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April 30 - May 6, 2014

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Trip Burns

JACKSONIAN Constance Gordon

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onstance Gordon is unapologetic about who she is. “I feel like me being a woman, me being black, me being lesbian, I’m outcasted everywhere. I’ve got tattoos and dreadlocks and gaged earrings, so there’s always a way for me to stand out,” she says. “I feel like that was given to me by the universe. It’s like, you’re not going to fit in, because I need you to stand out. You’ve got a voice, and you’re not afraid to use it, so we’re going to use you.” Gordon, 32, currently uses her voice as an advocacy coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union. “I’m here to represent, stand for you, advocate for you, educate you, listen to you,” she says. “More importantly, I’m here to celebrate your achievements.” Growing up in Pike County, Miss., Gordon says she was into everything—band, sports, honor societies, mock trials and more. She attended community college and then Jackson State University for a while, but left school to pursue a music career, rapping under the name Lyrik as part of the group Dread Bred. As her star started to rise, she became more involved in community outreach and found that the qualities she had always expressed had a real use in working with youth. “Growing up, I was always a leader, because people came to me for advice or direction,” she says. “I would actually get people’s questions and research them for them, and help them find the answer.” As many of those questions were musicrelated, Gordon decided to further educate

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herself, earning an entertainment business management degree from Full Sail University. Then, three years ago, the ACLU hired Gordon to help plan its annual Hip-Hop Summit, and she worked her way up. She mostly focuses on youth justice reform and equality issues. “I’m proud to be a part of the changes happening in Mississippi. I’m grateful that people respect me enough to come to me for assistance because I am educating myself,” she says. Gordon sees a shifting tide in today’s youth regarding LGBT and other issues. “Children now, they don’t have a problem. They’re like, ‘Some people have two moms, some people have two dads, some people have one of each, some people just have one and some people stay with their grandma,’” she says. “The straight youth are leading the LGBT movement in schools for their peers.” Outside the ACLU, Gordon also leads diversity training and is a public speaker and consultant on many issues including LGBT domestic violence, leadership and entertainment business. She is a graphic designer for Club Metro Reloaded and manages the club on lesbian night. She is working on two master’s degrees, in innovation and entrepreneurship. Even with all her accolades and activities, Gordon has her eye on the bottom line. “Humanitarian awards, degrees—all that stuff doesn’t mean a thing if I don’t see a change in Mississippi,” she says. “Mississippi’s success is my success.” —Kathleen M. Mitchell

Cover photo of Lance Bass by Jeff Bottari/AP

8 Ending the Stigma

Gerald Gibson, My Brother’s Keeper’s community outreach and testing coordinator, wants to raise awareness of HIV testing through the social media-driven Capital City Pledge to Test campaign.

28 La Pâtisserie

Alejandra Sprouts and Cristina Lazzari bring a bit of European culture to the Jackson area with their bakery La Brioche Patisserie, which will have a new Fondren location in the fall.

35 A Blank Canvas

“My inspiration comes from the diversity of the world around us and people’s minds and how we think and how we see color. My paintings seem to be a spectrum of different things, and it’s going to stand out on one end or the other end, depending on who’s looking at it.” —Hunter Davenport, “Décor and Class”

jacksonfreepress.com

4 ............................. Editor’s Note 6 ............................................ Talks 14 ................................. editorial 15 ..................................... opinion 16 ............................. Cover Story 28 .......................................... food 30 ..................... Best of Jackson 32 ............................... Diversions 35 ........................................... Arts 36 ........................................ 8 Days 37 ....................................... Events 39 ........................................ music 40 ........................ music listings 41 ...................................... sports 43 ..................................... Puzzles 43 ........................................ astro

trip burns; courtesy laa brioche; courtesy gerald gipson

April 30 - May 6, 2014 | Vol. 12 No. 34

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editor’s note

by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief

Discrimination Isn’t ‘Religious Freedom’

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he logic behind SB 2681—Mississippi’s so-called “religious freedom” bill—might almost work on some level if the people behind it were fixated on promiscuity. It hurts my brain, as well as my heart, to watch so-called religious people go after gays and lesbians who want to get married, settle down and raise children. It would at least make sense if these reformers were focused on people sneaking around and doing it in bar bathrooms (including heterosexuals). I still would not agree that government should be the morality police, but at least it would make a lick of sense. It’s similar to the people most adamantly opposed to abortion rights: So many of them (though not all, thankfully) are the same ones who then rail against welfare and public education and food stamps, CHIP assistance and any other public attempts to help poor children once they’re actually born and at the risk of starving to death. It’s misplaced morality, in either case. What also gets my goat is that backers of efforts like SB 2681 seem to think all the rest of us are stupid. Here in Mississippi, a couple of conservative preachers in the state Legislature introduced an innocuous-seeming bill that would add “In God We Trust” to the state seal. Now, anyone who understands the brilliance of the First Amendment can see that it is an establishment of religion by the government, but we also know that it is a relatively harmless one, compared with all the other ways some zealots want the government to force their religion on other people. Then, come to find out, they were quietly trying to foist an innocently named “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” on Mississippi—one that could allow businesses and others to discriminate against people they believe are “sinful,” whether by being openly gay or by seeking an abortion, or even using their hard-earned health insurance to buy birth-control pills, which remarkably are a

target for these people in the year 2014. Caught red-handed, the old-time preachers had to tone down the language of their bill a bit, but they still managed to get it passed, and with language so confusing that it’s hard to know just how it will be used after it goes into effect July 1. (But considering that Gov. Phil Bryant invited Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, an ultra-conservative fixated on abortion and gays, down from Washington, D.C., for the private signing, we can imagine how.)

The sweet spot is right in the middle, where freedom lives. In recent weeks, the bill’s backers— which have long included Focus on the Family and the ultra-conservative Rutherford Institute—have been in overdrive trying to justify the law, saying the “intent” is probably “not to keep gays away.” Instead, we’re assured, it’s a way to protect the First Amendment—or at least the religious-freedom part. We might (and should) ask: From what? If you dig deep into conservative writings on the need for laws such as 2681, the reasoning is almost always connected to getting governments to protect the right to discriminate against someone else based on a religious belief—just as Jim Crow laws supposedly did in our past, when the inferiority of non-whites was preached from about every white pulpit in Mississippi. Go straight to the Focus on the Family website. The organization’s judicial analyst, Bruce Hausknecht, lists various ways that Christians’ rights are under “alarming ero-

sion” without such a governmental backup plan. Of his 12 examples, seven concerned discriminating against LGBT people, mostly over same-sex marriage and adoption, and in four, he wants to deny abortion rights to others. One was about a public high school having a prayer at a graduation ceremony. None of the examples was about a heterosexual Christian not being able to marry or adopt (or divorce) who they wanted, worship as they pleased or choose to have as many children as they wanted. In other words, the examples that one of the main lobbying organizations for these types of bills listed were not about anyone stopping someone from exercising and living by their own beliefs. They were about allowing people to punish or discriminate against other people who make different choices, including committing whatever the discriminators considered a sin—and with a government backup for punishing the sinner for exercising rights. This completely misses the point of the First Amendment—or, quite honestly, the (better) reasons America was founded in the first place. (And, I would argue, the Bible.) Freedom, as chiseled into the First Amendment, is about making individual choices without the government—or its chosen people—hurting us in response. Sadly, too many people do not read or quote the entire First Amendment. It is a brilliant balance beam supporting religious freedom on one end and forbidding the establishment of religion by the government on the other. The sweet spot is the result of both, right in the middle—the place where freedom lives. The government is not to be used as a tool to ensure that any one religious group dominates America—to where so many of our ancestors fled due to state religious establishment and persecution in other countries. What is so genius is that there is no way that all Americans have religious freedom if the government is used to establish, or prefer,

one religion over another. In fact, it is the “religious freedom” crowd that wishes to violate the Constitution: by defining who can exercise what religious beliefs. (Theirs.) Thus, while you may really think it is vital that a student be able to say a Christian (or a Muslim) prayer over the loud speaker at a public-school graduation, it is anathema to American freedom (although each person there is welcome and free to say his or her own prayer any time they want). The guarantee of religious freedom simply does not mean that someone can rely on their own religious beliefs to discriminate against someone they believe is sinful or nonChristian (or Muslim) or whatever—and violate the other’s rights in the process. Too many states (and the federal government) allowed that back in the day, meaning that owners of bakeries and lunch counters and other businesses told themselves that it was their God-given right to refuse service to non-whites, and Lord help you if you were part of a mixed-race marriage. Most of us look back now and see how horrible it was to twist beautiful religious texts to justify hatefulness. But still others want to use the same old tricks to try to use government to force their own beliefs on everyone else. The ultimate irony of that is what the authors of the First Amendment knew: It might seem to work out for the religion “in charge” for a while, but it will boomerang back when others start using their faith (or lack of one) to discriminate against them. That is exactly why both clauses of the First Amendment are vital if either one of them is to work. Put it this way: You do not have religious freedom if every single American doesn’t have it, too, including those you believe are heathens and sinners. And if you choose to earn your living by serving the public, you don’t get to pick and choose who you do business with based on their race, religion, gender or who they choose to love.

April 30 - May 6, 2014

contributors

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Kit Williamson

Haley Ferretti

Ariel Terrell

R.L. Nave

Trip Burns

Briana Robinson

ShaWanda Jacome

Dustin Cardon

Jackson native Kit Williamson is an actor, writer, director and grad student living in Silver Lake, Ca. He plays Ed Gifford on AMC’s “Mad Men.” He interviewed Lance Bass for this issue.

City Reporter Haley Ferretti is a 2013 graduate of Delta State University. She enjoys traveling, listening to The Strokes and raiding refrigerators. She wrote about the battle for LGBTQ rights for this issue. Email her at haley@jacksonfreepress.com.

Mississippi State student Ariel Terrell is an Arizona native who has lived in Mississippi for over 10 years. She is a student journalist and videographer for the Starkville Free Press. She interviewed Laverne Cox for this issue.

R.L. Nave, native Missourian and news editor, roots for St. Louis (and the Mizzou Tigers)—and for Jackson. Send him news tips at rlnave@ jacksonfreepress.com or call him at 601-362-6121 ext. 12. He wrote talk stories.

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.

Music Editor Briana Robinson wants to become an expert on all things music. She also loves dance and photography. Email her at briana@ jacksonfreepress.com. She interviewed M. Ward for this issue.

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 wrote an events blurb.

JFP Daily Editor Dustin Cardon is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. He enjoys reading fantasy novels and wants to write them himself one day. He wrote the week in review.


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jacksonfreepress.com


“I’m here to represent, stand for you, advocate for you, educate you, listen to you. More importantly, I’m here to celebrate your achievements.” —Constance Gordon, ACLU of Mississippi youth coordinator, on advocating for young people.

State Law Weak on City Elections by R.L. Nave

Trip Burns

Wednesday, April 16 Lawyers for four gay and lesbian couples and the state of Oregon all request that a federal judge strike down Oregon’s voter-approved ban on samesex marriage. … The U.S. Justice Department unveils a revamped clemency process directed at low-level felons imprisoned for at least 10 years who have clean records while in custody.

Kali Akuno wants to help Jackson rise. pp 10 - 12

Thursday, April 17 The Israeli government halts peace talks with the Palestinians in response to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to form a unity government with the rival Hamas movement. Friday, April 18 A day after announcing new military exercises along the Ukrainian border, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accuses the West of plotting to control Ukraine, saying pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine will only lay down arms if the Ukrainian government clears out the Maidan protest camp in Kiev. Saturday, April 19 South Korea’s prime minister offers to resign over the government’s handling of the ferry sinking that has left more than 300 people dead or missing. Sunday, April 20 Pope Francis and Benedict XVI honor predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II and declare them saints in the first-ever canonization of two pontiffs.

April 30 - May 6, 2014

Monday, April 21 The mayor of Ukraine’s secondlargest city was shot in the back, and pro-Russia insurgents seized more government buildings as the U.S levies new sanctions on seven Russian government officials, as well as 17 companies with links to Vladimir Putin’s close associates. … The aerial search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet is called off, and the underwater hunt is expanded to include a vast swath of ocean floor that may take at least eight months to thoroughly search.

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Tuesday, April 22 A coalition of United Church of Christ clergy members challenge North Carolina’s constitutional ban on gay marriage by saying not being allowed to wed same-sex couples violates their religious freedom. Breaking news: jfpdaily.com.

The recent Jackson mayor’s race demonstrated just how weak the state’s laws are on municipal elections.

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itizens for Decency. The Republic Group. ENI. In the waning days of the April 22 special-election runoff for Jackson mayor, third parties, surrogates and political-action committees took control of the political discourse and broadcast airwaves to become the strongest forces in the election, more than the two candidates in some ways. Whether the chaos and confusion

these groups might have caused affected the outcome of the election in which Councilman Tony Yarber defeated Chokwe A. Lumumba, the son of Jackson’s late mayor and an attorney, by 2,424 votes is debatable. But what is clear is that the involvement of these third-party organizations highlights the need for strengthening Mississippi’s local election laws. “There’s no practical enforcement of the law,” said one individual long active in

politics, but who declined to be named. Several individuals who have experience in local elections agreed that there is little to stop an organization intent on keeping the identities of political donors, or itself, a secret. In the weekend preceding the Jackson election, a PAC called Citizens for Decency launched an all-out blitz with negative ads against Yarber. more ELECTIONS, see page 8

In the Electoral Cloud

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uring the special election for mayor, the Jackson Free Press’ website traffic was gonzo. From the day after the death of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, Feb. 26, to press day this week, the JFP nearly doubled page views over last year. Surprisingly, the top keywords came from a popular reality show about dancing preteens, not the mayoral candidates.


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“Politicians got me involved when they involved my business, and no politician is going to speak for my business.” —Mitchell Moore, owner of Campbell’s Bakery, on the anti-discrimination campaign for businesses he helped found.

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BEST CRAWFISH/BEST CRAWFISH BOIL: Ballot Opens 5/7/14

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NAIL CARE: Results Revealed 5/14/14

BESTOFJACKSON.COM

ELECTIONS from page 6

Yarber responded by seeking an injunction against using what his attorneys said was copyrighted ministry material, which he had posted on YouTube, but took down earlier in the campaign. Earlier in the election cycle, another PAC known as ENI, which lists a post office box in Canton as its address, reported raising $25,000 for the Jackson mayor’s race. The majority of the PAC’s expenditures went to two political-consulting firms that list no address. State records show that J & J Consultant, which received $7,500, is owned by Minnie and Stephen Johnson of Tunica. The other recipient, B & H Consultants, is not registered as a business with the state. A patchwork of state law and agency rules make it even more difficult to decipher who should be reporting political activity to the public. Article 23 of the state election code does not differentiate between municipal and state elections and says political committees must register and outlines penalties for failure to file campaign-finance reports. Late reports can draw a $50-per-day fine. The statute also says: “Any candidate or any other person who shall wilfully (sic) and deliberately and substantially violate the provisions and prohibitions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine in a sum not to exceed ($3,000) or imprisoned for not longer than (six) months or by both fine and imprisonment.” However, the law is not clear on which agency enforces the law. The state constitution designates the secretary of state as the chief elections officer in the state with “the power and duty to gather sufficient information concerning voting in elections in this state” and who is required to “submit an annual report to the Legislature, the governor, the attorney general and the public.” The Jackson special election saw violations of multiple requirements—from the near-illegible handwriting on Lumumba’s reports, to insufficient information on the ENI filing, to the complete lack of a report from Citizens for Decency. Republic Group, which says it placed all television advertising for Tony Yarber, is not listed in his reports, although the group, part of Hayes Dent Public Strategies, confirmed

receiving 15 percent of all TV ads placed, about $3,450 of the $23,000 Yarber reported he spent. Together, bookkeeping discrepancies underscore the weakness of Mississippi’s laws on municipal elections. In addition, candidates for public and incumbent are supposed to file statements of economic interest with the Mississippi Ethics Commission. Of the three members of the Jackson City Council who ran for mayor, neither Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret BarrettSimon nor Yarber had filed SEIs regularly. Yarber has one SEI on file for 2013 and submitted another statement, for 2009, on April 18, four days before the election, that the Ethics Commission is currently reviewing; Barrett-Simon insists she has filed the documents. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann told the Jackson Free Press in an interview last summer that his office does not have jurisdiction over municipal elections and primarily looks at the integrity of the state’s 1,800 voting precincts, such as whether there is disability access but that the office isn’t equipped to oversee municipal elections. “We have an (elections) staff of about 10, and we do monitor all of the statewide races. I don’t know that we could drill down to municipals,” Hosemann told JFP. Hosemann painted the scope of the problem from his office’s perspective: Mississippi has 350 municipalities or so. In a normal election year, the number of candidates can number in the thousands. “It is, I’ll tell you, frustrating when they don’t provide the financial disclosure. I think that’s key to individuals making a decision—to follow who your campaign contributors are. But I don’t know that we as the secretary of state’s office have the capacity to really reach down and in a 30- or 60-day election and run down a thousand different candidates,” Hosemann said. As of press time, the Citizens for Decency has filed neither the required statement of organization with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office, nor has it submitted records of financial disclosure. The secretary of state’s 2014 Candidate Handbook, political committee must file a statement of organization within 10 days of receiving or spending in excess of $200, meaning that Citizens for Decency has until Tuesday, April 29, at the latest to file with the state. See filed reports at jfp.ms/documents. Email rlnave@jacksonfreepress.com.


TALK | health

Brothers’ Keepers

by Amber Helsel

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Courtesy Gerald Gibson

erald Gibson wants to change than 10,000 people living with the disease. the stigma surrounding HIV and In 2012, Mississippi reported 547 new cases AIDS. He is the coordinator of and, of these, the majority makeup was 78 community-based outreach and percent males, 75 percent African Americans testing for My Brother’s Keeper, a nonprofit designed to further the health and wellbeing of minority communities. Gibson has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Alcorn State University and a master’s in sociology. He heard about My Brother’s Keeper through Dr. Mark Colomb, the late founder and CEO of the nonprofit, while in graduate school. “We got to talking about that, and I was like, ‘This is really interestBy reaching out to black men, Gerald Gibson ing, something I would really love to hopes to change the stigma of HIV/AIDS. do,’ and after us discussing it, he just brought me on,” Gibson says. Gibson has been working with the or- and 43 percent between the ages of 25-44. ganization as the coordinator of community- About half of those affected receive adequate based outreach and testing for seven years. In medical treatment. that timeframe, the scope of the problem Much of Gibson’s job consists of incame into sharp focus for Gibson and other forming the public on HIV and AIDS HIV/AIDS activists. testing, and how to have safer sex. He also In 2011, the Centers for Disease Con- coordinates MBK’s “d-up Intervention,” a trol reported that, out of all 50 states and the program for LGBT African American men District of Columbia, Mississippi had the about safer-sex practices and self-esteem isseventh-highest rate of HIV cases, with more sues. “... We are in the Bible Belt,” Gibson

says. “We have been taught to hate yourself if you are not normal, but my question is, ‘What is normal?’ Normal is being who you are, who you were born to be, in my opinion.” Gibson and some of the other staff at MBK have been working on the Capital City Pledge to Test. It’s a new social-media campaign that asks people to pledge on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Vine to get tested, and urge friends and followers to do the same. “We’re trying to make it a routine for people to get tested, but there’s so much stigma involved around getting tested that people are scared to,” Gibson says. “It seeks to get everyone to just think of an HIV test as another routine healthcare task.” MBK’s health clinic, Open Arms Healthcare Center, has even added HIV tests to its regular health screenings. Gibson sees the social-media campaign as one of the best ways to reach the most people in the shortest amount of time. “Most of the time, when a person sees a post on your page, they’re going to read it, your friends or whoever is following you on Facebook (or) other social media,” Gibson

says. “ ... We know (that) as a society today, that’s what everyone is doing. They’re using social media. They check that as soon as they wake up. They check it before they go to sleep. Social media is how you can reach a mass amount of individuals in a very short period of time, with a high response. You add it on your page and your friends see it, and you also suggest that they do it as well. You get more and more people.” Other testing locations include Crossroads Clinic in the Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave., Suite 351, 601-432-3237), Building Bridges (2147 Henry Hill Drive, 601-922-0100) and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. MBK also does testing around the Jackson area. Call 601-898-0000, extension 106 for more information. MBK also does awareness events and projects on topics such as teen pregnancy, LGBT issues, and the organization even has a food pantry. Open Arms Healthcare (500 E. Woodrow Wilson Ave., Suite M) offers services such as counseling and primary care. For more information, visit the My Brother’s Keeper website. Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email Amber Helsel at amber@jacksonfreepress.com.

Where All are

Welcome 650 E.South Street • Jackson • 601.944.0415 Sunday Services: 10:30am & 6:00pm

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SUPERTALK | city

Building Jackson Strong, One Person at a Time by Ronni Mott

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April 30 - May 6, 2014

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Conditions for Life Marjorie Kelly, author of “Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution,” defines the two ownership models as “extractive” and “generative.” Extractive companies focus on withdrawing wealth from its customers and maximizing stockholder profits in the short term, Kelly writes. Generative companies create “conditions for life” over the long term. They are rooted in the communities they serve and

beholden to the common good. The essence is this: Extractive ownership benefits the few at the expense of the many; generative ownership benefits the many over the few. Co-ops represent democracy in economic terms. “A lot of private firms have awesomelooking mission statements, but we know at the end of the day, (they are) profit driven,” said Mukesh Kumar, interim program director of the Urban and Regional Planning Department at Jackson State University. “The profit-driven character is determined either by the private investors who are operating someplace else, or it can be because of the owners.” The devil is in the details, he said. A company such as Walmart may write a mission statement about “maximizing con-

ence May 2-4 at Jackson State University to promote cooperatives in the capital city. Her involvement comes from personal experience. As the daughter of a single mother, she watched her mom work hard to make ends meet as a housekeeper. But Parsons’ mother receives no benefits and has saved no money toward retirement. In contrast, Oakland, Calif.-based worker’s cooperative WAGES—Women’s Action to Gain Economic Security—provides member housekeepers stability and security. They can count on living wages, skills development and benefits that include adequate time off to care for their families. “It’s easy for people to think that (a co-op) would be a handout,” Parsons said, but it’s not. Housekeepers still work

sack of oatmeal into John Walker’s whitewashed front room and began selling the contents at a discount, forming the Fenwick Weavers’ Society,” the ICA website says. Co-ops Through (Black) History Co-ops feature prominently in the experience of black Americans. “It’s a chapter of our history that has long been suppressed and forgotten in many respects,” said Kali Akuno, another Jackson Rising coordinator. He came to Jackson from Atlanta, where he was co-director of the U.S. Human Rights Network, to work with the late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba to jumpstart Lumumba’s vision for a cooperative, solidarity economy. “What were the mutual-aid societies that were created in the 1700s, not only trip burns

hoppers looking for organic and locally sourced food are familiar with the unassuming little grocery on Old Canton Road in Fondren. Mostly, they just call it Rainbow. Until Whole Foods Market opened earlier this year, Rainbow Co-op was Jackson’s only food store focused solely on organic and natural products. Inside Rainbow Plaza, shoppers will also find High Noon Café (the city’s only all-vegetarian eatery), a co-op that provides computer access, parts and repairs, and a store selling fair-trade goods from around the world. The ATM in the common area is from Hope Credit Union, also a cooperative, and recycling bins are plentiful. Unlike Whole Foods, which is a publicly traded chain based in Austin, Texas, Rainbow is a consumer-owned cooperative. The people who shop there also own and govern its operations. Beyond the scale of the two groceries—Rainbow has a considerably smaller footprint—the difference between them is ownership. Similar to other Wall Streetgoverned corporations, Whole Foods owners are largely absentee stock holders, interested primarily in financial performance. Rainbow’s owners also want the store to succeed financially, but that’s not their first focus. “We keep you healthy, and we give you good choices,” said Shelby Parsons, Rainbow’s community-outreach coordinator. “When you walk through the door, we want everything to be at least better than what you can get in a conventional grocery store.” Part of Rainbow’s mission is also the health of the community. The co-op provides jobs to Jacksonians and helps promote other local businesses, contributing to its thriving neighborhood. “We’re not competing, really,” Parsons said. “We’re helping each other out.”

Shelby Parsons, the community-outreach coordinator at Rainbow Co-op, says the natural grocery store is as interested in the health of the Jackson community as it is financial success.

sumer welfare,” but the proof is whether the mission manifests in the public sphere. Does Walmart serve people and communities? Studies show that many of its employees rely on public assistance to make ends meet and its pricing structure tends to shutter local businesses that can’t compete on price alone. “It sounds like some very broad public-interest goal that they’re pursuing, and they really aren’t,” Kumar said. ‘Start With Where You’re At’ Parsons is one of the coordinators of Jackson Rising, which is holding a confer-

hard for often demanding customers. The difference is that WAGES members have some degree of autonomy. “They have dignity,” she said. “… With a cooperative, any occupation can be a dignified occupation.” The term “cooperative” may conjure images of 1960s hippies in communes. But cooperatives are older and more diverse than a handful of retro-styled groceries that sell free-range eggs and brown rice in bulk. The International Co-operative Alliance traces co-ops to March 14, 1761, and Fenwick, Scotland. There, “in a barely furnished cottage, local weavers manhandled a

in the North, but also in the South? Folks collectively pooled their resources together, to bury their dead, to have weddings, to buy land together,” Akuno said. “These are things that go back some 200-plus years.” Part of reviving such grass-roots economic activity is to have people recognize what they’re already doing for each other. “People are feeding each other, paying each other’s bills based upon those personal relationships … just to survive,” Akuno said. “Start with where you’re at and what you already practice,” and then move to extend it, he said. “It’s not foreign to you.”


with that many owners in the business, you have a large amount of expertise to draw on,” Lundemo said. With many people invested in the business’ success, owners may also provide distribution, marketing and financial know how. It’s not unusual for coops to hire outside assistance, but for start-

To Kali Akuno, a coordinator for Jackson Rising, the idea of co-ops is a continuation of the mentality African Americans have shared for decades.

off by rumors. I think this year it was a rumor that this was a back-door way to getting unions, which makes absolutely no sense, because if (workers) own the business, you don’t need a union.” In most regards, co-ops confront the same obstacles that any business faces. About half of all small businesses fail within their first year. Access to credit is an important strategic piece of the puzzle. Traditional sources of capital—banks and investors— are risk averse. If a prospect has a little understood business model or lacks collateral, money is scarce. Akuno acknowledged that more work in the financial arena is necessary. Jackson Rising has been in discussion with local credit unions, seeking to leverage what exists and pooling financial resources. “We’re going to have to figure that out and create new alternatives, if necessary,” he said. Cooperatives also need to provide quality offerings to fill a need. “You’re facing the market, which must show demand for the product you’re making,” Kumar said. “If there’s not enough demand, it doesn’t matter what kind of firm you are.” One reason businesses fail is a lack of knowledge. Owners may be excellent in their fields, but unfamiliar with fundamental business strategies and tactics for success. “Where (a co-op) has an advantage is

ups, lack of knowledge can be a barrier. “That’s a challenge for any business,” Kumar said. “When you’re trying to put together a worker’s co-op, do you have the expertise to run the business? Quite often, at the beginning, you’re talking about sweat equity,” where workers can provide only their labor. “The market always produces winners and losers,” he continued. “Typically, we don’t pay attention to the losers at all. In a city like Jackson where we clearly see that we have a whole bunch of people the systems sidelined or marginalized, that does not mean the people don’t have skill sets of any kind. They really do. Everybody has some.” Kumar sees cooperatives as one solution to market failures. Perhaps more important, they can provide a vital civic service by building collaborative skills and educating its owners. “Someone who is invested in a workers’ co-op is probably also likely to vote, is also going to be more interested in public discourses, probably going to be more interested in democratic institutions and building that institution,” he said. “We can’t expect that kind of value to come out of most other (for-profit) enterprises. … They’re not interested in that.” Developing Powerhouses Most cooperative ventures in Jackson are in their infancy. Rainbow has a community garden on Tougaloo College’s campus

in north Jackson, for example. It’s a workto-eat arrangement, where cultivators share in the bounty. Business incubators have also emerged. During Jackson Rising’s early informational meetings, several good ideas came from participants, Akuno said. Some could start immediately, such as recycling and composting. Other ideas may take longer, such as organizing a skilled labor worker co-op to help the city address its many infrastructure needs. Some could take years to develop. “It’s not going to solve all of the problems, not by a long shot, but what this model does is take the abundance of human resources and find a way to challenge those in productive ways, in non-exploitive ways,” Akuno said. “We have to start with some concrete things we can do in the here and now, and through that practice, build up the sense of solidarity,” he added. Today, co-ops exist in nearly every economic sector across the globe. A business may be consumer owned, like Rainbow, or owned by workers, producers of goods or services, or even groups formed to purchase goods. Beyond retail, co-ops can center on housing, child- and healthcare, insurance, banking, utilities, manufacturing and services. They also come in a variety of sizes. Mondragon, a workers’ cooperative in Spain’s Basque region, is the country’s 10th largest business. Founded in 1956, Mondragon employs more than 92,000 people, of which about a third has ownership stake in the company. Its operations include manufacturing, retail sales, education and finance. In the United Kingdom, The Co-operative, an 8 million-member consumer coop, owns 4,500 stores across the nation and employs nearly 90,000 people. Its 2012 sales were roughly $22.5 billion. Ninety-one percent of Japanese farmers are members of agricultural co-ops, and in Kenya, 63 percent of its citizens derive their income from cooperatives. ‘Owned by Those We Serve’ The United States has the largest number of people in the world claiming co-op membership: 256 million. Across the nation, some 30,000 businesses are co-ops. In 2007, Mississippi had almost 900 co-ops, with more than 2.3 million members and revenues of about $4.6 billion. Next door to Rainbow, Montgomery Ace Hardware is part of a retailer-owned more RISING, see page 12

jacksonfreepress.com

‘New Alternatives’ Rainbow began when two separate buying clubs joined forces in the 1970s to buy better food than what was available in the city’s supermarkets. Originally, the group organized as an agricultural association, which is supposed to be composed of food producers, said Luke Lundemo, who sits on Rainbow’s board of directors. As demand for organic foods grew, the category became an uncomfortable fit. “We weren’t all producing food by any means,” he said. The cooperative business model was a natural evolution. Mississippi, however, does not allow consumer co-ops to incorporate here, so the group looked to Wisconsin, one of about 30 states with modern co-op laws. Rainbow incorporated there, but does business, and pays taxes, in Mississippi.

Lundemo considers the state’s co-op laws a surmountable issue for organizations such as Rainbow, but efforts are underway to change the laws. “I think we need our legislators much more educated about what cooperatives are,” he said. “They seem to be easily scared

courtesy kali Akuno

African American cooperatives are the subject of a new book, “Collective Courage,” from Jessica Gordon Nembhard, a professor of African American studies at the University of Maryland. “African Americans throughout their history have come together to pool resources, take control of productive assets, and work to create alternative economies in the face of poverty, limited resources, market failures and/or racial oppression,” Nembhard wrote in her 2004 paper, “Cooperative Ownership in the Struggle for African American Economic Empowerment.” “Many of the processes have been similar: Join together in the face of a need or a problem, start small and spread the risk widely, use mutual group self-help as motivation, and continuously engage in education and training. Through their modest economic empowerment efforts, many of the groups were able to win greater battles against white landowners, white unions and general economic underdevelopment.” The model isn’t limited to African Americans. Immigrant communities typically form informal networks that “lock in” newcomers and provide much-needed assistance to navigate and thrive in the U.S. Many cities have strong ethnic neighborhoods—Chinatown in New York and San Francisco, for example, Little Italy, Germantown. The networks provide jobs, child care, language skills and often—and most important to starting businesses—financing. “It increases your barrier to entry if you have to start from scratch,” Kumar said, but he and Akuno agree that such extended networks don’t exist in Jackson, yet. “Money confuses a lot of things,” Akuno said. In our capitalist, consumer-driven society, “trust is a hard thing to come by.”

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SUPERTALK | city

RISING from page 11

about what they can do to save and let our elected officials know how important reliable, affordable electricity is to them.”

cooperative. Ace has nine stores in the Jackson area, and internationally, 4,600 Ace stores employ about 80,000 people. The co-op’s Oak Brook, Ill., headquarters and its regional distribution centers boast another 5,900 “team members.” In Mississippi, one cooperative was responsible for bringing electricity to the nation’s farmers. “By 1930 … 84.8 percent of all U.S. homes in large urban areas and small towns had electrical service, but only 10.4 percent of rural homes had this luxury,” states the Mississippi Department of History and Archives website. “In that same year, only 1.5 percent of Mississippi farm homes had electrical lights, the least of any state in the country.” The “Corinth Experiment” became the nation’s first rural electric cooperative, the Alcorn County Electric Power Association, courtesy of a $114,632 federal loan in 1934, during the Great Depression. “People wanting electricity paid a membership fee to the cooperative and committed to using a minimum amount of kilowatthours per month,” the MDHA website continues. “Individuals were responsible for wiring their homes and barns.” The success of ACEPA convinced President Franklin Roosevelt to establish the Rural Electrification Administration in 1935. Based on the Corinth model, the REA made low-interest loans to rural coops. Four years later, 417 rural electric coops served 288,000 households across the nation. By 1940, 27,670 Mississippi farm families had electricity, six times as many as 10 years earlier. Twenty five power co-operatives still operate in Mississippi under the umbrella of the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi. The co-ops employ nearly 3,000 people, and they deliver electricity to more than 762,000 meters. Among them is the nonprofit Coast Electric Power Association in Bay St. Louis. “As a cooperative, we are owned by those we serve, and we take our fiscal responsibility seriously,” said CEPA President and CEO Bob Occhi in a November 2013 release announcing distribution of more than $3 million in earnings to 61,253 eligible members. “Coast Electric will continue to do everything we can to control costs, and we ask members to educate themselves

Economic Justice One of the issues for Jackson Rising is to assuage the fears cooperatives can engender. Some believe this is a “Trojan horse” for trade unions, Akuno said. Union co-ops do exist, as do companies with employee stock-ownership plans that bridge the worlds of unions and cooperatives. “Some of those operate democratically, like a co-op, and some don’t,” Akuno said, but there are fundamental differences. Trade unions represent workers within traditional corporate structures. “Where the union comes in is to protect those who are not the owners,” Akuno said. In contrast, workers, producers or buyers are owners of cooperatives. “There is no external board or external bond-holders or shareholders,” Akuno said. “Those don’t exist. In a co-op, everyone is there as an equal partner, an equal player and has (an) equal stake.” Jackson Rising seeks to familiarize Jacksonians with what is possible to do for themselves. “The goal is to see more economic development, but we want that development to happen in a fair and equitable way, to see economic justice as well as economic development,” Parsons said. “We want to see people empowered. We want to see people rise up to their potential.” Akuno doesn’t dismiss large corporations and the government in providing jobs, but he questions whether people can wait for those entities to return to supporting low- and middle-class people well. “There are certain basic needs that we can take care of ourselves. How do we do that? How do we organize ourselves to do that in a sustainable way? That’s the thing that’s new in this particular time and in this particular context,” he said. “… We’re going to have to fight from below for this to emerge. That’s the reality.” “It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do for a living or how much money you make,” Parsons said. “This is relevant to you.” “Jackson Rising: New Economies Conference” is May 2-4 at Jackson State University. The conference is $25 for Jackson residents ($30 on site). For information, visit jacksonrising.wordpress.com or the conference Facebook page.

In a co-op, everyone is there as an equal partner, an equal player and has (an) equal stake.

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Whole, Fulfilled, Loved

S

tanding on the playground that day, it was clear I liked the little blonde girl who was playing in front of me. It wasn’t in a “I want to be your bestie, jump rope and have a sleepover way,” either. No, indeed, I liked her in the way I knew I was only supposed to like boys. I sat confused. How could this be? Everything I had been taught in church told me being gay or lesbian was not only a sin, but it was gross. I wanted God to love me. If being a lesbian was disgusting, what kind of freak must I be for liking boys and girls? I prayed for God to cure me because I believed in my heart that people like me couldn’t exist. I made a choice to keep my feelings to myself and tell no one. In my teens, the only time I saw bisexual women represented was in porn. I didn’t see bisexual women shown as normal, only as the objects of male fantasies. I didn’t want to have threesomes for the entertainment of men. I just wanted to date women if we were mutually attracted to each other. It didn’t seem like a hard concept. Yet, in the few conversations I had about being bisexual as a teen, I was told it was just a phase. I was going to burn in hell. Or I was treated like some sex vixen vying for male attention. So I stopped talking about it. For years, I avoided relationships with wonderful women and hid the few relationships I did have. I worried that if people knew, they would think I was a bad mother, a swinger, a whore, and that my children would be teased. It wasn’t until National Coming Out Day four years ago that I came out publicly. I had spent years being an “ally” to the LGBT community while I was unwilling to acknowledge my whole self. I am still the same mom, friend, daughter and citizen. I take that back: I am better because I don’t live a lie anymore. When I talk about the need for employment protection that includes sexual orientation, I can say, “yes, I mean me too.” Marriage equality matters to me personally since one day I could marry a woman (even though I currently date a man). I have come a long way from that playground in Wisconsin years ago. I’m not confused. I don’t think I’m broken or that God needs to fix me. I feel whole, fulfilled and loved. I am proud to be part of what is often called the “silent B” in LGBT community. I live my life in truth now, and that is priceless. Laurie Bertram Roberts is a regular columnist for the Jackson Free Press. Read her other columns at jfp.ms/roberts.

‘light-hearted’ April 30 - May 6, 2014

“Regardless of your views and opinions on Voter ID, our goal was to educate and engage all citizens of our State in a light-hearted and entertaining way.”

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—Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann on awards his office received for informational TV ads for the state’s new Voter ID law, which takes effect in June.

Why it stinks: Regardless of Hosemann’s views and opinions, there are plenty of citizens and civil-rights groups that still fear that voter ID will disproportionately affect minorities, poor people, college students and senior citizens. But with the U.S. Supreme Court clearing the way for its implementation, there’s little they can do it about. Such groups are busy doing a lot of public outreach of their own in preparation for the new law, but they are doing so with a heavy heart.

City: Make Smart Decisions on Contracts, Department Heads

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ost people know it: Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, while wildly popular, was not perfect. Even his son admitted that some of his hiring decisions for department heads might not have been ideal. From where we sit, mayors put too many people into key city roles, such as Planning and Public Works, for political or personal reasons. They pay back supporters and donors by either appointing them directly or making appointments to appease them. This, of course, is an ageold practice—but it is not healthy or forwardthinking city governance. Recently, we heard an intriguing suggestion by Dr. Mukesh Kumar, interim program director of the urban and regional planning department at Jackson State University. Kumar believes that heads of key departments, like planning, should not be political appointments who move on after a mayor leaves office. Instead, he says, the city should set up a search committee for people to put in those roles who will stay beyond a current mayor’s term, if they do a good job, of course. He suggests that the committee have elected officials as well as other knowledgeable people on it (we nominate him, for one), so that better suggestions go before City Council for final approval. We urge Mayor Tony Yarber to embrace such ideas, focusing more on city health than appeas-

ing campaign supporters, for smarter appointments. We also call on the new mayor to disregard his campaign support base when making any and all decisions about who leads city departments, as well as for whom he might suggest or support for city contracts. His top contributor, developer and contractor, Socrates Garrett, gave at least $30,000 to his campaign, far surpassing any contributor for either man in the runoff. While we appreciate Mr. Garrett’s positive contributions to the city, his or anyone else’s donations to Mr. Yarber’s campaign must not present any kind of special influence over how city money is spent or contracts awarded. And we would be writing the same words about Chokwe A. Lumumba’s tenure should he have won the election. A mayor does not owe an appointment or contract to anyone. Having dealt with Mr. Yarber in his time as a Ward 6 councilman and council president, we know that he has displayed an independent spirit as an elected official, as well as a willingness to help city government be more transparent. We urge him to continue that tradition, and believe that he will. The city has an opportunity to reset and move beyond bad habits of the past, whether in hiring or the awarding of city contracts. We look forward to seeing what happens and watch-dogging the process to ensure that it is transparent and non-biased toward political supporters.

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


EDDIE OUTLAW

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little over a year ago, I was lucky enough to visit New York City with my girlfriend, Elizabeth. While she was busy fighting the crowd at Javits Center as the buyer for the Mississippi Museum of Art, I sauntered along the streets of The Big Apple. It was a crisp January day and I, layered and festooned in what I deemed to be appropriate “big city” attire, wandered in and out of shops on Fifth Avenue. As I made my way back to our hotel, mindful not to stare like a slack-jawed yokel, I pointed myself in the direction of a coffee shop. Manhandling my haul from H&M, I bobbed and weaved along the bustling sidewalk lost in a herd of New Yorkers commuting on foot. Without warning, a young man sprang from a subway entrance, cutting me off and very nearly causing me to trip. I dismissed him as rude and inconsiderate, but watched him sprint up the sidewalk, across the street and into the arms of another young man. I then noticed his duffle bag, as it landed at their feet, and I realized this guy was returning home or had traveled some distance to be reunited with the other. I stood on the corner of Lexington and 51st Street and watched these young men share a long kiss, locked in a loving embrace. A swiftly moving river of pedestrians moved around them, not one of them taking notice or stopping to glare. In that moment, I’d have given anything to have Justin there with me, to mirror the other couple, another random act of love in the middle of a crowded New York sidewalk. No, I would never be so bold back at home in Mississippi, but wouldn’t it be nice? I’ve long maintained that I don’t care for public displays of affection. I’ve said it countless times to two long-term boyfriends, a few suitors and my husband. By turning my nose up at other couples, I’ve been able to hide my fear of being spotted. To have a stranger see my hand on Justin’s knee would confirm my queerness. If we dared to hold hands, it might invite hostile reaction. Should we share an impulsive kiss before heading in different directions, it could very well invoke blind rage. As a pre-teen, I’d been clocked as a “fag,” and I learned how to blend in out

of necessity. I painstakingly monitored my walk, tone of voice, inflection and my facial expressions so as not to attract unwanted attention. So, in the 20-something years I’ve been out of the closet, I’ve managed to only be publicly intimate with my significant other when I know no one is looking.  One Easter weekend, Justin and I traveled to New Orleans with Elizabeth and her husband, Blake. It’s become a tradition for us, a way to kiss winter goodbye and also welcome the warmer weather. After dinner, we took a cab into The Quarter and wandered, as tourists do. Moving away from Canal, we made our way down Chartres at a leisurely pace toward Jackson Square. Conversation was easy until we turned onto St. Anne, where the sidewalks were choked with revelers. Eventually, we merged onto Bourbon and became four more souls in a parade of aimless drunks, scantily-clad college girls and parents free of children for the weekend. Eventually, we found ourselves on “that end” of Bourbon Street, where rainbow flags are common and Sunday Tea Dance is the order of business. Instinctively, and without hesitation, Justin and I took each other’s hand and leaned into each other, moving along with the crowd in a dance of sorts, keeping time with only each other, another random act of love in the middle of a crowded New Orleans sidewalk. Later, Elizabeth would say she was almost moved to tears because she couldn’t recall ever seeing us hold hands in public. She was suddenly and painfully aware of the reason why: Down on this end of Bourbon, there are more of “us” than “them.” Down here, we can hold hands if we please, and we quite often do. “I want y’all to be able to do that everywhere,” I think she put it. I’d like to think that, some day not too far off, Justin and I could stroll up Fondren Place and onto State Street, arms interlocked as we make our way to dinner on the patio at Walker’s Drive-In, without concerning ourselves with hateful comments from strangers. Eventually, the sight of two men holding hands will be as acceptable as any other couple, when there is no “down here” or “that end” of any street, merely another random act of love. Eddie Outlaw co-owns William Wallace Salon and Fondren Barber with his husband, Justin McPherson. Read his other JFP columns at jfp.ms/outlaw.

By turning my nose up at other couples, I’ve been able to hide my fear of being spotted.

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15


And LGBTQ Rights March On How Supporters Are Working to Bring Change to Mississippi

April 30 - May 6, 2014

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16

ix weeks ago, Joce Pritchett was relaxing on her couch and watching TV at her home in Jackson when she received a copy of Senate Bill 2681. The bill, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, first sparked controversy among civil-liberties groups in February because of its potential to allow business owners to refuse service to people, especially the LGBTQ community, whom they feel are infringing upon their religious freedom. As both a businesswoman and lesbian, Pritchett did not like the idea of that one bit, so she decided to get off the couch and do something about it. Pritchett, owner of Pritchett Engineering and Planning LLC., knew she needed to find someone who would be willing to come forward and lead the rally against the bill. After a few days of searching, she found the perfect person. “About three days later in the middle of the night, I had this epiphany that I was the leader I was looking for,” Pritchett said. She immediately volunteered as the regional vice-chairperson of Equality Mississippi, an organization devoted to promoting social justice and advancing equality for LGBTQ Mississippians, but recently resigned fom the post. Pritchett says that although they weren’t in the closet before the bill’s passing, she and her wife, Carla, whom she married in Maine, flew under the radar, spending much of their time working and taking care of their two kids. She admits to having no previous experience in activism but says the bill’s passing came as a big wake-up call, and not just to her. Before 2681, many local gay professionals did not involve themselves with much LGBTQ activism, choosing to focus more on their careers and private lives, Pritchett says. However, more and more gay professionals are coming forward to oppose the

bill, which helps explain the recent explosion of advocacy in the Jackson area. She joked that the 10-person committee she originally sought to organize has almost turned into what she calls “an army.” “We just kind of left activism to the activists, but something about that Senate bill woke a lot of us up. … We’ve just been doing our own thing, but it’s like we all woke up at the same time,” Pritchett said. Although Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill, surrounded by national religious-right leaders including Family Research Council PresidentTony Perkins, and it will become law July 1, 2014, the motivation for resistance in Mississippi has strengthened. The new resolve for LGBTQ rights here spans from the Human Rights Campaign’s plan to spent $8.5 million to set up office in Mississippi, to the increasing number of anti-discriminatory resolutions in small Mississippi towns, to local straight business owners here in Jackson joining the fight. ‘In God We Trust’ Mississippi’s public outcry began with a quiet effort to give businesses the right to refuse service to LGBTQ customers. An early version of SB 2681, which passed the Senate unanimously in late January, was similar to a bill that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer recently vetoed in Arizona. Under pressure, she rejected it after deciding that it would hurt the state’s economy by driving big business out of the state. It is among many “turn away the gays” bills floated around the country in states including Kansas and North Dakota. The legislation’s language traces back to efforts by ultra-conservative groups such as Focus on the Family and the Rutherford Institute to push innocuous-sounding “religious freedom” laws that courts have said provide cover for discriminatory actions.

TRIP BURNS

by Haley Ferretti

Joce Pritchett, a businesswoman, lesbian, wife and mother, is one of a growing chorus of Jackson-area professionals to oppose measures like SB 2681 that could make LGBTQ people targets of discrimination.

Mississippi progressives initially did not see anything amiss when Republican sponsors presented SB 2681, emphasizing the part of the bill that would modify the state seal to include “In God We Trust.” “We learned in the vetting of this bill that (the state seal) is clearly not the sole purpose of the bill,” said Brandon Jones in an interview. Jones, a former legislator from the Gulf Coast, is the executive director of Mississippi Democratic Trust, which supports Democratic candidates and lawmakers. “No one mentioned anything about discriminatory practices. There were no questions, (and) it passed overwhelmingly,” he said. “It also tells me that the folks who knew what was in this bill must not have felt too proud about it because, when they were presenting, they didn’t fully explain it.” Once the bill’s connection to the “turn back the gays” movement emerged, Sen.

Derrick Simmons, a black Democrat from Greenville, took a strong stance against it, comparing the bill to Jim Crow legislation that enabled legal discrimination of African Americans until the 1960s. On the floor of the Mississippi Senate on April 1 before the bill’s passing, Simmons urged fellow legislators to vote against the bill. “If you have never been discriminated against, you don’t know how that feels,” he said. On the other hand, House Judiciary B Committee Chairman Andy Gipson, a Baptist pastor and a Republican from Braxton who caused an uproar in 2012 when he said on Facebook that the Bible said homosexuals “are to be put to death,” helped lead the coalition to keep the bill alive as it ran through the Mississippi House. He chaired the House committee that toned down highly controversial language in the original bill. “We need a well-reasoned bill that pro-


Campaign, Jackson could be well on its way to “sanctuary” status, reaping economic-development help in the process. HRC, based out of Washington, D.C., this week announced “Project One America,” a comprehensive, multi-year campaign to expand LGBTQ equality in the south through permanent campaigns in Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. The initiative will have a three-year budget of $8.5 million and a staff of 20 in the three states. “Right now, this country is deeply divided into two Americas—one where LGBT equality is nearly a reality and the other where LGBT people lack the most fundamental measures of equal citizenship. Project One America is an unparalleled effort to close that gap, and it opens up a bold, new chapter in the civil rights movement of this generation. In this grand struggle for equality, we can’t write off anyone, anywhere,” Griffin said in a statement. The HRC also released Rep. Andy Gipson, a Republican from Braxton, helped lead the coalition to keep a religious-freedom bill findings from a recently comalive and work out a compromise that was slightly pleted survey for HRC by less incendiary, but could still open the door to antiAnzalone Liszt Grove. It regay and other types of discrimination. vealed nearly 65 percent of LGBTQ people in Mississippi regay populations are relatively small, a study port suffering from verbal abuse, and nearly he helped conduct in 2007 found that pres- one in five report physical abuse, both due ence of those groups, which often intersect, to their LGBTQ identity. A quarter of those held a substantial correlation with housing surveyed have experienced discrimination in values, regardless of what variables or model employment or public accommodation. versions they used. HRC’s efforts in Mississippi are not “Many people believe that gays and new, though, and helped lead to passage of lesbians do not cause growth but are mere- a pro-LGBTQ resolution in four towns so ly drawn to certain types of places. … We far—Starkville, Oxford, Hattiesburg and found that the presence of these popula- Magnolia. Rev. Rob Hill, who has been tions had a direct relation to housing values working to connect HRC with other local as well as other locational variables (such LGBTQ organizations, says that the new as income and human capital), making HRC office will most likely be in Jackson. these places more attractive to other popu- He also says that although the project has lations and demographics. In other words, been quietly in the works for several months the presence of these groups was not only prior to the bill, the recent passage of SB2681 related to higher housing and values, but proves just how urgent the situation is for the higher incomes as well.” LGBTQ community in the south. With the help of the Human Rights “That bill is a clear example of why we

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need Project One America in Mississippi,” Hill said in an interview. ‘I’m a Little Crazy’ Over the course of several months, the HRC met with the city councils and mayors of Hattiesburg, Starkville and Oxford to urge them to pass anti-discriminatory resolutions to send a message against LGBTQ discrimination. Hill explained that although these resolutions are non-binding, it is important that these resolutions exist because it will aid in unifying state citizens as a whole. “Certainly, there’s no doubt for me that these resolutions offer an economic advantage since most businesses seeking to locate in Mississippi will look to these communities as these resolutions affirm a commitment to inclusion and diversity,” Hill said. “But I believe the greatest impact is on individuals who hear in these resolutions that the community values and recognizes LGBT citizens. This is a statement of worth that cannot only transform lives but has the potential to save lives in the process.” Magnolia, in Pike County hear McComb, was the most recent town to follow suit on April 22 when the Magnolia Board of Aldermen voted 3-2 to affirm the town’s support of the LGBTQ community. Magnolia Alderman Mercedes Ricks, who is originally from Colombia, is a lesbian and the owner of a local restaurant, La Mariposa. In an interview, Ricks explained that she saw the other resolutions being passed around the state and decided she wanted to do the same for her city. She presented the resolution to the board, and it passed 3-2. Ricks says that a controversy concerning the rainbow flag in front of her restaurant led her to push for the resolution. About five years ago, a few customers refused to eat at her restaurant because of their religious beliefs, which inclined her to take the flag down. However, Ricks eventually put the flag back outside, saying it made other gay people more comfortable in her restaurant. She also said that she “couldn’t care less” if some people don’t like that now. “Gay people have been in the closet for more LGBTQ, see page 18

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An Economic-Development Issue The recent flurry of activism in the city—gay-pride events and protests—means Jackson could become Mississippi’s LGBT “sanctuary,” a place where the state’s gay population can seek refuge, connect, organize and prosper. Richard Florida, the director of the Martin Prosperity Institute who first studied the economic-development potential of “creative class” cities such as Jackson, wrote in his book “Who’s Your City?” that both artistic and gay populations contribute to the

creative economy that sustains many cities within the U.S. Florida referenced what he calls the Bohemian-Gay Index, explaining that areas with a higher number of both artists and homosexuals tend to drive up urban housing prices. Florida noted that although artistic and

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tects our religious freedom,” Gipson said. The final version was amended to say that state action or a person acting on behalf of state action cannot burden a person’s right to exercise their religion. The bill also defines “burden” as “any action that directly or indirectly constrains, inhibits, curtails or denies the exercise of religion by any person or compels any action contrary to a person’s exercise of religion.  ‘Burden’ includes, but is not limited to, withholding benefits, assessing criminal, civil or administrative penalties or exclusion from governmental programs or access to governmental facilities.” The bill’s opponents worry that it remains a “license to discriminate” bill, especially against LGBTQ citizens, because it will make it even harder to mount a legal challenge than it is now. Federal anti-discrimination laws do not allow the same scrutiny of LGBTQ discrimination that it does racial, ethnic and religious minorities. “This bill has nothing to do with faith and everything to do with codifying shameful discrimination,” said HRC President and Arkansas native Chad Griffin in a February statement. “We have seen businesses, people of faith and political leaders from both sides of the aisle speak out against this type of legislation. Passing this bill would not only place Mississippi firmly on the wrong side of history, it would hurt the state’s economy and tarnish its reputation.” Despite the bill’s vagueness and uncertainty, or perhaps because of it, the Human Rights Campaign and others who opposed the bill are using the momentum and fears caused by 2681 to amp up the movement for LGBTQ rights in Mississippi.

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LGBTQ TRIP BURNS

from page 17

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Constance Gordon, youth advocacy coordinator for ACLU of Mississippi, speaks at a protest of SB 2681 in Smith Park. She does not believe religious freedoms are under threat. “If you can go on every corner and see a church, I don’t think that you (religious people) are being targeted,” she said.

years, and they’re afraid of people,” Ricks said. “I want them to feel more comfortable with themselves, and I want people to welcome people for what they are. … But I break the rules, and I’m a little crazy, and I tell everybody who I am, and people come and say how comfortable they are when they walk in this place. That’s what I want Magnolia to do for everyone.” Although a similar resolution has yet to pass in Jackson, many are pushing for not only a resolution but also an ordinance that would enforce it. During the recent special-election runoff to replace Jackson’s late mayor, Chokwe Lumumba, the question of whether the candidates would support an anti-discriminatory resolution came up several times at forums and debates. Tony Yarber, the previous Ward 6 councilman who ultimately won the special mayoral election, said early on in an interview with the Jackson Free Press during his campaign that he did not think a resolution is the solution to protecting the LGBTQ community and also that he was appalled to even consider an ordinance that says that it only protects a certain group of people. “I don’t have to agree with a lifestyle in order to be a defender or to defend that person who carries that lifestyle out,” Yarber said. ...With the right leadership, that leader says we’re going to protect everyone. And if we find that you have been discriminated against, we’re going to deal with you as severely as we can because it isn’t right.” Yarber eventually said near the end of his campaign that he supports human rights for all human beings, leading some to think that his opinion about a possible resolution and ordinance might change. He did not return phone calls to address his position. Laurie Bertram Roberts, the bisexual president of the Mississippi chapter of the National Organization for Women (and

columnist for the Jackson Free Press), said that she did not like the “underlying uncomfortableness” in Yarber’s answers to questions about LGBTQ rights and discrimination. “It wasn’t a part of his original platform,” said Roberts, who supported Yarber’s opponent. “… If it was an issue that was important for him, it would have been a part of his platform head on—not something tacked on during the end of the election.” Son of the late mayor and runoff candidate Chokwe Antar Lumumba said several times that he not only wants to build on his father’s human-rights efforts but he would also support an LGBTQ resolution and an ordinance that would enforce it. “I would support it (an ordinance) because I believe in human rights for human beings,” Lumumba said, when asked if he would support an anti-discrimination ordinance during a conversation with the candidates at Tougaloo College on April 14. Lumumba, who is an attorney, also expressed interest in developing a Human Rights Commission with Kali Williams, a social activist who worked with the late mayor to identify external funding for humanrights projects and who helped organize this weekend’s “Jackson Rising” conference. In an interview before the runoff, Lumumba explained that he wanted to develop the Human Rights Commission and invite those interested in expanding human rights. “In terms of where it is now, we’re trying to develop a framework of what we want that commission to look like, and we want to implement that in the city,” Lumumba said during the campaign. “We also want to identify people who are committed to human rights initiatives, whether it be race, gender or sexual preference. We want to invite those people to be a part of it.” The Movement Explodes SB 2681 might have caused the oppo-


Advice From Laverne Cox:

received national attention back in January for their refusal to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, citing religious beliefs. Due to his concern that customers would start associating his business with a discriminatory mentality, Moore teamed up with Outlaw, Pritchett and several other local professionals looking to voice their anti-discrimination philosophy. “I thought, ‘I need to get the word out that my bakery is open for business to everyone,’” Moore said. Moore said that he was never an advocate for the LGBTQ community until the bill’s passing. “I’m not political,” Moore said. “Politicians got me involved when they involved my business, and no politician is going to speak for my business.” The baker started a Facebook page for the project that same night and teamed up to launch the campaign with Equality Mississippi, who helped over the next few days with the initial funding and distribution of the stickers. That was three weeks ago. Since then, Moore says the response from the local business community has been “fantastic,” noting that he and other businesses have been giving out as many as 40 stickers a day to people and business owners who want to show their support. They gave away their first 500 stickers within the first 10 days of the campaign and are working on a second printing.

Talk About It Interview by Ariel Terrell

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s the first transgender performer to have a recurring spot on a television series, Laverne Cox plays Sophia, a transgender woman who is in prison for credit-card fraud, in the wildly popular Netflix series, “Orange Is the New Black.” In the role, she brings a new light to LGBTQ issues. Cox is originally from Mobile, Ala., and graduated from the Alabama School of Fine Arts. She began dancing when she was only 8 but did not begin acting until she attended Marymount Manhattan College in New York. During her time off the set, Cox has been touring the country, and Mississippi State University was at the end of her tour in March. In an interview with the Starkville Free Press, the JFP’s new sister publication, Cox shared her thoughts about Mississippi’s Senate Bill 2681, or “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” bill, that many are concerned would clear the way for Jim Crow-type laws against LGBTQ residents. Most poignantly, she gave advice to young people growing up under siege by such laws and attitudes in the Deep South—because she’s been there. Here are

Laverne Cox, a transgender Alabama native, has spoken across the country to universities such as Mississippi State in hopes of inspiring others through her experiences.

come of her comments about SB2681 and the climate for LGBTQ people in the south. Here’s a sampling of her thoughts and advice:   • “Girl, I’ve had a long day, and thinking of all that needs to happen here to overturn it (SB 2681) … wow. That’s scary.”   • “In certain places, it’s harder. It just is, and it’s weird. You know, I’m from Alabama, and I felt like I had to leave out, and it’s hard even in New York state. You know, we still don’t have protections for transgender people statewide in New York. So, it’s rough everywhere, really.” • “I think you should be writing about it … and

Support of the campaign, which has attracted international media coverage since the JFP first reported it on April 8, did not stop there. Moore says that both businesses and LGBTQ programs outside Mississippi have been jumping on board the campaign and asking Moore for their own stickers. He says his most recent supporters include Houston GLBT, Atlanta Pride and Vino Volo, a San Francisco-based wine company that sells wines around the world. ‘Where Is Our Protection?’ Many LGBTQ groups based in and out of the state also have participated at protests against the bill at the Capitol building in downtown Jackson ever since it was first presented back in January. “Where is our protection?” asked Constance Gordon, youth advocacy coordinator for ACLU of Mississippi, while speaking at the Capitol April 3, the day before Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill. “I can look around probably anywhere in Mississippi—turn 360 degrees—and see 360 churches. ... If you can go on every corner and see a church, I don’t think that you (religious people) are being targeted.” At the same protest, Brandiilyne Dear, president of The Dandelion Project, a nonmore LGBTQ, see page 20

students should be talking about it here…. I think it’s important that people know about it, and then people can mobilize. Once people know about issues they have to mobilize, but then it’s like how do we get masses of people to care about certain issues, too; it’s really a lot of the work. This is a hard one. I think we have to get the word out. I think the first thing is getting the word out so people will know and then we can start putting big pressure on Mississippi.” • “[M]y understanding is it’s just really rough here. It’s really rough. I really wouldn’t know what to say because it seems so systematically engrained: the racism, the sexism, the transphobia and the homophobia.” • “What it feels like to me as well is that in the south particularly, but let’s just say in the FOX News land, is that folks really don’t have the facts. I think the information people are really getting is very filtered. So, there’s not really a critical engagement in a way where people really have the correct information around these issues.” • “I think the bigger thing in the south, too, especially when you’re using God as a way to take people’s rights away, is that we have to critically engage with our religion when it comes to civil rights. As a trans woman of color, I feel like God made me this way and God loves me and that I’m here doing God’s work. I think we need to change how we frame religion in relationship to civil rights and how we use it.” Comment at jfp.ms. Read Ariel’s full interview at starkvillefreepress.com.

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especially in Mississippi,” Outlaw said. “We are right in the middle of the Bible Belt. These religious organizations enjoy their taxexempt status, and they can congregate and worship however or whenever they choose, and no one is stopping them—and there is a church on every corner!” In fact, there are at least three churches within a block of Outlaw’s salon. Outlaw said that, much to his surprise, he is seeing a growing momentum for equal rights, especially since the bill’s passing. Much of the local momentum has come from one project, in particular, that started in Jackson but is beginning to blossom across the country as well. The “If You’re Buying, We’re Selling” Campaign is one way local businesses have responded to the bill’s passage. Participating businesses are telling customers by the use of stickers on their doors and windows that they will not discriminate based on gender, race or sexual preference. The stickers, designed by long-time local LGBTQ activist Knol Aust, promise: “We don’t discriminate. If you’re buying, we’re selling.” Mitchell Moore, owner of Campbell’s Bakery and a Republican Christian heterosexual, decided to do the stickers upon hearing about the bill’s passing the Senate April 1. Moore said that all he could think about was the story of the Oregon bakery owners who

SFP/ Zach Boozer

site effect of its original intent, as opponents are fighting back with even more vigor—including the very people that the bill ostensibly protects: business owners. Several Jackson entrepreneurs have been outspoken in their opposition to the bill, saying that state lawmakers did not take into account how the law may affect their businesses. Eddie Outlaw, co-owner of Fondren Barbershop and William Wallace Salon and occasional columnist for the Jackson Free Press, says he believes that the bill was a reaction to the growing national support for equality for LGBTQ people, saying that far-right conservatives are “lashing out.” “All this time, the governor has skirted the issue, saying that he stands by the will of the people and stands behind the state Constitution, when the reality was this is a different ballgame,” Outlaw said. “This was an agenda that an outside group pushed, and our Legislature hammered through, and our governor signed into law because that’s what they wanted to do. They didn’t bother to ask the business community what we thought about it or if we thought it was necessary.” Outlaw, who married his partner Justin McPherson last year in California, says he and many other local business owners see the bill as “unnecessary.” “The idea that anyone’s religious liberties are under attack in America is laughable,

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LGBTQ

profit organization aimed at promoting the acceptance of human diversity, said that the bill is an effort to move the state backward. “SB 2681 is the living embodiment of everything the Old South represents,” she said. Religious leaders have also been present at protests, voicing opposition to the bill. Rev. Todd Allen, who is gay, recently spoke on behalf of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) at the protest, criticizing Gipson’s logic in saying that Christians need protection from discrimination in Mississippi. “That’s just as foolish as me saying, ‘Now white people are protected from discrimination in Mississippi.’ It makes no sense. … This legislation is a very sneaky attack to try to put us back into the closet,” Allen said. Before the bill’s signing, Millsaps and Tougaloo professors and faculty members released a joint statement, stating opposition against SB 2681 and encouraging fellow citizens to do the same. “It is still at the present time a reasonable fear that the bill, if it becomes law, may be interpreted by citizens or courts in Mississippi as supporting discrimination on religious grounds, given statements by some state leaders that persons should be denied

JULIAN RANKIN

from page 19

Mitchell Moore, owner of Campbell’s Bakery, helped found the “If You’re Buying, We’re Selling” Campaign, a project that encourages businesses to let customers know by the use of stickers that they will not discriminate based on sexual preference.

rights on the basis of their sexual orientation,” the letter stated. ‘It’s Not Just a Gay Thing’ Although there is growing support for equal rights in both Jackson and the state, legislation like SB 2681 has the potential to encourage and legalize discrimination, harking back to Jim Crow legislation.

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For progression to continue in Mississippi, Pritchett says it must occur with more people realizing that the bill affects everyone, gay and straight. She says that not only do more gay people have to come out of the closet but more gay-friendly people as well. “It’s not just a gay thing,” Pritchett says, “I’ve even heard a lot of (straight) liberals and progressive people talk about living

in the closet because they’re afraid to speak up to their Republican or conservative coworkers,” Pritchett said. “They hide their opinions and ideas, and they don’t speak out but that’s what’s going to have to happen to keep us moving forward. The LGBT community—we can’t do this by ourselves.” Pritchett says legislation like SB 2681 may come about because of the hesitancy of people, gay and straight, to stand up for equal rights of all citizens. However, she says, now that the bill has made more people aware that their rights could be in danger, the motivation to resist legalized discrimination is more potent than ever. “Even though I know they (lawmakers) changed the wording … I think the intent of it was originally pretty negative to our community, and we’re not blind to that,” Pritchett said. “We’ve always just kind of flown under the radar and lived with whatever they did… but now we’re just tired of it. We’re Mississippians, too, and we pay taxes, and they represent us just as well as everybody else,” she said. “Maybe it’s our fault for not standing up earlier, but we’re standing up now.” Comment at jfp.ms. Email Haley Ferretti at haley@jacksonfreepress.com.


The JFP Interview with

Lance Bass by Kit Williamson

Native Mississippian Lance Bass came out to the entertainment world after finding success with ‘N Sync.

T

wo years after I graduated from high school in 2004, Lance Bass came out of the closet on the cover of People Magazine. His revelation struck a chord for me not just because he was a celebrity, as one-fifth of the world-famous pop group ’N Sync, but because he was from Clinton, Miss. As far as I knew growing up, there were no gay people in Clinton. I know better now, but as a gay kid in Jackson (yes, my nickname at St. Andrew’s was “Gay Kid”), I could count on one hand the number of LGBTQ people I knew. It wasn’t until I moved away to attend Interlochen Arts Academy in northern Michigan my junior year of high school that I met other gay people my age. The next summer, I returned home determined to locate more of my kind, and I ended up making my first LGBTQ friends among the artists, advocates and thinkers at the Jackson Free Press, where I interned for the rest of high school. My supervisor, then-Assistant Editor Casey Parks, a college student at Millsaps College as well as a lesbian with great taste in music, made me mixtapes and drove me around in the back seat of her car from Cups to N.U.T.S. to New Stage, introducing me to LGBTQ friends and allies all over the town, including some people I had already met who had somehow been invisible to me. Suddenly, I saw Mississippi in a whole new light. My home state went from be-

ing a place I was desperate to escape to a place I now carry with me wherever I go. I cannot understate the impact that seeing someone with Lance Bass’ profile come out and talk about his experiences growing up would’ve had on me as a kid. When I met Lance and his fiancé, Michael Turchin, last October, they were dressed up as Wayne and Garth from “Wayne’s World,” complete with impressively accurate wigs. To be fair, my partner, John, and I were dressed up as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. We were attending a Halloween benefit for the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus Alive Music Project (AMP), which tours high schools to combat bullying and present positive role models for LGBTQ youth. Lance’s Sirius XM show “Dirty Pop with Lance Bass” was covering the event, and I was fortunate enough to be a guest on the broadcast. We talked a bit about my role on “Mad Men” and my web series “EastSiders” on Logo, but the subject kept swinging back to Mississippi. We started up a conversation at the party afterward and discovered we had similar experiences growing up. We both wished that when we were younger there had been more successful, thriving Mississippians who were out and proud of who they were. Not only do I admire Lance for living his life openly, I admire him for living his life with compassion. In both his professional pursuits and his charity work, Lance is an incredible example of how to balance ambi-

tion and integrity. A few weeks ago in Los Angeles, I caught up with Lance, who turns 35 on May 4, to talk about his career, the gay rights movement in Mississippi and his recent engagement. Your Sirius XM radio show, “Dirty Pop with Lance Bass,” is hilarious and wonderful. Thank you again for having me on as a guest last year! I’m curious to know what inspired you to take to the airwaves.

Since the ’80s, I always dreamed of being a radio DJ. I would always pretend I was Wolfman Jack—I would listen to all my dad’s records and record mixtapes of myself doing countdown shows. I never thought I would have the opportunity to actually host a show, with my crazy schedule. Sirius convinced me they could work around my conflicts, and we tested it out as a weekly show and then a daily show. My favorite two hours of the day are going on air live because anything can happen. It’s so much fun to have a platform to talk about pop culture with other pop-culture fans because I’m the biggest pop-culture fan out there.   Speaking of your Sirius show, you recently shared the details of your engagement to your boyfriend, Michael Turchin, on the air. Congratulations! What does marriage mean to you?

Marriage, to me, is being able to commit, in front of the whole world, to the person you love the most. You’re raised with the idea of marriage and having that dream of finding that one person you want to spend the rest of your life with and tell the world. Once you realize you’re gay, it can feel like that will never happen. It’s depressing, but in the last year having that dream put back on the table really has changed the world so much. You actually feel like a whole human being and not just a second-class citizen.   

Ever the good southern boy, you called his parents to ask permission. How did the conversation go? Were they as charmed as I imagine?

They were very happy that I did it; I don’t think they were expecting that at all. I told my parents a couple of days before, and then I called his mom, dad and sister because they are the most important people in his life. I just needed to hear that they were going to be supportive. I told them 15 minutes before I popped the question because I knew they were so close that if they talked at all I knew that he would have figured it out.    You’ve said that you proposed to Michael in New Orleans because it’s your favorite city in the world, and that both you and your partner

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Richard Vogel/AP

Walking on Air

more BASS, see page 22

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The JFP Interview with Lance Bass have roots there. I think the city has played a special role in the lives of many young LGBTQ people growing up in the south. I’ll admit that my first kiss was at a bar on St. Anne’s Street when I was 16. Sorry, mom. What significance does the city have for you?

Your mother, Diane, gave a speech to her church—about being the Southern Baptist mother of a gay son—that went viral after you posted the transcript to your Huffington Post Blog. Were you surprised by the response?

It’s really been amazing; the response has been overwhelming. Every day I have someone come up to me saying, “Your mother’s

Human Rights Campaign

That was the one city that I could escape to. There was so much culture around and so many different people. I felt included for the first time in New Orleans. You see all walks of life—black, white, gay, straight. It was the one place I could look to in the south where all cultures clashed, but everyone got along and had a great time.   

from page 21 be myself and not have to deal with what people are saying, but when you live in a place like Mississippi you have a different set of concerns. I hear a lot of people saying they have to wait for family members to pass on to come out, so they won’t have to live with the fallout, which I think is just so sad.   

The world has changed so dramatically in a short period of time. How has your family’s experience evolved over the years?

It went from my family not knowing anything about the LGBT community to my mom reading everything she could get her hands on about our community and our struggles. I love that they have gotten so educated about it, because now we can speak the same language. They can start spreading and educating the truth about who we are to other people as well.   

Have any favorite New Orleans memories?

Definitely the night that I got engaged was my all-time favorite. I had 10 of my best friends from high school that I hadn’t seen in a while and a lot of best friends from LA in town I think the letter struck meeting my Mississippi a nerve because it friends for the first time. speaks to a question Right after I proposed, we that’s weighing on a lot went to meet our friends at of people’s minds right Cat’s Meow, and right when now—how do you hold we walked in and showed on to your own personal Although he doesn’t live in the state any longer, Bass remains involved the hand with the ring on faith when there are in Mississippi’s equal rights fight. it, we all started screaming so many people out and celebrating and had a there trying to force their definition of faith great time. Just to see how on other believers? much love all my straight I know you’ve described yourself friends from Mississippi had for Michael was words really touched me,” from parents to as a Christian—what does being a so amazing—it was such a great feeling to see kids that knew that it helped their parents. Christian mean to you? those worlds colliding.  She voiced an opinion that a lot of people   had in the south but weren’t really able to say.   My relationship to God is my relationGrowing up gay in Mississippi, I If you know my mom, she’s pretty shy. She’s ship now. I do feel like the church pushed never imagined that gay marriage not one to write pieces at all. me out. I am very disappointed at how the would be legal in so many states,  

April 30 - May 6, 2014

much less recognized federally with the overturning of DOMA by the Supreme Court. I certainly never imagined I’d be interviewing Lance Bass about his engagement! How do you feel about the way the country has embraced LGBTQ rights?

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I think it’s been amazing. It’s going faster than we ever thought possible. Of course we’d all like to snap our fingers and have it be legal across the country, but that’s not how the things work. I think in my lifetime all 50 states will have legal marriage. I go down to Mississippi at least four or five times a year, and when I go out, there’s not one person who says anything negative or treats me any differently. Everyone is in support of it. I think it’s just an older generation keeping us back from making it illegal. The people in the south are too sweet and hospitable and afraid to talk to the older generation to deal with this. I think they don’t want to be inhospitable and are letting the older generation die out before things can really change. 

What was the reaction like at her congregation?

I don’t think she knew what to expect, but her whole church has been so supportive of her. Her congregation absolutely loved when they read the Huffington Post article. Not one negative person has come up to her saying anything stupid.    I was really struck by something you wrote in your preface to her speech, that when you came out, your family came out, too. I think it’s the fear of this kind of societal pressure that keeps a lot of people in the closet—concern not so much for how they will be perceived but for how the people they love will be impacted. Was that something you were concerned about before you came out?

  For sure. My main concern was how my family would be treated. I live in places like New York and LA so it’s easy for me to

I think in my lifetime all 50 states will have legal marriage. Southern Baptist Convention has represented themselves. When I grew up in the church, it was about loving each other and helping the underdog. When you have the head of the SBC preaching against people in the congregation, it’s so sad, because I think it pushes LGBT people away.

I do think it’s important to believe in a higher power, and Christians should embrace other people who want to come to church. I think it’s scary how the church has let this get out of hand—turning away not just gay people but unmarried mothers and divorced people. It’s 2013, and the church is still picking on a minority of people. They’re never going to turn people toward the Lord if they continue that way.    You executive-produced a documentary that just premiered at Slamdance called “Kidnapped for Christ,” which sheds light on the abusive ex-gay therapy methods employed by an American-run evangelical Christian reform school in the Dominican Republic. What inspired you to tackle the subject, and what has been the response to the film?

The response has been amazing. The one reason I really wanted to be a part of this film was, yes, there was a main character that was sent to these schools because he was gay, but it also looked at all the other reasons the kids were kidnapped and sent there—drugs, being “bad,” etc. I didn’t want to do a film that was just another gay film or focused on the issue of gay primarily, although it touched on that. It really speaks to everyone—hopefully everyone can relate to one of these kids. Watching this film, you definitely feel a call to action. You’re pissed by the end of this feature. At the premiere, we had people walking out because they were so upset by what they were seeing that they couldn’t take it anymore.    When can people see “Kidnapped for Christ?”

  We’re still playing festivals throughout the summer. It should be out and distributed after that.    You’ve also done a lot of acting, with appearances in “Tropic Thunder,” “Zoolander” and the Broadway revival of “Hairspray.” You recently filmed a supporting role in the upcoming LGBTQ comedy, “Such Good People,” starring Michael Urie and Randy Harrison. Can you tell me about your role in the film?

I loved working with all those guys and how they put it all together with crowdfunding. It’s really cool to see that the audience supports you before you even start the movie. It’s a whole different mood when you’re shooting something. I play the silly owner of the Porpoise Purpose, a porpoise charity that they (Urie and Harrison) try to donate stolen money to and then try to take it back, and comedy ensues, of course.  

You recently released your first new song in 12 years, “Walking on

more BASS, see page 24


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The JFP Interview with Lance Bass

I’ve been looking for my debut single for a few years now and couldn’t find the right song. This demo fell in my lap, and I was in the studio three days later. I fell in love with it. We’re packaging it up and will be releasing it in a few weeks. GLENN FRANCIS

CUSTOM

Air,” a collaboration with Anise K, Bella Blue and Snoop Dogg. What inspired you to return to music?

from page 22

It’s no secret that there’s a great deal of homophobia in the entertainment industry. Have you experienced discrimination, either directly or indirectly?

Of course. I’ve lost many jobs because I’m gay. I would never call anyone out, but there have been many things I’ve been let go from. What advice do you have for aspiring LGBTQ performers?

You have to be yourself. The ones trying to hide—that’s where you get into trouble because it creates a negative story when you do come out and will hurt you in the long run. If you start open, there’s nothing they can find out and make a story of. They’ll look at your talent instead of your personal life. Who are some of your favorite LGBTQ writers/ artist/performers, and what do you love about them?

April 30 - May 6, 2014

There are so many great ones. I think what Wilson Cruz is doing, not just as an accomplished actor, but as an advocate for GLAAD, is incredible. Alan Cumming is a great representation for No longer in the world of boy bands, Bass stays busy producing television shows and working with nonprofits LGBT actors out there. His in Hollywood. career has been so incredible. I’m sure he’s had tons of doors closed in his face, but look what he’s done. And you also launched a new charity He’s shown that an entertainer can be gay website, didn’t you? and still play all kinds of roles. How he balI did! www.famousyardsale.com just ances his career and his views is also admiwent live. You can go on and buy used items rable to me. from celebrities, like you’re at a yard sale. All the money goes to a charity that the celebrity Taking it back to Mississippi, where picks. It was inspired by the new Lifetime are some of your favorite places to show I’m producing called “Celebrity Home visit in your hometown? Raiders,” where we go into celebrity’s homes There’s really not much to do in and auction off their belongings for charity. Clinton! Growing up in Mississippi is about the people—your friends, being able to hang When and where can people watch out. There wasn’t even a movie theater grow“Celebrity Home Raiders?” ing up. It was about the fire tower, blueberry It’s on Thursday nights, 9 p.m. central hill, the Jitney parking lot. You went to these time on Lifetime. places to hang with your friends, and that was what it was all about. These friendships You’re obviously a busy guy! Any you had living in a small town.

24

advice for other aspiring overachievers?

Surround yourself with really good people. No one can do it solo. You have to have people with great advice that know what they’re doing that you can really trust. There are a lot of people that take advantage of you, and you have to learn very quickly how to weed those out.

What are your thoughts on the recent “religious freedom” bills such as Mississippi’s SB2681 that recently passed the Mississippi Senate?

It’s crazy that people want to write discrimination into law. It’s so silly that in 2014 that’s even an option. Most of my friends in Mississippi, when they found out what the


courtesy JIVE

bill was truly about, were pissed off because they were confused. Their congressmen and church leaders were explaining the bill in a completely different way than what it is. It’s a dangerous bill. An ambulance wouldn’t have to pick up a person because they think they’re gay. That’s what this bill really is, and that’s scary. It’s going back 100 years scary. 

attribute that to growing up in a safe place like Mississippi and having an amazing family. You could trust people. It helps you really focus on and learn how to nurture relationships with your friends because, again, there wasn’t anything else to do but have friends and do group activities with your church. It was about being with other people. Your family, and the friends who become like your family.  

Lastly, how has growing up in Mississippi shaped you as a person?

It definitely keeps me down to earth. That’s one thing I really pride myself on: having a good grasp on reality. I definitely

As one-fifth of ‘N Sync, Bass shot to stardom in the late ’90s.

Comment on this story at jfp.ms. Read more about Lance Bass at lancebass.com and Kit Williamson at kitwilliamson.com.

W /

Pub Quiz with Andrew

T /

This is an excerpt of a letter Lance Bass’ mother, Diane, wrote to her church about her son’s homosexuality.

I

am here to share my testimony. Please know that I am NOT here to debate the issue of homosexuality. I would never do that because I do not have all the answers and will probably never have them in this life. The Bible warns of false teachers, and I would never say anything that might possibly be considered false teaching. However, there are some things I feel led to share that I know beyond a doubt are true and I will share those with you tonight. … Seven years ago, we found out that Lance is gay. We were totally blindsided and devastated because never in a million years would we have guessed it…. [T]he first thing I did was fall to my knees and ask, “What would Jesus do?” I almost immediately knew the answer ... love my son. And that is what I have done. Never once did I ever think about turning my back on him. Never once was I ashamed or embarrassed. My feelings were more of sadness and just sheer disappointment in life. … I do not know why, but even as a staunch Christian, I personally never believed that being gay was a choice. I never knew a lot of gay people, but the ones I did meet I felt compassion for because I could feel their pain of being rejected and my heart always went out to them. … I continued to love my son, stand beside him, and defend him, but for several years I continued to pray relentlessly for a miracle. Well, Lance is still gay. However, I did get a miracle. … I learned to have unconditional love and compassion for my son and others in the gay community. I haven’t marched in parades or spoken at conventions, but I do feel that God has led me to speak out concerning the church’s role. My son is a Christian and wants to be able to worship, but he does not feel that the church cares about him and

has pretty much disowned him as a fellow believer. There is something terribly wrong with that, and I have to speak up on behalf of my son and others who find themselves in the same situation. When I was a little girl, I went to a celebration with my grandparents on the courthouse lawn in Laurel. I was thirsty and ran to drink some water from one of the water fountains. My grandmother screamed at me to stop. When I looked at the fountain, it had the word “Colored” on it, and she told me I had to drink out of another one. I was only 6 years old, but I knew something was just not right about that. Just as my heart told me something was wrong that day on the courthouse lawn, my heart is telling me that something is wrong with the way the church treats those who are gay. I could tell you many stories that gay young people have told me about how so-called Christian people have treated them, but I will only share one. One of the young men told me that he was searching for God and visited a large church one Easter Sunday. He was enjoying the beautiful service and feeling so drawn to what he was experiencing. Everyone was standing singing a hymn and when he sat down, there was a note in his chair. It said, “You know you are going to hell.” He told me that he never went to church again. I don’t blame him, but to my knowledge, he has not accepted Christ and is lost. When I found out Lance was gay, I dove into the scriptures looking for answers. The scriptures that kept jumping out to me were Jesus’s warnings about judgment. The person who wrote that note should heed those warnings. Jesus says in Luke 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” Jesus is telling us that we cannot lead others to him if we are judging and condemning them. …

‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.’

Emera ld Accent F /

Jas on Tu rner S /

Mr. Di llion and the Jukebox M /

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Diane Bass’ Testimony to Her Church

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D e s i g n Your Life

A New Group of Students Will Design Their Life May 12th Did You Make the Cut? Don’t Worry, New Classes Start June 16th Enroll Now!

April 30 - May 6, 2014

1-800-New Look

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Phase 1: Master the Basics Phase 2: A Hands On Approach Phase 3: Advance Your Skills Phase 4: Prepare and Work

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, gainful employment statistics and other important information, please visit our website at, www.magnoliacollegeofcosmetology.com Photo Courtesy of Pivot Point International Inc.

4725 I-55 N • Jackson, MS • 601.362.6940 www.magnoliacollegeofcosmetology.com


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WHO DAT DAY

SPRING TRAINING WITH PIERRE THOMAS & THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

SATURDAY, MAY 3 11:00 AM TO 4:00 PM

New Orleans Saints #23 Pierre Thomas will be at the museum to lead drills, athletic field day activities and take you through the Saints Experience. Along with Pierre, the Lombardi Trophy will be at the museum for photo opportunities. All activities are included in general admission pricing for Who Dat Day.

Located in Jackson, MS at I-55 & Lakeland Drive.

JFP April2014 MCM 4.5x12.indd 1

t 1.877.793.KIDS (5437) 4/4/14 3:11 PM

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Feed Your Fancy at La Brioche by Lisa Hedges

April 30 - May 6, 2014

28

Courtesy La Brioche

B

onjour, cher lecteur! Did that French greeting make you feel classy and European? Good. That was the goal. Now, do me a favor: Pick up whatever you’re drinking and take a sip. Did your pinky rocket heavenward? Perfect. You’ve passed the second test. Now that I know you’re a connoisseur of the finer things in life, I feel comfortable sharing a delicious secret with you. Listen carefully, because it won’t be a secret for long. There’s a new bakery in town, and it’s all about luxurious sweets. Meet La Brioche Patisserie. Though the owners of La Brioche, Alejandra Sprouts and Cristina Lazzari, hail from Argentina, they bring their experiences from traveling all over Europe and South America to the table. Their goal with the bakery is to fuse flavors from different cultures in their pastries. Along with this culinary blending, the sisters pride themselves on their use of local and organic ingredients, such as eggs from Brown Egg Company in Bentonia. In fact, the sisters got their start in Mississippi as certified organic farmers, growing such crops as sprouts, edible flowers and various herbs. After losing their greenhouse to a tornado in 2010, the pair decided on a career change. After Sprouts attended the French Pastry School in Chicago, she and Lazzari got together and established La Brioche in November 2013. To Lazzari, the bakery is an answer to a previously unaddressed market in the Jackson area. “There are many bakeries in the city, but I don’t think any, yet, have the finesse, or maybe fit the niche, that we do,” she says. “We do many international pastries, and we focus on French technique. We’re not from here, and we travel back and forth between different places, so we like to blend all of that. I think that’s what sets us apart.” While you won’t catch these two dealing in typical bakery wares, you might find a new favorite in their wide array of treats, such as mousse cakes, macaroons or dulce de leche. As an emissary of the people, I sampled their best-seller: a traditional Argentinian cookie called an alfajor. The alfajores are comprised of two cookies, offered in different flavors such as dark chocolate and vanilla, sandwiching a caramel spread. Until November, the sisters relied on the Mississippi Farmers Market to sell their pastries to the public. Now, though, you can find them in the Jackson Enterprise Center across from Battlefield Park on Highway 80. The sisters are working toward opening a storefront property in Fondren by fall, but until then you can get your hands on their desserts in a couple of ways: You can still find them at the Farmers Market on Saturdays, or order through their website, labriochems.com, and pick up or have their goodies delivered. Additionally, several local businesses carry La Brioche products, including Whole Foods, Sneaky Bean and Fusion. The full menu is available online.

The traditional Argentinian alfajores are a signature treat for La Brioche.

Macarons are another popular pastry offering.

Visit labriochems.com for more.


J A PA N E S E S U S H I B A R & HIBACHI GRILL

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INTRODUCING Nurses Night Beer Specials and 10% Off Food

925 N State St, Jackson 601-969-6400 1430 Ellis Ave, Jackson 601-969-0606

Thursday 7 till 11 Fresh Wings and Cold Beer. Always. Only at State St. Location .

398 Hwy 51 N, Ridgeland 601-605-0504 1001 Hampstead Blvd, Clinton 601-924-2423

Call Us For All Of Your Catering Needs!

-Best Barbecue in Jackson- 2003 • 2006 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 1491 Canton Mart Rd. • Jackson • 601.956.7079

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

DID YOU KNOW THAT WE CATER TOO? Office Lunches Wedding Receptions Engagement Parties Family Reunions

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NO JOB TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL!

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

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, www.cupsespressocafe.com) 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 30 - May 6, 2014

ASIAN AND INDIAN

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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.

January, msbluesmarathon.com

Second: Run Up for Downs (runnningforlily.com) / Third (tie): 12Ks for the Holidays (christmas12k.com); Fondren Urban Ultra (ultrasignup.com)

TATE K. NATIONS

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.

Best Race: Mississippi Blues Marathon

Races, fun runs and themed 5Ks have seen more success and enthusiasm than ever in Jackson over the past few years, but when it comes to runs, the biggest is also the best. The Mississippi Blues Marathon offers a 26.2-mile (or 13.1-mile, for the half-marathoners), music-fueled route to runners from every state and many countries. “If you read reviews on marathonguide.com, which is kind of the go-to website for races, every other review will say, ‘These are friendliest people I’ve ever seen,’” John Noblin, director of the marathon, told the Jackson Free Press before the 2014 race. The marathon brings thousands to Jackson each year, many of whom have never been to Mississippi before. “I’ve been here all my life, and it’s a chance to show Jackson off, and show the good parts,” Noblin said. “I don’t mean the good areas—we go all over town—I mean the hospitality and music and people.” —Kathleen M. Mitchell

Best Runner: Terry Sullivan liverightnowonline.com

It’s not at all surprising that the inaugural Best Runner award goes to someone who doesn’t just run for himself, but for the whole Jackson community. As founder of live RIGHTnow, along with his wife, Meredith, Sullivan is making our city healthier, literally one step at a time. Sullivan spends his days being active and helping others stay active, too, by meeting folks for a run around his Fondren neighborhood or leading a group exercise session. LiveRIGHTnow hosts weekly hill runs on Old Canton Road, Tabatas sessions on the Duling Hall Green and at Butterfly Yoga, and a variety of Badass Bootcamps. The Sullivans also worked with the Fondren Renaissance Foundation to start FondRUN, a monthly pub run. “When I see people work out (together), they are smiling and laughing,” Sullivan told the JFP last year. “... A lot of time, we go to the gym, we plug in our headphones, and zone out and watch television like zombies. But when we run hills, we get together, we throw on our reflective vests, we laugh, we talk, and we play.” —Kathleen M. Mitchell Second: Jeremy Jungling / Third: John Browser

FLICKR/J_R

PIZZA

TRIP BURNS

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

Best Local Sports Apparel Shop: StinkyFeet Athletics 153 Ridgeway, Suite C, Flowood, 601-992-1439; 122 E. Main St., Starkville, 662-268-8042 stinkyfeetathletics.com

In the summer of 2010, husband and wife David and Stacy Seago opened StinkyFeet Athletics in Flowood. Business has boomed, and the couple opened another location in Starkville. StinkyFeet is a go-to store for any running needs. The stores are stocked with sneakers best suited for runners and the proper accessories for people to get active. StinkyFeet’s website has resources as well, including information about its training programs and schedules for upcoming races. This store is appropriately named after what the Seagos believe is the product of running. “We want you out running, reaching, living. At the end of that run, if you’ve got sore muscles, a sweat-soaked shirt, and hot, stinky feet … well, you’ve covered some ground,” the website reads. After nearly four years of successful business and with two locations, StinkyFeet Athletics is at the top of its game. —Savannah Hunter Second: Fleet Feet (500 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-899-9696) / Third: The Bike Rack (2282 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-936-2100)


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Our Hosts Holly and Alan Lange Betsy Bradley and Robert Langford Maetta and Ken Lefoldt Donna and Dale Marcum Amber May Paul McNeill Sally and Dick Molpus Heather A. Montgomery Frances and Cooper Morrison Wendy and Chuck Mullins Ginnie and Luther Munford Betsy and Bill Nation Beth and Steve Orlansky Susan and Bill Osborne Regan and Billy Painter Mary Lou Payne Anne and Alan Perry Star Pool Becky and Don Potts Mary and Alex Purvis Lori Quarles Melinda and Steve Ray Laurel and Josh Schooler Kelly Scrivner Jenn and Ed Sivak Drs. Estus and Emma Brooks Smith Charmelia and Adam Spicer Mary Ellen and Jeff Stancill Jerusha and David Stephens Sally and Bill Thompson Dr. A.C. Tipton, Jr. Martha and Watts Ueltschey Robin Walker Nell and Ed Wall Laney and Jason Watkins Jay Wiener

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Meredith and Ben Aldridge Sharron and Bobby Baird Betsy and Ken Barton Deidra and Fred Bell Ruth and Carl Black Suzanne and Bill Boone Crisler and Doug Boone Dr. Claude Brunson Jean Butler Hope and Bill Bynum Nancy and Roy Campbell Mary and Alton Cobb Lynn Crystal Margaret and Brett Cupples Marilyn Currier Dr. Vonda Reeves-Darby W. Wayne Drinkwater Susan and Frank Duke Lesly Murray and Steve Edds Evelyn Edwards Annie and Gates Elliott Carol and George Evans Oleta Fitzgerald Jane and Dean Gerber Dolly and Wesley Goings David Goodwin Beth and Collier Graham Janice Gray Jane Crater Hiatt Kristine and Tim Jacobs Jennifer and Peder Johnson Louisa Dixon and Jerry Johnson Elta and Jim Johnston Linda and Herky Jordan Stacey and Mitchell Jordan Cathy Joyner Ann Hendrick and Jim Kopernak

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ARTS p 35 | 8 DAYS p 36 | MUSIC p 39

Autumn de Wilde

Florida to Mexico City, and he will play his first-ever show in Jackson on May 7 at Duling Hall. I spoke with him by phone about “A Wasteland Companion” and his fascination with older instruments. How did you happen to work with 18 different musicians for your last record, “A Wasteland Companion”?

They’re all friends or acquaintances of mine that I’ve had over the years. The idea for this record was to be a record of the years that were spent making it—which means a lot of traveling and working with musicians from around the world, and trying to work with some new engineers and new ideas, and trying to tie everything together. That was the idea behind the record. Did you try to center the lyrics on similar concepts?

Every song is individually made without the other songs in mind. When it comes time to make a record, I will compile dozens and dozens of songs, and at that stage, I’ll find songs that seem to fit together in some way.

April 30 - May 6, 2014

What ended up being common factor here?

32

T

o admirers of folk music, M. Ward might be as profound an innovator as Steve Jobs is to techies. Ward has been on the scene long enough to know exactly what he’s doing and how to do it, and his expertise shows in his mixture of blues, country and folk music. Ward has strong followings across the nation for his various projects, which operate at different levels of maturation. He released the first album of his solo career, “Duet for Guitars #2,” in 1999 on Co-Dependent Records and his eighth and latest album, “A Wasteland Companion,” in April 2012 on Merge Records. Ward, who is based in Portland, Ore., recorded the album at eight different studios with the help of 18 musicians, including Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis, Sonic

the

A lot of different things, but I’m much more interested in the listener making the connections than trying to create too much definition to what the Folk music frontrunner M. Ward opens up songs mean or what the record means. about his music without revealing too much. … I learned a long time ago that people’s interpretations of my songs are much more interesting than any autobiographical information I could give Youth’s Steve Shelley and Devotchka’s Tom Hagerman. you. I could write a song about some article I read in The In 2004, Ward created Monsters of Folk with Bright New York Times, and somebody will think that it’s about Eyes members Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis and My them. I love that. Morning Jacket member Jim James. The supergroup released a self-titled album in 2009, which peaked at No. 1 on What made you start writing songs? Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums Chart. Ward has also released Probably The Beatles. That’s what inspired me to four albums with actress, musician and singer Zooey Descha- pick up the guitar. That’s how I learned how to play, (by) nel under the moniker She & Him. going through their catalog of songs from A to Z when I Aside from producing his and his projects’ work, Ward was about 14 or 15. And that was my education on learning has contributed and produced music for a host of other art- how to play. ists, including Norah Jones, Conor Oberst, Beth Orton, My Did you have any formal training as well? Morning Jacket, Jenny Lewis and Cat Power. M. Ward is on a two-week tour across the coast from It was just these Beatles books. It was a good education.


%0/Âľ5426*4)"7"-0/ What about the piano?

Where do you usually get them?

The piano happened very accidentally. I took lessons when I was about 8 years old, and very quickly stopped taking lessons because I kind of hated it. After I played guitar for a few years, I figured out a way to translate what I was learning on guitar to what I was learning on piano in terms of chord structures and in terms of basic elementary scales, and that opened up this whole new world of keyboards for me. So that was an exciting time.

Really all over the place. Mainly shops in Los Angeles and Portland, where I spend most of my time.

Everything comes from the guitar. When I am writing string arrangements, they are informed by different triads that I play on the guitar or different melody lines created on GarageBand using guitar. When I am designing rhythmic or drum ideas, it mainly comes from the right-hand approach to guitar. So everything comes from the guitar. Do you start with music or the lyrics?

It depends on the song. A lot of times words come first, but there’s no real formula. What inspires you today?

My biggest inspiration is listening to older records, production ideas, older singing styles, older guitar styles. I love the process of trying to mix and match different eras of music together to see if something excited can happen or if something unexpected can happen in the studio. ‌ When they do happen, they make the record. When they don’t happen, it becomes something I put in the recycling bin or the garbage depending on the song. What’s one example?

There was a song; it’s the last song on my “Post-Warâ€? record. It’s a cover of a song called “I’m A Fool to Want You.â€? It’s from a Billie Holiday record called “Lady in Satin.â€? I wanted to try to combine this old style of songwriting—it’s an old standard—with some more modern electric guitar sounds. It’s a distorted electric guitar. I wanted the guitar to be reminiscent of Billie Holiday’s vocal, which has quite a bit of gravel to it. ‌. Every song really is a process of trying to find which of these different ideas will fit together. Is that a solo process?

It’s mainly a process I do before the production even starts. So I’ll do it at home either on GarageBand or FourTrack. What kinds of older equipment do you favor?

I like the sound of old organs. For acoustic guitar, I prefer guitars that are older, 1940s, 1950s. For electric guitars, I like guitars that were made in the ’60s and ’70s. But I don’t get much older than that.

I just like the way it feels. Playing a brand-new guitar doesn’t feel very good. It’s like playing a brand-new piano. It feels sterile or difficult to maneuver. The same goes for organs and most instruments, really. It’s just the way that it feels.

...People’s interpretations of my songs are much more interesting than any biographical information I could give you. Can you tell me about the transitions you’ve gone through with your various projects?

It all comes down to paying very close attention to the demo, to that moment when the song was being written. It doesn’t matter really what the project is. If you can try to get that spirit of discovery into the production, then the whole process becomes a lot easier. It gives it the right definition, the right kind of direction and the right amount of honesty. And that’s what I shoot for. How has your music evolved since your first album in 1999?

It’s hard for me to measure what exactly has been happening because I’m inside of it. I have no perspective at all. I’m always curious when other people are able to comment on it. For me, I’m just following the song and trying to go where it leads me. It might sound cheesy, but it’s true. ‌ I will go with whatever ideas I fall in love with, really. M. Ward performs at 8 p.m. May 7 at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave., 601292-7999). Mount Moriah also performs. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. Visit ardenland.com for tickets and mwardmusic.com for music.

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DIVERSIONS | arts

Décor and Class

SHOP + PLAY DOWNTOWN

by Briana Robinson

S

ometimes, white walls can be a person’s biggest inspiration. For Hunter Davenport, the blank walls in his apartment—along with the lack of monetary funds to decorate them to his content—stirred up a passion he had never before pursued. “While I was in the apartment, we had nothing on our walls,” he says. “And all I was doing was working, so I had all this down time at night. Finally, I was like,

Trip Burns

people use masking tape to create shapes to paint around. “I thought if I stenciled out the flowers, that would be the best painting that would come out of me because it was my first one.” His success with that first painting gave him the motivation to continue creating. That same autumn, Davenport started a Facebook page, called The Boom Box Projects, for his work. “I was really wanting to display my work and not just be sending photos to my friends saying, ‘Oh, look what I finished,’” he says. “I also created it because I wanted a lot of other people, and especially some of my friends who were kind of in the same situation, to also be able to display their stuff there, too. It’s for everybody, not just the stuff that I do.” Since he began painting last year, Davenport has sold more than 50 pieces of art. The first painting that he sold was a depiction of an owl that he did for a friend who wanted something similar to what she saw in a store. Things accelerated quickly. He sold more pieces in November, and in December, someone commissioned Davenport to create several paintings to give as Hunter Davenport found his love of art through making pieces for his barren apartment walls. Christmas gifts. “My inspiration comes from the diversity of the world ‘Well, I’m going to start painting and put around us and people’s minds and how we some stuff up on the walls.’ It was just ab- think and how we see color,” Davenport solutely too expensive to go buy decorations says. “My paintings seem to be a spectrum for everything.” of different things, and it’s going to stand out Davenport, a Jackson native, lived in on one end or the other end, depending on Nashville, Tenn., and Evansville, Ind., before who’s looking at it.” returning to the Jackson area with his fam- Davenport’s painting surfaces mainly ily the summer before his first year of high include found items that he preps. When school. The first in his family to attend col- painting on wood, for example, he first coats lege, Davenport enrolled at the University of the surface with a clear sealant to keep the Mississippi, although he returned to Jack- wood from absorbing the paint. As an event son and worked 40 hours a week at Mint designer for Eventful, he spends a bit of time the Restaurant while earning an associate’s in warehouses, which have dozens of unused degree in liberal arts in 2013 from Holmes and unneeded wood panels lying around. Community College. He also paints on items such as wine bottles The 24-year-old finished his first work and drink coasters. in early November 2013. The tetraptych “I’m all about being green, and I think painting, which consists of four adjacent recycling is the best thing,” he says. “I’d canvas panels that hang at slightly different rather turn the trash into something pretty heights, is a black-on-white monochromatic that someone would want in their house depiction of flowers and branches. He made instead of it being something that gets the piece to cover a blank wall in the living thrown away.” room of his apartment, which he moved While Davenport has been able to in to with his sister, Chelsea Bonds, in make money with his creations, he still August 2013. considers painting relaxing and fun hobby. “I didn’t want it to look like I was fin- He wouldn’t mind getting art training in ger painting,” he says. He consulted Pin- the future, but he isn’t too worried about it terest for inspiration and found that some right now.

/ S t r a y A tHom e / S t ray A t H o m e

w w w. s tr ay a t hom e . c o m w w w. s t raya t h o m e. c o m

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@ S AH_ Jac kso n @ SAH_Jackson

35


WEDNESDAY 4/30

SUNDAY 5/4

TUESDAY 5/6

“Così Fan Tutte” is at Tinseltown.

“Stick Fly” is at Warehouse Theatre.

Charles Marsh signs “Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer” at Lemuria.

BEST BETS april 30 - May 7, 2014

History Is Lunch is at noon at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). MDAH historians Amanda Lyons and Will Morgan present “Patriots Without a Country: Flight and Fight.” Free; mdah.state.ms.us. … “Così Fan Tutte” is at 6:30 p.m. at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). $20, $18 seniors, $14 children. Call 601-936-5856; cinemark. com. … JOHNNYSWIM performs at 7:30 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Call 601-292-7999; ardenland.net.

Jeremy Cowart

WEDNESDAY 4/30

JOHNNYSWIM performs at 7:30 p.m. April 30 at Duling Hall. The Los Angeles duo, Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez, performs a blend of folk, soul and rock. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

THURSDAY 5/1

Courtesy Randee St. Nicholas / RCA Records

Catholic Charities Rape Crisis Center’s 30th Anniversary Celebration is from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Smith Park (302 E. Amite St.). Free; call 601-326-3731. … Arts, Eats and Beats is at 5 p.m. in Fondren. Free; call 601-981-9606; fondren.org. … Mississippi Artists’ Guild Juried Fine Arts Exhibition Opening Reception is from 5-8 p.m. at Municipal Art Gallery (839 N. State St.). Free; call 601-960-1582; mississippiartistsguild.org.

April 30 - May 6, 2014

p.m. at Warehouse Theatre (1000 Monroe St.). The play is about turmoil within an affluent African-American family. $7; call 601-948-3533, ext. 222; newstagetheatre.com.

MONDAY 5/5

SATURDAY 5/3

Cooking Class is at 11 a.m. at Raindrop Turkish House (900 E. County Line Road, Suite 201A, Ridgeland). $15; call 769-251-0074; email jacksonrwa@turkishhouse. org; raindropturkishhouse.org. … Who Dat Day is from 11 by BRIANA ROBINSON a.m.-4 p.m. at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland jacksonfreepress.com Drive). New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas shares Fax: 601-510-9019 his experience as a football player. Daily updates at $8; mississippichildrensmuseum. jfpevents.com com. … Renaissance Art Show is at Spectacles Gallery (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 143). New Stage Theatre presents “Much Ado About Nothing” at noon, and the art show is at 1 p.m. Free; call 601-720-8849; facebook.com/theartagent. … Black Panties Tour is at 7 p.m. at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium (2531 N. State St.). R. Kelly and Tamar Braxton perform. $36-$90; call 800-745-3000.

T.E.A.M. G Concert is at 6 p.m. at Morning Star Baptist Church (3420 Albermarle Road). Free; call 769-2572862. … Take a Tasty Bite Out of Crime is from 7-10 p.m. at Highland Village (4500 Interstate 55 N.). $50; call 601212-0016; tastybiteoutofcrime.com.

events@ TUESDAY 5/6

R. Kelly, aka The King of R&B, performs at the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. May 3.

FRIDAY 5/2

Fitness (534 E. Mitchell Ave.). $15; boxersrebellion.com. … The Wild Feathers performs at 8 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). Tennessee Jet also performs. $12 in advance, $15 at the door; call 601-292-7999; ardenland.net.

Chatham Art Showcase is at St. Richard Catholic Church (1242 Lynwood Drive). A floral workshop is at 10 a.m., and an art show is from 6-9 p.m. $25 workshop, free showcase; call 601-366-2335. … Intro to Women’s Self 36 Defense is at 6 p.m. at Boxers Rebellion Fighting Arts and

SUNDAY 5/4

Queen’s Lip Sync Showdown and 40th Born Day Bash is at 7 p.m. at Soul Wired Cafe (111 Millsaps Ave.). $10; email hathor601@aol.com. … “Stick Fly” is at 7:30

Charles Marsh signs copies of “Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer” at 5 p.m. at Lemuria Books (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). Reading at 5:30 p.m. $35 book. Call 601-366-7619; lemuriabooks.com. … Music in the City is at 5:15 p.m. at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Free; call 601-960-1515; msmuseumart.org. … Digital Photo Editing Class is from 6:30-8 p.m. at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.). $95; millsaps.com/conted.

WEDNESDAY 5/7

M. Ward performs at 7:30 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). Mount Moriah also performs. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. $20 in advance, $25 at the door; call 601-2927999; ardenland.net. … David Nail performs at 7:30 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St.). Cale Dodds also performs. $20 in advance, $25 day of show; call 601-292-7999; email jane@halandmals.com; ardenland.net.


JFP-Sponsored Events

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.

Holiday Cinco de Mayo Fiesta May 1-5, at Sombra Mexican Kitchen (140 Township Ave, Suite 100, Ridgeland). Fleet Feet Sports hosts the Mustache Dash May 1 at 6 p.m., The Dos de Mayo party is May 2 at 3 p.m. May 3, Jason Turner performs from 2-6 p.m. May 4, Johnny Mora performs from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The four wheeler giveaway is May 5 at 7 p.m. Free, $5 suggested donation for Mustache Dash and $10 for giveaway (benefits the Mississippi Burn Foundation); call 601-707-7950; sombramexicankitchen.com. Artistic Fun with Mothers May 2, 6 p.m.-9 p.m., at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). In the Community Meeting Room, third floor. Arts Klassical hosts an evening of dance, poetry and song. Presenters include poets Rahleecoh Ishakarah and Leslie Thompson, jazz dancer Shasa Cohran, and DJ Woosie. Free; call 769-251-2017; email artsklassicals@yahoo.com or gcohran@yahoo.com.

Community Events at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.) • NAMI Mississippi State Conference May 1-2, 8 a.m. This year’s theme of the mental health conference is “Together We Are Better.” Includes screening of the film “Call Me Crazy” May 1 at 7 p.m. CEUs available for social workers. $55, $45 members, $20 consumers, $100 professionals obtaining CEUs; namims.org.

I

t’s not every day that Capitol and State well as beverages, jewelry, crafts, and streets transform into a colorful fiesta many other items. The Mississippi with fragrant smells of carne asada, Band of Choctaw Indians will hold an elote grilling and the aria of mariachi mu- expo and feature art from the tribe. An sic lingering in the air. The Cinco de Mayo authentic Mexican Charro rodeo paMississippi Festival 2014 is happening again downtown Jackson May 3. The holiday of Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of the Mexican Army, led by Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza, against French forces in the city of Puebla, Mexico, on May 5, 1862. Charro Mexican Rodeo cowboys, Escaramuza cowgirls Organizer Pete Castorena and American cowboys march in the Charro Mexican views the festival as a way Rodeo parade during 2013’s Cinco de Mayo Festival. to show the Mexican culture and celebrate with everyone. “It’s a rade will feature horseman decked out Mexican festival that includes different in elaborate silver-detailed costumes  ethnic groups, a family-friendly multi- with sombreros. cultural festival that brings diversity and Cinco de Mayo Mississippi is noonunity in one entire day,” Castorena says. 11 p.m. May 3. Admission is $10 in “I believe that it is time to make a differ- advance, $15 at the gates for adults. ence by bringing people together to enjoy Admission is $5 for children ages 6-12. this great city and state.” Children under 6 get in free. For more Numerous vendors will be sell- information and a complete line-up of ing authentic food from Mexico, South events, visit cincodemayomississippi.com. America, and the United States, as —ShaWanda Jacome

courtesy Downtown Partners

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 601-9815469; mississippichildrensmuseum.com.

Welcome, Amigos

• “Financially You” Wealth Building Workshops Mondays, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. through May 5 In the Community Meeting Room, third floor. Financial planner Ernest Jackson offers advice on meeting financial goals. Registration required. Free; call 601-750-3011; find Jackson Consultant Group - JCG on Facebook. Events at The South Warehouse (627 E. Silas Brown St.) • Day at the Derby May 3, 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. The fundraiser for the University Transplant Guild includes watching the “Run for the Roses” on large-screen televisions, refreshments, music from Faze 4, a silent auction and a drawdown. Kentucky Derby attire welcome.

For adults only. $75-$250; call 601-984-5078; email thesouthwarehouse@yahoo.com; umc. edu/universitytransplantguild. • “Harder in Heels” Woman of the Year Ceremony May 6, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women honors Mississippi native and actress Sela Ward, as well as other women in eight categories such as performing arts, education and community service. RSVP. Sponsorships start at $250; email thesouthwarehouse@yahoo.com; msstatusofwomen.org. Events at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive) • International Migratory Bird Day Celebra-

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Brews and Bites Business After Hours May 1, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St.). World Trade Center Mississippi’s young professional group, MSWTC Young Globals hosts the networking event. Includes appetizers and a cash bar. For ages 21 and up. Online registration available. $10, $5 members; call 601353-0909; email tdiez@mswtc.org; mswtc.org. Jackson Rising: New Economies Conference May 2-4, at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.). The purpose of the conference is to encourage Jacksonians to build cooperatives and worker-owned enterprises in order to meet the economic and sustainability needs of the community. Registration required. Discounts apply for registration by April 1. $25 local, $75 national, $200 academic or foundation; call 601-208-0090; email jacksonrising@gmail.com; jacksonrising.org. Repticon Jackson Reptile and Exotic Animal Show May 3-4, 10 a.m., at Wahabi Shrine Center (4123 Interstate 55 S.). The event features vendors offering reptile pets, supplies, feeders, cages and merchandise as well as live animal seminars and raffles. $10 ($12 VIP), $5 ages 5-12, children under 5 free; call 371-7116; email office@ wahabishriners.com; repticon.com. Hinds County Board of Supervisors Meeting May 5, 9 a.m., at Hinds County Chancery Court (316 S. President St.). The board holds its regular meeting, open to the public. Free; call 601-9686501; co.hinds.ms.us. Jackson City Council Meeting May 6, 4 p.m., at Jackson City Hall (219 S. President St.). Free; call 601-960-1064; jacksonms.gov.

more EVENTS, see page 38

BRIAN JONES

Mother’s Day is only weeks away!

How will you treat your Mom?

Precinct 1 COPS Meeting May 1, 6 p.m., at Jackson Police Department, Precinct 1 (810 Cooper Road). The forum is designed to help resolve community issues. Free; call 601-960-0001.

Friday, May 2nd • $5 Cover 9pm

Happy Hour

Tuesday - Saturday • 5:00 - 6:30 pm

Ladies Night on Thursday

jacksonfreepress.com

“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; newstagetheatre.com.

tion May 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Enjoy bird watching and other hands-on outdoor activities. $4$6; call 601-576-6000; msnaturalscience.org. • First Tuesday Lecture May 6, noon-1 p.m. Brad Maurer, restoration engineer for The Nature Conservancy, speaks on the topic, “Understanding Streams.” $4-$6; call 601-5766000; msnaturalscience.org. • Central Mississippi Master Naturalist Program May 6, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Receive training in natural history, natural resource management and environmental science. Sessions are Tuesdays through June 24. Candidates must also meet a 40-hour volunteer service requirement. Registration required. $200; call 601-857-2284; email sfarris@ext.msstate.edu; mdwfp.com.

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from page 37

Kids

Thursday MAY 1

Events at Actor’s Playhouse (121 Paul Truitt Lane, Pearl). Free; call 601-664-0930; email harkins.leslieann@gmail.com or actorsplayhouse@ gmail.com. • COMPANY Performance Group Auditions (Grades 9-12) May 1, 5 p.m., May 4, 1:30 p.m. Participants must sing a one-minute song to an accompanying CD and be prepared to learn a dance combo. Once accepted, fees apply for classes and costumes. • COMPANY Performance Group Auditions (Grades 2-8) May 1, 6 p.m., May 4, 2:30 p.m. Participants must sing a one-minute song to an accompanying CD and be prepared to learn a dance combo. Once accepted, fees apply for classes and costumes. • Drama Troupe Auditions May 4, 4:30 p.m.6:30 p.m. The theater troupe is for students in grades 7-12 (ages 12-19). Participant should prepare to present two contrasting monologues. Selected students will go through additional training and participate in events that may require travel (fees apply).

Friday MAY 2

Lorelei Storytime May 3, 10 a.m., at Lorelei Books (1103 Washington St., Vicksburg). Robyn Lea reads Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat.” Free; call 601-634-8624; email loreleibooks@ wave2lan.com; loreleibooks.com.

Wednesday APIL 30

KARAOKE with DJ STACHE LADIES NIGHT W/ DJ Stache • Ladies Drink Free

Sports & Wellness

CHICKENPOX PARTY Saturday MAY 3

LIVE DJ DANCE PARTY! Sunday MAY 4

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SUNDAYS with Wesley Monday MAY 5

PubQuiz with Casey & John 8PM Tuesday MAY 6

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with Wesley Edwards

38

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YMCA Benefit Golf Tournament May 1, noon, at Bay Pointe Country Club (800 Bay Pointe Drive, Brandon). Lunch is at noon, and the shotgun start is at 1 p.m. The format is a three-person scramble. Prizes given. Registration required. $300-$400; call 601-992-9118; metroymcams.org. Blue Spirit Wheel Southwest Mantra Music Tour May 1, 6 p.m., at Butterfly Yoga (3025 N. State St.). Enjoy live chanting and music from Blue Spirit Wheel during the Vinyasa yoga class with instructor Scotta Brady. $15 class, donations welcome; call 601-594-2313; butterflyyoga.net. Natchez Trace Century Ride May 3, 7 a.m., at Ridgeland Recreational Center (Old Trace Park, Post Road, Ridgeland). Cyclists rids distances of 25, 50, 62 or 100 miles with stops featuring local music, food and other activities. The ride ends with the Ridgeland Rockin’ After the Ride Celebration with a chance to win a bike. $45, $10 meal only; call 601-8566876; natchezcenturyride.racesonline.com.

Stage & Screen Events at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). Call 601-936-5856; cinemark.com. • “Così Fan Tutte” April 30, 6:30 p.m. The Metropolitan Opera presents Mozart’s opera starring Susanna Phillips and Isabel Leonard. $20, $18 seniors, $14 children. • “The Moment: Mayweather v. Maidana” May 3, 8 p.m. See the boxing match between Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Marcos “El Chino” Maidana at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. $19, $18 seniors and students, $17 children. Neil Simon’s “Rumors” May 1-3, 7:30 p.m., May 4, 2 p.m., at Greenwood Little Theatre (707 Sycamore Ave., Greenwood). The play is about an upscale dinner party gone awry. $20, $10 students; call 662-947-1075; email info@greenwoodlittletheatre.com; greenwoodlittletheatre.com. “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” May 2-3, 7:30 p.m., May 4, 2 p.m., at Actor’s Playhouse (121 Paul Truitt Lane, Pearl).

The musical is based on the biblical account of Joseph and his coat of many colors. $15, $10 seniors, students and military; call 601-664-0930; actorsplayhouse.net. “Cinderella” May 6, 7:30 p.m., at MSU Riley Center (2200 Fifth St., Meridian). The Moscow Ballet presents the performance based on the classic fairy tale. $28-$34; call 601-696-2200; msurileycenter.com.

Concerts & Festivals Events at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). $3 surcharge for patrons under 21; call 601-292-7999; email arden@ardenland.net; ardenland.net. • JOHNNYSWIM April 30, 7:30 p.m. The Los Angeles duo (Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez) performs a blend of folk, soul and rock. All-ages show; adults must accompany children. Seated show. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. • The Wild Feathers May 2, 8 p.m. The Nashville band plays music with rock, country, blues and folk influences. Tennessee Jet also performs. Cocktails at 7 p.m. $12 in advance, $15 at the door. • M. Ward May 7, 7:30 p.m. The Portland, Ore. native is known for his solo work as well as his work with She & Him and Monsters of Folk. Mount Moriah also performs. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All-ages show; adults must accompany children. Standing room only. $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Meet author Greg Iles. Pre-order signed books starting April 29, and Iles can personalize them on site. $24.95 book; call 662-236-2828; email books@squarebooks.com; squarebooks.com.

Exhibit Openings Mississippi Artists’ Guild Juried Fine Arts Exhibition Opening Reception May 1, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., at Municipal Art Gallery (839 N. State St.). Exhibitors include Rebecca Cupples, Pam Dewees, Kay Heller, Katrina Arrington, Elke Briuer and Vera Gasparitsch. Show hangs through May 31. Free; call 601960-1582; mississippiartistsguild.org. Artists of Oxford Exhibit Opening Reception May 1, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., at The Cedars Historic Home (4145 Old Canton Road). Exhibitors include Jerre Allen, Bill Beckwith, Jason Bouldin, Virginia and Ashley Chavis, Ron Dale, Amy Evans, Robert Malone and Carlyle Wolfe. Show hangs through May 30. Free; call 601-981-9606 or 601-366-5552; fondren.org. Chatham Art Showcase May 2, at St. Richard Catholic Church (1242 Lynwood Drive). Events include a floral workshop from 10 a.m.-noon in Glynn Hall (must register and bring supplies) and the art show from 6-9 p.m. in Foley Hall that is a display of works from various fine artists and craftsmen. $25 workshop (space limited), free showcase, booths: $20 Artist Alley (two-painting limit per artist), $40 full booth; call 601-3662335; email barry@saintrichard.com.

Events at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Free; call 601-960-1515; msmuseumart.org. • Live at Lunch May 3, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Enjoy live music during your lunch hour. Bring lunch or purchase from the Palette Cafe by Viking. • Music in the City May 6, 5:15 p.m. In Trustmark Grand Hall. Enjoy a cash bar at 5:15 p.m., and music from Marta Szlubowska at 5:45 p.m.

All Female Ride May 2, 9 p.m., May 3, 2 p.m. Female motorcyclists participate in a meet-andgreet May 2 at 9 p.m. at Freelon’s (400 N. Mill St.), and ride from Save-A-Lot (5465 Interstate 55 N.) May 3 at 2 p.m. A cookout follows. Donate toys for the Mississippi Children’s Home by May 2. Toy donations welcome; call 601-896-7997, 601-750-7493 or 601-497-7347.

SpringFest 2014 May 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Parkway Hills United Methodist Church (1468 Highland Colony Parkway, Madison). The annual festival includes art and craft vendors, live music, food and children’s activities. Free admission, barbecue plate tickets for sale; call 601-856-2733; email infoparkwayhills@gmail. com; parkwayhillsumc.org/springfest.

Walk MS May 3, 9 a.m., at Winners Circle Park (100 Winners Circle, Flowood). Check-in is at 7:30 a.m., and the opening ceremony is at 8:45 a.m. Walk from 1-3 miles. Proceeds benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Fundraising encouraged; call 601-856-5831 or 800-344-4867; email casey.smith@nmss.org; walkalc.nationalmssociety.org.

Mississippi Chorus: Song Eternal III May 3, 7:30 p.m., at Wesley Biblical Seminary (787 E. Northside Drive). The ensemble presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Requiem Mass in D Minor.” $20; call 601-278-3351; mschorus.org.

Evening of Wishes Gala and Auction May 3, 6:30 p.m.-11 p.m., at Country Club of Jackson (345 St. Andrews Drive). The Kentucky Derbystyle event includes silent and live auctions, dinner, a hat contest and music from Raphael Semmes and Friends. Proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish Mississippi. $100; call 956-1411; ms.wish.org.

Sanctuary: Influence of the Church on Music of the Western World May 4, 3 p.m., at Trinity Episcopal Church, Natchez (305 S. Commerce St., Natchez). Pianist Jonathan Levin performs. $20, $10 students and military; call 800-6476742; natchezfestivalofmusic.com.

Literary & Signings Events at Lemuria Books (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). Call 601-366-7619; email info@ lemuriabooks.com; lemuriabooks.com. • “Because I Said So! Life in the Mom Zone” May 1, 5 p.m. Annie Oeth signs books. $19.95 book. • “Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer” May 6, 5 p.m. Charles Marsh signs books. Reading at 5:30 p.m. $35 book. “Natchez Burning” April 30, 5:30 p.m., at Off Square Books (129 Courthouse Square, Oxford).

Be the Change

Mississippi Children’s Home Services Annual Wine Tasting May 3, 7 p.m.-8 p.m., at The Inzinna Home (visit website for details). The annual fundraiser includes wine, local food and live music. $100; mchscares.org. Cinco de Mayo Raffle May 5, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m., at Sombra Mexican Kitchen (140 Township Ave, Suite 100, Ridgeland). Buy raffle tickets at Sombra, Anjou, Char and Amerigo for a chance to win a four-wheeler from Got Gear. Proceeds benefit the Mississippi Burn Foundation. $10; call 601540-2995; email afontaine@msburn.org.

Check jfpevents.com for updates and more listings, or to add your own events online. You can also email event details to events@jacksonfreepress.com to be added to the calendar. The deadline is noon the Wednesday prior to the week of publication.


music in theory

by Micah Smith

No Flaws to be Found in ‘Forcefield’

F

I, II, III),” which amazingly never wears out its welcome despite its long runtime. Of course, airy synthesizer is certainly nothing new in the music scene. Heavy reverb and swelling keys are par for the course right now, even in popular music, but Tokyo Police Club provides a facelift for that rapidly aging tactic by melding it with multiple styles at once. For an easily perceptible example, listen to “Gonna Be Ready.” The song’s shuffling drums and chaotic, jittery guitars dissipate during the bridge and verses to allow room for the synth and bass to breathe. Likewise, the ode to long-distance dalliance “Through the Wire” employs a disarming acoustic introduction and spacious, organ-like keyboard with equal efficacy throughout. The more ethereal sound palette utilized here acts as a pleasant flourish to the band’s signature writing style rather than a core component. Every song on the album is worthy of note, but as always, it has clear standouts. The radiofriendly single “Hot Tonight” is such an easy listen that I’d feel comfortable wagering that most The Canadian indie rockers of Tokyo Police Club people would walk away singreturn with a full-length record that’s retro-inspired, yet anything but a retread of old ideas. ing along after a single stream. “Miserable” shares that instantly agreeable quality, completely pinpoint any missteps. betraying its somewhat melancholic mes Prior to “Forcefield,” which hit stores sage with a toe-tapping beat and a multiMarch 25, Tokyo Police Club hadn’t re- plicity of fun melodies. corded new music in almost four years, Lastly, while unexpected shifts in with the exception of the band’s cover tempo and rhythm often make for a hard album “10x10x10,” which was literally sell in pop music, the pulsing “Toy Guns” recorded in only 10 days. If the quality succeeds in fusing an updated edition of in songwriting and sound engineering is the “beat-clap-beat-beat-clap” rhythm any indication, though, “Forcefield” has that “We Will Rock You” popularized been in the works for some time. Opting with a constantly building, driving verse for nine songs instead of the obligatory with a feeling of satisfaction and arrival. 10, Tokyo Police Club’s catchy and ’80s- While I do consider myself a fan, and esque album leaves you wanting more in it’s easy to write off the opinions of people the best way possible. who come out of the gate at full-sprint, so Many tracks lessen the rock edge of to speak, “Forcefield” truly is one of the previous albums, but, to my surprise, that year’s best musical releases so far and warworks in their favor. Some might even rants a fair listen. Moreover, it’s a terrific draw lines to artists like The Smiths, Tears jumping-on point for those new to Tokyo for Fears or The Cure, given the mixture Police Club, an up-and-coming voice in of light Brit-punk guitars and atmospheric the indie-music world and a band that’s keys. Keyboardist Graham Wright offers received the seal of approval from many plenty of rich backing synth, but he also major voices in the artistic community, takes full advantage of the stylistic sway, from Canada’s Juno Awards to MTV to crafting some incredibly catchy moments The New York Times to … well, Taco in songs like “Through the Wire” and the Bell isn’t necessarily artistic, but you get eight-minute pop opus “Argentina (Parts the idea.

Mom & Pop

rom the start, I’ll admit a bias this time. I’ve adored the hard-to-pindown work of Tokyo Police Club of Ontario, Canada, since purchasing the first releases, “A Lesson in Crime” and “Smith,” in immediate succession during high school. At the same time, I’m not beyond acknowledging faults. I don’t don rose-colored glasses every time I enjoy something. It’s like the movies that you grew up on—you still love them, but you’re fully aware of glaring flaws. However, the insane truth of Tokyo Police Club’s newest full-length album, “Forcefield,” is that it’s incredibly difficult to

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MUSIC | live

Music listings are due noon Monday to be included in print and online listings: music@jacksonfreepress.com.

April 30 - Wednesday

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Thursday, May 1st

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

UPCOMING SHOWS

April 30 - April 6, 2014

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Friday, May 2nd

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

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TUESDAY

Wednesday, April 30th

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 5/16: That Scoundrel CD Release Show 5/31: Greenhouse Lounge SEE OUR NEW MENU

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Tuesday, May 6th

MOOT DAVIS 6:30, No Cover

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Burgers & Blues - Jesse “Guitar” Smith 5:30 p.m. Duling Hall - Johnnyswim 7:30 p.m. $15 advance $20 door ardenland.net Fitzgerald’s - Johnny Barranco 4:30 p.m., Steve Williams 8 p.m. Hamp’s Place - Best in Hip-Hop w/Aziatikk Blakk Kathryn’s - Larry Brewer & Doug Hurd 6:30 p.m. M Bar - 50 Cent Wednesdays w/DJ Durdy Costello 7 p.m. free McB’s - Brian Jones 8 p.m. Shucker’s - Kern Pratt & The Accused 8 p.m. Soul Wired Cafe - BAM Social 5:30 p.m. Underground 119 - Plus One Jazz Trio 6:30 p.m. free

May 3 - Saturday Ameristar Bottleneck Blues Bar, Vicksburg - Straighten It Out 9 p.m. free Capitol Grill - Erin & The Project 9 p.m. Cerami’s - Ron Sennett 5 p.m. free Country Club of Jackson - Evening of Wishes Gala feat. Raphael Semmes 6:30 p.m. $100 Downtown Jackson - Cinco de Mayo Festival

May 1 - Thursday City Grille, Madison - Brian Smith 5:15 p.m. F. Jones Corner - Mr. Dillon & The Jukebox midnight Fenian’s - Emerald Accent Fondren’s Fashion House & Lipstick Lounge - Ed Williams 5 p.m. Georgia Blue, Flowood - Dan Confait GeorgiaBlue,Madison-KennyDavis. Kathryn’s - Renegade 6:30 p.m. free M Bar - Sippin & Trippin Comedy Show w/DJ Shanomak 8 p.m. free Mint - Brian Jones 8:30 p.m. The Penguin - SOULed Out w/Keyone’ Edwards 8 p.m. Que Sera Sera - Buddy & The Squids Skate N Shake - Tru Skool Skate Night w/DJ Phingaprint 7:30 p.m. $10 Soul Wired Cafe - Skrilla the King Underground 119 - Heather Lutrell 7 p.m. free

May 2, 2014 - Friday Ameristar Bottleneck Blues Bar, Vicksburg - Straighten It Out 9 p.m. free Bonny Blair’s - Sid Thompson & DoubleShotz 7 p.m. Capitol Grill - Doug Franks 5 p.m. Cherokee Inn - Brian Jones 9 p.m. $5 Club 43, Canton - Jenny Cooper Duling Hall - The Wild Feathers w/Tennessee Jet 8 p.m. $12 advance $15 door ardenland.net Fenian’s - Jason Turner Georgia Blue, Flowood - Shayne Weems Georgia Blue, Madison - May Day Hamp’s Place - Best in R&B & Southern Soul Kathryn’s - Lucky Hand Blues Band 7 p.m. M Bar - Flirt Fridays w/DJ 901 free Martin’s - Chance Fisher McB’s - Jonathan Alexander 5 p.m. Ole Tavern - Chickenpox Party One Block East - Sid Thompson & DoubleShotz 9 p.m. The Penguin - One Night Only w/Tonya Boyd-Cannon 9 p.m. Pop’s Saloon - Trademark Reed Pierce’s, Byram - Snazz 9 p.m. free

courtesy of Sid thompson

WEDNESDAY

Shucker’s - Hunter Gibson & The Gators 8 p.m. $5, Triple Threat (deck) 10 p.m. free Sombra Mexican Kitchen - Dos De Mayo Soul Wired Cafe - OUTspoken Poetry 6 p.m. Underground 119 - King Edward 9 p.m. $10 The Yellow Scarf - Paperclip Scientists 9 p.m. $10 advance $15 door yellowscarf-jackson.net

Sid Thompson & DoubleShotz Fenian’s - Mr. Dillon & The Jukebox Georgia Blue, Flowood - Filter the Noise Georgia Blue, Madison - TK Jones Iron Horse Grill - Crooked Creek String Band 9 p.m. free Kathryn’s - Sofa Kings 7 p.m. free M Bar - Saturday Night Live w/DJ Shanomak free Martin’s - Hartle Road McB’s - Big Papa 6 p.m. Mudbug’s - Stace & Cassie 7 p.m. The Penguin - Late Night w/Keeshea Pratt 9:30 p.m. Pop’s Saloon - Trademark Reed Pierce’s, Byram - Sid Thompson & DoubleShotz 9 p.m. free Reservoir Pointe - Rockin’ After The Ride feat. Sid Thompson & DoubleShotz 4 p.m. Shucker’s - Rick Porter & 3 Hour Tour (deck) 3:30 p.m. free, Hairicane 8 p.m. $5, Dos Locos (deck) 10 p.m. free Sombra Mexican Kitchen - Jason Turner Soul Wired Cafe - JSU Grad Party w/Live Music Underground 119 - Johnny Rawls 9 p.m. $10 Veteran’s Memorial Stadium - R. Kelly w/Tamar Braxton Wesley Biblical Seminary - Mississippi Chorus presents Mozart’s Requiem 7:30 p.m. $20 mschorus.org The Yellow Scarf - Paperclip Scientists 9 p.m. $10 advance $15 door yellowscarf-jackson.net

May 4 - Sunday Burgers & Blues - Aaron Coker 5 p.m. Char - Big Easy Three 11 a.m. Hot Shots, Byram - Mike and Marty’s Jam Session Kathryn’s - 3 Hour Tour 6 p.m. free Shucker’s - Acoustic Crossroads 3:30 p.m. free Sombra Mexican Kitchen - John Mora 11 a.m. Sophia’s, Fairview Inn - Knight Bruce 11 a.m. Soul Wired Cafe - Queen’s Lip Sync Showdown Table 100 - Raphael Semmes 11:30 a.m. Wellington’s - Andy Hardwick 11 a.m.

May 5 - Monday Applebee’s, County Line - Cinco De Mayo Party w/Karaoke & DJ D@MU 8 p.m. free Capitol Grill - Open Mic (Prize for Best Original Song) 9 p.m. Hal and Mal’s - Central MS Blues Society (rest) 7 p.m. Jose’s Mexican Restaurant, Pearl Stace & Cassie 5 p.m. Kathryn’s - Barry Leach 6:30 p.m. Last Call Sports Grill - Tommy Chain Martin’s - Open Mic Free Jam Soul Wired Cafe - Soul’s Cinco BDay Mixer 6 p.m.

May 6 - Tuesday Burgers & Blues - Jesse “Guitar” Smith 5:30 p.m. Kathryn’s - Gator Trio 6:30 p.m. Margarita’s - John Mora 6 p.m. Pelican Cove - Stace & Cassie 6 p.m. The Penguin - RNS Quintet Underground 119 - Moot Davis 6:30 p.m. Free

May 7 - Wednesday Burgers & Blues - Jesse “Guitar” Smith 5:30 p.m. Duling Hall - M Ward w/Mount Moriah 7:30 p.m. $20 advance $25 door ardenland.net Hal & Mal’s - The Country Deep Tour feat. David Nail 8 p.m. $20 advance $25 door ardenland.net Hamp’s Place - Best in Hip-Hop w/Aziatikk Blakk Kathryn’s - Jason Turner 6:30 p.m. M Bar - 50 Cent Wednesdays w/DJ Durdy Costello 7 p.m. free Shucker’s - Kern Pratt & The Accused 8 p.m.

Get regional picks, new releases and other music news every week at The Music Blog at jfp.ms/musicblog. Contact info at jfp.ms/musicvenues.

5/1-5/4 - New Orleans Jazz & Heritiage Festival feat. Lyle Lovett, Christina Aguilera, Solange, Alabama Shakes, Bruce Springsteen, etc.- Fairgrounds, New Orleans 5/2-5/4 - Beale Street Music Festival feat. Foster The People, Pretty Lights, Jason Isbell, 311, Kid Rock, etc. - Tom Lee Park, Memphis


the best in sports over the next seven days

SLATE

These NBA Playoffs have been entertaining during the first round. Top seeded teams are getting all they want from lower seeds.

Thursday, May 1 NBA (9:30 p.m-12 a.m., TNT): Amid all the drama surrounding their owner, the LA Clippers have to find extreme focus to defeat the Golden State Warriors.

Monday, May 5 MLB (6-9 p.m., ESPN): The Atlanta Braves host the St. Louis Cardinals in a matchup of the two most popular Major League Baseball teams in Mississippi.

Friday, May 2 MLB (6:30-10 p.m., Fox Sports South): Current National League East leaders the Atlanta Braves host the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants.

Tuesday, May 6 Documentary (6-7 p.m., ESPN): Make time to catch two more soccer documentaries from ESPN’s “30 for 30” series before the 2014 World Cup: “Mysteries of the Rimet Trophy” and “Barbosa: The Man Who Made Brazil Cry.”

by Bryan Flynn

Saturday, May 3 College baseball (2-5 p.m., FSN): Ole Miss looks to keep improving its postseason position in a series at home against the Arkansas Razorbacks. … College baseball (7-10 p.m., CSS): Mississippi State hopes to turn it on before the postseason on the road against the Auburn Tigers. Sunday, May 4 College baseball (1:30-4 p.m., CSS): Ole Miss finishes its series at home against the Arkansas Razorbacks and could be going for a series win or sweep.

Wednesday, May 7 College softball (3-7:30 p.m., ESPNU): Check out a doubleheader of college softball with teams to be announced in the 2014 SEC Softball Tournament. The Miami Heat is one team that has to be rooting for upsets against top teams in both conferences. Each upset should make their path to defending their title a step easier. Follow Bryan Flynn at jfpsports.com, @jfpsports and at facebook.com/jfpsports.

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bryan’s rant

N

ew NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has a big problem, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Over the weekend, TMZ and Deadspin published audio tape of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist remarks to his girlfriend. Sterling (still married) is allegedly speaking to V. Stiviano about her posting pictures with former LA Lakers star Magic Johnson. “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” the man believed to be Sterling says. He continues, “You can sleep with (black people). You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on (Instagram) ... and not to bring them to my games.” Ironically, Stiviano (against whom Sterling’s wife recently filed a lawsuit) is of black and Mexican ancestry. Even more ironically, Sterling was supposed to receive a lifetime achievement award from the local NAACP before the scandal broke. Silver, who became commissioner Feb. 1, said he will do a thorough investigation, but give Sterling the same due process he would give a player. He needs

to take enough time to get his ducks in a row—and to prove that the voice on the tape is 100 percent Sterling’s voice. Sterling has a past history of racial discrimination that has led to lawsuits—one suit by the U.S. Department of Justice found Sterling used race as a factor to not rent to minorities in his rental property. Silver and other NBA owners could lean on Sterling heavily if they find he made the comments, but forcing Sterling to sell the Clippers would be unprecedented. The NBA couldn’t even get former Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets owner George Shinn to sell after he was accused of kidnapping and raping a woman. Even if Silver and the other NBA owners can’t get Sterling to sell the team, they could use a precedent that Major League Baseball set. Marge Schott once owned the Cincinnati Reds until her racist remarks led to MLB suspending her from team operations in 1993 and again in 1996 until she sold the team in 1999. Silver might not be able to make Sterling sell the Clippers, but he can force Sterling away from the team from now until the day he dies.

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The NBA’s Big Problem

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MUSEUM HOURS: TUESDAY - SATURDAY, 10 AM - 5 PM; SUNDAY, NOON - 5 PM; MONDAY, CLOSED 380 SOUTH LAMAR STREET JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI 601.960.1515 MSMUSEUMART.ORG Gwendolyn A. Magee (1943-2011), 86 Lashes To Go, 2010. textile. Collection of Mississippi Department of Archives and History. 2013.5.2. Copyright © Estate of the artist. (Detail).


omens, experiencing beauty is not a luxury right now, but rather a necessity. For the sake of your mental, physical and spiritual health, you need to be in its presence as much as possible.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):

“My personal philosophy is not to undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible.” So said Taurus-born Edwin Land, the man who invented the Polaroid camera. I have a feeling these might be useful words for you to live by between your birthday in 2014 and your birthday in 2015. In the coming 12 months, you will have the potential of homing in on a dream that will fuel your passions for years. It may seem to be nearly impossible, but that’s exactly what will excite you about it so much—and keep you going for as long as it takes to actually accomplish.

ARIES (March 21-April 19):

“Dear Astrologer: We Aries people have an intense fire burning inside us. It’s an honor and a privilege. We’re lucky to be animated with such a generous share of the big energy that gives life to all of nature. But sometimes the fire gets too wild and strong for us. We can’t manage it. It gets out of our control. That’s how I’m feeling lately. These beloved flames that normally move me and excite me are now the very thing that’s making me crazy. What to do? —Aries.” Dear Aries: Learn from what firefighters do to fight forest fires. They use digging tools to create wide strips of dirt around the fire, removing all the flammable brush and wood debris. When the fire reaches this path, it’s deprived of fuel. Close your eyes and visualize that scene.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

I wish there was a way you could play around with construction equipment for a few hours. I’d love it if you could get behind the wheel of a bulldozer and flatten a small hill. It would be good for you to use an excavator to destroy a decrepit old shed or clear some land of stumps and dead trees. Metaphorically speaking, that’s the kind of work you need to do in your inner landscape: move around big, heavy stuff; demolish outworn structures; reshape the real estate to make way for new building projects.

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

In the Transformers movies, Optimus Prime is a giant extraterrestrial warrior robot. His body contains an array of weapons that he uses for righteous causes, like protecting Earth’s creatures. His character is voiced by

actor Peter Cullen. Cullen has also worked extensively for another entertainment franchise, Winnie the Pooh. He does the vocals for Eeyore, a gloomy donkey who writes poetry and has a pink ribbon tied in a bow on his tail. Let’s make Cullen your role model for now. I’m hoping this will inspire you to get the Eeyore side of your personality to work together with the Optimus Prime part of you. What’s that you say? You don’t have an Optimus Prime part of you? Well, that’s what Eeyore might say, but I say different.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):

Do you finally understand that you don’t have to imitate the stress-addled workaholics and self-wounding overachievers in order to be as proficient as they are? Are you coming to see that if you want to fix, heal, and change the world around you, you have to fix, heal and change yourself? Is it becoming clear that if you hope to gain more power to shape the institutions you’re part of, you’ve got to strengthen your power over yourself? Are you ready to see that if you’d like to reach the next level of success, you must dissolve some of your fears of success?

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

“Beauty is the purgation of superfluities,” said Michelangelo. Do you agree? Could you make your life more marvelous by giving up some of your trivial pursuits? Would you become more attractive if you got rid of one of your unimportant desires? Is it possible you’d experience more lyrical grace if you sloughed off your irrelevant worries? I suggest you meditate on questions like these, Virgo. According to my interpretation of the astrological

BY MATT JONES

51 “And here it is!” 52 ___ Jo„o de Meriti (Brazilian city) 53 Group of three can be heard phonetically in the answer to each of the three starred clues 58 Standing subway passenger’s aid 60 “___ the mornin’ to ya!” 61 A wife of Charlie Chaplin 62 System with joysticks and paddles 63 Site of museums devoted to Ibsen and Munch 64 Swabs the deck, really 65 8-Down type 66 President pro ___ 67 Place where “You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal”

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

I’m pretty sure God wants you to be rich. Or at least richer. And I know for a fact that I want you to be richer. What about you? Do you want to be wealthier? Or at least a bit more flush? Or would you rather dodge the spiritual tests you’d have to face if you became a money magnet? Would you prefer to go about your daily affairs without having to deal with the increased responsibilities and obligations that would come with a bigger income? I suspect you will soon receive fresh evidence about these matters. How you respond will determine whether or not you’ll be able to take advantage of new financial opportunities that are becoming available.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

The U.S. military budget this year is $633 billion. In comparison, the United Nations’ peacekeeping budget is $7.8 billion. So my country will spend 81 times more to wage war than the U.N. will spend to make peace. I would prefer it if the ratio were reversed, but my opinion carries no weight. It’s possible, though, that I might be able to convince you Scorpios, at least in the short run, to place a greater emphasis on cultivating cooperation and harmony than on being swept up in aggression and conflict. You might be tempted to get riled up over and over again in the coming weeks, but I think that would lead you astray from living the good life.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Actor Matthew McConaughey prides himself on his willingness to learn from his mistakes and failures. A few years ago he collected and read all the negative reviews that critics had ever written about his work in films. It was “an interesting kind of experiment,” he told Yahoo News. “There was some really good constructive criticism.” According to my reading of the astrological omens, Sagittarius, now would be an

excellent time for you to try an experiment comparable to McConaughey’s. Be brave!

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

“Dear Oracle: I might be hallucinating, but recently I swear my pet iguana has been getting turned on whenever I disrobe in front of it. My naked body seems to incite it to strut around and make guttural hissing sounds and basically act like it’s doing a mating dance. Is it me, or is the planets? I think my iguana is a Capricorn like me. - Captivating Capricorn.” Dear Capricorn: Only on rare occasions have I seen you Capricorns exude such high levels of animal magnetism as you are now. Be careful where you point that stuff! I won’t be shocked if a wide variety of creatures finds you extra alluring.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

“Eat like you love yourself,” advises author Tara Stiles. “Move like you love yourself. Speak like you love yourself. Act like you love yourself.” Those four prescriptions should be top priorities for you, Aquarius. Right now, you can’t afford to treat your beautiful organism with even a hint of carelessness. You need to upgrade the respect and compassion and reverence you give yourself. So please breathe like you love yourself. Sleep and dream like you love yourself. Think like you love yourself. Make love like you love yourself.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):

If blindfolded, most people can’t tell the difference between Pepsi and Coca-Cola. But I bet you could, at least this week. Odds are good that you will also be adept at distinguishing between genuine promises and fakes ones. And you will always know when people are fooling themselves. No one will be able to trick you into believing in hype, lies, or nonsense. Why? Because these days you are unusually perceptive and sensitive and discerning. This might on occasion be a problem, of course, since you won’t be able to enjoy the comfort and consolation that illusions can offer. But mostly it will be an asset, providing you with a huge tactical advantage and lots of good material for jokes.

Homework: Think of the last person you cursed, if only with a hateful thought if not an actual spell. Now send them a free-hearted blessing. 37 Cramp-relieving pill 38 Total 41 The limit, proverbially 42 Fish served in filets 43 Contrary to Miss Manners 44 Body makeup? 46 Fastener in the corner 47 Explosive sound 48 Piece in the paper, perhaps 49 Photo finish 50 Erin of “Happy Days” 54 Jim Lange, for “The Dating Game,”

e.g. 55 Word after elbow or leg 56 Like some 1950s comedy material, today 57 Curiosity’s launcher 59 Installation material ©2014 Jonesin’ Crosswords (editor@ jonesincrosswords.com)

Last Week’s Answers

For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900-226-2800, 99 cents per minute. Must be 18+. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800 655-6548. Reference puzzle #665.

Down

Across

1 Many-___ (colorful) 5 Amtrak stop, briefly 8 Pile at birthday parties 13 Nelson Muntz’s bus driver 14 Blaze a trail 16 Illusory painting genre 17 Looming choice 18 Industrial show 19 See 33-Down 20 Wind, cold, etc.* 23 Droid download 24 Like, total top choice 25 Baltimore ball team

27 Place to store your phone numbers (before smartphones) 30 People in a certain lounge 31 “This happens ___ time!” 32 Pup in the Arctic* 36 Roseanne’s sitcom mom 37 “An Incomplete and Inaccurate History of Sport” author Kenny 39 Eggs at a sushi bar 40 Former Haitian president* 43 Wilson of “The Office” 45 Nets coach Jason 46 Won by a shutout 48 Country singer Harris

BY MATT JONES

Last Week’s Answers

“Kaidoku”

Each of the 26 letters of the alphabet is represented in this grid by a number between 1 and 26. Using letter frequency, word-pattern recognition, and the numbers as your guides, fill in the grid with well-known English words (HINT: since a Q is always followed by a U, try hunting down the Q first). Only lowercase, unhyphenated words are allowed in kaidoku, so you won’t see anything like STOCKHOLM or LONG-LOST in here (but you might see AFGHAN, since it has an uncapitalized meaning, too). Now stop wasting my precious time and SOLVE! psychosudoku@hotmail.com

jacksonfreepress.com

“Three in a Row” —where have I heard that before?

1 Axton of “Gremlins” 2 Bryce Canyon National Park’s location 3 Raison d’___ (reason for being) 4 Toast 5 Coffeehouse freebie 6 San Antonio cuisine 7 Neck’s scruff 8 Full of dirt? 9 Copper-colored beer 10 Ruinous 11 Nonsense 12 Fitness tracker units 15 Mr. McNabb 21 Kenny Rogers hit written by Lionel Richie 22 “Survivor” grouping 26 CIA’s predecessor 27 Self-titled country album of 1988 28 Walkie-talkie word 29 First name in denim 32 “I’m out” 33 With 19-Across, “Truly Flabby Preludes” composer 34 Best of the best 35 Front the money

43


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Williamson Family Farms owner/operator Mike Williamson, located at 536 CR 95, Yalobusha County, Water Valley, Mississippi is seeking twenty temporary farm workers and laborers for potato crops; two days of training will be provided. Hours are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at $9.87 an hour, beginning May 10, 2014 and ending June 10, 2014. Employer will provided housing, cooking facilities and transportation to stores to purchase groceries for workers located in areas where it will not be feasible to return to at the end of the working day. After workers have completed 50% of the work contract period, employer will reimburse worker for the cost of transportation and subsistence from which the worker came to work for the employer to the place of employment. The type of work contemplated will be performed in all weather conditions including extreme heat, will include labor performed by hand, extensive walking, bending, stooping, and lifting crates of potato slips, use of hand tools such as shovels and hoes will be required. Required tools will be provided by employer at no cost to worker. Interested workers may contact Mike Williamson at 662-473-6088 or by mail at: Williamson Family Farms, 536 CR 95, Water Valley, MS 38965, in order to schedule an interview, or your nearest State Workforce Agency. The Oxford WIN Job Center, 204 Colonnade Cove, Suite 1 Oxford, MS 38655. The job order number for this job is MS92862. If selected, you will be guaranteed three fourths of the work hours between the start date and the end date of the job as listed above.

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v12n34 - Lance Bass On God, Being Gay, and His Sweet Mama