Southern Soul l November 2014 November 2014/Volume 1, No. 3
November 2014 | Volume 1, No. 3
THE FAMILY ISSUE uMATTER: Ridgeway High
Kirk Family Savory Soul Thanksgiving
Make a difference for those who struggle with food insecurity.
Thanksgiving is the time of year when it seems food is abundant... but not for families who simply canâ€™t afford food.
YOU CAN CHANGE LIVES AND RESTORE HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON. JUST $10 PROVIDES FOOD FOR 30 WHOLESOME MEALS.
901.527.0841 | midsouthfoodbank.org
In This Issue
November 2014 49
11 FROM GANG LEADER TO COMMUNITY LEADER
Changing Lives with Sports & Mentoring
26 SWEET ROCK – A Family Short Story 30 MEASURING LIFE – Marsha’s Memories
33 ANN PEEBLES
40 KIRK FAMILY TIES
49 THANKSGIVING TABLE SETTING
52 FALL FASHION TRENDS
61 RECIPES WITH KATHY
65 INAUGURAL EPITOME OF SOUL AWARDS
SOUL TALKS TO
68 MEMPHOP PIONEERS TAKE STAGE A Visit with Iron Mic Coalition
79 RIDGEWAY HIGH SCHOOL Favorite Family Moments
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 3
In This Issue John Doyle
PUBLISHER/CEO Chris Boyd
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Toni Harvey
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.
ART DIRECTOR Jada Thompson
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Darius B Williams
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tyrone Chester John Doyle Marsha Goins Pepper Lewis Myron Mays Alease Nadine Theresa H. Patterson, Attorney at Law Annie Reid Pastor Elliot R. Shelton, Sr. Alisha Tillery Christin Webb
Alisha Tillery is a freelance writer and public relations professional living and working in Memphis, Tennessee. She has been published in ESSENCE, Ebony.com, Clutch Magazine and Mediabistro.com. She writes about any and everything that hits a nerve at.www.alishatillery.com.
Theresa H. Patterson
Theresa H. Patterson is a solo practitioner in Memphis, with a major focus in family law, including divorce, custody and child support. She is a graduate of the University of Florida, and an honors graduate of the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. She has been licensed to practice law for 24 years, and has represented mothers, fathers, children and grandparents.
Southern Soul Magazine™ is a monthly publication of MAAC Media Group, LLC and is distributed in locations throughout the Memphis/MidSouth area. Annual subscriptions are available for $40.00 (twelve issues). Readership: 70,000 ©2014 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) Southern Soul l November 2014 | 5
Pastor Elliot R. Shelton, Sr.
Pastor Elliot R. Shelton, Sr., a humble and God centered man, leads one of the most prominent congregations in the Memphis metropolitan area, Promise Land Church. Pastor Shelton’s ministry has reached millions through television programs, literary works, and social media. A passionate trailblazer, Pastor Shelton’s mission is to equip people of all races, genders, and socioeconomic levels with God’s Word and provide powerful life tools for personal health and happiness. Pastor Shelton began serving under his father, Pastor Elmer Shelton at St. Stephen Baptist Church. At a young age, he was
6 | Southern Soul l November 2014
noted as one of the young ministers to watch. As a tireless servant of God, Pastor Shelton shepherds his flock with integrity, charity and humility, Pastor Shelton received his formal educational training at American Baptist College, where he earned a Bachelor of Divinity. He also attended Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity. Elliot is married to Jeaneen, who actively serves beside him in ministry, and they have two sons, Elliot, Jr. and Julian.
Focus on Family By: Pastor Elliot R. Shelton, Sr.
As Senior Pastor of Promise Land Church, a multi-cultural, growing and exciting ministry; I often get questions seeking life path choices. Recently, someone asked me which is more important, Church or Family? My answer emphatically is Family. While Church is supremely important, we must all understand Family is a fundamental priority in life. Jeaneen, my wife of seventeen years, serves as Chief Administrator Officer in the church. We and our children are involved in the church ministries; but our lives do not totally revolve around the church. We take down time -- because it is easy to burn out. As a family, we have movie night once a week and we constantly tell and show our two sons, Elliot Jr., 16 and Julian, 14, that we love them. Whether it is going to the school to share lunch or parent volunteering; hanging out at the gym; or just wrestling on the floor - Jeaneen and I are fully aware that these are special years we will never get back. With such busy schedules our lives bring, it is easy to get priorities misplaced. Three basics to remember when juggling work, church and life is: • Family is First • Don’t make an “A” at church and an “F” at home • Express love as a family
Many Christians (in the words of someone smarter than me) are guilty of making an “A” at church and an “F” at home. I remember as a child, I always wondered why people working in a particular field did not take care of themselves as they take care of others in their daily profession. For example, why do barbers keep their clients’ hair groomed and yet, allow their own hair to remain unkempt? Why do automobile mechanics repair their customers’ cars and often their own car is missing gears? As ministry workers, whether lay or pay, deacon or devotion leaders; why does one encourage family/ children to do better and yet, your wife is an alcoholic, your kids are on drugs and even your goldfish are trying to jump out of the fish tank. It is because we minister to everyone in the church and forget about our first ministry, our family. When I travel, I am amazed with the flight attendant’s pre-flight instructions when she/he states “In the loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling.
Before you assist others with their mask, first place the mask properly on yourself.” In other words, before you can help anyone else, help yourself. At home, Jeaneen and I treat ourselves to a weekly date day/ night in which we will go to lunch or dinner. It is important to take care of yourself, your spouse, and your family. In life, minister to your family, tutor your children, and take time with your spouse. • Have a date night with your spouse • Before you help others, help yourself • Make time with your family I believe God implemented the traditional family as the backbone of our society. Without a backbone, a person’s life is limited and full of complications. Always take care of your backbone... your family!
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 7
Are there Southern Soul Experiences We Should Cover? Let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org
Letâ€™s Talk! Let us hear from you. Send stories, inquiries, comments. email@example.com
See someone with soul? Or, spot Southern Soul somewhere? Send us a pic! firstname.lastname@example.org September 2014/Volume
I, No. 1
Got a Relationship question? Email thoughts and questions to: email@example.com
Give Us Your Feedback. thesouthernsoul.com |
/southernsoulmagazine | 901.366.SOUL (7685)
Everyone has family. Whether family is at home with you, members of your church, co-workers, or old classmates; it’s a special bond. As for me, I have the best family in the world. Our family is always there for each other. We each have a birth-built-in signal that tells us when something is wrong with the other. A simple ‘Hello’ from miles away and we know if something is askew. Knowing you are loved is one of the warmest, most secure feelings a person can have. Knowing that you are not alone - whether family is away in Norway or in the next room provides a sense of love and belonging. Most of us gather to celebrate family love and belonging during Thanksgiving. It is the most traveled holiday in the country because people will stop at nothing to get to that special place, with those special people, and enjoy that special meal you know will stir all your childhood memories. Getting to enjoy Thanksgiving with family isn’t always guaranteed. With every family, there are challenges. There are fractured families and divorced families who face the often-difficult decision of with whom the children will celebrate Thanksgiving. Attorney Theresa Patterson’s legal tips will help navigate through that decision. We met the Kirk family and learned their family recipe for happiness. Each time anyone meets any member of the Kirk family, you get a smile, whether a good day or a bad day, the smile is there. Dig in and hopefully you will get a taste of their family secret. They were kind enough to share their home, hospitality and food with us. Try a recipe or two. You will not be disappointed. We also met a family of brothers with a powerful, uplifting message for our youth delivering it in an unconventional manner. Forerunners of the Memphis hip-hop world, the Iron Mic Coalition challenge our youth and community to lift itself beyond mediocrity. As you turn the pages, you will meet a family of 400 young men led by our unsung hero, Antonio Huntsman, a man determined to make a difference. His enthusiasm is only matched by those in the family of 400.
Toni Harvey Editor-In-Chief
p.s. Be sure to share Southern Soul Magazine with your family.
And joining the Southern Soul Family is John Doyle’s column, retroSoul where he will dazzle you with charm and tweak your nostalgia as he takes you down the memory lane of musical history. Safe travels, don’t eat too much, take care of family and loved ones.
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 9
Brown Butterflies, Inc. is a National Organization for Women of Color who are Living Life with Lupus
The Mission of Brown Butterflies Inc. is to increase local and national awareness, medical research and provide support for women of color who are Living Life with Lupus.
The vision of Brown Butterflies is to increase medical research, foster awareness and education, encourage healthy living, and establish strong support systems for women of color that are Living Life with Lupus. Vanecia Belser Kimbrow, Esq. & Tiffany Glover Founders - Brown Butterflies, Inc.
Learn more about Brown Butterflies at www.BrownButterflies.org, or you may email Tiffany or Vanecia at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
A Man on a Mission By: Tyrone Chester Photography by: Darius B. Williams Reggie Hameth
Many times when traveling the path of life, one hits a few pitfalls. It becomes an arduous task to climb your way out and prevent others from following the same path. Having met his share of pitfalls and taking giant leaps to overcome each, Antonio “Coach T” Huntsman is a man on a mission to shift the paradigm and the perception of today’s youth. Coach T is founder and President of the Orange Mound Raiders Youth Sports and Mentoring Program. Through his mentoring program, Coach T uses his knowledge, street hustle, lessons learned, and, most of all, passion to impact today’s youth while instilling in each kid that he can become a respectable and productive citizen.
a better future and that they can achieve it.
From Huntsman’s personal experiences, he knows all too well the pitfalls that await our youth. Years ago, Huntsman’s past looked as bleak as some of the kids he’s working to help today. Huntsman was raised in a single parent home. His mother provided for him and supported him in all his academic and athletic achievements. She attended his games, never missing one and she instilled a hard work ethic. But despite his mother’s efforts, in his teens, Huntsman gravitated towards looking for ways to make fast money. Huntsman explains “Not having a male role model to guide me and advise that ‘all money ain’t good money;’ Huntsman’s program has endured six challenging the streets became his teacher and his life plan. Instead years. Beginning with a mere thirty-eight kids, he built of it being a short-term situation, I found myself a program with strong roots in the community and completely engrossed in the life. I went from being a strong binds with the kids of his program. Hundreds street hustler, to a gang member living the gang life, of kids have completed the program and hundreds elevating to gang leader. My bad choices and decisions are now enrolled. The strength of the program is started compounding from there.” Huntsman’s tremendous capability of connecting with As a result, Huntsman was incarcerated for three local kids who are at high risk of entering gang life and years. It was while incarcerated Huntsman realized he demonstrating through example that there is hope for was travelling down the wrong path of life. Huntsman
Soul Stirrer shares, “It was an atmosphere I knew I shouldn’t have been a part of. That’s when I made up my mind to change my ways. I asked God to place me in a position to help deter young men from travelling down the same path as me.” As a past gang member who took a positive direction and became a successful mentor/role model, Coach T has the ability to influence troubled youth to choose a positive road. Coach T didn’t have a successful career or the financial wherewithal to start a youth program, but he managed. Sometimes logging more hours than full time employment, Huntsman would not be deterred. He saw a need, wanted to fill a void, developed a goal, and has a program that is here to stay. Today, Huntsman is in his third year working as a Gang Intervention and Prevention Specialist with Sheffield High, a Shelby County Unified School under the Gang Resistance for Saving Society’s Youth (GRASSY)
12 | Southern Soul l November 2014
Outreach Program. The GRASSY Program is a school and community based prevention and intervention program that works with gang members to reduce their involvement and provide assistance when feasible. The program combines various forms of prevention, intervention, outreach and suppression to reduce, address, and focus on gang member issues as well as community quality of life concerns. After school, Huntsman removes his GRASSY hat and dons his hat as Coach T of his Orange Mound Raiders Youth Sports and Mentoring Program. The Program had humble beginnings spawned from one man’s desire and dreams of a better community and a shift in the direction he saw the youth headed. Each afternoon, Monday through Thursday, you can find the Program’s kids hard at work in practice held at Sherwood Middle School. On Saturday, you can find the teams taking no prisoners on
the football field. Southern Soul got an opportunity to sit down with Coach T and chat about his challenges and successes. SS: What is the mission of your youth program? TH: Our mission is to create an environment that offers a foundation for our youth to become self-sufficient, confident, and prepared for adulthood as a productive citizen. Our Program provides the tools for each child in the program to become a successful member of our society through leadership, education and recreational sports. We are a youth winning program; winning not only on the game fields or courts, but also in the field of life. Some kids today are mentally lost. They don’t think for themselves or emulate anything positive. It’s crazy, but it’s real. They think it’s cool to not be smart. I have kids that are smart, but portray less than smart for their peers’ benefit. That’s why I have taken my stance to shift their paradigm. Our primary focus is on
education, hard work, spiritual values and community involvement. If we can keep the kids mind focused within these areas, we believe all else will fall in place. SS: Why choose youth sports? TH: 1) I have a passion and desire to redirect our youth; 2) my love for sports, and; 3) it strengthens the community. Plus, the age groups we work with are the most influential ages to get a kid. When they reach their teens, they have a different perspective on life and how they view themselves and the world around them. Often, kids are misguided by peers or not given the opportunity to shine before their peers. Searching for identity, they choose to become gang members simply because their self esteem is low and the sense of ‘belonging’ kicks in. Our program provides that missing bond and sense of belonging. We become an extension of their family.
“Our primary focus is on education, hard work, spiritual values and community involvement.” SS: Does your program participate in a league?
SS: How long have you been coaching?
TH: Yes. We play others in the area. This is the first year we administered our own league. We are the first Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) football league in the state of Tennessee. Many are unaware that AAU football exists. We are proud to be the first and are hoping others will join next season.
TH: Ten years total; six years under this program.
SS: Have you considered adding other sports?
SS: What age groups participate in your program?
TH: Yes. I would like to add soccer and golf to our program, but finding individuals who are willing to TH: Ages 5-12 for our football program and 5-17 for basketball and baseball programs. We have about 120 take the time to come out, coach, and spend time with kids involved in the football program and a rough total our kids has been a challenge. of 450 kids for all sports. SS: What other challenges have your program experienced? Southern Soul l November 2014 | 13
TH: Our biggest challenges are finances and parental involvement.
SS: Earlier you mentioned education. How do you handle kids who are not doing well in school?
SS: How are you able to fund and sustain the program?
TH: First, we analyze why they are not doing well. It may be more to it than not wanting to do well. There may be concerns at home or them not getting adequate instructions at school. For those having challenges, we formulate a plan with our tutors to help kids improve and get back on track. Our tutors work with the kids to improve their grades.
TH: Because I am totally committed to what we are doing, I use personal funds to sustain the program. We have held several fundraising projects to help boost our funding. We haven’t met our financial goals yet. We can always use help with uniforms, equipment and team appreciation. Pizza after the games goes a long way with the kids. Right now, our greatest need is sponsorship. We won a seat in the AAU National Football Championship this year and would like the teams to attend. Current funds will not get us there. We recently setup a crowdfunding site to help send our teams to the AAU National Championship in Orlando, Florida December 1-4, 2014. The site is gofundme.com/orangemoundsports. SS: You mentioned parental involvement as a challenge, please elaborate. TH: It’s difficult at times to get parents actively involved. There are times we feel like glorified babysitters. Instead of parents coming to see their child practice or play, they drop them off, leave and return for pickup after the game or practice. I have some parents who have never seen their child play and the child has been in the program for years. It concerns me to the point where I have offered to pay some parents to come out and watch their child play. Children, more than anything, want to make their parents proud.
SS: What would you say is your program’s strongest asset? TH: Love. Many of our kids lack love from men. We learn the households and are actively involved. I make myself available to them because I know what it is like not having a man present. Knowing I’m there gives the kids a sense of security.
“Our biggest challenges are finances and parental involvement.”
Soul Stirrer never gave up on us. So, how can you not want to be in the life of your own child? We need to step up more as men and take better control of our children. This would help supplement their activities and keep the kids off the streets. If fathers would participate more in their lives, I know for a fact that our youth crime rates would decline. I give all the glory to the mothers but there’s only so much mom can do with a growing boy. As for the mothers, keep pushing as hard as you can. If you’re doing it alone, don’t think you have to do everything by yourself. Put your kids to work and keep them involved in positive programs such as our program. The more activities they are involved in, the less opportunity they have to be recruited by gangs. SS: Do you regret any of your life experiences?
SS: What is your greatest memory? TH: I have two that stick out for me. The first is watching one of my boys from the program sign to a Division 1 college (Ole Miss). The second really touches my heart. It was the first time I was able to take our kids outside of the city of Memphis. We went to Little Rock, Arkansas to play an AAU team. As we were crossing over the bridge and they actually saw the Mississippi River, their eyes just lit up with excitement. It just goes to show that our inner-city families don’t have means to travel. Many of them have not wandered outside their own neighborhoods. I have made it a goal to expose the kids to the world around them. SS: If you had to leave a thought with the readers to tell them about what you think is the greatest hope for our kids in the future, what message would you leave? TH: We need more parental guidance and participation in the life of our children. We have too many children that are basically raising themselves. Stop befriending your children and start parenting them. Become their greatest asset.
TH: I wouldn’t say regret because without those experiences, I wouldn’t be where I am and may not have the same passion for what I do. However, I am remorseful for some of my choices and experiences. I understand the things I’ve experienced over my short time here were just the storm to build me up to who and where I am today. SS: Each month, we select an unsung hero for Soul Stirrers and you are our unsung hero this month. As a hero, to your kids and our community, how do you want to be remembered? TH: I want to be a person who impacted the community in a positive manner known for youth and community development. SS: How can others help support your efforts with this program? TH: I would ask any one who’s able to support financially to visit our crowdfunding site at www.gofundme.com/orangemoundsports and donate. We are a 501c3 organization; therefore your donations are tax-deductible. For those wanting to volunteer please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone @ 901.690.2193.
Note: The Orange Mound Raiders’ Super Bowl Appreciation Day is November 8, 2014 at Halle Stadium; 4:00 p.m until 7:00 p.m. Tailgating begins at noon. Please join Southern Soul in supporting We deal with too many mothers in our program, I love this outstanding effort and our unsung hero. them - but the fathers need to have a presence. There should be more men participating but I can’t get them to come out for practice, games or other activities. God
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 15
It’s A Girl’s Life Program
Leads The Way To A Better Life
Shelby County, Tennessee experienced one of its largest elections this year. The ballot’s extensive listing had 160 offices spanning a 15 page voting machine window. With such a significant election, promoting voter participation and voter registration was paramount to our community’s future. This summer, a group of young ladies stepped up on a Saturday morning and hit a home run at Southland Mall where they stood for hours soliciting voter participation and registering voters. Not even old enough to vote, the young ladies embarked on this civic duty as a result of lessons learned in the “It’s A Girl’s Life (IAGL)” program.
By: Annie Reed
teenage pregnancy and high school dropout rates were prevalent within our community, The Memphis Links developed the program to eradicate the lack of exposure to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) based careers ‘one girl at a time.’ The program established five core goals for the program: • Encourage a 100% high school graduation rate • Establish post-secondary education plans/goals for program participants • Establish mentoring relationships and serve as role models to improve self-image perceptions and confidence in young women participating in the program
In 2008, the Memphis Chapter of The Links, Incorporated (The Memphis Links), in partnership • Encourage a 0% pregnancy rate with Girls, Inc. of Memphis, founded IAGL to address the lack • Expose young women to STEM of achievement and low self-esteem (science, technology, that plagues our African-American engineering and math) based girls in Memphis. Recognizing that curriculum and careers poor academic achievement, high
Sharon Devine Harris is Chairperson for the Service to Youth Facet of The Memphis Links and IAGL is the Facet’s signature program. When asked how the program will accomplish their goals, she explained “The increase in science, technology, engineering and math-rooted industries in the city and surrounding areas represents a growing strength that can and should be leveraged among our youth. The recent relocation of Electrolux and other companies to the Memphis area and the development of the West Tennessee STEM Collaboratory echo the critical need for STEM education and are prime incentives to expose young females to unconventional career potentials.” Forging ahead with this focus, The Memphis Links, in partnership with Girls, Inc. enhanced their presence with the EUREKA! Program; an expanded platform which includes college and career preparation, community service, and, instilling an excitement about math, science and technology. Southern Soul l November 2014 | 17
IAGL addresses the lack of achievement and low self-esteem that plagues our African-American girls in Memphis. During the academic year, each month, the dynamic group of IAGL girls participate in engaging Saturday workshops, led by The Memphis Links members and/or invited subject matter presenters. During the summer, IAGL girls have summer internship opportunities gaining exposure to realistic work environments and careers. With its collaborative national and community partnerships, IAGL takes a holistic approach to raising the standard of expectation for today’s young girls and rallying the support of the community to help raise tomorrow’s next ambitious and successful adult. In addition to the Get Out The Vote drive, the young ladies of IAGL enjoyed several workshops on healthy lifestyles, including healthy eating and exercise. Healthy meals, breakfast and lunch, are provided and exercise classes have been conducted. Increasing their economic values, they attended financial workshops focused on budgeting, credit and banking. Increasing their horizons, IAGL participate in a Pen Pal program between students in Africa at a school receiving sponsorship from The Memphis Links. In an effort to complete their cultural experiences, IAGL girls have attended several cultural events including Alvin Ailey and local dance performances, the theater and museums. By promoting successful high school graduation, improved self-esteem, career development and enhanced social skills, IAGL is positioned to further support the efforts of our future generation of leaders “one girl at a time.” It’s not all work with no play. IAGL participants this year enjoyed a day at the KROC center, a bowling activity, a museum tour, and recently as Volunteers for the Sickle Cell Walk.
The Memphis Links have dedicated tireless hours to the IAGL program and shared experiences from their lives to enhance the program . . . but, not stopping there – since 2012, The Memphis Links awarded more than $25,000 in scholarships and computer equipment to 13 of its graduating girls. The Memphis Links welcome Community Participation and sponsorship in its IAGL program. Upcoming events are: NOVEMBER 15, 2014 Health and Human Services – Understanding Our Bodies JANUARY 17, 2015 College Readiness February 2015 The Arts – Cultural Activity MARCH 21, 2015 International Trends and Services – World Water Issues APRIL 18, 2015 Your Career Choices
For more information
about the “It’s A Girls Life” program presented by the Memphis Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, visit www.memphis-linksinc.org. 18 | Southern Soul l November 2014
A Degree Can Make All the Difference. We are the comprehensive, free service center for adults seeking to successfully return or begin and complete a post-secondary education program.
Visit the College Resource Center at Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library for more information. Monday-Thursday, 3:00-7:00 p.m. Friday-Sunday, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
(901) 415-2774 | graduatememphis.org
facebook.com/graduatememphis Southern Soul l November 2014 | 19
Tend To Your Garden
Relationships and marriages in this day and time face more challenges than they ever have. There are so many things vying for our attention on a daily basis. So many of us often get caught up in raising children and trying to maintain a household. Sometimes we get comfortable and things fall through the cracks. It’s normal. Its life and it happens to the best of us. Then there are those of us who are workaholics. Our careers have such a strong hold on us that we can’t seem to get away from work. Our brains can never slow down enough to take our minds off deadlines and to do lists. Not to mention the work continues to increase and it feels like each year, time just moves quicker and quicker. There are never enough hours in a day. It always seems like our work exceeds our time, so we end up taking our work home in order to not be so overwhelmed during the day. It’s normal. Its life and it happens to the best of us. Unfortunately, our relationships end up taking a back seat in the process of our daily lives. Many
20 | Southern Soul l November 2014
relationships experience what we commonly call “ruts.” It’s easy to fall into them. Especially if you’re a family who juggles demanding careers and children. But you need to prioritize your time and activities. And most of all, you must make sure your relationship actually makes it to your priority list. Marriages and relationships are much like plants and flowers. You have to give them what they need to survive. If your garden doesn’t have water, one day it’s gonna surely die. And in some cases, even watering your garden isn’t enough. You have to also protect your garden from pests and critters that are just waiting to eat away at what you have taken time to grow. Bottom line, if your relationship doesn’t get the time and attention it needs, it’s gonna wither away and die. And then something is gonna eat away at what’s left of it. So turn off your phone, get yourself out of work mode, clear your mind and go tend to your garden.
LETTERS TO MYRON
Hey Myron, A few months ago, I found out my boyfriend cheated on me. Reluctantly, I forgave him, took him back and eventually started to trust him again. But here’s the strange part. Now he doesn’t trust me. I don’t get it. He was the one who messed up, I haven’t done anything wrong. -Tripping Hey Tripping, Well, when a guy cheats, he knows there are always consequences, especially when he gets caught. In this case, he got caught. And for all its worth, in his head “you” now have the upper hand. Even though you might not feel that way, he feels that now you have the “power” in the relationship. I mean, what guy doesn’t like to feel like he has
the power in the relationship? However, even though he caused it for himself, he now has a bit of an insecurity issue. Although you forgave him and took him back -- in the back of his mind, he is still wondering if one day you will return the favor and even the score. In other words, he now thinks that one day, you are gonna cheat on him too. It’s funny how guys are
huh? But hopefully this will help him to stay on the straight and narrow going forward.
He now thinks that one day, you are gonna cheat on him too.
Hey Myron, I have an issue. My mate is on Facebook a lot. He has a lot of female friends on there also. However, he doesn’t acknowledge our relationship on his relationship status. It looks as if he is single. Am I wrong for letting this bother me? I just don’t want to be ignored. - Careful Dear Careful, What are you 16? Well first of all, you have every right in the world to feel however you want to feel, so I won’t tell you whether you’re right or wrong. However, I can help you determine the answer for yourself. You said that it looks as if he is single, but here’s something to think
about. Does he act as if he is single? Does he come across like a “player” to other women? Are any of the women on his page disrespectful? How does he interact with you on his page? If the relationship status is the only problem you have, there might not necessarily be an issue. Consider these things.
Does he recognize you in real life? Does he introduce you as his woman when you meet people he knows for the first time? Social media is wonderful; however it has caused a lot of trust issues in relationships. But before you jump to conclusions, you still have to know your mates character regardless of the situation. Southern Soul l November 2014 | 21
URBANEDGE PUBLISHING ANNOUNCES
DORCHELLE T. SPENCE’S DEBUT YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
NO LESS WORTHY
“A BRAVE COMING-OF AGE STORY THAT IS BOTH REAL AND MOVING…”
TO PURCHASE YOUR COPY VISIT: WWW.URBANEDGEPUBLISHING.COM CLICK ON THE “BOOK STORE” TAB SELECT THE COVER OF NO LESS WORTHY
TO SCHEDULE AN APPEARANCE, MOTIVATIONAL TALK, OR SIGNING CALL: 901.322.8070
Readings Motivational Speaking Signings Special Appearances Kathy’s life sucks and a fight with her mom confirms that nothing will ever change that. Teased at school and feeling like an indentured servant at home, Kathy leaves vowing never to return. Surviving that night on her own means facing the demons of her mom’s past and the uncertainty of her own future. Can she come to terms with her questionable ethnicity? With being fatherless and different from everyone else? Will Kathy continue her spiral toward the destructiveness of poverty, abuse, and low self-esteem? Or will she find a way out? And if so, what will it cost her? “THERE’S A LITTLE BIT OF KATHY IN EVERY WOMAN…”
Church Groups Youth Groups School Groups Women’s Groups Book Clubs
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: MYPPK.COM/GET/DORCHELLESPENCE
No Less Worthy
By: Pepper Lewis
Southern Soul: We are so excited about your new book. I read the Kathy Sumner’s difficult, but inspirational journey and thought “Wow!” I know when the book is launched, it will make Memphis proud. Who or what inspired you to write “No Less Worthy?” SPENCE: I’ve always believed that things happen to us for a reason. Perhaps the reason I’ve experienced and witnessed so many challenges was so that I would be able to tell a story in such a way that helps others. Southern Soul: Through Kathy’s essay, you write poignantly about being fatherless. Was this drawn from
personal experience? Was it difficult for you to write about this?
real; it’s what helps the story reach people the way that God intends for it to.
SPENCE: These particular scenes are drawn from personal experience. I know firsthand the stigma that is attached to children who grow up without their fathers, especially when those fathers can’t even be identified. So, admitting that not only was my father not a part of my life, but that I don’t even know who he is, wasn’t easy. Still, in order to fulfill its true purpose, Kathy’s story had to be authentic. For it to be authentic, I had to become personally vulnerable and pull from my own life experiences. That’s what makes the story
Southern Soul: Kathy encounters many crossroads in the book. Did you ever take her up one path and change your mind? If so, when, and why? SPENCE: There were one or two occasions when I contemplated how the truck stop visit might turn out differently or how Johnny Ray might go too far in one direction or another. Ultimately, though, I think there is just enough tension in the novel not to have to go down those paths. Southern Soul l November 2014 | 23
"I want you to know that you will get through it if you just keep moving forward. Never give up on yourself."
Southern Soul: What is the most important lesson you want readers to take away from this book? SPENCE: If there is a lesson, it is that we’re all struggling with something – fitting in, measuring up, and finding our own voice, something. Whatever that struggle is for you, I want you to know that you will get through it if you just keep moving forward. Never give up on yourself. Southern Soul: Let’s talk about the process for budding writers! How long did it take you to write the book?
Southern Soul: The University of Memphis has aUstarring in the book! Are youANNOUNCES connected RBANrole EDGE PUBLISHING SPENCE: I started writing No Less Worthy to the university? If so, how? about ten years ago, got about a third of the way through it, and stopped. I picked the manuscript SPENCE: I’m a huge fan of the University. ORCHELLE PENCE S up again in January of 2013, giving myself I earned both my undergraduate and MBA D EBUT Y OUNG A DULT N OVEL degrees from the U of M and even served as an a year to finish it. I met my goal and begin looking for a publisher in January of 2014. It adjunct professor for a time. Go Tigers! was a total of two to two and a half years. Southern Soul: In one word, how would you Southern Soul: What is your best advice for “A BRAVE COMING-OF AGE STORY describe the book? anyone who wants to be a writer? THAT IS BOTH REAL AND MOVING…” SPENCE: Powerful. Inspirational. Good! You SPENCE: Every writer is unique; every pick. situation is different. The most valuable advice TO PURCHASE YOUR COPY VISIT : Southern Soul: Who do you think will enjoy I have to offer other writers is to never give up WWW.URBANEDGEPUBLISHING.COM reading “No Less Worthy?” on the pursuit of your writing dreams. Work CLICK ON THE “BOOK STORE” TAB on your craft; write as often as you can; pursue THEsaid COVER OF N O LESS W SPENCE: MySELECT neighbor to me, “There’s a ORTHY little bit of Kathy in every woman.” That struck continuous improvement; and believe in the gift of your story – you’re the only person who can me. It meant that the novel hit its mark. No TO SCHEDULE AN APPEARANCE , Less Worthy is for every woman from 12 – 92. I tell it. OR SIGNING MOTIVATIONAL TALK used to say 12 – 82, but my ,grandmother is 87CALL: 901.322.8070 and she loves the book. So, I had to change the age range.
NO LESS WORTHY
Readings Dorchelle Terrell Spence is a writer and communications professional who serves Motivational as Vice President for the Riverfront Development Corporation in Memphis, Speaking Tennessee. Spence also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis, is a contributing writer to local and regional publications, and enjoys Signings public speaking.
A native Memphian, Spence is married, has one 12-year old daughter and three Church Groups young adult stepsons. She is currently working on the sequel to No Less Worthy, taking her main character’s journey beyond high school and into adulthood.
School Groups Women’s Groups 24 | Southern Soul l November 2014
The Sweet Rock
“Pat! Don’t get so close to her. Give her some space!” my Uncle Randy told my cousin Patrick. He stood over my grandmother’s body in tears. His usual street entrepreneur demeanor flew straight out the door when it came to my grandma, who we fondly called Sweetie. She laid there sleeping while we stood around in distress.
By: Christin Webb Artwork by: Quinn McGowan
In tears and dropping her purse and bags, my Aunt Anna entered. “Not my Sweetie! I can’t take it ‘Lawd! We need her here with us!” she hollered running to her bedside, pushing her son Patrick out of her way. “Wait a minute, mama!” Patrick objected hesitantly moving out of Aunt Anna’s way.
Continuing to hold his arm, Randy responded, “I’m telling you, Patrick. The nurses told us earlier not to be all in her face. She needs her space right now.”
Ignoring Patrick, Aunt Anna continued, “Take me, ‘Lawd! She ain’t been nothing but your good servant! Leave her here, Lawd! Leave her!” Tears streamed down her face. Patrick backed away crossing his arms in disgust. Uncle Randy just shook his head. Aunt Anna was always the overreacting spirit in our family. The year Patrick graduated from high school, she stood up in the middle of the ceremony and did a praise dance in the center aisle of the three-hundred seat auditorium. Talk about embarrassed! But, we’ve learned, as a family, to accept her for who she is because she definitely wasn’t changing.
“You say I’m smothering her, I say, I’m making sure I’m showing love,” Patrick replied, continuing to dote over her body. Just as Uncle Randy was about go back at Patrick, the hospital door flew open. Everyone’s attention shifted to the door.
“She’s going to be ok Aunt Anna,” I told her placing my hand on her shoulder to console her. “The doctor is supposed to be back in after while. We can talk to him then and see what’s really going on?” She shook her head in agreement and headed to the couch to sit
“It’s painful to see Sweetie like this,” Patrick replied gripping her fragile hand. “You don’t have to smother her,” Uncle Randy continued, walking up to Patrick and grabbing his arm in an attempt to pull him back from Sweetie. “Keep your hands off me,. I’m not a child anymore!” Patrick roared back.
26 | Southern Soul l November 2014
“That’s the point, Ann. Stop all that nonsense! Life isn’t always peaches and cream. And you for sure haven’t been an angel.”
not dead.” She sat up in her bed and continued staring Aunt Anna right in the eyes, “I’m so tired of this argument between you and your only sister, Ann You ain’t right,” pointing her finger. “Whens you gone learn that you can’t judge people? You for sure don’t need to judge your family.”
to me, placed his arms around my shoulder and gave me a hug.
Without hesitation, Aunt Anna obliged, “Yes, Sweetie.”
“I’m so sick of her and that attitude! God don’t like ugly so she needs to straighten up,” Aunt Anna began.
Aunt Anna turned her nose in the air as to show her dismissal of our statements and shouted “Whatever! God knows best!”
“Maybe if you’d just apologize, baby,” Uncle Randy interjected. Aunt Anna and Uncle Randy had been married for forty years. While he had a bit more voice of reason, when Aunt Anna was stuck on her point, not even he could change her mind.
Suddenly from out of nowhere, Sweetie awakened from her nap and spoke with a soft, brittle voice, “That’s the point, Ann. Stop all that nonsense! Life isn’t always peaches and cream. And you for sure haven’t been an angel. I remember so many things about you coming up that would put your husband to shame.” Startled by her awakening and embarrassed by what she had to say, Aunt Anna immediately put her head down in her chest. Uncle Randy, Patrick, and I rushed to Sweetie’s bedside.
“Now when she make it back in here, you just say you’re sorry and be done with it,” she demanded of Aunt Anna. Patrick and I just looked at each other shocked. We couldn’t believe that Aunt Anna didn’t have any words of rebut to shoot back. She was always full of scriptures that defended her point; or at least she had a way of making them out to do that.
next to my mother, Barbara. “When did she get here, Barbara?” Aunt Anna asked my mother. Taking a deep breath - not really wanting to answer, my mom responded, “About four hours ago.” My mom and Aunt Anna hadn’t spoken in over a year. They fell out over the fact that Aunt Anna continuously called my mother a loose woman for having me out of wedlock. It was an argument that was over thirty years old. But last year, their last argument - my mom just had enough and there hadn’t been words between them since. Getting up from her seat, my mother turned to me and said, “I’m going to step out for a minute. It’s getting a little stuffy in here.” She stepped outside the room and Aunt Anna immediately started talking about my mother..
“Yeah, this is getting real old, Aunt Anna,” I said in agreement. “When will you let it go? So what she had me unmarried? Things happen.” “That don’t make it right, Delia!” she abruptly replied to me. “God says in the book of…” Interrupting her, Patrick’s voice boomed “There you go. Stop that. Pops is right, ma. You’ve been wrong for years.” He walked over
Attempting to defend herself, Aunt Anna said, “But ma…” “Shut that up now, gal! You hear me and you hear me good. Barbara is the only sister ‘yous got. Your brother Tony don’t never come home. Your other brother, Jeffrey left this earth way too early. Don’t make the mistake of letting something happen to Barbara and you haven’t righted what was wrong with her. You hear me, chile?”
Just then, my mother came back in the room with the doctor, Dr. Kindle. My mother was still perturbed with Aunt Anna. She wouldn’t even look her in the eye. The room was at an awkward silence for a moment.
“Sweetie, you shouldn’t be talking. Rest up now!” Uncle Randy insisted.
Dr. Kindle stepped up with his clip board and a bright smile walking to Sweetie’s bed. “How are you feeling Mrs. Tucker?” he began.
Shushing him, Sweetie replied, “Boy, I’m just in the hospital. I’m
She smiled back replying, “I’d be better if these here chilluns of Southern Soul l November 2014 | 27
Arts mine would quit all this bickering. You’d think I was on my death bed the way they in here going at it.” “I understand, Mrs. Tucker. As long as you’re feeling ok,” he paused and began looking at each of us and then through his paperwork. “Well, we’ve run all the tests we could run and it looks like it was just a bad case of acid reflux. The pain you were feeling was just that.” “Gas?” Sweetie questioned sitting further up in her bed.
and Aunt Anna looked at one another feeling a bit shame for their stubbornness. “Now what did I tell you needed to happen, Ann? I’m waiting.”
“You stick around for a minute, doc. I need a witness to this here miracle.”
“You can say that if you’d like, Mrs. Tucker. The medicine the nurse gave you earlier should have you feeling much better now. We’ll send you home with some too. And hopefully that nap you had has you “I guess that’s my cue to leave,” Dr. feeling a bit rested,” he concluded. Kindle said heading towards the room door. “The exiting nurse will “Well, I’ll be. Acid reflux had me be in soon with your discharge feeling that way,” Sweetie replied. paperwork, Mrs. Tucker. Everyone have a good day.” “Acid reflux had us running down here to the hospital,” Uncle “You stick around for a minute, Randy said laughing. Patrick and I doc. I need a witness to this here laughed as well. miracle,” Sweetie demanded. He Looking back and forth at my mom and Aunt Anna, Sweetie said firmly but softly “If it got these two here gals in the same room together, then I wouldn’t change what just happened to me, even if it did hurt like hell.” My mother
followed her instruction and stopped in his tracks.
Walking up to my mother, Aunt Anna reached out and hugged her. “Barbara, I’m so sorry for the way I’ve treated you all these years. I
was wrong. Do you forgive me?” My mother returned the hug and replied, “I do big sis. I do forgive you.” I smiled at what seemed like the last time we’d hear this argument. “I’m glad this shenanigan is over,” Uncle Randy said still laughing walking over to Aunt Anna. “Should make for a quiet ride home now.” “Oh, be quiet, Randy!” Aunt Anna said pushing Uncle Randy in the chest. “Well I’m thankful we can move on. It’s been a long time coming,” Patrick replied. “I am too. The only question left is what will we do at family dinner now? I was used to them arguing,” I said. The room just fell into a hearty laugh. It looked as though our family was finally moving on to a new chapter in our life. It didn’t matter that my mom and Aunt Anna had spent the last year upset at one another. What mattered most was that we could now pay attention to loving and supporting one another and be a greater family together… And for that I’m thankful for our Sweetie.
Christin Webb, a Memphis novelist, screenwriter, and literary coach, lives by the motto: “Outcomes are merely creations of our own decisions.” After earning degrees, developing a career, and adjusting to single-motherhood, Christin took a leap of faith to live out her passion of writing. Her personal experiences and creative visions help bring her writing to life igniting growth and inspiration in each literary piece. In 2012, Christin self-published her first fiction novel, Enough Time, following the creation of her blogs, “Is It Real?” and “Passion Living Out Loud.” In 2010, Christin published the Memphis 2010 Historical Calendar, displaying 365 days of Memphis history. Along with writing, Christin enjoys speaking and to diverse groups and organizations on topics from self-growth to becoming an author. She currently works in the utility industry and lives in Memphis, TN with her daughter, Jasmine. It is Christin’s long term goal to continue using her leadership and creative spirit to make positive differences. 28 | Southern Soul l November 2014
WE OFFER CUSTOMIZED
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS MEMORABILIA VISIT USMCMASCOT.COM TO SEE THE FULL LINE
CUSTOM FRAMING & AWARD-WINNING SHADOWBOX DESIGN
ABEL L E T A V I R P INKS, R D T F O S DRINKS, Y G R E EN SHOTS Y G R E N AND E
ORDER BY NOV. 20TH FOR CHRISTMAS DELIVERY
Measuring Life – Carmen’s Way
By: Marsha Goins
Today, a friend called to ask for my squash recipe. As I proceeded to tell her how to prepare the dish, I chuckled. I had to catch myself because I sounded just like my mother. Getting recipes from my mother are some of the fondest memories I have of my mother. Recipes came easy to her. She over saw food service and catering at a local college. She thought every student at the school was her child – and every student there sought her out for a special this or a special that. My maternal grandmother, my mother, her brother, and her sister were all cooks. Each could cook anything and they were all wonderful bakers. My mother’s brother was an electronics teacher, a caterer and restaurateur. Her sister was a social worker who made the best homemade biscuits and “dinner breakfasts” I have ever had to this day! I was an only child, growing up in a family of cooks. Not only was I an only child, but until I was a teenager, I was the only female grandchild/niece. One would think given such a unique position, someone would have felt the need to teach me how to cook! But, I was surrounded by great cooks and none thought to teach me. They all preferred to be in the kitchen alone while they cooked. Heck, my mother would not even allow us to be in the house while she was baking. She said we would slam the door and make her cake fall and since everyone absolutely loved her cakes, we gladly obliged and left home. The extent of my help in the kitchen was reduced to setting the table and cleaning the kitchen.
30 | Southern Soul l November 2014
When I was twenty, I went to New England to work a semester as a college intern. As you can imagine, having no cooking skills, I was extremely limited in my ability to feed myself. Whatever your imagination drums up - that a twenty year old should be able to cook, divide that in half. That was me. I was that bad!
had a similar conversation with someone who was trying to teach you something based on their sight, feel and memory but could not tell you exactly how to do it; but, gave you enough information to guide you to a successful dish.
The conversations went much like the one I had with my friend today. I am sure over the years, you have
Then our conversation would turn to cooking the food and how to put the casserole together. Her simple
So, when I called to get recipes from Mama; Mama would give me the list of ingredients but she didn’t It was in a time when fast food was say how much to buy. When I not on every corner and, believe asked “how many squash” she said, me, I was not making enough “how large is the baking dish?” money to eat in restaurants every and I answered, “I don’t know.” day. I immediately concluded, I had She would go on to ask “describe to learn how to cook and that was it” and I did and she would say a scary thought! I decided I would “you need four medium squash.” I call home and just ask Mama how would then ask “what is medium?” to prepare what I had a taste for. and she would grunt and say “use Well, getting recipes were – well your judgment.” I thought “What – let’s just say painful - to say the judgment!” But I didn’t dare say least! that to her.
"So many of us have learned how to cook from hearing someone tell you to use a ‘little’ of this and a ‘little’ of that and you are left wondering what is a ‘little'?"
shred more.” I asked, “how thick does it need to be on top,” she replied, “just cover it” and then I asked the question about the bread crumbs.
something else because I don’t know (or use) those standard measurements. It always turns out wonderful just the same!
My mother’s life lessons and life teachings were much like her ‘howto-cook’ conversations. She always gave a “do it this way” but “not this way” advice. She was always full of quick little life tips. One of my best friends always tells the story of Mama’s secret to beautiful skin. One day, she was in our kitchen and somehow the topic of facial complexions came up. My mother I recall on my first attempt, I stirred shared “Marsha’s skin is flawless the cheese and the bread crumbs because I wiped it with her diaper and made a mess because I handled whenever I changed her.” To this the food too much and made the day, that friend calls it the piss-face squash mushy. But, sitting in New lesson. She says, “Mama Goins England hungry as a bear, it was says a piss wipe a day - keeps the cooked and I ate it. It was sorta pimples away!” I’ll never live that good -- but not like Mama’s by one down. instructions were “put the cooked, any stretch. However, sitting there cooled squash and onion in a all alone in New England, eating But so was the way of many of bowl and spoon in ‘some’ cream the mushy sorta-close to Mama’s Mama’s life lessons. A little bit of chicken soup, then put the food squash casserole, I was able to taste of this and a little bit of that will in the casserole dish, season with (in my mind) Mama’s casserole and make it just right! This process salt and pepper, add the shredded it warmed me to my core because it is so fitting to the life we live. We cheese and ‘mix’ it so the cheese is took me close to home even if I was know there is something we want throughout the entire dish, then several hundred miles away. to do, taste, or become; but are not pour the bread crumbs on it, and quite sure what ingredients to use. So many of us have learned how ‘mix’ them so they go through the Ask those that have the knowledge to cook from hearing someone dish as well, bake it at 350 degrees about how to make it happen and tell you to use a ‘little’ of this and until it bubbles all over.” follow Mama’s recipe for life – a a ‘little’ of that and you are left touch of this, a touch of that, stop if Well she might as well have wondering what is a ‘little’? I never boils over. You may have to make a been speaking Greek to me! My did discover the meaning of ‘little’ few changes here and there to make questions started rolling, “how but what I did learn was -- listen to it work for you; but you will have much salt and pepper,” she would what your mother says, try it out, the basic plan, work with it and say, “I don’t know, just sprinkle test it, play with it, and pretty soon, savor the taste! some.” I asked, “how much soup you will figure out how to cook do I use” she replied “just enough by sight, feel and memory; and, if till the squash and onions are you’re lucky, your dish will turn out In loving memory of Carmen M. lightly moist. If you use too much, almost as good as your mother’s. Goins, Ethel Broadhurst and it will be soupy.” Then I asked, “how Carl L. Manuel. So, when I am asked for recipes, much cheese do I need to shred I try to give more in-depth (note: there were no cheese bags in the grocery store back then)?” She descriptions so the listener can develop their own sense of sight, responded in that voice that lets feel, and therefore remember how you know she is getting a little bit tired of me -- “I don’t know, maybe to prepare the dish. But, I still can’t a cup. Just sprinkle it until it covers pass a recipe on with a cup of this, a dash of that or a ½ teaspoon of the top. If you don’t have enough, By now, you are probably wondering why I even bothered to ask about crumbs. I wondered the same thing myself because the answer was not anything that would ever make my squash casserole as good as hers. The one question I did not ask was ‘what does mix mean?”
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 31
“You can’t buy happiness but you can buy local, and that’s kind of the same.” Support Memphis Local Businesses
retroSoul By: John Doyle
Where do you start? I mean... really. That vertical cursor on my computer is patiently blinking in the top left corner of my computer screen... sitting there blinking like it is just as curious to see the revelation of the first “retroSOUL” column. From that single blinking cursor, we begin a fun, educational, soul-stirring (pardon the pun) and obviously uplifting exploration through the lives, careers and music of many of Memphis’ ... and the world’s ... great soul musicians. So, where does one start with that? Maybe my column should sound something like, “Dear Southern Soul readers, I’m here to inform you that before Stax, before Hi, Volt, Sun, before The Consortium MMT, the very, very first soul musician was...” That’s the way this column should probably start, I suppose. If you were writing a column about legendary soul musicians, would you start with the “first,” and write each subsequent column chronologically? Historians maintain (and argue) that rock ‘n’ roll started with Elvis, right here in Memphis. But are we ready (or is it necessary) to identify a starting point, or a starting person, of soul music (and, with that, I suppose, I have opened Pandora’s box... let the discussion begin)? I’m staying out of that fray!
incredible lady of Memphis soul for my first “retroSOUL” column. Not because she was the “first” soul songstress; not because she will necessarily be remembered by everyone as the “greatest.” But if you wear the mantle of “soul singer,” well, you have to sing from your soul! Many musicians… too many musicians… just really do try to fake it – just watch The Voice or American Idol. They just sing the lyrics (kinda like you sometimes do in your ride). If you wear the mantle of “soul singer,” well, you have to sing from the depth of your soul! I also chose the great songstress because, this month, she is one of the very deserving, world-changing musicians being inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
There’s no way I would attempt to go chronological. However, I relish the opportunity to splash a little ink across the page and celebrate just a few of the hundreds of great soul music icons who changed our lives and our planet. And there goes your mental playlist... just like the ultimate iPod that hums in our head. That’s because, whether you are young or old, rich or poor, black or white, musically-talented or harmoniously-challenged (yeah, folks have heard you singing out loud in your ride)... soul music is the soundtrack of our lives. You punch the right song and the whole room explodes like a choir or a flash mob. “Comin’ to ya on a dusty road / Good lovin’, I got a truck load” (just be glad that I’m typing and not singing... but you go ahead and keep singing!). Well, back to how to start my column, and who to select. I chose to applaud an
Shame on our city for waiting so long to establish an institution that appropriately honors all of the iconic musicians who made our city great. Come on Memphis, we’ve taken these people for granted for way too long. Each and every one of us needs to revisit, in our own minds, what Memphis would be like today were it not for the musical geniuses who put us on the world map. After all, no other city has that! Not one! Just travel to Denmark, tell them you’re from Cleveland, and you’ll receive blank stares from a group of great Danes. However, tell them you’re from Memphis, and they’ll probably start singing just like you do in your ride. See, state the obvious and someone will give you your very own magazine column. Welcome to retroSOUL. Southern Soul l November 2014 | 33
Ann Peebles, Soul Songstress Extraordinaire By: John Doyle Ann Peebles was born in St Louis, the seventh of a whole team of eleven children who collectively fulfilled the billing as “The Peebles Choir” in her father’s church; a choir started years earlier by Ann’s grandfather. Ann’s musical string of fifteen albums and nineteen charting hit songs really began in 1968 when legendary Hi Records owner and producer, Willie “Papa Willie” Mitchell, handed her first recording contract to her.
music lives on and has been rerecorded by many artists including Bette Midler, Michael Bolton and Tina Turner; and sampled by the likes of Missy Elliot, Wu-Tang Clan and others.
One of my favorite Ann Peebles’ stories which she retells herself inside the galleries of the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum… On a particular stormy, dreary Memphis night, she and Don Bryant were leaving Mitchell’s Royal Studio True soul artists really do sing with at the conclusion of a recording their heart and from their soul, session. As the blowing rain filled the evidence is in many of Ann the curbs of South Lauderdale Peebles’ charting titles: “Give Me Street in front of Royal, a disgusted Some Credit,” “Come to Mama,” Peebles commented to Bryant, “I Didn’t Take Your Man” and “I can’t stand the rain.” Like “I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse most great soul songs, especially Peebles, just shy of twenty-one, Down,” to name a few from the those co-written by a great soul would become the only female abyss of Ann’s soul. No way could songstress, both the title and the artist signed to Hi Records to you mistake her sounds for pop or music came from her heart. Now release a string of albums. Many of country tunes, my friend. That’s it kinda makes me want to know those albums came about with her Ann Peebles’ pure soul. the story behind, “I’m Gonna Tear collaborator, co-writer, musician, Your Playhouse Down”!? In 2012, Ann suffered a stroke and Hi house songwriter Don yet; both she and Don were Bryant sitting at her side. Willie Every month, “retroSOUL” in attendance at the Memphis Mitchell teamed them together, concludes with an audio Hard Rock Café when the 2014 and writing together led to dating, assignment. Sometime today, go Memphis Music Hall of Fame and dating led to an incredible to iTunes, download and play (real inductees were first announced. musical marriage which continues loud), Mrs. Peebles’ “Breaking Up Still battling through effects of the today. Somebody’s Home.” Doesn’t get stroke and in keeping with Ann’s much better. Some maintain that Ann passion and drive, her infamous Peebles’ string of hits and career fire and energy was demonstrated And if you have an artist momentum were affected by the following the reception when she suggestion for this space, tweet me rise of disco in the 1970s (just and Don stayed an extra hour just @rocknsoulmuseum #retrosoul. another reason for us to hate to sign autographs and visit with disco). Her recordings and her fans and customers in attendance influence on other artists, however, at Hard Rock. True soul! continued. Despite disco, Ann’s 34 | Southern Soul l November 2014
The charitable and educational arm of Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated
Twenty Pearls Fashionetta Presents the 2014
CELEBRATING THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF ELEVEN BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED YOUNG LADIES.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2014 5:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.
COOK CONVENTION CENTER | 255 NORTH MAIN STREET, MEMPHIS, TN 38013 FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO PURCHASE TICKETS CALL 901. 268.7662
Holiday Co-Parenting Tips By: Theresa H. Patterson, Attorney at Law
It’s that time of year again — the Holidays— a time when we look forward to celebrations with friends and family. It is also a time when most parents who are divorced or living separately are required by court order to share time with their children.The Tennessee legislature has recently added language to the child custody statute which requires a judge, when taking into account a child’s best interest, to “order a custody arrangement that permits both parents to enjoy the maximum participation possible in the life of the child.” The custody and visitation laws in Tennessee statute specifically instruct the court to make provisions for holidays, family birthdays and the like.
desire to love and to be loved by both mother and father. A mother teaches a child life skills that a father cannot. Likewise, fathers share lessons with a child that a mother cannot. Recognize the value of your child spending time with the other parent and extended family. Put the child’s best interests ahead of your own. Find a way to be cordial and polite with each other, especially in the child’s presence and during exchanges. Feelings are fine, but do not have to be acted out, especially in front of your child.
Follow The Court-Ordered Schedule
If parenting time has been set out in a court order, stick to the schedule. Parents should be able to make While some parents find it difficult to be apart from plans based on the order. For instance if your child their children during holiday time, children should be is scheduled to be picked up by the other parent at 3 allowed to enjoy and experience this special time of p.m. on Thanksgiving day, perhaps your family can the year with both parents and their extended families plan activities and dinner earlier in the day and allow without feelings of guilt, conflict and confrontations. the other parent and his family to schedule their Here are a few tips to make the holidays the best they activities later in the day. This way the child gets to can be for both parents and children. enjoy the family gathering in both homes. Be on time when exchanging the child. Children look forward Put Aside Feelings Of Anger Towards to spending time with the other parent and are The Other Parent And His Or Her Family disappointed and sometimes emotionally damaged if Divorce and break-ups are often a source of anger and a parent does not show up on time or at all, or cancels resentment between parents. Justified or not, these a scheduled visit. If something comes up and you need feelings should be put aside when it comes to sharing to modify the schedule, let the other parent know as time with your children. A child is born with an innate soon as possible and try to reach a compromise or Southern Soul l November 2014 | 37
Legal View agreement, preferably in writing, by email or text, so that there is no misunderstanding.
Be Willing To Be Flexible
Court-ordered schedules set specific times and dates when a parent will spend time with their child. Life doesn’t always follow a schedule. If something comes up and the other parent requests a schedule change, try to be accommodating. For instance, if your child’s grandmother has arrived all the way from California, and has never met her grandchild, if asked, be willing to switch days or times (if needed) to allow the other parent a little extra family time. If you are the parent requesting a schedule change, offer the other parent some make-up time. Alternate the holiday schedule each year. If the child woke up on Christmas day at mom’s house last year, allow him to wake up at dad’s house the next year. Also, be willing to celebrate a holiday other than on the day itself. A child will love a double-dose of holidays.
A parent who fails to foster and encourage a positive relationship with the other parent can even lose custody.
to pay court-ordered child support, which include suspension of state-issued licenses (i.e. driver’s license, professional licenses, and hunting licenses), as well as fines, and payment of attorney fees. Our statute also provides that a parent who does not pay support can be ordered to pick up trash on the highway wearing a vest that says “deadbeat parent.” A parent who fails to comply with a court-ordered parenting schedule faces the same consequences. Yes, if you deny or interfere with a nonBe Sensitive To A Child’s Feelings custodial parent’s court-ordered parenting time, your If children had a magic wand, most would wave it and driver’s license can be suspended. If you are a doctor, parents and children would all live together as one school teacher or lawyer, your professional license to happy family, especially on holidays. If your child has practice or work can be suspended. And yes, the statute experienced holidays together with both parents in the past, the transition to separate holiday celebrations may allows the court to order a non-compliant parent to pick up trash on the side of a highway. A parent who fails to be challenging. Be sensitive to your child’s feelings, but don’t overreact. Allow a child to contact the other parent foster and encourage a positive relationship with the other parent can even lose custody. during the holiday, if a child says they miss the other parent and want to call. Reassure the child that he is not If a non-custodial parent fails to follow the court’s the reason for the separation or divorce, and that both parenting time order, the court can suspend or limit parents love him. Consider the purchase of a joint gift. parenting time or require supervision. The amount This shows the child that even though the parents are no of parenting time exercised by a non-custodial parent longer together, that they can come together for the sake effects the calculation of court-ordered child support. of the child’s happiness. Let the child know what the If a non-custodial parent exercises less than 70 days of holiday schedule will be, after discussion with the other parenting time per year, the amount of child support parent. Don’t ask the child to choose or decide which a parent pays increases. That is not to say that parent’s parent or family he wants to be with. Children don’t like motivation to spend time with a child should be driven to pick between parents, they want to feel free to love by a financial consequence. you both. Parents owe a moral responsibility to shape and teach Know Your Rights And Responsibilities their children’s lives, whether or not the child lives Orders for parents who have never been married refer primarily in their home. Statistics show that children to a non-custodial parent’s “visitation” rights. I prefer who spend significant time with the non-custodial the term “parenting time,” a term which has been parent are less likely to be delinquent, less likely to substituted in some of our state statutes, although become pregnant or father a child as a teen, and less the term “visitation” still remains. To quote retired likely to be a victim of child abuse. A child’s holiday Circuit Court Judge Kay S. Robilio, “you visit animals memories can have a lifelong effect on his future. at the zoo, but you parent your children.” There are An easy rule of thumb for all parents: Always make stiff consequences for the parent who fails to follow or decisions based on what’s in your child’s best interest, comply with court-ordered parenting schedules. I’m and you can’t go wrong. sure most parents know the consequences of failure 38 | Southern Soul l November 2014
At The Table With
Seventy-seven miles northeast of Memphis are historic cotton fields spanning the countryside of what is now known as the quiet town of Dyersburg, Tennessee. In that quiet, humble town, a strong, small in stature, hard-working widow, Lizzie Moore, mother of eight, planted a root in her family tree which would reach Memphis. Not far from Lizzieâ€™s home was the home of Minnie Kirk, also a widow and mother of five. Like Lizzie, Minnie also planted a root which would reach beyond Dyersburg also to Memphis.
40 | Southern Soul l November 2014
By: Alease Nadine Minnie was the community beautician. After her husband was fatally wounded in a cotton mill accident, Minnie added a shop to her house so she could work and always be home close to her children. Lizzie, known fondly to the Dyersburg community as â€˜Mama Lilâ€™, was a cook, by profession. Both women held their families together with chords of courage, strings of strength, loads of love, and fabulous mouthwatering food. Both women used family meals as the tie that bound their family.
Cleo and his mother, Minnie Kirk
Katherine's Father, Dave Henry Moore
In a small town where everybody knew everybody, Minnie’s Beauty Shop was full of curls, perms and hot combs; but, on Saturday night, after the shop closed, the hot combs were tucked away and replaced with the sweet aroma of homemade rolls wafting through the air. Early Sunday morning, before church, Minnie would take a basket of fresh warm rolls to each house on the street and to all the elderly neighbors. After church, Minnie would prepare fried chicken, mac n' cheese, string beans and, of course, those freshly baked rolls. Every child within miles around was welcome to cross her door step for Sunday dinner. Minnie knew how to keep her family and community together – through their stomachs and the art of giving from the heart. At Lizzie’s home, through cooking and family meals, Lizzie taught her family values of unity, sharing, strength and endurance. Every
Katherine's Mother, Lizzie Townsend Moore
They held their families together with chords of courage, strings of strength, loads of love, and fabulous mouthwatering food.
Wednesday morning, she and her four boys would get up at 2 a.m. in the morning and go to the First United Methodist Church; the largest white church in Dyersburg. There, Lizzie would prepare breakfast for 300 men. The boys would help lift the heavy pans and bread trays; make sure everything was ready; return home; get dressed; and go to school. Each day, when her eight children arrived from school, a full meal was always waiting. She put love into every dish she prepared. That was her way of caring for others. There was no greater joy to her than having family gathered at her table.
together as one. Pooling their monies and helping each other was a way of life for the lone six. When times were difficult, they would gather three dollars, buy gas and go to Lizzie’s house because they knew if they got there she would cook and feed them and their worries would dissipate with each bite of food.
Lizzie pushed education and hard work. Three of her sons were among the first group of six black students to attend the University of Tennessee at Martin. They still tell stories about the lone six black male students at UT Martin. At that time, the six were breaking integration barriers and struggling
Minnie also instilled hard work and education. For extra income, Minnie rented one of her bedrooms out. One renter, Vasco Smith, lived in the Kirk home for three years. He worked in Dyersburg as the community dentist. Each day after school, Minnie’s son, Cleo, cleaned Dr. Smith’s office. Telling the Southern Soul l November 2014 | 41
story, Cleo said, “I cleaned the office each day. Vasco had a bucket where his patients would deposit their payments. It was nothing more than one dollar bills and maybe a five here and there, but the bucket was always full. I decided right then and there I was going to be a dentist.” But, in Dyersburg, at that time, advance sciences weren’t taught in his school. Fortunately, Minnie tapped all the gifts her children had. She encouraged Cleo and his brother Ben to learn music. Cleo and Ben formed a combo, the Blue Barrons, and honed their musical skills. Included in the combo was Cleo’s childhood sweetheart, Katherine, Lizzie’s daughter. Perfecting his music ability, Cleo received a music scholarship to the University of Michigan. Ben made a career of music and Katherine sang for church, friends and family. While Cleo was off to Ann Arbor, Michigan, Katherine travelled to Memphis to attend Owen College. Cleo completed his undergraduate one year early and that summer, he and Katherine were married. They moved to Washington, DC where Cleo attended Howard University School of Dentistry, graduating with honors and receiving a one year 42 | Southern Soul l November 2014
internship in Children’s Dentistry. At the completion of dental school, the Kirks returned to Tennessee and settled in Memphis. Shortly thereafter, the Kirks began their family; giving birth to two beautiful girls, Kitt Lizette and Kathy Lynn. Of course, in keeping with both their mothers’ teachings, cooking and family meals became an integral part of Kirk family life. Cooking has always been an innate passion of Katherine’s. Like Lizzie, she was a natural. She never learned recipes or conventional measurements. Her mother, Lizzie, never used recipes and rarely gave measurements to her children. In fact, it wasn’t until Lizzie passed that her children knew Lizzie even had recipes. After Lizzie’s death, in 1983, the Church where she cooked for so many years printed a cookbook with a special section of her recipes (Cookin’ With Lizzie). Using cooking lessons she learned from Lizzie and the recipes from the Church cookbook, Katherine put together her own cookbook. Weaving her own family history with a few threads from Lizzie’s lessons and a few threads from her mother-in-law Minnie, Katherine strengthened her family through cooking.
Hugh Strong, Cleo, Melvin Burgess, Sr.
Katherine’s lilting voice dances when she speaks of her family and how good food soothes their troubles, sparks their smiles and strengthens their bonds. When asked what her favorite dish to prepare for her family, she responded “I think my favorite dish to cook is dressing because I like dressing. My family teases me about eating dressing during the summer. I also like to bake. But I only started baking about eight years ago when I wrote my first cookbook. I wanted desserts in my cookbook and Kathy said “Don’t put anything in the book you haven’t tried.” So I started baking. My favorite thing to bake is my mother-in-law’s buttermilk pound cake. To this day, I use that cake recipe as the base for any cake I bake. But my go-to meal is a neckbone and a glass of merlot. Together, it is always
good for anything that ails you. A neckbone and a glass of merlot cures everything. I really think that if you sit down to a good meal, you forget your troubles, if only for a moment.” Explaining how their family truly eats together, she said “I remember on one occasion, Kitt came home from college for the weekend and brought a friend with her. The friend wanted Memphis barbeque and Cleo went out to get it. When he returned, she, of course, got her plate and sat down to eat. After a while she asked Kitt “Why do you all stand up to eat?” Finally, after a minute of thinking, Kathy responded “It is because we are all eating out of the same plate.” We had never noticed that before. It was an unspoken practice to place the food at the end of the kitchen bar and we all stood around and ate and talked. I’m glad we had the
good manners to let her get her food first.” Good family meals keep the Kirk family tight. Meals have always held their friends close too. Throughout their marriage, they have had people stopping by just to eat or coming over for a special
Good family meals keep the Kirk family tight. Meals have always held their friends close too. Southern Soul l November 2014 | 43
Katherine handed down the cooking tradition to her girls. meal or celebrations. Their special occasions are all anchored with food. For Kitt’s birthday, she wants Seafood Gumbo, Crab legs, lobster tails, corn, potato and sausage boil, salad and garlic bread; Kathy likes to eat out, so they let her choose a restaurant and they eat out; Cleo enjoys a complete steak dinner for his birthday. He doesn’t care if it is at home or out, but he prefers home cooking. Katherine prefers to go out for her birthday. Otherwise she may end up preparing her own birthday dinner. Whether it’s a special occasion, a celebration, or just a Sunday dinner, the Kirk Kitchen roars with laughter, love, and busy hands. Katherine handed down the cooking tradition to her girls. Kitt’s cooking skills are known internationally. She shared a story saying “I love to cook. But I like to cook for more than just me. My first two years in medical school, I studied in St. Lucia. During my second semester, a group of new students arrived and moved in across the street from me. So, I invited them over for dinner as a welcoming. Well, they came over and ate. For the next two years, they never cooked at all. They would shop, bring the groceries to my house and I would cook. I love to cook but Kathy cooks the most and she is “the baker.” She bakes better than mama and me. She makes a mean apple cobbler that is out of this world. Her pecan pie is pretty good too. I’ve heard her chess pie is the 44 | Southern Soul l November 2014
best. I don’t like chess pie – so I don’t know firsthand. But what I like the most is her pound cake. Kathy has perfected a pound cake recipe. Once, she baked a pound cake for me to take to a church function. Before everyone had taken a piece, this guy stood up and said, “Y’all come get what you want now because the rest of this cake is going home with me.” And, he took the cake home.” Kathy also believes great meals and good food solves problems. She shared a story, saying, “My best male friend was getting married and his new fiancée really didn’t like me. She didn’t know me but because he and I were close, she just didn’t like me. One day, he called me and said “I’m bringer her to your house tonight. It’s important to me that she likes you because we are best friends and I want to keep it that way.” So, I immediately called mama and said “mom, what should I do – he’s bringing her by here. She said “Fry her some chicken.” Well, they came to the house,
Katherine and siblings - Johnny, Ernestine, Robert, Dave, Marvin
his fiancée ate that fried chicken and some homemade cinnamon rolls that my mom made. I made a quiche for variety and she was in love with me by the time she left the house. She ate that food and we have been friends from that day forward.” The biggest culinary adventure in the Kirk family is Thanksgiving dinner. For several decades, Minnie’s family and Lizzie’s family gather under the Kirk roof for Thanksgiving. Katherine’s brothers come in on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. They are all master chefs. Three brothers are famous for their grilling and the oldest is a pitmaster. People come from far and wide to eat when they hear he is firing up the pit to barbeque a whole hog. But all of them can cook just about anything. At Thanksgiving, the brothers prepare all the meats (except the lamb Katherine’s specialty), Katherine’s sister in Milwaukee would ship her special vegetables, and Katherine
cooks the rest – especially dressing.
"There is nothing like family. We do not miss an opportunity to come together."
Katherine says Thanksgiving is a combination of her and Cleo’s families’ traditions and values. “We learned from our parents that family was the most important thing you could have. People can be your family without being blood relatives. Our parents taught us that message. Their way of keeping us together was to cook a meal for all of us to come and eat together. Both Cleo and I developed that practice. I believe in my heart of hearts that if you lovingly feed a meal. We use food to resolve all someone, they feel the love and matters concerning family. We have love makes everything easier to taught our children the magic of a handle. good family meal.” This is also the message we have The Kirks personify that tried to teach our children. The family is a perpetual source message is – there is nothing of encouragement, advocacy, like family. We do not miss an assurance, and emotional refueling. opportunity to come together. It Their fuel stop is their kitchen doesn’t matter if there are two of table. Every family has a story us or twenty of us. We love to have that explains all the threads in the dinners or parties. We celebrate family quilt and a snapshot of each everything! Good or bad, we cook quilt is passed on to the children Southern Soul l November 2014 | 45
The Kirks personify that family is a perpetual source of encouragement, advocacy, assurance, and emotional refueling. and grandchildren. The story grows over the years; mutates; some parts are sharpened; others wither away; and, there is often debate about what really happened. But even with different sides of the same story, there is still agreement that the family story is “the family.” There is no doubt that family leaves its marks on our features, our personalities and our souls. We all draw our looks, beliefs, mannerism, traditions and culture from our family. Family is both the fundamental unit of society as well as the root of culture . . . and, in some families, family is sitting at the same table for a family feast. Katherine summed it up best .
46 | Southern Soul l November 2014
. . “When all is said and done, I love having my family and friends around for a good meal. Some food I prepare are old family recipes and some are just foods my family likes to eat. But every single dish I prepare reflects the love of good cooking that is so very strong in our family. Good food, lots of love, and family will always carry the day.” Note: Both Cleo and Katherine Kirk have given life-long service to their community; Katherine as a Chief Administrator and Cleo as a private practice Dentist providing dental services for 47 years and as a Shelby County Commissioner for more than 17 years. Both have
served as community civic leaders in numerous organizations giving back to the community. Cleo has served for many years as the Chairman of the Trustee Board for Greater St. Paul Baptist Church. Katherine has recently published her second cookbook “The Main Ingredient is Love – It’s Personal.” Both their daughters, Dr. Kitt L. Kirk and Attorney Kathy KirkJohnson, reside in Memphis. Kathy is married to Garvin Johnson and they have two sons, Gavin and Kingston.
Licensed Bartenders Taking Your Events to a Whole New Level
Angela Johnson (901) 484-5325 www.cocktailcuties901.com
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 48
Thanksgiving Table Setting Is Easy By: Kathy L. Kirk Photography: Darius B Williams
The best part of the Thanksgiving Holiday is family and food. A close second is setting a fancy table. This doesn’t have to involve enormous bouquets or laying out the silverware with a ruler In fact, if decorating the table stresses you out, don’t worry about it! Just follow these easy steps to a beautiful creative Thanksgiving table with a warm invitation for all to sit and enjoy their dinner. Let your table reflect the warm colors of the season. Fall vibrancy will shine through with warm amber, beeswax gold, and forest green color theme. Items Needed: Table cloth, table runner, place mat, place card holder, plate charger, candle holders, glass coasters, glasses, cloth napkins, napkin rings, candle holders, and miniature pumpkins and gourds in different colors, shapes and sizes.
Dress Your Table
Doesn’t’ matter what color the tablecloth is. Bare tables are boring! Select a solid color table cloth and jazz it up with 3 table runners. The table runners should be coordinating colors and/
or designs. Place one runner lengthwise on the table and the other widthwise. Place the third on the buffet or serving table. Use a variety of colors and patterns to bring them all together.
Create Your Centerpiece
The crowning glory of every tablescape is the centerpiece. Skip the flowers and go for simple using pumpkins, gourds, leaves, or pine cones. Place two of the colorful place mats (set) in the center of runners. Add pumpkins in center. For height, add candle holders (or candles) at either end of pumpkins. Drop several colorful mini-pumpkins in candle holders. If your meal is served in the evening, add tea lights. Lighting and items that reflect light always changes the mood. Be creative!
Dazzle Your Place Settings
Place a placemat (preferably rectangle) 1” from table edge at each seat. Center the charger on each placemat. Place a large dinner plate in the charger and a linen napkin in the napkin ring on top of the plate. Place the glass (water
or wine) in the upper right corner of the placemat on a coaster. Add your silverware to each place setting. A peacock picture holder was used here to hold the place card and the beverage decanter was displayed with a peacock background. Mirrors were used for the placemats and the coasters to reflect the light. Use your imagination when substituting items listed here.
Add the unexpected
Dress your buffet or serving table with leftover pumpkins or leaves. Don’t leave the rest of the room bare simply because the table looks nice. If you have extra napkin rings, place them strategically through the room. Just remember, everything doesn’t have to match today, it simply must compliment everything else on the table. So, be creative. Let your table reflect the colors of the season and the warmth of your home as you welcome your family and friends to enjoy Thanksgiving.
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 49
Turkey Day Toasts
By: Angela Davis-Johnson Photography: Darius B Williams
50 | Southern Soul l November 2014
After Glow Serves 20-25 Ingredients: 46 oz - Orange Juice (no pulp) 46 oz - Pineapple Juice Splash - Grenadine (5-6 tsp) Mix Orange and Pineapple Juice in a pitcher. Add grenadine. Grenadine should drift to the bottom. Drink should have a fluorescent color to it. Serve in a pitcher. Best when chilled. Garnish with cherries. Adult Version: Add 350 ml* of Vodka.
Pina-Colada Spritzer Serves 50 Ingredients: 2 liters Sprite or 7-up 2 liters Minute Maid Lemonade 2 liters Ginger ale Â˝ bottle of Pina Colada Mixture Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher. Best if chilled for 3-5 days. Serve in a beverage dispenser or punch bowl. Garnish with lime or pineapple wedge. Adult Version: Add 350 ml* either Rum or Tequila.
* Half Standard Bottle (750mL) Southern Soul l November 2014 | 51
SouthernStyle Photography by: Darius B Williams Makeup: Mauricus Craft
54 | Southern Soul l November 2014
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 55
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 57
58 | Southern Soul l November 2014
59 | Southern Soul l November 2014
60 | Southern Soul l November 2014
Kirk Family Savory Soul Thanksgiving By: Katherine Moore Kirk & Kathy L. Kirk-Johnson Photography by: Darius B Williams
Katherine Kirk gathered her recipes from her mother â€œLilâ€? and handed recipes down to her daughter, Kathy. Together Katherine and Kathy whip up savory soul-stirring, mouth-watering dishes each year for Thanksgiving. Southern Soul sat down at their table, tasted a few dishes and asked for the recipes. Enjoy! Southern Soul surely did!
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 61
CEDAR SMOKED SALMON 1- 12 inch cedar plank 2-2 ½ lbs. Salmon Filet (pin bones removed) 1 cup Brown Sugar 1/2 tablespoon Cumin 1/2 tablespoon Smoked Paprika 1 tablespoon Chili Powder 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt 1 teaspoon Fresh Cracked Black Pepper Dijon Mustard Soak Cedar plank for at least 2 hours. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a bowl, mix together brown sugar, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, fresh cracked pepper, and kosher salt. Dry the cedar plank thoroughly and place salmon on the cedar plank. Brush Dijon mustard over the top so that it is fully coated. Pour an even distribution of the spice rub over the salmon, using the entire seasoning mixture and press on to salmon. Transfer the salmon to the cedar plank and bake in the oven (skin side down) for 30-40 minutes until the salmon can be flaked with a fork. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the salmon. Garnish with fresh Thyme. 62 | Southern Soul l November 2014
ROASTED POTATOES 15-20 small red potatoes ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil 8 sprigs of fresh rosemary 2 tablespoons of minced garlic (6 cloves) 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt ½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Thoroughly rinse and dry potatoes. Cut the potatoes into small cubes, leaving the skin and place into a large bowl. Add pepper, 6 sprigs of rosemary (pull the needle like leaves from the stem) and olive oil; toss until the potatoes are well coated. Transfer the potatoes to a large sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Spread evenly into one layer and sprinkle with kosher salt. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour until crispy and brown. Flip the potatoes a couple of times while cooking to ensure an even brown. Remove the potatoes from oven, season to taste, garnish with remaining rosemary sprigs and serve hot.
CREAMED KALE 3 lbs. Kale greens* 2 large onions (chopped) 4 tablespoons Butter (1/2 stick) 2 tablespoons Flour 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese 2 cups Heavy cream 1 cups Milk 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black Pepper 1/4 teaspoon Ground nutmeg Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add flour and nutmeg; cook for two minutes. Add cream and milk; cook until thickened. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the kale. Add to the cream sauce. Add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Stir until mixed well. Transfer to casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese and Gruyere on top. Bake about 20 minutes until it bubbles. Serve hot. * Boil kale greens in vegetable broth, olive oil and salt to taste. Cook until tender.
MARINATED RACK OF LAMB 2 Frenched racks of lamb (1 ½ pounds each) 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 lemon, zested (about ½ teaspoon) 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves or 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves 2 tablespoons minced garlic ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients. Put the racks of lamb in a sealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over them. Move the lamb around in the bag so the marinade coats the lamb well. Marinate for 1 hour. Grill or broil the lamb until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145 degrees; medium, 150 degrees; and well done, 170 degrees). Remove lamb from oven or grill and loosely cover with foil. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 63
Home-Cooking from sauce to desserts!
6721 E SHELBY DR. MEMPHIS, TN 38141
BETWEEN ROSS RD. AND BENOIT DR. 901-566-0005
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 64
Stevie Wonder Captivates the Inaugural “Epitome of Soul Awards” By: Alisha Tillery Photography by: Darius B Williams
Hosting its Inaugural Epitome of Soul Award, the Consortium MMT honored music icon and world treasure, Stevie Wonder, in Memphis on October 11, 2014. Founded by David Porter, a Stax Records legend, the Consortium MMT is a local nonprofit created to nurture a strong music industry in Memphis. Along with Mr. Porter, the Consortium MMT touts a number of notable Memphian musicians and industry leaders including Kirk Whalum, Barkays member James Alexander, and Earth Wind & Fire’s Maurice White. The Consortium MMT’s focus is to prepare budding artists for success
through mentorship, training and exposure to the industry, from recording artistry to songwriting and production. The Consortium MMT chose to present the Inaugural Epitome of Soul Award in Memphis... the birthplace of the blues and the home of Soulsville, rather than Los Angeles, New York, or Las Vegas. Explaining the selection, Porter explained “The true representation of soulfulness in music in this country emanates from right here in Memphis. Where else would we create an award of this magnitude, but Memphis, Tennessee?” Joining the Consortium MMT’s celebration were chart-topping soul artists, Chaka Khan, Ledisi, Eddie Levert, Sharon Jones (of the Dap Kings), Bebe Winans and Jordin Sparks. This roll call of Southern Soul l November 2014 | 65
“Life is a circle, and so we connect to make it a bigger circle, so that we can encourage other people to do greater things.” mammoth soul stars gathered to honor Mr. Wonder with a night of spectacular performances of a cadre of Wonder hits or songs penned by Wonder. Jordin Sparks opened with Wonder’s “Superstition,” followed by Sharon Jones, who dazzled the audience with “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” and “Isn’t She Lovely.” The audience became the backup choir to Ledisi singing “All I Do” in unison. The mighty Eddie Levert of the O’Jays made the house roar with laughter stating “Stevie’s songs have a lot of words. I’m getting old and can’t remember them all. So I’m going to sing one of my songs.” Continuing, Levert brought the house to their feet performing his song “Backstabbers.” It was a hard act to follow but BeBe Winans swept the floor with Wonder’s “I Wish.” Just when the audience was settling down, Chaka Khan took the stage and brought the house down with her infamous “Tell Me Something Good,” a song written for Chaka and Rufus by Wonder. When presenting the Inaugural Epitome of Soul Award, Mr. 66 | Southern Soul l November 2014
Porter, a 2005 Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee, said “Wonder is the personification of the greatness that all true artists aspire to be. When they hear his voice, they are so humbled by the connectivity to his sound. His lyrics and his message are so powerful and profound that it is something not only to live by, but to love by.” Stevie Wonder, whose career spans over 50 years, acknowledges the Bluff City’s soul roots and its influence on his music, noting Isaac Hayes’ songwriting as an inspiration. “Obviously, the fact is that there has been so much great music that has come from this city,” he says. “I just feel honored to receive this honor. Life is a circle, and so we connect to make it a bigger circle, so that we can encourage other people to do greater things.” When accepting the award, the musical genius, Mr. Wonder, continued to send his message of love and kindness. “I truly feel that it is my honor to do the best with what I’ve been given by God.” Aligning with The Consortium MMT’s mission, Wonder stated “We have to be strong in our
position that is for what we’re all doing here today. It is to give motivation to young people, to give them something to look after, to let them know, ‘Hey, this is yours.’ With everything I aim to do and I’ve been blessed to do, I know that there are so many young people that have such a desire to do music and to create their form of expression and for those who are haters of life by being destructive, they’re blocking our blessing.” Wonder then graced the audience with a litany of his songs making it profoundly clear why he was “the choice” as the Inaugural Recipient. Performing such great hits as “Love’s in Need of Love” and the world favorite “My Cherie Amor,” the evening culminated with Mr. Wonder joined by the host of stars performing two songs written by David Porter --“Soul Man” and “Higher Ground.” Mr. Wonder ended the evening with a message for the youth. “What I do see very clearly is the spirit in all of it. The spirit of soul really is about doing those things in a way that gives praise to the Almighty.”
A Band of Brothers
Memphis Hip-Hop Pioneers By: Toni Harvey Photography By: Darius B Williams
This is MEMPHOP. I'm in it to entertain, rock the crowd and get down to that old blues rhythm. We have part of the game, from Frank White, down to 2Pac, before they put diamonds in everything they're spittin'. This is MEMPHOP. I'm in it to entertain, rock the crowd and get down to that old blues rhythm. It don't stop, I'm here to entertain, teach until I get old and my hair starts thinning.
68 | Southern Soul l November 2014
Everyone enjoys a present; especially if it is a surprise, beautifully wrapped, and given from the heart. When I pulled up to the address for my interview, my first reaction was really! A tattoo shop? Is this the correct address? Never been in a tattoo shop. Really? Not knowing what to expect, I entered. And, to my surprise, a present was waiting! Wrapped in an impeccable tattoo shop, clad in t-shirts, jeans and shorts, sat my present . . . a group of impressive men waiting for an interview. I should explain - I thought I was going to meet a group of musicians who had been presented (to me) as Memphis music pioneers. So, armed with the vision of pioneers, I expected a group of men, lots of gray hair, saxophones and guitars. So, my present was also a shock. It was a group of men with a love for their music that is contagious. So Southern Soul readers, hang on. Here, you will meet a refreshing message delivered
in a unique way by genuine Memphis pioneers. We all know Memphis is a great city with ingrained music roots. We all know Memphis has been on the forefront of unleashed new sounds. But did you know Memphis had Memphop? Iron Mic Coalition (IMC), now in its tenth year as a group is the pioneer of the Memphis hip-hop movement. Comprised of nine men, Alex Turley “DJ Capital A”; MacArthur Harrison, Jr. “General Mac Aurthor” Dejuan Alexander “Duke” aka ‘Black Face’; Morris Perry aka “Empee”; Ennis Newman aka “Avenging Wind”; Danian Jerry aka “The Derelict”; Quinn McGowan aka “The Mighty Quinn; Jason Harris aka “Jason Da Hater” and Chris Ayers aka “Jasin Allah” aka “MMilk” who originally were four independent hiphop entities, M.O.S., Fyte Club, Kontrast, and Fathom 9 and combined to become IMC. IMC created its own sound, paved the way for Memphis hip-hop
"Hip-hop isn’t just music, it is also a spiritual movement of the Blacks! You can’t just call hip-hop a trend! " – Lauryn Hill groups and are still rocking the mic and laying tracks. Note: During the interview, IMC shot me rapid answers; some answers were in unison, some were individual responses; and, some were at the same time. So, the interview below is cited as a collective “IM:” because I was so engrossed in their responses I got dizzy keeping up with who answered what. But, the more I listened to them and since having re-read my notes, I know Southern Soul l November 2014 | 69
From left to right - MMilk, General Mac Aurthor, Avenging Wind, Black Face, Jason Da Hater, Mighty Quinn, Derelict
each member speaks individually and at the same time for the others. They are a rare unity of musical conundrum. SS: Tell me about Iron Mic Coalition. IM: Iron Mic is a group of brothers from Memphis with different backgrounds. It’s nine of us coming from different areas of the city. We grew up differently, but what brings us together is the foundation of hip-hop which is Love, Peace, Unity and having fun. Those are the core tenets of what hip-hop is all about. It allows everyone to bring to the table what they are about and their differences. It just works and everything balances out. We know hip-hop music is very influential and everyday people are influenced by hip-hop. Hiphop is music that influences the world. But, we also know that some of the world looks at hip-hop as music that is publicized as fun with no meaning or with negative messages. Some messages (and the money put behind those messages) are meant to influence our young people. Sometimes those messages are not necessarily the right message our people need to hear. So, what we’re doing, we’re not preaching, but we are speaking truths through our 70 | Southern Soul l November 2014
music. Hopefully people who listen to it, hear the message, fall in love with it and convert. For the past ten years, what we have done is, we have created for ourselves an atmosphere to do what we do because it wasn’t being done or available before us. We are just a collective of groups that have known one another for a long time and we just came together to actually establish the hiphop movement in Memphis because it didn’t exist. Everything was either buck, gangsta, trap however you want to call it, but what we do – Memphop - we call it supreme expression. Memphop is a sound in itself. It has mystical, Pentecostal, tones of gangsta, non-capitulating succinct sound fearing none with sounds of clear truths. Memphop embraces black gospel, soul, rock n' roll, and spoken word delivering messages of inspiration, truth, politics, nonviolence and primarily just life in general. Just a real artistry. It’s not simple, nothing basic – this is something that you can really listen to and you have to listen to understand. We have a producer within our group. We do our own writing and make our own music. Everything is done in-house. We’ve been receiving what we set
"IRON MIC is Memphis Hiphoppers dipped in Soul and stirred in a melting pot of culture with a taste that is mmm mmm good!" out to receive. Monetary gains, we would like that as well, but that’s not the drive. That’s the reason we lasted as long as we have because if it was about money, we would have been finished a long time ago. We’ve gone out of town for no pay. SS: Who would you compare your sound to? IM: There isn’t a comparison. There’s no person or group we can compare ourselves to. Similarities can vary. We can contribute it to people we grew up with and were influenced by. We were influenced by a lot of the earlier pioneers from Rakim, KRS One, Public Enemy, even the darker side of things - NWA, Geto Boyz, Eight Ball MJG; we grew up on all that. James Brown, STAX, Cab Calloway. All these have influenced us, so we reflect our influences just as well as our own personal experiences in life. Quinn can be credited for naming what we do – MempHop. And in short we are the personified rally cry with all the fragment sectors that were out there. We represent the rally cry of those who are outside of the typical norm of
what Memphis is perceived to be. You know, Memphis itself is diverse and its presentations of the sounds throughout history. Everybody didn’t sound the same on STAX records or the same on Hi Records. We are Bluesmen of the south. We are the new blues, we’re Memphop, we are the rally cry. We’re the banner! When we step forward and step into our power, walk into our power; everybody sees us and they’re like that’s IMC. We like to feel that we encourage people to do what it is they love to do, because we’re bold enough and bad ass enough to step out and do it. SS: Do you think your message reaches or influences others? IM: We have been doing this for ten years as a group. We created the sound Memphop. Cats around here that rhyme, some even younger cats than us – just use our rhymes. They give us respect. One cat even did a tribute song about us. You must understand, before we became a group, we were influential. At times, for our genre, we were just the best in the business. Not to say that in a cocky or an arrogant way – it’s just the way it was. We were always trying to show that we give a powerful message. It seems that people are always being thrown bits of information out of context. Per capita, we’ve brought more hip-hop to Memphis than anyone. Hip-hop in terms of the real authentic music, we brought acts here to the city that would have never been seen otherwise. We brought KRSOne here to perform; we opened for him. It didn’t just happen. We opened for him because we brought him
here, because we respect him. As a result, KRS-One had us go perform at Kool Herc’s birthday party. To put that in context, Kool Herc invented hip-Hop. He was the first DJ to spin hip-hop. He drove his car to a public park in the Bronx, at Sedgwick and Cedar, and plugged speakers into the public light poles and threw a party. He created the beat. He created hip-hop. So, when we say we’ve earned our place, we have. We have been in a backstage dressing room with the legends – Busy B Starski, GrandMaster Caz. We sat and conversed with Jam Master Jay’s mom. You understand? The first interview we had out of town was from an Australian magazine. These are not just random circumstances. We earned them. We are warriors who helped develop hip-hop. It’s not this casual thing where, we just where we are. I think it’s our normal persona that kinda stands out from the rest. Jason’s a teacher, an educator. He’s been there. Damian is a scholar; been there. MMilk is an artist; been there. We have all been there. It’s like life, after a while, you kinda harden into what you are and you don’t think much about it. But, the truth of the matter is that we did things musically that are worth the bucket list of a lot of famous people. We’ve been on the stage with people we listen to, but not only the people we listen to, but people who are respected for what they do. And they brought us to perform with them. Didn’t have anything to do with us getting paid or any of that. It’s about what we are. You know, Southern Soul l November 2014 | 71
we have taken a ride together 18 hours in a rented bus. Eighteen hours! Nobody paid us to do that. We just went because that is who we are. So, we’re Black Face, General Mac Aurthor, Mighty Quinn performing at Hi Tone. like a real band of brothers. Things that we’ve done – we’ve done together. that we are not an anomaly, because it’s nine of us. Nine out of nine guys are good men. Decent human Here in Memphis, you know battle rap and all this beings; educated, educators, lovers of their people, sort of thing can end in gunfight and in violence respecters of our culture, respecters of our time. and that sort of thing. But for us to be aggressive, to be respected by other men who pretty much well this music genre is a genre of ego. It can be so unreal and inflated that people kill each other behind it. But, for us, we take no punches, cut no corners and we have been able to successfully navigate those waters without causing harm to others and without having harm executed on us. So, that shows the fact that we represent peace. We represent unity. We represent truths. It almost feels like - what we represent is positive and uplifting. We take our rhymes from who we are. We are family men, fathers, grandfather; we’re all bluecollar workers for the most part, husbands, coach, teachers, artist, and normal everyday people with original personalities. We are people who present themselves rather than a trendy mindset of what some would have you believe hip-hop is, or the way of life you must live. We bring truth. We deliver the truth without the negativity. We give a message that is negative on negativity. We are all adults. We all have our pants pulled up. We love this music and represent all the tenets of normality that any other adult man has. Not just black men, all men. And 72 | Southern Soul l November 2014
SS: What do you feel your influence is on Memphis and its community? IM: We let people decide that for themselves. Any reasonable person can argue how one influences one over the other. We do us. On any given day, that may be one of 12 things. Multi-faceted, all of us are and if we can say that we influenced anyone on anything, our desire is to speak your truth however you choose to speak it, even if you stand alone. To challenge the conventions on what you know men of color and men of color that come from the hip-hop generation to be. Most of the guys in this group are fathers, most are married, in many ways we have very conventional lives which is unconventional for Hip-hop as a genre. I think a lot of the efforts to kind of make hip-hop appear to be like a “young man’s game” is done at the expense of youthful people. Youths don’t make all of the best sound decisions. So if you have a crop of continuous young people who don’t know what to do and you kind of give them this metered out
"In truth- hip-hop is an art and we are artists. We stress to anybody younger that you must know truth and understand truth." SS: Why hip-hop?
measure of success. Then you don’t get evolution. We’re not trying to compete with anybody. We’re not trying to be relevant in that sense of it. We make our music. The influence that we have is just to be brave enough to be who you are. And we kind of challenge what people expect, especially out of the south, especially out of men of color from the south and from the culture of hip-hop. So much of the adverse imagery presented of us. Especially if you have any connection to hip-hop, there are people who range in ages and can’t pull their pants up; that can’t seem to connect with all facets of society because they can only speak one way. Only behave one way. So, we influence others by showing that there is no monolithic like experience. There’s no monolithic hip-hop experience. Another way we influence others is by how we relay conventional but unconventional messages in our songs to people with day to day struggles. From people paying bills, going to work; going out having a good time without violence or anything negative. We try to keep a positive influence to make a positive impact in what we’re doing. We influence people with the truth in balance. We balance things out. We bring the truth. We bring hip-hop.
IM: It’s where we come from. In truth- hip-hop is an art and we are artists. We stress to anybody younger that you must know truth and understand truth. Youth need to look at art and entertainment through real eyes. Art and entertainment seem really informal. They have the appearance of informality. It appears that you can just be a walkon, you can just walk on the set; oh that guy looks great, we need to put him in a movie. But the truth is – it is not that simple. There are supervisors, there are editors, there are people who are chieftains and you have to follow protocol. You must be professional, be on time, be clean, and be ready. There are times, if you were going for any job, you would dress a certain way. Only in hip-hop and liberal arts can you go to an interview dressed in a t-shirt and jeans or wear whatever you want to wear with little concern of what impression it is giving. And people mistake that for how you’re supposed to behave if you are in art and entertainment. But it’s still the guy that works the hardest that gets the job. There’s a lot of talented cats in hip-hop that can rap and there are a lot that can’t but make it. Take Master P, he has the heart of a hustler, he was selling, always about the product – looking at the market. He was a full expression. He’s not the greatest rapper in the world, not even on the top 100; not the top of anything as a lyricist. But, he made it. Flip the coin, there are a lot of pseudo great dudes that just know that they are so good but they don’t have any of those other aspects. That drive is missing. You have to be a grown man to say you’re going to work hard at this thing and you’re going to put in the effort it takes to be successful. It appears to be easy because we’ve been doing it forever. Southern Soul l November 2014 | 73
"The greatest reward for me is knowing that when the good Lord calls [us] to leave here, that we still have something here on this world that will last forever." But these are crafts that we have loved for a long time so we came into hip-hop with fervor of a guy who wanted to be a physicist, rocket scientist, or whatever. We are stewards. It is up to us to carry the torch. We can sit at home and moan about how something is represented or misrepresented. We had to create what we didn’t hear. Toni Morrison said it best “You have to write the story that isn’t written that you want to read.” You have to write that story and that’s what we do. We are writers. We write hip-hop because that is what we are, who we are; we are stewards and the “new” storytellers. We have consistency. We are not only masters of hiphop productions but real true students of music. We studied the lyrics; we are true students of the musicality of what we do. It’s hip-hop because we love it. So the extent of the answer is - why not hiphop? SS: What is it that has kept you together for 10 years? What keeps the bond tight? IM: That’s easy. Jason. Jason is the glue. It’s just a case of time catching up with you. It’s saying you will attempt to be active and participate in shows; that you are willing to entertain; you are willing to feed the hunger of wanting to do music. It just so happens 10 years has elapsed in doing so. In those 10 years, you’re not gonna find any other guys that all on the same days and all at the same time are willing to show up, are willing to travel out of town; are willing to go for little or no pay. You’re not gonna find anybody else. Even on days when we don’t see eye to eye, we are one. No one is gonna come from somewhere else and replace one of us. Nobody is gonna out-rap us, out-work, or out-produce anyone of us. The bond that keeps us together is we are together and we understand 74 | Southern Soul l November 2014
that. Our group dynamics are like family. You may not understand your first cousin, but his brother gets him because he grew up with him, they play together and they live together. When you find that person, you keep that person around. But also when you need help or the opinion of someone from the complete other side of the spectrum, you have someone. When you have someone with you that understand the other’s struggle and passion, you get done want needs to be done. Being in the group is getting out of a comfort zone, always thinking maybe solo is the way. This whole thing has been 10 years of maturation and seasoning. You know a certain je ne sais quoi. It’s kicking. All the flavors are kicking in the right place. We have put too much in us; too much work has gone into to it to let it go. We all love hip-hop, we have always loved hiphop individually, but when we came together we just so happen to bond. Not like oil and water. We have never had the situation that has come up that anyone has said, I just can’t work with this dude. It’s like the more we hang around together, the more we hit the road, the more we are together, we just became a stronger family. Every experience we have gone through – we have done it together. Brotherly love and accountability.
Soul Talks SS: What are your greatest challenges to your craft? IM: [Avenging Wind] Working on staying focused and inspired, grappling with this idea that I either can do it here or I can’t do it here and that I have to be somewhere else. This idea that the world ain't ready. I’ve just recently embraced the fact it ain’t about the world being ready, it’s about me being ready and just showing up and showing out. And whoever gets it, gets it. And whoever doesn’t is left out. So personally, my struggles are - when I’m in my own head, it’s either a real good day or it’s a bad day. Because all of these voices, either from impressions from other people or people trying to define who you are, while you’re trying to fight yourself out of owning you and defining who you are. Those are my struggles that I get daily. But exposure to this collective greatness. It’s like family and I need them. It’s like I gotta get back because this is where I get grounded. This is where my power is. For me, it is staying focused, staying inspired is a struggle because you have to bring yourself to a point where you don’t see anything as adversity, or if it is adversity, it is not more powerful than what you are here to do. If Memphis stereotypically doesn’t get what I do or what we do, that doesn’t stop the mission. It keeps rolling! That is my struggle and that is one I work on daily. [MMilk] My biggest struggle would be coming out of the mindset of being content with being an artist, whether I was getting paid or not. I have to thank Quinn for that. Because I can be content all day, at
home, whether making art on canvas, or writing rhymes, or making tracks. This is just what I do. I was doing it way before money was a priority or fame was even a thought. My rhymes are seriously my thoughts. I write to keep myself balanced. If I didn’t get my thoughts out, I don’t think that would be a good reaction for me in life. It’s therapeutic for me! Hip-hop taught me so much. The people that I listened to; I listened to because they were teaching me things and it helped me grow. It helped me to become a better person, a better thinker. In turn, I write the same way I’ve been influenced. So, if we just so happen to produce an album the world would hear, I’ll do the same thing as the people who influenced me. So, my biggest struggle is just coming out of my comfort zone and simply being content – just with being content with being an artist as opposed to giving your art to the world, rather than just keeping it to yourself. [Derelict] Finding balance with increasing responsibility. There are only so many hours in a day. For me, it’s just I do a lot of stuff. I teach, I tutor students. So especially like now with students trying to pass their end of course tests, a lot of students need tutoring. So, I do a lot of other things. Doing that and trying to find time to do the music too. Doing those things and music, I just need balance. [Black Face] I say my struggle is staying focused. Giving it 100%. I want to be able to do nothing but this. I want to be able to do this all the time. And I can’t right now. Just finding the time to balance -balance the time to keep staying involved in music. To keep doing what I love to do. Basically, just finding the time and staying focused. That’s my daily struggle. I want to give 100% but I know I don’t at all times. Mind block. [Jason Da Hater] Keep finding the individual or the individuals or the powers to be who have the ability to push whatever it is we are trying to do.
"I think we should consider the responsibilities that corporations should take for the images they put out about our people..." Southern Soul l November 2014 | 75
Soul Talks Finding the channels to go through in order for the world to hear what it is we have to say. My biggest challenge is finding the answer to unlocking the key to the door to the ears of the world. My struggle is my addiction to wanting to have or finding a microphone every day. Everything else is whatever. [Mighty Quinn] My biggest challenge is serving two masters. Because I started a comic book company a few years ago and enjoying a degree of success with that, I struggle with learning to balance it. It’s not that much of a struggle anymore because Empee & I started writing a comic together – so it has all sorta blended in. That said, I really have no complaints. Sorry. [General Mac Aurthor] Just Balance with family and family [IMC]. Finding that perfect time between both. That’s my individual challenge. SS: Greatest reward? IM: [MMilk] The greatest reward is when we go on stage and the people get our vibe and we get a reaction from the crowd. The work that we put out together. The final product of our work. That’s the reward to me. To be able to hear me and my brothers on my time. I listen to us just as much as I would want someone else to listen to us. That’s one of my biggest rewards. [Jason Da Hater] The greatest reward for me is knowing that when the good Lord calls for me (and us) to leave here, that we still have something here on this world that will last forever –a Legacy. Connection. [General Mac Aurthor] The greatest reward is the art in itself – just being able to do it. That’s reward enough and to know that it’s good. [Avenging Wind] Just being blessed to be able to do this every day and finding the power in surrender. Surrendering to your path. Surrendering to your purpose. SS: Any last words? IM: [Mighty Quinn] Be a doer and a dreamer. [MMilk] Love yourself and don’t be afraid to express who you are to the world. [Derelict] In general, as far as music and hip-hop. Just life in general. I think we should consider the responsibilities that corporations should take for the images they put out about our people and the 76 | Southern Soul l November 2014
"Love yourself and don’t be afraid to express who you are to the world." emulation of those images by our people. I say this because when you look at television, there is a certain image of black men. On the radio, there’s a certain image that everybody interprets from what is said. You know you are seeing young black men with their pants hanging and talking about cats bouncing around all over. Then I see young black men being murdered by the police and the corporate-message image being used as a reason for the murder. The kids emulate the images from television and radio which equates to a quasireality that these kids are dangerous and we’re gonna kill them. And I think that it all goes down because we, as consumers, we need to challenge these corporations. We at least need to ask ‘does your marketing plan at least consider the outcome of what you are doing?’ Corporations need to be accountable. [Avenging Wind] Parting words are if anything, as a group, we represent the Death of Mediocrity. As much as we have been through, as much as we love what we do, we don’t accept mediocrity in any form. What Danian said about corporations, there is, for lack of a better word, a plot or scheme that is in play to project those images. So we have to take responsibility to be the counter narrative. And that’s
Soul Talks what hip-hop has always been about – a counter narrative to the perception – this collective monolithically perception of who black people are, what black art is, or how black people show up in the world. So we are the Death to Mediocrity. IM: [Mighty Quinn] Our message is how to deal with the world. We all grew up here in different communities in Memphis and we all have different backgrounds but we all grew up with the same issues, learned the same world lessons. Our hip-hop speaks to the youth. We deliver positive truths at all times, hoping the teens will improve their lives with our truths and messages. We all strike out to be the best of the best in what we do. We are a band of brothers – against violence but with an aggressive genre of ego, we hold no punches and cause no harm. [MMilk] I just try to be a positive force in whatever atmosphere regardless to where I am at all times. It’s been something that I’ve done throughout my late teens and
adulthood. I’ve always been somebody who is constantly improving. I try to show improvement among my peers. I’m always very encouraging and very optimistic. I try to bring that at all times, it’s a natural thing. I just basically be myself. As far as community, I speak to youth anytime I have the opportunity. I try to inspire them to dream – to go for it. Just like with my spiritual name “Jasin Allah.” I got that name in my growth in the five percent nation of god and earth. So that has been a big influence. It helped me to turn my life around. Just like when we were talking about Memphop in what we represent but we try to get these young brothers we come across that know, we from those same elements, we grew up here. That we are serious artists. That we are real artists. I think people can learn a lot if you like hiphop and if you are a person who appreciates hip-hop, you will not be disappointed listening to Iron Mic Coalition. Because we’re serious about hip-hop. We are serious about what we write. We are serious about our sound. We
are serious about even the style – because hip-hop is about style. It is graded on content, on your message. [Mighty Quinn] We are also serious about the fact that our music is also a reflection of our City; the fact that we come from a music city. We come from a city that has strong music history. We embrace that fact. We are proud of that. Not just hip-hop, we are proud of our blues, gospel, soul, even country music. We are proud of Memphis’ spoken word. We understand our political atmosphere, our violent atmosphere and we speak rhymes that tell the truth about it. We speak about Memphis because we are products of our environment. Products of life. We represent all aspects of Memphis, our culture, this music, our craft. We bring out our culture in an artistic form. We are a little something different. We are a part of Memphis music history and we’ve done enough to put us in that canon. What we’ve done stands for all times not something to be forgotten. We are a part of Memphis!
Note: Alex Turley aka “Capital A” and Morris Perry aka “Empee” were unavailable at the time of the interview. On October 18, 2014, Iron MIC Coalition received the 19th Annual Stone Awards for “The Most Outstanding Hiphop Group.
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 77
EduCARE Learning Center
“We’re more than ABCs; we take care of coughs and sneezes!”
Edu Edu = Education = Education ; CARE CARE = Sick = Sick Child Child Care Care
Now Enrolling AGES 6 WEEKS - 12 YEARS LEARNING
GATED & SECURED CAMPUS SICK CHILD CARE
EXECUTIVE TEAM STACIE PAYNE
M.S. IN EDUCATION SPECIALIZATION IN READING AND LITERACY EXPERIENCED KINDERGARTEN TEACHER
M.S. IN NURSING CERTIFIED PEDIATRIC NURSE PRACTITIONER 10+ YEARS OF PEDIATRIC EXPERIENCE
Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks Job Corps Center 1555 McAlister Dr. Memphis, TN 38116 901-344-5931 • 901-273-5952
uMatter! Photography by: Darius B. Williams
Southern Soul Magazine believes in supporting our youth. Southern Soul Magazine recently visited Ridgeway High School and asked:
If you had to function without any technology for one week; what would you do?
What song title defines your life? And, why?
What is your favorite family moment (memory)? And, why?
We all have ability. The difference is how we use it. – Stevie Wonder Career Aspiration: Professional Volleyball Player If I had to function without any technology for one week, I would simply work on my volleyball skills. No days off! I strive to be great. I would also spend time with my family. I love them so much and having them is a blessing. “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson – This song defines me because I say that all the time. In life people go through trials and tribulations, I go through trials and tribulations. If it does not kill me; I learn from it and become stronger. It is just the way of life to me. You live and you learn from it.
Avery Hilliard 11th Grade
Christmas of 2012. That was when my sister came back in town. She had been gone for a while and I missed her terribly. I was so happy she came to spend Christmas with us. It had been a while since she has been there with us. The morning of Christmas when we woke up, everything felt in line, my mom, dad, brother and sister there. I will always cherish that moment of seeing my family laughing and having a good time.
Dylan Thomas 12th Grade
Career Aspiration: Professional General Manager I would get a serious workout going for baseball and spend as much time with my family and friends as possible. “Draft Day” by Drake – It defines my life completely. I have been dreaming ever since I was young to be drafted into the MLB. This song speaks to me about all of the hard work paying off and eventually earning that special title of being a pro athlete. When I had three consecutive surgeries and my family helped me manage though each and every one. After each surgery, I felt like there was no hope for sports anymore. The nonstop physical therapy sessions took a toll on me, but my family kept motivating me to fight on. So, now I’m stronger mentally, physically and emotionally because of their love and support. I’m preparing for my final season of high school baseball with aspirations of playing at the collegiate and professional levels. 80 | Southern Soul l November 2014
uMatter Career Aspiration: Professional Physical Trainer I would have more time to be with my family. I would also workout more than I do now. I would work on anything and everything that helps me become a better man. “I’m the Man” by Pharrell Williams – I take everything seriously and try my best to be the best man I can.
Earl Harrison, IV
When my family and I went to Niagara Falls. It was a great experience with my family because we really don’t go out much but to go out and see the most beautiful sight in the world is amazing.
Gregory Toles, Jr. 12th Grade
Career Aspiration: CEO of a Fortune 500 Company or MBA in Business Administration/ Management. Spend time with my loved ones. No man knows how much time he has left, so spend it wisely. “Ambition” by Wale –This song title gives an accurate and vivid representation of my attitude and mindset. I try my absolute best to be the best I can be in whatever I can do. I persevere through every obstacle I face to reach the ultimate goal. Every summer I accompany my dad to work as he teaches me work ethics, the value of a dollar and the importance of gaining as much knowledge as I can. My dad has the greatest influence on me and he has made me the person I am today.
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 81
Jasmyn Rhymes 12th Grade
Career Aspiration: Business Accountant I would workout and do mind exercise such as academic work and brain stimulating games. “So Ambitious” by Jay Z ft. Pharrell – The song talks about how people try to stop you and talk you down but to keep going. I’m ambitious to keep going and never stop! Always strive for goals in life. The moment my grandfather was lying in a hospital bed and said “Keep moving with and without me.” At that moment, he told us that he was leaving us physically but he wanted us to keep moving forward for the better of our lives and I know that he is watching over me everyday.
Jonah Roberts 12th Grade
Career Aspiration: Chief Officer of a Successful Business I would spend all my time with friends and family. My technology usage is often directed towards friends and family (phone, computer, car, etc.). Being with your Instagram followers in person is better than being with them on the phone anyway! “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen. – My life is fast paced. I am always taking action and moving forward. Springsteen is an icon I relate to because he represents a hardworking, determined American in his songs. I also am a soccer and football player. I guess I am indeed born to run. Every moment with my family is my favorite. I enjoy every time we are together. My family makes me laugh and enjoy life every day. They mean everything to me and I couldn’t function without them.
82 | Southern Soul l November 2014
uMatter Career Aspiration: Nursing I have always had a passion for reading so I would more than likely just read. My teachers have always pushed me forward and they saw a high level of control in my vocal ways so I was always supplied with books. I would either reread my books or go out and buy new ones. “Human” by Christine Perri – From the first time I heard this song, I fell in love with it. It hit a soft part in my heart. At this age, there is an imbalance between our reasoning and our feelings and it always seems to lead to problems. We have our friends pulling us to one side and school to the other, and it seems to lead to problems. Christina Perri tells us how it is okay. We are all human and we all have our falls; but you have to just pick yourself up and move along. Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year and the one during sixth grade sticks out the most. I was going to Mexico for the first time and when I arrived there, I felt at home. I met my lost aunts, uncles, and cousins and caught up with others. I got to experience firsthand the culture of my roots from the food to the festivals to the lifestyle. I fell in love with Mexico and would, with no doubt, go and relive the experience again.
Luz Barron 11th Grade
Career Aspiration: Attorney Technology often serves as a barrier between people, disallowing actual human connection which is why, if given the chance to go one week without technology, I would devote all my time to being with my love ones or giving back to my community. “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus – As the daughter of African immigrants, my life has often seemed like an uphill battle, especially following my parents’ divorce. However, despite all the strife I have faced as a first generation American, whether it’s because of my “too African name” or whatever else my peers deem “not American enough,” I’ve had to climb and face my fears and never stop believing in myself and being proud of my background and who I am.
The first time my family and I went to Africa together. For as long as I can remember, I’d always heard my mother tell stories of ‘back home;’ which has always made me yearn to visit myself, so to travel to her home country with her and the rest of my family was very moving for me.
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 83
uMatter Career Aspiration: Personal Fitness Trainer I would just workout all the time. I like to go fishing and help around my community. Without technology for one week I probably would play football all day. “Get Your Mind Right” by Jay-Z – This song titles describes it all. You can’t do anything in the world if your mind isn’t right. You need a little of street and book smart, that’s what I have in life. When our family did the breast cancer 5K walk. It was for a good cause and we all came together as a family and had fun even though it was cold, we made the best of it.
Marquette Murdock 12th Grade
Ontario McGregor 12th Grade
Career Aspiration: AT&T Marketing Manager Volunteer, whenever I am free, I am doing something beneficial for the school. “Started From the Bottom” by Drake – The part of Memphis that I was raised in, you rarely ever see any good there; but, to not only make it, but do something better, is a blessing in itself. When I was nominated for the Best Actor Award in the Tri-State Area of Memphis. It was then that my family welcomed something different other than athletics. My family also praised me for being the ‘Light of Their Life.’
84 | Southern Soul l November 2014
Career Aspiration: Doctor or Medical Researcher
different areas of my life, it won’t kill me. Instead of being worried about past failures, Communication would be the I try to pick myself up, main concern, so any plans remember that it’s not life or would have to be made in death and move forward. person and it would be harder to change them, but as far My favorite family memory as entertainment, reading, is meeting my mom’s parents writing, art and music would for the first time. My mom all still be available without was adopted and recently technology. found her birth mother and her whole family immediately “I Will Survive” by Gloria embraced us as siblings and Gaynor – I have to tell myself cousins and friends. It was a that sometimes; regardless great and unique experience. of how many times I fail in
Sherrod Foster 12th Grade
Career Aspiration: NFL Player / Attorney I would workout and spend time with my family. “Black Boy Fly” by Kendrick Lamar – It’s a song that shows the fear of a young black boy not making it in life and the struggle to stay focused in an environment with many distractions. When my mom beat me in a game of basketball. It’s my favorite because she told everybody that I won. I thought she was trying to be funny but she was only saving my feelings.
Career Aspiration: Neurosurgeon I would spend my time hanging with my family and friends. I would also play a lot of sports and exercise a lot. Exercising is very important to me. I spend much of my time exercising. “All Gold Everything” by Trinidad James – I feel that this represents a major aspect of my being. I have high aspirations for my life and I come from a place that may not amount to much. People may doubt where and how far I may go, but if they keep waiting and watching, they’ll see. There was a very special moment that I had during winter Break my junior year. My family took a trip to Maryland, where we spent two weeks in a mansion (rented of course). There were about fifteen people permanently in the house with a total of about twenty-five who spent much of their time there. The best part was at Christmas dinner when we all sat down together. I had a feeling of being very united with my family, who are from Nigeria. This was a feeling I’ve never really had before.
Tundun Tope-Ojo 12th Grade
Southern Soul l November 2014 | 85
Cocktail Cuties Anniversary Mixer October 4, 2014 Spitfire Acres, Southaven MS Photos by: Sean Richardson & Darius B Williams
Consortium MMT Epitome of Soul Awards October 11, 2014 Cannon Center Photos by: Darius B Williams
86 | Southern Soul l November 2014
Dress For Success Little Black Dress Fundraiser October 2, 2014 Memphis Botanical Gardens Photos by: Isaac Singleton Photography
No Less Worthy Book Launch October 3, 2014 Beale Street Landing Photos by: Marvin Dear
River City Chapter, Links, Inc. College Fair October 18, 2014 First Baptist Church Broad Photos by: Angela Myers
ARC of the Midsouth 2014 Gala October 18, 2014 Hilton Hotel Photos by: Darius B Williams
88 | Southern Soul l November 2014
Our Readers Want to Hear Hear From from You. to You.
Tap into $1.1 trillion of spending Advertise with us.us. power. Advertise with 901.366.SOUL (7685) 901.366.SOUL (7685)