Page 1

Volume 1

Number 6

May 2018


FREEDOM...4 Famous Civil

Rights Sites Could Transform Into A New National Park


Volume 1 Number 6

May 2018

Collaborative Vision Bringing Opportunities to East Biloxi VISION: The act or power of sensing with the eyes; the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom; unusual discernment or foresight.

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris


VISIONARY: (especially of a person) thinking about or planning the future with imagination or wisdom; a person with original ideas about what the future will or could be like.

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Alfonzo Porter COLUMNISTS Kim Farmer Allison Kugel FILM CRITIC BlackFlix.Com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Katherine Egland Gordon Jackson Thomas Holt Russell ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jody Gilbert Kolor Graphix



The Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum is a monthly online publication dedicated to spreading the news about people of color along the coastline states of the United States including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Contents of the Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum are copyright 2018 by Bizzy Bee Enterprise. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The Gulf Coast 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 Gulf Goast Urban Spectrum c/o Denver Urban Spectrum at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at or

Mayor FoFo Gilich goes over plans to fix East Biloxi's road construction problems at an EBCC Community Meeting.

Attendees of an NAACP Town Hall Meeting looks at drawings of a potential new project in East Biloxi

I’m proud and excited to be working with a group of citizens who are demonstrating dedication and resolve in a sector of Biloxi that have been enduring some painful unjustified neglect and disrespectful conditions over the past few decades, yet still possess a yearning fire to rise above their issues and be recognized at the same level of the other sections of the city. Today, the East Biloxi community is at a critical window of opportunity as the city is engaging in a series of new economic development projects taking place all over the municipality. “The Eastside”, in the Kwanzaa spirit of Kugichagulia/Self-Determination, are sending a message that they will not be left out of the latest phase of gaining the level of prosperity that will dramatically improve the quality of life for an area dominated by people of color. They refuse to accept a belief from its naysayers, skeptics and “haters” and “gentrify wannabes” that it’s always going to be this way and that there’s nothing they can be done about it. East Biloxi is fortunate to have organizations based in the area, which contains of personnel, staff, business leaders, civic and community advocates and everyday residents possessing the talents and skills to turn the community from a perceived doormat to one of vibrancy. The Biloxi NAACP, behind aggressive initiatives from the branch’s committees, including Economic Development, Environmental Climate Justice, Health, Education, Housing and Political Action, are working closely with the City of Biloxi to bring a major development project to the Eastside that would include a fullscale grocery store, gas station and both residential and commercial property. Three of four census tracts in the area have been approved as “Opportunity Zones,” qualifying the tracts for a federal program that should attract more investors. The East Biloxi Community Collaborative are one of the strong leaders, consisting of 20-plus organizational members executing key strategies in the areas of Economic Security, Civic Engagement, Education, Health and Neighborhood Vitality. They also are taking the lead in getting East Biloxi relieved of the continuing horrendous road conditions. Steps Coalition, also with numerous group members, are taking strong measures in Economic Justice, Affordable Housing, Environmental Justice, Preservation of Historical Communities and Human Rights. Back Bay Mission has deep connections with virtually every social service and program in South Mississippi, all in their quest to pull individuals out of poverty and into prosperity. There are many other organizations; we apologize if they weren’t mentioned. The organizations are working to collaborate not just their tangible skills and resources but also their overall vision of how they want East Biloxi to look, five, 10, 15 and 25 years from now. It’s important to note that: Exercising vision needs a visual; therefore the visionaries must be able to shape something that can represent and motivate their desires. Exercising vision takes courage: therefore the visionaries must be courageous. Exercising vision takes thinking big; therefore the visionaries must feel that they belong with the big projects, not just small. Exercising vision takes creativity; therefore, the visionaries must expand their horizons and think with a more innovative edge. It’s a lot of work. These collaboratives have the Intestinal Fortitude to make it happen What’s your vision? Gordon Jackson Editor, Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


Biloxi And Mississippi’s Trail Of Freedom

Great Civil Rights Achievements Run Through Biloxi-Gulfport

PrimeTime Civil Rights is part of

Mississippi’s DNA. That distinctly includes the South region. The mere mention of the state still immediately conjures up chapters among chapters of dramatic, courageous, but also painstaking sagas where both famous and everyday people endured blood sweat and tears fighting some of the worse forms of inequality, racism, and human mistreatment as recent as 50 and as long as 200 years ago, up to today. Many of those battles were gloriously won; some of them were lost, even at the loss of life. Following the provocity of the proverb, “If you don’t know your history, you’re doomed to repeat it,” historians, writers and community leaders assess that these civil rights moments and events must be showcased at the risk of bring back its pain and discomfort, in an organized manner so that the public view it, hopefully in a way that penetrates the soul and shakes up the conscious. In the past, the civil rights achievements in the Biloxi-Gulfport region were not necessarily grouped in with the more internationally famous stories that took place in Jackson or the northern parts of the state, but that is changing. For example, a long list of separate accommodations, formal acknowledgements and events have been held over the course of 2018 thus far, giving resounding recognition and much needed attention to the state’s most historic and famous civil rights accomplishments, with yearning hopes of today’s and future generations to learn and embrace the heroics of their elders and use it as a catalyst toward moving the community forward in the coming decades. Perhaps the most significant ongoing project now is being conducted by the National Park Service, operating under the U.S. Department of the Interior, who sent officials down to Biloxi this month to conduct a Special Resource Study for Mississippi Civil Rights sites. Through a law passed by Congress last year, the NPS is studying nationally-significant civil rightsrelated historic sites to determine the potential for the designation of a new national park unit.

By Gordon Jackson

workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were held for a speeding violation prior to being released and murdered by a mob for registering black voters in 1964. The Reverends Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy Sr. included the jail in a heralded voter registration march two years later. Vernon Dahmer

Helping unveil the Wade-In Freedom Marker are: (l. to r.) Wade-In Participant Bishop James Black, Biloxi City Councilman Felix Gines, Wade-In Participant Clemon Jimmerson and Dr. Gilbert Mason Jr.

The Open House, held May 10 at the Biloxi Visitors Center, involved NPS officials conducting interviews, historical research and public input and gathering information about the civil rights climate in South Mississippi.

• Sites in the Mississippi Delta related to the lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till on August 28, 1955, including Bryant’s store and Tallahatchie County Courthouse. • The Old Neshoba County jail in Philadelphia, Miss., where civil rights

Dr. Gilbert Mason’s Medical and Community Office

One of the prime study sites selected is the former medical and community office of Dr. Gilbert R. Mason Sr., on 670 Division St. in Biloxi. It was the main location where Dr. Mason treated his patients, plus at times, it served as Ground Zero for his community organization activities. The office was restored and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2017. The other prime sites selected thus far include: • The home in Jackson where civil rights activist Medgar Evers resided with his wife and was killed in 1963.

Medgar Evers

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


Another site being studied is in Hattiesburg, where the house of Forrest County NAACP president Vernon Dahmer was firebombed to the ground in 1966. Dahmer was killed in the attack. Dr. Gilbert Mason, Sr. led a group of nine adults and children to the first wade-in on May 14, 1959 and was turned away by Biloxi police. The largest of the wade-ins took place April 24, 1960 with 125 demonstrators. Dubbed “Bloody Sunday,” violence with the police led to dozens of beatings, injuries, shootings and two deaths. Also that year NAACP Mississippi Field Director Medgar Evers gathered 72 sworn affidavits on the beatings at the beach that was forwarded to the U.S. Justice Department Civil Rights Division. Another wade-in in 1963 was mostly peaceful, but still 71 people were arrested. Dr. Felix Dunn of Gulfport was also an instrumental leader, braving death threats and the fire-bombing of his business office. After over 200 delays over a fouryear period, Federal District Judge Sidney Mize finally presided over the beginning of the trial, which ended in Feb. 1965. Judge Harold Cox ruled in upholding the segregation of the beach in 1967, but the decision was immediately appealed. Finally, on August 15, 1968, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Judge Harold Cox’s decision,

Dr. Gilbert Mason conducted three Wade-In protests from 1959 to 1963.

led by an opinion by Appeals Court Judge and former Mississippi Governor J.P. Coleman and the beaches were open to the entire public. Dr. Mason would go on to form the Biloxi branch of the NAACP, where he was president for 34 years. He died in 2006 at the age of 77. No less than two historical markers describing Dr. Mason’s Wade-In heroics are supplanted at the Gulf Coast beach that he fought to integrate. Today, Dr. Gilbert Mason, Jr., who went from five to 14 years old during his father’s volatile trials, has been the constant and consistent visionary and driving force to assure the Wade-In remains in the fabric of South Mississippi’s heritage. His dogged determination has led to several historic preservation moments. He spearheaded the efforts toward his father’s office being renovated and officially preserved. On April 24, the Biloxi Wade-In achievement was honored with the supplanting of Trail Marker #28 by the Mississippi Freedom Trail Task Force and the Mississippi Gulf Coast

National Heritage Area, both divisions of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The marker was placed at the Biloxi Lighthouse Pier, off Hwy. 90 and at the beginning point of where the highway is formally named after Dr. Mason. It became the second such marker placed on the grounds. “This wasn’t softball: this was life and death,” said Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich during program. He remembered the Wade-In as a teenager living in Biloxi. “I didn’t understand then: I understand now.” “This is so important; it’s high time we salute these individuals. We were putting our lives on the line,” said Dr. Leslie-Burl McLemore, Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Trail Task Force. “We still have our challenges today. Without Dr. Mason (Jr.), we would not be celebrating our heroes and sheroes of that time.” James Crowell, the current Biloxi NAACP president said: “This happened because people wanted to stand up. They came and suffered the injuries and torment. We have this

marker to represent that day.” Two days later, this year’s annual Wade-In Witness Remembrance Program and Roll Call Tribute was

rights issues,” Dr. Mason Jr. recalled during his youth. “We used to get hang up calls and callers who would shout horrible things.

Dr. Gilbert Mason at Resource Study Meeting

held last month at the Biloxi Civic Center. Renowned gospel artist Cynthia Goodloe Palmer served as Special Guest Presenter. Gulfport’s People Mission Baptist Church, under the direction of Elder Shel Moore, joined with the Biloxi NAACP College and Youth Council in singing the same Negro Spirituals and traditional gospel songs that protestors used to keep themselves inspired. Panelists Jeremy Eisler, Kay Horne, Peggy Ann Gibson and Dr. Mason gave witness accounts about the desegregation of public schools, which took place 50 years ago. Community activist Sabrina Stallworth and NAACP 1st Vice President Gary Gray conducted the Roll Call of both living and deceased South Mississippi residents that participated in the Wade-In protests during the early 1960s. “Those amazing people were always in the house talking about civil

People Missionary Baptist Church

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


When applying for his father’s office to be preserved, Dr. Mason Jr. stated: (My father’s) medical office is the standing building most closely associated with Dr. Mason and both his medical and civil rights work, since it was used for both purposes… the Medical Office… retains its integrity of location, materials, design, craftsmanship, feeling and association with this significant Mississippian and his contributions to the course of civil rights and the medical profession in Mississippi.” There is one more upcoming date of importance in regards to the WadeIn. August 15 will be the 50th anniversary of when Judge and former Mississippi Governor J.P. Coleman overruled the 1967 opposing decision, thus formally desegregating the beaches once and for all. A program is planned to observe that moment. .

At age 17, Antonio Green has

already had an adventure-filled life;

only all of those experiences had been

painful and virtually disastrous. But now, he’s weeks away from embarking on the trip of his lifetime that will redeem his past life, test his strengths and position him to possibly help uplift others. Green, a passionate environmental advocate, will be part of a delegation of NAACP Coastal Youth Climate Justice Leaders to make a trip to Reykjavik, Iceland and witness the historic melting of the ice surrounding the North Arctic region. “I plan to take my experience and inspire interest in other young people of the need to get involved,” says Green. “This is our planet, our future. A system which was supposed to protect me, failed. I plan to make sure that I do not fail in my responsibility to protect the planet where I live. We cannot depend on others to do it for us. Our future has been politicized long enough.” Green will take with him a wealth of knowledge and real-life experience. Much of his learning has been developed in his environmental science class at Gulfport High School, which is taught by Mr. Hale Switzer. That goes along with his personal witnessing of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Through his own personal probe, Green has long expressed concern about the pH balance and acidity of the Gulf Coast waters and how its ecosystem appears to be eroding. He has also been troubled about how carbon dioxide and nitrogen has impacted the ozone. He worries about what he sees as the migration of invasive species to the country like the tiger mosquitoes and popcorn trees. Even though popcorn trees were originally brought to this country decades ago for their ornamental beauty and for use in soap making, they choke native

Go Far North, Young Man! To Maybe Help Save the World?

Local Gulfport High and Youth NAACP Leader to Observe Melting Ice in Iceland By Katherine Egland

Antonio Green (2nd from right), with (left to right) Allena Jones, Gulfport NAACP Youth Advisor; Annie Lee, Grandmother; and Cristine Brice, Gulfport NAACP Youth Advisor.

vegetation, which is essential to native wildlife. Their seeds are also toxic to humans and animals, especially cattle. “Birds feeding from the seeds of popcorn trees scatter the seeds from these invasive trees and causes rapid reproduction and growth of more trees,” said Antonio. “I worry about climate change

events causing us to breed even more unwanted, toxic species.” Green’s intense studies has enriched him and helped taken him above the heartaches of his past struggles. Just before turning five years old, he was placed in the custody of DHS, and as a result implanted into an encumbered, underfunded, inadequately monitored and sometimes insolent foster care system. It was also at age five that Green was confronted with Gulfport becoming ravaged by the horrific climate disasters of Hurricane Katrina. He was too young to fully understand what was happening with his personal life while simultaneously experiencing the havoc reaped on all who lived through Katrina’s path of unyielding devastation. Antonio has vivid, indelible memories of these life altering events and they are a foundation upon which he has built a resolve to secure

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Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


a better future for himself and for all inhabitants of our earth. At age nine, about six months before his 10th birthday, Antonio saw the beautiful shores of Gulfport annihilated by the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil spill. He was unsure what all of this meant at the time but it peaked his consciousness and intensified his interest in the environment. But tragedy continued for Green when he lost his mother four days after his 10th birthday and lost his father the next year. Being under foster care, he has not received specific information as the exact cause of their deaths. The tragic events in Green’s life did make him feel like he was “walking around with a hole in his heart,” but he was determined to build a positive life and be a good example of the remainder of his family members, especially his siblings. He put more focus on knowing that he can make significant contributions in protecting our earth and our climate. He sees a need for our earth to have the custodial protections that he lacked for much of his young life. Green, through attending several seminars, has been taught about sea level rise caused by melting ice. He is aware that melting ice is not only endangering the habitats which depend on ice for survival but has far reaching effects on humans and food chain sources as the rising seas across the globe are causing mounting consequences. He has witnessed record flooding. Several reports and assessments released by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources place cities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast along Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties as potential high risks from rising sea levels. Such assessments include a summary of sea level rise projections from eleven different reports and published research papers. The results indicate that coastal Mississippi could experience sea level increases of 16.6 inches in twenty years, 41.5 inches in fifty years, and 74.7 inches by the year 2100. These are dismal projections for which Green is determined to use his voice to diminish and avert. He will now have an opportunity to amplify his voice with what he expects to see first-hand. His trip to Iceland will give him an opportunity to connect that melting ice to the sea level rise on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. . Editor’s note: Green now lives in the custody of his grandmother, Annie Lee. Katherine Egland is Chair of the Environmental Climate Justice Committee of the National NAACP, as well as ECJ Chair of the Gulfport branch and is on the NAACP National Board of Directors.

Legendary Novelist and the Last African Slave Erupts From the Past in Newly Released Book Compilation of Press Releases


ate literary giant Zora Neale Hurston was known for penning thought-provoking, eminent novels that will forever be embedded in the fabric of American literature. Although she passed away over five decades ago, her collection of published work has expanded with the posthumous release of a new book in this month. The book, “Barracoon,”is a non-fiction anthropological piece that gives readers a lens into the story of Cudjo Lewis; the last known person to survive the transatlantic slave trade between Africa and the United States, the news outlet writes. Nearly 90 years ago, Hurston traveled to Plateau, Alabama, and listened to Lewis—who was in his early 90s— recount his heart-wrenching experiences. Hurston went back and forth to Plateau over the course of four years to collect all of the details for the book. During her visits, Lewis shared memories about his upbringing in Africa, dark details about being captured, and his voyage to America on the Clotilde ship. He also candidly spoke to Hurston about the perils of being an enslaved man in this country and how his life changed following the Civil War. After gaining his freedom, Lewis and other ex-slaves cultivated a community in Alabama which was later landmarked and recognized as Africatown Historic District, still located outside Mobile. Lewis was also featured in a short film created by Hurston in 1928; making him the only former slave that was born in Africa to be featured on a movie reel.

Harper Collins described the book as a piece that “brilliantly illuminates the tragedy of slavery and one life forever defined by it” and “an invaluable contribution to our shared history and culture.” Although Lewis’ accounts capture what took place in our country centuries ago, Barracoon holds relevance in this day and age as race and the origins of racial issues have been pushed to the forefront of a national conversation. It also gives readers the opportunity to experience a different writing style from Hurston as many of her renowned novels—

including “Their Eyes Were Watching God”—were fictional pieces. Cudjo Lewis (African name, Kazoola) told stories about the civil wars in West Africa and the plight of the losers: being sold into slavery. That is what happened to him and the others on the Clotilde. They were West African; they were the Tarkar people. Cudjo recounted how he was captured by warriors from neighboring Dahomey and taken to Whydah and imprisoned in a slave compound. He was sold by the King of Dahomey to

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


William Foster and then forcibly transported to the United States. The Tarkar asked to be repatriated, were denied, and therefore, tried to recreate their homeland in Mobile. They spoke their native language, used African gardening and cooking techniques, did everything they could to retain their West African culture. For many years, Cudjo Lewis served as a spokesman for the Tarkar people living in Africatown. He was visited by many prominent blacks, including Booker T. Washington. Cudjo Lewis eventually came to believe that the Africans had to adopt their new country, even though their white countrymen often treated them brutally. There is a church in Africatown called Union Baptist and nearby is the Cudjo Lewis Memorial Statue. In 1997 there was a campaign to have the community declared a historical site. Cudjo Lewis died in 1935 at the age of 94 or 95. He may not have been the last African enslaved in the United States, but he was the last survivor of the last known ship to bring Africans as slave cargo into this country. Archaeological searches for the Clotilda continue. Even now, most Americans don’t know that the last shipload of African slaves arrived in Mobile, Alabama on July 8, 1860, a mere six months before Alabama seceded from the Union, leading to the start of the Civil War. Or that four years later those same Africans, still unable to speak much English, were set free. In the turmoil and upheaval of Reconstruction, they established a community, which they called African Town, on the banks of the Mobile River, and they thrived. Nevertheless, in Mobile Alabama, Cudjoe Lewis and Abache were among the last group of Africans forcibly transported to the United States. Originally from present-day Benin and Nigeria, 110 men, women, and children disembarked in Mobile, Alabama, from the Clotilda in 1860. After Emancipation, they eventually founded their own town, Africatown, where they were visited by (among many others) Booker T. Washington and Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston. The last survivor, Cudjo Lewis, died in 1935. The descendants of the Clotilda Africans still live in Africatown. This year has witnessed a resurgence of the work of pivotal Black writers. According to Melville House, it was recently announced that a children’s book written by James Baldwin in the mid-70s, “Little Man, Little Man: A Story of Childhood,” will be re-released in August of 2018 by Duke University Press. .

Shuckers On Top Of Southern League Mountain

The Biloxi Shuckers, South Mississippi’s beloved minor league baseball team, have gotten off to a great start in their 2018 season, with high hopes of winning the First Half Season Championship in their South Division and gain a spot in the playoffs even before Independence Day. As of May 17, Biloxi possesses a 2515 record, good enough for first place in the division and a five-game lead over 2nd-place Mobile BayBears. There are 70 games in each half of the season. The Shuckers built a franchise record 9-game home winning streak before they were defeated by the Pensacola Blue Wahoos 6-4 on Mother’s Day. They rebounded the next day, defeating the Blue Wahoos 4-1 on another comeback win. They lead the league with 9 come-frombehind victories. At the start of the 2018 regular season, the Shuckers lost their season opener before reeling off eight consecutive wins to set the tone of the year thus far. Jake Hager leads the Shuckers in hitting with a .288 batting average.

Jake Gatewood

Corey Ray leads the team in runs scored with 26 and also leads in stolen bases with 7. Ray’s and Jake Gatewood’s power is on top with 6 home runs apiece. Gatewood leads in RBIs with 23. Zack Brown leads pitchers with a 2.89 ERA and 47 strikeouts. Thomas Jankins leads all pitcher with a 6-1 record to go with a 3.02 ERA. Nate Griep is the team’s top reliever with 15 saves. The Shuckers go into five-game series at home against the Chattanooga Lookouts and on the road with Mobile, while starting a series with the Mississippi Braves to wrap up May. Editor’s note: The Biloxi Shuckers are a Double-A team in the Southern League, under the Milwaukee Brewers franchise.

Zack Brown

Denver Urban Spectrum Turns 32 With A New Line Dance Electric Slide, Cupid Shuffle, the Wobble and Now the Spectrum Strut

In April, Denver Urban Spectrum (DUS), Denver’s premiere publication for communities of color and Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum sister publication, celebrated 31 years of spreading the news about people of color. Last year, the 30th anniversary momentous occasion included the debut theme song More Today, a reggae style remix of the 1969 classic More Today Than Yesterday by the Spiral Staircase. Performed by vocalist Goatfish and produced by Bobby Wells, More Today is available on CDBaby ( with proceeds benefitting the Denver Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation and can be heard on Sound Cloud, With the surge of popular line dancing around the country, this year DUS partnered with Mr. Charles and the Let’s Move Dancing Crew to create a new line dance to complement the theme song ( Hk7HHuml4). People are familiar with the Electric Slide, the Cupid Shuffle and the Wobble and can see them performed or can join in and dance them on any given night at local hot dance spots. The Denver community learned the Spectrum Strut, created by dancer Kim Drayton (aka Kimmy Kim) and Charle s Doss, who is recognized and known as the dancing man and was recently recognized as a 2018 DUS African American Who Makes A Difference honoree. He has been teaching line dancing for more than 10 years and is committed to teaching anyone and everyone to get up and move. “I have respected DUS for years as the community go-to publication, and to have this opportunity to contribute to the Denver Urban Spectrum was unexpected but very much welcomed,” said

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


Doss. “It’s all about the community.” Former New York police officer Kimmy Kim moved to Denver in 2006 and has been line dancing for eight years. She started with Charles Doss in 2010 and has been teaching line dance routines with Doss and the Let’s Move Dancing Crew for two years. “It means a lot to create a dance on this level. The song is great and I just felt the music and was inspired by the beat,” said Kim who hopes this music/dance video will exceed the more than 100,000 views she received from her dance routine she created from the song If Loving by Keith Sweat and looks forward to promoting it to her more than 8,000 followers. “We wanted to do something different and fun this year to celebrate another year of serving the community. And, what better way than by dancing?” said DUS Publisher Rosalind “Bee” Harris. Doss, Kim and the Let’s Move Dancing Crew practiced the Spectrum Strut and launched the dance and new music video at the 31st anniversary celebration at the Kasbah Nightclub on April 20 with Denver world music band, Goatfish and Friends. The video, which was which was filmed in Denver, included a special guest appearance of 97year-old classical and jazz bass player Charles Burrell, the first African American to be a member of a major American symphony, the San Francisco Symphony. Other significant scenes include the historic Five Points community and City Park’s Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial by internationally known sculptor Ed Dwight. The song is available on CD Baby ( for .99 and proceeds benefit the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation. The Spectrum Strut new dance video can be viewed on YouTube ( Hk7HHuml4).

Exercise: A Remedy for Stress Relief Yet another

By Kim Farmer

great reason to start working out. If you have been feeling stressed due to work or personal reasons, then an hour at the gym is just what the doctor ordered! Research shows that people who hit the gym frequently show far lower levels of stress than those who do not work out at all. So going to the gym and breaking a sweat will not only make you healthier and help you get a more fit and toned body, it will also help you become happier and more relaxed. The report regarding the amazing effects that working out has on stress were published by the reputed Harvard Medical School and are a reason for you to take notice. If you are fed up with being trapped in a cycle of stress eating, which in turn affects your physical fitness, then exercising regularly will help you kill two birds with one stone. Not only will you be able to burn off all the excess calories gained from the stress eating, you also get rid yourself of stress, effectively killing the unhealthy eating habits. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), an organization that helps anxiety and depression patients cope with their problems and find help and support, also reports that a number of its members and website visitors use exercise as a means to cope with their problems. So if you are feeling a little down in the dumps, join your local gym or rec center, go out and take a walk or run or hop on your bike for a little TLC.

Get happier by working out

As it turns out, looking good can actually make you happier. Working out and having a toned body not only

Check ‘Em Lads: Why Young Men Should Care About Testicular Cancer

make you appear more attractive to other people, your own confidence level goes up as well and you are more satisfied with your life in general. When you work out, your body pumps out more endorphins. Fitness junkies love to call endorphins the happiness chemical, as it elevates mood and makes people happier and calmer in general. Even the simplest exercises can help release this chemical, and help you feel better right away. If you do not have the time or money to join a gym, even going for a brisk jog will get you the same results. But for the best results, it is always a good idea to seek out an expert who can help you make the most of your effort. Just hitting the gym and keeping proper form while you exercise will help you get in great shape in a very short time as long as you are consistent and pair exercise with proper nutrition.

By Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt


n general, guys do not think about their testicles on a day-to-day basis. Unless we have some pain or feel an abnormality, we let them go on with their day. The testicles actually are very important to the male body.The testicles serve as a factory for sperm production, which is important for fertility.The testicles also are a main driving force for the amount of testosterone that circulates throughout your body. Both of these functions are crucial to us as guys.

Exercising is also meditation

Believe it or not, your focus will improve remarkably once you start working out. Training your brain for consistent exercise requires discipline that will carry over into other aspects of your life. Engaging in actual meditation also has many positive benefits for stress relief; however exercise can have the same anxiety reducing results due to the changes in hormone levels and longer term changes in physical appearance and overall happiness. Need a little help getting started? Ask a friend or coworker to help you get started by simply taking a walk together. Join a new and fun fitness class at a local gym or rec center or get help from a professional if you need more direction and accountability. If you have something keeping you from getting started, identify the barriers and make small steps to overcome them. Once you get started, it will be easy to keep going as you begin to realize the benefits. Stay motivated and never give up! . Editor’s note: Kim Farmer, of Mile High Fitness & Wellness, offers in-home personal training and corporate wellness solutions. For more information, visit or email

One thing is clear: The testicles are not immune from cancer. In fact, one in 250 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer, and it is the most common cancer in the age group of 15-35. April was Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, and this year alone more than 9,000 men will be diagnosed, according to the American Cancer Society. When caught early and treated, life expectancy rates are high and most guys live their lives without much worry, which is why awareness is so important. Screening for testicular cancer does not require any sophisticated labs or imaging studies. Most screening for testicular cancer can actually be done by you.Yes, you. By examining your testicles at least once a month, you are able to screen for most testicular cancers. Check ‘em The key to screening actually starts with you knowing what’s normal and abnormal. On your exam, you should examine essentially every part of the testicle, top to bottom and even navigate your way up the cord itself. I generally recommend my patients check themselves on the first day of the month in the shower when the scrotum is relaxed. Go ahead and examine yourself and make sure you know when something becomes abnormal. If you do notice an abnormality or are concerned about something, you should definitely get yourself checked out by a medical professional.The medical professional can either confirm what you found on exam or order imaging and lab studies to help figure out whether this is cancer or something benign, meaning something that’s a normal variant in your testicle.

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


What You Should Look For There may be some other symptoms of testicular cancer that may be present without any change to your testicle itself. One of those uncommon symptoms may be a heavy feeling in your testicles or in the lower part of your belly—even back pain. That feeling of pressure in your testicles or in your groin or your lower abdomen may be a sign of either enlarged lymph nodes or food collections secondary to the actual cancer itself. The other way is that you may not actually feel a hard lump in your testicle, but you may notice that one testicle may be larger or smaller than the other. If the cancer has migrated to other parts of your body, you may notice abnormal swelling in your legs. This swelling could be from your lymph channels being blocked, or it could also be the cancer increasing your chance of blood clots. Another abnormal symptom of testicular cancer may be enlarging breast tissue, or gynecomastia. As a guy, if you do have any of these symptoms or any abnormality that you just feel is not right, it’s probably a good time to go and talk to your healthcare professional. This doesn’t mean if you’re outside the ages of 15-35 you’re not going to get it because any guy at any age is still at risk for testicular cancer. The risk is just not as high, but it is still present. You Have Testicular Cancer, Now What? So what if you do get diagnosed with testicular cancer? Is it the end of the world? Not really. Because if you look at statistics from testicular cancer, it has a 96 percent cure rate if caught early. Treatment options may include removal of your testicle. Based on what pathology is found in the testicle, your doctor may recommend further treatments, which could include radiation or chemotherapy. A lot of patients ask, “Okay, what can I do other than examine myself to prevent me getting testicular cancer?” There are certain known risk factors that do put you at higher risk for testicular cancer. Those include family history. So if you have a brother or father who had testicular cancer then you are at a little bit higher risk of getting it. Also, studies have shown if you smoke marijuana, then you may increase your chances of testicular cancer. There are also some links with testicular cancer and your occupation. There are occupations such as miners, food processing workers, utility workers and other workers who may be at an elevated risk of testicular cancer. So don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are immune to cancers because of your young age. None of us are immune..

Editor’s note: Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, MD, is a board-certified urologist and medical advisor for Men’s Health Network (MHN), an international non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families with health awareness messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation: For more informtion, visit and follow them on Twitter @MensHlthNetwork or Facebook at

Law Enforcement in African American Communities Have a Long and Troubled History

Harlem gang leader. It was not hard to find. I wanted to see if this was really something I had seen. My faulty memory told me I picked up the magazine while in a barber shop. The photograph shocked me. I put it down but could not stop looking at it. It didn’t take long at all after a Google search. I was able to see my memory had

By Thomas Holt Russell

“We ain’t riotin’ agains’ all you whites. We’re riotin’ agains’ police brutality, like that cab driver they beat up the other night. That stuff goes on all the time. When the police treat us like people ‘stead of treatin’ us like animals, then the riots will stop.” William Furr, 1967

– speaking to reporter Dale Wittner and photographer Bud Lee, before he was fatally shot in the back by police.

Memories have their own per-

sonality. Some are noisy, always getting your attention and never leaving you alone. Others are shy, only surfacing during the oddest of times and seemingly at random. Some are so faint you wonder if the memory is of something that actually happened or was it a dream, or maybe something you were told or heard. Those memories live between all possibilities and are like ghost. I’ve had a memory of an image that haunted me for years that I could never get rid of. Thanks to the digital revolution, I was able to research and add some texture to that memory. Whenever I see Black civil unrest on television (something we have seen a lot of in the wake of Black men being killed by cops), I think about a Life Magazine cover from 1967, and how things seem to have gone backwards from the achievements we’ve made since that time. I think one of the reasons this cover photo has burned into my memory is that the boy in the photograph seemed to be my own age. I was 10 at the time. The picture is of a young Black boy, shot by a cop, lying and bleeding in a Newark street. Was it something in my head or was it real? I only say it once, but that was enough. It seemed like the photo had vacated, not only my own consciousness, but the collective consciousness of America. It is just like the falling man photograph taken during the Twin Towers attack of 9/11.


photo of a man falling, somewhat gracefully, was only published once, but no one who saw it could ever forget it. But the media, under the rare instance of self-censorship, decided that it was best for the public to not see images of people jumping from the towers. The public did not take kindly to the photo of the falling man. It seems during our present times, that someone would have pulled up that old magazine cover photo of the bleeding boy and use it to illustrate a point that police shooting Black males is not a new or a current fad. They could prove that the interaction between Black males and law enforcement was never a cozy relationship. With the recent police shootings, I thought about this magazine cover again and I decided to do something about it. I knew the Internet would give me the answer. Just a few weeks earlier, I had already did research on another Life Magazine article, Gordon Parks’ 1948 photo essay on a young

served me well this time. Several Websites had images and more than a few magazine of the of them showed other photos taken at that time that disturbed me even more than the cover photo. I viewed the photo slowly, trying to take in all the details. It seemed he was dead. He laid on his right side, slightly bent, as if to make a bow of his gangly body. A patch of deep red blood collected on the sidewalk under his raised, dangling elbow. For some reason, I remember his shoes the most. He had on a very dirty pair of white Converse All-Stars, the most popular shoe in my Bronx neighborhood. The shoes and the fact that

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


he was Black and about my age may have been the reason the photographs have haunted me for so long. That could have easily been me. It seemed he was alone in the middle of the street, dead, without a soul near him. But after looking at all of the original photos taken that day, I found that he was not totally alone. At one point at least, there were several people around him. The Life cover’s logo also hides the shoes of some on-lookers. The late sixties were tumultuous for America. I was only slightly aware of the events that were happening around me. The Viet Nam War, civil rights marches, the rise of Black Nationalism, hippies, drugs and music, were prominent among media and in our society. Even though there was a lot of social upheaval during that time, I was sheltered from most of the turmoil. It was not that my grandmother consciously or purposely kept those things away from me. It was mostly that for me, watching the news was an incidental occupation. If any adult happened to be looking at the news while I was in the room that was the only time I would care to see or hear the news. I certainly did not have a deep understanding of what I did see and heard on the news. Must of the stuff I did see on television, was just that, stuff I’d see on television. I never witnessed rallies or marches; no one ever rioted in my neighborhood; hippies and anti-war protesters were nowhere to be found. There was the real world, and the world of media such as television, movies, magazines and newspapers. They all depicted events from another planet and had little to do with my Bronx world. This was the backdrop when I picked up a Life Magazine to browse while I waited for a haircut. And the

color photograph of a young Black boy lying in the street and bleeding after being shot by police during the Newark riots made me realize there were some very important things going on outside of my bubble. The photograph seeped into my world, bringing with it an element of danger and assaulted my idea of being safe. If it could happen to that kid, it could happen to me and all of my friends. Though I have never experienced what was going on in Newark, Detroit and other cities across the United States, it all felt familiar to me somehow.

From the angle of his body, it definitely looked like he was dead. Even looking at the photographs now, he still seems to be dead, but he survived the shooting. The kid in the photograph was 12-year old Joe Bass Jr. He was a shoeshine boy who caught a couple of pellets in the neck and thigh from one of the policemen who was shooting at a looter. Other photographs show a cigar-chomping cop, carrying a shotgun and walking pass Bass as he was lying and bleeding on the sidewalk. Another photo shows a police wagon parked next to his body with no one in sight to help him.


When William Furr was shot and killed after running away from cops, that’s when Joe Bass was shot and labeled as an inadvertent victim. Furr, as stated above, was speaking with the Life Magazine, photographer and reporter before he was shot after taking a case of beer out of an abandoned store. The photographer actually took photographs of Furr looting the store. When he refused to stop after running away from police, he was shot in the back and died shortly after. The same pellets from the shotgun blast that killed Furr are the same that wounded Bass. Furr was just one of 26 people who were killed during that riot, which lasted from July 12, to July 17, during a summer that produced 159 race riots across the America. Where is Joe Bass today? I searched but I could not find anything on him. He, just like his cover photo, seemed to have disappeared. He’s not even listed as one of the victims at the Rise Up Newark Website, which goes into detail about the Newark Uprising. He would be a senior citizen today, maybe with kids or grandkids even. Regardless of what became of him, that photograph of him will last forever. It’s a reminder the issues in our inner cities are older than all of us. There is a myriad of issues that plague us still and we need to address these issues straight on. It is the usual suspects – jobs, education, drugs, crime, etc. Even Trump knows we are in danger. We are so fucked-up that he asked us what did we have to lose if we elect him. We can’t wait for politics to solve any problem, let alone the problems for people of color. We have to make sure to continue to solve these issues and hopefully we will not produce new images that will haunt us for our entire lives. . Editor’s note: Thomas Holt Russell is a teacher, writer, and photographer. For more information, visit www.thomasholtrussell.

Advertise your product, service or event in the Denver Urban Spectrum (print and/or digital), the Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum (digital) or the Baltimore Urban Spectrum (digital).

303-292-6446 For more information call




or email to request a media kit to help you promote your business! Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


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. Khaleel Herbert is a journalism student at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Laurence Washington is the creator of Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter Rampage


The Downfall of Pacific Rim Uprising l

it’s not all about the name on the poster. His supporting cast has done a great job. Naomie Harris (Moonlight, Collateral Beauty) is a scientist who was fired by the evil corporation but is trying to help save the animals. Malin Akerman (Watchmen, 27 Dresses) is the evil head of the company who ran the experiment with her brother, played by Jake Lacy (The Office, Carol). Together, they do a good job at being hated enough to make their just deserts enjoyable. There was a surprise performance from Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen, The Losers) as a gov-

By Kavann Tok

In the first Pacific Rim, directed by


Rampage lll

By Jon Rutledge

ampage is the love story from Dwayne Johnson’s days of playing Rampage at the arcade. There is nothing wrong with this because who doesn’t love a giant monster movie? The formula being City plus giant monsters mayhem and spectacular effects. They did not recreate the story of the video game but they did capture its spirit. The story they use makes more sense in a more modern setting, even if it’s a bit dodgy with the science. You have three animals that have been affected by genetically altering canisters of gas that fell to earth from a secret science lab in space because the research being done is highly unethical. (I know, I know, just run with me) One lands in a zoo and affects George an albino gorilla. One in Colorado and affects a gray wolf, and one in the Florida Everglades, affecting a crocodile. The evil corporation trying to gather the data they need from the monsters set off a highfrequency beacon that drives the monsters crazy and draws them to the headquarters. Of course, The Rock is going to be the star and center of attention but his presences is secondary to the giant monsters. Unlike other films with mega start,

ernment agent looking to contain the situation. He always does a good job but this character was not as unsavory as some of his previous roles. The star of the show is George the CGI gorilla who drives all of the emotional goodwill of the film. It’s his story that is way more compelling than any of the others on the screen. The Rock has to perform some superhuman feats to keep up with his gigantic co-star. Try not looking too closely at the reality of the situation when dealing with a giant monster film besides, it’s a fun ride. Interesting side note: Remember that horrible director of video game movies? Uwe Boll took offense to Warner Bros. doing a video game movie. In a Deadline Hollywood report, Boll explained in a statement why he is threading legal action. He says the film would “confuse the audience” and it would “shrink” his brand. (I know, I know, just run with me on this.) His trilogy has nothing to do with the video game and it’s hard to imagine his brand getting any smaller. He asserts the film “is one of those typical feel-good, popcorn bullshit movies that the studios use to brainwash America even more!” I understand Boll is unfamiliar with what entertainment is, considering his body of work, but speaking as one of the American sheep, I was entertained, pass the popcorn, please.

Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth and Shape of Water), colossal beasts known as Kaijus emerge from beneath the Pacific Ocean, which we later discover are entering from an interdimensional portal. An alien race uses them as war machines sent to wreak havoc on our world. Yet humanity strikes back with the use of Jaegers, giant robotic mech suits piloted by two or more people mentally connected through a process called drifting, which helps alleviate the pressure Jaeger pilots endure during combat. Pacific Rim Uprising picks up where the last story left off, taking place in the aftermath of a Kaiju ravaged world. The next generation rebuilds society, riddled with the bones of Kaijus, gigantic genetically engineered monsters. In the year 2030, some of the remaining survivors loot Jaeger parts from wrecked robotic suits that are worth a lot of money on the black market. Others learn to build new Jaegers out of scrap parts in order to defeat the Kaijus in the event they return to reclaim Earth. Pacific Rim Uprising is Steven S. DeKnight’s feature-film directorial debut. This is one of the many reasons why this sequel falls flat in comparison to Guillermo Del Toro’s original vision. Most of the cast is filled with young stars, such as Cailee Spaeny and John Boyega. Characters from the original cast include Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day), Herman Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). Even Boyega, who played Finn in recent Star Wars

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


films, couldn’t save this movie from dry dialogue and lack of substance. The entertainment value suffers a serious case of the mundane, simply

Pacific Rim Uprising

made to cash in on the success of its predecessor. There wasn’t enough story development to make this film worthwhile. Considering the youthful ages of the new Jaeger cadets, it often felt more like watching Power Rangers. The special effect sequences were the most exciting moments of the film, and they were few and far between. The script of Pacific Rim Uprising felt rushed, unfinished and didn’t contain all the pulpy details of the original. A sequel should propel the story forward in an epic fashion. Unfortunately, the pacing of the story felt processed and slow as a snail’s crawl, leaving the viewer with a déjà vu feeling that they’ve somehow seen this all before. Even the Kaijus weren’t as scary this time around. In fact, there’s never any real threat because they have the technology to evacuate an entire city within a few moments. The intended humor fell flat. However, the unintended humor was the display of destruction the Jaegers inflicted on their own city for no apparent reason, almost as much as the Kaijus.All in all, nothing new to see here. Move along.

Tyler Perry’s Acrimony lll


By Khaleel Herbert

yler Perry takes his filmmaking to obsessive lengths with Acrimony. When devoted wife, Melinda (Taraji P. Henson), is sent to anger management, she recounts her 18-year love life with ex-husband Robert (Lyriq Bent) that includes sacrifice, doubt and infidelity. In college, they meet in the rain, (hence, why Mel says she can’t stand the rain). Robert offers to help her with a paper for one of her classes.


Acrimony When her mother dies, Robert visits her to offer comfort (which turns into a hanky-panky when they’re alone in his RV). Robert tells Mel his dream of making a rechargeable battery that could power cars and houses. He hopes to take the plan to a local company. As Mel falls deeper and deeper in love with Robert, she invests in his dream with the money her mother left her (350 grand). Her older sisters (Jazmyn Simon and Ptosha Storey) advise against it. But through thick and thin, Mel and Robert stay together and tie the knot. Eighteen years pass. Mel is working two jobs, while Robert is still trying to get his battery off the ground. The company that he kept sending pitches to has a restraining order against him. Since Mel is sterile, they have no children. Tensions rise when Robert runs into Diana (Crystle Stewart) an old flame from college before he got married. Mel has suspicions that he’s cheating on her and as her suspicions deepen, her sanity is pushed to its limits. Henson plays the hell out of her role. Like Lynn Whitfield’s Brandi in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, Melinda has worked hard to support her man. But he still disappoints her and it hurts her heart, especially when she invested all of her money to help him. When things finally go right for Robert, he shares that success with another woman…so Mel wants to get her satisfaction by any means necessary. Acrimony has a story that keeps you invested. We see Henson talking to the therapist (and we never see the

therapist’s face, but we hear her voice) and she tells her story in one big vivid flashback, similar to a technique used in Forrest Gump. There are times in the second act where the story lags. But it picks up by the third act, specifically where Melinda becomes as unhinged as Beyoncé swinging that baseball bat in her “Hold Up” music video. Not even her sisters and best friend can talk her down from the ledge of insanity. Tyler Perry steps away from Madea’s comical adventures into a dramatic thriller that allows Taraji P. Henson to steal the show and reach her full acting potential, an awardwinning performance.

Isle of Dogs Barks up the Right Tree lll By Kavann Tok


sle of Dogs is Wes Anderson’s second animated feature film which he produced, wrote and directed. Anderson is most known for a variety of independent award-winning comedy/drama such as The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). Similar to Tim Burton, Anderson has a love for the lost art of stop-motion animation as demonstrated with his first witty animated movie Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), which won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Although Isle of Dogs may seem like an adorable children film, some parents may not wish to take their kids to see this one. It’s more of a dark comedy filled with political undertones about dictatorship and the power of government. For all intent purposes, the dog’s dialogue is in English, while all the human characters spoke

Isle of Dogs

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


Japanese. In Megasaki City, Mayor Kobayashi (Kunichi Nomura) decides to exploit an outbreak of a canine flu virus to his advantage, simply because he doesn’t like dogs. He uses the media as a tool of propaganda, spreading fear that the virus is an epidemic that could spread to humans, merely as an effort to rid the land of all dogs. They are forced to live in a penal colony and in exile on Trash Island. Spots (Liev Schreiber) is the first dog to be sent there who belongs to 12-year-old Atari Kobayashi, the orphaned nephew of Mayor Kobayashi. Consequently, Atari travels to Trash Island in a hijacked plane in hopes to find Spots and bring him back home. Isle of Dogs animated feature boasts an all-star cast of voice actors with talents such as Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Yoko Ono, Tilda Swinton and many more. Bryan Cranston plays the main top dog named Chief, and Scarlett Johansson plays his love interest, a sweet, wellbehaved dog that goes by Nutmeg. Isle of Dogs is sure to delight Wes Anderson fans, not falling short of his one of a kind, cutting edge satire. Although his movies tend to share a few common denominators such as using many of the same actors, each film is unique and different in its ownway. Some may find the story slightly dark in nature, but Isle of Dogs is also filled with moments of hope and inspiration. Ultimately, it’s about a boy’s love for his dog and how far he’s willing to go to get him back. It’s an adventurous journey of newfound friendships that form an alliance to overcome overwhelming odds in hopes to reverse poor decisions made by a governing official. The scenes are beautifully crafted together to represent a dystopian, futuristic Japan and is worth a watch. .

African American Stock Trader To Teach 1,000 Beginners How To Trade Stocks In 2018

J.R. Fenwick, founder of FLip That Stock, teaching a group of women entrepreneurs how to invest in the stock market

Nationwide ( — Everyday people hear about the stock market, however, few people really understand how it works and how to “actively” buy and sell stocks and make money. African Americans, in particular, are not taking advantage of the #1 wealth creator in the world, the stock market. Statistics show that African Americans are 35% less likely to get involved in the stock market as whites of the same income. A financial analyst on CNBC once said, “It’s sad, really, because those who are not in the stock market are poorer as a result. And it’s a big reason for the wealth gap.” J.R. Fenwick, the Founder and CEO of FLip That Stock ( is changing that. FLip That Stock is a Blackowned leading education and technology company that caters to everyday people rather than Wall Street insiders. “Millions of our people want to learn how the stock market works and how they can make money and we are teaching them,” says Fenwick. “Our unique, fun and easy teaching approach is spreading across the country like crazy and we have a goal to teach 1,000 beginners how to trade stocks by the end of this year, it’s a movement,” he continues. Fenwick knew nothing about the stock market and began buying and selling stocks at the urging of a good friend 15 years ago. He became so fascinated with the stock market he began taking classes and then hired a personal coach to teach him. He soon realized that the stock market really wasn’t as complicated as it is portrayed when it is taught a certain way. One day after making $1,000 in 6 minutes trading a stock from his laptop while sitting at his kitchen table, he began telling his friends about this little known and understood skill of trading stocks. Soon his friends began asking him to teach them and then

word got out and more friends and even strangers began contacting him asking if he had a course. He took his notebook with over 10 years of notes and began creating videos and training materials using a FUN, EASY and UNIQUE system to teach that he developed and FLip That Stock was born. FLip That Stocks’ mission is simple... teach everyone how the stock market works and how to actively buy and sell stocks to make money (outside of a job) to enhance their finances and quality of life. “The first part of teaching people is debunking the myths and misconceptions that most people have about the stock market, such as, you have to have millions of dollars, an MBA from Harvard and spend all day doing research and looking at complicated stock charts on a computer screen to start buying and selling stocks. Or that it is just too risky (it’s just gambling) and you will lose all your money. With the proper education, mentoring and coaching, people will understand they can make money from buying and selling stocks from their laptop from anywhere in the world. Learning to buy and sell stocks is a skill set you can use for the rest of your life,” Fenwick says. FLip That Stock ( offers an excellent education program through their FLip That Stock Membership which includes online videos, LIVE in the market trainings and trading sessions and one-on-one coaching that teach people step-by-step how to start buying and selling stocks. “The response has been overwhelming since we launched. People have been flooding our website to learn how to get started and become one of the 1,000 we will teach this year. Learning how to buy and sell stocks is a valuable skill set that is one

of the keys to taking control of your financial future outside of a job and the fact that you can do it from your laptop, tablet or even smartphone from anywhere in the world makes it even more appealing to people,” Fenwick says. Fenwick is doing weekly webinars ( and touring the country doing LIVE seminars to educate people on the stock market. For details on which city he will be doing his next seminar, visit Fenwick is also regularly interviewed on radio shows and speaks at

entrepreneur conferences across the country. His company is developing a smartphone app and trading software, as well as, a social media platform for members to share their trades and ideas on. FLip That Stock’s future is brighter than ever and is like a fast rising stock.. Editor’s note: J.R. Fenwick is available for interviews and seminars that will enlighten, educate and entertain. He can be contacted at or 1877-600-3749 or www.BookJR

Negro League Baseball Is Back With The Official Launch Of The National Urban Professional Baseball League - Open Game Is On May 25th

Nationwide ( – youth baseball players to the past hisThanks to the National Urban tory of the game.” Professional Baseball League, the The season will run from May 25th rebirth of Negro League Baseball will though the second week in August. take place with opening day on May The home fields will be Wooten 25, 2018 in Laurel, Mississippi at 7pm Legion Field in Laurel, Mississippi as the Vickie Pasley All-Stars (the first and USA Stadium in Millington, African American woman to have a professional baseball team named after her) will take on the Josh Gibson All-Stars. On May 31, 2018 the Rube Foster All-Stars will take on the Lester Barclay All-Stars at USA Stadium in Millington, Tennessee for its opening day. We are encouraging all that can and will to set their schedule and plan to attend this great event a blast from the past. As each game day will have a special theme, open mic night, Jazz/Blues night, Senior Coach Mike Mayden, director of Citizen Day, the National Urban Professional Gospel Night, Baseball League Family & Friends Old School Night and Game Day @ The Park, not to Tennessee. Full schedules are posted mention the Fish Fry and Fried on the website at Chicken Dinners. “Opening day will be Gospel Night Mike Mayden, league director, for both openers as we dedicate this comments, “We want this league to league to God,” Mayden says. . provide affordable family entertainEditor’s note: Sponsorship opportunities ment, promote diversity in the game are available. To inquire, contact the league of baseball, rekindle past memories of at or (773) 741-3530. African American baseball players Admission is just $8 per person, and parkand to link this new generation of ing is free.

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


Black-Owned New Orleans Tour Company Is The First To Offer Black Heritage And Jazz Tours That Are Registered With The Conventions And Visitors Bureau

Attendees to the upcoming 2018 Essence Festival and all family reunions held in the city are encouraged to take the tour, which includes a visit to the only Black-owned street in New Orleans.

Owner and tour guide, Mikhala Iversen, is pictured with a group of happy tourists during one of her tours

New Orleans, LA ( – Mikhala Iversen is a singer, international recording artist, aka Jazz Muffin, but most of all she has a passion for telling the true story of New Orleans past, not so often told amongst the swamp, ghosts, boozetours and sages of one of the most visited cities in the world; New Orleans. Four years ago, she established her own tour company All Bout Dat Tours LLC, which provides top of the line transportation for ‘Black Heritage and Jazz Tours’, educational tours for schools, educators, family reunions and of course, international tours since Mikhala speaks four languages. All of her tours are registered with the New Orleans Conventions and Visitors Bureau, and with her Danish/American upbringing in Copenhagen, she now tells the dramatic story of New Orleans, its music, exploitation, tragedy, progress and humor. She refers to herself as an “Afropean” a person of Black and European Parentage, born and raised in Copenhagen. In her home her ‘uncles’ were jazz greats such as Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin, Clark Terry, Kenny Drew, Teddy Wilson and her “aunts” were Josephine Baker, Nancy Wilson, Dame Etta Cameron and Eartha Kitt. The home was always full of stories, music, ancient tales and the mixture of pain and happiness of what mattered for black lives then.

Especially for the black musicians, who settled down in Europe to live respected careers as the artists they were hailed to contrast with their lives in the US. “My mother, Rosita Thomas had her family roots in Arkansas and was a fine jazz-singer and with a special talent for soul food,” and her father, Henrik W. Iversen, former head of DR TV Entertainment & Drama, is still Head of The Ben Webster Foundation, Jazz Radio host and lecturer in jazz,” she explains. Ernie Wilkins, famed arranger and composer for Count Basie, named her mother the ‘Charlie Parker of the Kitchen’. That also made home away from home for the expatriate Americans. This “Afropean” storyteller, has meshed her life from two worlds, studied the history of Louisiana intensely and is a licensed tourism guide in New Orleans. Mikhala is proud to be back to tell the truth with her Afropean approach and insight that differs from what is usually told. “The heritage and history of my people I unapologetic share with tourists and though the stories of our enslavement in this country are hard to hear, the truth of how we have overcome is in my DNA, literally,” she said. . Editor’s note: For more details and/or to book your tour, call (504) 457-9439, visit or follow the company on Facebook at

Miami Beach Welcomes A Luxurious Lifestyle Event For Professional Men & Women Of Color

Houston, TX ( – Need a safe space to heal from the daily grind? Being a person of color in corporate America can be draining. Join an intentional luxury four day get-away for professional men and women of color. The inaugural Authenticity Event ( allows you to connect and be surrounded by others who look like you. Join us at the luxurious Eden Roc Resort Hotel in Miami Beach, FL. to rejuvenate, be inspired and network from June 21st through 24th. Founder, Rosalind Moore stated, “As true professionals, we work so hard at doing our very best that we often forget to stop and smell the roses, and enjoy the fruit of our ‘own’ labor.” The Authenticity Event is designed to be a perfect opportunity to re-discover, link-up, and enjoy ourselves. Many times being a black professional is often challenging, leaves us feeling isolated, and adds to our stress ( Allow this to be an opportunity to find your Happy Space. The idyllic weekend consists of: •Welcome Reception with the dynamic Dr. Belinda John, whose life work is dedicated to aligning people to their God-ordained purpose. •Guided conversations to make you think and feed your soul. •Happiness Booster sessions - Acts of kindness, balloon release, etc. •The Authenticity Taste Event, An Exquisite Culinary Experience with Celebrity Chef Irie and Black winemakers. •Luxury Yacht Excursion. Enjoy dinner, fine wines from Black winemakers and dessert aboard the South Beach Lady, Black owned and operated. •Intimate Expo with unique concepts, An Author’s Corner & Meditation Nook.

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


Authenticity Event in Miami Beach, FL

•Live Jazz Brunch featuring internationally acclaimed saxophonist Marion Meadows. Be all you were created to be with Authenticity!.

About The Authenticity Event: The Authenticity Event was developed to provide an opportunity for like-minded professional men and women of color to network, socialize and relax in a comfortable setting. It is a luxurious lifestyle event. Participants are encouraged to spend time reflecting on their health, wealth, and career goals. Or, just come to find love, joy and peace. Founded in 2007 by Rosalind Moore and brought to fruition in 2018 by a committee of 10 professional men and women of color throughout the United States. For more information, visit:

The American Heart Association Launches The Empowered To Serve Urban Health Accelerator To Identify Innovative Health Solutions That Address Social Determinants Of Health In Urban Communities Applications sought through June 30 for initiative that awards $30,000 in grants

Dallas, TX ( The American Heart Association is launching the EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Health Accelerator(TM), a grant-based initiative to identify innovative, clearly-defined urban business solutions to drive community change to improve health and well-being. The goal of this initiative is to increase healthy living behaviors, enhance the chain of survival and cultivate community transformation. By working in communities to address key factors that impact health and wellbeing - economic stability, education, societal influences, neighborhoods and healthcare - the Accelerator is an opportunity to receive funding to activate critical projects that will positively impact urban community health. Starting today, on the first day of American Stroke Month through June 30, the Association seeks submissions from businesses with creative solutions to solve community issues that

prevent people from having equal access to health and well-being. Some issues include inadequate housing, early childhood development and healthy food access. The submission process requires candidates to complete an application and upload a 90 second or less video at Community environments play a crucial role in health outcomes. People

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


living just five miles apart can have a difference in life expectancy of more than 20 years. That’s why the American Heart Association - the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke - is working from within communities and seeking fresh ideas to impact health through the EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Health Accelerator(TM). “I know the central role that social determinants of health play in our long-term risk of heart disease, stroke and other devastating illnesses. Even though heart disease and stroke are preventable and we tell people what they need to do to reduce their risks, for many people, it’s not that easy. Knowing what to do and having access to what you need to do it, are two different things,” said Keith B. Churchwell, M.D., chair of the American Heart Association’s Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health Task Force and senior vice president, operations and executive director at the Heart and Vascular Center and Transplantation Center, Yale-New Haven Health. The EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Health Accelerator(TM) guides candidates through a rigorous, six-to-eight week curriculum that focuses on customer discovery, marketing strategies and brand message storytelling. Candidates are required to show the viability of their projects. The Association will invite final candidates to the EmPOWERED To Serve Summit on Oct. 16, in Baltimore, Maryland. The final candidates will present their projects to a panel of judges from the marketing, media and investment communities for an opportunity to receive up to $30,000 in

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


grants, and meet leaders at the Association’s local affiliates, corporations and the community to continue their projects. “The American Heart Association knows that to empower change within multicultural communities and help reduce the gap in health disparities among minorities, we need to engage and support community leaders and innovators. That’s why the launch of this initiative is so important as it gives a platform to those with deep ties to the community who can identify a problem and know that they can make a difference,” says Christa Chambers-Price, EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Health Accelerator(TM) spokesperson and Founder of EntreSLAM. . Editor’s note: For additional information about EmPOWERED To Serve and to register or nominate candidates for the Accelerator initiative, visit

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke - the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.


EmPOWERED To Serve(TM) is a movement inspired by American Heart/ American Stroke Association multicultural volunteers around the country who are passionate about driving change through health justice and empowerment in their communities. These committed ambassadors are impacting gaps in health equity through advocacy, policy, education and social change. For information, visit

Vivica A. Fox


ind, conscientious, courageous and refreshingly candid, Ms. Vivica A. Fox has proven that as Hollywood careers go, second acts are often the sweetest. The multi-hyphenate actressdirector- beauty entrepreneur-author is embracing life and not looking back, except to pull from her well of wisdom for her new memoir, “Every Day I’m Hustling.” And if you know Vivica like I got to know her during our conversation, you’d think the book’s title quite fitting. She enjoys hard work and has no plans to slow down. Born Vivica Anjanetta Fox on the outskirts of Indianapolis, she went by Angie Fox, one of four siblings being raised by divorced mother who worked overtime to provide for her children. Her childhood home was hectic but loving and provided fertile ground for Vivica to aspire for things grander than her midwestern upbringing. After high school, she made her way to Southern California to attend college, all the while seeking out opportunities in Los Angeles to model and act wherever she could. It was in LA that Angie became Vivica A. Fox. She worked her way through the ranks on sitcoms and daytime soaps, and in 1996 got her breakthrough role opposite Will Smith in the classic

is Hotter Than Ever, and Disarmingly Real

blockbuster, Independence Day. Next came a string of fan favorites including Set It Off, Soul Food, Two Can Play That Game, Kill Bill Volume I and II, and a string of subsequent roles in film and television, including Larry David’s sharp-witted houseguest, Loretta Black, on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and Skye in the campy “Sharknado” franchise. Her eclectic career has kept her on the move for nearly three decades. In 2016, Vivica joined the cast of the smash hit television series, “Empire,” playing conservative suburbanite Candace, Cookie Lyon’s (Taraji P. Henson) older sister and character foil. During our interview we covered everything from movie stardom and maternal instincts to social media drama, setting boundaries and finding love. Allison Kugel: When are you Angie and when are you Vivica? When do you take off the Vivica and become Angie from Indianapolis? Vivica A. Fox: Well first off, that’s Angie Fox from 38th and Emerson in Indianapolis (laughs)! I’m Vivica Fox when I hit that red carpet and I’m ready to slay the game. That’s what I do. But I love that I have in my life, and in my journey, learned when to be Angie Fox. And that’s mainly when I’m with my family, time off, hanging out with my godchildren, having my “Me Time” and learning to take “Me

Time.” That’s when I’m no makeup, baseball cap, chilling and blending in. Allison Kugel: Coming from the Midwest, your father was a school administrator, your mother worked for a pharmaceutical company, so you really had no ties to entertainment, or Los Angeles for that matter. What gave you that spark of courage, that spark that made you believe that you could become a successful actress? Vivica A. Fox: I was introduced to the world of fashion and modeling by Madame King, my late auntie. She had her own beauty salon back in the day. She was the first one to cut my hair and put me on a runway. I was kind of bitten by the bug at thirteen. From that point forward, I just fell in love with magazines and fashion. Then I went to go see Michael Jackson in concert, and Diana Ross in concert. I had never seen African Americans being so fabulous, and I was like, “Where do they live? That’s where I’m going! That’s what I want to do.” I decided that during my senior year in high school. But I had to trick my mama (laughs) and tell her I was going to college in California, and I did go to college. But I would be sneaking up to Hollywood and going to modeling agencies. I had a girlfriend who was an actress, and I used to read lines with her. She would say, “You’re pretty good at this, you should try it.” Allison Kugel: Your book is part memoir and part motivational guidebook for success. Tell me about your mentor, or mentors… Vivica A. Fox: My mentor would have to be a good friend of mine, and my first acting coach, Sheila Wills. I’m her two daughters’ godmother. Sheila, I met when I was doing [the daytime

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


By Allison Kugel

soap opera] Generations. She took me under her wing, and she would work with me with auditions. I would go into those auditions and just nail them. I attribute my success to her. She would say, “Vivica, you’ve got to stay ready. You got to be ready. You’ve got to take care of yourself.” And people who inspired me to be who I am would be Diana Ross and Pam Grier. Allison Kugel:Why did you choose to share your journey with menopause in the book? Vivica A. Fox: It’s part of life. It’s going to happen. And it’s like you just asked, “Do you know that you’re sexy right now?” But do people also know that for the last few years, that’s what’s been going on in my life? I embraced it and I got in front of it. I didn’t let it define me or make me want to whittle away. I don’t know why with women, we can’t talk about our bodies and what we go through, share it with others, and not feel like we have to hide that from people. I’m sharing it, and I got in front of it and took care Continued on page 18

Vivaca A. Fox

Continued from page 17

of myself. I really feel like it made me take good care of myself. Allison Kugel:And being that your image is sexy, you weren’t afraid of putting that out there… Vivica A. Fox: No, not at all. You’re going to have naysayers and people that are going to try to come and say something, and they can. But I’m still me. It doesn’t change who I am. I’m still all woman. Allison Kugel:When it comes to social media feuds and this clap back culture we’re living in, when do you take the high road and not respond, and when do you feel the need to clap back? Vivica A. Fox: I will clap back occasionally, but to be very honest with you, if it’s not necessary, I don’t like that. I’m not one of those people who became famous by being a controversial celebrity. Normally, I’ll click on who that person is and see if they’re even worth it. If it’s somebody that you can tell is wanting to make TheShadeRoom or seeking attention, I just block them. They’re not worth it. When I clap back, it’s when somebody comes at me or I have to set the record straight. Allison Kugel:Let’s talk about motherhood. I know you have all these nieces and nephews, and godchildren. I feel like motherhood, meaning the energy of motherhood, is something that is innate in all women. We have a need to nurture. How does that energy express itself through you? Vivica A. Fox: I’m Mama Bear all the time! I have a nurturing instinct and I think I get that from my mother. My mother always loved to take care of others. Still to this day, she doesn’t take as good care of herself, because she is always looking out for others. I got that quality from her. When I’m on the set, I’m always looking out for others. When I walk on a set, I’m always making sure that I speak to everyone, that I try to make people as comfortable as possible. In that way, I am very motherly. It’s just something in me; I like to look out for others. But the older I’ve gotten, I’ve learned to look out more for myself, as well. And

I’ve learned a very important word: No. Because people will take, take, take from you child, till you drop! Then they’re satisfied, and you’re left over there feeling completely empty. Allison Kugel:In your book you give advice on achieving different areas of success in one’s life. I personally think that so many people have a misconception about success. People want that insta-recognition, that insta-success. I said to someone the other day that for all the people who think they would love to trade places with Mark Zuckerberg or Oprah, for example, most of those people wouldn’t make it through the first week if they saw the tremendous amount of work, pressure and sacrifice that it takes to be in that type of position. Vivica A. Fox: To piggyback on that point, for myself, people don’t realize that for the last two to three years I slept on planes. I was always traveling, always busy, taking meetings, not sleeping, going here, going there, and going through changes of life and never letting it slow me down. There’s a lot of work required. All those seeds that I’ve planted, I’m now seeing them all blossom. But I had to do the work. That’s what I tell people. In my book, in the chapter about Being the Head Chick in Charge, I say, “Don’t let anyone outwork you.” Allison Kugel: What do you think is the biggest misconception about success? Vivica A. Fox: That it’s easy. When you’re successful, usually it’s taken a long time to build a career. It isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes time to build a career, and a career means being able to go through different stages and chapters of a career, not just being the hot chick of the moment. For me, I went from being the hot ingenue chick, to now building my brand and producing and directing. Allison Kugel: Let’s talk about “Empire.” Did Lee Daniels ever share with you the moral of the story of Empire, or his vision for the show? Vivica A. Fox: Not really. The thing I love about Lee is that he is who he is. It’s taken awhile for him to become comfortable in his own skin, and that he’s a gay man and that he has talent, and he doesn’t have to hide who he really is anymore. We’ve all been in this business for twenty years, and I’m going to tell you that it’s been a long journey for him to put out a show like this. Some of the storylines in the show, absolutely, with the mother saying to her kids, “You’re this, you’re that (referring to the character, Cookie, having a penchant for hurling insults).” The father throwing the kid in the dumpster, it tugs at the heartstrings. It makes you uncomfortable,

but it happens. I feel that with knowledge there’s power. Allison Kugel:What will Candace be up to in the new season? Vivica A. Fox: I can’t give away a whole bunch, but I will tell you that Candace is back and that you will get the chance to finally meet our mother, Renee, played by the very beautiful and talented Alfre Woodard. Allison Kugel: In your book you pro-

coming, and they get the short end of the stick. They keep dating the same guy over and over again. That’s why, in the book, I say to make your chart out. Do you keep dating the same guy over and over again? If you do, you’re going to get the same result. Allison Kugel: Do you want Hollywood to be colorblind in writing and casting roles, or do you want to be identified, and cast, as an African American actress? Vivica A. Fox: Of course, I always want to be seen as a

vide some back story about your mom and dad’s relationship, and how it’s affected your own love life. What I got from what you wrote is that in watching your mom nurse a broken heart over the divorce from your father, you saw her as a victim, and that framed your own love life. Vivica A. Fox: Absolutely. Allison Kugel:Do you still see her as a victim, or do you see things in a different light now? And what would it take for you to let your guard down in love? Vivica A. Fox: I see my mother now as a survivor. My mother grew up in a time where you stuck by your guy. He was her one true love, and I definitely have those qualities. What I learned from her, in wanting her to live and to love and to laugh more, I wouldn’t take those same steps that she did. I can open my heart again. For my part, I’m making sure that I’m not lustful anymore. I don’t look at somebody and right away say, “Oh yes, he’s the one!” I make sure that I take the time to get to know someone. That’s something I pass along in my book, as well. Don’t jump into the shallow end of the pool head first. You’ve got to take the time to get to know people. So yes, I am open to love. I want to love again and have someone that’s really special. But he has to prove himself, and I would have to prove myself to him, that I’m worthy to be his mate. Sometimes women are so afraid to be alone that they just take that first thing

talented African American actress, because that’s who I am. I feel that right now, what’s going on in Hollywood is that, man, that glass ceiling has been busted wide open. It’s been a long time coming, with the success of Black Panther, with the success of television shows like “Scandal,” “Empire” and “How to Get Away with Murder,”and with Oprah having her own network. It’s about damn time. Allison Kugel: Finish these sentences for me. I know I can trust someone when… Vivica A. Fox: When I’ve truly gotten to know them. Allison Kugel: I know that God is speaking to me when… Vivica A. Fox: Woo! Hmmm…all the time. Every day when I wake up and I can thank Him for letting me see another day. I would say I know God is speaking to me all the time, and He helps me make better choices. Allison Kugel:My spiritual mission in this life is… Vivica A. Fox: To be kind, to do unto others and to leave a good mark. Vivica’s memoir, “Every Day I’m Hustling,” is available everywhere books are sold.. Editor’s note: Allison Kugel is a syndicated entertainment and pop culture journalist, and author of the book, Journaling Fame: A memoir of a life unhinged and on the record. Follow her on Instagram @theallisonkugel.

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum — – May 2018


Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum May 2018  

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum is an online publication based in Biloxi, Mississippi and also serving Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. For...

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum May 2018  

Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum is an online publication based in Biloxi, Mississippi and also serving Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. For...