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At the Theatre: Front Porch Society plays at the Ensemble

 

By Dorris Ellis

The Houston Sun

Front Porch Society is now playing at the Ensemble Theatre through June 4. Setting in a delta county of Quittman, Mississippi in the city of Marks, seven families come-and-go to the front porches of two delta homes where ladies ages 95-50s bring the world to the audience.

The Ensemble’s Saturday night audience was delighted to become a part of the Front Porch Society’s amen corner, for they responded to the cast as if they were invited to participated. Directed by the Ensemble’s theatre Artistic Director, Eileen J. Morris, she took the Chicago playwright, Melda Beaty’s script and rapt a world premiere opening for the Houston market where it is bound to be a success. The time of the show’s setting is November 2008 on the front porch of Carrie Honey’s, home, played by Michelle Harrell, where the ladies discuss news and information and find solutions to problems as they provide hope and guidance to the old-and-young.

Yes, the content is serious, but this cast of professionals which included Jason E. Carmichael (Towner),  the mail carrier, brought much laughter to the audience with its suspense, drama, storytelling and comedy.

Moreover, this play shows a line of compassion for the elderly as the community took care of Miss Martha, the former educator and three-times widower, and it helped to heal the pain and hurt of the 41-years of suffering of Miss Honey.

Supporting cast were: Kendrick “Kayb” Brown (Terrance), the determined high school senior; Gwen Harris (Ms. Maratha), the glue that kept the conversation civil who sat on the porch daily, Rachel Hemphill Dickson (Sister Stallworth) the spirited first lady of the church, Dannette Mcelory-Davis, (Alberta) the connected traveler and Tamara Siler (Winnie) the superstitious loquacious neighbor. This lively cast will amuse Houston audiences as it will make them think, reflect and project into the future.

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THS African American History Parade 2017

Left to right; top row:   President Austin Lane, Texas Southern University is the Grand Marshall, sitting on the top.  Mrs. Lane, passenger, and the Houston National Association of Corvette Association is the driver,  Deloyd Parker, Ex. Dir. Shape Community Center

Below: Parade participants are: Houston Southwest Can Academy and Dr. Ruth Hoffman-Lach

Photo Credit Tanuke Smith

 

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Honoring History through the Streets of 3rd Ward

By Tanuke Smith

The Houston Sun foundation held its 2nd annual Black History parade, near the newly renovated and historic Emancipation park. On Saturday morning at approximately 10:30 am, parade participants formed a line on Tuam street facing Dowling.  Texas Southern University’s president Dr. Austin A. Lane, was the Grand Marshall. Mr. And Mrs. Lane greeted bystanders with smiles in an alluringly bright red convertible corvette.

Dozens of people flocked to the streets when they heard the music coming from the loudspeakers of the float, presented by the Houston Southwest Can Academy’s drill team.

 

Dressed in Pan African attire, community leader Deloyd Parker proudly raised his left fist and smiled as he optimistically greeted the crowd; members of the community clapped and whistled and cheered him on as he walked by.

“I lived in this community for over 25 years, and I am proud to say that brother Deloyd is a good man,” said Brenda Williams.

Bystanders near Dowling and Alabama removed their caps, hats, and other headgear as the grayish white van, pulling the trailer representing the Buffalo SoldiersMmuseum slowly rolled by. Douglass Johnson, and Calvin Woods high-fived one another as they spoke to the crowd saying” it’s been years’ scene we saw a real parade coming down Dowling.” Douglass shifted his eyes to the ground as he pondered on the last time he saw a parade routed down Dowling St.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Black Church & HIV Initiative Launches Newly Updated Pastoral Resources for Faith Leaders, Empowering Them to Incorporate HIV into Ministry

 

(Black PR Wire) WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative announced the release of its newly updated pastoral resources for faith leaders in honor of Minority Health Month. The Pastoral Brief and the Activity Manual offer a foundational approach for faith leaders to address HIV within the Black community from a social justice perspective.

The Black Church & HIV initiative, a partnership between the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Gilead Sciences, Inc. that aims to address the urgent need for action A the HIV epidemic within the Black community, believes the faith community is part of the solution, just as it has been in addressing equity issues affecting African Americans for decades.

The Pastoral Brief is an introduction to The Black Church & HIV, along with first-hand stories of how faith leaders can preach about HIV as a social justice issue and impact the lives of those living with HIV. Complementing the brief is an Activity Manual that provides faith leaders and lay persons who lead ministries in their church with more detailed information about HIV, as well as specific recommendations on activities that combat HIV and AIDS in the African-American community.

“Historically, the Black Church has been instrumental in driving change on social justice issues,” says Dr. Marjorie Innocent, NAACP’s Senior Director of Health Programs. “There is a growing need for pastors and the faith community to help address the alarming rates of HIV among African Americans. These comprehensive tools will empower pastors and lay leaders, giving them the resources they need to bring HIV awareness and prevention into their ministry.”

The African-American community, bearing the heaviest burden of HIV within the United States, is on the front lines of the fight against HIV. While they represent 12 percent of the total United States population, they account for 41 percent of all people living with HIV and 44 percent of all new infections. Additionally, on average, African Americans are likely to experience worse health outcomes than any other racial or ethnic group. Addressing the HIV epidemic is crucial in lowering these statistics and advancing health equity among African Americans, who historically have experienced unequal access to healthcare and been economically and socially disadvantaged, leading to a disproportionate burden of disease.

The Pastoral Brief and Activity Manual, which are an update to the original documents released in 2012, are reflective of the initiative’s learnings over the past five years, as well as current statistics and positions on the issue. They were developed under the guidance and support of an Advisory Committee of bishops, ministers and thought leaders who have worked in HIV ministry for decades.

The timely launch of the Pastoral Brief and Activity Manual allows faith leaders to incorporate HIV education into their sermons in observance of Minority Health Month. This month is dedicated to bringing national attention to the issue of health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities, including HIV in the black community.

To download a copy of the Pastoral Brief or Activity Manual or learn more about NAACP’s The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative initiative, visit http://theblackchurchandhiv.org/take-action/.

About The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative

The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative initiative was created in 2013 as a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action through the NAACP in partnership with Gilead Sciences, Inc. The initiative joins faith leaders, religious institutions and community members committed to ending the HIV epidemic in Black America, while also working to overcome stigma and address HIV as an issue of social justice. For more information, please visit http://theblackchurchandhiv.org/.

About the NAACP

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.

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Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee applauds the groundbreaking at the MLK, Jr. Plaza for the addition of iconic leaders Nelson Mandela, ROSA PARKS, and Barbara Jordan

“April 4th is the 49th Commemoration of the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – a man who lived his entire life for peace and justice. And now we add more of those who fought for justice”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security, Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, and the new Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation released the following statement:

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has been an instrumental part of building the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza and statue beginning with the securing of funding through Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood who saw the vast amount of support throughout the Houston community which caused him to push for submission of funding in President Obama’s 2010 federal budget for almost a billion dollars for Houston Metro. This was the first time in Houston’s history to be placed into the President’s budget for transportation dollars for light rail.  “We witnessed the implementation and construction on the northeast and southeast lines which included construction along Martin Luther King Street that impacted a tree planted by Daddy Martin King in 1983 to honor his son Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to advocate for the naming of MLK Street. The tree became the nexus between Houston Metro and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza,” stated Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

“The voice and leadership behind the historical planting of the tree was the Black Heritage Society and one of the leading Civil Right advocates in Houston, Ovide Duncantel.  Most people did not know the history behind the tree, but it was Ovide Duncantel that brought Daddy King to Houston to ensure Houston was a part of the national story and a part of history.  It was around this time that it was determined the tree would have to be moved in order to build the light rail on the prescribed path.  After discussions with the city and Metro, it was finally agreed to move the tree to a new site in McGregor Park where the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza and statue were eventually built.  The tree was successfully moved and saved even after experiencing a severe drought, and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza and statue were constructed with donations from all walks of life, including seventy-five thousand dollars secured from a major corporation.”

“Now we will add three more iconic figures who believed in Justice.  The ‘Icon Benches and Wall of Honor’saluting civil and human rights icons President Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, and Barbara Jordan will further showcase their revolutionary lives and works.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee will forever be associated with this remarkable project and memorial honoring some of our world’s greatest leaders.  “We look forward to bringing Nelson Mandela’s son Ndaba Mandela to Houston to celebrate the unveiling of these pioneers.”

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Keith Sweat returns for limited engagement at the Flamingo

Tickets to “Keith Sweat: Last Forever” July 5 – 22 to go on sale Saturday, April 8 at 10 a.m. PT

(Black PR Wire) Las Vegas – After his successful debut in January, Keith Sweat announced he will return for an additional run of his limited engagement, “Keith Sweat: Last Forever,” in the Donny & Marie Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas from July 5 through July 22, 2017.

In celebration of the 30th a

R&B artist Keith Sweat performs at the Flamingo
R&B artist Keith Sweat performs at the Flamingo

nniversary of Keith’s triple-platinum album, “Make It Last Forever,” the platinum-selling R&B singer and national radio personality will take the stage in Las Vegas and perform a variety of his notable hits including “I Want Her,” “Twisted” and “Nobody.”

 

“After an incredible run earlier this year, I could not wait to return to Las Vegas,” said Keith. “Fans came from all over the country to see me perform at the legendary Flamingo, and I’m more excited than ever to bring R&B back to the heart of The Strip.”

Tickets will go on sale to the public Saturday, April 8 at 10 a.m. PT. A special presale will be held for Total Rewards members, the loyalty program of Flamingo Las Vegas’ parent company Caesars Entertainment, beginning Thursday, April 6 at 10 a.m. PT through Friday, April 7 at 10 p.m. The 12 performances going on sale are:

July: 5 – 8, 11, 13 – 15, 18, 20 – 22

Ticket prices begin at $59, plus applicable tax and fees. VIP seats including a meet and greet with Keith Sweat are also available. Tickets are available at any Las Vegas Caesars Entertainment Box Office, by phone at (702) 777-2782 or by visiting www.keithsweatvegas.com. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m.