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Greater Metro

Downtown fixture Brenda Buford-Shaw moving piano studio to Bartlett

Downtown fixture Brenda Buford-Shaw moving piano studio to Bartlett
Memphis-area piano music instructor Brenda Buford-Shaw is moving from her Downtown studio, where she has been a fixture for 24-plus years.
 
The transition will be marked with an Open House reception on Sunday (June 8th) from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the new location at 5705 Stage Rd. in Bartlett.
 
A consistent presence in the Downtown Memphis community, Buford-Shaw operated from the Lincoln American Tower at 100 N. Main building, and only moved because of renovation work at her longtime business home. 
 
Buford-Shaw says she will miss working from Downtown, having grown up minutes away. The Memphis native received her Music Education degree from Langston University in Oklahoma.

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Coming soon: Hattiloo Community Grand Opening

Coming soon: Hattiloo Community Grand Opening
After a successful two-year capital campaign that resulted in $4.2M raised from over 200 sources, Hattiloo, a black repertory founded in 2006, is set to open its newly constructed theatre in Overton Square. 
 
The free – first come/first-serve – Community Grand Opening will unfold from 8 a.m. to midnight on June 28th at the theatre at 37 South Cooper.  
 
A 150-seat flexible theatre, 56-seat black box theatre, lobby that can accommodate up to 100 people, and a well-outfitted backstage and office amenities make up the new 10,000-plus square foot building. The Community Grand Opening, sponsored by FedEx and The Mustang Fund, includes free performances from various groups, including Ballet Memphis and Cazateatro and will reflect the theatre’s diverse history. There are also private tours for Hattiloo subscribers and donors. 

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Fred Johnson – Memphis Training Camp for Dads Hall of Famer

Fred Johnson – Memphis Training Camp for Dads Hall of Famer
(Every year, fathers – biological and non-biological – are honored for their impact on their families and the community and placed in the Memphis Training Camp for Dads Hall of Fame. The New Tri-State Defender will highlight past award recipients in the series, “Where Are They Now?”)
 
It’s been three years since father and community figure, Fred Johnson, received the Hall of Fame Award at the inaugural Memphis Training Camp for Dads. Then, he was raising his daughter, Jasmine, who was a bright and talented freshman at Wiley College. He’d raised her as a single dad after his wife passed away in 2011 when Jasmine was just a year old.
 
Despite challenges, Johnson continues to give and remains a father figure in the community. Today, he serves on the Community Advisory Board at St. Jude Children’s Hospital and is a coordinator for WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) at Rozelle Creative and Performing Arts Elementary School, his daughter’s former school. 

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Deputy Charllai Wooten

Deputy Charllai Wooten

(Just as a neighborhood should not be judged by the actions of a few bad apples, neither should law enforcement agencies. The New Tri-State Defender' "Good Blue & You" column spotlights law enforcement officers who do it right. This week's focus is on Shelby County Deputy Charllai Wooten.)

No stranger to learning, Charllai Wooten graduated from Central High School (Class of 2000) and earned a criminal justice degree at the University of Memphis in 2008. True to her degree, she quickly found herself working for the Shelby County District Attorney's Office, where she learned even more while applying all that she knew for four-plus years.

The years spent studying and working in the field of criminal justice came in handy when she joined the Shelby County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) in 2013, landing on the Shelby County Schools "Rapid Response Unit." But before we get to that, let's pick up with Wooten the soldier, who was dispatched to Egypt seemingly in the blink of an eye.

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‘A Call for Balance/Fairness’

‘A Call for Balance/Fairness’

Why, asked a reporter at a Friday press conference, did none of the African-American "leaders" recently interviewed by her news outlet not come down on Commissioner Henri Brooks for remarks made while challenging the award of a county roofing contract to a firm with no African-American roofers?

"We identify with what she is talking about," said the Rev. Dr. L. LaSimba Gray, the Memphis head of Rainbow PUSH, one of three groups and several ministers who called the conference at Cane Creek Baptist Church.

"During the civil rights movement we didn't all agree with Malcolm X, but we didn't challenge Malcolm X because Malcolm X spoke truth to what we were living with every day. And what Henri Brooks was speaking to is what we live with every day," said Gray.

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Offended by what he labeled “slander,” radio host/television commentator fires back

Offended by what he labeled “slander,” radio host/television commentator fires back

The attachment handed out at a Friday press conference at Cane Creek Baptist Church had this header: "Direct Quotes of Mr. Andrew Clarksenior Appearance on WHBQ.TV Tuesday night 5/13/14."

The press conference featured representatives of Rainbow PUSH, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Action Network and "concerned ministers." It was a forum to issue a twin call for balance and fairness. One target was the awarding of contracts in Shelby County.

The other target was the media, particularly the handling of the story involving Commissioner Henri Brooks, who some want to resign in the wake of remarks she made at the Shelby County Election Commission on Monday. Brooks challenged the award of a roofing contract to a firm that employs 25 roofers who are Hispanic and no African Americans. Her manner of doing so is now a matter of ongoing controversy.

 

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Memphis fast-food workers determined to keep pushing in campaign for higher wages, union rights

Memphis fast-food workers determined to keep pushing in campaign for higher wages, union rights

Church's Chicken manager Daniel May seemed pleased with the turnout and what he viewed as the unity that existed among participants in a Memphis reflection of widespread strikes and protests at fast-food restaurants on Thursday.

"It's like this very positive vibe-to know that you're fighting for justice, and you're in that fight together. You have a special camaraderie with that person."

Memphis fast food workers walked off their jobs to campaign for $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation. Organizers say the move part of a "wave of strikes and protests" in 150 cities across the U.S. and 33 additional countries on six continents.

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