A Brave New Day Presents
EMPOWER US! The Mississippi Hivil Rights Conference All events open to the public. Free of charge. “There is one thing you have to learn about our movement. Three people are better than no people.” -Fannie Lou Hamer
EMPOWER US! will make the connection between the Civil Rights Movement and HIV/AIDS advocacy/activism, through multi-media historical, inspirational and educational presentations and activities. March 8th (Tuesday) Advocacy Day: 1. Advocacy Workshop 1 PM - 5 PM 2. “There’s a Light” 7 PM - 7:30 PM: Ceremony for the National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS 3. MS HIVVIP BANQUET WITH HARVARD LAW 7:30 PM: Authors from Harvard Law School will launch “The SHARP Report: HIV/AIDS in Mississippi.” In addition, all Mississippi HIV/AIDS service providers will be honored that evening. March 9th (Wednesday) Legislative Day: 1. HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at the Capitol 10 AM - 2 PM: Legislatve visits, networking and PRESS CONFERENCE AT 10 AM, 2nd FLOOR OF THE ROTUNDA, featuring Community Advocates, Legislators, MS Dept of Health HIV/STD Bureau, Harvard Law and a launch of the Human Rights Watch report entitled “Rights at Risk: State Response to HIV in Mississippi. 2. Spa Night of Self Care 6 PM - 9 PM: Civil Rights Activism movies with guest veterans, national activists, massages, nutrition workshop, music, and wellness fair. Buffet by Sugar Magnolia’s, free of charge. March 10th (Thursday) Activism Day: 1. Power Breakfast 8 AM: National Women’s and Girls’ HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Event
March 2 - 8, 2011
2. Community Forum 8:30 AM - 10 AM: Meet the new State AIDS Director and staff of the MS Dept of Health 3. CIVIL RIGHTS=HIVIL RIGHTS Activism Training 9 AM - 12 PM: Civil Rights and HIV activists with historical presentation, tie-ins to contemporary Civil Rights and HIV activism 4. iNUESTRA VOZ! LUNCHEON 12:30 PM: Special luncheon with Latino Commission on AIDS NYC presentation on The Deep South Project.
Contact: A Brave New Day Phone: 601.713.3999 Fax: 601.366.3990 Cell: 601.842.2339 firstname.lastname@example.org
Events will be held at The MS State Capitol and Cabot Lodge Millsaps.
March 2 - 8, 2011
9 NO. 25
contents ROY ADKINS; JERRICK SMITH;; AARON PHILLIPS; BILL FERRIS
6 Fuzzy Math Gov. Haley Barbour says school districts have $65 million; school advocates say they don’t.
Cover photo by Aaron Phillips
THIS ISSUE: Union Troubles
Groups in Mississippi clash over Wisconsin state workers’ right to collective bargaining.
........ Editor’s Note .............. Slowpoke ....................... Talk ................ Editorial ...................... Zuga .................. Stiggers ................ Opinion ............. Diversions ................... 8 Days ............ JFP Events .................... Music ...... Music Listings ....................... Slate ...................... Astro ...................... Food ........ Fly Shopping
rubye forrest-mickel “As a traffic officer, every day brings something interesting,” Rubye ForrestMickel says, sitting on her porch on Barrett Avenue, enjoying the early spring weather. As she reclines in her chair, her lips curve into a smile. “During the (Mal’s) St. Paddy’s Parade a few years ago, we were trying to keep people from crossing over a barrier, and a man got so excited he jumped up on my car and started jumping around,” she says. “He almost tore it up.” Most days on the job, however, are filled with cooperative pedestrians. “It’s fun to be here. I enjoy helping everybody,” she says. Forrest-Mickel has been a downtown traffic officer with the Jackson Police Department for almost 13 years. In her line of work, she writes parking tickets, answers general questions about parking and gives directions to pedestrians. She writes 50 to 100 parking tickets a day, most of them for expired meters. “People complain about how bad the roads are, but then they don’t want to support Jackson by paying for parking,” she says. Many times, Forrest-Mickel says, she finds herself doing things that are outside her job description. “I’ll answer questions about where to find a job, or help someone who’s thirsty find some water, just different things that keep the job interesting,” she says. “Some-
times if someone tells us they’re hungry, we’ll even bring them inside a restaurant and get them some food. And sometimes people just need someone to talk to.” Asked about her favorite part of the job, she says: “Meeting the people and helping the people.” She also loves her colleagues. “We have really good working relationships with our supervisors,” she says. She even goes so far as to call one of her supervisors “precious” because of how polite he is in giving orders. Forrest-Mickel was born the second of five children in 1951 in Winona, Miss. She moved from Winona to Jackson in 1977 after she decided she wanted to become a police officer. Once she got here, she changed her mind and became a Hinds County Head Start teacher. After two decades of teaching, she determined in 1998 that she wanted to try something different, so she became a traffic officer. “It’s been a fun ride,” she says of her latest career. Forrest-Mickel is married to Walter Mickel. She is a mother to four and a grandmother to 11. The 60-year-old has no plans to retire anytime soon, though. She still works Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. “I’m not slowing down; I’m picking up,” she says. —Dylan Watson
14 The Yazoo Story What really happened in Yazoo City during the Civil Rights Era? The JFP sorts fact from fiction.
29 Blue Livin’ James “Son” Thomas lived and breathed the blues all of his life; it showed in his music.
4 4 6 12 12 12 13 21 24 26 29 30 32 33 34 38
Lacey McLaughlin News editor Lacey McLaughlin is a Florida native who enjoys riding her bike around Jackson. She is always on the hunt for news tips. E-mail Lacey@jacksonfree press.com or call 601.362.6121 x. 22. She wrote the cover story.
Aaron Phillips Originally from Texas, Aaron Phillips has lived in Mississippi for more than a decade. He works for the Imaginary Company, is a freelance photographer, and lives in the Millsaps Art District. He is always up for an adventure. He photographed the cover.
Andrea Thomas Advertising designer Andrea Thomas is a native of Ridgeland and recently graduated from Antonelli College. She loves to sing, dance and write poetry in her free time. She designed ads and pages for this issue.
Dylan Watson Editorial intern Dylan Watson is from Indianola, Miss. He’s currently a sophomore at Millsaps College, where he studies political science and philosophy. He wrote the Jacksonian.
Ashley Nolen JFP editorial intern J. Ashley Nolen has studied English and print journalism. Among many identities, she’s a lover, a deep thinker, a dreamer, a traveler, a writer, a student and a teacher.
Lisa Fontaine Bynum Lisa Fontaine Bynum is a native of Grenada and a graduate of Delta State. She lives in Brandon with her husband, cat Zorro, and a boxer puppy named Otis. She maintains a food and cooking blog at www.cookingbride.wordpress.com. She wrote a food piece.
Andrew Dunaway Andrew Dunaway knew his friends and family were tired of hearing him talk constantly about food, so he took to writing about it. He’ll do his best to keep it to a dull roar. He wrote a restaurant piece.
March 2 - 8, 2011
Advertising director Kimberly Griffin is a Jackson native who likes yoga, supporting locally owned businesses and traveling. In her spare time she plots how she can become Michelle Obama’s water holder.
by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief
Barbour’s Cross to Bear
n 1968 in Yazoo City, Police Chief Ardis Russell Sr. arrested a black mother, LeBertha Owens, for trying to take her young daughter, Gloria, to the public library for materials to complete her school assignments. Her daughter was left behind, as she watched the sheriff take her mother to jail for trying to help her get a decent education. That one incident, from this week’s cover story, says so much about Mississippi’s history and present—as well as our governor’s real or feigned ignorance about what went on in his hometown in the 1960s. Gov. Haley Barbour is tiptoeing through a historic minefield as he tries to make his way to the White House. Ever since he worked for Richard Nixon, and then Ronald Reagan, and then later as head of the Republican National Committee, he has helped Republicans get votes by appealing to a “lesser” tendency in American society. He became a master of the “southern strategy” to get white people to switch over to the party that had, before the 1960s, been the party that supported leveling the playing field for non-white Americans. With his strategic flair for knowing what made many white folks tick, and vote, Barbour helped complete the party switch that began in the 1960s when the national Democratic Party forsook the southern white Dixiecrats and supported federal civil-rights legislation. It is a strategy many Republicans despise; in 2005, then-RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman apologized to the NAACP for the party’s use of the horrendous vote-getting race device. But the southern strategy’s legacy is Haley Barbour’s cross to bear. And it keeps biting him in the butt, especially now that he is trying to appeal to a nationwide constituency that doesn’t give him as many passes as his largely white Mississippi voters or his national ultraconservative base. His response has been to try to whitewash the country’s, the state’s and his hometown’s racist history, somehow acting like the entire nation, or at least enough red states, will allow him to throw real-but-inconvenient facts and stories down the Orwellian memory hole, shredded and forgotten. When Barbour told The Weekly Standard recently that the Citizens’ Council saved his hometown from the Ku Klux Klan, people of all races educated in civil-rights history said, “What the …?” The truth is that the Citizens’ Council gathered the powerful white men of Mississippi—including Barbour friends and family—together to stop integration of any level of society by just about any means necessary. And his statement that they were in his hometown to stop the Klan was particularly absurd because the Council formed in Mississippi before the Klan’s re-emergence. The Klan functioned as a violent terrorist arm of groups like the Citizens’ Council and Americans for the Preservation of the White Race; Kluckers did the dirty work as the “Uptown Klan” laid the groundwork, led the boycotts and gathered the addresses of people of all races who didn’t
go along with their program. This, Gov. Barbour, is your history, and it is my history, every Mississippian’s and American’s history. Any person who aspires to the U.S. presidency needs to know and own this history, not strive to deny it at every turn. It is a past, though, that many Americans would rather not face. Many don’t want to believe that the Citizens Council and the Klan and bald-faced bigots operated in their states, north and south, but they did and, in too many cases, still do. Barbour’s wing of the Republican Party, tragically, wants to appeal to the voters who, shall we say, are still conflicted over our racist history and efforts to keep African Americans in second-class citizen status. In many ways, a presidential candidate who has long played the southern-strategy card is ideal for them. And Barbour clearly believes he needs their votes to win. But he is in a pickle; he needs other votes, too. That leads to the dance of absurdity he is doing now as one race bomb after another goes off in his direction. For instance, he believes he can’t condemn the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ attempt to put a former Klan wizard, and its first prominent leader who also led a massacre of black soldiers during the Civil War, on a Mississippi license plate. Why not? Because he clearly wants the votes of the white people who want Nathan Bedford Forrest treated like a hero because he was good at military strategy. (Strategists admire strategy, after all.) But not all strategy is worth applauding, whether it was Forrest’s fight to keep slaves in slave states (Google the Mississippi Articles of Secession to understand exactly why the Civil War was fought) or Barbour’s effort to appeal to the racist vote by pandering to those voters
while pretending not to. The ultimate and saddest effect of this southern-strategizing is to keep the South, and the nation, divided along race lines. It’s not like people of color or Americans educated in real race history are going to start voting in any kind of real numbers for candidates who engage in wink-wink political racism, even if they occasionally appoint a black judge or suddenly go whole-hog after a civil-rights museum when they’re running for president. (We will take the museum, though, thanks.) The southern-strategy habit sits firmly behind current attempts to ridiculously gerrymander political districts into majority-white and majority-black districts in the state, selffulfilling the notion that blacks aren’t going to elect whites and vice versa. This serves no one, except the people of all races who want to get into power and then stay there by continuing the lines of division. Meantime, there is a shared history in our state and nation that can bring us together and make us stronger. First, of course, we have to know it, consider it and then make smart decisions based on it. The JFP’s news editor, Lacey McLaughlin, is a young white woman who grew up with almost no education about real civil-rights history. She took it upon herself two months ago to go find the real context for Barbour’s statements about the Citizens’ Council. It has been heartening to hear her reactions as she went back and forth to Yazoo City, learning the tough lessons of history that can’t be taught in sound bites or hit-and-run journalism. Her cover story this issue is the result of two months of hard work. Her curiosity and hunger to understand and overcome divisions serve as an example to us, if we allow it to.
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news, culture & irreverence
Thursday, Feb. 24 Virginia lawmakers approve a bill requiring clinics that provide first-trimester abortions to meet the same standards as hospitals, which could result in closing most of the states 21 abortion clinics. … Howard Industries pleads guilty to conspiracy to violate immigration laws and faces $2.5 million in fines in connection with a raid in August 2008 where agents detained more than 600 undocumented workers. Friday, Feb. 25 Republicans in the U.S. House propose a stopgap measure to avoid shutting down the government. … In an open letter to Mississippi legislators and the governor, bishops from four of the state’s churches urge lawmakers to reject the Arizona-style immigration bill under consideration. Saturday, Feb. 26 Tea Party Patriots gather in Phoenix, Ariz., to deliver a message of “disappointment” to House Republicans, vowing to vote them out of office next year if they did not aggressively cut the budget. … Protesters in support of Wisconsin state workers clash with Mississippi Tea Party members at the state Capitol. … Jackson State Tigers beat Mississippi Valley State 82-63. Sunday, Feb. 27 Tunisia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi resigns after a weekend of violent protests. … The United States condemns Iran’s hypocrisy and “blatant” violations of its citizen’s rights.
March 2 - 8, 2011
Monday, Feb. 28 Families of inmates at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility hold a candlelight vigil in honor of those injured a year ago at the facility. … The Hinds County Board of Supervisors adopts a redistricting plan based on U.S. Census data.
Tuesday, Feb. 29 The Egyptian public prosecutor freezes the domestic assets of former President Hosni Mubarak and his family, thought to be in the millions. … A New York Times/ CBS News poll shows that the majority of Americans support public employees’ collective bargaining rights.
Barbour’s Bad Education Math
by Ward Schaefer
f Gov. Haley Barbour gets his way, “They just guessed that maybe Mississippi public schools may end $65 million will be left there,” Loome up short-changed by $65 million said. “More than that has already been because of a vanishing pot of federdrawn down. School districts could al money. Public-education advocates very well draw down every dime of it fear that the state Senate may follow before the end of (the fiscal year).” Barbour’s call to adopt a lower fundDespite the uncertainty about ing amount for schools, which the federal funds, leaders in the Republigovernor has misleadingly described can-dominated Senate have signaled as “level funding.” their intention to reduce next year’s In his November 2010 budget funding for the Mississippi Adequate proposal, Barbour justified the lower Education Program—the state’s prifunding amount by pointing to “$65 mary means of funding low-income million of unspent education dollars school districts. that will be available to school districts Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, in (the) 2012 (fiscal year),” which besaid he expects the Republicans in the gins July 1. Senate Appropriations Committee to Barbour was referring to funding recommend a reduction in the funding from the Education Jobs and Medicaid amount proposed by House Bill 1494. Assistance Act, which the U.S. Congress Parents’ Campaign Executive Director Nancy Loome “There’s concern, based on inpassed in August 2010 and allotted says Gov. Haley Barbour is misleading the public with formation provided by the Senate MDE $95.9 million for school districts his proposed $65 million public school budget cut. leadership, that when the House bill to spend on personnel. comes up in (the Senate AppropriaNancy Loome, executive director of out there. But it’s not.” tions) committee, the leadership will propublic-education advocacy group The ParIn fact, data from MDE show that only pose spending less on MAEP—$65 milents’ Campaign, said Barbour’s $65 million $43.3 million of the federal education jobs lion less,” Blount said. figure is misleading. money remains unspent at this time. SpendLoome said she hopes to see the Senate “It’s a completely arbitrary number,” ing varies widely by district, too. Districts adopt a funding level not significantly lower Loome said. “It doesn’t have anything to in Natchez, DeSoto County and Madison than the one approved by the House. Blount do with what amount was appropriated or County have already spent their entire al- said he, too, agrees with the House proposal what was there at a given time. It was just location. Jackson Public Schools and Hinds in this case. a guess, which has become this $65 mil- County Public Schools have not spent any of “I intend to raise this issue in the comlion pot of money, which people think is their funds. mittee,” Blount said.
Test Your Knowledge So you think you know about race relations in Mississippi? See how you score on the questions, below.
“The president is one of the greatest politicians in the history of the United States.” —Gov. Haley Barbour speaking Sunday, Feb. 27, on “Meet the Press.”
True or False?
• The Mississippi “Black Codes” made it a felony for people of different races to marry, punishable by life in prison. • Mississippians voted to close all public schools instead of integrating them. • One of the questions on the polling questionnaire was “How many bubbles are in a bar of soap?” • The bullet that killed Medgar Evers landed on his kitchen counter. • Evers’ assassin, Byron De La Beckwith, hid in honeysuckle bushes waiting for his victim. • There hasn’t been a black statewide official in Mississippi since Reconstruction. • Before the Civil War, Mississippi was the richest state in the union. • It took 15 years for Mississippi to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional. • The southern states seceded because they did not want to give up the “curious institution” of slavery. • Mississippi’s articles of secession included the phrase: “None but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun.” ANSWERS: ALL OF THE STATEMENTS ARE TRUE.
Wednesday, Feb. 23 President Barack Obama condemns the Libyan government’s violent crackdown on protesters but stopped short of asking for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s resignation … Gov. Haley Barbour appoints Judge Leslie King to the Mississippi Supreme Court.
The U.S. Supreme Court declared segregated schools unconstitutional in the Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. After ignoring the law for 15 years, in 1969, the Supreme Court in Alexander v. Holmes once again ordered the state to end school segregation. Mississippi finally began complying in January 1970.
Mississippi’s newest state Supreme Court Justice speaks with the JFP. p 11
by Ward Schaefer
COURTESY MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY
A Museum Split?
Public schools do more than educate children. They measure a city’s pride. They reflect community. They predict the social and economic well-being of a city’s future. For 20 years, Parents for Public Schools of Jackson has worked to keep our public schools strong, to empower parents as leaders for positive change, and to engage community support of our public schools.
Join us. For our city. For our children. For our future. A proposed civil-rights museum would likely cost less if located adjacent to the state archives building downtown.
is attractive to many Jackson lawmakers and officials because of the boost it could provide to tourism. But the downtown location could also keep the civil-rights museum’s price tag lower, Mississippi Department of Archives and History Director Hank Holmes said. Since 2001, the MDAH has eyed a site on North Street, adjacent to the current Archives building, as the future home of a state history museum. One advantage of the location is that the state has already constructed a physical plant at Amite and Jefferson streets to provide heating and air conditioning for a number of state-owned buildings. Built for a now-scrapped plan to move the state Supreme Court and the Library Commission, the plant has the capacity to serve additional buildings, Holmes said. Holmes said locating the civil-rights and history museums next to each other could provide additional major savings. The two facilities could share a lobby, reception desk and gift shop, along with the employees to manage those common areas. More significantly, they could share the extensive, environmentally controlled storage space necessary to support the various exhibits and artifacts. It would be a fitting arrangement for two museums that have distinct, if related, missions. “The state history museum—one of the stories it will tell, or threads, is civil rights,” Holmes said. “But it is one aspect of Mississippi history, one of many that we’ll be dealing with. So we cannot go into great detail, educating the visitors about the importance of the Civil Rights Movement. A civil-rights museum—it would have only that one theme. It would have a definite time period to cover, so it could provide a great deal more information, a great deal more opportunity for reflection on an (era) that was central to American history.”
Founding Chapter, Parents for Public Schools, 1989 200 N. Congress, Suite 500, Jackson, MS 39201
he total cost of a proposed Mississippi civil-rights museum could depend on its location. While Gov. Haley Barbour and a majority of the state House of Representatives have backed a site in downtown Jackson, a competing bill passed last week by the Senate allows for other, costlier locations. Last week, the Senate passed SB 3098, which would provide $15 million in state bond funds for the civil-rights museum, on the condition that supporters of the museum also raise $15 million in outside funds. The bill also would provide another $15 million for a Mississippi history museum. The version the full chamber passed was stingier than the Jackson Sen. John Horhn’s original, which offered $30 million to the civil-rights museum and $18 million for the state history museum, along with $7 million for a parking garage to serve the facilities. Horhn’s original proposal was nearly identical to the version House lawmakers approved Feb. 16, except for one major distinction: The House measure, HB 1463, mandated that the civil-rights museum be located adjacent to the state history museum in downtown Jackson. The Senate bill’s flexibility on a location for the civil-rights museum again opens the possibility of building the facility on the campus of Tougaloo College. In 2008, after a highly contentious selection process, an earlier governor-appointed commission picked Tougaloo as the site of a proposed state civil-rights museum. The project lost steam after the initial announcement, however. Tougaloo President Beverly Hogan did not return a request for comment, but in a Jan. 17 statement, she said Barbour failed to appoint a board of directors for the nonprofit organization that would oversee the museum’s initial fundraising, construction and operations. Locating the civil-rights museum
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by Adam Lynch
Taking Sides on Unions
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March 2 - 8, 2011
increases to counter the salary decrease. Opposing protestors also converged on the state Capitol Saturday as local and outof-town supporters of fair-taxation group US Uncut and moveon.orgâ€”who were showing solidarity with Wisconsin union workersâ€” JERRICK SMITH
1935 Lakeland Dr. 601.906.2253
ome Mississippians are taking sides on Wisconsin state employees who are protesting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walkerâ€™s proposed budget that would eliminate state employee unionsâ€™ collective bargaining rights. Hundreds of protesters continued to fill the Wisconsin state Capitol at press time over the governorâ€™s proposal to bust the state union. To show solidarity with workers to the north, a 70-member group representing the Mississippi Alliance of State Employees appeared in the state Capitol on Monday, arguing that state governors are wrongly blaming their employees for mounting state deficits. â€œInstead of the focus being on soaring profits of corporations who refuse to hire more workers, Wall Street bonuses, (and privateequity managers whose income is treated as capital gains or business loopholes ... all across the country, public workers have become the convenient scapegoats for budget battles,â€? said Mississippi Alliance of State Employees President Brenda Scott. Nancy Kent, president of the American Federation of Teachersâ€™ Mississippi branch, said teachers all across the state are seeing salary cuts to cover budget shortfalls. â€œTeachers have lost salaries through furloughs,â€? Kent said. â€œIf you donâ€™t work, you donâ€™t get paid. If you get a furlough, youâ€™re not getting paid. When you lose $9,000 in pay from one year to the next, that has to hurt.â€? Jackson Public Schools spokeswoman Peggy Hampton, who was not at the rally, said the local district reduced Jackson Public Schools teacher workdays from 191 days to 187 days this fiscal year. Even though the cuts did cost teachers money, the reduction did not count as a furlough, Hampton said, because teacher contracts were originally set for 191 days, four days over the state-mandated school year of 187 school days. Hampton said teachers also had the benefit of timely pay increases to soften the four-day salary loss. The district also cut administratorsâ€™ work year by four days this year. Administrators, she said, did not have the benefit of regular pay
Rallies supporting Wisconsin union workers clashed with members of the Missisisppi Tea Party at the Capitol this week.
faced members of the Mississippi Tea Party. â€œ(The Mississippi Tea Party members) were on the grounds and just kind of heckled the speakers. I gave a five-minute speech and, of course, they heckled me,â€? said US Uncut organizer Carl Gibson, a former Mississippi Public Broadcasting reporter who has also freelanced for the Jackson Free Press. Gibson, a Jackson resident, gathered about 15 US Uncut members together earlier Saturday at the FedEx store on County Line Road to protest FedExâ€™s use of offshore offices to qualify for a reduced federal tax rate. The U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a 2008 report revealing that 83 of the 100 largest publicly traded U.S. companies reported having subsidiaries in â€œjurisdictions listed as tax havensâ€? such as the Cayman Islands and Singapore. FedEx generated $35 billion in 2007, which includes 21 off-shore locations in places like Bermuda, Costa Rica and Grenada. Congress has no plans to change the corporate tax cuts despite continued calls for painful budget cuts by Republicans. Risk management company Moodyâ€™s analytics released
a report last month predicting the Republican-backed federal budget would cost the nation at least 700,000 jobs by 2012. Gibson organized the local protest in conjunction with 50 other US Uncut protests throughout the country Saturday. Gibson started US Uncut after learning about UK Uncut, a movement in the United Kingdom that uses grassroots organizing and social media to protest corporate tax disparities. â€œThese budgets cuts do not have to happen. Mississippi, alone, through federal funds, could recoup about $432 million in lost tax revenue if corporate tax-dodgers paid up,â€? Gibson said. Gibson said the US Uncut message squared perfectly with the message that about 50 moveon.org members from across the state promoted at the state Capitol. Moveon.org members were already facing a Mississippi Tea Party counter rally.. The Mississippi Tea Party website described the Feb. 26 event as â€œMS Tea Party meets Big Labor on the Capitol Steps in Jackson.â€? Tea Party members argue that unions are no longer required. â€œPeople have learned how to speak for themselves. Itâ€™s not like it was back in the 1930s ... â€? said Jackson nurse-anesthetist Laura Van Overschelde. â€œPeople have learned how to be independent and think for themselves. They donâ€™t need union bosses to do that anymore.â€? Oxford resident Betsy Chapman, a US Uncut supporter who attended the Capitol rally, said she was dismayed by the number of jeers from Tea Party members as pro union and pro-fair-tax speakers spoke. â€œItâ€™s pretty disheartening for me to see people out there who are part of the middle class fighting on that side. Itâ€™s hard for me to understand why they take the (stand) they do on these issues, and equate the unions with socialism and atheism,â€? said Chapman, whose husband, Louis Bourgeois, was laid off from his position as an adjunct English professor at the University of Mississippi two years ago and no longer qualifies for unemployment benefits.
by Adam Lynch
‘They’re Taking Daddies Away’
workers do not jump a fence to enter the country but, instead, managed to land steady work, and could not bear to surrender their jobs after their temporary work visas expired. Rector’s children, who are ages 1, 3 and 5, will be going to school soon, if she decides to stay in Pearl. However, the city of Pearl may not be happy to have her or her kids in town if her single-parent income can’t sustain a twobedroom apartment. The city passed an ordinance last year ADAM LYNCH
olonial Terrace Apartments resident Angella Rector speaks with a slow southern drawl that drips of mobile home and Larry the Cable Guy. The redhead married her husband, Juan Espanoza, two years ago. They lived on a tight family budget with their three children before U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested Espanoza last weekend for being in the country illegally. Rector said Espanoza worked hard on various construction jobs in and around the Jackson area before ICE busted him during a four-day raid last weekend that included Rankin County, specifically in the apartment complexes and trailer parks near or in the city of Pearl. Together, Rector said, she and her husband managed to keep their bills paid and avoid the need for government assistance for their children, who, like Rector, were born American citizens. Without him, however, her income isn’t enough. “It irritates me how they say Mexicans are coming over here taking public assistance, but when they’re taking daddies away (and) that … leaves the Momma,” Rector said. “If I go to work—I (work) right now—but if I go to work now how am I supposed to pay a babysitter to take care of my three kids and pay my bills, my rent?” ICE announced the arrest of 57 men and one woman, ranging in ages from 17 to 71, over the course of the weekend: 40 from Mexico, nine from Guatemala and four from Honduras. Other people arrested come from Panama, Peru, Costa Rica and El Salvador. ICE reports that seven of those arrested this past weekend had returned after being deported previously. Brown University’s US 2010 project, which uses Census 2010 data, reports that the city of Pearl’s Hispanic population increased from 446 individuals in 2000 to 1,598 in 2010. A portion of the new population consists of undocumented immigrants working temporary jobs. Mississippi Immigrants Rights Community organizer Ulises Hernandez Rincon said the majority of unregistered
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Pearl Resident Angella Rector said she and her kids will now be four more people on public assistance after ICE claimed her husband in a recent raid.
limiting bedroom occupancy in residential premises to two occupants per bedroom. It applies to houses, apartments and manufactured homes, restricts a man and wife who are expecting a child from living in a singlebedroom apartment without a special permit from the director of community development in the Department of Code Enforcement. The director can refuse to grant the permit if other property with more sufficient bedroom capacity is available within city limits, without regard to the potential price increase residents face for multiple-bedroom apartments. The fine for violating the ordinance can be up to $1,000 or 90 days in jail, and each day of noncompliance counts as a separate offense. The price for applying for a Pearl Code Enforcement special permit is $50. Pearl City Attorney Jim Bobo said last
year that the ordinance targets unscrupulous landlords who attempt to pile numerous beds into a single dwelling, creating an unsafe environment, but Chandler said the ordinance clearly targets low-income Latinos. Bear Atwood, interim legal director for the ACLU of Mississippi, said the ordinance gives too much power to the community development director who may value traditional families and could restrict unmarried, gay and lesbian couples, and large extended families. “We want to be treated as humans, not as trash,” said Herrero, a recent U.S. citizen. Conservatives in the Mississippi House and Senate have pushed laws in previous sessions and new bills this session that discourage undocumented residency. The Legislature passed a law in 2008 that makes holding a job while being an undocumented resident a felony carrying a prison term of up to five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both. That same law, is more forgiving to employers of undocumented workers, who suffer the risk of canceled state contracts and ineligibility for future contracts for up to three years and the possibility of the revocation of the employer’s business license for up to one year as a consequence of non-compliance, but no jail time or fines beyond covering the costs to the state for canceled contracts. This year, the House and Senate are considering different versions of a controversial Arizona law that force police in the state to request residency documentation at routine traffic stops and public interdictions. The House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 2179 last month, but stripped a section that would allow citizens to sue local law enforcement and public officials for not enforcing federal immigration laws. House members say the section puts undue legal pressure on municipalities and local governments. The House inserted a provision allowing citizens to take a business to court for hiring undocumented workers. Senate Republicans, including bill author Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, said last month the new House-inserted section now puts undue legal pressure on businesses.
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March 26, 2011
Legislature: Week 8
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Sex and Pay Raises Lacey McLaughlin
by Adam Lynch
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The House and Senate will hammer out an agreement for a new statewide sex-education program in conference.
he Mississippi Tea Party tried to target immigrants once again in a bill that would have charged $5 for out-ofcountry wire transfers exceeding $500, plus 1 percent of the amount of the transaction. The bill, authored by Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, died in the Senate Finance Committee last Wednesday. The dead bill would have directed fees to the state Department of Revenue and a special “border fence fund” to assist in the construction of a fence along the border between the United States and Mexico. Mississippi does not share a border with Mexico.
March 2 - 8. 2011
Sex-Ed in Conference School districts are one step closer to adopting an abstinence-only or abstinenceplus sex-education policy under a House bill the Senate passed last week. Current state law requires school districts teach abstinence-only education, unless the local school board votes to teach comprehensive sex education. Many school districts, however, do not have a policy specifying what they teach. House Democrats, including Reps. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, and House Education Committee Vice Chairwoman Sara Thomas, D-Indianola, support comprehensive sexeducation in public schools. Both argue that knowing the facts about sex prevents sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancy. The Senate Education Committee passed the bill after inserting an amendment that repealed the law on June 30, 2011, one month before the law would take effect July 1, 2011. Brown said the amendment’s purpose is to force the bill into conference, where lawmakers from the House and Senate will work out their differences. Brown said he could not gauge whether senators might request changes, since the amendment makes no alteration to the language or intent of the bill.
Legal System Pay Raises on Hold A statewide pay raise for judges and prosecutors may be on the rocks, although House Judiciary A Committee Chairman Ed Blackmon, D-Canton, entered a motion to reconsider the bill last Thursday. Senate Bill 2253 raises the annual salaries
of the state’s Supreme Court chief justice from a current salary of $115,390 to $159,000, the two Supreme Court presiding justices from $113,190 to $154,833, and the six Supreme Court associate justices from $112,530 to $152,250 each by July 2015. The bill would have also raised the salaries of chancery and circuit court judges to $136,000 and full-time district attorneys to $125,900. Various fee increases would have financed all the raises. The bill proposed to raise the fee for filing a civil case, for example, to $40. Speeding citations for driving 30 miles over the speed limit would increase by $30. Citations for driving 20 miles over the limit would mean an extra $20. The money bill required a three-fifths majority vote to survive. The House voted the bill down with a near even vote, however, even after Blackmon amended the bill to reduce the pay increase to the Supreme Court chief justice to $126,292, the Supreme Court presiding justices to $123,600 and the Supreme Court associate justices to $122,460. Blackmon’s amendment reduced other pay increases as well. Sixty representatives voted for the bill, while 58 voted against it. Ethics, Individually Gov. Haley Barbour is getting a bill to sign into law soon that will put the pain of open-meetings violations on individual violators, as opposed to public bodies. Currently, governmental organizations such as the Jackson City Council or county boards of supervisors are responsible for paying fines on violations of open-meetings laws, essentially passing those fines to taxpayers. The House and Senate agreed upon Senate Bill 2289, however, which allows the Mississippi Ethics Commission to charge the fines to individuals it deems responsible for the violations. If the Ethics Commission finds that a member or members of a public body has “willfully and knowingly violated” ethics law, the commission can impose a civil penalty of up to $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for a second or subsequent offense, “plus all reasonable expenses incurred by the person or persons in bringing the complaint to enforce this chapter.”
by Ward Schaefer
Former Court of Appeals Judge Leslie King is the newest member of the Mississippi Supreme Court.
or Judge Leslie King, serving on the Mississippi Supreme Court is a natural career move, if not necessarily one he expected. Last week, Gov. Haley Barbour appointed King to the Supreme Court, replacing Justice James Graves, whom President Barack Obama appointed to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A native of Greenville, King is the fourth African American to serve on the state’s Su-
preme Court. He served in the state House of Representatives before winning a seat on the newly created Court of Appeals in 1994. King, 62, received his law degree from Texas Southern University in 1973. He has also worked in private practice and in youthcourt, as a prosecutor and public defender. Had you ever considered running for Supreme Court Justice? I won’t say I had actively considered it, but I had not ruled it out. I knew Justice (Reuben) Anderson very well; I knew Justice (Fred) Banks and Justice Graves very well. … I did not have in mind the possibility of running against any of them. What’s your impression of how the youth-court system is functioning now? Has it changed at all? My view is limited somewhat by the cases that we see, but I would think that there have been some significant changes in what’s going on in juvenile justice now. Just watching the news, for example, you’ll see more news reports of young children being caught up in significant violence. … You see more young females who are also caught. There was a time when it appeared that if there were acts of violence involved, they were more likely to be male.
The sense that more youth have been involved in more serious crimes—what can the youth court do about it? I think that there is … a need for the youth-court system to step up and become more innovative. One of the things that you’ve seen is an increase in the number of drug courts in the youth-court system. I think that’s certainly necessary. I think drug courts are one of the best assets that this state has. If you look at what it costs us to send an individual through drug court and try to make some positive changes in his life, as opposed to what it costs us to warehouse him in the penal system, it’s a darn good investment. In general, the rate of recidivism for people who go through the drug-court system—and I’m talking mostly about the adult numbers now—is significantly less than those people in similar situations who have not been involved with drug court. … All of these are good things, and I think that there’s a place for that in the youth-court system as well. What are you looking to bring to the Supreme Court, in terms of voices or perspectives? I think it’s premature to talk in terms of
having an agenda. Just going on court, what I intend to do is get my caseload, work hard on it and … and try to be as fair as I can and follow the law as I understand what the law is. What are your thoughts on the death penalty? The death penalty is a Mississippi law, and certainly it’s the expectation that if the law is followed, then I would also follow that, as a member of the Supreme Court. Having said that, the precedent the Supreme Court set, and that I truly believe ought to be applied, is “heightened review” of death-penalty cases. It’s not something that one should enter into cavalierly, because if you make a mistake, you can’t ask for a do-over. I think that you’d look at it as carefully as possible and make your best judgment. What do you do when you’re not judging? I go back to Greenville. I have a 6-yearold granddaughter that I enjoy playing with. She likes to think that she’s in control of her granddaddy. You’re revealing that you’re in the control of special interests there. [Laughing] Unfortunately, that’s true.
PA I D A DV E RT I S E M E N T
f there’s one thing Mississippians have perfected, it’s the art of fried catfish. From the corn-fed, farm-raised in the Delta fish to the secret batter used to make it golden brown, Mississippians are connoisseurs of this delectable dish. So for a state that knows catfish, where do we enjoy this unofficial “fish” of Mississippi? The answer has been the same for over 40 years: Penn’s. Roger Penn opened his first Penn’s over 40 Mr. Penn years ago in 1967 from a craving for really great fried catfish. “At that time, no one was making fried catfish, and a lot of people like catfish,” stated Mr. Penn. Penn developed his famous, yet secret, recipe for fried catfish over time with simple trial and error. His first cook, Ms. Jean Blackmon, was with him in his kitchen as they tried various renditions until at last they arrived at the recipe used today. In fact, Ms. Blackmon only recently retired, helping to create many of the recipes served daily. Blackmon is not the only long-term employee of Penn’s, however. Penn’s has employees that have been a part of the business from the beginning, to 31 years ago, to 20, right up to his newest hires. “We are a family. It’s our business pleasing people.” And pleasing people is what Penn’s does best. With delectable choices of fresh fish, fried pickles (now that is a story in and of itself), and superior customer service, the Penn’s choice for lunch or dinner is always a smart idea. But can they cater? Oh, but can they. From 50 to 5,000, Penn’s does it all. There is no function too big or too small for the army of Penn’s catering trucks to tackle. If you’ve never been to the MS State Fair and haven’t heard of chicken-on-a-stick, then have they got a treat for you. Made famous at the Fair and created out of necessity for an easy way to serve chicken, the chicken-on-a-stick is made from the same delectable batter used with the catfish. Just another creative culinary masterpiece from the Penn’s kitchen served with a side of great customer service. Most days, you will find Mr. Penn at his Jackson location at 2085 Lakeland Drive greeting every customer who walks in the door. It’s that strong sense of customer service that has kept Penn’s in business for over 40 years. “I truly believe I am in this business to make people great food and to give them a pleasing experience.” Drop by any day for the best in catfish, seafood, and chicken this side of the Mississippi River. For your next event, reserve some chicken-on-a-stick for a sure crowdpleaser. Visit www.pennsrestaurant.com or call 601-982-9004 for more information about experiencing not only the best food around, but legendary customer service as well. Have you had your Penn’s today?
COURTESY MISSISSIPPI SUPREME COURT
opining, grousing & pontificating
Improve Jackson for Jacksonians
ackson shares a perception problem with the rest of the nation, and media are manipulating that perception with the recent Census data. Crime nationwide has been steadily decreasing since about 1990, and today it is at the same level it was in the early ’70s. In Jackson, crime is significantly down from the mid-’90s, yet people “feel” more unsafe today than they did then. Why is it taking so long for the perception to match reality? One answer is the rise of journalism for profit: Good news doesn’t sell; sensationalism does. Another is our political atmosphere where pols and pundits use fear and hysteria to garner votes. Faulty reasons shape faulty perceptions, and our perceptions shape our reality—even to our detriment, even if they’re illusions. So how do we change a faulty perception? There’s only one way we’re sure of: direct experience. When was the last time you changed your mind about something? Did it happen because someone told you that you were wrong? Doubt it. Until you have an experience strong enough to shift your worldview—an “ah ha!” moment—you will cling to your opinion, even in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary. Jackson can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in PR campaigns and catchy slogans and never convince anyone who clings to the idea that Jackson is dangerous. We can talk until we’re blue in the face about institutional racism and the real causes of poverty, but until those things become more than a concept, it won’t influence people to change their attitudes or their behaviors. Gandhi said: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Margaret Meade said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” People must be a demonstration to change perceptions. That is the power, and perhaps the only power, of the individual to effect change. We have a choice: We can continue to try to change the minds of people convinced of their perceptions (good luck with that), or we can be demonstrations of reality. Jackson has so much to offer; let’s continue to offer it by making life better for Jacksonians. One good experience in Jackson does so much more to shift perceptions than all the fancy PR campaigns combined. It’s an uphill climb to counter corporate-media drones and the inherent incompetence of bureaucracies. We can and should demand better, and call it out at every opportunity. But leaders alone aren’t going to get it done, and no re-branding effort will, either. It just won’t. What works is to constantly improve Jackson for Jacksonians. Fight the good fights in the Legislature to strengthen the city’s home rule. Continue to support world-class events like the upcoming Mal’s St. Paddy’s Parade and the FIGMENT art event. Demand the best from our local artists, residents and city leaders. Making Jackson the envy of the state might take time, but it doesn’t depend on whether most of the city’s residents are white or black. We just have to want the best and be willing to work for it. Let’s try it together.
‘Face the Music’
March 2 - 8. 2011
ister Ice Creamy Man: “I knew this day would return. Gas prices are high and climbing. I was ready for a good year to sell creamy ice cream and juicy Popsicle products to the community. I looked forward to seeing the faces of happy children after expanding my Mister Ice Creamy routes to new communities. I had plans to have my truck repaired and overhauled with all the extra profit from ice cream sales. I even thought about going part-time at my day job. “Oh well, I guess my wife and I will experience another year of doing more with less—more work with less money. It seems like these rich corporations have people like myself trapped in a cycle of abuse. Or have we enabled and/or facilitated this cycle with our own abusive, overindulging behavior? “Listen to me, as I rant and philosophize about the increase of gas prices. All of this unrest and uncertainty makes me think of these lyrics from a song by the late jazz musician named Sun Ra: ‘What do you know when you know you are wrong? You got to face the music.’ “I guess we all have to face the tune of change and learn how to adjust to things like cold-hearted people, global warming, price gouging, selfishness, greed and the trickle down economic theory. “It sure is a beautiful day to sell some ice cream products to the community. I just hope my ice cream truck has enough gas.”
Spring Cleaning Jackson
ralynn Jamila Franklin turns 1 year old Thursday, March 3. Seems like just yesterday my bride and I were blessed with our little miracle. Babies change you. They change the way you think. They change the way you act. They even change your outlook on life. It’s funny how something so small can loom so large when you’re deciding even your next step. It’s well documented that my wife and I have somewhat of an extended break between kids. Let me tell you, chasing a baby around the house is a lot less tiring in your 20s than it is in your 30s. It’s a lot easier to operate on just a few hours of sleep when you’re a spry college grad, trust me. Instead of rising at 8:30 a.m. you’re dragging yourself up at 5:30 a.m. Whisking away to bed at midnight turns into rushing to bed at 10 p.m. trying to maximize those Zs. A romantic evening becomes the Queen and I stealing away 30 minutes to catch up at the end of the night once we’ve laid the little princess to bed. Honestly, we’re just along for the ride. Little Ms. Bralynn runs the household. My life has now turned to making hers the best it can be, better than mine, in a city that’s better than it is today. For me, it’s that serious. Everyone talks about this generation being the first to do worse than its parents. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know that if that’s the case, I want it to stop with my daughter. The hell that I raise is not for me, it’s not even for my teenagers; it’s for Bralynn. It’s for all the children turning 1 this week in Jackson, who I hope won’t think twice about remaining in Jackson to continue their education, work and raise a family. We have to demand better, and we have to
begin immediately. Parents have a slightly different view of things. We’re all anal-retentive when it comes to our kids. We want the best for them even to our own detriment. We want our kids educated in the best environment possible. Who doesn’t want their child prepared to attack the world? But the clock is running: In 5 years, I’ll have to make the decision whether to send my daughter to a Jackson public school. I would love to be able to do it without thinking twice. Right now, I fight so that choice will be made easier. In 20 years, Bralynn will be deciding whether she’ll begin adult life in Jackson. Will she stay if the roads are still deplorable? Will she stay if the pipes in her apartment keep freezing during inclement weather? Probably not. So right now, I fight. Will my daughter be as proud of Jackson as her father? If not, it won’t be from my lack of trying, that’s for sure. Right now, I fight, because 20 years is just around the corner. So this is dedicated to you, Bralynn. Daddy wishes you many, many more happy birthdays after this one. You may not remember your first birthday, but if you happen to go back through the archives and read this, know that this one was just as important for your old man as it was for you. Your arrival helped to change the way your father thinks. I went from thinking about me to always thinking and acting for you. Every move I made, every deal I did, every fight I started was for you and your mother. It was because I wanted you to inherit a Jackson better than the one that exists now. We are great, and we can be greater. We just had to do a little spring cleaning is all. And that’s the truth ... sho-nuff.
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Ready Boots? Start Marching
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’m not used to fighting for my rights. A lot of women braver than I crossed those waters years ago and paved the way for my generation to enter the educational and career worlds in whatever field we chose. I think because of this, my generation of women doesn’t really respect the rights afforded us: We never had to fight for them. My boots have seen no marching. I’ve never been involved in a riot, and the closest I ever got to being arrested for “civil disobedience” had a lot more to do with vodka than “rights.” Two recent events have me thinking that it may be time for all of us to invest in a new pair of boots—the kind that kick ass. The U.S. House of Representatives voted to stop federal funding to Planned Parenthood in a propaganda-led campaign where they told people that federal funds were used for abortions. In fact, last week, standing outside the last Women’s Health Organization in this state, I saw two women protesting—holding signs that stated “No Federal Funds for Abortions.” I almost pulled the car over and informed them they could stop protesting and go home as federal funds don’t actually pay for abortions, and I was pretty sure there was a chauvinistic man somewhere waiting on them to cook dinner. I wanted to inform these women (and all the rest of the people buying the same FOX News sound bite) that abortions make up approximately 3 percent of the services Planned Parenthood provides. And none of those are paid with federal funds. The other 97 percent of services are free health care to poor and underprivileged women—care these women cannot normally afford. Want to increase the number of abortions? Want to increase infant mortality? Stop funding Planned Parenthood. The contraception and testing for sexually transmitted diseases, as well as cervical cancer screenings, yearly PAP tests and prenatal care that Planned Parenthood provides helps prevent unwanted pregnancies and support wanted pregnancies in a population of women who historically have limited access to sexual education and expensive contraception. So please, let’s stop funding this horrible program and go back to women performing abortions in their home, or in back alleys, or in dirty rooms with unlicensed “medical” providers. History proves that no matter the legality of abortion, someone will perform them. Let me say that one more time for the men sitting in the cheap seats: “No matter the legality of abortion, they will be done.” It truly comes down to people understanding that if they are a woman, love a woman, or came out of a woman’s vagina,
they should protect a woman’s access to basic reproductive health care. Otherwise, we are quickly approaching another time in this country where women will die seeking abortions they chose to have. One of these women may be a woman you love. A representative in Georgia introduced a bill into that state’s legislation that would enforce an “investigation” into every miscarriage a woman experienced. Never mind that one in five pregnancies end in natural miscarriage. Never mind that many of these are devastating to the women who experience them. Never mind that most of these women miscarried because they were attempting to get pregnant with a child they loved; none of that matters to the men introducing the legislation. It only matters that a fetus “died,” and the woman carrying it must have done something criminal for her womb to expel it. It vilifies women during a time of their life that is already tinged with an enormous amount of pain. I cannot begin to explain to you the anger I felt when I read about this bill. I was angry at the arrogance of the man that introduced it, the arrogance of a country currently embroiled in a culture and class war where this is allowable—a deep and raging anger that caused a 40-minute phone conversation with my mother where I screamed and railed against the present political climate. I became so angry I wanted to march. I became so angry I thought about buying those boots. A generation of women that enjoyed the fruits of the fights of their mothers and grandmothers is once again called to stand up. We are called to be vocal and to tell people that we will not stand for this. We will fight against this. We will stand up in Congress and tell our stories about abortion. We will tell legislators that they are not allowed to use our uteruses to breed hate. We will not be shamed or silenced. In 20 years, I will not tell my little girl that while the country was stripping her of the rights she deserves, I sat back and allowed it to happen. I will tell her, “I stood up for you,” because I am a mother, a woman, a friend, a wife and the owner of a fabulous uterus. I own a uterus that is loved by my husband, my mother, my grandmother and all my female friends, a uterus that nourished a wanted child for nine months, a uterus that doesn’t belong to anyone else. And while the House of Representatives may want to poke around in there just to make sure nothing untoward is going on, I’m quite sure I’m not going to let them in. And, if need be, I’ve got a pair of boots that will make that statement a little clearer.
CORRECTION: In “Farish Street Too Pricey for Some” (Vol. 9, Issue 24, Feb. 23), Adam Lynch erroneously reported that Big Apple Inn was asked to pay $26,000 a month rent, rather than $26,000 a year. The Jackson Free Press apologizes for the error.
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Integrating Yazoo The Real History of Haley Barbour’s Hometown by Lacey McLaughlin photos by Aaron Phillips
Many businesses suffered economically for a year during the 1967 boycotts, when blacks refused to shop at white-owned Main Street businesses in Yazoo City.
March 2 - 8, 2011
loria Owens froze w i t h fear as a German shepherd barreled toward her at the entrance of Yazoo City Junior H i g h School on a fall morning in 1968. “Get that n*gger,” she heard her classmate command his dog. As the dog jumped on her and brought her to the ground, she cried and called out for help. That kind of fear made Owens’ onemile walk to school from her home in the Brickyard Hill neighborhood of Yazoo City the worst part of being the only black student in her class at the school. She would often hum the death march after she said goodbye to her friends who were en route to the all-black Yazoo City Junior High School No. 2, as she anticipated how her white peers would torture her that day. That same year during lunch, Owens 14 poured salt on the back of her hand from
the cafeteria’s saltshaker and licked it as kids are prone to do. Before she knew it, students accused her of licking the shaker, and school officials announced on the school’s intercom system that all the school’s saltshakers had to be sterilized because of what she had done. Later that year, when a white boy asked Owens to a school dance, school officials responded by canceling the dance, she said. “I was never taught racism before I went to that school,” the 54-year-old Yazoo City resident recalls now. “My mom thought she was doing a good thing by sending me to that school so that I could get a better education. But to me, it was like torture, it was like being in prison.” At age 11, Owens wasn’t the only one in her family confused about why her mother wanted her to go to an all-white school. “Woman, you are going to get killed taking those kids to the white school,” her father, Fred, shouted as Gloria’s mother backed out of their driveway in the family’s white station wagon on the first day of school. Two months later, Gloria’s father died from a stroke. Enabling Dreams For most of her seventh-grade year, Gloria Owens plotted ways to kill Rev. Rims Barber,
the man she blamed for making her leave her old school. Barber, then 31, was working with the National Council of Churches to help blacks achieve equality in rural Mississippi towns. In 1964, Barber moved to Jackson from Davenport, Iowa, to work with the Council and remains an activist in Jackson today where he is a minister for various Presbyterian churches and lobbies state lawmakers on social-justice issues. He said when he heard ministers were needed to help blacks achieve equality, he decided to move to Jackson, and has stayed ever since. In 1967, Barber went door-to-door organizing black families who wanted to integrate their children into the white schools. That’s how he found LeBertha Owens. Barber helped LeBertha Owens enroll her daughter in the all-white school. Just over 14 years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, LeBertha Owens sent her daughter to Yazoo City Junior High under the state’s “freedom of choice” plan. The plan was a compromise many school districts enacted in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to try to avoid full integration, but few students switched schools on their own accord. Many black parents who sent their children to all-
white schools faced threats from whites or suffered economically. In 1968, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Green v. County School Board ruling that freedom of choice was no longer acceptable and that states must dissolve school segregation “root and branch.” Then, in 1969, the Court ordered the immediate desegregation of Mississippi schools in Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education. “My mother was one of these people that if something wasn’t working, she was the one to advocate for change,” Owens said. “… (Barber) told her it would be a better education for her children. In my adult life, I learned that he cared. He wasn’t trying to boost his ego. He really cared about people in Yazoo getting a good education.” Working to integrate communities in the 1960s didn’t make Rims Barber the most popular person in Mississippi. But he did what he believed had to be done. “We enabled people. We listened to them and helped them figure out how their dreams could be realized,” said Barber, now 74. It took several years before Owens began to appreciate what her mother had done. She knows that the harassment she endured was small compared to the injustices many blacks faced during that time. But because
Gloria Owens speaks to a group of high school students at the Gateway Make A Promise Coalition, a bi-racial group of high school students who volunteer in the Yazoo City community and promote anti-drug campaigns.
she was a child, her experiences are still vivid memories today. “I felt like no one listened to me,” Owens recalls. “No one understood that I was alone at that school and mistreated by adults.”
Fear and Threats On Oct. 15, 1956, LeBertha Owens gave birth to Gloria at home with the help of a midwife. Worried that the frail and premature baby would not survive the night, they placed her in a shoebox and rushed to the office of Drs. Maria and K.P. Mangold. In their hurry, the women went through the clinic’s front entrance, which was for whites only—an unintentional mistake that could have gotten them arrested. Any violation of Jim Crow segregation laws and policies could also bring a violent reaction from whites in 1956 Mississippi. Maria Mangold, however, treated the newborn without hesitation. With the nearest emergency medical facility for blacks several miles away, the Mangolds often saved the lives of blacks who needed medical treatment and would likely not survive the long trip. The Mangold’s son, Steven, remembers finding black parents holding convulsing babies or men with gunshot wounds
Different Worlds Though Owens grew up in the same town as Gov. Haley Barbour, their experiences couldn’t have been more different. Barbour is 10 years older than Owens and was in his 20s during the height of the 1960s effort to end school segregation. Barbour’s father, Jeptha, died when he was 2 years old, and his mother, LeFlore, had the sole job of raising three sons. Barbour, whom classmates named “Mr. Yazoo City High School,” graduated with honors from the all-white Yazoo City High School in 1965. A picture of him in his school yearbook mentions his “cocky friendliness and versatility.” In 1968, Barbour left the University of Mississippi during his senior year to work on Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign. During the 1970 mandatory integration of Yazoo’s public schools, Barbour was gaining valuable experience for his future political career, running the U.S. Census for Mississippi at age 22. Perhaps when Barbour told The Weekly Standard in a Dec. 27, 2010, article that he didn’t remember the civil rights area as “being that bad,” he was speaking from his own limited experiences with the struggle to end Jim Crow laws. But his comments garnered national criticism after he said the Citizens’ Council, a formalized white-supremacist group created just months after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision to preserve a segregated society, was the reason Yazoo managed to integrate schools without violence. “You heard of the Citizens’ Council?” he told The Weekly Standard. “Up north, they think that it was like the KKK. Where I come from, it was an organization of town leaders. In Yazoo City, they passed a resolution that said anybody who started a chapter of the Klan would get their ass run out of town. If you had a job, you’d lose it. If you had a store, they’d see nobody shopped there. We didn’t
have a problem with the Klan in Yazoo City.” The same day the article ran, Barbour backtracked on his statements. “When asked why my hometown in Mississippi did not suffer the same racial violence when I was a young man that accompanied other towns’ integration efforts, I accurately said the community leadership wouldn’t tolerate it and helped prevent violence there. My point was my town rejected the Ku Klux Klan, but nobody should construe that to mean I think the town leadership were saints, either. Their vehicle, called the ‘Citizens’ Council,’ is totally indefensible, as is segregation. It was a difficult and painful era for Mississippi, the rest of the country, and especially African Americans who were persecuted in that time.” Barbour’s comments offended Owens, but she attributes it to his lack of awareness more than anything else. “I don’t think Barbour is a racist,” Owens said. “I think he is ignorant not to know what happened, and then he speaks about it. He should ask someone how things really were. No one involved (in the Civil Rights Movement) would say what he said.”
when he answered the back entrance to the clinic when he was 7 years old. In 1955, the federal government funded the construction of a hospital in Yazoo for blacks and whites, required under the HillBurton Act, which the U.S. Congress passed in 1946. The Citizens’ Council, which had formed in Indianola in 1954 in response to the Brown decision, circulated a petition in which doctors agreed they would not treat black patients at the new hospital. When the Mangolds refused to sign the petition, Citizens’ Council members told them that the family would face harm. Every couple of days, dead animals and trash appeared in the Mangold’s front lawn, and the family received a fair number of threatening phone calls, Steven Mangold says now. Under pressure, the Mangolds finally signed the petition, but by that time, K.P. Mangold had lost all his white patients, and his wife lost half of hers. In order to make a living, Mangold’s father moved to Toronto, Canada, for the next two years. Steven Mangold, now 63 and an investor in San Jose, Calif., said his family never quite fit into Yazoo City’s mold. His mother fled Austria when Hitler gained power there in 1938, and his father, who was from Johannesburg, South Africa, was a well-educated doctor, engineer and philosopher who corresponded regularly with philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Mangold said Haley Barbour—who lived a block from them—was his best friend growing up. The two boys spent lazy Mississippi afternoons shooting BB guns or exploring the woods. Although Mangold disagrees
Gov. Haley Barbour, who grew up in Yazoo City, backtracked on his comments in the Dec. 27 Weekly Standard where he called the Citizens’ Council a group of “town leaders” who ran out the Ku Klux Klan.
with Barbour’s account of the Citizens’ Council, he is reluctant to address why the governor said what he said. “Haley may say nothing really happened, but a lot was going on,” Mangold said simply. Unhumble Beginnings In anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 17, 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education decision, Mississippi lawmakers
made a half-hearted attempt to improve the state’s racial disparities, in hopes that they might receive a favorable ruling from the court, and preserve the state’s “sovereignty”—a code word that largely meant the right to maintain segregationist policies and laws. In 1953, the state Legislature passed a public school equalization program to provide equal pay for black teachers, as well as equaleducation opportunities and transportation. The state, however, never provided adequate funding for the program. Lawmakers also made provisions in anticipation of an unfavorable court ruling. A few months before the high court’s May ruling, the state Legislature adopted an amendment to the state Constitution that, with approval from the state’s voters, would allow the state Legislature to “abolish the public schools” rather than integrate them. Mississippi white voters—Jim Crow laws prevented blacks from voting at the time—approved the amendment to the state’s constitution on Dec. 21 by more than a two-to-one margin. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling was the trigger for the formation of the Citizens’ Council. In his book, “Citizens’ Council: Organized Resistance to the Second Reconstruction 1954 to 1964,” historian Neil McMillen writes that Mississippi Rep. John Bell William’s 1954 speech attacking the court’s ruling inspired Tom Brady, a Brookhaven lawyer, to write a 90-page pamphlet titled “Black Monday,” which became a handbook for the organization commonly called the “white” Citizens Council. Brady wrote that the United States could only be saved if white citizens elected Supreme Court judges, created a youth indoctrination program and a separate state exclusively for blacks and, if all else failed, abolished public schools altogether. “The social, political, economic and religious preferences of the Negro remain close to the caterpillar and the cockroach … proper food for a chimpanzee,” Brady wrote. Soon after his speech and years before the Ku Klux Klan would re-emerge to fight black suffrage and equality attempts, organizers began forming Citizens’ Council chapters in counties throughout the state with headquarters initially in Winona, Miss. On the surface, Barbour was correct in saying that the Citizens’ Council was made up of town leaders. In a town of only 11,000 people, 1,500 respected business leaders were members of the organization in 1955—his uncle, attorney William Barbour Sr., among them, according to Yazoo native Harriet Kuykendall. The Citizens Council was mostly well-heeled business and community leaders throughout its more than 15-year tenure in the state and beyond; Greenville newspaper editor Hodding Carter Jr. dubbed it the “uptown Klan,” as a result. The Council advocated using the law to keep a segregated society, and openly criticized the Klan’s reputation for violence. But instead of openly advocating bodily harm and violence, the Council used economic threats against whites and blacks as
YAZOO, see p 16
YAZOO, from p 15
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ported on a 1958 Citizens’ Council luncheon: “At these meetings, they take up anything pertinent to racial relations that has happened during the last week and decide what action should be taken. If the complaint is with reference to some Negro agitator, a committee will go to the Negro’s boss and discuss the situation with him,” the report states. “Usually the boss will fire the Negro. That will end the matter without the Citizens’ Council being outwardly involved.” In 1955, the NAACP circulated a petition asking for the schools to integrate in Yazoo City. Shortly afterward, In 1968, Gloria Owens’ mother, LeBertha Owens, was arrested for trying to check out books at the all-white B.S. Ricks the Citizens’ Council coMemorial Library in Yazoo City. erced the majority of the 53 black petitioners to remove their names by publishing a list with all its weapon of choice. the names and addresses The Mississippi State Sovereignty Com- of each petitioner. Those who signed the petimission, a secretive state spy agency the Legis- tion were fired from their jobs, evicted from lature approved in 1956 to protect the state’s their apartments, and the council ran several “sovereignty” and segregationist policies, re- black petitioners out of Yazoo.
It wasn’t until the late 1960s, when several civil-rights activists came to Yazoo, that blacks would challenge the status quo again. Hodding Carter III, who worked with his father Hodding Jr. at the Delta Democrat-Times in Greenville during the 1950s and ’60s, said the Citizens’ Council’s purpose was never to run the Klan out of town, as Barbour implied, but to use economic violence to make sure integration did not happen in their community. “There were lots of towns where there was no violence,” said Carter, who wrote a book on the Council called “The South Strikes Back.” “… But there is another kind of violence.” Carter, whose family was considered an enemy of the Citizens’ Council, corrects Barbour’s assessment of the group’s purpose. “(The Citizens’ Council) was not organized to stop the KKK—except as a rhetorical flourish since they had contempt for people in the Klan. They were organized to stop desegregation. Period. If anyone says anything different, they have no record to go on. That’s what they were in business to do.” What It Was Really Like In 1968, Owens’ seventh-grade teacher conducted a mock election with her students for the November 1968 presidential election. As she counted the ballots, she noted each vote for independent candidate George Wallace, who was running against Democrat Hubert Humphrey and Republican Richard Nixon.
When she discovered a lone vote for Humphrey—the most liberal of the three—she walked up to Owens’ desk. “I wonder what child voted for hardheaded Humphrey. Did you do this?” her teacher, who was white, said mockingly to Owens. Owens recalls her confusion and shock at the situation. “I remember that incident like it happened this morning,” she said in February, barely touching her fried catfish plate at Clancy’s off Highway 49. “I remember thinking: ‘She just taught me that my vote is private, and now she is making a mockery out of me.’” In 1968, as the Citizens’ Council began to lose its fight for desegregation, the organization put all its support behind Wallace, who was running as the American Independent Party candidate and as a staunch segregationist. While Wallace gained 36 percent of the southern vote, he only won 13.5 percent of the national total. The Council used his loss to call for organized resistance to “racial awareness” in the north, and held on to the idea that Wallace could still lead the country in the future. “Even before the placards of 1968 were pulled down, Council leadership launched a ‘Wallace in 72’ movement,” McMillen wrote. “Through the creation of a permanent, national American Independent Party, they could cling to the hope of electing a segregationist president.”
Second-Class Citizens On an uncommonly warm Friday eve-
ning in January 2011, Owens stops in to Ardis Russell Jr.’s CPA office on Main Street in Yazoo City. Russell, son of former Sheriff Ardis Russell Sr., gives Owens a warm greeting after he emerges from his office where stacks of manila folders and papers are piled high. Russell removes two cardboard boxes from the tops of chairs and invites Owens and this reporter to take a seat. “I always tell everyone about the time his daddy put my momma in jail,” Owens said. Russell and Owens take turns describing when, in 1968, LeBertha Owens tried to take her daughter to the then all-white B.S. Ricks Memorial Library to get the reading materials she needed for Yazoo City Junior High
deal,” Owens recalls. “She wasn’t doing it to be a radical. She was doing it so that I could get my assignments.” Billy Turner was one of the two black police officers the town hired as a result of the boycotts. Eating dinner at KFC on a Friday evening in February, the 72-year-old has a boyish smile and wears a Chicago Bulls jacket, although he swears he is not a fan. “You aren’t going to get me in any trouble talking about this town, are you?” Turner asks. “You know our governor is from this town.” When the boycotts ended, activist Rudy Shields sent Turner to the police station to apply for the job. Turner admits that he was a little hesitant to serve as the first black on the
In 1955, the Citizens’ Council posted a list of residents who signed a petition asking that the Yazoo City Public Schools District integrate the schools. The majority of blacks who signed the petition removed their names after losing their jobs or homes.
School. When the library staff saw her mother walk into the library, they called Yazoo City Police Chief Ardis Russell Sr., who immediately drove to the library and demanded to know what she was doing. “I need to get materials for my daughter so that she can do her homework assignments,” LeBertha Owens matter-offactly replied. The daughter watched as two police officers handcuffed her mother and led her to the back of a police car. The little girl was left all alone, crying. “My mother didn’t realize it was a big
force under the racist police chief, but someone had to do it, and he needed a job. By all accounts, Russell Sr. was a hardnosed police chief who many remember for being quick to anger; yet, he had a sense of humor. He was also outspoken with his segregationist beliefs. Once, a black woman sued him for kicking her. “He was a loud talker, but all he ever wanted you to do was respect him,” Turner said about Russell. “I gave him all my respect in the world. He said I was crazy because I didn’t let him scare me. … He just didn’t want no black people to be up front. He wanted
them to be behind.” Turner, who remembers his father sitting in his front yard with a gun all night to protect his family from whites in the 1950s, also dismisses rumors that the black officers weren’t allowed to have bullets in their guns or to pull whites over. Steven Mangold also remembers Russell’s tactics. While shopping at a grocery store when he was a teenager, he watched Russell beat a black man with a baton for eating a grape in the produce aisle—something he had done himself several times without issue. “There were thousands of little incidents like that, that happened all the time—where blacks were treated like a different class,” Mangold said. A Change of Hands The tumultuous civil-rights events of the 1960s eventually took a toll on the Citizens’ Council’s power. During the Council’s heyday, it had exerted influence over elected officials and the state’s governors, from 1954 to the mid-1960s. While the Council could not receive public funding directly because of state law, the State Sovereignty Commission funded the Citizens’ Council “Forum” starting in 1960 until 1965. Established by the state Legislature in 1956, the “Forum” distributed propaganda through the white-owned media to promote the state’s segregated history. From 1960 to 1964, the Sovereignty Commission allocated a total of $193,500 to the program. James Meredith’s admission to Ole Miss in 1962 was a pivotal event in the power structure of the Citizens’ Council. In the days leading up to Meredith’s admission, Gov. Ross Barnett and the Citizens’ Council publicly denounced the integration of the university. The Council called on students to rebel against school officials, and the day before U.S. marshals escorted Meredith onto the Ole Miss campus, 2,000 Jackson Citizens’ Council members surrounded the governor’s mansion playing the state song “Go Mississippi” and Barnett’s campaign theme song “Roll with Ross.” When Citizens’ Council members heard rumors that federal marshals were coming to seize the governor, they formed a human wall around his mansion and proudly waved Rebel flags, which had become, by that time, the symbol of segregation. On Oct. 1, when the marshals escorted Meredith onto the university’s campus, riots erupted, leaving two dead and 375 injured. “The barrage of incendiary statements and literature dispensed by state and local Councilors accounted in no small way for the high degree of student agitation, apparent in a mob willing to assault—with bottles, bricks, fragments of concrete, and Molotov cocktails—battle-ready federal marshals,” McMillen writes about the Citizens’ Council’s role in the violent event. McMillen adds that after the showdown, the governor began to distance himself from the Council, as criticism mounted over their role in the violence.
A Calm Transition By all accounts, the cold morning of Jan. 7, 1970, was calm as national media staked out Yazoo City’s public schools and watched for white and black students to become peers for the first time. Yazoo native and author Willie Morris, who was writing an article for Harper’s Magazine in the wake of the Supreme Court’s demand to immediately segregate, was one of the witnesses. In his book, “Yazoo: Integration in a Deep Southern Town,” Morris writes about the praise Yazoo received for its peaceful transition. The Yazoo Herald published editorials and letters from all over the country championing the city for shining a positive light in Mississippi during a time of racial turmoil. Full integration, however, did not come right away. Morris writes that the next day, officials from the U.S. Justice Department came to Yazoo after school officials had kept classrooms segregated. The previous year, about 1,000 Yazoo community members and schoolboard officials had met to discuss concerns of the quality of education white students would receive when the schools were integrated. In his 1971 Harvard University thesis “The Dynamics of White Resistance to Court-Ordered School Desegregation in Selected Mississippi School Districts,” John Patrick Berry writes that during the meeting, school-board officials said they approved a plan to desegregate buildings but not classrooms so that “unqualified blacks would not teach children, and slow black students would not hold whites back.” In January 1970, enrollment in the Yazoo City Public Schools district was 2,077 black and 1,362 white—a significant achievement over the majority of Delta public schools that went from being all white to majority black overnight as private “segregation academies” opened to provide an alternative to integration. In his praise for his hometown, Barbour failed to mention the black community leaders who took a stand to fight for equality. Father Malcolm O’Leary, who was a rector of the black Catholic church, St. Francis, and Rudy Shields, who organized approximately 30 boycotts throughout the state, were among those activists. In 1968, the two men and several others helped organize business boycotts in Yazoo in response to city officials’ resistance to providing paved streets in black neighborhoods and the hiring of a black police officer and fireman. Most of the city’s blacks participated in the boycotts for a year, taking a bus to Jackson to shop instead of doing business with the town’s white merchants. After nearly a year of blacks spending their money outside the city limits, the city council ceded and hired the city’s first two black police officers, and merchants started to sell to black workers. “What it has done more than anything else is break down the white man’s pride,” O’Leary said in Berry’s thesis. “Every little town should put the white man on his knees.”
YAZOO, see p 18
YAZOO, from p 17
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The Ole Miss debacle would be one of several lost battles for the Citizens’ Council. The nation watched as more than 1,000 out-of-state volunteers ventured into Mississippi in 1964 for Freedom Summer, a project that registered black voters. The murders of three civil-rights workers on the first day of Freedom Summer in Neshoba County drew more scrutiny. The U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 was another setback for the Council. Among other tenets, the bill prohibited state and local governments from denying access to public facilities because of race, and authorized the U.S. attorney general to file suits to enforce the integration of public schools. Mississippi Gov. Paul Johnson Jr., who took office in 1964, would later fail his promise of fighting to preserve segregation. During campaign speeches, he would regularly tell audiences that the NAACP stood for “N*ggers, Alligators, Apes, Coons and Possums.” But soon after his inauguration, in what appeared to be a change of heart, he criticized the Citizens’ Council, calling them a “rear-guard defense of yesterday,” and subsequently distanced himself from the organization. “When it’s obvious that you have lost, your enthusiasm for participation in the cause diminishes no matter how red hot you are,” Hodding Carter III said about the Council’s decline. “You hate every minute of it, and you can’t bear to say anything but n*gger, but it no longer makes any sense. What was promised by the Citizens Council had failed. They had failed to stop the on rush of integration in all aspects.” Contain, Not Squash In “Yazoo,” Willie Morris writes that Yazoo City state Sen. Herman DeCell and his wife, Harriet, were the only ones in town who subscribed to The New York Times, and their daughter was a leader among “liberal” students at her school. The DeCells held a dinner for reporters the night before the 1970 integration. Harriet, who now goes by the last name Kuykendall, was one of the white teachers at the all-black school in 1968 during the “freedom of choice” experiment, and her late husband was a partner at the law firm of then Barbour, DeCell and Bridgforth—the family law firm where Haley Barbour cut his teeth. Herman DeCell and other community leaders who promoted a peaceful integration— such as Yazoo Herald editor Norman “Bubba” Mott and Haley Barbour’s uncle, William Barbour—were also members of Yazoo City’s Citizens’ Council, Kuykendall said. Herman DeCell, whom Gov. Barnett appointed to the state Sovereignty Commission in 1960, would later serve on the bi-racial board for the Head Start Program in Yazoo. Without a clear understanding of the paradigm shift in the 1960s, it can be difficult to distinguish heroes from villains in Yazoo. Many men who were members of Citizens’ Council would later support the peaceful integration of public schools. They would also urge parents not to send their children to Manchester Academy, the all-white “segrega-
tion academy” that cotton planters and business leaders founded in 1969 in anticipation of forced integration. The Citizens’ Council threw much weight into keeping the public schools segregated because it was a fight that appeared to be winnable. But after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education decision specifically ordered 33 Mississippi school districts to integrate by January 1970, the Citizens’ Council focused on ensuring that white children had other, private alternatives to attending integrated schools. At age 83, Kuykendall sits poised by a window in her north Jackson home as she recalls the day her husband came home to tell her he had joined the Citizens’ Council in the late 1950s. “I remember that Herman said: ‘William (Barbour) says we need to get involved with the Citizens’ Council because we need to run it,’” she recalls. “William Barbour liked to run things.” Kuykendall echoes Haley Barbour’s assessment that the Citizens’ Council was essential in keeping the peace during integration, and said that is the core reason many community leaders joined. But, she believes Barbour’s statements are “naïve.” “I don’t think you need to give credit to the White Citizens Council for keeping it peaceful,” Kuykendall said. “The people who were in it—the town leaders—just neutralized it.” Mott, now 86 and living in Yazoo, also defends his membership in the Council, saying it was a different time period when people were scared of change. “Don’t forget: We had laws against integration that had been going on for a long time,” Mott said on the phone from his home in Yazoo. “It did make second-class citizens out of blacks for a long time, and that was wrong. But that was what the law was. If you change the laws, you don’t just revolt, you change the laws by legal means.” Hodding Carter III points out that the attitude of Yazoo’s Citizens’ Council members was the norm for the majority of white Mississippians during that time. “There is hardly any way to exaggerate the force of conformity. There weren’t people walking around proclaiming, ‘We need to do the right thing and integrate,’” Carter said. “They had to appeal to economics and practicality. It was not all men are brothers, and we need to be in the same place. That just didn’t exist.” Many residents credit Owen Cooper with changing race relations in Yazoo. Cooper was the owner of Mississippi Chemical Corporation—a fertilizer company that served as Yazoo’s economic engine, employing several hundred workers. Cooper wasn’t just a businessman; he was a leader who put his aspirations of becoming the state’s governor on hold to promote racial equality. He worked with the NAACP and formed Mississippi Action for Progress to establish the first statewide Head Start program so that for poor children could have more educational opportunities. Cooper called on community leaders
COURTESY GLORIA OWENS
and Yazooans to promote peaceful desegregation. He also hired Mississippi Chemical’s first black employee in 1967, which put him at odds with the majority of business owners in Yazoo. Cooper died in 1986. But Cooper did grow up in a segregated society, and it wasn’t until later in life that his belief system changed. Nancy Gilbert, Cooper’s daughter and now 70, said she followed her parents’ acceptance of keeping blacks and whites separate, like most whites during that time. But a college semester spent in Europe shattered her belief system when she attended class and interacted with people of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. When Gilbert came back to visit Yazoo during the 1960s, she became aware of the racial inequality surrounding her, and she expressed those convictions to her parents. Over time, their beliefs transformed. “My daddy and mother and I slugged it out for almost a decade when I went to visit them,” she said. “But I have to say that their minds just opened. I told Daddy: ‘I will not go to a church that posts guards at the front door to keep black people out. I simply will not go to a church like that because that … is so totally anti-Christian.’ He began to think about things like that, and mom did, too, and by George, they began to come around.”
Carter also remembers Cooper as a pivotal figure in Yazoo. “Owen Cooper fashioned himself into what Haley Barbour would like to pretend the Citizens’ Council was all about,” Carter said. “Owen wasn’t just against violence. Owen was proactive about trying to change conditions on the ground to benefit black Mississippians.” “While other leaders may not have been supporters of desegregation, by the time of school integration, they began to accept the inevitable and called on the community to support the public schools.” In the months leading up to publicschool integration, William Barbour Sr. met regularly with parents in an effort to convince them not to send their children to Manchester Academy. “To destroy the public-school system is to destroy our attractiveness to industry,” Barbour told parents during a meeting with parents in 1971. Jeppie Barbour, Haley Barbour’s older brother, was the mayor of Yazoo during integration when he was only 27 years old. In “Yazoo,” Jeppie Barbour said that the community would have to “make the most” of forced integration. Despite his hesitation, Jeppie Barbour sent four of his five children to the public
Gloria Owens was one of the first black students to attend Yazoo City Junior High (now Webster Street Elementary School) in 1968, under “freedom of choice.”
schools. Haley Barbour’s other brother, Wiley, also sent his children to the public schools. Haley Barbour, however, sent his two sons to Manchester Academy. Coming Full Circle Gloria Owens has grown to be a woman her mother would be proud of: She is one of Yazoo’s town leaders. If she has any bitterness, she hides it well. Owens is constantly greeting people of all races wherever she goes, giving hugs and encouraging words. As a social worker, she works with students in the public-school system and leads the Gateway Make A Promise (M.A.P.) Coalition—a bi-racial group of the city’s and county’s top students who volunteer in the community and promote anti-drug and alcohol campaigns. By the time Owens graduated from Yazoo City High School in 1974, she had started to find her niche in the community, she said. She credits her senior humanities teacher JoAnne Prichard Morris (an editor of this newspaper, the widow of Willie Morris and this writer’s landlord) as her most influential teacher and a woman who encouraged her to make a difference. Owens admits, though, that the Yazoo City school district hasn’t made as much
progress as she would hope—the city’s public schools are 99 percent black today, with the majority of the white students attending Manchester Academy. At Howell’s Restaurant at 7 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17, students gather for a meeting. In between groggy yawns, they eat forkfuls of pancakes and eggs while a woman, a recovering crystal meth addict, gives an emotional speech about her experiences with addiction. As the meeting comes to a close, Owens stands up and applauds the students. “The reason this coalition is such an important part of our community is that, despite our backgrounds, despite our race and our economic backgrounds, we work together to stamp out drugs and alcohol in our community,” Owens tells the high schoolers. Later that morning, Owens walks through the entrance of the library where her mother was once arrested for trying to check out books for her. She points to a brick at the foot of the entrance engraved with the names of her mother, who died in 2001, and her two deceased siblings. Owens paid for the brick to help fund the library, and it now serves as a memorial to her mother. “I always look for that brick whenever I come to the library,” Owens said. “It makes me think about how far things have come.” 19 jacksonfreepress.com
By the time Gloria Owens was a freshman at Yazoo City High School in 1970, she began to feel more comfortable in her own skin.
March 2 - 8, 2011
Nothing goes with Mardi Gras like
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Of Fairytales and Drama by J. Ashley Nolen
The children’s tale “The Princess and the Pea” comes to life March 5, thanks to the Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet Company and the artistic direction of Jennifer Beasley.
Pulling the performance together hasn’t been without its own drama, though. The company sometimes relies on out-of-town dancers to play the lead roles in shows, and “Princess” was no exception. Beasley had scheduled two dancers to dance the lead, but scheduling conflicts with the dancers’ primary company forced them to bow out of the “Princess” production a mere two weeks before the opening of the show. Beasley diligently contacted one company after another searching for replacements. Her persistence paid off, and a little less than a week after things went awry, Beasley found two up-and-coming dancers from Cuba who will carry much of the ballet’s weight. Mayara Pineiro and Etienne Diaz will dance the lead roles in “The Princess and The Pea” and “Le Corsaire,” a classical ballet piece, the pre-intermission show. Pineiro graduated from the National School of Ballet Arts in Cuba and is a former soloist with the National Ballet of Cuba. Diaz has danced in the United States for the past seven years, and in 2009, he joined the Orlando Ballet’s second company. He also received the Bronze Medal in the Youth America Grand Prix. Beasley, who has served as the artistic director for Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet Company since 1997, is not a stranger to the stage. She started ballet when she was 5, and
studied dance at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky. She danced professionally—two years with the Louisville Ballet and five with Ballet Mississippi—before starting Mississippi Metropolitan Dance Academy, which has a Madison and Ridgeland campus. The Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet is a place for young ballerinas to start their careers. Currently, 600 students between the ages of 3 and early 20s make up the academy. Five Mississippi dancers earned full scholarships to the U.S.A. International Competition Dance School, and three of those five were Beasley’s students. “The discipline that our dancers learn here with our school and our company carries them throughout their lives,” Beasley says. “Whether they become a professional dancer or not, the rigorous training is what brings students coming back to say that the discipline they learned in ballet helped them be better students and better people as they go into their careers.” The Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet Company performs “The Princess and the Pea” Saturday, March 5, at Jackson Academy’s Performing Arts Center. Production times are 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Following the 2 p.m. performance, children will have the opportunity to meet the dancers at the Princess’ Tea Party. Tickets are $18 and $20 and are available online at msmetroballet.com 21 or by calling 601-853-4508. jacksonfreepress.com
any children (and a few adults) wish their favorite children’s story would come to life. Imagination is fun, but sometimes they just want to live the fairytales. Imagine no more, thanks to the Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet’s production of “The Princess and the Pea.” In Hans Christian Andersen’s story about a prince searching for his princess, wife-finding doesn’t prove to be so easy for the young monarch. Every woman he meets proves to be not quite right, and he isn’t so sure any of them are actually princesses. That is, until a young nymph who claims to be a princess, knocks on the palace door one stormy night, seeking shelter. To test her claim, servants pile mattresses and feather beds atop a pea, knowing only a princess would be disturbed by the miniscule disturbance beneath the bed. Turns out, the young woman had a restless sleep. The Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet and its artistic director, Jennifer Beasley, are known for staging “Beauty and the Beast,” “Alice in Wonderland” and their annual production of “The Nutcracker.” “Princess and the Pea” is new for them, and they are especially anxious about the production. The story is humorous and sophisticated, and Beasley and her team will use playful comedy, clever staging and creative choreography to bring the story to life.
Six winners each night will get to throw a lucky leprechaun doubloon at Larry the Leprechaun. Wherever it sticks, we’ll strip Larry to reveal a prize.
Fridays & Saturday s in March
Play daily to earn entries. Get 10x entries Sundays, Mondays & Tuesdays.
SEAFOOD BUFFET $22.99 Thursdays 5pm-10pm
Fridays & Saturday
Ready for a taste of our seafood bounty? Then sail to Magnolia Hill Buffet, where you’ll find all the juicy shrimp, fresh fish & tasty crab legs you can stuff down your gullet. It’s a feast that’ll leave you full of smiles.
March 2 - 8, 2011
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BEST BETS March 2 - 9. 2011 by Latasha Willis firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 601-510-9019 Daily updates at jfpevents.com
COURTESY KENYATTA STEWART
The Parents for Public Schools Lunch Bunch at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.) is at 11:45 a.m. $5 lunch; call 601-960-6015 to RSVP. … Norman Clark performs during F. Jones Corner’s blues lunch. Free. … Historian William Parrish speaks during History Is Lunch at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.) at noon. Bring a lunch; call 601-576-6998. … The senior dance concerts at Belhaven University, Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center (1500 Peachtree St.) begin at 7:30 p.m. and runs through March 5. $10 suggested donation, $5 seniors/ students; call 601-965-7044. … Singer/Songwriter Night at Hal & Mal’s includes music by David Womack, Emma Wynters and more.
The Mardi Gras dance party at the Chapatoula Building (115 Cynthia St., Clinton) is at 7 p.m. $20; call 601-213-6355. … See the films “The Harmony Game” at 7 p.m. and “The Illusionist” at 8:30 p.m. at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.); encore shows March 5. $7 per film; visit msfilm.org. … The Choral-Organ Festival at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.) is at 7:30 p.m. Free, donations welcome; call 601-974-1422. … Guitarist Pierre Bensusan performs at St. James Episcopal Church (3921 Oakridge Drive) at 8:15 p.m. $15 in advance, $18 day of show, $12 dinner at 6 p.m.; call 601-981-5000.
The ballet “The Princess and the Pea” at Jackson Academy (4908 Ridgewood Road) is at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. $18$25; call 601-853-4508. … The Mardi Gras Ball at Congress Street Bar & Grill is at 7 p.m. $50; call 601-812-8169. … Jackson 2000’s Friendship Ball at Hal & Mal’s is at 7 p.m. $20, $10 students; call 601-362-6121, ext. 17. … The Mississippi Chorus Chamber Singers perform at Tougaloo College, Woodworth Chapel (500 W. County Line Road, Tougaloo) at 7:30 p.m. $15, $13.50 seniors, $5 students with ID; call 601-278-3351. … Haute Arte at Suite 106 at 8 p.m. includes music by Soul-Unique. $10, $5 with art supply donation; call 601-630-7175.
See the film “Love’s Labour’s Lost” at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.) at 2 p.m. $16; visit msfilm.org. … New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.) presents “Miss Nelson Is Missing” at 2 p.m. $10; call 601-948-3533. … The Little Light House’s tea party fundraiser for special-needs children at Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St.) is from 2-4 p.m. Donations welcome; call 601-859-3446 to RSVP. … Twiceborn’s CD release concert at Wayside Church of Deliverance (1504 Clinton-Raymond Road, Clinton) is at 3 p.m. Free; call Artist Diane Williams includes a cutout of herself in her “Walking the Path” exhibit at Smith Robertson Museum.
March 2 - 8, 2011
The Lena Horne exhibit at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.) closes today. Free; call 601-960-1557. … Fondren After 5 is from 5-8 p.m. Free; call 601-981-9606. … CARA’s Barkus Ball at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.) is at 6 p.m. $50, $150; call 601-941-1432. … The play “The Light in the Piazza” at Belhaven University, Blackbox Theatre (1500 Peachtree St.) is at 7:30 p.m.; runs through March 5. Free; call 601-965-7044. … Dreamz JXN hosts Centric Thursday. … The play “South Pacific” at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, North Campus (370 Old Agency Road, Ridgeland) is at 7 p.m.; runs through March 5. $10, $5 students; call 601-8536009. … Larry Brewer performs at Shucker’s. … Chris Gill 24 and D’Mar are at Underground 119.
The NCHA championships at the Mississippi Coliseum’s Kirk Fordice Equine Center kicks off at 8 a.m. and runs through March 19. Free; call 817-244-6188. … The Cellular South trophy presentations at Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame (1152 Lakeland Drive) is at 11:30 a.m. $35; call 800280-FAME. … The Chicago Fire/FC Dallas soccer game at Freedom Ridge Park (235 W. School St., Ridgeland) is at 3 p.m. $18 in advance, $20 at the gate; call 601-853-2011. … Martin’s hosts an open-mic free jam.
Paul Saik performs at Jackson Academy (4908 Ridgewood Road) at 6 p.m. $10; call 601-364-5416. … The collaborative arts concert at Belhaven University Center for the Arts is at 7:30 p.m. Free; call 601-965-7044. … The experimental music concert at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.) is at 7:30 p.m. Free; call 601-974-1423.
The “Walking the Path” exhibit at Smith Robertson Museum (528 Bloom St.) shows through May 14. $4.50, $3 seniors, $1.50 children under 18; call 601-960-1457. … Lee Harper and Jeff Good are honored Jackson 2000’s luncheon at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.) at 11:45 a.m. $12; e-mail email@example.com. … MDAH staff members show artifacts during History Is Lunch at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.) at noon. Bring lunch; call 601-576-6998. … Doug Frank’s Wednesday Nite Jam at C Notes is at 7:30 p.m. Free. For more events and details, go to jfpevents.com.
Deejay Gray, Lashunda Thomas,Tyree Walker and Sydney Blackwell (pictured l-to-r) perform in the New Stage play “Miss Nelson Is Missing” through March 13. COURTESY MELISSA TILLMAN
601-850-9392 or 601-573-4422. … The play “The Parchman Hour” at Jackson Convention Complex is at 6 p.m. Free; call 601-354-0515, ext. 14 to RSVP.
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Fondren After 5 March 3, 5-8 p.m. This monthly event showcases the local shops, galleries and restaurants of the Fondren neighborhood. Stop by at the JFP/BOOM table to say hello. Free; call 601981-9606. Jackson 2000 Friendship Ball March 5, 7 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 Commerce St.). Business and community leaders Lee Harper and Jeff Good will be honored for their racial reconciliation efforts and their contributions to Jackson. Look forward to hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and music by These Days with Jewel Bass. Proceeds benefit Parents for Public Schools of Jackson and Operation Shoestring. $20, $10 students; call 601-362-6121, ext. 17. Mississippi Happening ongoing. The monthly broadcast is hosted by Guaqueta Productions and features a special musical guest. Download free podcasts at mississippihappening.com.
COMMUNITY Parents for Public Schools Lunch Bunch March 2, 11:45 a.m., at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.), in the Community Meeting Room. Hosted by Parent Leadership Institute, the topic is “Transforming Parents into Successful Advocates.” An RSVP is required. $5 lunch; call 601-969-6015. “History Is Lunch” March 2, noon, at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Historian William Parrish talks about responses of southern governors to civilians during the Civil War. Bring a lunch; coffee/water provided. Free; call 601-576-6850. Seuss Fest March 2, 4 p.m., at Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road, Pearl). Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with stories, crafts and refreshments. Free; call 601-932-2562. Precinct 1 COPS Meeting March 3, 6 p.m., at Jackson Police Department, Precinct 1 (810 Cooper Road). These monthly forums are designed to help resolve community issues or problems, from crime to potholes. Call 601-960-0001. Health Fair March 4, 9 a.m., at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). Hosted by LIFE, the event will be held in the Common Area and at Center Stage. Free; call 601-982-8467. Mississippi Historical Society Annual Meeting March 4, 1:30 p.m., at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Freedom Riders Mary Harrison Lee, Hezekiah Watkins and Hank Thomas will participate in a panel discussion on the Freedom Rides. Call 601-979-1515.
March 2- 8, 2011
Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program Registration through March 4, at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.), at the Department of Human and Cultural Services, Suite 311-A. The City of Jackson’s Family and Youth Division is accepting applications from youth ages 16-19 who are enrolled in school. Applicants must provide a birth certificate, Social Security card, a driver’s license or state ID, and the parent or guardian’s proof of income. Applications are accepted weekdays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The deadline is March 4; space is limited. Call 601-960-2174 or 601-960-0326.
Jackson Audubon Society Family Bird Walk March 5, 8 a.m., at Mayes Lake at LeFleur’s Bluff (115 Lakeland Terrace). An Audubon Society member leads the walk. Bring binoculars, water, insect repellent and a snack. Call ahead to borrow binoculars. Adults must accompany children under 15. Free, $3 parking fee; call 601-956-7444. “Believe Out Loud” Reconciling Ministry Workshop March 5, 9 a.m. The purpose is to work toward inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the church. Lunch is included. Call 601-956-4767 or 601-2095759 for the location and other details.
Museum to Market Trail Clean-up Day March 5, 9 a.m., in Belhaven. The Jackson Bike Advocates, Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation, Jackson Chamber of Commerce and Bike Walk Mississippi will clean the proposed Museum-to-Market Multi-use Trail. Bring work gloves and meet at the corner of Moody St. and Greymont Ave. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Art and Antique Walk March 5, 5 p.m., at Historic Canton Square. Take a stroll back in time to enjoy the square, local artisans, craftsmen and musicians. This month’s theme is “Find Your Pot of Gold on Canton’s Square.” Free; call 800-844-3369. Jackson Arts Collective Monthly Meeting March 7, 6 p.m., at The Commons at Eudora Welty’s Birthplace (719 N. Congress St.). Every first Monday, the Collective Steering Committee meets to discuss business of the previous month and listen to local artist proposals for the sponsorship of events that fall in line with their mission. Open to the public. Call 601-497-7454. Mardi Gras Ball March 5, 7 p.m., at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.), in the New Student Center Ballroom. The theme is “Mardi Gras With an International Flair.” Proceeds benefit the LeFleur’s Bluff chapter of The Links for projects such as the United Negro College Fund, scholarship funds to Piney Woods School and Jackson State University, and raising awareness about health issues such as breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. $50, $400 table; call 601-362-2230 or 601-982-8816. Mardi Gras Ball March 5, 8 p.m., at Southern Cultural Heritage Center (1302 Adams St., Vicksburg), in the Southern Cultural Heritage Auditorium. The event includes a cocktail buffet, cash bar and live music. Proceeds benefit the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation. $35 advance, $40 at the door; call 601-636-5010. Mojo’s Second Birthday Celebration March 6, 9 a.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). The zoo’s youngest chimpanzee turns 2 years old, and the staff will present him with a special surprise. $8, $7.20 seniors, $5 children ages 2-12, members/ babies free; call 601-352-2580. National Cutting Horse Association Eastern National Championships March 7-19, at Kirk Fordice Equine Center (Mississippi Fairgrounds, 1207 Mississippi St.). See contestants compete for $460,000 in cash prizes. 12 horse-cutting classes offered daily at 8 a.m., followed by a team cutting exercise. Catfish dinners will be held March 9 and March 14 at 6:30 p.m. Free; call 817-244-6188. National Children’s Study Awareness Day Rally March 7, 10 a.m., at Mississippi State Capitol (400 High St.). On the front steps. The purpose of the event is to create awareness for the launch of the largest long-term study of children’s health ever conducted in the United States, enrolling approximately 100,000 children across the nation and following them from before birth to age 21. Free; call 601815-8407. Cellular South Howell and Gillom Trophy Presentations March 7, 11:30 a.m., at Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum (1152 Lakeland Drive). The Howell Trophy in men’s college basketball and the Gillom Trophy in women’s college basketball will be given to deserving players at the luncheon. $35; call 800-280-FAME. Major League Soccer Game March 7, 3 p.m., at Freedom Ridge Park (235 W. School St., Ridgeland). The Chicago Fire will go up against FC Dallas in a pre-season contest. $18 in advance, $20 at the gate; call 601-853-2011. Jackson 2000 Luncheon March 9, 11:45 a.m., at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Speakers are Friendship Ball honorees Lee Harper and Jeff Good, and representatives from Parents for Public Schools of Jackson and Operation Shoestring. Please RSVP. $12; e-mail bevelyn_branch@ att.net.
by Natalie A. Collier
iane Williams is a neo-griot, along the lines of the storytellers from times gone by when oral historians were crucial to maintaining black folks' history because book publishers didn't believe the history worth chronicling. Williams is also a quilter, an artistry befitting for a woman known for paying homage to the past. And, with "The Evolution of Diane Williams: Walking the Path" exhibit currently at the Smith "The Evolution of Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, visitors can "hear" a bit Diane Williams," an exhibition of quilts, is of Williams' personal history through her quilts. Williams uses silk yarns, beads, stones and vibrant colors to on display at Smith Robertson Museum make traditional quilts with Motherland inspiration to tell stories through May 14. of strength, resilience and hope. “Walking the Path:The Evolution of Diane Williams” hangs through May 14. Admission to the museum for children is $1.50; adults, $4.50. The museum is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information, call 601-960-1457.
Mississippi Farmers Market (929 High St.) through Dec 17. Shop for fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables from Mississippi farmers, specialty foods, and crafts from local artisans, including the Greater Belhaven Market. The market is open Saturdays, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. During the peak growing season, hours are 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Call 601-354-6573. Byram Farmers Market (20 Willow Creek Lane, Byram) through Oct. 30. The market is open Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Products include fresh produce, wildflower honey, roasted peanuts, jams, jellies, birdhouses, and baskets and gourds for crafting. Call 601-373-4545. Old Fannin Road Farmers’ Market (1307 Old Fannin Road) March 2-Dec. 24. Homegrown produce is for sale Monday-Saturday, from 8 a.m.7 p.m. and noon-6 p.m. Sunday until Christmas Eve. Call 601-919-1690.
STAGE AND SCREEN Events at Belhaven University (1500 Peachtree St.). Call 601-965-7044. • Senior Dance Concerts March 2-5, at Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center. Graduating BFA students present original senior projects exhibiting the culmination of their dance studies. $10 suggested donation, $5 seniors/students. Free for children and Belhaven faculty/staff/students. • “The Light in the Piazza” March 3-5, 7:30 p.m. in the Blackbox Theatre. A musical based on a novella by Belhaven graduate Elizabeth Spencer. Do the eyes of God or the eyes of man provide the value judgment of a human who is mentally challenged? Reserved tickets available. Free. • Collaborative Arts Concert March 8, 7:30 p.m., at Belhaven University Center for the Arts Concert Hall (835 Riverside Drive). Faculty and students from the departments of creative writing, dance, graphic eesign, music, theatre and visual arts will collaborate on an evening of innovative and exploratory arts. Free. “South Pacific” March 3-5, 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, North Campus (370 Old Agency Road, Ridgeland), in the Center For Performing Arts. St. Andrew’s Upper School performing arts department presents the Broadway musical. Tickets on sale at the box office before each performance. $10, $5 students; call 601-853-6009. Talent Competition Call for Participants through March 4. Metro-area youth are invited to participate in the Take the Stage Spring Talent Competition at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.) on March 12. Areas of talent include acting, singing, dancing and more. Groups and individuals are welcome. $15 entry fee; call 601-540-2755 or 901-326-1935.
“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” March 4-6, at Madison Square Center for the Arts (2103 Main St., Madison). The Center Players Community Theatre presents the play by Wilbur Braun that is based on the book by Mark Twain. Show times are 7 p.m. March 4-5 and 2 p.m. March 6. $12, $10 seniors and students; call 601-953-0181. “The Princess and the Pea” March 5, 2 p.m., at Jackson Academy (4908 Ridgewood Road). See the Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet in the Performing Arts Center. Performances are at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. A children’s tea party will be held after the 2 p.m. program. $18-$25; call 601-853-4508. “Miss Nelson is Missing” March 6, 2 p.m., at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). The Children’s Theatre presentation of the musical comedy is based on the book series by Harry Allard. Visit newstagetheatre.com for additional SchoolFest Matinee show times. $10, discounts for groups and children 12 and under; call 601-948-3531.
Jesse Gallagher Sarah J Griff Howard Lori Carpenter Scroggins Ginger Rankin Brock Freeman
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“The Parchman Hour” March 6, 6 p.m., at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). The play by Mike Wiley is an ensemble production celebrating the bravery and determination of the Freedom Riders who risked their lives to desegregate Southern interstate bus travel in 1961. Please RSVP. Free; call 601-354-0515, ext. 14.
MUSIC An Evening with Pierre Bensusan March 4, 6 p.m., at St. James Episcopal Church (3921 Oakridge Dr.). The award-winning guitar player performs as part of the Love to be Loved Concert Series. Dinner is at 6 p.m., doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the show is at 8:15 p.m. Tickets available at BeBop and the church office. $15 in advance, $18 day of show, $12 dinner; call 601-981-5000. Events at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.). Call 601-974-1422. • American Guild of Organists Choral-Organ Festival March 4, 7:30 p.m. The 25th annual event features the 70-voice Millsaps Singers choir in Maurice Duruflé’s “Requiem” conducted by Dr. Timothy Coker and organist Bradley Reznicek. Free, donations welcome. • Prospective Students: Fine Arts Scholarships Audition Day March 7, by appointment. Incoming freshmen and transfer students audition for scholarships in voice, piano, organ, guitar and orchestral instruments. Scholarships available to students majoring in music or other disciplines. Visit millsaps.edu for application and guidelines. • Music Student Performance: Departmental Recital March 7, 3 p.m. Enjoy a variety of vocal, piano and instrumental music from baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary periods. Free.
More EVENTS, see page 28
COURTESY SMITH ROBERTSON MUSEUM
!SH 7EDNESDAY 3ERVICE -ARCH PM
from page 27
• Experimental Music Concert March 8, 7:30 p.m. The concert will take place in the art gallery. Free. The Mississippi Chorus Chamber Singers March 5, 7:30 PM, at Tougaloo College, Woodworth Chapel (500 W. County Line Road, Tougaloo). The chorus performs selections from Rene Clausen’s “A New Creation.” $15, $13.50 seniors, $5 students with ID (at the door); call 601-278-3351. Paul Saik Concert March 8, 6 p.m., at Jackson Academy (4908 Ridgewood Road). The contemporary Christian recording artist and former student gives a concert honoring current and former teachers. $10; call 601- 364- 5416.
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Registered National Natural Landmark
A Registered National Natural Landmark
124 Forest Park Road Flora, MS 39071 +%&"-,."-&-.&');dgZhiEVg`GY#!;adgV!BHlll#BHEZig^Æ ZY;dgZhi#Xdb
March 2- 8, 2011
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Mellow Mushroom pizza bakers
Gluten free pizza available by request
FIGMENT Art Festival Call for Entries through April 15. FIGMENT, a free, family-friendly interactive arts event, is seeking artists and volunteers for the May 14-15 festival at The Plant (1424 Highway 80 W.). New and seasoned artists can showcase original works such as sculpture, performance, music, workshops, games, experiences, two-dimensional works and site-specific pieces. Works that encourage audience participation and interactivity are particularly welcome. Submission deadline is April 15. Free; call 601-960-1557 or 646-391-4729. Tracy Sugarman Collection through May 31, at Powell Museum (129 E. Ash St.). The display includes pen and ink washes based on events from the Civil Rights Movement in 1964. The show hangs through May 31. Hours are noon-6:30 p.m. daily by appointment only. The opening reception on Feb. 28 is at 5:30 p.m. Donations welcome; call 601-209-4736.*
Events at Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N.). Call 601-366-7619. • “Fighting the Devil in Dixie: How Civil Rights Activists Took on the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama” March 3, 5 p.m. Wayne Greenhaw signs his book; reading at 5:30 p.m. $26.95 book. • “Townie: A Memoir” March 9, 5 p.m. Andre Dubus III signs his book; reading at 5:30 p.m. $25.95 book.
Check jfpevents.com for updates and more listings. To add an event, e-mail all details (phone number, start/end date and time, street address, cost, URL, etc.) to email@example.com or fax to 601510-9019. The deadline is noon the Thursday prior to the week of publication. Or add the event online yourself; check out jfpevents.com for instructions.
BE THE CHANGE
Events at Mississippi Craft Center (950 Rice Road, Ridgeland). • Fused Glass Jewelry Class March 6, 2 p.m. Learn to work with fused glass to create your own showpiece. $75; call 601-856-7546. • Jewelry Making March 8-April 5. Learn basic skills of jewelry making and metal forging as well as shaping, annealing metal and other techniques. Classes are on March 8 at 5:30 p.m., March 20 at 2 p.m. and April 5 at 5:30 p.m. $75; call 601856-7546. • Woodcarving with George Berry ongoing. A founding member of the Craftsmen’s Guild shares his knowledge of carving wood. Classes are Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. $225; call 601-260-7749. Greenhouse Tomato Short Course March 8-9, at Eagle Ridge Conference Center (1500 Raymond Lake Road, Raymond). Learn how to produce greenhouse tomatoes and what products are used to cultivate them. Topics include bumblebee pollination and past management. Registration by Feb. 25 is encouraged. $125 in advance, $150 at the door; call 601-892-3731.
EXHIBITS AND OPENINGS Events at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). Call 601-354-7303. • Fossil Road Show March 5, 10 a.m. See fossils from the museum collection, and take part in activities on fossil subjects throughout the day. $4$6, children under 3 and museum members free. • “Amazing Butterflies” through May 8, Created by The Natural History Museum in London in collaboration with Minotaur Mazes, the exhibit invites you to shrink down into the undergrowth to become one of the most extraordinary creatures on earth. $5, $4 seniors, $3 children ages 5-18, $1 children ages 3-4. Hinamatsuri Family Day March 5, 10 a.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Children of all ages can celebrate Hinamatsuri, the Festival of the Dolls. Visitors will hear the legend of Kaguya Hime, learn about calligraphy, make their own dolls, and experience the masterful animation of Hayao Miyazaki, all while learning about Japan’s influence on Western art. Children ages 18 and under enjoy free admission to The Orient Expressed exhibit. $3-$5, children under 5 and museum members free; call 601960-1515.
Mississippi Miracles Radiothon March 2-4, at University of Mississippi Medical Center (2500 N. State St.). Radio stations Y101.7, U.S. 96.3 and Mix 98.7 will broadcast live from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. each day in the lobby of the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children. Donations welsome; call 601-984-5437 or 888-681-5437. Barkus Ball March 3, 6 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). CARA celebrates its 10th anniversary with food, fun and fellowship along with live music and a silent auction. Proceeds benefit CARA’s Capital Improvement Campaign to improve operations and provide care for its animals. $50, $150; call 601-941-1432. Mardi Gras Dance Party March 4, 7 p.m., at Chapatoula Building (115 Cynthia St., Clinton). Hosted by Salsa Mississippi, the event includes dancing to ballroom and salsa music, free refreshments, a silent auction and Nepali crafts for sale. Proceeds benefit Mountain Child, a project that provides for the educational needs of 25 Nepali children. $20 (cash only); call 601-213-6355. Mardi Gras Masquerade Charity Ball March 5, 7 p.m., at Congress Street Bar & Grill (120 N. Congress St.). Enjoy an evening of food, entertainment and prizes for ticket holders such as a trip to Mazatlan, Mexico. Mardi Gras attire preferred. Proceeds benefit the launch of the Richard Allen School of Performing Arts, a nonprofit school. $50; call 601-812-8169. Haute Arte March 3, 8 p.m., at Suite 106 (106 Wilmington St.). The fundraiser includes photography by G. Miles, Preston Johnson and Ken Gordon, an “art-off” between Shambe’ Jones and Ayatti Hatcher, and music by Soul-Unique and DJ Sean Mac. Attendees will also have the opportunity to add to a collaborative art piece that will be donated to the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation. Proceeds benefit the SCHF’s Spectrum youth arts program. $10, $5 with art supply donation; call 601-630-7175. Jackson Public Schools Call for Volunteers. Jackson Public Schools is seeking volunteers from the community to be mentors for seniors enrolled in the Advanced Seminar: Employability Skills course. Call 601-960-8310.
Heaven When I Die
other Nature sure has spoiled me these last two weeks with gorgeous weather, and she’s made my musicfestival fever go into overdrive. I’m sure everyone has their calendars marked March 19 for the Mal’s St. Paddy’s Parade at 1 p.m., and St. Paddy’s Street Party at Hal & Mal’s afterward. This year’s theme is “Hey, hey, the blues is alright.” The same day, Fenian’s Pub holds its St. Paddy’s Party; Ole Tavern at George Street has a St. Paddy’s Party; and Fire has a St. Paddy’s Day After Party with Mississippi rockers Fling Hammer as they reunite with southern “other brothers” Drivin’ and Cryin.’ Then, the following weekend, the Zippity Doo Dah Parade on March 26 keeps the party going in Fondren. It’s a week’s worth of off-thechain parties. Saturday, March 5, Sportsman’s Lodge hosts its Lodgefest Crawfish Boil. The Crossroads Film Festival kicks off April 1-3, and the Renaissance Fine Arts Festival will be held in Ridgeland April 2-3 at
“Catfish Blues,” “Ludella” and “Cairo Blues.” These tracks were synonymous with his performances. Slowly, his name became known, but before he made enough money with music to pay his bills, Thomas continued working as a gravedigger and later took on a job at a furniture store. When researcher William Ferris “discovered” Thomas in Leland, he made the “Catfish Blues” singer the focus of several academic papers and magazine features. Thomas was suddenly an attraction at blues festivals locally, regionally and overseas, billed as one of the Delta’s last living originals. He constantly battled with his poor health, however. Back pains and emphysema bothered him, and in 1991, he had surgery for a brain tumor. Despite his fragile state, Son continued to perform until May 1993 when, at age 66, he suffered a stroke and remained in the hospital for a month before he passed away. Chiseled on the headstone at Thomas’ Leland grave are the words from one of his songs, “Beefsteak”: “Give me beefsteak when I’m hungry / Whiskey when I’m dry / Pretty women when I’m livin’ / Heaven when I die.”
The Renaissance. April 2, the Olde Towne Market in Clinton kicks back up, and Sunday, April 3 and Saturday, April 9, don’t miss Gathering on the Green at the Old Capital. The Crawdad Hole hosts its music festival April 10, and the Pickin’ and Paddlin’ Festival is in May. That’s just the festivals around Jackson! As always, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (April 29-May 8) owns bragging rights for the best musical lineup so far for outdoor music festivals. They’ve got everybody from Kenny G to Wyclef Jean, Better than Ezra to John Legend and The Roots. Competing with New Orleans, though, is the Beale Street Music Festival (April 29-May 1), part of the month-long Memphis in May International Festival. Come out Wednesday March 2, to Hal & Mal’s Singers/Songwriters Night, which I host, featuring Danny Ray, Jason Turner, Emma Wynters, David Womack and JoJo Long. Things kick off about 7 p.m. Also, ToMara’s hosts J.D. Noize. Thursday helps us get ready for the weekend with Andy Hardwick at Knock-
by Natalie Long
ames “Son” Thomas’ eponymous album is widely acclaimed by critics and blues fans alike. From “Mama Don’t ‘Low No Guitar Playin’ ‘Round Here” to “Hoochie Coochie Man/Try Me Next Time” and track number three, “Beefsteak Blues,” baptize yourself in the musician’s work with “Beefsteak Blues.” It’s the best place to start.
er’s Sports Café (4586 Clinton Blvd. 601321-9766). Chris Gill and D’Mar sing the blues at Underground 119, and Larry Brewer performs at Shucker’s. March 4, on Friday night, Sportsman’s Lodge, Brian Jones melts a few faces. Rapper Plies performs at Dreamz JXN. Go to Be-Bop for tickets, unless you want to be VIP, then call 601-502-6864. Doors open at 8 p.m. At Ole Tavern one of Jackson’s favorite bands, Passenger Jones, plays with Ruston, La., alt.-folk rockers Giant Cloud, who could well be our generation’s Gram and Emmylou. That show starts at 10 p.m. If you missed the Acoustic Café concert in February, don’t worry, St. James Episcopal Church in Fondren hosts “An Evening with Pierre Bensusan” March 4. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Saturday night, Suite 106 hosts Haute Art, an “alternative charitable event,” benefitting the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation’s SPECTRUM art program. DJ Sean Mac will be on the ones and twos. 8 p.m. $5 cover with art supplies, $10 without. The Capital City welcomes The Delta
COURTESY ALGERNOD LANIER WASHINGTON
Grammy-nominated rapper Plies takes the Dreamz JXN stage Friday, March 4.
Mountain Boys to Cherokee Drive Inn at 9 p.m. $5. Fenian’s has local favorite Jedi Clampett the same night. On Sunday, March 6, check out Knight Bruce for brunch at Sophia’s in the Fairview Inn, then Cultural Expressions’ Open-Mic Poetry Night at 7 p.m. Keep your music listings coming. (Oh, and no, I’m not a DJ on JDX1029.com. At one point, I was going to be, but that never worked out. Sorry if I confused y’all!)
lery in Washington, D.C. A few days before he left to attend the exhibit opening, his n the documentary “M is for Mississippi,” James “Son” girlfriend shot him. Thomas says: “Daddy always told a joke. He said, “My old lady had shot me with a .22,” he said. “It wasn’t ‘There’s lots of ways you can have the blues. If you’re an argument. She just shot me. I got out of the hospital, and I broke, you got the blues. If you’re hungry, you got the had four or five days before I could leave.” blues. If you got a good woman, and she quit you, that ain’t Thomas pressed on and met then-first lady Nancy nothing but the blues.’” Reagan. “(Mrs. Reagan) had a lady in the front of her—her Thomas knew the blues. Born Oct. 14, 1926, in Eden, guard, I imagine—and (the guard) told me she was coming Miss., Ford never knew his father and was reared by his pater- through,” he said. “ … and when she comes by, she throwed nal grandparents. He’d spend her arms around me. When she time on the banks of the Yazoo put her arms around me, she River, digging up clay then put a hand right where they cut sculpting it. that bullet out.” “I tried to make a mule, But, of course, visual art and just kept on trying to wasn’t Thomas’ real claim to make a mule. Finally I could fame. It was music. His curiosimake the mule. Then after ty began when he’d sit and listen that, I started making different to his uncle, Joe Cooper, sing things; you know, like birds, and play the blues, or the famrabbits, squirrels. Stuff like ily would sit around listening to that,” Thomas said in a 1983 records by “Big Boy” Crudup interview with Philip Walker Leland, Miss.-born blues musician James “Son” Thomas and Skip James. As Thomas’ of Bomb Magazine. interest grew, Uncle Joe taught poses with several of his handmade sculptures. The budding sculptor his nephew a few chords and gained notoriety crafting clay skulls. The young boy’s grandfa- charged him to practice. When his uncle would leave for work, ther was deathly afraid of ghosts, so to scare his pops, Thomas he’d sneak in to practice on his uncle’s prized guitar. created a skull and placed it in a darkened corner he knew his Working in the cottonfields, Thomas earned enough grandfather would pass by. money to buy his own guitar from a Sears & Roebuck catalog. As he got older, Thomas earned money working on a The musician began to frequent Yazoo City juke joints as he plantation and as a gravedigger. During the day, he harvested improved his skills, and there he met artists like Rice Miller and and dug, and at night, while his grandfather drank moonshine Elmore James. The two later befriended Son and encouraged and tossed dice, he sculpted. the “apprentice” to play along with them. In 1981, curators featured many of Thomas’ handcrafted Thomas’ mentoring relationship with the bluesmen built skulls in “Exhibit of Southern Folk Art” at the Corcoran Gal- confidence, and he began work on his own set of songs, like
MARCH 2 - WEDNESDAY
LIVE MUSIC CALENDAR ALL SHOWS 10PM UNLESS NOTED
WITH JASON BAILEY 10 PM LADIES PAY $5, DRINK FREE THURSDAY
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Open for dinner Sat. 4-10pm thursday
LADIES NIGHT LADIES DRINK FREE
WELLS & PONIES 9PM-2AM friday March 4
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OPEN MIC JAM TUESDAY
2 FOR 1 DRAFTS tuesday
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March 2 - 8, 2011
LADIES PAY $5, DRINK FREE 214 S. STATE ST. â€¢ 601.354.9712 DOWNTOWN JACKSON WWW.MARTINSLOUNGE.NET
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FRIDAY, March 4th
jesse robinson &
the 500 lb. blues band
10PM no cover until Midnight
SATURDAY, March 5th
Norman Clark with Smokestack Lightning & Jackie Bell
10PM NO COVER UNTIL Midnight
LIVE MUSIC DURING LUNCH
MON - FRI, 11AM - 2PM OPEN LATE - SECURITY PROVIDED
Wednesday, March 2nd
SWING DE PARIS
(Gypsy Jazz) 8-11, No Cover Thursday, March 3rd
CHRIS GILL & DMAR (Blues) 8-11, No Cover Friday, March 4th
AMAZINâ€™ LAZY BOI BAND (Blues) 9-1, $10 Cover Saturday, March 5th
(Blues Funk) 9-1, $10 Cover Wednesday, March 9th
(Jazz) 8-11, No Cover Thursday, March 10th
THURSDAY - MARCH 3
LADIES NIGHT DRINK FREE 9-11PM
NAT SMITH, JIMMY JARRET & DMAR (Jazz) 8-11, No Cover
FRIDAY - MARCH 4 & SATURDAY - MARCH 5
WHITEY MORGAN AND THE 78â€™S
Friday, March 11th
(Jazz) 9-1, $10 Cover after 7 p.m.
SUNDAY - MARCH 6 8 BALL TOURNAMENT MONDAY - MARCH 7
Saturday, March 12th
ALEX ROSS & THE CADILLAC BLUES BAND (Blues) 9-1, $10 Cover
TUESDAY - MARCH 8
POOL LEAGUE NIGHT WEDNESDAY - MARCH 9 MIKE MOTT KARAOKE 2636 S. Gallatin Jackson, MS 39204
119 S. President Street 601.352.2322 www.Underground119.com
Doctor S sez: Get ready for an entertaining weekend of hoops at the Big House.
comedy night Ashima Franklin, K-Dub, Smokey, comedians you have seen on Bad Boys of Comedy, Def Jam, BET, and other comedy clubs throughout the US will be invading Jackson
Sat, March 5 |9 - 12:30pm
Mon - Sat | 2pm - 7pm 2 for 1 All Mixed Drinks, $1 Off Draft & Wine and 50¢ Boneless Wings
PULL FOR RONALD MCDONALD DailyHOUSE LunchCHARITIES Specials - $9 The McDonald house is a temporary “home away from home” for families with seriously ill children being treated at nearby hospitals.
Order a canned beverage. Give the tab to your server. Help a child in need. BUDLITE, MILLERLITE, BUDWEISER, COORSLITE
Daily Lunch Specials $9
Happy Hour Everyday 4pm-7pm
LATE NIGHT HAPPY HOUR Sunday - Thursday 10pm - 12am
2-FOR-1, YOU CALL IT!
1428 Old Square Road in Jackson 601.713.2700 lastcallsportsgrill.com
6270 Old Canton Rd. Jackson, MS 39211
THURSDAY, MARCH 3 High school basketball, MHSAA Boys and Girls State Tournament championship games (Ch. 29, Mississippi Coliseum, Jackson): 3A girls, Ripley vs. Choctaw Central (1 p.m.); 3A boys, Booneville vs. Corinth (2:30 p.m.); 1A girls, Byers vs. Coldwater (7 p.m.), 1A boys, Dexter vs. Durant (8:30 p.m.) … Men’s college basketball, Alabama State at Jackson State (7:30 p.m., Jackson, 620 AM): The Tigers host the Hornets in a crucial late-season SWAC game. FRIDAY, MARCH 4 High school basketball, MHSAA Boys and Girls State Tournament championship games (Ch. 29, Mississippi Coliseum, Jackson): 2A girls, New Site vs. Scott Central (1 p.m.); 2A boys, Bruce vs. Piney Woods (2:30 p.m.); 4A girls, teams TBD (7 p.m.); 4A boys, teams TBD (8:30 p.m.) SATURDAY, MARCH 5 High school basketball, MHSAA Boys and Girls State Tournament championship games (Ch. 29, Mississippi Coliseum, Jackson): 5A girls, teams TBD (1 p.m.); 5A boys (2:30 p.m.); 6A girls, teams TBD (7 p.m.); 6A boys (8:30 p.m.). … Men’s college basketball, Arkansas at Ole Miss (3 p.m., Oxford, Ch. 12, 97.3 FM): The
Leave Ill Enough Alone When an unrecognizable woman became an Internet sensation after surveillance video at a shopping mall in Berks County, Pa., showed her falling into a fountain while texting, Cathy A. Cruz Marrero, 49, willingly identified herself to news reporters as the klutz. She also demanded an apology from mall security officers for releasing the video. Reporters recognized Marrero when she showed up days later in Berks County Court on an earlier criminal charge for unauthorized credit-card use. They checked court records and learned Marrero has multiple charges for retail theft and one for hitand-run. After her rap sheet became public, Marrero insisted she only came forward in the first place to remind the public of the dangers of texting while walking. (Reading Eagle)
March 2 - 8, 2011
Police investigating a disturbance at a housing project in Norwalk, Conn., reported that Clara Nelson, 53, and her daughter, Cristalle Nelson, 31, had just finished digging out their car, when Sheryl Rogers, 35, and her 16-year-old son, began shoveling and tossing snow where the Nelsons already cleared. As the two families argued, Cristalle Nelson hit Rogers over the head with her shovel. Rogers’s son tried to hit Cristalle but missed and struck Clara Nelson instead. Police charged Cristalle Nelson and the son with assault. (Stamford Advocate)
Rogue Cock Jose Luis Ochoa, 35, died shortly after being
Rebels and Razorbacks are both still battling for second place in the SEC West. SUNDAY, MARCH 6 Women’s college basketball, SEC Women’s Tournament championship (4:30 p.m., Nashville, Tenn., ESPN2): Tennessee will play somebody else for the title, barring a major upset. MONDAY, MARCH 7 Men’s college basketball, WCAC Tournament championship (8 p.m., ESPN): There are a ton of conference championship games this week. This could be one of the most entertaining, if Gonzaga is involved. TUESDAY, MARCH 8 NBA basketball, Los Angeles Lakers at Atlanta (6 p.m., SportSouth): The Hawks are good, so the Lakers will be motivated. That always makes things interesting. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9 Men’s college basketball, Big East Tournament, teams TBD (11 a.m., ESPN): The second day of marathon coverage of this marathon tournament begins in the Big Apple. The Slate is compiled by Doctor S, who was sad to hear legendary Mississippi State radio man Jack Cristil wrap his final game in maroon and white. Check out the legendary JFP Sports at www.jacksonfreepres.com.
stabbed in the leg by a razor-sharp blade attached to the leg of a rooster that attacked him at a cockfight in Lamont, Calif. Noting roosters are drugged, mutilated and have knives and razor blades attached to their legs to make them better fighters, Kern County Public Health Director Matt Constantine said that for rescued birds, rehabilitation is “a real challenge.” (Bakersfield Californian)
Curses, Foiled Again Police identified Cody Wilkins, 25, as their suspect in a house burglary in Silver Spring, Md., because he left his cell phone at the scene, charging in an electrical outlet. Police learned that Wilkins, who lives nearby, had lost power during a snowstorm, prompting him to charge his phone while looting the house. He had to flee abruptly, however, when the homeowner interrupted him. (The Washington Post)
Provocative Proposal A cash-strapped British council proposed heating a community swimming pool by using furnaces at a nearby crematorium. Instead of heat from the incinerators at the Borough of Redditch Cemeteries & Crematorium going up the chimney, Carole Gandy, head of the Redditch Borough Council, declared that the measure “will save the authority money and, in the long-term, save energy, which is what we’re all being told we should do.” (Britain’s The Telegraph) Compiled from mainstream media sources by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.
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by Lisa LaFontaine Bynum
Mr. Chenâ€™s Authentic Chinese Cooking by Andrew Dunaway
FISH Nâ€™ CHIPS
March 2 - 8, 2011
he summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school, my parents and I spent two weeks in London. At the time, I was going through that phase where I thought my parents were quite possibly two of the most un-cool people on the planet. Two weeks in another country seemed like an eternity in teenage years. I just knew my friends were back home having the time of their lives without me in our quiet little hometown (they werenâ€™t), and my boyfriend was going to forget all about me and find a new girlfriend by the time I got back (he didnâ€™t). I wish I could travel back 15 years and violently shake my silly teenage self. I celebrated my 15th birthday with front-row seats to â€œPhantom of the Operaâ€? at Her Majestyâ€™s Theatre in Haymarket, London. What a rotten way to spend a birthday, right? I was introduced to fish â€˜nâ€™ chips on that trip. I remember expecting something like a McDonaldâ€™s Filet-O-Fish and Lays potato chips, and was surprised when I got fries. I honestly donâ€™t remember if I liked it or not, but a few years ago I decided to give them a second chance. I didnâ€™t know where I could actually buy fish â€˜nâ€™ chips (Long John Silverâ€™s? Nah.), so I decided to make them in the comfort of my own tiny kitchen. I was rewarded with delicious results. The â€œchipsâ€? are a little different â€”they are baked, not fried. I was wary, as every baked French fry I have ever eaten was limp and soggy. These are different; itâ€™s the first time I have tried a baked French fry recipe that actually produced crispy fries. Theyâ€™re now on regular rotation at my house, and guests rave about how good they are.
2 (8-ounce) firm white fish, cut into 11/2-inch fillets Oil for frying 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 3 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 12-ounce can of beer 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Heat oil in a large deep skillet to 375 degrees (I like to use an electric skillet). In a large bowl, combine two cups of flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Combine the beer and egg and
3 russet potatoes (about 24 ounces total), peeled and cut lengthwise into even sized wedges 5 tablespoons vegetable, canola or peanut oil, divided 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
Place the potato wedges in a large mixing bowl. Cover with hot water; soak for 10-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Put four tablespoons of the oil onto a heavy, rimmed baking sheet. Tilt the sheet side-to-side to evenly coat the pan with oil, or use pastry brush. Sprinkle the pan evenly with the salt and pepper. Set aside. Drain the potatoes. Spread the wedges out on layers of paper towels or on clean kitchen towels; pat dry with additional towels.
pour into the flour mixture. Whisk to a smooth batter. Batter should be the consistency of pancake batter; if too thick, feel free to add a little more beer until you reach the desired consistency. Spread the remaining half-cup flour on a plate. Dredge the fish pieces in the flour and then dip them into the batter, letting the excess drip off. Add the fillets to frying pan, and cook until coating turns brown and crispy, and the fillet is cooked through, about four to five minutes per side. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt if desired. Serves four. Wipe out the now-empty bowl so it is dry. Return the potatoes to the bowl and toss with the remaining one tablespoon of oil. Arrange the potato wedges on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Cover tightly with foil and bake for five minutes. Remove the foil, and continue to bake until the bottoms of the potatoes are spotty golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula and tongs, flip each potato wedge, keeping them in a single layer. Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, from five to 15 minutes. Rotate the pan as needed to ensure even browning. When the fries are finished baking, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain some of the grease. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm. Serves four.
Mr. Chenâ€™s Authentic Chinese Cooking 5465 Interstate 55 N., 601-978-1865 ANDREW DUNAWAY
pened as a part of the new Oriental Supermarket, Mr. Chenâ€™s Authentic Chinese Cooking brings a new style of Chinese cuisine to Jackson. Inside, youâ€™ll find well-known dishes such as Kung Pao Chicken and General Tsoâ€™s Chicken, but there is a touch of the exotic to Mr. Chenâ€™s. Itâ€™s not often that you see Tossed Jelly Fish in Sesame Oil or Spicy Pork Intestines in Hot Pot on a Chinese restaurant menu. While the Garlic Spiced Bacon Meat and Chenâ€™s Crazy Spicy Chicken may captivate you, itâ€™s the seafood portion of the menu that deserves extra attention. Mr. Chenâ€™s is built into the Oriental Market, which includes a remarkably extensive seafood counter. Sure, fresh flounder, grouper and lobster may be old hat, but its rare to see live blue crabs, Dungeness crabs, frogs, head-on shrimp, eels and snails in Jackson. With all that bounty of the sea to pull from, the Crispy Salted Dungeness Crab and Shrimp in Black Bean Sauce are two excellent starting points. With its substantial seafood counter, fresh produce and dry goods, the Oriental Market and Mr. Chenâ€™s Authentic Chinese Cooking is a welcome addition to the Jackson food landscape. Take a fresh look at Chinese cuisine with the extensive selection of offerings. Once youâ€™ve soaked up the diversity of the grocery, take a seat at Mr. Chenâ€™s, order your favorites or start wandering through the menu.
Small Steam Buns (Soup Dumplings)
FROM OUR ROASTERY, TO YOUR CUP. voted best coffeeshop in jackson 2003-2010
AUTHENTIC GREEK DINING
• Fresh Seafood Daily
NOW Serving Wings!
Cups Espresso Café (Multiple Locations, www.cupsespressocafe.com) Jackson’s local group of coffeehouses offer high-end Arabica beans, a wide variety of espresso drinks. Wi-fi. Wired Espresso Café (115 N State St 601-500-7800) This downtown coffeehouse is a true gathering place, featuring great coffee and a selection of breakfast, lunch and pastry items. Wi-fi.
Broad Street Bakery (4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-362-2900) Hot breakfast,coffee espresso drinks, fresh breads and pastries, gourmet deli sandwiches, quiches, soups, pizzas and dessert. Primos Cafe (2323 Lakeland 601-936-3398/ 515 Lake Harbour 601-898-3400) A Jackson institution featuring a full breakfast, blue-plate specials, catfish, burgers, prime rib, oysters, po-boys and wraps. Save room for something from their famous bakery! For Heaven’s Cakes (4950 Old Canton Road 601-991-2253) Cakes and cupcakes for all occasions including weddings, parties, catered events. Beagle Bagel (4500 I-55 North, Suite 145, Highland Village 769-251-1892) Fresh bagels in tons of different styles with a variety of toppings including cream cheese, lox, eggs, cheese, meats and or as full sandwiches for lunch. Paninis, wraps and much more!
BRAVO! (4500 Interstate 55 N., Jackson, 601-982-8111) Wood-fired pizzas, vegetarian fare, plus creative pastas, beef, and seafood specials. Award-winning wine list. Cerami’s (5417 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-919-28298) Southern-style Italian cuisine features their signature Shrimp Cerami (white wine sauce, capers artichokes) along with veal, tilapia, crawfish, chicken and pasta dishes. Now with liquor license! Fratesi’s (910 Lake Harbour, Ridgeland, 601-956-2929) “Authentic, homey, unpretentious” that’s how the regulars describe Fratesi’s, a staple in Jackson for years, offering great Italian favorites with loving care. The tiramisu is a must-have!
4654 McWillie Dr., Jackson|Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 10AM-9PM Friday & Saturday 10AM-12AM, Sunday 11AM-5PM
i r e d
a sso C
Seafood, Steaks and Pasta
By popular demand, we have added Shrimp Scampi to our menu!
Mellow Mushroom (275 Dogwood Blvd, Flowood, 601-992-7499) Pizzas of all kinds, munchies, calzones, grilled hoagies, salads and more make up the extensive and “eclectic” menu at Mellow Mushroom. Award-winning beer selection. The Pizza Shack (1220 N State St. 601-352-2001) 2009 and 2010’s winner of Best Pizza offers the perfect pizza-and-a-beer joint. Creative pizza options abound along with sandwiches, wings, salads and even BBQ. Sal & Mookie’s (565 Taylor St. 601-368-1919) Pizzas of all kinds plus pasta, eggplant parmesan and the local favorite: fried ravioli. Best Chef, Best Dessert, Best Kid’s Menu & Best Ice Cream in the 2010 Best of Jackson.
.. | H M
Hot | Teriyaki | House Blend Many More...
M-F -, - S - C A
Paid listyour yourrestaurant.r restaurant.r Paid advertising advertising section. section. Call Call 601-362-6121 601-362-6121 x11 x1 totolist
Every Coffee Bean We Brew Supports Non-profi ts Worldwide. Danilo Eslava Caceres, Executive Chef/GM 2481 Lakeland Drive Flowood, MS 39232
601-932-4070 tel 601-933-1077 fax
Plate lunch now available.
all you can eat for an additional charge
Hickory Pit Barbeque (1491 Canton Mart Rd. 601-956-7079) The “Best Butts in Town” features BBQ chicken, beef and pork sandwiches along with burgers and po’boys. Haute Pig (1856 Main Street, 601-853-8538) A “very high class pig stand,” Haute Pig offers Madison diners BBQ plates, sandwiches, po-boys, salads, and their famous Hershey bar pie. Lumpkins BBQ (182 Raymond Rd. Jackson 866-906-0942) Specializing in smoked barbeque, Lumpkin’s offers all your favorites for on-site family dining or for catered events, including reunions, office events, annivesaries, weddings and more.
2003-2011, Best of Jackson
BARS, PUBS & BURGERS 707 N Congress St., Jackson | 601-353-1180 Open 11am-2pm, Sunday thru Friday
A True Taste
All New! Sandwiches and exciting new menu options
11 AM - 3 PM
910 Lake Harbour Dr. Ridgeland | 601-956-2929 Monday - Saturday | 5 - until
Mon. - Fri. 11am - 3pm, Closed Sat. 182 Raymond Rd. in Jackson, MS Telephone: 601-373-7707 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brady’s Bar and Grill (6720 Old Canton Rd., Ridgeland, 601-812-6862) Everything you’d expect from a bar and grill, from classic pub fare to their Krispy Sweet Pepper Chicken. Burgers, seafood baskets, salads, steaks and lunch specials. And, ladies get one free Apple Martini or Cosmo during Brady’s Thursday Ladies Night! Cherokee Inn (960 Briarfield Rd. 601-362-6388) Jackson’s “Best Hole in the Wall,” has a great jukebox, great bar and a great burger. Plate lunches, cheesy fries and tons more, including a full bar and friendly favorites. Cool Al’s (4654 McWillie, 601-713-3020) A Best of Jackson fixture, Cool Al’s signature stacked, messy, decadent, creative burgers defy adjectives. And don’t forget the fries! Fenian’s Pub (901 E. Fortification St. 601-948-0055) Classic Irish pub featuring a menu of traditional food, pub sandwiches and beers such as Guinness and Harp on tap. Stamps Superburgers (1801 Dalton Street 601-352-4555) Huge burgers will keep you full until the next day! The homestyle fries are always fresh. Hal and Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St. 601-948-0888) Pub favorites meet Gulf Coast and Cajun specialties like red beans and rice, the Oyster Platter or each day’s blackboard special. Last Call (3716 I-55 N. Frontage Road 601-713-2700) Burgers, sandwiches and po-boys, plus sports-bar appetizers and specialities. Pay-per-view sporting events, live bands. Martin’s Restaurant and Lounge (214 South State Street 601-354-9712) Lunch specials, pub appetizers (jalapeno poppers, cheezsticks, fried pickles) or order from the full menu of po-boys and entrees. Full bar, massive beer selection and live music most nights.
Who needs luck?
Colonial Mart Shopping Center Off Old Canton Rd Behind Great Harvest Bread Co. 5046 Parkway Drive
!! WINNER !! BEST PIZZA IN JACKSON 2009 - 2011
Dine-In / Carry-Out
Mon - Thur: 11am-10pm Fri - Sat: 11am-11pm Sun: 11am - 9pm
601-352-2001 1220 N. State St.
March 2 - 8, 2011
(across from Baptist Medical Center)
Ridgeland â€˘ Jackson â€˘ Madison WWW.BEAGLEBAGELCAFE.NET
Paid advertising section.
Time Out Sports Café (6720 Old Canton Road 601-978-1839) 14 TVs, 1 projector and two big-screens. Daily $9 lunch specials, pub-style appetizers, burgers, seafood and catfish po-boys, salads, and hot entrees including fish, steak and pasta. Ole Tavern on George Street (416 George St. 601-960-2700) Pub food with a southern flair: beer-battered onion rings, chicken & sausage gumbo, salads, sandwiches and weekly lunch specials. Plus, happy hour 4-7pm Monday through Friday. Poets Two (1855 Lakeland Drive, Suite H-10, 601-364-9411) Pub fare at its finest. Crabcake minis, fried dills, wings, poppers, ultimate fries, sandwiches, po-boys, pasta entrees and steak. The signature burgers come in bison, kobe, beef or turkey! Sportsman’s Lodge (1120 E Northside Dr. in Maywood Mart 601-366-5441) Voted Best Sports Bar in 2010, Sportman’s doesn’t disappoint with plenty of gut-pleasing sandwiches, fried seafood baskets, sandwiches and specialty appetizers. Underground 119 (119 South President St. 601-352-2322) Jumbo lump crabcakes, crab quesadillas, beef tenderloin parfaits, orange-garlic shrimp, even “lollipop” lamb chops. Add a full bar and mix in great music. Opens 4 p.m.-until, Wed-Sat. Wing Stop (952 North State Street, 601-969-6400) Saucing and tossing wings in a choice of nine flavors, Wingstop wings are made with care and served up piping hot. Every order is made fresh to order; check out the fresh cut seasoned fries!
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
$1.00 off Well Drinks 2 for 1 Well Drinks Weekdays 4pm - 7pm Every Wed. 8pm - Close
A Metro-Area Tradition Since 1977
Delta Mountain Boys
Lunch: Fri. & Sun. | 11am-2pm Dinner: Tues. -Sat. | 5pm-9pm
601-919-2829 5417 Lakeland Drive ~ Flowood, MS 39232
Pan Asia (720 Harbor Pines Dr, Ridgeland 601-956-2958) Beautiful ambiance in this popular Ridgeland eatery accompanies signature asian fusion dishes and build-your-own stirfrys using fresh ingredients and great sauces.
March 5 | 9:00pm | $5.00 Cover 601-362-6388
1410 Old Square Road • Jackson
Thanks For Voting Us BEST FRENCH FRIES IN JACKSON!
Two Sisters Kitchen (707 N. Congress St. 601-353-1180) 2010 Best of Jackson winner for fried chicken offers a sumptious buffet of your choice of veggies, a salad bar, iced tea & one of three homemade desserts. Lunch only. Mon-Friday, Sun. Sugar’s Place (168 W Griffith St 601-352-2364) Hot breakfast and week-day lunch: catfish, pantrout, fried chicken wings, blue plates, red beans & rice, pork chops, chicken & dumplings, burgers, po-boys...does your grandma cook like this? Located downtown near MC Law School.
1801 Dalton Street (601) 352-4555
STEAK, SEAFOOD & FINE DINING
Aladdin Mediterranean Grill (730 Lakeland Drive 601-366-6033) Delicious authentic dishes including lamb dishes, hummus, falafel, kababs, shwarma and much more. Consistent award winner, great for takeout or for long evenings with friends. Bombay Bistro (3716 I-55 N - 601-487-8370) Bombay Bistro is Jackson’s newest source for authentic, tasty Indian food. Their lunch buffet runs everyday and features an assortment of Kebobs, Kurries, and Naan for only $7.99. Dinner options abound, with fresh ingredients, authentic spices and big-city flair. Kristos (971 Madison Ave @ Hwy 51, Madison, 601-605-2266) Home of the famous Greek meatball! Hummus, falafel, dolmas, pita sandwiches, salads, plus seasoned curly fries (or sweet potato fries) and amazing desserts. Come Try theand Best BarMezza (1896 Main St., Suite A, Madison 601-853-0876) Mediterranean cuisine wood fired brick oven pizzas. Come experience the beautiful patio, Hookahs, and delicious food. Beer is offered and you are welcome to bring your own wine. Vasilios (828 Hwy 51 in Madison 601-853-0028) Authentic Greek dining featuring fresh seafood daily along with gyros, greek salads, appetizers and signature Mediterranean desserts. 856 Main Street MadiTheir redfish is a standout, earning rave reviews. son, MS 39110 - (601)
High Noon Café (2807 Old Canton Road in Rainbow Plaza 601-366-1513) Fresh, gourmet, tasty and healthy defines the lunch options at Jackson’s own strict vegetarian (and very-vegan-friendly) restaurant.
Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
is Thursday Night Kebobs • Kurries • Naan
LUNCH BUFFET $7.99 -All You Can Eat-
Authentic Indian Cuisine
Free Apple Martini or Cosmo
Wed. 3/2 - Kenny Davis Thurs. 3/3 - Shaun Patterson Friday 3/4 - JoJo Long Saturday 3/5 - Karaoke
OPEN MON-SAT Located at 3716 I-55 N Jackson, MS in the old Last Call location 601-487-8370
6720 Old Canton Rd., Ridgeland | 601.812.6862 601.812.6862
(a very high-class pig stand)
g i p e h t d ou trie
Come Try the Best Bar-B-Que In Madison 856 Main Street • Madison, MS • 601.853.8538
Crab’s (6954 Old Canton Rd., Ridgeland, 601-956-5040) Crab’s Seafood Shack offers a wide variety of southern favorites such as fried catfish and boiled shrimp. Full bar complete with multiple televisions for all of your favorite sporting events. Eslava’s Grille (2481 Lakeland Drive, 601-932-4070) Danny Eslava’s namesake feature Latin-influenced dishes like ceviche in addition to pastas, steaks, salads and other signature seafood dishes. Rocky’s (1046 Warrington Road, Vicksburg 601-634-0100) Enjoy choice steaks, fresh seafood, great salads, hearty sandwiches and much more in the “polished casual” dining room. Open 24/7 in the Riverwalk Casino. Parker House (104 South East Madison Drive, Ridgeland 601-856-0043) European and Creole take on traditional Southern ingredients. Crawfish, oysters, crab and steaks dominate, with creative option like Crab Mac ‘n Cheese, Oysters Rockefeller and Duck Jezebel.
5752 Terry Road (601) 376-0081
A Jackson Mardi Gras
by Natalie A. Collier
he closer you get to the Gulf Coast, the bigger the Mardi Gras celebration you’ll find. Around these parts, you’ll find king cake, maybe a little live New Orleans-style music at a joint or two, and a couple Cajun dishes at Que Sera Sera and Cock of the Walk, but you won’t find any second-line parades headed down Amite Street. That’s OK. Bring Mardi Gras to your everyday life between now and Fat Tuesday, March 8. As long as you’ve got something purple, green or gold (traditional Mardi Gras colors), you’re already one step ahead of the people who are spending their time trying to figure out what to give up for Lent. Come on, baby, let the good times roll! Laissez les bons temps rouler.
Peacock feather headband with cameo brooch, $45, Shoe Bar at Pieces
King Cake with cream cheese or almond filling, $21.95, Broad Street Baking Co. Y
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Gold glitter platform pump, $50, Posh Boutique
Teal circle ring, $8, BusySpinningThread Silk purple, oneshouldered romper with embellished top, $59.99, Posh Boutique
Gold paper crown, $0.10 and gold wand, $0.79, N.U.T.S. Re-Sale Store
Broad Street Baking Co., 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 101, 601-362-2900; BusySprinningThread, etsy.com/shop/busyspinningthread; N.U.T.S. Re-Sale Store, 117 Wesley Ave., 601-355-7458; Posh Boutique, 4312 N. State St., 601-364-2244; Shoe Bar at Pieces, 425 Mitchell Ave., 601-939-5203;
SHOPPING SPECIALS The Orange Peel (601-364-9977) The store is moving from its current location on North State Street to 422 Mitchell Ave. The grand opening is March 10 with all new spring and summer arrivals available.
Turkoyz (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 123, 601-981-4000) Get up to 75 percent of specially marked jewelry throughout the store.
Callaway’s Yard and Garden Center (839 Pear Orchard Road, Ridgeland, 601-957-1731) Get your backyard ready with outdoor furniture. Brands include Lloyd Flanders, Alfresco Home, Kingsley Bate and lots more.
Magnolia Pewter Co. (100 Business Center Parkway, Suite A, Pearl, 601939-4900) New spring arrivals including: rabbit trays $22-$30, rabbit egg holder $25, aqua-colored square chargers $7 and tables linens $13-$30.
March 2 - 8, 2011
Soma-Wilai (Fondren Corner, 2906 N. State St., 601-366-9955) Lots happening in the store: fall/winter shoes marked down, new Chelsea Crew shoes, sales rack and spring arrivals coming in everyday.
Send sale info to email@example.com.
Check out flyjfp.com for information about other sales around the city, trends and various things fly people should know.
Everything is 50% Off!
Get it in black and white
3931 Hanging Moss Road in Jackson 601-397-6133 | Tues.- Sat. 11am-7pm
ARRIVALS FALL MERCHANDISE
Thank you for voting us as one of the Best Salons in Jackson!
We offer foils, Greatlengths Hair Extensions and Brazilian Blowouts.
2475 LAKELAND DRIVE FLOWOOD MS 39232 601.933.0074
5352 Lakeland Dr ste100B | 601 992-7980
Downtown Jackson Corner of High Street & State Street Phone: 601-354-3549
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Featuring fashions, furnishings and fabulous funk! Voted stateâ€™s best consignment/resale by Mississippi Magazine.
RIDGELAND 626 Ridgewood Road
STARKVILLE 823b Hwy 12 W
@ Repeat Street Metro Jackson
New Location in Vicksburg 3412 Pemberton Boulevard Phone: 601-631-0700
File Ch. 7 & 13 Bankruptcy for $900 + Federal Filing Fee!
adults in the Jackson metro read us in print or online.
From Traditional to Trendy
Just $400 Down Flexible Payment Plans Available
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Neil B. Snead
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