L.A. Focus On The Word August 2016 Issue

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W W W. L A F O C U S N E W S PA P E R . C O M










Upfront: Black Churches Rally Against SB1146 PAGE


Saving Grace Lisa Raye McCoy PAGE


Changing The Face of County Social Services


Hollywood Execs & Stars Mix Faith With Entertainment At The Merge Summit 2016 SEE PAGE



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August 2016

L.A. Focus Publication

­ Left: Assemblyman Mike Gibson on stage with Councilman Curren Price at the 21st Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival; (Middle):Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton hugs President Barack Obama after making a surprise appearance onstage at the end of his speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia; Right: Pastor E.V. Hill and First Lady Tisa Hill celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary with a gala ceremony at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church.


5 From The Editor

The New Christian Black Leadership


6 Head to Head 7 Headlines From Africa

Black Lives Matter Supports Movement to “Bank Black”; Black Churches Rally Against SB1146

Casting Blame On The Black Lives Matter Movement


Money Matters Cashing in On Rio Olympics

Biz News Briefs

Oprah Winfrey to Launch Food & Beverage Line

9 Cover Story 10 Upfront Extra 11 Feature

Changing The Face of the County Social Services

Michelle Obama Scores A Home Run: Why She Is A Bona Fide DNC Star & What She’ll Do Post Election

Faith & Entertainment Converge At Merge Summit

21 12 In Good Taste Eye On Gospel 24 13 Finding Your Pretty 14 Calendar/Around LA 25 Saving Grace Inside Hollywood 26 16 Through The Storm Stabbing Victim: Duania Hall-Henderson

From The Pulpit

Pastor David Cross —The Liberty Church

Tisa Hill

Greenleaf Soundtrack, Kierra Sheard, Jekalyn Carr and Luther Barnes News

With Dawn Strozier

Mary J. Blige Files For Divorce: Keke Palmer to Play Lesbian Pimp

Lisa Raye McCoy

One On One Tika Sumpter

17 Church News 18 First Lady Files 19 20 Pastor Profile

Red Carpet Style 2016 Espy Awards

Greater Ebenezer Elects Denon Porter As New Pastor; AME’s Fifth District Welcomes Bishop Clement W. Fugh...

Linda Hodge—Living Praise Community Center

GETTING THE LAST WORD: SNL Star Leslie Jones is stunning in red showing up to the Ghostbusters premiere after established designers refused to dress her. Project Runway season 4 winner Christian Siriano came to her rescue with this jawdropping number.

Pastor Geremy Dixon


Publisher/Editor-In-Chief Staff Writers Contributors Photographer Advertising Editorial Assistants

Lisa Collins Stephen Oduntan Emma Gannon Larry Elder, Dawn Strozier Jeannie Jones Ian Foxx Kisha Smith Leatha Davis Jamara Bernard, Elise Gray

L.A. Focus–On the Word, is published monthly. Address all correspondence to: L.A. Focus, 333 W. Florence Ave., Suite C333 Inglewood, CA 90301 • (310) 677-6011 Fax: (310) 677-2338 Subscription rates $25.00 per year. Copyright, January 1995 by L.A. Focus :uscripts/photographs are not accepted, nor shall any responsibility for them be assumed.

advisory board Napoleon Brandford Pastor Beverly Crawford Marc T. Little

Siebert, Brandford, Shank & Co. Bible Enrichment Fellowship International Church Law Offices of Marc T. Little

honorary advisors Bishop Charles Blake Bishop Noel Jones Paradise Baptist Church Dr. Aaron D. Iverson Southern MBC 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 West Angeles C.O.G.I.C.

City of Refuge

Cover Design: ClayHouse Visual Branding Designs

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SUNDAY, AUG. 21ST & 28TH 8AM • 11AM • 3:45PM BirTHDAY/AppreciATioN BANqUeT Carson Community Center Friday, August 26th at 7PM For tickets, call (323) 753-3189 Our Theme: “Our Pastor: Celebrating A Decade of Running the Race With Faith and Focus”, Hebrews 12:1-2, Philippians 3:12-14.




Pastor Brown was called to preach at the young age of thirteen and began his preaching career under the leadership of his pastor and grandfather at Laurel Street Missionary Baptist Church in Watts. As a young adult, he joined the Army and upon his return from deployment to Iraq during the Persian Gulf War, he was elected and installed as Pastor of Laurel Street, where he served for five years. He later attained his Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral Degrees and has traveled to the Holy Land and studied extensively in Paris, France, Rome, Italy, and London, where he expanded his studies at Oxford University. Prior to becoming Pastor, he served as faithful assistant to Dr. E.E. Stafford at Mt. Tabor for ten years. Before the demise of Pastor Stafford, Mt. Tabor unanimously chose Assistant Pastor Ticey M. Brown as their next leader. A preacher, teacher, and true believer of the Gospel, he has preached revivals all over the country and has baptized and brought innumerable souls to Christ. A dedicated family man, he is married to the lovely Lady LaSonja Brown, and they have three beautiful children, Tilesha, Tyrell, and Tyler.

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Star Parker Guest­Columnist

The New christian Black Leadership


ll eyes should be on Florida to see the seeds of change in black America. The issue is school choice and the nation's largest private school choice scholarship program, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, enacted in Florida in 2001 under Gov. Jeb Bush. Students receive scholarships to attend the school of their choice from Scholarship Funding Organizations. The FSOs are funded through donations from businesses that receive tax credits on corporate taxes and insurance premium taxes. It sounds like a no-brainer that this makes all the sense in the world. It's all voluntary; businesses choose to contribute and freedom and opportunity opens to lowincome parents to choose where to send their child to school. Innovation means change. It means leaving the past behind in order to make a better future. Those who want to live in the past, who want to protect what they see as their special interests in the status quo, can always be depended on to fight change, no mater how beneficial new ideas are to our future or how much opportunity opens for those in their own communities. Teachers unions have been in stalwart opposition to school choice and anything that challenges their stranglehold on public schools and keeping children trapped where they are, no matter how bad the school is. In 2014, the Florida Teachers Union filed a lawsuit to abolish the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program. And, despite the fact that minority children disproportionately benefit from this program, the NAACP joined the union as a plaintiff in the case. The suit was dismissed in May 2015 in the Leon County Circuit Court with the judge ruling that the lawsuit made no reasonable case that the program harms the public. The teachers union appealed and the arguments were heard in May. But at the same time that the arguments from the teachers unions were being heard in the court of appeals, a group of Florida's leading black pastors held a press conference urging the NAACP to drop out of the case. The African American Ministers Alliance for Parental

Choice presented their petition at the press conference in which they state, "We see no principled reason to fight an education program that is targeted exclusively at lowincome children and has a 14-year track record of helping Black students succeed." The Miami Times reports that the petition was signed by "101 prominent ministers and more than 5,100 who registered online." The Times story quotes a single mother expressing her bewilderment why the NAACP should be in opposition to a program so clearly beneficial to black children. "My girls are thriving," she said. "I am so happy that I actually had the choice as to where my kids can go to school." Pastor Mark Coats of the Grace of God Baptist Church in Miami wrote in an op-ed in the Miami Herald saying, "It is time for the NAACP to lay down its arms." According to the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program has grown from a 15,585 children participating in 2003, to 78,353 participating in 2015-16. The average value of each scholarship in 2015-16 was $5,367. According to "Step Up for Students," in the 2013-14 school year, 24 percent of participating students were white, 32 percent black, 37 percent Hispanic and 7 percent others. Of the schools participating, 71 percent were religious schools and 29 percent nonreligious. The civil rights movement was once about the courage to stand up against an unjust status quo and to fight to make a better world. The NAACP was part of that. Today the NAACP is part of the status quo and, despite its rhetoric, now fights to protect special interests. As we see now in Florida, it is the black church and its pastors that now bear the mantle for courageous leadership and the change that black Americans so badly need. Star­Parker­is­an­author,­a­columnist,­speaker­and president­of­CURE,­the­Center­for­Urban­Renewal Education.­ Contact­ her­ at and­ www.urbancure.org.

From the Editor “Raw Emotion: A Nation On Edge”


I was pulled over for driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood or something else just as trivial." Then there was the shooting of a North Miami black man who laid on the ground with his hands up trying to get an autistic kid he was caring for to put his hands up as police were called to the scene and was ultimately shot—all on video. When he asked the policeman why, the response from the officer was “I don’t know.” After the Dallas shooting that left five police officers dead, former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh turned radio talk show tweeted "This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you." For the Dallas man who shot 12 policeman, killing five, war had already been waged on black folks. But neither is the kind of rhetoric that heals a nation. Such rhetoric instead only serves to divide—with so many people caught square in the middle. I am reminded of a family incident my younger brother shared with me. He was trying to share some black history with his bi-racial daughter. After hearing one of the stories, she turned and said to him, “I hate white people”—a comment which sparked further discussion about why she shouldn’t hate anyone, but instead learn from the past. A couple of days later, he asked my niece if she wanted for him to read her another story. She looked him dead in the face and said, ‘No Daddy. Mommy’s white.” For my niece, the emotions were too much to traverse. All too many have seemed to come to the same conclusion, preferring to shove the issue back under the rug. But if this past year has taught us anything, it is that the issue is not going anywhere and we all are faced with either history continuing to repeat itself as tensions continue to rise or we must come to a resolution. Of course the question of the hour became, “Who can bring America together”— Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Truth is, neither of them. That is a job for none other than God. In the meantime, we would do well to remember that the answer is working together with police to change the culture and become more involved in the process. Angry rhetoric will only fan the flames and lead to more senseless violence on both sides. Keep the faith.

L.A. Focus/August­2016­

e closed out last month with powerful images from both the Republican National Convention and the Democratic Convention— and oh so powerful speeches from both President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama (see page 9). But I want to go back to the powerful images that came earlier last month. On July 5th, there was the death of Alton Sterling. The following day came the death of Philando Castile. And just 48 hours later came the fatal shootings of five police officers in what was the deadliest incident for law enforcement in the United States since 9/11. All fueled by powerful imaging that left the nation both in shock and mourning. Juxtapose the images of the five Dallas police department widows against the image of Diamond Reynolds live casting her fiancé’s death. Heartbreaking. In the course of 72 hours America had to come to face with two realities: the plight of black men and police and the plight of America’s police, who put their lives on the lines to save others every day. In that moment, we learned to grieve collectively for both and perhaps to empathize through the prism of that pain with both. How we tell our story becomes so important. The live streaming of Castile’s death not only served to show the harsh reality of what many black Americans face to white Americans who have never witnessed anything like it and to document what happened that night. Just as surely the explosive images lit a fuse in two would be snipers (one in Dallas and the other in Baton Rouge), who were more than likely already unstable. Powerful imaging isn’t for everyone, but neither is censorship and for just as much as the videos of such incidents need to be seen, they just as surely served to unhinge a segment of the black and white populace already on edge and perhaps not all there (if you know what I mean). Adding fuel to the flame are those who continue to deny the biased treatment by police against black and brown folk. As pointed out by Bishop T.D. Jakes, “40 million black people — who don’t agree on anything and yet all agree on this—can’t be wrong. And while there are certain areas in which you might expect it, even I was surprised to hear that—as reported by Senator Tim Scott—even the U.S. Capitol Building is not off limits to such incidents. Delivering a personal account on the Senate floor, Scott—the only black Republican in the Senate— reported being stopped by police seven times in the span of a year, once by a Capitol police officer. "Was I speeding sometimes? Sure,” Scott said. “But the vast majority of the time



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UpFront Black Lives Matter Supports Movement to “Bank Black” ven as the sun baked them on a scorching hot July afternoon, hundreds of people attended an outdoor event at One United Bank on Crenshaw Boulevard, answering a clarion call for change. It’s been dubbed “Bank Black”—a grassroots movement formed after recent-involved officer shootings across the country, prompting calls for people of color to open bank accounts at blackowned establishments. “We’re making a statement by protesting with our money, said activist B. Dot of the #BlackMoneyMatters L.A, one of the organizers in attendance. Leading up to the event, One United Bank, the nation’s largest black-owned bank, announced they’d partnered with #BlackMoneyMatters and other community groups as part of an effort to reinforce the power of the black dollar and increasing awareness to the need to recycle dollars within the black community. To understand the power of the black dollar said Terri Williams, President of One United Bank, is realizing it can be used as leverage. Sadly, she noted, the black dollar circulates in the black community for only 6 hours compared to 28 days in Asian communities, and 19 days in Jewish communities. “We have $1.2 trillion spending power, but very little of it is used towards creating jobs and building wealth in our community. It is critical we start utilizing our annual spending power by banking with black-owned institutions because it results in better circulation of dollars within the black community, which means black businesses are more likely to hire black people.” Williams underscored that One United Bank has all the latest technology that all the other large banks have.



View Park Declared Historic District

We also have better rates and fees. So it’s not like we’re saying to people they should bank black, and our services aren’t as good as our competitors. Asabi Muyiwa Adedapo-Ifatunji, one of the co-founders of #BlackMoney Matters echoed similar sentiments. ““We want to make sure people understand there are measures they can employ to improving their quality of life,” he said. “We cannot just be marching in the streets.” Bridget Armstrong was one of many attending who opened a bank account. “I think it’s important to support my community,” she said. Singer and actress V. Bozeman, known for her recurring role as Veronica in the hit Fox TV series, Empire, also joined the movement to support black financial institutions and businesses. “It started with Dr. King and the civil rights movement,” she said, “when blacks started boycotting the buses and letting people know the power of our dollars. For that reason, I opened a bank account with One United today.” One United Bank Chairman and CEO Kevin Cohee reminded the crowd that Dr. King, in his 1968 “Mountaintop” speech, urged blacks to strengthen black

institutions by taking their monies “out of banks downtown” and depositing them in black, locally owned banks. “This movement aims to empower the black community by taking control of its wealth and investing it into the community through black-owned banks.” One United had seen a massive spike in new customers with the campaign, up from opening 20 accounts a day, to 1,000 a day. Former Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member, Claudia Jordan said she tried to open up an account, but the sheer volume of traffic caused a technical glitch in the system. Hip-hop artist Killer Mike’s message to Black America is what helped galvanize people to take action. During a town hall meeting on BET and MTV, the Atlanta-based rapper called on the black community to transfer their financial resources to black-owned banks. “We don’t have to burn our city down,” Killer Mike said. “But what we can do is go to the banks tomorrow. And you can say, ‘Until you as a corporation start to speak on our behalf; I want all my money. And I’m taking all my money to a [black-owned bank.’”

Black Churches Rally Against SB 1146 Igniting Heated Debate Over Religious Freedom undreds of African-American pastors gathered for a lunch meeting with faith-based institution representatives at the University Club of Pasadena last month. The gathering was supposed to address mounting community anxiety over a bill (SB 1146) that strips legal protections for religious colleges and universities. It has triggered a strong reaction from the Interdenominational Action Network (IAN), a coalition of six churches representative of approximately 100,000 registered voters in Los Angeles County that include Faithful Central Bible Church (Inglewood); City of Refuge (Gardena); West Angeles COGIC (L.A.); Crenshaw Christian Center (L.A.); Holman United Methodist Church (L.A.); and Citizens of Zion M.B.C. (Compton). Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, at the head of the IAN vanguard, said they are planning a “religious freedom bus ride” to Sacramento (press time August 3rd) in opposition to the bill. As Ulmer puts it, “Once they come after the colleges, they will be coming after the churches next. So it’s important we stand together with the Christian colleges and Universities in California.” “The Church has been silent for far too long,” Ulmer said. “We cannot wait for anyone to speak up for us on our behalf. We must take a stand against this legislation.”


News Briefs

Using their momentum, IAN also wrote a letter to Senator I s a d o r e Hall—a member of the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) to oppose the Bishop Kenneth Ulmer bill. “We are asking you and other members of the CLBC to vote NO on SB 1146,” reads the letter. “If SB 11 46 passed, it would substantially interfere with the ability of California’s faith-based colleges and universities to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with their beliefs.” SB 1146 opponents insist the bill forces biblical faithful Christian schools to compromise how they interpret scripture. Although church leaders contend they are lobbying for the “Choice for Religious Higher Education-CA,” Sen. Ricardo Lara, who authored the bill, believes SB 1146 eliminates what he considers being a loophole in nondiscrimination laws that has created a contentious issue between LGBT rights advocates and religious colleges for decades. SB 1146 requires religious colleges that have applied for exemptions to the

Last month, View Park, a neighborhood known as the “black Beverly Hills,” was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The declaration is the culmination of a two and a half year campaign on the part of community residents led by the View Park Conservancy, founded by Andre Gaines and Ben Kahle in 2014. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, whose district includes View Park, also celebrated the National Register designation. He authored the motion that enabled residents of the County’s unincorporated areas to benefit from the Mills Act, a 1972 state law that provides tax incentives to preserve historic homes and property. “View Park’s inclusion into the National Register of Historic Places underscores its historic, social, cultural and architectural significance, not only locally but across the country,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. With about 1,800 homes near the stretch of La Brea Avenue to Crenshaw Boulevard in unincorporated Los Angeles County, View Park is the largest National Historic District in the United States based on African American history. According to Kahle, “studies have also proven that property values in Historic neighborhoods are 10 to 30 percent higher than in non-historic neighborhoods.”


Federal Title IX nondiscrimination provisions on the basis of sex to publicly disclose this fact to prospective students. If the bill were to become law, it could impact more than 20 faith-based institutions of higher education in California. Bishop Ulmer said tens of thousands of students attending state religious based institutions could likely be denied eligibility to Cal Grants. Biola is one of the schools potentially affected if SB 1146 is passed into law. “I’m a senior student soon to graduate at Biola University, and so I’m one of the lucky ones whose Cal Grant won’t be affected,” said Samantha Miller. “ But I wouldn’t have been able to attend Biola if it wasn’t for the Cal Grant assistance. It’s pretty detrimental to a lot of students like myself.” Biola’s vice president of University Communications and Marketing Lee Wilhite noted the language as is currently worded in the bill would prevent “lowincome students and students of color” from applying their Cal Grant aid to a faith-based school of their choice—forcing tens of thousand of students into the Cal state or UC schools. “This raises questions about availability because it would shrink openings for student admissions into some of these schools. It would be unfortunate that their desire to attend a school that has a SB 1146 continued to page 24

Police Brutality Against Blacks Becoming International Embarrassment America’s treatment of racial minorities, especially Black men, is increasingly becoming an international embarrassment. How can the United States in good conscience criticize treatment of citizens in countries notorious for human rights abuses around the world when police murdering African-American men are becoming so commonplace at home? These cases are also compromising America’s status as a moral leader in the world. They have the potential to hurt the country’s tourism industry and may significantly impact the United States being regarded as the most-desired destination on earth for international students seeking higher education degrees. China, often called out for ill treatment of its citizens by the international community, cited America in a 2013 report on human rights abuses. The report stated, “If the United States wants to be the self-proclaimed human rights judge of the world, though China and most countries do not agree, it first needs to sweep its own doorsteps.” Some international critics are even calling on the UN to investigate human rights abuses in the U.S., pointing to the mass incarceration of Black men; the flawed death penalty system, which has likely killed hundreds of innocent people; the American prison system, rife with rape, torture and exploitation; and extra-judicial killings by the police.

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Head to Head: Casting Blame On The Black Lives Matter Movement he fascinating thing about Street Journal, "According to the Hillary Clinton's lie that Bureau of Justice Statistics, Hillary Lies, "African-Americans" are blacks were charged with 62 perCops Die disproportionately killed by cent of all robberies, 57 percent police is that she continues peddling it after of murders and 45 percent of assaults in the murders of three law enforcement offi- the 75 largest U.S. counties in 2009, cers in Baton Rouge, which followed the though they made up roughly 15 percent of ambush killings of five officers in Dallas. In the population there." both cases, the murderers were black men This leads us to but one conclusion: apparently convinced that the cops were Obama and Clinton are flat-out lying. The out to get black people and who, therefore, goal is obvious -- to retain that monolithic sought to exact revenge. black vote, without President Barack Obama, too, talks which Democrats canabout the "disparity" that blacks, compared not win at the presito whites, are more likely to be killed by the dential level. police. That Obama -- in lecturing about Obama cannot this so-called disparity -- gets away with brag about -- and ignoring the disproportionate rate at which Clinton cannot run on blacks, especially young blacks, commit -- his economic record violent crime is truly astonishing. for blacks. Under his Should blacks, at 13 percent of the pop- watch, black poverty ulation, comprise 13 percent of doctors, 13 is up. Net worth is Larry Elder percent of lawyers and 13 percent of NBA down. The "wealth gap" players? If not, does this mean there is a between blacks and whites is at a 25-year "disparity" that we must address as a soci- high. And as to the employment of black ety? According to economist John Lott, men, their "labor force participation rate" teenage black males, compared to teen (the percentage of those 20 years of age and white males, are nine times more likely to over who are either working or looking for commit murder -- and the murder victim is work) hit its lowest rate in December 2013 almost always another young black man. -- well into Obama's second term and his What about that disparity, Mr. economic "recovery." That low was the President? It's also interesting to watch the worst since 1972, when the Bureau of reaction of those who believe Clinton and Labor Statistics began keeping such defend her position, even when they are records. And since December 2010, black confronted with the facts. Talk about -- par- men's employment rate every single month don the pun—shooting the messenger. to date has seen lower numbers than any When I told someone that according to The month under all other presidents dating Washington Post, of the 965 blacks killed back to 1972. by cops last year, less than 4% involved a So, what to do? Change the subject, of white cop and unarmed black man, he course. Make the election about "social jussniffed, "Why should a cop kill anyone who tice." Prattle on about what Clinton calls is unarmed?" Well, take the case for the "school-to-prison pipeline." Never mind Michael Brown, arguably the white police- that this drive to induce paranoia among black suspect encounter that launched the blacks has real-world consequences. As Black Lives Matter movement and its mentioned, already it has helped inspire mantra, "Hands Up, Don't Shoot." murderers to kill officers in Dallas and Eyewitness testimony and physical evi- Baton Rouge. But it also causes police offidence show that Brown charged the police cers to be less proactive, fearing that they, officer and attempted to get the cop's gun. too, will be accused of unfairly "profiling" Unarmed does not mean non-threatening. blacks. Cops pull back. This police passiviIt's hard to believe that two Ivy League- ty means crime increases, the victims of educated lawyers, Obama and Clinton, do which are disproportionately black, the not understand things like statistics, ratios very people Ms. Clinton claims to care so and how to properly interpret crime data to deeply about. Lies get votes. But they also incorporate the rate at which crime is com- get people killed. mitted by young black men versus the rate Larry­ Elder­ is­ a­ best-selling­ author­ and at which crime is committed by young radio­ talk-show­ host.­ To­ find­ out­ more white men. about­ Larry­ Elder,­ or­ become­ an As Heather Mac Donald of the "Elderado,"­ visit­ www.LarryElder.com. Manhattan Institute writes in The Wall Distributed­By­Creators.Com­


Headlines From Africa Angola: In a recent visit to the United Kingdom, Angolan Bishop Andre Soares asked the world for prayers as his nation’s economy declines due to the collapse in oil prices. He said the situation was extremely grave given the rise in deaths from malaria and yellow fever and the lack of adequate resources to combat it, adding that basic essentials were no longer available. Burkina Faso: A hip hop studio in the capital of Burkina Faso known for what some labeled as “uprising music” and credited with helping to jumpstart one of Africa’s most successful political transitions—engaging youth to push for democracy in a nation run by leaders who came to power by force—burned down for the second time in less than a year. Burundi: A shortage of foreign currency is beginning to disrupt businesses and forcing companies to delay imports from neighboring East African countries, while Central-bank supplies of dollars are proving inadequate, compelling companies into the black market.

ill O’Reilly is taking a white public against Negroes,” page from an old play- The Attempt To Malcolm X explained. “The book and falsely linking Demonize And police are able to use it to paint the #BlackLivesMatter Discredit Black the Negro community as a movement to the New Black criminal element. The police Lives Matter Panthers. It is yet another able to use the press to Comes From An are attempt by the far right to dismake the white public think Old Playbook that 90 per cent or 99 per cent credit, dismiss, demonize and destroy the movement, in the way that the of the Negroes in the Negro community Bill O’Reillys of decades ago tried to dele- are criminals,” he added. “Once the police gitimize and undermine the civil rights have convinced the white public that the and Black Power so-called Negro community is a criminal leaders of their day. element, they can go in and question, bruThe Fox News talize, murder unarmed, innocent Negroes host has a lot to say and the white public is gullible enough to about the black move- back them up. This makes the Negro comment because, after munity a police state.” Welp. all, who is better O’Reilly has learned a lot from the late qualified to speak to FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, who waged a the aspirations of decades-long war on civil rights leaders African-Americans in and made his bones by bringing down their struggle for jus- Marcus Garvey. Hoover called the Student David Love tice and equality than Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the an angry racist white man who is friends Southern Christian Leadership with Donald Trump? Conference, the Congress of Racial On his show The O’Reilly Factor, the Equality and the Nation of Islam “hatehost — who says he has black friends — type organizations.” He called Dr. King the has called #BlackLivesMatter a hate “most notorious liar in the country” and group, and “essentially a hate America considered him a threat to national securigroup,” that is responsible for killing ty. The FBI sent a letter to the civil rights Americans. He even called them “a group leader calling him a “colossal fraud and an that often commits violent acts,” “the key evil, vicious one at that” and encouraging group driving violence on the street” and a him to commit suicide. And Hoover group that “encourages violence through referred to the Black Panthers as “the irresponsible rhetoric.” O’Reilly also most dangerous threat to the internal claimed the Black Lives Matter folks security of the country.” “associate with the New Black Panthers… Through his COINTELPRO program, they’re in that crew,” and that “Dr. King Hoover’s goal was to “expose, disrupt, miswould not participate in a Black Lives direct, discredit or otherwise neutralize Matter protest.” Once again, Bill O’Reilly the activities of black-nationalist, hateand Fox News — the media arm of the type organizations and groupings, their GOP and the voice of white nationalism, leadership, spokesmen, membership and the rightwing echo chamber where an all- supporters.” He ordered his bureau to white panel of “experts” claims to know “Prevent the rise of a ‘messiah’ who could what ails the black community — believe unify and electrify the militant black they are best qualified to speak to the lega- nationalist movement. Malcolm X might cy of the civil rights movement. have been such a ‘messiah’…. Martin What Bill O’Reilly is doing is nothing Luther King, Stokely Carmichael, and new. The best way to change the subject [Nation of Islam leader] Elijah and divert attention away from the mes- Muhammed [sic] all aspire to this posisage of racial injustice is to paint the mes- tion…. King could be a very real contender sengers as a criminal element, as thugs or for this position should he abandon his terrorists, and as violent hate groups. As supposed ‘obedience’ to ‘white, liberal docMalcolm X once said: “If you’re not careful, trines’ (nonviolence).” In part, underminthe newspapers will have you hating the ing the movement was accomplished by people who are being oppressed, and lov- spreading misinformation about black ing the people who are doing the oppress- leaders and groups and planting false stoing.” ries in the press. “The controlled press inflames the Back in the day, reactionary forces in


A look at current news from the continent of Africa as unclean making it difficult for them to stay in school or attend social events during that time of the month. The CRS and its partners are working with 138 schools in six districts to educate them on menstrual hygiene. Kenya: Kenyan authorities deported one of Africa's biggest musicians, Koffi Olomide, after he was filmed kicking a woman. Footage of the incident at Nairobi's airport was posted online and sparked outrage. Liberia: With the goal of reducing the high rate of teenage pregnancies, a coop agreement with the Embassy of Sweden and UN Fund for Population Activities was signed to implement a four-year project to increase the knowledge youth 10 -19 years of age about their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Mali: Dozens were killed in a violent clash between a pro-government militia group and a Tuareg separatist movement in Kidal, in northern Mali. Kidal is the stronghold of several Arab and Tuareg rebels in Mali, and for several months, the two armed groups have been fighting over control of the city. Nigeria: Low global oil prices have helped push Africa’s biggest economy into its worst economic crisis in decades. Amid the slowdown, the nation is closely monitoring the spending of the 36 state governments.

Djibouti: The government of Djibouti was referred by the International Criminal Court to the UN and the ICC’s Assembly of States Parties for its failure to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he visited. al-Bashir is wanted for two counts of war crimes and three counts of genocide committed in the Darfur Region in western Sudan.

South Africa: “Billionaire Bill Gates, one of the leading funders of HIV prevention programs, has singled out South Africa as a model of the African continent in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS. He has urged the country to continue to do more to curb the pandemic.

Gabon: Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in opposition to President Ali Bongo Ondimba's candidacy for re-election on August 26. Officials have expressed deep concern over growing tensions in the country leading up to the election. Bongo's father, Omar Bongo Ondimba, ruled for 41 years until his death in 2009. Critics accuse the Bongo family of usurping the country's riches and stifling democracy. Ghana: Research conducted by the Catholic Relief Services has found that an alarming number of teenage girls in Northern Ghana drop out of school over menstruation. According to the research about 95 percent of these girls miss school during their menstrual periods because they are mocked at by their peers especially the boys and because girls in their menses are perceived

Uganda: Some 26,500 South Sudanese, mostly women and children, have crossed into Uganda since fighting between rival forces erupted in and around the capital, Juba, on July 7. Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe's government denounced leading independence war veterans as traitors on Saturday for an unprecedented attack on ageing President Robert Mugabe and vowed to identify its unnamed authors and put them on trial. State-owned newspapers reflected the power struggle on Saturday with a highly unusual 12-page supplement praising his wife Grace on her 51st birthday. War veterans have accused her of having too much influence over her 92-year-old husband.

L.A. Focus/August­2016

Cape Verde: With more and more countries face high terror threat ratings and popular tourist destinations like France and Spain ranked by some to be as dangerous as Libya and Somalia, Cape Verde is one of the locations in Africa named as among the safest countries to visit.


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MoneyMatters Cashing In On Rio Olympics: Black Athletes Expected to Win Big


abby Douglas is still cashing in on her Olympic fame as last month she partnered with Mattel on the debut of her new Barbie Shero doll. Douglas, the first African American woman to win the gold medal in the allaround gymnastics competition, was expected by insiders to earn up to $100 million in sponsorships and endorsements over her lifetime. In Rio, Douglas is not the favorite, placing seventh on the U.S. gymnastic team. Instead Simone Biles, a four-time U.S. all-around champion and the first female gymnast ever to win three straight world titles, is the overwhelming favorite on both the floor and the balance beam, as well as in the all-around competition. Labeled by many as the best gymnast in the world, Biles—whose story is as compelling as her skills— already has endorsement deals with P&G, Core Power, Nike and the athletic-apparel brand GK Elite. In fact, as the 2016 Summer Olympics wind down in Rio later this month, the real battle for the gold will shift into high gear as athletes look to parlay their Olympic wins into fame and big money. That is aside from the paltry medal bonuses paid out by the United States Olympic Committee: $25,000 goes for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. Those like Serena Williams —who will be defending a gold medal in singles and a gold medal in doubles with her sister, Venus— and USA Men’s Basketball team members Carmelo Anthony, and Kevin Durant, already have big endorsement deals. But from Sanya Richards-Ross, who exited the 2012 Summer Olympics with an estimated net

worth of at least $1 million, thanks to endorsement deals with BMW and Nike to former Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson, whose made millions, was once paid $500K for an appearance fee, Olympic medalists can rake in big bucks with endorsements, sponsorships and appearance fees. So who—other than Biles—is set to score big in Rio? The U.S. Olympic women's basketball team will enter the Rio Games on a 41-game Olympic winning streak and Tamika Catchings is one of the reasons why. Then there’s Cheyenne Woods, the 25year old niece of Tiger Woods, who has three U.S. Amateur championships under her belt and recently earned her LPGA Tour card. 18-year-old high jumper, Vashti Cunningham, is the daughter of former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham. 27-year old, Cam Awesome (aka Leroy Thompson) dubbed himself the “Taylor Swift of boxing” after taking bronze at the 2015 Pan-Am Games, and will certainly be one to watch in Rio. And with a 124-2 record in international competition, Jordan Burroughs is looking to become the third American to win back-to-back Olympic freestyle wrestling titles. On the women’s side, Claressa “T-Rex” Shields was the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic boxing gold medal in 2012 and she’ll return to Rio hoping to become the first U.S. boxer, man or woman, to win back-to-back golds. Money Matters continued to page 24

On the Money Big Off The Court Moves The big moves in basketball last month were off the court as some big name NBA free agents made some pretty big offseason moves. When the Miami Heat didn’t pony up the $50 million he was asking, Dwayne Wade signed a two-year, $47.5 million contract with the Chicago Bulls. Kevin Durant pulled up stakes in Oklahoma (with the Thunder) and is heading to the Bay Area in a two-year, $54.3 million deal with the Golden State Warriors. But surprisingly enough the biggest contract in NBA history— $153 million over five years— went to Memphis Grizzlies Point Guard Mike Conley, to stay right where he is in Blues City. Ironically, until recently Conley had been viewed as one of the league’s underrated players. Right here in Los Angeles, Jordan Clarkson comes to the L.A. Lakers in a four-year contract worth $50 million and Luol Deng joins the team with a deal reportedly worth $72 million. And in other big NBA deals, Jeremy Lin agreed to a reported three-year, $36 million deal with the Brooklyn Nets. Evan Turner signed a four-year, $70 million deal with the Portland Blazers, Timofey Mozfov landed a four-year, $64 million deal with the Lakers, Bismack Biyombo will head to the Orlando Magic with a four-year, $72 million deal; Joakim Noah to the New York Knicks in a four year, $72 million deal and Harrison Barnes signed a four year, $94 million deal with Dallas the Mavericks.

Biz NewsBriefs Oprah Winfrey to Launch Food and Beverage Line

."It appears now that her OWN Network is on the right track, founder/former talk show host Oprah Winfrey is looking to expand her empire to include a food and beverage line, recently filing documents to trademark a line of food products dubbed Oprah’s Kitchen. The line would reportedly include bottled water, energy drinks, coconut water, and lemonade as well as fish, meat, dairy, preserved food products, baked goods, spices, vegetables, and fruit. According to The New York Daily News, there

could also be specialty items such as cut flowers and beer and Winfrey is even considering a line of Oprah bacon, baked beans, sorbet, pickles, fruit leather and caviar. Just last year, Winfrey paid $43 million for a 10% stake in Weight Watchers.

Ursula Burns To Step Down As Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, the first African America woman to run a Fortune 500 company, is set to step down following a planned split of Xerox by the end of 2016 into two companies. Sadly, that would leave no black women heading up a Fortune 500 firm. She will continue as chairman and CEO until the separation and become chairman of its legacy hardware business under the new structure. In the interim, she has warned that the company may well be making more layoffs. Xerox eliminated 8,300 jobs during the first three months of the year.

Pitchman No More The New York Post’s Page Six column is reporting that

as part of the deal Michael Strahan signed to join ABC’s hit morning show, “Good Morning America” full time, the NFL Hall of Famer will have to say goodbye to the lucrative endorsement deals (Subway, Snickers, Pizza Hut, Metamucil, etc.) he was getting. Don’t feel sorry for Strahan. The deal—formalized in April—reportedly doubled the salary he was getting from the “Live With Kelly Show” from somewhere in the neighborhood of $10-12 million to over $20 million, according to sources. Then there’s The Michael Strahan Collection he fashioned with JC Penney, which debuted last fall featuring tailored pieces and suits. In May, he again teamed with JC Penney in May for an MSX activewear line to feature tees, polos and jogging suits. And of course, last month he bowed as host of “The $100,000 Pyramid” and you can bet he’s getting a pretty penny for that.

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Director Sheryl L. Spiller


to enhance its employees’ skill-set has resulted in a highly educated, welltrained, self-motivated, success-oriented and healthier workforce. This, according to Spiller, translates into better customer service. Staying true to its mission statement to “Enrich lives through effective and caring services,” the department has made getting aid easier for those who need it

from Food Stamps to CalFresh and all 58 counties worked hard to promote the name change. The department has also enhanced its Medi-Cal enrollment outreach to engage residents at local supermarkets, schools, libraries, clinics, hospitals and many other heavily visited locations to boost enrollment in CalFresh. In April, DPSS partnered with communi-

DPSS administers the following major federal, state and local safety net program: CalFresh: Helps needy families and individuals to supplement their food budgets with benefits that are used to purchase groceries. Medi-Cal: Provides health coverage for people with low income and limited ability to pay for health coverage. (CalWORKs) California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Provides temporary financial assistance and employment-focused services to families with minor children who have income and property below State maximum limits for their family size. (IHSS) In-Home Supportive Services Pays for services provided to eligible persons who are 65 years of age or over, or legally blind or disabled adults and children, so they can remain safely in their own homes. IHSS is an alternative to out-of-home care, such as nursing home or board and care facilities. (GR) General Relief: County-funded temporary cash aid for indigent adults and certain sponsored legal immigrant families who are ineligible for federal or state programs. For more information on DPSS services, call 1-866-613-3777 or visit: https://dpssbenefits.lacounty.gov most. One of its most successful strategies was the 2010 rollout of the DPSS Health Nutrition Mobile Unit and outreach staff equipped with laptops and iPads to better assist residents applying for benefits. The outreach team is trained in both CalFresh and Medi-Cal Program enrollments. The department conducted 1,160 outreach events in 2015. One of the department’s recent accomplishments has been the increase of CalFresh enrollment. In the last seven years, the benefit—once known as Food Stamps—has increased in participation by over 100 percent. In order to eliminate the stigma that was discouraging those who were eligible from applying, the State of California changed the name

ty activist “Sweet” Alice Harris and the Eastside Riders Bike Club in South Los Angeles to host the first annual “Bridge the Meal Gap” Bike Ride through Watts. The event aimed to disseminate information on how families can supplement their food budgets and food pantries by maximizing their CalFresh benefits. Initially launched in 2011, CalFresh Awareness Month, the department’s annual public awareness campaign in May, provides an opportunity to dispel the many myths, concerns and stigma associated with receiving CalFresh. In 2013, the campaign received the “Hunger Champions” Award from the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service for its outreach and

services provided to low-income county residents. The outreach not only helped to increase the number of CalFresh applications, it also educated residents about healthy eating and exercise. That same type of aggressive outreach has driven DPSS’ efforts to enroll residents in Medi-Cal, which today benefits millions of L.A. County residents who cannot afford health insurance or medical care. It is DPSS who is credited with helping the federal government reach its firstyear enrollment goals as part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). DPSS enrolled 1.1 million people in concert with the ACA and in the process, changed the way Medi-Cal eligibility is determined. Prior to the ACA, a significant number of men between the ages of 19-64 did not qualify for Medi-Cal. With the implementation of the ACA, this group became a part of the expanded population that qualifies for Medi-Cal under the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) criteria. DPSS is currently conducting outreach activities to increase awareness and encourage enrollment. Ultimately, the vision of DPSS is that by 2017, is a technologically-advanced social service department that reduces the need for residents to visit its offices to apply for services. “We believe that providing excellent customer service means going the extra mile,” Spiller adds. “We realize that many of our potential customers may not be able to access our services for a variety of reasons, including a lack of transportation, an erroneous belief that they do not qualify for public benefits and the stigma they face when considering accessing services.” For these reasons, she explained, DPSS is committed to going out into the community to collaborate with local social service providers in order to ensure that everyone who is eligible and needs benefits and services receives them in a timely, accurate and dignified manner.

L.A. Focus/August­2016

n the midst of the State of California’s observance of the 50th Anniversary of the implementation of the California Medical Assistance Program (Medi-Cal) which today serves as a safety net for millions of Los Angeles County residents, the Department of Public Social Services, continues to build on its reputation as a national leader in providing social services. Under the current leadership of its director, Sheryl L. Spiller, the department currently provides services to over 3.5 million county residents, managing an annual budget of over $4 billion. With a workforce of 13,500-plus employees, the department is the second largest social service agency in the United States. One of DPSS’ goals has been to transform itself into a technologically innovative department that allows customers to receive efficient, top-quality services without the need to visit one of its district offices. As a result, the department implemented its Customer Service Center operation that today serves all 40 district offices, responding to more than 750,000 monthly calls. The centers provide case management services in nine threshold languages and offer courtesy call backs during peak hours. “Our department strives to provide excellent customer service to county residents and that means identifying opportunities to develop service partnerships with other county departments that benefit our shared customers,” Spiller states. “This enables us to take a holistic approach to understanding and effectively addressing our customers’ multiple needs.” The department also implemented selfhelp methods to apply for services. Your Benefits Now (YBN), a web-based portal, allows residents to conveniently apply for benefits and check their case status online. Much of the department’s success can be attributed to dedicated staff who continuously work together to develop innovative services and technologies to benefit customers. Through the DPSS Training Academy, the department’s commitment


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ELISE GRAY Contributor


here wasn’t a dry eye in the house by the end of her 14-minute speech at the Democratic National Convention last month. The awe-inspiring speech about love, strength and change left President Obama scrambling to put together his final DNC address—reportedly staying up till 3:30 a.m.—going through six drafts of his speech, and editing one last time after watching Michelle Obama rock the house and its near 20,000 attendees to its core. “Incredible speech by an incredible woman. Couldn’t be more proud & our country has been blessed to have her as a FLOTUS,” Obama tweeted of the address dubbed by some as a “speech for the ages”. The First Lady’s emotional appeal to millions of Americans on stage was also met with praise from politicians across party lines and veteran political pundits like MSNBC star, Chris Matthews, who called it “a slam dunk”. Once reluctant about the spotlight, Obama now clearly knows how to command a primetime stage. Observed CNN commentator David Axelrod, "To understand the journey she's taken as a reluctant conscript on the public scene, to come here and command that stage the way she did was extraordinary - and I think did for Hillary Clinton what no one else has done to this point." With a nurturing, poised, and matterof-fact tone, Obama touched base on key points of conflict that America is facing today in our current election. She told the audience that the current state of our elec-

tion, there is a high pressure for both parties to choose a candidate that makes sense—honing in on the responsibility the U.S. has to it’s children to choose not only the best candidate for the democratic party, but for the nation. “Make no mistake about it, this November when we go to the polls that is what we’re deciding, not Democrat or Republican, not left or right. In this election and every election is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives.” A powerful surrogate, the first lady is seen as having a critical role to play for Clinton and the DNC in engaging youth, African Americans and energizing the Obama coalition of women. The Washington Post characterized her as “a fully evolved political superstar, hugely beloved within the Democratic Party and a force within popular culture.” Even before what some have dubbed as her “show-stealing address”, a Gallup poll taken a week before the DNC found Obama to be the “best liked” of the scheduled convention speakers with a favorability rating of 58%, beating out Senator Bernie Sanders (53%), President Barack Obama (51%) and former President Bill Clinton (49%). But if the speech was intended to hit a nerve with America—it is safe to say she hit about 12 of them. Not only did she capitalize on her point that the United States needs to stand up together in order to beat the current polarization it faces within itself, she did this coyly by alluding to

what not to do. Her references towards a qualified leader who does not seek personal importance, money, or fame were a scathing rebuke at Donald Trump. She capitalized again and again on the idea that the United States is already the greatest country on earth and we need a president who will continue this legacy by first believing in it. It’s her general but subtle appeal to the idea that the United States must have a leader who is not only qualified to run the nation, but who also has the natural ability to nurture it. Without missing a beat, her allusion to feministic leadership ranged in reference from her personal accounts of birthing the first black daughters of the White House to mentioning that for the first time in U.S history, young women of every color can take for granted the fact that a woman could be our next president. How active she will be once her husband leaves office is yet to be determined, though she has made one thing clear: she will not run for president. In fact, various news sources at note that Obama has no plans to run for office in the foreseeable future but if and when she ever does, democrats will be waiting to “roll the red carpet out”. Whatever she chooses to do, the DNC stage provides an opportunity for her to shape the role she hopes to play after the election and whether it is through a book, speaking engagements or continued public service—all agree that America will continue to be impacted by her political voice.


“That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.” So, look, so don't let anyone ever tell you that this country isn't great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this right now is the greatest country on earth! And as my daughters prepare to set out into the world, I want a leader who is worthy of that truth, a leader who is worthy of my girls' promise and all our kids' promise...

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Hollywood Execs & Stars Mix Faith With Entertainment At The Merge Summit On August 25th, the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel will host the 8th Annual Merge Summit, a three-day conference event where faith merges with the entertainment industry. The faith-based community will enjoy a night mingling with the industry’s most influential celebs—gaining insight and knowledge on how to succeed in the entertainment business. Actress Lisa Raye McCoy, who has attended prior events, called the event, “a faith driven platform of entertainers in the business, that taps into an experience that will lead you into the entertainment world.” Dr. Holly Carter, manager, TV/Film producer and founder of the Merge Summit, told L.A. Focus she came up with the idea from her extensive travels across the country with music artists and clients she represented. “Everywhere I traveled, there was always someone trying to give me a tape or pitch for a show,” she said. “Everyone was looking for an opportunity.” But Carter, a woman deeply passionate about her Christian religion said she loathed turning people down. Her interactions with struggling upcoming artists set in motion her praying to God for advice. “I recall one night going to bed and praying to God to give me a vision or an idea on how to help bring opportunity to people who had no access to Hollywood.” After a great deal of prayer, Carter said she rushed to the office the following morning eager to share her thoughts and feelings with Robi Reed, VP of Talent & Casting for BET and her business partner. “We sat down brainstorming for hours before we came up with something. And here we are eight years later.” Asked what is the favorite part of the event, Reed, without hesitating said the keynote speakers. “Every year we have a host of great speakers participating on the panel. I love seeing the people in attendance leaving with a wealth of knowledge and information. I am deeply moved because I know they might not have had access to those working in entertainment without these kinds of events.” Past speakers have included Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Common, Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Suzanne de Passe, as well as top executives from industry leaders including Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, CAA, CBS, ABC Studios and Universal Pictures. “It’s such a great feeling seeing so much talent and inspiration under one roof,” said Carter. I remember when Robi told Denzel to come and speak on the panel, he happened to be right in the middle of a family summer vacation. “He came to the event with a time con-

straint, but though he told us he could only stay for 30 minutes, he ended up being there for almost two hours. His speech inspired the audience. He told those aspiring to be actors and entertainers they should never compromise because God will bless you. It brought me to tears.” The growing list of celebrities and church leaders set to attend the Merge Summit 2016 include Dr. Bill Winston, Dulé Hill, DeVon Franklin, Meagan Goode, Courtney B. Vance, Jonathan McReynolds and Cedric The Entertainer to name a few. Carter pointed out that these events are

I recall one night going to bed and praying to God to give me a vision or an idea on how to help bring opportunity to people who had no access to Hollywood.”

important because it allows people of faith to “project their choices” on the creative front. She believes it will only be a matter of time before faith-based films tap into mainstream audiences. “The ground is more ripe than it has ever been before, she said. “We are starting to see more aspirational movies and television shows break through. God is moving believers in the mainstream and opening doors for the faith-based at an unprecedented pace.” Nevertheless, gospel artists, today, have moved beyond the church base and have ventured into reality TV entertainment. It has ignited somewhat of a debate whether it is an appropriate venue for the men of the cloth. Carter noted that it is important audiences see faith-based reality TV unadulterated. “Despite the fact we are people of faith; we have flaws like everyone else. Just because we’re Christians doesn’t mean we are perfect. We might make the choice to do reality TV, but if you follow a storyline, say for instance, with someone going through tough times; audiences get a sense of how they overcame their struggles. They get to see what faith walks like, feels like and looks like.” Both Carter and Reed have countless, critically acclaimed credits to their names in production and film. They have helped develop the careers of numerous A-list actors and gospel singers in the industry. Key to Carter’s mission, however, will always be “protecting faith, gospel, and the message.”

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Through the Storm


The First Cut Is The Deepest...

ixteen years ago, on a balmy June morning, Duania Hall-Henderson was at home getting ready to attend her cousin’s graduation ceremony. Never in her wildest dreams did she think she would end up in the hospital later that day, clinging to life by her fingernails. Let alone, live to tell the story. It’s a harrowing tale of survival and a woman who thought she had found love. Instead, five hours later she was rushed to hospital with 22 stab wounds. The vicious knife attack shocked even the most hardened police officers that first arrived on the scene, who found Henderson lying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor. Henderson and her fiancé were going through a rough patch but there was little indication that any simmering tension was about to boil over. “He’d told me he wasn’t happy with the relationship and I was perplexed by this revelation given that we had only moved into a new apartment a few weeks before.” Shortly after, his mother passed away, which only compounded problems. He had trouble coping through the grieving period and while she was there for him, the two of them separating seemed increasingly imminent. “I asked him what about the lease we’d signed. He replied we could live together as roommates.” The night before the stabbing however, he would change his mind. “He was drinking champagne and started saying how he wanted to get back together with me. I thought we should take it slow. More importantly, evaluate the problems that brought us to that point of breaking up in the first place.” That night as

they prepared for bed, Henderson thought they had found common ground somewhere in between. “We decided to continue sleeping in separate rooms, but we could start dating again and see where it takes us.” But overnight, things got a little strange. “I’d fallen asleep, but awakened to him pleading that I give him another chance. I was surprised because I thought we’d talked about this already. Later in the night, he’d crept in my bed and was laying behind me. He was whispering and saying ‘I’m sorry and I was confused because I couldn’t understand what he was apologizing for.” She went to sleep and the next morning shortly after 9:a.m.—as she hunched over her kitchen sink washing her hair in preparation for her cousin’s commencement ceremony—everything seemed fine. Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain in her shoulders. Somewhat dazed, she turned around to find her fiancé standing in the doorway of the kitchen holding a knife. “The look in his eyes gave me chills throughout my body. He looked like a demon and it began to register in my mind— this man had just stabbed me. He tells me ‘if I can't have you nobody can have you’. He then begins to stab me multiple times. I was getting stabbed in my arms, legs and thighs.” Every attempt to block the knife from piercing her body proved futile. Instinctively, she yelled for help but rescue was hampered by the fact that the apartment—located near LAX—was soundproof. She darted for the door, but he overpowered her and pulled her back in the kitchen, covering her mouth and warning her to quiet down. She continued to try and block him, but she slipped in a pool of her own blood and fell to the floor. “At this point, I just started talking to God because I knew only God could get me out of this impossible situation.” Meanwhile, her attacker began pacing up and down in the apartment. Henderson initially thought he was leaving, but she began to hear a shredding sound. He had begun shredding love letters. Severely wounded, Henderson decided to play dead. Soon the apartment was full of smoke and the smell of burning set off the smoke alarm. She would later discover he had ripped his clothes and tried to burn them because they were soaked in her blood. He then cleaned the knife and scrubbed the counter and any other traces of evidence. Amid the pandemonium, Henderson could hear him making phone calls in the other room. He first spoke with a woman she presumed was his mother and confessed that he’d stabbed her. Moments later, his brother called back and when her fiancé didn’t answer, the brother left a message on the answering machine admonishing him to ‘get out of there right now.’ The message—later used in court—showed more concern for her attacker than Henderson, who had hoped that someone would call the police or summon help. “Nobody cared if I died,” recalls Henderson, who feared bleeding out. Unfortunately, though hours had passed, her long ordeal wasn’t quite over. He came back in the kitchen and bent down to check for a pulse and see if Henderson was breathing. Not sure if she was dead, he stabbed her on the side of the neck. “I guess he felt a need to stab me one more time in case I was faking being dead. The doctors would later tell me the

stab wound had just missed my vocal cord.” What happened next said Henderson must have been divine intervention. “He leaves the room again for a while and then all of a sudden I hear him on the phone with what appeared to be 91-1. He’s explaining to the operator everything that happened. He's telling them on the phone ‘Yeah I stabbed her. I don't know; I think she's dying. In my mind, I was like God’s coming to my rescue.” Moments later, the police bust the apartment door down and place him in handcuffs. The policeman gasped as he found her in the kitchen before paramedics rushed her to the hospital. Those close to the couple were in disbelief that her fiancé would have been capable of such an act. “When my dad first got the call from police that somebody had tried to kill me, he thought I might have been a victim of a carjacking because I’d just purchased a brand new vehicle.” Nobody reiterated Henderson, suspected her fiancé could do such a thing. It was simply out of character. Worse still, while her family struggled to come to terms with the horrific events, others stubbornly refused to implicate the fiancé despite his fingerprints all over the bloody knife. They declined to budge on their assertion of his innocence. “Some of his coworkers would later try to discourage me from going forward with a criminal case against him. They sought to convince me to drop the charges.” But she didn’t and he is now serving a 34-year sentence after a trial that shed very little light of what drove her fiancé to such an excess of calculated cruelty. Henderson herself acknowledged that she found it baffling how in the three years they were together she hadn’t detected any warning signs of volatile behavior, recounting, “He had never gotten physical with me before.” That said, Henderson noted, with the benefit of hindsight, how during heated arguments, there was some verbal abuse. Looking back, she now believes that should have been a “red flag”. Still, Henderson is a survivor for sure. She underwent two surgeries before being released from the hospital with tubes inserted into her lungs to aid her breathing and six months of intense rehabilitation. “I had nightmares every single night for some time,” she told L.A. Focus. “The psychological effects lasted for years.” Today, she has turned the worst experience of her life into helping other women overcome domestic violence. “I know I am not the only woman that had to live through such a terrible ordeal. Unfortunately there are many other women of all ages and backgrounds going through the same thing.” To that end, Henderson said she wanted to share her story about domestic violence not only to emphasize its seriousness, but just as surely that women can survive it. And although, the man that butchered her within an inch of her life is black, she maintains it shouldn’t be used as a license to slander all African-American men. Today, she is happily married and the mother of three children. “God allowed me to become a vessel to help women dealing with abuse,” said Henderson, “and his deliverance trumps any tragedy.”

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Eye On Gospel Malaco Records Lands Greenleaf Soundtrack Oprah Winfrey’s “Greenleaf” debuted to record ratings on June 21, becoming the #1 series debut in OWN history with over 3 million viewers and helping to solidify OWN’s spot as the highestrated cable network among A f r i c a n American women. And with the release of its soundtrack, Malaco Records hopes to gain back some of the ground its lost in gospel. The14-track album is available August 26 from The legendary Jackson, Mississippi-based soul/blues/gospel label (in conjunction with Lionsgate. The series title theme, The Root, is performed by Mavis Staples. Others featured on the album include The McCrary Sisters, American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle, cast member Desiree Ross, who plays Sophia Greenleaf, Dottie Peoples and 11-time Grammy winner Shirley Caesar, who contributes the classic “Satan, We’re Gonna Tear Your Kingdom Down” to the album. However, the lionshare of the music (eight songs)—including the lead single, “The Master’s Calling”— is recorded by Deborah Joy Winans, who also stars in the show as Charity Greenleaf-Satterlee. Singing comes natural for Winans, who is the daughter of Carvin Winans and niece to BeBe and CeCe Winans. Said Winans, “This was my first time recording a song and what a musical ride it has been! Bringing Charity to life through the power of music was challenging yet a beautiful experience. Growing up in a family of natural-born singers certainly came in handy when I took on this incredible role.”

Kierra Hits The Road

Big Year for Jekalyn Carr 2016 has been a big year for Jekalyn Carr, and it seems that it will only get bigger for the 19-year old gospel prodigy. She kicked off the summer with the official release date—August 5— for her highly anticipated third album release, The Life Project, and an accompanying revival tour launch that will showcase the preaching and singing that has made her one of the most talked about youth talents in gospel music. Buzz for the release has been building given the response of the lead single, “You’re Bigger”. The power ballad, which has been blessing listeners all around the world with its message of praise and promise, was one of the Top 5 radio singles in the country. It, along with other songs, such as “We Will Stand,” solidify The Life Project as a career-defining release for Carr. “We Will Stand” addresses the dire need for, and power in, togetherness and unity – which is especially poignant right now, as the nation heals from what seems to be one devastating news report after another. The lyrics simply proclaim, “If you pray for me, and I pray for you, we will stand!”

Luther Barnes Returns With God’s Grace Gospel singer, songwriter and producer and musician the Reverend Luther Barnes has been a stalwart presence on the gospel scene for over twenty years, scoring hit records with his choir, Red Budd Gospel Choir, and with his quartet, the Sunset Jubilaires, as well as solo hits. The Favor Of God will be released on August 19, 2016. The Favor Of God is the premiere of Luther Barnes with his new choir, The Restoration Worship Center Choir. The new album demonstrates once again that Luther Barnes is one of the finest singers and songwriters in the gospel firmament, as shown by the lead single from the album, "God's Grace," which has already hit Top 30 at gospel radio. Finally, “The Question Is” by the Winans is sampled for the first 30 seconds on the title track in Drake’s new album, “Views”, which broke Beyonce’s records for debut week U.S. streams while selling over 850,000 albums the first week out. Meanwhile, after averaging about 200-300 a week prior to the release of Drake’s CD, “The Question Is” did 6,000 streams.

L.A. Focus/February­2016

Grammy nominated recording artist, actress, entrepreneur, fashion designer, Kierra Sheard has hit the road on a selftitled solo tour; with an all girl band. Sheard and her all girl band will be performing an array of new music from her new “LED” EP while taking attendees on a musical journey with performances of her hits from her 14-year career in the music industry. "I want those that come, to leave feeling refreshed. Transparency, God, love, music, and more is what I'll have to offer,” Sheard said. “I'll have fun on this tour and do things that I've never done before. I will not be prohibited or stopped by anyone but God! I won't worry about what's said, I'm going for a raw experience!

People don't want fake experiences. They want what's real. We all want to feel like we aren't alone while doing this thing called "life”. The tour—which kicked off last month in Detroit—will wind down in October after key stops in Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, and New York. In addition to her upcoming tour, Sheard has released a mobile app that will allow fans an exclusive look inside of Kierra's world as she goes from city to city. The new mobile app will be available for iPhone and Android devices. Says Sheard, “You will essentially be able to "Unlock My World" as I provide exclusive photos, live video streams, music, my obsessions, and a lot more! I also cover songs from different genres of music like Coldplay's "Paradise", Ellie Goulding's "On My Mind", Sia's "Chandelier", and Beyoncé's "If I Were A Boy".


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Calendar of events

Ongoing On Stage: Recorded In Hollywood (The story of Dolphin’s of Hollywood) (Through August 7) $39 - $59 • Call for Showtimes Kirk Douglas Theater 9820 Washington Blvd Culver City www.recordedinhollywood.com L.A. County Parks Department hosts Free Summer Lunch & Snacks Program (Through August 8) Summer lunch program for kids Free Info: (818) 5462384 laparks.org/foodprogram Yoga Class on the Macy’s Bridge (Saturdays) Free • 10:00am-11:00am Zumba On The Macy’s Bridge Free • 7:30pm (Adults only) (Every Tuesday) Also Free Kids Club ages 3-13 (August 13) Materials provided Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza 3650 W Martin Luther King Jr. Bl Information: (323) 290-6636 baldwinhillscrenshawplaza.com

L.A. Focus/August­2016

Looking Fabulous In White: Holly Robinson Pete at the Hollyrod Foundation DesignCare Gala


Monday, August 1 Grief Share Ministry 6:30pm First Church of God Center of

ris Kodjoe er and Bo rk a P le o Hollyrod Actors Nic iles at the are all sm are Gala C n n’s Desig o ti a d n u o F

Hope 9550 Crenshaw Blvd (323) 757-1804 www.go2hope.com

Wednesday, August 3

by a Paying Adult) The Canyon 28912 Roadside Drive Agoura Hills (888) 645-5006 http://www.canyonclub.net

Los Angeles Sales and Professional Job Fair Bring plenty of resumes and be prepared for interview Free • 11:30am-2:00pm Hilton Hotel LAX 5711 W. Century Blvd www.diversitycareergroup.com

ESPN All-Star Celebrity Basketball Game $25 and up • 7:00pm L.A. Live Microsoft Square 800 W. Olympic Blvd. www.lalive.com/events

In Concert: Gladys Knight Featuring Tower of Power 8:00pm • $20 - $151 Hollywood Bowl 2301 N Highland Avenue www.hollywoodbowl.com

Thursday, August 4 Craft Night: Disguise & Performance, A Mask making workshop with Gronk Free • 7-9:00pm Craft & Folk Art Museum 5814 Wilshire Blvd (323) 937-4230 www.cafam.org

In Concert: Warren G 9PM • $25 – 45 (Under 18 Must Be Accompanied

ie screening of lmer attends mov Pa ke Ke ss tre Ac nuck Theater Course” at the Za “Ice Age: Collision

126th Annual Session Western Baptist State Convention (Through Thursday, August 11) Pilgrim Progressive Baptist Church 4995 “A” Street San Diego Information: (323) 750-1033

Thursday, August 11

Saturday, August 6 The Comedy Get Down Featuring George Lopez, Cedric The Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, Eddie Griffin and Charlie Murphy 8PM • $49.50 - 250 The Forum 3900 W. Manchester Blvd Inglewood Contact: (310) 3307300 www.fabulousfo-

Friday, August 5 The Milestone Tour hosted by Lil Mo Featuring Chrisette Michele 8pm • $39.75 - $114.50 The Novo By Microsoft 800 W Olympic Blvd www.thenovodtla.com



Culver City’s Blvd Music Summer Festival features “The Classic Sounds of Soul” From Missy Andersen and her band Free • 7-9:00pm City Hall Courtyard 9770 Culver Blvd Culver City (310) 398-2583 www.boulevardmusic.com

Friday, August 12

29th Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival Line up includes Jeffrey Osbourne, Kirk Whalum, Paul Jackson Jr., Mindless Groove, Dave Koz, SpoTLiGhT Kenny

Thursday, August 25 The Merge Summit (Honorees include Dr. Bill Winston, Mikki Taylor and Courtney B. Vance) Featuring Jonathan McReynolds, Tasha Cobbs, Cyndi Trimm, Leah Daniels Walker and more (Through Saturday) The Millenium Biltmore Hotel •506 S. Grand Avenue www.themergesummit.com

Ice Hot: Jenn ifer Lopez w ears a stunni dress at the ng white mov Collision Cou ie screening of “Ice Age : rse” at the Z anuck Theat er

Tina Knowles Lawson and Richard Lawson make their voices heard at the #occupycityhall movement protest.

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Former NFL player Rodney Peete, Actress Holly Robinson Pete, Jada Crawley, and L.A. Clippers star player Chris Paul attend Hollyrod Foundation’s DesignCare Gala

Lattimore and more (Through Sunday Aug 14th) Tickets: $55-$200 Friday: 6:30-10:30pm Sat & Sun: Noon-10:30PM. Rainbow Lagoon Park E Shoreline Drive Long Beach (562) 424-0013 longbeachjazzfestival.com Harold & Carole Pump Foundation16th Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament & Dinner Honoring Elgin Baylor, Eric Dickerson, Dave Winfield & Jerry Haffey Sr. 9AM • Shotgun start— Golf Tournament 5:30pm: Reception 7:30pm: Dinner Angeles National Golf Course The Beverly Hilton Hotel Info: (310) 445-2588 Haroldpumpfoundation.com Feed the Soul While Helping Feed the Hungry Help sort, inspect, and repackage donated food 8:30 am-12:00 pm. Registration: 8:00 am to 8:20 am L.A. Regional Food Bank 1734 E. 41st Street

Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, and Lebron James urge others to use their platform and be socially active with issues like police brutality during the Espys at the Microsoft Theatre.


Sunday, August 14 In Concert: K. Michelle 8pm • $25 - 35 The Novo By Microsoft 800 W Olympic Blvd www.thenovodtla.com Greater Zion Annual School Supply Drive Hosted By The JT Foundation & The Brown Mae Foundation Build a Backpack School Supply Giveaway 1:30pm 2408 N. Wilmington Ave Compton

Wednesday, August 17 The Ultimate Tribute to Ray Charles starring Maceo Parker Featuring a Tribute to the Raelettes and special guest, Philip Bailey 8:00pm • $10 -$151 Hollywood Bowl 2301 N Highland Ave www.hollywoodbowl.com

healing, praise dance and more Venice Beach Boardwalk Corner of Pacific & Windward Street 11:00am - 6:00pm Info: (213) 359-3185 disciplesonthemove.com KJLH Beauty & Fashion Affair Beauty Vendors/Runway Show; Wig and Weave Live Talk; Makeovers and more 11:00 am - 5:30 pm • Free The California Market Center 110 E. 9th Street www.kjlhradio.com

Sunday, August 21 4th Annual Paint Along On Wilshire Watch artist at work or join in the fun painting your own artwork. Free • 2-6:00pm Dysonna City Art Gallery 5373 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles dysonnacityartgallery.com

8PM • $10 -$151 Hollywood Bowl 2301 N Highland Ave www.hollywoodbowl.com Greater Los Angeles Job Fair Free •11:00am-2:00pm Holiday Inn LAX 9901 S. La Cienega Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90045 Bring resumes and wear professional attire www.jobertising.com

Thursday, August 25 Dance Ministry Come see how dance and ministry intersect Free • 6-9:45pm City of Refuge Church 14527 S San Pedro Street Gardena noeljonesministries.org

Friday, August 26 Here & Now: The Legacy of Luther Vandross An Evening With Terry Steele (Through Sat, August 27) Ebony Repertory Theatre/Nate Holden Performing Arts Center 4718 W. Washington Blvd Information: (323) 964.9768 www.ebonyrep.org

Saturday, August 27 Life Without Limits Cruise Luncheon Join Faithful Central Bible Church First Lady Togetta Ulmer and Life Without Limits series $100 • 1pm Space is limited. Marina Del Rey Contact: (310) 330-8000 www.faithfulcentral.com

Sunday, August 28 Smooth Summer Jazz Festival Artists include George Benson, Average White Band, Jeff Lorber Fusion, and To Grover with love featuring Jason Miles 6:00pm • $10-$80 Hollywood Bowl 2301 N Highland Ave www.hollywoodbowl.com In Concert: Kool and the Gang with Bootsy Collins Doug E. Fresh Morris Day & The Time 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm • $49.50 - 99.50 Microsoft Theater, 777 Chick Hearn Court www.microsofttheater.com

around los angeles Saturday, August 20

19th Annual Venice Beach Gospel Crusade Rally Features food, city-wide choirs, dynamic speakers,

Wednesday, August 24

Jazz At The Bowl: Mega Nova featuring Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Carlos Santana, Booker T and more

Kobe and Vanessa Bryant attend the premiere of a Showtime documentary”Kobe Bryant’s Muse” in West Hollywood

On Stage: August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s

carpet at HollyShaun Robinson on the red ck-for-Research” “Ro ral Robinson-Peetes Inauga Hills summer concert in Beverly

Thursday, September 1 In Concert: Ja Rule & Ashanti with Lloyd 8PM • $36.50 – 46.50 The Novo By Microsoft 800 W Olympic Blvd www.thenovodtla.com

Saturday, September 3 On Stage: Tammi Mac’s Bag Lady (One Woman Show) (Through Sunday, Sept. 4) $30 - $50 • Sept 3: 8PM Sept 4: 3PM • 7PM Barnsdall Gallery Theatre Barnsdall Art Park 4800 Hollywood Blvd brownpapertickets.com

Monday, September 5 In Concert: The Isley Brothers and the O’Jays 7:30pm • $40-$125 Los Angeles County Fair, Fairplex 1101 W. McKinley Avenue Pomona www.lacountyfair.com

Neyo, wife Crystal Reney, and infant son, Shaffer Chimere Smith,Jr atte nd the Teen Choice Awards at the Forum

L.A. Focus/August 2016

over the shoulder Crystie Stewart gives an Foundation’s od llyr Ho pose at the DesignCare Gala.

Wednesday, August 31

Black Bottom (Through October 16) Call for Showtimes • $3060 Mark Taper Forum 135 N Grand Ave centertheatregroup.org


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inSiDe ho L LY W ooD with Jeannie Jones Mary J. Blige Files For Divorce Mary J. Blige has filed for divorce from her husband and former manager, Kendu Isaacs, her representative has confirmed to USA TODAY. “Ms. Blige is saddened to say it is true that she has filed for divorce, saying sometimes things don’t work how we hoped they would,” her publicist Karynne Tencer said in a statement. “But there is a divine plan and a reason for everything.” The couple, married for 12 years, had no children together, though Blige was a stepmother to Isaacs’ children from a past relationship. The singer cited irreconcilable differences as grounds for divorce in court documents obtained by TMZ and subsequent outlets. “Mary will continue writing and working on her album, which is due out later this year along with her world tour. She thanks and appreciates her fans for their support and love through this very difficult emotional time,” Tencer said. Blige, 45, has been candid about the pros and cons of marrying her manager, telling The Telegraph in 2014 that although she felt Isaacs always “had her back,” the downside “is that there’s no separation — it’s on all the time. When you don’t feel like answering to your manager, he’s still your husband.”

Dwayne Wade Ex-Wife's Tell-All Book The ex-wife of NBA star Dwayne Wade drops the dime in her autobiography, 'The True Story For God's Glory: The Life of Siohvaughn L. Funches-Wade. She shares allegations made in court during the divorce battle that wade beat her, several accounts of infidelity and describes living

with the NBA All Star in Miami as a "$4 million dollar home prison." She also accuses Wade's current wife, Gabrielle Union, of breaking up their marriage.

Keke Palmer Cast As Lesbiam Pimp You’ll see Keke Palmer like never before with her next film project, Pimp, in which she plays a lesbian pimp trying not only to survive in the gritty streets of the Bronx, but to ultimately get out the hood, for a better life and future. Also in the film currently filming on the streets of New York is Aunjanue Ellis and rapper/actor DMX. Keke is also releasing her first book, entitled “I Don’t Belong To You: Quiet The Noise and Find Your Voice. The book —centered around twelve topics some of which are personal experiences both personally and professionally, success, sexuality, anxiety, body image, and bullying—serves as an inspirational guide to encourage young women to be themselves with confidence and live free as they travel through the 21st century. And if that wasn’t enough, the actress has a second studio album in the works. She has already released three songs along with videos that highlight not only her vocals, but her danci n g skills.

Keke Palmer


Suicide Squad

Villains are recruited by the government to accomplish a task deemed too dangerous for superheroes. They must compromise personal conflicts to form a cohesive unit to take on a singular task. August 5

L.A. Focus/August­2016

TikaSumpter Given Name: Euphemia­L.­Sumpter Hometown: Hollis,­New­York Big Break: One­Life­to­Live,­Layla­Williamson­ Other Notable Roles: The­ Game,­ Think­ Like­ a Man,­ Stomp­ the­ Yard­ 2,­ Homecoming,­ Sparkle, Ride­Along­2,­Gossip­Girl Current Project: Southside­ With­ You;­ The­ Have &­Have­Nots­ How did you get attached to this project? I­ wanted­ to­ be­ apart­ of­ something­ that­ depicted­ a more­modern­love.­I­was­cast­early­on­and­became a­ producer.­ ­ The­ thing­ is,­ you­ don’t­ see­ African American­ love­ stories­ and­ this­ is­ an­ intriguing idea­to­me.­­­

Ben Hur Southside With You Hands of Stone A prince Judah is falsely Roberto Durán (Edgar Obama, a Harvard Law sumRamirez) develops a fierce accused of disloyalties by his mer associate, asks out an rivalry with American attorney who works at the adopted brother. After years at fighter Sugar Ray Leonard sea Judah returns home to same firm. On the historic (Usher Raymond IV). finally seek revenge but date, the two talk about poliinstead finds redemption. tics and activism. August 26 August 19 August 26

Tammi Mac’s Bag Lady To Open At Barnsdall Gallery Theater From 4 – 8pm daily Tammi Mac rules the L.A. airwaves at 102.3 KLJH with the Tammi Mac & Don Amiche Show, but next month (September 3-4), the afternoon radio personality and actress will take to the stage of the Barnsdall Gallery Theater in Hollywood for an encore presentation of her one-woman show, Tammi Mac’s Bag Lady. The show, which earned three NAACP Stage awards following its 2014 run—is about the baggage women carry from relationship to relationship. “The play is basically about the personal experiences I’ve had with men in my life,” says the Houston native. “It’s about how you get caught up in your environment and your environment says to have sex early or to find a man that’s gon give you as much as you can get. The play talks about how to let go of your past and forgive yourself for everything that you’ve ever done wrong. And forgive everybody who’s ever done you wrong so that you can move on and live in your purpose. Not only does she star in the show, but Mac—who has three college degrees— also wrote and produced it after raising the money with a Kickstarter campaign. And she is nothing if not determined. “I have always by the grace of God been able to say this is what I’m going to do and then to do it. God has blessed me with the creative mind, the talent, skill, education, knowledge, family and resources that I need to do exactly what I want at any capacity, but I’m not special. He



gives that to everyone. It’s up to you whether you want to take advantage of what He has to offer or not. That’s really what my play is about. “My goal is to tour colleges and let women know that no matter from what circumstances you come, you can always make the best of them and live your best life possible. I don’t regret anything I’ve done from my past I’ve learned from it and grew from it. And because of that I have this onewoman show that’s been powerful enough to share my journey and encourage other women as well. The show is hardcore. You’re gonna be laughing your behind off and you’re going to be crying too.”

Are you anything like your character, Michelle Obama? While­there­are­some­similarities­such­as­our­looks and­ the­ fact­ that­ we­ both­ lost­ our­ fathers,­ I­ was careful­ not­ to­ impersonate­ her.­ I­ learned­ about who­she­is­by­doing­a­lot­of­research­through­Craig Robinson’s­book,­A­Game­of­Character­and­watching­ YouTube­ videos.­ More­ than­ anything­ I­ just wanted­ to­ ensure­ I­ could­ capture­ the­ boldness Michelle­embodies.­­ How does Southside With You, compare to other projects that you have done? There’s­this­huge­intimacy­looming­in­this­project compared­ to­ other­ ones­ I­ have­ worked­ on­ in­ the past.­Additionally,­it’s­an­American­history­depiction­ in­ the­ making;­ you­ get­ to­ see­ the­ public­ intimacy­our­leaders­of­the­free­world­share­with­each other­at­their­earliest­point.­ How do you feel about your recognition as an African American actress in Hollywood? I­ have­ nothing­ but­ pride­ in­ regards­ to­ my­ blackness.­ I­ get­ hundreds­ of­ letters­ from­ young­ girls thanking­ me­ for­ my­ existence.­ It’s­ so­ much­ deeper than­ that­ in­ the­ sense­ that­ there­ is­ still­ such­ a large­ issue­ with­ girls­ growing­ up­ needing­ that reassurance­ from­ the­ media.­ I­ am­ lucky­ to­ have had­ those­ around­ me­ embrace­ my­ dark­ skin­ as­ I have­embarked­on­my­journey­as­an­actress.­ In reference to your role on The Haves and the Have Nots-you weren’t immediately taken by the idea of starring in it, how come? My­ first­ reaction­ was,­ “Let­ me­ think­ about­ it.” Initially,­ I­ have­ to­ think­ very­ hard­ about­ every offer­ before­ I­ accept­ it.­ As­ an­ actress/business woman,­I­really­take­my­time­when­I­pick­my­projects.­ I­ am­ very­ sure­ now­ about­ our­ hip­ show. Getting­ a­ call­ from­ Oprah­ to­ convince­ you­ just causes­your­mind­go­blank.­She­told­me­she­never convinces­ people­ to­ do­ things­ they­ don’t­ want­ to do,­however­she­felt­special­about­this­project.­She was­ more­ than­ right.­ Here­ we­ are­ with­ 4­ million people­plus­some,­and­I­know­I­made­a­good­decision.­

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Re d Carpet Style

LISA LESLIE WNBA icon slays in this coral gown

The weather was nearly perfect for the 2016 Espy’s held last month at the Staples Center, but that wasn’t what was heating up the red carpet. Instead it was the hot looks displayed by the sports stars and celebrities who were on hand.

LOLO JONES GABRIELLE UNION This chic olympian never looked Turned up the heat in this sleeveso good in this lovely blue Jovani less grey button-down checked dress frock

CIARA Rocking a Cavalli Couture by Peter Dundas dress, this newylwed is flawless!

GINA RODRIGUEZ Back to black with her edgy black cutout Safiyaa dress

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ChurchNews Greater Ebenezer Elects Denon Porter As New Pastor n June 29, on the recommendation of retiring Pastor Solomon Drake, the members of Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church—one of the largest Baptist congregations in the city— unanimously elected Rev. Denon Porter as their Senior Pastor, effective July 1, 2016. Porter, 45, who joined the church in the early 90’s, has served as part of Greater Ebenezer’s ministerial staff for more than 13 years in a variety of capacities from Sunday School and Bible study to involvement with the church’s choirs. “It is the highest privilege and greatest honor,” said Porter, a native of Atlanta. “Having sat under Pastor Drake— to see his wisdom, humility and his generousity and to then be chosen as his successor is humbling beyond belief and it is a calling I look forward to pouring my life into for as long as the Lord would have me. “I intend to continue our focus on Bible study, the ministry of the word and gospel, loving one another and serving the community.”

Amen L.A. (Affirming Ministry Enlightening Nations) 1455 W. 94th St. Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 229-9351 • www.amenla.org Rev. Dr. DiAnn L. Johnson Sunday Morning Worship: 9:30am-10:30am PTP­/­Preach­the­word-­Teach­the­word­-­practice­the­word


AME’s Fifth District Welcomes Bishop Clement W. Fugh Members of the AME’s Fifth Episcopal District are welcoming Bishop Clement W. Fugh as their new Presiding prelate. A native of Memphis, Fugh received his master’s in theology from the Boston University School of Theology, and served more than 30 years as pastor to congregations in Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. Elected to the bishopry in 2012, he served the fourteenth district (Liberia, Central Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Cote D’ Ivoire and Togo-Benin) until last month. In related news, among the six candidates elected to be bishops at the 50th Quadrennial Conference last month was former Ward AME pastor Frank Madison Reid III of Bethel AME Church in Baltimore…In other local church news, the Baptist community is mourning the passing of the Rev. Dr. Whalen J. Jones, Pastor Emeritus and founder/organizer of Messiah Baptist Church. Jones served 34 years before retiring in 1987, and turning the reins of the church over to Senior Pastor Perry Jones.

Jamal Bryant, E. Dewey Smith, Orrick Quick and John Gray Bring a New Twist To Daytime Talk This summer, Fox Television teamed with Warner Brothers for a new twist to the ever popular talk show format featuring four dynamic and outspoken preachers— including mega pastors Jamal Bryant (Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore) and Dr. E. Dewey Smith Jr. (The House of Hope in Atlanta and Macon) along with Orrick Quick, pastor/founder of God Seekers Church in High Point, North Carolina and John Gray, an associate pastor at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston. The show got a three-week daily preview on Foxowned TV stations in New York and Los Angeles beginning July 11 with additional markets to be announced. “They’re not just another set of talking heads yakking about the events of the day; they bring real-world experience as pastors and counselors. They have a unique spiritual take on things, and they’re funny as hell…I mean, heck!” said producer Bill Geddie, who spent 17 seasons as co-creator and the former executive producer of ABC's The View. Church News continued to page 24

Bethel AME Church of Los Angeles 7900 South Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 750-3240 • www.bethelamela.org Rev. Kelvin T. Calloway Early Worship: 7:45 am Morning Worship: 10:45am Mid-week “Hour of Power” (Wed): noon

Bethesda Temple Church Apostolic Faith 4909 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90043 (323) 299-2591 Interim Pastor Robert Lockett Sunday School: 9:40am Morning Worship: 11am Evening Worship: 6pm Bible Study (Wed): 7pm Prayer (Sat): 7am Evening Prayer (Mon.): 6:30pm

Crenshaw Christian Center 7901 South Vermont, Los Angeles, CA 90044 (323) 758-3777 • F: (323)565-4231 • www.faithdome.org Rev. Frederick Price Jr. Sunday Service: 10am Bible Study (Tue): 11am & 7pm Tue. Night Kidz Unlocked: 7pm Tue. Night Bible Study (Teens): 7pm Alcohol & Drug Abuse Program (Wed): 7pm Intercessory Prayer (Wed.): 7:30pm Prayer & Praise (Thurs.): 6:30pm First AME Church (FAME) 2270 South Harvard Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018 (323) 735-1251 • F: (323) 735-3353 • www.famechurch.org Pastor J. Edgar Boyd, Senior Pastor/CEO Sunday School: 10am Worship: 8am, 10am, Noon Teen Church (2nd Sundays):Noon,Allen House Wed. Prayer Service: Noon Wed. Bible Study: 7pm Radio: 10:30am on KJLH-102.3FM First­AME­is­the­oldest­Black­Church­in­the­City Grace Temple Baptist Church 7017 South Gramercy Place, Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 971-8192 Bishop Miquail M. Broadous Sr., Senior Pastor Sunday School: 9am Morning Worship: 10:00am Wednesday Worship: 6:45pm E-Mail: gtbcla@gmail.com

Bethlehem Temple Church, INC. 958 East 52nd Street Los Angeles, CA 90011 (323) 232-8429 www.bethlehemtemplela.org Pastor Elder Gentry Richardson, Jr. Sunday: Christian Education: 9am Morning Worship: 11am PYPU (youth services): 4:30pm Evening Worship: 6pm (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 • graceumc1@earthlink.net Rev. Pastor Paul A. Hill • www.graceumcla.com Early Morning Worship: 7:45am Sunday School: 9:45am Morning Worship: 10:45am Wed. Bible Study: Noon & 7pm Fri. Alcoholic Anonymous: 7pm Tues. Prayer Fellowship: 6:30pm Super Seniors (Thurs/Bi-Monthly): 10:30am Follow­us­on­Facebook­­

Bryant Temple AME Church 2525 W. Vernon Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90008 (323) 293-6201 • F: (323) 293-0082 Rev. Theodore W. Payne, IV

Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church 5300 S. Denker Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90062 (323) 759-4996 Dr. Solomon Drake

Sunday School: 10am Early Worship: 8am Morning Worship: 10:30 am Bible Study (Tues): Noontime Pastor’s Bible Study( Tues): 7pm

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

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: 10am Early Worship: 8am Morning Worship: 10am Mon. Centering Prayer/Meditation: 6:30pm Mon. Overeaters Anonymous: 7pm Wed. Bible Study & Eucharist: 7pm Wed. Alcoholic Anonymous: 7:pm E:­cgshepherd4041@sbcglobal.net

Holman United Methodist Church 3320 W. Adams Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018 (323) 731-7285 • F: (323) 731-2609 • www.holmanumc.com Rev. Kelvin Sauls

Church of Jesus Christ International 3719 W. Slauson Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90043 (323) 296-1106 Pastor Michelle Beal

Liberty Baptist Church 1500 West 51st Place, Los Angeles, CA 90062 (323) 295-3866 • F: (323) 295-0366 • E: LBCwim@aol.com Rev. Terry Lovell Brown Sr.

Sunday Morning Glory Service (2nd & 4th): 8:30am-9:30am Christian Education Classes: 9:45am-10:45am Sunday Morning Worship: 11:15am Tuesday Prayer: 7pm Wednesday Bible Class: 7pm 1st Sunday Nights: 7pm Congregational Church of Christian Fellowship 2085 S. Hobart Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018 Phone: (323) 731-8869 • F: (323) 731-0851 • www.cccf-ucc.org Pastor James K. McKnight Sun. Early Worship: 8am Prayer Meeting: 10:30am Morning Worship: 11am Wed. Afternoon Bible Study: 1pm Wed. Prayer Meeting: 6pm Wed. Evening Bible Study: 7pm View­Pastor­McKnight’s­Sermons­on­YouTube

Sunday School: 8:00, 9:45 & 11am Jazz for Soul 2nd & 4th Thur: 6:30 pm Early Worship: 8am Morning Worship: 11am Bible Study (Thurs.): Noon Sun. Radio: KJLH 102.3FM: 11am E: Holman@holmanumc.com

Sunday Church School: 9am Morning Worship: 10:30am & 12:30pm Wed. Bible Study: noon & 6:30pm Prayer Meeting: 6pm Follow­us­on­Twitter­@dacrossculture www.thecrossculture.org Macedonia Baptist Church of Los Angeles 1751 East 114th Street Los Angeles, CA 90059 (323) 569-9561 • Macedonia.baptist114@gmail.com Pastor Shane B. Scott Morning Worship: 10am Sunday Small Group: 8:45am Tues. Mid-Day Bible Study: 11am Wed. Prayer & Bible Study: 6:30pm www.macedonia-la.org

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McCarty Memorial Christian Church 4101 West Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018 (323) 731-4131 Pastor Edward Anderson

New Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church 9537 South Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90044 (323) 755-1130 or 755-1139 • F: (323)755-8961 Rev. Melvin Hill, Pastor

Sunday School: 9:30am Morning Worship: 10:45am Bible Study: Noon, Tuesdays

Worship Services: 8am & 11am Sunday School: 9:30am Prayer Meeting(WED): 6:30pm Bible Study(WED): 7pm & Noon The­Church­where­“It­pays­to­be­nice”.

Miracle Center Apostolic Church 2638 S. Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90018 (323) 735-5121 or 735-5122 Dr. Roy S. Petitt • Sunday School: 9:30am Sunday Worship: 8am, 11am & 6pm Tues. Prayer & Bible Class: Noon Rights of Passage: 7pm Wed. Bible Study: 8pm Thurs. Prayer/Bible Class: Noon Fri. Faith Seminar: 8pm Radio KTYM-1460AM: (M-Fri.) 8am - 8:15am

One Church International 614 N. La Brea Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036 (818) 763-4521 • www.onechurchla.org Sr. Pastor Toure’ Roberts

Mt. Moriah Baptist Church of LA, Inc. 4269 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90037 (323) 846-1950 Rev. Melvin V. Wade, Sr.

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

Sunday School: 8:15am Morning Worship: 9:45am Evening Worship: 6:30pm Mid-Week Worship (Wed): 7pm Bible Study (Wed.): 8pm

Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church of Los Angeles 3669 W. 54th St. Los Angeles, CA 90043 • (323) 291-1121

F: (323) 291-1133 • office@sinai.church • www.sinai.church Pastor George E. Hurtt, Pastor-Teacher Sunday Worship: 8am, 11am Discipleship Hour (Sun): 9:37am Noonday Prayer (Mon): Noon Noonday Bible Study (Tue): 12:00pm Tuesday Night in the Truth: 7:15pm Email: office@sinai.church •www.sinai.church Our­Goal:­To­win­more­Christians­&­develop better­Christians­to­the­glory­of­God.­(Matt.­28:18-20)­­ Mt. Tabor Missionary Baptist Church 6614 S. Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 753-3189 • F: (323) 753-1018 • www.mttabormbc.org Dr. Ticey M. Brown, D. Min. Pastor/Teacher Early Morning Worship: 8am Sunday School: 9:30am Mid Morning Worship: 11am Tues. Bible Study: 10am & 7pm Meeting/Bible Study: 6:30pm–8pm First Sun. Communion: 8am & 11 am Baptism First Sunday

Sunday Worship: 9am, 11am & 1pm Wednesday Midweek Service: 8pm www.Channel1Live.tv—View­live­streaming

Pastor’s Bible Class & Sunday School: 8am Morning Worship: 9:30am Tues. Prayer: 7pm Tues. Bible Study: 8pm

Park Windsor Baptist Church 1842 W. 108th St. Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 756-3966 • RevTerrellTaylor@sbcglobal.net Rev. Terrell Taylor Morning Worship: 8am & 11am Bible Study Wednesday: Noon & 7pm Communion: 1st Sunday at 8am & 11am

People’s Independent Church of Christ 5856 West Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90043 • (323) 296-5776 Bishop Craig A. Worsham, Sr. Pastor Sundays: Morning Worship: 8am & 11am Wednesday Bible Study & Mid Week Worship: Noon & 7pm Prayer Meeting: 6:30pm

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: 8am Sunday School: 9:30 am Morning Worship: 11am Tuesday Prayer and Bible Band: 11am 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: 7pm

What most sets Linda Hodge apart is her dynamic approach to empowering women, through teachings geared to deal with issues like insecurity, guilt, fear and failure. And although the wife of Dr. Fred L. Hodge and first lady of Living Praise Community Center is the beloved founder of the women’s ministry Woven (Women of Virtue and Excellence Network), a motivational speaker, mother of five and grandmother of seven, even she has had to prove herself. “Sometimes people stereotype you to be a certain way when you’re a pastor’s wife,” Hodge said. “Sometimes they may say, ‘Well, you’re not like my old pastor’s wife.’ The biggest challenge is just being true to you.” The co-pastor and author recently published her third book, Winning in Life: How to Bounce Back from Adversity. The book builds on the theme of her church —whose motto is “where we build people of purpose”— and her first book, “Women Under Construction”. “My message is really to women,” says the Corpus Christi, Texas native. “We look so good on the outside, but on the inside we have so many issues we aren’t dealing with.” Her mission at WOVEN is to attract and connect, teach and train women of all cultures to be all that God has assigned them to be based on truth and transformation. “There is a purpose for each one of us. Our potential is limitless. We need to tap into it.” For more information on WOVEN, visit www.wovenwomennetwork.net. St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church 5017 S. Compton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011 (323) 231-1040 • stmarkmbcofla.org Rev. Dr. Lovely Haynes Sunday Morning Worship: 8am & 11am Sunday School: 9:30am Mon-Wed: Prayer Bible Study: 6pm - 6:55 pm Mon. Night Bible Study: 7pm Tue Choir Rehersal Wednesday Prayer: Noon Wed. Exposition of Sunday School Lesson: 7pm • Wed. Prayer Meeting: 7pm Thurs. Evangelism: 7pm (enrollment required) St. Matthew Tabernacle of Praise “The S.T.O.P.” 3770 Santa Rosalia Dr. Baldwin Hills, CA 90008 (323) 291-1115 • F: (323) 293-0471 Rev. C.Barry Greene, Pastor Morning Worship: 8am Church School Hour: 10:15am Tuesday Hour of Power: 7pm

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: 8am Morning Worship: 10am Tues. Bible Study: 11am Wed. Evangelism Class: 6:30pm First Sun. Holy Communion Service: 4pm www.pleasanthillbaptistchurch.org Praises of Zion Baptist Church (“Praise City” 8222 So. San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90003 (323) 750-1033 • F: (323) 750-5458 • www.pozlive.com Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick, Sr. Pastor Early Morning Worship: 6:45am Educational Hour: 9:15am Mid-Morning Worship: 10:45am Wed. Bible Study: Noon & 7pm Sunday Broadcast: 7pm

Price Chapel AME Church 4000 W. Slauson Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90043 (323) 296-2406 • pricechapel@sbcglobal.net Rev. Benjamin Hollins Sunday Worship Service: 10am Sunday School: 8:30am Power Lunch Bible Study (Wed): 11am Praise & Worship Bible Study (Wed): 6:30pm

Salem Missionary Baptist Church 729 S. Park View St. Los Angeles, CA 90057 (213) 738-1077 • jranniew@gmail.com Pastor J. Williams Sunday School: 10am Morning Worship: 11:15am Ministry For Alcohol & Chemical Addiction Wednesday: 5:30pm Bible Study Thursday: 7:30pm Office Hours: Mon 1:30pm-5:30pm; Thurs 2:30pm-7:30pm

Southern Missionary Baptist Church 4678 West Adams Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016 (323) 731-2703 • F: (323) 737-5202 • smbcla@gmail.com Rev. Xavier L. Thompson, Sr. Pastor L.I.F.E. Groups Sundays: 8:30am Morning Worship: 10am Baptism & Communion (First Sunday): 5pm Word Wednesday: 6:45pm “One­Church­For­All­Generations”

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: 9am Radio Broadcast KJLH FM: 9am Wed. Prayer & Bible Study: Noon-7pm www.trinitybaptistchurchofla.org

L.A. Focus/August­2016

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)

Linda Hodge: Living Praise Community Center

www.thechurchstop.org E: thechurchstop@yahoo.com pastorcbgreene@aol.com

“You­can­end­your­search­for­a­friendly­church” Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church 1300 E. 50th Street Los Angeles, CA 90011 (323) 235-2103 • F: (323) 235-3177 • www.mtzionla.org Dr. Edward V. Hill, II, Pastor Sunday Intercessory Prayer: 9:15am Morning Worship: 9:30am Children’s Church: 9:30am Sunday School: 11:30am Baptism: 2nd Sun. & Lord’s Supper: 1st. Sun. Tues. Pastor’s Bible Study: 6:30pm Wed. Noon-day Prayer: Noon

first lady files


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UpLift Christian Fellowship 4745 W. Slauson Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90056 (310) 927-3476 Pastor Anthony Thompson

Lifeline Fellowship Christian Center 2556 N. Lake Ave., Altadena, CA 91001 (626) 797-3585 • F: (626) 797-3233 • www.lifelinefcc.org Pastor Charles D. Dorsey

Sunday Worship: 10am Bible Study Wednesday: 7pm

Sunday School: 9am Early Worship (Glory Prayer): 8am Morning Worship: 10:30am Evening Worship (1st & 2nd Sun.): 5pm Wed. Bible Study: 7pm

Weller Street Baptist Church 129 S. Gless St, Los Angeles, CA 90033 (323) 261-0949 • F: (323)264-6601 • www.wellerstreetlive.com Pastor K.W. Tulloss Sunday School: 8am Sunday Morning Worship: 9am Tues. Bible Study: 6:45pm www.wellerstreetlive.com “We­have­not­walked­this­way­before”­Joshua 3:1-6

West Angeles Church of God In Christ 3045 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016 (323) 733-8300 Bishop Charles E. Blake Sunday School: 8am & 10:30am Early Worship: 8am Morning Worship: 11am Evening Worship (North Campus): 7pm Wed. Mid-Week Worship: 7pm Sun. Radio Broadcast KJLH 102.3FM: 10am www.westa.tv

In Carson

Judson Baptist Church 451 E. 223rd St, Carson, CA 90745 (310) 834-2630 • F: (310) 513-0943 • www.judsonbc.net 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 Streaming­live­at­judsonbclive.net

Peace Apostolic Church 21224 Figueroa Street, Carson, CA 90745 (310) 212-5673 Suff. Bishop Howard A. Swancy Sunday School: 10am Morning Worship: 11:45am Evening Worship: 6:30pm Wed. Noon Day Bible Class: 12:30pm Wed. Bible Class: 7:30pm

Resurrection Church L.A. 1135 East Janis St. Carson, CA 90746 Office Address: 1143 East Janis St. Carson, 90746 (310) 626-4864 • www.resurrectionchurchla.org Pastor Joseph Carlos Robinson Service times: 8am, 10am, 12:15pm Communion: every 5th Sunday Tuesday 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 • www.citizensofzion.org Rev. Bobby Newman, Jr., Senior Pastor; Rev. B.T. Newman, Pastor (Pastor Emeritus) Sunday School: 9am Morning Service: 10:45am Wed. Mid-Week Bible Study: 7pm

Greater Zion Church Family 2408 North Wilmington Avenue, Compton, CA 90222 (310) 639-5535 • E: GreaterZionCF@gmail.com Reverend Michael J. Fisher & Dr. W. Jerome Fisher, Pastor Emeritus Sunday Morning Worship: 9am, 11am & 5pm Wed. Bible Studies: Noon-7pm www.greaterzionchurchfamily.com

Pastor Profile: Geremy Dixon Church: First Church of God Center of Hope Hometown: Los Angeles Education: Southern California School of Ministry How Long at church: Four years Family: Wife, Adrienne and three children (Dixon is the son of former pastor, Bishop Gregory Dixon) It’s­been­four­years­since­you’ve­been­back­in­Los­Angeles after­ taking­ over­ as­ pastor­ following­ the­ death­ of­ your Dad—how­are­things­going?­Have­you­had­to­make­many adjustments? A. We’re closing out four years of me being back which is amazing and a lot of great things are happening. We’re seeing the seeds we planted initially start to harvest. There were some that were probably very ecstatic about my ministry and others who weren’t, because change is just difficult. Then I have a pretty distinct methodology of delivery so that even made another group. Plus I’m the son and some think I just got it [the church] because I’m the son. The up side is that our rate of growth has outpaced the folks who were transitioning out, so we never saw it financially. In fact all of our metrics went into the positive. We grew financially, we grew in Sunday attendance and we grew in our volunteer base. So while a lot of churches who go through the sudden loss of a leader will experience the loss where it’s noticeable at least for a season, we had a legitimate foundation— to the credit of my father and his predecessor, so our bones were good and we were able to grow. I told my congregation that I am harvesting where I did not plant where I did not sow—walking into the work of the people who came before me and I’m extraordinarily blessed.

ferent things musically. For some that was a little much. The thing that really endears people to us is the same thing that causes people to say this might not be my cup of tea. Most importantly, we are thinking of new ways to be a church that is focused on the world outside our building. For example, we created this program this campaign called “Generous”. We raise money, volunteer hours, and food and all of it goes to external organizations. What we figured was that there were organizations (like foster care, Habitat For humanity) that were already doing great work. We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel or create new structures in our ministry. We just finance them. We collect canned goods and give it away to organizations that were already handing out food. We also ask our members to volunteer anywhere in our city at another organization. Part of the premise of that was we believe that you build a financial hedge of protection around your house when you’re generous to people who don’t live there. Some people thought that was great. Others maybe were a little challenged because they saw the needs of people right in our church and even though we were doing things internally, it wasn’t as highly publicized as the external stuff.

Did­you­have­those­who­wanted­to­wait­and­see­what­you could­do? A. Yeah, we had people who were like, ‘well let me just see what’s going on here’. Some fell in love with what we were trying to do and others decided to go a different direction.

What­do­you­think­sets­you­apart? A. When I first got back to LA I would at times of special prayer for healing in a situation, I wouldn’t lay my hands on people. Not because I didn’t want to, but I was trying to train them that your neighbor can lay their hands on you or you can lay your hands on yourself. I teach people that they have the same access to Holy Ghost power to lay hands on their finances, their children, at their jobs… That there’s no secret sauce and you don’t have to contact me or a staff pastor every time there’s something that you need from God. The miracle is not bound to the person. Some people love it and others felt I was too disconnected from them. I get that. I understand where it comes from and appreciate the sentiment, but at the same time I wanted to encourage them to think a little bit differently.

What­do­you­think­was­the­determining­factor? A. That is a loaded question and the answer is different for everyone. I’m most passionate about creating a nontraditional environment that is accessible to a lot of different types of people. With that, I’m utilizing a lot of creativity in how we deliver the message—from the teaching to building huge sets for our services and trying dif-

When­in­this­process­did­you­miss­your­dad­the most? A. When I run up against questions in ministry that I can’t answer. A lot of us as spiritual leaders have a hard time saying that publicly, but we get a lot of situations or even literal questions that we just don’t know the answer to.

The most specific time for me was making the decision to come back to the church. I was in Atlanta pastoring. We didn’t have a lot of members, but we had some folk who were ready to do something great. Then this came up and it was not only making the decision to come, but under what terms I would come back. I’d never negotiated with an organization to lead it and my father would have been a resource. What­was­the­biggest­lesson­you­learned­from­him? A. His ability to be measured in his responses. He wasn’t impetuous or reactive. He had the gift of temperance— the strength of restraint. I’m still digesting that and oddly enough as certain provocations present themselves it shows me how much more I have to learn from that…where I have to be more measured like he was. Did­you­always­know­you­would­be­a­pastor? A. Growing up a pastor’s kid, everyone says you’re gonna be a pastor and you fight it at first. I was 16 when I decided I was going to preach. Ironically, in 1997, Pastor continued to page 24

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From the Pulpit: The Liberty Church— “Come Back From Setbacks”


e came this far by faith, leaning on the Lord; Trusting in His Holy Word, let us remember He’s never failed us yet. Hagar is perhaps the most powerful biblical portrait of the stages we go through to comeback from setbacks, whether it be in our community or relationships. How do we come back from setbacks? First of all we must move from Not Enough to Just Enough. Say, “Bus Fare.” In my book entitled, “How to Come Back From Relationship Setbacks” you will find that Hagar’s story just might be your story (See Gen. 21:14, 15). Verse 15 says, “And the water was spent…” Wow! Abraham kicks his ex-wife and baby’s mama, Hagar (along with their child Ishmael) to the curb. All because Sarah (his wife) and his idea to help God with His promise didn’t work out (See Genesis 21). He gave her a pathetic child support. It was not enough to sustain her through the desert to get to a new life. However, the catch is it was not intended to be enough. What man can give us is never enough only God’s grace is sufficient. God was working behind the scenes, setting up so that the not enough would be just enough to get her to her place of blessing and deliverance. Someone is here right now and when you look at what you have, it’s not enough. Not enough money in the bank. Not enough emotional support, fatherly or motherly support for your child, and your job may seem insufficient; your whole family support may seem to be not enough. The Lord is saying, don’t worry what you have now wasn’t intended to be enough to totally sustain you. It’s only your “Bus Fare” to

get you from where you were to the place God is taking you. Please be advised, what you have is only “Bus Fare.” Your real blessing has not hit yet. Keep believing and praising God because He is working behind the scenes. Like Hagar, He is just bringing you to the place where you can look up and see Him opening the windows of heaven to pour you out a blessing that you won’t have room enough to receive. In verse 15 Hagar had every right to be MAD and want revenge. But secondly we must move from MAD to Making A Difference. In these times where there are police shooting us and we are shooting them, we have to remember you cannot fight fire with fire or you will only come up with more fire. Remember the merciless killing of Jesus cousin John the Baptist (Matthew 14). Jesus had every reason to get mad and do as the disciples suggested to send fire down from Heaven and burn the mother down (Luke 9). However, this blew me away, instead Jesus immediately goes to the next town and the Word says, “…being moved with compassion toward them Jesus healed their sick,” (Matt. 14:14). Jesus through His actions was in essence saying, Satan you are attempting to take down the kingdom of heaven by stealing, killing and destroying. But I am counterattacking by restoring, healing and speaking life. Jesus demonstrated the response of the righteous which should be from MAD to Making a Difference in our families with our Black young men and with the police! How do you do that? So glad you asked. Last, we must move from Hell Scars to Heaven Scars.

The Liberty Church 14725 S. Gramercy Place, Gardena, CA 90249 (310) 715-8400 Pastor David W. Cross

Holy Chapel Baptist Church 1016 East Rosecrans Ave. Compton, CA 90220 (310) 537-3149 Rev. George L. Thomas Early Morning Worship: 7:30am Sunday School: 9:45 & 10:15am Mid Morning Worship: 10:45 am 1st. Sun. Holy Communion: 7:30 & 10:45 am Sat. Broadcast KTYM 1460AM: 10-11pm Wed. Mid-Week Prayer & Bible Study: 7pm

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: 8am & 11:30am Sunday Evening Worship: 6:30pm Bible Studies: Wed. 7:30pm & Sat. 9am Food for Your Soul Radio & Television Ministry: KTYM 1460AM: Mon - Fri. 6:30am Church Channel: Tues. 5:30pm & Fri. 2:30pm

Unity Christian Fellowship 16133 S. Atlantic Ave., Compton, CA 90221 (310) 604-0234 • F: (310) 886-0198 Bishop Johnny R. Withers, Jr., Senior Pastor

The­Tabernacle­is­located­at­321­N.­ Eucalyptus­Ave.,­Inglewood


In Hawthorne

Sunday Morning Worship: 8am & 11am Sunday Bible Enrichment Class: 9:45am Mon.-Thurs. Bible Study: 7pm Wednesday Bible Study: 12:30pm & 7pm

In Gardena

Sunday Morning Worship: 9am Sunday Evening Worship: 6pm Wed. Mid-Week Worship: 7pm Bible Study Tuesday: Noon & 7pm

In Inglewood Bible Enrichment Fellowship International 400 E. Kelso, Inglewood, CA 90301 (310) 330-4700 • www.bamcm.org Dr. Beverly “BAM” Crawford Morning Worship: 9:30am Tues. Bible Study: 7:30pm Wed. Mid-Week Prayer: 5am, Noon & 7pm Wednesday Pathway: 7pm Thurs Bible Study: 10am Sat Marriage & Family Prayer: 7:30am

Crusade Christian Faith Center 801 S. La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90301 (310) 330-8535 Bishop Virgil D. Patterson Sr. Wed. Mid-Week Service: 7pm Sunday School: 9am Sunday Worship: 10:30am

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) 7571804 www.go2Hope.com Pastor Geremy L. Dixon Morning Worship: 8am & 11am Wed. Mid-Week Service: Noon Wed. Teaching Ministry: 7pm 1st Sunday Communion 5th Sunday Baptism

L.A. Focus/August­2016

Morning Worship: 8am & 11am Evening Worship: 6pm Bible Study (Wed): Noon & 7pm BET/Fresh Oil (Wed): 7am

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 • www.athertonbc.org F: 323-757-8772 • athertonbaptist@sbcglobal.net Pastor Larry Weaver

shares we are healed by His scars. Similarly, others are healed by our scars because as we overcome, we are empowered to help others overcome. Now here’s the catch, there is what is known as hell scars and heaven scars. Heaven scars help and inspire others. Hell scars help no one; they hurt others. Heaven scars release us for God’s destined plan for our lives. Hell scars trap us in the past and limit our lives. Heaven scars remind us of God’s goodness and inspires faith. Hell scars remind us of our problems and inspire fear. The good news is God majors in turning tragedies into triumph and scars into stars; you have a choice of scars. Will they become hell scars or heaven scars? Here’s the message I believe the Lord is saying in verse 18: Look up, get up and embrace greater new beginnings. Yes, you can come back from any setback.

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: 7am & 10am Wed. Mid-Week Service: 7pm

Victory Institutional Baptist Church 4712 West El Segundo Blvd., Hawthorne, CA 90250 (310) 263-7073 • www.vibconline.com Pastor Richard Williams, III

Sunday G.I.R. Up Leadership Class: 8am Morning Worship Tuesday: 10am Teaching Empowerment Night: 7:30pm

The City of Refuge 14527 S. San Pedro Street, Gardena, CA 90248 (310) 516-1433 Bishop Noel Jones

Hagar was deeply scarred and wounded by her relationship setback. Wait, look at verses 16 and 17, that’s strange: she cried, she lifted up her voice in pain and agony, but the Word says, “God heard the voice of the lad…” Look at the flow of the text: she cried, she wept and she lifted her voice. You would think the next phrase would be “God heard her cry.” Instead it says, “God heard the voice of the lad.” Why would the Word say He specifically heard the boy and not her? Because she was crying tears of regret about all that occurred to get her to this point in her past. Abraham represented her past, Ishmael, her son represented her future. She was leaving Abraham but taking her son with her. In order to recover what you had, you have to release what you do not have. When God heard the voice of her future, it was her power to release, stop focusing on her past and embrace her future. Watch this, God said, “…for I will make him a great nation,” (Genesis 21:18). Yes, He turned her lemons or scars into stars. We all have experienced scars from setbacks: divorce, addictions, racism, mental and emotional problems. Jesus also had scars but the Word


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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: 10am Morning Services: 11:45am Evening Service: 7pm Wed. Lock & Load Prayer: 7pm Wed. Bible Study: 7:30pm 3rd Friday Youth Night: 7:30pm KYTYM 1460AM (Sunday): 11:30am www.jacobladderschurch.com

Christ Second Baptist Church 1471 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 (562) 599-3421 • Fax: (562) 599-6175 • www.csbclb.org Rev. Welton Pleasant II, Senior Pastor Sunday School: 8:30am Sunday Worship Service: 9:40am Wed. Bible Study: 7pm Wed Youth & Young Adult Ministry: 7pm

Miracle Temple Church of God Pentecostal 733 S. Grevillea Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90301 (310) 419-7335 • info@cogpinglewood.org Bishop Johnny J. Young, Ph.D., Senior Pastor Elder Jonathan J. Young, Executive Pastor Sunday School: 8:30am Morning Worship: 10:15am Thursday Praise & Bible Study: Noon & 7pm Weekly Prayer: Noon Monday-Friday Early Morning Phoneline Prayer: 5am Fridays *(209) 255-1000 Access code = 100061# "Where­the­Difference­is­worth­the­Drive"

Gospel Memorial Church of God In Christ 1480 Atlantic Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 (562) 599-7389 • F: 562-599-5779 • gospelmemorial@aol.com Bishop Joe L. Ealy Sunday School: 9:30am Sunday Worship: 11am Evening Worship: 6:30pm Wed. Intercessory Prayer: 7pm Wed. Pastoral teaching adults: 7:30pm Wed. Youth Ministry Boot-Camp; Youth Bible Study: 7pm & Choir Rehearsal: 7:30pm

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

Grant AME Church of Long Beach 1129 Alamitos Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 • (562) 437-1567 grantamelb@aol.com • www.grantamelb.org Rev. Michael W. Eagle, Sr.

Sunday School: 9:30am Early Worship: 8am Morning Worship: 11am First Sunday Evening Worship: 5pm Mid-Week Bible Study Wed.: 7pm Radio:­KTYM­1460­AM­on­Saturdays­at­8pm­ &­Mondays­at­7pm

In Irvine

Christ Our Redeemer AME Church 45 Tesla, Irvine, CA 92618 (949) 955-0014 • F:(949) 955-0021 • www.corchurch.org Pastor Mark E. Whitlock, II

Sunday Worship: 8am, 10:30am New Generation Praise Service: 10:30am Sun. Bible Univ.: 9:30am Tues. Interactive Bible Study: 7pm Wed. Pastor's Bible Study: Noon, 7pm Thurs. Bible Study: 7pm Fri. Singles Bible Study (1st Fri): 7pm

In Long Beach

Antioch Church of Long Beach 1535 Gundry Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 (562) 591-8778 • F: (562) 599-6048 Pastor Wayne Chaney Jr. Worship Services: 8am, 9:30am, 11:30am Tuesday Youth BibleStudy: 8am, 9:30am, 11:30am WednesdayBible Study: Noon

In Monrovia

Second Baptist Church 925 S. Shamrock Avenue • P.O. Box 479, Monrovia, CA 91017 (626) 358-2136 • F: (626) 303-2477 Bishop W.M. Larue Dillard, Phd.

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

Sunday Worship: 7:45am, 10:45am, 4:45pm Ministry Worship to Children/Youth Sunday: 9:45am - 10:45am Prayer/Academy of Biblical Studies (Wed): 10:45am - 6:45pm www.second-baptistchurch.com

In Pasadena

Bethlehem Church 1550 North Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103 (626) 794-5211 • F: (626) 794-6592 Pastor Christopher A. Bourne Sunday School: 9am Sunday Worship: 10am Tuesday Bible Study: 7pm Mid-day Worship Thursday: Noon www.bethelemchurchpasadena.org

Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church 980 Rio Grande Street, Pasadena, CA 91104 *Mailing Address: 1416 N. Mentor Ave. Pasadena, 91104 (626) 794-4875 • F: (626) 794-7815 Pastor W. Harrison Trotter Sunday School: 8:30am Sunday Worship: 10am Bible Study Wednesday: 7pm Intercessory Prayer (Fourth Wed.): 7pm Christians­Uniting­To­Make­A­Difference­-Eph.­4:13 Spirit of Zion Fellowship Church 10853 Victory Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91601 (805) 517-1907 • www.mtzionla.org Pastor E.V. Hill II

1st & 5th Sunday Worship: 9am Sunday School/New Member Classes:8am Live­Streaming­on­NuPhilly­AppNuPhilly­website:­9am 2nd thru 4th Sunday Worship:7:30 am &10:00am•Sunday School New Member Classes: 9am Live Streaming on the NuPhilly App/website: 7:30am Pastor’s Bible Study: Wednesday Eve 7pm Mid-Week Bible Study: Thursday 12:00 noon

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

In Van Nuys

Sunday Worship: 1pm Children's Church: 1pm

In Westchester Arise Christian Center 6949 La Tijera Blvd. Suite C, Westchester, CA 90045 (310)568-8445•F: (310) 568-8430 • Arisechristiancenter.com Pastor Ron Taylor Morning Worship: 9am & 11:15am Bible Study Wednesday: 7pm Intercessory Prayer Tuesday : 7pm Intercessory Prayer Sunday: 8am - 8:45am Intercessory Prayer Thursday: 11:30pm - 12:30pm

www.lafocusnewspaper.com T H E



L.A. Focus/August­2016

“Sibblings Are Forever” Despite the challenges of growing up in foster care, these three siblings have a bond that endures and thrives. Living in separate homes, Dymond, age 12, Michael age 10 and De’Shawn age 8, all hope to someday be reunited in one loving family, forever. Dymond, born in 2004, is a bright, outgoing girl with an infectious smile that lights up any room. She definitely lives up to her name. Dymond loves school and hopes to be a teacher someday herself. Reading and writing are her favorite subjects. Dymond also loves to be active. Riding her scooter and bike are at the top of her “fun” list. She is a great big sister and as you can see by the picture, is the center of her brother’s lives. Michael, born in 2006, is a dynamic, bright and sweet young boy who loves an adventure and was born to have fun! You can catch him playing tag, riding bikes or playing an intense game of basketball. Michael will benefit from being in an organized sport like basketball or soccer someday and would love a fam-


ily to cheer him on in the sidelines. Michael is also very insightful and determined, two character traits that have helped him in life. Michael also does very well with clear and consistent rules and expectations. Like most kids, Michael really thrives with positive reinforcement and redirection. De’Shawn, born in 2008, is the youngest of this trio. De’Shawn is an energetic, friendly and outgoing boy who is the opposite of shy. He is happy meeting new people and makes friends wherever he goes. De’Shawn loves sports. Basketball, baseball, soccer or football, if it has a ball, he is in! De’Shawn looks up to his big brother and sister and can’t wait to be reunited with them. If you think your family might be a good fit for these great kids, call 888-811-1121 today! Help us keep our siblings together! Photo by Anne Richardson-Daniel

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InGoodTaste Ti s a H i l l

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SB 1146 continued from page 6 unique faith-based approach would be limited.” In Wilhite’s view, the bill is an overreach. It’s trying to find a solution to problems that just aren’t happening on religiousbased campuses. “It’s nothing more than an indictment on our religious freedoms,” he said. But advocacy groups for LGBT rights maintain schools shouldn’t be allowed to receive public funding while hiding behind the façade of religious exemptions to deny transgender students housing or expel a student because of their sexual orientation or gender. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that these schools are discriminating,” said Executive Director, Equality California Rick Zbur. “This is why this bill is paramount because it’s directed at schools receiving public funding and at the same time discriminating against LGBT people.” Terri Boysaw, Chairperson of Political Action Ministry, countered at what she deemed as aspersions lobbied against faith-based colleges over alleged discrimi-

natory policies. “We are very concerned with the word ‘discrimination’ because that is not what our doctrine teaches,” Boysaw said. She added, “We do not teach separation. What we do teach is God’s word. All we are asking is to have the right to dictate our own doctrine within our Christian community.” Another point of contention, say critics, is that the bill tramples on an individual American Liberty: The First Amendment. “This bill would permit the State to dictate to religious institutions how to practice their faith, or whether they could practice any faith at all,” wrote a senior member from Citizen of Zion Ministry Baptist Church in an email to L.A. Focus. Meanwhile, SB 1146 passed the Senate in June by a margin of 7 -2 and now moves to the Assembly Committee after legislation return in August from summer recess. “There are several [peaceful] ways to approach injustice and structural oppression, said Ulmer. “One of the ways is through legislation.”

Money Matters continued from page 8 Universal Pictures announced in March that they are planning a feature film on her life story. Boris Berian, one of the fastest 800m runners in the world, is already the subject of a battle between Nike and New Balance for whose gear he will suit up in. And if Nike wins and he medals, Berian gets an additional $150K. That’s just to appear in the Nike brand and doesn’t count the endorsements that would surely roll in. More gold is likely to boost the stock for 30-year old Allyson Felix, who has ready has six Olympic medals, and will try to become just the third woman in Olympic history to win the 200 and 400 meters in the same Games in Rio. She already has endorsement deals with Chobani yogurt,

Nike, Visa, AT&T and Gatorade. Labeled as one of America’s brightest young track stars Candace Hill ranked as the fastest female runner in U.S. high school history and the 10th fastest in the world last year and is likely to be a huge threat in Rio and someone endorsers are sure to have their eyes on. What a story Aries Merritt, defending gold medalist in the 110-meter hurdles, has. Merritt, who is the world record holder in the event, underwent a kidney transplant last year and if he comes out ahead, is sure to get a big payout. Others to watch include Trayvon Bromwell, Dawn Harper-Nelson, Brittney Reese, Marquise Goodwin, and Ajee Wilson, dubbed America’s 800-meter savior in the women’s category.

Head 2 Head continued from page 25 the government and in the media killed the Civil Rights and Black Power movements and in doing so hoped to kill the causes they championed. Go after their integrity, and neutralize their message in the process. And even if Black Lives Matter was associated with the New Black Panthers — which they are not — so what? Let us not whitewash the legacy of armed self-defense in black America’s civil rights struggles. Let’s not forget that Deacons for Defense protected civil rights workers from Ku Klux Klan violence, and the Black Panthers arose to protect the community from police brutality. Even Dr. King — a nonviolent man and a victim of gun violence himself — was protected by armed foot soldiers. Meanwhile, in his speech at the Dallas shooting memorial service, President Obama gave legitimacy to the Black Lives Matter movement and seemed to dismiss

the Bill O’Reillys of America. “AfricanAmericans from all walks of life, from different communities across the country, voice a growing despair over what they perceive to be unequal treatment,” he said, and a fear that something will happen to their children. “When all this takes place, more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid,” the president noted, adding that it hurts “to have your experience denied like that, dismissed by those in authority.” “That insisting we do better to root out racial bias is not an attack on cops, but an effort to live up to our highest ideals.”

Church News continued from page 18 Bryant saw the show as a great way to do innovative ministry. States Bryant, “When you look at the statistics of millenials in particular who believe in God, but don’t participate in organized religion, that this is an innovative Trojan horse way to bring the gospel to people who are not churchgoers, who won’t watch TBN or The Word Network,

but will watch Fox, Wendy Williams and The Real.” In related news, if you have a story you’re looking to share, T.D. Jakes wants you to share it with him. As he gears up for the official premiere of The TD Jakes Show on September 12, Dallas’ famed Potter’s House pastor, is looking for interesting stories. For more information, visit www.tdjakes.com.

Pastor continued from page 24 about a year after my father had taken over as senior pastor of this church, Bishop [Benjamin] Reed called me in his office. He reached across the desk, put his hand on my hand, and said, ‘Geremy you’re going to be the next pastor of this congregation after your father’. I was 17 or 18 and that is when I finally accepted this would be my job at some point. From then on I did every role you

could think of before leaving to plant the church in Atlanta.

David­ A.­ Love­ is­ a­ a­ writer­ and­ human rights­ activist­ based­ in­ Philadelphia. Follow­David­A.­Love­on­Twitter­at @davidalove­

What­are­you­best­at? A. Encouraging and speaking strength into people. I believe I have a unique ability to connect people to the word and to each other. I look at my job as one who creates an environment for an interaction between you and God—the one willing to create the space.

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Finding Your Pretty

hen a woman improves her appearance, an amazing thing happens. People begin to notice her, her opinion starts to matter and she becomes more confident in who she is. Here are six ways to improve how you look and feel, while powerfully transforming the way you’re perceived by others Make­up­enhances When applied correctly, makeup enhances your natural beauty, calling attention to your best features and concealing flaws. Make up can also help you to project your own sense of yourself. When it is done tastefully and skillfully – along with wardrobe, hair, and nails – it reveals the attention to detail, and sense of self that are the mark of a modern successful woman. Hairstyles­are­powerful Your hair says more than you think. Whether you choose to wear your hair long and straight or pull it up into a messy bun, the hairstyle you choose can say a lot about your personality. If hair can make a statement why not say confident, Nails­show­elegance­ Nails are a special part of our beauty. When we're not wearing makeup or dressed in our best, our nails still make a striking statement of elegance and well cared-for perfect nails keep you feeling good about you. Wardrobe­is­everything Clothes aren’t just clothes because they make an impres-

with Dawn Strozier

sion about who you are.If you present yourself to the world the way you would like to be seen it would change your life. Take the time to find outfits that speak to who you are and wear your best everyday. Posture­is­important Good posture can make you appear taller, thinner and younger and is synonymous with poise and elegance. Adjusting your posture not only transforms the way a garment drapes on you, but also affects the emotional response of people around you. Diet­is­key While weight is an important consideration, your diet can also affect your complexion, your hair and even your mood. Dull complexion, breakouts and blotchy skin, can be a result of your diet. Eating the right kind of food will have a positive impact on your overall mental wellbeing too. You will feel more alive with all the energy, confidence and the feel good factor that a healthy diet brings. Sleep is a must When you are asleep is when your body repairs itself. Skimping on this vital restorative process makes your entire system run less efficiently. Worse still, the signs of sleep deprivation show up on your face. Prioritizing your sleep will decrease puffy eyes and unflattering dark circles and guarantee you look refreshed and amazing. When approving your appearance amazing things start to happen. Get ready to become more daring, courageous and confident.



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So Who Does Your Hair... Stevi Dowells has been a hairstylist since 1996. She is a Brazilian Blowout Master Specialist and an expert at growing long beautiful hair. Stevi prides herself in staying current with the latest hair trends and products. As a result her salon “Hair Elite” has become one of the hottest salons the Hawthorne area. With the reputation of being the best in color, short cuts and hair care Stevi says her salon earned that reputation because of her firm belief in continued education. It is a prerequisite for working in her salon. When asked what keeps her

clients coming back Stevi believe it’s the costumer service they provide. The salon practices a no wait policy for her clients, which require great teamwork. The policy requires a level of excellence from stylists in the salon they set their salon experience apart from any other salon on the city. Clients come from miles away to experience Stevi’s salon and sit in her chair. She is grateful for the level of confidence her clients have in her work and the gift that God has given her with her hands. Stevi believes healthy hair comes in 4 easy steps. 1.) 60 second massage during your shampoo to stimulate blood flow. 2.) Protection your hair from the harmful

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effects of UVA and UVB rays. 3.) Regular trims ever 6 to 8 week from your stylist 4.) Using quality products in between your visits to the salon. She is known for being extremely friendly, professional and fast. Stevi is an advocate of products that include natural oils, keratin, protein and herbs..

Stevi Dowells, Owner Elite Hair Salon Hawthorne, CA 13420 Hawthorne Blvd Hawthorne, CA 310) 970-1820 Instagram @hairelitesalon

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SavingGrace Lisa Raye McCoy

L.A. Focus/August­2016

Lisa Raye McCoy – or Lisa Raye, to her many fans – doesn’t hesitate to admit that she is a renaissance woman of many talents. Coming down from her role in the critically acclaimed Mikki Howard Story, LisaRaye also wowed audiences in her lead role in the Married But Single stage play, only two years after her recent directorial debut with the film, Skinned. “Having my directorial debut...as well as the Mikki Howard Story, and then doing the play...it allowed people to see different sides of me,” Lisa Raye says. “Venturing out, that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m getting my feet wet in all these areas.” While Lisa Raye started out her entertainment career as a model, she says s h e “should h a v e


known” from a young age that she was born to act. “I used to do talent shows, I used to be in the band, and I was also a flag girl. I was singing, dancing, tapping.. I did everything,” Lisa Raye says. “I have looked back at my life and I have said – ‘you have been a big personality for a long time.’ I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it professionally until after I had my daughter.” Lisa Raye broke into the entertainment industry through modeling, and eventually became a sought out runway model. She also became a common face in popular rap music videos, and was featured alongside the likes of Ice Cube, Ginuwine and Lil’ Kim, and even starred in Tupac’s last music video, Toss It Up. But it was a small independent film Reasons that gave Lisa Raye her first break, and she hasn’t stopped acting since, enjoying memorable roles in such films as the “The Player Club” and “Beauty Shop”, while starring opposite Duane Martin and Elise Neal in the hit UPN series “All Of Us” and, more recently, on the VH1 hit series, “Single Ladies”. Earlier this year, she starred in Je’Caryous Johnson’s stage production, “Married But Single”, alongside Darrin Henson, Chrisette Michele, Clifton Powell and Carl Payne. She says doing Married But Single was an “incredible” experience she did not anticipate. “It’s a wonderful stage play. I had an incredible time, and I didn't think I would. This was my first time being the star of a stage show. We sold out everywhere we went. We’re going to do a Part II, and we’re going into a series as well.” But Lisa Raye is also venturing out into the business world. While her entrepreneurial experiences in the past have mostly been tied to fashion (she debuted her lingerie line Luxe & Romance at New York Fashion Week in 2005, and has since released two lines of jeans) Lisa Raye is trying her hand at hosting vision board parties, with a business called Life Locks. “It is my ministry - my give back,” LisaR aye says. “I started last year. It’s really a phenomenal workshop and seminar. It’s like arts and crafts in the living room of Lisa Raye.” The seminars, she says, offer a visual way for attendees to sort out and understand their goals for the future, while also connecting with others. “People come, we have brunch together. We meditate together. We make lists of your goals, cut out stuff out of magazines – what’s the last time you’ve done arts and crafts except when it was your kid's project? It’s a fun and powerful tool that you use for your life.” The experience, she observes, can be religious, but for the most part, she considers it to be a spiritual journey for everyone.

“Religion is like politics, a lot of people don't want to talk about it. But now we’re talking about it more than we ever have. However, I try to make it a more spiritual venting session, sit in an environment with likeminded people that are there for the same reasons.” “Everything starts with a vision,” she says. “When we dream, we dream in picture form. When we take that concept – make a plan, write it down, make it clear that’s what that means.” Lisa Raye’s own religious path has been energized and unpredictable. While she did go to church as a child (although she admits it wasn’t a “church every Sunday” kind of faith), she was only baptized two years ago, having explored and searched various faiths. “I am on a spiritual journey,” says the Chicago native who is the older sister of hip hop artist, Da Brat. Faith became her saving grace after coming to terms with the sudden death of her father many years ago. “My father was murdered in Chicago a year before I had my daughter. I kind of felt lost— like I was drowning. I lost touch with God when my father was murdered - how could God do this to me? He surely doesn’t love me. I had to come out of that and heal myself. I no longer liked Chicago, so I left with my daughter and came to Los Angeles. It just felt good here.” “I thought I might want to be Catholic. Then I started researching Buddhism, and I was a Buddhist for five or six years. Then I started searching again.” Since, she’s established a strong connection with her faith and God. “Definitely it has very much humbled me,” the twice divorced mother of one reveals. “It has strengthened my faith and my relationship with God. And knowing that I need to find passion and purpose for my life, it put me in alignment with my purpose. Just knowing that I have to muster up the energy to achieve what I need to achieve to do my part in the world. I have a connection to the world, a responsibility, to raise my daughter to be a responsible citizen. We are all connected.” Staying balanced, she says, is key in a life as hectic and colorful as hers so she surrounds herself with encouraging, positive people. “You need to be around good folks. Have a good mentor, a good therapist, a good, mature friend. You’re not alive, you’re not excited (without those people).” She says that while her status has sometimes made it difficult to determine how sincere people are, she has many people in her life that she trusts. “It is hard for people like me on my level or my status...that’s pretty lonely as well. You look at people – are you getting know me because you want to know me? You kind of feel like a princess in a glass house.” But these days, she’s most passionate about her “LifeRocks Seminars”, the latest one of which is scheduled later this month at The Merge Summit.

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