Friday, January 2, 2009

Prairie View Today - January 1-7

Welcome to 2009

Today, January 1, 2009 is a great day for the Prairie View A&M University Marching (Storm) Band, the lead band in the 120th Tournament of Roses Parade, coming live on ABC Channel 13 from Pasadena, California at 10:00 am. As William Shakespeare stated: “All the world’s a stage and we are just merely players” and for the ‘Storm’ millions of spectators from around the world will get a taste of what the folks in PVAMU and Texas have enjoyed for many years, the high stepping, classic choreography of the Black Foxes, the icon-o-classic percussion of the Box to the parade’s theme “Hats Off To Entertainment.” More than 300 band members, student leaders, chaperones, faculty and staff flew to California on Dec. 27 for the grand parade. My congratulations to Mr. George Edwards, Band Director, and his staff, and to Ms. Margaret Sherrod, Director of the Foxes, for their untiring and unselfish service to the enrichment of the lives of young people.

Today also marks the beginning of the rest of your lives and the celebration of achievements and feats. Today, is the last day of the period of Kwanzaa (Dec. 26 - Jan. 1), a time when African Americans and others of African descent in the world community celebrate and reflect on the spirit and achievements of their ancestors. Kwanzaa is Swahili for first fruits of the harvest and was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga. The holiday is based on seven principles, the Nguzo Saba, and to day we celebrate Imani (Faith). Take this time to reflect on the faith that brought you this far in your development. As former congressman Adam Clayton Powell would say, “Keep the faith!”

Christmas 2008 is now history with all of its challenges and opportunities. All of the presents have been opened, the kids have the new toys and the grown folks are tinkering with their e-notebooks, iPods, Blackberrys, iPhones, WiFi and other electronic gadgets. Some of us even learned to send text messages and check their emails on the cell-phone. We had some bad times and some good times but through it all we are here to welcome 2009 with the same fervor, enthusiasm, hope and a renewed spirit.

We trust you had a great holiday and that you took some time to share the spirit of Christmas with the less fortunate among us. We are hopeful that you found ways to improve and enrich yourselves and your families in the coming year. As this is the last column for 2008 and the first for 2009, I'd like to suggest you take time to organize and decide what you will take on your healthy journey in 2009. It is important that you set some meaningful and achievable goals in your personal, social, financial and political life, especially, as we head into a new era in federal, state and local government. 2008 saw the election of the first African American president, former Senator Barack Obama, the control of both the Senate and Congress by the Democratic, and the worst economic downturn the country has ever experienced. On the subject of elections, we also saw the election of the first woman County Commissioner, Attorney Sylvia Cedillo, who incidentally, will be installed this day.

Commissioner- Elect Sylvia Cedillo invites members of the community to join her for a reception following the swearing in of Waller County officials on Jan.1 at 10:00am at the Waller County Building on Highway 290. The reception will be held at the George Higgs Alumni Center, University Drive in Prairie View, from 1:00 - 3:00pm. Refreshments will be served.

The prairie view chapter of Delta sigma theta sorority, Inc., will hold a prostate cancer screening for men between the ages of 40-70, and who are underinsured or with no insurance. Please contact: Mrs. Ruth Smith @ 281-796-5508 or Burnest Carter @936-648-6509. The screening is set for January 27 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. Hockley Center

The city of Prairie View held a spirited council meeting on Dec. 23. In addition to the regular agenda items and departmental reports, the council approved the fourth Tuesday of each month for the council meetings. Council also confirmed the appointment of yours truly (Frederick V. Roberts) to serve on 4B Economic Development Corporation. Community members were informed that Feb. 18, 2009 is hazardous waste pick-up day in Waller County and urged full participation of the citizenry. Mayor Jackson expressed thanks to the council and the community members for a progressive 2008 and extended holiday greetings to all present.

The folks of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in Prairie View held its Festival of Lessons in Carols on Christmas Eve at the church. Patrons of the service enjoyed the readings and the singing of the various carols to bring in the Christmas spirit announcing the birth of Jesus Christ. The St. Francis Community Bell Troupe also provided music for the event. Celebrants for the service were the Reverends William and Amy Adams, assisted by Dr. Lee Ligon-Borden, Lay Vicar for the church. Following the service the patrons feasted on an assortment of food and drink.

The Canterbury Association of St. Francis is concluding a productive semester with five of its members attending the National Episcopal Conference in Estes Park Colorado on Dec. 27-Jan. 2. Attending the meeting are James Boyer, Kimberly Brown, Everton Brown, Blessan Isaac and Andrea McDonald. The students will also get a chance to enjoy skiing and fellowship with others from around the nation. Some of the group’s activities included attending a special meeting with the Episcopal presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and distribution of food items to 15 families during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sponsors for Canterbury include Dr. Seab Smith, Herbert Thomas, Juanita Walker and Frederick V. Roberts.

The members of the Prairie View Retired Teachers Association, Anne Preston Unit, led by President Gwen Carter, are looking forward to a busy year. The group continued its Christmas tradition of purchasing reading books for Jones Elementary. The members are making plans to commemorate its Founders Day Observance at its next meeting on Jan. 28 in the Parish Hall of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church on Dooley Street. All retired persons in education are invited.

Looking for volunteer opportunities? Well look no further than giving your time and talent to CASA for kids in Waller County. Ns. Jo Reaves, Volunteer Coordinator for CASA for Kids in Brenham is helping to coordinate the Volunteer Training for new volunteers. The 30-hour training begins Jan.10 and runs through Feb. 2, 2009. For information, contact Ms. Reaves at 979-277-0088 or email:

Please remember the following in your prayers: Mrs. Mary Kemp, Dr. B. J. Freeman, Mrs. Douglas Woolfolk, Mrs. Irene Reid, Mrs. Benny Boyden May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge of God, through Jesus Christ. Have a great 2009.

JANUARY BIRTHDAY GREETINGS TO: Vera Armstrong (1), Willie J. Bell III and Felecia Bell (1), Pearl Martin (1), Robert Williams (1), Helen Boyer (2), Doris Thomas (2), Alice Goode (3), Donald Sowell (6), Irene Reid (7), Gloria Richardson (7), Eddie Jessie (9), James Kromah (14), Gloria Holloway (14), Arie Yell (14), Eugene Armstrong (15), Gib Dungey (15), Mary Curtis (16), Madolyn Reed (17) and Hosie Anderson (19).

ON A CULTURAL NOTE, I am sure you knew that on December 27, 1862 - African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church founded in New Bern, N.C. and 12/28/05 - Earl "Fatha" Hines, "Father of Modern Jazz Piano," born in Dusquesne, Pa.; 12/30/1829 - Dr Miles V Lynk, physician, published the first black medical journal; 01/01/1863 - President Abraham Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves in the United States; 01/01/1804 - Haiti gains independence from France; 01/02/1831 - William Lloyd Garrison began publishing "The Liberator" Abolitionist newspaper, in Boston Mass; 01/02/15- Noted historian John Hope Franklin is born; 01/03/1624 - William Tucker, first black child born in America, baptized in Jamestown; 01/04/20 - The first black baseball league, National Negro Baseball League, was founded; 1/4/85 Congressman William Gray is first African American elected chairman of the House Budget Committee; 1/5/11 Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity is founded at Indiana University; 1/8/1836-Fannie M Jackson, educator and first black woman college graduate in the U.S., was born on this date; 1/9/1866-Fisk University was founded in Nashville

As is customary for this column, as you set your goals for 2009, let me offer you these 10 traits from "Investors Business Daily" that have been helpful to others over the years. 10 Traits For Success: (1) How You Think Is Everything - Always be positive. Think success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment. (2) Decide Upon Your True Dreams and Goals - Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them. (3) Take Action - A Goals is nothing without action. Don't be afraid to get started. Just do it. (4) Never Stop Learning - Go back to school or read books. Get training and acquire skills. (5) Be Persistent and Work Hard - Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up. (6) Learn to Analyze Details - Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes (7). Focus Your Time and Money - Don't let other people or things distract you. (8) Don't Be Afraid to Innovate; Be Different - Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity. (9) Deal and Communicate with People Effectively - No man is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others. (10) Be Honest and Dependable and Take Responsibility - Otherwise, Numbers 1-9 won't matter.

Until next week, in the words of the late great god-father of soul James Brown, "Get On the Good Foot” because “Papa's got a Brand New Bag!" in 2009. Keep the news, achievements, and recognitions coming to, fax (936) 857-5352, phone (936) 857-3272 or P. O. Box 2906, Prairie View, Texas 77446.

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