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SouthernSoul June 2015 | Volume 2, No. 6

Twenty Amazing Men Quiet Giants

Memphis Music Hall of Fame Open for All

HAVANA MIX More Than Just A Cigar

Technology Evolves… MLGW rotary phone

cordless phone

smart phone

analog meter

digital meter

smart meter

Meter manufacturers no longer make analog meters. Let’s keep pace with progress. Smart meters are measurement devices – they measure your energy consumption. Because they have built-in communication, they can provide feedback on how your household uses energy, and that information can help YOU save money by reducing your bill.

Get the facts at www.mlgw.com/smartgrid.

At Regional One Health, your well-being means everything to us. It’s our mission to improve it any way we can. Our team of healthcare professionals is dedicated to providing compassionate care along with remarkable, new services. It’s not just our job to advance the quality of life in our community. It’s what we love to do.

RegionalOneHealth.org Southern Soul l June 2015


Hunger should not be a part of growing old.

Food bank

Operation Feed, a workplace food and funds drive to support Mid-South Food bank. It’s the biggest drive of the year! Join the friendly competition between companies for awards and special recognition.

2015 Campaign Dates: May 18 – July 2 To get your company involved, visit midsouthfoodbank.org or contact David Stephens at 901-405-0071 or dstephens@midsouthfoodbank.org


901.527.0841 midsouthfoodbank.org

SouthernSoul PUBLISHER/CEO Chris Boyd

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Toni Blount Harvey


ART DIRECTOR Detric Stanciel

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Terri Smith Anderson

PHOTOGRAPHY Jay Adkins Bryant Reddick

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Toye Bogard LaWana Boone Derrick Chalmers Tyrone Chester Kevin Crutcher John Doyle Dr. L. LaSimba M. Gray, Jr. Danielle Inez Kathy Kirk-Johnson Chalise Macklin Alexandra Matlock Rev. Dr. Kenneth S. Robinson André C. Wharton, Esq. Southern Soul Magazine™ is a monthly publication of MAAC Media Group, LLC and is distributed in locations throughout the Memphis/Mid-South area. Annual subscriptions are available for $40.00 (twelve issues). Readership: 70,000 ©2015 by MAAC Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and does not return unsolicited materials to sender. Photography and images obtained for editorial usage is owned by Southern Soul Magazine and may not be released for commercial use such as in advertisements. Reproduction in whole or in part without the publisher’s consent is strictly prohibited. The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the positions or views of the editor or publisher. The publication of any advertisement in this issue does not constitute an endorsement of the advertiser’s products or services by this publication. Southern Soul Magazine™ is a trademark belonging to MAAC Media Group, LLC.



MAAC Media Group, LLC | PO Box 18100 | Memphis, TN 38181 Phone 901.366.SOUL (7685) www.thesouthernsoul.com Southern Soul l June 2015


Contributors LaWana Boone

Memphis native LaWana Boone, has an MBA in Marketing, and currently pursuing a Masters in African American Literature. When not traveling the globe as an international Flight Attendant, LaWana moonlights as a Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer and has been published in AOL Travel, Jones, UPTOWN, Grace and Caribbean Travel + Life. LaWana is presently writing a memoir of her amazing adventures abroad. Her most recent exotic recess was in Havana, Cuba.

Kevin Crutcher

Born and raised in Nashville, TN, Kevin Crutcher moved to West TN in June of 2006 with his family in tow where he now owns a Nationwide insurance agency located in the heart of Collierville. Kevin brought his love and passion for helping people and his love and passion for fishing with him. Kevin is married to his beautiful wife of 19 years Sonya and they have one awesome son Denicier who shares his father’s love for fishing.

John Doyle

John Doyle, a native Memphian, is the Executive Director of both the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum at FedEx Forum (rocknsoul.org) and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame (memphismusichalloffame.com). A graduate of Rhodes College, he worked in radio promotions and marketing prior to opening his own advertising agency and, then, working as Vice President of Programming for Memphis in May. He and his wife, Lynn, have one son, Bennett, who now also works in Memphis radio.

Kathy Kirk-Johnson

Kathy Kirk Johnson is an Attorney and Lifestyle Expert with an innate affinity for good food and stylish entertaining. She lives in in Cordova, Tennessee with her husband and two sons. Get more lifestyle tips from her website tastelifewithkat.com.

Chalise Macklin

Chalise Macklin is producer at ABC 24 (Local Memphis Live) and an adjunct professor at Arkansas State University. As a freelance journalist, Ms. Macklin has been published in The Times Newspaper. Prior to joining ABC 24, Macklin was with KAIT8 Jonesboro, AR, Fox 13 and Channel 3 News in Memphis. She received a B.A. from the University of Memphis and a Masters in Communication Studies from Arkansas State University. She is a member of Greater Imani Christian Center.

Alexandra Matlock

Alexandra Matlock, native of Medellín, Colombia, is President/Founder of ContigoCreative, a public relations and marketing agency, based in Memphis, specializing in Latino and larger Multicultural markets in Memphis, Nashville, Little Rock and Atlanta.

Danielle Inez

Danielle Inez is the award-winning Owner, Director of Marketing of ding! Marketing Studio, a Memphisbased marketing management firm for small businesses. The marketing maven has been featured nationally by Black Enterprise and MSNBC. In 2014, she was named to Memphis Flyer’s 20<30 for her international client portfolio and local commitment to youth development and female empowerment in business. Find her online at dingmktg.com. Tweet her @dingmktg. 4|

Southern Soul l June 2015



V O LU M E 2 • N O 6

IN the SOUL 33 JUST SAYING ... Where is Daddy?

Don't Be Fooled, Fathers Are Capable


Sneak Peak



photography by BRYANT REDDICK


More Than Just A Cigar

75 RIDING ON A MISSION Bikers and Social Clubs 4 Change 78 THE THRILL OF THE HUNT

Bass Fishing

Quiet Giants

Southern Soul l June 2015




JUNE 2015




Editor’s Letter p.8 • Taste Life With Kat p.82 • uMATTER p.97

Departments 10

Soul Seeds


Young Soul


Latin Soul


Where is Daddy

Don't Be Fooled




Smart Business



Beat The Odds


Havana Mix

Bluff City Auxiliary

More Than Just A Cigar

Busy Lifestyle Workout

MENtors: A Tribute To Men Who Support and Empower Women In Business 6|



Legal View



More Than Just A Cigar

Leisure in South America

There Is Life After A Run-In With The Law


Lucille’s Legend

Education Trailblazer


Just Saying...

Southern Soul l June 2015

On Cover: Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell at Memphis Music Hall of Fame photography by Jay Adkins

Shelby County (TN) Links Beautillion


China & Silverware Glassware | Tables & Linens Tents | Archways | Fountains And much more for a memorable event. 2197 Central Ave. Memphis, TN 38104 901.276.7368 partyconcepts.net

S Editor’s Letter

Summer is knocking! It’s the time when movie block-busters roll out, summer vacations start, we celebrate Father’s day, and we enjoy backyard cook-outs. I’ve never been a fan of hot weather unless accompanied with an ocean breeze, swaying trees and a Piña Colada. Some of my best summer memories are the summer weeks visiting our grandparents and my grandfather was a large part of those memories. He smoked a pipe with a cherry blend aroma, read five newspapers each morning, molded us into pinochle champs, and baked home-made doughnuts for us on Sundays. There was a koi-pond in the back yard and he patiently taught us how to feed them, sprinkling the food flakes on the top but not forming a thick layer because koi were known to overeat. I remember he spoiled us terribly but could also stop us short in our mischief with a simple “op” (family secret code for stop). From my grandfather, I learned the moon followed “only” me wherever I went no matter where we drove and that the New York Times was “the” daily window of the world. My siblings and I have plenty of “Grandpa” stories and each shaped some portion of our life. He died before I was tall enough to know he really was not the tallest man in the world, but, as a child, I sure thought he was. As an adult, I understand that my Dad didn’t bake doughnuts like Grandpa because unlike Grandpa, who was retired, Dad was busy working to make sure we had a wonderful life. I couldn’t read the morning newspaper with Daddy because he was at work before I woke each day. But, between my Dad and my Grandpa, I formed my “man” definition and gained a solid respect for quiet giants. We at Southern Soul got together and reached out to a few of our community’s quiet giants to celebrate June – men’s month. Soul Seeds is delivered by one of those quiet giants, Rev. Dr. Kenneth Robinson, whose large footsteps lead a great ministry while marching the community to better health and a better environment. André Wharton, one of the community’s titans of justice shares a heads-up legal view and Dr. L. LaSimba Gray, a giant among civil rights activists, shared insight on carving future giants. One of our in-house giants, John Doyle, told us about the Memphis Music Hall of Fame opening and we made a bee-line to 2nd & Beale. Along the way, we stopped by Havana Mix and met Robb Hunter who is changing our social circles one giant step at a time. Last, but certainly not least, we introduce you to four outstanding MENtors, and twenty awesome men, all giants among giants. Enjoy June and look forward to July’s Fun with Technology.


Southern Soul l June 2015

Toni Blount Harvey Editor-In-Chief


Baptist You’re not just a man. You’re a provider. Staying healthy isn’t just about you. It’s about your family, and anyone who depends on you. Heart disease, stroke and diabetes — three of the biggest men’s health problems — are preventable or manageable with a few lifestyle changes. Get a checkup, take a walk in the park, eat your vegetables. For yourself, and for them. Get better with Baptist. Celebrating Men’s Health Week — June 15-21, 2015

baptistonline.org 800-4-BAPTIST

Get Better. Southern Soul l June 2015


Soul Seeds

The Reverend Kenneth S. Robinson, M.D., M.DIV.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth S. Robinson serves as Pastor and Chief Executive of St. Andrew AME Church. Since arriving in Memphis in 1991, Reverend Robinson has fulfilled his theme, “Ministering to Memphis – Spirit, Soul, and Body” – while developing and spearheading the congregation’s social service outreach, food provision, health promotion, high quality childcare, after-school programs, pastoral counseling services and peer support. The entire St. Andrew Enterprise includes its Community Development Corporation - which has built affordable housing for 113 families, the South Memphis Farmers Market, and its nationally accredited K-5 charter school. During Rev. Robinson’s tenure, St. Andrew has become a major stakeholder in creating a healthy, sustainable community; now responsible for over $21,000,000 in total investment in South Memphis. 10 |

Southern Soul l June 2015

A lifelong advocate for improving public health, Dr. Robinson recently made history, completing his tenure as the state’s first African-American Commissioner of Health. While continuing as pastor of St. Andrew, he served as Tennessee’s Chief Health Officer; promoting, protecting and improving the citizens’ health, overseeing 3500 employees, and a $548 Million budget. Before joining the Governor’s Cabinet, Dr. Robinson practiced and taught Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt facilitating the graduation of over 230 African-American physicians as an Assistant Dean at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He is widely sought across the country for his

expertise on policy and partnership development; particularly applicable to health promotion and disease prevention in the African-American and religious communities. He has received numerous national honors, including The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award as one of the country's Ten Community Health Leaders of the year; the National United Way of America Community Builder Award; an Honorary Doctorate from Meharry Medical College; and, serves as a Director or Trustee of several foundations, organizations, and institutions. Dr. Robinson and his wife, Rev. Marilynn Robinson are parents of twin daughters -- both highly accomplished physicians.

Soul Seeds



here was famine in the land, and people were starving. But Jacob heard that down in Egypt there was grain – seed! He, therefore, commissioned his sons to go down there, “that we may live, and not die.” Technically, he was wrong; because there is only one recorded account of a man, Enoch, who lived and never died. He was a man God loved so much because of his walk with the Lord, that God decided to spare him death. God just took him. One day he was with his family, and the next day he “was not.” Sadly, that kind of story about a man who is here one day, but gone the next, is usually not a “good news” story. Yes, besides Enoch, everyone else has died. So, Jacob was technically wrong. He and his sons were going to die... at some point. Now, believe it or not, some people are so literal and simple-minded that they would then turn around and surmise that Jacob’s concerns about dying were therefore silly and unnecessary.

have to die right now; prematurely, unnecessarily, tragically.” His sons were in the prime of their lives, and the reality was that they were starving to death right then. Yes, brothers, at some point we’re all going to die; but we don’t have to die right now. Right now, we don’t have to walk in front of a truck or jump without a parachute. Our reality is that’s exactly how unwise, imprudent, ill-advised, reckless, irresponsible and risky it is to ignore our health! Our reality is that right now, men are dying; having heart attacks and strokes, being ravaged by uncontrolled high blood pressure and poorly managed diabetes, and dying. You won’t live forever, but you don’t have to die right now; five years too soon, of diseases from which you didn’t have to die. You don’t have to lose the years of life you have been given by God. Right now, people in the South lose tens of thousands of years of life prematurely; in large part because more than two-thirds of us are overweight or obese. Right now, men are dying unnecessarily from HIV/AIDS and prostate cancer, because we engage in risky health behaviors and refuse to undergo an uncomfortable physical exam. Right now, depression is leading more and more men to suicide. Gun violence deaths are down, but right now men are disproportionately dying in African-American communities. The reality is that right now, there is a famine in the land.

“I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.” Genesis 42:2 (NIV)

Maybe you know people like that – simple-minded – who go around saying, “You gotta die of something.” Well, technically, they’re right. But clearly, they’re missing the point - generally on purpose, because they’re engaged in some behavior that places their health at risk; like smoking, overeating or overdrinking. It’s not that you won’t die; it’s about the timing of your death! Jacob wasn’t talking about never dying. He was just saying to his sons, “We don’t

That was the problem with Jacob’s sons; there was no recognition of their reality. For Jacob, however, Southern Soul l June 2015

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Soul Seeds

this was not simply an editorial observation for Southern Souls Magazine. While his sons were sitting around looking at each other, people were dying. Today, during Men’s Health Month, some folks are just sitting around; sitting and discussing, sitting and philosophizing, sitting and pretending like nothing’s going down. Well, we can pretend like the elephant’s not in the living room, but pretending won’t make it go away. Pretending that we’re not overweight, that we have no hypertension, no diabetes, no lump in our testicle, no cough – won’t make it go away. Even if it’s not happening to us, many of us are just sitting and ignoring the reality facing us - the devastation, acuity, and magnitude of the threat to the health of our men. Why are we just sitting in our churches, in our pews, in our pulpits - just “sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the tide roll away” the lives of our fathers, sons, and brothers? There’s good news! Jacob heard that God had already provided seed for them in Egypt. He’d already hooked ‘em up! God already had a remedy for what was killing folks. So Jacob asked his sons, “Why are you hanging around here, looking at each other? There’s corn down in Egypt. Get up and go get it!” Today, God already has a remedy for the diseases which are destroying our bodies, decimating our population, and taking our men out. God already has a remedy for our reality. There are doctors, tests, medicines, good health practices and prevention. But for us to receive the remedy, there has to be a response. All we have to do is get up and go. Brothers, God wants us to live, but God wants us to take some personal responsibility. Why die today when we can get up and go? So, why are we hanging around here just looking at each other? Why are we just hanging around on the corner, in the barber shops, on the basketball court, at the frat house or on campus, just watching each other die – right now? Get up off the sofa, from your desk, out of the bed 30 minutes earlier, from your sedentary lifestyles, from the dinner table stacked with pizza, pasta and French fried potatoes. Get up off your good intentions. Get up and go! Go, get on a treadmill, take a walk, take the steps at work, toss the Fritos, nachos and Doritos. Go, buy some fruit; it won’t kill you. Go, bake some chicken or broil some fish! Go, put down the pork – the pulled pork, pork rinds, pork skins and pork chops. Go get a doctor, and go to the doctor. Get up and go – so, today, you can live and not die! Get up and go! §

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Southern Soul l June 2015


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Find the right tools for your inspiration today at aarp.org/possibilities Southern Soul l June 2015 @AARPTN |


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Young Soul

Education Trailblazer Keith Williams



Tenacious with fiery energy and a sincere passion for children, teaching and learning, Mr. Keith Williams is at the forefront of advocating for education in the Memphis community. As President of the Memphis Shelby County Education Association, Mr. Williams knows what it means to roll up his sleeves and fight for the rights of teachers as well as for academic and funding actions that are in the best interest of all students in Shelby County Schools. A native Memphian and 1970 graduate of Melrose High School with over forty plus years of experience as an educator, Mr. Williams continues to dedicate his life to public service as the biggest advocate for public education that Memphis has known in modern history. It is perceived by many that teachers are only in their profession for the money. However, this is not always true. Today, numerous educational pioneers and professionals exist who actually take pride in their work and enjoy making a difference in students’ lives. Mr. Williams was the last president of the Memphis Education Association and the first president of the Memphis Shelby County Education Association. Mr. Williams began his

that education was the single entity that could open doors of endless possibilities and allow opportunities for them to explore horizons outside their communities. When asked what was the most rewarding thing about teaching, Mr. Williams responded, “The gratitude of this work is working with children whom I know have the greatest needs and the greatest appreciation for their education.” This alone motivated Mr. Williams to continue teaching before departing the classroom in 2009 and moving into the political arena of education.

Do all the good you can for whomever you can for you will never pass this way again. career in 1974 as an English and History teacher in the Knoxville City Schools. His passion, motivation and love for teaching are rooted in instilling a thirst for knowledge in students who were challenged both economically and intellectually. While teaching, Mr. Williams continuously sought avenues to develop his students’ lives, believing 14 |

Southern Soul l June 2015

His current position as President of Memphis Shelby County Education Association (MSCEA) has presented him the challenge and opportunity to continue his fight for great public schools and to advance the teaching profession by addressing some of the conditions under which teachers are challenged with today. In 1978, he took action towards improving the careers of teachers

leading the Memphis City Schools teachers strike. Mr. Williams also played an integral part in the group that fought for teachers to have duty free lunches, planning periods and the opportunity to take personal days during the school year. Despite his devotion to educational development of people everywhere, Mr. Williams is not entirely consumed by work. Marrying his college sweetheart, Gloria Sherfield Williams, forty three years ago, he is the proud father of two children, Dr. Mialika Williams Watkins, DDS and Keith Chad Williams, educator. Summarizing his desired legacy, he stated, “If I

have anything to leave at all, surely it is to whom much is given, much is required. Do all the good you can for whomever you can for you will never pass this way again. Teachers are the gate keepers of this Democracy and the hands that rock the cradle of this civilization. If we do not continue to work to preserve the privilege of an education, then we will have failed in our responsibility to the youth of today. While my finances are meager, my experiences are rich, and I am confident in fact that I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith, and I have finished my course.”

Reflecting over a stellar career as an educator and President of the largest Union in the city of Memphis, the 5,000 member Memphis and Shelby County Education Association, Mr. Keith Williams will leave his official position with the Shelby County School District on June 30, 2015. He will leave with the confidence that he has made a difference; has advocated for the empowerment of the teaching profession, and has protected, preserved and defended the rights of educators in Memphis and Shelby County. It is because of his tenacity and strength that educators in Memphis are yet standing strong and have this year signed a three year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) restoring teacher pay raises, additional personal days, secured district supplement for health insurance and career paths and opportunities for all educators in Shelby County. Mr. Keith O. Williams’ favorite quote and mantra is that of William Cullen Bryant, “The Truth crushed to the earth shall rise again.” And finally, “If I can help somebody as I pass alone, if I can cheer somebody with a word or song, if I can show somebody that he’d traveling wrong, then my living shall not be in vain.” Young Soul salutes Mr. Keith O. Williams, educator extraordinaire. §

Douglass High Young Soul Author

Derrick Chalmers

Editor’s Note Young Soul has been a column presenting young writers from Douglass High School under the tutelage of Derry Phillips. Team members are graduating seniors and moving on to college. We salute the Young Soul Team: Derrick Chalmers - attending University of Memphis (Journalism); Jamie Culpepper attending University of Memphis (Nursing); and Brittney Sermons University of Mississippi (Undecided). Southern Soul Magazine is proud to have shared this team with you.

Southern Soul l June 2015

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Young Soul


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Southern Soul 2015 To Register or lforJune additional info, contact Donald Grayer, DGrayer@aol.com or 901.674.6221

Latin Soul

Leisure in South America



Have you thought about travel plans lately? Ever dreamed about dancing in Rio de Janeiro during its amazing carnival? Or visiting the enigmatic Machu Picchu in Peru? Well, I have some insights for you that might spark your desire to visit South America. South America has natural and cultural wonders making it a traveler’s delight with exotic beaches, snow-covered mountains, tropical rainforests, traditional Spanish architecture, and a magnificent culinary culture which will make a truly memorable vacation.


Colombia has become more open for travel and is much safer than years ago. Bogotá, the capital which sits 8,660 ft. above sea level is a cultural center for Latin America and filled with charming cafes, nightclubs and intriguing nearby sights. A day trip will take you to Zipaquirá, North of Bogota, where

you find a world famous cathedral in an underground salt mine. Other Colombian spots of interest include Taganga, a charismatic Caribbean fishing village with beaches of nearby Parque Nacional Tayrona and Ciudad Perdida ('Lost City'), considered to be the largest pre-hispanic town in South America. Still along the coast, I highly recommend a visit to Cartagena, one of the jewels of the Caribbean, protected by an ancient fortress.


When we think about Brazil, we think about the giant of South America geographically and economically. The city most recommended in Brazil is Rio de Janeiro. A magnificent introduction to Brazil, it has a great music scene, alluring beaches and colorful festivals, including the most famous festival in the world: Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival. Traveling just a few hours away from Rio de Janeiro, you can explore rainforest-covered islands and remote coastline. If Southern Soul l June 2015

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Latin Soul you have more time, fly to other regions, such as Salvador, a colorful colonial city, the heart of the Afro-Brazilian culture or Iguazu Falls on the Argentine border, Belem or Manaus, gateways to the Amazon, and architecturally intriguing Brasilia.


With its many beautiful colonial towns, such as the capital Quito, or ‘Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World City), there’s plenty to offer including a marvelous historical center, dozens of museums, theater, symphonic concerts, multiscreen movie centers, state-of-the-art shopping centers, numerous parks and recreation centers and a wide variety of foods. Other cities that I recommend are Guayaquil and Cuenca. If you are ready for an encounter with nature like

none other, tack on a 5-day tour of island-hopping in the Galápagos Islands, located 596 miles from Quito. This magnificent natural sanctuary is home to unique reptiles, birds, and plants.


Peru offers the classic South American journeys around the Andes with amazing cultures, festivals and captivating experiences at some of the world’s oldest archaeological sites. Lima, its capital, didn’t transform its city-center with ‘modernity’, so you can enjoy historical churches, monasteries, mansions and balconies, and at the same time enjoy the vitality of a modern city. High in the Andes Mountains, you can travel to the enchanting Cuzco and the sacred valley known for its indigenous population often seen on the streets in traditional clothing and its substantial

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Southern Soul l June 2015

tourist-fueled night life. Nearby Cuzco, you find Machu Picchu, one of the archaeological treasures of the world. Many archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu served as a royal estate for Inca emperors and nobles. Other theories describe it as a former religious site, due to its proximity to mountains and other geographical features that the Incas held sacred. Other Peruvian highlights not to be missed are The Cordillera Blanca, walking the cobblestone streets of Arequipa, flying over the mystical Nazca Lines and visiting the floating islands in Lake Titicaca.

Argentina and Chile

Anchoring Latin America's southern extremes, these two countries have vineyards, lively capitals, picturesque villages and lots of outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting,

climbing, and skiing. Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital is a glamourous city with a fascinating dual heritage, that is part European and part Latin American. Buenos Aires is the beloved city of Tango with a rich history of atmospheric old neighborhoods, romantic restaurants, a thumping nightlife and of course, excellent shopping. Buenos Aires' European heritage is evident in its architecture, boulevards and parks. Other sites of interest in Argentina are Patagonia and San Carlos de Bariloche. Very close to Argentina, you can visit Santiago de Chile with an intense cultural life full of some 40 art galleries and 30 museums of several different styles. You’ll surely be more tired than bored since you will have plenty of cultural diversity to discover. Also in Chile be sure to see the Atacama Desert, Easter Island, Viña del Mar and Valparaiso. Safe Travels! §

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cresent club

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Southern Soul l June 2015

Legal View

There Is Life After A Run-In With The Law “Did You Know” Tips regarding how normalcy can be restored after suffering setbacks in the justice system?



During the course of my law practice, at least once a week, I hear: “I’m having trouble getting a job; my driver’s license is suspended and I keep getting stopped and getting another citation. I want to have my rights restored so that I can vote. I really need this felony or misdemeanor off my record, can you help me out?” Unfortunately, these questions arise all too often and many don’t understand that there are remedies available to help. While we live in a nation built upon the Rule of Law and there are reasons for the laws, governing these issues -the reality is that numerous men and women throughout our Community are plagued with these issues every day. Fortunately, there are ways for those individuals to return to the normal life he/she desires; to stop worrying about driving illegally; to no longer be unemployed due to a criminal record; and/or to become engaged in the democratic process by regaining the ability to vote. This article, will offer information and a few tips on handling the driving license dilemma, cleaning the criminal record (where possible) and restoring your citizenship rights, including voting.

Getting Your License.

Throughout our Law Firm’s thirty-five years in business, one criminal offense that is frequently defended is the charge of driving with a suspended, canceled or revoked license. Many people confuse this charge with a traffic ticket or moving violation and assume that the punishment is just a monetary fine…or that “I can’t go to jail if I’m guilty of it. In fact, quite the opposite is true. When driving with a revoked or suspended license, you can be charged and potentially incarcerated for up to 11 months and 29 days (depending on your record).

Tip No: 1: Take this charge seriously.

Oftentimes, licenses are suspended for failure to pay court costs or fines associated with a traffic ticket. The city or county where the ticket was received will notify the State of Tennessee that you failed to pay and as a result, your driving privileges are suspended. But, there is hope of obtaining or “reinstating” your license. In Tennessee, our local courts offer an option referred to as “Compliance” which allows those charged (as first or nonhabitual offenders) an opportunity to reinstate their license. The typical process requires the person to visit the clerk’s office (201 Poplar if you live in Shelby County) to obtain a printout of your outstanding fines and associated court costs owed. Once this is accomplished, you can begin the work of paying the fines and court costs plus the reinstatement fees, which upon completion, allows you to obtain your license from the Tennessee Department of Safety. One thing people often overlook is the fact that if you receive additional traffic tickets and fail to pay them, you can end up in the same predicament. It is important, therefore, to remember to pay your fines timely if and after you have Southern Soul l June 2015

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Legal View obtained subsequent traffic tickets or in some way been assessed other costs.

Tip No: 2. Failure to pay Court Fines and Costs can cause license suspension.

It is also important to remember that court fines and costs are not only assessed for traffic tickets, but also with other convictions, assessed fines, and child support arrearages. Failure to pay these costs can also serve as a trigger for suspension of license. If you want to enjoy the freedom of driving, your license must be kept in good standing. Otherwise, you run the risk of entering this revolving door of receiving driving citations and continually driving illegally and, before you know it, caught in a cycle which is hard to break.

With an understanding of your rights, a plan in place, and legal assistance if needed, you can retain your driving license or get your license reinstated.

Cleaning Up A Criminal Record or Keeping It Clean.

Many folks, for whatever reason, find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Sometimes, this can be the result of simple error; misdeeds; poor judgment; and/ or, yes, in some cases, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whatever the reason, having a criminal record can present severe consequences on future employment, military service or even educational pursuits. This is why it is important to (1) consult your attorney to determine whether the criminal charges can be resolved in such a way to minimize the impact on your background; or (2) investigate options regarding removing certain types of charges from your record.

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Tennessee and many other states have laws designed to minimize the long-term impacts of criminal records on a person’s livelihood. In Tennessee, we have what is known as diversion written into our state law by the legislature. While diversion is not eligible for all offenses, many offenses are diversion eligible or there are other possible resolutions to charges that would allow diversion eligibility.

Tip No: 3. Determine if you are eligible to have your criminal record expunged. To be clear, diversion is not an absolute right in Tennessee, even for those charges that are “divertible offenses.” But, if someone is successful in obtaining diversion, the particular charge(s) can and will be removed from the individual’s background, upon successful completion of the diversion conditions. This allows (in most instances) the individual to get a “fresh start” at life through “expungement” (or cleaning the record), and to become free from the stigma and restrictions that come along with criminal charges blemishing his or her record.

Importantly, in 2012, Tennessee legislature enacted another expungement option. This option is available to persons who presently have a criminal charge on his or her record, but who have not been involved in any criminal activity since his or her conviction. Depending on the type of charge, and how much time elapsed since the charge was received and after payment of a process fee (currently $450), a person can have his or her record expunged. The new expungement law can be extremely valuable, particularly in cases where the person was not offered diversion at adjudication, or, for whatever reason, he or she was not granted or eligible to have the offense diverted. It is important to note that not every offense is eligible for expungement and through the new law; you can only utilize this type of expungement once; and finally, you must wait five (5) years from the completion of the sentence before petitioning for expungement. If you are interested in inquiring more about your eligibility, consult gs4.shelbycountytn.gov and search for expungement qualifications to see if your situation

Legal View qualifies. When in doubt, always consult an attorney to assist you through the process.

Getting Reengaged In Society And Having A Voice Through Your Vote While it may sometimes appear that life is over simply because you had a run-in with the law; this is not the case! There are, of course, instances where certain charges carry mandatory imprisonment up to and including life or death. However, for felonies, which do not fall into that category -- there are two ways folks can dust themselves off, keep their head up and become reengaged into society with the power of their vote. This process is known as “restoration of voting rights” or “restoration of citizenship” rights.

finds that the person does not have the ability to pay. Fees for child support or restitution cannot be waived. The other option, if granted, restores full citizenship (right to vote, possess firearms, serve on a jury or hold public office). The granting of full citizenship, however, is much more complex than the simpler restoration of voting rights. Full citizenship restoration requires a court order, and can be opposed by the prosecuting agency (either the State or the United States Government). There are also felony offenses that are excluded from this list. However, it is possible that certain charges eligible for expungement (as discussed above) could allow a record to be cleared such that restoration is possible. Because restoration can be somewhat case specific and involve certain legal maneuvering, it is important to consult an attorney. The rights of citizenship are fundamental to our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. We must all be involved in our voting process as we work together to cultivate the impact of our voice in the community.

"Fees for child support or restitution cannot be waived."

Tip No: 4. Restoration of voting rights is available if you qualify.

There are essentially two ways to accomplish this. First, one can file a certificate of restoration with the election commission provided again all fines and costs associated with the original offense are paid. In some instances, the court costs can be “waived,” if the Court


is an attorney with The Wharton Law Firm with a focused practice area of civil and criminal law. The breadth of Attorney Wharton’s litigation expertise includes criminal defense, personal injury and medical malpractice, probate and estate matters, employee benefits, and, family law matters. Mr. Wharton has successfully and routinely secured positive resolutions for his clients including a recent multi-million dollar verdict on behalf of a braininjury victim. Mr. Wharton earned his B.S. degree in Marketing with honors, from Hampton University and his J.D. degree from the University of North

Tip No: 5. When in doubt, ALWAYS consult an attorney to assist you through the process. §

Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is an active member of the Memphis Bar Association and the National Bar Association where he serves on the Board of Directors in both organizations. Mr. Wharton is licensed to practice law in both Tennessee and North Carolina courts. Mr. Wharton is married to Attorney Monica N. Wharton and they have three sons, Andrew, Arthur and Abram. They are active members of St. Andrew A.M.E. Church, where Mr. Wharton serves as a Trustee. Mr. Wharton also serves as Board Trustee for the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and as a Board member for the Park Friends Board in Memphis.

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Universal Commercial Real Estate, LLC universalcommercial.com | 901.414.3315


Busy Lifestyle Man Workout


30 for 30 Game-Plan


Men today lead busy lives. Our career goals; supporting our family; developing our children; community involvement; social life; and, general obligations keep us far too busy. But all men need to have a fitness component in their life. Exercise has it’s benefit! It can add years to your life; increase your alertness at work; increase your energy levels; and simply add value to your quality of life. Think you don’t have time in your day? Try this 30 for 30 Workout for The Busy Man Lifestyle! I promise you, if you commit to 30 minutes per day for 30 days –work 9 key Core Exercises and watch your eating habits, you will feel a change!

To get started, all you need is a journal, a good exercise mat, a stopwatch and willpower! Give your journal a cool name! Something like “Operation Beast Mode,” or “The Book of Choosing Life.” Name it with a goal in mind. Select a good mat, one that provides sufficient cushion to protect your body. Most cellphones today have a stopwatch app. Pull it out, and you are ready to start. In 2014 I started my 30 for 30 journey now in 2015 I’m a different person! You can do it too!

Do as many as you can, log your daily stats in your Journal to monitor your progress day to day! 3 sets per Exercise. Rest 15 seconds between sets. 1 set 60 seconds, 2nd set 90 seconds, 3rd set 120 seconds!


V Man

A: Start with hands together (extended over your head) while laying your upper body on the mat. Keep your legs straight (no bending knees) in a V positon. B: Thrust your hands forward (between your legs) and move your legs back (toward your head) at the same time (keeping the legs straight). Advanced Technique: To increase the rate of results get “2” 3 pound hand weights for each hand. And “2” 5 pound ankle weights for each ankle.

Meet The Press!!!!

A: Postion your hands to your side (palms on floor). Pull knees towards your body with feet together. B: Press your legs forward into a 6 inches postion while leaning your upper body back (at the same time). Return to Position A and repeat. Southern Soul l June 2015

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Toe Touches

A: Lying on the map. Raise your legs up straight (no bending knees). Raise your arms straight up toward your toes. Have both your legs and feet raised at same time. B: Reach with your arms to touch your toes while raising your upper body. The return back to position A and repeat. Keep your head locked, chin down.

Bicycle Kicks

A: Lay on mat with arms stretched out, hands relaxed at your side. Raise both feet off the mat (about 6 inches). Bring your right knee toward your upper body with your left leg extended. B: Switch legs! Bring your left knee towards your upper body with the right leg extended. Maintain legs off the mat a minimum of 6 inches. Repeat. MAKE SURE YOU KEEP THIS IN A CONTINOUS MOTION THE ENTIRE TIME LIKE YOU ARE PADDLING ON A BICYCLE

Active Plank

A: Lay on mat face down. Start on your elbows, raise your body with legs open (as wide as possible); resting on your toes with your lower body in the upright position. B: Thrust your body down into the straight-line plank position with head looking forward. Return back into the A position by thrusting your body upward into the upright position.

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Elbows on the mat, head straight forward, feet apart resting on your toes and your body in a straight line raised about 6 inches above the mat. HOLD IT!!!!! â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Then Repeat.


Plank Push Ups!

A: Start in your tradition Plank Position (see above). B: Push up using your left hand only first while your right elbow remains in position

C: Push up your upper body using your left and right hands into a push plank position. D: Lower your body down in reverse order to starting position A. Remembering to lower one arm at a time. Repeat

After losing over 50 pounds, I needed the toning. These workouts allowed me to see results in my muscle definition! If you master persistence and stay in the fight, you will see changes and definition in no time. Just don’t stop after 30 days. Choose Life 365!

Toye Bogard: Before & After


Elbow to Knee Jumps

A: Start in a squat position with elbow down towards your knees. B: Power Jump high as you can while thrusting your hands straight in the air, then lower back down into Position A and start over! Do not bend over and drop your head during the landing. Try to stay in the upright squat position to prevent dizziness. Advanced: To increase the rate of results, use a 5 to 8 pound hand weights! MAKE SURE YOU KEEP THIS IN A CONTINOUS MOTION THE ENTIRE TIME AS IF RUNNING. STAY LOW AS POSSIBLE.

Toye Bogard is Founder and CEO of Fit Nation, Inc. Founded in 2011, after hearing Memphis was designated the fattest city in the nation, Bogard decided to make a healthy lifestyle change and to also organize his friends and family to participate in a weekend workout. The response was so great; Toye had to create 6 teams across Memphis and surrounding areas in order to service the rapid growth. He incorporated monthly Weigh Ins at a central location so the 6 teams could get together, build relationships, and celebrate life together! Fast forwarding to 2015, Fit Nation has over 8,500 members nationwide in 5 cities and has a record-breaking 30,000 pounds weight loss! Fit Nation has established

corporate partnerships with The March of Dimes, West Clinic and GNC! Toye is a native of Memphis and graduate of Westwood High and received a Bachelor’s of Science at Union University. He is a member of Brown Baptist Southaven, MS.; Past Undergraduate Grand Board Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; 2014 Winner of The Memphis Black Expo “People to Watch Award; Tri State Defenders Best In Black “Rising Star and Best Trainer Award;” and, 2014 Kindel Award Winner. Fit Nation is Free to join and have many workout opportunities throughout the city each week. For more information, visit www.wearefitnation.com.

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MENtors: A Tribute To Men Who Support and Empower Women In Business



“Wow. I’d be honored.” That was the initial response when I reached out to developer JW Gibson to highlight his role in supporting and mentoring rising female professionals. Gibson has earned a reputation for acquiring some of the region’s most forgotten properties and not only restoring the properties, but also reenergizing them to ensure a sustainable future for stakeholders while generating a lucrative return for Gibson. His latest projects, the emergence of Beale Street’s “The Palace” and complete

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revitalization of the New Daisy music venue, are two clubs set to house national acts from Live Nation’s portfolio. For each revenue builder investment Gibson develops, he also invests in community-based projects that provide quality housing to low-income families. And, for each new project Gibson takes on, he seeks opportunities to introduce a rising star to his world. One of his rising starts is Kelli Meade.

Smart BUSINESS Kelli Meade is the 29-year-old founder and creator of Gemphones, a luxury brand earphones that doubles as a fashionable necklace. Though her background is technology and project management, she’s maintained a love for creating wealth through real estate ownership. She purchased her first home at 25 and welcomed her first tenant a few months later. The Memphis transplant learned of Gibson’s success in the real estate world and immediately recognized a great opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade that would grow her own business. Gibson says that Meade’s approach stood out. When asked how he cherry picks who to support, he points to what’s within. “Self belief. I can tell whether or not someone is capable by how they physically approach me,” offers Gibson. “Kelli was confident. She was sure of herself and could clearly articulate her thoughts and ideas.” Meade’s confidence earned her instant credibility. Gibson threw her into a handful of small communitybased projects and immediately encouraged her to make decisions. “[As wives, mothers, friends, and professionals] women offer a diverse perspective. They are creative and flexible which gives them capability of excelling in various roles. Honestly, most men are limited on what we can bring to the table.” The Gibson-Meade mentoring relationship is one of empowerment. Gibson acts as a sounding board and offers occasional advice when Meade hits a roadblock. However, for the most part, he allows Meade to learn through experience. Meade says that she’s been invited to attend carefully selected social events to build her personal network for future business opportunities. But the relationship isn’t all fun and cocktails. “I do a lot of research. I research funding opportunities. I research agencies, partners - anything that I need to know, really. I then schedule meetings, report back the results of those meetings, and offer my intentions on the next appropriate move.”

Meade continues, “I’ve been trusted with a lot of responsibility. I set a realistic expectation. JW knows that I’m learning and will make mistakes, but he also trusts that I’m going to do everything in my power to make intelligent decisions to avoid them.” Valuable mentoring relationships aren’t limited to new experiences, though taking on unique challenges is usually par for the course. When a marketing client introduced me to then Congressional candidate Ricky Wilkins, I didn’t know what was in store – but I knew it would be a fun journey. Wilkins is a respected attorney based in Downtown Memphis, a champion for affordable housing for all, and – by all definitions – a feminist. He handed the reigns for his political campaign to a woman, recruited a woman to manage his campaign funds, welcomed a woman to lead his fundraising efforts, empowered a woman to oversee volunteer recruitment and training, and invited me to take on the grassroots portion of his campaign communications.

“Kelli was confident. She was sure of herself and could clearly articulate her thoughts and ideas.”

Though the experience was invaluable and has shaped the direction of my marketing firm, the primary reason I celebrate Wilkins is because of his commitment to help sharpen my soft skills. He helped me to better understand my own vision before involving others, refine my approach to leadership, and ultimately become a better communicator. Even today, when “Bossy Dani” comes out in completely different circles, I’m reminded of the day when he looked me in the eyes and said, “Young lady. We’re going to have to sit down and talk.” Okay, Dad. That willingness to point out areas where we have opportunities to grow as professionals is what builds trust between mentor and mentee and ultimately creates stellar business woman. A talented businesswoman currently making her way through the ranks is Ms. London Lamar. President of both the TN Young Democrats and Shelby County Young Democrats, Lamar’s reputation as an advocate for young voters has earned critical support from political leaders across the state. One individual she credits with helping her rise in political stature is current City Council candidate Mickell Lowery. Southern Soul l June 2015

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“Young lady. We’re going to have to sit down and talk.” Lowery offered Lamar much-needed support as she sought the TN State Representative seat in the Fall 2014 race. He answered questions, shared knowledge, and committed to supporting Lamar across the political spectrum. “When I met London, I knew she’d be a star. She has a lot of energy, a ‘can-do’ spirit, and her platform aligns with my own. We both want to see more young people and more women in position to make critical decisions that shape our city, state, and federal governments,” explained Lowery. “I grew up with a constant reminder of my civic duty to give back. Now, I am positioned to do so – both in my bid for City Council and as a mentor to stellar young professionals like London.” Lamar admits that she wasn’t intentional about finding a male mentor and contends that women are just as effective at helping to promote other women. “I’m a feminist. I have several women in my life who help guide my decisionmaking. But I also understand that men think differently and approach problem-solving differently than I might. That’s why I try to maintain a network of men who I can call on and ask for insight on how they’d solve problems.” Still, Lamar isn’t an equal opportunity mentee. “I’m drawn to male feminist – men who support and empower women. A lot of men talk about it, but not many men truly take steps to help us break the glass ceiling. If you want to know if a guy is a true champion for women, I have a simple test you can do: look at the people around him. If he hasn’t empowered women on his own team, it’s not likely that he’ll work to empower you.” Men who “lean in” and support women are invaluable and we usually look to top male executives to act. However, in doing research for this article, I discovered that men are leaning in at all levels. Take Darnell Settles – a 33-yearold mid-level marketing professional for a top healthcare organization. His professional experience has been limited to female superiors and he offers general advice to women

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considering leadership roles. “Surround yourself socially with the people you want to work with professionally. When you walk into an interview, you should feel like a peer. Join the professional organizations, attend the mixers, and support similar causes. Sexism in the workplace is reinforced because of an inability for two people to relate to one another. “Also, be yourself. Don’t settle for a passive aggressive delivery because you couldn’t choose between being liked or being mean. The best leadership comes from people who are direct, informed, and objective.” Settles admits that he doesn’t immediately note the sex of individuals where he works, but he advocates on behalf of everyone. “Sometimes, personal situations can make doing your job difficult. I always make myself available to help develop plans so that there is flexibility in the work environment for the people who need it. If you’re an asset to our team – man or woman – I will fight so that we keep you. I know the statistics, but I don’t need those to get results. I need to make policymakers understand the problem. “Ask the senior leadership, ‘What would you want done for your daughter? This policy isn’t supportive of families. What can we do to fix this?” According to Settles, simply asking the question usually garners the intended results. Currently, only 20% of Fortune 500 board members are female. Less than 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs are female. And of the 500 businesses that make up the list, the number of leaders who are both African American and female is shocking; only one African American woman makes the list. Today, we need men who understand the value of women and make a conscious decision to support those who are fearless and ambitious. Thank you to the men who partner with women to help pave the way for diversity in leadership. We applaud your service. §


Pamela D. Pitts, CFP速 Financial Advisor 6060 Poplar Ave Suite 450 Memphis, TN 38119 O: (901)685-2700 ppitts@wradvisors.com Southern Soul l June 2015

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Just Saying . . .

Where is Daddy?

The Power of Presence



America is experiencing a national crisis with youth. Young people in pathological numbers; are being incarcerated when they should be going to college. Young ladies are carrying babies when they should be carrying books. Many adults are afraid of our children when we should be affirming our children. Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Child Study Center at Yale University, believes “Men are the single greatest untapped resource in the lives of American children.” Today, there are 19 million children in America without Fathers in their lives. These young people are at a double risk of dropping out of school, going to prison and being permanently listed on the welfare rolls. Eighty-five percent (85%) of the prison population in this country is made up of young people who grew up in a home without their Father.

The role of a Father is to provide Godly examples of manhood that give directions, provide protection, affection and correction for their children. Children will hear what parents say, but will do what they see parents do. What parents make a priority, children will see as important.

Once more and again, this crisis falls on the church’s side of the net. We must develop ministries that engage all Fathers. Churches and faith-based organizations must collaborate with Fraternities and Masonic Groups to conduct: Boot Camps for Fathers. While federal monies and grants are available, we don’t CHILDREN WILL HEAR WHAT PARENTS SAY, BUT WILL need to wait for the federal government to do for us DO WHAT THEY SEE PARENTS DO. what we can do for ourselves. Our Boot Camps could address Fathers to be; First time Fathers; Fathers with Fathers must become the Priest of their family, leading teenagers; Fathers of blended families; and, Fathers to each member into a relationship with God. Children developing positive relationships with the mother of need structure, boundaries and limits (acceptable their children. and unacceptable behavior). They need consequences Southern Soul l June 2015

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Just Saying . . . responded, “I will punch him out!” Why I asked? “He knew I existed but never came to see me.” From this experience, I gathered that a Father’s presence is a needed affirmation. It was during my Father’s Eulogistic Service, I realized that all I am, and all that I enjoy in life, came directly from my Father: the late Rev. Leo M. Gray, Sr. While growing up, my Father exposed me to a strong work ethic, the love of outdoors; hunting, fishing, gardening and devotion to family.

for violations and rewards for compliance. Unfortunately, 56% of African-American children will grow up in a home without the presence of the Father. The vicious cycles of teen pregnancy, gang violence, school dropouts, untimely deaths, unnecessary jail and prison time and a life in poverty, must be broken. The panacea is the involvement of Fathers. Fathers owe their children their presence. During my Doctorial Studies, I focused on the transformation of boys into men. The main ingredient for boys to become men was to have men present in their development. In one interview, I asked a teenager “what would you do if you could meet your Father? In an erupting like manner he

My Father became fascinated with cars as a young boy on the farm in Jago, Mississippi (now Southaven, MS.) In the late 1950’s, my Father bought a 1951 Ford. He allowed his three sons to help him rebuild the motor. Our daily routine included eating dinner together and going to the garage. He allowed my two brothers and me to get our hands dirty and greasy; we even busted a few knuckles in rebuilding that motor. From that point on, I was hooked on cars. I watched him provide for and protect his family. He took us to church and I saw him sing with the quartet: The Traveling Pilgrims. When my oldest sister went off to college, I saw him sacrifice his Saturday fishing and hunting trips, to sell produce to support his “daughter in college.” As I sat through his memorial service, it occurred to me, I never went to bed without my Father’s presence. I never ate dinner without my Father sitting at the head of the table and blessing the food. If I could make one note of the most profound lesson I learned from my Father, it would be the “Power of Presence”. §

Dr. L. LaSimba M. Gray, Jr. is pastor of the

historic New Sardis Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Gray was nurtured in the Christian faith by loving, devoted Christian parents, the Reverend Leo M. Gray, Sr. and the late Mrs. Corine Olivia Gray. He was baptized at the Middle Baptist Church. It was at the Middle Baptist Church that Dr. Gray was introduced to prophetic ministry. The Reverend E. W. Williamson was an activist in the Civil Rights Movement and ran for the Memphis City School Board, when it was not popular, nor safe, to do so. Dr. Benjamin Lawson Hooks has served as Dr. Gray’s role model in the ministry for the past 40 years and remains his pastor. An avid proponent of preserving African-American history, he is the current President of the Memphis Satellite Office of Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and has served on the Tennessee Human Rights

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Commission under three governors. Making history himself, Dr. Gray was elected to serve as an Alternate Delegate At-Large to the National Democratic Convention as a Committee Head delegate for Rev. Jesse L. Jackson to be nominated by the Democratic Party to be President of the United States of America. In 1990, Dr. Gray organized a group of activists and filed a federal lawsuit challenging the runoff provision of city elections in Memphis. The federal court ruled, without a trial, that the runoff was unconstitutional and Dr. W. W. Herenton was elected the first African-American Mayor of the city of Memphis. A distinguished author of three books, his third, Deacons for Defense and Justice covers African-American Men in Bogalusa, Louisiana who armed themselves to defend their community against the KKK during the civil-rights movement. In 2005, Dr. Gray was a delegate to the G-8 Summit Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, representing America’s clergy.

Just Saying . . .

Don’t Be Fooled, Fathers Are Capable A Single-Father Raises His Daughter



Parting ways with someone is rarely easy, especially when children are involved. When couples who have children together go their separate ways it is usually assumed the child(ren) will remain with mom and she will be deemed the custodial parent, but that is not always the case. More fathers are raising their children alone. ABC news reports, it’s a change that shows greater acceptance by society and the posture that more courts are ordering – presumably that sometimes, the best place for a child is with his or her father. “Fathers are capable of getting it done just like a mother,” said Jeffrey Garrison a Communication Coordinator for the National Football League and the father of two. Garrison sentiments are backed by research from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC reports fathers are just as hands-on as mothers when it comes to raising children that include African American fathers. The number of single-father households rose 62 percent in ten years and many of the largest increases in single-father households occurred in southern states, according to a 2000 census. Garrison, a Memphis native, is a part of that increase. He was once engaged, but now, a bachelor raising

Jeffrey Garrison and Daughter Janiya

one of his children, Janiya, fulltime while continually active in the other child’s life. “The numbers don’t lie,” said Garrison. “It is all about awareness and influence. You have guys like me who knows what is like to be raised without a father and the importance of being in your child’s life. The energy of being without a father has motivated me to be a great father.”

FATHERS ARE CAPABLE OF GETTING IT DONE JUST LIKE A MOTHER The American Association for Single People attribute the increase in single dads to several reasons, including more judges awarding custody to fathers Southern Soul l June 2015

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Just Saying . . . and more women choosing their career over family. Garrison said he has cared for his daughter since her mom was pregnant, but gained official custody when her mother decided to join the military. His daughter was two years old at the time, and today, she is almost 8. Caring for his daughter has not been easy nor was it an easily prepared task. “One of the greatest challenges I have faced has been financial, and learning how to be more nurturing, sensitive and caring. As a boy, growing up, you are not taught to be sensitive or that it’s okay to cry. You are taught to suck it up. When raising a little girl, naturally I want to tell her the same thing -- to suck it up. My mom and other women in my family have told me I have to deal with her differently because she is a little girl.” He also attests that being a single father has changed him for the better. “It has matured me. It would be days when I had to take my daughter to class (college) with me. I had to put myself on the back burner” Garrison said.

for a lot of people. Make sure you have a solid support system whether its family or friends.” Pew research shows that large numbers of African American fathers are more likely to live separately from their children, but, remain involved in their kid’s life and are not physically there full time because of external issues instead of the assumption that they do not want to raise their children. Over the years there has been an emerging trend in television shows depicting Black family life in a positive manner such as Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Family Matters, The Cosby Show, and most recently, Black-ish. There have not been as many television shows with a single African American father raising his kids. Smart Guy which aired on the WB (now the CW) from 1997 to 1999 was the forerunner for the current Deion Family Playbook – airing now. Psychologists indicate having a show air on network television with a similar premise today will create a positive shift in thinking about African American men as fathers.

Pew research shows that “Black fatherhood” is a term that is usually accompanied by words like “crisis” creating a stigma that African American fathers are less active in their children’s lives. New scientific research is dispelling this belief. The CDC found that African American dads are more involved with their kids on a daily basis than dads from other races. And those same dads are more open and welcoming of help or assistance from family members and friends.

“I think there needs to be another show like that. “It opens up a completely new eyeball for people who do not believe the black single father exists,” said Garrison.

“My family lives by the motto, ‘It takes a village’ and it does.” My daughter spends a lot of time with my mom and she has proper female influences,” said Garrison. “Get outside of yourself and know that you have to do what’s best for your child. It is not about you anymore and that is a harsh reality

So, instead of looking the other way when you see a father struggling with his daughter’s hair or appearing troubled shopping for the right size outfit for his daughter, step in and ask if you can assist. It takes a village and that includes you. §

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Pew research shows that African American fathers are playing a vital role in their kid’s life in the same manner as Caucasian and Latino men. That type of research is defying stereotypes of black fatherhood and bringing awareness to the multifaceted lives of African American men.


Breakout Sessions includeâ&#x20AC;Ś

reMoving the Female Mask

A Leading Lady Perspective And Much More!

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www.Blues1380.com FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION: 901.849.7714 Southern Soul l June 2015


Lucille’s Legend B.B. King



It’s hard to handle when the thrill is gone. It took game after game after game… but last month the thrill of NBA playoff basketball engulfed our great city. For eight exciting months we stormed FedExForum in downtown Memphis and watched our Memphis Grizzlies take to the stage and blaze a trail directly into the NBA Playoffs. It changes the city. We buy jerseys emblazoned with other people’s names, we paint our faces, we yell at referees until we can barely speak, and, of course, we wave towels. Other cities would pull matching yellow t-shirts BB King from Delta over their heads, and present the TV cameras with Haze Collection an arena of yellow-clad clones. Not in Memphis. We waved towels… wore our own clothes, thankmore about the street we take for granted… but which has you-very-much, and waved towels. All of us; changed our lives and our city. It’s more than a post-game shoulder-to-shoulder… young, old, rich, poor, black, destination. white, Republicans, Democrats… our differences and similarities, for another thrilling season, meant nothing. About 70 years ago (long before the Grizzlies came to the We were Memphians and we roared together like we were Grindhouse, or even before Vancouver, or even before at a concert. We prayed that the thrill would never end… the basketball became a League), a young musician returning us to a common city. abandoned his job driving a tractor and his Saturday night performances in Mississippi juke joints and settled We even gave our heroes nicknames: The Grindfather, in Memphis. Realizing that musical success requires more Big Spain, The General, Zeeeee-bo. Their jerseys weren’t than musicianship, he sought a job in radio to both pay blue – they were Beale Street blue. And after each game the bills and to promote his weekly gigs. Just like The we poured out of The Grindhouse and celebrated together Grindfather, he adopted a moniker. After a stint on West on Beale… the largest tourist attraction in the state of Memphis’ KWEM radio, Riley B. King landed a short Tennessee and the most famous musical street in the little 10-minute slot on Memphis’ WDIA. His 10-minute world. “King’s Spot,” sponsored by the health tonic Pepticon, became so popular it was increased in length and became I wrote about Beale Street in last month’s column. Sure, the “Sepia Swing Club.” As his popularity grew, King every other month I wrote about one of our city’s musical needed a catchy radio name, and he became the Beale icons (just like this month), but last month, while “The Street Blues Boy (yes, long before the Flippers claimed the Boys in Beale Street Blue” were entering their fifth name). The name was shortened to Blues Boy King, and straight Playoffs, I wrote about Beale Street. Justifiably eventually B.B. King. so. If you read the column, you would have learned a bit Southern Soul l June 2015

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King with Clapton from BBK Museum

Years before Elvis, this King (not the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and not the “Kings of the Court”) also entered Sun Studios on Union Avenue and recorded for Sam Phillips. In 1952, the recording of “3 O’Clock Blues,” which spent five weeks at number one on the R&B charts, launched B.B. King’s career. Since the start of that career, every guitar has been named “Lucille,” and, appropriately enough, every one of those guitars are custom made by hand at the Gibson Guitar Factory in downtown Memphis (yes, one block off of Beale… you can see the huge yellow sign as you enter a Grizz game). There’s a great story of how, in the 1950s, a young King was playing a juke joint in Twist,

BB King WDIA from BB King Museum

nationally and internationally, B.B. King has become the most renowned blues musician of the past 50 years. His 1965 album Live At The Regal is regarded as one of the greatest blues albums ever. As black music evolved into soul music in the 1960s, the blues fell out of favor among black audiences. At the same time, however, a white audience, influenced by the roots explorations of the British Invasion, was beginning to discover the blues. In 1967, B.B. played San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium. The venue had once been a premier “chitlin-circuit” stop and when he saw the line of white hippies waiting to get in, he thought his bus driver was at the wrong place. Somewhat confused, he took the stage and, before he could play, the white audience rose and applauded his entrance. “I stood there and started crying,” B.B. recalled. “I had about three or four standing ovations. And when I got ready to leave, they stood up again. That was the beginning of playing to a different crowd of people.” In 1968, B.B. King played at the Newport Folk Festival and on bills with the hottest contemporary rock artists of the day. Rock bands of the 1960s idolized B.B. King and helped to introduce him to a young white audience. In 1969, he was chosen by the Rolling Stones to open for them at 18 American concerts. Memphis artists Ike and Tina Turner were also on the tour.

Musical success requires more than musicianship Arkansas (real city… Google it). Two men at the bar got into a fight, turned over an old kerosene heater, and set the place on fire. After recovering his guitar, King discovered that the two men were fighting over a waitress. Her name was Lucille, since that day, all of King’s guitars bear her name. Initially, B.B. established his audience among AfricanAmericans. His constant touring and steady release of records kept him in demand. In 1956, B.B. and his band played an astonishing 342 one-night stands. From the chitlin circuit with its small-town cafes, juke joints, and country dance halls to rock palaces, symphony concert halls, universities, resort hotels and amphitheaters, 40 |

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retroSOUL You want to talk about a long season with no All-Star break? Most years of his 50-year performing career, B.B. King played between 250 and 300 dates. To date it is estimated that he has performed over 15,000 gigs. His music and his shows have transcended all demographics. His shows resemble a Grizzlies game… young, old, black, white, lovers of both blues and rock ‘n’ roll. He has recorded and collaborated with John Lee Hooker, Etta James, Stevie Wonder, Ringo Starr, Branford Marsalis, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton. He recorded with U2, King with John Lee Hooker from BBK Museum which took him back to the legendary Sun Studios. He has the National Championship, every single season ends with played on Sanford & Son, The Cosby Show, Sesame Street, a heart-breaking loss. Yet we celebrate. We look back on American Bandstand, before The Pope and in The White the season and we celebrate how Zach, Marc, Tony, Coach House. Along the way he collected 17 Grammys (including Joerger and the others improved our city. We celebrate a Lifetime Achievement Award), induction into Memphis’ how they brought us together inside the Grindhouse. It’s Blues Hall of Fame and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. still kinda sad. Last October, B.B. King decided that the time had come for his rigorous performance schedule to come to an end. At 89 years of age, the “King of the Blues” decided it was time to rest. B.B. King and his famous Lucille walked off the stage together for the final time as performers. Then last month, on May 14, 2015, the “King of the Blues” passed away.

The thrill is gone.

Each year, whether in late April, May or June… we fold our Growl Towels and we pack them away. Unless you win

We’ll always have his music… on original 45 Sun Records, on CDs, on iPods and downloads. “Why I Sing the Blues,” “Let the Good Times Roll,” “Hummingbird,” “Every Day I Have the Blues”… even “The Thrill is Gone” will always be a part of our musical lives, though the latter expresses our sentiments. Prior to his death, tourists, students and citizens have sent Riley B. King get well wishes. WDIA once again celebrated their friend with a full day of his blues. The Mayor proclaimed “B.B. King Day” in Memphis. However, while roundball will tip off again next October… the man who revived the blues for music fans worldwide has left the stage forever. Your retroSOUL music assignment (you know, I assign one every month). First, who can tell me what the “B” in Riley B. King’s middle name stood for? Tweet you answer to #retrosoul. Then turn to iTunes and listen as B.B. King and U2 team up at Sun Studio to belt out “When Love Comes to Town.” Then simply say, “Thank you.” Thank you, B.B. King. Memphis Believes! §

King with Dick Clark on American Bandstand from BBK Museum

King with Club Owner Sunbeam Mitchell from BBK Museum

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photography by JAY ADKINS


t’s been a long time coming. And, it is finally here! The Memphis Music Hall of Fame will open this month!

Changing the world is an awesome undertaking and when one accomplishes such a feat, it is inextricably etched in history and thrust into the vortex of the unknown. Forever in history is Memphis music and the Memphis sound that changed the world. Only Memphis can claim the historical fusion of guttural Delta blues, electrifying soul stirring and quirky rockabilly which remains today the foundation, birth and epicenter of modern music. Preserving, knowing and understanding history is a vital element in shaping the future. Celebrating those who made history is a responsibility. On the historic Beale Street, at the corner of Second & Beale and adjoining the Hard Rock Café, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame opens its doors giving the world a celebration of Memphis Music Legends. Through its doors, one will discover a flash-card history lesson of the inductees, their likeness and personal memorabilia. Each inductee has strong ties to Memphis where they created, worked and/or performed and pioneered the cultural complexion of music.

In, 2012, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame inducted its inaugural class of 25 giving tribute to Memphis’ talent ranging from infamous rock legends - Jerry Lee Lewis to home-grown rappers - Three 6 Mafia; and, of course, including the blues – BB King; soul – Al Green; and, the Memphis Sound – Booker T. and The MG’s. As the Memphis Music Hall of Fame website reads “honors many of the greatest musicians of all time, who created this city’s musical legacy, and who shook our planet to the core! “ But, as John Doyle, Executive Director of the Memphis Rock ’n’ Soul Museum so eloquently put it . . . “The Hall of Fame is about the inductees, the people inside the Hall. It’s a tribute to the city’s musical legends.” So, in the spirit of John Doyle’s mantra, Southern Soul visited the Hall of Fame while in its last stages of construction and met a few of the people inside the Hall. We were fortunate to meet the son of 2012 Inductee Bobby “Blue” Bland, Rodd Bland; 2012 Inductee Willie Mitchell’s son, Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell; 2013 Inductee James Alexander of The Bar-Kays; 2013 Inductee David Porter; and 2014 Inductee Ann Peebles at the under-construction Memphis Music Hall of Fame. They took time to marvel at the construction progress of the Hall of Fame’s and took a moment to share their sentiments about the Hall of Fame. Southern Soul l June 2015

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2012 Inductee

Bobby “Blue” Bland

Rodd Bland - Son of Bobby "Blue" Bland SS: Your father was inducted into other Halls of Fame such as the Rock and Roll and The Blues. What did your father have to say about his induction here? RODD: He was elated when he was inducted. Memphis was his home. He could have lived anywhere in the world, but Memphis was his home. And, when I look at this construction, I know he would have loved being a part of this. He would have loved to be sitting here with his son speaking highly of him. But he would have absolutely loved this. SS: Your father’s music marked the Blues landscape. When you look back on his historic contributions, what are you most proud of? RODD: The old man himself. He lived for his family and his fans. A microphone in his hand and people in front of him; the guys behind him dressed in suits – it is what he lived for. That’s what gave him life. I’ve seen him sick, half hoarse, with the flu – and I would say, “Blue, hey, let’s call this one off til you get healthy and strong.” His response was always, “Son, I can’t do that. People paid money to come see the old man. Unless I’m on a slab, they’re gonna get the old man. I may not be a 100% but I’m still hell when I’m close to well.” He wanted to give his all and he did.

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The other thing I am most proud of was his love. He was a loving husband to my mother and an amazing father to me and my sister, Patrice; and a devoted grandfather to his grandkids, Kayla, Jade, Ava, and Zoey. SS: Each inductee will have memorabilia on display. What memorabilia can those visiting the Hall of Fame expect to see belonging to your father? RODD: Dad had a blue stool that he used for his gigs. That stool traveled with him to all his gigs if he could get it there. We will have that on display. Of course, he was known the world over for his signature nautical blue cap, so no display would be complete without that. So, that will be on display. And perhaps one of his towels. He always played with his one set of towels. They had his initials BBB. SS: What impact do you hope the Hall of Fame will have on those visiting? RODD: Oh, that’s simple. I want, when people visit and walk through, they can point to everyone they see and say “Wow, these are the guys or women who impacted my iTunes selection. These are the guys that made it happen.” I want every visitor to learn our history and I am proud that my father is a part of it.


2012 Inductee

Willie “Pops” Mitchell

SS: Willie “Pops” Mitchell was inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously. What do you believe he would say about his induction here? BOO: Dad would be very proud to be a part. Although he was not here for his induction, I remember he was a part of the ribbon cutting of the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and he was very excited. He would have loved being a part of this. Being inducted in any Hall of Fame is a great honor. And he would have thought just that. But, I know he would have been most proud to be inducted in a Hall of Fame that is located in Memphis. Because he loved Memphis and he loved the Memphis Sound. It was always very dear to my dad. He had many offers and opportunities to leave Memphis, but he never took them. He always believed in Memphis. I remember him saying “Something big is going on here. Something big is going to happen here.” He loved the city and I am sure he would love being here. SS: Each inductee will have memorabilia on display. What memorabilia can those visiting the Hall of Fame expect to see belonging to Willie “Pops” Mitchell? BOO: Dad’s most prized possession was his custom-made Constella trumpet which was a gift to him in the 60’s. The trumpet was very dear to him. We will display the trumpet there and maybe switch it up with a gold record or his favorite tape machines or clothing. SS: If you could select an inductee for the upcoming class, who would it be? BOO: The Hi Rhythm Section. They would be at the top of my list. They were the band that played for so many groups. They were Dad’s house band and a big part of Dad’s Memphis Sound. At the same time, I would have my uncle, James Mitchell and Howard Grimes on the list. Grimes was not just a part of the Hi Rhythm Section but he worked just as much arranging for others. He is an unsung hero in music. Also, I would have Al Jackson, Jr. He was a strong part of the Memphis Sound.

Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell - Son of Willie Mitchell Southern Soul l June 2015

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2013 Inductee

James Alexander SS: What does your induction mean to you? JAMES: It means an awful lot. To have my peers pay homage to my work speaks volumes. To have my hometown honor me in a Hall of Fame is special to me. When I look around the building here, seeing what it is and knowing what it will become, I am happy knowing I am a part of it. SS: Each inductee will have memorabilia on display. What memorabilia are you sharing? JAMES: Well, I haven’t quite decided what will be a best fit. I know it is opening soon. So, I guess everyone will have to wait and see. SS: Your music has endured for decades. When you look back, what are you most proud of? JAMES: I am forever proud of our music and our impact on the music world. But, I am most proud of the fact that I have been able to give back to others. Through our Bar-Kays Foundation, we have sent fifteen young 46 |

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people to LeMoyne Owen College. It is most rewarding to be able to give back to my home community and others. SS: The Hall of Fame will tell your story for years to come. What does that mean to you? JAMES: When you think about it that way, I guess this puts my story in a perpetual state. Its good to know generations to come will learn about our music and our history. It’s a good feeling to know that my grandchildren and their grandchildren will visit and say, “Hey, there’s my grandfather. He did that.” SS: What impact do you hope the Hall of Fame will have when opened? JAMES: When people come through the Hall, I hope they learn that music is a way of life. It’s not just something that happens overnight. It’s a lot of struggles, trials and tribulations for many years of your life. It takes a lot out of you to make it in music.

2013 Inductee

David Porter SS: What does your induction mean to you? DAVID: I can say it's a great honor for me to be recognized and inducted. This museum, being in my hometown and my desires to make a difference in my hometown, gives me another platform hopefully to motivate the next David Porter. SS: If you could pick up the phone and speak with one person about your induction, who would it be and why? DAVID: I certainly wish every day for the presence of my partner Isaac Hayes to be here with me to celebrate the respect given even now of what we've accomplished through our music. SS: Each inductee has an “artifact” on exhibit … what is yours? DAVID: I've given to the museum some unique audio and video that no other museum will have.

SS: If you could select a future Hall of Fame Inductee, who would you choose? DAVID: I know it's not possible but if it were, I'd put my mother as the next inductee in the museum. She was a mother of twelve and my observing her show love, sacrifice and passion for the wellbeing of all her children, I learned how to feel, express and create the way I have and because of her example with that love, I've had the career I've had. SS: Given the evolving sounds of Memphis music and your ever-present influence on it, are you working with an upcoming Hall of Fame inductee? DAVID: My passion is to be a door opener for young persons in Memphis just as others were for me. The Consortium MMT (Memphis Music Town) the nonprofit organization that I've started is a mentoring process that I hope last many years into the future to help the next, next, and on and on crop of songwriters, producers and recording artists go up their ladder to success.

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SS: What does your induction into the Hall of Fame mean to you? ANN: Getting inducted in the Memphis Hall of Fame is such a great honor. As an inductee, it means I will always be remembered for my music and an inspiration to others and hopefully, I will continue to be an inspiration in the future. SS: Each inductee will have memorabilia on display. What memorabilia can the visitors look forward to when they visit? ANN: Personal pictures, video clips, sound tracks, and stage clothing. SS: Your music has endured for decades. When you look back, what are you most proud of? ANN: Of course I am proud of my Hall of Fame induction, but I am most proud of the fact that I was a part of creating Memphis music and a part of the Memphis sound. SS: The Hall of Fame will tell your story for years to come and future generations to learn about. What does that mean to you? ANN: That my music will forever have a place in history that cannot be denied. SS: What impact do you hope the Hall of Fame will have once opened?

2014 Inductee

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ANN: The Hall of Fame will show the legends that made the sound of Memphis and it will forever be passed on. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a long time coming . . . and we can hardly wait until the Memphis Music Hall of Fame is open later this month. . . . . . §



At some point in adulthood, everyone can pinpoint the moment (or person) that guided your footsteps and shaped your existence. In most cultures, children are taught that men take care of their family -- a good provider, husband and father. We are swathed in the mindset that men are the best decision makers whom we should trust, honor and obey; thus the best leaders. In short, when most conjure a definition of manhood, we think strength yet compassion; gentleman yet often rambunctious; head of household yet spouse focused; and, a stern father yet a best friend. We found this article discussing male mentoring giving thought to what builds a man offering numerous parables with best lessons for young boys and a long list of what asset makes a man. Several were outstanding, some outlandish, and there were those that stuck. The “awe” sentiments were [Boys should know]. . . that honor is real, and that men who are honorable are worth infinitely more than those who aren’t; . . . that being a grown man means knowing you are responsible, even when you are not…. to become men who, when presented with a number of choices, do the one best thing…. that contrary to what society says, chivalry and feminism are reconcilable - its’ called holding the door for everyone, giving a hand to whomever needs it, lightening the load. Southern Soul Magazine’s team put their heads together and suggested individuals who have impacted their life or the community. There are far too many great men in our community to include all. Some we weren’t able to reach and others’ schedules did not permit an interview. We assembled twenty notable community leaders who we believe have made remarkable contributions to our community and who are holding the door open for others. We asked each to reflect on the person who helped drive their success – and respond to the simple question “Who Made You The Man You Are Today?”

Who Made You The Man You Are Today? photography by JAY ADKINS & BRYANT REDDICK

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DR. JON STENCEL Principal, Ridgeway High School


grew up quite differently than I live today. I was raised by a single parent, my mother, and attended a new school each year until high school. We lived in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Arizona. I have vivid memories of working in the cafeteria in grade school just so I could eat lunch. My mother was a high school English teacher so I never had the opportunity to not be successful in the classroom. I knew I wanted to be a teacher and a coach at the ripe old age of 10. The most enjoyable time of day for me was attending baseball or football practices. My biggest heroes growing up, aside from my mother, were my coaches. They brought out the best in me and taught me how to be physically and

mentally tough. I have been in School Administration for the past 12 years. At every school I have worked, I made it a point to make athletics relevant as well as important. Notice that I didn't say it was more important than academics, but important nonetheless. This year, our student athletes have earned 23 college scholarships. It is entirely possible that many of these young people would not attend college without one. It has become increasingly difficult to recruit and retain excellent coaches to positively impact the lives of our young people. With firsthand knowledge of the roles coaches play in the lives of today's children, you can bet that I will continue to search for the best available for our kids at RidgewaySouthern High School. Soul l June 2015

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Feature of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a degree in accounting. My father worked at Rust College, LeMoyneOwen College, Zorzor Teacher Training Institute (Liberia, West Africa), and Tuskegee Institute. He came back to Memphis to work for Mahalia Jackson Chicken Corporation and eventually started his own accounting firm. Living on and around Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’S), provided a great learning and educational environment for me. I witnessed my father’s commitment and dedication to the students, the administration, and staff and I observed Black men and women who were goal oriented and focused. I watched my father stress education and encourage students, and saw him create opportunities for students to continue to pursue their education, even when they were financially limited.


Director of Government Affairs, Comcast Cable


y father, Otha L. Brandon, Sr., served as a role model for me and helped me evolve into the man I am today. I appreciate the values he demonstrated and strived to instill in me and my sisters; to take care of your family, get an education; work hard; treat everyone the same; be selective relative to the people you are around and who you allow to be around you; and, to be honest and give back.

My father grew up in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, an all-Black town in the Delta. He understood that hard work and education would create a path to a better way of life for him and eventually his family. After high school, he started college at LeMoyne College, then went into the Army and eventually graduated from the University 51 |

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When he started his own accounting firm, he was committed to training Black accountants and serving as a mentor. Recently, one of my father’s former students told me that when she passed her CPA exam, my father asked her, “Who are you now going to help?” Now, in her life, she used my father’s spark ‘to help others’ in advance her career as she too is committed to promoting and lifting students of our HBCU’s. In some ways, I followed in his footsteps. I went to the University of Illinois; and after graduate school, I worked at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida and Howard University in Washington, DC, until I returned to Memphis to work for Time Warner Cable, now Comcast Cable. When asked if I am an accountant like my father, I generally respond, “No, but I count real well.” I did not realize how involved my father was in the community until I moved back to Memphis. People would tell me that my father did their taxes, or he provided financial advice, or he served on a board with them. He truly felt an obligation to this community and to Black people. I value the lessons I learned from him and the unconditional love that he gave to me. He was someone I could go to and get sound advice and guidance. I eventually realized that all he wanted was the best for his son. To him, it was never about him, it was all about me.

PHILLIP ASHLEY RIX Designer Chocolatier and Entrepreneur


cannot point to any one thing; but most certainly my parents and then family, friendships, adversities along the way and faith. Life and its experiences shape and mold us, but our own hands play a role in how we will ultimately take form.

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CALVIN L. ANDERSON Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee


t is extremely difficult to narrow a list to one or only a few of the influential people that I would say are associated with my growth and development. Very early in in my political career, I was fortunate to work with United States Senator Jim Sasser, a man of great capability and character, where I learned the full scope of public policy and the importance of service. Rev. James E. Smith was an outstanding labor leader who exposed me to community level politics and impressed on me the value of the election process. I had a strong and committed network of contemporary peers in Bernice Donald, Greg Duckett, Cato Johnson and Deidre Malone who provided then (and now) the type of advice and support that makes me who I am. Professionally, Leon Griffin Sr. guided my early start in insurance and provided me a number of essential lessons and focused guidance and Vicky Gregg, former CEO with BlueCross BlueShield, provided me immeasurable guidance and major position elevation and broad national exposure opportunities in the insurance industry. These and others, including family, faith leaders, and educators combined to provide me a platform for personal, political, professional and civic development and an opportunity for leadership and success.

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y mother and my wife. My mother is so selfless, compassionate and has such a big heart; and my wife because she is so courageous and full of grace.

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Retired Circuit Court Judge, Thirtieth Judicial District at Memphis


here is no question that I am the person I am today because of my father. My father, George H. Brown, Sr., was an extraordinarily wise and strong man. Although he didn’t attend college, the wisdom he imparted was boundless. It was he who engrained self-belief into my fiber, telling me “You can do anything you set your mind to do.” Naturally, I gained family values from both my mother and father, but, it was my father who steered me in my life direction. Whenever I got into mischief, my father always let me know “misbehavior was unacceptable.” He was always there to guide my footsteps and offer many a fatherly nudge.

Attending Booker T. Washington High School, I amended my father’s mantra (that I could do anything I set my mind to) with the BTW mindset that “we lead where others follow.” It was here that I decided to deliver greatness, succeed, and score a path for others. 55 |

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Reaching the pinnacle of the judiciary bench was a gracious and humbling honor, but being a judge was what I did, not who I am. It was the values I learned from my father that made who I am. . . . a brother, a husband, a father, and a grandfather. From my father’s teachings and his fatherhood examples, I gained an inner strength, a quiet storm personality, and pearls of wisdom drawn from his life’s experiences. My father was devoted to his family. And now, following my father’s example, I too am devoted to my family. I find my greatest title is father and grandfather and my greatest joys are my one-on-one excursions with my grandchildren or our family travels together. I too share my life’s experiences and wisdom learned along the way with my sons and grandson. In my man-cave, a portrait of my father hangs on the wall. I often look up at it to gain inspiration and, sometimes . . . a wink, a smile, and a modicum of divine intervention!


President, Tri-State Bank of Memphis


he following persons have made me the man I am today: The Lord God, who made me and cares for me every second of every day!!! My parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Jesse (Allegra) Turner, who by example, instilled values in me and my siblings. These include faith, love of fellowman, commitment to education, commitment to black economic development, and leadership. My wife, Joyce, who as my life partner, has helped me develop with wise counsel and good judgment!!! My teachers, who encouraged me to grow in knowledge and to strive for excellence. My early bosses, who (even with my two degrees) taught me business. Southern Soul l June 2015

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DARRELL GREENE 9 | 10 PM Anchor, Fox 13 News


y father, Herb Greene, made me the man I am today. He not only showed me his strength and honor, but also showed me unconditional love and support. He was hard on me when I needed it, but was the first to put his arm around me when I needed it most. I only hope and pray that my children will look at me some day just as I look at him now: with love, respect, and thankfulness, understanding now, what I could never understand thenâ&#x20AC;Ś That he always had my back, even when I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know he was standing right there.

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ach and every experience; good and bad, from 30 years ago to this morning has built the fabric of who I am. I think it's like baking: we all have similar ingredients, but the quantities and the process vary; thus the end result. Of course, the baker is important, so everyone who is part of our life also plays an important role in who we are. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s be aware that we too, are playing a role in othersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lives. Southern Soul l June 2015

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CLIFFORD STOCKTON, SR. Senior Advisor Logistics and Public Policy Greater Memphis Chamber

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had a Father in my life, Wilmer Stockton, Captain/ Headwaiter at The Peabody Hotel for 44 years. My father was the consummate gentleman; of strong religious belief; a disciplinarian; possessed a dedicated commitment to family; had a character above reproach; always an eternally pleasant demeanor; spoke with distinctive articulation; was keenly attentive to attire; had a strong work ethic; and, a sincere concern for others. Having had him in my life causes me to strive to emulate him.

DR. ART SUTHERLAND Tennessee Chairman of Physicians for a National Health Program & Advisor to the National PNHP Board of Directors


have to honor my parents for showing me how to respond to the inequities we see around us, and to always work for social justice. My mother was a Wisconsin farm girl who became a nurse educator; met my physician father in Chicago; got married; and, moved to Nashville where I was born. My father volunteered for service in WW II and followed Patton across Europe as a field hospital commander until victory was obtained. My mother was involved in many community outreach efforts in Nashville and took us kids with her to serve those made poor. I was blessed to have parents like them.

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President & CEO The MMBC Continuum


ost people respond to the question who is your role model by saying a celebrity, a famous athlete or a corporate CEO. My response is closer to home, my mother, Charlie Mae Yancy. She encouraged me to believe that I could do anything. She taught me about honesty and integrity and how to give 150% at all times. She taught me to never be afraid of anything. No matter what the task or how formidable the opponent she always said â&#x20AC;&#x153;Never be afraid!â&#x20AC;? In an era where people were seen and not heard, she had a personality that always let people know she was present. She told me that most people are average and if average people can do average things, then I could do extraordinary things because she taught me that I could accept any challenge. My mother was the first entrepreneur that I knew. At an early age, having six children, working three jobs, she went to beauty school. She then started her own hair salon which she owned and operated for 50 years all while raising and educating her children. She was extraordinary and touched so many lives. My passion and love for entrepreneurship and business came from her and I can truly say that she helped me to become the man I am today.

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WILLIE BATES Owner, Four Way Restaurant


y journey began with a praying mother, Mrs. Magnolia Bates, whose spirit was filled with love. She had a willingness to sacrifice for the future of her children.

At an early age, we moved to Lemoyne Gardens within seeing distance of Metropolitan Baptist Church. There, at Metropolitan Baptist, I found a true role model, the minister, Dr. Horne. to me and so many others as history notes. Dr. Horne was a long range planner. He was determined to make a difference in the lives of others; and that he did! He coined the phrase “Extra Efforts Wins” and to this date, this phrase is an inspiration to our daily service at the restaurant. I met my second foremost mentor through my older sister. While selling flower seeds to win a camera, she visited the house next door to Metropolitan Baptist, the home of Mr. and Mrs. B. G. Oliver to sell her seeds. Mr. Oliver and his wife, Ida Oliver, were a source of encouragement to many children in our community. While visiting the Olivers, they asked my sister if she had a brother big enough to cut grass and care for their Great Dane dog. At the time, I was only nine years old, but with the spirit of “the extra effort would win,” I took the job. Every day after school, I cared for their

dog and tended their yard. This opportunity had a lifelong impact on me. Mr. B. G. Oliver was the first Vice President at the Historical Universal Life Insurance Company. He lived by the cardinal principles -- manhood, scholarship, uplift, and perseverance. It was through Mr. Oliver that I was able to work during summer months with he and Art Gillian, who was also a Vice President at the historic Universal Life Insurance Company. Upon my completion of college with a degree in Business Administration, I continued my career of 38 rewarding years with the historic Universal Life Insurance Company. The knowledge and experience that I acquired while with Universal Life, has been helpful in the purchase and operation of the Legendary Four Way Grill. I am proud to be part of the Soulsville USA community and that I am able to give back to the community and to work with the various organizations within our community that continue to make a difference in the lives and development of our children. I am grateful for the support and encouragement of my family and associates. Thanks a million for your love and support as we celebrate another Father’s Day. Southern Soul l June 2015

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Legislative Specialist, Shelby County Board of Commissioners


here was a lot of making that contributed to who I am today; but, without a doubt the most influential person in my life has been my Dad. I often tell myself if I can manage to become half the man Leon Gray, Senior was -- I will have accomplished a lot. My Dad was a provider and a role model that was willing to teach me everything he knew, patiently and with kindness. He was tough on me at times; but, never left any doubt in my mind about his love for me and his family. As I'm raising my sons I often recall things my Dad did while nurturing me from boy to man. I pray I honor my fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s footsteps.

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President/CEO, Tate Computer Systems, Inc.


y mother made me the man I am today. My mom was a gladiator. She did not wait for things to happen she made things happen. I watched my mom take me and my eight siblings from being a family of share croppers to building a house; to getting her driving license at 45; to getting her first job outside the home, to working for the State and retiring with benefits.

My mom came from a very humble beginning, but she was a God fearing woman that would never take no for an answer. I see myself a lot like her, because I have something inside of me that created the entrepreneurship in me that would never allow me to quit. My mom asked me when I started my company wasn’t I afraid of what I was doing because of the liability of servicing other organizations’ equipment. I shared with her I couldn’t do it if I was afraid, even though I had apprehension in doing so, I refused to be denied. I had no prior generation of business owners in my family and no resources like my mom; but, I had determination and I had God telling me I could do anything I put my mind to. I give thanks to my mom for her strong guidance and leadership and I thank God for giving me the faith through His word that kept me strong throughout this continuous journey.

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y parents were instrumental in making me who I am today. Growing up in a single parent home, my mother, a 30-year Memphis City Schools Special Education and music teacher, showed me what it meant to persevere and to never to be outworked. Whether it was through hard work to earn a football scholarship; graduate from college; or, strive to succeed in the media business. My father, whom my older brother and I saw on the weekends, instilled a certain well roundedness. For a portion of my childhood, my father was unemployed. As a teenager, I watched him start his own business and succeed. His business etiquette gave me my business acumen and sitting in his living room listening to everything from Muddy Waters to Bob Marley made me have a vast appreciation of all genres of music as well as spawned my love of music.

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BISHOP-ELECT SIDNEY P. MALONE AKA DR. SID Senior Pastor of New Growth In Christ (“NGIC”) and Founder and Host of Life Coach Corner

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ecoming a Man is a complicated process. It involves many Influences, Tests, and Examples. As a child, I missed many experiences others had with their Fathers because mine, for whatever justifications, was not involved in my development. My Mother, Myrtle Malone, made the decision to solicit the involvement of others to cultivate growth in areas that were foreign to me culturally and spiritually. Along with Southern Soul l June 2015

my Grandmother and Grandfather, Uncles, Coaches, and people who “saw” something in me, I was steered into areas that properly accompanied my natural talents. Now I am privileged to help young people through my “GROWing Up Men” and “Girl, Beautiful!” Mentoring Programs. I’ve learned from my experiences and through my professional Coaching that a man, with the involvement of many, can be made in minutes…

BRIAN J. STEPHENS CEO, Caissa Public Strategy LLC


hatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a really tough question. I have had several great mentors over the years, and I continue to actively seek new ones. When I was in the military, I surrounded myself with those who knew the best way to create and implement a plan. It wasn't always those with a higher rank that I sought for advice; at times I looked to people who were my subordinates. Essentially, anyone that educated themselves on being better and growing in wisdom I would (and still do) wear out with questions in order to ensure I learned as much as possible.

Now that I'm in the business world, I seek those that have built and created companies. Anyone that has created jobs and has to make a payroll is someone that I want to talk to and learn from. I like to believe there is a special place carved out in Heaven for the small business owner. One thing I have learned from my conversations with these leaders is to ask for advice and guidance if you need it, and even if you don't. People are pretty generous with their advice and wisdom if you just think to ask.

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Of course, there has been one person that has had the single greatest impact on my life, and that person is my mother. Having been raised by a single mom since I was around 3 years old, I'm a true momma's boy. She taught me the power of empathy and of service, learning to care a little more for those around me, and to put the needs of others first. These qualities have proven valuable on every front of my life. My mother was neither a titan of industry nor a great military leader, but she taught my sister and me how to relate to and care for others. Those are things that I am forever thankful she instilled in me.



hard working businessman, who will be the first person at the office and the last one to leave the office. My father, he was a very big part of my life. He taught me the value of a dollar. He was a hardworking man and I saw him work day and night for his family. He made all his children work as early as 7 years old. We picked cotton, cut grass and did chores around the house. He was hard on us as a father, but that made me who I am today.....A hard working man! Southern Soul l June 2015

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JOHN ROBERT CARROLL Executive Director, City Leadership


village raised this boy into a man. No single “Who,” but, rather a very special collective group of family, friends, and heroes. There was also a few significant “Whats” and a powerful “When,” but let’s look at the “Who.” My father David Carroll showed me business. Growing up, at least half the time my father and I spent together, he was working. Whether at his office, with a client, or simply over hearing him on the phone in the car, I gleaned business principles from him continuously. Specifically great customer service. My mentor Steve Llewellyn built into me faith. Growing up in the south I wrestled for a decade with understanding God, but Steve showed me Jesus. Not just in the pages of the Bible, but with how he loved me. My friend Justin Williams cultivated my passion for others. He treated me like a brother from day one. I watched him show such great interest in all sorts of people no matter their status. He simply loved everyone for no reason right out of the gates. It was contagious. My boss John Bryson called me to leadership. He saw something in me before I ever did. He gave me responsibility and challenged me to pursue adventures. Then inspired me to dream big and pursue my own vision.

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Join Us In June

June 9th | 5:30

Saluting Local World War II Veterans Charlie Henderson and Vince Rowell sharing their stories

Crecnt club

Charlie Henderson, Vince Rowell

June 18th | 11:30am Women On The Move Health and Beauty Expo Get Positive, Posh & Pampered June 23rd | 5:30 pm

Money Matter$ forum. Panel discussion on the financial state of Arts in Memphis. Featured panelists Memphis Symphony Orchestra CEO Roland Valliere.

Contact The Crescent Club at 901-684-1010

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Registration required. Non-Member Admission $20 Complimentary Hors dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;oeuvres.

More Than Just A



An Experience



What is the allure of a good cigar? Is it the smoky flavor, its lingering aroma, its bravado, or a combination of all that has caused it to leave a lasting impression on American culture and society? Whichever answer you select, the fact remains – cigars have (and will continue) to be indelible in our landscape. Before you grimace at the thought of pungent cigar odor, consider cigar smoking a complex cultural artifact such as cognac and opera and arrives with an acquired taste. A taste that can be acquired. Over the years, cigar smoking has evolved, just as much as wine tastings. Cigar flavors vary depending on the tobacco plant’s origin and soil. Cigars can be found in several sizes and shapes; their strength can range from very mild, to bold and robust; their aromas can range from sweet to strong; and infusions are often rums, coffees and bourbons.

Havana Mix Owner CEO Robb Hunter

While cigar smoking has spanned our nation’s history, it has recently become fashionable and evolved into a lifestyle. Somewhat paradoxically, many of the new cigar smokers actually consider themselves to be “non-smokers.” They exercise and watch their diet, yet feel free to partake of a hand-rolled Central American tobacco delicacy. Cigar enthusiasts travel the world smoking in renowned cigar shops, attending cigar festivals, and touring cigar factories. In addition to the brand and flavor, cigar devotees have specific ways they light, cut, and store their cigars. Cigar shop professionals know to ask their patrons if they would prefer their cigars cut with a punch, a v-cut, or a straight cut, and they wouldn’t dare light a customer’s cigar incorrectly causing it to burn unevenly. Cigar aficionados personalize their technique of smoking their stogies. Southern Soul l June 2015

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Lifestyles ambience, no hospitality, no diversity, no music, no fun, no drinks, and most of all, there were no women. This is when he decided it was time to create something new and innovative for Memphis. Creating a culture like no other in Memphis, Hunter opened his flagship shop, “Havana Mix,” in 2009 giving Memphis its first upscale cigar shop with charisma, variety and entertainment. Havana Mix was such a success; Hunter needed more space and in 2012, relocated Havana Mix to a larger space a few blocks from the original location in Downtown Memphis. Recognizing the wide acceptance of Havana Mix, Hunter followed by opening his Lakeland shop, “Burning Desire,” and now there’s Southaven’s “Cigar Haven.” Each shop is not just a place to light up a cigar; each has its own unique style, character, and flavor to meet his patrons’ discerning tastes. When I met with Hunter at Havana Mix, I was amazed at the large cigar inventory in the oversized walkin humidor. There are more than 1,500 cigars, including Ashton, Arturo Fuente, Kristoff, Padrón, and Montecristo. The cigar list is updated constantly as new products are introduced to the market. Cigars lined the shelves in wooden boxes like candy in a candy store. I savored the aromas as we toured the humidor. When I asked Hunter how does one choose what to smoke? He puffed on his stogie and said, “I ask my customers specific questions to help them identify their palate and determine if they prefer mild, medium, or full cigars.”

Michael & Lisa Hughes Tampa native and longtime entrepreneur Robb Hunter is an avid cigar aficionado. As a world traveler, he has enjoyed cigars in countless domestic and international establishments. When he first arrived in the Bluff City, he visited a few local cigar shops and concluded they were basically all the same. The same three or four guys that he’d seen the last time were sitting around puffing on the same cigar type. There was no

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Ensuring his customers are very comfortable, accommodated, and in keeping with an authentic southern hospitality, he and his dedicated staff welcome every customer with a smile, and often affectionately greet repeat customers by name. Regular patrons often embrace one another with a hug or a handshake, and the smiles are infectious. Contributing to the festive mood, on Friday and Saturday nights, a band plays jazz and old school familiar tunes. “Our patrons are men,


Havana Mix, Creating a culture like no other

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women, and couples of all ages, in fact 27% of my customers are women,” says Hunter. He has created an atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcome, and his diverse staff typifies this. The shop’s superb service, eclectic ambiance and cigar variety draws a diverse crowd on a daily basis. Regulars come for business meetings and often stay for three or four hours. Hunter explained that he’s found an extended family here in Memphis amongst his operations. As we spoke, he pointed to a sign that reads, “No Black, No White, Just De Blues.” Hunter collaborated with Rocky Patel to create the “Beale Street Cigar,” which pays homage to the city he’s grown to love and exclusively sold at Havana Mix. They spent seven weeks sampling different blends and flavors narrowing the desired taste between Nicaragua and Honduras. The Beale Street Cigar is available in twelve sizes and three different blends. It speaks to the heritage of Beale Street’s rich history, good times, and the great musicians of the past. “Many out-of-town guests purchase Beale Street cigars as souvenirs for friends back home,” says Hunter. This includes a few well-known celebrities that often drop-by Havana Mix. Additionally, Hunter has smoker events in which specific cigar companies are featured and their representatives provide information, cigar tasting, and promotional specials to his customers. Just last month, during the Memphis In May World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest, Kristoff ’s owner, Glen Case, visited Havana Mix and shared a few stogies and stories with Hunter and friends. When I asked about the pending lifting of the Cuban trade embargo and what it would mean to Havana Mix, Hunter says, “I’m very hopeful the Cuban embargo will be lifted soon. After spending a week in Cuba this past April. I know that America is Cuba’s largest market. It won’t all happen overnight, as a lot has to be done on the government side of things. Yet, it will be a great day in 74 |

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America for cigar enthusiasts and aficionados. I would love to see the day that my patrons and I can have the pleasure of smoking Cuban cigars together in my cigar shops. Although, in my opinion, the best cigars are from Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic and I have a variety of inventory in my shops,” says Hunter. Just as cigar families have created their legacies and left their imprints around the world, now it’s Robb Hunter’s time to create his dynasty. Hunter is a trendsetter and a force to be reckoned with. Stay tuned as Hunter has more innovative surprises up his sleeve, including new shops in Memphis, Atlanta, and the Mid-South. Havana Mix Cigar Emporium is located at 250 Peabody Place, in the heart of Beale Street’s entertainment district. Feel free to bring your own cigars if your tastes are very particular, but also be prepared to sit back, relax and enjoy the flavor! §


Riding on a MISSION Bikers and Social Clubs 4 Change by TYRONE CHESTER photography by BRYANT REDDICK


Clark "Preacha" Chambers started riding motorcycles when he was 14 years old. Learning the hard way, he rode into fences, slid on gravel and sand, and ran over curbs. I’m sure some of you can relate to the experiences of a novice rider. Two years later, a drunk driver turned in front of him leaving him with a broken leg. After recovering, Preacha and his family pursued legal action against the drunk driver. It was during this ordeal, after an unsuccessful experience, Preacha realized the safety laws for motorcycle riders were null and void in Memphis, TN. He learned the justice system had little respect for motorcycle riders and that experience stuck with him. Preacha continued on life’s journey, graduated Carver High School in 1980 and in 1992, found himself in the street life. He was convicted on drug charges and sentenced to Talladega Federal Correctional Facility. Prior to sentencing, Preacha turned his life around and strengthened his relationship with God. Preacha explained, “The Lord first came to me in 1987, I didn’t want to have anything to do with Him. I wasn’t thinking about preaching or anything that comes close to it.” Preacha preached his first sermon while serving time in Talladega sharing with other inmates the need to have a relationship with God and to find positive ways to invest in others. Just before completing his sentence, as Preacha prepared to leave Talladega, he wrestled with leaving - worried whether he could be as effective outside the system as he was inside. He sought ways to become employed with the Correctional Facility and continue his ministry from within, but with no success. Then Preacha shared, “The Lord spoke to me and told me to keep men from coming to prison. That’s what my ministry is all about. Express to others choices they have so they don’t make the same mistakes I made. So that’s been my message since my reentry to society.” Southern Soul l June 2015

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Lifestylles After release from prison, Preacha continued spreading the gospel and became more involved in the community. Still searching to reach others, Preacha arrived at combining his joy of riding motorcycles with outreach. In 2007, he hosted a community event – Crunk for Christ Car, Truck and Bike Show held at Bloomfield Full Gospel Baptist Church. There were four bikes, two cars, live entertainment and Memphis Police Department Motorcycle Squad. It was a community-based event to attract community youth to share and minister to them. Preacha sadly summarized, “It ended up not being a good crowd or good turnout. I was actually very disappointed. I didn’t want to have anything to do with any community projects again. But the Lord wouldn’t leave me alone, He stayed on me.” Continuing his mission, in 2009, Preacha founded Bikers and Social Clubs 4 Change. The Club’s mission is to be an agent of change in our community by empowering people to choose life over death; knowledge over ignorance; and, joy over pain. You don’t have to be a biker to be a part of Bikers and Social Clubs 4 Change. You just need passion to be effective in the community and drive to bring about change. Describing his venture, Preacha said “With the Lord heavy on my heart to continue with my mission, I dove into another community event. Our first outing, in Clementine Apartments, fed about 200-300 people. Because we were still new and small, we used our personal funds to support the cause. Memphis Motorcycle Set and other motorcycle clubs participated and helped as well.” During that year, the media was full of fatal motorcycle 76 |

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accidents and Preacha’s thoughts wandered to his own accident and his experience with the legal system. Preacha recalled, “We lost so many people to accidents that year. We lost two members in one night ourselves. At the end of 2009, we had lost 12-15. Seeing so many dying to careless drivers called me to act. That’s when we got busy with the “Look Twice, Save a Life” Campaign. We were a part of a group in Nashville that lobbied for bikers’ rights and working to get grants to install street signs with the warning. Fortunately, the grant came through and signs were placed throughout the state, to include the suburbs of Shelby County, but none were placed within the city limits of Memphis. So, in 2012, Bikers 4 Change got behind it and pushed the issue. Now, there are signs within the city limits with the first sign erected at Winchester and Riverdale which was a hot spot for motorcycle accidents and fatalities.” Preacha is the first to admit it’s not easy getting a positive message out when you’re speaking from a bikers club. However, the group remains steadfast at getting their message out, reaching out to all bikers. Forming a coalition to bring about Unity, Community, and Motorcycle Awareness, they have brought bikers together crossing all racial lines. Explaining, Preacha stated, “In 2009, just as many white bikers lost their lives as black bikers. When a person is on the side of the road bleeding - it’s all the same color.” Bikers 4 Change implemented its Impact Individuals Initiative targeting middle school students to impact with messages that cause youth to recognize and understand their potential. Preacha described the Initiative saying, “We chose this age because that is the age to understand they have an opportunity to choose, a positive or a negative; and which fork in the road to take. When we go out and meet with students and their


parents -- we have bikers from all walks of life and we also invite law enforcement agencies and local politicians. We invite law enforcement officers so kids can see in a different light other than kicking the door in, chasing someone down or arresting a relative or friend. We want the kids to understand these are regular people doing their jobs. And we all must make choices – good or bad.

We all are spiritual beings, but we don’t push church, we push relationships with God. That He can bring and lead you where He wants you to go. We push and preach abstinence but at the same time we provide protection. Curiosity is part of the teen sex problem; another part is peer pressure. We don’t really have their ears long enough to help them get strong in that area. But, we do tell them we’ve all made mistakes and gotten weak. We want them to understand that it’s okay to be a virgin – boy or girl. We have a slogan – “It’s okay to standout, you don’t have to blend in.” Many feel they have to blend in. These are our messages when we’re out in the community. Also, when we work with kids, we display a casket donated by Batesville Casket Company. Inside the casket, we placed a mirror facing up; so, when kids look in the casket -- they see a reflection of themselves, get the message and understand that it

Currently, the Club owns two properties in crime riddled communities and is seeking assistance and grants to improve the property. While making ongoing improvements, they are safe houses for kids. Safe houses that are a place for kids to turn to for shelter, guidance, and activities away from and out of the streets. Improvements include equipping the safe houses with computers to assist kids without computers at home to improve their education; musical instruments such as drum machines and mixing boards because music reaches most kids; and, books, and domestic violence literature.


Middle school kids are targeted because they are easily impressionable and influenced. They’re the ones that can go to jail (juvenile) and get right out. They can fly under the radar but they are sometimes the main ones doing a lot of the dirt. Gangs target this age group as well. We don’t call them gangs anymore we prefer to say organizations. We want to reach our kids before the organizations influence them. We point out there are options and choices. We tell them, “if you don’t want to be involved with unemployment; crime; violence; incarceration; or, death, then you can make better choices.”

could be them in the casket. On the casket it has a sign ‘Lost loved one to violence.’ We also have a jail prop with a sign that reads, ‘Bad Choices lead here’ and computer screen on a desk with the message ‘Success equals good choices.’”

Securing funds for the safe houses has been an uphill battle. This year, Bikers and Social Clubs 4 Change is hosting Memphis Bikefest at Tiger Lane, July 2226. Bikefest is a collaboration of several local and surrounding area bike clubs working together to raise awareness of motorcycle safety and to raise funds to create change in the community. Through the generosity of FRS Powersports of Memphis, Memphis Bike Fest 2015 is offering a Motorcycle Give-Away to support the cause of Bikers and Social Clubs 4 Change, where the winner can choose between a Triumph Thunderbird LT Cruiser OR a CAN-AM Spyder RS-S. Routinely, bikers are viewed negatively. Bikers and Social Clubs 4 Change are not only changing that view, but changing the community. As Preacha left me, he said, “Motorcycles transcend the racial divide. When you see a nice looking bike, you don’t care who’s it is, if you like it, you just like it. When you come to Memphis Bikefest, you’ll just like it!” So get ready and remember “Look Twice, Save A Life.” § Southern Soul l June 2015

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Thrill of the




ishing. Hmmm. Some say it is only for the patient. Some say ‘I can fish all day even if they are not biting.’ Some say that catching fish is pure luck while others (like me) say that understanding your opponent through study, research and practice takes most of the luck out of the equation I learned a long time ago that bass fishing was a great fit for me. It lines up with the way I think and, to a degree, the way I view life. Bass are predictable as a species but are also very individualized. There could be a group of bass

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in an area that directly lines up with where they should be that time of the year. You throw one bait and only catch a couple of them. You throw different bait at the same spot and catch a few more. And you can throw yet an entirely different bait and catch those that did not want what you were throwing the first two times. That is why I feel I am so drawn to this sport. I am a guy that likes and appreciates options, choices and variety. Though these words may seem the same, in the bass fishing world they...well let me explain: To me options are techniques. I’ve worked really hard to become good and confident with several different techniques. I am first and foremost a power fisherman, which simply means I prefer moving baits that produce reaction strikes. To those just learning the joy of fishing; you must acquire a knack for choosing your baits (or lures).

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Lifestyles There are several baits to choose from. The most widely used bait is a soft plastic stick bait which you can find in any local sports good store or the lakeside bait shop. But, first you must study the different baits because each bait has its own purpose and its own power in the water. But, back to my preference – baits that produce reaction strikes. These baits are crank baits, spinner baits, buzz baits and frogs. If I need to slow it down, then my preferred methods are jigs and Texas rigged soft plastics. Even though these are my preferred methods of catching bass, sometimes bass are not in the mood to chase these baits and you have to slow your presentation way down and finesse them to bite. When that happens, I usually get them to bite my jig or

FISHING Texas rig. But if that’s not working, I pull out my shaky head and drop shot rigs to slow it more to produce strikes. With each technique, I have a specific rod and reel combo pre-set, meaning when I throw a crank bait I have a specific rod and reel that is just for throwing crank baits. Once you determine what works best for your style, you're going to have a better feel for it. You'll be more alert and in tune with what's around, above and below the water.

fish bass feed on and my bite to cast ratio increased. People (my wife included) think it is insane to have ten different colors of each lure and different variations of seemingly the same lures. But as I said before, bass are individuals. Sometimes you want pasta and other times you want steak. Well, bass are no different. To me, the thrill of the hunt is figuring out what bass want and how they want it -- that is all a part of the sport’s appeal. Variety for me is mainly in power baits. If I am throwing crank bait, I prefer a square bill (crank bait type) and I prefer the water depth range of 2-10 feet as I am primarily a shallow water angler. This is where variety comes in. I have crank baits that run 6 inches or less all the way to the deep, 15-20 ft. On spinner baits I have a variety of blades; from willow leaf to Colorado to Indiana. Blades help spinners propel and spin in the water. As for buzz baits, I have metal bladed to plastic bladed and both with and without the clicker. My weight box has just about every size necessary. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. Once you learn the bass personalities and get in tune to the water, you will pick up your own tricks.

There are a couple other techniques I use, such as a Carolina rig, which I only use if I am fishing deeper waters and an Alabama rig. It all depends on whether I can visually see what bait the fish are biting or if I am relying on knowledge gained over the years. Now, earlier, I mentioned Choices. Fishing gives you many Choices. For example, once I decide spinner bait is the right technique for the current fishing location, I open my boat rod locker and select a spinner bait. I have several choices for several situations. Tournament pro Rick Klunn says you can throw any color spinner bait you want, as long as it is chartreuse and white. To him any other color or combination is a waste of time. I followed his philosophy for a long time until I created one with a touch of blue, giving it a little more likeness to the bait

I am a part of a fishing crew, Mike Turney, Michael Bennett and me! Every year we take a fishing trip and target trophy bass lakes. Back in 2005, we were at an annual fishing show. At this show, we spoke to a lure rep and he asked the three of us; “how often do you fish together?” To which we responded “All the time.” He then posed the question, "What is the biggest bass you have caught?" Bennett, who has bass fished the longest, said an 8 pounder. Turney, a 5.5 pounder. But I (the rookie ) had about 3.5 pounds. The

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over 8 pounds and I caught two weighing in at 7 pounds each. Since 2006, we have not missed our trophy bass hunting fishing trip. The crew has grown from the original three amigos to at least a dozen. About 6 years ago, we decided to present trophies and plaques to the 1st and 2nd place winners and a pink tackle box full of gag gifts plus several authentic antique lures to the loser. So when you lose you also win. When my son turns 16 (he is now 11), he will be my fishing partner on our annual fishing trip. That produced a huge smile from him. I really enjoy sharing my passion with him and he seems to enjoy it as well. I usually take him to Catch-em Lake in Shelby Farms to catch catfish. I believe he is a natural. To see him handle a 6 lb. catfish on his own bass rod with only 8 lb. test line, taking his time and guiding the fish where he wants it to go is a thing of beauty and it does my heart good to see that I have given him something that he can give to his child.

Denicier Crutcher - Future Trophy Winner

rep said he and his friends were once just like us, they didn’t catch big fish from their local lakes and someone told them to catch trophy bass, they had to go where the bass lived. He named lakes from Florida to Texas to California. We heard him loud and clear. We started researching trophy bass lakes and planned a trip for next year. In April 2006, we towed Bennett’s boat 11.5 hours to Lake Fork in Texas. Turney caught a spawned out 9 pounder, Bennett caught one just

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I am also a member of a local bass fishing club in Memphis, the West TN Elite Bass Club. We fish one tournament per month from March - September and have a classic in October. If you like to bass fish and want to be part of an organization of people who share bass fishing, then definitely consider our bass club. In parting, take a kid fishing. Let them see how much you love it and more than likely that passion will transfer to them. §

Telisa Franklin, Executive Producer | www.MemphisJuneteenth.com | 901-281-6337


In The Company of My Father ... Honoring Fathers by KATHY KIRK-JOHNSON photography by BRYANT REDDICK


photo Courtesy by KIRK FAMILY

June is the month we celebrate Fathers and the month we recognize men health issues. This year is the first time in my life I will not sit and eat with my Father on Father’s Day because we lost him last year. Still hurting from the loss, but still full of wonderful life-long memories, I ask you to celebrate my father with me! My father loved to have company over and people still love to eat at my parents’ house. No matter the occasion, anyone can stop by and the next thing you know, it’s a party. My parents have entertained over half of Memphis, and if my father was going out to a party, he often arrived with home cooked food in tow. We party for every occasion… graduations, birthdays, holidays, just one of them days. Cooking is a Kirk family labor of love. We want you to come over, have a seat, grab a glass of wine or a cocktail and talk to us. If you don’t feel like talking, just sit there and we will serve you some good food and drinks until you are happy. This month, I decided to honor my father by whipping up some of his favorite party foods. And, for all you Nupes out there, saluting one of my father’s loves, the table setting is Crimson & Cream with Kappa Diamond placemats! Recipes include a succulent seafood casserole that my mother often made when entertaining dignitaries, and glazed party wings that she would make every Super Bowl Sunday for my Dad to take to his club members at the Memphians’ club house. I added some easy barbeque chicken sliders with creamy kale slaw, a miniature trifle station and southern sweet strawberry tea. Hope you enjoy!

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MENU Seafood Casserole Glazed Party Wings Easy Barbeque Chicken Sliders Assorted Dips with Vegetable CruditĂŠs Miniature Trifle Bar Southern Sweet Strawberry Tea Southern Soul l June 2015

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Seafood Casserole

(Recipe Courtesy of “Y’all Come to the Table Children” by Katherine M. Kirk) INGREDIENTS 1 Green or Red Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped 1 Onion, Finely Chopped 1 Cup Celery, Finely Chopped 5 Green Onions, Finely Chopped ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley, Finely Chopped 2 Tbs. Butter 1 Lb. Cooked Lobster, Chopped 1 Lb. Fresh Lump Crab Meat, Chopped 1 Lb. Medium to Large Raw Shrimp, Tails Removed, Chopped 1 Cup or More of Mayonnaise (r ½ Cup Mayonnaise and ½ Cup Sour Cream ½ Tsp. Salt (or more, to taste) 1 Tsp. Worcestershire Sauce (or more, to taste) 1 Medium Bag Plain Potato Chips, Crumbled In a medium fry pan over medium heat, melt butter and add bell pepper, onions, celery, green onions and parsley. Sauté until vegetables are translucent and all liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool. In large bowl, mix mayonnaise (or mayo/sour cream mixture), Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper until well blended. Fold in vegetables (cooled), then fold in lobster, crab and shrimp (gently to avoid shredding the crab meat). Add additional mayonnaise if the mixture is too dry. Avoid adding too much mayonnaise to prevent the casserole from becoming too watery. Add any additional seasonings to taste. Pour into buttered casserole dish. Top with potato chips and bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the top has browned and the casserole is bubbly. Serve warm. 84 |

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Glazed Party Wings

(Recipe Courtesy of “Y’all Come to the Table Children” by Katherine M. Kirk)* INGREDIENTS 12 Chicken Wings (Whole) 2 Tbs. Fresh Ginger (Grated) 1 Garlic Clove (Minced) ½ Cup of Soy Sauce** 2 Tbs. Brown Sugar (Packed) 2 Tbs. Honey 1 Tbs. Vinegar 1 Tbs. Fresh Lemon Juice Place chicken wings in shallow dish. In large bowl, whisk ginger, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, vinegar and lemon juice until combined well. Reserve a small amount of marinade to baste the chicken as it bakes. Pour remaining marinade over wings, cover and place in refrigerator. Allow wings to marinate at least 2 hours or overnight, turning at least once. Remove from refrigerator and allow wings to reach room temperature. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place wings on a foil lined broiler pan and bake 30-45 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with the reserved marinade. Chicken should be cooked thoroughly and deep golden brown. * I always double this recipe so I have extra marinade for basting. A separate marinade is necessary to avoid cross contamination with raw poultry. ** If you are watching your sodium intake, mix low sodium soy sauce with regular soy sauce.

Easy Barbeque Chicken Sliders

2 Tbs. Hellman’s Mayonnaise 1 Package Sweet Hawaiian Rolls

INGREDIENTS 1 Package of Pulled Barbeque Chicken (Jack Daniels or Corky’s Brand) ¼ Cup Barbeque Sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s) Kale Slaw Mix Coleslaw Seasoning Packet

Prepare pulled chicken as directed on the package, add barbeque sauce and set aside. If you are a naturalist, you can substitute by using grilled or rotisserie chicken breasts tossed with barbeque sauce. In a large bowl mix Kale Slaw Mix with mayonnaise and season with dry coleslaw seasoning packet. Add seasoning slowly to adjust to your personal taste. Heat rolls in the oven for 5 minutes to soften the bread, assemble sandwiches with the chicken and slaw and serve! Southern Soul l June 2015

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Mini Trifle Bar INGREDIENTS Large muffins, miniature powdered donuts or pound cake (cubed) Macerated strawberries* Fresh whipped cream** Crunchy toppings like nuts, chopped candy bars, and crushed cookies Assemble a station of shot glasses, cocktail spoons, cake, macerated fruit, whipped cream and toppings- in that order. Allow guests to make their own trifles in a shot glass and enjoy! Create at least one sample so that guests have an example of how to make a miniature trifle. *See Southern Sweet Strawberry Tea recipe for strawberries ** 1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream, ¼ Cup Sugar, 3 Drops Vanilla. Whip with hand mixer until peaks form.

Southern Sweet Strawberry Tea INGREDIENTS 2 Family-Sized Tea Bags ½ Gallon of Water 1 Pint of Fresh Strawberries (Rinsed, Tops Removed) 1 ½ Cup of Sugar 1/3 Cup of Lemon Juice Place strawberries in large bowl and pour sugar on top. Toss strawberries and sugar and place in refrigerator until a nice amount of syrup forms, at least 3 hours. Pour one cup of strawberry syrup into a pitcher and add lemon juice. Bring ½ gallon of water to a boil. Add tea bags and steep tea to desired strength. If you have never made tea, follow the directions on the box. Remove tea bags and slowly pour tea into the syrup mixture. Pour two cups at a time then taste. If additional syrup is needed for a stronger strawberry flavor add more syrup and lemon juice. Garnish with fresh mint and macerated strawberries.

The Civil War has ended, and Madge, Sadie, and Hemp have each come to Chicago in search of a new life. Born with magical hands, Madge has the power to discern othersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; suffering, but she cannot heal her own damaged heart. To mend herself and help those in need, she must return to Tennessee to face the women healers who rejected her as a child. Sadie can commune with the dead, but until she makes peace with her father, she, too, cannot fully engage her gift. Searching for his missing family, Hemp arrives in this northern city that shimmers with possibility. But redemption cannot be possible until he is reunited with those taken from him.

Purchase At All Bookstores Amazon.com


In the bitter aftermath of a terrible, bloody war, as a divided nation tries to come together once again, Madge, Sadie, and Hemp will be caught up in a desperate, unexpected battle for survival in a community desperate to lay the pain of the past to rest. Beautiful in its historical atmosphere and emotional depth, Balm is a stirring novel of love, loss, hope, and reconciliation set during one of the most critical periods in American history

Memphis native,

Dolen Perkins -Valdez, author of the New York Times bestselling novel Wench. Chosen as a Top Ten Pick of the Month in O, The Oprah Magazine and selected a NPR top five book club pick. Her fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Story Quarterly, Story South, and she wrote the introduction to Twelve Years a Slave.

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SouthernStyle photography by BRYANT REDDICK Clothing, shoes & accessories provided by Dillard’s Carriage Crossing Visit us and meet with any “Brand Specialists”

Mention Southern Soul Magazine and receive a free gift with purchase.

Stylists: Carolyn Dockery, Savannah Gamble Models: John Hamilton, Shawn Johnson and Andre Boyd

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Ralph Lauren Polo | Pants, Shirt, Cap, Shoes Roundtree & Yorke | Belt Class Club | Pants, Shirt, Hat Kenneth Cole | Loafers

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Hart Schaffner Marx | Suit Roundtree & Yorke | Shirt Murano | Tie Daniel Cremieux | Pocket Square Kenneth Cole | Shoes Gold Label | Suite, Tie Class Club | Shirt Kenneth Cole | Shoes


Ralph Lauren | Suit Roundtree & Yorke | Shirt Daniel Cremieux | Tie Michael Kors | Watch Kenneth Cole | Shoes

Ralph Lauren | Suit Murano | Shirt Daniel Cremieux | Tie, Pocket Square Kenneth Cole | Watch Johnson & Murphy | Shoes

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Hart Schaffner Marx | Sport Coat Caribbean Blues | Jeans Visconti | Shirt Michael Kors | Watch Cole Haan | Shoes

Hart Schaffner Marx | Shirt, T-Shirt Hart Schaffner Marx | Shorts Roundtree & Yorke | Belt Daniel Cremieux | Hat Kenneth Cole | Watch Cole Haan | Loafers

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Fashion Hart Schaffner Marx | Jeans Thomas Dean | Shirt Kenneth Cole | Watch Cole Haan | Loafers

Ralph Lauren | Shirt, V-Neck Tee, Shorts, Belt Ralph Lauren Polo| Shoes

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Murano | Suit Daniel Cremieux | Shirt, Pocket Square Daniel Cremieux | Tie Kenneth Cole | Watch Magnanni | Shoes

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Mid-South Made


Natural Gem-Stone/Sterling Bracelets | 100% Silk Ties & Bow Ties | Silk, Merino & Wick Dry Socks

Men’s Accessories Shipped To Your Door! For the ExtraOrdinary Man With Style



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“Ground Zero”

Mentoring Clubs for Middle and High Schools September 2015 – May 2016 Three Phases Addressing Our Young Men’s Levels of Confidence, Maturity & Spiritual Growth

For more information contact: Anthony “Tony” Nichelson manofthehousementoring@gmail.com or 901.336.2399







Man of the House Mentoring & College Ready Memphis, Inc., a 501(c)3 not-for-profit charitable organization 96 |

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uMatter! UM


photography by: JAY ADKINS

Southern Soul Magazine believes in supporting our youth and giving them a voice. We visited Hamilton High School and asked:


What male has had the greatest impact on you? Why? When your mind is idle; what do you find yourself thinking? What is your ideal summer vacation? What terrifies you?

We asked: What male has had the greatest impact on you? Why? When your mind is idle; what do you find yourself thinking? What is your ideal summer vacation? What terrifies you?

Jasmine McGaughy

12th Grade | Career Choice: Educator


11th Grade | Career Choice: Teacher

My father because he was the only male in my life and he made sure I grew into an independent man. How I want to do something in life and how much money I can get with everything I have learned. To hang around my friends so we can make memories together. Clowns and bugs.

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My principal, Mr. Weathers, has had a great impact on my life because he has helped me expand my writing skills. I find myself writing and thinking about my future. My ideal summer vacation would be to go to California with my family. The thing that terrifies me the most is not accomplishing my career goals.



11th | Career Choice: Business Analyst

My father has had the greatest impact on my life because he has shown compassion, discipline and respect for me; his one and only son. I think about what I plan on doing in the future and how I will be successful. My ideal summer vacation is to someday visit San Francisco, because the atmosphere seems unforgettable and heartwarming. When I feel that I am not being a leader or helping others. I always want to be effective and helpful to others.

Lisheena Clark

12th Grade | Career Choice: Physician; Inspirational Speaker

My father, who has proven to be a template of what I should expect from all males. I find myself thinking about my future, determining ways that I can make it better. My ideal summer vacation is to travel to many different places, exploring and discovering new things. The one thing that terrifies me more than anything is failure - failing to create a successful future for myself. Southern Soul l June 2015

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“You have brains in your head, and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” Dr. Seuss


11th | Career Choice: Entrepreneur

No male has had a major impact on my life. My mom and family members are the people I’ve been around all my life. When I get bored or have nothing to do, I do research on colleges and/or my main career focus after high school. I’ll continue working at my current job. Hopefully go on college tours so I can decide where I will attend in the fall of 2016. Nothing more than losing my mother terrifies me. Without her, I have nothing left in this world, but family and a few friends. But life is nothing without my mother.


9th Grade | Career Choice: Professional Basketball Player

My father has had the greatest impact on me because I look up to him. He is a great role model for me. Only thing I think about when my mind is idle is basketball thoughts. It’s just a gift God gave me and I love the game. My ideal summer vacation is to play AAU Basketball for Team Penny. Not terrified of anything. 100 |

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We asked: What male has had the greatest impact on you? Why? When your mind is idle; what do you find yourself thinking? What is your ideal summer vacation? What terrifies you?

Zipporah Bunting 11th Grade | Career Choice: Veterinarian Engineering My grandfather, Charles E. Golden. He showed me how a man should treat a woman and take care of his family. I find myself thinking about my future and what it may hold for me. My ideal summer vacation is to take a 7-day cruise to Hawaii. Not making it in life; not being successful; losing my mom; and, not knowing what the future holds for me.

Marisha Hammond

11th Grade | Career Choice: Detective or Veterinarian My uncle because he empowers and motivates me to follow my dreams. The way the mind and body works. To visit Miami, Florida and the ability to do whatever I desire. To lose any of my close relatives or friends.

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We asked: What male has had the greatest impact on you? Why? When your mind is idle; what do you find yourself thinking? What is your ideal summer vacation? What terrifies you?

Curtica Jackson

12th Grade | Career Choice: Mathematical Teacher

Cherity Farrow

9th Grade | Career Choice: Veterinarian

My father. He is the only man that’s in my life who has always been by my side. He is always there for me. To me, he actually takes on the dual role of mother (nurturer) and father (provider). Being in a nice community and accomplishing my career goal of becoming a veterinarian. I also think about going to school to become a professional dancer. To go to Panama City, Florida. When I look on the internet, I see pretty pictures and the beach looks amazing. The weather is nice and everything else is just gorgeous. Bugs, spider and snakes – I definitely can’t be around snakes. 102 |

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My principal, Mr. Weathers, has had the greatest impact on me because he is always pushing me to do better and be the best. When my mind is idle, I find myself thinking about my future.

My ideal summer vacation is going to either the Bahamas or Costa Rica. All animals terrify me. Failure terrifies me as well. I hate failing and not being able to succeed.


JODY DORSE 12th Grade | Career Choice: Military I really can’t say a male has had a major impact on me. There have been several people that have helped me along the way. I’ve struggled through my years and they have guided me in the right direction. I just think about a lot of things; where I’m going in the future; how I’m going to get there. When I get older, having a family of my own. Things like that. My ideal summer vacation is just to travel and go wherever I want to go and have the money to do what I want with no problems. I just want to go to so many places and just see the world. Not being successful terrifies me, but it’s only me who can stop me from succeeding.

TaCarria Patterson 9th Grade | Career Choice: Radiologist / Entrepreneur

My grandfather, aside from my father, he has shown me what it truly means to be a strong black man. What can I do to secure my future goals? What can I do today to better myself? My ideal summer vacation would include travelling to Paris, France and Barcelona, Spain. The number one thing that terrifies me the most is not being successful.

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A Spectacular Night with MEMPHIS BEAT THE ODDS Annual Awards Banquet photography by LLOYD STOVALL, II

Presenter Judge Tarik Sugarmon, Honoree Kleopatra M Millbrook and MC Joe Birch


emphis “Beat the Odds” held its annual Recognition Program at Lindenwood Church. Emceed by Deidre Malone and Joe Birch, the program celebrated six extraordinary young individuals who have made remarkable achievements and excelled despite overwhelming obstacles in their lives. The Program also celebrates a community leader who has enriched the lives of youth in our community.

2015 Beat The Odds Honorees

Founded in 1994 by Dr. Theresa Montgomery Okwumabua, the Memphis Chapter of “Beat the Odds” (MBTO) focuses on the positive potential of youth. Presenter Sandi Klink, Honoree Jayla Nycole Weaver and MC Deidre Malone

Presenter Olivia Calhoun, Honoree Curnisha Parker and MC Deidre Malone

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The six youth honorees were Jayla Weaver; Kleopatra Millbrook; Dacavien Reeves; Dellarontay Readus; Shawn Dunlap; and, Curnisha Parker. During the ceremony, each honoree shared their journey to overcome the insurmountable odds each faced. Each journey, as powerful as the last and as moving as the next hushed the audience to a quiet awe. The Cathryn Rivers Johnson Award given in honor of a community leader’s contribution to youth was awarded to Anthony “Tony” Nichelson for his tireless work on behalf of young people. Through his Man of the House Mentoring Program, Mr. Nichelson equips at-risk youth with skills to succeed while fostering the development of “whole” men within the community.

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Honoree Dellarontay Readus & Presenter Tariq Black


Honoree Anthony Tony Nichelson, Presenter Barbara Andrews and MC Joe Birch

Presenter Deaunn Stovall, Honoree Shawn Dunlap and MC Deidre Malone Presenter 2013 Honoree, Honoree Dacavien Reeves, MC Deidre Malone

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Baptist College of Health Sciences Scholarship

Bluff City Medical & Pharmaceutical Auxiliary Awards Scholarships photography by JENNIFER RIFE

Brooke Dishman, M.D., Holly Barcroft, Antonia Foster, Reneishia Dogan, Jazzmine Alexander, Sharika Cole and Denise Parker


he Bluff City Medical and Pharmaceutical Auxiliary (BCMPA) of Memphis, TN, a nonprofit organization comprised of local physicians’ spouses. Organized in 1924 by Mrs. Ruth I. Watson, the BCMPA purposes are service, education, and charity. Specifically, to help educate the public on health matters; aide in the relief of health related problems in the community; assist the Bluff City Medical Society; and, provide financial support to students in medicine and health related areas. In 1984, BCMPA established the Maude Bisson Scholarship in honor of one of BCMPA's early members who was a strong advocate of educating the disadvantaged. The Maude Bisson Scholarship Fund is awarded to aid students interested in healthcare and have shown demonstrative efforts in their studies.

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Last month, BCMPA Auxiliary members Mrs. Joey Beckford, Dr. Brooke Dishmon, Attorney Kandice Henderson and Mrs. Denise Parker gathered at a BCMPA Scholarship Luncheon to award six Baptist College of Health Sciences students a total of $5,000 in scholarships. Scholarship funds were raised at a BCMPA Mardi-Gras themed gala spearheaded by Auxiliary members Joey Beckford and Kamilah Brown. This year’s Baptist scholarship recipients were: Bretley Agee (Sonography); Jazzmine Alexander (Nursing), Holly Barcroft (Bio Medical); Sharika Cole (Nursing); Reneishia Dogan (Bio Medical); and Antonia Foster (Nursing). §


Joey Beckford, Denise Parker, Carol Warren, M.D., Brooke Dishmon, M.D. and Atty Kandice Henderson

Baptist College of Health Sciences Scholarship

Barry Schultz, M.D., Kendricks Hooker, M.D., Carol Warren, M.D., Brooke Dishman, M.D., Denise Parker and Betty Sue McGarvey, M.D.

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Young Black Men

Shake Off Stereotypes, Step Up to Greatness Shelby County (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated Salutes Young Black Men During Le’ Beautillion Militaire and Leadership Academy Programs by JANAS L. JACKSON; SHELBY COUNTY (TN) CHAPTER OF THE LINKS, INCORPORATED photography by LESLIE SETTLES


2015 Beaux Participants

he journey into manhood is often filled with what some might call “manholes.” For many young Black males, this coming-of-age experience can be especially challenging considering the obstacles they typically face. Shaking off negative stereotypes, dealing with racial profiling, overcoming educational barriers, striking a balance between being smart and socially acceptable, avoiding bad company, and just facing everyday issues that come with growing up can sometimes be overwhelming. However, from its inception, the Shelby County Chapter of The Links, Incorporated has recognized that every young Black male has the power to write his own life’s success story. And on Saturday, April 25, 2015, the Chapter brought young Black males front and center as it celebrated 30 years

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of service during its Le’Beautillion Militaire at The Peabody Hotel. The program’s theme was “The Pride and Promise of Brotherhood.” The Le’ Beautillion Militaire, established by the Chapter in 1987, is designed to help young men develop leadership skills, engage in community service, cultivate positive relationships, and learn the importance of ethics and integrity. A Beautillion is a rite of passage signaling a young man’s coming of age while Militaire conveys the sense of discipline instilled in the young men that helps propel them to success in manhood. The Beautillion is also a part of the Chapter’s Leadership Academy for young men – an eightmonth life-skills program consisting of seven high-powered workshops, enrichment activities, and service projects. The program exposes its young participants, known as

Spotlight “Fellows,” to successful Black male role models; establishes a networking system for personal and professional growth; and provides information, resources and skills that assist teens in “connecting the dots” toward success. The outcomes are demonstrated through the Chapter’s more than 500 alumni Fellows who are now making an impact in such fields as business, medicine, law, ministry, government, engineering, education, community service, and other professions. After several months of leadership and life-skills training and development, ten young men or “Beaux” finally had their presentment moment at The Peabody during the Beautillion as they descended white stairs in black tuxedoes and greeted by their proud parents. Each of the Beaux has identified colleges they will attend in the Fall of 2015.

Shelby County (TN) Chapter of The Links Incorporated Founding President, Charlotte Brooks Polk & Past National President Margo James Copeland

lovely Belles who illuminated the room in their white flowing ball gowns. With grace and elegance, the Beaux and Belles mesmerized the audience with a beautiful waltz, choreographed by the Collage Dance Collective under the direction of Kevin Thomas. The Beaux also saluted their mothers with a special Mother and Beau dance as the audience swayed to the music. Finally, the Beaux put down their top hats and canes and were joined on the dance floor by the younger Fellows and brought down the house with a soulful, hip-hop dance routine. During the 30-year anniversary gala, Link Charlotte Brooks Polk, the Shelby County (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated founding president, was honored for her years of service and pioneering spirit. Past National President of The Links, Incorporated Margot James Copeland, introduced Polk and paid tribute to her local and national involvement with the organization. Additionally, the Shelby County Links will salute Polk’s legacy via a special performing arts program named in her honor at the Hattiloo Theatre.

“I recognize my role and responsibility to model behavior and habits which Beaux Clinton Vaughn, III & mother, Link Lashell expand positively the image of Vaughn African-American male leadership in the household, the community, the state, the nation, and the world,” Link Cassandra H. Webster and Link said Beau Michael Rankin, who plans to attend Morehouse Mary McDaniel chaired the event and FedEx executives College and major in Business Administration. Rankin is a Connecting Link Shannon Brown and Matthew Thornton published author of a book titled “God and I” and is already an served as honorary co-chairs. Link Ruby Bright is President of entrepreneur. the Shelby County (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. § Beau Robert Ruth, III plans to attend Middle Tennessee State University and pursue a degree in Finance and Accounting. “As an African- American male in today’s society, I must be a positive role model for other young AfricanAmerican males,” says Ruth. “By exemplifying a positive life, I hope to help eliminate the negative images society has placed on African-Americans because of the color of our skin.” Also at the event were the “Fellows” — 10th and 11th graders -- who will be presented at upcoming Beautillion Militaires. Several Beau alumni were also on hand to congratulate the new Beaux including Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner and Donnell Cobbins Jr. Following a moving ceremony narrated by Ed Stanton, U.S. Attorney of the Western District of Tennessee, the handsome Beaux were joined on the dance floor by their

Beaux Brent Palmer and Parents - Topping Ceremony

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Outside The Box

First Annual WHEW Night Women Helping Equip Women


photography by UNEIKA CHAMBERS

ivin Purpose Christian Church hosted its First Annual WHEW Night (Women Helping Equip Women). Held to kickoff its phenomenal women’s month, the event included vendors and entertainment. A portion of proceeds were donated to the women and children of The Moriah House – Memphis Union Mission.

Twana Fitness

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JeMora Jewelry


Tutti Sweet Treats


Touch of Essence

The Chayil Woman

Natural Divinity

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1, No. 3 November 2014 | Volume


Are there Southern Soul Experiences We Should Cover? December 201Let 4 | Vous lumeknow! 1, No. 4 events@thesouthernsoul.com



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Become a future graduate. It's never too late to go back to school. We are your comprehensive, free service center for adults who want to successfully complete a post-secondary education. Visit us in the College Resource Center today! Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library graduatememphis.org

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It's never too late to go back to school.

We are your comprehensive free service center for adults who want to successfully complete a post-secondary education. Visit us in the College Resource Center today! Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library graduatememphis.org

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Southern Soul - June 2015  

Southern Soul - June 2015