Caribbean Flayvahz: An Island Dream in Memphis

By–Elbert Hubbard Jr.

Caribbean Flayvahz started when a local out of college couple got together for an idea. It was based on family roots in the Caribbean and in Memphis. Louis and Carla Falkner had their restaurant open since 2018, and they haven’t looked back since.

“It started with my wife, she had a dream opening a restaurant,” said Louis Faulkner.  Most of our recipes come from Kittitian style cooking. It represents the whole vision of Caribbean Flayvahz. “

Carla Faulkner family comes from Queens, New York and her heritage lies in St. Kitts. The island was formerly known as St. Christopher Island. Louis family comes from Orange Mound in Memphis. Their history lead to opening Caribbean Flayvahz a local restaurant serving the Hickory Hill area in Memphis.

Louis said owning Caribbean Flayvahz as a young black business owner is no different than other restaurants.

“It’s a lot of grinding and hard work,” he said. “It is a lot of hours in the day put in.  Me and my wife are working along with the cashiers and the chefs so that the city can come around and try Caribbean Flayvahz.”

Carla Faulkner said she is half Caribbean, with her family coming from St. Kitts. She said most of her recipes comes from across the West Indies.

“Some of our dishes include Kittitian dishes, we have Jamaican dishes, and we have Trinidadian dishes as well,” she said.   “We did not just one name, and that is why we came up with Caribbean Flayvahz. I wanted the word flavors to be different because we are different. We are relaxed, cool, vibe, energetic, and it is a fun place to eat.”

She also brought a popular dish to the table and talked about the sides that normally come with the plate. The plate included curried chicken, steam cabbage, plantain banana fritters, and coco bread which is like a giant sweet roll. Some of their dishes came with rice, cabbage, and the coco bread.

Carla Faulkner’s favorite dish is a Caribbean favorite and American south favorite as well.

“My favorite dish is oxtail and macaroni and cheese,” she said. “I also recommend my favorite with coco bread. Coco bread goes wonderfully with any of our patties. We have jerk, curry, beef and vegetable patties.”

Carla Faulkner wanted to let customers know that this restaurant is on the rise.

“I would say to our customer base come and savor the Caribbean flavor, come and relax,” she said. “We have great food, spices, and great music and a great atmosphere so you can come a be yourself.”

The restaurant gained positive reviews from customers in the Mid-South area according to recent Google Reviews.

Local television chef cooks up healthy and tasty options

 

One chef in Memphis is known for her healthy options and tasty entrees. She made several appearances on WREG-TV’s Live at 9 cooking segments. She also teaches lessons in southern cooking and vegan cooking. Elle Green is known for her southern cooking, vegan options, and her array of assorted drink cocktails.

Some of her dishes range from southern appetizers to classic grilled and fried entrée’s to vegan substitutes that have multiple positive reviews.

One of her recipes like the Shrimp Creole Rice Balls include Arborio rice, shrimp, Cajun spice, bell pepper, tomato paste and a host of spices.

Chef Elle has appeared on multiple shows and media outlets such as Shape, Self Magazine, eHow recipes, and NBC Today Show. She contributes to multiple cookbooks anonymously as well.

She has clients across the Memphis area. Her customer review average is 4.8 stars according to GreenChef.com.

A Young Woman’s Experience with Type 1 Diabetes

Erika Hubbard is a school teacher at KIPP Blytheville Collegiate Prep in Blytheville, AR.  She lives in Bartlett, Tennessee with her boyfriend Antwoine McClellan and thier daughter Autumn. Since her childhood, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

She goes to the doctor every three months to fill her supplies and for her checkup. When her daughter was born she was born premature because of her diabetes.

“While I was pregnant I felt like a science experiment,” Erika said “I was at the high risk doctor once a month. The next day after the baby shower, surprisingly, my daughter was born.”

Ellen Hubbard is a nurse at St Francis Bartlett. She is also Erika’s mother. Hubbard said Erika’s daughters premature birth is common for women with diabetes.

“Some of the risks for premature birth had something to do with her being an independent diabetic,” Hubbard said. “Other risks for the baby are growth problems, heart defects, and brain development problems.”

Erika still lives in Bartlett with her family and she hasn’t had too many problems with her blood sugar.

 

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MABJ: Bringing Life to Young Memphis Journalists

The Memphis Association of Black Journalists is a Memphis based organization for young local journalists. Particularly, minority journalists whether experienced or fresh out of school. Some legacy members of the organization include longtime production specialist at WREG-TV Eddie Goss and WREG veteran anchors Alex Coleman and April Thompson who anchor together at 4:00pm.

Montee Lopez is the current president of MABJ. He is a morning show producer at WATN-TV in Memphis. Lopez said the purpose of the organization is to help young or veteran minority journalists network, get though the stressful work week of media, and to serve the Memphis community. MABJ also holds several events to support the organization.

Lopez said that the last fundraiser MABJ had raised about $300 for the scholarship fund. The goal is to give out two $500 scholarships for media based majors.

“We want to support our students and so we have set up this fund for books and supplies,” he said.

MABJ has over 30 members including recurring guest members in the organization.

The organization serves minority journalists throughout the Mid-South including Jackson, TN and parts of Mississippi and Arkansas.

MABJ Black Male Media Project set for June 28

The Memphis Association of Black Journalsits will have their Black Male Media Project event in two weeks. This comes after the Trap Yoga event to raise money for the Bernal E. Smith Scholarship fund.

Montee Lopez the President of MABJ said the focus of the event is to raise awareness to the media as far as black male health, mindset, how they are portyaed in news, and promote HIV and AIDS Testing.

 

“The goal is to uplift young African American men who are portrayed poorly. Our target is the Frayser area of Memphis where the HIV and AIDS rate are high. We want to promote good health, and promote a better image for our young men.”

The event is scheduled for June 28th, at the Pursuit of God Church on Signal Street in Memphis.

 

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Middle College High School Alumni Plans Summer 2020 Reunion

 

It all started with posts on Facebook. Then it started to grow when the class of 2008 and 2009 planned their reunion for Middle College High School. The Middle College High School class of 2010 is planning a reunion set for summer 2020.

Trevor Nolan, the committee chair along with LaTrice Otis, Earnest Shinault, Theo Jones, and Dominique Chalmbers are coordinating this event.

Nolan said the reunion will feature several events including a networking and mingle, a class family field day, a class night out, church day, and a banquet dinner with scholarships awarded to future Middle College graduates.

One goal of this reunion according to Nolan is for the class to bond together. Plus the proceeds from this reunion will go to a scholarship fund for Middle College Students.

Nolan and the committee also have a few ideas in the works including a 3 on 3 basketball game and a local and national comic comedy show.

The class reunion currently is planned for summer 2020. No other details about the reunion have been revealed.

Plenty of Sweat for MABJ during Trap Yoga Event

The Memphis Association of Black Journalists sponsored a workout event on May 12. It was called Trap Yoga. Gene Williams a yoga instructor in Memphis lead the class as the members and guests worked out to hip hop music.

The event served three purposes.

May is Mental Health awareness month where MABJ in its previous meeting discussed about the rigors of life in media and how it affects their health. The event was to promote good mental and physical health.

The second purpose of the event was to raise money for the MABJ Scholarship Fund. The fund was to honor Bernal E. Smith II. A well-known Memphis journalist who died in 2017 from natural causes.

The trap yoga event featured some exercises including poses, cardio, and core strengthening. The workout also incorporated flexibility and joint health. The workout took place at 525 N. Main Street at the Old Greyhound Station in Memphis.

Gene Williams originally named the workout Zen Yoga Flow. He named the workout Trap Yoga due to the intensity and the hip hop music. There was a warmup and an intermission. Then there was the intense workout and the cool down. More than 50 people attended the workout and MABJ raised more than $200 for the event.

Gospel, Hip-Hop, and Country Rock headlines Local Memphis Music Fest

Local Memphis Musicians Performs at Music Fest

The 2nd Annual Local Memphis Music Festival was held at Downtown Elementary on May 12, 2018. There were several local music acts including Personal Praise, AG Hustle and touring country rock musician Anna Benson.

Personal Praise kicked off the event with two of their gospel hits “The Call” and “Keep on Reaching”.  The group’s purpose behind the music is to uplift teens. Both Tez and Yana are still in high school.

“Im a junior and I attend Middle College High school (Yana), and I am a graduating senior at Central High School (Tez),” said both members of Personal Praise.

The group released their first national album but this wasn’t the first time they performed together.

“We have been singing together for almost seven to eight years. but since we are brother and sister we grew up our whole lives singing together,” said Yana from Personal Praise.

When Radio Memphis invited the group for an interview they were instantly booked for the show by the organizer of Radio Memphis.

AG Hustle performed a few songs about his struggle and how he continues to work for  him and his son.

“I been doing music since I was 16. My cousin involved me into it. It was never my work it was his work.”

He has worked on many mix tapes. However, he said his best music is a work in progress.

“The best song I worked on is on my album. It’s called ‘Diary of a Winner’. It’s basically telling my story or how I got started with music.”

Anna Benson is a local artist who toured across the south. She even recorded songs with a producer who knew the Minneapolis sensation Prince. She performed country rock songs at the festival.

The festival was held at Downtown Elementary where at least 2500 people where in attendance. The festival continued until 7:00 pm on May 12.

Otis Sanford: His Point of View

Every time you read or listen the news in Memphis, you see an article or a commentary from Otis Sanford. That’s if viewers watch WREG-TV or read the Commercial Appeal.

Every commentary Sanford has done ends with this statement “and that’s my point of view”. He is known through the Mid South as a journalist, author and commentator. He has written on many issues in Memphis. He also has ties to Memphis politics with his book he published recently from Boss Crump to King Willie.  The book talks about the racial divide of Memphis politics and issues. From the days of E.H. Crump and his influence on Memphis mayors ,to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, to the former first African American mayor in the city William Herrington.

Sanford began writing in grade school. His love for reading the news and his journalism class in high school launched his career. In college he was a copy boy at the Memphis Commercial Appeal. He ran errands for the reporters and editors. Then he went to the Clarion Ledger for two years as a reporter. In 1977 he got his first job as a general assignment reporter for the Commercial Appeal.

From there he had many jobs including in Pittsburgh and Detroit. When he came back to Memphis, he was considered a top candidate for editor of the Commercial Appeal. He did not get the position, however he remained at the paper as the open editorial columnist. In 2011, he started the Otis Sanford commentaries at WREG-TV in Memphis. He commented on several issues including political, economical, national and other issues affecting the Memphis community.

Sanford is currently a editorial columnist at the Commercial Appeal, a commentator at WREG-TV Memphis and serves as a Hardin Chair of Excellence professor of journalism at the University of Memphis. He also appears on WREG’s Informed Sources.

University of Memphis Hosts its Graduate Majors Fair

 

The University of Memphis hosted its Graduate School Majors fair on March 21. This was for college seniors or incoming graduate students that haven’t attended the university.

The fair had more than a few hundred students, prospective and current, attended.  The fair had 6 colleges and each college had several different majors and concentrations.

Colin Chapell a professor at the University College said his department offers several concentrations and a choose your own major path.

“The University College offers two degree programs,” he said. “We offer the Masters of Professional Studies program which has three specific areas. Plus we have the Liberal Studies program which you can choose the courses you pick for your degree.”

Mary Kyle, the coordinator of the Graduate School Fair said it is important for students to realize a bachelors degree is not enough in some career areas.

Kyle also said that students that want to specialize in their area of choice needs to build their writing skills as well.

She said that the most popular graduate majors were Education, Business, and Science degrees. The most preferred degree was the MBA according to Kyle.

Other majors that were represented included Accounting, Engineering, Film Studies, Journalism, and Architecture.

The graduate school fair lasted from 12-2pm.