Katherine Williams drew in a deep breath and exhaled following a morning salute to graduating seniors at Craigmont High School. One of the graduates – her son, Christen Walker Dukes – weighed only two pounds at birth, was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, and wasn't expected to live.
The grim report that Williams had received from the doctors at Methodist University Hospital 18 years ago was superseded by her son's dogged determination to survive and overcome the malady that threatened his life.
"He was a preemie at birth and underdeveloped," said Williams, who birthed her son after a 24-week gestation period. "He was born on a Thursday, around 3 p.m., and the doctors said he wouldn't live throughout the night."
"When my name was called, it seemed so surreal," the Rev. Eric Ovid Donaldson, senior minister at Unity Christian Church in Whitehaven, recalled after winning Toastmasters International's District 43 International Speech Contest held recently in Tupelo, Miss.
"At one moment, I was supporting our Unity Toastmasters Club, and in the next moment, I'm being invited halfway around the world to compete in the semi-finals at the World Championship of Public Speaking."
Thousands of Toastmasters from around the world will be traveling to this year's International Convention in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to watch The World Championship of Public Speaking.
The inaugural Sistahs Succeed 2 Showcase (SS2 Showcase) presented by Spirit Magazine is coming to the Cook Convention Center on June 7th-8th.
The showcase is designed as an eventful weekend in downtown Memphis for women of all ages to enjoy live entertainment, meet celebrity guests and sample and purchase a wide range of health, beauty, fitness, fashion and financial products and services.
"The goal of the showcase is to provide resources to uplift and encourage not only our sisters but their families as well in all aspects of life from health and fitness, to being glamorous and financially stable," says President of SS2 Showcase, Inc. Minerva Little. "We're bringing all of those things under one roof and making it an entertaining event for everyone involved."
Culinary historian Adrian Miller, the 2014 James Beard Award recipient, will be the center of attention when the Cotton Museum hosts Soul Food Sunday on May 25th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the museum at 65 Union Ave.
The free event will celebrate the release of Miller's new book, "Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine One Plate at a Time." The Cotton Museum's event organizers said attendees should expect to learn and taste along as Miller uncovers "the influences, ingredients and innovations behind this uniquely American tradition and our very own culinary history."
In addition to a discussion and book signing with Miller, guests will have the chance to enjoy soul food from local restaurants and music from Greg Mason's Gospel Ensemble. Some of Memphis' tastiest treats will be available from The Gay Hawk, Alchemy, Deja Vu, R.P. Tracks and Local Gastropub.
The City of Memphis will pull out the stops for fathers during the 4th Annual Memphis Training Camp for Dads on Saturday, June 14 at the University of Memphis Fogelman Executive Center. The sports-themed camp will include workshops to provide men with the information and tools needed to be an effective and successful father.
Every year, fathers, biological and non-biological, are honored for their impact on their families and the community and placed in the Hall of Fame. The New Tri-State Defender will highlight past award recipients in the series, "Where Are They Now?"
Martin Hurley had already been a foster parent for several years when he adopted his first son in 2006. He has fostered over 35 African-American boys, and believes that every child deserves a family.
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