From Dawn to Dusk, Davenport Fans the Flame of Atlanta Business League's Legacy

To watch her, it seems so easy. Her focus never straya. Leona Barr-Davenport is always working. The door to her office at the Atlanta Business League opens at 9 a.m.  But by then Davenport is already wrapping up one meeting and moving on to the next. “My day could start at 7:30 a.m. and not end until 9:30 p.m.,” Davenport, 53, said. “I am meeting with companies to try to get partnerships, to get sponsors. I have to interact with members and sponsors to make it work.” She is the president of

Willie Watkins Provides Signature Funerals For People From All Walks of Life

Willie Watkins’ grandmother didn’t know the 7-year-old was gone until he waived at her from a moving hearse. It was part of their tradition to attend funerals on Sundays in Scottsdale. Young Watkins liked being in the mix, helping to take the flowers from the church and doing any odd jobs his boyish strength could handle. Then, finally, they said he could ride in the hearse. The crowd thought he was bold; a boy who wasn’t afraid of the dead. Watkins had found his calling. His first-grade clas

D'Lor Salon and Spa Brings Buckhead Luxury to Cascade

They sit under dryers, some cross-legged and sipping green tea from white-stained cups. They lie in fold-out chairs as professionals massage their scalps and lather their hair in warm water, protein-based shampoos and hair-enrichment conditioners. Their conversations drift from the spiritual to the mundane. Their laughter ­–a mingling expression of soothing release and steady contentment- seem to blend with the R&B singers who croon soulful classics in the background. Some are there for basic

Our First Year: At The Beautiful Restaurant Many Gather for Fun, Fellowship

Editor's Note: Cascade Patch celebrates its first anniversary this month. This piece, by Kimathi Lewis, is today's "Our First Year" feature. It first ran on Feb. 10, 2011. The little boy beamed when he saw  the women dressed in orange and white at Greenbrier Mall. “Look mommy, they work at The Beautiful,” he said. Lenora Reese smiled. It felt good to be recognized, especially by a child. But the truth is, at 2260 Cascade Rd., is well-known throughout Georgia and beyond. But how well-known,

City Honors Judge Who Refused to "Stay In His Place" Today

At 13 years old, Marvin Arrington discovered racism was real. It was the same day the United States Supreme Court decided segregated schools for blacks and whites were unconstitutional. It was a decision that sparked the outrage of many whites who would seek to take out their anger on countless blacks – even a defenseless Southern boy. Young Arrington was riding his bike up Simpson Road with his friend, Melvin Rivers, when a 1940 Ford slowed down then stopped beside him. He looked at the driv

Opare Brings Holistic, Healing Health Care to Cascade

For more than five years Carty, 55, struggled with diabetes and high blood pressure. Watching her symptoms fluctuate and not knowing why, she felt helpless. Her doctor would give her pills that would partially help. But it wasn’t enough. “I just wanted to take it to the next level,” Carty said. Last year, Carty decided to make a change and began searching for another solution.  She came across Opare Integrative Health Care at 1045 Research Center Dr. on Cascade.Patch.com. And in January, sh

The Summons Barbers: The Intellectual, The Cowboy and The Comedian

It’s an unlikely refuge for the old and the young – a quaint little shop tacked onto to the end of a series of little shops on Cascade Road. The conversations, ranging from the casual to the controversial, engage everyone inside; and the sound of laughter routinely bursts out of the confines of the little shop to welcome visitors, friends and clients. Summons is no mere barbershop where clients drift in and out, nodding at each other on the way. Here the doctor and the student, the professiona

Riley's: A One-of-a-Kind Cascade Thrift Shop

With its warm atmosphere, colorfully-rich décor and plush setting, Riley’s International Boutique and Thrift Shop is one of a kind – and not only in southwest Atlanta. Monday through Wednesday, the regular sounds of soulful music drift outdoors, inviting passers-by to stop and listen. Those who open the door, inhale the scent of vanilla as they step onto a plush carpet rich in earth tones and hand-stitched, as if for the floors of an upscale Las Vegas casino. They may resist the urge to sit in

Life's Essentials Losing Luster, Hopes for Growth

For years, it served as the Cascade community’s main health food store with a ready supply of fresh fruits and vegetables, vitamins and herbs, natural body and household products. It was a teaching institution, offering classes on herbs, yoga and the Martial Arts; providing tutorials and movies for children, and tie & dye classes for adults. Then it changed names and moved to a larger place, a place more than twice its size; a place that has become a haunt of its former glory, overshadowing ro

Intimate Cafe's Fresh Food Chef

Seated on a high chair with her small fist curled around a plastic spoon, Ameerah Watson was barely tall enough to see into the pot as she stirred sautéed potatoes on a hot stove. She was only 18-months-old. But she grew to love the sights, sounds, smells and tastes that come with preparing dishes of a modern variety – including Mexican, French, Caribbean, African and Southern. Watson would watch her mom, aunts and grandmothers cook, southern style in iron skillets, as they prepared dishes ma

Healthful Essence Brings Vegetarian and Healthy Caribbean Cuisine to West End

They may not know each others' names or how they spend their days, but they always exchange smiles. Some of them hug. They are part of a growing network of healthy vegan and vegetarian eaters; and one spot that unites them is a restaurant hand-painted in the colors of nature and planted in the heart of the Historic West End. Their idyllic, ad hoc assembly forms a line around raw dishes and vegan delights cooked in alkaline water and seasoned for a Caribbean flavor. They seize upon the dishes

The Ugly Side Of the Beauty Supply Market

Frank Mohadou closed the door to the beauty supply business he was struggling to keep, in the slice of space he obtained from his sister. The still night held no comfort for the African native as he slid behind the wheel of the $250-a-month car he could barely afford. He ignored the thought of going home; knowing soon he would have to find another place to live since the people he was staying with were drifting apart. Instead, he sat; his anxiety and frustration combed into a manageable silen

One of Oldest Black-Owned Atlanta Cab Companies Surviving in Recession

In a space slightly larger than a walk-in closet where the only luster was a large, old Asian fan, housed all one man needed to run a cab company—a desk, a phone and a set of files. To the left of the hanging fan that featured two flowers on a branch with a bird perched beneath it, was the brown desk where Sam Maffett sat daily dispatching calls, listening to patrons' complaints and keeping track of his six drivers. Maffett was the manager, one of many since the death of Charles Heard, the own

Camp Creek Marketplace Cartridge World Provides Green Solutions

For months Michael Davis prepared for the opening of his franchise with the world’s reportedly largest retailer of printer cartridge refills. He found the perfect spot in the upscale Camp Creek Marketplace center on Camp Creek Parkway. He researched the market, finding out which cartridges were the top sellers. His inventory stacked; his employees in place, Davis opened Cartridge World, at 3645 Marketplace Blvd., in November 2010, hoping to capture a customer base that was ready for cheaper ca

Legendary Ben Hill Coach William Walker Receives Top City Honor Today

They called it the shed—a shotgun building that housed an office, two bathrooms, a game room and a gym where hundreds of children practiced and played without air conditioning. But, for those children, the shed was their haven: the place where they went to practice sports, seek counseling and learn discipline. For their parents, it was a sanctuary that helped keep their children off the streets and out of trouble. It kept their children occupied, and safe. In time, the city would expand the sh

Juneteenth: Black America’s Second Independence Day

Deborah Evans was 43-years-old and a grandmother when she learned what a slim percentage of America’s black population already knew – that for African Americans there was a second Independence Day. It came decades after the first one and began on June 19, 1865 when the abolition of slavery was announced in Texas, the last state in rebellion after the end of the Civil War. More than 2,000 Union soldiers had to fight to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation to free the remaining slaves in Gal

Three Years After Michael Brown and the Past is Prologue

Richard Williams woke to piercing pain and the glare of the angry cop who had just clipped him in the forehead with his gun. For the first time in his life, the Oakwood College student felt suffocating fear. He was part of a musical group on tour and they had been stopped on the side of the road in Alabama. It was 1956. It was during the midst of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and months after the brutal murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till. Till was on Williams’ mind as the two white cops harassed