All posts by Sheila Ray Reed

Juneteenth 2016 Pageant

It was gathering of splendor and pageantry as girls and boys from area Houston schools showcased their talents in hopes of being crowned Miss and Mr. Juneteenth 2016 at the 8th Annual Mildred Johnson Miss Juneteenth Pageant presented by Friends of Emancipation Park and held at Trinity United Methodist Church.

A total of 18 contestants competed in the following categories (ages 3-5) Little Miss Juneteenth, (ages 6-9) Junior Miss Juneteenth, (ages 12 and up) Miss Juneteenth for the young ladies.  The young men, fell into two categories (ages 3-5) and (ages 5-12) Mr. Juneteenth and Mr. Handsome respectfully.

The pageant promotes community service, academic excellence, as well as encouraging poise and positive self-esteem.

In addition, the contestants were judge on their Juneteenth paper and poster competition. The four-judge panel also scored the contestants on their One-on-One interviews which was conducted immediately after each of them took to the stage to showcase their pageant-walk.

There were 18 contestants in four categories.  Addison DeBoest, Kainaan Jones and Faith White represented the Girls 3-5 Year Olds.  Next was the 6-9 Yearl Olds Girls.  The participants were Olivia Rogers, Symone Jones, Yanni White, Zoriyah Mack, Za’nya Forsey and Zanora Dorsey.  The older girls category 12 and Up participants were Raven Jacson, Kayla Ceasar and Terykah Lewis.

The Boys 5-12 year participants were O’ryan Rogers, Cornelius White, Jakiyea Mack, Jaylon Mack, Lawrence See and LeMarcus Thomas.

A total of five titles were awarded in the Miss Juneteenth 2016 Pageant, where Raven Jackson,12 earned the title of Miss Juneteenth, Addison DeBoest, 6 won Junior Miss Juneteenth and Kainaan Jones, 5 was named Little Miss Juneteenth. O’ryan Roger, 5 was crowned Mr. Juneteenth and Lawrence See, 9 won Mr. Handsome.

The runner-ups, Kayla Ceasar and Terykah Lewis/Miss Juneteenth, Olivia Rogers and Za’nora Dorsey/Junior Miss Juneteenth and Faith White/Little Miss Juneteenth along with Cornelius White/Mr. Juneteenth joined by Jaylon Mack and Jakiyea/Mr. Handsome will joined the title holders in the 43rd Juneteenth Parade and Music Festival.

LeMarcus Thomas, 2015 Mr. Mr. Juneteenth graciously gave his final walk recalling how it has been an honor to have carried a title in recognition of Juneteenth.

“When I won last year, I had a general idea of the significance of Juneteenth.  For instance while all of the Black enslaved people in the nation had been freed, Texas was the last state to get word,” he said.

“That means that Black folks were still in slavery. When word finally arrived in 1865 of June 19th, they rejoiced.  That is why we celebrate this day of freedom still today.”

Thomas went on to say that over the past year he has met many important people.  And that he really enjoyed being in the parade and the bike that he won.  He also said that he enjoyed meeting the Annise Parker, the mayor at the time.

“Mayor Parker told me to ‘keep doing what you are doing and to stay on the right track’.”

Thomas said that his future plans are to enjoy his summer and have fun because he will be entering high school next year.

Mrs. Mildred Johnson had a word for the audience.  She thanked the parents and gave special homage to the grandparents.  “When you trust someone with your children you trust God,” she said.

Mrs. Johnson said that it takes a lot of work to do what they do.  “All of the pretty dresses, costumes, decorations, etc.  I directed this pageant by telephone. I told everybody what to do and want needed to be done. I want to thank Dorris Ellis,  Dorcaus Robinson, the committee, the judges and KijanaWiseman.”

She went on to say she is looking forward to the parade and that Mayor Sylvester Turner is taking an active role in the parade.  Also she informed the crowd that if all goes well that the Juneteenth court could be part of the upcoming Super Bowl LI to take place in Houston.

Sponsor of the 2016 Juneteenth Pageant were Gerald and Anita Smith, This Is It Restaurant, Houston Super Bowl Committee, Ladies of Golf and Priscilla Graham Photography.


HCC opens doors for voter registration

HOUSTON [Sept. 17, 2015] – Houston Community College (HCC) is committed to doing its part for National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 22. HCC has teamed up with Neighborhood Centers Inc. to provide Harris County residents an easy and efficient way to register to vote.

A deputy voter registrar will be on hand at the West Loop Campus on September 22 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then from 4 to 7 p.m. to assist in the registration process. West Loop Campus SGA volunteers will work alongside Neighborhood Centers, Inc. employees. The help is free and open to public with hours designed to fit work schedules.

Harris County residents over the age of 18 will need to bring a valid Texas driver’s license or a Texas personal ID number. Individuals will also need to know the last four digits of their social security numbers.

For more information about HCC and its involvement in the community, visit Media is welcome on the West Loop Campus premises, 5601 W. Loop South, Houston, TX 77081, for live shot opportunities or stories related to this event. Contact Kristi Powers, Community Outreach Coordinator at 713.718.7768.

Man voting in polling place
Student Mark Elliot gets the message out for early voting.

About HCC

HCC is one of the country’s largest single-accredited, open-admission, community colleges offering associate degrees, certificates, workforce training, and lifelong learning opportunities for 113,000 students annually. HCC is composed of 12 Centers of Excellence and numerous satellite centers that serve the diverse communities in the Greater Houston area by preparing individuals to live and work in an increasingly international and technological society. To learn more go to

Texans win over 49ers 23-10 in preseason opener

Three lovely Texans' fans smiling after a Texans' win over the SF49ers.
Three lovely Texans’ fans all smiles after a Texans 23-10  win over the 49ers.

Houston Texans quarterbacks Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett and Tom Savage, already ranked one, two and three in the eyes of many eyes showcased their talents in a 23-10 victory over the San Francisco at NRG Stadium as three quarterbacks vied for starting position in the season opener in the midst of 71,400 fans.

The Texans started with Hoyer.  He was in and out but, he went straight into action promptly with a 58-yard pass to wide receiver Cecil Shorts III.  He continued with a two-point conversion to DeAndre Hopkins. Texans lead the first quarter 8-0.  Hoyer finished 2 for 4 with 67 yards.

The 49ers got on the board in the second quarter with a 10-yard pass from back-up quarterback Blaine Gabbert, followed by the extra point from kicker, Phil Dawson. The game, a one-point difference, between the teams, 7-8, with a Texans’ lead

Late in the second quarter, Dawson puts up three for the 49ers with a 37-yard field goal.  The 49ers get the lead, closing out the second quarter 10-8.

Mallett took over through the half and came up short when it came to scoring.  At one point the ball was moved all the way to the 1-yard line.  The Texans had eight plays to take it into the end-zone.  But just couldn’t make it.  It was a serious ball-stall.

Mallett finished his preseason opener with 10 of 11 for 90 yards and eight-pass completion.

Like Hoyer, Savage made his way to the scoreboard.  He landed a 10-yard pass to wide receiver, Jaleen Strong in the third quarter.  Texans  up 15-10.   Two more points were added by safety, Jason Ankrah as he stopped Gabbert in the endzone.  Houston leads 17-10.

Fourth quarter scoring was left solely to the Texans.  Kicker Randy Bullock does what he does best.  He put up two field goals.  One was for 41-yards; the other for 39-yards with 6:47 remaining in the game. Final score 23-10, gives the Texans a win it the pre-season opener.

The answer is still in the air, somewhat on who will be the Texans’ leading quarterback.  What is for sure from the mouth of Coach Bill O’Brien is that Mallett will start the next preseason against Denver on August 23 at NRG Stadium.

Texans’ fan, Michael Moore, says that he is picking Hoyer for the top spot.  “He’s the best.  The Texans got him in and he played only a short time.  This means, they know what he can do.  Also, they don’t want him to get hurt.  The others, (Mallet and Savage) have to prove themselves,” he said.

Moore could be right in a sense, since Mallet is starting next week.  Mallet does know that he will have to put some points on the board.  If not, then the contest starts again between Hoyer and Savage and not among the three.



TSU Tigers, SWAC champions proceed to NCAA March Madness

TSU, Coach Mike Davis gives his famous bull-horn victory call.
TSU, Coach Mike Davis gives his famous bull-horn victory call.

The No. 1 ranked Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Texas Southern University (TSU) men’s basketball team declared victory against the Southern University Tigers on March 14, at the Toyota Center for the SWAC Men’s Championship Title beating the Southern Tigers 62-58

TSU actually had the SWAC championship title in its pocket the night in the 90-77 semifinal win over Prairie View A&M.   The Southern Tigers were actually playing in a barred phase due to poor academic performance.  In February, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) banned all Southern University athletic programs from postseason play because of poor grades.

For the record if Southern would have beat TSU, in the SWAC Championship game, the Southern Tigers would have not advanced to the NCAA.  The Saturday win for the TSU Tigers just made their automatic SWAC bid to the NCAA bid just that sweeter.

This is the second consecutive year for the TSU Tigers (22-12, 16-2 SWAC) to step into the NCAA March Madness.  They will go up against the powerful Arizona Wildcats.  The Wildcats are second seeded (31-3).  The action will take place in Portland, Ore in the second round of the NCAA West Region.

TSU should not be taken lightly.  In regular season, the Tigers had some surprising wins against Michigan State (74-61) and Kansas State (58-56).  Plus the Tigers’ not-so- secret weapons, the self-assured coach, Mike Davis who is ready for any opportunity and challenged.

He told a local CBS sports radio show that the big non-conference wins gave his guys a sense of pride.  “I told the guys they have to play against really good basketball teams so they can understand the process. When we played Michigan State and won, Kansas State and Mexico State, our guys realized you can win basketball games without having a lot of great talent,” said Davis.

2015 SWAC basketball playoff action at Toyota Center

The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) will swing into action on Tuesday, March 10 at the Houston Toyota Center with both Texas Southern University (TSU) men’s and women’s teams holding the top bracket spots.

Texas Southern University senior, Madarious Gibbs 3# will play his last game as a TSU Tiger in the 2015 SWAC championship.
Texas Southern University senior, Madarious Gibbs 3# will play his last game as a TSU Tiger in the 2015 SWAC championship.

The Texas Southern men won 11 of their last 12 games to finish 16-12 in league.  Overall they landed 19-12.  TSU will face the winner of Alcorn State (5-25, 4-14 SWAC) and Grambling State (2-16, 0-18 SWAC) in the last quarterfinal game of the day on Wednesday, March 11, at 8:30p.m.

Alabama State University (18-9), 14-4 SWAC) defeated Jackson State University (11-20, 9-9 SWAC) to secure the No.2 seed.  The will take on No. 7 seed Mississippi Valley State University (6-25, 5-13 SWAC) Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.

On Thursday, No. 3 Southern University (16-16, 15-5 SWAC) will face No. 6 Alabama A&M (9-19, 8-10 SWAC) at 2:30 p.m.  Then No. 4 Prairie View A&M University (14-17, 12-6 SWAC) against No. 5 Jackson State University in the final quarter matchup at 8:30 p.m.

After finishing the season tied, The TSU Lady Tigers (19-10, 16-2 SWAC) split the regular season title with Southern (18-10, 16-2 SWAC), and edged past in the tiebreaker for the No.1 seed.  TSU lost only one game after a 15-game win streak heading into the tournament.

They will take on the winner of the Alabama A&M (6-23, 5-13 SWAC) and Mississippi Valley (4-25, 2-16 SWAC) on Wednesday, March 11 at 6 p.m.  As the No. 2 seed, Southern faces No. 7 Grambling (10-19, 7-11 SWAC) at noon.

Day two of the women’s tournament pits No. 3 Jackson State (13-16, 10-8 SWAC) vs. No. 6 Alcorn State (10-17, 9-9 SWAC) in the first header at noon on Thursday.  In the second game, No. 4 Alabama State (14-14, 10-8 SWAC) takes on No. 5 Prairie View (13-17, 10-8 SWAC) at 6p.m.

The 2015 SWAC tournament will open Tuesday, March 10, with a doubleheader, beginning with the No. 8 Alabama A&M women against Mississippi Valley at 6 p.m. and ending with the No. 8 Alcorn State men taking on no. 9 Grambling State.

The semifinal game will take place on Friday, March 13 at noon and 6 p.m. with the championship broadcasting live on ESPN3 at 2 p.m.

Basketball trailblazer Earl Lloyd passes at 86

Basketball trailblazer, Earl “Bigcat” Lloyd the first African American ever to play in the NBA (National Basketball Association) passed away on Thursday at the age 86.   Lloyd made his debut in 1950 for the Washington Capitals.  During the same year three other black players were drafted by the NBA but Lloyd was the first one to make it to the court.

NBA's first African American player Earl Lloyd played  for nine seasons passed away February 26 at age 89.
NBA’s first African American player Earl Lloyd played for nine seasons passed away February 26 at age 89.

            Known for his defense, Lloyd was selected in the ninth-round of the 1950 draft.  He played for nine seasons in the NBA.  His first game was on October 31, 1950 against the Rochester Royals.   He only had a seven game stretch with the Washington Capitals before the team folded in January of 1951. 

            He was picked up by the Syracuse Nationals (currently the Philadelphia 76ers) where he spent six seasons.  Lloyd went on to play two seasons with the Detroit Pistons in 1958-60 before he retired.  He also coached the Pistons in 1971-72 season where he was 22-55 and the first nine games in the 1972-73 season.

            Lloyd helped the Syracuse Nationals win the 1955 NBA Championship Title.  In 2002, he was inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

NBA trailblazer Earl Lloyd the first black player to hit the court.

            Lloyd said he encountered virtually no racist treatment from his teammates and opponents during his time in the NBA.  However the spectators were not so tolerant.  In a posting on the National Basketball Association website Lloyd solution to dealing with racist audiences was to play harder and ignored them.

            “Fans would yell stuff like, ‘Go back to Africa.’  And I’m telling you, you would often hear the N-word. “My philosophy was if they weren’t calling you names, you weren’t doing anything. You made sure they were calling you names, because you were hurting them,” said Lloyd.

            The three other African Americans to play in the same season were Chuck Cooper, Nathaniel Clifton and Hank Dezonie.

2015 SWAC Basketball Tournament passing the Salt-N-Pepa


The 2015 Toyota SWAC (Southwestern Athletic Conference) Basketball Tournament which runs March 10 -14 at the Houston Toyota Center will be shaking it up for the fans with a line-up of name performers in addition to some spell-bounding competitive basketball.

On Friday March 13, Hip Hop Trio Salt-N-Pepa featuring DJ Spinderella and R&B quartet 112 will perform some old-school magic.  The following day, Saturday March 14, debonair rapper Rick Ross and friends will take the stage in a post-championship concert.

Iconic female rap group Salt N Peppa working their magic.
Iconic female rap group Salt N Pepa will be performing  at the upcoming 2015 SWAC Basketball  Championship Tournament and Concert Series

untitled Salt n Pepa

The SWAC 2015 Concert Series will continue on Sunday with a special performance from The Forever Charlie Wilson Tour with his special guests musical sensations Kem along recording artist Joe, “I Wanna Know”.

All-session booklets, which include admission to all of the tournament games and select ancillary events, are available for just $125.  Individual session passes and tickets to the championship night games are also available.

They can be purchased online at or, in person at the Toyota Center box office, or over the phone at 1-866-446-8849.

The Forever Charlie Tour is not included in the all-session booklet.

Winners of the 2015 Toyota SWAC Basketball Tournament will have a chance to advance to the NCAA Basketball Championships.



Carnival Freedom celebrates military families


Carnival Cruise Line threw out its cupid arrow on Valentine’s Day to more than 800 hundred military families aboard its newly renovated Carnival Freedom while welcoming the charming vessel to its new year-round homeport of Galveston, TX.

Through the partnership with Operation Homefront, Carnival treated the service families to meals, entertainment and overnight accommodations.  In additional Carnival Cruise Lines presented a $100,000 check to Operation Homefront.  The national non-profit organization provides financial support and programs to military families and wounded warriors.

Among the day’s festivities was a special outdoor on-deck performance by musical superstar Martina McBride.  She gave a magnificent performance with her brilliant band and gorgeous back-up singers.

Country superstar Martina McBride entertains military families abroad the Carnival Freedom Cruise Line in Galveston, TX
Country superstar Martina McBride entertains military families abroad the Carnival Freedom Cruise Line in Galveston, TX


McBride performed for over three hours and entertained the crowd with some of her popular songs as well as tunes from her new CD, “Everlasting.”  

She told the audience that she was honored to performed for them. “I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to perform again on a Carnival ship and am thrilled that I was chosen to be part of this wonderful event that honors U.S. service members and their families,” said McBride.

“I’ve played for many audiences in my career, but it will truly be a privilege to salute these incredible families and partner with Carnival to bring an extra special Valentine’s Day.”

Major John Considine, his wife Marily and their two beautiful children were among one of the invited military families. They reside in Fort Hood and Major Considine is an Army Engineer Specialist.  He has recently come off of a Tour of Duty in Afghanistan.

“This is really big what Carnival is doing for us.  We drove down from Fort Hood and are just really happy being here.  The kids are really having a good time too,”  saidMajor Considine.

Major John Considine, his wife Marily children celebrating Valentine’s Day abroad the Carnival Freedom Cruise Line.
Major John Considine, his wife Marily and their children celebrating Valentine’s Day aboard the Carnival Freedom Cruise Line.


The Considines have been married for 14 years.  Marily teaches preschool in Killeen, TX which is less than five miles from Fort Hood.  She is a breast cancer survivor and serves as the face of the Central Texas Affiliate of Susan G. Komen foundation.

Marily is actively involved working with the USO (United Services Organizations).  In 2013, she was awarded Fort Hood’s Spouse of the Year. She was featured on the Today Show in New York for a special Mother’s Day Surprise.  When the Considines arrived back home, they had a complete backyard makeover, including an outdoor kitchen courtesy of the Today Show. 

A special moment for Major Considine was 11 years ago when he returned from duty he was a father.  “I had a beautiful six-month old baby daughter.  It was so special seeing her for the first time. I was so proud,” he said.  For the birth of their second child, he was at home on leave.

Carnival Freedom recently $70 million makeover consists of a new family entertainment programming including Seuss at Sea, as well as the new Camp Ocean kids facilities.

 The latest updates also incorporate a number of bar, dining and entertainment innovations.  The Blue Iguana Cantina and Guy’s Burger Joint were developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri. There are also several poolside bars and a spacious roomy swank bar on the 5th level called the Red Frog Rum Bar that also offers nightly live entertainment.  

Carnival Freedom offers four-to-seven-day cruises that visit beautiful ports throughout Mexico, the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida.

For more information on contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

A vision gives New England Patriots Super Bowl XLIX win

Patriots' defensive end, Malcolm Butler and the 2015  Chevy Super Bowl truck that MVP Tom Brady intends to hand over to him.
Patriots’ defensive end, Malcolm Butler and the 2015 Chevy Super Bowl truck that MVP Tom Brady intends to hand over to him.


The New England Patriots’ defense end Malcolm Butler said that he had a vision that he would do something big in the Super Bowl, and he did.  It happened during the last play of the game.  The score was 28-24 with the Patriots leading.  The Seahawks were in possession of the ball at 2nd-and-goal at the 1-yard line.  They even had two-timeouts, with 1:38 left in the final quarter of the game. 

Then something strange happened, that prophecy that Butler had.  It came to fruition.

 With the opportunity to win the game and become back-to- back Super Bowl champions, Seattle’s quarterback Russell Wilson dropped-back and threw the ball into the end zone for the winning scored.  

He thought, instead Butler jumped in front of intended wide receiver Ricardo Lockett and grabbed the ball and it was all over for the Seahawks.

The phenomenal game sealing interception by Patriots’ Malcolm Butler to seal Super Bowl XLIX win.
The phenomenal game sealing interception by Patriots’ Malcolm Butler to seal Super Bowl XLIX win.

 This phenomenal play sealed the win for the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.

Many considered the Seahawks’ decision to throw the ball in that position strange instead of just running it, especially with the two time-outs.   Well it just goes to show you visions can be credible.

After the game when asked about the incredible play by an on-field reporter, Butler tried to tell the reporter about the vision but she didn’t fully comprehend what he was saying. 

  “I knew, I would do something big in this game, I had a vision,” said Butler as he pointed up to the sky. 

The reported looked dumbfounded and skirted around his response and attempted to go into another question about the big play in hopes of getting a different response from Butler. 

 He politely responded, “You wouldn’t understand.”

The following day on Good Morning America (GMA), he went into detail about the revelation with host, Robin Roberts. 

 “The vision that I had about me doing something big in the game was even confirmed by my mom,” Butler told Roberts. 

 “I really believed it was when I called an Uber driver for my mom.  My mom called me and said the guy (Uber driver) spoke nice of me.”

  Butler Continued, “The driver felt I was going to do something fantastic in the game.  So I just prayed on it and I just went out and played as hard as I could, and it turned out great,”   

Even though Butler didn’t received the MVP award, its recipient Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady said he intends to give Butler the 2015 red Chevrolet truck, the prize that came along with the MVP award.  “A guy like Malcolm who makes that type of instinctive play, that’s one of his strong suits.   It came off as a great play.  Someone had to make it.  It happen to Malcolm,” said Brady.

Super Bowl XLIX, MVP the incomparable, New England quarterback Tom Brady.
Super Bowl XLIX, MVP the incomparable, New England quarterback Tom Brady.

“I would love to give him that truck,” Brady said. “I would love to do that.  I’m going to figure out how to make that work.”

Butler was undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft.  On May 19, he was signed by the Patriots.  In his rookie season, Butler appeared in 11 games one-start, recording 15 tackles and three defensive passes. 

He made his first start at defensive back against Miami on December 14, 2014 finishing with two tackles.

Now in 2015, he is known as that guy who made the phenomenal play in Super Bowl XLIX via his special vision and hard work.

Hometown fame composer Jason Moran “Holed Up” in Houston

Selma's movie composer, Jason Moran playing it up on his favorite instrument.
Selma’s movie composer, Jason Moran playing it up on his favorite instrument.

If you have seen the critically acclaimed movie, Selma, then you know that the sound track is equally compelling as the film.  The arranger of the powerful sound track is composer jazz pianist and native Houstonian Jason Moran.  The songs “Bloody Sunday”, “Final Speech” and “Cager Lee” are actually performed by the musical prodigy.

            Growing up, Moran’s parents cultivated his musical and artistic talents by enrolling him into various top-notched musical training programs such as the renowned Yelena Kurinets Suzuki Music School where he received classical piano training and the Houston Symphony Young Artist Competition where he showcased his tuneful melodic talent.  His artistic gifts broaden even farther into the arts from spending time in museums and galleries.

 Now Moran is back in Houston in conjunction with Da Camera of Houston and The Menil Museum where you can see him pay homage to visual artist fellow Texans Robert Rauschenber and his “Holed Up” project.  Rauschenber has had a major influence on Moran’s work.  This event will be held at the Menil Museum on February 5th.

            In the meantime, Moran is schedule to appear and perform at several events around town starting tonight. The schedule of events is listed below: 


Saturday, January 31, 7:00 PM, Eldorado Ballroom: Listening Party with Jason Moran playing and discussing his favorite recordings, co-hosted by Tierney Malone, Homecoming Residency Host Committee member and host of KPFT’s Houston Jazz Spotlight. 2310 Elgin St. Free

Monday, February 2, 9am to Noon Special edition of KPFT’s Houston Jazz Spotlight, featuring an interview with Jason Moran and an extensive selection of his music. Hosted by Tierney Malone. KPFT radio HD-3.

Thursday February 5, 7:00 PM at The Menil Collection:Artists Talk with Jason Moran, Robert Pruitt and Sarah Rothenberg. The creators of “Holed Up” discuss their creative process. Free

Saturday, February 7, 8:00 PM, Cullen Theater, Wortham Center:  Tickets required