Thursday, June 19, 2014

Celebrating Juneteenth's 149th Anniversary

Today, June 19, marks the 149th year when Texas acknowledged the order freeing the slaves by the reading of the emancipation proclamation on June 19, 1865 by General Gordon Granger at Galveston. Be reminded that the U.S. Congress abolished slavery in its territories on June 19, 1862, with the law taking affect on January 1, 1863. Texans and other Americans will pause today to celebrate Juneteenth, commemorating this historical moment. Kudos to State Representative Al Edwards and other Texas legislators for approving the Juneteenth Holiday bill in 1978 which was signed into law by Governor William P. Clements on June 13, 1979. Happy Juneteenth to all!

The monthly Men’s Prayer Breakfast, hosted by the men of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church, will be held June 21, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. in the church’s Parish Hall, 204 Dooley Street in Prairie View. The speaker is Dr. Seab A. Smith, retired professor of biology at Prairie View A&M University. Dr. Smith will share his experiences and pay homage to the 149th year of the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston which freed the slaves of Texas. Dr. Smith holds the B. S. Degree in Horticulture Science from Southern University at Baton Rouge, Louisiana; the M.S. Degree in Biology Education from Northwestern University\ at Natchitoches, Louisiana and the Doctorate of Education in Science Education from the University of Houston.

All men in the community are invited and should confirm attendance to the FREE breakfast by calling 936-857-3272 or email: Members of the community are also invited to attend and participate in its Bible Study/Christian Education on Fridays at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall; and worship service on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. with the Holy Eucharist. Come and share the word and be filled.

The Office of Mayor Frank D. Jackson and the PVAMU Access Program invite the children of Prairie View to “A Summer Fund Day” on June 22 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Gertrude Tapscott City Park and the Volunteer Fire Department on Business 290 @ Ellen Powell Drive in Prairie View. Children up to 12 years old can participate in the afternoon of water fun, food and door prizes; and a theatre performance. For information, contact 936-261-5911.

Make plans now to attend the social event of the year: ‘Red Hot Summer’s Night in August’ and the 8th Annual Red & White Fireman’s Ball on August 23, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Willie A. Tempton, Sr. Memorial Student Ballroom at Prairie View A&M University. The event honors the Prairie View Volunteer Fire Fighting Association, Inc. and Farmers & Ranchers, Cowboys and Cowgirls in Waller County and surrounding areas. The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. in the student center foyer. Supporters are invited to take on sponsorship and make donations for the silent auction. Tickets and souvenir ads for the public event are available through August 9, 2014. Proceeds will support equipment and operations. For information, contact: Belinda Lewis at

Registration is now in session for the 40th National Convention of the Prairie View A&M University Alumni Association on July 23-27 at the Westin Houston Memorial City, Katy Freeway. More than 500 alumni and friends of PVAMU are expected to attend the four-day event, featuring workshops, seminars, class meetings and the awards ceremonies. For information visit: or call 936-857-5817. Lashonda Williams, President of the Houston Area Chapter is the convention chair.

The members of the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church Hempstead invite the community to come celebrate Usher’s Day on June 22 at 2:30 p.m. Reverend Dr. Clarence Talley, Pastor of Mount Corinth Missionary Baptist Church is the speaker. Come to the celebration!

America is mourning the passing of another icon in the person of famed American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and activist. Ruby Dee, who passed on June 12, 2014. Miss Dee’s career in the arts and the civil rights movement span some eighty years. She was one of the few Black artists to be nominated for the academy awards, grammy and tony awards. Dee received many awards including the coveted Kennedy Honors and Presidential Freedom Award. Ruby Dee and her husband Ossie Davis also made a trek to Prairie View A&M University in the 1980’s. I remember their performance of Winnie and Nelson Mandella, which was a foretelling of how South Africa would be under a free Nelson Mandella. Those were days my friend when the greats among us visited Prairie View A&M University.

The Prairie View Community is morning the loss of two outstanding pillars, first in the person of Mrs. Vivian Jeffery, former staff member of Prairie View A&M University who passed June 15, 2014. Funeral services for Mrs. Jeffery is set for June 21, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. in the Johnson Phillip All Faith Chapel. Condolences may be sent to the Vivian Jeffery Family, c/o Singleton & Sons Funeral Home, 627 New Orleans Street, Hempstead, Texas 77445.

Next is Mrs. Esel Bell, former postmaster for the Prairie View Post Office and long time resident of Prairie View who passed on June 19, 2014. Services for Mrs. Bell is as follows: The Viewing is from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, June 27 with Wake at 7:00 p.m. in the Johnson Phillip All Faith Chapel at Prairie View A&M University. The funeral service is on Saturday, June 26 at 11:00 a.m. at the Mount Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Hempstead. Condolences may be sent to the Esel Bell Family, c/o Singleton & Sons Funeral Home, 627 New Orleans Street, Hempstead, Texas 77445.

Your prayers and encouragement are welcomed for Esel Bell, Ernestine Carreathers, William H. Chapman, Irene Davis, B. J. Freeman, Betty Hall, Timothy Hall, Mae Helen James, David Kirkpatrick, James Poindexter, Irene Reid, Willie Smith, Mary Ann Stubblefield, Theola Woods and Douglas Woolfolk. May God’s peace be with you!

Kudos to the members of the Collegiate 100 and 100 Collegiate Women of America and at Prairie View A&M University who recently attended the National Convention of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. and the Collegiate 100 in Hollywood, Florida on June 11-15. Members attending were Alexandria Hall, Gabrielle Scott and Ashley Mills, president of the 100 Collegiate, Jonathan Amos, Trevino Thomas and Cameron Gordon, president of the Collegiate 100, along with advisors Mrs. Shadia Washington, Dr. Clement Glenn and Frederick V. Roberts. Other delegates from Texas Southern University and the 100 Black Men of Metro Houston, Inc. were also in attendance. The delegates participated in several workshops and seminars ranging from leadership, career development, professional and personal development and community service.

Featured speakers included Civil Rights Attorney Thomas Todd, U.S. Representative Al C. Hasting, LT. General John Honore and Business Professor, Dr. Dennis Kimbro, who all addressed the convention’s team, Education in An Era of Ch ange: Ensuring Excellence for African American Youth. Prairie View A&M’s own Terry Ellis, a member of EnVogue provided entertainment for the gala. Curley S. Dossman, Jr., Vice President with Georgia Pacific is the president of 100 Black Men of America, Inc., with Attorney Bert Jennings as president of the 100 Black Men of Metro Houston, Inc.

HAPPY JUNE BIRTHDAY TO: Monica Harden (18), Linda Woodson (18), Donnie Pennywell (19), Ruth Wanza (19), Lee Davies (20), Joyce M. Jeffrey (20), Karon Neal (20), Thomas Godwin (22), Chandra Johnson (24), Sharon McWhinney (24), Beverly Spears (24), Brystol Mayo (26), Ceaniel Ragston (26), Mary Boozer (27) Jokeisha Campbell (27), Jennifer Jackson (27), Benny Strange (27), Ronald Leverett (28), James Johnson (28), Robert Smith (29), Darlene Clark (30) and Caroline Stevenson (30). HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to: Glen and Debra Berry (18).

THE VIEW FROM THE HILL: The Office of Purchasing and Procurement at Prairie View A&M University hosted its annual HUB and Business Fair on June 18 to a rousing success. The more than 100 businesses were on hand to share their wares and services, including office supplies, computing equipment, promotional items, banking, airline and bus travel, car rental and awards and accessories. The event was coordinated by Mr. Jim Nelms.

Until next week, in the words of Nelson Mandela, "After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb, and I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities and commitment." Keep the news, achievements and recognitions coming to or Prairie View Today, P.O. Box 2906, Prairie View, TX 77446.

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