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Volume 28 Number 4

Black and Brave: Buffalo Soldiers Leave A Trail of Courage...4

Nina Amos, founder and president of the Buffalo Soldiers Denver Chapter

July 2014


Genocide and Slavery: Not on Colorado’s Watch...11

YouTube Sensation on thePlight of Black Boys...12 The Real Deal on Hemp...14


Volume 28 Number 4

July 2014

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris


CONTRIBUTING COPY EDITOR Tanya Ishikawa COLUMNISTS Wanda James Dr. Abayomi Meeks


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charles Emmons LisaMarie Martinez Angelia D. McGowan Annette Walker ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris


CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Lens of Ansar Sweetz Photography


The Denver Urban Spectrum is a monthly publication dedicated to spreading the news about people of color. Contents of the Denver Urban Spectrum are copyright 2014 by Bizzy Bee Enterprise. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The Denver Urban Spectrum circulates 25,000 copies throughout Colorado. The Denver Urban Spectrum welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment. Write to the Denver Urban Spectrum at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at

Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage. – Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014)

Time and time again, history has revealed how individuals and groups of people have mustered up the courage to face down and live through the biggest and scariest of challenges. This month, Denver residents can learn how Buffalo Soldiers, the first peacetime all-Black regiments in the U.S. Army, made their valiant mark in U.S. history. The Buffalo Soldiers 9th and 10th (Horse) Calvary Association will host its week-long 148th Reunion Conference in Denver later this month. Nearly 300 members devoted to the preservation of their legacy are expected to attend. Contributing writer Charles Emmons provides an overview of this history with some insight from 98-year-old Turl Covington, one of the few living Buffalo Soldiers. In a separate piece, Emmons shares a story on the plight of young Black boys. In this issue you’ll also read about anniversaries that would not have happened if someone did not have the courage to try and then succeed, and then have the audacity to try and then succeed again. Contributing writer LisaMarie Martinez shines the spotlight on the Colorado Black Arts Festival, celebrating its 28th anniversary thanks to the courage and vision of co-founders Perry Ayers and Oye Oginga. You’ll read about emotional moments that took place at the Denver Urban Spectrum’s 27th anniversary celebration where fathers were recognized for their role at home and in their careers. This issue is packed with examples of where courage can lead you. Enjoy.


That is why we employ a larger crime prevention strategy focused on proactively eliminating crime before it requires a reactive call for service or a law enforcement response. To support this larger strategy, my team and I have worked diligently over the past two years to institute foundational changes throughout the Department. Specifically, we have: •Reassigned sworn officers that were performing duties that did not require a badge or a gun, to patrol. •Hired civilian report writers to take reports that do not require a law enforcement officer. •Redrew district boundaries to more efficiently allot resources based on geography, calls for service, and crime data – everything that drives police services. •Implemented “Team Policing” to ensure officers are subject matter experts in the neighborhoods they patrol as it relates to crime. •Developed sophisticated metrics based on demand for service, types of calls, and community policing to measure performance and appropriately allocate resources. As these foundational changes and our crime prevention strategy continue to take hold, I am confident Denver will see a consistent reduction in response times related to fewer calls for service and lower crime rates. In fact, since we began making sweeping changes in 2012, our metrics support these management changes are working. Coupled with taxpayers’ support of Measure 2A, we are seeing: •A downward trend in response times which we expect will continue to improve as even more officers graduate from the Police Academy and are place on the streets.

Your Tribute Was a Blessing to Us Editor: I cannot express the level of gratitude I have for the tribute paid to my father, Neil Jones, Sr. in last issue of Denver Urban Spectrum (June 2014). To say he was the center of our family is an understatement. We all have a story to tell about Dad, Grandpa, Uncle Neil, or simply my friend who loved to talk. How fitting, in our minds, it was for his final tribute to appear in DUS’s Father's Day issue. Dad was a loyal reader of DUS and was quite the critic on articles that ran each month. He always talked about Around Town photos and the people featured in them. Well Dad, this time you were the feature. I thank God for your well-deserved rest. I thank the Denver Urban Spectrum for acknowledging his life.

Norma J. Paige Denver, Colorado

Denver Police Chief Responds to Response Time

Editor: Over the past year, there has been a great deal of discussion about police response times in Denver, including at today’s (June 19) Audit Committee Meeting, largely because they were increasing prior to 2014. Response times are important across the nation, and they are something I have monitored closely during my career as Chief of Police with four different agencies. However, response times are just one of the tools smart police departments use to address and prevent crime, which is the primary focus of the Denver Police Department.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


Angelia D. McGowan Managing Editor

•A 5 percent decrease in crime/reported offenses. •A 10 percent decrease in citizen calls for police service. •An 81 percent increase in officer productivity. •An 11 percent increase in case clearance (from 69 percent to 80 percent). Additionally, since Measure 2A was passed, over 200 police recruits will have entered and/or graduated from the Denver Police Academy by the end of 2014. Despite these positive outcomes I am not satisfied, and I commit to the community that I will continue to look for ways to improve our crime prevention efforts by identifying technology improvements we can leverage; expanding opportunities for civilianization to further increase patrol strength; and to stay apprised of innovative practices across the nation that can be used to improve crime prevention efforts. I care deeply about this community and its citizens, and continue to welcome your feedback about the Denver Police Department and its larger crime prevention strategy.

Robert C. White Chief of Police Denver Police Department

Denver Urban Spectrum Department E-mail Addresses Denver Urban Spectrum

Publisher Editor News & Information

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Fort Garland

Summertime is here in full


Celebrate 148th Anniversary Reunion In Colorado

swing. It is a time for reunions and family gatherings where stories from the past are spoken and handed down to those who hold our future. Listening, reflection and empathy are essential to the experience. From family we learn of legacies and values, and what it takes to be valid and successful in a sometimes hostile world. But family need not only be our blood relatives. Anyone who advances our common interests can be our family, and that family can have reunions too. The Buffalo Soldiers 9th and 10th (Horse) Calvary Association will host its 148th Reunion Conference in Denver at the Doubletree Hilton HotelStapleton North from July 20 to 27. Nina Amos, founder and president of the Denver chapter and secretary of the national association, is the grandaughter of Buffalo Soldier, Andrew Kelly. She says nearly 300 members devoted to the preservation of the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers will come to celebrate their history. There are 29 living Buffalo Soldiers, some nearing 90 years old or more. One of these soldiers is 98-yearold Trooper Turl Covington who resides in Denver. He is one of the cofounders of the association. In 1966 he met with four soldiers from the 9th and four soldiers from the 10th just to reminisce about their time in the service. The first reunion was in 1967. Today there are nearly 1,300 members in 40 chapters from coast to coast and one abroad in Germany. “We didn’t dream of this – 1,300 members,” says Covington. The aim of the association is continued growth. Amos, whose grandfather was a Buffalo Soldier, continues her involvement because many in the Black community don’t know the story of the Buffalo Soldiers and their role in the history of this country. The

By Charles Emmons Photos courtesy of Nina Amos

Adam Hudson Buffalo Soldier

New Generation - Jr. Buffalo Soldiers

Armstrong Custer, the infamous general, was offered a position with the 10th, but he refused, opting for the 7th Calvary instead. With the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, ex-slaves had few employment opportunities, and many joined the military. The American military, historically, is a tool of government policy, and is primarily used to advance and protect its interests both domestically and internationally. The Union Army that included United States Colored Troops fought valiantly against the Confederate south. In the desire to keep slavery from spreading across the country, the war was an interruption to the westward expansion that had already begun, facilitated by the Indian Removal Act. After the Civil War, America had to get back to its agenda wrapped in Manifest Destiny. The 9th and 10th Calvary was dispatched to the West. In the West, their lives were difficult. The territories opening up to settlers, because of displacement of Native Americans were being inhabited by whites. Many of those on the frontier were confederates leaving the south. The Buffalo Soldiers’ service was sometimes marred by race riots and disagreements with both townspeople and other soldiers who found it hard to accept armed Black men, even if they were in the military. This was a complex and ugly time in our history, as Buffalo Soldiers became the policeman and protectors of the plain – called to escort settlers, protect Indians from other ‘hostile’ tribes and manage borders. Native Americans respected the 9th and 10th Calvary for their tenacious fighting ability, and it is said Buffalo Soldiers

theme of the July conference is ‘A Glorious Past…Blazing a Brilliant Future.’ Amos says the Denver chapter is unique, because there is a youth component. “We want to let our young people know about the history and legacy and contributions of these American military heroes. We have to continue to tell the story and build upon it,” she says.

The Story

Buffalo Soldiers were soldiers who served in the segregated ‘all colored’ units, under the command of white officers in the U.S. Army from 18661944. The regiments of the 9th and 10th Calvary were created in the regular army for Black troops by an act of Congress in 1866. Most of these soldiers served in the 9th and 10th Calvary and the 24th and 25th Infantry, which served in various capacities during the so-called Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, Philippine-American War, World War I and World War II. To understand the importance of these units in history, the context of their time must be examined. The 9th and 10th Calvary was ‘mustered,’ put into service just after the Civil War ended. The 10th assembled regiments at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and the 9th at Greenville, Louisiana. African Americans proved their mettle in the Civil War, our bloodiest war, in which there were 750,000 casualties. Records show 186,000 Blacks served and nearly 40,000 died in the cause for freedom. The 9th and the 10th were created because African Americans had proven ability and courage in fighting, but there was some reluctance on the part of white officers to lead. George

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2008


were named such, because of this ability similar to the buffalo. Anecdotal evidence has shown that there was some reluctance to scalp Buffalo Soldiers. Association historian, Frank Bell, records that Buffalo Soldiers participated in numerous battles and skirmishes in the Indian Wars, but took no part in any massacre. The name ‘Buffalo Soldiers’ first appeared in a letter from a white officer’s wife to the Nation magazine. The media latched on to the term and it stuck throughout their proud history. As the move west continued, they guarded the railroads transportation routes and mail runs, protected ranchers from thieves, quelled violent labor disputes and built telegraph lines. They built barracks and forts for the other soldiers, while they still slept under the stars or in tents. Buffalo Soldiers also served as the early park rangers with the National Park Service. In conflicts from 1866 to the time they were de-activated in 1944 they fought ferociously and bravely in some of America’s most controversial conflicts, despite some who doubted not only their ability or bravery, but also their very presence. They fought in the Philippines and with President Theodore Roosevelt’s volunteer Rough Riders up the San Juan Hill in Cuba. They received some criticism in the Black community for participating in these conflicts, nevertheless Amos, is determined to not let the stories of these brave soldiers be forgotten, no matter how they served as a Buffalo Soldier.

Cathay Williams: A Woman of Honor The Real Cathay Williams

Part of the conference will spend a day in Trinidad, Colorado to place a

Continued on page 6

Turl Covington: A Soldier Remembers By Charles Emmons Trooper Turl Covington

and the 9th landing in Casablanca where he was assigned to the Port Battalion unloading ships. He soon sailed to Sicily and then to Naples, Italy. Covington’s career in the military is a testament to the difficulty of being an effective soldier in a military that struggled with a culture rife with bigotry, which effectively de-valued the contributions of Black soldiers. Covington knows of two Black West Point graduates – Henry Ossian Flipper the first in 1877 and Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. in 1932. Further research reveals two others, John Hanks Alexander (1887) and Charles Young (1889). But this is equally appalling.

All of these men were assigned to the 9th and 10th Calvary. Alexander died at an early age and Young was assigned to the 10th and was known for service in the National Parks Service where Buffalo Soldiers served as early park rangers. At the time of WWII, although many wanted to contribute to the war effort, the development of Black leaders in the ranks was challenging because of the culture. Covington’s personal story is telling.

In 1942, he had a chance to go into Officers Candidate School (OCS) in Abilene, Texas. There were 250 cadets and he was the only Black. Covington’s roommate had driven

Not all military men are Medal of

Honor recipients, but Trooper Turl Covington is a true American hero of the unsung variety. The St. Louis native served in the U.S. Army until 1962. Covington attempted to join the 10th Calvary starting in 1937. “I hopped freight trains from St. Louis to Fort Leavenworth,” says Covington. Three years later, he was accepted. “At that time soldiers had to retire or die for you to get into the Calvary,” says the 98-year-old, who is one of the living Buffalos Soldiers to be honored with a special Buffalo Soldiers Medal of Honor at the Buffalo Soldier’s reunion to be held in Colorado July 20-27. Post-depression St. Louis held little opportunity for a young Black man. “Hard times. No jobs. No nothing,” was Covington’s response when asked why he joined the service. He said there were $3.50 dishwashing jobs. In the service, he could earn $21 per month; after four months in, he earned $30 per month. Covington eventually rose to the rank of private first class where he became a bugler. He sounded reveille at 6 a.m., and retreat at 11:30 p.m., and everything in between. This earned him $36 per month. When you included food and shelter, this was a good opportunity for anyone at the time. His time with the 10th until it was de-activated took him to other parts of the world. When the United States entered World War II, Covington says the 1st Calvary Division was white and the 2nd Calvary was ‘colored.’ The 1st was originally going to Europe but it was sent to Japan. In 1943, the 2nd Calvary was sent to the European Theater via North Africa with his unit being sent to Oran in North Africa,

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


down from Boston with his wife and offered to give him a ride to the barbershop in downtown Abilene to get his haircut. With his roommate’s wife riding in between them in the front seat of the car, a policeman whistled them to a stop, berating them, yelling according to Covington: “Don’t you know we don’t allow no N———ers to sit next to a white woman in Abilene, Texas?” His roommate and wife were shocked, but Covington got out of the car and walked to the barbershop. He rode the bus back to the base, but says white passengers taunted him, Continued on page 7

Atlanta Chapter

Buffalo Soldiers

Continued from page 4 memorial marker in the Colorado History Museum in Trinidad for Cathay Williams, the only known female Buffalo soldier, and the first African American woman to enlist. Williams died in Trinidad in 1892. Amos says, “She enlisted as a man in 1866 and changed her name to William Cathay. Only her cousin and a friend knew.” She was honorably discharged two years later. Amos adds that Williams joined because she wanted to be independent and make her own way. It is telling about the opportunities available for Blacks in the late 19th century that a woman would join the military under false pretenses. Amos believes her story is important to know and as a woman to share how women have a role and a place in history is essential; her reasons of getting young people involved. These young

ambassadors have attended youth education summits where they pick a topic, research it and give presentations at events in the community including the senior home where Trooper Covington resides. The Buffalo Soldier Association Youth Honor Guard has been featured in The Denver Post and posted colors for the Colorado chapter of the National Democrating Party in 2013. Amos says that youth and adults are surprised by what they learn. “‘Wow! We didn’t even know that!’ is a frequent response, and it makes them want to know more. Which is what we are after.” Memorabilia will be on display and re-enactments will

be featured. “Re-enactors pick a subject like Henry Ossian Flipper, the first African American graduate from West Point, and create a story and re-enactment- visually showing about his life,” says Amos. “We also show Medal of Honor winners. We want people to see them.” Flipper was the first West Point graduate in 1877, and his road was difficult. He served as a second lieutenant with the 10th Calvary fighting in numerous frontier battles and building a drainage system around Fort Sill, Oklahoma, which mitigated diseases. He was subsequently transferred to a fort in Texas where a white officer accused him of misusing commissary Trooper Derrick Davis

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Andrew Aaron

Harold Cole

funds. Flipper’s housekeeper was actually the culprit, and even though this was known, he was dishonorably discharged for conduct unbecoming of an officer. He spent his life trying to clear his name, dying in 1940 at the age of 84. A Georgia schoolteacher took up this cause of injustice, and the Army Board for the Correction of Military Records reviewed Flipper’s case and changed his discharge from dishonorable to honorable in 1976. Flipper’s story is just one of many as thousands of young Black men who tried to prove themselves in post-Civil War America. Progress was slow. Many of the ex-slaves recruited to join the 9th and 10th Calvary were illiterate. Chaplains had double duty in these regiments. Not only did they have spiritual responsibilities for the unit, but educational as well. The learning curve was steep. But the pay for a soldier, $13 per month, along Continued on page 7

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Buffalo Soldiers

Continued from page 6 with the food and shelter provided was one of the best opportunities available. There were other West Point graduates after Flipper, but up until 1932, you could count them on one hand. Media reports ingested as history have shown few examples of the contributions of Blacks in the military such as, Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna which focuses on the segregated 92nd Infantry in WWII . But little else has been put forth as positive examples of African Americans’ military service. Listening to Trooper Covington, it becomes apparent there were some dark and dismal moments in service to country outside the field of battle. Yet, every Black soldier today is standing on the shoulders of the likes of Henry Ossian Flipper and other lesser-known Buffalo Soldiers. A 10th Calvary unit named in honor of the Buffalo Soldiers is garrisoned at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. Remembering the Sacrifices Retired Gen. Colin Powell pays deference to Flipper in his autobiography where he writes, “We knew that the path through the underbrush of prejudice and discrimination had been cleared by the sacrifices of nameless Blacks who have gone before us, the Henry Flippers…and to them we owe everything.” Powell has been a speaker at the Buffalo Soldiers reunion as has the late General Daniel “Chappie” James. This year, another African American military leader, Col. Stacey T. Hawkins, commander of the 10th Air Base Wing at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, will be a speaker along with former mayor of Denver, the Wellington E. Webb. The story of these brave soldiers who faced bigotry and prejudice in the service to the development and protection of their country hasn’t been given its due. Listening to Trooper Covington and his daughter, you realize that it has been all oral history, passed down through family, the kind that you usually experience at a reunion. Amos commented that her pastor always says, “We don’t know where we are going until we know where we have been.” Sometimes the stories are too painful or disturbing to tell, and have been hidden from past conversations. Nevertheless, the Buffalo Soldiers 9th and 10th (Horse) Calvary Association wants you to hear theirs.  Editor’s note: For more information about the Buffalo Soldiers reunion, visit . To learn more about sponsor or vendor opportunities call Nina Amos at 720-785-0797, Henrianna Davis at 720-841-1845 or email

Trooper Covington

duplex like housing one neighbor, a master sergeant had two daughters, and he was okay with having a Black soldier living next to him. His other neighbor did not. The base supply sergeant suggested the dissatisfied neighbor move to off-base, more expensive housing. He stayed. “We had a banana tree between quarters,” recalls Covington. “I cut down the banana tree and shared it with him, and we became friends,” he adds with a chuckle. Was the culture evolving? Perhaps. Shortly afterwards, in 1948 the Army/Air Force was de-activated and became the Air Force, and the military was formally integrated by the order of President Harry Truman. More changes. No doubt, Trooper Covington has more stories to tell. By his service to his country in the 10th Calvary and other units, in a time when the military culture was often hostile because of his skin color, he performed a heroic act. By the time of the first reunion of 9th and 10th Calvary members in 1967, 100 years had passed since the historic act of congress when the two regiments of ‘colored’ troops were created. In the history of the Buffalo Soldiers more than 30 have been awarded the Medal of Honor, but all who served deserve recognition. 

Continued from page 5 because he had an OCS patch on his chest. When he returned to the base, a private vehemently refused to serve him his meal, using a racial epithet.

A Message From the President

A card from President Barack Obama and his family signed by the First Lady, Michelle Obama in 2013.

To Turl Movements for real and lasting change are sustained by the relationships we build with one another.

Thank you for your support.

Covington was on him in the next moment, beating him. He admits he was wrong. An officer called him in and told him, “Sergeant Covington you have to learn to take words like that.” Covington’s rank was busted to a buck sergeant, the lowest ranking sergeant, and sent back to his old unit. Covington was discharged in July 1945 at Camp Beale in California. He returned to Kansas, remaining in the reserves, while taking a civil service job. In November, he re-enlisted and was stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In March of 1946, he was offered a chance to join the all Negro army of the Air Force Squadron. This took him to California and Hawaii. At Hickham Field in Honolulu, Hawaii, he faced another challenge of being one of the first. By that time, he had a young family, his wife Ruby and two young daughters Cheryl and Cynthia. He was one of the first African Americans to get quarters at Hickham. In the

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


“As with past years, our focus

in 2014 is to continue to celebrate our arts and culture,” says Michael

“Perry” Ayers,

artistic founder

and artistic direc-

National and Local Artists Help Colorado Black Arts Festival Celebrate 28 Years By LisaMarie Martinez

tor of the

Gregory Goodloe

Colorado Black

Arts Festival. “We have always

focused on our local, visual and performing artists; to celebrate them,

bring them into the forefront in what

the community has to offer to the

Rocky Mountain region. This year

we’ve also asked national performing

artists to grace our stage again.” Celebrating 28 years, this year’s festival “Expressions” will showcase arts and culture from the African diaspora, weaving in a colorful agenda of music, dance, food, language, theatre, and literature. Thousands of festival-goers will attend the festival Friday, July 11 to Sunday, July 13 in Denver’s City Park West. It is free and open to the public come rain or shine. Visitors can expect the traditional three performance stages: Kuumba Stage, the F. Cosmo Harris Gospel Stage, and the Joda Village Stage. Other favorite features include the Opalanga D. Pugh Children’s Pavilion for Art and Learning, a Seniors Pavilion, an African American Visual Arts Pavilion, and the Watu-Sakoni People’s Marketplace. Sprinkled throughout the festival will be ‘House Music in the Park’ from eight soulful house DJs, a vintage car show, a scavenger hunt and a presence from every branch of the military. The ever popular Boogaloo Celebration Parade kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday at 22nd and Downing St., traveling east to York Street and ending at the festival site in City Park West. The annual Louise Duncan Award for lifetime achievement in the arts will be presented to writer, director, educator, actor, storyteller, and community activist Kenneth Grimes. He joins more than 30 past recipients who have been recognized for their talents and impact in the community. Gregory Goodloe, who has been performing at the festival since 2000 with his band, Gregory Goodloe and Light Years Ahead, has been the performing arts director for the past two years. “Colorado has a lot of diverse people and different nationalities. We have various artists to help bring in the younger and older attendees,” says Goodloe.

Howard Hewett

One of those artists is David ‘Pic’ Conley, founding member of the group Surface, popular for a number of hit songs including, “Shower me With Your Love,” “You are my Everything,” and “Closer Than Friends.” The singer, flutist and song writer accepted a second invitation to perform this year from Goodloe after playing with his band at the festival last year.

Surface David ‘Pic’ Conley

“My interest with the Black Arts Festival is the art. In high school and early years in college, I was a visual artist – painting, writing and drawing. My vision slowly got bad allowing music to take the place of art. Although I cannot see, art is dear to my heart. Music and art provides an opportunity to open people’s lives and hearts to different things, different people, and different cultures,” says Conley, who has been legally blind all of his life. Conley adds, “I want people to know that being legally blind and using visual aids never held me back.

I still travel the world, do things alone and with other people, and I do things with kids to inspire them. It’s important for people to know that Denver is the biggest area for education for the visually impaired.” Along with current group member, John Feva, Surface is working on their upcoming third album entitled “Resurface.” Conley adds, “I can see the people. I can hear them yelling and screaming. I can hear them clapping, and even when they come up to me and express their joy. We want to share the gift that God has given us and spread the love. We want them to walk away with that from our music. Love songs are sad and happy; life has sad and happy moments; that’s art. If you can reach one person with what you do and it changes their life and blesses them, then that’s a pretty big thing you did. Millions of people don’t have to enjoy what you do.”

Award for Best Album of Original Score written for a motion picture or television special – the first “Beverley Hills Cop.” Among the local talent to perform is newcomer, Lady Larea (C. Larea Edwards), a versatile singer who attended East High School. “I feel humbled and excited by the opportunity to perform at the Black Arts Festival. It’s quite an accomplishment to have my family see me perform as well,” says Lady Larea, who has sung professionally in the Denver Metro area for about 14 years. Her road has not been without challenges. She began her career in music

A first-time performer to the Colorado Black Arts Festival stage, who is also the original founder of the funk band Hot Lunch, is looking forward to the event. Reginald Carter says, “We’re Hot Lunch, ‘the Funk Specialists,’ specializing in hard-core funk and just good dancing. We are going to bring high energy to the crowd and hopefully everyone is going to be happy with our performance – that gives us satisfaction.” The national pool of talent includes Howard Hewett. The former Shalamar member launched a successful solo career with crowd favorites “I’m For Real,” “Show Me” and “I Can’t Tell You Why.” He won a Grammy

with Michael C. in Xtended Version as a background singer in 2003-2004, and currently sings with Al Tunes in The Kool Kompany. She started Larea Soul in 2005. In 2007, her husband died in a fatal car accident while her oldest daughter Miara was critically injured with her father. After she took a hiatus to heal, she delved into a few projects, including starting Spirit of Grace (named after her grandmother Grace Groves). Lady Larea says, “I’m excited to see what God has in store for my music career next. It means so much to me to be a part of the Black Arts Festival.” With so many flavorful components, the rhythm of the festival is

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


Hot Lunch

Lady Larea

choreographed to go on for generations to come. Ayers, who in 1986 founded the festival with his brother Oye Oginga and welcomed an estimated 300 people that first year, says, “I am personally in search of passing the torch. I have people in mind – Dana Manyothane, Gregory Goodloe, and others – to take on this tradition and keep it going as a service to the community of providing arts and culture. What I’ve gotten out of being a part of this event is that I’ve seen people of all races and creeds come together to celebrate one of America’s legacies in the performing and visual arts.” Festival Executive Director Dana Manyothane says, “My focus is to transform it into one of the more iconic festivals in the Rocky Mountain

Region; in the areas of art and culture. I have a vested interest in the festival’s success and for it to continue on from generation to generation. My two uncles, Perry Ayers and Oye Oginga, started the festival in 1986. It represents a legacy that I would like to continue for the Colorado community. I feel everyone who is involved with the festival, volunteers their hard work and effort for its success are all family.” Ayers, who holds a special place in his heart for the volunteers and organizations who have fueled the longevity of the festival, says, “Their strong interest, love, and presence are why we, the Colorado Black Arts Festival, have been able to sustain for the last 28 years.” He adds, “African American art has made a major impact on American society. We as African American people celebrate it and invite others to celebrate it with us. It’s important for people in Denver, the Rocky Mountain Region, and around the country to know of the talents and skills we have here in the form of both African and African American arts and culture.” Editor’s Note: To learn more about the festival or to volunteer, call 888-363-1823 or visit Individuals available to help assist attendees with disabilities are encouraged to volunteer.

Harold Melvin's Bluenotes & Mary Louise Lee!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Denver Doubletree Hotel 3203 Quebec St. Doors Open - 7 PM, Showtime - 8 PM $40 General Admission

All proceeds benefit the Denver Colorado Chapter Buffalo Soldiers & The National Buffalo Soldiers 9th & 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014

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“O ur humanity is at stake

unless we stand up and put an end to the deaths and incalculable suffering in the Sudan,” said Rev. Heidi McGinness, Outreach Director for Christian Solidarity International-USA (CSI-USA). She spoke at a press conference and rally convened by CSI on the West Steps of the State Capitol on May 30. The purpose was twofold. First, she wanted to remind the public about the humanitarian crises – specifically, genocide and slavery – that for decades have devastated the Sudan. The United Nations has declared that genocide and slavery anywhere are crimes against humanity. She also wanted to launch a petition drive encouraging President Barack Obama to speak out about the atrocities in that African nation. Until 2011, the Sudan was Africa’s largest nation in area. The people were divided along ethnic and religious lines. Many people who lived in the northern two-thirds of the country identify as Arab and Muslim. The inhabitants of the southern region belonged to indigenous Black African ethnic groups, such as the Dinka and the Nuer. Some practiced traditional African religions and others Christianity. Although many languages are spoken throughout the nation, Arabic is the official language. Khartoum, the capital city, is located in the northern region which is the political, economic and military center. There have been several attempts to govern it exclusively by Islamic law, and this is the goal of the current president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who assumed power by a military coup in 1989. “You can call it an apartheid system between Arab and African Sudanese” said Rev. Oja Gafour, pastor of Denver’s Sudanese Community Church. “Even though the African Sudanese are the majority, we are treated as a minority and looked upon and treated as inferior. Africans are being deprived of their land, resources, education and participation in political life,” he continued. In the 1980s, people in the southern region began organizing militarily in order to seek justice. The Khartoum government struck back brutally, initiating a civil war. The world has witnessed the horrifying results: two million killed and four million forced to flee their homes. During this period slavery reemerged. Men, women and children were abducted and forced into slavery, and some ended up in neighboring countries. Estimates vary, but there were thousands enslaved.

Colorado Speaks Out on Genocide and Slavery in the Sudan/South Sudan By Annette Walker

A separate conflict emerged in 2003 in the western region of Darfur. Ironically, 90 percent of the people in Darfur were Muslims, but ethnically were Black African. However, in the Arab vs. non-Arab system that exists, they were treated as outsiders. When local rebel groups began to challenge the Khartoum government, the response was as brutal as in the southern region. According to the United Human Rights Council, 400,000 had been killed and one million displaced.

International Response

The genocide in the Sudan is not unique in global politics over the past 100 years. The 20th century was the bloodiest in recorded history: 174 million people were killed in genocides and mass murders at the hands of dictators, warlords and human rights violators. Throughout the 20th century there have been many international efforts to find a way to bring to justice the perpetrators, many of them high-level government officials and heads of state. The year 2002 marked a watershed moment when the International Criminal Court (ICC) was established in The Hague, Netherlands. Its mission and mandate are noble: to hold accountable and bring to justice individuals responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The mass murders in Darfur became one of the ICC’s early cases. In 2009, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan alBashir, on charges of masterminding genocide and other war crimes against the people in Darfur. The court always allows heads of government and other political officials to turn themselves in at

The Hague. Bashir chose not to do this. However, last year he declined to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York, an annual gathering of world leaders. In July 2011, a Peace Accord was signed and Africa’s largest nation was divided into two countries: the Sudan and South Sudan. Unfortunately, conflicts have continued and internal differences have destabilized the South Sudan. Once again, mass murders and population displacement haunt that new nation. In May, the UN Security Council issued a mandate to protect the one million civilians there, and 12,000 UN peacekeeping troops were dispatched to the southern region.

Response from the United States including Colorado

In 2004, the U.S. Congress voted unanimously to declare the situation in Darfur genocide. The Congressional Black Caucus called for divestment of the $91.2 billion U.S. dollars invested by federal and state pension funds in companies doing business in the Sudan. Thirty-five states, including Colorado, voted to divest their pension funds. One of the co-sponsors of the Colorado legislation, which mandated a $42 million divestment, was former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. He was a featured speaker at the recent press conference in Denver. Over the past decade there has been considerable human rights activity in Colorado regarding the situation in the Sudan and South Sudan. Christian Solidarity International’s (CSI) outreach division is based in Denver. CSI is the only human rights

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


organization working to liberate enslaved persons in the Sudan and they have succeeded in obtaining freedom for thousands. The Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action (CCGAA) is based in Denver. Founder and Director Roz Duman also spoke at the press conference and rally. “‘Never again,’ we said after the Holocaust,” she said. “And ‘Never again,’ we said after Rwanda. But here we are again in the 21st century and genocide continues to rear its ugly head. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.“ For the past four years CCGAA has organized Youth Against Genocide Conferences. The Fourth Annual Sudan Freedom Walk took place the day following the press conference. It was held at Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood and was attended by more than 100 people. The Freedom Walk is a fundraiser and proceeds are used to pay to free slaves in the Sudan It was founded by Rebecca Bretz when she was a high school freshman. She just graduated and will pursue Peace and Justice Studies in college. Denver’s St. John’s Episcopal Church is actively engaged with many partnership projects in South Sudan as well as the local Sudanese refugee community. St. John’s and the Diocese of Colorado are part of the Anglican Communion, the global network of Episcopal and Anglican church bodies. Denver is home to more than 1,000 Sudanese refugees. “None of us planned to leave the Sudan,” said Rev. Gafour. “We were forced out.” Another religious refugee in Denver is Bishop Andudu from the Nuba Mountain area. Currently one of the youngest Anglican Bishops worldwide, he was forced to seek asylum when bombing began near his church. In response to the high illiteracy rate, some of which resulted from the 20-year civil war, Project Education South Sudan (PESS) helps to fund and support the building of primary schools in rural South Sudan. PESS also provides clean water wells, sewing machines and other kinds of equipment for rural living. The organization serves 3,000 children in four schools. The goals of Colorado Friends of the Lost Boys of Sudan (CFLBS) are to assist in the general welfare, job training and other education of Sudanese refugees living in Colorado who are known as the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan. They have been orphaned by the prolonged civil wars.  Editor’s Note: Learn more about the letter to President Barack Obama at Videos of the Sudan and South Sudan produced by journalist Tamara Banks can be accessed at

Principal Kafele Addresses Plight of Young Blacks Boys “Greetings young men, this is

By Charles Emmons

Principle Kafele.” Baruti Kafele’s voice is heard round the world as young people and their parents tune into YouTube to hear his frequent inspiring messages aimed at motivating and impacting the success of young Black and brown men. From November 2013 to May 2014, he has posted no less than 130 video messages on YouTube in his series “Message to Your Son.” In the hotel, on an airplane, or at a roadside rest stop; wherever he may be, he stops, opens his laptop, records his message and uploads it to YouTube. But Kafele is so much more than a talking box on the Internet, and on Memorial Day weekend he brought his message to Manual High School. He visited Denver in response to an invitation from Phillip Douglas, founder of Challenging How Every Student Strategizes (C.H.E.S.S.) and John Bailey of the Colorado Black Roundtable and through the support of Denver Public Schools District Board Members Happy Haynes and Landri Taylor. They also received support from Denver Public Schools Manager of Legislative Affairs Gregory Hatcher as his appearance was in line with Hatcher’s commit-

Principal Baruti Kafele

ment to outreach and community engagement. There are many aspects to Kafele’s mission that address the “state of emergency and crisis level with our children.” When he speaks about kids getting fired up about themselves it is in the broadest sense of self-knowledge that will lead to the success of young Black males, and everyone is a potential partner from school administrators to parents. “Never doubt that the power is in your hand to make a difference in your own life, as well as to those in your community,” Kafele told the intimate, but powerful audience of professional educators and concerned community leaders. The author of “Closing the Attitude Gap” and “Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life” challenged the group to help young Black men answer the question, “Who am I?” He took a few bullets from his arsenal of presentations and narrowed the talk and discussion to these very basic, yet difficult questions, “Who am I? What’s my place? What am I supposed to be doing?” He also quoted from Carter G. Woodson’s book, “Mis-Education of the Negro, saying, “If you can control a man’s thinking you do not have to


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worry about his action…” In the quote, he sees the root of the problem with young Black men who don’t know how to think for themselves. “If we can teach them how to think, then they can begin to answer the question ‘Why am I in this predicament in the first place?’ According to Kafele, “If I don’t know me, then I take the easy way out, and young men pledge loyalty to a $0.75 bandana, pledging more loyalty to the bandana than their own mother.” In Kafele’s view, there is no attachment to things of substance in many communities. Things of substance have lasting value, not fleeting. In the short selection of slides Kafele projected on a screen, he included Egyptian pyramids, the Sphinx and obelisks. In another slide, he projected Black leaders –Douglass, Garvey, King, Robeson, Mandela, and Malcolm X. He also presented a slide that included heroes of the civil rights movement – the Little Rock Nine and the marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama. The final slide included book cover jackets – “Blacks in Science,” “Stolen Legacy,” “They Came Before Columbus,” “Before the Mayflower-A History of Black America,” and “Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery.” Kafele entitled the short visual program “ME,” and he pointed out that when a young person looks at himself in the mirror, he should see this collective of both struggle and achievement reflected, because he would have infused this collective history in his being and would understand his obligation and responsibility to it. His responsibility then becomes to continue to contribute to the collective through devising his own mission and vision. Armed with this type of knowledge, Kafele poses these rhetorical questions to young Black people: “How dare you turn your back on your education? How dare you show up late for class or not at all?” – given the struggle, sacrifice, progress and achievement of those who have come before them. This attainment of broad self-knowledge includes everyone in the community. Kafele points out that he never blames the students, because they have not been taught how to think about themselves. There must be buy ins by the schools, teachers, and administrators, as well as students and parents. Kafele says that all the talk about an achievement gap in urban schools is really an attitude gap. Students will not achieve if the very people responsible for growing their young minds disparage them. As Kafele travels the 40 states to which he has been invited to speak, he is often asked, “What is

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


wrong with these young Black men?” Kafele’s response is “nothing.” He is not only taking his mission and vision to students on YouTube, he also speaks to educators and administrators urging them be invested in this new vision for education. Kafele had success with this approach when he implemented “Manhood 101” on Mondays at one of his schools, Newark Tech. On ‘Power Mondays’ during the school day, students would come to school dressed in shirt, tie, slacks, shoes and a belt and Kafele would bring in guest speakers from the community, men who were breaking down the door to participate. Kafele wanted to “connect them to people who have already gotten it done.” Power Mondays were started with the youngest class of students, so by the time they were upper classmen and seniors they had mentored younger ones in this process as surrogate co-principals. The climate and the culture of the school were transformed. Kafele himself was transformed. He eventually finished school but was a 9th grade dropout. Before becoming an educator, he owned a bookstore in New Jersey, and had to practically give it away due to lack of business. His successor gave up the business as well. This was telling to Kafele, and this is why he encourages selfimprovement through gaining knowledge and reading books.

From the Top

Ten-year-old Solomon was inspired by President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative announcement, and as a result asked his grandfather, Bailey, to start what would become the “Better Boys Project” at Steadman School. With the cooperation of the principal, Robert Malling, 13 Black male students gather on Wednesdays and Fridays to learn computer programming and chess. Douglas teaches the chess classes with the goal to facilitate “thinking for better decisions,” says Bailey. Douglas also teaches chess to students at Gilpin, Cole and Manual. On Kafele’s videos, which are shown in the chess classes, Douglas says, “His messages were powerful and not heard in Denver. The messages are that they have the power to make better decisions. The messages are about attitude.” Solomon, a student of these sessions, put his lessons into play by asking the organizers to bring Kafele to Denver. They did. During the event, Solomon introduced Kafele and presented him with a certificate of appreciation from the CBRT and the “Better Boys Project.”  Editor’s note: For more information about Kafele, visit

Denver Urban Spectrum Honors 14, Actually 16

Much to their surprise, honorary chair Moses Brewer and the Denver Urban Spectrum publisher’s father, Doyle James, were among those honored at the the community publication’s 27th anniversary celebration and special Father’s Day tribute, along with 14 other Men of Distinction and Fathers of Wisdom. Held at the Mirage Event Center on June 15, more than 300 people attended the momentous occasion. Each year DUS celebrates its annual success of spreading news about people of color and serving the community. For 2014, DUS honored and recognized African American fathers, who have made an impact on their families, Denver community, nation and for some the world. Event committee member Caroline Price introduced mistress of ceremonies Tamara Banks. Honorary chairs for the event were Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and First Lady Mary Louise Lee. After gracing

DUS Publisher Rosalind “Bee” Harris with Men of Distinction, Fathers of Wisdom honorees. Left to right: Dr. Collis Johnson Jr., Dr. Russ Simpson, Charles Burrell, Dr. Johnny Johnson Jr., Ed Dwight, Roland “Fatty” Taylor, Doyle James, Lawrence Pierre, Bruce Gipson (for Dr. Bernard Gipson, Sr.), Maurice Wade (for Lu Vason), Herman Malone, James “Dr. Daddio” Walker, LaDorria Jones (for Lu Vason) and Moses Brewer. (Not pictured - Geta Asfaw and Wellington E. Webb. Photos by Lens of Ansar

the audience with Derrick Holmes presents gift to Denver’s First Lady the song, Wind Mary Louise Lee Beneath My Wings, she tearfully reflected about her father who passed away in 2009. Mayor Hancock talked about the importance of fatherhood and his pride of being a father. He also read a proclamation from the City of Denver and a letter from Colorado’s 1st Congressional District Congresswoman Diana DeGette, who also sent letters to each honoree. Banneker Watches CEO Derrick Holmes presented gifts of watches to the Mayor and First Lady. Honorees were recognized through surprise videos produced by Buffalo

Where is your business?

Trails Multimedia Communications and DUS intern Lorenzo Dawkins. The videos included special messages from the DUS publisher honors her father children of the honorees. The fathers were also presented with an original charcoal portrait by Denver artist and honoree Jess DuBois. In addition to DuBois, other honorees included Geta Asfaw, Charles Burrell, Ed Dwight, Herman Malone, Lawrence Pierre, Roland “Fatty” Taylor, Lu Vason, James “Dr. Daddio” Walker, and the Honorable Wellington E. Webb. “Taking Care of US” awards were presented to Dr. Bernard Gipson, Sr.,

Dr. Russell Simpson, Dr. Johnny Johnson, Jr., and Dr. Collis Johnson, Jr. Also serving as honorary chairs were Moses and Gwen Brewer. Unaware that he would be honored, Moses Brewer was presented as an honorary member of the Men of Distinction, Father of Wisdom group. Event chair Ken Johnson gave an emotional presentation to his so-called mentor, stating how Brewer had taken him under his wing and established a lifelong bond. Closing out the program was a very touching moment when DUS publisher Rosalind “Bee” Harris, recognized her 86-year-old father, Doyle James who had travelled from Grand Rapids, Michigan to attend the event. Overcome with emotion, he was speechless. Entertainment was a “spectrum” of harmony with The SoBo Four jazz quartet welcoming the guests and saxophonist Tony Exum Jr. providing accompaniment to dinner prepared by Pit Stop Catering and Flava Restaurant. The evening ended with a medley of heartfelt songs by vocalists Ron Ivory, Linda Theus-Lee, Harold Lee, Diana Castro and LA actress and singer, Vickilyn Reynolds. Sponsors for the event were Miller Coors, McDonalds, and Ballard Family Mortuary. 

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Let BAT PR hit a home run for you! Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014



What is Industrial Hemp?

And why is it only legal to grow in Colorado and Kentucky?

Industrial hemp, or simply hemp,

By Wanda James

is the names most commonly given to fiber-producing strains of cannabis which contain less than 0.3 percent

THC and have no psychoactive effect, therefore cannot be smoked. Perhaps the most interesting fact about industrial hemp, especially when compared to trees or to other fiber crops, is its amazing versatility. Hemp is used to make more than 25,000 consumer products. From hemp apparel and accessories to house wares and hempseed oil cosmetics, Hemp fiber cloth can be incredibly long lasting and extremely strong. Hemp is the only natural textile tough enough to be used for the great mainsails of old sailing ships. The USS Constitution, America’s oldest Navy ship affectionately called “Old Ironsides,” needed more than 120,000 pounds of hemp fiber to rig the 44-gun fighting ship. Paper made from hemp pulp is the strongest, most flexible and most durable type available and is often used for banknotes and official documents that are required to last a long time. America’s most famous document, the Declaration of Independence is made from hemp, as was the first currency in America.

Hemp fiber was so important to the young Republic that farmers were compelled by patriotic duty to grow it, and were

allowed to pay taxes with it. George Washington grew hemp and encouraged all citizens to sow hemp widely. Thomas Jefferson bred improved hemp varieties, and invented a special brake for crushing the plant’s stems during fiber processing. Benjamin Franklin started one of America’s first paper mills with cannabis, allowing a colonial press free from English control. Our Founding Fathers also enjoyed the cousin to hemp, what we now call marijuana, in their evening smoking pipes. Currently, in the United States, Hemp can ONLY be grown in Colorado and Kentucky. For Colorado’s focus on sustainability and “green” energy economy, hemp fits perfectly with our entrepreneurial spirit on environment and new forms of energy, such as wind, solar and water. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed legislation, Senate Bill 241 (The Farming Bill), into law creating a new program within the Department of Agriculture to oversee the regulation of commercial hemp production. What the new Colorado law does is classify strains of cannabis that contain no more than one-third of one percent of THC as allowable for agricultural commodity. Worldwide, only about 200,000 acres of land were devoted to hemp cultivation in 2011, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, with that number being “flat to

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


decreasing” in recent years in the 30 countries where hemp is cultivated. However, the one big benefit of hemp? Its environmental footprint is relatively small. It requires few pesticides and no herbicides. Now that the US is loosening its pot laws, many are speculating that the rise of hemp could one day be America’s billion dollar crop. So why haven’t you heard about this and why isn’t every politician in the state singing this from the roof top? Because most of the political players are uninformed about this industry and have not dedicated the staffing to help them understand the benefits more clearly. In the case of the Gov. Hickenlooper, he is very informed about this plant and all of its many uses. He is also very aware that the plant is being harvested for Charlotte’s Web, the oil that appears to be stopping epilepsy in children (high CBD, low THC). So why hasn’t our governor been a cheerleader for this amazing 100 percent sustainable plant? Industrial hemp brings with it the issue of smokable cannabis and the continued battle between the alcohol lobbyists, the prohibitionist and the cannabis industry. The governor and most of Colorado’s politicians are struggling with the idea that hemp, in all of its forms, is here to stay. I think we should show them the way with new businesses, more jobs and higher wages in cutting edge agriculture and sustainable technology. And we are not blowing smoke… Editor’s note: Blowing Smoke is written each month by Wanda James. She would like to answer your questions. Send them and/or comments to Wanda James is the managing partner at the Cannabis Global Initiative and is a leading advocate in the cannabis industry. She worked with the regulatory process to bring medical marijuana to fruition and was appointed to the Colorado Governor’s Amendment 64 Task Force Work Group. Her political and professional work on cannabis reform has led to her being featured in numerous national shows including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and on CNBC’s Marijuana USA. She and her husband Scott Durrah, also own Jezebel’s Southern Bistro + Whiskey Bar in Denver.

Eat Good In The Summer Heat T

By Dr. S. Abayomi Meeks

he summertime is a wonderful time to heal, detoxify and rejuvenate the entire human organism. However, it is an especially good time to strengthen and heal the stomach and spleen – in Eastern Medicine, known also as the Earth element. This designation in Traditional Chinese Medicine addresses the physiological orbit of control of these two very important organs. The stomach’s role in digestion is primarily to partially break down and store food; while the spleen is transforming food into energy and producing red and white blood cells. This is a simplification of what are very complex processes carried out by these two organs, but it does give you a quick view into their important roles. Without proper storage, digestion and assimilation of food, the body cannot produce the energy necessary to carry out the numerous complex processes to preserve your life. Therefore, we must support these organs through the consumption of certain types of foods and natural medicines. First, reduce greasy and spicy foods for 15 to 30 days to give the stomach a chance to minimize the hyper-acidic state that it manifests often due to consumption of these kinds of foods and stress. Second, minimize your intake of high carbohydrate and refined sugar foods, so that your spleen and pancreas can efficiently stabilize the processing of sugar. We do this to reduce the prevalence of diabetes and/or insulin resistance. Third, add more cooling foods to your diet during the summer, such as cucumbers, carrots, melons, yams, citrus fruits, plums, dandelion, burdock root and also astragalus, marshmallow, rose hips, peaches, papaya, spirulina, chlorella, green salads and adequate quantities of water daily (8-10 glasses). These cooling foods are alkaline and will help neutralize the hyper-acidic state our bodies are in due eating acidic foods, which produce mucus and uric acid. The stomach and spleen also heal with foods, which are yellow or orange in color. Many of these foods are high in beta-carotene – a carotenoid which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Eat naturally occurring carotenoids so that there is no danger of vitamin A toxicity. Betacarotene is safe and can help protect

CBCF Releases Statement on Passing of Ruby Dee

cells against cancer and other disease. It also helps boost immunity, prevents eye problems and helps health gastrointestinal ulcers if detected early. Remember that the spleen and stomach utilize several foods for energy, according Traditional Chinese Medicine. However, these sweet foods must be of a high quality, natural source and must be taken in moderation. Too many sweets of any type will damage both the spleen and stomach. So, enjoy your summer and reinforce the Earth element. Keep your body cool, hydrated and energetic through proper diet, exercise and meditation.  Editor’s note: Dr. S. Abayomi Meeks is the founder of the Moyo Healing & Cultural Center, a 24-year Colorado institution. He has been in practice for more than 27 years with more than 28,000 treatments. For more information, call 303-377-2511, visit or email

A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive officer of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF), released the following statement on the passing of actress and civil rights champion, Ruby Dee. “It is with great sadness to learn of the passing of Oscar-nominated actress, writer, and activist, Ruby Dee. With a career in theater and film spanning seven decades across all forms of media, Dee was simply an icon. Dee helped pave the way in breaking down racial barriers in the entertainment world. “Dee, along with her late husband, actor Ossie Davis, were a dynamic team in the performing arts community. Off stage, they were also strong civil rights advocates, who used their celebrity to help advance social justice for African Americans. “On September 17, 2010, the CBCF celebrated and honored Dee for her public and civic accomplishments at our 40th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC). There, we heard a recording of her late husband’s rousing speech at CBCF’s first-ever ALC in 1971. “Captured on Dee’s personal website is a statement she wrote reflecting on her and Davis’ life journey, ‘Along the way we have seen, heard, and learned many things that have cascaded unforgettably over our lives — things too precious not to share.’ “We appreciate the gifts Dee shared during her time with us. Our thoughts and heartfelt prayers are with the family and the many lives she touched.”

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


Life-Changing Diabetes Prevention, Management Programs Available At Center for African American Health


Mi Casa’s Innovation Lab in Northeast Park Hill has partnered with the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants (COCPA) to offer a FREE 4-day finance workshop, Take Control of Your Finances: Plan For Your Future Workshop participants will learn how to manage their finances by setting goals, developing a spending plan, establishing credit, and conducting comparison shopping. Dates for the workshop are as follows: August 13, August 20, August 27, and September 3 from 4 to 6pm. The first two dates will be held at the Pauline Robinson Library in the Community Room, 5575 E 33rd Ave, Denver, CO and the last two dates will be held at the Mi Casa Innovation Lab, 3399 Holly St., Suite 134. Participants are encouraged to attend ALL four days to benefit the most from the workshop. For those that attend the entire four-part series, they will receive a $25 gift certificate. Call today to sign up for this FREE workshop by calling the Innovation Lab at 303-3888213--limited spots are available!!!

Find it again at the

United Church of Montbello! Come as you are and get connected to your best self through great fellowship and the love of Jesus Christ! Sunday Worship: 8:00am (Traditional) and 10:30am (Gospel) 4VOEBZ 4DIPPM  BN r 8FEOFTEBZ #JCMF 4UVEZ QN

Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther, Jr., Pastor 4879 Crown Blvd., Denver, CO 80239 303-373-0070

Join us to discuss a vision for the delivery and financing of the proposed I-70 East project The I-70 East Team along with CDOT’s High Performance Transportation Enterprise want to hear your thoughts about innovative delivery, financing, and partnership opportunities for this unique project. Open House: Tuesday, July 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Swansea Recreation Center 2650 E. 49th Ave., Denver Spanish translation, light refreshments and childcare will be available. For special assistance, please call 720.475.7039 prior to the meeting.

For more information on the Performance Enterprise, visit: For more information on CDOT’s I-70 East Environmental Impact Statement, visit:

Metro area residents encouraged to join the fun, learn how to get healthy at Destination Health: Walk/Run/Learn in Denver’s City Park Saturday, July 26

Diabetes, one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, is a disease that disproportionately affects African Americans. Among men and women aged 20 years or older, 4.9 million or 18.7 percent have diabetes. In Colorado, one in every 13 African Americans has diabetes and the death rate for African Americans is twice the state average. The Center for African American Health (CAAH), which is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the greater metropolitan Denver African-American community, offers a variety of evidence-based disease prevention and chronic disease self-management programs, including two focused on diabetes. The Diabetes Self-Management Program is a sixweek class that teaches individuals living with type II diabetes, and their caregivers, skills related to proper nutrition, the use of medication, a suitable exercise program, dealing with emotions, and communicating with their health care provider. The 16week Live Well 4 Life Diabetes Prevention Program, which targets folks who have been diagnosed as pre-diabetes or who are otherwise at high risk, is designed to help preclude the onset of diabetes through lifestyle changes. Learn more about these programs and others the Center provides by visiting /ID/3/Programs. “These classes and workshops are designed for those living with diabetes, at risk for diabetes, and those caring for someone with diabetes,� says CAAH Executive Director Grant Jones. “Unfortunately, diabetes is associated with an increased risk for a number of serious and sometimes lifethreatening complications, including blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, nerve damage, stroke and amputations. The good news is that educational programs like those offered by the Center can provide the information, skills and support needed to help folks manage and reduce their risk of complications and negative health outcomes.�

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


Jones points out that the Center for African American Health offers these diabetes prevention and self-management classes at no cost to participants at church and community sites throughout the metro Denver area. To benefit the many services which it provides year-round, the Center is presenting the 4th Annual Destination Health: Walk/Run/Learn Saturday, July 26 at the Pavilion in Denver’s City Park. This family-friendly event is a combination of exercise, education and entertainment. On-site registration begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by warm-up activities at 8 a.m. The run/walk (5k route or one-mile course) will start at 8:30 a.m. More than 40 booths filled with important facts about vital health matters, including diabetes, will be part of the Health Education Expo, plus there will be fun activities and information for families in the special Children’s Health and Safety Zone. The Mary Louise Lee Band will provide entertainment. Destination Health online registration is available at Preevent fees are $30 for adults/children 18 and older; $25 for children 6 to 17/active/retired military and adults 50+; $10 children 5 and under (with shirt); free for children 5 and under (no shirt); and $25 per person for team participants (four or more). There also is a Sleeping-In for Health option ($15, includes t-shirt) for those unable to attend the July 26 event. The Center for African American Health, which partners with a wide variety of health-education and health-delivery organizations to develop and provide culturally-appropriate disease prevention and disease management programs to thousands annually, is also a certified Connect for Health Colorado assistance site.  Editor’s note: For more information on the Diabetes Self-Management Program or the Destination Health: Walk/Run/Learn; or to become a CAAH volunteer, email the Center at, call 303-3553423 or visit

Power of Preschool Photography Exhibit

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Opens At The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library

Exhibit shown on display at Central Library in Denver

The Denver Preschool Program photography exhibit, The Power of Preschool, offers a glimpse into the life of a preschool child through the lens of five local, award-winning photographers at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, 2401 Welton Street. The exhibit runs from through July 31. “This exhibit of 30 photographs offers a compelling visual story of why preschool is so important to a child’s future,” explains Jennifer Landrum, president and CEO of the Denver Preschool Program, a sales tax-funded initiative that promotes access to high quality preschool. “These talented photographers capture how preschool lays the academic foundation for language arts, math and science while nurturing social skills and emotional literacy.” Presented in English with Spanish translation available, the exhibit was made possible through the generous support of the Mile High United Way. The library is open Monday and Wednesday from noon to 8 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m., to 6 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The award-winning photographers who generously donated their time and talent and the preschools where they took photographs are: Kevin Hartfield, Family Flex Early Education Center; John Leyba, Escuela Tlatelolco Circulo Montessori; Carol MacKay, Temple Emanuel Early Childhood Center; Heather Smith, Goldrick Elementary School, Denver Public Schools; and Sheba Wheeler, King Baptist Child Development. Kevin Hartfield, a CBS4 photojournalist and producer for nearly 30 years, earned an Emmy for Best Kids Program as Director of Photography for a nationally syndicated kids program called “News for Kids,” where he introduced an ‘MTV style’ of shooting and editing. He later moved to sports where he became a producer, shooting and developing college coaches’ shows. John Leyba, Colorado native and 29year-veteran of the Denver Post, has earned recognition from the Colorado

Press Association and the Colorado Associated Press, including the 2010 Best of Show News Photo Award. Leyba’s work also includes collaborating with National Geographic photographer Jay Dickman, and teaching photography to a 4th grade summer class from Horizons, a non-profit program designed to enrich the lives of lowincome Denver Public Schools children. Carol MacKay, a former chemistry teacher, rediscovered her passion for photography after the murder of her daughter. Currently a staff photographer for Kent Denver School, MacKay brings a depth of experience in capturing classroom and school events. “As a teacher I strove to help students realize their full potential, and trying to find the moment that captures what is in a person’s heart is not very different.” Heather M. Smith began taking photos as a hobby and a way to strengthen her memory skills after a childhood brain injury. Through photography she has explored her deep interest in all kinds of subjects from architecture to children. She regularly hosts interns and conducts free photography workshops in her community. Smith also volunteers for the Association for Community Living in Boulder, the Mile High Business Alliance, Buckley Air Force Base, Share Our Strength Cooking Matters, and the No Kid Hungry national campaign. Sheba Wheeler, a former Denver Post reporter, thrives even when faced with the unexpected. A tragic death in 2005 sparked her passion for photography. As the lead shutterbug at Picture Your World Photography, Wheeler has published work for the Denver Post and the Wall Street Journal Online. She blends 15 years of journalistic experience as a lifestyles reporter with contemporary portraiture to fetch unique shots and preserve the magic of the moment.  Editor’s note: The Denver Preschool Program provides preschool tuition support to all Denver families with 4-year-olds. A 12-cent sales tax on $100 purchase funds the city program that Denver voters approved in 2006. For more information, visit

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


HOPE Celebrates End of Great School Year

By Amanda Kalina, Communications Manager, HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op

Helping you create wealth... protect wealth... and leave a legacy!

Donna Anderson and Brenda Dean from the Children’s Academy Learning Center in Aurora and Heather O’Mara, CEO/Founder of HOPE Online Learning Academy

On Friday, May 30, HOPE

Myra Donovan, CLU, ChFC, CFP Financial Adviser

3200 Cherry Creek Drive South, #700 • Denver, CO 80209 303-871-7249 •

Call today for a free consultation!

Celebration of Life

Essie P. Garrett

Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library (Late September or early October)

The community is invited to commemorate a life who gave so much. Donations are requested to help keep Essie’s legacy alive. Send donations to: Maxfund 720 West 10th Ave. Denver, CO 80204 For more information (or to get involved):

Call (720) 266-6081

E-mail Visit

All donations are tax deductible.

Online Learning Academy Co-Op (HOPE) recognized a special group of individuals who have helped with the success of HOPE’s education model. These are the directors, managers and mentors of HOPE’s 39 Learning Centers across Colorado. Through the roles of this team of 249, they ensure HOPE’s 3,000 students have the offline support they need to meet their educational goals. “We want to say thank you for the amazing work you are doing,” commented Heather O’Mara, CEO/Founder of HOPE, at the May 30 recognition event attended by nearly 100 guests at HOPE’s Englewood headquarters. “The TEAM (Teacher Educator Amazing Mentor) awards given out today recognize our Learning Center partners who are going out of their way to display hope, commitment and a sense of team to every relationship, task and activity at HOPE. It is through these actions that we are able to deliver on our mission.” One of the Learning Centers recognized at the event was The Children’s Academy Learning Center in Aurora, which just completed their first year as a HOPE Learning Center serving children in kindergarten and first grade. Director Brenda Dean earned praise for being “easy going, friendly and cooperative.” “I’ve loved seeing the kids’ joy of learning,” said Dean. “At the end of the year we celebrated the kids’ hard work. Until that celebration I don’t think they realized all that they had

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


Danielle Clemons from Tubman Hilliard Global Academy in Denver and Heather O’Mara, CEO/Founder of HOPE

learned as they were having such a great time doing it! Our parents are so very happy with their children’s achievements.” Dean says that if it wasn’t for her Learning Center’s Mentor, Donna Anderson, this “awesome” first year wouldn’t have been possible. “Ms. Anderson is just a flat out good teacher,” commented Dean. “The kids are growing, learning and advancing fast,” said Anderson. “I really like the computer based educational model.” Tubman Hilliard Global Academy in Denver’s Lead Mentor Danielle Clemons, who is in her sixth year at Tubman HOPE, was another one of the honorees on May 30. Clemons earned recognition for being “dedicated, confident and energetic.” “Tubman Hilliard is meeting the needs of our community. I like the unique, blended model and paced learning we offer students. And our physical Learning Center location is an important part of our success,” said Clemons. “Through the small classroom setting, I’m able to build relationships with the students and parents. And I’m able to see the impact that I’m making. I love the creativity I’m offered through this place.” Tubman Hilliard serves children in kindergarten through 8th grade and is located in Denver.

Now Enrolling for 2014-2015 School Year It’s enrollment season for HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op. Learn more about how HOPE’s unique blended online/offline educational model with individualized learning plans can help k-12 children reach academic success. HOPE is a free education option for children throughout Colorado. HOPE Learning Centers are operated from Fort Collins to Greeley, Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo. In addition to education offerings, HOPE students participate in extra-curricular activities from competitive sports to music, specialty clubs and school dances.  Editor’s note: For more information on how HOPE can make a difference, visit or call 720-402-3000.

City Life Church


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Feeding Achievement

ity Life Church recently celebrated a milestone in its ministry by completing its first year of feeding the Five Points neighborhood through a program called Community Dinners. The weekly meals bring people from all backgrounds together around the dinner table for fun, food and conversation. The church sees Community Dinners not merely as a feeding line, but as a “Dinner Church,” taking after the New Testament model of gathering around meal times to talk about God. Every Thursday at 6 p.m., volunteers from the church work with a handful of caterers to provide a banquet-style meal fit for dignitaries. Not only is the food delicious, but there is plenty of it, which is why they call it an “Agape Feast.” Isaac Olivarez, lead pastor of the church, says the idea behind providing an elaborate meal each week is simple. “Whether you’re homeless or not, everyone deserves a warm meal and a friend to talk to over dinner,” Olivarez says. “We want the quality and the abundance of the food to speak to the abundance of Christ’s love for us.” The church used holidays during the past year to host “special” Community Dinners, such as last year’s Fourth of July picnic in the park. On Thanksgiving, they provided 500 Thanksgiving meals to the Five Points community at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom with the help of more than 150 volunteers. Church member Silvia Ramirez connected with City Life Church at a Thursday night Community Dinner

Saturday 19: George Benson ,Larry Graham and Graham Central Station Jazz, Funk and soul featuring Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Everette Harp, Elan Trotman and special guest Jessy J and the Mary Louise Lee Band Sunday 20: Brian Mcknight, Boney James, Chrisette Michele, and Dotsero

last summer and attends services each week with her family. What she felt that warm summer night helped her make numerous positive life changes for her and her family. “It felt like home, like a safe place where I could bring out my sufferings and be heard,” Ramirez says. “It was the first night I felt like I was going to make a change in my life because God was letting me know that He was not away from me, that He had not abandoned me.” Pastor Olivarez says this is what makes Community Dinners special — the unique dynamic that occurs when people feel welcomed and loved. So far, this unique approach to “church” is working. “We thought the food would be the draw, and it is. But more and more people continue to tell us they come more for the relationships they have built over the last year,” Olivarez says. “That’s why I tell them every week that they can get to heaven from Thursday night, not just Sunday morning.” In September, the church added a Sunday morning service at 10:30 a.m. in the same location at 608 26th Street, on the corner of 26th and Welton Streets. The church is also preparing to host their second annual kids’ summer camp in July, which provides breakfast, lunch and enrichment programs free of charge.  Editor’s note: For more information on the Community Dinners program or the summer camp for kids, call the church at 720989-1827 or visit to find out more information about the church.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


Genuine Jazz & Wine Festival Returns to Copper 30th Annual Event Features Internationally Acclaimed Talent and Diverse Wine Selection

What does live jazz in an inti-

mate and gorgeous setting with wine and a gourmet grill plus you equal? Close your eyes and breathe in the memories. Yes. You know. Copper Mountain has collaborated with Euge Grove the Republic National Distributing Company and Peak Performances to host the 30th Annual Genuine Jazz & Wine Festival. The event features renowned jazz musicians, an expansive collection of 20-plus wines to sample, and a gourmet grill from August 22-24 in the Center Village at Copper Mountain, Colorado. Featured talent includes internationally renowned stars from smooth jazz and fusion to mainstream jazz Peter White to delight your senses. All ticketed performances with national acts are held in the beautiful and spacious Big Horn Ballroom. Plus, Genuine Jazz has an outdoor free performance area for showcasing rising stars of the jazz world that you may not have seen yet. VIP weekend tickets are $158, premium reserved tickets are $108, and Value Reserve Weekend tickets are $88. Fees are not included. The wine tast- Bobby Lyle ing portion of the festival will feature nearly 20 wines, in addition to several cognacs and ports. Tasting packages, in which guests receive tickets redeemable for a sample of the wine of their choosing, may be purchased on-site. For more information about tickets and lodging specials visit or call 970444-2202.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


Featured guests are Rick Braun , Jonathan Butler, Euge Grove, Bobby Lyle, Joey Sommerville, and Peter White. Each brings his own rhythm of jazz to the mountain. Braun has a career that spans nearly four decades, over a dozen solo recordings and countless performances. The humble trumpeter-flugelhorn playervocalist is a consistent chart-topper who has amassed a catalogue of No. 1 Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart and radio hits throughout his solo career that began in earnest in 1992. Butler, a native of South Africa, offers an expansive musical gift that has earned accolades in the R&B, contemporary jazz and gospel fields. His new release “Grace and Mercy” is filled with the soulful sounds and insightful lyrics fans have come to expect from the veteran performer. Steven Eugene Grove, aka Euge Groove, brings his reputation as an American Jonathan Butler smooth jazz saxophonist with a strong Top-40 background that earned him a spot on tour with Tina Turner in 2008. Jazz, soul jazz and smooth jazz pianist Lyle brings the spirit of years on the road with the likes of Sly and the Family Stone, Bette Midler, Al Jarreau and Anita Baker to name a few. Trumpeter Sommerville will stir up emotions from his latest album The Get Down Club that is an iconic, forward thinking Rick Braun contemporary jazz featuring funk, gospel and bop influences delivered with pop sensibilities. It is touted as a trumpet delivered in the tradition of Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie with a new millennium twist. With areputation as one of the most versatile and prolific acoustic guitarists on the contemporary jazz landscape, White offers an unparalleled combination of lyricism and energy. He combines Joey Sommerville elements of jazz, pop and classical guitar to create a sound that is singular and at the same time accessible to a broad audience.

Shop Talk Live: The Rebirth

A Message to the Community


By Theo E. J. Wilson

on’t let anyone tell you our folks cannot organize, unify and generate forward momentum proactively. Next time someone tries to make that argument, especially if they’re some Black folks, direct their shoe-dragging selves to a Shop Talk Live meeting. We’ll straighten out that wayward attitude, and put them to work at crushing stereotypes and self-imposed limitations. Shop Talk Live, formerly known as Barber Shop Talk (BST), is a new nonprofit organization reaching and organizing the people of our community right where they already are: in the barber and beauty shops. What better format is there? People are already talking, so they might as well be talking about what matters. We set up community forums centered on culturally relevant topics to build relationships and a supportive network of human potential at the most grassroots of the grassroots levels. Never underestimate the power of a community in conversation.

Notice, I said “we.” The author of this article is the acting vice CEO of Shop Talk Live. I’ve never been prouder to write a shameless plug for something that I am a part of and believe in. This article is itself a manifestation of the momentum and serendipity that seems to follow this organization. In late 2013, the Washington D.C. branch of BST underwent a restructuring based on a tragedy that took place in Alexandria, Virginia. The murder of 22-year-old Julian Dawkins directly affected the D.C. branch of Barber Shop Talk as he was the son of our main barber shop’s owner, Gwen Pratt-Miller. Dawkins was gunned down by Craig Patterson after a verbal dispute when Patterson allegedly hunted Dawkins down and opened fire on the unarmed community activist, killing him instantly. Craig Patterson was also serving as the deputy sheriff of Arlington County, Virginia and was off duty at the time. Instead of first-degree murder, he was convicted of voluntary manslaughter. This event shook that community to the core. Barber Shop Talk and the community at large gathered around Pratt-Miller in her time of need. Chaka Lindsey, a key power player in the BST framework, saw the organization was not structured to serve the specif-

ic needs of the communities affected by over-policing and predatory correctional practices. Lindsey, along with BST members such as David Mew, Nevage Malone and Markeith Merritt took the bull by the horns. The format for BST had a strict separation of the genders during forums. Shop Talk Live relaxes that boundary, simply because the community as a whole needs healing. Shop Talk Live will launch a youth mentoring program called the Honorable Protector Initiative to develop self-sufficiency and socio-communication skills. The name of the initiative is translated from Sharif Nassir – the Arabic name of Lindsey’s 4-year-old son who died from a lung condition in late June. The restructuring effort was spearheaded by Quincy Hines, the CEO of Shop Talk Live, and his wife, Shwanna. The Hines,’ Lindsey and I collaborated in rewriting the rules of the organization, making sure that we were needs-specific, aiming to assist the communities most effected by poverty and over-policing. Of course, the Black community is the central focus of this layout. This focus is groundbreaking in this ‘post-racial’ American society. Most organizations that serve Black people serve them under the umbrella

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


of “people of color” or “minorities.” True, people of color and minorities do face similar issues here in America, but there are some areas that simply do not overlap. Immigration issues don’t affect Black Americans in mass the way they affect our Latino American brethren. Chinese Americans don’t face post 9-11 Islamphobia like Arab Americans do. Native Americans face a unique set of challenges due to their status as indigenous peoples relegated to reservations on their own continent. These challenges will not be met, for example, by serving the Jewish community in their fight against anti-Semitism. The same is true for Shop Talk Live. The organization welcomes all people into our doors and into our forums. No one is kept out on the basis of race, color, gender or sexual orientation. The central focus of the organization, however, is directed toward serving the needs of the people who spawned the organization, the African American community.  Editor’s note: Barber Shop Live meetings are held the first and third Wednesday at Montbello Barbers at 6:30 p.m., and every second and fourth Tuesday at Quality Care Hair. For more information, join us online at, email, or call Quincy Hines at 720-269-9239.



Nowling! l o r n E HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op is a public, free, non-profit K-12 charter school dedicated to helping you succeed. HOPE has Learning Centers in neighborhoods across Colorado. Enrollment is open now. Join us!

Ministers’ Wives and Ministers’ Widows Host A Royal Blue and Gold Gala

On May 17, the Colorado Association of Ministers’ Wives and Ministers’ Widows (CAMWMW) hosted Royal Blue and Gold Gala, An Evening of Elegance and Encouragement, at the Holiday Inn in Denver. CAMWMW, a chapter of the Interdenominational Ministers’ Wives and Ministers’ Widows (IAMWMW), is under the leadership of President Dr. Beverly Williams-Glover.

According to state president, Lexine C. Reese James, “At the leading of the Lord more than five years ago, I envisioned an evening of elegance and encouragement, not only for our sisterhood, but all who attended. Although the gala was an annual fundraiser, it was dedicated and intended to be a grand gala for God’s glory. I am pleased and overwhelmed with joy that the gala is now a reality. On that night, we celebrated and encouraged one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. We celebrated and honored our beloved and distinguished clergy widows.” The CAMWMW provides spiritual and emotional support to its membership throughout the year and also facilitates various community service related projects. It is proud of its volunteer efforts and other partnerships with The Colorado AIDS projects, its long time involvement with women’s shelters, transitional housing entities, literacy programs, Sickle Cell Anemia, and the Alzheimer’s Association. Proceeds of the gala will go to IAMWMW’s Headquarters Renovation Campaign (for roof repair, heating and central air), local scholarships, and other initiatives and commitments.

Decorated with a royal blue and gold décor; the gala opened with a Widows processional (escorted by attendants). Immediately after, the gala kicked into high gear with the high praise and dance ministry of Hope Golden and Quickened Ministries performing Tamala Mann’s song, Guest of Honor. Hearts were touched as Dr. Claudette E. Sweet, IAMWMW president, and CAMWMW’s financial secretary, facilitated the gala’s “Moments in Memorial” tribute to members CAMWMW lost over the past year. Candles were lifted in memory of Barbara Hall, Beverly Batson, Ernestine “Big Mama” Phillips and JoAnn Benjamin.

Awards presented include: 2014 State President’s Award to Bishop Acen L. and Dr. E. LaQuilla Phillips; Excellence in Media Award to Minister Essie Curtis-Rockwell; Phase 1 New Beginnings Award to Pastor Frank L. and Evg. Tywanna Jones (and for their new church, God’s Will Christian Center); Phase 2 Transformation Award to Bishop Samuel and Pastor Selena Byrd; Phase 3 Sustained Growth Award to Rev. William T. and First Lady Melvia Golson; and the Phase 4 Longevity Award to Supt. Lamar and First Lady Odie Kennedy. Essie Curtis-Rockwell, the youngest widow of the organization was the featured soloist. Other highlights of the evening included words of encouragement to widows by Dr. Marilyn Chipman and words of encouragement to couples from Elders Ronnie and Jackie Calloway. The evening concluded with Donald Lawrence’s Encourage Yourself, led by Minister Angela Faison and performed by Dr. Claudette E. Sweet and son David Sweet. 

Hope And Education Prevail At African American Caregiver Conference

A message of hope was the focus for family caregivers attending the 11th annual African American Caregiver Support Conference on May 19 in Denver. The event, hosted each year by the African American Caregiver Services program, is part of the Older Adult and Caregiver Services (OACS) arm of Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains. The conference is sponsored by OACS, donations from community businesses, the Fresh Fish Company Restaurant and individual members of the African American Caregiver Support program. More than 70 attendees received vital caregiving resources, informative caregiving and self-care tips, but most importantly – reasons to have hope. The caregivers heard many positive messages throughout the day, especially from featured speaker, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. Hancock told the audience he comes from a large family of 10, a family that faced many economic challenges and struggles. Although running the City of Denver is a consuming task, he still finds time to serve as a caregiver to his mother, Charlene. “Just like the one out of every four people in this country, I have ended up in that sandwich generation,” Hancock said, referring to caregivers

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


Mayor Michael B. Hancock with Nichelle Stiggers

who have to divide their time between their own children and aging loved ones who need care. “The challenge is immense. We have to care for our aging parents and grandparents and, at the same time, make sure our children matriculate through life.” The mayor noted that family caregivers often end up putting their own health aside, as they focus on caring for a loved one. “We make sure the taxes get done, the meds get picked up, the appointments are kept,” he said. “But we need to take care of ourselves as well, because if we don’t we can’t take care of our loved ones.” “Many of us who have to, stand in the gap as family caregivers,” Hancock added. I am here today because I walk alongside you. I appreciate your great contribution to our community. And I want to thank you for joining me on this journey.” Attendees also heard from attorney T.A. Taylor Hunt and Dr. Mary J. Davis, along with writer Michael Jones and nutritionist Evelyn Gordon. The African American Support Services program serves Northeast Denver and Arapahoe County. It is partially funded by the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG). The program connects caregivers to community services, caregiver education/training, mental health counseling or in-home respite care. It also offers a popular support group that meets regularly in Denver.

REEL ACTION Ground Rules

Think Like A Man Too

Must See............ It’s Worth A Look..... See At Your Own Risk. Don’t Bother.....................

Editor’s note: Samantha Ofole-Prince is an award-winning writer and contributor to many national publications and is’s Senior Critic-at-Large. J.R. Johnson is a Journalism student at Metropolitan State University of Denver and’s intern.Laurence Washington is the creator of

Think Like a Man Too


No Stars

By J.R. Johnson

fter becoming one of the more surprising breakout films two years ago, the Think Like a Man ensemble has come together once more in hopes of rekindling that same spark. Sequels are usually the roughest part in an ongoing story. They can come to a dead end, or open another door for the series to continue. Either way, lessons are learned. With Think Like a Man Too many of those lessons are learned the hard way. Think Like a Man Too doesn’t pick up where the original left off, but it

Think Like A Man Too

brings everyone up to speed pretty quickly. Instead of chasing after love, it’s already here. While the couples of the first Think Like a Man are still establishing their relationships and figuring out where to go, one of them has already decided to take the plunge and get married. So it’s time to bring the gang back together for a wedding in Las Vegas. But as most things in Vegas go, the romantic weekend plan falls into a chaotic spiral. Since this is Vegas we’re talking about, it’s not hard to imagine that ridiculousness will commence in a matter of time. With all of the movies following the Hangover formula and clichéd adventures that happen in Sin

City, it’s hard to find anything that hasn’t been done already. Drinking, drugs, gambling and the taboo allure of the many erotic things Vegas has to offer. Think Like a Man Too falls into most of these same tropes. Many of the developments in the film either come off stale and clichéd with a decent tweak or two, just enough to make it work or seem bearable. If it wasn’t for the unique collection of actors on board, the film would have been hard to look at with fresh eyes. While the group of actors maintains the same liveliness and comedic chemistry in their second film together, Kevin Hart still serves as the spearhead and plot driving device, much

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


more so than in Think Like a Man. Hart is his element, and brings his A-game to anything that needs a laugh. Still, some of the characters get less screen time and smaller story arcs that differ from the more balanced narratives in the film’s predecessor – the vibe established in the first film is set in stone. Unfortunately, the several storylines that are spider-webbed throughout the movie have a rushed feeling. They feel shoehorned in and it results with a weak conclusion or just fat that could’ve been trimmed. Think Like a Man Too definitely learned something from its predecessor – it just didn’t want to learn anything new. Instead of building and developing something that might have pulled off a summer-surprise, a cookie-cutter was laid out and it plopped the same ol’ story on a new plate.


22 Jump Street 

By Samantha Ofole-Prince

ossing two 30 something yearold men into a college environment is always great fodder for comedy and 22 Jump Street doesn’t disappoint in the laughs division.


22 Jump Street

through campus in a football helmet car, chased at breakneck speed. A silly goofy undercover cop caper – 22 Jump Street isn’t clever comedy, but it’s certainly a funnier and more entertaining sequel.


X-Men: Days of Future Past 

X-Men Days of Future Past

Funnier than the first, this sequel to 21 Jump Street sees the return of officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) finding themselves going back undercover to infiltrate yet another drug ring. With a structure that’s similar to the first, this time the juvenile underachievers are sent back to college to sniff out a drug kingpin and find out who is touting the lethal drug called ‘whyphy’ (pronounced wifi) around campus. While undercover, Jenko meets Zook (Wyatt Russell), a kindred spirit on the football team while the socially awkward, slightly overweight Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene and ends up sleeping with Maya (Amber Stevens) all with disastrous consequences. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, known for the animated film Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and The Lego Movie provide a delicate balance between the action and comedy. The gags are funnier the second time around and Hill and Tatum play nicely off each other. They are now a legitimately charismatic team with a steady rhythm of hilarious riff sessions. The rest of the cast also quietly excels, from the stoic and sarcastic Jillian Bell, the mean girl who takes pleasure in verbally abusing Hill and Jonah’s characters to the Lucas Brothers, Keith and Kenny Lucas, halfblack, half-Chinese permanently stoned twins who always finish each other’s sentences. The tirelessly profane laced Ice Cube complete with his customary scowl is also back as the blistering police captain and thankfully has far more scenes in the sequel. That said, 22 Jump Street sticks to the formula of the first. There’s the same sprinkling of homo-erotic humor for we still get plenty of penis closeups and references, and the usual over-the-top car chase. This time Tatum and Hill’s characters drive


By J.R. Johnson

he X-Men franchise has been riding an erratic wave of awesome to awful the past 14 years with fans landing on both the good and bad sides of the fence. Suddenly things took a turn for the better with X-Men: First Class (’11). Enter X-Men: Days of Future Past which doesn’t dive back into where XMen: First Class left off. Instead, Future Past takes an enormous leap into the future where destruction and despair reign. Mutants, and all of humanity for that matter, are nearing extinction as a corrupt government rules a dystopian world with a race of machine-gunning robots called Sentinels. With the last few X-Men fighting a losing battle, the mutants fall to the only option they have left. Borrowing a page from The Terminator (‘84), the X-Men send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time with the hope of changing a key moment in the past, so the relentless war they’ve barely survived never happens. Veteran X-Men director, Bryan Singer returns to the helm and the film defiantly acquires a different tone. It’s all about the action. X-Men: Days of Future Past takes a little adjusting to the way the characters are utilized in this sequel, but it eventually finds a similar voice. With many familiar faces popping up throughout the film, i.e. Patrick Stewart, Halley Berry and Ian McKellen, it’s easy to fall back into the X-Men world.

Future Past’s plot is modest and thin. Taking place in the 70’s, the scriptwriters take advantage of the decade’s mod culture – punctuated with jokes and subtle references. Unfortunately the narrative isn’t at the top of X-men: Days of Future Past’s list. X-Men: Days of Future Past does have a decent amount of character development focusing on the X-Men themselves, but it still revolves back into a thrill ride. The storyline is crafted to allow Singer to go wild with ridiculous battles and special effects, but that’s most of what comic book movies encompass, so the line crossed to sacrifice story for activeness isn’t that shocking. One thing Singer did well was the transition between the present time and past. It’s exceptionally fluid and it helps propel the story forward. But

this type of strategy wouldn’t be possible without the performances of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, who play Professor Xavier and Magneto respectively. They tie everything together. X-Men: Days of Future Past is a solid sequel to X-Men: First Class. At times it feels more worried about setting up a universe for the next film, but Future Past finds a way to stand alone as a blockbuster with many impressive moments.



By J.R. Johnson

ot many stories get the chance to be told twice. When this chance is Continued on page 26


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Continued from page 25 offered, it’s a unique opportunity to do something special, something different. With Maleficent Disney hoped to reinvent a classic tale, but ended up with something totally different. Maleficent is the live-action embellishment of the story “La Belle au bois Dormant,” or as it is popularly known, Sleeping Beauty. In this recreation, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is spun as a powerful fairy and protector of a magical land kept safe from man’s intervention. When a young man, Stefan (Sharto Copley) finds himself lost in her realm of wonder, she becomes intrigued by the nature of man. The two eventually grow to spend every day together and they fall in love. But as they age Maleficent sees the true nature of man and watches Stefan lose himself in it. One day Stefan returns, only to betray Maleficent in the name of greed. After her hate corrupts her, Maleficent seeks revenge and curses Stefan’s daughter. Maleficent weaves a fairytale, but not the one from Disney’s animated version. Maleficent is written in an entirely different tone. It’s very light, happy and even funny at times. It would have been interesting to see a darker recreation, especially since


that’s what the marketing push made the film feel like, but it resides in very somber territory for the most part. The world created to help build this story is visually stunning. Bright, colorful and imaginative, Maleficent is definitely one of the highlights of the film. It’s obvious this is where the biggest investment was made. There are dozens of quirky creatures and features that illustrate the true fantasy and bewilderment of the story. Unfortunately, the rest of the film is dim in comparison. Angelina Jolie’s spectacular performance carries the entire film. Even though most of the cast is only used to push her story arc, Jolie’s presentation remains the only memorable part. Jolie finds herself in a role she could be synonymous with for a very long time. Her embodiment of the character alone is almost identical. Maleficent’s story isn’t perfect, in fact if the narrator weren’t apart of this movie there would be dozens of plot holes, but she does hold a resonance that serves as most of the entertainment for the films duration. Although it’s a watchable effort, Disney’s attempt to bring this fairytale to life concludes as an effort made in vain. Maleficent feels rushed and


underdeveloped, souring an old story that could have been resurrected for modern times.


Four of Hearts

Four of Hearts 

By Samantha Ofole-Prince

ngaging and refreshingly human, Four of Hearts focuses on a couple suffering from conjugal fatigue who decide to spice up their sex life. Like many couples, April (Nadine Ellis) and Derrick (Darrin Dewitt Henson) feel a spark is missing from their marriage. With the demands of work and their hectic schedules, they find themselves in a six-month dry spell. Desperate to shake up their love life and rekindle their passion for each other, they decide to share a steamy night with their best friends, Christy (Michelle Krusiec) and Matt (Gabriel Olds), a free spirited couple who like to engage in all sorts of sexual escapades. “We love each other but

Stay Together” makes a strong impression as a wife desperate to maintain her marital relationships at all costs, while Henson who has starred in his fair share of dramatic ensembles doesn’t disappoint as the embittered partner. Written and directed by Eric Haywood, who has penned several episodes of the TV Series “Soul Food,” it has a wellhoned ensemble with enough melodrama about the pitfalls of relationships to keep you entertained. Emotionally involving, the conflicts and outcome are certainly predictable but the film is surprisingly satisfying.

Cold In July 

By Laurence Washington


exter’s” Michael C. Hall plays Richard Dane, an everyman in a small 1989 East Texas town who shoots a burglar in his home and becomes a local hero – an open and shut case, as far as the police are concerned. But ah, that’s the rub. The would be thief’s father Russel (Sam Shepard), an exconvict shows up for his son’s funeral and begins stalking Dane and his family (a la Cape Fear). At this point Cold in July seems to be a routine by the numbers revenge flick.

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we’re too busy to enjoy each other,” April (Ellis) whines to best pal Christy (Krusiec). Her solution to solving her marital strife is enlisting her best pal to assist her in getting her sex life back on track. Convincing her husband, the straight-laced Derrick (Henson), is no easy chore either, but after the night of passion is over, April and Derrick both end up dealing with unexpected feelings of jealousy and mistrust. A cute ensemble exposing the foibles of relationships, this insightful, gently romantic account of well-meaning couples and their relatively straitlaced pals is well worth a peek. The performances here are all quite good and the characters are all likable. Ellis, best known for her role as Stacy Lawrence on the BET hit series “Let’s

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


Cold in July

But the plot takes a wicked twist when Dane discovers the man he shot is not the man the police say he killed. You know Texas lawmen can’t be trusted in the movies, or it will be a very short film. After a little convincing involving a fistfight and blood, Russel and Dane team up to find out what really happened to Russel’s son by administrating a little frontier justice. Aided by Russel’s private detective/part-time pig farmer friend Jim Bob (Don Johnson), the trio takes the law into their own hands and things get nasty fast. Don’t expect logic in this noirish Btype movie, because Cold in July isn’t about logic. It’s about sinister pulp-fiction violence, and an adrenaline rush.


Photo courtesy of David Zalubowski (The Denver Post)

Epsilon Nu Omega Announces 2014 M.O.D.E.L Men

On June 13, Epsilon Nu Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated sorority kicked off its fifth year of celebrating Men of Distinction, Excellence and Leadership (M.O.D.E.L) announcing 12 men who have demonstrated outstanding community involvement and professional achievement. The 2014 M.O.D.E.L. Langley Family Scholarship Awards

director of the National Organization of African Americans in Housing, Kevin Marchman; manager at TIAACREF, Jeffrey T. Smith; Regis University Head Basketball Coach and founder/executive director PorterBillups Leadership Academy, Lonnie Porter; athletic director and dean of students at Aurora Hills Middle School, Marcus T. Walker; and, senior pastor at Agape Christian Church, Rev. Robert Woolfolk.

Pennsylvania, where she has served as president since 2009. The chancellorelect will begin work prior to the start of the University’s fall quarter in September. With more than 30 years of academic experience, Chopp will succeed Robert Coombe who announced his retirement folDr. Rebecca Chopp lowing a 33year tenure with the University, including serving as chancellor for the last nine years. Chopp will become the University of Denver’s first woman Chancellor. A native of Kansas, Chopp received a B.A. from Kansas Wesleyan University, a M.Div. from St. Paul School of Theology, and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Each of her alma maters has honored her with distinguished awards, and she has received six honorary doctorates from other colleges and universities. Chopp is married to Frederick Thibodeau. They have three sons, one living in Colorado, as well as other family who also reside in the state.

New Miss Juneteenth Crowned

2013 Miss Juneteenth Tajine Turner (right) congratulates 2014 Miss Juneteenth Theresa Burleson

On Friday, June 13, 15-year-old Theresa Burleson was crowned as the Miss Juneteenth Music Festival queen. She attends Cherokee Trails High School where she maintains a 3.0 GPA. She is a writer and enjoys singing, dancing and acting. The pageant was held at the Crossroads Theater where five contestants competed in introductions, talent and evening wear/interview. First Lady of Denver Mary Louise Lee was in attendance and Councilman Albus Brooks was the emcee for the evening.

Left to right: Dr. Alice Langley, Ingrid Franklin, Mariah Franklin, Catherine Brown, Rev. Dr. Eugene Downing, Michelle Downing, and Dr. Joseph Langley (Joy Barber - not pictured).

awards luncheon will be held on Sept. 20 at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center. Through the awards, the chapter has honored more than 45 community leaders and raised money to support the ENO Scholarship Endowment Fund to provide outstanding high school graduates with scholarships. The 2014 M.O.D.E.L. honorees include: five-time NBA All-Star, Chauncey Billups; architect and owner of Chocolate Spokes Bicycle Studio, Gregory John Crichlow; retired public defender and current guardian ad litem for the state of Colorado, Lurix “Skeet” Johnson; Colorado executive director of College Track (starting July), Eddie Koen, Jr.; founder and executive director of the Center for African-American Health, Grant Jones; retired IBM executive, Steve Jones; founder and executive director of Sims-Fayola International Academy, Dedrick J. Sims, founder and executive

Langley Foundation Awards 1,000 Dollar Scholarships

The Drs. Joseph and Alice Langley Scholarship Foundation hosted an awards reception at the New Hope Baptist Church on June 7. Mariah Franklin, Catherine Brown, and Joy Barber each received $1,000 scholarships to be used at the college of their choice. Reverend Brian Tarver was the guest speaker. Special guest motivational speakers were Tracy Peters, professor, University of Denver and Tanaka Shipp, the Center for African American Health.

University Of Denver Names Chopp As New Chancellor

The University of Denver, its Board of Trustees and Chancellor Search Committee announced the selection of Dr. Rebecca Chopp as the new chancellor of the University of Denver. She comes from Swarthmore College in

303-295-1759 X10

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


MRBES Provides Economic Empowerment to Participants

Wil Haygood with MRBES Executive Director Carla Ladd, Denver Post Editor Greg Moore and DUS Publisher Rosalind “Bee” Harris Photo by Lens of Ansar

Last month, at the Mountain Region Black Economic Summit’s 9th Annual MRBES Success Summit & Expo luncheon, nearly 400 business leaders and entrepreneurs listened to the Hollywood tales of Wil Haygood, author of “The Butler: A Witness to History” of which the movie, Lee Daniels’ The Butler was made. The author, who served as associate producer on the 2013 movie, was interviewed on stage by Greg Moore, editor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Denver Post about his interactions with the likes of celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker. The economic summit has been labeled “the premier multicultural business leadership conference in the West.” It featured a full-day economic empowerment summit comprised of workshops and panel discussions designed to promote financial literacy and stimulate action toward building and sustaining wealth in the Black community and communities of color overall. Participants enriched their knowledge of social security, entrepreneurship and marketing in building their business and their lives.

New Television Series for Boomers Premieres July 6

“The Active Generation,” a new hour-long television series for Boomers maturing into seniors debuts Sunday, July 6, at 1 p.m. on Rocky Mountain PBS, Comcast channel 658 and 6 in Denver and Pueblo, Channel 708 and 8 in Colorado Springs and Channel 18 in Grand Junction. “The Active Generation” communicates information Boomers need and insights to the available services and support as the “forever young” generation begins grappling with the lifestyle of maturing. This first edition reviews the updated living/housing option of co-housing with a visit to the Silver Sage community in Boulder; options for career


transitioning into the non-profit sector with Boomers Leading Change in Health along with the model of Glenda Mitchell of the Center for African Health. This premiere also examines how retirement considerations for women are different than for men with financial advisor Suzanne Charrin. The Active Generation does a check-up with the Doc for an answer. The show will also touch base with Steve Watts, of the 2012 Jazz Group of the Year Dotsero, and Randy Weeks, Executive Director of Denver Center Attractions, suggesting Boomer entertainment options with jazz and musical theater nights out. The show is also punctuated with pop-culture, Boomer history flashbacks and a few local recommendations for the Colorado Boomer Bucket List.

CCD President Pledges $50,000 to College’s Foundation

Community College of Denver (CCD) President Dr. Everette Freeman recently pledged $50,000 over five years to the CCD Foundation to support the school and its students. Dr. Freeman’s gift is the largest since the Foundation was established in 2011. Freeman, who began his tenure as president in November, has thrown down the gauntlet to incentivize others to support the foundation and the college’s mission to help students realize their full potential. Freeman’s gift also comes at a time of new beginnings for the institution. In addition to his selection as the new president of CCD, a new strategic plan for the college was unveiled last month and new leadership of the foundation has been established with the selection of Francie Anhut as its executive director. As the College implements changes necessary to bolster persistence and completion rates, and continuing to ensure that CCD the first choice for students from all walks of life, many are taking notice that this gift comes from one hardly known to be a wealthy man.

Ministerial Alliance Seeks Answers With Public Forum

The Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance provided an update on an on-going effort to work with law enforcement to address excessive force on the part of officers. The Alliance, led by Rev. William T. Golson, has made a long-term commitment to change policies and the

systemic behavior that negatively impacts civil rights. Among the cases sited are the death of Marvin Booker in July 2010, the attack of Jamal Hunter in 2011 and the attack of Anthony Waller in 2012. Alliance members have participated with various committees for six weeks to better understand the city’s disciplinary matrix, policies and procedures, and deputy training reviews. From the disciplinary research process, it was determined that while there are written expectations in place, there is still a short fall in the real-time application of what’s expected. No system in place to track the execution and outcomes of new policies is in sight. Moving forward the Alliance is seeking verbal acknowledgement from city officials that there is a legacy issue surrounding systemic processes. Also requests will be made for disclosure of possible excessive force cases and a working agenda to correct excessive force issues. The Alliance will hold a community forum with the Office of the Independent Monitor regarding the Denver’s disciplinary process for public enforcement officers on July 1 at 6:30. The meeting will be held at True Light Baptist Church, 14333 Bolling St. in Denver. The public is invited. For more information, email

Klux Klan still exist, preaching their hate to the world, with the responsibility of fending them off resting largely on the shoulders of law enforcement. Officer Ron Stallworth was one such officer. In the late 1970’s, the Ku Klux Klan was alive and well in the growing city of Colorado Springs, looking to expand their influence nationwide. Officer Stallworth, then assigned to an undercover unit in the area, came across a newspaper ad placed by members of the Klan searching for new recruits. Stallworth responded, and over the course of several months, infiltrated the white supremacist group. The only problem was that Ron Stallworth was not the pure-blood Aryan, the Klan believed him to be. Ron Stallworth is Black. “Black Klansman” is now available at or from

UCD Alumni Uses Degree to Teach Kids in Rural Tanzania

True Life Story, “Black Klansman” Released

Police and Fire Publishing released of their much anticipated book “Black Klansman,” the true-life story of how decorated Colorado Springs officer Ron Stallworth, now retired, became a member of the Ku Klux Klan. For many, hate is considered the worst of any four-letter word, and throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, there were few names as synonymous with hate as the Ku Klux Klan. Even today, factions of the Ku

Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


After graduating from the University of Colorado Denver in 2012 with his MBA, Thomas Evans took his newly acquired knowledge to the mountainous region of Tanzania to teach Entrepreneurship and to run the communications department of Indigenous Education Foundation of Tanzania (IEFT). IEFT is a non-profit organization that operates Orkeeswa Secondary School, a school of 150 students in Monduli Tanzania. With his computer in hand, Thomas began to apply the knowledge gained from his courses at UCD to help a group of 22 students start businesses. He developed a curriculum catered specifically to the Tanzanian business environment and taught a 7-week intensive course culminating in a business plan competition at the end. With an exciting teaching style, an expertise for digital communication, and a unique background, Thomas has quickly become a favorite among Orkeeswa students and staff.



2014 Juneteenth Music Festival

Photos by

Lens of Ansar

Owl Club Debutante Ball

DUS Men of Distinction, Fathers of Wisdom Back Home Gospel Shout Out

Safe Summer Safe Holly

“I am Man, I am Woman, We are People” Scholarship Award Gala and Banquet with Harry Belafonte Mountain Region Black Economic Summit

Photo by Robert Jones Denver Urban Spectrum — – July 2014


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Discover Local


Locally Grown. Locally Sourced.

Saturday, July 26, 2014 – Pavilion at Denver’s City Park Walk or Run the 5K! Stroll the One Mile Course with Family and Friends! Visit the Health Education Expo! Entertainment provided by Mary Louise Lee Band Destination Health Co-Chairs: Allegra “Happy” Haynes and Rev. Rodney Perry

REGISTRATION INFORMATION Schedule 7:30am – registration & packet pick-up 8:00am – warm-up 8:30am – 5K & one mile start 9:30am – awards & entertainment

Registration Fees Adults ages 18 – 49 - $30 Teams of four or more - $25 per person Children 6-17, Adults 50+, Retired & Active Military - $25 Children 5 and under – Free (registration still required) Children 5 and under with t-shirt - $15


Register today as an individual or sign up for a team at 303-355-3423

DUS July 2014  

Buffalo Soldiers celebrate 148th anniversary reunion in Denver, Colorado. The Colorado Black Arts Festival celebrates 28 years with national...