Pocket Set to Perform at the 2018 Filmmaker’s Mardi Gras Bash

Annual favorite Melvin “HouseCat” Hendrex returns to the Bash, but this time, he goes zydeco as musical director for the band Pocket. Other band members include:

• Timothy Allen, guitar
• Ben Sterling, bass
• Adib Sabir (Paul Owens), vocals and percussions

Looking forward to this musical treat!

Don’t miss this performance at the Filmmaker’s “Mardi Gras” Bash on Saturday, February 24, 2018, at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Purchase your advance tickets: https://blackhistoryplus.com/filmmakers-bash-2018/

[button link=”https://blackhistoryplus.com/filmmakers-bash-2018/” type=”big” color=”orange”] BUY TICKETS[/button]

2018 Filmmaker’s Bash Highlight: Sous Chef Malcolm Evans

Sous Chef Malcolm Evans

Welcome Sous Chef Malcolm Evans, sous chef at the King Edward Grille in Jackson. We cannot wait to see what he cooks up at the 2018 Bash.

Try Sous Chef Malcolm’s delicious dish during the Top Sous Chef Competition at the Filmmaker’s “Mardi Gras” Bash on Saturday, February 24, 2018, at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Purchase your advance tickets: https://blackhistoryplus.com/filmmakers-bash-2018/

[button link=”https://blackhistoryplus.com/filmmakers-bash-2018/” type=”big” color=”orange”] BUY TICKETS[/button]

2018 Filmmaker’s Bash Highlight: Sous Chef Phillip Brown

Sous Chef Phillip Brown

Welcome Sous Chef Phillip Brown, sous chef at Sodexo/Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company in Jackson. We cannot wait to see what he cooks up at the 2018 Bash.

Sous Chef Phillip Brown discovered a love for food at an early age, which was inspired by his father who was well known for his cooking. From that point, Phillip was determined to become a chef one day.

As a teen, he worked in the fast food industry, where he learned basic kitchen skills and also the meaning of hard work. Then later, his career took him to the hotel industry, where he developed his professional skills under culinary chefs.

In 2014, his dream of becoming a chef started to become a reality when he began working at Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company’s Sodexo facility. Under the direction the company’s Executive Chef Wyatt Williams, he is absorbing 20-plus years of experience and making it his own. While he continues to refine his craft, flexing his creativity in both catering and fruit carving, his passion for cooking drives him to put his all into his creations, resulting in smiles and satisfaction from his clientele.

Try Sous Chef Phillip’s delicious dish during the Top Sous Chef Competition at the Filmmaker’s “Mardi Gras” Bash on Saturday, February 24, 2018, at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Purchase your advance tickets: https://blackhistoryplus.com/filmmakers-bash-2018/

[button link=”https://blackhistoryplus.com/filmmakers-bash-2018/” type=”big” color=”orange”] BUY TICKETS[/button]

2018 Filmmaker’s Bash Highlight: Chef Marilyn Shelby Kithuka

Chef Marilyn Shelby Kithuka

Welcome Chef Marilyn Shelby Kithuka, chef and owner of Gumbo Girl at 5681 Highway 18 in Jackson. We cannot wait to see what she cooks up at the 2018 Bash.

Chef Marilyn Shelby Kithuka is the chef and owner of Gumbo Girl, a small Jackson, Mississippi, area restaurant that is fast growing in popularity. Her restaurant brings to the area an award-winning gumbo (Best of Jackson), Cajun-style dishes, seafood, and more.

Chef Marilyn is a native of Jackson, where she was born and raised. She attended McLeod Elementary School, Powell Middle School, and Callaway High School. She pursued higher learning at Jackson State University, where she attained a Bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and a Master’s degree in public relations.

Throughout her early childhood to late teens, Chef Marilyn dreamt of pursuing a career as an actress, as she always had a passion for the arts, drama, and entertainment. However, being unable to attend a school that would fulfil this dream, she turned to the next best career path as a broadcast journalism major. Life has, however, dealt her a different set of cards, as she now entertains people from a completely different place, which is her heart and soul. She utilizes her God-given talents in the culinary field to whip up delectable dishes, served in a cozy and ambient atmosphere. Teaming up with her serial entrepreneur husband, James Kithuka, they established the Gumbo Girl brand as a restaurant, opening its doors to the public in November of 2015.

Chef Marilyn is a wife and a mother to two, Aundria Alexander and Solomon-Conner Kithuka. She is also a grandmother to twins, Madasyn and Macey.

Try Chef Marilyn’s delicious dish at the Filmmaker’s “Mardi Gras” Bash on Saturday, February 24, 2018, at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Purchase your advance tickets: https://blackhistoryplus.com/filmmakers-bash-2018/

[button link=”https://blackhistoryplus.com/filmmakers-bash-2018/” type=”big” color=”orange”] BUY TICKETS[/button]

2018 Filmmaker’s Bash Highlight: Chef Wyatt Williams

Chef Wyatt Williams

Welcome Chef Wyatt Williams, Executive Chef at Sodexo/Southern Farm Bureau Life in Jackson. We cannot wait to see what he cooks up at the 2018 Bash!

“To be a good chef, one must not only love food and cooking, but also have a love for people as well,” is a favorite saying of Chef Wyatt Williams, who is steadfast in the fact that while being a chef is “awesome,” it also comes with a strict level of responsibility.

For 20 years, Chef Wyatt has honed his professional skills and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the culinary world. His expertise spans from exotic dishes to down-home comfort foods. With a straight-forward, yet affable, personality, his respect for wholesome ingredients and passion for cooking shines through his work and reputation. He not only has dazzles his professional peers, but also his clients that range from children to worldwide dignitaries.

His professional background has included practicing his art in the kitchens of the Jackson Marriott, various Mississippi casinos, Sodexo, and the Tupelo Country Club, to name a few. He also has been awarded First Place in numerous culinary competitions. These experiences helped Chef Wyatt form a key understanding that good food enhances deeper, social interactions – a sentiment that he embraces through everything he does, including in his restaurant, his catering company, volunteer projects, and culinary competitions.

One of Chef Wyatt’s greatest professional accomplishment came when he was chosen as one of three chefs by renowned Chef Nick Wallace of Jackson to help cater an event for dignitaries attending the grand opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum this past December.

And when it comes to community service, Chef Wyatt is no stranger! In addition to voluntarily serving as the chef for former First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move Campaign,’ sponsored by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and catering for hundreds attending United Healthcare’s Sesame Street Children’s Health Fair with Cookie Monster, Elmo, and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, he also makes time to educate America’s youth and adults on the importance of healthy foods and lifestyles.

For Chef Wyatt, though, he’s most proud of working as chef with the Boys & Girls Clubs. Seeing the children’s faces as he teaches them to learn better eating habits and how to cook healthy dishes is priceless. He says it doesn’t get much better than that.

Try Chef Wyatt’s delicious dish at the Filmmaker’s “Mardi Gras” Bash on Saturday, February 24, 2018, at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Purchase your advance tickets: https://blackhistoryplus.com/filmmakers-bash-2018/

[button link=”https://blackhistoryplus.com/filmmakers-bash-2018/” type=”big” color=”orange”] BUY TICKETS[/button]

2018 Filmmaker’s Bash Highlight: Chef Rashanna Newsome

Chef Rashanna Newsome

Welcome back Chef Rashanna Newsome, Sous Chef of The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen, located at 1200 North State St. in Jackson. We cannot wait to see what she cooks up at the 2018 Bash.

Chef Rashanna was inspired by her parents and their love of cooking. Rashanna originally planned to study computer in college, but was urged by her parents to attend culinary school. Prior to her father’s death in 2006, he informed her of his dream for her to get a culinary education. She fulfilled this dream by attending the Washburne Culinary Institute in Chicago from 2007 to 2008. She returned to Jackson, working at Macaroni Grill, then River Hill Country Club, and then her current venue, The Manship. During her time at The Manship, Rashanna returned to Chicago to finish her semester of culinary school. She came back and began training as the Sous Chef.

Try Chef Rashanna’s delicious dish at the Filmmaker’s “Mardi Gras” Bash on Saturday, February 24, 2018, at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Purchase your advance tickets: https://blackhistoryplus.com/filmmakers-bash-2018/

[button link=”https://blackhistoryplus.com/filmmakers-bash-2018/” type=”big” color=”orange”] BUY TICKETS[/button]

2018 Filmmaker’s Bash

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.98″ background_layout=”light”]

 

Don’t miss the sixth annual Bash event featuring the exciting “Top Chef” competition showcasing Mississippi’s finest culinary talents. In honor of the Mardi Gras theme, chefs will prepare Cajun or French inspired dishes, with a Mississippi twist. The evening’s attire is “black tie and Mardi Gras glam.”

Chefs include:

Marilyn Kithuka of Gumbo Girl,

Rashanna Newsome of The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen,

Damian Shelby of King Edward, and

Wyatt Williams of Southern Farm Bureau Life.

A VIP reception opens the event from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and tickets are $100 per person. The reception includes special music featuring Rhonda Richmond. The Bash will take place from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., include a silent auction and music by Pocket, and tickets are $50 per person.

Rhonda Richmond

Pocket

Don’t Miss the 2018 International Marketplace

Make sure that you arrive in time to shop at this year’s silent auction.     

Use one of the buttons below to purchase tickets on our website or on Eventbrite. (Fee applies for Eventbrite purchases). Proceeds from the event help us continue our mission: Saving Our History, One Story at a Time.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”1_4″][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_4″][et_pb_button admin_label=”Ticket Button” _builder_version=”3.0.98″ button_text=”Buy Tickets” button_url=”https://blackhistoryplus.com/product/2018-filmmakers-mardi-gras-bash-ticket/” url_new_window=”on” background_layout=”light” custom_button=”off” button_icon_placement=”right” /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_4″][et_pb_button admin_label=”Eventbrite Button” _builder_version=”3.0.98″ button_text=”Eventbrite” button_url=”https://www.eventbrite.com/e/filmmakers-mardi-gras-bash-tickets-42479674851″ url_new_window=”off” background_layout=”light” custom_button=”off” button_icon_placement=”right” /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_4″][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

2018 Filmmaker’s Bash Highlight: Chef Damian Shelby

Chef Damian Shelby

Welcome back Damian Shelby, Executive Chef of The King Edward, located at 102 N. Mill St. in Jackson. We cannot wait to see what he cooks up at the 2018 Bash.

Chef Damian has always had a kitchen talent even from coming up as a kid from Bolton, MS. He grew up with his family growing their own vegetables and raising their own livestock. With this, food became one of his most favorite inquiries. He watched his mom (Doris Ann Shelby) and grandma (Annie Warren Shelby) make magic in the kitchen, which was pretty much like watching the Food Network today. Opening and closing Schimmels Fine Dining & Cocktails is where he began the start of his journey as a chef. Damian and Nick Wallace were team members at that time. Years later, the two got back together and brought the taste of Mississippi back with healthy food options at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Damian now serves as the Executive Chef at the King Edward. Damian continues his journey, learning more and more, while delivering great tasting foods from farm to table.

Try Chef Damian’s delicious dish at the Filmmaker’s “Mardi Gras” Bash on Saturday, February 24, 2018, at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Purchase your advance tickets: https://blackhistoryplus.com/filmmakers-bash-2018/

[button link=”https://blackhistoryplus.com/filmmakers-bash-2018/” type=”big” color=”orange”] BUY TICKETS[/button]

Celebrating a Civil Rights Achievement 70 Years in the Making

Celebrating a Civil Rights Achievement 70 Years in the Making:

The Elport Chess JATRAN Facility Naming

September 2017 Marked Two Significant Milestones

September 2017 marked two important and connected anniversaries in Mississippi’s Civil Rights history. First, 70 years ago in Jackson, the Lanier Bus Boycott of 1947 took place and was led by Mr. Elport Chess. Then in 2016, the JATRAN public bus transit system building located on Highway 80 in Jackson was renamed “The Elport Chess Building” in honor of the history-altering boycott.

In 1947, Chess returned home to Jackson after being drafted and serving his country in the United States military during World War II. As an African American teen, and WWII veteran who had earned a Purple Heart and Silver Heart for his brave actions in the war, Chess enrolled back in Lanier High School to complete his education. Lanier High School was Mississippi’s first accredited four-year high school for African Americans, and at that time, students either walked to school or rode the #6 Jackson city bus. Although it was designated the “special bus,” on which African American students rode, when necessary it could also segregate African Americans to a specified seating area.

On a September morning in 1947, Chess boarded the bus and sat in an empty seat, even though the seat was not designated for African American use. The #6 bus was crowded with students headed to school. All was going as usual until a white woman boarded the bus and Chess was asked to give up his seat for her. He refused. The bus driver, in response, acted and had Chess physically removed by the police. Chess was beaten and jailed. This act against him spurred a protest by the school’s students and others who boycotted the bus system, which is known today as the Lanier Bus Boycott of 1947.

“WWII veteran Elport Chess chose to take a stand,” said Wilma Mosley Clopton, Ph.D., president and CEO of NMHS Unlimited Film and Productions in Jackson. “He was not aware at the time that his stand would become a pivotal moment in Mississippi’s Civil Rights history.”

For Chess, and other WWII African American veterans returning home, Mississippi was challenging. “In war, they had been introduced to a way of life that included their recognition as men,” said Clopton. “To them, it was incredulous that they should be asked to die in Europe for the rights of the oppressed while upon return being asked to resubmit to oppression in the United States. It was these soldiers’ exposure to real freedom that marked the turning point for Mississippi.”

The Lanier Bus Boycott of 1947 took place eight years before Rosa Parks’ scripted protest in Alabama. “This fact is important,” explained Clopton, “because Mississippi was still knee-deep in the restrictive covenants of Jim Crow laws. Voting rights were just a glimmer on the horizon, and blacks were routinely beaten, tortured and lynched with little provocation. Chess took action clearly in the face of danger.”

Today, 70 years later and thanks to decades of perseverance by Lanier High School’s students from 1947-48, the legacy of Chess continues to be honored through the bus station naming. “The efforts of the staff and students of Lanier High School during a time when Jim Crow, white supremacy and separate and unequal treatment was the law of the land was courageous,” said Elport’s son, Alexander Chess and on behalf of the Chess family.

“If my father was here today, I know he would be proud and appreciative of this great honor that has been awarded him,” added Chess, of the JATRAN facility’s naming. “Our hearts leap for joy, as our eyes are filled with tears, each time we pass the building, and say, ‘This is for you Dad, your efforts were not forgotten, nor were they in vain.’”

An educational documentary, “Elport Chess and the Lanier Bus Boycott of 1947,” has been produced by NMHS Unlimited Film Productions to both honor and preserve the historical value of Chess’ actions and of the supporters. “We are indeed humbled and honored by the enormous effort by Dr. Wilma Clopton and the Lanier High School Class of 1948 for bringing forth in this documentary the activities surrounding the arrest and reaction to the arrest of my Dad, Elport Chess, Sr., in 1947,” said Chess.

The idea for the documentary came about in December of 2009, when Dr. Clopton received a phone call from Mrs. Grace Sweet inviting her to attend the annual Christmas party of the Lanier High School Class of 1948. As part of the conversation, Sweet told the story of Elport Chess and the boycott of 1947 and said, “If you can come, the class would like to share their story with you.”

“It was the efforts of Chess’ classmates that became the impetus for the film, as well as an aggressive lobbying and petition signing campaign to make the Jackson City Council aware of the importance of Elport Chess,” explained Clopton, adding that the idea to start a petition signing campaign was the suggestion of Mrs. Johnetta Jurden, a classmate who was on the bus with Chess that day. Jurden and other members of the Class of 1948 actively lobbied for the naming.

“This petition process was critical because the Jackson City Council was contemplating naming the new JATRAN facility after Rosa Parks,” said Clopton. “Those of us involved in the campaign felt that the logical person for whom the building should be named was Elport Chess, a Mississippian and WWII veteran whose efforts spurred the Jackson city bus boycott years before Rosa Parks’ protest.”

“Many Mississippians are woefully unaware of the rich legacy and contribution made by Mississippi African Americans,” added Clopton. “Even though it was 70 years in the making, this act of acknowledgement and naming of JATRAN’s Elport Chess Building is an achievement to celebrate. The bravery and vision of Chess and many others blazed a trail toward equality for the generations that followed. They are heroes.”

The legacy Chess left behind has endured, changed and created a better Mississippi, and September marks two milestones that have played significant roles in that fact. “We join hands with our extended family of Jacksonians in supporting the month of September in recognizing all milestones attributed to the achievements of the citizens of our great state,” added Chess.

NMHS Unlimited Film Productions is a 501(c)3 Mississippi-based company specializing in documentaries about Mississippi African Americans and their contributions to the State of Mississippi. Visit www.blackhistoryplus.com or contact Dr. Wilma Mosley Clopton at cloptongroup@yahoo.com or 601-259-7598 for more information.