Demetrius A. Stewart

Ben Dawson looked at the program memorializing Demetrius A. Stewart during his homegoing services Friday, February at Westside Missionary Baptist Church, where her served as an associate minister; he also was chaplain for his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. Stewart was fatally shot as an innocent bystander in the parking lot of a Richmond Heights bowling alley on February 1. He was 45.

“Demetrius loved the Lord, his wife and his children. Because I know that things seen are temporal and things unseen are eternal, I stand on faith that his family will go to new heights on the shoulder of this extraordinary loss,” his fraternity brother Orv Kimbrough, chief executive officer of Midwest BankCentre, wrote in The American.

His wife, Shantana Stewart told The American, “Hopefully something good will come out of this. My hope is that it will make people love each other more and hold each other closer. Maybe more people will slow down and appreciate every day. I hope that people will embrace children like my husband did, and that they will love them and catch them before they fall in to a life full of anger and rage.”

Photo by Wiley Price

Cote Brilliante Presbyterian Church site for 4th Ward meeting 

The Tandy Neighborhood Improvement Association is hosting a Town Hall meeting, at which the constituents of the 4th Ward are invited to participate as the candidates vying for alderman present themselves and their platform. The Town Hall will take place 1-3 p.m. Saturday, February 23 at Cote Brilliante Presbyterian Church, 4673 Labadie Ave.

This will be an opportunity for the community to ask questions and hear the candidates’ goals for the 4th Ward and how they plan to implement their goals and expectations.

Tandy-NIA was founded in 2015 by Rodney Edwards, president and a group of concerned residents of the 4th Ward whose focus is to address serious issues facing our community. Known historically as The Ville and The Greater Ville, Tandy is historically significant and culturally important to St. Louis. It was one of the first and foremost homes to many businesses, schools and institutions that played a major role in the African-American experience in St. Louis. Homer Phillips Hospital was an essential part of the teaching and training of many black physicians and surgeons from all over the United States, as well as international medical residents and interns.

Tandy is home to the first African-American high school, Charles H. Sumner High School, founded in 1875, and one of the oldest elementary schools, William J. Simmons, founded in 1899. Poro College of Cosmetology was founded in 1917 and preceded the Children’s Home which still functions today as the Annie Malone Children and Family Services Center. Both were built and founded by Annie Turnbo Malone in the heart of The Ville. Poro College was listed in the 1944 edition of “The Green Book” as a safe haven for black travelers.

For decades residents have fought declining population, deteriorating houses and lack of quality-of-life amenities such as healthy and accessible food stores. Shopping choices and entertainment and recreational venues are virtually non-existent. Vacant and abandoned buildings are a plague. These and many other topics of concern will be addressed at the Town Hall.

​For more information, contact Carol Carter, board member, at cacart79@hotmail.com or Rodney Edwards, president, at tandynia.info@yahoo.com.

True Light M.B. Church hosts Christian Travelers Quartet 

True Light Missionary Baptist Church Progressive League will host its annual Black History Program featuring musical guest the Christian Travelers Quartet and Sheila Johnson 2:30 p.m. Saturday, February 23 at the church, 2838 James “Cool Papa” Bell Ave., followed by a Taste of Blackness Supper. For more information, call (314) 531-1801.  

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