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Volume 34 Number 8 November 2020

Legendary songstress re-emerges to top the R&B Charts

Dionne Warwick She’s Back...4

______In this Issue:____

A Job Well Done...8 Happy 100th Birthday...11

Rolling with the Doc...12

RISE UP...14

Build back Better Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will: Create millions of good-paying jobs Increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour End paycheck discrimination Provide affordable child care for families Leverage more than $150 billion in new capital and opportunities in economically disadvantaged businesses and areas Create a $15,000 down-payment tax credit for first-time home buyers

Visit joebiden.com to learn more PAID FOR BY BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT

MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER Hear Their Voices, Hear Their Cries, Heal Their Hearts Volume 34

Number 8

Novmber 2020

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris GENERAL MANAGER Lawrence A. James EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Alfonzo Porter COPY EDITOR Tanya Ishikawa COLUMNISTS Kim Farmer FILM CRITIC BlackFlix.Com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Angelia McGowan Alfonzo Porter ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris MARKETING AND ADVERTISING Marie Weatherspoon GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jody Gilbert - Kolor Graphix PHOTOGRAPHERS Lens of Ansar DISTRIBUTION Ed Lynch Lawrence A. James - Manager

Member 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 2020 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 www.denverurbanspectrum.com.

All voices need to be heard, even those that have been silenced. Listen to George Floyd call out “Mama.” Hear the voice of Breonna Taylor praying for her life. Listen to the young innocent cries from Elijah McClain, Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till. Hear the voice of Amadou Diallo and Oumar Dia as their better life in America came to an abrupt end. Can you hear all the voices of despair in their last hours – and so many others over the last 400 years? And especially the voices from our ancestors, our enslaved ancestors, cries of family separations, crossing the middle passage, screams of pain and suffering. This issue is all about voices: voices from the past, present and future. In our cover story, “She’s Back” by Alfonzo Porter, listen to the renewed beauty of Dionne Warwick’s voice that has delighted the world for more than 60 years. Read about how Xcel Energy executive Jerome Davis has been the bridge to the community. Angelia McGowan shares his voice and plans moving forward. The voice of Charles Burrell has been heard through his musical talent as a classical and jazz bass player for almost 90 of his 100 years of life – see who came out to celebrate his birthday. With the second wave of COVID-19 upon us, virologist and infectious disease expert Dr. Lane Rolling shares advice on how to stay safe in “Rolling with the Doc.” And last and certainly not least, the powerful voice of political analyst and civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton talks in his new book about how African Americans as a people need to rise up. But the most important voice right now is your voice and how you want it to be heard. It may sound like a broken record but, vote like this is the most important election of your lifetime, because it is, for so many reasons. Other voices this month come from the community expressing their concerns as to what’s at stake locally and nationally at the polls.You may agree with them, and you may not, but listen to the voices and maybe your mind will change if you are still undecided on an issue or a candidate. Whether you’re old or young, a person of color or white, male or female, gay, straight, BIPOC – or anywhere in between, let your voice be heard. If you have not voted, listen to the voices, especially those of your ancestors who survived. Without them, there would be no you. It’s time to hear their voices, hear their cries, and heal their hearts. So, how will your voice be heard? This is an historic election. Do your part, so one day you can say you participated to change the trajectory of our country. It’ll be a great feeling, one we can all feel proud of. Rosalind “Bee” Harris Publisher

LETTERS, OP-EDS, OPINIONS ance costs. If you do not have insurance through your job and do not qualify for Medicaid, Connect for Health Colorado is here to help you find a plan that fits your budget. Customers can shop online or access in-person and virtual help from our statewide network of certified experts. Coloradans can shop for a health insurance plan through Connect for Health Colorado during the Open Enrollment Period, which is November 1 to January 15, 2021. We are committed to the health and safety of Coloradans and strive to be a trusted resource for the community. To show our commitment, we partnered with the Colorado Black Health Collaborative and launched a monthly blog, Black Health Matters that shares valuable tips for managing life during the pandemic. You can view the blog at www.minoritytrends.com . We are also distributing nearly 4,000 cloth masks donated by United Healthcare to our church partners and several community-

Connect For Health Committed To Community Op-ed by Kevin Patterson, CEO, Connect for Health COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on our community and our team at Connect for Health Colorado (Obamacare) remains committed to finding ways to support Coloradans. As the Chief Executive Officer of Connect for Health Colorado, it is important to me that our community understands their health insurance options, especially now, amid a global pandemic. While I realize that trying to meet all your financial obligations right now means making some tough choices, I also know that not having health insurance during a global pandemic is risky. Connect for Health Colorado is the state’s official health insurance marketplace. It is the only place to apply for financial help to lower health insur-

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


based organizations including the Aurora NAACP, Connect Aurora, Montbello Golden Age, Ready to Work, Families First Resource Center, Second Chance Center, Servicios de la Raza, and Dayton Opportunity Center. I’d like to leave you with some facts about Connect for Colorado with the hopes you will use this as a resource if you or someone you know needs health insurance. Did you know: •We have expert in-person and virtual help all over the state who can help you apply for and enroll in health insurance -For free help in Aurora, contact Connect Aurora at 303-617-2328 -For free help in Denver, contact The Center for African American Health at 303-355-3423, extension 105 OR Servicios de la Raza at 303-953-5940 •If you make up to $51,040 as a single person or $104,800 as a family of four, you are eligible for financial help to lower your monthly premiums Continued on page 24


ionne Warwick has been a force in the music industry for nearly 60 years. Although she is best known for her long list of pop and R&B standards, she also has a robust portfolio of movie, television and documentary credits to her name. Her latest album titled, “She’s Back,” marks her 38th full length studio recording and landed at number five on the R&B charts. And while her fans may not see her every day, the soon to be 80-year-old, multitalented artist maintains a schedule that would exhaust the average 20-year- old. Most recently she has appeared as “The Mouse,” on the whimsical and popular FOX reality singing competition, a surprise appearance with longtime gal pals Patti Labelle and Gladys Knight on their epic Verzuz battle and an extended Las Vegas residency at Caesar’s Palace before the COVID-19 crisis. By all appearances, she seems to be having the time of her life. “I love what I do and I’m having a great deal of fun,” she says. “I am often surprised that this current generation knows my songs. I think I owe that to their parents and grandparents.” Her soulful sound has earned her widespread appeal and garnered more awards, recognition and honors than we can possible list. Most notably, however, are her six Grammy Awards and nine additional nominations including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. Like most performers, she has had to contend with a series of show cancellations in the wake of the coronavirus. Her schedule included nightly appearances in Las Vegas and

“She’s Back!!”

Legendary Songstress

Dionne Warwick Re-emerges to Top R&B Chart By Alfonzo Porter

shows in Hawaii as well as throughout Europe. She is still tentatively slated to perform in Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the U.K. in 2021. But for Warwick, the hiatus has not been all bad. “I have had a chance to actually enjoy my home in ways that I have not been able to in years,” she says. “To be able to sleep in my own bed every night has been wonderful.” Most recently, she was presented with the Silver State Equality Award by Nevada’s LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. The award was accepted virtually due to the pandemic. The program was live streamed on Facebook, Twitter

and YouTube on October 20. She has been recognized by virtually every musical entity on the planet, including the American Music Awards, People’s Choice, NAACP Image Awards, RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), R&B Foundation, ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), The Trumpet Awards, and the Women’s World Awards, among others. Her collaborations over the years read like a Who’s Who in the music industry from her early work with Burt Bacharach and Hal David to the groundbreaking hit “That’s What Friends are For” in 1985 with Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder and Elton John. The effort raised millions for the fight against AIDS. Like many African American singers, Warwick got her start in the church. She hails from a musical family. Her father was reportedly a gospel promoter and her mother managed the

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


then, renowned gospel group, the Drinkard Singers. In 1962, she released her first single, “I Smiled Yesterday,” with the more popular B side single, “Don’t Make Me Over,” written and produced by Bacharach and David. The single met with a good deal of success after which she embarked upon a worldwide tour. During this period, she recorded her top 10 singles, “Walk On By” (1964), “I Say a Little Prayer” (1967), and the theme from “Valley of the Dolls” (1968), which reached number two on the Billboard pop chart and boosted her career into overdrive. She earned her first Grammy Award in 1969, as Best Female Contemporary Pop Vocal Performance for the hit, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose.” A couple years later she won her second Grammy in the same category for “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.” Her 1974 collaboration with the Spinners, “Then Came You,” was a chart topper. That popularity would continue with the release of hits like “Déjà Vu” and “I’ll Never Love This Way Again.” These hits won her Grammys for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Warwick entered the 1980s as popular as ever with the global success of “That’s What Friends Are For,” which secured her fifth Grammy. As the millennium turned, she continued to record her releases including the 2008 gospel album, “Why We Sing,” along with two collections of duets, “My Friends & Me,” collaborating with artists like Reba McEntire and Cyndi Lauper. In 2014, she teamed with Jamie Foxx and Cee Lo Green to record “Feels So Good.” And most recently, she re-emerged at the top of the R& B chart with her hit, “She’s Back.” 

Her portfolio is so extensive that this entire article could be dedicated to listing her recordings alone. Here is a mere, brief snapshot of her early hits. The single “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” (an international million seller and a Top 10 hit in several countries, including the U.K., Canada, Australia, South Africa, Japan and Mexico) was also a doublesided hit, with the B side hit, “Let Me Be Lonely,” charting at #79. More hits followed into 1971, including “Who Is Gonna Love Me” (#32, 1968) with B side, “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me” becoming another doublesided hit; “Promises, Promises” (#19, 1968); “This Girl’s in Love with You” (#7, 1969); “The April Fools” (#37, 1969); “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (#15, 1969); “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” (#6 Pop, #1 AC, 1969); “Make It Easy on Yourself” (#37 Pop, #10 AC, 1970); “Let Me Go to Him” (#32 Pop, #4 AC), 1970); and “Paper Mache” (#43 Pop, #3 AC), 1970). Warwick’s final Bacharach/David penned single on the Scepter label was March 1971’s “Who Gets the Guy” (#52 Pop, #6 AC), 1971), and her final “official” Scepter single release was “He’s Moving On” b/w “Amanda”, (#83 Pop, #12 AC) both from the soundtrack of the motion picture adaptation of Jacqueline Susann’s The Love Machine. Warwick reportedly sold an estimated 35 million singles and albums internationally in less than nine years and more than 16 million singles in the U.S. alone. It is estimated that these figures are underestimated due to the practices of her label of not reporting all data to the RIAA during audits. Her first television special, was launched and broadcast on CBS in 1969. She even owned her record label, Sonday Records, founded in 1970. When Warwick joined Warner Brothers Records in 1971, she

“That’s What Friends Are For,” for the American Foundation for AIDS Research. The single, “Dionne and Friends,” raised more than $3 million for the cause. It was also a triple number one on the R&B, Adult Contemporary and Billboard charts. “Working against AIDS, especially after years of raising money for work on many blood-related diseases such as sickle-cell anemia, just struck

signed a $5 million contract. At that time, it was the largest contract signed by a female artist. Most of her long-time fans will remember her hosting the two-hour television show, “Solid Gold” in the early 1980s. The program was so successful that it became a weekly show. Warwick hosted the program during its 1980-1981 and 19851986 seasons. It was also in 1985 that she and her friends recorded

me as the right thing to do. You have to be made of stone not to want to help people with AIDS, because the devastation that it causes is so painful to see. I was so hurt to see my friends die with such agony,” she says. The song would also win Song of the Year and another Grammy for Best Performance by a Duo or Group. It was listed as Billboard Magazine’s most popular song in 1986. The Continued on page 6

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Dionne Warwick

I am grateful for your support!

Continued from page 5 year prior, she lent her extraordinary vocal to the multiGrammy Award-winning hit, “We Are the World,” along with other world-class talents like Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen and Lionel Ritchie. The song was certified four times platinum and spent four weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The list of awards and recognition are virtually endless. Even her most ardent fans would be surprised at the extensive list of accomplishments by this renowned artist. She has been named Bestselling Female Vocalist, Top Female Vocalist and Woman of the Year. By the mid to late 1960s, the days of white artists performing covers of music by Black artists seemed to be over. However, there was a moment when recording executives in the U.K. suggested that Dionne’s music

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should be recorded by other artists—specifically white artists. And there have been other times throughout her career that she met with serious challenges but always faced them with a sense of resolve and professionalism. Today, the mega-star singer, actor, business executive shows no signs of slowing down as she approaches her 80th birthday this December..


At Xcel Energy, we know what it means to be connected to the lives and livelihoods of the communities we serve. In addition to doing smart energy things like supporting carbon-free initiatives, we’re doing smart people things. Investing in local start-ups and artists. Supporting educational innovation. Helping nonprofits thrive. Together, we’ll keep this a great place to live, work and learn. Visit xcelenergy.com to learn more.

© 2020 Xcel Energy Inc.

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Davis’ long-term vision for Day of Service is to achieve such high volunteer engagement that it would become Colorado’s day of service. “We may not be there yet, but I believe the possibilities are endless,” he says.

Native Son Makes Positive Impact at Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

By Angelia McGowan

By the end of the year, Jerome Davis will retire from a company he has been with for more than 36 years. While “What’s next?” is a valid question, a reflection of a purposefilled career is equally important. “I have been fortunate to work in an exciting industry. Aside from health care, energy companies are at the forefront of positively impacting people’s lives,” says the regional vice president for Xcel EnergyColorado. The Minneapolis-based company provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. The company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For Davis, it’s more than a business transaction. “Our responsibilities to the communities, we have the pleasure of serving, go far beyond the selling of products and services,” says Davis, who learned this early in his career

Service is in his DNA

from Cynthia Evans, a former executive with the company. He recalls her stressing the importance of the confluence of corporate engagement, social investment and personal engagement in communities where companies conduct their business. Today, he provides executive leadership responsibility for local government affairs in 165 communities located throughout Colorado. He oversees accounts for business customers, which comprise more than $1 billion in annual revenue. He also provides strategic leadership for the management of community relations and economic development for the state. It’s hard to find any area of the community that the company has not reached under his guidance. The company’s charitable giving foundation has made investments in workforce development, STEM education, environmental stewardship and access to arts.

Day of Service, the company’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort, began initially to honor the anniversary of September 11, 2001. It has evolved into employees recruiting family, friends and customers to volunteer to positively impact the communities in Colorado through a wide range of projects with nonprofit organizations in Xcel’s service territories. The global pandemic impacted the format, but it continued with take-home projects and virtual projects for volunteers. “Given the situation we are in with COVID, nonprofit organizations have needed our help more than ever,” says Davis. “We thought that is was critically important and no better time to find new and creative ways to help.”

Davis credits his parents for instilling the value of service in him at an early age. They provided powerful examples of what it means to lead and live this responsible value. “My mom, Rosie Davis, was a member of Macedonia Baptist Church for decades. Her quiet service to the church and community were well known, and she often brought me and my siblings along for the ride. We learned early about the gift of giving. My dad, Walter Davis Sr., exemplified service to our country with over a 20-year career in the Air Force,” he says. That value was set. What was not set early on was where he would make his mark. “When I was 19 or 20 years old, I was ready to get out of town and go to a bigger city like New York, D.C. or Los Angeles. By chance, I started at the company and then through my work saw the greatness of Colorado,” he recalls.

Jerome Davis - 2020 9News Leader of the Year

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


Davis, who holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and computer information systems and an MBA from Regis University, initially went into the field that he wanted. He explains, “I did envision practicing finance, but after doing it on the job I learned this was not my core purpose. I am more of a relationship guy. I found my passion for the community and giving back. I like having a view of all the great things happening in our community and sharing that with others.” Over the course of his career with Xcel Energy his roles have spanned supplier diversity, sales and marketing, corporate accounting and working in substation engineering. The various roles make him feel like he has “had 16-17 different jobs.” He also served on several boards including the Denver Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy, Denver Metro Chamber Economic Development Corporation, Visit

Denver, and Colorado Health Foundation, to name a few. Through his career he has faced many challenges, but when working to meet goals, he likes to reference a quote from Maya Angelou: “All great achievements require time.” He shares, “In my career, a key focus has been on relationships with large customers and communities. Some are easier to manage than others, and some can be extremely challenging. The challenging ones may deliver setbacks from time to time, but that also presents opportunities to persevere. It’s important to keep moving forward, looking for creative solutions and not giving up. Behind any accomplishments I have had is a lot of time, and a team that is committed and focused.

If it were easy, I would not be the person I am today.” That person today is the recipient of the 2020 9News Leader of the Year honor given to those who have made significant contributions to the wellbeing and development of Colorado. For Davis, receiving the award was “humbling,” he admits. “I was honored to have been recognized as a finalist, even before receiving the award. It was an experience I will never forget. I am grateful

for everyone’s support. I think this award is about honoring the journey of someone’s life work. As I end my career at Xcel Energy and move on to the next chapter, I will continue to pursue active work in the community. For me, service is a lifelong commitment and way of life.” As for his next steps, geographically, the native son will stay in Colorado. He concludes, “I will never leave. I love Colorado.”.

.thank you!..thank you!..thank you!..thank you!..thank you! .thank you!..thank you!..thank you!..thank you!..thank you! Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020



You’re Working Hard to Stay Healthy Denver Public Health is Here to Support You Thank you for all you are doing to stay healthy during the pandemic. I want to acknowledge that these are stressful times for all of us. In addition to the pandemic, we are balancing the environmental stress of wildfires, the toxic stress of racism, the stress of uncertainty in an election year, and the personal stresses that come from the many facets of our lives. Some of our community members are front line workers. Others may have contracted COVID or even lost loved ones. First and foremost, I want you to know we are here to support you. Denver Public Health offers services and promotes policy change to make Denver a healthy community for all of us. One step we can take together, right now, is to get vaccinated for preventable illnesses like influenza (flu). Even if you don’t usually get the flu shot vaccine, it is important to get it this year. The flu causes a serious epidemic every winter, and prevention will be even more important this season, since a combined epidemic of influenza and COVID could hurt many people in our community. Many steps in flu prevention are the same as the basics of COVID prevention: masking, physical distancing, avoidance of crowded places, and good handwashing. The additional prevention step available for the flu is vaccination. This flu season, we are offering flu shots at no cost to you through outreach clinics to public schools and various community-trusted locations throughout Denver. I encourage you to stay healthy this flu season, and protect those around you, by visiting one of our community flu shot clinics. Visit DenverPublicHealth.org/FluClinic for more information and to find a location near you. For information about COVID-19, including testing options and locations, please visit DenverPublicHealth.org/Coronavirus. We’re honored to be a part of your community, and to support all aspects of your health and wellness.

Bill Burman, MD | Executive Director |Denver Public Health © 2020 Denver Public Health |

DenverPublicHealth.org |

@DenverPublicHealth |


Famous Classical and Jazz Musician Charles Burrell

Turns 100-Years-Young on October 4 By Barbara Humphrey - Photos by Lens of Ansar Still sharp and going strong, Charles “Charlie” Burrell, the “Jackie Robinson of Classical Music,” had a great time on Oct. 4 at a huge out-door celebration in honor of his 100th birthday. He smiled and waved as a parade rolled by that Saturday morning. Burrell had an amazing musical career, starting at age 12, when he began playing the upright string bass at school. He loved this from the start and practiced three or four hours every day for many years. He performed in the US Navy Band during World War II then came to Denver where he became the first African American to receive a symphony orchestra contract when he was signed by the Denver Symphony Orchestra in 1949. After spending six years with the San Francisco Symphony starting in 1959, Burrell came back to Denver and performed with the now Colorado Symphony until he retired in 1999 after a 50-year classical music career. Burrell also spent those years as a hard-working jazz musician, with a number of ensembles at bars and jazz clubs along Colfax Avenue, as well as in the lounge at the famous Rossonian Hotel in Denver’s Five Points where he backed up many well-known musicians like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, George Shearing and Count Basie. Burrell has performed with and taught many of the jazz bassists in the Denver area including Fred Fuller, who is the father of well-known saxophonist Tia and pianist Shami. He drove by on his three-wheel motorcycle. Burrell’s niece, singer and multiple Grammy Award winner Dianne Reeves who was mentored by him as she rose in fame over the years, was in attendance for the festivities. Denver’s well-recognized jazz and classical Denver pianist and relative Purnell Steen welcomed many of the guests. A biography of Burrell’s fascinating life has been written by Mitch Hendelsman of UCD, and a documentary film about Charlie is in progress under the direction of filmmaker Vohn Regensburger. Now living at Brookdale Lowry Assisted Living in Denver, Burrell was joined by his long-time wife, symphony cellist Melanie Burrell. The parade consisted of 73 cars driven by Burrell’s friends and relatives, an Honor Guard, Colorado Emerald Society bagpipes and buglers, a Fire Truck from Station 18, the Veteran’s Car Club, the Patriot Riders, and Battling Betty’s Women’s Club honoring 1940’s WWII veterans. Go Charlie, go! . Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020



How do I protect myself and my family from COVID-19? What about: a Second Wave? Reinfection? Travel? Sex? With people of color experiencing a higher death rate from COVID-19 than any other ethnic group in America, virologist, trauma surgeon, and chief medical officer of SRS Inc. Dr. Lane Rolling is offering ways to return to work and school more safely. Dr. Rolling, a certified chemical and biological warfare expert who is dedicated to saving lives and eradicating the coronavirus, is making an urgent call for change by speaking truth to power. His mission is driven by his passion to change today’s COVID-19 statistics to create a brighter tomorrow. Often called the Black Dr. Fauci, Dr. Rolling’s grassroots efforts include travelling across the country and appearing in virtual town halls and meetings to speak and educate organizations and businesses about COVID-19 and how they can protect themselves from the impending second wave of virus cases. As the Director of TPaIDA Clinical Field Medicine

Bio Research International, he conducted research in tropical and infectious diseases for approximately 14 years in Peru and worked extensively with native Peruvian shamans to find new drugs. “This virus is not going away,” Rolling said on a recent podcast with Community Podcaster Sandra “Queenie” Mclean, who recently lost her father to the coronavirus. “The SARS COVID virus has changed our lives forever. The virus is endemic. The second wave will be a game changer, and we all need to prepare ourselves and protect our families.” “Dr. Rolling is a profound teacher in the arena of medicine and information as it relates to virology and more importantly COVID-19 and the various protocols for keeping our communities safe,” said Queenie. “More people could benefit from Dr. Rolling and the wealth of knowledge he possesses. And he is such a `straight shooter’ with his information. He speaks to you on a level where you can understand it. Dr. Rolling makes it make sense.” In June, Dr. Rolling became the chief medical officer of SRS (Systems Ready Solutions) Inc., a Tennessee-based, minorityowned corporation providing disaster response services. All

of the corporate leadership positions of SRS are held by African Americans. Dr. Rolling was featured on the cover of Denver Urban Spectrum (DUS) in August 2020. Most recently, he has appeared on MSNBC and the Black News Channel, and is featured in “Real Life Hero’s doing this Pandemic,” a global 10-minute film about opportunity, hope and survival. This month, DUS presents a new Q&A column, “Rolling with the Doc.” Each month Dr. Rolling will answer questions about COVID-19. Dear Doc: What constitutes a second wave? Just Asking Atlanta, GA

Dear Just Asking: When the cases in the primary wave decrease, and then when you have a secondary increase in cases in unexposed populations, that constitutes a second wave; and consequently, is part of the pandemic infection. Dear Doc: My son is 28 years old and got COVID-19 for the first time in January. He has asthma and had bad symptoms; he suffered with breathing issues. His father, who is a respiratory therapist, gave him treatments and he recovered well. He just returned from Cancun and tested positive again for COVID10 with very little symptoms. Is it possible for him to come down with COVID-19 a third time? Concerned Mother Los Angeles, CA

Dear Mother: Yes, a person can be exposed a second and third time with a SARS COVID Virus. There is known confer immunity to the SARS COVID virus family. It is important that your son who has asthma does not have Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


asthmatic triggers in his home such as bleach, chlorine, Lysol, or any disinfectant that is a chemical irritant. He will need to have a non-toxic disinfectant cleaning solution like SRS ProGuardeum.  Dear Doc: I am a grandmother of teenagers and have read that Vitamins A, C, and D3, in addition to zinc lozenges, are all important for everyone to take to boost your immune system. What other advice do you have for teenagers (and younger people) for safety precautions and preventive measures that they will understand and follow as we enter this second wave of COVID-19? Worried Granny Denver, CO

Dear Grandma: First and foremost, it is important for the young population to understand that this virus is not going away. They also need to understand the importance of basic biosafety protocols such as wearing a mask, washing their hands with antiseptic hand wash, and using antiseptic hand sanitizers. They should not wear shoes in the house, and should have a situational awareness when they are around a lot of people. We know youth are restless and tired of this pandemic, but these are basic biosafety protocols we recommend they follow for personal protection. They should also use mini bio-decontamination units for personal protection when out in the general public. This device will allow them to disinfect all areas around them and be smart in a pandemic world. Dear Doc: My husband and I often take road trips and will be traveling again soon to visit elderly family members, specifically his parents who are in their 80’s. They live more than 1,800 miles away. What are the best safety measures we should take while traveling over the

ROLLING WITH THE DOC road, including when taking breaks in hotels? And most importantly, how can we be safe around family members once we reach our destination? Two Cheerful Travelling Road Dogs Montbello, CO

Dear Cheerful Dogs: Traveling the roads to visit your relatives is safe. The most important thing is having situational awareness of your environment. When you are at a gas station – make sure you decontaminate the gas pump handle. When using the bathroom – make sure you disinfect your hands and the bottom of your shoes before you get back into your vehicle. Most hotels should have great safety biosecurity protocols, but ask at the front desk about what their bio safety protocols in the hotel are. They should be able to tell you and you should feel comfortable there. When making a reservation online now, it is customary for hotels to say they have great safety protocols for their guests. When you visit your family members, check and ask if any one is sick or recovering from COVID-19. Make sure that you wear a mask and wash your hands with antiseptic hand wash and hand sanitizer on a continual basis. I recommend you get a mini bio-decontamination unit from SRS. Have a great trip and enjoy life in this is the new norm! Dear Doc: I live on the first floor of a threestory building in my apartment complex. My vents are in the ceiling and on the wall near the ceiling. With winter approaching, heat will be circulating which is concerning for me. Is it possible for the virus to travel and enter my apartment through the vents from apartments on the second and/or third floors?  If so, what can I do to eliminate or diminish the possibility of the virus entering my living space?  Confined Living Quarters Green Valley Ranch, CO

Dear Confined: The most important thing that you can do to protect yourself while living in an apartment building is to get an air filtration unit for your personal use. My recommendation is the Molekule Air Filtration Unit, which has the ability to kill SARS COVID virus, influenza, and other viruses that are airborne. It can also kill bacteria and other microorganisms. When purchasing, use the code DRROLLING.

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Dear Doc: I am a single, healthy man who wants to stay that way, but I have not had sex since February 14 on Valentine’s Day. Since COVID-19 erupted, I personally feel very uncomfortable just even thinking about kissing a woman with the possibility that it could be the kiss of death. What are your suggestions for having safe sex during this time when touching is supposed to be avoided?

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Dear Lonely: Good news! You can have sex and also have a very healthy, romantic relationship with an individual during this pandemic. The most important thing is understanding and knowing the person. Ask the questions! Have you had the virus? Do you have a have a temperature and/or cough? Have you been tested for the virus? If you really feel that nervous about it, it’s always good and safe to wear protective prophylactic when having sex, make sure you wash your hands, and take a shower. Make sure that you get this individual a box of strawberries and chocolate, and they will love you. Let me know the outcome. Editor’s note: If you have a question about COVID-19 for Dr. Lane Rolling, email editor@urbanspectrum.net. For more information on SRS products or to place an order, call 720-849-4197 or visit https://bit.ly/35pSQgl.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


Al Sharpton Talks Misconceptions About His Place at the Center of Civil Rights By Allison Kugel Photo by Michael Frost Book Cover Art, Hanover Square Press


or many Black Americans, he is next to a Messiah. For many non-Black Americans, he is thought to be an agitator, riling up already uncomfortable societal quagmires that are better left swept under the rug. Media image aside, Rev. Al Sharpton is neither of these things. Raised by a single mother in working class Queens, New York, he developed a passion for civil rights activism as a preteen. He began marching alongside Reverend Jesse Jackson and other prominent civil rights activists at the tender age of 13, seeking to progress the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of civil disobedience and taking the high road to equal rights under the law for Black Americans. As the years progressed, though the American civil rights movement has remained something of a moving target, much of the fight has landed at Rev. Al Sharpton’s doorstep. Families of victims of police brutality, fatal racial discrimination and other hate crimes come to him in their quest to gain the media attention they need to

enact criminal justice and legislative reform on behalf of their loved ones. The powerless and voiceless look to Rev. Sharpton to get their voices heard. As Sharpton, himself, put it to me during our conversation, “People have called me an ambulance chaser, but we are the ambulance.” He is referring to victims’ families who have been helped by Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN), providing everything from the media attention these

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families need to pressure prosecutors to take action towards justice, to gaining the attention of congress for policy reform, as well as emotional and financial support in some instances. Now, with his new book “Rise Up: Confronting A Country At The Crossroad,” Reverend Al Sharpton outlines his unrelenting position on the weightiest political and societal issues of our time, recounts some hard lessons learned, and offers an inside glimpse into the mentors who shaped the man we see today. Most importantly, Rev. Sharpton outlines his plan for an America at the crossroads. Allison Kugel: In light of recent news in the Breonna Taylor case [when no criminal charges were filed in her death], what was your first reaction when you heard that decision? Rev. Al Sharpton: It was alarming, but not surprising. I didn’t have confidence in the investigation, because of the obvious policies of the prosecutor. The prosecutor guides the grand jury and there is nobody in there besides the prosecutor, who is a protégé of Mitch McConnell. I did not think that he was going to do anything. I did feel that the indictment of the other officer, [Brett] Hankison, for the endangerment of everybody but Breonna was just as offensive. What they are saying is that he was reckless in who he was shooting at and putting others at risk. What about who they shot, and her being at risk? It is one of the reasons why we do what we do, in saying there needs to be new laws. Allison Kugel: Many people believe that you just show up wherever the action and media attention is. However, you and National Action Network

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


(NAN) bring national attention to cases like Trayvon Martin’s and George Floyd’s murders. Without your hard work, the world wouldn’t know the names of Trayvon Martin or George Floyd. Why is that? Rev. Al Sharpton: A lot of the media just won’t say it. Attorney for the Floyd family Ben Crump and the families have said it. In fact, Breonna Taylor’s mother’s first interview was on my show, MSNBC’s “Politics Nation.” Ben Crump brought Sybrina Fulton to New York to ask me to blow up Trayvon [in the media] who had been buried for two weeks. I didn’t even know about Trayvon until they came and met with me in my office. We made it an issue and called the first rally and had about 10,000 people there. It ended up being the day my mother died, and I went ahead with the rally anyway. I have an infrastructure where we support the family. We help them get legal advice and media advice, and we stay with them. Sometimes people can’t cover their expenses if they need to do a rally. Some of them need to pay their rent, and NAN helps with that. They call us because they know we’ll come. Allison Kugel: After reading your book cover to cover I thought: We are supposed to be the smartest, most sophisticated species on the planet. However, we have trillions of dollars in circulation, and millions of people are broke. We have more than enough food, to the point that we throw out ridiculous amounts of food every day, and millions of people are starving. So, we can’t be that smart. Rev. Al Sharpton: I think you should be an activist, but you are absolutely right. It’s a matter of will and a matter of using the intelligence we claim to have, to distribute things more wisely, and to make people the priority rather than greed and ego. It’s a decision

that we throw out food and not feed everybody. There is enough food for everybody. It is a decision to allow the water and the air to be polluted for people’s profit. We can clean up the air and the water. That is a reason I’m saying we need to Rise Up in my new book which does not just deals with Blacks. I deal with climate change. I deal with LGBTQ rights. Across the board, we can be better than this, but we are not rising up and demanding these things. Allison Kugel: With the worldwide protests that erupted after the murder of George Floyd, what do you ultimately see resulting from all the protesting? Rev. Al Sharpton: Legislation is one, but the overall result should be how we as a culture redefine policing and move past police being above the law while questioning the actions of some police is thought to be anti-police. I think legislation can enforce this, or we need a cultural shift. One of the reasons the Floyd case caught on the way it did is that it happened in the middle of a pandemic and everyone was in lockdown. There were no sports, so people were watching the news to see what was happening with the lockdown. They kept seeing this footage over and over again, and they couldn’t turn to sports as a distraction. There was no distraction with George Floyd, and I think that caused an eruption. How could somebody press their weight with their knee on someone’s neck for more than eight minutes unless there was some venom there? Allison Kugel: I believe everything happens for a reason. I love how you said that God chooses the most unlikely people to make the biggest impact on the world. George Floyd’s story and his likeness will be passed down for generations to come. Has the Floyd family grasped the enormity of that?

Rev. Al Sharpton: Yes, we talk about it all the time, almost every day with his brother, Philonise, who does a lot of speaking for the family. I think they have begun to understand the impact. Their immediate reaction was they didn’t understand it, because they were suddenly thrust into something [public] while they were also mourning. As time has gone by and they see people responding to George and his image, they understand that maybe God used him as an instrument. I told them God absolutely used him as an instrument. Nothing but God could have brought it to this level, and you have to be at peace with that - and also set your responsibility in that. Allison Kugel: I want to talk to you about Defund the Police. I read where you are not in favor of it, and I’m definitely not for it. Rather than defund the police, I am of the mind that some funds should be reallocated towards programs for compassion, empathy, tolerance, psychological competency, and things like that. What are your thoughts? Rev. Al Sharpton: I think that we should redistribute how we do the resources like dealing with some of the things you outlined. A month after we did the eulogies for George Floyd, I did a eulogy for a 17-year-old kid killed by a stray bullet in the Bronx, and a eulogy for a one-year old baby that was killed by a stray bullet in Brooklyn. How can we say we don’t need policing when our communities are disproportionately victims of crime? We are the only community that has reasonable fear of cops and robbers. I think we need to reallocate how we deal with the funds for police. We must have police in presence because right now we are inundating our communities with guns and drugs, and that is reality. Ironically though, I think what people don’t understand, Allison, is the one who has

defunded the police is Trump. By Trump ineffectively handling COVID-19, most of these cities are going to be in a deficit and will be laying off police. That is a bigger threat. They have run out of funds. They are laying off teachers and policeman in some cities. Allison Kugel: There has been a lot of rioting and looting mixed in with peaceful protesting. Your organization’s famous slogan is, “No Justice, No Peace.” Do you want to clear up, for people, what you mean by that? Rev. Al Sharpton: It means the only way we are going to have real peace, where we can live together as a society that respects each other, is to have justice. I don’t mean “no peace” in the sense of violence. I am absolutely, unequivocally against violence. I have denounced it everywhere and will continue to. As far as the two cops shot in Louisville, Kentucky, I think it is morally wrong. You cannot become like

the people you are fighting. If you become like that, if you have the same values and the same moral code, they have already defeated you. At the same time, I think there’s a difference between peace and quiet. Quiet means just shut up and suffer. Peace means let’s strive to work together even if we’ve got to march and make noise together to get an equal society for everybody. That is what I mean by “No Justice, No Peace.”. Editor’s note: “Rise Up: Confronting A Country At The Crossroads,” by Reverend Al Sharpton is available everywhere books are sold. For more information, visit www.alsharptonbooks.com or www.nationalactionnetwork.net. Editor’s note: Allison Kugel is a syndicated columnist and author of the book, Journaling Fame: A memoir of a life unhinged and on the record. Follow her on Instagram @theallisonkugel and at AllisonKugel.com.

“It is based on the fundamental principle of ‘one man, one vote’ that I view the direct election of the President” John Lewis in testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments in 1979.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


Kool 1970

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Different era, same Big Tobacco. Tobacco companies have aggressively marketed menthol-flavored cigarettes to kids and Black Americans for decades. Menthol cigarettes are easier to start smoking and harder to quit. That’s why 70% of Black American youth smokers use menthols. Today, Big Tobacco’s still at it – with e-cigarettes also hooking a new generation with new flavors. Let’s stop pretending tobacco companies and vape shops care about public health or the health of our children. It’s time to stop the sale of flavored tobacco products to protect our kids and communities. Take action now by visiting FlavorsHookKidsDenver.org to tell your City Council Members to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. Paid for by Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund

Vote NO on Denver Ballot Measures 2E and 2G Op-ed by former Mayor Wellington Webb and Hon. Wilma Webb

We know that people have started to vote - and are eager to get their ballots in to change the course of our country and our state, so we will get right to the point. There are two measures on your Denver ballot this year that threaten our standing as a world class city. We cannot stand by without urging you to vote NO on Denver Ballot Measures 2E and 2G. When Wellington was Mayor, he helped take our city from good to great. We have been fortunate to have several leaders who have helped our city excel. And even today, during a pandemic, agencies have affirmed Denver’s AAA bond rating, thanks to smart leadership and sound fiscal policies. Measure 2E asks if the City Council should have authority to approve mayoral cabinet appointments. We can tell you that finding the best people to serve in cabinet positions can be difficult under normal circumstances. Furthermore, the mayor is held accountable for in-depth vetting and only the mayor is held accountable when those appointees face challenges or don’t perform to the expectations of Denverites.

If a Council member has a concern about any given appointment, they are currently able to talk to the Mayor about those concerns. But some on this Council have been unwilling or unable to reach out to the mayor to find solutions to challenges of our City. Ballot measures should not and do not replace the work required of the Mayor and the Council to work together. Measure 2G would give the Council the ability to add budget appropriations or transfer funds during the fiscal year. The City of Denver’s AAA bond rating is a result, in large part, to our ability to make spending decisions during crises, including the current pandemic. Having Council members introduce supplemental appropriations or transfers at any time for their pet projects could be highly disruptive to the funding of basic services. The mayor and budget director customarily work with Council concerning the use of settlement dollars and unexpected revenues such as COVID-19 federal monies, as Mayor Hancock did this year. Any larger contract for the use of these monies must already receive Council approval under current law. This process is one of many reasons that Denver has AAA bond ratings from all three national accrediting agencies. We understand that some Council members are intent on disruption and theatrics, rather than the hard work and dedication it takes to run this city. We hope that Denver Ballot Measures 2E and 2G are defeated and the Mayor and the Council can get back to working together on behalf of the people of this great city, especially as we work our way out of the setbacks of this pandemic. Please vote NO on Denver Ballot Measures 2E and 2G to keep building the city we all love. .

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


In the Spirit of Friendship and Service By Gerri Gomez Howard


s COVID-19 continues to disproportionately impact African Americans and people of color across the country, here in Colorado local organizations embedded in serving community are stepping into opportunities to meet individuals and their families with resources. Last month, across the country, members of The Links, Inc., engaged with voter registration drives in partnership with When We All Vote, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization launched by Co-Chair Michelle Obama in 2018 to increase participation in every election.

Locally, the Denver (CO) Chapter of The Links, Inc., in collaboration with the Center for African American Health (CAA Health) hosted a drivethru registration event last month on Saturday, Oct. 10. This unique opportunity created a safe, healthy environment for individuals to sign up to vote. With Denver Links members on-site at the CAA Health’s new facility, people could remain in their vehicles and register to vote. As strong advocates for ensuring that all people, particularly Black and Brown communities are able to exercise their right to vote, The Links seek ways to empower individuals and help them understand and exercise their civic responsibility. As one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African

Denver (CO) Chapter Links Inc. President Jada Suzanne Dixon

Denver (CO) Chapter Links Inc. Corresponding Secretary Pamela Brooks

Links Members Brandi Kaye Freeman, Victoria Scott Haynes and Jada Suzanne Dixon Photos by Gerri Gomez Howard

ancestry, the Denver, CO Chapter, now marking 68 years of service with 45 members, continues to quietly move thru the community serving a vital role in enriching the lives of individuals and families with a focus on service, friendship, community involvement and philanthropy. Annually, local members are engaged in delivering more than 5000 volunteer service hours and recently supported the Montbello Organizing Committee’s drive-thru food distribution where boxes of items were prepared for families impacted by food insecurity. Financial donations to these organizations and to the Center for Trauma and Resilience, formerly known as the Denver Center for Crime Victims, were made possible through the Western Area of The Links, Incorporated’s COVID-19 Collective Impact Fund. This Fund was established to support programs and services that respond to the critical needs of

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


communities, families, students, and businesses throughout the area’s 10 states that are severely impacted by COVID-19. In addition, members made personal contributions to these organizations in support and recognition of their tireless efforts in providing resources for families in the Greater Denver metro area. In November, the members of the Denver Chapter of The Links, Inc. will support the annual Daddy Bruce Thanksgiving food distribution event which is expected to reach record numbers of families in need of help this holiday season. Denver Chapter President Jada Dixon shares, “We believe in the significance of authenticity – showing up and staying present. Therefore, it is not how much of your time, talent, or treasure that you give, but it’s doing so in a spirit of friendship and service.”. Editor’s note: For more information about the Denver Chapter (CO) of The Links, visit denverlinks.org.

Sistahbiz Global Network Supports the Rise of Black-Women Entrepreneurs, Training Program Empowers Women and Business Loan Fund Invests in Business Growth By Niambi Nicholes

October was National Women’s Small Business Month. Yet, the Sistahbiz Global Network is working to ensure that every month celebrates Black women business owners. But more importantly, they continue to pave a pathway for others to have a successful entry into the world of entrepreneurship. This year, Sistahbiz announced the launch of the nation’s first small business loan fund for Black women entrepreneurs. Today, the network’s work pays off dividends as the fund has grown to close to a million dollars to be awarded and invested in new business ventures. To kick off the month, they graduated their first entrepreneur cohort class of women who qualify for start-up funding from the organization. “What I see daily in Black women is leadership, perseverance and the innovative mindset needed to not only have a business vision but to achieve it,” said Makisha Boothe, founder of Sistahbiz Global Network. “Each of these women who have gone through our nine-month training program has a unique vision for business growth, but what they share is a passion and drive to evolve an idea into a reality. It’s been a pleasure working with them over the last nine months, and now I look forward to seeing what the future holds.” In 2019, Black women represented 42% of all new womenowned businesses nationwide and were among the fastestgrowing demographics of entrepreneurs. Yet, their challenges, as noted in Forbes this year, are often two-fold when

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Makisha Booth leads Goal Digger Workshop

considering personal wealth, business experience, support networks and entrepreneurial motivations. Then when faced with the COVID-19 pandemic this spring, Black-women owned businesses have been some of the hardest-hit but continue to weather the storm. As a seasoned entrepreneur, Boothe understands the challenges first-time minority business owners face. Since 2017, she has dedicated her time and shared her personal experiences to eliminate those roadblocks for other women. “The work of Sistahbiz has been focused on empowering women to realize their entrepreneurial dreams, provide the tools and mentorship for success and to help create a sustainable pipeline of Black entrepreneurs into the marketplace,” said Boothe. “Sistahbiz is about growing a global network and sisterhood of business owners who are building thriving enterprises and long-term community wealth - together.” Today, Sistahbiz Global Network has a Facebook group of 2k and more than 170 members in their newly launched paid membership program. The organization continues to grow in Colorado and nationally.

“Metro Denver is recognized as one of the top 10 best metropolitan cities to create and establish small businesses, as well as the top city for women to start a business,” explained Boothe. “To close the gap and ensure that this success is a reality for black women as well, it’s critical to provide dedicated capital and technical training to support their growth. We’re excited to invest in businesses that will have a long-term impact well beyond the numbers.” Following are the 2020 Sistahbiz Cohort businesses: ESD Consulting – A racial equity consulting and organizational development firm founded by Emily ShamsidDeen (www.consultesd.com). The 5WH – An architect design company, owned by Kaci Taylor, a Licensed Architect (www.the5wh.com). LRB Design Studios – A digital/virtual home staging company owned by Lissette Ellerbe (www.lrbdesignstudios.com). SCD Enrichment Program – An educational pathway program founded by Shalelia Dillard (www.scdenrichment.org). Providence & Design LLC – A graphic and web design company owned by Lauren Johnson

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


(website coming soon, www.providence.design). Goal-Getter PM – A project management and workflow solutions company owned by Bri Sudduth.   WorkSource Consulting – A full-service human resources consulting firm owned by Lisa Young (www.worksourceconsulting.com). Lyons Educational Consulting LLC - A consulting and coach-

ing firm owned by Asia Lyons. DK Visuals - A corporate branding photography company owned by Danielle Smith (www.dkvisuals.biz). The Sistahbiz Loan Fund provides business loans from $500 to $50,000, with interest rates from seven to 11%. Eligible applicants must live in Colorado and have completed a Sistahbiz business coaching/ training program. CEDS Finance operates the fund, a Denver based nonprofit that supports the American Dream of financial self-sufficiency by assisting immigrants, refugees, and people in underserved communities to start, grow or strengthen their small business in Metro Denver.. Editor’s note: For more information about Sistahbiz or details about the fund, visit www.sistah.biz or www.sistah.biz/loan-fund.

Caring for the Caregiver By Gerri Howard


ven before the onset of COVID-19, Nadine Roberts Cornish was creating a community around caregivers. Her ability to encourage them to break out of the isolation they often feel, and find support and solace with experts and others in similar situations, inspired her to create The Caregiver’s Guardian in 2009. With an eye on nurturing caregivers, Roberts authored her second book, Prayers in My Gumbo: A Caregiver’s Recipe for Peace, where she invited 40 caregivers from across the country to help demonstrate the power of prayer and create peace in their journeys through a collection of prayers. Her first book, Tears in My Gumbo: A Caregiver’s Recipe for Resilience, focused on the five steps of conscious caregiving which includes: Helplessness, Recognition, Process, Acceptance and Surrender. A native of New Orleans, Roberts has embraced caregiving with an analogy to a bowl of Gumbo. There are many ingredients necessary for that perfect Gumbo – many people eager to help and taste - and for caregiving, there are many people who are on this journey. The caregiver needs to feed their soul – just as gumbo is that comfort food that soothes the soul. This passion Roberts now shares with thousands of people, comes from the lessons she learned while being a caregiver herself. She embraced those 15 years of caring for her mother and ironically, launched her Gumbo Series on her mom’s birthday which happens to be National Gumbo day. As we mark National Caregivers Month every Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


November, Roberts seeks to inspire caregivers to not journey down this road alone and to know that every occasion has both happy and sad experiences. This year, especially given how COVID-19 has placed so many people in a caregiving role, she is launching the 10*10*30 campaign designed to raise awareness of the caregiver in your life. The campaign encourages all of us to support those people we know who are in this role by performing 10 acts of kindness and helping put 10,000 books in the hands of caregivers during the 30 days of November. “Caregivers operate in the confluence of love and loss when they take on the care of their beloved,” says Roberts, “They need something as bold and nurturing as a recipe of Gumbo to sustain them in their work, to create resilience when they feel like collapsing under the weight of their task and uncertainties.” Just like Gumbo is seasoned with that secret sauce of LOVE, the 10*10*30 campaign is an opportunity to express gratitude and love to the many people who need it the most. . Editor’s note: Nadine Roberts Cornish is a transformational speaker, a certified senior advisor, gerontologist, and caregiver coach. Join her free weekly zoom call and learn more about the Caregivers Guardian and the 10*10*30 campaign by visiting www.tcgcares.com.

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Editor’s note: Samantha OfolePrince is an award-winning writer and contributor to many national publications and is Blackflix.com’s Senior Critic-at-Large. Laurence Washington is the creator of BlackFlix.com. Like Blackflix.com on Facebook, follow Blackflix.com on Twitter

The War With Grandpa ll1/2 By Laurence Washington


irector Tim Hill’s The War With Grandpa, or Dennis the Menace meets Home Alone, is another chance for Robert De Niro to play a grumpy senior citizen, when he’s not too busy whacking wise guys for Martin Scorsese. In this formulated slapstick, comedy, De Niro plays Ed, an independent aging senior who is faced with the reality that he can no longer drive, and is becoming increasingly frustrated with his local grocery store that has become fully automated. Concerned with her father’s physical deterioration and refusal to move into assisted living, Sally (Uma Thurman) convinces Ed to live with her and her family. But ah, there’s the rub. Ed’s 12-year-old grandson Peter (Oakes Fegley), has to give up his room, thus war commences between the two. The once loving grandfather and grandson try to out prank one another

with falling doors, superglue, a marble or two and trick ladders – you know the kind of mishaps in the real world that can cause contusions, various abrasions and unexpected trips to the ER. Aided by an all-star cast Christopher Walken, Cheech Marin, Jane Seymour and Uma Thurman, The War With Grandpa is a harmless and somewhat predictable comedy

that ends with hugs, a few tears and life lessons. The 90-minute movie probably would be more enjoyable on Netflix or another streaming service in this lockdown pandemic world, but hey, one can always wait.

A Trinidadian tale, an Angolan drama and a Nigerian film kick off AFI Fest 2020 By Samantha Ofole-Prince The American Film Institute (AFI) screened a collection of diverse narrative feature films from celebrated storytellers across the world at their annual virtual film festival. Passports, visas and other travel documents are the mainstay of GDN Studios Eyimofe, an engaging Nigerian immigration drama, which weaves a compelling tale of two families in Lagos. Coinciding with the recent 60th anniversary of Nigerian independence and directed by Arie and Chuko Esiri, the film stars Tomiwa Edun, Jude Akuwudike,

Anwar Jamison and Nana Ama McBrown in Coming to Africa

Cynthia Ebijie, Temiloluwa Ami-Williams and was funded entirely in Nigeria. It made its US premiere at the AFI Fest 2020 on Oct. 20. She Paradise, from director Maya Cozier, follows a Trinidadian girl whose world changes when she meets a group of Soca dancers and is a vibrant coming-of-age film about sisterhood and the joy of dance while Winston Duke and Zazie Beetz join forces in Nine Days, a science fiction thriller with a spiritual bent in which a mysterious man interviews five unborn souls in a quest to determine which one of them will be given life on Earth. Farewell Amor follows a reunited Angolan family who faces a struggle to assimilate while holding onto their culture and is directed by Ekwa Msangi. The complete AFI Fest program included 124 titles of which 53 percent were directed by women, 39 percent are directed by BIPOC and 17 percent are directed by LBGTQ+. “AFI Fest is committed to supporting diverse perspectives and new voices in cinema and this year is no different,” says AFI Festivals Director of Programming Sarah Harris. “While we wish we were able

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


to be together in Hollywood, this year’s festival is an opportunity to celebrate the many great films yet to be discovered by audiences across the nation.” Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring artists and audiences through initiatives that champion the past, present and future of the moving image. AFI Fest 2020 took place online last month, and opened with the World Premiere of I’m Your Woman directed by Julia Hart and closed with the World Premiere of My Psychedelic Love Story by director Errol Morri.

Release date set for Regina King’s feature directorial debut film By Samantha Ofole-Prince One Night in Miami will open in select theaters on Dec. 25, followed by a global launch on Jan. 15, 2021 exclusively on Prime Video. Following its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, this strong contender has already garnered awards buzz in this year’s Oscar race. Starring Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge and

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One Night in Miami Courtesy of Amazon Studios

been praised for its timely and effective performances, with a knock-out feature directorial debut from Oscar and Emmywinner Regina King. “To complete and release a film within the same year is a difficult task. We welcomed the challenge because we knew now was the time for this film to be released. Amazon fully supported our intention and I could not be more excited this prescient story will be seen across the globe,” says King. Written by Olivier-nominated Kemp Powers and based off his 2013 stage play, it’s set on the night of February 25, 1964 and follows a young Cassius Clay (before he became Muhammad Ali) as he emerges from the Miami Beach Convention Center the new World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. Against all odds, he defeated Sonny Liston and shocked the sports world. While crowds of people swarm Miami Beach to celebrate the match,

island because of Jim Crow-era segregation laws - instead spends the night at the Hampton House Motel in one of Miami’s historically Black neighborhoods celebrating with three of his closest friends: activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and football star Jim Brown. The next morning, the four men emerge determined to define a new world for themselves and their people. The film explores what happened during these pivotal hours through the dynamic relationship between the four men and the way their friendship, paired with their shared struggles, fueled their path to becoming the civil rights icons they are today and features an original song “Speak Now” written by Leslie Odom Jr. and Sam Ashford, and performed by Leslie Odom Jr. ABKCO will release the official One Night in Miami original soundtrack album in conjunction with the film. .

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Continued from page 3 •All the plans we offer cover the Essential Health Benefits, which include: -Ambulatory patient services -Emergency services -Hospitalization -Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care -Mental health and substance use disorder services -Prescription drugs -Rehabilitative services -Laboratory services -Preventive and wellness services -Pediatric services including oral and vision care Please continue doing all that you can to protect yourself, your family, and your finances. As our elders always say, “this, too, shall pass.”

Response to Antifa: No Friend To The Black Community Editor: To clear the water I must begin with the clarification of what antifa stands for: Anti-fascism. Perhaps Casper Stockham has drank too much of the Kool-Aid concocted by the conservative right. He has flipped the script when it comes to pointing out the bad guys. Unwittingly or intentionally, Mr. Stockham is misleading the public. The anarchist not antifa are the agent provocateurs who infiltrate peaceful protests causing mayhem to give police reason to move on the protesters, shutting down the protests, and thereby discrediting the protest. This tactic has been successful for decades. Let’s look at a definition of the term fascism: A system of government characterized by rigid one party dictatorship, forcible suppression of the opposition (unions, other, especially leftist, parties, minority groups, etc.) the retention of private ownership of the means of production under centralized governmental control, belligerent nationalism and racism, glo-

rification of war, etc.; first instituted in Italy in 1922. The true mission of antifa is to stop or prevent what happened in Italy from happening in America. But just like the enemies of freedom have moved to discredit the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement, they are putting a lot of resources into defaming and destroying the patriotic organization known as antifa. When reading the definition of Fascism, one should take a pause and asked oneself: Is this the kind of government I want in America? In future protests, peaceful protesters must take steps to expunge anarchist from their midst. Do not be deceived by the disinformation machinery. It comes down to believing your ears on your own lying eyes. Anyone standing against Fascism is a friend to the Black community. Antonio Aurora

Aging and Health Editor: Age is a number. Health is a fluid process that we all work with from the time we are born, but so much of it seems to have been out of our control. My good friend Clint Williams died from Mesothelioma and he had no control over how and when he was exposed to asbestos because it probably came home in his dad’s clothes. My Mother died of old age after suffering for years from Dementia. My Father dropped dead of a heart attack in the doorway of his home when he was 83 after putting flowers on the graves of my two younger siblings who died from accidents more than 45 years ago. He lived a good life, but I could have used having him around just a little more. My old Aunt Jane, who had all her marbles and her good looks too, took herself off of dialysis at 87 just letting everyone know she was ready to go. Go figure how aging fits

in with health. Everyone has their theory and lots of people have prescriptions. Let me talk about mine. Life is made of basically three main aspects: Health, property and relationships. Every piece of property, personal or real, requires our attention and care at some point, or we really don’t deserve to have it. We value our homes, our cars, our jewelry, etc., and well we should. Every relationship with another life, be it children, parents, relatives, friends, or pets, requires something from us. What we give to our relationships gives us the substance and the character of our lives. When you don’t take care of your relationships, both you and the others in your life will suffer from it. By that we are often judged. But through it all, we weave in the threads of our health because it truly has to support everything. We frequently ignore it. We frequently don’t listen to what our inner voice is telling us. We live on old habits that should have gone by the wayside years ago, be it alcohol, sugar, pastry, white flour products, fast-food, processed food or other stuff that we take without wanting to consider the detrimental consequences they bring. We don’t read or study what we could find out about our health, and we too often give in to pharmaceutical medications that have consequences. I haven’t even gotten started on mental health, which we all know heavily supports our overall health. How often we ignore how our mental health – that not affects you but everyone else in your life. Even if all a person has is a pet at home, that poor pet will suffer if there is a mental health problem going on. Healthcare requires attention every day; with diet, exercise,

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


and attention to the spiritual and mental states that help everything else. We need a healthcare system that is real. It should be universal and not dependent in any way on a person’s financial capabilities. It should be a real healthcare system and not a sick-care system. We can look to other countries, such as Germany to see that alternatives to allopathic medicine and pharmaceuticals really do work. For the last years, we should continue our search for quality care and places that embrace the beauty of the souls that have been here for the longest time. We once had a Governor who said that the old have a duty to die. I think we can all say that was a misguided statement. On the contrary, we have a duty of care and respect, for those who are older and those who have departed. In many ways, we can all be judged on how we take care of our own health and the health of others. My Dad used to say, “Be your own doctor,” and he was saying we have to be aware of what we can do to both build and correct our own health. Good luck to you all. Be happy, be healthy and see the blessings that are all around us.

Mike Sawaya Denver

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The Critical Decision We Must Make Op-ed by Diane Irvin


was raised not to discuss politics with those whose views might differ from mine. Americans are more alike than different, however, and we likely agree that these are unsettling political times. This political climate compels me to express why Willem and I support Joe Biden. In the past, I have registered as a Republican, a Democrat, and as an Independent, voting first, based on a candidate’s integrity, character, and values; and second, on a candidate’s position on issues. Why this process? An issue that is top priority when I vote (i.e., the economy) can drop in priority after the election, if a crisis that wasn’t anticipated (war, a pandemic, 9/11) requires quick action. During a campaign, we can’t foresee unexpected crises and ask candidates how they will handle them, if elected. For 27 years in business, I hired employees based on integrity, character, and values. Training will close knowledge gaps and develops skills, but the best predictor of future performance is past performance. Integrity, character, and values are set, and will determine decisions and actions. Likewise, we can predict a political candidate’s handling of a crisis based on past performance that is rooted in their integrity, values and character. As you consider whom you want to hire as our nation’s top leader, consider the importance of integrity, character, and values, versus issues that rise and fall in priority, and how

your candidate will handle unforeseeable crises that are guaranteed to occur in the next four years. Based on the following, Willem and I will vote for Biden. 1. Truth and Transparency – In a crisis, we will know how to prepare because we can trust his word. He will do what he says, and he is transparent. For example, Biden voluntarily made his Income Tax records public, and pays his fair share of taxes. Open and honest. Is it right that the wealthy 1% pay no, or less, income tax than we do? Our taxes finance our national infrastructure, while the wealthiest 1% hire attorneys to find loopholes. 2. Respect for our democratic institutions: a. Our right to vote, and the integrity – when not undermined – of our election process. b. Governing in the interest of all Americans. In Congress, Biden worked across the aisle and sponsored legislation to benefit all Americans – not just his base. c. The rule of law with no double standard – While campaigning on “law and order” to stop lawlessness in the streets, we learn that there may not be a peaceful transfer of power, depending on the election outcome, and that it may be decided by the Supreme Court, whose 9th justice is being chosen by one Party, while voting is underway. d. Cooperation and compromise – We must choose between, “There is nothing we cannot accomplish if we are united,” or “Divide and conquer…”You’ve got to dominate the streets…” 3. Belief in something greater than Self, more important than his own financial advantage. Biden does not own domestic and international properties where American and foreign officials are required to stay, to enrich himself. A man of faith (Catholic) and principle,

Biden will not promise whatever it takes — just to be elected. Biden’s entire life has been one of public service, and it is open for review. 4. Empathy. The ability to understand another’s pain – e.g., about loved ones lost through violence, Covid, or lack of medical insurance – reveal a candidate’s character and values – beyond Wall Street. We will either benefit from true statesmanship in Washington — or experience the results of a self-serving ruler who knows no limits. If the above is not enough to motivate you to vote for Biden, please ask yourself: 1. Why have notable former Republicans, with no political aspirations, formed The Lincoln Project, and dedicated themselves to electing Biden? 2. Beyond The Lincoln Project, why have other respected Republicans left the Party, saying that racism, greed, and corruption have increased under Donald Trump? 3. Why have distinguished military officers and intelligence officials– e.g., Generals Colin Powell, James Mattis and more than 480 others – made videos, stating that they will vote for Joe Biden, not Donald Trump? 4, Why did a former key employee in VP Pence’s office, resign and videotape that she left because of the lack of ethics in this Administration? 5. How many books have been written about Trump’s mental and emotional instability, financial ineptness – despite his proclaiming himself to be a genius businessman (with 13 bankruptcies, and found by the state of New York to be in debt over $400 million)? 6. Does this President have our well-being or interest in mind when, fearing he won’t win ethically and legally, USPS machines are disassembled to slow the ballot count, there is voter suppression in poor areas (largely Democratic), polling places are shut down to make it

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


difficult to vote, and he competes for our attention by scheduling his town hall at the same time as Joe Biden’s on another national network? Former CIA Director, General Michael Hayden, a Republican, says in his video, “Joe Biden is a good man. Donald Trump is not.” Hayden adds that he disagrees with Biden on many issues, yet he will vote for Biden “…to save the country.” NY Times Editorial Board, Oct 16, 2020: Donald Trump’s reelection campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II. This election will determine the extent to which our democracy survives. Democracy is not a spectator sport. Wrestle with this, if you must. Then, Willem and I hope you will vote for the integrity, character, and values of Joe Biden, the man we need to unify, not divide, our country..

America Must Be Born Again Op-ed by Thomas Mayes, PhD


ifty two years ago, on Friday April 5th 1968 I was at East Denver High School the day after Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. A man who peacefully stood, preached, and marched for justice and equality. America was born out of violence‌ In 1619 Africans were violently torn from their homeland placed in the bottom of ships and brought to be enslaved to build an America – an America that was violently taken from the Indigenous people of this land. The American Revolution was a violent colonial revolt which occurred between 1775 and 1783. Now we witness America seeking a solution, a way out of the violence wherewith it was born. Like a lion cub trying to shake the very nature of its’ mother. We’re seeking to remove violent hatred from the thought life of our conscience. America is waging a war against itself. We must find an alternative to violence & bloodshed. JFK who was assassinated on my 11th birthday, said “Man must put an end to war or war will put an end to manâ€?. Theologians tell a story of a man named Nicodemus. John 3:4 “Born again!â€? exclaimed Nicodemus. “What do you mean? How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?â€? Our nation is sickened with a chronic form of forgetfulness and emotional disarray in its

spirit, in its mental cavities. It has embedded itself in the very fabric of our nation, and we are hearing the same story over and over again. Our nation is facing a race of people who have never been treated for a mental impairment brought on by both physical and emotional abuse over numerous centuries. It reminds me of the crude cutting board my son made in shop class that I use daily. Not because I can’t afford a new one. It’s not that it was made so wonderfully, but because my son made it. I still feel the pain of my father and grandfather’s hurt from racists acts not because I haven’t had hurts of bigotry of my own, not because I’m stuck in the past, but because it was my father’s hurt, it was my grandfather’s hurt. Let me share a personal story in my life. My dad played the guitar in the church close to 40 years. He would practice at home and I would sit and listen. He would sometimes play a tune that I later learned was a portion of an old blues tune. When he played that tune, I loved it so much I would hug his neck as long as he’d allow. Almost like I was losing my mind and he would laugh and enjoy my reaction. I think he enjoyed my reaction as much as I enjoyed him playing the tune or maybe even more. I also remember when my Dad whipped my butt, only to later realize the punishment was unwarranted. Rather than saying he was sorry he would find his way to his guitar. He would pluck the strings as though he was merely fine tuning his instrument, but eventually he would play that tune. Rather than say he was wrong or say those two simple words, “I’m sorry�, he’d play that tune and I would eventually give in. With tear streaked cheeks I’d hug his neck again. That worked for years, until I got older; I matured. Eventually I learned to play the guitar myself and I

learned to play the same familiar tune for myself. It no longer worked as a pacifier! America has been playing a tune that is an old blues tune within itself. It has been titled many different ways, Welfare, Quota System, Affirmative Action and now Inclusion. When she played it in times past, we loved it so much we would hug America as though we couldn’t let go. O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain; for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea. America has laughed and enjoyed our reaction as we rested back on our laurels. You might say America enjoyed our reaction as much as we enjoyed the tune. America inflicted unwarranted punishment on us, and rather than genuinely saying she’s sorry, she been playing that tune. Rather than say she was wrong; America continues to play that tune. It has worked for centuries. But we have matured now and learned to play the same tune for ourselves. The melody no longer entertains nor pacify. We’ve matured as a people and maintain our integrity and now approach in a peaceful way, and yes, some unfortunately in a not so peaceful way, to say we won’t be pacified or satisfied until it’s rectified. We can’t

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – November 2020


allow anyone to take away our somebodiness. As our former First Lady say’s when they go low, we go high. And there is nothing higher than power of the soul and we make our peaceful stand high on the principles of love, peace and a faith believing that our hope can withstand the storms of the rebirthing of every industry; policing, education, legislature, healthcare both physical and mental – rebirthing as a nation. America has been awakened and now sees and must face herself as she really is. We must not forget the path we traveled to get here; not so we may return, but so that we don’t return to a place we now know it to be wrong. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..

Covid-19 is keeping us from coming together this year for our annual 100 Men Who Cook Black Tie Fundraiser but we still need your help. Our beneficiaries’ work hasn’t stopped. We’ve established the 1,000@$100 Campaign to help us continue supporting youth in our community. Join the ranks by sending your contribution to www.100menwhocook.co or 100 Men Who Cook - PO Box 7188 – Denver, CO 80207

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Dr. Cottee J. White (also


his Bachelor of Science degree in sociology and social studies education from Florida A&M University. He earned his Master of Arts degree in the social sciences with concentrations in sociology and anthropology from Indiana University. He was awarded a National Defense Education Act grant for a year of academic study at New York University. His doctor of philosophy degree in sociology was from Florida State University. He was on the faculty at Albany State University in Georgia before commencing his two-decade career at MSU. He authored “An Introduction to AfricanAmerican Studies” and was a member of a variety of academic organizations including the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History and the Association of Black Sociologists. He officially retired from MSU in 2003, but continued working on a university project until 2005. “He continued his research in his postretirement years,” said Professor Dennis Green, who had a broad range of experiences with White. He was his student and teaching assistant, and upon completion of his doctorate, was hired by White to teach in the African American Studies Department (now renamed Africana Studies). Green now teaches in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Colorado, Denver campus. According to Green, White’s post-retirement research is broad and includes “Comparative Religion in the African Diaspora;” “Socio-cultural Evolution of the Black Family;” “Issues and Analysis of the Gullah Culture;” and “Sustainability of the Historically Black Colleges.” White is interred in his native Florida..

Dr. C.J. White

known as C.J.), who had a key role in developing African American studies at Metropolitan State University (MSU) passed away recently in Denver. He was 80 years old. Dr. White was a sociologist who began his lengthy career at MSU in 1985, teaching African American studies as part of the Institute for Intercultural Studies. In 1995, the four units of the Institute (Chicano, African American, Asian, and Native American studies) became separate departments. White was appointed director of the African American Studies Department. “He successfully expanded student enrollment as well as the number of majors and minors,” said MSU International Studies Director Dr. Ali Thobhani, who was director of African American studies from 1980 to ‘85. “He also strengthened community-oriented activities.”  White’s research interests in the Gullah society of the Sea Islands of South Carolina were a unique feature in his department. The Gullah people have been able to uphold a West African legacy of arts, crafts, food, music, spirituality and language. Gullah Geechee is the only distinctive African creole language in the United States. Professor Jacquelyn Benton joined the department in 2000. Her graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin included a focus on the Gullah culture, and after a visit to the Sea Islands, Benton was anxious to take students there. A 12-week class, The Gullah Experience, was followed by a fiveday trip to Low Country in South Carolina. The class continued until Benton’s retirement in 2017. 

By Annette Walker

“It was with the support of Dr. C.J. White that made the first trip possible, allowing the subsequent ones to continue,” she emphasized. During his tenure, White organized the annual Black World Conference, and he always made efforts to attract community attendance. He was also active with the annual Martin Luther King Breakfast Committee.   Born in Marianna, Florida, White was the youngest of seven children. He received

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This is my Magnum Opus... This little book was written to shake up religion and to help change the world. It contains America’s genesis and its future and will reveal America’s Black Genesis and its future. This little book will enlighten all who read it no matter their race or creed, and to all who receive it. It is not meant to change religion. This discourse is meant to make clearer all religions. The knowledge in this book is yours by right of birth. “This book is my gift to the world. I believe this is an important book, my magnum opus.”

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John Hickenlooper will fight for Colorado’s Black communities in the U.S. Senate.

\ As governor, John expanded healthcare to 500,000 Coloradans, and in the Senate, he will lower costs, protect people with preexisting conditions, and expand access to care. \ Communities of color have been disproportionately hurt by Washington’s failed response to COVID-19. John will fight to make sure we build back stronger and more equitably than ever before. \ John believes that Black Lives Matter, and in the Senate, he will continue to promote racial justice and equity for all.

VOTE FOR JOHN HICKENLOOPER. Make sure to return your ballot by 7:00 PM on November 3rd. Visit Hickenlooper.com/vote for more information.



NO ON 116 Sandra is voting NO NO on 11 116 6 because she knows: • The $40 tax savings she’d get will hurt the community more than it’ll help her. • Just like in dominoes, she’ll pass, only to strike bigger later. • She’s tired of helping the rich get richer. Vote NO NO on 11 116 116! 6 Then join those working for a system that works for ALL of us. For the low down and events visit:


Profile for Denver Urban Spectrum

Denver Urban Spectrum - November 2020 - Dionne Warwick! She's Back  

In our cover story, “She’s Back” by Alfonzo Porter, listen to the renewed beauty of Dionne Warwick’s voice that has delighted the world for...

Denver Urban Spectrum - November 2020 - Dionne Warwick! She's Back  

In our cover story, “She’s Back” by Alfonzo Porter, listen to the renewed beauty of Dionne Warwick’s voice that has delighted the world for...