Twenty years ago this week, I opened the microphone and spoke for the first time on the radio! It's kinda hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I literally have been in broadcasting half my life.
This week also marks the sixth year that I have been a part of 1035 WRBO, as well as my run here as a columnist with The New Tri State Defender. Funny, my mother used to tell me often that I never stuck with anything. I just never found anything that I was willing to stick with.
That is until I discovered radio.
The LeMoyne-Owen College's Memphis Alumni Chapter pays homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 23rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 20.
The tribute begins at 8 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Memphis Airport Conference Center. This year's breakfast is dedicated to the LOC students who organized and participated in sit-ins during the civil rights movement and to the sanitation workers and other supporters who participated in the pivotal 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Willie W. Herenton, a member of the LeMoyne-Owen College class of 1963, the first African-American selected superintendent of Memphis City Schools and the first elected as mayor of Memphis.
MLGW is teaming up with the Neighborhood Christian Center to assist qualified low-income seniors and physically challenged residents of Shelby County through the Power of Warmth Program. The program provides space heaters and electric blankets to eligible MLGW customers.
The Neighborhood Christian Center will be accepting applications and screening eligible households for heaters or blankets at 785 Jackson Ave. on Tuesday (Jan. 7) through Wednesday (Jan. 8) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To qualify for the Power of Warmth Program, applicants must be a resident of Shelby County as well as disabled and/or a low-income senior, age 60 or older.
The headline read, "NOTICE To Students, Supporters Partners & General Public" and it was dated Jan. 1, 2014. In the brief electronic message that followed, one could sense the pain being experienced by the sender, Bennetta "Bennie" Nelson West, executive director/founder of the Memphis Black Arts Alliance, Inc. – FireHouse Community Arts Center and Academy
"Due to personal and organizational issues, the Memphis Black Arts Alliance, Inc. – FireHouse Community Arts Center and Academy will suspend operations, effective today until March 31, 2014," the message read. "In the interim, with guidance from key stakeholders, we will assess the future of MBAA."
West's reference to personal issues relates to a chilling Facebook entry posted to her site on Dec. 22. In part, the post read, "Dear Facebook Friends – I sadly report that my son, Joshua Benjamin Malekbu Parks[,] was responsible for his death, the death of the mother of two of his five children and critical injuries to the children's grandmother on Wednesday, Decemb...er 18th."
Kwanzaa, which means "first fruits of the harvest," is celebrated from Dec. 26th to Jan., 1st annually, with the purpose of honoring, acknowledging and saluting African-American heritage.
Created by Dr. Ron Karenga, the holiday was first observed from Dec. 26, 1966 to Jan. 1, 1967. An emphasis is put on the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa (Nguzo Saba) – Umoja (oo-MOE-jah), Kujichagulia (koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-ah), Ujima (oo-JEE-mah), Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah), Nia (nee-AH), Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) and Imani (ee-MAH-nee).
As Kwanzaa has aged, the celebration has grown, with a number of ceremonies and events now offered throughout Greater Memphis. Two groups – Memphis Kwanzaa International and Mid-South Kwanzaa Incorporated – provide seven days of events.