published Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Leaders say community should reach out to youth

From left,  T-ran Gilbert, Pastor Kevin Adams, and Napoleon Williams, a retired police officer, met with other concerned members of the community Friday on the steps of City Hall to discuss the recent shootings in the Chattanooga area.
Staff Photo by Allison Carter/Chattanooga Times Free Press
From left, T-ran Gilbert, Pastor Kevin Adams, and Napoleon Williams, a retired police officer, met with other concerned members of the community Friday on the steps of City Hall to discuss the recent shootings in the Chattanooga area. Staff Photo by Allison Carter/Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Video: Black community unites against crime
    Dozens of black community leaders, led by former Chattanooga police officer Napoleon Williams, held a news conference on the steps of City Hall to show their concern about the area's recent violence and highlight their solutions.

After a month of shootings in the city, almost all of which involved young black men, retired Chattanooga police detective Napoleon “Donut” Williams had had enough.

He was tired of hearing “Where is the black community?” in the midst of all the violence.

“Here we are. Here’s the black community,” Williams said Friday, standing on the steps of Chattanooga City Hall as a crowd around him applauded. “We love this community. We were born in this community; we want young people to put these guns down.

“Ain’t nobody making money now but the funeral home,” he said. “We want to reach out to these kids and let them know this is not the way.”

Williams organized Friday’s event, which attracted about three dozen black leaders, clergy and residents, to call for an end to violence in the city. The group met after a slew of shootings in the area this month that have left four people dead and 12 others injured.

Unemployment and despair lead some young people to join gangs, a local pastor said.

“No hope. Not a lot of opportunities. That’s what I hear over and over,” said the Rev. Kevin Adams, pastor of Olivet Baptist Church.

Law enforcement officials are considering stricter enforcement of curfew laws already on the books or requiring adults to accompany minors in city parks, including Coolidge Park on the Tennessee River, where shots were fired last Saturday in a crowd of about 300 youths.

Adams called for legislation to create programs to train and hire ex-felons so they can become productive members of society. Terran Gilbert, the son of City Councilman Russell Gilbert, called for mentoring programs for youths.

The Rev. Paul McDaniel, a former Hamilton County commissioner and senior pastor of Second Missionary Baptist Church, asked where young people are getting all the guns.

“What’s the source of these guns?” McDaniel asked. “If we make it easy for them to purchase guns, then we are a part of the problem.”

State Rep. Tommie Brown, D-Chattanooga, said young blacks must be convinced that this city belongs to them, just as it belongs to every other resident. They also must have access to jobs and the hope of a better future, she said.

“They have to have the proper resources, jobs,” Brown said. “They must understand that it [a job] goes to the best-qualified person and I get it if I am the best qualified. That’s what keeps hope alive.”

Chattanooga Housing Authority board Chairman Eddie Holmes said CHA officials are calling for stricter, swifter consequences for residents or visitors who repeatedly commit crimes at public housing sites.

Now, CHA residents who receive an eviction notice for such infractions can appeal to the housing authority. But Holmes said that in the future those appeals will be heard in front of a City Court judge.

“If any criminal activity happens on our property, we’re moving to evict you,” he said.

“So much has happened on our site that we have to be a little more aggressive. We have a charge to protect all of our citizens.”

about Yolanda Putman...

Yolanda Putman has been a reporter at the Times Free Press for 11 years. She covers housing and previously covered education and crime. Yolanda is a Chattanooga native who has a master’s degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Alabama State University. She previously worked at the Lima (Ohio) News. She enjoys running, reading and writing and is the mother of one son, Tyreese. She has also ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
goldie said...

@ mr.hotdog they need to give you a job at the Chattanooga times (OUCH)

March 26, 2011 at 9:17 a.m.
maddawg said...

Unfortunately the people this meeting was targeting probably never knew this was being organized. They don't watch the news or read papers. It was a waste of time and nothing positive will come of it.
Pastor Kevin Adams says these thugs have no hope. How about trying to teach the kids to learn in school so that they can get the HOPE scholorship and attend college or a tech school to learn a trade????? That is the same hope the rest of us have/had. Isn't that hope? Perhaps he means they have no hope of being handed a high paying job without putting forth an effort.

March 26, 2011 at 10:03 a.m.
MasterChefLen said...

I 2nd the nominationg for Mr. hotdog to get a staff writing position at the Times Free Press.

March 26, 2011 at 10:41 a.m.
FreedomJournal said...

Greetings Brethren, Friend and Foe,

Peace be unto you. Not to be self serving but this writer for many years penned an analysis of the Black Experience in Chattanooga, TN. The record also shows that the “FreedomJournal” and this writer has rendered more research about the history of Chattanooga, Tennessee than anyone that liveth. However most if not all of this research has been Censored and Banned. But time will tell all. See the following and also note “The Black Conspiracy: The Rise and Fall of a Commission Form of Government,” this research rejected by an academic institution (Doctoral Dissertation) which was paid off by Black leadership in Chattanooga gives you the necessary information to determine why you have the present problems in Chattanooga today.

Meanwhile start with the following: also see>


Greetings Brethren,

Peace be unto you. Mainstream dictionaries define Straw Boss as an assistant foreman or foreman over a small group of workers. In one of the most classic literary works on creative writing “The Gang of Four” was tried by the People’s Court in the Chattanooga News Weekly. Genocide as part of the equation can be things other than race as a means of extermination. The intellectuals were purged and the independent mind rested on all things. The era is over and the righteous look for a cleansing of the lost souls that participated in this dark and bleak period of our history however we know with Christ Jesus there are never any dark days.

Shuffling right along and along the way a will of control logically came about the people once held as captives.

Looking back we see the transition from Straw Boss back- ward as the Slave Drivers and what would become the,

HNIC. The chains were broken and there were no more slave drivers with a license as,

FreedomJournal said...


The Straw Boss moved further toward its transition. As the contemporary scene crowded the land a felonious political,

Economy took hold. Meanwhile many of the Straw Boss leaders had already fallen and unscrupulous behavior resulted. Many people,

Bought and sold their body and souls in lust for jobs cast on as concessions to those considered as Head Person In Charge. The Black vote was,

Tricked from the people by a rib sandwich and during the, days of the instruction house’s with a ½ pint of corn whiskey.

Yes, splo and white lightning streaked with cloudy substances that stirred in the mix. Many splo heads did not know to mess,

Or go blind. Because good corn was clear as spring water. Then there then came the days of the nickel, $5 bag,

Miller Light and still that greasy rib sam-mich. Many beautiful, Black women were exploited by The HNIC who had a family, mothers and fathers, sisters

And Brother’s. The illicit taste for, power struck and gave aid to sin and degeneracy. They showed no mercy as the vote went to the highest,

Bidder and no woman could cry loud enough not to have to pass through the HNIC to get a job in 1928 as a virgin Black school teacher.

One man died who groomed Black genocide and one was already born. This system entered its last journey thus by 1968 as the Voting Rights Act,

Had passed and many Blacks ran and were pushed into public office. The Black electorate continued to grow and laws,

Said Blacks should be represented and a contemporary reconstruction period was taking place. However in some places there was the need,

Are thought there was a need to continue the old Straw Boss system. Felons embraced politics as there was larceny all over the,

Black electorate as the shallow leaders gathered together. Center stage now appeared no principles as White collars and Black collar,

Crimes came to fruition. The sages cried and moaned. The fading Straw Boss who had by now milked the cow dry. Sucked on dry bones.

The power brokers had gone on a long picnic as they hoped the diminishing Straw Boss would just let it go and move on with,

The times. However he kicked and screamed as an assistant foreman always wants to be the boss and he tried to destroy

Any and all papers that recorded the story. He knew not that his era was over. Nor did he know that he attempted to take the life of self and not those he could not see.


m554g said...

Hotdog's comments are very ignorant. I am not a member of Pastor Adam's church and don't know a thing about the man but I am a faithful member of a local city church...can't imagine that you are (@Hotdog). Anyway, I agree that the gang members and thier parents are not reading the TFP but these community leaders are right to speak out. How ignorant to comment on an individual's personal issues that have nothing to do with the matter at hand, which is the safety of our children, stopping gang violience, and the escalating murders. Someone has to stand up and address it. Maybe those who have nothing better to do than air others' dirty laundry should go some place and start a gossip blog. I read an excellent statement by the Chattanooga Housing Authority Chairman regarding getting more strict with criminal activity involving public housing residents and sending those appeals to be heard before city court. To me that is progress and it sends a strong message. Everyone may not be reading the TFP but believe me, word of mouth travels fast around this city.

March 26, 2011 at 12:47 p.m.
sangaree said...

Has anyone considered a second, third, fourth and even fifth possibility to this? All this rash of "criminal" activity seems to have come at a precise time with possible funding cuts to programs and the possibility of cutting police pay and pension. This all seems quite odd. Are there other hands at play here? Hold the citizens in fear. Have the citizens and everyone turn on the mayor and city commission. Holding everyone hostage until someone(s) get their way?

Granted, the source of many of the problems facing the black community has more to do with their having allowed too many hands in their affairs. Hands that only seek to exploit the issues they face and obtain as much funding as possible. Yet, like third world countries where millions and billions are pumped into, the reason third world countries remain third world and these poor communities continue to struggle have more to do with greedy hands exploiting the situation and abuse of the citizens.

As long as police entering these poor communities operate more like an invading/occupying military rather than peace officers, these people and their communities will remain at the bottom of the Well, always struggling. As long as their are insincere members in these struggling communities who exploit the people in order to gain more and more funding to stuff their pockets there is no hope for the people or their communities. Like third world countries, they continue to deteriorate.

Do you know what invading/occupying military do when they invade? They create as much havoc, chaos and division as possible before moving in for the kill. They pit one group against the other. Neighbor against neighbor to the point that everyone is fighting and killing off one another.

Do you know what takes place when rich countries send millions and even billions to these third world countries? Here's what a friend from a third world country once said: "The people form committees then proceed to pay the members of those committees. Those committees create sub committees and put their friends, family members on the payroll. By the time whatever is left trickles down to the people who were suppose to benefit, there's little to nothing left. So the process starts all over again. The now formed committees then go to powerful nations claiming they need more funding to get things done. Then proceed to pay their fellow committee members. Then there's always the rag tag armies around to abuse the poor and keep them in their place.

That seems to be what's taking place in your city.

March 26, 2011 at 3:07 p.m.
patriot1 said...

"Reach out to youth" what exactly does that mean?? These so called leaders in the black community say nothing specific, enable this to continue while speaking in parables.

March 26, 2011 at 4:31 p.m.
memphisexile said...

Here is a novel idea. Instead of running the streets and shooting the city up, focus on school. It is amazing how many jobs and opportunities present themselves when you have an education. If you finish high school you can go to community college even if you have poor grades. Places like Chatt. State are the butt of many jokes, but they provide a legitimate opportunity to earn a two year degree that will enable the holder to get a better job and learn valuable skills. However, if school is not important to you and you drop out or can't be bothered to finish, you probably will not find too many opportunities. High school is not hard, if you give minimal effort you will pass. Dropping out is nothing but sheer laziness. Everyone might not get the same advantages, but last time I checked a free public education was available to everyone. Many will say that these disadvantaged youth did not have a chance because they went to bad high schools, but that is a cop out. You get out of school what you put into it. If you go to school wanting to learn and better yourself, you will no matter what school you attend.

I always hear complaints that there are no jobs, but this is not true. There are always menial labor jobs, McDonalds is ALWAYS hiring. I notice that our immigrant friends, illegal or legal, always seem to find jobs and many of them face a language barrier. So in reality, the complaint is not that there are no jobs, there are just no jobs these people want. The thing is, if you do no have a job, you are not too good for any job. Although, if you are an uneducated gang banger running the streets I fail to understand why you think you are worthy of a "good job", which I assume means high salary and benefits.

No one will hand you anything good in life, you have to earn it. Right now these kids seem well on their way to earning 3 meals a day and free housing from the TDOC.

March 26, 2011 at 5:42 p.m.
mella_yella said...

Chattanooga Housing Authority board Chairman Eddie Holmes said CHA officials are calling for stricter, swifter consequences for residents or visitors who repeatedly commit crimes at public housing sites.

I never thought much of Eddie Holmes when he was president of the local NAACP. I think even less of him as CHA board chairman. He's just another colored prop who they throw out front when they're about to do a number on the poor. Which primarily remains the black populace of Chattanooga.

March 26, 2011 at 5:48 p.m.
ICNOW said...

@ hotdog...are you really that angry? what did u want to be Bishop Longs booty buddy, did Pastor Adams take one of your women...what? I agree with the people who said you should write for the the paper...what you wrote was so would be perfect in the media. These leaders are trying to do something positive...and here u go with your ignorance. It's your type of foolishness that perpetuates this craziness. I pray that God would touch the hearts of all of those young men & women, and your heart too HOTDOG!

March 26, 2011 at 6 p.m.
Beamis said...

Children without fathers, who have mothers that usually yell and berate, rather than hug and encourage, have helped to create the toxic brew that is the current state of affairs among the American underclass. Black or white.

The reason Hispanics and Asians do better than their white & black brethren is because their families have remained intact and they put a high value on furthering and bettering the lives of their children, and not on the petty and childish goals bred through a welfare mentality of entitlement and victim-hood. The chickens are coming home to roost on several generations of government dependent populations and if you treat people like children, expect them to act like them too. Violence and rampant immorality go hand in hand with petty values like envy, greed and malice towards others.

I see it every day in my interactions with these people and think the only solution is to cut off the benefits, stolen from others hard work, and set them free to discover what the other groups know to be true. You have to advance your family and community yourself, one small and willful step at a time.

March 26, 2011 at 6:48 p.m.
Longview said...

At least someone stood up and said something. Unfortunately it will amount to nothing. These kids don't need community outreach they need parental outreach. They buy guns, cell phones, cars, food, everything they want but rarely what they need. It's not opportunity they lack, it's realistic priorities and a grounded sense of self worth. Still I do applaud those who went to city hall and spoke out.

March 26, 2011 at 6:53 p.m.
osama said...

kevin adams members are bad at mr.hotdog,we knew about all the kids but i did not know that he had ties with eddie long til i look it up (wow)thanks for the tip

March 26, 2011 at 7:09 p.m.
Oz said...

These kids have no concept of a family. They have been left to raise themselves on the street and the gang is the family unit for them. It's a dysfunctional family unit but it is all they have. It's sad. You can't take them at birth. How can the cycle be broken? The next generation will only be worse.

March 26, 2011 at 7:14 p.m.
FreedomJournal said...


CENSORSHIP FURTHER DEFINED PART 9: CHATTANOOGA CENSORSHIP In the name of Jehovah God, Master of the universe, Ruler of the earth.

Chattanooga, Tennessee the birth place of this writer is the original home of the Censorship of the FreedomJournal. Although our academic experiences noted the first attack on our First Amendment Rights (Fisk University and Clark-Atlanta University) Chattanooga holds the infamous title as the place where we were first Censored as a journalist. The record shows that the journalistic career of this writer actually began in Chattanooga.

However, this writer had earlier been an active person in the Human Service arena. Also, I became involved in local politics as a Precinct Chairperson. As a Human Service Specialists I began to see first hand that the power structure and their selected Lackeys had an agenda that was in opposition to the Public good. Thus poor people were exploited and used. Their votes were sold like cows and horses. Meanwhile the political arena duped them and set them up for economic exploitation.

As an Independent thinker I soon lost favor with this group of conspirators and was removed from my place of employment. I returned to the academic world and began a serious and tedious study of the political apparatus to further understand this system of control. Meanwhile I soon found out that the educational arena was also controlled by those with political and economic power. Thus my research (Doctoral Dissertation) regarding the evident Black Conspiracy with Racism was denied and I was harassed and intimidated and ran out of Atlanta University (now Clark-Atlanta University).

By Divine intervention I made a miraculous return to Chattanooga. Thus, by some rather strange circumstances I began writing for a small Black Weekly around 1989 (Chattanooga News Weekly). This paper had an independent posture and was intent on revealing the Truth regarding the political circumstances of the Black community and the community at-large. Here I was able to use the previous research I had done on the historical development of Black political empowerment in Chattanooga.

Our relentless critique of Chattanooga politics etc. proved to be very informative but those that had gained from denying other people basic rights were very upset. Thus the News Weekly and this writer was Censored and Banned. We were also threatened on a daily basis. Our Advertisers were threatened and numerous threats were carried out. Thus, there was an atmosphere of fear surrounding our involvement with various people. Therefore, many so-called friends and family members rejected us and refused to associate with us. Many of them did this because of ignorance but many did so because of fear.

Peace and Love, Carl Patton writing for the FreedomJournal August 24, 2001 in the year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

March 26, 2011 at 9:40 p.m.
chioK_V said...

Hey Holmes baby! Instead of being a puppet why don't you live up to your original platform of being a civil and human rights activist? Instead of evicting tenants and contributing to the homeless problem, why not get rid of those crooked housing authority police officers that got kicked off of other police forces because they'd gotten into too much trouble and no other agency will hire them? That is except CHA.

March 27, 2011 at 12:56 p.m.
darkgamble said...


March 27, 2011 at 7:54 p.m.
darkgamble said...

I am black, was born here in Chattanooga and I am appalled by the desensitve approach by some of our leaders. How did we ever get to this state of such atrocious conditions? There are people who still exploit such conditions and now how are we going to slow down these problems we are faced with? As usual, we have people shifting responsiblity and placing blame where it shoudn't be placed. Look at the facts. Mr. Gilbert, we already have enough job training programs in place. How are we going make sure the "community" is aware of them and also, how are we going to implement some type of action plan? Pastor Kelvin Adams talked about a lack of opportunities. This is the same pastor who toured the VW plant last year with Jesse Jackson. What ever transpire out of that PR event? There are numerous opportunities in Chattanooga for blacks. We need those who have the resources in the black community to assist others and to also ensure they are on a level playing field of opportunity. How did we allow the gang problem to get of of hand with hypothetical strategy of Weed and Seed? After all, Weed and Seed recently hosted a Gang Summit at the Tivoli two weeks ago that cost the tax-payers thousands of dollars. They stated in the TNFP editiion of March 13, 2011, that they bwill hold a round table discussion six months from now to further talk about solutions toward gang problems. The very designated area of Weed and Seed has the highest rates of crime and lack of neighborhoood restoration whic is suppose to be part of their hypothetical strategy. Another leader talked about more mentoring programs. Last year while running for County Commissioner, Bernie Miller pastor of New Covenant Fellowship hosted and assisted in sponsoring the Mentoring Tour with national talk show host Micheal Baisden. Where are all the men who said they would be mentors in OUR community? Plus we already have the 100 Black Men of Chattanooga, where are they? I am tired of talk and very little action from the status-quo people supposedly in charge of so much but doing so little. Gotta get "busier"..."GOD help us, but we must first help ourselves!"

March 27, 2011 at 9:28 p.m.
sangaree said...

As these "round-ups" might be good PR for the police department's image and provide them with job security and guarantee their pensions won't be cut, but they only further serve to decimate the black communities. In that even if many of these young men with criminal records are trying to get their lives back together, those chances are constantly being broken with each round-up and arrest. Finally, many have no choice than to turn to criminal activity to survive or provide for their families. The poor, especially minority poor, has always made easier target for exploitation at the hands of others.

March 27, 2011 at 10:29 p.m.
please login to post a comment

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.