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CHURCH NEWS Frederick K.C. Price School In Jeopardy of Closing PAGE
RED CARPET STYLE Stars Heat Up The Red Carpet As Award Season Winds Down PAGE
SAVING GRACE Snoop Dogg Releases “The Bible Of Love”
If you are asking around trying to understand, “What is Snoop Dogg
about?”, you will probably get a number of different responses. Most undoubtedly know him as a hip-hop superstar who brought the “West Coast GFunk” style of the ‘90s to the world. Some may mention his history as an ambassador of the “gangster” lifestyle...But if you ask Snoop himself what he is about, just one word will come up: “Love”.
UPFRONT: Is Kamala Harris Mulling A White House Race?
L.A. Focus Publications
Left: LA First Ladies Health House Official Ribbon Cutting Cermony with (l-r) Rev. Edgar Boyd of First AME; John Gremer, Walgreens; First Lady Betty Price, Executive Director of First Ladies Health Initiative Tracey Alston • Middle: (l-r) In attendance at the CDC Annual Fundraiser Mayor Eric Garcetti, Dr. Lula Balton, CDC Executive Director Belinda Allen and Bishop Charles Blake of West Angeles COGIC (photo courtsey Rickey Brown) Right: Cast members Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey and Storm Reid join Director Ava DuVernay for a picture at the L.A. premiere of their upcoming feature, A Wrinkle In Time (releasing March 9).
Another Liberal Created Failure
From The Editor Out of The Mouths of Babes
Kamlager-Dove Has Edge In Race to Fill 54th District Assembly Seat;Anger Builds Over District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s Failure To Prosecute Police Officers;Con
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Forbes Lists Richest Pastors in The World
So Who’s Gavin Newsom? Meet The Frontrunner In California’s Governor Race
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33rd Anual Stellar Awards Anounces Star Studded Line-Up: Brian Courtney Wilson Returns With A Great Work
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Black Panther Stars Reap Big Harvest; Gabrielle Union Reflects on “Being Mary Janes” Finale
One On One Letitia Wright
14 Red Carpet Style 16 17 Through The Storm Game Changers 19 Biz News Briefs
Calendar/Around LA The 90th Annual Academy Awards
No Laughing Matter- Michael Colyar
Black Woman named CEO of Dallas Mavericks; Black Spending Power reaches $1.2 Trillion
20 Pastor Profile 22
Frederick K.C. Price School In Jeopardy of Closing; Welton Pleasant To Be Installed As president of \California State Baptist Convention
Pastor Harrington McFrazier-
Siebert, Brandford, Shank & Co. Bible Enrichment Fellowship International Church Morgan Stanley Bob Blake & Associates
Juanita Edwards– Pasadena Community Christian Church
“I Am The Resurrection and The Life” -Bible Enrichment Fellowship Int’l
Laila Ali— Home Made Simple
The County of Los Angeles publicly thanked Department of Public Social Services Director Sheryl L. Spiller, for over 50 years of service. Spiller, the first ever AfricanAmerican to head the department in its 100-year history, officially retired last month.
honorary advisors West Angeles C.O.G.I.C. City of Refuge Greater Zion Church Family Paradise Baptist Church Southern Saint Paul Church Faithful Central Bible Church Mt. Moriah Baptist Church Mt. Zion MBC
Bishop Charles Blake Bishop Noel Jones Pastor Michael Fisher Dr. Aaron D. Iverson Rev. Xavier L. Thompson Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer Pastor Emeritus Melvin Wade Rev. Edward V. Hill II
Napoleon Brandford Pastor Beverly Crawford Lem Daniels Bob Blake
23 From The Pulpit 24 In Good Taste 25 26 Saving Grace First Lady Files
Cover Design: Photo credits fo Upscale Media Group Frazier Harriso r Snoop Dogg image to n/Getty Images for BET
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Greater Zion Church Family Presents Resurrection Week
L.A. Focus/April 2017
2408 N Wilmington Ave Compton, CA 90222 www.greaterzionchurchfamily.com (310)639-5535
E. L. Williams Guest Columnist
Vermont and Manchester: A Blighted Reminder of How Difficult It Has Been to Rebuild the Spirit of South LA It was nearly four years ago that Sassony Properties announced plans to begin construction of a $200-million luxury retail outlet at the intersection of Vermont and Manchester, between 84th Street, on a lot left vacant for more than two decades. The announcement came at the “groundbreaking ceremony” on April 29, 2015 marking the 23rd year anniversary of the start of unrest Eli Sasson, president of Sassony Commercial Real Estate Development and owner of the land for more than 25 years. The proposed upscale retail complex— dubbed the Vermont Entertainment Village— would feature multiple sit-down restaurants, a grocery store, a pharmacy, a movie theater, span two city blocks and was to have served as a catalyst for future development. Community leaders gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for the complex that was scheduled to open in 18 months, but in the three years since, nothing has happened and that is what led this month’s guest columnist to speak out.
n Feb. 13, 2018, a fire demolished the last standing structure at the corner of 84th and Vermont. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but this was far from the first time this lot owned by Sassony Commercial Development has been a public nuisance. Blighted for 26 years, it has been an ongoing source of embarrassment for residents and a daily reminder of how difficult it has been to rebuild the spirit and wealth of South Los Angeles since the Civil Unrest. I serve as Pastor of the 88th Street Temple Church, just a few blocks south of 84th and Vermont. We have been property owners and contributing members of this community since the early 1980s. From operating a food bank to hosting neighborhood meetings, our congregation has always sought to uplift the Vermont-Manchester community. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has long been our partner in this effort. We have collaborated with him on several community projects over the years, including tree plantings, cleanups, façade improvements for small businesses, even exploring how to redevelop our church property. For these reasons, it is unsettling for us to hear Sassony and its cohorts allege that there hasn’t been enough community engagement around the County’s intent to acquire the property. On December 5, 2017, many members of the VermontManchester community and Sassony representatives shared their views in an open
From the Editor
An artist rendering of Sasson’s Vermont Entertainment complex forum. I, along with many other local stakeholders, spoke in support of taking immediate possession through eminent domain. We expressed our heartfelt gratitude that the County has taken a firm leadership position on this issue and utilized the only public tool available to end the dilapidation of this prominent location in our community, so that we can have much needed public amenities. As the Supervisor himself stated, we must all be committed to elevating the quality of life in this neighborhood if we are to see any change. Sassony has not gotten the job done for the last 26 years. Let’s give the County a chance to bring the services that this community is long overdue. A recent article, written by a media consultant hired by Sassony, offered excuses for why the property has sat vacant all this time, but the residents of South Los Angeles know better than to accept the assurances of a developer who promises “The Grove” tomorrow, but gives us the ghetto today. E.L. Williams is the senior pastor of New Prospect Baptist Church.
LISA COLLINS Publisher
Out of The Mouths of Babes
“These guys are corner campers; they want an easy body count, not a shootout. You destroy the mass shooters’ fantasy real quick by sending bullets in their direction. Right then the fantasy stops and the reality kicks in. “Fight the bad guy, not each other. Meet the coward in the fantasy, and stop them, and they'll cease to be a fantasy and they’ll have to find new ways to make themselves relevant. “Taking away guns isn't the answer. It's a feel-good measure because people don't want the responsibility of being responsible for their own safety. They'd rather believe that the police will be there, when we know and they know and the police know they won't. I'll admit it's scary to think that the only person responsible for your safety is you. But guess what: that's reality.” For the record, in areas patrolled by the LA Police Department, the average response time is 5.7 minutes. A lot can happen in five minutes. I was robbed at knifepoint in the garage of the complex I once lived in. No time to call the police. Instead, it was quick thinking that saved my life. Today, I am a registered gun owner who believes we shouldn’t have more security at institutions protecting our money than our children. As to how easy it is to change legislation to ban guns? Well, that depends on the motivation. When in 1967, a group of 30 shotgun-toting Black Panthers walked into the California state Capitol in compliance with state law, legislators moved —with lightning speed to change the law, passing the Mulford Act and creating one of the countries most strict gun control regulations. Turning to a more positive story, the box office success of Black Panther and the turnout of blacks to the theater in support of the Marvel blockbuster that smashed box office records to become the second biggest film opener of all time. If only we could direct that kind of support on a more consistent and targeted basis to recycle the $1.5 trillion in black buying power back into our communities and projects that support black enterprise. Black Panther’s Wakanda was a fictional kingdom that showed an idealistic black society. But the real world financial behind the film’s success is an even better model for us to aspire to. Keep the faith.
L.A. Focus/ March 2018
he recent massacre of 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has refocused Americans on the never-ending gun violence debate. Only this time calls for stricter gun control laws and background checks are resonating. The students at Sandy Hill were too young to speak out. But that is definitely not the case for the teens who have taken their cause to the state capital—Tallahassee and front and center on today’s political stage. Their reasoning is simple. They want to go to school without being shot and who can blame them. The easy access of guns, the neglect of American’s with coming to grips with mental illness, the media’s glamourization of gun culture through a steady diet of violence in film, on TV and in the music they listen to day in and day out, not to mention the media’s fascination with mass shooting and the publicity derived from it by the shooters, have led to increased incidences of school shootings. My own take on the gun debate was formed on a hot summer night when I couldn’t have been more than 21 years old. How long ago that was I won’t say but I hadn’t been out of my Mom’s house long and had returned one night to do my laundry. I was resting on the sofa in the living room when I heard arguing, a commotion and what sounded at first like firecrackers…pop, pop, pop. I couldn’t really tell what was going on until I heard the scream and someone in a wimpering, unsteady voice pleading, “please don’t shoot me. I won’t tell. Please…please. My mom ran towards the door to open it and help. My brother and I stopped her. He had a gun, we reasoned. We don’t. Suddenly, we heard our neighbors’ door open. Armed, they ran outside to help, frightening the young man who had just shot and killed her boyfriend as he was driving, leaving the car to run up over the street curb, stopping only when it hit a tree. Had our neighbors not been armed that night, it is likely the young woman would have died as well. Never has an issue so polarized the nation as the debate over gun control even though at last count seven in ten favor tighter gun laws. And yet, for all of the outrage after the St. Valentine’s Day massacre of 17 children and school personnel in Florida, most of us wished that there had been someone with a gun on that campus who could have blown the shooter away before he shot one teen. “Obeying the gun-free zone sign is not anywhere on these mass shooters' bucket list”, says gun rights activist Colion Noir.
Kamala Harris Mulling A 2020 White House Run
n a recent op-ed for The Hill, political commentator and Fox News analyst Juan Williams declared that the three strongest Democratic challengers to President Trump’s re-election were black women, citing Oprah Winfrey, former first lady Michelle Obama and California Senator Kamala Harris. Late last month at an event in New York, Michelle Obama once again dismissed the idea of a run, stating “"This is why I'm not going to run for president, because I think it's a better investment to invest in creating thousands of 'me's'. We don't just need one [Michelle Obama], we need thousands and thousands." Though she polled higher Trump in a 2020 race, Oprah Winfrey has also put to rest any chance of a presidential bid, stating most recently that the only thing that would get her to run is hearing from God that she should run. That leaves Kamala Harris, who according to some Washington D.C. insiders, is considering a run for the White House in 2020, or at the very least is laying the groundwork for a future run. In the year and a half since Harris became California’s first black Senator— and only the second black woman to serve in the U.S. Senate—the former prosecutor has stood out from the Democratic pack with her “take-no-prisoners” grilling of the likes of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
Sydney Kamlager-Dove And while known in California, such high-profile moments will only help to increase her name identification nationally. When the question of whether or not she might consider running for president was posed to her at a technology conference last year, Harris said she wasn’t giving it any consideration, insisting instead that she needed to stay focused. “’You’ve got to stay focused?” Recode website Kara Swisher reportedly countered. “OK. I’ll take that as a yes.” Fact is, as the Democratic Party’s scramble for a leader that could take the party all the way gets more intense, Harris is name that is more increasingly brought up in discussion and the 52-year old former two-term San Francisco D.A. understands all too well what that could mean. According to Federal Election
New Motion Could Dismiss and Reduce Minor Cannabis Convictions
L.A. Focus/March 2018
new motion— introduced by Supervisor Mark RidleyThomas— may lead to the reclassification and resentencing of minor cannabis convictions. The motion, unanimously approved by the Board of Superviors, calls on the Office of Cannabis Management, in collaboration with various Los Angeles County departments and community stakeholders, to develop a countywide plan to facilitate the resentencing of minor cannabis convictions. While Proposition 64 provides that certain convictions qualify for reduction or dismissal, many remain unaware that they may be eligible for legal relief or may be deterred by the process. “The war on drugs led to decades-long racial disparities in cannabis-related arrests and convictions,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “We have a responsibility now to seek widespread reclassification and resentencing for those with minor cannabis convictions on their records, including the destruction of court records for youth.” “This would remove barriers to employment, housing, financial assistance, and deepening social and economic disparities,” he added. “For many, this is the second chance that was due to them, and has been a long time coming.” The motion, coauthored by Supervisor Hilda Solis, also seeks to prevent the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis-related offenses seen in other jurisdictions post-legalization. In Alaska, for example, while
Commission filings Harris (D., Calif.) paid $1.2 million last year to the media firm that helped boost Bernie Sanders's national profile during his 2016 Democratic primary run against Hillary Clinton and the bulk of that money went toward digital web advertisements despite her reelection efforts being years away. Harris also paid the firm $83,000 for campaign consulting and dramatically increased its expenditures to the firm during the fourth quarter of 2017, all of which will go a long way in beefing up her national profile. Adding to the buzz about a possible run for the party’s 2020 nomination is the fact that Harris raised more than half a million dollars in the first six months of 2017 for a dozen or so Senate colleagues up for re-election in the midterms, not only expanding her support base but increasing her name ID among their supporters as she travels and campaigns in support of fellow Senators. In an interview last year, Gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa quipped that the Golden State’s freshman senator was “going to be knocking on some doors in Iowa”. In the meantime, Harris is taking positions that could endear her with the Democratic base on such issues as immigration, health insurance and disparities, gun control and equal rights. Oh, and yes, it is being reported that Harris's campaign has paid thousands for rent on Capitol Hill office space.
Civil Rights Leader Accuses Candidates in AG Race of Ignoring Police Abuse
overall cannabis-related arrests fell after legalization, African Americans were still arrested for these offenses approximately 10 times more often than Caucasians were. In Washington, D.C. this racial disparity was closer to 4:1, and in Colorado, 3:1. Eunisses Hernandez, policy coordinator with the nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance, supported the motion. “The act of getting someone’s conviction reclassified or dismissed off their record removes at least 4,800 barriers that prevent them from obtaining housing, employment and supportive services,” she told the Board. “Providing post-conviction relief services opens the door for new opportunities that allow people to fully integrate back into their communities after being impacted by the criminal justice system.” She added, “Everyone in our communities benefit from having more people eligible for employment and other resources that allows them to support themselves and their families.”
During a fiery speech at the California Democratic Convention’s Black Caucus meeting in San Diego, Reverend Shane Harris, president of the San Diego NAN chapter, accused Becerra and State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, another candidate in the race for Attorney General, of focusing on immigration and ignoring police abuse. Harris accused the candidates of being quick to threaten to take legal action against the Trump administration for its proposed border wall, while failing to address police shootings of unarmed black people. Harris also said President Donald Trump was moving backward on civil rights. “California leads the nation in police shootings,” said Harris. (According to British newspaper the Guardian, the Los Angeles Police Department recorded the highest number of shootings in 2016.) In 2017, NAN members lobbied for the passage of Assembly Bill 284, the Deadly Force Act, which would have required all police shootings to be investigated by the Attorney General. (The bill stalled in the legislature and was opposed by law enforcement organizations.) Currently, police shootings are investigated by local district attorneys who often depend on the support of police Ken Blackwell continued to page 19
First Black Appointed To Head CHP Last month, Governor Jerry Brown announced the appointment of Warren Christopher as head of the California Highway Patrol. Stanley, who had been serving as Acting Commissioner for the last six months, now officially leads the nation’s largest state law enforcement agency, overseeing a department with more than 11,000 employees and a reported $2 billion budget. “I am extremely honored and proud to accept this appointment and serve as your Commissioner,” said Stanley, the 15th Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol. “I vow to continue the CHP’s long and distinguished legacy of providing Safety, Service, and Security to the people of California and lead a Department committed to earning the public’s trust every day.” The 56-year old law enforcement veteran joined the CHP in 1982 as a patrol officer and worked his way up the ranks, supervising the CHP’s Border Division Investigative Services Unit as a lieutenant, and serving for a time as commander of the CHP Academy. "CHP Commissioner Stanley has served the public for more than 35 years with the California Highway Patrol, excelling at every role from patrol officer to deputy commissioner where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the CHP," said Acting Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Annis. "Warren has led the CHP’s response in the face of some of the worst natural disasters in this state’s history. We know that under his leadership the department will continue to uphold its mission."
Stacey Dash Enters Race To Represent 44th Congressional District It’s official. Actress turned controversial conservative commentator, Stacey Dash, is running for Congress. The 51-year old former actress—best known for roles in “Clueless”, “Single Ladies” and “The Game”—has filed with the Federal Election Commission to run as a Republican in California’s 44th Congressional District, which spans parts of South L.A. as well as Watts, Compton, North Long Beach, Carson, San Pedro and South Gate. The seat is currently held by a democrat, Nanette Barragan. Noting her candidacy on twitter, Dash— whose campaign committee has been dubbed “Dash to D.C.”—tweeted: "Formal statements coming. For those mocking for the district I live in...open your minds. It’s time to for me to put up or shut up and I want to serve great people. I live in the 44th unlike some who don’t live in their districts. Thank you to those who offered their support." The former Fox News commentator ignited a firestorm of controversy when she criticized Jesse Williams highly regarded speech at the BET awards and called for an end to black history month. In response to a recent dig from Daily Show host Trevor Noah, Dash commented: “About your comments on my candidacy. I’m not running to gain fame. This type of controversial fame has not brought me any financial gain. In fact I’ve been blacklisted in Hw o o d . Hollywood seems to have the right to say who’s black & who’s not based on their politics
Gun Control: Two New Perspectives
Anti-Gun Activists Trump Ain’t New: unfaithful. Who will pay the Attack Responsible Gun penalty? People who need hearAmerica’s Long Owners ing aids and medicines. History of Racist Emotion drives the Left. Homeowners wanting protecPresidents Feeling good about oneself is tion against crime. Families on one of the highest objectives of liberal poli- vacation. Not the NRA. tics. Who joins a group defending the Especially when it comes to gun con- Second amendment to save a couple bucks trol. on a prescription or car rental? Who is Every American should be horrified by going to quit the association because they the murders in Parkland, Florida. People no longer get a knockshould be equally angered by the many off on the price of an government failures which allowed an airline ticket? Who will unbalanced young man to murder helpless stop giving money to students. the nation’s premier Yet anti-gun activists again are blam- defender of gun owners ing honest, law-abiding folks for someone because they have to else’s crimes. Punishing millions of pay full price for an Americans is not the answer to the actions anti-virus program? of an evil few. To the contrary, David A. Love Of course, it is fair to debate what laws are the boycott has caused necessary. But instead of discussing this people to join the NRA to show their supissue, the anti-gun lobby is targeting gun port for the Second Amendment. This is owners. Politics has become personal; hurt- America. With their rights under attack, ing neighbors and even friends has become people naturally reject the bullies and take the objective. a stand for liberty. Officially the campaign is going after Anti-gun activists really don’t care the NRA, or more accurately, companies about the NRA. They are more interested which deal with the NRA. Delta and United in building organizational budgets and said they will stop offering discounts to email lists. The issue is political aggranpeople flying to the annual NRA conven- dizement, not public safety. tion. Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz, and And the boycott movement intends to National are ending NRA discounts for car hurt gun owners. After all, they are the rental. TrueCar is killing its car-buying people who benefited from the programs. service for NRA members. LifeLock has Professional agitators—very different from dropped its identity-theft services for mem- Florida students acting out of genuine perbers of the association. Starkey Hearing sonal anguish—illogically blame lawful Technologies killed hearing aid discounts and responsible gun owners for the crimes for members. of a murderous few. SimpliSafe no longer provides a special Not everyone is surrendering to the home security program through the NRA. media frenzy though. So far Amazon, Chubb, Lockton, MetLife, and Securian eHealth, Federal Express, Financial Group are dropping insurance HotelPlanner.com, Life Insurance Central, coverage and discounts for members. First LifeLine Screening, Manage UrID, Medical National of Omaha and Republic Bank Concierge Network, Vinesse Wines, and abandoned NRA-branded Visa cards. Visa have maintained their programs for BestWestern and Wyndham are killing NRA members. But attacks continue. hotel breaks for members. Allied Van Lines In the short-term NRA members will and North American Van Lines are drop- pay a price as companies run scared. ping similar moving discounts. Paramount However, in the longer term corporate cowRx plans to end its prescription discount ards may come to regret their hasty capitucard for NRA members. Symantec and Wild lation to left-wing pressure. For instance, Apricot dropped association discounts for in Georgia Republican leaders have threatsoftware. Teladoc terminated its associa- ened Delta with the loss of a tax exemption tion discount for telemedicine services. on jet fuel. That’s quite a list of the cowardly and Ken Blackwell continued to page 19
Headlines From Africa
A look at current news from the continent of Africa Niger: A military investigation into an ambush last year in Niger which left four U.S. soldiers dead will recommend tighter oversight of elite forces on the ground and higher command approval for dangerous patrols in the region. A draft of the U.S. Africa Command report on the Oct. 4 attack by ISIS-affiliated militants called for reducing the number of U.S. ground missions in Niger and stripping field commanders of authority to dispatch troops on risky missions. Nigeria: In what is believe to be the largest abduction since Boko Haram kidnapped 276 Chibok schoolgirls, 110 girls were reported missing after suspected Boko Haram militants attacked a school in the northeastern section of the country. Rwanda: The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority suspended Amazing Grace FM programming for one month and levied a huge fine after the Christian radio station aired a sermon described by many as discriminatory against women. Somalia: Dozens of people were killed in twin car bomb blasts in the Somalian capital, Mogadishu, in what appears to have been a foiled attack on the presidential palace. Islamist militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility. South Africa: “Our prosperity as a nation depends on our ability to take full advantage of rapid technological change”, said recently sworn in South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is promising to capitalize on the "digital revolution" to grow the economy. Sudan: South Sudan is likely to return to famine within months, with 155,000 people likely to be in a catastrophic situation between May and July, according to a survey by a technical working group including South Sudanese and U.N. officials. The survey said 5.3 million people, 48 percent of the population, were already in “crisis” Swaziland: Some schools in Swaziland report they have not received textbooks and other materials to teach Christianity, a year after the subject was made compulsory without consultation. Zimbabwe: First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa is warning women against using sex-enhancing herbs in or on their privates to please their husbands, saying it was one of the reasons why cases of cervical cancer were on the increase in the country. She also urged women to embrace screening services for early detection and initiation of treatment.
L.A. Focus/ March 2018
Benin: Executives from major pharmaceutical companies went on trial having been accused of the “sale of falsified medicines, (and) display, possession with a view to selling, commercialization or sale of falsified medical substances.” This prompted by a crackdown last year of triggered by the growing trafficking of expired and counterfeit drugs. Botswana: In a country where nearly one-third of all children under five years of age suffer from stunting, according to statistics from the World Health Organization, Botswana is scrambling to address under nutrition among the country's children stemming from poverty and the difficulty of delivering services to the country's rural communities. Burundi: Police in Burundi have threatened to arrest anyone campaigning prematurely against a referendum to revise the constitution, which if passed could allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to remain in power until 2034. Ethiopia: The unexpected resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, government officials has led to the declaration of a six-month nationwide state of emergency in Ethiopia. Desalegn reportedly resigned to pave the way for political reforms. Kenya: With fresh evidence of election-period abused, Human Rights Watch is urging that Kenyan authorities investigate the killings and all others documented during the entire elections period, and ensure that all of those found responsible for unlawful killings are held to account. Police and armed gangs killed at least 37 people in Nairobi between September and November 2017, during the second phase of Kenya's presidential election. Malawi: The Malawi Government, in partnership with the UN and other partners, launched the 2017/18 Food Insecurity Response Plan to provide food assistance to 1,043,000 food insecure people in 20 of Malawi’s 28 districts between December 2017 and March 2018. Mali: Almost 400 schools have closed in central Mali since Islamist militants expanded their area of operation from the desert north, where they settled in the aftermath of a 2012 insurgency. Mozambique: Authorities began water rationing to more than a million residents in the capital Maputo due to a severe drought. The city is cutting the water supply to consumers to just 40% of normal levels.
I have long been in favor percent and "would still pay of reforming Social Celebrate Black them about 75 percent more History by Security by changing it to than Social Security would a system of personally Promoting Black have." Ownership owned retirement accounts. But even this is not the Instead of paying a payroll main point. Although it makes tax, with the U.S. government telling you sense to be invested in stocks over a 40what you'll get when you retire, you take year plus working life, no one is saying you ownership of that money — the payroll tax have to do it. You can buy bonds or put the — and invest in your own retirement money in a bank CD. account. The main point is that every citizen I am for IRAs should be free to have these options. not the IRS. There are particularly important This is a good implications here to black Americans. time to bring this up, Per the Federal Reserve, in 2016 following a big drop in median black family net worth was the stock market. Such $17,600, about 10 percent of median white a drop, to many, is family net worth. exactly the reason to Thirty-four percent of black families not do this reform. have retirement accounts, compared with Star Parker As of this writ- 60 percent of white families, and 31 pering, the stock market dropped around 5 cent of blacks have some kind of stock percent. What is officially called a market ownership compared with 61 percent of "correction" is a drop of 10 percent. whites. And only 8 percent of blacks have However, over the last year, the stock received wealth through inheritance commarket has increased 26 percent. Since pared with 26 percent of whites. the presidential election in November Social Security provides survivor ben2016, it's up 35 to 40 percent. efits to spouses and unmarried minor chilThe point is, stocks are a long-term dren. As of 2012, 36 percent of blacks over proposition and so is retirement investing. 25, compared with 16 percent of whites, Although gyrations are part of the day-to- had never been married. Because of the day reality of stocks, over the long haul sorry state of marriage and family in black they provide positive returns. Because America, a large percentage of black they reflect the underlying health of the Americans will have paid into Social economy, if stocks aren't healthy in the Security over a full working life, and those long run, it means the country is not benefits will just go up in smoke when healthy in the long run. The historical they pass away. annual average return on stocks is 8 perWith all the handwringing about gaps cent. in wealth and income in our country, if we Stocks are like life. Time, optimism were serious we would have policies that and faith smooth out the ups and downs. promote, rather than prohibit, ownership. I'll take the ups and downs of a free life Let's at least give low-income and a free marketplace over turning con- Americans the option to get out of Social trol of my life over to politicians. Security and invest in personal retirement In 2010, William Shipman and Peter accounts to build ownership and wealth Ferrara published an analysis in The Wall that can be bequeathed to others. Street Journal of what would have hapThis would be a great way to celebrate pened to a couple who invested their pay- Black History Month. roll tax in their own retirement account, Star Parker is an author and president of over 44 years, and then retired in 2009, CURE, Center for Urban Renewal and the year after the huge stock market drop Education. Contact her at www.urbanin 2008. In 2008, their account lost 37 per- cure.org. To find out more about Star cent of its value. Parker and read features by other Even this huge one-year drop did not Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonoffset the accumulated positive gains. The ists, visit the Creators Syndicate website average return from 1965 to 2009 was 6.75 at www.creators.com.
MarketPlace Love, Peace & Sweet Tea By Leeza Lee Barr
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MoneyMatters Impact of “Black Panther” n just three weeks since its release, Marvel’s latest Superhero blockbuster film, Black Panther, has brought in a staggering 900 million dollars in worldwide revenues. The project, whose early estimations of total opening earnings was a modest $100 million, easily doubled that figure in it’s opening Presidents day weekend, bringing in over $202 million. This marks the second highest domestic debut for any film behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The release, which is the third film directed by Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitval Station), represents the largest grossing debut weekend from an African American director-- doubling the previous record of $103 million. Considering that, in all of film history only 33 titles from black directors have earned over $100 million domestic (adjusted for inflation), the films profits represent a cinematic milestone in resounding proof that mainstream audiences want to see black-made films. Black Panther’s success abroad also broke film industry lore that films with black casts don’t perform well overseas by earning and estimated $343 million in foreign earnings so far, which represent about 45% of its total gross. The movie is still yet to open in some of the biggest global markets such as China (debuting March 9th). “Never in a million years did we imagine that you all would come out this strong,” Coogler wrote on social media after the films record-breaking opening weekend. “It still humbles me to think that people care enough to spend their money and time watching our film. But to see people of all backgrounds wearing clothing that celebrates their heritage, taking pictures next to our posters with their friends and family, and sometimes dancing in the lobbies of theater, often moved me and my wife to tears.” In its first ten days, Black Panther became the second fastest movie to reach $400 million domestic, Star Wars’ 2015 installment being the only film to do it faster, and box office sales have shown no signs of slowing down. In the film’s second weekend it brought in $112 million dollars in sales, down only 45% from opening weekend which is the second smallest second weekend drop out of all the Marvel movies. As it sits now, Black Panther is the eighth biggest comic book superhero movie of all time and is on pace to become the biggest superhero origin story, or non-sequel, of all
The films pricy budget has proven to be money well spent. It estimated that Marvel Studios in their partnership with Walt Disney Pictures shelled out $200 million in production costs along with over $150 in promotion. “It’s a big story that deserves to be told in a big way,” says Black Panther producer and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. “[It’s important] for all the cultural and political reasons that people talk about, but also because it’s such a key corner of our Marvel universe, and has been for decades and decades. We wanted to do it justice, and we have a studio with Disney, and leaders with Alan Horn and Bob Iger, who supported us one hundred percent.” Not only has audience support been immense, but the makeup of the audience has seen a divergence from the norm of the typical superhero blockbuster. According to box office tracking companies ComScore and Screen Engine, 37% of the film’s audience was African-American which is well above the average movie audience of about 15%, with white movie-goers making up just 35% and Latino viewers 15%. Also, women made up 45% of Black Panther’s audience, which is lower than the average movie-going population but higher than the typical superhero movie, of which is 38% tend to be women and 62% men. According to ComScore’s senior media analyst Black Panther has been, “a game changer in terms of its ability to erase outdated perceptions of what can constitute a blockbuster/superhero movie. The across the board appeal of the film reflects that there are no apparent cultural limitations on the interest and love that people have for Black Panther.” The numbers have shown, Black Panther is a groundbreaking celebration of black culture that has expanded the scope of black narratives in a way that has proven to be marketable. The black community, as well as he general movie-going population,jjhvv has flexed its buying power and sent a message to the Hollywood studio executives. There’s much more room for people of color than playing characters that have compromised morality or who perpetuate negative stereotypes. Women are strong. The people have spoken: they want to see it on screen. The numbers don’t lie.
On the Money Forbes Lists Richest Pastors In The World Last month Forbes released its listing of the 10 richest pastors in the world and at the top of the list ironically is a man whose 50,000 seat church is named Winner’s Chapel. Located in Nigeria, the church led by Bishop David Oyedepo is the single largest church in the world. Oyedepo—who is credited as one of the founders of the Nigerian Christian Charismatic movement and leads an international network of churches— was ranked at number one on the list with an estimated net worth of $150 million. Coming in at number two was Bishop T.D. Jakes ($147 Million) whose ministry has expanded from his Dallas-based Potters House to TV, film, books and conferences like Megafest. Number three on the list is Chris Oyakhilome ($50 million) who in addition to his Lagos, Nigeria based, Beilevers’ Loveworld Incorporated, owns three television channels. With $42 million, Israeli televangelist Benny Hinn was fourth on the list. His Holy Spirit Miracle Crusades attract millions around the world and his 30-minute TV show, This Is Your Day, is among the world’s most watched Christian programs. He’s not quite met his goal of putting a church “within 5 minutes” of every home in the world, but Pastor Enoch Adeboye’s Redeemed Christian Church of God (net worth $39 million) has 14,000 branches in Nigeria and boasts followers in upwards of 100 countries. Rounding out the list are Creflo Dollar ($27 million); Kenneth Copeland ($25 million); Billy Graham ($25 million); “Prophet” T.B. Joshua of Nigeria ($10 million) and Joseph Prince ($5 million), who heads the largest church in Asia.
Biz NewsBriefs that the Dallas Mavericks will be the standard” said Marshall, who was named as one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America in 2015. “We're laying out a vision that says by 2019, the Dallas Mavericks will be the standard. We're leading the way in inclusion and diversity," she said. "It's all about respect and fairness. We're focused on character, respect, authenticity, teamwork and safety. When I say safety, I mean physical and emotional safety. Getting those values into the culture is not easy. But we will get there." Marshall is the founder of Marshalling Resources, a consulting firm that specializes in leadership, diversity and inclusion, culture transformation and overall optimization of people resources.
Black Spending Power reaches $1.2 Trillion
A new report from Nielsen reveals that black spending power has reached $1.2 trillion and that in some markets, black consumers have a considerable spending footprint. Although blacks make up just 14% of the U.S., they spend $573 million on personal hygiene items; $810 million on bottled water; and $151 million in the luxury
non-essential products market (i.e. watches and fragrances). “Our research shows Black consumer choices have a ‘cool factor,'” said Cheryl Grace, senior vice president of U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement at Nielsen. “These figures show that investment by multinational conglomerates in R&D to develop products and marketing that appeal to diverse consumers is, indeed, paying off handsomely.” Smart companies will purposefully target African American customers, it says in the Nielsen study. Black consumer choices are increasingly becoming mainstream. The study also found that black consumer brand loyalty is based on a brand’s perception as authentic, culturally relevant, socially conscious, and responsible. Thirty-eight percent of African Americans ages 18–34, say they expect the brands they purchase to support social causes. Forty-one percent of those African Americans over age 35 expect the same.
White House Taps First SBA minority regional Director
Former GOP National Committee senior strategist Ashley Bell has been sworn in as the director of the SBA’s Southeast Region, overseeing eight states and becoming the first person of color appointed to a regional directorship. “The SBA plays a critical role in helping to start and grow businesses,” Bell said in a statement. “Now, more than ever, the economy is growing and we must do our part to help America’s small businesses.” The Gainesville native had served as associate director at the Peace Corps and as national director of AfricanAmerican Engagement for the RNC.
L.A. Focus/ March 2018
M a r k Cuban has tapped former AT&T e x e c Cynthia Marshall as interim CEO of the D a l l a s Mavericks in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal. Once the first b l a c k cheerleader at UC Berkeley, the telecommunications veteran is now the NBA’s first woman CEO. In a news conference announcing her new post, Marshall said she’s focusing on three areas. First and foremost was completing an independent investigation of sexual harassment allegations against former CEO Terdema Ussery and two domestic violence incidents by another staffer. "I am determined, Mark is determined,
Black Woman Named Interim CEO of Dallas Mavericks
L.A. Focus/March 2018
ith the June 6 primary right around the corner, California’s gubernatorial race has shifted into high gear. As it stands, six major candidates— Assemblyman Travis Allen (Huntington Beach), State Treasurer John Chiang, businessman John Cox, educator Delaine Eastin, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa— are vying to lead the Golden State. By all accounts, Newsom is the frontrunner. It is a position he has held since declaring his candidacy in February of 2015. In the time since, he has dominated fundraising—amassing a war chest of somewhere in the neighborhood of $19 million and consistently led in the polls. And though the odds have changed as Villaraigosa and Chiang mount competitive bids and have risen in the polls, seasoned political insiders say most bets are still of Newsom as having the best chance to pull off a win. Last month at the California Democratic Convention in San Diego, Newsom took a strong lead in votes among delegates, receiving 39 percent of the vote while his closest competitor earned only 30 percent. But in something of a setback (given Newsom’s lead and clout in state politics), none of the candidates achieved the 60 percent delegate threshold which secures the state party endorsement. Although his performance at the convention was strong, a recent Public Policy Institute non-partisan poll of 1,705 California residents found that Newsom’s once double-digit lead over former mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa has slipped to a mere 2 percent-well within the poll’s margin for error. The poll found the largest vote-getter was those who identified as “undecided” as to who they vote for governor, with 24 percent. These fluctuating measures signal that this November’s run-off will be something of a nail-biter for the top two candidates. A key challenge for Newsom had been increasing his name identification with Southland voters which is where Villaraigosa has had a distinct advantage, but more frequent appearances —and debates —in Southern California, Newsom is working to close the gap and with one hundred days before the statewide primary-remains in the driver's seat. Helping Newsom’s momentum statewide is a recent endorsement from longtime political friend and Bay area native, California Senator Kamala Harris. “In this moment in time in particular,
KEITH DELAWDER Staff Writer with Manny Otiko, California Black Media
The time for timidity is over. My opponents in this race have spent a lot of time telling us what can’t be done. My whole life we have faced down skeptics, defeatist Democrats who have suggested we need to pick our battles. California has never succeeded by playing it safe.
California’s leadership is about national leadership,” Harris said, arguing that Newsom would be a governor “who will lead with courage.” “California is a movement. California is a pulse,” said Newsom in January at the first gubernatorial debate of 2018. “The world is looking to us, not only to live together and advance together and prosper together across every conceivable way, but also looking to California to lead- not just nationally but internationally.” Newsom has never been shy about standing up for what he believes in. “The time for timidity is over,” said Newsom, who as mayor passed the state’s highest minimum wage and pushed for the first citywide universal healthcare. “My opponents in this race have spent a lot of time telling us what can’t be done. My whole life we have faced down skeptics, defeatist Democrats who have suggested we need to pick our battles. California has never succeeded by playing it safe.” Newsom is a progressive who has made his career on taking bold stands on hot-button issues such as gun safety, the death penalty, criminal justice reform, paid family leave, universal pre-k, affordable college education and marriage rights for all. His mission as a leader has been to put California at the forefront of progressive issues, using its brand as a beacon for national attention. While many people may have discovered Newsom over the last decade, he has steadily been working his way up the political ladder. He first started out as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 1997- 2004 and then eventually ran a successful campaign for mayor in 2004, becoming the youngest mayor of San Francisco in more than a century. After a seven-year run as mayor, the city boasted an economic resurgence while delivering progressive social programs that raised the quality standard of living. Newsom entered the governor's race in 2010-- only to trail behind the eventual winner Jerry Brown and drop out. With his concession, he decided to run for lieutenant-governor, working under Brown on his major accomplishments including diminishing the fiscal deficit and returning the golden state to solvency. He is currently in his second term in that position. As governor, Newsom sets his sights on bringing people together in the digital age to open up the democratic process to everyone. In 2015, Newsom partnered with former Sen. Sam Blaklee to launch Digital Democracy, a website that allows journalists and citizens to search for video clips of
the legislature. The platform, developed by students of Cal Poly’s Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy (IATPP,) uses voice and face recognition technology to sort searches. He has shared some of these ideas in his 2014 book “Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government”, where he calls on the technological boom to be used as a tool to create a more informed electorate. According to his website: “Lt. Governor Newsom Believes that by creating a transparent government through technology, we can engage the collective wisdom of the people outside government and put the power in the hands of the people to transform government, democratize voices, and bring our 19th century government into the 21st century.” But with all of his lofty ideals, Gavin Newsom understands issues most affect the people of California. “We need to reconcile the issue that defines all other issues, and that is the issue of income inequality in this state,” says the somber leader. “We are a state of haves and have-nots. We are the richest and the poorest state in this nation. We need to step up and step in and address this issue beyond any other issue.” In 2016, Newsom threw his support behind a measure that would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2021, which would benefit over 3.3 million state residents. “Millions of hard working Californians struggle every day to provide for themselves and their families because their wages have not kept up with the high cost of living in our state. “California leads the country in so many issues like the environment, civil rights and public health, it’s only appropriate that we also lead on addressing income inequality. It’s time to improve these workers’ standard of living, lift up families and boost the overall economy by gradually raising the minimum wage.” To help curb California’s ever-soaring cost of living, Newsom has vowed to tackle one of the State’s thorniest problems-- affordable housing. The lack of affordable housing reportedly costs California $1.5 billion a year as residents leave the state in search of reasonably-priced homes, which has impeded employers’ ability to attract and retain their best workers. Newsom has laid out a multi-point plan which includes investing in affordable housing, increasing housing production, and protecting
tenants through measures such as rent control. Part of this bold plan is building 3.5 million new housing units by 2025. “I realize building 3.5 million new housing units is an audacious goal,” concedes Newsom in a lengthy Medium post, “but it’s achievable. There is no silver bullet to solve the crisis. We need to attack the problem on multiple fronts by generating more funding for affordable housing, implementing regulatory reform and creating new financial incentives for local jurisdictions that produce housing while penalizing those that fall short. “Let’s consider the facts: the median home value in California is $469,300, and a lot higher in coastal areas. Homeownership rates have dropped dramatically. Nearly half of renters spend a huge portion of their income -more than 35%-- on housing and still often live in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Yet since 2005 California has only produced 308 housing units for every 1000 new residents. Add in the fact that California will be home to 50 million people by 2050, and it’s obvious we’re not on pace to meet that demand.” Beyond the increasing cost of living, Newsom recognizes that there are also gross inequities keeping certain communities from achieving their potential. “I believe the era of mass incarceration must end, as a founding principal. The principal drivers of this are the War on Drugs. The War on Drugs has been an object failure. It’s a war on poor people and a war on people of color.” “It’s time to decriminalize, tax, and regulate marijuana,” said Newsom at the Democratic party convention in 2013. “In 2011 alone in this country, three quarters of a million people in the United States were arrested for marijuana law violations, 87 percent of them for simple possession. And listen to me closely on this — AfricanAmerican children are 10 times more likely to get arrested for drug crimes than their white counterparts even though white children are more likely to abuse drugs.” More recently, Newsom’s progressive values have clashed with President Donald Trump’s administration, criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who seems determined to restart the war on drugs, while pushing for the legalization of cannabis. In a 2017 letter to Trump and Sessions, Newsom argued that allowing licensed and monitored business owners to handle cannabis sales was a much safer option.
“The government must not strip the legal and publicly supported industry of its business and hand it back to drug cartels and criminals ... Dealers don’t card kids. I urge you and your administration to work in partnership with California and the other eight states that have legalized recreational marijuana for adult use in a way that will let us enforce our state laws that protect the public and our children, while targeting the bad apples,” Newsom has also offered harsh criticism of Trump when he used vulgar language when referring to African nations and Haiti. “You're a joke and a racist, President Donald J. Trump. Resign,” wrote Newsom in a Facebook post. Along with his progressive stances on social policy that aims to help the quality of living for his constituents, part of his appeal is his business savvy and economic mindedness which comes from his background as a small business owner himself. After graduating from Santa Clara University in 1989 with a B.A. in Political Science, Newsom worked selling orthotics and also had a stint in real estate. In 1991, Gavin recruited investors and founded PlumpJack, a wine shop, which employs now more than 700 people. Newsom grew PlumpJack into a thriving enterprise of twenty-one business including wineries, restaurants, and hotels. Newsom sees California as state ripe with for economic prosperity, from our world leading technology and entertainment sectors to agriculture, STEM and energy fields. Some of his economic goals include creating low-interest public financing, cutting red tape and increasing access to capital for small businesses, building public infrastructure, boosting exports in the manufacturing sector, and investing in green energy-- all while maintaining that our budget is fiscally responsible. While his ambitions are large, the one factor that continually played into Newsom’s successes at every stage of his career is his ability to recognize and seize the urgency of the present moment. “Something big is happening here. We’re at a hinge moment. This isn’t a time to be timid. I’m not running for governor to play in the margins. I have no interest in doing a little bit more, a little bit less. What we need is leadership, not stewardship.” And now, his forward-facing sights are set solely on Sacramento.
MEET THE COMPETITION
Travis Allen As a small business owner and representative of the 72nd State Assembly District, Allen is running on populist, conservative anti-establishment themes. He was lead sponsor of a ballot initiative to repeal Jerry Brown’ s legislative “ gas tax” and views himself asthe “ law and order” candidate restoring tough-on-crime policies and immigration security.
John Cox The son of immigrants, chiang started out on the california Board of Equalization (1997-2007) and then served as california State controller (2007-2015). As State controller, he prided himself as a watchdog, identifying over $9.5 billion in abuse of taxpayer money. His campaign has focused on providing equality for all californians.
cox is a lawyer who founded his own law firm and real estate management firm. He is host of the radio talk show The Progressive conservative, and has been a conservative leader for over 35 years. cox has focused his campaign on cutting through governmental red tape and creating a business-friendly environment in california.
Easton is a former college professor and got her start in politics as a Member of the Union city council followed by california State Assembly. When she joined the Assembly, she authored innovative bills to improve schools, increase use of recycled materials, improve transportation systems, among others. She has made environmental justice and prison reform centerpieces of her campaign.
Before becoming Mayor, villaraigosa was a member of the california State Assembly (1994-2000) and Los Angeles city council. He was co-chair of Hillary clinton’ s 2008 presidential campaign and chairman of the 2012 Democratic National convention. His campaign for governor has focused on rebuilding the middle class by investing in schools and infrastructure.
Eye On Gospel 33rd Annual Stellar Awards Announce Star-Studded Lineup A power-packed lineup of gospel entertainers are set to headline the 2018 Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards later this month at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, including Tye Tribbett, Mary Mary, Koryn Hawthorne, Tasha Cobbs, Marvin Sapp and Kirk Franklin who will host the two-hour long ceremony. “Since my first step onto the Stellar Awards stage as a 23-year-old kid from Texas, I’ve lived, breathed and committed all I’ve had to this incredible genre called gospel,” Franklin said. “To find myself now still blessed to serve the community I love so dearly as their host of the 2018 Stellar Awards, that young kid feels alive again and more grateful than ever. We’re working hard to bring to the world the best and the brightest along with the icons and legends, the greatest night of God’s music at a time when the country needs our melody the most.” The show’s opening will feature Stellar Awards alum Erica Campbell reuniting with her sister Tina Campbell as the hit gospel duo Mary Mary for the first time in more than six years and will include an allstar tribute to the late, great Edwin Hawkins, with his sister Lynette Hawkins
accepting the Edwin Hawkins Icon Award in his honor. Also expected to deliver stand out moments are the multi-platinum award-winning Snoop Dogg performing material from his new gospel album and collaborating with Tye Tribbett. “Each year we strive to bring new and innovative performances and collaborations to the Stellar Awards and this year is no different, with the inclusion of mainstream hip-hop rapper and mogul, Snoop Dogg." stated Stellar Awards Founder, Don Jackson. "Snoop expressed his desire to release a gospel album in honor of his mom who is an evangelist and he's teamed up with Gospel superstar Tye Tribbett, there's no way we couldn't bring this explosive performance to the Stellar Awards stage." Tamela Mann is set to receive the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award and the legendary Rev. Milton Biggham will receive The Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award, while Stellar Honors Hall of Fame Inductees include Kurt Carr and Ben Tankard. Anthony Brown leads the list of nominees with 10 nominations, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, J.J. Hairston and Travis Greene trailing close behind with nine nods each. Those also receiving multiple nominations include Deitrick Haddon (5); Marvin Sapp (4), Cece Winans (3) and Bishop Paul Morton (3). The Stellar Awards telecast will premiere on TV One on Friday, March 30 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and air in broadcast syndication on 130 stations in more than 110 markets around the country March 31 - May 6, 2018.
Brian courtney Wilson returns With A Great Work
One of the most highly regarded singers in Gospel music today is back with a new album appropriately enough titled “A Great Work”. The Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter reached a pinnacle in 2016 with his hit song "Worth Fighting For," which touched audiences around the globe. His return this year with “A Great Work” marks his continuation towards message-oriented and celebratory music. In the weeks since its debut at gospel radio, the title
single has made an immediate impact, currently sitting in the top 30 and continuing to rise. Unlike anything released previously from the celebrated artist, A GREAT WORK is arguably Wilson’s most personal project to date. Joining forces with a collection of top writers and producers, including Aaron Lindsey, Eric Dawkins, Luther “Mano” Hanes, V. Michael McKay, Warryn Campbell and Marvin Winans, this album is Brian’s literal ‘great work.’ Briefly: NAACP Image Award-Winning Actor and Comedian David Mann and his wife, Grammy® AwardWinning Recording Artist Tamela Mann have announced the release of their forthcoming new memoir, Us Against the World: Our Secrets to Love, Marriage, and Family. The book—which will be available September 25, 2018—will chronicle their love story of more than 30 years along with some honest truth about issues they’ve faced, including communication, forgiveness, sex, finances, and faith. Us Against the World also reveals surprising details about how the pair met, married, and started a family, the challenges of managing the fame that comes with success, and the growing pains of working with their adult children in the family business. “Our marriage is a top priority and our greatest accomplishment. As authors, we’re excited to share what we’ve learned about how to make doing life together work and how to fully love your spouse,” said Tamela Mann…Finally, Grammy-nominated and multiple Stellar Award winning pastor/artist William Murphy III recently hosted a live recording for his next album, “Bridges”. The project was recorded at his Atlanta-based church, dReam Center, and will be produced by Kenneth and Tasha Cobbs Leonard. His father is Bishop William Murphy, Jr., who is the International Bishop of Prayer for the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. “My father not only taught us about the importance of prayer, he modeled it daily for us. We actually are now more known for singing and writing incredible worship songs but all of this is as a result of our commitment to being front line intercessors,” shares Murphy.
INSIDE HO L LY W OOD with Neily Dickerson And The Winner Is...My 2018 Academy Award Picks
As the award season winds down the mother of them all happens this month, The Academy Awards. Some great movies and performances happened this year and those that stood out for me were: Best Picture - “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” It’s the total package, great cast, script, and timely. Best Actress - Frances McDormand in 3 Billboards. She nails the role. Best Actor - Gary Oldman in “Darkest Hour.” He becomes exactly who I would have imagined Winston Churchill would have been. Not sure why, but for some reason they forgot about, Kristin Scott Thomas, she was excellent! For Best Supporting Actor – I pick Woody Harrelson in “3 Billboards,”
but I think Sam Rockwell, from the same movie, will win, he was great. Best Supporting Actress - Allison Janney for I, Tonya, she S M A S H E D this role. Best Original Screenplay Jordan Peele for “Get Out.” I want Jordan Peele to win Best Director for “Get Out,” but they’ll probably give it to Guilermo del Toro for “The Shape Of Water” or Greta
Gerwig for “Lady Bird,”—both equally deserving efforts. Now, if you haven’t seen any of the films nominated, consider these and if you haven’t seen “Get Out,” shame on you. It really is A MUST SEE! Someone asked me to review it, and it will be posted it on my blog, follow me at ~> https:// bpsmovie.blogspot.com. Other films on the list are: “I, Tonya.” It gives good insight to what happened. I loved it. “The Big Sick.” This was a gOOd movie. Two terrific and socially conscious films that I thought were overlooked were: “Wind River” and “Detroit.” When you’re in the mood for a deep film, either of these will satisfy. Well, we won’t have to wait long to see what the envelopes reveal soon, till then happy movie-in e’rybody!
DUE IN THEATERS THIS MONTH
The Forgiven March 9
Black Panther Stars reap Big Harvest
A Wrinkle In Time March 9
Black Panther is still breaking records at the box office. So what’s next for stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong’o? While Boseman, Gurira and N’yongo will next be seen in Avengers: Infinity Wars—due April 28—along with Letitia Wright (who plays Black Panther’s little sister), Boseman is currently filming a second Avenger sequel, which is tentatively slated to hit theaters in May of 2019. The Black Panther star is also set to star in “Expatriate”, an international thriller set around a 1970s plane hijacking to be directed by Moonlight director Barry Jenkins. In addition to toplining the film adaptation of Trevor Noah’s bestselling autobiography, Born A Crime and the Zombie comedy, “Little Monsters”, Nyong’o is set to art alongside Viola Davis for TriStar Pictures’ “The Woman King”. Based on the true events that took place in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful West African states in the 18th and 1 9 t h
Gringo March 9
centuries, The Woman Kingtells the story of Nanisca (Davis), general of the all-female military unit known as the Amazons, and her daughter Nawi (Nyong’o), who together fought the French and neighboring tribes who violated their honor and enslaved their people. Nyong’o will also be teaming with Gurira, who stars in “The Walking Dead” on a miniseries based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's critically acclaimed novel, Americanah, about two Nigerian immigrants whose love story endures a lifetime of struggle. Nyong’o will produce and star in the film. Gurira will write the adaptation. Michael B. Jordan—who is currently prepping for “Creed II”— will star in the futuristic drama Fahrenheit 451 (set to bow on HBO this spring) and has three other projects in the pipeline, including the upcoming Netflix TV series “Raising Dion”, about an African-American single mother who discovers her young son has magical, superhero-like abilities.
Gabrielle Union reflects On “ Being Mary Jane” Series Finale
Filming is officially underway for the two-hour series finale of “Being Mary Jane,” starring Gabrielle Union, in Atlanta. Morris Chestnut is set to join the all-star cast including Michael Ealy, Lisa Vidal, Richard Roundtree, Margaret Avery, Richard Brooks and
Acrimony March 30 Raven Goodwin. Union—who is an executive producer on the project shared her thoughts in a recent Instagram post: “Tomorrow will be the 1st day of filming for the series finale movie of #BeingMaryJane I wanted to approach this opportunity with fresh eyes and an open heart. I wanted different for Mary Jane and realized I had to make different decisions for myself. In order to give my all to Mary Jane, I had to give my all in my own life. I wanted different, better, more… so I proceeded to do exactly that…different s**t for a different outcome and damnit do I feel golden. Gonna enjoy Mary Jane until it’s time for the next. Thanks for joining me on this ride. Love & Light good people.” Actually, Union’s next project—her Bad Boys II NBC series pilot— has already taken shape. Jessica Alba has signed on as the co-lead in the actionpacked drama starring Union as a free-spirited former DEA agent who helped take down a cartel with her brother (played by Martin Lawrence) in the Bad Boys II film (2003) and has moved to Los Angeles in a new job as a detective with the LAPD. Ernie Hudson will play Union’s father and rounding out the cast as an LAPD homicide detective is Duane Martin, who recently split with wife Tisha Campbell-Martin after 22 years of marriage. Co-incidentally, CampbellMartin, has also landed a starring role in an upcoming ABC drama centering in on the lives of five AfricanAmerican sisters, all NYPD officers as they face the challenges of their highrisk jobs while juggling the responsibilities of marriage, motherhood and family. Regina King is set to direct.
Letitia Wright Hometown: Georgetown, Guyana Breakout Role: Shuri (Black Panther) Upcoming Projects: Steven Speilberg’s Ready Player One (March 29), Avengers: Infinity War (May 4) Letitia Wright is one of the breakout stars of Marvel’s Black Panther, which shattered box office records to enjoy the fifth biggest opening of all time and the largest opening for a black director. She plays Shuri, the younger sister to T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), and princess of Wakanda —a brilliant scientist who heads the Wakandan Design Group, incorporating advanced technology and science to power her nation. The 24year-old actress was biten by the acting bug after seeing Keke Palmer in “Akeelah & The Bee”. Q: How great was it for you to be playing a genius like Shuri who is high energy, tech savvy and making science so cool? It's a dream come true. This moment right now is years of prayer that's coming together to play such a character that hopefully a lot of people can be inspired by. That it can spark the brain of another kid that loves technology and loves science and lets them see that that's really cool and encourage them to create the next gadget that's going to help cure a disease or something… I did a little tiny bit of research before I went into the room and found out that in the comics she eventually becomes the Black Panther. With so much buzz surrounding this film, what do you hope its ultimate success will mean? We’re all really excited because it’s doing stuff that we’ve not seen a lot of. So now that it’s here we’re like, “We want more of it.” And it really shows you what the audience would like and what we’re supporting. So yeah, all together it’s just bringing what we need and we’re trying to deliver and hopefully we did. What will the success of this movie mean for you? My aim is just to remain humble and as godly as I can be. My hope is that it will lead to more roles and more projects that people like and I can continue to contribute to the world in a positive way. For me, it's about spreading love and light as well. Shuri brings that to the screen. I'm proud to be a young black girl doing this, but also as much as this is for young black women to be inspired, it’s for people of all ethnicities, of all races to be inspired. Where do you find balance? I used to be pretty much obsessed with acting, and it became my world. It became what I used to be happy, but I realized that acting is not my god and “I said, ‘Okay, Jesus, I’ll try you,’ and I haven’t looked back since. A lot of young people who are in the creative industry are finding an avenue toward God. How do you prepare for movie roles? I pray. What’s next? I have Ready Player One and the release of Avengers: Infinity War coming out. After that I am going to take a step back and think about my next move. I'm not going to rush into anything; I'm going to travel a little bit more and then live life.
Calendar of events
Ongoing On Stage: “Disney’s Aladdin” (Through March) Check online for times/prices Hollywood Pantages Theatre 6233 Hollywood Blvd Contact: (323) 468-1770 hollywoodpantages.com Exhibit: Chasing Trane: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey 10:30am – 6:30pm • $12.95 Grammy Museum 800 W. Olympic Blvd Contact: (213) 765-6800 www.grammymuseum.org Exhibition: “How Sweet The Sound: Gospel Music In L.A. (Through August 26, 2018) Tues-Sat 10a–6pm; Sun 11a– 6pm Free (Parking = $12) CA African American Museum 600 State Drive Information: (310) 676-7300 caamuseum.org BFit Yoga On the Macy’s Bridge Free •10 -11:00am Saturdays Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
3650 W. Martin L. King Jr. Blvd Information: (323) 290-6636 Baldwinhillscrenshawplaza.com
Ritz Carlton 900 W. Olympic Blvd www.professionalwna.com
Friday, March 2
Susan G. Komen Race For Cure Celebrities join breast cancer survivors/supporters 5K run/walk 6am – Noon • Free Dodger Stadium 1000 Vin Scully Ave komenlacounty.org/race
One Night Revival with Bishop Jacqueline McCullough Guest Psalmist: Nikki Potts 7pm • Free City of Refuge 14527 S. San Pedro/Gardena Information: (310) 516-1433 www.noeljones.org
L.A. Focus/March 2018
44th Annual Festival of the Kite 12pm-5pm • Free Redondo Pier 100 Fishermans wharf Info: www.redondopier.com
Friday, March 9 In Concert: K. Michelle 8:00pm • $24.50-39.50 The Novo 800 W Olympic Blvd Contact: (213) 765-7000 www.thenovodtla.com Teacher’s Workshop: Art and Artifacts from Black History 8am-3pm • Free (Parking $12) CA African American Museum 600 State Drive Information: (310) 676-7300 caamuseum.org
Tango On The Terrace Emmy Award-winner Debbie Allen wildly popular Dance
iHeartRadio Awards 2018 Featured performances in-clude Cardi B, DJ Khaled, Backstreet Boys, Maroon 5 5pm • $80 - $180 The Forum 3900 W. Manchester Blvd Contact: (310) 330-7300 www.fabulousforum.com In Concert: Buddy Guy 8pm • $42.50 - $65 The Novo 800 W Olympic Blvd Info: (213) 765-7000 www.thenovodtla.com
Saturday, March 10 Black Queens of Los Angeles Business/Networking Conference Featuring Tamera Mowry & business owners 6pm-9: 30 pm – $45
Edwina Findley was a red carpet favorite at Essence’s Women of Power luncheon. Findley attended in support of pal, Danai Gurira.
Sunday, March 11
Sundays for the whole family Free • Noon – 2pm Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd Information: (310) 746-4000 www.thewallis.org
at honored son was k p c m la o B h l T a Tessa Annu th 1 1 n o e e c n Lunch the Esse llywood o H n I Women
attend ughter Blue Ivy Beyonce and da me at ga l r Basketbal the 2018 All-Sta er nt the Staples Ce
EvENT SPOTLIGHT Saturday, March 10 Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves Film Festival Guest speaker: Former Motion Picture Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs 9:00am-2:00pm- Power Panel Breakfast Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4708 West Washington Blvd $15 - $25 7:00PM-9:30PM- Evening Film Festival Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Avenue $25 - $45 bherc.org
Issa Rae looks stun ning on th carpet at e the Amer ican Black Red Festival’s Film awards in Beverly H ills
Anika Rose struck a pose on the red carpet at the American Black Film Festival gala.
Essence Eleventh Annual Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon Honorees Tessa Thompson, Lena Waithe, Tiffany Haddish, and Danai Gurira pose on stage with their awards
Besties Gabrielle Union and Regina Hall pose outside of Vanity Fair’s Oscar gala.
Tuesday, March 13 “Stress and Cancer” 7 – 9pm • Free UCLA Medical Center 757 Westwood Blvd Tamkin Auditorium RSVP: (800) 516-5323
Wednesday, March 14 Discussion: Keeping Your Heart Healthy Foods and supplements to eat and avoid and how to live a healthy lifestyle 6:30 -8pm • Free Santa Monica YMCA 1332 6th Street RSVP: (800) 516-5323
Friday, March 16 Bishop Cortez Vaughn “He Deserves It” Concert Hosted by Pastor Sherman Gordon (Family of Faith Christian Center 6pm • $25 - $35 345 E. Carson Street Long Beach, CA 90807 www.fofccglobal.com
With Celebrity Host Nene Leakes 7:45pm • $39.50 – 69.50 Nokia Theatre-LA Live 777 Chick Hearn Court www.microsofttheater.com In Concert: Miki Howard (Through Sat., March 17) 8:30am • $25 The Catalina Jazz Club 6725 W. Sunset Blvd. Contact: (323) 466-2210 www.catalinajazzclub.com
Saturday, March 17 Soulful Noise of Venice Live music and beautiful scenery on the boardwalk 12-3pm • Free 1425 Ocean Front Walk Info: soulfulnoise.com College & Career Fair For The Arts (Hosted by Center Theatre Group) 9:30am – 4pm • Free Music Center Annex 601 W. Temple Street Info: (213) 972.7376 CenterTheatreGroup.org
Wednesday, March 21 Booksigning: Chelsea Clinton (She Persisted Around The World) 6pm•$17.99(book purchase) Vroman’s Bookstore 695 East Colorado Blvd Pasadena, 91101 vromansbookstore.com
Thursday, March 22 Paleyfest: “The Good Doctor” Meet and Greet Dolby Theatre 7:30pm • $30-60 6801 Hollywood Boulevard Info: (323) 308-6300 www.dolbytheatre.com
Friday, March 23 The Dancer In Me “Planetshakers” (Through Sun, March 25) Sacred worship & purposedriven artistry $0 -$1100 • 11am – 6pm Cal State Long Beach 1250 Bellflower Blvd Register: (562) 293-1700
(Through Sun., March 25) $30-$65 Anaheim Convention Ctr 800 W Katella Ave www.comic-con.org/wca
Saturday, March 24 National Action Network Women’s History Luncheon 11am • $45 8039 South Vermont Info: (323) 546-8173 In Concert: Morris Day & the Time $58-89 • 9pm The Rose 254 E. Green Street Pasadena 91101 wheremusicmeetsthesoul.com
BBA 2018 Salute to Black Women Business Conference & Awards Luncheon (Honoring women in public service and government) 8:30am–3pm • $65 The L.A. Hotel Downtown 333 So. Figueroa Contact: (323) 291-9334 www.bbala.org
Kofi Soriboe, Rutina Wesley & Dawn-Lyen Gardner Dolby Theatre 7pm • $30-60 6801 Hollywood Boulevard Info: (323) 308-6300 www.dolbytheatre.com
Friday, March 30 GLAAACC 24th Annual Economic Awards Dinner 5:30pm – 9:30pm 7pm Dinner • $500 JW Marriott LA Live 900 W. Olympic Blvd. Contact: (310) 216-4722 www.glaaacc.org
Saturday, March 31 The Ultimate Sam Cooke Experience: Carla Cooke Sings Sam Cook 7pm • Call for pricing The Miracle Theater 226 S. Market Street Inglewood Contact: (310) 853-6004 In Concert: Tye Tribbett Presented by NHouse Pro/Nexus 2018 Hosted by Kevon Carter $35-65 • 10am Knotts Berry Farm
around los angeles Girls Nite Out For Laughs Featuring Adele Givens, Loni Love, Sherri Shepherd and more
Love And Unity
“WonderCon 2017” Featuring sneak peeks, Q&As, screenings, guests and costume contest
Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler greet each other on the red carpet at the LA premiere of A Wrinkle in Time
Lecture/Panel Discussion: Collective Action: Artists for Housing & Homeless Rights Investigates the devastating impacts of California housing crisis Featuring the AntiEviction Mapping Project (AEMP) and the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD 10am – 3:30pm • Free Free (Parking = $12) California African American Museum 600 State Drive RSVP: (213) 744-2024 caamuseum.org Easter Scavenger Hunt Noon - 2pm • Free Greater Zion Church Family 2408 N. Wilmington Ave Compton Contact: (310) 639-5535 www.greaterzionchurchfamily.com
for the cameras in Angela Bassett poses the A Wrinkle In this daring outfit at miere. pre . L.A Time’s A Wrinkle in Time sta r Storm Reid is all smiles on the red car pet at the film’s Los Angeles premiere .
L.A. Focus/ March 2018
nessa Bryant Kobe Bryant, wife Va Natalia & ers ht ug and their two da ily outing at the Gianna enjoy a fam inkle In Time LA premiere of A Wr
Paleyfest: “Queen Sugar” Cast meet and greet with
Charles M. Schulz Theater 8039 Beach Blvd Buena Park, CA 90620 Contact: (714) 220-5200
Re d Carpet Style
VIOLA DAVIS is timeless in a hot pink sequenced Michael Kors gown and matching clutch
JANELLE MONAE is fierce in a Christian Sirianoaâ€™s red pantsuit with bedazzled shoulder pads
The stars showed up on the Red Carpet with fierce gowns and Hollywood glamour for the 90th Annual Academy Awards . Held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, March 4, 2018
DANI GURIRA has gone from warrier to princess in a strapless Gabriela Hearst gown
ZENDAYA COLEMAN looking graceful in a oneshoulder gown by Giambattista Valli Haute
TARAJI P. HENSON is giving us sexy in a Vera Wang black sheer gown
Through the Storm
aking people laugh is Michael Colyars’s business, but there was a time when life for the 61year old comedian was no laughing matter. And now, the comic known for roles on Fox’s The Bernie Mac Show, Martin, ABC’s Black-ish, Showtime’s Barbershop, UPN’s Homeboys in Outer Space and his popular stand up show around L.A. has turned his personal story of tragedy and triumph into a powerful one-man show, Michael Colyar’s Momma. The play chronicles his successes, failures and the first love of his life—his mother. It is, in short, his evolution. “The project is all about my mama and her journey to bring us up,” Colyar said. “You get to watch us grow up in the projects in Chicago, me coming to California and discovering my craft, to Hollywood and then to my stardom”. But the show is not just one man’s journey for greatness. It also displays the strength he found to overcome even his toughest battle—a 23-year crack addiction. Coming up in a family that had addiction, Colyar— who gets his style from his father — says it was almost natural for him to take that path. “My father would drink a fifth of booze a day and smoked three and a half packets of Pall Mall cigarettes. That was his downfall, even though he was a loving father and a hard worker. So it was easy for me to take that path, — easier than doing the right thing. In fact, I have several family members who are still dancing that dance because it's easier to go and dance the dance than to change your mind. Looking back, Colyar credits his faith in God for getting him back on the right path – beginning with his fight to become sober. “The play follows my addiction,— sneaking into the house 3:30 in the morning, heart beating fast, sweating like R. Kelly in the playground. I would spend my poor little life partying! I couldn't wait to get rocking.” The misery for him he says manifested itself in a constant sense of loss. “I didn't realize how many relationships I was messing up. How many opportunities… Now, I would never steal from my family because see I was a functional addict. I was living in a five-bedroom home with a pool on a mountain with a view and I had nice things in my home, but in the last couple of years I was unhappy. It also gave me even more clarity about the fact that I wasn't really happy in my relationship. I was in a relationship that to me had come to the end… I was miserable. I
No Laughing Matter didn't have the ultimate joy that we all have coming to us. And joy is our birthright. “The point where you start to heal is when you finally get to the point where you've had enough— where you're like I just can't do this no more. “I got tired of coming home at 3:30 in the morning. I got tired of breaking my wife's heart. I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired, so I started talking to God and asking God to help me in a physical way. I wanted God to make me ill if I ever would come near drugs.” Today, with the support and love of his mother, relying on his relationship with God and with the assistance of Cocaine Anonymous, Colyar celebrates 7 years of pure sobriety. “I started going to AA and I loved it and, you know, I still love it. I get to my AA meeting all the time. And the gift of sobriety, oh my Lord! I won't do anything. I won't drink it, shoot it, sniff it, — none of that. I wouldn't take a sip of champagne to celebrate if I hit lotto for $100 million.” All of what he has now accomplished he says come as a result of his sobriety. “Me having my money back, me having a queen who is just amazing. She's everything. The woman I love, Kelly is what I've been looking for my entire life. I have never known that a man can have this much joy.” Where Colyar says it most hurt him was with his career track. Starting out with comics like Steve Harvey and Cedric The Entertainer —who have since eclipsed him—Colyar believes it was his addiction that set him back.
Upon arriving to Hollywood, the young comic had been on the fast track to success, performing five onehour shows every weekend on the Venice Beach Boardwalk for a decade and earning the title King of Venice Beach. He made his acting debut in Hollywood Shuffle, while early credits include The What’s Love Got To Do With It, House Party 3 and guest TV appearances on shows like Dragnet and 227. Numerous TV and film credits have followed—56 in all, leading up to the point where Colyar decided to focus in on his own life in a play that not only celebrates love but whose message he is in full control of having financed the show on his own. “I want to do this thing for about two and a half years and then shoot it for Netflix,” says Colyar. “I'm telling you it is amazing. When this show is over the people will know anybody on drugs, who's ever been on drugs, come to me and thank me for healing them. Mothers come up to me and they hug me." “We haven't done the routing for the 100 cities. We have about 12 cities that said they wanted it. But it’s funny. It's dramatic. It's heart- warming. It's just a really good show.” The play isn’t the only thing Colyar’s up to. In fact, the Chicago native co-stars in “The Rich & The Ruthless”, which—created by actress Victoria Rowell and seen on Bob Johnson’s Urban Movie Channel —is the only black-owned daytime drama in the industry. With life going well these days, Colyar doesn’t have to make any apologies for who he is. “God”, he says, “is at the center of everything,— every prayer, every joke, every word. As a matter of fact, I get calls, letters and texts from people all of the time who tell me God and my mother are proud of me.” To that end, one of his biggest joys—other than his passion for fine haberdashery, is doing his mom and God proud. “God would want a front row seat every time, because He is front center in the play. He is front center in my life. It is the aspect of being turned around. I made a change in all aspects of my life. “This play is also about our mothers and how important they are to us. I look in the mirror every morning now and am glad because of my Mother and God, and the way they have loved me, healed me and watched over me all these years. So it's about redemption. It's about changing your life.”
Join Apostle Ron Hill for A Season of Prayer, Fasting, Shut-In and Deliverance Service
Our inner-cites and America as a whole are in trouble. Racism, sexism, governmental distrust, unspeakable violence, lack of respect, economic corruption, sexual immodesty, troubled youth, broken marriages, incurable diseases, addictions… and the list can run to infinity. America has become a Godless nation, doomed to fail if the church fails to repent and call on God to release His glory. Nothing else will do. We need a Holy Ghost revival, now. First, it is the will of God to send a revival. Second, we are going to receive a revival because we will repent and cry out to God to send it (Joel 2:12). We must admit that we are in trouble and that revival is the only thing that can bring us out. By faith, we are going to experience a mighty move of the Holy Ghost where the power and love of the Gospel will manifest throughout our families, cities, states and nation. We have a powerful tool which God has given to us, one that was used by Jesus and Old and New Testament characters. This tool is Prayer and Fasting before God. The Body of Christ must pray. The body of Christ must also fast. There is a direct correlation between a praying and fasting church and the demonstration of the power of God. The power of God cannot manifest without prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29). 1 John 5:14-15 states And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. Please join me at Love and Unity Christian Fellowship, 1840 S. Wilmington Avenue, Compton, CA 90220 for a season of Prayer, Fasting and Shut-In. The 3-Day and Night “Water Only” fast begins Tuesday, March 13th at your bedtime. The Shut-In will begin Wednesday, March 14th, 9pm. All are welcome to come and pray at the church 24/7. The Fast and Shut-In will end Friday, March 16th, 7pm. This season of fasting and prayer will culminate with a Healing and Deliverance Service, Saturday, March 17th, 12 Noon. Bring your tired, your poor, and your sick in the mind, soul and body and we will lay hands on them by faith and believe God for their complete deliverance. If need be, please consult your physician for permission to fast. If you cannot be present, please email us your prayer request to email@example.com
Apostle Ronald C. Hill, Sr. Love and Unity Christian Fellowship (www.loveandunity.org)
Game Changers: Sandra Evers-Manly As a small child Sandra Evers-Manly loved to watch television and movies like any kid does, but unlike most other kids she was struck by some of what she saw — or rather, who she didn’t see. In all of her beloved programing Sandra didn’t see anyone who looked like her, anyone with coco skin and thick curly hair—anyone black. This affected so much that she wrote a poem about her feelings to express her self: Why is it Mama, That there’s no one on TV that looks like me? Why is it Mama, that they know it’s one I really see? Is it that they don’t want to see me?... “I would always ask my mother, ‘Why don’t you see us on TV? My mother finally said, ‘Change it.’ And EverManly—who hails from a family legacy of change and whose cousin was slain civil rights leader, Medgar Evers— set out to do just that. “While a lot of people came to Hollywood to be actors and actresses, I really came to try to bring about change for more of our images in front of and behind the scenes,” Evers-Manly states. In 1991, Evers-Manly —a top executive at a Fortune 500 company—founded the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) and in the more than two decades since, the nonprofit public benefit group has been dedicated to advocating, educating, researching, developing, and preserving the history and future of blacks in film and TV while also
supporting the early work of student filmmakers that have gone on to become blockbuster directors like Gina PrinceBythewood (Love & Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees) and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler. “When I see the Gina’s and Ryan’s of the world as well as the number of individuals who are working in the industry, of whom started out with internships that the BHERC advocated for—you know you are doing the right thing. I just think, there’s definitely a higher power that has guided myself, as well as the team of folks at BHERC who make everything happen.” So far, the organization has provided more than $4 million in scholarships as well as helping supply film equipment. Ironically, it was with their very first project that BHERC helped their first student to make film history. “There was a student at the American Film Institute,” Evers-Manly recalls. “His name was David Massey, and David came to me and said, ‘I need some help. I’m trying to raise funds to complete my thesis project and I don’t have a support system’, like others who have family members or connections in the industry. “So we worked with David and raised about $40,000 to complete his project. I allowed him to use my home and got a lot of family and friends to become involved
We’re in Los Angeles and you would think there were no African Americans anywhere to be found. So I became interested in how we can deploy young black men in college.”
with the project. As a result he submitted his film to the Academy. That project, Last Breeze of Summer, was nominated, making him the first African-American to be nominated in the short films category. “It was during that time that time that I said, ‘Okay, There is a calling. There is a need for this because we have to make sure our students and independent filmmakers have a forum.’ That’s how BHERC started.” Along with supporting young artists and professionals in the industry monetarily, BHERC hosts four annual film festivals that spotlight the work of black filmmakers. Their longest running showcase, “Sistas Are Doin’ It For Themselves Film Festival” is gearing up for it’s 25th annual celebration of black women filmmakers this March as a part of Woman’s History Month. The event, which has gained a reputation for being one of the most inspiring events in the black entertainment community, features shorts films and documentaries from emerging black women writers and directors, as well as a panel discussion following the screening. “We actually started “Sistas Doin’ it For Themselves” before we actually started the organization,” notes Evers-Manly. “We felt there was a need to begin to provide a forum for black women filmmakers to tell their stories. Twenty-five years ago
KEITH DELAWDER Staff Writer black women were just not as visible as they should be so we decided to give them a platform to show off their incredible art in their own way. While we’ve seen breakthroughs today, there is still much more work to be done.” Past “Sista” filmmakers and participants have included Gina PrinceBythewood, Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou), Yvette Freeman (ER), Dianne Houston (the first black female to be nominated for and Academy Award in the Short Film category) and the Oscar-nominated Dee Rees (Mudbound) to name a few. The film festivals— which she sees as filling a need—allow BHERC to share with the world what she knows is the bedrock of success: the talent of black artists. “I think for black filmmakers, talent still most important,” Evers-Manly states. “We want to challenge filmmakers. We are willing to give you funding but we want stories that are going to help educate, uplift or empower our viewers.” For Sandra Evers-Manly, what still matters most is the stories that are being told. “We’ve got to find ways to allow people express themselves through the arts, and film in my opinion is one of the most powerful mediums of art there is. The goal is to make sure that black artists are in an industry that is welcoming…an industry that they don’t have to fight to tell their stories, and honestly, I don’t think we are there yet. We need organizations to keep fighting because we need to make sure we have the diversity, the depth of our images, and our stories told. There’s still a lot more work to do out there.” For more information on the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center, visit bherc.org
www.lafocusnewspaper.com Ken Blackwell continued from page 7
More important, a month from now anti-gun activists will have moved on to new causes and targets. They won’t be flying or buying more to reward firms which dumped NRA members. New businesses will come forward to serve the five million members and their families united by a commitment to the Constitution and individual liberty. And NRA members won’t forget who cut and ran. They will punish firms and associations which joined the anti-gun bandwagon, taking their business elsewhere. Gun owners have long memories: they know that protecting their Second Amendment rights is a permanent battle. How to confront evil is one of the
enduring questions of humanity. No one wants another crime like that in Parkland. But no one should believe violating basic constitutional liberties is the answer to criminal violence. We need to face some hard truths together to find solutions to complex problems involving mental illness, law enforcement failure, and more. Blaming responsible gun owners for the crimes of a few might make left-wing activists feel better, but it won’t make anyone safer. And that should be everyone’s objective. Ambassador Ken Blackwell is a best-selling author and a visiting professor at the Liberty University School of Law. He is a contributing editor for Townhall.com, and a public affairs commentator for the Salem Radio Network.
Police abuse continued from page 6
unions when they are running for office. Harris also reminded the audience that black people were still a potent force at the ballot, pointing to the victory of Democrat Doug Jones, in the Alabama Senate race. Jones relied heavily on black female voters. “It’s time for California to stand for black people,” said Harris. His speech was followed by chants of “Black Lives Matter.” This isn’t the first time Harris has locked horns with Becerra. Last year he criticized Becerra in a Twitter post. “California AG Becerra is quick to sue Trump admin over border wall but has the full power to investigate police shootings and won’t do it,” said Harris in a tweet. Rev. Shaun Harris of the National Action Network
ChurchNews Frederick K.C. Price School In Jeopardy of Closing
t was a sober Angela Evans who in her capacity as CEO of Crenshaw Christian Center stood before the congregation in the Faithdome last month and announced that their beloved Frederick K.C. Price III Christian School—founded in the cEO Angie Evans name of her late brother— would be closing its doors if they did not meet their enrollment and fiscal quotas. But in the days that followed a groundswell of support has given Evans hope. “The response has been overwhelming. Immediately, our church members said we can’t let this happen and the out-pouring of love and concern has been palpable. We have been an institution of the community for thirtythree years now, and people don’t want to see that go away. With that said, we need our seats to be filled.” The school, which has served the community with quality education since 1986, must reach full capacity for it’s next term [September] or the school will be unable to remain open. Currently school has 177 students enrolled and has to make up the difference of at least 80 more students to reach 100% enrollment of 260 K-12 students. Price School boasts a one hundred percent graduation rate and one hundred percent matriculation to universities, along with small class sizes, lower than average tuition rates, advanced placement classes, and an excellent theater arts program. The school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), along with a complete A-G UC requirement certification. “I am immensely proud and gratified by our student’s successes,” tells Evans. “We are part of only ten percent of private schools nationwide that are fully accredited which is quite the accomplishment for a small Christian private school—it makes our students competitive for college acceptance.” In past years, the church has made up for whatever financial shortfalls it was experiencing. “The church is what caused the school to exist, so I can’t jeopardize the church and have its mission subordinated by the school,” Evans explained. The decision on the school’s fate has been set tentatively for next month although it can be pushed back if there is considerable momentum. “It doesn’t take long for people to say, ‘Oh I’d love my child to go here, let me go pick up an application,’” Evans said. “For the time being, the teachers and the parents have been put on notice. We can play around with the time table if we are seeing a large push of interest, but at the end of June a decision will have to be made that either we’re going to make it or we’re going to close.”
Welton Pleasant To Be Installed As President of the California State Baptist Convention On March 13, representatives from the National Baptist Convention will join with pastors from around the state for the installation of Senior Pastor Welton Pleasant (Christ Second Baptist Church in Long Beach) to the office of president of the California State Baptist Convention. The ceremony is part of a four-day long winter board session of the group at the Torrance Marriott from March 13 through March 16 and will feature prominent pastors like Dr. Charles Booth and workshops on every thing from grappling with shifting demographics to attracting millenials and evangelism in a digital age. Composed of over 300 churches from Northern California and Sacramento to Southern California and San Diego, the California State Baptist Convention is the largest black religious state convention in California. “It’s a high honor to serve in this capacity,” said Pleasant. “I stand on big shoulders. Our former presidents include E.V. Hill, Bobby Newman, Claybon Lea— we have a legacy of great leadership. “Our motto is strengthening churches to serve. We want to empower churches to be a resource in their local congregations and community.”
Agape Church of Los Angeles Worship Center Consolidated Plaza: 3725 Don Felipe Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90008 Corprate Office: 4602 Crenshaw Blvd, Suite 2A, Los Angeles, CA 90043 (323) 295-5571 www.agapela.org Bishop Craig A. Worsham, Founder & Senior Pastor Sunday School: 10:00am Morning Worship: 11:00am Loving, Lifting & Liberating Humanity Through The Word Bethany Baptist Church of West LA 4115 W. Martin L. King Jr. Bl • LA 90008 (323) 296-7223 Dr. L.A. Kessee, Senior Pastor Sunday Worship: 8am •11:00am Sunday School: 9:45am Communion, First Sundays 6:00pm Prayer Service: 10:00am www.bethanywla.com
Grant AME Church 10435 S. Central Avenue • Los Angeles, CA 90002 (323) 564-1151 • F: (323) 564-5027 Rev. Dr. J. Arthur Rumph, Senior Pastor Sunday School: 8am Worship: 9:30am Wed. Bible Study: 11:30am •6pm
Grace Temple Baptist Church 7017 South Gramercy Place, Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 971-8192 Bishop Miquail M. Broadous Sr., Senior Pastor Sunday School: 9am Morning Worship: 10:00am Wednesday Worship: 6:45pm E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bethel Missionary Baptist Church of South L.A. 10905 S. Compton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90059 (323) 566.5286 Pastor Reginald A. Pope Sunday School: 9:30am Morning Worship: 8am • 11am Children’s Church: 11am (2nd/4th Sundays) Evangelism Training/Bible Study/Independent Prayer: (Mon): 7:29pm Mobile Prayer/Bible Study: (Wed) 11am Book by Book Bible Study (Wed.): 6:30pm
Grace United Methodist Church 4112 West Slauson Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90043 (323) 294-6653 • F: (323) 294-8753 • email@example.com Rev. Pastor Paul A. Hill • www.graceumcla.com Early Morning Worship: 7:45am Sunday School: 9:45am Morning Worship: 10:45am Wed. Bible Study: Noon & 7:00pm Fri. Alcoholic Anonymous: 7:00pm Tues. Prayer Fellowship: 6:30pm Super Seniors (Thurs/Bi-Monthly): 10:30am Follow us on Facebook
Bryant Temple AME Church 2525 W. Vernon Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90008 (323) 293-6201 • F: (323) 293-0082 Pastor Dwaine Jackson
Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church 5300 S. Denker Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90062 (323) 759-4996 Rev. DeNon Porter
Sunday School: 8:15am Morning Worship: 10:00 am Bible Study (Tues): Noon Pastor’s Bible Study( Tues): 6:00pm
Christ The Good Shepherd Episcopal Church 3303 W. Vernon Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90008 (323) 295-4139 • F: (323) 295-4681 Rev. Joseph Oloimooja Sunday School: 10:00am Early Worship: 8:00am Morning Worship: 10:00am Mon. Centering Prayer/Meditation: 6:30pm Mon. Overeaters Anonymous: 7:00pm Wed. Bible Study & Eucharist: 7:00pm Wed. Alcoholic Anonymous: 7:00pm E: firstname.lastname@example.org Congregational Church of Christian Fellowship 2085 S. Hobart Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018 Phone: (323) 731-8869 • F: (323) 731-0851 www.christianfellowshipla.org Pastor James K. McKnight Sun. Early Worship: 8:00am Prayer Meeting: 10:30am Morning Worship: 11:00am Wed. Afternoon Bible Study: 1:00pm Wed. Prayer Meeting: 6:00pm Wed. Evening Bible Study: 7:00pm View Pastor McKnight’s Sermons on YouTube Crenshaw Christian Center 7901 South Vermont, Los Angeles, CA 90044 (323) 758-3777 • F: (323)565-4231 • www.faithdome.org Apostle Frederick K.C. Price, Founder Sunday Service: 9:45am Bible Study (Tue): 11:00am & 7:00pm Tue. Night Children’s Ministry: 7:00pm Tue. Night Bible Study (Teens): 7:00pm Alcohol & Drug Abuse Program (Wed): 7:00pm
First AME Church (FAME) 2270 South Harvard Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018 (323) 735-1251 • F: (323) 735-3353 • www.famechurch.org Pastor J. Edgar Boyd, Senior Pastor/CEO Sunday School: 10:00am Worship: 8:00am, 10:00am, Noon Teen Church (2nd Sundays):Noon,Allen House Wed. Prayer Service: Noon Wed. Bible Study: 7:00pm Radio: 10:30am on KJLH-102.3FM First AME is the oldest Black Church in the City
Early Worship: 8am Sunday School: 9:30am Mid-Morning Worship: 11am Radio-KALI 900AM: Sun. 11-Noon, 7-8pm KTYM 1460AM Sundays: 5:30pm Bible Study (Tues, Wed & Thurs): 7pm Holman United Methodist Church 3320 W. Adams Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018 (323) 731-7285 • F: (323) 731-2609 • www.holmanumc.com Rev. Kelvin Sauls Sunday School: 9:30am(Youth) & 9:45(Adult) Sunday Worship: 8am and 11am Morning Worship: 11:00am Bible Study (Thurs.): Noon Sun. Radio: KJLH 102.3FM: 11:00am Praise and Worship: 2nd Wednesdays 6:30pm8:00pm Jazz for the Soul: 4th Wed’s 6:30pm-8:00pm Gather, Grow, Go and Live The Gospel Jesus Christ
Liberty Baptist Church 1500 West 51st Place, Los Angeles, CA 90062 (323) 295-3866 • F: (323) 295-0366 • E: LBCwim@aol.com Rev. Terry Lovell Brown Sr. Sunday Church School: 9:00am Morning Worship: 10:30am & 12:30pm Wed. Bible Study: noon & 6:30pm Prayer Meeting: 6:00pm Follow us on Twitter @dacrossculture www.thecrossculture.org Mt. Moriah Baptist Church of LA, Inc. 4269 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90037 (323) 846-1950 Rev. Melvin V. Wade, Sr. Sunday School: 8:15am Morning Worship: 9:45am Evening Worship: 6:30pm Mid-Week Worship (Wed): 7:00pm Bible Study (Wed.): 8:00pm
Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church of Los Angeles 3669 W. 54th St. Los Angeles, CA 90043 • (323) 291-1121
F: (323) 291-1133 • email@example.com • www.sinai.church Pastor George E. Hurtt, Pastor-Teacher Sunday Worship: 8:00am, 11:00am Discipleship Hour (Sun): 9:37am Noonday Prayer (Mon): Noon Noonday Bible Study (Tue): 12:00pm Tuesday Night in the Truth: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org •www.sinai.church Our Goal: To win more Christians & develop better Christians to the glory of God. (Matt. 28:18-20)
Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church 1300 E. 50th Street Los Angeles, CA 90011 (323) 235-2103 • F: (323) 235-3177 • www.mtzionla.org Dr. Edward V. Hill, II, Pastor Sunday Intercessory Prayer: 9:15am Morning Worship: 9:30am Children’s Church: 9:30am Sunday School: 11:30am Baptism: 2nd Sun. & Lord’s Supper: 1st. Sun. Tues. Pastor’s Bible Study: 6:30pm Wed. Noon-day Prayer: Noon
Park Windsor Baptist Church 1842 W. 108th St. Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 756-3966 • RevTerrellTaylor@sbcglobal.net Rev. Terrell Taylor
New Antioch Church of God in Christ 7826 So. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90044 (323) 778-7965 Elder Jeffrey M. Lewis
People’s Independent Church of Christ 5856 West Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90043 • (323) 296-5776
Sunday Early Morning Worship: 8:00am Sunday School: 9:30 am Morning Worship: 11:00am Tuesday Prayer and Bible Band: 11:00am Wednesday Bible Study: 7:30pm Wednesday in the Word: 7:30pm
Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:00am Bible Study Wednesday: Noon & 7:00pm Communion: 1st Sunday at 8:00am & 11:00am
Sundays: Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:00am Wednesday Bible Study & Mid Week Worship: Noon & 7:00pm Prayer Meeting: 6:30pm
St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church 5017 S. Compton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011 (323) 231-1040 • stmarkmbcofla.org Rev. Dr. Lovely Haynes Sunday Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:00am Sunday School: 9:30am Mon-Wed: Prayer Bible Study: 6:00 - 6:55 pm Mon. Night Bible Study: 7:00pm Tue Choir Rehersal Wednesday Prayer: Noon Wed. Exposition of Sunday School Lesson: 7pm Wed. Prayer Meeting: 7:00pm Thurs. Evangelism: 7:00pm (enrollment required) St. Matthew Tabernacle of Praise “The S.T.O.P.” 1740 West 59th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90047 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 56608, Los Angeles, CA 90056 (323) 291-1115 • F: (323) 293-0471 Rev. C.Barry Greene, Pastor Sunday Worship Service: 8:00am PrayerLine: (Tuesday & Wednesday): 6:00am WordLine (Tuesday): 7:00pm ( (712) 775-7031 Access Code: 814352108) E: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
The Children’s Collective Inc. Immediate openings for full and part day preschool in our 12 child care centers The Children’s Collective, Inc offers: • Assessment of parent fees on a sliding scale • Licensed/credentialed teachers • Appropriate learning environment that encourages each child to develop a positive sense of self-worth • Resources and referrals provided for families • Child care services for infants, toddlers and preschoolers • Multicultural curriculum and kindergarten readiness activities Our program is open from 7:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Friday Nutritious breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks provided at no cost
We currently have openings in all of our Child Care Centers To enroll your child, contact us at (323) 789-1873
New Mt. Calvary Baptist Church 402 E. El Segundo Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90061 (310)324-0644 • F: (310) 769-1287 Rev. Sonja Dawson, Senior Pastor • Rev. Lonnie Dawson, Sr., Founder (1962 - 2010) Morning Worship: 7:30am & 10:45am Sunday School: 9:45am Wed. Prayer/Bible Study: Noon Pastor’s Bible Study: 7:00pm
One Church International 614 N. La Brea Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036 (818) 763-4521 • www.onechurchla.org Sr. Pastor Toure’ Roberts Sunday Worship: 9:00am, 11:00am & 1:00pm Wednesday Midweek Service: 8pm www.Channel1Live.tv—View live streaming
Pastor’s Bible Class & Sunday School: 8am Morning Worship: 9:30am Tues. Prayer: 7:00pm Tues. Bible Study: 8:00pm
Praises of Zion Baptist Church (“Praise City”) 8222 So. San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90003 (323) 750-1033 • F: (323) 750-5458 • www.pozlive.com Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick, Sr. Pastor Early Morning Worship: 6:45am Educational Hour: 9:15am Mid-Morning Worship: 10:45am Wed. Bible Study: Noon & 7:00pm Sunday Morning Broadcast: 5:30am Live Streaming Sundays: 12:00pm Price Chapel AME Church 4000 W. Slauson Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90043 (323) 296-2406 • email@example.com Rev. Benjamin Hollins Sunday Worship Service: 10:00am Sunday School: 8:30am Power Lunch Bible Study (Wed): 11:00am Praise & Worship Bible Study (Wed): 6:30pm
Southern Saint Paul Church 4678 West Adams Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016 (323) 731-2703 • firstname.lastname@example.org Rev. Xavier L. Thompson, Senior Pastor/Teacher Corporate Prayer: 7:45am Morning Worship Service: 9:00am Baptism & Communion (First Sunday): 4:00pm Christian Education Night(Wednesdays):7:00pm North Campus: L.I.F.E. Groups: 11:00am Worship Service:12:30pm 11137 Herrick Av • Pacoima 91331 (818) 899-8031 email@example.com •“Loving People Making Disciples” Trinity Baptist Church 2040 West Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90018 (323) 735-0044 • F: (323) 735-0219 Rev. Alvin Tunstill, Jr Sunday Worship: 7:30 & 10:30am Sunday Church School: 9:00am Radio Broadcast KJLH FM: 9:00am Wed. Prayer & Bible Study: Noon-7:00pm www.trinitybaptistchurchofla.org UpLift Christian Fellowship 4745 W. Slauson Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90056 (310) 927-3476 • www.upliftla.org Pastor Anthony Thompson Sunday Worship: 10:00am Bible Study Wednesday: 7:00pm
L.A. Focus/ March 2018
Paradise Baptist Church 5100 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90037 (323) 231-4366 Dr. Aaron Iverson
Pleasant Hill Baptist Church 2009 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90062 (323) 293-6448 • F: (323) 293-6605 Dr. Sylvester Washington Sunday School: 8:00am Morning Worship: 10:00am Tues. Bible Study: 11:00am Wed. Evangelism Class: 6:30pm First Sun. Holy Communion Service: 4:00pm
Victory Baptist Church 4802 South McKinley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90056 (323) 231-2424• Pastor Dr. W. Edward Jenkins Sunday School: 10:45 am Morning Worship: 9:00am Bible Study Wednesday:Noon Radio Sundays: KPRO 1570AM: 9:00pm
Weller Street Baptist Church 129 S. Gless St, Los Angeles, CA 90033 (323) 261-0949 • F: (323)264-6601 • www.wellerstreetlive.com Pastor K.W. Tulloss Sunday School: 8:00am Sunday Morning Worship: 9:00am Tues. Bible Study: 6:45pm www.wellerstreetlive.com “We have not walked this way before” Joshua 3:1-6
West Angeles Church of God In Christ 3045 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016 (323) 733-8300 Bishop Charles E. Blake
Sunday School: 8:00am & 10:30am Early Worship: 8:00am Morning Worship: 11:00am Evening Worship (North Campus): 7:00pm Wed. Mid-Week Worship: 7:00pm Sun. Radio Broadcast KJLH 102.3FM: 10:00am
Lifeline Fellowship Christian Center In Altadena 2556 N. Lake Ave., Altadena, CA 91001 (626) 797-3585 • F: (626) 797-3233 • www.lifelinefcc.org Pastor Charles D. Dorsey Sunday School: 9:00am Early Worship (Glory Prayer): 8:00am Morning Worship: 10:30am Evening Worship (1st & 2nd Sun.): 5:00pm Wed. Bible Study: 7:00pm
Peace Apostolic Church 21224 Figueroa Street, Carson, CA 90745 (310) 212-5673 Suff. Bishop Howard A. Swancy
Sunday School: 10:00am Morning Worship: 11:45am Evening Worship: 6:30pm Wed. Noon Day Bible Class: 12:30pm Wed. Bible Class: 7:30pm
Triedstone Missionary Baptist Church 1249 East Carson Street • Carson, CA 90745 (424) 287-2809 Pastor Quentin T. Oden Sunday School: 9:00am Sunday Worship Service: 10:00am Bible Study: Wednesday 7:00pm Facebook live Sundays at: Triedstonembcla 11:15am “Where the father leads, we will follow...” www.triedstonembcla.org
Citizens of Zion Missionary Baptist Church In Compton 12930 No. Lime Ave., Compton, CA 90221 (310) 638-0536 • F: (323) 636-2080 • www.citizensofzion.org Rev. Bobby Newman, Jr., Senior Pastor; Rev. B.T. Newman, Pastor (Pastor Emeritus) Sunday School: 9:00am Morning Service: 10:45am Wed. Mid-Week Bible Study: 7:00pm
Greater Zion Church Family 2408 North Wilmington Avenue, Compton, CA 90222 (310) 639-5535 • E: GreaterZionCF@gmail.com Reverend Michael J. Fisher & Dr. W. Jerome Fisher, Pastor Emeritus Sunday Morning Worship: 9:00am, 11:00am & 5:00pm Wed. Bible Studies: Noon-7:00pm www.greaterzionchurchfamily.com
Love and Unity Christian Fellowship 1840 S. Wilmington Ave, P.O. Box 5449, Compton 90220 (310) 604-5900 Fax: (310) 604-5915 Dr. Ron C Hill Sunday Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:30am Sunday Evening Worship: 6:30pm Bible Studies: Wed. 7:30pm & Sat. 9am Food for Your Soul Radio & Television Ministry: beblessedwebradio: Mon - Fri. 6:30am Church Channel: Tues. 5:30pm & Fri. 2:30pm
Pastor Profile: Harrington McFrazier Church: New Beginnings Baptst Church How Many Years At Church: 16 years Home Town: Los Angeles Family: Wife Coco, 8 children Given that becoming a pastor was never in your plans, how exactly did you end up in ministry? I went to church as a young child, but by the time I was a teenager I had fallen off. It wasn’t until my late 20s that I returned to the church. I was working in environmental services at UCLA Medical Center at the time, with no real career goals. But I realized something was missing. And one day I was standing in my neighborhood, and I just started looking at my surroundings and thought, "I do this everyday. I’m always just hanging out in the neighborhood. Something’s got to give. Shortly thereafter, I met my wife Coco. We were just dating at the time, but she was going to church regularly and I started going to church with her. It was then that I became a regular churchg o e r a n d
came to the true knowledge of God and how He operates. It was really exciting to me and that’s what drew me in. How did you go from regular churchgoer to Pastor? When I started going back to church, I began working closely with my Pastor, Benjamin Bynum. I became his armor-bearer of sorts, because I would drive him around to services where he’d go to preach. I think he saw my faithfulness because he wanted me to become a Deacon and asked if I would think about it. I said, “Yes, I’ll do what ever I need to do to help my church.” That was where my mindset was. At the time, I never thought I would be a Pastor, but God Called me and I accepted. So how did you receive that calling? Well, the Lord called me in a dream one night. I was in a big church as a deacon, I had my bible in my hand and I was standing in front of the church. I looked at the pulpit, but it was empty so I said, “Who is going to preach the word of God?” And the Lord said, “ You’re going to preach the word.” That’s how I was called. Soon after, I moved my membership to a church called Richmond Missionary Baptist Church and served as an assistant under Pastor Edward Fry. After so long I transferred to New Beginnings Church where I got my first job as pastor. I’ve been there sixteen years now. What were some of the challenges you faced at New Beginnings Church? Well, New Beginnings is a smaller church, and they were hurting when I got there because the Pastor before me kept money from the church. So when I got there the members were skeptical as to where the money would be going and how I would utilize the funds. That was the biggest challenge, but I was happy to be there. So what did you have to do to regain their trust? I just had to be honest in all that I would do with them. I made sure everything that was done would be open to everybody. As for their books, I made sure the members knew the amount of finances that were coming in and what the money going out was being used for. The process took time, but over the years I built trust with the church and the relationship is way better now. Having been a faithful parishioner for so long in other people’s churches, what are some of the things that you wanted to do at your church when you became a Pastor? I wanted to make sure people get the Word of God and that they would get it correctly. I also wanted to make
sure they knew they had a safe haven in the ministry if they needed one. I’m happy to say that we’ve had people in the community come and join the church and become active within the ministry. We also started a food giveaway program on Saturdays. I just wanted to do all I could so the church could help to provide for the needs of the community. So you mentioned New Beginnings is a smaller church, what are some of the advantages of being a part of a small church verses a mega church? I think the benefit of a small church is that you can be more personal with your leader and he is more accessible to his congregation. He is there for you if you need a prayer or someone to confide in. You can always call your Pastor. In my ministry, I believe in encountering everyone that comes to visit our church. If it’s just a hug, or shaking their hand, or welcoming them to the church and thanking them for coming, I want everybody that visits our church to be able to touch me and shake my hand and speak with me. I imagine you’ve changed a great deal since you were that young man who was searching for direction in his life. What has been the biggest change? I’ve really had to learn patience. I’ve learned how to have the patience to wait on God to move. What has been your mission or your biggest goal in the City of Los Angeles for your church? My goal has been to breakdown the gospel into His dying words. We live in a fast-paced give-it-to-me-now world and I believe people are losing focus on just being loving. I don’t feel like people love each other like we should. What do you preach most about? On being Christ-centered. I preach about trying to reform our lives the way Christ lived His life while he walked on earth. What are the benefits of having a smaller church? The benefit of a small church is that you can be more personal with people. You know your pastor is there for you if you need prayer or if you just need someone to confide in. I just believe in encountering everyone that comes visit our church. If it is just a hug or shaking their hand, thanking them for coming to the church or welcoming them. For us, it’s about close encounters with God and each other.
The City of Refuge 14527 S. San Pedro Street, Gardena, CA 90248 (310) 516-1433 Bishop Noel Jones
Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:00am Evening Worship: 6:00pm Bible Study (Wed): Noon & 7:00pm BET/Fresh Oil (Wed): 7:00am
The Liberty Church 14725 S. Gramercy Place, Gardena, CA 90249 (310) 715-8400 Pastor David W. Cross Early Worship: 8:30am Morning Worship: 9am & 11am Children’s Church: Both Services Word Power Wed.: 7-8pm www.thelibertychurch.com
Atherton Baptist Church 2627 W. 116th Street Hawthorne,CA 90250 (323) 757-3113 • www.athertonbc.org F: 323-757-8772 • firstname.lastname@example.org Pastor Larry Weaver
Sunday Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:00 am Sunday Bible Enrichment Class: 9:45am Mon.-Thurs. Bible Study: 7:00pm Wednesday Bible Study: 12:30pm & 7:00pm
Victory Institutional Baptist Church 4712 West El Segundo Blvd., Hawthorne, CA 90250 (310) 263-7073 • www.vibconline.com Pastor Richard Williams, III Sunday Morning Worship: 9:00am Sunday Evening Worship: 6:00pm Wed. Mid-Week Worship: 7:00pm Bible Study Tuesday: Noon & 7:00pm
In Inglewood Bible Enrichment Fellowship International 400 E. Kelso, Inglewood, CA 90301 (310) 330-4700 • www.bamcm.org Dr. Beverly “BAM” Crawford Morning Worship: 9:30am Tues. Bible Study: 7:30pm Wed. Mid-Week Prayer: 5am, Noon & 7:00pm Wednesday Pathway: 7:00pm Thurs Bible Study: 10:00am Sat Marriage & Family Prayer: 7:30am Blessed Family Covenant Church 325 North Hillcrest Blvd, Inglewood, CA, 90301 (310)-674-0303 • F: (310)-674-0303 • blessedfamilycovenant.org Rev. Wendy Howlett Sunday School: 8:30am Morning Worship: 9:30am Wed. Prayer & Bible Study: 7:00pm
Crusade Christian Faith Center 801 S. La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90301 (310) 330-8535 Bishop Virgil D. Patterson Sr. Wed. Mid-Week Service: 7:00pm Sunday School: 9:00am Sunday Worship: 10:30am
Faithful Central Bible Church 321 N. Eucalyptus Ave. Inglewood, CA 90301 (310) 330-8000 • F: (310) 330-8035 Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, Ph.D. Senior Pastor/Teacher Services at The Tabernacle: Sunday Services: 7:00am, 9:30am & 11:45am Wed. Mid-Week Service: 7:00pm The Tabernacle is located at 321 N. Eucalyptus Ave., Inglewood www.faithfulcentral.com
First Church of God Center of Hope 9550 Crenshaw Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90305 (323) 757-1804 www.go2Hope.com Pastor Geremy L. Dixon
First Lady Files
Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:00am Wed. Mid-Week Service: Noon Wed. Teaching Ministry: 7:00pm 1st Sunday Communion 5th Sunday Baptism
Jacob’s Ladder Community Fellowship, inc. 1152 E. Hyde Park Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90303 (866) 330-1702 • F: (310) 674-0760 Watchman/Shepherd Dr. Robert T. Douglas Sr. Sunday School: 10:00am Morning Services: 11:45am Evening Service: 7:00pm Wed. Lock & Load Prayer: 7:00pm Wed. Bible Study: 7:30pm 3rd Friday Youth Night: 7:30pm KYTYM 1460AM (Sunday): 11:30am www.jacobladderschurch.com Leap of Faith Community Baptist Church 3502 W. Imperial Hwy, Inglewood, CA 90303 (310) 695-9925 Rev. Artis Glass Sunday School: 9:30am Sunday Worship: 11:00am Bible Study: Wednesdays Noon and 6PM
New Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church 434 S. Grevillea, Inglewood CA 90301 (310) 673-6250 Office • (310) 673-2153 Rev. Dr. Phillip A. Lewis, D. D., D. Th., Senior Pastor Sunday School: 9:30am Early Worship: 8:00am Morning Worship: 11:00am First Sunday Evening Worship: 5:00pm Mid-Week Bible Study Wed.: 7:00pm Radio: KTYM 1460 AM Saturdays at 8:00pm & Mondays at 7:00pm
True Friendship Missionary Baptist Church 7901 South Van Ness Ave. Inglewood, CA 90305 (323) 750-7304 Rev. James A. Perkins Sunday School: 9:30am Early Worship: 8am Morning Worship: 10:45am Bible Adventure Hour (Tues): 6pm Bible Study (Tues): 7pm Bible Study (Thurs): Noon Christ Our Redeemer AME Church In Irvine 45 Tesla, Irvine, CA 92618 (949) 955-0014 • F:(949) 955-0021 • www.corchurch.org Pastor Mark E. Whitlock, II Sunday Worship: 8:00am, 10:30am New Generation Praise Service: 10:30am Sun. Bible Univ.: 9:30am Tues. Interactive Bible Study: 7:00pm Wed. Pastor's Bible Study: Noon, 7:00pm Thurs. Bible Study: 7:00pm Fri. Singles Bible Study (1st Fri): 7:00pm St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church 1720 N. Walnut Avenue, La Puente, CA 91744 (626) 918-3225 • F: (626) 918-3265 Pastor Tony Dockery
In La Puente
Sunday School: 9:30 AM Early Worship: 8:00 AM Morning Worship: 11:00 AM Spanish Service: 9:30AM Bible Study: Every Wednesday 7:00 PM www.stsbc.org Antioch Church of Long Beach 1535 Gundry Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 (562) 591-8778 • F: (562) 599-6048 Pastor Wayne Chaney Jr.
In Long Beach
Worship Services: 8am, 9:30am, 11:30am Tuesday Youth Bible Study: 7:00pm WednesdayBible Study: Noon
Pasadena Com. Christian Fellowship “God wants us to come out of the four walls of the church—to go out into the community and bring the people in.” And that is exactly what Juanita Edwards does as chair of the L.A. chapter of the First Ladies Health Initiative; as the director of a discipleship home for recovering female addicts; as co-coordinator with her husband (Pastor Carlton D. Edwards) of a food distribution program that hands out 15,000-20,000 pounds of food every week; and as first lady of Pasadena Community Christian Fellowship. The L.A. native and former Army vet who met her husband —a two term Vietnam vet—while in Germany holds an MBA and before retiring, worked as a contract specialist/negotiator with the aerospace industry. “No matter how rough and tough ministry gets, we don’t question our orders. Church is about keeping your members healthy, both spiritually and physically,” says the mother of three and grandmother to eight who is enjoying her third year with the First Ladies Health Initiative, which provides information and screenings for diabetes, hypertension, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, mental illness, Alzheimer’s and other diseases. “A lot of first ladies feel like they’re not seen, so with the First Ladies Health Initiative, that iron sharpening iron is at work and we’re growing as we share in working together and lifting each other and our communities up.” “I’m not perfect—far from it, but I feel like the call is on me to do this…” Christ Second Baptist Church 1471 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 (562) 599-3421 • Fax: (562) 599-6175 • www.csbclb.org Rev. Welton Pleasant II, Senior Pastor Sunday School: 8:30am Sunday Worship Service: 9:40am Wed. Bible Study: 7:00pm Wed Youth & Young Adult Ministry: 7:00pm
Family of Faith Christian Center 345 E. Carson Street, Long Beach, CA 90807 (562) 595-1222 • F: (562) 595-1444 Pastor: Sherman A. Gordon, E.D. Min Sunday School: 9:00 AM Early Worship: 7:30 AM Morning Worship: 10:00 Am Bible Study: Every Wednesday 12 (Noon) & 7:00 PM Radio: 7:00 PM (1st & 3rd Sunday) Station: KJLH Gospel Memorial Church of God In Christ 1480 Atlantic Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 (562) 599-7389 • F: 562-599-5779 • email@example.com Bishop Joe L. Ealy Sunday School: 9:30am Sunday Worship: 11:00am Evening Worship: 6:30pm Wed. Intercessory Prayer: 7:00pm Wed. Pastoral teaching adults: 7:30pm Wed. Youth Ministry Boot-Camp; Youth Bible Study: 7:00pm & Choir Rehearsal: 7:30pm
Grant AME Church of Long Beach 1129 Alamitos Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 • (562) 437-1567 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.grantamelb.org Rev. Michael W. Eagle, Sr. Sun. Worship Experience: 10:45am 3rd Sun. Healing & Annointing: 10:45am Wed. Bible Study: Noon & 6pm Mothers of Murdered Youth & Children Were all receive a little attention, affection and love. New Philadelphia A.M.E. Church 6380 S. Orange Avenue, Long Beach, Ca 90805 (562)422-9300•F: (562) 422-9400 Pastor Darryl E. Walker, Senior Pastor Worship: 9:00am —1st & 5th Sunday Sunday School/New Member Classes: 8:00am 2nd thru 4th Sunday Worship:7:30 am &10:00am•Sunday School New Member Classes: 9:00am Sunday worship services streamed live on the web Pastor’s Bible Study: Wednesday Eve 7:00pm Mid-Week Bible Study: Thursday 12:00 noon www.nuphilly.org
From the Pulpit: Bible Enrichment Fellowship Int’l
I Am The Resurrection and The Life
L.A. Focus/ March 2018
esus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:” John 11:25 All things that come from God exist in a form of unlimited power. He created the invisible and the unseen realms. Faith says there is a spiritual world that exists in the invisible realm beyond our technological ability to observe. This is a world that is not perceived by the senses. We as humans are limited to natural laws because our bodies exist in time and space. The resurrection is the gateway to another reality. In order to understand the resurrection we must be able to comprehend quantum physical laws and recognize that we have a natural body and a spiritual body. We are dependent on God for all aspects of our existence yet God is not dependent on any of us. The exception would be the manifestation of the Word when He merged with humanity in the body of Jesus Christ. God is not bound by natural laws. Man is spirit, soul and body. The spirit and the soul are eternal but the body is not. When Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome arrived at the tomb of Christ on the first day of the week the stone was already rolled away and Jesus had already risen. When Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees and said unto them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” They thought he was talking about the Temple in Jerusalem but He was speaking of His physical body. It is obvious in scripture that the spirit/soul is immortal. Examples of immortality in both the life of Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (II Kings 2:11) was them being translated. As you know, the physical world is in the realm of the senses. The spiritual world is in the realm of the spirit. We see God merging the two worlds together through a divine supernatural act. This defies known science. The resurrection is a new order of existence. The spiritual-resurrected body is a continuation of this life with signs of its identity but yet emancipated from the ordinary conditions of our material bodies. This truth transcends experience and imagination but appeals to faith in a higher order of being. The resurrection is not only the foundation of the church but it is also the hope of every believer. The spiritual body becomes possessed of additional senses of which we have no concept or experience. The spirit clothed with such a body is alive to properties of matter and dimensions of space and active forces all of which are supernatural. Even though there are many events in the Bible that have a scientific explanation, yet we have many events that have no rational explanation at all. These are called mysteries. The account of the resurrection of Christ is not a ghost story. The resurrected glorified body passing through physical barriers defies human intellect. Some things which are visible tangible reality can be submitted to laws that are different from those which are generalized from the five senses. Jesus is alive. His life and ministry is an example of Kingdom dominion. Obviously, God can create and enter dimensions as He wills. Physics claims that all physical observable matter exists at the quantum level or the realm of the unseen. It is by God’s power and grace that He chooses what channel He will use in interacting with humanity. The invisible Kingdom is the power by which we operate from the inward promptings of the Holy Spirit. This authority is a valid form of personal faith. I t s source and end are the s a m e from faith t o faith.
Apostle Beverly “Bam” Crawford
RESOLVE TO BE THERE FOR THE MOMENTS THAT MATTER The new year is always a time for new goals and new intentions. It’s often the time for resolutions to lose weight, save more money and finally clear out the clutter. Although studies show most resolutions to hit the gym or break a bad habit fall short by the time February rolls around, there’s one resolution that can be fulfilled at any time throughout the year: resolving to be there for your family during the moments that matter. Thanks to California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program, eligible Californians can receive up to six weeks of paid benefits to either bond with a new child (including biological, foster, or adopted children) or to care for a seriously ill or injured family member (child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner). In 2004, California was the first state in the nation to enact a PFL program and now, starting this
month, the program is getting even better: • Eligible Californians can now get approximately 60 to 70 percent of their pay while on leave – the highest wage replacement rate in the nation – up to the $1,216 weekly maximum benefit amount. • The seven-day waiting period has been eliminated, meaning that benefits are payable starting on the first eligible day of leave. Together, the benefit increase and the waiting period elimination are designed to encourage more people to use their PFL benefits by further easing the financial burden of taking time off from work. It’s also important to remember that most Californians have already paid for PFL benefits. PFL is not a government assistance program; rather, it’s funded by mandatory paycheck deductions that more than 18 million Californians are paying
In Bethlehem Church 1550 North Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103 (626) 794-5211 • F: (626) 794-6592 Pastor Christopher A. Bourne
Sunday School: 9:00am Sunday Worship: 10:00am Tuesday Bible Study: 7:00pm Mid-day Worship Thursday: Noon www.bethelemchurchpasadena.org Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church 980 Rio Grande Street, Pasadena, CA 91104 *Mailing Address: 1416 N. Mentor Ave. Pasadena, 91104 (626) 794-4875 • F: (626) 794-7815 Pastor W. Harrison Trotter Sunday School: 8:30am Sunday Worship: 10:00am Bible Study Wednesday: 7:00pm Intercessory Prayer (Fourth Wed.): 7:00pm Christians Uniting To Make A Difference -Eph. 4:13
Second Baptist Church In Monrovia 925 S. Shamrock Avenue • P.O. Box 479, Monrovia, CA 91017 •(626) 358-2136 • F: (626) 303-2477 Bishop W.M. Larue Dillard, Phd. Sunday Worship: 7:45am, 10:45am, 4:45pm Ministry Worship to Children/Youth Sunday: 9:45am - 10:45am Prayer/Academy of Biblical Studies (Wed): 10:45am - 6:45pm www.second-baptistchurch.com
Human bodies are physical and observable to the eye. When Jesus came in the flesh, He voluntarily relinquished the independent use of His divine powers, His extra dimensional capacity, and the essential attributes of God. He chose to accept the functional limitations of a physical body. While exercising His faith as a prophet operating through the gifts of the Spirit He performed signs, wonders and miracles. The virgin birth introduced Christ’s incarnation. This broke through the dimensional barrier to communicate with us in order to help us understand and believe His message of grace and redemption. He imposed on Himself the limitations common to man. As human, He demonstrated faith and emphasized the power of God’s Word. This would show us His love, give us hope and by demonstration become our example. Dominion causes our thinking to transcend beyond our earthly experiences and to consider what is possible in God’s extra-dimensional existence. All things are possible because of God’s sovereignty and capacity to operate in any combination of space and time dimension. Kingdom stretches our spiritual imagination. The reality in which God lives and moves supersedes the limits of human imagination. God is greater than your abili-
to State Disability Insurance, noted as “CASDI” on most paystubs. PFL also allows parents and caregivers to split their six weeks of leave over a 12-month period, providing additional flexibility for those who may need to provide care or bond with a child on a more intermittent basis or want to coordinate their leave with another family member. These PFL benefits make the program a win for parents, caregivers, families and our state. So as we get to work on our new diets, our new budgets, and our new habits, let’s also make a commitment to take a new look at PFL and resolve to be with our families during the moments that matter most. For more information about PFL, visit californiapaidfamilyleave.com. This advertorial was written by Renee Gibson, Deputy Director of the Disability Insurance Branch, Employment Development Department
First AME Church Santa Monica In Santa Monica 1823 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404 • (310) 450-0331 F: (310) 450-4680 Rev. Reuben W. Ford, Pastor Sunday School: 9:30am Sunday Worship: 11:00am Bible Study/Prayer Meditation: Thursday 6pm “The Church In The Heart Of The Community with The Community at Heart” Email:email@example.com Facebook: First AME Church Santa Monica Arise Christian Center In Westchester 6949 La Tijera Blvd. Suite C,Westchester, CA,90045 (310)568-8445•F: (310) 568-8430 • Arisechristiancenter.com Pastor Ron Taylor Morning Worship: 9:00am & 11:15am Bible Study Wednesday: 7:00pm Intercessory Prayer Tuesday : 7:00pm Intercessory Prayer Sunday: 8am - 8:45am Intercessory Prayer Thursday: 11:30pm - 12:30pm
GET NOTICED ADVERTISE IN L.A. FOCUS CALL 310.677.6011 RATES AS LOW AS $99 ty to imagine, He is beyond the capability of human thought. Now according to Ken Wilber, in his book Quantum Questions, he states “Life transcends but includes matter; mind transcends but includes life; soul transcends but includes mind; mind and spirit transcends but includes soul. Spirit is that which transcends everything and includes everything. Spirit is the highest of all possible domains”. This sermon is an excerpt taken from The Law of Faith ~ Quantum Reality by Dr. Beverly “Bam” Crawford, CMI Publishing
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L.A. Focus/March 2018
f you are asking around trying to understand, “What is Snoop Dogg about?”, you will probably get a number of different responses. Most undoubtedly know him as a hip-hop superstar who brought the “West Coast G-Funk” style of the ‘90s to the world with his many timeless sing-a-long-worthy hits. Some may mention his love of cannabis or his history as an ambassador of the “gangster” lifestyle. Many will cite his celebrity status from his hundreds of different cameos as a TV personality and roles onscreen as an actor, quoting his signature lines such as ‘fa-shizzle my nizzle’. But if you ask Snoop himself what he is about, only one word will come up: “Love”. “Love is the message I’m pushing,” says the 46 yearold. “There are so many different religions and so many different paths—so instead of fighting about it, how about let’s just believe in love? Everyone knows what love feels like, and everyone knows what hate feels like. That’s what I got when I was in church as a little kid— there was more love than anything. So now the religion that I teach is Love.” Snoop Dogg’s log awaited gospel album, aptly titled “The Bible of Love”, is set to drop March 16th and will include an expansive 32 songs featuring a star-studded collection of gospel music artists such as Faith Evans, B Slade (formerly known as Tonex), Rance Allen, Tye Tribbett, Charlie Wilson, Fred Hammond, and John P. Kee along with crossover R&B artists such as Patti Labelle and Charlie Wilson to name a few. “This album has always been in my heart,” says Snoop. “I’d just state that the timing was never right as far as my scenario with the record labels and the right people around me to bring out the best of what I was looking for in the project. “One thing about a gospel project is it has to be spiritually motivated,” Snoop observed. “I felt like the time to do it was when God told me it was time to do it. It’s the spirit, when it gets in you what are you supposed to do? You’re supposed to let it take over you-- you’re not supposed to push pause on the spirit to try to understand it. So I just started working on what I was feeling at the time, and I reached out to a few people and it went from a song, to another song… to 32 songs.” The rollout to the world for his ambitious project kicked off with a headlining performance at the 19th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration where the Long Beach native premiered four newly released songs, “Blessed and Highly Favored”, “You”, “Blessing Me Again”, and “Saved” alongside the song’s featured performers. He has also released a music video for the album’s lead single “Words are Few” featuring B Slade, to positive reviews. The album’s origins come from very personal place close to Snoop’s heart. “My Granny was always a special part of my life, and at one point she had gotten sick and I was going back and forth to see her in Mississippi. And she would always be watching Jimmy Swaggart. That was her favorite, but seeing her just reminded me of how she always raised the whole family off the bible and religion and love. And seeing her singing the songs on Jimmy Swaggart’s program just reminded me that she can’t sing any of my songs, not one. She wouldn’t be caught [dead] singing any of my songs. “So, I wanted to make a record my Granny could sing. That was the motivating factor to it all and when she passed away, it was like ‘I’ve got to do it now’. It was her spirit talking to me.” Confirmation that it was time came at the funeral
KEITH DELAWDER Staff Writer
Snoop Dogg of his cousin, Nate Dogg. “I found out he was working on a gospel album before he passed away. I didn’t even know this! And so I got all these thoughts going through my head like, my Mama is an evangelist, my aunties and uncles all sing but they were never able to put out a record that the world knew. This is my time. Let me do this. Let me go on and put together and use my power and strength to organize and unite people to the gospel world. I can get anyone to come together with R&B and hip-hop, but let me see if I get these people together to lend their spirits to this project.” He was pleasantly surprised by the response. “Honestly, I expected some hesitation, but the response was immediate. When I called John P. Kee, he was in bed dead asleep, but he picked up and was like, ‘Brother it would be an honor. There ain’t nothing I wouldn’t do for you Dogg!’ “I was getting those kinds of responses from everybody—the Clark Sisters, Kim Burrell, Fred Hammond, Rance Allen—there was no tension at all. And the acceptance of the album has been great. Everybody’s enjoying it. I knew it was going be like that and I’m not being cocky-- the music speaks for itself. My granny always said, ‘Let your work speak for you.’” Looking back over the multi-platinum artist’s career, music has always represented who he is and where he’s come from. Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr, was raised in the rough Eastside area of Long Beach by his mother who gave him the nickname “Snoopy” because she said he looked like Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoon. He got his start in music singing and playing piano at his local Baptist church, before starting to rap in the sixth grade. Snoop’s trouble with the law began after graduating high school where he was arrested for possession of an illicit substance, which saw him in and out of prison for the next three years. He was also associated with the Rollin’ 20 Crips gang during this time, all the while recording homemade tapes under the name “213” with cousin Nate Dogg, and Warren G. The tapes ultimately caught the attention of Dr. Dre, leading to his appearance on Dr. Dre’s now classic debut album “The Chronic”, the exposure from which jump started his solo career and rise to fame. Along with his soaring success, Snoop’s career has been rife with controversy, including an infamous murder charge in 1996, for which he was acquitted. Looking back, Snoop has made it his mission to use his past experience to teach and uplift others who may be going through similar struggles. “I’ve been there, done that,” Snoop states. “I’m a grown man and my perspective on life is to educate and elevate and teach and to use my wisdom and power for the benefits of helping someone else out and not being selfish. “It would be completely selfish of me to continue to just make gangster rap and push you down that dark alley without giving you a chance to see that there’s a light. I made it out of the gangster life. I made it to the point where I’m able to put together a project that speaks for who I am now, not who I was when I was 19 or 20. “I’m a 46 year-old man with a wife and kids and a grandson. I know that my platform is to speak right here and now because there’s a bigger picture and that is what the spirit is telling me.” What’s more Snoop’s connection to gospel is not limited to his project, but a desire to revive the gospel
It would be completely selfish of me to continue to just make gangster rap and push you down that dark alley without giving you a chance to see that there’s a light. I made it out of the gangster life. I made it to the point where I’m able to put together a project that speaks for who I am now”
industry. The album is also the first release from All The Time Entertainment, a label Snoop launched to provide more opportunities for gospel music artists. “I feel like the gospel industry has the best singers in the world. The energy, the performance and just the spirit and everything that's engulfed in the gospel world and I felt like they are under appreciated. I know if I get into that world, more spotlight will be put on it.” Snoop is also using multiple mediums to bring the story of The Bible of Love to the hearts of his audience. Along with the ambitious double-album, a play based on the story-arch of the album is set to take stage for a three week run in Los Angeles later this spring where it will be filmed and broadcast by BET. The play will be followed by a motion picture, to be released early next year-- all in attempt to convey the full understanding of why there is a Snoop Dogg gospel record. But in Snoop’s mind, there is no doubt as to why he is doing all of this. “When I was in church, I was taught that the real members of church always went to the streets to go find souls that need to be saved, and not sit up there and point fingers at those who come in and those who don’t. So I always looked at myself as a street soldier that goes from the church to the street and can magnify and testify and bring people to a place that they could say, ‘I found clarity in my life with my religion.’ Whether it’s this religion or that religion, what I teach is love.”
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