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Porsha Williams

Atlanta Housewives Co-star Is heading to L.A. for Je’Caryous Johnson’s “Two Can Play That Game” on stage at the Orpheum Theatre, October 27-28. SEE PAGE

UPFRONT: NFL Protest Continues: So What’s Next ?






October 2017

L.A. Focus Publications

Left: Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth poses with the bride and groom at the wedding ceremony of Greater Zion Church Pastor Michael Fisher and First Lady Marnessa Fisher; Middle: Mark Whitlock host Rev. Cecil Murray’s 88th birthday celebration held at USC’s University Club; Right: Debbie Allen congratulates her Dance Academy students after they perform at ribbon-cutting ceremony of Kaiser Permanente’s new 105,000-sq foot, state-of-the-art medical office building in the Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw community.





Bail Reform Is About Criminal and Economic Justice

From The Editor Colin, Look What You Started…


Inside Hollywood Are They On Or Off? Mary Mary Return For Final Season

One On One Sterling K. Brown

JusticeLA Says $3.5 Billion Jail Money Should Be Invested in Crime Prevention, Rehab Programs; Governor Blocked More than 1,500 on Social Media

22 Through The Storm 23 From The Pulpit Holman United Methodist Church

Grace For His Race: How God Redeemed Walter Tucker

14 Calendar/Around LA In Good Taste 16 Red Carpet Style 25 Saving Grace Eye On Gospel 26 Ayesha Curry

Head to Head

7 8

What’s Really Behind The NFL Protests (Just The Facts?)

Headlines From Africa Money Matters The Cost of Preparing for “The Big One”

Biz News Briefs Rosalind Brewer Tapped to Lead Starbucks Floyd Mayweather To Launch Digital Media Network The Africa Channel Launches New Streaming Video Venture

On The Money

Just One Black Actor Makes List of TV’s Highest Paid


Feature Story

Social Media Controversy Propels Watts Church into the Spotlight


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The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

The L.A. Church and Gospel Community Mourn The Passing of Rodena Preston; Tye Tribbett’s Bloody Win; Smokie Norful Releases Book; How Tasha Cobbs Put Her Critics To Rest


Porsha Williams

Actor Djimon Hounsou plays Denver, in the Ron Hall film, “The Same Kind of Different as Me”. The film is based on the true story of art dealer Ron Hall who befriends a homeless man named Denver Moore (Housou) in the hope of saving his struggling marriage. The film will be in theaters October 20.

Church News

Bible Enrichment Fellowship Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Bam Crawford’s Purpose Sylvester Washington Consecrated as Bishop

Rev. Cecil Murray Celebrates 88th Birthday

20 Pastor Profile First Lady Files 21

Pastor William Turner Jr New Revelation Missionary Baptist Chruch Earlee Washington Pleasant Hill Baptist Church

advisory board Napoleon Brandford Pastor Beverly Crawford Lem Daniels Bob Blake

Siebert, Brandford, Shank & Co. Bible Enrichment Fellowship International Church Morgan Stanley Bob Blake & Associates

honorary advisors West Angeles C.O.G.I.C. Bishop Charles Blake City of Refuge Bishop Noel Jones Paradise Baptist Church Dr. Aaron D. Iverson Southern Saint Paul Rev. Xavier L. Thompson F. A.M.E. Church Dr. Cecil Murray Faithful Central Bible Church Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer Mt. Moriah Baptist Church Rev. Melvin Wade Mt. Zion MBC Rev. E.V. Hill II Copyright, January 1995 by L.A. Focus: Unsolicited manuscripts/photographs are not accepted, nor shall any responsibility for them be assumed.

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Kamala D. Harris Guest Columnist

Bail Reform Is About Criminal and Economic Justice

here are many injustices in our nation’s criminal-justice As a career prosecutor, I’m especially concerned that our brosystem. But one of the greatest injustices occurs before ken money bail system can also threaten public safety. In one the accused are even convicted of a crime. It’s the applicastudy, nearly half the defendants considered “high-risk” or dantion of our money-bail system, and it works like this: Let’s say a gerous were released, simply because they could afford bail. mother is accused of shoplifting at a department store and is Most of the transnational criminal organizations I’ve dealt with arrested. A judge sets bail at $20,000, which she doesn’t have. So, have a lot of money. Their members can easily pay bail and walk her family goes to a bail bondsman, who say they’ll put up out of jail. Meanwhile, defendants who don’t pose a risk but can$20,000 if the family gives the bondsman 10 percent, or $2,000. not afford bail sit in jail. That doesn’t make us safer. But of course, most working people don’t have that kind of Not to mention that money bail disproportionately affects money sitting around. So this woman has three choices: She can low-income communities and communities of color. Nine out of sell or pawn possessions to get the money. She can sit in jail until 10 defendants who are detained cannot afford to post bail. Black her court date—which, because of the backlog in our courts, can defendants are more likely than similarly situated white defentake weeks, months or possibly years—and potentially lose her dants to be detained before trial and less likely to be able to post Sen. Kamala D. Harris is the junior senator job, her home or custody of her children if they’re left unsuperbail. In fact, black men pay 35 percent higher bail amounts than from California. vised. Or she can plead guilty and have a criminal record that will white men . make it hard to find work in the future. That’s not fair. That doesn’t keep us safe. And we must be smarter. More than 450,000 Americans currently sit in jail while they await trial—many of Instead of keeping people in jail because they don’t have money, we would run whom are there only because they don’t have the money to pay to get out. Many are them through what’s called a personalized risk-assessment system, which is a much there for nonviolent offenses. None of them have yet been convicted of a crime. better measure and indicator of whether someone is a flight risk or a threat to his or This is not only an issue of criminal justice; it’s also about economic justice. In a her community. In order to do risk assessment correctly, we must acknowledge that system where justice is supposed to be blind, is it not a serious injustice that—for the people of color are more likely to be arrested. So evaluating risk assessment using only same offense—someone who can pay gets out, but someone who can’t pay sits behind prior arrests would continue to disproportionately impact communities of color. Which bars with all the consequences that brings? The fate of a person who has not been con- is why, instead of analyzing prior arrests, we should look at factors like prior convicvicted of any crime shouldn’t be forced to play out like a Monopoly game. tions. And we must work to ensure that these systems are as neutral as possible. That’s why Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and I recently introduced a bill that would If a mother is arrested, the court would review that mother’s information, and if accelerate progress and encourage states to replace their bail systems. It’s called the the woman poses little risk, she could go home until her court date. Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act, and it would accomplish three key objectives. If not risk assessment, then we must consider another innovative alternative to First, our legislation empowers states to build on best practices. Because each state money bail. Instead of keeping that mother in jail to make sure she appears in court, is different, instead of the federal government mandating a one-size-fits-all approach, what if we just called or texted her to remind her about her court date? Studies show this bill provides resources directly to states so that they can pioneer and implement that even a simple phone reminder can be very effective to get people to appear at trial. the most effective policies tailored to their needs. In Multnomah County, Ore., automated-phone-call reminders resulted in a 31 percent Second, our bill holds states accountable. Any state receiving support must report decrease in defendants failing to appear in court. on its progress and analyze data and trends to ensure that reforms like risk assessStates all across the country—from Colorado to Kentucky and New Jersey to West ments are not discriminatory. Virginia—have pioneered these types of innovative bail reforms. They know that this Finally, this bill encourages better data collection. Data on the pretrial process is isn’t only a bipartisan issue; it’s a nonpartisan issue. It’s just common sense. notoriously poor. By improving it, we can help ensure that reforms yield better outThe time has come to remedy the injustice of our bail system. Because whether comes—for defendants, families and taxpayers. In fact, the Pretrial Justice Institute someone is detained before trial should be determined by whether or not he or she is a estimates that bail reform could save American taxpayers roughly $78 billion a year. risk—not whether he or she is rich.


From the Editor Colin, Look What You Started…


among them." "I can tell you, speaking for three generations of my family, it is precisely for men like Kaepernick, and his right to peacefully protest injustice, that we were willing to serve." From another “patriot” came this: "I am mostly just tired of pundits and non-veterans using us as a way to throw shade on someone for their actions. The whole narrative of, 'You're disrespecting veterans and those who sacrificed' is bulls---." To their credit, more than half of the franchises in the NFL issued statements supporting the rights of their players to protest. I’d like to share one of them. It’s from owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam of the Cleveland Browns: “Our players, just like so many others across our league, have been honest and thoughtful with their attempt to bring awareness to the issues of inequality and social injustice… They have continued to prove this dedication to unite diverse members of our community throughout this past month by establishing direct conversation with the Cleveland Police Department and creating a plan to work together in our neighborhoods. We are also proud of their many other significant efforts in our city throughout the year that are done quietly to improve the lives of others. “We must not let misguided, uninformed and divisive comments from the President or anyone else deter us from our efforts to unify. Our stance in support of the liberties of peaceful, personal expression afforded to our players and all Americans will remain strong, and we will continue to encourage our players to respectfully use their earned platform to inspire positive change in our nation and throughout society.” So, what will happen next? “Some of our players may kneel, while others may stand. But this is just the beginning,” was the joint statement of Indianapolis Colts players. “There is much work to do and it will take all of us. Kneeling for justice. Standing for unity. Fighting for equality. Showing respect. Together.” We all can support their cause with our tweets, our likes, our letters and with our compassion. #takeaknee In closing, our prayers go out to the people of Puerto Rico, the families of those who lost loved ones in Las Vegas, and to all those in Texas and Florida who are struggling to put their lives back together after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Keep the faith.

L.A. Focus/October 2017

or a good year, it seemed Colin Kaepernick—following in the footsteps of athletes like Muhammad Ali who put it all on the line in their outspokenness regarding racial injustices— stood pretty much alone in his efforts to engage civil dialogue and for that alone he gets my respect. It was not a matter of patriotism, but instead a statement of racial inequality. But in what has become his way of making everything an “us-against-them” issue, President Trump has once again ignited a culture war. And when his words didn’t go over well with players and most NFL owners, he went to the fans, tweeting on September 24, “Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their national anthem or their country.” Truth be told, who among us believes that the story would be as red hot as it is today had it not been for the president (aka “the divider-in-chief”) getting involved. Just six players had protested the week before Trump said these words at a rally: "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b**** off the field right now, out, he's fired.'" That, it seemed, ruffled everyone’s feathers from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to the players who suit up to play on any given Sunday and many of their owners, who I’m sure didn’t want to be told how to run their business. The statement from players responding in a mass protest across the league two days after the president inserted himself was clear—“players united vs. Trump”. Football became the ultimate team sport and just as suddenly Kaepernick’s message—though misconstrued— had commanded the attention of the nation. In the days that followed is the magic happened. Players who’d previously sat out Kaepernick’s protest seemed energized to seek greater meaning in the stand they were now taking. Unfortunately, the disrespectful boos from fans around the league for even those players who prayed before standing for the national anthem sent an equally powerful message. A message that the Russians apparently got when they targeted blacks in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore with Black Lives Matters ads on Facebook—that America still has a race problem. A problem many of the players know first-hand from police stops they’ve experienced in their not too distant pasts. A problem Trump can’t seem to stop stirring up under the guise of patriotism. So, what is true patriotism? Michael Sands, a Green Beret who is the son of a World War II veteran and father of an Army officer who served in Afghanistan was quoted as saying this: "Want to respect the American flag? Then respect the ideals for which it stands. Bullying language and calling peaceful protesters 'sons of bitches' who should be fired aren't



UpFront JusticeLA Says $3.5 Billion Jail Money Should Be Invested in Crime Prevention, Rehab Programs

he Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ plans for a new jail have been met with wide protests. Late last month, JusticeLA, a coalition of several social justice groups, staged a protest in downtown Los Angeles to protest construction of the two jails. Protesters, including actress Rosario Dawson, wore orange shirts and set up 100 beds in front of Ken Hahn Hall of Administration. The jail project is expected to cost $3.5 billion. Patrisse Cullors, founder of JusticeLA, said the protest was symbolic. Cullors is also one of the founders of Black Lives Matter, a social justice group that has received both national and international recognition for its protests against police brutality and police-motivated extrajudicial killings of unarmed black men. JusticeLA also includes members from other social justice groups including Californians United for Responsible Budget, Community Coalition, Dignity and Power Now, and Youth Justice Coalition. “We delivered the beds they want to cage us in. We made the private, public. Many of us have actually been on these beds—had loved one in these beds,” said Cullors. “For us the beds represent a symbology. A bed is where you go to dream. But these beds literally destroy communities. These beds are taking money out of taxpayer’s pockets. So we brought the beds to them.” Members of JusticeLA also presented a motion to the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors calling for a moratorium on construction of the jail and to focus more money on retraining, jail population reduction and efforts that would reduce recidivism.


In partnership with a coalition of community organizations working with directly impacted communities affected by incarceration, JusticeLA says it was formed to reclaim, reimagine and reinvest what L.A. County could do with the $3.5 billion allocated to building a 3,885bed replacement for the downtown Men's Central Jail and to renovate the nowvacant Mira Loma Detention Center into a 1,600-bed women’s facility in Lancaster—replacing the Lynwood facility. "This will be the first time in Los Angeles history that groups across sector are coming together to oppose this 3.5 billion dollar jail plan,” said Cullors. "Angelenos have the opportunity to build a Los Angeles we can raise our children in. We need our elected officials to protect Black and Brown communities by reinvesting dollars into health care, public education and healthy food--not jails and prisons." JusticeLA member Mark-Anthony Johnson said the money would be better spent on crime prevention programs than locking up inmates. “JusticeLA is advocating for funding to go into community-based alternatives and not jails to address the communities

Governor Blocked Over 1,500 on Social Media


L.A. Focus/October 2017

he First Amendment Coalition today released documents from California Governor Jerry Brown showing that he blocked over 1,500 individual accounts on his Twitter and Facebook accounts--a practice that excluded those people from participating in a vital forum for political discussion and debate surrounding the state’s highest elected official. In releasing the documents to FAC, the Governor’s office said Brown does not “currently block or mute any Twitter or Facebook account.” They did not say when he stopped blocking individuals on social media, but it appears he was blocking individuals shortly before June 21, when the FAC submitted a request under the California Public Records Act seeking the Governor’s social media “block lists.” For nearly three months after FAC’s June 21 request, the Governor’s office refused to produce the records, arguing that Brown’s social media accounts are “the Governor’s personal accounts...and as such not subject” to the CPRA. It was not until FAC threatened to bring suit under the CPRA, and provided the Governor a deadline by which to provide the records or else be sued, that the Governor’s office relented, providing the records shortly after FAC’s deadline last week. “Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become the town square of 21st century America and, as such, all Americans have a First Amendment right to participate in that forum,” said FAC Executive Director David Snyder. “When


News Briefs

elected officials block their constituents and others based on their political viewpoints or their constitutionally protected speech, those elected officials are violating the protections of the First Amendment.” Lists of those “blocked” by any given social media account are generally available only to the user of the account, and thus are not available to members of the public visiting the account. FAC sought Brown’s block lists to ascertain whether the Governor was engaging in widespread blocking, and to understand the scope and nature of such blocking. As it explained in its initial request to the Governor on June 26, such records are clearly subject to disclosure under the CPRA. Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court held that communications and records created, sent or received on non-governmental devices or accounts are subject to the CPRA. “We are glad that the Governor ultimately decided to release the records FAC sought, and that he has apparently ceased the practice of blocking individuals on his social media accounts,” Snyder said. “However, it should not have taken three months and the threat of litigation to bring these records to public light.” Social media blocking has become the subject of litigation around the country, with lawsuits alleging First Amendment violations being filed against President Donald Trump and the governors of Maryland, Kentucky and Maine, for those officials’ alleged practice of blocking individuals.

MANNY OTIKO Contributor

Minority Firms on the Short End of the Stick of Federal Contracts

with the highest rates of imprisonment,” said Johnson. “Those communities tend to be primarily poor and working-class communities of color that are also disproportionately high in unemployment, home foreclosures, school cutbacks, inadequate access to healthcare and lowerthan- average life expectancies.” Measure H, a quarter-cent sales tax increase approved by county voters in March, is projected to provide nearly $259 million. Proposition 47, passed by voters in 2014, downgraded six drug and theft crimes to misdemeanors and allows defendants to renegotiate their punishments. California will begin the process of awarding millions of dollars in grants funded by the Proposition 47’s cost savings from keeping fewer nonviolent offenders in prison. JusticeLA is also advocating for monies from AB 109, the state’s prison realignment law enacted to ease California’s burgeoning prison overcrowding problem that moves the responsibility of administering certain inmates from the state to counties, to be put into cost-effective programs proven to reduce incarceration and recidivism rather than on expansion of police forces and expensive high-tech tracking systems. In a press statement, Mark RidleyThomas, chair of the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, said expanding the jail was a safety issue. “The Men's Central Jail must be replaced to ensure safe and humane treatment of those who are incarcerated,” said Ridley-Thomas. “Providing critical support services for those both in and out of the criminal justice system is also important and the Board is committed to providing the resources needed for all of our constituents."

A new report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, reveals that when it comes to receiving the more than $70 trillion in federal dollars managed by registered asset-management firms in the United States, less than 1 percent of those dollars are handled by minority- or women-owned (MWO) firms. Federal employees pay into federal plans from their salaries during their careers, and asset managers invest funds so that they build equity. In some occurrences, none of the plans used MWO firms. Others used very few. Unless an entity specifically asks for a minority- or women-owned firm, consultants tasked with job searches will not even consider them, according to the report. The GAO cited industry studies that reveal there is no difference between the performance of an MWO and a non-MWO firm.

NFL Protest Continues

Maxine Waters Reintroduces Legislation to Counter Equifax Data Breach


efore the singing of the national anthem, please join Ravens player and coaches and the entire Ravens organization to pray that we as a nation embrace kindness, unity, equality and justice for all Americans,” read the announcer who later posted on social media that he was proud to read this. But a sea of boos from the stadium would follow, despite the fact that after kneeling ten seconds to pray, they all stood in unison for the national anthem. So began the second week of mass protests in the National Football League. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell held a summit—attended by owners and some players—about the protests that started with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, during which it was said that he didn’t personally push for players to stop kneeling. However, Giants co-owner John Mara asked his team not to kneel during the anthem as did Lions owner Martha Ford who reportedly added that she would financially support their cause. NFL Protest continued to page 24

New Sickle Cell Innovation Praised by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas Mark Ridley-Thomas headed up a motion for the Board of Supervisors to award a scroll to pioneering hematologist Dr. Yutaka Niihara, whose research recently led to a revolutionary treatment of a painful blood condition that primarily affects African American communities. LA BioMed, Dr. Niihara has worked tirelessly for almost three decades to develop the first drug ever approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat sickle cell disease in children. Known as “Endari,” it is also first drug in 20 years for treating sickle cell disease in adults. “The FDA’s approval of this treatment will significantly improve the lives of thousands of people in the United States who suffer from this disease, and many more around the world,” Chairman RidleyThomas said. “We’re here to say ‘Thank you’ to Dr. Niihara for his dedication and hard work.”

On the heels of the announcement that 143 million American consumers were impacted by the Equifax security breach, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), has reintroduced the Comprehensive Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act, which contains landmark reforms to improve the nation’s credit reporting system. “This hack into sensitive information compiled and maintained by Equifax is one of the largest data breaches in our nation’s history,” Waters said. “Consumers should not have to suffer the consequences for a credit reporting system that is so clearly broken,” said Waters. “In most cases, consumers would have the option of ending ties with a company, like Equifax, that is unable to keep their identifiable information confidential. Unfortunately, consumers currently don’t have that option. Since consumers can’t opt out of dealing with this broken industry, it’s long past time for Congress to enact comprehensive reforms.” With millions of Americans at risk for fraud and inaccuracies on their credit reports, the Comprehensive Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 2017 would fix the dispute process so that credit bureaus, not consumers, bear the burden to prove the accuracy and completeness of credit information and restore the impaired credit of victims of predatory activities and unfair practices. The bill would also restrict the use of credit information for employment; limit the amount of time negative information can stay on a credit report and provide free credit monitoring and identity theft services to vulnerable consumers.

What’s Really Behind The NFL Protests (Just the facts?)

here was the angry left right? Do Facts when Supreme Court No, not according to Matter? Justice Ruth Bader numerous studies, many by the Ginsburg called the national government. Take traffic stops. In 2013, anthem protests "dumb and disrespectful"? the National Institute of Justice, the Let's focus on the "dumb" part. research and evaluation agency of the NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who Department of Justice, published a study of started the protests, did so over the sup- whether the police, as a result of racial posed widespread instances of police bru- bias, stop blacks more than other drivers. tality against blacks. Kaepernick said, "I The conclusion? Any racial disparity in am not going to stand up to show pride in a traffic stops is due to flag for a country that oppresses black peo- "differences in offendple and people of color. ... There are bodies ing" in addition to "difin the street and people getting paid leave ferences in exposure to and getting away with murder." According the police" and "differto the Centers for Disease Control, since ences in driving pat1968 police killings of blacks have declined terns." nearly 75 percent. According to The According to Washington Post, almost 500 whites were Philippe Lemoine, killed by cops in 2015, an average of more writing in National Larry Elder than one a day. Two hundred fifty-nine Review, a white person blacks were killed by the police. Most sus- is, on average, more likely to have interacpects killed by police had a weapon. tions with the police in any year than a Now for some perspective. black person, 20.7 percent vs. 17.5 percent. Do you know anyone who has been It is true that a black person is more likely struck by lightning? Neither do most peo- to have multiple contacts with the police. ple. Yet each year an average of about 300 But according to the data, multiple conAmericans are killed or injured by light- tacts with the police are rare, as well. ning. That's approximately 40 more than Lemoine writes that 1.2 percent of white the number of blacks killed by the police in men have more than three contacts with 2015. Is there an "epidemic" of Americans the police in a year versus 1.5 percent of being struck and injured by lightning? We black men. don't know the number of black men But what about the experience of a injured by lightning every year, but let's black person with the police versus that of assume the number is 7 percent of the total a white person? The DOJ's Bureau of people struck by lightning, mirroring the Justice Statistics regularly studies this, percentage of the black male population in too. Every year, the BJS surveys a repreAmerica. That brings the average number sentative sample of 70,000 people. Among of black men injured by lightning to about the questions, the survey asks whether 21. respondents had contact with the police in Out of the 965 people killed by the the last 12 months. If the answer is "yes," police in 2015 (as of Dec. 24), the Post the survey asks a number of follow-up reported (on Dec. 26) that "less than 4 per- questions, including about use of force. cent" involved an unarmed black man and Let's concentrate on cases involving a white cop, the fact pattern most common- use of force. ly referred to by anti-police activists like Lemoine writes: "Only 0.6 percent of Black Lives Matter. Last year, The black men experience physical force by the Washington Post put the number of police in any given year, while approxiunarmed black men killed by the police at mately 0.2 percent of white men do. ... 17, less than the number of blacks likely Moreover, keep in mind that these tallies of struck by lightning. Twenty-two unarmed police violence include violence that is whites were killed by the police. Any death legally justified." And keep in mind the that results from police misconduct is one much higher levels of crime by mostly black death too many, but the point is that police males. It is estimated that half of all homikilling of a suspect is rare, no matter the cides are committed by, and mostly race of the suspect or the cop. And a police against, black males. shooting of an unarmed black male is still In 1995, the federal government looked more rare. at 42,500 defendants in the nation's 75 But blacks are routinely and dispro- largest counties. A government statistiportionately being stopped, pulled over cian, Patrick A. Langan, found "no evidence and/or arrested due to police misconduct,


Larry Elder continued to page 24

Headlines From Africa Algeria: The global slump in oil prices is causing Algeria to face a budget crisis as ongoing tensions continue within the Algerian government between those who suggest that the nation needs to pass urgent reforms only and those who want overall reform as well to develop both the non-hydrocarbon and private sectors. Energy sales account for 95 percent of Algeria’s exports and provide 60 percent of the state budget; but export revenues have reduced owing to both falling oil prices and the depreciation of the dinar. For nearly 15 years, Algeria has been able to rely on comfortable oil revenues and, consequently, with available financial resources that helped the country in maintaining social peace.

Cameroon: Cameroon has forcibly returned 100,000 Nigerian refugees in breach of international agreements, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has reported. The rights group accused soldiers of deporting refugees escaping Islamist violence, as well as attacking and sexually exploiting them. Cameroon is "punishing" refugees for Boko Haram attacks, HRW said. Cameroon has rejected similar accusations previously, saying Nigerians have returned willingly. "Since early 2015, the Cameroonian authorities have summarily deported at least 100,000 Nigerians living in remote border areas back to war, displacement and destitution in Nigeria's Borno state," HRW said. The Cameroonian authorities have previously claimed that Boko Haram militants have been entering the country disguised as refugees. Kenya: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta publicly rebuked the country's Supreme Court on saying its decision to annul the result of last month's election amounted to a "coup." The court upheld a petition by veteran opposition candidate Raila Odinga, who said the re-election of President Kenyatta on August 8 was fraudulent. It ordered a re-run of the election, which is now scheduled for


A look at current news from the continent of Africa October 26. The re-run had originally been scheduled for October 17. Libya: The United Nations has launched a new effort to end years of war and political upheaval in Libya. Delegates from the country's rival parliaments have come together for talks in neighboring Tunisia. It's hoped they'll agree on amendments that will breathe life into a stalled peace plan. The aim is to make it possible to set up a transitional government that would run Libya until elections can be held. Namibia: The German government has given Namibia approximately N$2 billion (133.5 million euros) for technical and financial cooperation projects and programs. At a press conference, Deputy Minister of Economic Planning Lucia Iipumbu said 73.5 percent of the money is grant support, while N$60 million is an interest-reduced loan. Cooperation between the two governments focuses on three areas: the management of natural resources, sustainable economic development, and transport. Nigeria: Health workers in northeast Nigeria are striving to contain a cholera outbreak which has swept through displacement camps, with a drive to vaccinate hundreds of thousands of people against the disease. An estimated 54 people have died from cholera in the region. Aid workers say there is a problem in containing the outbreak as people do not report cases or seek treatment early. South Africa: The South African Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini has accused the provincial government of failing to pay him what he deserves. According reports, the king says he is not getting "financial recognition" although he receives an annual salary of more than 1m rand ($75,000) and is entitled to a budget of nearly $4.5m from the premier of KwaZulu-Natal's office. According to the Times, the King's royal household received $4.3m this year, of which $1.2m went towards staff salaries and the queens' expenses. Uganda: There was chaos in the Ugandan parliament after an MP was accused of bringing a firearm into the chamber. The speaker of parliament ordered security to carry out a search of those present. Scuffles broke out and some were seen throwing chairs

L.A. Focus/October 2017

Angola: Angola's new president was sworn in at a ceremony in Luanda. Joao Lourenco took the oath a month after the governing MPLA won elections. Lourenco, a former defence minister, replaces Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, who stood down after 38 years in power. In similar news, Isaias Samakuva, the veteran leader of Angola’s largest opposition party, announcedhe would step down to allow someone else keep the new government of President Joao Lourenco to account.

ithin every movestreet and people getting Let’s not forget ment, there are propaid leave and getting away #TakeAKnee is about gressive upswings with murder.” Since that police brutality and and disappointing bold declaration, Kaepernick race in America downsides. Often the former has faced the enduring concan easily deter the latter. Unfortunately, sequences for his bravery: death threats, when it comes to racial justice movements calls to boycott him from the league, and — the gravitational pull of white suprema- now a very public blackballing as he’s a cy creates an unfair balance that allows no free agent who has yet to be signed by anyroom for setbacks to linger. one yet. Such a gravitational I was never that much of an NFL fan pull was thrown this to begin with (the league’s tone-deafness to weekend by Donald domestic violence, its faulty account for Trump, the man who CTE in athletic aggression), but supported currently occupies the the calls to boycott the NFL following American presidency, Kaepernick’s blackballing. For any Black who decided to say at a person to be ousted from their occupation rally: “Wouldn’t you as a result of standing up for other Black love to see one of these people should signal an automatic rejecNFL owners, when tion of that employer. Consequently, NFL Ernest Owens somebody disrespects program ratings have dipped as the boyour flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off cott has proven to hurt the league where it the field right now. He is fired. He’s fired!” should. But after Trump’s antics, it seems It’s obvious that NFL player Colin as though he is once again front-and-cenKaepernick was the that “son of a bitch” ter of an issue nobody asked him to parTrump was directly referring to after the take in. Some bandwagon supporters are athlete led a year-long movement detest- actually asking folks to watch the NFL to ing the National Anthem as a way to raise avenge Trump while also invoking awareness on racial injustice and police #TakeTheKnee in their protest. brutality impacting Black and brown peoSigh, this is why we can’t have nice ple. As several athletes took a knee this things. past Sunday in solidarity, I couldn’t help For anyone who is talking about this but observe the detractors on social media movement and not centering Blackness who centered Trump as the cause for their and/or racial justice, you’ve missed the protest. White liberals and political pun- point. Black athletes and allies who have dits especially turned this act of Black taken a knee and spoken out are protestdefiance to the system into an “all voices ing more than just free speech rights, but matter” co-opt to the movement. While Black and brown folks who are often marconversations around free speech is defi- ginalized within society. To whitewash nitely important, Kaepernick didn’t take a this narrative with broad messages of “free knee to defend first amendment rights. He speech for all,” “Resist,” or “make Trump did it to stand up for Black people and mad” plays into the kind of erasure and their rights that so often get infringed oppression Kaepernick and many others upon in this country. are rising up against. Black lives mattered to Kaepernick For anyone who is and many others before Trump got elected, and will continue to after his exit from the talking about this White House. I rather we focus more about movement and not dismantling systems of white supremacy centering Blackness and/or that perpetuates the injustice being racial justice, you’ve missed the protested about more than reacting to point.” another one of Trump’s antics. There’s a progressive upswing happening in this “I am not going to stand up to show movement that we can’t afford to lose pride in a flag for a country that oppresses momentum. Black people and people of color,” Ernest Owens is the Editor of Philadelphia Kaepernick told NFL Media on Aug. 26, magazine’s G Philly. He has written for 2016, the first time he had took a knee in USA Today, NBC News, BET, HuffPost protest. “To me, this is bigger than football and several other major publications. and it would be selfish on my part to look Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or the other way. There are bodies in the Instagram and


MoneyMatters W

What Surviving “The Big One” Will Cost You

atching the devastation inflicted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and the 8.1 earthquake that hit Mexico City, left most Angelenos thinking about one thing—the big one. Fact is, the recent string of natural disasters that hit America have opened up a Pandora’s box of nightmare scenarios no one could have planned for. In Houston, 50 inches of rain turned some of Houston’s streets into rivers of infected waters and even punitive federal law couldn’t prevent the numerous cases of price gouging reported with some vendors asking for as much as $20 for a gallon of gas and in one case, $99 for a case of water. In Florida, it would take nearly two weeks to restore power. St. Thomas experienced a food and water shortage in the days after Irma’s knockout blow and in San Juan, Puerto Rico, experts are now estimating that it will take weeks, if not months, to restore power to the entire island, which is now in the midst of a fuel and water shortage. As the scenes of devastation played out on TV screens and in newspaper headlines across the nation, many couldn’t help but think that Los Angeles could be next, given that most believe the big one to be long overdue. Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, characterized the springs on the San Andreas system as wound very, very tight, adding that the fault is “locked, loaded and ready to go.” Models suggest that a 7.8 earthquake could kill up to 1,800 with 900 dying from fire, 400 from the collapse of vulnerable steel-frame buildings; more than 250 from other building damage; and more than 150 from transportation accidents. And if you’re thinking of getting out in town, consider that L.A. would be cut off from Phoenix and Vegas.

Five hundred thousand to 1 million people could be displaced and potentially all of the western U.S. could lose power and damage to the aqueducts that bring in 88% of Los Angeles’ water supply—and cross the fault—could cripple water supply. Super-fires could destroy hundreds of city blocks as firefighting efforts would no doubt be hampered by gridlock and a lack of water from broken pipes. Noted Seismologist Lucy Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey has cautioned people to act to protect themselves while adding that the decision to not accept “the Big One’s” inevitability would only mean more people suffer. “'I'm not trying to terrify people,” Jones said. “I'm trying to inspire action that will prevent our scenarios from coming true. It's in our power to change.” So, what will it take to prepare Angelenos for the big one and what will it cost them? Emergency kits can average anywhere from $60 to $200. Though they can get pricey. The Ulysses Tier 1 (with Pet Essentials) boasts personal water filters, a flash cooking system, cashmere blanket and organic toiletries at a cost of $14,000. The Minuteman IV includes a pair of tents, hand warmers, pots for cooking and a 300-piece first aid kit—in addition to the basics. If power is what you need, portable backup generators sell for anywhere from $500 to $2000, while a standby generator can start and $3000 - $4000 and up. Experts suggest that you keep anywhere from $200 to $1000 in cash on hand for natural disasters—mostly in small denominations (ones, fives and tens). It may be hard to get someone to break a $100 bill and if power is lost

On the Money Just One Black Actor Makes List of TV’s Highest Paid Forbes Magazine recently published it’s annual ranking of the highest paid actors on television and for the second year in a row, Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara topped out at number one with $41.5 million. Of course, Vergara’s TV salary—$1 million per episode is just part of the story. Credit the balance to her commercial endorsements and licensing deals. Combined she out earned both her male and female counterparts. And while no black male was named to the list of top earning TV actors, just one black actress made the top ten in the actress category and that’s Kerry Washington. Thanks to her portrayal of Olivia Pope on ABC’s hit show, “Scandal” and some prime endorsements, Washington was able to bank $11 million, which also earned her the #16 slot on the overall list of TV’s highest paid actors, male or female. As to some of your other TV favorites, it was reported last year that Viola Davis pocketed $250,000 per episode, while Taraji P. Henson earned about $175,000 per episode. And in data reported by Variety Magazine last year, Tracee Ellis Ross was paid just $80,000 per episode.

What Surviving “The Big One” Will Cost You continued to page 24

Biz NewsBriefs

L.A. Focus/OCtober 2017

Rosalind Brewer Tapped to Lead Starbucks


Starbucks has announced the appointment of Rosalind Brewer as group president and chief operating officer. Brewer, former president/CEO of Sam’s Club, was appointed to Starbuck’s Board last year and becomes the first black women to lead the company. “Roz is a world class operator and executive who embodies the values of Starbucks,” said CEO Kevin Johnson. “She has been a trusted strategic counselor to me ever since she joined our board of directors, and I deeply value her insight,

business acumen, and leadership.” Brewer will lead the company’s operating businesses across the Americas (Canada, U.S. and Latin America), as well as the global functions of supply chain, product innovation, and store development organizations. “I am so honored to have the pleasure of working with the Starbucks leadership team to realize our highest of aspirations for the company and I look forward to working closely with the astute and talented leaders across the enterprise,” said Brewer, who has repeatedly been ranked by Forbes as one of the world’s most powerful women.

Floyd Mayweather To Launch Digital Media Network

After winning his latest fight against MMA star Conor McGregor, word is that Floyd Mayweather is setting his sights on the development of a digital media network. Dubbed the “TMT Digital Network”, the Interactive Web platform and Digital Cable Network will feature original sports and lifestyle content to include LIVE (HD) streaming of sporting events, sports news, fashion and entertainment. The network, reportedly the brainchild of Eric Lowe

and Clarence McNair, will also showcase music artists and stream music videos, live performances, exclusive interviews and other entertainment content through its “TMT Music” platform. “TMT Digital Networks will bring innovative, fresh and exciting perspectives to sports enthusiasts, fans and a wide demographic of audiences interested in not only sports, but music, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment, as a whole,” Mc Nair told the Jasmine Brand.

The Africa Channel Launches New Venture

On October 1, the Africa Channel officially launched its new streaming video venture, Demand Africa (DA). The subscription service will offer hundreds 300+ hours of streaming original and acquired lifestyle content, before expanding in the following months to include hundreds of additional hours of scripted TV series and movies. Available on the web, iOS, Android and via Roku, Apple TV and Amazon, Demand Africa will also feature free access to short-form video series and an online lifestyle blog community highlighting content across the African diaspora on


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LISA COLLINS Contributor

L.A. Focus/October 2017


n August, the pastor of an L.A. church found himself at the center of a social media firestorm after a video of the church playing a cut off Jay Z’s new 4:44 CD during a praise dance performance went viral. From local bloggers to BET, the Atlanta Journal and Christian Post, the video received more than 4 million views. Everyone it seemed had an opinion—the majority of it not good. “Playing Jay-Z, a Luciferian whose message is about self-gain and being a thug, in a church – God’s house - is disgusting!!” read one post. “This guy is supposed to be leading people to Christ and praising Him only, not playing profane music that preaches worldly endeavors during the time set aside to praise The Lord.” And from another post, came this: “How does playing worldly music from a lost soul to a congregation glorify God???” So upset were some people that Tree of Life Baptist Church pastor, Marcus Murchinson received death threats. Blindsided, the pastor could not have imagined the response he received as the unauthorized video posted by a former drummer sparked both local and national news.


“Emotionally I was hurt,” Murchinson said. “I couldn’t imagine that people who had never met me were saying I was a devil. That 3.6 million people were upset with me without even meeting me and had based my ministry—three years of blood sweat and tears— on a 90 second clip.” As if that weren’t enough, the story was only made worse when it was revealed that the young man who shared the video on Facebook was fired. An action Murchinson says was taken because of the way the video was released coupled with a violation of church policy. For the 33-year old pastor and sociologist by trade, the decision to play the track was part test and part dare. He’d hoped to get his members to understand that there was a difference between righteousness and piety. “Something is wrong with the black church that it does not address issues that are relevant and prevalent

Pastor Murchinson greets one of his younger members.

amongst our people,” Murchinson stated. “What we wanted to do was to try and show that young folk can praise God with a conscious message that speaks empirical truth. Jay-Z's message, whether you agree with his presentation or not, was empirically true." “It’s been said that the church was the most segregated place in America on Sunday mornings, but today is not so much racial divide but the pious versus the real. We have people who behave as if they’ve never cussed when the truth is most cannot say that anything Jay-Z said in that song really offended us. “If the one or two cuss words in the song offends you, I have just one question: have you heard those words and weren’t offended before? “What makes you think God isn’t offended when you use them outside of church or use them inside of church under your breath? “We’ve put so much equity in the church when Jesus said we are the church,” Murchinson stresses. “He isn’t coming back for a building. Instead, today’s church so often seems to be a members-only fraternity and club where we incubate people’s feelings. A church where we cook fried chicken, eat pound cake and die of heart attacks and will serve the same stuff at the repast.” Ironically, Murchinson had only just discovered for himself Jay-Z’s empirical truth, after being turned on to the song by a Watts gang member he’d met by chance, when while at a local hip hop spot, Murchinson decided to ask some of the patrons if they went to church. “When they said no, I said why not,” Murchinson stated. “They gave any one of a number of reasons from the church wasn’t relevant to it didn’t match their level of consciousness. So, I asked well, who do you listen to.” Kendrick Lamar, Common, The Game, and Jay-Z were their responses. “Now, I’ve never owned any of Jay-Z’s albums, but this young brother said to me there is a song on Jay-Z’s newest album called “Story of O.J.- Still N****”. He said, ‘Reverend, if you listen to that and if a preacher was to preach that and teach that and speak the truth in that message, I will bring my whole gang to church.”

We’ve put so much equity in the church when Jesus said we are the church . “He isn’t coming back for a building. Instead, today’s church so often seems to be a members-only fraternity and club where we incubate people’s feelings. A church where we cook fried chicken, eat pound cake and die of heart attacks and will serve the same stuff at the repast... If the one or two cuss words in the song offends you, I have just one question: have you heard those words and weren’t offended before?

Grand opening of National University Nurse Managed Clinic Covina and found that they had just received a grant for a priority zone, which is where our church fits. So, we sat down and forged a partnership with the Montessori association in Covina and they decided to come on in. Developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, Montessori schools often a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood and more keenly adapted to meet the child’s gifts. “Because I’m a sociologist I have another program called Dad’s Back Academy. It’s a $6.8 million granted federal program (under the National Fatherhood Initiative) that deals with prison re-entry. Fathers who are just getting out of prison can come here and get a host of services, including resource referrals, parenting, self-esteem, finance classes and job placement. “We actually pay them to go through the program and for whatever excuse they come up with for not being able to make it on any given day, we have an answer. If you tell me you can’t get here, we give you a gas card for the month. If it’s not having anyone to watch your kids, we provide childcare. “On top of that, they get job employment services,” Murchinson adds. “There’s a job developer we employ to come here and help them get a job after they’ve completed the program. We have a young man who served 27 years behind walls. He got out and went through our Dad’s Back Program. I met him and was impressed by his commitment. He came to church, joined and immediately I said this is somebody we can make an investment in, so we hired him.” For Murchinson to do any less than all he is doing would be contrary to what the dream he had of helping others when at the age of 12 he was called to the ministry and went by the nickname “preacher boy”. The Portland, Oregon native, who founded The Family of Faith Church before being appointed senior pastor at Tree of Life, grew up believing in the power of the church to change lives. “I would be a bad pastor to keep preaching to them about Jesus and not show them that this is what Jesus would do. I don’t view the scriptures through the same lens as others do. I use different motives to bring people to God. For example, in the next few weeks we are going to do a haunted house here at the church for Halloween. If we did ‘hallelujah night’ (as some of the other churches), they would not come.’” “I believe the level of consciousness has changed,” stressed Murchinson, who has dubbed Tree of Life, the “church of unusual.’ “Jesus said be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind not your feelings. I believe the church is the place where the uncomfortable find comfort and the comfortable become uncomfortable.” With the controversy dialed back, the former Navy sailor is devoting his energies to creating even more programs to engage the surrounding community. In November, the 200+ member strong church will celebrate the grand opening of the Five Keys Adult Charter School, which will provide a free GED curriculum to those at least 20 years of age who did not graduate from high school. Also in the works as the church has begun to purchase land, is low-income housing and then perhaps even an expansion for the church, which currently seats 200.

L.A. Focus/October 2017

It was a challenge Murchinson—who saw a desperate need to engage the unchurched and the community—couldn’t resist, but only if the song was as profound as the young man claimed. “I listened to the song immediately when I got to my car,” Murchinson recalls. “It took me about 3-4 times to really hear it, but I saw the message of what he was saying and you couldn’t deny the empirical truth of what was being articulated.” What’s more, it was a message Murchinson wanted to share. Yet, sensing it might offend some, Murchinson told members of the congregation that he would be playing a track from Jay-Z’s album, The Story of O.J., during the July 29 Sunday morning worship service a full four weeks in advance. He suggested that it was okay for those who felt it might be offensive to stay home. “I called the young brother up and said, make sure you are at church on the fifth Sunday of July, I’m going to do this sermon called Story of O.J.—Still N****,” Murchinson continued. “There were some young girls— who were not a part of the church— who asked if they could do a praise dance to that as well, and we said yes. “The guy came to church and brought two gang members and they joined the church that day, telling me that the only time they been to church was funerals.” “Ultimately, it’s not my church that had the problem,” Murchinson reported. “I believe we lost three people. The irony is the people that left the church weren’t even there that Sunday. Another local newspaper spoke to an individual who had not been at this church in over a year and another individual who has not been here in two years. People who were never really been a part of what we have been building over the last three years. There were no real investment and that’s what was disheartening. So too was the fact that the local newspaper that—though invited—wasn’t there to cover the opening of our Montessori School or free health clinic—was instead so eager to give voice to mess that they tracked me down on my cellphone.” Most offended, he contends, were people in the Bible Belt or those on social media who knew nothing of his church. “People who don’t know anything of our civic engagement or how we help this community,” Murchinson said. “I’m just 33 and most of the stuff I’ve done here in three years, many churches haven’t done in 300 years.” Why Murchinson thought couldn’t the attention he received from the video couldn't have instead been for the outreach he was attempting or for the life changing programs Tree of Life has launched in the community. But as the initial uproar died down, people started playing closer attention to Murchinson. Who was this young pastor who’d dared to be relevant to the un-churched? Support began to come in from celebrities like Mike Epps. Even Dave Chappell weighed in. Donations started to come in as well—some anonymous—for those outreach programs that Murchinson at first feared were lost in the controversy. The attention began to shift to their Montessori School, prison re-entry program and primary health care. “You look at your church and see people dying of diabetes, high cholesterol, —we have a high epidemic of cancer in our community which could be controlled and contained with dieting well. Today, we are the only church that has a fully-functional health clinic that provides free medical health care to anyone free of charge,” Murchinson states. “We are capable of being anyone’s primary care physician (PCP). The program, in conjunction with the National University Nurse-Managed Clinic, is operated on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 2pm and in addition to standard physical examinations treats everything from the common cold and flu to diabetes and regularly provides testing and screenings that span HIV and vision to mental health. Murchinson believes that while church happens on Sundays and Wednesday nights (Bible study), ministry should be Monday through Friday. “It’s not just a message of faith, a message of inspiration. The Bible says faith without works is dead and so after we inspire you on Sunday morning we empower you Monday through Saturday. “We have the only Montessori preschool in the city of Watts. We reached out to the Montessori in West


INSIDE HO L LY W OOD with Neily Dickerson Thurgood Marshall was a civil rights leader, activist, and history maker. I have a feeling if he were alive today he’d be standing and/or kneeling with Colin Kaepernick and everyone taking a knee in protest of the wrongdoings experienced by Blacks and people of color in this county. Marshall always took the lead on speaking out and standing up for injustices to see that Blacks received equal treatment. In the movie Marshall, set for an October 13th release, we are introduced to a young Thurgood, played by Chadwick Boseman from Get On Up, and the highly anticipated, Black Panther, who takes on the case of, Joseph Spell - played by This Is Us actor and Emmy Award winner Sterling K. Brown, a Black chauffeur whose been accused of sexual assault and attempted murder. In the 1940s a judge could deny a

Chadwick Boseman stars in “Marshall”

Black attorney (even a capable one like Marshall) the right to defend/represent their client. Such was the case with Connecticut v. Joseph Spell, so Marshall had to secure the services of a white law firm, actually in this case a Jewish law firm, to get the case seen before a judge. He may have been banned from actively defending his client, but he of course played a key role in developing the case for and working with co-counsel, Samuel Friedman, played by Josh


The Mountain Between Us October 6 On Or Off?


Seems no one knows for sure if Tameka ‘Tiny’ Harris and her husband, rapper T.I. are back living together under the same roof as rumored. What is clear is that the two are on good terms and that the divorce—if not altogether called off, is on hold. That’s if you consider that the Xscape member recently took out a billboard to wish estranged husband a happy birthday with the message: Happy birthday #TIP, from the one who loves & adores you most, Mrs. H. “We are trying to figure it out one day at a time,” Tiny told Us Magazine. For now, Harris is concentrating her energies on the return of Xscape— Kandi Burruss-Tucker, Harris, and sisters LaTocha and Tamika Scott— and their first-ever headlining tour. The Great Xscape Tour, kicking off November 22nd in Richmond and winding down in January, with special guests Monica and Tamar Braxton. Speaking of Tamar, the singer has put an end to retirement rumors that surfaced after she said her current album, Blue Bird of Happiness, would be her last. “I didn’t say I was retiring. I’m going on tour with Xscape,” the singer posted. “I’m still going on Bluebird of Happiness Tour. And I’m going back to television permanently. That doesn’t sound like retiring.”

Mary Mary Return For Final Season

WE tv’s popular docu-series “Mary Mary” returned for its sixth and final season

Gad - from Frozen and The Wedding Ringer - on how to best handle and maneuver the case. Friedman and Marshall combine their efforts presenting a case that dismissed all claims against Spell made by Eleanor Strubing, portrayed by Kate Hudson. The Marshall cast is well played by an amazing group of performers including ; Keesha Sharp - Lethal Weapon, James Cromwell - The Young Pope, Jussie Smollett - Empire, Dan Stevens - Downtown Abbey, and several others. What I like most about what director Reginald Hudlin has done with Marshall is that he offers viewers a look at the beginning of the civil rights movement, the role Thurgood Marshall played, the development and importance of the NAACP, and the reminder that we’ve come a long way, but we’ve still got a long way to go. Sterling K. Brown Hometown: St. Louis Missouri Big Break: American Crime Story (2016) Current Project: Marshall (2017), This Is Us (2017), The Predator (2018), Black Panther, (2018) Hotel Artemis (2018)


Sterling K. Brown

With his groundbreaking performance as Christopher Darden in The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which landed him his first Emmy win and Marshall Boo 2! A Madea Halloween Same Kind of Different as Me several nominations, Sterling K. Brown continues his quest to write his name in Hollywood history. The St. October 20 October 20 October 13 Louis native currently plays Randall Pearson, in NBC’s hit drama “This is Us.” Which garnered him a second September 28th . The series, which to have shared the last several years of Emmy win. chronicles the lives of Erica and Tina my life, personally and professionally, Campbell, sisters and members of the with all of the supporters of the view- What were your thoughts when you first got the contemporary gospel group Mary ers of our reality show. We’ve written script for “This is Us?” It’s the kind of show that cracks your heart open. Mary, will close out with six one hour- and recorded songs together, we’ve long episodes. One of WE tv’s most released albums together, we’ve been Whether there is joy or empathy, it’s just a beautiful popular and talked about series, the pregnant together, we’ve had babies story about family. Reading the script, I thought this fifth season of “Mary Mary” reached on the show, we’ve had the worst of was the best television pilot that I’ve ever read. I was still shooting The People vs. O.J and I was sitting at the 12.7 million total viewers and was the times in our families and have had the prosecution table while they were covering everything #1 cable program in its time slot best of times with our family. We’ve in the courtroom. I was talking to Paulson and I said among African-American Women 25- established an identity together and ‘Sarah, I think I’ve found something that I would be 54. Season 5 of “Mary Mary” ended separately and you all have been with very proud to be a part of.’ with high tensions between Erica and us for the entire ride. Thank you to Tina, leaving fans to speculate about everyone who made it happen and to Your character could be labeled “The Nexus” of the fate of the group. This season, the everyone who watched it happen. It’s the show, how similar is Randall to Sterling? Randal is a man who always does his best at what he group will brave global terrorist been great.” threats to take on their biggest world Briefly: Jaleel White (Family Matters’ knows how. We have a lot of commonalities, he has a tour yet. But competition over each of Steve Urkel) is back on TV as a regu- beautiful wife and I have a beautiful wife. He has beautheir growing solo careers, and long lar on the new CBS series, “Me, Myself tiful children and I have beautiful children. He’s had a buried emotional demons that resur- and I”…Filmmaker Julie Dash has very successful career- it’s hard to explain what he does face in the Holy Land prove to be the been tapped to direct a forthcoming but he is very successful at what he does. I’m having a period in my life where things are really good. I lost my ultimate test of their sisterly bond. biopic on Rosa Parks, that will focus father at 10 years old and Randall didn’t lose his adopt“It’s been a privilege to chronicle on her years as activist prior to the ed father at age 10 but we know that his adopted dad the lives of gospel superstars Erica Montgomery Bus Boycott and her has passed away. So the idea of wanting to connect and Tina Campbell, better known as advocacy for a 24-year-old wife and with fathers is something that we both share. Mary Mary – who mother, Recy Taylor, brutally gangare truly rocks raped by six white men in Alabama in As a father of two, how has this role impacted stars who rock 1944…Elaine Brown—the first and your parenting style? When I became a parent, I didn’t think it was possie v e r y t h i n g only woman to lead the Black they do, Panthers—is on board to have her ble for my children to love me as much as I love them. from fami- book, A Taste of Power: A Black I think that hits me really hard because I think to ly life to Woman’s Story adapted into a feature myself that’s the way my mom loves me. I find myself their wild- film. Brown, who joined the Panthers telling my 5-year-old son Andrew stories about my dad who passed away. Then every once in a while we’ll be ly success- two years after it was formed by Huey saying grace, or we’ll be praying, and he’s like, “Don’t ful music Newton and Bobby Seale, led the party forget to pray for your dad.” c a r e e r s , ” for three years while Newton was in said Lauren exile in Cuba. Brown, who still lives in How do you go about accepting roles and how has Gellert, exec- Oakland, will serve as exec producer this shaped your acting career and impacted you? utive vice …Finally, ABC has come up the winAs long as the story is good and sort of illuminates p r e s i d e n t , ner in a bidding war over the reboot of the human condition in a way that is interesting and development & the popular 70s series, Get Christie new I’m down to tell the story. My calling is to be an p r o g r a m m i n g Love. The new hour-long action- actor and try to illuminate the human condition as best for WE tv. packed drama from producers Debra I can. I'm always trying to find ways to evolve. O b s e r v e d Martin Chase and Vin Diesel, centers Evolution, for me, is a very spiritual thing, getting closTina Campbell, on an African-American female CIA er to the Creator, closer to God and becoming a better version of myself. “I’m so grateful agent who leads an elite ops unit.

Making A Difference No one knows more than Dr. Pamela Wiley that timing is everything. By all accounts she just might have been the first African-American speech language pathologist to go into practice in the Los Angeles area and because of it she is L.A.’s consummate authority on speech pathology, autism and children with special needs. Her Culver City-based Wiley Institute has not only flourished, but expanded to four locations, including early intervention programs in Maywood and Lawndale. “It’s a real affirmation that what we are doing is right,” Wiley says. “Thousands of children have passed through this program and while I allow research to inform me, I never allow it to limit me, testing the boundaries of what they are able to do and to let people know what autism can look like. Everything we’ve done with these kids has exceeded my expectation.” It is a sentiment echoed in the testimonies of grateful parents like Lisa Anderson. “My son walked in their doors 16 years ago at age three without being able to formulate anything longer than a two-word sentence. Today, he is an eloquent speaker and has even given a speech in front of 700 people & TV news cameras while rallying the listeners into cheers.” Courtney Bourgogne says the program has taken him from silence to about 20 approximations. “This may not seem like much to a parent of a typically developing child, but it means the world to me.” With praise like that, Wiley is as excited today as she was when she started working mostly with kids with prenatal drug exposures. Autism, she says, came almost out of nowhere. “In the early days, there were kids who had autism and we didn’t know it. Then there were kids who didn’t have autism and were thrown in the program,” Wiley explains. “I remember in the early 90s parents wanted their kids to be diagnosed with autism because there was so much money and resources poured into it. I remember saying to a parent, no, he’s fine and the parent goes “no Dr. Wiley, and I realized the parent was just pushing for the diagnosis.” Ironically, becoming a speech pathologist wasn’t something she’d thought about until, on a fluke while a student at San Jose State, she took a class on phonetics. “I knew nothing about it, but I took the class and happened to have a black professor. I was just taken with her and at that time we were talking about black dialect. It was just amazing to me.” “We didn’t have autism labels back then,” said the Kewanee, Illinois native who went on to get her Master’s degree from Cal State and a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University of Education. “The kids you worked with then were mostly articulation problems and stuttering. Three years into working with the Los Angeles Unified School District, I became a part of the first IEP (Individualized Education Program) team.” What she noticed was troubling. “When we went to certain communities more was given while other communities got less.” “I was the only young African American on the team and I saw how the Latinos and

Dr. Pamela Wiley the African-American community would be like thank God there is someone here who can help me with this.” Wiley’s hands, however, were tied. “I saw that our parents did not have the knowledge and the training and people were not necessarily forthcoming with the services they needed.” She knew she had to do something, so in 1979, Wiley decided to go into private practice, with the first group of children she worked with coming from her previous employer, LAUSD. “I love the fact that I took these kids and there was no information on how to help them, so I was able to do my own thing,” Wiley observes. “Private practice allowed that as I saw a need I was able to develop something that was going to work on them. The proof’s in the pudding,” says Wiley, whose facility treats 150 kids on any given day. Being tuned in to the community has kept her on the forefront. “People listen. I know what I’m doing,” Wiley continued. “The problem is in trying to help our families be aware of what’s going on. They need to know their rights. They need to get their children into services early and to realize all these different agencies that are state funded, are mandated to provide services to families.” “I’ve been really blessed to be in a profession that allows me to do everything I want to do and to be able to open doors for my kids.” Those doors include a Workplace Social Skills Employment Readiness Program—created to address the high unemployment rate for the autistic—that provides the social skills they need to navigate the workplace. Earlier this year, Wiley partnered with UPS for the opening of a UPS office in her Fox Hills facility that will be fully staffed by autistic youth. Their Spectrum Shield program provides training for both the police and kids with autism on how to interact and what the traits are so that the kids aren’t scared and so the police aren’t misinterpreting their reactions and know some of the characteristics of autism. “I’ve always had that think out of the box to continue to develop and implement programs based on the needs of these kids and because of it they accomplished far more than once believed possible.” This month at the Skirball Cultural Center, the Wiley Institute will celebrate their annual gala. For information, visit

Calendar of events

Ongoing On Stage: Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Head of Passes Featuring Phyllicia Rashad (Through Oct. 22) Call for Showtimes • $25-95 Mark Taper Forum 135 N Grand Ave Contact: (213) 628-2772 Center Stage: African American Women in Silent Race Films (Through Oct. 15) Free (Parking = $12) California African American Museum 600 State Drive Contact: (213) 744-7432 Boo at the Zoo Themed areas for trick-or-treaters, crafts, music, and creepy crawlers. (Through Oct. 31) 10am-4pm * $18 (children) $17 (seniors) $21(adults)•under 2 Free 5333 Zoo Drive Info: (323) 644-4200 Monday, October 2 WHW Methods Of Expository Preaching & Teaching Conference Honoring Dr. Larry Harris (Through Oct. 6) $255 • Hilton LAX 5711 W Century Blvd Info: (800) 445-8667 Tuesday, October 3 In Concert: Chance The Rapper (Through Wednesday, October 4) 8:00pm • $49 - $370+

Hollywood Bowl 2301 N Highland Avenue Thursday, October 5 In Concert: Lauryn Hill & Nas 6:30pm • $37 - $363+ Hollywood Bowl 2301 N Highland Avenue Booksigning— “The Hollywood Commandments: A Spiritual Guide To Secular Success” With DeVon Franklin 7pm • Free The Grove At Farmers Market 189 The Grove Drive Info: (323) 525-0270 Friday, October 6 In Concert: Maxwell with Raphael Saadiq and Jazmine Sullivan 7:00pm • $51 - $339+ Hollywood Bowl 2301 N Highland Avenue In Concert: Stephanie Mills, Freddie Jackson, Kelly Price 9:00pm • $58 - 89 The Saban 8440 Wilshire Blvd Beverly Hills Info: (888) 645-5006 Saturday, October 7 Ladera Heights 3rd Annual Community Faire & Car Show Health fair, jazz concert, classic car show, food trucks, entertainment for children & more. Noon-4pm

Parent Elementary School 5354 W. 64th Street On Stage: "Thugs and the Women Who Love 'Em" Starring Boosie Badazz, Lyfe Jennings, K. Michelle, Sevyn Streeter, Karlie Reed and Ray J (Through Sunday, October 8) 8pm • $65 - 130 Dolby Theater 6801 Hollywood Blvd Crenshaw Community Disaster Preparedness Expo 2017 Info Forums, fun, food, vendors Hosted by West Angeles Church of God In Christ 10am – 4pm • Free West Angeles Cathedral 3600 Crenshaw Blvd Info: (323) 733-8300 Sunday, October 8

In Concert: Janet Jackson State of the World Tour 7:30pm • $33 - $369+ Hollywood Bowl 2301 N Highland Avenue Saturday, October 14 Cash For College: 16th Annual College and Career Convention Apply for Financial aid resources $10,000 in scholarships available 10am – 12:30pm • Free Los Angeles Trade Tech College 400 W. Washington Blvd Special Needs Network Presents 12th Annual Evening Under the Stars Awards Show and Gala Fundraiser 6pm – 10pm • $1,500 & up Sony Pictures Lot 10202 W. Washington Blvd. Culver City Info: (323) 291-7100

EVENT SPOTLIGHT Friday, October 27-29 Two Can Play That Game The Stageplay When Men Start To Play Around, Women Will Even The Score 3pm, 4pm, & 8pm• $55-$75 842 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014 (27th-28th) 300 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802 (29th)

L.A. Focus/October 2017

Kerry Washington at the Women Making History Awards


at the rowning B n a g Awards o L History g in k a M Women

Zendaya at th Women M aking His e tory

ms and India Michael K. Willia History en Wom Making Williams at the Awards


Simone Smith and LL Cool J walked the red carpet at the 69th Emmy Awards

Michael Rapaport, Jamie Foxx, Lonnie Chavis, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Jay Pharoah, Cleopatra Coleman and Jacob MingTrent attend the premiere of Showtime's 'White Famous'

Nichelle Nichols (former Star Trek cast member) and Sonequa Martin-Green (first black female lead of Star Trek) attend the Premiere Of CBS's 'Star Trek: Discovery'.

Scarium of the Pacific (Through October 15) Magic shows, underwater pumpkin carving, storytelling &crafts. 9am—5pm $17.95 (children) $26.95 (seniors) $29.95 (adults) (Free for child with costume —see website for details) Aquarium of the Pacific 100 Aquarium Way Long Beach Info: (562) 590-3100 Golden Future Senior Expo Free •10:00am-2:30pm Veterans Memorial Complex Airtel Plaza Hotel 7277 Valjean Avenue Van Nuys, CA 91406 Contact: (424) 772-6039 Wednesday, October 18 22nd Annual L.A.M.P.S. (Leaders, Apostolic, Mentoring & Prophetic Servants) Conference 2017 “The Fire & Glory of the Church” Hosted by Dr. Beverly "Bam" Crawford. (Though Oct. 21) 7:30pm $85 (leadership luncheon at the

Sheraton Gateway Hotel) Bible Enrichment Fellowship Church 400 E. Kelso Street Info: (310) 330-4700 Thursday, October 19, 2017 Power Manifesto Reproductive Justice Conference Speakers, Workshops, Programing for teens and young adults, Networking & Panel Discussions 8pm-5pm • $100 – $150 The California Endowment 1000 North Alameda Street Los Angeles, CA 90012 Friday, October 20 30th Church Anniversary Benefit Concert—Bam Crawford’s Purpose “The King Is Coming Any Day” 8pm • $40 - $125 Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center 1935 Manhattan Beach Bl Redondo Beach Info: (310) 330-4700 bampurposeconcert.eventbr Black Pumps 2017 Leadership Summit & Gala

Auctions, buffet dinner, live entertainment, dj, awards and much more 1:00pm-Through Oct 22, 2:00am • $109 – $1,200 JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE 900 West Olympic Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90015 Saturday, October 21 Taste Of Soul Family Fest Performances by Donald Lawrence, Tye Tribbett, Bishop Paul Morton, Brian Courtney Wilson, Hezekiah Walker, Jekalyn Carr, Anita Wilson and Paul Porter Food vendors and live entertainment 10am-7pm Free Crenshaw Blvd. between Stocker St. and Rodeo Dr. 39th Annual Wisdom From Above Luncheon with Dr. Betty Price 10am • $65 per person Torrance Marriott 3635 Fashion Way Torrance 90503 Info: (323) 758-3777 x4297

To Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True With Gabrielle Union 7pm • Free Grove At Farmers Market 189 The Grove Drive Contact: (323) 525-0270 Wednesday, October 25 93rd Session of the Southern California Annual AME Conference (Through Oct 29 • 5th District Planning Meeting (10/30 – 10/31) Hilton Airport LAX 5711 W. Century Blvd Host Church: New Philadelphia AME Info: (562) 422-9300 Daughters Of Increase 2017 Conference Intercession, Worship, The Word, Focus on Health, Celebrate Under the Stars 7:00 PM –Sat, Oct 28 2:00pm • $30 – $250 Ontario Christian Center 1336 North Baker Avenue Ontario, CA 91764 The CA HI NAACP 2017 Annual State Convention

Through Oct 29 $15-300 LAX Marriott Hotel Los Angeles, California 90045 Thursday, October 26 Booksigning— “Blessed In The Darkness” With Joel Osteen 7pm • Free The Grove At Farmers Market 189 The Grove Drive Contact: (323) 525-0270 Friday, October 27 Greater Ebenezer Mssionary Baptist Church Women’s Conference Featuring dynamic speakers and psalmists 6:00pm-Sat 12:00pm•$0-20 5300 Denker Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90062 Saturday, October 28 Joel Osteen: “Night of Hope” 1PM • 8PM • The Forum 3900 W Manchester Blvd Contact: (310) 330-7300 KTYM Media Open House Featuring Rev. Thomas

around los angeles Monday, October 23 Booksigning— “We’re Going

Mike Epps, Tracy Morgan, Joe Torrey and Martin Lawrence at Netflix’s ‘Def Comedy Jam 25’ Special

ive Art Emmys Common at the Creat n the wo he where Lyrics award d an sic Mu Original

In Concert: Musiq Soulchild 8:00pm • $47.50 – 87.50 City National Grove of Anaheim 2200 East Katella Avenue Anaheim Contact: (714) 712-2700 In Concert: Kirk Franklin & Ledisi With Special Guest Kenny G 7:30PM • $39.50 - $79.50 Microsoft Theater 777 Chick Hearn Court Contact: (213) 763-6030 Black Women’s Annual Business/Career & Networking Breakfast Forum Panel, Booths, networking opportunity, marketplace & more $55- $75 • 9am-1pm LAX Marriott 5855 W. Century Blvd Register: (323) 964-4003

Angela Bassett and husband Courtney B. Vance at The Creative Art Em mys

L.A. Focus/October 2017

d wife Meagan DeVon Franklin an Comedy Jam ef ‘D s Good at Netflix’ 25’ Special

Blackwell 12 noon-4pm 6803 West Blvd


Eye On Gospel

The L.A. Church and Gospel Community Mourn The Passing of Rodena Preston Dr. Rodena Preston, sister of the late Billy Preston, renowned gospel musician and famed L.A. choir clinician, has died. The news of her passing was shared on Facebook and followed by a host of tributes by friends and fans alike. Of the news, gospel recording artist Brent Jones wrote, “Rodena Preston a true pioneer and soldier in the gospel music industry has passed!! This Diva was very Instrumental in advancing my career at the GMWA and as a whole! When people kicked the TP MOBB off the stage, this small anointed firecracker stood up for us. She epitomized the GMWA motto that said "everybody is somebody"! She had a way to make you and your music feel special, relevant and accepted! Rodena Preston: a queen, a star, a minstrel, a Minister of Music, a woman of God!” Preston began playing the piano at the age of 3. She followed her mother, Robbie, to choir rehearsals and church on Sundays, and would not allow anyone to keep her from the piano bench with her mom. She was also an inspiration to her younger brother, Billy Preston to play the piano at an early age. She has played for churches in the Los Angeles area since the age of 11.

In 1973, while serving as pianist for the young adult choir at Church of Divine Guidance and from this choir, the Houston native organized the Voices of Deliverance. Their heart-warming rendition of The Old Rugged Cross won them the title of ‘Choir of the Year’ in 1974. They signed with BeeGee Records and recorded five albums: The Old Rugged Cross; Peaceful Waters; 2nd Anniversary Album; There's Been A Change; and Holding On. In 1972, Dr. Preston was appointed Chapter Representative of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA), founded by Rev. James Cleveland, before taking on the role as Minister of Music and coordinator of the National Mass Choir of the GMWA. A workshop clinician, she travelled across the U.S. teaching and encouraging others in the gospel music field. With her position with the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc., Preston approved all new music, as well as music by new songwriters, to be presented at GMWA Conventions (for Mass Choir, New Music Seminar and Youth Division). For many years, GMWA recorded with several record companies. A leader of L.A.’s gospel community, Preston received a Doctorate of Divinity Degree from the Elbon Solutions School of Ministry in 2004. In October 2006, she was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall Of Fame in Detroit.

Tye Tribbett’s Bloody Win Grammy-awardwinning gospel recording artist Tye Tribbett is prepping for the release of his latest CD, The

L.A. Focus/Octobe r 2 017

Re d Carpet Style


NIECY NASH wearing an elegant slim fitting red dress.

TRACEE ELLIS ROSS rocking a metallic silver dress with a white fur mermaid flare.

Bloody Win, which is set to drop this month. Leading up to the album’s official drop date, Tribbett had been releasing a single every three weeks. “My album The Bloody Win is conceptually about aggressive victory,” Tribbett said of the 12-track release. “It’s a message that now is not the time to be passive. When there's darkness in the world, you have to fight for the light." “It’s not easy to capture Tye Tribbett’s high-energy, passionate performance on a recording but he has done it with The Bloody Win,” Pennell said. “Motown Gospel is pleased to partner with Tye to reach and expand his growing, worldwide audience.” “Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand new,” Tribbett posted on his Instagram account. “It’s bursting out!”

How Tasha Cobbs Put Her Critics To Rest Tasha Cobbs Leonard had the internet buzzing last month with the release of “I’m Getting Ready” which featured Nicki Minaj, off her fourth album, Heart.Passion.Pursuit. Defending the decision in Essence Magazine, Cobbs-Leonard said, “I’ve seen the Nicki that is off the stage and that Nicki has a great relationship with God,” Cobbs Leonard said. “My assignment with this song was for a particular audience. Some [of the listeners] have never experienced God ever and she exposed that audience in her way, to the God that she loves.” The confirmation that it was the right decision, according to the gospel star, comes with the thousands of people for whom it marked the first time they purchased a gospel album and the first time they’d ever “felt God.” The single put Nicki Minaj at the top of the Hot Gospel Songs chart. Cobbs—who currently has three albums on the Top Gospel Albums Chart, including the #1 slot— is currently on tour promoting the album which features worship leaders from around the country.

Celebrities attend The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 17th, held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

REGINA KING looking stunning in a black and silver low cut dress.

TESSA THOMPSON in a graceful flowing multicolor gown.

UZO ADUBA flaunting a natural look in a beautiful shinning white outfit.

ChurchNews Bible Enrichment Fellowship Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Bam Crawford’s Purpose


ible Enrichment Fellowship International is set to celebrates the 20th Anniversary of “Bam Crawford’s Purpose: The King Is Coming Any Day” with a concert on October 20, 2017 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. “It’s been twenty years since we recorded what was a landmark album not just for us, but for praise and worship teams in churches around the country. It’s unbelievable how many people call the church, text me and write me letters asking how to get the album which they can’t get anywhere,” said Apostle Beverly “Bam” Crawford. “The songs on the album had such an impact on people that we felt it was time not only to celebrate, but to come together and recapture the essence of that recording and make it available to those for whom it has meant so much and served as their devotion.” “This celebration is going to be a night of worship and thanks,” Crawford continued. “We all are thanking God for all He has done and this is not just a church celebration, but a time for everyone to thank God for what He has done for them” Featured performers include worship leader Jackie Gouché Farris, the acclaimed songwriter of “My Help”, Ron Kenoly, Morris Chapman, vocalist Beau Williams, artist and songwriter, Punky G, and other special guests. Originally released in 1997, “Bam Crawford’s Purpose The King Is Coming Any Day” was an instant hit, featuring hits such as; “Perpetual Praise”, “Thank You” and “My Help”. “My Help” became an anthem in many churches across the world and recorded by artists such as Donnie McClurkin, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and CeCe & Ronald Winans.

Sylvester Washington Consecrated as Bishop In what was a standing room only service at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church conducted by Bishop Alex Toussaint and attended by nearly a dozen Baptist officials, including Dr. Joe B. Hardwick (Western Baptist State Convention) and Pastor Xavier Thompson of the Baptist Minister’s Fellowship, Pastor Sylvester Washington was consecrated a bishop by the Council of Evangelical Baptist Bishops. “I’m extremely excited,” said Washington, who at first questioned whether or not he was deserving of the honor. It was members of his congregation who put his name into contention after 48 years of service in ministry. “After a lot of prayer, I heard a voice that said to me, ‘accept what God allows’ and if it means anything, I want it to be a blessing to the people.”

Rev. Cecil Murray Celebrates 88th Birthday Surrounded by friends, civic and religious leaders, and colleagues of the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement and the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, retired AME pastor, Rev. Cecil Murray, celebrated his 88th birthday at a breakfast celebration held at USC’s University Club. Murray, who published his memoir—Twice Tested by Fire: A Memoir of Faith and Service in 2012— was celebrated for his lifetime of service. A visibly grateful Murray— who served as senior pastor at First AME Church for 27 years—said if he was blessed to have a few more years, he would like “to fill it, move it and live it.” “Never under any circumstances make your life the center,” he added. “Make other folks the center.” For the last five years, Murray has served as a community fellow at the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement working to train and equip faith leaders to empower their communities politically, economically and spiritually. “We have had some 1200 pastors go through our 13 weeks of training in civic initiatives, lifting their communities and they in turn report to us on a monthly basis and that is altering our environment radically. They’re doing good work.”

Agape Church of Los Angeles Worship Center 3725 Don Felipe Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90008 4602 Crenshaw Blvd, Suite 2A, Los Angeles, CA 90043 (323) 295-5571 Bishop Craig A. Worsham, Founder & Senior Pastor Sunday School: 10:00am Morning Worship: 11:00am Loving, Lifting & Liberating Humanity Through The Word Bethel AME Church of Los Angeles 7900 South Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 750-3240 • Rev. Kelvin T. Calloway Early Worship: 7:45 am Morning Worship: 10:45am Mid-week “Hour of Power” (Wed): noon

First AME Church (FAME) 2270 South Harvard Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018 (323) 735-1251 • F: (323) 735-3353 • 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 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

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 Temple Baptist Church 7017 South Gramercy Place, Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 971-8192 Bishop Miquail M. Broadous Sr., Senior Pastor

Bethlehem Temple Church, INC. 958 East 52nd Street Los Angeles, CA 90011 (323) 232-8429 Pastor Elder Gentry Richardson, Jr. Sunday: Christian Education: 9:00am Morning Worship: 11:00am PYPU (youth services): 4:30pm Evening Worship: 6:00pm (5pm 5th Sun.) Monday Prayer Revival: 7pm Wednesday Ministerial/Teacher’s Prep. Class: Noon; Bible Class: 7:45pm

Grace United Methodist Church 4112 West Slauson Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90043 (323) 294-6653 • F: (323) 294-8753 • Rev. Pastor Paul A. Hill • 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 Dwain Jackson

Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church 5300 S. Denker Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90062 (323) 759-4996 Rev. DeNon Porter

Sunday School: 10am Morning Worship: 9:15 am Bible Study (Tues): Noontime Pastor’s Bible Study( Tues): 7pm

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: Congregational Church of Christian Fellowship 2085 S. Hobart Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018 Phone: (323) 731-8869 • F: (323) 731-0851 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 • 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

Sunday School: 9am Morning Worship: 10:00am Wednesday Worship: 6:45pm E-Mail:

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 • 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 Wed’s 6:30pm-8:00pm 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: 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 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 • • 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: • Our Goal: To win more Christians & develop better Christians to the glory of God. (Matt. 28:18-20) Mt. Tabor Missionary Baptist Church 6614 S. Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 753-3189 • F: (323) 753-1018 • Dr. Ticey M. Brown, D. Min. Pastor/Teacher Early Morning Worship: 8:00am Sunday School: 9:30am Mid Morning Worship: 11:00am Tues. Bible Study: 10:00am & 7:00pm Meeting/Bible Study: 6:30pm–8pm First Sun. Communion: 8:00am & 11:00am Baptism First Sunday

One Church International 614 N. La Brea Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036 (818) 763-4521 • Sr. Pastor Toure’ Roberts Sunday Worship: 9:00am, 11:00am & 1:00pm Wednesday Midweek Service: 8pm—View live streaming

Paradise Baptist Church 5100 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90037 (323) 231-4366 Dr. Aaron Iverson 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 • 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 • 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

“You can end your search for a friendly church”

Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church 1300 E. 50th Street Los Angeles, CA 90011 (323) 235-2103 • F: (323) 235-3177 • 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 New Antioch Church of God in Christ 7826 So. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90044 (323) 778-7965 Elder Jeffrey M. Lewis 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: 7:30am & 10:45am Sunday School: 9:45am Wed. Prayer/Bible Study: Noon Pastor’s Bible Study: 7:00pm

E: 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

Southern Saint Paul Church 4678 West Adams Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016 (323) 731-2703 • Rev. Xavier L. Thompson, Senior Pastor/Teacher L.I.F.E. Groups Sundays: 9:30am Morning Worship Service: 11:00am Baptism & Communion (First Sunday): 4:00pm Weekly Bible Enrichment Tuesdays: 7:00pm

L.A. Focus/October 2017

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)

St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church 5017 S. Compton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011 (323) 231-1040 • Rev. Dr. Lovely Haynes Sunday Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:00am Sunday School: 9:30am Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:00am Mon-Wed: Prayer Bible Study: 6:00 - 6:55 pm Bible Study Wednesday: Noon & 7:00pm Mon. Night Bible Study: 7:00pm Communion: 1st Sunday at 8:00am & Tue Choir Rehersal 11:00am 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.” People’s Independent Church of Christ 1740 West 59th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90047 5856 West Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90043 • (323) 296-5776 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 56608, Los Angeles, CA 90056 (323) 291-1115 • F: (323) 293-0471 Rev. C.Barry Greene, Pastor Sundays: Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:00am Wednesday Bible Study & Mid Week Worship: Sunday Worship Service: 8:00am Noon & 7:00pm PrayerLine: (Tuesday & Wednesday): 6:00am Prayer Meeting: 6:30pm WordLine (Tuesday): 7:00pm ( (712) 775-7031 Access Code: 814352108) Park Windsor Baptist Church 1842 W. 108th St. Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 756-3966 • Rev. Terrell Taylor

North Campus: 9:00am Wednesday Bible Enrichment: 7:00pm 11137 Herrick Av • Pacoima 91331 (818) 899-8031 •“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 UpLift Christian Fellowship 4745 W. Slauson Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90056 (310) 927-3476 Pastor Anthony Thompson Sunday Worship: 10:00am Bible Study Wednesday: 7:00pm

Weller Street Baptist Church 129 S. Gless St, Los Angeles, CA 90033 (323) 261-0949 • F: (323)264-6601 • Pastor K.W. Tulloss Sunday School: 8:00am Sunday Morning Worship: 9:00am Tues. Bible Study: 6:45pm “We have not walked this way before” Joshua 3:1-6

Peace Apostolic Church 21224 Figueroa Street, Carson, CA 90745 (310) 212-5673 Suff. Bishop Howard A. Swancy

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

In Altadena

Lifeline Fellowship Christian Center 2556 N. Lake Ave., Altadena, CA 91001 (626) 797-3585 • F: (626) 797-3233 • 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 Judson Baptist Church In Carson 451 E. 223rd St, Carson, CA 90745 (310) 834-2630 • F: (310) 513-0943 • Dr. Johnny V. Baylor, Pastor/Teacher Sunday Worship Service: 9:30am Children’s Church (Except 5th Sun): 9:30am 2nd & 4th Sun. Speak Life Youth Ministry: 12:30pm Wed. Bible Study: Noon Streaming live at

Sunday School: 10:00am Morning Worship: 11:45am Evening Worship: 6:30pm Wed. Noon Day Bible Class: 12:30pm Wed. Bible Class: 7:30pm

Citizens of Zion Missionary Baptist Church In Compton 12930 No. Lime Ave., Compton, CA 90221 (310) 638-0536 • F: (323) 636-2080 • 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: 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

Pastor Profile: Pastor William Turner Jr. Holy Spirit is my instructor.

Church: New Revelation Missionary Baptist Chruch How Long: 50 years Hometown: Shreveport, Louisiana Family: Married to Wilma Louise Turner for 58 years and father of three You’re celebrating 50 years as pastor—what has been your vision? When the Lord called me to pastor, He gave me a vision of building a church, a school, housing for senior citizens and a gymnasium. I built the gym when it was not popular for black churches to have a gymnasium. With the exception of housing for senior citizens, the visions have been completed. All I want to do now is preach the gospel as long as I live and find my replacement. Did you grow up in church? I grew up in church. I was baptized at the age of 12. I attended Sunday School and was in prayer meeting every night, even as a pre-teen. I was called to preach in 1963. The Lord directed me into the Chevy Chase Mountains and there I got the vision from the Lord to preach the gospel to Pasadena. I was ordained a deacon in 1961, licensed to preach in 1963, ordained in 1964 and installed as a pastor in 1967—all at the same church. What were you doing before you were called? I organized a building maintenance service in 1963— the same year I was called to preach. During the next four years, I built my business to seven full-time employees. I had a contract with pantries and a supermarket chain. I was just born with an entrepreneurial spirit so the business grew miraculously. The night I was called to preach, I’d just come back from a meeting with Wells Fargo representative. They awarded me the contract for the region, including California, Nevada, Arizona, and Denver, but I was called to pastor that Saturday night. I called the regional director and said I couldn't accept the contract and gave the business to my brother. I gave up a lucrative income to accept the calling that was upon my life. How would you characterize yourself as a preacher? I’m a biblical preacher—Bible all the way. What do you think of how preaching has evolved? Well, you have some who are sent and some who went. Some who thought and think that preaching requires you to go to theological seminaries and learn what the teacher teaches. But I believe the Bible is my text book and the

What is the most important point for you to get across to those who come to your church? That they come to church. The message from the Bible is the only hope for life, and at Revelation that's what I preach. If you want lessons on anything, you go to that source. If you want to know about science you go to science school. If you want to know about marriage and family, you go to marriage and family centers. If you come to church I believe you come to hear the word of the Lord. That’s what I focused on for the last 50 years. I’ve preached over 6,800 sermons at New Revelation and all of them have been about cross bearing, following Jesus, and loving the hell out of people. Why do you believe that cross bearing isn’t popular? It’s not popular, but it is powerful. It's a requirement if Jesus says it in Matthew, Mark and Luke—two times in each one of the gospels. He encourages us and requires us if you want to be my disciple you have to deny your self and take up your cross and follow Jesus. So crossbearing is the greatest challenge. It also produces the greatest reward. What challenges have you overcome and how did you overcome them? By the aide of the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, the Holy Spirit led me into all of the challenges and the accomplishments I made because I had no knowledge of pastoring. But I believe 50 years has proven that I have been successful. I had no knowledge in building a church, but the Holy Spirit directed and guided me so I built the church in six months and a half months without a loan. How do you feel the political state of the church with issues like same sex marriage and the division of our nation down party lines? I’m with the Bible. The Bible is against it, so I’m against it, though I’m not against homosexuals [individually]. As to politics, I nominated Jesse Jackson to run for president in the Democratic Party and served as a state representative. Then in 1963, I became the national clergy coalition organizer as we supported President George Bush because of his commitment to amend the constitution against same sex marriage. That was my first national leadership. So I’ve served on both sides—Democrat and Republican. I support the person and the cause, not the party. What are your future goals? My vision and my philosophy of pastoring is that we should not die

in the seat. I feel that at 80 years old it’s time for preachers to work themselves out of a job. You mentioned to your congregation and members that, “if you aren’t tired of me, I’m certainly not tired of you”, is that what you live by with your members? That is still my commitment. I learned in 50 years that my leadership is not predicated upon people who want to follow, but predicated on the direction and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. You still live by the “until the whole person is saved, your mission still remains”? Yes, that's my slogan, I was called to preach not just to New Revelation but to the city of Pasadena. And my calling is to preach and teach until the whole person is saved. Until then, my mission remains . What keeps you going? There are no impossibilities through Christ and I’ve proven that in doing what has not been done in the Christian arena and not only in the Christian arena but in communities. How did you manage to stay at one church so long? I believe there are some things you should stay with as long as you live. One is marriage. My wife has been married to me for 58 years. I’ve been preaching 55 years and pastoring 50 years so I believe in staying put and enduring whatever comes. I’ve had my storms, but I’ve weathered them all.

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

In Gardena

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

Atherton Baptist Church 2627 W. 116th Street Hawthorne,CA 90250 (323) 757-3113 • F: 323-757-8772 • Pastor Larry Weaver

In Hawthorne

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 • 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

Antioch Church of Long Beach 1535 Gundry Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 (562) 591-8778 • F: (562) 599-6048 Pastor Wayne Chaney Jr.

First Lady Files Earlee Washington Pleasant Hill Baptist Church When it comes to being first lady, Earlee Washington is not concerned with the title. As the wife of Sylvester Washington of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Earlee says she simply sees herself as her husband’s partner in the ministry, a teacher and counselor. She works as a licensed marriage and family therapist for Los Angeles County with a private counseling practice that operates out of the church and is under the umbrella of Abundant Life Family Services, the non-profit organization she and her husband run. “I’ve always been the kind of person where people just tell me stuff they don’t tell other people and I’m able to hold it,” say the Indianapolis native. “I love people,” notes Earlee, who has authored four books. “I allow them to get to know who I am. If they want to be close, then I bring them near. If they don’t want to be close, I can still love them. “I had to learn that though. My husband says I bring people too close too fast. I focus on wanting to be friends with all people and I’d rather be called friend than first lady. If I had a choice on how I want to be remembered, I want people to say, ‘she was our good friend.” As a people person, it’s no surprise that encouraging people is a gift that comes naturally. In fact, Earlee says one of the hallmarks of her ministry is urging women to be the best they can be. It’s a theme she highlights at her annual Shades of Women Retreat. “This will be our 14th year,” she says of the retreat being held November 9-11, 2017. “I tell women don’t be a cookie cutter of anyone else. Just be your best self.” 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 First Church of God Center of Hope 9550 Crenshaw Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90305 (323) 757-1804 Pastor Geremy L. Dixon Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:00am Wed. Mid-Week Service: Noon Wed. Teaching Ministry: 7:00pm 1st Sunday Communion 5th Sunday Baptism

Worship Services: 8am, 9:30am, 11:30am Tuesday Youth Bible Study: 7:00pm WednesdayBible Study: Noon

In Long Beach

Christ Second Baptist Church 1471 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 (562) 599-3421 • Fax: (562) 599-6175 • 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

Gospel Memorial Church of God In Christ 1480 Atlantic Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 (562) 599-7389 • F: 562-599-5779 • 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 • 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 Live Streaming on NuPhilly AppNuPhilly website: 9:00am 2nd thru 4th Sunday Worship:7:30 am &10:00am•Sunday School New Member Classes: 9:00am Live Streaming on the NuPhilly App/website: 7:30am Pastor’s Bible Study: Wednesday Eve 7:00pm Mid-Week Bible Study: Thursday 12:00 noon

In Inglewood Bible Enrichment Fellowship International 400 E. Kelso, Inglewood, CA 90301 (310) 330-4700 • 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

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

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

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

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

Second Baptist Church In Monrovia 925 S. Shamrock Avenue • P.O. Box 479, Monrovia, CA 91017 •(626) 358-2136 • F: (626) 303-2477

The Tabernacle is located at 321 N. Eucalyptus Ave., Inglewood

Wed. Mid-Week Service: 7:00pm Sunday School: 9:00am Sunday Worship: 10:30am

Christ Our Redeemer AME Church In Irvine 45 Tesla, Irvine, CA 92618 (949) 955-0014 • F:(949) 955-0021 • 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

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 First AME Santa Monica In 1823 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404 (310) 450-0331 F: (310) 450-4680 Facebook: First AME Church Santa Monica Rev. Rueben W. Ford, Pastor

Santa Monica

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”

L.A. Focus/October 2017

Crusade Christian Faith Center 801 S. La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90301 (310) 330-8535 Bishop Virgil D. Patterson Sr.

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


From the Pulpit: Holman United Methodist Church A Way Out of No Way | Acts 16 s people of faith who are to be about God’s redemption and salvation, suicide (and preventing suicide) and traumatic loss are our business. Our faith does not give us permission to live lives of denial. Our faith, does not provide us with easy answers, but our faith invites and instructs us to wrestle with whatever is the root cause of our challenge. That's what we, at church, are committed to doing as we seek to be a hub of hope and healing and a center for wholeness. Sometimes we think we know everything our children are going through. The Netflix film “13 Reasons Why” is a powerful film about suicide and loss. This film will provide you with greater insight and the necessary experience to see how you can better equip yourself to facilitate intervention, prevention and compassion. In the midst of loss, trauma and vulnerability caused by natural disaster, is there a way out of no way? When the powers of darkness prevail in life, is there a way out of no way? When despondency is running amuck in the lives of friends and family, is there a way out of no way? When post-traumatic stress disorder and moral injury continue to accompany some of our veterans and their families beyond the battlefield, is there a way out of no way? When pressure to perform becomes more important than one’s purpose in life, is there a way out of no way? When success becomes an end in itself without resulting in significance, is there a way out of no way. When state sanctions, violence and police brutality continue to be justified by a politically compromised and intellectually timid prosecutorial culture is there a way out of no way? Though a way out of no way is always possible, today’s scripture reveals it might not be that easy. In Acts 16 we find that a way out of no way can be filled with a lot of twist and turns. You see hope and healing facilitated by Paul and Silas threaten a situation sustained by economical exploitation and gender discrimination. Unlike our current experience, in Louisiana, Texas and Florida, the Southeast and the Caribbean, a natural disaster in the scripture resulted in the freedom of Paul and Cyrus. The plot thickens when the jailer’s fear of their freedom pushes him to the brink of suicide. Paul and Silas’ response to a slave girl with a disturbed spirit and a jailer on the brink of suicide provides us an opportunity of faith and instructs us as to how we can respond. Instead of fleeing the scene and allowing their faith to be a source of escapism, Paul and Silas reassured the jailer that there is a way out of no way—a way out of darkness and into light. The healing was not just for the jailer but for his entire family and community. When we as people of faith get it right, healing is possible for individuals, families and communities. There is a way out of now and this text shows us how we can engage in what I call CPR. C stands for compassion, P stands for prevention, and R stands for providing resources that will lead us in the paths for healing. Faith can be a resource that can help us find a way out of no way. Paul and Silas did not necessarily know what Jesus would do, but they knew what Jesus did. There are many stories in the gospels where Jesus would heal the afflicted—those troubled with spirits and demons (which is how people spoke of mental illness or spiritual distress). These stories provide insight into Jesus’ care and compassion towards persons with mental illness. He reaches out to them, He listens to them, shows compassion to them, offers them comfort and hope. Truth and compassion will always be questioned and prosecuted when it threatens economics. Paul and Silas respond to this slave girl, which enables her to be set free, and as a result of that they get put into jail. While in jail the text tell us they are singing praises and giving God thanks. But they did not let their praise and worship blind them from what was going on around them. In other words, you should not be so heavenly bound that you are of no earthly good. There is a natural disaster that takes place setting Paul and Silas free. The doors of the jail open up but they did not run away because they were set free. When they realized the jailer was about to commit suicide, they say to the jailer, “what appears to be real to you is not real. None of us left the scene, and neither do Rev. Kelvin Sauls

L.A. Focus/October 2017



MILESTONES Smokie Norful Releases Book Multiple Grammy-winning gospel singer and Chicago pastor Smokie Norful officially added the title of author to his credits with the September 17 release of “Take the Lid Off: Trust God, Release The Pressure and Find the Life He Wants for You.” Norful also partnered with Motown Gospel to release a digit a l - o n l y album titled Nothing Is Impossible. The 12-track project, available Sept. 9, 2017, features some of Norful’s most beloved songs

of encouragement and inspiration, including “Still Say Thank You,” “No One Else” and “Run Til I Finish.” In the book, the senior pastor of Victory Cathedral Worship Center, which has three campuses and 5,000 members in the Chicago area, shows readers that the key to taking their own “lid off” and releasing pressure entails four actions: look inward, look outward, look upward and move onward–devising a strategy to become all that we were created to be. “When we finally take the lid off, we can become the people we were created to be, and do what we were intended to do,” adds Norful, who has sold more than three million albums nationwide. “The pressure goes down, the joy builds up and things work out much better in the end.”



In Westchester Arise Christian Center 6949 La Tijera Blvd. Suite C, Westchester, CA 90045 (310)568-8445•F: (310) 568-8430 • 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 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


Married Pastor Michael J.T. Fisher (Greater Zion Church Family) wed Marnessa La Vonne Metters, the daughter of retired pastor Michael J. Metters, formerly of the Faithway Missionary Baptist Church. The wedding—officiated by Bishop Sheridan McDaniel—was held at Bel Air Presbyterian Church and the wedding party (which numbered 44) included her daughter, Ariyah Metters.


Spirit of Zion Fellowship Church In Van Nuys 10853 Victory Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91601 (805) 517-1907 • Pastor E.V. Hill II Sunday Worship: 1:00pm Children's Church: 1:11pm

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

you have to leave this earth.” In Pasadena Bethlehem Church After they lead him to salvation we see that vulnerabil- 1550 North Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103 ity gives way to victory, and victory gives way to hospital(626) 794-5211 • F: (626) 794-6592 ity because the jailer then invites them to his home where Pastor Christopher A. Bourne his entire household rejoiced in his faith. Sunday School: 9:00am We have a faith that helps us find a way out of no way. Sunday Worship: 10:00am Our community is a resource of being a way out of no Tuesday Bible Study: 7:00pm way. As a community moving, from isolation to inclusion, Mid-day Worship Thursday: Noon we have God’s signs of love, hope and healing. Research has shown that 90% of people who died of sui- cide, experience it through mental illnesses and you know in our community people are being stigmatized for that. FRIENDLY TEMPLE MISSIONARY We rebuke that in the name of Jesus. I challenge anyone to BAPTIST CHURCH PRESENTS A join me in some discourse and discussion to see how our Fall Revival faith justifies us not accompanying people to the therapeutic opportunities that are out there for them to become well. God works through science and medicine. Lord Revive Us Again! After all, if it wasn't God giving them the intellect they wouldn't be discovering this stuff October 15th, 16th, 19th & 22nd anyway as there is no competition between Sundays @3:30 Tues/Thurs @6:30 science and faith. So, let us not let our faith and spirituali4 Dynamic Services Of Worship ty become so shallow that it becomes an Wilt Thou not Revive us Again: excuse for us to not engage in the difficult That Thy People may Rejoice in Thee challenges our communities face. What you don't know could kill you. As a commuDr.Lois Moore Elder Elwood Carson nity let’s become educated in this particular National Evangelist Pastor area and understand the risk factors of our West Angeles COGIC New Life in Christ COGIC history of suicide, substance abuse, intoxi- Sun, Oct 15 @3:30pm Thur Oct 19 @6:30pm cation, justifying serious chronically ill- Mon Oct 16 @6:30pm Sun Oct 22 @3:30pm ness and gender issues. Rev. Rodney As a community, we can be Friend & First Lady Janet Friend a resource of being a way out of no way. You can be a bridge over troubled waters, a sign of hope, and a source of healing, if you would just step up and step out. Trust in God enough to know that God can use you to save someone’s life. Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church | 10423 S. Wilmington Avenue | Los Angeles, CA 90002

Through the Storm Grace For His Race: How God Redeemed Walter Tucker


very day brings a world of possibilities, but one day brings a moment that changes your life forever.” Those, the words from former U.S. Congressman turned pastor Walter R. Tucker, III, from his recently published autobiography, From Compton to Congress. No words could have rang more true for the once rising political star with three former seats in public office—U.S. Congressman, Mayor of Compton, and LA County Deputy District Attorney—hailing from a prominent and politically connected family, who became abruptly acquainted with the profound changes a day can bring. In one day, April 17, 1996, Tucker went from lobbying the highest echelons of U.S. government as a Congressman in Washington D.C, to being a convicted criminal and scrubbing down the baseboards of Chow Hall on his knees—in Federal Prison Camp at Lompoc. “From that moment on, the number one thing you hear is that you’ve got nothing coming,” Tucker said. “They take you in and demonize you.” The Georgetown Law School graduate who’d once been celebrated as Compton’s youngest mayor; who’d secured $5.9 million in extra police funds for Southern California; who worked hard at alleviating unemployment and poverty in the 37th District; and who’d introduced legislation to promote a week of Random Acts of Kindness; had been found guilty of bribery, extortion and tax evasion. “I received a 27-month sentence but I served 18 months of it. When you’re in prison, one day feels like one month.” The pain of imprisonment was further exacerbated when he’d go to bed at nights hearing grown men cry. Or the intimidating gangster inmates who would threaten him with, “Tucker, you gonna deal with a lot of things in here. But one thing you’ve got to remember, this is the house of pain.” “I never forgot those words,” he said. “Even though I was hurting too, [others] had it much worse. Tucker has characterized being incarcerated as the “best and worst thing” that ever happened in his life. Not that he would have signed up for the experience or the actions that landed him there, but it was in those dark days that Tucker turned his life over to the Lord and what has happened since has made him the man he is today. A man who has found his mission. “Before I went to prison I was a Christian, but I had one foot in the world and one foot in the church. I was chasing fame and fortune. I was chasing politics,” admits the now ordained pastor of the Carson-based, Truth and Love Christian Church. “[Prison] caused me to grow extremely closer to God. It was tough suffering public humiliation and losing everything—most importantly my freedom, but in the

Prison caused me to grow extremely closer to God. It was tough suffering public humiliation and losing everything—most importantly my freedom. But in the end, it made me stronger.”

end, it made me stronger.” “Before I left for Lompoc, I vowed to the Lord to do prison ministry while I was there,” continues Tucker. “Though it took some time to overcome the early skeptics and resistance from both inmates and officers, I made good on my vow [and] started a Wednesday night Bible Study, helped found a chapel, and encouraged other inmates to start independent Bible studies.” Upon his release from Lompoc in September 1998, Tucker’s response to God’s call was accelerated as he began serving and working in a number of ministerial capacities. He became the Southern California director of Prison Fellowship, a national organization headed by Charles Colson, the former aide to President Richard Nixon. Tucker also served as the Head Usher and Helps Ministry Manager at Crenshaw Christian Center under Dr. Frederick K.C. Price and was a minister and manager of Helps Ministry at Bread of Life Christian Center under Pastor Major Johnson. In 2003, Tucker was ordained a pastor. His ministerial trajectory began to soar even more when he relocated his family to Chicago to pastor From the Heart Church Ministries. Over a nine-year-period. he grew the church membership from 32 to 650 members, with his wife Robin and their two children. In 2012, Tucker returned with his family to Los Angeles to plant Truth and Love Christian Church, in Carson. The ministry currently has over 200 members, and 40 ministries in operation, while also overseeing congregations in Uganda and Tanzania. “One of the key things I preach about today is something called true prosperity. That’s like the cornerstone of my teaching,” says Tucker. “The point is that as the Bible tells you, a man who has money has a lot of friends. When you are rich everybody loves you. When you are on top everybody loves you. But it helps me to see the values of your true friendship; it helps me to see the importance of family. It helped me to understand that it’s not about being prideful, it’s not about being concerned so much what everybody thinks. “Instead, it’s about pleasing God and being a good husband, being a good father to my family, and understanding that people are people. They can disappoint you, they can depart from you and then the real key is

not what happens to you, but how you respond to what happens to you.” Tucker began writing his book—which bears the subtitle, His Grace for My Race, 17 years ago. He fully discloses his personal story, and includes deep research exposing the climate and culture of the FBI and their built-in policies rooted in a belief that black people are not worthy of holding a public office. The book also makes a case for how he was targeted before he was in office, and how deeply-seated racism is alive and well in this country today. A tell-all three-part series co-authored by his mother - focuses on his final term in Congress leading up to his indictment. The second book uncovers what happed to him while in prison. The final book of the series deals with his spiritual journey and restoration process. “At the end of the first book you will see what happened to me,” he says. “I had an out-of-body experience with God and at that point God just really zeroes in on me and tells me, ‘Okay, are you ready now to give me your whole life?’” “I would not be a pastor had I not gone through what I w e n t through,” he said. “The things that happened to me in prison have made me the man of God I am today.” The first book in this series was published last month. For information, on how you can get a copy, visit

Certified CPR / BLS / First Aid Classes Groups, Community Organizations & Educators are welcomed For more information call Joi (714) 418-7416

L.A. Focus/October 2017

NFL Protest continued from page 6

And while most stood for the anthem, some players kneeled, some raised fists and some sat on the bench. What was noticeably different was the desire on the part of players to distinguish that they were not protesting the flag. To that end, Indianapolis Colts players released a statement to address the misconceptions, stating, “those of us who knelt did not intend to disrespect our flag, our National Anthem or those who serve our country… “But as NFL players, we have a platform. And as Americans, we have a responsibility to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Our intention was to raise awareness and continue critical conversations about real equality, the injustices against black and brown people, police brutality, respect, unity, and equal opportunity.” From the San Francisco 49ers, the team Colin Kaepernick once led to the Super Bowl, came another statement, a portion of which read as follows: For more than a year, members of our team have protested the oppression and social


injustices still present in our society. While some may not have taken a knee or raised a fist, we have all shared the desire to influence positive change." Perhaps Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch summed up the sentiment for most when he arrived at the Denver stadium donning a T-shirt that read, “Everybody against Trump.” Meanwhile, in a memo sent out to all 30 NBA teams, the rule that players and coaches must stand for the anthem was stressed. Surviving “The Big One” continued from page 8

ATMs may not be working. If it sounds a bit overwhelming, it is important to note that you can build your own emergency kit without breaking the bank. Here’s a suggested list of what you’ll want to have handy when “the big one” hits: Nonperishable food: Canned goods (with hand-operated can opener), ready-made baby formula; powdered or evaporated milk; instant coffee; tea. Also consider plastic eating utensils and a charcoal grill. Water: A gallon per person per day for

drinking and sanitation for at least four to seven days. Toiletries: Toilet paper, Disposable diapers, wipes, etc. Tools: Hammer and nails; ax or hatchet; a fire extinguisher, crowbar; screwdrivers; pliers; a drill (battery-powered); a knife; duct tape and masking tape Flashlights: One for each family member, with extra batteries. (Do not store the batteries in the flashlights from year to year). First-aid kit Other: Battery-powered radio with extra batteries, prescription medicine and copies of important papers (policy information, etc.) Don’t forget your pets. At minimum, they’ll need 3-7 days of food and water, a first aid pet kit (visit the ASPCA store online), a pet carrier or crate, harness and leash, medicine, up-to-date tags or collars (they should be microchipped) and a rescue alert sticker in the event you need to let rescuers know that pets are inside your home. Finally, the last piece of advice is free. Experts say that a key factor in determining which neighborhoods survive is how

well neighbors work together to recover, so get to know your neighbors. Larry Elder continued from page 7

that, in the places where blacks in the United States have most of their contacts with the justice system, that system treats them more harshly than whites." So much for the so-called "institutional racism" in the criminal justice system. Recently, in Illinois, in a kids' 8-andunder football league, the entire team, which appeared to be all black, including the coach, took a knee during the national anthem. Asked why, one third-grade player parroted Kaepernick, saying, according to the coach, "Because black people are getting killed, and nobody's going to jail." Facts don't matter. The coach, presented with a teachable moment, fumbled it away. Larry Elder is a best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit or Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder.

SavingGrace Porsha Williams


L.A. Focus/October 2017

s a young girl of about 13 who was often bullied at school, Porsha Williams took solace in a frequent ritual. She would get the family video camera, set it up in her room, go around the house gathering up her mother’s valuables— and anything she thought was fabulous—then dress up in her Mom’s clothes and make believe she was a talk show host. The name of the show she was hosting was appropriately enough “Porsha’s World”. “I would pretend I was on QVC and sell items and say, hello, welcome to Porsha’s World,” Williams recounted. Today, she is living that dream and though she is not yet on QVC, Porsha Williams’ world has rapidly expanded to include a starring role on Bravo TV’s Real Housewives of Atlanta, work as an entertainment news correspondent with The Ricky Smiley Morning Show on Dish Nation, a successful wig line, her popular Porsha4Real podcast, and just recently, a co-starring role with Vivica A. Fox, Columbus Short, Cocoa Brown, Gary Dourdan and Carl Payne in Je’Caryous Johnson’s on-stage remake of Two Can Play That Game. Debuting at number two at the box office in 2001, Two Can Play That Game was a romantic comedy starring Vivica Fox, Morris Chestnut and Gabrielle Union. Williams will take on the role of Connie—originally played by Union, a selfassured, sexy and successful rising executive who is as much a vixen as she is professional. A role, it seems, was tailormade for Williams. “Acting is something that I’ve been wanting to get into for a while now,” Williams said. “I’ve done a couple of other projects and when the opportunity came up to be in a remake of the movie, Two Can Play That Game”, it just seemed right and the role of Connie seemed fitting,” says Williams of the play that is set to run at the Orpheum Theatre October 27-28 and the Terrace Theater in Long Beach on October 29. “With any role, you can find something to relate to and I like the fact that with the play they are really going into who Connie is and what drove her to be such a powerful force in the workplace and why people look at her as a vixen


who made her way to the top doing something “My spirituality is first and foremost in other than just working hard. So, it really goes everything I do. I’m a Christian and it’s been the into who she is and I like going deeper.” main source of me being confident and me being With “Housewives” just taking up about four able to be on television. I know who I am. I trust months of the year, she has shared with Bravo the gifts that God has given me and I use them.” execs her desire to do more acting and they have But what of those conflicting images on the been accommodating. My spirituality is first and foremost in every“They really encourage me, so as I want to go into acting, they make time for it,” Williams said thing I do. I’m a Christian and it’s been the while taking a brief lunch break from shooting main source of me being confident and me the tenth season of the show which is set to premiere on Sunday, November 5th. being able to be on television. I know who I am. I trust Acting is one of many doors that has opened the gifts that God has given me and I use them.” to Williams since 2012 when she was cast on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”, the highestrated installment of The Real Housewives fran- show? chise and the most-watched series airing on “Everyday people—whether you’re on TV or Bravo. not—have to question themselves. Nobody’s per“In a lot of projects, they want people who fect. I believe that God is directing everything people know and who already have a fan base, so that I do and I think at some point we all feel like the show has helped,” Williams is quick to point we go astray, but I’m strong in my faith and I get out. “As I go further into the acting world and get right back in line. I’m also a strong believer in some more serious roles that are completely dif- what’s meant for me will be. So, all the projects ferent than who I am or who people see me as, I’ll and things that are coming my way, I see them as definitely have to work hard for people to take me blessings.” serious.” Among those blessings is her thriving hair Williams is more than up to the challenge, extensions line, Go Naked Hair (www.gonakedhaving shown her true grit over the last five sea- So successful is the business that she sons of the franchise while suffering a difficult is in the process of opening a hair salon in partmiscarriage, painful divorce, major friendship nership with her sister Lauren, that will also feabetrayal, numerous catfights and a physical ture her products. altercation with Kenya Moore during a seaBusiness is a natural for the Georgia peach, son 6 reunion that nearly got her kicked whose parents were both entrepreneurs and off the show and led to anger manage- whose grandfather was civil rights activist, Rev. ment. Hosea Williams. But Williams contends that the “Being that my father was an entrepreneur show is but a small portion of her life and my mother is an entrepreneur, it was a natuand who she is. ral transition for me straight out of school to go “You see an hour show every into business,” says Williams, who appeared on Sunday and I live my life 24-7, so the Celebrity Apprentice earlier this year. “The it’s a very small piece of who I am,” first business I started was and Williams states. “The show is there it’s very successful and that’s what’s driving us for entertainment so a lot of what into having a physical location.” you see is the most entertaining Her biggest challenge, she says, is trying to part of whatever situation I’m keep everything in order. involved in.” “Just because that you have certain talents What couldn’t be clearer—partic- doesn’t mean that you should try to do every sinularly during last season’s gle thing,” Williams noted. “For me, it’s about reunion—is that fans are begin- focus. Right now, I’m really focused in on acting.” ning to see a more vulnerable It is somewhat of a switch from Williams Porsha. desires to start a family on the last season of “When I first started the show, I “Housewives”. was very self-conscious,” she recalls. “I’m definitely still looking forward to it, but “You’re thinking about the fact that it’s all in God’s plan, Williams said. “I’m not forccameras are there. Last year, I just ing it. If it happens, it happens with the right guy was myself so maybe I’m actually and I’m looking forward to it and I’m pretty sure vulnerable in real life.” that God will bless me with that in His time.” What has kept her through the For now, Williams contends that it is her faith ups and downs has been her faith. that is her saving grace.

L.A. Focus On The Word October 2017 Issue  
L.A. Focus On The Word October 2017 Issue