Trump’s travel ban ‘doesn’t work in this modern era’

One of U.S. President Donald Trump’s first official actions following his inauguration ceremony was to sign an executive order to bar citizens of seven Muslim-dominated countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days. He also suspended the admission of all refugees into the country for 120 days. The barred countries are Syria, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya and Somalia.

Take a look at Syria: perhaps there is no war-torn country on Earth more than Syria. The war has been going on for more than six years and about 400,000 people have died since the war started. This number includes innocent children and citizens who have nothing to do with the political issues tearing the country apart.

Yemen has also been war-torn. Hospitals and schools were bombed and the future of the country is dark because of the radical Muslims who took over most of the country. Iran has a high rate of unemployment. Iraq has been struggling to get back on its feet ever since the U.S. invasion in 2003.

Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world. People scavenge for food and clothes from the municipal garbage dump and most of the kids don’t attend school because there are no educational resources. Libya was once a great country and used to be one of the richest countries in Africa. Its citizens enjoyed the benefits of the country’s vast oil wealth, but ever since the leader was executed in 2011, it has not been the same. Libya has not seen a stable government since the death of Moammar Gadhafi. Isis has blended into the country and consequently they are now controlling some parts of the country.

Somalia has been a war-stricken country ever since I can remember. When I was growing up in Africa, all we knew about Somalia was that it was a very dangerous country to go visit and people were killed or kidnapped if they tried.

All of these countries have two major things in common: they are all Muslim dominated and they are all poverty stricken.

As an immigrant living in the United States, I have had an opportunity to experience both sides of the world. Just because one is from a Muslim-dominated country, it doesn’t make them a terrorist or a danger to society. Most of these people coming to seek refuge in America have good intentions, which is a better life and better future for their kids. President Trump overlooks the fact that we are all human beings and if he were to be put in the same shoes, he would be doing the same: trying to seek greener pastures.

His executive order also affects the immigrants who come here legally. The illegal immigrants who jump through the water and land from Mexico are not affected, yet those are the ones he should be focusing on. As an immigrant I work and pay taxes just like everyone and I’m legally registered in the system. I had to apply for a visa before I came here and I had to provide evidence to prove I wasn’t affiliated with a gang or terrorist group. These people being banned from entering the US include green card holders who have no criminal record and some of them have lived here for more than 20 years. President Trump is separating families. Some of these immigrants stuck on the other side of the world have children here who are U.S. citizens by birth and now they can’t visit their families. No man is an island and we as a nation need other countries for trade; and what he is doing is tearing apart relations with other countries. What makes it worse is some of these nations might retaliate against us and this will affect innocent citizens who have no political affiliations. Some world leaders have already reacted harshly to Trump’s executive order by suspending immigration and visas for U.S. citizens trying to visit or do business in other countries, mainly those with a majority of Muslim populations. Trump’s ideology is an egocentric, narcissistic idea that doesn’t work in this modern era.


Fungai Peta is a Communications Major from Zimbabwe, Africa


Freedom and Accountability

Freedom and liberty. The words invoke several meanings and emotions to different people. They are some of the first values we come to learn and respect at a young age in the United States — their concepts taught as intrinsic to our way of life, though they’re not exclusive to this country.

However, there is an unspoken condition that comes with the concepts of freedom and liberty: accountability. For every action that we take there is a consequence, be it good or bad.

Freedom of speech is the most used and misunderstood of the liberties we enjoy. With it we are free to share our thoughts, opinions and beliefs among each other, although many mistake this as a pass to say anything they want without consequence. A classic argument for this concept is that one cannot, or rather should not, yell, “Fire!” and cause a panic when there is none. A person who does so would face trouble and cause negative consequences to himself and others.

One notorious example would be Westboro Baptist Church, which has grown infamous over the years with their protests of the funerals of soldiers and gay people. They act within the law but are also rather despised by the general population. Their actions and beliefs may be considered reprehensible by some people but  their freedom to protest to do so is intrinsic to everyone else.
The right to protest is an important cornerstone in the foundation of a free society, although recent events in our nation have left its future in a dubious position.
Just months after several major protests on various issues swept across the nations, several Republican leaders have proposed bills that would criminalize certain protests. For example, in Colorado, Republican state senator, Jerry Sonnenberg, has introduced a bill that would greatly increase penalties for environmental protesters. Under the proposed law, obstructing or tampering with oil and gas equipment would be reclassified from a misdemeanor to a “class 6” felony, a category of crime that reportedly can be punished by up to 18 months behind bars and a fine of up to $100,000.

While the creation of these bills is touted as safety concerns, the language of the bills are vague and troublesome, raising questions as to whether our government leaders are more focused on protecting the sanctity of our liberties or corporate interests.

Despite the unclear nature of these bills, most of the responsibility lies on the citizens of this country. This also includes the issues that exist directly as a result of our collective apathy toward our local governments. If we truly hold these freedoms dear, then we must do more than dismiss any attempt to unravel them. We must constantly hold ourselves and our leaders accountable in order to show our true appreciation for our liberties.


‘A great sadness’ ends with God and holy interventions


Moments in life that paralyze us with pain to a point of getting stuck; all of us in some way or another know this reality. The Shack is a movie where we can all place our selves in Mackenzie Phillips’ (Sam Worthington) position and change the story to meet our own set of circumstances. Directed by Stuart Hazeldine, this movie gives a new perspective on how to view God and the simple truth of his love and forgiveness.

A brief look back at Mack’s life as a child sets the stage for the deeper meaning on forgiveness. A church-goer with a loving wife, three children and good neighbors, Mack has a seemingly perfect life. He also has a secret that haunts him—a secret that has a way of coming to the surface after tragedy unfolds.

“A great sadness” falls upon the family when his youngest goes missing on a family camping trip. Dad is powerless against the evil, and the eldest daughter feels the guilt for horse playing at the wrong time. There seems to be no getting past the events that camping weekend left behind until God, or Papa, as Mack’s wife Nan (Radha Mitchell) has nicknamed him, steps in. Mack finds a short but sweet note left in his mailbox at the most inopportune time—during a snow storm with no visible tracks.

The note requests a visit from Mack the next weekend to “The Shack” the very place Mack would never want to go, its signed “Papa.” Even though he is certain it is a request from the evil that took his baby girl, he has no choice but to oblige. He sets forth on the journey that would forever change his life.

Armed with a gun and his painful memories, he returns to The Shack to find the same cold and empty place he left it. Shame, guilt, and anger nearly over power him when an intervention stops him. Heading back to the truck for home an intervention you hope for steps into his path, Jesus (Avraham aviv Alush).

In disbelief, Mack follows Jesus back to The Shack only to discover it isn’t at all how he had just left it. It has transformed into the most beautiful, amazing site. Mack can’t believe his eyes, he then meets Papa (Octavia Spencer) and Sarayu (Sumire Matsubara). He must be dead; he doesn’t feel dead. A painstaking journey of highs and lows —the movie-goer can tell this journey is not going to be easy.

No one is immune to evil in this world, according to the movie. It’s God who turns the evil into healing and good, even if it’s just in the individual who is stuck in their pain. Angry as anyone would be in this pain the many questions surfaced. Sin has its own way of punishing.

The sin carries the broken, the stuck, the angry through generation after generation only adding to the new generation’s sins starting from the beginning with Adam. Then if God knew all of this would happen then it must be God’s fault…. right? No, he never intended it to be a world of sin and judgment. If we sit in judgment of every person’s flaws and sin when we judge as God does what happens when it’s time to judge someone you love, will you be able to judge to heaven or hell? Mack finds out the hard way just what this means.

Mack begins to understand that every breathing soul is loved by Papa and is worthy of forgiveness if sincerely asking for forgiveness.

In my opinion, this is a miraculous story of love shown through the eyes of the Trinity. In the beautiful garden of life that looks like a chaotic mess, Sarayu shows Mack the bigger picture, a breathtaking view of good that only God can create out of bad. Believing God is working for your good and never letting go or losing sight of that is what keeps us joyful and happy in a world full of evil and sin, allowing love in and love to win.

Many people have expressed anger over the portrayal of God as a black woman, but they are missing the deeper meaning. It’s not about the color of skin, male or female; it’s about God knowing his child. By keeping things gentle, it was easier for Mack to accept what was about to take place.

The twist in the end lets you decide for yourself how to perceive Mack’s story. Whether to believe or not is up to you. I loved this movie and its underlying message was remarkable. God’s love, forgiveness, redemption and purification brings hope.


Famed ‘X-Men’ star takes on young protégé in finale


Before anything else, I have to tell you this: Logan deserves a second viewing, at least, before you can fully grasp the magnitude of the film.

Logan, directed by James Mangold and starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and newcomer Dafne Keen, doesn’t feel like a superhero movie, at least, not in the blockbuster, “Marvel Cinematic Universe” sense that many of us have come to expect from this genre of film. There’s little levity in the story that’s told, and in the times that it is present, it is often ripped away violently. This isn’t like last year’s Deadpool, where the action and comedy intermingle constantly and drive the story forward. This is a finale for a character most of us grew up with, and the nature of said character necessitates a somber look at the universe he came into and grew up in.

Logan, to put it simply, is dying. The adamantium that made him the Wolverine is poisoning him from the inside, and the healing factor he’s been sporting around for years is virtually non-existent. In one scene early in the film, the audience watches as he has to forcefully pull out one of his claws, by hand, before bandaging the now-gouged hand. For a man who has lived for nearly a century and a half, Logan’s age is catching up to him.

In the same way, Stewart’s Xavier, in his nineties, is a shell of his former self, stricken by a neurodegenerative brain disease and forced to be constantly medicated to suppress his now-dangerous mind. Even while he brings some humor to the film, like spouting off random advertisements while refusing to take his medicine, you can’t help but feel some sort of sadness for the character. Neither Logan nor Xavier are what they once were, and the bitterness of that loss forms an interesting dynamic between the two, almost akin to a father and son’s relationship to each other.

This concept of age, and the following inevitability of death, is one of the main themes of Logan: nearly every character that Logan and company come across ends up dying, oftentimes directly because of them. Heads roll, literally. The violence shouldn’t come as a surprise to avid readers of the character’s comic book history; in fact, it, along with the foul language and overall cynicism underlying Jackman’s character, is a necessity in order to do the Wolverine justice.

But, even as the gore flies, there is still a small bit of hope present throughout the film, personified by Keen’s Laura, who, without saying much, communicates just as well as Logan through simple eye contact and grunts. She’s not innocent; after all, that first head that rolled? She cut it off. But all the same,    you can get a sense of the character through simply watching her interactions with the world, be it staring wide-eyed at a casino in Oklahoma, or silently asking for a kid’s iPod. She’s the one with the most innocence throughout the film, and the relationships she forges with Logan and, to a smaller extent, Xavier, are what drive the film forward.

It’s hard for me to explain all that happens in Logan without delving into spoilers, so I’ll make it brief: Logan, at its core, is about family, and the effects of loss and gain within the family. Logan, Laura, and Xavier have all lost something, but in the end, what they obtain through each other make up at least a small part of the regrowth they each go through by the end of the film.

Prison documentary sheds light on modernized slavery


The Netflix Original Documentary “13,” is an in-depth look of the 13th Amendment to present day. The 13th Amendment is the abolishment of slavery in the United States. Even though the act of slavery is gone in reality, through policies it has reinvented itself in different forms since the passing and ratification of the bill on Dec. 6, 1865.

Director Ava DuVernay explores a relationship between the abolishment of slavery to the mass incarceration of the prison population today.  History needs to be discussed before a person fully understands how the problem exists today.

Slavery ended with the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution: Abolition of Slavery (1865).  The law has a huge loophole that has exploited many Americans over the years. Per the law “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duty convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Slaves were used in the South from an economic standpoint. The South needed to find a way to help them after the law was passed.  No one could be a slave or be in servitude unless they were a criminal.

Over 150 years have passed since that law has been put into effect, but some can wonder, “have we gotten into a new form of it?” This new form is not just targeting African-Americans, but people of all colors including white Americans. It became an issue of “Can you afford to stay out of jail?” The Netflix documentary “13“ focuses on this problem.

DuVernay worked over two years to get interviews with various people. She shows both sides of the argument without making the documentary seem like a biased one. She interviews activists, liberal and conservative law makers and scholars. DuVernay doesn’t just tackle abolishment of slavery, mass incarcerations and racial inequality, she explores the different terms that are given to colored people through the years of history.

In the documentary, the viewer sees interviews along with film footage taken over the years showing each progression of history where slavery ended to “convict leasing,” when it faded, the Jim Crowe system; when African Americans become a permanent second class status.  During the Civil Rights era and the collapse of Jim Crowe system, a new title now began to emerge: criminals.

As each U.S. President comes into power, laws are passed to handle the criminals and the reform of the prison system.  There is not a problem with being tough on crime, the problem is how once the criminal is locked up, they are forgotten. The treatment of prisoners is what needs to be investigated. Daily beatings and companies have prisoners make their products for pennies on the dollar compared to paying a minimum wage worker in the United States. In 2003, according to Prisoner Policy Website the maximum wage paid to prisons in Texas and Georgia is $0. The corporations are making millions and paying nothing for labor. This is a new form of slavery. There is an incentive to keep people in the prison system, and it’s all legal.

DuVernay explores the Alec Group which benefits off prison reform. This group consists of companies and law makers who pass laws in their best interest. In the documentary, it is explained how this group operates. This is not widely known to the American people, but it affects them daily with bills being voted into laws in our country.

DuVernay’s film also discusses the violence in America, police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

People may think they have an idea about the prison system, but after watching the movie “13th” a person will be enlightened and realize they may not have a clue. Before I watched this documentary, I had some idea about the end of slavery and the prison system, but when I finished I learned so much more than I originally thought. It opens your eyes — the way it is laid out, to see how DuVernay can connect the end of slavery to mass incarceration, while using the laws which gave freedom has been exploited and it’s all legal.

Latinos en Acción help raise money for the KC Food Pantry

From all of us in Latinos en Accion, we want to say thank you to the KC Community for supporting our taco sale today. Your generosity helped us raise $227.00for the Student Food Pantry, and we also had some food items donated to the pantry.

Photo by Lisa Harris/THE FLARE
Photo by Lisa Harris/THE FLARE

This event also created even more awareness for what the college is doing to help our students. We had several students stop by the purchase lunch, both knowing and realizing they were being a help to fellow KC Rangers.

From an email sent by Manny Almanza


Baptist Student Ministry travels to Mission Arlington, ministers to neighborhoods


A group of students from KC’s Baptist Student Ministry participated in the outreach program, Rainbow Express, at Mission Arlington over Spring Break week. This program gave students an opportunity to be a part of the backyard Bible club Mission Arlington offers in their church.

Students entered apartment complexes throughout the Arlington area to round up children to participate in four days of activities.

Photo by Lonnie Ross/THE FLARE
Photo by Lonnie Ross/THE FLARE

Approximately 1,600 students, including KC’s, were in attendance. The schedule consisted of morning devotional time, where they received announcements before leaving for their morning Rainbow Express sites. After a couple of hours on-site with the children, the group returned for lunch. Following this was afternoon devotional time and then another site in the afternoon.

KC students, Brittany Rhoades, sophomore and Caroline McNeil, alumni, along with Blankenship were the singers who lead the groups prior to announcements and prayers given for both devotional sessions, while Victor Munoz, freshman, and Dalton Hitt, freshman, ran the light and sound board during the performances.

Photo by Lonnie Ross/THE FLARE
Photo by Lonnie Ross/THE FLARE

The purpose of the Rainbow Express is for the students to reach out to children in the community. Children who wanted to make salvation decisions could talk with the students. They could also talk to appointed ministers, like Blankenship. After the college students return to school, Mission Arlington picks up the task and continues for the remainder of the year.

“As of Thursday morning, there were 141 children who gave their lives to Christ,” said Matt Hart, Volunteer Coordinator of the Rainbow Express.

Each student was in charge with a task during the gathering. Hilena Mepinault, freshman, led the group with introductions of new children and discussed projects prior of the day. Greta Kayijoen, Kilgore freshman, led the memory verse lesson and testimony. Kayijoen and Brittany Rhoades rotated within the week for story time. Rhoades and Blankenship led the singing group.  Breana Bartholomew, Kilgore freshman, and Korinne Stroud, Longview freshman, performed with puppets. Caroline McNeil led the group in crafts, Hitt, Munoz and later, Sayaka Komoriya, Tokyo Japan, freshman, oversaw games. Hitt and Munoz also helped children who wanted to learn more about Jesus with individual sessions.

On Thursday, the students gave Bibles to the older children with distinct passages highlighted that were favorites of the students.

The BSM serves lunch 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., every Tuesday.

Fire Academy’s 100th class graduates March 29

 The KC Fire Academy will celebrate a milestone March 29 with its 100th graduation ceremony in Van Cliburn Auditorium on the Kilgore campus.

KC will host a reception prior to the ceremony from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Bert E. Woodruff Adult Education Center for all former fire academy students and instructors.

Following the reception, 18 students will graduate with the 100th class at 6:30 p.m. in Van Cliburn Auditorium.“We look forward to reuniting with former instructors and students in the meet and greet before the ceremony,” said Mike Fennell, KC Fire Academy’s lead instructor. “We invite them to bring stories with them and have an opportunity to meet the two graduation speakers.”Speakers at the graduation will be Rick Lasky and Dennis Gage.

Lasky is an emergency services consultant, author, motivational speaker and former chief of the Lewisville Fire Department. Originally from the Chicago area, Lasky worked in various capacities for police and fire departments in Illinois and Idaho before moving to Lewisville, where he was the city’s fire chief for 11 years. He retired as chief in 2011 to become a full-time consultant and educator. He has written one book and co-authored another.

Gage retired from the Kilgore Fire Department in 2013.  He began working at the KFD in 1979, working his way up to become fire chief.  He retired from the department in 2013.  That same year he was named Texas’ Firefighter of the Year by the State Firefighters’ & Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas. The KC Fire Academy began in 1989 under the direction of Mike Earley who led the academy until his retirement in 2011.

For more information on the KC Fire Academy visit or call Mike Fennell at 903-746-5388.


‘Kilgogh’ Art Festival to take place in downtown Kilgore


For the fifth year of the local ‘East Texas Arts Experience,’ KilGogh’s volunteer committee – part of the Kilgore Main Street Program – is crafting an evening art stroll and all-day arts festival downtown March 31 and April 1.

In addition to the year’s private, pre-festival exhibition, organizers are bringing back family-friendly KidsGogh outdoor art activities as well as a full line-up of live performers and a Cinema Under the Stars showing of a new Disney blockbuster.

First up, the exclusive Friday evening event brings back KilGogh’s annual art and wine exhibition, distributing local artists and artisans throughout businesses and restaurants along Main Street and North Kilgore.

Admission for the private showing is $40 per person, available to adults 21-and-older, and includes wine samples from East Texas vineyards, select hors d’oeuvres, live music and an array of artwork from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, March 31. The ticketed event falls a day after the 163rd anniversary of the birth of the festival’s namesake, Dutch post impressionist Vincent van Gogh.

Tickets are available for pre-purchase at or at

Activities on Saturday, April 1, begin at 11 a.m. downtown, free and open-to-the-public. Participants can expect a litany of activity including various artists showcasing and selling their exhibitions as well as hands on art projects for children and adults to enjoy.
The art festival has organized a student art competition built around a theme titled, “Goghing Places,” which was chosen by the festivals featured artists, including Mary Lou Rhodes,an Overton ISD art instructor who won Best in Show in 2016.
Other artists include KC dance group, Industry Dance Company, who will take the stage to entertain and dazzle attendees. As the event winds down an after dark showing of Disney’s “Moana” will be projected on a screen courtesy of Longview-Kilgore Cable TV.
The art festival is partially sponsored by Longview-Kilgore Cable and the Kilgore Herald and facilitated by local volunteers. Artists taking part in the event also help contribute a portion of their sales into the festival.

Summer billing not split; Semesters must be paid in full

The summer semesters, Summer I and Summer II will be billed as one term in order to optimize financial aid and scholarships.

Payment for all semesters, if registered for more than one semester during the summer, has to be made by May 3 to avoid all semesters being dropped for non-payment; however, if necessary, students may register and pay for semesters individually.

For questions about financial aid, contact the financial aid office at 903-983-8217.

Early registration payment deadlines:

May mini-mester- May 3

Summer I-May 3

Summer II-June 28

Lady Cardinals take lead in third quarter, Lady Rangers fall in third round of playoffs

The road to the Region XIV Conference tournament left Lady Ranger basketball fans with motion sickness. The Lady Rangers entered the tournament as the No. 6 seed and made their way to the championship game. The first stop was a mission to defeat No. 3 seed Panola. The KC Lady Rangers finished on top 77-74, giving head coach Anna Nimz her 100th win. After losing to the Fillies twice during the regular season, Kilgore (20-10), shut down Panola leaving them with a 23-8 record. This win was a landmark for KC, making it their first win in tournament play since defeating Angelina College in the 2008-09 season. Although the road was bumpy,  Lyrik Williams, Crystal, Minnesota sophomore, helped the Lady Rangers by adding 20 points and 15 rebounds. Richelle  Velez, Brazoswood freshman, finished  with five 3-pointers and a go-ahead layup for 17 points, while Danielle Meadow, Corpus Christi freshman scored 15 and Jade Thurmon, Ferris freshman, scored 13.

KCvsSanJac9_TiffanyJohnson copy
Photo by Tiffany Johnson/THE FLARE

The second stop was a nail biter. The fan base grew larger and louder, as they prepared for KC’s match-up against No. 2 seed San Jacinto. The Lady Rangers ended on top with a 64-56 win in  overtime. Lady Ranger fans in John Alexander Gymnasium seemed to be on the edge of their seats as Williams carried the team into overtime, scoring the extra points the Lady Rangers needed. Williams went on to score 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot. Velez led the Lady Rangers with 22 points, sinking six 3-pointers along the way, followed by Meador with nine points and 11 rebounds. Da’Jah Thompson, Tyler sophomore, with 10 rebounds.

The final destination was the longest haul. As the Lady Rangers met up with former rivals, No. 1 seeded Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals, fans got serious about cheering on their team, borrowing megaphones from the now-defunct KC cheer squad. The goal was to cheer louder than TVCC’s band and cheerleaders. This was a milestone for KC. However it ended in heartbreak with the Lady Rangers falling to the Cards 61-39.

Meador finished with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in that game. Williams, Thompson and Velez all added eight, with Williams adding five rebounds, and  Thompson pulling down seven rebounds.

Overall, the road to the championship bracket was a challenge, but the Lady Rangers drove hard to the final destination.

Photo by Tiffany Johnson/THE FLARE


Input needed on potential Campus Carry policy

A draft of the proposed KC Campus Carry Policy has been posted on the KC website at .  This policy has been posted so that you may give your feedback if you wish to do so.  The policy has not yet been approved by the Board, so we are seeking input from you all in regards to changes that need to be made prior to it being sent to the Board for approval.  Please send any comments or questions to  The period for feedback will be from 03/06/17 through 03/17/17.

Revels tickets available, free to KC students

Free tickets are available to KC students for the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening performances of the upcoming Rangerette Revels production, “The Sky’s the Limit” which opens April 5. Students can pick up their single ticket beginning Thursday, March 23, by presenting a current KC ID at the Revels Box Office in the Rangerette Gymnasium or in the box office of Dodson Auditorium an hour before the show they wish to attend, pending availability.  Tickets are available to the general public beginning Wednesday, March 22, and tickets for all shows cost $25 each to the general public.

The two-hour variety show produced by the Rangerettes which will run at 7:30 nightly through April 8 with a 1 p.m. matinee on Saturday as well. Telephone orders are available with a credit card by calling Elaine Woodmansee at 903-983-8179. Box Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday. Sea

ting is reserved.

The show features solo and group dance numbers, singing and music. This production is the highlight of the Spring Semester for the internationally known Rangerettes.


Black History Month Showcase in Tyler a success


What better way to top off February as Black History Month than with a black history celebration and showcase of talent in the East Texas region, held at the Liberty Hall in downtown Tyler. This event brought in some big name celebrities, such as Marion H. “Pooch” Hall Jr., an American  television and film actor, model and rapper known for his role on the sitcom “The Game” on BET/ CW. He also starred in the feature film “Jumping the Broom” in 2011.

Black History
Photo by Sarah Redford/THE FLARE

Participants, speakers and artists competed for the $500 cash prize for the most influential performer. The City of Tyler hosted the first of what they hope to be “many black history celebrations,” said, Ray Ingram, the event founder.

This event was established to promote black history awareness and to celebrate black ancestry. It was not to alleviate  any other races but to elevate black excellence and their contribution to our history. This event allowed local and regional performers to showcase their talent and it also brought in speakers to encourage the black youth to chase their dreams.

Ingram said he wanted to do something different for the black community planning it during Black History month made it more significant.

“Tyler showed up and showed out and I wanted this be fun while still promoting black history awareness,” he said.

All of the money raised at this event is going back into the community, especially with the black youth. Ingram and Imperial Production are also hosting a fishing event with the funds raised at this event to teach children how to fish on March 11.

The Black History Celebration was a success for the community and for those who participated, Ingram and the City of Tyler look forward to making this an annual event for Black History Month.



Suffragettes pave way for modern feminism,the story of Harry Burn


During this past election, people took to Twitter and created the hashtag, #Repealthe19th. By this, the users meant they wanted the 19th Amendment, the amendment allowing women to vote, to be removed.

March is women’s month, and highlighting suffragettes should be mandatory.

For nearly 100 years, women fought for the right to vote. Not just by showing up at rallies and protests, but by actually fighting, boycotting and as a result, were abused by their husbands. For this period of time, rich white men ruled politics, and some might say they still do; however, thanks to the mother of young state representative, Harry Burn, American women were given the right to vote.

Screenshot from Twitter
Screenshot from Twitter

Red and white roses were secured to the lapels of men in Tennessee. White roses for the men who wanted to put the 19th Amendment in place and red for the ones opposed the movement.

Burn pinned his lapel with a red rose.

At this point in time, Tennessee was the deciding state on whether women would be able to vote in America or not. If the state was able to agree upon women voting, it would be the 36th state to ratify the possible amendment.

In the meeting, the vote was split evenly between legislators with Burn being the last to vote. With a red rose pinned to his shirt, it was almost inevitable which decision he would make; however, Phoebe Ensminger Burn, his mother, wrote him a letter.

According to, the letter said, “Hurrah, and vote for suffrage! Don’t keep them in doubt. I notice some of the speeches against. They were bitter. I have been watching to see how you stood, but have not noticed anything yet.” She ended the letter with a rousing endorsement of suffragist leader, Carrie Chapman Catt, imploring her son to “be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt put the ‘rat’ in ratification.”

Burn took that advice and voted for the 19th Amendment, causing Tennessee to become the 36th state to ratify the amendment, and eight days later the amendment was adopted by the country.

Thanks to Burn’s mother and other women like her, women have the right to vote in America. There are countless other stories about women like Phoebe Burn, some filled with violence, illegal actions and perseverance.

So for both men and women to take to Twitter wanting to #Repealthe19th is not just disrespectful, but back-tracking all of the work women of the past have accomplished for you.

This is not just an issue of sexism, but civil rights. So, before you decide what to believe, remember to “be a good boy,” or girl.