Denver Urban Spectrum June 2022 - Black Music Month

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Andrew P. Woolfolk II


Black Music Month

In Session with Soul School…4 Styling with Gregory Goodloe…7 Remembering Andrew P. Woolfolk II…28

The Soul School Band Photos by Lens of Ansar

Gregory Goodloe

MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER Music Soothes the Soul... Volume 36

Number 3

June 2022

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris GENERAL MANAGER Lawrence A. James EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Alfonzo Porter COPY EDITOR Tanya Ishikawa COLUMNISTS Kim Farmer Barry Overton CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Brave Bey Angelia D. McGowan Thomas Holt Russell Wayne Trujillo

Music can raise someone’s mood, get them excited, or make them calm and relaxed. Music also allows us to feel nearly or possibly all emotions that we experience in our lives. It’s Black Music Month and Black folks can be found in every genre of music. This month we pay tribute to an R&B band, a jazz musician and a very loved artist – all deserving in their own right to grace the cover of this month’s issue. As a monthly publication for the last 35 years, selecting who (or what) is featured on one of the 12 covers can be challenging, but not this month. Our June 2022 cover story was a no brainer. I was inspired by an extraordinary musical performance earlier this year that happened while other folks gathered at home, friend’s houses, sports bars, or the stadium to watch the Super Bowl. Instead of focusing on football, I was nestled at the Soiled Dove being introduced to A Girl Named Sethe. Amazed by her real, humble talent and professional demeanor, I’m sure my evening of entertainment was better than what others were watching on the field, and it made me want more than just her Sade Tribute show. So, I attended another performance where she sang with Soul School, and my mind was made up about our feature for Black Music Month this year. Contributor Wayne Trujillo has rejoined the DUS family after many years of absence. With a strong background and interest in music, he returned to us like gangbusters with not one but three eloquent stories. He interviewed and shared stories about Soul School’s Tony Prince and Sethe Tucker, as well as the very talented guitar player Gregory Goodloe. He also paid tribute to Andrew P. Woolfolk II, the famed saxophonist from Earth, Wind & Fire, who recently passed away. As you can see in this issue, music will be in abundance over the next few months at festivals including the Juneteenth Music Festival, Winter Park Jazz Festival and Colorado Black Arts Festival, in addition to local venues. So whatever your mood is or what you’re going through, there is something that can enhance your emotion and elevate your spirit – and that is music! Make plans and take time to enjoy this summer with family and friends, and savor the sounds of music at the many opportunities around the Mile High City. Enjoy! Rosalind J. Harris DUS Publisher


COLAB Tanya Ishikawa - Story Coordinator ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris ADVERTISING & DIGITAL MARKETING Melovy Melvin GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jody Gilbert - Kolor Graphix PHOTOGRAPHERS Lens of Ansar Bernard Grant SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Melovy Melvin DISTRIBUTION Ed Lynch Lawrence A. James - Manager

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 2022 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 303292-6543 or visit the Web site at

What’s especially unnerving is that the wheels to get the program moved from Manual started a few years ago when Sgt. Posey challenged an unfair review, and an arbitrator agreed with Posey. This man has gone beyond the job description to help students face all kind of challenges. He has been praised as an excellent communicator and has helped numerous students change their lives in a positive direction. He’s even counseled longtime teachers and boosted their morale. Now, the excuse for the transfer is there aren’t enough students enrolled at the program at Manual, and Posey is unlikely to be chosen to lead the program if it moves to Northfield. This is a much bigger issue than numbers. Manual continually deals with the dark cloud of possible future closures of the school. It was a mistake when the school was temporarily closed in 2006 and it’s a mistake now to rip this program from the school. We pound our chests when test scores are low but what do our actions show these students? How many times are we going to tell the kids at Manual that we don’t care how they

Open Letter to Dr. Alex Marrero and DPS Board of Education Editor: It is disheartening that once again we must come to the defense of Manual High School, whose students have been disrespected. The latest example is losing the school’s junior ROTC program, which has been active at Manual for more than 100 years and has positively impacted the mostly black and brown students at Manual. The program is set to be transferred in the fall to Northfield High, a bigger school serving a wealthier community. The Manual students, faculty and alumni are rightly upset at the prospect of losing 1st Sgt. Eric Posey, who has taught JROTC at Manual for 15 years. This man is so dedicated to Manual that he drives from his home in Colorado Springs. We personally know the positive impact of this program because Wilma (Gerdine) Webb was a graduate of the program. The junior ROTC not only taught her leadership skills, but her weapons training came in handy when we took security training during our 12 years as Denver’s mayor and First Lady.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


feel? That they must accept being treated like an afterthought? Some administrators say this is not their decision, but who is going to stand up for these kids and for people like Sgt. Posey? We should be fighting like hell to help these kids feel valued and heard. We’ll continue to speak out on their behalf but where are the other voices? If we want these kids to do better, we must do better for them. Wellington E. Webb Wilma J. Webb Manual Alumni

A Forced Agenda On Humanity? Editor: The sin from the fight over whether women should have control over their body or whether government should, grows ever more loud. The opposition to the right to terminate a pregnancy, base their opposition on the right of ‘innocent’ life to be protected. This idea assumes that abortion is murder. If abortion is murder, that means life has a beginning and an end. This belief that life actually ends is not supported by the Continued on page 20

SOUL SCHOOL IS IN SESSION: A Tutorial Without Barriers and Borders By Wayne Trujillo Photo by Lens of Ansar

It’s summer break for most

teachers and students, but for Tony Price and Sethe Tucker school is always in session. The pair comprise the voice and heart of Soul School, the popular Denver-based party band that embraces everything from old school R&B and soul to current hip hop and pop. History is part of the standard curriculum of any reputable learning institution; Price and Tucker certainly take their scholarly tasks seriously. But to view Soul School as old school, an exercise in retro didacticism or simply a nostalgic act rotely reciting licks and recalling thrills from decades past, would be both myopic and a mistake. Price, in a recent telephone interview following another triumphant standing-room-only Soiled Dove Underground concert, stressed that the group refuses to merely mimic the iconic artists and performances they salute on stage. The band pays homage, sure, but without the sycophantic imitation common on the tribute circuit. Performances on YouTube and other online media reveal a group honoring past presentations of classic hits but with an improvisation and immediacy

married that jive with with chilcontemporary dren, balanccharts and ing showbiz clubs. Along Tony Price and Sethe Tucker with domeswith the clastic duties. sics, Soul Producing beautiSchool also records ful music and and performs origichildren takes talnal material that ent and good forattests to their arttune. The leaders istry. The combinaof Soul School are tion of creativity, blessed with both. range and theatrics Nurture versus position Soul environment comSchool as arguably mands constant the most exciting attention and live act in Colorado debate across disand among the ciplines ranging most versatile from biology to groups across genPhotos by Michael Mark and sociology to musires and geographiAngela Kay Photography cology. In the percal boundaries. sonality and performances of Price and Tucker seem a Soul School, proponents of both magical match, whether preornurture and environment could dained by a deity, fate or happersuasively argue their points. penstance depends on personal philosophy and belief. But wha- Price credits both in his musical evolution. A native of the Peach tever the catalyst, nobody can state and graduate of deny the stunning conMorehouse College, he praises sequences: he with the vocals boasting muscular depth that Atlanta’s musical and intellecrecalls Otis Redding and tual terrain as a seminal Wilson Pickett in their prime, influence. and she with the silky sensualEven before he entered a ity of Sade and passion of nightclub or a recording studio, Chaka Khan. A cliché comes to soaking in the strains beating mind – “a marriage made in through speakers and microheaven.” It’s also a marriage phones, the church and his grounded in love with feet grandparents nurtured his spirplanted both on stage and in itual, artistic and aesthetic sensireal life even as their voices bilities. “In my family you had shoot for the stars. The pair are to go to church,” Price states. Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


What might strike other youth as an ordeal, Price considered a sustaining lesson. Contemporary audiences can witness the church’s influence in Soul School’s performances – the improvisational takes on classic jams, the creative interpretations and the impromptu ad libs all stem from gospel and its freewheeling practitioners. “Down south, I brought that with me… wanting to create something,” Price explained. “Every song has its own life, its own element. You’ll pick up on the creativity really quick.” He credits his gospel background for those improvisational flights. As a choir singer, and later during his nascent theater career, the church’s righteous rhythms and sanctified beats set a template that the musician relies on today. The seismic combination of familial nurture and Southern environment propelled not only Price’s career. His sister, LaTonya Richardson Jackson (wife of Samuel L. Jackson), is a star of screen and stage, earning accolades and a Tony nomination. The same combustion of nurture and environment infuses Tucker’s artistry. A Mississippi native, she grew up in Hattiesburg, a wellspring of athletic and artistic talent that includes the likes of musicians Mississippi Matilda, Webb Wilder, Johnny Rawls, and

Clifton Hyde alongside athletes Harold Jackson, Louis Lipps, Todd Pinkston, and Walter Suggs. In an interview for FestivalSouth 2016, Tucker recalled her father’s influence with his voice raised in song throughout her formative years. Undoubtedly Tucker had exposure to a fertile environment and strong supporting influences, but relayed in that same interview that she didn’t entertain a musical career until her college years at Colorado State University, miles and at least a dozen years distant from her childhood. A friend during that time encouraged her to transition from recreational to professional singing; Tucker accepted the advice, graduating from college into a profession she didn’t envision when declaring a major as a freshman. One may debate the force behind Price’s and Tucker’s crossed paths – God, destiny or chance – but once joined, the two engaged in a personal and professional union that inspires friends and fans alike today. Before joining Soul School, Price spent his time and talent on theater productions in the Atlanta area with the likes of Vickie Winans. Tucker, also an Atlanta resident at the time, returned to Colorado in 2005, planning on staying long enough to complete a few musical projects. She told Archuleta Productions in a 2015 interview that her intent wasn’t a long-term residency, let alone membership in Soul School, an already established band based in the Denver metropolitan area. However, the band’s founder Windell Armour, seeking a female lead for the group, convinced the songbird to accept the position. The following year, Tucker convinced her then-fiancé Price to join Soul School. Price calls the difference between Atlanta and Denver as “day and night.” However, he acclimated to the high-altitude turf, leading Soul School onto its current pedestal as the Mile High City’s premier party

versions are hardly a carbon copy. The gospel improvisation learned in childhood resonates through every performance. “We put our own touch on it… meshing things our way,” Price explained. “We just have a creative flow when it comes to making music.” As Tucker explained to Archuleta Productions, and Price seconded when speaking with the Urban Spectrum, the group’s primary goal is to con-

group and interpreter of classic and contemporary jams. The group’s repertoire consists of R&B standards, sizzling funk and contemporary club jams alongside original cuts. The constant is the group’s devotion to creativity, expansion and simple but sheer fun. While the band may perform “Uptown Funk” or classics from Price’s inspirations, artists like Peabo Bryson, Luther Vandross or Charlie Wilson, the Soul School

nect with and buoy audiences. “People are ready to have a good time; they don’t know what to do with themselves,” Tucker said in the 2015 broadcast interview. “Sometimes, you know, we might be the only fun people might’ve had that week.” Her husband seconded that emotion in 2022 when speaking with the Denver Urban Spectrum. “It starts with our amusement first, then it Continued on page 6

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


Soul School Continued from page 5 translates to the audience. It’s infectious,” he said. The evidence is on stage and record with every Soul School performance. When Price raised his voice (and the roof) recently at the Soiled Dove Underground covering the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody,” the song recalled the original. But there was a distinct vibe, a unique pulse that made it, during that moment and performance, a premiere – and premier – experience. Likewise, when Tucker took the stage a few years ago at the Soiled Dove for her “A Girl Named Seth” show (also the title of her 2016 fivetrack recording), there was a joy in her heart that flew through her throat and from her mouth. The vocal talent is obvious. But even more apparent is the passion behind the talent. And the

Soul School Band: Adam Bell, Alec Bell, Tony Price, Audree Dillard, Sethe Tucker, Windall Armour and Tom Dennis Photo by Lens of Ansar

audience reflects and returns that joy and passion. While Tucker’s early academic and later professional pursuits diverged, the formal education appears in her current musical expressions and attitudes. She told the FestivalSouth 2016 that her college curriculum included a specialization in diversity and multicultural education. So, in a fashion, she does employ her

higher education. Her Soul School performances educate diverse and multicultural audiences about music’s allinclusive appeal. “Music is a universal language,” she told Archuleta Productions. With that truth in mind, Price said that the current goal is to teach that lesson on foreign stages well beyond the band’s Denver stomping grounds. Soul School’s recent

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


success in Mexico encourages Price to envision global tours (“except for Russia, I think I’ll pass”). Even with the broadened opportunities and markets capturing the band’s attention, Price revealed that there’s still no place like home. He looks forward to returning for gigs at “home in Atlanta to perform for my people” and Hattiesburg, Tucker’s hometown. He credits the creative gifts distinguishing the band among Denver artists to Down South (“I brought it with me”). He wants to return the musical gifts to the people and places that first offered them to him and his wife. Whether it’s in Denver, Atlanta or Mexico, Soul School’s point and purpose are to share emotions and joy through language audiences of every culture, race and location can understand. And as Tucker observed, that language is music..

Gregory Goodloe is Stylin’...

By Wayne Trujillo


regory Goodloe set his sights, and some lofty goals, on a music career barely five years ago. In that relative eyeblink the Denver native’s sounds have reached audiences well outside earshot of the Mile High City that remains his base. Goodloe is already regionally renowned for his jazz prowess, a young aspirant to the commercial and critical pantheon populated by his idols, George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Oscar Peterson, and Cannonball Adderley. Recent national success, including the 2019 Billboard Smooth Jazz chart topper “Stylin” and last year’s encore jazz smash “In Paradise,” suggest Goodloe’s stellar ambitions are more substantive than wishful thinking. Reaching the Billboard summit shortly after committing to a full-time music career left Goodloe both breathless and humbled. He felt alternating emotions following the rapid successes. “It’s a good feeling to be counted in the number of great players,” he said in a recent interview. “It’s humbling… is this really happening? The feeling’s unreal!” While Goodloe seemed genuinely bowed by the sales and kudos, his tone and words a revolving succession of awe and humility, he’s not too content to rest on the critical laurels and recent Billboard hits. Goodloe displayed a healthy confidence that his best work and success remain unheard and unseen. “We’re not done,” he stated as if pointing out an irreducible fact and fate.

the New York Times observed in an article about the legendary guitarist, jazz purists considered the forays into smooth jazz, slick soul and rhythm and blues an outrage. Their puritan pounding failed to derail Benson’s legacy as a superlative jazz guitarist; the artist’s bold moves across established labels allowed his name and music to reach demographics well beyond the range of traditional jazz musicians stubbornly adhering to a dated dictum and decorum. Just as Benson eventually earned critical esteem alongside mainstream appeal with jaunts across genres, Goodloe has garnered a substantial following among critics and fans for his excursions that resist categorization and convention. Long before he earned the critical plaudits and Billboard hits, Goodloe dabbled in music as a random novitiate, passionate and talented, but without any serious intention to make

A press release, subsequently published on the Smooth Jazz Life and Keys and Chords websites following his Stylin’ success, positioned the musician at the crossroads between past, present and future, traveling across genres and generations. “In today’s modern world and culture, I wanted to bridge the gap between the standard jazz flow of Wes Montgomery, the smooth jazz flow of George Benson and the hip hop culture of Jay-Z,” Goodloe observed in the release. He presented Stylin’ as that bridge connecting the gaps and dots between disparate traditions, styles and eras. In his recent conversation with the Denver Urban Spectrum, Goodloe confirmed that plan and path going forward. “I envision my music branching to hip hop, R&B, standard jazz, even movies,” he said. He vowed not to let the industry “contain” his artistry or ambitions. And that’s not an idle threat. Goodloe launched an independent label, Hip Jazz Records, to transport his creative jaunts across borders and labels to listeners. “There are limitations on music,” he stated. “But only [from] those selling music.” He resists the industry stricture that demands labels and categories. Purists, soaked in sanctified snobbery, bemoan any deviance from established convention. One titan prevailed against such criticism. Goodloe mentioned other early influences, but none seem to occupy a loftier perch in the musician’s esteem than George Benson, the jazz guitarist perhaps better known to the mainstream for his pop and rhythm and blues hits like “Give Me the Night,” “Turn Your Love Around” and “The Greatest Love of All.” As

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


performing a means to survive – other than perhaps the occasional bouts of boredom. He harbored no plans to make any money, let alone a living, with his burgeoning talent (making others happy and earning their respect, rather than making and earning money, propelled his playing). Intent on spreading the wealth he reaped through performing, he set about enriching the lives of those within earshot with the same excitement, joy and wonder he felt in the licks and chords he heard – and emulated – in the performances of his early music idols. He began playing guitar and drums around the fourth grade. His first instrument – a plastic guitar earned from selling cucumber and tomato seeds – ended up smashed. The youth jumped from his bed, fell to his knees in prayer, and inadvertently crushed his prized possession. But far from crushed, his musical indulgences endured. Goodloe played drums from elementary school through college, but the guitar drew his passion. He received a replacement guitar for Christmas and hasn’t stopped plucking, picking and pounding out the beats. Attending Denver Public Schools, Goodloe played drums and guitar throughout adolesContinued on page 8

Gregory Goodloe


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Continued from page 7 cence, eventually earning a music scholarship to Bishop College, a historically black university in Texas. During college and an Army stint, Goodloe played guitar on weekends. However, possessing considerable talent and passion, a mere weekend warrior wasn’t his destiny. He still worked part time, but purchased the requisite equipment to record a demo CD. Dr. Daddio, Denver’s legendary radio impresario, played the music on air and prompted Goodloe’s decision to pursue music full time rather than as a recreational pastime. Now, several years later, and with two major Billboard hits under his belt and several other cuts like “All the Way,” “Get’n It” and “Cool Like That” placed on Billboard’s Most Added List, Goodloe is not only expanding genre descriptions. He’s also expanding his own job description – expanding his duties 11:20 AM behind the mic. He’s still performing, but with a radio show rather than with a guitar. His radio show, “Mile High Smooth Jazz,” runs twice weekly on World Wide Jazz Radio, and the radio personality mirrors his musical personality – paying tribute to the local greats who influenced him and countless other musicians. Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Dianne Reeves, Paul Taylor, Cleo Parker Robinson, and Charlie Burrell

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are just several of the Denvercentric musicians he’s spotlighted on air. With numerous milestones behind him, Goodloe constantly eyes the next benchmark, the next boundary breaker, and the next impossible feat. He’s already scaled the Billboard summit and spent quality time with longtime idol George Benson (who brought his wife to a Goodloe performance). Goodloe said he’s “dabbling” in classical music (“I never appreciated it until I found how hard it is.”) and regards mariachi music as a worthy pursuit (“It’s really, really smokin’ good.”). He also wants to share the stage and mic with others, mentioning Chaka Khan, Akon, Kenny G, and Bob James as dream collaborators. But listening to Goodloe speak, it’s apparent one goal remains a notch above others. Unlike the Weeknd, who returned a Grammy snub with a vow to avoid the annual award fest indefinitely, Goodloe – like most recording artists – isn’t as resistant to the award’s allure. Actually, he has an acceptance speech prepared, only halfjokingly relaying his upcoming words of gratitude. “I would like to thank everyone for this Grammy… thank you for making it possible.” With all the accomplishments achieved in the last half decade, it’s entirely plausible it won’t be much longer before he puts that speech to use..

Fathers & Family

BBQ! Saturday, June 11, 2022 11am - 3pm

Calling all fathers and grill masters to join us for a fun gathering to celebrate fatherhood and families.

prizes will be awarded!

Enjoy food, yard games, a live DJ and the awarding of our first Father’s Day Rib Champion all at no cost to you or your family. We look forward to hosting this day to honor and support fathers in our community. June is Men’s Health month we will have education and resources on site to keep you healthy and well. Mississippi Boy Catfish and Ribs is providing the food (come early to eat, food is limited to the first 100 attendees). / (303) 355-3423 /

Location: CAA Health – 3350 Hudson St., Denver, CO 80207 Thank You!

To enter the BBQ Rib Grill-Off contact for more information.

Black Therapists

Talk about Mental Health By Angelia D. McGowan


sking for help is a strength, not a weakness, according to Dr. Wilbert Miles, a Denver-based clinical psychologist who has been practicing for more than 30 years. “The most successful people ask for help,” he says. “A lot of people don’t understand that everyone needs help sometimes. We’re all vulnerable, constantly trying to defend ourselves through clothes, money and status.” When addressing mental health, a time comes when that venting session with a spouse or best friend is appreciated, but not enough. Professional help is needed. A lot of people are frozen by stigmas associated with mental health and in turn try to handle things on their own. Not seeking help can be costly in so many ways, according to Janelle Johnson,

a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship conflict, emotional regulation, anxiety, and grief and loss.

Signs to seek talk therapy Johnson formed her private practice, Life Balance Counseling, in Aurora more than 10 years ago. She notes that not understanding how to channel emotions can manifest in physiological ways such as a heart attack, heart palpitations, erectile disfunction, and even channeling frustration into injuring someone. But the signs can be as simple as headaches, sweating, eye twitches, and dry mouth or as serious as paranoia and hallucinations. Miles notes that if there’s too much conflict in their personal and professional life, people may need help. Additionally, if they are drinking and doing drugs to self-medicate, they may need help. Being angry all the time is another sign. Needing help and getting help are two different things, particularly if you are a man. With generations of men being taught at a young age that boys don’t cry and that men have to act tough, they are victims to suppressing their emotions, according to Johnson. They need to give themselves permission to diffuse a tense situation. “It’s okay to walk away. Being quiet is not cowardly.” Yves Domond, a licensed social worker helping veterans through VA Loma Linda Healthcare System in

California, wants people to know that “therapy provides you tools for intervention and to cope. We co-pilot until they have enough strength to go on their own. It’s more tools in their toolbelt to cope with a lot.” Miles, who serves as an expert witness for court cases, believes one of the reasons that some people turn away from therapy is that they confuse mental health with mental illness. Mental health refers to anyone’s state of mental, emotional well-being, but mental illness is a diagnosed condition that affects thoughts and behaviors. Mental illness may be addressed through prescribed medications.

How to seek help When someone decides to seek help they may not be clear on where to start. Johnson says they can start with their insurance company by asking for mental health resources. They can go to the employee assistance program at their job. Also, when doing their research, making the call themselves is very important. Miles encourages anyone that is making that call to ask whatever questions are necessary to make sure they are finding the right therapist or psychologist for them whether that be gender, race or cultural back-

ground. “If they are not of the same skin color as you, it’s okay to ask a therapist about their interactions or experiences with various cultures,” says Miles, who served as the clinical sports psychologist for the University of Colorado Buffaloes football team for 10 years, including 1991 when they won the Orange Bowl against Notre Dame. Johnson adds that a person may need to visit with more than one therapist. The first one may not be a good fit. But it’s worth it to keep trying. She understands that some may think they don’t have enough money, but that shouldn’t be a deterrent because many providers can offer fees on a sliding scale.

A unique calling Having a psychologist workforce that adequately reflects the changing demographics of the U.S. population is important. The need for Black psychologists and therapists becomes even more evident as African Americans try to process such atrocities as the George Floyd murder. “Whether we wanted to or not, we watched,” says Johnson, who saw the demographics of her patients go from primarily white to 50-50 with people of color. “People were reaching out more.” The same happened for Domond. People were calling. However, it isn’t always global headline news that sends you to

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therapy. It’s often news closer to home. Domond, who holds an associate degree in electromechanical engineering, initially attended therapy after the loss of his mother to stomach cancer. The Haitian native wanted to make sense of that loss. Ultimately, he went to school and became a social worker where he’s offering hope to his clients during difficult times in their lives. Research from Zippia, an online job site, reports that the most common ethnicity among clinical psychologists is white, which makes up 83.7% of all clinical psychologists. Comparatively, 8.1% are Hispanic or Latino ethnicity and 3.3% are Black or African American ethnicity.. Editor’s note: If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or related ideation, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 800-273-8255 or text "home" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 if you live in the U.S.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


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Senate Bill 22-139 officially making Juneteenth the 11th state holiday in Colorado. This history-making bill was signed just 10 months after the official federal holiday and more than a year after the City of Denver established Juneteenth as an official city commemorative holiday. It’s the first national holiday since Dr. Martin Luther King Day was created in 1983, which is just about in-sync with this celebration’s history of “after the fact-ness.” “It’s about time we officially recognize Juneteenth in Colorado law; our state diversity is our greatest power. With today’s signing, we take another step towards building a Colorado for all,” Gov. Polis said during the signing at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theater where the bill’s enactment was celebrated with entertainment by the dance troupes as well as the saxophone stylings of Tony Exum, Jr. “It’s long past time to make Juneteenth a Colorado state holiday,” said Sen. Janet Buckner, D-Aurora, who helped spearhead the effort, no doubt reflecting on initial pushback received from the statehouse because of a lack of funding. “I am proud to champion this important legislation, which will help educate all Coloradans about the horrors of slavery, make space to celebrate the

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


Black community, and lift up our ongoing work to make sure we don’t forget our past.” The effort to pass Senate Bill 139 was led by three Black lawmakers: Aurora Democrat Sen. Janet Buckner, Denver Democrat Sen. James Coleman and Denver Democrat Rep. Leslie Herod. The bill signing comes nearly 70 years after Denver’s first official Juneteenth celebration held in the historic Five Points neighborhood in 1953. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, is the portmanteau of June and nineteenth, the date on which the holiday takes place, and is how this celebration, started with the freed slaves of Galveston, Texas more than 150 years ago, got its title. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was announced to the freed, formerly enslaved people in the South in 1863, the proclamation was not enforced in many places in the South, including Texas. Once the Civil War ended in 1865, there were many enslaved people who were unaware of what happened in the Civil War or the fact that they had been freed. On June 19, 1865, Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston with his troops and General Order No. 3, which read in part, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” Two and a half years after the fact.

The next year, the now-free people of Texas began celebrating Juneteenth. Texas was the only state to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday for a long while, but the celebration began to spread as Texans moved around the country. Colorado Sen. Bill 139, which recognizes the holiday, passed the state House in a 61-2 vote in April and the state Senate in a 32-1 vote in March. Three Republican lawmakers who opposed the bill, Rep. Rod Bockenfeld, Rep. Kim Ransom and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg did not explain the reason behind their no votes on the floor. So, when Buckner said “… which will help educate all Coloradans…”, I do believe it is people like these three representatives she was referring to, because what person living in this country would not want to celebrate the freedom from racial oppression when this country was built on those principles as well. Now that Juneteenth is a state holiday, students will learn about Juneteenth in class curriculums, which undoubtedly spark more conversations to add the critical race theory into school curriculums. It doesn’t really make sense for anyone in a teaching capacity to talk about the oppressions of a people in history in a holiday context and yet still not recognize in-whole the damage slavery has done to this country and the people who reside within. I believe certain people, like the representatives that voted against this bill, are afraid that the real truth of the atrocities of slavery in this country will be highlighted and it is a very embarrassing history. And as embarrassing as it may be, there needs to be atonement for ALL those transgressions. Having the federal, state and local governments recognize and create certain holidays that speak to the atrocities that happen to a people are positive

steps forward to healing and change. However, as long as people in the high government positions continue to not see the error in the history of this country, we still have a long row to hoe. When our ancestors in Texas were informed of being freed, they celebrated. Therefore, let’s do what they did and continue to keep their stories alive by spreading the message of the history and atrocities that hap-

pened to us as a people in this land until an atonement is reached. “We can now focus on building a legacy of acceptance, empathy and equality for all,” said Norman Harris, president of Juneteenth Music Festival LLC. “We look forward to wishing everyone a happy Juneteenth this year.” So celebrate, be happy, be thankful, but people, my people, never forget..

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner A Los Angeles Premiere at Ruskin Group Theatre Opens in Santa Monica, CA Santa Monica, CA (May 18, 2022) – Interracial marriage was illegal in 17 Southern states — until six months before the opening of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Nominated for “Best Written American Drama” by the Writers Guild of America and “Best Comedy” for the Laurel Awards, William Rose’s story won the Oscar for “Original Screen Play” in 1968, and still resonates today. One of the 10 Academy Award nominations was a win for Katherine Hepburn for her role as Christina Drayton, playing opposite Spencer Tracey for the last time. The film inspired a race-reversed remake in the 2005, Guess Who, starring Bernie Mac. A progressive white couple’s proud liberal sensibilities are put to the test when their daughter brings her Black fiancé home to meet them in this fresh and relevant stage


adaptation of the iconic film. Blindsided by their daughter’s whirlwind romance and fearful for her future, Matt and Christina Drayton quickly come to realize the difference between supporting a mixedrace couple in your newspaper and welcoming one into your family. They’re surprised to find they aren’t the only ones with concerns about the match, and it’s not long before a multifamily clash of racial and generational difference sweeps across the Draytons’ idyllic San Francisco residence. At the end of the day, will the love between young Joanna and John prevail? With humor and insight, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner begins a conversation sure to continue at dinner tables long after the curtain comes down. Todd Kreidler (Adapter/ Playwright) worked with August Wilson on Broadway and in regional theaters across the country, developing the final three plays in Wilson’s famed American Century Cycle. Together they conceived How I Learned What I Learned, an autobiographical solo show that Wilson originally performed and Todd directed. On Broadway, Todd worked with director Kenny Leon and producers Eric Gold and Afeni Shakur to develop a musical fable based on the lyrics of Tupac Shakur entitled Holler If Ya Hear Me, starring Saul Williams and Christopher Jackson. Additionally on Broadway, Todd was the dramaturg on August Wilson’s Radio Golf and Gem Of The Ocean as well as associate director of the Tony Award winning revival of Fences starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. He wrote a musical with Nikki Sixx, based on Sixx’s music and best-selling memoir, The Heroin Diaries, directed by David Esbjornson. “What’s more current than a story set in a society riven by

intolerance and fear? We forget: only a generation ago America drank from separate fountains. See what happens when a couple attempts to share the water in even the most apparently liberal of homes,” stated Todd Kreidler who adapted the film for stage. Photo courtesy Ruskin Group Theatre)

Lita Gaithers Owens (Director) is a Tony Award-nominated coauthor and vocal director of the Broadway musical It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, which was nominated for four Tony Awards, including “Best Musical.” Her Tony nomination for “Best Book of a Musical,” is the third of only four African American women who have ever been nominated in that category. Lita directed the critically acclaimed production of Lorraine Hansberry’s classic A Raisin in the Sun, at Ruskin Group Theatre. As a veteran performer of legitimate stages that include: the Mark Taper Forum, Pasadena Playhouse, and Arena Stage, her lead and featured stage performances consist of: The Tin Pan Alley Rag, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Nunsense, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, A... My Name Is Alice, Purlie, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf, and being an original cast member of Blues, which was developed at the Denver Center Theatre Company. “You are never wrong when you fight for truth, love, and unity,” believes director Lita Gaithers Owens. “That’s why this play is not for cowards. I chose to direct this beautifully written adaptation of the film because even though our

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


nation’s laws and policies have improved for people of color, I believe there’s still work to be done, especially in the hearts and minds of many Americans. This play carries the audience on a journey of love and empathy. It encourages us to question what we truly believe about justice and equality and shows us that love must be our guide in finding the answers.” The Cast: Paul Denk (as Monsignor Ryan), Lee Garlington* (as Christina Drayton), Brad Greenquist* (as Matt Drayton), Dan Martin (as John Prentice Sr.), Mary Pumper (as Joanna Drayton), Vickilyn Reynolds* (as Matilda Binks), Mouchette van Helsdingen (as Hilary St. George), Vincent Washington (as Dr. John Prentice), Renn Woods* (as Mary Prentice). Creative Team: John Iacovelli (scenic design), Edward Salas (lighting and sound design), Michael Mullen (costume design), Paul Ruddy (casting), Nicole Millar (production stage manager) Hamilton Matthews (prop master/ASM). John Ruskin (artistic director/producer) founded the professional company in 2001 and Michael Myers (producing artistic director) has served as Ruskin’s managing director since 2002.. Editor’s note: “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” opens at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 3 and runs 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays through July 17 (no performances June 5, 17 & 18). Ruskin Group Theatre is located at 3000 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405. General Admission $35 (Seniors/Students/Guild $30), and can be purchased in advance at or by calling 310-397-3244. Free parking available on site. Editor’s note: All Ruskin Group Theatre staff, cast, and crew is fully vaccinated. All vaccinated guests should be prepared to wear masks for the duration of their visit inside while inside. Subject to change as conditions change.

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Celebrates Juneteenth with Poetry and Jazz Poet laureate Nikki Giovanni and saxophonist Javon Jackson join CPRD for Juneteenth

In addition to the extensive

2022 Juneteenth festivities ranging from the Juneteenth Music Festival along Welton Street in the heart of Five Points to the Denver Film Center on Colfax, poet laureate Nikki Giovanni and Denver native tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson will be on stage at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance on 17 and 18. Giovanni and Jackson released their first music and spoken word collaboration in February: “The Gospel According to Nikki Giovanni” with Spirituals music. They will perform, together with the internationally touring Javon Jackson Quartet and the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance

Ensemble. A panel discussion addressing the impact of Blacks in journalism with local media personalities will be presented. Giovanni will present a poetry keynote along with other guests. “We expect tickets to sell out for this momentous weekend celebrating the 157th year of our newest official holiday,” said CPRD Executive Director Malik Robinson. A jazz concert with Nikki Giovanni and Javon Jackson will be held at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theatre (119 Park Avenue West) on Friday, June 17 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30. A panel discussion, Impact of Black Communications and Journalism, will be held on Saturday, June 18 at 1 p.m. Moderated by Dr. Brenda Allen, Emerita, DEI Vice Chancellor/Professor of Communication, CU Denver, panelists will include Jo Ann Allen (Retired) Colorado Public Radio Host; Rosalind “Bee” Harris, Publisher, Denver Urban Spectrum; Stephen Brackett, CoFounder, Flobots & Youth on Record, Colorado State Music Ambassador and The Maleman, Timmale Dotson, host on The Drop KUVO 104.7FM A Poetry Keynote presentation by poet laureate Nikki Giovanni will be held Saturday, June 18 at 3:30 p.m. The program will include a Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble performance; an awards ceremony; and a “Meet & Greet” with autographed books and CDs by special guests. Tickets for the all day entry on Saturday includes both events for $30. For tickets and more information, visit cleoparkerdance. org or call 303-295-1759..

Learn to






Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


Alamance County: Digging through my Family Roots

This home belonged to the Holts, who were originally from Bavaria and settled in Alamance in the 1740s.

By Thomas Holt Russell

Armed insurrection, a war against the Klan, martial law enacted in an American town, Governor impeachment, a multimillion-dollar corporation built on free labor, a paternalistic slave owner, and the resilience of a former slave and first Black deputy in the middle of all this.

Caswell Holt’s photograph, along with other plantation memorabilia

My name is Thomas Holt Russell, Jr. But, I am not technically a Jr. I should be the III because my father was Thomas Holt Russell Jr. When my mother tried to name me the III, a hospital employee told her that those designations are only for White people and royalty. Because of that bit of false information, two Thomas Holt Russell Jr.’s can be found in my family tree. That is just one of the abnormalities found on this important historic document. Before the mail-in DNA test and ancestry websites, I used a pencil and paper and sometimes a phone and the post office to find and gather information. Since is a great way to trace family roots, my search into my family history has been an obsession. I traced my family name back to a little house in Alamance County, North Carolina. As an African American researching history, I already

knew some of the things I may uncover would tax my emotions. I want to think things have changed, but two things happened on this trip that reminded me we still have a long way to go. First, on the day that I made this trip, the murderer in Wisconsin was found not guilty. Second, when I visited downtown Graham, North Carolina, I noticed the enormous confederate statue in front of the courthouse. A tall iron gate protects the figure, protected even from the touch of a human hand. I am not used to those monuments. Any time an African American visits former slave states, they have to be prepared to encounter unpleasant reminders of the past.

The Holt Cemetery at Oak Grove Plantation

An industrious lot, those Holts were. By 1853, their Alamance Cotton Factory was producing woven fabrics known as the Alamance Plaids. This material had the distinction of being the first colored cotton cloth produced in the South. By 1900 the Holt family owned 24 cotton mills in the county. Fast forward many years later: these mills were consolidated and formed the core of Burlington Industries, a diversified fabric maker with over 8,000 employees and offices all around the world. The Holt family produced doctors, lawyers, and businesspeople, and they married into other families like theirs and retained those family riches until this very day. A future governor of North Carolina, Thomas Holt, was born in this house.

The living room at Oak Grove Plantation

Having developed an interest in my ancestry, research led me to the living room of the Oak Grove Plantation in Alamance County. The formal plantation is now the Alamance County Historical Museum, full of documents, photos, old furniture, paintings, sketchings, silverware, cyphered, and handcrafted dinnerware. A middleaged white man took my wife and me on a personalized tour of the plantation home and went about his business in a matter-of-fact but detailed way.

A nearby field where some slaves picked cotton while others worked in factories

The other side to this American success story is about the other Holts, the African Holts. They were the slaves owned by the European Holts. The African Holts date back to the 1770s with the first recorded Africans at the Oak Grove Plantation, a couple by the name of Charles and Pattie, who are my fifth great-grandfather and mother.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


It did not take a genius to figure out where my name (Holt) originated. Like many African families after the Civil War, the slaves adopted the names of their slavers. The Holts were no exception. Before reconstruction, slaves did not have last names, as proven by all of the slave-era documents that list only the first names of slaves. When slaves were free, they adopted the names for practical reasons. It was easy to be identified, the government was in a hurry requesting names for all former slaves, and they had to register to vote. Lastly, those names also identified where a person was from.

Four graveyards where I was able to identify many of the relatives I had researched

This actually answered some of my questions from my family tree. It seems that a lot of Holts were marrying other Holts. This was for two reasons. First, all of the slaves that adopted the name Holt were not blood relatives. They only took the name out of convenience, as noted above. Second, Holts and Russells remained at the plantation for multiple generations long after the civil war and reconstruction, producing more Russells and Holts and making tracing family origins a little tricky. Several families have either the middle or last names of Russell and Holt. Additionally, census records show that the Russell and Holt families also shared the same dwellings for many years. At graveyards such as Woods Chapel, Linwood Cemetery, and Springdale Church Cemetery, I found several family plots with Russells in the Holt plots and Holts in the Russell plots.

Plaids. The picture depicts Thomas showing off his company products to visitors with his wife, while Sam is working on the left side and Caswell is depicted on the right.

Gravestone with both Holt and Russell

Two brothers were born on the plantation who made a significant mark on North Carolina history, and these are the type of stories you will not find in history books. Caswell Holt Jr. and Sam Holt were brothers born to Oak Grove slaves Caswell Sr. and Rhena. The Holt brothers grew up with Thomas Holt, a future governor of North Carolina. Both brothers worked at the dye house for Thomas, producing the first indigo dyes used to make the famous Alamance Plaids. The plantation home has an oil painting by Mort Kunstler, entitled Alamance

Sam and Caswell, who helped develop the colorfast dyes, are depicted in this painting along with Thomas Holt, whom they grew up with and would later become the governor of North Carolina.

Tourgee’s boo, “A Fool’s Errand.” Sam Went on to be a prominent preacher in the area. In 1832, North Carolina passed a law stating “any free negro, slave, or person of color, could not preach in public or private.” But Sam preached so well, the European Holts would sometimes attend the informal services. E.M. Holt deeded one acre of land to Sam for the sole purpose of developing a church for the Black population.

one of its kin in the county, is credited with training the first Black teachers, who spread around the states teaching others. In one of the first generations of African American teachers was my great-grandaunt, Eliza Holt, who opened the Pattillo School in the area. The church was later named the Springdale Church and is still in operation today.

Caswell Holt, the first Black deputy in Alamance County Sam, a very popular teacher and founder of Springdale Church and School

Original drawing of preaching at Uncle Jerry’s Meeting House from A Fool’s Errand, by Albion W. Tourgee, 1879, p. 93

Uncle Jerry’s character was based on Sam Holt, in Albion

The church moved from the woods to a one-room house and was called Uncles Sam’s Meeting House. It would soon become a school, teaching the emancipated slaves how to read and write. The school, the only

As for Caswell Holt, he was a tough man. Besides helping with the dyeing process that made his owners millions, Caswell was the first Black deputy in Alamance County. He teamed with Wyatt Outlaw, an African American political Continued on page 18


The exhibition has been produced as a joint venture between Lokschuppen Rosenheim, the University of Aberdeen Museums, the Roemer- und -Pelizaeus Museums Hildesheim and MuseumsPartner Austria, and is presented in Denver by Chevron.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


Digging through my Family Roots Continued from page 17 activist, and established patrols to curb Klan violence to enforce curfew regulations during reconstruction. This put them in the crosshairs of the KKK. First, the Klansmen attacked Outlaw, and dragged him to the courthouse where they hung him from a tree, and left his body until the next day to send a message to anyone who would go against them. Caswell was next on the list. The Klan attacked him several times. He was shot seven times, whipped, hung, and bucked (horrible torture that was widespread during the Civil War that I am not even going to explain here). No matter the physical pain he endured, Caswell never gave in to the demands of the Klan. He denounced them in the face of danger and would rather lose his life than admit to a crime he never committed.

Governor William Holden to declare an insurrection in the county, which was basically a war against the Ku Klux Klan. Gov. Holden put martial law into effect and occupied Alamance and Caswell counties. On July 6, Colonel George W. Kirk was in charge of troops, and 83 Klansmen were arrested. This was known as the Kirk-Holden War. Scrimmages broke out all over the county and the federal troops were accused of hanging two Klan members in an effort to get information from them. The people of North Carolina were incensed at the government’s pursuit of the Ku Klux Klan, and it cost Holden politically. After the Kirk-Holden War ended, he was the first U.S. governor to be impeached and removed from office.

A present-day photo of Oak Grove, stylized to look historic

Oak Grove is a melancholy place. It is definitely not Tara of the nostalgic movie about the South, Gone with the Wind. Oak Grove is not palatial and glamorous. Slavery is not a technicolor dream; it was a dirty, grimy life. I do not know how many visitors the museum receives. I suspect tourists do not overrun the Oak Grove Plantation. The main walkway was blocked with an elaborate and symmetrical spider web. I walked around the web because destroying this type of nature seemed too much for a short visit. The Holt graveyard on the property was scrubbed and tidy, unlike the unmarked and washed-out headstones found in the place where the slaves were buried. The gravesite for the slaves of the plantation is about a mile from the plantation in the rear of Springfield Church, separated, even in death. This is the church that Sam Holt started.

Caswell Holt’s tough life during reconstruction

Working against the wishes of his ex-owner, E.M. Holt, Caswell traveled to Washington, D.C. and testified before the U.S. Senate. The brutal Klan terrorism in Alamance prompted North Carolina

Oak Grove – peaceful and hidden by growth, quietly holding its stories

My uncle Caswell was not having any of that paternalistic crap. He went his own way and paid a substantial physical and emotional toll. But he had resiliency. This is why I am so proud of him. He had it much worse than any of us today and lived to a ripe old age with his dignity intact. Now that’s admirable!

A photo taken by me of one that is all over the internet

A picture of Caswell Holt rests with a list of slaves owned by E.M. Holt

As I wrote about earlier, history can sometimes put you in a funky mood, especially if you are Black. Tracing my family history for a couple of years and finally visiting the plantation where my relatives lived in bondage for almost 100 years was an emotional experience. I knew what to expect. Though I did learn a few things, my research was so thorough before I arrived, I found no great surprises once I was there.

Slaver E.M. Holt gave land to both Sam and Caswell for a church and school and attended Sam’s Sunday sermons, but he did little to stop the harassment and beating of someone he looked upon favorably, albeit paternalistically. Slavery and the relationship between master and slave have always been complicated.

Creepy little dolls – the only residents of Oak Grove Plantation today

Though most of the slaves were not related to the slave owners, it is also just as accurate that many of the slaves were blood relatives of the owners. My own DNA says so.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


Before I left the plantation, I stood near the historical marker and took a deep breath. I did my best to imagine what it was like being here 200 years ago. And I knew I would never return. For me, this was a onetime event. My questions were answered and my curiosity about this physical space dissipated. But somewhere deep in me, there’s a book about Caswell Holt waiting to get out..

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


Letters to the Editor Continued from page 3 laws of physics which state that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. When all is reduced to energy, it becomes clear that what is perceived as death is really a transition to another level of existence. What takes place when a fetus aborted? A soul comes from a higher dimension to animate the developing fetus. No one can say with certainty when a soul actually enters the fetus; but this is inconsequential because what is more important is what becomes of the soul if the pregnancy is terminated? If a soul comes from another dimension to animate a fetus, then according to the laws of logic, at the termination of pregnancy, the soul returns to the dimension from whence it came, to await another body which it can animate. So the soul does not die, the flesh does not die. What does happen however, is transition

from one level of existence to another. So in light of the fact that life cannot be created nor ended - life just is - it has no known beginning – same as the universe or consciousness – no known beginning and no end, the furor over the ‘murder’ of children is based in a lack of knowledge of universal law. There are too many unknowns concerning existence for any of us to presume to know enough to tell others what decisions they should make in life. Those who oppose abortion, cannot claim on one hand that we are creatures by the creator given the free will, and on the other, go against the creators plan by denying people they are a God given free will. If abortion is a sin, then allow the creator to be the judge of that. I doubt very seriously the creator would force an agenda on to humanity – and neither should we. There is no death! Antonio Aurora, CO


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THISISCOLORADOWINE.COM Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


Crypto and Real Estate

How digital currency is being used to purchase real estate in Colorado

By Barry Overton

Whether we are Bitcoin aficionados or are complete novice to the idea of digital currency, the fact of the matter is it’s here and it’s here to stay, so much that the so-called best investment on the planet, real estate, can now be purchased with the use of cryptocurrency. Before we go too deep into purchasing real estate with cryptocurrency, let’s first talk about what is cryptocurrency? In its simplest terms, cryptocurrency is described as a digital currency that can be secured through cryptography, which in essence makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit. Cryptocurrency was initially invented in 2008 by a person or organization only known as Satoshi Nakamoto. It is designed to work as a medium of exchange through computer networks. Cryptocurrency is considered to be a better way to exchange since it is not reliant on any central authority, such

as government entities or banks, to uphold, maintain, or regulate it. So when you think about digital currency, in many instances, we are already utilizing digital technology to move currency. In this day and age, most of us do not use cash to make purchases from our bank accounts. Between credit cards, PayPal, or applications like Venmo and Cash App, currency is moving through digital networks all the time, so the emergence of cryptocurrency currency is the logical next step to the use of digital money. With the efficiency of it, and being able to have 24/7 access to it, cryptocurrency, is making the movement of funds more streamlined. You might ask, “so how does this all play into crypto being used to purchase real estate?” Traditional sale of real estate requires that real estate transactions are exchange through fiat (government-back currency). With the emergence of new companies and ideas, cryptocurrency is now becoming a viable method of purchasing real estate. Crypto transactions really are the next logical step. With millennials now becoming of the age of new homeowners, some for the first time, while some are on their second and third homes, it makes sense that this segment of our population growing up during the crypto evolution are now utilizing cryptocurrency to make purchases. A recent story released by Redfin news in January of this year, shared that 12% of first-time home buyers said they sold off cryptocurrency assets to help make their down payment on their property. This number is up from 5% reported in 2019. The most common way we are seeing cryptocurrency used now is through liquidating those assets and being able to use it for the purchase of a property. But we are also in a day and

age where now crypto is being directly transferred for the purchase of real property. One of the largest crypto transfers to date occurred in September of 2021, where a Miami Beach penthouse was sold for $28 million, and this was solely through a cryptocurrency exchange. I recently attended a digital currency seminar where I met one of the executives of a company that is at the forefront of cryptocurrency transaction to purchase real estate. Propy is a California based company that boast about making the purchase and sell of homes faster, easier, and more secure and they have already completed cryptocurrency transactions that were 100% crypto in many markets. They have recently gained some partnerships with local title companies in the Colorado market to start providing cryptocurrency transactions. Propy will provide you with a certified Cryptocurrency Real Estate Agent. More importantly Propy can provide a peace of mind to all parties involved in the real estate transaction. Since the U.S. government requires that all transactions are fiat, it becomes necessary to use intermediary companies like Blockfi or PrimeTrust to provide transaction services between cryptocurrency to fiat, in order for it to be legal. This allows incoming cryptocurrency to be transferred to internal coin, or directly to fiat. This allows the currency to no

longer be subject to the volatility of the cryptocurrency market. The seller can then opt to receive funds in cryptocurrency or fiat. Companies like Propy are making this idea of cryptocurrency purchases not only a reality, but soon the norm of a real estate transaction. So just as Apple Pay has changed how we pay for items in the store (using a phone versus a credit card or cash), we will continue to see how we purchase real estate change. So is crypto here to stay? I think it is. And your ability to take advantage of this advancement is based on how much you keep yourself in the know of the latest updates with crypto. . Editor’s note: Barry Overton is a licensed Real Estate Agent with FiftyII80 Living Brokered by eXp Realty. He has been an agent since 2001, and started investing in real estate in 1996. For more information, email: barrysellsdenver@ or call 303-668-5433.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


Making transmissions well since 1983.

Making the First Year of Marriage a Success Courtesy of Jehovah Witness’s United States of America

On the road to their

“happily ever after,” Otega and Dalaya Arigbe readily admit to a few bumps along the way after their virtual wedding last year. Like most newlyweds, the Denver, Colo., couple found the first year of marriage challenging as they settled into life together while discovering each other’s preferences and quirks. “I always have our day planned out. … She doesn’t like that,” said Otega. “She just likes to adventure and do things at different times.”

For them and many other couples, their faith has eased the way through marital year one. It’s in line with what experts like licensed marriage and family therapist Kattya Manning recommend: a shared activity or interest to keep spouses connected and the lines of communication open. “Some people may love to do sports. It could even be a shared faith that they are really involved in, something that allows a couple to spend qual-

ity time together where they can communicate,” said Manning of Santa Barbara, Calif. For the Arigbes, who celebrated their first anniversary in February 2022, conversations centered on their shared values as Jehovah’s Witnesses helped tackle differences. The couple regularly reads marriage articles from to help them understand each other better and to have reasonable expectations. “I have to realize it’s okay for people to have a different viewpoint,” Dalaya said regarding the varying perspectives between them. “We worked towards just listening to each other.” Cultural differences pose unique challenges when adjusting to married life. Just ask Ekhomwanye “Ike” and Nie’shia Ikponmwosa of Austin, Texas, who discovered after their March 2021 wedding that his Nigerian background and her U.S. upbringing clashed at times. “I heard him talking to his mom, and I thought he was mad,” said Nie’shia. “It was definitely an adjustment, but that’s just how they communicate.”


Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


“I am very blunt and direct; that was how I was raised,” explained Ike. To address the problem, the Ikponmwosas designate weekly “couple time” for heartfelt conversations and Bible study together. One item they discussed together from their go-to resource for questions on family life, the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses, prompted Ike to be more tactful. “The article, ‘Surviving the First Year of Marriage,’ helped me to see that I have to take into consideration Nie’shia’s feelings,” said Ike. Another common stressor for newlyweds is dealing with a change in circumstances. Four months into their marriage, Natalie and Tyler Fritz faced a test of their patience and resilience when they moved from a small town in Ohio to Miami. The drastic change was stressful, especially for Natalie, who burst into tears during the drive south with their belongings. “I remember feeling frustrated,” said Tyler. Then he paused to think about how the upheaval was significantly affecting Natalie. “We parked on the side of the road and had ourselves a cry.” The Fritzes regained their stability as a couple, leaning on their regular conversations as they study the Bible together. “That just draws us closer to Almighty God, which draws us closer to each other,” said Tyler..

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Celebrating Father’s Day 2022 with Prevention & Self-Care By Kim Farmer


ather’s Day. A holiday many times celebrated with a cold beer, BBQ, the yearly tie, and maybe a round of golf. While these are all great ways to celebrate, it is just as important to celebrate with all the essential preventive health measures that ensure that you or your loved one will be around for many more years to come. Here are three ways to keep you or your paternal head of the family

healthy and feeling great.

#1 Health Screenings The importance of health screenings cannot be overstated. Recommended screenings will vary slightly with age, preexisting comorbidities, or family history. Below is a list of possible illnesses and medical conditions that should be discussed with a physician to determine if they warrant a screening. •Abdominal aortic aneurysm between the ages of 65-75, if there is a smoking history. •High blood cholesterol - men 35 and older •Blood pressure, both high or low - all men •Colon cancer - men, aged 50 and older •Depression - men with symptoms including loss of appetite, decreased energy, feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, or irritability. •Diabetes - men with high blood pressure or experiencing severe thirst, hunger, weight loss, tingling in hands or feet

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•Hepatitis C - any man born between 1945-1965, born to a mother with the virus, who received dialysis for kidney failure or injected drugs.

#2 Controlling Sugar Intake Most Americans eat 55-92 grams of added sugar a day. That’s 13-22 teaspoons of white table sugar and 12-16% of their daily caloric intake! The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend it be less than 10%. The World Health Organization cuts that in half, advising 5%. This is with good reason. Added sugar contributes to obesity, tooth decay, heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. It can be easier than you think to control this intake. You can: •Reduce consumption of sugary juice cocktail drinks and sodas •Swap sugar-filled desserts for fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, or dark chocolate •Avoid sauces like BBQ sauce, ketchup, or spaghetti sauce with added sugar •Eat whole foods that haven’t been processed or refined •Consume healthy full-fat foods that will make you feel satisfied for longer than low-fat foods •Read labels to avoid products with added sugar

#3 Reducing Unhealthy Fatty Foods All fats are not created equal. There was a time when everything low-fat or fat-free was thought to be the healthiest. There was a flood of fat-free and low-fat cookies, cakes,

dressings, and almost any food product. Much has changed since then as we have learned that the right kind of fats can help us feel satiated, fuel our brains, and even help us lose weight. So what are good fats and what are bad fats? You should avoid industrial manufactured trans fats. These are commonly found in: •Fried foods •Stick margarine and other spreads •Store-bought baked goods Reduce your consumption of these and instead try to incorporate heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. You can find these good fats in: •Fish •Nuts & seeds •Olive oil and olives •Avocados •Whole eggs There is an old Proverb that says “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This Father’s Day, celebrate with a heart-healthy meal, some physical activity, and maybe even a list of all the screenings it’s time to make an appointment for in 2022. Let’s keep all the dads in our lives happy and healthy! . Editor’s note: Contributor Kim Farmer of Mile High Fitness & Wellness offers in-home personal training and corporate wellness solutions. For more info, visit or email Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022



Goss Twins Head To National Speech and Debate Tournament

Elijah and Elias Goss, 10th graders at Denver East High School won first place at the Colorado High School State Speech and Debate Competition in the Duo Interpretation event on March 19. They will be representing Colorado as they head to Louisville, Kentucky for the National Speech and Debate

Tournament on June 12 through June 17. The twins are the only African Americans competing on their DEFT team and are one of the only African Americans to go undefeated locally as well as win the state championship. Elijah and Elias worked together writing the I AM poem ( 0). Elias was awarded with the My Brother’s Keeper award last year by Michael B. Hancock and was also published twice by their school paper, Serendipity. These young men have been recognized by the community and family and friends as emerging leaders and for their continued effort and strive to be great examples of ‘Black Excellence.’. Editor’s note: Follow their journey to nationals on Instagram at @3lijah_goss and @nxtup_g0ss. To help support their trip to Kentucky, donate to their GoFund Me at

Man Of A Thousand Voices Releases A New Single Julius Williams, hailed as “A Man of A Thousand Voices” was born in St. Louis, MO. Known for his comedic acts and many voices, including Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Louie Armstrong and Ray Charles to name a few, he has also written, produced and recorded music. Over his musical career, he has opened shows for Toni Braxton, Will Downing, Babyface, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Al Jarreau, Phyllis Hyman, The Whispers, Lakeside, Cameo, Chuck

Mangione, Regina Bell, George Duke, and Roy Ayers. Julius received the Sammy Davis Jr. Entertainer of the year award in Las Vegas two consecutive years, 2006-2007. Williams recently released a new single, My Baby Loves Me, a remake from the 1966 hit song by Martha and the Vandellas. It can be found on Spotify, AppleMusic, and AmazonMusic. . Editor’s note: For more information, call 760-680-9640 or email Follow him on Facebook, lliams.351

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“We Have Lost a Warrior” Denver Remembers and Honors

Geraldine “Gerie” Grimes Beloved Leader of Hope Center Denver is mourning the loss of Gerie Grimes, the longtime president and chief executive officer of the Hope Center, one of Denver’s oldest Black-led nonprofit organizations serving children and adults. Grimes – a tireless leader and advocate in the state’s early childhood education landscape – was born September 17, 1950 and died May 11, 2022, surrounded by loved ones. She is being remembered as a remarkable leader, with an unmatched commitment to equity. She served for more than 40 years at the Hope Center, an early childhood education and adult vocation program, advocating for students of color and children and adults with disabilities. Across social media platforms, the people whose lives she touched called her a warrior, a pioneer, a visionary, and a mentor. “This is a profound community loss,” wrote Deidre Johnson, the chief executive officer and executive director of The Center for African American Health, where Grimes was a founding board member and also served as immediate past chair of the board of directors. “We have lost a warrior who fought to ensure that Black children and families were not forgotten; who helped hold systems accountable for doing better; who touched and saved generations.” During her time with and at the helm of the Hope Center, Grimes played a key role in establishing early childhood education as a priority and a fundamental right in Denver and in Colorado. “The loss of Gerie Grimes is another traumatic blow not only for the Black community but Colorado as a whole,” said former Mayor Wellington Webb and former First Lady of Denver Wilma Webb. “The outstanding work Gerie provided over so many years for the Hope Center and for so many other nonprofits showed she was a trooper, not seeking the acclaim, but focused on ensuring the projects were successful for the betterment of the community.” “She will be sorely missed because she’s like the person that plays on the offensive line of the football team,” the Webbs said. “She does the dirty work, makes the blocks, and makes the hole for the quarterbacks and the running backs who could not be successful without her blocking up front. Gerie Grimes was a lineman for the Denver community.” Grimes helped establish the Denver Preschool Program and the Colorado Office of Early Childhood. She advocated for and helped shape policies for universal preschool and full-day kindergarten, and she was instrumental in the development of Denver’s Early Childhood Council. “Mrs. Grimes was a deeply caring and generous person,” said Cassandra Johnson, the chief operating officer and now interim president and chief executive officer of the Hope Center. “She wanted families and adults with disabilities that were facing systemic barriers and racism to be treated equitably and to have access to resources. She fought for all children – especially

children of color – to have access to high-quality, culturally conscious early childhood curriculum and services in a safe environment with qualified educators that look just like them.” Under Grimes’s leadership, the Hope Center transformed over the years to provide more comprehensive services to families in Northeast Denver. She leveraged her broad network to help the Hope Center provide needed services – such as health screenings, mental health services, and food – to people in the community. “There’s no greater warrior, defender and implementer on behalf of our most vulnerable than Gerie Grimes,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock wrote in a statement about Grimes’s passing. “It was an honor to work with Gerie for almost 25 years, dating back to my days at the Urban League. Whether it was quality child care for our youngest, job training for our under-employed, or programs that give folk a hand up, Gerie was the first to plan it, implement it and perfect it. She was truly a champion for the community. Her legacy of public service will live on in those who today are self-sufficient and job ready because of her vision and efforts.” Grimes commitment to and care for the community was evident during the pandemic. During school shutdowns, she ensured that all Hope Center staffers were employed and compensated and worked with them to support families by using part of the building as a community education hub, for kids of all ages and grade levels. She also created a partnership with The Center for African American Health to provide gift cards for groceries and basic needs. And, while Grimes’s legacy is so closely tethered to her work in early childhood education and in community, she’s also remembered as a loving wife, mother and grandmother, those close to her said. “She and I were partners in everything,” said Kenneth Grimes, Grimes’s husband. “I hope and expect that our children and grandchildren will carry on her legacy. I’m sure they will because of everything she did for her large and beautiful family and the community at-large.” Grimes’s son, Troy Grimes, said he’s committed to honoring his mother’s legacy. “My mom was my best friend; she is my reason,” said Troy Grimes. “She saw in me more than I could ever be, and I do my best to be what she saw. Our family has lost our matriarch, and as we mourn, we also plan and work to honor her life – now, in this moment, and throughout time. We are so proud that my mom lived a selfless life which, in turn, impacted people across the world. From early childhood education to persons with disabilities, providing equitable youth sports opportunities, mentoring women and men of color, caring for thousands of families, and championing the arts with my father, her imprint will be forever present. Let my tears never hold me back from living up to her legacy; I love my mom.”

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022



XtÜà{? j|Çw 9 Y|ÜxËá f{|Ç|Çz fàtÜ TÇwÜxã jÉÉÄyÉÄ~ October 11, 1950 – April 24, 2022 By Wayne Trujillo

“Shining Star” is a song that defines both a group and an era. Earth, Wind & Fire’s 1970s smash hit acknowledges the blues and soul forebearers even as it moved Black music into a new epoch that saw Black musicians dominating pop music. The group’s members scaled the superstar summit, wearing the crowns of pop and rock royalty. While Maurice White and Philip Bailey may be the public faces of Earth, Wind & Fire, to many the group would resemble a far different entity without its other personalities. If the saxophone is the soul of a smoldering blues tune, then Andrew P. Woolfolk II and his instrument are the soul of Earth, Wind & Fire. The Aurora resident recently passed away at 71, and a slew of eulogies praised the late musician as a wunderkind who shaped the sound of his generation and beyond. Publications ranging from Rolling Stone to USA Today, Variety and Ebony memorialized Woolfolk, lamenting the loss while celebrating the legacy. Former bandmate and lifelong friend Bailey paid the most personal tribute to Woolfolk in a social media share announcing his passing: “I met him in high school, and we quickly became friends and band mates. Andrew Paul Woolfolk was his name. We lost

him today, after being ill over six years. He has transitioned on to the forever, from this Land of the dying to the Land of the Living. Great memories. Great Talent. Funny. Competitive. Quick witted. And always styling. Booski… I’ll see you on the other side, my friend.” As Bailey noted, he became fast friends with Woolfolk while the two fledgling musicians attended Denver’s East High School.

Woolfolk spent his formative years in the Denver metropolitan area after his family relocated from Texas. His Denver upbringing, namely his musical indulgences and friendship with Bailey, later led to his membership in Earth, Wind & Fire. Bailey’s encouragement led Woolfolk to join the band; the following years witnessed Earth, Wind & Fire’s greatest successes. Woolfolk’s stunning

Editor’s note: The following poem from Andrew Woolfolk was published in the Denver Urban Spectrum for Publisher Rosalind J. Harris following the death of her mother on Nov. 3, 2008. She is republishing it in his honor.


Father comfort his family with the relief they seek Please touch them with your ever healing hand. Living is fragile and passing is inevitable yet grieving is so hard to understand.

I feel deep remorse for those left behind by the one who passed through the gate. It’s not the passing but it’s the absence and there’s no pill for heartache to take.

So build them up and keep them strong until they too venture home. When once again they’ll see your smiling face when pain is finally gone… in heaven you all joyfully embrace.

Grief has fierce teeth it bites so deep when the hopelessness finally sets in. No pain can compare to the feeling of despair for the loss of a relative or friend. Can we go on when we’re cut to the core? They say take one day at a time. Condolences help but they fall just short they rarely soothe the anguish mind.

Father you are the keeper of our peace In Memory of Andrew P. Woolfolk II

So what’s left to say when it’s hard to pray and nothing said can return the breath? Well, I’ll say that prayer anyway an attempt at diversion for the sorrow of death.

Peace, love and light… Your friend

Rosalind “Bee” Harris

Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022


saxophone infused the era with soul, grit and passion in classics like “Shining Star,” “Let’s Groove,” “September,” “Boogie Wonderland,” and “After the Love Has Gone.” Woolfolk played with the iconic band for nearly two decades all told – the first stretch during its halcyon years from 1972 to 1985 and an encore stint from 1987 to 1993. He played and shared the stage with other stars outside the group, including Phil Collins, Deniece Williams, Twennynine, and Level 42. Woolfolk also collaborated with Bailey on projects outside the Earth, Wind & Fire banner. His scorching sax solos sparked some of the modern era’s most searing music; peers and fans alike applauded his efforts on numerous occasions. He shared six Grammy awards with Earth, Wind & Fire, and a 2000 induction into the Rock and Roll, Hall of Fame alongside the group. Closer to home, Woolfolk shared the honors with friends and former Earth, Wind & Fire members Bailey and Larry Dunn when the trio were inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. The Denver Urban Spectrum wishes to join the choir of fan and media voices saluting Woolfolk’s stupendous talent and soul, and mourn his passing while celebrating his life..

In loving memory of

Norman Strickland Early, Jr. November 14, 1945 – May 5, 2022 We are saddened to announce his passing on Thursday, May 5. Norm will be remembered for his many years of public service as a champion of justice, the first Black district attorney of the City and County of Denver, a mayoral candidate, and a dedicated advocate for victims’ rights and the success of Black lawyers. He knew that these accomplishments would not have been possible without the efforts and love of many colleagues and friends who helped shape the course of his career and life. Our family will remember him as a loving father, brother, father-in-law, grandfather, and uncle who was our patriarch. Whether he was at a public event or with his family and friends, his infectious laugh and smile would light up a room. Norm did not just tell you he cared about you, he showed you with his big hugs and thoughtful, personal notes. When we remember him, we think about the many ways he brought joy and laughter to our lives and made us feel loved. While we are saddened by his death, we celebrate his life, which touched the lives of so many people in our city, state, and country. A homegoing celebration will be held on Thursday, June 16 at 11 a.m. at the Broncos Stadium. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the National Organization for Victims’ Assistance (NOVA) located at 510 King Street, Suite 220, Alexandria, VA 22314 and/or to the Sam Cary Bar Association located at P.O. Box 300205, Denver, CO 80203. To send a flower arrangement or to plant trees in memory of Norman S. Early Jr, visit

~Family of Norman Strickland Early, Jr.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – June 2022