Denver Urban Spectrum - October 2019

Page 1

Volume 33 Number 7 October 2019

Rev. Ronald Wooding:

One Man’s Mission To Continue The Tradition Of Daddy Bruce Randolph...4

Rev. Ronald Wooding Photo by Lens of Ansar


The Love and Beauty of Mother Africa Volume 33

Number 7

October 2019

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris GENERAL MANAGER Lawrence A. James EDITOR-IN- CHIEF Alfonzo Porter COPY EDITOR/PROOFREADER Ruby Jones COLUMNISTS Kim Farmer FILM CRITIC BlackFlix.Com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ruby Jones Zilingo Nwuke Alfonzo Porter ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris OFFICE ASSISTANT Briana Rorex GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jody Gilbert - Kolor Graphix PHOTOGRAPHERS Lens of Ansar Bernard Grant DISTRIBUTION Ed Lynch Lawrence A. James - Manager

2019 Member The Denver Urban Spectrum is a monthly publication dedicated to spreading the news about people of color. Contents of the Denver Urban Spectrum are copyright 2019 by Bizzy Bee Enterprise. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The Denver Urban Spectrum circulates 25,000 copies throughout Colorado. The Denver Urban Spectrum welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment. Write to the Denver Urban Spectrum at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303292-6543 or visit the Web site at

I often think about something I heard when I first visited Africa, 20 years ago in 1999. I was in my hotel room talking to the busboy when he made the comment, “When you help one, you help many,” which I soon learned was a very common mantra for the Motherland. But I also noticed as I travelled through the common parts of Senegal, I entered places that didn’t have suitable bathrooms with sometimes only a hole in the floor, where electricity came on when it felt like it, and little children were clad only in underwear or nothing at all. But I also cherished the patience, gratefulness, and happiness I experienced – in spite of any living conditions or obstacles – that radiated from everyone. I still remember how it penetrated my soul. As we enter the holiday season that is revered as a time of love, family and gratitude, it may not be that way for many people because of lost loved ones, an illness or simply loneliness. This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In September it was Childhood, Ovarian and Prostate and in November it will be Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Needless to say, cancer has a monopoly on our health. I met Rev. Ronald Wooding many years ago and witnessed his mission, with the Denver Feed a Family Foundation, to preserve and carry on the legacy of Dr. Daddy Bruce Randolph whose mantra was “I just love people.” The community and I were saddened to hear of his illness. When we talked about covering his life’s calling in this issue, in only how Ronald could, he jokingly said he wanted to get his flowers while he is still here. And that is what DUS Editor Alfonzo Porter did this month. He also recapped our Educator’s Forum on Social Media’s Impact on our Students where a diverse pool of professionals presented their views on how we as a community can improve what is really going on for the sake of our youth. We thank all who participated and supported this effort and especially the Martinez family for sharing their heartfelt story about “Bella.” Recently I was appointed by Princess Asie Ocansey from the Royal Family of Ada, Ghana, as the Ambassador of Colorado for the Royal Return, a global initiative inviting people of African descent to make a return visit to Ghana and participate in a Mass Royal Wedding in December. Simply stated, all in the name of love, family and gratitude. I have learned to be patient, from those who know that everything happens in God’s time and at His will. I am more grateful than ever for every blessing He has bestowed upon me. And I am happy at the opportunities – past, present and future – that have been presented to me. Life is fleeting but it is also precious. So to you my friend, Ronald Wooding, I hope you enjoy ypur flowers for the many lives you have helped along the way. Rosalind J. Harris Publisher This issue is dedicated to my nephew, Melshunn Duane Everette, Sr. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR essential things: health, property and relationships. We are the artists called upon to use these attributes and to create the beauty, livability and vibrancy that are the sum total of our lives. No one has a book that tells us exactly how to balance these essential areas of our lives. Nonetheless, there are general aspects that can always use some of our attention. All these aspects share some things in common. As we become more fully aware of what we do have, we can come to be more appreciative, more grateful and more capable of creating the most beautiful and satisfying life for ourselves and others. Every day, no matter what, we should look in the mirror and see the fantastic beauty that nature and evolution has given us. Look at your eyes that see and realize how amazing it is,

Essentials to Life: Health, Property, Relationships Editor: We don’t realize how important our health is until it becomes challenged. We don’t often worry about our property or our house until the plumbing springs a leak or something breaks. We don’t realize how important our relationships are until it has becomes apparent that something has gone amiss. Sometimes it is very serious, and out of the blue a totally unexpected medical event shocks us back into awareness of our health. Sometimes it’s a terrible weather event that lets us know how vulnerable our property is. Sometimes it takes losing a loved one before we realize how important that relationship was. I have come to realize that our lives are about these three

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


that we have them to use; the same for your ears and all the parts of your body that feel. Look at your property, whatever it is, and be grateful that Mother Earth has allowed us to have it. Almost everything you own, or use, is the result of human ingenuity over the many tens of thousands of years humans have been on this Earth. Be grateful and use it always with the understanding that it is ours on loan from the planet. Realize that all your relationships, from spouse, to family, to friends and even to those you might casually meet, are to be treated with respect. We fail ourselves when we don’t appreciate how vital our relationships are. When my friend Clint Williams was dying in the hospital from the mesothelioma that shortly after took his life, Continued on page 26


onald Wooding always

knew that his life would be dedicated to the service of

One Man’s Mission

others. So when he wound up in Denver in 1995 to pursue his graduate degree at the Iliff School of Theology, it made perfect sense. Little did he know that providence would intercede and place him on a direct path to one of the most important missions of his life? He was born in the small community of Fayetteville, Tennessee and would go on to graduate from Tennessee State University with dual bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology and counseling, respectively. “I suspect that service was meant to be a way of life for me,” he says. “My mother was a school teacher and my father worked for a company that sold class rings. He was assigned territory throughout the state of Alabama.” Although the way things began to unfold, his presupposition didn’t appear to be a foregone conclusion. Although upon graduating, he worked briefly as a student counselor at Shaw College in Detroit but accepted a position working in the insurance industry back home in Nashville. It would turn into a 20 year career. His arrival in Denver provided somewhat of an unexpected twist. In 1995, he was recruited to Denver to attend the Iliff School of Theology where he completed his second master’s degree with a focus on Divinity. While there he worked as the student pastor at the Park Hill United Methodist Church before accepting a permanent position of assistant pastor at Epworth United Methodist Church in1998 upon graduation.

To Continue The Tradition Of Daddy Bruce Randolph

By Alfonzo Porter Photos by Lens of Ansar

Wooding then went on to work for the Epworth Foundation as a project manager and director with the Five Points Family to Family Services program. It was while in this position that he began to

learn about the efforts of Daddy Bruce Randolph. From 1964 until his death in 1994 at the age of 94 Daddy Bruce Randolph’s stood as a towering figure in the Denver Community. He was nationally

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


acclaimed for his work to feed the masses on Thanksgiving. For approximately seven years after his death the Randolph family along with and his home church continued his legacy, distributing Thanksgiving food baskets to the poor. But conflict between the pastor of Salem Baptist Church and its congregation resulted in the church backing away from the program in 2002. At that point, the Daddy Bruce Thanksgiving feast was in jeopardy of disappearing forever. However, the next year, the Epworth foundation revived the food-basket program; calling it Denver Feed a Family. “Local news anchor Tamara Banks, who was affiliated with Salem Baptist Church, did a story on the potential demise of the long term Denver tradition which resulted in many members of the community, as well as corporate donors stepped in,” Wooding said. According to Wooding, the Epworth Foundation was not initially interested in getting involved but became convinced to step in and lead the effort in 2002—with him in a leading role. Since that time, the work would become a labor of love for those who believed, like Randolph did, that we all deserve support when they experience hard times in life. It wouldn’t be the only task Wooding would undertake that year. “I had become involved in mission work traveling to Durbin, South Africa working to build an orphanage for children with AIDS,” he says. “From that time I started working with the African American Mayors Association addressing the issue of the AIDS virus in our communities. That is when I began to realize that there is plenty of mission work right here in Denver.” For the past 55 years the Daddy Bruce Randolph’s tradi-

tion of bringing the community together has become legendary. The self-made, self-educated man from rural Arkansas would go on to establish a legacy that promises to continue for many years to come. He changed the way whole way we view and celebrate Thanksgiving in our city. The annual event, dubbed “Daddy Bruce Annual Food Basket Giveaway,” has now reportedly grown to feed an estimated 40,000 individual with some 5,000 baskets being donated—each basket contains enough to provide a full holiday meal for a family of eight. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of families throughout the Denver region have benefitted from the generosity of the efforts of Daddy Bruce. Yet, much credit goes to those, like Wooding, who have labored to keep the holiday tradition alive. Randolph was born penniless and at the end would die penniless—but he lived a life far richer and more meaningful life than those who stake claims vast fortunes. He once picked cotton for ten cents a week. Undoubtedly, those who were needy and received his largess will never forget him. In the end, his funeral was paid for by Broncos owner Pat Bowlen. An estimated 1,500 people attended his services. It all began in 1964 when Randolph set up his grill to feed people for free for Thanksgiving in City Park in1964. Today, his annual Thanksgiving event has become nationally renowned and feeds tens of thousands each year. Randolph was born in 1900. He was partly raised by his grandmother, Laura Hart, who was an emancipated slave. It was from her that he gained his culinary prowess. At about the age of 20, while working in Pine Bluff, he saved money to buy a hog. It would become his first foray into

bank loan of $1,000 and began a catering operation in his son’s yard. It didn’t take long for the Broncos organization to take note and that following year he launched his restaurant on east 34th—now Bruce Randolph Avenue. Beyond his generosity at Thanksgiving, Randolph also fed people in celebration of Christmas, Easter and his birthday — Feb. 15. He organized clothing drives and spear-

entrepreneurship as he would later butcher it making barbeque sandwiches that he reportedly sold for a dime. And as the saying goes—the rest is history. Randolph moved to Denver in1959 at nearly 60 years old. His son, Bruce Jr. lived in the area and was working as a barber. Bruce, the elder, took a job as a janitor but the desire to cook was still with him. He applied for, and received a

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


headed Easter-egg hunts in City Park. In 1985, Randolph and his employees decorated more than 20,000 eggs for that year’s hunt. Scores of volunteers, including Denver police officers, helped hide the eggs. “He was a true humanitarian, a social entrepreneur,” Wooding said. In 2016, Wooding produced a documentary about the life of Daddy Bruce titled “Keep a Continued on page 6

Ronald Wooding Continued from page 5 Light in the Window.” The focus of the film centers around the life of a man who was less interested in business success but rather concentrated on providing for those who were struggling in life. The official documentary of the life and times of Daddy BruceRandolph is significant to the history of Denver. “As we undertake making this important film, we are seeking to share with the viewing audiences the life and dreams of a true social philanthropist. There was a man named Bruce Randolph who grew up under difficult conditions however, he helped to change views about what one individual can do. His frequent phrase was based on love, “God Loves You and So Does Daddy Bruce.” Wooding said in a previous interview. Randolph never aspired to live an extravagant life. His

small dwelling above the restaurant seemed more than enough—he was a simple man with simple needs. It is a far cry from many Americans who appear to believe that the American Dream requires the accumulation of material wealth. Daddy Bruce lived a demonstrably alternate lifestyle and therein lies part of his greatness.

According to Wooding, Randolph wanted to walk in the steps of Jesus by feeding the masses—as many as 5,000 people at a time. In the end, he would feed several times that number. Bruce Randolph was famous for his selflessness and has been a major influence on Wooding. “This is Thanksgiving. Be mindful, even though we have taken care of this day, it is only one day,” Wooding said. “There are people out there throughout the year that need more people getting involved, more people giving. When people heard of what he was doing, they wanted to help. They literally came from all over to help.” It is that type of giving spirit that attracts others who are willing to aid in helping those who are less fortunate. Today, according to Wooding, the celebration of daddy Bruce Randolph has become a year round commemoration. It features an exhibit at the United, an art gallery at the school named in his honor and a five year exhibit at the Colorado History Museum where Randolph will be one of five people honored. “The celebration of Daddy Bruce has become more than just about food,” he says. “It has grown to include live music, a job fair where

Lenders with the power to make decisions and deadlines. Straightforward. Flexible. Local. See us for all your banking needs! Visit us online or at any convenient location. Greg Shields Assistant Vice President 720.876.1580 NMLS # 1120404 Member FDIC

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


employers hire both for seasonal and permanent workers— even those with felonies. We will also provide health screenings where members of the community can check blood pressure and other vital signs like pulse rate, respiration rate and temperature.” A fundraiser at the Proof of the Pudding nightclub located on Hampden Avenue will be held on October 26 to generate additional capitol for the Annual Daddy Bruce Thanksgiving Legacy event. More than 1,000 volunteers will be needed this year as the event is expected to provide between 5,000 to 8,000 baskets filled with a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, macaroni and cheese, cake mix, Jiffy mix and cranberries. Each basket cost the foundation about $30. The dedication of the volunteers, each year, makes the entire event possible. They could almost tout the postman’s creed—neither through rain nor heat, nor gloom of night will keep these individuals from handing out baskets at Thanksgiving. The cold, rain or snow didn’t keep the volunteers from handing out boxes of holiday meals to families in need. The tradition, 55 years in the making, carries on the legacy of Daddy Bruce Randolph who began donating Thanksgiving meals to Denver families. Recently, Wooding was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. He says that while he may not be able to attend this year’s events, due to necessary treatment, he encourages people to continue to give to this worthy cause. While his treatment regimen will not allow him to be in such close proximity to mass crowds, Wooding remains confident that this year’s event will be a resounding success. “I plan to rejoin the effort in 2020,” Wooding says. “The mission goes on.”.

House Hacking By Barry Overton

Are you currently renting and have roommates that are helping you cover your rent? There is a new way to build wealth in real estate. It’s called house hacking – through this unique new method, younger men and women are entering into the world of home ownership. Renters are currently renting a home or condo. They also have a couple of roommates that help them cover the rent. But some renters are becoming homeowners and landlords at the same time. This is a great opportunity to start building a real estate portfolio. Here is how it works. Instead of renting, the house hacker becomes a home owner of a three bedroom condo. They identify two people who now become their roommate. The difference is they are now renting from you. In this circumstance, your roommates are now covering most or all of your mortgage payment and your HOA. Here’s an example. The house hacker purchased a three bedroom condo, with a $1,450 mortgage payment, a $250 HOA. That’s $1,700 for both. The house hacker’s roommates pay $850 a month to stay in a really nice condo and it completely covers the mortgage and HOA. Now here’s where it gets interesting. When the house hacker qualified for the loan he qualified to be able to pay the mortgage and HOA of $1700 on his/her own. The house hacker, as a homeowner, will stay disciplined enough to take a minimum of $850 a month and place it into an interest bearing account, over the course of 24

months that $850 has accrued to over $20,000. Now the house hacker saved enough to actually go out and buy another property. So, the house hacker purchases a home. He/She moves out of the condo, which means he/she has an additional room in the condo to rent out for $850 a month. The house hacker moves into the new home purchase, a three bedroom home where he/she has two other rooms that can also be rented out, and now the mortgage payment is being covered in the condo and in the home. The house hacker goes from being a renter to now owning two properties and being a landlord. This unique method of building real estate wealth is being used by many young men and women in their mid-20’s. If having a room mate is not your particular idea of the ideal living arrangement, house hacking can also be accomplished through owning a triplex unit. The house hacker can rent two of the units and live in the third unit. The first two units will likely cover the mortgage payment. These methods are quickly becoming the quick and easy way of building a real estate portfolio. . Editor’s note: Barry Overton is a licensed Real Estate Agent with New Era Group at Your Castle Real Estate. He has been an agent since 2001, and started investing in real estate in 1996. For more information, email



I believe: EDORSEDMENTS: •

Je昀 Baker - Arapahoe County Commissioner Dave Gruber - Aurora City Councilman At Large Francoise Bergan - Ward 6 City Council Wellington Webb Former Denver Mayor

Bob Roth– Aurora Ward 5 City Council

Nathan Kennedy - Praxis Law

Dr. Lasaki Gabolhan

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


Approximately 11:20 a.m. One Smooth Transition on Sept. 10, as I sat waiting at the Soiled Dove for Charles F. to the Next Devereaux, he has had four or five phone calls. One of them is with Rhett Lee, the talent buyer for the Soiled Dove, discussing upcoming shows in October. He is also on the phone with the detail shop preparing cars for Princess Asie Ocansey’s arrival from Ghana; and receiving confirmation that the new bus he has ordered for his company is in the process of being prepared for him and his associates. Devereaux mentioned how he is constantly in contact with Lee who keeps One Smooth Transition busy. He is a busy man. No second is wasted on this man’s schedule. He is always trying to do better. His work ethic is probably what has fueled One Smooth Transition’s growth and got the company on its feet. One Smooth Transition is a Denver-based transportation company whose drivers provide transportation for individuals – mainly celebrities – getting them to where they need to be with A+ service and hospitality. Customer satisfaction is their number one goal. “I know this for a fact, a lot of the clients, especially those who are in concert, ask for him and often maintain a friendship with him after he has performed transportation services for him,” said Gary M. Ashton of “He just has that kind of rapport with everyone. They love him.” Devereaux and One Smooth Transition are currently in business with the Soiled Dove, but they have been everywhere and are available to everyone. He has done business with Jazz at Jacks, the Kasbah, Jet Flight Entertainment and, just to name a few. He has worked

By Zilingo Nwuke - Photos by Zilingo Nwuke

Michael Deyie and Charles Devereaux, One Smooth Transition with an extensive list of celebrities as well, catering to their needs. From actor Bill Cobbs – who he has developed a very long-standing father-son relationship – to Ginuwin, Devereaux has definitely had his hands full. He has worked

with Sisco, Escape, Ruben Studdard, James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, Jagged Edge, Keith Sweat, Sheila E. and more. The list goes on and on. One Smooth Transition is not a rookie in the transportation business.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


“I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of great entertainers,” said One Smooth Transition owner and founder Charles F. Devereaux. “I spent about 30 minutes with Luther Vandross before he passed. I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of people.” One Smooth Transition is a small company now, but that doesn’t take anything away from its ability to excel and overachieve. In fact, Devereaux wouldn’t have his company run any other way. He wants to avoid too much growth too soon so he continues and gradually have has the ability and time to give his clients the attention and service they deserve. “We are discreet and we are professional. We are on time and we treat people well. We treat people like we want to be treated. As a small business but also looking to grow, I can personally handle whatever problem comes up,” said Devereaux. The company has been in business since 2014, but they haven’t always been One Smooth Transition. The business name actually changed about four years ago from Personal Management Services. The story on how the name changed is actually quite funny. “The name of the company is One Smooth Transition, but this actually transpired about three years ago. The business name prior was Personal Management Services. There is a big story behind that,” Devereaux laughingly said. “It was when I had to pick up Sheila E. and at that time my company was named Personal Management Services. When I introduced myself and the company she smiled and said, ‘What a typical male.’ I didn’t know at the time what she meant by that, but as I got to know her a little better, I asked her ‘What do you mean by that?’ She said, ‘PMS’ and at the time my tagline was ‘We are with you from start to fin-

He wasn’t able to get up close and personal with his clients as a promoter. He wasn’t able to provide the A+ customer service he is known for. He made a wise decision. Devereaux has high hopes for the future. He wants his business to grow. He wants his company to expand. He wants more clients, more employees and everything that comes along with that, but he doesn’t want his company to get too big. “I want to grow gradually and consistently, so that I can still take care of any situation that arises. I want to ensure all of my customers are satisfied to the best of our ability. Also, I want to be able to know that at the end of the day we did the best that we could to satisfy everyone we serviced,” says Devereaux. Anything that would prevent Devereaux from fully satisfying his customers is out of the question. His interests are not

Charles Devereaux and Michael Deyie ish.’ I realized then, that we were going to have to change the company name.” It really was a progressive growth. Certain things happened and certain opportunities became available that made him and his company evolve, and Devereaux is certainly not the type of person to let an opportunity slip through his hands.

When he first started with his company, he originally wanted to go into promoting. When his company was still named Personal Management Services, he wanted to book shows for promoters. It wasn’t long into promoting before Devereaux realized that being a driver was the more lucrative occupation. Logistic transportation services were his calling.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


important to him, if it would interfere with his clients. “I know other limo services, but I know he is going to give them something a little bit different. He is going to cater to them with whatever they want and whatever they need,” said Ashton. “All of his clients love his A+ customer service.” Devereaux and One smooth Transition are making big moves in Colorado. This isn’t a mediocre company and Devereaux is working with big clients in big venues. Although Princess Asie’s recent travel plans to Denver were postponed until October 4, Devereaux looks forward to providing royal service to a princess. “That will be a royal feather in my cap,” Deveraux says with smile. . Editor’s note: For more information or to book transportation, call Charles Devereaux at 720-4298162 or check out his ad in this month’s issue.

remains one of the most common causes of death in women, and men are affected as well. While this cancer has no cure,

lower the risk of breast cancer include the following: 1. Healthy Weight: There is ample evidence available today which indicates that obesity by itself is a risk factor for many types of cancer. In addition, obesity is unhealthy and leads to many complications like diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, depression and a negative body image. So start by lowering your body weight. 2. Eat Healthy: Today we have come to realize that eating fast and processed foods is not good for health. Plus, many of the foods available are unregulated and contain an unknown number of chemicals and hormones. So start eating more fruits, veggies, low fat dairy, nuts, whole wheat and fish; at the same time, work to reduce your intake of meat. Animal meat has been linked to high cholesterol and heart disease. 3. Exercise: The importance of exercise cannot be overstated. It

there is growing awareness that one of the best ways to combat it is by making positive changes in lifestyle. Being ‘breast healthy’ is vital not only for cancer prevention but overall health. For many of us, our lifestyle choices are determined by where we live and work, income, the standard of housing, quality of air we breathe, food that we eat and access to public places and healthcare centers. The good news is that in most cases these lifestyle factors are modifiable and can have a major impact on future health. Some of the lifestyle measures that can be undertaken to

is the lack of exercise which is partially responsible for the obesity epidemic and the rising incidence of several cancers. When it comes to exercise, any type of physical activity is better than no activity. One does not have to join a gym or run a marathon every weekend. Simply walking is one of the best exercises one can do. Walking is free, it allows you to lose weight, you can enjoy nature and it is complication free-unless you get hit by a car or bus while texting on your smartphone so pay attention! 4. Discontinue Smoking: Smoking has been linked to many cancers for both men and women and it leaves a bad odor. Despite the availability of many types of aids to help people stop smoking, it is

Breast Cancer Prevention Through Lifestyle Changes By Kim Farmer

Worldwide, breast cancer

Vote Daily until October 29


Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


known to be one of the hardest habits to break. If you have stopped smoking, congratulations!! If you are still working on it, keep trying and don’t give up! Not only will this save you a lot of money, but your overall health will improve. 5. Cut Down on Alcohol: Over the years, the benefits of alcohol have been over-hyped. Many people cannot control their intake of alcohol and this often leads to liver problems, addiction, dysfunctional behavior, breast cancer and an increase in body weight. The minor benefits of alcohol on blood cholesterol and the heart can easily be overcome by walking instead. 6. Breastfeed: In general women who breastfeed their babies have a much lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who have not breastfed. So continue breastfeeding for at least 9-12 months if you can. It is hard in the beginning but if you keep trying, your baby will love you for it and the hard work will pay off for both of you. 7. Avoid HRT: While many women are prescribed Hormonal Replacement Therapy to treat symptoms of menopause, this treatment, if prolonged, is associated with an increase in breast cancer risk. Even bioidentical hormones may not be safe so be sure to check with your doctor. 8. Know your Family History: If you have a family history of breast cancer, tell your doctor about it. You may benefit from earlier screening with early detection and easier treatment. 9. Mammograms (if you are 40): One of the best ways to beat breast cancer is by detecting it early. Most experts agree that an annual mammogram can help detect breast cancer early and result in longer survival. Do not put off a mammogram because of fear of what may be discovered or discomfort. Today the procedure can be done in a few minutes and the discomfort is well worth it.

10. Self-Exams: Finally examine your breasts and if you feel anything abnormal, go and see your healthcare provider. Get familiar with any lumps that native so you will be able to quickly detect any changes. Breast cancer in women and men affects all of us in one way or another; if you don’t have it, you likely know someone who does (or did). Prevention is one way to avoid the diagnosis and lifestyle changes are a great

way to start. Tell your friends and family to pay attention to their food and alcohol intake and to be consistent with regular physical activity to decrease the prevalence of this disease. Thanks for reading!. Editor’s note: Kim Farmer of Mile High Fitness & Wellness offers inhome personal training and corporate wellness solutions. For more information, visit or email


P ro g ra m D e ta ils

The Center for African American Health has partnered with the American Heart Association to present the Check. Change. Control ® program!

COST: FREE, participants must register to enroll in classes.

This is an evidence-based, hypertension awareness series. Designed to teach high blood pressure self-monitoring skills. Empowering participants to take ownership of their cardiovascular health.

DURATION: An 8-class series that meets twice a month, for 4 months. IMPORTANCE: African Americans experience high blood pressure at greater rates than any other racial group in the United States.

Register at: Registration ends October 21st, 2019

INCENTIVES: blood pressure monitors, cook books, water bottles, pedometers & more!

W W W .C A A H E A L T H .O R G

CONTACT: Sydney Odion-Smith | (720) 432-6745 Email: Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


The Destiny

and F r e e d o m of donnie l. betts By Dave Ashton Denver Program Manager, KGNU Community Radio Editor’s note: This article was first published in KGNU magazine and is reprinted with permission by the publisher.


n a city increasingly known for excellence in the arts, donnie l. betts’ consistent contributions have created bridges across generational and cultural gaps to add to a greater understanding of our shared history. Through the auspices of his No Credits Productions Inc., he has made significant contributions within the realms of film, stage, radio, and research. His highlight reel would serve to enlighten any curious mind, under the mantra of “Elevate, Educate, and Entertain.” His unassuming character belies the fact that he has worked closely with movement icons such as Dr. Vincent Harding, Delores Huerta, Oscar Brown Jr., Nichelle Nichols, Julian Bond, Angela Davis, and Danny Glover. bett’s storied career begins in the small rural community of Dekalb in north east Texas, born youngest of 12 children on his family’s farm. He formed his work ethic and patience helping raise crops of cucumbers and potatoes for market, along with his beloved bunny rabbits. In time he grew into a young giant, and won football scholarships first to Angelo State University in San Angelo TX, then Fresno State in Fresno CA. On the farm, radio

donnie l. betts hosts the after perfomance discussion of Black. listening was the primary entertainment from which donnie developed a lifelong love of the art form through programs like Wolfman Jack and Randy’s Record Barn, who were spinning all the soul, gospel, R&B and country hits of the day. At Fresno State betts got his first experience of radio programming with a late-night slot playing jazz on the campus station 90.7 KFSR. In tune with the times and inspired by The Last Poets, donnie had a traveling poetry group with two football teammates who played drums and saxophone to accompany his fiery spoken word pieces. Post-graduation betts made his way to Denver for the first time, working at radio station KADX in sales followed by a stint on KUVO with his arts-focused show “Word of Mouth.” While picking up his former wife at her play rehearsals and due to

his physical stature, he was recruited by a director to play the “Big Goblin” in an adaptation of The Hobbit. His love affair with the stage ignited, and soon he was producing and directing through the City Stage Ensemble and the Denver Black Actors Company, plus working regularly onstage at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Gaining enrollment for a post graduate degree at Yale School of Drama in New Haven CT would open big doors. Because of his canny decision to study Arts Administration, betts had a freedom not afforded to students on the regular acting track. While still a full time student he persevered through the auditions process to join the cast of acclaimed Broadway show The Gospel of Colonus as understudy to iconic actor Morgan Freeman, and daily train rides from New

Upcoming “Destination Freedom” performances include “The Dark Legend of Detroit Blue,” October 15, live on KGNU; “The Tale of The Bullet,” Oct.ober 22, live from the Hamilton Theatre at the Newman Center with musical guest/90’s hip hop icon Prince Po; “Enrique’s Journey” Part 1, November 5, live from the Dairy Center in Boulder with musical guest Sudaca Project; and “Enrique’s Journey” Part 2, November 12, adapted by Anthony J. Garcia with musical guest Los Mocochetes, live from the Dairy Center in Boulder. Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


Haven to NYC became his commute. After attaining his degree from the Yale School of Drama and the conclusion of The Gospel of Colonus, donnie set out for the center of his chosen industry, Los Angeles CA. He found work in television production on the set of programs like the popular hip hop variety show “In Living Color” and the final run of “The Carol Burnette Show” in the early 1990’s. Upon returning to Denver to be closer to his son Timothy, donnie began his film endeavors by directing, co-producing and acting in Dearfield, the Road Less Traveled an award winning 1995 docudrama about the all-Black farming community founded in 1910, 30 miles east of Greeley CO. Through his 1998 revival of the Destination Freedom radio series, he became the official film biographer of Renaissance man Oscar Brown Jr. Music is My Life, Politics My Mistress (2005), a stirring video portrait of the Chicago singer, songwriter, playwright, TV host, and civil rights activist completed not long before his death. Another important film documenting a mission of peace with civil rights icon/MLK speech writer Dr. Vincent Harding to Israel and Palestine awaits completion. What is the significance of intentionally omitting capital letters in his name? “To honor my ancestors and elders, to be humble in standing on the shoulders of giants like bell hooks, my dad Norris Betts, Gordon Parks or whoever the case may be. I always said there is no way I could ever be as

Prince Po

Performer Such engages with audience after Black. great as they are, because a lot of them laid their lives on the line for equality here in America. This is my way of honoring them, by lower casing my name, to say that I am standing on the shoulders of giants, to use the old Proverb, to grasp the top, to move forward.”

Destination Freedom Comes To Life

The original Destination Freedom premiered on June 27, 1948 on Chicago radio station WMAQ. It consisted of ninetyone different scripts written solely by African American scribe Richard Durham (19171984). Incredibly he wrote and produced a new episode every week throughout its initial twoyear broadcast run. Durham centered his stories on raw materials provided by research librarians at the George Cleveland Hall Public Library. Characters were written to cut across the pervasive stereotypes in popular culture that portrayed African Americans as clowns, menials or slackers. In contrast, Durham’s historical characters were given complex personalities that were at turns, rebellious, biting, scornful, angry, and cocky, as the occasion called for. Destination

Freedom highlighted the lives and accomplishments of prominent African Americans a full decade before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights movement. This singular accomplishment earned Robert Durham posthumous induction into the Radio Hall of Fame (2007). After 1950, the original Destination Freedom broadcasts entered the realm of legend. The fates intervened when a woman who donnie l. betts was trying to pick up at a party in Los Angeles in the mid-90s hipped him to the existence of the black radio series. Back in Denver, betts’ friend David Earl Jones was working in the Tattered Cover book stores’ rare and out of print section. He dug up J. Fred MacDonald’s book “Don’t Touch That Dial! Radio Programming in American Life 1920-1960” which had 10 of Durham’s scripts in it. Upon reading them, betts was inspired to revive this work of genius. He attained the blessing of Dunham’s widow Clarice, and reached out to Professor Macdonald in Chicago, who surprised him again with news that Oscar Brown Jr. had been involved in the original productions. betts

swiftly contacted the singer, actor, writer, and activist Oscar Brown Jr. and piqued his interest in staging a reunion show of Destination Freedom in Denver. Other folks from the original run to participate included the storied storyteller Studs Terkel. Thus, Destination Freedom returned to the airwaves in spring of 1998 on KUVO 89.3fm with the story of Gwendolyn Brooks featuring Maya Angelou’s niece in the lead role. Destination Freedom made its KGNU Community Radio debut in 2003, with the broadcast performances sprinkled across various venues for the past 16 years. KGNU is honored to serve as the long-term home for this important cultural production, in keeping with our mission to bring voices from the margins and to the airwaves. Each 30 minute drama is followed by a panel discussion with a wide array of stakeholders in interaction with the audience, plus a special

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


musical guest, in keeping with betts’ mission to “Elevate, Educate, and Entertain.” After 20+ years producing many of Durham’s original scripts covering individuals from Jackie Robinson to Staggalee, 2019 marks a new vision for betts’ stewardship of this legacy. A new generation is moving the conversation on race and inequality forward, producing incredible scripts and plays along the way. Listen to Destination Freedom as a vehicle for these important emerging stories, presented in the powerful live radio setting.. Editor’s note: “Destination Freedom” is a true-to-form radio show in front of a live audience, simultaneously broadcast live on KGNU Community Radio, 88.5 FM and 1390 AM in Boulder and Denver and online at For more information call 720-2825751, email donnie.betts@gmail, or visit

Education Panel

Educator’s Forum on Social Media Impact on Students— A Retrospective View By Alfonzo Porter Photos by Lens of Ansar

Mental Health Panel

The Martinez Family

Student/Youth Panel

Last month the Denver

Urban Spectrum and its community partners hosted an Educator’s Forum on Social Media’s Impact on Students. The goal of the event was to spotlight and address the unintended consequences of constant connectivity on the social, emotional, mental and emotional health and well being of youth as they matriculate into adulthood. The program, lead by Denver business executive, Darryl Collier featured a diverse corps of speakers and presenters who provided their specific expertise in helping to bring awareness to the negative aspects of technology and social media platforms. With more than 5,000 data points on those who routinely engage online, these networking sites have developed psychographic profiles that allow them to track our every move. From what we eat, what we Rev. Quincy “Q” Shannon

research, our favorite television programs, how long we watch, what music and entertainment choices, our personal information has allowed big data to ellipse oil as the world’s most lucrative commodity. The program began with a video presentation revealing that Facebook creators were aware that their platform could prove addicting; that essentially the goal was to “get people hooked and to take up as much of our time as possible.” This revelation caused audible gasps from the audience as many found the admission shocking. Gabrielle Bryant, representing Mayor Michael Hancock, officially welcomed participants to the event. She shared her personal story of having been bullied and encouraged parents and teacher to research and develop a better understanding of the social media platform and apps available to children. Alexandra Alonso, a representative from Senator Michael Bennet’s office provided an update on his legislative initiaGabrielle Bryant

Parent Panel

Audience participant and moderator Jonathan McMillan Alexandra Alonso

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


Dr. Robert Werthwein

tive to study the effects of social media on student cognition. The bi-partisan bill entitled CAMRA (Children and Media Research Act), seeks a funding stream to take a closer look at how online behavior impacts learning. The director of the Colorado Department of Behavioral Health, Dr. Robert Werthwein, discussed the effects of addition on the developing brain and strategies to help young people who experience anxiety and depression stemming from online activities. 9News legal expert and attorney, Whiney Traylor discussed the legal aspects confronting school systems as a result of student online activities. Traylor talked about legislation aimed at addressing issues such as cyber bullying, school district policies prescriptions and advice on how to work collaboratively with social and local resources. Denver Urban Spectrum publisher Rosalind “Bee” Harris presented a Youth Advocacy Community Service Award to Rosalind “Bee’’ Harris and Whitney Traylor

a r o r u A r Ou

Les Franklin who founded the Shaka Franklin Foundation for Youth. Aurora Public Schools Superintendent, Rico Munn discussed social media issues from a school district perspective and what schools can do to help students and families address the unintended consequences of online behavior. Special guests, the Martinez family, shared their heartbreaking story of the suicide of 13-yearold Isabella “Bella” Martinez. The Martinez family was featured as the September 2019 cover story of the Denver Urban Spectrum and was also presented with the “Bella” award. The afternoon featured panel discussions including mental health professionals, educators, parents and a student panel to discuss the issues of social media from their unique perspectives. Experts provided concrete solutions in addressing many of the problems arising from daily internet usage on behalf of young people. .

A Diverse Aurora is Our Aurora

Steadily -- but too slowly -- we are building Our Aurora: one community that lifts-up our veterans, older adults, and immigrants; one that honors our long-time residents, our multi-generational neighborhoods, and our diverse smallbusiness owners; one that both builds on our history and welcomes new energy and appropriate growth. This kind of vision isn’t just a feel-good dream. It’s about a successful economy that creates a rising tide to lift all boats -- families, neighborhoods, businesses. An inclusive and expanding economy can allow Aurora’s budget to meet our needs so we can create more housing, fix our failing roads and, importantly, pay our first responders fairly -- so they don’t leave Aurora for better-paying municipalities. As mayor of Aurora, I will work hard to represent and serve all Aurorans, every member of our diverse community. From Day One, I’ll be working for you to expand wraparound programs such as Aurora’s social worker -police partnerships; to promote our small, local businesses that create jobs and add to our economy, improving accessibility and services for our older adults, demanding affordable and accessible housing, fair rents, and smart growth Sound ambitious? It is. But we need leadership with vision for all Aurorans. A strong vision keeps our eyes on the prize, keeps our heads up, keeps us moving forward. In every aspect of my life, I’ve pursued a vision of equity and justice. As a college educator, I have mentored young people. When I volunteer in Aurora’s boards, in non-profit leadership with the Aurora NAACP, as a professor and administrator at CUDenver or as an advocate for Aurorans on local and national issues -- I am driven by a vision of a community that is the best place to live, to grow a business, and to raise a family.

Alfonzo Porter

Working alongside hundreds of others in Aurora, we have moved much closer to our vision, We’ve done great work; I’m so proud of Our Aurora. But we can do even more. As Aurora’s next mayor, I’m ready to use my expertise and experience to help our city, businesses, and our diverse community work together to solve the complicated challenges facing our growing city: Our Aurora.

Susan Greene Lori Collier and Juliette Sebold

I hope you’ll join me. - Omar Montgomery, Candidate for Mayor of the City of Aurora:

Darryl Collier and Malik Robinson

Paid for by Committee to Elect Omar Montgomery

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


Black Boss Summit Showcases Black Excellence in Business Written by Topazz McBride and Ruby Jones

Helping you create wealth, protect wealth, and leave a legacy! Myra Donovan, CLU, ChFC, CFP Financial Adviser

Jice Johnson, Karen Civil, Shay J and Denver Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock

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

On Saturday, Sept. 7, dozens

Call today for a free consultation! Registered Representative for NYLIFE Securities LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC), a Licensed Insurance Agency. Financial Adviser for Eagle Strategies LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

FREE! SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT Stop by our FREE performance Ross-Barnum Branch Library | Oct 5 at 1pm


of Denver’s Black business leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs met on the University of Colorado’s South Denver campus for an immersive and inspiring all-day conference to celebrate Black excellence with encouragement, education, and opportunities for ongoing success. The Black Boss Summit, hosted by the Black Business Initiative of Denver, was an exclusive gathering of local and national achievers willing to share, teach and inspire their peers, and it was a great success. In its 3rd and most successful year to date, the 2019 Black Boss Summit featured an impressive lineup of speakers who have made significant contributions in their communities while building and maintaining reputable businesses in a changing economic landscape. The event kicked off with an energy-filled early morning welcome by mistress of ceremonies, Ms. Shay J, followed by an introduction and opening words from Jice Johnson, Founder and CEO of the Black Business Initiative. Johnson,

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


recipient of the “40 Under 40” 2018 CBWPA Emerging Leader Award, is a highly-regarded visionary who will be honored at the 2019 Urban Leadership Foundation’s Annual Gala for her business leadership and efforts to empower others. She spoke about accountability in Black entrepreneurship before reminding audience members of their responsibility to defy the odds and stigmas associated with doing Black business, and the need to set new standards for growth and collective partnering. Speaking directly about the challenges of entrepreneurship and what it really means to be a boss in business, local leaders Dr. Ryan Ross, Danielle Shoots, Delroy Gil, and Tia Jones discussed their own professional accomplishments and gave unique insights from their experiences at all levels of entrepreneurship. Their messages were filled with relevant information and resources, including tips for brand development and customer service strategy, tools for successfully scaling a business, and methods for increasing value while building a stronger customer base. Audience members were

engaged and inspired by the sincerity of each speaker, who spoke from the heart and most importantly, from a place of shared understanding. “Beyond the incredible base of knowledge that was shared, there was a realness that you don’t always get from people in high positions,” says guest Cherie M., “I personally appreciate the genuineness each speaker brought to the stage.” By the end of the forum, priceless information had been distributed to community members who were urged to share what they’d learned within their personal and professional networks. The Black Boss Summit was supported by city leaders, with Denver’s Mayor Michael Hancock and Aurora mayoral candidate, Omar Montgomery, in attendance. Both men entered the room to upbeat music and delivered words of support and encouragement to Colorado’s Black business community. Attendees of the Black Boss Summit received a powerful keynote address from digital media marketing strategist, philanthropist, and best-selling author, Karen Civil, who is known for her business savvy and remarkable way of connecting culture to consumers, boosting brands, and revolutionizing social media to increase sales. Civil gave advice from her experience as a motivational speaker, her influence in the successful postmortem retail efforts of late rapper, Nipsey Hussle, and work with Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign, encouraging the audience to stay dedicated to their goals while implementing effective strategies for success. Throughout the event, 7 local Black businesses were highlighted for their “Boss Excellence,” with video segments describing their work and accomplishments. Those celebrated were Regina Edmundson of CME Catering, Charles Gilford of Denver African-American

Philanthropists (DAAP), Fathima Dickerson of Welton Café, Millete Birhanemaskel of Whittier Café, Danielle Shoots of The Daily Boss Up, Timothy Pitts of Buzz Barbershop, and Michael “Magic” Butler of Buzz Barbershop. In addition to hearing useful words of wisdom from the event’s speakers, guests had the opportunity to network with business leaders from around the state at a fabulously adorned reception, while VIP ticket holders met briefly with Civil. The Black Boss Summit was presented as a premiere event; it dripped with opulence, and the exclusive setting made each guest feel honored. The entire affair, from the beautiful decorations and music, to the incredible lineup of business leaders, supported the theme of Black Excellence while speakers gave a successful crash course in creating excellence in business. The substantive and engaging content solidified the annual conference as a mustattend event for Denver’s Black community. The Black Business Initiative, established in 2015, is an economic revitalization program committed to growing a stronger business presence within the Black community. With Colorado’s Black community being increasingly dispersed throughout the state, events like the Black Boss Summit are an opportunity for everyone to convene, check in, and determine how our individual progress can work together to create community advancement. The organization is excited about the success of this year’s event and looks forward to building partnerships with local businesses to increase the impact of the event in years to come.. Editor’s note: For more information on the Black Business Initiative, email, call 303-900-7780 or visit

Celebrate 125 years of Manual High School Pride Join us for a weekend of FUN, FOOD & celebrating wonderful memories with FRIENDS

REUNION ITINERARY Meet and Greet @ Blair Caldwell Library, 2401 Welton Street Friday, October 25th 5-7pm Main Event @ Renaissance Hotel, 3801 Quebec Street Saturday, October 26th starts at 4pm OCTOBER 15, 2019 cost $125

Indoor Picnic @ Manual High School, 1700 East 28th Avenue Sunday, October 27th starts at 1pm

EVENT COST $125 / DUE TUESDAY 10/15/2019 (make checks payable to 59/125Reunion)

submit payment to: MARGE TANIWAKI, 6100 EAST SEVERN PLACE, DENVER, CO. 80220

For those in need of hotel accommodations: (Individuals are responsible for making hotel arrangements and related lodging fees.)

Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel 3801 Quebec Street, Denver, Colorado 80207 Telephone – 303-336-5208 / 1-888-855-7741 For More Information, please contact the following classmates: Marge Taniwaki 303.333.2130 / Sharon Knox 303.355.0520 / ****Event sponsored by the Class of the 1959****

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


Denver Single Mom Wins Year of Free Childcare from MyVillage 22-year-old Jada Galissini living in tran sitional housing says she is ‘beyond relieved’


om-founded Coloradobased childcare startup MyVillage announced that Jada Galissini is the winner of a video contest to award one local family a year of free childcare in any one of the company’s high quality, in-home programs. Galissini was selected after a social media contest last month in which families from all over the state shared their stories

about needing better or more affordable childcare options. Galissini is the single mom of a rambunctious, friendly 4year-old named Gabby. A

Denver native, Galissini has lived in Denver nonprofit Warren Village’s transformational housing program since mid-August, after graduating from a group home for teen moms. Warren Village helps single parents facing poverty and housing instability achieve self-sufficiency. Now 22, she says she left home shortly after Gabby was born because of anger and substance abuse issues there. Galissini took classes at night to become a medical assistant and cared for Gabby during the day until she was 3. Then, Galissini enrolled Gabby in HeadStart free of charge, but once she no longer qualified because of her income, she estimated she’d need to pay $1,800 a month for childcare. “It’s like now that I’m making some money, I am thrown off this cliff,” Galissini said. While 22-year-old Galissini’s struggle to find childcare for her 4-year-old daughter Gabby may be worse than many parents, the lack of affordable, quality options are common among working parents in Colorado.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


Single parents pay on average 49 percent of their income for infant care. Even married parents of two children living at the poverty line pay 110 percent of their household income for center-based child care, according to data from Childcare Aware of America. More than 60 percent of Black and Hispanic Coloradans reside in a so-called childcare desert where children under five outnumber licensed providers, a majority of them in the Denver Metro, according to data from the Colorado Trust. Galissini said it’s been a struggle to find a childcare provider near her home and job at National Jewish Health that would accept Gabby, because she has some special needs. The ability to enroll Gabby in a high quality, home-based MyVillage program will be a major relief, Galissini said. That’s ultimately the company’s goal for every parent in America, says co-founder and CEO Erica Mackey. “Jada is a brave, strong single mom making it all work,” said Mackey. “I am so grateful that we can support her on her journey.” MyVillage operates about 80 programs across two states, including about 50 in Colorado. The mission-driven company is committed to ensuring all families can access affordable, high quality childcare at or below market rates..

About My Village: MyVillage connects families with highquality, affordable child care providers and provides a robust mentoring environment to train and support educators. The company was founded by two female entrepreneurs – both moms – who experienced a broken child care system and were driven to fix it to create a better America. For more information or to join the community, visit


Ground Rules Must See............llll It’s Worth A Look.....lll See At Your Own Risk.ll Don’t Bother.....................l

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

story. His long view paid off because he filmed all of the flashback scenes during the first film, so the kids did not age. It made the transition between the two films perfect. The casting was spot on as each adult character brought the same feeling and mannerisms of their childhood performances. Jessica Chastain, who plays Beverly, does an outstanding job of showing her

– it needs to stay as-is. Movie audiences are their worst enemy when it comes to original ideas. We go to the endless sequels, because we love the original. We are inevitably disappointed with the dregs of the story wanting to capture the magical feel of our first viewing. We need to be more discerning about voting with our dollars. Don’t spend money on endless rehashes – spend only on new ideas. Then studios will get the idea that we want a fresh meal instead of leftovers. To view the trailer, visit

IT llll By Jon Rutlege


n complete reverence to the original “It” television miniseries (’17), this is by far the best version of this Stephen King story to date. The original was suitable for its time and with primetime television’s limited capacity of special effects, one can only get so scared. The gloves are off as Bill Skarsgård dials up the creep factor. Technology has caught up enough to bring King’s Nightmare Factory to full fruition. The second chapter shows the Losers grown up when they receive a call to come back to Derry, because strange things have started happening again. Director Andy Muschietti makes a splash with this outstanding recreation of King’s

character’s silent strength. Bill Hader is exceptional and makes his adult version of Richie perfect. This film does not shy away from the horrific fact that Pennywise eats children and those scenes are horrific. With no limitations of public television, the filmmakers can bring every cinematic horror situation to the screen. The filmmakers don’t hold back. Screenwriter (Gary Dauberman) has a practiced hand at horror writing. He preys on the audience’s specific fears as each of the Losers face Pennywise alone. The creature preys on their insecurities and concerns, and the audience also shares those fears. Horror writers usually find a good story and beat them to death. “It: Chapter Two” doesn’t need a prequel or a new chapter

The Goldfinch

ll By Samantha Ofole-Prince


hirteen-year-old Theodore “Theo” Decker loses his mother in a terrorist bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art while the pair is admiring a priceless painting. Theo swipes the oil painting and spends the rest of the film clinging on to the stolen souvenir – his one tangible connection to his mother as he navigates through adolescent to adulthood. This screen adaptation of Donna Tartt’s bestseller of the same name, which won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, is a melodramatic movie filled with grief, guilt, reinvention and redemption. Directed by BAFTA Award winner John Crowley

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


(Brooklyn), Theo is played by Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver). Finn Wolfhard plays a young Russian boy he befriends; Nicole Kidman plays the matriarch of a wealthy family who initially takes him in before his alcoholic father (Luke Wilson) whisks him off to Las Vegas and Jeffrey Wright rounds off the main cast as Hobie, an antiques dealer and restorer who becomes a major influence in Theo’s life. Exceedingly long and extremely melodramatic, this coming-of-age tale takes audiences from the Upper East

Side of New York to the exurbs of Las Vegas and Amsterdam where it initially starts off. Crowley’s attempt to cram 700 pages of storytelling into a two-and a half hour movie moving back and forth between the two time periods in Theo’s life and cutting between the past and the present is at times tedious to watch. Weaving between two time periods, spaced 14 years apart it is a very complicated saga to bring to the big screen. This book about a child who gets stuck at the point in his life when he lost his mother topped the bestseller lists around the globe but this movie adaptation is a firm reminder that some things are best left alone. To view the trailer visit

Black Homeownership Plummets to ‘Crisis’ Level New NAREB President Promises Strategies for Increase By Hazel Trice Edney ( - The new “commander and chief” of Black Homeownership in America has released a new strategy for raising the numbers that have plummeted to percentages below the time of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. But accomplishing that fete could prove more than daunting as the 2019 State of Housing in Black America (SHIBA) report released this week - reveals the situation to be at crisis level, according to leaders in Black homeownership. “Someone needs to proclaim and declare a cease and desist on the declining rates of Black homeownership. Someone

needs to bring some programs and highlight this epidemic, this crisis in our community...I pray that I am up to the task,” says Donnell Williams in a recent interview following his swearing in as the 31st president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), the 72-yearold organization founded to secure “equal housing opportunities, regardless of race, creed, or color.” A member of NAREB for 16 years, Williams, owner of Destiny Realty and the largest

independent Black real estate broker in the state of New Jersey, describes himself as “boots on the ground”, a posture from which he is able to see up close and personal the hindrances and the obstacles to Black homeownership- and how to fix them. The SHIBA report, researched primarily by the Urban Institute and released annually by NAREB, in order to “shed light on the public policies, private sector practices and other systemic disparities preventing Black Americans from purchasing a home of their choice,” reports this week that “all gains in Black homeownership that had been achieved between 1968 and 2004, had been erased by 2018.” The following are just some of the chief findings: •The homeownership rate for Black households stood at 40.6 percent in the second quarter of 2019 - a full percentage point lower than 2018’s sec-

ond-quarter rate of 41.6 percentage points. The current homeownership rate for Blacks is currently below the 1968 level of 40.9 percent at the time of the passage of the Fair Housing Act. •Homeownership for nonHispanic Whites stands at 73.1 percent, down from its high of 76 percent in 2004. •Blacks have experienced the most substantial loss of homeownership since 2004, declining more than 8.5 percentage points, or 17 percent, as compared to the less than 4 percent decline for non-Hispanic Whites. In other words, Blacks have lost more than four times the share of homeownership as non-Hispanic Whites since 2004. •Half of all Blacks born between 1956 and 1965 were homeowners by the age of 50. Blacks born between 1966 and 1975 have a homeownership rate of just above 40 percent and are thus unlikely to achieve

NOBUNTU November 9 & 10

Renowned female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe.

LAKEWOOD CULTURAL CENTER | 303.987.7845 | Tickets at Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


Donnell Williams being sworn in as new president of NAREB at the organization’s annual convention July 28-Aug.2, 2019.

a 50 percent homeownership rate by their 50th birthdays. Black millennials, if current trends continue, may fail to achieve a homeownership rate of 40 percent by the age of 50. •The gap in homeownership rates between Blacks and nonHispanic Whites is larger now than it was in 1934, the year of the enactment of FHA (Federal Housing Administration) and the start of modern housing finance system. SHIBA places the plummeting levels of Black homeownership squarely at the feet of loan denials, largely because of debt to income ratio and credit scoring. “For Black applicants, overall denial rates for home purchase loans were double those of nonHispanic White applicants-18 percent versus 9 percent, unchanged from 2016,” the report states. It adds, “The

Black denial rate for conventional loans is down significantly [from] its high of 36 percent (versus 19 percent) at the height of the foreclosure crisis in 2008.” The report continues, “Debtto-income ratio was the most common reason for denial reported for Black applicants-at 31 percent compared to 20 percent for non-Hispanic White applicants. Credit history was the second most prevalent reason for denials among both Black applicants (25 percent) and non-Hispanic White applicants (20 percent).” Williams says he believes he has a winning strategy that will take up arms against the key hindrances. He was set to release that strategy this week in a press conference and conversation with national leaders. Among the key programs and

initiatives, according to a NAREB release this week: House Then The Car - A campaign targeted to the 1.7 million American millennials and generation x populations who make over $100k per year and who are home buyer ready but are currently renting. Realtist Opportunities For Seasoned Individuals (ROSI) - An initiative that addresses the wholistic needs (buying/selling real estate, life insurance, retirement, health insurance, etc.) of people over 40 years of age, or parents of any age. Civic Engagement - Program that identifies and cultivates a host of “Allies” that expand beyond established networks of partners and faith-based communities. These “Allies” would include Black Chambers of Commerce, Greek organizations, minority professional organizations and more. “This is a moment in our history to demand a cease and

We are proud to welcome optician

Robert Bullock of

Bullseye Optical with his 30 years of experience to our team. Monday/Tuesday: 9 to 6 Wednesday:Closed • Thursday:10 to 7 Friday: 9 to 5 • Saturday: 9 to 1:30

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


desist in the denial of equal access to mortgage credit and homeownership for the nation’s Black Americans,” Williams concludes in a letter as part of his “Message from the President” in the SHIBA report. “After you have read our report and are armed with both an understanding of the barriers faced, and solutions required, I encourage you to support NAREB’s efforts. Whether you are a policymaker, regulator, mortgage lender, real estate professional, housing or civil rights advocate, faithbased leader, trade association executive, non-profit organization representative, housing counselor, Black head of household or student, there is a place for you on our team. NAREB’s work is guided by three words: Educate, Empower and Mobilize. With these three words as our guide, NAREB is confident it will succeed in increasing Black homeownership and wealth in America.”

Living The Legacy Colorado’s Black Bar Association On Maintaining Its ‘Commitment To Excellence’ Following The Loss of a Legal Legend

The Sam Cary Bar Association (SCBA) is the only bar association exclusively serving the needs of Colorado’s Black attorneys. Founded as a “self-help group to instill professionalism and serve as a vehicle for the exchange of ideas among African American lawyers,” the organization started with only 15 members. 48 years later, the SCBA currenly serves over 300 Black attorneys throughout the Rocky Mountain State. In May, the SCBA experienced a devastating loss with the death of Judge Wiley Young Daniel, a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the

District of Colorado. The first Black judge appointed to the federal bench in Colorado, Judge Daniel is remembered by many as a mentor, friend and a pillar of the community. Under the theme “Commitment to Excellence,” the impact of Judge Daniel’s legacy will be the centerpiece of the SCBA’s upcoming Annual Scholarship Endowment Fund Gala, to be held on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the University of Denver’s Cable Center. Denver Urban Spectrum spoke to SCBA’s President Joseph Whitfield, Jr. to discuss the organization’s current direction and plans to commemorate the loss of a legal legend. You’ve been President since January. How has your tenure been so far? Serving the organization has been exciting, honorable, but also very humbling. It takes time to learn the ropes and understand the organizational infrastructure in our state. I’ve spent a lot of my tenure focused

on making connections and building alliances with the other specialty bars in Colorado such as the Asian Pacific American Bar, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and the Colorado Women’s Bar Association. We believe there is strength in numbers, and we also believe that the legal community and the community overall benefits from embracing diversity. Colorado recently lost a legal pioneer. How has the death of Judge Wiley Daniel affected SCBA members and the legal community of Colorado overall? Judge Daniel was an icon in the legal community and a trailblazer who paved a path for others, like myself, to follow. To those of us who knew him privately, he was a friend, a mentor and a big brother with whom you could confide. Judge Daniel was a man truly committed to service, in fact we have been told that despite not feeling well, he participated in a planning call literally just hours

before his death. He literally served to the very end. During our annual homecoming event in downtown Denver this past spring, we had the opportunity to gather privately and reflect on Judge Daniel’s legacy. There were a lot of tears shed, but also a lot of uplifting and inspiring stories about how he made a difference in so many lives and careers. Judge Daniel’s loss to the greater legal community is truly significant. During his service, he held the highest judicial seat that an African American has ever achieved in Colorado. There is currently only one African American district court judge on the state level, but none on the federal level. Diversifying the bench is critical and should be a top priority in Colorado. What would you say are some of the key challenges that persist for Black lawyers in Colorado and what is the SCBA doing to help overcome them? Growth and retention remain key concerns for our members here in Colorado. There is a lack of African American attorneys in the private sector, and the same is true

SCBA 2018 Scholarship Recipients

for many areas of government. We are working on ways to increase our representation in these areas, including in the Attorney General’s office, the Colorado Public Defenders office and many District Attorney’s offices across the state. As an organization, we continue to do outreach at all levels to advocate, and we are working to keep our members connected to professional opportunities that increase representation. What key initiatives is the SCBA working on? One of our primary initiatives is connecting our members across the state. So much of what happens in Colorado is centered around the Denver metropolitan area, but we don’t want to neglect our members in other parts of the state. We want to extend services throughout the state to connect our members to the work that we are doing. We’re also looking into creating a member directory that will help us better connect SCBA members, attorneys, and community members who need our services. So, you have your annual scholarship gala coming up? Tell us more about what to expect this year? The “Commitment to Excellence” themed event will celebrate members, sponsors and SCBA supporters. Each year we honor members of the legal community, and award scholarships to students studying at Colorado law schools. This year we will also honor the life of Judge Daniel; we hope to

light a fire among our member-

ship and inspire the next generation of “Judge Wiley Daniels” sitting in that room. In closing, what do you want Coloradans, particularly Coloradans of color, to know about the SCBA? African American lawyers and law students need support and we are here to serve them. If you know an African American lawyer, please encourage them to join. We want the extended Colorado

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


community to know that the SCBA is here to serve you as well. We are grateful for Sam Cary, the namesake of our illustrious organization and the first Black lawyer in Colorado, for paving the way for so many of us. Our goal is to press on and honor his name and legacy left with the work that we do every day.. Editor’s Note: For more information or tickets, visit

Flying While Black: Stop the U.S. Congress from Raising Air Travel Taxes By Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. President and CEO National Newspaper Publishers Association




Will Jordan




Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019 Doors open at 7 • Showtime at 8 Hosted by

Comedian A-Train Tickets: $10 303-433-1000 or 500 16th Street Mall #320 - Downtown Denver

NNPA Newswire - Working families in the African American community and beyond have a hardenough time keeping up with daily expenses. Every mortgage payment, car payment, trip to the grocery store, stop at the gas station, or utility bill that shows up in the mail is a reminder of how expensive it is to afford basic needs. Now, lawmakers in the U.S. Congress have introduced legislation that threatens to add one more expense to that list. On Capitol Hill, some lawmakers are championing what is essentially a regressive tax on airline passengers that would raise the cost of flying - painfully, on working families. If successful, the tax hike would burden African American travelers with significant additional fees on top of what is already required. Lawmakers who support the increase insist that the money will be spent on infrastructure improvement projects at airports. But, if our communities can no longer afford to fly, this becomes a moot point. The tax, known as the passenger facility charge, is a locally enforced but federally authorized fee that every passenger must pay at U.S. commercial airports. Nearly every airport in America charges it. The fee is currently set at $4.50 per person per leg of a trip. Legislation has been introduced that would remove that cap, allowing airports to charge any amount they want.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


Some have proposed raising the PFC to $8.50, nearly doubling the current tax. That would add a significant cost for all American families. Under that proposal, a family of four on a connecting flight would pay nearly $150 in this tax alone - a tax that is layered on top of the price of the ticket itself. Such a substantial increase could be the deciding factor between that family taking this vacation or staying home. Fortunately, largely due to the recent surge of low-cost flights from many airlines, air travel has become a more obtainable luxury, remaining largely affordable for working people, whether in rural America, the suburbs or the inner cities. While still a relatively expensive proposition, air travel to get away on a vacation, or to visit far-away family and friends, without the proposed new tax, is still within reach for many individuals on tight family budgets. The neardoubling of the PFC tax will likely place air travel out of reach for many. And the reason for this hike is absurd. The argument for the hike is that the additional money will pay for much-needed infrastructure improvement projects at airports nationwide. But here is the problem: America’s airports don’t need the extra money. Airport revenues are already growing strongly. Since the year 2000, airports have enjoyed revenue increases of 87

percent, without the cost of flights rising meaningfully. This growth drastically outpaces the actual cost of flying, even after factoring for inflation. In addition, over the last decade, more than $165 billion in federal aid has been directed to airports for improvement projects at America’s largest 30 airports alone. More than that, the so-called Aviation Trust Fund is expected to reach nearly $8 billion by the end of 2019. And this summer alone, the Federal Aviation Administration has awarded hundreds of millions in renovation grants to airports across America earmarked for infrastructure improvements. It’s also worth keeping in mind that air travel and tourism are now at or nearing all-time highs, meaning that airports are collecting more in PFC taxes than they know what to do with. By contrast, the income of working Americans has been stagnant for years. Considering

that airports are more profitable now than ever before, it is disappointing that they, with the backing of politicians in Washington, are now coming to average Americans and asking them to shoulder the cost. America’s airports are wellpositioned to continue to fund infrastructure improvement projects without needlessly reaching into the pockets of America’s working families and robbing them of one of the few affordable luxuries available to them. Congress must stand up for working people and refuse this tax increase. Economic progress in America should empower African Americans and others. We in the Black Press of America will not be silent on this issue.. Editor’s note: Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. is President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) representing the Black Press of America. He can be reached at

Tune in to Denver 89.3FM, Breckenridge 89.7FM, Vail 88.5FM or download our app today and listen anytime, anywhere.

LOU DONALDSON Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


LETTERS TO Editor THE EDITOR Letters to the Continued from page 3 he saw me in the doorway and found the strength to yell out “Michael, I am so glad you are here! You made it!” Seeing him and getting that greeting of my old friend was so very important to me, and I know that seeing me was important to him too. We are better when we all share. Share your burdens, your joys and your triumphs. Pray for those whose health is being challenged, as Rev. Ronald Wooding is now. Life has its frailties, as well as its strengths. We are all in this together! Get better Ronald!

Michael Sawaya Denver, CO

Denver’s Political Prodigy Running for School Board Editor: “Political prodigy” is a term tossed around easily, but sel-

dom embodied; less often do we hear about young, Black political prodigies. Denver has its own Black political prodigy: Denver school board-at large candidate, Tay Anderson. Tay has worked tirelessly over the years to improve the school system and strengthen the community. He graduated from DPS’s Manual High, works in the district as a Restorative Justice Coordinator at North High School, and teaches a debating class. He has racked up endorsement after endorsement more than we have ever seen in a school board race! This includes three members of Colorado’s Democratic Congressional delegation. He collaborates with many groups in our great City and State and he has worked nationally with student to end gun violence. His platform presents what any school board member should have – Solutions! After Sandy Hook I signed up as a

supporter of Mom’s Demand Action (MDA), a national group organized, by an everyday mom, to lobby for gun sense in America. There is a student arm of the group called March For Our Lives-CO where he serves on the board. Both groups are pushing at the national level for complete background checks on all gun sales, public and private. Tay believes our children should be safe in schools from drop off to pick-up. Secondly, Tay will stand up for the civil rights of students of color who make up 75.5 percent of the DPS population. The Denver Post recently came out with a story on Denver’s segregated schools (9-8-2019). With a white student population of 24.5 percent it would be impossible to integrate the schools! In fact, the type of segregation we are currently seeing in the DPS is “de facto” segregation. That is when segregation occurs as a result of private choices, like parents moving wherever they want and can afford to live. The segregation that leads to forced busing was “de jure” segregation, where the school board, board of realtors and other government officials intentionally segregated students of color in DPS. Can you imagine the hate that allowed that to occur? De facto segregation is not unconstitutional per the courts. So, the civil rights of students under these conditions is critical – this is where we now stand in Denver. And, this is where we need exceptional leadership on the school board. What the school board and other local officials do next will set the stage for years to come. Tay Anderson has a plan to make education count for all students! The first place he talks about looking to remedy is the achievement gap between students; he says it’s one of the worst in the nation along the familiar racial lines. Currently

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


our schools operate on a preschool to prison pipeline where we have armed police officers in our schools ready to hand cuff little black and brown children when they get out of line. Recently, minority parents were able to get the current school board to stop that policy in elementary and middle schools, but it is still okay for high school students. Minority students are three times more likely to get suspended or expelled from school. This was the case under de jure segregation, and nothing has changed over the years. Tay wants to end these policies that criminalize our students before they even get out of school! Various policies operate under the implicit bias that minority students are dangerous and armed police need to be in the buildings with handcuffs ready. But Tay has a plan to add more counselors to the staff and therapists who can better assist our classroom teachers and their paraprofessionals as well as principals. This is the bold solution needed! Tay is a political prodigy because he is looking at dismantling the old solutions with bold new ones that will address student’s needs. Why is little Johnny or Jill acting up at school? That’s the real question that a trained professional can be of better service than an officer with handcuffs! Tay has the endorsement of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA). He will be able to collaborate with them to address the problems. It’s a new idea to get everyone involved in the process of educating our children in this era of de facto segregation. I invite you to read his full platform at and join me in voting for Tay Anderson by November 5. Helen Rigmaiden Denver, CO


Mayor Hancock, Councilwoman Kniech Move to Raise the Minimum Wage for Over 100,000 Denver Workers Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Councilwoman Robin Kniech (at-large) proposed to raise the citywide minimum wage starting this Jan. 1. More than 100,000 residents who live and work in Denver would see higher wages under Denver’s proposal. “Wage stagnation is a national challenge and has meant pain and a lack of opportunity for too many people for too long,” Mayor Hancock said. “But Denver is leading the way to higher wages and a more inclusive and equitable economy. A raise for Denver’s workers would mean families can better support themselves and better afford the city that they helped build.” “Higher wages aren’t just about making ends meet – economic security improves health outcomes, gives parents more time to spend with their kids, and will improve the overall quality of life for residents,” Councilwoman Kniech said. “This proposal should also help employers attract and keep more workers in a competitive labor market, reducing the costs of turnover.” Earlier this year, Denver set a higher minimum wage for city employees and city contractors. Shortly after, a community coalition worked with the Colorado General Assembly to pass HB19-1210, which authorized local governments to set a citywide minimum wage greater than the state constitutional wage, currently $11.10 an hour and scheduled to go to $12 on Jan. 1. Utilizing this new authority, Mayor Hancock and Councilwoman Kniech’s pro-

posal would elevate Denver’s minimum wage to $13.80 an hour on Jan. 1, $15.87 on Jan. 1, 2021, and then rise according to the Consumer Price Index each

year after that. HB19-1210 requires any local minimum wages to take effect on Jan. 1 of a given year, and annual increases cannot exceed

15 percent, or $1.75 an hour, whichever is great. The sponsors will conduct robust stakeholder engagement and host several community meetings with other members of City Council throughout October to gather input and feedback on the proposal. Dates, times and locations will be announced in the coming days. City Council is expected to consider the proposal in November..

Save The Date… Remembering and Honoring:

1619­2019 Slavery and the Making of America

Produced by Dante J. James In recognition of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans to be sold into bondage in North America: in 1619 at Jamestown, the Coalition Against Global Genocide will present a special screening of SLAVERY AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA by award winning filmmaker Dante J. James. This documentary series on the history of American slavery from its beginnings in the British colonies through the years of post­Civil War Reconstruction is narrated by Oscar­winner Morgan Freeman. SLAVERY AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA examines the integral role slavery played in shaping the new country and challenges the long held notion that it was exclusively a Southern enterprise . The screening will be followed with a panel discussion on “How do we proceed today to reach the ideals of equality, respect and freedom?” Moderator: Alfonzo Porter Panelists: Dante J. James, Dr. Rachel Harding, Rev. Quincy Shannon, Joel Odonkor

Sunday, November 3, 2019 ­ 2 to 5 PM McNichols Civic Center Building ­144 W. Colfax Ave., Denver Tickets on sale in October For more information, call 303­856­7334 Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019



CBRT Gaining Ground In The Black Community Summit Planned

Now Hiring Management Trainees! Leadership

Business Development

Customer Service

The Colorado Black Roundtable will present “The Dash Between the Dates: 16192019 (The History of The African in North America)” in October. Following are the schedule of activities (and subject to change). Day #1: Thursday, Oct. 17 at New Hope Baptist Church, 3 to 8 p.m., Doing Business and in the Black Community; 1619 Remembrance discussion, a community and recognition reception. Day #2: Friday, Oct. 18 at New Hope Baptist Church, 3 to 8 p.m., Disparity and Community Issues. Topics (and activities) include education, affordable housing and home ownership, public safety, Governor Polis and the Black community, congressional updates and a community reception. Day #3: Saturday, Oct. 19 at Manual High School, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Disparity and Community Issues. Topics (and activities) include health/mental health, census, cannabis, minimum wage increase, and youth; 2019 Remembrance discussion “Why Black Lives and Black Minds Matter,”an inter-generational discussion on reparations, Black history and politics in the Black community; US Senate candidates forum; community resource and information tables. Day #4: Sunday, Oct. 20 - GOTV SUNDAY - Get your ballots in immediately. For more information, call 720-629-0964.

Black American West Museum Host Open House FirstBank is an EOE/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or any other applicable status protected by state or local law. Member FDIC

For 50 years Denver’s first female African American doctor, Justina L. Ford, treated patients in her home. Known by the community as the Baby Doctor, she delivered 7,000

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


babies and treated countless others. Today her home serves as the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center, which celebrates the influence African Americans had on Western Expansion. The public is invited to an open house on Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 3091 California St. in Denver to experience tours of the museum, performances, and a special performance by The Spirituals Project, food trucks and historical interpreters.

The 74 And Roland Martin To Host An Education Town Hall On School Choice In Denver “Is School Choice the Black Choice?” is the second stop on a 10-city national tour on education equity The 74 and award-winning journalist Roland S. Martin will host their second education town hall event in their national tour, “Is School Choice the Black Choice?” on Thursday, Oct. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Potter’s House of Denver, 9495 E. Florida Avenue. The event will feature a dynamic panel discussion moderated by Martin and comprised of a variety of educators, advocates and opponents of educational reform who will discuss the controversial issue of the school choice movement within the Black community. Among those on the panel include Jennifer Bacon, Director, District 4 Denver Public Schools Board of Education; Papa Dia, founder and executive director of African Leadership Group; Wisdom Amouzou, executive director at Empower Community High School; and Rep. James Coleman, CO House of Representatives (D-7). For more information, email Mimi Woldeyohannes at

Lost Your Joy?

African Bar and Grill Serving: Jollof Rice, African Beer and, Specialty Dishes from Africa 18601 Green Valley Ranch Blvd. Denver, CO 80249

720-949-0784 or 303-375-7835

Find it again at the

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

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

Jazz by Yaz Straight-ahead jazz on alto and tenor sax for events and recordings.

Making transmissions well since 1983.

720-272-5844 Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


Melshunn Duane Everette Sr. April 10, 1968 – August 27, 2019

Melshunn Duane Everette Sr. was born on April 10, 1968 in Muskegon, MI. He was the first born of Amanda N. Terhorst (Everette) and Michael Anthony James. From the beginning, Melshunn proved to be an exceptional child showing how talented and creative he was at an early age. Whether adding a motor to his hot wheel cars or mixing solutions with his chemistry set he received for Christmas, it was clear from the start that he was no ordinary young man. Melshunn excelled educationally, graduating from John Marshall High School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1986 where he received prestigious awards in science and art. Not only did Melshunn have a creative spirit, which earned him a scholarship to the Pittsburg Institute of Art, he also had a mind for business and started his sales career at a very young age. He began by answering an ad he discovered on the back of his comic books that led him to sell gifts from SMC (Specialty Merchandise Corporation) door-to-door. He would soon use this experience to reinvent himself as DJ Cut Wiz, throwing parties, spinning records, and making life-long friends. Melshunn’s entrepreneurial interest remained throughout his life as he always sought investment opportunities including making and selling buttons, fireworks, designing and selling t-shirts, incense and oils, music CD’s, movies, and his own art. He was an innovator at heart who created amazing inventions and had incredible ideas. In 1989, Melshunn became a father to his pride and joy Melshunn Duane Everette Jr. Determined to provide for his young family, Melshunn joined the United States Army. The army would capitalize on his above average IQ and trained him as a munition expert. Even though Melshunn took pride in his role to defend his country, he often struggled with aligning his mind with the values and methodologies of being a soldier. He was soon diagnosed with mental illness, was medically discharged and returned home. In 2017, he survived a serious bout with pneumonia that left him in a coma for nearly two months. After his recovery, he re-established himself in Muskegon, MI, his birthplace to be closer to his son and granddaughter. Melshunn continued to be a jack of all trades and always found ways to financially care for his son. He relied on his talent as an artist, receiving many commissions to do portraits and community murals and eventually would sell some of his work online. He also never lost his love for music and continued to DJ small events in later years. Melshunn Duane Everette (Mel-Shawn, Manifred, Melly, Melle, Uncle Shawn, DJ Cut Wiz, and Red) made his transition from his earthly home to his heavenly home of peace and rest on August 27, 2019. He leaves to cherish his memory, his loving mother, Amanda Terhorst, a devoted son, Melshunn Duane Everette Jr., granddaughter, Melany Everette who affectionately called him Pawpaw and siblings Mia Everette Hall (Rodney), Yvonne Everette, Michael Lynn and Todd Williams, Keith Lee (Marlene), Antario Noel and Anthony Stubbs (Myra). He also leaves his grandmother, Jimmie Nell Everette, five nephews, Deven, Nathan, Jesse, Desmond and Rodney and three nieces Tarren, Taylor and Kendall and in addition many loving aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his father Michael Anthony James, grandfather Billy Everette and his grandmother Ruth Upton.

Denver Urban Spectrum — – October 2019


You are alwa always ys 1st with us!

One Smooth Transition

• Personal • Business • Airport/Mountain Runs • Pickup and Delivery • DUI Safety Net

Call for a Quote - 24-Hour Service

For all your transportation needs Charles F. Devereaux 720-429-8162

The Royal Year of Return will restore 4 of the most important treasures that was taken away from our Diasporan brothers and sisters as a result of the wicked Transatlantic Slave Trade. Whatever was taken from them was taken from us all as a people: 1. Our Names 2. Our Families 3. Our Land 4. Our Love For One Another and Opportunity to Love and Marry

DECEMBER 8-18, 2019 - GHANA

The Royal Return Ceremonies of 2019 by the grace of God will have 400 chosen African Americans and that includes you!

Yes.... if you are reading this and are of African descent: to be adopted into Ghana's royal families, be renamed, those in love can renew vows in traditional royal African wedding in honor of the ancestors who were not allowed to marry for the first 250 years of slavery – and be given land. We restore love back across the Atlantic into our families.

It is time. Come on board.

You are chosen!

For more information: Royal Return Ambassador for Colorado - Rosalind “Bee” Harris 303-292-6446 -

Princess Asie Ocansey

Deposit deadline: October 15, 2019

Rev. Dr. Princess Asie Kabuki Ocansey

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.