Page 1

vol. 16 no. 37 FREE

MAY 16 - 22, 2018




Remembering Lil Lonnie and 2018’s Deadliest Month Bragg, pp 12 - 14

Who Can Undocumented Stop Youth Behind Bars Dreher, p 9 Violence? Ladd, p 4

Midfest Mayhem Walker, p 18

The ‘Amazing’ Brandon Mitchell & S.W.A.P. Smith, p 20

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hen Andrea Reid, 33, and her husband, Kevin Reid, were beginning CityHeart Church, she says they often asked themselves why Jackson needs another church when it has so many. “(Planting a church) was definitely the scariest thing we’ve ever done,” Andrea Reid says. “It was scarier than getting married and having kids, because you don’t really know what you’re walking into.” Reid, who considers Jackson her hometown, moved to the capital city from San Diego around the age of 9. After graduating from high school at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Duke University in North Carolina in 2006, where she also minored in music. Reid met Kevin in ministry at World Overcomers Christian Church while living in North Carolina, and they got married in 2008. She and Kevin started school at Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Okla., in 2010, and she received her degree in ministry in 2012. The couple has been back in Jackson since April 2016, and she says it feels good to be home again and to be


building a foundation in the place where she grew up. Reid says that what opened the door into ministry for her was seeing how people grow in their faith, and how she could use the knowledge from her psychology major to help people. “When I graduated from college, I planned on getting my master’s as a family life coach,” Reid says. “But the more I got involved at my church, the more I saw how I could use my major insights to help people when it comes to their faith. The more involved I got, the more I realized that my passion was to take what I learned in undergrad and apply it to biblical principles.” She and Kevin started CityHeart in September 2016. She says the church is not what most would consider a traditional church, and that is one of the greatest things about it. She is glad they decided to move back to Jackson and get it started, because it’s where their hearts were. “I kind of look at what Kevin and I did as a start-up business,” Reid says. “If you have a dream in your heart and you’re passionate about something, the main thing you should ask yourself is ‘Why not?’” —ShaCamree Gowdy

cover photo of Lonnie “Lil Lonnie” Taylor courtesy Lil Lonnie

6 ............................ Talks 6 .................... Sorensen 10 ........................... op/ed 12 ............ Cover Story 16 ......................... 8 Days 17 ........................ Events 17 ....................... sports 18 ............................ arts 20 .......................... music 20 ........ music listings 22 ...................... Puzzles 23 ......................... astro 23 ............... Classifieds

8 Saving Kids From Suicide

The first lady and a mother want to shatter the stigma of suicide in Mississippi.

18 Midfest Fun

“(Midfest is) a chance to bring the neighborhood together and have a good time.—Roderick Red, “Midtown Celebration”

20 An ‘Amazing’ Return

Read about Brandon Mitchell & S.W.A.P. before the group’s album release show for “Amazing” on Friday, May 18.

May 16 - 22, 2018 •

4 ............ Editor’s Note

courtesy SWAP; Roderick Red; Courtesy Kym Williams/Canopy Children’s Solutions

May 16 - 22, 2018 | Vol. 16 No. 37


editor’s note

by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief

Jackson, Lil Lonnie Must Not Die in Vain


il Lonnie Taylor had just turned 7 when we started this newspaper in 2002. He wasn’t quite 11 when Frank Melton, supposedly the savior of boys in Jackson, was elected mayor in 2006 and started joyriding with cops and teenagers through the streets of the city’s poorest neighborhoods like the Bottom, Washington Addition, Wood Street and the Virden Addition, where Lil Lonnie came of age. By the time a drunk Melton attacked a duplex on Ridgeway Street in the Virden Addition, surrounded by his cop bodyguards, breaking its windows with his “Walking Tall” stick and telling the kids on the JPD Mobile Command Center to use the sledgehammers he gave them to destroy it, Lil Lonnie was about 12. When Melton was tried unsuccessfully for destroying a black single mother’s property, and abusing the schizophrenic young man living inside it, two men still on the Jackson City Council now defended him. Lil Lonnie and his friends from his neighborhood were barely teenagers then. By the time Chokwe A. Lumumba become mayor last year, promising opportunity and organizing former criminals to help young people choose better, Lil Lonnie was a rising young hip-hop artist whom other young people looked up to. He was working to make it off the streets and about to make it big and buy his family a house. When Lil Lonnie died in his car near the home where a white supremacist shot down Medgar Evers in 1963 in front of his children, in a neighborhood where kids still have far too few opportunities or positive things to do, the young man was 22. By the time Lil Lonnie was lowered into the ground on a rainy, depressing day, the mayor’s task force on officer-involved

shootings was six weeks old and still hadn’t really discussed whether to tell Jacksonians which cop shot their child, how or why. We all failed Lil Lonnie. I failed him, the mayor failed him, you failed him. We didn’t plant that tree of hope, opportunities, solutions or messengers 20 years ago that could wrap around him and his killer now to keep them safe, hopeful, loved and supported. We are sending many kids out there armed with exactly the wrong things,

This means the mayor and the police, too. undergirded by poverty and hopelessness, and then getting distraught when one of them predictably kills another one. I often count backward when I hear that another young person has died in Jackson, or gone to jail. How old was he or she when I started my newspaper? What else should I have done? How old were their parents when Melton and other “leaders” used to take young people out of juvenile detention to “help” them? How old were their grandparents when the white-fueled JPD Thompson Tank crawled our streets looking for civil-rights “liberals” to attack or when still-unidentified law enforcement killed young people at Jackson State? The overwhelming question is when we will all find the will, and take the time, and make the investments to stop this cycle of violence. It’s not good enough to pin it

on “the family”—that’s abdicating responsibility. People know, or should know, that many families work their tails off in our city trying to protect kids whom this system of oppression, poverty, hunger and violence still gets to, and many parents grew up in the same cycle without tools to break it. City leaders often repeat that the police can’t stop most violence. And they’re right, to a point. Cops can’t cure generational poverty and oppression, and they can’t be there every time a trauma-soaked person pulls the weapon they started carrying for self-defense and shoots someone with it. They can’t be there at the point of no return. They can’t interrupt the cycle from behind the blue wall of policing. But they can work much harder not to be part of the problem. Cops don’t have to be white-led to engage in bad policing, especially in areas many of the officers see as hopeless. I’ve heard Jackson police officers in COMSTAT meetings snicker at mugshots of suspects on their big screen who look strung-out. Really? That’s funny? I also know young people in Jackson whom cops have abused and belittled since they were in the fourth grade. Fact is, if you grow up brown or black in certain neighborhoods here, and in most U.S. cities, many officers treat you with contempt. Not all of them, but enough to scar young people who are punched while in handcuffs, dog-cursed, and slammed against walls and searched long before they are 18, because they are assumed to be “thugs.” The fact that officers do this to our kids, and in front of others, is enough to increase the odds of them committing serious crime as adults. Young people tend to rise, or sink, to our expectations of them. Meantime, families throughout our

city’s history, whether white or black people were in charge, have suffered through losing loved ones to a police bullet without ever being shown the respect of knowing which officer pulled the trigger or why. It’s hard to imagine a worse example of disrespect than not getting to know who killed your child, even it was legitimate self-defense. It’s easy to understand why families might not trust the official police version considering how often many have witnessed cops disrespecting people in their neighborhoods, even without a sledgehammer in hand. Lil Lonnie’s death needs to mean something huge to the young people he inspired by lifting himself out of a world where hustling is a tool of survival in a nearly empty toolbox. His death needs to be a cattle prod to electrify action on the part of every citizen who claims to care about our young people. Get organized, volunteer mentor, donate, step up, speak up. This means the mayor and the police, too. The City needs focused people in place who can organize, train and activate the “credible messengers” he promised us during his campaign. Young people must hear from people who have walked in their shoes and found a way to step into new ones, even if it meant prison along the path. He also cannot hide behind a cop-heavy task force when it comes to identifying officers and details of shootings. He promised his voters that he is a criminal-justice reformer, and he must walk that talk. And police? They’re not the answer, but they also must stop being one of the primary roots of youth violence in Jackson with actions that are more Frank Melton and Thompson Tank than enlightened 21st-century policing. More:

May 16 - 22, 2018 •



Ko Bragg

Arielle Dreher

Delreco Harris

ShaCamree Gowdy

Abigail Walker

Micah Smith

Kimberly Griffin

Kristin Brenemen

City Reporter Ko Bragg is a Philadelphia, Miss., transplant who recently completed her master’s in journalism. She loves traveling and has been to 25 countries to date. She wrote the cover story and a piece about civil-rights sites.

News Reporter Arielle Dreher is trying to read more than 52 books this year and wants to foster an otter from the Jackson Zoo. Email her tips and story ideas at arielle@ jacksonfree­ She wrote about immigration.

Delreco Harris, also known as RaRCharm Artiste, is a professional photographer, singer, songwriter and artist based out of Brandon. He is the owner of RaR Productions, LLC. He contributed photos to the issue.

ShaCamree Gowdy recently turned “I’m not on the red carpet yet, but I’ve started writing my speech just in case,” into her life’s motto. She wrote the Jacksonian story.

Abigail Walker is a freelance writer from Clinton, Miss., who spends most of her time playing with her corgi puppy, Eudora Welty. You can find her at Lemuria Bookstore in Jackson. She wrote about Midfest.

Music Editor Micah Smith is married to a great lady, has two dog-children named Kirby and Zelda, and plays in the band Empty Atlas. Send gig info to He wrote about Brandon Mitchell & S.W.A.P.

Associate Publisher Kimberly Griffin is a Jackson native who loves Jesus, her mama, cooking, traveling, the Callaway Chargers, chocolate, her godson, working out and locally owned restaurants, not necessarily in that order.

Art Director Kristin Brenemen is a meganekko with a penchant for dystopianism. Catch her at your local anime or comic convention. She designed much of the issue.

Co.Starters Jackson is happening in June! If you’ve got a business idea, an early-stage venture or if you’d like to learn more about launching a business, Co.Starters Jackson is a great way to get started!

Co.Starters isn’t lectures—for eight weeks you’ll have discussions with successful entrepreneurs and professionals, followed by group activities designed to help you learn the “lean startup” model and fill our your own business canvas.

The nine-week program takes place on Wednesday evenings in downtown Jackson.

For the ninth meeting, we gather at Coalesce in downtown Jackson for a celebration with friends and family—and final pitches by each business!

You’ll meet with other entrepreneurs in a facilitated discussion setting—following the national Co.Starters curriculum.

For more information visit or e-mail

“The question is, ‘Can we predict suicide? And the answer is no. However, if someone is talking about self-harm, you should take it seriously.”



– Dr. David Elkin, a psychiatry professor at UMMC, on suicide prevention


Thursday, May 10 Gov. Phil Bryant announces that Mississippi’s new standard license plate will display the state seal that includes the phrase, “In God We Trust.” Friday, May 11 Rainbow Natural Grocery Cooperative in Fondren announces that its board of directors has voted to seek Chapter 11 reorganization protection due to ongoing problems with flooding and lack of parking. Saturday, May 12 A knife-wielding assailant kills a man and injures four others at the Opera Garnier in Paris before police kill the attacker. The Islamic State group later claims responsibility. ... North Korea announces it will dismantle its nuclear test site in less than two weeks ahead of a summit with Donald Trump in June.

May 16 - 22, 2018 •

Sunday, May 13 A new volcanic fissure opens in Hawaii’s Puna District, prompting officials to call for more evacuations ahead of a possible major eruption at Kilauea volcano’s summit.


Monday, May 14 Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant joins six other governors in signing a letter calling for Donald Trump’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize for the upcoming North Korea summit. Tuesday, May 15 North Korea threatens to cancel the upcoming summit with Kim Jong Un and Trump due to joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises. Get breaking news at

Mississippi Civil Rights Sites Vie to Become National Park by Ko Bragg


t is hard to choose which site of civilrights trauma in Mississippi should be a national park, but the effort is under way and controversial, even among some family members who lost loved ones due to white-supremacist violence. Last week, a group from the National Parks Service traversed the state to host listening sessions to determine where a new national park with civil-rights significance would go. Last May, Congress passed a law requiring the U.S. secretary of the interior to study at least five locales in Mississippi significant to the Civil Rights Movement. Congress included the Medgar and

Ko Bragg

Wednesday, May 9 Actors Robert DeNiro and Alec Baldwin host a cocktail party in New York City as a fundraiser for Howard Sherman, one of six Democrats running in Mississippi’s June 5 primary to unseat Republican Sen. Roger Wicker. ... A Jackson police officer shoots and kills a man named Elliot Reed after a confrontation that happened after officers pulled over Reed and his brother, Chauncy, who officers charged with aggravated assault and capital murder.


The Medgar and Myrlie Evers home in Jackson is one of four locations statewide that the National Park Service is considering for a federal park designation. A white supremacist gunned down Medgar under the carport.

Myrlie Evers House in Jackson where Medgar was assassinated in 1963; Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market where 14year-old Emmett Till allegedly whistled at Carolyn Bryant in 1955—a fabricated act for which he was later murdered; the Tallahatchie County Courthouse where the men accused of murdering Till were tried and acquitted; the Old Neshoba County Jail where three Freedom Summer civil rights workers James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman were kept before police and the Ku Klux Klan murdered them in June 1964; and Dr. Gilbert Mason’s former medical office

in Biloxi on the Coast, where he helped organize “wade-ins” from 1959-1963 to desegregate the beaches. But not everyone liked the suggestions. Impassioned community members showed up at the public forums, some advocating for other sites to be included and others lamenting the initial five sites. Till Family ‘Not Pleased’ Priscilla Sterling, a relative of Till, was one of them. She stood up in front of approximately three dozen people in a “Emmett Till Family for Justice” T-shirt at the Medgar Evers library in Jackson on May 8 to discourage the NPS representatives from considering the Bryant Store and the Tallahatchie Courthouse. She had also gone to the listening session at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum that morning. “As a family member of Emmett Till, the sites that you all suggested you know we did not like,” Sterling said. “The perpetrators owned the store, and (Carolyn Bryant) lied, and that just shouldn’t be a national landmark. The courthouse is out because (Till) never received justice; these men were able to get off and go out and sell the story. So the family is not pleased with these two locations.” Instead, Sterling asked NPS representatives to add the home of Moses Wright, Till’s great uncle, where the boy stayed during his brief time in the state and where the white men kidnapped him. “We never received justice, the State of Mississippi never apologized to the

“Crystalline’s two children had to spend Mother’s Day without their mother.”

– Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba on the coordination between JPD and MBI to investigate officer-involved shootings.

– Jason Downs, a Baltimore-based attorney representing the family of Crystalline Barnes who was killed during an officer-involved shooting in Jackson in January.

Most viral stories at

1. “‘Stranded’ Siemens Customers Will Pay Two Bills” by Ko Bragg 2. “MBI Investigates Third Deadly Officer-Involved Shooting in Jackson in 2018” by Ko Bragg 3. “City Council Roundup: Money, Concerts and MBI” by Ko Bragg 4. “The Poverty-Crime Connection” by Lacey McLaughlin 5. “Rainbow Co-op Filing Chapter 11 Reorganization,” Verbatim Press Release

the parks service has to be able to acquire and maintain the property for a reasonable cost. If a site meets all of the criteria, Congress would decide to enact legislation to establish a new park or the president himself would make that call. ‘Mississippi Burning’ At the meeting in Philadelphia, Miss., about 70 miles to the east of Jackson, Ben

they had come to Philadelphia to learn more about the deep history there. Philadelphia is notorious for what the FBI dubbed the “Mississippi Burning” murders in 1964. As part of the Freedom Summer efforts to help black Mississippians register to vote, Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in the black community of Longdale had been identified as a site for those efforts. One evening in courtesy Simeon Wright

family, so we do not see the courthouse or the grocery story as a national landmark— they should not use it, period,” she said. Sterling does not believe that Till has been honored adequately. She pointed to rising hate in the nation during the same time period when Carolyn Bryant’s confession to lying about her interaction with Till in 1955 surfaced in Timothy Tyson’s 2017 book “The Blood of Emmett Till.” In the book, she tells Tyson that her trial testimony that Till had grabbed her around the waist and uttered obscenities was not true. Sterling believes true justice would mean bringing Bryant to trial. For now, she said it was good the parks people seemed open to considering other places. Alferdteen Harrison, a retired Jackson State University professor and chairwoman of Scott Ford Houses Inc., also has concerns about this National Parks study. She leads an effort to restore the two houses that once belonged to a midwife and her daughter in the Farish Street Historic District as timepieces demonstrating African American life between slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. If she secures the funding, she hopes to turn the homes into interpretive museums that highlight how African Americans lived after slavery. “Is it all about people getting killed or people stepping out ... or is it how did people live from this period from the end of slavery to the Civil Rights Movement?” she asked the NPS parks representatives when they opened the floor up for a question and answer session. “My basic concern is ... what about how African Americans lived in this interim, what we called the stepping stone. How do you get to the Civil Rights Movement?” To meet the criteria of a feasible National Parks site, an area has to contain nationally significant or cultural resources, represent a cultural resource that is not yet represented in an existing national park, present a need for NPS management, and

Mamie Till had an open-casket funeral for her son to show the world the brutality that happened to Emmett in Mississippi during the summer of 1955.

West of the NPS told the crowd of about 45 on May 9 that he was not quite sure how Congress chose the sites they listed in the 2017 legislation mandating the study. “We’ve gotten a lot of questions and concerns about how those sites were presented to us, and honestly, my answer is that those are the first five that we started with, but we’ve certainly heard of a lot more over the last several days to understand the ones that perhaps weren’t in that list,” West said. He assured the room that those five sites were not chiseled in stone and that

Most viral events at

1. Dinner & A Movie: Food Truck Festival, Vol. 5, May 17 2. The District Green Live, May 17 3. Jackson Greek Fest, May 18-20 4. Zoo Brew, May 18 5. Midfest, April 19 Find more events at

June 1964, the Ku Klux Klan met church members leaving Mt. Zion, beat members and burned the church to the ground. On June 21, 1964, the three civil rights workers, Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner, went down that woodsy, winding road leading to the church to investigate the burning. On their way back to the COFO offices in Meridian, Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price pulled them over for speeding and took them to what is now the Old Neshoba County Jail—a site Congress listed to be included in the civil rights study. The three men were released that evening. With a lynch mob in tow, Price followed the men as they rolled down the dark Highway 19 South. Price stopped them, and he and at least a half-dozen other white men shot them on a dirt road off Highway 19 and then transported them to be buried under an earthen dam on the western side of the county. Their bodies were not found for 44 days. Several of the men, including Price, were prosecuted in

federal court for violating the three men’s civil rights and served several years in prison, but the State of Mississippi would not bring charges then. Decades later, in 2015, the State of Mississippi tried and convicted mob organizer Edgar Ray Killen of manslaughter for orchestrating the murders. He died in prison in January. Jewel McDonald, a member of Mt. Zion who meets tourists who come to the church from all over the world, said most people want to just spend time on the grounds, walk through the cemetery where black civil-rights heroes are buried or pray on what some refer to as holy ground. McDonald’s mother and brother were beaten at the church the night the Klan burned it in 1964. Jackie (Steele) Spencer was 8 years old and at the church when the Klan came. “I remember a little bit,” she said. “... My brother was the last one who left out of the church because he cut the lights off…. I was going over to the car with him. ...We left the church from the left side. … People from the right side got beat up, people from the left side didn’t get beat up.” Leroy Clemons is an alderman in Philadelphia who also does civil rights tours in Neshoba County and was part of the Philadelphia Coalition that demanded that Killen be brought to justice. He emphasized that you cannot tell the story of the jail without the Mt. Zion church story, which also hinges on Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Church in Philadelphia where civil-rights activists used to take shelter and organize. Martin Luther King Jr. led a memorial service there, a monument to Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner is in front of the church. Obbie Riley, president of the Neshoba County Board of Supervisors and this reporter’s stepfather, advocated for the entire story of the entire community to be told. “There were some bad things happened, and there’s some good people that’s here now,” he said “[T]his is a story that is worth telling when it comes down to it.” The special resource study will take place over the next two years, and will accept public comment online and via the mail through June 1. Email city reporter Ko Bragg at ko@jacksonfreepress. com. Twitter: @keaux_.

May 16 - 22, 2018 •

“We don’t feel that it is a good practice to investigate yourself in these circumstances.”


TALK | health

‘I’m So Scared’: Saving Kids from Suicide by Arielle Dreher


consider suicide later on. Bryant said she lost her own father, who had bipolar disorder, to suicide. “I share with these kids as I go across the state, (suicide) is a very permanent solution to a temporary problem, and it should not be an option,” Bryant said.

“The question is, ‘Can we predict suicide?’ And the answer is no. However, if someone is talking about self-harm, you should take it seriously,” Elkin told the Jackson Free Press. Elkin said it is important for parents and caregivers to talk to adolescents about Courtesy Kym Williams/Canopy Children’s Solutions

May 16 - 22, 2018 •


welve years ago, Teresa Mosely was watching a movie with her family on a normal summer night. Her daughter Elisabeth went up to bed before Teresa. That night Teresa did not go in to say her usual “good night” to her daughter. The next morning, she found Elisabeth hanging from her closet rod. Refusing to remain silent, Mosely recalls her daughter’s suicide like it happened yesterday. She remembers her younger daughter Emily, who was 9 years old at the time, running into the room and finding her in hysterics after she found Elisabeth. “The 9-year-old took the phone and told me to call 9-1-1 or actually, I think she called 9-1-1 and gave the phone to me, and that girl grew up that day,” Mosely said at the Children’s Mental Health Summit in Jackson on May 11. Elisabeth, who was 15 when she died, had struggled with anxiety and depression starting in seventh grade, and she went through various medications and therapy. By summer 2006, however, Elisabeth looked to be in better spirits. Teresa said Elisabeth was a fun-loving prankster who secretly loved Shakespeare and loved all animals, especially their family dogs. After Elisabeth’s death, Mosely found out that she had texted a friend the night she took her life, saying, “Oh my gosh, I’m so scared.” She had also told two friends that she “was tired of living,” but those 15year-olds did not know what to do with that information—and stayed silent. Mosely has made it her mission to make as much noise as possible to save others. “We just felt like she wanted attention,’” her daughter’s friend told Mosely. “And that’s why our kids need to be trained on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of what’s going on with a friend,” she said at the summit. Mosely has talked openly about Elisabeth’s death since it occurred in June 2006. She encouraged the mental-health workers and caseworkers at the summit to speak with educators, community leaders and churches about treating mental health like an illness, which requires attention. “I feel the need to challenge the stigma of suicide—all suicide survivors must do that if we intend to make a difference. We have to be willing to speak up, as painful as it is,” Mosely said. First lady Deborah Bryant shared her desire for kids as early as kindergarten to receive coping and life skills because so many kids are experiencing depression and could

First lady Deborah Bryant spoke out against the stigma of suicide at the children’s mental-health summit, noting that her own father committed suicide.

Fighting Suicide In 2016, 385 Mississippians committed suicide, statistics from the Mississippi Department of Health show, which means more than one person per day took his or her own life in the state. There were more suicides in Mississippi in 2016 than homicides. The Department of Mental Health has a coordinated plan to begin to address suicide in the state. The Legislature passed state law to require all school district employees to complete suicide-prevention training. Later they passed legislation requiring school districts to adopt suicide prevention policies. All school employees were supposed to be trained by the current 2017-2018 school year. Several parts of the state’s suicideprevention plan deal with data collection and how medical professionals can identify people potentially at risk for suicide. David Elkin, a psychiatry professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, said that suicide is typically linked to some mental-health disorder, like depression, anxiety or some compulsory disorders. He explained that signs of suicide can be a person withdrawing from social circles, sadness or a change in behavior.

suicide, countering the narrative that talking about it will “put the idea in their head.” Elkin said that that’s not accurate—and that kids are already thinking about it. “If you see your child behaving differently than they have been, then ask about it,” Elkin said. If adolescents hear that a friend is thinking about hurting themselves or killing themselves, Elkin said they should talk to their parents or trusted adults. He noted the role that social media, particularly Instagram and Snapchat, are playing in depression and anxiety rates particularly in younger adolescents. Courtney Bagge at UMMC is ramping up statewide efforts to combat suicide in kids and adults. Elkin said the suicide prevention hotline is a good resource for parents and students. Services for Kids? Eight years ago, a group of Mississippi kids, with help from several legal organizations, sued the State of Mississippi for lack of access to mental-health care services for children and an over-reliance on institutions instead of community-based care. That lawsuit, called Troupe v. Barbour, was

settled on behalf of one child—not a whole group or class of kids—in 2017. Since then, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Mississippi for similar violations in its adult mental-health system. But just how many kids receive mental-care services? Not many. John Damon, executive director of Canopy Children’s Solutions, estimates that about 30,000 of the 131,000 kids in the state with a mental-health challenge get help. Canopy is one of the state’s largest mental-health providers for children and holds several state contracts. “I am very concerned that we are not as a state, as a whole, making sure every kid gets the help that they need,” Damon said last week. “… How I know we haven’t arrived is if I flipped the discussion to health care and said one in five kids has cancer and 80 percent don’t get treatment, we would all storm the Capitol. It’s unacceptable for a kid with cancer to not get treatment, yet with mental health, it’s treated differently.” Canopy is the contractor for the state’s reunification and preservation program for kids in foster care, which served more than 1,400 children in 2016. The program, Damon says, costs the state $1.6 million but likely saves the state nearly $21 million by keeping children in their homes or keeping them with a family member instead of them entering a foster home or adoptive family. The intensive program puts a CPS caseworker and a mental-health professional into a home up to 20 hours a week to help get to the root of the problems, if abuse has occurred, or if a child has a mental-health diagnosis. Canopy also runs behavioral health clinics, in-patient and in-home psychiatric care for children as well as autism and special-needs schools. Overall, it reached 14,275 kids statewide in 2016. Several other private providers offer counseling and mental-health services to kids, but the numbers alone reveal the need. “We’ll know we’ve arrived when we no longer use the word ‘mental’ in front of ‘health’ and just talk about healthy kids and that talks about everything,” Damon said. “We’ve got to integrate our care with pediatricians and make it seamless with mentalhealth care all the way through.” The national suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255.Visit suicideprevention for information. Email reporter Arielle Dreher at arielle@jacksonfree

TALK | immigration

Undocumented and Caught in the System

The majority of these cases are coded as “entry without inspection” or “other immigration charge,” meaning the majority of deportation proceedings that ICE agents file in Louisiana and Mississippi are not for undocumented immigrants who have committed violent crimes. Rather, despite increasing rhetoric about dangerous immigrants and transnational gangs, the majority of undocumented immigrants waiting for deportation committed the crime of being here illegally.

AP / file photo

‘This is My Only Chance’ Immigration attorney Amelia McGowan has worked with undocumented immigrants, who are detained in Jena or Pine Prairie in Louisiana, and sees little difference between those facilities and other prisons. She recalled seeing pregnant mothers with chains around their bellies and said everyone has to wear “scrubs” just like jumpsuits in federal or state prison. Undocumented immigrants going through deportation proceedings could wait for months to see a judge, whereas someone like Rojas-Baten saw a judge quickly in the federal system. If she is sentenced for prison time, she will have to sit behind bars for two years. McGowan said a person charged with “criminal re-entry” will likely not get to see an immigration judge because they will have an active order for removal, meaning after serving their sentence, they will likely be deported immediately. McGowan is working with some immigrants who are fleeing terrible conditions in their home countries and would rather be in prison than return to dangerous countries where they live. “I did meet with people in Jena who had re-entered during the Obama administration. Most of them got caught again, and they would say, ‘This is my only chance to live,’” she told the Jackson Free Press. Many undocumented immigrants do not have access to legal assistance or attorneys. McGowan said people like RojasBaten, who have illegally re-entered the country, can ask a judge to not deport them if they fear for their lives. “When you re-enter, you are allowed to seek withholding of removal if you can show you would be persecuted,” McGowan said. “… You do have the possibility of appealing.” Via press releases, Hurst’s office has publicly announced prosecutions against 21 undocumented immigrants this year. The majority of these cases involve immigrants illegally re-entering, like Rojas-Baten, or transporting undocumented immigrants. Comment at

May 16 - 22, 2018 •


mmigration enforcement officials prisons, both saw significant bumps in their them across state lines to Louisiana to Jena or Pine Prairie. There are two immigration deported Yesica Paola Rojas-Baten, a stock-market value, Forbes reported. 19-year-old Guatemalan woman, in As of December 2015, more than courts in Louisiana: one in New Orleans December 2017 when she was flown 22,000 inmates, mainly undocumented and one in Oakdale. from Texas to Guatemala. A month later, immigrants, are housed in the Bureau of When Trump became president, he she was inside an SUV traveling through Prison’s private facilities. promised a crackdown on undocumented Hancock County, Miss. When sher- The path to incarceration for undocu- immigrants—not just those who commit iffs pulled over the SUV she was in and mented people living in the U.S. largely de- federal crimes but anyone who in the counanother SUV traveling with it, they found pends on whether Immigration and Cus- try illegally. The White House’s strongest 18 total passengers who were all undocu- toms Enforcement agents send them into focus has been the border. A press release mented immigrants, a press release from the immigration courts system or if fed- from the White House claims that the the U.S. attorney Mike Hurst’s office says. eral prosecutors charge them with a federal number of illegal border crossings has more U.S. Border Patrol agents took the crime. In Rojas-Baten’s case, Hurst’s office than tripled in the past year. passengers to the border-patrol station, and coordinated with ICE officials to charge her “April 2018 was also the second Rojas-Baten was charged in federal court for with the federal crime of illegal re-entry. month in a row that saw more than 37,000 illegal re-entry. After pleadindividuals apprehended ing guilty, she faces up to two after entering the country ilyears in federal prison and a legally along our Southwest $250,000 fine, and a judge border. The need to enforce will sentence her in August. our laws, secure our border, The 19-year-old could and close our immigration face the other side of immiloopholes has been further gration prosecution through underscored by the recent the federal court system, arrival of a ‘caravan’ of inone that has caused outcry dividuals seeking to enter by Arielle Dreher and concern due to the Fedthe United States,” a White eral Bureau of Prisons’ use of House press release says. private prisons. In order for those Traditionally, the bucoming to America to seek reau houses undocumented asylum, they must come to immigrants charged with the border with or without federal crimes in “criminal documents to ask for it, alien requirement” facilities. however. Mississippi NaPrivate prison corporations tional Guard sent 25 soldiers run the BOP’s 11 contract to the southwest Mexico prisons. “The majority of border last week as a part of BOP inmates in private pris“Operation Guardian Supons are sentenced criminal port,” the latest border secualiens who may be deported rity operation from ICE. “Efforts to remove upon completion of their aliens once they illegally sentence,” the Bureau of cross our border are hamPrisons website states. BOP released a report pered by glaring flaws in about its private contract priscurrent statutory law and ons in 2016, which revealed activist judicial constraints,” the dangerous conditions a White House release says. inside these facilities. One of “As a result, many aliens are the private contract prisons, apprehended and tempoAdams County Correctional rarily detained after illegally Center, is in Natchez, Miss. entering, only to be quickly A correctional officer died released into the interior of there in 2012 when inmates the United States.” Immigration authorities in Louisiana and Mississippi have filed nearly 3,000 deportation proceedings in the first three rioted over poor conditions, Data tell a different months in 2018, data from Syracuse University show. including inadequate food story, however. Despite the and medical care. judicial backlog in immi The Corrections Corporation of How Immigration Courts Work gration cases, ICE agents have filed nearly America, which runs two of the BOP’s 11 When ICE agents pick up an undocu- 3,000 deportation proceedings in immigracontract prisons, ran the Adams County fa- mented person for the first time, they have tion court for people picked up in Mississipcility at the time. The corporation has since several options and discretion to detain pi and Louisiana through March of 2018, changed its name to CoreCivic but did not a person or not. If ICE agents choose to Syracuse University TRAC data show. lose its contract to operate the Natchez fa- detain an undocumented immigrant, they If this rate continues, 2018 is likely cility. In fact, when Donald Trump became are sent to an immigration detention facil- to post the highest number of deportation president, CCA and the GEO Group, ity. When agents arrest someone in Missis- proceedings filed by ICE in the two states which runs seven of the 11 federal contract sippi and want to detain them, they send than in recent years.


your turn Response to “How the Wage Gap Affects Single Moms” LB I empathize with Ms. Furdge, and I hope her and her family thrives. The father(s) of Titan and Mega ought to be ashamed of themselves for failing their children—deadbeat dads are the lowest of the low. With contraception so cheap, widely available and effective, having children is a choice in 2018 (with rare exceptions). It is especially irresponsible to have multiple children without the means to support them. We can all empathize with the single mom who had an unplanned pregnancy, but having multiple unplanned pregnancies with men of low character is neglectful. Amanda Furdge—LB Hi LB, It appears to me that you’ve neglected the entire point of the article by commenting on the reproductive rights and choices of women, and commenting on the unknown character of the men and women who have fallen victim to a clearly systematic pattern of disregard for a woman’s worth in the workforce—in particular women of color. McDonald’s is also cheap and widely available, therefore it is especially irresponsible (and in poor taste in my opinion) for you to assume that population control (birth control as you would call it) would solve these societal ills.

The children mentioned in this article are around 14 months apart born in 2013 and 2014, and they have the same father under circumstances irrelevant to incredible reporting done here. We appreciate your empathy and implore you to advocate for equal pay. LB—Amanda Furdge Part of your economic struggle, according to the article, is related to the affordability of child rearing. So my question of a decision to bring children into an unstable financial situation is entirely relevant. Parents of young children are less productive in the workforce. My workplace productivity decreased when my child was born, and that was the case even though I share the burden of child care with my wife. Thus, if you are a single parent, bearing the entire burden of child care alone, your productivity will naturally suffer (meaning your value in the market may also suffer). “Population control,” as you call it, is just sensible planning. My wife and I intentionally waited to begin a family until we could manage it financially, and it meant waiting until well after many of our peers started their own families. The wage gap is an interesting issue. When we control for type of job worked and hours worked, the gap

narrows significantly. Simply saying that women earn less than men as a whole is comparing apples to oranges. In fact, there is some evidence that childless women in metro areas earn more than their male counterparts in the same job. I do wish you and your family well, but on some level your economic struggle is self-imposed. ShaninaC—LB Funny ... Well, not so funny how a hard look at the fallacies of the individual was your take. I challenge you to engage in a more thoughtful critique of a system that has historically broken families. The same system where you can work full-time and not afford to live (99 percent of your wages to child care). A system where economic desperation forces women to remain in unhealthy relationships to survive because society does not value their work enough to pay a living wage ... and not corrected issues with child support collection. No relationship is a guarantee that either partner can or will contribute to the needs of the child. But if they deeply desire to, don’t discourage their efforts by under-paying them and taking away their supports. Comment at

Feds Must Stop Cruel Deportations, Rethink ‘War on Drugs’


May 16 - 22, 2018 •

amilies are literally being separated. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are arresting more undocumented immigrants now than under the previous administration—nonviolent undocumented men and women as Donald Trump uses scare tactics about dangerous immigrant gangs to justify deportations and splitting up families for just the crime of being undocumented. Many of them fled danger and can be killed or “disappeared” if they return. Young people with DACA status are in flux on a weekly basis dependStop playing ing on what the court says, then the politics with White House, then the court in an people’s lives endless feedback loop that seems to scream, “Does anyone care?” and futures. Mississippi’s two senators, both supporters of Trump’s border wall, doubt the Senate will take up immigration reform in 2018. With more than half a year to go, leaders are leaving families in limbo. State taxpayer dollars are supporting enhanced border security, as the Mississippi National Guard joined several other forces to be a presence on the southwest border between the U.S. and Mexico. 10 While leaders put off creating any solutions, ICE and the U.S.

Department of Justice are implementing their own kind of deportation plan. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to have more oversight and say-so into how immigration judges can rule. Technically, the country’s immigration courts are under DOJ’s jurisdiction, and as Dara Lind writes for Vox, this means Sessions’ power could only increase in the coming months. “[E]ven when a DOJ judge makes a ruling in an immigrant’s favor and ICE prosecutors don’t try to appeal the ruling, the attorney general’s office could sweep in and overrule the judge,” Lind writes. Federal private prisons run by corporations—funded with taxpayer dollars—are the real winners to this approach, particularly if undocumented immigrants are charged in federal court and forced to sit in prison before being deported. The longer Congress waits, the more people will be thrown into a system with apparent rules that Sessions could change whenever he wants. Congress must act to preserve DACA, implement measures to keep families together, and provide a path to citizenship for all immigrants who have done what they believe is best for their wellbeing and just do not have the documentation to prove it. Meantime, if the U.S. is serious about saving lives on either side of the border, it is time to seriously reconsider the escalation of a shortsighted “war on drugs” that Sessions loves to fight.

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courtesy Lil Lonnie

A Lost Hope:

Remembering Lil Lonnie and 2018’s Deadliest Month by Ko Bragg


May 16 - 22, 2018 •

ising hip-hop artist Lonnie “Lil Lonnie” Taylor, 22, was driving around his hometown of Jackson with a woman in the passenger’s seat around 10 p.m. on April 29. Suddenly, someone fired into his car striking him with bullets, and he crashed into a home near the Medgar Evers Historic District. Taylor was dead on the scene. The Jackson Police Department tweeted about a fatal shooting on Montebello Drive at 10:44 p.m. on April 29, and within hours the message had been retweeted hundreds of times, with floods of comments underneath expressing grief, begging for the violence in the capital city to stop and making use of the hashtag #LongLiveLilLonnie, among crying emojis and prayer hands. Taylor grew up as the youngest of five children in the Virden Addition, then went on to Callaway High School and stayed in Jackson to further his education at Hinds Community College before transferring to Jackson State University to major in mass communications. He had amassed enough credits to be a senior at the time of his death, although JSU said he has not been enrolled since spring 2017. While managing college coursework, he had been building up quite a portfolio of music as he collaborated with other well known hip-hop artists like K Camp, Boosie Badazz (formerly known as Lil Boosie) and singer 12 Bryson Tiller. People far beyond Jackson were taking note

of his talent ever since his viral hit “Colors” from 2015. JPD still has not identified a motive in Taylor’s death, but a lot of people in the city are chalking it up to jealousy, including Taylor’s older brother. “My heart is so cold right now!” Damasio Taylor wrote on Facebook the afternoon after Taylor had been shot. “F*cking jealous ass cowards took my lil brothers life!” This killing didn’t make sense to a lot of people. In an effort to bring about collective healing and perhaps some understanding, Taylor’s community pulled together on May 3 at a park in his neighborhood to host a candlelight vigil—so long as people supplied their own personal candles. The park swelled at dusk with people who had come out to pay their respects until gunshots rang out, causing hundreds to run in various directions. It appears that nobody was injured physically, but the grieving community remains damaged. “Man I’ve been through a lot in my life but never would I feel so ashamed I am to say I’m from Jackson, Mississippi,” Damasio wrote on Facebook the night after the vigil. “All my Lil Brother talked about was making Jackson a better place and (helping) others on the way. If you ever listen to his music you would hear the Pain and Passion he had for music and the city we call HOME! He didn’t move to Atlanta or Go Hollywood. He remained Humble and never felt like he was a star. But thats (sic) how he was raised. He didn’t rob, steal or kill to get his money. He earned it!

Like every man should! My community came together for peace and closure and still ignorance tried to prevail!” At the end of this post, Damasio asked for those he does not know not to bother him, but to please continue to pray for the city. He could not be reached for comment. A Murderous April The Taylor family is not the only grieving family in Jackson as of late. April 2018 has been the deadliest month of the year so far, with 12 homicides of people between the ages of 19 and 61 years old. JPD has arrested suspects in five of those cases to date. Taylor became Jackson’s 32nd homicide of the year, and there have been seven more—almost four every week—since Taylor took his last breath. On the first day of April, JPD found 22-year-old Monterris Henry in the backyard of a residence on Clinton Park Drive suffering from multiple gunshot wounds that proved to be fatal. The next day brought two murders, one on Clifton Street that left 24-year-old Eric Hawkins dead and 20-year-old Wendell Gaddis charged with murder. JPD identified 22-year-old Jedarius Raquan Robinson as the second suspect in that killing. In the second case, JPD found 61-year-old Syrenthia Harris, a victim of an apparent burglary on Raymond Road with no signs of forced entry, lying on her floor with multiple stab wounds. One month later, police charged 21year-old Joshua Roynellis Hannah with murder.

May 16 - 22, 2018 •

Stephen Wilson

Responding to a shots-fired call, JPD found a 45-year- volved some type of argument, and approximately 12 per- giant photo of Taylor in what appears to be a Los Angeles old man named Ketra Johnson in a driveway shot to death cent involved robbery. In the remaining cases that make up Lakers basketball jersey. on April 6. On April 15 lawn keepers found the body of over 60 percent of the homicides to that date, JPD did not Security was tight with a handful of officers from the 60-year-old Montegue Kennedy near University Plaza on know the motives. However, Moore did speculate on what Hinds County Sheriff’s Department sprinkled throughout Woodrow Wilson by a lawn crew. The next day, JPD found he believes to be contributing factors, and some of them the parking lot and standing post at the door to the funeral the body of 30-year-old Traci Clark on Hanging Moss could rest on JPD’s shoulders. home as at least three other viewings took place. Creek and Woodway Drive near Manhattan Road. “[P]eople need to learn how to settle their differences The next morning, at around 10:40 a.m., the 50-car The seventh homicide of the month and 29th of the without using violence, without using guns, without using funeral procession following the hearse that held Taylor year resulted from an altercation between two women at knives—any type of weapon,” Moore said. brought traffic in north Jackson to a halt just before the Fuel Time on Bullard Street when 27-year-old Brittany “I believe some of these disputes are behavioral prob- service was set to begin. It seemed like the whole city was Hilliard-Ransom allegedly shot 26-year-old April Spell in lems and people need to learn how to address these, people riding behind that hearse. the head and killed her. JPD found a 19-year-old named need to have conflict resolution.” Everything was gray on the day Taylor was laid to rest. Willie Clark lying unresponsive on the ground after being Moore wanted the public to know that his department The sky was overexposed and cloudy the morning of his shot in the chest on University Boulevard on April 18. was “aggressively” investigating the homicides, but with the funeral, as rain fell in sheets for hours. Then nine days passed before 36-year-old Damian Z. JPD trying to recruit a new class to address its dwindling People either scurried to the awning outside the Harris died at an area hospital. On April 27, JPD found numbers, he said it was “hard to say” whether or not low- church entrance or avoided puddles as they marched unHarris lying at the intersection of Colonial Drive and Terry officer numbers contributed to this spike in crime. derneath umbrellas up to the church. The carpet inside of Road suffering from at least one gunshot to the stomach. “I mean we could have thousands of officers out here,” Word and Worship Church was a gray tweed-like material Police said Harris had been walking down the street with Moore said, “(but) I think sometimes when people have that matched the cushioned-backed chairs and pews that another unidentified man when he fired shots at nearly 500 people sat in to pay respects to the Harris before fleeing south down Terry Road. young talent on May 5. Two days later, Lonnie Taylor was one of Outfitted in an assortment of tailored three homicide victims in a 24-hour span. suits, some too big, 6-inch heels paired with On April 30, JPD reported that a mother fitted dresses, and belted jeans with T-shirts and daughter were victims of a early-morning bearing the invocation for Lonnie “Lil Lonnie” burglary that turned fatal. Just after 4:30 a.m. Taylor to “R.I.H.”—or Rest in Heaven—the that day, officers got a call about an in-progress funeral attendees faced the altar where Taylor burglary. On the scene they found the front lay in a shiny white casket with gold trimming door of the Williams residence forced open. Jaaon the handles and borders. lyn Williams, 24, ran out of the house after get Next to the casket were flower arrangeting shot in the face; she survived the shooting. ments in red and black and other less vibrant However, her mother, Evvie Williams, 57, also colors spelling out the name of Taylor’s mixtape was shot and ran to a neighbor’s home where series, “TKWGO” or “They Know What’s Goshe died. The suspect is an unknown, heavyset ing On” and “SHR” for ShackHouse Records, black man, and there have not been any arrests. a recording company Taylor’s older brother The final murder of April stemmed from a started. disagreement between cousins. JPD found 20 Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumyear-old Justin Harper lying in his front lawn ba sat on the front row and read a scripLee Vance III, owner of Josephine’s Kitchen in Jackson and the son suffering from multiple gunshot wounds on ture from the Book of John in which Jesus of a former police chief, spoke during a rally for Lil Lonnie with no April 30 around 5 p.m. Harper later died, and comforted his disciples, assuring them that clear organizer outside City Hall on May 8, a week after the young his cousin, T’Quarius Jones, 18, was charged there would be place in Heaven for them. rapper was gunned down in his hometown. with his murder. A woman on behalf of the Taylor fam Jackson is well on pace to surpass last year’s ily expressed their gratitude and gratefulness for homicide count of 64 total for all of 2017 with 39 total their minds made up that they have conflict and they want the love they felt during their time of bereavement. homicides as of May 11, 2018. When Interim Police Chief to have disagreements, things like this happen. But, again, “Whether near or far, the comfort in knowing that we Anthony Moore called a press conference at JPD headquar- we don’t make that as an excuse. It’s our job to get out here are not alone means a lot,” she said. ters on May 2, there had been 34 homicides to date in the and make sure that we provide the citizens with the utmost A series of pastors and religious leaders went up to the City this year. Moore said JPD had counted a dozen more protection that we can here in the City of Jackson. podium to give remarks between songs from the choir. homicides between January and April 30 compared to the At the time of the press conference, Moore estimated “I know hearts are heavy, minds are confused, but the same timeframe in 2017. the department hovered around 345 officers, considering God that we serve is still and strong….,”pastor Melvin Col By comparison, as of May 14 there have been 55 some resignations and retirements. There are also a handful lins of St. Matthews Missionary Baptist Church. “... A life homicides in Washington, D.C., a city with a population of JPD officers out on administrative leave following three taken too soon, a young man just starting out his journey over five times that of Jackson’s. New Orleans has seen 66 deadly officer-involved shootings this year—which also get full of hopes and dreams, chasing his beautiful dreams. ... murders as of May 14, and that city is three times more rolled into the homicide count even though they do not A very bright young man, very intelligent. ...Terrific in the populous than Jackson. get investigated the same way other homicides like Lonnie studio while he was profound in the classroom—he is gone, With a handful of officers behind him, Moore had spe- Taylor’s will be. but he is not forgotten.” cifically called for a press gaggle to address four homicides, Pastor Jeffery Stallworth, who presides over Word and including Taylor’s, that happened at the end of April. ‘We Dimmed Our Own Star’ Worship, encouraged those in pain to seek counseling to Moore characterized the acts as “disturbing” and “very Taylor, who often performed and shot videos in the help with healing because wounds do not always show up troubling,” and promised justice. City of Jackson, did one final de facto tour through his right away. For a non-traditional benediction, he asked the “I just want to say that these are senseless, vicious hometown before being lowered into the ground.Taylor audience to stand and applaud for Taylor’s life as the pallcrimes that should not have taken place,” Moore said. “The started off on May 4 at Westhaven Funeral Home in west bearers entered to retrieve the iridescent casket. public needs to know that these perpetrators, these thugs, Jackson, clear on the other side of town from where he had “Recognize his life right now!” Stallworth shouted, are going to be brought to justice, no matter how long it been shot. People filled the large parking lots in the front putting a staccato-like emphasis on his words. takes for us to do so.” and rear to pay their respects. Visitors could not see Taylor, Based on Moore’s numbers, just over a quarter of the as he was not put out for public viewing, but they could more LONNIE, see page 14 homicides up to May 2 had been domestic-related or in- sign a guestbook that rested next to an easel supporting a 13

LONNIE from page 13

May 16 - 22, 2018 •

‘I Had a Vision’ Taylor’s music videos leave no question that he made an effort to represent Jackson in his music. The music video for his song “Make a Way” opens with Taylor narrating his views about the City as images of an Interstate 55 highway sign, intersections throughout north Jackson and the quintessential single-story rancher homes throughout the City flash across the screen. “I come from a small city—north Jackson to be exact,” Taylor says in “Make a Way.” “Don’t too many people make it out where I’m from, see, Jackson it’s like every major city: it’s infested with drugs, different sides divided by territories and acts of retaliation. “I lost my mom at an early age, so I grew up in a single-father home in one of the worst neighborhoods in the City. And we ain’t have much, but I knew I wanted better for myself and my family. I went and put in overtime to hustling, to putting in money for studio time, to grinding, getting paid to do shows from Gulfport to Milwaukee. I didn’t have much, but I had a vision.” Some of Taylor’s videos have millions of views like his 2015 hit “Colors” with 8.4 million and “Right Now” with 14 1.4 million. In both of those songs, he talks about staying

courtesy Lil Lonnie

As applause echoed off the walls and people cheered, the pallbearers returned the casket to the hearse. Lasting under an hour, the ceremony was quick and impactful— much like Taylor’s life. The rain had finally let up, but the sky remained gloomy as people returned to their cars. People gathered and exchanged hugs and pleasantries, while the members of the immediate family pulled off to pay their final respects to Taylor at a cemetery up the highway. Terun Moore, a family friend of the Taylors, reflected on the ceremony before heading to his car. “It’s sad for the city, man, you know?” he said. “It’s like a star was shining bright right over here, and we dimmed our own star, you know what I’m saying? It doesn’t make sense to me. It’s a sad occasion.” Not too long after Moore walked off, two people in the line of cars waiting to pull out of the parking lot started arguing. As it escalated, people poked their heads out of their cars, and some ran over to get a better idea of what was going on. One man sat in the driver’s seat with his door open, and another man stood over him yelling and apparently pulled out a gun. Police officers broke up the altercation before anything escalated beyond that. “Are you covered?” a woman standing under the carport at the front of the church asked a man dressed in all black shortly after police settled the dispute. She was asking if the man was armed. He pulled his blazer back to reveal a handgun resting in a holster. The two smiled. “Always,” he replied. The man was a retired JPD officer who spent 31 years with the force and declined to give his name. He said he does not know how the community is supposed to move forward and heal amidst the violence. “If I had the definitive answer to it, then I could patent it and be a millionaire because it’s happening in a lot of major cities, inner cities,” the retired officer told the Jackson Free Press. “It happens a lot when you have cities where there are not a lot of opportunities for people. It just seems that it’s a recurring theme.”

focused on making money without falling victim to distractions like girls or jealous Jacksonians. In the song “Right Now,” Taylor says, “I gotta make this sh*t here straight right now. I know they don’t wanna see a young n*gga make it out. I know what time it is, and it’s mine right now.” During an introductory skit before the “No Friends” music video in which he gets set up and later arrested, Taylor says: “They say it’s always a n*gga you know, a n*gga you grew up with. A friend who in the end becomes your enemy—you kind of can see it coming sometimes...” As he is being escorted from a home in handcuffs, Taylor croons out the lyrics, “Them n*ggas hate me when they see that I’m the man. … My daddy told me, son, you don’t got no friends—no friends in the dirty game.” Violence is prevalent in several of Taylor’s lyrics and videos, as are quintessential Jackson scenes, perhaps drawing the connection between two things Taylor has said are interwoven in his experience here. Two years ago, Taylor told the JFP that he grew up around gang violence, but that

Lonnie “Lil Lonnie” Taylor grew up in the Virden Addition and stayed in Jackson to go to college. He was shot to death while driving his car on April 29, 2018, at the age of 22.

he tried to balance positive aspects in his music with the reality of what he faced growing up. “I talk about street stuff because I am from the ’hood, but at the same time, most of my music is more motivational,” Taylor told the Jackson Free Press then. “When you are coming from the ’hood, I want you to know (there are) better things to do, better ways to be.” Now, without the 22-year-old rapper to offer a beam of hope that it is possible to escape the grips of inner-city Jackson, many feel lost. ‘His Mind and His Hustle’ Outside Jackson City Hall on May 1, two days after Taylor was killed, two to three dozen people arrived outside the government building, some across the street from it, others shyly hanging back near the sidewalk. City hall employees came to the door, pressing their foreheads against the glass window, peering out in confusion. People had gotten word to gather in front of the building that afternoon at 1 p.m. in honor of Lil Lonnie, but nobody emerged as the organizer. Mayor Lumumba walked by and told reporters that someone asked for a podium, and that’s why the City’s of-

ficial mobile dais stood at the base of the stairs. Lumumba went out to shake hands with some of the young people before he made some remarks, beginning with a moment of silence for Lil Lonnie and all the individuals who had lost their lives in the past days, months and year in Jackson. “I’d like to express my gratitude for each and everyone of you young people being here today to address the issue of violence in our city,” the mayor said following the brief silence. He talked about the need for collective effort to address crime, and the inability for the City to “out-police” crime, as he often says. “I want to make it clear how proud I am of each and every one of you that you would show your face today in order to express your concern about the violence going on in Jackson,” he said. “So I ask that you leave from this gathering even more on the issue of crime because you can hold people accountable much more than a police force, much more than the City itself can hold people accountable. Lumumba told the crowd to demand that people have sanctity and respect for life, and emphasized the importance of recognizing that young people in Jackson suffer from problems like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. When the mayor left for another engagement, a City worker wheeled the podium away. In a way, the press conference without a leader served as a larger representation of a City lost for next steps in how to recover from losing Taylor, as well as the violent homicides that took place in the time after he passed. Lee Vance III, son of former police chief Lee Vance, owns Josephine’s Kitchen not far from where Taylor’s funeral was held. He spoke after the mayor using a microphone attached to the local radio station 97.7’s speakers they had set up in the grass outside. “It’s about the City as whole, man, and us being tired of not being safe in our own City,” Vance said. “You can’t celebrate nowhere without looking over your shoulder. You can’t even buy yourself nice things before folks getting jealous. Jealousy is a real, real, real disease.” He added that he believes that Jackson is strong enough to come together. Robert Walker, a radio personality who goes by “Mista Maine” on 97.7, said that he did one of the first interviews with Taylor. “He was so young, but his mind and his hustle about himself, his motivation about himself was unmatched,” Walker told the Jackson Free Press. “That’s why a lot of people seen that and got behind him, and a lot of kids got behind him especially from where he’s coming from. Coming up like that having an education, he pretty much defeated all the odds of being a black child, and it showed.” Walker admired that Taylor did not “cheat the grind,” and acted as an example to kids who think that things come easy and fast. He said he found out via Instagram and text messages that Taylor had passed and, as he scrolled, he said it sunk in just how young he was, Walker said. Then Walker reflected on the damage Taylor’s death did for Jackson’s young people. “Knowing how many kids he touched ... what are they going to feel like? Who are they going to look up to know? What other artists out there are doing it the way he’s doing it, the right way? It’s kind of like a lost hope for the kids. They’re looking lost more than anybody right now because that was their hometown hero died, got killed and taken away from (them).” Email city reporter Ko Bragg at ko@jacksonfreepress. com and read about violence causes and potential solutions at Twitter: @keaux_.

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May 16 - 22, 2018 •

May 19 - Lucious Spiller





“Bars and Brushes: The Art of Kwame Braxton” is at The Flamingo.

Midfest 2018 is in midtown.

Kevin Powers signs copies of “A Shout in the Ruins” is at Lemuria Books.

BEST BETS May 16 - 23, 2018 courtesy The New Orleans Suspects / Facebook


History Is Lunch is from noon to 1 p.m. at Two Mississippi Museums (222 North St.). Author George Malvaney discusses his new book, “Cups Up: How I Organized a Klavern, Plotted a Coup, Survived Prison, Graduated College, Fought Polluters and Started a Business.” Sales and signing to follow. Free admission; call 601-576-6998; email;


Courtesy Renee Hodges / Facebook

“Dinner & a Movie: Food Truck Festival, Vol. 5” is from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). The festival includes more than a dozen food trucks, a cash bar, live music from Pam Confer, a screening of Pixar’s “Wall-E,” art activities and more. For all ages. Free admission, food prices vary; call 601-960-1515;

The New Orleans Suspects perform at Martin’s Restaurant & Bar on Saturday, May 19.

$70 VIP, $20 for designated drivers; … The Brandon Mitchell & S.W.A.P. Album Release Concert is at 7 p.m. at Jackson Revival Center (4655 Terry Road). The Jackson gospel group’s latest album is titled “Amazing.” Michelle Prather, Lisa Knowles Smith, Todd Galberth, Lena Byrd Miles and C. Ashley Brown also perform. Doors open at 6 p.m. $15 in advance, $20 at the door, $30 VIP;




The New Orleans Suspects perform at 10 p.m. at Martin’s Restaurant & Bar (214 S. State St.). The New by Rebecca Hester Orleans supergroup features musicians who have played for the James Brown Band, the Neville Brothers, Dirty Dozen Fax: 601-510-9019 Brass Band, North Mississippi Daily updates at Allstars and more. Admission TBA;

May 16 - 22, 2018 •


Renee Hodges signs copies of her book, “Saving Bobby: Heroes and Heroin in One Small Community,” at Lemuria Books on May 23.


Zoo Brew is from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). The craft-beer festival and fundraiser includes music, a wing-eating contest, a homebrewing competition, food, vendors and more. Exhibits 16 will stay open until dusk. $40 in advance, $45 day of event,


The Mississippi Community Symphonic Band performs at 3 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church (6000 Old Canton Road). The concert includes a selection of patriotic songs and a special performance from Christopher Phillips and Mississippi Swing. Free;

The C Spire Ferriss Trophy Luncheon is at 11:30 a.m. at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum (1152 Lakeland Drive). The event includes lunch, guest speaker Jay Powell and the bestowing of the Ferriss Trophy, which goes to the best college baseball player in Mississippi each year. $35-$350;

The Re:Find Cocktail Dinner is from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Table 100 (100 Ridge Way, Flowood). The dinner includes a four-course meal paired with drinks such as gin, vodka, rye whiskey, limoncello liqueur and kumquat liqueur from the Re:Find Distillery in Paso Robles, Calif. Cocktails and appetizers begin at 6 p.m. $64.50 per person, including tax and gratuity;


Renee Hodges signs copies of her book, “Saving Bobby: Heroes and Heroin in One Small Community,” at 5 p.m. at Lemuria Books (Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). Reading at 5:30 p.m. $16.95 book; … The Texas Boys Choir performs at 7 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral (305 E. Capitol St.). Free admission, donations accepted; find it on Facebook.

“Network Your Net Worth” May Mixer May 17, 6-7:30 p.m., at The Kundi Compound (256 E. Fortification St.). The Jackson Black Pages presents the event that focuses on the topic of smart investing and how it helps the black community. Free admission; find it on Facebook. Midfest Flea Market May 19, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at Good Samaritan Center (114 Millsaps Ave.). The market includes several vendors. Early-bird shopping is from 9 a.m.-10 a.m. for $5. Free admission at 10 a.m.; find it on Facebook.

Zoo Brew May 18, 5-9 p.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). The craft beer festival and fundraiser includes music, a wing-eating contest, a home-brewing competition and more. $40 in advance, $45 day of event, $70 VIP, $20 for designated drivers;

“Dream Big: Engineering Our World,” booths with STEM-related activities and more. Educators can also pick up “Dream Big” educator packet for $5. Proceeds will go toward restoring the model. Free admission, donations accepted; call 601-376-9131; find it on Facebook.

2018 Urban & Sports Festival May 19, 9 a.m.8 p.m., at Lake Hico Park (4801 Watkins Drive). The event includes a parade, block party, live music, sports competitions, car show, dog show and vendors with food, drinks and other items. Free admission; find it on Facebook.

“This One’s for You” Dinner & Performance May 18, 6-9:30 p.m., at Seafood R’evolution (1000 Highland Colony Pkwy., Ridgeland). The wine dinner features Kathryn Crosby singing classic songs from her late husband, Bing Crosby. $125 per person; find it on Facebook.

Movie Night at the Outlets of Mississippi May 22, 8 p.m., at Outlets of Mississippi (200 Bass Pro Drive, Pearl). The outdoor event includes a screening of Disney and Pixar’s “Finding Dory,” food and snack vendors, and more. Free admission; find it on Facebook.

Midfest 2018 May 19, 3-8 p.m., in midtown. The annual street festival features more than 20 booths from local businesses, food and drink vendors, live music, a Second Line Parade with Southern Komfort Brass Band, and more. For all ages. Free admission; find it on Facebook.


Queen for a Day 2018 May 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Jackson Medical Mall Foundation (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). The women’s conference features panel discussions, entertainment, vendors, refreshments, guest speakers such as Miss Black Mississippi USA Ashley Griffin, entrepreneur Sheena Allen and more. Free under age 21, $10 for adults;

Every Southeastern Conference institution with a softball team received a bid into the 2018 NCAA Softball Tournament. With 13 spots, it is by far the most represented conference in the tournament.

Events at The Flamingo (3011 N. State St.)


• An Evening in Paradise: Adult Prom May 19, 7 p.m.-1 a.m. The adult prom features music, drinks and more. Participants are invited to wear their most formal attire. $15 per individual, $25 per couple; • Fashion Industry Mixer May 20, 6 p.m. The networking event focuses on fashion, entertainment, film and music industries in Mississippi, and includes live music from Calligraphyx. $10 admission; call 601-720-7517; Two Rivers Gala—Tougaloo Honors May 19, 7 p.m., at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). The black tie event includes music from soul group Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, and honors Tougaloo College alumni. $200; call 601-977-7871;

KIDS “Get Your Feet Wet!” with Splash and Bubbles May 19, 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). The live stage show features wildlife filmmakers and educators Laura and Robert Sams of PBS children’s show “Splash and Bubbles.” Included with admission ($6 for adults, $4 for ages 3-18, $5 for seniors);

FOOD & DRINK Dinner & a Movie: Food Truck Festival, Vol. 5 May 17, 5-10 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). The festival includes more than a dozen food trucks, a cash bar, music from Pam Confer, a screening of Pixar’s “Wall-E,” art activities and more. Free admission, food prices vary; Baby Bumps & Beer Bellies: A Night Out for Expecting Parents May 17, 6:30-8 p.m., at Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano (970 Highland Colony Pkwy., Ridgeland). The event includes non-alcoholic drinks for mothers, wine or beer for partners or spouses, appetizers, prenatal yoga and more. Free admission; Wing Fest May 18-19, 2-8 p.m., at Last Call Sports Grill (1428 Old Square Road). Includes food and drink discounts, music from High Frequency on Friday, and a wing-eating contest and music from DJ Finesse on Saturday. $20 wing contest; find it on Facebook.

the best in sports over the next seven days

by Bryan Flynn, follow at, @jfpsports

College baseball (6-9 p.m., SECN+): UM travels to Alabama for the final regular-season series. … College baseball (6:30-9:30 p.m., SECN+): MSU travels to Florida for the Bulldogs’ last regular-season series. FRIDAY, MAY 18

College softball (6-9 p.m., ESPN): The UM Rebels kick off the Tempe Regional against Long Beach State. … College softball (8-11 p.m., ESPN2): MSU kicks off the Tucson Regional against North Dakota State. SATURDAY, MAY 19

College baseball (1-4 p.m., SECN+): The UM Rebels end the regular season against Alabama. … College baseball (3:30-6:30 p.m., ESPNU): MSU ends the regular season against Florida. SUNDAY, MAY 20

College softball (11 a.m.-11 p.m., ESPN networks): The NCAA Softball Tournament regionals conclude, leaving 16 teams in the Super Regionals.


NBA (7:30-10 p.m., ESPN): The Cleveland Cavaliers host the Boston Celtics in game four of the Eastern Conference finals. TUESDAY, MAY 22

College baseball (9:30 a.m.-11 p.m., SECN): The first round of the SEC Baseball Tournament begins. … NBA (8-11 p.m., TNT): Game four of the Western Conference finals sees the Golden State Warriors host the Houston Rockets. WEDNESDAY, MAY 23

College baseball (9 a.m.-11 p.m., ESPN3): Tune in for day one of the C-USA Baseball Tournament. … College baseball (9:30 a.m.-11 p.m., SECN): Watch day two of the SEC Baseball Tournament. SEC softball teams also earned nine of the 16 national seeds. The Pac-12 took five seeds, and the Big 12 and ACC got one apiece. Each seeded team will play at home during the regionals.



C Spire Ferriss Trophy Luncheon May 21, 11:30 a.m., at Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum (1152 Lakeland Drive). The event includes lunch, guest speaker and former MLB player Jay Powell, and the bestowing of this year Ferriss Trophy. $35-$350;

Brandon Mitchell & S.W.A.P. Album Release Concert May 18, 7 p.m., at Jackson Revival Center (4655 Terry Road). The Jackson gospel group’s latest album is titled “Amazing!” Michelle Prather, Lisa Knowles Smith, Todd Galberth, Lena Byrd Miles and C. Ashley Brown also perform. Doors open at 6 p.m. $15 in advance, $20 at the door, $30 VIP;

STAGE & SCREEN Main Street Movie Nights May 18, 5-9 p.m., at Smith Park (302 Amite St.). The outdoor event includes a screening of the family-friendly film “Breaking Legs,” a dance contest, raffles and more. Free admission; find it on Facebook. Movie in the Model May 19, 3-6 p.m., at Buddy Butts Park (6464 McRaven Road). The event also includes food trucks, screenings of the film

Back the Blues Fest May 19, 6 a.m.-9 p.m., at Old Trace Park (Ridgeland). The family-friendly festival features food trucks, a 5K, a fun run, a bike show, a motorcycle ride, a memorial ceremony, and a concert featuring Jason Miller Band, Jacob Bryant and Burnham Road. Proceeds benefit Mississippi law enforcement and families of fallen officers. $35 5K, fun run or ride; $65 for both; $10 concert; find it on Facebook.

Mississippi Community Symphonic Band Concert May 20, 3 p.m., at Christ United Methodist Church (6000 Old Canton Road). The concert includes a selection of patriotic songs and a performance from Christopher Phillips and Mississippi Swing. Free;

LITERARY SIGNINGS Events at Two Mississippi Museums (222 North St.) • History Is Lunch May 16, noon-1 p.m. Author George Malvaney discusses his book, “Cups Up: How I Organized a Klavern, Plotted a Coup, Survived Prison, Graduated College, Fought Polluters and Started a Business.” Free admission; • History Is Lunch May 23, noon-1 p.m. John Cuevas and Jason Taylor discuss their book, “Discovering Cat Island: Photographs and History.” Free admission; Events at Lemuria Books (Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202) • “A Shout in the Ruins” May 22, 5 p.m. Author Kevin Powers signs copies. Reading at 5:30 p.m. $30 book; • “Saving Bobby: Heroes and Heroin in One Small Community” May 23, 5 p.m. Author Renee Hodges signs copies. Reading at 5:30 p.m. $16.95 book;

EXHIBIT OPENINGS Bars and Brushes: The Art of Kwame Braxton May 18, 7-11 p.m., at The Flamingo (3011 N. State St.). The exhibition features artwork and a live musical performance from hip-hop artist Kwame Braxton. Vitamin Cea and DJ 2 Tall also perform. Free admission; find it on Facebook. PRGS in the Gallery: “Introspective” May 19, 3-8 p.m., at Pearl River Glass Studio (142 Millsaps Ave.). The exhibition features work from the personal collection of artist Andrew Cary Young. Free admission; find it on Facebook.

BE THE CHANGE NAMI Mississippi State Conference May 17-18, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at Belhaven University (1500 Peachtree St.). In the Dr. Billy Kim International Center. The conference’s sessions cover the topics of mental-health advocacy, assistive technology, health and wellness, recovery and more. $85 per day, $150 both days; Check for updates and more listings, or to add your own events online. You can also email event details to to be added to the calendar. The deadline is noon the Wednesday prior to the week of publication.

May 16 - 22, 2018 •




Midtown Celebration by Abigail Walker


Come out enjoy classic funk and soul!

Friday, May 18 7-10pm

May 16 - 22, 2018 •

Great food and great music.

1005 E. County Line Road, Jackson, MS


Mon. – Sat. 11 am - 10 pm | Sun. 11 am - 8 pm

Call For Reservations: (601) 957-1515

Midfest, an annual street festival and block party, showcases the local businesses and artists in Jackson’s midtown arts district.

Because midtown is an arts district, Red says Midfest places a huge emphasis on local art. Some of this year’s art booths include anime- and pop-culture-themed merchandise from PixelMoth Apparel, vintage assemblage art from Curious Revival, and jewelry from Xcessory Freex. The event will also have food and drinks from businesses such as Guy’s Catfish & Steak House, Kingz Kitchen, Jubilee Pastry, Mississippi Cold Drip Coffee & Tea Co., and Sweet & Sauer. The Ladybug Club, a midtown organization for mothers and daughters that promotes education, community service and positive mother-daughter relationships, will also sell lemonade. “It’s truly one big neighborhood,” Red says. “I love the eclectic mix of



ince Midfest’s start in 2014, the street festival and block party has been focused on celebrating what the midtown area has to offer, showcasing local businesses and the creative talents of its residents. “It’s a chance to bring the neighborhood together and have a good time,” says Business Association of Midtown President Roderick Red. Jackson artist Adrienne Domnick started the event while she was serving as president of BAM. “I just wanted a centralized area where we could come out of our studios and have a block party,” she says. The first Midfest started as just one block on Wesley Avenue. This year’s festival, which takes place on Saturday, May 19, will feature booths from more than 20 vendors along that street. “It was perfect to have it on Wesley because Offbeat had just opened,” she says. “It was the first event where we saw a lot of midtown community participation.”

Clouds & Crayons, which includes vocalist Astin Sullivan (right) and instrumentalist Loki Antiphony (left), was one of the local musical acts who performed at the 2017 Midfest.

businesses and people, and I love when people are surprised to see all that we have to offer in midtown.” Though the block party will begin at 3 p.m., many of the businesses in the area will be hosting activities throughout the day. Red Squared Productions, which Red owns, will have its office open for tours, AND Gallery will feature music from Spectral Wave, and Pearl River Glass Studio will have a gallery with artwork from owner Andy Young. The Good Samaritan Center and its resale store, N.U.T.S., will kick things off that Saturday with the Midfest Flea Market from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Early-bird admission is $5 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., and admission is free after 10 a.m. The event will have hotdogs and hamburgers for sale, as well as free Blue Bell ice cream for shoppers. There will also be a bouncy house for children. “We want to show our support because we care about our community,” Joanna Puddister King, director of public relations and marketing at The Good Samaritan Center, says. Offbeat will host its monthly “Significant Saturdays” event and have special pins for sale in celebration of the business’ fourth anniversary. The store will also host a performance by NF//GS at 3 p.m. and a special edition of its concert series, “Jujutsu: Vibes, Anime, Chill,” at 8 p.m. Businesses such as The Reclaimed Miles and Lucky Town Brewing Company will also have music. This year, the Southern Komfort Brass Band, will march down Wesley Avenue for a second-line parade. “It’ll be a great way to cap off the event,” Red says. Midfest 2018 is Saturday, May 19, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, find the event on Facebook.

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


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Aladdin Mediterranean Grill -BLFMBOE%S +BDLTPOt Delicious authentic dishes including lamb dishes, hummus, falafel, kababs, shwarma.


Blue Plate Specials 11am-3pm Mon-Fri Includes a Non-Alcoholic Drink

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Smithwick’s ale braised, The Flora Butcher Irish sausage, Two Brooks Farm rice, Gil’s garlic crostini

buttermilk fried, bone-in chop, Guinness onion gravy, champ, sauteed garlic greens

TUESDAY Chicken Curry

THURSDAY Drunken Hamburger Steak

roasted Springer Mountain Farms chicken, bell pepper, onion, Two Brooks Farm rice or hand cut chips

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May 16 - 22, 2018 •

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Visit for more. Music listings are due noon Monday to be included:

May 16 - Wednesday

May 17 - Thursday 1908 Provisions - Elvis Tribute Night 6:30-9:30 p.m. Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. District at Eastover - The Sessions Trio 5:30 p.m. free Drago’s - Barry Leach 6-9 p.m. F. Jones Corner - Maya Kyles & the F. Jones Challenge Band 10 p.m. $5 Fenian’s - Cody Cox 9 p.m. The Flamingo - Skipp Coon, Ben Ricketts, Vitamin Cea & Empty Atlas 7 p.m. $10 Georgia Blue, Flowood Dustin Moulder Georgia Blue, Madison Wes Johnson Hal & Mal’s - Brian Jones 6:30 p.m. free Iron Horse Grill - McKinney Williams 6 p.m. Kathryn’s - Bill & Temperance 6:30 p.m. Lost Pizza, Brandon - Jonathan Womble 6 p.m. Majestic Burger - Larry Brewer 6-8:30 p.m. Pelican Cove - Chad Perry 6-10 p.m. Shucker’s - Sofa Kings 7:30 p.m. Soulshine, Flowood - Josh Journeay 7 p.m. Table 100 - Andrew Pates 6 p.m. Underground 119 - Jeff Reynolds 7-10:30 p.m.

May 16 - 22, 2018 •

May 18 - Friday


Ameristar, Vicksburg - Doug Allen Nash 8 p.m. Bacchus - Larry Brewer 6-9 p.m. Capitol Grill - Path to Eden 8 p.m. Castlewoods Country Club Travelin’ Jane Duo 7 p.m. Cerami’s - James Bailey & Linda Blackwell 6:30-9:30 p.m. Char - Ronnie Brown 6 p.m. Doe’s, Florence - Dagnabbit 7 p.m. Drago’s - Greenfish 7-10 p.m. Duling Hall - Mustache 8 p.m. $10 advance $15 day of show F. Jones Corner - Fred T midnight $10 The Flamingo - “Bars & Brushes” feat. Kwame Braxton, Vitamin Cea & DJ 2 Tall 7-11 p.m. free Georgia Blue, Flowood - Shaun Patterson Georgia Blue, Madison - Brandon Greer Hal & Mal’s - Bill, Temperance & Jeff 7-10 p.m. free Iron Horse - Deeb’s Blues 9 p.m. Jackson Revival Center - Brandon Mitchell & S.W.A.P. Album Release feat. Michelle Prather,

Soul Wired - “The Love Jones” feat. I Rhyme 8 p.m. $10 advance $15 door Soulshine, Flowood - Gena Steele 7 p.m. Table 100 - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. T’Beaux’s, Pocahontas - Jon & Angela 6 p.m. Underground 119 - Lucious Spiller 9 p.m.

May 19 - Saturday Ameristar, Vicksburg - Doug Allen Nash 8 p.m. Anjou - Stevie Cain 6-9 p.m. Center Stage of MS - Karen Brown w/ Henry Rhodes 8 p.m. $15 Cerami’s - Ron Sennett 6 p.m. Char - Bill Clark 6 p.m. Doe’s, Florence - Skip McDonald 7-9 p.m. F. Jones Corner - Big Money Mel & Small Change Wayne 10 p.m. $5; Stevie J Blues midnight $10 Georgia Blue, Flowood Phil & Trace Georgia Blue, Madison Chad Wesley Hal & Mal’s - A’keela & the Beat 7 p.m. The Hideaway - South of 20 9 p.m. $10 Iron Horse - Jesse Robinson 9 p.m. Kathryn’s - Todd Thompson & the Lucky Hand Blues Band 7 p.m. Last Call - DJ Finesse Martin’s - New Orleans Suspects 10 p.m. $10 Offbeat - Gios4ma, Flywalker, Modi, Nova Drops & DonChe 8 p.m. Pelican Cove - Travelin’ Jane 2-6 p.m.; Jason Turner Band 7-11 p.m. Pop’s Saloon - Vintage 9 p.m. Shucker’s - Acoustic Crossroads 3:30 p.m.; Spank the Monkey 8 p.m. $5; Billy Maudlin 10 p.m.

S.W.A.P.’s “Amazing” Return by Micah Smith

May 20 - SUNDAY 1908 Provisions - Knight Bruce 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Anjou - David Keary 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Char - Big Easy Three 11 a.m.; Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Christ United Methodist Church - MS Community Symphonic Band w/ MS Swing 3-4 p.m. free Fusion Coffeehouse - Adib Sabir 3-5 p.m. free Kathryn’s - Jeff Reynolds Band 6 p.m. Pelican Cove - Robin Blakeney noon-4 p.m.; Acoustic Crossroads 5-9 p.m. Shucker’s - Greenfish 3:30 p.m. Table 100 - Raphael Semmes Trio 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Dan Michael Colbert 6-9 p.m. Wellington’s - Andy Hardwick 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

May 21 - Monday

Stevie Cain


Courtesy Brandon Mitchell & S.W.A.P.

1908 Provisions - Bill Ellison 6:30-9:30 p.m. Alumni House - Jerry Brooks & Jack Beal 6:30-8:30 p.m. Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Drago’s - Johnny Barranco 6-9 p.m. Kathryn’s - Larry Brewer & Doug Hurd 6:30 p.m. Pelican Cove - Stace & Cassie 6-10 p.m. Shucker’s - Proximity 7:30 p.m. Table 100 - Andy Henderson 6 p.m.

Lisa Knowles Smith, Todd Galberth & more 7-11 p.m. $15 advance $20 door Kathryn’s - Acoustic Crossroads 7 p.m. Last Call - High Frequency 7:30-10 p.m. Lounge 114 - Mike Rob & the 601 Band 9 p.m. Martin’s - Katie & Doc 6-8:30 p.m. free; The Stolen Faces 10 p.m. MS Museum of Art - Nellie Mack 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. free Pelican Cove - Lovin Ledbetter 7-11 p.m. Pop’s Saloon - Lequxco 9 p.m. Shucker’s - Barry Leach 5:30 p.m.; Spank the Monkey 8 p.m. $5; Josh Journeay 10 p.m. Soulshine, Flowood - Brian Jones 7 p.m. Soulshine, Ridgeland - Jonathan Alexander 7 p.m. St. Columb’s Episcopal Church - MS Chorus’ “Summer Cabaret” 7:30-9 p.m. $30 Table 100 - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Underground 119 - Mick Kolassa & the Taylor Made Blues Band 8:30 p.m. Courtesy Stevie Cain

MUSIC | live

Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Fitzgerald’s - Johnny Crocker 7-11 p.m. Hal & Mal’s - Central MS Blues Society (rest) 7 p.m. $5 Kathryn’s - Barry Leach 6:30 p.m. Pelican Cove - McCain & Reynolds 6-10 p.m. Table 100 - Andrew Pates 6 p.m.

May 22 - Tuesday Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Drago’s - Johnny Barranco 6-9 p.m. Fenian’s - Open Mic Hal & Mal’s - Dinner, Drinks & Jazz feat. Raphael Semmes & Friends 6-9 p.m. free Kathryn’s - Keys vs. Strings 6:30 p.m. Martin’s - Ronnie Caldwell 6-8:30 p.m. free Pelican Cove - Hunter Gibson 6-10 p.m. Table 100 - Chalmers Davis 6 p.m.

May 23 - Wednesday 1908 Provisions - Ronnie Brown 6:30-9:30 p.m. Alumni House - Pearl Jamz 6:30-8:30 p.m. Char - Tommie Vaughn 6 p.m. Drago’s - Johnny Barranco 6-9 p.m. Hal & Mal’s - New Bourbon Street Jazz Band 6-8:30 p.m. free Kathryn’s - Larry Brewer & Doug Hurd 6:30 p.m. Pelican Cove - Chris Gill 6-10 p.m. Shucker’s - Proximity 7:30 p.m. St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral - Texas Boys Choir 7 p.m. donations encouraged Table 100 - Andy Henderson 6 p.m.

Brandon Mitchell & S.W.A.P., or Singers With a Purpose, perform for the release show for their latest album, “Amazing,” on May 18 at Jackson Revival Center.


or Jackson gospel group Brandon Mitchell & S.W.A.P., a little discouragement has helped pave the way for a greater source of encouragement on their sophomore album, “Amazing.” Mitchell, a Benton, Miss., native, formed the group in 2006 while attending Auburn State University and self-released its debut, “I Feel a Move,” in 2010. While S.W.A.P., which stands for Singers With a Purpose, had plenty of success following the release, Mitchell says the music itself did not have the impact that he had hoped. “It didn’t make the ‘noise’ I thought it should make,” he says. “It wasn’t effective like I thought it should have been, and I asked some friends in the music industry what it was lacking, and they kept telling me all these things I didn’t know.” Mitchell says that he realized he had a lot to learn in many areas, including vocal production, mixing and mastering. At the same time, he wanted to learn them the right way and needed direction. “So I stepped out on faith, and I reached out to the guy who produced the (new) album, AyRon Lewis, who is actually my favorite producer,” he says. “I reached out to him, and it just worked out. During this process, I really learned how to make a record.” Mitchell, and his wife and co-writer, Trinity Mitchell, began working on the songs for “Amazing” in 2012, and now, six years later, S.W.A.P. is preparing to release the album independently on May 18 through all digital retailers. The group will celebrate with a concert that evening at Jackson Revival Center, featuring special guest artists such as Lena ByrdMiles, Michelle Prather and Lisa KnowlesSmith, who all three sing on “Amazing.” “Over the course of time, I’ve learned that you can’t rush what God has for you,” Mitchell says of the record. “You just have to be faithful and be diligent because his

time is perfect. I wanted to release this record so many times—so many times— but it just wasn’t time.” That patience ended up opening more doors for him over the past few years, though. Through developing his in-studio abilities on “Amazing,” Mitchell was able to work with other Mississippi artists, sharing some of the skills that he picked up from AyRon Lewis, who has worked with legendary gospel acts such as Shirley Caesar, The Mighty Clouds of Joy and James Fortune & FIYA. Along with production partner Marcus Singleton, Mitchell has produced several recording projects, including new albums for Jackson gospel artists Vernon Moore and Matthew Donaldson, and Pam Confer’s song “Mississippi Beautiful,” which is featured in the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. “That’s what I wanted more than anything, with me reaching out to my producer: I wanted to sew back into our community like he sewed into me,” Mitchell says. “It’s just been an amazing experience being able to give back to the (local music) community, being able to sew so much into the artists who don’t know. They’re just like I was: They don’t know, but they want this information. “… We really want this record to show everyone you can be successful and independent, and you can take time and do things the right way. The record should get national buzz. We have a lot of things outside of the state coming up this summer, so we’re looking forward to branching out and spreading what God has given us through this music.” The “Amazing” album release show is at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 18, at Jackson Revival Center (4655 Terry Road). Tickets are $15 in advance and at $20 at the door. For more information, visit



SAT. MAY 19 | 10 P.M.




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Visit for a full menu and event schedule

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mississippi craft beer fest after party!

Saturday, June 16

A NIGHT OF ROCK AND ROLL WITH SID HERRING AND THE GANTS legendary mississippi garage rockers at duling!

Sunday, June 24


violin virtuoso and americana singer-songwriter extraordinaire makes her return to duling

Friday, June 29

JAMESON RODGERS mississippi's own rising star in country music plays duling for the ďŹ rst time!


May 16 - 22, 2018 •

FRI. MAY 18 | 10 P.M.






46 Paris-area airport 47 Theatrical sigh 48 Milky gemstone 51 Some Oscar Wilde works 55 Recorded by jazz saxophonist Stan? 59 Happy hour order 62 Christmas tree type 63 Curl of hair 64 Smoked salmon on a bagel 65 CPR specialist, maybe 66 Change two ďŹ ves into a ten? 67 The night before 68 Kimono sash 69 “The Crying Gameâ€? star Stephen 70 “That’s rightâ€? 71 “Hang on just a ___!â€? 72 Pay stub amount


in Philadelphiaâ€? 37 Place for ďŹ ling and polishing 38 Wrestler John with an “unexpectedâ€? internet meme 39 Rowing machines, casually 44 “Chariots of Fireâ€? actor Sir Ian 45 Take care of the bill 48 Auction bid 49 Like 2 or 3, but not 1 or 4 50 The body’s largest artery 51 Poacher’s need? 52 Tennis star Monica

53 Main character of Minecraft 54 Coyolxauhqui worshiper 56 Serving platter 57 Keep from view 58 Loaf heels, really 60 Brain segment 61 Way out Š2018 Jonesin’ Crosswords (editor@

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 #877.


“Go to Sleep!� —beware of snoring. Across

1 Apple variety 4 Researcher’s room 7 Pea’s place 10 December drink 13 Bob Hope’s WWII gp. 14 Gran ďŹ nale? 15 Map-providing org. 16 Dye containing a nitrogen compound 17 Can, to a Londoner 18 Motel room perk, as promoted years ago 20 Novelist DeLillo 21 ___ Mahal (Indian beer brand)

22 Be familiar with a Danube-based Austrian town? 24 Bend’s state 26 Cookie crumbled in a fro-yo toppings bar 27 “This is prophetic,� from the opera “Nixon in China,� e.g. 29 Existent 32 Make barbs about trip data? 40 Blocks in the freezer 41 Would rather not 42 ___ Lingus (Irish airline) 43 Chores for Superman’s general nemesis?

1 Mixed-breed dog 2 About 30% of the world’s land mass 3 Stuck together 4 17th-century philosopher John 5 “Git ___, little dogie� 6 “The Jungle Book� bear 7 Leave 8 Swearing-in formality 9 Author Eggers 10 Lowest point 11 Triatomic oxygen molecule 12 “The Muppet Show� daredevil 19 Have a title to 23 1970 hit for the Kinks 25 Makeshift windshield cleaner 27 “Master of None� star Ansari 28 Puerto ___ 29 Board game of world conquest 30 90 degrees from norte 31 Stub ___ 33 Chris Hemsworth superhero role 34 Schlep 35 DIY crafter’s site 36 Dennis’s sister, on “It’s Always Sunny

BY MATT JONES Last Week’s Answers

“Movie Sudoku� Solve this as you would a regular sudoku, except using the nine given letters instead of numbers. When you’re done, each row, column and 3x3 box will contain each of the nine given letters exactly one time. In addition, one row or column will reveal, either backward or forward, the name of a famous movie.

Ethiopia Yirg / El Sal Salvad vadoor Shade Grown Borboll Borbollon

anoot h e r lo ng d a y an BLEND

taffy / honey / roas roasted peanut peanuts C U P S E S P R E S S O C A F E.C O M

May 16 - 22, 2018 •




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TAURUS (April 20-May 20):

A chemist named Marcellus Gilmore Edson got a patent on peanut butter in 1894. A businessperson named George Bayle started selling peanut butter as a snack in 1894. In 1901, a genius named Julia David Chandler published the first recipe for a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich. In 1922, another pioneer came up with a new process for producing peanut butter that made it taste better and last longer. In 1928, two trailblazers invented loaves of sliced bread, setting the stage for the ascension of the peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich to its full glory. According to my analysis, Taurus, you’re partway through your own process of generating a very practical marvel. I suspect you’re now at a phase equivalent to Julia David Chandler’s original recipe. Onward! Keep going!

One of the most popular brands of candy in North America is Milk Duds. They’re irregularly shaped globs of chocolate caramel. When they were first invented in 1926, the manufacturer’s plan was to make them perfect little spheres. But with the rather primitive technology available at that time, this proved impossible. The finished products were blobs, not globes. They tasted good, though. Workers jokingly suggested that the new confection’s name include “dud,” a word meaning “failure” or “flop.” Having sold well now for more than 90 years, Milk Duds have proved that success doesn’t necessarily require perfection. Who knows? Maybe their dud-ness has been an essential part of their charm. I suspect there’s a metaphorical version of Milk Duds in your future, Gemini.

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

In my vision of your life in the coming weeks, you’re hunting for the intimate power that you lost a while back. After many twists and trials, you find it almost by accident in a seemingly unimportant location, a place you have paid little attention to for a long time. When you recognize it, and realize you can reclaim it, your demeanor transforms. Your eyes brighten, your skin glows, your body language galvanizes. A vivid hope arises in your imagination: how to make that once-lost, now-rediscovered power come alive again and be of use to you in the present time.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):

The etymological dictionary says that the English slang word “cool” meant “calmly audacious” as far back as 1825. The term “groovy” was first used by jazz musicians in the 1930s to signify “performing well without grandstanding.” “Hip,” which was originally “hep,” was also popularized by the jazz community. It meant, “informed, aware, up-to-date.” I’m bringing these words to your attention because I regard them as your words of power in the coming weeks. You can be and should be as hip, cool and groovy as you have been in a long time.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

I hope you will seek out influences that give you grinning power over your worries. I hope you’ll be daring enough to risk a breakthrough in service to your most demanding dream. I hope you will make an effort to understand yourself as your best teacher might understand you. I hope you will find out how to summon more faith in yourself—a faith not rooted in lazy wishes but in a rigorous self-assessment. Now here’s my prediction: You will fulfill at least one of my hopes, and probably more.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

The Polish pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski once performed for England’s Queen Victoria. Since she possessed that bygone era’s equivalent of a backstage pass, she was able to converse with him after the show. “You’re a genius,” she told him, having been impressed with his artistry. “Perhaps, Your Majesty,” Paderewski said. “But before that, I was a drudge.” He meant that he had labored long and hard before reaching the mastery the Queen attributed to him. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you Libras are currently in an extended “drudge” phase of your own. That’s a good thing! Take maximum advantage of this opportunity to slowly and surely improve your skills.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

The ancient Greek poet Simonides was among the first of his profession to charge a fee for his services. He made money by composing verses on demand. On one occasion, he was asked to write a stirring tribute to the victor of a

mule race. He declined, declaring that his sensibilities were too fine to create art for such a vulgar activity. In response, his potential patron dramatically boosted the proposed price. Soon thereafter, Simonides produced a rousing ode that included the phrase “wind-swift steeds.” I offer the poet as a role model for you in the coming weeks, Scorpio. Be more flexible than usual about what you’ll do to get the reward you’d like.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Here’s the operative metaphor for you these days: You’re like a painter who has had a vision of an interesting work of art you could create—but who lacks some of the paint colors you would require to actualize this art. You may also need new types of brushes you haven’t used before. So here’s how I suggest you proceed: Be aggressive in tracking down the missing ingredients or tools that will enable you to accomplish your as-yet imaginary masterpiece.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

Useful revelations and provocative epiphanies are headed your way. But they probably won’t arrive sheathed in sweetness and light, accompanied by tinkling swells of celestial music. It’s more likely they’ll come barging in with a clatter, bringing bristly marvels and rough hope. In a related matter: At least one breakthrough is in your imminent future. But this blessing is more likely to resemble a wrestle in the mud than a dance on a mountaintop. None of this should be a problem, however! I suggest you enjoy the rugged but interesting fun.

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AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

One of the saddest aspects of our lives as humans is the disparity between love and romance. Real love is hard work. It’s unselfish, unwavering and rooted in generous empathy. Romance, on the other hand, tends to be capricious and inconstant, often dependent on the fluctuations of mood and chemistry. Is there anything you could do about this crazy-making problem, Aquarius? Like could you maybe arrange for your romantic experiences to be more thoroughly suffused with the primal power of unconditional love? I think this is a realistic request, especially in the coming weeks. You will have exceptional potential to bring more compassion and spiritual affection into your practice of intimacy.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):

In accordance with astrological omens, I invite you to dream up new rituals. The traditional observances and ceremonies bequeathed to you by your family and culture may satisfy your need for comfort and nostalgia, but not your need for renewal and reinvention. Imagine celebrating homemade rites of passage designed not for who you once were but for the new person you’ve become. You may be delighted to discover how much power they provide you to shape your life’s long-term cycles. Ready to conjure up a new ritual right now? Take a piece of paper and write down two fears that inhibit your drive to create a totally interesting kind of success for yourself. Then burn that paper and those fears in the kitchen sink while chanting “I am a swashbuckling incinerator of fears!”

ARIES (March 21-April 19):

According to my assessment of the astrological omens, your duty right now is to be a brave observer and fair-minded intermediary and honest storyteller. Your people need you to help them do the right thing. They require your influence in order to make good decisions. So if you encounter lazy communication, dispel it with your clear and concise speech. If you find that foggy thinking has started to infect important discussions, inject your clear and concise insights.

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May 16 - 22, 2018 •

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

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V16n37 - Remembering Lil Lonnie  

A Lost Hope: Remembering Lil Lonnie and 2018’s Deadliest Month, pp 12 - 14 • Who Can Stop Youth Violence?, p 4 • Undocumented Behind Bars, p...

V16n37 - Remembering Lil Lonnie  

A Lost Hope: Remembering Lil Lonnie and 2018’s Deadliest Month, pp 12 - 14 • Who Can Stop Youth Violence?, p 4 • Undocumented Behind Bars, p...