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Volume 30 Number 8

November 2016

Hillary Surrogates

Walk the Walk and

Talk the Talk in Denver

DNC Chair Donna Brazille On The Road for the White House...3


November 2016

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris


MANAGING EDITOR Laurence C. Washington

PUBLISHER ASSISTANT Melovy Melvin COLUMNISTS Kim Farmer Earl Ofari Hutchinson Theo J. Wilson FILM CRITIC BlackFlix.Com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charles Emmons Jah Goatfish Tanya Ishikawa Melovy Melvin Allan ChristopherTellis Annette Walker ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jody Gilbert - Kolor Graphix


CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Lens of Ansar Bernard Grant DISTRIBUTION Glen Barnes Lawrence A. James Ed Lynch

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 2016 by Bizzy Bee Enterprise. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The Denver Urban Spectrum circulates 25,000 copies throughout Colorado. The Denver Urban Spectrum welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment. Write to the Denver Urban Spectrum at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at

Let it Reign, Let it Rain…

“Rain falls from above, and people who Reign rule from a position above others.”

This message comes with a lot of emotions – frustration, excitement, sadness, joy and peace. In several days, we will have a new president of the United States and with confidence I know it will be our first woman POTUS. It has been a tough race for Hillary Clinton and I know it has been frustrating as it has been with many fellow Americans including myself. But with the help of her many and dedicated surrogates, she will Reign in the White House. DUS contributor writer Charles Emmons hit the trails right behind them and now shares their thoughts and reasons of why they support her candidacy. Providing another campaign perspective, my very young assistant Melovy gives her views as a first time voter as a millennial. Although she is excited for the opportunity, darkness overshadows her desire and decision in this election with skepticism, decisiveness and uncertainty. Still, she understands the importance to get other millennials excited as well and encourages them to get out and vote. This political issue is indeed exciting as we move into the holiday season. But for some, the holidays will not be as cheerful as we say good-bye to a Denver Urban Spectrum friend and dear family member. Read about how they touched lives and impacted their communities as we dedicate this issue to our friend Lawrence “Larry” Borom and my cousin Harold L. Whitfield. May they both rest in peace. As they transition into the heavens, rain falls and has fallen in the form of a new baby girl - a bundle of joy for her parents and grandfather. We welcome “Rain” into the world. Emotions are inevitable – they come and they go. On November 8, we may be frustrated, excited, sad or full of joy at the outcome of the election. On that day, eight years ago I buried my mother. It is because of her spirit and love, that I can find peace. I hope you can also. Now get out and vote if you have not done so. Peace and blessings... Rosalind J. Harris Publisher


Ending the Hyde Amendment

tended pregnancy because of the prohibitive cost of an abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, one in four women on Medicaid who seek abortions is placed in that position. Now just imagine what impact that unfair burden has on families, on communities – on our society as a whole. Medicaid provides care to millions of women of reproductive age and serves as their lifeline. Women of color – Latina and African American – are more likely to use public insurance programs such as Medicaid to get care. We can’t know these women’s circumstances. We don’t know their finances. What we do know is that every woman should be able to access every option available to her when making a personal decision about whether to terminate a pregnancy. This is her right – a right affirmed by the United States Supreme Court as guaranteed under the Constitution. As Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said, “The decision of whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, her wellbeing and her dignity.” Looking at laws that keep disadvantaged people from having access to abortion, Justice Ginsberg has noted: “That we have one law for women of means and another for poor women is not a satisfactory solution.” This is why I’m an original co-

Editor: Recently there’s been a groundswell of support for legislation to right a four-decade wrong: a restriction using federal funds for women’s health care that has predominantly hurt the under-privileged. This ban, known as the Hyde Amendment, prohibits federal funds in Medicaid and other health programs from being used for abortions. Now the restriction stops this coverage for all federal employees, military personnel, Peace Corps volunteers, Native Americans on federal insurance and inmates in federal prisons. Politicians have inserted this provision into law year after year. They did it again in the stopgap spending bill that keeps the lights on in Washington until mid-December. And when Congress returns to Washington the week after the elections, they’re planning once again to renew the prohibition for another year. The impact of this annual assault on women’s constitutionally-protected rights is clear: A woman who seeks an abortion but can’t have one because she can’t afford it is more likely to fall on even harder times, deepening the cycle of poverty. Just think about what that does to individuals and families across this country. Put yourself in the shoes of a poor and frightened young woman who’s forced to carry to term an unin-

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


sponsor of the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act, also known as the EACH Woman Act. This bill, which 125 House members support, would overturn the Hyde Amendment once and for all. The legislation has the support of dozens of organizations, including Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the ACLU, the Alliance for Justice and many more. Ending the Hyde Amendment has become a topic of interest in the presidential campaign, so perhaps that will give it more momentum. With enough support, it may be an idea whose time has finally come. Editor’s note: Diana DeGette represents Colorado’s First District to the U.S. Congress and is co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus Denver Urban Spectrum Department E-mail Addresses Denver Urban Spectrum

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On the Road for the White House…...On the Road to Democracy E

By Charles Emmons

lection Day is close. Ballots have been mailed. Voter registration reps roam the entrances of supermarkets with clipboards ensuring passersby’s are registered for one of the most important elections of the new century. Are you ready? Colorado has some of the most progressive voting laws in the country. You can vote by mail, or register and vote on the same day. What could be easier? Despite the ease of this process, some people still don’t vote. They don’t feel their vote will count, or the candidates don’t express their exact views. President Barack Obama currently has a 57 percent approval rating, the highest of any previous president at this point of his term with 10.7 million jobs created and 20 million people with healthcare who did not have it before. A Good Ground Game To make sure you vote for continued progress, Democratic Party surrogates have hit the road. Social media worked for Barack Obama, but Democrats such as former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb knows there

Donna Brazille


Photos by Bernard Grant




from Title IX,” Brazille explains. “Pat Schroeder was such an amazing lawmaker. She represented us well. Pat Schroeder, Bella Abzug, Shirley Chisholm, so you can imagine my roots when it comes to equal rights; when it comes to Civil Rights, and when it comes to making sure that this country will never go back on the commitment to ensuring that every American citizen will have equal rights and equal protection under the law.” Brazille has experienced nine presidential campaigns, and for her the stakes couldn’t be higher. “We have to keep the White House,” she says, “because that is the house that will give us all a roof over our heads, and give all our children a head start, and it matters that Hillary will become the 45th president of the United States of America.” Although some may question Clinton’s integrity, Brazille trusts her implicitly. “I trust her with every part of my life. I trust her to make sure that every child has a head start. I trust her that workers and organizers and students can go to school. I trust her to build the infrastructure in this country to keep America safe and strong.” Clinton’s passions and levelheadedness confirms Brazille’s endorsement and advocacy. “She went down to Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi to serve disabled children and poor children,” Brazille says, “and to help them have a school and get a head start. That is why I trust her to continue to do what is right and what is just.” What Else is at Stake? How about Supreme Court appointments? For Brazille, now is not the time to turn back time in areas where we have achieved progress, often viewed as limited. “And whether you are for voting rights, gay and lesbian rights or worker’s rights,” Brazille says, “we have to demand that we have justices that will make sure all Americans will not face discrimination, and that we will not go back to the days when you cannot marry the person you love. So I trust that Hillary Clinton will make good

is nothing like a good ground game to get out the vote. Democratic Chairperson Donna Brazille, a frequent commentator on CNN, is campaigning for Hillary Clinton, along with Colorado U.S. Senate incumbent Michael Bennet, U.S. House Rep. candidate Morgan Carroll and other democrats. The Louisiana native has been a political organizer over 30 years. She first met Webb in 1982, and had the opportunity to work with former Colorado House Rep. Pat Schroeder. “I was a student who benefitted

For our families. For our fuure. For progress.

James Coleman

House District 7

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016






appointments to the Supreme Court of the United States.” This election is about looking forward. Historically Democrats have been more willing to put forth progressive and moderate initiatives for the benefit of everyone, yet the needle hasn’t moved much because of politics. The obstruction that President Obama has faced is unprecedented, and Clinton will need able allies for needed change. Brazille’s background is no different from many other hard-working Americans. She was born to a janitor and a maid. Her father later joined the service, and they put at least eight children through college. “My father was a veteran,” she says, “and I care about our nation’s veterans. I’m 56 years old. So this is for all you millennials. I love you. I am giving back and paying it forward. I want to win, because it is so vital that we don’t turn back the page of history. We have come so far.” Before you sign that mail in ballot or pull the lever in the polls, remember that this critically important election is about the future, your future and the future of your families and children. “This election is too vital for us to sit back and to not help out all of our candidates from the courthouse all the way to the White House,” Brazille explains. “Whether the issue is about the environment or raising the minimum wage – which I stand for 100 percent – we must turn this election into a referendum on the future and know which candidate and which political party believes in the future and will fight for the future. It doesn’t if you are a poor child in the Bayou of Louisiana or a middle-class worker on your second shift, we need everybody to get out and make sure that everybody registers and votes. “Let’s send these great people to the state house so that the governor has two more years to make a lot of progress and a lot of change Brazille adds. “Let’s send these great women to congress. And let’s put a woman in the White House. This election is

about our future. To some of you I have said this before. I have lived long enough to see a Black president of the United States, and thanks be to God, I am going to see the first woman elected. So there is no stopping us now. I want to see the first Hispanic, the first Asian-American. I want to see the first openly gay American, the first Muslim American and the first Jewish American. We have no more boundaries in this country. There is no ceiling high enough, because we are going to soar this election day.� The work to get voters out in Colorado continued by numerous, people, including Denver East High alumni, actor, producer, director Don Cheadle, and some perhaps not so well known like Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who has been a Democratic political soldier for years. Other Surrogates “Colorado is a state that is critical,� says Barbara Lee who has been representing California’s 13th district that includes the city of Oakland. “People here are very politically aware and astute and I am here not just to help push the vote out for Secretary Clinton, but also for our congressional candidates as well. I am cautiously optimistic about taking back the house. Hillary Clinton as president

will need a democratic House of Representatives.� Actor, producer, director, and Denver East alumni, Don Cheadle returned to Colorado to work with young volunteers in Denver to get out the vote. “We are under 100 days and it is very important that we all do what we can to energize this movement and make sure people get to the polls and avail themselves of the right to have their voices heard,� Cheadle says. Known as a political fighter on a world scale, being an advocate for social justice in Africa, Cheadle adds, “We’re a battleground state no matter what anybody else tells you. It’s really important because the polls are getting closer, and closer. We want to make sure that we get that gap larger and larger. Make sure that young people understand how important this is. And with this election, I can’t think in recent history of any more stark contrast between two candidates.� Good Advice One of the hardest working public servants of this campaign for democracy is former Atlanta mayor, Shirley Franklin. Franklin recalls her last visit to the Mile-High City was during her campaign. She had never run for office and had met with then Denver Mayor Wellington Webb in a downtown hotel.


“He sat me down and said, ‘You know you are going to lose this race if you don’t change what you are doing.’ So he gave me some great political advice,� Franklin recalls. “I remember to this day, he said, ‘You have to meet the people wherever they are and however few or many there are. Voters are not going to come to you. You have to go to them. That really kind of shifted my campaign a lot. I think it is a model we have to use. You’ve got to go where the people are however many or few so we can make sure we are inspiring for this important election.� Eye on the Future Author and social entrepreneur Wes Moore says who we elect this election cycle is going to be incredibly important. The decorated U.S. Army officer explains that while late in the campaign, there are distractions, talk of conspiracy theories, and little discussion about the issues. “It’s almost easier to say what’s not at stake because there is not a single issue where we don’t have long-term implications as we are thinking about it,� Moore says. “There isn’t a single issue that the next president isn’t going to be wrestling and debating with, and I think that adds a level of seriousness that we have to take with this decision.�

Surrogates such as Marcia Fudge have their eye on the future and are mindful of the past accomplishments of Democrats that must be sustained. Fudge came to Colorado to address a group from the Delta sorority as a guest of former Colorado Senator Hon. Gloria Tanner. Fudge is a U.S. Representative from Ohio, another crucial swing state. Working in the House, she has a keen understanding of her colleagues, what is lacking, and what is needed. “First I think the thing that is at stake is we would have a president that would get the respect of the rest of the world. Certainly we need a president that needs to understand the significance of public education, as we find ourselves in situations where schools are becoming more segregated and they are continuing to take away resources for public education. What is important is that we maintain Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, as we know it. And that we would not allow Social Security to be privatized, because as you look at it the fact that more than 50 percent of all Black women that have retired are on Social Security. And if it were to be privatized a large portion of them would go into poverty almost immediately.� Continued on page 4

9RWH Return your ballot today.


Paid for by Hillary for America Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


On the Road to the White House

Continued from page 4 Right Wing Drift Political soldiers who have long fought for justice economically, educationally, and socially understand the need to shape our own destinies given the opportunities that we have been afforded. Representing the 6th District in South Carolina James Clyburn is the 3rd ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives. A founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), his roots are deep in the Civil Rights movement as he completes his 24th year in Congress. “Most people are aware of the rightward drift that is taking place in this country that came rushing forward after Barack Obama was elected in 2008. Or the advent of the so-called Tea Party in 2010, and the Republicans took over the congress. They have been working hard to repeal not just the Affordable Care Act. But if you look at all the bills that they propose it is cutting away at things like the Civil Rights Act of 1965. The Supreme Court has given almost a death knell to the most effective part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But while folks are looking at the Supreme Court they aren’t looking at what the Congress is doing to the Civil Rights Act.” Fiery and Feisty Rock Star Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has rock star status in the Democratic Party. She made a swing through Colorado in October appearing on the Auraria Campus with Sen. Bernie Sanders and later stopped by the field office in Aurora. Warren exemplifies what Democracy is about. She got right to it in her address which can be viewed in its entirety on YouTube. “I am proud of the debate Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have had in this campaign,” she said. “I am proud that we have the most progressive Democratic platform in American history.” Warren questions Donald Trump’s plan to win the presidency, based on fanning the flames of fear and hatred and getting fellow Americans to turn on each other. His words make her furious, and Warren said she doubled down that he would never be the President of the United States. She commented that Hillary Clinton has been standing up and been on the receiving end of attacks for 25 years. “But she doesn’t back down.” Clinton is fighting everyday says Warren for children, healthcare, for women, for human rights, for and level playing field. “She has brains, guts, she has thick skin, steady hands and most of all basic decency which is what this country needs, and that is why I am with her!” Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


Big Shot Advice NBA legend Chauncey Billups, aka Mr. Big Shot who hails from Park Hill dunked his support for Hillary Clinton saying she is the best person for the job but she is the only person for the job. “She has the temperament we all need in this country, her fairness to women and what she stands for has always been contagious and she has and extensive track working for working with families in need. We have to ensure that she makes it to the White House. As an athlete and one who has spent a lot of time in locker rooms, Billups says her opponent is unfit to be president and denounces his disrespect and lewd comments about women and the locker room banter. “I stand here as a product of being raised by so many strong women right here in this neighborhood , my mother, my two grandparents and a host of aunties that served as grandparents. So when I hear his comments on women it touches me.” As a proud father of three daughters, he wants them to be afforded the opportunities that everyone has, that he has as a man. “I don’t think they will have a fair shake with Donald Trump, the main reason I am voting for Hillary Clinton. I think she can lead us to the next step.” The NBA ESPN analyst says, “I am not a politician but I am conscience citizen and because I have been blessed with a little bit of influence, it is important to me to be able to let people know where I stand. And just to have the right to vote is important; it would be disrespectful for me and my ancestors not to vote. A non-vote is a vote for Donald Trump - so get out and vote.” Bold Solutions Good effective government most often requires bold solutions. It also requires agencies that protect us as a whole like the EPA and more recently the CFPB. Yes these must be funded, but what happens if these safety nets and agencies are not available for us or our families? As a citizen, it is more than a right; it is your duty to stand for democracy and what you believe in by voting in leaders from the statehouse to the White House who will represent your interests. Democracy requires the vigorous participation of an enthusiastic electorate. AfricanAmericans put Barack Obama in the White House. Clyburn noted in his remarks that the expectation from the other side is this year’s the turnout will be similar to the one in 2004, which wasn’t great. Prove them wrong and dispel the hype. Let’s turn out and vote for Democrats in November in the same numbers that elected Barack Obama in 2008, and re-elected him in 2012. 

Help Is Available For Health Care Coverage


By Allan Tellis

ith the Dec. 15 deadline rapidly approaching it is vital that every Colorado resident is aware of the appropriate steps to take to enroll for health care coverage by the end of the year. Under the current regulations of Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare, anyone not insured by this deadline will be subject to fines the following tax season. Without coverage by the Dec. 15 deadline, uninsured residents will be subject to fines up to 2.5 percent of their annual income. In order to ensure Colorado residents are able to sign up for health care, there have been provisions made for enrollment through a multitude of platforms. There are online options, enrollment via the phone or even through face-to-face interactions for those preferring personal contact. There are brokers available to help anyone navigate through the complexities of their available packages so they can receive affordable health care as well a comprehensive package that will meet all of their needs. Many community-based organizations, such as the Center for African American Health, are also able to provide brokers and information to help register Coloradoans. One of the easiest ways to begin registration is to log on to and answer a few simple questions that will populate a list of different health care options that all pertain to your unique situation. The website is easily navigable, making it an awesome tool for anyone who is concerned about their ability to choose a health care plan independently. Since the expansion of Medicare and the continued progress of Obamacare, the state of Colorado has seen its uninsured rate whittled all the way down to 6.7 percent and the percentage of uninsured residents has been cut in half in the African American community. Although much progress has been made, Connect for Health Colorado CEO Kevin Patterson believes, “there is still much room for improvement,” especially in the areas of minority communities and within the millennial generation. Since the Obamacare model is relatively fresh, there is still great

important that we place more emphasis on preventative health care to mitigate the risks of an unhealthy lifestyle. He also emphasized that we have to work valiantly throughout the community to change the narrative of what is considered normal in our community. Obamacare also includes provisions that may help mitigate the costs of those seeking preventative health care to avoid more serious conditions further down the road. Furthermore, there is the natural benefit of insurance that will help alleviate the costs of medical emergencies that an individual or family may not be capable to tackle on their own.

potential for continued success in insuring people, and the hope to drop the uninsured rate under 10 percent in the African American community. Due to the implementation of Obamacare, many of the health issues that have plagued the African American community have seen historic decreases. Issues such as high infant mortality rates and women lacking pre-natal health care have dramatically improved and led to improved sense of health in the Black community overall. As Kevin Patterson put it, “improved health leads to an improved quality of life.” As a community it is also clearly

Before Obamacare took full affect, three out of every four bankruptcies in America were related to finical crises. Recently, however, that number has been sliced in half due to the large amounts of people who now receive adequate health coverage. Too often people assume that health care coverage is unattainable because of the monthly costs, neglecting to think of the long-term consequences that can arise from an unpredictable medical disaster. This mind state is especially true of younger residents, as they are often unable to see past the short-term Continued on page 5

It’s time to renew or change your plan for 2017 and get access to more savings on your health insurance. View plans and prices today!

Get your Obamacare plan at Connect for Health Colorado and avoid a tax penalty of at least $695 per person.

Go to to find free expert help. Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


African American Trailblazers 2016 Portraits Unveiled at Blair Caldwell Research Library

For more information visit: email:

The Haynes Family

Photos by Bernard Grant

In October, 2014, the Friends of Blair-Caldwell Library Foundation held its first unveiling of portraits of its Wall of Fame with Colorado Leaders and Shining Artists honoring excellence in the fields of dance, film and television and music. The honorees unveiled include Cleo Parker Robinson for dance; Hattie McDaniel (posthumously), Don Cheadle, Pam Grier, Joseph Phillips and Ron Pinkard for film and television; Charlie Burrell, Phillip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Andrew Woolfolk, ‘Big” Jon Platt, and Dianne Reeves for music. Joining the ranks of these distinguished and notable honorees were the 2016 African American Trailblazers Allegra “Happy” Haynes, India Arie and Ed Dwight who were honored on October 13 during a reception at the African American Research Library. Presented by Friends of the BlairCaldwell African American Research Library Foundation, mistress of ceremonies Kandi Brown welcomed and introduced several guest speakers including the Director of Administrative Services for the Denver Public Library Letty Icolari, Allen W. Webb II and Dr. Ryan Ross

“Our Constitution exists to UNITE us and PROTECT us … it is not for special interest clutter.”

Health Care Coverage

Continued from page 5 benefits of a healthy body to the unintended consequence that a major accident can have on their financial future. Having health care can help individuals and families bear the brunt of expensive medical care. Obamacare has also made provisions to allow any family or individual whose annual income is less than 400 percent more than the poverty line to receive tax credits to help reduce the cost of their monthly premiums. In other words any family of four that makes up to $97,000 a year will be eligible for assistance in the form of tax credits to ensure that the premium price is manageable. Although there has been much national speculation about the results and progress of Obamacare, the program has been especially successful in the state of Colorado and serves as an

– Mayor Wellington Webb


Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


Honoree Ed Dwight with wife and Wilma J. Webb

who stressed the importance to support and use the library on a regular basis. Library Director Charleszine “Terry” Nelson talked about how the facility is a valued treasure and shared a brief history of the foundation. Denver’s own world renowned poet and spoken word artist, Theo Wilson presented a powerful message called The Cycle before each honoree was recognized with family and friends. Former Mayor of Denver Wellington Webb and Former First Lady Wilma J. Webb presented the awards as the unveiled the portraits to the following honorees: Allegra “Happy” Haynes - A Denver Native who attended East High School and the first African American woman to serve on the Denver City Council representing Northeast Denver. India Arie - A Denver native who attended Rangeview High School in Aurora and is a nationally acclaimed singer. Ed Dwight - One of the most prolific and insightful sculptors in America, a graduate of the University of Denver whose first work was a bust of Lt. Gov. George Brown in 1974.

example for how this can be handled elsewhere in country. There have been several noticeable issues in Obamacare mainly related to the consequence of those slightly above the requirements necessary for the tax credits having extremely high premiums as well as many private insurance companies leaving the market feeling that they are unable to compete with the government incentivized programs. It is, however, important that as Kevin Patterson puts it, “we change our dialogue in relation to health care to not always focus on the negative but also shine light on the positive aspects of the Affordable Care Act.” Overall, the Affordable Care Act has served to greatly progress the health care needs of African Americans and has created an opportunity for health insurance to be available and affordable for everyone across the board.

Dear Friends,

The endorsements listed below are my guide to the ballot initiatives for this election. Whether you agree with me or not, make sure you vote.

Amendment T - YES

This item proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to remove outdated language that currently allows “slavery” and “involuntary servitude” to be used as punishment for the conviction of a crime. There is no question this language should be removed.

Amendment 69 – NO

This item proposes creating a statewide health care system. ColoradoCare, which currently manages Obamacare, would be expanded and provide health insurance for all Coloradans. While I believe in a single-payer system, I do not think this is the right approach.

Amendment 70 – YES, YES, YES

This item proposes increasing the state minimum wage from $8.31 an hour to $9.30 an hour beginning Jan. 1, 2017. To me this is one of the most important amendments on the ballot. How many people can pay their daily bills on $8.31 an hour? Increasing the minimum wage 90 cents an hour isn’t much but it will help many, many families. There is no choice but to vote yes.

Amendment 71 – YES, YES

This item requires signatures be gathered from each state senate district to place a constitutional initiative on the ballot and increases


the percentage of votes to adopt a constitutional amendment. The United States Constitution has been amended only 27 times in 230 years. Our state constitution has been amended 150 times in 140 years because you only have to go to one large city to get signatures without going through the entire state. We must be more careful what we put in our constitution.

This proposes an amendment to the Denver City Charter that would inscribe the Office of Independent Monitor (which helps oversee the police department) as a permanent fixture in Denver city government. 4B, YES This proposal reauthorizes the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) to continue to collect a regional penny-on-$10 sales tax for our art and cultural facilities in Denver and the metropolitan area.

Amendment 72 – NO, NO

This item proposes an increase in the state tax on a pack of cigarettes from 84 cents to $2.59. My concern is there is no clear answer where this increased tax would be spent. I’m not giving the state my money for them to write a blank check.

Ordinance 300, NO

This would allow “Designated Consumption Areas” to use marijuana. Don’t we have enough weed in Denver already? Now for the candidates

Proposition 106 – NO

This proposal would give terminally-ill people access to medical “aid-in-dying medication.” While I will be voting no, after watching my brother-in-law suffer for more than two years in a horrible state, I can see why so many people will vote for this amendment.

President and Vice President Hillary Clinton and Tim Kane

I will live long enough to see America vote for the first African American president of the United States, Barack Obama, and now we have the opportunity to elect the first woman president of the United States. Hillary will preserve the Obama legacy and expand on it. She adopted much of the platform of ideas from Bernie Sanders on jobs and education and closing private prisons to make the Democratic Party platform the most liberal in history.

Proposition 107 & Proposition 108 – NO & NO

These proposals would establish a presidential primary in Colorado that allows participation by unaffiliated voters.

Denver Ballot Issues 2A, YES

U.S. Senate - Michael Bennet

This would allow Denver to continue to collect a tax to fund Denver’s preschool program through 2026.

Michael has fought in a bipartisan way to represent Colorado. He’ll continue to work hard

to generate jobs, fix the immigration system, and address many community issues. Michael has been assessable to his constituents and will continue to listen to our concerns.

Congress - Morgan Carroll

I am supporting all of the Democratic candidates because they fight for us. One in particular that I am pushing for is Morgan Carroll, who is running in District 6. Wilma and I have worked with Morgan on a number of issues. Unlike her opponent who questioned Barrack Obama’s American citizenship, she never stooped so low. Among her work in the state Legislature, she was a lead in questioning the costs of the new Veterans Hospital and making sure veterans get timely care. Let’s shock the world and get Morgan Carroll elected. If you live in Aurora, tell your friends she supports our issues and has been a supporter for years.

The Honorable Wellington E. Webb Former Mayor of Denver The Honorable Wilma J. Webb Former First Lady of Denver

If we want Denver to be a great city, then we need great schools.

This fall please vote

Paid P aid fo ffor or b byy D Denver’s enver’s K Kids ids

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


Relationship Building Discussed for Community and Law Enforcement


By Allan Tellis

ast month on Oct. 11, the Denver Police Foundation hosted an event to review the findings in a recent survey detailing the relationships between the Denver community and the police department. The foundation is a law enforcement advocacy group that helps provides officers with certain training and equipment that may not always fit into the police department’s budget. Although the Police Chief and several other members of the department were in attendance, the survey was conducted and completed without any input from the department itself in order to mitigate any potential bias that would occur with their input. Many members of the community were invited to take part in the discussion, with a particular emphasis on members of communities of color

because according to Police Chief White the part of the purpose of the meeting was to “Engage the communities where most of our issues arise.” Although the meeting was particularly tailored to focus on the issues ruminating between law enforcement and communities of color, the survey was representative of the demographics relative to the entire city. The results were then broken down upon racial lines as well as political leanings and even at times by socio-economic profiles. The survey was conducted through phone interviews, and focused on topics ranging from issues regarding the quality of life in the city such as heavy traffic and a lack of affordable housing, to very specific law enforcement topics related to the quality of residents interactions with police. Problems such as the inflation of the housing market, the number one issue, came in far ahead of safety issues such as crime which ranked only as 4th on the lists of the publics concerns. However, across every demographic group across the board, the view of the Police Department was not where Police Chief White wanted

it to be as he desires for his department to strive to be well respected in the Denver community as a whole while specifically improving relations in the most troubling of areas. Unfortunately, but predictably the bulk of issues were concentrated between the African American community and their view of interactions with law enforcement. On most questions pertaining to the fairness and attitude of the police there was a clear and drastic difference between how Anglo members of the Denver community perceived their interaction with the police and how Black people experienced their interaction with police. Based upon the results in the survey, African Americans in Denver have a much tougher time cultivating positive relationships with the police due to the seeming overabundance of negative interactions. Colorado Black Round Table Director John Bailey voiced a strong sense of concern that “the lack of communication between the community and law enforcement will only serve to exacerbate problems that are reemerging at all time highs such as gang violence and property crime.” He also emphasized that surveys such as this one delegitimize the voice of the community due to the small percentage of the survey the account for and because the concerns of the community often fall upon deaf ears. African Americans were also much harsher in their criticisms of police misconduct and the lack of justice that follows thereafter. Denver has definitely faced a long standing history of police misconduct, especially when directed towards people of color, and it is also important to note that these findings were collected with a backdrop of a national conversation focusing on police brutality and overreach especially pertaining to Black and brown peoples. The lack of punishment for offending officers is often seen as a protection granted by the loyalty law enforcement seem to have for each other, often referred to as the “Blue Shield of Silence.” Police Chief White was quick to refute this notion saying that his “allegiance is to the people of the community first and foremost,” noting that he is making sure that every officer in the department knows that, regardless of the affect that may have on his popularity amongst his peers. He also noted that much of the time when we see police take extreme lethal action the question in terms of punishment for the officer

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


is not `Was it necessary? But was it legal?’ So he wants to put an emphasis in the department for always opting for the de-escalated necessary approach to those types of situations opposed to over reactionary and potentially fatal reaction. Throughout the department they are focusing on changing the culture to better reflect their intentions within the community. With so many people of color seeing the police department as problematic at best, it is in their best interest to create and environment where strong relationships between law enforcement and the community can prosper and quality policing can take place. As stated by both community members and the chief himself it is nearly impossible to solve any of these problems if there is not at least an amicable relationship between the two groups. As far as the department is concerned they are continuing to overhaul the way officers are trained and create a new environment where integration into the community is what is rewarded and expected. Officer White knows that his department “must not reward the officer who fires his gun but praise the officer that prevents the crime from happening.” The department is also working to further increase their level of transparency in order to regain the trust of those who look at police investigations of members of their own department with skepticism. Soon there will be a database accessible to the public that will detail every police shooting, there will also be an increased presence in the community that is not negative should work to alleviate some of the tension between community members and the police. Overall the chief really expressed the need for there to be increased empathy on both sides of the line to create a better environment for police work to be done and the community not feel so disdainful of law enforcement. Mayoral Executive Stephanie Y. O’Malley also expressed that “it should be known that there are many people in the department who are staunch advocates for the communities that have troubling relationships with law enforcement. There is often a disconnect between what is beneficial for the community and what the police department wants. However, there are people that are solely working too improve that relationship so that the police’s progress does not come at the cost of the progress of the community.”

A Gift of Musical Jewels CD review by Jah Goatfish

If you enjoy smooth jazz, each tune on this latest offering by songwriter, keyboardist, and arranger Bobby Wells will strike your ear as brilliant corners and faces of a resplendent jewel. That is if you could hear a gemstone shine. Wells’ clean sound and crisp production reminds me of precious jewels beautifully displayed on black and blue crushed velvet in glass cases. Wells’ and his musical crew obviously know their way around plenty of old-school grooves, up-tempo positive affirmations with “road trip favorite” written all over them; and pure, raw musicality in service of sweet lyricism. This cd shines first with “She’s Playful,” a playful romp featuring Michael O’Neal on guitar and bass. Wells’ keyboard stylings take us on a laid back melodic ride with guitarist O’Neil’s solo notes adding the appropriate voicings and sparkle to the composition. “End of Summer” eases into the set at mid-tempo with the warm welcoming tenor saxophone sounds of Darren Rahn. Dr. Isidro Aybar Jr. and saxophonist Rahn tastefully keep Wells’ keyboard melody well within their solos. Aybar’s acoustic guitar solo glows with the mellow intensity of an “end of summer” sunset on this track. From the first note, cd title song “Back in the Day” comes in doing a two-step dance inviting us to a simpler time with family and friends gathering – like back in the day. “Back in the Day” brings to mind that good feeling of being deep in the pocket with Wells and Yvonne Brown blessing the groove with a soothing vocal refrain. It

makes you feel like getting up and doing your best two-step, right then and right there. And these guys play golf too. “Tee It Up” features Wells’ friend and Grammy nominated artist, saxophonist Gerald Albright (and one of my personal favorites) on bass guitar with a more up-tempo beat. I love this music and the creative labor weighing in on the music. “Count It All Joy” follows with more up tempo, positive vibes featuring Wells and Yvonne Brown on “smoove” vocals. Wells’ music evokes

such goodness and hope for a better life that tears and disappointment cannot contain. Where there’s joy, there’s peace. Just let Bobby and Yvonne declare it. “My Sweet Butterfly” simmers down the pace with Wells singing sweetly along to Bob Rebholz’s flute with notes flying gently around the tune like a butterfly seeking a firm place to rest. A beautiful song.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


While Gerald Albright is well known for his unique saxophone sound and compositions, he shows off his niceness on lead bass on “Bella’s Pier.” With support from Wells on keyboard and O’Neil on guitar, Albright’s bass lead as it goes off into another one of Wells’ highly evocative musical landscapes. Wells and daughter Brandy WellsSpurlock sing together on “Ooh Baby” making this cd is very up-beat, easy to listen to, yet so full of great musicianship and taste. Continued on page 12

The American Dream is not dead. A

powerful team of businessmen and women from across the nation are stepping up to ensure that inner city youth and their communities have access to the opportunities provided by career education. “I am a poster child myself for the American Dream. I grew up in a family that had virtually no expectations of the opportunity to go to college or accomplish whatever I could dream,” said Jim Keyes, a business executive and philanthropist who was a former CEO at Blockbuster Inc. and 7-Eleven. “I am a big believer in there being opportunities for everyone. Too often there is no awareness and we become products of our environment, rather than allowing any child to create his or her own identity and accomplish whatever they can dream.” Keyes, who founded the nonprofit Texas-based Education is Freedom to help middle and high school students pursue college education, is the visionary behind a project that aims at lifting young adults out of violence and poverty through manufacturing careers and training. He has joined forces with Benjamin

Banneker Clock Company CEO Derrick Holmes and a team of successful entrepreneurs and celebrities to develop the project’s first location in the south side of Chicago. The plan is to establish a Benjamin Banneker manufacturing plant where south side residents can be employed in careers and apprenticeships, crafting clocks, graduation jewelry and other trademark products. The plant will also house a community center where high school and college students as well as adults of all ages can study and practice skills from diverse fields such as design,

Inspiring Young Bannekers in the Inner City

Denver-based Watch Entrepreneur Assembles Team to Lift up Urban Youth By Tanya Ishikawa music, film, science and publishing. The project reflects the spirit of Benjamin Banneker, who is the namesake of the brand designed by Holmes. Banneker was an AfricanAmerican astronomer, surveyor, farmer and engineer who built America’s first wooden clock in 1753. He was known for always striving to learn new skills and his never-ending quest for knowledge. “The idea of Chicago fits very well with telling the story of Benjamin Banneker to inspire young people and provide jobs and internships. It seems to be very timely and relevant,” Keyes explained. “Sometimes the universe has a way of conspiring to make things happen. On the negative side, there is the negative spin around the presidential campaign, an increase in the crime rate in inner city Chicago, and increased problems in education. Meanwhile, we have the positive things such as the choice of Chicago’s south side for Obama’s presidential library and the openness of Rahm Emanual to people who want to help make changes and positively influence the educational environment there.” Holmes, who resides in Denver and Los Angeles, agreed. “Chicago is first because it has the biggest problem. Urban kids are hurting the most. We need to take massive action. These kids need some hope; they need someone to believe in and someone to believe in them.” The goal is to find the right building before next March, and gain cooperation from Emanuel’s city administration in acquiring it. “With 40 percent of buildings vacant in that area, we think we can do it. We’re on the fast track, because we all agree there’s a real sense of urgency when kids are getting killed every week-

end. If we can reach the children and give them alternatives, we believe that can change. Basically we’re saying by this time next year, we hope to open up – it’s pretty ambitious,” said Holmes, who calls the team the “Rainmakers.” Rusty Walker, a Chicago area native who now lives in Denver, is a key team member for finding the building and developing relationships with major property and business owners. He has 33 years of experience in the warehousing, handling and distribution of numerous products and commodities, and is president of Absolute Logistics, one of the largest warehouse networks in America with 20 million square feet of space. But more than just his business acumen, Walker brings a true passion for helping other people to the project. He is motivated by the opportunity the Benjamin Banneker Chicago project offers to follow in the footsteps of his own father, who had a distinguished career as a leader of YMCA centers near Chicago as well as being a longtime mentor to his employees and youth in the community. “Role models are of the utmost importance. A role model can be just somebody who gives a kid a hug, and says, ‘You matter. You are important,’” Walker said. “You provide positive mentorship and eventually they start taking ownership of small successes that can make a difference between somebody that gets that motivation from a gang or from producing something with their own hands in a manufacturing facility.” “Benjamin Banneker is just the kind of leader that sets a great example. We’re

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


trying to bring back that history, and just how cool it was that he was able to do what he did and under conditions that people would think were absolutely impossible,” he added. Tim Hardaway, president of Banneker Inc. and assistant coach for the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, agreed about the strength of the Banneker story and the importance of starting the project in Chicago. “When I tell people what Banneker accomplished, it really blows their minds away. There’s great history behind it, and everybody should understand it,” said Hardaway who is best known for playing professional basketball with the Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets. “Chicago’s my hometown. I want to do everything I can do to stop violence and create jobs.” His role in the project will be to garner the financial and promotional support of celebrities such as sports personalities and Hollywood stars. “America is the land of opportunity. You just have to take that opportunity and turn it into prosperity. It takes hard work. Sometimes it takes 10, 15 or 20 years. You have to keep the faith, keep believing in yourself, keep positive, keep knocking on doors, and keep at it until you get what you’re trying to achieve,” he explained. Other project team members include Wayne Vaden, the Benjamin Banneker company attorney, who assists with warehousing products in Denver. He would also be involved in a future Denver manufacturing facility and community center. Leslie Kilgore, vice president of engineering for Thomas Built Buses in North Carolina, will assist with developing the career education as well as corporate relationships. She previously worked for General Motors for 20 years, and has strong knowledge in product design, development, launch, innovation and technology management. A related project that relies on collaboration with celebrities is another joint venture by Banneker and Keyes’ Education is Freedom nonprofit. The partners will arrange for athletes, celebrities and Fortune 500 executives to return to their high school alma maters to provide inspiration for students to graduate by offering their own stories as well as the incentive of a Benjamin Banneker class watch and jewelry as a gift for each graduate. Along with the graduation gift program, the partners would provide schools with a Banneker replica clock assembly kit that would be tied to an education unit. Students would build a clock while learning about the inner work-

Joe Madison


offered to help raise funds for the Chicago project by selling the limited, collectible unisex watches through his radio program and website. The watches will be available Nov. 9, the 285th birthday of Benjamin Banneker. Madison was successful in raising $250,000 for the building of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, through a 52-hour talk show marathon. His entire studio setup and apparel that he wore during that event, including a Banneker watch, is now preserved in a display in that museum. Sharing his excitement about fundraising for the planned manufacturing facility and community center in Chicago, the radio personality and activist exclaimed, “The most important thing about the new watch is that it will be seed money for what I refer to as training new Bannekers, young Bannekers. They will work with craftspeople who will train them how to make time pieces and design timepieces, and give them meaningful work and most of all a trade that they could use anywhere in the world. It gives us a chance to go into the inner city like the south side of Chicago and give young people an opportunity to learn a trade. There is a mission that needs to be done, and I think the timing is just perfect.” Editor’s note: For more information or to purchase a Black Eagle Watch, visit, email or call 720435-5528.


NOV 25 – DEC 24

A CHRISTMAS CAROL By Charles Dickens Adapted by Richard Hellesen Music by David de Berry

Illustration by Kyle Malone

ings, and then learn the inspiring life story of Banneker through a lesson and a documentary. The team is in discussions with Spike Lee to produce and direct that film. “These are school programs that Derrick came up with years and years ago, and has been testing on a small level in a few schools around the country. We are trying to inspire kids to stay in school and not drop out,” said Dave Herda, Banneker’s vice president and COO based in Chicago. “It’s truly amazing to see the response, and how much kids light up and listen to the famous alumni. When Snoop Dogg gave away Banneker class jewelry and watches to 1,413 graduates of (Long Beach) Polytechnic (High School), there were tears in his eyes and most of the students’ eyes.” To set a financial foundation for its part in these projects, the Banneker companies will be launching new styles of watches and developing a line of classroom clocks. A plan has also been made to launch a “street team” or affiliate sales program where independent salespeople market and sell Banneker products via their social media pages or through home party or trunk show sales events. One of the most exciting new watches is a signature design made in honor of Joe Madison, a Washington, D.C.-based radio talk show host and civil rights activist who is on SiriusXM Urban View every weekday morning. Madison was introduced to Banneker watches by brand promotion ambassador and author-actress Denise Nicholas and has been a longtime supporter of the Banneker companies. He lists his reasons for appreciating the brand as, “Number one: it honors Benjamin Banneker. Number two: it’s just a classy product. And three, most important of all, it’s an extension of Banneker, the African American who made the first American clock, is the only clock made by an African American clockmaker today, Derrick Holmes.” Having dubbed himself “The Black Eagle” and now known by that name to his many listeners, Madison’s watch is named the Black Eagle and incorporates unique black stones that are also named after the Black Eagle. He has generously



Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016



Singleton Family Foundation

New Voice on the National Political Scene Addresses Tribute to Black Women’s Luncheon By Annette Walker

“There is a crisis of conscience in

this nation,” said Nina Turner, keynote speaker at the Colorado Black Women for Political Action’s recent luncheon. “I am here to wake your conscience,” she exclaimed as she left the podium to walk among the hundreds of luncheon attendees. This new voice on the national political scene has her own ideas about communicating with people. She removes the traditional physical distance between the speaker and the audience as much of her talk was delivered as she moved throughout the room. Turner is at once an active Democrat as well as a Board member of Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution Movement. The former Ohio State legislator has been politically engaged with both Bill and Hillary Clinton. In 2014 Bill Clinton supported her in her unsuccessful run for the position of Ohio Secretary of State. Last November, however, she decided to endorse Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination. In a post-luncheon interview with the Denver Urban Spectrum, Turner outlined her reasons for her preference for Sanders. “Bernie has been consistent in his beliefs for social justice since the 1960s,” she said. “We agree upon some of the most prominent issues facing this country.” She mentioned the following: 1) A wealth gap in which income increases go to the top 1 percent, making the rich even richer; 2) The wealthy do not pay their fair share of taxes; 3) The electoral campaign system and politics in general are corrupted by big money; and 4) Health care should be a right, not a privilege. Turner pointed out that there are 29 million persons who still do not have healthcare insurance, and even more remain underinsured. She indicated that Sanders worked with CORE (Congress On Racial Equality) when he was a student at the University of Chicago and has been a constant champion of civil rights. She agrees with Sanders that a political revolution is needed in the United States. This concept places them outside mainstream thinking in the Democratic Party. “The time is up for establishment politics,” she said. Turner has joined with other African-Americans in supporting Sanders. Among them are Congressman Keith Ellison, a Democrat from Minnesota and the

Keynote speaker Nina Turner

Photo by Harvey McWhorter

first and only Muslim in the U.S. Congress; Ben Jealous, former Executive Director of the NAACP; Dr. Cornel West, scholar and activist; Danny Glover, actor and activist; Spike Lee, film director; Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner who was killed by policemen in 2014 in Staten Island, New York (her mother supported Hillary Clinton); and a variety of state legislators across the country,. During her talk at the CBWPA luncheon, Turner referenced other African-Americans who are independent thinkers. She repeatedly displayed profound admiration for Shirley Chisholm, the U.S. Congressional Representative from Brooklyn who, in 1972, became the first AfricanAmerican woman to run for President. Turner pointed out how Chisholm perceived herself. “Chisholm said that her candidacy was not about being a Black person or a woman,“ Turner emphasized. “She was neither locked into any special interest groups, nor did she have any big name endorsements. She said she was the candidate of the people of America, and she considered herself ‘unbought and unbossed’.” After graduating from high school Turner did not immediately enroll in college. She worked in fast food restaurants and retail businesses. This gave her a close-up view of workers’ issues, such as the need for minimum wage increases and workplace fairness. Upon graduation from Cleveland State University, she entered the political arena as a legislative aide first in

the Cleveland Mayor’s office and then in the Ohio Senate. Turner then held several state and federal positions and eventually won a city council seat. In 2008 she was appointed to fill a seat vacated in the Ohio State Senate, and in 2010 ran unopposed. While in the Senate Turner sponsored legislation designed to give women more control over regulations about reproductive health. She also served on the Commerce and Labor, Education, Transportation, and Judiciary Criminal Justice Committees. Turner currently teaches history at Ohio’s Cuyahoga Community College. She is a unique situation regarding law enforcement. Both her husband and son are employed in criminal justice. “My son may be in danger when he’s in uniform with a badge, and equally in danger when he’s out of uniform because he’s a Black man,” she said. Her son accompanied her to Denver for the CBWPA event. Although Turner never mentioned Donald Trump’s name, she did comment on his current call for law and order. “There can be no law and order without justice and transparency,” she said. She pointed out a significant contradiction in U.S. society. “This is a nation of progress, but it is a nation founded on racism,” she said. “This can be overcome, but first it is necessary to admit that racism exists. Some people only talk about this at election time or at special events.” Regarding the current political and social climate, she acknowledged that many people feel unsettled and there are good reasons for this. Turner also posed a few questions that people need to ponder in order to resolve some issues facing this country. 1) Who is going to stand up for what’s right? 2) What price are you willing to pay? Although she did not lay out a specific plan of action, Turner left much ‘food for thought’. 1) “We are out brother’s keeper. 2) We cannot ask others to do more for us than we can do for ourselves. 3) Remember to use what her grandmother called ‘mother wit,‘ that is common sense. She said that her grandmother often commented about people she considered ‘educated fools’. 4) The Three Bones: the Wishbone which makes use of hope and prayer; the Jawbone which grants you courage; and Backbone which gives you strength to proceed. Turner has published a 3 Bones Journal ( in which she encourages people to document and write about their experiences and engage in flashbacks in order to take stock of their lives. She encourages people to remember that “the struggle is forever.”

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


Bobby and Solo

A Gift of Musical Jewels Continued from page 9

“Deep Blue” segues with more of Wells musical magic grooves – radiofriendly, high production values and expertly executed. Don’t sleep on this brother. Every jam speaks for itself. “End of Summer” reprises the second track played in such a beautiful way by Dr. Aybar on acoustic guitar who goes into the inward parts of a tune and caresses it ever so gently, reminding me of guitarists such as Dori Caymmi and Caetano Veloso, both Brazilian and well worth the listen. These musicians bring a special flavor and nuance to romantic, reflective melodies like our friend the good doctor, Dr. Isidro Aybar Jr., who brings the music down like a soft, soothing rain on the listener’s ear. “Vantage Point” is a jazzy, funky encore tying together all the great, preceding tunes. And, track 12 “DJ Request” is what everyone shall do upon hearing this cycle of 11 songs by Bobby Wells. When asked how he felt about this project, Wells’ says, “I’m a “giggler” so allow me to define in my own way: Whenever someone plays an instrument and kills it...I giggle. And I can assure you that there was a lot of giggling going on while producing this project. These latest of musical gems by Denver’s own Bobby Wells should definitely be in your cd collection and list of gift buying for the upcoming holiday season. “Back in the Day” will stay in your cd rotation for a long time.This entire collection of songs glows from somewhere deep inside Well’s soul, and the musical blessings flow – and that’s nothing to giggle about. Trust the Goat, peace and bless ‘till next time. Editor’s note: For more information on Bobby Wells, visit www.bobbywellsmusic. com.To order the “Back In The Day” cd or other cd’s by Bobby Wells, visit

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


Colorado “I Have A Dream”® Gala Recognizes Outstanding Students and Supporters Denver Active 20-30 Children’s Foundation, Fuad Abdi to Receive McHugh, Summit Awards

Fuad Abdi and CIHAD class program director Marius Finch

Fuad Abdi, a senior at the Denver

School of Science and Technology, will receive the Colorado I Have A Dream (CIHAD) Summit Award at this year’s Gala on Nov. 15. The accolade is presented to individuals who have excelled academically, triumphed over personal obstacles, and demonstrated a commitment to the betterment of community. In 2006, Abdi immigrated

to the United States from Ethiopia by way of Kenya. A year later, he was adopted into the CIHAD program while a third grader at Montclair Elementary. Abdi is a student in the Denver Active 20-30 Children’s Foundation (Denver Active 20-30) class. The group has sponsored the class for nine years and will also be honored by CIHAD with the McHugh Award, which recognizes exemplary efforts to level the playing field in education, as exhibited by Jerome and Anabel McHugh. The nonprofit service organization for business leaders between the ages of 20 and 39 raises money for disadvantaged children through a variety of annual events and projects. The Class of 2017, which was adopted for 10 years, is the second class Denver Active 20-30 has sponsored during its 19 years working with CIHAD.

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Dreamers at the Botanic Gardens

Since its founding in 1988, CIHAD has developed and fine-tuned a comprehensive one-on-one support and advocacy model for participants, who are affectionately called Dreamers. The long-term academic and social mentorship program for youth who live in economically-disadvantaged neighborhoods has impacted the lives of more than 990 Denver Metro youth. One of the most critical and beneficial aspects of the program model is the fact that these services are in place for students from kindergarten through post-secondary pursuits. “What we like is that they don’t take a short-term focus like some programs,” shared Caleb Hester the Denver Active 20-30 president, “We can really see a return on our investment, and see changes and growth in the students.” Marius Finch, a Denver Active 2030 member, is also CIHAD’s class program director for the Denver Active 20/30 Class of 2017. He oversees the cohort of Dreamers who, as two classrooms of Montclair third graders, were adopted. Of the 62 students who joined the long-term model, Finch says 55 are still active and seven have moved away. Finch explained that as the Dreamers grow and change, so do the services provided to them. During their years as elementary students, they benefit from after-school, midterm and summer programs. When they get older, the focus moves to case management, internships, college readiness academy, college visits, and preparing admission applications. Even after high school graduation, Dreamers can receive partial financial assistance to attend a two-year or four-year college, or a trade school. “Overall, the Dreamers have received many opportunities for experiences that they otherwise would not have gotten to do,” Finch said. “From attending a professional soccer game to flying across the country to a National Dreamers Conference, this program opens their eyes to things they might not have had an opportunity to do. Also, we see these kids take charge of their own education and become mature young adults.”

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


Abdi said Colorado “I Have A Dream”® has had a profound impact on his life and that his participation in the Denver Active 20/30 Class of 2017 has been a blessing. “They started mentoring me in third grade,” Abdi recalled, “when I was adjusting to life in the United States, to an unfamiliar school system, and to drastic cultural changes. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their help and encouragement to excel. They are a big part of who I am.” In addition to the program’s academic aspects, Abdi also appreciates the extra-curricular opportunities, including field trips, internships and college visits. He discovered a love for business while interning with an entrepreneurial CIHAD board member/mentor and is likely to pursue a career in that area. However, he plans to head to college with an open mind and “at a school that helps me to grow as an individual.” Finch sees a strong connection between the members of the service organization that sponsors the Class of 2017 and the student who will be honored along with them during the 2016 Gala. “Denver Active 20-30 is a group of individuals with a high level of integrity working to provide for Dreamers they don’t even know,” he said. “Fuad bought in from day one and recognized that this was an important opportunity for him. Although he has moved around and been to some tough schools, he worked hard to get extra help and support and has done a good job advocating for himself. Fuad is a strong-willed individual who will do whatever it takes to succeed.” “Colorado “I Have A Dream” is very necessary for our school system, especially now,” Abdi stated. “It gives a sense of hope that someone believes in you; that someone has your back and is guiding you. It’s not just about graduating, but how you do as a person. Not just settling, but helping you see your potential and develop a vision.” “It is wonderful that Fuad is receiving the Summit Award,” Hester said. “It shows what can happen when a youngster gets support.”

Black Violin - Gala Entertainment

Editor’s note: For more information on CIHAD, visit For tickets to the gala, visit

Healthcare Wearables: What the Future Holds

By Kim Farmer

ot that long ago, the only way people could monitor many healthrelated issues was through time-consuming and expensive appointments with their physician. For example, those with cardiovascular disease needed to be hooked up to machines at the doctor’s office to collect data. Not only did they have to take time out of their day to get to the doctor, but the data was only for that day. Now, thanks to the advent of wearables, people can monitor their health on a more regular basis and provide their physicians with up-to-date information without having to leave home. Let’s take a closer look at how wearables are changing how users and medical professionals monitor health data. Wearables 101 Healthcare wearables come in a variety of shapes and forms. There are


the popular smartwatches like the Apple Watch that pairs with the iPhone 7 as well as the Pebble and Samsung Gear S2. In addition, there are patches that are worn on the skin, eyeglasses, headbands and clothing items like shorts and shirts that act as wearables. What these devices share in common is the ability to gather raw data from the wearer and then send it to a database where it can be analyzed. With these devices, users can continually keep tabs on their health during their everyday lives and send the data to their doctors who can track patterns and be alerted to any problems. People no longer have to wait to go to the doctor’s office to be monitored and medical professionals have more reliable data to work with. How They are Made While wearables like smartwatches are made similarly to your smart-

phone, some of the more intricate devices are manufactured in state-ofthe art laboratories. For example, Google smart contact lenses, which are designed to measure glucose levels in tears with a wireless chip and tiny glucose sensor, are made by carefully embedding the technology in between two layers of contact lens material. As wearable medical devices become more popular, there may be an increase in jobs in the manufacturing industry as well as more highly regulated facilities that can handle this type of precise and pristine work. What They Can Measure Healthcare wearables can be used to monitor a wide variety of health issues. The most common include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep disorders, asthma, epilepsy and obesity. While many people are familiar with wristbands like the FitBit, the technology is expanding in exciting ways. For example, HealthPatch MD is a biosensor that tracks the wearer’s skin temperature, heart and respiratory rates, and body posture. It also includes a fall detection feature. Another example is the MiniMed 530G system that closely monitors glucose levels and automatically dispenses insulin in a way that mirrors the pancreas, which could be used by dia-

betes patients. In addition, a company called Spire is working on a wearable that tracks the wearer’s breathing patterns and links it to mindfulness and anxiety. Wearables may change the way you manage your healthcare, not just how you track your steps. Be sure to do the research on your own before deciding on the best device to fit your lifestyle.  Editor’s note: Kim Farmer of Mile High Fitness & Wellness offers in-home personal training and corporate fitness solutions. For more information, visit or email

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Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


Higher Heights for America…

Building the Political Power of Black Women By Charles Emmons

Host Committee

Photos by McBoat Photogrpahy

As we

our state needs it and our nation will definitely be all the better for it.” Glynda Carr, one of the founders of Higher Heights for America thanked the women for being the largest salon conversation in the country. She remarked about

Glynda Carr and Rep. Angela Williams

approach Election Day it is instructive to look back. Who elected President Barack Obama into office? It was largely because African Americans turned out in huge numbers. And who voted the most within the community? It was women. Black women have political economic and political power, yet they are not recognized. This was the message at a gathering of nearly 300 women the end of September. The cross-generational salon talk was held at Wystone’s Northfield and was organized by State Rep. Angela Williams in partnership with Higher Heights for America, a national nonprofit exclusively dedicated to harnessing, organizing and mobilizing Black women’s political power making sure they have the tools to effectively engage, advocate and lead. Rep. Williams represents the Northeast Denver neighborhoods of North Park Hill, Stapleton, Green Valley Ranch, and Montbello. It was like a who’s who at the informal gathering with Hon. Gloria Tanner, Hon. Violet Ricks, Rep. Rhonda Fields, Rep. Janet Buckner, Dr. Fannie Evans, and Carla Ladd being some of the notables attending in support of the event. Williams told the women that it’s to stop minimizing Black women’s voices, and that women bring African Americans together in the state. “This has always been about building a collective voice of influential African American women in the State of Colorado. Ultimately, we always show up as the most active and reliable voting bloc in any election,” said Williams. “Our community needs it,

dollar or $565B in the community. “We showed up and showed out because Obama was Black and we were motivated to campaign and organize in a way that hadn’t been done before and became political donors,” said Carr. In this historic role Black women took to social media. “What Black women must do is harness social media to move political dollars. Why can’t we develop an organization and money in the community? There are 23M Black women in this country, but we are underrepresented,” said Carr. As Black women make inroads economically and politically it is time to organize collectively to advocate and push for their equity due. This advocacy for equity comes from a groundswell of these conversations occurring across the country, in 34 cities since 2015. The aim is to devise a blueprint and roadmap before 2020. It appears the walls and doors may be closed, but the ceiling is cracked. The synergy began in that room. Carr gave them a 20-minute discussion exercise with purposeful and targeted assignments with 4-5 similar peers. We stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us, and Carr first asked them to weigh in on this and other questions regarding

Attendees engaging in positive interaction.

activist Mary McLeod Bethune, an advisor to Roosevelt, Truman, Coolidge, and Hoover, and her quote on the wall of the newly opened African American History Museum in Washington, D.C. “If we have the courage and tenacity of our forebears, who stood firmly like a rock against the lash of slavery, we shall find a way to do for our day what they did for theirs.”

-Mary McLeod Bethune

Black women lead. Black women exemplify courage, but they continue to be the least heard. Carr commented that Black women spend $.85 of every

Black women and leadership. The questions included to name Black women in history you admire, what is the top issue for Black women, what is the biggest barrier to running for office, how do we collectively make this the year, and how do we do something individually? Carr will take the answers and publish a case study from the data. A few women took the mike and reported the results. The women named local women like Dr. Rachel Noel, as well as Michelle Obama and Barbara Jordan. A group of teens also named Rhonda Fields and Angela Williams among others. Recurring themes

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


regarding other questions were that knowledge of events and the political process, encouragement by others, and mentoring would help women become more involved and willing to run for a position. Some other poignant comments made: “TV has stigmatized us and impedes our ability to be taken seriously.” “Women set the pace for the village.” “Support one another. Speak authentically and there is no need to be competitive.” The young teen group made a significant contribution to the discussion. They believed collective healing, mentoring and coalition building, generational dialogue and support and thinking for themselves is essential to building political power. At the conclusion of the discussions and presentations of the groups, Carr pointed out opportunities, places and forums where women can start being more political. These include commissions, school boards, church leadership, and even school PTO’s. “Build the capacity to lead and use the resources that you have.” Carr’s goal is to have 20,000 members in Higher Heights by 2020. Black women must continue voting, no matter who is running. Carr talked about her mother who always had a vote plan of bringing a cooler with water and 10 other people to the polls. She urged the women to have their own plan. She also commented that on average it takes asking Black women 9 times before they will run for an office. This is an area where there is work to be done. By the tone of the buzz of conversation in the room, it was evident that the discussion was vigorous. Williams in thanking and closing the event said, “Everyone was still here. No one left.” She then laid out her vision for future interactions – for the room to come together for advocacy, to stand up and talk about inequities, to take advantage of state contracts and influence opportunities, to influence decisions that are being made that affect our families. “We can’t be hating on each other. We are stronger together,” said Williams. This event was a beginning. Williams plans future sessions on how to strengthen Black women’s voices in grassroots advocacy campaigns and the electoral process. “From the voting booth to elected office to boardrooms and CEO offices, Colorado’s Black women can and must translate their political power into business, education and economic growth,” added Williams.  Editor’s note: For More information, visit, @HigherHeights4, #BlackWomenRun, #BlackWomenVote, #BlackWomen Lead

Green Taxi Cooperative: A Model for Creating Wealth in the African American Community


Op-Ed by Halisi Vinson

his political season has amplified the dialogue around wealth and income inequities and the need for change. Politicians and pundits alike, have pontificated on the ails of working families, communities of color, and rural communities. With all of the rhetoric being bandied about, not one has come up with a solution that has the potential to change the current trajectory permanently. Communities that have been left behind do not need anyone else telling them that the water is wet. What they need are sensible, pragmatic solutions to a problem that has been decades in the making. Employee ownership is a solution and the Green Taxi Cooperative is a model that should be supported, studied, and replicated. Green Taxi is a driver-owned taxi company and is the largest in the Denver metro area with more than 800 drivers who are mostly African immigrants. It was cofounded by serial entrepreneur, Abdi Buni, an immigrant from Ethiopia who came to the United States in 1989. Unlike the more traditional taxi model, Green Taxi’s drivers have the opportunity to own a piece of the company for $2,900 the first year and $900 in subsequent years. Other taxi companies can charge an average of $2,400 per month and ensures that drivers will have to work many more hours. According to Buni, drivers at other taxi companies have to work 14 hours per day just to pay the fees and put food on the table. At the end of the day, they’ve built no wealth, and their families rarely see them. On the other hand, the driver owners at Green Taxi pay only $75 per month, allowing them to earn their investment quickly and allowing the drivers to save for their children’s college education, purchase a home, or save for emergencies. That economic stability leads to stronger families, communities, and stronger local economies. The Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center (RMEOC) advocates for employee ownership as a mechanism to save legacy businesses in communities, to keep wealth within a community, and to create opportunities for the members of that community. Recently, RMEOC was invited to speak to the audience at the National

Urban League’s annual conference, because they realize that employee ownership can be utilized to save and revitalize African American communities. According to studies, employeeowned businesses create 2.5 times more wealth for employees, have 8.8 percent higher sales, and consequently have a 25 percent higher job growth. Lastly, new employee owned businesses are 66 percent more likely to be in business after five years compared to 39 percent for their counterparts. The Green Taxi Cooperative is on

its way to being another success story in the annals of employee owned successes. RMEOC applauds the tireless work of their co-founders in changing the way the Public Utilities Commission evaluates the necessity of transportation companies and for providing an opportunity for 800 people to realize the American Dream. “Not only do our drivers have more time to spend with their family, drivers are also spending the extra money that would have gone to fees on their families. They are now able to

save money for emergencies, for a new home, for retirement, for education, and for their children’s education, all of which improves their selfsufficiency and adds value to the U.S. economy. Green Taxi also has the largest number of female cab drivers in the state. While women drivers are rare in this industry, 30 women who actually own part of the company is rarer,” said Buni. To become a driver owner of Green Taxi Cooperative, a one-time memberContinued on page 22



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Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016



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Integration May End with Obama “D

OpEd By Theo E.J. Wilson

ude, we gave you a Black president, what more do you want?” Expect those words sooner than later. If the last eight years and the Trump campaign are any indicator, white conservatives will be lifting the floodgates on repressed politically incorrect behavior in more ways than one. The passing of White House back to white hands could be as psychically significant to whites, as was Obama’s election to Black folk. More than a few of them are ready for a “return to normal,” if you will. Many have gotten so far into the habit of hating Obama they forget why his election was significant in the first place. For Black people, however, Obama’s exodus from the White House could mean more than just the end of his era. This could cap-off the integration era as well. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, the Black quest for the American dream seemed to be embodied in his very existence. Like many dreams, the vision itself is more compelling than the mechanics of their manifestation. Whether we were conscious of it or not, – the racism and resistance, that he endured while in the White house, eroded our faith in the American dream itself. If not even the president of the United States is above being called a monkey, nigger, coon or what have you, what chance do we stand in seeing racism removed from our lives? Michelle Obama endured her fair share of racism. Jokes about her body have persisted since she began her health campaign to get America’s youth to lose weight. Jim Sensenbrenner remarked that the size of her butt made her “unfit” to talk about getting in shape. He was sternly chastised and issued an apology. Ferguson emails among the police officers revealed her being compared to the topless African women in National Geographic. Pictures of her and the president with chimpanzees photo shopped onto their faces, along with other crassly racist imagery, endlessly peppers the internet. The myth that success equals safety from racism

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


was thoroughly debunked with this presidency. Sadly, another thing happened. With the uptick in publicized police murders, Blacks began to rethink how much progress was really made since the Civil Rights Era. We questioned what having a Black president actually added up to. He clearly either could not or would not protect us. Even LBJ sent in the National Guard to protect King because the police were misbehaving. Even the Little Rock Nine were given protection from the federal level to escort to and from school. Why didn’t the president give that to Ferguson, Baltimore, or North Carolina? By most measurements, the African-American unemployment rate went largely unchanged during the eight years of Obama’s presidency. In an interview with Megyn Kelly, Tavis Smiley publicly declared that on every leading economic issue, Blacks are now considerably worse off under Obama than Bush. According to the Pew Research Center, the Black poverty rate increased from 25.8 percent to 27.2 percent from 2009 to 2014. That adds up to millions more Black people slipping beneath the poverty line. What could or should Obama have done? The answers remain debatable. Perhaps most startling is the increase in white racial polarization under the first African-American president. Few of us can forget the feeling of hope that 2008 election night had brought us. Seeing what felt like the impossible unfold before my eyes is a memory that will stick with me forever. That night, an ecstatically happy white guy grabbed me and said, “We’re finally brothers now, man.” Within a few short months, the Tea Party had formed and was making noise on national level. They seemed to be attracting the worst of the worst to their ranks. What started out as a movement over legitimate taxing concerns because of the financial bailouts quickly grew into something far more insidious. Cameras captured Tea Party rally photos of whites holding up explicitly racist signs, and doing so unchecked by their peers. Little did we know this was just the beginning. Unprecedented Republican obstructionism plagued the Obama administration over the course of its reign. The GOP was caught trying to eliminate three seats in the house court of appeals rather than let Obama fill them. Obamacare was met with staunch opposition, as well as the thwarting of his supreme court nominee after Antonin Scalia died suddenly are other examples. Obama’s veto of JASTA, which destroys the sovereign immunity of nations in international courts, was overturned by both parties. Then, after senate realized

their mistake, GOP lawmakers blamed Obama for not giving them a clear enough warning of the danger of the JASTA legislation. Political analysts speculate that this unilateral and unintelligent obstructionism set the atmosphere for Trump to take over the Republican Party. The Republicans likely attracted a white nationalist contingent in the intellectual vacuum created by senselessly blocking the Black president. Many remarked how the Trump campaign looked like the 60’s all over again. Whether he won the White House or not, his voters are still around. Though these bigoted people were shocking to many in “postracial” America, a brief study of history puts this behavior into context. Few are aware that Obama’s election was not the first time America believed it had conquered its race problem. During the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, federal troops remained in the South, making sure that they didn’t go back on their word to free the slaves, and oversee rebuilding the war-torn territory. During this time, though things were far from perfect, an era of rapid black advancement took place. With many former slaves possessing a great deal of the skill economy of America, black communities began to grow rapidly.

Blacks were elected to public offices, including the first Black lieutenant governor of Louisiana, Oscar Dunn. The election 1876 changed all of that. With great controversy, Rutherford B. Hayes was accepted as president by Southern democrats, but under certain conditions. One of those conditions was to remove the federal troops from the South. When that happened, Blacks were now vulnerable to state’s rights, and the true Jim Crow era of terrorism began. This election could be our new “1876.” In American, the white man giveth, and he taketh away. Who’s to say the Voting Rights Act won’t get repealed one day? Who’s to say another Ferguson level event wont trigger martial law, but in black communities only? These ideas are not farfetched, but actual possibilities. Their execution depends only on the atmosphere of the country, and what is politically expedient in this ever uncertain future. Perhaps the greatest threat to integration is Black people’s belief in the institution itself. Remember, it was we who dreamed of a color-blind society first, not the founding fathers. It was Blacks who pressed the issue; it was Blacks who produced Dr. King, the Civil Rights movement, and the language and aesthetics of equality. Lately, fewer and fewer of us believe

that integration is a path to real freedom at all. Some of us Black millennials remember a world where the kind of open faced racism we see today truly seemed like a relic of the past, locked behind museum glass. We survived the expansion of mass incarceration, the new Jim Crow. We are living in an age where the state-sanctioned police murder of Blacks still has yet to be curbed. We watched a Black president get verbally abused for eight years straight, and still do little to relieve the suffering of his own people. With depression-level unemployment rates and crime in the Black communities, we rightfully question if integration is a good thing to bring our own children into. Obama was the brightest star in a galaxy of token Black success. Ushered in by the Oprah era, by the era of Colin Powell and Bill Cosby, of Michael Jackson and Jay-Z, there was a lot to be hopeful for in this president. Though integration mitigated interpersonal racism and bigotry, it did not extinguish it. It may have enabled institutional racism and never touched our internalized racism. As little as it did for us, it did even less for White people. If we stop fighting for it rest assured that they will not either; not in large numbers. The Black Lives Matter epoch is bringing us new

heroes in Dr. Boyce Watkins and Dr. Umar Johnson. Michelle Alexander takes the mantle from Angela Davis, and we march foreword. Notice the direction of our momentum, these days. Is it in black integration, or is it in building institutions? Is the push to get another Black president, or police our own communities? I invite you to notice the cry for heroes that fought back, not sat-in. Notice the outcry for movies that show African greatness, not a post racial world, and you tell me if the decision hasn’t already been made. 


Open Enrollment begins on Nov. 1, 2016. Call us today to make an appointment for 2017 coverage! The Center for African American Health 3601 Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. Denver, CO 80205 Phone: (303) 355-3423 Website: Email: Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016



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

Editor’s note: Samantha Ofole-Prince is an award-winning writer and contributor to many national publications and is’s Senior Critic-at-Large. Khaleel Herbert is a journalism student at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Laurence Washington is the creator of Like On Facebook, Follow On Twitter

The Magnificent Seven 

With seven appealing actors playBy Samantha Ofole-Prince

Prices and participation may vary. A la carte only. ©2016 McDonald’s. M 55401.21

ing characters with charming quirks, there’s good reason to watch this latest remake of The Magnificent Seven. Based on John Sturges’ 1960 film, in which Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen starred, the film itself was an old West reimagining of Akira Kurosawa’s iconic film The Seven Samurai. Antoine Fuqua’s modern remake follows the same formula of the original and stars Denzel Washington as Sam Chisolm, a bounty hunter hired by the recently widowed Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) to protect their small farming town from the grasps of a greedy industrialist. The villainous Bartholomew Bogue, (played brilliantly by Peter Sarsgaard) is running a mining operation nearby and wants to buy up the town for his gold mining operation. With a swarm of private security and the local sheriffs on his payroll, he’s untouchable and the town of Rose Creek are desperate for help and offer Chisolm a large sum of money for protection. Since it’s not a job for one man, Chisolm recruits six others for the task. They include a charming card trickster (Chris Pratt), a Confederate marksman

The Magnificent Seven

(Ethan Hawke), a blade-wielding expert (Byung-hun Lee), a Mexican cowboy (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), a hatchet wielding mountain man (Vincent D’Onofrio) and a Comanche warrior (Martin Sensmeier). With his delightfully diverse team, the seven stride into the town of Rose Creek to serve and protect. This update doesn’t stray too far from the original Western film, in which the townspeople of a Mexican village hired seven American gunslingers to protect them from bandits. Fuqua takes his time setting up the scene, introducing audiences to the seven in the first hour before spending the final hour on a climatic shoot-em up extravaganza. It’s an impressive apocalyptic gunfight that’s particularly satisfying, avoiding visual effects and choosing practical stunts instead. The film does well in the capable hands of Denzel, who delivers his familiar swagger within the first few minutes of the film’s opening. He’s tough and is a master with his weapon, which is established very early on when he locates an outlaw at a Saloon. “I have a family!” Pleads the outlaw as he stars into the barrel of Denzel’s gun. “They won’t miss you,”

is his sardonic reply before he discharges his brand of justice with a single shot. It’s one liners likes those that are littered throughout the film. Chris Pratt as Faraday, a cocky gambler with a penchant for whiskey, provides majority of the film’s few laughs and the scenes when they try to train the townsfolk to defend themselves delivers some chuckles. A dutiful rehashing of the seven gunmen who attempt to save a terrorized town, it’s a worthwhile flick to sit through. It’s an entertaining Western tale of outsiders coming together for a righteous reason and the icing on the cake is that we get to hear Elmer Bernstein’s iconic theme to 1960’s The Magnificent Seven.


The Accountant 1/2

By Samantha Ofole-Prince

t first glance, Ben Affleck’s character Christian Wolff seems to be nothing more than a mild-mannered, stoic, socially inept, storefront accountant, right down to his spreadsheets and pocket protector. But with a long list of criminal clientele seeking to squirrel money from the I.R.S. , it’s soon clear he’s a chartered accountant with a checkered past. Saddled with flashbacks, this Warner Bros. film follows Affleck’s character Wolff, who we initially learn is a highly gifted autistic child. His father, a military man, has shunned any form of mental help, choosing instead to arm his son with fighting skills, he feels would better equip him to deal with real life. The film fast forwards to present day and we meet a mature Wolff, who has a personal penchant for order. A meticulous, math savant with more affinity for numbers than people, he owns one set of silverware, has just a week’s worth of clothing in his closet, never forgets to take his Zoloft pills, and

The Accountant

works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), on his tail, he takes on a legitimate client: a stateof-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as he “uncooks the books” and gets closer to the truth, he’s targeted by the bad guys. The Accountant wants to be a serious drama about autism and even provides audiences with stats, but the film’s flaw is that it tries to be too ambitious and ends up being preposterous. With more story angles that it can handle, there’s the character study, the drama, the drug cartels, the arms brokers, the money launderers, the assassins and autistic children all mingled in one movie. Our hero, Affleck, who came into the film right after portraying Batman, is certainly affable enough and aptly captures the impassive Wolff, who is nothing short of a miracle child. He’s an accounting genius, an art connoisseur, a martial arts and even an expert marksman. Obviously, there’s no suspense in this film, but the inspiring message that anyone can achieve greatness regardless of their disability is a welcomed message and the action scenes are beautifully choreographed.

Bold. Rich. Brewtiful.


$ 49 Medium Iced Coffee Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


Directed by Gavin O’Connor, The Accountant doesn’t offer enough thrills but it is entertaining enough and certainly sets up the scene for a sequel.

Kevin Hart: What Now?  By Khaleel Herbert


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fter his wild antics in Let Me Explain, Seriously Funny, Laugh At My Pain and I’m A Little Grown Man, Kevin Hart turns up the funny in his latest stand-up, What Now? What Now? begins when Kevin Hart and Halle Berry (who plays herself) go over their plans to get money from Russian Villain, Victor (David Meunier) in a Bond-themed skit. Kevin has only three hours to retrieve the money and get to Lincoln Financial Field. Hart plays a friendly game of poker with Victor, his goons and Don Cheadle (himself). The game goes awry when Hart can’t understand the French dealer’s (Richardson Jones) accent. He irritates Cheadle by teasing him about his various film roles, including Iron Man, and taking too long to play his hand. The skit also parodies a scene from Denzel Washington’s The Equalizer. Berry and Hart escape and arrive at the Lincoln Financial Field. He stands


on a shaft that propels him onto the stage. Hart’s routines range from moving out of Hollywood to ordering a coffee at Starbucks. One enjoyable routine was his trip to a sex store. He said he was disgusted by it, but bought everything. He joked that he leaves the store with a midnightblack bag and walks normally to his car. He sees some people and says, “Hey guys, how’s it going?” trying to hide the bag. They see it and say, “You little freak! Go on with your freaky self!” Another memorable routine was Hart saying he got his dad an iPhone 6. Before they leave to get pizza, his dad holds the phone to his ear and says, “Cyrus! Tell me where the nearest pizza spot is!” Hart mimics his dad shaking the phone and yelling for Cyrus to talk. Hart says, “It’s Siri, Dad! He thinks there’s a man in the phone!” What Now? is the funniest stand-up Kevin Hart has done so far. His routines follow funny faces, gestures and attitude that leave the audience laughing to the point of tears. Hart even has a jumbo Tron behind him that gives a few visuals to follow his jokes. The only thing Hart was missing was his famous lines: “Alright, alright, alriiiiight!” and “You gon’ learn today!” If you’re not prepared to laugh and have a great time, don’t see What Now?


By Samantha Ofole-Prince


Photos by David Bornfriend

estined to be one of the most acclaimed films of the year, Moonlight is a rare gem. An unforgettable drama, which explores race, sexuality, masculinity and romance, it follows a young man’s coming of age in South Florida over the course of two decades. Told in three chapters, the opening scene introduces us to 10-year-old Chiron (Alex Hibbert), a scrawny,

effeminate boy nicknamed Little, who is a constant target of bullies at his school because he is ‘deemed different.’ Chased by his peers, after school one day, he seeks shelter in a derelict drug house. Help arrives in the form of drug dealer, Juan (Mahershala Ali), who brings Chiron to the home he shares with his girlfriend Theresa (Janelle Monáe) where’s he’s fed and nurtured. When he is finally taken home, we meet his mother (Naomie Harris), a functioning caregiver with a crack addiction.

ty something year old Chiron (Trevante Rhodes), who is now a hardened drug dealer and is known by the street name of Black. It’s then he emotionally reconnects with his childhood friend Kevin (now played André Holland) in a resonating scene. It’s impossible not to root for Chiron as he tries to assert his identity. There’s a heartbreaking scene where a young Chiron asks Juan; “Am I a faggot?” To which Juan answers, “At some point, you’ve got to decide for yourself who you want to be.”

Those poignant scenes tell us a whole lot about the main character and those around him and by the time we see Chiron in the second chapter, (now played by Ashton Sanders), he’s sixteen. Although, he’s developed a slightly tougher exterior, he’s still navigating the best route to avoid the brutal high-school bullies, and is still grappling with his sexuality. His mother is now a full-fledged addict, neglecting his needs in favor of her next fix. Juan is no longer in the picture, although Theresa is still his safe sanctuary and gives him money, shelter and comfort when he needs it. He seeks solace at the beach at times and accepts kindness from his friend Kevin (Jharrel Jerome) who also flirts with him. A scuffle at school where he finally delivers his brand of justice on his bullies ends with a stint in a juvenile detention center. In the final chapter, we meet a thir-

Moonlight tackles the social stigma around homosexuality, but doesn’t bow to melodrama. There is beauty, intimacy, tenderness and sensitivity to many of the scenes and director Barry Jenkins works in a lot in close-ups, keeping the complicated dynamics of Chiron’s life authentic. The performances all feel real as it chronicles the life of a young black, gay man from childhood to adulthood. Beautifully photographed, slow moving and episodic, it confronts aspects of the gay struggle often overlooked on screen, and does so with energy, visuals and an infectious soundtrack. You don’t have to be black or gay to appreciate Moonlight. Heartfelt and beautifully acted, this film captures the conflicting emotions of the characters —and is clever enough at 110 minutes not to overstay its welcome. 

Bold. Rich. Brewtiful.


$ 49 Medium Iced Coffee Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


What We Can Expect from President Hillary Clinton

Editor’s note: Political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson’s New eBook What We Can Expect from President Hillary Clinton will be Released Friday, October 24 Amazon Kindle


By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

he race for White House is effectively over. Hillary Clinton will be the 45th president of the U.S. The question now is what can Americans expect from a Clinton White House? She has laid out pages after page of policy wonk positions on civil and women’s rights, civil liberties, taxes, jobs, the economy, health care, education, military preparedness, combatting terrorism, on her campaign website. Most of them are the almost obligatory positions that Democratic presidential candidates have taken on the big-ticket issues. However, it’s one thing to spell out an agenda on paper and another to get any of it through. She’ll almost certainly kick things off by trying to make good on the pledge that she made in a speech at a Michigan auto and aircraft parts manufacturing plant near Detroit in August, 2016. She promised a big spending plan to the tune of nearly $300 billion on a vast array of infrastructure building and repair projects; roads, bridges, airports schools, sewer systems and so on. The projects would create new jobs for thousands.

Clinton made it clear that she expects the rich to foot much of the bill by demanding hefty tax hikes on them. She added the final FDR touch to her big spending plan by promising to plop the legislation on Congress’ table within her first 100 days in office. Clinton knows full well the perils ahead. The biggest threat is the Congress that she’ll have to go to with her big spending package. A GOPcontrolled Congress will be as hostile to her big budget and tax increases as it was to Obama’s. With a big White House win, Clinton is on far more solid ground when she tries to follow through with the pledge. This will give her the breathing space needed to get parts of her jobs, education, health care, and infrastructure overhaul programs through. A Democratic take back of the Senate is absolutely a must be when it comes to the Supreme Court. Arizona Senator John McCain has openly saber rattled for the GOP to block any Clinton high court pick. Clinton almost certainly will have the chance to pick one, two, or even three, more justices to the bench. The judges she will choose will be in the mold of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor. They will not be radical ideologues of the left. They will be judges with long standing court experience, solid legal credentials, and the highest ratings from the ABA and other legal groups. They will deliver safe and predictable votes on everything from women’s and civil rights to stemming environmental abuses.

Clinton can’t and won’t try to avoid the problem that has been perennially the single biggest tormenting lightening rod for black-white discord, namely, wanton police violence against blacks and minorities, and the astronomical numbers of blacks in America’s jails and prisons. Her Oval Office to-do list is a mix of old and new proposals on police and criminal justice reform. They will meet with a wall of intense opposition, stonewalling or disregard by conservative Democrats and GOP state legislators, and congresspersons, police and prison unions, victim rights groups. To get one or more of her justice initiatives through Congress she’ll need a lot of help from Democrats within and without Capitol Hill. She’ll get lots of help here from civil rights groups, and criminal justice reformers. Clinton’s policies on foreign affairs, military security, the fight against terrorism and checking Iran’s nuclear ambition, will be more muscular than Obama’s. She won’t send in troops to Syria. But she’ll be tough on sanctions, and enforcing a no-fly zone there. She will do back with weapons and logistical support any faction that purports to be any kind of real alternative, with a pronounced tilt toward the U.S., to ISIS and the Assad regime. She’ll rigorously monitor Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, cut not a penny from US military financial backing to Israel, while making the obligatory nod on paper to a Palestinian state. She will take the hardest of hard lines on Russia’s saber rattle in Eastern Europe and other hot spots. But this is still a far cry from a big ramp up in the US military presence in Iraq or Afghanistan as Obama did. President Clinton will be pulled and tugged at by corporate and defense industry lobbyists, the oil and nuclear power industry, government regulators, conservative family values groups, conservative GOP senators and house members, foreign diplomats and leaders, and in turn LGBT, women, civil rights and liberties, and

environmental watchdog groups. They all have their priorities and agendas and all will vie to get White House support for their pet legislation, or to kill or cripple legislation that threatens their interests. Clinton’s entire political history if anything has shown that she will keep a firm, cautious and conciliatory eye on American public opinion when it comes to her making policy decisions and determining priorities. That’s what presidents, all presidents must do, and President Clinton will be no different.  Editor’s note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is the author of What We Can Expect from President Hillary Clinton (Amazon Kindle) He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network.

Green Taxi Cooperative

Continued from page 17 ship is required. With other taxi companies, fees are paid even if you cannot work due to illness or emergencies. Ride share companies like Lyft or Über are a slight improvement because you have no fees if you do not work. However, the employee owned model empowers drivers and gives them greater self-determination. The driver owners feel that this is their dream. They think I own the business now. This is my number one priority. I am a part of a business. For so many of newly arrived immigrants, it is a dream come true to own a business in America. The coop gives them the opportunity to own something and inspires them to imagine new possibilities. Some have said, “We already own a business. We could own a gas station. We could purchase a garage as a coop.” And this entrepreneurship is good for them, and it’s good for competition in the market economy. 

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Challenging Choice for First Time Millennial Voters By Melovy Melvin


aturday Night Live’s presidential segments have become the top trending YouTube video postings. Its creative humor mocking presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both offended and entertained audiences, and apparently supports why so many have tuned in. As of Oct. 2, SNL’s biggest demographic group is millennials - the largest living generation surpassing baby boomers. There is no question that for many first time millennial voters, their choice will have a great impact on who will be the next president. The phrase “Get Out and Vote” has become essential in this election and encouraging and bringing attention to young people to get registered and cast their vote is at the forefront. Millennials have been known less likely to vote than their dutiful parents and grandparents – and they are even less likely to identify with a political party. While many may ask why, others are not quite surprised. It has not been your “typical” election with controversies overtaking social media platforms focusing on Clinton’s email scam to Trump’s outbursts during interviews. As a first time voter, I along with many of my fellow millennial peers am going into the election feeling unsure, undecided, and skeptical. As a child of both immigrant parents and being an American, a college and working student, and another kid just aiming for the “American Dream,” I know too well of what my privilege to be able to vote means in the “land of the free.” It means my input will now be included in the government, it means I have the right to speak up on issues that affect our economy and our American society, and it means that I have the right to say what I would like to see within these next four years for America’s future. You see, I don’t need the constant political ads pitching its next best commercial telling me what is moral and what is not. I don’t need to have a yard sign on my front lawn to speak for me informing peo-

ple what petition and what party I support. And, I definitely don’t need, nor want, a president who believes they are the only one who can speak for the American people. The president is not entirely a voice of the people but rather a voice FOR the people and that is not just something the school systems taught us from our history textbooks. That is why we, as voters, must make it our obligation to not only serve this beautiful county that we call home, but to also reinforce and help guide our next president. “This is my first time voting and these are my options?” I continually ask myself as the coverage over the presidential campaign leaves me feeling drained and also concerned for our country. I understand why many of my millennial peers feel like they should not participate in this year’s election but I also understand why it’s

even more important that they do. We are the voice that needs to be heard, we are the next leaders in line, and we are the new generation to leave a legacy for a better tomorrow. Our vote is not just a right but a responsibility that needs to be taken respectfully and seriously. “What Millennials have in store for the political system is revolutionary,” wrote the Atlantic’s Ron Fournier in 2013. This is our landmark and I truly believe that our say matters now more than ever. This country has come too far to be dragged down due to just us “not caring enough,” so get out, get registered, and cast your ballot. Your vote matters, your voice matters, and above all, you matter. Editor’s note: Melovy Melvin attends Metro State College majoring in journalism and works as the publisher’s assistant for the Denver Urban Spectrum.

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Mayor Hancock Appoints Alan Salazar as New Chief of Staff





Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced the appointment of Alan Salazar as his new Chief of Staff. Salazar will play a key role in managing the daily operations of the Mayor’s Office and the city’s 26 departments as well as the overall agenda for the Hancock administration. Salazar brings nearly 30 years of experience advancing public policy at the state, federal and local level. Currently a Senior Advisor for the Hillary Clinton Campaign, Salazar was chosen for his passion for public service, deep understanding of a wide range of issues and ability to collaborate and build consensus. “Having spent his career working in Colorado, Alan truly cares about the future of our community and will bring that dedication to the people of Denver,� Mayor Hancock said. “His in-depth knowledge of the work athand and his strong background in bringing diverse interests together will help to move Denver forward. He will be a steadfast hand for the city and well-informed adviser.� “The opportunity to support Mayor Hancock as he charts a course for Denver’s future is both humbling and exciting. I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve a community and city I love,� Salazar said. “Denver is experiencing an extremely vibrant time, and with this brings many opportunities and challenges. I believe my experience and dedication to serving Colorado has prepared me to serve Denver well and I am eager to get to work.� Salazar’s background includes serving as Chief of Staff for then-U.S. Rep.



Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


Mark Udall (CO) and Deputy Chief of Staff for former Gov. Roy Romer (CO). He also worked for former U.S. Senators Tim Wirth (CO) and Gary Hart (CO), and played key roles in both the Gov. Romer and ClintonGore campaigns in Colorado. Earlier this year, Salazar had transitioned to work for the Hillary Campaign from Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office. There, he served five years as Chief Strategy Officer and Director of Policy, Research and Legislative Affairs for Colorado’s Governor. In this position, Salazar was responsible for moving the Governor’s policy and legislative agenda, and providing direction for the administration and cabinet departments. Salazar led efforts to pass historic gun background checks legislation, reform early childhood education, deliver responsible oil and gas regulation. “Alan Salazar has an instinctive political savvy only enhanced by his intelligence and grace,� Gov. Hickenlooper said. “While I am immensely grateful for all that he has done for me personally and our team, I am even more excited to see what a great partner he will be with Mayor Hancock.� Salazar was born in Leadville, Colorado, and grew up in the Denver metro area. His appointment has received acclaim from many wellrespected leaders in the community. “Having worked with Alan for years, I could not be more pleased that he will be joining Mayor Hancock and his administration, said Nita Gonzales, President and CEO of Escuela Tlatelolco. “Great leaders surround themselves with great talent and Alan is a man of renowned integrity from the community for the community.� Salazar received his Bachelor’s Degree and Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He will assume his new role as Chief of Staff on November 21, 2016.



Black Chamber of Commerce Announces 2016 Ascension Award Winners

The award winners, who exemplify high achievements in business excellence, were announced at the 2016 Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Gala last month. Those recognized were Kim Farmer, Mile High Fitness who received the Small Business of the Year award; Patricia Houston, EspeciallyMe for the Non-Profit of the Year award; Vicent Gilmore of Gilmore Construction received the Corporate Executive of the Year award and Regional Transportation District (RTD) was the Corporation of the Year award recipient. In her address, keynote speaker, Stacey A. Campbell, J.D., principal at Campbell Litigations, P.C., emphasized the gala’s theme, “Unifying for Economic Empowerment,” as he told the story of his own success, and challenged the audience to recommit to developing partnerships and providing opportunities for Black businesses by having measurable objectives and plans to achieve success, not just mere aspirations. For more information on the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce and opportunities, visit

AARP Volunteer Named AARP Colorado State President

Jean Nofles of Aurora, a retired Medicaid and Medicare manager and a member of AARP Colorado’s advocacy team, as well as its executive council, recently became the state president for AARP Colorado, the highest position a volunteer can obtain at the state level. Nofles will work closely with state director Bob Murphy and lead the seven-member volunteer executive council, which helps set the direction for AARP Colorado in its advocacy and community outreach.

Close and Personal

Nofles is passionate about health care and voters’ rights. She has volunteered with AARP Colorado for nearly 10 years and is only the second woman and first African-American to hold the post in the last 16 years. She has worked in both the public and private sectors and in all levels of government, from the local level to the federal level, most recently as a manager for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment security and retirement planning. For more information, visit

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Councilman Albus Brooks Selected as One of Nation’s Top Pro-Growth Progressive Leaders

Denver City Council President Albus Brooks was selected as one of eight leaders from across the country to join the NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders), a national network that is committed to highlighting innovative ideas from state and local elected leaders who are pro-growth progressives. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Honorary Co-Chair of the NewDEAL congratulated this group of NewDEAL Leaders who have been chosen for their pro-growth policy solutions from the front-lines of government. Editor’s note: To learn more about Albus Brooks and the NewDEAL, visit

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Words of Wisdom from Lawrence “Larry” Borom Februrary 28, 1947 - October 20, 2026

If you knew Larry Borom, it may have been through one of these associations when he was an affiliate professor at Metropolitan State University, the director of Human Rights & Community Relations for the city and county of Denver, former director of Community Development for the National Urban League or former president and CEO for the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver. And for a short stint, he was also the CEO at the Urban League in my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He studied Social and Race Relation at the CU Boulder, Urban Studies at Mankato State University and Education and Social Sciences at Youngstown State University after attending North High School in Youngstown, Ohio where he was born and raised. The Denver community was fortunate to have Larry touch our souls and lift our spirits as testaments were shared on Facebook from Dr. Rachel Elizabeth Harding, Carolyn Ash, Eddie Koen, Vernon Jones, Jr. Bettye Ellis, Moses Brewer, Mattye LaVera Crowley, Efrem B. Martin, Heru Aset, Ronald Wooding Linda Mizell, Jeff Fard, the 100 Black Men of Denver and many others. After hearing of his passing and as a journalist, I began to search the Internet to see what had been posted in the news. And although at the time I did not find anything, I did find something that was very interesting of which I would like to share. And if you knew Larry, you knew Betty, his wife of more than 50 years. On May 29, 2014, Jet Magazine recognized Betty and Lawrence Borom celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary by asking them questions pertaining to the longevity of theirmarriage. Following are the questions and their responses:

Harold Lee Whitfield

September 16, 1938 – September 27, 2016

Harold Lee Whitfield, the younger of two sons, was born to Ossie and Nettie Piggee Whitfield on September 16, 1938 in St. Louis Missouri. Both of his parents and his step mother, Irma Magee Whitfield, predeceased him.

Harold was educated in the Kirkwood school district and went to Douglas High School to integration came into play. He graduated from Kirkwood High School in 1956 and attended college at Washington University to receive his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management and his Juris Doctorate.

In 1962, Harold went into the United States Army for two years and then received his license to practice law in the State of Missouri in 1968. Harold married Frances (Cookie) Reeves on August 10, 1968 and they were blessed with two daughters, Susan and Parra. Early in their marriage Harold and Cookie started vacation in Jamaica (his second home) and eventually began to take with her family friends and love ones including the “Bunker Hill” group. He was a faithful connecting Link (“Mule”) and Carrafella. He confessed his hope in Christ at a young age and was a lifelong member of Olive Chapel AME Church in Kirkwood, Missouri. During his membership he sang in the male chorus and served on the Steward and Trustee Boards. He further served as a member of the Judicial Council for the A.M.E. Conference. Harold was Executive Director and a Charter Board Member of the Economic Development Board for the 5th District. Harold leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife Frances (Cookie); two daughters Susan (Gregory), and Kara; two grandchildren, Royce and Rayni; Mrs. Vassie Nall, whom he called his favorite mother-in-law; one brother Kennard (Jean); one brother-in-law Barnett (Ruby) Reeves; seven nieces, Lorna Porter, Stacy Jones, Lisa, Lynn, René, Jennifer and Kristie; nephews Eric and Burnett III, and a host of grandnieces, grandnephews, cousins, aunts, and other relatives and friends. Professionally Harold’s career as an Attorney at Law spiraled him like a shooting star. Throughout the years, Harold’s practice of concentration was wrongful death and personal injury. In 1966, he became the Director of Conciliation for the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and remained in this position until 1970. Commencing 1970, Harold worked as the Administrative Assistant to the Regional Director of the U.S. Civil Service Commission for four years. In 1972, he was elected as a Kirkwood City Council member and served until 1976. In 1976, Harold ran for mayor in Kirkwood, Missouri. Harold founded the law firm of Whitfield, Montgomery, P.C. which later became Whitfield Montgomery & Staples, P.C. From 1976 to 1994, Harold was a partner in Whitfield & James Mortuary with his wife. He was lifetime member of the NAACP, a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and was later inducted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Harold received the Legend of Law Award given by the Mound City Bar Association and he served as a Provisional Municipal Judge for the City of Kirkwood as well as an adjunct Professor of Law at Washington University Law School. In 2008, Harold was a delegate in the National Democratic Convention and was one of the Attorneys for Missouri in the tobacco mitigation case. Over the years, Harold received resolutions from municipalities, the Supreme Court of Missouri/The Board of Governors of the Missouri Bar; the Missouri House of Representatives, and MOLES. After Harold retired from practicing law, he garnered a relationship with KSTL, JUBILEE 690 AM radio. One of his contributions included “Bridging the Gap,” Jubilee Night at the ballpark. This event was held is an initiative with the purpose of helping to restore the strain of relationship between young Black men and law-enforcement agencies. Harold was earnest in his attempt to be all he could be, not only with himself, but with his fellow man also.

If you could do any part of your marriage over, what would you do differently? “I would be sure to never hurt her,” Lawrence shares. “I would be more honest in all things.” What advice would you give young couples? “Beware of secrets and hidden agendas,” offers Betty. “Give each other respect and time and always be good listeners.” What do you still look forward to in your marriage? “I want us to end our lives in love with each other,” says Lawrence. “Love is what makes life worthwhile.” He knew he was in love when… Betty and Lawrence sometimes rode the bus together to teaching jobs at the same school. While sitting with her, hearing her sweet voice, and seeing her beauty and wholesome personality he fell madly in love with her. She knew she was in love when… After only dating for a short time, my soon-to-be spouse was always well-dressed and an intellectual. There was an abundance of attention, generosity and respect from him toward me. I observed his magnetic personality reach out to others. In 10 years we will… Be married for 60 years, hopefully we will have accomplished all the items in our joint and individual “bucket lists.” Our prayer is that we will still be together, healthy and traveling to exciting places. Before the groom got married, he wishes someone had told him… That marriage is a “long distance” event that has many ups and downs but the prize is happiness. Before the bride got married, she wishes someone had told her… As imperfect as life can be sometimes, continue to thrive and count your blessings. Try to connect with emotional, financial, intimacy and spiritual growth. Good listening, truth and faith are riches that can help make a marriage succeed. Our favorite activity to do together is… Attend cultural events or exercise classes, or just walking our dog. Our nicknames for each other are… Betty calls Lawrence “Larry” and Larry calls Betty “Dear.” Our favorite place to spend time together is… In a small intimate club with great jazz and an attentive audience. Our perfect night out is… A movie or a historical, African American theatrical production and then followed by dinner out somewhere. Our song is… “Misty” by Errol Gardner.

His legacy will live on.. .

Peace and blessings cousin. You are loved and will be missed.

“With that said, thank you and Betty for those wonderful worlds to live by. And thank you, on behalf of the Denver community, for your gifts to us. We will miss you. Peace and Blessings...Rest in Peace” Rosalind “Bee” Harris, Denver Urban Spectrum family

Your favorite cousin in Denver Rosalind J. Harris, aka “BeeBee”

Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016





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Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


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Crowley Foundation Hosts 6th Annual boys2MEN Workshop

The Crowley Foundation is holding its 6th annual boys2MEN workshop, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora for young males in grades 8th through 12th. The free workshop, Confidence 2.0 – The Real You, will provide access to positive male leadership through its mentors and seek to inspire young men to realize their potential. Mentors present topics and work in small groups covering areas such as self-identity, negative vs positive influences, social media do’s and don’ts; tailored to be appropriate for young males ages 14 to 18. Moziah Bridges of Mo’s Bows will be the keynote speaker. His colorful, handmade ties quickly made an impression and the young fashion mogul made rounds on The Steve Harvey Show, The Today Show, Oprah Magazine, Good Morning America, and eventually, Shark Tank. To register a young man, visit For more information, contact Kenneth Crowley at or call 720-935-9842.

The Urban Spectrum — April 2006


Denver Urban Spectrum — – November 2016


DPL Accepting Nominations for Annual Juanita Gray Awards

Honoring African-American leaders in the Denver community Denver Public Library is seeking nominations for the Juanita Gray Community Service Awards which honor local African-American men, women and youth who have made outstanding contributions to the Denver area. Nominations are accepted until Dec. 5. Forms and criteria are available online at and must be returned to the library no later than 5 p.m. on Dec. 5 The award is named after former library staffer Juanita Ross Gray who helped found the Colorado Blacks Hall of Fame and who had a strong commitment to Denver’s African-American community. Nominations are for African-American men, women and youth (14-18) who are setting exemplary examples for leadership and civic engagement in the community. An award celebration will be held at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. For more information, call Hannah Miles at 720-865-2045 or email

November 25 - December 24

Denver Center Performing Arts Theatre Company

Congratulations to DUS October winner of two tickets to 100 Men Who Cook - Stephanie Hall November winner will be selected on November 18 and announced in the December Denver Urban Spectrum

Denver Urban Spectrum November 2016  

This month Denver Urban Spectrum looks at the political climate locally and nationally. DUS contributor writer, Charles Emmons hit the trail...