SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Pastor George A. McKinney and his family were hosting a pool party four years ago. Several children and families were gathered, fellowshipping and having a good time. Nothing out of the ordinary for this annual event, which Pastor McKinney had been hosting for more than a decade without incident.
"Albert was 7; my son was 9 at the time. They were friends. They had gone to Magic Mountain together. There were some other kids there as well and they were having a great time," McKinney remembers He vividly remembers about six or seven children in the pool that time, saying, "Albert was running around the house, having a great time, playing video games with my son. Normal kids' stuff."
But what was a normal, joyous time quickly turned to tragedy.
While air travel etiquette – or lack thereof – is a frequent topic of conversation among travelers, there are myriad more common travel scenarios warranting discussion about how best to resolve or defuse a situation.
In a recent survey, Travel Leaders Group asked Americans how they would handle uncomfortable – yet fairly common – travel dilemmas such as tipping hotel and resort bellman and maids, saving unoccupied beach chairs at resorts, and bringing kids to adult-only pools at resorts and hotels, along with vying for overhead storage bin space on airlines. The series of "What would you do?" travel dilemma questions were part of a survey conducted from April 6th to April 28th, 2014, and includes responses from 2,719 consumers throughout the United States.
"Our 'What would you do?' questions have yielded some very intriguing responses over the past two years – and this year is no different," said Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben.
During a meeting Tuesday (May 20th) afternoon with the editorial staff of The New Tri-State Defender, County Commissioner Henri Brooks addressed myriad issues – including her highly criticized move to "correct" a speaker who asserted that in Memphis Hispanics are the "minority of minorities." Here is Part II of that Q&A session.
The New Tri-State Defender: Is there a difference between minorities as it relates to the law?
Henri Brooks: Quite frankly, there's an unspoken rule. Ethnic minorities do not compare themselves. If you look at Title VI, you'll find that Hispanics are mentioned and blacks are mentioned as protective beneficiaries. It just says that we have suffered discriminatory expenditures of federal dollars. So we're both in the same group. Title VI protects us both. So there's no need to compare each other.
A record-high 356 temperatures were tied or broken across the contiguous United States in 2012, marking the warmest year ever in American history. Over that same period, widespread droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, snowstorms, and superstorms put a nearly $110 billion dent in the economy.
And according to environmental activists, that's something African Americans should be concerned about.
"If natural disasters happen, or heat waves, or prices go up for food and gas, then African Americans get the short end of the stick in those situations," explained Bruce Strouele, director of operations for Citizens for a Sustainable Future, a think-tank dedicated to improving quality of life for African Americans through sustainable development and environmental justice.
If the Shelby County Commission chamber had been a classroom and Commissioner Henri Brooks had been Pablo Pereyra's teacher, the admonishment that she directed at the real estate agent during a May 12th Commission meeting likely would not have caused such a firestorm.
But that was not the scenario that played out. Brooks' upbraiding of Pereyra was a key element in a scene that set off a chain reaction, including calls for Brooks' resignation, an apology from her, or a resolution of censure from the Commission.
During a meeting Tuesday afternoon with the editorial staff of The New Tri-State Defender, Brooks moved to put the swirling controversy in what she considers the correct context.
City Councilman Edmund Ford Jr. and Memphis Housing and Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb are convening a Whitehaven-area town hall meeting next Thursday (May 29th) that Ford said is designed to get residents engaged in creating improvements or expansions for their community.
The session will be held at Whitehaven Community Center at 4318 Graceland Dr. on the same block as Hillcrest High School. It is set for 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
"We always hear criticism when the city invests in public-private improvements. So what we want to do first is find out what Whitehaven residents feel the area needs, and then show them how to make it happen," Ford said.
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."