TSD Memphis


Greater Metro

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.


Accused, jailed and acquitted, Southwest player makes comeback

GameOver-1-600As I entered the gym of Southwest Tennessee Community College on Union Ave., I could hear the basketballs bouncing on the hardwood floors. The stopping-and-going sounds made by the sneakers were sharp and precise as the Saluqis players moved in rhythm.

This was pre-practice, where some of interim coach Kevin Whitted players show up early – for the betterment of the team – to work on the individual things they haven't perfected yet. Free throws, left-handed lay-ups, catch-and-shoot three pointers all help the team.


Crime keys ‘Operation Take Back’

TakeBack-1-600A long-awaited chance to vent at the Memphis Police Department?

No, that wasn't the idea behind the Operation Take Back town hall meeting hosted Tuesday night by the Memphis chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

Convened at Mt. Moriah East Baptist Church, 1248 Haynes St., the meeting put Mayor AC Wharton Jr. and MPD Director Toney Armstrong in position to respond to citizen concerns and hear recommendations about police conduct, policies and procedures.


TSD Women of Excellence gala set for April 27

WOElogo-600The New Tri-State Defender will honor and recognize the ­significant ­achievements, contributions and work of outstanding African-American women from the Greater Memphis community during its sixth annual Women of Excellence Brunch and Awards Celebration at the Memphis Botanic Gardens on April 27.

"Women have long been the backbone of our community, contributing significantly to our growth and progress," said TSD President/ Publisher Bernal E. Smith II. "They deserve a day of recognition and reward for all they do and for all they mean to us."


Math teacher picks up from football player’s handoff

ChrisMarve-300If I told you that 1+1= 2, you'd agree. If I told you that 2+2= 4, you'd say right on. If I told you that 4+4= 8, you'd say OK, now make your point.

Our simple addition here is 100 percent correct, but I'm not handing out any cookies. Why? Because I see another law at work. The one where 1+1 just may equal millions.

That's the way Christopher Ryan Marve sees it. He's an educator, and educators – the ones who are really serious about their profession – must see it this way.


Street buzz: The next school superintendent

2-8streetBUZZ-4-600What would you like to see in and/or from the superintendent who is hired to run the Unified School District?

Jeff Shelton

"(Homegrown) with some national enlightenment as to the inner workings of a large urban district....This is a grand opportunity for the district to access the wealth of young talent and their ideas as to how to guide this unique educational experience with the new consolidated system. Though an educational background is important, someone with stringent leadership abilities and a keen sense of community and diversity will be of great value....The key is to place the dollar value in the education of the student and not so much the administration."


What state is Shelby County in?

Mark Luttrell-200Asked by the Kiwanis Club to speak on the "State of the County," Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell Jr. vowed not to " sugar coat things."

"We have serious issues that are facing our county," said Luttrell, speaking Wednesday at the University Club on Central at Lamar. "Issues that require aggressive leadership and collaboration – issues like education, crime, blight, access to healthcare, juvenile court reform, government inefficiencies, and lack of job growth.

"If we bring the right people to the table, have candid discussions, and educate the public, I believe we can overcome these challenges."