Greater Metro

40th Anniversary salute to African American Police Association

AAhist-1-600Since its inception as an official national commemoration nearly half a century ago, African American History Month has become something many of us take for granted.

But if one candle is enough to keep a bonfire going, we happened to stumble upon a small, refreshingly sincere, and humbly very powerful program at the Lambert Church of God In Christ this past Sunday (Feb. 24).

Matchbox size, Lambert is located "two blocks up Park from Airways and then to the right" on Keating Street in Orange Mound.


Police union taking it to the streets

police-1-600The Memphis Police Association will conduct a public awareness protest at Poplar & Highland on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to bring attention to what union president Michael Williams terms gross mismanagement by mayor AC Wharton Jr.'s administration.

The meet-and-greet encounter is a giant public handshake designed to increase the volume on the union's Wake Up, MEMPHIS! campaign.

"We think there has been a campaign going on to actually discredit the police in this city," said Williams. "We think there are a lot of things that aren't being addressed while running us down."


Cornerstone-Lester rift oozes out of hearing

Cornerstone-1-600Is it leadership, ineffective and insensitive teachers, cultural insensitivity, or all of the above?

All were touted as reasons of concern when a packed house of parents, children, religious leaders, educators and community advocates convened Saturday (Feb. 23) to participate in a legislative hearing chaired by State Rep. G.A. Hardaway Jr., at the Lester Community Center.

Time did not permit all to voice their concerns, but the 3½-hour buzz included testimonies from 12 parents, a current teacher, a former teacher, a minister and a community activist. Their stories reflected concerns about alleged inequities and unfair treatment impacting kindergarten through third graders at Cornerstone Prep Academy's Lester Campus.


New deadline for ‘The Teacher That Changed My Life’ essay contest

Did a teacher affect you so deeply that the course of your life was literally altered by the exchange?

Well, if so, and if you can relay that experience in 500 words or less, you have a shot at coming up a winner in an essay contest dubbed "The Teacher That Changed My Life!"


Juvenile Court settlement to get Town Hall airing Thursday

Henri-Brooks-400A Town Hall meeting is set for Thursday to discuss the recent agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Shelby County Juvenile Court.

The session, which County Commissioner Henri Brooks will host, will be held in the auditorium of the Memphis City Schools Board at 2597 Avery. It is slated for two hours and begins at 5 p.m.

At issue is a $4.5 million to $6.5 million settlement agreement that is a tied to a three-year Department of Justice (DOJ) study. According to the findings, Juvenile Court had shown systemic discrimination in its treatment of African-American children. Other children, the study concluded,


Hoops help for St. Jude

25hollinsstjude-600This week, The V Foundation for Cancer Research and ESPN are teaming up with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the fight against pediatric cancer by raising awareness and funds to support lifesaving work for children.

After tipping off Sunday and continuing through March 4, the NBA family – led by Hoops for St. Jude ambassadors and ESPN commentators – will engage fans through a partnership designed to advance cancer research and patient care benefitting children and families battling pediatric cancer. One hundred percent of donations to The V Foundation from this campaign will go directly towards cancer research benefitting St. Jude's patients.


Oratorical contest speaks to the value of education

Ori-Contest-600Who says that young children don't know the importance of an education?

Recently, the Memphis Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. held its 16th annual Oratorical Contest at Colonial Middle School with 34 fifth-graders from different schools throughout the Memphis area. While performing my job as the MC, I heard some very remarkable speeches from the participants.

They all spoke on this topic: "Though the odds may be stacked against the youth of today, education is the key."


Juneteenth scrutiny at African American history program

Juneteenth-400Juneteenth is an African-American celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States and is observed on June 19. It generally is linked to that month and day in 1865 and is associated with the enslaved in Galveston, Texas celebrating their freedom after learning that the Emancipation Proclamation had freed them two years earlier.

In observance of African American History Month, the New Juneteenth Committee hopes to separate fact from fiction as it commemorates the 20th Anniversary of Juneteenth in Memphis and the 150 Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation on Friday, Feb. 22, at Impact Baptist Church, 3759 Watkins Ave. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m.


BlueCross to offer diversity scholarships

20scholarships-550The health care industry is changing. That change not only brings increased access to insurance to populations never covered before, but also a greater need for a qualified, diverse workforce to deliver that care.

To address this need for more inclusion in the health care setting, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust, in collaboration with the Memphis chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE), is offering a $5,000 college scholarship to three Tennessee minority students.


Trailblazer: Judge W. Otis Higgs

DSC07255-200Services are pending for Shelby County Criminal Court Judge W. Otis Higgs, who died Friday after working earlier in the day before going home ill. He was 75.

Judge Higgs was rushed to a hospital by ambulance following a collapse at his home in East Memphis.

History will note Mr. Higgs as the first African American to serve as sheriff in Shelby County.


Cohen and the difficult decision

SteveCohen-600Congressman Steve Cohen of Memphis said the decision to publicly acknowledge he had a daughter he didn't know about until three years ago was difficult for both of them.

In an interview with CNN's "The Situation Room" on Friday, Rep. Steve Cohen, a Democrat, described how an Internet search for a former romantic interest led him to discover the woman has a daughter. She bears a striking resemblance to him.

"My staff people looked at her pictures and they said, 'I think she's your daughter,'" Cohen told CNN's Kate Bolduan.


100-year-old COGIC Bishop A. E. Reed dies

COGIC Bishop Albert E ReedBishop Albert E. Reed, the longest living bishop in the Church Of God In Christ, died Monday at the age of 100.

Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, COGIC founder, ordained and consecrated Reed, a bishop in COGIC in 1948. He pastored several COGIC churches in six states, including California, Montana, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas and Tennessee. He was a jurisdictional prelate for 27 years in the COGIC Montana jurisdiction.

Bishop Reed was born in 1912 in Okemah, Okla. A graduate of Booker T. Washington High School in Bristow, Okla., he received a Bachelor's of Science degree in Business Administration from Alexander Hamilton School of Business in New York City. He later earned a doctorate in Theology from Bishops College in Marshall, Texas.


The Extraordinary Bold Souls of African Kinship Exhibition

Carnita Atwater loves her African heritageDr. Carnita Atwater is a force. "The Extraordinary Bold Souls of African Kinship Exhibition" is evidence of what she can muscle up.

A native of Clarksdale, Miss., Atwater has traveled to myriad parts of the world in search-and-retrieval mode, always on the look out for pieces to add to her artful narrative history of African and African-American people.

You don't have to travel out of the city to get a glimpse for yourself. In celebration of African American History Month, two versions of her exhibition prowess are on display at the Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library and the Cossitt Library down.