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8 COVER STORY Surviving It All: Dorinda Clark-Cole 14 Melony & Goliath: Melony Armstrong 51 From Mother to Hero: Sophia Westbrook

25 51

Safia Michelle

JAN/FEB 2013 - Volume 1, Issue 1

From Mother to Hero

E SQUARED ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT 25 Safia Michelle 40 Marcus B. Walter 43 Donneshia Clark 44 Resurrection Light 46 Dwight “Transparent” Taylor 48 Chriscell Ruth 49 Xaviar Ruth 57 David “Wordsmith” Derf

37 Can an Apple a Day Keep the Doctor Away? 38 Things to Do on Your First Visit to Chicago



18 Start a Business With No Money 19 Earn Extra Money 20 10 Tips To Get Debt Free 21 Successful Time Management


24 Lipstick Mixtapes 27 5 Tips For Fall Fashion 28 Preeminence Fragrance 30 The Natural Transition-Tips for transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair


Holiday Sweets

42 Len’s Top 10 Lenticular Flow’s top 10 songs, artists and videos 43 Backstage with DC Syndicated talkshow in Northern California hosted by Donneshia Clark 44 Who is Resurrection Light? Christian music group representing the musical side of Christ 46 Dwight “Transparent” Taylor 48 Extreme Arts 49 Destined For Greatness


51 From Mother to Hero A woman goes from Mother to Hero in a matter of minutes 56 How Would Jesus Vote Encouraging and insightful wisdom to help you along life’s journey 57 David “Wordsmith” Derf


32 Your E Squared Food Guide Veggie Squash, Macaroni and Cheese and Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes 34 Diaries of a Fed Up Phat Girl 36 Adventures of Balboa & Ruby A look at the life of a Pit Bull and a Pomeranian living in the same house







A New Journey Begins Hello, I’m Debra Walter, Editor-in-Chief for E Squared Magazine and I would like to welcome you to the very first issue! For the past 15 years, I have spent countless hours building a career in Information Technology until 2007. This was the year when things begin to change as I realized a passion for writing. I began to write poetry, short stories, and most recently, a book, “To Cripple a Butterfly”. It’s my first published work; an amazing story of courage and perseverance. It can be found at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. It’s a blessing to know, “To Cripple a Butterfly” was just the beginning for me, as I have now been given this wonderful opportunity to be apart of E Squared Magazine! For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been told that knowledge is power; and over the years I’ve learned that to be a very true statement. Knowledge and learning comes in all forms, shapes, and sizes. You can learn from simply picking up a book, participating in a lecture, surfing the Internet, watching television or mere conversation with other individuals. Because of the various avenues and the vast amount of information out there, your main focus should be to absorb that which is most beneficial for your life. At E Squared Magazine, special care has been taken in choosing topics we feel that will not only be beneficial, but inspiring, motivational and entertaining as well. We hope you enjoy this issue, and as we continue to explore and provide meaningful information to our readers, please share your ideas and thoughts with us.




I’d like to “ personally give







Robbin Ruth is a musician, entrepreneur, husband and futuristic writer. He founded a Christian music group in 2000 called Resurrection Light. They’ve travelled the US ministering for Christ.

Christian Westbrook owns a shoe store called Stiltz Footwear and Apparel. They specialize in women’s heels and also have clothing and apparel. Christian is also a fashion consultant.

With her community blog Diaries of a Fed Up Phat Girl, La Toya Stutton has provided a support platform that has helped many woman get in shape. On this blog, people share their ups and downs, recipes and tips.


a very special thanks to those who contributed in making this first issue a success.







Safia Michelle is a well-known fixture among the Orlando Fashion and Entertainment scenes. She’s worked with high-end salons, M.A.C Cosmetics, Universal Studios, Tween Girl Magazine and Darden Restaurants.

Laine Gregory is truly a person who loves to bake. She has baked tons of cakes, cookies and cupcakes. She is a very creative person that loves to work with the youth at her church. She is also a great photographer.

Melony Armstrong is a trailblazer in the natural hair industry. She got a braiding bill passed in 2009 that created hundreds of jobs. She is a public speaker, entrepreneur and Co-Pastor at Kingdom Seekers Church.



inside look

WHAT IS E SQUARED? “There are many roads to success, but not everyone who travels them help people along the way.” - Cortney S. Westbrook E2 stands for “empowering entrepreneurs”. The idea came in the process of developing the mission statement for Cortney Westbrook Enterprises. The mission is to empower entrepreneurs through technology, information and networking. Whatever product, business or entity that exists under CWE, it holds the same mission. “E Squared” came into existence when the idea of the magazine was conceived. Let’s just take a moment to break it down.

The word “empower” means to equip, or give (someone) the authority or power to do something.

CW Enterprises uses it business ventures and products to empower people and entrepreneurs; empower them with knowledge, information, technological resources and connections with other entrepreneurs. If a person has the tools or resources to do something, then they are empowered. When God created man, He empowered man to have dominion over the earth. He put inside of man everything that he needed to fulfill his life’s mission.



The other significant factor of E Squared, is the entrepreneur part. An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business(s) and assumes the responsibilities and liabilities of that business venture. Another definition of an entrepreneur is one who takes a calculated risk for private profit. Almost anyone can be an entrepreneur (musician, doctor, photographer, pastor and even a dog-walker). Believe it or not, when some people hear the word “entrepreneur” they associate it with someone who doesn’t have a job or someone who does “side-gigs”. And, even someone who always have a getrich-quick scheme. See here’s the beauty of it: there are ALL TYPES of entrepreneurs in many different industries and areas. Highly successful people are considered entrepreneurs; people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Donald Trump and Joel Osteen. So, to make this as simple as possible, an entrepreneur is someone who is in business for themselves and takes a calculated risk to make a profit. Once again, that can be anyone. And, that is what Cortney Westbrook Enterprises and E Squared Magazine is all about. JAN/FEB 2013 | ESQUAREDMAG.COM


"Surviving It All"

dr.DORINDA CLARK-COLE By Cortney Westbrook


orinda Clark Cole is a world-renown two-time Grammy Award winning Gospel artist and evangelist. Dr. Cole is also known as a member of the largest selling female Gospel group in the history of Gospel music, the CLARK SISTERS. Born and raised in Detroit, MI, she is the daughter of DR. MATTIE MOSS CLARK, the woman who created the three-part harmony and the first person to record choir music. When Dr. Cole agreed to do an exclusive interview with me for E Squared Magazine, I was honored and super excited. In this interview, I got to know Dr. Cole like many of her fans and supporters don’t. We talked about her music, career, mother, personal life and how God delivered her from suicide. With such an amazing story and high-powered music career, Dr. Dorinda Clark-Cole is also an entrepreneur who empowers people all over the world through her various business ventures.



Dorinda was interviewed exclusively for E Squared Magazine, August 27, 2012.



ho is Dorinda? Off the stage, off the camera and away from the microphone, Dr. Dorinda Clark-Cole is one of the world-renown Clark Sisters. She is a wife, mother and entrepreneur. She has a business where the majority of her ministry is actually full time– Harvest Time Ministries. She has been in the industry and the ministry for over 40 years now. And, of course she is the daughter of the late Dr. Mattie Moss Clark who is a woman who Dorinda says “ the cause of me really being where I am today.” She also has a clothing line, radio show, and TV show. That’s kind of a little scope of who Dorinda is. ESQUARED: When you’re not working, what does a typical day in your life consists of?

DORINDA: A typical day in my life is basically chilling–having that study time with God and relaxing. I do a lot of exercising; I jog, go to Curves; I go to the spa. And, when I have time off, that’s usually what I do. When I’m at home not traveling, I basically kind of stay around the house; I have a lot of things that I have to do around the house. ESQUARED: You have millions of people that follow your career and listen to your music everyday. What music do you listen to? Who is your favorite artist?

COVER STORY | SURVIVING IT ALL become true for a group of 5 sisters from Detroit, MI? DORINDA: I do thank God for my parents. My dad is a pastor and my mom was a musician. From that stemmed where my mom was actually working with us in the choir. She started seeing the gift in us and she started moving us in the local churches. That’s how we first got our start–in being at home going to all of the musicals and being on the programs, until it got to the point that we started doing albums. My sister Twinkie is one of the prolific writers of today and all times. She is the cause of us really having those songs out there. God inspired her to write the songs; and of course with my mom developing the “Clark sound”, that’s how we kind of moved in the industry.


ESQUARED: You all recorded your first album in 1973. From that time up to today, you all have had phenomenal success, together and individually. What is the glue that holds the Clark Sisters together? From left to right: Dorinda, Twinkie, Jacky, Karen

DORINDA: Isn’t that amazing? Ha! I have quite a few people that I listen to. Who’s in my iPod right now is Anita Wilson–who is a young lady that just came out with a new CD; she sang with Donald Lawrence. I love her CD. I’m listening to it on the plane; I’m listening to it in my room. And, then I have a few other artists that I listen to as well. And, of course my peers; we’re always listening to each other. I have a playlist that I listen to everyday. It usually has some of the songs that keep my world together and keep me in the worship mode; keep DORINDA: What holds us together is what my mother me focused during the day. said on her dying bed: “All I need y’all to do is just ESQUARED: An online encyclopedia stated that The stick together.” But, even growing up as children, Clark Sisters are the largest selling female gospel my mom has always had that bond with us. Even group in the history of gospel music. How did that though all of us have done our own solo careers,

“What holds us together is what my mother said on her 10


we always came together collectively. And, I think that was the thing that kind of held the glue–that statement that my mom made on her dying bed. Dorinda continues to express that another reason her and her sisters have stuck together over the years is because of church. They all are in the same church, in which her sister Karen is the first lady. Karen’s husband is John Drew Sheard, senior pastor of Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ, in Detroit, MI. A lot of times they may not see each other during the week, but on Sunday they’re always right there. “We sit together at church as well.” Dorinda says. Twinkie Clark goes to the sister church of Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ. “We’re really a close-knitted family. The circle that we have is real small because we constantly stay in touch with each other.”


and work on music. And, unbeknown to them, she would try the song out on them and teach it to her choir during Monday choir rehearsal. Being used as a testing ground for Dr. Mattie Moss Clark’s songs, made the Clark Sisters revolutionary in what they would come to do in the Gospel music industry. “That’s how we developed the Clark sound; and that’s how we developed that blending trend that everybody talks about.” There are so many amazing words that can describe Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, and yet there are none that can express the honor and recognition that she truly deserves.

ESQUARED: So, growing up with your mom teaching and training all of you, was she tough on you? Did she wake all of you up in the middle of the night like Joe Jackson did with the Jackson 5? Dorinda giggles and responds.

DORINDA: Definitely number one, I’ve learned to have integrity. That’s so important; your word is your bond. If you make a commitment, keep it. And,

DORINDA: Yes she did! It’s always been said that the inspiration of someone that is talented and gifted comes through the hours of 1 o’clock to 6 o’clock in the morning. So, my mom would actually get her inspiration around that time. It would be about 4 o’clock when she would wake us up. ‘Come here girls, I got this song.’ [Dorinda playfully mimics her mother.] Sometimes those songs would come like that constantly.

ESQUARED: What are the most valuable lessons you’ve learned from her?

Even though the girls had to go to school the next morning, it happened so frequently that they were trained to get up in the early hours of the morning

dying bed: ‘All I need y’all to do is just stick together.’” JAN/FEB 2013 | ESQUAREDMAG.COM


SURVIVING IT ALL | COVER STORY if you can’t keep it then at least call and back it up. And, no matter how far you go, you have to be careful whom you entertain because the least person may be the person that could really bring the wealth. That was another lesson we learned. And, then never pull away from storefront churches. No church is too small and no church is too big that you can’t let God use your gift there. We learned a valuable lesson with that because those small churches are the ones, believe it or not, that will really kind of get the word out there about you. We know the big churches will do that of course, but those small churches are so in awe of you even taking the time to come see about them. People look at stuff like that.” The Clark Sisters have developed a reputation of being down to earth and easy to talk to no matter where they are or how big they get. They never have that entourage of people that you have to seep through to get to them. “We’ve always been like that. We learned that from our mom because that’s the way she was. And, I think that’s the reason why she stayed around so long and people flocked to her–because she was a people’s person.” And, that’s exactly one of the things that drew me to Dorinda and Jacky–the fact that they are so down-to-earth.

THE SURVIVAL ESQUARED: Your latest album that released January 2011 is titled I Survived. What did you survive? And, how did you survive it?

DORINDA: Well, I had several things I survived–I was suicidal at one point. This was a situation that I was going through during a very difficult time in my life and I didn’t think that I was going to survive. I had to actually go to court for it and it happened to be a church situation. I never thought that it would be me that had to go through it. And, of course you think that the church people are there with you. Just a handful of people were there with me; and I can count them on my hand right now.” With the prayers of the saints, Dorinda was able to get through that situation. After going through that, it was very difficult for her and, the enemy began to talk to her mind, telling her the way to end it–just go on and commit suicide. “I was actually on my way to the river driving my car, and the



Dorinda singing at Mississippi Regional SMC

enemy was saying, “Accelerate”. At that point, I was on my way out. And, I got to the bridge and I was about to drive my car off the bridge, but God’s voice caught me. He said, “Dorinda, everything that I’ve invested in you, all of the many lives that have been touched by your music and ministry, you can’t allow the enemy to take you out; don’t do it.” When I heard His voice, that’s when my car came to a screeching halt. I began to cry and say thank you Lord for sparing my life. Right after that life-changing incident, Dorinda was able to write the song “I’m Still Here”, which released in 2002 on her debut solo album. And, not only that, while in the process of working on “I Survived”, she had just came through a devastating house fire that consumed her entire home, causing her to relocate for a whole year. “It was devastating,” she says. During the reconstruction of her house, God actually restored everything that she lost and more. “I can go back to that album where I can say that I can take back everything that the devil has stolen; so that’s a part of the survival.”


ESQUARED: Your first solo album is called “Dorinda Clark Cole” and was released in 2002. Why go solo? Why not stay exclusive with the group?

DORINDA: Well, every group does that. The reason why they do that is because there are some people in the group that may be a little more talented than the others or have more skills than some of the others. [continued on page 68]


Story of a woman, who pursuing to start a small business, became a lobbyist and got a federal law passed that created hundreds of jobs and businesses across the entire state of Mississippi.

Business | Money


GOLIATH I’m sure you all have heard the Bible story of a giant named Goliath that terrorized village people day and night. No trained solider equipped for war was brave enough to challenge or defeat this 10 feet tall giant. However, there was one man. He was not a man of war or of battle. But, he was actually a young boy that was equipped with courage; courage that descended from the heavens. This young boy was of the name David, who in the end defeated Goliath with one smooth stone and a slingshot. That was the story of David and Goliath. What you are about to read is a story about a woman that didn’t accept defeat, a woman that didn’t fold at the firewall.



Melony was interviewed and photographed exclusively for E Squared Magazine, August 27, 2012. JAN/FEB 2013 | ESQUAREDMAG.COM


TOP STORY | MELONY & GOLIATH Kevin, had some strong doubts. How did he feel about all of this? MELONY: Well, this is the way my husband is: when he really doesn’t have a whole lot to say about something at first, he won’t say anything. So, for a long time I was the one doing the talking, but he wasn’t responding at all. Well, one day out of the blue I said I want to be a professional hair braider. My background is psychology. And, actually that was sort of my pursuit, to work in the area in which I majored in. So, to basically wake up one day and say I want to braid hair, it just didn’t make any sense. So, he didn’t know where it was coming from.

Inside of Naturally Speaking in Tupelo, MS

Melony Armstrong is the owner of Naturally Speaking Braiding Salon and Training Academy. In 1999, Melony dominated the giant of politics with the birth of Naturally Speaking, making it the first licensed professional braiding salon in the state of Mississippi. Today, Naturally Speaking is a thriving business in Tupelo, MS that provides total care for the natural hair. As I walk into the salon, I’m greeted by the beautiful stained floors, the vibrant colors on the walls and the professional afro-centric decor. ESQUARED: Tell me about yourself. MELONY: My name is Melony Armstrong and I am married to Pastor Kevin Armstrong; we have four boys. I’m not originally from Tupelo, MS; I’m originally from Cleveland, OH. However, I’ve lived in Tupelo about 20 years now and I’m a business owner/entrepreneur.

state of Mississippi. ESQUARED: That’s an amazing accomplishment. Now, you have a unique name: Naturally Speaking. Where did the name come from? MELONY: Naturally speaking was always in my vocabulary. It’s something that I grew up saying. So, in our household, that was terminology I was used to using. So, when I knew that I was going to open a natural hair care braiding salon, I began to sit down and think about names. And, I knew that it was going to relate to “natural”. As I began to think and think, Naturally Speaking came up. It was a term that I was familiar with because I used it all the time. ESQUARED: When did you first realize that you wanted to braid hair, and why did you?

MELONY: Before I realized I wanted to braid hair, I started just having some thoughts about doing hair; almost like out of the blue one day. And, not really directing that thought toward ESQUARED: In a small nutshell, tell me about natural hair, I just began to pursue cosmetolNaturally Speaking. ogy. So, it was first thoughts of cosmetology, MELONY: Naturally Speaking is a natural hair but it narrowed down to braiding after I had an care and braiding salon. We opened in 1999, appointment in Memphis to get my hair braidso we’re going on 14 years in business. ed at a braiding salon. And, so it was there Naturally Speaking is the first natural hair care that the real desire to go into the professional braiding salon in our area; we are also the braiding industry came about. first licensed professional braiding salon in the ESQUARED: I’m aware that your husband, Pastor



experience for me and them”, Melony says. ESQUARED: So, you got a bill passed into law in the State of Mississippi that says that an individual can start a braiding salon, or legally braid hair for the exchange of money (so to speak), without having to go to cosmetology school and receive a full cosmetology license. Politics are rough! On a scale of 1-10, how difficult was that?

MELONY: On a scale of 1-10 it was a 10.5. It was a thing that was virtually going to be impossible. As a matter of fact, in my endeavors to get around having to have a 1500 hour cosmetology license, I was told that there was ESQUARED: Wow! Well, believe it or not, but a no hope for me. I was actually told by one of man says a lot when he says nothing at all. the state representatives, “If you want to be Melony giggles in total agreeable to braid hair, and you It was a thing ment. So you started on this jourdon’t want to go to cosmeney to being a business owner that was virtually tology school, then get the and unbeknown to you, it was law changed. Good luck!” going to be actually illegal for you to braid hair impossible... I without a full cosmetology license. To be told that from When was it, that you found this a Mississippi State was told that out? Representative, you would there is no hope probably assume that was MELONY: It was after my mind was going to be the punch that made up that this is what I was for me. dropped Melony in the first going to do. At the time I decided round of this political fight. But, Melony took this, I didn’t even know how to braid. those words and used them as fuel. In the ESQUARED: Oh wow, that’s deep. end, the law got passed and she was able to MELONY: Even when I learned some basic continue to braid hair and Naturally Speaking professional hair braiding techniques, the next has now been open for 13 years. Along with offering natural hair care and hurdle I was going to have to jump was getting braiding services, Melony Armstrong has been licensed. And, it was at this time that I began to learn about the state laws in Mississippi. In teaching braiding classes since 2004. So, not order to practice natural hair care and braiding, only is Melony and Naturally Speaking a beayou had to have a full 1500-hour cosmetology con of inspiration for the community, but they are also an avenue of education for many of license. the young women that they have trained over In her efforts to get this law changed, Melony the years. “This was really for me not only to had to drive back and forward from Tupelo, MS help others to do what I was doing, but it was to Jackson, MS on a weekly basis, which is also for me to expand my business. I had more over a 3 hour drive. To be able to tell her side dreams and ideas that were starting to come, of the story, she had to become a lobbyist and and this… “law” was standing in my way.” basically educate the legislators because they [continued on page 70] had no idea about hair braiding. “That was an JAN/FEB 2013 | ESQUAREDMAG.COM




Anyone can start a business with no money. All you need is the right idea, a few basic principles to follow and a dead-on focus. Follow these few tips from our business development guide and in no time you’ll be on your way to turning your ideas into cold hard cash.


dentify your passion or idea. All of us have passions and ideas. We were all given some sort of gift, talent, skill or idea. Believe it or not, but it can actually make you money, and possibly rich. So, what is that thing you’re passionate about? The thing people always ask you to do; the thing that makes you feel the happiest. What is the thing that you will do for free? Whatever your answer is, that is what you can make a business out of.


liminate expenses. Now that you’ve figured out what your passion/idea is, figure out what the expenses are and find ways to eliminate them. With any business, there will be expenses. That’s inevitable. If you can’t eliminate the expenses, then you can’t start a business with no money. However, there is an alternative to this approach: investors. If someone invests in your business, you won’t have to pay for anything yourself. So, to a certain extent this method is still considered starting a business with no money (It’s just not your money).


rite the vision and make it plain. It is extremely vital that you write down your ideas through creating a business plan. Initially, it doesn’t need to be an elaborate plan. It just needs to be something where you can see where you want your business to go. Keeping something stored in your mind and actually writing it down is two different things and yields two different results. Writing allows creative ideas to flow. When you write down your thoughts, they become clearer and you’re able to see the end in the beginning. This also allows for better



Who doesn’t need extra money these days? According to a national pole, 8 out of 10 Americans say that the economy is in poor shape. With fluctuations on Wall Street and the unstable real-estate market, everyone is looking for extra money in today’s society. Well, we’ve put together a little list of ways you can earn some extra moolah.






That’s somewhat of a given for most people. The classic American that needs more income will generally seek to get a second or third job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 5 percent of people in the U.S. work multiple jobs.


planning. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.


e-evaluate and invest. After the business has started making money, take a step back and re-evaluate it. Is it going where you wanted it to go? Does your time investments equal the return of business that you’re receiving? If so, continue to move forward and invest money back into the business. At this point, you may want to form your business as a company. In that case, you will need to register your company and get a business license. Depending on the ake the business pay for itself. The num- type of company, you will need to register with ber one key to starting a business with no the city, state and definitely the federal governmoney is figuring out ways to make it pay for ment. itself. If you can do that, then you won’t have to pay for anything out of your pocket, or anyone For more tips and resources visit else’s (including loans and investments). Nine ESQUAREMAG.COM times out of ten there is at least one way that any business can pay for itself.



There are millions of small business owners in the U.S. Depending on the type, starting a small business can be very lucrative and not require a lot of money, if any at all.




This is a very practical way of earning some extra money. Everyone has something that they don’t need. You can sell those things off at a garage sale and make some instant cash. In the U.S., there are 165,000 garage sales per week, earning $4,222,375 weekly. That’s a whopping $202.6M earned a year in garage sales! WOW!


Wish to your lucky stars and play the lottery; you just might win. The most commonly played numbers in the Mega Millions lottery are: 4, 29, 36 and 48. Even though your odds at winning the lottery are pretty low, if won it could change your life forever.

The stock market is risky, but can be extremely lucrative. But, this is not an instant moneymaker, though. Stocks require time to yield a good ROI (Return On Investment).





10 1

CUT UP YOUR CREDIT CARDS Believe it or not but a lot of people that are deep in debt still have open credit cards. Now it’s okay to have a low-interest card for emergency situations.However, if you’re on the path to debt freedom, close and cut up any credit cards you may have. Stop getting further into debt.


GET YOUR CREDIT REPORT After you’ve closed your open accounts and cut up your credit cards, find out your credit score and see what’s on your credit report. You can’t get out of debt until you know what you have to pay. You actually may not be in as much debt as you think. Credit card debt for the average American household is between $14,000$17,000. You can order a free annual report from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) by visiting


FIX ERRORS ON CREDIT REPORT If you find mistakes on your report, contact the credit bureau immediately. Instead of using an online form, send a letter that includes your name, address, description of each item that you’re disputing and an explanation of why you dispute it.


CREATE A BUDGET Creating a budget is not only vital for debt freedom, but it is also vital for financial freedom in general. By creating a budget, you are able to see where your money is going and how much you have to go towards paying off your debt. Keep it simple. Write down your income and expenses. Subtract expenses from income and the amount you have left is profit. Save a portion of it and put the other portion toward debt payments.


PAY OFF SMALLEST DEBT Find out what the smallest balance is on your credit report. Attack it first and make minimum payments on everything else. Then move on to the next smallest balance. If you’re not able to make minimum payments on everything else, just take it one at a time, but pay it off as quickly as possible. This method will create some momentum and encourage you to continue paying off your debt.




MAKE PAYMENTS ON TIME Making payments on-time can not only encourage you, but also can keep your score at a good level. Late payments can kill a credit score. If you make one late payment, up to 100 points can get erased from your score. On the upside, there is usually a grace period for late payments. Depending on the company, it’s usually 30 or 60 days. But, if no payment has been made within that grace period, the credit company will report it to the credit bureaus; and that will go on your report. But, here’s another good upside: after you’ve made several good payments, you can contact the credit company and ask them to remove the late payment off your report. Consistent on-time payments looks very good to creditors and can have a great impact on your score and report.


REMAIN FOCUSED If you really want to get out of debt, you have to make up your mind and remain focused. You will not get out of debt overnight, unless you win the lottery. Chances are you didn’t get into debt in 2 or 3 years and chances are you won’t get out of debt in 2 or 3 years; it may take longer. But, that also depends on your ability to remain focused and determined. Create a plan of action and stick to it. Hang in there; you can do it.


FIND YOUR PURPOSE Why do you want to get out of debt? To help your children? Go on a vacation? Start a business? Have peace of mind? Finding your purpose and keeping it at the fore-front of your mind will help you remain focused.


CONSOLIDATE YOUR DEBT Debt consolidation can be a risky business. It usually involves a secured loan against an asset that serves as collateral, like a house or car. The interest rates are usually lower because by collateralizing, the owner agrees to allow forced sale (foreclosure) of the asset to pay off the loan. Since the interest rates are lower, the loan is usually paid off sooner. Proceed with caution!


FILE BANKRUPTCY If all else fails and you just can not repay your debt, consider bankruptcy as a last resort. There are some major drawbacks, however. This will remain on your credit report for 10 years, making it almost impossible to obtain credit. Another drawback is the fact that filing bankruptcy costs money (the very thing that you’re in need of). There are several types of bankruptcy, but it basically means that you are incapable of repaying your debts and they will be discharged from your report.


Successful Time Management

Time is the one most valuable resources in business, and more importantly, in life. Once time is gone, it’s gone; there’s no bringing it back. In today’s busy society, successfully managing time can seem to be a daunting task. With the full schedule you already have, it seems more is added to your plate daily. Even though those things that come up are usually small, they also are usually unavoidable and could tremendously throw off your schedule. Well, today we’re going to give you some strategies that will help you successfully manage your time and get the most out of your day. One of the most important things in time management is realizing that you are always on the clock. You are always on it because the clock is always ticking. Realizing this will motivate you not to waste valuable time. Time lost is money lost. The time you spend on social networks or watching TV, can be time you spend developing a new idea. There is no time to waste. And, by making a few changes, you can successfully manage your time and maximize your day.




important enough to break away from your list to complete. If they aren’t, then put them on the First, make a list of all of the things that you bottom of the list for later re-organization. Workneed to get done. Organize them from most ing on tasks that aren’t on your list is one of the important to least important. Using a numbered most time-wasting, time-consuming pitfalls that list usually works best. we fall into. If you have to, turn off your phone, lock your office door or shut off all outside com2 STICK TO THE PLAN munications to remain focused. After you’ve written your to-do list, you’ve automatically created a plan of action. Having a plan 4 PICK UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF will definitely help you maximize your time. But, You may not finish your entire list in one day, and the most vital factor about a plan is sticking to that’s okay. Just pick up tomorrow where you it. If you don’t plan to do something, it will never leave off today. But, be sure to organize your toget done. You can’t expect things to get done do list again since you’ve completed some tasks without putting them in some type of organized and added others. Don’t pressure yourself to get plan. Things don’t just happen, they must be everything done in one day. When you pressure planned. Planning is essential in successful time yourself, you tend to lose focus and get in a rush. management. And, we all know what happens when you rush. Things get out of order, work doesn’t get done or 3 STAY FOCUSED got done incorrectly. That’s why it is so vital for You must remained focused on the task at hand you to write your to-do list in order of importance; to manage your time successfully. Things that this way, you know at least the important stuff aren’t on your list will come up; that’s inevitable. gets done. But when they do, you must determine if they are JAN/FEB 2013 | ESQUAREDMAG.COM


Purchase online at

Fashion | Beauty JAN/FEB 2013 | ESQUAREDMAG.COM




Black Dress Confidential

Eye Makeup

Every woman should have at least 2 little black dresses. If you’re still feeling your way around fashion, then 1 dress is okay, but if you’re a super fashionista you must have 2! The little black dress is that goto dress when you’re in a crunch. Whether it be a planned date or a spur of the moment lunch, the little black dress is a diamond in the rough, because it makes you feel glamorous and fabulous the moment you put it on. So, the next time you’re out shopping with the girls, bring home a little black dress; you’ll be so glad you did!

The eyes always have it when it comes to makeup; for most people eyes are their best feature. When experimenting with eye makeup don’t try to do too much the first time. When applying eye shadow, use one or 2 colors that can be easily blended together to give your eyes an amazing look. Add a rich black lengthening mascara and POW your eyes are popping and on point!

Safia is the owner of Lipstick Mixtapes in Orlando, FL.

By Safia Michelle

Safia Michelle A well-known fixture among the Orlando Fashion and

Entertainment scenes, Safia Michelle, has positioned herself as an experienced Makeup Artist on the rise. With 10 years in Makeup Artistry, Safia Michelle has graced many media sets and high profile shoots. From high-end salons, and M.A.C Cosmetics, to exclusive commercial and film features, like Universal Studios, Tween Girl Magazine, and Darden Restaurants--there Safia Michelle developed her passion for creating beauty behind the scenes. 24


Photography by Damond Brown







Instead of putting your sleeveless summer clothes away (dresses, tube tops, etc.), just add cardigans and casual blazers to your wardrobe to cover your arms and still wear your cut, comfortable summer tops and dresses.


Wear ankle boots with dresses instead of mid-calf or knee high boots. This will elongate your legs and keep you from looking stubby.


If you don’t wear a lot of necklaces and other jewelry, accessorize your wardrobe with scarves. It adds style and flair to whatever you wear.


If you’re not very good at color-blocking your clothes, wear a solid color top and bottom, or dress, and add colorful jewelry or a scarf. This will give you a vibrant, but not busy look.

5 “A whole new level.” WWW.ROCKNF8TH.COM

When wearing a print (shoes, blouse, dress, etc.) add a solid base to it. It’s difficult to find the exact same color and print pattern, so choose your printed ensemble wisely. JAN/FEB 2013 | ESQUAREDMAG.COM






The conception of Preeminence: The Fragrance of Royalty was something that I’ve never experienced before. It has been almost 3 years of labor in pursuit of something that I had only heard from within; I had no idea of how it should smell, no leads, no colors, not a grain of knowledge concerning fragrances or how to make them. Often times feeling discouraged and crazy, I still kept moving. After almost a year and a half of wondering in the wilderness, as you could say, mixing different oils, conducting experiments and creating formulas, I was desperately trying to grasp what was inside of me. But, nothing seemed to work. Then one night I came across a website that put me on the correct path. It was New Year’s Eve of 2011 at home researching, when I ran across some information on a website that changed my mindset and took off some of the pressure. I submitted my information to the contact form on the website and thought I was smooth sailing from there. I became weary and discouraged again when I didn’t get an immediate response. It wasn’t until a month later when the company called me. We exchanged ideas and I gave them my vision for my fragrance. They sent me several samples of what they thought I wanted my fragrance to smell like. After going through a few different scents, I finally made my decision. Preeminence was finally in a tangible form. Next on my agenda was marketing, business cards and a website. I reached out to a well-known graphic design company named Dominion Artistry for help concerning my brand. I got those things looking the way I wanted and June 29, 2012 Preeminence: The Scent of a King was released. There was so much support shown that I sold out of 100 samples in 3 days. The fragrance was a big hit! But, then a big red flag was raised. Women were asking, “Do you have anything for us?” Their response was one that I did not expect. They loved the fragrance so much that even though it was a men’s fragrance, they started wearing it too. Then, I started thinking about what it meant and I came to realize that the essence of Preeminence applied to both male and female. Through all of the feedback and constant confirmation, the birth of a unisex fragrance came alive: Preeminence: The Fragrance of Royalty. The saga continues…

June 29, 2012 Preeminence: The Scent of a King was released.




Tips and Options for The Natural Transition

If you have made the decision to go natural, first of all congratulations. Going natural can be a smooth transition as well as frustrating. A game plan is what is needed to help this milestone in your life be smooth sailing.


Health & Fitness Food | Pets | Travel

Identify Your Curl Pattern

There are 3 types of curl patterns: Short (tight, kinky, fine or coarse to touch), Medium (loser curl, easy to groom, break less when combed) and By Melony Armstrong Long (long, wavy curl, referred to as wash-n-go hair).


Do a Protective Style or ”The Big Chop”


Explore Products For Natural Hair


Don’t Let Anyone Talk You Down

For short curl patterns, visit a professional natural hair care salon to explore a professional extension style such as braids, twists or a sew-in-weave. Or, you can keep it nice and simple by doing “The Big Chop”. The choices for natural hair products are very broad; you can even make your own. Now that you’re going natural, your hair will need ingredients that are natural-hair friendly. Going natural should never be a fad, but a way of life. We were all born natural for a reason and that reason is so that we can express our creator who created us in His image and in His likeness.



Can an Apple a Day Keep the Doctor Away?


e’ve all heard the old saying “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” Well we wanted to see how true that actually is. Through research, we found that apples have just the right amount of antioxidants that raise levels of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a compound in the nervous system that helps improve memory, but tends to decrease with age. Now, antioxidants protects brain cells from being destroyed by free form radicals. There is a compound in apples called quercetin; which is used as a food

supplement and boosts immunity. A study at Cornell University found that the quercetin in apples can protect against the kind of brain damage that may lead to Alzheimer’s disease. But, that’s not all. Along with protecting your brain and lowering your risk for Alzheimer’s disease, apples also have been shown to lower your risk for many cancers. It’s recommended that you consume 2-3 apples each day or 1-2 8oz glasses of apple juice each day. So, ultimately, yes; an apple a day actually can keep the doctor away. JAN/FEB 2013 | ESQUAREDMAG.COM




Squash Dressing

Pumpkin Cupcake w/Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Cook Time: 40 minutes or until set Serves: 8-10 • 2 cup sliced yellow squash (cooked & drained) • 2 cup crumbled cornbread • 1 (10.75 to 1 once) can cream of mushroom soup • 1 cup chopped onion • 1/2 cup melted butter • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten • 1/2 tsp ground sage

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes • 2 cups all-purpose flour • 1 tsp baking soda • 1 tsp baking powder • 1 tsp coarse salt • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon • 1 tsp ground ginger • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar • 1 cup granulated sugar • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 1/2 quart baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake 40 minutes, or until set.

Macaroni & Cheese

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting • 2-(8) ounce package cream cheese, softened • 1 stick butter, softened • 2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Cook Time: 25-30 minutes minimum Serves: 8-10 • 1½ cup plain soy milk (or coconut milk) • 1/2 - 1 cup water • 1½ cup nutritional yeast • 1 tbsp paprika • 1 tbsp garlic powder • 1 tbsp veggie salt or liquid aminos • 1 cup of canola or veggie margarine • 1½ lbs of pasta • 1 large baking dish Preheat oven to 350. Blend all ingredients in food processor. Cook pasta and drain. Put it in a lightly oiled baking pan. Pour cheese mixture over noodles. Bake until top is slightly brown and crisp.



Recipes by Melony Armstrong

Directions for Cake 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice; set aside. 2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter and eggs. Add dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree. 3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake 20 to

Recipe and photo by Laine Gregory 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Directions for Frosting 1. Using a mixer, blend the butter and cream cheese together until well combined. 2. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated. 3. Finally mix in vanilla and cinnamon. Visit ESQUAREDMAG.COM for more great Holiday Sweets recipes. JAN/FEB 2013 | ESQUAREDMAG.COM




Welcome to Diaries Of A Fed Up Phat Girl, where each month you’ll experience the good, bad, and the ugly during this lifestyle transition. I know many in our society are struggling with weight and it is definitely one of the most difficult things to conquer. I have struggled with my weight since FOREVER! I can’t remember a time it wasn’t an issue in my life. I’ve been on almost every diet imaginable and tried various weight loss pills. I would lose weight, but eventually it returned within 6 months. Needless to say, the weight loss programs nor the diet pills lasted long term. I decided that I was fed up with short term, quick fixes. It didn’t take 3 months to gain the weight and it definitely wasn’t going to take 3 months to lose it. Bottom line I had to “GET MY MIND RIGHT”. Getting my mind right meant having a heart-to-heart talk with myself. Well, I did just that and it went something like this: “La Toya, you really need to get yourself together. You’re either going to accept yourself as you are (at this 34


time I was at my highest weight of 234 pounds) or you’re going to put in the work that it takes to get down to a healthy and reasonable weight for your body type.” “You can’t continue taking your body through all these changes and using unhealthy methods to lose weight that are not working long term. You need to make the decision that no matter how long it takes or how many setbacks you experience, you’re in it for the long haul.” That was the day I decided I was done with this battle and I was grabbing it by the reigns, and doing what I needed for my health. I would have to say the most difficult hurdle I’ve come across during this journey was changing my mental compass. I’ve had to change my relationship with food, no longer using it as a comfort during emotional upsets or during times of celebration. There have been many occasions I’ve had to negotiate myself out of eating a piece of cake or food that wasn’t the best choice for my healthy journey. Some may say that’s weird or you should have more self-control. However, the fact of the matter is everyone has an addiction that they battle. The only difference with food or weight is that it’s something that can’t be hidden. Eventually, if you overeat consistently without having an active lifestyle it will begin to show outwardly (unless you’re one of the few lucky ones). I can’t stress enough the importance of having an awesome support system. If you do not have a support system internally, please reach out to the many online outlets and forums to join up with those on the same path as you. In future articles I will share a wealth of information and websites that I have found to be very useful. I look forward to you joining me as I become the “BEST ME” I can be. I hope that through my journey you are inspired to begin or complete yours. For more of “Diaries” visit ESQUAREDMAG.COM Facebook: Diaries of a Fed Up Phat Girl // Twitter: @winthisfight31



Photography by Sherrod Photography


Okay, so I know this is going to sound crazy to some of you out there, but my wife Christian and I own a male Pitt Bull (Balboa) and a female Pomeranian (Ruby). But, here’s the “kicker”: they live in the same house and they get along perfectly! Okay, well maybe not perfectly, but they’re both still alive. Lol! You’re probably thinking to yourself why hasn’t Balboa eaten Ruby yet. Well, that’s actually a valid question. And, honestly, early in the game we had a few close calls. When I would feed him before feeding her, she would run into the room and whenever she would get close to him he would snap at her. She would get out by the skin of her teeth, so I learned pretty quickly to feed them completely separate. If you ask any pet owner, they would tell you that their pets are like children. Not only in the sense that they require a lot of maintenance and not to mention money. But, their behavior and interaction is amazing. If you ask any pet owner, they would also tell you that pets take on the characteristics of their owner. I’m a cool, calm and collective type of guy; and Balboa is just the same; has my exact personality. Initially, people are afraid of him because of his size and the fact that he’s a Pitt Bull. But, he’s actually the sweetest dog ever. Before he was born, Christian was actually the one



that wanted one of my brother’s Pit Bulls. I initially told her no. But, when we went to visit him after he was born, I fell in love and had to have him. So, my brother gave him to us as a gift and we picked him up when he was 6 weeks old. He was the last one to be born and he was the fattest one too. He was so juicy and thick that there was only one appropriate name to give him: Rocky Balboa. Unfortunately, out of a litter of 4, he is the only one that is still around today. He’s been with us through thick and thin and will always be a part of our family. Now Ruby is a completely different story. And, if you’ve been around her for any amount of time, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Christian always wanted a small dog to carry around in her purse, as she would always say when she would consistently ask me. And, I would consistently tell her no. But, then one day came when she finally broke me down through a text message. She was at our local flea market and ran across a Pomeranian. She sent me a picture of the dog and she was so cute that I just had to give in and tell her yes. A couple of hours later, she came home with a dog and a bag full of goodies. At this point, reality started

to set in and I realized that I just gave her permission to bring another dog into our home. But, I want you to understand where I was coming from. I didn’t like small dogs; I always thought that they were pointless. But, I came to see how much it made her happy to have. So, that made the pill a little bit easier to swallow. However, that didn’t make me go easy on her with the rules. I set some strict house rules. First, I told her that Ruby is her dog and her responsibility. I told her that I would not feed her, let her outside, clean up after her or do anything that would involve taking care of her in any way. Eventually that changed, but the basic rules still remain. Now if you know my wife and her personality, then you know Ruby and her personality. Ruby has taken on Christian’s characteristics in full throttle. Ruby is always on Cloud 10. She always wants to play and run around the house. She’s a sweet dog, but early on she was a huge pest. And, sometimes she still is! We love Balboa and Ruby and they will always be a part of our family. This article is the first of many blogs that Christian and I will write about The Chronicles of Balboa and Ruby. Check out Balboa and Ruby’s blog: JAN/FEB 2013 | ESQUAREDMAG.COM


For more Things To Do and to submit your Things To Do list, visit ESQUAREMAG.COM.

If you've never been to a big ing feeling to be in the Downtown Chicity, then Chicago, IL is the perfect city to pay a visit to first. cago area. It tops the list of Things to Do During Your First Visit to Chicago.


Okay, so Downtown Chicago–Michigan Avenue is a must-see. If you’ve never been to a big city, your socks will be blown off when you hit Michigan Avenue. The buildings are so tall and so close together that you will certainly get that “big city flutter” in your chest when you look up. Michigan Avenue is full of department stores, corner stores, restaurants and cafes. To give you even more of that big city feel, there’s tons of people walking in every direction. People in business suits, people jogging to Millennium Park, people on bicycles and even construction men working in the streets. It really is an exhilarat-



Home to 32,500 animals, Shedd Aquarium is at the top of our list of things to do while in Chicago. It is no ordinary aquarium. With over 25,000 fish, Shedd Aquarium has 5,000,000 US gallons of water and has 2,000,000 annual visitors. It truly is an experience to visit!


Be sure you stop and get some great Chicago cuisine. Famous for its pizza and hotdogs, there are several great restaurants to choose from in Chicago. For pizza, try Giordano’s (famous for stuffed pizza) and Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria (famous for deep dish). But,


don’t stop at the pizza. Before you EXPERIENCE SKYDECK CHICAGO leave Chicago, you must have an au- If you really want to maximize your first visit to Chicago, go to the Skythentic Chicago hotdog. deck Chicago. Skydeck Chicago has glass floor balconies, 103 floors in the BE AN AUDIENCE MEMBER AT air overlooking Chicago. There are THE STEVE HARVEY SHOW Steve Harvey, comedian of over 27 360-degree views of up to four states years, is now a daytime TV show host. from the top of the world-renowned Steve Harvey talks to real people with Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower); real issues and gives his fresh, funny which happens to be the tallest buildand common sense approach to ev- ing in the US. To make this trip to eryday problems. His new TV show, Skydeck Chicago truly memorable, The Steve Harvey Show, is taped in go to the interactive exhibits and take Chicago. To be a part of his studio au- the 9-minute theater presentation on dience, visit Chicago and Willis Tower. Be sure to take tons of photos!


Home to 2,300 animals and 450 species, Brookfield Zoo has been a Chicago attraction for about 78 years. While it is certainly worth the drive, Brookfield Zoo is just outside of Chicago. It’s perfect for a family outing. The entire family is sure to get plenty of exercise walking around this 216 acre zoo. In 1960, Brookfield Zoo was the nation’s first to build a fully indoor dolphin exhibit. This is a great stop for your visit to Chicago.


I’m not sure where you’re from, but I can guarantee you that driving in your city is probably not like driving in Chicago. Not just downtown Chicago, but Chicago in general. It’s a very different experience. Morning traffic is madness. Afternoon traffic is madness. But, one good thing about the traffic is that Chicago has awesome radio stations with great live personalities. You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced driving in Chicago traffic at least once in your life.




Marcus B. Walter Photography is owned an operated by Marcus Bernard Walter. Pursing his passion

Music | Entertainment | Art | Photography

as a photographer, Marcus had his humble beginnings in Memphis, TN. His journey has lead him to work with such talented artists as Willie Clayton, The Barkays, Bobby Rush, Ohio Players, Marvin Sease and J. Blackfoot, to name a few. He has worked on several projects with Bill Carrier, owner of API, a full production studio, located in Memphis, TN. His work included projects with Carrie Underwood, Lisa Marie Presley, Eight Ball and MJG and Teen Magazine. After spending several years in the photography industry, Marcus decided to venture into the exciting and intense world of Paparazzi. In the year of 2007, he relocated to California and joined one of the local agencies. During his time as paparazzi, he had the pleasure of capturing moments of several celebrities such as Morris Chestnut, Cameron Diaz, David Beckham, Katy Perry, Tamera Mowry-Housley and many more. The work of Marcus B. Walter is beyond compare! However, it has been stated that he brings magic to a camera as Picasso did many years ago with a paintbrush. He has received other such recognitions in the Chittlin Circuit Magazine and The Heat Magazine. If you would like to experience the magic at Marcus B. Walter Photo Studio, he is now located at 118 S. McCrary Rd. in Columbus, MS. Schedule your session today by calling 901-270-9821. 40





1 William McDowell Arise Arise: Disc 2

Release Year: 2011

2 1

Earthsuit Kaleidoscope Superior White Horse Release Year: 2000

3 1

Martha Munizzi Make It Loud Fill Me Release Year: 2010


Resurrection Light Unreleased Tracks Take It Back Release Year: 2012

LEN’S TOP 10 Lenticular Flow of the Christian music group Resurrection Light gives you his top 10 favorite songs.

1 5 1 6 1 7 1 8 1 9

10 1

Transparent D.O.P.E. Ready 4 Whateva Release Year: 2011

Black Knight Black Knight’s World Hands Up (feat. JMartyr & Transparent) Release Year: 2012

Amy Grant Greatest Hits Never Give Up Release Year: 2007



onneshia Clark made the leap of faith when she launched her television show Backstage With DC in the ever popular Northern CA, as Host, Executive Producer and Director. Her regular, syndicated program

launched in July 2012. The program appears to be moving forward as Northern

Fred Hammond Love Unstoppable Best Thing That Ever Happened

California’s finest artists, business owners and educators continue to captivate the

about Donneshia’s testimonies and the lives she touches through song and daily

Release Year: 2009

Kirk Franklin Hello Fear Gimme That (feat. Mali Music) Release Year: 2011

VaShawn Mitchell Triumphant Nobody Greater Release Year: 2011

To listen to these songs visit ESQUAREMAG.COM.


Backstage With DC

audiences with their gifted talents and informative information. The show is much like her stage performances: a little off-the-cuff, completely conversation. Donneshia’s wit, beautiful personality, smile and “girl-next-door” nature is a powerful force and altogether fun. Stay tuned as this “Southern Songbird” continues to bring life to television and the stage. The show has been confirmed as renewed through the 2012-2013 season.

Mission Statement:

Educating, empowering and inspiring all walks of life, all over the world, one family at a time.




Who Is...

be on the lookout

Resurrection Light?

Once we are convicted of our sins, we repent and confess that Jesus is Lord; that He died on the cross so that we could live again; that He was buried, but rose again on the third day. On this belief Resurrection Light stands. The dictionary defines the word resurrection as: “to bring to life again”. Through sin we are dead, but with the accepting of Christ we are made alive and brand new. The Bible says, “Jesus is the light of the world.” If we accept Him then we are full of light. The definition of light is: “something that makes things visible or gives illumination”. So, through God’s master plan of redemption we are resurrected reflections that bring illumination. We as Resurrection Light are reflected rays of the Son, Jesus Christ. We give light of what Jesus gave. Many other names and titles for our group were considered, but after repeatedly saying them, they made no sense spiritually. The name Resurrection Light was assigned by God and not just made up. The name was given birth through “the preeminent one” Lenticular Flow. But, not by his own thinking, but by something that was on the inside of him. It spoke: RESURRECTION LIGHT.


Praises to the most high God! I am Lenticular Flow of Resurrection Light. My birth name is Robbin Ruth. I originate from Belden, MS. In December of 1999 I broke my neck playing in a basketball tournament. This devastated me; I lost all scholarships and all opportunities to advance. Or, so I thought. In my moment of clarity, I realized that I lost track of God. Then, my mind went back to where things made since: church and music. These two things have always played a part in my life. When my mind went back, God moved me through music; in my heart He showed me that people made a business out of something so precious. Instead of using music as medicine through the ears, it has become about money, fame and who has the number one song on the charts! Then, He revealed Resurrection Light! Later on, I met my cousin Keena Robins, (Orographic Interaction), who dreamed of being in a music group. This is where our search began! About nine years later, we met Cortney Westbrook (Vertically Developed), who has helped us elevate to a plateau we never dreamed of. The rest is still history in the making!


It all started back in 2000 when Robbin Ruth (Lenticular Flow) and I first discovered this passion we both had for music. Len was living in an apartment in East Tupelo, MS. All we had was a beat machine, an amplifier, a keyboard, and a four string bass guitar. We would be up for hours making beats, not knowing that we were using what God had already put in us, to create a brand new sound for Christian music. Throughout the years, people came across our path that were not able to match the sound that Len and I were bringing to the table. Then one day God brought Cortney Westbrook (Vertically Developed) across Len’s path. He was not only capable of matching our sound, but he was also able to upgrade it by utilizing his gifts and talents as well. Shortly after that, God created us into the dynamic trio that we are today.



Evangelist Tracey Underwood Joppa Prophetic Dance Ministry Photo by The People’s Entrepreneur JAN/FEB 2013 | ESQUAREDMAG.COM





Dwight Taylor Sr., AKA Transparent, is an International gospel rapper, motivational speaker, and mentor. This 2010 Stellar Award Nominee, for Hip Hop Gospel CD of the Year, won the “Best of the Blessed” Artist of the Year Award at the 2009 Christian Music Awards (CMA). Transparent was also nominated for 6 categories at the 2009 Rejoice Gospel Music Awards, and took home the “Best Male Gospel Hip Hop Artist (unsigned)” and “Gospel’s Rising Star” Award. He has shared the stage with such artist as CeCe Winans, News Boys, Brian Littrell of the Backstreet Boys, Canton Jones, Lecrae, Tonex, The Katinas, Tremaine Hawkins and many more. Originally from Richmond, California, Transparent is currently residing in Fairfield, California. He is a Bishop O’Dowd High School and Fresno State University Alumni with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development. In November 2005, Transparent began to follow two callings that God had placed on his life. The first, ministering the gospel through music, and the second, starting his own non-profit Christian organization called “On Purpose Inc.,” designed to cater to the youth of both Contra Costa and Solano County. While living in Richmond, he was actively involved in volunteer work at the Coronado YMCA and in 2006 he was honored with the “Volunteer of the Year” award from The West Contra Costa YMCA. From 2006-2008, Transparent held


TRANSPARENT Dwight Taylor Sr.

Dwight Taylor Sr., AKA Transparent, is an International gospel rapper, motivational speaker, and mentor. This 2010 Stellar Award Nominee, for Hip Hop Gospel CD of the Year, won the “Best of the Blessed” Artist of the Year Award at the 2009 Christian Music Awards (CMA). Transparent was also nominated for 6 categories at the 2009 Rejoice Gospel Music Awards, and took home the “Best Male Gospel Hip Hop Artist (unsigned)” and “Gospel’s Rising Star” Award. He has shared the stage with such artist as CeCe Winans, News Boys, Brian Littrell of the Backstreet Boys, Canton Jones, Lecrae, Tonex, The Katinas, Tremaine Hawkins and many more. 46


positions with Alternative Family Services as a case manager/Independent Living Skills Specialist for foster care and adoption children. His dual passions for children and spreading the Word of God are what fuel’s his determination to live his life in an upright and “Transparent” way. In 2007 Transparent began taking over the gospel music scene by storm. In March, he won the American Christian Talent Search and in June he participated in the CMA. Nearly two years later on January 27th, 2009, Transparent released his eagerly awaited debut album “L.I.F.E.”(Living In Favor Everyday), which has been globally recognized. In September 2009, “L.I.F.E” was released in Australia followed by a two-week promotional tour (his third tour in Australia). While touring he was privileged to minister in Melbourne and Brisbane Australia. On November 21st, 2009, Transparent performed live in front of 11,000 spectators, plus the millions who viewed this on the SHOWTIME network. On this special night, Transparent brought to the ring the Super Middleweight Boxing Champion Andre “SOG” Ward, with his worship/rap anthem “The GREATEST”. Today, Transparent has ministered at approximately 250 different venues across the world (Churches, Cruises, High Schools, Colleges, Talent shows, and Award shows). Every Sunday, he currently ministers to the youth and guards at the Solano County Juvenile Hall and uplifts and inspires them through his music. Along with his dedication to empowering youth, Transparent also uses the medium of television to present the gospel. He is the Co-Host/ Presenter for Fusemix T.V. During the Gospel Music Awards Week 2009, Transparent interviewed artist: Canton Jones, Michelle Bonilla, J.R., Vlada, Norman Hutchins and Cowboy Dan. Wherever you find Transparent, be it ministering through music, sharing his life on “Transparent T.V.” or just speaking into the lives of the youth he encounters, it is relevant that throughout these great accomplishments, his focus remains the same, which is to “Advance the Kingdom one second at a time.” For a personal message from Transparent, visit ESQUAREDMAG.COM.



Destined For GREATNESS

Life Bites




Extreme Arts C hriscell Ruth is an elementary school art teacher, a wife and a proud mother of three. In addition to her everyday full schedule, she’s also a full-time student and entrepreneur. When asked what motivates her to do all of what she does, she simply responds, “My family. My husband pushes me. And, I always tell my children, no matter how old you are, never stop dreaming. It makes me proud because now that I’m about to graduate, my children will be there in the audience to see mommy walk down the aisle to get her certificate.” In 2012, Chriscell Ruth had a dream; a dream that would change the minds of children through the medium of art; art so unique that it’s EXTREME! Chriscell was inspired to start Extreme Arts while teaching art at a local elementary school. She then decided to teach art after school in her classroom, and did so for months, until her boss informed her that the school would be starting their own art program, and she had to discontinue hers. “I felt like it failed, so I left it alone,” Chriscell says. It was shortly after that God spoke through her pastor, Kevin Armstrong, and said that it’s time for her to open her own business.



“I got scared because I didn’t know where to begin. But, then God gave me Extreme Arts in my dream.”

South Africa

After stepping out on faith, Chriscell birthed her business and has been a thriving entrepreneur ever since. Extreme Arts is an after school art class designed to help the youth express themselves through art. They do canvas painting, acrylic paintings and various types of crafts. The children learn how to birth their dreams, visions and ideas through “extreme arts”. ESQUARED: “What’s so extreme about it? Why not “Chrissy’s Art” or something?” CHRISCELL: “Its more than just an art class to me because I have a bond with my kids. I do stuff to the extreme with them and I’m not only teaching them about art, I’m also ministering to them in so many ways. So, that’s why I feel like it’s so extreme.

Indian Chief Transformers



NSPIRE Encouragement | Spirituality | Inspiration



FROM MOTHER TO HERO | TOP STORY Sophia was photographed exclusively for E Squared Magazine in August 2011.


And, all I could think then was that I couldn’t let my children burn up in this house. And, if they did I would be right there with them.

CORTNEY: Tell me what happened.

From MOTHER to HERO When faced with a sudden house explosion, Sophia goes from mother to hero in a matter of minutes, saving three children and herself. By Cortney Westbrook For Sophia Westbrook, December 6, 2006 was just a normal day. To fate, it was a day that would change the history of 5 people’s lives forever more. Due to a gas leak, a house explosion caused Sophia to do the unthinkable and perform a miraculous, heroic act of selflessness. As she and I sit in my family room, we talk about what happened on this Wednesday morning. 52


SOPHIA: Well, on the morning of the fire I did what I do normally. I got up and got my two girls prepared for the day and I cooked breakfast. It was kind of cold and the gas was off because that was my first year staying in the house with gas. I was waiting on the gasman to come and light the pilot light. After he did, I told him that I smelled gas. He sprayed something in the vents and said that it would go away. So, I just went back to doing what I was doing. I went into the kitchen and put a pot of water on the stove. I was preparing to cook some greens, which was Natetreuna’s favorite food. When I turned the stove on, it suddenly blew up in my face. It hadn’t reached the front of the house yet, so I had time to run around the corner and tell my sister-in-law [at the time] to unlock the door because the house was about to explode. Then she panics and couldn’t open the door. So, I tried to help her open the door, but by that time, the fire came through like a big rushing wind and blew her and I, and the door out into the front yard. And, all I could think about was the three kids in the house on the couch. [Sophia’s two daughters: Natetreuna and Lanazia, and her sister-in-law’s daughter] And, she (Sophia’s sister-in-law) screams, “Sophia, the kids!” By that time, I was already going back into the house to get the kids; I knew how they were sitting on the couch. It was her baby first, so I took her and threw her out of the front door. In the midst of trying to get my two kids, the house had gotten dark. When I turned around, I saw this huge blaze of fire sitting at the top of the ceiling. And, all I could think then was that I couldn’t let my children burn up in this house. And, if they did I would be right there with them. So, I laid on top of them on the couch and I shielded them with my body. I remember saying “God, please!” three times. Then it was like the fire just moved. I grabbed both of the

kids and ran out of the front door and I didn’t stop until I fell down in my neighbor’s yard. Because Sophia shielded her two daughters with her body in the midst of the fire, she suffered third and fourth degree burns from the back of her head all the way down her back. CORTNEY: And, so you actually have a cross burned in your back. SOPHIA: Yes, I do. I have a cross, burned in the center of my back. I don’t know how… well I guess God did it. I didn’t realize that it was there until I sat up for the first time when I was in the hospital. My roommate asked me if she could look at my back. And, she said, “I’m not gay or nothing; I just want to look at your back.” She then asked if she could take a picture. I said, “Yeah, I guess.” When she took the picture of my back, I heard her begin to pray a quiet prayer. She then walked around to me and showed me the picture. She said, “Sophia, God told me to tell you that you’re bearing your cross. Your back is burned in a cross.” I didn’t understand how I had a cross burned in the center of my back because I had on a full shirt and a bra. My shirt wasn’t even stuck to me. So, I didn’t understand how the cross could’ve gotten there. CORTNEY: So, what do you think “bearing your cross” means? SOPHIA: I don’t know. I really don’t know and I’ve been trying to get that understanding. I just really want to know what it means. CORTNEY: Well, it will come to you one day. So, to back up a little bit, when the accident happened, momma called me crying hysterically. [A friend and I actually were planning on going to Sophia’s house after I made one stop. And, about an hour earlier that day, my mom called and asked me to drop off her ID badge at her job. So my plans were shifted a little. JAN/FEB 2013 | ESQUAREDMAG.COM




If I had gone to her house a few minutes sooner, we would have been in the fire with them.] So, instead of going to my mom’s job, we proceeded to your house. When we got a few miles away, I saw the smoke in the air. And, I immediately drove as fast as I could to get there. And, when we finally did, there were emergency vehicles and police cars lined up down the street. I jumped out of the truck and ran into your front yard. I ran up to the first fireman I saw, and it was the Fire Marshall. After I explained to him who I was, I walked towards the front door and that’s when I saw you walking toward the ambulance.

were together in the same room, not knowing that was going to be the last time I would see my baby.

CORTNEY: When you got your two kids out of the house and everyone was safe, what were you thinking? SOPHIA: I couldn’t think; everything was happening so fast. It felt like it was a dream and I was just waiting for someone to wake me up at any point. It just didn’t seem real. CORTNEY: Did you think you were going to die? SOPHIA: I really didn’t know if I was going to die or not…I was scared. I didn’t know. Maybe I felt okay because we were on the outside of the house. But, I didn’t realize how bad it was. I really didn’t know that I was burned as bad as I was. But, I knew my face was kind of mushy; I could feel it. The whole time we were outside walking around, Natetreuna was begging for the neighbor to please pick her up. She just wanted someone to pick her up.

along with a sick feeling. I wanted to break down and cry, but I was in shock to the point that I couldn’t. I don’t remember anything else from that day after that moment.

Sophia, her two daughters and Sophia’s sister-in-law and her daughter were taken When I saw my sister and niece for the first to Northeast Mississippi Medical Center in time that day, I didn’t expect see them burned, Tupelo, MS for immediate care. Northeast almost without recognition. Not to be vulgar Mississippi Medical Center is the largest rural or graphic, but my sister’s actual skin was hospital in the United States of America, hanging from her face. Her shirt was burned but even they were not equipped to provide off and skin was hanging from her arms. An them with the care they needed. Sophia and EMT was walking her to the ambulance and I Natetreuna (Sophia’s middle daughter) were asked her if everyone got out okay. She said, the first two to fly to Georgia’s burn center in “Yes, they’re in the ambulance.” At that point, Augusta. I stopped walking and everything started to settle in on me and I realized what just hap- SOPHIA: It was so ironic how everyone ended pened. I had this horrible knot in my stomach up in a separate room, but Natetreuna and I



bility of taking care of our kid sister and oldest niece, Keaira.

CORTNEY: While y’all were in Georgia, I was here in Tupelo playing daddy. [giggles] I had Due to collapsed lungs and heart failure, to do hair, cook, clean up and take them to Natetreuna Tachelle Hunt died on December school, the whole nine yards. Do you feel that 23, 2006, in Joseph M. Still Burn Center in you got the support from your family that you Augusta, GA. needed? SOPHIA: At one point, we were all waiting on SOPHIA: I do. I feel like my family was there for them to wake up. I can remember laying in me in every way possible. And, I appreciate all the bed and two nurses came into the room of the stuff you did; you got my baby fat while and said, “Ms. Hunt, you need to go check on I was in the hospital, too. [laughs] But, you did your baby.” In excitement, all I could say was a good job with her. “Is she awake? Is she awake?” And, one of the nurses just said, “You need to go check on CORTNEY: I don’t know if you know it or not, but her.” At that point, I was wondering about why I actually had to quit my job to come there. I I needed to go check on her. I could see the got a call from momma informing me that we look on this lady’s face that just wasn’t a good were coming to Georgia. It was a Saturday look. I had no use of my legs at the time, so morning. I called my job and told them about they rolled me down in my bed. I remember what happened and that I needed off to go to looking at my family on the left side of me and Georgia to be with my family. They told me that I looked at my momma. Her eyes were red they couldn’t let me off, so I quit right there on like I had never seen them before. So, when I the phone that day. turned my head back they other way, the doc- SOPHIA: Oh wow! I had no idea! You really tors and nurses were walking up to my bed and made some sacrifices. That’s why I always say I knew right then that my baby was gone. And, that everything that you’re doing is going to they said, “Mrs. Hunt, we’re sorry to inform pay off because you’ve been faithful, not only you that your three year old passed away this to God, but also to your family. morning.” They said that they did everything that they could to bring her back, but they just After my sister’s situation settled down a little couldn’t. And, that right there…the feeling that bit, my older brother got in a bad car accident I felt when they told me that, I have never felt while he was living in North Carolina. I was in anything like that; and I wouldn’t wish that on college and at the time of his accident, I had anyone, to have to go through the lost of a final exams at school. So, instead of taking child. my final exams, I went to North Carolina to be As Sophia begins to get emotional, I comfort with my brother in the hospital for almost two her in assurance that God will never put more weeks. And, despite failing my classes, I would on us than we can bear. In being her brother, definitely do it all over again. and Natetreuna and Lanazia’s uncle, I can really feel her pain. I can feel the pressure of Sophia Westbrook’s story of how she saved having a void. I can’t understand what it feels her three children and herself is nothing short like to loose a child, but I do understand what of heroic and miraculous. She transformed it feels like to loose someone you love. And, herself from mother to hero in a matter of that’s never a good experience to go through. minutes. E As Sophia and I continued to talk, I tried to lighten the mood. While most of my family was Read part two of this amazing story online at at the hospital in Georgia, I had the responsi- WWW.ESQUAREDMAG.COM JAN/FEB 2013 | ESQUAREDMAG.COM



How Would Jesus Vote? To Vote Your Conscience, Is To Vote God’s Heart By Kevin Armstrong

Among many candidates regardless of their race or gender, only God knows who the right person is for the job. The only way to use your vote wisely is to know what God knows. The only way to do this is to know God’s voice; He will tell you who to vote for. It was God who told Samuel who the first King of Israel should be. It was God who told Samuel that Saul had failed in his responsibility as king and that he would be replaced by someone who had a heart after God’s heart. It was God who told Samuel whom that person was–David, the man after God’s own heart. Which means he was a man who, like Jesus and Moses, would seek to know God’s voice for the purpose of carrying out his will in the earth and in his case, Israel. Samuel was a priest and a prophet. He was responsible for hearing God’s voice concerning the kingdom and then conveying the information to the king; at which time the king would set out to legislate what it was that God had said. The time had come for another king to sit on the throne because the present king Saul had rejected God’s instructions. God told Samuel to go to a certain city to a certain man’s house and anoint one of his sons to be the next king. Please notice how detailed the instructions were. As believers, we can know the voice of God without fail. If we follow that voice it will always lead us to a victorious outcome. Samuel was sent to Jesse’s house with instructions to anoint the next king of Israel. Although Samuel knew the voice of God, he was about to make the mistake that many believers have and will make. Samuel was like so many believers today who look on the outside to make choices. This is why racism is still alive and well in the Church. Eliab probably reminded Samuel of Saul. The Bible says that Saul stood head and shoulders above every one else. Even Samuel had gotten caught up in what Saul



looked like. The issue was one of black, white, male and female. He was about to cast his vote for the wrong person. It wasn’t Samuel’s vote, it was God’s vote that Samuel had, but because of his familiarity, he failed to see as God sees. God immediately corrected Samuel and said unto him, “Do not look on his countenance or his height of stature (outside) because I have refused him. I don’t see as man sees because man looks on the outside, but I look on the heart (inside).” This process continued as seven of Jesse’s sons appeared before Samuel. Still the Lord did not choose (vote) for any of these. On the outside, many of them had the physical qualifications, but on the inside none of them did, except David. A man after God’s own heart is a man who has a heart that God can turn. King Solomon said that the king’s heart is in the Lord’s hand and He (God) turns it wherever He wants to. (Proverbs 21:1) It is crucial that you as a Christian be a person after God’s own heart and be obedient to what He tells you and vote for the person who has a heart God can turn. This is called voting following your conscience; voting based on your own personal encounter with God just as Samuel did. Seek to find God’s heart and vote following His heart. This is how your conscience (the ability to know what’s right and what’s wrong) was established. It was established in righteousness, from the mind of God.

David “Wordsmith” Derf Reaching the Unreachable, Teaching the Unteachable

Wordsmith is a Radio Personality with a national based show titled #WordOnTheStreet where they “Reach the unreachable & Teach the unteachable!” He is the Street Team Director of House of Slap Radio [] based out of Sacramento, CA. He goes from city to city to host ministry events and conduct speaking engagements from church to church, college campuses, job corps, community facilities, as well as parks and any place that conducts outreach. This is more than a radio show; it’s a radical ministry that travels from neighborhoodto-neighborhood to reach people and touch lives in a vibrant way. This ministry conducts concerts, toy drives, food drives and Bible and item-giveaways right there in the local community. The Executive Producer is International Artist Transparent [transparent82. com] who is also a vibrant part of this ministry. In fact Wordsmith and Transparent have a campaign that travels throughout California titled “Reaching the Youth with the Truth”. It provides them with a platform to reach into school campuses, juvenile halls, county jails, penitentiaries and so many other outreach events. They have made history when they held the first ever “Summer Jam” inside of a Juvenile Detention Facility that has caused other institutions to request there services to bring the same powerful presentation. They have conducted this in the San Quentin Penitentiary and had the opportunity to minister to over 2000 inmates with a phenomenal response! The Reaching the Youth with the Truth campaign is under the covering of their Non Profit organization titled Ministries, in which is Nationally Based. L.I.F.E. means “Living In Favor Everyday” where they teach this powerful point: ”it’s more than a movement it’s a!”




SURVIVING IT ALL | COVER STORY continued from page 16

So, we thought to do that because we were asked.” Dorinda was asked by her record company, which at the time was Gospocentric Records, to do a solo deal. And, even though that was new for her, it was a blessing because she was already writing songs, even with her mom and her choir. “I thought that this would be another area of ministry where I could kind of venture out in my writing skills,” say Dorinda. After Gospocentric Records, Dorinda signed with Verity Records, releasing another solo album, Take It Back. Take It Back went on to become number 1 on the Gospel charts, winning two Stellar Awards. Making Dr. Dorinda Clark Cole’s success skyrocket through the roof even more, she co-hosted the Stellar Awards with Pastor Donnie McClurkin and Sinbad, and was also the Female Artist of the Year. “Those are things that you will never forget. I thank God for allowing me to venture out into my solo career,” Dorinda says. ESQUARED: Why do they call you the “Rose of Gospel”?

DORINDA: They call me the “Rose of Gospel” because I love roses and in my show when I came out that was my signature thing that I did; I passed out roses. It’s the song, I’m Still Here, that connects me with my fans, connects me with everybody that supports me; it connects me with everybody that I feel that has gone through and it’s just an encouragement that when I pass a rose to them, that it lets you know that I understand what you’re going through.” Dorinda actually goes out into the audience and pass out roses. It was Vicky Mack Lataillade (owner of Gospocentric Records) that named Dorinda the “Rose of Gospel”.

SINGERS AND MUSICIANS CONFERENCE ESQUARED: Along with your album, you have a television show, radio show, clothing line and the Singers and Musicians Conference. What is the Singers and Musicians Conference?

DORINDA: “It is a conference that God birthed in me in 1997. The national conference is held every year here in Detroit. It’s a conference where I look for all of the upcoming artists…wherever they are.



Dorinda taking time with contestants at 2012 Mississippi Regional SMC Showcase

We always invite them to the conference because we have Gospel recording artists and sometimes get secular people to come in to expound on the industry and the ministry as well.” The Singers and Musicians Conference has hosted conferences with some well-known artists such as Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Pastor Donnie McClurkin and Kim Burrell. Along with the national conference, Dorinda has now expanded to 6 different regions in the United States, including Mississippi. “We have definitely made such a great impression there, thanks to our good friend Keric Sparrow who has taken on this project, and of course along with yourself; and all of you that really made our hospitality so great there. You all have made it such a great regional that we will be coming back for years to come.” Along with looking for more major sponsors, SMC has partnered with Berklee School of Music to award music scholarships to several of the talented artists that participate. On a regional level, the SMC has reached out to local schools including high schools, middle schools, elementary schools and charter schools. The students come to the regional conferences in which they learn about scholarships and furthering their music education. At the end of the conference an overall winner is selected at the national conference and the winner is awarded the title of “Winner of the Dorinda Clark-Cole’s Singers and Musicians Conference.” ESQUARED: There are several television shows for singers. Like American Idol, The Voice and Sunday’s Best, where contestants compete and the winner receives a record deal, cash prize or what-

ever the case may be. What makes the Singers and Musicians Conference different from those shows?

And, we kind of talk about that on the show as well. So, it’s all of that, all in one. It’s basically me seeing the talent and pushing them forward. Because DORINDA: “We have quite a few things going on I’ve already made it to this plateau where God has with the Regionals and the Nationals. We critique allowed me to be where I can reach back and get them on the spot. Which means we take up the time those that are trying to get to where I am and push with them to kind of show them the things they them forward. So, that’s how this all comes together. need to work on and what would better their craft and performance. That’s one thing that you really ESQUARED: A lot of times we get so caught up in don’t see on the other shows, but you definitely will doing what we want to do and chasing our own dreams and visions, that we don’t have time to help see that on mine.” As the photographer for the Mississippi Regional, other people. I definitely see that every venture that I’ve actually seen the amount of time that the you’re involved in is reaching out to help others by judges take with each contestant, which I was providing those platforms like television, radio and EXTREMELY surprised about. And, because the the conference. You’re doing a very good job and judges take that valuable time with them, the con- you’re very effective.” As Dorinda thanks me for the kind words and we testants improve on their craft and performance, wrap up this enlightening interview, I ask her about and come year after year to participate. “We have experts,” Dorinda says. The panel of what we could expect from her in the future. She judges has consisted of prominent people that have says that she just launched a clothing line for the made milestones in the music industry. Experts Fall and is about to launch a new perfume in 2013. such as Ben Tankard, who is the Vice President of Along with having new management that has just SMC, Jacky Clark-Chisholm, Troy Sneed, Aaron come on board, she expresses that her main focus Lindsey, Teddy Campbell, Warren Campbell, J is to continue to do the TV show and radio show. Moss and Karen Clark-Sheard. “All of these people With effective ventures in TV, radio, fashion, music come and critique the artists and participants and and education, Dr. Dorinda Clark Cole is sure to that’s what makes my conference so different.” empower entrepreneurs all over the word. E Along with the showcase where the participants are judged, the SMC offers daily workshops during the multi-day conferences to help enhance the participants’ gift. Not to minimize American Idol, The Voice, Sunday’s Best or any television show like that, but I can clearly see the difference because I had the opportunity to witness a regional conference in my own city, Tupelo, MS. ESQUARED: So you have your music career, the television show, radio show, clothing line and the Singers and Musician Conference. What is your vision and how do all of those components play a part in your vision?

DORINDA: Well, when you look at the whole scope of what God has done for me, the television show is a visual piece where the world can see. A lot of times, I will get a lot of my artists that have won to come participate on the TV show and they get that one-on-one interview with me. The radio show is another platform that we have that we’re able to put their music on because most of the talent has a CD.

Dorinda and Cortney (ESquared Magazine Publisher) JAN/FEB 2013 | ESQUAREDMAG.COM


MELONY & GOLIATH | TOP STORY continued from page 21

ESQUARED: “Because of your success with Naturally Speaking, you’ve been featured on the Mike Seigal radio show and the John Stossel Show, which is a Fox Business Network television show based out of New York. How has that opportunity affected your career?” MELONY: “In many ways, those doors of opportunities have helped me to be able to realize more of what I want to do and motivate me to accomplish even more goals. Speaking of more goals, the success of getting the law passed encouraged Melony to run for Mississippi State Senator. When asked why, she responds: “Because I realized that in my experience in getting the law changed, it is very important to have people in our state legislation that are there to make a difference. There are a lot of things that go on under the table. In my case I was actually told by one of our state representatives, that the law that I endeavored to get changed, shouldn’t have ever happened in the first place. So, I really gained a passion to serve in my state and in politics on some level.”

opportunity to regroup and really decide on my next campaign, and just have some time to be able to plan and put some things in perspective.” ESQUARED: “So, you’ve become a lobbyist, gotten a bill passed, went to New York to be on television and ran for State Senator… all to start a business braiding hair. Why all of the trouble for hair? What does hair mean and represent to you?”

MELONY: “Hair is a part of who we are; and especially in the African American community. There are other cultures that are of a dark skin color, but really what distinguishes one race from another is hair texture. I believe that the texture of our hair is very unique and there is no other race of people on the face of the earth that has kinky, curly, coiling hair. And, it has been the most unique thing about us; it has caused, and in some ways continue to cause, a lot of controversy.” Because of all that, Melony has been through a lot to become successful in the natural hair care and braiding industry, she has definite plans to write a book; plans of which are already in motion. When asked when we could ESQUARED: “As an African American that is a expect it to be on the market, she simply says, major accomplishment, just to be qualified to “Tomorrow”. That is the type of motivation and run for State Senator. How much support did determination that separates the weak from you get from the African American commu- the strong, the conquered from the victorious, and the Davids from the Goliaths. The story of nity?” Naturally Speaking is nothing less than a politiMELONY: “I actually got a lot of support for first cal triumph of a small business owner. This is of all qualifying. However, the support I got the story of Melony and Goliath. from the African American community was not as strong as it could’ve been.” As she continues, she explains that the main reason for the lack of support was because of zoning issues. Melony expresses that even though she did not win that election, she will be running again in the future for a different political position. When asked how different would her life be if she had won, her face lights up and she says, “Oh… if I were State Senator right now, my life would be VERY different. That is a huge responsibility. And, sometimes I think that I’m busy now. I am thankful that I have had the









E Squared - Jan/Feb 2013  

Singer/entrepreneur Dr. Dorinda Clark-Cole of "The Clark Sisters" talks about business, mom and music. PLUS: Interview with entrepreneur Mel...