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

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

(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

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

(From left) Granddaughter Kaci Doss-Simmons delivered a moving poem. (Center) Grandson Tony Martin introduces the Martin Family Choir at the event and (Right) Niece Tina Byrd sings “Touch Me Lord”. (Below) Grandchildren and Great Grand Children pictured. 8

Pictured (from left) are Cynthia Wells, Clara Earl, Overton D. Wright, birthday honoree Dr. Mary L. Mockingbird (center), James ‘Bo’ Carter and Melissa St. Agnes. (Below) Evangelist Sharon “The Rose” Martin (left) served as the Program Facilitator for the celebration. 9

(Top left) Mary Bledsoe of the McKinney Family and Friends perform. (Top right) Phyllis “County Girl” McKinney sings and (Below left) plays the organ. Martin’s long-time friend Rosa Dennis (right) was one of two surprise guests who attended the birthday party. 10

ENTHUSIASTIC CONGRATULATIONS on your inaugural publication DR. YVONNE D. NELSON. Be encouraged that you are EMPOWERING with INFORMATION and KNOWLEDGE. Sisterly, HENR I E . BROOKS 11

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


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.

(Above left) Recently appointed District 6 City Councilwoman Gerre Currie was one of several people who spoke at the “One Community Voice” meeting held Saturday, February 23, 2019, at the T.O. Fuller Park Club House, 1500 W. Mitchell Road. (Above right) Event co-organizer Gwen Wrushing Nelson addresses the crowd. (Below left) Arise Independent Consultant, Betty P. Tyler (left) discusses the impacts the Memphis 3.0 plan can have on the community with the assistance of Patricia Lee. (Below right) District 91 State Representative Barbara Cooper attended the event that discussed both mutual and individual neighborhood concerns. 16


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

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

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


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


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

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

(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


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(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

Advertise Your Business or Promote Your Event Free Calendar Listings and 20% OFF Your Ad through April 1, 2019 Thank you for subscribing to our first NEWSCENE publication. We are the NEW SCENE where NEWS is SEEN! We hope you enjoyed the stories about and the pictures taken at events we visited last month. We are looking forward to sharing more pictures and stories with you next month about the many events taking place this month. As you know, we can’t be at more than one event at a time, but we are here to assist you to get your events online, in our calendar, and in print. Don’t forget you can click on the links that are included to visit websites, blogs, Facebook pages and more! We want to be the first place you look to learn about the things happening in your community, but we won’t know about what’s happening unless you tell us. Write to us at Memphis.Meetings@gmail.com or call (901) 300-0250 to leave us a message. We promise to return your call in a timely fashion. NEWSCENE . . . ...is currently seeking ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS and passionate and outgoing volunteer photojournalists who can write stories and take pictures at local events. Interested persons should phone (901) 300-0250 for details. 36

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