirers in the literary world. Chief among them is fellow author Stephen King, who

describes the book as “extraordinarily entertaining and fiendishly suspenseful.” “I defy you to find a way to start it and put it down,” King writes about it—bold words from someone who is an icon in American literature. Stephen King has long been a fan of Greg Iles’ work. Iles recalls fondly his first interaction with Stephen King: He received a letter with the return address of S. King, and inside was a handwritten letter from Stephen King complimenting Iles on his book “24 Hours.” Iles still lives in his hometown of Natchez and is a proud Mississippian. He believes the state produces so many top-notch athletes because “we are just old-school tough. You won’t find a Brett Favre from a yuppie school

up north.” But Mississippi also produces high-caliber writers and artists, which Iles attributes to the fact that Mississippi is one of the few places left in the United States with a “strong sense of place—artistic voice comes from a sense of place.” Like so many Mississippians, Iles says that when he is in his home state, he can be the first to complain it, but outside the Magnolia State, others are risking a punch in the face (prosthetic leg and all) if they ridicule Mississippi. Greg Iles will read from and sign “Natchez Burning” (William Morrow, 2014, $27.99) at Lemuria Books (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202, 601-366-7619) from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29. COURTESY DANIELLE BARTLETT/CAROLINE HUNGERFORD

April 23 - 29, 2014

by Richard Coupe

Novelist Greg Iles explores the dark, complicated issue of race relations in Mississippi and his hometown in his latest book, “Natchez Burning.”


Love, Intelligence and Artifice by Jordan Sudduth



cademy Award-winning cin- garden with sanctuary from technology. The “Isn’t that what man has always done?” ematographer Wally Pfister has simple garden scene foreshadows key themes Will asks in response. teamed up with famed director that come up later. Meanwhile, Revolutionary IndepenChristopher Nolan for seven films, The couple leads a private research facil- dence From Technology, a domestic terrormost notably “Inception,” “The ist group that targets research centers Dark Knight” and “The Prestige.” and leaders, is conducting attacks Pfister’s eye for beauty and intrigue throughout the nation. is unmatched in today’s cinema, and RIFT agents shoot Will. He surhe now makes his directorial debut vives the wound, but the bullet was with “Transcendence.” laced with a radiological isotope that This movie, with its futurishas infected his blood—and no treattic implications, depicts the rapidly ment exists. The news is bad: Will growing world of technology and is terminal within two months. An the passionate professionals who angry Evelyn conjectures the idea of drive the field. “Transcendence” is a capturing Will’s every thought into smart oddity among the vast amount their lab’s functioning A.I. “We can of uninteresting and flat Hollywood save him! Look at what they did to releases of today. If you accept the him,” she says. The Casters’ friend fictional absurdity and stay calm “Transcendence,” starring Johnny Depp, explores what it and colleague Max Waters (Paul means to be human. during a few of the plot twists and Bettany) is opposed at first but, afturns, I promise you will survive it. ter Will signs on, Max reluctantly As the film begins, we meet Will and ity, and with funding always on the line, they agrees to help. Evelyn Caster (Johnny Depp and Rebecca must schmooze to keep the money coming Lots of characters, details and plot proHall). Not only are the two married, they in—something Will hates to do. Tech celeb gression are crammed into the first 30 minalso work together. Will staples a sheet of per- Will is on stage talking about their promis- utes. It’s not a spoiler to tell you that Will’s forated copper on top of the backyard arbor. ing progress with artificial intelligence when body expires, and his A.I. surfaces. He tells Evelyn it will shield away electronic an individual in the crowd interrupts, “So “Transcendence” is a “love it or hate signals and provide the two of them and their you want to create a God? Your own God?” it” movie. The film’s script by Jack Paglen is

way far out there, and a few of the plot twists about are hard to accept. Based only on the trailer, I had no idea where the film would eventually go. But I loved it. Not only is the film beautifully captured, the cast is A-plus. Supporting actors include Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Cole Hauser, Clifton Collins Jr. and none other than living legend Morgan Freeman. Evelyn embraces the idea of A.I. Will as her actual husband, and we skirt around with the concept of self-awareness. At that, I dare not unfold the plot any further. “Transcendence” is saturated in tech terms and settings, but like most good movies, it has many more layers underneath, exploring the irrationalities of love, humanity and the aim at technological singularity. When I imagine the genesis of this movie, it’s a conference room filled to capacity with the world’s greatest engineers, scientists, theologians and creative types teleconferencing with a few evangelicals, a politician and hippie-generation pothead while a stenographer dictates the conversation. Then a screenwriter starts the daunting process of putting pen to paper—or most likely, fingers to keys.


n r e h t Souomedy C

New Stage Theatre



MissFirecracker Contest

by Beth Henley

Directed by Francine Thomas Reynolds

For tickets: 601-948-3531 or

Sponsored by

THE MISS FIRECRACKER CONTEST is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

April 15-27, 2014


FRIDAY 4/25 Community Bike Ride starts at Rainbow Co-op.


SATURDAY 4/26 The Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet headlines the Township Jazz Festival in Ridgeland.

Spring Wine Tasting is at Amerigo Italian Restaurant.

BEST BETS APRIL 23 - 30, 2014

Wishbone Ash performs at 7:30 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). $50 VIP. $20 in advance, $25 at the door, call 601-292-7999; … Cherub performs at 9 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St.). $12 in advance, $15 day of show. Call 601-292-7999;

Ballet Mississippi’s 50th Anniversary Spring Gala is April 27 at Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center. Performances include “Verdi Variations,” “Swan Lake, Act II” and “Let’s Beguine” with guest artists Adiarys Almeida, Nelson Madrigal and William Smith.




Operation Shoestring Spring Fling is at 6 p.m. at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). In the Art Garden. Performers include Sol Driven Train and Jarekus Singleton. $20; call 601-353-6336, ext. 27. … Reinventing Health Care is at 6:30 p.m. at Ridgeland Recreational Center (Post Road, Ridgeland). Learn how to treat ailments and maintain health with essential oils. Free; call 601-564-8784; email (subject line: Reinvent Health).


April 23- 29, 2014


Community Bike Ride is at 6 p.m. at Rainbow Co-op (2807 Old Canton Road). Free; find Jackson Bike Advocates on Facebook. … Lost in Space Fantasy Fashion Event is at 6 p.m. at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Mixer is at 6 p.m., and the fashion show is at 7:30 p.m.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic perform at 8 p.m. at the Mississippi Coliseum. Chad Wesley Band opens for the funk legend.

Some proceeds benefit Little Light House. $20; tagteamparty. … Town of Livingston Concert Series is at 7 p.m. at Town of Livingston (Highway 463 and Highway 26 22, Madison). Acoustic Crossroads and KANSAS perform.

$30; call 601-898-0212; … Midtown Mixer is at 7 p.m. at North Midtown Arts Center (121 Millsaps Ave.). $5; email

Being Belhaven Arts Series is at 5:30 p.m. at Belhaven Park (Poplar Boulevard). New Stage Theatre presents “Much Ado About Nothing.” Free; call 601-352-8850.



Lynch Street Cultural Arts Festival is at noon on John R. BY BRIANA ROBINSON Lynch Street. Free; call 601352-6994; JACKSONFREEPRESS.COM … Township Jazz Festival is at noon at Township at Colony FAX: 601-510-9019 Park (1037 Highland Colony DAILY UPDATES AT Parkway, Ridgeland). Free; JFPEVENTS.COM … Mississippi Pride Run 5K is from 12:30-4:30 p.m. at Mississippi State Capitol (400 High St.). LGBTQ speakers give remarks at 1 p.m. and the race starts at 2 p.m. $30, $15 for students; mspriderunregistration. … Capital City Rollergirls Roller Derby takes on the Mississippi Brawl Stars at 7 p.m. at Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.). Some proceeds benefit Operation Shoestring. $10 in advance, $12 at the door,; … One Night of Funk featuring George Clinton is at 8 p.m. at Mississippi Coliseum (1207 Mississippi St.). $30-$41; call 800-745-3000.

Spring Wine Tasting is at 6 p.m. at Amerigo Italian Restaurant (6592 Old Canton Road). $20; call 601-9770563; … An Evening with General Manager Ken Crotwell is at 6 p.m. at Sombra Mexican Kitchen (140 Township Ave, Suite 100, Ridgeland). Enjoy a four-course meal and a tequila tasting. $50, $65 with wine pairings; call 601-707-7950;


“Così Fan Tutte” is at 6:30 p.m. at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). $20, $18 seniors, $14 children. Call 601-936-5856; … JOHNNYSWIM is at 7:30 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Call 601-292-7999;


Ballet Mississippi’s Spring Gala is from 2-3:30 p.m. at Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center (4908 Ridgewood Road). $15-$20; call 601-960-1560; …


Greg Iles signs copies of “Natchez Burning” from 1-7 p.m. at Lemuria (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). $27.99 book; call 601-366-7619; … How Comics Treat the South is at 7 p.m. at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.). Comic study experts Walter Biggins and Brannon Costello talk about how comics have historically represented the South and key events. $10, $5 students; call 601-974-1130;


Who Dat Day May 3, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive). New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas shares his experience as a football player through drills and other athletic activities. Also take pictures of the Vince Lombardi Trophy. $8; call 601981-5469; “Stick Fly� May 2-4, 7:30 p.m., at Warehouse Theatre (1000 Monroe St.). The play is about inner turmoil within an affluent African American family. The performance is part of New Stage Theatre’s Unframed Series. For mature audiences. $7 (cash or check); call 601-948-3533, ext. 222; Stray At Home Art and Music Festival May 10, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., at Smith Park (302 E. Amite St.). Enjoy live music, an arts and crafts fair, local food, craft beer and a cornhole tournament. A portion of the proceeds go toward improvements at Smith Park. Free; find Stray at Home on Facebook.

#/--5.)49 Precinct 4 COPS Meeting April 24, 5:30 p.m., at Redeemer Church (640 E. Northside Drive). The monthly forum is designed to resolve community issues. Free; call 601-960-0004. Business E-waste Day April 25, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., at Mississippi Farmers Market (929 High St.). Bring unwanted electronics. Free, $2 per monitor, $12 per television; call 601-948-7575, ext. 231; email jwoodruff@greaterjacksonchamberpartnership. com or Christopher Penczak Workshop April 25, 7 p.m.; April 26, 9 a.m., at Unitarian Universalist Church of Jackson (4866 N. State St.). Penczak is a teacher, writer and healing practitioner who specializes in metaphysical topics. Registration required. Free; call 982-5919; email elaaniestormbender@yahoo. com; Jackson Audubon Society Spring Migration Field Trip April 26, 7:45 a.m.-noon, at Eudora Welty Library (300 N. State St.). Look for warblers, tanagers, thrushes, orioles, flycatchers and more. $6 park entrance fee per vehicle; call 601832-6788; Metro Master Gardeners Plant Sale April 26, 8 a.m.-noon, at Mynelle Gardens (4736 Clinton Blvd.). Purchase heirloom and pass-along plants that the Metro Masters Gardeners propagated. Free; call 601-955-0247; email The Great Cloth Diaper Change April 26, 10 a.m., at G. Chastaine Flynt Memorial Library (103 Winners Circle, Flowood) in Room A.

Attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the most cloth diaper changes at once. Free; call 601842-1493; find “The Great Cloth Diaper Change - Central Mississippi� on Facebook. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Reunion April 26, noon-2 p.m., at Baptist Medical Center (1225 N. State St.). The reunion is for parents and loved ones with the Baptist clinicians who took care of their premature babies. Registration required. Free; call 601-948-6262; “Financially You� Wealth-Building Workshops April 28, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). In the Community Meeting Room, third floor. Financial planner Ernest Jackson offers advice on meeting financial goals. RSVP. Free; call 601750-3011; email; find Jackson Consultant Group - JCG on Facebook. History Is Lunch April 30, noon, at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). MDAH historians Amanda Lyons and Will Morgan present “Patriots Without a Country: Flight and Fight,� part three in a series about the WWII Dutch fliers in Jackson. Free; call 601-576-6998;

+)$3 Events at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive). Call 601-981-5469; • Lights, Camera, Imagination! Talent Search April 25, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. The museum is seeking young stars ages 3-12 to feature in its 2014-2015 advertising campaign. Registration required. $15 registration fee per child, $10 spectators. • Visiting Artist: Blanca P. Love April 27, 1:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Potter Blanca P. Love teaches children basic pottery skills. Included with museum admission. JPS Kids’ Fishing Rodeo April 26, 8 a.m.-noon, at JPS Environmental Learning Center (6190 Highway 18 W.). Students in grades K-12 may participate. Adults must accompany children. $8 in advance, $10 day of event; call 601-923-2572. Touch a Truck Jackson April 26, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Mississippi State Fairgrounds (1207 Mississippi St.). Children get hands-on with emergencyresponse vehicles, construction equipment and more. $5;

&//$$2).+ Spring Wine Tasting April 28, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., at Amerigo Italian Restaurant (6592 Old Canton Road). Enjoy four wines paired with bruschetta al

Pomodoro and tiramisu. RSVP. $20 plus tax and tip; call 601-977-0563; Plant-based Potluck April 26, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., at High Noon CafÊ (2807 Old Canton Road). Bring a plant-based dish to share - enough to feed four to six people - or purchase from Rainbow’s Grab-and-Go Deli. RSVP. Free; Find Plant-Based Potluck on Facebook. An Evening with General Manager Ken Crotwell April 28, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., at Sombra Mexican Kitchen (140 Township Ave, Suite 100, Ridgeland). Enjoy a four-course meal and a tequila tasting. Wine flight optional. RSVP. $50 per person, $65 with wine pairings; call 601-7077950;

30/2437%,,.%33 Reinventing Health Care April 24, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., April 25, 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m., at Ridgeland Recreational Center (Old Trace Park, Post Road, Ridgeland). Learn how to treat ailments and maintain health with essential oils. FThe first 10 to register receive a free essential oil, and register a friend for a chance to win an additional prize. Free; call 601-564-8784; email tasha@tashaglover. com (subject line: Reinvent Health). On the Road to Health Trace Ride April 26, 8 a.m., at Old Trace Park (Post Road, Ridgeland). Voice of Calvary Ministries is the host. $25, $5 Fun Ride; call 601-853-2011; Governor Phil Bryant’s Run for Health April 26, 8 a.m., at Governor’s Mansion (300 E. Capitol St.). The purpose of the 5K is to promote a healthy lifestyle. Includes a kids’ half-mile run. Awards given. $25 in advance, $30 race day; call 359-6421; Warrior Dash April 26, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m., at Providence Hill Farm (2600 Carsley Road). The 3.4-mile race features 12 obstacles. Awards and souvenirs given. Racers over age 21 get a free beer at the post-race party. Proceeds benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital. $85;

Wednesday, April 23rd

HOWARD JONES QUARTE T 6:30, No Cover Thursday, April 24th

LIBBY KOCH 6:30, No Cover

Friday, April 25th

TRIPLE THREAT 9, $10 Cover

Saturday, April 26th


MOVE 9, $10 Cover

Tuesday, April 29th

BRIAN JONES 6:30, No Cover

Wednesday, April 30th

34!'%3#2%%. Events at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). Call 601-936-5856; • “Shatner’s Worldâ€? April 24, 7:30 p.m. See the simulcast of William Shatner’s one-man show. $14, $13 seniors and students, $12 children. • “CosĂŹ Fan Tutteâ€? April 26, 11:55 a.m.April 30, 6:30 p.m. The Metropolitan Opera presents Mozart’s opera starring Susanna Phillips and


Happy Hour

Tuesday - Saturday • 5:00 - 6:30 pm

Ladies Night on Thursday

Live Music Thursday-Saturday

Now Open For Lunch

Tuesday-Friday 11am-2pm


5417 Lakeland Drive ~ Flowood, MS 39232




ALBUM RELE ASE PA RT Y 119 S. President Street 601.352.2322

*&0 30/.3/2%$%6%.43



Isabel Leonard. Encore show April 30. April 26: $22, $20 seniors, $15 children; April 30: $20, $18 seniors, $14 children.






5 -9PM



10 P.M.



THE FILTHY SIX (Nick Etwell of Mumford & Sons) 10 P.M. MONDAY



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

1.50 Pick & Grab Beers & 2 for 1 draft TUESDAY




10 - close $1 PBR & Highlife $2 Margaritas 10pm - 12am

April 23 - 29, 2014



5/2: Chance Fisher 5/3: Har tle Road 5/8: Bernie Worrell Orchestra Featuring B ernie Worrell of Talking Heads & Parliament Funkadelic 5/9: The Quickening 5/10: S am Holt B and

“The Lady in No. 6” Documentary Screening April 27, noon-1:30 p.m., at Beth Israel Congregation (5315 Old Canton Road). The Oscarwinning film is about the late Alice Herz-Sommer, the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor. The screening is part of the 2014 Holocaust Memorial Commemoration. Free; call 601-956-6216.


peration Shoestring’s greatest mission is to inspire children and parents to rise together. “Our work is about teaching children and inspiring families—and if we do that, (it) helps us all rise together,” says Robert Langford, the organization’s director. “Essentially, our work is about creating opportunities and the supports for kids and

#/.#%243&%34)6!,3 Events at Hinds Community College (501 E. Main St., P.O. Box 1100, Raymond) • Hinds Community College Wind Ensemble April 24, 7 p.m. In Cain-Cochran Hall. The ensemble performs in preparation for its May concert in Paris. $5; • Eagle Fest 2014 April 26, noon-5:30 p.m. Behind the McLendon Library. The outdoor festival features bands from the Music Industry Technology Program. Food and drinks sold. Free, $5 plates; call 601-857-5261; email; An Evening with Claire Holley and Friends April 24, 6:30 p.m., at The Cedars (4145 Old Canton Road). Enjoy music from Mississippi native Claire Holley, a bourbon tasting, local craft beers, and a viewing of the Eudora Welty Photography Exhibit. $30; call 601-292-7999; Early Music Concert Series April 24, 7:30 p.m., at Tougaloo College (500 W. County Line Road). In Woodworth Chapel. Vocalist Ben Bagby presents “Beowulf” and accompanies himself on the medieval harp. $20, $5 students; call 601-594-5584; Northpark Nights Concert Series April 25, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., at Northpark Mall (1200 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland). Southern Komfort Brass Band performs. Free; call 601-957-3744; find “Northpark Mall (MS)” on Facebook. Township Jazz Festival April 26, noon, at Township at Colony Park (1037 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). With live jazz music throughout the day, the outdoor jazz festival will feature the Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet as well as local talent such as Southern Komfort Brass Band and The Vamps, as well as high school and college bands. Free;

,)4%2!293)'.).'3 Biley County Book Signing with local author P.H. Henderson April 26, 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., at Gallery1 (1100 John R. Lynch St., Suite 4). P.H. Henderson signs copies of “Biley County.” Free; call 960-9250. 2014 Holocaust Memorial Commemoration April 26, 7 p.m., at Beth Israel (5315 Old Canton Road). James A. Grymes discusses his book “Violins of Hope,” and violinist Marta Szlubowska performs. Free; call 601-956-6216.



214 S. STATE ST. 601.354.9712 DOWNTOWN JACKSON

Lynch Street Cultural Arts Festival April 25-26, at John R. Lynch Street. The banquet is April 25 at 7 p.m. at Masonic Temple (1075 John R. Lynch St.), and the festival is April 26 from noon until dark. The Rick James Stone City Band performs.

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

Rise Together at the Spring Fling



“You Don’t Know My Story” April 26, 6 p.m.-9 p.m., at Belhaven University Center for the Arts (835 Riverside Drive). The play is based on the true story of a young minister’s struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. $20, $30 VIP, donations welcome; email

Students from Galloway Elementary School participate in Operation Shoestring’s Project Rise, an after-school program for pre-K through 5th grade students in Jackson.

families right here in the heart of the city.” At its location on Bailey Avenue, Operation Shoestring provides after-school and summer programming for local students in pre-K through 12th grade. It also provides services such as Medicaid

and Children’s Medicaid (CHIP) enrollment, budgeting help and counseling parents to become more involved in their children’s lives. Operation Shoestring also invests in the community, as well—one way is by bringing people together at the Spring Fling each April. “We had done a music event for about 10 or 12 years,” Langford says. “We used to do it in the fall, and we realized that the mid- to late-April weather in Mississippi is just absolutely gorgeous, and we thought we’d move it there. It has worked out really well for us since then.” This year, local musician Jarekus Singleton will open for South Carolina band Sol Driven Train. The event will be in the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Art Garden and will feature hors d’oeuvres and refreshments from MMA’s catering services. “There’ll be a few moments for us to share our work, but it really is a kind of no-agenda party in support of our work,” Langford says. Operation Shoestring’s Spring Fling is April 24. Admission for the event is $20. A cash bar will be open at the event. For more information, visit —Amber Helsel

Banquet: $50, $500 table of 10; free admission to festival; call 601-352-6994;


Mosaic: The Mississippi College Department of Art 2014 Senior Exhibition Opening Reception April 26, 2 p.m.-4 p.m., at Samuel Marshall Gore Galleries (199 Monroe St., Clinton). Nine graduations students exhibit their work, including Joyce Bledsoe, Yang Ning Gao and Marguerite Williams. The show hangs through May 9. Free; call 601-925-7770.

Racing for Donation 8K Run/Walk April 26, 7:30 a.m.-noon, at Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (4400 Lakeland Drive, Flowood). Includes a one-mile fun run and the Celebration of Life Family Picnic with food, health screening, prizes, and music from Chris Gill and the Sole Shakers. Proceeds benefit the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency. $25, $20 team member, $10 fun run (ages 2-12); call 601-933-1000;

The Historic Journey of African American Quilters April 29, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Storyteller and fiber artist Diane Williams is the presenter. Free; call 601-960-1515;

,'"4 Human Rights Campaign Community Meeting pril 24, 6 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 Commerce St.). The group will discuss a new survey of LGBT citizens of Mississippi and the U.S. Other sponsors: PFLAG of Jackson, Equality Mississippi, My Brother’s Keeper and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. Free; call 601-922-4968; email; visit pflagjacksonms. PFLAG Monthly Meeting April 24, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 Commerce St.). Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) offers support to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, and their families and friends. Free; call 601-922-4968; email jane@;

Circulation Day April 26, 8 a.m.-noon, at St. Alexis Episcopal Church (650 E. South St.). The church hosts a giveaway of gently used items. Other churches are welcome to donate items April 25 after 5 p.m. Free; call 601-944-0415. March for Babies April 26, 9 a.m., at Renaissance at Colony Park (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). The annual 5K walk is a fundraiser for the March of Dimes. Call 601933-1071; email; A Call to MENisters: Ending Violence Against Women April 26, 9 a.m.-noon, at Omega Ministries of Mississippi (2300 S. Siwell Road). Attendees discuss ways that men and ministers can unite to end domestic violence. Free; call 601-953-5747. email Check for updates and more listings, or to add your own events online. You can also email event details to to be added to the calendar. The deadline is noon the Wednesday prior to the week of publication.


Roscoe Robinson:

Still Praising and Serving the Lord by Larry Morrisey


LADIES NIGHT W/ DJ Stache • Ladies Drink Free Friday APRIL 25

Saturday APRIL 26



SUNDAYS with Wesley Monday APRIL 28

PubQuiz with Casey & John 8PM Tuesday APRIL 29

2 for 1 Highlife & PBR

OPEN MIC with Wesley Edwards

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

601-960-2700 Tavern

His new group is a tribute to The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, the gospel group that Robinson first came to national prominence with during the early 1960s. Although he is not blind, Robinson brought together a group of blind singers from throughout the south for his new group. “I wanted to put together a blind group for the simple reason (that) when I got my recognition, it was through the Blind Boys of Mississippi,” he says. “If it hadn’t been for The (Five) Blind Boys of Mississippi, there wouldn’t have been no Roscoe Robinson.” A native of Arkansas, Robinson moved to Chicago in the early 1940s with his mother when he was a teenager. He soon got involved in the city’s gospel quartet scene, performing with a number of groups and becoming friends with many future stars, including Sam Cooke. By 1950, Robinson was touring with the Southern Sons, a Mississippi group that had relocated to Chicago. It was one of the first groups to record for Trumpet Records, the Jackson-based label located in a furniture store on Farish Street. The vinyls recorded in the back of the store were the first in Robinson’s long career.

Wednesday APIL 23



Gospel singer Roscoe Robinson celebrates more than 60 years in music with the release of his latest group’s debut CD.

Robinson performed with a number of groups throughout the 1950s and joined The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi in late 1959. The Blind Boys began as a student group at Piney Woods School in Rankin County during the 1930s, and the group later went professional. It became a favorite on the gospel circuit, due especially to Archie Brownlee, the group’s powerful lead singer. Brownlee was ill when he asked Robinson join the group, grooming the younger singer to be his replacement. “He encouraged me and gave me pointers in singing and quite a few things,” Robinson says. Brownlee died in early 1960, and Robinson joined the group on a permanent basis. He toured and made a number of recordings with The Five Blind Boys. After a disagreement with the head of the group’s record label left Robinson outside the group, he decided to try singing rhythm and blues. “(Switching to R&B) was a big change,” he says. “My father was a Baptist preacher. It was kind of hard because, in my heart, I didn’t want to do it, but I had to make a living.” Robinson recorded several songs and had a summer 1966 hit with “That’s Enough,” which made it to No. 7 on the R&B chart. He continued to record and perform, but by the late 1960s the hits were harder to come by. He took a job with the legendary Nashville DJ and producer John R., helping to produce other singers. “Basically, I got my mind off of Roscoe and was making pretty good money working with him,” he recalls. By the early 1970s, Robinson returned to singing gospel as a solo performer. In the early 1980s he joined the other Blind Boys gospel group, The Blind Boys of Alabama. During that time, the group was reaching outside the gospel world and performing for secular audiences. “We were still praising and serving the Lord, we were just opening up shows for R&B and pop acts,” Robinson says. Robinson has continued to record and perform and is excited about getting his new group out on the road. “We’re going to tour and bring souls into the Kingdom if we can,” he says. A release party for Roscoe Robinson and the Birmingham Blind Boys’ debut CD, “God’s Love Lifted Me Higher,” is from 4-7 p.m. April 28 at the Iron Horse Grill (320 W. Pearl St.). Robinson is expecting several of his Mississippi gospel performer friends to join him at the party. For more information, call 662-347-2869.



oscoe Robinson’s musical career reads like a one-man history of gospel and R&B. The Birmingham-based singer and songwriter has been a member of multiple legendary gospel groups, recorded R&B hits, and he has made records for many of the south’s regional labels. Despite all his accomplishments, the 85-year-old performer is not yet ready to rest. This month, Robinson is coming to Jackson to promote the debut album of his latest group, the Birmingham Blind Boys.



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Interested in interviewing musicians, reviewing albums and networking within Jackson’s music community?

The Jackson Free Press is looking for freelance writers interested in covering the city’s music scene. Please e-mail inquiries to

April 23 - 29, 2014


Karaoke with Matt

Tď?ľď?Ľď?łď?¤ď?Ąď?š /ď™…ď™Œ

Open Mic with Jason Bailey

Enjoy Our New

Happy Hour!

$1 off all Cocktails, Wine, and Beer Monday - Saturday 4pm - 7 pm






MUSIC | live



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DIVERSIONS | jfp sports the best in sports over the next seven days


by Bryan Flynn

THURSDAY, APRIL 24 College baseball (6:30-10 p.m., ESPNU): The fourth-place team in the SEC West, Mississippi State, hosts Texas A&M for some Thursday night baseball. FRIDAY, APRIL 25 NHL (7 p.m.-12 a.m., NBCSN): A playoff doubleheader of game fives sees the Chicago Blackhawks face the St. Louis Blues, followed by the Dallas Stars against the Anaheim Ducks.

bryan’s rant


Follow Bryan Flynn at, @jfpsports and at

It is time to start some speculation. The 2014 NFL Draft will begin May 8— who will the New Orleans Saints take with the 27th pick in the first round?

SATURDAY, APRIL 26 College baseball (1-3 p.m., CSS): Two third-place SEC teams face off—the Kentucky Wildcats (SEC East) against the Ole Miss Rebels (SEC West)— with less than one month left in the regular season. SUNDAY, APRIL 27 NBA (12-5 p.m., ABC): A NBA Playoff double header has the Chicago Bulls at the Washington Wizards, followed by the LA Clippers at the Golden State Warriors.

MONDAY, APRIL 28 MLB (7-10 p.m., ESPN): The top two teams in the American League West duke it out as the Oakland As travel east to take on the Texas Rangers. TUESDAY, APRIL 29 Documentary (6-7 p.m., ESPN): The build up to the 2014 World Cup continues with another double dose of “30 for 30” soccer documentaries: “The Myth of Garrincha” and “Ceasefire Massacre.”

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30 Documentary (6-7 p.m., ESPNU): SEC Storied presents “Sarah & Suzanne,” which explores the rivalry between Alabama and Georgia gymnastics coaches Sarah Patterson and Suzanne Youculan. Is it time for the New Orleans Saints to start thinking about drafting a quarterback to groom. A young quarterback learning from Head Coach Sean Payton and Drew Brees can only be a good thing.


few NFL teams are in mustwin mode right now. Of course, the Denver Broncos, which reached the Super Bowl last year, are a main focus with Peyton Manning getting older. You have to add the New England Patriots to the list since Tom Brady isn’t getting any younger, either. In fact, several teams are in that boat, as the 2004 quarterback class including Eli Manning (New York Giants), Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers) are in their early 30s and closing in on the twilight of their careers. Another team you have to add to the list is the New Orleans Saints. Quarterback Drew Brees turned 35 this January, and the window for a second Super Bowl is going to start closing. Brees doesn’t look like he has lost anything, yet, but the Saints have a choice to make with this draft and drafts over the

next few years. Do they go all-in on another Super Bowl, or do they balance wins now with an eye on the future? Saints fans have to believe that New Orleans can get at least five more years out of Brees. At that point, he’ll be 40 and chances are, he’ll be at the end of a Hall of Fame career. New Orleans has the 27th pick of this year’s draft on May 8-10. The Saints have a few holes to address, including a pass rusher and upgrades to the offensive line. A game-breaking receiver wouldn’t hurt, either, and no NFL team can have too many cornerbacks. New Orleans could also use a couple of young three-down linebackers, as well. The question is, do the Saints stay at 27 this year, or move up to get a player? If they do move up, how far can they go, and who can they get? One interesting thing: What if Johnny Manziel dropped in the draft?

How great would it be for Manziel, a short quarterback with Brett Favre playmaking ability, to learn under Brees, the greatest short quarterback in NFL history? If Manziel was on the board after 15 picks, could New Orleans move up to take him? Would the Saints want to? Out of all the quarterbacks in this draft, Manziel is the one, in my eyes, who could be a superstar just off playmaking ability. Manziel has the arm and feet to be the next version of Brees or Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Every Saints fan wants Brees to play forever, but he will have to hang up the cleats one day. Do you draft the quarterback-in-waiting (especially with the new cap-friendly first-round deals), do you try to hit a win-now home run, or do you stay put and take the best player available at the 27th pick? Win now or keep an eye on the future, that is the question.

$5 Martini Monday 2 for Tuesday 2 for 1 Well Drinks

Wine Down Wednesday

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Thirsty Thursday $2 Domestic Longnecks and 16oz Drafts

We’ve Got Crawfish! Thurs. and Fri. after 5pm All Day Saturday and Sunday (While Supplies Last)

Patio Brunch Sat/Sun. 25 Patio Tables and Flat Screens outside!

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This Week’s Line Up

Thurs. 4/24

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