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People, Places, and Things

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Gwen DeRu
by Gwen DeRu
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEBOISE DERU, II!!!
DON”T FORGET!!  There will be many things going on around the country to celebrate the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King through January.
February is right around the corner and Black History is on the minds of many.  Let’s Celebrate Black History year round and in February.
MILES COLLEGE THIRD ANNUAL FRENCH LYCEUM SPEAKER SERIES – Miles College Third Annual George T. French, Jr. Lyceum Speakers Series will be Monday, February 22, on campus in the Brown Hall Auditorium, at 11 a.m.  Congressman John Lewis (Georgia) is the speaker for the Third Annual French Lecture Series.  This program will be co-sponsored by Miles College and the Prince Hall Masons of which Corey D. Hawkins is the most Worshipful Grand Master. The congressman will speak on the Civil Rights Movement and Voter registration, as a precursor to the upcoming election.
VOTERS PROTECTION – Greater Ministries Birmingham will work throughout this election year on voting rights.  They will monitor the effects of Alabama’s Voter ID law, pending Proof of Citizenship requirement, implementation of the Motor Voter law with which Alabama has been in decades-long-non-compliance, and closing DMV offices – where free Voter IDs are supposed to be made available.  Contact the GBM at (205) 326-6821 x102.
STUDENTS ARE INVITED TO WORD UP – The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is inviting young poets in Jefferson County to participate in WORD UP!, a poetry slam for students enrolled in high schools—or home schooled—in Jefferson County.  The ninth annual event will be held on Sunday, April 10 at 3 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium at Central Library, 2100 Park Place downtown.  The slam is sponsored by BPL and Real Life Poets, a nonprofit creative writing organization based in Birmingham. Students in grades nine through 12 write and perform an original work of poetry inspired by a theme selected by the WORD UP! planning committee. The theme for WORD UP! 2016 is “Speak Out!”  Each participating high school holds a preliminary contest.  Teen poets can up their game by attending free workshops leading up to the slam. The Jan. 30th session will be led by Tina Mozelle Braziel, and the February 27th session will be led by John Paul Taylor.  Both sessions will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Story Castle on the second floor of the Central Library. Registration is recommended.  For more information, call (205) 226-3670 or email hm@bham.lib.al.us.  For those students determined to go even further, BPL and Real Life Poets will help sponsor a spoken-word team to compete in next year’s Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Competition, a worldwide standard in spoken word poetry competitions for teens since 1998. Brave New Voices 2013 was held in Chicago, and for the first time in the history of the festival, a small but dedicated group of Birmingham-area teens who called themselves Team #KnowDisclaimer competed and did well enough to go on to the semi-finals, a feat almost unheard of by first time teams.
ALABAMA CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION MONTH – Students and faculty in the career and technical education programs in Birmingham City Schools will celebrate Alabama Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month in February of this year.  This month-long celebration will emphasize the role of career and technical education in the future career success of students and its importance to their academic achievement.  Each school has activities scheduled.  To learn more contact:
Birmingham City Schools – CTE Department (205) 231-5633.
COCA-COLA HONORS UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA – In honor of The University of Alabama and the dedicated fans who cheered their team to victory, Coca-Cola and Coke Zero are releasing special 12-ounce championship cans.  Available in limited-edition six-packs, the cans are emblazoned with The University of Alabama’s logo and celebrate the team’s outstanding 2015 championship season.  Beginning this week, fans can visit participating local retailers to purchase their own six-pack of the limited-edition Coca-Cola and Coke Zero collectible cans, while supplies last.
FOR FUNK AND SOUL MUSIC LOVERS
The Love Funk and Soul Concert with the DRAMATICS, JEAN CARNE,RAY PARKER, JR, GEORGE JOHNSON and MICHAEL HENDERSON will be held at the Bill Harris Arena and CrossPlex, February 6, 7 p.m.

 

WINTER RESTAURANT WEEK 2016 – Birmingham’s first-ever Winter Restaurant Week kicks off on January 25-31 and restaurants will have winter menus awaiting with hope of drawing attention to locally-owned doing opportunities in the Magic City, giving diners a chance to experience Birmingham’s growing culinary scene.

 

SECRET STAGES RETURNS – Secret Stages is a pub crawl style music festival dedicated to the discovery of exciting talent.  For five years Secret Stages has presented some of the best acts that the Southeast and the nation have to offer. Whether it’s free jazz, folk, hip hop, country, or something new we have yet to discover, our only concern is that it be great. A few of our more notable alumni include:  St Paul and the Broken Bones,
Shovels and Rope,
Dawes,
Robert Ellis,
Hiss Golden Messenger,
Seratones,
Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires,
Pujol,
William Tyler,
Sweet Crude,
Adron, and
Adia Victoria.  For more
FOR OUTDOOR LOVERS
SATURDAY, 10 a.m.  – Southeastern Outings Dayhike at Oak Mountain State Park
Details: Enjoy a moderate hike in the woodlands near Birmingham on a Saturday with Southeastern Outings.  We will walk around the largest lake in the park, the lower fishing lake.  All of this hike will be off the color-coded trails.  There will be some ups and downs.  Share an adventure!  Bring a friend.  Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 8 and up welcome.  Depart from the parking areas by the spillway over the dam between the upper and lower fishing lakes.  Enter the main gate of the park.  Then follow the main road which goes through the gate all the way until just before the road goes on the newly-constructed bridge over the spillway on the dam between the visible upper fishing lake which is on the right, above the dam, and the larger, lower fishing lake which is probably not visible from the spillway.  Park in the parking areas to the right and left of the main park road, immediately before you drive onto the dam and bridge over the spillway.
Please bring $4/person ($1 seniors) park admission fee plus your picnic lunch and drink.  Info: David Shepherd, 205/240-4681.
OPERA BIRMINGHAM PRESENT LA TRAVIATA – Experience the power of love and sacrifice as La Traviata, one of the most beloved operas of all time, returns to the Opera Birmingham stage at Samford University’s Wright Center on Friday, January 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, January 24 at 2:30 p.m. Featuring some of Verdi’s most spectacular music and memorable melodies, you’ll be moved by Violetta’s selfless act to save the reputation of the man she adores.  The 2015-2016 season continues with a double-bill performance of Orpheus & Euridice and Green Sneakers on March 11 & 13, and the 38th Annual Vocal Competition on May 14 & 15.  For morewww.operabirmingham.org.
THIS WEEKEND….
A FEW THINGS IN BIRMINGHAM!
EVERY TUESDAY, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, CHECK OUT….the TIDE AND TIGER on Graymont Avenue.  For more information call (205) 503-3880.
HERE ARE A FEW MORE THINGS GOING ON THIS WEEKEND
TODAY
DAVE AND GREENSKY BLUEGRASS at Iron City, 8 p.m.  Since their founding at the turn of the millennium, the five members of Greensky Bluegrass have fashioned a dynamic, intoxicating sound rooted in classic stringband Americana while branching outward to effortlessly encompass an array of styles and techniques. Their fifth studio album, If Sorrows Swim was released in 2014 and distributed nationally by Thirty Tigers (Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin, The Avett Brothers, Jason Isbell).  Tireless road warriors, Greensky has emerged as a club and festival favorite, earning spots on such illustrious stages as Bonnaroo, the Austin City Limits Festival, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
TAJI and BEN VONDRAN at The Nick.
FRIDAY
THE PEACH KINGS, DEAF POETS, and THE OLD PAINTS at The Nick on southside.
SATURDAY
TIDE AND TIGER LOUNGE is open for hanging out.  Tide and Tiger is located on Graymont Avenue across the street from Legion Field.  Open Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.  Call (205) 503-3880 for more information.
BRIT LA PALM AND THE BARRELL FEVER, HAM BAGBY & THE SEIGE, and FERGUSON & THE COPPER DOGS at the Nick.
SUNDAY
YES ALEXANDER and LATIN FOR LATIN at the Nick.
MONDAY
MARROW, SIMA CUNNINGHAM, and THE DIRTY LUNGS at the Nick
TUESDAY
TIDE AND TIGER LOUNGE, 8 p.m. on Graymont Avenue across the street from Legion Field.  Open Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.
PLUTONIA BURRITO, BUSHENWALD RAGA and OWEN NI at the Nick.
WEDNESDAY
THE CLYDES and KYLE KIMBRELL at The Nick.
FOR COMEDY LOVERS DON’T MISS
(Photo: Cowboy Bill Martin)
(Photo Credit: lolsanantonio.com)
AT THE STARDOME this weekend:
Saturday: COWBOY BILL MARTIN. Fresh off his CMT Comedy Special “Let the Laugher Roll” Cowboy Bill Martin is one of the most talented performers seen on stage today. The Texas native, who has toured with some of the biggest names in country music including George Jones, George Strait, Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts and has headlined clubs and theaters across the U.S. and Canada, delivers an electrifying performance which uniquely combines real stories of do-it-yourself mishaps, plus hilarious stories of love, life and hope.
COMING SOON…
HENRY CHO – January 28-30,
LUENELL – February 4-6, MIDNIGHT SWINGER AND MIKE GARDNER – February 9 – 14,
SHERYL UNDERWOOD – February 19-20,
PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON – February 25-28, KILLER BEAZ – March 2-6, FAISON LOVE – March 11-13
and SINBAD – April 28- May 1.
Call (205) 444-0008 for more.
COMING SOON…in and around the southeast…..
JANUARY 29- 31 – WINTER WEEKEND GETAWAY in Gatlinburg with World Famous DJ Kid Capri.  For more: www.urbanprofessionals.com/wintergetaway.
FEBRUARY 6 – MILES COLLEGE 2ND ANNUAL UNITY FASHION SHOW, 11 a.m. at the Fairfield Civic Center featuring the Miles College alumni and student models with CHRIS COLEMAN, DORIS J. BLUE and world renowned musical artist JAMES MERRIWEATHER.  Call (205) 901-4973 for more.
FEBRUARY 27 – UNCF MAYOR’S MASKED BALL, 6 p.m., at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, East Ballroom featuring VIP Reception, Silent Auction, Elegant Dining, Awards Presentation, The Parade of Masks and Live Entertainment.  Call (205) 322-8623 for more.
JULY 16-17 – SLOSS MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL in Birmingham.  Look for more soon.
NOW…. BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUTS!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, LEBOISE DERU JR., … AND TO ALL CELEBRATING!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL YOU BIRTHDAY BALLERS…MANY, MANY MORE HAPPY BIRTHDAYS!!  ENJOY!!  Celebrate ‘your’ month…I do…all 30 days ‘and’ some!
Well, that’s it.  Tell you more next time.
(People, Places and Things by Gwen DeRu is a weekly column. Send comments to my emails: thelewisgroup@birminghamtimes.com or gwenderu@yahoo.com.