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Category archives for: Voices of The South

LAMAR STREET Festival

LAMAR STREET Festival

Lamar street in Dallas is such a tale of two cities, but the Lamar Street Festival could be the beginning of something new, inclusive and positive. For years, there has been talk about “under the bridge” on Lamar street and that talk referred to the homeless, the drunks, the drug dealers and the deals that [...]

By Willis Johnson I’ve recently lost three friends to death. John Kelly of the Black Contractors Association, former Dallas City Councilman Leo Chaney and pharmacist, Kenny “Yogi” Patterson. All three have been a part of my journey in Dallas for the last 40 years. Yogi was Texas Southern grad that ran a local pharmacy for [...]

Another moment in American History

Another moment in American History

As I  write these words, I have the television on in the background and hearing various opinions on both sides of the Trayvon Martin – George Zimmerman saga. The verdict was not guilty  and those with Zimmerman are in relief of 16 months of the unknown. So now Zimmerman goes back to his family and [...]

The Next 40

The Next 40

I was recently talking with Curtis King of The Black Academy of Arts and Letters and he mentioned that he had been at this for 36 years. I also was aware that Mrs. Ann Williams was stepping down at the Dallas Black Dance Theater after 37 years. Those two icons made me reflect on the [...]

The Dreaded “N” Word

The Dreaded “N” Word

So much talk now about the “N” word, whether in the Trayvon Martin/Zimmerman drama, Paula Deen or just everyday living. Let’s focus on everyday living. How many times have you heard the “n” word today? Be honest….it’s pretty common but,  that still does not excuse Paula Deen. How is the every day use of the [...]

Willis’ Blog: Where do we go from here?

Willis’ Blog: Where do we go from here?

I was recently talking with a black business owner who said,  ”I just don’t want to do business with black people any more ”  and in that same week, I met with a white business peer in the industry, who said “this client does not want black people”. Two different people, completely separate from one [...]

Willis’ Blog: Talk to Me

Willis’ Blog:  Talk to Me

In this age of social media, where we instagram, tweet, text, facebook, skype and other forms electronically connecting to each other, I think we miss talking to each other. One of the things that I remember doing with my mother was talking to her every day of my life.  Even as an adult, we made [...]

Willis’ Blog: Connecting, not talking about it!

Willis’ Blog: Connecting, not talking about it!

I’ve been in the Dallas-Ft.Worth area almost 37 years and I’ve  always heard  this talk about the Trinity River divide. It’s noticeable in a lot of ways, but if you look at streets like Westmoreland and Hampton on the south side of the Trinity and see how their names change on the other side, it [...]

Willis’ Blog: Fade to Black…

Willis’ Blog: Fade to Black…

Willis’ Blog: Fade to Black Over the past generation (25 years) and some, there has been a disappearance from the screen of influential black faces. I am 58 years old and from Texas . That combination gives me the experience to have seen segregation move to integration and now to disappearance . I watched my [...]

Willis’ Blog: Determined to change

Willis’ Blog: Determined to change

Willis’ Blog: Determined to change This Saturday, Dallas’ Mayor Mike Rawlings pulled off a rally against domestic abuse and in spite of bad weather thousands still showed up to show their determination to change the culture of domestic violence. There was a large segment of the crowd that was African American and that speaks volumes [...]

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