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Letters From Mississippi: 10.07.09

Uniform Blues This week has been full of new experiences. I knew wearing my uniform would cause a ruckus. Everyone asking me "where you work at?" and "Can I get a discount?" "When you work again?" and etc. So I always try to cover up my name tag, but the slacks always give me away. So today was my first official day on the floor, as everyday upon arrival I was given another test.And than during my "lesson on making appetizers appetizing" with Chastity the "neighborhood expert" the traffic of the restaurant picked up. She asked to me to wait, but I saw everyone in action, I couldn't help myself. i sprung in action delivering appetizers with a smile and refilling drinks with swiftness. Until I crossed "her". I was walking back to the kitchen when a customer stopped me and asked me for a refill. I obliged. As I brought it to him and as I walked away I saw her approach with the a glass of sweet tea in her hand. I looked up and just keep saying to myself "Please let that be for another table", but it wasn't. As I bent the corner tucking my tail, "she" came up and looked me in the eye, "Uh... We need to talk." My heart sank. I inquired "Whats wrong?" she looked down at the ground, looked up, and looked around. She licked her lips and gave me the most intense look ever, and said "If you gonna take something to MY table, you need to let ME know." I just nodded. I can't say that I wasn't a little upset. I thought I was doing so well, and this happened. Even though it did discourage me a bit, I didn't let me stop me. I continued to go running entrees and filling drinks. At the end of the night I enjoyed being there, and look forwarding to getting to get out there on my own. Hinds Got Talent! (This is the article that I wrote for the school newspaper on the "Hinds Got Talent" Competition that took place 2 weeks ago) “I am excited!” exclaims Cynthia Montgomery, Hall director of Marshall Hall. “We have a lot of participants who worked very hard.” The pressure had quite peeked as the contestants gathered in Denton Hall before the show. The room quickly became full of ranged emotions. “I am nervous, and I am not even in it!” says Angel R, a Resident Assistant from Allen Whitaker. As the talent prepared to board the limousine, that would chariot them to Cain Cochrane Hall Brittney Storey, vocalist for “The Autumn” warms her vocals, and Robert Kyle a comedian with a very diverse comedic influence fights to surpass his pre-show giggles. As the entertainers enter the building the red carpet affair becomes electric, the sound of the chattering crowd, and the photographer snapping shots of the artist exiting their limousine, which a added a touch of class to the event. The line of students seemed to wrap around Cain Cochran Hall. From the line students anticipated an unforgettable event. Ciera Holiday, a sophomore here at Hinds says before the show “It’s something different and exciting for students.” Standing beside her was freshman Cheyan Tindal of Camden, MS she was looking forwarding to seeing everyone’s idea of “Red Carpet” fashion. As the coordinators began seating the talent, the audience began to pour in, donned in their finest apparel, eager to be entertained. As the last minute patrons scatter and lights began to dim, it was show time at “Hinds Got Talent!” The spotlight sets to the stage showing two male performers singing rendition of “My Girl” by the Temptations, but this version was dedicated to the evening’s lovely host Sharon Alexander (Administrative Secretary of Housing). Followed by a short introduction and a brief and powerful invocation, the show was officially underway. The first singer to hit the stage was last year “Hinds Got Talent” winner Deanna E, who soulfully resonated one of Aretha Franklin’s classics “Chain of Fools”. Following her was the first of the individual vocal performances. Marlon Taylor who took us to a faraway place with his version of John Legend’s “So High”. Brittney Storey took on a truly challenging song, (Leona Lewis’ “Better in Time”) and made it her own. Fredrick Smith than commanded the audience with his vocal ability singing a classic from Usher. The Group vocalist portion of the show was now underway. Dem Fly Boyz worked through their microphone shortage and managed to show off their vocal variation and range. The night was belonging to one genre until the ladies of Anointed Voices (Shannon Johnson, Brittany Reed, and Rolisha Ratliff) graced the stage. They sang of a place where a smile on every face, and their arrangements were from heaven. The lyrical portion of the show showed promise to future of the ever-changing hip hop industry. Dubaby showed much versatility first telling a story of a woman’s strength and then gave the audience something to move too. J Wash, who is obviously no stranger to the stage, got the people on their feet with his song “Get on them Hands”. The Comedic section brought some much need diversity to the show. Robert Kyle shelled out a few jokes about education, and Rebecca controlled the stage with a fearless rendition of “where’s my Part” from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. Both acts were equivalent in comedic proportions. Next up were the individual dance competitors. Bronjoclyn Montgomery commanded the stage while bringing much energy as danced to a master mix of hits from some real R&B Divas. While also bringing energy Nakia Jones set the atmosphere as she danced liturgically to a devotional tune by Bishop Paul Morton. She showed true presence. Under the group dance category The Williams Brother’s forced you to be entertained. The over-populated performance was fun, and amusing to watch. Initialz performance was comparable to an episode of “America’s Best Dance Crew”. There style was undeniable. Their routine showed their dedication, attention to detail, and precision. The used a range of dance techniques from “tutting”, popping and locking, and break dancing, also their arrangements were sharp and clean. Their showmanship was without a doubt one of the highlights of the evening. The Feature of night surely didn’t disappoint either. A.J.C a group who is originally from Jackson but has performed nationally, took the stage over as the judges tabulated the winners. Performing, “Heaven Only Knows”,”The Richest” and “My Future”, A.J.C definitely left the audience wanting more. A last minute performer grabbed the microphone crooning the ladies in the audience and letting them know that he was there for them. His name was Lou Writer, an Atlanta native who has traveled all over as a background singer for Lyfe Jennnings. He ended the performance by giving out his manager’s phone number. Finally after a few short announcements the voted were in. All participants were awarded Certificates of Participation, and the winners for each of each category were given trophies to award their performance. The winners were listed as follows: Best Comedic Performance: Rebecca Jackson who said “I was surprised that I won, Robert had some really good material.” Best Liturgical Performance: Nakia Jones who claimed her win as a blessing, and talked about how good it felt to win, after placing second in last year’s show. Best Vocal Individual Performance: Fredrick Smith, Best Vocal Group Performance: Anointed Voices, who shouted “To God be the Glory!” when asked about the feelings post-show. Best Lyrical Performance: Dubaby, who gave respect to his opponents, and saying “What you put out, what you put in, much respect to J Wash and Initialz.” The Best Dance Group Performance and The Best in Show award went to the undoubtedly talented group Initialz! The group members gave their individual thoughts on winning and performing. Willie Collins 20, freshman: “I feel extremely good about winning, I was anxious to perform and I am proud of what we have done.” Aljay German 19, sophomore: “It was a great show, we practiced frequently and it feels good to win.” Timothy Jones 20, freshman: “I feel better than Frosted Flakes, and that’s great!” Johnny Burges 21, sophomore: “I am very proud, we worked so hard, and I am grateful to be able to work with these guys that have the talent and drive to become something greater.” All in all, the night turned out to be an unforgettable evening. For the red carpet to the final curtain the event was a total success. The last words on the evening came from the events hostess Sharon Alexander. “The evening turned out to be a wonderful event and I can’t wait for the next year’s show. We tried to bring Hinds students something entertaining and unique and that is what our show was tonight!”

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