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VOL 6 ISSUE 29 APRIL 7, 2017

APRIL 7, 2017

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VERNA Unsung Hero!

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APRIL 7, 2017

VOL 6 ISSUE 29

WEEK 6

John Wiley Price Dapheny Fain on trial

IN MEMORIAM 10

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SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER by REV. JESSE JACKSON, SR

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APRIL 7, 2017

DA Candidate Frizell says she will be fair, but tough on crime

Surrounded by family, supporters and friends, Judge Elizabeth Davis Frizell recently announced her decision to run as a Democrat for Dallas County District Attorney. Until her departure from the bench, Frizell was the presiding Judge over Criminal District Court 7 in Dallas County, Texas. A practicing criminal lawyer for over 23 years she has been a judge for 16 years. As Judge of Criminal District Court Seven, Judge Frizell made headlines with an innovative program, the STAR Program, to help women who found themselves on the wrong side of the law. Stressing the importance of putting criminals behind bars, she also talked about other options for the nonviolent offenders. She has also presided over all types of felony cases with punishments ranging from five years to

Supporters and family members gather with Judge Elizabeth Davis Frizell for announcement.

99 years or life. Prior to being elected to District Court, Frizell was elected as Presiding Judge of County Criminal Court 11, a domestic violence court, and appointed by the Dallas City Council to serve as a Judge in the Dallas Municipal Court. In addition to leadership and a passion for public service, Fri-

zell says she brings unparalleled experience in criminal law to the race. Not only does she have significant experience presiding over domestic violence cases, she expressed her profound desire to reduce the burden on the Dallas County criminal justice system. As District Attorney, Judge Frizell said she will tackle progres-

Democratic candidate for Dallas victed, and there are systemic County District Attorney John problems that continue to lead to Creuzot called the Dallas County false convictions today. We need Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) a to put a new emphasis on the CIU. We need to free the "vital justice program innocent and do more to that needs more foprevent false convictions cus and resources" from ever happening. Our and called for several county is a national leadsteps to expand the er on these issues and we program. Founded must continue to lead." during the wave of Creuzot, a former DalDNA exonerations las County felony district in Dallas County, the John Creuzot judge, was personally CIU was the nation's involved in high-profile first such program, and exonerations based on post-conconsisted of a small staff of prosviction DNA testing. He helped ecutors assigned to review cases Charles Chatman secure a new in which individuals claimed they DNA test which led to his exonhad been wrongly convicted. eration after nearly 27 years in "What happened in our counprison, one of the longest known ty and state in the last decade is proof that the system has tragical- wrongful incarcerations in Texas ly failed in some cases," said Creu- history. Creuzot pledged the following zot. "I believe we have the obligation to do what is right. Without changes for the CIU: question there are still people in 1) Expand the staff to a minimum prison who were wrongly con- of three full-time prosecutors, in-

cluding a full-time investigator assigned exclusively to the unit and two full-time legal assistants. 2) Establish policies and procedures creating a "culture of justice" and the independence of the unit, making it clear to the entire District Attorney's Office that: a) the unit reports only to the District Attorney; b) the unit is an integral part of the office tasked with helping all prosecutors focus on doing justice; c) the unit is separate from the appellate/writ section so that the appellate/writ section has no role in CIU case decisions; d) prosecutors who tried or participated in a case being reviewed by the CIU will not play any role in the re-investigation of the case. 3) Widen the jurisdiction of the unit to specifically include internal auditing of cases based on previous findings of error or misconduct, forensic science errors and allegations of prosecutorial

sive issues that no other Dallas County District Attorney has attempted to address, such as mass incarceration, excessive use of the death penalty. “I also want to develop Dallas County’s first Felony Domestic Violence Court,” she said. Frizell earned a BA from Prairie View A&M University and a JD from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Prior to taking the bench, she formed her own law firm where she tried federal cases and criminal, family and juvenile cases at the state level. She is a resident of Dallas, and is married with two teenage children. If you’re interested in learning more about Judge Elizabeth Frizell’s campaign contact 214-2349935.

DA Candidate Creuzot announces plan for Conviction Integrity Unit

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misconduct. 4) Include the unit in office policy discussions and training regarding prosecutors’ Brady obligations to always disclose favorable information and the ethics of modern day prosecution and policing. 5) Create and maintain a transparent reporting system that requires annual reporting of the number and nature of cases reviewed and the outcomes of investigations in order to provide a window for the public to see what the CIU is doing. "I believe these measures are a good starting point that will allow the District Attorney's Office to recognize and accept more quickly when we have simply gotten it wrong, and also allow us to create and adopt policies and procedures on the front end to prevent wrongful convictions from occurring in the first place," Creuzot said.

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I Pray Trumpism Fails!

QUIT PLAYIN’ By Vincent L. Hall

The Reverend Zachariah Alexander John Peter Paul Figures was a typical early 20th century era, fire and brimstone preacher. He could tell you in congruence to the holy writ, who was and who was not going to Heaven. I listened intently every Sunday morning until my grandfather passed, and I was scared as hell. Although the Baptist church only has two ordinances; Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, PaPa performed each while offering rigid instructions. At the Communion table, he would make his usual first Sunday declarative. It was during vesper service and as an educated Black minister he preferred to don British “Morning dress.” Google it!! “For anyone who takes this bread and cup and has “ought” against his brother drinks damnation to his soul.” Now that was cause for some soul searching and my signal to beg forgiveness for a multitude

of sins. That was easy. The hard part was forgiving my enemies. Every 1st Sunday, I earnestly forgive Donald Trump; prior to opening the container that holds a leaven cracker and grape juice…but I pray daily that he fails…miserably. One prayer got answered when “Trump-Care” was shelved before it was fully unveiled. Any plan that takes 24 million people off health care rolls and gives billions to the rich must fail. Greed is the only pre-existing condition that Trump and the GOP endorse. I pray that his new budget; the most horrific and ungodly financial rendering ever devised, fails. Trump’s proposal is that coffers for Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs are fattened by almost 10%. Education, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Labor, Agriculture, and the State Department would lose an average of 20%, and the EPA would be allowed to emaciate. Trump’s scheme to trade Meals on Wheels and after school subsidies for an F-35 fighter is indicative of his “Great America.” And since cyber wars

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are the arsenal of the day, aren’t we more secure by creating computer nerds than by building stealth vehicles that can be disarmed by a few well-studied keystrokes and a wireless mouse? The problem is that the Military Industrial Complex has its mafia, but there is no consigliore for the indigent, the aging and the adolescent population. I hope Trump fails because he continues to bifurcate Americans by race. He asserted himself as the consummate friend to the “forgotten White working class” and says nothing of Blacks, Latinos and women who lag far behind disgruntled Whites in every economic and quality of life indicator. Trump even found a way to divide us on addiction. He laments the newfound rural “opiate epidemic,” without murmuring a sentence about the crack epidemic that poor minority and urban dwellers have been battling since the 1980s. But just so you understand Commandeer Trump, pill poppers don’t just turn to heroin. The “street Committee” in my hood say that America’s

hardcore addicts smoke heroin, meth and crack interchangeably. You can’t save poor White Americans without saving the whole of America. Donald Trump has my forgiveness, but unlike former President Barack Obama, I don’t believe America will fail because Trumpism fails. Adolf Hitler failed and Germany is stronger and democratic. Alabama’s George Wallace failed and civil rights saw a boon. Vladimir Putin will fail and Russia will eventually see its best days. I pray that Trump’s assault on immigrants and especially Muslims and Mexicans fails. I pray that his celebrated insolence and silly tweets fail. I pray that Trump’s attempts to bully his own party fails. I pray for America and I forgive Donald Trump and his obvious demons, but I hope he fails. I followed PaPa Figures’ teachings yesterday in church… I forgave Donald Trump. He ain’t worth adding damnation to the laundry list of sins I actually enjoy and could go to hell for.

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APRIL 7, 2017

Thomas- Melton to receive Unsung Hero Award from Eta Phi Beta Sorority

Verna Thomas Melton, Owner / CEO of Verna’s Ventures LLC, also founder and Director of Verna’s H.E.L.P. Foundation a non- profit 501 (C) (3) organization with four major purposes, is about to be recognized for her longtime service. A Garland resident and longtime advocate for change in DISD, the City of Dallas and the State of Texas, will get the UNSUNG HERO award from the Dallas Epsilon Chapter of the ETA PHI BETA SORORITY INC, on April 15, 2017, noon, at the Omni Resorts 1590 LBJ Freeway, Dallas TX 75234. About Verna Thomas-Melton: She has a documented 42 year track record of Helping the Citizens within Dallas County Thomas-Melton in 2000 was the first African American to be appointed to the Texas Health Care Information Council by Governor / President George Bush. Verna assisted with the implementation of Texas Health Insurance Portability and Accountability

THE FOUNDATION: I- FREE Business Workshops for this year was– Feb. 17, 2017 – ‘ HOW TO DO BUSINESS WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT” at East field College confirmed participants are Nancy N. Alvarez–SBA;    Albert Garza- Director -GSA Small Business; Gregory James, Director UTA Cross Timbers and Dr. David Willis-CEO, Cedar Crest Development Inc. II – The Annual Women Empowerment Prayer breakfast, held each year (from 2013 to present) on the Saturday before Mothers Day weekend. Our goal is to coordinate a multi-ethnic effort of educating and advocating, the Power of Women in Prayer and Faith. While recognizing Dallas’ Most Powerful Living Legends and Influential Women of Faith.

III – An Annual Back to school, “For School Safety”  Give Away, during the month of August (from 2016 to present) - whereas we propose to give away 1,000 - Free Clear Back Backs and Retail Gift Cards, to help Elementary and Middle School students. The Backpacks being a deterrent to stop the gun violence and drugs in our school.  The gift cards are to help with school uniforms, shoes and/or clothing. Last year, 2016 we received help from, Macys “Shop for a Cause” campaign, Target Super Stores and TJ Maxx stores. IV - Our Annual –FREE 2 day Legal Clinic & Job Fair- Clinic attendees are able to discuss one on one with Attorneys and other legal professionals to assist them with questions. For Veterans the HUD-VASH PROGRAM, this stands for Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing.  This Job Fair also include people, which has been incarcerated or with a felony. Our intentions are to help give HOPE and new VISION for a better positive life.

Act (“HIPAA”).which was adopted by the State Legislation. Texas House Bill 300 (HB 300), signed into law by Governor Rick Perry, In 1995 – 1997 Verna served on the Texas Ethics Commission – Advisory Board, appointed by Gov. George Bush with Chairman Al Dillard. While studying and advising on Woman Owned Small Business and Minority Small Business shares of Texas State Spending Goals. On March 1, 1989, Verna Thomas was appointed by President Ronald Regan to the United States Small Business Administration – Region VI – Dallas Advisory Council – to execute and fulfill the duties of said council with all powers and privileges of right appertaining to rules by the Administration of the SBA. In 1984, Verna implemented the Verna’s Thomas H.E.L.P. Foundation, WHEREAS, on Saturday June 15, 1985 they revived the JuneSee VERNA, page 21

VERNAS H.E.L.P. FOUNDATION 3rd “Annual Women's Empowerment Prayer Breakfast - May 6, 2017

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APRIL 7, 2017

They Don’t Just Disappear

By Dr. E. Faye Williams

TriceEdney—If I had to speculate about a common thread that weaves its way through the lives of most of my friends and acquaintances, I’d have to say that filtering through the blizzard of information that inundates us daily is our greatest challenge. “Trump tweeted this…” or “Congress ignored that…” or “Korea launched that…” or “No agreement could be reached…” are among the many and varied refrains frequently heard from the media. The truth is that when considering the daily deluge of information it’s difficult to prioritize or determine which issues are worthy of our attention and concern. So is life in the era of Trump. I am, however, certain of two things: 1. There’re some issues far more important than Trump and the conduct of his minions; and, 2. There’s nothing more important than the care and nurturing of our children – our next generation. In the midst of all the confusion surrounding Presidential conduct, Cabinet selections, Health Care and the myriad of events that cascade upon us, we must stop and ask ourselves an immediate question, “What is happening to our children and where have they gone?” Far from being isolated to Washington DC, my current location, Black children and other children of color are going missing at a rate

that can only be described as alarming. Admittedly, from my perspective, to have any child missing is an alarming event, but the Metro DC area has been plagued with a surge of missing children in the past weeks and months. This is unacceptable under any circumstance, but the lack of attention and coverage by the media makes this bad matter even worse. The lack of media focus on matters critical to communities of color is hardly new. I surmise that to be the reason I have not seen appropriate media attention, commensurate with my concern about African American and Latina girls/ young women, given their growing number of missing. Of course, many will, and have already argued that many of those labeled as missing are merely runaways. Most certainly, there is data that gives partial support to this reasoning, but we cannot ere with a false assurance that this explanation is supportive of the fact of a general trend. Few overtly condone slavery of any kind, sex slavery specifically or human trafficking in any form, but by failing to acknowledge their possibility we do poor respective communities and any possible victims incalculable harm. As long as we cannot overlook the rapid growth of a sex slavery/human trafficking industry in our nation, we cannot afford to deny the possibility that any of our missing children have fallen victim to this burgeoning criminal enter-

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prise. What we do know is: The US State Department estimates that 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year. Of the estimated $150 Billion world-wide income from human trafficking, an estimated $99 B is attributable world-wide to sex trafficking and, arguably, $9.5 B are earned in the US annually. 80% of human trafficking involves sexual exploitation; 19% involves forced labor. 80% of those trafficked are female and half are children. Trafficking is characterized by exploitation that includes forced prostitution, involuntary servitude and the creation of pornography or commercial sexual exploitation. The US Department of Health & Human Services estimates that between 240,000 and 325,000 American children and youth are at risk for sex trafficking each year. The average age of teens entering the US sex trade is 12 – 14. The facts related to sex slavery and human trafficking are far too wide-ranging to discuss in a brief column, but the mere chance that any of our children could be trapped in that cycle of despair requires our thorough investigation of the circumstances of those who go missing. Dr. E. Faye Williams can be reached at: 202/678-6788; or at: www.nationalcongressbw. org

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Community Calendar

The Dallas Art Fair ninth edition of the fair will take place from April 6 through April 9 at the Fashion Industry Gallery (F.I.G.). SPECIAL EXHIBIT - FILMING THE CAMPS: FROM HOLLYWOOD TO NUREMBERG Features the work of three filmmakers: John Ford, Samuel Fuller, and George Stevens. It explores the filmmakers’ experiences during and after World War II, the footage they captured of Nazi atrocities, and the impact the war had on their careers. At Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance 211 N. Record Street Suite 100 Dallas, TX 75202 from 9:30 AM -5:00 PM

APRIL 7, 2017

and students, families and young professionals, workers and employers, public servants and business owners. from 1PM-

edge of your seat until the very end. April 27 - May 20 Previews: April 27, 28, 29 (matinee) Opening Night: April 29 Regional Premiere Adult language & subject matter

April 13

Creative Corrections Education Foundation, Second scholarship Fundraiser featuring ret. Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown honoring April 22 April 8 Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens & LIT President Dr. Lonnie Texas State Representative Yvonne Howard at 6:30PM, Beaumont Civic The South Dallas Business and Professional Women’s Club annual V. Davis will serve as Mistress of Center, $75. For more information Alyce Foster Trailblazers Luncheon Ceremonies for the 2017 African www.ccefscholarships.org at the Hilton Anatole, 12 p.m. American Education Hall of Fame Program and Luncheon on Saturday, April 8 at noon. The event will April 15 April 27 be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, 800 N. Main Street, Duncanville, Verna ThomRasheeda Speaking by Joel Drake Texas as-Melton, a Johnson Garland resident Circle Theatre in Fort Worth and longtime Psychological thriller, pits two The Congressional Award Founadvocate for co-workers against another, when dation’s change in DISD, one receives a promotion to 2017 Texas Statewide Ceremony the City of Dallas monitor the other. Office politics, · Congresswoman Eddie Berand the State of fueled by racial contention, creates nice Johnson, Texas’ 30th CongresTexas, will get a battle to control the workplace. sional District the UNSUNG HERO award from the This chilling, dark comedy blends · Dr. Michael J. Sorrell, PresiDallas Epsilon Chapter of the ETA the realities of racism, superiority, dent of Paul Quinn College PHI BETA SORORITY INC, at the and friendship to keep you on the · SMU Dignitaries Omni Resorts 1590 LBJ Freeway, WHAT: Dallas TX 75234. The Congressional Award, 2017 Texas Statewide Ceremony 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. CST. Southern Methodist University – Meadows School of Art Owens Art Center (Caruth Auditorium),6101 Bishop Boulevard Dallas, TX 75205

The Spring Celebration Series May 19-21, 2017 marks the close of Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s 40th Anniversary season . The series features guest artists from Ballet Austin performing a work by their Artistic Director Stephen Mills. SEND YO UR CALENDAR ITEMS TO US AT

Media interested in attending should RSVP to Chad.Pendarves@ mail.house.gov for location details. Television cameras must be preset by 1:30 p.m. CST.

April 9 2017 Dallas Mega March The city will come together to bring hope to the most vulnerable, help break barriers and build bridges between people from all walks of life that want to help, that want to stand together. Educators

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April 21 Celebrating 30 years of Williams Chicken

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APRIL 7, 2017

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Chuck Berry was one of the most influential rock ‘n’ roll performers in music history. He’s known for songs including “Maybellene” and “Johnny B. GoodeBorn on October 18, 1926, in St. Louis, Missouri, Chuck Berry had early exposure to music at school and church. As a teen, he was sent to prison for three years for armed robbery. He began producing hits in the 1950s, including 1958’s “Johnny B. Goode,” and had his first No. 1 hit in 1972 with “My Ding-a-Ling.” With his clever lyrics and distinctive sounds, Berry became one of the most influential figures in the history of rock music. Berry died on March 18, 2017 at the age of 90. Considered by many as the “father of rock ‘n’ roll,” Chuck Berry was born Charles Anderson Edward Berry on October 18, 1926, in St. Louis, Missouri. His parents, Martha and Henry Berry, were the grandchildren of slaves, and are among the many African Americans who migrated from the rural South to St. Louis in search of employment during the World War I era. Martha Berry was one of the few black women of her generation to gain a college education, and Henry Berry was an industrious carpenter as well as a deacon at the Antioch Baptist Church. At the time of Chuck Berry’s birth, St. Louis was a sharply segregated city. He grew up in a north St. Louis neighborhood called the Ville—a self-contained middle-class black community that was a haven for black-owned businesses and institutions. The neighborhood was so segregated that Berry had never even encountered a white person until the age of three, when he saw several white firemen putting out a fire. ‘’I thought they were so frightened that their faces were whitened from fear of going near the big fire,’’ he once recalled. ‘’Daddy told me they were white people, and their skin was always white that way, day or night.” The fourth of six children, Berry pursued a variety of interests and hobbies as a child. He enjoyed doing carpentry work for his father and learned photography from his uncle, Harry Davis, a professional photographer. Berry also grew into something of a troublemaker in high school. He was uninterested in his studies and felt constrained by the strict decorum and discipline. In 1944, at the age of 17, Berry and two friends dropped out of high school and set off on an

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APRIL 7, 2017 impromptu road trip to California. They had gone no farther than Kansas City when they came across a pistol abandoned in a parking lot and, seized by a terrible fit of youth-

with Chess Records. A few weeks later, Berry wrote and recorded a song called “Maybellene” and took it to the executives at Chess. They immediately offered him a contract; within

ful misjudgment, decided to go on a robbing spree. Brandishing the pistol, they robbed a bakery, a clothing store and a barbershop, then stole a car before being arrested by highway patrolmen. The three young men received the maximum penalty—10 years in jail—despite being minors and first-time offenders. Berry served three years in the Intermediate Reformatory for Young Men outside of Jefferson, Missouri, before gaining release on good behavior on October 18, 1947, which was his 21st birthday. He returned to St. Louis, where he worked for his father’s construction business and part-time as a photographer and as a janitor at a local auto plant. In 1948, Berry married Themetta “Toddy” Suggs, with whom he would eventually have four children. He also took up the guitar again when, in 1951, his former high school classmate Tommy Stevens invited him to join his band. They played at local black nightclubs in St. Louis, and Berry quickly developed a reputation for his lively showmanship. At the end of 1952, he met Jonnie Johnson, a local jazz pianist, and joined his band, the Sir John’s Trio. Berry revitalized the band and introduced upbeat country numbers into the band’s repertoire of jazz and pop music. They played at the Cosmopolitan, an upscale black nightclub in East St. Louis, which began attracting white patrons. In the mid-1950s, Berry began taking road trips to Chicago, the Midwest capital of black music, in search of a record contract. Early in 1955, he met the legendary blues musician Muddy Waters, who suggested that Berry go meet

months, “Maybellene” had reached No. 1 on the R&B charts and No. 5 on the pop charts. With its unique blend of a rhythm and blues beat, country guitar licks and the flavor of Chicago blues and narrative storytelling, many music historians consider “Maybellene” the first true rock ‘n’ roll song. Berry quickly followed with a slew of other unique singles that continued to carve out the new genre of rock ‘n’ roll: “Roll Over, Beethoven,”“Too Much Monkey Business” and “Brown-Eyed Handsome Man,” among others. Berry managed to achieve crossover appeal with white youths without alienating his black fans by mixing blues and R&B sounds with storytelling that spoke to the universal themes of youth. In the late 1950s, songs such as “Johnny B. Goode,” “Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Carol” all managed to crack the Top 10 of the pop charts by achieving equal popularity with youths on both sides of the racial divide. “I made records for people who would buy them,” Berry said. “No color, no ethnic, no political—I don’t want that, never did.’’ Berry’s soaring music career was derailed again in 1961 when he was convicted under the Mann Act of illegally transporting a woman across state lines for “immoral purposes.” Three years earlier, in 1958, Berry had opened Club Bandstand in the predominantly white business district of downtown St. Louis. The next year, while traveling in Mexico, he had met a 14-year-old waitress—and sometimes prostitute—and brought her back to St. Louis to work at his club. However, he fired her only weeks later, and when she was then arrested for prostitution, charges were pressed against Berry that ended with him

spending yet another 20 months in jail. When Berry was released from prison in 1963, he picked up right where he left off, writing and recording popular and innovative songs. His 1960s hits include “Nadine,” “You Can Never Tell,” Promised Land” and “Dear Dad.” Nevertheless, Berry was never the same man after his second stint in prison. Carl Perkins, his friend and partner on a 1964 British concert tour, observed, “Never saw a man so changed. He had been an easygoing guy before, the kinda guy who’d jam in dressing rooms, sit and swap licks and jokes. In England he was cold, real distant and bitter. It wasn’t just jail, it was those years of one-nighters, grinding it out like that can kill a man, but I figure it was mostly jail.” Berry released one of his last albums of original music, Rock It, to fairly positive reviews in 1979. While Berry continued to perform into the 1990s, he would never recapture the magnetic energy and originality that had first catapulted him to fame during the ‘50s and ‘60s. Berry still remains one of the genre's most influential musicians. In 1985, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. A year later, in 1986, he became the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's first inductee. Perhaps the best measure of Berry's influence is the extent to which other popular artists have copied his work. The Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles have all covered various Chuck Berry songs, and Berry's influences—both subtle and profound—pervade all of their music. Introducing Berry at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones said, "It's very difficult for me to talk about Chuck Berry 'cause I've lifted every lick he ever played. This is the man that started it all!" On his 90th birthday in October, the music legend announced that he had plans to release a new album dedicated to Themetta, whom he called Toddy, his wife of 68 years. "This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy," he said in a statement. "My darlin', I'm growing old! I've worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!" Berry died on March 18, 2017 at the age of 90. He is remembered as a founding father of rock 'n' roll, whose pioneering career influenced generations of musicians.

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APRIL 7, 2017

NABJ Mourns the Passing of Founder Claude Lewis Roger Wilkins, First Black Assistant Attorney General and Pulitzer Winner, Dead at 85 by: J. K. Schmid Special to the AFRO Roger Wilkins, the first Black assistant attorney general, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a professor at George Mason University, died in Kensington, Md. on March 26 from complications of dementia. He was 85 years old. Wilkins was born in Kansas City but grew up in Michigan, where he attended the University of Michigan. While in attendance, Wilkins interned with the NAACP and served as president of the University of Michigan’s local NAACP chapter. He was an officer in his student government and was elected president of his graduating class by his fellow seniors. As previously reported in the AFRO, at the time, the University of Michigan’s student population was less than .001 percent “colored.” After graduation, Wilkins worked as a welfare lawyer before joining the Johnson Administration as a director of Community Relations Service. When the Community Relations Service was moved to the Department of Justice, Wilkins became an assistant attorney general. At the conclusion of the Johnson Administration, Wilkins joined the Ford Foundation and then quickly moved on to the editorial staff of The Washington Post. As a Post columnist, Wilkins, reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, and cartoonist Herbert Lawrence “Herblock” Block shared the 1973 Pulitzer prize in public service for their coverage of the Watergate scandal that ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Wilkins was publisher of the NAACP journal The Crisis, a magazine founded and originally edited by W. E. B. Du Bois. His uncle, Roy Wilkins, was an eminent name in civil rights and the NAACP. The elder Wilkins had taken over from Du Bois as an editor and had served the NAACP as executive secretary and executive director. Wilkins was born March 25, 1932; he died one day after his 85th birthday. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Patricia A. King; two daughters, Amy and Elizabeth Wilkins; a son, David Wilkins; two half sisters; and two grandsons.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the passing of NABJ Founder Claude Lewis, also a founder of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ). Lewis died Thursday morning at his home in New Jersey, according to his grandson Judah Wilson. He was 82. Lewis was a highly respected journalist and mentor to many journalists. Born and raised in the Bronx, he attended New York City public schools and graduated from City College with a degree in English. Lewis worked as an editor and reporter for newspapers and magazines, such as Newsweek, New York Herald Tribune, and The Philadelphia Bulletin. He taught at Villanova University and also wrote a column for The Bulletin until it folded in 1982. Later, Lewis wrote a syndicated column for The Philadelphia Inquirer. “This is a very sad day. Claude was a great mentor for me at The Bulletin. He always had time to talk with a young journalist trying to navigate the newsroom. He was the calm spirit that guided many of us,” said former colleague and NABJ Founder Sandra Dawson Long Weaver. Known as one of the “original three,” Lewis along with fellow Philadelphia journalists Chuck Stone and Acel Moore laid the groundwork for and later founded the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ) in 1973. Lewis and many of PABJ’s early members contributed to the formation of NABJ in 1975 in Washington, D.C. “Founder Claude Lewis was a gentle giant and kind soul whose passion for equality and equal opportunity can be seen in his columns and life’s work. He had a personal impact on the trajectory of many NABJ members, myself included, showing us all the way,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover. “Claude lives on in all of us. I thank him for instilling in me, and my peers, a deep level of tenacity and commitment to the cause,” Glover added. Lewis had an extensive career in broadcasting, writing and producing various TV specials and documentaries with NBC and Westinghouse Broadcasting. In 1982, he founded the nation’s first national African-American Newspaper, The National Leader. NABJ Founder Joe Davidson worked with Lewis at The National Leader and first met him when both worked at The Philadelphia Bulletin. “Claude was an important force in journalism

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in the 1970s. He meant a lot to me personally and to a lot of black journalists professionally,” Davidson said. “He lured me away from The Inquirer to work as managing editor at The Leader. It was an opportunity to serve the black community with high quality journalism. I was really proud of the work we did together on that newspaper,” Davidson added. Lewis covered the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, meeting and interviewing such icons as Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1968, Lewis left a meeting in Philadelphia to join the King family in Memphis immediately after receiving the news that King was shot. “Claude was a journalist miles ahead of his time, and he achieved recognition long before many recognized him,” said NABJ Founder Paul Brock. Former NABJ President Vanessa Williams, a national reporter with The Washington Post, remembers Lewis fondly. “I remember Claude as a friendly and encouraging colleague when we worked together at the Philadelphia Inquirer. His door was always open and he didn’t hesitate to share his contacts, expertise and advice to young journalists. He and Acel were like these twin towers of black journalism excellence in Philly. “

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Ask Alma: Dear Alma,

I’m a single mother supporting my three children with no help by Alma Gill NNPA News Wire from my ex-husband. Columnist I am thankful to Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various have a great job that roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington I like very much. I Post. Email questions to: alwaysaskalma@gmail. referred my BFF’s com. Follow her on Faceto book at “Ask Alma” and husband Twitter @almaaskalma. the company who has since become a regular employee and he is very happy here as well. Once you pass the 90 day probation, the employee who referred you is given a referral bonus. My friend’s husband recently approached me and said boldly in my face that he expects me to split the money with him. Needless to say, I was shocked. My BFF has a full time job and they know it’s just me caring for my kids. I’m not sure how to handle him and maintain our friendship. What should I do? Unsigned

APRIL 7, 2017

You owe me half! this morning? LOL. Now, double, double-check the conversations between the two of you, replaying them in your mind’s eye. Did you fist bump on an agreement in advance? You know how it goes when you’re fast talking, excited and all. For example, when discussing

That’s kool, I understand. This incident isn’t a reason for this friendship to be shaken. If anything, he’s trying to take advantage of the relationship. Because he is your BFF’s husband, dismiss him. You owe him nothing! Don’t allow him to manipulate and get you all in a tizzy. Stand tall, shoulders straight, pumps pointed forward, ready to deal with him directly. Say it once, you don’t even need to practice. This should come off as sweet as pineapple pie. Repeat after me “I’m not splitting any money with you.” That’s it, don’t ever discuss it again. You don’t owe him a reason, excuse or justification for your response. Nope, nada, nothing. Let me remind you that in this economy, jobs are tough to come by. The best reference anyone can have is an employee, who’s a friend that already works for the company. His act of appreciation should be nothing more than, “Thank you for helping me get a job,” cause that my friend, is priceless. Alma

Seems to me, you feel like you’re caught between a rock (your BFF) and a hard place (her husband), not wanting to disturb the friendship. That’s kool, I understand.

Dear Unsigned,

the vacancy, did you jokingly say, “If you get hired, I’ll split the bonus with you.” That’s the only reason I can see him expecting a few coins heading his way. In all honesty, I don’t get the feeling that’s what happened here. You didn’t mention it did, in your very detailed email.

Double-check your forehead. Did Seems to me, you feel like you’re you miss seeing “sucker” tattooed caught between a rock (your BFF) between your eyebrows when you and a hard place (her husband), not washed the sleep from your eyes wanting to disturb the friendship.

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34 Year Resident of Garland First MLK Parade in Garland honoring Retired DISD Science Teacher Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Junior College – High School – Middle School Small Business Owner Precinct Chair Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Garland NAACP President 1990 – 1996 BS – Stillman College, Biology/Chemistry First Paid AA Writer for The Garland News MS – Tuskegee Institute, Cytology Featured in the defunct Garland News “Lifestyles,” Administration Certification, UNT “Suburban Woman” & “32nd Club Guide” Numerous educational awards & licenses First GNAACP Freedom Fund Banquet Mother of 1 handsome son; & 1 lovely daughter Secured the first GISD School named after Grandmother of 8 grandchildren an AA, “Vernal Lister Elementary” We Matter • We Count • We Vote WWW.MYIMESSENGER.COM

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DFW-ABJ

college students. For more information or to apply, log on to www. dfwabj.com

URBAN JOURNALISM WORKSHOP APPLICATIONS

Applications must be returned to: DFW/ABJ c/o Cheryl Smith 320 South RL Thornton Freeway, Suite 220 Dallas, TX 75203

The Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Journalists (formerly the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Communicators) will present its 28th annual Urban Journalism Workshop for high school and

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“Dallas” Stars Wow Real-Life Dallas Audience

By Dorothy Gentry

Fans of the iconic television series Dallas were treated to a surprisingly funny, humorous and poignant evening recently during A DALLAS Retrospective: JR Ewing Bourbon presents Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Stars Linda Gray (who played Sue Ellen, ruthless oil baron J.R. Ewing’s long-suffering alcoholic wife) and Patrick Duffy (J.R.’s dogood, younger brother) shared tales of inside stories, on-and-off set anecdotes, as well as memories of the late Larry Hagman who created the larger-than-life character, J.R. Ewing. After 11 years as the number 1 show on television, “Dallas” returned to TNT in 2012 and ran for 3 successful seasons. To many fans and stars shock, surprise and disappointment, the TNT show was cancelled leaving a plethora of unanswered questions and unfinished story lines. “To cancel it like that left so many things undone,” said Duffy. Gray agreed. “I travel a lot and fans everywhere say the same thing: ‘Why did we leave everything so unfinished. What a disrespectful thing to do. If TNT had only had a little bit of respect for the audience and said you’re never going to see these characters again. Moderated by Robert Wilonsky, The Dallas Morning News City Columnist, a full house listened to Gray and Duffy discuss their respective careers and the effect the popular television show had on Dallas and the world. Gray said many people thought the show would fall apart after the real-life death of Hagman and therefore the death of his onscreen character JR. “The show continued and it was just as powerful,” she said as the characters

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defined themselves away from J.R. Duffy mentioned Josh Henderson (who played John Ross, J.R.’s son) Jesse Metcalfe (who played Duffy’s son Christopher) and Jordanna Brewster (who played both John Ross’ and Chris’ love interest) as a team of young starts that helped the TNT revival of Dallas

home of the Ewing’s in Parker, Texas. Audience members were treated to JR’s funeral scene from the TNT Dallas series where Sue Ellen talked about JR being “the great love of my life.” Gray, who called Hagman her "best friend for 35 years,” and who was at his bedside when he died said, "He was

become so popular. “The younger cast members didn’t get the chance to show their potential. I was very disappointed in that,” Duffy said. Wilonsky said, “You had taken such possession of the characters and to not be able to say a proper farewell to them is extraordinarily disrespectful for you, for them, for everybody, for all of us.” Hagman, who died in 2012 at the age of 81 in Dallas, was cremated and his ashes were scattered at the Southfork Ranch, the on-set

the Pied Piper of life and brought joy to everyone he knew. He was creative, generous, funny, loving and talented and I will miss him enormously. He was an original and lived life to the fullest.” Duffty was also at his bedside when he died. “I lost one of the greatest friends ever to grace my life. The loneliness is only what is difficult, as Larry’s peace and comfort is always what is important to me, now as when he was here. He was a fighter in the gentlest way, against his obsta-

cles and for his friends. I wear his friendship with honor." Gray’s award winning portrayal of Sue Ellen brought her international fame and critical acclaim earning her an Emmy nomination for Best Actress and numerous International awards. Duffy’s tremendous worldwide audience appeal was gained through three highly successful series. Starting with "Man From Atlantis," then his 13 years starring as Bobby on "Dallas" (including the unprecedented ‘dream season’ which he is brought back from the dead in the famous shower scene), and finally in seven seasons of the popular halfhour situation comedy "Step by Step", Patrick has consistently been an audience favorite. The AT&T Performing Arts Center is a nonprofit foundation that operates and programs a 10-acre campus comprised of three premier performance venues and a park in downtown Dallas. Opening in October 2009, the Center has helped complete the 30-year vision of the Dallas Arts District. The event was sponsored by J.R. Ewing Bourbon, a nationally-distributed bourbon brand conceived and based in Dallas. It is a partnership between Warner Bros. Consumer Products in collaboration with Southfork Bottling Company. Bottled in J.R. Ewing's home state of Texas, the 80-proof light amber-colored bourbon is currently distributed in 34 states, and will continue to expand toward full national distribution. Plans for international distribution are in development as well. The brand is marketed to distributors around the United States by Southwest Spirits & Wine, a national wine and spirits marketing company, and internationally by Melchers Group, a producer and exporter.

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TICKETS $16

PURCHASE TICKETS AT WWW.TRIPLEDCPRODUCTIONS.COM WWW.MYIMESSENGER.COM

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After the Smoke Clears, What Comes Next?

FROM THE HILL

by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

March 24, 2017, was momentous in the House of Representatives. After more than seven years of railing against the Affordable Care Act, and after months of talk to repeal and replace, House Republicans prepared to finally bring their health care bill to the floor for a vote. As proposed, this bill would have caused 24 million Americans to lose coverage over ten years, while giving upwards of $600 billion in tax breaks to the rich and large corporations. Young adults would have been hit with a penalty provision for lapses in coverage, placing a heavy new burden on individuals most likely to face a brief lapse in coverage when changing jobs or moving. Middle aged Americans and seniors would have faced premiums five times higher than what younger Americans pay for health coverage. Simply put, this bill would have forced Americans to pay much more for far less cov-

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erage. Due to overwhelming opposition from constituencies on both sides of the aisle, the bill was eventually pulled from a vote on the House floor. That alone is a victory for the American people, who let their voices be heard from my district and across the country. However, we are now left with the question of “What’s next?” What lies ahead for the Affordable Care Act and health care reform in general? The defeat of TrumpCare, and the resounding manner in which it was defeated could provide a unique opportunity to galvanize our own ranks and move forward to further improve our system in a bipartisan manner. Democrats have always been ready to work across the aisle to improve and update the Affordable Care Act; we are willing to embark on a bipartisan approach to addressing the health care needs of our nation. I strongly believe that every state should expand Medicaid and provide affordable coverage to our most vulnerable citizens: seniors, the disabled and low-income individuals. I encourage all citizens to continue to share their ACA success stories and influence the debate by calling their Members of Congress

wherever you live. Your calls do matter. The same voices that weighed in against an assault on hard-working Americans’ health care will be the same ones that play a substantial role in molding a system that best suits their needs moving forward. It is unfortunate that for seven long years a fanatical insistence on repeal wasted so much time, money, and manpower, which could have all been utilized to establish the improvements that our health care system needs. However, the lesson learned is that when sweeping social policy does pass, and improves lives, it becomes even harder to dismantle than it was to create. Our current health care system has shortcomings and there are issues that still must be addressed. However, party loyalty should not overcome good policy. No American should be forced to miss the opportunity to have quality and affordable health insurance simply because of political posturing. Together we can continue to build upon the strong foundation of the Affordable Care Act and further increase coverage, improve benefits and lower health care costs for all Americans.

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Verna honored, continued from page 6 teenth Celebration in Kiest Park with more than 20,000 celebrated without any incident. September 9, 1985 Dallas 1st No Crime Day, with a Replace Black on Black Crime with Black on Black LoveCampaign In 1982 as Director of the Judy Lott Community Center, they were forced to help and house a family with five children, by allowing them to stay in the Judy Lott Center. Neither Salvation Army nor YMCA would allow families in shelter. Knowing Mayor Annette Strauss, she sparked the interest for a change for Dallas and the late Mayor Annette Strauss took our documentation and implemented Dallas’ First 24 hour emergency shelter that exists today to help house families. In 1981 Recommended by Congressman Jim Mattox and Approved by the US Dept. of Agriculture Chairman, Sam Cornelius. The Judy Lott CDC was chosen to store and disperse the US Government Surplus Cheese and Butter to document and help the needy within Dallas County. She along with the late Albert Lipscomb gave away for two years free cheese and butter to help with the documentation of the hunger need in Dallas. She and then-Asst Director, Albert Lipscomb worked with other board members and advisory members as the late, MT”Buddy “Minyard, Annett Strauss, Stark Taylor and Jack Evans. With their help, with documentation to the Grocery Owners meetings at Cullem Companies helped with the Implementation of Dallas’ 1st North Texas Food Bank. Thomas-Melton, in 1979 founded the Judy Lott Community Center where she volunteered her time and efforts toward raising monies toward helping the center and all programs it imple-

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mented in aiding the needy of our community. Whereas, Mayor Jack Evans on February 13, 1983 proclaimed, that day as “Verna Thomas Day”. In 1975 – 1977, Verna worked with the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Directors in the erection of the First Bronze Statue of Martin Luther King Jr. in Dallas, Texas, which was unveiled July 3, 1976. On January 15, 1977 she was presented an appreciation award from the Board of Directors. On July 9, 2016 she was presented an appreciation certificate for the 40 year Celebration of the Martin Luther King Statue by the Board of Directors. In 1969 - 1975, she started her career in 1969 working in Data Processing for 10 years until she took a stand in 1975 for the rights of all students in DISD Implementation of a Special Education Program called Plan A. Her stand changed the Special Education Program throughout the State of Texas and her career. In Newspaper Headlines DISD Superintendent admitted over 5,000 Young Black Males had been misplaced in DISD Special Education. Thomas-Melton is a native of Fort Worth, TX. She married at age 19, the late - Mr. Luellen Thomas Jr. after moving to Dallas and was married for 20 years. She married Mr. Arthur R. Melton in August 1989, married for 27 years; they are parents of two sons, 1 daughter and five grandchildren. Verna received an Associate Arts Degree in Data Processing from TCJC and Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from TWU.

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Do you know this man? Come on PEOPLE! Don’t you CARE? Will it matter when it is your sister, mother, aunt or grandmother or maybe YOU? POLICE notnot apprehended “Pookie” the serial rapist. POLICEhave have apprehended “Pookie” the serial We know he hashe attacked members of Delta Sigma rapist. We know has attacked members of Delta Theta Sorority, and there a $5,000 offered Sigma ThetaInc. Sorority, Inc.isand therereward is a $5,000 by CrimebyStoppers. reward offered Crime Stoppers.

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