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‘I was there, for that first issue’

‘I was there, for that first issue’
(This letter from Christopher Brooks, a former Memphian now living in Los Angeles, was written to The New Tri-State Defender President/Publisher Bernal E. Smith II. In it, Brooks, who helped birth The Tri-State Defender, bridges the gap between then and now.)
 
Dear Mr. Bernal E. Smith II,
 
Sir, first, you don’t know me, so please allow me a brief introduction. I was rambling through some of my old collections of documents, books, etc. I came across a November 10th, 2011 edition of the Tri-State with a front page, 2-column spread with a caption, “The ‘Defender’ at 60.” I remember that day (of the first edition) and have recalled it many times in that span between then and now.

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Adding health conversations to African-American family reunions

Adding health conversations to African-American family reunions
(PRNewswire-USNewswire) – The National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP) offers the Family Reunion Health Guide to help African-American families talk at family reunions and other summer events about the connection between kidney disease and more common conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. 
 
Designed to be used by families, the Guide encourages relatives to talk about risk factors and health by providing conversation starters, talking points and key materials to help facilitate such discussions.  

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Is TVA moving from coal to gas?

Is TVA moving from coal to gas?
TVA is making decisions about the future of the Allen coal-burning power plant right now. This urgent issue requires immediate action in our community. Yes, they provide us electricity, but there is a cleaner safer way than burning coal.
 
The problem
 
TVA released a draft environmental assessment outlining plans to retire the Allen coal-burning power plant in Memphis and to replace it with a natural gas-fired plant. TVA recently hosted a public open house event (July 8th) at the Amtrak Train Station Boardroom to discuss their plans with the public. The Sierra Club, the NAACP Memphis Branch, and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy were on hand to share their organizational views on the TVA’s proposed plan to convert the plant from coal to natural gas.  

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Locked up, left behind: Juvenile justice system failing Southern youth

Locked up, left behind: Juvenile justice system failing Southern youth
“The most disadvantaged, troubled students in the South and the nation attend schools in the juvenile justice systems,” the 2014 report from the Southern Education Foundation begins. 
 
The document, Just Learning: The Imperative to Transform Juvenile Justice Systems into Effective Educational Systems raises a number of questions: If so many children with educational needs are segregated or incarcerated, what will become of them and the society they will enter once they age out of the system? Are their needs being met? What can be improved?

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Marching back to Mississippi

Marching back to Mississippi
Those of us who were in Mississippi to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer know very well none of it could have unfolded in the way it did without the quiet and courageous leadership of Robert Moses and David Dennis. 
 
Bob, a Harlem-born son of a janitor and graduate of Hamilton College, had studied philosophy at Harvard. He left a job teaching mathematics at New York City’s private Horace Mann School to work for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and in 1961 began leading a voter registration project in Mississippi, where voting was a white sport with no or few blacks allowed to play in many counties.

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The University of Tennessee Health Science Center to operate West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center to operate West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) has been awarded a $3.1 million contract to operate the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center (WTRFC) and the Shelby County Medical Examiner’s Office.
 
Under the contract, which was approved in June by the Shelby County Commission and went into effect July 1, UTHSC will provide a range of services. They include:

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Brooks battles on to keep her seat

Brooks battles on to keep her seat
The legal battle between District 2 County Commissioner Henri Brooks and opponents on the Shelby County Commission was set to return to Shelby County Chancery Court on Thursday, July 3rd. 
 
Brooks sought injunctive relief from the court against the commission after allegations that she did not live in the district led to the vote removing her from the commission. While the matter still was pending at The New Tri-State Defender’s print deadline, the most recent ruling seemed to favor Brooks, who is seeking a final favorable decision from the court before the commission’s next meeting on Monday (July 7th).

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  • Written by Tony Jones
  • Category: Original

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