VOL. 63, No. 42
October 23 - 29, 2014
The Bishop’s daughter at 94 Ruth Mason Lewis, last surviving child of COGIC’s founder by Dr. Sybil C. Mitchell Special to The New Tri-State Defender
October is National Seafood Month and Linda Cornish, executive director of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, says a massive effort is underway to “change and save lives. …We have been educating Memphians about the tremendous health benefits of seafood.”
‘Say yes to seafood’ for better health by Dr. Sybil C. Mitchell Special to the New Tri-State Defender
When Linda Cornish helped lay the foundation for the Memphis Farmers Market back in 2006, she, along with other Memphians, wanted to see a thriving and vibrant connection established between local farmers and consumers. The downtown entity has helped Mid-South shoppers purchase fruits and vegetables fresh off the farm at great prices. Although Cornish never dreamed she would take the helm of the Washington-based initiative, Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP), the move seems a natural next step for her. “I am so proud of what we were able to do with the Farmers Market in Memphis,” said Cornish. “We can improve the lives of so many across the nation by encouraging families to include seafood in their diet twice a week. Memphis is one of two pilot cities where our program is being launched. I love my city so this is very exciting for me. “These pilot programs allow us to be on the ground to build awareness and educate the citizens of Memphis and Indianapolis (Ind.) about the health benefits of a diet rich in seafood and help Americans gain the skills to select, order, prepare and eat seafood as part of a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet,” said Cornish, executive director of SNP. Tennessee is one of the top 10 states in the nation with the highest number of heart disease deaths. Heart disease is one of the three leading causes of death among African Americans. “This is a massive effort to change and save lives,” said Cornish. “October is National Seafood Month, and we have been educating Memphians about the tremendous health benefits of seafood. Enjoying better health is as simple as eating some type of seafood at least twice a week. It is an important part of having a nutrientrich diet.” The twice-a-week standard was established by the USDA Health and Human Services Dietary Guidelines and endorsed by both the American Heart Association and the American Medical Association. “Seafood contains lots of easily digestible protein, vitamins and Omega 3,” said Cornish. “Omega 3 is an antiinflammatory substance. A diet rich in seafood will also help manage weight. That is an important benefit. An estiSEE SEAFOOD ON PAGE 2
MEMPHIS WEEKEND FRIDAY
Earlier this month, Ruth Mason Lewis made a rare social visit to the Germantown home of her cousin, Eugene Phillips, for what she knew would be an unforgettable celebration of his birthday. Imagine her delight and surprise when she made her way around the table and discovered that the cake actually said, “Happy Birthday Ruth.” The evening was, indeed, memorable! “I wanted to host a party for Ruth that would befit her stature and dignity,” said Phillips. “She has meant so much to the Greater Memphis community, and the fact that the whole affair was a surprise celebration in her honor completely enhanced the experience. Ruth is still talking about that evening, and I am just so pleased that she enjoyed herself so much.” Memphis treasure and last remaining child of Charles Harrison Mason, founder of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), Ruth Mason Lewis for decades helped to change the eating habits of children throughout Memphis and Shelby County. She was the nutritionist for Head Start in Shelby County, setting about to make vegetables and more healthy choices palatable for youngsters who were “being raised on fast food.” “I taught young children how to appreciate broccoli,” Mrs. Lewis told The New Tri-State Defender this week. “I started printing the menus for each month and sending them home to their parents. I remember one mother coming up to the Head Start center and asking me what broccoli was. Her child came home and asked for some. Well, it
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just so happened that we were serving broccoli that day. We served her broccoli for the first time that day, and she really liked it. I wanted to expose youngsters to more nutritious food, and I saw this position as the perfect opportunity.” Fredricka Hodges, long-time friend of Mrs. Lewis, got her to the party. “I brought Mrs. Lewis to Gene’s house, and she really enjoyed the evening. But had she known what the occasion really was, she would have dressed more formally. Mrs. Lewis was always dressed in beautiful gowns for her dinner parties. Only this time, she had no idea the party was actually for her.”
Hodges calls Mrs. Lewis one of Memphis’ most precious resources. “She taught home economics over at Booker T. Washington High School for a number of years. Mrs. Lewis also worked in food and nutrition as the dietician at LeMoyne-Owen College. Students of all ages were taught by the very best. …What a wonderful legacy she has lived.” Hodges and Mrs. Lewis met as members of the civic organization, Memphis Chapter LINKS. The two would facilitate the set-up of numerous fundraisers and receptions. “We were saving money for the chapter,” said Hodges. “Mrs. Lewis was always meticulous about center-
pieces, the length of tablecloths from the floor, rules of serving. Everything was perfect. She was always so proud of her work. When she hosted dinner parties in her home, they were second to none. And when you went to a Ruth Lewis dinner party, you were really attending something special. “Certain wines were served in their particular glasses,” Hodges recalled. “She was a model of etiquette and entertained many well-known people in her home. I met Vernon Jordan (former head of the National Urban League) at one of her dinner parties. He was in town giving a speech for SEE RUTH ON PAGE 2
Infant mortalilty rate hits record low in Shelby County, but…
“Our key messages are that to date there have been no cases in Tennessee or any suspect cases,” said Madlock. “But it would not be a surprise if sporadic cases do come into the United States.” Very few people in the U.S. are actually at risk, said Madlock, emphasizing the element of travel and the key factor of determining travel history. Just as it has been in other parts of the world, the Ebola virus can be contained through rapid identification, isolation, identifying and monitoring contact, she said. “It does take cooperation and coordination, training and preparedness and that is just the kind of work we have been
With the good there often remains the specter of the bad and such is the case with the latest Shelby County figures on infant mortality. For the first time in more than 100 years, the infant mortality (death) rate for Shelby County dropped to its lowest point on record, 9.2 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the Shelby County Health Department. “The improvement we are seeing is the result of the strategic community wide, multi-layered approach, a commitment of resources and implementing evidence-based approaches,” said Yvonne Madlock, Health Department director. “While the African-American infant mortality rate of 12.4 per 1,000 live births is the lowest on record in Shelby County, we continue to see a disproportionate amount of infant deaths in that community in comparison to other groups which means we still have work to do.” The infant mortality rate, the rate at which babies die before their first birthday, is one of the most important measures of community health. It is the result of what happens to babies in the first year of their lives, the health of women before, during and between their pregnancies, their access to healthcare throughout their lives and the health risks presented by the communities in which they live and work. Reductions in the number of infant deaths are attributed to improvements in all of these areas. “I am pleased to see the number of infant deaths decrease,” said Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell Jr. “With community partners such as Healthy Shelby and many others working alongside the Shelby County Health Department, we will continue to make infant mortality a priority and reduce our rate even further.” Infant mortality is complex and results from many contributing factors, which are cumulative throughout the course of the mother’s life – before, during and between pregnancies. In Shelby County, infant mortality is pri-
SEE EBOLA ON PAGE 3
SEE MORTALITY ON PAGE 2
Shelby County Health Department Director Yvonne Madlock (center) said local preparation is an ongoing matter that extends far beyond the threat of the Ebola virus. (Photo: Karanja A. Ajanaku)
Local Ebola response part of ongoing preparation by Karanja A. Ajanaku email@example.com
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Determined to help make the birthday of her cousin, Eugene Phillips, an unforgettable occasion, Ruth Mason Lewis (left) soon learned the celebration was for her. Willie Bland, the widow of bluesman Bobby “Blue” Bland, helped her celebrate. (Photo: Tyrone P. Easley)
Shelby County Health Department Director Yvonne Madlock says getting useful information to the public, physicians and other health care workers is essential when it comes to preparedness for the growing threat of the Ebola virus. That objective drove a media briefing that Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell Jr. convened at the county’s Vasco Smith Administration building on Tuesday. And while no instance of an Ebola infection has surfaced locally, Madlock said a coordinated preparation effort is underway. It includes equipping the area’s licensed physicians,
urgent care centers and primary care centers with material on the basics of protocol and procedure and fact sheets. Getting accurate travel history is critical, she said. Meeting with community groups is part of the push. “We have met with representatives of communities most at risk and those are individuals who are either from or recently visited or traveled to West Africa, particularly the nations where we know Ebola is currently present,” said Madlock. The Health Department’s website includes frequently asked questions and recently a speakers bureau was created. Groups of 15 or more can get someone from the Health Department to come out and share information.
October 23 - 29, 2014
NEWS “Healthy babies are a consequence of healthy mothers living in healthy neighborhoods and homes.”
RUTH CONTINUED FROM FRONT the NAACP. That is an evening I will always remember.”
Healthy Omega 3 levels (above 8) are put of the push to market seafood for better health. Omega 3 testing was among the services offered recently (Oct. 18) at Breath of Life Christian Center at 3795 Frayser Raleigh Rd. (Photo: George Tillman Jr.)
– Michelle Taylor, M.D.
In the beginning… Ruth Mason was the youngest of six children, born in 1920, to Charles Harrison Mason and Lelia Washington Mason. But Ruth wasn’t the conventional “baby” of the family. “I wasn’t spoiled, really,” she said, “I bossed everybody around.” “And she still does,” said Hodges. Young Ruth would have grown up hearing the stories of grandparents who were slaves. They had her father two years after being freed in 1866. Jeremiah and Eliza Mason lived on the Prior Farm near Bartlett as tenant farmers, with Charles, two other sons, and one daughter. When Charles was 12, the yellow fever epidemic in Memphis drove the family from Tennessee to the John Watson plantation in Conway County, Ark. Despite the move, Charles’ father was stricken with the often-fatal disease and passed away the very next year. Charles, himself, was plagued with a severe case of tuberculosis in 1880 when he was 14. On Sept. 5, 1880, he experienced “a vision of God” and walked outside strong, unaided and healthy. He was baptized and began his career in ministry as a lay minister. An outstanding preacher and the founder of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the largest African-American Pentecostal denomination of the twentieth century, Charles Harrison Mason ordained both black and white clergy in the early 1900s, when few did so. Mason was licensed and ordained in Arkansas and preached his first sermon in Preston (Faulkner County). His dogmatic stand on holy living and determination to preach “holiness” alienated him from traditional Baptist denominations. But he began building his own organization
MORTALITY CONTINUED FROM FRONT Ruth Mason with like-minded preachers by 1900. In 1905, Bishop Charles Mason married Lelia Washington; by 1920, the couple had six children. “My daddy was a wonderful father, “ said Mrs. Lewis. “He would take us riding, and we would go out to get fast food as a treat. He especially liked the desserts. But he really didn’t eat the fast food. There was a lady in the church who was a dietician from Detroit, Michigan. When she came to Memphis, she would plan my father’s meals, and even when she was back home in Detroit. “There were many people who were concerned about him eating healthy back then. I witnessed all of those things growing up, and I came to understand how important it was to eat healthy.” Bishop Mason lived to be 95. He died on Nov. 17, 1961 in Detroit and was interred at Mason Temple here in Memphis, COGIC’S international headquarters.
marily associated with babies born prematurely. The national infant mortality rate target established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through Healthy People 2020 is 6.0 deaths per 1,000 live births. In 2003, the Infant Mortality Rate in Shelby County was 14.9, the highest rate in more than a decade. “Healthy babies are a consequence of healthy mothers living in healthy neighborhoods and homes,” said Michelle Taylor, M.D., maternal and child health physician for the Health Department. “We will continue working with our partners to stress the importance of early prenatal care, breastfeeding and family planning.” NOTE: The B4BabyLife mobile app is a FREE app for Android and iPhone users to learn about what to do before, during and after pregnancies. Expectant families, including parents and grandparents, are encouraged to download it.
SEAFOOD CONTINUED FROM FRONT mated two-thirds of the country’s population is either overweight or obese. There is a general assumption that seafood is more expensive than other meats, but that is just not true, said Cornish. “There are recipes on our website which are very cost effective. Salmon crochet is a favorite dish of many families. Salmon is so good for you.
Seafood is going to make a great difference in the life and health of Memphis families.” According to the SNP, the average American eats annually: 110 lbs. of red meat; 73 lbs. of poultry; 600 lbs. of dairy; 130 lbs. of sugar; and 80 lbs. of oil. “An estimated seven out of 10 deaths are preventable through lifestyle change,” said Cornish. “Diet, exercise, smoking and drinking – those factors have an important bearing on maintaining good health. Health will improve with a seafood-
rich diet in only 3-4 months. That’s why we’re so motivated to make sure everyone gets the message.” In conjunction with the effort, a celebrity chef cook-off event is slated for 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 25) at L’Ecole Culinaire at 1245 N. Germantown Parkway in Cordova. Also, a community health and family fun day at New Life in Christ Church will offer Omega 3 testing. (For more information, call Latrivia Nelson at 901-2780881.)
October 23 - 29, 2014
NEWS EBOLA CONTINUED FROM FRONT involved in.” That effort, Madlock stressed, goes far beyond the Health Department. In setting up the briefing, Luttrell noted its importance now that there have been diagnosed cases in the United States. He said there may be additional briefings going forward. In addition to Madlock, Luttrell was joined by Helen Morrow, M.D., Chief Health Officer of the Shelby County Health Department, Kenneth Robinson, M.D., the Mayor’s Health Policy Advisor, and Director Dale Lane, Shelby County Office of Preparedness. Morrow stressed the importance of thorough questioning on the part of health care workers. “If somebody says, ‘I just came back from Africa,’ well, ‘Where did you go?’ is an important follow-up,” she said. “‘When did you go? Were you even in areas where you might have been exposed?’” The fact that Ebola is contracted and not an airborne disease was a point of emphasis during the briefing. While there are West African immigrants who live and/or go to school here, Madlock issued a strong reminder. “The enemy is not those individuals,” she said, “but indeed it is the virus. If they are not exhibiting symptoms, if they have not been traveling to those countries within the last 21 days, then there is essentially no risk of transmitting or presenting a health risk.” Madlock said local preparation is an ongoing matter that extends far beyond the threat of the Ebola virus. “We don’t know where the next public health threat risk is going to come from. But we know that they might fall into several different categories,” she said. “What we want to do on behalf of the community is to work with our partners and strengthen our capacity to identify those risks and threats, be prepared for them – whether they are chemical, biological, naturally occurring or man made – and be ready to diagnose those and shift from preparedness to responsibility when indicated,” Madlock said. “It just happens to be that the agent of concern right now is the Ebola virus.” Additional information about Ebola can be viewed at www.shelbycountyth.gov or by going to www.facebook.com/ShelbyTNHeath or the Twitter page www.twitter.com/ShelbyTNHealth. To arrange for an Ebola Speakers Bureau presentation: Email Heather.Fortner@shelbycountytn.gov; Call 901-270-7179l; Visit www.schdresponse.com (click on the Speakers Bureau link.) Provide at least seven days notice.
On course for a cause… Breast cancer awareness events such as this Midtown happening have been ongoing throughout Greater Memphis during October, a month designated for special emphasis on spreading awareness of the disease, support for survivors and remembering those who lost their lives. (Photo: Tyrone P. Easley)
How to engineer change… Brad Watkins, executive director of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, was among those conducting workshops on Saturday at The LeMoyne-Owen College during the group’s People's Conference. He introduced the three-legged stool of direct service, advocacy and organizing, going into detail on the latter. (Photo: Shirley Jackson)
October 23 - 29, 2014
OPINION John H. Sengstacke Publisher (1951 - 1997)
The Mid-South’s Best Alternative Newspaper
• Bernal E. Smith II President / Publisher • Dr. Karanja A. Ajanaku Executive Editor
How to pick the best school for your child
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IN THE MAIL
South Side Middle School group challenges ASD effectiveness, takeover by Marvell Allen and Toni Jackson The decision that South Side Middle School has been matched with KIPP Memphis Collegiate was presented to the faculty and staff on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 as a finalized and an irreversible decision. Although the staff and faculty is not surprised that the Achievement School District is at our doorsteps, we once again believe that we are targeted without strong evidence to support the matching that has been made. Per the presentation given by the Achievement School District to the faculty, South Side Middle School is matched with KIPP Memphis Collegiate, which is a school that does not have a proven track record of success in Memphis. As shown by the data available on the TN Department of Education, KIPP Memphis Collegiate or any other version of KIPP in this city does not demonstrate growth that is significantly above the gains made by South Side Middle School. In fact, the gains are either the same or below. The 3-year trend data (available on the TN State website) clearly demonstrates that South Side Middle School has a better success rate. We are under the impression that there are no set guidelines to match the schools since the presented guidelines are specific to the schools on the Priority List. We strongly contest this decision since it is evident that giving our school to a charter that is not proven will jeopardize the future of our students. We are also questioning the integrity of the process in which the selections and matching are made. The ASD district claims to be transparent, but has already matched our school with KIPP without even speaking with the parents and community. Moreover, they are claiming on their website that they had meetings with teachers and community members in September; not true at all. It is asinine to takeover schools that are showing growth and have them join a district that has only been in existence for three years and has earned an overall rating of TVASS Level 1. While the ASD claims to have strong gains across core subjects, the data shows that half of their schools are on the same Priority List because they fail to meet the same
standards set by the State. At the end of the 2013-2014 school year the ASD had 15 schools in Memphis and 9 of these schools are on the Priority List. The ASD district was supposedly created to target the lowest 5 percent of schools. Currently, the schools that they have taken over are in the lowest 5 percent even after take over. How can our governor, school district leaders and elected officials allow a district that is not showing significant gains and is struggling take over schools? Not to mention, according to their website the success rate is calculated with three years of data. If this is truly the case, then why are our school and other schools on the Priority List? The public needs to know that ASD is not better than our current leadership and will not do anything for our children academically. We are left wondering how a system that is struggling to prove itself is allowed to manage additional schools. We also are forced to question the integrity of Shelby County Schools and its officers for partnering with a district that is low performing and their willingness to jeopardize the future of our students, as well as their true position in choosing what is better for our children and their futures. How can a district be better if it has a lower score than the current district? This decision only leaves schools like ours to be taken over by subpar systems that will neglect the needs of all of our students. A select group of staff and faculty at South Side Middle School is choosing to stand up and fight for the welfare of our children. We ask to be given the opportunity to publically address our concerns and present our evidence proving that the Achievement School District and its operators are not able to provide our students what they deserve. We are not speaking just as educators that are troubled by the future set for their students, but also as concerned taxpaying citizens of the city of Memphis that is being exploited. The public has no idea that our elected officials have sold us out to ASD that has not done anything with the schools it has currently. Why would our school district agree to give them anymore schools? (For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The Christmas creep Did you notice that some stores are already touting Christmas sales? They are encouraging people to start buying for Christmas now. We’ve been experiencing this “Christmas creep” for years. … Part of the reason for the Christmas creep is that fourth quarter spending can make or break annual sales for retailers. … Not only will fourth quarter spending influence annual profits, but they will also signal the strength of the economic recovery that only a few are experiencing. … During the third quarter of this year, spending was more sluggish than expected, so much so that some retailers are adjusting their spending forecasts downward. Some may even have less inventory on hard so that prices might rise a bit from demand. When toy retailers, for example, have shortages in this year’s popular toy, parents are likely to make return trips to a store both to check on the coveted toy and to buy “just one more thing” for children. And despite sluggish spending, the post-Thanksgiving Day stampedes are not a thing of the past when they are properly marketed. This heavy Christmas marketing has a special impact on AfricanAmerican consumers, those who have less income, more debt, and a likelihood of overspending during holidays because “stuff” means “love” for some. The Christmas creep gives youngsters more time to whine and cajole for “stuff” and places parents under more pressure to spend. While the spending may help stimulate the economy, it will depress the financial standing of those who participate in the spending game. …African Americans are the ones who can least afford to play this
game. One in eight has nothing – no savings, no investments; no tangible belongings (automobiles, for example). Fewer than half (compared to 70 percent of whites) own their homes – the priJulianne mary path to Malveaux wealth accumulation for the middle class. About half have “bad” debt, or credit card debt. Few have saved for future tuition payments or retirement. Yet, some of these folks will queue up to spend money, all in the name of a Christmas shopping season that starts in October. The holiday season is a good time to convey a series of economic and community building messages to African Americans. First, can you afford the holiday spending? Second, if you must shop, do some of your spending with Black-owned businesses. … Third, it ought to go without saying, but don’t pay full price for anything, especially at the end of the year. … Fourth, you can build community and affinity by giving someone the gift of a contribution to their favorite charity. … Fifth, use your 2014 holiday spending as a way to develop a budget for holiday 2015. Christmas at Halloween? Only if you buy into the spending game, you will get tricked and predatory retailers treated by your behavior. (NNPA columnist Julianne Malveaux is a Washington, D.C.based economist and writer.)
Out of my jurisdiction The charred remains of a once sturdy house arrest my attention on my everyday commute. It was such a beautiful home but what is left now is just a shell, covered in ashes. The story of what happened is almost unbelievable. Just around the corner from where this home is, there is a fire station. Not even a half-mile distance separates a home that nearly burned to the ground and the place that is tasked with putting out fires. A friend of mine relayed to me that he drove by the house on fire and then passed the fire station. The inactivity at the station was alarming. And the reason why there was no response from this station was because as close as this home was, it was out of their jurisdiction. I know, just like you, my eyebrows were raised. It seemed stupid, dumb, foolish, a zoning mistake, and really just plain callous. But as I thought about it and my daily commute reminds me, this is something that happens in our society and our city everyday. I must admit, I watched the news report of the Kroger mob scene with a bit of indifference. Frankly I did not know any of those teens, any of the victims and I never shop at that Kroger. It is out of my jurisdiction. I know I should say that it worried me greatly but it did not. I was comfortable and safe in my home. And I had other problems I had to deal with. But the burned down house reminded me that to maintain my indifference to the issues and needs of others in my city is to act in as callous a manner as I am accusing the fire station I described. How can I change channels when there are real needs in my city? I believe I discovered one of the challenges that we all face as human beings. Things do not make it on our radar until they threaten our peace and security. Take for example the dreaded disease Ebola. There is a lot of panic here in the United States over its spread and its potency. This has become heightened with reports in the last few weeks of the first cases of the disease on US soil. Well where was our outrage and concern for human life when thousands have been infected and died in Africa? Maybe it was out of our jurisdiction. Which brings me back to the issue that I had to wrestle with. What would I do about the issue at Kroger? Would I just decry it as a bunch of misguided teenage hoodlums and go back to business as usual? Would I simply pray and wish things got better? Here are some things that I felt moved to do and I wonder if more of us did it would it make a difference. Stay aware It is easy to practice “plausible deniability.” That’s just a fancy term for saying, I did not know and it is be-
cause I did not want to know. Sometimes it is easier to not feel bad about our inactivity with issues in our city when we don’t know the issues in our city. What if the news became something we looked at with keen interest (not just the weather and sports)? What if we made ourselves aware of the issues that are on the ballot at election time and in our local school districts? Staying aware is a good first step. Say something I was outside recently when a group of boys in my neighborhood were playing basketball. My 11-yearold son was in the midst. One teenager proceeded to use foul language at a volume that I could hear a few houses away. I could have pretended I did not hear it and gone about my own business. Maybe it was because my son was there, but I spoke up and encouraged him to use better language. What happened next was sort of surprising. He apologized and said it would not happen again. Maybe some of our youth in our community are just waiting for some of us to say something to them. We may need to be wise in our approach but still speak up nonetheless. We see youth in our communities engaging in behavior that will ultimately lead them down the wrong path. Instead of talking about them, why not say something (gently and respectfully) to them. Get involved One adage I have picked up along the way is “you are many times the solution to the problem you see.” There is a glaring lack of mentorship and guidance for youth in our community. The statistics about family issues are there for us all to see. And sometimes we can get overwhelmed to think I cannot do anything. I cannot help all the kids who need mentoring. That may be true…but you can help one. I was driving down the road one day and Steve Harvey’s voice came over the radio speaking on behalf of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. It inspired me to sign up. I may only be able to help one kid, but I can help one. What if more of us got involved mentoring just one young person? That would make a difference. We can make a difference before more fires destroy more homes and more importantly lives. (Kymone Hinds pastors two churches in Memphis - Overton Park SDA and Journey Fellowship. He also speaks and blogs regularly on different life issues. You can connect with Kymone via twitter (@kymonehinds) or on his blog at comejourney.org.)
Parents truly do know best. When it comes to a child’s needs, goals and their learning style a parent is the one who knows exactly what it takes for their child to be successful. That’s why school choice Kevin matters – parents Chavous are empowered to choose the best school for their son or daughter. While educational choice is expanding across the country and everyday there are even more opportunities out there for a child to attend a high-quality school, it still can be a intimidating task for a parent to find the perfect school for their child to attend. While quality, through examining test scores and Department of Education reports on a particular school, and reputation can be easy to determine in your community, there are many aspects to a school environment that can maximize your child’s potential for success. Picking out the best school for your child isn’t hard. As a parent, you know how your child learns and what type of environment will fit him or her best. Here are a few things to consider when looking at a school for your child: Curriculum – As a parent, you should be able to decide what your child is exposed to in the classroom and understanding the curriculum of a school is an important aspect of your child’s overall education. Attend open houses, participate in school tours and observe the teaching and learning taking place in the classroom. Also, ask the administration and faculty of the school questions about classes and what sort of topics or subjects the school may emphasize. Safety of the school – While on your visits, ask questions about the safety practices of the school and ask to see plans and the preparations each school takes for emergencies or unexpected events. You can also contact the local police department to inquire about incidents of violence in the school or the surrounding community as well. Knowing your child is in a safe environment not only puts your mind at ease, but also allows them to place the focus on learning. Parent involvement – See how you can be involved, and meet other parents whose children attend the school. Go to a PTA meeting, visit online parent forums discussing schools in your area and review blogs, which all can provide some great information about a school from those who know all about a school firsthand. At the end of the day, there are many resources that can also help in your search for the perfect school for your child. Online resources like GreatSchools.org as well as printed directories from your local community or family resource center can provide ideas of schools to visit. Also, community organizations like the American Federation for Children, your local Urban League or the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) can assist with finding quality schools and applying for particular scholarships and educational choice programs. BAEO even has a training program on how to be an advocate for your child. Each parent should be given all of the tools they need to make sure that the school they choose is the right fit for their child. Every child deserves access to a quality education, and finding a quality school is just one part of that equation. Not every school works for every child, but as a parent you know what is best and you will make the right decision for your child so they accomplish their goals and perform at a high level throughout their education. (Kevin Chavous is senior advisor and executive counsel for the American Federation for Children and cofounder of Democrats for Education Reform.) SUBSCRIPTIONS: Mailed subscriptions to The New Tri-State Defender are available upon request. One Year, $30.00; Two Years, $55.00. Request can be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to Subscriptions, The New Tri-State Defender, 203 Beale Street, Suite 200, Memphis, TN, 38103. Delivery may take one week. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The New Tri-State Defender, 203 Beale Street, Suite 200, Memphis, TN, 38103 GENERAL INFORMATION: Any and all inquiries may be submitted in writing by calling (901) 523-1818 or by email. TELEPHONE: Editorial, administration, display advertising, classified advertising: (901) 523-1818. Fax: (901) 5785037. EMAIL: Editorial (press release, news, letters to the editor, etc.): firstname.lastname@example.org; Display advertising (ads, advertising price requests, etc.): email@example.com; Classified advertising (ads, advertising price requests, etc.): firstname.lastname@example.org; Subscriptions/Circulation (subscriptions, subscription price requests, etc.): email@example.com; Production (technical questions/specs, etc.): firstname.lastname@example.org The New Tri-State Defender (USPS 780220) is published weekly by Best Media Properties, Inc., 203 Beale Street, Suite 200, Memphis, TN 38103. Second-class postage paid in Memphis, TN.
October 23 - 29, 2014
Autopsy: Michael Brown sustained close-range wound to hand by Breanna Edwards The Root
Official autopsy results show that unarmed Ferguson, Mo., teen Michael Brown was shot in the hand from close range, two unrelated experts have confirmed through analysis, according to documents seen by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Toxicology reports also confirmed that Brown, who was shot by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson, had marijuana in his system at the time of his death, though there is no
Some medical experts believe this indicates that there was an altercation inside Officer Darren Wilson’s SUV involving the gun. reliable way to determine if Brown’s judgment was impaired at the time of his death. According to the report, Wilson told investigators that Brown had made an attempt to take his gun. Wilson claims that during the struggle for his gun inside the SUV, Wilson fired twice, hitting the young man in the hand once. St. Louis medical examiner Michael Graham, who has no ties to the current investigation, did say that the autopsy
seemed to indicate “there was a significant altercation at the car.” According to the Post-Dispatch, examinations showed that the wound to his hand was from a shot that went from the tip of his right thumb toward the wrist. There was no stippling, or powder burns, according to the autopsy. Graham, though, explained to the newspaper, “Sometimes when it’s really close, such as within an inch or so, there is no
Dr. Michael Baden points to an autopsy diagram showing where gun shots hit Michael Brown during a press conference at the Greater St. Marks Family Church on Aug. 18in Ferguson, Mo. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Dee from ‘What’s Happening’ reveals cancer diagnosis and Smithsonian honor by Yesha Callahan The Root
One of the most memorable lines from the ’70s sitc o m “ W h a t ’s Happening” came from Raj’s bratty little sister, Dee. Danielle In at least Spencer e v e r y episode, Dee, played by Danielle Spencer, had her “Ooh, I’m gonna tell Momma” moment. “What’s Happening” had a successful run and even a spinoff called “What’s Happening Now,” but Spencer stepped away from the spotlight to focus on her education and career. She attended Tuskeegee University, where she majored in veterinary science and then became a veterinarian. Her career had her focusing on the health of animals, but now she’s focusing on her own. In an interview with Black America Web, Spencer discussed her recent breast cancer diagnosis, which took her by surprise. “Surgery is definitely one of the options,” she said. “I’m trying to get as many opinions as possible, but it does look [like] that is what I’m going to do. Hopefully after that there won’t be any chemotherapy or radiation. With everything that I’ve been through with the spinal cord injury, I know God is not going to give me another affliction. So I was completely shocked when the doctors told me.” The spinal cord injury Spencer referred to is from a car accident during her time on “What’s Happening,” which affected her 26 years later and caused her to have a bout with paralysis. Although Spencer was diagnosed with cancer a month ago, she is also focusing on the positive. Recently, Spencer became the only child star to be inducted into the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. As part of her induction, when the museum opens in 2015, she will be included in the permanent exhibition of the museum. “I still can’t believe it,” she said. “That’s something people can look at for years to come, long after I’m gone.” (Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.)
stipple, just smoke.” According to the Post-Dispatch, additional analysis of tissue from the thumb wound showed foreign matter “consis-
tent with products that are discharged from the barrel of a firearm.” Another medical examiner, Judy Melinek from San Francisco, said that this
“supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound. “If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun,” Melinek told the Post-Dispatch.
October 23 - 29, 2014
BUSINESS ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY
Providing food and services to the incarcerated Across the country, attention is focused on economics and crime. Too many times the two are intertwined and the result is incarceration. From Los Angeles to New York, Chicago to Detroit, Atlanta to Memphis, crime is an area of discussion and focus. From prevention to budget, the subject matter always gets its fair share of attention. But what only a few entrepreneurs focus on is the opportunity to provide goods and services to the incarcerated population. Unfortunately the prison population is not decreasing. It is increasing steadily. With the increase comes the need for goods and services. While no one is encouraging the increase in the population behind bars, the need and opportunity to service the occupants is real. Someone is currently serving the prisoners, so why should other business owners not consider the opportunity to provide goods and services. Some have considered those that do business with the pris-
ons to be exploitive. However, if the product or services is being provided, an entrepreneur is simply being comCarlee McCullough p e t i t i v e when given the opportunity. Competition is good because it frequently drives pricing down. When pursuing the business, review the procurement rules for the facility. Register with their procurement office. Also request a copy of the previous contract for the area of interest. This will at lease provide the business owner with a starting point. With governmental agencies, copies should be provided easily. Phone service One of the areas of opportu-
nity is the phone service. Most opportunities are competitive. As it relates to this area, some facilities require a percentage of revenues to be given back to the facility. This serves as a huge source of the revenue generated for the government entity or the facility in general. Aside from mail, the one source of communication with the outside world is telephone calls. With fees on average of $1.00 per minute, this is one of the most costly basic needs of a prisoner. To those on the receiving arm of collect calls, those calls can be vexing. Armed with a need to stay connected to family and friends, inmates covet the use of the telephone. As technology advances, so do the tools with which inmates can pay for the calls. While the prisoner typically does not shoulder the burden of paying, the recipient of the call does. But what frequently goes overlooked is the company providing the service and collecting the revenue. This area of op-
portunity is competitive and technical. Food and beverages As the numbers of the incarcerated rise, their basic need of balanced nourishment must be met. While most facilities are equipped with kitchens, the opportunity to provide food and beverage is present. Whether it is packaged, processed, fresh, there is a need that must be met. When armed with money on the books, at most facilities, inmates can purchase packaged food. Again, the need is there in this setting. Business is simply the result of need meeting opportunity.
providing the clothing that is provided on a daily basis. Areas of opportunity are simple, basic, and common sense for the most part dealing with prisons. Outside of knowledge of the process and procedures, competitiveness is the key to success to this environment. Entertainment Some facilities allow the dissemination and sale of music in the form of mix tapes. Creatively this is a new area of business that fills a niche is the system. Frequently, a donation of a percentage of the gross profit is an expectation to be bestowed on the facility. Prison profiteer
Attire Those that are incarcerated wear standard attire. Whether it is overalls, jumpers, t-shirts, and/or slacks, the attire is consistent. T-shirts, underwear, and shoes are all items that are needed to service this population. Again, some business is
Across the country and in the media, the term “Prison Profiteer” has been used to refer to those businesses that participate in doing business with the prison system. While it is undisputed that the goods and services must be provided, it is the
“who” that should provide it that is disputed. With well over 2 million people incarcerated in the United States, it is not surprising that prisons are big business. Clearly, we are not advocates of privatization, increasing prison population for the purpose of profit, or providing substandard products and services to the incarcerated population. However, without a doubt, we support free enterprise and pursuit of business opportunities. Competition drives innovation. Entrepreneurs have to pursue a client base wherever the opportunity presents itself. Prisons have existed for years. Someone has provided the products and services for years. Why shouldn’t the entrepreneur “next door” pursue the opportunities behind prison walls? Obviously some else is. (Contact Carlee McCullough, Esq., at 2887 S. Mendenhall Road, Suite 2, Memphis, TN 38115. Call her at 901-795-0050 or email her at email@example.com.)
Do You ‘Speak’ Annuities? In a 2013 survey, 38 percent of “transition boomers” (ages 55 to 65) reported that they don’t “have a c l u e ” Charles Sims about anJr., CMFC, nuities. LUTCF Yet almost nine out of 10 expressed a desire for the kind of guaranteed income offered by some annuity products. If annuities seem like a foreign language, you may want to start with this simple definition: An annuity is a contract with an insurance company that offers a future income stream in return for one or more premium payments. Of course, any annuity guarantees are contingent on the financial strength and claimspaying ability of the issuing insurance company. Here are some of the basic options available. Fixed, Now or Later A fixed annuity offers a set rate of return during the life of the contract, which may be the owner’s lifetime, the lifetimes of two people, or a specific number of years. Payments from an immediate annuity begin right away (or within one year) and continue for the duration of the contract at a specified rate. Payments from a deferred annuity start at some point in the future at a rate that reflects the value of any tax-deferred growth during the accumulation period. Assuming the same principal investment and contract dura-
vestment options, can be obtained from your financial professional. Be sure to read the prospectus carefully before deciding whether to invest. The information in this article is not intended as tax or legal advice, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of
tion, a deferred fixed annuity could potentially provide a larger future income stream than an immediate annuity. Variable Growth Potential A variable annuity offers the potential for growth because a portion of the premiums is invested among a variety of investment “subaccounts.” The annuity’s future value and income stream are largely determined by the performance of the selected subaccounts. To help protect against market risk, you may be able to purchase guarantees for an additional cost, such as a guarantee of minimum fixed income payments or a guarantee to withdraw a specific amount over a lifetime, regardless of account value. Generally, annuities are purchased with after-tax funds, in which case only withdrawn earnings are taxable as ordinary income. Early withdrawals prior to age 59½ may be subject to a 10 percent
federal income tax penalty. Most annuities have surrender charges that are assessed if the contract owner sells or withdraws money during the annuity’s “surrender period.” Withdrawals reduce annuity contract benefits and values. A variable annuity is a longterm investment vehicle designed for retirement purposes. The investment return and principal value of the variable annuity investment options are not guaranteed. Variable annuity subaccounts fluctuate with changes in market conditions. The principal may be worth more or less than the original amount invested when the annuity is surrendered or annuitized. Variable annuities are sold by prospectus. Please consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus, which contains this and other information about the variable annuity contract and the underlying in-
avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes
a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. (Charles Sims Jr., CMFC, LUTCF, is President/ CEO of The Sims Financial Group. Contact him at 901-682-2410 or visit www.SimsFinancialGroup.com.)
October 23 - 29, 2014
The true ‘Church Folks Revolution’ by Rodney Beard Special to The New Tri-State Defender
I read an article today by “TJ” of Church Folks Revolution, pimppreacher.com which he titled, “Dear Jim Crow I Think We Need You: What Happened to Black Preachers After 1965.” “TJ” is an advocate…let me rephrase that. “TJ” is the only activist for social justice within the church that I know of, or ever have known directly. While I don’t agree with the wrath, anger, and searing harsh judgments that he passes on to all of us preachers…the brother has some very good intentions, and most times I agree with him. His site is a daily expose’ unfortunately (or fortunately) of the underbelly of the modern day church, and he always has his facts straight. I checked.
His site posts news reports on the corruption, greed, collusion, theft, arrogance, manipulation, and more than anything…child abuse and sexual scandals in the church. He doesn’t believe we should tithe, or that the pastor should be paid and, I guess because of that, we shouldn’t have buildings with pews, lights, etc., but maybe meet on the street corner. His bent is obvious, his focus quite clear, and his manner and method leaves nothing to the imagination. “TJ,” along with his other writers like “Ms. Justice,” not only reports the ugly news, but gives an incendiary and scathing personal commentary as a side dish. Honestly, reading their stuff is much like watching “Scandal” or “How to Get Away With Murder,” and now maybe, “The LA Preachers!” All of
that is fiction, right? S a d l y, h o w e v e r, what he prints is very real and easily verifiable even if it turns our stomachs. Rodney His is the Beard true “reality show” and not what you see on TV, unless it’s the nightly news, and who watches that? What? We all know that all news is bad news, and who wants to hear it, even if it is true? But these stories are there in glaringly factual forms. We just don’t want to talk about it. His latest indictment against the “Black Church” (and he doesn’t discriminate) is that it
has lost its way since the end of the Jim Crow era because Black preachers have sold out, basically. “TJ” reminisces about what he feels were the good old days of harsh racial discrimination, the shameful marginalization of our people, and thusly, the catalyst that created many activist preachers. While I do not agree with how he presented his argument, I do agree with his assessment of the matter. He is right, and I must admit that I am guilty as charged and should have known better being born, raised and educated in the heart of the Movement. “But what happened was that,” in my case, I wanted to be a multi-racial church in this “new day” of Christian brotherhood and love in the church that we all now shared together. I did all that I could to have
a racially mixed church, even merging with one. Because of that I stopped having Black History Month celebrations, professing my liberal political views from the pulpit, and being very careful to not tell our people the truth about social issues that directly concerned us. Why you may ask? I wanted to assuage “their” sensibilities and did that at the risk of not directly addressing our own. I was wrong, have repented, and urge all Black and liberal pastors everywhere to come back to the battlefield for social justice. Here’s what we all should and can do right now: • Express your party affiliation openly. That will carry a lot of influence without having to endorse any candidate. • Educate yourself on political issues, correlate those issues with the Word and Heart of God, and then teach your
members what He taught you. • Encourage your members to make sure they are properly registered to vote and register them if they aren’t. You can do that at your church. • Empower your congregation. Help them to understand the strength and necessity of “our vote” in bringing about the “just society” that Christ died for. • Early voting is essential and our people need to go and vote right now, and take someone with them. Do it as a church group, or in neighborhood groups. I think that even “TJ” would have “approved this message.” Enough is enough. Let’s Stand Our Ground! GO VOTE RIGHT NOW! (Rodney Beard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
‘Love Day...’ Left photo: The members of King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church, 324 East Olive, celebrated their pastor and wife’s 26th anniversary Sunday (Oct. 19th). The theme was “Keeping the Faith.” Dr. Van Ford Jr. and his wife, First Lady Ora Ford, pose for the ocassion. Above photo: The Rev. Derek Scullark, pastor of New Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, delivered the spoken word. (Photos: Tyrone P. Easley)
Nupitals... The former LeKisha Michelle Lewis and Walter James Crutchfield Jr. were married Saturday, Oct. 18, at Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ, 229 South Danny Thomas Blvd. Crutchfield is a deacon of the church. Following the pronoucement of marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Crutchfield “jumped the broom,” an age-old custom denoting their love for one another and a prosperous union. (Photo: Tyrone P. Easley)
PRAISE CONNECT -A WEEKLY DIRECTORY OF MINISTERS & CHURCHESMETROPOLITAN BAPTIST CHURCH Dr. Reginald L. Porter Sr., Pastor 767 Walker Avenue Memphis, TN 38126
901-946-4095 fax 948-8311
ASSOCIATE MINISTERS Rev. Davena Young Porter Rev. Linda A Paige Rev. Luecretia Matthews
SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES SUNDAY Sunday School .....................8:30 am Morning Worship Service ....10:00am WEDNESDAY Bible Study .........................10:30 am Mid-Day Prayer Meeting .....12 noon Evening Prayer Meeting........7:00pm FRIDAY Cable Channel 17 ............... 8:00pm
Dr. & Rev. Mrs. Reginald Porter
“Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” – Psalm 55:22
Attend the Church of your choice
ENTERTAINMENT Tri-State Defender, Thursday, October 23 - 29, 2014, Page 8
Rap and a revolution by Kenya Vaughn NNPA News Service
“I’m not here looking for followers, I’m looking for new leaders,” conscious rapper Talib Kweli proclaimed in a freestyle as a capacity crowd crammed into Fubar, 3108 Locust St. in St. Louis, on the afternoon of Sunday, October 12. He was the main attraction for a full day of hip-hop to feed the souls of those who gathered in the area to demonstrate for Ferguson October over the weekend entitled “Hip-Hop and Resistance” but also known as Hip-hop 4 Change. Kweli’s play on words posed direct opposition to both the current hip-hop industry climate and social media culture. And in doing so, he praised the young people of Ferguson who got the world’s attention in the wake of Michael Brown’s death and sparked a national movement. “Do not get discouraged. Stay focused,” Kweli told the crowd in between his set. “That’s why we wanted to do this concert – to make sure y’all stayed focused, to make sure that y’all connect with artists and people who connect with y’all, and to let you know that we love y’all and support y’all.” Kweli has been a visible presence in Ferguson since the protest began and has been lending his celebrity to speak on behalf of the protesters and working with local groups – including The Organization for Black Struggle. “Black lives matter,” he said, inciting the audience to follow suit with chanting. “All lives matter, but we the ones who have to stand up and say some [expletive].” As people stood along Locust St. hoping to be able to poke their heads in, Kweli hit the stage early on in the lineup. The five-hour free show was a mix of local and national talent rooted in revolution and liberation for people of color. Jasiri X, Dead Prez, Rebel Diaz – a collective of black and Latino MCs, were among the nationally renowned talent to hit the stage. Local artists included Rockwell Knuckles, Scripz N Screwz, Aloha MiSho, T-Dubb-O, spoken word artist Cheeraz Gormon and Tef Poe. The Lost Voices – a protest group that grew on the ground in Canfield in the wake of Michael Brown’s death – kicked off the show. “Turn up, don’t turn down. We do ‘dis for Mike Brown,” the group chanted as they bounced around in their signature yellow and blue LV gear. There was no talk of stale and recurring bling narrative – no rappers bragging on wealth they’ve yet to attain, bling they haven’t finished paying for and “bedding” bad “chicks.” Thoughts on immigration, police brutality, revolution and the current state of hip-hop were shared with the audience through words and music. “Hip-hop is not your salvation, hiphop is a tool – it’s a vehicle – and you get out of it what you put into it,” Kweli said. “If you don’t like the hip-hop that’s out right now, change what the [expletive] you’re listening to.” Rebel Diaz chose to hip the crowd to the experiences of Hispanics who head to America for a better life, only to be met with barriers and racial bias. “I remember my mom coming into our room all happy with ID cards that said ‘resident alien,” RodStarz, a native of Chile, said. “As a 12-year-old, that [expletive] can mess you up. I remember trying to scratch my face to get through to the green skin. But I found hip-hop and, just like we do in hip-hop, I decided to recreate the terminology and say, ‘My people are out of this world.’” They went on to perform “No Human is Illegal.” Jasiri X of Pittsburgh gave all praise to Tef Poe – while slamming his more popular hip-hop contemporaries for not actively engaging with the Ferguson movement. “I remember hearing Tef say, ‘You have these rappers making songs about this fantasy revolution,’” Jasiri X said. “But there’s a real revolution going on right here, and where are they?” Jasiri X, who works with Harry Belafonte’s Sankofa, said he was eager to be a part of the movement after seeing it on television and through social media. So was his fellow Sankofa member and “Grey’s Anatomy” star Jesse Williams. “Thank you for hosting a revolution. You all have been working long and hard, and we support you in this,” Williams told the crowd. “I want you to figure out a way to stay balanced and make self-care a part of your regimen – and also keep in mind our tactics and our strategies. We need to be real [expletive] clear about what they need to do and what we expect. Let’s nail down our strategy on paper, as well as in the streets, because we can’t do one without the other.” Tef Poe closed the show without addressing the audience about the happenings in Ferguson. His actions on the street for the past two months speak for themselves. (Special to the NNPA from the St. Louis American.)
A first-person narration, Dinaw Mengestu’s novel – “The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears” – is an examination of what it means to lose a family and a country – and what it takes to create a new home.
Dinaw Mengestu – alive, writing & reading Dinaw Mengestu will be in Memphis on a mission next month – to stimulate area residents to embrace a deeper and more widespread level of reading. That he is even alive to do so is a story itself. An Ethiopian immigrant, Mengestu is the author of “The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears.” First published in 2007, it blends fiction with fact and Mengestu’s own history, detailing the experiences of an Ethiopian immigrant living in Washington, DC after fleeing his country’s revolution 17 years earlier. Mengestu’s Memphis visit is designed to highlight Memphis Reads. The citywide initiative to promote literacy officially kicked off on October 1. It’s a collaboration linking Christian Brothers University and the Memphis Public Library & Information Center, in cooperation with the office of Mayor A C Wharton Jr. Here’s how Mengestu fits into the Memphis mix: The Memphis Reads program will select one book annually to be read by the Memphis community at large. The monthlong community read will consist of discussions, interviews with the author and sponsors, and related arts events, all of which will be free and open to the public. The culmination is a series of live presentations by the selected author. And for 2014, the selection is Mengestu’s “The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears.” On Nov. 4, Mengestu will make an appearance at the Memphis Public Library and Information Center at 5:30 p.m. Following his talk, a panel of local immigrant authors will share their stories of survival, their will to live, and the struggles that accompanied leaving one world behind to pursue a new one. The panelists are:
Memphis Reads literacy initiative to feature Ethiopian immigrant and author Morris M. Gbee, former child soldier born in Liberia and writer of “War Face.” Today, Gbee is an American citizen and veteran of the Iraqi War. “An American Dream” author and China-native Della Adams, the granddaughter of a Chinese warlord. Her father was an American soldier and a prisoner of the Korean War.
Holocaust survivor Dr. Clark Blatteis, a pass e n g e r aboard the St. Louis, a famous ship that carried refugees from Nazi Germany in May 1939. The book “Refuge Denied: The St. Louis Passengers and the Holocaust: and the movie “Voyage of the Damned” chronicle the experiences of Blatteis and his family. Jonathan Judaken, Spence L. Wilson Chair of Humanities at Rhodes College, will serve as panel moderator. At 8 p.m., Mengestu will speak at
CBU’s University Theater, with a booksigning to follow his presentation. The next day, Mengestu will participate in a morning interview at the Memphis Public Library for broadcast on WYPL FM 89.3’s “Book Talk” program. Told in a haunting and powerful first-person narration, Mengestu’s novel is a deeply affecting and unforgettable examination of what it means to lose a family and a country – and what it takes to create a new home. It deals with themes that are increasingly prevalent in national and international conversations such – immigration, race, the concept of family, and the increasing divide between poverty and wealth. It won the Guardian Unlimited’s First Book Award and was named a New York Times Notable Book. Mengestu was born in Addis Abab a , Ethiopia and immigrated to the United States as a small child with his mother and sister, joining his father, who had fled Ethiopia during the Red Terror. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and of Columbia University’s MFA program in fiction. Mengestu has been the recipient of a fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a 5 Under 35 Award from the National Book Foundation, The New Yorker’s 20 under 40 Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellow-
ship. In 2012, he was a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recipient and was one of 23 to be awarded a genius grant from the foundation. Currently he serves as Lannan Foundation Chair of Poetics at Georgetown University. Memphis Reads is affiliated with the “Fresh Reads” program at CBU and is part of the First Year Experience, wherein all incoming freshmen participate in the read and hold discussions and other events throughout the school year. The Memphis Public Library will be publishing the top 10 essays on “The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears” by CBU freshmen on its Memphis Reads blog site at memphisreads.blogspot.com. The Memphis Reads blog will also post other news regarding the October community read and additional events that may be scheduled as the month progresses. Wharton, who by self-description is a longtime supporter of literacy, said he was “tremendously delighted” about Memphis Reads. “When watching events on television and computer screens has become such a mainstay in the life of the average American, calling attention back to books and words in print is a fantastic activity to bring a city together,” Wharton said. “In addition to the beauty of the narrative in the selected book, one of the more powerful things this program accomplishes is to create a universal model of literacy. We can never underestimate the impact of young people seeing a certain behavior modeled and showing youth a city reading as one is a truly powerful image.” (For more information about the upcoming events, contact RSVP@cbu.edu or 901-321-3270.) (For more information on Memphis Reads, contact Karen B. Golightly at 901-321-4483 or email@example.com.)
Beale ceremony to note Floyd Newman’s legacy Saxophonist, bandleader, and high school band instructor Floyd Newman will be celebrated with a note in the Beale Street Brass Note Walk of Fame on Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. at The Band Box, 142 Beale Street. Newman’s tremendous and lengthy list of accomplishments includes being the first musician B.B. King chose as a member of his first band. While working as bandleader at West Memphis’ famed Plantation Inn nightclub, he gave Isaac Hayes his first paying job in the music business and is credited with bringing Hayes to Stax Records. A mainstay at Stax, playing with Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MGs, Isaac Hayes, and almost every other artist who recorded there in the 1960s, Newman was a founding member of the Mar-Key Horns and performed on and cowrote the Mar-Keys’ million-selling hit, “Last Night,” the success of which prompted the name change from Satellite Records to Stax
Records. His playing on baritone saxophone is heard on many recordings made not only in Memphis but in studios from New York to Los Angeles. He had a hit “Frog Stomp” with his own band and appeared in the films “Wattstax” and “Great Balls of Fire.” His concert performances looked like a who’s who list with such celebrities as Nancy Wilson, Frank Sinatra, The Temptations, Gladys Knight, Sammy Davis, Jr., Stephen Stills, Joe Tex, Joan Rivers, Lou Rawls, Sam Cooke, Dionne Warrick, The Drifters, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Four Tops, and many more. The brass note program was created by Performa in 1986 to connect the musical heritage of Beale Street with the current entertainment district. The program is now administered by the Memphis Music Foundation. For a full listing of past honorees see www.bealestreet.com.
Floyd Newman’s lengthy list of accomplishments includes being the first musician B.B. King chose as a member of his first band. (Courtesy photo)
October 23 - 29, 2014
ENTERTAINMENT OPENING THIS WEEK
Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams Special to the New Tri-State Defender
Angela Bassett stars in “White Bird in a Blizzard.”
For movies opening October 24, 2014 BIG BUDGET FILMS
“Ouija” (PG-13 for disturbing violence, frightening images and mature themes) Horror flick about a tight-knit group of teens who unwittingly awaken a dormant dark force when they decide to investigate the mysterious murder of a friend who perished right after recording herself playing a board game. Ensemble cast includes Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Bianca Santos and Douglas Smith.
Bringing diverse American books to the world
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS “23 Blast” (PG-13 for underage alcohol consumption) Fact-based, overcoming-theodds drama about a high school football star (Mark Hapka) who didn’t let sudden blindness due to a sinus infection derail his dream of gridiron greatness. With Bram Hoover, Stephen Lang and Max Adler. “1,000 Times Good Night” (Unrated) Marital crisis drama revolving around a celebrated war photographer (Juliette Binoche) whose husband (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) has tired of her dangerous line of work. Support cast includes Chloe Annett, Larry Mullen, Jr. and Eve Macklin. (In Norwegian and English with subtitles) “Citizenfour” (Unrated) Patriot or traitor documentary featuring interviews with whistleblower Edward Snowden about his leaking thousands of classified documents he had access to in his capacity as an NSA contractor with Top Secret clearance. Featuring commentary by Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald and Jacob Appelbaum. (In English, Portuguese and German with subtitles) “E-Team” (Unrated) Human Rights Watchsponsored documentary chronicling the exploits of monitors dispatched by the organization to chronicle atrocities being committed by ruthless dictators around the world. (In English, German, French, Russian and Arabic) “Force Majeure” (R for profanity and brief nudity) Dysfunctional family drama about a Swedish couple (Johannes Kuhnke and Lisa Loven Kongsli) whose marriage hangs in the balance after the cowardly husband just saves himself, ignoring his wife and kids (Clara Wettergren and Vincent Wettergren), when an avalanche hits during their vacation in the Swiss Alps. With Brady Corbet, Jakob Granqvist and Kristofer Hivju. “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” (PG for mature themes and brief profanity) Reverential
biopic chronicles the legendary country singer’s farewell tour as he struggles with Alzheimer’s. “The Heart Machine” (Unrated) Romance thriller about a guy (John Gallagher, Jr.) who comes to suspect that the long-distance lover (Kate Lyn Sheil) he met on the internet might actually live in the same town. With David Call, Louis Krause and Libby Woodbridge. “John Wick” (Unrated) Keanu Reeves handles the title role in this revenge thriller about a former assassin who comes of retirement to track down the gang that robbed him of everything. With Alfie Allen, Michael Nyqvist, Bridget Moynahan, John Leguizamo, Lance Reddick and Willem Dafoe. “Laggies” (R for profanity, sexuality and partying) Romantic comedy revolving around a 28 year-old (Keira Knightley) who regresses and starts hanging out with a 16 year-old (Chloe Grace Moretz) with a handsome single-dad (Sam Rockwell) after her longtime boyfriend (Mark Webber) pops the question. With Gretchen Mol, Jeff Garlin and Ellie Kemper. “Life of Riley” (Unrated) The legendary Alain Resnais directed this adaptation of Alan Aykbourn’s play of the same name about three couples left devastated by the news that a mutual friend has only a few months to live. Costarring Sabine Azema, Hippolyte Girardot, Caroline Silhol, Michel Vuillermoz, Sandrine Kiberlain and Andre Dussollier. (In French
with subtitles) “Low Down” (R for drug use, profanity and sexuality) A warts-and-all biopic about the life of the bebop artist Joe Albany (John Hawkes), who played piano with Charlie Parker and shared Bird’s self-destructive drug habit. Featuring Lena Headey, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Peter Dinklage and Flea. “Revenge of the Green Dragons” (R for rape, graphic violence, sexuality, drug use and pervasive profanity) Crime drama, set in the Eighties, about a couple of immigrant siblings (Kevin Wu and Justin Chon), new to NYC, who survive by joining a gang in Chinatown. Cast includes Ray Liotta, Harry Shum, Jr. and Carl Li. “Stonehearst Asylum” (PG-13 for violence, sexuality, profanity and disturbing images) Horror film inspired by an Edgar Allan Poe short story about a med school grad (Jim Sturgess) who mistakenly falls for a patient (Kate Beckinsale) at the mental hospital where he’s just started working. With Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley and Brendan Gleeson. “White Bird in a Blizzard” (R for sexuality, nudity, profanity and drug use) Screen adaptation of the Laura Kasischke novel of the same name about a repressed 17 year old (Shailene Woodley) who is eventually forced by circumstances to come to grips with her mother’s (Eva Green) mysterious disappearance. With Angela Bassett, Thomas Jane, Gabourey Sidibe, Christopher Meloni and Sheryl Lee.
Frankfurt, Germany – How can diversity in American publishing be supported was a question Irene Smalls, awarding winning children’s author, asked as she looked at her career? In 2013, 67 kids books out of 3,200 children’s books published were written by authors of color according to the Center for Books for Children. Fifteen published books later and a close look at $108 billion dollars of revenue in the global publishing industry, Smalls now has the answer – Go Global. Today, she is the CEO of 2GoGlobalMarketing, whose goal is to expand sales opportunities for American authors from diverse backgrounds world-wide. Publisher’s Weekly cited Smalls’ effort as a Frankfurt International Book Fair first, a milestone. For five days, Smalls shared classic stories from African-American, Asian and Latino authors at the Frankfurt International Book Fair. Frankfurt is the world's book marketplace, where for the last 66 years authors, publishers, agents and book scouts do deals, discuss trends and determine the future of publishing internationally. “I decided diverse American authors need to be in the game. Their voices and perspectives for too long have been absent from the world stage,” said Smalls. Smalls is not alone in seeing the need for change. The Office of the United States Consulate General in Frankfurt was pleased to learn 2GoGlobalMarketing was an exhibitor. According to Elizabeth Walsh, commercial specialist with the U.S. Consulate General, this is the first time a female and African-American-owned business has been an exhibitor, creating a platform for the introduction of diverse American authors. “We will do anything we can to support you in creating your success,” said Consul General Kevin Milas, when he visited 2GoGlobalMarketing’s booth. Smalls said she was pleased with the reception received from publishers and the support from the Consul General in Frankfurt. “Their clear understanding (that) the world needs many perspectives and the importance of hearing diverse voices from America insures 2GoGlobalMarketing's success,” said Smalls.
October 23 - 29, 2014
Parents and students get information on Fisk University. Pictured (L-R): Paul SmithCollierville High School, Loretta McDonald-Fisk University Dean of Admissions, Nancy Wallace-Fisk Alumna, Daycia Smith-Mother. (Photos: by Angela Myers)
Pictured (L-R): Harriett Halmon-HBCU Fair Co-Chair, Stephen Guy-Desoto Central High School, Amber Toler-Arlington High School, Carla Stotts Hills-President River City (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, Tracye Fitzgerald-Mother, Patrice Myers-Program Chair, Latasha Gentry Holmes-HBCU Fair Chair, Ceyla DavisTuskegee University, Cecil Davis-Tuskegee University Recruiting.
Higher-ED connection at River City Links event Hundreds of high school students made valuable contacts for their future education during The River City (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated annual HBCU College Fair at First Baptist Church-Broad last Saturday (Oct. 18). Twenty Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) set up booths and provided information on enrollment, scholarships, campus life,
financial aid and more. “It was an awesome and informative event,” said Tracey Fitzgerald, whose son Frank is a senior at Arlington High School. “I came because I wanted him to consider what HBCUs have to offer.” “I made some good contacts,” said 17-year-old Frank. “It will help as I consider my options and decide where I want to go to school.”
The colleges and universities taking part in the annual event said it was a great way to reach a large number of students. “We need more events like these to help students who don’t know where to start and expose them to our schools and what we can offer,” said Ceyla Davis, who was recruiting for Tuskegee University. The HBCU Fair also featured
Cause for celebration… Staci and Friends For A Cure hosted the 5th annual A Pink Affair gala at Bridges, 477 North Fifth St., last Saturday (Oct. 18). The event was in recognition of breast cancer awareness month and served to raise funds for the local Wings Cancer Foundation. Staci Franklin, a breast cancer survivor and the event’s namesake, hits the dance floor with DJ Stan Bell of V101.1 FM. Proceeds were designated for the Foundation's Lymphedema and Form Fitting programs, which assist medically underserved breast cancer survivors. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow) BRIEFLY: The Memphis Public LIbrary & Information Center is hosting a Domestic Violence Forum from 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23, at the Cornelia Crenshaw Branch Library (531 Vance Ave.) to address domestic violence issues and convene conversation around this serious subject. For more information, call (901) 415-2846. BRIEFLY: The Word of Faith Christian Academy, 3528 Dr. Gene Crockett Ave., is hosting a special event called “Back to the Basics” on Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 10 a.m. in the gymnasium. Speakers include the Rev. Dr. Dwight Montgomery, president of the Memphis Chapter Southern Christin Leadership Conference; attorney Ricky Wilkins, and Michael R. Williams, president of the Memphis Police Association. The purpose of the meeting is to provide basic tools to help people to reach their God-given potential. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (901) 744-4061.
workshops on ACT preparation, financial aid and issues on the ballot for the November election. Several students also registered to vote at the onsite voter registration. “It was a great success. We hope to continue helping students in Memphis and Shelby County seek higher education,” said Carla Stotts Hills, president of The River City (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.
For 65-plus years, The Links, Incorporated has been a women’s volunteer service organization “committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.” It has 12,000 members in 276 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
October 23 - 29, 2014
COMMUNITY BRIEFS & THINGS BRIEFLY: Mayor AC Wharton Jr., in conjunction with State Rep. G.A. Hardaway (D-93), has scheduled a Town Hall meeting for Thursday (Oct. 23) from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Orange Mound Senior Center, located at 2590 Park Ave. The session focus is improving the quality of life within the community. The Memphis Police Department will provide an overview of many topics of interest and there will be ample time for questions from attendees. For more information, contact Tina Hunt at 615-741-5625 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org. BRIEFLY: The Operation Immunization Committee of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists chapter at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) will provide free Influenza vaccinations to the homeless who participate in the More Than a Meal a community outreach program at Idlewild Presbyterian Church. The event, which is free and open to the public, targets the “homeless or extremely low income and is set for Thursday (Oct. 23) from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the church at 1750 Union Ave. BRIEFLY: Readers of all ages are invited to the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, on Friday and Saturday (Oct. 24-25) for the Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale, which features a wide variety of new inventory and all items priced at $2 or less. A special preview sale for Friends of the Library members will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Friday. Those interested in becoming Friends members can sign up at any Memphis Public Library branch or online and receive discounts at the book sale. BRIEFLY: Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir will host EMPOWER ME, a community resource fair, during the annual Block Party and Picnic for Peace on Saturday (Oct. 25) inside the Ed Rice Community Center (2907 N. Watkins) from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. BRIEFLY: Social, civic and professional organizations will join the Memphis Branch NAACP fall membership campaign and submit NAACP memberships at the Annual Membership Laydown from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 25) at the Jesse H. Turner Sr. Freedom House located at 588 Vance Ave. Radio station WDIA and Bev Johnson will broadcast live during the early hours. BRIEFLY: The Memphis Branch NAACP will host an open discussion on violence in our community during its meeting on Sunday, Oct. 26th) at First Baptist Church – Broad Avenue, 2835 Broad Ave., beginning at 4 p.m. BRIEFLY: Leaders of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) will share the vision for future development of the campus on Monday (Oct. 27) from 5-7 p.m. during a Campus Master Plan Open House for faculty, staff, students, the media and the community. The open house will be held in the O.D. Larry Dining Hall of the Student-Alumni Center, 800 Madison. Free parking is available in Lot R on the corner of Dunlap and Madison. For more information, contact Andrea Kolen at 901-448-7248 or email@example.com. BRIEFLY: SCLC Memphis President Dwight Montgomery, attorney Ricky Wilkins and MPA President Michael R. Williams are among the featured speakers for Back to the Basics, a free event set to begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday (Oct. 28) at Word of Faith Christian Academy Gymnasium at 3528 Dr. Gene Crockett Ave. For more information, call 901744-4061. BRIEFLY: The Whitehaven High School PTSA will host the Tiger 5K Walk/Run on Nov. 1. Registration is at 7:30 a.m.; the race begins at 8:30 a.m. Register online at www.racesonline.com. The school is located at 4851 Elvis Presley Blvd. BRIEFLY: Greater Lakeview Missionary Baptist Church at 191 East Holmes Rd will host its Community Awareness Day from 9 a.m. to noon on Nov. 1. The theme is Reaching Out To Our Community and there will be a focus on health. Participants will include the Community HIV Network, Walking Into a New Life, Inc. (Advocacy for ending domestic violence), Open Arms Care Corp., Crossroads Hospice and LYLAS. For more information: V-Ethel Patterson, 901-486-7735. The Rev. Joe E. Hayes Sr. is the host pastor. BRIEFLY: Methodist Healthcare North Hospital will host a free education seminar on Nov. 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for girls ages 14 to 18 and their mothers or other trusted female adult. The discussion in Meeting Rooms 1 & 2 will include puberty and physical changes, menstruation, sex education and healthy lifestyle habits. The program will also include fun activities, games, pizza, snacks and a free giveaway item. Advance registration is required. Seating is limited. Register by calling 888-777-5959. Facilitators: Belinda Simpson and Nikki Gibbs, A Step Ahead Foundation. BRIEFLY: Southwest Tennessee Community College was recently awarded almost $9 million in grant funds to train individuals in advanced manufacturing, logistics and solutions and will host a Community Informational and Job Training Recruitment Fair on Nov. 11 from 6-8 p.m. The event will be held on the Macon Cove Campus in the Farris Building, 2nd Floor, Meeting Rooms ABC. For more information contact: Shawn Carter at 901333-4282, or Travis Wilson at 901-3334847, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Vision Temple Steppers proved to be a crowd favorite. (Photos: Brittney Gathen)
Family picnic attracts a positive-minded ‘mob’ “I hope they talk about this mob as much as they talked about Kroger’s mob.” – Stevie Moore, founder, Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives, (F.F.U.N.). community. ” “In government, we rely so much on the pubMoore’s wife, Rosiland Moore, said the event lic to come up with the good ideas and let us Special to The New Tri-State Defender was a lesson in coming together despite differ- kind of work with the public, because it’s the ences such as differences in lifestyles, opinions, public that’s going to make things happen. If A “mob” descended upon Audubon Park on cultural, physical or socioeconomic differences. they come up with the ideas and let us support Sunday (Oct. 19th) from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. “When we do things like this, we’re really them, than that’s a win-win for both of us,” LutHowever, this “mob” was not a group of violent teaching our children by example trell said. individuals disturbing the peace but various how to come together peacefully,” Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the people gathered together for free Moore said. “This is a safe envi- Western District of Tennessee encouraged atfood, entertainment, ronment; it’s family friendly, it’s tendees not to give up on young people. martial arts the whole community, it’s cul“The same thing it took to take me from demonstratural diversity.” Whitehaven to a White House appointment, it’s tions, bouncers The event, which comes dur- going to take the same thing for our young kids for kids, and a ing National Crime Prevention now,” Stanton said, encouraging a show of love good cause. Month, drew several elected and compassion to young people. Freedom From and appointed officials. Teen attendee Lekethea Hamilton said she atUnnecessary Congressman Steve Co- tended the event “because of all the violence Negatives, hen said events such as the that’s been happening in Memphis.” (F.F.U.N.) held its picnic can encourage peo“I just wanted to show support in the neighfifth annual Multiple to “do the right borhood,” Hamilton said. “Positive events cultural Unity in the thing.” like this Community Picnic. “I think it’s are imThe theme of the picsomething portant nic was “Celebrating that’s important for the , e r o Our Differences.” d Mo the to Memphis teenagers n i l i s o in “We got a mob here because it nd R ay … that people nity ore aultural U going w today, but it’s a family o look at posig i v e s M n e i c o i v t mob,” said Stevie For Ste al Mul c is an tive role t h e m Moore, the founder of the annu ity Picni outh. models, get peosomething n y F.F.U.N. “I hope they talk Commu rt area ple involved in the commupositive to about this mob as much as to suppo nity, and try to do the right thing,” do instead they talked about Kroger’s Cohen said. “So, this is important to of being mob.” participate and to let the word be out in the Moore started F.F.U.N. after his son, Prentice known and hopefully encourage othstreets.” Moore, was killed with an AK47 assault rifle af- er people to do right.” D r . ter leaving the now closed Denim and DiaCohen noted that he – along with David L. monds Club in 2003. After losing his son, he the Shelby County Government and Acey Sr. vowed not to let what he was going through Shelby County Shelby County Mayor Ma and his happen to another parent. Schools – has Jr. said the issue of vio rk H. Luttrell w i f e , lence was not Yvonne B. F.F.U.N. is a community-based economic and helped get $1.5 just a law enforcement pr oblem. social program for youth and young adults, billion in federAcey, the ages 10-24. The organization seeks to al grants to find operators of provide an alternative to urban ways to fight violence. the long-running Africa in April youths’ economic, civic, He also vowed to work Cultural Awareness Festival, emphasized the and social lifestyles. with local officials on importance of coming together as a community F.F.U.N. has events programs they come to support young people, particularly when it such as “Stop the up with to seek ongo- comes to the issue of violence. Killing” rallies, which ing funding. “We need to come together to see what we are preventative initia“We have to find can do to help them and give them the informatives to help educate better ways to deal tion they need to respect themselves and love communities about sensewith youth and themselves and help pull the families together less killings and about the get the message so we can address this very serious problem in consequences of crime. The out,” said Co- our community.” Dr. Acey said. organization also has prohen, adding Yvonne B. Acey said addressing violence grams such as “It’s Up2Me”, or that he has “cannot be done with one person or one comf y where participants discuss ne ttor ee, en n bills focused munity. … “We have to figure out how we can A ways to avoid domestic vio. s on alterna- help each other, teach each other, and show o .S p es lence and effectively communiIII, Uf Tenn give u tive resolu- them the right way.” n o cate with each other. tions of ofRosiland Moore said F.F.U.N. is working ant trict o ot to t S “We always want our children L. n Dis ees n fenses. to establishing a fun house where people can d r to do right, but we don’t give them Edwa ester ttend Luttrell said issue of engage in positive activities and have access a W enough,” Moore said. “We got some the aged ple. violence in Memphis was not to family services. Locations are being good children here. All of our children cour g peo just a law enforcement problem viewed in North Memphis and South Memn are not mobbing and gang banging; the you “This is a family problem, this is a neigh- phis. majority of them are not. We tried to borhood problem, it’s a commercial business Stevie Moore said that he wants to change pick something good for our community problem,” Luttrell said. R.I.P. (Rest in Peace) to L.I.P. (Live in Peace). to let our children know that we want what’s Luttrell said his attendance at the event was a “I can’t bring my son back, but I can save good for them, and they can come together in way of showing support for the importance of one of these children. My son’s death won’t be peace in unity to affect a positive change in our community engagement. in vain.”
by Brittney Gathen
‘Brazen scheme’ brings indictment for theft of traffic citation funds Tammy Brooks Carpenter, age 41, of Memphis, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on the charge of embezzling monetary payments from customers who had been issued motor vehicle citations by the City of Memphis. Edward L. Stanton III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the indictment, which came down on Tuesday. “As the indictment alleges, Tammy Brooks Carpenter orchestrated a scheme to enrich herself by embezzling and converting thousands of dollars of traffic ticket payments intended for City of Memphis coffers,” said Stanton. “She then allegedly took her brazen scheme one step further by targeting and preying upon vulnerable members of the Hispanic community. As today’s arrest makes clear, we will not tol-
erate corrupt public officials, and will do everything in our power to hold them accountable.” As an employee of the Memphis City Court Clerk’s office, Carpenter’s duties included accepting payments from customers who had been issued motor vehicle citations. The onecount indictment alleges that beginning in December 2012 and continuing until December 2013 Carpenter would accept payment and enter the transactions into the Electronic Ticket Information System (ETIMS), which created a record of the payment. Carpenter would then void the original payment and enter a smaller amount into the ETIMS system, converting the remaining funds for her personal use. During the course of one year, Carpenter allegedly voided approximately 188 citations and
embezzled approximately $24,000. Of the 188 citations voided by Carpenter, approximately 183 of the victims had a Hispanic surname. The federal statute, Title 18 United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(A), Carpenter has been charged with violating makes it a crime to embezzle money from a local government entity that receives federal assistance in excess of $10,000 during a 12 month period. If convicted, Carpenter faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Memphis Police Department and the Tarnished Badge Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian K. Coleman.
SPORTS Tri-State Defender, Thursday, October 23 - 29, 2014, Page 12
Grizz hold off Cavs Vince Carter of the Grizzlies drives to the basket and is fouled by Tristan Thompson of the Cavaliers during a preseason game at the FedExForum on Wednesday. Memphis defeated Cleveland 96-92.
Kyrie Irving of Cleveland scores over Marc Gasol and Tony Allen of the Grizzlies. (Photos: Warren Roseborough) Zach Randolph lets Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson know who rules the boards in Memphis.
TALES OF THE TIGERS
Memphis Madness 2014 The University of Memphis basketball teams – the men and the women – for the 2014 season had been introduced and put through their paces when Rick Ross, The Boss Man, took the floor at the FedExForum last Friday (Oct. 17). Ross, the rap-star owner of three Wing Stop hot wings franchises in Memphis, was this year’s nonbasketball main attraction at Memphis Madness 2014.
He performed for about 30 minutes, dedicating the song “Hustlin’ to the people of Memphis. Along the way he paid tribute to living Memphis hip-hop legends 8-Ball and MJG, Project Pat, Three-Six Mafia and Yo Gotti. The crowd that stuck around for Ross seemed pleased with what they got, and that includes stud basketball recruits Dedric Lawson, Skal Labisierre Nick Marshall and
Who are these ‘new’ Tigers? The only senior in coach Josh Pastner’s stable of men’s basketball team players for 2014 has never played a game for the University of Memphis. Welcome to a season of transition. Graduate senior forward Calvin Godfrey averaged 13.1 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game for Southern University. Some observers of the Tigers have him penciled in to absorb the minutes that were taken last year by David Pellom. Joining Godfrey in the forward rotation for the Tigers are returnees Shaq Goodwin (a junior) and sophomore Austin Nichols. Goodwin led Memphis in rebounding last year with 6.5 boards per contest while averaging 11.5 points, which leads all returning Tigers. Nichols averaged 9.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks as he earned his way onto the AAC All-Freshman squad. The only other Memphis returnees are forwards Nick King and Kuran Iverson. King was a regular Coach Josh Pastner contributor and averaged 4.9 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 51.8 percent from the floor and 31.3 percent from downtown. He’s going to need to shoot better from beyond the 3-point arc. Junior transfer guard Kedren Johnson will lend much-needed experience and scoring punch to the back court. He contributed 13.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per contest for the Vanderbilt Commodores in 2013-14. The former 4-star recruit needs to trim down and get in better condition but will likely be a key component in the Tigers’ revamped attack. A trio of junior college transfers will also be counted on during the 2014-15 campaign: guard/forward Trahson Burrell, forward Chris Hawkins and guard Avery Woodson. Burrell and Hawkins could challenge for starting spots. Burrell is a do-everything wing specialist, who is frequently compared to former Tiger and current NBA Portland Trailblazer Will Barton. Long, lanky and a dynamic scorer, Burrell averaged 25.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.3 steals per Shaq Goodwin game. He averaged 20.7 points and 7.6 rebounds (Sam Greenwood: Getty Images) in his two years at Lee College in Texas. Hawkins is a freak athlete, who threw down the best dunk (or maybe even the best two dunks) at the Memphis Madness Dunk Showcase, performing a windmill after switching the ball from one hand to the other between his legs. Despite injury issues, he managed 15.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists last year for Southwest Tennessee Community College. He shot a scintillating 70.4 percent from the floor and 71.2 percent from the free throw line. Woodson, who has looked good during fall practices, is being counted on to provide much needed outside shooting for the Tigers. In his sophomore campaign at East Mississippi Community College, he managed 15.7 points and 5.8 rebounds. Overall, he shot 42.5 percent, nailing 37.6 percent from three-point range and 73.3 from the free throw line. A trio of guards will try to crack the rotation in their first year of Division I competition: Markel Austin Nichols Crawford from Melrose, Dominic Magee from (Photo: University of Memphis) Helen Cox High in Louisiana and sophomore RaShawn Powell, better known as Pookie. Powell is expected to compete with Kedren Johnson to start at the point, while Crawford and Magee are big guards (6’4” and 6’3”, respectively) who are versatile threats.
Jaylen Fisher. No official crowd count was released and estimates varied widely, with more than a few wondering what affect, if any, the $5 price tag – the first for a Madness event – had played on the turnout. These previews of the men’s and women’s team are drawn upon reports from TigerSportsReport.com and modified with permission.
In search of a high seed
Coach Melissa McFerrin
Ariel Hearn (Photo: Joe Murphy)
Asianna Fuqua-Bey (Photo: University of Memphis)
Coach Melissa McFerrin and her women’s Tigers were introduced first at Memphis Madness 2014 and those who pay attention to detail saw one thing clearly – there is not a senior in sight among the 12 players on the University of Memphis roster. For the record, McFerrin has five freshmen, three sophomores and four juniors on the team set to compete in the U of M’s second season in the American Athletic Conference (AAC). Talent wise, Memphis is not far behind South Florida, which is the number 2 team in the AAC after the departures of Louisville and Rutgers. Connecticut, of course, the defending national titlists, is far and away the class of the league. The Tigers are not as tall and long as USF, but McFerrin loves her team’s tenacity and thinks her women can challenge for a high seed in the AAC tournament. The returning star is 5’7” junior guard Ariel Hearn, named to the all-AAC First Team as a sophomore after averaging 17.8 points, 3.5 assists and 2 steals while shooting 37.3 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. Hearn led the team in scoring and assists last season. Asianna Fuqua-Bey, 6’1” junior forward (8.4 points, 7.5 rebounds), is the second-leading returning scorer. She is followed closely by 5’9” redshirt sophomore guard Mooriah Rowser, who averaged 8.1 points and 2.5 rebounds while being named to the AAC All-Freshman team. Sophomore guard Breigha Wilder-Cochran (5’9”, 7.9 points, 3.6 rebounds) will also be counted on to provide minutes in the Tiger rotation. Challenging for a starting role in the post is 6’1” junior college transfer forward Brianna Wright. At Chipola Junior College in Florida, Wright averaged 10.8 points and 6.7 rebounds as she amassed 55 steals and 36 blocks. Also competing for minutes are 6’1” junior forward Courtney Powell and 5’9” sophomore guard Taylor Williams. The tallest player on the roster, 6’3” freshman post Alisha Celestine, will be counted on for production. The other freshmen on the roster are: Cheyenne Creighton, 6’1” forward; Brea Elmore, 5’9” guard; Amber Holmes from Southwind, 5’7” point guard; and Damonique Miller, 5’11” guard/forward.