CODE M Magazine 2023 March Issue

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TRANSFORMING THE LIVES OF MEN MARCH 2023 DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA MAKE LOVE! + THE CEO’S SAVING GRACE MAKE MONEY! MAKE IT LAST! DISTRACTION CREATES NO ACTION Dr. Willie Jolley and Dee Taylor-Jolley discuss the secrets of their successful 40-year marriage and their new book, Make Love, Make Money, Make It Last! 10 Secrets to Shape a Great Marriage. + SOCKS AND COCKTAILS


Oral sex, when performed with precision, can be developed with practice by learning different techniques. Couples who practice oral sex increase their chances for a healthier relationship.




Dr. Willie Jolley and Dee Taylor-Jolley discuss the secrets of their successful

40-year marriage and their new book, Make Love, Make Money, Make It Last!

10 Secrets to Shape a Great Marriage.


Get to know people who are making a difference in their careers and changing the world!


12 MAN CODES Persistence.


When Bilal S. Akram launched his vision for a magazine that targeted Black men, he knew it could make a difference. That difference has turned into a mission to celebrate Black men all around the world.


Tiffany Murphy could be called the CEO whisperer, because of her ability to advise and consult some of America’s top executives. Her journey started when she bet on herself and became her own boss.


Getting your body in incredible shape doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’ve been following along with CODE M’s four-part Home Workout Without Weights series, you know just how true this is.


Americans are being divided on everything from race, class, sex, and sexuality to political affiliation. And while everyone is busy arguing with each other, the country is slowly slipping away into a bottomless pit of low expectations.

CODE M / MARCH 2023 5


Social media distraction is at an all-time high. It’s to the point where people aren’t living, but instead choose to sit in isolation, all day, and view reel after reel.


If you haven’t noticed by now, socks make the man. Here is our take on blending great fashion and spirits in one incredible look.



Blacks influence the latest trends of popular culture, fashion, and music more than any demographic. Reach them when you advertise with CODE M Magazine. With over 1.4 million viewers monthly, we have your audience. Call 216-273-9400 to request a rate kit.

Cleveland native Nicole Marie’s upbringing shines in her latest release, Fireworks, which blends her taste of R&B and hip-hop to make a unique sound.


Bilal S. Akram


Brad J. Bowling


Alexandria Johnson Boone


David Christel


Anthony Kirby-Lifestyles

Laron Harlem-Fashion

Paris Lampkins-Movers & Shakers


Stiff Arm Media


Carole Anthony



Ladonna “Lala” Dicks


Anita Butler


Darrell Scott

Grace Roberts


Imari Hill


Rachel Woods


David Williams

Kevin Jones


Anthony Jones

Digital Jetstream, LLC


David Christel

Leslie Logan

Brad J. Bowling

Garrett Wallers

Bilal S. Akram

Laron Harlem

Bolling Smith

Chris Matthews

Anthony Kirby

nce Burnley



Sharif Akram


To submit comments, feedback or to inquire about advertising please contact us at

TRANSFORMING CODE M Magazine was created to be a guiding force in creating a dialogue for black men everywhere. Code M focuses on the conversations of advancement, mental health, career choices, the political landscape and relationships that define and shape the lives of black men everywhere.


Darrell Scott THE LIVES OF MEN Subscribe FREE online: Code M Magazine is published by CODE MEDIA GROUP, LLC © 2023 All Rights Reserved


Shauntina Lilly is a performance-driven communications, and diversity equity & inclusion leader with proven experience in developing strategies and programming to effectively propel objectives forward. Lilly currently serves as the manager of public relations, diversity & inclusion at JOANN Stores, a multibillion-dollar specialty craft retailer headquartered in Hudson, Ohio.

Lilly utilizes her expansive 13-year background in public relations to combat crisis matters, manage brand perception, and partner with

influential media and content creators to garner awareness for key launches and initiatives.

Additionally, within her dual role, Lilly has led the company's diversity and inclusion focus from inception, and continues to successfully foster a culture of belonging and representation across a myriad of facets.

10 MARCH 2023 / CODE M
Get to know people who are making a difference in their careers and changing the world!


LaRaun Clayton, MBA, LSW - is an US Army veteran, nonprofit leader, licensed social worker, and certified yoga instructor. Clayton currently serves as Vice President, Veterans & Housing for Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana, and also teaches power yoga at Cleveland Yoga – Little Italy. His professional career has been dedicated to supporting and advocating for Veterans, the LGBTQIA+ community and people living with HIV/AIDS.His commitment to service is shown through active board membership with local and national organizations addressing disparities within various communities, specifically communities of color.


Dr. LeAnne Moore is dually board certified in pharmacotherapy and infectious diseases. Currently, she is the co-director of pediatric antimicrobial stewardship at a children’s hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. As a pharmacist in this role she ensures that children are on the best medications to treat infections.

She works inter-professionally with physicians, nurses, and nurse practitioners to develop best practices and treatment guidelines. The antimicrobial stewardship program with her co-leadership has garnered national recognition as a Center of Excellence by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).


Abra Smith is a nutritionist, holistic wellness educator and community advocate. She currently resides in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her two sons, Christian (15) and Carter (12) and is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. Smith earned a Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Sonoran University, a Bachelor of Science in Education from Ferris State University and is also certified as a health coach, life coach and trauma & resiliency trainer. She will complete a 200-hour yoga teacher certification in 2023.

Through her family’s own personal health struggles, Smith became inspired to learn more about the connection between sickness, disease, and nutrition and how to help people to heal naturally. Smith has served her community over the years as an educator in the public schools and community educator, a business owner, family advocate, quality coach, trainer, local wellness collaborator, and board member.

CODE M / MARCH 2023 11


“We will either find a way or make one.” - Hannibal

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” - Confucius

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” - Maya

“Once you carry your own water, you will learn the value of every drop.” - African Proverb

“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” - Dale Carnegie

“In order to share one's true brilliance one initially has to risk looking like a fool: genius is like a wheel that spins so fast, it at first glance appears to be sitting still.” - Criss Jami

“Though you may hear me holler, And you may see me cry-I'll be dogged, sweet baby, If you gonna see me die.”

“Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” -Napolean Hill

James 1:12 - “12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (NIV)

Langston Hughes


When Bilal S. Akram launched his vision for a magazine that targeted Black men, he knew it could make a difference. That difference has turned into a mission to celebrate Black men all around the world.

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Anthony T. Kirby is the Lifestyle Editor for CODE M Magazine and has spent over 30 years in the menswear industry. He lives in Philadelphia,
where he is the Creative Director for FINICKEY,
an online
haberdashery brand. (

When Bilal S. Akram retired from the Cleveland Fire Department, he left with a heavy heart. His last five years as a firefighter, he also served as an EAP (Employee Assistance Program). That allowed him to help firefighters who struggled in life.

Akram knew something more had to be done because if these strong-willed, determined men, needed assistance, the average man needed even more assistance.

In 2018 Akram launched Code Media Group, LLC with the hopes of creating a product that would continue to aid in helping Black men.

“I knew that if these strong men, who were coming to talk to me needed help, that all men could use some type of encouragement to deal with the problems we all face,” Akram said.

CODE M Magazine was born out of a need of a lack of positive representation for how Black men live, how they feel, and most importantly, how they see themselves.

But Akram wanted CODE M to be more than just a magazine, he wanted it to be a movement. Akram knew that if it was done right it could make a difference around the world. When he met with Brad Bowling, he realized that Bowling had the same vision.

“When I met Brad, he told me my own vision board for the company without even seeing it. So I knew he could take the company to the next level,” Akram said.

In 2020 Bowling joined Code Media Group as the coowner and president of the company and worked to bring their vision board to life.

“With my background as a journalist and having owned a marketing agency, it was the right time to put all those things together to make the magazine a viable option for those who need a true perspective of how Blacks think, and report on the kinds of stories that resonate with that audience,” Bowling said.

That goal has created a monthly publication that has grown to over 1.4 million readers around the US and world and is considered the only national Black men’s magazine.

Along with the Magazine, Code Media Group owns a cigar line, clothing line, media agency, and non-profit.

“We launched the non-profit to effect real change in those who need it,” Akram continued. “We want to be able to make a difference in young people’s lives, so we donate and provide respite for those who otherwise would not get a chance to go on vacation.”

Their hopes for 2023 are to reach as many Black men as possible so the magazine continues its mission to be a movement of positive inspiration for those who need it. Many feel like the mainstream media only shows Blacks in a negative light and CODE M serves as a counter balance to that.

“Our job a CODE M is to showcase and highlight men of color doing incredible things. We put people in the magazine who ordinarily wouldn’t get the praise they deserve by other media outlets. We feel like if you make the lives of Black men better, you make the world better,” Bowling said. ●


CODE M / MARCH 2023 15
Brad Bowling is the co-owner and president of CODE Media Group, LLC, which owns CODE M

Most people think CEOs have all the answers. But when they do not or they need assistance, they call Tiffany Murphy. Murphy’s company, The Culture Equity, offers executive leadership training and consulting for executives who want to be disruptive, position themselves as the authority in their industries, or otherwise gain a competitive edge.


Tiffany Murphy could be called the CEO whisperer because of her ability to advise and consult some of America’s top Executives. Her journey started when she bet on herself and became her own boss.

The Culture Equity offers experiential marketing, executive development, employer branding, along with strategic planning for some of the largest companies in the United States.

Most CEOs are A-type personalities and do not allow someone else to tell them how to run their business. If they are going to let someone assist them with executive development, trust is paramount. Trust and the ability to connect the dots is where Murphy has differentiated herself as the CEO’s saving grace,

BUSINESS Powered by the 16 MARCH 2023 / CODE M

which allows her clients to be more open strategies on how to evolve their organizations.

Murphy didn’t launch The Culture Equity by happenstance but instead spent more than two decades in corporate America mastering the art to client engagement, organizational management, and strategic planning within a large organization which is undoubtedly helpful when running her own business.

Strategic planning is a process in which an organization's leaders define their vision for the future and identify their organization's goals and objectives. The process includes establishing the sequence in which those goals should be realized so that the organization can reach its stated vision.

Within the domain of well-defined strategy, there are three uniquely different and crucial strategy types:

• Business strategy.

• Operational strategy.

• Transformational strategy.

Her experience as Vice President of Experiential Marketing at Octagon, one of the top sports and entertainment agencies in the world gave her insight into the lack of cultural relevance many organizations have. As a result, Murphy decided to create a cultural agency that would tackle this problem head-on. Her decision to strike out on her own was prompted by Murphy’s corporate background, coupled with her desire to help companies reach their audiences on a emotional level, which

made her the perfect candidate for this task.

“I kind of always knew at some point I was going to start my own business,” Murphy said.

“I knew, that I was going to have to take on the challenge of being my own boss if I was going to reach the goals that I set for myself.” Murphy added.

Tiffany's goals were higher than any company could offer her, whether it was an executive position or a great salary. She knew that ownership of her intellectual property could bring her more revenue than she would make working for someone else.

Those goals included establishing a client base of some of the top companies in the world and creating a winning firm that was sought-after by Fortune 100 companies. It was not long after Covid-19 devastated the world and many began to experience the great resignation that Murphy hit the ground running and her efforts began to pay off.

“As a young firm we have worked with companies on the level of Halliburton, NFL, Amazon Web Services, Louisiana State University, Vayner Sports, Babson College and Marvel, a top global semiconductor company,” Murphy said.

With the company approaching it’s third year of business, Murphy is proud of what her and business partner George Foreman Jr. have been able to accomplish so far.

“COVID-19 really gave us the opportunity to impact the mar-

CODE M / MARCH 2023 17
Members of US Black Chambers, Inc. presenting a check to an organization.

ketplace. Because I was accustomed to conducting business from Zoom and online applications, many of our clients relied on us to help them execute their strategy as their employees went home as well as innovate ways to incorporate virtual experiences,” Murphy said.

One of Murphy’s anchor clients is the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. Her firm handles the event production, brand activations and public relations for the organization around the country.

“Ron Busby at USBC was one of our very first clients and continues to be an anchor client. We have formed an amazing partnership with the USBC that has led to some best-in-class events and brand amplification nationally,” Murphy said.

Murphy’s firm developed USBC’s “Power 50” experiential property and this month Ron Busby, the CEO of the USBC will host over 250 attendees at their annual Women of Power “Power 50” luncheon on March 23rd in Washington, DC.

The future is bright for Murphy and she thrives as her own CEO in the world of business. ●

Murphy’s company produced an event hosted by Emmitt Smith.


Getting your body in incredible shape doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’ve been following along with CODE M’s four-part Home Workout Without Weights series, you know just how true this is.

Imagine that the key to unlocking the potential for the best collective health of men lies directly behind their eyes and between their ears. If men are to get ahead of the game, first, they must have their heads in the game both of them the brain and the mind. They are separated that way because of the distinct differences between them.

• The brain refers to the physical matter inside the skull and controls the body’s hormones. Hormones affect the nervous system’s role in behavior and how a person experiences life.

• The mind is the voice inside the head. The mind is unseen

and not tangible, yet many are much more familiar with it than the components of the brain. This familiarity is because every man talks to himself much more than he talks to anybody else. He does that through his inner voice. The brain and the mind’s internal voice control his motivation, mindset, mood, and muscles.

Motivation is what drives a person’s behavior. Mindset is a person’s general attitude and disposition. The mood is whether they feel like they’re in good or bad spirits. Hormonal balance determines whether a person will build or lose muscle, burn or store fat, feel stressed or hungry, and have excellent or poor energy levels. These four areas determine

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Garrett is the founder and owner of Garrett Waller, LLC, "A Fitness, Health, & Lifestyle Company." Garrett has his BS in Psychology and is a nationally certified personal trainer. He helps people find more freedom in their lives through a commitment to fitness and an active lifestyle.

the quality of life for all men across the globe.

For this reason, it’s time to elevate the consciousness of men by highlighting the connection between mental exercise and physical exercise and providing a workout routine that improves brain function and cultivates positivity in the mind that spills into a person’s entire life.

Say this: “March is for me.” The “me” stands for you and for mental exercise. Now go back, repeat it, and believe, “March is for ME!” Congratulations if you have done so because you have just completed your first mental exercise!

“March is for me” is an affirmation, a mantra that can be repeated to oneself intending that it will become true. Saying this and believing it is like flexing mental muscles. It can change one’s brain chemistry to push harder towards their goals, allow one to find ways to prioritize self-care, feel a more positive outlook on life, and tune hormones to optimize health and energy levels.

That’s the power of the mind and the inner voice. Pair this with the desire to become stronger, lose inches around the waist and stomach, reclaim willpower, and then marvel at the power of the mind to change the body.

A different approach to mental exercise is rooted not just in words and beliefs but also in actions. Building momentum to boost motivation can be as simple as being intentional about taking smaller steps toward a goal. For instance, if the goal is to work out more, be meticulous about keeping a gym bag pre-

pared with a water bottle, sweat towel, gloves, and headphones.

Making measurable progress toward a positive outcome changes brain chemistry to produce a feel-good dopamine hormone, which rewards small steps toward bigger goals.

Another mindset-boosting action could be to create a space in a room or a closet specifically for exercise clothes and take pride in keeping it stocked with the next day’s gym fit. Successfully preparing the bag creates some of the same benefits as completing a workout!

There is hardly a better mental exercise than physical exercise. There’s plenty of science to back up how impactful regular exercise is on a man’s mental health. Many studies show that weight training reduces depression, anxiety, stress, and negative moods. It gives a person a chemical boost of feel-good hormones immediately after a workout and helps stabilize overall moods. These benefits enable navigating life’s ups and downs much more smoothly.

But, exercise certainly is not the first line of defense against a severe mental health issue. However, virtually any person will almost certainly have improved mental health status when they add exercise as a core part of their lifestyle, regardless of their current fitness level or mental health status. Exercise and mental wellness go hand-in-hand, and each increases the other.

If you have the right mindset, you gain the confidence to accomplish anything you want to accomplish.
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Shockingly, many individuals who previously believed they required medications to regulate their mental health issues have found they can ultimately combat their symptoms through lifestyle changes. Not everyone is in this predicament, but exercise at least deserves a fair shot at stabilizing one’s physical and mental well-being, either in tandem with other treatments or on its own. After all, exercise is an entirely free, accessible, and effective way to increase well-being.

Mental maintenance is every bit as important as physical wellness. Still, unfortunately, it’s often dismissed until after a wakeup call from a debilitating issue before starting to take it seriously. The body-brain connection indicates that how someone shows up for the outer self will also manifest internally. Simply committing to showing up 4-5 days a week with a regular bodyweight routine, to hone a sharper mind, and a strengthened and toned physique will develop the mental resilience needed to navigate through anything life throws at us.

"4 Me" – Four moves, four minutes, for ME!

Alternate completion of the Upper Body and Lower Body workouts each day with one or two days of rest per week. Do each move for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest/transition? Repeat moves 1-4 for two rounds, then rest for 1-2 minutes; that’s one set. Complete 2-4 sets.

To modify the pushups or shoulder taps, do them with your hands on an elevated surface, such as a couch or countertop, or against a wall. A modification for the high knee run is to march in place instead of running. Do squats instead of squat jumps to decrease the impact on skeletal joints. To help stabilize balance on the split squat or reverse lunge, stand between a doorway or next to a sofa or wall.

Upper High knee run

Staggered pushup

Bicycle crunch

Shoulder tap



Squat jump

Single-leg glute bridge

Bicycle crunch

Shoulder tap 2

Follow Garrett Waller on Instagram @GarrettWaller_LLC, as he will post helpful video demonstrations and modifications with instructions to help you on your journey. ●

CODE M / MARCH 2023 25 [ HEALTH ]
High Knee Run 1 Repeaters 1 High Knee Run 2 Repeaters 2


Oral sex, when performed with precision, can be developed with practice by learning different techniques. Couples who practice oral sex increase their chances for a healthier relationship.

Chris A. Matthews is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and approved supervisor
of Marriage and Family
his work with couples and families.
for the American Association
Therapy. Visit
26 MARCH 2023 / CODE M
CODE M / MARCH 2023 27 [ HEALTH ]
Black men suffer higher levels of anxiety when they are pulled over by the police.

In Chris Rocks' 1999 HBO standup “Bigger & Blacker,” he identifies three types of women, one who doesn’t administer oral sex, another who does it just enough to keep their man quiet, and a third who loves nothing more than to orally please their man. Chris’s joke poses the question, in today’s current relationship climate how important is the administration of oral sex to the overall quality of an intimate relationship?

Victoria Milan, which is a dating site for married and committed partners looking to engage in affairs polled 9,107 of their active male and female members to gain a better understanding of how important oral sex is in a relationship. The study revealed that 72% of women and 85% of men said they think oral sex has a place in every bedroom and the performance of it should not decline as their relationship ages.

Furthermore, 77% of women and 72% of men reported they enjoyed performing oral sex. Not surprisingly, 89% of women and 94% of men stated they really enjoyed receiving oral pleasure from their partners.

What was surprising is that oral sex was determined to be so important that 57% of ladies and 66% of men stated they would continue to be sexually involved with a partner if their oral performance was exceptional despite their partner not having the best physique or performing poorly in all other areas sexually.

Oral sex also presents a lot of valuable rewards other than obvious pleasurable outcomes. Additional benefits include stronger relationship attachments, improved health, and sustaining intimacy during times of life transitions.

Sex in general strengthens the emotional connection, commitment, and a stronger bond,

which are reinforced by an individual’s attachment style. John Bowlby, a psychoanalyst known for researching the effects of separation between infants and their parents, developed the concept of attachment theory. The four attachment styles are anxious, avoidant, disorganized, and secure. Interestingly, relationship partners engage in sex or seek sex in accordance with their specific attachment style.

Anxiously attached partners rely on sex to seek approval because they easily fall in love but generally mistrust their partner. If a person has a partner who identifies with an anxious attachment style, oral sex can be an easy way to demonstrate commitment and soothe their anxious lover’s conscience.

Avoidant attached partners are less likely to fall in love and are more likely to engage in casual sex. Sex in general can make avoidant adults uncomfortable. Keeping this in mind makes oral sex a wonderful alternative for partners who are seeking an orgasm for the practical satisfactory side effects of temporarily alleviating stress or a natural sleeping aid.

Disorganized attached partners feel unworthy of love and pursue casual sex solely for the euphoric feeling prompted by the release of dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin. These partners are more likely to develop sex addictions and may give or receive oral sex more often outside of their monogamous relationships. This is because some men don’t identify oral sex as cheating but instead as a noncommittal mode of just obtaining an orgasm.

Secure attached romantic partners seek long-term relationships and are less likely to engage in casual sex. These partners use sex as a tool to express affection and the love they share for their partner. Securely attached partners can incorporate oral sex as a regi-

The majority of people find oral sex pleasurable, but not all agree with the need to do it.

CODE M / MARCH 2023 29

mented activity to display their unconditional love for their partner.

Gratifying sexual experiences are good for men’s health. Research published in the Journal of American Medical Association reported that high ejaculation frequency was related to decreased risk of total prostate cancer. This is great news considering African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer and are twice as likely to die from the disease compared to white men.

Partners who take the time to develop really good oral sex skills can quickly and conveniently pleasure their man while also combatting his chances of developing prostate cancer. This is important when considering that in some relationships partners are less inclined to engage in sex because of the perceived time commitment, energy required, and cleanup.

Sylvia Smith, an expert blogger for, stated one of the top five reasons couples stop having sex is that one partner feels rejected, which eventually transitions into feelings of resentment because they aren’t getting their sexual needs met by their partner.

Oral sex, when performed with precision, can be developed

with practice by learning different techniques. It has the potential to be a great alternative to intercourse because it can be done quickly with far less cleanup. Furthermore, oral sex is a great way to sustain sexual intimacy during certain life transitions such as pregnancy and early post-childbirth, medical or health issues that prevent intercourse, and during times of menstruation.

Based on the research article titled “Changes in Sexual Desire in Women and Their Partners during Pregnancy”, published in the February 2020 edition of the Journal of Clinical Medicine, 1 in 10 men who are expectant fathers cheated on their significant others. One of the reasons prompting these men to cheat was a lack of sex. Oral sex can be an alternative that keeps fathers feeling wanted during these life phases of pregnancy and early childbirth, which limit the frequency of sexual intercourse.

Psychologist, Julie Bindeman was cited as saying, “Men cheat when their partners are unavailable.” Being unavailable physically for penetration sex can be supplemented by oral sex when loving partners desire to keep their sexual intimacy heightened while experiencing moments when intercourse is not an option. ●

CODE M / MARCH 2023 31
Photos taken by Franklin Solomon.

Dr. Willie Jolley and Dee Taylor-Jolley discuss the secrets of their successful 40-year marriage and their new book, Make Love, Make Money, Make It

Last! 10 Secrets to Shape a Great Marriage.


David has been ghostwriting books for well-known people since 1995. He is also the author of Married Men Coming Out: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming the Man You Were Born to Be.

CODE M / MARCH 2023 33 [ COVER ]

ife is all about relationships, with everything under the sun from family and friends to the environment, animals, organizations, and even to masses of followers. Then there’s that all-important relationship with a significant other, often culminating in that thing called marriage. How’s that workin’ out?

Unfortunately, statistics show that many marriages do not work out as well as they could or maybe should. Statistics show that almost half of the marriages in America end in divorce, and of the 50 percent that remains, studies show that 40 percent of the people in those marriages are miserable.

Yet, as witnessed by the almost $58 billion wedding industry, marriage is an integral component of American society. The dynamics of marriage will determine one’s level of happiness, fulfillment, peace of mind, and studies show that married people live longer than unmarried people. So, there’s a lot to take into consideration when contemplating marriage and while married. There must be some secret sauce to creating successful relationships.

Dr. Willie Jolley and Dee Taylor-Jolley have been married for almost 40 years and have not had an argument in over 35 years! But that does not mean they always agree. Yet, they have come up with powerful systems that help them work through the challenges and help them win more!

They have a “secret sauce” they’ve been sharing with audiences around the world. These secrets can be found in their best-selling book and on their popular weekly online television show. Their book is entitled, Make Love, Make Money, Make It Last! 10 Secrets to Shape a Great Marriage, and their weekly television program is called The Jolley Marriage Show. In both the book and the television show, they share secrets on how to create a loving and healthy marriage. They also have a chapter for people not yet married, on how to separate the prospects from the suspects and help them go on to create a great relationship.

Dr. and Mrs. Jolley’s marriage success hinges on ten fundamental principles that cover the full spectrum of marriage from sex to money, to handling disagreements. And they share that there are 3 Big Boulders that break up marriages: sex, money, and communication. The all-important foundation of these three issues is communication.

They say, “Communication is the common thread. If you communicate better, you’ll have a better love life, and if you communicate better about money, you will have better money

management and even have the opportunity to create real generational wealth.”

And Dee, who has taught communications skills to corporate executives says. “It’s amazing, how so many people really do not understand how to effectively communicate. Many don’t realize that great communication is not just one person doing all of the talking. It’s also about shutting your mouth and listening.”

Willie and Dee believe communication is so important (it’s the biggest chapter in their book), they give that chapter away for free! (Visit to get it.)

Dee also explains that many people, instead of being honest with themselves and others, hide behind a mask. She says “There’s a level of vulnerability we don’t want to expose ourselves to. People aren’t willing to share their true feelings, due to fear of relationship rejection from being made fun of, dismissed, avoided, or ignored.”

Dr. Willie says, “People must be willing to say, ‘This is how that made me feel … I’m struggling with this … I’m not quite sure how to say it right but let me try. I’m hurting and need to share what’s going on with me.” He also points out that being vulnerable is especially difficult for men because of how they’ve been raised and the men they’ve modeled themselves after.

A common phrase they hear often related to marriage is “that marriage is hard work!” While they agree that it is work, they say “it’s not hard labor unless you make it so!” The real work of marriage is on yourself! It is the work you must do internally, such as to be willing to say, “I was wrong, or I apologize, will you forgive?” Plus, being willing to compromise and be willing to really listen to your partner and not cut them off because you don’t agree with their perspective.

Dr. Willie explains that if you don’t communicate effectively in your relationship, trouble will ensue. “We know that most problems start out as stress fractures, those little teeny-weeny problems. Yet when people don’t have a system or a process for fixing the little problems, they continue to expand. And because of that, those fractures just get bigger and bigger. Before you know it, a chasm has developed and it becomes so big, it’s almost impossible to close.”

In their programs, Dr. Willie and his wife Dee discuss intimacy and sex. Dr. Jolley is not only a well-known motivational/ inspirational speaker, author, and radio show host, but a licensed minister who holds multiple degrees in theology. For many in the church communities, intimacy and sex are not

[ COVER ] Ron 34 MARCH 2023 / CODE M
CODE M / MARCH 2023 35 [ COVER ]
The Jolleys are celebrating 40 years of marriage.

common topics of discussion. They’ve highlighted the differences between men and women via an analogy: “Men are microwave ovens while women are crock pots.”

What the analogy means is that while men only need a short time to get in the mood for love, women need time to let things “marinate.” That ties in with the two primary things that they say are critical for women: intimacy and security. As Dee says, “Intimacy doesn’t necessarily mean sex, but can surely lead to sex.” And Dr. Jolley makes a point to share with men in his audiences, “If you want to have sex with your wife tonight, you should start working on it in the morning! Like a crock pot, you slowly cook the food. It takes time. You put it on in the morning, so by night, you’re gonna get a great treat!”

“Women crave intimacy and are best prepared for sex over time,” Dee continues. “Men, on the other hand, are ever ready. Push a couple of buttons and they’re ready to go

see the two-pot system. With this, one person takes a set of bills and the other takes a different set. Yet even this system’s success is dependent on communicating shared values and priorities.

And, lastly, the third system, typically happens when people are in their thirties or beyond. Both have assets and they create a third pot (household account) that they both fund. Again, success is based on ongoing communication. Communication is critical to the success of all three systems.

Maneuvering through challenging situations and critical conversations is a process that Dee and Dr. Willie have encapsulated in what they call the “Four F Formula.”

• Be Friendly – Don’t communicate when you’re in a hostile mood. Find a pattern interrupt that will help you create some space where you can breathe and become calmer before addressing the issue. The Jolleys says, “Words are like toothpaste. Once you say things, you can’t put them

especially when it comes to sex.” Truly grasping the how and why in that dynamic is what will help partners have better sex lives and better marriages.

Yet, the Jolleys say that women must clearly understand what men need. “Men need two things and need them supersized sex and respect! They need sex like they need water, air, and food. It’s just part of their being. Studies have shown that men think about sex 17 times a day. So, this is a biological, hard-wired need.”

With intimacy & security and sex & respect as the basics that need attention and fulfillment in a marriage, the only other boulder to potentially stumble over is money. Yet, communication, once again, is what will help partners find solutions to critical and difficult conversations. The Jolley’s explain three systems for handling money and avoiding arguments. They’re primarily dependent on the age and the stage of the married couple.

If they’re right out of high school or college, they typically use the one-pot system. Here, all the money goes into one pot, and they talk and agree on how the money should be allocated. When couples are in their mid-to late twenties, we often

back in the tube. Make a point to calm down before you speak!”

• Be Frank (about your feelings) – Your feelings are real, and your partner needs to know how you feel. Focus on how the incident or experience made you feel and not on a litany of other issues.

• Be Fair – give equal time; listen and ask questions for clarity. This is key for trust building.

• Be Focused (on a Win-Win) – you’re not in competition with your mate, but building a supportive, trusting, loving relationship that leads to your legacy.

In today’s world where we’re constantly on our phones communicating through texting, emailing and videos, the Four F Formula is needed even more so. “It’s what we call high-tech versus high touch,” Dr. Willie explained. “We find high-tech is great for short, quick communication. But your voice inflection, the nuances of the moment, the tenderness of the situation can’t be communicated via text or email.”

Both Dee and Dr. Willie encourage people to go the extra mile because “that’s the only place where there’s no traffic jam. Most people won’t go the extra mile. They want to do things

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“With intimacy & security and sex & respect as the basics that need attention and fulfillment in a marriage, the only other boulder to potentially stumble over is money.”

fast and quickly because they’re in a hurry. But you can’t determine what exactly the other person is feeling. It is the talking and listening that create good communication and that leads to happier marriages!”

In addition to the Four F Formula, there are several other components to helping a marriage work optimally: balanced compromise, humility, honesty, and forgiveness. Generally, for men, this is a challenge. “We encourage men to show some vulnerability, be willing to be open and honest, to work on your character, your ethos,” Dr. Willie explained. “Work on these things in your heart, be humble, don’t stonewall but instead communicate.”

And Dee chimes in that women must work on themselves as well, and never use sex as a weapon and never use the silent treatment. Problems are never solved where there is no communication. You must talk, listen, and use the Four F Formula for positive engagement.

Other critical tips to keep the romance alive include regular weekly date nights. This allows couples to return to what brought them together in the first place their love for each other. That means no talk about work, the kids, bills, etc.

This is their de-stress and reconnect time. Use this time to talk about dreams and goals and the things they talked about before getting married. Consider it a reinvestment that will only deepen the heart-to-heart connection in the marriage.

To put it succinctly, marriage takes work, but not hard labor. This is a joint effort for merging wants, needs, values, and, of course, love. As Dee and Dr. Willie say, “The most important decision you will ever make after your faith is the person you marry because that person is going to be responsible for 90% of your misery or 90% of your joy.

So, the Jolley’s recommend you choose wisely, walk with God, and have an open heart and keep in mind that love is an emotion, and emotions change, but marriage is a decision. Decide to do the work so you can stay happily married!

Dr. Willie Jolley and Dee Taylor-Jolley can be heard Monday nights on the Jolley Marriage Show at @ajolleymarriage on Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Twitter Live. Their talks and presentations can be seen on their YouTube channel, The Jolley Marriage Show. The Jolley’s books are available on and Amazon. ●

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The 2020 census data revealed that only 33 percent of Black men are currently married, which poses the question, “What should you be looking for when selecting a mate?”


Americans are being divided on everything from race, class, sex, and sexuality to political affiliation. And while everyone is busy arguing with each other, the country is slowly slipping away into a bottomless pit of low expectations.

Brad Bowling is the President of CODE Media Group, LLC. Bowling has his BA in mass media communication and an MBA in marketing. He contributes articles to the magazine continuing his love for writing.

The sick feeling that you can’t seem to get rid of might be a real thing. Lately, there is no amount of sleep, rest, purchases, sex, conquering, or a sense of completion to get rid of it. The United States of America is quickly becoming a wasteland for mediocre expectations.

Division seems to have become the norm in America. You can find it everywhere you look. It’s the Blacks vs. Whites, gays vs. straights, natural-born citizens vs. immigrants, rich vs. poor, Democrats vs. Republicans, pro-lifers vs. prochoice, men vs. women, gas engines vs. electric cars, and finally meat eaters vs. vegans.

The divide is real, and it is getting worse. The algorithm of social media is making things worse by presenting data to end users to feed their paranoia. So, if you have a position on a topic, the internet is going to feed you more of that position to solidify your thoughts toward those you oppose.

These dividers also reduce the chance to hear a different perspective and they eliminate the opportunity for fair resolutions. The US government has not made a meaningful law designed to advance society in over fourteen years.

The Affordable Care Act is a piece of legislation that impacted the entire country no matter if you were a Democrat or Republican. It was meant to make everyone’s life better.

Today’s political climate is producing year after year of infighting and abstinence from elected officials who are under-

qualified in character to lead.

“People are becoming numb to the mass shootings, overpaying for everything, and the fact that nothing is getting done to save the environment, and keep our families safe and protected,” Denise said.

Over the last ten years, America has experienced no less than one mass shooting per week. Since the pandemic, the price of everything has jumped 13 percent, and out West, water resources are being purchased by private companies leaving ordinary citizens without running water.

The divide is there to create a meaningful distraction for people, so they aren’t aware of what is really going on.

Experts predict that in the next ten years, no one will be able to buy an affordable house. Private equity firms are buying homes at inflated prices, to then corral people into paying higher rents so the firms can make more money.

In 2023 rents almost doubled in some cities around the country with little to no help from the government to create legislation against it. For the cities where the rent didn’t double, it rose at least 10 percent to a point where people are struggling to find a place to live.

A recent study found more and more Americans who make over $110k a year are living paycheck to paycheck. The gold standard used to be that if you made at least $110k a year, you could grab s piece of the American pie. Today, that piece

Americans have been trained to become intolerant of each others’ differences, which leads to elitism.

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has been reduced to a bite.

“After I get done overpaying for everything, I barely have enough to do anything,” Kayla said. “And the money that I make from my side hustle is now paying some of my bills. In the past, I used that money as my fun money not anymore!”

The divide on so many things also seems to have made Americans numb to the greed that is infecting every part of society. Scams are rampant, stealing is rampant, and nothing is being done about it. If you pay attention to crime, no one is protected from the endless ways that people are being robbed today.


In past societies, the differences between people were what made them great. Everyone heard each other’s stance on a topic and the best theories became laws, and the best solutions benefited everyone. Respect for each other remained at a high level because the conversation was civil. The country needs to go back to having these types of conversations.

The solutions to reducing the divide in America are overwhelming to consider. But it starts with every person working to be more considerate of others, whether they agree or disagree with their position. Tolerance is the key to advancing everyone’s agenda. Americans have always prospered when they stood together for change or results. Not everyone is going to get everything they want, but dealing with being in an intellectually honest way is what is needed if the country is going to be saved.


There is something that can be done to get rid of the sick feeling everyone feels. Americans need to go back to appreciating differences. It does not have to be all or nothing. Rock' n' Roll can co-exist with hip hop. Everyone wants the same thing. Safe streets with low crime, good education for their kids, and a nice place to call home. One job that can support their lifestyle.

The differences between everyone are what makes America so special. Tolerance and acceptance are used to make the country stronger. Somehow that mentality has been flipped on its head. One way or another a change is coming. The current state of the country will continue to implode if something is not done soon. ●

Most people want the same things: a great life, with peace and equality.

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Social media distraction is at an all-time high. It’s to the point where people aren’t living, but instead choose to sit in isolation, all day, and view reel after reel.

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For generations, Americans expected to raise their children to do better than they did. They knew if they provided them with a certain upbringing they would get a better education, which would lead to a better job, which would pay a better wage, and ultimately create a better life.

But for the first time, maybe ever, the current generation of the population might not fair as well as their parents. Young adults and children are less and less motivated than ever. There are many reasons why certain demographics of people are underperforming. Distraction sits at the top of a long list of reasons why so many people seem to be unmotivated to enhance their own lives.


The distraction of social media is real. It refers to the process by which social media cues draw an individual’s attention away from a task that they were originally pursuing (e.g., working). Due to especially mobile access to social media, distractions by social media can occur frequently and often.

Because people have smartphones, they can’t seem to escape the addictive behavior of scrolling through the phone, and watching reel after reel of mindless entertainment. The problem is getting so bad that experts have warned parents about how much time young adults and children spend on their phones.

Social media use can negatively affect teens, distracting them, disrupting their sleep, and exposing them to bullying, rumor spreading, unrealistic views of other people’s lives, and peer pressure. The risks could be related to how much social media teens use.

For adults entering the workforce, the problem of social media distraction is impacting their performance, ability to advance in the workplace, and overall focus. Smartphones have reduced the attention spans of people with quick and instant gratification, affecting the brain’s ability to focus on anything else people feel is less interesting.

According to the latest data, the average amount of time spent on social media worldwide is set to hit 147 minutes, or two hours and 27 minutes, a day in 2023. It is suggested that people spend no more than 10 minutes, per site, a day in order to mitigate the effects of social media distraction.


Fake news was a term made famous by former President Donald Trump. During his election run, and during his tenure as president, he made many mentions of just how fake the press was. His assessment, while exaggerated, is not far off.

Today, social media, and sometimes the news will spread disinformation in order to gain views or attention. This

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Young people believe being social is sitting in their room and looking at social media clips all day.

tactic preys on those who might be susceptible to believing what they hear or read. Lies told on the internet are shaped as the truth, which impacts those who are less educated. This creates an increased sensitivity to a poor reaction, based on what information they’re getting.

Mass shootings have increased in America due to the spread of misinformation. If you hear about a mass shooter, you might not know who the person is, but you definitely can assume they fit a certain profile. Most often, they are a white male, age 20-30 years old, involuntarily celibate, socially awkward, and finally, they subscribe to some online following, which feeds their paranoia to the point that they act on their beliefs or fears.


Never has there been a time when people are having such little sex. The invention of dating sites has crippled how people meet and engage each other. The statistics show that over 80 percent of women are only swiping right on 5 percent of the available men online. This means that the majority of men who are looking to date are not getting responses online. This

lack of sex has become a real distraction for some men leading them to spend countless hours pursuing touch and physical satisfaction.

This also means that people are having less and less sex. This is creating a culture of men who tend to compensate for the lack of real intimacy by using the internet to fill their sexual void. Sites like OnlyFans, and other sites that promote naked bodies or sexual activity, are exploding. By not experiencing real touch, millions of young men have a skewed perception of what dating is like.

Rape, human trafficking, and kidnappings are all on the rise due to a lack of intimacy and touch and the distraction is impacting young people the most. Touch starvation can cause increased heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension, as well as one’s breathing rate to go up, with bad effects on the immune and digestive systems. These things can lead to poor quality of sleep and a higher risk of infections.

As always, it is hard to get the genie back into the bottle when it comes to discussing how to fix society’s problems. But if you are a person who suffers from a lack of motivation,

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you might want to try to reduce how much time you spend on social media.

The impact of being distracted can quickly be reversed with time spent away from the computer and phone, coupled with cultivating real relationships with people who genially care about your well regulation of how much time is spent on social media might be difficult, but the alternative might be much worse. ●

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Cleveland native Nicole Marie’s upbringing shines in her latest release, Fireworks, which blends her taste of R&B and hip-hop to make a unique sound.

John O. Horton Jr, aka DJ Johnny O, is the President of the NerveDJs DJ Coalition, a coalition of over 9000+ DJs, Artists, Musicians, Producers and Label & Radio reps. Johnny O has been in the entertainment business for 46 years CODE M / MARCH 2023 53
Written by JOHN O. HORTON JR.

icole Marie is a singer/songwriter, record producer, pianist and Actress. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio, she recorded in the same studio as the iconic Gerald Levert and the Rude Boys. In Cleveland she had a nationally released song featured on Clear Channel’s Radio Station 93.1 WZAK.

Nicole Marie developed into an accomplished singer/songwriter being invited to open as a musical act for the Summer Extension Jam fest held by the largest Clear Channel radio stations in her home town. She has opened for artists such as NSync, Fergie, John B, Silk, and many other celebrities, performing for audiences with over 40,000 people. While in Cleveland, she was runner up as American Idols top 10 singers in the state, performing at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Nicole Marie grew up listening to Anita Baker, Earth Wind and Fire, Shalamar, Elvis Presley, The Carpenters, Stevie Nicks, Guns and Roses, Hall & Oates, Mary J. Blige, Music Soul Child and many more with a good range of R&B tones and soulfulness. Marie is working her way up the music industry ladder with sheer determination, hard work, never compromising her morals, or dignity and staying true to who she is.

Her lyrics usually touch upon topics like empowerment, love, and heartbreak. Her career began when she moved to New York, moving to East Harlem’s 1199 building on 110th and 1st avenue. While in New York, she was knocking on doors left and right, but was left with a lot of late nights and broken promises. She realized, with her brother’s help, and guidance, that she

needed to create her own lane, that’s when she cofounded Rock Me with her brother back in the day, which included the hit show The Round Table with Lenny S, Mya the B, and Big Lite. This platform allowed Marie to create relationships and build with people over the course of many years.

Magic happened when she collaborated and worked with Legendary DJ Ron G, who believed in Marie very early in the game and gave Marie a platform to display her talents not only as a singer but as a songwriter and producer as well. He was also the first DJ to play Nicole’s music. Marie is truly grateful for the guidance and opportunity DJ Ron G gave her.

Marie is very grateful to have met the Nerve DJs working closely with DJ Johnny O, Big Heff and DJ Squirt, “legends in the music industry,” who gave Marie amazing opportunities to be seen and heard. She is currently being featured in the Nerve DJ, Code M Magazine. She also worked with Fleet DJ’s, MP3 Wax, and all DJ Coalitions to promote her music.

Her New Single Fireworks is taking the nation by storm and is currently released on all streaming platforms with national radio play. Marie will be on the Run It Up Radio tour in NYC to promote her music for the 2nd year in a row.

Marie graced the cover of that Splash Magazine, in addition she was featured in Respect Magazine, and Hype Magazine plus many more. Recently Marie performed at the Greensboro, North Carolina Coliseum for Conquer Entertainment and won their contest Battle of the Booth. Conquer asked her to come back and perform at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. Marie is super excited to work alongside Conquer Entertainment,, and Market America. She has been on Clear Channel’s Hot 97 Radio show and Fox TV show Street Soldiers with Lisa Evers and executive produced by Tone Capone.

Marie started writing for other artists in New York and has recorded background vocals for variety of artists. Marie has worked with many producers such as Vinny Idol (D Block) and Grammy award-winning producer Rockwilder. ●

Fireworks is the latest release from Nicole Marie.
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If you haven
t noticed by now, socks make the man. Here is our take on blending great fashion and spirits in one incredible look.
truly appeal to
most discerning eye. mailto:,
A wardrobe shopper, stylist, and accessories designer who specializes in dapper looks that
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