Houston is under a red alert as the coronavirus numbers continue to grow and claim the lives of Blacks at alarming rates. But, the COVID-19 pandemic is not the only battlefield African Americans in the Houston area are confronting. The battle is against social injustice.

Joining forces in this war, the Houston Defender and several spoken word icons have combined their resources to encourage and uplift the community during this fight.

In the month of July, the Defender Facebook COVID-19 campaign is launching to emphasize the seriousness of this virus and the importance of taking personal responsibility in order to achieve the collective victory.

Joe P, a spoken word artist who is also a professional actor, playwright, and educator, will be the first to debut on Friday, July 3. The extraordinary talent of this young man’s work will be showcased on Facebook.

When asked why he joined the campaign, Joe P said, “I wanted to utilize my gifts and skillset to promote the importance of staying safe from COVID-19 in the Black community. I have witnessed it firsthand as it ravaged through our community like a wild fire along with years of police brutality.

“We are being attacked on all fronts so I wanted to do what I could to alert and inform our community of the importance of knowing this disease is serious, real and killing US. I wanted to join the Defender campaign because, one, I’m a supporter and reader of the Defender, and I also feel it’s the duty for an artist to serve their community in any way possible.”

Acknowledging Joe P, Defender CEO and publisher Sonny Messiah Jiles stated, “We thank Joe P for his powerful words and support of the Houston Defender Network. Considering for 90 years the Defender has captured the words and images of the Houston Black community, as its historian, advocate and educator, this campaign seemed only fitting. Like other Black businesses impacted financially by COVID-19, we are also asking the community to support us by giving tax-deductible donations.”

To see the full campaign which includes spoken word, videos, and music go to www.facebook.com/defendernetwork.com.

To learn more about Joe P. (Joseph Palmore, the professional actor with AEA and Poet) go to: www.ActingUpStudios.com To book Joe P. call: Darnetta Nelson, (313) 673-4682.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Houston Defender go to: bit.ly/DefenderFacebookCOVID-19