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URBAN PROFESSIONAL LIFESTYLE

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March 2011 'Olympians have a sense of dedication and focus that is not typical — you're talking several standard deviations away from the average.'—Dean Baim, Professor Economics and Finance, Pepperdine University

Photo by Reuters President and Michelle Obama and Olympians, Jackie Joyner Kersee and Dominque Dawes. The president and first lady host a White House event to promote support for the 2016 Olympics in Chicago.

Community ... At BFA Energy Solutions we are dedicated, focused and committed to Greatness! With Greatness comes Responsibility. We are bringing innovative advanced alternative energy solutions to market. We are also committed to providing an enhanced quality of life for the residents in the communities inwhich we operate. We pledge to: Create Green Jobs, Pay Competitive Salaries with Benefits, Invest in K-12 Sustainability Programs, and Increase Local Tax Receipts.

Committed to Innovation and Community 3

Unity • Pride • Progress www.biofuelsamericainc.com Names and references to third parties in this digital advertisement are used with permission.© BFA Energy Solutions. All rights reserved.


March 2011

Endorses the

Re-election of Mayor Alvin Parks And the Life More Abundantly Team For Continued Leadership in East St. Louis, Illinois

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Endorses

Mike Houston for Mayor Of Springfield, Illinois

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Congratulations !! To W. E. Pete Reeves, Illinois VOICE Publisher on being awarded the NAACP’s President’s Award For Social Media Contribution to the Community

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iiconn DESIGN Studio

Pencil and Charcoal Portraiture By Edward L. Jones Jr. I provide fine hand drawn portraits of children, grandparents, pets, etc. The portraits are accurate and result in a full likeness of any subject. To receive pricing structure or estimates for large portraits I prefer contact through email. IDSpencilportraits@gmail.com 11

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From the beginning IV was in support of the Wisconsin State Employees and their quest to retain their collective bargaining rights. The actions of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is an assault on the rights of workers in every industry in our nation. Wikepedia defines ccollective bargaining ―as the process of negotiations between employers and the representatives of a unit of employees aimed at reaching agreements which regulate working conditions ... collective agreements usually set out wage scales, working hours, training, health and safety, overtime, grievance mechanisms and rights to participate in workplace or company affairs.‖

We are turning the hands of time backwards to a time when workers had no rights and were subjected to long work hours with little pay and unsafe working conditions resulting in work related illnesses and deaths. The ability of workers to unite and negotiate with employers should be a fundamental right of all workers in our nation. Some say Governor Walker‘s actions and the actions of other Governor‘s such as Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana are politically motivated giving that unions were a major contributor to President Obama‘s election campaign. Some say it is the best financial strategy for their states. Regardless of the motive the rights of workers in both the private and public sectors MUST be protected! IV proudly endorses Mike Houston for Mayor of Springfield, Illinois and Alvin Parks for re-election as Mayor of East St. Louis. On the cover of this month‘s issue is the extremely talented entertainer/actor known as ―Common.‖ Common has transformed from a local Chicago Hip Hop performer into an international icon with a robust following. IV is proud to have Common grace the cover of our publication. We profile several people this month. First, we profile the remarkable and talented serial entrepreneur 250 Johnson. 250 Johnson‘s Keep It 200 group on Facebook is growing at a remarkable speed. IV has the exclusive interview by our newest contributor Meir Lathan. We profile Ben Broadenax‘s inspirational words of wisdom as taught to him by his mother. Ben is a candidate for Mayor of Bellefontaine Neighbors, Missouri. We wish Ben much success. We profile Realtor Celinda Doolin. In a couple of years Celinda has moved from a salesperson to owning her own brokerage in Downtown Springfield. She 12

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understands that that real estate transactions are very serious transactions for people which is why her motto is ―We Take The Time...‖ We profile Yogini Mafdet who owns Eye Am yoga studio in Springfield. Yogini Mafdet is bringing urban awareness to the practice of yoga. We also welcome Yofini Mafdet as our newest contributor. Please read her article in this issue entitled, Breathe for Balance. We profile four authors who are Jezebel Noel, Carrol Durham and Karlene Sinclair-Robinson. Jezeble Noel is an upcoming urban author bringing awareness to Chicago as the backdrop for sizzling encounters. Be sure to purchase her new book, “A Taste of Chicago.” Carrol Durham‘s book, The Forgotten Soldier takes a look at the lives of Vietnam veterans. Karlene SinclairRobinson has written an excellent book for business owners or those desiring to become business owners entitled, The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Alternative Funding. Tiffany ―The Budgetnista‖ Aliche‘s, The One Week Budget will help bring financial empowerment to all those who read it. We profile musician Aaron Keith who is using his musical talents to bridge the gap between people. We wish Mr. Keith the best. Texas based Kachi Designs is an upcoming brand with immense colors and designs for today‘s woman of fashion. We profile the talented alternative musician Joy Joy. Joy brings a breathe of fresh air to various musical genres. Last but not least, we profile Victor T. Young. Victor is a war re-enactor. He travels throughout the country re-enacting various battles. Victor is currently employed as an engineer with the Illinois Department of Transportation. Hope you enjoy it. It is a pleasure serving you. Regards,

W. E. ―Pete‖ Reeves Founder/Publisher

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Publisher

VERVE MEDIA, Inc. P.O. Box 2704 Springfield, Illinois 62708

Office : 217-528-2227 Fax: 217-793-6939 Cell: 901-832-1144 Email: illinoisvoice@gmail.com Web Site: myillinoisvoice.yolasite.com Editor & General Manager

W. E. “Pete” Reeves

IT Production Assistant

Natasha Crider

Senior Social Correspondent Teresa Haley Contributors

Malcolm Beal-Reeves Joya Abdul Zarif Tia Dent Pat Moody Ball-j Lisa Lacy Joyce Nash Michael Johnson

Jo Lena Johnson Prophetess Jennie Chalden Destinee Love Celeste Poole Sarah T. McGee Tainted Lucas Teresa Haley Sylphia R. Lindsay Nell Clay

Yogini Mafdet

Alicia Wilson

Illinois Voice is published monthly. © Copyright 2011 by VERVE MEDIA, INC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form without permission is prohibited. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: VERVE MEDIA, INC., P.O. BOX 2704, Springfield, Illinois 62708. SUBSCRIPTIONS: Send $50 a year: (Add $15 per year for overseas delivery.) Manuscripts, photographs, illustrations and letters to the editor are welcome, but Illinois VOICE can take no responsibility for them while in transit or in the office of the publication. Letters may be edited. Information published in Illinois VOICE is gathered from reliable sources, but the accuracy of this information cannot be guaranteed. Opinions expressed in Illinois VOICE are those of their authors, and no information or opinions expressed in Illinois VOICE represent an endorsement or solicitation for purchase or sale by Illinois VOICE or its staff.

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DEPARTMENTS

publisher’s page ...............

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On the cover ...................... 17 Local......... ......................

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inspiration ......................

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in memoriam .................... 107 web culture ......................

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national...........................

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world..............................

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politics ...........................

125

opinion...........................

132

business connections .....

141

urbanity ..........................

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money ........................

175

life & style ...................

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wellness .....................

199

business .....................

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sports ...........................

212

remembrances …………

217

COLUMNISTS Teresa Haley Community Focus .................... 84 Michael Johnson The Outdoorsman .................... 90 joya Words of Inspiration, Inspired. 94 Prophetess Jennie Chalden Winning Souls ……………………… 96 Jo Lena Johnson Extraodinary Living ................. 98 Sarah T. McGee Mind Candy ………………………. 105 Destinee Love Expressions of Love & Passion ............................... 141 Yogini Mafdet The Yoga Way ........................................ 204

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March 2011 Michael Johnson is an avid outdoorsman who contracts with public and private entities on outdoors related programs.

Joya is an author and designer of inspirational plagues and awards

Prophetess Jennie Chalden has been seeing the Spirit of Lord move on our behalf in an awesome way over her prayer line. She is an evangelist and writer.

Sarah T, McGee is a poet and entrepreneur.

Sylphia Lindsay is an author and Mentl Health Therapist.

Destinee Love is a writer and blogger. She writes a collection of my spoken words about love, passion, and affection.

Author Jo Lena Johnson is a Trainer, Speaker, and the Managing Partner of Absolute Good Training & Life Skills Management.

Nell Clay is a realtor and entrepreneur. She writes on Real Estate 101

Teresa Haley is a community activist. She writes on issues affecting the community. Alicia Wilson is psychologist writing on Zodiac News Yogini Madet is a yoga guru bringing urban awareness to the practice.

Celeste is a licensed massage therapist.

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Chi-Town’s Common; Showing Immense Versatility As an Artist Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. (born March 13, 1972), better known by his stage name Common (previously Common Sense), is a versatile artist. Common debuted in 1992 with the album Can I Borrow a Dollar? and maintained a significant underground following into the late 90s, after which he gained notable mainstream success through his work with the Soulquarians. His first major label album, Like Water for Chocolate, received widespread critical acclaim and tremendous commercial success. His first Grammy award was in 2003 for Best R&B Song for "Love of My Life (An Ode to HipHop)" with Erykah Badu. Its popularity was matched by May 2005's Be, which was nominated in the 2006 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Album. Common was awarded his second Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, for "Southside" (featuring Kanye West), from his July 2007 album Finding Forever. His best-of album Thisisme Then: The Best of Common was released on November 27, 2007. Common has also initiated a burgeoning acting career, starring significant roles in such films as Smokin' Aces, Street Kings, American Gangster, Wanted, Terminator Salvation, Date Night, and Just Wright.

Early life Lynn was born on Chicago's South Side. He is the son of educator Dr. Mahila Ann Hines and former ABA basketball player turned youth counselor Lonnie Lynn. They divorced when he was six years old, resulting in his father moving to Denver, Colorado. This left him to be raised by his mother, but his father remained active in his life and even landed Lonnie Jr. a job with the Chicago Bulls during his teen years. While a student at Luther High School South in 18

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Chicago, Lynn formed C.D.R., a rap trio that opened for acts which included N.W.A. and Big Daddy Kane.[4] Common attended Florida A&M University for two years under a scholarship and majored in business administration. After being featured in the Unsigned Hype column of The Source magazine, Lynn debuted in 1992 with the single "Take It EZ" followed by the album, Can I Borrow a Dollar?, under stage name Common Sense.

Music career With the 1994 release of Resurrection, Common achieved a much larger degree of critical acclaim, which extended beyond Chicago natives. The album sold relatively well and received a strong positive reaction among alternative and underground hip hop fans at the time. Resurrection was Common's last album produced almost entirely by his long-time production partner, No I.D., who was also the thenmentor of a young Kanye West. In 1996, Common appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation CD, America is Dying Slowly, alongside Biz Markie, Wu-Tang Clan, and Fat Joe, among many other prominent hip hop artists. The CD, meant to raise awareness of the AIDS epidemic among African American men, was heralded as "a masterpiece" by The Source magazine. He would later also contribute to the Red Hot Organization's Fela Kuti tribute album, Red Hot and Riot in 2002. He collaborated with Djelimady Tounkara on a remake of Kuti's track, "Years of Tears and Sorrow".

Feud with Westside Connection The song "I Used to Love H.E.R." from Resurrection ignited a feud with West Coast rap group Westside Connection. The lyrics of the song criticized the path hip hop music was taking and was interpreted by some as directing blame towards the popularity of West Coast Gangsta rap. Westside Connection first responded with the 1995 song "Westside Slaughterhouse," with the lyrics "Used 19

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to love H.E.R. mad cause I fucked her". Westside Connection recorded tracks venting their issues with rival East Coast rappers (see East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry). "Westside Slaughterhouse" also mentioned Common by name, prompting the rapper to respond with the scathing Pete Rock-produced attack song "The Bitch in Yoo". Common and Westside Connection continued to insult each other back and forth before finally meeting with Louis Farrakhan and setting aside their dispute. Following the popularity of Resurrection, Common Sense was sued by an Orange Countybased reggae band with the same name, and was forced to shorten his moniker to simply Common.

One Day It'll All Make Sense Initially scheduled for an October 1996 release, Common finally released his third album, One Day It'll All Make Sense, in September 1997. The album took a total of two years to complete and included collaborations with artists such as Lauryn Hill, De La Soul, Q-Tip, Canibus, Black Thought, Chantay Savage, and Questlove – a future fellow member of the Soulquarians outfit. The album, which made a point of eschewing any gangsterism (in response to questions about his musical integrity), was critically acclaimed and led to a major label contract with MCA Records. In addition to releasing One Day, Common's first child, daughter Omoye Assata Lynn, was born shortly after the release of the album. As documented by hip hop journalist Raquel Cepeda, in the liner notes for the album, this event had a profound spiritual and mental effect on Common and enabled him to grow musically while becoming more responsible as an artist. She writes: Rashid found out that he was going to become a daddy in about 8 months. Stunned and confused, Rashid had life altering decisions to make with his girlfriend, Kim Jones. The situation led to the composition of his favourite cut on One Day... that offers a male slant on abortion. "Retrospect for Life", produced by James Poyser and No I.D. featuring Lauryn Hill (who was due on the same day as Rashid's girlfriend), is the song that is the driving force behind the project. Rashid listens to "Retrospect for Life" today at the mastering session geeked, as if it were for the first time. He tells me as we listen to L-Boogie wail the chorus, "when I listen to the song now, I think about how precious her (Omoye's) life is". 20

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Common addresses family ethics several times on One Day..., and the album sleeve is decorated with old family photos, illustrating the rapper's childhood, as well a quote from 1 Corinthians 13:11, which summarizes the path to manhood: When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

Soulquarians era Following One Day..., Common signed a major label record deal with MCA Records and relocated from Chicago to New York City in 1999. He began recording almost exclusively with a loose collective of musicians and artists (dubbed the "Soulquarians" by central figure Questlove) throughout 1999, and made a few sporadic guest appearances on The Roots' Things Fall Apart, and the Rawkus Records compilation, Soundbombing 2. In 2000, his fourth album, Like Water for Chocolate, was released to mass critical acclaim. Executive produced by Questlove and featuring significant contributions by J Dilla, (who helmed all but one track – the DJ Premierproduced track "The 6th Sense"), Like Water for Chocolate transpired to be a considerable commercial breakthrough for Common, earning the rapper his first gold record, and greatly expanding his fanbase among critics and listeners alike. With both artists hailing from the Great Lakes region of the United States (Chicago and Detroit, prospectively), Common and J Dilla established their chemistry early on. Both became members of the Soulquarians collective, and collaborated on numerous projects together, even placing one song, "Thelonius", on both the Slum Village album Fantastic, Vol. 2, and Common's Like Water for Chocolate. As Dilla's health began to decline from the effects of Lupus Nephritis, he relocated to Los Angeles for treatment, and asked Common to make the move with him as a roommate (Dilla would later lose his battle with the rare disease). 21

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This album saw Common exploring themes (musically and lyrically), which were uncommon for a Hip hop record, as he does on the song "Time Travelin' (A Tribute To Fela)"; a homage to Nigerian music legend, and political activist Fela Kuti. The most popular single from the album "The Light" was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Electric Circus The rapper's next album, Electric Circus was released in December 2002. It featured more experimental work with the Soulquarians, as well as contributions from The Neptunes, Zap Mama, and Prince. The album was something of a departure from Common's previous releases (and indeed from Hip hop music), and featured Common rapping over electric rock music, and electronica-influenced tracks. It received polarizing reviews, with many critics praising it as a musical tour de force and a visionary expansion of the Hip hop template, while others criticized it for veering too far from accessibility and viewing Common's role as secondary to the musicianship of the Soulquarians (it should be noted that Common has himself stated that it was his intention at the time to make an atypical hip hop record). Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the album did not sell as well as Like Water for Chocolate, with many longtime fans being turned off by its eclectic sound, and the album suffering from a lack of promotion due to MCA's absorption by Geffen Records. In 2003, Common won his first Grammy for his appearance on Erykah Badu's "Love of My life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)", a song he performed with Badu for the soundtrack to the movie Brown Sugar.

GOOD Music era In early 2004, Common made an appearance on fellow Chicagoan Kanye West's multi-platinum debut album, The College Dropout (on the song "Get Em High"), and announced his signing to West's then-newfound label GOOD Music. West had been a longtime fan of Common and the two even participated in a friendly 22

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on-air MC battle, where West took jabs at his lyrical idol for "going soft" and wearing crochet pants (as he does for his appearance in the video for the Mary J. Blige song "Dance for Me"). The pair worked together on Common's next album, Be, almost entirely produced by Kanye West, with some help from Common's longtime collaborator the late James Yancey (J Dilla) – also a favorite of West. The album was released in May 2005, and performed very well, boosted by Kanye's involvement and the singles "The Corner", and "Go". Be earned Common the second gold record of his career, with sales topping out at around 800,000 copies. The Source magazine gave it a near perfect 4.5 mic rating, XXL magazine gave it their highest rating of "XXL", and AllHipHop gave the album 5 stars. The album was also nominated for four Grammy Awards in 2006. Following the release of Be in 2005, several mixed-race artists from the UK hiphop scene took exception to Common's comments about interracial relationships on the song "Real People", and in an interview. The situation started out with an article from UK's Touch magazine, in which he stated "When you see dreadlocked dudes with white girls that‘s like they going against what the dreadlock‘s purpose was." Yungun, Doc Brown and Rising Son recorded a track over an instrumental version of "The Corner" named "Dear Common (The Corner Dub)." Common states that he has heard of the track but never actually taken the time to listen to it, and has not retaliated in song. 23

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Finding Forever and Universal Mind Control Common's seventh LP titled Finding Forever was released on July 31, 2007. For this album, he continued his work with Kanye West, as well as other producers such as will.i.am, Devo Springsteen, Derrick Hodge, and Karriem Riggins, as well as the only J Dilla-produced track, "So Far To Go". The album features guest spots from artists such as Dwele, Bilal, D'Angelo, and UK pop starlet Lily Allen. The first single from the album was "The People" b/w "The Game". West has already predicted that Finding Forever will win the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. On July 31, 2007, Common performed a free concert in Santa Monica, California on the 3rd Street Promenade to promote the release of Finding Forever. Common explained to the audience that the title "Finding Forever" represented his quest to find an eternal place in hip-hop and also his wishes to be an artist for the rest of his life. The album debuted at #1 on the national Billboard 200 charts. In a recent interview (circa August 30, 2007) with XXL, rapper Q-Tip of the group A Tribe Called Quest stated that he and Common were forming a group called The Standard. While the two were meant to hit the studio to record a Q-Tip-produced album, possibly with contributions from Kanye West, Common put out Universal Mind Control instead and has already planned a next album, The Believer, for 2010. The 8th album from Chicago hip-hop artist Common was originally scheduled to be released on June 24, 2008 under the name Invincible Summer, but he announced at a Temple University concert that he would change it to Universal Mind Control. The release date was pushed back to September 30, 2008 due to Common filming Wanted. The release date was set for November 11, 2008, but again it was pushed back to December 9, 2008. 24

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The album's first single, titled "Universal Mind Control", was officially released on July 1, 2008 via the US iTunes Store as part of the Announcement EP (sold as "Universal Mind Control-EP" in the UK). The song features Pharrell, who also produced the track. The Announcement EP included an additional track track titled "Announcement" featuring its producer, Pharrell. The video for "Universal Mind Control" was filmed in September by director Hype Williams. Producer No I.D. has stated that he and Kanye West will be producing Common's next album The Dreamer The Believer, due in Spring 2011.[13] Common made an appearance on The Jonas Brothers' most recent album, Lines, Vines and Trying Times as a guest rapper for the group's new song, "Don't Charge Me for the Crime." 25

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Personal life Common has a daughter, Omoye Assata Lynn (born 1997). He is a Christian and has been a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago led by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright since his childhood. Following the controversy over one of Wright's sermons, Common criticized the American news media's coverage of the incident as having "an agenda." Common played the role of Alicia Keys's boyfriend in the music video "Like You'll Never See Me Again." He dated professional tennis player Serena Williams and neo-soul singer Erykah Badu .

Endorsements In 2006, Common was a model for photos of The Gap's fall season collection, appearing on posters in stores. Later that year, he performed in The Gap's "Holiday In Your Hood" themed Peace Love Gap. In February 2007, Common signed a deal with New Era to promote their new line of Layers fitted caps. Common also starred in a television commercial for the 2008 Lincoln Navigator. He appears in NBA 2K8 in NBA Blacktop mode. In the fall of 2008, Common appeared in an ad for Microsoft's Zune, comparing his new song, "Universal Mind Control", to ,"Planet Rock", a song from hip hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa. As well as that he featured in the Diesel campaign for a new fragrance called "Only The Brave". His song "Be (intro)" is featured in a commercial for Blackberry as of January 2011.

Business As of the 29th of September 2008 Common was instrumental in bridging the trans-Atlantic gap by signing UK's Mr Wong and J2K to Kanye West's Getting Out Our Dreams recording outfit. Common met the pair during his tour in the UK earlier on in 26

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the year. It is speculated that the deal is not only to bring the UK and US hip hop genres together but that to rival Syco Music's cross-Atlantic success with Leona Lewis. He also has a deal with Zune mp3 players. In 2008 Common made an estimated 12 million dollars, making him equal in earnings to Eminem and Akon, tied for the 13th highest grossing Hip-Hop artist. In December 2008, Common will launched a new clothing line in partnership with Microsoft titled "Softwear", based on 1980s computing.

Activism Common used to maintain a vegan diet and is a supporter of animal rights and PETA. He recently appeared in a print advertisement for PETA titled "Think Before You Eat". Common is also part of the "Knowing Is Beautiful" movement, which supports HIV/AIDS awareness. He is featured in the video for "Yes We Can", a song in support of the candidacy of Barack Obama, which made its debut on the internet on February 2, 2008. Common has pledged to stop using anti-gay lyrics in his music.

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Acting career In 2003, Common appeared on the popular American UPN sitcom Girlfriends. In the episode "Take This Poem and Call Me In The Morning", he appeared as Omar, a slam poet who competes with fellow poet Sivad (played by Saul Williams) for the affection of Lynn Searcy (played by Persia White). He also had a cameo appearance on an episode of UPN's One on One, where he played a drama class instructor named Darius. He also made an appearance on the NBC show "Scrubs". In 2007, Common appeared with Ryan Reynolds, Jeremy Piven, and Alicia Keys in the crime film Smokin' Aces. He made his big screen debut as villainous Mob enforcer Sir Ivy. He appeared alongside Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, The RZA and T.I. in the 2007 crime thriller American Gangster. On January 20, 2007, one week before the opening of Smokin Aces, he appeared in a Saturday Night Live sketch as himself. The show's host was Piven, his Aces co-star. In 2008, he starred in the film adaptation of the comic book Wanted alongside Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie; and was cast as the Green Lantern/John Stewart in the live adaptaton of The Justice League. Common also appeared in the movie Street Kings alongside Keanu Reeves, Hugh Laurie, The Game, and Forest Whitaker. Common will also will be starring in the 2010 upcoming movie Just Wright as a basketball player that falls in love with his trainer Queen Latifah. He also appeared in the 2009 film Terminator Salvation as John Connor's lieutenant Barnes. His most recent film role was as a slightly corrupt cop in the hit comedy Date Night with Steve Carell and Tina Fey (2010).

Philanthropy Common is the visionary behind the Common Ground Foundation. Our premise is to identify and develop tomorrow's leaders through programs that promote holistic leadership and education. We are committed to empowering youth to achieve greatness while developing leadership and life skills needed to fulfill their dreams and make an impact on their world. BE Empowered The Common Ground Foundation is dedicated to the empowerment and leadership development of urban youth. It is the goal of the Foundation to create an environment that will foster the desire for knowledge, which in turn will lead to informed decision making. Our programs focus on empowering youth through the following: 28

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The Common Ground Foundation's "BE Empowered" program provides life, career and educational mentoring as a means for youth participants to achieve understanding, confidence and self-respect. Our program support is focused on "finding the leader within" each youth and developing their own unique gifts. Various outlets of creative expression, learning business and life-skills are pinnacle while enabling youth to develop an overall mind/body "holistic" wellbeing.

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CGF/Lighthouse Youth Leadership Program The Common Ground Foundation is hosting its pilot programs at the Lighthouse Youth Center located at 4338 S. Prairie in Chicago, IL. The Common Ground Foundation‘s Lighthouse summer and fall programs provide youth with the fundamental principles of holistic leadership and education. Throughout the duration of each 6-12 week program, courses engage students in activities that educate them about leading healthy lives, acquiring valuable life skills, utilizing technological resources, and exploring their creative gifts in arts and music. The overall goal of students‘ participation in this leadership program is to empower and equip them to be contributing citizens in their world. Readers Program

ARE

Leaders

The "Readers ARE Leaders" program is specifically focused on promoting literacy and reading as a primary tenet in every young person‘s life. In an effort to encourage and inspire youth to read, the Common Ground Foundation has launched The Corner, a national online book club. 30

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One Rundown Home Demolished After Recent Houston News Conference

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Good Morning! A week ago Thursday, I stood on this very corner and pointed out a vacant house that had been cited as unsafe and dangerous in 2007. It sat boarded up for almost 4 years; It was rotting and falling apart. After my calling attention to this dangerous structure, the city razed the property last Thursday. You can imagine my SATISFACTION when I learned that my plan to take back our neighborhoods one abandoned property at a time is already coming to fruition! This morning the neighbors are elated...as they should be. While this step is in the right direction, there is still a long way to go to improve our neighborhoods. As an example, the property to the immediate south is also designated as unsafe and dangerous… and, so is the vacant house across the street. These are just two of hundreds of boarded up, abandoned structures throughout our community. There are at least 400 and possibly as many as 800! As I stated a week ago Thursday, the city needs to establish specific time frames for remediation of code violations. It must aggressively enforce the current ordinances that mandate compliance with the applicable codes and the owner‘s vacant building plan. I am here today to reiterate that to insure that the city WILL enforce compliance with building and zoning codes, I will assign two attorneys in the Corporation Counsel‘s office to work full time on collecting fines and placing liens on properties where fines have not been paid. Where fines are unpaid and accumulate to more than $2,000, these attorneys will immediately begin foreclosure procedures against the property owner. The attorneys will not be an additional burden on the taxpayers of Springfield because the fees and fines will pay for their salaries as well as contribute to the city‘s corporate fund. Additionally, fees and fines will be generated for city services to maintain abandoned properties, such as boarding up a property and cutting the grass. I look forward seeing my plan in full action. I thank city officials for removing this dangerous house, even if it was almost four years overdue. We'll make it happen one abandoned building at a time! Thank You. Mike Houston Candidate for Mayor, Springfield, Illinois Source: www.facebook.com/mikehouston 34

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Featured Speaker Thomas R. Jones Presents Similarities and Differences of Vietnam and the Current Conflict March 8, 2011 (Springfield Renowned Author / Playwright / Producer, Thomas R. Jones, Sr. will be featured speaker in Hoogland Center for the Arts 2011 Lecture Series entitled “Home Warriors and Combat” every Tuesday during March. It is not uncommon to hear some say ―Afghanistan is like Vietnam‖ these days or comments of that ilk. To shed some light on this, Thomas R. Jones will be exploring this timely topic on Tuesday, March 8 when he presents: “Similarities and Differences of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan”, the second session in his lecture series. Jones speaks from personal experience having served in Vietnam as a Senior Hospital Corpsman with the 3rd Marine Long Range Reconnaissance Battalion. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Vietnam Services Medal. He also served as Assistant Director of Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and counseled servicemen coming home from war. As a fund raiser for the Hoogland Center, the lecture series will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the Hoogland Jazz Club room. Tickets are $15 per session. Doors open at 11:15 a.m. Call the Hoogland Center at 523-2787 for reservations. Seating is limited so make your reservation soon. Jones recently premiered ―A Long Way Home‖ multimedia/cinematic stage drama dedicated to all veterans and their families at the Hoogland. Based on his popular book Lost Survivor; From Man into Soldier and Soldier Back to Man, A 35

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Long Way Home opened to standing ovations on September 10, 2010. Jones‘ long time mission is helping families and friends of war veterans understand the harrowing metamorphosis from a boy into a combat soldier and how combat changes the lives of the warrior and all who are around him. Thomas R. Jones has served as Assistant Director of Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and Chief Administrator of Public Pension Funds for the Illinois Department of Insurance. He has received several presidential and gubernatorial appointments as well as numerous community service awards. Referring to himself as a ―storyteller who uses different venues to express emotions of the human experience,‖ Jones recently retired as Chief Deputy Director of Budget and Fiscal Management for Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White on June 1, 2010 after serving 41 years in state, local, and federal government entities. To purchase tickets call the Hoogland box office, 420 South 6th St., Springfield, IL at (217) 523-2787 or visit www.hcfta.org. For more about Thomas R. Jones Take a tour of www.jpublications.com or contact publicist Rochelle Arjmand at : (217) 685-1653 via email at: tomjones@Jpublications.com

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NAACP 90th Annual Banquet February 13, 2011

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NAACP Campaign Forum March 15, 2011

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Black History Ball, February 19, 2011

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Eastern Star Chicken-Waffles & Grits Breakfast at the American Legion Post # 809, March 5, 2011

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Message from the President One Nation, One Dream – Working Together!

NAACP Stands in Solidarity with Wisconsin Workers (Washington, DC)—Thousands of workers at this very moment are protesting in the streets and at the capitol of Wisconsin against Governor Scott Walker‘s proposed legislation that will impede our economic recovery and undermine the right of workers to have an organized voice at the workplace. ―The NAACP, and our 1200 branches and youth and college chapters stand with the teachers, workers, public employees and the hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin residents in opposition to Governor Scott Walker‘s short-sighted budget,‖ stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. ―As this nation pulls itself out of the Great Recession, balancing state budgets should not be done on the backs of the workers that provide vital services to our communities. Governor Walker should do the job he was elected to do which is to put people back to work not out them on the unemployment line. Our nation must enact smart policies to stimulate economic growth and create jobs. We cannot cut our way out of the recession, job creation increases our tax revenues and consumer dollars which are the policies that will grow our economy and ultimately reduce our deficit. The NAACP stands ready to combat any legislation in any state, whether it be Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee or Indiana where jobs are being severely cut and labor rights stripped. ‖ Recently, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker proposed legislation that strips state workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights, cuts pay and benefits. This legislation has been met with massive protests by people across Wisconsin and the country. ―The NAACP stands in solidarity with our union brothers and sisters in Wisconsin,‖ stated Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. ―This coordinated effort to desensitize public opinion as it relates to workers' rights is unconscionable in these times of economic strife.‖ ―This issue is actually a lot larger than it appears,‖ stated NAACP Wisconsin State Conference President Tom White. ―There are people with jobs, livelihoods at stake and they are not going to take 84

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this change lightly. Wisconsin is one state and we should function as one. Wisconsin government cannot move forward on this without Wisconsin citizens. This legislation provides an opportunity for all citizens, in all professions, to come together, gather our resources and speak out. It could easily be our own coworkers under fire next. What affects one group, affects us all.‖ Similar legislation has been presented or is being prepared in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana. While these other bills are not exactly the same, their premise is to eliminate collective bargaining and roll the clock back on the rights of average American workers who have born the brunt of the economic recession. ―Workers across the width and breadth of this country wake up every day with the clear knowledge that the job is not a luxury but a necessity to sustain their families,‖ added Clayola Brown, NAACP National Board Member and SEIU/IEB Board Member Workers United. ―All workers want is a fair days' pay for a fair days' work and benefits to provide for their families.‖ 85

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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors. Springfield, IL NAACP President Teresa Haley served as Chair of a rally to “Save the American Dream,” at the Illinois State Capitol. Feb. 26, 2011. The Illinois NAACP stood with labor groups from across the state to protect the rights of workers to engage in the process of collective bargaining. The NAACP opposes the continued elimination of public sector jobs which only adds to our nation’s unemployment misery. The NAACP will conduct voter registration and education of voters on key civil rights issues like collective bargaining through the general election Nov. 6, 2012. Groups that participated in the “Save the American Dream,” rally included: Moveon.org, AFSCME Council 31, Latinos for Change, Illinois Education Association , Sauganan Valley Sierra Club Chapter, Central Illinois Trades and Labor Council, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Carpenters Local 16, Illinois State Conference NAACP.

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Join the NAACP. Help us gain and maintain full access to all that our community offers. Hold our political and corporate leaders accountable for extending fair, just opportunities to everyone Teresa Haley, MPA President Springfield Branch NAACP Teresa Haley may be contacted at: naacp1908@aol.com

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THE OUTDOORSMAN

Fishing Reports: Fishing at Lake Springfield has been very slow... some crappie are being caught early and late in the day. It should pick up soon as the water clears up in the upcoming week or so. Find some structure and you will find the fish! Have not seen the White Bass feeding as of yet! Lake Sancris Crappie and Bass have been good fishing 2 feet - 10 feet deep. The water is stained I have been using minnows and jigs.

Hello Outdoors Folks! The Month of March is already here! I cannot wait for the weather to break. The first news you need to know is there will be a Hunter’s Safety Course on the dates indicated below: 3/10/11 5:30pm-9:00pm Police Shooting Range 3501 Color Plant Road 217 785-8294 3/11/11 5:30pm-9:00pm Police Shooting Range 3501 Color Plant Road 217 785-8294 3/12/11 8:00am-5:00pm Police Shooting Range 3501 Color Plant Road 217 785-8294

The top color picks are Purple, Fluorescent Orange, Nickel, Fluorescent Pink, White, Chartreuse-Green, BrownOlive, Black-Charteuse and Pink-BlackOrange Is there anyone interested in a Illinois Voice Fishing Tournament? Remember: If you bring it ....take it with you.....If you see it ....pick it up.... Keep Illinois Waters Clean! Michael Johnson is an avid outdoorsman who contracts with public and private entities on outdoors related programs he may be contacted at michaelj_40160@yahoo.com.

For more info visit www.dnr.state.us/safety/Region2/Reg2. htm

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When Christianity Fails…Bash It? By Zettler Clay

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Just like the ―Go Natural‖ movement for women and the ―Dred Conscious‖ phase for men (and select women), the ―Bash Christianity‖ movement has reached a fever pitch. It goes a little something like this… Mike was born into a hyper-religious environment, where church attendance and engagement was mandated as law. He ―learns‖ the gospel of Jesus, being taught that only one path leads to the truth. Mike gets older, asking the inevitable questions that any inquisitive soul asks. What about people who never hear about Jesus…do they go to hell? What does the Trinity mean? If Adam and Eve were the first two humans, are we products of incest? And on and on. He then starts to read a few books and talk to a few people outside his religious circle, gets enmeshed in ―other‖ cultures and realizes they are divine souls too. Then he learns about Constantine, Council of Nicea and colonization. Mike subsequently becomes irritated that he was lied to all his life. This is only a slight exaggeration. People come of age at their own time in their own way, but enlightenment (tricky word) often has a steep price: a sense of superiority and alienation. Some become better people through this process, some become more insufferable. I‘ve witnessed people leave the faith and achieve a certain level of discipline and morality that their pastor or church couldn‘t help them achieve. Many Christian practitioners would write off that person, saying that the system isn‘t flawed. The devil‘s just at work. I‘ve also seen people become more destructive (to self and others) after moving from Christianity. They become the ones that parse every verse of the Bible for inconsistencies. They‘ll make it their life‘s mission to convince you Jesus didn‘t exist. They‘ll continue to practice the same oppressive ―preaching‖ they condemn Christians of doing. Yet they are as unorganized, unproductive and unbearable as they were before they were ―enlightened.‖ This crowd seems to be growing more by the day. Everybody that adheres to a spiritual code seeks the same thing: understanding the limitations and constraints of the human experience. We don‘t know with certainty what happens after death. But the Bible or Siddhattha Gotama provides an answer.

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Answers that would require more proof in any other realm is replaced by ―having faith‖ in the spiritual realm. Those relying on science to explain complex phenomena are at an equal ―disadvantage‖ because science is often behind what‘s happening in front of us; new scientific discoveries emerge every week.Whichever route one goes, it all rests on perception. Having a unique perception is completely fine if it helps maintain inner peace that doesn‘t involve enforcing your ―peace‖ on your disagreeing neighbor. More and more people are so bent on proclaiming the name of Jesus or Allah or Ra as The One (or not The One) that the medium takes precedence over the message, which becomes collateral damage in a game of ―who‘s imaginary friend is more powerful?‖ If you feel the need to bash another‘s path to spiritual salvation, then you, suffice to say, are not at peace. Which makes your path to ―enlightenment‖ akin to a person getting in the car to go to their mailbox. A complete waste. Christians say it‘s Jesus. Muslims say it‘s Mohammed. New Age teachings say it‘s you. But who cares who the messenger is. Did you even get the message?

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Words of Inspiration, Inspired

HE said, “You stay right there and don’t go nowhere because I’m dialing you straight through.. You tell here to

I’M DIALING

hang on because she’s not going to be

YOU STRAIGHT THROUGH My God, My God where are you?

sick to long because she’s got a friend I

in you and you can talk to your God

need you now. I know someone who’s

anytime and I will surely let you

very sick and I need to get a prayer

through.

through and someone else is on the

everyone. When you call for MERCY

line. They are so sick I don’t think

call on the hotline. I will pick up quick

they can make the call to get to you.

because I know there’s something

But I know if I call on you I can get a

serious in your voice and on your

prayer through from

mind and I will follow through just for

her to you.

I

know whenever I call you will pick up and dial straight through because you have my name and number and you know when I call on you it’s because I

You are good and kind to

you. You just keep that line open, I might have to fly through but don’t you worry I’ll be right there on time setting next to you.

need you. joya may be contacted at: iamjoya@gmail.com. 94

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Who Can Cast The First Stone We are in an hour and a season where God is about to release the masses. But... if we as the body of Christ are not set in position as a whole and most importantly individually, we will miss the move of God. Beloved this isn't about our gifting and our callings because the word of God says they are without repentance. It's about our character and integrity. If our hearts are jacked up people won‘t receive what we have to say concerning the things of God. The devil can‘t take your gift but he can try and destroy who you are in Christ if you allow him. John 8:7-11 talks about the woman that was caught in adultery and the Pharisee brought the woman before Jesus trying to trap him in order to find any type of basis that they may accuse Jesus. The enemy sets up traps at the opportune time to try and throw you off coarse. The word of God says that Jesus stooped down and began to write on the ground, but he didn't say what he was writing... but I could imagine what Jesus was seeing. We as the Body of Christ sometimes tend to focus on the outer sin or things that we see( God looks at the heart, but man looks at the outward appearance) such as adulterers, liars, thieves, pimps. prostitutes, addicts etc..but what if Jesus was writing on the ground the hidden sin of the heart that we don't see with the eye such as hate , un-forgiveness, jealousy, envy, idolatry( idolizing things ex spouses , children, ministries, businesses, secret desires of same sex relations, cheating the government, judging one another and being the accuser of the brethren to name a few. Then Jesus asked a question. " If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to cast or throw a stone at her?" Again Jesus kept writing, and those that heard it began to walk away one at a time, the older ones first. A couple points I want to share is that I believe that Jesus was exposing the issue of the heart right there as he was writing and caused the people to look at themselves and their own stuff. God is no respecter of person he causes one person‘s sin to allow another person to take a look at their own sin. How can the blind lead the blind. If one falls in a ditch the other will fall as well. We are in a time of self examination where we must lay ourselves on the alter daily, so that the Holy Spirit can start the work 96

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and finish it. How can we help the masses if we a won't allow God to finish the process in us. Just because God uses us doesn‘t mean he approves of our mess. God is revealing the mess in our lives and in the church and its time make we made a decision to get our personal lives in order and the church must be in order in this hour as well ( judgment begins in the house of God first). There is a real devil that is out to shipwreck your purpose, vision and destiny but in order to gain victory over the enemy is to expose our weakness to the Father in order that he may become strong in us. GOD WILL NOT BLESS MY MESS, YOUR MESS, AND THE CHURCH’S MESS!!! This is character building time and I'm excited because that means less of us and more of God. Last point in closing. Jesus asked the woman where all of her accusers were and she didn't know. He told her he didn't condemn her but for her to go and sin no more. To sin is to miss the mark and we all have missed the mark. But... I will tell that we are in the hour where God will deal with you on a personal level first. If you don't hear him he will send counsel to you. If you choose not to heed to wise Godly council your sins will be openly dealt with in order to help you get it restoration, healing and order. God loves us that much that he chastises us in order that we may grow in wisdom, character and integrity. Be encouraged, be faithful and remain flexible and ply-able in the Master‘s hands and he will do such work in you that will bring him Glory and the people to you to lead them to the face of Jesus. If this ministry has been a blessing to you please write me at 3489 Torres St Navarre, Florida 32563 or e-mail me at jenniechalden@yahoo.com and tell me your testimonies. Also, if the Lord speaks to you to sow a seed into this anointing on my life please obey the Lord. He will bless you for your obedience and your sacrifice. Please join me every Wednesday at 5am (cst) for Prayer and Intercession as we pray for the nations, America, troops, Body of Christ, marriages, children & youth, the addicted, abuse etc....I also take personal prayer requests. I have been seeing the Spirit of Lord move on our behalf in an awesome way over the prayer line. I encourage all prayer warriors and intercessor to join with me. Also, each Tuesday before we fast from 6am-6pm( seek the Lord for personal instructions). Thanks to all those that have supported this ministry through financial gifts, prayer, fasting and intercession. Blessing upon Prophetess Jennie Chalden.

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Extraordinary Living with Author Jo Lena Johnson Servant Leadership; Formal Church Work is Essential – And So is Service – Becoming a Political Servant, that is! Formal church work is essential because it provides the vision, structure, and perspective for ministry. Church leadership should minister to the inward needs of the church and its members, as well as to the outward needs of the community at large. While we minister to the hearers/believers inside the church, our Divine Commission as Christians is to the world. Formal church work is the heart or frame to do the ministry. It‘s where people are brought together to receive, to know, and to be directed in areas of need. For example, many people experience financial challenges, illness, and displacement due to various disasters, breakups, or job losses. Through individuals making the church aware of the needs, the church can and should respond. Discipleship is building up individuals through teaching, worship, study, and prayer. As a disciple, Extraordinary Christian Living can be achieved when you incorporate those activities into your daily existence. Evangelism is the reaching and saving of individuals through the sharing of one‘s belief about Jesus Christ. The Extraordinary Ben Broadnax This can be further explained through the message of Ben Broadnax as he shares how church work can shape and provide momentum for Extraordinary Christian Living. Ben Broadnax is Director of Security at Shalom Church, City of Peace, located in St. Louis, Missouri, where Dr. Freddy J. Clark is Pastor and Founder. An inspiring, Bible based message is always to be found at Shalom. If you find yourself in St. Louis on a Wednesday or Sunday, please stop by and see the wonderful things they are up to! information, go to www.shalomchurch.org. 98

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Responsible Service Words of Wisdom from Ben Broadnax “If God can save me or change me, there is hope for any and everybody.” ―Being an active church attendee has made a difference in my life…‖ ―That age old saying ―An idol mind is a devil‘s workshop‖ is so true. So my roots as a child in church and my mom‘s strict policy of ‗if you don‘t go to church, you don‘t go outside, you don‘t have company, you don‘t play with games/toys, etc.‘ was in full effect… and Lord knows, in those days I had to play with my GI Joe‘s.‖ ―It keeps me grounded in knowing that church is where I am supposed to be now, as an adult, and as a parent, I see and understand why.‖ ―It helps me to raise my conscience about decisions I may face. As a child in my neighborhood, we were brainwashed by friends who stressed that only punks go to church; but now that I‘m grown, I know that real men go to church.‖

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Three Practical Reasons People (and especially Parents) Should Attend Church 1. Folks that know me know my background, know my stories of growing up, and all the things I did or took part in. If God can save me or change me, there is hope for any and everybody. 1. If people have had a bad church experience, it‘s probably because they focused on a person rather than God. People can always disappoint or let you down. 2. Stories in the Bible help to give shape to my life, as well as that of many others. I believe the Bible is true, and the stories of the Bible come full circle in resembling stories in my own life. Three Challenges Parents Will Face, If They Don’t Share the Church Experience with Their Children: 1. According to my faith and the Word of God, if you don‘t know the Word, you won‘t know how to apply its principles. Consider Proverbs 22:6, Train a child up in the way he/she shall go and when they are older, they will not depart from those ways. 2. The Bible is a great book of instructions, and it gives us a great foundation for character building, lessons in humility, and teachings in how to treat one another. 3. In today‘s society, nothing else is working so, why not try Jesus? What does working at the church mean to you? ―Just being on the premises to keep the ―house in order‖ and to make sure that things are smooth, before, during and after worship, especially given some of the challenges and violence that has happened at churches throughout the years. Being able to offer expertise and assistance to secure the operations and to look for anything abnormal.‖ ―I also get to interact and see the development of the children, who are at the daycare, and to have an impact of setting foundation for them.‖ ―Working in the church is important. People are losing hope, that is, people who don‘t have any type of foundation. They seem to resist things that would provide a foundation and order, like church. Many have issues with church for one reason 100

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or another, and though it can‘t be explained, they lash out—although many churches seem to be doing really good work.‖ Spotlight on (Political) Service Ben Broadnax for Mayor…Mayor of Bellefontaine Neighbors, Missouri, that is. Ben Broadnax has a beautiful family. His wife is a successful lawyer, Leslie T. Broadnax, who is the owner and managing attorney of Law Office of Leslie Tolliver, LLC, a boutique law firm in Clayton specializing in criminal and family law. Together, the couple are the proud parents of three daughters, Vi, Madison and Brooke. Having grown up in St. Louis‘ North County, Ben continues to find ways to serve – be it through formal church work or through completing a huge project of spearheading mission work with wife Leslie. With the help of family, friends and lots of hard work, they successfully collected 10,000 pairs of shoes which were shipped to Africa and Haiti.

Closer to home, Ben recognized the need to help his immediate community as well. Ben Broadnax is a Riverview Gardens High School graduate and former First Team All State Quarterback. After high school, Ben studied political science and criminal justice at both North Carolina A &T and Central Missouri State on a football scholarship. He's also an Army Reserve veteran, and served more than 21 years as a St. Louis area police officer, retiring as a Sergeant. Ben is no stranger to municipal administration, known as a gentle giant; Ben is compassionate about 101

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Justice and equality for all. Ben and his wife, Leslie are the proud parents of three daughters, Vi, Madison, and Brooke. Why are you running for Mayor? 1. It‘s time – I grew up in the neighborhood and I listen to the people. A lot of the people aren‘t satisfied with where their tax dollars are going and how they are being spent in the community. 2. And by getting involved, it‘s a therapeutic form of reaching back and giving back – and I‘m also appalled at how the educational system has gone to the pits … how the children and the families are disconnected from one another. We called it a village when I was growing up – where the community actively participated in raising the children, disciplining the children and teaching them to be good citizens. I can no longer watch from the stands – I have to get on the field. 3. My slogan is ―Bridging the Gap‖ and as Mayor, I‘ll have a voice at the table. With support from the Board that‘s elected, if we share the same vision, we will reconnect black with white, young with old, the government with community, and connect the students with the parents, it all works together.

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What are three initiatives/changes you’d like to make during your term in office as Mayor of Bellefontaine Neighbors? 1. Educating the people that they do have a voice, that they do have a say – by partnering with them. Most don‘t know who the alderpersons are and are not involved. I will change that. 2. Initiating several programs to involve the youth. We have a lot of youth who are not involved with extracurricular activities or endeavors which will help them grow. – I support after school tutoring programs where they can get isolated attention and feel comfortable asking questions when they don‘t understand. Encouraging them to be courageous, informed and to get the answers that they really need. 3. Implementing a program which supports the needs of our Seniors in the community – from simple things like providing trustworthy citizens to help them with cutting grass, being safe in the summer and winter to also helping them to stay interactive physically as well as mentally. *** In order to be successful, one must be focused, steadfast, and determined. And while Bellefontaine Neighbors is a small community, it’s important because it houses Ben’s Alma Mater, Riverview Gardens. He sees the need and is daring to step up and step in. When you think of what it takes to be successful in life, remember that people like Ben surround us. Wake up “the gentle giant” in you and dare to live your own Extraordinary! People need you. We need you. You need you! Author Jo Lena Johnson is a Trainer, Speaker, and the Managing Partner of Absolute Good Training & Life Skills Management. Jo Lena teaches people how to become better leaders and better communicators through training sessions for corporate, community and church organizations and also personalized coaching programs for individuals and groups. She created the "If You Really Want to..." book series to help people live better lives at home, at work and in today's world. She is also Publisher of Mission Possible Press - helping people write books, share their wisdom and putting more good in the Universe. The book, ―If You Really Want to Live, Be Extraordinary!‖ is available at www.jolenajohnson.com. 103

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Author Jo Lena Johnson on a mission for Good ... Absolute Good!

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If my life is a message to the world, let it be inspiring. I'm never letting anyone tell me the sky is the limit when there are footsteps on the moon. Sarah T. McGee is an entrepreneur and author. She may be contacted at: babeesis9@yahoo.com

Mind Candy Ode to You I have learned to dream wide awake. Treating each day as a gift. Living my life like its golden. Not afraid to take chances. I no longer lose time worrying about the past or what may happen in the future. Learning from my past, preparing for the future, while living intensely in the present. Making a masterpiece of my life. I regard myself with the highest standards. Believing I am beautiful because if I don't no one else will. We don't deserve what we are not willing to give. So I give myself the utmost respect and love. I blow my reflection a kiss and a wink daily reminding her she is amazing and worthy. 105

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March 2011 Jackie Joyner Kersee 1988 Olympics (Seoul, South Korea, 1988)

Photo by Reuters

Greatness !! With Greatness comes Responsibility. At BFA Energy Solutions we are committed to Greatness!! ... bringing the best alternative energy solutions to market. We are also committed to providing an enhanced quality of life for the residents in the communities In which we operate. We pledge to: Create Green Jobs Pay Competitive Salaries with Benefits Invest in K-12 Sustainability Programs Increase Local Tax Receipts Committmented to Innovation and Community

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Eric Mimms BELLEVILLE - Eric George Mimms, 43, of Belleville, Illinois, was born December 6, 1967 in Springfield, the son of Mr. and Mrs. George and Martha Mimms. He was preceded in death by his mother. Eric Mimms attended Springfield Southeast High School and Lincoln Land Community College, where he studied Computer Technology. He was employed in 1992 until time of illness with the State of Illinois' Computer Check Processing Division. Mr. Mimms was strong in Christian faith and a longstanding member of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.

Mrs. Ida V. (Brents) Tennant SPRINGFIELD - Mrs. Ida V. (Brents) Tennant, passed away at home Sunday February 20, 2011. Ida was born July 31, 1921 in Springfield, the first of eight (8) children born to Wesley and Amanda Brents. Ida attended Palmer Grade School, and graduated from Feitshans High School where she studied and became an accomplished artist and seamstress. For a number of years, she designed, built and sewed lamp shades for the Governor's Mansion. She was a charter member of the social club, The Unique Matronettes. In her youth and young adult, she was a member of the Springfield Art Association. She was a member of St. John AME Church. On October 19, 1940 she married Milton H. Tennant Sr. from which five children were born. 107

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Elder Oscar Clayborne

Elder Oscar Clayborne,98, of Swartz Creek, MI formerly of Springfield and Peoria IL passed away on Monday, February 7, 2011. He was born on December 14, 1912, in McKitterick, MO to York and Carrie Clayborne. He leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife of 71 years, Missionary Goldie M. Clayborne; two sons, Alfred L. Clayborne and Ronald (Carol) Jackson; three daughters, Janet (Tom) Glass, Rose (James) Trent, and Pashion Elaine (Dave) Gaworski; and a host of grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, great-greatgrandchildren nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents; two sons, Oscar and Richard L. Clayborne; three sisters and six brothers. Elder Clayborne was a member of C.O.G.I.C. for 63 years (S.I.J.) where he held positions as Pastor, District Superintendent, Assistant Administrator, Regional State Sunday School Advisor and Chairman of the Ordination Board. He began his Pastoral career 55 years ago in Jacksonville, IL and later relocated to Springfield, IL where he established Faith Temple C.O.G.I.C. In 1982 he was appointed Pastor of Holy Temple C.O.G.I.C. in Peoria, IL. He later assisted in establishing Holiness Is The Way C.O.G.I.C. in Flint, MI. Homegoing services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 at Brown Street C.O.G.I.C.,1701 E. Brown St, Springfield, IL. Superintendent's M.C. Greenwood and L.V. Cliff, Officiants. Interment to follow immediately at Oak Hill Cemetery.

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Tech Sgt. Angela “Genese” Jackson Saunders Angela ―Genese‖ Jackson Saunders, 28, departed this life on Thursday, February 17, 2011, in Tampa, Florida. Angela was born August 20, 1982, in Springfield, Illinois to Deidre Grace Jackson and Timothy Jennings. Angela was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Osborne Sr. and Lila Grace Jackson and paternal grandparents James and Carole Harvell. Angela attended public school in Springfield until she moved to Houston, Texas in 1994. She graduated from Hastings High School in 2000. Angela was very active at Hastings High School as a member of PALS, Marine JROTC and school mascot. She was a member of Southwest Community Christian Center where she was a praise dancer and active in other church activities. Angela enlisted into the U.S. Air Force in 2000. She was a Technical Sergeant and achieved that grade at the nine-year mark which is three years before the average. Angela served overseas in Kuwait, Diego Garcia, Masira Island off the coast of Oman and Guam. Stateside she was at Dover AFB, Delaware; McGuire AFB, New Jersey; and lastly MacDill AFB, Florida. During her enlistment she met her husband, Kenneth ―Kene‖ Saunders, and they were married on January 12, 2007. Angela’s Air Force Achievements Air Force Commendation Medal Air Force Achievement Medal Meritorious Unit Award Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 3 Clusters National Defense Service Medal Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short Tour Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon Air Force Training Ribbon She leaves to cherish fond memories her husband, Master Sgt. Kenneth Saunders and son Calvin, Tampa Florida; stepchildren, Kenneth and India of Dover, Delaware; her mother Deidre Grace Jackson of Houston. 109

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4 Social Media Tools for Your Small Business By Marcia Wade Talbert

Expert advice on how to promote your business and engage your audience

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There are a host of media experts, consultants, and mavens of media that are carving out a lane for themselves in the digital space. These are people who manage Facebook and Twitter accounts for some of our country’s largest brands, individuals who are launching their own social media start-ups, and those who are making it their responsibility to teach the masses how to leverage digital in their own backyard. When BlackEnterprise.com asked some of these individuals what were their favorite digital tools they couldn't choose just one. “There are way too many to pick from,” responded one interviewee. So, we’ve narrowed down the list down to a couple of tools that were highly recommended and the most useful for a business audience. Enjoy! Cavaughn Noel Cavaughn Noel is the founder of the Black Entrepreneurs in Technology Alliance Meetup group. The goal of the organization is to cultivate resources for the Black business community. Recently, he partnered with the National Alliance of Market Developers to hold a panel discussion about the urbanization of social media marketing. Noel recommends that small businesses try out Disqus, a third party tool that allows you to comment via Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, etc. in real time so that you don‘t have to log into each respective domain. It also integrates media services such as Flickr and YouTube so you can watch videos or view photos in the comments. ―The great thing about it is that when you post something people can tweet about it from their accounts.‖ For more advice reach out to Cavaughn on Twitter @Cavaughn. Eric Hamilton ―Social Q&A sites allow individuals to establish themselves as experts in a given field,‖ explains Eric Hamilton, founder of The Web Academy, a 501c3 organization that has taught 3,000 entrepreneurs how to build their own websites and mobile applications. ―If I‘m an attorney, I can [build a social Q&A] site to answer questions on law. After I establish myself as an expert people will come to me [for help on] real cases,‖ he says. Like Wikipedia, Quora is one of those sites that let‘s you answer people‘s questions and establish yourself as an 111

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expert on a given topic. It also lets you follow topics or questions that you are interested in learning the answers to. For more advice reach out to Eric on Twitter @EHam06. Laura Mignott ―General Sentiment monitors social media from the beginning of time and it aggregates news and information from about 50 years ago until now,‖ says Laura Mignott, a mobile marketer and cofounder of DigitalFlashNYC, an organization that creates boutique network events in order to pull digital savvy trendsetters from behind their computers so that they can meet face to face over cocktails. ―General Sentiment is like Klout on steroids by 1,000%.‖ The site doesn‘t just report the facts, but it reports the opinions expressed regarding brands, products, politicians, celebrities, and companies. Then it places value on the brand based on online buzz so that you can get a big-picture, real-time (or over time) snapshot of public opinion of brands or people important to your business. For more advice reach out to Laura on Twitter @LMigno

Mike Street Mike Street, the Senior Digital Strategist for Syndicate Media Group, hasmanaged the social media output for brands like Oscar de La Renta, Time magazine, and Lexus. One of his favorite tools is Tap11, a Twitter manager that recently launched. ―It gives you a weekly report of your twitter activity and sends it to you in an email,‖ says Street. ―You can grab snapshots from that to learn what tweets had the farthest reach or what were the impressions of that tweet.‖ For more advice reach out to Mike on Twitter @StreetForce1 Source: Thinkstock

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Rent a movie - on your Facebook page By Julianne Pepitone

Warner Bros. will offer The Dark Knight for rental through its Facebook page. More movie titles will be available in the coming months.

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- In a bid to get more eyeballs on its movies, one major studio is looking to turn Facebook into a movie-streaming service. Warner Bros. Digital Distribution said Tuesday it will offer The Dark Knight for rental through its Facebook page. More movie titles will be available for rental or purchase over the coming months. Rentals cost 30 Facebook Credits, or $3, and users can watch the movie up to 48 hours after purchase. Facebook continues to function normally during movie-watching. In a prepared statement, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution president Thomas Gewecke pointed out Facebook is a "daily destination" for millions and said the move "is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts." For its part, Facebook said the program is being driven solely by Warner Bros. and that it's "open to developers and partners that want to experiment using Credits in new and interesting ways." Still, the deal could be lucrative for Facebook, which receives a 30% cut of all revenue from Facebook Credits. Facebook confirmed the terms are the same for Warner Bros. movie rentals. If more studios follow suit, it could put Facebook squarely in competition with streaming-video behemoth Netflix, as well as other major players -- and the market's getting crowded. Last month alone, Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500) announced free streaming video for Prime customers and rental kiosk company Redbox said it is planning its own streaming service. Meanwhile, Hulu continues building its audience, and Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) and Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) offer streaming video on their connected television services. Despite the growing competition, Netflix (NFLX) is currently maintaining the lion's share of the market -- though Facebook's massive user base and social features could be a threat. Netflix said in January that it now has 20 million subscribers, which is a 63% increase from the same period last year. Netflix now has more than 6% of the U.S. population subscribing to its service. Netflix linked the increase to the popularity of its streaming video, and said the subscriber growth will allow it to invest more in that content. Source: www.cnn.com

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Mosques are a positive force in America By Karam Dana and Matt A. Barreto, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Karam Dana, Ph.D. is a Dubai Initiative Research Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a faculty member at Tufts University, where he teaches courses on Middle East history and politics. Matt A. Barreto, Ph.D. is associate professor of political science and director of the Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity & Race at the University of Washington, Seattle. Together, they are the coprincipal investigators of the MAPOS study of American Muslims. 115

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(CNN) -- In 2004, Rep. Peter King stated that 80% to 85% of mosques in America were controlled by Islamic fundamentalists and amounted to "an enemy living amongst us." In 2007 he said, "Unfortunately we have too many mosques in this country" and called for FBI surveillance and infiltration of mosques because that's where terrorists were being "homegrown." Just a month ago he repeated the claim that over 80% of mosques are controlled by radical imams. Now, he is holding a congressional hearing to expose the radical elements of Islam in America. In direct contrast to his claims, a study we conducted -- the Muslim American Public Opinion Survey (MAPOS) -- found that mosques and religiosity are actually associated with high levels of civic engagement and support for the American political system. Our study interviewed 1,410 American Muslims across the nation and asked questions about the importance of religion, civic and political participation in the United States. Throughout the history of America a special relationship has existed between religious institutions and social and political integration. While specific religion was kept at arms length from government sponsorship, churches and religion played an important role in the political development of America. As different ethnic groups came to America, churches and religiosity have often served as a source of community, and ultimately integration into American life. Germans, Irish and Italian Catholics faced obstacles to incorporation in early America, and many faced outright religious discrimination, yet their church ties led them to greater civic engagement. Later waves of newcomers also relied on their religious institutions, most notably Jewish Americans, Latinos and Koreans, who have integrated quickly into American life through their religious associations. Scholars such as Eric McDaniel have found churches were a source of strength and community, encouraging democratic participation in American society for African-Americans throughout the second half of the 20th century. In the years since 9/11, and most recently since the Ground Zero mosque controversy, the loyalties and patriotism of American Muslims have come under considerable scrutiny. Muslims living in the United States are being investigated for potential ties to terrorists. The roles of Muslim institutions and cultural 116

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centers are being questioned. Unfortunately, little empirical evidence or data has been offered in this debate. Despite news headlines often sensationalizing the potential for "homegrown terrorists" there is no systematic data whatsoever to support the claim that mosque involvement or religiosity among American Muslims is associated with anti-American attitudes or behavior. Anecdotes are not data. By contrast, in the late 1990s when Eric Rudolph was wanted by the FBI for a series of anti-abortion bombings, his Christian identity and religious motivations for the bombings did not prompt the media to question the loyalties of all Christians, nor did Congress hold hearings investigating Christian churches as breeding grounds of terrorist abortion bombers. It was clearly seen that this was one bad apple and not representative of all Christians. In our study, completed in 2008, and supported by a research grant from the Social Science Research Council, and in an independent survey by the Pew Research Center, the data clearly point to an American Muslim population that is middle-class, assimilating quickly and highly supportive of the American political system. The MAPOS study of Muslim Americans is the largest in the United States to date, and addresses various questions from Islamic teachings and their compatibility with the American political system, to mosque attendance and its association with political participation in and incorporation into American politics. Our findings suggest that an association exists between higher levels of involvement in mosque-related activities and participation in American politics. Thus, mosques serve as important religious institutions that are no different than the roles churches and synagogues play in their communities. Specifically, the MAPOS study finds that as Muslims report being more involved in their mosque, they also report being more actively involved in American politics. Princeton professor Amaney Jamal published research findings from a pilot study in New York that mosque involvement fosters civic participation. Our findings are further evidence of this with a national sample. On a range of political activities such as voting, writing a letter to a government official, donating money to a campaign or attending a community meeting, those 117

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with no connection or involvement to the mosque report an average of 1.7 acts of political participation. In contrast, those who say they are very involved with the mosque report an average of 2.6 political acts per year -- a 53% increase in civic engagement. In addition to mosque involvement, respondents to the survey were asked how closely they followed religious teachings in their daily lives. Combining mosque involvement and religious commitment into an overall scale of religiosity reveals further positive associations between religion and civic participation. For example, 70% of those with the lowest level of religiosity indicate they follow news about elections closely, compared to 81% who follow elections closely on the high end of the religiosity scale. Finally, we find those with high levels of religiosity are overwhelmingly likely to believe that Islam is compatible with political participation in the United States. While 77% of those with the lowest levels of religiosity feel Islam is compatible with political involvement in America, 95% of those who are most religious feel Islam is compatible with American politics. While there are examples of isolated cases of Muslim individuals who have allegedly committed crimes (Nidal Malik Hasan, the psychiatrist facing charges of killing 13 people at Fort Hood in 2009), they are individual bad apples, similar to Eric Rudolph, cited above. Our national data set clearly shows that no pattern of "radicalization" exists with religiosity and mosque attendance. Despite the popularized idea that Muslims are radicalized around the country in mosques, we find that, overwhelmingly, mosques help Muslims integrate into U.S. society, and in fact have a very productive role in bridging the differences between Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States. This is a finding in social science that is consistent with decades of research on other religious groups such as Jews, Protestants and Catholics where church attendance and religiosity has been proven to result in higher civic engagement and support for core values of the American political system. American mosques are institutions that should be encouraged to function as centers of social and political integration in America. Source: www.cnn.com

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Powell: U.S. Must Use Caution in Libya By: Frederick Cosby, Special to BlackAmericaWeb.com

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Former Secretary of State Colin Powell called the reign of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi ―over‖ Sunday and urged potential Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and the ―birther‖ crowd to get over the false notion that President Barack Obama isn‘t a U.S. citizen. Speaking on TV One‘s ―Washington Watch with Roland Martin,‖ Powell said that although brutal and bloody fighting continues between Gadhafi‘s military and hired mercenaries and Libya‘s fed-up citizens, the mercurial dictator has already lost the larger battle. ―It‘s too early to tell where this is going to end up, but however it resolves itself in the days and weeks ahead, Gadhafi‘s over; he‘s out,‖ Powell told Martin. ―He‘s got to leave. His time has passed, and he ought to understand that.‖ Powell said Gadhafi ―can‘t stay in power by killing your people and trying to make the whole country a jail. That won‘t work.‖ Powell, who served as secretary of state under former President George W. Bush and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under former President George H. W. Bush, said the United States needs to be cautious in handling the Libyan uprising, much the way it was during the Egyptian uprising that resulted in the resignation of long-time authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak. Lawmakers from Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) have called on the Obama administration to implement a no-fly zone over Libya, saying it would help the anti-Gadhafi rebels on the ground. But administration officials have resisted the idea. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said creating the zone would require major bombing runs to knock out Libyan air defenses. That would put American pilots in harms way and put a strain on a military that‘s already fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, speaking Sunday on NBC‘s ―Meet the Press,‖ dismissively said that lawmakers advocating a no-fly zone ―talk about it as though it‘s a video game or something.‖ Powell said it would be preferable if there was ―a completely indigenous resolution to this crisis that the people who‘re protesting and demonstrating and fighting for their rights win.‖ ―Don‘t just jump in because the heat of the moment suggests you jump in. If you‘re going to not let their planes fly, what are you going to do about the forces – the ground forces – that are really doing the killing?‖ Powell told Martin. ―And if you‘re going to go in on the ground, then you[‗ve] got a whole new ballgame, and 120

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you‘d better think it through carefully as to where we want to go in, how would we go in and where we come out.‖ Turning to domestic issues, Powell was forgiving, but critical, of Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, for saying Obama was raised in Kenya during an interview on a conservative radio program last week. On the show, Huckabee said he‘d like to know more about Obama‘s origins. ―What I know is troubling enough,‖ Huckabee said. ―And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, is very different than the average American ... ‖ He added: ―If you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.‖ Huckabee double-downed in another interview, suggesting that the nation‘s first black president was somehow un-American.

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Tunisia, Egypt & Libya: Where is Our Revolution? By Bene Viera

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I observed the revolution of Egypt with mixed emotions. The courage of such a resilient people willing to die for their freedom was enough to give me chills. Dismantling a 30-year regime in 18 days is history worth studying. Yet in my joy for the Egyptian people, I couldn‘t help but feel sadness for Black, brown and poor people right here in America that desperately need a revolution. The strides Blacks in this country have made since the Civil Right Movement are undeniable. But when I look around at our communities, accompanied with the daunting statistics of what is occurring here and abroad, it becomes apparent the ills plaguing our communities are unmatched in comparison to those of other racial groups. By now you may be rolling your eyes thinking of all the ways Blacks inflict their own pain on themselves and each other. You‘re thinking, ‗a revolution for what?‘ Hear me out. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Black males are incarcerated at rate more than six times higher than that of their white counterparts. For every 100,000 Black males, an estimated 4,777 are held in federal or state prison or a local jail. By contrast, for every 100,000 White males, only 727 are estimated to be incarcerated. The prison industrial complex is real. Once Black men become wardens of the state, inmates are fighting for basic human rights. It was not an accident that the mainstream media ignored the biggest prison protest in U.S. history back in December. By imprisoning massive numbers of Black men, you can bank on the family structure being completely dismantled. Police brutality is also rampant in our communities. Men in blue uniforms are terrorizing our youth, women and children. ―Serve and protect‖ is exactly what police are not doing. Piss poor training, racist mindsets and the fear of Black men has led to countless deaths and brutal beatings of unarmed citizens by the boys in blue. In 2010 alone there was Aiyana Jones, Oscar Grant, Delroy Henry, Chad Holley and Brandon Johnson, who were all unarmed and either severely beaten or killed. As if the tragedies of death aren‘t enough, the cops who pull the trigger and beat Black men aimlessly, are rarely convicted. Oscar Grant‘s murder was video taped and Officer Mehserle still walked away with a two-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter. Name the last unarmed White individual ―mistakenly‖ killed by police. I‘ll wait… Justice seems to elude those with pigmented skin. Unemployment in the recession has hurt the country as a whole. You don‘t have to wonder who was hit hardest by unemployment. The unemployment rate for Blacks is 15.3 percent in comparison to the 8.0 percent for Whites, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics‘ most recent report. These rates don‘t take into 123

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consideration the underemployment Blacks have been victims of for decades. As my kindred sister once expressed, ―If you hold multiple college degrees and still cannot find employment, how is your country any different than Egypt?‖ For those blessed to have gainful employment, don‘t worry, there‘s still disparity. According to a recent wage gap research done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ―Black women earn 69% of what white males do in salary. White women earn around 81% of what white men do in salary. The gap in earnings was less between African American and white women. Black women earned a median amount of $585 per week, while white women earned $682. Black women earned approximately 85.8% of the salary of white women.‖ There goes the ―Blacks and Whites are on an equal playing field‖ theory. I could go on and on with listing inequalities or disparities Blacks face in America. The point is not for us to take on a ―woe is me‖ mentality. However, we must vigilantly reflect on our current circumstances. Too many of us are walking through life with our eyes closed. By no means am I comparing our struggles with that of the Egyptian people. But oppression is oppression regardless of geographical location. I don‘t think anyone can deny we are oppressed. We can look to the people of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Iran to understand wanting change does not come from being afraid to take to the streets for what we believe. One of the reasons I presume revolution is not on the forefront of our minds is because not all of us are in agreement of the need for one. Black people seem to always be divided on the issues. Look no further than any popular Black news publication or blog where issues are addressed, and notice the comments are usually split 50/50. How can we create a movement for change when we don‘t agree on the goal we‘re fighting to reach? It‘s not the disagreeing that is necessarily hurting us, but the unwillingness to disagree while still working together is. I‘m not 100 percent certain Blacks alone will revolt. And although Blacks have their own set of issues, poverty and class are just as important battles that need to be fought along with institutionalized racism. Just maybe if the working poor of all races joined forces to demand equitable wages and healthcare, Blacks would start seeing the change we need to rebuild collectively. Racism is rearing its ugly head with President Obama in office. Our communities are plagued without a sign of change in sight. I wish we could realize the power we would have united. It‘s never too late for our revolution to be televised too. ―If you aren‘t ready to die for it, take the word ‗freedom‘ out of your vocabulary. – Malcolm X Source: www.clutchmagonline.com 124

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12 Reasons Obama Wins in 2012 By Mark McKinnon

The economy’s rebounding, his approval ratings are ticking up, and the GOP field is a mess. Mark McKinnon and Myra Adams on the president’s odds of a return ticket to the White House.

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President Obama‘s poll ratings are climbing. And the online prediction market Intrade has Obama at a 58.9 percent chance of winning a second term. Though November 2012 is light years away in political time, as Team Obama regroups in Chicago, they should be optimistic about their reelection prospects. Here are 12 reasons why: 1. Power of Incumbency In the last 56 U.S. presidential elections, 31 have involved incumbents; 21 of those candidates have won more than one term. Based on these historical odds, Obama has a better-than-67-percent chance of winning reelection. In 2004, voters were not happy with the economy, the Iraq War or President Bush generally, and still he was reelected. 2. Love Story Continues Though the mainstream media is now sometimes critical of President Obama, he has never faced the extreme 24-hour-a-day derangement that has plagued other recent presidents and potential candidates-to-be. This gentle treatment is worth millions to a campaign. 3. Billion-Dollar Campaign According to Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post, President Obama‘s 2012 reelection effort could be the first campaign to raise $1 billion. Not an unreasonable assumption because he raised $750 million in 2008. Look for the coming campaign to break all fundraising and spending records on both sides. 4. Experienced Campaign Organization In 2008, the junior senator from Illinois assembled a team of outsiders that defeated the Clinton machine and won the presidency with 365 electoral votes to Sen. John McCain‘s 173. With the same Chicago campaign team in place, Obama will benefit from experience and memory; mistakes won‘t be repeated. 5. Obama’s Charm Offensive Let‘s face it, Obama knows how to turn it on and win crowds with his oratory. He is personally likable, has an attractive family, and his favorables are climbing. His Real Clear Politics average is at 49.9 percent. That‘s comfortably within the zone of the last three presidents to win reelection. At 752 days into the first term, according to Gallup, President Reagan‘s approval rating fell to 37 percent. 126

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Clinton‘s was at 47 percent, and George W. Bush‘s was 61 percent. If history is any guide, Obama has nothing to fear at this point from Mr. Gallup. 6. Economy is Improving As the economy goes, so goes Obama's reelection prospects. Yes, this is a potential weakness, but there are signs of hope. And what is most important is not what voters think about the economy at this hour, but rather whether they think it is improving. The stock market is rising, and unemployment is trending downward, albeit too slowly. Consumer spending is up, and 40 percent of Americans say the economy will improve over the next year. The campaign theme may be: He brought us back from the brink. 7. They’ll Be Back The 2010 midterm voters that swept Republicans into control of the U.S. House, governorships and state legislatures were older, whiter, and more conservative than those who went to the polls in 2008. Despite this ―white flight‖ from the Democratic Party, young voters, more minorities, more women, and generally more liberals will be back in 2012. Though some of the liberal base may hold their nose, they‘re not likely to desert the Democratic incumbent in November. And there is no doubt that Obama‘s billion-dollar campaign fund will find some way to get his core constituents to the polls. 8. Obama, “The Moderate” Forty percent of Americans now see the president as a moderate. That‘s up 10 percentage points from a year ago. More importantly, 44 percent of independents 127

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now call Obama a moderate, up from 28 percent a year ago. If congressional Republicans are viewed as strident and over-reaching, Obama will be well positioned as a moderating force—with or without any Clintonian triangulation. 9. Republican Sparring Match With no obvious frontrunner at this point, the Republican primary season may drag on and could be very messy. Tea Party support may be torn. And while Republicans debate which candidate is more Reaganesque, Obama will stay above the fray, looking presidential. 10. Neverending Campaign Organizing for America never stopped working since 2008 and continuously sends targeted emails to its 13 million members. Supporters are asked to volunteer for service projects or call Congress to object to the vote on repealing health care. It‘s the presidential campaign that never ended. 11. Hispanic Vote Growing Obama earned 67 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2008 compared to McCain‘s 31 percent. The Five State Voter Project, sponsored by The Hispanic Institute, is under way to increase Hispanic voter participation in five states: New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Florida, and Colorado. Winning all of these states could seal the deal for Obama. 12. Several Paths to 270 There were five key red states that Obama won in 2008—Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina. Obama could lose every one of them in 2012 and still win reelection with 272 electoral votes. While the election is eons away, the race at the moment is Obama‘s to lose. Source: www.thedailybeast.com

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Former pizza chain CEO mulling presidential run

Georgia businessman Herman Cain, who is edging toward a run for the White House, addresses a gathering in Hoffman Estates, Ill. (AP Photo/The Arlington Heights Daily Herald, Mark Welsh)

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Most Americans haven't heard of Herman Cain, the former head of a chain of pizza restaurants who is considering seeking the Republican presidential nomination. But in Iowa, home to the nation's first presidential caucuses, Cain has caught the attention of conservative activists influenced by the tea party movement who aren't bothered by candidates who have succeeded in business but have never held a public office. "He's creating quite a buzz," said former Iowa Republican Party Chairman Richard Schwarm. "He is someone Iowa caucus-goers are going to take very seriously." Cain, 65, from suburban Atlanta, has visited Iowa several times recently and will return to Des Moines on Monday for a conservative forum. Cain likely will express views similar to other speakers, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, but he'll offer a vastly different resume. Apart from a failed 2004 run for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, Cain hasn't sought election to public office. Instead, he held a series of high-profile business positions that culminated with part ownership of the Godfather's Pizza restaurants. He left the company in 1996 and among other positions has worked as host of a radio program in Atlanta, where he espoused his views against abortion and in support of a strong national defense, a smaller government and a return to the gold standard. In January, he announced the formation of an exploratory committee to consider seeking the GOP presidential nomination. "I couldn't sit back and watch this country continue to go down the wrong track," Cain said in a telephone interview. "What we have lacked is leadership." His message is finding an audience, especially among tea party activists. Last month he was invited to speak at a Tea Party Patriot gathering in Phoenix, where he won a presidential straw poll. "He's very, very engaging," said Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of the organization. Steve Scheffler, a member of the Republican National Committee and leading social conservative in Iowa, said Cain was "beginning to garner some interest" in the state. Last fall Cain campaigned for two state legislators aligned with the tea party who defeated incumbent Democrats. Republican strategist Rich Galen, who worked on former Sen. Fred Thompson bid for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, said some conservative 130

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supporters are noting that it didn't take long for Barack Obama to rise from community activist to U.S. senator to president. Like Obama, Cain is black, putting him in a small category of African-American conservatives. Schwarm said even little-known candidates can compete in Iowa against those with better national name recognition. In 2000, Steve Forbes finished a strong second in the caucuses behind George W. Bush but far ahead of John McCain. He is a long shot, but so is almost everyone else right now," Schwarm said. "The variable is how active will the tea party people be." Cain said his business success has left him wealthy, but not at a level where he could self-finance a campaign. Cain said he's eager to travel through Iowa and other early-nominating states, meeting one-on-one with voters. "Leadership is the ability to take a good idea and sell it," said Cain. "When the public understands it, they will demand it. You've got to be able to sell the idea.

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Why Jennifer Hudson gained critics by losing weight By Kia Miakka Natisse

Jennifer Hudson is seen backstage at the 83rd Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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Jennifer Hudson was one of the most talked about celebs at the Oscars this year - but she wasn't a hot topic because of any nominations or an upcoming film. No, everyone was talking about J-Hud because she looked thin in her orange Atelier Versace dress. Why? Was it the sexy plunging neckline that created the buzz? Jennifer's body has been the subject of discussion ever since she hooked up with Weight Watchers and shed 80 pounds. It's the gift and the curse of any young star: drop a few pounds and see your celebrity rise -- though there's no guarantee it'll all be good attention. While everyone feigned celebration and acceptance for Jennifer's former body, the real compliments started rolling in once she dropped down to a size 6. But people went from happy to "concerned" when she stepped on the red carpet this past week. It appears that when it comes to her body, Jennifer has yet to find that magic number to make everyone happy. Obviously her body is not of her own power, or else so many people wouldn't feel so comfortable with dishing out the unsolicited advice and criticism. Her weight is something to be collectively studied and reflected on, as witnessed by the many news stories on the topic. Among the comments that you can read on any story associated with Jennifer's weight loss you'll see: 'She probably had gastric bypass', 'She won't keep it off', 'She doesn't look right', 'She cheated Weight Watchers by using a personal trainer', 'She's betrayed the happy big girl crowd'. Yes, some are happy for her weight loss, but the fact that multiple media outlets are debating her thinness shows that the supportive crowd is outnumbered. Seems that jealousy is one of the more prevalent emotions making its way in the comments section. The argument that she may be too thin is downright ludicrous. Jennifer's not hula hooping in a cheerio, there's no visible bones violently jutting through paper-thin skin. Jennifer probably looks like a lot of women her age, and by Hollywood standards she'd still be booked as curvy. Yes her new look takes some getting used to. Even Jennifer herself told Oprah, "It's like a brand new me. Sometimes I don't even recognize myself." But more importantly she seems happy and healthy at her new size, something that critics will only acknowledge at the tail end of an insult. When did people stop being happy for her new body and start acting a little bit envious? In a perfect world J-Hud's body wouldn't be news and a woman's figure wouldn't factor as such a major determinant in her popularity and success. It's because of this disproportionate focus on the physical that eating disorders exist -- because a 133

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woman's worth can be measured on a bathroom scale, at least according to mass media. People aren't asking about her weight in genuine concern. They're perpetuating the cruel practice of judging a woman on her looks, and the lie that what you have is never good enough. There must be some mysterious secret algorithm that subtracts your age from your weight, divides it in two, then multiplies it by the number of times you've been described as being "pretty in the face," and then a little more mystery math to come to the number at which you will be accepted as the "perfect" weight. Jennifer's detractors must still be crunching the numbers, so we'll all have to wait and see what size outsiders decide is best for her. Ultimately one can't conjure too many feelings of pity for the criticism Jennifer is experiencing -- she decided to become a Weight Watchers spokesperson and ride that wave of talk show appearances. She has willingly made her weight the subject of discussion. However it is disappointing that in an age of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, a woman can't lose a healthy amount of weight without it becoming an issue of vanity.

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How hazing hurts reputation of black Greek life By Lawrence C. Ross

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So seven members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority were charged with hazing a University of Maryland pledge. The Zetas allegedly followed the usual modus operandi, beating the pledge with an oak paddle, pushing her against a wall, and causing what the police say were "severe bruising on the arms and chest". And now that this has become a police matter, all of the accused Zetas are shocked, shocked I say! that this pledge has been hazed. How did this happen? In the words of one of the accused lawyer, his client "abhors" hazing. Yeah, right. Now we go through the usual dance of the people saying that these accused Zetas are innocent until proven guilty, and that the pledge shouldn't have "allowed" herself to be hazed in the first place. The Zetas involved will probably get off with a slap on the wrist, some sort of community service, and the national organization will get a lawsuit that will cost at the minimum, thousands of dollars, and at the maximum, millions. But do you know what I wish would happen? I wish Zeta Phi Beta's national headquarters wouldn't wait until the accused are declared guilt to make a decision on their fate. I wish Zeta expelled the accused immediately and without a hearing. Maybe then we could get the attention of black fraternity and sorority members. You see, hazing isn't something that you just happen to run into or just happen to do. No, hazing is a very deliberate and specific process. It's a conspiracy of individuals who all pledge to themselves a code of silence in order to protect themselves. If you're going to haze pledges, you have to set up an illegal underground pledge program, identify the members of your chapter or organization who aren't trustworthy, exclude them from knowledge of the illegal pledging, and then figure out when and where to haze your pledges. The idea that you're in the room where hazing is going on, but you didn't participate, is as absurd as saying that you were in the pool, but you didn't expect to get wet. You're there, you're guilty, whether you throw a stroke of wood or not. And that's why I wished Zeta dropped the hammer on the accused. Forget that the accused ranged in age from 20 years old to 26 years old, or in the words of my mother, are grown a** women who should know better. The very existence of an illegal pledge process, and that the accused participated in it, injuries or not, would be enough for an immediate expulsion. You see, most black fraternity and sorority members aren't out there beating people or breaking their oath. Instead, they're going to chapter meetings, doing community service, in other words, living the promise they made to their organizations. These are the ordinary members, the ones with jobs, kids, mortgages, church, and would no more raise a hand to someone wanting to join their organization than they would expose their secret rituals. But the fact is that we have plenty of members who love to pledge people. 136

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For many black fraternity and sorority members, hazing pledges is a high. Hazing for them is an aphrodisiac of power that has become a fetish that validates their fraternal existence. It makes them feel better about themselves. Oh sure, they mask their reasons for participating in illegal processes under various excuses like, need to bring the pledges in right, or that they won't respect anyone who doesn't go through a process, or a million of other excuses. But the facts are that these hazers don't give a damn about their fraternity or sorority. In fact, their motivation is as self centered as a Charlie Sheen rant. It's all about them. It's that feeling that comes from throwing wood and watching the pledge scream in pain. The psychosexual thrill that happens when you're able to dominate someone who is submissive to your every whims. That's what drives hazers. That power that fills the voids in their own lives, and instead allows them to punish the helpless pledge in order to come to grips with their own inadequacies. Let's face the fact, those who participate in illegal hazing activities 137

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are the weak links in the fraternity and sorority. So why not get rid of them sooner than later? Cull the herd before they do even more damage. If you belong to a chapter accused of having an illegal underground pledge process, everyone gets expelled. Brotherhood and sisterhood is about holding everyone accountable. Why wait until someone gets arrested? If you're a chapter member and you find out that Jane Zeta, Joe Kappa, or Harry Omega is setting up an illegal pledge process, you better drop dime as soon as you can if you value your membership. You better take so much pride in finding hazers and calling them in, that you'll take pride in putting "Hazer Snitch" on your favorite fraternity or sorority jacket. You worried about what the hazer will think of you after you turn them in? Get over it, because I can guarantee that Jane Zeta or Harry Omega doesn't give a damn about your membership as long as they can get away with what they're doing. You're just collateral damage. And if the organizations don't start expelling members left and right, then you're going to see a permanent trend of what's happening on college campuses right now. I've been on my annual Divine Nine black fraternity and sorority lecture tour and the decimation of black fraternity and sorority chapters on college campuses I've visited has been nothing short of stunning. At universities that used to have seven or eight black fraternities and sororities with ten or more members, you now find one or two chapters, with only three or four members each. Think the various hazing lawsuits, hazing injuries, and hazing deaths aren't having an impact? Think again. The hazers in our fraternities and sororities are leaving a legacy that will take years to repair, and since we see from this Zeta case that they're willing to keep hazing after they've left school, their damage is both ongoing and consistent. As black fraternities and sororities, we've tried to be cool. We've bent over to be fraternal. We tried understanding. We did the suspension thing, the revoking the chapter charter thing. Now it's time to do the draconian thing I'm not interested in the accused hazers stories. I'm not interested in how good a person they really are. I'm not interested in waiting until the legal system makes a decision. I just want to know: Did you have an illegal underground process and were you there? If so, I'd want your shingle, your paraphernalia and your membership card. Tell your tales of woe about how you weren't given due process by the sorority or fraternity to someone who gives a damn. Because it's quite clear that when you participated in an illegal underground pledge program, you certainly didn't give a damn about anyone except yourself and your own needs. And that's as unfraternal as it gets

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“Ain’t I A Woman?” What Does International Women’s Day Mean To Us? By Leslie Pitterson

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Today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. And while many have focused the conversation on those women in the rest of the world, we wanted to bring the day closer to home. For some of us, the “international” before “women” can dissuade us from identifying with the day. It is something that celebrates the global community of other women, too often an abstract concept that floats and trends on Twitter while the rest of us go about our days with other concerns. However, today in the Huffington Post, activist Marian Wright Edelman made a case for black women to remain concerned about women’s global rights. In her op-ed “Ain’t I A Woman?,” Edelman imagines the return of one civil rights icon to see the state of women today. “If Sojourner were alive today, I feel certain she would be standing before crowds of people roaring about the injustice and inequality still challenging so many poor children and children of color in America.” Edelman’s piece allows us to put into perspective the fact that African-Americans still share many of the struggles of their counterparts outside the country. And while the injustice and inequality are shared, there is a marked difference in how we empathize with the face of the woman we see watching world news. Often in retort to this topic, Black women use the very divides wedged between us to build our argument on. A common example of this is delineation between the AfricanAmerican and Black immigrant communities. Whenever this debate arises, I often see sisters using the foreign as a reason not to care or using the foreign as a reason to guilt others for not being as invested. The truth is that International Women’s Day should not be about the divides that determine borders but rather the ones that limit the progression of women’s rights, the human condition and positive change. One of the most glaring absences in the discussion on the rights of women around the globe are the diverse voices of American women of color. This was seen again this week with the release of The Daily Beast and Newsweek’s “Women in the World.” Though the list features notable Black women like Oprah, Michelle Obama and Condeleeza Rice, it made us wonder when the old guard of sisters leading will finally become a vital part of the wider conversation. If Sojourner could return today, I think she would ask us to believe in the power of the Black woman’s spirit to change a nation and the world. Because while today is about the world’s women, we may need to remind ourselves we are part that network as well. 140

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culture, entertainment, film, books ...

Entrepreneur 250 Johnson Embarks Into Social Media Exclusive Interviw by Meier Lathan 143

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Myair’s Korner By Meier Lathan

Hello world, my name is Meier Lathan I am a new writer for the Illinois Voice. I am currently attending college for Human Services. Ever since I was 9 years old I wanted to be a writer finally someone gave me a chance to express myself like I‘ve always wanted. Thanks Pete! In my I will be writing for the people. What people you asked all people Black, White, Young, and Old. Whoever wanted to express themselves but never knew how I am that person how, I will help you write your thoughts out rants, raves, or whatever you want to talk about. So email me whahappen2us@yahoo.com, Facebook me ―Myair Notayours‖, or Tweet ―Myair Jordans‖ what is on your mind and what you want the world to know I WHATEVER you want…‖cuz I aint never scared (n my lil Jon voice)‖ I have been a member of this growing group on Facebook called ―Keep it 200‖ since September 2010. The group is open only if someone adds you; it started off with just a couple of member and has now grown to over 8,000+ members in less than a year with members all across the US. This No-Holds bar group will let you express yourself to others who are not on your friends list. You can say what you want, however you want as long as your ―Keeping it 200‖. The group as attracted a lot of attention by the different post people have put on there some positive and some negative, but whatever is posted it is 200. A lot of people wanted to know who started this group recently I had a phone interview with that person his name is 250.

IV: Finally 250 you called me back wha up, I was about to put you on blast on Keep it 200 250: Man im sorry I was gonna get at you but I have recently has a two lost in the family so ive been really busy IV: Oh im sorry to hear that my prayers go out to you and your family 144

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250: thanks so whats up with this interview, the Illinois voice is that the black paper that‘s been around IV: yea, now its gone digital, I was telling the editor about your group, and he want to know the person behind the talked about this controversial group, so Mr. 250 for all those who don‘t know you whats your real name 250: dang do I have to say it IV: yea dude I know yo name this 250 ish is new to me…you know I stay hitting people with there governments 250: well my real name is Sam Johnson IV: ok Samuel, just kidding so how you get the name 250? 250: It started in Memphis when I was attending school playing basketball people just started calling me 250. I was throwing parties, doing my little entertainment thing and I used 250 for the labeling, 250 parties. It was catchy so I kept it 250 parties, 250 inc., 250 juice it just go good with everything IV: 250 juice it sounds good it does have a catchy theme about it so what does it stand for was it how many points you scored? 250: well……. IV: come on keep it 200 250: I don‘t want to sound cocky but it means ―Money, Power, and Respect‖ IV: that does sound cocky that‘s what everybody wants anyway…nice IV: So what‘s going on with you in Memphis, TN, now I know you from Springfield, il….the pastor‘s son, how you end up down there? 250: lol, Memphis is like my 2nd home I was attending college there on a basketball scholarship at HBC Lemoyne-Owen college were I received my business degree in 2006. 145

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IV: that‘s good so your not uneducated while doing your business ventures , what high school did you graduate from? 250: Springfield High School in Springfield, IL class of 2000 IV: ok senator, but I gotta rep the Lions Lanphier all day 02‘ baby. IV: I know you had the Club Chrome on Normandy road in Springfield, IL, did you ever think that it will be as successful as it was. 250: I had a feeling it will do good but I never thought that it will take off like it did IV: yea, you were doing your thing throwing those club concerts, you know the field is known for no-shows, but you had them coming and it was thick up in there too. 250: I know it was crazy I wasn‘t prepared for it too move that fast, I was just a young business man doing my thing. IV: so what actually happened to Club Chrome there was a lot of rumors going around but I want to hear it from your mouth what actually happened? 250: to keep it all the way 200, they portrayed me wrong, a lot of stuff people were writing about was wrong IV: people who was writing stuff? 250: you know I don‘t want to get nobody in trouble….. IV: what?! The paper I‘ll say it for you them State Journal register… they did you wrong, well I‘m not surprised they always do us wrong…..smh. 250: there are so many politics in owing a club people really have no idea until you get in the game, the political game bout ran my pockets dry with unnecessary 146

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fines, they were other club owner that‘s being around longer so they my inexperience was hurting my passion of owing my own business. IV: so clubs like Macs and those downtown clubs been in the game so they have pull wow. 250: the health department and fire marshals will come at like 4:30 pm on a Friday knowing they close their office at 5:00 pm and tell us about all these citations, then we have to bust our ass and come out of hundreds just to open that night or the next night it was a crazy game. IV: they just didn‘t want this young man to take their business huh 250: yea it was crazy not to mention the police… IV: oh we know how the SPD will get they are probably worse than the LAPD, and that city is 4 times as big than the field. So what they finally closed you down? 250: No, I closed it down myself it was draining me mentally and financially, I really had to regroup.. my mind, heart and soul had to change. God knows what he has in store for me I think if I wouldn‘t have sat down I probably would be doing no telling not anything good. IV: That‘s what a lot of people don‘t understand some times when your life is out control you need to let go and let God, You gotta sit down sometimes and rechannel something and recongnize what you did wrong or right and continue with the next steps in your life. 250: Right, and be bless that God made you able to do it because sometimes people don‘t get that chance until they are in jail, have nothing, or laid to rest. So the best time to do it is when you recognize it. IV: well said I do it all the time it very refreshing. So what all inquiring minds want to know what made you think of ―Keep it 200‖? I use get tired of you flooding my Inbox with your damn random thoughts, Im like this dude need a twitter account, But you were saying real interesting stuff. 250: Well my business partner of ―Stockholderz Clothing‖ Ike Miles was always saying it so we started using it. You know everybody always talking bout lets ―Keep it 100‖ which rarely happens, so we was thinking let‘s take it up a notch and ―Keep it 200‖ we are going to be above keeping it real 147

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IV: I know that right I started out in the beginning when Miss Clemons added me to the group I never thought it would get this big, but as I seen it quickly grew in a couple of months. Did you ever think it would be over 8,000 plus members across the United States? 250: It started in like September 2010, but its limited of what you can actually do but Facebook Executives still have control of the things you do. IV: Sooooooo…. What do you think about some of the topics people post? 250: I had know idea the topics were gonna be what they were, when I started it was more about keeping it real with our people a way to get things off your chest, but people have THEIR own perspective of ―Keeping it 200‖ That‘s why I made the group ―Keep It 200 Black Unity‖

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IV: It goes hard on there too 250:There is always gonna be a lot of positive and negative debates on anything that gives people the free will write. All I ever wanted was people to be treated fairly and I don‘t care How I said it IV: that‘s what everybody ever wants 250: What people need to realize in the group is that everything that is being said is being looked at and we as a people are being judged. We don‘t even know that we are so far behind in the game. And some of the things we find important like are not whats really important. We are at a stand still when it comes on coming up the right way IV: That right there I agree wit you completely. If all people are writing about is sex, gossip, hating on each other, what they have or what people don‘t have, and talking bout each other, where are the conversations about the growth of our people. 250: Riiiiggghhht….. We gotta break they cycle. Because we didn‘t start it this is an ongoing issues that started before our generation. ―nobody is who they say they are behind closed doors, with four walls and a ceiling.‖ IV: What is one of your most memorable topics? 250: They ones that get the most responses are the ones who debates about the races and color, Which race is better wether it a about relationships, the best sex, who is cuter light or dark. Those topics always stay with me. IV: see what your were saying before that‘s a cycle we have to stop, its crazy the Jim Crow laws still haunt us today. What‘s your future goals with ―Keep it 200‖? 250: I really working on starting my own social network, so if there is any computer wizzes out there holla at me IV: That‘s hot, so all you qeek squad holla at 250 on facebook ―Two-Fifty‖ or ―Keep it 200®™‖ Do You have any other business endeavors ? 250: I got my music, which I am an artist myself, 250 inc, music and film. How that sound 250 film? You see how 250 goes with everything. Oh yeah www.keepit200.com coming soon! 149

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IV: lol yea sounds great, I cant wait to see that film Im gonna have to be an extra in that. What do you want people to know about the man 250? 250: Just because im friends with street people don‘t mean you should look down on me or them we are just trying to live and make it in this crazy world and at the end of the day im just like them a person, Im about positive stuff no matter how I go about it, just because a person look a certain way it just about what‘s in their heart no matter how they go about doing it. Those are words of Sam 250 Johnson a Leo from Springfield, IL; he is a young entrepreneur who doesn‘t let anyone stop him. He has been out of sight but 250 are soon to come out and when he does world watch out.

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Jezebel Noel; From Where I Came From.... To What I Grew Into Jezebel Noel, the oldest of four, grew up on Chicago‘s south side. A graduate of Julian High School, she enlisted in the military the military as a rebellious act. Ten years later is ranked as an E-5 and is retiring from the military at the end of this month with a Honorary Discharge. I took the name Jezebel Noel because it describes my journey. ―Jezebel‖ is where I came from complete with the characteristics of the biblical character. ―Noel‖ is what I grew into...Jesus Christ,‖ says Jezebel. ―I did everything under the sun but at the end of the day God still loves me,‖ she continues. ―I prayed from beginning to end,‖ she says. After her discharge, Jezebel will reside with her eight year old son Caleb, in Dahlonega, GA where she will work full time as an author. ―I got into urban authors as my own personal therapy. After the breakup from a relationship I had been in for awhile, I sought solace in reading urban books. I estimate that I read at least one hundred books. After reading so many I said to myself, ―I can do this.‖ What I learned from my research is that there are not a lot of urban authors from Chicago. Most are from New York, L.A., Philly, the Carolinas etc. My mission is to bring enlightenment, entertainment and empowerment from my novels,‖ says Jezebel. Jezebel started writing her current novel A Taste of Chicago about two years ago. It is scheduled for release in May 2011. Below is an excerpt:

―I should have kept them niggas on their knees. It was better for them to eat the cake not have it! I can’t believe this is what sex is all about; that fussin and talking and pressuring and this is it, ten 151

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minutes of pain and nothing. This big black grizzly looking nigga really thinks he has game and hasn’t figured out that I only agreed to have sex with him because of my curiosity about it all. He hasn’t figured it out yet. His breath is hot and smells like bologna, its dark and I’m just waiting for him to finish so I can go and wash his sweat and filth off me. “Man, you’re wet girl.” “This is so good.” “Do you like it?” “He finally got up and asked me, was he good.?” Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it niggas are so full of themselves. “It was alright. I’m tired, I’m just going to go back to my room tonight.” “Was this your first time?” “No, it was my second that’s why it’s a little blood I’m just going to go back to my room”. I couldn’t tell him he was my first. Man I can’t believe I just had sex with John from the basketball team. Wow, my first time and it meant nothing to me, nothing at all ...” This book will capture your heart not only your eyes as a reader. Between these pages you will learn of a young woman who has had many bumps & bruises of life and yet in the end, still standing. Life's ups and downs do come but, every storm has effected us individually. In our lives we make choices that at the time seem

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and maybe we don‘t even care but through real life experiences it is a lesson learned. When the ‗scars‘ of your life are visible and everyone can see, you may have shame but the real test is when you are able to stand as a ‘Good Sailor‘ and know that the scars are there as a reminder that you made it through. Now Rhakel‘s journey is long, her decisions are radical, her vision of life cloudy, her emotions were like a shell of a turtle but yet the interior was delicate and fragile . Her place where she came from added with where she went and her point of destiny was critical for her life‘s purpose. As you read paint a picture in your mind and just go with her until she reaches her ―Destiny.‖ For more information visit Jezebel at her website: www.jezebelnoel.com, on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/jezebelnoel or via email at: jezebel.noel@yahoo.com.

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In concert with controversy By Lisa Respers France, CNN

Beyoncé is one artist who has been criticized for receiving payment to perform from a dictator's regime.

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March 2011 (CNN) -- It all started with a New Year's Eve party. The cushy gig probably sounded irresistible to singing sensations like Beyoncé, Usher and Mariah Carey: a private concert in the luxurious Caribbean island of St. Barts to ring in a new year before a group of dignitaries who were big fans. But that was before everything came to light, courtesy of WikiLeaks. Those artists and others, including Nelly Furtado and rapper 50 Cent, have recently faced sharp criticism for accepting payments for performances from the family of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The scandal highlights how very easily stars can find themselves smack dab in the middle of a major political firestorm for simply doing what they do best: making money for their talents. In February, it was reported that cables obtained by the secrets-revealing WikiLeaks website detailed lavish spending by Gadhafi's sons, including large sums of money paid to American singers for performances. Within the past few days, Beyoncé, Usher, Carey and Furtado have announced that they either have donated or plan to donate the money earned to charities. Carey recently released a statement saying she was embarrassed by the scandal." Going forward, this is a lesson for all artists to learn from," the singer said. "We need to be more aware and take more responsibility regardless of who books our shows. Ultimately we as artists are to be held accountable." "You really have to be very careful and do your research," said Matthew "Mateo" Rajkumar, chief executive officer of the American Talent Agency. "You have to make sure you know where the money is coming from." Rajkumar's company specializes in booking urban American music artists overseas, with a heavy concentration in the markets of Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. His clients have included big names in hip-hop like Fat Joe, Missy Elliott, Wyclef Jean and Busta Rhymes. Rajkumar said an intense vetting process is crucial to making sure artists don't find themselves performing for dictators or accepting "blood money." He said he recently had to turn down gigs in North Africa for artists like singer Chrissette Michele because the deal didn't meet his standards. "It's such a coincidence in that we recently turned down a deal coming from people we have worked with in Uganda, where we had offers in Libya that we turned down," he said. "When I say recently, I mean before the recent uprising. We do everything we can to make sure we are protecting our artists." The CEO said his company was one of the first to see the potential market abroad for celebrity artists and brokered a deal in 2008 for 50 Cent to appear in Angola, which snagged the rapper one of his largest paydays for a concert to date: $1.4 million. "The money had to play a factor in getting an artist of his stature at that time to go over there, but there were other things that we did," Rajkumar said of booking 50 Cent for the Angola concert. "We tied in a visit to the embassy and did a huge AIDS awareness event with a bunch of kids, as well as a hospital and orphanage donation, so there was also an element of giving back to the country." Fans in the United States and major countries in Europe have better access to concerts by some of their favorite acts, Rajkumar said, but 157

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March 2011 the presence of these same stars in some of the smaller and more far-flung countries generates a great deal of interest that artists can cash in on. Oil companies, cell phone companies and breweries are usually the three big types of industries that sponsor such shows, as well as local governments, which want to put their country on the map and stimulate tourism. When rapper Snoop Dogg performed in Croatia in 2008, he packed Zagreb's Dom Sportova arena with 10,000 fans, and the event made the style section of the Croatia Tourist Center website. But the shows aren't cheap to produce, with the need for increased security and the fees paid both to the artist and for expenses like flying in the artist's entourage and equipment needed to mount a concert. "These events are hardly ever put on for the financial benefit," said Rajkumar, who added that often, fans in these countries cannot afford expensive tickets. "It's more for the exposure and publicity it generates." Such appearances can also expand artists' fan bases and their wallets. Peter Katsis, a music manager and a senior vice president of music for Prospect Park Entertainment, recently told CNN that the temptation is absolutely there for artists to "just take the check." "The attraction is obviously the money," said Katsis, who has worked with such performers as the Backstreet Boys, Jane's Addiction and Korn. "You can sometimes make as much as you can in a week on tour by doing one show." But Katsis said the recent scandal has some artists thinking twice about where they book their shows. "I think in light of the current situation, people are going to be asking more questions than ever before," he said. Marketing expert Rachel Weingarten said the celebrities are smart to donate the money to charity, though they may want to also consider ways to educate people about world issues and dictatorships. Such scandals can make consumers feel very uncomfortable, she said. "It's someone who is a pop star right now, and you're thinking, 'Wait a minute, I'm downloading their music, going to see their concert and supporting them, when a year or so ago, they were performing for a dictator.' It puts [the fan] in the equation," Weingarten said. "It suddenly makes people have to question their own politics if they are supporting someone who took this check." Rajkumar said his company does massive amounts of due diligence, including flying into the country to meet with the key players, checking the source of wire transfers and meeting with representatives from the U.S. embassy there to make sure that there are no concerns about money being funneled out of the country. "We have to track and do the research that the government that's in place is legitimate," he said. "We talk to the embassy and check out political contacts to make sure our government doesn't have information that the country is being run by a dictator or that funds are being directed out of the country for the leader's benefit." It is so easy to fall prey to a bad deal, he said, with the use of middlemen and others who may not be very scrupulous. "You just know that any money coming out of the country is coming from Gadhafi, because he controls the wealth there," Rajkumar said. 158

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Aaron Keith; Using Music to Bridge the Gap that Divides People

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Amazing, Awesome, and anything but ordinary, Aaron Keith hit the scenes of Springfield, IL as a new comer and caused a ground shaking crowd rocking affect. From classic country clubs to spirit field worship teams, Aaron has blessed audiences of all ages and background with his vocals and instrumental talents. Born in the University City area of Missouri Aaron grew up very rapidly learning the things of life that would invoke his passionate musical talents. At age 7 an uncle showed Aaron several blues music rips on a piano. By age 17, Aaron began to develop structure, melody, time, & an understanding of notes and meters while playing with the school band. His desires to develop his skills was escalated from this point. Rock, Rhythm & Blues, and Neo-soul vibes flow from this multitalented vessel as Aaron so willingly shares his gifts. He has traveled around the united States solo and accompanied bands with raspy sounds such as John Legend; soulful sounds such as Musiq Soul Child; and lively sounds such as Living Color & Rage Against the Machine. Aaron has focused his talents on positive music that inspires, edifies, and uplifts his audience. ―I don't want to play in only open mics and I know longer want to play in bars and taverns that promote unhealthy vibrations but I want to do more things that demonstrate universal love. Music is a language and a gift that I want to use to bridge the gaps that divide people,‖ says Aaron. ―I enjoyed touching people with love. I found that I‘ve gotten more satisfaction and fulfillment from singing on busses and on trains more often than I have before a room filled with people,‖ he continued. Aaron is available to perform at weddings, diverse culture events, youth and church worship services, college events and more. For more information or for booking you can contact Aaron Keith on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/aaronkeith or via email at: aaronkeith2011@yahoo.com

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Presenting Ms. Joy Clark-Freelance song writer, and exceptional lyricist

Joy Chenese Clark was born on February 7, 1986 in Baltimore, MD. She is the daughter of George Clark and Tanya Young. Since the age of 6 years old, Joy has been writing poetry and lyrics. She also began playing the violin at age 7 and drums at the age of 11. As an artist Joy creates music with positive inspiration messages. Joy Joy states, "I am a songwriter before being an Artist, although many songwriters aren't recognized publicly for their lyrics- they have influenced my songwriting. I especially love songwriters who are also artists like myself,” says Joy. “As for Genre's of Music I love everything from classical to gospel, hip hop to soft rock. My biggest concern with music is that I listen to a lot of artists who are not mainstream, because of their creativity. So, in writing music I challenge myself to always have a creative message that can be easily understood and universal. I stay true to myself, personal experiences, and creative stories to attract listeners,” she continues. 162

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“ The biggest value I plan to have in the music world is being able to "Fuze" different styles of music. For example, Hip Hop and Rock, or Neo- Soul Fuzed with Blues," says Joy. Joy’s mixtape was released in September 2009 on Fuzion Radio Mixtape. Joy travels and performs for various community events. She met up with Raaw’el Letrice Ware (owner of RISE) in Illinois who also does clean conscious positive hip hop soul music and spoken word. They have plans to collaborate on a burning hot sister to sister project that is sure to move the crowd and set stages ablaze. “This is the season for fabulous female artists to shine in the areas of hip hop & spoken word with positive respectable reflections. Joy is fantastic and I can’t wait” says Raaw’el with great enthusiasm! `You can find Joy Joy on http://www.youtube.com/joyjoy4theworld or http://www.myspace.com/joyjoy4theworld. Listen and purchase her music -Dream Chaser - EP by Joy Joy on iTunes.

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Victor T. Young; The Great Re-enactor Originally from Ft. Worth, Texas, Victor T. Young graduated from Prairie View A & M University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. After college, he moved to Springfield, IL and started his career with the Illinois Department of Transportation where he has been working as an engineer in design for over 20 years. Victor started reenacting in 1998 and has several impressions, including the Civil War and World War I. In addition, he is an avid collector of militaria. He is a volunteer at the Illinois State Military Museum. He may be contacted at: victorty@msn.com

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Get to Know 'Let's Stay Together's' RonReaco Lee By: Tonya Pendleton, BlackAmericaWeb.com

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BET has been experiencing a creative renaissance lately with the success of its scripted programming. “The Game” has had fantastic ratings since its move over from the CW, and “Let’s Stay Together,” the show that follows it at 10:30 p.m. EST, is also seeing stellar ratings. On “Let’s Stay Together,” two married couples navigate love and life in Atlanta. RonReaco Lee stars as Jamal and with his TV wife, Tasha (Joyful Drake), often provides the show’s most comedic moments. Lee got his acting start early, encouraged by his mother, who wanted to keep her only child busy. He took piano, dance and drum lessons, and once his family moved to Atlanta, he started getting work. After a stint in college, Lee got a big job on “Sister to Sister” as Ty, Tia Mowry’s boyfriend, and then landed guest spots on shows like “Girlfriends” and “ER.” You can catch Lee on “Let’s Stay Together” and in the TV movie, “Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe” a “Burn Notice” prequel on USA Network slated to air on April 17. Here’s more on RonReaco Lee.

BORN: RonReaco Lee on August 27 in Decatur, Illinois. CUB OR CLUB?: Despite the baby face, Lee is a fully-grown 34 years old. EDUCATION: Attended Georgia Perimeter College and Los Angeles Community College until he got the job on “Sister, Sister,” where he went from a guest star to a recurring character to a regular character. HOW HE'S MOST LIKE HIS ZODIAC SIGN (VIRGO): “I’m very particular about everything, and it can be a bit much. I know this, and I’m very fortunate to have found someone who can put up with it.” 168

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WHO'S PUTTING UP WITH IT: His wife, Shea, who also hails from Decatur, Ill. REEL-LIFE WIFE VS. REAL-LIFE WIFE: “I’m a lot different from Jamal. Jamal and Tasha do a lot of talking so what’s the same is probably that communication aspect. The biggest difference is probably that there is more negotiating in my real-life marriage. When we went to premarital counseling, our counselor spoke a lot about negotiating fairly so that everyone gets what they want and need. In our house, we’re equally yoked, and I like it that way.” CAUSE CELEB: He and his wife want to start a learning center in Decatur that would help introduce kids to the arts. FUN FACT: “When I was a kid, my grandmother and grandfather took me fishing, and I fell in love with fishing. Growing up as a kid, I used to watch fishing programs, but there were no AfricanAmericans on fishing shows. I was dead set on being the first African-American to do a fishing show. I still love fishing to this day.” WHAT THE BLOGS SAY: If Lee could choose his own coverage on a celebrity blog, he’d love to be photographed with his future children doing something fun. “I always see Matthew McConaughey on the beach with his kids, and I’d love to see that. I want my shorty dressed clean, too. No scandals, though. I don’t want no parts of any scandal.” MOST REVEALING QUOTE: “I was shocked when I found out this show called for two African-American leading male characters, I had to reread it,” Lee told HeartandSoul.com. “There is obviously a misrepresentation of us on television, so I have always wanted to see more quality programs.” BEST CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT: “I had the privilege and honor of meeting Anita Baker at the Soul Train Awards last year. She asked if she could take a picture with me, and I didn’t think she was talking to me. She was so sweet, and she just touched me. I’m a huge Anita Baker fan, .....

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Carroll Durham; The Forgotten Soldier Growing up, author Carroll Durham dreamed of being a soldier like his father, who was a person in uniform during World War II. He wanted to know what it was like being a soldier in the Vietnam War. He pursued his dream, and years later, he felt the need to share his story. Thus, The Forgotten Soldier: Mortarman was born. The Forgotten Soldier also shares how the author was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, decades after the Vietnam War, and how he coped with it. This book is dedicated to the families of the Vietnam era, so they can see what their patriots went through during this period in American history. In this book, he reveals his experiences as a young man at war, a black male youth growing up during the Civil Rights Movement in the new integrated army. He also reveals what it was like for 300,000 veteran casualties who served out of 2,500,000 troops that served in Vietnam. As he shares these recollections, readers will realize that the casualties of the Iraq war are suffering the same fate of Vietnam veterans and their families. As a writer, Carroll Durham has experienced what most Americans have not— and that is being a member of the United States Army. His primary education was achieved through the American public educational and private educational system. Through his background in receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology, he has lived among whites and blacks who experienced the Vietnam War.

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In 1969, the author received three Bronze Stars and eleven other combat ribbons for heroism in The Republic of Vietnam. In February of 1999, he was honored by the Senate of Maryland and the House of Delegates for Heroism with Resolution 0462 and Resolution 559 for Valor in defense of the Nation. To order a copy of the book visit: www.theforgottensoldier.net

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Tiffany ―The Budgetnista‖ Aliche, is a passionate teacher of engaging, financial empowerment. She started her own financial consulting company called, CLD Financial Life LLC. CLD Financial Life was created to help others master their money. Her book, The One Week Budget, shows readers how to make frugal, FABULOUS and teaches them how to do more with less. She's a regular contributor to Munaluchi Bridal Magazine, NY Trends Newspaper and well as a number of other publications. You can also see her in February 2011 issue of ESSENCE Magazine. Tiffany‘s programs include{ Financial Fun Parties This program is for YBF‘s, those that are Young, Broke and Fabulous and looking for a fun way to get financially empowered. These parties can be held for as little as 20 people. Financial Fun Parties aim to educate clients about their money, and teaches them how they can continue to live fabulously while being frugal. REAL Life (a game of choices) This interactive game is primarily for schools and nonprofit organizations. It gives its participants the opportunity to learn how to create a successful family budget, and learn entrepreneurial skills in a way that is both fun and engaging. Seminars, Keynote Speaking and Workshops The Budgetnista is the alternative to boring financial literacy speakers. If you want your attendees to be financially empowered, educated as well as entertained, book The Budgetnista today. Financial Literacy Curriculums Financial literacy curriculums can be written for any grade level. The Budgetnista specializes in creating interactive, age appropriate, engaging curriculums that allow participants to enjoy learning about money. Curriculums are also aligned with the Core Curriculum Standards of education mandated by each state‘s education system. Webinars The Budgetnista webinars teach participants how to budget, improve their credit, and get out of debt, from the comfort of their own home. This inexpensive series of classes will put clients on the road to financial freedom. 176

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The One Week Budget The One Week Budget teaches readers how to create and automate a money management system in 7 days or less. It is a book for anyone that wants to manage their dayto-day money without the day-to-day hassle. Book Synopsis: “Hate paying bills? So do I, and that’s why I stopped! What if I told you that I haven’t paid a bill in almost two years and my credit score is in the high 700’s, low 800’s? Would you call me a liar or would you want to know how I did it? The purpose of this book is to teach you what I took years to learn. The One Week Budget is for anyone that wants to manage their day-to-day money without the day-to-day hassle. Does this sound like you? What are you waiting for? Read the book already!” To learn more contact Tifany via the following: Web site: http://thebudgetnista.biz; Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheBudgetnista; Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheBudgetnista; Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Budgetnista/105314232838635 or via email at thebudgetnista@gmail.com. Testimonial: John Murray (owner of The Coffee Cave in Newark, NJ) Before the Coffee Cave I was a financial advisor to high net worth clients for over 15 years. I'm very impressed with Tiffany's One Week Budget because it combines sound financial theory and acumen with a practical approach that resonates with the average Joe, Jane , Shenequa and Tyrone. It is easy to read and understand, And very useful at helping ANYONE stretch a dollar. Kudos. And as I used to say as an advisor, (and I believe this is a JM original) -"If You watch your pennies, your dollars will take care of themselves." Thanks Tiffany for the knowledge.

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Six Ways to Save By Keesa Schreane.

These tips will help you build a cash cushion in no time

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March 2011 The question ―Do you want to go to credit card hell?‖ lingered in Shaneyqwua Jarrett‘s mind for years after her father posed it when she was bombarded with credit card applications in college. Jarrett‘s parents had always paid for everything in cash and taught her to pay for large purchases in full. After college, the 29-year-old insurance adjuster spent one year in the military and had no living expenses. She then lived at home with her family for one year. Jarrett also created a budget and faithfully saved a set amount each week. Over four years, she was able to amass a $36,000 emergency fund. Whether you need a professional financial plan or just a ―Savings 101‖ refresher, these six tips will get you started on the road to building a cash cushion: Have a plan. Decide how much you‘re going to save and when. ―People who have a plan save twice as much as those who don‘t,‖ says Nancy Register, director of America Saves, a campaign to assist individuals and families with building wealth. ―Not only do they save more, but they save more consistently.‖ Devise a budget. ―People should run their financial affairs just like a business,‖ says Marilyn Logan, author of I Can’t Afford to Marry You: A Guide to Understanding the True Cost of Love (Salo Publishing; $20). ―It is important for a firm to keep its financial books in order. The same goes for your household. Know how much income you have on a monthly basis and track how much you spend—from groceries to church tithes.‖ Treat savings like a bill. ―Pay yourself first by putting money aside each month, especially now during turbulent times,‖ suggests Suzanne Mayo, director of Black America Saves, a national social marketing campaign under the America Saves umbrella that encourages African Americans to save, reduce debt, and build wealth. You may also consider having a certain amount automatically deducted from your paycheck. Establishing saving habits early on prevents unexpected expenses from becoming crisis situations, Register adds. Make sure your money is not easily accessible. Mayo recommends opening up a special emergency bank account. A money-market account without ATM access is best. That way, if you want to access your money, you‘ll have to transfer funds into your checking account, which often takes two business days. This gives you time to think about whether you really need the cash or if you‘re just spending on a whim. Put the credit cards away. Using cash instead of credit forces you to ―respect your money,‖ Logan says. Additionally, it is important to research the terms on your existing credit card agreements, particularly in light of the current economic climate, where original credit terms and agreements may have shifted. ―Many credit card companies are lowering your limits, so call and find out what it is,‖ Logan says. Get a second job. Another way to save successfully is by getting a side job. ―Getting a second job may be the easiest way to get to your goal,‖ Mayo says. ―Over time, the side job will not only allow you to do what you like doing, but it can also be your source of savings.‖ Source: www.blackenterprise.com 180

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Introducing Kachi Designs and the designer behind the brand: 181

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The following is an excerpt from The Fashion Record (www.thefashionrecord.com): KACHI Designs is young Nigerian talent at its most creative display. Chigozie ―Chichi‖ Anaele self taught herself to sew less than a year ago and birthed KACHI DESIGNS. As an artist and entrepreneur, she transforms West African textiles and patterns into unstoppable and undeniable custom-made pieces. The concoctions of her designs are proven to be daring with an alluring appeal. I was contemplating with the name for awhile. I kept throwing around the word ―catchy‖ and that I wanted a name that was catchy. It dawned on me how I was describing my title with catchy and then the light came on. I took ―catchy‖ to translate into ―Kachi‖ (naija accent) and KACHI DESIGNS was born!‖ Who inspires your designs? ‖My fashions are influenced by the 1940‘s, 1950‘s and my love for the hit show ―Show Train‖. I love bold colors that stand out but create a sense of style and couture. I draw my inspiration from colors, my personality, and the sense of being different.‖ What is your target audience for your collection? ―My target audience consists of the women who want to bring definition to their wardrobe. The daring fashionistas who are not afraid to display their confidence.‖ Where can people buy your items? Items may be purchased through the website at wwwkachidesigns.com. Where are you based? Bred in Houston, but culturally rooted from Nigeria. I was born in Nigeria before moving to London. Following London, my journey brought me to Houston, Texas where I am based. Who are your favorite emerging designers and what is it that you love about them I wouldn‘t consider my selection of favorite designer as emerging because they are considered iconic in the fashion world. I love Marc Bower and the fierceness that his collections bring. I also adore Deola Sagoe from Lagos, Nigeria. She definitely has an eye for fashion and creating a glamorous work of art.

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If you had to give men and women advice on style what would you say? Always be unique in your own way. 185

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What is your best attribute? My creativity will be my best attribute. It expresses everything about me.

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Words you live by…. Through God all things are possible. – Matthew 19:26

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10 Things You're Too Old To Wear By Mybrotha.COM

Stroll into a movie theater, electronics store, or any mall and you'll see a 40-year old man wearing hideous attire. The sad thing is, he probably thinks he looks really good. Our clothes and accessories say a lot about us. But when your fashion sense is off the mark, the message you send can sound like a foreign language. Are you a guy who doesn‘t know when to quit? Continue reading for the top 10 fashion faux pas committed by men of a certain age.

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Jerseys Why: Even if you're a superstar rapper who hangs out with athletes and sexy video chicks, wearing sports uniforms and jerseys make you look "teen-ish." Jerseys are appropriate when attending, or participating in sporting events. Instead of a Steelers jersey, consider the extraordinary style of rapper/business mogul Jay-Z, and how his wardrobe went from jerseys and caps, to business suits and ties. Transformation is a good thing. Age to stop: 35 Baggy/Sagging Pants Why: The baggy pants debate has been brewing for several years. And while completely stifling the popular fashion trend isn't likely, sagging pants should be off limits to grown men. Society doesn't care much for the baggy look and the image is especially ridiculous on the bodies of men who should know better. If you're under 30-years old, do your thing. But don't show underwear, or skin--there is nothing attractive about that. If you're 30 and older, pull up your pants. Age to stop: 30 Jogging Outfits Why: The next time your phone rings, don't be surprised if it's the '80s calling and asking for their cheesy wardrobe back. Unless you're training for an Olympic event, leave the jogging gear in the closet. Those puffy, cheap cotton jogging suits are the lazy man's way of saying: "I have no idea what to wear.">br> Instead, put on some pants (slacks, jeans, khakis) and a collared polo shirt. Age to stop: 35 Baseball Caps Why: We all like Yankees caps, don't we? They're just cool. But sports caps should only be worn by the guys who get paid to wear them. If you're not getting a bazillion dollars to run up and down a field, take off the cap. All is forgiven if you're coaching a little league team, or fishing with your buddies. But don't wear a cap as a style accessory. Age to stop: 35 Sunglasses inside a building Why: Okay, this one has nothing to do with age. Wearing sunglasses inside a building-whether it's extremely bright or not--should be illegal. The cool factor while wearing dark shades in a dark room went out of style before most of us were born. Age to stop: 25 190

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March 2011 Uncoordinated colors Why: Remember the 1990s rap duo Kriss Kross, and the fad they started by wearing funky colored outfits backwards? They were kids, and kids can get away with stuff like that. But you can't, and missing the color coordination mark is a recipe for fashion disaster. If you're unsure about which colors match, ask a female friend--she will know. Age to stop: 25 T-shirts with messages Why: We all have a few bold t-shirts in our closets. You know the ones that say: "Rock on!", "Mean People Suck," or "Jane's Massage Parlor." Unless you're wearing them for a gym workout, leave the glittery, social statement t-shirts at the store. If you have something to say, use a microphone. Age to stop: 35 Muscle shirts, wife-beaters, A-shirts, tank-tops Why: While in the comfort of your own residence, these styles are totally cool. But wearing them (outside of a gym, locker-room, or the beach) is just plain frightful. Tank tops are great as under-shirts, or when adding layers of warmth. But they never work as fashion statements. Guys with little to no muscle structure should be especially wary of these shirts. There is a reason why they're called "M-U-S-C-L-E" shirts. Age to stop: 30 Off-the-rack suits Why: If you buy a suit off the rack, get it tailored. Most mens fashion boutiques and stores offer tailoring services for suits, sportscoats, slacks, and dress shirts. Instead of dressing plainly like everybody else, you can create a sleek, customized image that fits your unique shape. A suit can last forever, so you might as well make it look good. Age to stop: 30 Sneakers or tennis shoes Why: Believe it or not, women pay attention to your shoes. And if you're wearing sneakers, athletic shoes, or tennis shoes, you'd better be on a basketball court. Pairing up sneakers with your wardrobe doesn't fit any manly styles we know about. Wear leather dress shoes for special occasions and always when wearing a suit (no exceptions). Business casual shoes are perfect for laid back environments like movies, sporting events, barbecues, or informal trips. Age to stop: 40 When it comes to men's fashion, think quality. You won't go wrong with collared shirts (polo or button-down), slacks and clean shoes.

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Expressions of Love & Passion By Destinee Love

Finding Your Inner Beauty The starting place of true beauty and happiness is to possess a good self-concept within. In other words, if you have good self-esteem, you will be a powerful magnet for the best things in life. During the course of our lives others wear down on us, criticize us and make high demands on us, including parents, friends, partners, etc. Sometimes these burdens can be a little too much to handle. We begin to feel as though we don‘t quite measure up; we‘re not good enough. Once we begin to second-guess our capability and lovability, we look to others outside ourselves to validate us on an internal quality. But in reality we should look to where it all begins ~ Within! We have to find our own way home - back to yourself. But take small steps on your journey, if you leap you may find yourself straying. Take time to show yourself a little love by hugging yourself for the good steps you had already taken. Take heed to what you have done right and how far you have came; in return you will notice you are right on track to the place you need to be. This is the most important journey you will ever take - the route to yourself. Because when we learn to really ―love‖ ourselves, no one can belittle us, disturb our inner peace, manipulate us or instill negativity in our hearts. We let all the negative remarks fade away. We eat right and exercise. We rest and we feel beautiful. We value our time and space and let no one waste it. Our bodies reflect our positive attitude by responding with rays of love and happiness. Before I go I want to leave you a few pointers that really helped me, hopefully this can leave a lasting impression in someone‘s life right now. First check the patterns in your life, especially in your relationships. Once you are aware of a negative pattern, work step by step to change it or seek help. 195

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Don‘t let anyone talk down on you. You have respect for your mind, body, and soul so don‘t let anyone drain your spirits away. As I would do, wave your hand to them with your head high - Good Bye! Pray and meditate on expanding your heart to love your-self more and more all day, each day, Every day! I will leave with those short pointers. Remember, you can‘t fully love someone until you learn to love within first and it truly, Truly is a Beautiful thing! Much Love!!!! “Expressions of Love, Passion, and Intimacy” is my first collection of my spoken words about love, passion, and affection. Once you have experienced it, you can understand the true meaning of it {Ecstasy}. Visit my blog site www.destineelove.com for blog post and excerpts from the book. Also, visit my webpage www.destineelove.net to get your personalized copy!!

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ce is waking up every morning

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Yogini Mafdet Bringing Urban Awareness to Yoga Practice 198

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Yogini Mafdet (the Urban Guru)is a dynamic and energetic Kundalini Yoga teacher. After practicing yoga for some years and learning yoga disciplines suchas Hatha and Ashtanga, Mafdet took yoga teacher training in 2004 and was introduced to Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Mafdet experienced great transformation, healing and growth from practicing Kundalini Yoga. Yoga became a substantial part of her spiritual practice along with being a devotee to Kemetic (ancient Egyptian) teachings. Mafdet explains," I love to teach Kundalini Yoga, it's truly a blessing. It's wonderful to see the way it powerfully affects people‘s lives. You can really see regular students become more radiant, glowing and youthful." A native of Toronto, Canada, Mafdet has taught many yoga classes and yoga for youth programs at community centers. To name a few, the YWCA, Boys and Girls Club and AYCE Community Center. Hands down though, Mafdet is mostly passionate about teaching yoga to wombyn (women)and in communities of the African Diaspora. Being a former gymnast from age five to seventeen, Mafdet has a connection and respect for the discipline of athletics. Personally Mafdet's first teachers were her children who taught her the beauty and divinity of being a woman through pregnancy, child birth and mothering. From then and with the years to follow she feels that her experiences as a mother provided her with a foundation to understand and embody the ancient wisdom of Goddess that illuminated so many spiritual paths and religions through the ages. Yogini Mafdet lives and honors her name everyday, Yogini which is a female who lives a yogic lifestyle and Mafdet a name of an ancient Egyptian goddess who brings justice and accountability to the people. Currently Yogini Mafdet lives in Springfield, Illinois with her family and teaches regular yoga classes and workshops there. She is also a lover of Ol Skool Hip Hop, African and Soul, belly dancing, raw and vegan meals and inspirational yoga and spiritual books. Most of Mafdet's days are filled with homeschooling her two children(since 2003),working at home and teaching/living yoga. Yogini Mafdet may be contacted at: mafdetmaat@hotmail.com

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The Yoga Way By Yogini Mafdet

Breathe for Balance Our breath is so natural that it can be easy to forget how valuable it really is or that it even exists. We don't need to control or worry about it(otherwise we will have a huge problem). It's automatic, our lungs do all the work. We just continue on with our day eating, working, socializing, sleeping etc not taking any notice of our breath whatsoever. On the other hand, did you notice that we focus on the breath during times of stress or difficulty? Maybe you've heard or told yourself, ―OK...take a deep breath‖. During these times we manage to realize how vital the breath is but how can our breath serve us in other moments and not just in trying times?. The formula is Breath = Life. Without it you cease to live, with it you are fully alive. When you peel all the layers and facets of life you'll find your breath is beneath and sustaining it all. It can be symbolized as a fruit. Your physical body and material existence is the peel and whole fruit, your spirit/soul is the beneath the peel, your breath/energy is the seed that provides life for the fruit. Breath is known as life force energy that is everywhere and unified with the energy of the universe. Essentially connecting with the breath will connect one with the universe and in turn make a deeper inner connection with the universal creator(given many names, some may say God).From there come a gratitude for blessing of being given life on earth. When you see it in this light then the breath holds a much deeper significance. My first initial experience with the breath was when I was about thirteen years of age and I told a friend of my brother's that I was having trouble sleeping. She told me to breath deep while I'm laying in bed and I'll sleep like a baby. I was 204

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confused a little and wondering what breathing had to do with sleeping better but I tried it anyway and it did the job. I was surprised that I slept so well. Over some time I forgot to continue with doing this breathing/sleeping strategy and still had no idea how breath related to sleep or anything else. I just didn't really thought about it until several years later when I came across yoga. I was introduced to several breathing techniques to maintain and create a balanced life. Now during times of stress or to simply maintain balance I pull out my tools(breathing techniques)from my toolbox. I would like to share some breathing tools with you. Here are four vital breathing techniques that you can try for yourself to energize, balance and relax: * One of the best things you can give yourself is appreciation of your breath and to honor life in the moment. Practice this in your day when you need to get back to center and remember the important things in life. Close your eyes to deepen your experience as you inhale deeply with the gratitude and thankfulness of breath and life entering your body. Exhale all the air out as you return your breath to the universe with blessings and gratitude of the life it served you .Keep breathing with this same pattern for 1-3 minutes. * It may be the middle or end of a tough day or maybe you're fighting a bug of some sort. This can make you feel weak and depleted of energy. Try this, breathe in four short breaths through your mouth-fill your lungs. Breathe out four short breaths out of your mouth.*This is also a great breathing technique to clear and revitalize your mind. * Did something happen to frustrate you? Are you waiting to get home to scream in a pillow? Instead try this to make you feel as cool as a cucumber. Make a circle with your lips, stick your tongue out through your lips .Breath in deeply through your tongue as you sip in air like your tongue is a straw. Exhale out of your nose. In yoga this is called Sitali Pranayam and it is practiced to cool down heated emotions, detoxifies and to reduce fevers. * We have so much commotion and activity going on outside of us that it becomes information overload on our mind, body and spirit. Then we start to go into shut down mode. Try this before you even start to shut down and feel overwhelmed by the buzz of external ―noise‖. Breathe in light, rejuvenation and renewal. Breathe out darkness, tension, fear and worry. Continue for as long as you need to until you feel centered. Yogini Mafdet can be reached at info@yoginimafdet.com or 217.685.8870. Various local and international Kundalini Yoga classes and workshops are offered by Yogini Mafdet. To learn more visit www.yoginimafdet.com 205

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Potluck Potato Casserole The crunchy topping on this side-dish casserole gives way to a cheesy interior, resulting in a comfort food winner. A bonus with this dish is that you can make the casserole ahead-assemble and refrigerate it until time to bake. Sprinkle the cornflakes over the casserole just before baking. Instead of a salty green bean casserole, try this low-sodium crowdpleaser for brunch or dinner. A bonus with this dish is that you can make the casserole ahead—assemble and refrigerate it until time to bake. Sprinkle the cornflakes over the casserole just before baking. Ingredients 1 1/2 cups fat-free sour cream 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 2 tablespoons minced fresh onion 5 teaspoons butter, melted 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper 1 (30-ounce) package frozen hash browns, thawed (such as Ore-Ida) 1 (10.75-ounce) can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup (such as Campbell's Healthy Request) Cooking spray 1 cup coarsely crushed cornflakes 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Preparation Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first 10 ingredients in a large bowl; spread evenly into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle cornflakes over potato mixture. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until bubbly. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Source: www.health.com 206

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Black-owned Business Boom. Are You Ready? By Tennille M. Robinson

Record numbers of Black entrepreneurs are open for business (Image: Thinkstock) 207

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From 2002 to 2007, the number of Black-owned businesses increased by 60.5 percent to 1.9 million, more than triple the national rate of 18.0 percent, according to recent data released from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners. Over the same period, receipts generated by Black-owned businesses increased 55.1 percent to $137.5 billion. The new data comes from the Survey of Business Owners: Black-Owned Businesses: 2007. The survey--which defines Black-owned businesses as firms in which Blacks or African-Americans own 51 percent or more of the equity, interest or stock of the business--provides detailed information every five years for Black-owned businesses, including the number of firms, sales and receipts, number of paid employees and annual payroll. And while New York had the largest number of Black-owned firms at 204,032, Georgia came in second with 183,874 (and their receipts total $8.9 billion). What makes the peach state such an attractive destination for prospective Black business owners? “Knowing that I had access to a wide array of resources, contributed to me being more confident about launching my business,” says Tiffini Gatlin, founder and CEO of The Atlanta Go To Girl, a concierge business located in Atlanta. After working nearly seven years in the banking industry, Gatlin launched her business in February 2007 (She incorporated in March 2010). The 30-year-old says throughout the lengthy start-up process she relied on a number of Georgia state-sponsored programs and resources targeting entrepreneurs, specifically women-owned. Gatlin adds, “With the abundance of resources, the examples of successful young entrepreneurs, and the data to back up the state’s entrepreneurial statistics, new entrepreneurs are recognizing that if they want to start a business Georgia is the place to do it.” Newly minted entrepreneur Ronald Keith Young agrees. The 27-year-old is co-founder of the Atlanta-based mobile gaming technology company According 2 LLC. “The highquality academia in Georgia offers high-quality talent and resources to tap into,” says Young, who started the company with his partners in November 2009 and have since created a mobile application, According 2 Hip-Hop, that’s now available on iTunes. “The Hartsfield Jackson International Airport can get you to another city to handle business relatively easy. The cost of living and working is considerably lower than other major cities. And the weather puts you in a good mood, well most of the time.” Deputy Director of the U.S. Census Bureau Thomas Mesenbourg, said in reference to the findings: “Black-owned businesses continued to be one of the fastest growing segments of our economy, showing rapid growth in both the number of businesses and total sales during this time period.” Regardless where they strike out on their own geographically, small business owners are fearlessly looking for ways to impact global commerce. And as the country’s economic landscape continues to bounce back, innovative and profitable opportunities reveal themselves for those eager and able to rethink business. 208

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Celinda Doolin; Taking the Time to Help Clients Celinda Doolin is the Broker/Owner of Real Estate Connections of Springfield, Inc. located at 414 E Monroe, in downtown Springfield. She was born and raised in Springfield, IL. She graduated from Southeast High School and attended college for 2 years at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Celinda attended the National Academy of Real Estate for both her Salesperson and Broker licenses. She worked as a Salesman (Realtor) for 3 years at various Real Estate Agencies in Springfield and decided that she wanted to be a Broker and open her own office. She fukllfilled this dream in July of 2010. Real Estate Connections of Springfield, Inc. has four agents including herself. Those agents are Phoebe Burgess, Raymond McAfee and Landon Page. ―Our agents are regular people that truly care and understand that purchasing a home is the most important purchase of a person‘s life and they strive to make it as simple and as painless as possible.,‖ says Celinda. ‖We are looking to grow in the future by putting the client first and providing flawless customer service,‖ says Celinda. ―We handle everything from educating first time home buyers to counseling home owners in default,‖ she says. Real Estate Connections of Springfield, Inc. also has Corporate clients that contract its services to provide property inspections, trash-out/clean properties and selling foreclosed homes. IV: What made you become a Realtor? Becoming a Realtor and eventually a Broker just seemed like a natural transition for me, I was the receptionist at a real estate office for several years and I absolutely loved everything about the business. I learned the importance of the administrative side of it first, and it was a perfect fit for me.

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IV: How do you think the Springfield real estate market is doing compared with the rest of the country? Springfield has a stable market compared to the rest of the country IV: How long do you think it will take the housing market to rebound? The National market will not rebound until the overall economy gets better. In the meantime we will continue to see an abundance of foreclosures. If you are considering purchasing soon arm yourself with information...Meaning : Get a copy of all three credit reports and find a reputable lender. IV: What would you like our readers to know about your business? I want your readers to know that I take a lot of pride in my work and I am hands on with each and every transaction, and that I am always available! Celinda Doolin ~ Broker, Real Estate Connections of Springfield, Inc., 414 E. Monroe. Springfield, Il 62703. Phone: 217/523-1223; Fax: 217/523-3300 or visit their site at: www.recspringfield.com or via email at: celindasthe1@yahoo.com. 210

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Karlene Sinclair-Robinson; "THE RIGHT ATTITUDE" brings about the best in every situation! Give back w/o expecting something in return! I like people! I enjoying making others smile. I like spending time with my family, and enjoy cooking up a storm for a large group. I love music that uplifts me, from gospel, reggae, smooth jazz, Motown, country, and more. I am an entrepreneur at heart, love real estate, personal development, Autism research, and education for ALL our kids. I strongly believe that early childhood education should be mandatory and not be based just on budget or the zip code a child lives in. It should be their right, just as food, clothing and shelter are. I am passionate and excited about individuals owning their own businesses (when they are ready), and helping small business owners get to the next level! I am on a mission to give business owners access to information that can transform them and their business, so they can make the right decisions that will benefit them. My book "The Small Business Owner's Guide To Alternative Funding", offers business owners and those considering venturing into the world of entrepreneurship a wealth of information, from credit, the SBA, to accessing alternative financing like big businesses do. For more information, please our website at: www.SmallBusinessFundingGuide.com; Blog: www.AccessBizCapital.com; Facebook: www.Facebook.com/karlene.robinson1 and Twitter: www.twitter.com/karlenesinrob or via phone at: 703-372-3248.

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Tiki Barber coming out of retirement

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First Take answers the question, "Would you want Tiki Barber on your team Barber, who turns 36 in April, hasn't played since the 2006 season with the Giants, where he spent his entire 10-year career. Most recently he had been a correspondent for "The Today Show" and "Sunday Night Football" on NBC, but the network did not renew his contract. He has been doing video work for Yahoo! Sports. Barber, who had two years left on his Giants contract when he retired, will not be making his comeback with New York. "We wish Tiki nothing but the best, and when we are able to make the transaction, we will release him from our reserve/retired list," team spokesman Pat Hanlon said in a statement. While owners and players are engaged in talks for a new collective bargaining agreement, teams are not allowed to make roster moves. Lepselter, though, told FoxSports.com that "there are interested parties." Tiki Barber, who turns 36 on April 7, will try to return to the NFL next season. No running back that age or older has rushed for more than 830 yards in a season. "We are optimistic there will be opportunities for him," he told ESPNNewYork.com. Barber's twin brother, Ronde, plays defensive back for the Buccaneers. Ronde Barber signed a one-year deal last month to return for a 15th season with Tampa Bay. "After seeing my brother still have fun at our age, it reignited the fire," Tiki Barber said, according to FoxSports.com. "I'm really looking forward to the challenge of seeing if I can get back to the level of where I was. I started working 213

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out again recently. It kind of shocked myself. I still had a lot of the strength I had before. I'm really looking forward to making a return." "I think Tiki will work his rear end off to be successful," Lepselter added. "I wouldn't doubt him. He's going to work his rear end off to get to the best level he possibly can, and we hope there's a team out there that will give him the opportunity." Barber went out on top, rushing for 1,662 yards and five touchdowns in 2006. He ran for 10,449 yards with a 4.7 yards-per-carry average in his career. He rushed for a career-best 1,860 yards in 2005 when he made one of his three Pro Bowls. After he retired, he said Tom Coughlin's coaching style was part of the reason he stopped playing. The Giants won the Super Bowl the year after Barber retired. Mike and Mike in the Morning ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter says Tampa Bay is the most likely team to sign running back Tiki Barber. Plus, Schefter says the collective bargaining talks aren't going well right now. Joe Carini, Barber's personal trainer, said he first planted the seed of a comeback while watching the Jets-Patriots playoff game with the Barber brothers. Around the Super Bowl, Barber began to seriously contemplate a return and he began working out a couple of weeks ago to get back in shape. "He is dead serious and he has been coming in every day," said Carini, who also trains Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson. "He is 198 pounds and is in good shape. Not as strong as he is going to be but he will be. When he was with the Giants, he was 208. I'm talking about putting on another 10 pounds with him in a matter of a few weeks. Truth of the matter is he feels great. His knee, his shoulders feel great. No injuries. He doesn't have a problem moving and is pretty quick [even though] he hasn't played in four years." Carini said Barber has only talked about playing for one potential new team -- the Buccaneers. Playing in Tampa Bay would allow Barber to play with his brother Ronde. "He is going to play," Carini said. "I don't know what team." "If he gets with the right team and they utilize him the right way, the man will be back on top," Carini added. "I'm not saying they need to give him the ball 20 to 25 times a week but he still has enough left in the tank. He can be very very productive." But Antonio Pierce, the former Giants linebacker, says his old teammate won't add much to the locker room of any team that decides to add him in terms of leadership. "I didn't get a chance to get to know who Tiki Barber was the person," 214

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Pierce said. "I know him as a player and the guy was great and we always congratulate each other, the way we played." "But what he did in that locker room my two years with him, he didn't do anything but deteriorate that team," Pierce added. "And he didn't help us out. I don't see this guy as a leader or somebody that can help you out. And that's my problem with him. That is why I believe they [the Giants] will release him because he is going to cause nothing but problems for that team." The Giants already have Brandon Jacobs and DJ Ware under contract at running back and plan on trying to re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw once a new collective bargaining agreement is reached. If Barber can't find an NFL team that wants him, Jim Fassel, one of his former coaches from the Giants, said he'd be happy to have him play for his Las Vegas Locomotives in the United Football League. "He says he wants to play in the NFL. If he wants to come play in our league, I would be happy to have him," Fassel, president/GM/coach of the two-time UFL champs, told the New York Daily News. Fassel told the newspaper he planned to call Barber to wish him good luck on his comeback attempt and also extend an offer to join his UFL team. While Barber was an outstanding player for the Giants, the always-outspoken running back has been critical of Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning since his retirement. With Tiki Barber now set to make his return to the NFL, let's take a look back at his career: Tiki Barber Last September, Barber said Coughlin was losing his grip on the Giants' locker room and had a crisis on his hands after the team lost two straight to start the season 1-2. "He is in a crisis because of the perception that he is losing his team," Barber said after the Giants lost 29-10 to Tennessee at home in a game in which Coughlin took blame for the Giants committing 11 penalties, six of which were personal fouls. "We all know that especially in New York, once the media and the perception becomes a reality, you start fighting against it. And when you are fighting against something that is not necessarily real, you make it real. That is why he is in a crisis."

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"He needs to figure out a way to get control of this situation," Barber added. "Whether it is playing better and not making mistakes or whether it is having a group of players like he did in previous years, stand up and take accountability for what is going on, not pushing the blame by saying we should've, we could've, we didn't, saying we played poorly, we need to take responsibility for it." Barber didn't always see eye to eye with Coughlin over his controlling ways while playing for him. But Barber did praise Coughlin's coaching and said that was not the problem last year when the Giants got off to their 1-2 start. When Barber was inducted into the Giants Ring of Honor last year days after his Coughlin-in-crisis comments, fans booed the running back during the halftime ceremony. Manning said it was unfortunate that fans treated Barber like that. "It's just unfortunate because he was a great player for the Giants, had a great career, and was a great player in my first years here and helped us win a lot of games when I wasn't playing particularly well," Manning said during an interview with ESPN 1050 radio last year. "It's unfortunate how people view him now because he was a great player for the Giants, but things have happened that are unfortunate." Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk and Ian O'Connor and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter was used in this report.

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Former Springfield resident and NFL wide receiver Otto Stowe played 4 seasons in the NFL. Stowe, a receiver who played for three teams from 1971-1974, played on two Super Bowl teams, including the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. Stowe was a graduate of Lanphier High School. Currently, Otto Stowe is an entrepreneur and yogi living in California with his wife Judy. 217

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W. E. “Pete” Reeves

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Email: regenstrat@gmail.com Web Site: regenstrat.yolasite.com 219

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Illinois VOICE March 2011 Issue  

The digital destination for today's black urban professional