On the scroll of African Americans memorialized for their dedication to upgrading the quality of life in African-American communities should be a spot reserved for the legacy of Catherine Faye Howell.
Born April 16, 1928, Mrs. Howell died last year on June 2nd after a long illness. In the intervening 85 years she evolved into an unrelenting advocate for South Memphis and an energetic reminder that unwavering commitment to community is fundamental to rooting out poverty.
Memphis Area Project (MAP), South, Inc. – a South Memphis nonprofit organization that distributes food to impoverished infants, children, women and senior citizens – is a jewel in Mrs. Howell's legacy. On Aug. 10th 1965, she founded the group, along with Rosa A. Robinson, James Wray, William Wheeler and Beulah Williams.
Thirteen Cordova High School football players seeking an opportunity to play the game on the collegiate level all signed National Letters of Intent Wednesday (Feb. 5) morning during National Signing Day, when athletes from various sports make their college of choice official.
"It's a dream come true," said outside linebacker Vassiel Beason, who will attend the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He said he didn't see this day coming two years ago.
"I plan to start classes early in the summer to get a head start," he said.
The sentiments were pretty much the same: LeRoy Davis was quick-witted, brazen, a unique character, a good person and loved his church.
"We were tight; we did so much together. You couldn't help but love him," said Dora Chambers, recounting fond memories of her brother at a memorial service for him on Saturday (Feb. 1) at Dave Wells Community Center in North Memphis.
Davis died the afternoon of Jan. 24 in the home at 1051 Morehead St., which he shared with his mother, Katherine Tatum. Dense smoke and flames trapped him inside. Davis was the oldest of Tatum's eight children. He was 62.
The Malone for Shelby County Mayor camp (#maloneformayor2014) escorted its candidate, Deidre Malone, to the Shelby County Election Commission at noon Monday and filed the petition that makes the former Shelby County Commissioner an official candidate for Shelby County Mayor.
"I can't thank all of my supporters enough for their continued outpour of kindness and their commitment to this campaign," said Malone to her supporters in the lobby of the commission offices.
"We are going to win this race one person at a time, and it starts with you and these 65 names on this official document," she said, holding up the petition.
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) college presidents, alumni and students from the organization's 37 member institutions will gather for UNCF's 68th National Alumni Council (NAC) and 56th Pre-Alumni Council Leadership Conference to be held at the Memphis Cook Convention Center Feb. 12-16.
The 2014 honorees for the UNCF/NAC Legacy Awards are United States Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Carolyn House Stewart, Esq., International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
The Conference will feature workshops that explore the best and most promising practices relevant to professional leadership and historically black college and university (HBCU) development. Attendees will also explore topics such as career readiness, safety, philanthropy and entrepreneurship.
Any list drawing upon "P" words to address conditions in Memphis would easily be dismissed as invalid if poverty were not given a prominent place.
Mayor A C Wharton Jr. drew upon what he called the "5 P's" Wednesday morning as he addressed the State of the City to a crowded auditorium at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Amid "Potholes," "Pensions," "Public Safety" and "Planning," Wharton put "Poverty," which was paramount to Shelby County Democratic Party Chair Bryan Carson.
"I listened very closely to Mayor Wharton's State of the City address. Although I was very pleased with his 5 P's plan for Memphis, what caught my attention more was the city's Blue Print for Prosperity initiative to reduce our 27 percent poverty level by 10 percent by 2024," said Carson.