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‘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.

No easy answers exist with immigration reform

Twenty-thousand-eight-hundred-and-five unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras were caught entering the United States illegally in 2013. Of that number, 1,169 were repatriated. So far this year, 57,000 unaccompanied children from those same three countries have been caught coming across the border, and 1,500, at most, have been deported.
Given those odds, it might be worth the trip.
President Barack Obama’s public message that kids won’t be allowed to stay in the United States has at this point fallen on deaf Central American ears, and the kids keep arriving daily. He’s now asking Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to deal with the surge of unaccompanied children crossing the border.  But only a tiny fraction of that money would go where it’s desperately needed.

LeBron James lets grudges die with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert

Lebron Going Home
They called him a traitor.
They cursed his name.
They burned his jersey.
Now, all Cleveland fans will say, through toothy grins and gleeful giggles, is “welcome back.”

Adding health conversations to African-American family reunions

Kidney program
(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.  

LGBT center’s 26-year-old 1st African-American chair faces facial hostility

LBGT Chair
According to North Carolina’s Charlotte Post, the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte has elected Ranzeno Frazier as its youngest and first African-American chair of its board of trustees. But not everyone is happy about his groundbreaking role.
Frazier’s selection was met with both positive and negative responses, with naysayers taking issue with his age and experience, the paper reports. Most disturbing: Some explicitly attacked the 26-year-old with race-based insults, according to the paper.
Frazier says he received derogatory emails and text messages, including one in which he was called a “dumb n--ger” who didn’t deserve the position.