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The Black History Pages 2013

Featuring Chris Haley, Director for the Study of the Legacy of Slavery for Maryland Shelia Lipsey with other community-oriented authors & business owners who are making a difference Coverage of Tavis Smiley’s The Vision For A New America: A Future Without Poverty

Russell Simmons star-studded Hip Hop Inaugural Ball 2013 Special News from ACT-SO PG Black Butterfly Review Group Employment tips from a staffing Firm


GROVE STREET Volume 1-February 2013

The Black History Pages The Vision For A New America: A Future Without Poverty 2013 Nate Holmes Honorary Award Winner Chris Haley Marsialle Arbuckle Chicki Brown The Literary Joint Bookstore Taurus Broadhurst Annie’s Art Gallery ACT-SO PG I Need A Job! News from Eleanor Shields and Black Butterfly Review Group Anthony Dew Shelia Lipsey Envisions Salon Russell Simmons Hip Hop Inaugural Ball 2013


Just days before the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and the presidential inauguration, I captured this photo of Cornel West, Jeffrey Sachs and Tavis Smiley at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium. The Vision For A New America: A Future Without Poverty was a recorded, televised discussion that allowed panelists to explore a national plan to cut poverty in half within 10 years, and end it in 25. Tavis Smiley suggested that Americans should urge President Barack Obama to convene a White House Conference on the Eradication of Poverty in America.


FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF In the beginning, I really didn’t know what I wanted our Black History month theme to be. As the month draws to a close, I found a special place to stop and reflect. What stood out in my mind was the need to continue the tradition of gaining economic empowerment as a community. Once upon a time, The Black Wall Street was home to many thriving black businesses. There were other places like it that popped up in pockets around the country. Yes, that place was destroyed long ago. However, when it comes to supporting others, networking, and the importance of circulating dollars, that business model is still top of mind for me. Why is there such thing as poverty in America? There shouldn’t be. I would rather invest $9.50 in a product that I could get from a local business owner who is deeply rooted in my community, than $8.50 in a product that is sold or distributed by someone that I’ll never meet. Years ago, “Joe” probably inherited his family store. There was no big retailer looming near to dry up his business. In all probability, Joe’s property had been in the family many years. Even if he didn’t get rich selling meats, ice cream, a side of grits, or a hot plate of dinner, neighbors had a vested interest in supporting Joe. If Joe stayed afloat, he had more resources to hire someone and help his community . Since times have changed, it’s even difficult to watch the competition factor clouding the vision of talented people. When others offer quality service and products, I feel that it’s beneficial to uplift their businesses and refer others. Some will be willing to network effectively. Others won’t. However, if too many individuals forget the theory of a place like Black Wall Street, we’ll only be stuck with having to depend on big businesses. As resilient as many of us are, I truly hope that more individuals will pause long enough to remember that moving forward requires help. Anyone who works hard and wants to be a part of the collective good shouldn’t have to be a member of a clique to get a chance. When someone has a reputation for providing excellent service, offers quality products, proves that he or she is ethical, and has a respectful attitude, why not consider patronizing them? The more we acknowledge those with positive attributes, the more it may inspire some of us to strive to connect with like-minded people. It’s easy to remember negative experiences, but what may be most effective is showing others that while circulating dollars, we aspire to raise the bar and expect quality and stellar treatment. Through our history we should be encouraged that perseverance plays a role in everything that we do. As we learn more about our past, I hope that you will feel inspired to treat all people better. Economic and personal empowerment entails investing in others, however possible. Each guest this month does that in some way. This month, author Shelia E. Lipsey and Chris Haley, the Director of the Study of the Legacy of Slavery in Maryland set the tone for where we’ve been—and hopefully—where we want to go. The other guests reflect important values that ring with pride and affirmation. We hope that you enjoy this issue. Warm regards,

Andrea Blackstone


Shelia E. Lipsey Wins AAMBC’s 2013 Nate Holmes Honorary Award Shelia Lipsey believes in bringing people with her toward success, not leaving them behind. She is an award winning faith-based author who believes that we all should embrace our dreams. I am happy to report that her latest independent project was picked up by Black Expressions Book Club, which is a phenomenal accomplishment, especially in the eyes of independent artists and writers. My Sister, My Momma, My Wife is now available for purchase. This great news arrived just behind Ms. Lipsey’s most recent accomplishment. African-Americans on the Move Book Club, founded by Tamika Newhouse, was created to provide more exposure for unknown writers. The company paid homage to the late author, Nate Holmes. He was tragically gunned down in 2011. It was reported that Ms. Newhouse created a special award in honor of her beloved colleague and friend. This year, Ms. Lipsey was named the winner of the high honor. The official ceremony will take place at the next Baltimore Urban Book Festival in Maryland. Nominees must have a genuine mission to promote everyone while performing selfless acts. The public voted Shelia Lipsey as 2013’s recipient of the great honor. The Grove Street community should be especially proud of her. Shelia Lipsey began her journey as a guest here. She now plays a role in making sure that your monthly issue is available. While embracing her own path to write, she is committed to promoting literacy and encouraging others to realize their potential. Additionally, Ms. Lipsey founded a literacy festival that showcases African-American authors. During the festival, she coordinates free writing and publishing workshops for new authors. This year, it will be held in Memphis, Tennessee at the Hilton Hotel September 20th to 21st. Please visit www.bwabcliteracyfestival.com for further details. Again, we want to publicly thank Shelia Lipsey for being an invaluable part of the writing community!


Photo provided compliments of Chris Haley.

Since 2004, Chris Haley has held the position of the Director of the Study of the Legacy of Slavery in Maryland. My cousin was gracious enough to share his unique insight regarding the Maryland State Archives, genealogy and numerous perspectives with us in this issue. He is a descendant of Kunta Kinte. However, he also took a patrilineal DNA test through Ancestry.com test that later confirmed the basis of Alex Haley’s Queen. Chris has been a keynote speaker at various genealogical conferences and is an extremely skilled historian and multi-talented performer who has gained substantial credibility solely on his own merit.

Tell us about your professional background? My current professional position is Director of the Study of the Legacy of Slavery in Maryland at the Maryland State Archives. I oversee a department of archivists who research most any advanced or person of African-American descent, or person of European descent who primarily had something to do with The Underground Railroad, or who was hiding in slavery during the Mid-Nineteenth Century. The department began because we received grants from the National Park Service and the Department of Education to help pursue this. That is the crux of the department that I oversee. Is Maryland’s history the focus of the Maryland State Archives? It really is focused on the state records. We have the original records of the state. The state archives are the repository of permanent records for all government phases of the state of Maryland, which includes the executive, the governor’s office, the legislature, the senators, and the house representatives of different counties in Maryland and the municipalities. What kind of people typically use the archives and for what purpose? It always has been genealogists—that’s what interested me initially; however I would also say it varies a great deal. We have people who need their divorce decrees because they are getting remarried, so they come to look into court records. If someone is trying to open a business and they’ve had some blip in the past, they need to get a record of that it was taken care of, more than


not, the Archives helps people with those issues. In addition, land records are big for the Archives, because we have a program called MD LANDREC. That has allowed the Archives the ability to scan all of the records since the beginning of colonization for all properties in Maryland. A lot of people need that information if they’re going to buy or sell a home to confirm they own it, or the boundaries that the land entails. There are a lot of records—although some are historic—that have modern value. Genealogists come looking for records. Are they doing it on behalf of others, or do most people come to conduct searches in their spare time? Definitely both. I would say there’s a small group of people who I have known in my almost 20 years of being at the Archives, who are professional researchers or professional genealogists. They get requests from people around the country, if not even internationally, who believe that they have or know they have ancestors who lived in Maryland. They hire them to do initial research for them. In addition to that we certainly have your basic family historian who is someone like Uncle Alex to some degree, who was just looking to find out more about their family. They may be doing it because they want to share stuff with other family members, or a family reunion is happening real soon, or they just want to keep it for their children as a keepsake, or they’re just curious about their past. We also get people who contact us from different parts of the county after reading a case study, and the Archives had the information. It’s gratifying for us to know that people are really looking at our website. What is the website for people who don’t know? http://www.mdslavery.net. It leads to The Legacy Of Slavery main web page. From that, there’s a lot of places you can go, in addition to overall studies we’ve touched upon within the 10 years or so that the program has been operating. Do you all play a hands-on role to those who come in and need help searching for information? We try to help as much as possible. In my department it’s more upper level research. The Reference Department assists patrons who you sign in or register. They can get assistance with general genealogy research, birth records, marriage records or land records. They may ask for special help from my department by calling us to determine if we’re available to come and help because of the specifics of what they’re trying to do. A patron may be trying to write a book on African-American history during a certain time period, or may be writing a paper for their college thesis. It’s helpful, quite frankly, for us to know what other aspects of research that other people have done because there are so many records and bits of information after roughly 400 years. We can’t possibly do it all ourselves. As far as resources, is it kept in bound form or on microfilm? It really depends on what you’re looking for, but of course the initial format has been traditional bound volumes or newspapers. Within that, depending on how far back you’re going, then you’ll see those classic browned pieces of paper which are almost parchment and brittle—17th, 18th, 19th Centuries. Much has been microfilmed—land records and Wills, for example. We have tried to digitize them as much as we can. We’re looking to make the records more modern so people don’t have to necessarily be in the building to try and find a land record for somebody, or


a Will or marriage record that they hope to access online. We are definitely moving in that direction. As it relates to family history, what would you say to those who believe there is no way for African-Americans to trace their heritage back the way Uncle Alex did? I would say it is definitely possible because he did it. It is certainly not something that people should take for granted that going to happen, if they put their mind to it. Many people, I have found it is hard to have that oral history that helped in our family situation. Speaking to the situation of people who have an interest in genealogy but hear the negative side of research, like success stories such as Roots are made up, what is your opinion? I guess, in general you should never let someone else make your decisions for you. Ultimately, you make your own decisions. One thing that I always tell my researchers, or people doing genealogy, is sometimes a closed door is a positive for you in genealogy, because that just means you don’t have to go through that door anymore. It means that door is closed, there’s nothing I can find going in this avenue. I feel secure that I’ve checked in that way as much as I can, so let me see if there’s another way, let me look for another avenue with DNA and innumerable records that are out there. The other thing is that we should start taking to mind what people say—that oral history. Uncle Alex remembered what people said, then when he read about Annapolis, he could recall that one of our aunts had said the African came from Annapolis, and he put that together. Sometimes in genealogy things aren’t one plus one equals two. It’s one and a half plus .75 probably equals two, and that’s the closest you’re probably going to get to it, so that’s probably right. That’s what you have to go by because there’s no photography for a black person, and no photography back in the 17th Century for a white person. Just paintings, usually if you were very, very well off. So the further back you go, unless you were a huge historic figure, the more you’re making suppositions and putting things together. I feel that’s valid for a geological search because that’s all there is that you can go by. Now maybe you don’t say that it’s one-hundred percent sure, but it could be oral history or secondary sources that support or suggest that these possibilities could have happened. It certainly lends itself to that probability. I don’t think people should discount that just because it’s not written in an actual document. I know personally that those things can be wrong in the modern world. How long did the DNA test results take? I found out there were matches within a month or two. Your results will be processed, and then they’ll be all of these returns. Within those returns there will be a matter of how close they are. The ones we had that confirmed the Queen story were within six generations, or approximately 150 years. There was also a return that was within one generation but that person chose to remain anonymous. Initially, when you go onto Ancestry.com, you can include your name and contact information. Someone chose not to put down an identity for themselves. It’s like a pen pal. At some point the pen pal needs to write you back. You can see people who share your DNA and different levels. You can contact them by email.


Were you shocked there was a match with Cousin June? I was surprised that it happened. Anybody can have a DNA hit, but to have a hit within one generation, then the fact that the other was within six generations surprised me, and there’s contacting and becoming family. The best-case scenario was what happened for us. A black and white person who don’t know each other across the seven seas and then they get along well, they’re family who call each other and visit. It is like a lifetime story. We’re blessed to have that. I’d hate for people to think it’s because it’s a Haley. Yeah, it was just a random thing. There can be good outcomes through genealogical research through DNA. Ultimately, I think you should be satisfied if you have just been able to find a genetic link that takes you back to a certain part of Africa, or a certain part of Europe, a certain part of China, or somewhere else to feel satisfaction that you have at least seen geographically where you traced it back. What did the DNA test show? (The link explains the story.) http://www.usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/science/genetics/2009-04-06-haley-dna_N.htm I shared markers that matched up in DNA. Out of 48 markers, we shared 46. That meant that our genetic background was matched on so many different levels. We are related and have a shared ancestry. What other projects are coming up with the Archives? We are doing a lot of presentations over the next several months about genealogy, and the focus of the Underground Railroad. The focus for the last two years has been the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Our studies are more about the people that no one ever heard of. From the perspective of the work that you have done in the genealogy field, do you feel about that Black History Month is still necessary? The easy answer is it’s still necessary, but I think it’s also the right answer. Fortunately, over the last year, I’ve been involved in some of the curriculum meetings that are out there about what’s being taught in the schools. I know that there’s still a lot of the same history that’s taught. Until that changes, I think it is necessary to have African-American Black history month, or Native American month, or Women’s History month, because the crux of what’s taught in school includes the same figures—the George Washington Carvers and the Susan B. Anthonys. Unless you really go out of your way, you are not going to find how many people of different colors and creeds and nationalities contributed to the history of our nation. The more you incorporate it into the daily knowledge of children, the less people can say that you’re just bringing it up to make a political point or to get people upset, or because you’re bitter about something. If you start referring to it as the history of the nation, people should have less reason to hate or be upset with everybody else. It’s about inclusion of those who don’t feel like they’re included. Do you try to keep the relationship with Uncle Alex separate from your personal life? It has always been my life but I don’t throw it out there much. It’s not made me rich. It’s not made me famous. Whatever I have to do, I still have to do it myself. We are who we are, but


when I wake up in the morning it’s still me who is having to get through that day. We have to do whatever in our own to specifically add to family legacy ourselves. People being famous because someone else in that family was famous or successful doesn’t happen as much as people perceive it to happen. Assumptions are not necessarily true. Do you foresee yourself writing anything on genealogy? I’m trying to do a story on my mother—my mother’s genealogy. It has a lot of elements in it that are worthwhile to expound up. Diversity—how black and white people lived together, loved together, had a lot of friction. People are people. I hope that empowers our generation to do research ourselves. What is the latest news about your acting? One play is coming up May 3rd and May 18th in Annapolis. After that I’m doing a public reading in DC of a potential pilot. Tell us about the film festival that you have been a part of. The Utopia Film Festival in Greenbelt Maryland presents short films from around the world. This year it will be held the last week in October. I’m on hiatus because of an acting course I took in 2012. Cornell is still active. The website is www.utopialfilmfestival.org.

www.chrishaleyonline.com

Learn more about Chris by visiting his website or blog, Dreaming Out Loud.


Photo provided courtesy of Marsialle Arbuckle.

Marsialle Arbuckle is an author and leader, located in Michigan. I Have A Story To Tell is a powerful book that was first published in 2010 by AuthorHouse Publishing Company. What is your book about? The book is a non-fiction autobiographical work that chronicles my life, from age two, when I was abandoned by my biological parents and left standing on the steps of the city courthouse, through the foster care system, college, and adulthood. It captures the various struggles that I faced as a child and youth, the dysfunctional aspects of my life and the life of my brothers and sister as a result of being raised in the system. The reader is led through the twists and turns that life can create. I also capture the impact of catastrophic health issues, as well as challenges with my career and how spiritual faith combined with education and hard work can lead to peace, happiness, and prosperity. What was the best and worst moment in your life? The worst moment in my life was to discover that my job with Ford Motor Co. had been eliminated just 36 months before my scheduled retirement and that after 27 years with the company, I had to start over. The best moment was to discover that God had a plan for me and my life. I learned that “the man made the job, it wasn’t the job that made the man,” and that I could work at helping others and continue to be productive, peaceful, prosperous, and happy.


Who is your target audience? The target audience is youth that are in, and transitioning out of, Foster Care; and anyone that is from a dysfunctional family, and dealing with substance abuse. The book will inspire and uplift individuals and families that are battling heart disease, cancer, vascular disease or some other catastrophic health issue. The book demonstrates the awesome power of love, understanding, and prayer. Why did you write it? Is it a memoir? The book is intended to stimulate the mind and provoke discussions with the review of various aspects of my life. The book will inform and motivate those that are a part of the foster care system. In our work with youth in foster care, our vision is to integrate group discussions with academic and skills development, i.e. tutoring, the creation of a “five year life plan,” and mentoring. I believe those elements, along with an introduction to various cultural experiences to develop alternative interests to negative conduct, combined, will influence, and impact various decisions and actions on an individual, family, and community level for positive change. What has been your most encouraging experience or comment that resulted from writing the book? The creation of the book has resulted in the establishment of “The Center for Urban Youth & Family Development,” a 501c3 non-profit agency. “The Center” now operates a semiindependent-living facility for youth in, and transitioning out of, foster care along with five other program elements, Youth Workforce, Life Skills, and Substance Abuse Prevention training, Health Management, and Community Activism. Has writing this book helped to promote healing in your life? Yes, it allowed me to understand that my blessings have been life-long. It also helped me to face feelings that I had embedded in the back of my mind and in my heart toward my biological mother that manifested itself in the way I dealt with my relationships with women. Would you recommend journaling or writing a memoir? Yes, it can lead to some amazing self-discoveries, and opens one’s eyes to a sincere interest in something or someone that was hidden or suppressed. What trait do you feel society needs to see more of in men? The trait of being a mentor and role model. Young men (Black, White, or any other race) need to and want to learn from those with experience. That is the real education. To quote former Chairman of the DNC, Ronald H. Brown, “Education occurs whenever you learn to use your mind to organize your thoughts, chart courses of action to accomplish your goals, analyze problems and obstacles, consider rational options, and arrive at reasonable conclusions as you


conduct the affairs of your life.” That education comes from many different venues, and one of the most important is accessibility to have meaningful dialogue with those that have experienced and overcome the problems and obstacles of life. What fraternity are you a member of, if any? Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. I utilize the four cardinal principles of the fraternity to demonstrate some of the basic elements of life and how combined with other elements; will yield the outcome that everyone wants from life, peace, happiness, and prosperity. Those elements are manhood or character, scholarship or education, perseverance or commitment, and uplift (of your fellowman) or a noble cause; combined with Friendship, Love, and Truth (the word of God). You will find those elements of life on the cover of the book. How is your book relevant to what Black History Month stands for? In chapter 26 of the book, I, as an African-American, ponder the question of greatness. As a part of the answer, the lives of 48 African-Americans that were alive during my lifetime or currently alive, with outstanding and significant accomplishments are highlighted.

The book can be purchased on line via Amazon and Kindle. It can also be ordered directly from AuthorHouse Publishing Co. Follow “The Center For Urban Youth & Family Development” on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @cuyfddetroit. We can be contacted at cuyfddetroit@gmail.com or marbuckl@hotmail.com Our telephone number 313-340-3101 or 313-341-2130.


PERSPECTIVES WITH CHICKI BROWN Does complexion matter, when it comes to book covers? What do you think we can do to promote unity when it comes to skin color, economic disparity, etc.? It’s funny you asked this. Recently, I posted a collage of photos on Facebook with my idea of what the characters in my upcoming series look like. The series will be about a family with six sons, so I trolled the Internet looking for photos of men that looked very similar. These guys just happened to have light complexions. I was shocked by the comments I received, such as “What do you have against dark chocolate men?” It really threw me for a loop, because I realized how touchy some of us still are about skin color. Now, I love a good-looking man, no matter what complexion he is, but I had chosen a particular actor as the physical role model for the hero in the first book. Next, I had to find others that resembled him. They were supposed to be brothers in one particular family. It just stands to reason that they look alike. Duh! One of my author friends joined the discussion and made a comment that surprised and intrigued me. She said, “These guys remind me of you. They all have those eyes.” Perhaps my choice was subconscious, but deep down inside I believe that as a people we need to stop using the prejudices imposed on us against each other. As an author, I think we should be “equal opportunity” character creators. The hero in my latest release, Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, is a gorgeous, dark-skinned man. I give everyone a chance. LOL! When it comes to the economic status of my characters, I’ve only written middle and upper class, since that’s what I know and what I enjoy writing. Many of us are simply too sensitive about these issues. Just because an author never writes dirt-poor characters doesn’t mean she/he has something against poor people. Do you describe yourself as a multicultural romance writer? If so, why? Yes. My novels feature mostly African-American lead characters, but I have written two interracial romances, and I always included secondary characters of other races/nationalities. In Have You Seen Her? the hero is bi-racial. In Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, the male protagonist is Caucasian. To me, this is a reflection of real life. In this day and age, not many of us exist in a one-race vacuum. We live, work, play and worship with people of different races and backgrounds. As an author, do you welcome all readers? Of course! All of them might not like what I write, but all are welcome. :D Please tell us about your credits. Back in 2004, I entered the Black Expression Book Club Fiction Writing Contest and won the Grand Prize. That win was such a boost for my confidence as an unpublished writer, and it gave me the encouragement I desperately needed to keep on writing despite the rejections. In 2011, Shades of Romance Magazine (SORMAG), one of the most prominent promoters of A-A books, selected me as the New Author of the Year. I was so honored by this award, since readers do the voting.


What are your top two to three favorite historical novels, and why? How did you develop an interest in historical novels? My reading never included historical novels until a woman I met at a Georgia Romance Writers meeting suggested I pick up Topaz by Beverly Jenkins. I tried to explain to her that I just wasn’t interested, but she was so enthusiastic about the book, I decided to give it a try. Well, this book changed my mind, and as the Amazon review states, “Beverly Jenkins skillfully blends romance, black history, and life in the Wild West to create a lively, tender love story.” Ms. Jenkins does extensive research into black history and includes that research at the back of each of her historical books. She not only gives readers excellent love stories, but they will always learn something about black history from her books. I haven’t read all of her historical line yet, but so far my top three favorites are Topaz, Jewel, and Nighthawk. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors who may want to write for wider audiences beyond just their personal ethnic community? Yes, write what’s in your heart then market the book accordingly. I’ve learned to expose my books to the general public and not only to black readers. As an Indie author, I’ve discovered that Indie readers are just looking for good stories, and they don’t particularly care about the race of the author. My books have received wonderful reviews from non-black readers who are often very surprised at how much they enjoyed a book featuring black characters. It’s a learning experience for them. As an Indie author, do you offer e-book and print editions? How many books have you written? Where can they be purchased? So far I have published seven of the nine novels that I’ve written. They are in e-book formats only and are available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and a few on Smashwords. Amazon search page: http://amzn.to/rNa7RI B&N Search Page: http://bit.ly/IWndcB Kobo Search page: http://bit.ly/MvlqkZ Contact info to share with readers: Blog: http://sisterscribbler.blogspot.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/@Chicki663 Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chicki.brown Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/chicki663/


THE LITERARY JOINT

Location: The Centre at Forestville Address: 3383 Donnell Drive Forestville, MD 20747 LaQuita Adams & Shawn Valentine are the owners of The Literary Joint. It opened June 2008, and has become a favorite bookstore to many readers and authors. I spoke to LaQuita Adams about TLJ and the book industry. Why did you open a bookstore? Honestly, I originally invested in someone else that you used to manage, four of the infamous Karibu Bookstore chains. I was to only be a silent partner, but the responsibilities became too overwhelming for the other partner and I decided to quit my job and stick with it, especially since I enjoyed reading books as well as a challenge. What has been an important factor in staying afloat at a time when many independent bookstores have closed? Knowing my customers, product knowledge, and never lying to them about the quality of books. Another thing that is helping me to survive a very dangerous time in the book industry is supporting and introducing new or unknown authors to customers that may be just as great as Ashley & JaQuavis, Deja King, or Wahida Clark. The customers love that we can introduce them


to hot novels. Based on the lack of "standard" cover and synopsis, they would have never picked it up in the first place. It's very hard work and time consuming, and there are many times that I simply don't feel like the effort is worth the reward until my customers come rushing in and converse about what books do for them. Those are the most precious times that I could ever imagine, and it makes the most difficult times worth it all. Since devices like Kindles have become so popular. Are book signings as important to authors as they used to be? Seemingly, no, but I am not an author so I can only give the perspective of a retailer. Devices have made it easy for anyone to become an author. In my experience within the last year, only the "authors" who actually make this their career understand what it means to put in diligent work and have fans come out to meet and greet them. With book signings, you, as an author, leave yourself vulnerable to constructive criticism as well as negative feedback. But you also get to meet people that would have never known you existed and would simply like to just support someone doing something positive with their time. Ultimately, you groom a new reader, follower, and fan as you keep in touch and travel. It all depends upon the motives, passion, desire, and expectations of the author for the long term and not for the short term I think would sum it up. How can readers and authors support your store more? Shopping and Patronizing!!! LOL. I don't necessarily think it is about supporting my store but more so supporting the industry as a whole. Staying in business is very important to me, but at the same time, independent retailing in this industry is made up of so many elements today that simple things that seem to have no effect, positively affect the business of the store. It could be participating in online/telephone chats with authors, supporting an author that we introduce even if it is via an e-reading device, or something as simple as telling someone how much fun you have as a customer at TLJ Bookstore. Free advertising is the best advertising!!!


TAURUS BROADHURST DANCE AN AFRICAN CONTEMPORARY DANCE COMPANY

Photo compliments of Founder/ Artistic Director Taurus Broadhurst

I've been dancing professionally for over 20 years. My love of movement is what inspired me to dance. Watching how a dancer can tell a complete story through visceral energy is very inspiring. I attended Virginia Commonwealth University where I was exposed to many greats in dance. I set choreography on other local companies. I have danced with BET's Teen Summit (Washington, DC); Ezibu Muntu African Dance Company (Richmond, VA); Ronald K. Brown/ Evidence (Brooklyn, NY); Chuck Davis' AfricanAmerican Dance Ensemble (Durham, NC) and Rennie Harris/ PureMovement (Philadelphia, PA). My style is Contemporary African, which is a fusion of Traditional West African dance, Modern, Jazz, and Urban dance styles. As a dancer for the companies listed I've toured all over the US and abroad. I teach all ages from preschool to adult. The next event will be free and open to the public. Delta Sigma Theta’s Emerging Artist Event will be sponsored by The Federal City Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The details are below. Sunday, May 5, 2013 at THEARC Theater 1901 Mississippi Avenue SE Washington DC 20020 Time: 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM


My adult Contemporary African classes are on Saturdays at Joy of Motion Dance Center on H Street in DC. 1:00PM- 2:00PM for beginners, and from 2:00PM - 3:30PM for advanced beginners. Performance class starts March 25th. For more information, go to www.joyofmotion.org. Look under Contemporary African. Founder/ Artistic Director Taurusbroadhurstdance.com TAURUSBROADHURSTDANCE.COM (website) We also have a Facebook page (Taurus Broadhurst Dance) Info@TAURUSBROADHURSTDANCE.COM


Photo of father and son, compliments of Kevin Hicks and Leon Durham

When customers walk into Annie’s Art Gallery, it feels like home. A smiling face is there to greet all who enter. The owners—Leon Durham and Kevin Hicks are a father and son team who provide only the best quality framed art. The pair prides themselves in traveling to find unique quality products for their customers. Known for their artistic style of art framing, this business located in Prince George’s County, Maryland doesn’t stop at providing art. Annie’s Art Gallery, which is named after Leon Durham’s mother, is also known as a forum to showcase performing artists. The venue also serves as a hot spot for monthly events like DWQ Jazz Night on Fridays. It’s rare that families have a place to be entertained and socialize with fellow community members, free of charge. Annie’s Art hosts a family-friendly open mic talent night that is hosted by Poet in Residence, Sistah Joy, on the 3rd Thursday of every month. Their copious event list doesn’t stop there. If you’re up for taking a dance class, a night of comedy, singing karaoke, or dashing to a wine and cheese event, for those who prefer a friendly, relaxing environment as opposed to a packed nightclub in the district, Annie’s offers diverse events in a personable venue. Their infamous motto, ‘You name it, we’ll frame it!’ is engrained in the hearts and minds of local customers and loyal fans across the country. The founder, Leon Durham, turned a hobby into a family business that brings an unforgettable flavor to Camp Springs. Self-trained and passionate about framing art, who would know that inheriting picture frames from his mother would blossom into a thriving business venture. Annie’s Art Gallery celebrated its ten-year anniversary in its Camp Springs location, June 2007. Although Hicks and Durham are modest men, the community embraces them with love and support, because that’s what they give to countless others, in addition to mastering the art of quality customer service. Their breathtaking art is a must-see for any art buff.


Subscribe to Annie’s Art Gallery’s newsletter to stay up-to-date and to confirm dates and times of events and their latest art stock. You may also contact them via email at anniesartgallery@gmail.com.


Q & A WITH ACT-SO PG Please provide a brief description of ACT-SO PG. For those who don't know, ACT-SO is a major youth initiative of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Founded in 1978 by renowned author and journalist, Vernon Jarrett, ACT-SO provides a forum through which African-American youth demonstrate academic, artistic, and scientific prowess and expertise, thereby gaining the same recognition often only reserved for entertainers and athletes. Today, ACT-SO PG has opened participation to students from 9th to 12th grades in 26 categories of competition in the sciences, humanities, performing arts, visual arts and business. All the preparation and practice culminates in a grand live competition at the end of spring followed by an award ceremony. Where must participants live or attend school? Participants must live in Prince George's County, MD and attend any High School inside the County. Are there costs involved? If so, what would they be? There is no cost or entry to our participants. It's because of this that our organizing team is working so hard to raise funds to cover all costs (including travel to the national competition). Why is ACT-SO still important to youth? Who mentors them? When is the deadline to sign up? African-American students in Prince George's County and the country still face a "performance gap" that is troubling. At ACT-SO PG, we want to tackle that gap by providing an avenue for our high school students to perform outside of school walls. It's about opening some eyes to the possibilities that are out there. As for the mentors, we were lucky and blessed to be joined by a group of professionals from all over the County. We feel really lucky about the amount of energy everyone has brought to the table. There is no real deadline to sign up as the program is year-round. Do state winners compete on a national level? If so, when? Our 1st Place winners in each category of competition will be invited to the National competition in Orlando, Florida in July.


For additional information, contact: Dora Myles Moore doramyles@gmail.com Maurice Simpson maurice.simpson11@gmail.com

CALL TO ACTION Please pass along this information to a young person who may benefit. In my youth, I took part in this program. It proved to be an invaluable experience.


I NEED A JOB! A CONFIDENTIAL CONVERSATION WITH DC BASED RECRUITERS

A local staffing firm was gracious enough to provide insight regarding the current job maze. If you or someone you know feels frustrated by the job hunting process, you’re not alone! It wasn’t easy to get anyone to share this information for our benefit, but thankfully, I succeeded in obtaining tips that can help us to unravel the most confusing parts of the employment search. Many thanks go out to those who compiled this information. The first question relates to landing an interview. I've heard from HR pros that the ratio of applicants v. one job opening is often astronomical. Can applicants use any particular strategy to make an application or resume stand out, since it seems very difficult to obtain an interview after emailing information as requested, or is networking the primary solution? First, networking is always the primary solution. For many of the large companies, they already have a resource in mind when they post a job, so if you are networked with the hiring manager, you have a much better shot of actually having your resume in front of him or her. The fact is there are usually hundreds of applicants for any given role and it is impossible for HR recruiters to sort through and get back to all of those applicants. The best shot of having your resume seriously considered by a recruiter is to make sure your resume matches the job description and clearly outlines how your skills match up to the requirements of the job. This will help you show up in both a key word search as well as stand out from the crowd when being reviewed directly by a recruiter. In addition, another key aspect of a good resume would be to list actual accomplishments and not just responsibilities. For a job seeker to stand out in the crowd I need to see what they accomplished on their resume, not just a list of what they were responsible for. This goes for a warehouse manager all the way up to a senior VP or C level resume. If I know that you took the order fill time down from 12 hours to 6, you must be good at managing a warehouse. If I know that you are responsible for the upkeep and management of a warehouse…well…yeah, you’re the warehouse manager. That's your job and you have essentially outlined the same responsibilities as the 70 other warehouse manager resumes that I viewed this morning. Also, what should one do when asked what specific salary he or she would accept? Too high or too low feels tricky in this market. I've been in that position in phone and during inperson interviews. First, you don't get what you don't ask for. Salary negotiation is a tough negotiation because you don't want to sell yourself short, but you also do not want to price yourself out of a position. The old saying goes "he who speaks first, loses." To some degree, this is true. However, if a person is clear about their salary history, this process can go much faster. If you made $40,000 in your last role, and you told me that at the beginning of our conversation, then say that you will not take less than $70,000 for your salary, I will walk away. You made $40,000 for the past 3 years and I understand wanting to further your career from a monetary standpoint but why do you deserve a


$30,000 raise? If you were clear about your salary history from the beginning, recruiters are going to understand that you want to increase your earnings and that may be the reason you are in the market to begin with. They will work with you as long as you are flexible to some degree and hear them out. Always have a hard number in mind but don't just accept the first number they say is written in stone. Unless they say it is written in stone, then they make the decision easy for you! The goal should be to save the compensation discussion until the end of the conversation. By this point, you should have been able to lay out a distinct map that leads to why you are worth what you say you want. The bottom line is to do your research. Use every available resource to figure out what a typical salary is for the position you are applying for and be prepared with that information before your screening call or salary discussion. I say always shoot higher rather than lower. If you want $30,000, make sure they know your ideal rate would be $40,000 but you really love the opportunity and will consider an offer close to that number. Be open-minded. If you won't take less than $50,000 and they are offering you $45,000 AND the opportunity to work from home on Fridays and paying for your cell phone, that might be something to consider. It is a $5,000 difference but really, can you live without the $3500 (after taxes, or really about $70 per week)? I bet you can especially if you aren't having to commute both ways to work, can eat lunch at home, and are less stressed. I even bet your health will improve because you can get some extra sleep, not be up as early. You won't spend the $10 per day on Red Bulls and Cokes and you won't have to deal with silly drivers on the road who extend your commute by 20 minutes because of their erratic lane change, which causes the five-car pileup as you are leaving the office. Well stated. Does volunteer work really count in the eyes of hiring managers? No. Well maybe if you are applying for the volunteer services coordinator role with Greenpeace. You should have philanthropic type volunteer service on your resume. For me, I know that half that stuff is made up and unverifiable so why should I even consider it when I just need someone who can get the job done? (Alternate answer: Recruiter B said that volunteer service could matter to the right employer.) What kind of jobs are available more than others? Right now we are seeing more permanent marketing positions, as well as a surge in the web, interactive, social media and copywriting for advertising and web. In comparison to three years ago, the job market is in much better shape. However, the growth is relative to certain industries and companies. While many companies are still having mass layoffs and department restructuring, others are hiring new talent and creating new opportunities.


For recent grads and job seekers, copywriting skills and marketing communications experience is in high demand. Job seekers should have a clear understanding of the web and social media. More and more positions are requiring applicants to demonstrate their digital skills and experience. What about jobs for Liberal Arts and English majors? For Liberal Arts and English majors applying your knowledge of writing and AP style comes in handy. Writing for the web and advertising is different than traditional writing, however, if an applicant shows flexibility, this will work in their favor. There are many certification and higher education opportunities available. Recent grads and job seekers should be selective and do their research when considering getting additional training. A great resource is professional networking organizations. I, personally am a member of a local PR organization. More senior members have given me tons of guidance on certifications and available opportunities to better market myself. For more experienced applicants, make a case for yourself based on your wealth of experience. Sure social media has changed the method in which we share information but depending on the opportunity and company, real world work experience is extremely valuable. Experts are still trying to figure out what to do about poverty, the economy, and jobs.


Tavis Smiley’s photo was taken January 17, 2013, after his event. The conversation of Newt Gingrich, Michael Moore, Marcia L. Fudge, Jeffrey Sachs, Marian Chilton, Jonathan Kozol, Rose Ann De Moro, John D. Graham, Cornel West and others was broadcast on C-SPAN and Tavis Smiley. If you missed the discussion, you may visit www.afuturewithoutpoverty.com.


I would like to extend a warm welcome to Eleanor Shields! Starting this month, we will collaborate to offer diverse content to our readers. You may visit www.blackbutterflyreview.com to read about teen, paranormal, and romance books through Black Butterfly Review Magazine, beginning February 28, 2013. Lifestyle articles will also be included. Please read more about her below. More specifics about our sister e-zine will be shared at a later date.

Eleanor S. Shields is a wife and mother of two that loves to read. Because of her love of reading, she established a book review group called Black Butterfly Review in 2005 and has been reading and reviewing ever since. Ms. Shields got her start reviewing for Shades of Romance Magazine (SORMAG) and then went on to review for Romantic Times Magazine for several years. In 2012 Ms. Shields fulfilled a dream of hers by publishing an electronic magazine (e-zine) entitled Black Butterfly Review the Magazine. Inside of BBR the magazine, you will see book reviews, interviews, and topics promoting good health. The magazine is distributed every other month. Black Butterfly Review has a mission statement that entails providing good content and promotion of all things literary. In that vein, Ms. Shields is proud to announce the collaboration of Grove Street as its sister e-zine. Individually, these two e-zines connect with its readers and provide valuable information. As collaboration, the readers of both e-zines will have the best of what both publications have to offer, making it a win-win situation for any and every reader.


ANTHONY DEW PR GURU ON ASSIGNMENT

Eddie Brown, CEO Brown Capital Management, Rev. Jessie Jackson, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Anthony Murrill, X2Repinc, and Anthony Dew, PR Guru, CD Media.

The Wall Street to Main Street Summit is a vital component for Black History Month. We had an up front and personal conversation with Reverend Jessie Jackson concerning the issues of African-Americans, such as the need for economic power and financial stability. This is why networking is instrumental in collectively achieving more for African-Americans. Special guests included Former President Bill Clinton, Grammy award winners Mary Mary, Motown Founder Berry Gordy, and many others. The sky is the limit. The PR Guru Anthony Dew and Anthony Murrill parlayed an exclusive interview with Mary Mary and we rocked it. The interview was posted on Facebook and our CD Media YouTube channel. Check it out! http://youtu.be/dNlBcZbtNHc Only ten percent of networkers actually follow-up with the contacts they meet. Building your business and making your money is in your follow-up. No Followup‌No Money. Think and act like a millionaire‌your thoughts are what make you rich. Send me your Public Relations questions. Anthony Dew 443-932-2059 Email: Anthony_Dew@aol.com


Author Shelia E. Lipsey

The Word According to Shelia Black History Month originated in 1926. Back then, it was not a month, but one week, which was known at that time as Negro History Week. The founder of Negro history Week is none other than Carter G Woodson, the founder of black history (Wikipedia). But…stop. Think for a moment then answer this question - What is Black History to you I ask? What does it really mean? Is it just about our being able to call the names of a few of our ancestors like Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, and Booker Washington? Is this month really set aside to observe and commemorate our forefathers? What is Black History to you I ask again? Is it a time when we talk about our roots, our heritage as a people, how we have overcome? If so, then tell me, what have we overcome? Have we overcome racism, not just from those whose skin color is different than ours, but have we overcome racism within our own culture? Think about it. What is Black History to you? Does Black History Month commemorate our freedom? Does it really? How can it, when young men like Trayvon Martin are senselessly gunned down and their young lives are snuffed out because they chose to walk the streets clothed in their black skin? What is Black History to you I ask again? Perhaps it means that we have arrived in the corporate arenas of life, and hold top positions as CEOs and COOs and CFOs. But do we take the time to stop, stoop, reach down, and help someone else clothed in black skin go UP the ladder of success? What is Black History to you I ask?


Stop, think for a moment. Look within your own space, your own family, in your own neighborhood, in your own city, your own town and see if you play an intricate part in the positive development of our young black boys and young black girls. I applaud that we have a month where I can celebrate my BLACKNESS. But my history, my black history means more than a month to me. You see I AM Black History. You are Black History Now. I AM a dream liver, and a history maker. I want to be known and remembered for having tried to make a positive difference in the world, or in someone else’s life. I do not want what my ancestors preached, taught, fought, bled, and died for to be in vein. It starts with You. it starts with Me. If we are to see a different world, a better world, it is our duty and our responsibility to help our own, teach our own, lead our own, encourage our own, open doors for our own. We one day WE will be the ancestors of our children and children’s children. What mark will you leave on this world? What history will you create? Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.-- Maya Angelou "Still I rise," And Still I Rise (1978) Shelialipsey.com www.www.perfectstoriesaboutimperfectpeople.com www.pinterest.com/shelialipsey www.twitter.com/shelialipsey www.uchisglorybookclub.net www.linkedin.com/shelialipsey www.uchisglorybooksclub.net www.bwabcliteracyfestival.com www.bonitaandhpublishing.com http://www.facebook.com/SheliaELipseyReaders


Ericka Wilkins, Owner 2115 Main Street Suite 102, Chester, MD 410-643-5952

Studio Styles New Location! 2242 Bay Ridge Avenue (back entrance) Annapolis, MD 21403 410-263-0243 (barbers also on site)


We are an independently owned business that caters to all hair types, and can special order many items. Ericka Wilkins has been a licensed stylist, beauty supply owner, enterprenuer and community activist for twenty years. She is committed to healthy hair care and achieving your desired look. Envisions Hair Gallery also stocks affordably priced jewelry, accessories, barrettes, nail polish and various items to perfect your look. Our staff strives to accommodate your scheduling needs. Special appointment times are available in our Annapolis, Maryland location. We also sell items online and can ship select items. Call us. It is our pleasure to serve you!


Russell Simmons Hip Hop Inaugural Ball 2013 Did the hip-hop community play a role in helping President Barack Obama get re-elected? LaLa Anthony and Terrence J hosted Russell Simmons’ star-studded, black-tie affair that took place at the Harman Center on January 20, 2013. The charity gala benefited Philanthropik—a non-profit that inspires young people to be philanthropic, empowers the community and supports programs and initiatives. The ball also celebrated the Hip-Hop community’s role in the 2012 election, and the manner in which it leveraged political awareness and honored advocacy.

John Legend received a Humanitarian Award.


Rosario Dawson accepted the Vanguard Award for her work as chairman of Voto Latino, a nonpartisan nonprofit that she co-founded in 2004.

Actor Charles Dutton


Knicks forward Chris Copeland


CLOSING REMARKS I know this issue was slightly longer than usual, but when it comes to positive stories, they’re hard to turn down. People often complain that much of the news is negative. I hope that this serves as a heartfelt reminder that there are many people out and about doing positive things. I would like to extend special thanks to Chris Haley and every participating guest. As usual, I would also like to give Shelia Lipsey and Anthony Dew a great big thank you. Please be sure to pass along the word about our sister Ezine that will also offer great content. I am grateful and excited to be working with Eleanor Shields again! I would love it if you would subscribe to my blog. Please go to The Reader's and Author's Nook. It would be much appreciated if you share our information with friends or fellow readers. You may like us through http://www.issuu.com/bloggertime. Please email feedback to velocitydmv@gmail.com or Dreamweaverpress@aol.com. Surge Marketing www.surgemarketinggroup.com is the place where you can find an array of creative publishing and marketing professionals. We can help with book promotions, street teamwork and more. Add Authoress Andrea Blackstone on Facebook. Twitter: @AndreaBlackston Grove Street now has a Facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/grove.street.12177?ref=ts&fref=ts Would you be so kind as to LIKE our Ezine? http://www.facebook.com/pages/Grove-Street-ezine/518403934865920


The Black History Pages