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People, Places and Things

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GWEN DERU

TODAY…
**THIRSTY THURSDAY at Hookah 114 17th Street No.
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Get all the latest news.
**WATCH LOTS OF MOVIES – Check out the Sidewalk Film Fest for lots more.
FRIDAY…
**FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE with DEIRDRE GADDIS at Perfect Note.
**MOVIE NIGHT: Rent and Watch movies at Sidewalkfest.com.
**COMEDIAN MATT RIFE with JUSTIN WHITEHEAD & DON DIPETTA at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**LIT FRIDAYS WITH RIPCORD, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. at 4501 Gary Avenue in Fairfield.
**ENJOY THE DAY …the food, reading books, watching movies, taking a nap or just talking with loved ones and friends on the phone.  Get outside! Get some sun if you can!
SATURDAY…
**KEYS, KEYS, KEYS featuring DEE HILL, KENNETH REMBERT and RYAN KEYZ at Perfect Note.
**SATURDAYS IN THE GARDENS at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
**WINE DOWN HAPPY HOUR, 4-9 p.m. at Saferoom Lounge Bar.
**COMEDIAN MATT RIFE with JUSTIN WHITEHEAD & DON DIPETTA at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**FUN, GAMES, YARD AND HOUSE WORK including Uno, Monopoly, Solitaire, Shopping, Eating. Times are changing soon.
SUNDAY…
**COMEDIAN MATT RIFE with JUSTIN WHITEHEAD & DON DIPETTA at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**FAMILY TIME, GOOD FOOD AND MOVIES.
MONDAY…
**RICKEY SMILEY KARAOKE presents DP AND FRIENDS at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**READ A GOOD BOOK…There are a few on the bookshelves, just lying around are some to read, BOOK: TRUTH: RED, WHITE & BLACK is written by ROBERT MORALES AND KYLER BAKER.  …or you can get an e-book.
**EVERY MONDAY is MONSLAYYY – THE CARIBBEAN WAY, 8 p.m. at the Vault with TRINI and BRENT TRINI-FRESH PIERRE. FREE.
**LIVE FROM THE STARDOME WITH RICKEY SMILEY.
TUESDAY…
**LIT AND JAZZ with DAVID TALLEY AND FRIENDS, every Tuesday, 7 p.m. at Lit on 8th, 518 Rev. Abraham Woods, Blvd.
**READ A REAL GOOD BOOK…You might like cookbooks, to-do books, game books, picture books, history books. You might like: BOOK: THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS is written by MAX BROOKS AND CAANAN WHITE. Check it out!
WEDNESDAY…
**INTERFAITH NOONDAY PRAYER SERVICES every Wednesday, Noon at Linn Park in Downtown Birmingham.
**REGGAE WEDNESDAY NIGHTS, 8 p.m. at Blue Onyx
NEXT THURSDAY…
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Catch up on the news!
NEXT FRIDAY…
**MOVIE NIGHT: Rent and Watch movies at Sidewalkfest.com.
**COMEDIAN KERWIN CLAIBORNE at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**FIRST FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE with DOMINIQUE at Perfect Note.
**LIT FRIDAYS WITH RIPCORD, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. at 4501 Gary Avenue in Fairfield.
FOR THE COMMUNITY…
**SB117 EXPUNGEMENT BILL PASSED – Bill SB117 was recently passed and will impact the lives of many people who have a criminal arrest on their record that prevented them from getting jobs or advancing in their careers. This state-wide bill, also, allows for municipal and local violations to be expunged OR erased from the record. This bill was a collaborative effort with Senator Linda Foster Coleman-Madison, Rep. Chris England and Senator Rodger Smitherman which will help people move forward and have an improved life.
**JOBS NOT JAIL – Sheriff Mark Pettway has a new jobs mobile program – LET’S PREVENT CRIMES BY PRESENTING OPPORTUNITY. It brings the services to you including FREE in-person services such as employment services, resume writing, interview skills, dress for success, bus vouchers, identification support, voter registration and addiction and recovery services hotline. For more, go to www.jeffcosheriffal.com.
**SAVE THE DATE – HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION DAY is Saturday, 8 a.m.- 11 a.m. SITE 1 – First Baptist Church Gardendale South, 940 Main Street in Gardendale. SITE 2 – Classic Car Motoring, 3900 Grants Mill Road in Irondale. SITE 3- City of Bessemer Public Works Laydown Yard, 1205 15th Avenue North in Bessemer. Items collected include ammunition, appliances, batteries, electronics, household cooking grease, paint, paper shredding, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, prescription drugs, tires and more. Jefferson County residents ONLY. Need verification of residency required with valid driver license or photo ID. No businesses allowed to participate.
**2021 CORKS & CHEFS, for a Taste of Birmingham on Saturday and Sunday in Downtown, Birmingham.
**THE LAST SUNDAY T-SHIRT SUNDAY at Bizarre The Coffee Bar, 217 22nd Street north with B/Moe Apparel, Downtown Birmingham.
**A CELEBRATION CONCERT FUNDRAISER HONORING SAM FRAZIER, JR, TARA SABREE AND CURTIS BELL, Sunday, 5 p.m. at Carmichael’s 157 Bankhead Highway West with Birmingham’s Best Musicians jamming.
**FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL, Tuesday, 11 a.m. at The Dannon Project 2324 5th Avenue North with Jazz and Eats.
**DISTRICT 6 EDUCATOR APPRECIATION WEEK – Councilor Crystal Smitherman is asking citizens to submit nominations of outstanding educators living or working in District 6. Deadline to submit nominations is April 30th Nominations celebrated May 3-7.
**TURKEY CREEK NATURE PRESERVE’s First Native Plant Sale is Saturday and Sunday May 8 and 9th, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Turkey Creek Nature Park, 3906 Turkey Creek Road, Pinson, Ala.
**SELF-CARE SATURDAYS – LADY WOO presents Self-Care Saturdays – PUTTING THE U BACK IN BRUNCH, Saturday, at the Vault, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. with Brunch Buffet, Bottomless Mimosas ‘til noon, Self-Care Set Ups for the First 25 to RSVP at www.eventbrite.com/e/self-care/saturdays-brunch-tickets-143911887329.
**The Stage Drama – THE MESSAGE, THE MOMENT, THE CHANGE, May 1st, 7 p.m. CST, with DOMONIC WOODS, CARLOS MASSEY, LAQUITA GRAVE and VICTORIA MACK.
NEAR…IN MONTGOMERY…
**JAZZ ON THE RIVERFRONT, 4 – 6 p.m.  featuring Anthony Williams (Piano), Belinda George-Peoples (vocal), Byron Thomas (piano), Choko Aiken (piano), Chris Kozak (bass), Jeff Drew (bass) and John Nuckols (drums).
Logo For Talladega Superspeedway: https://we.tl/t-vjRXTc6tIU
Logos for our three races this weekend:
FOR MOTORSPORTS LOVERS…
**TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY SPRING RACES…
The SPRING RACES are this weekend with a doubleheader on Saturday. The GEICO 500 is set for a 1 p.m. CDT start on Sunday, but the action-packed weekend begins on Saturday with the GENERAL TIRE 200 at Noon CDT and the AG-PRO 300 at 3 p.m. CDT.
**WHAT’S NEW…The VULCAN TROPHY that stands 38 inches and weighs over 120 pounds, has become a Tradition and will be presented to the GEICO Winner. Talladega Superspeedway’s tradition (that started in fall of 2016) is a locally made piece and will be found in Victory Lane after the checkered flag falls on Sunday’s GEICO 500 NASCAR Cup Series race (1 p.m. CDT, FOX, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Birmingham, founded in 1871, is unique because it contains coal, iron ore and limestone, the raw materials for making iron and steel. Three items are unique to Vulcan, who made weapons and armor for all the gods. Vulcan, which pays homage to the god of fire in Ancient Roman myth, has overlooked Alabama’s largest city from atop Red Mountain since the 1930s. His hammer and anvil that he used in his forge (shop where metal is heated and hammered into useful items) and the spear, which is a piece of his completed work that he held high and admired.
**HAMMER & ANVIL TROPHY…For the winners of Saturday’s doubleheader – the General Tire 200 for the ARCA Menards Series and the Ag-Pro 300 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, they will receive the smaller Hammer & Anvil Trophy. Each trophy is handcrafted by local artists from Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, pouring hot iron into a created cast, then chiseled to perfection. While the Vulcan and Birmingham are forever linked together, Talladega Superspeedway also has a longer history with the two dating back decades. In 1969, one month after the running of the first NASCAR Cup Series race at the 2.66-mile mammoth speedway, the ARCA series took the track in the Vulcan 500, and Jim Vandiver took the checkered flag. A year later, Ramo Stott was victorious in the Vulcan 500. More than 51 years later, the connection between TSS and Vulcan continues with the Vulcan Trophy. This incredible piece of history awaits the winner of the GEICO 500 at the biggest and baddest track on the planet, amid the cheers of adoring fans and under the watchful eye of the iconic Vulcan Trophy. To learn more about the spring NASCAR event weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and its safety protocols, visit https://www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/fan-guide/. Fans are encouraged to keep up with all the happenings at the biggest, baddest race track on the planet by following Talladega Superspeedway on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
TRACK DRIVES RAISES $45,000 – Talladega Superspeedway Track Drive raised $45,000 and benefitted victims of disasters like the tornadoes that recently ripped through the state of Alabama and other countless crises. The proceeds went to American Red Cross Alabama Disaster Relief through ‘DEGA Gives, a donor advised fund of The NASCAR Foundation.
**TRIPLE RACES THIS WEEKEND: Saturday, April 24: General Tire 200 ARCA Menards Series; 12 Noon CDT start. Saturday, April 24: Ag-Pro 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series: 3 p.m. CDT Start.
Sunday, April 25: GEICO 500 NASCAR Cup Series: 1 p.m. CDT Start.
FOR MUSIC LOVERS…
AT UAB…
**BLUES ARTIST KEB’ MO’ AT ALYS STEPHENS CENTER – Charismatic Singer/guitarist/songwriter and five-time Grammy Award winner Keb’Mo will perform a virtual concert at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Keb’ Mo’s guitar playing has garnered him his third invitation to Eric Clapton’s prestigious Crossroads Festival. It has also inspired leading instrument-makers Gibson Brands to issue the Keb’ Mo’ Signature Bluesmaster and Bluesmaster Royale acoustic guitars and Martin Guitars to issue the HD-28KM Keb’ Mo’ Limited Edition Signature model. He performed “America The Beautiful” for President Barack Obama at the White House and in the series finale of “The West Wing.” Nine years ago, he moved his family from Los Angeles to Tennessee. The concert will be an intimate solo show and an audience Q and A. The virtual concert will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 13, live-streamed via the platform Looped. Tickets are $20 per device, one device per household. For tickets, visit AlysStephens.org or call 205-975-2787.
FOR MOVIE LOVERS…
The Sidewalk Film Festival is screening short films as well as getting youth involved in many ways, plus more. Go to sidewalk@sidewalkfest.com  for more. Here is some information…
**SIDEWALK FILM FESTIVAL FINAL SUBMISSION DEADLINE – Submit your film or screenplay to this year’s festival. If you are from Alabama, live in Alabama, or your film is set in Alabama make sure to indicate your film as an Alabama film when you submit. Shorts, features, documentaries, music videos narratives are to be submitted by May 16.
**TEEN VIDEO CHALLENGE – The Challenge is a great opportunity for students in grades 9-12 to express their creativity. Students are to express how they feel about the pandemic one year on whether through interviews, observational-style documentary, or wherever their creativity takes them. Top 5 submissions will play at the 2021 Sidewalk Film Festival and receive a $100 stipend. The challenge is opened to all current and incoming high schoolers. The submission deadline is May 15. Films can be a max of five minutes. Email submissions to kiki@sidewalkfest.com  with the student’s name, grade and high school in the subject line.
**2021 YOUTH BOARD APPLICATION – The Sidewalk Youth Board (SYB) is a group of high school students from across the Birmingham area who share a love for movies. The SYB writes, produces, directs, edits and screens their own short film, which will appear in the Sidewalk Film Festival lineup. The members also get to help choose films submitted by other team film makers. Deadline is May 1st. Email Kiki once you have applied in order to request a scholarship.
TWG2022 NEWS…
**TWG 2022 AUDITIONS SET FOR YOUTH CHOIR – TWG 2022 Youth Choir will be comprised of selected 7th-12th graders from the Birmingham area that will perform at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of The Games. A select group of the students will also have the chance to record the official theme song at The Games, composed by Dr. Henry Panion, III, World Games 2022 Artistic Director and Randy Owen of the group Alabama. Applications for the choir are opened but will close April 30. Participants should submit a two-minute video singing a song of their choice. Go to TWG website – TWG2022.com for more information.
FOR FESTIVAL AND OUTDOOR LOVERS…
**THURSDAY WALK, Meet 9 a.m. with Southeastern Outings Leisurely Weekday Mountain Laurel Walk at Dunnavant Valley Greenway Walking Trail (DVGWT). DETAILS: The trail winds along a bubbling stream, Yellow Leaf Creek, overhung with majestic American beech, oak, and hickory trees. The stream rapidly expands to 15-feet wide before the end of the trail. There are footbridges over the streams, and, except for a very short, steep patch over a ridge, walking on the trail itself is easy. Happy hiking! Bring your water with you. Optional lunch at a restaurant in the Lee Branch Shopping Center on Highway 280 after the hike. Meet at 9 a.m. in the DVGWT trail head parking lot on Shelby County Highway 41. Plan to depart at 9:15 a.m. Information and Trip Leader: Chris Heckemeyer, 205-979-5730.
 **SATURDAY CANOE TRIP, Meet 9:45 a.m. with Southeastern Outings Kayak and Canoe Trip, at Locust Fork River. DETAILS: A fun Southeastern Outings kayak and canoe trip on Section 1 of the Locust Fork River in Blount County. This stretch, which several of us have canoed previously, is fairly easy and without classified rapids. Along the river see lots of wildflowers and stop to investigate islands and beaches. Novice canoeists are welcome and may come on this trip, but each one must be partnered with an experienced canoeist in their canoe. Note that for this trip you may rent one person sit-upon plastic kayaks and paddles for $30 each at the put-in from River Beach Outfitters. Rental fees include shuttle service.  Also the outfitter will charge a $15 fee for all private boats be they canoes or kayaks used on this outing. If you wish to rent a kayak from the outfitter, please notify Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net  or phone 205/631-4680 BEFORE April 24 to reserve your boat and for additional concerns. Please do NOT just show up at the meeting place on April 24 without making an advance reservation with Dan Frederick!! And if you have made a reservation to participate and then decide to cancel, please be absolutely sure to call and notify the trip leader. Meet at 9:45 a.m. at the Cleveland Chevron Service Station. Plan to depart from there at 10 a.m. Reservations Required: You are required to contact Dan Frederick by email seoutings@bellsouth.net  or call 205/631-4680 if you plan to come on this kayak and canoe trip. Please advise your name, telephone number, skill level, whether you are bringing a canoe or kayak and whether you need a paddling partner. Info. and Trip Leader: If you have further questions, please contact Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net  or 205/631-4680.
FOR LOVERS OF ART AND CULTURAL ENTERTAINMENT…
AT THE BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART…
**AN EPIC OF EARTH AND WATER Claire Leighton and the New England Industries Series through May 2, 2021.
**WALL TO WALL – MERRITT JOHNSON through Spring 2021. BMA hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays Noon – 5 p.m. with virtual offerings will continue, including live programs, meditation exercises, art-making activities and much more!
AT THE BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS…
**SATURDAYS IN THE GARDENS.
**VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES – Aid with watering and plant care in the Gardens’ greenhouses and outdoor lath houses and discover the lush exotic varieties of tropicals and rare beauties. Go to volunteer@bbgardens.org  for details.
**HONEY FROM THE GARDENS – The Library at the Gardens have a curbside service, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekdays, to purchase locally sourced honey from the Gardens’ hives or flavored in cinnamon, lemon or jalapeno from Ivy Brook Apiary. Call (205) 588-4593 or (205) 533-6062 to schedule a pickup.
FOR BOOK LOVERS…
…HERE ARE BOOKS about being Black in America like the Marvel’s show ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’. They take the Marvel formula of pitting superheroes against supervillains and complicate it with a story about a Black soldier dealing with the reality of race in America. Check these books out! (Some taken from Book Riot and guest post from Lawrence Ware at Oklahoma State University).
**BOOK: TRUTH: RED, WHITE & BLACK is written by ROBERT MORALES AND KYLER BAKER. Isaiah Bradley is the original Black Captain America. Working from an idea developed by Robert Morales with art by the incredible writer of Nat Turner, Kyle Baker, this underappreciated arc of Marvel tells the story of a Black man who was recruited to test the safety of the super soldier serum before they gave it to Steve Rodgers — a narrative that brings to mind the history of this country using Black bodies for medical purposes like the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis. It shows Marvel’s willingness to tackle tough subjects.
**BOOK: MEDICAL APARTHEID: THE DARK HISTORY OF MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION ON BLACK AMERICANS FROM COLONIAL TIMES TO THE PRESENT is written by HARRIET A. WASHINGTON. In 2021, when COVID vaccines became readily available, there was a great deal of hesitation by many Black folks. The reason why there is so much hesitancy is because many Black Americans deeply distrust the medical-industrial complex. This book explains why. From the aforementioned Tuskegee study to the way that Black women were used during Antebellum medical experiments, this book is required reading if you want to understand the ugly, untold history of medicine in America. What’s more, if you want to understand why the story of Isaiah Bradley is not just good television, but also an important American story, this book answers that question.
**BOOK: THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS is written by MAX BROOKS AND CAANAN WHITE. This book written about Black American soldiers is actually written by a white guy. AND…okay. This graphic novel tells the semi-true story of Black soldiers recruited to fight in World War I, and the unmitigated levels of racism they experienced when they returned home. This is a captivating narrative because while the characters in this story are fictional, the reality it presents is not. It is impossible to not see that the Red Summer of 1919 and the race massacres in Rosewood and Tulsa are connected to Black soldiers coming home from this war. That truth adds a deep level of poignancy to an already deeply emotional tale.
**BOOK: THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS: THE EPIC STORY OF AMERICA’S GREAT MIGRATION is written by ISABEL WILKERSON. This is a Pulitzer Prize–winning masterwork that you should definitely read if you have not already. This is the story of Robert Foster. He was a man who served as a military doctor in the Army, but left the south because he became fed up with the racial caste system he found in the state of Louisiana. His story is a common one, and sheds light on why there is so much anger among Black soldiers who return home.
**BOOK: THE DISORDERED COSMOS: A JOURNEY INTO DARK MATTER, SPACETIME AND DREAMS DEFERRED is written by CHANDA PRESCOD-WEINSTEIN. In this one-of-a-kind book, Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein simultaneously discusses her love of physics while placing that love in tension with science as a discipline that is deeply marred by racism. This is such a compelling work of race because the author shows us that the field of science can do amazing things, but also, if placed in the wrong hands, can be deeply damaging to people of color.
FOR COMEDY LOVERS…
AT THE STARDOME COMEDY CLUB…
**FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY … COMEDIANS MATT RIFE with JUSTIN WHITEHEAD & DON DIPETTA…Featuring Don DiPetta and Host Justin Whitehead, NBC’s Bring the Funny. Matt Rife is an American stand-up comedian & actor originally from Ohio. Matt first started stand-up comedy at the age of 15 and has since toured around the world performing with some of the biggest names in comedy; Dane Cook, Ralphie May, Finesse Mitchell, Mike Epps, Deray Davis, Erik Griffin, etc. … Now living in Los Angeles, Matt has become a popular regular in the comedy scene, including being the youngest male regular performer at the World Famous Laugh Factory. Comedy in his roots, Matt has easily transitioned into his much larger passion, acting. Getting his start on a couple of Disney shows until his break came when he was added as a leading cast member on MTV’s hit show Wild ‘N Out back in season 7.
**MONDAY…LIVE FROM THE STARDOME WITH RICKEY SMILEY.
**NEXT FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY… COMEDIAN Kerwin Claiborne has just begun his own comedy production called “Don’t You Do This To Me” which has sold out every venue thus far. Some of the venues that have sold out are The Joke Joint Comedy Club (Houston), Heyenas Comedy Club (Dallas), The Comedy Zone (Charlotte), Looney Bin (Little Rock), Uptown Comedy Club (Atlanta) Chuckles House of Comedy (Memphis) and The Comedy Club of Jacksonville, just to name a few. Kerwin’s hard work and eager approach to his craft have successfully launched him to stardom. His internet personalities, such as Ms. Mary, Uncle Leroy and Miss Keisha have made it easy for everyday people to relate. Kerwin Claiborne is ready to introduce himself and his many internet characters to the world.
COMING SOON…
**JUNE 11 – 12 – 23RD ST. ELIAS LEBANESE FOOD AND CULTURAL FESTIVAL, at St. Elias Maronite Catholic Church with Drive thru Takeout ONLY.
**JULY 7-17, 2022 – THE WORLD GAMES are coming. Look for more!
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: gwenderu@yahoo