Page 1


For Connoisseurs & Conscious Living


This magazine is called TWELVE to note its monthly presence, only TWELVE times a year.


Also, and more importantly, TWELVE is a symbol of time. So it represents BE A PART OF IT!timely information and the central point by which FASHION | JEWELREY | TECHNOLOGY | AUTO | life events are measured. And BEAUTY of course, timepieces are part of the finer things, PRESENTING KC’S FINER THINGS perfect for our core readers in pursuit of sophistiTWELVE@KCSOUL.COM cated living. Welcome to TWELVE.


Volume II, Issue I



 “RICO” Ratliff



Welcome BACK!

 Calendar 48

TWELVE Magazine is part of the network. Owned by H.G.E. Marketing, LLC. (H.G.E.). Views & opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of H.G.E. or contributors.

It’s a brand new year! Thanks to all of the supporters of TWELVE! Whether you contributed directly to the content, shared your story, read an issue or just shared a link, we thank you. There’s plenty in store for 2014, but we start with the first issue, ONE. You can call it the Men’s issue, since we dedicate this to the look, style, success and service of men. It’s also designed to INSPIRE you to succeed in 2014. Take your time to go through this issue to prepare for upcoming and unique opportunities. Beyond a digital or print publication, remember, TWELVE is interactive, so get involved and engage.




Best Movies


You have an opportunity to contribute to the content by writing, submitting story suggestions, and of course, attending the launch events and more. Contact us at to get involved and send us feedback, too! Sincerely,

100 Black Men


Ken L

FRAT Style



What’s Different? Read It & Experience it Live


Inspired Music


Tips for 2014


Mandela & MLK


Though a lifestyle publication isn’t unique, TWELVE evolves the genre. It’s the only magazine that you both read and live. We set out to create more than a literary piece. We’ve merged both the online world and the live event into the “magazine experience”. Once a month, we release a new issue of the magazine. The release is paired with a live launch event on First Fridays, where the feature elements and characters of our magazine are brought to life for you to touch, taste, feel and experience. The live experience becomes part of gathering ground of additional stories, photos, and more for the final written magazine.


FOUNDERS CLUB: Happy Anniversary TWELVE Magazine SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR 1ST YEAR, 2013 SUPPORTERS Writers, Designers, Planners, Contributors, Advertisers & Supporters of Xii

3's a charm hair studio A.N.D. Model Mgt. Aarrika Davenport ADRIAN RAY’MON SMITH Aisha Ogletree Aisha Ogletree Ajamu Webster Albert Okagbue Alia McGee Allen Holcomb Ambassador Hotel Amber Smith Andrea Hendricks Andrew Hutchins Angela “Roux” Roulette Angela Davenport Angela J. Pearson Angeline Betts Anthony Saunders Anthony Williams Arica Lynn Ariele Hardy Arlana Coleman Asheley Brown Ashley Garland Audrey Cutts Benjamin McReynolds Bianca Russell Bob Baker Bosede A Iyewarun, EarKandie! Boss Kingz Brandon Amayzn Nelson Brian Foster Brian Kennedy Bridgette R. Johnson Brittany Jones Brittany Leek Brooks Proctor Calvin Meeks Carlanda McKinney Carlose Estes Carolyn House Stewart Champu Hair Design Charles E Smiley Charles Lambert Chinda's "YOU" Nique Chris Hutchins Chris Westmoreland Christopher White Cj Nash, Jem Elite All Stars Clarence Lomax Clarence Lomax Consuelo Ross Coralyn Martin Corey Phillips Crystal Lumpkins Curshion Jones Curtis Brown D 'Juan Love D. Baker Damon Bryant Damon Patterson Dana Gilmore Danielle Jones Darrel Davis Darron LaMonte Edwards Daszanice Martin David Lux Davyeon Ross Denise Kelly Dexter McCluster Diallo French Diana Gordon


DJ Franklin Dollface Beauty Salon Dominique Hernandez Donnie Wilson Doretha Williams Doug Ngomsi Dr. Andrea Hendricks Dr. Doretha Williams Dr. Edward Underwood Dr. Philip Hickman Draque's Barbershop Dwayne Bowe EarKandie! Earl Smith Ed Butler Emanuel Cleaver, II Eric Harland Eric McTye Erika Brice Erinn Stacie EsCu Models Develop-ment Group EVEREADY Frank Ford Fred Buford Fred Wise Gabrielle Phillips Garrick Whittington Garry Lumpkins Gary Mitchell George Forte Gina McFadden Glen Stylez Glenn North Gregory A. Carroll Gregory Ikner Harold L. Holliday, III Headz-Up Beauty & Barber Supply ICONS I'Keim Berger Iman Lott India Williams Isaac Cates and Ordained Gospel Ensemble James Miller Jamie Braden Janelle Monae Jason Betts Jason Walters Jauqua Preston Jeffrey L. Primos Jenna Hanchard Jermaine Reed Jesse Barnes Jessikha Williams Jodi Joe Seabrooks John Hundley Johnnie Wilson Joseph Thomas, Joyce Williams Judah Fitness, LLC Julee Jonez Karam “Ashot” Johnson Karla Gray Katrina Leonard Keanan Weir Keara Austin Keishaun Redmond Kelly Jones Ken Lumpkins Kendall Madison Kenyatta Woods Kerwin Young

Kevin Williams Kiki Curls Kill Swim Kinshasa Smith Kinshasa/owner Knappy Rootz Knappy Rootz Beauty Salon Kolby Smith Kristin Lambert Kristin Lambert Krystal Tatney Kween Colston LaDonna Adams LaDwan Herring LaMonica Moore-Madden Larry Alexander Larry Lester LaToya Traylor LaTreena Lambert Lauren Thomas LeAndrea Mack Lee Langston Lena Banks Lenora Payne Lesa Montgomery LeShea Wright LeTysha Montgomery LeVelle Lewis Diuguid Lewis George Walker Lezlie Berger, Lonnie Bush Lonnie McFadden Louie Buchanan of LB Customs Luse Hairs MAC Salon Madeline Romious Madia Cooper Maggie Townsend Mario McCrary Mark A. Watson Mark Bryant Melba Curls Melonie Jones Melvin Porter Michael E. Brooks michael watson Michele Watley MicKey POW!ers Midwest Spartans Mike James, Jr. Miko Richardson Monika samuels Moraima Hernandez MsTreena M'vyonne Payne Naturally Trendy Salon Naturally Trendy Salon & Barber Neo Natural Soul Nia Richardson Nina Badd NuWayv Paget Alves Paula Lang Performance Packaging Group Petey Sensay Phil Spencer Prep With Me Principle Intelligence Prof T Qiana Bass Qiana Thomason Qudos

Ralph Caro Ralph Reid Ramona Davis Randi McCreary Randy D. Dunn Randy Hall RaShaun Garlington, "Soul Sistah" Raye Jackson Raye Jackson Rhenate Hodges Rochinda Chism Roger C. Williams, Jr. EdD Rome Ron Lindsay Rosalon Saisha Beecham Samie Parker #18 Sean Smith Sean Tyler Shae` Mara Shane Evans Shani Tate Sharon Sanders Brooks Shawn Edwards Shemeka Cockerm Sherry Lumpkins Shivon Starr Shomari Benton Simeon Taylor Sly James Sosha Oshaye Stacie Harrison Stacy Brown Stand Out Style Stefan Jones Stefan Jones Stephanie Clark Stylist/Owner Ericka Lewis Sun-Up Jones Tammy Edwards Tara Russell Ted Crews Ted McKnight Terance Williams Terence Berger Terra Merriwether Terrell Jolly Terrell L The Recipe – Priest and 3-3-7 Theory Theory Theresa Sanders Tiffaney Oakes Tiffany Wheeler Tiffany Williams Tone Henderson Tony "prof.t" Tolbert Tony Van Trece Tovah's Therapeutic Bodywork Toya T.T. Wells Trilogy Sports & Fitness UMB Bank Vicki Kelley Victor Hooks W. Sarah Fletcher Warnae Watkins Windell Fields Wing Busters Wrayne Simmons Zekia Geotcha

For the Next Girl Who Dreams

Chantell Garrett Photos, Raye Jackson


Another weekend, and R.U.B.I.E.S. works hands-on with young ladies. Here, Alexis Frazier works on her Vision Board.

Words, LeAndrea Mack


he impact of a young girl having positive role models is intricate in her development. Aware of how much the women in her family influenced her, Chantell Garrett, president and founder of R.U.B.I.E.S.,

(Realizing yoUr Best In Every Situation) INC saw this need and drafted a business model after returning for her senior year at Dell University in New Orleans, Louisiana soon after Hurricane Katrina hit.

The ideas in her draft sat on the shelf for awhile but after returning to her hometown of Kansas City, she quickly noticed the need for female mentors and wanted to “showcase the alternative of what the media portrays us [African American women] to be.” The portrayals of unruly, disrespectful and uneducated black women plagued our TV screens and young girls everywhere were tuning in. Without positive role models, this is what they see and aspire to be. It is what they will mimic and how they will conduct themselves. However, as most African-American 7

women know, this is not us. We are educators, entrepreneurs, and leaders. And through programs like R.U.B.I.E.S., INC young girls are able to connect with positive, inspirational women through their mission to “Educate, Equip, and Empower undeserved girls with knowledge and skills to succeed in College,

Career, and Community. Growing up in the inner city and attending Kansas City Missouri School District’s Lincoln Preparatory Academy she says, “I am these girls! I was a first-generation college student who navigated that process. I know what it is like to have dreams and want more! I had the desire to know and meet women who are successful and can share their stories of the same struggles of wanting to get "there" and how they truly got "there". I've been a girl of heartbreak so I know how to help a girl through that process. And what stories I don't have, other women do. They are the ones who can help girls get over the past and move forward to embracing life and achieving their goals.”

Why Mentoring Is So Important

–Chantell Garrett

Mentoring is important at any age because:

Ashley Johnson, Chantell Garrett, Lora Ledbetter, Mishayla Murrell and Alexis Frazier.

R.U.B.I.E.S 2013 Ruby Red

Words, Lena Banks

Slippers Gala: Two years ago, what started out as an idea written on a piece of paper by R.U.B.I.E.S President and Founder Chantell Garrett, came to fruition through a beautiful “Wizard of Oz” themed ceremony, honoring four extraordinary women. The R.U.B.I.E.S Inc. 2013 Ruby Red Slippers Gala commenced Fri-


Everyone needs to know someone believes and supports them


Everyone needs someone with an open ear, honest mouth and confiding heart.

Everyone needs someone positive to look up to especially if that person shares a similar experience or life. Rubies offers many programs including Project 100, a four-year cohort model that focuses on college preparation and college access. It is a mentoring program for girls who are first -generation college students.


Continued from page 7 There are no signs of slowing down from R.U.B.I.E.S. This past October the organization also held the Ruby Red Slippers Gala to honor and celebrate extraordinary women from all walks of life.

R.U.B.I.E.S., INC held their 3rd annual “Unwrap A Gift” holiday toy drive on December 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Southeast Community Center. The event provided for over 300 families with holiday cheer, gifts and warmth items. For more details visit their website at: day, October 25th with the purpose of awarding Kansas City area difference makers and highlighting the R.U.B.I.E.S Inc. program initiatives. (Continued on page 14)




Pics: Raye Jackson

The Big Step Off 2013 Over two months in the making, Kansas City was presented a treat with the 10th Annual Big Step Off. Though there’s “stepping” across the nation, Kansas City’s two-stepping stands uniquely and arguably among the preeminent presentations of dance. De Barker, has been in the forefront of KC’s dance scene—2 stepping, line dancing and traveling the nation exposing music and dance lovers to what “we” do. There are fundamental that classify the movements as twostepping, but it’s the personalization, style and character that creates winners. De coordinated this year’s contest themed, “Step Ya Game Up”. Through a variety of venues and rounds of preliminaries the result was six finalists, performing on November 8th at Club Skyline. Cash, prizes and the KC (Continued on page 11)


Kween Colston, one of the finalists this year.

(Continued from page 10)

2-Step Rings—the official trophies--were on the line. The winners for this year's Big StepOff -3rd Place - Freddy Sherman and Kieanna Brooks, 2nd Place - Tony Keith Scott and Tierra Love and ...The 1st Place winners for The Big Step Off 2013, Mike Henderson and Jade Hubbard. For more information on future events, "Like" the FaceBook page - I "Like" Kansas City 2Step 11



Tony Keith Scott and Tierra Love


(Continued from page 8)

KPRS Hot 103.3 DJ Julee Jonez served as the mistress of ceremonies and introduced us to three exceptionally motivated business women. Each woman received a separate award in recognition of the tremendous strides they have made in the community. Jennifer Ingraham, who received the Journey of Courage award, takes volunteerism and service to the next level. Ingraham serves on a number of boards such as the American Red Cross of Greater Kansas City, The Girl Scout Council of Kansas and Missouri, and the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City. The Dream Chaser award was given to the President and CEO of Central Exchange, Cici Rojas. Rojas makes political advocacy and multicultural awareness a priority by leading two Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that serve the Dallas and Washington DC areas. Tammy Edwards was awarded with the Woman of Wisdom award and rightfully so. Edwards spreads her wisdom through academic mentorship and has held numerous leadership roles in business and civic organizations. She is the Vice President of Community Development of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City as well as the President of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and co-founder of the Kansas City Leaders Forum. Last but certainly not least, the final award was presented by Garrett herself, to Jewel of the Year, former R.U.B.I.E.S mentee Briana Piercey. Piercey joined the organization in 2011 and was a participant in the Project 100 program. She is currently a sophomore at the University of Central Missouri with a g.p.a standing of 3.8 and continues to contribute to R.U.B.I.E.S. Inc. Moreover, the event was two-fold. The gala was not only an awards ceremony but also a platform to display the impact that the organization has made in Kansas City over the last three years since its inception. R.U.B.I.E.S which stands for “Realizing yoUr Best In Every Situation” has made remarkable advances in mentorship and scholarships. The organization, which focuses on aiding young girls who aspire to be first gen(Continued on page 15)


(Continued from page 14)


eration college students, has already provided mentoring and college preparation to 125 young women as well as awarded $6000 in scholarships.

Spates concluded the ceremony by presenting a Glass Slipper award to Garrett for her diligent service and commitment to the organization.

Many others gave remarks during the ceremony including R.U.B.I.E.S Inc. board member Secah Shahib and honorary gala co-chairs Gary and Anita Maltbia. Gala co-chairs Kimberly Shahib and Brandi

The event was wrapped up with dancing and socializing with music entertainment provided by DJ Ben Rich.


013 2 F O S E I V THE K MO C A L B ve





w Sha

r dwa nE


Sla a ars tation day e Y S 2 oli H 1.1 itvale tler an u u B r M F t 2. Bes els' The rdom e h i Sta 3. T e Dan m e Fro 4. L Feet lk to a 0 W 5. 2 ong L : 2 6. 4 ndela a of 7. M edom ice n o i Fre Capr cat i f i l lue ersimp B . 8 Ov n ot uty A o a L 9. e B e Her me th Gim . 0 1

I LOVE BLACK MOVIE AWARDS Legacy Award Hustler of the Year Jay-Z The young’un who often goes by Hov and sometimes moonlights as a rapper executive produced the global smash "The Great Gatsby" and the movie’s eclectic soundtrack. Jigga also executive produced the indie gem "An Oversimplification of Her

Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker has been entrenched in Hollywood for years. But the actor, director and producer took his talents to new heights in 2013. He starred in "Lee Daniels The Butler" and "Black Nativity" and produced "Fruitvale Station." What can't this guy do?

Beauty", set an urban version

Performance of the Year

of "Annie" into motion and

Lupita Nyong'o

delivered an avant garde cool

This Kenyan born actress

music video clip for his song

was the heart and soul of "12

"Picasso Baby." What more

Years a Slave" as Patsey, a

can we say?

tortured slave with the ability to pick 500 pounds of

Shot Caller of the Year

cotton a day. The Ivy

Brad Pitt

Leaguer delivered a power-

The superstar actor and red

fully nuanced performance

carpet icon produced "12

that stayed in many viewers

Years a Slave" through his

heads long after the final

production company, Plan B,

credits. To say her heart-

despite a deluge of naysayers.

breaking performance is

Good move, Mr. Pitt. The

memorable is an understate-

film, a true masterpiece, re-


ceived the best reviews of the year, is an Oscar frontrunner and can potentially earn more Oscar nominations than any single film in history. Way to represent the M-O Brad Pitt. Breakthrough of the Year Ryan Coogler The rookie director caught Hollywood's attention with his gripping first film "Fruitvale Station", which he also wrote. Only time will tell if he lives up to the hype but the award-winning "Fruitvale Station" is one heck of a start. 17

Forest Whitaker

Welcome Back Performance of the Year Halle Berry In the past few years Academy Award winner Halle Berry has been in full mommy mode. But she returned in 2013 to star in the hit movie "The Call." It was like she had never left. Thanks for coming back Halle. We want more! We want more!


P.U.R.E. By Randi McCreary

What made you want to partake in Kansas City’s nightlife? A: Actually, it was something that goes back to my days in High School. My god-brother Vonzell was heavy in the nightlife. I used to run with him during the weekend, and just being in that party atmosphere was something I loved to do. Later on when I went off to college I started to do a lot of the different party flyers for the parties in Atlanta and that kept me around. I learned a different side of the game than I saw in KC. I saw different ways to approach nightlife, and I wanted to bring that ATL feel back to the city. I saw a void. There are hood parties, or super, super dressed up-almost formal events and, I wanted PURE to serve that median between the two.  What brought about the name “PURE”? A: Honestly, it was me and about four other people. My man Bryce, Travis, Kerrshawn, & Kevin. We all came up with about 20 different names and we just voted. We tried to get down to what made the most sense, which one resembled the mission that we felt was ahead of us, and the direction we wanted to take. Travis actually came up with the suggestion for PURE, and he had an acronym for it which was, Prosperity, Under, Remarkable, Experiences. That spoke volumes of what we wanted to do, it wasn’t just about making money but, it was about creating life-long experiences that people will remember for the rest of their lives. When we voted, PURE was the name that stuck.  I’ve seen you refer to PURE as an empire. Is that a reference to the success you’ve had? A: Not at all. Actually, the whole empire thing came along when we were looking to branch out to do other things. So, the empire motif speaks towards the other things we want to do outside of this nightlife. We have fashion shows, charity events, and fitness projects. Just to put that notion out there that we want to do more than just parties. This is an empire, not just an entertainment group. We have various people on the team that have specialties, categories, and fields that are beyond just parties and nightlife. So, “empire” is to embody a wide variety of things we want to do.  Who are your counterparts in PURE? Still a lot of the same faces. Even some of the faces you don’t see as much still play a behind the scenes role. So of course, Light Out, DJ Q, Brandon Hunley, Lance who just came back form Detroit-he’s becoming a big contributing factor to some of the things we’re planning to do in the future, of course (Continued on page 22)


JaRon Moore

P.U.R.E. Five years in, and still one of KC’s tops in nightlife.


Black Tie Fly

1st Annual Charity Casino Night was held November 29th 2013 at The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum; 1616 E. 18th Street, Kansas City, MO. The event benefitted the Know Joey? Foundation 501c3 a non-profit organization in Kansas City, Mo. The purpose of this event was to bring together business, social and community leaders, for a memorable fun filled night of networking as well as fund raising for this well deserving foundation. The event included a mock casino, opportunities for prizes, silent auctions, vendors and more. Presented by Fly Society KC, the Know Joey? Foundation and media sponsor, TWELVE Magazine..





(Continued from page 18)

Brooklyn, India, Dashni, Kendra-though she’s away,she’s still apart, Jordan Marie, Kenny, Ben Rich would kind of be our extended fam now-he’s ventured off to create his own lane to beyond pictures; he’s doing music now and a whole lot of other things, and it goes on from there, we’ve got Adrienne, and Latesia. I even consider Vannie our sister organization. So, it’s big and still growing. That’s the best thing about it. We have a lot of different people, and a lot of different talents, and that’s what makes us unique.  What are some of the pros & cons in this business? It really depends on the person, and what you’re looking to do. If you want notoriety, or that 15 minutes, it can be that but, there’s a bad side to that too. People make assumptions on who they think you are, just because you’re that person in the spotlight. People misinterpret the way you move sometimes. With me for instance, although I consider myself a social person, I’m not the MOST sociable person. A lot of times you’ll see me in the back by myself maybe looking at my phone or having a drink, maybe looking at the crowd trying to see what’s going on. While, I consider that as an opportunity to step away from everything, from the outside in, others may look at that as “Oh, this guy is stuck-up, arrogant, he doesn’t like interacting with other people. So, one of the biggest cons I would say are the misconceptions that can come along with it. Dealing with that and trying to overcome that, and showing people that there’s more to it than what meets the naked eye. Outside of that, there’s always issues with venues, especially being black people don’t want to take a chance on you. Our crowd has a tendency to start trouble, and have violence. It comes with a certain stigma. A lot of people don’t want to deal with you, and see it as a risk. When I say “our crowd”, not just PURE crowd but, the Hip-Hop crowd in general. It makes it extremely hard to go out there and find new venues. That was one of the things that made us different. We continued to find places that people had never been before, and I felt that was important, and we’re really going to make a new experience. So, it’s a stigma that comes along with being black and young. People look at is as another hip-hop concert or something that is going to end with a fight or somebody getCourtesy of Kenny Johnson Photography ting shot, it’s not always like that. Our goal was to do the opposite of that but, a lot of people won’t know that off the bat. It takes a lot of resume building. 22

You’ve done numerous events in Kansas City, which one would you consider being the most successful? A: When I think of success, there are a lot of different tiers that go into it. Did the promotion go right? Did we do everything we wanted to do before the event in marketing with the videos and soundtrack? Was the flyer something people never seen before and they appreciated? Then on the day of the event, was the venue laid out correctly? Was the bar service operating the way it should? Did the crowd come dressed to fit the atmosphere we tried to create? Was the DJ on point? Did the birthday people have fun? Did we sell a lot bottles? It’s a whole lot of things that go into it. So, the one that comes to mind is “The Declaration” the 4th of July event at Luna we did about two years ago, and it was just one of those nights everything just came together well. Everything was solid, from the promotion, the DJ Hi-C from Houston. Everything just clicked that night. If you asked anybody about that night, they’ll tell you it was just something different about it. Just one of those nights you never forget and that’s what we’re here for.  You’ve brought some high profile to host/attend your events, who are some of the people? Dwayne Wade, Keyshia Dior, Teyanna Taylor, some of the biggest DJ’s in the country, Shawn Mac from Chicago for Dj Q’s birthday a few years ago, Efeezy from Miami-who is easily about to be there biggest DJ in the country from a Hip-Hop stance, DJ Hi-C from The Declaration , Chris Paul, of course our local athletes like Jamaal Charles-whom we’ve done a number of events with, Alec Burks-Grandview Alumni who’s with the Utah Jazz now. To bring people in has not always been our primary goal. If the party is marketed correctly, and you get people excited enough, you don’t necessarily have to do those things to create that atmosphere that people won’t forget. So, we try to focus on the product itself before we start adding people to it. Jasmine- Once again, I appreciate you taking the time out to do this interview on behalf of myself and Xii Magazine. We wish you much success in all of your endeavors and PURE. JaRon- I appreciate it. Shout out to Kenny Lumpkins. A lot of people don’t know that he is one of the people that inspired me to do the type of events we do. I never really had the opportunity to tell him that. Really, I’ve never told anybody that. He’s one of the pioneers in this game, that’s been consistent with his values and what he wants his events to be, and doesn’t compromise that for capital gain. Definitely big shout out to him!




KC’s Own


to MEN

A Debonair Affair was a premier, elegant and unique, first

time event for Kansas City, It was a celebration of youth, education and scholarship with pageantry, dance and a whole lot of family friendly fun! It was held Saturday, December 14th at the Holiday Inn SE Resort Hotel. Presented by the Beta Lambda Educational Institute of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the event was the culmination of over three months of workshops, training, presentations and choreography. Fitting to the name, young men donned top hats and tuxedos with tails. Parents wore gowns and tuxes. Guests were treated to a variety of performances, including those by mothers and Alpha men. A Debonair Affair was a unique forum for young men of distinction ages 7 to 12 to develop the foundational skills and talents to become responsible community servant leaders. With the participation of parents and community partners, these young men will become the scholars, financial and political leaders of our future. Through event fundraising, the young men also begin to develop their scholarship funds through the event. Although they are young, developing a savings plan early is key to preparing for college. For more information:


TWELVE Magazine on the scene at the 2013 KC Black Expo at Bartle Hall.

Eric Harland, photo




BLACK MEN By Brian Foster


e honest: When reading this title, did you think of it as a call to service? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. The media continues to inundate us with messages reinforcing ugly stereotypes about African-American males, in spite of the plethora of Black men accomplishing great things in the world. From science (Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson) to academia (Henry Louis Gates), from literature (August Wilson) to music (Stevie Wonder), from religion (Senate Chaplain Barry Black) to politics (President Barack Obama), from newsmakers (Cory Booker) to news commentators (Roland Martin), from civil rights activists (Harry Belafonte) to civil servants (Kansas City Mayor Sly James), from business tycoons (Earvin “Magic” Johnson) to sports icons (Michael Jordan), from the young (ShotTracker’s Davyeon Ross) to the not-so-young (Hollywood’s Sidney Poitier) – Black men continue to make positive contributions to the human experience. Yet there remains a prevailing representation of AfricanAmericans – specifically, young Black males – as ignorant and irresponsible, unworthy of investment. The 100 Black Men of Greater Kansas City – part


100 Black Men with TWELVE Magazine hosted the second annual, Network with the 100 in June.

of The 100 Black Men of America Inc.’s network of over 100 chapters worldwide – is comprised of African-American men from varying backgrounds and professions, dedicated to serving as living, breathing counterpoints to the inexhaustible propaganda bombarding our community’s children. We do not stand alone: there are a number of social organizations, such as Jack and Jill, who deliver programs serving young Black men. Alumni Greek-letter fraternities – for example, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity’s local chapter serves as mentors for Jack and Jill’s Beautillion participants – also provide examples of AfricanAmerican manhood for our young people to emulate. One of the unique value propositions offered by the 100 is that our primary purpose for existing is mentoring -improving the quality of life and enhancing educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans. “Real Men Giving Real Time” – the 100’s mantra – is about as descriptive as it gets in portraying what this group offers to its mentees. What does “Real Time” mean? In 2012, members volunteered over 1,600 cumulative hours in the service of our mission, ranging from educational workshops to community service activities with program mentees.

From my ica’s nastandpoint, tional conour greatest ference in investment New Orwith our boys leans, where is in providing our menexperiences tees particithat they pated with might not oththeir peers erwise get – from other pursuing the chapters same level of around the variety that globe in exists among youthboth mentors themed acand mentees. tivities and This year competialone, our tions tai“Mighty lored speSome of the young men of the 100 mentoring program being recognized at the 100 Gala. Bytes” robotcifically for ics team comthem (e.g., peted in the Vex Robotics competition African-American History Challenge). While (technology); our “Running 100” team particithere, the mentor chaperones escorted them pated in the Susan G. Komen “Race for the on tours of area universities (Xavier, Dillard, Cure” fundraising event (physical fitness/ Tulane, Loyola and New Orleans) – offering their first glimpse of a college campus.

“One of the unique value propositions offered by the 100 is that our primary purpose for existing is mentoring -- improving the quality of life and enhancing educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans. “Real Men Giving Real Time” community service); the Kansas City Black Pilots of America discussed aviation careers, and took each mentee up for short flights in a private aircraft, and; the entire group participated in history by attending the inaugural “Missouri Classic” at Arrowhead Stadium, featuring teams from Lincoln and Grambling universities – two historically Black colleges. In June, two of our program mentees were selected to attend the 100 Black Men of Amer27

Partnerships have been key to our success; in addition to maximizing our resources, it opens us to mentoring opportunities beyond our core program. A sampling includes the following:

King/Weeks Elementary School – The 100 conducted its award-winning reading program for the school’s 6th grade males; this year, participants achieved a 96% overall comprehension proficiency score. The program is entering its 6th year. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity (Independence Chapter) and Jack and Jill of Johnson County – During one of the Kappa’s mentoring sessions, the 100 conducted a “Black Men’s Health” workshop for Jack and Jill Beaus participating in the 2013 Beautillion (we also purchased an ad). (Continued on page 29)

Xii Salutes the alumni Black Greeks, most of which were founded in January. We thank them all for their service and history of achievement. For this, our men’s issue, we recognize FRATS for their style.


Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. (l. to r.) Michael Copeland, Ben Richardson, Keith Dixon, Calvin Vick


R.U.B.I.E.S. Inc. – Our partnership

(Continued from page 27)

20/20 Leadership – The 100 invited its

with R.U.B.I.E.S. Inc., a mentoring organization focused on African-American young women, has thus far consisted of supporting its “Unwrap a Gift” holiday extravaganza by donating the items received from our last two Toy Drive events. Beginning in 2014, the 100 and R.U.B.I.E.S. will seek opportunities for our respective mentoring program participants to interact with one another (such as the 2014 citywide “Urban Teen Summit” being planned in cooperation with other community groups).

mentoring program’s college-age alumni, during a school break, to participate with us in our “Gentlemen’s

Roundtable” discussion with 20/20’s high school seniors, facilitating a sharing of experiences regarding life on campus.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City – We included the organization in the 100’s “Celebration of Fathers” event, recognizing outstanding fathers in the community; Big Brothers honored its outstanding “Big” volunteer. In addition; the 100’s mentees were guests of Big Brothers Big Sisters during the Kansas City Chiefs’ preseason Charity game.


“...African-American men from varying backgrounds and professions, dedicated to serving as living, breathing counterpoints to the inexhaustible propaganda bombarding our community’s children. “

Between our own initiatives and collaborations with other like-minded organizations, the 100 Black Men of Greater Kansas City directly reached about 80 young men this year – and that doesn’t include the youth we encounter when we’re out and about. While we’re happy to have had a significant impact in those young people’s lives, that number is, unfortunately, a drop in a bucket when compared to the overwhelming need in our community. (Continued on page 35)


STYLE Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (l. to r.) Robert Ratliff, Casie Murff, Brent Harris





Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (l. to r.) Jay Powell, Jarrett Brooks



When you describe plush lounges, flat screen TVs, fireplaces and bottle service, it seems to be an immediate conflict to the term, bowling alley. Yet, Z-Strike accomplishes this concept with great execution. You’ll see the venue billed as the hottest night spot, family entertainment, and restaurant and it truly is a “Check All of the Above” concept.




By: Gabrielle Phillips It's the sound of the alarm clock firing off 15 minutes late that sends the dreadful thought through your mind, "How did I oversleep!?" Of course, the answer comes to you as you're sitting in stop-and-go traffic 2 blocks away from your destination: You pressed the snooze button one too many times. With every step you take the sound of your breath gets heavier, sweat has found residence in your freshly laundered attire, and the pounding of your heart begins to reverberate louder then everything around you. The overwhelming thoughts of work, bills, school, children, finances, health, family, the economy, and gas, begins to build more pressure than you can bear. I just can't fail. I'm sure we all have had this experience at least once in our lives. If you haven’t, you will. It’s inevitable. What matters is how you handle those weight-of-the-world moments. Will you rise, or will you fall? How do we overcome the ongoing battle of stress? According to the Medical Dictionary, stress is defined as an organism’s total response to environmental demands or pressures. That means that stress is triggered when we perceive individuals and/or our surroundings as straining or threatening. Under stress, the mind instinctively prepares for what could go wrong. We drive our bodies to prepare for danger before actual danger has presented itself. Unchecked, this primordial survival technique, sets the stage for stress related diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, heart disease, depression, obesity, autoimmune disease and many more. Rudy Boonstra, Ph.D., a leading researcher of stress and fitness, said it best, "We mull over things. We know the future and think about the past, often continually." We have to learn to monitor whether or not our situation is dire or relatively trivial. Learn the symptoms of stress and how to manage it:


Tips for managing stress:  Exercise has been proven to have a beneficial effect on a person's mental and physical state. Yoga, meditation, and deep breathing activates relaxation responses in the body. 

A healthy balanced diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables help balance body chemistry. Alternative methods include aromatherapy, acupuncture, homeopathy, and herbal medicine. 

Stress symptoms: Memory problems, inability to concentrate, poor judgment, dwelling on the negative, anxiousness, pacing, constant worrying, moodiness, irritability or short temper, agitation, feeling overwhelmed, constant sense of loneliness, isolation, depression, aches and pains, diarrhea or constipation, nausea or dizziness, chest pain, loss of sex drive, frequent colds, overeating or loss of appetite, procrastination, excessive use of alcohol and cigarettes. We must learn to adapt our natural stress response to modern life and concerns. While our ancestors faced frequent imminent lifethreatening dangers and the stress response was life-saving, the stakes are not so high for our dayto-day problems today so, we must temper our stress response accordingly. Then and only then will we be able to respond appropriately and healthily to today’s pressures and demands. Interested in herbal teas to relieve stress? Email for more information.

(Continued from page 29)

The demand for African-American mentors far outnumbers the 100’s ability to meet. We are constantly besieged with requests from parents, schools, churches, civic organizations, and community groups desperate for Black role models. What’s more: our chapter is comprised of 39 volunteers – men with careers, families, and interests which go beyond their commitment to our chapter; men who want to serve, but are time-constrained to stretch themselves much beyond the hours they already give. Service organizations need three things to survive: a worthwhile mission, a supportive environment in which to fulfill the mission, and resources – both monetary and human – with which to implement action plans in service of the mission. Funding is a challenge for any group; as long as one operates within the confines of our budget, one can still accomplish great things for area youth. The most precious resource is


time – hence, the more members the 100 can recruit, the more young people we can reach. The 100 Black Men of Greater Kansas City is as strong as its membership; our challenge will always be attracting African-American men willing to commit to being role models for our community and its youth. To be a role model, one should be doing something worthy of modeling. The issue is that the good, caring men we seek are already quite busy; convincing them to add mentoring to their schedule can sometimes be a tricky enterprise. There are no specific tactics anyone can employ to ensure 100% success in soliciting the best volunteers. The best the 100 can do is to market our organization in the manner we do: as an amalgamation of professional Black men, trying to make a difference in the community. Hopefully, this message resonates with gentlemen willing to serve as human mirrors, so that African-American boys will choose to follow a responsible path to adulthood – education, physical fitness, nutrition, and economic self-sufficiency – and become what they see.

VOLUME magazine Photo: Jessikha Williams


Twitter: AndreaSingsT Facebook: Andrea Tribitt





Andrea Tribitt is an international vocal and performance coach. Vocally, Andrea is an extremely skilled controlled songstress. She is capable of executing many diverse genres on a wide spectrum from Jazz to Classical with ease and finesse. Although known as a Gospel singer, she isn’t confined to any genre, realizing that she can minister and best reach people through a variety of styles which she enjoys. “I find the best way to witness is through my life, not my words”, she says. “Let them see the spirit of God inside me.” In 2011, this superb singer, songwriter, actress released her debut CD entitle “Introducing Andrea Melodious Message”. Andrea is a sought after Praise and Worship leader. She instructs Praise and Worship workshops throughout the U.S. and is called upon as a consultant. In 2013 she produced and recorded her first praise and worship CD. This collection of songs embodies the man-to-God song at its best. She’s exercised her talents since junior high and high school days and blossomed into a highly sought after professional. Now, for over a decade, Andrea has traveled to various countries to perform, but in 2009 she was invited to teach gospel music in Japan. This is an unconventional way to spread the gospel. She enjoys transcending cultural differences using music as the bridge bringing unity and joy to all of those under the sound of her voice. Tribitt is a former lead singer of the Grammy Award and 2012 Image Award winning Sounds of Blackness; traveling the globe and captivating listeners worldwide. She’s worked with Quincy Jones, Kathleen Battles, Trisha Yearwood, Kenny Rodgers, Usher, and a host of other world renowned artists. Music isn’t the only thing Andrea is passionate about. She loves teaching and mentoring youth. With all of her worldwide accolades, she still resides in Bonner Springs, KS with her family.



The enchanting and soothing sound of Eric Ashby captivates the hearts and souls of listeners through ministry. Though born in Missouri in


1981, Eric Ashby lived most of his life in Chicago, IL. There, he was molded musically and sculpted into the worshiper he is today. Many of Eric’s influences include Commissioned, Fred Hammond, Brian McKnight, and Aaron Sledge. By taking a little from each one his influences, Eric formed his unique sound. Though raised in the church, Eric steered toward the road to R&B. In 1999, Eric attended Iowa State University, where he majored in theater and performing arts. While on the rise, God began to deal with Eric about the calling that he had upon his life. Like the prodigal son, Eric left Iowa in 2003 and returned to Chicago to fulfill the duty that was required of him. There, he served as a member of the praise team and God began to cultivate and equip Eric for the anointing that he has upon his life today. Eric and his wife Tanesha relocated to Missouri in 2005, to serve under the pastoral leadership of his parents, Eric and Winifred Ashby. Eric now serves as the minister of music at Charity Church in Blue Springs, MO. Most of his music can clearly be seen as Gospel/ Inspiration, but it can range to even smooth jazz. As he states, “I write from my life. This is Life Music. Great music doesn’t have a demographic to stick to,” says Ashby. Now on the eve of the much anticipated album release, Eric sets out on his God-given journey to reach the lost and touch the hurting through the gift of song. His hit single, Footsteps, has been used as a tool to inspire and motivate many all over the world. His prayer is that the lyrics that God gives him in his songs will bring life and restoration to those who hear the true voice of Eric Ashby. His work has also touched lives by ministering through song for the Susan G. Komen race of 30,000, for the last couple of years. His desire is to use his musical gift and travel full-time and touch lives. for the last couple of years.



In life, there are many talented individuals whose musical gifting and expressionism appear effortless to audiences. Some are born with these gifts while others are trained to become great musicians and psalmists. However, there are those

Photo: Jessikha Williams magazine


who are exceptionally blessed to marry their natural gifting with their learned skills to become known as “masters” of their craft! Having been compared to Oscar Peterson, Thomas Whitfield and Richard Smallwood, Isaac S. Cates immerges on the gospel music scene as an artist with an astonishing musical knowledge, skill and unparalleled creativity that places second, only to his passion for ministry. Born in Kansas City, Kansas and affectionately known as a child prodigy, Isaac has always shown a great interest in music. With a strong spiritual foundation laid by his parents, Isaac’s participation in the music ministry at his local home church began at the very young age of four, as did his formal training. 38 ISAAC CATES

Trained in writing and composition, having studied piano performance and choral conducting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, in his short life, he has won numerous accolades in local, state, regional and national competitions earning him recognition as one of the most skilled and talented musical gifts to the

world. Isaac has served as workshop clinician abroad, teaching vocal diction and serving as adjudicator for several vocal, instrumental and composition seminars and competitions. Though generally classified in the Gospel genre, Cates’ work spans the spectrum. Jazz and even Hip -Hop work are among his credits. Sharing the same studio with Tech N9ne, he’s even had an opportunity to work with him. Even within Gospel he works to create new angles, such as the case with 39

his song, Joy, which has a strong infusion of NeoSoul or the song Take My Life with a Mozart-esque and Gospel merge. Through his diversity and versatility, his priority is spreading the Gospel. “I want to encourage people’s lives,” he says. Many learn of his music through the Gospel ensemble he co-founded nearly ten years ago, Ordained. But he’s worked with some of the best in the nation such as Pastor Michael Lampkin, known from BET’s Sunday’s Best to Melonie DanielsWalker, leading vocalist and writer who’s worked with Mariah Carery as both background singer and vocal director, and TV work such as performing sitcom theme song for UPN’s Half & Half. Of course, he’s also collaborated with Brian Kennedy, one of KC’s superstar producers, on the instrumental, Silent Night. In terms of inspiration, he leaves these words for Xii readers, “Have a life of purpose. Live for something other than yourself.”

By Terrell L. McTyer



he year 2014 is sure to be full of surprises. Be that as it may, the opportunity for your favorite pastor or motivational speaker to deliver a plethora of catchy phrases for the New Year will remain the same. Let’s guess what axioms are on the horizon…     

Trust and Believe in 2014 Getting Healthy and Lean in 2014 Claim Your Dream in 2014 In 2014 Imma Praying Machine Legalize Weed in 2014 (hopefully not)

While some of these may encourage you for the moment, you are soon left feeling empty and disappointed. The New Year usually represents a second chance. Sometimes adverse events in the previous year cause suspicions of some mysterious sinister force working against you. If you are determined to have a better year than ever before, a move past the ridiculous resolution which rarely makes it beyond Black History 40

Month is necessary. Have you ever asked yourself… Why do my New Year resolutions, dreams and goals seem to fail? Resolutions are something you merely wish for. Dreams are something you simply desire. And while goals are good; they are something you strive for but are often never met. Perhaps you should try something different… something better. I encourage you to think of resolutions, dreams and goals as subpar conventions. Consider a higher paradigm – SYSTEMS. A New Year resolution says, “I want to lose 30lbs by the summer;” while a system says, “I will begin to eat right and exercise.” A goal is an end. A system is an action. Systems transform your mind and reach far beyond any calendar date. Create systems for your life which will direct you towards your destiny and propel you into your purpose.

Begin 2014 Inspired Declare these fourteen life transforming systems: 1. I will grow in knowledge, power, and wisdom. 2. I will live an organized life. 3. I will simplify and declutter. 4. I will show people I care according to their unique way of receiving love. 5. I will emote and reflect enthusiasm. 6. I will open my heart, re-gift trust, and build hope. 7. I will carefully contribute criticism constructively and grant compliments generously. 8. I will quickly find my flaws and supplement my strengths. 9. I will be an active listener. 10. I will realize my potential is self-perpetuating. 11. I will recognize and respect people’s differences but treat everyone equally. 12. I will balance my attitude with confidence and humility. 13. I will invest in my personal health spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally. 14. I will love God and love people with all my heart, my mind, and resources.

What systems are you INSPIRED to declare over your life? Terrell L. McTyer is the pastor of Manifestation Christian Center. He is a loving husband and father, accomplished Gospel music artist, marketing professional, and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. 41


Presidents& Kings 42

Each January, the nation celebrates the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. With the passing of Nelson Mandela, Xii salute the lives of both leaders.

By Randi McCreary

W 43

hen the world says goodbye to someone great; someone that left a profound imprint that elevated human perception and relations, we inevitably ponder whether their practices and teachings will live on. Anointed leaders like Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King are prime examples. Both cultivated a

critical strand of hope destined to be woven into the virtues and morals future generations. A proclamation of fundamental truths buried in a society that would sooner reach for destruction of a gun than the uplift of an olive branch. (Continued on page 46)




Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (l. to r.) Stanley Taylor, Julius Brownlee.

(Continued from page 43)

Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Today’s youth may not be familiar with who he was, or what he believed in; but his teachings, influences and superhuman courage must be passed on to them – by us. We must teach and model what it truly means to persevere in the face of adversity and prevail for a greater purpose than ourselves. This purpose is reflected in what we alBoth King and ready know about our Mandela share a own American hero, Dr. position of integrity King. Both King and Mandela are driven by an inand willpower that tegrity and a will that raise the question challenge us to evolve as individuals and as a sociof what can ety. We are challenged learned from these to transcend racism, politics, violence. A key two men, and how component of meeting it can be benefited the challenge is educafrom in a society tion. When you know better, you can do better. that is constantly

testing the boundaMy high school prepared me well for college, and ries of racism, polimy matriculation at a unitics and violence. versity allowed me to flourish in the real world. However, there are glaring omissions in my formal education. The legacy and man that was Nelson Mandela is one example. I learned about Mandela from what I was told at home and later, on my own. Even the beloved television sitcom “The Cosby Show” taught me more about the Mandela that the classroom by infusing Mandela family names into the characters. I won’t claim that I can recall every fact I learned about Mandela as a youth, but I distinctly remember when he was released after nearly thirties years in prison. I can remember think-


ing, “What kind of person would be able to do that?” I encourage the teaching of history. The importance of facts and dates; the essential method of building a structure and a blueprint to how societies have developed and life-changing events that have occurred over time, but I believe that the real education and true wisdom lies in grappling with questions about character and humanity. If we educate scholars about the qualities that make one a nationally noteworthy human being; strength, perseverance, humility… we are potentially building character that mirrors the profound examples of unity, self-love and compassion. Mandela understood the dynamics of love and hate. On their correlation he stated, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” He also understood the roots of education that must grow to make any one person capable of expressing love and respect for other cultures and ethnicities. When we can understand that this has to be the initiative, it allows a clearer picture of what Mandela ultimately wanted for his nation: a place where every person felt they had an equal chance of living the best life possible. This is utopia cannot be accomplished by one person, but instead, from the efforts of a flourishing community with compassion for others in mind. Influence that is bred from human kindness is perhaps the best influence of all. Like Mandela, King wanted to reach all of humanity to build a better nation.

Imagine what the world would be like if every“An individual ,” Dr. King stated, “has not one adopted the words, the philosophy of King started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” An individual has not started living until he In their life times Dr. King and can rise above the President Mandela changed the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns course of history. In the classroom to the broader conand in history books it is noted cerns of all humanity.” that perhaps the greatest contributions to history from both men was to help bridge an enormous gap in the tattered bridge of civil rights. But the lesson that speaks the loudest is one that reminds us that we are working together for a greater cause. Too often we are caught up in overwhelming statistics or propaganda designed to divide us into marginal boxes. But when we push to a

greater good we can begin to change the world for the better. We can design a nation that is built not on greed or gain, but love. 47

and Mandela. Where would our education be? The dropout rate? The number of AfricanAmerican male teachers in the classroom? The murder rate? It may seem like an impossibility, but one person can live his life as an example of what we can do when we put our minds to it, then we are all capable. When Mandela passed, a friend of mine stated that we should not think of Mandela as a martyr or a legend, but an ordinary human being who was simply doing what he felt he needed to do. This potential is in all of us. It manifests when we speak up, upon seeing an injustice. It is felt in our efforts to ensure each person receives equal healthcare, education, benefits and opportunities. It is not a plan, but a passion that so many of us embrace. Great leaders; humble individuals like Dr. King and President Mandela remind us that sometimes the most eloquent words are born from hardship, and the biggest lessons can be taught in silence. These men were not worshiped for being heroes, but honored for being great human beings.


Janelle Monáe at the Uptown Theater NOV 2013

Alpha Phi Alpha on the scene at Xii Magazine’s event, #READY, 9.6.13, at the Ambassador Hotel. They’ve got a BIG plans for KC. Visit for all the haps. You don’t want to miss this.

Add your upcoming events and more to Just create a login or use your Facebook log-in.

Sat 01/04 Founders Day ALUMNI GREEK NIGHT Event type:   Venue: Groove Station: 9916 Holmes Kansas City MO Time: 7:30 PM - 1:30 AM Producer: TWELVE Magazine Web: Tue 01/14 Community Luncheon Event type: Business/Finance Venue: Sheraton Crown Center Atlanta Ballroom: 2345 McGee Kansas City MO Time: 12:00 AM - 1:30 PM Producer: Southern Christian Leadership Conference of GKC Contact: Arlana Coleman Email: Phone: 913 522-7526 Web: Thu 01/16 Black Achievers Award Dinner Event type: Business/Finance Venue: Sheraton Crown Center Chicago Ballroom: 2345 McGee Kansas City MO Time: 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM Producer: Southern Christian Leader48

ship Conference of GKC Contact: Arlana Coleman Email: Phone: 913 522-7526 Web: sclckc,org Fri 01/17 Sprint Artist Tribute Event type: Concert Venue: GEM Theater: 1615 E. 18th Street Kansas City MO Time: 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM Producer: Southern Christian Leadership Conference of GKC Contact: Arlana Coleman Email: Phone: 913 522-7526 Web: Mon 01/20 MLK Mass Celebration Event type: Community Action Venue: Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church: 2310 East Linwood Blvd Kansas City MO Time: 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM Producer: Southern Christian Leadership Conference of GKC Contact: Arlana Coleman Email: Phone: 913 522-7526 Web:

Sat 02/22 Women's Seminar in kcmo Event type: Conference Venue: Bluford Library: 3050 Prospect Ave. Kansas City MO Time: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM Producer: GYRL (GIVING YOURSELF REAL LOVE) Phone: 816 6510044 Sat 04/19 2014 Cotillion Event type:   Venue: Westin at Crown Center : Kansas City MO Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Producer: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.-Kansas City MO Alumnae Contact: Tausha Brooks Email: KCs Urban Source. Add Your Events!


By Iman Lott



Christ: he Reason

Now that gifts have been distributed, out of town family has returned to their domiciles and our decorations are slowly being returned to storage...did we pause long enough to reflect on the season’s true purpose...or even life as a whole? Good News! If you’re reading this, there’s still time. When I was a child, I thought as a child. I reveled in opening gifts wrapped in pretty paper and brightly colored ribbons, decorating trees, untangling Christmas lights, baking cookies for Santa. But as I got older, a shift began to take place. A lover of music, I began to listen to the lyrics of some of my favorite Christmas tunes and wondered “What child is this” that came on a “Holy night?” To many Christians this time of the year is indeed the most wonderful time. They celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the baby boy born of a virgin, conceived of the Holy Spirit and sent as a savior to all mankind. Somehow the celebration has become a little less sacred and more secular. We are bombarded with ads on television and the internet that recommend we reserve this time of year for shopping and spending which begs the question: has Christianity and its principles dimmed? I had the opportunity to ask Pastor Terrell L of Manifestation Christian Center and Pastor Michael Brooks of Zion Grove Baptist Church, their views on the current state of Christianity. Here’s what they had to say… During the Christmas season we as Christians are taught to revere Jesus and his birth. Do you think that the meaning of Christmas has been lost? TL: I do. When we think about the Christmas season we think about family and friends and gathering together and presents and there is nothing wrong with that if we were to take a moment and really focus on the birth of Christ from a theological aspect. I think the balance of that has definitely changed. I don’t know when there was a time that it was really about the birth of Christ. 50

MB: I think it’s changed a lot whereas the emphasis is not really on Christ but on Black Friday and getting deals at the store so I challenge my congregation. I don’t know if anyone ever accepts it, but I tell them if it’s Christ’s birthday you should be giving him something. How would you feel if it was your birthday and everyone got something but you? Everyone gets gifts but we never think about what we are going to give to Christ. How do you feel today’s media affects how someone views Christianity? MB: Media is designed for entertainment and I like to keep in people’s minds that it is just entertainment. There’s a show airing called Preachers of LA. I haven’t had a desire to see if from what I’ve viewed on the previews however in conversation I hear that it’s not doing a very good job of portraying a preacher’s lifestyle. None of my friends drive Bentleys or stay in mansions, and it’s definitely not my reality so with that being said this show is portraying preachers as money chasers and with the average pastor/minister that is not their goal. Our goal is to bring people to Christ and to save souls. If you really want to know what’s going on in the church you have to get into a church and find out for yourself. TL: I see it in two different ways, one positive, and one negative. Positively it’s an opportunity for us to reach a mass group of people in a very quick way. If we are responsible in doing so and that’s where it can get negative; when we think of our President Barak Obama and the weight that is on him it is similar to that of a pastor. We have to live a very public life. The privacy is nonexistent and every little thing we do and every little thing we say has the ability to be scrutinized. With media we have the opportunity to use it positively and do as

Photo: Jessikha Williams magazine

Pastor Terrell L of Manifestation Christian Center and Pastor Michael Brooks of Zion Grove Baptist Church

Jesus said, ‘greater works’ however there is also an opportunity for our works to be misconstrued in doing so.

“...None of my friends drive Bentleys or stay in mansions, and it’s definitely not my reality so with that being said this show is portraying preachers as money chasers and with the average pastor/minister that is not their goal. Our goal is to bring people to Christ and to save souls.”


Compared to the past, would you say it’s more complicated to be a pastor today, or is Christianity the same and ev-

erlasting? MB: Media is different, culture is different and I think people have the ability to educate themselves more than they have in the past. We once didn’t have these resources and were taught to listen to the pastor and trust him. There is no reason why anyone should be ignorant to the word of God because you can Google any topic and issue and scripture to find the answer for yourself. I encourage people to read on their own so that when they come to church what I teach should be confirmation of what they have already read and what God has already said to them. TL: Sometimes a sermonic expression is not the best way for someone in the audience to learn so there has to be a responsibility of that person in the congregation to engage themselves in their learning.

We thank these pastors for their insights and look forward to continuing this conversation.






55 56

Twelve ONE 2014  

Here's Number ONE! Twelve magazine kicks off the new year with our INSPIRED issue! People to see, things to do. Don't miss the Men feature f...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you