Nederlands English
April 2020 Vol#2-Issue #4 Articles
Heritage Tours
No More Silence Foundation
Living Legends Awards
Black History Program
Mt. Moriah East Baptist Church
Thomas "Top Cat" Anderson

April 2020 Vol#2-Issue#4


Page 0
Vol. 2, Issue 4 April 2020 KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN i LoveShe l byCoun t y . com LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D., CNC My March thought of the month was for us to understand the need to spend our time wisely. Boy, what a difference a month can make! A few weeks later, our time is no longer considered to be “our” time. As we sit sequestered in our homes, those of us lucky enough to have a home, we think back on all the freedoms we had become so accustomed to and ask ourselves, “What in the world happened?” Well, that is the million dollar question which leaves me and you only to ponder, what is the answer and how soon will it come? Let’s work that 20/20 vision to stay COVID-19 free. Please remember to follow us and to subscribe online at iLoveShelbyCounty.com. For those of you who prefer hard copies, thanks for your subscriptions. Subscribe to our printed editions online for $84/year, $42/bi-annually, or purchase a single copy for the low cost of $7/month. You can call us at 901-300-0390, subscribe and/or pay online, or make your check made payable to DI’MANS, Inc. We are always looking forward to getting your emails at NEWSCENEShelbyCo@gmail.com. We can also be contacted by mail at DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE, I Love Shelby County.com, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190-0146. Back on March 8, 2015 WHEN IT WAS SAFE TO TRAVEL... It seems like it was yesterday when I didn’t hesitate to take a Heritage Tours trip to Birmingham and Selma, AL for the 50th Anniversary March commemorating Bloody Sunday... Fast Forward to March 1, 2020 WHEN IT WAS STILL SAFE TO TRAVEL... … and I didn’t hesitate to do it all over again, this time for the 55th Anniversary March commemorating Bloody Sunday. But there was something different about this trip and it wasn’t just because it took place just two weeks prior to the Coronavirus travel restrictions.
Page 2
Why I’m Glad I Went to Selma, AL on March 1, 2020 Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson At NEWSCENE, every day in the month is Black History Day and Black History Month. Five years ago, on March 1, 2015, I joined a bus full of individuals who participated on a “Heritage Tours, Inc.” Ford Nelson excursion to Selma, Alabama. On that day, former President Barack Obama was planning to attend the 50th year anniversary of Bloody Sunday, one of, if not the first televised accounting of the racial tensions in the south’s nasty pre-Civil Rights Movement days. On March 1st of this year, 2020, I repeated those same steps, traveling south with a different group of Heritage Tours tourists with the same destination of visiting the Edmund Pettus Bridge to walk in the footsteps of those, 80 of whom were severely injured on March 7, 1965, for just trying to express their right to vote. A young black female growing up in the north on that day in history, I was not quite five years old and I have no recollection of any events of the day and time. I’m sure my mother made sure of that because we certainly did have an old tube, black and white television in the house when I was growing up. Lyndon B. Johnson was the President and his picture might have been in our home, but I can clearly remember pictures of the Kennedy’s, John Fitzgerald and Robert Francis, along with one of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and those of my three WWII Veteran uncles adorning the walls of our living room. I can remember those pictures like I was looking at them on yesterday, but in those years, I just cannot believe that I knew who any of them were. Not at that young age. Even today, 55 years later, something is always responsible for sparking the fire that gets things headed in the wrong direction. Way back on February 18, 1965, during a peaceful voting rights march, Alabama African American civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson was brutally beaten and shot by James Bonard Fowler, a Caucasian Alabama State Trooper. In protest of Jackson’s unwarranted and brutal murder, some estimate between 500 and 600 civil rights marchers headed east on Route 80 out of Selma, AL in protest of their right to vote. It was a sunny, but chilly Sunday morning; however, after only traveling a mere six blocks, the group was met by Alabama State Troopers who were assisted by local Alabama lawmen. These fully armored and masked white lawmen viciously attacked and beat the unarmed group of black protesters with night sticks and sprayed the air heavily with tear gas. Those that were still standing were driven back into Selma. They did not make it across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on that day. Due to the invention of the TV, many all over the world watched and the day became known as “Bloody Sunday”. President Lyndon B. Johnson, nor any other nonracist person, could deny the lack of fairness or adequate reasoning for the beatings that ensued. When President Johnson spoke on television regarding the matter he stated that it was “wrong to deny anyone the right to vote,” and he mentioned the need (for whites) to stop practicing “bigotry and injustice” and the need to strive for “full equality” regardless of a person’s skin color saying, “…their cause must be our cause too.” Two weeks later a new march was planned and although he was asked not to attempt the first crossing, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did cross on this second trip where the marchers were protected by Federal troops. I hadn’t turned five yet, but on August 6, 1965, a few weeks before my birthday, the passage of the voting rights bill was signed into law by then President Lyndon B. Johnson. I’ve personally been an Election Commission Poll Worker for the Shelby County Election Commission for a couple of 2 decades now, but in 1965 in Selma, Alabama, a mere “2.1%” of blacks were registered voters and they, according to Congressman John Lewis who thought he would die during the original march, “could only vote on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month.” Lewis said, “…Without television, the civil rights movement would have been like a bird without wings.” Elaine Lee Turner, Owner of Heritage Tours, Inc. and Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum first encountered PHOTOS By Tony Wright racism as a young person growing up in Memphis, TN, in the 1960s. “There were restrictions for black people to any public facilities that were designated for whites,” said Turner. The libraries were segregated. The museums were segregated, the art galleries, and all of those places where our families paid taxes were segregated. The wheels of justice simply were not turning fast enough for the youth at that time.” Turner, remembers when 40 or so students from LeMoyne and Owen Junior Colleges, one of whom was her oldest sister, Ernestine Lee, went to the white segregated Cossitt and Peabody libraries and sat down to read books in them. The date was March 19, 1960, and the students were hauled out of the library, put in patty wagons, and were taken to jail and promptly arrested. “This black community rallied behind those students,” said Turner who eventually began to sit in at segregated lunch counters and restaurants in Memphis herself. “That was my first arrest in 1960 when I was 16. We were all put in jail that day. There were five of us sisters that were put in jail that day.” There was a lot of excitement in the Lee household that day, but Turner’s parents supported their children's decisions. “Our parents supported us in what we were doing,” said Turner. “We knew that we had to be persistent and if it meant getting arrested then that is what it was going to take. We knew that we had to continue the fight, continue the demonstrations, the sit-ins, and the marches, and whatever we were doing as a form of protest.” The Lee sisters may being arrested 17 or Turner can look back on standing up for what was about being part of the family rights have made history more times in total. those instances of right today and laugh in participated in the march 1965. A Shelby County marks the spot that was Shainberg’s Department downtown Memphis sister Ernestine were for sitting in at a white most arrested civil Memphis. She also in Selma, AL in historical marker now in front of the old Store on Main Street in where Turner and her arrested and taken to jail lunch counter. This happened in August 1960. Three other Lee sisters were also arrested that day while sitting in at lunch counters on Main Street. A plaque was presented to the family in 1965 by NAACP Executive Director Roy Wilkins. An Award of Recognition, it reads, in part, as follows: “Memphis is a better place because the Lees stood up by sitting down in forbidden seats.” 3
Page 4
Both of my Heritage Tour trips to Selma, AL included stops in other locations with significant historical presence from the civil rights era. My 50th anniversary trip included a stop at the 16th Street Baptist Church, in Birmingham, AL, where, on Sunday, September 15, 1963, when I was merely two years and about two weeks old, a bomb, later discovered as being placed by three Ku Klux Klan members, killed 11-year-old Denise McNair, and 14-year-olds Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, and Carole Robertson. How disgusting. (Pictured from left) Peggy Jayne Lee, Esq., Brittney, Susan Lee, Ekpe Abioto, and Elaine Lee Turner. The group met up with Hertiage Tours participant Jimmie Franklin on the Edmund Pettus Bridge after the 50th anniversary march in memorandum of Bloody Sunday. The event was held in Selma, AL in 2015. This year, we visited the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum, both in Montgomery, AL. The Legacy Museum is dedicated to the thousands of people who were lynched all over the southern states of America and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which sits directly across the street, is the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people who were terrorized by lynching, humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence. Located in the middle of an otherwise normal-looking Alabama neighborhood with large antebellum homes, the museum sits on the site of a former auction block where enslaved blacks were once warehoused in the heart of downtown Montgomery, Alabama, just steps away from the very dock and rail station where tens of thousands of them were trafficked during the 19th century. We returned home early Monday morning, the day before Super Tuesday which had me up at 4:30 am for an anticipated arrival at my polling location by 5:45 am. The doors, open at 6 am for poll workers and were opened an hour later at 7 am for voters. This was the first time Election Day voting had taken place at this normally Early Voting location and from the time the doors opened until the time they closed, it seemed as if every third person in line to vote had to be sent to another location to cast their ballot. Why is it that we, as black people, don’t know our history? It wasn’t taught to me in school either, but I took it upon myself to learn about the things that negatively impacted my ancestors and I’m still learning new things every day thanks to Mrs. Elaine Lee Turner and her Heritage Tours and Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum. You didn’t ask, but if you’ve read this far I’m going to give this, my opinion about black people, anyway. We are still slaves and some of us just don’t want to be free. An equally disgusting fact, again, in my opinion even though you didn’t ask me for it. Thanks! 4 5
Page 6
Why I’m Glad I Went to Selma, AL on March 1, 2020 Bloody Sunday has personal childhood memories for me. I was 9 years old when my older brother, a freshman at Tennessee State University participated in the March. My parents were not aware that he was not at school but was in Alabama. I vividly remember the cut on his head, the blood-stained white shirt he wore, and the slightly injured white girl he brought home wanting my mother, who was a nurse, to tend to her injuries. It was on this day that my eyes were opened to the atrocities inflicted upon our people. I did the Selma trip to pay homage to my brother and the many brave individuals who stood for our rights. — Nina Staples, Ed.D. MONTGOMERY, AL I Just Had to Keep My Promise to Myself… I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to go. — Betty Fortson A Message of Concern What would happen if people would sit in churches throughout the world for centuries with the image of a “Black Man” as Savior of the world before them? What would this do to the world’s children? What would happen to the world’s children put under a figure of a particular race presented, pitiable, and in pain “Savior of All Men?” — Herbert A. Shabass 6 SELMA, AL Betty Fortson My Lynching Sites Memphis Trip To Alabama As I reflect on the Lynching Sites Memphis trip, I see a mirror image of all the tragedy from these horrific crimes of lynching in the economic as well as spiritual realms. I then reflect back to the lynching that took place at Calvary against Christ Jesus. I’m not talking about the physical lynching. I’m talking about the spiritual lynching of what is considered the “Crucifixion of Christ.” This is many times more devastating and has had an everlasting perpetual negative effect on blacks as well as the entire world.” — Herbert A. Shabass P i c ture s on Pages 6 and 7 Comp l imen t s Betty Fortson SELMA, AL Continued on Page 8 7
Page 12
NEWSCENE NONPROFIT CORNER. . . . . .NO MORE SILENCE FOUNDATION (NMSF ) Coping Through the Arts Workshops (HOLD) CTRL DOUBLE CL I CK TO LEARN MORE ! Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson March 9, 2020, was a milestone for individuals all across America. For example, the IRS recognized nonprofit “No More Silence Foundation,” accomplished several goals when approx. 20 teenage students from Iowa and five of their Mission Leaders came to Memphis during spring break to practice coping strategies designed to provide therapeutic methods for dealing with unwanted and inappropriate advances during what might be the last large gathering the organization will undertake offline for a while. “Our workshop sessions are going live,” said NMSF Executive Director LaTrossica Wilson speaking of the agencies work to move their Coping Through the Arts sessions online. “We are going online for the first time and we want you and your family to join us!” Wilson knows from experience that as a result of the COVID-19 requirements, boredom that could lead to problems might be brewing unnoticed right under a parent or caregiver’s nose. “If you have or know of a child who is suffering with depression, a Continued on Page 20 12 child who may have been subjected to or could currently be in a position to be subjected to a traumatic experience, or someone who just needs something positive to do while home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, our free online workshops are available for you, your family, and your friends.” City leaders from the U.S. House of Representatives in Congressman Steve Cohen’s office, joined forces with city and county representatives from both Mayor’s offices, Amro Music Store, Independent Bank, the Memphis Police Department, and Pound 4 Pound Motorcycle Club to make sure the events held the week of March 9th were a success. Since opening, the sexual violence crime rate in ZIP Code 38118 (where NMSF is located) has decreased by over 20% according to the Juvenile Abuse Bureau. To that end and beyond, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris presented the organization with a proclamation and certificate proclaiming March 9th, 2020, as Coping Through the Arts Day in Shelby County. “The entire week was dedicated strictly to the students of Iowa,” said Wilson who had external activities that included a visit downtown for lunch and a trip to the Memphis Cotton Exchange Museum. “Talk about an amazing time at the No More Silence Foundation!” The Coping Through the Arts Teen Workshop was created to promote coping strategies and enrichment in the arts, leadership development, safer environments, investment for the future, and an over-all sense of well-being in all communities for teens while assisting victims of abuse and otherwise to strengthen their personal self-esteem, develop better financial and literary strategies, build better relationships, and in understanding how to prevent sexual violence before it happens. Including break-out sessions for the students to be in smaller groups, the morning events included “Journal Writing in My Art,” where students were guided on exercising self-love and understanding their unique gifts, developing individual and collaborative strengths, and more; Community Outreach (C.O.P.S.) which exposed them to police officer interactions that provided life scenarios of choices and consequences; and basic violin lessons taught by Violinist Donna Wolf. The afternoon focus turned to events that included basic sewing lessons and the agencies signature Prevention, Education, and Coping (P.E.C.) program. The first day’s events concluded with a financial literacy workshop geared towards students in grades 9 through 12. Sponsored by independent bank, the financial segment, which covered savings and checking accounts and why protecting your pin number is important, was hosted by Timico Cox, NMSF volunteer board member and Independent Bank Officer/Business Development. “One in ten children experience sexual abuse before they turn 18. Over 60% of abuse is not reported. Thirty-five percent of victims are 11 years old or younger. Forty percent are abused by an older or larger child. More than 90% of rapists never spend a day in jail or prison and over half of the victims know their attacker,” says Wilson. “Support NMSF and help us to end the silence today!” PHOTO By Yvonne D. Nelson 13
Page 16
Honoring the Life and Times of Thomas “Tom Cat” Anderson Note: By March 13, 2020, suggestions to refrain from gathering in crowds of 50 or more was in effect. Thomas “Tom Cat” Anderson was born May 15, 1957. On Marc h 13, 2020, the second anniversary of his death, a balloon release was held in his honor at noon in front of 610 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN. A small group of former friends and relatives assembled in front of the a multi-family, 16-unit dormitory and residential group quarters located in the Johnson and Murphy subdivision in downtown Memphis to release blue and silver balloons in Anderson’s remembrance. In 1989, Tom Cat went on a mission for God that forever changed his outlook on life. Anderson’s mission transposed him into a person who would give another the shirt off of his own back, even if he did not have a replacement, to help another remove the demons from their life as he had successfully done. He helped people find housing, food, clothing, and many other necessities of life. “This is a continuous assignment from God,” stated Mother Georgia King, 80, pictured above at the ceremony. “Tom Cat and four or five other young men from Memphis joined me for a trip one of the local ministers had told me about because he knew that I had a walking ministry. People from all over the country were gathering to march to Washington in support of the plight of the homeless. Tom Cat and these other young men were all determined to go. We were dropped off in Roanoke, VA where we met others headed to DC. I helped to lead the walk. We had Veterans and assigned roles of captains. We picked up more people as we traveled through 20 or 21 little cities and towns on our way to Washington.” Tom Cat was best known for his charitable work in the community which focused on helping the lease of these. Those whose paths he touched will be forever grateful for his work and many plan to honor him annually until the end of time. “He’s always on my mind,” said King referencing Anderson, the mission God has put upon her and others, and her desire and determination to attend the event in his remembrance. “He’s always on this journey with me.” 16 —Author Unknown 17
Page 18
Third Annual (2020) Harriet Tubman Living Legends Awards Story by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, Pictures by Iman Zenoria D. Nelson State Representative Barbara Ward Cooper is known by many Memphians for being a politician who gets things done in Memphis. Cooper, a Democratic member of the Tennessee House of Representatives for the 86th District, has served as a member of the TN House of Representatives since being elected in 1996 and beginning with the 100th General Assembly (1997-1998). She has sponsored 86 bills, currently serves on 3 House Committees, and has cosponsored 215 bills. Cooper currently serves as the Vice Chair of the House Government Operations Committee. The Manassas High School graduate attended the historically Black land-grant (Nashville, TN) Tennessee State University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science (1950) and a Master’s of Science (1963) degree in Education. Cooper, a community Relations Specialist for Southwest Community College in 1970, married John D. Cooper (2005) in 1972, and taught in the Memphis City Schools system until she retired. She worked as instructor for Southwest Tennessee Community College from 1980 to 1986 and served as a Parent Coordinator for the Catholic Diocese of Memphis City Schools in 1986 and from 1988 to 1994. The author of more than two dozen books and 45-Hours Post Graduate University of Tennessee Curriculum and Instruction learner also graduated from the Jacksonville Theological Seminary in Jacksonville, FL, where she obtained a Doctrine of Religious Philosophy in Christian Psychology in 1999. Yes, Rep. Barbara Ward Cooper is a living legend in her own right, receiving many awards including a plaque for Outstanding Civic Work Supported by Contenders awarded by Magnolia Transportation Grant Group in 1996, the Teacher Recognition Day and the Silver Tray for Outstanding Service Awards from the Principal and parents of St. Augustine School, for serving on the District 86 Advisory Council, Tennessee Tourism Roundtable, Kennedy Democratic 18 Organization, and Citizens for Better Service, but rather than admit that, Barbara would rather honor those who are known for taking outstanding roles in Memphis’s community affairs. For the past three years, she has put on the Annual Harriet Tubman Living Legends Award Ceremony through the Cooper/Jones Initiative (formerly known as the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Conference on Economics, Health, and Education). Cooper was preceded by State Rep. Rufus E. Jones and the initiative and ceremony honors Memphians who are considered “go to” people due to their “care for mankind, commitment to human progress, and willingness to get things done.” The honorees were separated and chosen in six categories, Community Conductors, Economic Development, Education, Environmental, Health, and Leadership. The forty-eight (48) 2020 awardees, by category, are as follows: COMMUNITY CONDUCTORS  Dr. David & Yvonne Acey, Africa in April  Sarah Carpenter, Commission on Religion and Race Relations  Chris Dean, Community Organizer and Film Maker  Rev. LaSimba Gray, Ret. Pastor, New Sardis Baptist Church  Mother Georgia Anna King, Community Activist  Coach Jerry C. Johnson, Ret. LeMoyne-Owen College Basketball Coach  Thelma J. Nelms, Mission Possible: Christian Outreach Service Mission  Christine Taylor-Moore, DMC  Mark Stansbury, WDIA  Clyde R. Venson, Memphis Cotton Makers’ Jubilee  Rev. Melvin Watkins Jr., Sr. Pastor, Mt. Vernon Baptist Church Westwood ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT  Dr. Carnita Atwater, Kukutana African American History & Cultural Museum of Memphis  Janice Gray, State Farm Agent  Willie Harper, CEO Southbrook Towne Center  Mabra Holeyfield, West Tennessee Venture Capital Corporation  Brenda Tate, Real Estate Developer  Leslie Smith-Thomas , Owner, Brickwood Hall/Real Estate Developer  Pearl Eva Walker, Entrepreneur EDUCATION  Dr. Austin Emeagwai, Professor, LeMoyne-Owen College/International Leader of Nigeria  Kevin Potts, Frayser Community Schools  Dr. Isaac Richmond, National Director, Commission on Religion and Racism  Keith O. Williams, Executive Director, Memphis-Shelby County Education Association Continued on Page 24 19
Page 20
20 21
Page 22
22 THER 23
Page 24
ENVIRONMENTAL  Dr. Yvonne Denise Nelson, McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association, Inc.  Rev. Keith Norman, First Baptist Broad Community Development  Gail Floyd-Tyree, Executive Director, AFSCME Local 1733 HEALTH  Keedran Franklin, Activist & Founder/Facilitator, Books & Breakfast  Dr. Brinders Jones, MD, Pediatric Partners of Memphis  Mary Tate Lee, CIGNA Healthcare  Dr. Denise Mustiful Martin, DDS, Periodontics  Dr. William Terrell, MD, Pediatric Specialist  Dr. Michael Ugwueke, CEO/President, Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare LEADERSHIP  Karanja Ajanaku, Executive Director, New Tri-State Defender Newspaper  Calvin Anderson, President, New Tri-State Defender Newspaper  Judge Joe Brown, Activist  Tyrone Burroughs, President/CEO, First Choice Sales and Marketing Group  Reginald Coooperwood, Regional One Health  Gregory Duckett, Baptist Memorial Hospital  Rev. Al Green, Pastor, Full Gospel Baptist Church/ Recording Artist/Grammy Winner  Faith Morris, Marketing Director, National Civil Rights Museum  Johnnie Mosley, Citizens for Better Service  Michael W. Rallings, Chief of Police, Memphis Police Department  Debra Sigee, Executive Director, Millington Crisis Center  Elaine Lee Turner, CEO, Slave Haven Underground Railroad  Johnnie Turner, Former State Representative/Civil Rights Activist  Van Turner, Esq., President, NAACP/Shelby County Commissioner  Shepperson ‘Shep’ Wilbun, Founder, 1991 People’s Convention/ Supplier Diversity Officer Shelby County Government NEWSCENE THANKS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR WHAT YOU DO TO MAKE MEMPHIS BETTER. 24 25
Page 26
The Academy for Youth Empowerment Annual 2020 ANNUAL BLACK HISTORY PROGRAM (From left) Memphis’ Academy for Youth Empowerment CEO/Founder, Black History Program & Memphis Christmas in Whitehaven Parade Organizer, and Entrepreneur Hazel Moore is shown thanks and gratitude for her work in the Whitehaven community from Lieutenant Colonel L. Ross and Officer R. Jefferson, members of the Memphis Police Department’s Raines (Southwest) Police Station. The 2020 Academy for Youth Empowerment’s annual Black History Program honored six historically significant figures – Cornelia Crenshaw, Judge D’Army Bailey, Dr. David L. Acey, Dr. Erma L. Clanton, George Hunt, and Rosa Parks. The event was held at 3 pm on Sunday, March 1, 2020 in the sanctuary of Abundant Grace Fellowship, 1574 E. Shelby Drive in Memphis, TN. Aria Battle, a junior at the City University Preparatory School, introduced the event’s emcee, Whitehaven resident and Greater Memphis Chamber CEO, Beverly Robertson, Abundant Grace Fellowship Pastor Dwayne Hunt gave the invocation which preceded Outreach Coordinator Arnest Martin who gave the welcome and program purpose. Those in attendance followed by joining together and signing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Black National Anthem. Afterwards, the program introduced the 2020 honorees through historic depictions and life spotlights. Hillcrest High School Junior, Righteous Pryor, began the introductions with Judge D’Army Bailey and Whitehaven High School Junior, Dominic Curry, followed up by introducing Dr. David L. Acey. The T.L. Williams Academy of Dance performed a rendition of “Embrace,” a musical taken from the movie Harriet. Havenview Middle School 8th grader, Ay’Sha Monet McConnell introduced honoree Cornelia Crenshaw and 8th grade Colonial Middle School student, Eriel Woodard introduced Dr. Erma L. Clanton. Columbus Missionary Church soloist Renee Cogar sang “Give Me Jesus” and 8th grade Freedom Preparatory Academy student, Stacee Thomas read the bio of Rosa Parks. City University Preparatory sophomore Dwayne Jackson delivered the last honoree speech on George Hunt and Havenview Middle School freshmen Kyndal Boyd and Nathan Granson presented the honorees with awards. The Memphis’s own musical group, The Temprees,” performed and Academy for Youth Empowerment founder, Hazel Moore, provided the closing remarks before the benediction which was given by Freedom Preparatory Academy Senior Spencer Fleming. 26 Photography courtesy of WHEELS PHOTOGRAPHY 27
Page 28
28 29
Page 30
COVID-19… Coronavirus has shutdown the USA Being that NEWSCENE relies heavily on being able to go out into the community to report on the many positive things happening in Memphis and Shelby County and due to the ever-demanding restrictions that have closed most every location in the city and that of not being able to visit places (other than those places marked as ‘Essential’ services) where 10 or more are gathered, our future is, like most other businesses, questionable. We have a plan to circumvent these restrictions and we have already put it in place beginning with our May 2020 edition. We, along with most other non-essential businesses are at the mercy of God and the leaders of our world. We will struggle to continue to bring you interesting and relevant content concerning individuals living in and around Memphis and Shelby County. I know it is hard to consider throwing yourself under the bus, but since you yourself are an accomplished person, please allow us to share your story while we patiently wait for this modern-day, never before seen or imagined calamity to be put to sleep, hopefully to never surface again. Please do not leave us now. We need you and your financial support and online readership and sharing of our iLoveShelbyCounty. com website link efforts more now than ever before. Thanks! Volunteers worked from 11 am until after 1 pm on Saturday, March 21, 2020, loading boxes of everyday staples into vehicles in an attempt to ensure families with children had food in their homes. This was a commendable venture to undertake, especially since the Shelby County Schools meals were abruptly stopped when a Shelby County Nutritional Department worker tested positive for COVID -19 and the Superintendent shut everything down leaving thousands of children with no food knowing that the meals they receive during school hours are oftentimes the only nutritious meals they receive. The free event was held at Mt. Moriah East Baptist Church, 1248 Haynes Street, in Memphis, where the Rev. Dr. Melvin Charles Smith, a has been the Senior Pastor since 1967. Kudos to Rev. Dr. Melvin Charles Smith, his congregation, and all the volunteers who helped 400 families who needed food right here in Memphis, TN. 30 DID YOU KNOW? There are several moneyless ways you can support nonprofits like DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE and the McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association, Inc. of Memphis (serving all of ZIP Code 38116). When you shop at Kroger you can, AT NO COST TO YOU, support DI’MANS, Inc. by enrolling in the Community Rewards Program and earning rewards for DI’MANS every time you shop! Visit Kroger.com/ communityrewards and support Organization #DN098. Smile.Amazon.com is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, again, AT NO COST TO YOU, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to DI’MANS Inc., the charitable organization of choice. Email us at NEWSCENESHELBYCO@gmail.com for details today! Questionable things in Memphis?!! VIEW FROM RIVERSIDE DRIVE... 31
Page 32
CFC #46643 AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Location: Memphis, TN | Year Founded: 2009 DI’MANS, Inc. (Click here) to shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM Mission: DI'MANS, Inc. was formed to establish a positive, proactive force in the fight against juvenile crime and juvenile delinquency. The goal of DI'MANS, Inc. is to bring adults dedicated to positively shaping future generations together to assist disadvantaged youth in becoming productive citizens as adults. Help Support Causes in Your Community! (Click here to sign up) Did you know you can support nonprofit organizations in your community just by shopping at Kroger? It's easy when you enroll in Kroger Community Rewards®! To get started, sign up with your Plus Card below, and select a local organization you wish to support. Once you're enrolled, you'll earn rewards for your chosen organization every time you shop and use your Plus Card! Enroll now for the Kroger Community Rewards Program. And remember… all participants must re-enroll each year to continue earning rewards for their chosen organization. DIRECTIONS: 1) Go to Kroger.com; 2) Create an account or sign in; 3) Drop down the arrow at your name 4) Select “My Account” 5) Click on Community Rewards on the left side of the screen) Make a One-Time donation to DI’MANS, Inc. 32 Make a Recurring Donation (Click here) 33
Page 34
34 35
March 2020 Vol#2-Issue#3

March 2020 Vol#2-Issue#3


Page 0
Vol. 2, Issue 3 March 2020 KEEPING YOU UP‐TO‐DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN i LoveShelbyCounty.com LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D., CNC There were a lot of events planned during the month of February in Memphis and Shelby County, TN. This month, as usual, NEWSCENE covered several of these positive events that took place and concerned our communities, educational achievements, youth, historians, housing, environmental concerns, including both for proit and nonproit activities. It is almost spring and it was just January! Don’t forget—time waits for neither you nor I, so let’s always remember to spend our time wisely. Please remember to follow us and to subscribe online at iLoveShelbyCounty.com. For those of you who prefer hard copies, thanks for your subscriptions. Subscribe to our printed editions online for $84/year, $42/bi‐annually, or purchase a single copy for the low cost of $7/month. You can call us at 901‐300‐0390, subscribe and/or pay online, or make your check made payable to DI’MANS, Inc. We are always looking forward to getting your emails at NEWSCENEShelbyCo@gmail.com. We can also be contacted by mail at DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE, I Love Shelby County.com, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190‐0146. HAPPY ‘BLACK FACTS’ IS EVERY DAY MONTH! Thank you, GRADUATES OF SWTCC BENEFIT FROM PBI GRANT PROGRAM The Department of Education, Ofice of Post Secondary Education announced it was accepting applications for “New Awards: Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Competitive Grant Program” in May of 2015. The administration at Southwest Tennessee Community College (SWTCC) received an award in 2012, reapplied in 2015, and was awarded $3 million for the FY2015-FY2020 school years. The purpose of the PBI program is to “strengthen PBIs to carry out programs that are designed to improve the educational outcomes of minority males by reducing the net cost, median student loan debt, and likelihood of student loan default for high-need students who enroll in post secondary degree programs in college.” Matthew Shields, a Wooddale High School graduate, was one of several men who were recently rewarded for their educational achievements through the program. “I’ve been attending college off and on and this is my second stint in college since I graduated high school,” said Shields, 25. “I wasn’t mentally prepared for college when I irst got out of high school. With this go round, I was ready for it. It’s like, I want better in life and I feel like I’ve got to further my education to open up more doors.” Currently working as a Patient Escort for Methodist Hospital, Shields has plans to stay with his current employer and hopes to grow with the company while he’s there. “I’m in school for my business degree and I want to get in on the business side of Methodist,” said Shields who’s goal is to obtain a masters degree in business. “I really appreciate the founders and the makers of the scholarship program here at Southwest. I was paying out of pocket and with the scholarship, that helped me inish last semester with a breeze. Plus, I got my job last semester. If I could pay it forward to help a senior coming out of high school today, I would tell them what I’ve learned. I would tell them life is a marathon, not a race and that one shouldn’t be in competition with their peers. Everybody’s path is different. Just give it your best and don’t be scared to take a chance on yourself.”
Page 8
8 9
Page 10
T  A: A I  G A introductory genealogy workshop, hosted by Assistant Library Customer Service, employee Charvis Ford (right standing), was held from 2-3 pm on Saturday, February 8, 2020, at the South Branch Library, 1929 S. Third Street . Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson An “Intro to Genealogy” class, taught by Assistant Library Customer Service employee Charvis Ford, began at 3 pm on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at the South Branch, 1929 S. Third at Belz Street. About a dozen people gathered in the meeting room to learn how to research their family history. Ford informed those in attendance about the many genealogy services available for free in the history department on the fourth loor at the Benjamin L. Hooks Branch Library, 3030 Poplar Ave, and gave a visual tour of the genealogy section available at memphislibrary.org. “Genealogy involves collecting the names of relatives, both living and deceased, and documenting the relationships between them,” said Ford reading from the “Getting Started in Genealogy: A Pathinder for the Beginning Researcher” irst page in the worksheet packages prepared for attendees. He went on to note individuals serious about undertaking a genealogy project should (1) ind a way to organize their research by using the same notebook, dating notes, and writing down sources; (2) begin at home with information that is already known, written, and/or recorded like the family Bible; (3) get copies or vital records from within the last 50 years and census records to verify where people lived as well as the names of parents and other relatives, (4) send off for Social Security applications through the SSA to obtain full names, dates and places of birth and more; and (5) look for other research that may have been done on your family like scrapbooks and the family Bible. Ford then spoke briely about a well-known website and their free trial period which elicited a comment that the same website tends to hold back full access to information during the trial period. “They know you are trying to get it done in two weeks,” surmised Ford. “That’s why I would encourage you to stick with the public sources. Everything with the Memphis Public Library is public and free unless you decide to go off your path or you need some more information. The South Brach Library is open from 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday. Call (901) 415-2780 for information. 10 11
Page 12
ROBIN’S LOVE PACKS THE BAGS TAKE 2: MY 901 (Above right) Robin Hall (left) congratulates 1st place contest winner Mykayla James. (Left) MAP employees Mary Brooks and Marquis Robinson congratulate Runner Up Alex Benton. (Not pictured Syria Perry) . Pictures by Linda Jones - Story by Robin Hall and Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Middle College High School (MCHS) 10th grader and Christian Brothers College dual enrollment student Robin Hall is an active member of Pleasant Chapel Baptist Church, a member of the softball and bowling teams at MCHS, Young Actors Guild - Memphis, Girl Scouts Troop #10305, and the Memphis Ambassadors Program (MAP). A few of her community service projects have included street canvassing to spread awareness, donating items to the Mid-South Regional Food Bank, providing free tutoring services after school, serving as a docent, packing and distributing diapers through the Sweet Cheek’s Diaper Ministry program and creating her own service-learning project, “Robin’s Love Packed the Bags.” “I was challenged to develop leadership skills and conidence when I joined the Memphis Ambassador’s Program,” said Hall speaking of the year-round development and enrichment program that serves between 400-500 youth across the City of Memphis. “Joining MAP gave me the motivation I needed to take action in my community.” Hall initially created her project to help 5th grade girls through a stipend she received through the MAP program. “I once read that ‘Service is the rent we pay for living,’ said Hall speaking of a Marian Wright Edelman quote. “Pack the Bags was an opportunity to donate nail polish, hand sanitizer, lotion, socks, purses, snacks, educational games, and basic care products to children who would appreciate them. When I received the opportunity to help package and distribute diapers to parents with babies in need from the Diaper Cheek Ministry, I saw another chance to give back to my community. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.” Robin’s Love Pack the Bags Take 2: My 901 was a challenge Hall made to 5th grade students. “I want to hear your thoughts!” Hall's poster advertising the contest read. “What do you think about Memphis and how would you make it a better place for all people? Or, what do you want to be when you grow up? Does your community offer you the best chance you can get? How does this make you feel?” Children had until Friday, February 7, 2020, to write a one-to-three paragraph response to one of the two questions posed. The poster went on to say that winners would be announced at 10:30 am the following Friday, February 14th, and everyone would receive a special surprise and lunch from Little Ceasar’s Pizza on Robin. “After we ate lunch, everyone took turns discussing how growing up in Memphis affects them,” said Hall who told her junior classmates, “Your voice can be a powerful tool, especially when you take time to put your thoughts in writing irst.” 12 (Left) Dual enrollment Middle College High School/Christian Brothers University 10th grade student Robin Hall treated 5th graders at Northaven Elementary School, 5157 North Circle Road, Memphis, TN 38127, to Pizza and juice on Friday, February 14, 2020. (Below) Robin’s Love Pack the Bags Take 2: My 901 contest Runner-Up student Syria Perry’s contest entry cover sheet. (Below) Northaven Elementary School Principal, Louis Padgett, attended the event and poses with Middle College High School 10th grader Robin Hall after the “Robin’s Love Pack the Bags Take 2: My 901” writing contest winners were announced at a program held in the school at 10:30 am on Friday, February 14, 2020. Syria’s entry tied with those written by Alex Benton and Ariyana Norwood and Mykayla James was the contest’s 1st Place winner. 13
Page 14
I $5M: C  N  R C In honor of Black History Month, Collins Chapel Connectional Hospital, 409 Ayers Avenue, Memphis, TN, held a Reunion Day Tour and Celebration on Saturday, February 22, 2020, in honor of all professionals, workers who received training, patients who received services, and persons born at the facility. The event was a fundraiser held in advance of the Living Legacy Brunch scheduled for 10:30 am, Saturday, March 14, 2020, at Esplanade Banquet & Conference Center, 901 Cordova Station Avenue in Cordova, TN. Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Originally located at 418 Ashland Court, Memphis, TN, in 1910, the Collins Chapel Connectional Hospital (CCCH) had an operating room, maternity ward, and a connectional ward when Dr. W. S. Martin became the superintendent in 1920. During the height of pre-civil rights era, the facility moved to 409 Ayers Avenue, in a building designed by Frank Graham Rice of the old Norton and Rice Architects. During those years, CCCH was the only facility available in Memphis providing quality healthcare services to the African American community in Memphis, TN. The facility continues to hold the title for being the only faith-based owned African American healthcare facility in the United States. Owned by the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, the CCCH was the only hospital in Memphis to admit African American patients, allow African American doctors and nurses to practice medicine, and to provide training for African American’s wanting to pursue a career in the medical ield until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 removed segregation and led to the requirement of blacks to be treated at other hospitals. Although this resulted in the closing of CCCH, it reopened as a nursing home in the 70s and remained open for nearly the entire next decade. The facility closed due to much needed repairs in 2010. Mt. Olive CME Church Pastor, Rev. Peris Lester opened the Reunion Day celebration with a prayer and CCCH Chairman, Bishop Henry M. Williamson Sr., Presiding Prelate of the CME First Episcopal Church, provided the historical signiicance of the hospital and spoke about the $5 million dollar renovation project currently underway. Conveniently located in the medical district neighboring the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, Methodist Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Regional One Health, UT Center for Health Sciences and other hospitals, the goal of the project is to renovate the CCCH into a 28-bed specialized healthcare facility and skilled nursing facility. The facility will employ registered professional nurses for physical and occupational therapy patients, medically-needy patients, short- and long-term rehabilitation and care returning it to its former status of being a professional medical training facility for the vast number of healthcare students entering the industry for years to come. The CCCH’s approved Certiicate of Need will allow for specialized and individualized custodial care, physical, speech, and occupational therapy, medication management, bed and board, social services, and dietitian and nutrition program services to be offered. A brief recognition of persons born, treated, and/or employed at the facility including relatives of those who practiced during the height of the organization’s history spoke and brief remarks were scheduled to be made by Paul Young, City of Memphis’s Director of Housing and Community Development, Rev. Dr. Keith Norman, Pastor, First Baptist Broad Church and Vice President, Government Relations at Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corporation, Willeen Hastings, CEO at Memphis Health Center, Inc., Rev. Dr. D’Arcy Deveaux, Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church and Regional One Health Spiritual care Liaison and Staff Chaplin, Vickie Haynes Terry, ED, NAACP Memphis Chapter, Shelby County Commissioners Eddie Jones and Reginald Milton, and others. Lynette Long, daughter of Henretta PHOTO By Yvonne D. Nelson 14 Moore introduced her mother who trained at the CCCH to be an LPN in the early 50s and went on to train as a RN. “My mother was born and raised in Milan, TN,” began Long. “She knew from early in childhood that she wanted to be a nurse. The only place she was able to make that dream come true anywhere in this area was here at Collins Chapel.” Bishop Williamson Sr. followed Long’s remarks by acknowledging her as being a ‘wonderful daughter’ and explained how some of our children ‘don’t get it’. “Some of our children don’t get it; we have a great legacy, but it must be passed on,” said Williamson Sr. “Sometimes our children don’t get it. Many times we own the land, but then we loose the land. We sell the land. Land is the one thing God isn’t making any more of. You need to hold on to the land. And then hold on to the professionals and this daughter is passing it on.” Bishop Williamson Sr. thanked Long and her mother before introducing Moore’s former co-worker, Geraldine (Stinson) Reed. “Mrs. Reed worked here in surgery,” Williamson exclaimed. “Mrs. Reed, come here and sit by your Bishop! She is going to tell us what it was like to work here and serve here, at Collins Chapel Connectional Hospital. “I go back a little bit farther than this building, I helped to build this building,” said Reed. I was at the old building. As a matter-offact, Ms. Moore and I trained together at the old building in the early 50s. I worked with Dr. Castleberg and some of the other doctors and you said it was white and black doctors, which it was, Jewish. We didn’t discriminate against any faith. I grew up a CME. That’s how I got here in the irst place—because I grew up a CME. To work in surgery was the last few years of the hospital from the late 50s until the early 70s when it closed was when I worked in surgery. We didn’t do any major heart surgery, but we did do major lung surgery, and we did what the hospitals were doing at that time. Then the E.H. Crump hospital opened. They were the city-owned black hospital that black people could attend, so that’s when we folded as a hospital.” Williamson commended Reed on her abilities to speak eloquently and again referenced the need for children today to understand the importance of becoming educated. He reminisced about the training offered to students at CCCH and how it helped form them into lifelong professionals. Bishop Williamson Sr. said, “Great healthcare professions, they could train from cradle to career!” The program ended with a request for donations for the historical landmarks $5 million dollar renovation and expansion project. All were invited to make a one-time or recurring tax-deductible donation in the amount of their choice ($100—$5,000 suggested) to preserve and bring the Collins Chapel Connectional Hospital back to life. Larger gift donors were instructed to contact the CME Church at (901) 345-4114 for naming rights opportunities and more information. Tickets for the Living Legacy Brunch to be held at 10:30 am on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at the Esplanade Banquet and Conference Center, 901 Cordova Station Avenue, Cordova, TN 38018-6316, are $100/person and include admission to the brunch, and a souvenir booklet with ads and sponsorships. Checks should be made payable to: Collins Chapel Connectional Hospital and mailed to Post Ofice Box 16776, Memphis, TN, 38186-6776. Payments can also be made online at https://www.paypal.me/ccchmemphis. On hand for the Collins Chapel Connectional Hospital Reunion were (seated from left) former CCCH trainee Henretta Moore and daughter Lynette Long, former trainee Geraldine (Stinson) Reed, and CCCH Board of Directors and Executive Committee Chairman, and CME Church First Episcopal District Presiding Prelate, Bishop Henry M. Williamson Sr. 15
Page 18
A TRIBUTE TO... A R I  C A of C, I,  L A A … MOTHER GEORGIA ANNA KING Photo Credit: Tyrone P. Easley ©WOA.ORG mbru.org D 18 Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Mother Georgia King, also known as Queen Akua, founded the Memphis Bus Riders Union in 2012 and turned 80 years old on Monday, February 17, 2020. A special surprise celebration was held in honor of the daughter of a Union City entrepreneur at 6 pm that evening at the Kukutana African American Museum, 1098 Firestone Street, Memphis, TN 38107. Best known for her leadership and activism in the Memphis community, King was honored with the MLK 50 Award for those same characteristics in 2018. Words that eficiently describe the many works of Queen Akua equate to the numerous branches that hang from a mighty oak tree. During the summer of 1960 when she was 20 years old, King visited the city of New York where she had her irst glimpses of people with no where to call home. Seeing masses of people sleeping on the streets deeply bothered King. Those visions led her to her mission and personal desire to represent and to work with and for the homeless, something she still does to date. The branches of Queen Akua’s tree extend in all directions, encompassing those who suffer from intellectual disabilities, alcohol and drug misuse, homelessness, and other looked over ills of our society. Fast forward to 1989. As one of the leaders of the Southern contingency of the New Exodus Walkers, Queen Akua and her group walked from Roanoke, VA to Washington DC to speak for the homeless. Facing small towns with racist views against blacks, Hurricane Hugo, a Category 5 natural disaster that took 61 lives, and more, Queen Akua pushed forward until she and her group of followers reached her destination, some 255 miles away. All the while she was leading the group and greeting unwelcoming parties with the phrase “Praise the Lord” as they passed by. That year, $250 billion dollars had been removed from the budget to help the homeless. Approximately 200,000 activists from all over America had made their way to the Capitol that year and their efforts restored the funding to the Federal budget. “The Lord has allowed me to live to be 80 years old,” said King the evening of her birthday. “I was planning to rest today, but I had to come out for this surprise celebration. “My goal is to pay tribute to my walk to Washington all year.” 19
Page 20
H 20 K 21
Page 22
A. 1994 “W  A” A W  COURAGE: A  ,   ,           - P : M G K B. Q A (S M)         80   M, F 17, 2020. M K     K A A M, 1098 F S, M, TN 38107 C. M G K     D M MC (R R)   (  ) T J, J M, M P, MC, K, S H,  M H        D. J 14, 2015  “MBRU (M B R U) F F   C A. A   hp://www.mbru.org/blogs/post/MBRU‐Founder‐Featured‐in‐the‐Commercial‐Appeal/ E. A G           8 B  M G “Q A” K    K A A M, 1098 F S, M, TN  M, F 17, 2020 F. B ()     M G “Q A”         80   M, F 17, 2020 G. M G K’  M H (  )  M P        H. M G K’  J M   , M G K,       I. E -, P L,        B   80    M, F 17, 2020,    M G “Q A” K J. M G “Q A” K       “A B B C M G K Y A L B M” K. T            (L C, B F,  S S,), , C B, S, T  W   L. B C       M G “Q A” K          80    M, F 17, 2020,  D. C A’ K A A M, 1098 F S, M, TN 38107 M. B   S S B, T M-O O M (T.M.O.M.) F B S,  B B       M G “Q A” K    A  N. H C  L S          M, F 17, 2020,    M G K’ 80  O. A M. K,  - F    S P  F   K A A M  M F, D. C A,            P. R F  I D P/CEO, P W/P (W  R)/ D, P,  A S L. C   R   Q   80 B C      Q A,    M G K. 22 M 23
Page 24
NEWSCENE NONPROFIT CORNER... .. THE SIERRA CLUB TN CHAPTER CHICKASAW GROUP Sierra Club Conservation Past Chair and current member, Dennis Lynch (center), ended the program by giving out several calendars, a book, and a few other items using a ticketed number pulling approach at the February meeting of the Sierra Club Chickasaw Group. B. Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The Sierra Club TN Chapter/Chickasaw Group held an "idea sharing and input opportunity" from 6:30 to 8:30 pm on Thursday, February 20, 2020, at the Benjamin L. Hooks Branch Library, 3030 Poplar Avenue. Discussion included sharing the group’s seven major activities for 2020. “The 7 major activities that we will highlight are 1) reduce, reuse, recycle (and refuse), 2) energy and climate, 3) environmental justice, 4) outings, 5) membership, 6) communication, and 7) open-ended brainstorming for suggestions of other areas we should be involved—where you want to be involved,” said co-chair Ramie Bell. “We call this program ‘Eco-Speed Dating,’ just come and hear our brief ‘come-ons’ and then ‘let’s date!’” And the dating began as attendees made it from one end of the room to the other writing their ideas on Post-It notes by subject. Towards the end of the event, member Steven Sondheim spoke about the MemphisFlyer Toxic Battles: The Fight for Environmental Justice in Memphis article written by Alex Greene and encouraged those in attendance to read it for themselves. The Global Warming Emergency Network (GWEN) is a “family of volunteers working to save the environment and the people of Earth from global warming, the greatest threat humanity has ever faced.” Free copies of the GWEN global warming poster are available online at Bit.ly/GWdisplay and all interested participants are encouraged to email GWEN2020.org/gmail.com to receive occasional newsletters that include activities, global warming information, and future meeting dates. Newly elected co-chair Tony Cernosek distributed packets of information on global warming to participants. Inside was a color copy of the GWEN global warming poster and a packet of information including 1) simple truths about global warming, 2) selected readings for books and videos to watch to learn more about global warming, 3) practices everyone can incorporate into their daily routines, if they haven’t already, to stop global warming and save money, and 4) additional things people should consider to help save the environment. The Sierra Club was founded in 1892 to explore, enjoy, and protect the planet. The Chickasaw Group is a grassroots environmental conservation organization representing over 1,000 members located in West Tennessee. The organization is currently seeking volunteers for Clean Water & Aquifer (Protect Our Aquifer Partnership), Parks & Open Spaces, and Transportation, For more information on the Chickasaw Group, visit sierraclub.org/Tennessee/Chickasaw. 24 (Left) Sierra Club TN Chapter/Chickasaw Group member Steven Sondheim shares information about environment research done in Memphis, TN. (Above) Sierra Club TN Chapter/ Chickasaw Group co-chairs (from left) Tony Cernosek and Ramie Bell discuss the February meeting input before closing out the program held at the Benjamin L. Hooks library from 6:30-8:30 pm on Thursday, February 20, 2020. (Below) The event included a Eco-Speed Dating session to help ideas to low. INFORMATION ABOUT THE SIERRA CLUB TN CHAPTER/CHICKASAW GROUP NEWSLETER LIBRARY FACEBOOK TWITTER LINKEDIN CONTACTS NATIONAL SIERRA CLUB BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION VIDEO LINKS (BALLOTS ARE FOR ELIGIBLE MEMBERS ONLY) Click me! 25
Page 26
Is the Byhalia Pipeline is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You? Legend: The orange line represents the proposed crude oil pipeline project designed to connect the two (purple) existing crude oil pipelines. Please visit Byhalia Connection.com to stay abreast of updates regarding the Byhalia Connection pipeline proposed route, discover how landowners may be impacted now and in the future, and to sign up to receive information and project updates. Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The Byhalia Connection pipeline is a proposal for erecting a “crude oil pipeline system that will run nearly 45 miles from Shelby County TN, to Marshall County, MS.” The proposed pipeline is designed to connect two existing crude oil pipelines, “the Diamond Pipeline which provides the Valero Memphis Reinery with crude oil for eight states including Tennessee, and the Capline Pipeline, which runs from the Gulf Coast to central Illinois.” Currently these pipelines do not connect and need to be connected to “strengthen the region’s economic vitality and American energy independence.” A series of community open houses were held to allow impacted homeowners and businesses the opportunity to connect with project representatives to learn more about the proposed project. Events were held in Southaven and Byhalia, MS January 21-22 and on February 8, 2020; and events were held at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church Westwood in Memphis on January 23 and February 8. An additional meeting was arranged for the Boxtown Neighborhood Association. It was held at White’s Chapel AME Church, 1712 Fields Road in Memphis on Saturday, February 15, 2020. “The White’s Chapel meeting was a question and answer session and very few questions were answered without the company representatives,” said State Representative, District 86, Democrat Rep. Barbara Ward Cooper. Of the two meetings that Cooper attended, she stated that many of the questions inquired as t1o (1) how the pipeline would affect resident’s health and safety, (2) who would monitor the pipeline, (3) what market value had been assigned for property invasion, (3) the location and depth of the excavation area, (4) the average time before the possible deterioration of the pipeline, (5) the beneit to the community for installing the pipeline, and (6) the plan for evacuation” especially should the need arise quickly. Lots of trinket-type giveaways designed to promote the project and several project representatives were on hand and ready to explain the pipeline proposal to all who cared to listen or had questions they wanted answered during the last day of listening sessions at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church Westwood on Saturday, February 8, 2020. The morning session included a center station with morning foods and drinks and the inal community open house took place at the Landers’ Center in Southaven, MS, at 2 pm that same afternoon. 26 (Top left) Jon (not pictured), Andrew, and Bill discuss pipeline safety with event attendees. (Top right) Southwest Memphis resident Venita Brooks was told about the event held February 8, 2020, in the multipurpose room at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church—Westwood. (Top) Mary Youpel of Energy American Petroleum Institute (API) was on hand with a display table full of everyday products made from crude oil and a fact sheet about energy in Tennessee. (Below) Karisma Williams (left) assists State Representative, District 86, Democrat Rep. Barbara Ward Cooper in signing in at one of the last events held on the proposed Byhalia Connection pipeline project. 27
Page 28
Homeless advocate, Mother Georgia King (seated) and Dwayne A. Jones Construction Company co-partner and brother of Dwayne, Maurice Jones, dropped in on the open house event held Saturday, February 22, 2020 at one of the three built “Tiny Homes” models. C. Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Dwayne A. Jones said he and his two brothers loved growing up in the Orange Mound community where he still lives today. “When we were growing up we used to play football at our friend’s houses. We played box hockey and other games in the park. We grew up in a neighborhood environment. A lot of people that we knew have moved away. Their parents have passed away and they’ve let the houses go for whatever reason. Now there are vacant lots, a lot of boarded up, and some burnt up homes. It’s just not the same. The children growing up in the community today are getting a different feel for the neighborhood than my brothers and I did growing up here.” Dwayne is on a mission to change the future of his historic Orange Mound community. The history of the area goes back to the 1850s when owners of the Deaderick Plantation sold a tract of land to a wealthy developer and created a low-cost subdivision for African Americans to build homes on. Those homes were built on very narrow tracts of land only wide enough to hold “Shot-Gun” type homes known for “being able to open the front and back doors and see all the way through the house from either end. Being that the original lots were so narrow, traditional homes could not be built on them and people began to abandon them when they couldn’t attain or afford to attain adjacent land to expand on. The concept of the “tiny-house” didn’t just hit the scene. Many owners of larger homes have downsized to smaller spaces as changes in their lives have warranted the same. Some tiny-houses are built on trailers for mobility, but Jones had another idea. He builds his tiny-houses on narrow tracts of land like those in the Orange Mound community in Memphis, TN. Building a tiny-house can be just as costly as building any other size house since you still have the same components to build, just in smaller portions. Jones’ brother Maurice helps reduce the cost of labor by providing sweat equity for his share of the partnership. “This may not be the home for everybody, but it is the perfect home for somebody,” said Jones while standing on the doorstep of one D. of his homes currently for sale speaking to a small group of curious home shoppers during an open house event. while . “I’ve been here. I’m going to stay here and I’m going to continue to build here.” To learn more about the DAJ Construction Company, call Dwayne A. Jones at (901) 210.7885 or email dwayne@dwayneajones.com 28 Orange Mound resident Dwayne A. Jones (far right), of DAJ Construction Company, speaks to guests who dropped by to take a tour of his one-bedroom, “Tiny House” loor plan. The home, currently for sale, is located at 2697 Supreme Ave in the Orange Mound community of Memphis, TN. Below (from left) the kitchen area with built-in vent-a-hood is designed to support a full-sized range and refrigerator. The bedroom with closet area comfortably holds a queen-sized bed, and the bathroom with shower is large and roomy. 29
Page 30
Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson If you literally know nothing about my situation, what makes you think that you are qualiied to make a decision about what concerns me, especially without my input? In 2012, Mother Georgia King began asking questions like that and she’s still asking them today. “Being on the front line has been interesting,” said King on Saturday, February 22, 2020, during the 8th anniversary celebration of the Memphis Bus Riders Union, an organization she founded in 2012 to ight for better bus service for the people who depend on mass transit services. “The work continues to go on,” said King referring to the efforts of Memphis BRU Secretary/Treasurer Justin Davis and co-chairs Sammie Hunter and Cynthia Bailey. Davis opened the meeting by thanking those who took time to come to the celebration held on the 4th loor of the newly renovated beautiful Crosstown Concourse housed in the former Sears-Roebuck building near Cleveland and Autumn Avenues. (Above) Mother Georgia King (seated) founded the Memphis Bus Riders Union in 2012. (Below) Rhodes College Intern, Ace Cole (standing center behind table) volunteered time to help ensure the 8th anniversary of the MBRU was a huge success. “On this day, our 8th anniversary, we have numerous made several accomplishments to be proud of in 2019,” said Davis who mentioned that he had found out early in the week that the organization could add securing its irst dedicated funding source to its growing list of things to be proud of. “We’ve tackled everything from bus stop locations to routes, terminals, and funding and are exceptionally proud that we won the ight to obtain bus passes for Shelby County High School students and their parents last year.” The group did express dismay at the fact that every mayoral candidate except Strickland took them up on their offer to ride the bus and mentioned that more work is needed on route patterns, night and weekend routes, and creating routes were none currently exist among other things. For more information or to make a donation, please email memphisbru@gmail.com or phone (901) 205-9737. 30 DID YOU KNOW? There are several moneyless ways you can support nonproits like DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE and the McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association, Inc. of Memphis (serving all of ZIP Code 38116). When you shop at Kroger you can, AT NO COST TO YOU, support DI’MANS, Inc. by enrolling in the Community Rewards Program and earning rewards for DI’MANS every time you shop! Visit Kroger.com/ communityrewards and support Organization #DN098. Smile.Amazon.com is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, again, AT NO COST TO YOU, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to DI’MANS Inc., the charitable organization of choice. Email us at NEWSCENESHELBYCO@gmail.com for details today! Questionable things in Memphis?!! VIEW FROM RIVERSIDE DRIVE... 31
Page 32
CFC #46643 AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Location: Memphis, TN | Year Founded: 2009 DI’MANS, Inc. (Click here) to shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM Mission: DI'MANS, Inc. was formed to establish a positive, proactive force in the ight against juvenile crime and juvenile delinquency. The goal of DI'MANS, Inc. is to bring adults dedicated to positively shaping future generations together to assist disadvantaged youth in becoming productive citizens as adults. Help Support Causes in Your Community! (Click here to sign up) Did you know you can support nonproit organizations in your community just by shopping at Kroger? It's easy when you enroll in Kroger Community Rewards®! To get started, sign up with your Plus Card below, and select a local organization you wish to support. Once you're enrolled, you'll earn rewards for your chosen organization every time you shop and use your Plus Card! Enroll now for the Kroger Community Rewards Program. And remember….all participants must re‐enroll each year to continue earning rewards for their chosen organization. DIRECTIONS: 1) Go to Kroger.com; 2) Create an account or sign in; 3) Drop down the arrow at your name 4) Select “My Account” 5) Click on Community Rewards on the left side of the screen) M  OT   DIMANS, I 32 M  R D (Click here) 33
Page 34
34 35
February 2020 Vol#2-Issue #2

February 2020 Vol#2-Issue#2


Page 0
Vol. 2, Issue 2 February 2020 KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN i LoveShe l byCoun ty . c om LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D., CNC Everyday is BLACK HISTORY Day at NEWSCENE, where NEWS is SEEN; however, this month we made a special effort to focus in on seasoned individuals ages 70 and above who have made a significant impact in racerelations right here in Memphis, Tennessee. We invite you to sit back, relax, and read about some of these individuals and encourage you to reach out and help someone if you can. NEWSCENE is always looking for new content and we hope you will consider sharing your stories with us soon. Please remember to follow us and to subscribe online at iLoveShelbyCounty.com. For those of you who prefer hard copies, thanks for your subscriptions. Subscribe to our printed editions online for $84/year, $42/bi-annually, or purchase a single copy for the low cost of $7/month. You can call us at 901-300-0390, subscribe and/or pay online, or make your check made payable to DI’MANS, Inc. We are always looking forward to getting your emails at NEWSCENEShelbyCo@gmail.com. We can also be contacted by mail at DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE, I Love Shelby County.com, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190-0146. HAPPY ‘BLACK FACTS’ IS EVERY DAY MONTH! Thank you, ABOUT THIS NEWSCENE ‘BLACK FACTS’ EDITION... By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson As the story goes and through the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, black people in America were subjected to unfair practices in every aspect of their lives. Although there were those who challenged this fact, most were too afraid to say or do anything about it and many who tried to change things were unsuccessful in their attempts to so. Because we are a determined people, many Black leaders became household names around the country. While we certainly do salute these individuals for their sacrifices, we also want and need to pay tribute to the less-known names, many of who were responsible for making significant changes in race relations right here in Memphis, TN. Since I myself was not born and raised in Memphis (even though my grandparents, mother, and three uncles were Memphians in the 40s before deciding to migrate to Milwaukee where I was born), I have relied on relationships I have formed since arriving in Memphis 30+ years ago; friends, including Mr. Andrew Withers, son of photographer Ernest C. Withers (someone I fondly called ‘Dad’), and a few others including Orange Mound historian, Ms. Mary Elizabeth Mitchell, to gather information on who to interview. My interviewing criteria was simple. I only wanted people who I could interview today. They would need to be at least three score and 10 years (70) old and I would need for them to provide me with photographs of them from their past. I would also require to only speak to individuals who could recount their past (as accurately as possible). Here is my disclaimer. Should anything you read in this publication waiver from your personal memory, so be it. Unless I personally have made a mistake in quoting an interviewee (which the interviewee him or herself had the opportunity to correct and obviously did not), no corrections will be forthcoming. NEWSCENE tries to be as accurate as possible in recounting days gone by, but we are only human and humans do make mistakes. We hope you will enjoy this and every NEWSCENE edition we publish and we pray you will support our efforts to keep print media alive. ®
Page 2
Ford Nelson Story By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson As part of the 2020 NEWSCENE Relevant Facts about Blacks in Memphis, we interviewed Mr. Alfordson Nelson, one of, if not the longest serving employee of WDIA, a radio station that went on the air June 7, 1947, according to several online sources. Alfordson “Ford” Nelson was born June 25, 1925. Raised in the northern section of Memphis, Ford fondly remembered bits and pieces of growing up in the Klondike Neighborhood. “I can remember attending the Klondike School for Kindergarten,” said Nelson, 94 who remembers living at 927 Alaska Street when it was the first street concrete was laid on in the area. “It was a very popular area around Christmas time and at other times when we kids would get on our skates and attract people from all the other streets in the community. We would skate down the concreted street and ride our bicycles on it. We had some good times.” In those days, parents were said to take to naming their children for famous people. Alfordson was named after the famous Ford Motor Company. He had a brother named Thomas Edison Nelson and another brother, who is still living, was named Lindbergh Nelson. When asked, he could not explain who sisters Portia and Josie were named after, but mentioned that Josie played the piano as the children walked from class to class at Manassas High School and later taught music and became a musician at the historic St. John Baptist Church now located on Vance Street. “I was baptized at Friendship Baptist Church and also attended Grant Elementary School,” said Nelson who said the church was still located in North Memphis, but had moved to a new location. “I was a Boy Scout as a kid and I remember joining a quartet at church.” His deep baritone voice, as he recounted, would have the superintendent laughing from the boom, boom sounds of him singing as he alternated from tenor to bass and back again. When asked if his low-pitched voice was something he was born with, Nelson responded, “I guess so. I’m very modest about that you know!” Nelson, who stated he lived in constant fear of his teachers because of corporal punishment, graduated from Manassas High School in the early 40s. 2 “I can remember our Principal at Manassas was Mr. Hayes and the Assistant Principal was named Teague,” said Nelson. “Things PHOTOS By Tony Wright were just so different in those days. Wherever we went we would walk because it was not as much danger out in the community. You could go out at night – all the way from Klondike where I lived to the theatre on Chelsea near Hollywood in North Memphis. Yes, we could hear dogs barking, but no one would bother us.” After graduation, the teenaged Nelson picked up work as a laborer, manually unloading clothes for a dress shop. He was drafted into WWII in the 40s, but never served overseas. “As a loose figure, I would have to say I served about 20-something months,” said Nelson as he struggled to remember days gone by. “What happened was when they were examining us, I passed the examination, but when they drafted us to send us overseas, they discovered that I had flat feet! I was still in the Army, but I never did serve overseas. I believe I did my basic training at Camp (Fort) Lee in Virginia.” Sometime after returning to Memphis, Nelson began playing the piano for B.B. King. King was already on the radio and the powers to be were watching Nelson although he did not know it at the time. “They (WDIA owners Bert Ferguson and John Pepper) asked me to do my own show,” said Nelson who played the piano for 15 minutes and encouraged all his listening audience to purchase Folders Mountain Grown Coffee, a leader in the coffee field still today. “My first sponsor was Folders Mountain Grown Coffee. They had a prepared script for me. The line I made famous was ‘Mountain Grown Folders Coffee, Mountain Grown!’ I started playing gospel music after that and one thing led to another. That’s when we all figured out that I was a little more comfortable doing gospel. My first show was called, ‘Let’s Have Some Fun!’” Nelson would emcee and co-emcee programs at Mason and Clayborn Temple in downtown Memphis. He remembered being a significant part of performances held at the old Ellis Auditorium, a 10,000-seat multipurpose arena that put Memphis on the map in the mid-20s, that used to sit in downtown Memphis on the corner of Poplar and Front Streets. Active from the 20s through the late 50’s, the Memphis Red Sox Negro League Baseball team who played at Martin Stadium was another location that hosted many events Nelson played a significant role in. Groups came from all over the county to attend these events,” said Nelson. “A.C. (Andrew Charles) “Moohah” Williams, the first 3
Page 4
ALFORDSON “FORD” NELSON 64-YEAR WDIA RADIO ANNOUNCER & PIANIST 4 black employee and announcer at WDIA, had a group of rotating teenage singers he called the Teen Town Singers. I can’t remember all of their names, but there was Robert “Honey Boy” Thomas; Markhum ‘Mark’ L. Stansbury Sr. who is still working for WDIA; Dorothy Herenton, the sister of former Memphis Mayor, Dr. W. W. Herenton; Rufus and his daughter, Carla Thomas; Isaac Hayes, and so many more. WDIA became known as the Goodwill Station because we raised money to help needy families through charity shows like the Goodwill and Starlight charity fundraisers. These were well-organized events. Some featured a skit and entertainers like the Soul Stirrers, Mahalia Jackson, James Cleveland and the Staple Singers. I would be remiss not to mention Nat D. Williams who was a school teacher at Booker T. Washington High School at the time. He also taught at LeMoyne College and would leave class to come to the radio station to perform his show.” As Nelson continued to reminisce, he spoke of Temple Time, meeting and interviewing Sam Cooke, and using an old-fashioned microphone to broadcast from the radio station. “My personality was just more suitable for gospel,” said Nelson whose favorite line has him now introducing himself as Alfordson Nelson, BC – Before Computers. “I loved working on Sunday’s, but sometimes I just couldn’t get that computer to act right. Bobbie O’Jay and his wife would drive all the way down to the station to help me out of my fix, but I just couldn’t grasp that new technology. When corporate took over, the whole atmosphere changed. Even my working hours were cut back.” Nelson retired on October 26, 2014, after giving WDIA 64 years of his life. He gave the Folders Coffee Company quite a bit of his life too. You would think that Nelson would be living a painless retirement at 94 years of age, but truth be told, he’s barely making ends meet on a meager monthly social security check for income. “WDIA gave me a nice retirement party,” said Nelson who still lives in his original home in Walker Homes and walked away with somewhere between two and three thousand dollars after the retirement party was over. “I was about 88-years old when I retired and the only time I dreaded going to work was when it was due to inclement weather. I spent most of my life at WDIA and I don’t regret a minute of it. I’ve interviewed a lot of people, but I’ve never been interviewed myself. I’m pretending like I’m not enjoying this, but I really am . Having been in radio all these years, my ego is really going up!” At the height of his career, back on April 22, 1953, Mr. Alfordson Nelson purchased lot number 0258 in the J.E. Walker Homes subdivision in Memphis, TN, for $7,900.00. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today’s prices in 2020 are 966.28% higher than average prices since 1950. In other words, $7,900.00 in 1950 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $84,236.29 in 2020, a difference of $76,336.29 over 70 years. If Nelson’s home is assessed at $6,525.00 today, where is the $69,811.29 dollar difference? I thought and was always total that property is supposed to appreciate, not depreciate. “Walker Homes had not been annexed to the city when I moved out here,” stated Nelson on January 4, 2020. “You would get the street car as far as you could, then you’d have to get a taxi. It was kind of muddy and sandy back in those days.” Some sources of grant and loan funding for home repairs for low– and very-low income elderly, disabled, and special needs Tennesseans are available through the (1) Tennessee Housing Trust Fund (2) Weatherization Assistance Program & Shelby County Community Services Agency, 901.222.4315, 3772 S. Hickory Ridge Mall, Ste. 516; (3) the HOME Program - Application period runs through March 8, 2020. Visit “How to Apply for a HOME Grant at https://thda.org/business-partners/home; and the (4) Emergency Repair Program (ERP). Visit https://thda.org/homeowners/erp for more information and program qualifications, visit the Tennessee Housing Development Agency online at https://thda.org/ or by phone at 615.815.2200 for general program information. COPYRIGHTS Kevin Fleming, CEO/Publisher/Editor; editor@theurbanbuzz.com, (323) 788-1231 http://theurbanbuzz.com/?p=8598 Devin Steel, iHeartRadio Regional Program Manager; 1070 WDIA, mywdia.iheart.com, (901) 259-1300 https://mywdia.iheart.com/featured/bev-johnson/content/2018-06-26-happy-birthday-to-wdias-legendary-bro-ford-nelson/ Larry Coyne/The Commercial Appeal files; Mid-South Memories: Dec 31; 25 years ago: 1991 https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/local/mid-south-memories/2016/12/30/mid-south-memories-dec-31/95865340/ 5
Page 6
Mary Elizabeth Mitchell (Top from left, center, and right) Ma r y E l i z abe t h Mi t che l l throughout the years. (Below left) Paying tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King by attending his funeral services in At l an t a , GA, in 1968, were (bottom left from left) Mary E. Mitchell, Bobbie E. Hughes Sanders, Andrew Young (seated in car), Jean Scott, and Mary Wilkes (not pictured, Odessa Marie Jones Smith). The group traveled to Atlanta with the legendary Memphis Mobilizers. Pictured in 1962 at the Flamingo are (bottom from right) Rose Keel, Mary E. Mitchell, and Juanita Tate. 6 Story By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Mary Elizabeth Mitchell grew up in a caring and loving environment in the quaint community of Orange Mound, a mostly black subdivision of Memphis, TN established towards the end of the 19th Century. Surrounded by her paternal grandparents, aunts, and uncles, Mitchell was never without the nurturing that can and will make or break a child. “I had a great time growing up,” said Mitchell, 83, who was born August 25, 1936, the first born to the union of Dora Foster Jones and Willie Duckett Young ‘DY’ Jones who married December 25, 1926 and lived on Marechaneil Street. “My paternal grandmother was just good. We just loved each other. We just respected each other. It was like a magical life that I lived.” Mitchell’s neighborhood bonds included relatives, friends. and many people whose descendants still reside in the Orange Mound area. “All of these were my houses,” said Mitchell referring to her home and those of her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other generational Orange Mound family’s life hers. “Jacqueline Randolph, a member of New Era Baptist Church, has been in the same house for over 100 years. Frank Hurt has lived on Baltimore for the past 107 years and so has the Stevenson House on short Hamilton which was purchased by John Chandler.” As she reminisced of days gone by, Mitchell talked about how magical life was growing up in Orange Mound. “The adults were good to us,” said Mitchell. The kids didn’t always get along, but we never got bricks or guns or anything like that. The older children had to take us to the park and watch us to make sure we were safe.” During those years, Melrose was a 1st through 12th grade school. Mitchell remembers her aunt, who she fondly called a surrogate mother of hers, taking her and Stump Daddy George Brown, who became a really good golfer, to Melrose to enroll them in the first grade. “After we got registered my auntie took us to Crawford’s Sundry,” said Mitchell explaining that the building was the site of the Photo credit: Jamie Griffin/Whitehaven Branch Library first post office in a black community in Memphis, is still standing on Carnes Avenue and still owned by the same family to this day. “We got a wire tablet and pencil.” After graduating from Melrose, Mitchell needed a job, but she had no desire to perform domestic work. Her home room and home economics teacher, Ms. Fraser, knew she didn’t want to cook or sew because Mitchell had told her that her grandmother had already taught her those skills. Fraser told Mitchell that she could be her assistant and help her with her grades. Fraser lived in North Memphis and made a trip to Orange Mound to speak to Mitchell’s father and auntie since her grandmother had died by that time. Fraser knew a white family that had a store and Mitchell would be a good person to employ there. “Well, they didn’t hire me in their store, but they did hire me in their house,” said Mitchell. “I could walk to work, but I chose to and went to nursing school right after that.” Another neighbor, Ms. Purnell then approached Mitchell about a different job. “She said Mary Elizabeth, what do you know about sizing hats?” said Mitchell. “I didn’t know anything about sizing hats, but Ms. Purnell worked at this cleaners – Evergreen Cleaners, it’s still there – and she told me that she knew I could learn it. They need somebody to size hats. See, people in the neighborhood would take you to a job, that’s why I love this place! She took me down there and I learned how to size hats. Then I took the test and made a score that allowed me to enroll in nursing school to be a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). “Clara Goodall’s aunt Mattie knew we were in school and needed money. Ms. Mattie was in charge of the nursery at Bellevue Baptist, the church we know as Mississippi Boulevard today. You didn’t have to have an application. All we had to do, if Ms. Mattie Sanders said that Mary Elizabeth worked, that’s how we got our jobs. After the service was over, I had never seen a church that big with auditorium seats, we would have to go and lift every seat so the grown women could come with those big dust mops and clean up under. We told Aunt Mattie that we wanted her to tell the people that we wanted them to leave a nickel on the arm of every seat because they know they’re supposed to tip. It didn’t work, but they had big kitchens with lots of food in them and Ms. Mattie would just get all of us that food for our families. They may not have known it, but Bellevue Baptist church fed the hood. They fed some babies in Orange Mound!” Mitchell got married in 1962, but it didn’t work out. “Even at 83, I’m not the marrying kind!” she exclaimed. By this time, the Universal Life Insurance Company had opened. Mitchell took and passed the test and was hired as the first African American keypunch operator for the Tennessee Department of Safety in Nashville, TN. She grew tired of Nashville and wanted 7
Page 8
to come back to Memphis so she eventually transferred her employment to the Psychiatric Hospital that used to sit at the intersection of Poplar and Dunlap. “I was the only black in the whole department in Nashville, but most of the people there treated me real nice,” said Mitchell who had problems after relocating back to Memphis. “I handled my problems in Memphis by exercising my rights.” Still wanting to be in a medical field, Mitchell jumped at the chance in 1965 when the Memphis Vocational School opened up classes for operating room technicians to African Americans. “I took the test for that and found out I had passed it,” said Mitchell who then found out the organization had given her score to another person with her same name. “She had already been in class for a couple of months when I called to see why I hadn’t heard from them. So I asked them what they were going to do about this error and they told me a medical records class was coming up soon and that my scores were high enough for it. I accepted the offer since that would be the first time ever Memphis had a medical records class for African Americans.” As Mitchell neared graduation from the medical records class she and other students pending graduation began to receive the medical industry’s professional magazine. “Meharry Medical College, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Nashville, TN, had an ad for a medical records assistant. Since I had graduated, I applied but went to St. Louis with my sister who was in Memphis with her ex-Mother-in-Law visiting. At the time I did not have a job and I needed one. After arriving in St. Louis, I applied for, was offered, and accepted the medical records position at the Missouri Pacific Railroad Hospital. I was the first African American to be hired in the position.” About a 3 week to a month later, Mitchell got a call saying someone from Meharry Medical College had phoned. At the time she had two options – listen to a suitor who wasn’t really suitable for her single lifestyle or staying at the Missouri Pacific Railroad Hospital and taking a position as a Medical Records Consultant. “Meharry is a prestigious school,” said Mitchell who returned to Nashville and accepted the opening as the assistant to Monica Wilkins, a decendent and niece of the NAACP-related Wilkins. “When she left for a job in Nebraska, I became the Director of Medical Records at Meharry Medical College where I stayed until I wanted to come back home again and applied at St. Jude.” Mitchell was hired at St. Jude, received promotions and was elevated to the position of Assistant, but St. Jude refused to promote her to the position of Medical Director. “St. Jude did not want me, a black woman, to be the Director,” said Mitchell. “Laura Kettering, a white woman was the Medical Director at the World Health Organization (WHO) told the powers to be at St. Jude that if they did not promote me to the position of Medical Director, she would take the issue up with the WHO so they complied.” Mitchell, being the type of person she is, made friends with everyone from the janitors to the maids and the professionals – white and the few blacks there were at the time – at St. Jude. In due time it became obvious to Mitchell that there was something wrong with the structure of the organization. “We were professionals in the sense of not being in housekeeping,” said Mitchell speaking of herself and her newly made friends in non-exempt employee status. “Just a few of us could eat in the big fancy dining room. The housekeepers, you know, they told me that they couldn’t eat where we ‘high-class negroes ate when I asked why I never saw them in the big, fancy dining room. So they told me they ate behind the cafeteria and I joined them one day. It was hot and the only air was coming from fans blowing hot air around.” Another management-level employee, Ms. Tier who was over the dietary department, saw Mitchell dining with her staff one day and inquired as to why she was eating there. “I would be in department head meetings with her,” said Mitchell. “I told her that I was having lunch with my friends and then I told them that they didn’t have to eat behind the cafeteria any longer reminding them that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed.” Mitchell encouraged those who were not afraid of themselves and their rights to eat with her in the big fancy dining room, but said that really upset some of the St. Jude management level employees and the company didn’t waste much time getting her fired. “Of course they restructured the department to make it seem legal,” said Mitchell who ended up with a subordinate whose real job was to watch her coming and goings. “The next thing I knew I was being told that my children were calling me too much at work.” Mitchell wrote a letter to the Civil Rights Division in Atlanta, GA involved and they forced St. Jude to return Mitchell to full employment status. 8 Ms. (Reed) Echols, Mary Elizabeth Mitchell (with star at feet) and the Brownie Scout Troop of 1945-1946© “It was in 1968 and I had comp time and wanted to take off to go to Atlanta to pay my final respects to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Mitchell. “I was told that I could not take off, but I took off anyway and went to the funeral in Atlanta with some of my friends. I told them that they give Italians Columbus Day off and they let the Jews off for Yom Kippur. Why couldn’t I be off for King’s funeral? King is our King I told them. I’m going to Atlanta and I’ll deal with it when I get back.” That was pretty much the end of Mitchell’s journey at and with St. Jude Children’s Hospital, but before she left, and she certainly knew her days were limited, she wanted to make sure she was replaced by another African American woman. She worked closed with a former medical records classmate, Ann and the two of them drafted a job description that only Ann could fill. “I could feel it in the air,” said Mitchell. “I told Ann that I wanted to help her to get the job so we wrote the job description up to match qualifications that only she had. They would frequently come to me saying doctor so-in-so’s wife used to work in radiology in Florida asking me didn’t I think she was qualified for my position. Oh no, I would tell them. Medical Records is a specialized field and the only person she would hire would have to be one that met her requirements. After all she told them, 60% of a hospital’s accreditation, at that time, was dependent on their ability to successfully keep accurate medical records and the remaining 40% was split between nursing and dietary. She then referred them to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (currently Healthcare Organizations) rulings of the time.” Mitchell was happy to report that her friend remained in that position. Mitchell eventualy left St. Jude and took a position at the former Collins Chapel Hospital. “Besides Mitchell says, “If I hadn’t done it the way I did it my grandmother would have come back and slapped me!” All pictures in this store are courtesy of Mary Elizabeth Mitchell’s personal files. 9
Page 10
Pleas Jones Story by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Pleas Jones was about 8 or 9 years old when he was first introduced to the game of golf around 1949. “Back in ’49 one of my neighbors mentioned the city was going to build a golf course at Douglass Park in north Memphis,” said Jones. “They came out with bulldozers one day and began cutting down trees and leveling the land. I had no idea what golf was at the time. I had never heard of it, but a group of black golfers had gotten together and went to work to get an 18-hole golf course built.” In those days, black golfers didn’t have an 18-hole course to play at and they were not welcomed at the 18-hole courses, like Audubon, designed for whites. “I learned a lot about the game of golf from Dollar Sanders,” said Jones who was real observant of the game. “I devoted a lot of time learning the game. I had a good start and it helped by working on as a caddy. Way back in the 50’s, my friends and I would slip out at night to play at Douglass. There were two holes that ran right down the side of Ash Street. The holes were lit by street lights. One light was right in front of our house and the other, the one we would hit at, was right there where Douglass Elementary School was at the corner of Amett and Ash streets. There were many occasions when we would get chased off by the police.” Jones said he got to be so good at the game that when he would hit the ball he knew the direction it would travel in when it left his club. “I knew which direction to go looking for my ball in,” said Jones. “By the time I would walk down there I would see it. I could identify and see it from the street light. We did that for quite a while.” Jones said the reason why he fell in love with the game of golf had a direct relationship to black golfers of the day like Dollar Sanders, Rob and Dick Wright and others who would come to the course to practice and play. “They were hitting and we were tagging the balls,” said Jones referring to picking up golf balls. “There I was enjoying myself chasing those balls and when we would get through they paid us! That is what fascinated me. I would have chased those balls for free. Can you imagine, between 1949 and 1951, chasing golf balls and putting them in a bag and getting 50 cents for doing it? That was a pretty good little piece of change in those days.” Jones was fascinated as he watched Sanders play golf. “I had never seen anybody hit a ball that far,” said Jones. “To see a ball travel up to 250 yards. The only thing I had seen at that time was baseball.” The Douglass 9-hole golf course opened around 1951 and a need for caddies to carry the players golf bags developed quickly. “I didn’t know the players, but I remember when the course opened in 1951,” said Jones. “I was about 8 or 9 years old. Back then they didn’t have golf carts, not even pull carts. We had to tote those bags and that’s how I got into it. I was good early and I played the game for the love of the game.” During those years, clubs were grouped by location and Memphis was part of the Central States Golf Clubs. “You could only play in the tournament if you were a member of a member club,” said Jones. “One year at our meeting it was decided to hold the tournament in Memphis. It had been to other cities, but it had never been held in Memphis because the black golfers did not have an 18-hole golf course. When it was voted to hold the tournament in Memphis, a group of the more prominent and well-known blacks petitioned the powers to be and got permission to hold the event at segregated Audubon Park Golf Course. They loaned us the course, but didn’t want to keep doing that, so it was kind of easy to talk the city into building an 18-hole course for blacks even though it was our dollars that funded Audubon. We were discriminated against in a lot of other things, but we know better 10 (Above) Pleas Jones had a hard time when he was convinced by Dr. I.A. Watson Jr., DDS to sign up for the National Publix golf tournament, but he won the City Publix on numerous occasions. Here Jones (left) is pictured with the small trophy he kept and the larger trophy that remained with him for one year until he passed it on to that year’s winner. Considering all the first place trophies won by Jones, why is it that The Commercial Appeal always manages to pull up pictures of his second place efforts he wonders? All pictures in this store are courtesy of Pleas Jones’s personal files. now. Back then we didn’t realize that we had the right to these things and we were therefore denied a lot of rights we should have had being tax-paying citizens. We were just ignorant to the fact.” The June 2019 edition of NEWSCENE featured a full-length story regarding the T.O. Fuller State Park which was the first state park opened for African Americans east of the Mississippi River. According to the park’s website T.O. Fuller State Park opened in 1938 as the Shelby County Negro State Park, the name was changed to T.O. Fuller State Park in 1942 in honor of Dr. Thomas Oscar Fuller, another one of those prominent persons mentioned throughout this story. Fuller was an educator, pastor, politician, civic leader, and author who spent his life empowering and educating African Americans. He served as principal of the Howe Institute, a precursor to LeMoyne-Owen College for 27 years. “I never knew for years, even though I knew the golf course was named T.O. Fuller, that Fuller was a black man,” said Jones who was a member of the Sam Quarles Golf Club during those years. “Early on I was going with Dollar Sanders because I was caddying for him. I got into the club when I was real young because I was good enough to play in tournaments. That’s when I began to play golf. We traveled to Kansas City and St. Louis, MO; Nashville, Des Moines, IA, and other places. We were the junior flight golfers. The first time I went to St. Louis to play, there were two other juniors from Memphis playing. We would always get there in time to play a practice round. The first time I saw the golf course I shot an even par. Of course it was kind of a practice round, but we finished 1, 2, and 3, in first, second, and third place.” Jones continued to perfect his game throughout the years and the next decade brought a new set of rules to the deep south. Continued on Page 20 11
Page 12
(Top left) Douglass community golfers Odessa Dickens Hayes of the Hayes-Nickleberry Golf Classic and Pleas Jones. (Top right) Golfer, mentor, and trainer Dollar Sanders (left) and former trainee, then semi-pro golfer Pleas Jones. (Bottom left) African American golfers Pleas Jones, (from left), Mason West, and Walter Anderson at a Sickle Cell Golf Tournament. (Bottom right) Pleas Jones is pictured golfing in 1975. (Page 13, Top left) Pleas Jones with one of the larger Publix trophies before he returned it to the organization. (Page 13, Center) Friends and golfers Robert Elliott (deceased) of Humboldt, TN and Pleas Jones. (Page 13, right) Some of the many trophies won by semi-pro golfer, Pleas Jones, prior to him giving most of his trophies away. 12 “As soon as they declared segregation was unconstitutional, I went into restaurants I couldn’t afford to go in just for the hell of it and I started playing at segregated golf courses and country clubs,” said Jones who said he defied a lot of things. “I didn’t show or really have any fear or intimidation. I just acted like I belonged there, but there were times when that expression ‘you know your place’ would come out. Back in the day some things just didn’t happen. I will never forget another neighbor who was in the Air Force. I had just bought my first car and I took a friend girl with me to take my neighbor over to his base in Blytheville, AR. Coming back we want to get something to eat. We got inside this little cafe and saw nothing but white folks wearing straw hats and overalls. They all began looking at us strangely, but I took pride in doing that kind of thing. They couldn’t refuse us service, but thinking back now I can’t help but to wonder if they spit in our food or something. They were looking so hard at us. That was when I learned not to show fear or intimidation. The same thing happened to me at a restaurant that, up until recently, sat at the corner of Summer and Holmes. They were looking at me so hard that I felt like a signified monkey. I just recited in my head: I’m raggedy, but I’m round here; I wasn’t invited, but I’m down here. Now you let some SOB try to put me out!” “Me and Wade Scott went out to Audubon after they declared segregation unconstitutional. By this time, they had developed pull carts. You had to pay to play, so we went inside to pay for the course and the cart. It was something like sixty-five cents which included fifteen cents for the pull cart. I had put my golf bag on the outside where the pull carts were lined up and I was pulling the pull cart towards my golf bag when this white guy appeared. We were kind of zig-zagging to avoid running into one another and he kicked the cart out of my hand. I let it go, but Scott said if that SOB would have knocked that cart out of my hand… I stopped him in the middle of his statement and said, ‘We just getting out here and all they need is for us to raise some hell and give them a reason to say that’s why we don’t need them niggers out here.’ As I thought back I knew that I was used to doing things that I had to swallow and recalled being on the bus when we used to ride the bus to Easyway downtown to go shopping. On this particular day the bus was practically empty when this young white boy boarded. He got on the bus and came all the way near the back of the bus to sit down when all those empty seats were up front. In those days, blacks couldn’t sit in front of a white person on the bus. If you got on that bus and there were whites all the way to the back, you had to go behind them to sit or stand up and they would purposely go it from time-to-time.” “My momma and daddy had explained to me these are things you can’t do and you don’t think about doing them. People would tell you about things so you wouldn’t make no mistakes. That’s just the way I felt. I wasn’t looking for no trouble and I wasn’t going to try to make no trouble. Somebody has got to do it. They talk about fear and I can understand that, but I wasn’t intimidated back in the day. I long ago decided that I wouldn’t join a county club. They seem to be designed to kind of make you feel uppity. I don’t feel inferior to nobody and I don’t feel superior to nobody either. I don’t care how much money you got or what position you hold. I’m not going to allow you to put me down or make me feel less than. I had that mindset and I’ve carried it with me. I laugh about it now, but it would be hell to pay if some white person tried to treat me bad today.” 13
Page 14
Velma Lois Jones Story by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Velma Lois Jones, MBA grew up in north Memphis. “I was born at 1339 Austin,” said Jones who began school at the age of 5-years old. “You were supposed to start school when you were six, but I had a cousin who was married to the first grade teacher at Hyde Park Elementary School.” Jones transferred to Manassas, a 1st – 12th grade and the only school on the north side of Memphis for blacks. After graduating from Manassas, she attended LeMoyne College. When Jones began looking for a job after graduating from LeMoyne, she noticed that almost all of her classmates were already working. “When I left LeMoyne and got my Masters’ degree, I really wanted it in English and Math, but Tennessee State did not offer the degree that I wanted. At that time the state paid for you to pay for you to go outside of the state. That’s how I got to Columbia, the state paid for me to go. I had never been to New York so I said this is my chance!” Jones spent three summer intersessions at Columbia and graduated with a Masters’ degree in Education a year early and then return to Memphis. While attending Columbia University, she lived with a former classmate’s sister rather than on campus which she said was quite an advantage. “My momma told me when I got out of college she was through and that I was going to have to take care of myself,” said Jones whose mother told her she was going to have to get a job. “I was told that I better major in Elementary Education because they weren’t hiring many blacks in the upper grades and certainly not as administrators. At that time, it is sad to say, but in order to get a job in the Shelby County Schools system, you had to know somebody or know a prominent white person which is how I got my job.” Jones was told that she could probably go to Mississippi to get a job or work as a substitute teacher in Memphis. “I went home crying and told my mother what I had been told,” said Jones. “My mother called Mr. Herbert Humphrey and told him what the lady had said to me. The rest is history.” Jones’ mother worked for the Humphrey’s family who owned Humko, a local oil company. Working for Humko allowed her mother to be considered as knowing a prominent white person. Her mother called Humphrey on that Friday evening and on Sunday morning Mr. Ernest Ball, Superintendent of Memphis City Schools called me Sunday morning. “Mr. Ball told me that I was to report to Mr. Bland at Hyde Park School on Monday morning and that he would assign me to my job,” said Jones. “That system still works that way, but it may not be as bad today. It ain’t what you know, it’s who you know.” Jones began to describe the challenges for ambitious blacks majoring in education during those days. “You had black men principals in predominantly black areas, but there were no women principals,” said Jones. “We always had a spokesperson for the blacks during segregation. Blair Hunt was the spokesman. Anything you wanted to get to the white folks, you would take to him. Hunt and Sigma Gamma Rho Harry Mae Simon of the Smokey City community were two people who had made it through some of the red tape. “All of the women principals during that time and there were only four or five couldn’t get to be junior high principals because they were women,” said Jones who indicated Elementary School Principal ship was the highest women could go in administration during that period. “I really only worked at one school but the school split and became two schools.” Jones is referring to the fact that Hyde Park Jr. High became Cypress Jr. High. “I started out in the second grade and stayed there for 10-12 years,” said Jones speaking of her work at Hyde Park Elementary School. “Then the school split and I became a teacher at Cypress Jr. High School. I was in the classroom for a total of 43 years, but I was out of the classroom for seven years.” Jones served one year as President of the Memphis Education Association (MEA) and six years as President of the Tennessee Education Association (TEA). As such, she was the longest severing of any TEA president and two years at the regional West TN EA. “I was the Vice President of the TEA,” said Jones. “The President, who had won her second term in office, died the day before she was supposed to begin her second term. So I served her term out and then served my first term and got reelected for my second term. That’s how I was the longest serving of any TEA president.” PHOTO By Yvonne D. Nelson 14 Jones was also the longest serving National President of the LeMoyne-Owen College. “I had forgotten that,” said Jones. “I became the President because she died in office as the President of the LeMoyne Alumni Association and I served there the longest term – about eight years or something. That’s when some man told me that I could never be the Vice President up under him because if I did, they would probably die! It’s been a good life.” with Sen. Al Gore & Coretta Scott King 15
Page 16
NEWSCENE ENTREPRENEURSHOP CORNER. . . (From left) Tabitha “Tudy” Jones (left standing) shares tips on how to lose weight through Keto dieting at a Keto Food Tasting event she held on January 4th. Pictured are Keto gumbo (top center) and Keto waffles and chicken (top right). Event attendees discovered Keto is more than just salad, cheese and meat. (Bottom right) Keto giblet gravy, Keto collard greens, Keto dressing, and Keto smoked turkey. Pictures By Tonya Love and Story By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Research has revealed that many epilepsy patients can find relief in the form of heightened, and in some cases, full control of B. their seizures by switching to a ketogenic diet. Developed in the 20s by Dr. Hugh Conklin, the diet began to be relied on less frequently as more effective medications to control seizures were developed. The ketogenic diet is not only useful for people with a variety of neurological disorders. The high-fat diet provides just the right amount of protein to sustain a normal person's body maintenance and growth and has very low amounts of carbohydrates. On January 4, 2020, Tabitha "Tudy" Jones hosted a Keto Food Tasting event for a group of friends and relatives. The event, featuring samples of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert entrees, was designed to show non-Keto participants that Keto is more than just salad, cheese, and meat. "The Keto way of life is restricted from some high carb food items, but Keto food can still be enjoyable," said Jones. "Keto is not only an accelerated weight loss program. It can also benefit those with diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and a number of other ailments. Although it is not a cure for all it is a step in the right direction." Some people liken the Keto diet to the Atkins diet plan which is a low-carbohydrate diet usually recommended for weight loss. Proponents of both plans claim that as long as you avoid eating foods high in carbohydrates, like sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread, you can still lose weight eating as much protein and fat as you want. "The sample products were prepared with a bit of soul to include chicken and Keto waffles, collard greens, Keto cornbread, smoked turkey, Keto dressing, spinach and cream cheese pork loin, and a few additional dishes," said Jones. "We use good fats like olive oil, real butter, cheese, eggs, and avocados. It is my mission to help people maintain their good health or to help them to journey to their particular destination in life." To learn more about the Keto diet through Jones, you can enroll in her "Keto Meal Pre-2-Week" trial program featuring five (5) meals each week for $130 bi-weekly. At the end of your trial period, you are responsible for deciding whether or not you want to continue. Those who chose to continue can do so at the regular bi-weekly rate of $150 for the five (5) meals. "This program requires time and commitment to be successful, but what else do you have to lose except weight?" said Jones. "We hope you’re ready... Happy Ketoing!" For more information, call or text (901) 634-7865. 16 3 Who was Augusta Savage? C. 4 1892-1962 Story and Pictures By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions will present “Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman” at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens, 4339 Park Avenue, Memphis, TN 38117, through March 22, 2020. Savage was a black woman artist and sculptor who confronted issues specific to race, gender, and exclusion. Dr. Earnestine Jenkins, Professor of Art History at the University of Memphis Department of Art, presented a documentary and discussion on Savage from 2 to 3 pm on Sunday, January 26th. Jenkins posits, “Savage’s focus on the representation of Blacks and African American culture expanded creative possibilities for the segregated art world.” A brief discussion ensued after the lecture. Double click this LINK to hear part of the introduction and the entire onehour lecture. Malik ‘My King Jesus’ Johnson, Timon ‘Godz Warriah’ Clark, Terry ‘Troop Music’ Kilapatrick, and James Todd delivering the gospel to prisons. D. Click me! 17
Page 18
Story By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Most everyone knows that Memphis is the city where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King took his last breath. Although NEWSCENE attempted to interview one of the last people at Dr. King’s side before his death, Jerry D. Williams, we are sad to report that his accounting of what happened the day Dr. King was assassinated will not be featured in this publication. Dr. Coby Vernon Smith was born July 17, 1946. A graduate of Manassas High School, Smith and another black youth integrated the all-white Presbyterian Southwestern (currently known as Rhodes) College in the mid-60s. “When we were accepted at Southwestern they needed Dr. Lorenzo Childress Jr. as a football player, I was just on the team,” said Smith, 73. I was only planning on being there for a year because I had received a principle appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis for 1965 and was not interested in staying at Southwestern. Times were turbulent for blacks during this, the civil rights movement, and Dr. Smith just wasn’t having it. He was an organizer of a chapter of the Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC) and the Black Organizing Project (BOP) in Memphis and had been an active participant in the Memphis NAACP Chapter. At Southwestern, Smith joined an activist group called the Southern Student Organizing Committee, but was never really accepted as being equal. He would eventually disconnect from all of these organizations. In 1967, Smith and Charles Laverne “Cab” Cabbage co-founded the Invaders. “I feared the Memphis Police Department,” said Dr. Smith who was under constant surveillance by black FBI Photo Credit: Tyrone P. Easley informants including the famous photographer Ernest C. Withers and black members of the Memphis Police Department. “I have copies of original FBI files which reveal that I was being watched. On March 23, 1967, Mr. Withers advised the FBI that I had just returned to Memphis from New Orleans and that he was planning to ‘run into’ me or to ‘find some logical pretext’ to connect with me to learn of my future plans. He was not the only informant that the police and the FBI had watching me.” The FBI document went on to say Withers wrote that he would cover any demonstrations Smith participated in “under the pretext of being a Negro newsman and will take appropriate identification photographs of all possible participants and furnish same to this Bureau.” “I’ve been blessed to find out who many of their (FBI) informants were,” said Dr. Smith. “They had my neighbor down the street who was a lieutenant at the police department. They had a number of people. The former police director Walter Winfrey and Cliff Dates were two of them. Cliff will tell you his part. We grew up together – at least until 1960. That’s when he went to Douglass High School and I went to Manassas, but we are friends. We remained friends. Some of these people feel like once the white anoint them as informants that they are obligated to remain loyal to the FBI and to the police department.” As Dr. Smith is talking, he is interrupted as the phone rings. “They have it bugged and everything,” he said. “They want me to know that they know that I have company. You thought you were paranoid at times. It would be like everybody’s after you.” Smith did not always know that he was being watched, but his strategy once he discovered what was happening probably shocked quite a few agents and policemen. None of my activities were illegal, so my life was an open book. Photo Credit: Tyrone P. Easley 18 Continued on Page 22 Dr. Coby Vernon Smith (Above left) A 27 year-old Coby Vernon Smith is pictured at the Memphis Botanic Garden; (Above right) Dr. Coby V. Smith water skiing at McKellar Lake - Riverside Park in 1967; (Below) Dr. Coby V. Smith in Hempstead, NY in 1969. 19
Page 22
“I was so naï ve,” said Dr. Smith speaking of a neighbor east of him, Herman Seaborn, the son of a church member and close friend turned out to be a FBI informant also. “I thought he was cheating on his wife so I went down the street to his apartment to save his marriage. I went in and saw more electronic equipment than I’d ever seen before. Herman had been taking pictures of me and so was a neighbor at the other end of my street. I recognized what the equipment was and told him, ‘look man, if they got you trying to follow me, it’s going to be hard even with two of you doing still watches on me. All I’ve got to do is sneak out the back, jump the fence, and go down the path, but look-a-here. I’m willing to cooperate with you to the point that if you give me a ride to where I’m going, I will let you know when I got to be there. So that worked out pretty good for us both!” Being watched by FBI informants and City of Memphis policemen began to just be a way of life for Dr. Smith. “If you are going to be a policeman, let’s recognized what your job is,” said Dr. Smith. “You are a member of an occupying army in our community. You are not there for our (the people’s) protection. You are there to protect them (the white’s) and their property from us. Ernest (Withers) was one of the first black policemen. He started out as a photographer covering murders and violent scenes. He was a police photographer and then he went to the academy and became a regular officer. “We had a conversation down at the studio when it was on Trigg and Mississippi. The Police Community Relations building was put there to spy on the Invaders. Another Manassas graduate, Ed Reddit was the guy in charge of the Police Community Relations operation. Ed was younger and had graduated from Lane College. He was college educated. None of the other black policemen had that much education, they were just some guys the white folks could trust and some guys who could fight – well, some of them couldn’t fight but they were dirty enough to be there to tell the white folks who to fight. Ed was the policeman that was generally assigned to accompany Dr. King when he was in town, but they removed him from the detail the day Dr. King was assassinated. In fact, Ed’s wife died that same day. Continued on Page 25 22 (Top left) Rev. James White (deceased), former pastor of St. Jude Missionary Baptist Church on Trigg Ave. in Memphis, TN, married Dr. Coby V. Smith and Constance Hunt Smith on December 30, 1989. Also pictured (far left) is Smith’s eldest brother, Emmett Eugene Smith Jr. (deceased). (Above) Dr. Coby V. Smith and his mother, Mrs. Lula Smith (deceased), at a banquet held at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN. (Below, from left) Dr. Coby V. Smith entertained Dale and Johnnie Cochran at the grand opening of the Cochran Law Firm on the Main Street Mall in 2001. All pictures in this store are courtesy of Dr. Coby Vernon Smith’s personal files. 23
Page 24
24 (Top left) Dr. Dr. Coby V. Smith was one of more than 850,000 men who attended the Million Man March in October 1995 in support of Louis Farrakhan. (Middle left) Organized by Minister Louis Farrakhan one of the largest gatherings of its kind, the Million Man March, took place on October 16, 1995. (Bottom left) Statistics show an estimated 850,000 African American men from across the United States together at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to promote unity and family values during the Million Man March held October 16, 1995. (Right) Dr. Coby V. Smith, and former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm at the former Evergreen Presbyterian Church. “The bullet wasn’t fired from inside that bathroom. He couldn’t have been leaning off the tub through that little spot in the window and made that shot. That shot came from behind the bushes at the firehouse. They cut the bushes down the next day and this is where (Rev. James) Orange, some Southern Leadership Christian Conference organizers, or somebody saw a puff of smoke come from. The guy (in the picture) who was pointing to where they say or want us to believe the shot came from was an undercover guy who had worked for the CIA and the Memphis Police Department. “Katie Sexton was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital after she collapsed while leading a picket. She is the other name that people seem to want to forget. The city named the community center in Klondike after her. Katie, Cornelia Crenshaw, and Alma Morris were the ladies who created the community support for the sanitation workers. Katie told her people not to take her in that hospital. She told then if you take me in there, I’ll never come out alive—and she didn’t. They killed her and Dr.. William Pepper, Esq., author of “The Plot to Kill King: The Truth Behind the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.” thought that if they’d kill her, they’d kill Martin too. That he was suffocated by the lead physician over there, the head medical officer, but there was a negro in the room who was assigned to watch King’s body the whole time. “My daddy used to say ‘ you can’t make sugar out of shit,” said Dr. Smith. “So what we have is people basing their discoveries about how to receive power on their commitment to do dirt for white folks. How you come out of that, I don’t understand. Every day I listen to guys who changed their story about what they did. Every time I hear some of my movement brothers, I hear more of me. Every time I hear Suhkara, I hear what I did. He accused me of taking credit for what he did in Arkansas. He was in jail at the time of King’s assassination. That doesn’t discount the fact that once he saw the light and received the charge in his soul and the brother has been effective. Dr. Smith has received numerous achievements and awards including being honored as a Distinguished Alumni Award given by the Black Student Association of Rhodes College and the Memphis District Prince Hall Masons Black History Program Honoree both in 2018, and receiving The Memphis Heritage Trailblazer Award in recognition of advancing civil and human rights and carrying the torch to uphold African American history and culture from the City of Memphis and the W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Artivist Lifetime Achievement Award both in 2016. He has been quoted in several books including The Plot to Kill King: The Truth Behind the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. by Dr. William F. Pepper, Esq. (former Attorney for the King Family); Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power and the Meredith March Against Fear by Aram Goudsouzian; and A Spy in Canaan: How the FBI used a famous photographer (Ernest C. Withers) to infiltrate the civil rights movement by Perrusquia and Going Down Jericho Road by Michael Honey. 25
Page 26
CHURCH SPOTL IGHT GREATER NEW SHILOH MBC (Top at Pulpit) Greater New Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Franklin Collins and Lady Christy Collins. (Standing from left) members Anniece Greer, Norma Nelson, Alberta Echoles, Rosie Brown, Mary Devould, Mae F. Martin, Leola Merritt, Nora Patterson, Shirley Williams (rear), Mary Mitchell Harris, Hazel Devould, Mary Snow, Mona Jones, and Shirley Cole. Front (seated) Bessie Clark. It is recorded in the books that in the year of our Lord 1888, a group of concerned Christians organized the New Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church on Willow Road in southeast Shelby County, Tennessee. During the turbulent civil rights era of the 60s, the church was rebuilt and renamed Greater New Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church (GNSMBC), the name it is known by today. In its’ 132 years of existence, Greater New Shiloh MBC has been led by 20 men of the cloth, including master delegator and pastor, Franklin (Christy) Collins, who provides guidance to the GNSMBC flock today. Pastor Collins succeeded Rev. Dr. Fred C. Lofton (1928-2017), taking over the GNSMBC pulpit in 20??. Dr. Lofton, a Morehouse D. College graduate, was well known locally and nationally. He was Pastor Emeritus of Metropolitan Baptist Church (19722001) in South Memphis. Dr. Lofton came out of retirement at the request of a friend to lead the GNSMBC flock in 2007. He was installed as the senior pastor the following year. Dr. Lofton, who spent nearly half of his life in the ministry, died at the age of 89 in 2017. Among his many accomplishments were being an author, spiritual scholar, and President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention. 26 Dr. Ida Payne Lofton, wife of GNSMBC’s former shepherd Dr. Fred C. Lofton, still attends GNSMBC although she visits Metropolitan, her home church, from time-to-time. “One of our biggest contributions to the GNSMBC ministry was a program we refer to as the Greater New Shiloh Achievement Academy,” said Payne Lofton. “I was involved with some various ministries like tutorial ministry – we provided tutorial assistance to students in the community and at the church who needed assistance with educational things. We had a program and we met every Saturday for about four hours. I set the goals for the academy and we helped a lot of children. Some of them were having problems with tests they had to pass at the end of the year. A lot of them were successful and were able to get their high school diploma.” GNSMBC sits in the heart of the Orange Mound community. Another way it gives back to those in the community is through a program called the Viree’s Vision Food Ministry. “This is an outreach program and I was one of the Pastor Franklin Collins taught the Word from Luke 5:1-5 during morning worship service at Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, 835 Maywood Street, on Sunday, January 26, 2020. persons who helped with the implementation and creation of this ministry,” said Payne Lofton speaking of the ministry that took the church members out into the community to feed the homeless. “It was one of my Sunday School students who came to me because he was so concerned about people he saw on the corner. He came to me and he asked what could we as a church do? It was not enough to say they could come to our church or go to a soup kitchen because Viree was aware that these people did not have transportation in many instances. He wanted a ministry where we would take our ministry to the streets around the city. We started off with sandwiches and brown bag lunches and we gradually increased it to hot meals. We frequently go to Morris Park near the missions on Poplar Avenue.” Payne Lofton was one of several GNSMBC members who helped turn 2018 White Station High School graduate and author Viree Potter’s vision into a reality. “We started this ministry when Viree was about nine years old,” said Payne Lofton. “Now he’s a sophomore in college at Bethel University in Jackson, TN. We still go and perform street ministry and people still come to the church 27
Page 28
and when Viree comes home he still continues ministering in and with the food ministry.” Thanks to Orange Mound Historian Ms. Mary E. Mitchell, GNSMBC member Norma Nelson was instrumental in bringing NEWSCENE to Greater New Shiloh for our February Black Facts edition. Before we go any further with our story about GNS members, please allow us to pay tribute to those currently on the Greater New Shiloh sick list. Mary Branch, Beulah Cole, Emma Craig, Magnolia son… may our prayers and blessings bring warm thoughts of wellness from all of us to all of you as we send these sentiments of cheerfulness into your world to help you to feel better today and every day. Norma Nelson, wife of the late Samuel H. Nelson, has been a member of GNSMBC since 1961. The church was called Shiloh Baptist Church when she arrived at it. It was rebuilt and renamed New Shiloh, and later became Greater New Shiloh as it is known today. The mother of three sons and caregiver of 10 children, is a graduate of the Superintendent Clinic of the National Baptist Congress and currently serves as the General Superintendent of Sunday School. She has been a member of the GNS choir since age 11 and served as one of the choir directors. Cunningham, Dorothy Foreman, Loistene Malone, Mary-Ann Cloud McKinney, Ida White, Beatrice Wil“One of my most heartwarming memories is how the deacons would arrive at New Shiloh in the winter hours early to heat up the pot belly stove located in the center of the center of the old shot-gun house-church to warm up the church for service. Another was being baptized, along with children from other churches in the community, at the old Orange Mound swimming pool.” Norma’s sister Anniece Green, a 58-year GNS member, is the General Secretary of Sunday School, in the Matron Ministry, and the Sanctuary Choir. She leads the Sunday School Praise Dancers team and works on the church Decorating Committee. The Central High School and Kansas Vo-Tech Childhood Education graduate has one son and four grandchildren. “I was blessed to retire only having worked at Christian-based schools,” said Green. “I sought them out to work at.” Shirley Williams’ family relocated from Binghampton to Orange Mound when she was in the 8th grade. Williams father purchased a home and grew up on Spottswood. She attended Messick, a first through 12th grade county school at the time. After graduating from Messick High School, Williams attended the former Memphis State and Shelby State Community Colleges. She took classes in therapeutic recreation from Memphis State and graduated with a Physical Therapist Assistant degree from Shelby State College. She has been a member of GNSMBC for approximately 24 years where her husband, Charles Williams, is also a member, currently lives in the Fox Meadows subdivision, has two sons, and works at St. Francis Hospital on Park Avenue in East Memphis. 28 Greater New Shiloh has been the church home of Rosie Brown since the 1980s when she was invited by her relatives who were already attending church there. “I was baptized at GNS,” said Brown who has lived in walking distance from the church for the past 2-3 years. “I love attending GNS and I love the people who attend there.” Mary Elizabeth Mitchell Harris has been a member of Greater New Shiloh all her life. She remembers being baptized around the age of 12 by Rev. G. T. Thomas. Harris grew up on Fizer near Getwell. Her father, former GNS Deacon Joseph Mitchell Sr. and another man hauled the lumber used to construct the old church to its current location using a horse and wagon. “My father drew a picture of what the church looked like before it was rebuilt in 1921-1922” said Harris. “I know they brought the lumber up and they had to make a church out of it. I remember it being small, it wasn’t a big church and they had a heater in there.” gospel chorus at GNS. She recited the Accompanied by her niece, her sister daughter Mona Brooks Jones, the two gone by. “I’ve been at GNS all my life,” said GNS. My mother was the oldest the church was moved. My members. My grandmother was on the Mitchell was a deacon. You had no Harris was a member of the Gospel Chorus and the Golden Girls singing group that consisted several of the older ladies from the story of her family and GNS. Melissa Mitchell Brooks Brown’s shared their memories from days Brown. “All of the children belonged to daughter. She was born in 1921 when grandparents were active church motherboard and my granddad, Pa choice, you went to church. We all went to church. ” “I remember one time I asked to go to the movies because the little girls my age were going to the movies,” said Harris. “Momma said, ’Young lady, if you don’t go to church, you aren’t going nowhere!” Other than adding a new wing, a few other things have changed over the years at GNS. “I get tickled now because they have Thanksgiving and Christmas services at 10 o’clock,” said Jones. “When we were growing up it was always at 6 am. You didn’t look at your toys or nothing else because you had to get ready to go to church and we walked.” According to Jones, it wasn’t a long walk. The family, at that time, lived near the intersection of Park Avenue and Laurel Street. “We had to walk up Park and make that left on Maywood,” said Jones. “Rain, snow, sleet, or shine,” added Harris “and most of the time, it was snow!” Jones added, “It would be dark, sometimes pitch black dark, but the beautiful snow brightened things up so you could see the way to the church! Alberta Echols has been a member of GNS for the past 40+ years. She remembers church leaders Pastor Joe ‘Gospel Joe’ Williams (1960-1996), Pastor Rev. Arthur Snow (1996-2007), Rev. Dr. Fred C. Lofton (2007-2017), and the current Shepherd, Pastor Franklin Collins. “I live just a couple of streets down from the church now,” said Echols who served in the gospel chorus and choir and has resided in the Orange Mound community for about the same length of time she’s been a faithful member of GNS. “We had a club called the Rose of Sharon which was a food ministry of sorts where I worked in the kitchen under Bro. Willie James McNeil. I made breakfast foods like Jack Mackerel and homemade biscuits. He was such a beautiful person who contributed so much to the church.” 29
Page 30
Ms. Bessie Clark has been a member of GNS for the past 47 years. She has participated in the Missionary Society, the Sunday morning and Wednesday noon Bible Study (BTU) classes. A graduate of Hernando Central High School, Ms. Clark migrated from Olive Branch to North Memphis around 1962-63. The mother of two sons, one of whom, Navy Veteran Lavern Stewart, who attends GNS. Her son Bernard lives in Jackson, TN. “I was raised in church all my life,” said Clark. “I love GNS, it’s just lovely to me.” Melrose High School and Memphis State graduate Ora Lee Marble (not pictured) has been a member of GNS for 60+ years. She received her Masters degree from the University of Tennessee in Memphis as a participant of the last class in Social Work. Marble, who held numerous positons within the church, retired and then went to work for the Smart and Secure Initiative. “Growing up in Orange Mound we were surrounded by people who cared,” said Marble who has seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. “These people, especially my grandfather, took care of us. We knew if we got that look from somebody, it meant sit down and be quiet. As I grew, I promoted education and especially starting with my own four daughters. My prayer was that the Lord let me stay here long enough for them to graduate college. He did that and more!” Carver High School (1981) and (1988) University of Memphis Education graduate and Shelby County Schools teacher Donna Walker, grew up in South Memphis and Orange Mound,. Walker joined GNS in the 90s. Walker received a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix in 2006. The wife and mother of two is the youngest mother on the Deaconess Board and Directress of Christian Education. She is the proud recipient of two Lifetime Wellness Teacher of the Year awardee (2016-17 & 2019-20) for Shelby County Schools for high school teachers. Both mother and daughter are Eastern Stars. The family of Mary Devould became members of GNS around 1966. Mary’s daughter Hazel Devould was the only one of Mary’s six daughters to graduate from Melrose High School because Memphis schools began busing students from their local schools to schools in other areas in the 70’s. “Hazel was the only one who graduated from Melrose,” said Mary’s daughter Shirley Cole. “The rest of us were bused to Wooddale High School and that’s where we graduated from. “My mom was determined to get us all in church when we moved to Memphis,” said Hazel. “We didn’t have a family car so mother would get a cab and other times we walked. She made sure we got involved in Sunday School and the choirs and the usher boards in order to keep us interested and busy growing up in GNS and that was the greatest blessing for all of us that has lasted into our adulthood growing up in that church being mentored and taught in that church.” 30 DID YOU KNOW? There are several moneyless ways you can support nonprofits like DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE and the McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association, Inc. of Memphis (serving all of ZIP Code 38116). When you shop at Kroger you can, AT NO COST TO YOU, support DI’MANS, Inc. by enrolling in the Community Rewards Program and earning rewards for DI’MANS every time you shop! Visit Kroger.com/ communityrewards and support Organization #DN098. Smile.Amazon.com is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, again, AT NO COST TO YOU, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to DI’MANS Inc., the charitable organization of choice. Email us at NEWSCENESHELBYCO@gmail.com for details today! Questionable things in Memphis?!! VIEW FROM RIVERSIDE DRIVE... 31
Page 32
CFC #46643 AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Location: Memphis, TN | Year Founded: 2009 DI’MANS, Inc. (Click here) to shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM Mission: DI'MANS, Inc. was formed to establish a positive, proactive force in the fight against juvenile crime and juvenile delinquency. The goal of DI'MANS, Inc. is to bring adults dedicated to positively shaping future generations together to assist disadvantaged youth in becoming productive citizens as adults. Help Support Causes in Your Community! (Click here to sign up) Did you know you can support nonprofit organizations in your community just by shopping at Kroger? It's easy when you enroll in Kroger Community Rewards®! To get started, sign up with your Plus Card below, and select a local organization you wish to support. Once you're enrolled, you'll earn rewards for your chosen organization every time you shop and use your Plus Card! Enroll now for the Kroger Community Rewards Program. And remember….all participants must re-enroll each year to continue earning rewards for their chosen organization. DIRECTIONS: 1) Go to Kroger.com; 2) Create an account or sign in; 3) Drop down the arrow at your name 4) Select “My Account” 5) Click on Community Rewards on the left side of the screen) Make a One-Time donation to DI’MANS, Inc. 32 Make a Recurring Donation (Click here) Alternative & Holistic Health Services ORDER HERE (901) 789-4844 Congratulations! Continued Success, Wishing You Well! 33 CLICK HERE TO VISIT US ONLINE
Page 34
34 35
January 2020 Vol#2-Issue#1

January 2020 Vol#2-Issue#1


Page 0
Vol. 2, Issue 1 January 2020 KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN i LoveShe l b yCoun ty . com LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D., CNC NEWSCENE WISHES YOU A HAPPY PERFECT VISION YEAR! As this new year begins, let us all begin to build upon our past efforts while remaining steadfast and on the right path to achieving all that we can grasp over the next 12 months. This 20/20 year is our opportunity to see through the shrouds that used to surround us. Remove every obscurity from our paths. Give us the knowledge to understand and the ability to clearly see what normal visual acuity allows us to see. Enlighten our every move! Please remember to follow us and to subscribe online at iLoveShelbyCounty.com. For those of you who prefer hard copies, thanks for your subscriptions. Subscribe to our printed editions online for $84/year, $42/bi-annually, or purchase a single copy for the low cost of $7/month. You can call us at 901-300-0250, subscribe and/or pay online, or make your check made payable to DI’MANS, Inc. We are always looking forward to getting your emails at NEWSCENEShelbyCo@gmail.com. We can also be contacted by mail at DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE, I Love Shelby County.com, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190-0146. HAPPY 2020! Now let’s do this! Thank you, BRINGING IN THE NEW YEAR THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM of MEMPHIS WAY Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Not long after I relocated to the mid-south with my then 8-month-old son in 1986, I discovered the Children’s Museum of Memphis (CMOM), 2525 Central Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104. CMOM, a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 “focusing on children’s development through exhibits and programs designed to support early learning,” was our favorite destination for fun in those early years. As my family grew, I returned to being a member again with my daughter, and I have and continue to occasionally take other children to visit CMOM just so they too can experience learning in a fun and entertaining atmosphere. CMOM has expanded in both size and through new and enhanced exhibits over the years making every visit as exciting as my first one. I love CMOM! I returned to CMOM on Saturday, December 28, 2019, for their “2020 New Year’s @ Noon” celebration. Coordinated by CMOM Director of Education, Avis Robinson, the event featured glowing face painting by professional face painter Continued on Page 11
Page 4
4 5
Page 6
6 7
Page 8
8 9
Page 10
W 10 and Artist, Amy Stone, BFA ’94 of Fairys and Frogs Face Painting; a balloon artist; Music Dealer, DJ Chuuuch (Tauris Turner) monitoring the dance floor; Shelby County Schools elementary school teacher Tabitha D. Birdsong, Miss Birdsong’s Sweet Tooth co-owner and candy confections maker; fun crafts lead by CMOM employees and youth volunteers, and sheer fun for children both young and old alike. Included in the price of admission, each child in attendance received a goodie bag of candy upon arrival. CMOM Executive Director, Dr. Stewart L. Burgess, a former 4-year CMOM Board of Trustees member, took over the helm of the organization in August 2019. Possessing extensive experience and research in early learning, as a Developmental Psychologist, Dr. Burgess brings a wealth of knowledge concerning the scientific study of how and why human beings think, feel, and change or develop through their lifespans. “This actually ends up being kind of a cross section between actually designing learning spaces and designing the Burgess speaking of his cur r i cu l um,” said duties being CMOM new right in the spot where I Dr. Burgess went on to changes that have taken -four months including existing Roll Play Theatre within the facility and Manager Corey Brown. theatre is still a green dancing, but it now has a the stage takes up the includes spots for future Executive Director. “It’s want to be.” describe many of the place in the past three-to the changes made to the which were fabricated headed by Exhibits The revised roll play screen with a stage for wheelchair ramp and whole long wall and lighting and sound engineers to play. “We will begin partnering with other like-minded, nonprofit organizations that work within the scope of child development and parenting,” stated Dr. Burgess who also mentioned the museum was beefing up its grant writing. “Right now we’re looking at developmental grants that focus on electronic footprints, electric consumption, which can be very important for museums located in older buildings like these.” Dr. Burgess has plans for CMOM to include traveling exhibits in the future. The current traveling exhibit is from the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. It has been there for a while and will be leaving February 2, 2020, only to soon be replaced with another traveling exhibit. This is another way for members to experience new and old items during visits. One of CMOM’s most famous exhibits is the former LibertyLand Grand Carousel which was completely restored and enclosed in a building at its current location. The carousel is now an optional attraction for museum visitors to enjoy along with exhibits featuring local businesses that are each currently being redesigned. “We’ve increased the number of associates on the floor,” said Dr. Burgess who mentioned CMOM has enhanced it training process to ensure visiting children are fully engaged in enriched learning activities. CMOM recently launched a new tab on the website called “Learn” where parents, educators, and everyone can ask Dr. Burgess questions, and read about development and parenting. “I’m excited about this opportunity, it makes me smile all the time,” said Dr. Burgess who said he sings on the way to work and at the end of the day, if you see him in his car, you’ll probably see him singing then too! “This [position] is a gift. CMOM has a great mission. We serve ZIP Codes from all over Tennessee. This is something that I’m really passionate about. We have a lot of awesome organizations geared towards helping families in Memphis. CMOM is trying to be the place where all of those organizations can come and connect and maybe where we can all begin to combine our efforts.” CMOM, where learning is child’s play, is open 7 days a week from 9A-5P. The museum is only closed three days a year – Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. The H2Oh! Splash Park and Dinosaur Dig exhibits are open 10A-5P daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day only. Due to high traffic volume, the museum occasionally has to close for events at the Liberty Bowl Station which would be posted on the website in advance in addition to days where school trips are planned. The museum is located at the intersection of Central Avenue at Hollywood Street in Memphis, TN and can be reached by calling (901) 458-2678. 11
Page 12
Kroger turned Superlo Grand Opening Story & Pictures By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson When Kroger announced it was closing its location at 2269 Lamar in Memphis, TN as of February 3, 2018, the historic Orange Mound community went into action. “We have had a Kroger in the Orange Mound community since I was a little girl, said Orange Mound historian Mary Mitchell. “For over 90 years the people of Orange Mound have supported Kroger stores to the tune of $90 billion dollars.” According to the company’s official press release, the facility, which was one of two that had been sited to close, had B. been operating at a deficit amounting to nearly $3 million dollars over its last three-to-four years of operation. The release also mentioned that all 137 displaced employees would be offered positions at local stores that would were not affected by the closures. Stepherson, Inc. is locally operated business founded by Jack, Wesley, and Kenneth Stepherson in 1944. In October 2010, Stepherson’s, called Superlo because they believe in super low prices, became an employeeowned corporation with the inception of its employee stock ownership program. “Superlo is an employee-owned store chain,” said Mitchell who attended the grand opening on December 4th. “This is the first time in Kroger’s 136-year history that they have given over one million dollars to any one community. My thanks go out to Kroger, Superlo and to everyone else who worked on this project including our pastors and political friends, UFCW Local 1529 members Richard Slayton and Rose Turner; my grandson, Kristen D. Jones; and Cheryl Scales, a generational Orange Mound family descendent. It is because of their hard work that this dream is now a reality.” 12 C. 3 Real Women Rock w/ Pastor Andrews Smith 4 VISIT—Click to hear the AUDIO or watch the VIDEO version of the event. Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson REAL WOMEN ROCK LifeClass is a “dialogue about the D. characteristics of what a real woman should be.” The series, designed by Pastor Andrews Smith, Founder of Believers Unite Worldwide Church, 2725 S. Mendenhall Road, Suite 23, Memphis, TN 38115, is designed to make women think and describes the nine (9) phases of being a woman in today’s complicated society. “Everyone is not as encouraged, motivated, and think they are as beautiful as you do,” exclaimed Smith. “Will you marry a man who puts his mother before you?” Through biblical text and common sense, Smith guides women into learning to be the powerful helpers God made them. “Men know only four types of women,” said Smith. “Those who will give it away, those who will sell it, those who will use it to get what they want, and those who will save it for the right one. Which one are you?” 13
Page 14
Where does the Historic Deaderick Cemetery Begin and End? Pictures and Story by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson If you don’t know where to look for the old Deaderick Family Cemetery on Park Avenue, you might drive right past it without seeing it because that’s exactly what I did the morning of Wednesday, December 11, 2019. I had been invited to the area to witness the beginnings of an archeological excavation that would be searching for unmarked burial sites. “I can remember walking past here going to and from school with my friends growing up,” said Orange Mound historian and long-time resident Mary Mitchell. “We would usually act like we were scared and run past until one day when one of my friends ran into the street and was almost hit by a passing vehicle. That was the last time we played that game.” Mitchell says the cemetery used to extend for several blocks, but it is now just a small plot of land with a wrought-iron fence blocking off some gravesites of descendants of the famous family buried there. “Many of the bodies were exhumed and moved to Elmwood (Cemetery) when it opened in the early 50’s,” said Mitchell. “We are not sure when the two houses east of this plot were built, but we know they haven’t always been here. I can also remember two sisters whose home was on the cemetery grounds. They were treated as being part of the community.” Present for the dig was Guy G. Weaver, ABD, founder, general manager, and senior archaeologist at Weaver and Associates. Weaver, an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis and consultant to the archaeology program at PHOTO By Yvonne D. Nelson 14 Rhodes College saw the need to come out of his semi-retired status to participate in the dig because he was 99.9% sure he would find human remains outside the fenced area. “Once we get things cleaned up we will be able to prove beyond the shadow of the doubt that there are graves outside of the fenced enclosure,” Weaver said. “We believe this very driveway and this large concrete space could have been poured over graves at some point in the past.” Dr. Cynthia Sadler, an instructor of history at Southwest Tennessee Community College and Community Engagement Consultant, greatly assisted the area to become a Preserve America Community, a White House initiative that “recognizes communities that preserve, protect, and celebrate their heritage, use their historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and encourage residents to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism.” “Orange Mound is the only African American community in the State of Tennessee to have this designation,” said Dr. Sadler, a historian with the Memphis Heritage Trail. “I am committed to preserving tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Through oral histories, archival research, and other methodologies, I work with neighborhoods to preserve and promote cultural assets that can contribute to civic engagement, empowerment, stewardship, and cultural tourism. The dig discovered one unmarked grave outside the fence on day one and several native American artifacts were uncovered on day two. Additional work, to continue in the spring, will include placing an historic marker at the site. 15
Page 16
Meeting on Lead in Our Water Supplies Chef Precious Jones Catering and Entertainment Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Memphis Merit Academy Charter School, 4775 American Way, Memphis, TN 38118, where Lakenna Booker is the founder and Head of School, was the location of an informative session on lead Saturday, December 14, 2019. Topics discussed included lead at home vs. lead at schools, lead in fixtures vs. lead in pipes, and work done in the State of California which has made it completely lead free as well as work done by the DC Sierra Club Environmental and Climate Justice Committee, the Black Swan Academy, Empower DC, NAACP DC Chapter and others towards eradicating lead, especially in low-income populated areas. Test results continue to indicate corrective action is in great need, especially in older, inner-city areas. Since all children must benefit, it has been recommended that it is imperative for amendments to reach children. The event was attended by several representatives from various groups including Aramis Jones (pictured left at the event’s paid food truck vendor) and Erica Williams of Memphis Urban Young Professionals and radio personality Katie Riordan of WKNO. Event speakers included Stephanie Cage of Rhodes College and Susanne Jackson. Also present and participating were Black Millennials President, LaTricea Adams, and Michelle Mabson, Staff Scientist, Healthy Communities, Washington, DC (pictured above). Visit GETTHELEADOUTMEMPHIS.ORG for local info. 16 Above: Environmental field expert Chet Kibble, a certified training manager for state approved lead training programs and local environmental teacher (center) and program participants listen to Founder Booker discuss how lead policies affect Charter Schools. Below (left) Event volunteer Erica Williams greeted visitors as they arrived at the Memphis Merit Academy Charter School on Saturday, December 14, 2019, for a discussion on lead. (Right) LaTricea Adams explains the bill that regulates the testing for lead in school water supplies should be stronger and why testing should happen more often than annually especially in inner-city schools. 17
Page 18
Middle Baptist Church Middle Baptist Church, where the Rev. Elartrice Only If You’re 60+ Banquet Ingram Jr. was called to succeed Rev. Lester Baskin who retired in 2016, after serving as Senior Pastor for 44 years, held its 60+ Banquet for seasoned church members on Saturday, December 7, 2019, in the church’s Family Life Center located at 801 Whitehaven Lane in Memphis, TN. Catered by Charlotte Bond, Joel White, and members of Bear’s Catering, 3155 Radford Road, the event featured a full course meal, dessert, and a beverage. The program began with a few award presentations and volunteer members of the Middle Baptist Youth Usher Program including Briana Webber, 13, an 8th grader at Freedom Prep; Amelia Wright, 12, a 6th grader at Freedom Prep; Torian Redden, 8, from Whitehaven Elementary School; and Daelon Harrison, 12, a 7th grader at John P. Freeman Optional School were among the youth who carried prepared plates, desserts, and beverages to members by table. After all the dinners had been served, the youth retreated to a nearby room where they dined too. The program included a presentation by the Drama and Puppet Ministry performers Ryan Thompson, Elatris Estell, and Karen Green and concluded with $150.00 gift checks being presented to several members in attendance, including Katherine Cole who was the first person to arrive wearing royalty purple and who has been a member at Middle Baptist Church in Whitehaven all 48 years of her life. Also on hand for security was Theo Garner, President of the #1 Usher Ministry and Safety and Security Director at Middle Baptist Church in Whitehaven; Social Action Ministry member Leon Sullivan; and Middle Baptist Church members, friends, relatives, and guests which included mothers’ Rosetta Jordan and Elnora Harris; James and Shirley Holliday; Charles Wade; N L and Sarah Joseph; Willie and Sandra Brooks; Phyllis Roy; Renee Washington; Nedra Baskin and mom, Barbara Nunn; Alice Buford; Essie Robinson, and John W. James. The event ended with the providing of lovely purple tote bags with handles engraved with an angle blowing stars from a trumpet-like horn with the number 60+, the year 2019, and the words MIDDLE BAPTIST CHURCH WHITEHAVEN in all capital letters to every member, friend, guest, and relative in attendance. Everyone wished each other a blessed afternoon knowing many would be headed back the next day for Sunday School at 9:30 and/or Worship at 11 AM. 18 D. 19
Page 20
20 21
Page 24
3rd annual South Memphis Toy Extravaganza with J.B. Smiley Jr.,Esq Story and Pictures By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, CNC The South Memphis Toy Extravaganza, a concept birthed by recently elected District 8.1 City of Memphis Councilman J.B. Smiley Jr., hosted his third annual Christmas gift giveaway on Saturday, December 21, 2019. The event, designed to make sure every child in South Memphis had a gift for Christmas, had children and their parents lined up outside the Gaston Community Center, 1048 Walker Avenue, Memphis, TN 38106, in anticipation of taking a picture with Santa and receiving a gift from Attorney Smiley. “We will provide entertainment, food, and gifts to at least 250 kids,” said Smiley, who was hoping for a good turnout. “This event is all about the community and the kids that live in it. If you know of a family with young children who could potentially go without this Christmas season, please tell them about this event.” Memphis Police Department Officer J. Bitz helped control the crowd at the front door as South Memphis Toy 14 15 Extravaganza volunteer Lynn Williams counted the children who came to see Santa and to receive a gift. Over 300 children showed up and no one went home without something. “For the third year in a row the South Memphis Toy Extravaganza brought joy, happiness, and entertainment to the children of a place I am privileged to call home, Memphis, TN,” said Smiley who actually had items left over to give away after everyone had been served. “We have two wireless tower speakers, one stage speaker, and two wireless cellphone chargers all with Bluetooth capacity; one Huffy three-wheel Green Machine, and one 35” x 25” x 6” Air Hockey table remaining.” These items were available through Smiley’s personal Facebook page. Eligibility required participants to “Like” his page, share the status of the giveaways, pick a number from one to 500, and post the number chosen under the posting. The winner was decided by a random drawing at 6 PM CST that evening. Ties would be determined by the time the submission was received and the event was only open to individuals residing in Memphis and/or Shelby County, Tennessee. At last report, Attorney Smiley was in the process of scheduling drop off times for Facebook friends and gift winners, Certified Tasheka Reed, Tananaree Conklin, Kamillia Sargent, Tiesha Smith, Yvonne Brown, Natty Trey, and Tanya Sims. Congratulations are in order for everyone involved. To the family, Ms. Jackie and JB Sr., mentor Carl Johnson and all the friends and supporters of Attorney JB Smiley Jr., and to the volunteers and donors who helped make year three a huge success including—Lacretia Carroll, Felecia Hyman, Destini Booker, Aisha Butler, Tyranese Dandridge, Sequoia Finney, Zena Jordan, Tyrhonda Hyman and daughter Madison Hyman, Amber Sherman, John Knight for representing Southwest Tennessee Community College (SWTCC), Assistant Gaston Community Center Directors Shawn Boyd and Awendell Gordon, DJ IB John Doe, Jay Shipp and Jeremy Grier, Owner of ibounce Rentals. 24 25
Page 26
26 27
Page 30
DID YOU KNOW? There are several moneyless ways you can support nonprofits like DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE and the McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association, Inc. of Memphis (serving all of ZIP Code 38116). When you shop at Kroger you can, AT NO COST TO YOU, support DI’MANS, Inc. by enrolling in the Community Rewards Program and earning rewards for DI’MANS every time you shop! Visit Kroger.com/ communityrewards and support Organization #DN098. Smile.Amazon.com is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, again, AT NO COST TO YOU, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to DI’MANS Inc., the charitable organization of choice. Email us at NEWSCENESHELBYCO@gmail.com for details today! 30 Memphis City Council Representatives for Fiscal Years 2020-2024 ...as of November 21, 2019 Photo Credit: City of Memphis, TN (Seated from left) Incumbent Ford Canale, Super District 9-2, *Dr. Jeff Warren, Super District 9-3, Incumbent Cheyenne Johnson, Super District 8-2, (center standing) Incumbent and newly-elected Chair, Patrice Robinson, District 3; Incumbent Jamita Swearengen, District 4, Incumbent Martavius Jones, Super District 8-3; Incumbent Frank Colvett Jr., District 2; (Standing, from left) Incumbent Worth Morgan, District 5; *J.B. Smiley Jr., Super District 8-1; *Rhonda Logan, District 1 (formerly Sherman Greer); *Michalyn EasterThomas, District 7 (formerly Berlin Boyd); *Edmund Ford Sr., District 6 (formerly Geraldine ‘Gerre’ Currie who ran for Super District 8-1 but lost), and *Chase Carlisle, Super District 9-1. *Donates newly-elected council member Questionable things in Memphis?!! VIEW FROM RIVERSIDE DRIVE... 31
Page 32
CFC #46643 AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Location: Memphis, TN | Year Founded: 2009 DI’MANS, Inc. (Click here) to shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM Mission: DI'MANS, Inc. was formed to establish a positive, proactive force in the fight against juvenile crime and juvenile delinquency. The goal of DI'MANS, Inc. is to bring adults dedicated to positively shaping future generations together to assist disadvantaged youth in becoming productive citizens as adults. Help Support Causes in Your Community! (Click here to sign up) Did you know you can support nonprofit organizations in your community just by shopping at Kroger? It's easy when you enroll in Kroger Community Rewards®! To get started, sign up with your Plus Card below, and select a local organization you wish to support. Once you're enrolled, you'll earn rewards for your chosen organization every time you shop and use your Plus Card! Enroll now for the Kroger Community Rewards Program. And remember….all participants must re-enroll each year to continue earning rewards for their chosen organization. DIRECTIONS: 1) Go to Kroger.com; 2) Create an account or sign in; 3) Drop down the arrow at your name 4) Select “My Account” 5) Click on Community Rewards on the left side of the screen) Make a One-Time donation to DI’MANS, Inc. 32 Make a Recurring Donation (Click here) Alternative & Holistic Health Services ORDER HERE (901) 789-4844 Congratulations! Continued Success, Wishing You Well! 33 CLICK HERE TO VISIT US ONLINE
Page 34
34 35
December 2019 Vol#1-Issue#12-Publizr

December 2019 Vol#1-Issue#12


Page 0
Vol. 1, Issue 12 December 2019 KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN i LoveShe l byCoun ty . c om THE ACADEMY for YOUTH EMPOWERMENT and THE 22nd annual 2019 MEMPHIS CHRISTMAS PARADE! LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D. NEWSCENE has just finished Milestone #1, our first full year of publication! We thank you, our subscribing audience, the Memphis City Council, Shelby County Commission, and our online and print readers for all of your support and advice during this, our first year of publication. Please remember to follow us and to subscribe online at iLoveShelbyCounty.com. For those of you who prefer hard copies, thanks for your subscriptions. Subscribe to our printed editions online for $84/year, $42/bi-annually, or $7/month. You can call us at 901-300-0250, subscribe and/or pay online, or make your check made payable to DI’MANS, Inc. We are always looking forward to getting your emails at NEWSCENEShelbyCo@gmail.com. We can also be contacted by mail at DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE, I Love Shelby County, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190-0146. HAPPY END TO 2019! On Thursday, November 21, 2019, the annual Graceland Lighting Ceremony kicked off the holiday season in Whitehaven, a mostly bedroom community at the southern edge of Memphis near the TN-MS state line. The annual lighting event is the ceremony that honors Elvis Presley’s traditional Christmas lights being turned on and the reason why they remain lit daily until Elvis’ birthday on January 8th. The official Mayor of Whitehaven, Ms. Hazel Moore, Founder of the Academy for Youth Empowerment youth intervention and development program, followed the lighting ceremony with the 22nd annual Whitehaven Christmas Parade Saturday morning. The parade, now called “Memphis Christmas Parade in Whitehaven,” began near the Southland Mall, 1212 E. Shelby Drive, shortly after 10 AM. The parade route blocked off Elvis Presley Boulevard from Shelby Drive to just north of Raines Road where it ended in the Whitehaven Plaza for hours as bands, schools, and other participants on floats and walking paraded through the streets waving, chanting, and handing candy to spectators of all ages. The weekend of events concluded in the sanctuary of Abundant Grace Fellowship, 1574 E. Shelby Drive, at 4 PM Sunday, with “Songs of the Season,” a festive concert of holiday music. Continued on Page 2
Page 2
2 3
Page 4
4 5
Page 6
6 7
Page 10
2019 HANDY AWARDS: A BOFFO SUCCESS By Tony Jones; Photos courtesy the Handy Awards The 23rd Annual W.C. Handy Heritage Awards held Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, at the Holiday Inn Airport turned out “to be the best ever,” co-host Leon Griffin says many attendees told him. Created to honor “Authentic Beale Street Musicians,” the 2019 edition saluted Handy’s 146th birth date with the two-day Handy Birthday Bicentennial Celebration. Pre-events the night before the awards presentation included the W. C. Handy Birthday Bicentennial Parade, a showing of the documentary Mr. Handy’s Blues, and a book signing of Upright Bass: The Musical Life and Legacy of Jamil Nasser, written by his son Muneer Nasser. Griffin shared host duties with “International Queen of the Blues” diva Toni Greene. The pair was dressed to the nines and enthusiastically greeted the honorees whose personal histories underlined the theme aptly presented in the souvenir program given to each guest. “We are nearing the end of the Memphis Bicentennial Celebration and Memphis has put its best foot forward and showcased its history and accomplishments in grand style. But the celebration is not over yet. It is not over until we pause and give respect and honor to the one to whom much honor and respect is due, the man who put Memphis on the International map…When we learn in the media that Beale Street is the “Most Iconic Street in America” visited by millions of people every year, it is important to note that “Beale Street Blues” was written over 100 years ago by W. C. Handy giving it its popularity.” The same respect is due to event producer, Elaine Lee Turner, and posthumously, her sister and business partner Joan Nelson, for creating the award. Opened in 1983, their firm, Heritage Tours, has single handedly curated the W.C. Handy Home Museum on Beale Street for decades now and continues to do so at the company’s expense. Earlier this year, the City of Memphis awarded Turner a 15-year lease for the landmark, adding additional significance to this year’s awards. The company also owns and curates the Slave Haven commemorative museum, an authentic stop on the Underground Railroad. The night glittered with their commitment to keep our true musical roots alive. The Stax Music Academy kicked off the entertainment with Handy’s signature blues titles. Next came the procession entrance of The African Jazz Ensemble, who remained onstage as the house band. Among the powerful performances to follow were teenager Eliyahu Pinkney’s inspired performance of “Mr. Handy’s Blues” in a style evoking Louis Armstrong and a powerful performance by locally popular Melvia “Chick” Rogers saluting her late father, Rev. Melvin Rogers, who was honored by universally respected jazz guitarist Calvin Newborn, vocalist Rev. Melvin Rogers and widely known Mad Lads lead vocalist John Gary Williams. The 2019 W. C. Handy Heritage Awards Recipients are: saxophonist Robert (Bobby Lavell) Garner, recently named “King of Beale Street” Jonathan Ellison, gospel vocalists Frank Phillips, and Teresa Tate-Clardy. Posthumous awards were presented for jazz pianist Harold Mabern, jazz pianist & trumpeter Philip Joyner Jr. and bassist George (Jamil Nasser) Joyner. The Lifetime Music Achievement Award was presented to blues & jazz vocalist Joyce Cobb. She could not attend, but sent a thank you video accepting the honor. Cobb was one of the six original Handy Award honorees at their 1977 inception, an honor she shared with one of the night’s guest musicians, Barbara Perry-Wright. In addition to Stax Records Carla Thomas, saxophonist Herman Green, and Naseer, Perry-Wright was given special recognition as one of the founders of the first Beale Street Music Festival, which has grown to become the city’s biggest annual event, Memphis In May, further solidifying Handy’s importance and the necessary rationale for the event. 10 Photo credit: Jamie Griffin/Whitehaven Branch Library THI S MONTH AT THE WHITEHAVEN BRANCH L IBRARY. . . Monday, December 2 @ 5 PM - Watchful Eye Neighborhood Association Meeting Thursdays @ 10AM - Scrabble Club *(NEW) Saturdays @ 10 AM - Operation Hope Meeting Wednesday, December 4 @ 6 PM - Millbranch-Borden Neighborhood Association Meeting Saturday, December 7 - 1 PM - 3 PM, Protecting Your Security: Cameras Saturday, December 14 @ Noon, Roblox Branch Tournament Monday, December 16 - 3:30 PM - 5 PM, Dixon Gallery and Gardens Meeting Wednesday, December 18, Whitehaven Branch Library Teen Innovation Center grand opening Saturday, December 21 @10 AM - Oak Acres Neighborhood Association Meeting Monday, December 30 (every 4th Monday) @ 5:45 PM - C.A.R.E. Meeting DECEMBER JOB FAIRS: December 3 and 10 AM– 1 PM, Randstad Job Fair December 13 10 AM—3 PM, Connection Point Job Fair All Memphis Public Library locations, including the Whitehaven Branch Library, will close at 6 PM on Monday, December 23, 2019, in observance of the Christmas Holiday. All Memphis Public Library locations will be closed on Tuesday, December 24 and will remain closed on Wednesday, December 25, 2019. All Memphis Public Library locations, including the Whitehaven Branch Library, will reopen at 10 AM on Thursday, December 26, 2019. All Memphis Public Library locations, including the Whitehaven Branch Library, will close at 6 PM on Tuesday, December 31, 2019, in observance of New Year’s Eve. All Memphis Public Library locations, including the Whitehaven Branch Library, will be closed on Wednesday, January 1, 2020. All Memphis Public Library locations, including the Whitehaven Branch Library, will reopen at 10 AM on Thursday, January 2, 2020. VI S I T FACEBOOK. com/MPLWHI TEHAVEN . . .HAPPY HOL IDAYS ! 11
Page 12
Will you take a moment to help Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson? Please sign our petitions online... https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-destroying-black-residential-neighborhoods Help us to stop destroying predominantly black communities with environmentally-unfriendly business ventures that keep the rich, rich and the poor, poor, sick, and unhealthy. https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-destroying-black-residential-neighborhoods The facts: According to the Shelby County Board of Education website, Made in Memphis, LLC c/o Elvis Presley Enterprises, paid $200,000.00 for the 10.2 acre former site of Graves Elementary School, 3398 Graves Road, on December 3, 2019, for the purpose of creating "a light manufacturing facility for apparel, jewelry, home decor, and collectibles. They plan to train students in manufacturing and provide jobs." I say NO! My community is zoned single-family residential and no homeowner should have to open their door to semi-tractor trailers nor a light, medium, or heavy manufacturing facility. Why not put this and Waste Connections, LLC of TN in Chickasaw Gardens, Cordova, Bartlett, or Germantown? Jobs in Whitehaven, sure, but not at the expense of the replacing the serenity and comfort of our homes with a center focal point of a vocational training school bringing increased foot, bus, and large-vehicles traffic. We encourage you to tell Joel Weinshanker to put it in front of his front door or better yet, join our petition against this development in ours. What we need is not a light manufacturing facility in the middle of our beautiful neighborhood. What we need is a real community center. A center that will cater to everyone from the infant, through the teen, to include activities for our adult population and our seasoned citizens. What we desire is to provide reasonably-priced healthy food choices, free meals for the homeless, training and "enterpreneurshop" activities, safe and affordable housing for aging vets and their family members, 24-hour high-quality family and youth care, community meeting rooms, entertainment and recreation space for all ages, and similar programs that bring value to communities; not strategies that just make the rich, richer. Thank you SIGN OUR ONLINE PETITIONS NOW! CLICK THE LINK OR THE PICTURE... https://www.thepetitionsite.com/753/756/130/demand-waste-connections-to-cease-operations-now/ https://www.thepetitionsite.com/510/384/190/let%E2%80%99s-move-waste-connections-to-district-5/ DEMAND WASTE CONNECTIONS OF TN, LLC STOP THEIR WASTE TRANSFER STATION ACTIVITIES IN WHITEHAVEN HELP US TO MOVE WASTE CONNECTIONS OUT OF WHITEHAVEN TO DISTRICT 5 WHERE WORTH MORGAN IS COUNCIL REP. BECAUSE HE WAS THE ONLY VOTE FOR IT TO EXPAND. SIGN OUR ONLINE PETITIONS TODAY! Worth Morgan 12 13
Page 14
NEWSCENE DECEMBER AUTHOR ’ S CORNER . . . REV. MONTEE DAVI S AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM Support DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE for free while you shop! Rev. Montee Davis, an honors graduate of Mitchell High School in Memphis, TN; Memphis Alumnae Chapter (1985) Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. member; English/Humanities Bachelor of Arts graduate of LeMoyne-Owen College; Guidance and Counseling Masters of Education graduate from Texas Southern University in Houston; and retired (2002) Shelby County Schools English Instructor and Secondary Guidance Counselor has traveled the world extensively. Davis, trained in the metaphysical-New Thought Movement called Unity, is part of a loving, healing ministry and she invites everyone to learn more about the Unity Movement and its Truth teachings through her eyes and words of wisdom so skillfully captured in her book, Blessed, I’m So Blessed released “When bad things happen to wrote about in t h i s book, or lose faith in God. Instead, good in every situation and in Initially, Davis’ grandparents Christian Methodist Episcopal “One day, while listening to heard a speaker by the name of The speaker spoke about God her grandmother, Montee April 5, 2012. you,” says Davis, “Just like I don’t c r i t i c i ze , condemn praise God, and look for the every experience.” were faithful members of the (CME) Church. the radio, my grandmother Dr. Hodgkins,” said Davis. “She did some research and g roup was mee t i ng in beautiful, but segregated, Fa l l s received permission New Thought Movement he r husband to jo i n he r Dr . J o s eph K . a nd Re v . Mi l d r ed F a l l s Da v i s ’ da u gh t e r s ( fr om l e ft ) Re v . Da v ene Da v i s , Re v . Mon t e e Da v i s , a nd S i s . J oy c e Da v i s Co l ema n . in a manner that Davis’ said Falls, sa id was new to her. found out t ha t a s t udy downtown Memphis in the Peabo dy Hotel.” and began to attend these meetings. She encouraged and t hey bot h became licensed and ordained Unity ministers. Unity Churches have always had female ministers, something that was extremely unusual for Memphis, especially during those times. The Unity Center of Memphis was founded by Falls and 12 members on October 30, 1952, in the old YMCA building on Lauderdale Street. In 1984, Rev. Mildred Falls Davis, Rev. Montee Davis’ mother and the Rev. Mildred Falls Davis’ daughter, moved the church to 3345 McCorkle Road. Services at the Unity Christian Church of Memphis, as it is now known, are held on Sundays at 11 AM. Call (901) 396-9961 for Davis’ book, program offerings, and more information. You are also encouraged to visit unitychristianchurch.us, to “LIKE” UCC of Memphis on Facebook at UnityChristianChurch, or to share and dial (816) 969-2000 for the free Silent Unity: 24/7 Prayer Ministry line. 14 ATTENTION FAMI LY & SPEC I AL GUEST SPEAKER ALL INTERESTED PARTIES… TO BE INVITED TO THE 1ST MEETING OF 2020 WITH KROGER MANAGEMENT PLEASE EMAIL YOUR NAME AND PHONE # TO: MYZIP463@GMAIL.COM NO LATER THAN MIDNIGHT FRIDAY, JAN. 3, 2020 THANK YOU My ZIP will be meeting with Kroger Management the second week of January 2020 PLEASE HELP MONITOR ALL STORES FOR CLEANLINESS... 15
Page 16
The 11th annual Fundraising Benefit for the ZION COMMUNITY PROJECT, Inc. “And Still We Rise” Benefitting the ZION Christian Cemetery A Memphis, TN Historical Landmark Established in 1876 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2019 ♦♦♦ McCallum Ballroom at Rhodes College Story By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson and PHOTOGRAPHY by TYRONE P. EASLEY, tpephoto1@yahoo.com The April edition of NEWSCENE featured a brief synopsis of the history and the marking of the Thomas Moss gravesite in the Zion Cemetery, the oldest known African American community cemetery in Memphis, TN. On Thursday, November 7, 2019, a group of Zion Community Project supporters gathered in the McCallum Ballroom at Rhodes College, 2000 N. Parkway, to honor those whose contributions have assisted in the ongoing restoration of the historic site. “Tonight’s theme, “And Still We Rise,” said Dr. Tyrone T. Davis, Zion Community Project Board Chair and General Secretary, CME Board of Personnel Services, “speaks to the hopes of tomorrow in the face of the challenges of today.” Davis acknowledged the magnitude of the project as he spoke about the cemetery in terms of the project being “more than the restoration of a cemetery.” The Zion Community Project, Davis stated, “encompasses a legacy of nearly 150 years and represents the lives and accomplishments of a newly freed people who learned to do so much with so little.” Designed to raise funds and awareness, the program featured WREG-TV, News Channel 3 anchor Alex Coleman, who B. was introduced by Tramica Morris, President and CFO of Mo’s Bows, as the Master of Ceremonies. Reginald Eskridge, Esq., Senior Partner at Eskridge & Eskridge Law Firm, provided the greetings and Dr. Roderick D. Lewis Sr., General Secretary of the CME Department of Publications gave the invocation and blessed the dinner. The menu, consisting of house garden salad with a choice of dressings, wild salmon fillet baked with Chablis butter, herb roasted beef shoulder tender with port Demi-Glaze, vegetables, buttermilk Yukon gold mashed potatoes, rolls, carrot cake or pecan pie, iced tea and water was prepared by Mark Coy, Catering Director of Bon Appetit Management Company, the recently contracted company that provides food and beverages to and for all events held on campus. There were three categories of emphasis, Public Service, Preservation, and Legacy, highlighted during the event. The Rose Flenorl Public Service Award was introduced by Trena M. Williams, Principal at the Williams Law Firm. Rose Flenorl, Global Citizenship Manager at FedEx, presented the award herself. The award recipient was First Horizons Advisors Financial Advisor, Steve McManus. The Ron Walter Preservation Award was introduced by Elmwood Cemetery Assistant Director Bob Barnett. The award was presented to award recipient Mark L. Stansbury Sr., University of Memphis (retired) Assistant to the President, by WREG-TV - News Channel 3 President, Ron Walter. The William Smith Legacy Award was introduced by Howard Robertson, President of Trust Marketing. The award was presented by L. Geraldine Smith, the widow of Rev. William Smith, to Dr. Marjorie Hass, the program’s Keynote Speaker and President of Rhodes College, who was introduced by Dr. Milton Moreland, Rhodes College Provost. Dr. Davis provided the closing remarks and final blessing for the event. “We are grateful to Dr. Warner L. Dickerson, Dinner Program Chair, Program Committee members Dr. Milton Moreland, R. Elaine Turner, Raka Nandi, Trena M. Williams, Beverly Robertson, Dr. Walker D. Wright, and all the participants who have worked to make this evening a success,” said Davis. “The entire Board joins me in thanking you for your contributions and your presence which continues to encourage us.” Davis encouraged those in attendance to join the ZION Community Project again in 2020, thanked everyone for all 16 Top (from left) L. Geraldine Smith, widow of Rev. William Smith and presenter of the William Smith Legacy Award, Award recipient, Dr. Majorie Hass, Rhodes College President, and award introducer, Howard Robertson of Trust Marketing; Center (from left) Rose Flenorl Public Service Award recipient, Steve McManus, First Horizon Financial Advisor and award introducer, Trena Williams, Esq., Principal, the Williams Law Firm; Bottom (from left) Bob Barnett, Assistant Director, Elmwood Cemetery and introducer of the Ron Walter Preservation Award, Award recipient, Mark L. Stansbury Sr., University of Memphis (retired) Assistant to the President and award presenter, Ron Walter, President, WREG-TV– Channel 3. D. 17
Page 20
HEAL THE HOOD FOUNDATION Basketball Game Fundraiser Heal the Hood (HTH) Foundation of Memphis is a nonprofit organization that provides positive outlets for youth of all ages and young adults through singing, dancing, art, acting, motivational speaking, screen writing, and modeling. Founded by LaDell Beamon in 2007, after seeing the lives of several youth being affected by the media, Beamon decided to use his talents of writing, acting, producing, and directing to become a catalyze for change through film. If we can positively influence our young people to think before they make decisions, get out of gangs, avoid outcomes that result from peer pressure, stay away from drugs and alcohol, steer away from weapons and other mass destruction, then we have just saved someone’s life and helped them to be the dynamic person they were created to be. The mission of the Hero Empowerment Center (HEC) is to create an artistic therapy platform that cultivates and equips youth to use their gifts and talents to positively shape the community around them. The HEC uses creative and strategic partnerships to shape three core areas of youth that become a part. Those three core areas are body, mind, and spirit. Facility includes: Comic Studio, Dance Studio, Martial Arts, Career and Leadership Program, College Prep, Guitar Lessons, Recording Studio, A Hero Shop, and so much more. The Evolution School of the Arts is a mobile after school program that brings the arts to your school or neighborhood. The program offers martial arts, instrumental music, audio producing and recording, dance, graphic arts and drama. These components are coupled with general sessions for all students in the form of life coaching. Our motto is “Don’t let you gift take you where you character can’t keep you.” Did we mention that all classes are taught from a Hero’s point of view? The Phases Mentoring Program is a premiere CLICK HERE TO DONATE 20 program that works in conjunction with the Wake Up Tour, Vision Team, and the Evolution School of the Arts. Youth are divided into gender-based sessions that speak on subjects that empower and inspire youth. Phases spans from 7 years of age to 21 years of age. The Young Women and Young Men sessions are conducted by Adult Mentors that use various speakers, innovative trips and fun sessions to create a relaxed platform for growth in today’s sometimes complicated world. Continued on Page 23 The Legacy Project’s mission is to saturate residential lie in apartment complexes that are considered low-to-moderate income households with empowerment programs that increase the quality of life. By doing this, we are able to set goals for residents, bring programming to their front yard, and change the social climate. The mobile programming of The Legacy Project eliminates excuses and brings a comprehensive solution to an immediate need that fosters long term results. The HTH six Core Areas of Concentration are: 1. Social and Community Empowerment 2. Mentoring and Afterschool Programming 3. Parenting Programming 4. Career and Leadership Programming 5. Entrepreneurship Development 6. Professional Development CLICK HERE TO DONATE 21
Page 22
ABOUT ALZHEIMER/DEMENTIA & VOLUNTEERING Volunteer Memphis had it’s humble beginnings in 1975 as The Volunteer Center of Memphis an organization sponsored by the National Council of Jewish Women and the Junior League of Memphis. The organization merged with HandsOn Memphis in 2000 and became known as Volunteer Mid-South in 2009. Volunteer Mid-South became an action-arm of Leadership Memphis in 2015. The volunteer branch works with other nonprofits, churches, schools, corporations and groups and is responsible for “building capacity for effective volunteering and connecting people with opportunities to serve.” Volunteer Memphis held a session featuring several Andrea Hill (far right) Director of Volunteer Memphis lists to panelists. local Alzheimer’s and Dementia providers on November15, 2019. The session speakers encouraged caregivers for those with loved ones with Alzheimer’s and Dementia to first take care of themselves and understand that they are a caregiver which is and can be a very demanding job; and to secondly, not be afraid to seek the services of agencies that provide support services to make their lives easier as they continue to care for their loved ones. Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to degenerate and die, is the most common cause of dementia. The disease is marked by 7 stages starting with no impairment where the disease is undetectable, to very mild decline, to mild decline, to moderate decline, to moderately severe decline, to severe decline, to the very severe decline stage. Contact Andrea Hill at (901) 278-0016 or ahill@leadershipmemphis.org, visit volunteermemphis.org, or contact your choice of local providers for information on local Alzheimer’s and Dementia support groups and caregiver conferences. Memphis-born saxophonist/arranger/composer Mark Baker developed his musical interest back in 1978. He trained and began to develop his personal style under the direction of Lonnie Neely. Baker began playing gospel music in 1981. After graduating from Southside High School in 1983, he spent four years in the U. S. Navy where he served as an Operations Specialist Petty Officer. After returning from service, Baker tried his hand at being a DJ and began to pick up R&B, Jazz, Blues, Country, and opportunities for DJ work all around town. He has performed with several well-known entertainers, in various venues, at the Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival and, most recently at the Southern Heritage Classic Memphis State vs. Jackson State football game. “Mom purchased my sax in 1978,” said Baker of his mother, Mary Baker. “She could barely afford to pay the $15/month rental fee back then, but look at how God has turned the tables…” Baker treated his mother to dinner at Rafferty’s Restaurant and Bar, 4542 Poplar Avenue in Memphis, on Friday, November 15, 2019, at 6 PM. During the event in a show of appreciation, Baker pulled out his saxophone and played the Happy Birthday song to his mother. 22 SAXOPHONIST MARK BAKER... My Brother’s Love Memphis native and “My Brother’s Love” film producer William Edwards held a red carpet film premiere and after party on Saturday, November 16, 2019, at Brinson’s Downtown Chicken Lounge, an after hours spot located at 341 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103. Edwards wrote and produced the love story about everyday life for a young couple living in Memphis. The hour-long, global film premiere production began at 3 PM. Admission was $10/ person. For more information or to book the production at your venue, please call (901) 208-0471. POP TOP MINISTRY ITEMS 48 Vienna Sausages ($12): https:// www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr… 12 Sardines ($18): https:// www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr… 12 Crackers ($12): https:// www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr… 14 Chips ($21): https:// www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr… 12 Mixed Fruit Cups ($12): https:// www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr… Deacon Drew Woodruff (far left), Mother Georgia King (center) and Patricia Thompson (second from right) are joined by volunteers at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral for a Pop Top Fundraiser. Mother Georgia King (901) 650-7321 Patricia Thompson (901) 443-3731 Deacon Drew Woodruff was ordained in 2007 although his ministerial work began long before that time. Woodruff oversees the Pop-Top ministry at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, 700 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38105, (901) 527-3361, where he’s been a member since 1978. Organized in 1857 as a mission church, St. Mary’s was the cathedral church of the old statewide Episcopal Diocese of TN in 1871 and, with the creation of three dioceses, it became the Cathedral of the Diocese of West TN in 1983. Located near Poplar and Orleans in what is now a part of downtown Memphis with modern-day food desert characteristics, St. Mary’s was officially dedicated on Ascension Day, May 13, 1858. The church played an important roll during the yellow fever epidemic that occurred in the late 1850s in Memphis. Known as the “Martyrs of Memphis” or “Constance and Her Companions,” Episcopal nun superior, Sister Constance, three other nuns, and two priests risked their own safety to stay in Memphis to care for the sick and dying. Woodruff, a modern-day martyr in his own right, carries forward this work through St. Mary’s Pop Top and Shoe ministries and by being a liaison to the church’s Haiti Partnership. Following in the steps of several members of The Order of the Daughter’s of the King, Woodruff has provided more than 5,600 bags of food containing more than 150 cans of Vienna sausages over the past 15 years. Unfortunately, the dwindling congregation that boasted over 800 members in earlier years, has a struggling 250 active members today which, along with Woodruff’s retirement-only income, makes providing free bag lunches much more difficult. Recent collaborations with Patricia Thompson, Executive Director of One Mouth At A Time and Mother Georgia King, who has sponsored the MLK50 food drive for the past three years, has provided some assistance in meeting the needs of an ever growing population of hungry elderly and homeless persons. “I became a deacon to help those whom God sends to our cathedral seeking help,” said Woodruff who loves St. Mary’s and wants her to continue being the beacon of hope she has always been to the poor and marginalized in Memphis. “The ultimate goal I would like to achieve is for people to not be hungry; then, there would be no need.” 23
Page 24
At 10:30 AM Saturday morning November 2, 2019, I encountered this pair of raptors on Timothy Drive just east of Elvis Presley Blvd. By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, “Raptor,” is a generic term for all birds of prey. While I am no expert in the field of Ornithology, a branch of zoology that concerns the study of birds, I am confident that these two were not robins! A couple of quick Google searches brought out the following information concerning birds of prey: 1. There are five (5) types of birds of prey. They are: a. Accipitridae: hawks, eagles, buzzards, harriers, kites, and Old World vultures. b. Pandionidae: osprey. c. Sagittariidae: the secretarybird. d. Falconidae: falcons, caracaras, and forest falcons. e. Cathartidae: New World vultures Raptors, according to the spruce (thespruce.com/types-of-birds-of-prey-387307), “are carnivorous birds with strong bills, large talons, and exceptional flight capabilities. There are more than 500 species of raptors found throughout the world and different types of raptors can be found in every type of habitat (including your front and/or backyard)! A few other special characteristics that set raptors apart from other birds are their curved claws, sharp feet, strong eyesight (to see this road kill from soaring heights in the heavens above), and hooked beaks (which are visible even from the distance I took these pictures at—which was safely behind the steering wheel of my car, with my foot on the brake and ready to hit the accelerator at a moment’s notice! It is important to note that these raptors were not interested in my meat, mainly because, with the exception of vultures (which are very unsightly to look at), raptors feast on animals that are already dead. Other birds of prey, like owls which are also present in our community, are hunters that eat mice, rats, rabbits, and sometimes small birds and maybe even cats (including my beloved pet NALA), though. The word “Raptor,” is derived from the Latin term ‘rapere’ which means “to capture.” CONTEST Please correctly identity which bird of prey is pictured in this story and where it was seen. Email your responses to us at newsceneshelbyco@gmail.com by midnight December 31, 2019, for a free dozen of Krispy Kreme donuts! 24 LISTEN UP! COUNTLESS NUMBERS OF PEOPLE ARE LEAVING HERE DAILY WITHOUT MAKING PREPARATIONS… ...WE WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE ONE OF THEM. December 1, 2019 DI’MANS, Inc. Post Office Box 9146 Memphis, TN 38190-0146 RE: Technology Seminars for Seniors My ZIP - My Email Meetings Free Announcement Calendar Greetings, The board and staff of DI’MANS, Inc., a nonprofit, IRS recognized organization founded in 1999, wishes to invite you to join us as we begin to reintroduce Shelby County to our series of informational presentations on subjects we believe you need to know about. Subscribe to our online newsmagazine NEWSCENE at iLoveShelbyCounty.com TODAY, to stay informed... We will begin offering free classes on topics that include: Gardening for Survival Navigating Your Mobile Device with Confidence, Especially for Seasoned Citizens Social Security Disability: Application Submitted, Approval Received Securing loved ones’ futures by preparing for the End-of-My-Life Student loan management: What You Should Know Before and After Signing The Real ID: What’s Happening after October 1, 2020? Hosting Voter Registration Drives: What you need to know Who are You Voting For? Meet the Candidates Thank you, Phone (901) 300-0250 for information, to make a donation, or for volunteer opportunities! 25
Page 26
A Discussion on Environmental Racism with Tait Keller, Associate Professor of History at Rhodes College By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, CNC According to their Facebook page, GlobeMed at Rhodes College, 2000 N. Parkway, was founded in September 2008 “to raise awareness about health inequity and provide monetary support to A Ministry of Sharing Health and Hope (AMOS), a partner organization in Nicaragua, while enabling college students to become aware of and use their privilege to empower those suffering from health inequities.” The Rhodes College chapter has partnered with AMOS “to implement home water filtration systems in rural communities.” On November 20, 2019, the nonprofit organization joined forces with the Rhodes Sustainability Coalition to sponsor “A discussion on environmental racism in Memphis,” featuring Dr. Tait Keller, a Rhodes College Associate Professor of History as the guest speaker. “I teach a variety of courses that focus on environmental history, war and society, and modern Europe,” said Keller. “Several of my courses, especially my environmental history courses, transcend national boundaries and place their subjects in a global context.” To bring a real-life context to his classroom environment, Keller is known for integrating educational off-campus adventures into his lectures and discussions. According to Keller and in the words of another historian, “A little ‘intelligent wandering’ will teach us more than ‘a half-semester of armchair study’.” The open-floor forum discussion, featured free Vegan Food provided by Pearl Walker founder of MRYE—Memphis Raise Your Expectations!!! Facebook page. The forum asked the question and the main topic of discussion was, “Why are a l l t he t ox i c was te p l an t s l oca ted i n predomi nant l y b l ack ne i ghborhoods ? ” Keller posits, “Communities are not all created equal and we know that. You’ll find that environmental injustice occurs whenever some individual or group bears a disproportionate amount of environmental risk. Like being located near a hazardous waste dump or if they have unequal access to environmental goods like clean air or clean water; or they have less an opportunity to participate in environmental decision-making. In every nation of the world you find that poor people, minorities face greater environmental risk. They have less access to environmental goods; they have less ability to control the environmental insults imposed on them.” Although dining on vegan delights, the room was silent as all eyes and ears were focused on the truth to the words that Keller spoke so matter-of-factly about. It was time to bring the subject home. 14 15 “Let’s focus our attention on the United States,” said Keller. “We all learned in the history of the United States institutional racism shapes our economy, it shapes our politics, and it shapes the ecological landscape…” Keller went on to explain that clear evidence exists that supports the hypothesis that being a minority or in fact ones’ race, or perceived race, is an “independent factor” in predicting which areas will experience excessive lead in water, higher levels of air pollution, industrial facilities placement, the enforcement of other inappropriate land uses including, but not limited to, highway routes. Minorities in the United States experience a disproportionate share of these environmental injustices and they have less power to prevent them from occurring. While Professor Keller did in fact mention that Buckman Hall was packed to a “standing room only” status that Wednesday evening, the population did not include, in my estimation, enough of the general public subject to and/or fighting against similar developments. My mother always taught me that “A closed mouth does not get fed,” so I speak up against injustice and, if you don’t want to lead, at least join the fight. Besides, nothing beats a failure but a try and, when we all try together—the way we’ve done in the past against Pull-a-Part, Kroger, and Waste Connections, LLC of TN, we can and will continue to prevail in preventing these environmental insults from destroying our minority neighborhoods. 26 27
Page 28
DID YOU KNOW? There are several moneyless ways you can support nonprofits like DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE and the McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association, Inc. of Memphis (serving all of ZIP Code 38116). When you shop at Kroger you can, AT NO COST TO YOU, support DI’MANS, Inc. by enrolling in the Community Rewards Program and earning rewards for DI’MANS every time you shop! Visit Kroger.com/ communityrewards and support Organization #DN098. Smile.Amazon.com is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, again, AT NO COST TO YOU, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to DI’MANS Inc., the charitable organization of choice. Email us at NEWSCENESHELBYCO@gmail.com for details today! 28 Memphis City Council Representatives for Fiscal Years 2020-2024 ...as of November 21, 2019 Photo Credit: City of Memphis, TN (Seated from left) Incumbent Ford Canale, Super District 9-2, *Dr. Jeff Warren, Super District 9-3, Incumbent Cheyenne Johnson, Super District 8-2, (center standing) Incumbent and newly-elected Chair, Patrice Robinson, District 3; Incumbent Jamita Swearengen, District 4, Incumbent Martavius Jones, Super District 8-3; Incumbent Frank Colvett Jr., District 2; (Standing, from left) Incumbent Worth Morgan, District 5; *J.B. Smiley Jr., Super District 8-1; *Rhonda Logan, District 1 (formerly Sherman Greer); *Michalyn EasterThomas, District 7 (formerly Berlin Boyd); *Edmund Ford Sr., District 6 (formerly Geraldine ‘Gerre’ Currie who ran for Super District 8-1 but lost), and *Chase Carlisle, Super District 9-1. *Donates newly-elected council member Questionable things in Memphis?!! VIEW FROM RIVERSIDE DRIVE... 29
Page 30
A Sermon entitled “LOVE” By Rev. Michael A. Callier, Chicago, IL Rev. Michael A. Callier of Chicago, IL, provided the message, a sermon entitled “LOVE” during regular services at Unity Christian Church of Memphis, 3345 McCorkle Road, on Sunday November 24, 2019. Callier used the first letters of the word as acronyms to describe Living, Outstanding, Victorious, and Encouragement as he reminded those in attendance, “We must be more loving towards all people…” and then asked everyone [how], “Do you encourage yourself and others?” NE IGHBORHOOD BUS TOUR On Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at 1 pm several members of the McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Assoc. (MRNDA), Inc. of Memphis gathered at the former site of Graves Elementary School to board a MATA bus and take a tour to identify city and county code violations in the northern part of Whitehaven. Within an hour of traveling only half of the predesignated route, nearly 3 dozen violations had been identified. While we did discover a neighbor with at least one Steve Shular, Special Assistant to Mayor Jim Strickland, spoke during the neighborhood violation tour held on November 5, 2019. chicken in their yard, a serious violation, the majority of the violations recorded involved vehicles. Home after home and house after house showed signs of inoperable vehicles parked on paved and/or unpaved surfaces, some s i t t i ng r i gh t i n p l a i n v i ew , in front yards and near the street. Items including broken garage doors, garbage carts left on the curb before and after the weekly garbage collection day, excessive junk/debris/furniture in yards, dead, dying, and fallen trees, and more. Since the area being toured was a mixed residential/industrial/commercial area, several county code violations were forwarded to Shelby County so the appropriate agency could follow up. The entire tour would have taken approx. 2.5 hours, so a second tour is being planned for sometime in 2020. Neighbors whose properties were in violation at the time of the tour will be receiving official city documentation of the specific violation and the length of time they will have to correct the violation before being sited to Environmental Court or fined. Tours are free and open for the public to attend in hopes they will institute a similar event in their neighborhoods. For dates, times, or additional information on the future tours scheduled, please call (901) 300-0250. 30 2nd Annual I Love Whitehaven Week Nov 19-24, 2019 The community was encouraged to drop by The Whitehaven Holiday Marketplace, which was held in conjunction with the annual I Love Whitehaven Week celebration, after the Memphis Christmas Parade in Whitehaven on Saturday, November 23, 2019. The event, featuring vendors, food trucks, music, and fun was held in the parking lot of the Whitehaven Plaza, 3966-4096 Elvis Presley Boulevard behind the McDonalds restaurant. Phone 901.289.6909 for info on upcoming events. NEWSCENE ENCOURAGES YOU TO DINE AT THE... 972 E. BROOKS ROAD Across the street from the MAPCO (at the light) between Elvis Presley Boulevard and Lakeview Road Hours and Days: Tues & Wed, 10A-8P; Thurs-Fri, 10A-9P; Sat., 12N-9P Closed Sundays & Mondays Specializing in and serving chicken wings; ham & turkey burgers; hot dogs and chili (w or w/o cheese) dogs; smoked sausages; fries (w or w/o) chili; okra; mashed potatoes; baked beans; onion rings; and more! Prices: $$ - Delivery available (limited radius) and to the sick, elderly, and disabled. Cooked to Order - Call (901) 308-2404 to place your order for pickup today! Chef Theresa Sullivan, Proprietor 31
Page 32
CFC #46643 AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Location: Memphis, TN | Year Founded: 2009 DI’MANS, Inc. (Click here) to shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM Mission: DI'MANS, Inc. was formed to establish a positive, proactive force in the fight against juvenile crime and juvenile delinquency. The goal of DI'MANS, Inc. is to bring adults dedicated to positively shaping future generations together to assist disadvantaged youth in becoming productive citizens as adults. Help Support Causes in Your Community! (Click here to sign up) Did you know you can support nonprofit organizations in your community just by shopping at Kroger? It's easy when you enroll in Kroger Community Rewards®! To get started, sign up with your Plus Card below, and select a local organization you wish to support. Once you're enrolled, you'll earn rewards for your chosen organization every time you shop and use your Plus Card! Enroll now for the Kroger Community Rewards Program. And remember….all participants must re-enroll each year to continue earning rewards for their chosen organization. DIRECTIONS: 1) Go to Kroger.com; 2) Create an account or sign in; 3) Drop down the arrow at your name 4) Select “My Account” 5) Click on Community Rewards on the left side of the screen) Make a One-Time donation to DI’MANS, Inc. 32 Make a Recurring Donation (Click here) Alternative & Holistic Health Services ORDER HERE (901) 789-4844 Congratulations! Continued Success, Wishing You Well! 33 CLICK HERE TO VISIT US ONLINE
Page 34
34 35
November 2019

November 2019 Vol#1-Issue#11 To Print


Page 0
Vol. 1, Issue 11 November 2019 KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN i LoveShe l byCoun t y . com The McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association celebrated National Night Out in October! PHOTO By Tony Wright LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D. We trust that you have enjoyed reading NEWSCENE as much as we’ve enjoyed writing it and our prayer is that you will find it in your pocket to support our efforts by subscribing to our monthly newsmagazine! Please remember to subscribe online at iLoveShelbyCounty.com to get reminders about when monthly editions are published and more. For those of you who prefer a hard copy, thanks! Subscriptions are available year round for $84/year, $42/bi-annually, or $7/ month. You can call us at 901-300-0250, subscribe and/or pay online, or make your check made payable to DI’MANS, Inc. We are always looking forward to getting your emails at NEWSCENEShelbyCo@gmail.com. We can also be contacted by mail at DI’MANS, Inc. dba I Love Shelby County, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190-0146. Thank you, According to a February 1996 The Commercial Appeal article written by John Hubbell, the McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association (MRNDA), Inc. of Memphis, founded in March 1994, was already celebrating National Night Out at the time of his writing. The MRNDA celebrated National Night every second Tuesday in August until 2014. For years, the group encouraged Raines Station, and anyone else who would listen, to celebrate the event in October because the August heat was just to brutal. Besides, Texas was already celebrating in October so why couldn’t Tennessee? The MRNDA had complained for years to host the event in October, but no one seemed to be listening. Can you imagine the joy felt reading in mid-November 2018 that the Memphis Area Neighborhood Watch Office had succeeded in changing the date to October? We were elated and immediately began to announced our intentions to once again participate in the annual event for the first time in the past five years. We knew we had to come back strong after being gone from participating for so long, so our efforts were addressed to attack neighbors from all, especially the young homeowner, age groups. We did and after it was all said and done, we deemed the event a full success! Continued on Page 8
Page 8
PHOTOS By Tony Wright Thank you for supporting your 25-year old neighborhood association where the dues are still $25/household per year. There are not many neighborhoods that equal the one you live in which I’m sure is why you moved here in the first place. It is and has always been our goal to preserve McCorkle Road and its surrounding areas which include all of 38116. If you cannot pay $25.00 at once, please get on our 4-Pay Plan which allows you to pay a flat $5.00 once a quarter in January, April, July, and October or our 5-Pay Plan where you pay a flat $5 in January, March, May, July, and September. To enroll in either plan requires your initial payment to be paid no later than January 31st of every year and plans that are not fulfilled as agreed must be brought current before requesting to re-enroll in your neighborhood association. In the past, we have sponsored several End-of-Year Celebrations where we invite neighboring associations to join us as we bring our city leaders and administrators out of their offices to tell you what they are in charge of in our great city. These lunch- or dinner-type come-as-you are events include the majority of the cost of member’s dinners, may include musical entertainment, administrators, and special guests listening sessions. This is not the place where we air our concerns, so please don’t plan to come to complain. After all, it will be the holiday season and we want to remain joyous! Please remember to email mccorkleroad@aol.com or to phone (901) 300-0250 to express your desire to attend today. 8 CL I CK HERE TO VI S I T TN.GOV/TNREAL ID FOR MORE INFORMAT ION 9
Page 10
TOILET PAPER TRASH WAS LEFT ON THE GROUND ALL THE WAY UP AND DOWN THE ENTIRE STREET WHAT A SHAME TOILET PAPER Every Day of the Year in my Neighborhood Post Office Box 9695 Memphis, TN 38190-0695 Dear Mr. Sanitation Worker, What makes you feel that leaving trash in front of my house is acceptable? Do you leave trash on the other side of town when you empty garbage carts in front of homes? Well, I’ve never seen any and that is because you don’t do it in certain areas. Tell me it isn't so and I’ll prove it to you that it is. When you are in predominately African American neighborhoods, Mr. Sanitation Worker, please remember that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lost his life fighting for your rights. Dr. King, as you know, was assassinated right here on these very same streets fighting for you and your co-workers and all of your predecessors to have the ability to insist you be treated like human beings (hence, the I AM A MAN signs) and not be treated like the trash you pick up for a living. For God’s sake, if not for your own, Dr. King’s, or the communities you serve, please do your job with the pride Dr. King has made it possible for you to have in being a Sanitation Worker. We are tax paying citizens and we are not going to continue to watch as you destroy the very communities you live in for lack of caring for anything other than your check. I have your pictures and will assimilate a group of concerned citizens who will follow your garbage trucks in their areas, taking pictures of your sloppiness, and turning each and everyone of you in and demanding your immediate termination. 10 The Historic Orange Mound Centennial Celebration Committee and Mo the r Ma r y Mi tche l l needs your help to develop… A Pictorial and Oral History of the Orange Mound Community! Meeting Announcements forthcoming! SEEKING: Historical Pictures & Papers Business, Civic, Social, and School News Resident’s Highlights Political Highlights and more! EMAIL: HOMCCPROJECT@GMAIL.COM or Phone: (901) 300-0250 THI S MONTH AT THE WHITEHAVEN BRANCH L I BRARY. . . Saturday, November 2 @11:15 AM - McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association monthly meeting TOLL-FREE CALL-IN: PHONE #: (605) 313-6175; ACCESS CODE: (691540); Saturday, November 2 @ 10 AM Meeting and 11 AM - Book Club Reading (“Death on the Nile,” by Agatha Christie” Saturday, November 2 @ 1 PM - Whiteville-Alice Neighborhood Association Meeting Monday, November 4 @ 5 PM - Watchful Eye Neighborhood Association Meeting Tuesday, November 5 @ 10 AM- Randstad Job Fair Thursdays, beginning November 7 @ 10:30 AM - Scrabble Club *(NEW) Thursday, November 7 @ 2:30 PM - Inspiring Visionaries Non-Profit Workshop Thursday, November 7 @ 6 PM - Oakwood Drive Neighborhood Association Meeting Friday, November 8 (every 2nd Friday) @ 2:30 PM - Police/Community Partnership Meeting Saturday, November 9 @ 10 AM - Operation Hope Saturday, November 9 @ 2:30 PM - EumeRose Natural Soaps and Body Care Products Bath Bomb Workshop with Ella Oji Monday, November 11 - ALL LIBRARY BRANCHES CLOSED IN OBSERVATION OF VETERAN’S DAY Tuesday, November 12 @ 10 AM- Randstad Job Fair Wednesday, November 13 @ 6 PM - Millbranch-Borden Neighborhood Association Meeting Saturday, November 16 @10 AM - Oak Acres Neighborhood Association Saturday, November 16 @ 10 AM - Operation Hope Tuesday, November19 @ 10 AM- Randstad Job Fair Saturday, November 23 @ 10 AM - Operation Hope Monday, November 25 (every 4th Monday) @ 5:45 PM - C.A.R.E. Meeting Tuesday, November 26 @ 10 AM- Randstad Job Fair Wednesday, November 27 @ 6 PM through Friday. November 29 @ 6 PM - ALL LIBRARY BRANCHES CLOSED, HAVE A... . . .HAPPY THANKSGIVING ! Saturday, November 30 @ 10 AM - ALL LIBRARY BRANCHES REOPEN for regular hours or UNTIL 6 PM VI S I T FACEBOOK. com/MPLWHI TEHAVEN 11
Page 14
14 15
Page 16
NEWSCENE NOVEMBER AUTHOR ’ S CORNER. . . Time Is Tight: My Life, Note by Note Hardcover – October 29, 2019 By Booker T. Jones The long-awaited memoir of Booker T. Jones, leader of the famed Stax Records house band, architect of the Memphis soul sound, and one of the most legendary figures in music. PURCHASE YOUR COPY ONL INE AT AMAZON. COM TODAY ! Support DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE https://smile.amazon.com/Time-Tight-My-Life-Note/dp/0316485608/ ref=smi_www_rco2_go_smi_g3905707922?_encoding=UTF8&%2AVersion% 2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0&ie=UTF8 HARDCOVER - $27.00 AUDIO - $19.72 KINDLE - $15.99 Booker T. & The MG’s leader Booker T. Jones hosts a book signing for his memoir Time Is Tight: My Life Note By Note, Friday, November 1st, 7 p.m., at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, 926 E. McLemore Avenue to bring back to the remarkable music career that began with him and David Porter running errands in their band teacher’s car when students together at Booker T. Washington High School, where Jones’s father was also a math instructor. Now 74 years old, the Memphis music icon takes the reader on an easy ride that often makes you pause to realize what you just read. The most subtle punch is when he outlines his formative years from his family’s home on Edith Street. Reading it makes you sigh in reverence, with a trickle of empathy and exhaustion for his parents, as you are drawn into the tight knit neighborhood support bolstering the foundations his father and gifted vocalist mother built for him. Through his story you come to realize how remarkably young was the talent that created Stax’s legacy. Jones’s parents made the decision that he should give up his long-standing paper route, spring-boarding him as the baby boy centerpiece of the label’s house band, Booker T. & The MG’s. In the time of new vistas for Black America, from the corner of College and McLemore his career took flight all over the world. Jones’s far-reaching success lie in his skills as an arranger. He credits a dual education as a teenage prodigy doing playing live around town and session work at the studio, from whence he would drive 400 miles to Indiana University Music School to earn his bachelor’s degree. A good way to enjoy Time Is Tight is to have your favorite internet accessible device close at hand. One second you want to Google musical references such as “contrapuntal” and other deep-seated musical devices you’d never associate with the earthy R & B Stax produced, and then the next sentence might push you to grab up the beat on “Hiphugger”, “Soul Limbo”, and of course, “Green Onions”, among the many hits that fall naturally into the book’s narrative. Well indexed, it’s fun to look up the famous and obscure influences he notes, or even “chateaubriand avec frittes”, the gourmet French steak preparation he came to love while working in France composing the soundtrack for the 70’s movie Youngblood, his first of several. And groovy enough, perhaps the best cut you will find online is a live video of Booker T. & the MG’s putting down a scorching performance of Time Is Tight stamping why the group’s power commanded southern soul in so few quick years. Ultimately, like the tense beginning of his soundtrack hit for Clint Eastwood’s film Hang ‘Em High, Time Is Tight is not a sugar-coated rendition of a life’s greatest hits. Jones left well before Stax’s demise, and made very significant contributions throughout the pop music spectrum, from Bill Withers to Willie Nelson to Earl Klugh and further. He confronts intrigue behind Stax’s door, including purloined publishing rights, the death of Otis Redding, his musical rock Al Jackson Jr., and the original Bar Kays, his pain at MG mate Steve Cropper’s quoted blaming of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memphis’s racial strife in Memphis, his sad first marriages, house fires, and more. A must for Memphis music buffs, a fun read for those who enjoy more than virtual reality. (NEWSCENE contributor Tony Jones, INK! is a Memphis based independent writer & publicist.) 16 FAMI LY & SPEC IAL GUEST SPEAKER NOTE: A CHANGE OF VENUE & DAY FUTURE My ZIP MEETINGS WILL BE HELD AT 1348 MADISON @ CLEVELAND NOTE: PARK IN REAR OFF CLEVELAND THE NEXT MEET ING WI LL BE HELD ON MON., DEC. 16 @ 6 PM PLEASE HELP US TO MONITOR ALL KROGER STORES FOR CLEANLINESS 17
Page 22
Bluff City Law & The Secret Of Dry Rub Barbecue Richard Ross (from left), NBC’s Senior Vice President of Production, is pictured receiving several slabs of the famous Rendezvous dry rub ribs from chef Pat Donahue, Robert Stewart Jr. and Betty Robinson at the Memphis City Council’s October 15th meeting. The Memphis City Council presented a resolution and a rack of ribs from the Rendezvous to creative team of NBC Universal’s Bluff City Law at the council’s Tuesday, October 15th meeting to honor their choosing to film the show here in it’s namesake locale. Recreating an episode from the series’ first season, the fun moment was well featured in the news here, and NEWSCENE was able to get a capture an inside moment we thought you’d enjoy. Bluff City Law has created quite a buzz here for quite a while now, readily evident as council chairman Kemp Conrad read the resolution into the record. NBC’s Senior Vice President of Production Richard Ross gracefully accepted, and the Rendezvous team were called up. Betty Robinson, Robert Jr., and chef Pat Donahue, comprised the three-person team from the Memphis landmark that brought the ribs properly wrapped in aluminum foil on a silver tray. Surrounded by city, county and state election officials there to get souvenir credit for the $10 million incentives grouped together for the production, NBC exec and staff members from the show, after the official photos were taken, Ross proved his stated sincerity about filming in Memphis when he rushed over to chef Donahue to grill him about grilling. Specifically, how do you get dry rub ribs right? “I grill in my backyard, and in Los Angeles, nobody has this,” he said. “How long do you cook it? Do you leave the membrane on or take it off?” he gleefully asked Donahue, and kept on going, getting tips to use when he cooks—excuse us—grills, his ribs back home. Visibly pleased with the brief primer, the grilling tips underlined what Ross has stated to media about filming Bluff City Law here. “The city officials have gone way above and beyond but it’s also the citizens of Memphis that have opened their arms to being very helpful to being just supportive as no place I’ve ever been.” Such person to person moments are a hidden, but potentially valuable plus Convention and Visitors Bureau chief Kevin Kane says is part of the business of marketing Memphis to the world. “I rushed home to watch the premiere. It made me feel great. This is a billboard for the city,” he continued. “Memphis scenery going out to millions of people every week is good for the Memphis brand, and quite honestly, the subject matter they’re dealing with, taking on tough issues, I think that speaks well of Memphis.” (NEWSCENE contributor Tony Jones, INK! is a Memphis based independent writer & publicist.) 22 23
Page 26
BLUE LIGHT CAMERAS, ARE THEY COMING TO 38109 & 38116? A neighborhood meeting regarding blue light cameras sponsored by the Greater Paradise Church and hosted by Shelby County Commissioners Ed Ford Jr. and Eddie Jones, from 5 to 7 PM on Thursday, October 10, 2019. The free event, designed for residents in the areas each commissioner oversees, featured SkyCop, Inc., a local organization that works with local law enforcement to “equip, support, and educate them on how they can better utilize technology to keep Memphis safe.” The next meeting to address this process will be held at 3 PM on Monday, November 4, 2019. Please make plans to attend today. POTENTIAL BLUE LIGHT CAMERA LOCATIONS for 2020 INSTALLATIONS  Fields Avenue @ Kansas Street—35th Ward Civic Club  Autumn Branch Lane @ Raines Oak Drive—Audubon Oaks Neighborhood  Lakeview Road @Shady Hollow Road—Bluebird Park Estates Association  Shelby Drive @ Hodge Road—C.A.R.E.  Mill Branch Road at Shelby Drive—Gardenview/Graceland Farms Neighborhood Association  Levi Road @ Ford Road—Indian Hills Neighborhood Association  Holmes Road @ Leonard Road—Holmes-Tulane Neighborhood  Eyers Road @ Fields Road—Mt. Pisgah Heights Neighborhood Association 14 15  Old Hickory Hill Road @ Graceland Drive—Old Hickory Hills Neighborhood Association  Fairway Avenue @ Marty Street—Valley Forge Civic League  McCain Road @ Western Park Drive—Westwood Neighborhood Association  Shelby Drive @ Mickey Drive—Whitehaven Woodland View  Third Street @ East Rollins Road—Barton Heights Neighborhood Watch Association  Baskel Drive @ Carol Drive—Watchful Eye Neighborhood  Dearborn Street @ Levi Road—Westwood Meadows Neighborhood Association  Brooks Road @ McCorkle Road—McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association  Birchleaf Road @ Whitaker Drive—Oaks Acre Neighborhood Association  Mitchell Road @ Rochester Road—Walker Homes West Junction Neighborhood Association  Peebles Road @ Ford Road—Boxtown Neighborhood Association  Horn Lake Road @ Horn Lake Cove—Lakeview Gardens Neighborhood Association 26 27
Page 28
DID YOU KNOW? There are several moneyless ways you can support nonprofits like DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE and the McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association, Inc. of Memphis (serving all of ZIP Code 38116). When you shop at Kroger you can, AT NO COST TO YOU, support DI’MANS, Inc. by enrolling in the Community Rewards Program and earning rewards for DI’MANS every time you shop! Visit Kroger.com/ communityrewards and support Organization #DN098. Smile.Amazon.com is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, again, AT NO COST TO YOU, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to DI’MANS Inc., the charitable organization of choice. Email us at NEWSCENESHELBYCO@gmail.com for details today! 28 Mother Georgia King, 79, needs our help sponsoring the 3rd annual City-Wide Thanksgiving MLK50 Food Drive. The event is designed to raise funds to purchase "Pop-Top" food items for the homeless during Thanksgiving. Please drop off items at Martyrs' Hall, St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, 700 Poplar Avenue on Saturday, November 16th, between 10 am and 3 pm or use the following links to make a donation. Please share and pay it forward to help those having hard times have an easier life. Call Mother King at (901) 650-7321, visit http:// www.stmarysmemphis.org/ministr…/community-ministries/ or iLoveShelbyCounty.com or make your donations through NEWSCENE here... 48 Vienna Sausages ($12): https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/ webscr… 12 Sardines ($18): https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr… 12 Crackers ($12): https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr… 14 Chips ($21): https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr… 12 Mixed Fruit Cups ($12): https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/ webscr… Please do something nice for someone you may not know this year by donating the amount you normally pay for lunch to this most worthy cause today. And please pay it forward and ask several friends or relatives to get their blessing by doing so too! We thank you, Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, Owner DI'MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE Questionable things in Memphis?!! VIEW FROM RIVERSIDE DRIVE... 29
Page 30
MONTHLY COMMUNITY PRAYER PARTNERSHI P MEET ING WHO: WHAT: WHEN: WHERE: WHY: Everyone is welcome! Organizer, Wendell Donelson, Bluebird Estates Community Prayer Partnership Meeting 4th Tuesday of every month at 6 pm Raines Station Police Department, 791 E. Raines Road To assist in the reduction of crime through prayer Monthly community prayer partnership meetings have been held “practically every month since the spring of 2018,” said prayer organizer, Wendell Donelson, a resident of Bluebird Estates. “We have been told by Raines Station MPD that our prayers have made a measurable difference.” The group meets in the meeting room near the parking lot entrance of the Raines Station Police Department to pray for the community on a monthly basis. “There is power in agreement, so let’s unite our spirits and voices on behalf of our community,” said Donelson. “We can make a difference. We are inviting all to join us in prayer as we pray for our community. This effort is meant to impact all ills of our community, particularly crime. We don’t want to just murmur and complain, but instead invite God into our circumstances.” 30 The Whitehaven Library Great Pumpkin Beauty Contest 2019 NEWSCENE ENCOURAGES YOU TO DINE AT THE... 972 E. BROOKS ROAD Across the street from the MAPCO (at the light) between Elvis Presley Boulevard and Lakeview Road Hours and Days: Tues & Wed, 10A-8P; Thurs-Fri, 10A-9P; Sat., 12N-9P Closed Sundays & Mondays Specializing in and serving chicken wings; ham & turkey burgers; hot dogs and chili (w or w/o cheese) dogs; smoked sausages; fries (w or w/o) chili; okra; mashed potatoes; baked beans; onion rings; and more! Prices: $$ - Delivery available (limited radius) and to the sick, elderly, and disabled. Cooked to Order - Call (901) 308-2404 to place your order for pickup today! Chef Theresa Sullivan, Proprietor 31
Page 32
CFC #46643 AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Location: Memphis, TN | Year Founded: 2009 DI’MANS, Inc. (Click here) to shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM Mission: DI'MANS, Inc. was formed to establish a positive, proactive force in the fight against juvenile crime and juvenile delinquency. The goal of DI'MANS, Inc. is to bring adults dedicated to positively shaping future generations together to assist disadvantaged youth in becoming productive citizens as adults. Help Support Causes in Your Community! (Click here to sign up) Did you know you can support nonprofit organizations in your community just by shopping at Kroger? It's easy when you enroll in Kroger Community Rewards®! To get started, sign up with your Plus Card below, and select a local organization you wish to support. Once you're enrolled, you'll earn rewards for your chosen organization every time you shop and use your Plus Card! Enroll now for the Kroger Community Rewards Program. And remember….all participants must re-enroll each year to continue earning rewards for their chosen organization. DIRECTIONS: 1) Go to Kroger.com; 2) Create an account or sign in; 3) Drop down the arrow at your name 4) Select “My Account” 5) Click on Community Rewards on the left side of the screen) Make a One-Time donation to DI’MANS, Inc. 32 Make a Recurring Donation (Click here) Alternative & Holistic Health Services ORDER HERE (901) 789-4844 Congratulations! On Your New Venture, Wishing You Well! 33 CLICK HERE TO VISIT US ONLINE
Page 34
34 35
October 2019

October 2019 Vol#1-Issue#10 To Print - Final Draft


Page 0
Vol. 1, Issue 9 October 2019 KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN i LoveShe l byCoun t y . com The Rebirth of the Memphis Cotton Makers’ Jubilee, Inc. 2019 Coronation was held September 28, 2019. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D. It is difficult to believe, but NEWSCENE is but two editions away from celebrating its one-year anniversary! Time is really flying. The September Special Election section went over well and we are looking forward to ending this year with a bang! Please remember to subscribe online to get occasional reminders about when monthly editions are published. For those of you who prefer a hard copy, thanks! Subscriptions are available for $84/year, $42/bi-annually, or $7/month. You can call us at 901-300-0250, subscribe and/or pay online (or by check made payable to) DI’MANS, Inc., or email us at NEWSCENEShelbyCo@gmail.com. We can be contacted by mail at DI’MANS, Inc. dba I Love Shelby County, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190-0146. Thank you, The Tennessee AB room located in the elegant and recently remodeled Hilton Memphis hotel, 939 Ridge Lake Boulevard in Memphis, TN, was the perfect location for the MCMJ’s 2019 Coronation Ball. The theme of the event, “The Rebirth of the Memphis Cotton Makers’ Jubilee,” introduced the 2019 King, Krish A. Taylor, and Queen, Demetrice Bolton Sanders. King Krish is a Melrose High School graduate and member of Antioch MB and Golden Gate Cathedral churches. He is an automobile Sales and Lease Representative at Chuck Hutton Toyota in Whitehaven and has worked in the automobile industry for the past 20 years. Queen Demetrice, who recently retired from the Memphis Housing Authority, entered into the real estate investing market and has purchased several properties in and around the Memphis. The Psychology and Business Administration major is married to Randy Sanders, attends the Anointed Temple of Praise, has two children—Randy Jr. and Zemetria—and is the daughter of Walter and Alice Poplar. Queen Demetrice loves to travel and is passionate about giving back to the Memphis community that she grew up in. Continued on Page 7
Page 2
2 3
Page 4
4 5
Page 6
6 “The rebirth of the Memphis Cotton Makers’ Jubilee (MCMJ) continues the legacy of founder, Dr. R. Q. Venson, to expand and maintain the truth of Memphis and American history,” said MCMJ Charter Member and Tennessee General Assembly Representative Barbara Ward Cooper. “These efforts exemplify honor and respect of the strength of the African American workers’ contribution when ‘cotton was king’ and Memphis was known as the ‘Cotton Capital of the World’.” The organization’s current goals include working with the Dr. R. Q. Venson Scholarship Foundation, overseen by the recently deceased member Michael Sadler until his untimely death, to develop the Memphis Cotton Makers’ Jubilee Museum, a pictorial history chronicling more than 5,000 pictures and artifacts documenting the MCMJ, which is most likely the oldest African American celebration in America. “The Memphis Cotton Makers’ Jubilee celebration gave the African American people an outlet for promoting the important role blacks played in the world’s cotton market during the pre-depression era,” said MCMJ General Chairman Clyde Venson. “The MCMJ’s pictorial history will soon be incorporated into the Memphis Cotton Makers’ Jubilee Museum so the world will never forget this historical event.” The MCMJ Museum will be designed to house all of the memorabilia collected from the start of the celebration in 1936 through today. Artifacts on display will include dresses worn by the late great Lena Horne, crowns, scepters and hundreds of pictures. “As we continue working in the Memphis community along with our networks, it will provide us the opportunity to see what’s most needed and be that inspiration that we have been for the past 83 years in this great city,” said MCMJ President, Lorenzo Caldwell. “Our purpose has been to inspire and promote the well-being of our youth and our community. The true successes of the MCMJ Celebration are people like you! Thank you so much for celebrating this great occasion with us.” Continued on Page 8 7
Page 8
MCMJ President Lorenzo Caldwell opened the program and Rev. Theron Dotson gave the prayer and invocation. Several musical selections were preformed by GEM throughout the evening. Caldwell gave the welcome and introduced the Toast Master, Leon Griffin, and Toast Mistress, Catherine Doggett Hernandez. All past MCMJ Royalty were asked to come in front of the stage for photographs and the 2019 Coronation Court featuring King Krish and Queen Demetrice followed. After being officially crowned the 2019 King and Queen, the Royal Court King and Queen strolled the entire room, from the stage to each perimeter, greeting those in attendance with royalty like only Royalty could before taking to the dance floor for their first dance after being crowned. Dinner, featuring a full seven-course meal, was served as guests dined and visited with past royalty, the King and Queen, and the other guests in attendance. After dinner was served General Chairman Clyde Venson went to the podium and announced Kayla Wright as the 2019 LeMoyne-Owen College, Dr. R. Q. Venson Scholarship awardee. Ms. Wright was then presented with a plague and a check for $600. Venson made several additional presentations before introducing Sheriff Floyd Bonner, the 2019 MCMJ Pioneer Award Honoree. Sheriff Bonner was elated at being chosen and, thanked those in attendance and the MCMJ Board for recognizing him in this manner especially when he stated “so many pioneers had come before” him. Hip, hip, hooray, Venson led the crowd to saying several times in honor of Sheriff Bonner. Hip, hip, hooray and loud appreciation and applause ensued. Venson then gave a brief history of the Memphis Cotton Makers’ Jubilee and spoke about how important the museum was in keeping the organization alive before giving several rounds of words of thanks and closing out the 2019 Coronation program. “For more information on becoming a member or to make a donation to the MCMJ, please email crvenson@gmail.com or phone (901) 496-1811. 8 9
Page 12
TOILET PAPER TRASH WAS LEFT ON THE GROUND ALL THE WAY UP AND DOWN THE ENTIRE STREET WHAT A SHAME TOILET PAPER Every Day of the Year in my Neighborhood Post Office Box 9695 Memphis, TN 38190-0695 Dear Mr. Sanitation Worker, What makes you feel that leaving trash in front of my house is acceptable? Do you leave trash on the other side of town when you empty garbage carts in front of homes? Well, I’ve never seen any and that is because you don’t do it in certain areas. Tell me it isn't so and I’ll prove to you that it is. When you are in predominately African American neighborhoods, Mr. Sanitation Worker, please remember that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lost his life fighting for your rights. Dr. King, as you know, was assassinated right here on these very same streets fighting for you and your co-workers and all of your predecessors to have the ability to insist you be treated like human beings (hence, the I AM A MAN signs) and not be treated like the trash you pick up for a living. For God’s sake, if not for your own, Dr. King’s, or the communities you serve, please do your job with the pride Dr. King has made it possible for you to have in being a Sanitation Worker. We are tax paying citizens and we are not going to continue to watch as you destroy the very communities you live in for lack of caring for anything other than your check. I have your pictures and will assimilate a group of concerned citizens who will follow your garbage trucks in their areas, taking pictures of your sloppiness, and turning each and everyone of you in, and demanding your immediate termination. 12 The Historic Orange Mound Centennial Celebration Committee and Mo the r Ma r y Mi tche l l needs your help to develop… A Pictorial and Oral History of the Orange Mound Community! Meeting Announcements forthcoming! SEEKING: Historical Pictures & Papers Business, Civic, Social, and School News Resident’s Highlights Political Highlights and more! EMAIL: HOMCCPROJECT@GMAIL.COM or Phone: (901) 300-0250 THE WHITEHAVEN CAMERA CLUB The “Whitehaven Camera Club - Memphis, TN” was founded on July 20, 2018. The group currently meets from 1 - 3 pm every other Saturday at the Whitehaven Southwest TN Community College (SWTCC) Whitehaven Campus located at 1234 Finley Drive off Elvis Presley Boulevard behind the Bank of America. Although private, the group has a presence on Facebook and welcomes new members and encourages them to ask to join. Meetings are free and open to the community at large. You are cordially invited to come by, with or without expertise, to both learn and share all things related to photography. “Different lenses do different things to an image,” said club member and long-time photographer David McGowan. “Know how your telephotos compress and your wide-angles distort. Use the best lens for your photographic vision. There are many lenses to choose from. For all your lenses, know which apertures are sharpest and know when you lose sharpness.” “Even if you don’t own a camera, bring your smartphone and a friend,” added club president, web developer/designer, tech trainer, and I’m So Tech Media Company owner Keisha Earnest. “We hope to see each of you on Saturday, November 2nd from 1- 3 pm. Whitehaven Camera Club members practice using a variety of camera lens on Saturday, September 28th. 13
Page 14
DID YOU KNOW? There are several moneyless ways you can support nonprofits like DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE and the McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association, Inc. of Memphis (serving all of ZIP Code 38116). When you shop at Kroger you can, AT NO COST TO YOU, support DI’MANS, Inc. by enrolling in the Community Rewards Program and earning rewards for DI’MANS every time you shop! Visit Kroger.com/ communityrewards and support Organization #DN098. Smile.Amazon.com is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, again, AT NO COST TO YOU, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to DI’MANS Inc., the charitable organization of choice. Email us at NEWSCENESHELBYCO@gmail.com for details today! 14 Mother Georgia King, 79, needs our help sponsoring the 3rd annual City-Wide Thanksgiving MLK50 Food Drive. The event is designed to raise funds to purchase "Pop-Top" food items for the homeless during Thanksgiving. Please drop off items at Martyrs' Hall, St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, 700 Poplar Avenue on Saturday, November 16th, between 10 am and 3 pm or use the following links to make a donation. Please share and pay it forward to help those having hard times have an easier life. Call Mother King at (901) 650-7321, visit http:// www.stmarysmemphis.org/ministr…/community-ministries/ or iLoveShelbyCounty.com or make your donations through NEWSCENE here... 48 Vienna Sausages ($12): https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/ webscr… 12 Sardines ($18): https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr… 12 Crackers ($12): https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr… 14 Chips ($21): https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr… 12 Mixed Fruit Cups ($12): https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/ webscr… Please do something nice for someone you may not know this year by donating the amount you normally pay for lunch to this most worthy cause today. And please pay it forward and ask several friends or relatives to get their blessing by doing so too! We thank you, Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, Owner DI'MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE Questionable things in Memphis?!! VIEW FROM RIVERSIDE DRIVE... 15
Page 16
16 17
Page 18
SEPTEMBER IN MEMPHIS IS ALL ABO I can remember when I first asked Fred Jones Jr. for an interview. It was back in the early 2000’s when I was working for a local print media publication. I was amazed by the sheer talent the man had and was almost shattered when he asked me, “What could I possibly say that hadn’t already been said?” Little did Mr. Jones know, I was too amazed about having the opportunity to place yet another positive article regarding a black man who had pulled himself up by his own boots straps in my local publication, to worry about what had and hadn’t already been said. I went to Mr. Jones office and although I can’t remember anything but meeting his lovely gatekeeper secretary, I know we must have connected somehow as afterwards I was honored to attend a pre-show event at the Orpheum and an original Tyler Perry play. Nah, I must have been still amazed because everyone who knows me knows I’ve met some of the great entertainers and all, but it never once crossed my mind to meet Tyler Perry. I was enjoying myself with a former co-worker who was also in attendance far too much to be focused. Besides, I wasn’t asked to work, I was given a much needed and appreciated chance to relax and to enjoy some of the finder things life has to offer. To this day, I still thank you for that opportunity Mr. Jones and that is why I am always happy to see you doing what you do in and for our community (but please don’t let the cat out of the bag as I’ve never once in my 34 years of residency in Memphis been tailgating or to a Southern Heritage Classic B. 18 C. BOUT FRED, FRED JONES JR. THAT IS! 3 4 (SHC), game. This year, riding on the Historic Orange Mound Centennial Committee float down Park Avenue while Facebooking live was yet another SHC first for me! And let me be the first to say that even though I had burned out two iPhone camera batteries by the time I actually saw Mr. Jones walking with the parade and couldn’t take a picture of him I told the truth when he asked, “how things were?” I replied that everything was great and that was only because I had no idea how far I had left to walk to return to the committee members home where I had parked my car and got a lift to the start of the parade from. Boy, did I have a blast getting my exercise in that day! Mr. Jones, these next few pages are dedicated to you and all the things you’ve hung in here to do, not only for you and your family, but for all of those of us who consider ourselves your extended family too. Congratulations on the street renaming, the 30th annual Southern Heritage Classic and parade, and all of the many things you personally do to make Memphis the great place it is. NEWSCENE thanks you and Ms. Carolyn for all you both do and all both of you will continue to do in our communities. God Bless You both! And congrats to the Jackson State (49-44) and the Tennessee State Tigers and for hosting the second largest SHC game audience (48,347), and for a safe and fun game day! See you September 10-12, 2020, here in Memphis, TN! For more info, please visit the Southern Heritage Classic at http://southernheritageclassic.com/events/. 19
Page 24
OUT WITH THE OLD… IN WITH THE NEW - FIRE STATION #43 GETS A MAKEOVER! As Whitehaven began to develop in the late 40s and early 50s, “the problem of names for streets came up,” according to Anna Leigh McCorkle, author of Tales of Old Whitehaven. Although the book doesn’t mention the fire station currently situated on Holmes Road just east of Hwy 51 - Elvis Presley Boulevard, it does mention that older street names, “such as Holmes had been called for the families who lived along them.” As the story goes, back in the days when judges still worked “circuits,” traveling by horse or horse and buggy from town-to-town to “hear cases,” it was on “one hot, dusty afternoon in the late 1840s when a tired horseman, Judge Augustus B. Longstreet, rode up to the old Holmes place on Tchulahoma Road.” Yes, the story goes on to tell how the Judge suggested the site for the Longstreet United Methodist Church, but that is not the story being told here. “By 1847 the first Longstreet church building was erected on Holly Ford at Holmes Road.” The Holmes family was one of the church’s founding member families. Also mentioned, but not for discussion here, is the Nonconnah Baptist Church that sits at Tulane and Shelby Drive and the “New Nonconnah Colored Church, which may not be the same edifices at that time.” however, it was around this time when “T. J. Beasley and Van Court Neel, two Whitehaven old-timer families, purchased land opposite one another and Beasley Road, which later became Holmes Road, was born.” There is a lot of history in Whitehaven and its history continues to be made. One of the firemen at Fire Station 43, 14 15 which currently sits at 1253 E. Holmes Road, told of stories about the facility being the place where County residents brought their water bills for payment before the area was annexed into the City of Memphis in the mid-70s. The first room inside the office’s front door still has an old Boy Scouts banner under a 1970s map of Memphis on the wall and the tower area, where the old fire truck hoses used to be hung to drip dry still exists, but is not in use. The building is loved by those who understand and appreciate its history, but most are ready for it to be replaced with a more modern facility. For example, many of the rooms only have one electrical socket with 2 updated 3-prong plugs. A ground breaking ceremony was held on Friday, September 6, 2019, to officially mark the new station being built. Although no additional progress has begun as of today, construction is expected to take a full year. Drawings reveal the new, two-story building will include a multi-purpose room that will be available for community meetings and events. 24 25
Page 28
MONTHLY COMMUNITY PRAYER PARTNERSHI P MEET ING WHO: WHAT: WHEN: WHERE: WHY: Everyone is welcome! Organizer, Wendell Donelson, Bluebird Estates Community Prayer Partnership Meeting 4th Tuesday of every month at 6 pm Raines Station Police Department, 791 E. Raines Road, (901) 636-4599 To assist in the reduction of crime through prayer Monthly community prayer partnership meetings have been held “practically every month since the spring of 2018,” said prayer organizer, Wendell Donelson, a resident of Bluebird Estates. “We have been told by Raines Station MPD that our prayers have made a measurable difference.” The group meets in the meeting room near the parking lot entrance of the Raines Station Police Department to pray for the community on a monthly basis. “There is power in agreement, so let’s unite our spirits and voices on behalf of our community,” said Donelson. “We can make a difference. We are inviting all to join us in prayer as we pray for our community. This effort is meant to impact all ills of our community, particularly crime. We don’t want to just murmur and complain, but instead invite God into our circumstances.” 28 THE McCORKLE ROAD NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION, INC. OF MEMPHIS THANKS YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE 2019 1ST OCTOBER NATIONAL NIGHT OUT CELEBRATION! WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AGAIN ON THE FIRST TUESDAY OF EVERY OCTOBER STARTING IN 2020! CALL US AT (901) 300-0250 OR VISIT US ONLINE TODAY AT iLoveShelbyCounty.com to pay your ($25) annual dues! NEWSCENE ENCOURAGES YOU TO DINE AT THE... 972 E. BROOKS ROAD Across the street from the MAPCO (at the light) between Elvis Presley Boulevard and Lakeview Road Hours and Days: Tues & Wed, 10A-8P; Thurs-Fri, 10A-9P; Sat., 12N-9P Closed Sundays & Mondays Specializing in and serving chicken wings; ham & turkey burgers; hot dogs and chili (w or w/o cheese) dogs; smoked sausages; fries (w or w/o) chili; okra; mashed potatoes; baked beans; onion rings; and more! Prices: $$ - Delivery available (limited radius) and to the sick, elderly, and disabled. Cooked to Order - Call (901) 308-2404 to place your order for pickup today! Chef Theresa Sullivan, Proprietor 29
Page 32
CFC #46643 AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Location: Memphis, TN | Year Founded: 2009 DI’MANS, Inc. (Click here) to shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM Mission: DI'MANS, Inc. was formed to establish a positive, proactive force in the fight against juvenile crime and juvenile delinquency. The goal of DI'MANS, Inc. is to bring adults dedicated to positively shaping future generations together to assist disadvantaged youth in becoming productive citizens as adults. Help Support Causes in Your Community! (Click here to sign up) Did you know you can support nonprofit organizations in your community just by shopping at Kroger? It's easy when you enroll in Kroger Community Rewards®! To get started, sign up with your Plus Card below, and select a local organization you wish to support. Once you're enrolled, you'll earn rewards for your chosen organization every time you shop and use your Plus Card! Enroll now for the Kroger Community Rewards Program. And remember….all participants must re-enroll each year to continue earning rewards for their chosen organization. DIRECTIONS: 1) Go to Kroger.com; 2) Create an account or sign in; 3) Drop down the arrow at your name 4) Select “My Account” 5) Click on Community Rewards on the left side of the screen) Make a One-Time donation to DI’MANS, Inc. 32 Make a Recurring Donation (Click here) Alternative & Holistic Health Services ORDER HERE (901) 789-4844 Congratulations! On Your New Venture, Wishing You Well! 33 CLICK HERE TO VISIT US ONLINE
Page 34
34 35
NEWSCENE Special September 2019 Election Edition

September 2019 Vol#1-Issue#9


Page 0
Vol. 1, Issue 9 September 2019 KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN The first ever Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Healthy Places Initiative, a $5.4 million renovation of the historically signifi cant David Carnes Park in the Whitehaven community in Memphis, TN, began with select input from residents who requested a walking trail, fitness area, and a splash pool for the children during the hot summer months. The vision of these residents became reality on August 10th, when BCBS, the City of Memphis and the nearby, Greater Faith Tabernacle Ministries, where Rev. Dr. Orlester Johnson is the Sr. Pastor, celebrated the opening of the park although it was not completely finished. NOTES FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D. Here at NEWSCENE we spread the truth. If you are looking for the positive things going on around Shelby County, we invite you to peruse through our online edition for free and we encourage you to help us stay afloat, bringing you interesting topics about people you know, by subscribing to our monthly print edition or purchasing copies that interest you. If you know of an event that is about to take place in your community, please call and let us know about it too. There is a great chance that we don’t already know about it. If it’s too late to let us know about an event, please remember to take a few pictures while you are there and send them our way! NEWSCENE subscriptions are currently available for $84/year. You can subscribe online at iLoveShelbyCounty.com, email NEWSCENEShelbyCo@gmail.com, write us at I Love Shelby County, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190-0146, or call us at 901-300-0250. Thanks, Yvonne Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson It was June 14, 2018, when Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) held a “design reveal and groundbreaking ceremony” and hosted “location tours” for members from the Whitehaven community in Memphis, TN. The idea was formulated by BCBS “to create amazing spaces for our neighbors so they can participate in the outdoor activities they love” and to build “landmarks the community can be proud of for years to come.” The grand opening of the park was held August 10, 2019. The program featured a speech by Rev. Dr. Orlester Johnson of the Institute for Success/Greater Faith Tabernacle Ministries. Johnson owns the land directly adjacent to the park. Two of the park’s namesake (David Carnes) grandsons were present and many acknowledgments were given to those including, but not limited to District 3 City Councilwoman Patrice Robinson. “I can remember when there were fruit and nut trees lining this land,” said Phil Carnes during the ceremony. “They are gone now, but the land has been transformed into an open space for everyone, a public space that promotes health services. It is a wonderful thing what BCBS has done in honor of my grandfather’s name.”
Page 2
2 3
Page 4
Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The late Harvey Vengroff, an affordable housing developer, was described as a “very hands-on and instrumental” person who brought affordable housing to residents in many areas of Florida. Vengroff was a known philanthropist. He gave a home to a nonprofit working with the homeless by donating space in one of his Sarasota properties, helped many of his property’s tenants to acquire personal assets, employment training, going to and graduating from recovery programs, and to accomplish other strategies to help them become self-sufficient. He was a “community loving and serving” person and so is the rest of his family, especially his son, Mark. The senior Vengroff was known for being a landlord who “specialized in converting dilapidated properties” into affordable, clean, and secure housing options for low-income persons. “My father did a lot of things without wanting, needing, or receiving credit,” said son, Mark Vengroff, of Bantam by One Stop Housing, who recently purchased and is in the process of renovating two former motels in the Whitehaven area of Memphis, TN. “Our father was an extraordinary man and our family intends to pursue his plans.” One Stop Housing was founded by the Vengroff’s in April 2018. “Our philosophy is to Mark Vengroff, Owner/Partner One Stop Housing Stock Photo provide clean, safe, and affordable housing to the general public,” said Mark. “We offer a great diversity of rental units; apartments of various sizes, duplexes, townhomes, villas, and houses in Florida. This allows for easy upgrading or downsizing within our clientele base.” “Our tenants will experience a sense of stability knowing that we not only own, but manage and maintain our properties,” said Mark.” We do little to no outsourcing. Our entire team is committed to meeting our tenants’ needs. As a result, a high percentage of our business is from repeat customers and referrals.” Overall, the facilities will create 300 affordable housing units. Each studio unit is rented on a monthly lease and includes utilities, cable, and free Wi-Fi. The locations are conveniently located near public transportation route stops, including the Airways Transit Center, a transfer point that is served by major transportation lines like Greyhound and Megabus and offers local Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) over-the-counter customer services Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 am and 12 noon. The Airways Center has a 24-hours a day, 7-days a week large, open customer lobby area with amenities including restrooms, vending machines, and a restaurant. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening for the Springbrook and Airways units was held on Saturday, April 10, 2019, at the Airways location off Directors Row. The event offered attendees free food and music in an outdoors and inviting setting. “We are One Stop Housing,” Mark said in the interior main lobby as he kicked off the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “One Stop Housing is the largest workforce housing developer and management company in Florida and the only non-government subsidized solutions for affordable housing. We are proud to announce that many of the people on our team have worked their way up through management. We really believe that giving people an opportunity for a clean, safe, and affordable place to live is important. About a third of our residents turn into retired residents who remain for life.” Bantam Apartments is known for partnering with other organizations to help people through self-esteem classes, healthcare services, and financial matters. “Memphis was not on the radar until the Mayor’s office reached out and called us,” said Mark. According to Col. Mickey Williams [of the Raines Station police department], after 5-weeks on Springbrook he’s receiving less calls about the property already. We just brought 300 affordable units into the community. We’re here and we love it, so you can’t get rid of us now!” The ribbon cutting was attended by Mayor Strickland. On Saturday, August 10th, Bantam Apartments, 2949 Airways at Directors Row, held a grand opening celebration to introduce the community to their Airways and Springbrook properties featuring affordable, clean, and safe studio apartments. Pictured are One Stop Housing employees Audrey Abraham (left) and Nili Dutton of Sarasota, FL. Visit bantamapartments.com for additional details. 4 Currently under renovation, individuals and small families are invited to consider moving to the high security, affordable Airways and Springbrook studio apartments. Renting for $600/mo. (non-renovated) and $650 (renovated), the 300 sq. ft. rental units include utilities, free Wi-Fi, and cable TV services. Call (901) 402-8889 or visit https://onestophousing.com/rentalapplication-1/rental-application to apply today! All Units Include...  Full-Sized Refrigerator!  Full-Sized Stove w/Oven!  Microwave!  Bring your ID and four (4) most recent stubs  Nonrefundable $25.00 application fee  $1,200/month income requirement  SSDI and SSI accepted in some instances  No government subsidies (Section 8) accepted  Security deposit required = 1st month’s rent  30-day notice required to end monthly lease  A limited number of furnished units available  No credit check required! 5
Page 6
3865 WINCHESTER @ GETWELL ROAD, SUITE 6 MEMPHIS, TN 38118 (662) 510-4751 Story and Pictures by No More Silence Foundation LaTrossica Wilson, President & Executive Director No More Silence Foundation was founded with the intent to provide coping mechanisms through the arts using educational strategies to help with healing from abuse trauma in multipurpose ways. “We use a variety of art-related programs aimed at targeting prevention of childhood abuse,” said No More Silence Foundation President and Executive Director LaTrossica Wilson. “The programs we offer help to assist victims and none victims in gaining self-esteem, better literacy, rebuilding families, and understanding the steps in preventing sexual violence.” No More Silence is a public benefit nonprofit corporation organized and operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. The organization has designed and developed several programs in furtherance of its purposes. The activities of the No More Silence Foundation includes the delivery of presentations, classes, and seminars to the public. “Topics relate to coping after CSA, preventing CSA, rebuilding families after the CSA, and individual achievement,” said Wilson. “I personally conduct the presentations since it was deemed that I was the best individual suited for carrying out such activities due to my professional background and experience.” No More Silence Foundation activities are conducted regularly throughout the year. Scheduling depends on public demand, budgeting, and availability of resources. The organization’s target delivery area will be Memphis, TN, and will extend to other regions both in and out of the state as opportunities become available. “During our A.R.T.S Summer Camp we provided our campers with a DIY carnival, horseback riding, and backpacks filled with school supplies,” said Wilson. “Our residential chef (Chef ChyKena Alexander of Southern Flair Gourmet Food) provides a Southern Therapeutic Breakfast every Saturday at the No More Silence Foundation, 3865 Winchester Road, Suite 6, to help the community get their weekend started. “We believe that every girl going back to school should return this year feeling the 3Cs Cute, Courageous, and Confident,” said Wilson. “Therefore, we provide our ‘Amazing Braids’ program for girls and a pay what you can fee for their parents.” The No More Silence Foundation partnered with its next-door neighbor, Barber Town Cuts & Styles to provide Back to School Haircuts for Boys along with giving away free backpacks and school supplies. “We also opened our facility up for the children to come dance and skate during our annual Back to School Dance & Skate Party and we gave the children free school supplies, added Wilson who is now in partnership with Start-A-HeatMobile CPR offering youth, family, and friends CPR training and recertification for those who need it. 6 CHECK OUT WHAT’S HAPPENING AT NO MORE SILENCE FOUNDATION 7
Page 8
Photo by Andrew Withers Individuals from TN and AR came out on Sunday, August 18, 2019, to help the UMOJA Foundation Memphis celebrate the 3rd annual Benjamin Franklin Booth day and to honor Minister Suhkara A. Yahweh (rear center) who turned 81 years old the following day. Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Umoja, is the Swahili word for “unity.” It is also the name of an all-female matriarch village founded by Samburuan Rebecca Lolosoli, in 1990 on the principles of women’s rights located near the town of Archers Post in Samburu County, Nairobi Kenya. Lolosoli’s UMOJA village is a sanctuary for homeless survivors of domestic violence where the traditional subordinate position of the woman is not practiced. Umoja was the name chosen by a far-left District of Columbia political party founded in December 1993 by the then 27-year old student activist Kemry Hughes. Under his direction, the party would “focus on the specific needs of communities of people of color” including better education and government-subsidized medical services for the poor and disenfranchised, taxing non-residents working in D.C., ending tax exemption for nonprofit organizations, paying a living wage, expanding the earned income tax credit, affordable housing options, preserving the general hospital, and hiring local exclusively. The concept was a hit and the Umoji Party continued to qualify to appear on voter registration forms through the year 2000 when their single candidate was unable to secure the 7,500 votes required to retain its majorparty status in that year’s general election. The Umoja Foundation Memphis was formed to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race by focusing on and helping to rebuild harmony in families. The organization held its 3rd annual B. F. Booth celebration on Sunday, August 18, 2019, in the Booth Park east of Florida Street on South Parkway East. The event also honored Lance “Sweet Willie Wine” Watson a.k.a. Minister Suhkara A. Yahweh, who, in 1968 was a young and prominent leader of “The Invaders,” a militant group formed in Memphis, TN. Yahweh was instrumental in the “Walk Without Fear” march from West Memphis, AR to Little Rock, AR to protest racial inequality in 1969 and was once injured by an angry mob of white men while performing organizing duties in Forrest City, AR. Yahweh is currently calling for the removal of voting machines that he says has the effect of “disenfranchising” voters of color. Call (901) 508-1343 for information. 8 9
Page 12
Democrats Collective is a collaborative group of organized Democrats joined together to host a forum for Memphis citizens to get to know the candidates seeking election in the 2019 Memphis Municipal Election to be held Thursday, October 3, 2019. On Thursday, August 1, 2019, the Democrats Collective sponsored a free forum for the community featuring the candidates at the Martin Luther King Jr. Labor Center, 485 Beale Street. A total of 45 candidates or their representatives spoke during the two hour event that ran over due to a pause in the program from MPD police issuing tickets that were immediately recalled thanks to one of the event organizers and moderator, Norma Lester (center). Want to know who’s on your ballet? Visit VOTE411.org® Visit VOTE411.org for a “one-stop-shop” for nonpartisan election-related information categorized with both general and state-specific information online. The site, launched by the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) in 2006 is a great place to go online for everything from candidates’ personally written bio’s to your home polling location. The site includes early voting options, ID requirements, registration deadlines, voter qualifications and registration forms, election dates, absentee ballot information, information on voting machines, and general information on how to watch debates with a critical eye. VOTE411 works for addresses all over the USA! 12 The Penny King’s get together every second Saturday night at Westy’s, 346 North Main Street, and “do what they do!” Pictured (from left) are Mike Forrest (electric guitar), vocalist Maria Spence, David Lee (bass guitar), and Allen Rankin (drums). Story and Picture by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Westy’s is a quaint little restaurant in between two Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) trolley stops on Main Street. Located at 346 North Main Street, Westy’s is open year around from 10:30 AM until 3 AM daily. On the night of August 10, 2019, the restaurant advertised a going away party for Jimmy Ogle, a well-known Memphisborn historian, who has held many titles during his lifetime including that of being the unique individual who can identifiy each manhole cover design found in downtown Memphis. Well, I thought I caught a glimpse of Jimmy, but I guess I never did — not that night anyway. What I did catch a glimpse of was the band known as “The Penny Kings,” featuring Maria Spence, Mike Forrest, David Lee, and Allen Rankin. “We’ve all been playing around town for many years,” said Spence. “We got together as a group to do a blues service at Calvary Church, liked what we heard, and started playing gigs.” The Penny Kings are second Saturday regular performers at Westy’s and they made “a little fuss” later in the night including “a rousing Ode to Jimmy O.” The band will be at Westy’s, on Saturday, September 14, 2019, from 9:30 until closing and they will be performing at the Overton Park Golf house on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 from 6—8 PM. 13
Page 14
Memphis Light, Gas and Water hosted the first of three “Your Power, Your Voice,” Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) community engagement meetings to encourage an open discussion between the utility and customers. The meeting was held Tuesday, August 20 at the Hollywood Community Center, with MLGW President and CEO J.T. Young, MLGW staff, and representatives from Siemens Industry Incorporated, the consultant working on the IRP. Young wants community input about the reliability, affordability, resiliency, and sustainability of the services being offered by MLGW and answered questions from customers about the IRP process. Young opened the hour and a half long meeting by introducing the many MLGW team members present and Gary Vicinus, Regional Director, Utilities Digital Grid Siemens. The IRP process is an industry standard approach for utilities to assess optimal resources needed for the long-term electricity supply to meet the needs of their customers. Siemens took the floor and provided a non-technical definition of an IRP. An IRP is, “a comprehensive view of what a utility needs to continue providing energy to its customers” in the future. This requires knowing and considering variables that do not currently exist. MLGW is a “public utility” and each and every one of its customers are stakeholders in the agency’s future. Vicinus also explained the objectives of the meeting, the stakeholder engagement plan, the objectives and metrics of an IRP, and the options MLGW has to choose from for the future utility needs of its customers. The first stage was to create a Power Supply Advisory Team (PSAT), a group of MLGW customers, city leaders, and MLGW management who are charged with evaluating MLGW’s current agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). This group will also be responsible for researching alternative power supply alternatives. Once completed, the IRP will outline the electric resources needed by MLGW to meet the electricity demand of their customers over the next 20 years. The development of the IRP will contain significant stakeholder engagement that will include: MLGW’s Board of Commissioners, MLGW’s senior management, and MLGW’s customer advocates. Both PSAT and IRP meetings are open to the public. Updates, links to videos from past meetings, and other pertinent information is available online at mlgw.com/about/powersupply. The next "Your Power, Your Voice" IRP meeting is scheduled for November and the next PSAT meeting is Monday, September 16, 2019 at 6 p.m. at First Baptist Broad, 2835 Broad Ave, Memphis, TN 38112. 14 YOUR POWER , YOUR VO I CE 15
Page 18
NAREB’s 50th anniversary was held Wednesday, August 28, 2019, at the historic 1850s era Italianate Annesdate Mansion on Lamar. Story by Tony Jones NAREB’s 50th Anniversary Party Precedes State Of Black Housing Report The Memphis Chapter of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) hosted a cocktail party Wednesday, Aug 28th to celebrate the chapter’s 50th Anniversary helping to sustain African American realtors. Held at the Annesdale Mansion on Lamar, several speakers saluted the organization’s quietly impactful influence on African American commerce and the nation’s democracy. Founded in Tampa, Florida in 1947, it’s not a stretch to refer to them as a secret weapon of black progress. The organization’s members are after more than just commissions, chapter president Cheryl Muhammad emphasizes. She and other members have been utilizing their social media imprints, regular conversation and, where appropriate, sales meetings and business encounters to trumpet NAREB’s official message of “Building Black Wealth Through Homeownership”. “It’s not a slogan, it’s the truth,” Muhammad espouses. “Think of all the professions, tradesmen, goods and supplies used in the home daily and you come to realize it’s simply a workable concept that needs more emphasis, especially here where the social map is crying out for the need to grow the black business sector. We’ve been trumpeting this call for decades, now urban areas throughout the nation are beginning to realize the bedrock impact of home ownership in the black community.” That cry in the wilderness has coalesced into NAREB’s 2MN5 initiative. The abbreviation stands for 2 million new homes in 5 years. When first announced several years ago, the ir seemingly lofty initiative wasn’t met with much national attention, but now their cry in the wilderness has become a trumpet call that is especially relevant to cities like Memphis, where the group’s initiative feels like a spring wind. Muhammad feels, “NAREB is a sleeping giant. I see us as potentially as important in our market as any organization you can name. We have a real legacy that drives us forward, and a real need to fulfill.” Both can be found on the website, nareb.com. “NAREB has played varying influential roles in the implementation of equal rights, fair housing, equal opportunity, and community development legislation at the local, state, and federal levels since its founding. Some significant policy achievements of NAREB were the first local fair housing legislation in 1962 in New York City, the first state fair housing legislation in 1963 in California, and the first national fair housing legislation in both 1947 and 1968. It was the 193 California legislation that propelled NAREB into national prominence.” The organization recently released its’ annual State Of Housing In Black America report hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus in the nation’s capital, the main highlight of a wealth of information available on their website. 18 Top left: Sheritta MCray, NAREB Memphis, Region 7 Vice President and immediate past President. Top right: (from right) Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Treissa Parks, and Vernon Greer. Below: Bartender/Mixologist Amber Winbush joined Candy Bar Personal Bartending Services owner Candace Duncan bartending with style with bars available both inside and outside the mansion. 19
Page 20
20 21
Page 22
Election 2019 Talk - Who are the Candidates? ALL BALLOTS INCLUDE (1) THE REFERENDUM AND (2) MAYOR, (3) MUNICIPAL COURT CLERK, and ALL 3 MUNICIPAL JUDGE DIVISIONS RACES MAYOR CANDIDATES... (choose one) David Walker DeAngelo Pegues Jim Strickland Lemichael D. Wilson Leo AwGoWhat Robert (Prince Mongo) Hodges Sharon A. Webb Steven Bradley Tami Sawyer Terrence T. B. Boyce Willie Herenton MUNICIPAL CITY JUDGE CANDIDATES... (choose one per division) David Pool: Div. 3 Jane Chandler: Div. 3 LaTrena Davis-Ingram: Div. 1 Tarik B. Sugarmon: Div. 2 Teresa D. Jones: Div. 1 MUNICIPAL COURT CLERK CANDIDATES... (choose one) Carl A. Irons II David W. Vinciarelli De Givens Delicia DeGraffreed George “Dempsy” Summers Joe Brown Lea Ester Redmond Myron Lowery William Stovall CITY COUNCIL DISTRICTS 1–7 CANDIDATES… choose one per your division) Berlin F. Boyd, 7 Britney Thornton, 4 Catrina L. Smith, 7 Davin D. Clemons, 6 Dawn Bonner, 1 Edmund H. Ford, 6 Frank Colvett Jr., 2 J. Jaques Hamilton, 6 Jamita E. Swearengen, 4 Jerred Price, 7 Jimmy Hassann, 7 John Emery, 2 John R. Marek, 5 Larry Springfield, 7 Marvin White, 2 Michalyn C. S. Easter-Thomas, 7 Patrice Jordan Robinson, 3 Paul S. Brown, 6 Perry Bond, 6 Rhonda Logan, 1 Sherman D. Greer, 1 Tanya L. Cooper, 3 Theryn C. Bond, 6 Thurston Smith, 7 Toni Green-Cole, 7 Will “The Underdog” Richardson, 7 Worth Morgan, 5 CITY COUNCIL SUPER DISTRICTS 8 & 9, POS 1 - 3 CANIDATES… choose one per your division) Brian L. Saulsberry, 8.2 Cat Allen, 8.3 Charley Burch, 9.3 Chase Carlile, 9.1 Cheyenne Johnson, 8.2 Cody Fletcher, 9.3 Craig Littles, 8.2 Darrick Dee Harris, 8.1 Deanielle Jones, 9.2 Erika Sugarmon, 9.1 Ford Canale, 9.2 Frank Willliam Johnson, 8.2 Gerald Kiner, 8.3 Gerre Currie, 8.1 J. B. Smiley Jr., 8.1 Jeff Warren, 9.3 Lynnette P. Williams, 8.3 M. Latroy Alexandria-Williams, 8.1 Marinda Alexandria-Williams, 8.2 Martavius D. Jones, 8.3 Mauricio Calvo, 9.2 Nicole Cleaborn, 8.1 Pam Lee, 8.3 Pearl “Eva” Walker, 8.1 R. S. Ford Sr., 8.3 Tyrone Romeo Franklin, 9.3 Early Voting Begins on Friday, September 14, 2019. Early Voting Ends on Saturday, September 21, 2019. ELECTION DAY is Thursday, October 3, 2019, and POLLS OPEN AT 7 AM and CLOSE AT 7 PM. Want to know who’s on your ballet? Visit www.VOTE411.org® Visit VOTE411.org for a “one-stop-shop” for nonpartisan election-related information categorized with both general and state-specific information online. The site, launched by the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) in 2006 is a great place to go online for everything from candidates’ personally written bio’s to your home polling location. The site includes early voting options, ID requirements, registration deadlines, voter qualifications and registration forms, election dates, absentee ballot information, information on voting machines, and general information on how to watch debates with a critical eye. VOTE411 works for addresses all over the USA! 22 Early Voting Locations in Memphis 23
Page 26
MEMPHIS WOMEN IN BUSINESS A Cut Above Lawn Service provides more than just the traditional grass cutting services. From transforming dirt into luscious green yards to cleaning truck fleets and securing empty commercial properties waiting to be demolished, A Cut Above is the first place to call for all of your outdoor cleaning needs. The company has an A+ BBB rating and recently joined the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. Operations are constantly expanding into new areas including, but not limited to Madison and Gibson Counties in Tennessee as well as the northern portions of Mississippi. “We do more than just cut grass,” said A Cut Above founder Daphnie Swift (pictured above second from left). “At A Cut Above we promote personal growth, development, and leadership training to help everyone succeed.” A Cut Above works in and for the communities it serves too. This past January the company assisted all persons who were negatively affected by the government shutdown with basic lawn care needs free of charge and, in June, they announced free lawn care services for elderly homeowners throughout the summer fast grass-growing months. “A Cut Above Lawn Service Corporation is a lawn service and landscaping company that provides excellent residential and commercial services at economical prices,” said Swift. “We specialize in lawn service, landscaping, pressure washing, debris removal, illegal dumping site cleanups, boarding and securing vacant properties against vandalism, minor tree trimming and removal, and minor demolition.” Look for ACA on Facebook or call (901) 237-7579 for a free estimate on your residential or commercial job soon! 46 MEMPHIS WOMEN IN BUSINESS In addition to being a member of the Whitehaven Rotary Club, Misty Rosser White has been with State Farm Insurance Agency since 1987. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Memphis and is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, National Association of Real Estate Brokers, and a Tennessee Achieves Mentor. You may spot her recently wrapped VW Beetle sitting in front of her office on Elvis Presley Boulevard where she provides the community with auto, home, health, life, business, and property insurance products plus banking, mutual funds, and annuities. “Our mission is to help our customers overcome everyday risks and realize their dreams,” says Rosser White. “In doing so, we are committed to providing professional, prompt, and friendly service.” For more information, drop by, call (901) 255-5555, or visit mistywhite.com online today. 47
August Edition

August 2019 Vol#1-Issue#8 Final-1


Page 0
Vol. 1, Issue 8 August 2019 KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D. There were lots of things happening in Memphis in July. We had our usual birthday celebrations and religious events, and a host of special dedications and programs to choose from to report on. August means back to school time for many of us adults and of course our young adults too. September will bring about even more events and we cannot wait to learn about all of them! We are still looking forward to expanding NEWSCENE into the Orange Mound community of Memphis and heading east to begin an edition in Haywood County! What exciting times lie ahead! Please remember to subscribe to our online publication. Subscribe on our home landing page at iLoveShelbyCounty.com, and don’t forget to verify your email address for your subscription to become active. Subscribing online gives you a free, online announcements when our monthly edition is published and a paid subscription ensures a hardcopy is delivered to your home monthly . I would like to also remind my reading audience that NEWSCENE has reasonable advertising rates and we are always seeking vendors to advertise their products and services throughout our publication. This newsmagazine is for you and about you and the positive things that are taking place in your neighborhood. NEWSCENE subscriptions are available for $72/year, $36/bi-annually, and $7/month. You can email us at NEWSCENEShelbyCo@gmail, call us at 901-300-0250, subscribe and/or pay online (or by check made payable to) DI’MANS, Inc. We can be contacted at DI’MANS, Inc. dba I Love Shelby County, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190-0146. Thank you, Yvonne Pastor Ron Hampton (standing) uses a broken vase to demonstrate a broken vessel in life during the Right Directions Christian Ministries 10th Annual Broken Vessels Conference held July 19th at 3680 Rhodes Avenue, Memphis, TN 38111. Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Family and friends joined host Pastor Ron Hampton and the Right Direction Christian Ministries (RDCM) members for the church’s 10th Annual “Broken Vessels Conference” from 7 to 10 pm on Friday, July 19, 2019. Themed “The Importance of Not Losing Our Faith,” the conference featured special guests Bishop Antonio Lawson and the True Believers Holiness Outreach Ministries, a “Faith Forum,” and initially provided time for a question and answer session for those in attendance. Hampton called the Conference to order with a call to worship and the RDCM Praisers performed before Minister LaPorsha Stephens provided the scripture and prayer. “I don’t know about you, but I’m so glad that I know a man named Jesus,” said Stephens. “Hallelujah somebody. There is nobody like Him. God is good because He keeps on making a way. I don’t know about you, but I’m glad He knows my name.” Deacon Adrian Young followed Stephens with the welcome. “The scripture that this is based upon is Jeremiah Chapter 18 Verses one through six,” began Young. “In which Jeremiah was given a parable of going to the potter’s house and seeing the potter make a vessel. The vessel, when he completed it, it wasn’t the way he wanted it. Instead of throwing the vessel away, he broke it and used the pieces to make Right Directions 10th Annual Broken Vessels Conference
Page 2
another vessel. In doing so, while working the potter’s wheel, he was cutting up his hands and his blood was getting into the new vessel. In that new vessel, with his blood in it, was made more whole and more perfect. So, tonight, I’d like to welcome you all into the potter’s house. The Lord said, ‘Oh house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter’? I pray that whatever is broken in your life right now, I pray that when you leave here, it will be a bit more whole.” Pastor Hampton then welcomed those in the audience and began to talk about faith. “Somebody is going to leave here with a different understanding about faith,” said Hampton. “The one thing that I’ve come to realize, and I believe all of you can agree, that pretty much everything about our lives – faith has something to do with it. But sometimes we have not channeled (our faith) to the degree to which it can be beneficial to how we are to progress from one dynamic to another.” Pastor Hampton began to talk about understanding how to be better in utilizing that faith that God has given each of us, how does one gain faith, maintain faith, some of the consequences of losing one’s faith, and where does one end up when they do not have any faith? “Two weeks ago, we funeralized one of our brothers, a good, faithful member of our church,” said Hampton. “His wife is sitting right over there right now. We had to transition the sanctuary to a degree so that we could accommodate the funeral services. The table that is sitting here with the flower and the vase, we moved it to another room. After all the services were over, I was bringing the table back out to 2 put it where it belongs. I picked the table up with all its contents on it. Unbeknownst to me the table started leaning and some of the things on it fell off. One of the things that fell was this nice looking centerpiece. When I looked on the floor, a piece had broken off. I laid the piece on the table and covered the vase up. It was damaged and so many of us are like this vase. We are damaged and we are hiding our issues, our brokenness, our problems and nobody knows. But when the covers are pulled from over us, we find out there is some damage to our lives.” Hampton continued saying that it is up to each person to make a conscience decision whether they want to do something about the brokenness in their lives or not and encouraged everyone that it was time to start putting those pieces back together. He then introduced the three invited conference participants and announced their topics of discussion. The first presenter was Bishop Michael George of Covenant Restoring Ministries who spoke on “How Do We Gain Faith?” Pastor Delbert Means of Christian Faith and Prayer Church followed speaking on “How Do We Maintain Our Faith?” and Pastor Mike Braggs of Power of Prayer International Ministries ended the forum by addressing “What are the Consequences of Losing Faith?” Following Pastor Braggs a there was a brief “Ministry in Giving” service, several musical selections performed by the True Believers Holiness Outreach Ministries (TBHOM) under the direction of Choir Director Rita Brownlee, and the introduction of the event’s special guest speaker, TBHOM Senior Pastor, Bishop Antonio Lawson. “In order for God to use us, we got to have a heart that He can talk to,” said Lawson. “When your heart is hardened, a heart of stone, God can’t get that easy Word over to you. I don’t know what you’re going through right now, but I know God said he is going to work on your heart. What the devil meant to destroy you, God is going to use it to restore you!” Bishop Lawson gave the closing remarks and benediction and the event ended with a prayer. “What is faith?” said Hampton. “You can’t lose something if you don’t know what you got.” 3
Page 4
Save the Date... TOPICS INCLUDE ... The Importance of My ZIP Kroger management is still ignoring our requests. What must we consider doing about it? Where are the street sweepers? Tuesday, August 13, 2019 5:58 - 7:28 PM CST Greater Faith Tabernacle Ministries 905 E Shelby Drive, Memphis, TN 38116 SAVE TIME SIGNING IN. REGISTER ONLINE @ https://www.eventbrite.com/e/copy-of-save-the-date-tuesday-august-13-2019-tickets-66495651283 SIGN OUR ONLINE PETITIONS NOW! CLICK THE LINK OR THE PICTURE... https://www.thepetitionsite.com/753/756/130/demand-waste-connections-to-cease-operations-now/ https://www.thepetitionsite.com/510/384/190/let%E2%80%99s-move-waste-connections-to-district-5/ DEMAND WASTE CONNECTIONS OF TN, LLC STOP THEIR WASTE TRANSFER STATION ACTIVITIES IN WHITEHAVEN HELP US TO MOVE WASTE CONNECTIONS TO DISTRICT 5 WHERE WORTH MORGAN IS COUNCIL REP. BECAUSE HE VOTED FOR IT TO EXPAND SIGN OUR SECOND PETITION! Worth Morgan HERE’S WHY... 4 Worth Morgan’s YES VOTE for the garbage expansion Council appointees Cheyenne Johnson and Gerre Currie The community showed up and showed out! Waste Connections can return in 18 months, but were not able to expand as proposed. Story and picture by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson All 13 members of the Memphis Municipal City Council were available for the regular meeting at 3:30 pm on Tuesday, July 2, the day the two-week hold on the Waste Connections of TN, LLC proposal allowing the business to expand from its current 9+ to proposed 40+ acres of garbage operations was finally scheduled to be reached. It was a much awaited day for the many of those who had began to fight the expansion nearly a year earlier, on or around August 11, 2018, when a handful of notices were mailed out announcing the company’s plans to expand—oh, did I say expand? Well, I must have forgotten the company and their newly hired representatives at Caissa Public Strategy changed that word to “relocation” to supposedly better describe what they were planning to do. Meanwhile and unbeknownst to those gathering in council chambers, Council chair Kemp Conrad had previously pulled the item from the agenda for the day. Pastor Elliott Shelton of the Promise Land Church opened the meeting with prayer and was presented with a certificate naming him Chaplain of the Day by council co-chair Patrice Robinson. The minutes of the last meeting were approved, a few resolutions were approved, and a presentation was given by the Memphis Youth City Council before Conrad announced “Item #3 was being held until November 5, 2019.” As the lead person of the petition to allow the firm to expand, I was asked to and agreed to the two week extension, but had informed the council during the last meeting held, no longer would we wait for a decision. Realizing something inappropriate was transpiring, appointed District 6 Councilwoman Geraldine “Gerry” Curry spoke up by making “a motion for the item to be placed back on the day’s agenda, without objection.” The motion carried and most in the audience, including yours truly, had missed a grand opportunity to act up and out by not paying close attention to what was going on in chambers. I began to pass out flyers that were left over from a previous meeting to those who came in support of the neighborhood, most of whom were wearing red. Eventually, after hearing what was going on, many of those who came in support of or denial of other Whitehaven community issues (e.g., Graceland, Memphis 3.0 Plan, etc.) began to ask for flyers too. I gladly provided all who wanted a flyer with one. At one point there must have been at least 50 flyers being held in the air protesting the passing of the issue to allow the nasty garbage and rude corporate neighboring company to expand. We only planned for two speakers, Emily Lamar and myself, to discuss the negative impacts the agency had on the entire community. However, there were three others who insisted on continuing to repeat themselves speaking about their personal issues that only they could speak on with no pictures or proof to back their stories of rats as big as cats, allergies, and cancer up with. Well, rather than confuse matters, they actually helped the cause and the nearly unanimous decision to prevent the expansion was reached by 12 of the 13 councilmembers. The one lone councilmember who wanted the expansion, Worth Morgan, is being given the opportunity to put the garbage facility in his District 5. Won’t you join the effort to make this happen with us by signing our petition? Thanks in advance for your agreeing to help us “relocate” it! 5
Page 6
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU “CLEANED” YOUR SHOES? Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Laquarius “Que” King is a SHOE MGK Brand Partner and franchise co-owner at the Wolfchase Galleria Mall in Bartlett, an up-scale suburb of Memphis, TN. Founded in Southern California in 1992 by Shawn Wiltshire, the concept behind the business is to provide a magical solution that guarantees to keep your shoes looking fresh and new. Considered to be the world’s “greatest” shoe cleaner, the MGK line has grown to include the care and protection of all types of athletic, fitness, suede, nubuck, smooth leather, and fabric shoes. Products available at the Wolfchase kiosk include:  SHOE MGK Starter Kit  THE MVP Kit  CLEAN & PROTECT Kit  LEATHER CARE Kit  CLEAN & FRESH Kit  LEATHER CREAM  CLEANER & CONDITION & More! “Most people don’t really think about keeping their shoes clean or trying to keep them looking new,” said King. “You know how we wash our clothes, right? Why don’t we wash or clean our shoes the same way? Throwing a pair of shoes in the washer is not the proper way to clean them. The proper way to clean your shoes is for you to have a cleaner especially formulated to keep them looking fresh, new, and clean all the time.” To find SHOE MGK at the Wolfchase Galleria Mall, 2760 North Germantown Parkway, Bartlett, TN 38133, park at Entrance #5 (Food Court) and proceed to the lower level using the escalator in the center of the mall. Once on the lower level, proceed towards Dillards Department Store. Wolfchase Galleria mall hours are from 10 AM - 9 PM, Monday - Saturday, and from 12 PM - 6 PM on Sundays. “I believe in SHOE MGK not only because the product works, but also because of the benefits a person or family of people can gain from purchasing it,” added King. “I just explained to a mom how what she may spend on one kit could save her hundreds of dollars in the purchasing of new shoes for five children. After all, it is back to school time and a bargain is a bargain wherever you find can it.” SHOE MGK - #Re spect Your Shoe s 6 Story and Photos by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Mother Maggie Cathey, 94, was treated to an early morning hair do at Hazel’s Hair Fashions, 4105 Elvis Presley Boulevard, on Saturday, July 13, 2019, in preparation for a birthday celebration put together by her caregiver, Nadine Thomas. Cathey is a resident of Wesley Graceland Gardens (WGG), a 191-apartment gated community for ages 55 and above, located at 1430 Graceland Pines Street in Whitehaven, a bedroom community located in the southern portion of Memphis, TN. The event, held in the WGG Community Photo by Tyrone Cathey Room/Activity Center, was attended by family and friends. Granddaughter Antalia Cathey (bottom left, from left) assisted her mom Barbara Cathey and family friend Annie Simmons preparing chicken salad, rotisserie chicken, spaghetti, hot dogs, potato salad, and coleslaw. There were also cupcakes, birthday cake, and banana pudding available for dessert. Minister Diedre Jones of Christ in Faith Temple where Pastor Tommie Brown Jr. is the Senior Pastor gave the invocation and blessed the food and Cathey’s son James sang “Jesus on the Mainline.” Also present for the celebration was Cathey’s 84 year-old sister, Marie Conners. Maggie Cathey turned 94 on July 20th. She said she was born in Mississippi. On Men and Ped i cures Marcos and Sasha Johnson spent part of the day on Monday, July 22, 2019, at the Wolfchase Galleria Mall, 2760 North Germantown Parkway, in Bartlett, TN. It was Marcos’ 40th birthday and Sasha had a special outing for a pedicure planned for her significant other. Men usually shy away from the mere thought of having a pedicure, believing that such pampering is strictly for women and they typically wear closed-toe shoes or heavy boots for 10 or more hours daily. These types of situations can and often do create dark, moist environments where skin cancers, bacteria, callouses, and fungus easily thrive. Cracked skin, itching, open lesions, blistering, bunions, ingrown and discolored toenails are just some of the many infections and diseases that a monthly pedicure and cuticle trimming can help reduce the chances of. We are not endorsing any one manicurist or pedicurist, but are rather suggesting our men treat themselves to hand and feet services at home and/or in the salon. Other tips include not cutting your nails before going for a manicure or pedicure, remembering to always cut straight across the nails, and using pumice stones to remove flaking skin and calluses. Marcos said he really enjoyed his pedicure and would be making obtaining services a regular part of his schedule. Sasha added, “He was so relaxed and enjoyed the pedicure so much that he practically fell asleep in the chair!” 7
Page 8
BLUE LIGHTS ON THE BOULEVARD Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The community was invited to join Minister W. Michael Jackson and the Boulevard Church of Christ (BCC) congregation for “Blue Lights on the Boulevard” from 10 am - 1 pm on Saturday, July 13, 2019. Held on the BCC campus located at 4439 Elvis Presley Boulevard, the event featuring fun and games for the children was also the church’s third community forum designed to engage Memphians and the Memphis Police Department in a dialogue to better understand how the two can work together to make positive changes that will effectively keep Whitehaven citizens and the entire community safer. The program kicked off with officers from the Memphis Police Department speaking in the Family Life Center. Raines Station Precinct Commander Colonel Mickey Williams spiced the conversation up after delivering a message about crime by opening the floor to questions. Member Jim Kincaid was one of several attendees who responded. Other speakers included officers from the Air Support Division, Bomb, Canine, and TACT Units. While adults and children were inside the Family Center enjoying the program, vendors including Marley’s Ice, a self-serve flavored -ice vendor, bounces, and Anthony, the 5-year old Bloodhound, tried to stay cool in the shade outside. Ofc. G.Howard (left), a TACT Unit member trained to respond to various emergency situations had “The Bear,” a powerful armored bus that is used in barricade, hostage, terrorism, and other high-risk operations in the parking lot ready to move at the spur of the moment. “I was glad to hear people say they had never seen the bear on the streets of Memphis,” said Howard. “That means they’ve never been at an emergency or dangerous situation that required the TACT squad to be present.” 8 9
Page 10
About the Memph i s Lynch i ng S i te s Pro j ect “The Lynching Sites Project is part of a growing network of people who want the whole and accurate truth to be told about the history of Shelby County. We believe that we can heal and grow in understanding when we face openly the history of racial violence in our community.” “In this work, we join with the national effort of Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI.org) to memorialize over 4,000 known lynching’s in our country between 1877 and 1950.” The Vision Statement of the Memphis Project is “Opening our hearts and our communities to racial healing by shining the light of truth on lynching’s in Shelby County, Tennessee.” The Mission of the organization is to “...partner with a growing network of organizations and congregations of faith in order to acknowledge our shared history of racial violence, our ongoing resolve for racial justice, and racial healing.” The goals of the Memphis Lynching Sites Project include:  To remain grounded in silence, prayer, humility, and listening;  To build relationships of trust and new understanding among all who choose to be a part of this work;  To partner with others in Shelby County who are also working for racial healing and truth;  To identify the names of victims of lynching’s in Shelby County;  To locate the sites of these lynching’s and place a memorial at each one;  To make available written records as well as audio and video recordings of descendants of both lynching victims and of those who were involved in or present at these lynching’s;  To engage local religious leaders and congregations in this work;  To make available to local schools and the public study resources and an interactive website accessible to all;  To hold interfaith prayer services;  To engage the arts and artists in this work; and  To make available groups and classes where the deeper, more difficult conversations about race and racism can take place. The August Lynching Sites Project meeting will be held at First Baptist Church of Memphis, 200 East Parkway North. Beginning in September, meetings will be held at Idlewild Presbyterian Church, 1750 Union Avenue. Meetings begin at 5 PM CST and are held on the second (e.g., August 12th) and fourth (e.g., August 26th) Monday of the month unless otherwise indicated. For info, visit lynchingsitesmem.org, phone or email Executive Director, John Ashworth, (731-277-9352), JOHN@lynchingsitesmem.org or Media Strategist, Jessica Orians, (901-634-8037), JESSICA@lynchingsitesmem.org. 10 MEMPHI S LYNCHING V I CT IMS CL I CK HERE TO VI S I T LYNCHINGS I TESMEM.ORG 11
Page 12
The Businesses United to Recognize Educators (B.U.R.E.) 2019 Best of the Best Annual Awards Banquet Photography by Mr . Tyrone P . Eas ley B.U.R.E. wishes to thank each and every one of the awardees for all they do to improve the well-being of our children in the city of Memphis. We thank you for your contributions as educators and supporters of education because our children would not have a chance if we did not have strong mean and women of integrity and faith working with and for them. — Ruby Payne and Rev. Trennie Williams - Finalists and *Awardees by Category - The Margaret B. McKissick-Larry Female Educator of the Year Finalists  Nickie L. Brock, Southwest Career Technology School  Joyce Latiker-Davis, Crump Elementary School  Lori Enos, Richland Elementary School  Tyjauna L. Smith, Westhaven Elementary School The Commodore C. Primous Male Educator of the Year Finalists  Amir Joplin, Circles of Success Learning Academy  Rahya Jones, Behavior Interventionist, Avon Lenox High School  Fernando Clark, Dean of Students, Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering  Graylon Freeman, Instructor, Dubois Arts and Technology CONTINUED ON PAGE 13 12 The Pat B. Moore Outstanding Auxiliary Educator of the Year Finalists  Brandy H. Powell, PLC Coach, Bethel Grove Elementary School  Kimberly S. Wooten, Administrative Assistant, A. Maceo Walker Middle School  James F. Hughes, Professional Asbestos Technician, Shelby County Schools  Rev. Dr. Eddie Marcel Jones, Human Resources/Recruitment and Staffing, Shelby County Schools The John W. White Outstanding Principal and the Sara L. Lewis Outstanding School of the Year Finalists  James Bacchus, Principal, Hamilton High School  Dr. Bradley K. Breeden, Principal, White Station Elementary School  Dr. Anniece Gentry, Principal, Dunbar Elementary School  Debra D. Martin, Principal, Downtown Elementary Optional School The Ophelia Watson Flowers Outstanding Program of the Year Finalists  Walking in Authority Ministries, Delcy West Jones, CEO  School Security Special Response Unit, Marvin M. Stepter, Mobile Patrol Officer  Yale Road Learning Center of Memphis, Veronica Finnie, CEO and Founder  Project Altitude: STEM Transportation Career Education Program, Shirley Blache, Founder The Willie W. Herenton Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award of the Year Finalists  Dr. Elizabeth P. Martin, Retired Administrator, Legacy Memphis City Schools  Clarence Jones, Retired Middle School Educator, Legacy Memphis City Schools  Shirley Batts, Retired Educator, Legacy Memphis City Schools  Lois Sargent, Retired High School Educator, Legacy Memphis City Schools The Jimmy Delnoah Williams Friend to Education Award of the Year Finalists  David M. Payne, CEO, David M. Payne Producations  Early Drane and Hamilton Class of 1969  Flo Roach, Songwriter, Director, Producer, Educator  Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, Senior Publicist, NEWSCENE, the new online publication where NEWS is SEEN The Kiwayna and Trennie Lanier Williams Outstanding Parent of the Year Award Finalists  Albert and Natasha Patterson, Whitehaven High School  Dr. Ron and Joyce Davis, Houston High School and West Collierville Middle School  Dr. Gwendolyn Cowan Flowers, Family Matriarch, LeMoyne-Owen College  Solomon and Sipia Hatley, Ridgeway High School The Ruby J. Payne Outstanding Author of the Year Award Finalists  Dr. Rachell N. Anderson, Licensed Clinical Psychologist/Professor Emeritus “American Made: The Heart of a Healer”  Charlie Crenshaw IV, Children’s Author, Poet, Speaker “Charlie the Time Traveler: A Future Memphis”  Ella Rose Oji, Adult Author, Health Consultant, Entrepreneur “Caring for Your Skin - Naturally”  Mabra Holeyfield, Adult Author, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur “Use What You Got” 13
Page 14
DID YOU KNOW? There are several moneyless ways you can support nonprofits like DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE and the McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association, Inc. of Memphis (serving all of ZIP Code 38116). When you shop at Kroger you can, AT NO COST TO YOU, support DI’MANS, Inc. by enrolling in the Community Rewards Program and earning rewards for DI’MANS every time you shop! Visit Kroger.com/ communityrewards and support Organization #DN098. Smile.Amazon.com is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, again, AT NO COST TO YOU, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to DI’MANS Inc., the charitable organization of choice. Email us at NEWSCENESHELBYCO@gmail.com for details today! Photography by Mr . Tyrone P . Eas ley Academy for Youth Empowerment drum members stand with agency Founder and long-time beautician, Ms. Hazel Moore (rear, sixth from right), at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church (MBCC) based Back-to-School Health Fair featuring free entertainment, food, health screenings, immunization shots, and more. The event was held from 10 AM to 2 PM, Saturday, July 27, 2019, at MBCC, 70 N. Bellevue Ave. 14 Memphis, it’s time to walk in power with Apostle Gwendolyn Ponyo, co-founder of Kingdom of all Nations Ministries (KFAN) with her husband Zack Ponyo. The Ponyo’s operate and flow heavily in apostolic, deliverance, and prophetic anointing. Apostle Ponyo held “A Miracle and Healing Crusade” nightly beginning at 7 pm from July 25 - 28, 2019, at 2757 South Mendenhall Road in Memphis, TN. The crusade against cancer, AIDS, tumors, mental disabilities, paralyzed, and more was designed for those who need healing—the sick, cripple, deaf, diseased, blind—whoever needed a miracle.” You can follow Apostle Gwendolyn Ponyo on Facebook, online at gwendolynponyo.com, by email, at @KFANINTL, or by phoning (901) 231-9011. Questionable things in Memphis?!! VIEW FROM RIVERSIDE DRIVE... 15
Page 16
16 17
Page 18
Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson MaryAnn Washington, a Booker T. Washington and Southwest Tennessee Community College Associate of Arts graduate, is currently seeking a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Entrepreneurship from the University of Memphis’s, University College. Washington has a passion for theatrical performances and dramatic entertainment and is currently preparing to embark upon her fifth theatrical production (in 2020). The Memphis native and founder of “The Actors Renaissance Theatre” just finished a three-day run of her self-financed production “SHADDY,” at the Evergreen Theatre. “SHADDY is a live drama production that reveals patterns of toxic dysfunctional family relationships mixed with destructive and deceitful behaviors that are exposed when private detectives go undercover to investigate the owner of an illegal massage parlor neatly disguised as an art gallery,” said Washington an aspiring playwright, actress, independent producer, and director. “SHADDY is the third production we performed under “The Actors Renaissance Theatre,” the theatre company I founded in 2017.” Scenes from Part II of SHADDY, the play written and produced by Performing Arts Manager and Actress, MaryAnn Washington A. A. Part II kicks off with James Alfred, CII Agent, played by Justin Pugh, and Natalie Bloomfield, secret service agency owner, played by Tamiko Rhodes. Rhodes had to have several alcoholic drinks upon learning James had violated every rule in the book by sleeping with the person he was assigned to watch. Here, James confesses to Natalie that he and his assignment spent a hot and seductive night of romance in a suite at the Peabody Hotel. B. B. Meanwhile, in another part of town, Alonzo Foster, Eva (Sharina Shaw) Foster’s uncle who is played by Craig Joiner, tries to seduce Kelly Crawford, a want-to-be artist who is played by Laquita Zeek, by telling her Eva’s husband Price Kelly is not good enough for her to be spending time with while trying to seduce her into going out with him on a date with him. Kelly knows Eva wouldn’t approve and tells Alonzo she C. Alonzo leaves, but not before extending his invitation for Kelly to reconsider his offer and commending her on some artwork he knows she did not paint. His niece, Eva comes in asking Kelly if she had just seen her uncle leaving. The two begin to argue. “I need to talk to you, Kelly,” begins Eva. “About what?,” replies Kelly. “Price,” Eva replies. “Stay the —- away from my husband.” “What you gonna do about it Eva? Gloat? Tell your husband to stay away from me,” replied Kelly. D. “Oh, I see what this is,” said Eva implying that Kelly was using her ‘lighter skin tone’ to portray a person being victimized. “You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.” 18 C. D. “This light-skinned chick right here,” said Kelly, “She about to put her foot up your behind!” A fight ensues, but is quickly broken up by Kelly’s mom, Abagail. Meanwhile, the scene changes to a night club where Rachel and Francine discuss the illegal massage parlor and its sex-related operations. 19
Page 20
In another part of the same club Alonzo sees Abagail drinking and sits at her table until Abagail is shocked because Alonzo spots Kelly, who had decided to take him up on his date offer, and allows him to score. Later that evening the club is full and everyone is dancing and having a good time then Natalie learns Abagail accidentally gave Alonzo her real business card. Alonzo goes to the club and kills Natalie. The play ends shortly thereafter when he and Vivian are arrested. C. Carnecia Avant…………. Emma Ariona Campbell……… Vivian Cooley Jimmy Freeman Jr…… Caleb Tarsha Gibson………. Fatima Gray………….. Abagail Molly Hiawartha Jackson… Francine Craig Joiner…………… Alonzo Foster Dale McNair………….. Damien Whitfield CAST Jealissa Monroe…………... Vicky Moore………………... Tramaine Morgan……….. Justin Pugh……………..…… Tamiko Rhodes………….…. Sharina Shaw………...…….. Sarah Shockley………………. D. Aletha Kelly Rachel Hedley Price Kelly James Alfred Natalie Bloomfield Eva Foster Xavier Crawford Laquita Zeek……………………. Kelly Crawford Mary Ann Washington’s Ostrander nominations include Best Actress in a College Production - “The Diviners,” SWTCC, her nominations include Best Director in a College Production - “The Amen Corner,” SWTCC, and her wins include Best Ensemble - “The Bluest Eye” and “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress,” Hattiloo Theatre. Her independent production “The Sex Play” was nominated for a Diversity On Stage Award and she won a Mtenzi Award for Best Stage Activist. She performed with the Hattiloo Theatre for five seasons and was part of their Theatre Company for two years. Her experience includes writing and directing plays for the Blues City Cultural Center, performing for Inner City South and Bluff City Tri-Art. Mary Ann is a member of World Overcomers Outreach Ministries and she is a World Overcomers Drama Ministry participant and performer. 20 21
Page 24
About the October Elect i on Proces s There is an election coming up on October 3, 2019, and 17 municipal positions are up for election. Maybe you are wondering why you should care? Maybe you’ll just vote for someone because of their name or because you respect them, or because they grew up near or with you. Well, I’m here to tell you that is why Memphis is and has been so politically screwed up for the past 200 years. It is most definitely time for a change. My question is, “Are you really ready for it?” The Mayor or Chief Executive Officer of the City of Memphis has responsibility for the: 1. General supervision of all City of Memphis officers, and to 2. Ensure that all ordinances and provisions of the Charter are observed. The City of Memphis’s Charter reads as follows, “The qualifications of said Mayor and of the members of said Board of Commissioner shall be those now required by law for the members of the present legislative council, and the Mayor shall have the additional qualifications now provided by law for said office; provided, however, that no person shall be ineligible to said office because of having heretofore held said office. What that means is that both former Mayor Willie W. Herenton and current Mayor, Jim Strickland, are eligible to run for the office should they choose to do so, but we will get back to that later. Other qualifications for Mayor include: 1. Being a citizen of the United States or who “holds any office or agency under the City of Memphis, Shelby, TN”; 2. Being a resident of the City of Memphis for the past five (5) years; 3. Not being in arrears or owing taxes; 4. Not being 30 years of age or older with good moral character; and 5. Not being “directly or indirectly interested in any contract with the City of Memphis.” The term for the Mayor of Memphis is four (4) years. The date of the election was changed from the first Thursday after the first Monday in November to the third Thursday in August and provided staggered terms by “2008 Referendum No. 1, adopted August 21, 2008. However, on April 13, 2010, these rules were overridden by Referendum Ordinance 5347, which repealed the election procedure for implementation of staggered terms and provided for the election of persons to the Memphis City Council, Office of the Mayor, and Office of City Court Clerk to two (2) consecutive four-year terms without staggered terms.” YOU, the votes of Memphis approved this Referendum Ordinance on November 2, 2010. In the event the Mayor’s seat becomes vacant, as it has in the past, the City Council Chair will become the Mayor Pro14 15 Term and shall assume the role of Mayor for up to 180 days following the vacancy announcement. After this period of time, YOU, the public voting members of Memphis, shall elect a duly qualified person to serve the remaining unexpired term of the vacated office unless a regularly scheduled general or municipal election will occur first and within the 180 day timeline. Otherwise, “...a special election shall be held within 90 days of such vacancy to elect a candidate to fill the Office of the Mayor through the end of the remaining unexpired Mayoral term.” In case of the contested election of Mayor, the Board of Commissioners shall determine the same, and when it is ascertained that two or more persons have the same number of votes for Mayor, they shall elect one of such persons for Mayor. As of today, the majority of the Shelby County Election Commissions website (shelbyvote.com) is inoperable or down. The list of qualifying candidates was not available after the qualifying deadline date and time of noon, Thursday, July 18, 2019; nor was any information available by Thursday, July 25, 2019, the last day for candidates to withdraw from the process. This election will decide who will fill the following seats: City Council Districts 1 through 7 City Council Super Districts 8 and 9, Positions 1 through 3 Memphis City Court Clerk (Incumbent is Kay S. Robilio) Email: tvb@memphistn.gov; Phone: (901) 636-3457; and the Memphis Municipal Judges Divisions 1 through 3. The last day to register to vote in the October 3rd election is Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Early voting begins Friday, September 13th and ends on Saturday, September 28, 2019. Make plans to vote today. 24 Thursday, October 3 , 2019 i s El ect i on Day for The City of Memphis Offices to be Elected Include: MAYOR CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1 CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 2 CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 3 CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 4 CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 5 CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 6 CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 7 CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 8, POSITION 1 CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 8, POSITION 2 CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 8, POSITION 3 CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 9, POSITION 1 CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 9, POSITION 2 CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 9, POSITION 3 MEMPHIS MUNICIPAL JUDGE, DIVISION 1 MEMPHIS MUNICIPAL JUDGE, DIVISION 2 MEMPHIS MUNICIPAL JUDGE, DIVISION 3 MEMPHIS COURT CLERK DATES TO REMEMBER Absentee Voter Requests Are Being Accepted now thru Thursday, September 26, 2019 Tuesday, September 3, 2019 - Last Day to Register to Vote for October 3, 2019 Friday, September 13, 2019 - First Day of Early Voting Saturday, September 28, 2019 - Last Day of Early Voting Thursday, October 3, 2019 - ELECTION DAY 2019 REMEMBER: If you wait until Election Day to VOTE, You Must VOTE in Your Assigned Precinct. Make Sure You are REGISTERED to VOTE before September 3, 2019 VISIT SHELBYVOTE.ORG to REGISTER TO VOTE or CHECK YOUR REGISTRATION PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE! DO YOU OR DOES SOMEONE YOU KNOW NEED THEIR VOTING RIGHTS TO BE RESTORED? CALL US TODAY @ (901) 300-0250 WE ARE HERE AND WE WANT TO HELP YOU! STOP SUFFERING IN SILENCE. SPEAK UP WITH YOUR VOTE! 25
Page 26
Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Exactly What is an Orchid? Flowering plants with colorful, fragrant blooms called Orchidaceae, or orchid as they are more commonly known as, are native to the tropical regions of Asia and Australia where the climate is mild to hot and humid in the summer months. Founded in 1955, the Memphis Orchid Society (MOS) is full of experts who can answer this question and discuss the best heat and humidity levels for your special greenhouse growing orchids. This vibrant group of enthusiastic orchid growers meet for two hours at the Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry Road in Memphis, TN every fourth Sunday of the month beginning at 2 PM. The July meeting featured an auction and MOS member Alex Kumok’s presentation on Paphiopedilum orchids. Kumok’s presentation included discussions on temperatures, soil, light, humidity, air movement, and descriptions of several varieties of orchid’s and their level of difficulty for growing. Paphiopedilum orchids require a night temperature of 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit and a day temperature of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. They must be kept constantly moist or damp, but they will not survive in a “soggy” atmosphere. Growers must frequently check below the surface for dampness or dryness and normal watering intervals are between seven and 10 days. April is National Orchid month. “The Paphiopedilum thaianum is a new variety of orchid,” stated Kumok as he referred to the presentation page showing a picture of the “green to yellow” flowering plant. “They have long stems and flowers can be between 3 and 5 centimeters in diameter.” Kumok continued his presentation by providing general recommendations on the plant. The orchid’s characteristics include growth in shady rain forests, on steep slope elevations. Paph. thaianum, a native plant to Asia, grows on steep cliffs primarily composed of highly eroded limestone. Flowers generally bloom between early April and late May. Other species of Paphiopedilum orchids discussed by Kumok included the Paph. godefroyae, Paph. niveum, Paph. armeniacum, Paph. delenatii, Paph. emersonil, Paph. hangianum, Paph. malipoense, Paph. jackii, and Paph. malipoense. Kumok also mentioned that some varieties of the Paphiopedilum orchid are available online and they can also be found in some Sam’s Club stores. We wish you “Good growing and success” in your new or existing Paphiopedilum orchid hobby! 26 3rd Place - D. Mallory C IAL GUEST SPEAKER Show and Tell Orchid Winners… 1st Place Randy Bayer Dendrobium laevifolium 2nd Place Chuck Pintner Brassocattleya memoria vida lee (Brassocattleya binese x Cattleya brazillian treasure) 3rd Place Doug Mallory Cattleya purple splendor 1st Place - R. Bayer Show & Tell Participants Randy Bayer Dendrobium gregulus Dendrobium laevifolium Dendrobium hellwigianum Dendribium pseudolamellatum Chuck Pintner Brassocattleya memoria vida lee (Brassocattleya binese x Cattleya brazillia treasure) Catasetum melana davison 2nd Place - C. Pintner Doug Mallory Cattleya purple splendor Alan Jaslow Hartegia purpurea phalaenopsis pulchra NOTE: Memphis Orchid Society members purchased nine plants during the show & tell auction held July 28, 2019, at Memphis botanic garden, 750 Cherry Road. Visit MOS online at memphisorchids.org. 27
Page 28
The 2019 Universal Life Insurance Building Ribbon Cutting Program Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The history behind the Universal Life Insurance Company (ULIC) building was a featured article in the February 2019 edition of NEWSCENE, so rather than repeat ourselves here, we would like to remind you that all of our publications are available for your review online 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, 365-days a year and we have no intentions of changing those facts. We would also like to ask for your support by subscribing to our publication online and in print. A ribbon-cutting ceremony, rededicating the ULIC building to the community which it was built to serve, was held on the evening of Thursday, July 11, 2019, in the rear parking lot of the building located at 480 (Linden) Dr. Martin Luther King Avenue, near downtown Memphis, TN. The event was well attended. Visitors were invited to tour portions of the building and were welcomed to purchase food and listen to music outside both before and after the ceremonies. Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce President Beverly Robertson served as the event hostess and moderator. We all know Mrs. Robertson from her many years of hard work, dedication, and success in turning the Lorraine Motel, into the National Civil Rights Museum, the site where the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King was so violently shot down here in Memphis, TN, in April of 1968. Sitting on the other end of MLK Avenue is the historic Mount Olive Cathedral Christian Methodist Church, currently overseen by Pastor Peris J. Lester who prayed for the success of the reopening as he provided powerful, yet welcoming words during the invocation. In addition to the buildings owner’s, Juan Self, AIA and Jimmie E. Tucker, FAIA of Self Tucker Properties, speakers included 92-year old James Hawkins, Paul A. Young, Director of Housing and Community Development, and Mayor Jim Strickland. Hawkins, a former Vice President of the ULIC was full of spirit as he spoke reminisced on his many years working for the ULIC. He sang the company song and introduced several co-workers who were also in attendance at the event. The event concluded as everyone traveled through the building and down the massive set of stairs facing Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard for a ribbon cutting and “Light it Up! ceremony to officially re-light the ULIC clock-sign in front of the building which was followed by a colorful display of the building’s new exterior lighting features at dusk. 28 29
Page 32
CFC #46643 AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Location: Memphis, TN | Year Founded: 2009 DI’MANS, Inc. (Click here) to shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM Mission: DI'MANS, Inc. was formed to establish a positive, proactive force in the fight against juvenile crime and juvenile delinquency. The goal of DI'MANS, Inc. is to bring adults dedicated to positively shaping future generations together to assist disadvantaged youth in becoming productive citizens as adults. Help Support Causes in Your Community! (Click here to sign up) Did you know you can support nonprofit organizations in your community just by shopping at Kroger? It's easy when you enroll in Kroger Community Rewards®! To get started, sign up with your Plus Card below, and select a local organization you wish to support. Once you're enrolled, you'll earn rewards for your chosen organization every time you shop and use your Plus Card! Enroll now for the Kroger Community Rewards Program. And remember….all participants must re-enroll each year to continue earning rewards for their chosen organization. DIRECTIONS: 1) Go to Kroger.com; 2) Create an account or sign in; 3) Drop down the arrow at your name 4) Select “My Account” 5) Click on Community Rewards on the left side of the screen) Make a One-Time donation to DI’MANS, Inc. Make a Recurring Donation (Click here) 32 Alternative & Holistic Health Services ORDER HERE (800) 403-7155 Congratulations! On Your New Venture, Wishing You Well! 33 CLICK HERE TO VISIT US ONLINE
June 2019 Edition_Final Revised & Edited

June 2019 Vol#1-Issue#6B


Page 0
Vol. 1, Issue 6 June 2019 KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D. Summer time is here, school is out, and thousands of youth are looking for something positive to do during this brief hiatus from school. Would you like a suggestion for improving the lives of youth residing in Memphis and its surrounding communities? Sponsor a child’s partial- or full-tuition for an employment youth summer program. You might save a child’s life if you can. We are happy to report that NEWSCENE was granted approx. one-fourth of the grant funding requested from the Memphis City Council. This $15k in funding, combined with funds raised from our first WATERMELON FUNDRAISER, will be used to print and mail subscriptions and to further support our programs. We hope we can depend on you to become a paid annual subscriber soon! As you know, we depend heavily on you to spread the word about NEWSCENE. Your willingness to share links to featured stories to create new viewers, your desire to submit calendar events, pictures, and stories about events that have recently taken place are greatly appreciated. So is your desire to support us through purchasing advertisements through our advertising department that feature your local businesses, reunions, and other activities. This newsletter is for you and about you and the things you know about that are happening in your communities. I am depending on you to make sure we have accurate meeting dates and fresh content for each monthly NEWSCENE edition. NEWSCENE subscriptions are currently available for $36/bi-annually. You can subscribe online, call us at 901-300-0250, email Memphis.Meetings@gmail.com, or write us at I Love Shelby County, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190-0146. Thank you, Yvonne Blues City Cultural Center Programs and Education Director, Roniece Gilkey (Center) and Sheneka Nutall, Pinnacle Financial Partners Sr. Vice President/ Financial Advisor of Lending Offices (front row right), teamed up for “The Whitehaven 38116 Summer Youth Experience” finances matters day. Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson EXPERIENCES AT SUMMER CAMP Roniece Gilkey has been the Programs and Education Director for the Blues City Cultural Center for the past three years. The agency evolved from its early beginnings as DOPKWE HOUSE in the late 1960s, an arts conglomerate under the direction of Tony Thompson, to the BEALE STREET REPERTORY COMPANY (BSRC) in the mid-1970s. BSRC was founded by Levi Frazier Jr., Deborah Hardin, Jon Wilson, Harold Gentry, Gregory Boyd, and Ron Parker. The mission of the organization was to provide a home for black performing artists who had few venues to display their talents in at the time. The BEALE STREET WRITERS were a cadre of scribes who originally included Quincy McKay, Hosea Henderson Jr., Mary Ruth Robinson, Cynthia Jones Sadler, Tommie Lee Ray, Akiba Shabazz, T. T. Roberson, and Pat Barnes. These individuals, who developed out of the BSRC, made a commitment to put pen to paper to express the black experience from a southern perspective. After approaching Memphis’s first black-owned radio station owner Art Gilliam about the concept of plays written by the writers being aired, WLOK 1340 AM aired these productions every Sunday morning for more than two years. Later, Memphis Cablevision televised a theatre series, SWEETER THE JUICE, featuring a variety of topics with an emphasis on Southern black culture monthly.
Page 2
About a year after marrying in ’78, Frazier and Hardin launched the Blues City Cultural Center, a theatre created to promote local artistic talent that reached underserved audiences. Funding from the Memphis Arts Council and the Tennessee State legislature allowed BCCC to form the first professional black theatre company in Memphis in 1989. Under the direction of Ruby O’Gray, technical director Danny White, and guest choreographer Arthur Hall, Verna Aldridge, Phillip Bell, Percy Bradley, Michael Adrian Davis, and Darrell K. Hagan got their careers started. The organization hosted the Southern Black Cultural Alliance annual festival in 1990. Held at the Old Daisy Theatre on Beale Street, the festival included plays, workshops, and readings, and served as a forum for southern black creativity featuring artists from Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Texas and the Carolina’s. Additional accolades about the history of the BCCC, including the facts stated in this article, can be found online at http://bluescitycc.org/history/. Ayana Frazier Williams, the daughter of Levy and Deborah, took over the helm of the BCCC in January. Under her direction, the BCCC celebrated its 40th anniversary in April and is currently operating two summer camps (Whitehaven – 38116 and Orange Mound – 38111/14) for youth, ages 14 to 18, among their many other programs. The camps are an arts-based summer project that provides employment for a total of 35 youth (20 in Whitehaven and 15 in Orange Mound). Participant job descriptions include singer and dancer, and all students are researchers, oral historians, cultural interpreters, writers, and marketing planners. They receive training in theatre, dance, music, visual art, expressive writing, and vocals as it relates to the history and heritage of one of the two camps situated in Memphis, TN. Programs are held Monday through Friday from 9 AM until 3 PM, and include challenging youth presentation activities on local landmarks, historical places, and people, two bus tours (June 25 & 26 in Whitehaven and July 9 & 10 in Orange Mound) that are open to the public to attend ($20/person) as well as a program finale on July 11th at 10 AM. The Orange Mound site is located at New Hope Baptist Church, 2731 Enterprise Ave, Memphis, TN 38114. The finale will be held at the Whitehaven site, Abundant Grace Fellowship, 1574 E. Shelby Drive, Memphis, TN 38116. “The Whitehaven 38116 Summer Youth Experience seeks to expose youth to the history of their community,” said BCCC Programs and Education Director Roniece Gilkey. “The goal of the program is for these youth participants to use the arts for achieving a better way of life – through dance, songs, and acting.” For more information about the program, to reserve your spot for both tours, or to volunteer, please call Programs and Education Director, Roniece Gilkey, at (901) 268-3740 or email bcceducation75@gmail.com. Students share various concepts they learned about finances after the presentation on money matters given by Pinnacle Financial Partners Senior Vice President Sheneka Nutall (standing right) during her visit to The Whitehaven 38116 Summer Youth Experience camp hosted by the Blues City Cultural Center where Roniece Gilkey is the Programs and Education Director. 2 (Standing) Kyler Gilkey, son of Whitehaven 38116 Summer Youth Experience Programs and Education Director, Roniece Gilkey and University of Memphis Junior, assists camp-goers in production and management through his role as an Intern. Seated is recent LeMoyne-Owen graduate and program Intern, ChaKendra Thompson, who assists camp-goers with production and development. (Above right) Camp participant and Whitehaven High School student Ronnie Wesby, 15, shows classmates the importance of the introduction and how to professionally introduce oneself using a business card in preparation for the upcoming walking tours. (Below, from left) Gabrielle Richardson, Shaniya Tucker, Morgan Cannon, and Athena Shead listen to classmates presentations on Thursday. 3
Page 4
(Top, from left) Athena Shead, Brianna Miller, Lonnie Graham, Tulesha Folson, Lorenzo Miller, Kellise Peete, and Kyra Amerson. participate in the Whitehaven 38116 Summer Youth Experience. The “Whitehaven 38116 Summer Youth Experience” Blues City Cultural Center camp is being held May 28 through July 12, at Abundant Grace Fellowship, 1574 East Shelby Drive in Memphis, TN. The 7-week summer experience for youth 14-18 years old draws upon the vast experiences of elders in collaboration with students and professional artists. (Top, from left) Tyrisha Faulkner and classmate Tory Davis listen and prepare to critique classmates introductory greeting during class on Thursday, May 30, 2019. Whitehaven High School student, Morgan Cannon, 16, recites her introduction for encouraging adults to join the group for a youthled bus tour of Whitehaven scheduled for June 25 and 26, 2019. Tour cost is $20/person. Call (901) 268-3740 for information. 4 (Top) Whitehaven 38116 Summer Youth Experience participant’s Lonnie Graham (left) and Ronnie Wesby (right) share their introductory presentations and prepare to hear critiques from classmates as they prepare speeches for interviewing Whitehaven area elders and other stakeholders who have knowledge about the community. (Below) Student participants (from left) Tulesha Folson, Lorenzo Miller, Kellise Peete, and Kyra Amerson listen to classmates for the best wording to use in preparing their speeches that will create opportunities for intergenerational dialogue with Whitehaven area senior residents. Call (901) 268-3740 for tour information. 5
Page 8
The June “My ZIP - My Email” community-wide meeting will be held from 5:58 PM to 7:28 PM Tuesday, June 11, 2019, at Greater Faith Tabernacle Ministries 905 E. Shelby Drive at Fairfield Road. This month’s meeting will be designed to discuss the developments surrounding the proposed expansion of Waste Connections of TN, LLC, the waste transfer facility located in your community at 621 East Brooks Road Come, get educated on what this means to you and your family “...Neighborhoods with low-value houses and/or low-levels of collective action are exposed to significantly greater risk since polluters (like Waste Connections of TN, LLC) consider these characteristics when making site decisions. IN OTHER WORDS… Impoverished neighborhoods like Whitehaven, Raineshaven, Westhaven, Westwood, Hickory Hill, Holiday City, Orange Mound, Alcy-Ball, South Memphis, Soulsville, Frayser, Hollywood, New Chicago, Douglass, Hyde Park, and similar areas where people tend NOT to organize against threats are more likely to become the location of HAZARDOUS WASTE SITES. IF YOU SAY, “NOT IN MY BACKYARD,” PROVE YOU MEAN IT… … BE THERE TO FIND OUT WHAT YOU CAN AND SHOULD BE DOING SAVE TIME SIGNING IN. REGISTER ONLINE @ https://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-wide-meeting-tickets-62358976377?aff=ebdssbdestsearch CL I CK THE P I CTURE FOR DETAI LS 8 (Below) Greater Faith Tabernacle Ministries parishioner Gloria Easley (left), owner of Gloria and Jean Upholstery (901-503-6942), set up to raise funds on Saturday, May 18, 2019, at the corner of Shelby Drive and Fairfield Road. Assisting Easley and preparing items for display is Easley’s sister, Brenda Moss. Unity Christian Church of Memphis, 3345 McCorkle Road, Memphis, TN 38116, is interviewing for a PART-TIME METAPHYSICAL MINISTER. Interested parties can review the entire job description here. DVD or other video format submission preferred. For more information, contact Rosanna Kendall, rosannakendall@gmail.com. Pictured during his interview is Rev. William Major of Atlanta, GA. 9
Page 10
State of Tennessee, Department of Education Director of Policy, Aleah Guthrie (left) spoke about training and childhood experiences, trauma-informed discipline and school safety, and more at the town hall meeting sponsored by London Lamar, State Representative for District 91 in Memphis, TN, during the event held Tuesday evening, May 28, 2019, at the Riverside Missionary Baptist Church, 3560 South Third Street. Story and Photo by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The recently constructed edifice of Riverside Missionary Baptist Church, 3560 S Third Street near Mitchell (Winchester) Road in southwest Memphis, was the location of 28-year old, former TN Young Democrats President and first-term State Representative London Lamar’s Whitehaven Legislative Town Hall meeting. Held on the evening of Tuesday, May 28, 2019, the event turned out to be extremely informative for those who were in town and attended. Understanding the importance of and absence of college voters encouraged Lamar to push for early voting locations to be placed on college campuses. “I’m so excited to be able to come home, from Nashville, to be able to share some of the things that were done this year at the Tennessee State Capitol,” said Lamar, a freshman in leadership, secretary of the democratic minority caucus, and secretary of the caucus of TN Black Caucus of State Legislators. “Alongside a short presentation that I have, we will be talking about some key legislation that came down from the Capitol. We will also have presentations from the TN Department of Education to talk about key legislation concerning education, and also a presentation from the TN Department of Safety and Homeland Security about some new ID changes that are coming that every citizen needs to know about.” Lamar recapped major policy outcomes from the 2019 General Assembly and gave an overview of several of the bills she sponsored or co-sponsored (e.g., HB380 on health issues; HB988 on mental health; HB72 on maternal health and education, and reducing expungement fees to $0, and spoke about HB1264/SB765 on alternate gun permit system). Lamar made specific references to various laws that have recently been passed into law and those currently headed our way. “Drastic changes have been made in education and there is a federal mandate that ALL citizens will be required to receive new licenses call “real IDs.” Details for the “real ID” program are on the following page for your convenience and review. Visit online for more info. 10 VI S I T TN.GOV/ TNREAL I D 11
Page 12
12 Tony Pollard goes Pro! Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Melrose High School graduate and former University of Memphis Sport and Leisure Management major, Tony DeShawn Pollard, the son of Torria and Tarrance Pollard and brother of Tneshia and Terrion Pollard, was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys NFL team in the 4th Round of draft picks on April 26, 2019. A celebration, held in Tony’s honor, was held May 3, 2019, in his family’s restaurant, Pollard’s BBQ, located at 4560 Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis, TN. Tyrone Hunt, Servant and Senior Pastor at the Healing Cathedral Christian Center, 4523 Elvis Presley Boulevard, opened the program with a prayer. “We have bright stars in this city,” said program supporter and emcee Hazel Moore of Hazel’s Hair Fashions, who is affectionately known as the Mayor of Whitehaven. “We want to always recognize them for their talents, as Pastor Tyrone Hunt said, for their gifts God has given them to move on, to move this city [forward].” Moore then informed those in attendance that Mayor Jim Strickland was in attendance and stated, “We have our city mayor here, let’s have him to come up and make his presentation. He always comes to Whitehaven when we ask him!” As Mayor Strickland approached the crowd, he reminded everyone that Hazel Moore is the Mayor of Whitehaven and stated, “I appreciate her letting the Mayor of Memphis in here!” The crowd cheered and laughed at his remarks. Strickland acknowledged all the Cowboy fans in attendance, including Dewayne Brown and several members of the M Town Cowboy Collection, before announcing that he was a Tiger fan. “I got to thank Tony for being a Tiger,” said Strickland as he began to comment on what attracted the Dallas team to the athlete. “I’m a season ticket holder, so I saw all of those kickoff returns. There were a lot of them, 7, a NCA record. All the rushes, all the receptions, the ball games, all the good times at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Tony, you’re going to Dallas and you’re going to all of these big NFL cities but, you know Memphis will always be your home and we will always love you.” Strickland proceeded to read the following from the Proclamation prepared for the event. “Now therefore, be it proclaimed that I, Jim Strickland, Mayor of the City of Memphis, do hereby claim May 3, 2019, as Tony Pollard Day in the great city of Memphis!” Although on the program, Shelby County Commissioner Van. D. Turner Jr., Shelby County Mayor, Lee Harris, and City of Memphis Councilmember Jamita Swearengen where unable to attend the event due to conflicting schedules. The celebration continued with Creative Dizigns owner, Melony Walker, who presented a painting. Several other speakers, including family members, briefly spoke during the congratulatory celebration. Pollard’s paternal cousin, Kortney Powell, was extremely excited for his cousin’s accomplishments. “Tony worked hard to make his dreams come through,” said Powell. “We are very proud of him and we are all very excited!” (Far left, top) City of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland (right) was present to present former Melrose and University of Memphis student, Tony Pollard, with a proclamation claiming May 3, 2019, Tony Pollard Day in recognition of him being picked up by the Dallas Cowboys football league in the fourth round drafts held April 26, 2019. Pollard left Memphis on May 6th headed to camp where he signed a reportedly $3.19 million dollar deal that included a $667,780 dollar signing bonus. Pollard’s base salary will be $495,000 in his first year of play. Not bad for a 22 year old rookie, huh? (Bottom) Melony Walker, owner and artist at Creative Dizigns, presented Tony Pollard with a special painting to commemorate his being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys during the event. A special poster featuring a picture of Tony in his University of Memphis uniform greeted celebration attendees inside Pollard’s BBQ, 4560 Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis, (Top right) Tony attended Melrose High School where he graduated from in 2015. On hand at the celebration was principal Mark Neal (left with mic) who spoke about Tony’s presence during his short time being principal and getting to know him. Also pictured is Hazel Moore who is affectionately known as the Mayor of Whitehaven because of her dedication and commitment to improving and highlighting the many positive things going on in the area. Moore was an instrumental force in making sure the event took place, offering to emcee the event herself, and invited the Mayor and many of the other special guests in attendance. (Bottom right) Present before the event started, making sure everything and everybody was in place and at the right place was Pollard’s paternal cousin, Kortney Powell. Powell was having trouble containing his excitement. He expressed sincere appreciation of and for his cousin’s accomplishments and was on hand to ensure things went better than planned. (Above left) Officer R. Jefferson commends Tony, a former participant at the Raines Station Precinct in Whitehaven. (Above right) Joyce and Johnny Rudd were among the many relatives on hand to celebrate Tony Pollard’s being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys. 13
Page 14
Old Dominick’s Distillery Marketing Activations Manager, Meghan Bridges, poses on the platform of the recently erected 10’ tall , 50’ wide, 20,000 lb. “Memphis” sign located at the Mud Island River Park, just south of the amphitheater. Meghan and Old Dominick’s staff were on hand passing out free shots and inviting the community to tour their facilities at 305 S. Front Street, Memphis, TN, Story and Picture by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson What’s New on Mud Island? Mud Island River Park is a family-friendly entertainment destination near the Mississippi River in downtown Memphis, TN. You can get to the park through the Amphitheatre on foot from Island Drive or by walking across the skybridge (under the monorail track) from Main Street. Access is on Level 3 of the west terminal and parking is available at the Mud Island parking garage, 125 N. Front Street. The garage entrance is located at the corner of Front Street and Poplar Avenue; fees range from $3 to $10 depending on the event. The River Park is a great place for hosting weddings, birthday parties, family and class reunions, and other large gatherings and events. The Mississippi River Museum is open from May through October, Thursday through Sunday, from 10AM to 5PM. Admission is $10 for adults 12 and over and free for children under the age of 4. All others pay $8 to enter. On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, Mud Island played host for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a 50-foot wide, 10-foot tall, 20,000 pound “Memphis” sign. Both the city of Memphis and Shelby County Mayors were in attendance at the event that offered participants free shot-sized glasses of Old Dominick’s whiskey. The organization’s website says they’ve “crafted 200 bottles of 2 year aged Tennessee Straight Whiskey in celebration of the Memphis Bicentennial,” and that each of the 200 bottles “features a different Memphian who helped give our city its soul.” Dominick’s will begin “releasing batches of these single-run, exclusive bottles on June 13, 2019. For additional details, drop by the distillery located at 305 S. Front Street, Memphis, TN 38103, email info@olddomninick.com, or phone (901) 260-1250 and “Share a SIP Responsibly.” 14 LISTEN UP! COUNTLESS NUMBERS OF PEOPLE ARE LEAVING HERE DAILY WITHOUT MAKING PREPARATIONS… ...WE WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE ONE OF THEM. June 1, 2019 DI’MANS, Inc. Post Office Box 9146 Memphis, TN 38190-0146 RE: Community-Wide Seminars My ZIP - My Email Meetings Free Announcement Calendar Greetings, The board and staff of DI’MANS, Inc., a nonprofit, IRS recognized organization founded in 1999, wishes to invite you to join us as we begin to reintroduce Shelby County to our series of informational presentations on subjects we believe you need to know about. Subscribe to our online newsmagazine NEWSCENE at iLoveShelbyCounty.com TODAY, to stay informed... We will begin offering free classes on topics that include: Gardening for Survival Navigating Your Mobile Device with Confidence, Especially for Seasoned Citizens Social Security Disability: Application Submitted, Approval Received Securing loved ones’ futures by preparing for the End-of-My-Life Student loan management: What You Should Know Before and After Signing The Real ID: What’s Happening after October 1, 2020? Voter Registration Drives: What you need to know Who are You Voting For? Meet the Candidates Thank you, Phone (901) 300-0250 for information, to make a donation, or for volunteer opportunities! 15
Page 16
Story by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Information Retrieved from The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, T. O. Fuller State Park Tennessee brochure, www.tnstateparks.com, https://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entries/thomas-oscar-fuller/, https://www.ncpedia.org/biography/fuller-thomasoscar, and was compiled by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Who was T.O. Fuller? Research reveals that Thomas Oscar Fuller (1867-1942) was a prominent Memphian, author, and civic leader who lived in the early 20th century. Fuller, whose parents were both literate and who had become landowners, attended local schools before graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 1890 and a Master’s degree in 1893. Both degrees were attained at Shaw University, where he enrolled in 1885. Shaw University is located in Raleigh, NC near Franklinton, NC, where Fuller was born. Fuller was ordained by the Wake County Baptist Association and his first pastorate was the Belton Creek Church at Oxford. Church was held in a log cabin schoolhouse and Fuller was paid a salary of $50 a year for his services. He also taught school in the Granville County public school for the salary of $30 a month. By 1892, Fuller returned to his hometown of Franklinton, formed and operated a “colored graded” school subsequently known as the “Girls Training School,” and became principal of the Shiloh Institute at Warrenton in 1894. By 1898, Fuller had been elected to the North Carolina State Senate when a white Republican had to relinquish his nomination. Fuller was the only African-American in the Senate at the time, yet this fact did not prevent or hinder all of his desires. He achieved several objectives including (1) being largely responsible for getting the circuit court to hold hearings every four months instead of every six months, (2) persuading the senate not to reduce the number of “Negro normal schools” from seven to four; and (3) support for the publication of sketches of North Carolina regiments in the Civil War while contending credit should be attributed to “those who stayed home and raised cotton and corn.” In 1900 Fuller left North Carolina and accepted the role of minister of the First Colored Baptist Church, then located at 217 Beale Street, in Memphis, TN, where he became one of the most prominent black ministers in the city. With only $100, he found a splinter group and rented a hall. Considered by many to be a born organizer and persuader, he soon increased the congregation size and embarked on a building program. Two additional churches were built, the first on St. Paul Avenue and the second at Lauderdale and Polk Streets. Fuller was named principal of Howe Institute, established in Memphis in 1888 as the Memphis Baptist and Normal Institute for West Tennessee Baptists. The school eventually merged with Roger Williams College. It was there where Fuller held classes in theology for local pastors. Howe was a training school to give young blacks manual skills and exposure to academic and cultural subjects including both the Latin and Greek languages. It is said that Fuller’s drive and active support system from Northern Baptists resulted in the fivefold growth of the building in the following 10 years. In 1905 Fuller was a conservative voice in the dispute and strike over the segregation of Memphis’s streetcars. He viewed attempts to protest the new laws as futile, believing that the white power structure would crush any opposition and he urged compliance and highlighted the Christian virtues of abiding the law, rejecting any direct confrontations occurring due to black community members negatively addressing streetcar conductors. Thomas Oscar Fuller received a doctor of philosophy degree from the Agriculture and Mechanical College of Normal, AL in 1906. Shaw University awarded him a M.A. in 1908 and a doctor of divinity degree in 1910. After a Caucasian mob lynched Ell C. Parsons by burning him to death in May 1917, Fuller ventured into more of an activist social and political agenda. As a result, he became one of the initial members of the first chapter of the Memphis Branch NAACP, but soon found himself at odds with the organization when it denounced Tennessee Governor Thomas C. Rye and allowed his membership to lapse. In 1920 he played a significant role in establishing a Memphis chapter of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation (CID). A conservative organization aimed at improving communications between African American elites and their white counterpart, the CIC rose out of the ashes of considerable racial violence following the end of World War I. Operating as a subcommittee of the white Chamber of Commerce and a group of minister, the organization was chaired by Fuller who also headed the Public Welfare League. The organization was commonly referred to as the Memphis InterRacial League (MIL) and might have been the largest and most activist black group in Tennessee claiming over twelve hundred members. Fuller took credit for bettering race relations and improving schools and playgrounds in Memphis in the 1920s. He successfully petitioned the city of Memphis for a change in the name of the Negro Industrial High School to the Booker T. Washington High School. The MIL spoke out against crime and waged a campaign encouraging the upholding of the law, temperance, and active employment. Fuller was so successful at presenting his views in the white press that he wrote more columns of print than any other African American man in Memphis history. 16 Master politician and powerful machine boss E. H. Crump began to consult with Fuller as the voice of the African American community. In 1927 after the Roger Williams University had burned in Nashville, Fuller requested permission to develop a new institution in Memphis. Local civic clubs were especially opposed to this request and the city government refused to give Fuller the necessary building permits to build on the property he had purchased on South Parkway. By 1931 Fuller took a leave from Howe Institute and began researching, writing, and publishing books aimed at increasing African American pride with the hopes that by providing the African American history that was missing from traditional American history narratives the result would be that of empowering black youth to continue the established progress of their forefathers. In the late 1930s, the Foote Homes project condemned the property of First Colored Baptist Church, Howe Institute, and several other black institutions, businesses, and many residences. In 1939 Fuller helped relocate the church across the street from Booker T. Washington High School on a lot occupied by the historic Sanford home and a Second Empire-style dwelling which had been remodeled into a settlement house named the Bethlehem Center. The church and former settlement house, which was used as his parsonage, and church offices are now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Fuller was selected to give the invocation at a ceremony when President Theodore Roosevelt visited Memphis, had four wives, authored six books, lived at the parsonage until his death, and is buried at New Park Cemetery. The T. O. Fuller State Park was originally known as the Shelby County Negro State Park from its inception in 1938 until the name was changed in 1942, after his death, and to honor his life accomplishments. The park consists of 1, 138 acres in the southern limits of the city of Memphis. It was the first state park opened for African Americans east of the Mississippi River. Nearby attractions include the Chucalissa Indian Village, which was discovered when by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp 1464-SP-10, when they were responsible for building park facilities. During an excavation for a proposed swimming pool in 1940, the prehistoric village was unearthed by CCC workers. Currently operated by the University of Memphis, Chucalissa Indian Village includes a village, preserved archeological excavations, and a museum. T. O. Fuller Park amenities include:  Forty-five (45) RV accessible campground sites featuring tent camping, a picnic shelter, playground, bathhouse, laundry facility, dump station and trash receptacle, and individual camps have picnic tables, lantern hangers, fire rings, grills, electrical, and water hookups.  An Olympic-size pool and splash pad featuring a bathhouse with showers and restrooms, and trained lifeguards.  More than 8 miles of natural hiking trails ranging in difficulty from moderate to rugged; the Day Use Trail, a quarter-mile trail located in the main recreation area; and The Discovery Trail, a 4.5-mile continuous loop with a number of scenic points of interest including the wetlands and the Chucalissa Indian Village.  Four pavilion-type shelters that can accommodate from 40 to 120 family or class reunion and other large guest events. Each shelter includes grills, nearby bathroom facilities, picnic tables, and electrical outlets.  Four Playgrounds located in the main recreational area (2), the camping area, and Picnic Shelter No. 4.  The Shelby Bluff Center meeting facility, which has a playground nearby, is a popular location for weddings, meetings, and indoor reunion activities. With a seating capacity of 180, the facilities amenities include folding chairs, tables, central heat and air, a fully functional kitchen with appliances, PA system, projector with screen.  A conference room  An Outdoor classroom  The environmentally friendly Interpretive Center, an indoor and outdoor educational classroom located in the park’s wildlife habitat area, is the ideal location for demonstrating energy efficiency techniques including photo-voltic cells, geothermal heating, and geothermal air conditioning. The center is the home of the park’s flight cages, outdoor classroom, conference room, gift shop, and includes information regarding the wildlife habitat of West Tennessee.  The Wildlife Habitat/Birding Area consists of floodplain wetlands and native wildflowers, grassy meadows and upland ponds. Rare black-bellied whistling ducks and nesting black-necked stilts call the area home as it is quickly becoming a significant birding area for resident and migratory songbirds, shorebirds, raptors, and wintering waterfowl. Continued on Page 20 17
Page 18
“We are working with everyone from veterans to youth ages 16-18 years old,” said T. O. Fuller Park Manager, Jimmy Warren. “Basically we will be working this summer with 22 children from the 38109 area, Carver, Mitchell, Westwood and those areas in a for-hire program designed for student attendees of the Shelby County School system. The program will be featuring story telling by the well-renowned former Morning Soul Patrol radio personality “Mother Wit,” the Memphis Police Department and others. I’m just excited about being the park manager because I grew up in the area. To me, it’s a way to give back to youth from my neighborhood.” The program will be running from 9 AM to 3:30 PM Monday through Friday through the end of July beginning with an orientation session on Monday, June 3, 2019 and culminating with a graduation ceremony a few days prior to the end of the camp session. Donations of time and finances are always welcomed. T. O. Fuller State Park is open from 8 AM to 7 PM during the spring and summer and from 8 AM to Sunset during the fall and winter. The office is located at 1500 W. Mitchell Road, Memphis, TN 38109. Volunteer opportunities assisting in protecting and preserving the cultural and natural resources of the park are available for individuals, families, and groups. Visit tnstateparks.com for details or phone the park office at (901) 543-7581 for pricing and to make reservations. Van Rutherford, T. O. Fuller State Park Friend’s Group Inc. President speaks during a One Voice meeting recently held in the Shelby Bluff Center at the T. O. Fuller State Park. The friend’s group can be reached by mail at P. O. Box 9905, Memphis, TN 38190-9905; by email at friendsoftofullerstatepark@ gmail.com, or by phoning (901) 543-7581. 18 CLICK HERE TO ORDER TODAY! 19
Page 20
Area historian, Mother Mary Mitchell (at podium), and residents of Orange Mound, Memphis’s oldest and first neighborhood for Blacks, were joined by city and county officials and friends on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, to celebrate 100 years of existence. Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Orange Mound, 200 Years Later… … The legacy continues Historical documents reveal that the Orange Mound (OM) community in the southeastern portion of Memphis, TN, was the first neighborhood in Memphis built by and for African Americans. It is rumored that the name was derived from the orange-colored bushes that populated the area. Orange Mound was initially part of a plantation where African Americans worked. After a wealthy developer purchased a track of land from the plantation’s owner, he developed a low-cost subdivision for African Americans to build homes on. Only second to Harlem, in the distant past, “The Mound,” as it is sometimes referred to, was said to have more persons of African American descent than any other area in America. A program honoring the community for its 100th year anniversary was held at 10 am on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. The centennial celebration featured a community prayer given by Rev. David Fitzgerald of Mt. Gilliam Baptist Church, 1029 Raymond Street, Memphis, TN. The welcome and opening remarks were provided by former OM resident, Africa in April founder, and retired assistant University of Memphis professor of African American Rhetoric and Interracial Communications, David Acey, who was accompanied by his wife of more than the last five decades, Yvonne. Acknowledgements were provided by City of Memphis, Housing and Community Development Director, Paul Young, who was followed by remarks given by Shelby County Historian, Jim Rout. “It’s a special thing when you have a history that goes back this far,” said Rout who spoke about the 100 years Orange Mound has existed. “I may be blond and have blue eyes, but my heart runs deep in Orange Mound. …We celebrate Memphis’s 200 years of founding and we celebrate Shelby County’s 200 years as a county. This picture is evidence of what our future holds – faith, fortitude, and family – togetherness, black and white. It can happen, it has happened, and it will happen because of people like you!” RedZone Ministries Director Howard Eddings spoke on the future of the Mound. “It is good to be here, it’s good to be a part of something that is so incredibly rich in the community of Orange Mound,” said Eddings who stated that he kind of grew up on Spottswood, a street in the Orange Mound area. “I up grew up in this community and I am especially thankful for the opportunity to just share with you a little bit about what I feel like God has allowed me to do through a small program called Red Zone Ministries… The world is becoming a place where cities dominate. As we work together to impact and to be a part of what is happening in our communities, I think that we need to figure out what assets are available. Our commitment as an organization is to try to figure out how to press forward and how to be a part of what our future looks like…” District Commissioner Reginald Milton provided additional remarks about the Orange Mound community and presented a proclamation before long-time Orange Mound resident Mary Mitchell, took the podium to share information about the community’s residents, including its first diamond cutter after WWII. Mitchell then unveiled a sample of the “Preserve America” sign and read a congratulatory poem, written by former First Lady Michelle Obama, regarding OM being designated as such. City Councilwoman Jamita Swearengen introduced City of Memphis Mayor, Jim Strickland, who also presented a proclamation and asked that the program be closed out as it began – in prayer. 20 (Left) Former First Lady Michelle Obama designated the Orange Mound community as a “Preserve American Community,” in November 2016. Melrose Center for Cultural Enrichment Executive Director Mary Mitchell (center holding a sample of the sign designating the initiative to be later installed at the intersections of Lamar, Park, and Airways facing north and facing east). Mitchell is pictured with researcher, Dr. Cynthia Sadler, and OM resident and Melrose Center for Cultural Enrichment chair, Angela Boxdale (far left). (Below) In celebration of 100 years of existence (1919 –2019) the Orange Mound community held a Centennial Celebration on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in their recently opened Melrose Center for Cultural Enrichment, 2590 Park Avenue, Memphis, TN 38114. Call (901) 576-7266 or visit them online at https:// www.facebook.com/pg/Melrose-Center-For-Cultural-Enrichment-Inc(Right) Mother Mary Mitchell, a life-long resident and historian from the Orange Mound community in Memphis, TN, addresses the crowd assembled at the Centennial event held Wednesday, May 22, 2019, before city of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland (below) spoke on the significance of the event to the Memphis community. 21
Page 24
IT’S A WATER-MELON-FUNDRAISING-A-THON! YOUR SUPPORT IS APPRECIATED PLEASE HELP DI’MANS, INC. dba NEWSCENE (EIN 26-4009342; CFC# 46643) and THE McCORKLE ROAD NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION, INC. OF MEMPHIS (62-1641637) AS WE WORK TO BETTER OUR COMMUNITIES... WE ARE SELLING WATERMELONS FROM FL & AL Place your order online at: https://iloveshelbycounty.com/watermelon-fundraiser or call (901) 300-0250 today... ...Delivery available (for a nominal fee)! 24 Work is underway at the David Carnes Park located off Whitehaven Lane between Fairfield and Auburn Roads in Whitehaven. The historic David Carnes park will be the first ever BlueCross Healthy Place site. The $5.4 million dollar investment is projected to provide a revitalized place for residents of all areas near and far to get active, utilize a new neighborhood gathering location, have a picnic, bring the children to a safe zone with playground space, parking, restrooms, and improved lighting. The projected opening date is set for later this summer. Visit bettertennessee.com for details and updates. Pictures taken by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson on or around May 12, 2019. DID YOU KNOW? There are several moneyless ways you can support nonprofits like DI’MANS, Inc. and the McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association, Inc. of Memphis. When you shop at Kroger you can, AT NO COST TO YOU, support DI’MANS, Inc. by enrolling in the Community Rewards Program and earning rewards for DI’MANS every time you shop! Visit Kroger.com and support Organization #DN098. AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, again, AT NO COST TO YOU, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to DI’MANS Inc., the charitable organization of choice! 25
Page 26
CL I CK P I CTURE TO VI S IT ABUNDANT GRACE FELLOWSHI P . . . Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson I can remember visiting Abundant Grace Fellowship when it was located on West Raines at Westmont Road. I distantly remember meeting the Senior Pastor, Dwayne Hunt, and working with Elder Earl Sayles, someone who regularly kept me abreast of the many good things that were happening at and through Abundant Grace in its former Westwood area location. This must have been around 2004-05. Fast forward a few years. Several places of worship have tried to make 1574 East Shelby Drive home, but sometime around or after 2007, Dwayne Hunt made the location part of the Abundant Grace vision. From that day to this, I have seen nothing but great things happening from that location. In addition to Hunt, the leadership team includes Sayles, the Connections Pastor; Clifton Johnson, the Administrative Pastor; Children’s Ministry Pastor, Gayle Hunt; Young Adult Pastor, Elyse Jones; and Healing Grace, Elder Jacqueline McCreight. Service begins Sunday mornings at 10 AM and Bible Study and Bible Study Groups meet on Wednesday’s at 11:30 AM and 6:45 PM. The office can be reached by phoning (901) 789-4722, the same number the church had on East Raines Road. I sat in on the 10 AM service on Sunday, May 19, 2019. Pastor Hunt has a unique way of teaching the Bible, one that, like myself, believe most everyone would thoroughly enjoy. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed the lesson because I understood the message and I understood the message so well, that I was able to recite parts of it to others days after I’d heard it. The message that Sunday had four main characters (1) the Father - Isaac, a type of God the Father; (2) the Mother - Rebekah, a type of Church; (3) the Older Brother - Esau, a type of Jesus; and the younger Brother - Jacob, a type of us. Do you know this story? The way Pastor Hunt explained it made it simple to understand, but “when is a lie, not a lie?” was the question he posed. I replied, “Never, and I believe that I was correct.” As the story went, the Father was old and failing and witnessed this to his 1st born Son, Jesus. Although a private conversation, the Mother (the church) overheard the conversation and quickly called for the Brother. The Father had instructed Jesus to go fetch goats and to prepare his favorite meal and bring it to him so that he could give the “Blessing.” Jesus had left to fetch and prepare the meal for his father, but the Mother and Brother were faster accomplishing the task because they worked together whereas Jesus worked alone (this is my interpretation). The Brother came back with the fetch and the Mother prepared it as the Brother clothed himself in Jesus best suit of clothing. Now the Brother smelled like Jesus, but his skin was smooth, not hairy like Jesus’ skin, so the Mother used the fur from the goats he had fetched to put over his smooth skin. The Brother was still concerned that the Father would know who he was, but the Mother insisted and he went in to serve the Father the meal she had prepared. The Father ate the food and questioned the Brother. When the Brother said he was the 1st born, the Father did indeed believe him and gave him the “Blessing.” So when is a lie, not a lie? I still say, “Never.” What do you say? And how can you relate to the moral of this story? The story did end with a demonstration using two church members who enacted the various parts of the story for additional clarity. The entire ceremony was entertaining, yet informative and it did not include anything that wasn’t necessary for even the youngest mind to understand. Of course the Father recognized his error when Jesus returned, but just like you and I, he could not take back that which has already happened. Upon being satisfied with his sermon, Pastor Hunt and Elder Sayles welcomed two of the four new members to the stage to be introduced to and inducted into their new church families and then invited two families with new babies requiring christening. A few important announcements were made and I even had another chance to alert more Shelby County residents about the environmental injustice being delivered directly to residents in the northwestern part of Whitehaven—the individuals who live close to Waste Connections of TN, LLC, the waste transfer service company that Continued on Page 25 26 has grown out of the land they purchased from the city of Memphis in 1999 and feels that it is now their right to be able to expand onto 30 additional adjacent acres purchased without receiving an approval to expand—something those who live in the area are not willing to agree with, under no circumstances. My plea was for individuals, since the city opened arguments up to “ALL INTERESTED PROPERTY OWNERS,” to join us at City Hall, 125 North Main Street, in the first floor City Council chambers to fight this request to expand because it impacts: 1) Our health through releases or disease or allergy-causing matter in the form of disease-causing organisms, cancer-causing substances, dust or other respiratory irritants, noise and odors, and a host of other undesirable scenarios into the air we breathe, soil we grow our food in, and/or water we drink, cook with, and wash ourselves and everything else with; 2) Our peacefulness because of sounds that disturb us in our homes which makes it difficult to relax, concentrate or even share a conversation with others, early in the morning and late night noises make sleep disruptive, backup beepers and the clang of tail gates slamming against heavy truck bodies, and public address system outdoor speakers are annoyingly loud and another uncontrollable source of noise. 3) Our ability to breathe fresh air is hindered because when odors are bad they are offensively smelly at distances of up to four or five miles depending on the strength of the wind, something no man can control. Some items release dangerous hydrogen-sulfide odors and solid waste that contains organic matter like egg shells, banana peels, fruits, and vegetables, used diapers (youth and/or adult), other food wastes, pet waste, etc. or “putrescible waste” is capable of being decomposed by microorganisms and are of such a character and proportion as to cause obnoxious odors and to be capable of attracting or providing foods for birds, rats (we have those already roaming around and coming inside our homes where we live invading our property). We’ve been informed that odor neutralizers and deodorizers have been installed, but those are cheap answers to the expense problem we are attempting to address—nauseating smells. We are not interested in having odor control blankets installed alongside fans to further blow these odor neutralizing agents across our neighborhood and we have never seen this organization using carbon scrubbers to clean the odorous water they are obviously creating. Furthermore, an active gas extraction system, and not deodorants, is the most reliable means of controlling these types of odors. 4) Our property values are plummeting downward. This place can be seen, it sits right off of Brooks Road and the proposed expansion request moves it directly adjacent to the actual street. This facility can be heard with their loudly beeping trucks all throughout the day and night, including the sounds from outdoor announcement systems, and employees whose voices carry with the smell in the wind right through our walls, windows, and doors. And this place can be smelled and, unfortunately, the smell is anything but a pleasant one. These are all factors that are known to lower property values, properties that we have paid for in many cases and had always planned to die in, but not from cancer-causing diseases floating through the air because of Waste Connections of TN, LLC operations. Studies are available from other states that have proven property values are lower when waste facilities are close by. Maybe we need a study on the impact of this facility in Memphis, huh? 5) Our streets and the tremendous amount of truck traffic especially including those that disobey the “NO TRUCKS” signs and travel, illegally and at high rates of speed, on McCorkle and Graves Roads, which can also have the final result of significantly lowering property values and increasing the possibility of accidents and uncontrollable noises. 6) Our natural water sources because when it rains and that water comes in contact with waste being transferred to other locations but is stationary at this transfer station, this mixing of water with already decomposing waste creates a high-contaminated liquid known as leachate which can then easily get into underlying groundwater and the nearby Nonconnah Creek waterway. Regardless as to what measures are being undertaken, nothing being done currently or that can be done in the future, will prevent eventual water pollution. We need your assistance to help our City Council members to understand that the key to minimizing the Waste Connections of TN, LLC waste facility impact involves minimizing the amount and type of waste requiring transferring from this 621 East Brooks Road location and that means NO EXPANSION, NO EXPANDING, NO BURMS, NO MOVING THE OFFICES, NO REBUILDING, NO MORE PARKING AND/OR STORAGE OFF THE APPROVED PREMISES, NO MORE FAVORS, NO MORE PROMISES TO PASS THIS MONSTROSITY in our neighbors backyards. This was put on hold for 30 days... Waste facilities should be located in industrial areas and away from homes. If this facility was “grandfathered in,” it needs to understand that being grandfathered in only refers to continuing present operations UNTIL you outgrow them. Nowhere does it say being grandfathered in gives you the right to expand! If you must move something, move your waste collection facility, not your offices! Your waste collection operation should be located at least 1,500 feet from our homes. Stop traveling on our residential streets. They are prohibited and signs are posted. If the police won’t enforce the rules, we will. Your proposed new facility may have state-of-the-art equipment to control odors, dust, airborne pathogens, and allergens, but your existing facility does not. If you need to build, then you need to move to an industrial area to do so, not on Brooks Road right behind our homes. Thank you, Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Please join us at 5:58 PM on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 905 E. Shelby Drive and visit the Waste Connections tab at iLoveShelbyCounty.com for updates 27
Page 30
CFC #46643 AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Location: Memphis, TN | Year Founded: 2009 DI’MANS, Inc. (Click here) to shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM Mission: DI'MANS, Inc. was formed to establish a positive, proactive force in the fight against juvenile crime and juvenile delinquency. The goal of DI'MANS, Inc. is to bring adults dedicated to positively shaping future generations together to assist disadvantaged youth in becoming productive citizens as adults. Help Support Causes in Your Community! (Click here to sign up) Did you know you can support nonprofit organizations in your community just by shopping at Kroger? It's easy when you enroll in Kroger Community Rewards®! To get started, sign up with your Plus Card below, and select a local organization you wish to support. Once you're enrolled, you'll earn rewards for your chosen organization every time you shop and use your Plus Card! Enroll now for the Kroger Community Rewards Program. And remember….all participants must re-enroll each year to continue earning rewards for their chosen organization. DIRECTIONS: 1) Go to Kroger.com; 2) Create an account or sign in; 3) Drop down the arrow at your name 4) Select “My Account” 5) Click on Community Rewards on the left side of the screen) 6) Select DI MANS or Select organization # DN098 Make a One-Time donation to DI’MANS, Inc. Make a Recurring Donation (Click here) 30 Alternative & Holistic Health Services ORDER HERE (800) 403-7155 Congratulations! On Your New Venture, Wishing You Well! - Lmec-xi nus 31 CLICK HERE TO VISIT US ONLINE
Page 34
Story continued from the April ‘19 NEWSCENE edition. The Times Magazine had assigned a team of journalists to cover the barge landing for the arrival of the king and queen staged by the white, Cotton Carnival celebration. While waiting for the arrival of the white king and queen, they heard the sounds of bands playing music and crowds cheering coming from Beale Street. What the saw and heard compelled them to craft an article for the Times Magazine. They recorded this story: “Beale Street’s Hero… Times… May 25, 1936” “A centre of celebration last week was Memphis’ Beale Street, the garish Negro thoroughfare with it’s assortment of poolrooms and pawnshops, its gin parlors and its hot-fish restaurants. While Memphis whites were celebrating the annual Cotton Carnival, Beale Street was having its own Fiesta, crowing its own king and queen, parading its own elaborate floats. The king was Undertaker Eddie Hayes. The Queen was Ethyl Venson, pretty young wife of a Negro dentist. Highest honors throughout the fiesta were paid to a portly old Negro who had motored from his home in Manhattan for the occasion. A great hero in Beale Street is William Christopher Handy, 62. At the small park named in his honor, Handy mounted a reviewing stand built…” The parade and the return of Handy attracted the attention of cities and media across the nation and had the effect of giving the celebration instant national acclaim. The 34-piece Autress Russell American Legion Post No. 27 Drum and Bugle Corps led the parade. The corps had been organized by Dr. Venson during his tenure as Post Commander. Many of the legion’s members were also part of the Fiesta’s organizing committee. The enthusiasm of the Drum and Bugle Corps’ involvement in the Fiesta was an example of the overall spirit of the Negro community in 1936. Their readiness to participate in a joint effort for the uplifting of a people is what made the formation of the Beale Street Cotton Makers’ Fiesta and its successor, the Memphis Cotton Makers’ Jubilee, great and successful. Dr. Venson was the Post Commander and he was able to get the Post to serve as a co-sponsor of the celebration, in part because many of the Post members were on the Board of Directors that was organizing the celebration. The Beale Street Cotton Makers’ Fiesta was a Memphis community event, partly because of the clout represented by the diverse and profound leadership represented on the organizing board. This diversity must be attributed to the range of leaders Dr. Venson was able to assemble to organize the celebration. The formation of MCMJ was a testament to a spirit of unity and ability to unite for a common good that existed in the Negro community in the 1930s that is not been as prevalent since. The signature event following the Grand Fiesta Parade was the Coronation and Masquerade Ball held at the Beale Street Auditorium in the gateway to Church Park. Most of the music played was written by W. C. Handy. The Ball attracted hundreds of white people. Space was reserved for them in the gallery of the auditorium. Several hundred Negros attended the ball. W.C. Handy could not resist the temptation of dancing with the beautiful Queen Ethyl, wife of the celebrations founder, Dr. R. Q. Venson. The “Ladies in Waiting,” a part of the Royal Court for the King and Queen, watched as Handy and Queen Ethyl danced to the music played by the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, “King of Jazz” who played Handy’s greatest classic of the jazz age, “The St. Louis Blues.” No souvenir program was printed for the 1936 celebration. The first printed program booklet came out the following year. This program displayed a picture of Robert R. Church on the front cover as a dedication and tribute to Mr. Robert R. Church. Most importantly, on the first page in the program was an article titled, “The Cotton Makers’ Jubilee Initiation and Aims.” If there had been a souvenir program printed for the 1936 celebration, this article would have been the lead article. The article does not say who the author was. From my experience in reading articles written by Nat. D. Williams, his fingerprints and DNA were all over it. The article is so significant that it has been made part of this documentary. THE COTTON-MAKES JUBILEE INITIATION AND AIMS In 1937 “The Memphis Cotton Makers Jubilee” is the official name attached to this year’s celebration, this is the most unique, promising, interesting, and significant demonstration ever engaged in by the colored people of Memphis and the Tri-State area. It is unique because it marks one of the first times in the history of this area, with rare exceptions, that colored and white Memphians and Delta citizens have been united in a common program for the advancement and development of their common home community—the Deep South—the cotton belt. Cotton—its production, exchange, distribution, financing, and construction—touches all phases of life in this section, and makes no discrimination among classes or colors in its influence. The great Memphis Cotton Carnival—an annual Memphis event—is a celebration which is dedicated not only to the spirit of conviviality periodically expressed and common to all people, but is also a tribute of recognition to the part which cotton plays in the life and substance of this community—Memphis On The Mississippi—the Capital of the Cotton Kingdom. The objective—the principal one—of the Memphis Cotton Makers Jubilee celebration is to symbolize the great and important part which the colored people of this area have played in the history of cotton. 34 The first significant expression of this objective occurred one warm, spring night in 1935, during the Cotton Carnival festivities, when Dr. R. Q. Venson, chairman of the Colored Jubilee Committee, acted on an idea which struck him. In his own words: “In 1934, while viewing the “Memphis Parade,” a part of the Cotton Carnival, I was sold on the plan. For the first time, realizing the great possibilities for the development of all phases of citizenship by a community. I pledged myself to make an effort to have the Negro citizens of Memphis identified in this great enterprise. And upon this determination, together with the face that it is impossible to exclude the Negro from cotton. This realization and determination on the part of Dr. Venson was the first step in the initiation of colored activities in the Cotton Carnival celebration. Out of it came the first organized colored activities in 1936, Dr. Venson organized a committee of colored citizens and formulated what was known as ‘Beale Street Cotton Makers Fiesta”. This was one of the most surprisingly successful celebrations and demonstrations ever staged by Memphis Negros. It included the choice of a colored king and queen. King Eddie Hayes and Queen Ethyl Venson, being the royal couple; a children’s parade, a children’s king and queen, a coronation parade ad dance; coronation ceremonies in Handy Park; a musical play depicting the life of the Negro through his songs, a grand parade and ball. And W. C. Handy, ‘the father of the blues’ as guest of honor. White and colored periodicals and individuals were lavish in their praise and commendation of this initial effort.” Nat D. Williams, over a period of 60 years, wrote hundreds of news articles on the MCMJ. “Nat D.” as those close to him called him, was a high school history teacher at Booker T. Washington High School. He was the first Disc Jockey for the radio station WDIA and a columnist for the “Memphis World,” a colored news weekly. I was one of those that referred to “Nat D.” Williams as “Nat D.” He was a member of St. John Baptist Church, 640 Vance Avenue, Memphis, TN 38126, where Dr. Venson (whom I affectionately called Uncle Doc) and I attended. In the 1940s, I would also see Nat. D at my uncle, Dr. R. Q. Venson’s office on Beale Street. Every Saturday, I would walk to Uncle Doc’s office from where I lived in the Foote Homes public housing projects. Most Saturday’s I would see Nat D. there. For these and other reasons, Nat D. and I became very good friends. The week after the first celebration of the Beale Street Cotton Makers’ Fiesta in May of 1936, Nat D’s article was published in the “Memphis World.” This article was devoted to Beale Street and the Beale Street Cotton Makers’ Fiesta. Excerpts from the article follow... Down on Beale By Nat D. Williams Beale Street is a noble land, of cabbages and kings — of Black folk and melody — of joy and hate and things… Beale Street crowns king… It was a symbolic event which occurred down on Beale Street last Tuesday evening. “Chocolate Avenue” chose a king and queen. For the first time in its long and rather lurid history. L’Avenue for Negros, bedecked with flags, bathed in the balmy warmth of mid-spring, and swaying to the rhythm of its traditional syncopate raised its eyes and its palms to its own official royalty this week. With a pardonable pride, the street looked about for the approval of its spectators... because for once, here were a king and queen for whom no apologies had to be offered. Well, a different kind of queen was crowned last Tuesday, was with a bit of surprise that the Avenue witnessed the coronation of its rulers, the other day. Many dusky subjects wondered aloud just when the queen was chosen. But the royal lady pleased the Avenue. It took one look and broke into applause… The lady was pretty and high “yaller.” That was sufficient. She was one of the three things the Avenue calls beautiful… “yaller” money, “yaller” automobiles, and “yaller” women. Beale Street is pleased with its queen. Most appropriately Beale Street’s king on this occasion is an undertaker. The Avenue applauded him when he was given his scepter. It was pleased by its kingly bearing. It liked the way in which he reared back when he drove up in the Royal Chariot… a 1936 Ford V8, owned and chauffeured by Professor Robert “Bob” Morris. We regret to Inform you that, due to time constraints and at the request of the mcmj, this is the end of this series in this publication, at this time. Please call (901) 496-1811 for additional information on the MCMJ. 35
July 2019

July 2019 Vol#1-Issue#7b


Page 0
Vol. 1, Issue 7 July 2019 KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D. June brought rain, high humidity and the return of the dreadfully hot summer temperatures back to Memphis before it ended. Numerous Youth Intervention and Development camps kicked into gear as school dismissed for summer break with programs, some evaluated and some not, focused on providing children with safe and educational places to spend the month. Celebrations, college graduations, class reunions, and more. June was an exciting month for these reasons and more. Well, what’s happening in July is what I’m ready to attend. Things like the Academy of Youth’s (Hazel Moore) annual Health Fair and because the Bluff City is two centuries old this year, there’s a lot going on around that. The Memphis Public Library wants you to “reach our and touch your history” through their unique tours of artifacts. “From Elvis’ high school yearbook to W.C. Handy’s music, documents from the Yellow Fever epidemic and programs from Dr. King’s fatal march.” Scheduled from 11 AM to 5 PM on Sat., July 20, 2019, the event will feature guided tours at the start of every hour. We look forward to being there and reporting what we learned next month! This newsletter is for you and about you and the things you know about that are happening in your communities. I am depending on you to make sure we have accurate meeting dates and fresh content for each monthly NEWSCENE edition. NEWSCENE subscriptions are currently available for $36/bi-annually. You can email Memphis.Meetings@gmail, call us at 901-300-0250, subscribe and pay online at iLoveShelbyCounty.com, or write to I Love Shelby County, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190-0146. Thank you, Yvonne The Memphis Chapter of the League of Women Voters held its Annual Business Meeting and Luncheon on Saturday, June 1, 2019, at the University Club of Memphis,. Pictured at the sign in table are Shelby County Election Commission, Administrator of Elections Linda Phillips (left) and LWV Treasurer Sherry Hewlett. Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The League of Women Voters, Shelby County Chapter League ID TN011, held its’ Annual Business Meeting and Luncheon at the University Club of Memphis, 1346 Central Avenue in Memphis, TN from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, on Saturday, June 1, 2019. District Attorney General Amy Weirich was the event’s guest speaker. The program was opened by President Carol Straughn who introduced Weirich and touched on many of her accolades including managing the truancy reduction Every DAy in School mentoring program and creating the Lives Worth Saving program, a prostitution diversion program at Calvary Episcopal Church. An announcement was made regarding a change in the program’s schedule and Weirich approached the podium to give her speech. Weirich approached the podium on the stage and thanked the LWV for inviting her to the event and making changes to the calendar. “I do have something that has come along suddenly,” began Weirich. “Pastor Ralph White, a community leader who many of you in the audience know died this week and he was the long-serving pastor at Bloomfield Baptist Church where he actually died giving a eulogy. His funeral is at noon just down the road at First Baptist Broad so I appreciate you all giving me the opportunity to go and celebrate his life and all that he has done for this community.” Weirich continued to give honor to White who should be
Page 2
recognized for the shirts and billboards that say “For God So Loved…” and who would hold an annual prayer vigil that involved people holding hands around the entire 201 Poplar building praying for justice, victims, and more. “Thank you for letting me be here today and to also be there and to honor him,” said Weirich. “It struck me, in preparing my words for today how easy it is to look back as we prepare to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the woman’s right to vote.” Weirich spoke of the challenges the women, and the few men who accompanied them, must have endured to ensure future women would have the right to vote. “They didn’t have the modern amenities that we have today,” said Weirich. “It would have been so easy to give up…, but what they had was hope. They had a vision and they had support. They had hope, they had vision, and they had support – what we need every day.” Weirich stated that her employment at 201 Poplar started in 1991. At that time, she was fresh out of law school, single, and ready to begin the job she had always wanted to have. She married a law school classmate the following year. The couple has remained together and have four children ages 13 to 26. “When I started in the DA’s office, the office looked much different than it does today,” said Weirich. “I was one of a handful of women. We weren’t allowed to wear pants. There wasn’t a maternity leave policy. There were typewriters everywhere and nobody was wearing a cell phone. And what we did was to go to court every day and made decisions. We reacted. We evaluated cases that the police department delivered to us.” Weirich then began to talk about how the DA’s office has changed over the years. “We now have more women employees in the DA’s office. We do have a very nice maternity leave policy,” said Weirich who mentioned the DA’s office had just moved into new office spaces at 201. “After almost 40 years of some people being in the basement and never leaving their office, they now have a window.” The whole process of moving has given the office time to look through old desks, relive the past, and to look towards the future of the organization. “We’ve been doing a lot of reflecting within the office as people cleaned out closets and desk drawers,” said Weirich. “To look back on where we were, where we are, and where we hope to be. The same as we do as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote.” Lunch consisted of chicken crepes, seafood scampi, or vegetable risotto. After dining, Carol took to the podium to finish the business portion of the annual event. “We have our past State President, Sharon Fidler; our local past President, Peg Watkins; and we have a number of our management team members here,” said Straughn as she called for each of them to stand. “We have a good contingency and we do have room for a couple more, so during our meeting you can be thinking about that. 2 “The LWV is, as you know, fast approaching its’ 100th birthday. The organization does not support or oppose individual candidates or political parties. The league members are encouraged to be politically active, attend candidate meetings, caucuses, to support candidates of their own choice, and run for offices themselves.” As the luncheon ended, Straughn called the annual business meeting to order. Guests were encouraged to stay or leave depending on their personal schedule. The current officers are President Carol Straughn, Vice-President and Voter Education Outreach Chair Peg Watkins, Secretary Kathleen Bradley, Treasurer Sherry Hewlett, Voter Services Chair Sharon Fidler, VOTER Editor Anna Smith, Environmental Chair Sue Williams, Election Commission Liaison Barbara Williams, and Development Chair Nita Black. Additional information on the Memphis Chapter can be found online at lwv.org. (Left) LVW Members and friends of the League enjoy the annual luncheon event. (Above left) Election Commission Liaison Barbara Williams reports on LWV information during the business meeting. (Center) District Attorney General Amy Weirich was the guest speaker at the League of Women’s Voters annual Business Meeting and Luncheon held Saturday, June 1, at the University Club. (Above right) LWV President Carol Straughn (right) presents guest speaker Weirich with a token of appreciation before her departure for another event. (Below) The business meeting shared information about the League with those in attendance. 3
Page 4
GOT A SPECIAL EVENT COMING UP? NEED A BIGGER SPACE TO HOST IT? Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Named after W. H. Bingham, “an Irish immigrant, hotelier, planter, magistrate, politician, and entrepreneur,” the Binghampton community, nestled somewhere around and between the southern border of North Memphis, East Memphis on the east, the Midtown area on the west, and the Overton Park/Poplar Avenue area on the south, was founded in 1893. Many businesses have come and gone over the years and the racially integrated area has recently been the location for an influx of innovative ideas. The Rec Room and Civil Axe Throwing are two of those most recent developments. The Rec Room, located at 3000 Broad Avenue at Tillman Street, features several large 20’ screens for video games and bigger-than-life-sized sports events. The 6,000 sq. ft. location has six rentable living rooms for hosting parties of 10 or more and the usual rate is pretty cheap at just $10/hour Monday through Thursday and $25/hour Friday through Sunday. Living rooms can be reserved for one-hour increments and specials and promotions can be found on the organization’s Facebook page! You’ll find vintage arcade and other table games, board games, outdoor fun and a patio, a full bar, family restaurant pizza, and catering services are available upon request. Living Room rentals include:  Party host and dedicated staff  Custom food options  Unlimited soft drinks  Beer and a full bar  Lots of games and fun activities! The location is open evenings and children, when supervised by one or more adults, are welcome from opening until 6 pm daily. Age restrictions apply after 6 pm on all days. Visit recroommemphis.com or email memrecroom@gmail.com for specific details and rental information. 4 (Left) Dane Williams (standing) and a group of friends enjoy some family restaurant pizza and the festivities at the Rec Room, 3000 Broad Avenue, on Thursday, June 20, 2019. The free event hosted by the Rec Room, started at 6 pm and lasted until 9 pm. Individuals from all over Memphis dropped by to participate in the NBA Grizzlies Trivia and Watch Party special and Memphis NBA Draft Night traditional event with Kevin Cerrito, Anthony Sain, and Cam Rose. The trivia event featured Grizz-themed prizes as giveaways during the commercials that aired following the Grizzlies pick at No. 2. Trivia prizes were awarded for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, Best Team Name, and the team with the most Grizz spirit. Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson There is a new trend taking hold of and in America these days and its called “Axe Throwing!” Axe throwing “is a lumberjack competitive-type sport where competitors throw axes at targets, sort of like darts, with the goal of hitting the bullseye.” You can now sharpen your axe throwing skills at the Civil Axe Throwing, 3020 Broad Avenue, Suite #1, in the Binghampton community. Open throw Options include 1-hour open throw sessions starting at $20/ person for ages 14 and above; 1-hour private axe throwing lessons starting at $160/group (up to 21 people) ages 14 and above; and 2 hours of private axe throwing starting at $280/group (up to 21 people) ages 14 and above. You can also purchase gift cards and find out about upcoming fundraiser axe throwing tournaments to raise funds for your favorite charity! You must wear closed-toe shoes to participate in axe throwing at Civil Axe and there is a minimum of eight (8) people per lane. The organization is located right next door to the Rec Room which has a family restaurant, so no outside food and/or beverages are allowed; however, catering is available through the Rec Room and you can always walk over without going outside to order from their food and beverage menus. Participation in the activities at Civil Axe Throwing does require a signed release of liability form to be on file. Drop by, book online, call (901) 5015855, or email bookingmemphis@civilaxethrowing.com for details. 5 (Below) Shelby Kee (left) and her dad, Steve Kee, celebrate a missed Father’s Day outing by spending time at Civil Axe.
Page 6
Scenes from the June 2019 Businesses United to Recognize Educators (b.u.r.e.) Outstanding Educators of the Month Ceremony 6 Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The Memphis Shelby County Education Association Auditorium, located at 126 Flicker Street in Memphis, TN, was the location of the June “Outstanding Educators of the Month” program. The event featuring honorees in multiple categories was scheduled to begin at 5 pm on Thursday, June 20, 2019. The event also honored the Hamilton High School Class of 1969 who were celebrating their 50th Year Anniversary. The Outstanding B.U.R.E. categories and monthly honorees of the month for June are as follows:  The Margaret B. McKissick-Larry Female Educator of the Month Award - Lori Enos, Elementary Teacher (Retired) Richland Elementary School, Shelby County School District  The Commodore C. Primous Male Educator of the Month Award - Keelon Larson Sr., Coach, Boys Basketball Wooddale High School, Shelby County School District  The Pat. B. Moore Outstanding Auxiliary Educator of the Month Award - Melvin Cox III, Managing Director, Teaching & Learning Division Teach for America, Shelby County School District  The John W. White Principal of the Month Award - James Q. Bacchus, Principal Hamilton High School, Shelby County School District  The Sara L. Lewis School of the Month Award - Hamilton High School, Shelby County School District  The Ophelia Watson Flowers Program of the Month Award - Yale Road Learning Center of Memphis Veronica Finnie, Founder & CEO  The Willie W. Herenton Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award - Mildred Lee Taylor, Educator (Retired) Sherwood Middle School, Shelby County School District  The Jimmy Delnoah William Friend to Education Award - Early Drane, Volunteer & 1969 Hamilton High School Graduate  The Kiwayna & Trennie Lanier Williams Outstanding Parent Award - Dr. Gwendolyn Cowan-Flowers, LeMoyne-Owen College (Student Financial Services Counselor)  The Ruby J. Payne Outstanding Author of the Month Award - Mabra Holeyfield, Author - “Use What You Got” CONTINUED ON PAGE 8 7
Page 12
Save the Date... TOPICS INCLUDE HOW YOU CAN HELP FIGHT AGAINST... Blight, Environmentally Unhealthy Communities, Unfair and Harmful State/Senate Bills, On Voting & Elections and the State of Black Person Tuesday, July 9, 2019 5:58 - 7:28 PM CST Greater Faith Tabernacle Ministries 905 E Shelby Drive, Memphis, TN 38116 SAVE TIME SIGNING IN. REGISTER ONLINE @ https://www.eventbrite.com/e/save-the-date-tuesday-july-9-2019-tickets-64280249958 SIGN OUR ONLINE PETITION NOW! CLICK THE LINK OR THE PICTURE... https://www.thepetitionsite.com/753/756/130/demand-waste-connections-to-cease-operations-now/ DEMAND WASTE CONNECTIONS OF TN, LLC CEASE THEIR WASTE TRANSFER STATION ACTIVITIES AND LEAVE WHITEHAVEN NOW! CALL CITY COUNCIL (901) 636-6786 TO SAY “NO” WE WANT WASTE CONNECTIONS TO GO! 12 A room full of opposed residents filled the Whitehaven Library to protest City Council’s decision to approve the WCs expansion. Story and picture by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The debate continues and most everyone wants to know, why? Why is this transfer station expansion approval a discussion item for the Memphis City Council? I guarantee you might just find out if you come to City Hall at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. Certain households on Brevard Drive, the street of homes in Whitehaven whose back and front yards are closest and/or adjacent to Waste Connections of TN, LLC, a waste transfer company located at 621 E. Brooks Road, were invited to a private tour of the company at 1 pm on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. During the outside portion of the tour, a council representatives was partially pictured covering her face from the odor and the odor was mild on the day they visited. The community said “NO” in August and again in September. The company went back to the drawing board, fired Brenda Solomito Baser and hired attorney, business owner, and former (failed attempt) council candidate Brian J. Stephens, President and Co-Founder of Caissa Public Strategy. Stephens, in turn hires an African American named Adrian Bond. I suppose Stephens may have thought our Black community would listen to Bond instead of the white person because he was Black and we are too. I guess no one had informed Stephens that Blacks can be, and often are, their own worse enemy. A Black person might just sell out their own biological mother for $2.00, if they have an opportunity. In my opinion, any smart person knows better than to just trust a person they don’t know - especially when they are Black. The District 6 appointee had already decided to hold a town hall meeting the following Monday, so what was the purpose of the tour the previous Wednesday? The invitations to the Monday meeting were actually being delivered by the U.S.P.S. while the tour was taking place, so you can’t say it wasn’t premeditated. It was purposely planned and it failed. Every official that was present had either personally appeared before the McCorkle Road Neighborhood Association when invited in 2018 or had sent a representative in their place. The appointed councilperson had to verbally acknowledge the meeting was a waste of time to herself as well as those in attendance. My question to you is what do you see when you look at this picture? I see a picture that depicts environmental racism and injustice. We are requesting everyone to join the fight at 3:30 PM Tuesday, July 2nd in council chambers. This company picks up waste products in Horn Lake and other parts of MS and TN, brings it to Whitehaven, and transfers them from Whitehaven to Walnut, MS to be buried. The waste station’s proximity to residential housing is in spitting distance of many retirees retirement homes which gives rise to serious health and safety concerns; yet the city wants to approve the expansion. You say you haven’t figured out why yet? Well, maybe I should suggest you wear something RED and come to 125 N. Main Street Tuesday, July 1st at 3:30 PM for your first free lesson in “Misleading Verbal Agreements...” I guaranteed you’ll pass the class with flying colors by the time the session is over! 13
Page 18
District 33 State Senator Katrina Robinson of Shelby County held her inaugural “School’s Out Fun Fest” at Marquette Park in East Memphis on Saturday, June 29, 2019. On stage visiting and discussing music and more are Fun Fest DJ MicTee (right) and DJ Truck. Pastor Dwayne Hunt Katrina Robinson is a graduate of Whitehaven High School. She studied Biology Pre-Med and Chemistry at Xavier University of Louisiana where Dr. Charles Champion and Dr. Lester Carter attended, received a BS in Nursing from Union University, and a BBA in Marketing Management from the University of Memphis. Robinson, 38 is a Registered Nurse, Leadership Memphis graduate, and the Founder and Director of The Healthcare Institute: Healthcare Career College where interested individuals can become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in 12 months time. The institute also offers training for becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant by taking a 3 week day or 5 week evening course. As a member of the 111th General Assembly, she is the Chair of the Shelby County Ethics Commission, on the Military Academy Nomination Board, member of the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative (NOBEL) Women, member of Emerge Tennessee Alum and Advisory councils, Advisory Board member of SRVS, and member of the Shelby County Democratic Party, Democratic Women of Shelby County, Junior League of Memphis, and the National League of Nurses. Robinson’s District 33 committees include being a member of the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Senate Judiciary. She was elected (14,164 votes) to the Tennessee State Senate to represent District 33 (part of Shelby County) on November 6, 2018 upon winning the seat from former Senator Reginald Tate (6,464 votes) in the Democratic primary on August 2, 2018. Her term ends in 2022. The community was invited to join Senator Katrina Robinson for a day of “fun and relaxation” from 1 to 6 pm on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at Marquette Park, 4946 Alrose Avenue in Memphis, TN. Dedicated to students and their families, Robinson held the fun– and information-filled event to celebrate a successful upcoming school year. Themed “School’s Out Fun Fest,” the free event provided economically-friendly fun for parents and children, food and drinks, children’s rides, a game truck, rock climbing, bounces, music by DJmictee and more. You had to be present to win the giveaways which included a PS4, bikes, fuel, and grocery cards. For more information on The Healthcare Institute: Healthcare Career College, visit THI-TN.com or call (901) 2440844. You can also like Senator Robinson’s Facebook page, follow her on Twitter @katrinafortn, call her Senate office in Nashville at (615) 741-2509, or email SenatorRobinson@outlook.com. 18 (Above) District 33 State Senator Katrina Robinson took office in November 2018. On Saturday, June 29, 2019, she sponsored her first School’s Out Fun Fest for students and their families. The free event, attended by hundreds of supporters, was a huge success. (Below) Memphis Shelby Pal is a nonprofit organization devoted to preventing crime, building character, and promoting success in youth through youth mentorship. Memphis Shelby Pal members (front from left) Jean Speaks, Darnesha Brown, Sierra Qualls, MPD Ofc. J. Anderson, and Jada Knox of the Mt. Moriah Station Road Runners are registering athletes of all skill levels for Cheerleading (ages 4-14) and Football (ages 5-12) camp. Click “Register Now” at MemphisShelbyPal.org or call (901) 830-4424 for details. CONTINUED ON PAGE 20 19
Page 22
1. Shelby County Schools (SCS) Division of Early Childhood employees (from left) Detris Crane, Ed.D., Pre-K Administrator Winter Cox, and Regina Payne are screening children who will be 4 years old by August 15, 2019. Call (901) 416-3450, email TATETL1@scsk12.org or visit scsk12.org/prek for details; 2. Theresa Gillespie Isom needs your support in the August 6 DeSoto County District 7 election. Call (901) 343-9169, visit tgisom.webs.com, @tgisom or mail to POB 2008, Olive Branch, MS 38654; 3. State Senator Katrina Robinson; 4. Food serving youth committee volunteers Makyra Childers and India Pierce (far left); 5. Hadskey family members Sarah (not pictured) Rowan and Glynn (right) on the team up on the “Balance Up” game; 6. There was no shortage of work for the volunteers signing in guests; 7. Memphis Police Department (MPD) TACT team officers (from left) J. Bradley, D. Hart, A. Smith, and J. Boyd; 8. Goodwill Excel Center School Director, Candis Dawson-Taylor, and Vice President, Chuck Molinski help adults 18 and older obtain their high school diplomas. Visit excelcentermemphis.org or call (901) 323-6221 to enroll today! 9. Blaise and Brielle Morgan are excited with their new face paint by Nyree (left) of 901 Parties.com. Call (901) 878-9386 for booking and prices. 10. Senator Robinson and guests Cupid Shuffle dancing. 11. SCS Family and Community Engagement employees (standing) Melinda Callahan, (seated) Dwayne Scott, Antonio Avant, and Antonio Harvey wants you to voice your concerns through a short online survey available at bit.ly/SCSFamilyInput. Also pictured are Speaking Life Healthcare rep and Administrator, Thomas McDonald. Click the link to participate today! 12. Memphis Housing Authority (MHA) Public Housing FSS Coordinator Kawanna Poe is looking for public housing residents or Housing Choice Voucher recipients who want to own a home, continue their education, find a job, repair credit and reduce debt, and more! Call Poe at (901) 544-1357, or email her at ph.fss@memphisha.org. MHA Housing Choice Voucher FSS Service Coordinator, Sheila Hooks, can be reached at (901) 544-1347, or by email at hcv.fss@memphisha.org. You can also visit the Memphis Housing Authority online at memphisha.org, call (901) 544-1000, or visit @memphishousingauthority on Facebook or @housing_memphis on Twitter. The MHA is an Equal Housing Opportunity company. Call (855) 752-5773 for leasing information on the South City housing program. 13. Party Bounce Rentals employee Chris manned the Rock Climbing wall at the event. 14. MPD Recruiter, Ofc. K. D. Moore, was ready to discuss the duties of a Memphis Police Officer and sign on all new talent. 15. Conductor Gene Schooling had the best job of the day riding his train along the walking trail in Marquette Park near Park Avenue. 12 13 14 15 DID YOU KNOW? There are several moneyless ways you can support nonprofits like DI’MANS, Inc. dba NEWSCENE and the McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association, Inc. of Memphis (serving all of ZIP Code 38116). When you shop at Kroger you can, AT NO COST TO YOU, support DI’MANS, Inc. by enrolling in the Community Rewards Program and earning rewards for DI’MANS every time you shop! Visit Kroger.com/ communityrewards and support Organization #DN098. Smile.Amazon.com is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, again, AT NO COST TO YOU, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to DI’MANS Inc., the charitable organization of choice! 22 IT’S A WATER-MELON-FUNDRAISING-A-THON! YOUR SUPPORT IS APPRECIATED PLEASE HELP DI’MANS, INC. dba NEWSCENE (EIN 26-4009342; CFC# 46643) and THE McCORKLE ROAD NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION, INC. OF MEMPHIS (62-1641637) AS WE WORK TO BETTER OUR COMMUNITIES... WE ARE SELLING WATERMELONS FROM FL & AL Place your order online at: https://iloveshelbycounty.com/watermelon-fundraiser or call (901) 300-0250 today... ...Delivery available (for a nominal fee)! 23
Page 24
Happy Birthday Deacon Richardson! Deacon Jesse Richardson’s (second from left) held a birthday program and dinner in honor of his upcoming birthday. On hand at the head table for the event were (from left) Pastor Oscar Walker Jr. of Praise of Joy, Pastor Dr. Pearl Lurry of Vision Temple Ecumenical Church and Outreach Ministries, Inc., and Richardson’s Pastor and nephew, Pastor Cameran Harris of True Love Baptist Church. Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson To celebrate his upcoming birthday, Deacon Jesse Richardson invited nearly 100 friends and relatives to join him for a birthday dinner at 4 PM on Saturday, June 2, 2019. Much to his surprise, nearly 150 people showed up. The event was held in the Family Life Center of the Norris Avenue Missionary Baptist Church, 1437 Norris Road in Memphis, TN. The program emcee was Pastor Calvin Myers of Botts Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. Minister Cedric King opened the program with a devotion and the True Love Praise Team performed several musical selections. Pastor Travis Dancy gave a stirring welcome and occasion followed by a solo performance by soloist Sister Beverly Trice Bell. Gospel comedian Brother Fred Mitchell lightened the mood with several funny stories about his past and a few jokes. “Back in the 70s and 80s I was always attending Christmas parties,” started Mitchell. “One year, somebody spiked the punch and a young lady had drank some, gotten drunk, and asked me for a ride home. Being the gentleman that I was, I knew I could trust myself and agreed to drive her home. The next day my wife and I were riding in the car and glanced over and saw a shoe on the floor. When we got to a stop light, I diverted my wife's attention and quickly retrieved the shoe and threw it out of my window. When we got to our destination it was taking my wife a long time to get out of the car, so I asked her was everything okay? She replied, no, saying that she couldn’t find her shoe!” Soloist Brother Therman Richardson sang and The Glass Singers (Charles Pop Glass, Cordia Glass, Pearl Clark, Stephiane Johnson, and Gordon Glass) performed several musical selections before dinner was served. Groups were called by table number to dine off of cuisine prepared by the capable caterer, Dorothy Harris and her crew of helpers which included Richardson’s niece, Alexcia Mathis, Jalen Bolton, Coby, Alexius, and Zaryion Westbrooks. Short words were provided by Richardson’s nephew, Pastor Cameran Harris (as a Deacon), neighbor, Pastor Oscar Walker, and Pastor Dr. Pearl Lurry (as a friend). The celebration ended with a reunion of Richardson’s Bible Aires and musical selections by the True Love Male Chorus and The Kings of Harmony. A good and festive time was had by all. 24 FAMI LY & SPEC IAL GUEST SPEAKER S I STER CAROLYN L IVINGSTON MARIAN TRI PLETT and REV . JOHN WI LKINS TAMMY & TYRONE HARRI S AND ESSENCE BI LLS CONTINUED ON PAGE 26 25
Page 30
(Above) Tour guides (from left) Kyra Amerson, Morgan Cannon, Lonnie Graham (rear), and Ronnie Wesby had help from Researcher Gabrielle Richardson on the tour. (Below) UofM Intern and University of Memphis Junior Kyler Gilkey performed a musical selection. Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson With the program tours behind them, Whitehaven 38116 arts-based summer project participants have begun preparing for their next big project, the grand finale scheduled to be held on July 11, 2019, at Abundant Grace Fellowship, 1574 E. Shelby Drive. “The goal of the program is for the participants to use the arts for a better way of life through dance, songs, and acting,” said Blues City Cultural Center Education Director, Roniece N. Gilkey. “The experience is designed to expose youth to the history of their community.” The tour allowed the students to share facts from the informational research they personally did on previously selected areas of Whitehaven. “The tour was very, very interesting,” said tour guest Shirley Shorty who learned some things she didn’t know on the tour. “The best part of the tour were the guides - the children. They were excellent!” 30 (Above) The Whitehaven 38116 Summer Youth Experience, sponsored by the Blues City Cultural Center, held tours of the Whitehaven community on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 25-26, 2019. Pictured are camp participants and program supporters preparing to board the bus for the Wednesday tour. (Above) Lonnie Graham served as the main guide, introducing many of the stops made during the informative and entertaining tour of Whitehaven bus trip, taken from 10 AM until 11:30 AM on Wednesday, June 26, 2019. (Below) Participants approach the bus to start the tour. (Above) Whitehaven High School student and Whitehaven 38116 Summer Youth Experience participant Morgan Cannon, 16, co-narrates portions of the tour of Whitehaven as part of her job description of being a singer, researcher, oral historian, cultural interpreter, writer, and marketing planner. 31
Page 32
CFC #46643 AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Location: Memphis, TN | Year Founded: 2009 DI’MANS, Inc. (Click here) to shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM Mission: DI'MANS, Inc. was formed to establish a positive, proactive force in the fight against juvenile crime and juvenile delinquency. The goal of DI'MANS, Inc. is to bring adults dedicated to positively shaping future generations together to assist disadvantaged youth in becoming productive citizens as adults. Help Support Causes in Your Community! (Click here to sign up) Did you know you can support nonprofit organizations in your community just by shopping at Kroger? It's easy when you enroll in Kroger Community Rewards®! To get started, sign up with your Plus Card below, and select a local organization you wish to support. Once you're enrolled, you'll earn rewards for your chosen organization every time you shop and use your Plus Card! Enroll now for the Kroger Community Rewards Program. And remember….all participants must re-enroll each year to continue earning rewards for their chosen organization. DIRECTIONS: 1) Go to Kroger.com; 2) Create an account or sign in; 3) Drop down the arrow at your name 4) Select “My Account” 5) Click on Community Rewards on the left side of the screen) 6) Select DI MANS or Select organization # DN098 Make a One-Time donation to DI’MANS, Inc. Make a Recurring Donation (Click here) 32 Alternative & Holistic Health Services ORDER HERE (800) 403-7155 Congratulations! On Your New Venture, Wishing You Well! - Lmec-xi nus 33 CLICK HERE TO VISIT US ONLINE
NEWSCENE January 2019

January 2019 Vol#1-Issue#1


Page 0
Vol. 1, Issue 1 JANUARY 2019 KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D. Fifteen years ago, on Thursday, January 8, 2004, I accepted the title of Editor and challenged myself to successfully promote a new print concept developed by The Commercial Appeal called the Whitehaven Appeal. Initially, the Whitehaven Appeal was an insert that was placed in The Commercial Appeal newspapers that were delivered to homes in ZIP Codes 38109 and 38116. In creating this online newsmagazine, it is my goal to once again provide you with this type of positive news. I understand that communication is key to everything, so I want to grow an online audience and be the first place to look when you want to find out what is or has happened in Whitehaven and other communities in Shelby County, Tennessee. Of course all of this depends on you. Your readership, your ability to share online links to featured stories about you to create new viewers like yourself, your willingness to submit calendar events that are scheduled to happen as well as pictures and stories about things which have recently taken place, and your desire to support us through advertisements featuring local businesses and activities. This newsletter is for you and about you and the things you know about that are happening in your communities. I am asking you to consider contributing items of interest and concern to you. I am depending on you to make sure I have accurate meeting dates and fresh content for each monthly NEWSCENE edition. Call me at 901-300-0250, write me at I Love Shelby County, Attn: Senior Publicist, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190-0146, or email Memphis.Meetings@gmail.com. I definitely want to hear from you soon! Thank you, Yvonne The Orchard Church member, David Cole (far right), manned the check-in table for parents at the Ross Toy Store event held December 8, 2018. In December 2016, the Orchard Church purchased a building at 3690 S. Houston Levee Road in Collierville, TN, and began holding worship services for the community. The church is dedicated to reaching up in ministry to God, branching out to the community of Memphis, and in being a church with deep roots that provide stability where people can freely fellowship with one another and lives can grow together. In addition to the many other services provided in the community, the congregation adopted the nearby Ross Road Elementary School in 2011. “We want to be a blessing to the City of Memphis, said Lead Pastor Sam Shaw, Ph.D.” It all began by a chance meeting with the Principal of Ross Road Elementary School. Since that time, we’ve painted parts of the school, we provide tutoring to 2nd graders through the Arise2Read program, and feed approximately 80 students every weekend.” For the fourth year in a row, The Orchard Church partnered with the school “to make Christmas a little merrier for the children and families” it serves. “The Ross Toy Store is a partnership between The Orchard Church and the school and offers parents of children who attend Ross Elementary the opportunity to shop for new toys and gifts at very deep discounts,” said The Orchard Church Teaching Pastor/Communications Director Brian Walters. “The items for sale in the store are purchased and donated by members of [The Orchard Church]. Families connected with Ross are invited to shop for things like dolls, board games, and bicycles at significantly lower prices. Church members organize, supply, and staff the store under the authority of school principal Evette Smith and Assistant Principal, Dr. Wakima Tutwiler. All the money from the sale is donated to the school.” Continued on Page 2 THE ORCHARD CHURCH SPREADS HOLIDAY CHEER
Page 2
“This is a wonderful way to serve the parents and make a difference in the lives of the students and in the community,” said Pastor Shaw. “The Orchard gets the joy of giving and the parents maintain the dignity of buying toys for their children. And, of course, the children are delighted and shown that they are loved in a tangible way. Mrs. Smith and her team are some of the finest leaders we know. The Orchard believes in what the teachers and administration at Ross are doing. We love them and want that love to be practical and tangible.” This type of partnership between churches and schools is something that is needed in all of Memphis’ communities. “If there is a need at Ross or in the surrounding community, we want to meet it,” said The Orchard Church Teaching and Staff Pastor John Nix. “We want to send a message of love and build bridges of hope with our brothers and sisters and demonstrate God’s love through our actions.” Orchard Church members enjoy Member Jim Howell takes a break volunteering at the annual event. since he had no security issues. The Orchard Church member Dee Owens (right) and Lead Pastor Sam Shaw greet parents as they arrive at the Ross Toy Store. Pictures from the 4th annual Ross Toy Store held 12/08/18 Workers Kim Parker and Angie Grossman (left) In the gym checking out parents were Liz Bean (left) and Holly Haynes The Sisney Family (from left) Jennifer, Christopher, Whitney, and Bridget volunteered this year. 2 The Orchard Church members Robbye and Danielle Chandler. Above: (Angie Grossman and Ryan Callahan were volunteers at this years’ event. Below (from left): Ross Road ES 4th Grade teacher LaRissa McGuire, Counselor Julia Cole, and Admin Coordinator Katika Davis. CL I CK BELOW TO VI S I T . . . Below: Phil Enzor and Dee Owens enjoyed helping at the store. Below: Mrs. Ruthe (Sam) Shaw Above: Ms. Emma Bennett 3
Page 4
F i fty Year s La t e r . . . By Yvonne D. Nelson thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) each. The celebration ended with the cutting of the ribbon of the new The 24-hour Krystal restaurant located at 4395 Elvis Presley Boulevard in Whitehaven was originally constructed in 1968. The building was 50 years old and Krystal management believed renovation would not be the best route for renewing it or bringing it up-to-date, so the decision was made to rebuilt it. “We still love this community, the community has been great to us; we wanted to come back and rebuild,” said Krystal CEO Paul Macaluso. “We built this beautiful new prototype. It’s the first of its kind in Tennessee.” It took crews a total of 5 months to tear down the old building and rebuild the new one. The last new facility built prior to Whitehaven’s new location was in Cordova. Krystal has 19 locations in the area and over 100 restaurants in Tennessee. Prior to rebuilding, the 24-hour operation performed with about 25 or 30 employees. The new location has brought in many new jobs and literally increased that figure to close to 80. District Councilwoman Patrice J. Robinson and several members of the Greater Memphis Chamber were on hand for the festivities. “We want to thank (Krystal) for their investment of almost one million dollars in the Whitehaven area,” stated Councilwoman Robinson with a round of applause. “We are supporting all businesses in Whitehaven. We encourage (the children here) to ask your parent’s to bring you back and we’re going to ask for some coupons later!” After a brief introduction and history of the company, which started operations during the Great Depression Era in 1932, Macaluso turned the presentation over to Krystal Regional Vice President Phil Cole, who began by stating that Krystal had provided a grant worth $5k to the Whitehaven Elementary School band. Cole mentioned that he was a former Jackson State band member and that even though he recognizes the rivalry between Memphis State and Jackson State, he was impressed to see young people who were very involved and very focused on music. Cole went on to discuss the accomplishments of the Whitehaven team and couldn’t resist saying the new Whitehaven Krystal was “the best looking thing on the block right now” and encouraged those in attendance to “go back and tell McDonalds we’re here” to stay! In addition to longevity awards presented to employees Maggie Clem for 6 years and Joyce Nowlin for 32 years; employees Holly Smith, Arreon Young, and Ashley High each won Krystal Square Up Scholarships in the amount of two 4 restaurant that opened on Monday, November 26, 2018. The renovated restaurant is another step towards bringing more sit-down, dine-in eateries to the Whitehaven community. We hope this new addition to the Whitehaven community will inspire more sit-down type restaurants to locate nearby. Above: Members of the Whitehaven Elementary School gather for a group picture after the ceremonies concluded. Below: The ribbon cutting was well attended by all including long-time Krystal employees Joyce Nowlin (left holding scissors) and Maggie Clem (to the right of Nowlin. According to Krystal employee Steven Hall of Huntsville, AL, The first 100 customers had already visited the restaurant for their free meal for the month coupon by 7:30 AM that morning. 5
Page 10
By Yvonne D. Nelson The Mitchell High School 2018 Alumni Association annual Christmas Gala for all classes was held from 6 PM until at the Holiday Inn Airport, 2240 Democrat Road, on Saturday, December 1, 2018. Over 200 alumni with Edith Deloach Mitchell, Diane Adair Coleman, and Doris Wrushen Bridges representing 1961, the first year the school had a graduating class, were in attendance. Identified by Roll Call, the majority of those in attendance were representing classes from 1964 through 1983, then there was a ten-year lapse, a small crowd of alumni from 1993, and one alumni from 2017. DJ “Will Walk,” Willie Walker of Walkers Sounds, kept the music and the crowd upbeat and on their feet from beginning to end. “As you can see, we really need to recapture the younger crowd,” said Marvin Hill, Class of ’76 graduate and Membership Committee Chairperson. Alumni Association President Linda Street opened the ceremony, welcomed all in attendance, and wished them a great time at this year’s event. She thanked everyone for their individual support and gave special recognition to Executive Board members Brenda Crawford, VP; Gwen Wrushen Nelson, Treasurer; Elgie Williams Barfield, Assistant Treasurer; Pam Hibler; Correspondence Secretary; and Callie Britton, Secretary. Rev. Troy Carson gave the prayer. “Our goal for existing is to increase alumni membership and participation in the organization, said Street. “We currently have 161 members who are all focused on raising money for Mitchell High students. Our goal this year is to raise $20 thousand dollars. We need money for ACT Test Prep. These students are our future and, although they don’t ask for it, they need our help.” The association has several events planned in 2019 to raise funds. “We are going to hold a 5-K run on April 13th, said Street. “Where is Torey Roberts? Tori is a marathon runner and she recently won first place in the Sugar Race for Diabetes on November 10th. She’s going to help us organize a 5-K run on April 13th, which will probably be held in conjunction with A Taste of Walker Homes/West Junction, a fundraiser and pot luck featuring vendors. Tori is the chair of the Alumni Board of Directors and she wears a lot of other hats too.” After dinner there was a brief period of dancing before the floor was turned over to President Street for the remainder of the program. “We need community input and you to become a more active part of our alumni association,” said Street after calming the crowd down after dinner. “There will be a public meeting following our regular 2nd Saturday meeting next 10 The 2018 Annual Christmas Gala for Mitchell High School Alumni featured music by DJ Willie “Will Walk” Walker of Walker Sounds. (Above) 1971 Alumni (from left) Charles Settle, Lajuana Beasley, Lethelea Jackson, Sandra Brooks, and Willie Brooks. week. We will begin the alumni meeting at 10 AM and the public meeting will continue from 11:15 AM until Noon. The Center City Commission has commissioned an artist to paint a mural on the Community Center and we need the communities input on what that mural should represent.” “It’s nice to see other people in the community who care about the children at Mitchell High School,” said Street. “One such person who I personally witnessed providing food, clothes, shoes and more is Terry Applewhite. I want to recognize him with this plaque to let him know that he is greatly appreciated for what he does and continues to do for the students and community at large. Treasurer Gwen Wrushen Nelson followed with finan(Below left) Assistant Treasurer, Pam Hibler; (Below right) Alumni Event Chair, Elveen Street Carson. cial details on scholarships and other funding for Mitchell High. “In 2018, we gave 15 students $1,000 scholarships and we also provided the principal with another $5,000 to be earmarked for things the board does not cover like ACT Test Prep classes,” said Wrushen Nelson. “I want to again thank each of you for your continued support! In 2018, between July and November, we have raised $9,000 thousand towards our $20,000-thousand-dollar goal. Remember, we are a IRS recognized 501 (c) 3 organization; therefore, your donations are also tax-deductible. So if you need a deduction this year, just remember to make your contribution prior to December 31 for it to count! I have my receipt book in the back of the room with me. I can take checks, cash, even credit card and we also have pledge cards in the back for anyone who needs one.” “It’s giving time!” announced Ruth Murray, “We’ve been blessed. These children really need funds and we really need to give what we can afford to give to them. Whatever you can afford to give. We’ve done well but we want to and can do better if it’s from the heart. These young people are our future. We need to be able to raise that $20,000 thousand dollars to help the kids out in May 2019. They really don’t ask us. We know they need it.” (Above left) Treasurer, Gwen Wrushen Nelson. (Above Right) Couples took to the dance floor when DJ ‘Will Walk’ slowed down the sounds. (Right) Mitchell High School 1976 Alumnus and current Alumni Association President Linda Street makes a donation to the school fundraiser for current Mitchell students on Saturday night at the annual Christmas Gala. 11
Page 12
12 By Yvonne D. Nelson There was a celebration of rebirth held at 2 PM on Tuesday, December 18, 2018, when the former long-ago closed Southbrook Mall reopened as Whitehaven’s new Southbrook Town Centre. Southbrook Properties, Inc. CEO Gregory Grant opened the event by thanking the city and county governments and everyone else who made the day happen. Pastor Ivory Jackson of Faith Temple Ministries GOCIC gave a prayer for the community and government leaders followed by a welcome by Southbrook Properties, Inc. President and Chairman Willie Harper. Vice Chairwoman Cherry Davis followed and Developer Belinda Tate and and Project Manager Michelle Moore gave the purpose of the event looking back on times when they and the facilities faithful former tenants could look through the roof and see the sky. CCMI entertained the crowd with a selection and Pastor Gary Faulkner of the Omni Church provided a prayer of blessings and prosperity for the renovated facility. Courtney Little sang “A Change is Gonna Come” on his Korg Triton music workstation synthesizer and Special Assistant to Mayor Jim Strickland, Kenneth Moody, gave the address for the City of Memphis along with Division of Housing and Community Development Director, Paul Young. Singer Toni Green was accompanied by a group of children doing a rendition of “Glory” just before Shelby County Mayor Attorney Lee Harris, gave the address from the county government. The event ended with an address from District 91 State Rep., Mrs. Barbara Cooper, Ph.D., closing remarks from Commissioner Eddie Jones, and a prayer of dedication and benediction by Pastor Dwayne Hunt of Abundant Grace Fellowship Church. City Councilwoman District 3 Patrice Robinson served as the events’ Mistress of Ceremony. A good time was had by all. We are glad this facility is open and happy to announce management is currently looking for tenants to rent its banquet facility and to occupy a few of its’ nicely renovated vacant rental spaces. 13
Page 14
14 15
Page 16
By Yvonne D. Nelson A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was performed by The Memphis Chamber, Boy, and Girl Choirs at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Memphis, TN from 4 to 5 PM CST on Sunday, December 9, 2018. The service of Nine Lessons with Carols was first drawn up by Archbishop Benson when Bishop of Truro for use in that cathedral, and was later simplified and modified for use in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, in 1918 by then Dean, the Very Reverend Eric Milner-White, to whom also we owe the Bidding Prayer. The congregation of St. John’s Episcopal Church performed these services in hopes that attendees would find meaning and inspiration through the offerings of lessons and carols and welcomed all to prepare themselves in joyful anticipation of Christmastide. The nine lessons included the following: 1) Genesis 3:8-15 2) Isaiah 40: 1-5 3) Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 4) Isaiah 11: 1-9 5) Luke 1: 26-38 6) Luke 2: 1-7 7) Luke 2: 8-20 8) Matthew 2:1-11, and 9) John 1:1-14 The program began with a prelude of three songs, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, We Three Kings, and Prelude on ‘Irby.’ The organist was Brian Campbell who was accompanied by David Spencer and Ben Lewis on trumpet; Geoff Durbin and Eddie Clark on trombone, and Kevin Sanders on the tuba. After the processional hymn, a bidding prayer was read by St. John’s Deacon, The Rev. Miranda Cully Griffin. Carols were sung after the first, third, sixth, and eighth lessons. Hymns were performed after the second, fourth, and seventh lessons. A Motet from Luke 1:3032 was read after the fifth lesson and a carol-anthem, the offertory carol, and the collection and blessing preceded the postlude. The Rev. C. Dean Taylor is the Interim Rector and The Rev. Robert L. Van Doren Jr. is the Sr. Associate Rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3245Central Avenue, Memphis, TN 38111, where the first service of the day begins at 8 AM CST with a small gathering for Eucharist on Sundays. After the 8 AM service concludes, the Altar Guild prepares the table for the next Eucharist. Sunday School begins at 9:15 AM and the Chancel Choir begins to sound at 9:30 AM as the choirmaster plays through the hymns of the day. For more information on the early morning preparations and order of services, visit St. John’s Episcopal Church online at www.stjohnsmemphis.org. 16 17
Page 20
Colonel Joe Oakley of the Mt. Moriah Precinct (left) and MLGW Residential Services employees Dorothea Moody and Charles White. By Yvonne D. Nelson Alvin Crook, a Fairley High School graduate, spent part of his life growing up in East Memphis and he really believes in giving back to the community. From 10 AM until noon on Saturday, December 15, 2018, the former McFarland Warriors basketball player was helped by his mother, wife, son, and several members of his family to host a Christmas Toy Giveaway to children residing in the area of the Mt. Moriah Police Station at the McFarland Community Center. “Last year I partnered with a friend of mine, Attorney J.B. Smiley, and we held a similar event at the Gaston Community Center last year,” said Crook. “This year I decided to do a toy giveaway on my own because I felt like the kids in the Parkway Village area needed someone to look out for them.” During the event, Crook gave out 205 gifts and Staffline, a temporary employment agency, helped 42 people with jobs. “It’s getting people back to work,” said Crook. “I understand that these are not $15/hour jobs, but some income is better than no income.” In addition to Col. Joe Oakley, Lt. H. Ward, and Officers G. Moore and A. Smith, MLGW residential services representatives Dorothea Moody and Charles White attended the event. “My mom has always been a big supporter of mine,” said Crook about his mom Lisa Stewart. “When it was time for us to give out gifts, my wife Andrea and son, Alvin IV, along with my sister Tyronda Henderson and my sister-in-law Ceidra Griffin passed out the gifts. Crook is also known for his “Taking Over the Park” feeding the Alvin Crook IV and his grandmother, Lisa Stewart. community at the park event where twice a year he takes 50 care bags filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, turkey sandwiches, chips, and water to the homeless. He also participated in the 2018 Chili Cook-Off in support of LeBonheur Children’s Hospital. Crook 20 made an unsuccessful run for the school board District 9 seat on the Shelby County School Board in 2018. “What really held me up from doing a lot of things in 2018 was due to my running for the school board,” said Crook. “Because I was really focused on running for that seat, that really put a damper on me as far as doing humanity-type work.” When asked what was on the calendar for 2019, Crook brighten up. “I’ll be back at the McFarland Community Center in March for the Alvin Crook March Madness,” said Crook. “This is my vision of a block party. I’m going to have more employers who can offer permanent jobs. I’m planning a car show, food trucks, and one or more bounces for the kids. I’m also in touch with Concourse College for those individuals who are interested in getting back in school to continue their education to get a better job. There will be free health checks and attorneys. I’m going to put a call out on my friends who are attorney’s. I want to have a segment where you ask the attorney. I think a lot of times the problem is that we get in trouble and we don’t know our rights. This is actually just setting a person up for failure. We need to know what we can ask and when we get in the courtroom, the proper paperwork to file to avoid simply taking a charge which sets you up to fail.” For more information on becoming a vendor or March Madness events, email AlvinCrook3rd@yahoo.com or visit Friends for Alvin Crook or Alvin Crook on FB. DJ II REEL McFarland Community Center’s Elanor’s Babies Dance Team Photo Courtesy Friends of Alvin Crook 21
Page 22
By Yvonne D. Nelson The year was 1935 and the event was the Cotton Carnival, an event designed to promote the use and wearing of cotton products, that was, for all intents and purposes, for white people. Dr. R. Q. Venson, an African American dentist with an office on Beale Street at the time, took his nephew to the parade designed for whites only. After the event was over, Venson asked his nephew if he enjoyed the parade. Much to his surprise, Venson’s nephew had not enjoyed the event and demanded to understand why the only Blacks the parade displayed were serving as horses pulling carts carrying the carnivals’ white King, Queen, and Royal Court members. Venson saw the vision of his young nephew as one that openly displayed the highly segregated population of Memphis and the Mid-South. The result was the formation of the Cotton Makers’ Jubilee, a private social party for Blacks, which included a celebration featuring a King, Queen, Royal Court and a midway featuring entertainment including games and rides. The purpose of the celebration was to show appreciation of the many Blacks who had also contributed to Memphis’s cotton industry. With African American Funeral Director Eddie Hayes Jr. as King and Venson’s wife, Ethyl, as Queen the first Jubilee was held in 1936. The event was designed to allow Black people to uphold a tradition that has continued to maintain dignity for African Americans to this day. In its heyday, the event always opened during the same time as the Cotton Carnival, with a big parade that provided similar things Whites enjoyed at their parade. The event reached peak attendance during its golden years, 1948-58, and only ceased operations during World War II and in 1968 when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated here in Memphis, TN. Many developments, both good and not so good, have transpired since the 70s. Many of the Jubilee’s most treasured possessions, including pictures, costumes, and other memorabilia, were given to other organizations after Venson passed. Although a treasure trove of additional items exists, they have yet to find their own museum to call home; something the current organization has been attempting to achieve for the past 10 years. The last Cotton Makers’ Jubilee celebration was held in 2007, after another of Venson’s nephews and current Chairman Clyde R. Venson had taken over the organization. Clyde succeeded his aunt, R.Q.’s wife Ethyl in 1986. He worked diligently to make sure the name of the organization remained a household name. In 1999, he attempted to give the nonprofit a new identity, one that represented the strongest, most powerful, and richest country in the world for 2000 years – renaming it Kemet, the name of Egypt because the organization wanted to crown its royalty from a country that had Black Kings and Queens; but returned the organization to its original name in 2016 when the new name didn’t improve things after all. Michael Marsh was a Cotton Makers’ Jubilee Royal Court Jr. King in 1972, a Duke in 1983, and King in 1996. His true dedication to the organization showed as he transitioned into becoming Memphis Kemet Jubilee Royal Court King in 2005 and again in 2007. Continued on Page 23 22 “I’m so happy that we are pulling things together again in 2019,” said Marsh. “I was first sought out by Queen Ethyl Venson, Dr. R. Q. Venson’s wife. The year was 1971 and I was working at Robilio’s Grocery Store. The Cotton Makers’ Jubilee was and still is an amazing organization and I will never forget how becoming a part of the celebration at such a young age made me feel so important. I wish more of Memphis’s Black children could live the experience of being royalty for themselves. For me, early participation has resulted in my wanting to stay in this organization for life.” All 39 new members who had been recruited since June and their guests were invited to attend a celebration of renewal during the 2018 Christmas season. The event was held in the banquet room at the Southbrook Town Centre, the former Southbrook Mall. The program included a prayer by Elder Theoren Dotson and Marsh, who was recently voted in and accepted the Vice President’s role, gave the welcome. Queen Charlena Henderson Taylor, 2001, performed a solo and sang with CCMI – Breaking a Stronghold, Inc. featuring the G.E.M. Band who provided entertainment and music during the entire event. Newly elected President, 1997 King Lorenzo Caldwell gave the purpose for the gathering and provided valuable bits of the organization’s history and explained how he became involved. The organization’s newly elected Secretary, 2002 Queen Patricia Mosby, who served with the organization’s only White King to date, introduced the new membership body with the assistance of Mary Fairley of Crown Trophy Cordova, 7981 Dexter Road, Ste. 104. Fairley provided the program printing and personally honored each 2019 member with a special medallion her company created. “I’ve always thought it was an honor to be elected as Queen,” said Mosby as she received her medallion. “A good friend of mine, Johnson Saulsberry encouraged me to join and I’ve been engaged in one way or another ever since.” New member and newly elected Treasurer Gerald Green was also appreciative of his medal. Filling in for the ever busy newly elected Finance Chair and 1994 King, Gregory Grant, was his lovely wife, 1994 Queen Annette Harris who is now known as Annette Harris Grant. Dr. R. Q. Venson’s nephew, Cotton Makers’ Jubilee Chairman and 1966 King Clyde R. Venson provided all in attendance with a brief update on the rebirth of the organization and the events planned for 2019. “We have set the date for the coronation ball for September 14th and the Dr. R. Q. Venson Scholarship Foundation’s Scholarship and Award banquet will follow on the 28th, said the younger Venson. “This Christmas party for our guests to witness this program reactivation was our first public program since 2007. We are truly excited about the future programs we have in store for 2019. We will be hosting a mini -celebration for our Adult and Junior King and Queens the 2nd Saturday in September and honoring our scholarship and awards recipients on the 4th Saturday. We would like for our Royal Court to visit LeBonheur Children’s and the Veteran’s Hospital to take pictures with and provide gifts for patients. We hope to be able to work things out so that those who are unable to attend our presentation will be able to listen to and watch it on the closed circuit TVs in their rooms.” Continued on Page 24 23
Page 24
President for 14 years, 1989 King and Dr. R. Q Venson Scholarship Foundation President Michael Sadler is looking for one or more locally situated active or retired educators to speak at the scholarship and awards banquet. “If I had things my way and I’ve already inquired, I would prefer to have former 1st Lady Michelle Obama as the speaker of choice that night,” said Sadler. “We have solidified our location (Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Boulevard), date, and time (9/28/19 with the reception at 6 followed by dinner and program at 7). We are hoping to provide three local graduating seniors with scholarship money that will be of assistance during their first year of college. I gladly accepted this challenge to lead this leg of the Cotton Makers’ Jubilee because my heart is in education and because I want to be of assistance in finding that perfect location for our Memphis Cotton Makers’ Jubilee Museum.” To be put on the list of interested parties to become a member, be elected as a member of the 2019 Royal Court, apply for a scholarship or award, or for more information, call 901.496.1811 or email MCMJUBILEE@gmail.com. 24 1999 KING ANDERSON MADISON, 2001 QUEEN CHARLENA HENDERSON TAYLOR, DUKE/3x KING MICHAEL MARSH, 2004 QUEEN REGINA JONES, 1984 QUEEN CATHERINE DOGGETT HERNANDEZ, 1966 KING CLYDE R. VENSON, 2x QUEEN MELODY POE, 1998 KING MICHAEL SADLER, 2002 QUEEN PATRICIA MOSBY, 1997 KING LORENZO CALDWELL, and 1994 QUEEN ANNETTE HARRIS GRANT. Former Cotton Makers’ Jubilee Royalty Court members 25
Page 26
Barbara Swearengen Ware (left) presents Jenny V. Currington, a nurse on LTACH team at Regional One Health with the Outstanding Service Award for Mission Possible Charter Board Member Eddie Nelms’ care. Mission Possible: Christian Outreach Service Mission (MP:COSM) kicked off its 39th annual fundraiser to help the least among us as the organization makes plans to celebrate 40 years in 2020. Mission Possible serves the elderly, hurting, homeless and hungry; widows, and those who are fatherless, oppressed, prisoners, sick, and broken-hearted. The agency needs your help to continue its efforts to provide food, clothes, counseling services, prayer support, and training and there’s more than one way for you to support this tax-deductible nonprofit organization. MP:COSM founder Thelma Nelms is a former US Postal Service employee who worked as an EEO counselor and retired as a Workplace Improvement Analysis. She knows the pain of discrimination and workplace violence and is skilled at helping others to find triumph and victory in life. However, from inside the walls of the USPS, Nelms was limited on what she could do to help people. Mission Possible was born from the issues that did not fall under the purviews of EEO discrimination. After Nelms and a group of her federal co-workers prayed for relief and aid to help in these situations, and thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in 1980 this Christian-based outreach program was born. When Nelms was questioned about her inspiration for creating Mission Possible, she replied, “I can remember the joy I felt when my family and I received Christmas baskets sponsored by the Elks. Generosity has a positive mental effect on those who share, even if only a small amount of their wealth, with others. Fifty years ago, I never thought that a little girl growing up in poverty would be able to give back. It’s amazing how the Lord’s favor has been present in my life and in the fertile soil of Mission Possible.” Centrally located at 2400 Poplar Avenue, Ste. 428, MP: COSM is easily accessible by public transportation for those who need services. The Poplar Avenue offices of Mission Possible: COSM can be used as a host space for special events, meetings, and retreats with approved reservations. “We provide guidance, counseling, basic life coaching, and (Above) Outstanding Supporters (from left) James and Ann Word, Carolyn and Henry Ware, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, and Dr. Leroy Davis, Chaplain at 201 Poplar, were honored by Mission Possible: COSM founder Thelma Nelms, former President of Federally Employed Women at the event. (Below) Nelms’ also honored Outstanding Supporters (seated from left) Richard Baxter and Jimmie Leach of Miss Girlee’s Restaurant; (standing), Pastor Barbara Green and Aaron Leach (Right). training for the poor and affluent through seminars and retreats focusing on workplace and family issues,” added Nelms who has recently added anger management and violence prevention trainings. “We’re currently totaling our final numbers for 2018, but we provided over 9,000 services in 2017 although, due to reduced funding and volunteerism, we may fall a little short in 2018. We are praying for additional funding and volunteers so that our services can continue being a blessing to the community.” Nelms’ long list of accomplishments includes USPS accolades, giving seminar presentations, sipping tea with 1st Lady Barbara Bush, personally meeting Wilma Rudolph, Oprah Winfrey, Dorothy Height, founder of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and many local national leaders including Bishop G.E. Patterson and Dr. Herbert W. Brewster. Mission Possible: COSM accepts all major credit cards, checks and money orders (payable to Mission Possible: COSM) for tax-deductible donations and encourages federal employees to select them by visiting msdeltacfc.org and/or selecting CFC #64098 through their Workplace Donor Choice program before January 8, 2019. Non-federal employees can select the agency through the United Way Donor Choice Program. No services are available for housing or utility assistance and hours are by appointment only. Call (901) 458-4357 (HELP) for more information. 26 IN HONOR OF HER MANY YEARS OF SERVICE... Mission Possible: Christian Outreach Service Mission Phone: (901) 458-4357 (HELP) MRS. PEARLIE STREET, PRESIDENT 2018 Fall Fundraiser Program Sunday, December 2, 2019 Martin Luther King Labor Center, 485 Beale Street, Memphis, TN CL I CK HERE TO . . . OR CL I CK HERE TO. . . VOLUNTEER IN HONOR OF HIS MANY YEARS OF SERVICE... MR. JAMES JONES, BOARD CHAIRMAN Attending the event (from left) are Love Worth Finding (Bellevue Baptist) CEO Pastor Carey Vaughn, Liberty Mass Church Pastor Brad Denham, Sgt. Martin Butcher, Dr. Leroy Davis, Nelms, Progressive Baptist Church Pastor Dr. James Collins, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Board member Barbara Swearengen Ware, Elder Aaron Leach, Board Member Archie Green and Bethel AME Pastor Barbara Green. Sheriff Floyd Bonner honored the Hunter family for the heroic death of Marlon Hunter who was killed helping a distressed driver. Pictured are (seated) Nivea Hunter (daughter), Ralisa Hunter (wife), Jade Moore, Sheila McKinney, Dr. Shirley Flynod (grandmother), and (standing) Keith Kimbrough, Chiquita Kimbrough, Cherith McKinney, and Mission Possible founder, Thelma Nelms. 27
Page 28
THE NATIONAL COUNC I L OF NEGRO WOMEN – SHELBY COUNTY SECT ION Where Myrtle Malone is President and Carla E. Holloway, Ed.D., (both not pictured) is 1st Vice President - Fashion Show Coordinator and (from left) Fashion Show Committee Chair, Tamara Washington-Bell, and fashion show participants Brinetta Carlton, Florida Hollingsworth, Catherine Doggett Hernandez, Stella Adams, and Fashion Show Committee Co-Chair Annette Washington, invites you to join them for “GOING GREEN IN 2019” the BEST DRESSED FASHION SHOW AND BRUNCH, MARKETPLACE, and AUCTION. The event will be held from 10 AM - 2 PM CST on SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2019, at the MEMPHIS HILTON, 939 RIDGE LAKE BOULEVARD, MEMPHIS, TN 38120. The event will benefit the Council’s YOUTH SECTION, GIRLS INTENDED FOR GREATNESS, ACT WORKSHOP and health fair. The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), founded in 1935, is a domestic public service organization with the primary goal of providing services and programs to promote human welfare. This annual Shelby County Section affair is an initiative of the local Council designed to spotlight fashionable Memphian ladies who are representing various agencies and organizations. Tickets are sold individually for $40/person and in tables of 10 for $400. Vendor booths are $50/table (Deadline to purchase booths/tables is the COB on Saturday, January 19, 2019). Purchases qualify purchaser for a door prize drawing and the community is encouraged to place ads in the event’s souvenir booklet in support of these ladies and/or to make a donation to the Council’s scholarship fund. For further information, to purchase ticket(s) for admission or for information on becoming a vendor, please address your correspondence to President, Myrtle Malone, or 1st Vice President - Fashion Show Coordinator, Carla E. Holloway, Ed.D., or Vendor Chairperson, Joan Harvey, and email to Memphis.Meetings@gmail.com. This advertisement was purchased by contestant Mrs. Catherine Doggett Hernandez in support of Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, Senior Publicist of NEWSCENE, the NEW SCENE where NEWS is SEEN which can only be found online at iLoveShelbyCounty.com! 28 Alternative & Holistic Health Services ORDER HERE (800) 403-7155 Congratulations! On Your New Venture, Wishing You Well! - Lmec-xi nus CFC #46643 29 CLICK HERE TO VISIT US ONLINE
Page 30
By Yvonne D. Nelson Kandris Echols has always had a love for performing arts and dance. From Double Tree Elementary to Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 60 S. Parkway E., to owning her own studio, Kandris’s family always knew of her desire to be involved in drama and performing arts. “Kandris has performed in dance teams since she was 4-years old,” said Patricia Woodard Wright, Kandris’ aunt, and Rhythm and Grace Rewriter. “We have always supported Kandris dance efforts and we always will.” Echols teaches beginners gymnastics, majorette, hip-hop, liturgical (praise dance) and jazz dance to girls of all ages. Her dance teams have been in many parades and have won many competitions. She recently rented space at the newly renovated Southbrook Town Center and relocated the Rhythm and Grace Dance Studio there where she is the owner and dance choreographer. Echols presented “The Wiz of Christmas Land,” a 10-scene musical dance production Saturday evening December 29th at the Landers Center Theatre in Southaven, MS. The production was Echols way of giving honor to the hard work her dancers have learned and a way to give them the opportunity to share the skills they have acquired from attending her school with their friends and family members. “Our goal is to reach out to help children who are interested in dance The musical dance production featured a liturgical performance by Victoria Ayers (above) and a song by Erica McGowen (below). and performing arts,” said Wright. “We had current elementary and former dance students who returned from their middle and high school dance teams to perform in the play. One thing I love about our performers is that size never matters. We work with everyone who wants to learn to dance.” Rounding out the Rhythm and Grace Dance team are Echols’ first cousins and Music Directors, Darius Woodard and Christopher Woodard; and Devin Hardin who Kandris knows from being a member of Mt. Zion. “We are currently accepting applications for new students,” said Wright. “We do charge students a small amount to help cover overhead, buy uniforms, and costumes, but most of the money we make goes right back into the production.” Parents who are interested in enrolling children for dance and performing arts at Rhythmand Grace are encouraged to drop by between 6 - 8 PM Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays during open hours and can download an application for admission below, stop by the Southbrook Town Mall office, or call (901) 282-9872 or (901) 230-6373 to drop application off or for more information. APPLICATION (Right) Erin Gordon, (from left) Daja Bryant, Marrisa Golden, Karlee Thomas, Kennedi Bond, Jourmenie Rockmore, Kailey Bond, Harmony Jamison, Mallory Harmon, Mackenzie Lyndon, and Reylann Huley were Elves in the play. Photograph by Kandris Echols. 30 (From left) Mallory Harmon, Erin Gordon, and Harmon Jamison were Christmas Elves in The Wiz of Christmas Land drama. Felicity Gwinn, played the part of the Scarecrow. Photograph by Kandris Echols. (From left) Trinity Taylor (The Tin Lady), Felicity Gwinn (The Scarecrow), and Pasley Thompson (Dorothy) meet Payge Lewis (the Cowardly Lion) on their way to see the Wiz. (Below) Kaitlyn James, Lauren Knowles, Demaya Knowles, Breya Young, Brenasia Polk were the Monkeys in the play. Photograph by Patricia Woodard Wright. 31
NEWSCENE May 2019

May 2019 Vol#1-Issue#5a


Page 0
Vol. 1, Issue 5a May 2019 KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D. Let me begin by thanking our readership for their patience while waiting for our May edition of NEWSCENE to be published. Our delay was directly related to our desire to meet the noon, May 1, 2019, deadline to submit our application for financial support through the city of Memphis’ Budget Committee. If approved, this funding will ensure our continued ability to bring you news about things that have happened around Shelby County through NEWSCENE, The NEW SCENE where NEWS is SEEN! With our April edition, we have now published NEWSCENE for our first full quarter. We hope you have enjoyed the variety of news and feature stories each edition has covered and encourage you to share your copies with others. We are looking forward to being able to produce a few hundred printed copies beginning this quarter and we invite you to join our advisory board and to make a taxdeductible contribution to our success. As you know, we depend heavily on you to spread the word about NEWSCENE. Your willingness to share links to featured stories online, your desire to submit calendar events, pictures, and stories about events that have recently taken place, and your desire to support us through advertisements featuring local businesses and activities is appreciated. NEWSCENE is for you and about you and the things you know about that are happening in your community. Let me know what’s going on because I depend on you to make sure I have accurate and fresh content for each monthly edition. Feel free to call me at (901) 300-0250, write me at I Love Shelby County, Attn: Senior Publicist, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190-0146, or you can email us at Memphis.Meetings@gmail.com. Thank you, Yvonne UT Martin Wildlife and Fisheries graduate and Naturalist, Tel Glenn, an employee at Reel Foot Lake State Park, is shown with Storm, a five-year old Bald Eagle who was injured in the park during a storm. Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson SCOUTS ROCK AT GRACELAND Hundreds of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts from all over the country look forward to the Scouts Rock at Graceland day, an annual event where they can learn new skills and earn achievements toward ranks or pin/belt loop/merit badge requirements in American Heritage, citizenship, collections, forestry, service opportunities, journalism and photography. This year’s event was held from 10 am until 3 pm on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at the Graceland Soundstage A, a 20,000 square-foot venue for live music performances, movie screenings, video productions, private events, corporate meetings, conference, and trade show exhibitions located in the new Graceland entertainment and exhibit complex in Memphis, TN. Scouts and those accompanying them were treated to a tour of the Graceland Mansion, visited the two airplanes on the property, saw the horses grazing, enjoyed special Scout Day events and activities, and had access to the entire Elvis Presley’s Memphis Entertainment Complex featuring 12 exhibits and attractions. In addition to bringing nonperishable food items to be donated to the Mid-South Food Bank, scouts were able to design a card to be sent to the U.S. Military through the American Red Cross and earned various badges and achievements that increased their scouting knowledge and abilities through activities finding and identifying trees, learning about museums and careers in museum studies, and
Page 2
visiting the onsite radio station. Scout families were treated to special rates on rooms at the Guest House at Graceland during their Scout Rock at Graceland day stay in Memphis. Vendors on hand at the event included Elvis Presley Birthplace, American Red Cross, Brooks Shaws Old Country Store, Chucalissa Museum, Discovery Park of America, DUI and TACT Memphis Police Department units, FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics, Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County, Incredible Pizza Company, Les Paul Foundation, Main Event, Memphis Archaeological & Geological Society, Memphis Grizzlies, Memphis Light, Gas and Water, Memphis Hustle, Memphis Police Explores, Memphis Redbirds, Memphis Rock-n-Soul, Memphis Zoo, Shelby Farms Park, The Children’s Museum of Memphis, The Cotton Museum, Tina Turner Museum, Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Wildlife Agency, 901 FC Scotter Team, DeSoto County Tourism and the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department VIPS (Volunteers in Partnership Story Approved by: (Below from left) 6-year old Millington Elementary School Girl Scout Kyndol Harris cuddles with a baby owl during the annual event; Memphis Hustle G-League Intern Luke Peduto (left) checks his aim before tossing his bean bag directly into the hole behind him as Pack 141 scout Braedyn Bennett, 7 awaits his turn to throw; Graceland Tour Operations employee Erma Addison enjoys greeting visitors. Christian Ross | PR & Marketing Specialist Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. | Graceland 3734 Elvis Presley Blvd. | Memphis, TN 38116 cross@graceland.com (Middle, left) Alexia Hall mans the Withers Collection Museum & Gallery booth; (Middle, right) Memphis Hustle G-League Marketing & Promotions team members Cher Warren and Jausalyn Sims work with Scouts during the annual event. Graceland entrance. 2 Human Society of Memphis & Shelby County Volunteer Coordinator Ashley Moore (left) and Nathan Garrison explain the benefits of adopting pets; Graceland employees (Right, from left). Kelton Neyland, Bonnie Dotson, Tawana Cooper, Penny Henderson, Suzanne Ginn, and Ayesha Johnson enjoyed the annual Scouts Rock event held from 10 AM until 3 PM at Graceland on Saturday, April 6, 2019. (Left) Using a modified iPhone as a controller, First Tech volunteer, mom, and coach, Tommie Rodgers (standing) and a group of 7th through 12th grade students from various schools were at the Scouts Rock event. (Right) The FTC Team # 7802 robotics display table. (Left) Surrounded by everything from skins of a black bear, opossum, muskrat, beaver, deer, grey fox, raccoon, elk, red fox, skunk and skulls of everything from both domestic and wild pigs, rats, a snapper alligator, moose’s antler, coyote’s head, bobcat’s head, and more, Tennessee Hunter Education Course instructor Gene Smith is pictured holding the shell of a turtle he found in the wild. (Center) Clark Shaw, CEO and owner of the original 1870 era home of Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum, located between Memphis and Nashville, TN, was on hand marketing his fun family destination. (Right) According to Memphis Redbird employee Joe Hanson (right), AutoZone Park is the best place in Memphis to spend quality time with your family, school, church, employees, customers, and fellow organization members. Ticket prices are $17 - $36 per seat and groups of 10 or more can qualify for special promotional gifts. 3
Page 4
Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson THE 2019 BILL PICKETT INVITATIONAL RODEO RETURNS TO MEMPHIS The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo was created and managed by promoter Lu Vason (1939 - 2015) who didn’t believe people were fully aware of the role black cowboys had played in the history of the United States. In 1977, while attending the Wyoming Cheyenne Frontier Days, Vason was aroused when no black cowboys were participants in the event. His revelation led to the creation, in 1984, of the all-black rodeo that he named after the legendary black cowboy Willie M. “Bill” Pickett (1870 - 1932), a rodeo performer he learned about while visiting the Black American West Museum of History in Denver, CO, and the person who originated the art of “bulldogging,” a move in which the cowboy rides alongside a steer eventually jumping onto its shoulders and wrestling the steer to the ground while digging his heels into the soft ground. Currently known as steer wrestling, it is one of, if not the most loved event performed in rodeos today. Now in its 35th year, the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo is a popular traveling series that reaches over 130,000 spectators annually across the United States. The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo with “live black cowboys and black cowgirls doing that rodeo thing” arrived in Memphis April 5-6, 2019. The event was held at the Agricenter ShowPlace Arena, 105 South Germantown Parkway. On Friday morning the hour-long “Rodeo for Kidz Sake” show featuring youth and adult riders tie down roping calves, bareback riding, bull-dogging (steer wrestling), bull riding, barrel racing, and more began at 10:30 am. Spanky the Clown took center stage to keep the crowd entertained throughout the event. Children from various schools attended, cheered, danced, and enjoyed learning about and watching the black cowboys and cowgirls perform various stunts on horses. The full Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo followed Saturday evening at 7. Designed to celebrate and honor black cowboys and cowgirls and their many contributions to building the west, the event serves as a cultural event that provides families an opportunity to enjoy and to embrace the cowboy culture while being educated and entertained with western adventure. Information on the Bill Pickett Memorial Scholarship Fund (BPMSF), the schedule of events and more is available online at The Greatest Show on Dirt! The National Office is located at 5829 South Quintero Circle, Centennial, CO 80015, phone (303) 373-1246. They can be reached by email or by emailing the local Coordinator Ms. Kitty or phoning her at (901) 487-4722. 4 (Above) The opening ceremonies of the 2019 Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo show displayed honor to both the African American and the American flags. (Below) Bill Pickett Invitational performers and Circle W Ranch family members (rear from left) Rena Brooks, Catrina Wright, Mattison Wright, RopeTight Wright (front from left) Jacob Wright and Zion Wright attended the two-day event wearing custom designed Circle W Ranch insignia, classic black cowboy hats, and, for those old enough, traditional western-styled boots. 5 2019 BILL PICKETT INVITATIONAL RODEO
Page 8
Story by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson There is an obvious reason why all nine of the Land Use Control Board members unanimously rejected the official decision of the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Planning and Development’s decision to approve the request for the expansion for the Waste Connections of Tennessee, LLC with conditions. The main reason, in the eyes of those who have to deal with it on a daily basis because it sits at the border of their backyards, is because the company is a horrible excuse for a neighbor. Yes, I said it and yes, I mean every word of it. For the past 10 to 20 years, Waste Connections has received complaint after complaint from several neighbors whose property connects to theirs. And, for the past 10 to 20 years, Waste Connections has done little, if anything to rectify the problems they have created. The only reason the company is trying so hard to be a good corporate neighbor at this point is because they’ve already purchased an adjoining 30-acre lot and even though their deed restricts them from expanding operations without the express approval from OPD, they have done just that, but its more tax dollars in the city’s pockets, so no one from the city of Memphis seems to care. Let me clarify one point. It should not be stated that ‘most’ of the neighbors oppose this expansion. Anyone of the neighbors who does not care about this happening is either crazy or they have an internal problem that medicine cannot fix. The quality of life for these people is severely reduced to an almost non-existent state of being. On days when the odors from the garbage operations are extremely strong, you cannot comfortably sit outside. It made me sick to my stomach in August 2018 when I walked door-to-door obtaining many of the nearly 1,000 petition signatures against the expansion and although he can’t tell you himself due to government regulations, the regular USPS mail carrier recently stood in my yard while delivering a package and told me he has to skip lunch on those same days because the smell makes him too nauseous to eat. Our neighborhood residents did not just start complaining about the odors, the rats, or the snakes. They’ve been complaining about them and other issues for the past 10-20 years and a few have some records and proof to support this. One neighbor records the days the odors are the strongest on a calendar. The point is that Waste Connections is only trying to clean up our environment because they want this expansion request approved. Once they have the total 40-plus acres to do as they please, our homes will become even more undervalued. We have many neighbors who have worked all their lives and who plan to retire in their current homes near this unwanted facility that has grown out of its current surroundings over the last 10-20 years. The company claims they are grandfathered in and that they do not have to do anything they don’t want to and have said, through their paid representatives, that they will leave the garbage, the smell, and the vermin just as they are if they don’t get their way. And we believe them. This company is so low down that their representatives are walking the neighborhood, twisting the truth, and obtaining signatures under false pretense to show the neighbors support the expansion effort when they don’t. Whitehaven, we need to stop it. We need to stop settling for less when we know we deserve more and we deserve better. We do not wish to see this waste transfer facility bringing more county garbage to our area to transport it wherever they take it. We do not want this environmental monstrosity growing any larger and further destroying our lovely, mostly bedroom community. Please join us at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, May 21st to complain. If you can’t come then support us by calling each and every one of the 13 council persons to let them know exactly how you feel about their decision to allow this in our Whitehaven community. Let me be so bold as to ask you to inquire if they’ve visited the area prior to the clean-up currently being undertaken and if they’d want it in their backyard. I think you get my point. Thanks! 8 9
Page 10
Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The Reverend Samuel Billy Kyles (1934 - 2016), was the founding pastor of the Monumental Baptist Church, 704 South Parkway East, in Memphis, TN, in 1959. The Civil Rights Activist, delegate to the First African National Congress, and Pastor was the co-founder and a founding member of the National Board of People United to Save Humanity (PUSH), the executive director of Rainbow/PUSH-Memphis, and the executive producer of Rainbow/PUSH WLOK Radio. Kyleswas appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on the Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad. He was affiliated with the World Baptist Alliance, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, National Evangelist, the Ecumenical Minister’s Task Force, Chairman of the State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and an executive committee member of the National Rainbow Coalition. Kyles was the recipient of numerous awards and honors for his work to further civil rights. On Sunday, April 7, 2019, Kyles’ wife, Aurelia Kyles, Monumental Pastor, Rev. Wade Bryant, and members of the Monumental Baptist Church family held “A Man Remembered,” a tribute to the Life and Legacy of Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles. Known as a “Social Justice Advocate,” the event, titled the “2019 Samuel Billy Kyles Social Justice Award,” presented Social Justice Awards to Rev. Dr. Earle Fisher, #901UptheVote founder and Pastor, Abyssinian Baptist Church, 3890 Millbranch Road and Ms. Jamaea Nelson, a third generation member of Monumental Baptist Church and 12th grade student at Lausanne Collegiate School. The program was emceed by Monumental members and fictional radio announcers Sandra Rashad and Anita Phillips. The event was staged to appear as if it were being held in the recording booth of the fictitious PUSH 102.5 radio station. As the ladies paid tribute to the life and times of Kyles, the listening audience received a brief educational lecture of the civil rights activist and more. Judge Bernice Bouie Donald, a federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit and former judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, was the special guest speaker. “I just want to express my gratitude to Aurelia for including me on this program,” said Donald. “You know Rev. Kyles led a committed life of service and activism. He was a son, a husband, a father, an activist, a preacher, a teacher, a leader, an advocate, a visionary, a dreamer, an ambassador and he was also a friend. This icon could walk with kings and queens and come right back and sit down and chat with the least of these. He was a powerful, powerful man… God bless you Monumental. We are all better because Rev. Kyles lived.” The program continued with song and praise and three notable students, 7th grader Brandon Johnson of the Memphis School of Excellence, 9th grader Myles Rashad of Overton High School, and 10th grader Matthew Jones of the Memphis University School, each of whom read tributes to Kyles life and the many accomplishments he achieved during his life. “One of the things we are honoring my husband for this year is to present both a youth award and an adult award that’s called the Samuel Billy Kyles Social Justice Award, said Aurelia Kyles. “This year to field the nominees for our youth award we are very pleased to partner with Facing History and Ourselves which is an organization that was very near and dear to my husband. It is an organization that really helps young people to understand how to identify the injustices in our country and really take some action.” Facing History and Ourselves provides professional development and resources for educators through the mid-south and prepares students for life beyond high school. Their programs provide lessons and resources that help them explore the events and local activism that brought the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Memphis in the spring of 1968. The agency, headquartered in Brookline, MA, has 10 offices, including a branch in Memphis, TN. “If you can imagine a world built on knowledge and compassion, not racism and bigotry, that’s the world we are seeking to build at Facing History,” said Executive Director Marti Tippens Murphy. “It is people who make choices and choices make history. Here at Facing History when we think of Rev. Kyles, we think of a man who was our teacher and had a huge impact and inspired hundreds of students and teachers over the years through our partnership with him.” Special recognitions were given to the individuals who assisted in the final selection of the youth awardee. The adult and youth awardees were introduced by Rev. Bryant, given their awards, and were able to individually express their appreciation for being selected for the award to those in attendance. Rev. Bryant followed their presentations by closing the program out in prayer with his wife at his side. All those in attendance were invited to an afternoon brunch downstairs in the church’s Fellowship Hall. 10 (Above left) Facing History and Ourselves supporters (from left) Ann Hawkins, Executive Director Marti Tippens Murphy, Dorothy Johnson, Nancy B. Sorak, Justice Janice M. Holder and Judge Bernice B. Donald enjoyed the tribute to the life and legacy of Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles held on Sunday, April 7, 2019, at Monumental Baptist Church located at 704 South Parkway East, in Memphis, TN. (Above right) Representing Abyssinian Baptist Church, were (from left) Memphis Theological Seminar Leadership and Ministry graduate, saxophonist, and entertainer, Dr. Oscar ‘Feelgood’ Sueing, LUTCF, MAR; Mrs. Denise Fisher, and adult awardee, Rev. Earle Fisher. (Below left) Aurelia Kyles (left) and Monumental Pastor Rev. Wade Bryant (right) listen as Facing History and Ourselves Executive Director Marti Tippens Murphy (center) shares the past relationship the organization had built with the last Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles. (Center) Monumental Baptist Church members Sandra Rashad (right) and co-host Anita Phillips gave the event the feel of a “PUSH 102.5 radio station broadcast setting.” Tenor saxophonist Sir Clyde Jones was part of the program’s entertainment setting. (Far right) Third generation Monumental Baptist Church member Jamaea Nelson (center), the youngest of four children and daughter of Rev. James Nelson and Dr. Brenda Hardy, was the first youth awardee honored in the Samuel Billy Kyles Social Justice Award program. Jamaea is a 12th grader at Lausanne Collegiate School who has expressed her compassion in the social areas of eliminating poverty and homelessness. (Below) The program included spiritual songs, recitals, and entertainment by several individuals, entertainers, and groups. 11
Page 12
Whitehaven resident Arthur Martin (above) held his annual Mardi Gras party from 5 pm until the last party goer went home beginning on Saturday, April 27, 2019. There were free adult beverages, lots of food and good entertainment, fellowshipping, music, dancing, and everyone had a really good time. The traditional event was done up in full Louisiana style! Pictured below near the fire and pot of extra large jumbo shrimp, with bell peppers and more are Martin and friends Tony Williams (left) and James Lattimore (right). 12 Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Close to three miles of improvements have begun to be made on the north section of Elvis Presley Boulevard between Winchester Road and Commercial Boulevard. Traffic has been reduced to two lanes of traffic through September 2020 while the heavily traveled thoroughfare receives roadway improvements, sidewalks and crosswalks, signage, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, drainage, streetscape improvements and more. The improvements are expected to enhance the operational and aesthetic characteristics of the street leading to the famous mansion home of the well-known entertainer it is named for. City of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland made the official announcement about the work proceeding in front of a group of individuals around 11:30 am on Thursday, April 11, 2019, at the Tennessee Welcome Center, 3205 Elvis Presley Boulevard at Brooks Road. For more mation, visit epbmemphis.com online. infor(Top) Mayor Jim Strickland makes an announcement concerning the pending construction project on Elvis Presley Boulevard (EPB) that is expected to last until September 2020. (Center left) The press announcement concerning EPB was made on Thursday, April 11, 2019, in front of a small group of individuals at the corner of Brooks Road and Elvis Presley Boulevard in the Tennessee Visitor’s Center parking lot. (Center right) Attending the press release to learn when, where, and how long the construction project to repair and upgrade EPB was expected to last were (from left) David Gross, Mary Wray, and Calvin Burton. (Bottom left) Story and Picture by Lyrikal Jenkins The Easter Paint Party/Egg Hunt was put together by Lyrikal Jenkins with help from the No More Silence Foundation . The event was able to pull several families together for a day of full fun! 13
Page 14
By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson 2019: The Year of Women in Business Ladies of Distinction Awards Anner J. Echols is a self-made business 21st Century woman. An entertainment talent manager, executive producer, clothing designer and re-designer for her own line, Swept Away Fashions. Echols vast experiences span the realms of being a media publicist, career consultant, talent scout, vocal coach, TV host for talent shows and for on stage productions. She is also a choreographer, director, stylist, fashion, beauty and entertainment consultant, youth empowerment teacher, and founder and CEO of AJE Dreamland Productions and Dreamland TV shows. Dreamland Productions provides staging for showcasing talented artists who dream of one day being discovered. “If you are dreaming and want your dreams made real, schedule an audition with Dreamland to move your career to a higher level,” said Echols, who is known by many as ‘The Fashion Icon.’ “Always remember, your first look is your first impression. Let me help you turn your dreams into realities. Today’s Woman is not the woman of yesterday because the 2019 Lady of Distinction has carved a path, not just for herself, but for generations to come.” In 2018, Echols received the Queen of Production award in Atlanta at the Black I AM Awards along side Angie Stone, Ms. Deb, Rodney Perry, Kathy Smith of K-Smilez Entertainment and was featured nationally on “The Real” last season during black history month. The 2019 Ladies of Distinction awards program celebrating and promoting womDreamland Photo en in business was held from 3 to 5 pm on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at the Marriott East Hotel, 5795 Poplar Avenue in Memphis, TN. A 2-hour Mix and Mingle Reception preceded the show. Designed to honor 15 ladies of distinction who are business owners and/or entrepreneurs who have endured the many unrelenting challenges and difficulties of being a minority-owned operation and have successfully survived, the 2hour awards program gave each honoree the opportunity to share their own story in a way that empowers, inspires, and motivates others to learn how to achieve their goals and dreams of becoming a woman-owned business owner who can also be honored for her success. “These women-owned business managers have endured the challenges and oppositions of being minority-owned business managers by managing, promoting, and marketing their businesses on a day-to-day basis while enduring the many challenges of a minority-owned business,” said Echols. “These women are making a tremendous contribution to the community, their success, hard work, dedication, and commitment is paving the way for other women who are striving and working hard to own their own businesses too.” The 2019 Ladies of Distinction Awards program was produced by Anner J. Echols, CEO of Dreamland Productions, sponsored by YO-HITS.com, and promoted by PINK Jordan Promotions and Kim’s Custom Printing and Signs. The Red Carpet Meet and Greet was held from 1 - 3 pm and included shopping and networking with vendors, entertainment by the smooth sounds of Jazz and R&B artist Crystal “The Sax Lady” Brown and hostess Lady JJ. The list of 2019 honorees include:  Cynthia D. Anthony, Owner - Floral Secrets by Lauren Chanel  Kisha Bachus, Owner - Kisha’s Kitchen  Tess Bear, Change Agent, Trainer, Speaker, and Coach - Healing Hands of Memphis  Rebecca Bryson, Owner - Kemm’s Mentoring Plus  Crystal Clark-Chatman, CEO - Beautiful Spirited Women  Angela Collins-Foxworth, Entrepreneur, Author, Media Publicity Host, Talk Show Producer/Founder/Host  *Angel Jackson, Owner - Replenish Kombucha  *Davina Jones, Founder & Director - Couture Cares  Emily Pearls Kirk, Film Maker, Producer, Director, and Actress - TEPS Productions  Kameka Payne, Owner - The Resume Revive  Leshundra Robinson, Executive Director - UCAN of Memphis  Rose D. Slaughter, CEO, Brilliant Fulfilment - Preferred Medi Spa  Esha Vinson, Chief of Education - One Stop Taxes  Charity Ware, CEO - MinistryUp  Brenda D. Worrles, Author and Surgical Apparel Designer Nominations for the 2020 Ladies of Distinction Awards are being accepted. Nominee recommendations can be sent by email to ajedreamland@bellsouth.net or by completing the “Tell Us Your Dream” form online. * Award accepted by Promoter April Jordan 14 (Top from left) 2019 Ladies of Distinction Awardees Cynthia Anthony, Kisha Bachus, Tess Bear, (Below from left) Rebecca Bryson, Angela Collins-Foxworth, oyce Charity Ware, and Rose Slaughter. 15
Page 18
Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Even with the pending open heart surgery of a close relative, 25 year Feed the Needy (FTN) Board of Directors Chair, President, and Cargill Retiree Ruth Banks-Rawlings knew the third year of providing Easter food baskets in boxes to the community had to go forward. Everyone is aware of basket delivery during Thanksgiving and the city of Memphis’ efforts at Christmas, but when asked about the unique concept to assist individuals and families during the Easter season, Banks replied, “As an organization, we (the FTN Board of Directors) talked about it in 2016 and executed it the following year. We wanted to do more than provide food during Thanksgiving, so we kind of thought about a ‘Christmas in July’ concept and collectively decided on Easter because a lot of families don’t have Easter dinner even though they wish they could. With a limited number of food baskets available, we currently provide baskets during Thanksgiving, and Easter, in the Greater Memphis, Mid-South, and surrounding communities.” The organization delivered 1,150 Easter boxes this Easter season. A total of 3,500 food baskets in boxes including pantry supplies were delivered during the Thanksgiving holiday in 2018. Feed the Needy is a program that started within Cargill,” said Banks. “At the time there were three schools (Florida ES, Kansas ES, and Riverview ES) the company had adopted through the Memphis City Schools ‘Adopt-A-School’ program. These were the three schools that were closest to our plant, in about a 5- to 7-mile radius. We reached out to the schools to see what we could do as a community stakeholder. In talking with the guidance counselors, they shared that during the holidays, a lot of their families were going without a Thanksgiving meal and that’s how this project got started.” Valero retiree and FTN Secretary Roberta ‘Bert’ Richards said, “If you had a box and you had 10 people [to feed], you could really be talking about 20-30 thousand people getting fed, but when you’re talking about one person, it could last one person from Thanksgiving all the way until Christmas. “Our goal is to increase services by ten percent every year. When you consider that most families include four people, we believe our donations fed nearly 30,000 of our neighbors,” said Banks. “With all of the pallets of extra food that we donate to area food pantries, we believe we have fed an additional 4,500 people.” This is the second year the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has participated in the FTN operation. “I’ve been with Feed The Needy for about 5 or 6 years,” said Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Domestic Violence Unit Detective Nichole Brumley, whose father, Johnny Brumley, is the FTN Vice Chair and a Valero retiree. “The Sheriff’s department joined FTN last year. I love participating with this organization because it provides food to people and communities who really need it. I love to see the look on their face when they open that box an everything is neatly placed meaning it was a thoughtful mission. I love helping people in need, it’s my job. It’s what I do as a Deputy Sheriff.” While working at Valero, Mr. Brumley and FTN Secretary, Bert Richards would often meet up with Banks and other Cargill employees at a few of the same Adopt-A-School locations in the community. “At that time we were providing scholarships,” said the senior Brumley. “Cargill and Valero had both adopted Carver HS and we would often meet up during the science fairs, reading projects, and several other school events. That’s how and when we began talking about the food drive. When Ruth told us there was a greater need for food in the community based on data she was receiving through the school guidance counselors, Ms. Bert and I arranged a meeting with our HR department at Valero and they told us to make it happen.” “I’m the oldest of 12 siblings,” said Brumley. “During the holidays and even on regular days, people would always help us. Even though we didn’t have much, we had each other; my mom did the best she could and that is what motivates me. I try to instill that into Nichole and my grandson.” Banks agreed, “I grew up in Memphis and I have 11 siblings. I know what it’s like not to have enough food for everyone in your household. Several fraternities and sororities blessed our family with food and clothes to help my mother when I was growing up. I feel like the tables have turned now. Together, we can bless other families that may be in the same position.” “The joy is ours to see their face when they don’t have food,” said Richards. More than 100 volunteers helped to make this years’ Easter event a success. In addition to providing food boxes weighing 45 lbs. each, FTN provides hundreds of items to area shelters and food pantries so they can feed others. To help raise funds for Thanksgiving 2019 and Easter 2020, the MPD Community Outreach Program (COP) is sponsoring “Striking Out Hunger,” a bowling fundraiser, on Saturday, September 21, 2019, at Billy Hardwicks All Star Bowling Center, 1576 South White Station Road. Area companies and individuals are encouraged to participate. Registration will begin at 9 am and bowling will start at 10 am. The registration fee for participants is $30/person. Registration fees include 3 games, bowling shoes, a commemorative t-shirt, and one door-prize ticket. Additional door prize tickets can be purchased to help raise more funds. For additional information, contact Banks or Major Sandra Green at (901) 327-4092, (901) 568-9298, or by email. The entire FTN Board of Directors includes Banks, Brumley, Richards, Steve Freeman, FTN Chief Operating Officer and Barnhart Crane employee; FTN Assistant Secretary Andrea Goodman, a The Hershey Company retiree, and Treasurer Christina Lewis of Richardson Oil Seed (formerly Conagra Foods). 18 For more information or to volunteer, visit FTN online, send them an email, write them at Feed The Needy, Post Office Box 2067, Memphis, TN 38101-2067, or you can contact them by phone at (901) 482-1114. At three o’clock in the morning on Monday, April 15, 2019, when most were just turning over the first time to get those last 3 to 4 hours of sleep before waking up and starting their day, this group of enterprising individuals had already left home and traveled to a warehouse located at 2158 Heyde Avenue inside the former Defense Depot off Airways Boulevard near the Airways Police Precinct. You might ask yourself why would anyone get up so early to go to a warehouse? For what purpose? For the purpose of packing 1,150 boxes weighing approximately 40 pounds each, consisting of a 10-12 lb. ham, canned vegetables, dinner roles, cooking oil, margarine, cornbread mix, eggs, boxed macaroni and cheese, rice, canned greens, canned Ro-Tel with diced tomatoes and green chilies, dry spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, mashed potatoes, canned yams, cake mix and frosting. An Easter basket/box that made Easter a little bit better for 1,150 individuals and families living in Memphis and the Mid-South - Something Feed the Needy (FTN) Executive Director Ruth Banks (front in red sweatshirt) and hundreds of volunteers do twice a year at Thanksgiving and now Easter. Pictured are (front from left) Banks, Memphis Police Department Explorers cadet D. Garland (kneeling); (1st row standing from left) Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) Ofc. J. Bells, Lesa (Fred) Jackson (behind Banks), SCSO Ofc. V. Ford, SCSO Ofc. M. Jackson, Diamond Ramirez of Latino Memphis, SCSO Ofc. R. Kight, MPD Ofc. J. Perry, FTN Secretary and retired Valero employee Roberta ‘Bert’ Richards, and Memphis Police Department (MPD) Ofc. C. Campbell; (rear, standing from left) MPD Ofc. B. Huff, MPD Ofc. T Jones (hidden), MPD Ofc. D. Smith, SCSO Ofc. C. Ewing, retired Valero employee and FTN Vice Chair Johnny Brumley, SCSO Ofc. Kendra Fain, MPD Sgt. A. Parks, and retired Cargill employee Fred ‘Action’ Jackson. Photography by Marvina Saulsberry 19
Page 26
Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, Dr. Carnita Atwater held a meeting on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, regarding the Memphis 3.0 Plan, a comprehensive set of recommended developments designed, among other things, to grow Memphis up instead of out. The meeting was held at the Dave Community Center, 915 Chelsea Avenue in the north Memphis community. The parking lot began to fill up and by the start of the 6 o’clock meeting, there weren’t any parking spaces available. Attendees signed in upon entering the location and everyone was given the opportunity to speak towards the end of the meeting. On hand for the event were city of Memphis employees John Zeanah, Director of the Office of Planning and Development (OPD) and the Comprehensive Planning Administrator Ashley Cash. Both tried to assure the crowd that they were open to suggestions all of which fell on deaf ears. The lengthy list of speakers began to discuss issues pertinent to their varied areas of town to no avail and several City Council District 7 candidates including Jerred Price spoke. “Your communication and marketing could be a lot better,” said Price, who currently volunteers as a Commissioner with Memphis City Beautiful. “I can post all the time on Facebook, but that doesn’t reach the voters. We’ve got a lot of voters. You’ve got to put flyers on doorknobs and door handles. I would encourage you to maybe reconsider your marketing plan.” Another meeting was held at the Hickory Hill Community Center, 3910 Ridgeway Road, on Monday, April 29, 2019. Comments from social media sites seemed to mirror those of the meeting held on the 17th. It appears as if the city of Memphis, OPD needs to scratch the current plan and go back to the drawing board or the community needs to be allowed to draw up the plans for their own neighborhoods. My point is that I have been actively involved with the McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association, Inc. of Memphis since its inception in 1994 when we were given street signs by the Memphis Police Department and officially considered to be a registered neighborhood watch group, a designation they reneged on April 16, 2019, because the Raines Station precinct couldn’t find any records on the association in their files. A quick look at the neighborhood listing of the 1,170 active neighborhood associations that the Memphis 3.0 Plan representatives sent letters to omits my association as well. I do not know if it is proper to say that only those who the plan, as written, and currently benefits were the only one’s contacted, but surely one would think that my 25-year old neighborhood association should have been properly notified when these 1,170 letters were mailed. In closing I just want to say that I’ve been trying to obtain information from several city departments, but I never get a response. I can pull up documents requesting a neighborhood association listing, but what I received was a listing with mostly affluent neighborhood associations in it. When I complained that none of the associations listed were in the predominantly black areas, I was informed that a neighborhood directory no longer existed, so how did the (Continued on next page) (Above) Dr. Carnita Atwater (standing) addressed a room full of Memphis 3.0 Plan opponents during a meeting she held on April 17, 2019, at the Dave Wells Community Center, 912 Chelsea Avenue. (Below) 26 Memphis 3.0 Plan obtain its neighborhood directory when the city, in writing, said that one didn’t exist after providing me with a partially completed one? Something in the air smells afoul with this entire Memphis 3.0 Plan and we need to get to the bottom of it. We are inquiring minds who just want, demand, and deserve to know. There are a multitude of things that are wrong with and in our government. Maybe it’s time we address them all. Scenes from the April 17, 2019 event 27
Page 28
Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Throughout the year Shelby County Schools (SCS) Intervention Specialist, Author, and No More Silence Memphis Foundation founder and Executive Director LaTrossica Wilson holds events that focus on the health and well-being of youth and young adults who must survive in abusive environments daily. Saturday, April 10, 2019, was no exception. Beginning at 10 AM in the morning, the organization held a Child-Youth Anti-Violence Summit and Rally at their offices located at 3865 Winchester Road, Suite 6, in Memphis, TN. Tammy Groves Thornton, an artist, graphic designer, photographer, author, educator, and illustrator, was one of several talented entrepreneur's who spoke. My art is tied to my purpose said Groves Thornton, who loves drawing. “Art was my wat of escaping my reality at a young age; that’s why I firmly believe art is healing.” The four-hour child-youth rally was sponsored by the No More Silence Foundation (NMSF), ibank, the Memphis Child Advocacy Center, the Memphis Police Department and Shelby County Schools. “Every year we bring awareness during sexual assault awareness month in the form of a rally with entertainment,” said Wilson. “This year we’re making connections, switching it up, and making loud noise in Memphis so that everyone will be aware of what’s really going on in the lives of our youth and young adults. Designed to help children of all ages, the program featured career choices, speakers, live art, entertainment, and concessions. Speakers included teen speaker Khamilla Johnson, piano therapist Lacoby Fentress, realtor Treissa Parks, SCS educator Morticia Brooks Taylor, and yours truly, Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson. “The child-youth summit and rally addresses the risk of silence on child sexual abuse in the Memphis area,” said Wilson. “The summit and rally speakers we’ve invited to speak today are police officers, teens, parents, and subject matter experts who will address concerns and legal issues related to childhood sexual abuse.” Topic areas included understanding the signs and risk; Implementing preventative measures; preparing for and responding to an allegation; complying with abuse reporting requirements; creating registered sexual offender policies, searching criminal records effectively, and applying changes in the law. “You must know and understand the facts,” said Wilson. “One in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before reaching 18 years of age and these statistics skip no geographic areas. One in 3 reported cases involve peer sexual abuse or children abusing other children. And yes, over 80% of the victims of these crimes know their predator personally.” The mission of the NMSF is to provide coping mechanisms trough the arts using multiple educational strategies to help with healing from sexual abuse trauma in multipurpose ways. For more information, call (662) 510-4751, visit us online at nomoresilencememphis.com, or email nomoresilencefoundation@gmail.com. (Below) MPD Officer Leake (in the D.A.R.E. Corvette confiscated in a drug deal case) and MPD Officer Rutherford (not pictured but in vehicle at top right) were an instrumental force speaking at and ensuring the safety of the NMSF rally team who participated in the Anti-Violence Summit and Rally held Saturday, April 10, 2019. (Top Right) Children at the River City Heights Townhomes, 3716 Winchester Road were treated to a surprise visit from the NMSF rally team and received $1 donations from ED LaTrossica Wilson. Officer Leake passed out MPD badges and Officer Rutherford provided information on police vehicle horns, lights, and speakers, etc. 28 (Bottom left) Lyrikal Jenkins, daughter of the NMSF Executive Director, LaTrossica Wilson and owner of Amazing Creations by Lyrikal was one of several young adults who participated in the Anti-Violence Summit and Rally held Saturday, April 10, 2019. (Bottom right) Memphis Playwright Valencia C. Scott (left) was in attendance and helped Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson pass out popcorn prizes during her talk. Photography by Lyrikal Jenkins 29
Vol#1-Issue#4

April 2019 Vol#1-Issue#4


Page 0
Vol. 1, Issue 4 April 2019 KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D. There are always so many things to do, places to go, and people to see in and around Memphis, TN. This makes it extremely hard to pick up on every important event that is going on! This month, I had quite a few programs and events to choose from to attend. Several overlapping events meant that I had to attend one or another, which made the need for our citywide, free event online calendar even more obvious to me. So where do you look to find out what’s going on in Memphis? Please visit our blog at iLoveShelbyCounty.com soon to let us know where else we can be looking for events to attend too! We have now successfully published NEWSCENE for our first full quarter with this edition. We are looking forward to being able to present a few hundred print copies during our next quarter and we invite you to join our advisory board and to make a tax-deductible contribution to our success. As you know, we depend heavily on you to spread the word about NEWSCENE. Your willingness to share links to featured stories to create new viewers, your desire to submit calendar events, pictures, and stories about events that have recently taken place, and your desire to support us through advertisements featuring local businesses and activities is appreciated. This newsletter is for you and about you and the things you know about that are happening in your communities. I am depending on you to make sure I have accurate meeting dates and fresh content for each monthly NEWSCENE edition. Call me at 901-300-0250, write me at I Love Shelby County, Attn: Senior Publicist, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190-0146, or email Memphis.Meetings@gmail.com. We definitely want to hear from you soon! Thank you, Yvonne Pictured after the marker unveiling are (from left) Dr. Tyrone Davis, Rev. William Smith, Ron Walter, Bishop William Graves, Dr. Peatchola Jones-Cole, Jimmy Ogle, Dr. Earnestine Jenkins, Rev. O. C. Collins, and Timothy S. Good. As the story goes, three black male grocery store owners, Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and William Henry Stewart, were killed, near the intersection of Mississippi Boulevard and Walker Avenue in Memphis, TN, by a white mob on March 9, 1892. Why, you ask? Historians will tell you for the simple reason that they were guilty of being honest economic competitors to a white grocery store owner in the area at the time. Was that the reason given? No. The local paper accused these men of holding a secret conspiracy meeting and plotting a war against whites. Similar lynching’s of the time relied on false claims of sexual assault or unreasonable acts of blacks against whites. Moss’s gravesite (shown above) was found in the late-1990s. It has been written, by Ida B. Wells-Barnett and others, that black economic values were on the rise in the late 1890s; however, due to restraints placed on black people by the federal and state governments, Supreme Court rulings, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, these efforts were stopped through various measures including lynching's. Wells-Barnett’s story continues, “...in the wee hours of the night, 75 men stormed the walls of the Shelby County Jail, and a small group entered in search of Moss, McDowell, and Stewart. The three men were dragged from their cells, loaded onto a switch engine that ran at the back of the jail house, transported to a railroad yard north of the city’s limits, and shot to death in retaliation.” Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson 127 YEARS LATER, THOMAS MOSS’ GRAVE GETS A HISTORIC MARKER
Page 2
The Zion Christian Cemetery, once owned by George Christian, is were history tells us these three heroes were later laid to rest. According to memphisheritage.com, “After the Civil War, black Americans organized a burial association called the United Sons and Daughters of Zion. They purchased 16 acres outside city limits for use as a cemetery. This cemetery was active primarily between 1876 and 1925 and is the oldest black cemetery in Memphis. It holds the remains of almost 25,000 blacks from the 19th through the 20th centuries, spanning the Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, yellow fever epidemics, World War I, and the Jim Crow era. The cemetery is the burial site of the three black merchants, Thomas Moss, William Stewart, and Calvin McDowell, the 1892 lynching victims whose deaths ignited the anti-lynching crusade of Ida B. Wells. The Zion Community Project, Inc. is now working on a volunteer basis to clean up and restore this important landmark.” “After the death of her husband, George Christian, Mrs. Eva Christian, a member of Mt. Pisgah CME Church, inherited all of the existing shares of the Zion Christian Cemetery,” stated retired CME Church Senior Bishop, William H. Graves Sr., during the unveiling of the historical marker placed at Moss’s gravesite in the Zion Christian Cemetery, 1426 South Parkway East in Memphis, TN, on Saturday, March 23, 2019, some 127 years after his death. “Unable to care for the property herself, in 1886, Mrs. Eva Christian donated the cemetery to the Christian Methodist Church for safekeeping.” “The church has watched over the years as the board has grown from just a few committed volunteers to an active and involved group of community leaders from various walks of life who are committed to seeing the cemetery transformed from a resting place for newly freed slaves in Memphis and Shelby County [to] a living legacy meaningful and historical in the present culture of our community,” continued Graves. “As we stand at the foot of Thomas Moss’ grave and participate in the unveiling of this marker and memory of these three slain heroes of the past, we as a church are proud to have played a part in the life of the Zion Community Project and the restoration of the Zion Christian Cemetery…” Dr. Tyrone T. Davis, CME Board of Directors Chair, provided remarks as part of the unveiling ceremony held Saturday, March 23, 2019. The program began at noon with an opening presented by Occasion Leader and National Civil Rights Museum Collections Manager, Raka Nandi. Reverend O. C. Collins of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church followed with the Invocation and University of Memphis History Professor, Dr. Earnestine Jenkins, was joined by WREG-TV Channel 3 Chair Emeritus, Ron Walter and US National Park Service Superintendent, Timothy S. Good, for the Occasion and Wreath Laying services of the program. Dr. Tyrone T. Davis, CME Board of Directors Chair gave remarks after the unveiling ceremony and before pictures were taken. In addition to the remarks given by Graves, the now retired CME Church Bishop and son of Reverend William Smith, one of the two CME Bishops who accepted the original donation of the cemetery and its land and began the momentous task of establishing a nonprofit organization to spearhead the restoration of the cemetery, provided the Benediction at closing of the ceremony. 2 3
Page 4
Top (from left) Bluebian Duralle, Dwayne “Tarriff” Thomas, Ekpe Abioto, Sylvester Lewis, Dr. Earnestine Jenkins, Erma Elzy, and Leonard Blakely are pictured at the rear of the historic marker honoring Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and William Henry Stewart, erected at the site of Moss’s grave in the Zion Christian Cemetery, 1426 South Parkway East, in Memphis, TN on March 23, 2109. (Right top) Elaine Lee Turner, Zion Community Project Assistant Secretary, owner of Heritage Tours, which conducts historical tours of Memphis, and Director of Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum, was present for the unveiling activities. (Bottom right) Attendees listen to the program. Top (right) Sylvester Lewis takes a closer look at the historical gravesite of Thomas Moss after the crowd thins out. (Bottom right) We All Be Group, Inc. Chief Executive Artivist, Bro. Ron Herd, plays his cornet in honor of Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and William Stewart as the event concludes. Not pictured: The Zion Community Project, Inc., was established in 1992 to oversee the restoration of Zion Christian Cemetery. It’s 21-member Board of Directors works in conjunction with Advisory Committee and many Friends of Zion including: Officers Dr. Tyrone T. Davis, Atty. Trena M. Williams, Dr. Russ Wigginton, Dr. Milton Moreland, Mrs. Elaine Turner, and Mr. Arthur Shelton; Members Mr. Bob Barnett, Rev. O.C. Collins, Dr. Warner L. Dickerson, Dr. Peatchola Jones-Cole, Atty. Reginald L. Eskridge, Mr. Sylvester Lewis, Ms. Raka Nandi, Ms. Tramica Morris, Mr. Cardell Orrin, Prof. Eddie Pate, Ms. Margot Payne, Mrs. Beverly Robertson, Mr. Eric Robertson, Mr. Reginald Walton, Dr. Walker D. Wright; and Advisory Committee members Mrs. Claudette N. Branch, Mrs. Lisa Jenkins, Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick, Rev. William Smith, Mr. Ron Walter, and Bishop Henry M. Williamson. The board meets quarterly and is seeking funds for educational projects and ongoing maintenance efforts at the cemetery. New volunteers are welcomed. Email: ZionCommunityProject@gmail.com or mail donations to Zion Community Project, PO Box 74, Memphis, TN 38108. 4 5
Page 6
Pictures & Story by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson People in and around the Whitehaven hairdresser Hazel Moore as the “Mayor of to Moore, it was one she has earned over in the area. Moore came to Whitehaven in 1987 residents who were not originally born and space at 4105 Elvis Presley Boulevard, Fashions. A young woman with a husband, immediately became involved in communieventually became the President of the played a pivotal role in the construction of community have come to know and refer to Whitehaven.” That’s not a title that was just given the years for being an active force for the people sometime after the area began to welcome black raised there. It was around this time that she rented Hazel Moore near Raines Road, and opened Hazel’s Hair Jayne, and four daughters, Moore nearly ty affairs. She was an outspoken person who Friends of the Whitehaven Branch Library and the new branch that currently sits on Raines at Millbranch Road. Hazel Moore has been the recipient of too many awards to mention—Moore was appointed, by three Governor’s of the State of Tennessee, to the Board of Cosmetology. These subsequent appointments lasted over 20 years. Moore is a current member of the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board, was honored as the Women’s Foundation Legends Award in 2013, received the Memphis City Council’s Humanitarian Award in 2017, and was presented the MLK Luminary Award this past January. She has certainly earned the title she wears and she loves children so much that she established the Academy for Youth Empowerment, a local nonprofit that provides youth from disadvantaged families the opportunity to gain key life skills and experiences that could empower them to be academically enriched, healthy, and, 1993, personally fulfilled in life. Moore is also known for her annual “Back to School” health fair and leadership development programs. The first Whitehaven Christmas Festival and Parade was held in 1998. One of the biggest parades in Memphis, it is always held the Saturday before Thanksgiving in Whitehaven. Yes, Whitehaven is thankful for having a woman like Hazel Moore on its battlefield, but Hazel Moore is not only about receiving awards, she is also about giving them. Not wanting to crowd the field anymore than it is already crowded in February, Moore has began holding her Black History Month programmatics in March. On Sunday, March 10, 2019, she and the Academy for Youth Empowerment sponsored such a program, honoring Art Gilliam of WLOK Radio and Fred Jones of the Southern Heritage Classic along with past legends Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Carter G. Woodson, Benjamin L. Hooks, and Barbara Jordan, at the Abundant Grace Fellowship Church, 1574 East Shelby Drive, where Reverend Dwayne Hunt is the Senior Pastor. Black History program honorees and participants. Photography by Tyrone P. Easley 6 (Left) Members of the Central High School Ensemble perform. (Right) Program attendees Debra and Bobby Rich Jr. Moore’s daughter and son-in-law. (Far left) Hazel Moore. Bottom left (from left) Tajuan Stout Mitchell, Greg Coy, Fred Jones and Art Gilliam. (Bottom right) Abundant Grace Fellowship Outreach Coordinator, Arnest Martin, and attendees of the 2019 Academy for Youth Empowerment Black History Program, “Remember, Educate, Celebrate,” stand as the Central High School Ensemble sing the National Negro Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” at the annual event. The program, which began at 3 p.m., opened with Abundant Grace Fellowship Outreach Coordinator, Arnest Martin, providing the program’s purpose and welcoming address. Whitehaven High School senior, Diamond Lockhart, followed with the introduction of Tajuan Stout Mitchell, who in turn introduced the event’s emcee, Greg Coy, anchor with WHBQ Fox Channel 13 in Memphis. Edward McBride III of Soulsville Charter School gave an impressive invocation and five members of the Central High School Ensemble featuring seniors Julian Cross and Nate Westbrook, juniors Amber Ingram, Whitley Johnson, Rekiyah Owens, Jasmin Power, and Stephanie Rolfe; and sophomore Carmen Edwards gave a standing only rendition of the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The honoree spotlight introduction portion of the program followed. White Station High School senior, Torriq Williams introduced Mr. Gilliam, and Whitehaven High School freshman, Chris Bartley, gave the introduction for Mr. Jones. Both men graciously took the stage to speak and accept their individual awards. Aria Battle, a sophomore at City University School recited the poem, “Phenomenal Woman” afterwards. The program closed with historic depictions of Ida B. Wells-Barnett given by Jerica Nelson, a sophomore at Westwood High School; Barbara C. Jordan given by Jordyn Davis, a senior at Hamilton High School; Carter G. Woodson given by Jayshun Hall, a freshman at City University School; and Benjamin L. Hooks given by Spencer Fleming, a junior at Freedom Prep High School. Another musical selection was provided by the Central High School Ensemble and Hazel Moore took the stage to thank those in attendance for supporting our youth and provided additional closing remarks to end the annual Black History Month program and event. Photography by Tyrone P. Easley by Tyrone P. Easley 7
Page 8
The 2019 Health, Home, and Garden Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce’s Expo was held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 21st in the Bartlett Recreational Center, 7700 Flaherty Place in Bartlett, TN. Presented with assistance from Debbie Gelineau, City of Bartlett Director of Community Relations, the event was sponsored by Saint Francis Hospital - Bartlett and the City of Bartlett, TN, event gold sponsors included Serra Chevrolet, Memphis Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens, and First South Financial; Silver sponsors included Local ABC Channel 24, AM990 KWAM Talk Radio, On The Border Mexican Grill and Cantina, Chick-fil-A, Travel Leaders, LSI Graphics, and Journal West 10 Media, LLC. First Tennessee Bank was the expo’s small business sponsor. Additional sponsors included TechEd2Go, Brother International, City Auto, Methodist Hospital, Bancorp South, Behind the Scenes, Premium Refreshments, Bath Fitter, Sonic Drive-In, State Farm - Heath Johnson, Leadership Bartlett, BPACC, Cole Pain, Bartlett Women’s Clinic, Bartlett City Schools, Bank of Bartlett, Next Day Access, Main Event Entertainment, Hearthside Senior Living, Hick Convention Service, Select Specialty Hospital, STCC, Freed-Hardeman University, Learning Health and Wellness, Belhaven University, Bethel University, Leader’s Credit Union, Sleep Number, Rooster’s Chicken Snack, Robinson Retirement, Better Business Bureau, Leaf Filter, ePayment America, Bartlett Medical Spa, Sam’s Club, Service Experts, Olympus Surgical, Bartlett Nursery, Bartlett Education Foundation, State Farm - Trey Clemens, St. Francis Medical Partners, Ave Maria, TN College of Applied Technology, First Bank, Bartlett Kiwanis, Saba Automotive, Senior Helpers, Trustmark Bank, POP’s, Orion Credit Union, Friends of the Bartlett Library, Bartlett City Beautiful, Bartlett Farm and Station, Foxbridge Assisted Living, BioLife Plasma Services, and ADT. The event featured a giveaway at 3:30 p.m. The grand prize drawing was for a weekend in New Orleans, LA, at the Storyville Hotel two blocks from the famous French Quarters, ghost and cemetery tours for two, and a goody bag upon arrival from Travel Leaders; and dinner gift certificates courtesy of Firebirds Restaurant, Coletta’s Italian Restaurant, and Side Porch Steak House. 8 Bartlett Public Library, 5884 Stage Road, Friends, Rosemary Gaynier (left) and Lynn Chambers were on hand sharing information about the Friends of the Bartlett library’s book sale that will include books, audio books, music and videos. The mission of the Friends of the Bartlett Public Library is to promote and enhance the Bartlett Library facilities and services through advocacy, volunteer service, and fundraising and encourage literacy, learning, and reading. The Friends’ annual book sale is a Thousands of items including chilfor adults, will be on display next Banquet Hall. No one item will be On Thursday, April 4th, prices will Friday, April 5th from noon until 6 noon to 4 p.m. will be $5 bag sale Sunday, April 7th from 1:30 until Admission to the sale is free to the A preview sale will be held from for the presale is free for Friends join Friends at the Library in $10/person. You can reach the Friends of the fundraiser for the Bartlett Library held in April. dren’s books and fiction and nonfiction selections door in the Bartlett Station Municipal Center priced over $2. be from $0.25 - $2.00 between noon and 6 p.m.; p.m. will be half-price day; Saturday, April 6 from day, and a $3 bag sale will be held in the library on 4 p.m. public Thursday through Saturday. 4:30 until 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3. Admission members and $10 for non-members. Anyone may advance of the sale or at the door. Annual dues are Bartlett Public Library by calling, (901) 386-8968. Be sure to drop by the BSMC Banquet Hall adjacent to the Bartlett Library, 5884 Stage Road or visit here for additional details. 9
Page 12
(Above) Leaders Credit Union employees (from left) Stephen Goodin and Cindy Norman attracted new business with their current 2.45% rate on Certificates of Deposit at the Expo. (Below) Main Event Sales Manager Deborah Crawford and Event Coordinator Aananne had lots of information on the Main Event arcade play and advertisements on how to obtain $20 and $50 free game cards, and all-you-can-play bowling, billiards, laser tag, and gravity rope games for $20.95/person at the Main Event, where all ages can have the fun under one roof. 12 Bartlett Kiwanis International member Jackie Henton-Shaw was on hand at the Bartlett Business Expo held from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, 2019 in the Bartlett Recreational Center, 7700 Flaherty Place in Bartlett, TN. Henton-Shaw was available to offer information about how Kiwanis was founded in 1915 to support children and young adults around the world. This is accomplished by:  Evaluating both children’s issues and community needs ;  Conducting service projects to respond to identified needs;  Maintaining an active roster of community-minded people who have both the desire and the ability to serve. Henton-Shaw invites Bartlett residents to be a part of the Kiwanis Team! You can check the Bartlett Kiwanis club out at 1-800-KIWANIS or by visiting here, emailing here, or dropping by Coletta’s on the 2nd or 4th Wednesday at noon. The 15th annual Kiwanis Club of Bartlett Golf Tournament, 4Person Scramble, will be held Friday, May 10, 2019 at the Quail Ridge Golf Club, 4055 Altruria Road, in Bartlett. The Shotgun Start is at 1 p.m. Lunch, registration, practice range open begins at 11:30 a.m. Shotgun start will be at 1 p.m. Dinner and awards will begin after play. First Flight 1st Place team will win $400 cash. First Flight 2nd Place team will win $200 cash. Second Flight 1st Place team will win $300 cash. Second Flight 2nd Place team will win $100 cash. Prizes will also be awarded for:  Closest-to-the-pin  Longest Drive  Putting Contest  Lucky Mulligan Pack $20 (2 Mulligans / Putting Contest / Red Tee) Ladies Red Tees, Men White Tees, Seniors (age 60 and over) Yellow Tees Entry fee is $100/person or $400/team. Entry fee includes range balls, cart and green fee, lunch, beverage cart and dinner. Deadlines: Tee Sponsor, April 15, 2019; Team Entry, May 7, 2019. 13
Page 14
Photos and Story by Iman N. Mason, It would appear to me that the number of attendees at the “Conductors of All Times” Living Legend Awards ceremony held in honor of Harriet Tubman and presented by TN State Representative Barbara Cooper, the Cooper/Jones Initiative and the Living Legend Awards Ceremony Team consisting of the Memphis River Park Ambassadors, registration overseer Tanya Cooper, Publicist Tony Jones, Dr. Clifford Black, Ronnell A. Bowens, James Bunch, chair Vontyna Durham, secretary Dianne Withers, co-chair Aaron K. Robinson, Fannie Garner, Wesley Hurt, Ben Ivy, Robert Jefferson, Debra Lockard, Booker Middleton, Tamarques Porter, Earlice Taylor and Barbara Cooper, was severely underestimated. Upon my arrival to the event, held from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, 2019, at Beale Street Landing, 251 Riverside Drive, Memphis, TN 38103, all I could see was a room of four corners, full of people from all walks of life. The presenters for the Harriett Tubman Living Legend Leadership Award were Walker Homes/West Junction community activist and Mitchell High School Alumni Association President Linda Street and entrepreneur Riki Stone. Category awardees included former city of Memphis Mayor’s W.W. Herenton and AC Wharton, who also served as Mayor of Shelby County; former City Councilman and professional mortician, Ed Ford Sr.; former Shelby County Commissioners Terry Roland, a Millington Chamber of Commerce attorney, and Walter Bailey, owner of the Bailey Law Firm; Beverly Robertson, recently elected Interim President & CEO of the Memphis Chamber of Commerce, former Executive Director of the National Civil Rights Museum, and co-owner of Trust Marketing with her husband Howard Robertson; Carol Coletta, President & CEO of the Memphis River Parks Partnership; Dr. Joris M. Ray, who was unanimously selected to be the Interim Superintendent of Shelby County Schools; Attorney Dorsey Hopson II, the outgoing and former Superintendent of Shelby County Schools; Callie Stevens, a former Assistant Superintendent of Memphis City Schools and member of the TN Education Board; Veda Turner, Principal of Craigmont High School; Wiley Henry, an artist, writer, photographer, and employee in the offices of Congressman Steve Cohen; and Carl Person, former Chairman of the Memphis Downtown Commission. Presenters for the Legends “Special” Honorary Harriet Tubman Conductors Award were Senator Raumesh Akbari Esq., Shelby County Commissioner Dr. Ed Ford Jr., Carolyn Bell-Black, Vontyna Durham, Travis Olive, and Markus Hill. Awardees were former Memphis/Shelby County Schools board member, District 6 representative, and president, Dr. Freda Garner Williams; and former District 86 representative and grocer, Rufus E. Jones. Special Harriet Tubman Community Conductors presenters were entertainer and producer Toni Green; entrepreneur Riki Stone and Vontyne Durham. Awardees included the Tom Lee family; Faith-based leaders Middle Baptist Church Whitehaven pastor emeritus, Reverend Lester Baskin, and Mount Pisgah Baptist Church senior pastor, Reverend Frank Harris; Chief Executive Officers Ron Redwing of the Redwing Group, Ronald Kent of Chow Time Restaurants, Greg Grant of the Southbrook Towne Centre, and Lisa Akbari of the Trichology Institute. The recognition for workforce initiatives went to Resolution 1000, Jobs for All, U.S. Congress, Kevin Bradshaw, Kelloggs’ Corporation, COPPER, Kenneth Ingram and the oldest and largest electrical union in the world, the IBEW Local 1288 Union. Community Organization and Professionals Ruby Payne, retired principal, Hanley Elementary School and member of Businesses United to Recognize Educators (B.U.R.E); Katrina Thompson, president of 100 Black Women and the LeMoyne-Owen College Memphis Alumni Chapter; Attorney Linda Harris, former federal prosecutor and owner Harris Law Firm; Attorney Laurice Smith, Interim Judge and Smith Law Firm owner; Lucille Catron, Executive Director of the Beale Street Development Corporation; Mary Cheers, president of the Mt. Pisgah Heights/Rolling Green Hills Community neighborhood association; Charlotte Smith, Supporter of People of Woodstock and teacher, Shelby County Schools; Myrtle Malone, president, Shelby County section, National Council of Negro Women; and Dr. Vincent J. Hunter, principal, Whitehaven High School. The program began with a prelude, music and a video hosted by Robert Jefferson of WIAN and former Glenview Community Development Partnership, Inc. president, Earlice Taylor. Rep. Cooper gave the opening remarks and retired Bishop Edward Lynn Brown, of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, gave the prayer. Soulsville/STAX board member Henry Ford led attendees in singing the Black American National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing. Program Analyst Specialist and Shelby County Commissioner Elect Bennie Smith introduced the program’s moderator, Stan Bell, of V101 FM and WDIA 1070 AM. Music was provided by Taylor and a candle lighting memorial was conducted by Aaron K. Robinson of the Redwing Group; Debra Lockard, chair of the Urban Farm Technical Assistant program and owner of Lockard’s Produce. Additional presentations were made by Dr. Clifford Black, reading facilitator and Tamarqus Porter program analyst in the Super Learning Class. Dr. Janice Tankson, Principal of Robert R. Church Elementary School, introduced Whitehaven High School principal, Dr. Vincent J. Hunter, who spoke on the “Importance of Conductors in the Community.” Former Blue Suede Brigade member Fannie Garner and Lockard presented the Harriet Tubman Living Legend Leadership Award to Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris, City of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, City of Millington Mayor Terry Jones, and Shelby County’s first African American Sheriff, Floyd Bonner. Entertainment was provided by Taylor and Rep. Cooper ended the event with a few announcements, closing words, and invited all in attendance to join her and the Living Legends Award team for refreshments. It was truly an event that recognized the work of so many Memphians who work daily to make Shelby County the best place it can be to live, work, and play. 14 Honoree Dr. Freda Garner Williams (from left) and presenters Senator Raumesh Akbari Esq., Dr. Ed Ford Jr., and Carolyn Bell-Black. Honoree Dr. Joris M. Ray Honoree Wiley Henry (Front row, seated from left) is pictured with his wife Debra Henry and Honoree Ruby Payne (right). Photograph by Andrew Withers Presenters Riki Stone (left) and Linda Street Beale Street Landing Iman Zenoria D. Nelson (left) and The event honored current Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland... former Mayor AC Wharton (right) Picture by Terrance Mason The “Conductors of All Times” Living Legend Awards ceremony was held from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, 2019, at Beale Street Landing. 15
Page 16
Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson First Lady, Conference Founder, and Coordinator Denise L. Fisher and the Ladies of Abyssinian Missionary Baptist Church, 3890 Millbranch Road, presented their third annual Women’s Empowerment Conference on Saturday, March 23, 2019. This year’s event, themed #IAMHER: I Am Enough!, was inspired from 1 Corinthians 15:10. “The focal point of the #IAMHER movement is to empower women,” said Fisher. “Today, we want you to be reminded of who you really are.” Minister Regina Clark gave the opening prayer and Minister Tameka Greer set the tone for the multiple workshop event with a spoken word moment. Each of the three rounds of workshops were split into two topics and attendees could choose the workshop that was most relevant for them to attend. “Our committee has been working hard to plan a wonderful day for you, full of learning, laughter, and light-hearted fun,” said Fisher. “You are what makes this conference and this movement so impactful.” Workshop presenters scheduled to attend the event included Ashley Dortch, LMSW; Jacqueline E. Oselen; Rev. Alaenor Faye London; Pastor Karren D. Todd; Rachel Sumner Haaga; Zaquishia Green, and Keynote Speaker Dr. Rosalyn Nichols. Also scheduled on the program was musical guest D’Monet. “We pray that you receive something that will stick (Above) Minister Tameka Greer provided a spoken word moment during the 3rd annual Women’s Empowerment Conference held March 23, 2019. (Below left) Danielle Huggins (left) and her mother, Lavern Huggins are members and Ladies of Abyssinian MB Church. with you in the years to come,” said Fisher. “Let’s give ourselves a chance. We are enough! You are enough! I Am Enough! Be empowered, be inspired my sisters.” Top (center) Scene of speaker and group interacting during Round 1, Workshop 2: Sowing into Self: Sacred Self-Care for Each Season of a Woman’s Life. (Left) Event Founder and Coordinator, Denise Fisher, welcomed guests and provided a program overview and housekeeping tips and rules. (Above) Sample literature and free sample products provided for event attendees. 16 FEATURED Shelby County SPEAKERS THIS MONTH: Real Estate Specialist Gloria Kelly and Real Estate Agent Mitzi Gatewood Turnage of the SHELBY COUNTY LAND BANK and Reverend Dr. Earle J. Fisher Senior Pastor of Abyssinian Missionary Baptist Church, Founder, UptheVote901 and the 2019 Memphis, TN People’s Convention (For all Shelby County Residents and Especially Created) 17
Page 18
Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson For the month of March 2019, the Businesses United to Recognize Educators (B.U.R.E.) honored the following individuals with Outstanding Educators of the Month awards in the following categories… Attorney Dorsey E. Hopson II, Esq. Dr. Joris M. Ray, Shelby County Schools Superintendent Brian Stockton, Shelby County Schools Chief of Staff Keith O. Williams, Shelby County Education Association, Executive Director The 2019 African American History Legacy in Education Award (All) Cynthia Amis Dickerson, Author The Ruby J. Payne Outstanding Author of the Month Award Dr. Vera Downey, Oakshire Elementary –Legacy School, Retired Elementary Educator The Willie W. Herenton Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award Damon E. Friends, Airways Achievement Academy The Commodore C. Primous Outstanding Male Educator of the Month Award James F. Hughes, SCS Professional Asbestos Technician The Pat B. Moore Outstanding Auxiliary Educator of the Month Award Audrey M. Johnson, Hamilton Middle School The John W. White Outstanding Principal of the Month Award Audrey M. Johnson, Hamilton Middle School The Sara L. Lewis Outstanding School of the Month Award Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, Senior Publicist, NEWSCENE newsmagazine online at iLoveShelbyCounty.com The Jimmy Delnoah Williams Friend to Education Award Tyjauna L. Smith, Westhaven Elementary School The Margaret Bland McKissick-Larry Outstanding Female Educator of the Month Award Erica S. Streeter, DuBois Elementary School of Arts and Technology, Parent-Teacher Association President The Kiwayna and Trennie Lanier Williams Outstanding Parent of the Month Award Gwendolyn Wright, Tennessee Commission Regional Coordinator The Ophelia Watson Flowers Outstanding Program of the Month Award The monthly event is held in the auditorium at the Memphis-Shelby County Education Association, 126 Flicker Street, behind the Shelby County Board of Education Building. The program began at 5 p.m. with an opening and welcome by CrownStar Enterprises, President; StarNewsVIP.com, Publisher and Editor; Memphis Silver Star News, Associate Publisher and Editor; and Airways Lamar Business Association, President and CEO, Trennie L. Williams. The first four awardees were awarded with the 2019 African American History Legacy in Education Award. Upon receiving a unanimous vote by the Shelby County School Board in 2018, Dr. Joris M. Ray, a product of Whitehaven High School with a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Memphis, was recently installed as the Interim Superintendent of Shelby County Schools. He was the one of the four awardees in this category to speak and he spoke directly to the “marvelous job” our SCS teachers perform on a daily basis. “Our teachers do a marvelous job on a daily basis,” said Ray, a 20-plus year MCS/SCS employee, who began to talk about the steps to Destination 2025, a 10-year strategic plan designed to (1) improve the quality of public education, (2) create a more knowledgeable productive workforce that will (3) ultimately benefit the entire Shelby County community. “Step two is social-emotional learning which talks about childhood trauma. Our teachers everyday deal with traumatic situations. Teachers, if they can just get to delivering instruction, because they have to wipe noses, take people to the restroom, call momma’s… that’s the plight of teachers. To the educators in the room, We have to take our own profession seriously, we have to walk the walk and talk the talk. I am a teacher first, I love Shelby County Schools, and there is victory in a classroom everyday. We have students [who are] hurting, [who are] suffering, and we have to reach them. We’ve got to do something about it.” Mr. Keith O. Williams, Memphis Shelby County Education Association Executive Director spoke next. After reciting a poem and thanking his wife of 46 years for her 39 years of loyalty to the profession, he spoke briefly detailing his history 18 in the field of education. “She’s been teaching 39 years today and is still working ,” said Williams. “When you retire, I’ll come home too. I’ve been teaching 42 years in this school district, but they have been years of joy and years of pleasure. When I started teaching, schools were segregated. I saw them integrate and I saw them segregate again, but I enjoyed every day of my life teaching children. I taught English, high school English for all of those years, and that was such a pleasant experience; I went to curriculum, then came here as president, and wound up as executive director; but, it’s time for me to go home and I know it’s time for me to go home and I’m going home..., but I have a passion for teaching and for learning and for teachers everywhere and I pray Godspeed on this district and this effort that you all have and these programs.” Trennie Williams returned to the mic followed by Ruby Payne who introduced Hickory Ridge Elementary teacher Carol Pleasant who performed a tribute to music for the legacy honorees. Margaret Bland McKissick-Larry, a long-time district employee, acknowledged the superintendents and everyone in attendance and requested the award honoree for the Outstanding Female Educator of the Month Award to come to the podium to be acknowledged. “I would like for Mrs. Tyjauna Vance-Smith and company to please join me at the podium,” said McKissick-Larry. “We want to present an award to her along with her family. She’s from Westhaven Elementary, she’s a first-grade teacher! My hat is off to any first-grade teacher.” “Although she’s only been a first-grade teacher for two years, she has been a teacher for 20 years. She is married and is a member of Brown Baptist Church where Bartholomew Orr is the Senior Pastor. Smith enjoys traveling, shopping, enjoying group activities, and she also published a book.” “I self-published a book years ago and it’s entitled “I Remember Mama,” and its just a memoir I created to remember my grandmother,” said Smith. Tyjauna Vance-Smith’s book, I Remember Mama, was published (09/01/04) and is available on Amazon. She is known for always teaching the whole child. The program continued and after all the honorees were introduced and each person was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from Shelby County Board of Commissioners signed by Commissioner Eddie S. Jones Jr. and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community, signed by the Tennessee 9th District Congressman, Steve Cohen, a prayer was given by a member in the audience, the program was adjourned, and dinner was served. Seated (from left) at the March 2019 Businesses United to Recognize Educators awards ceremony are Carolyn Pleasant, Vachenzia McKinney, Pat Moore, Ruby Payne, and Callie Clark; (Standing) Reverend Trennie Williams, John Shoemaker, Joe Dixon, James Bacchus, Dr. Joris Ray, Atty. Dorsey Hopson, Keith O. Williams, and John W. White. 19
Page 24
Responsible Choice By Brady Henderson I believe that one of the biggest challenges we face today is the problem of choice; that is to say, whether we are making productive choices or unproductive choices. Essentially, there are three groups of choice makers in society: asocial negative, asocial neutral, and asocial positive. Let's take a brief look at each of these. The asocial negative choice makers are choice makers who are mainly focused on making choices that give them a sense of power, control, creature comfort, or some other external personal pleasure at the expense of others. These choice makers are anti-community; thus, they litter their community with trash, violence, and a general disdain for authority. They have very low hopes for all people, with the exception of themselves. And, they lack emotional balance. The asocial neutral choice makers are the choice makers who are so tired of making choices, especially asocial negative choices, until they shut down and try to avoid making the inevitable choices that have to be made in the dynamic environment called life. These choice makers just want the world to slow down.; They simply observe and react to what asocial negative or asocial positive choice makers do or are doing. The asocial positive choice makers are the choice makers who are mainly focused on making the world a better place. They consider themselves as being in the world but not of the world. Asocial positive choice makers make choices that are productive and community building; they are pro-community and work for the betterment of their beloved community. These are the cleaners of society. They clean up the messes that the asocial negative choice makers create. They are emotionally balanced and have high hopes for all people. Below is a chart that graphically describes the above three groups of choice makers. Finally, I invite you to examine the figure below and decide where you see yourself on what I call The Asocial Scale. It’s a simple process. Look at the Scale and select the location on it that you believe best represents your position. Okay, here we go.... The Asocial Scale Now that you’ve completed the above exercise, spend the next few days observing your behavior and the behavior of others around you. Based on the descriptions of choice makers we have discussed, decide which category of asocial choice makers best describes you and those you have observed. Until next time...... 24 25
Page 26
Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, So it has been said, by current Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, that “in our third century, Memphis will build up, not out. Memphis will be a city that anchors growth on strengths of the core and neighborhoods; a city of greater connectivity and access; a city of opportunity for all.” Not so fast says Memphis resident and 45-year tenured community activist, Dr. Carnita Atwater, who had planned to hold a peaceful march and rally on Saturday, March 30, 2019. Not only did Atwater say the city of Memphis changed her route plan, but they also denied the application she turned in Monday on Friday, the day before the scheduled event, when informing Atwater that a $2,000 payment was due before closing that day. Dr. Atwater is opposed to the Memphis 3.0 Plan. “You can drive around New Chicago and all over the city of Memphis and they [the city] talking about Memphis has momentum,” said Atwater. “Momentum for who? In what community? Do you see any momentum in this neighborhood? You see a war zone in this neighborhood.” The actual Memphis 3.0 plan and its related transit vision documents are available online and additional information can be found on Facebook. The first reading by members of the Memphis City Council was held on March 19, 2019. “We need your support in Council Chambers,” said Atwater. “We wear red because it represents the blood of our ancestors. We are asking you to put on your red, get signatures from your friends and neighbors, sign our petition, drop it off or bring it to City Council Chambers later this month.” The second reading will begin at 3:30 pm April 16th in Council Chambers, 125 N. Main Street, and the third reading is currently scheduled to be held at the same time and location on April 30th. (Above) Dr. Carnita Atwater (right) discusses why she is adamant that the Memphis 3.0 Plan does not provide equal representation for all residents of Memphis, TN, as she speaks on several facts to support her opinion including, but not limited to, high crime areas of Memphis with no police station that are the equivalency of living in a war zone area; little to no funding and no type of benefits for predominantly African American neighborhoods; traditionally black neighborhoods being converted, through gentrification efforts, into neighborhood’s blacks can no longer afford to reside in once redeveloped and other oversights in the plan to prove her point. Pictured with Atwater is Minister Betty Patrick Tyler who is showing a printout of the sensibly planned route presented to the police department for Saturday’s peaceful march as Atwater talks about the insensible route the police department authorized her march to take. (Below) Oka Nashoba Chickasaw Nation Center youth and granddaughters of Andre Mathews, Chickasaw, Choctaw Studies and Registry expert, were invited to participate in the peaceful march and presentation to begin from the New Chicago Community Development Corporation/African American History Museum, 1036 Firestone Avenue, at noon on Saturday, March 30, 2019. 26 (Above right) Dr. Carnita Atwater, an activist in Memphis with more than 45 years of experience in fighting for the un– and the underrepresented. She is the owner of the former Firestone Union Hall building where the New Chicago CDC began and where she recently opened the African American History Museum which features artifacts dating back to slavery, items that once belonged to Sammie Davis Jr., and much more. (Left) Andre Mathews (front center) and members of the Oka Nashoba Chickasaw Nation arrive at the event on a float they prepared to participate in the March. (Bottom left) The event was attended by some 30-50 people who were prepared to participate in the march. (Right) Abdul Yahweh, formerly known as Sweet Willie Wine, was present to show his support of Dr. Carnita Atwater and her fight against the injustices presented in the Memphis 3.0 Plan. Download your petition against the plan. 27
Page 28
Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Above: Lyrikal Jenkins hosted a Celebrity Paint Workshop on March 23. Below left: Aisha Johnson and Nile Murray attended the event. Top left: Dad Brandon Goodrich looks as his daughter Sydney paints her celebrity’s face. Right top Shon Wilson and his son Aliajh Wilson work on their paintings. Lyrikal Jenkins, CEO and Founder of Amazing Creations by Lyrikal, hosted a Celebrity Paint Workshop from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, 2019. The family experience workshop is one of many family entertainment activities the young entrepreneur occasionally sponsors in the Memphis community. “My purpose for becoming an entrepreneur was to inspire teens and younger children to put their talents to use,” said Jenkins. “I also wanted to make my own money so that I did not have to always depend on my mom and step-dad.” Lyrikal, whose work somewhat parallels that of her mother, Memphis author and No More Silence Foundation founder, LaTrossica Wilson, has produced several short videos, hosted duct tape craft parties for children, workshops, and more. “The mission of the No More Silence Foundation is to provide coping mechanisms through the arts using multiple educational strategies to help with healing from sexual abuse trauma in multipurpose ways,” said Wilson. “Sexually abused children who keep quiet about the abuse or ones that tell and are not believed are at greater risk for psychological, emotional, social, and physical problems, often lasting into adulthood. In addition to arts camps, our programs include therapeutic sessions for families, groups, and individuals; reliable resources, tutoring, mentoring, educational workshops, and awareness events.” To help raise funds for programs, the community is invited to support the foundation’s Delicious Breakfast fundraiser on Saturday mornings from 8 –11 AM. For a donation as low as $5, different chefs will prepare their individual delicious breakfast cuisine for your cost-effective and tasty family morning meal. Breakfast is made to go, no pre-ordering is necessary. Just drop by the NMS Foundation, in the strip mall located at 3865 Winchester at Getwell Road, Suite #6. NMSF is currently offering an After School Drop-In Workshop, for 4-11 year olds, daily from 3:30 to 6:00 PM and they will host an Arts Summer Camp, for ages 4-15, from May 27 through July 26. The Arts Summer Camp will feature Arts & Crafts, Basic Piano Lessons, Cooking Classes and more! For details or to enroll in either program, call (662) 510-4751. 28 29
Page 30
The TN Department of Children’s Services (DCS) In Conjunction With Cathedral of Faith Collaborative Today Is Seeking Male and Female COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVES... Community Representatives, especially males, are in demand and you can help by donating a few hours to become trained as a certified volunteer who will be present during DCS Child and Family Team Meetings (CFTM) in order to provide a community voice to critical decisions that are made regarding the children and families in DCS custody. A Community Representative, being both outside of the family whose child has been placed into custody and the potential foster family, serve as a voice from the community to assist in identifying resources, sharing ideas for ensuring the children’s safety and well-being, while supporting the family itself. The interactive training session with role playing includes lunch and an overview of the policies, procedures, and protocol required to be a successful and effective Community Representative. “Every child needs a home,” says Cathedral of Faith Collaborative Leader, Connie Booker. “We can assist you if you’re wanting to serve as a Community Representative, Foster Parent, or to Adopt a child. Remember, the child you save could be your own!” For more information, visit us online, email us, call (901) 327-1616 or Tennessee Department of Children’s Services representatives Volunteer Coordinator Vanessa Coburn, Corlista Washington, Kayla Williams, and Daphne Swift (pictured) recently held a training session for new people interested in becoming trained as volunteer Community Representatives. For information and to find out about upcoming training sessions, Email the Cathedral of Faith. drop by 2212 Jackson Avenue, Memphis, TN 38112. Appointments are preferred. The Cathedral of Faith Community Church, where Pastor C. L. Booker is the Sr. Pastor and the First Lady is Connie Booker, is a community church in the community, for the community. In addition to hosting the DCS Collaboration, the Cathedral of Faith Community Church offers assistance through their clothes closet and the Great River Charitable Clinic of licensed doctors, dentists, optometrists, nurses, pharmacists, medical personnel, and other healthcare professionals who serve without pay. 30 Alternative & Holistic Health Services ORDER HERE (800) 403-7155 Congratulations! On Your New Venture, Wishing You Well! - Lmec-xi nus CFC #46643 31 CLICK HERE TO VISIT US ONLINE
Page 34
(Continued from the March 2019 edition of NEWSCENE) This was in 1925, several years before the Memphis Cotton Carnival was organized and many years before Dr. Venson ever though about the Beale Street Cotton Makers Fiesta. I have concluded that Dr. Venson had long since had a desire to organize a celebration of sorts before viewing Carnival’s parade in 1934. By May of 1935, Dr. Venson had compiled a list of Black leaders in the Memphis community By this time, Dr. Venson and Ethyl had already gotten married. The members of this committee assembled by Dr. Venson represented the most influential and progressive group of black leaders ever assembled in Memphis for a single cause, “to organize a Negro celebration.” He called a meeting with these leaders to discuss organizing a Black celebration in Memphis. In Dr. Venson’s opening statement to this distinguished assembly set the tone for the meeting. His words were, “The idea of an organization doing unselfish service with no individual financial gain to its membership, is something in which our people have had little training. The strength of a group or Nation is determined through its ability to marshal its constituency behind a program for the benefit of the whole.” He met with this group and formed a Board of Directors to participate in organizing and promoting a celebration for the Black community in Memphis, This board was comprised of doctors, businessmen, ministers, homemakers, and educators. Robert R. Church Sr., a landowner, real estate investor, and the south’s first Black millionaire, was one of the members of the Board of Directors. When there was no place for the Black community to have public events in Memphis, Mr. Church donated land to the city of Memphis, and Robert R. Church Park was constructed. As a part of the Park, facing Beale Street, the city built the Beale Street Auditorium consisting of a gymnasium and office space. Mr. Church suggested they use the Beale Street Auditorium as a meeting place for the Board of Directors. During one of the meetings, a picture was made of the men and women serving on this board. The board members shown are (Front row from left) Mrs. Mable Love, Mrs. Walter Pamphlet, Mrs. Jackie Adams, Ms. Lucy Campbell, Dr. Benjamin F. McCleaves, Mrs. Ethyl H. Venson, Mr. Colorado Johnson, Mr. Clifton Satterfield, Mr. John McFathom, and Mrs. Sarah Gray. (Second row) Mr. Walter Pamphlet, Dr. Cooper E. Taylor, Mrs. Anne Stribling, Mrs. Mildred G. Lewis, Mrs. Annie Byrd Hickman, Mrs. M. S. Stuat, Mrs. Louis Swingler, and Dr. R. Q. Venson. (Third row) Mr. D. W. Cook, Mr. Hosea Bridges, Mr. John Brown, Mr. Irby Fogelman, Mr. Ossie Moss, Mr. J. D. Springer, Mr. Joseph Cotton, Mr. Martin Young, Mr. Roosevelt Hicks, Mr. Robert Morris, and Mr. J. A. Swaye. Not shown on the picture are board members Elder Blair T. Hunt, Mr. Robert R. Church Sr., Bishop Victor Williams, Mr. Eddie F. Hayes Sr., Mr. Nathaniel “Nat” D. Williams, Dr. J.J. Raines, Lt. George W. Lee, Mr. H. A. Hooks Jr., Dr. Sherman B. Hickman, and Mr. Jasper Duncan. 34 An Inspired Organizing Board of Directors This group of inspired men and women seemed to have taken their task with what must have been a divine mission. They met for close to a year and put together the plans for a celebration for Memphis, the likes of which the eyes had never seen. They worked together in harmony with one purpose, to make Negros in Memphis and the Mid-south proud; proud of themselves and proud when witnessing the unfolding of an event that should never be forgotten. I was not there, but I know from the magnitude of the 1936 celebration, called “Beale Street Cotton Makers’ Fiesta,” available financing was slim at best. Therefore, these men and women, for the most part, made personal financial contributions in order to accomplish their goal. Each, according to their means. The organization firs established its office from which to conduct its business in an adjoining office next to Dr. Venson’s dental office on the second floor of 179 Beale Street. Seven members of the Board of Director for the Memphis Cotton Makers’ Jubilee were members of St. John Baptist Church where Dr. Venson was a member and Chairman of the Trustee Board. These members included Dr. R. Q. Venson, Mrs. Ethyl H. Venson, Mr. Clifton Satterfield, Professor Robert Morris, Mr. Joseph Cotton, Mrs. Sara Gray, and Professor Nathaniel “Nat” D. Williams. In later years, there were other members of St. John Baptist Church that served in leadership roles for the Memphis Cotton Makers’ Jubilee. Some of whom included Mrs. Susie P. Hightower, Mr. Rufus Thomas (past King, 1953), Mr. Frank Gray, Mrs. Lillian Dunlap, Professor Edward Gray (past King, 1963), Mr. Thomas Lumpkins (past King, 1949), Mrs. Beulah Mackey-Williams, Mrs. Katie Johnson, Ms. Virginia Gray-Westbrook (first Spirit of Cotton, 1941), and yours truly, Mr. Clyde R. Venson, Dr. Venson’s nephew and past King, 1966. A Seed is Planted in Dr. Venson’s Mind The first celebration, themed “The Negro Sings,” was held May 14-18, 1936. It was a big success. It was named “Beale Street Cotton Makers’ Fiesta.” The first Royal King and Queen couple were King Eddie F. Hayes Sr., and Queen Ethyl H. Venson. King Eddie from the House of Hayes, was a leading Memphis businessman and an undertaker from the North Memphis area. He was also the Vice Mayor of Beale Street. Queen Ethyl from the house of Venson was the newly-wed wife of Dr. R. Q. Venson, founder of the celebration and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Queen Ethyl was a social and civic worker in the Memphis community. King Eddie was dressed in purple shorts and wartime era long brown lisle hose stocking, a white collar and French cuffs shirt, purple cape, and goldtinted shoes. His crown, a deep purple hue sat inside a gold headband. He finished the look off by carrying a gold scepter, representing his symbol of authority. Queen Ethyl wore an elegant white cotton gown with large ruffles starting just above the knees and ending in a foot train. Her gold crown was adorned with stars. When asked why she wanted to be the first queen, she replied, “ When I leaned that Dr. Venson was paying for the queen’s gown, I knew who the queen would be!” The first celebration took Memphis by storm. For the first time since gaining notoriety, none other than William Christopher “W. C.” Handy, the Father of the Blues himself, was summoned and returned to Memphis from New York for the celebration. Mr. Handy served as the Grand Marshall of the Grand Fiesta Parade. In honor of his success and in recognition of the Fiesta, Memphis bands played three of Handy’s greatest hits, “Memphis Blues,” “Beale Street Blues,” and “St. Louis Blues,” for the entire week. Handy, who did not realize it at the time, had just begun an annual tradition of returning to Memphis in May for this annual event where he rode in the first automobile in the parade, doffing his hat from left and right as the vehicle slowly proceeded through the entire parade route. Despite the limited amount of publicity and funds available to promote the event, the celebration attracted nationwide attention because of its color and promise. 35
February 2019

Vol#1-Issue#3


Page 0
Vol. 1, Issue 3 MARCH 2019 KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D. There were so many things to do and see MITCHELL HIGH SCHOOL’S 9TH GRADE ACADEMY 2019 COLLEGE TOUR in February! As usual we’ve captured a few memorial events to share with you…. A couple of nights before ending a trip to Franklin, TN, a suburb of Nashville, I coincided and connected with a wellbehaved, yet rambunctious group of Black youth, who just happened to live in Shelby County, who were on a college campus tour trip. It was a great thing to see and I really enjoyed listening to what some of the children had learned half way through their trip, but I wonder why I kept being asked if the children were part of a sports group? Is there some unannounced and mistaken misnomer that Black children are only good at or interested in sports these days? Is this how our children are now silently projecting our worth to our communities and the world? Interesting... As always, I encourage you to submit your pictures and stories for print consideration. The success of this publication depends on you. Your readership, your ability and willingness to share our online links to featured stories about you to create new viewers like yourself, your willingness to submit calendar events that are scheduled to happen as well as pictures and stories about things which have recently taken place, and your desire to support us through advertisements featuring local businesses and activities. This newsletter is for you and about you and the things you know about that are happening in your communities. I am depending on you to make sure I have accurate meeting dates and fresh content for each monthly NEWSCENE edition. Call me at 901-300-0250, write me at I Love Shelby County, Attn: Senior Publicist, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190-0146, or email Memphis.Meetings@gmail.com. I definitely want to hear from you soon! Thanks! Dr. Y Select ninth-graders from Mitchell High School, pictured at the Drury Inn Hotel in Franklin, TN, were honored to travel to four Historically Black Colleges and Universities for their 2019 College Tour held February 21st through the 23rd. NEWSCENE SPECIAL FEATURE By Brenda Wells English Educator, Mitchell High School Memphis, TN 38109 “Believing is seeing, and seeing is believing,” espouses the actor, Tom Hanks. This mantra emphasizes how some people visualize a better future and have faith that they will accomplish great things. Whereas, others may need to be convinced in a tangible way. Many educators argue which grade is more impactful. The Memphis Freshman Success Initiative agrees with Chicago Public Schools that if students do well in ninth grade, then their odds for graduating high school increases. Thirteen Shelby County high schools are participating in the new network that Stand for Children partners. The achievement teams focus on what matters: grade point average, attendance, and behavior. Mitchell High School rewarded the freshmen who were on track with an incentive college trip. On February 21-22, 2019, a third of the Mitchell High School ninth-graders toured The University of Tennessee at Martin, Fisk University, Lipscomb University, and Tennessee State University. The giddy teens boarded the bus at five am Friday morning with an overnight bag, blanket and pillow in hand. They stopped and ate breakfast at McDonald’s in Jackson, Tennessee. The first campus that they visited was a public college that teaches over 6,ooo undergraduates. The boys and girls traversed some of the acres of the rural college. They were impressed by the various options of housing ranging from traditional dorm rooms with community showers to apartment housing that feature a living room, kitchen, and private bedrooms. Of course, they grabbed a snack out of the food court before the bus headed to Nashville for the Fisk University tour. There was a stark difference in the culture between Fisk and UT Martin. The students ascertained the difference between a HBCU (historically-black colleges and universities) and a PWI (predominantly white institution). In the
Page 2
Photo by Brenda Wells About 30 9th grade students from the Mitchell High School Freshman Success Initiative were treated to a two-day overnight trip to four nearby colleges, the University of Tennessee at Martin, Fisk University, Lipscomb University (pictured), and Tennessee State University, on February 21-22, 2019, as a reward for having good grades, good attendance, and good behavior. The students, who are participants in the new Stand for Children network, stayed overnight at the Drury Hotel in Franklin, TN. chapel, the admission officers were very informative and persuasive. Mitchell freshmen learned of the hard work and sacrifice that the Jubilee singers made to keep this college afloat. Many colleges have a superstition not to step on a certain spot or that student will not graduate. However, Fisk says its oval is sacred because it is the actual burial ground of some slaves and it contains remnants of the Underground Railroad. The rain did not bother the individuals who were sincere in learning all that they could about college life. Lipscomb also rolled out the red carpet for the ninth graders. They gave them a bag with a nice t-shirt, informational materials, and other forget-me-nots. They treated the students like VIP’s while they toured the private college. The students realized that a high grade point average, high scores on the ACT or SAT, and quality preparation are key to maximize scholarships at most universities. TSU offered another host of experiences. Oge Hullum shared, “I felt like I can be myself freely on TSU campus. Fisk is very historical and focused on education. Lipscomb seems upscale, and UT Martin is large enough for exploration, but also small enough to feel comfy away from home.” The students dined at the food court and continued to learn about how to study abroad, how to succeed, and how to take advantage of golden opportunities. The young men and women enjoyed their field trip. “Jakira Dixon added, “The teachers were cool. I like that they took us to the Opry Mills Mall; it was large, but the prices were lower than the ones in Memphis. The dinner and breakfast buffet at Drury Plaza Hotel in Franklin, TN was filling and convenient. Slim and Husky’s was the best pizzeria, because everyone could customize their own pizzas by choosing the sauces, cheeses, veggies, and meats. They even had salmon and shrimp available!” The freshmen appreciated being rewarded by the Mitchell High Freshman Success Team. They were thankful that they were rewarded for good grades, good attendance, and good conduct. After all, a child’s freshman year is pivotal, and it matters! 2 (Above from left) Mitchell High School college tour trip male host Antrel Daniel and Freshman Success Administrator Kenya Minor settle the bill for the overnight stay at the Drury Hotel in Franklin, TN. (Below) 9th grade Freshman Success Initiative students prepare to leave Franklin for the second half of their two-day college tour of four colleges/universities in the Tennessee area. 3
Page 4
(Above, from left, front) Mitchell High School employee Tonya Pryor, (rear) SPED Lead, Antrel Daniel, and (far right) Freshman Success Administrator, Kenya Minor accompanied approx. 30 9th graders on an overnight college tour trip in middle Tennessee. (Below left) Mitchell High School 9th grader, Karman Jordan, absorbs the speech given at Lipscomb University. (Center) The Mitchell High School Freshman Success Initiative under the Stand for Children network visited Fisk University on February 21, 2019. (Right) Brothers DeMarcus and Taylor Christian enjoyed the college trip to the four Tennessee colleges (University of Tennessee at Martin, Fisk , Lipscomb and Tennessee State Universities) for students who had good grades, attendance, and behavior held May 21-22, 2019. Photos by Brenda Wells 4 (Top, from left) Sister Geneva Hopkins gave a thumbs up as she enjoyed herself at the annual Holiness Outreach Ministries Association Gala held Saturday, February 16th at the Hilton Memphis. (Right) Mr. and Mrs. NL and Artricia Transou, copastors of Prevailing Point Ministries, 1942 Lynnbrook Place, attended the gala event. (Below) Entertainment was provided by the Kings of Harmony. Pictures and Story by N.L. & Artricia Transou The annual Holiness Outreach Ministries Association (HOMA) Gala, sponsored by the churches of HOMA was held on Saturday, February 16th at the Hilton Memphis. The Mistress of Ceremonies was Dr. Tiffany Swift. Dr. Dwayne Swift provided encouraging words to those in attendance. Dinner consisted of Cheesestuffed Chicken Breasts and Asparagus. Performances and musical guest included Seasoned and the Kings of Harmony. Participants received gift cards and bags, and some cash gifts were given to those in attendance. For more information on HOMA events, call HOMA at (901) 485-2182 drop by 1942 Lynnbrook Place every Sunday at 2 PM, or visit Prevailing Point on Facebook.com. 5
Page 6
Pictures & Story by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Dr. Mary L. “Mockingbird” Martin completed the course of studies to earn a Doctor of Divinity in 2007. In 2012, Dr. Martin launched M.A.R.Y’s (My Arms Round Youth/ Seniors) Outreach Ministry. “The mission of M.A.R.Y’s Outreach Ministry is to be a beacon of light pointing men, women, boys, and girls to the light—Jesus Christ,” said Martin. “Our slogan is “Do your best and watch God do the rest!” With help from Rev. James Kendrick, Sr. Pastor at Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church, 183 Joubert Avenue in Memphis, TN, Martin’s extended family held an especially rich and spiritual birthday celebration program in honor of and on her 82nd birthday, Saturday, February 9, 2019. “There have been many strong black women throughout history with great accomplishments, but the strongest black woman I know is my mom, Dr. Mary Mockingbird Martin,” said Mary’s son Theodore Reginald “Tony” Martin Sr. in a Facebook post. “This woman has the strongest, yet gentlest hands ever; knock you down today and comfort you within the same hour. She led, not sent seven children—six of which were so hard-headed to church and to the Lord. She is the founder of the Junior Usher Board at Middle Baptist Church, Whitehaven; she went back to school and completed degrees by age 40 or so; and… she goes and ministers at South Parkway care home every Wednesday. She was a former announcer on AM1240, WAVN; sang on AM1070, WDIA for years (the Oris Mays live radio show) on Sunday mornings; was the lead singer for the North Memphis Community Choir and Middle Baptist Church Whitehaven who went on to say there are just too many accomplishments to mention.” Chauncey Jorden opened the celebration program with a prayer and grands Kim Abston and Akena Byrd provided the scripture before the birthday honoree entered the sanctuary. Stacey Abston gave praise and worship and all the grandchildren followed with much love and many birthday well-wishes. Granddaughter Kaci Simmions recited a poem and then the nieces and nephews had their turns providing even more birthday well-wishes to Dr. Martin. Shortly afterwards, Phillis “County Girl” and The McKinney Family and Friends shook the house with several selections and soloist Overton D. Wright finished rocking the house with his splendid and moving rendition of the black gospel spiritual “By the Grace of my Lord I’ve Come a Long Way.” The program ended with more birthday wishes from Mary’s children and a couple of selections by the Family Choir led by Tony Martin (Jr.). Practically filled with tears of joy and overwhelmed for the days events, Dr. Martin thanked those who were in attendance and those whose thoughts were with her on her birthday. “Thank you all,” said Martin as she acknowledged all the individual family members in the audience and posed for pictures.” “Happy Birthday to my heart, the mother of my mother, the grandmother of me and the one who always fed me anytime I stepped my foot in her door,” said granddaughter Janae Abston. “You’re still walking, talking, breathing, cooking, texting, and in your right mind and I am forever grateful. I love you honey and today—it’s all about you! Y’all help me wish my Granny a Happy 82nd Birthday!” 6 (Above) Martin’s son, Elder T.R. Martin, and grandson Tim Abston thank those in attendance for coming. (Below) Martin enjoys “Touch Me Lord” being sung by her niece, Tina Byrd. (Top left) Sharon Martin address the crowd. (Top right) Surrounded by family, Dr. Mary L. Mockingbird (second from right) enjoyed her 82nd birthday party held on her birthday, February 8th at Oak Grove MBC. (Bottom left) Pianist Demiah Rhodes and (Center) Kyndall Doss perform. (Left) Martin’s brother, Quintin Martin (far right) was another surprise guess in attendance Saturday night. 7
Page 12
Hundreds of Memphians took time out of their day to drop by the Halloran Centre, 225 S. Main Street downtown, to hear Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris’ first State of the County address on Friday, February 15, 2019. By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Reflecting on the first 150 days in his new role as Mayor of Shelby County, Tennessee, Mayor Lee Harris stated, “The state of our county is strong” during his first State of the County address at 3 PM on Friday, February 15, 2019. Based on the recent wage increase to $15/hour given to all Shelby County employees and other accomplishments, Harris wants to do something to help offenders to learn life and work skills to help them be productive citizens in society. Other items Harris wants to work on include education, reducing the population of people in jail because they can’t afford bail, and increasing public transportation to help reduce the amount of wasted time individuals who rely on public transportation waste. Mayor Harris stated and continues to speak on his concern with the current juvenile justice system. On Facebook, Harris said, “Our goal is the rehabilitation of kids who get caught on the wrong side of the law. We have to give these kids some chance at rehabilitation and try to make sure they are not consigned to repeated interactions with our system.” (Left) A few members of the Official Southwind High School Community Choir performed at the 2019 State of the County address given by Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris on Friday, February 15, 2019, at the Halloran Centre, 225 S. Main Street in Memphis. The entire group had previously performed in the Mayor’s Office on January 18th. (Right) Recently elected Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris invited the community to the Halloran Centre, 225 S. Main Street, on February 15th, to hear “The Heart of America,” his first ever State of the County address. The well attended event can be seen online here. 12 13
Page 14
Daily Entertainment ! By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The 33rd annual Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival will be held in the Robert Church Park near 4th and Beale Streets, from April 17-21, 2019. Showcasing the Republic of Nigeria in 2019, the event will present an international perspective of the country using a multiplicity of mediums including, but not limited to education, economics, culture, fashion, arts and crafts, music, history, and cuisines local to the area. The community is invited to bring family and friends out to participate in and enjoy a diverse cultural marketplace, fun, festivities, and food featuring a different theme each of the four days the festival will be held. To become a vendor or for more information on school tours and attending visit the AIA website, email aiafest@bellsouth.net, or phone (901) 947-2133. 2019 Schedule of Events Wednesday, April 17, 2019  International Entrepreneur’s Luncheon 11:30AM-1:00 PM Holiday Inn—University of Memphis 3700 Central Avenue Memphis, TN 38111 (901) 678-8200 Thursday, April 18, 2019  Vendor’s Setup 10:00 AM-5:00 PM Robert R. Church Park 187 S. 4th Street at Beale Friday, April 19, 2019  Children and Senior’s Day 8:00 AM-11:00 PM Robert R. Church Park 187 S. 4th Street at Beale Saturday, April 20, 2019  Health and Wellness/Community Day 8:00 AM-Midnight Robert R. Church Park 187 S. 4th Street at Beale Sunday, April 21, 2019  International Music Day 8:00 AM-8:00 PM Robert R. Church Park 187 S. 4th Street at Beale 14 By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson A group of concerned Memphis citizens gathered at the Club House in T.O. Fuller State Park, where Jimmy Warren is Park Manager, on Saturday, February 23, 2019. “The purpose of us coming together is to support each other and present a united front for addressing concerns about our neighborhood and community,” said Co-organizer and Walker Homes/West Junction Vice President Linda Street. “Rep. Barbara Cooper held a meeting on November 24, 2018, and she suggested that the different associations come together.” After a prayer and a brief introduction, the meeting swung into action with representatives of various organizations sharing information on hot topics in their specific neighborhoods. The discussion turned to the audience and individual problems in various neighborhoods. The conversation spread out to the audience and included both comments and concerns. Additional participants took turns speaking at the podium. “First let me thank you all for coming out,” said meeting co-organizer Gwen Wrushen Nelson, President of the Walker Homes/West Junction neighborhood association. “We cannot answer all of the questions to the things that have been stated here today. This is just the beginning… Many of our top priorities have been expressed by you. As an example the flooding... in the West Junction area. That’s something the West Junction/Walker Homes association has been pursuing and working on since 2012. We’ve had state, county, and local officials here... to tour the area. When we bring groups together that have concerns, there is strength in numbers. Another concern is ours is what people see when they drive down Mitchell Road to get to T.O. Fuller State Park. On the south side you’ve got stagnated water, you have, right next to the park where our children have to play, there is a creek running, there is no fence or anything and there is a potential for danger for these kids. There are no sidewalks for the students at Mitchell High School to walk down Mitchell to get to and from their homes to the school. We also talked about how the city and the Landbank takes our houses when we fail to pay our taxes. These are some of our concerns.” “The taxes are secondary,” said Councilwoman Curry. “People lose houses because they stop making their payments. That’s the reality. They lose their homes because they stop making payments and because they don’t come to banks to see if there is a way to save their homes.” Curry went on to discuss the many programs that are available for people to save their homes and how people need to take advantage of grants and loans for home repairs. Rep. Barbara Cooper also commended those in attendance and encouraged them to call her when she could be of assistance with community concerns. Another meeting is scheduled for 12 noon, March 16 at the park. A separate meeting will be held at 5:58 PM on Tuesday, March 12, at Greater Faith Tabernacle Ministries, 905 E. Shelby Drive at Fairfield Road to discuss similar matters. Topics of discussion will include (1) community blight, (2) much needed improvements to our streets, curbs, gutters and sewage system, and (3) placing pressure on business owners who are not keeping their businesses and parking lots clean and free of trash and debris. 15 Sis. Linda Muhammad (seated) attended Saturday’s event to help spread the word about the Inaugural Block Party, sponsored by Muslims In Memphis Islamic New Africa Connection, set to be held on March 9 from 2-7pm at the historic T.O. Fuller State Part. For details, call (901) 265-2756. (Below) Saturday’s Community “One Voice” meeting at the T.O. Fuller State Park was the first in a series of meetings designed to create a united front for addressing concerns about our neighborhoods and communities.
Page 18
By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The Alpha Church, Congregation of the Temples of the Living God, Inc., 1084 E. McLemore where Elder Victor H. Williams III is the Sr. Pastor, held a Black History Program featuring the Memphis Christian Ensemble in concert on Sunday, February 24th at 3 p.m. Known as “A Church of Distinction,” the program, “Because of Them, We Can!” opened with Elder Ruby J. Payne who was followed by her husband, Deacon Jack Payne Sr. who recited “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Elder Payne included the audience providing "Libation to the Ancestors" along with a call and response reading of the "African Pledge:" We are an African People. We will remember the humanity, glory, and sufferings of our ancestors and honor the struggle of our elders. We will strive to bring new values and new life to our people. We will have peace and harmony among us. We will be loving, sharing, and creative. We will work, study, and listen: so, we may learn. Learn, so we may teach. We will cultivate self-reliance. We will struggle to resurrect and unify our homeland. We will raise many children for our nation. We will have discipline, patience, devotion, and courage. We will live as models, to provide new direction for our people. We will be free and self-determining. We are African people. We WILL WIN! Ashe Payne introduced Sister Barbara Earle, the program narrator (Above) Makyah E. Williams performed a special Liturgical Rendition in honor of the 2019 Legacy Award honoree, Peggie B. Jackson Cross. (Below) The program began with Deacon Jack Payne Sr. reciting “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” and the Memphis Christian Ensemble who performed several songs including the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and recited facts regarding the accomplishments of several historical figures. The Memphis Christian Ensemble performed songs and recited biographies. Soloist Paul McKinney Jr. and Eva Jones performed “I’m Building me a Home” on Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950), the Father of Black History. Gail House and soloist Billy Earle performed “There’s a Man Going Round,” on Harriet Tubman (1820-1913), an African American Abolitionist and Political Activist. Andrew Earle performed “I’m Gonna Sing to the Spirit Moves in My Heart,” an African American A cappella Ensemble performed by the Fisk Jubilee Singers of Fisk University. Linda Coins performed “Soon Ah Will Be Done,” as recorded by the African American Gospel Singer Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972). Martha Richmond and soloist Andrew Earle teamed up to perform “O’ You Better Mind,” a piece honoring African American Journalist, Educator, and Feminist Ida B. Wells (1862-1931). Tomonsa McKinney and soloist Paul McKinney performed “Ole Time Religion,” in recognition of Paul Leroy Roberson (18981976), a Cultural Scholar. Demetrice Rufus and soloist Charles Earle performed “I Want To Be Ready,” in honor of Nat King Cole (1919-1965), an African American Pianist and Vocalist. Charles Earle and soloist Barbara Earle took the house down with their rendition of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” by Louis ‘Satchmo’ Daniel Armstrong (1901-1971). Billy Earle and soloist Andrea Earle performed “Wade In the Water,” a piece written by Eva Cassidy; Jermal Blanchard performed “The Battle of Jericho, a composition honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), an African American Minister and Civil Rights Activist. A special Liturgical Rendition was performed by Makyah E. Williams in honor of; and the 2019 Legacy Award Presentation was presented by, Elder Williams and Mother Willie Eva Sims, to Sister Peggie B. Jackson Cross. District 11 Shelby County Commissioner, Eddie S. Jones Jr., presented a Proclamation honoring Jackson Doss and the program ended with closing remarks and the benediction provided by Pastor Williams. 18 (Above) The Memphis Christian Ensemble sang and recited works during the Black History Program held February 24th at the Alpha Church in Memphis. (Below right) The 2019 Legacy Award Honoree, Peggie B. Jackson Cross. (Left) Elder Ruby Payne opened the program with a welcome and engaged the audience in a “Libation to the Ancestors” and response reading of the “African Pledge.” 19
Page 20
Every year several long-time customers of Champion’s Compounding Pharmacy and Herb Store, 2369 Elvis Presley Boulevard make a special trip to bring sweets and treats to Mother Carolyn B. Champion (left) and Dr. Charles A. Champion, D.Ph. (right). Pictured with the Champion’s are James H. Black of Memphis (seated) and his daughter, Michelle Black Ogletree (rear), of Tallahassee, Florida, who dropped by to visit and to drop off two boxes of chocolates sweets for Valentine’s Day. By Yvonne D. Nelson Dr. Charles A. and Mother Carolyn B. Champion are long-time members of the Mt. Olive Cathedral Christian Methodist Episcopal Church located at 538 Dr. M.L. King Jr. (Linden) Avenue where Peris J. Lester is the Senior Pastor. Pastor Lester and the Mt. Olive Church family were joined by family, friends, Mayor Jim Strickland, and others when they celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Champion during the morning worship services on Sunday, February 10, 2019. Dr. Champion, whose daughters Dr. Charita Champion Brookins and Dr. Carol “Cookie” Champion also work at the family-oriented pharmacy, recently started “Saturday Talks with Dr. Champion,” a live show that airs Saturday’s at 4 PM CST on Facebook. You can join by logging in to “Champion’s Pharmacy” on FB. Dr. Champion can be viewed on YouTube and he can be heard live or online on 88.5FM with Broadcast Operations Advisor “Brother John” Best Friday’s at 5:30 pm. The topic for March 2nd is body odors, halitosis, urine odor, vaginal odor, colon odor, and phantom odor. Champion’s Compounding Pharmacy and Herb Store carries old-fashioned patent remedies like herbal vitamins, allnatural remedies, home remedies, anagelic/pain products, tonics, chemicals and oils, skin and hair care, cough and cold remedies, laxative products, roots, leaves, teas, treatment kits, homeopathics, hormone replacement, holy water, and more. The pharmacy is closed on Sundays, Mondays, and from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The regular open hours are from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Dr. Champion, a biblical apothecarian with over 60 years of experience, is always available and loves to consult with patients. You are encouraged to email him at drchamp@bellsouth.net, visit him online at Theherbalman.com, call (901) 948-6622, or drop by for a personal consultation with him or one of his very experienced daughters. 20 I’M NEW. WHY AM I BROKEN ALREADY? By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Corporation was formed in 1994 to fight against neighborhood issue that devalue the property in the Southaven Heights Subdivision of ZIP Code 38116, Whitehaven. The Southaven Heights Subdivision exists on the north west boundary of Whitehaven. It covers homes in the boundaries of the ICC railroad, where Whitehaven, 38116 ends and 38109 begins; I-240 and I -55 or Brooks Road, Lakeview and Craft Roads. In 2006, the organizational Constitution and Bylaws were revised and the boundaries of the association were extended to include the entire 38116 ZIP Code. Brooks Road is mostly zoned industrial, which means all types of businesses can be established there; however, most Brooks Road properties backyards touch the backyards of our neighbor’s homes. One such business is LMP Transportation Company, LLC, (Liberty Waste Services LLC), better known to area residents as Waste Connections, LLC., a waste transfer facility located at 621 E. Brooks Road. This 9.34 area lot, in the Person Subdivision, has public records on file that date back to July 1972 when a Hazel G. Braswell quit claimed the deed to the property to a Jodie ‘Joe’ Vernon Braswell. Meanwhile Joe Braswell, the owner of Braswell Motor Freight Lines, Inc., in turn sells the property to himself or his business if you prefer to be ‘politically correct’ regarding the transaction. By the way, both of these transactions show a fee of $10 dollars each were paid. Moving forward to 1986 when Yellow Freight System, Inc. an Indiana corporation which is stated to be the successor by merger of Braswell Motor Freight Lines, Inc. sold this land to the City of Memphis. The description of the parcel is now being referred to “a partition of the Robert E. Hagerty Sr. property between Brooks Road and the Winchester Road…” An when on the 29th day of December, 1999, the City of Memphis signed, through then city Mayor W.W. Herenton, City Attorney, City Comptroller and City Real Estate Manager, caused to be entered into the records a Quitclaim Deed on this same 9.3 acre property, to LMP Transportation Co., LLC or their assigns (which now happens to be the one and only Waste Connections, LLC), for the sum of ONE MILLION and No/100 ($1,000,000.00) and on an As-Is basis with the following restrictions made and agreed to by LMP Transportation Co., LLC: 1) “Hazardous waste subject to regulation under the Tennessee Hazardous Waste Management Act and/ or the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act shall be prohibited on this site. WAIT, I’VE BEEN HERE FOREVER… WHY ARE YOU REMOVING ME ALL OF A SUDDEN? 2) Purchasers will endeavor to routinely transport solid waste to the landfill on the same day it is collected. However, it is realized that, on a regular basis, one or more trucks are unable to implement the delivery of solid waste to the landfill the same day. Purchaser hereby designates an area (shown on Exhibit “D” from the Offer to Purchase 21
Page 22
Agreement attached hereto and made a part of this Agreement), for any collection vehicles that are not emptied the same day and agrees that, with the exception of these collection vehicles and solid waste containerized within the transfer station building and/or the transfer trailer, no other solid waste will be stored on the property overnight. 3) Any subject improvements on or additions to this site within 100 feet of the existing and adjoining residential properties shall be subject to site plan reviews and approval by Memphis and Shelby County Office of Planning and Development. Our response is to PD 19-03: 621 BROOKS RD - Waste Connection Office and Industrial Planned Development is as follows: March 1, 2019 Dear Josh Whitehead: We the citizens and friends of the McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association, Inc. do hereby request a firm denial of the above referenced request from Waste Connections, LLC/Caissa Public Strategy to build a new office building and/or construct an industrial planned development at 621 E. Brooks Road/598 Winchester Road. This land has been referred to as Parcel 1, consisting of 9.34 acres of heavy industrial zoned property with the existing use of refuse management and Parcel 2, consisting of 30.06 acres of heavy industrial which has been given an industrial district zoning code of industrial employment by the applicant. This cannot be an existing use since this land is currently vacant land. The applicant should have correctly noted that this parcel 2 is being requested to be used for office, maintenance, and parking purposes in their amended and undated application that does not include an Office of Planning and Development Case Number as required. The community is requesting that you deny this request for several additional reasons, including, but not limited to the following: I. The application Cover Page is not completely filled out; II. The applicant has stated that this is not an amendment to an existing planned development when it is in fact an amendment to the same plan that was submitted under the same Case Number #18-67 regarding the proposed application for use variance presented to Planning Director and Administrator Josh Whitehead, AICP, of the Shelby County, TN Office of Planning and Development by Waste Connections of TN, LLC, 621 E. Brooks Road, Memphis, TN 38116 on July 24, 2018. Additionally, after stating this is not an amendment, the applicant states that “The following modifications to existing planned developments are considered amendments: 1) a change to the permitted uses in a planned development, except in situations where a use of a higher classification is proposed to be changed to a use of a lower classification; and 2) a modification to conditions that phases the uses; and 3) a conversion of public streets… Is it an amendment or not? The applicant is double-talking or talking out of both sides of their mouths. III. The applicant has contended that the acreage known as parcel 2 is currently zoned as I-H and EMP when it is vacant land. Furthermore, when it comes to infill or redevelopment, “An area of platted or unplatted land that, together with all adjacent land in private ownership includes no more than 20 acres of land, and where the land along at least 75 % of the boundaries of the proposed development (ignoring intervening streets) has been developed.” IV. The applicant states that their proposed development will not unduly injure or damage the use, value, and enjoyment of surrounding property, nor unduly hinder or prevent development of surrounding property in accordance with the current development policies and plans of the City and County. What about the existing neighborhood? Does the declining and slow to appreciate value of these properties not matter? We have 10 neighbors who purchased their homes, according to the Shelby County Assessor’s records, between 1973 and 1980. All of these homes are still owned by their original owners. If property is one of the only assets we possess that is suppose to appreciates in value, why are these homes, that cost between $24,950 and $32,146 44 to 46 years ago, only appraised at $56,600$66,600 today? If that is not unduly injuring or damaging the use, value, and enjoyment of the surrounding property and hindering and preventing the desire for new families to purchase and invest in the development of the existing properties, please explain to us what it is. V. The applicant states that an approved water supply, community waste water treatment and disposal, and storm water drainage facilities that are adequate to serve the proposed development have been or will be provided concurrent with the development? Really? Waste Connections of TN, LLC has never adequately maintained the waste water or storm water drainage facilities that are currently in use. Why should we believe anything they say when we know these statements are just being made because they sound good? VI. The applicant states that the location and arrangement of the structures, parking areas, walks, lighting, and other service facilities shall be compatible with the surrounding land uses… How can you make a waste transfer facility compatible with a residential neighborhood? Answer? You cannot. You can relocate it to an area that is not a highly residential populated area and focus more on protecting the individuals who work in that “Hot Zone” environment. By the way, why did you remove the Hot Zone sign and replace it with the one with the broken frame and not even bother to fix the frame when everyone who passes it can clearly see it is broken. Why not? Because you don’t care. 22 EXCESSIVE WASTE CONTAINER STORAGE IN PLAIN VIEW OF OUR NEIGHBORS BACKYARDS. STREET AND GUTTER TRASH IS RARELY IF EVER CLEANED UP... FOLIAGE PLANTED BY WASTE CONNECTIONS TO HIDE THE COMMERCIAL WASTE CONTAINERS AT THE PROPERTY LINE. ? IS THIS MY PUNISHMENT? AM I SAFE HERE? WHY CAN’T I USE MY CELL PHONE? WHAT’S IN THE AIR? STREET AND GUTTER TRASH IS RARELY IF EVER CLEANED UP... 23
Page 24
VII. The applicant contends that any modification of the district standards that would otherwise be applicable to the site are warranted by the design of the outline plan and the amenities incorporated therein, and are not inconsistent with the public interest. Says who? Everything Waste Connections of TN, LLC has proposed is only consistent with what they want. They continue to push forward with any regard to the community in which they have continuously expanded in without regard for the part of their deed that prevents the same. We therefore propose that the design of the outline plan and the amenities incorporated therein are not consistent with the public interest of those who reside in the nearby subdivisions. VIII. The applicant asks that a homeowners association or some other responsible party be required to maintain any and all common open space and/or common elements. This is the most uncaring request yet. This company has been allowed to disperse trash up and down the streets in our neighborhood, something that I have personally witnessed from the transfer of commercial-sized, supposedly empty waste containers being carried to and from delivery locations, yet they want the neighborhood to clean up behind them after their counterparts at Caissa Public Strategy have already made several recorded statements and concessions that Waste Connections of TN, LLC desires to be better corporate neighbors and vowed to regularly keep our community clean at their personal expense. Again, liars. They put this statement in writing so they would not have to keep their verbal promise to clean up their act. IX. We have no idea why it is necessary to make the statement that lots of records are created with the recording of a planned development final plan. We are requesting that you do not allow this unhealthy, uncaring, unconcerned corporation continue operations in our community for the continuously visible violations they continue to make based on their own property deed of trust. As previously stated, “This business has operated in plain view of the backyards of more than a dozen residents since 1999. Many of these residents were told there ‘would be no garbage collection’ on this property.” Again, we would like clarification. Although Waste Connections of TN, LLC states they do not collect hazardous waste, the waste they do collect is not wanted in this neighborhood any longer and this neighborhood is not willing to consent to allowing any expansion of these services, regardless of their intentions and purpose to go forth. This business originally requested that the waste collection and transfer portion of its operations should remain at their current heavy industrial (IH) location, now they have amended their proposal to include a 4-Phase development project that relocates the actual waste collection facility, enclosed or not, at the location’s property line, right at the street, in plain view for all traffic traveling east or west on Brooks Road to see. Please take the garbage out of our neighborhood. We are not only complaining that this is not scheduled to happen until Phase 3 of 4 phases, but also that it is still being built on land directly adjacent to our homes. We don’t want it anywhere near our homes. We don’t want you in our community at all. It is clear to all that Waste Connections of TN, LLC does not care about our environment any more than they care about our health. We haven’t been able to get Waste Connections of TN, LLC to understand how disrespectful they have been to our community over the years. While they continue to expand, we continue to suffer. Waste Connections of TN, LLC must understand that these unsightly and odor causing operations that once sat approximately six feet from our residential backyards still give off a strong and offensive stench and that we still smell the chemical odors in the middle of the night throughout the entire community. We want Waste Connections of TN, LLC to move and to take their unwanted vermin including large snakes, rats and other rabid attracting animals away from our neighbors homes. It is our request that you fully consider rejecting this proposal and demand the business’s “refuse collection and recycling for residential, commercial, and construction related customers” move to a less densely populated area. We are very happy Waste Connections of TN, LLC recently admitted that the waste collection and transfer portion of their operations cannot exist without being legitimized. We are hereby requesting your support to ensure this legitimization never occurs. Where Waste Connections of TN, LLC currently sits on Brooks Road is not an “ideal location for this use” as stated in the above-referenced #18-67 document submitted to your offices in July 2018. Section 9.3.2, Neighborhood Notification and Meeting, of the 2010 approved Memphis and Shelby County Unified Development Code Section “A” specifies that “At least ten days, but not more than 120 days, prior to a hearing before the Land Use Control Board (which was originally scheduled for August 22, 2018 and is now scheduled for 10 am, Thursday, March 14, 2019), the applicant shall host and/or attend a neighborhood meeting with representatives from neighborhoods adjacent to the development site which the hearing involves… and Section “B”, Procedure specifies that “1) the officers of any neighborhood… registered with the City of Memphis… whose boundaries include properties within 1,500 feet of the subject property and 2) all current residents of single-family and two-family dwellings within the notification area,” should have received by US Mail notification of the neighborhood meeting prepared and provided by the applicant. Yet again, this requirement was not fully met. The McCorkle Road Neighborhood Development Association, Inc. of Memphis was founded in 1994, a year after I moved in my current home because of some local real estate firm’s plans that didn’t fit with the community’s ideas for our properties. Once I, Yvonne D. Nelson, began to spread the word about these plans. it was on that note that the community combined forces and began to fight back. It was on the strength of the backs of many neighbors that we prevented this unwanted strategy from happening, the same strength that we fought against the Pull-A-Part auto salvage yard, and it is with this same renewed strength that we continue this fight with Waste Connections of TN, LLC today. We do appreciate the fact that you have grandfathered Waste Connections of TN, LLC into their current location; however, we need you to understand that this is a formal 24 complaint being addressed directly to Planning Director and Administrator Josh Whitehead, AICP, of the Memphis and Shelby County, TN Office of Planning and Development. The attached pictures clearly reveal that over the years Waste Connections of TN, LLC has continuously expanded their operations which is in direct violation of their deed which clearly states that any expansion of any type is only allowed with approval from the Office of Planning and Development. Let me be clear that this complaint is not just concerned with the current proposal that is currently under review. We are now speaking to the continuous illegal expansion that Waste Connections of TN, LLC have made which have seemly continued to go unnoticed over the years. We, the citizens of this area, depend on the City of Memphis, the only obvious entity that can enforce this provision, to do so; however, if we find it necessary, we will seek to obtain legal counsel to stop this proposal from going forward. Thus, we stand firm as we believe that the landowners who have adjoining properties to the proposed Waste Connections of TN, LLC development, the very people who the deed was meant to benefit, should be given the right to enforce this provision of this deed in a court of law should the City of Memphis continue to refuse to carry out its duty to do so on behalf of the community. This fact along with these pictures are proof that Waste Connections of TN, LLC is guilty of continuously violating the restrictions of its own deed and that the City of Memphis is certainly questionable for not enforcing its own policies and rules as written. Furthermore, we again would like to request that no subsequent application for the same or a similar use submitted by any party for any part of the subject property should be heard without proper notification as stated above being submitted until 24 months have elapsed from the original date of application or the date of denial, or from the date any appeal thereof becomes final, whichever is later and that there shall be no decision to waive the time-lapse requirements of this section since doing so is not in the best interest of the public or the neighborhood most highly affected. You have also failed to honor this request that was made in September 2018. With Highest Regards, The MRNDA of Memphis, Inc.. Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, Founding Member and President LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. THIS IS OUR DAILY TRASHY LOOK TO TRAVELERS ON BROOKS ROAD... 25
Page 26
PRE-EXPANSION PLOT & SITE UNAUTHORIZED ONGOING EXPANSION PROOF 26 By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Commissioner Chairman, Van D. Turner Jr. called the Monday, February 25, 2019, meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. The deputy sheriff performed the opening of the commission and Rev. Lincoln Barnett, the Associate Pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church and newly elected Mayor of Hughes, AR gave the invocation. An announcement was made for appearance cards for public speaking and comments requests after the minutes of the February meeting were approved as read. The Consent Agenda included four items. The first resolution, sponsored by Chairman Pro Tempore Mark Billingsley, honored Memphis 901 FC, a professional soccer team. The second resolution, sponsored by Commissioner Tami Sawyer, honored the first five African American women to serve as Shelby County Commissioners. The third resolution, sponsored by Chairman Turner, honored the life and legacy of Jerry C. Johnson, the legendary Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Coach who served as the basketball coach at LeMoyne-Owen College for 46 years. The final proclamation, also sponsored by Turner, recognized Robert R. Church Sr. for “his heroism in the face of adversity, his business acumen, political savvy, philanthropy, and enduring contributions to Memphis and Shelby County. (Top) Commissioner Tami Sawyer (second row center in green) sponsored a resolution to honor the first five (5) African American women who served as Shelby County Commissioners on Monday, February 25, 2019. On hand to receive plaques were (from left) Henri Brooks (4th; 2006-2014), Deidra Malone (3rd; 2002-2010), Edith Ann Moore (5th; 2009-2010), family members of and representing Minerva Johnican (1st; 1976-1981), and Jeffrey Higgs (far right), LeMoyne-Owen College CDC Executive Director who accepted the honor for former Commissioner Bridget Chisholm (2nd; 2001-2002). (Left) Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Coach Jerry C. Johnson, 101, recounted stories from days gone by as a LeMoyne-Owen College basketball coach as Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris looks on. (Right) Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer sponsored a resolution to recognize the five African American women elected or appointed to serve as Shelby County Commissioners. 27
Page 28
By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson Carter Godwin Woodson (1875-1950), known as the Father of Black History, was an American Historian, Author, Journalist, and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH, 1915). The son of James and Anne Eliza Carter, who were former slaves, Carter was born near New Canton, Buckingham, VA on December 19th. He realized early in life the importance of education even though he himself was nearly 20 years old when he began his own path towards becoming educated. In 1895 he enrolled in Huntington’s all-black Douglass High School. After approx. two years of mostly being out of school due to work, Woodson was one of two graduates in 1896. After additional studies in Kentucky and Pennsylvania, Woodson taught High School, served as a Sunday school teacher, and was elected as president of the board of deacons of a church. He obtained a two-year B.L. degree from Berea in 1903 and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1907. Woodson was the recipient of the second Doctorate of Philosophy degree earned by a Black from Harvard University in 1912. Life in those early years were anything but smooth for Woodson as he was thought to be a failure by the scholarly community after settling in Washington in 1909. The Journal of Negro History, a quarterly publication, was founded by Woodson in 1916. In 1926, Woodson has been credited with launching the annual February celebration of “Negro History Week,” an week-long event that commemorated the February 12th birthday of Abraham Lincoln and the February 14th birthday of Frederick Douglass. The concept of having a Negro History Week was expanded in 1976 to include the entire month of February, something that is widely celebrated all over the world today and is now known as Black History Month, although we celebrate Black History all year long. Woodson founded the Associated Publishers, the founder and editor of the Negro History Bulletin, and authored over 30 books including his most profound works, “The MisEducation of the Negro,” which was published in 1933 and is still relevant in today’s society. The Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum is located at 2240 9th Avenue South in St. Petersburg, FL, is open from 12 Noon until 5 pm EST Tuesday through Fridays. The mission of the museum is two-fold. First, it is designed “to preserve, present, and interpret African American history and to engage a broad and diverse audience through these activities”; and second, “to promote an understanding among various groups that comprise the St. Petersburg community to enhance our ability as a society to respect, value diversity, and foster equal rights and social justice.” “The Memphis Branch Association is the local chapter of the national organization found by Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History, in 1915,” said University of Memphis, Art History Department faculty member Dr. Earnestine Jenkins. “In Memphis, ASALH members support Black cultural institutions, research and lecture on Black history, make field trips to regional historic sites of importance, and partner with organizations interested in the pursuit of knowledge about the African American experience.” The Memphis Branch held a Black History Month Luncheon in the Dorothy Harris Lounge on the LeMoyneOwen College campus in Memphis, TN, on the last day of Black History Month in 2019, Thursday, February 28th. The theme of the program was “Black Migrations.” The event honored the Memphis Area Branch founding president, Josephine Bennett, the wife of Judge Arthur Bennett. The program, facilitated by ASALH Memphis Branch Vice President of Membership, Phylliss Dixon, included a welcome and the singing of the entire “Lift Every Voice and Sing” national black anthem by James Weldon Johnson. Chapter President Clarence Christian gave the occasion and Africa in April Co-Founder and Chapter Vice President of Programs, Yvonne B. Acey, introduced Josephine A. Bennett, the luncheon’s honored guest. “I’d like to thank the Association for the ASALH Memphis Branch for choosing me for the prestigious award,” said Bennett. “Who knew my involvement with this organization a few years ago would lead to such an outstanding and meaningful effort? With me today are several members and friends of the original group who were inducted into the ASALH Memphis Branch February 27, 1977. The induction was held at Greater Middle Baptist Church with 60 inductees and several noted speakers of the community. Many of them are deceased, Rev. and Mrs. Benjamin Hooks, Mrs. Maxine Smith, and Mrs. R. Q. Venson who lead the parade for placement of the plaque in the W.C. Handy Park. Both the statue and the plaque are in the Hilton Hotel lobby. When you see them, you get a glimpse of Memphis African American History.” The organization welcomes and is seeking new members to join the organization. The Memphis Branch meets every 2nd Sunday at 3:00 pm in the Dorothy Harris Lounge at LeMoyne-Owen College, 807 Walker Avenue in Memphis, TN. You do not need to RSVP, but should you desire to announce your intentions to attend a meeting, the Memphis area Branch President, Clarence Christian, can be contacted by sending an email to him and the Membership Vice President, Phyllis Dixon can be contacted by email also. The national website can be viewed by visiting here. 28 The Memphis area Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) held its 2019 Black History Month Luncheon from 11:45 am to 1 pm on the last day of Black History Month, Thursday, February 28 2019, in the Dorothy Harris Lounge located on the historic campus of the LeMoyne-Owen College, 807 Walker Avenue, in Memphis, TN. The event also honored Founding Chapter President, Mrs. Josephine A. Bennett, seated (center) Pictured are members (seated from left) Judge Arthur Bennett, luncheon honoree and founding chapter president, Josephine A. Bennett, and Memphis Branch Chapter President Clarence Christian. Standing (first row from left) Dr. Deborah Luckett-Day; ASALH Vice President of Programs, Yvonne B. Acey; ASALH Secretary Dolores Briggs; Sadie Wiley; University of Memphis Art History Department faculty member, Dr. Earnestine Jenkins; and LeMoyne-Owen Collage Center for African & African American Studies Professor, Activist, Sociologist, and Soulsville Stakeholder, Dr. Femi Ajanaku. Standing (rear row from left) Dr. Imani Fryar, Maxine Strawder, ASALH Vice President of Membership, Phyllis R. Dixon; DeKe Pope; University of Memphis, Assistant Professor of African American Rhetoric and Interracial Communication, Dr. David Acey; and Roosevelt Moody. 29
Page 30
(Top) LeMoyne-Owen College (LOC) Alumnus and former LOC Math and Physics Professor, Lila Smith (front center) was invited to attend the ASALH luncheon honoring her friend Josephine A. Bennett on the last day of Black History Month in 2019. The luncheon was held in the Dorothy Harris Lounge at LeMoyne-Owen College, 807 Walker Avenue in Memphis, TN, where the group meets every 2nd Sunday at 3 pm. (Below right) Carrie Moore Black (seated) and ASALH Vice President of Programs, Yvonne B. Acey (right), who introduced the luncheon honoree and ASALH Memphis Branch founding President, Josephine A. Bennett, during the event held Thursday, February 28, 2019. (Below left) ASALH Secretary, Dolores Briggs, prepares to pass out fancy ASALH engraved ink pens with pointer lights gifts to every guest in attendance at the luncheon held the last day of Black History Month, February 28, 2019. 30 (Above) ASALH Vice President of Programs (from left) Yvonne B. Acey presents a gift to the Memphis Branch ASALH to founding President, Josephine A. Bennett, with help from Memphis Branch President Clarence Christian and Memphis Branch Vice President of Membership, Phyllis Dixon. (Below left) The program included Carrie Moore Black (far left) leading the group in the singing of the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson. (Below right) Memphis Area Branch Presiding Vice President of Membership, Phyllis Dixon, gave several reasons for joining the Memphis Area Branch ASALH and pertinent information on the history of the organization and the many programs it holds and helps with in the Memphis community. 31
Page 34
Alternative & Holistic Health Services ORDER HERE (800) 403-7155 Congratulations! On Your New Venture, Wishing You Well! - Lmec-xi nus CFC #46643 34 CLICK HERE TO VISIT US ONLINE (Continued from the February 2019 edition of NEWSCENE) A Seed is Planted in Dr. Venson’s Mind The Memphis Cotton Makers’ Jubilee (MCMJ) was an annual celebration that took place during the first week of May each year in the city of Memphis. The MCMJ was the only celebration promoted by the Black community in the United States that promoted the people that were the makers’ of an agricultural product. The celebration selected Royalty that reigned over the celebration. The celebration selected an Adult King, Queen, and Court; the Junior King, Queen, and Court; the King and Queen of the Royal Serenaders and Court; and Master White Gold, Miss White Gold and Court. These categories of Royalty represented an age range from age 6 though adulthood. For a number of years, the celebration selected a Spirit of Cotton, normally a young attractive female college student from one of the National Historical Black Colleges to serve as an ambassador for the celebration. The Spirit was selected in April and traveled the Unites States accompanied by a chaperon, Mrs. Ethyl Venson, (via) airlines. Each city visited was pre-coordinated by Dr. and Mrs. Venson. While in each city, the Spirit would be received by the City Mayor and other dignitaries. As the Jubilee’s Ambassador, she invited people to travel to Memphis during the time of the MCMJ May celebration. In 1934 Dr. R. Q. Venson was engaged to his wife to be, Ethyl Belle Horton. She was a very fair-skinned Negro, many that didn’t know her confused her with being white. One Saturday, during the first part of May in 1934, Ethyl and her six-year-old nephew, Quincy Johnson came by Dr. Venson’s office to eat lunch with him. Dr. Venson opened his office for a full day every Saturday for the convenience of his patients. There was a big parade being held that Saturday, which was promoted by the Memphis Cotton Carnival Association, an all-white organization. The parade route came down Main Street to Beale and then to Riverside Drive returning to its point of origin. The parade was only two blocks from Dr. Venson’s office. Dr. Venson, interested in making points with his wife to be, Ethyl, asked her nephew if he would like to go with him and view the parade. The young lad was overly joyed with the invitation and readily said yes. Dr. Venson gathered up the young Quincy and they were off to watch the parade. Dr. Venson found Main Street was lined with many spectators, both white and black people. The corner of Beale and Main was very crowded, so they walked a few blocks north from Beale Street to get a better view of the parade as it passed. He put young Quincy on his shoulder so he would be able to see everything. The crowd was cheering as the bands, floats, and other marching units marched down Main Street. After the parade was over, he was walking the young boy back to his office and asked the youngster, “How did you like the parade?” The young six-year old responded, “I didn’t like the parade.” Dr. Venson asked young Quincy, “Why not? The floats were beautifully decorated and the marching bands played many well-liked marching songs.” The young boy replied, “All the Black people in the parade were horses.” He was referring to the fact that the big floats were pulled by horses and all the smaller floats were pulled by Black men wearing long white coats. Those were the only Black people in the parade. At the time, Dr. Venson had no answer for the young boy. As they walked back to his office, Dr. Venson thought to himself, this parade left a negative impression in the young lad’s mind. He knew there were many other young Black children watching the parade and no doubt, they too had the same negative impression of the parade. He knew this was not a good image for the young Black children watching the parade. He felt something needed to be done about this horrible situation. When he got back to his office, he told Ethyl about his conversation with her nephew regarding the parade and Quincy’s perception of the parade. Dr. Venson knew most of the members on the board of the organization promoting the parade. On the Monday following the parade, when he was to take his noon walk on Beale Street, he decided to walk to the organization’s headquarters, which was located on North Main, only 8 or 9 blocks from Dr. Venson’s office. When he got to the building where the Memphis Cotton Carnival’s office was located, he asked to speak to the board, as they were having a meeting. Dr. Venson was granted permission to address the board. They knew Dr. Venson, but had no idea what he wanted to talk about. According to Dr. Venson, he told the board about the negative impression the young boy ha regarding the parade. He asked the board if they could include Black people in their next parade in a more dignified fashion The President of the Association responded, “Their celebration was for the white community. If the Colored people didn’t like the way their parade and celebration operated, they should organize their own parade and celebration. When Dr. Venson related this story to the writer, he indicated that he was insulted by the President’s remarks to him. He got angry and just left the building. As he walked back to his office he was frustrated and angry. He told me he thought about the President’s remarks and decided may he is right. He thought to himself, organize a celebration for the Black community, that’s exactly what I will do. At this point a seed was planted in Dr. Venson’s mind. This was in May of 1934. I believe Dr. Venson was destined to organize a celebration of sorts. When looking through his memoirs, I found a picture with a group of soldiers and three young ladies standing in the center of the group. I discovered a handwritten note on the back of the picture that read: (1925) World War One Soldiers under the leadership of (Lieutenant) Dr. R. Q. Venson sponsored the first Black Parade in Memphis. Featured were three young ladies called “The Angelics.” The young ladies shown with the soldiers were (left to right), Annie Franklin, Unknown, and Geneva Cawthon. Lt. L. Q. Venson is seated on the front row, second soldier from the left. To be continued in April 2019 35
February 2019

Vol#1-Issue#2


Page 0
Page 2
Page 4
Page 6
Page 8
Page 10
Page 12
Page 14
Page 16
Page 18
Page 20
Page 22
Page 24
Page 26
Page 28
Page 30
Page 32
Page 34
Page 36