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Michael McGee

Stories by Michael

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Color.Colour.Colores.

The business-side of creating fashion

Fashion, the Internet, inspiration and commerce were all united at the South Dallas Cultural Center on June 26. Inside the Arthello Beck Gallery, the program Color.Colour.Colores took aim at getting local designers, photographers and entrepreneurs from the concept of their creative businesses to streets and showrooms, in style.

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Future of Fair Park to highlight Black culture

“The mayor and I have some great news to tell you together,” Councilmember Carolyn R. Davis told the crowd gathered at the front gate of Fair Park. “I think this is a wonderful occasion.”

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Wal-Mart helps revitalize South Dallas Counties

“For too long we have viewed Southern Dallas as an obligation rather than an asset,” Mayor Mike Rawlings once expressed in his GrowSouth initiative statement. “We’ve approached change in South Dallas as a daunting challenge rather than an opportunity for our whole city.”

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The Road to Essence Festival 2014

“Dallas, make some noise,” Sevyn Streeter urged the crowd gathered before her in front of The Road to Essence Festival performance stage. As the audience roared in response, the beat dropped and Streeter began to dance, then sing, giving everyone an up-close glimpse of what helped make her former vocal groups TG4 and RichGirl popular.

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The Front Lines of the longest war in American History

U.S. soldiers in the midst of The Hornet’s Nest

It’s not just a movie, its real life. And it’s not what you thought it would be, it’s much more. The scenes in The Hornet’s Nest are taken from actual moments during the war. It shows the daily life of our soldiers, their struggle, their pain, their heroism and an aspect of war one can never anticipate.

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Commemorative Air Force to bring history lessons, economic growth

“I feel like an 8-year-old, Christmas morning after I opened up those presents, and get to play with them,” Mayor Mike Rawlings expressed while surrounded by 12 WWII vintage aircraft on a runway at Dallas Executive Airport on April 29

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Appetite for Advocacy

Seeking help and answers, more than 2,400 children and families have walked through the doors of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, which offers investigation, intervention, treatment and recovery programs for children who are sexually and/or physically abused.

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Aging out: Caring for Dallas’ oldest citizens

“Madder than a wet hen,” was Charlie Fink’s answer when asked about his emotional state upon being involuntarily committed for psychiatric evaluation at Methodist Richardson Medical Center in February.

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From Booker T. to Juilliard

“From the time that she was really little, she’s always been theatrical,” explained Wade Crowder, the father of 17-year-old Alicia.

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Reality bites: Animated films dig deep

The Dallas International Film Festival presented a roster of emerging talent during the Animated Shorts Competition at the Angelika Film Center April 7 and April 8.

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Wrongfully convicted man files suit against city

“My life has been in upheaval for five years.”

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Eggs and Issues: Panelists offer government plans for region

State Sen. Royce West of the 23rd District gathered government representatives together to discuss several issues affecting the community and plans for Dallas and Ellis County residents.

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Blacks in the world of gaming, fantasy

All-Con, a yearly celebration dedicated to all things nerdy, geeky and open to devotees of animation, fantasy fiction, cosplay, comic books and gaming of all kinds, was held March 13 to 16 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Addison.

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VA medical center offers new solutions

“One of the things when there’s a media hit – especially local media – [that] continues to be referred to is the 2004 OIG Report, that says that VA North Texas was one of the poorest performing VA’s in the country,” Jeffery L. Milligan lamented.

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Bonton business as sweet as honey

The Bonton area of South Dallas – a predominantly African American neighborhood that encompasses parts of South Central Expressway and C.F. Hawn Freeway, extending beyond Stephenson Street to the north and past Rio Street to the south – has experienced its share of drugs and violence over the years.

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John Lewis highlights power of prayer

American politics and American history are virtually indistinguishable at times. A political decision may ignite a social movement, or an activist spirit may grow that, over time, alters the laws of the land.

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Marshall Barnes: The reality of time travel

Marshall Barnes knows that when he talks about time travel being a reality, it raises eyebrows. He expects doubtful looks and sarcasm. Nevertheless, he discusses the topic with enthusiasm and has an interesting – if not convincing – explanation to back his claims.

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John Lewis: When we were ‘Colored’

“Blood on the leaves and blood at the root. Black bodies swinging in the Southern breeze. Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees,” a choir soloist sang Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit during the 11 a.m. service at St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church.

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Our Civil Rights in Reflection

Local exhibit offers personal reflections of Civil Rights

The Arthello Beck Gallery, located inside the South Dallas Cultural Center at 3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave., recently wrapped its latest exhibition, “It’s My Right: A Community Reflection on the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.”

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A conversation with Dr. Zan Holmes Jr.

“I remember being a high school student in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1968 when Dr. Zan Holmes was first elected to the Texas Legislature.

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MLK Museum: Dallas’ newest African American museum

“People were not allowed to sit at the counters and be served their food at times,” said Ann Erving, as she read aloud from Child of the Civil Rights Movement to visiting preschool children.

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Soaring Above Racism

Dr. Calvin J. Spann dared to live his dream

“Either we must attain freedom for the whole world or there will be no world left for any of us.” – Walter F. White, executive secretary of the NAACP

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Two Podners: Restaurant to retail

“Good service, good food and good people” is the motto of Two Podners Barbeque and Sea Food restaurants. The phrase is also intended to represent the elements that helped the restaurant grow from a single barbecue eatery into Two Podners Retail Eateries LLC, a down-home-dining empire.

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Masked ball benefit for Black students

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. It’s a phrase and cultural axiom in which many are familiar.

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A new chapter at TBAAL

“You know, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be,” Jiles King remarked as he discussed his return to Texas in October to accept the position of chief executive director of The Black Academy of Arts and Letters Inc. Jiles worked for the association in years past as the marketing and media relations manager but said he’s ready to step things up for TBAAL in 2014.

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African hunt promotes equality for Brotherhood

A communal campfire and the echoes of the great outdoors were replaced by a candle-lit steak dinner and tunes spun by a local DJ, as hunters swapped stories during the National Brotherhood of Hunters banquet held Jan. 11.

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Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Day

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey

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United By The Dream Bishop Vashti McKenzie’s message of unity, diversity

Political and social luminaries of the city joined volunteers and private citizens to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 32nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Banquet.

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The significance of marching, remembering

With a sense of respect, unity and tradition, hundreds of warmly dressed visitors stood along the cool breezy streets heading from downtown to South Dallas to view the 32nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade/March on Saturday.

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The rise and fall of the KKK

When history buffs think about the term “Progressive Era reform” they may imagine some of the early 20th century’s biggest milestones; perhaps the Armistice of Compiègne that ended WWI, or the creation of the Pure Food and Drug Act. However, some scholars might be shocked to learn that between 1915 and 1929, the Ku Klux Klan were part of such reforms from time to time.

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Home for the Holidays in District 8

“Merry Christmas, everybody. God is good, and all the time.”

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Lyrical Testimony

Ministering through music

The padded pews at Friendship West Baptist Church neared capacity as young and old, decked out in their casual best or their Sunday morning finery, came to enjoy the concert “An Evening of Thanksgiving” on Nov. 22.

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New drug could save millions of lives

A new drug is on the horizon that scientists say will save millions of lives. If approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, it may be here before 2013 comes to a close.

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Empowered to Win

Bronson challenges the not-ready-yet to live their dreams

“I call myself a let-me-get-it-right … sinner,” Minister Sherry Bronson told the crowd gathered for her Empowered to Win fundraiser at Theatre 166 in Carrolton. “When I was living my life for me, in my sin, my sister called me on the phone.”

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Sen. Royce West: Children’s Champion

“I believe the children are our future,” Whitney Houston famously sang on her 1986 hit The Greatest Love of All. In the years since the song first hit the charts it would appear that State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, was covertly laboring in chorus with Houston’s lyrics through his work for children in the legislative halls in Austin.

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A reporter’s account of the assassination

Many people nationwide who are “of a certain age” can recall where they were when President John F. Kennedy was shot on Nov. 22, 1963. The details and emotional impact from that event have lingered within the minds of countless Americans.

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Sharpton’s National Action Network to open Dallas chapter

The Rev. Al Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network and a man of the cloth, has what Sen. Royce West called “longevity” in the public consciousness. Whether it was his establishment of the National Youth Movement in the 1970s, or his protesting of race-based assaults in various New York neighborhoods in the 1980s, or even his most recent appearance in a Saturday Night Live sketch that highlighted the lack of Black female cast members on the NBC show, Sharpton has been involved with social justice issues in the United States for decades.

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Dez Bryant spreads holiday joy

Music filled the air, courtesy of the David W. Carter High School marching band. The gathered crowd cheered as Carter’s cheerleaders and dance team served as a catalyst for the merriment on a chilly afternoon outside Dallas City Hall on Nov. 5.

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Fidelity: A love letter

Fidelity, the latest release by gospel artist Desmond Pringle, has been getting quite a bit of deserved attention. Produced by the Grammy Award-winner Cedric Thompson, Fidelity is No. 48 on the gospel Billboard album chart while the single Can’t Even Imagine debuted at No. 24 earlier in the year.

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Journey of Hope

A merger of medicine and miracles

There are times when the coincidences or ironies of life can take the course of phenomena that become more of a test or a trial that can leave men and women asking, “Why?” Those who live their lives upon a path of religious faith are not immune, as gospel singer Desmond Pringle can attest.

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KwanzaaFest ... It’s on!

“It’s gonna happen in a big way,” Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, District 3, emphatically stated as he announced that KwanzaaFest was back on schedule during a press conference on Oct. 29.

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Transcending time ...

“We’re trying to encourage our young men to grow up and act as productive citizens in our environment, and try to give back in scholarship format,” said Jabari Jones

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St. Philip’s to offer ‘grocery store’ style food pantry

The St. Philip’s School and Community Center has a mission to enhance the lives of children and families in the South Dallas community and throughout Dallas.

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The state of Lancaster schools

We are headed in the right direction

Lancaster ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael McFarland presented the Lancaster ISD State of Schools report at the Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon, held Oct. 10 at the Lancaster Recreation Center Grand Hall. Other Lancaster ISD leaders at the event also spoke about the accomplishments their district has achieved in a relatively short period of time.

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Road to recovery: 8-year-old shooting victim slowly healing

“I can’t eat the candy, Granny, but can I get a costume?”

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Ruben Studdard could be The Biggest Loser

In the decade since Ruben Studdard won the top prize on American Idol, he has garnered great success. He has recorded five albums – with a sixth on the way, toured the world, and has seen his recordings go gold and platinum.

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Dallas Men Against Abuse Initiative

Police Chief David Brown was to the point about the city’s role in stopping domestic violence.

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Men of Valor: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes …

What can we do about it? How is this my problem? Why doesn’t she leave him? These are questions bystanders sometimes ask when they discover those around them are dealing with domestic or sexual violence.

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Blacks and Clark celebrates 100 years

“It’s rare that a business makes 100 years,” said Linda Mitchell, president and CEO of Black and Clark Funeral Home, as she discussed the company’s celebration of service to the community for one century.

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Justice for DJ

Community gathers to support 8-year-old shot in the face

In the Walgreens parking lot at the corner of Royal Lane and Abrams Road, friends and family of 8-year-old Donald Maiden Jr. gathered for a daylong Justice for DJ Block Party on Saturday to raise funds for his medical bills. Maiden, or “DJ” as his friends call him, was shot in the jaw Sept. 3 while playing outside his home in the La Bella Palms Apartments, across from the Walgreens. The shooter, 46-year-old Brian Cloninger, was charged with injury to a child and remains jailed on a $2.2 million bond.

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