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When pundits discuss America’s still too high unemployment rate, they usually tell stories of individuals with impressive work histories and college degrees who are having a hard time finding a job after being downsized. Or, they relate tales of former manufacturing employees lost in our new, more techdriven economy. Rarely does anyone share the plight of the more than 65 million Americans with some sort of criminal past who have a hard time finding work. We need to talk about this population more often and come up with solutions to help them secure employment. The reality is that more and more people with criminal histories are trying to enter the work force but failed background checks keep thousands of people from getting hired, some for offenses that are decades old and as minor as disorderly conduct, drinking and having too much fun in the street with friends. Some of those being denied work have never been convicted of a crime, only arrested. Every year, more than 700,000 people are released from state and federal pris-

ons: they all need to find work so that they may support themselves and their families, so frustration and desperation don’t force them to return to a life of crime. There are no federal laws that protect individuals with a criminal past from being discriminated against by employers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, however, does suggest that employers take in account the severity of the offense, the amount of time that has passed since the crime

was committed and how the crime relates to the position being applied for. We need more than EEOC guidelines. There has to be a conscious effort by the business community to weed out practices that discriminate against ex-offenders. Most accept that some with a criminal past will not be able to work in certain sectors; for example, a child predator cannot work with children. But there are countless other positions this individual can hold that won’t present a

danger to society. Employers also need to understand that, just because someone committed a crime once does not mean they’ll do it again. Current hiring practices are locking millions out of the work force. This discrimination not only hurts the individuals in question, it damages America’s long-term economic health. We’re losing millions of workers and need to help keep our country moving forward.

high schools in going to the bus terminal in Jackson and boldly entering the white waiting room, refusing to leave. They were all arrested and jailed, as police were locking up freedom riders coming into the state. Who were the Freedom Riders? What did they do and why? In his new memoir, Autobiography of a Freedom Rider: My Life as a Foot Soldier for Civil Rights, by Thomas Armstrong and Natalie Bell, Thomas Armstrong tells what it was like to confront the system of laws under which he was young mind was formed, in one of the most restrictive for blacks in the South in the 1950s. The experience had him running for his life. But for the warning he received from his father’s white business friend, he probably

would not have survived. The 69-year old retired civil service worker currently lives in the Chicago suburb of Naperville. He grew up in South Central Mississippi, in the all-black Lucas community, near Prentiss in Jefferson Davis County. He graduated from the historic Prentiss Normal and Industrial Institute in 1958, and went on to Tougaloo College where he became a committed civil rights worker under Medgar Evers (1958-1963). He rarely talked about his experience in the movement until recent years, after the files of the now defunct Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission were made public and family members urged him to tell his story. He’s telling his story now in the hope that

FREEDOM RIDERS Police photo taken of Armstrong following his arrest on June 23, 1961. HOUSTON STYLE MAGAZINE

As Mississippi prepared to honor the 1961 Freedom Riders at the 50th anniversary of the movement that changed America forever, one among the returning was Thomas Armstrong, the first to join the Rides in his native Mississippi. Armstrong led more than 30 students from Tougaloo College, Jackson State University and local

Garland Journal News

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Ask Gwendolyn, News, Issues, Perspectives and Editorials


Kaiser Street Missionary Baptist Church in Garland will formally install their new pastor, Milton L. Doyle on Sun., June 26th at a 3:00 pm service. Doyle, who hails from St. Louis, Missouri and says he knew at a very young age that God had called him to serve as a minister. “It was very apparent to me that I had a special call in my life to serve Christ through the church,” Doyle says. “I was in love with the church since I was a toddler and even had my first sermon at the age of 16. When it comes to ministry I like to say, "'For this cause came I into the world.'”

Doyle has been involved in ministry for 23 years. Currently, he is completing his Masters in Education at Concordia University and also has a background in education. Pastor Doyle is a family man as well. “I am a native of St. Louis, Mo and only recently relocated to Texas (Please don’t hold this against me, LOL),” he said. “I am however, happily married, to a beautiful native, Texan woman, whom I call the Queen of Dreams. We have four teenage children. I am a certified teacher and completing my M.Ed. I love to laugh and have fun.” Doyle said he loves

what he does because of the impact he can have in the community. “There is only one job opening in the kingdom of God and that is a servant,” Doyle says. “It is when we serve that we are most like Christ and as Christians this should be our ultimate goal.” There are many goals he would like to accomplish as Kaiser Baptist Church’s new pastor. “My goals are many and we are well on our way towards achievement. First and foremost, I want us to continue to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and be living examples of God’s grace and mercy. Secondly, I would like us to be known as “one church with many generations. I currently am

privileged to pastor families with three generations in attendance. This is important to me because I believe the family is the basic unit of any church and better family life leads to more effective churches. If you’re looking for something old and something new, KSMBC has you covered.” “Also, I am determined that Kaiser Street MB Church will not be a “weekends only” church. Too often believers assemble to worship, but they fail to meet the needs of their surrounding community. I believe church should be much more than just people gathering once a week at 11 am. There are Continued Page 10

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K AESNDOLYN S! E GW N I BA MY FIANCÉ CALLED ME FAT! Dear Gwendolyn: I was released from the hospital two weeks ago for starvation. This is the problem: Me and my fiancé set our wedding date for early fall. During the wedding planning I gained about 40 pounds. Now my fiancé wants to call off the wedding until I lose at least 50 lbs. I love him but I feel he should not put so much pressure on me. I don’t want to come down the aisle in a plus size gown, but something just doesn’t seem right for him to suggest it. What should I do? Martha

Dear Martha: I agree it is an odd request coming from the groom. You need to take his remarks seriously. There is a possibility you are marrying a vain man. Men who put looks first do not make good husbands. However, another way to view his request is to be glad he is not pretending things are okay - and after the wedding make for you a life of misery. Lose the weight for health reasons and not primarily for a small sized gown. Let me tell you this: Men are always thinking they will keep their body build. More than married women married men develop what is called “beer belly.” They no longer have to concern themselves with baldness because baldness is style. Just as he is looking at you set your eyes on him - I mean really look at him. Think about it. When a man is truly in love with a woman, he takes her short or tall --- big or small.

***Do you have a son or grandson age 10-17? Help him to choose college not jail. Order DECISIONS In The Life Of A Growing Male Youth. For ordering information write to Gwendolyn Baines at: P. O. Box 10066, Raleigh, NC 27605-0066 (to receive a reply send a self-addressed stamped envelope) or email her at: or visit her website at:

June 15-30, 2011

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News, local houses of worship

For as the body is one, and has many members. And all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: So also is Christ. 1Corin. 12:18

Spiritual Encouragement

y b Ru ANT GR


FREEDOM TO WORSHIP Thank God for Freedom to express our opinions and beliefs. When our freedom is threatened we become very concerned because if we lose our freedom to worship we lose everything that matters. And, the black culture has come to highly value our freedom to worship, speak and teach. Our not-to-distant ancestors knew what it meant to not have freedom. The 1980’s generation only read about it and some of the 1960’s, 50’s, 40’s, 30’s and 20’s generation members still remember walking in the back doors of restaurants and other public places. And many of them are passing away. So this generation has to grasp and hold too what we were taught. We must appreciate our freedom to worship and cherish it. We are also blessed to worship in spirit and in truth here in a America. We are fortunate to be able to go and sit in any church and synagogue without being placed in jail or tormented in any way for our beliefs. I thank God for the opportunity to worship and learn of him and his beloved son. By God’s grace we are living off the sacrifice of Jesus’ blood which was shed on Calvary. With the unwavering mercies of the living God let us pray for the State of Texas and United States of America. Lets Pray Now; Lord we thank you for the opportunity to live in a free country and we pray for our government that you give wisdom from above, to every senator and congressman. Bring peace to the legislature and the state capitol. We pray for our military and that you give wisdom to our generals and admirals. By your grace God do each soldier walk and talk. We pray for peace in the Israel, America and Middle East. May your perfect will be done for our state and country. And in your Holy Name we pray Amen. “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:23-24

Shawnnice, a graduate of Garland High School and daughter of Darry and Shawnda Davis.

GARLAND- The Baptist General Convention of Texas awarded the Ellen Battles Award to Shawnnice Davis, a member of Mount Hebron Missionary Baptist Church Garland. The announcement of the award was made at the Regional Bible Drill competition held in Arlington, Texas. After the initial announcement, Dickie Dunn, Specialist, Discipleship/Administration/ Church Growth of the Bap-

tist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) personally presented the award to winning students at their respective church home(s). “This is a new award we created to honor Mrs. Ellen Battles, an employee of Baptist General Convention who recently retired after a 30 year career with us. The award is special because it honors her commitment to youth and the Bible Drill program”, said


“STILL WORK TO DO” IN MEMORY OF MS. GOLDIE LOCKE, A CIVIL RIGHTS LEGEND IN HER OWN TIME - CHAMPION FOR EDUCATION EQUITY AND EXCELLENCE! Goldie Locke Scholarship Fund C/o NAACP Garland Branch #6256 Synergy Bank Downtown Center 603 W. Main Street - Suite 101 Garland, Texas 75040

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Please make checks payable to: NAACP Garland Branch #6256 with note “Goldie Locke Scholarship Fund”.

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June 15-30, 2011

they would bring back a lighthouse for her, so we felt it appropriate to use it as a symbol for the award.” Bible Drill is a program administered and sponsored by the Baptist General Convention of Texas to help youth increase their knowledge of the Bible by memorizing the books of the Bible and key passages. Mount Hebron has had a Bible Drill team for over 20 years. The 2011 team received recognition at the church, region and state BGCT tournaments held this year. Shawnnice is the first team member to receive the Ellen Battles Award. Shawnnice is the daughter of Darry and Shawnda Davis, members of Mount Hebron Missionary Baptist Church, Leonard O. Leach, Senior Pastor. She has been active in the Garland NAACP Youth Council and the Higher Ground Leadership Camp. Her future plans are to attend college in Texas.


Be Blessed Ruby Grant

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Mr. Dunn. “Shawnnice was one of only ten students in the entire State of Texas to receive this prestigious award because of her participation in the program for nine consecutive years.” Shawnnice, a graduate of Garland High School, completed her final year in the program last month. Over the nine year period, she participated in each respective category (children, youth and senior high) and even won the State Bible, which is the top award for the program. Mr. Dunn said, “ Starting in 4th grade and going all the way to 12th grade, Shawnnice has probably memorized nearly 600 scriptures and passages from the Bible, which is a major feat. We are thrilled to recognize her for this latest accomplishment.” The award is a beautiful clear lucite trophy in the shape of a lighthouse. Dunn said, “We chose the lighthouse because Ms. Battles was fond of lighthouses. Every time someone from the office went on a trip,

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For as the body is one, and has many members. And all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: So also is Christ. 1Corin. 12:18

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A Church With A Vision Isaiah 40:31 - But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. (NIV) Pastor C.E. Looney Pastor Andre Looney

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June 15-30, 2011

Garland Journal News


History Of Juneteenth Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the

surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still another, is

that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All of which, or neither of these version could be true. Certainly, for some, President Lincoln’s authority over the rebellious states was in question For whatever the reasons, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory. General Order Number 3 One of General Granger’s first orders of business was to read to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3 which began most significantly with:

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.” The reactions to this profound news ranged from pure shock to immediate jubilation. While many lingered to learn of this new employer to employee relationship, many left before these offers were completely off the lips of their former ‘masters’ - attesting

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to the varying conditions on the plantations and the realization of freedom. Even with nowhere to go, many felt that leaving the plantation would be their first grasp of freedom. North was a logical destination and for many it represented true freedom, while the desire to reach family members in neighboring states drove the some into Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Settling into these new areas as free men and women brought on new realities and the challenges of establishing a heretofore non-existent status for black people in America. Recounting the memories

June 15-30, 2011

of that great day in June of 1865 and its festivities would serve as motivation as well as a release from the growing pressures encountered in their new territory. The celebration of June 19th was coined “Juneteenth” and grew with more participation from descendants. The Juneteenth celebration was a time for reassuring each other, for praying and for gathering remaining family members. Juneteenth continued to be highly revered in Texas decades later, with many former slaves and descendants making an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston on this date.

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Arts & Entertainment, Education, Health, Style



e n i g v Di ivin L




y rd u C

A MOST DESIRABLE HOME One of my most favorable past time activities is watching the HGTV home shows. I enjoy seeing pretty much all of the shows whether it’s about home renovation, decorating, selling or buying a home or landscaping the yard. Sometimes I even find myself watching those shows that have nothing to do with the esthetic beauty of the home but deals instead with many of the important necessities of the home such as proper wiring, foundation work or even correcting poor plumbing. Who would ever guess that I would be captivated by watching a jack hammer burrowing into a cement foundation or a home’s walls being bull dozed over? Go figure! However, aside from gaining wonderful home decorating or design ideas, I feel that many of the shows can offer valuable tips to help make one’s home a most desirable place to live. In addition, I feel that by watching these shows, I might learn something useful that I didn’t know. To most of us our home is our most valuable asset. Billions of dollars are spent investing in the building, buying and improving of our homes. There are many sayings depicting how people feel about their homes such as “a home is a man’s castle”, “home is where the heart lies” or “a house is made of walls and beams, but a home is built with love and dreams.” Consequently, the older I get, I can now identify with the following saying: “Home is a place where you grow up wanting to leave and grow old wanting to get back to.” Regardless of whatever our thoughts are about our homes, we are to keep the right perspective. We are not to be caught up in the materialism of what kind of home we have here on earth, but rather we should be grateful to God because he has blessed us with a home. God’s Divine Plan provides that Christians are not to be so concerned with our temporary earthly homes whether they are simple, grand or somewhere in between. Of utmost importance is to know Christ and his promises. Our efforts and concerns would be better spent helping and praying for those who are homeless. Finally, scripture reminds us in Hebrews 13:14 - “For this world is not our home, we are looking forward to our city in heaven, which is yet to come.” For those who have faith in Christ, the eternal home he promises will surely be the most desirable home!

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June 15-30, 2011


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Beating Summer Hunger Diane Xavier EDITOR

According to the latest figures from the United States Department of Agriculture, Texas is one of the top five states that have the highest rate of food insecurity for children. Due to this statistic, the City of Garland is hosting its 16th annual Summer Nutrition Program in order to provide free meals such as lunch and snacks to local kids who may not otherwise get a good, nutritious meal during this time. Pamela Harris, Garland’s program coordinator for the Summer Nutrition Program said the Program fills the gap for kids who would not get a regular meal during the summer time when school is out. “It supplements a meal for children that are on the reduced lunch program during the school year,” Harris said. “There is no registration and no qualifier for the program. Kids can show up to one of our 23 facilities

in Garland that serve meals.” When children are in school, they have access to breakfast and lunch through federal programs like the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program, but there is a significant gap in participation for programs that feed children when they are not in school, especially during long breaks such as summer. The Garland program began on June 6th and will run until August 5th. The theme for the 2011 Summer Nutrition Program is the 3 E’s of Healthy Living which include: Education, Exercise and Eating Right. This program provides free, nutritious meals to children ages one through 18. Harris said that in order to offer this program, the USDA looks for certain things like how much of the area is on a reduced lunch program during the year. If 50 percent of the student population in a district is on a reduced lunch program, then they qualify for things like the Summer Nutrition Program. “Currently, more

than 50 percent of our elementary schools in the area are on a reduced or free lunch program during the school year,” Harris said. “The parents are really appreciative of the fact that we are providing this for them.” Harris said the only setback the program has encountered is running out of food during a day. “Since we require no registration, we never know how many students will show up or how much to prepare,” Harris said. “It’s good in one way so that we never waste food.” Harris said it is important to run programs like these so we will have children who can lead us in the future. “Doing this is a labor of love for many of us,” Harris said. “We are in a financial crisis in this economy right now so that is why we need to take care of our kids so that they will have a healthy mind and body so they can be ready for the school year. After all, these kids are our future.”

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June 15-30, 2011

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Thomas Armstrong, now 69.

younger generations will know that it was ordinary people, both black and white and in the South, who fought the actual battle for civil rights protection for all people in America. Armstrong’s great grandparents were counted among the thousands of black freedmen who voted and sent the first black senator to Con-

gress, Hiram Revel, during Reconstruction. His ancestors lived in constant fear in the latter part of their lives, beginning in the 1880s, when white vigilante groups terrorized black families, lynchings were common, and the system of laws known as Jim Crow began to be implemented, thereby excluding blacks from all levels of society, politically, socially, and economically. Armstrong confronted in the early days of the Jackson civil rights movement, going into rural towns of South Mississippi to train blacks to register to vote, when it was extremely dangerous to do so. He was among dozens of former Freedom Riders participating in Mississippi’s commemoration and reunion last month in Jackson.


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From Page 3

many facets of ministry and the church should serve as a center for many auxiliary ministries to meet the needs of the community,” he says.

“I believe that in order to safeguard a wholesome community we must address the whole sum of humanity. Garland must become visionary in their approach towards strategic development. Renewal, Redevelopment, Reinvestment and Revival all play a part in growing and remaining viable community,” Pastor Doyle says. Pastor Doyle’s message is

one of hope, especially during these uncertain times in the world we live in today. He says: “It’s all about perspective! The United States may be experiencing a recession, but Heaven isn’t... We must realize that every ending

announces a new beginning! Too often we are willing to settle for a good job or good income and God wants us to have something even better. Good, then becomes the enemy of best. So when God closes one door, please know it is because He has opened another, but you must move towards it. Check God’s record! Yes, He is good, but I have found out that He is greater than He is good! Trust His plan for your life even when you cannot trace the tracks of where He is leading you. Just because you have come to a hard times in this chapter of your life doesn’t mean that it is the end. Turn the page and see what’s next. I know God is up to something good even if we can’t see it yet.”

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Garland Journal News

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Garland Journal News

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June 15-30, 2011

Granville Arts Center Facilities The Theatres At The Granville Arts Center The Atrium At The Granville Arts Center

300 N. Fifth Street, Garland Rental 972-205-2780 Box Office 972-205-2790

June 19

“Settling for Mr. or Ms. Right Now” 4:00 pm Plaza Theatre WJ Wiley Productions presents “Settling for Mr. or Ms. Right Now.” Jackson Alexander prays for a virtuous woman whose price is far above rubies (Proverbs 31:10). He vows that he will wait on God to send him a wife--but does he wait or does he settle? London Carrington is waiting on God to send her a husband--does she wait or does she settle? Maxi, is she real or faux? Tickets are $22 online at Presale tickets are $20 and $25 at the door. Seats are limited. Please purchase your tickets early. Doors open at 3:30 pm. For more info contact WJ Wiley Productions at 972-741-6524 or

June 25

“Bridgett Monroe’s Playwright Showcase” 7:00 pm Plaza Theatre Jabez Entertainment Presents “Bridgette Monroe’s Playwright Showcase,” featuring 4 original plays written by Bridgette Monroe. Tickets Pre-sale $20. Tickets at the door are $25. For more information call 214-259-6052 or 972-896-6456.

Page 11


Longtime GISD Librarian Retires Story/Photos by GJN Patricia McCurdy Mattye Thrower, longtime Garland ISD librarian retires after 25 years of service at Southgate Elementary School. Faculty, staff, students, parents, family and friends wished Mrs. Thrower well at a recent reception given in her honor. Among the many guests were Mayor and Mrs. Ronald Jones. Mayor Jones recalled working with Mrs. Thrower during his early years as a community organizer for the Garland community along side Mrs. Thrower working as an adult GED instructor.

Page 12

June 15-30, 2011

Ms. Ruby Armstrong, GISD Counseling Coordinator, GISD Asst. Supt. John Washington, Mrs. Thrower and her pastor, Rev. Herbert Denson.

Mrs. Thrower and family.

Garland Journal News


Volume IX- Issue 216 June 15-30, 2011 Published 1st & 15th Each Month Garland, Texas Phone (972) 926-8503 Fax (903) 450-...

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