Teesee’s Town

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Reunion Union – High school pals, Curtis C. Joplin Jr. and Troy L. Yates Jr., co-chairs of Wendell Phillips High School Class of 1951 Alumni Committee’s “Annual Gathering of Phillipsites & Friends,” are searching for classmates for a reunion on Sept. 19 at Crystal Light Ballroom. It begins with a 4 p.m. reception to renew old and establish new acquaintances, then dinner at 5:15 p.m. and dancing to deejay music by Tracey “Dion” Williams. Also on the alum committee: Frank Brown, Parnell Brown, Valjean Brown Hill, Ann Lyles Jackson, Marion Burrell Joplin, Lorne Cress Love, Consuelo Neil Milburn, Josephine Torrence Norman, Clyde N. Phillips, Cornelia Dawkins Phillips, Irma Reed, Helen Edmonds Scates and Mary Jo Heard Taylor. Call Joplin (773) 721-5765, Yates (773) 978-4488 or other committee member for $50 tickets. The P/H Factor – Almost 15 years ago, on June 30, 1995, the music industry and the world lost one of the most passionate and compelling songbirds of a lifetime, Phyllis Hyman. Join Tamara (“Tammy) Nicole Harris, R&B, soul and jazz singer, on Friday at DuSable Museum as she pays tribute to Hyman’s life and music, celebrating on what would have soon been her 60th birthday, July 6. If you are a fan, you don’t want to miss it! If you are a true fan then you know that her music was honest and real. Although her end was tragic, her music was not sad; it was all about life. There was love, pain, hope, life lessons and all of her heart in every song she sang. Harris, a talented vocalist and lyricist from Chicago, is earning her cap as a producer as well. Her music is a smooth blend of traditional R&B soul music fused with elements of jazz and funk. Her style had been described by many as reminiscent of the timing of Phyllis Hyman, the vibrato of Stephanie Mills and Randy Crawford, a waver like Denise Williams and the class of Nancy Wilson. Harris will be hosted by Big Suge and joined by special guests. Besides at the door, tickets are also available at http://www.rootsoul.com ($20, general admission; $30, VIP, includes food, drinks and priority entrance). Show-Biz Buzz – Don Cheadle directs and stars in a Miles Davis bio-pic due out next year and produced by Vince Wilburn Jr., Miles’ nephew, and Darryl Porter. I ran into Vince in Hyde Park several weeks ago with his dad, Vince Sr., who was married to the late Dorothy Wilburn (“Tucker”), Miles’ sister and my long-time friend and Drifter sister. The two Vinces were here to honor the memory of Dot by placing Mothers’ Day and birthday flowers on the pulpit at St. Mark United Methodist Church. Vince Sr. now lives in Phoenix, Ariz.; Vince Jr., in California’s West Hills … Country Club Hills Theater’s Outdoor Summer Concert Series showcased Terisa Girffin with Timeless Voices (The O’Jays’ Eddie Levert and The Temptations’ Dennis Edwards) with smokin’ SRO performances emceed by two of my fave radio bruthus, Ramonski Luv and Joe Soto. The series continues every Saturday with Eric Benet, Azizah Lisa, Ralph Tresvent, Johnny Gill, Bobby Brown, Brownstone, Freddie Jackson, Terisa Griffin, Roy Ayers, Maysa, The Manhattans, Ray Goodman & Brown, Blue Magic, David Sanborn, George Duke and closes out on Aug. 28 with Smokey Robinson and Full Circle. For tickets and performers, etc. call (708) 798-8133. Go Greeks – Members of Chicago-area African American Greek fraternities and sororities gathered in unity and harmony at the third annual Chicago White Sox’ African American Greek Night at U.S. Cellular Field to celebrate their rich history and legacy. The evening of fun, networking and camaraderie was co-hosted by WVON’s Bonnie DeShong and Charles Butler. The duo raffled off dozens of prizes and attendees were treated to a special step-show performance by Kappa Alpha Psi and a pre-game patio party. The White Sox presented a special visual tribute to the heritage of Black Greek-letter organizations via Jumbotron during the game, which pitted the Sox vs. Toronto. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority won the inter-alumni ticket-selling contest, earning them the privilege to throw out the game’s first pitch. Newsy Names – Congrats to Roosevelt Moncure Jr., the Hyatt Regency Chicago’s catering market director, who is celebrating his 25th year in the high level management position with the international hotel chain … Happy b’day to Mel Hopson, Glenn Reedus, Joe Soto, Janet Wright-Moore, Jacques Eady, Joyce Owen, Bill Parrish, Cedric McCoy,  Sasha Daltonn, Patricia Dabner, Minnard Skiles, Nate Ward, Donna Allen, Jesse White, Donna Hammond, Belinda McFolling, Suzanne Griffith, Iman Jefferson, and Wilfred Bentley … Chicago native Rodney Perry, co-host of Black Entertainment Television’s The Mo’Nique Show, emcees Super Comedy Showcase on Thursday at Jokes & Notes … Hats off to Judge LaQuina Clay-Clark on being honored by Cook County Bar Association for "outstanding judicial duties/decisions.” Eight Year Mark – High Five for Youth Committee of The Metropolitan Cluster, an organization of committed women, is about to celebrate its eighth year of presenting its Eager Readers Literacy Project at South Central Community Services’ Head Start, 83rd and Ellis. One day a week for all 52 weeks, said Dr. Sandra Neilson Givens, committee chair, “the ladies read to the children, focusing on listening skills, comprehension and social skills.” Each week, the books read to the children are donated to the HS program. During the Christmas season, committee members coordinate a celebration with music, tree-trimming, toys, age-appropriate books, fruit and other goodies. Parents and grandparents attend with their youngsters. At the end of this school year, a culminating activity, "Eager Readers Take South Central’s Head Start & Friends Around the World," included 55 pre-schoolers from the West Side’s Melody School. The event was held on South Central’s playlot that was divided into six stations: theater style reading, music, games, photo studio, tattooing and food, representing Africa, Spain, France, Haiti, Italy and Germany Metro Cluster sisters dressed in the attire of the countries. At 15-minute intervals groups rotated among the stations for a picnic lunch of pizza and juice, and an individual photo was taken of each child with a "Read to Your Child " message for parents. At the close of the day, the children were given age appropriate books, toys, fruit, and other items. The committee is looking forward to expanding its services to more children. Metro Cluster members assisting with the event were Aretha Ryan Collins, president, Dorothy Peoples, Dolores Caldwell, Norma May, Linnie Sims, Betty Robertson, Betty Jefferson, Alice Davis and Hattie Burton. And Cluster friends who helped with the stations: Renee Gray, Julia Whitfield, Eleanor Messenger, Michelle Burton and Shirley Roberts. Whazup! Whazup! – Need legal assistance in mortgage foreclosure defense and/or unemployment compensation benefits? Cook County Bar Association Foundation, headed by Andrea M. Buford, president, continues its free counseling by licensed practicing attorneys on the last Saturday of each month, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at Chicago Black United Communities, 330 E. 37th St. CCBA’s mission: fighting for equality and justice through community outreach and mentoring programs. Call (773) 548-2000. Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender.

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