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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









MONEY MATTERS: JAY-Z’S Tidal & Sprint Join Forces PAGE



ENTERTAINMENT: Oscars Not So White This Year PAGE


Angeles except the 47,000 homeless >> ofmen,Loswomen and children who, at sundown, There’s no place like home for every resident

make their way to a freeway underpass, dilapidated tent, or a local shelter in hopes of a good night’s sleep.

THROUGH THE STORM: L.A. Pastor Is Walking Miracle




contents February 2017

L.A. Focus Publication

Left; New Edition receives a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame; Center; USC President C.L. Max Nikias, Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Tom Steyer attend the 25th Annual Empowerment Congress Summit; Right; (L)Peabo Bryson, (C)Bill Withers, (R) Ed Gordon attend the 25th Anual Trumpet Awards in Atlanta, GA

Commentary Trump scrubs civil rights,LGBTQ rights, climate change

5 From The Editor from White


6 Head to Head 7 Headlines From Africa Feature Story 10 Money Matters 12

Ralphs Announces Remolding Plans Amid Backlash over Unsanitary Conditions; The Fight Is On To Protect Health Care In California, Says Foundation Head

Does The Solution To High Crime Rest With Blacks?

The Mounting Problem of L.A.’s Growing Homelessness

Tidal Music and Sprint Join Forces

Biz News Briefs

Rosalind Brewer Exits Sam’s Club; Joins Starbucks Multicultural Millenials Spend Over $65 Million Per Year JPMorgan Chase Settles Mortgage Discrimination Suit

On The Money Obama’s New Digs


Inside Hollywood

The Quad;Putting HBCU’s In The Spotlight;Big Honors For Denzel; The New Edition Story Review


Publisher/Editor-In-Chief Editorial Coordinator Contributors Photographer Advertising Social Media Coordinator

Lisa Collins Antracia Moorings Gerald Bell, Emma Gannon, Stephen Oduntan Ian Foxx, Rickey Brown Kisha Smith Leatha Davis Jinoye Henry

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.

One On One Tony Rock



Pastor Ticey Brown - Mt. Tabor Missionary Baptist Church

16 Calendar/Around LA 18 Red Carpet Style The Body You Want Eye On Gospel 29 19 Saving Grace 30 21Through The Storm Church News 22 First Lady Files 23 24 Pastor Profile

Mary McLeod Bethune’s Sweet Potato Pie

74th Annual Golden Globe Awards

With Nichol Goff

With Dawn Strozier

Kim Burrell Sparks LGBT Controversy With Sermon;Fortune Hurt in Car Collision Caused by Drunk Driver

CeCe Winans

L.A. Pastor Becomes A Certified Walking Miracle

Stephen Davis Named to New Birth E.Wayne Gaddis To be Installed as Pastor of St. Augustine Missionary Baptist Church

Channe Thompson—Uplift Christian Fellowship

CONGRATULATIONS to Simone Biles— who was in L.A. last month to attend the Golden Globes—on the release of her first book, “Courage To Soar: A Body In Motion, A Life In Balance”

Pastor Dwaine Jackson—Bryant Temple

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 West Angeles C.O.G.I.C. Bishop Charles Blake City of Refuge 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 Copyright, January 1995 by L.A. Focus: Unsolicited manuscripts/photographs are not accepted, nor shall any responsibility for them be assumed.


25 In Good Taste 28Behind The Beauty From The Pulpit

Cover Design: Ups

cale Media Gro up


DAVID A. LOVE Guest Columnist

“Trump scrubs civil rights, LGBTQ rights, climate change from”


atch President Donald Trump and follow his actions carefully. Even in the early days of his administration, he is telling you what he thinks about you and what he plans to do. A case in point: Those issues he removed from the White House website. As soon as Trump took the oath of office, the site changed drastically. And you should be alarmed. All of a sudden, the sections devoted to civil rights, LGBTQ rights, climate change, health care and people with disabilities are gone. If you care about these important issues, you need to go to the archived Obama White House website. There were rumors that Trump had removed certain terms such as “LGBT” and “climate change,” but in reality — even worse — those pages are gone. Replacing the civil rights page is a section called “Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community.” Don’t expect President Trump to stand up for your civil rights. The new president, who campaigned on “law and order,” more racial profiling and increased police monitoring of Black communities, was endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police. The nation’s largest police union endorsed Trump with the demand that he bring back legalized racial profiling to federal agencies. Trump’s attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions, is a racist who has shown nothing but hostility towards civil rights and voting rights and outright disdain for people of color throughout his career. And the new occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue chose the King Day weekend to pick a fight with civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis and disrespect the man’s legacy. While Obama was interested in criminal justice reform and addressing police violence, Trump and his people made it clear that Blue Lives Matter, that there is a war on police, and promoted the notion that Black Lives Matter activists are lawless thugs and criminals. “One of the fundamental rights of every American is to live in a safe community. A Trump Administration will empower our law enforcement officers to do their jobs and keep our streets free of crime and violence,” says the new White House site. “The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration. President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public. The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.” And instead of discussing climate change, the new White House page has a section

From the Editor

called “An America First Energy Plan.” Trump has said in no uncertain terms that he believes climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese. “For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years,” according to the Trump White House site. Similarly, as Trump, his surrogates and advisers have displayed hostility towards the LGBTQ community and people with disabilities and vowed to eliminate Obamacare, it stands to reason they would erase any mention of that subject matter. But it goes deeper. These dramatic changes to the White House website mirror the drastic and draconian cuts this president plans to make to the government. To sum it up, he’s getting rid of everything. If he gets his way, Trump will cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He will eliminate the Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and cut the Civil Rights and Environment and Natural Resources divisions. He also wants to gut the Violence Against Women Grants, which fund state and local anti-domestic abuse programs, and the Legal Services Corporation, which provides free legal assistance to the poor. Also on the chopping block are the Minority Business Administration, which helps minority business owners obtain funding and resources, and the Economic Development Agency, which assists low income people with jobs programs. And he’ll privatize public broadcasting and dismantle the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Trillions of dollars are at stake — anything and everything that is important if you care about the positive role of government in society and promoting the general welfare. So, the changes to point to much more. “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other,” Trump said in his inauguration speech, channeling his inner Hitler. The angry white man has returned, and if you are not one of his kind, you need to step back. That means he expects you to get in line, stop complaining, and expect nothing, as he exploits the people and defiles the land. You have no rights he is bound to respect. Know this. Follow David A. Love on Twitter at @davidalove.


Yes We Can. Yes We Did.


back at Western University in 1917. It was what inspired him, the son of a former slave to become the first African-American to own a string of successful businesses in Omaha, Nebraska (including a dance hall, a real estate company and two grocery stores among whose young customers was Malcolm Little— who would grow up to inspire a generation as Malcolm X). My grandmother—who lived through 19 presidents— before dying at the age of 105, could still remember a time when as a kid she had to move off the sidewalk if a white man passed and all the other indignities that came part and parcel with the Jim Crow south. Yet, in spite of it, she graduated near the top of her class in 1924 at a historical black college, Lincoln University, with a degree in chemistry and minor in French. Years later, she would go on to receive her Masters at USC and send her eldest daughter there as an undergraduate. Most of us are surrounded by living history. My dad was a Tuskegee Airman as well as a confidante of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. My stepmother, Evelyn Boyd Granville, was one of the nation’s first African American women to earn a PhD in Mathematics (and what’s more she did it at Yale University). She was another of those ‘hidden figures” who would go on to work on various projects for the North American Aviation Space and Information Systems Division, including the Apollo and Mercury space programs—incorporating trajectory computation and analyzing orbits. So as we celebrate black history month, some of us need look no further than some of the mostly uncelebrated heroes in our own lives who have not only been eyewitnesses to history, but part of it for in America, as Barack Obama reminded us in his farewell speech as president, we have the freedom to chase our individual dreams through our sweat, toil, and imagination – and the imperative to strive together as well, to achieve a greater good. He went on to ask Americans to believe. “Not in my ability to bring about change – but in yours. I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written: Yes We Can. Yes We Did.” Keep the faith.

L.A. Focus/February 2017

t was back in 1915 that Carter G. Woodson established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in the hopes that publishing scientific and historical facts about the black race would prove to the world that they had played a crucial role in the development of civilization and that with this truth, reason would prevail over prejudice. Not only did the Harvard-trained historian believe that scientific history would dispel racial falsehoods, but that the community of white scholars would alter its view of the black race and the race problem would gradually disappear. With that, Woodson began to urge black groups to promote the achievements researchers were uncovering and in 1924 they established Negro History and Literature Week. In the years that followed Woodson expanded the program to re-educate blacks as well as enlighten whites, selecting the week of February that included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It wasn’t until more than two decades after he died in 1950 that the week would be expanded into a month—Black History Month. Too bad, he didn’t live to see the movie, “Hidden Figures”. He would have loved the story of women so smart that they outshined many of their white colleagues at NASA and contributed so much to America’s space race. They say timing is everything and I would have to agree as I believe I was born at a very good time. Much too late to know Jim Crow and just in time to see the country changed by the spirit of love enveloped in a movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King and followed by three decades of triumphant breakthrough, landing me front and center for a generation of firsts. There was the first to graduate from this or that university; the first black astronaut; the first black Fortune 500 CEO; the first black attorney general and so on. There was a steady high profile parade of them: Jackie Robinson, L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley, Shirley Chisholm, Alex Haley, Thurgood Marshall, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald (the first black man and black woman respectively to win a Grammy), Mae Jemison, Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, Ralph Bunche and the list goes on. It was a time when you gave a shout out when you saw a black on television and beamed with pride when it became known that a black man or woman had done something great. With the advances of blacks on most every front, moments like those don’t hold the same luster they once did except for Black History Month when we honor our rich legacy or such monumental moments as the election of America’s first black president, Barack Obama. "Find a way or make one" was the family phrase instilled in my siblings and cousins for as long as we could remember. It was the title of my grandfather's thesis


UpFront Ralphs Announces Remodeling Plans Amid Backlash Over Unsanitary Conditions

News Briefs STEPHEN ODUNTAN Staff Writer


ore than 80 people crowded into a small room at the Constituents Service Center in South L.A. after photos of what appeared to be rodent droppings or mold taken at the Gramercy Park Ralphs supermarket located at 1730 W. Manchester Avenue were posted on Facebook. The post went viral, sparking outrage online that brought new attention to the South Los Angeles grocery chain—a location that locals have complained about for years. Kendra Doyel, a spokesperson for the grocery company, told L.A. Focus there were no rodent droppings and that “it was someone’s perception, which was misinformed.” She underscored that the disturbing pictures depicted in the photos taken by 31-year old resident Kandice Hill “was a very isolated incident”, but added the store passed health inspections “with flying colors.” Hill rebuffed Doyel’s assertion that the supermarket was in impeccable shape, adding that three or four days after posting the photos on Facebook, she revisited the same Ralphs location. “They cleaned up a little bit—because of all the negative publicity they got all over the news and social media—but I went over to the open refrigerator, and the chickens had dripped liquid. . . blood and all that stuff. I honestly don’t know why that Ralphs location is still open.” Other area residents complained about the lack of access to healthier foods. “I live in South L.A., but I have to drive five miles to the nearest Trader Joe’s to do my shopping,” Toni Ann Johnson said. Johnson was one of the residents expressing their frustration at a the neighborhood council meeting last month. Doyel, who also attended the meeting, told residents that the Gramercy Park

Ralphs is the focus of fierce investment activity. “The store’s set to have a $5 million investment,” said Doyel. “I’m not here to offer any excuses,” continued Doyel. “I agree the store’s been neglected for far too long.” Still, Doyel’s words offered little comfort to many in attendance that evening who peppered her with questions and concerns about the unsanitary issue that has plagued the supermarket. “Would you eat or shop there,” one audience member asked Doyel, who then replied “yes I would” but the crowd echoing “no you wouldn’t”. The crowd also expressed concerns about the inconvenience remodeling construction might have on shoppers. Samahndi Cunningham, the field representative for Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, urged the audience to contact their local officials if they believe the Ralphs supermarket’s construction isn’t moving at a reasonable speed. “If you see something wrong, call our office,” Cunningham said Cunningham, who also noted that once news about the unhealthy conditions at the Ralphs supermarket reached

Burke’s office, they contacted Ralph’s vice president, as well as the California Grocery Association. “It’s important to hold everybody accountable,” she said. Nonetheless, other residents at the meeting voiced skepticism about the timing of the new renovations. “They’re only investing now because there’s a new stadium coming,” Karen Thomas said. But Doyel reassured them the company had been planning to remodel that location for well over a year. “I’ve been in this community for 35 years, and I’ve seen not even a slap of paint put on Ralphs,” said Edward K. Watson, another local in the audience skeptical of the sincerity of the re-investment in the store. Doyel maintained that regardless of the neighborhood, it’s important that every Ralphs location remains a great shopping experience for every customer. “That’s how we operate as a company.” The Gramercy Park Ralphs is expected to complete remodeling in four months.

The Fight Is On To Protect Health Care In California, Says Foundation Head


L.A. Focus/February 2017

s Republicans seek to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, advocacy organizations around the nation are strategizing on how best to respond. Do they defend the law at all costs? Do they take part in the repeal conversation so they can help design an alternative? The California Endowment, a private health foundation in Los Angeles, was among the state’s biggest backers of the Affordable Care Act, spending tens of millions of dollars on outreach and awareness. Robert K. Ross, the foundation’s president and CEO, was one of the founding board members of the state’s health insurance exchange, Covered California. The endowment last month announced it would invest $25 million in “Fight4All,” an initiative to help preserve health and safety programs throughout the state. We spoke to Ross about the potential impact of a repeal as well as about the organization’s plans for the future. Q: What are your biggest concerns about the new administration’s health care plans? The stakes are exceedingly high. The last three to four years of progress represent the closest we have ever come to a vision of universal health cov-


erage. We have gone from 7 million uninsured pre-Obamacare in California to 3.5 million. The very thought of losing that progress is somewhere between nauseating and mind-blowing. There are three things we are worried about specifically. The first is the subsidies and the federal dollar support for that. The second is the support for Medicaid expansion. And the third is the very thoughtful, well-intended reform provisions — beyond coverage — that Obamacare represented: quality improvements, prevention investments and the shift from emphasis on volume of services to value of services. The state of California has leveraged

ANNA GORMAN Kaiser Health News

nearly $20 billion in federal support to expand health coverage, and so the thought of losing that is really quite painful. Q: What is the strategy moving forward? We are fighting on two fronts. One is to fight to preserve as many provisions of Obamacare as we can. At the very same time, we want to slow down the process enough for a thoughtful “replace” part of “repeal and replace.” We know that President-elect [Donald] Trump will have a much harder time than he ever considered or envisioned in the “replace” part of Obamacare. It is simply not that easy. Some of the most skilled politicians in the world have failed on health reform. If it is going to be attempted, it needs to be done carefully and thoughtfully. The strategy is to support the many, many advocacy organizations we have supported over the years in extolling the real virtues and benefits of Obamacare and the success of the exchanges, particularly of the California exchange. California’s experience is a real model for the nation. We have been able to control premium increases better than other Healthcare continued to page 26

Mayor Announces Free Tax Prep To Low Income Families Mayor Eric Garcetti today launched a campaign to provide low-to-moderate income households with free tax preparation services, and help taxpayers claim State and Federal tax credits. “Filing taxes can be complicated — and without professional assistance, too many eligible residents aren’t aware of tax credits that can put thousands of dollars back in their pockets,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Angelenos work hard, and should claim the refunds they’re due. That money can help working parents get quality childcare, reduce debt and invest in themselves and their children in so many meaningful ways.” Households with annual incomes of $54,000 or less may qualify for approximately $9,000 in cash back through the State and Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). “Los Angeles is home to 60 percent of California’s eligible EITC filers, yet families in Los Angeles leave over $566 million in unclaimed tax credits on the table each year,” said James Alva, Southern California Market Manager, Citi Community Development. Free Tax Prep Los Angeles has identified 23 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites across the City and County in communities with the most need of tax filing support, offering free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing available to qualified individuals. For more information about campaign, visit this

Controversial Ballot Measure Could Mean For Civilian Oversight For LAPD The L.A. City Council has voted to move forward with a controversial measure on the May ballot, that would —if passed—give residents more input in the disciplinary procedures of LAPD officers with the creation of a civilian review board for police disciplinary hearings. After noting that such procedures hadn’t been reviewed or evaluated in over two decades, City Council President Herb Wesson introduced the motion last month calling for more civilian oversight. The very same day the council voted, community activists initiated a recall effort against L.A. County D.A. Jackie Lacey in the wake of her decision not to file charges against two LAPD officers in the fatal 2014 shooting of Ezell Ford. Wesson hopes that the move will spark more discussion about the relationship between the police and the public. Said Wesson, “That’s a good thing.” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has voiced his opposition to an all-civilian board of rights panel, while supporting greater involvement on the past of civilians. Ironically, statistics show that civilians serving on such boards tend to be more lenient, voting for lighter penalties for police. Wesson counters, “If statistics and numbers would indicate that there is a certain degree of leniency when people, civilians, citizens are involved, then we need to change the way that we select the citizens.” The council additionally voted for staff to prepare a report that includes a plan to conduct community hearings on the proposed civilian panels, a review of all civilian examiners, and an examination of liability claims and payouts related to the LAPD.

Does The Solution To High Crime Rest With Blacks?


he FBI reported that the total en many businesses out, The Black number of homicides in 2015 forces residents to bear the Community and was 15,696. Blacks were costs of shopping outside Crime about 52 percent of homicide victheir neighborhoods. tims. Fearing robberies, taxi That means about 8,100 black lives drivers — including black drivers — often were ended violently, and over 90 percent refuse to do home pickups in black neighof the time, the perpetrator was another borhoods and frequently pass up black cusblack. tomers hailing them. Plus, there's the Listening to the news media and the insult associated with not being able to Black Lives Matter movement, one would receive pizza or other deliveries on the think that black deaths at the hands of same terms as people police are the major problem. in other neighborIt turns out that in 2015, police across hoods. the nation shot and killed 986 people. Of In low-crime that number, 495 were white (50 percent), n e i g h b o r h o o d s , 258 were black (26 percent) and 172 FedEx, UPS and other Hispanic (17 percent). delivery companies A study of 2,699 fatal police killings routinely leave packbetween 2013 and 2015, conducted by ages that contain John R. Lott Jr. and Carlisle E. Moody of valuable merchandise Walter the Crime Prevention Research Center, on a doorstep if no one Williams demonstrates that the odds of a black sus- is at home. That saves pect's being killed by a black police officer the expense of redelivery or recipients were consistently greater than a black sus- from having to go pick up the packages. pect's getting killed by a white officer. In low-crime communities, supermarPoliticians, race hustlers and the news ket managers may leave plants, fertilizer media keep such studies under wraps and other home and garden items outbecause these studies don't help their nar- doors, often unattended and overnight. rative about racist cops. They display merchandise at entryways The homicide victim is not the only vic- and exits. Where there is less honesty, tim, whether he is a criminal or not, for supermarkets cannot use all the space that there are mourning loved ones. No one they lease, and hence they are less profever fully recovers from having a son, itable. In high-crime neighborhoods, delivdaughter, husband, mother or father mur- ery companies leaving packages at the dered. Murder is not the only crime that door and supermarkets leaving goods outtakes a heavy toll on the black community. side unattended would be equivalent to Blacks are disproportionately repre- economic suicide. sented as victims in every category of vioPoliticians who call for law and order lent crime — e.g., forcible rape, robbery are often viewed negatively, but poor peoand aggravated assault. ple are the most dependent on law and Today's level of lawlessness and insecu- order. In the face of high crime or social rity in many black communities is a rela- disorder, wealthier people can afford to tively new phenomenon. In the 1930s, '40s purchase alarm systems, buy guard dogs, and '50s, people didn't bar their windows. hire guards and, if things get too bad, Doors were often left unlocked. People did- move to a gated community. These options n't go to bed with the sounds of gunshots. are not available to poor people. The only What changed everything was the liberal protection they have is an orderly society. vision that blamed crime on poverty and Ultimately, the solution to high crime racial discrimination. rests with black people. Given the current Academic liberals and hustling politi- political environment, it doesn't pay a cians told us that to deal with crime, we black or white politician to take those had to deal with those "root causes." Plus, steps necessary to crack down on lawlesscourts began granting criminals new ness in black communities. rights that caused murder and other vioWalter E. Williams is a professor of ecolent crime rates to skyrocket. The liberals' nomics at George Mason University. To argument ignores the fact that there was find out more about Walter E. Williams far greater civility in black neighborhoods and read features by other Creators at a time when there was far greater Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the poverty and discrimination. Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creThe presence of criminals, having driv-

ow many of you can name conducted by professors at the Black Lives a Black child whose tragUniversity of British Columbia ic abduction or unsolved Matter—Just Not As and the University of Michigan Much As White murder made national headLaw School. The study covered Ones! lines? Stumped? Me too. And 58,000 federal criminal cases yet many of us can tick off with ease the and found that Black Americans receive names Elizabeth Smart, Jon Benet almost 60% longer prison sentences than Ramsey and Jaycee Dugard. We even white Americans who committed the same know the name of Madeleine McCann, a crime. British child who was abducted in Still need further proof of racial bias? Portugal in 2007. Why do we know these Consider the near apocalyptic violence names but not those that’s devastating the city of Chicago. of Black, Hispanic or With three weeks still left in 2016, there Asian victims? The have been more than 700 murders in the sad, irrefutable windy city. Most of the victims—young answer is that if you black men caught up in the unending cycle live in America today of senseless gang violence. You would and your skin is think such an epidemic of violence would white, your life is val- demand a massive congressional response ued more than the to attack the roots of the problem, which lives of people of sociologists attribute to the chronic probAreva color. lems of broken families, poor education, Martin Williams substance abuse and lack of jobs. But to Walter opines that the solution to high crime rests date, the only response has been to send with Blacks and that "Academic liberals more ATF and FBI agents to assist in yet and hustling politicians" blame high another crackdown on crime. And don’t crime rates in Black communities on expect a different approach from the poverty and discrimination are dead incoming Trump administration. The wrong. I say Williams' theory is myopic Donald has already gone on record with and fails to acknowledge an undeniable Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, saying that Chicago's reality in the history and fabric of crime problem could be solved by police America: race. Any thoughtful analysis of "being very much tougher" than they are crime in the U.S. has to include the impact now, adding that during a Chicago visit he of slavery, Jim Crow laws, the 13th met with "very top police" and was told the Amendment to the Constitution and our problem could be stopped in a week with entire system of laws and policies designed tough tactics. to criminalize and demonized Black men The “very tough” law and order approach and in the process devalue them and their is in sharp contrast with the tactics being offsprings. This systemic devaluation of proposed to combat the heroin and opioid Black people has and continues to have a crisis that’s afflicting whites across the profound impact on how we and others northeast and the Appalachian region of view us, and most importantly, our the south. To combat that problem, conactions. gress recently passed the 21 Century This is not a burden that whites carry. Cures Act, a bill that would, among other Plainly, White lives are valued more by things, send one-billion dollars to states to the news media, by law enforcement agen- help combat heroin and painkiller addiccies, and they’re valued more by judges tion. And how about getting tough on who stock our court system. Think of the crime? Well, here’s how the Huffington case of Ethan Couch, the “affluenza” teen Post described the bill: who killed four people while driving “What may be the most remarkable about drunk, and yet the judge spared him jail the money appropriated by the Cures act time and only sentenced him to ten years is not what it funds, but what it doesn’t. of probation. Then there’s the story of None of it is directed toward the traditionBrock Turner, the Stanford University al drug war preoccupations of enforcement swimmer who raped an unconscious or imprisonment. Instead, the money goes woman but was only given a six-month toward expanding treatment and prevenprison sentence because the judge rea- tion and beefing up drug monitoring prosoned “a prison sentence would have a grams and training for health care severe impact on him.” providers.” This type of preferential treatment is You’d like to think that if heroin and opihardly atypical according to a joint study Areva Martin continued to page 26


A look at current news from the continent of Africa

Headlines From Africa Angola: Angolan banks appealed to the government for a bailout package to protect account holders as lenders reel from low oil prices that make up the majority of the country’s foreignexchange earnings. Burkina Faso: Burkina Faso joined with Niger and Mali to set up an anti-terrorism force to fight against insecurity in an area sitting across their borders believed to be a growing sanctuary for terrorists. Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): A new agreement is paving the way for the nation’s first Democratic transition of power. Under the agreement, presidential, legislative, and provincial elections will be held no later than December 2017. President Kabila cannot seek a third term but will remain in office until a successor is in place. In the interim, there can be no amendments to the constitution, and the government will announce a unity government led by a prime minister from the opposition.

Liberia: Three mineral water companies were red-flagged in Monrovia for poor quality and shabby environments. Consumers charged that the water had irritating odors and was a health risk. Of the over 482 water producing companies in the country, less of half of them are registered according to one report and there is no formal standardization. Namibia: Two indigenous groups in Namibia have filed a lawsuit in New York against Germany accusing it of genocide committed by colonial rulers over a century ago. The two countries have been in discussions about a joint declaration on massacres carried out by German settlers during the 1900s, although Berlin has repeatedly refused to acknowledge that genocide occurred or to

Nigeria: The Nigerian government is urging its people to disregard rumors that President Muhammadu Buhari is in ill health, after social media reported on his travel to Britain for medical checks, adding that the 74-year old leader was in good health. Buhari is expected to resume work on Feb. 6 South Africa: Africa’s first independent fact-checking organization, Africa Check has confirmed that South Africans consume more alcohol than anywhere else in Africa, more than double the average for 53 African countries. Subsequently, it also boasts the highest number of people dying of alcohol-related diseases. South Sudan: The world's newest nation was admitted into the EAC East African Community (EAC) bloc, but sporadic violence between the government troops and rebels led by the former vice president Riek Machar continues to worry EAC officials. Sudan: As a result of “sustained progress” by the Government of Sudan including a reduction in offensive military activity, a pledge to maintain the cessation of hostilities and steps toward improving humanitarian access throughout the country, President Obama lifted U.S. sanctions against Sudan. The change in regulations is also meant to further incentivize the Sudanese government to continue improving its conduct. Zambia: Police authorities in Zambia have banned officers from marrying foreigners and instructed officers, already married to foreigners, to declare their foreign spouses or face disciplinary action. “Issues of security are delicate. If not careful, spouses can be spies and can sell the security of the country,’’ Police Spokesperson Esther Katongo said, adding that the law had always been there but was being ignored by officers. Zimbabwe: Cash-strapped, Zimbabwe officials are offering to pay government workers with land instead of their usual bonuses. As the nation’s economy stalls, the government has been hard-pressed to pay the salaries that add up to more than $250 million per month. A plan to cut as many as 25,000 jobs was shelved after mass protests in September.

L.A. Focus/February 2017

Gambia: With his return home, Gambia’s President Adama Barrow— who defeated Yahya Jammeh in December elections — solidified his position as the nation’s first new commander in chief in two decades. Jammeh, who had at first refused to cede power after 22 years, finally bowed to international pressure. Had talks failed, West African troops were set to oust the former ruler. Barrow has promised to reverse many of Jammeh’s authoritarian policies.

pay compensation.


An Unsung Hero from Selma, Alabama Called Leatha ate one Monday afternoon, as a broken fire hydrant gushed water into a busy street in Inglewood, Leatha Clay Davis, 72, sat behind her desk where she works as an executive sales agent. Her air-conditioned third-floor office with a clear view of the small storm drew a striking contrast to her childhood days picking cotton in the fields under the scorching sun. “I was already picking cotton from sunup to sundown at five years old,” she said. Leatha, as she insisted on being called, grew up in Selma, Alabama, a city that gained international notoriety in March 1965 for the “Bloody Sunday” assaults upon black protesters during the SelmaMontgomery Voting Rights March. Although Leatha, the daughter of a sharecropper, suffered emotional wounds from the social upheavals of the time, she wears an enormous smile, exposing her straight,


white teeth against her dark skin as she recounted tumultuous events of poverty and violent racism of her native South. “After we’d worked tirelessly, making sure the cotton was perfectly cleaned, the white man with the pen who counted everything would always tell my father he only broke even,” she said in her soft and gentle voice. “For all the work we did, he only gave my father one dollar and a one-gallon bucket of syrup . . . My father was cheated out of thousands of dollars, and that’s what made me know that sharecropping was no life for me.” She was a high school student, just 17 when she began to stand in the front ranks of civil rights marchers. Facing off against them were ardent segregationists who often employed extreme measures to defend Jim Crow laws—a legal system based on white supremacy. She spoke of whites committing vicious acts against

blacks with impunity and underscored that these attacks were a routine occurrence. Women and children, she said were not shielded from such horrors. “In those days, if you didn’t say ‘yes sir, no sir’ to the white man, you were subject to be lynched,” Leatha said. But a determined and even quite stubborn Leatha believed racial equality was a birthright, and that she had to free herself from the shackles of racism. She credits her Christian faith with emboldening her and thrusting her into the fray. As they marched, Leatha said they sang songs like: Before I be a slave I’ll be buried in my grave And go home to my Lord and be free. “We wholeheartedly believed that,” she Unsung Hero continued to page 26


Record Crowd Attends the BHERC 23rd Annual African American Film Marketplace and S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase


he Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) hosted its 23rd Annual African American Film Marketplace (AAFM) and S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase over the MLK holiday weekend in Hollywood. Opening to an overflow crowd with a “A Great Day in Black Hollywood,” the starstudded event hosted by actress Wendy Raquel Robinson, celebrated the 2017 class of BHERC honorees. Producer/director Preston L. Holmes was presented the Ivan Dixon Award of Achievement, named for the Emmy-nominated actor, director, and producer best known for his series role in the 1960s sitcom Hogan's Heroes and his active role in the civil rights. Nate Parker, writer/director of Birth of a Nation, was on hand to present the award and spoke of his firsthand knowledge of Holmes’ passion and commitment to his craft and desire to be a strong, positive role model. Holmes has made significant strides breaking barriers as a director, producer and assistant television director on feature films, television movies and documentaries. The 30-year veteran credits include work on Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing”, “Mo Better Blues”, “Jungle Fever” and “Malcolm X”. He produced and co-produced “Juice” with Ernest Dickerson; “New Jack City”, “Posse” and “Panther” with Mario Van Peebles. In 1994, Holmes became President of Def Pictures where he exec produced “Gridlock’d” and “Def Jam’s How to Be a Player”. He produced the award-winning TV movie BOYCOTT and the Academy Award-nominated documentary Tupac Resurrection. He was the associate producer of Hustle and Flow, executive producer – The Best Man Holiday, a producer of the critically acclaimed “The Birth of a Nation”, and an executive producer on “Almost Christmas”. Emmy Award-winning actor Glynn Turman presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Lillian Benson for her groundbreaking film work, longevity, and continued contributions to film. Benson holds the distinction of being the first African American woman to become a member of the internationally recognized honorary society of film editors the American Cinema Editors (ACE), where she presently serves on the board. Benson’s body of work includes television, video and feature film spanning 30 years. Nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Editing - Informational/News for her work on Eyes on the Prize, the native New Yorker is also known for her work on

Life Is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story, The Revolutionary War and The Old Settler. Benson has contributed to films that have garnered five Emmy nominations, four Peabody Awards, and numerous other honors. In 2004, Benson made her directorial debut with All Our SonsFallen Heroes of 9/11, a half hour documentary about the firefighters of color who died at the World Trade Center, broadcast nationally on PBS and recently completed AMEN - The Life and Music of Jester Hairston, an internationally-known choral arranger. Founder and film angel Sandra EversManly recognized high school instructor and filmmaker Darryl McCane with the 2017 President’s Award in recognition of his commitment and dedication to the next generation of filmmakers The 29-year teaching veteran, who is in his 13th year at Washington Prep, has worked with entertainment business part- L-R: Daryl McCann, Wendy Raquel Robinson, BHERC Founder Sandra Evers-Manly, Lillian Benson, Preston Holmes ners, BHERC and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, to establish a Closing out the evening was an encore program that affords inner-city students cerns and challenges faced by ‘youth at presentation of the first film produced by professional mentors as they grow aca- BHERC’s Youth Diversity Film Festival. “In addition to films depicting issues FWAP, Forgiveness. This story features a demically and creatively. Many of his students are in foster care, have been incar- facing humanity today, we screened films young man, who upon learning about slavcerated, and are living in single-family to simulate young artists to think about ery in his class, declares that the President homes. Since starting at Washington Prep, robotics, technology and science,” said needs to make a national apology for America’s involvement in slavery. The 25McCane has raised over $1 million in Evers-Manly. BHERC’s presentation of “An Evening minute short film was written and directscholarships and paid internships. More notably, he has increased the graduation with Films With A Purpose,” featured the ed by Satie Gossett, a Los Angeles based rate for students who have studied in his premiere of two newly completed movies writer, director, and producer. Satie is best known for the comedic class and was awarded by the LAUSD produced by Films With A Purpose Career Technical Education department (FWAP). Wild Roots, a gritty 22-minute short film, Jewtholic, a religious comedy for having the highest retention rate in the short film by first-time filmmaker, narrated by his father, Louis Gossett, Jr. writer/director Sir Wormley received rave He also directed Departure, a short film, district for two consecutive years. Over 68 films—selected from over 1000 applause by viewers. The film focuses on which was featured at the MacWorld entries from all over the world—were the life of a reformed gang member who Conference in San Francisco. The film shot screened as part of the S.E. Manly Short gets out of jail and wants to change his life, exclusively with an iPhone 4S screened at the Cannes Film Festival along with Film Showcase. Topics included social jus- but the “hood” won't let him go easily. Wormley, born and raised in Long another of his short films, 10 Minutes, tice, relationships, comedy, suspense and conflict, the plight of the real world and Beach, spoke of finding his passion for starring Glenn Plummer and Kent writing while incarcerated and attending Faulcon. Satie completed this latest short compelling women-centered narratives. “This is a festival with a purpose. We BHERC programs since 2013, inspiring film, Forgiveness, which screened at the Congressional Black Caucus in spotlight our screenwriters and film pro- him to become a filmmaker. The second spotlighted film, Child Washington, DC, won awards at the 2016 ducers and provide the opportunity to display their creative talents and tell their Support, written and directed by Alcee H. Ocktober Film Festival and the 2016 stories about our struggles, success, and Walker, showcased how young girls strug- Malibu Film Festival. Founded in 1996 by Sandra Eversdevelopment in a way that feeds the mind, gle to find emotional outlets through the body and soul; to engage the audience and lens of school violence. In the poignant 8- Manly, BHERC is a nonprofit, public bento stimulate critical conversations minute short, the viewer is witness to how efit organization designed to advocate, amongst themselves, the actors and direc- students are placed in the middle of their educate, research, develop, and preserve tors around the dinner table—a table com- parents’ struggles and compete with their the history and future of Blacks in film prised of diverse attendees of all ages siblings for emotional support while simul- and television and is one of the first film mixed with inquisitiveness, wisdom and taneously facing bullies at school. Notably, festivals to screen diverse short films more wit,” stated BHERC and FWAP founder the cast was recruited through an than two decades ago. Instagram post that drew submissions For more information about BHERC or Sandra Evers-Manly. Upwards of 200 students came togeth- from all over the country. Child Support to join the First Weekend Club and find er to screen 23 short films written and was written and directed by Walker with out how you can support diverse filmmaking, log on to directed by their peers addressing con- Evers-Manly as executive producer.


Annual First Ladies High Tea October 21, 2017

The Mounting Problem of L.A.’s Growing Homeless

GERALD BELL Contributor here’s no place like home for every resident of Los Angeles except the 47,000 homeless men, women and children who, at sundown, make their way to a freeway underpass, dilapidated tent, or a local shelter in hopes of a good night’s sleep. The big city that attracts millions to its championship arenas and celebrity mansions has the reality of sharing sites like Skid Row as part of its brand. That reality has struck a nerve with many Los Angeles stakeholders who are frustrated with the pockets of visible homelessness popping up in unsuspected areas of Los Angeles county wide. The homeless population is approximately 26,000 in Los Angeles proper–an 11% increase since 2015. This is due in part to a lack of affordable housing, overall low vacancy rates, and high rent. These key drivers are limiting housing options and putting more residents at risk of becoming homeless. “It’s a West Coast phenomenon,” says Dhakshike Wickrema, Deputy for Homelessness and Mental Health in the office of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “It’s tied to a whole host of things in bad policy decisions. Before the 1970s you had a surplus of affordable housing because the federal government funded a lot of [them]. Something changed in the 1980s and the federal funding was slashed by 18 percent and it has dwindled away since then.” According to a 2016 report submitted to Congress by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Los Angeles recorded the largest number of chronically homeless people in the nation — nearly 13,000 for the second year in a row. 95 percent of them live outdoors, in cars, tents and encampments. Chronically homeless means people are sleeping somewhere uninhabitable for a year or more, or has had four episodes of homelessness over the span of three years. In 2015, Los Angeles led the nation in homeless veterans–some 2,700–and also counted the most unaccompanied homeless youth –


3,000–the report said. Across Los Angeles County the homeless crisis is further compounded with individuals suffering from mental illness, domestic violence abuse, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS. Hence, more than a comfortable dwelling is needed, but many homeless citizens and families require case management to address a myriad of special needs from employment training to health care to urgent drug and alcohol treatment. The big jump in homelessness is creating public health and safety concerns for several residents and leaders who say the resolve couldn’t come fast enough. “We did not pay attention to this problem as it continued to get worse and now it is practically out of control,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who is on the frontline combatting homelessness in Los Angeles. “It’s not just on Skid Row. It’s when I walk out of the county administrative doors, it’s at the bus stop, on 10th and Grand, Temple and Hill, Leimert Park, it’s on 39th and Figueroa under the freeway…That’s why we have to rush and do some innovative things. Otherwise we’re going to be in a bad way and worse than what we see now in our neighborhoods, at the restaurant, [or where] kids are walking to school.” He goes on to exclaim, “It’s unsafe, it’s unsightly, it’s unsanitary.” Citing conversations with colleagues and other city and county officials, Ridley-Thomas said there are also concerns for how homelessness in impacting revenue generated through tourism in Los Angeles and even local families who simply want to enjoy a day of entertainment in their city. “We came out of the movie and there was a whole family, with blankets and that was their resting place,” he recalls. “This was right on Hollywood. It’s sad and it’s sick. It’s a public safety problem, it’s a public health problem.” Last November, Los Angeles voters approved what some call an “ambitious” measure, authorizing $1.2 billion in bonds to pay for the construction of




47030 45000 43000 41000 39000 37000 2009





L.A. Focus/February 2017

10,000 units of housing for homeless people. struction, there are opponents raising questions Provide Case Management and Services, Create a Measure HHH (Homelessness Reduction and about where these new units are going up. Their Coordinated System, and Increase Prevention, Housing and Facilities Bond) passed issue is what it will mean for the value of their prop- Affordable/Homeless Housing. To make a significant with 76% of the vote, meaning that voters gave the erty if they have low-income housing going up in dent in the homeless problem, this all-hands-onokay to increase their own property taxes to help the their communities. deck approach is being entrusted to several stakecity’s most vulnerable citizens. A huge victory for According to Wickrema, people should not be holders and organizations around LA. Thus, city city officials who crafted and pushed for the meas- concerned about the property value because the kind programs, businesses and faith leaders have been ure, and a brave step for the voters who recognized of supportive housing that will be planned by devel- invited to participate in combating the crisis. that ignoring people sleeping on sidewalks or living opers is not intended nor has it proven to drive propSince the approval of this strategy a year ago, in minivans is not a solution to the growing issue. erty values down. “I would challenge you to look at some 500 faith-based institutions in Los Angeles The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority the data in New York and what it does show is we including churches, mosques, and more with active (LAHSA) oversees an annual count of the homeless have some very good strong developers who build outreach programs in operation have been contacted population and coordinates and manages more than fabulously,” she said. “They invite the neighborhood to partner and avail their housing and support serv$132 million annually in federal, state, county and to be a part of the [planning process] and property ices to the endeavor. Ridley-Thomas' office has comcity funds for programs providing shelter, housing values actually go up.” missioned select entities to research and mobilize and services to homeless persons. According to their While it’s clear that residents want homeless such resources with the confidence that homelessreports, and after extensive analysis of the data, people off their streets, there are mixed feelings ness can be greatly reduced. they are working closely with the “I have no doubt that we are going to see County of Los Angeles, the nonchange and we’re going to help a significant DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS OF THOSE LIVING ON THE STREETS profit community, and the City of number of people who are out there strugLA who have drafted and adopted gling, thinking they have been forgotten,” a 47-part Comprehensive says Janice Martin, Ecumenical Liaison Homeless Strategy. The strategy with Brothers and Sisters in Com-municadetermined that 13,000 units of tion (BASIC). As an independent communinew housing, including the 10,000 ty relations and government affairs conunits of supportive housing, are sultant, Martin was tasked by the Ridleyneeded to house the homeless. The Thomas to lead the faith based outreach for City’s strategy incorporates the the 2nd District, for the Faith-based United States Department of Initiative - one of 47 Homeless Strategies. Housing and Urban Development’s Martin has been fortunate to identi(HUD) and LAHSA’s position that fy institutions of faith that are not only providing stable housing to a eager to help, but have the ability, the homeless individual prior to proproperty and/or the resources to assist the viding needed services (case manhomeless population with housing and agement, health care or jobs) is other stabilizing opportunities. “What the more effective at resolving homeresearch shows is housing alone is not lessness compared to offering servenough. You have to have wrap around ices first without guaranteed houssupport services in order to reach the point ing. of sustainability,” says Martin. “I believe What’s lies ahead are a numwe will see housing added to the Los ber of development efforts, at variAngeles’ baseline of what’s available to peoous levels, to secure dwellings for ple who are currently homeless. We will the homeless as quickly as possialso see the faith community extending ble. This will require erecting affordable housing for about welcoming them to occupy a home or unit in itself as landlords and as extended family to people those at risk of homelessness, supportive housing or their community. To that Wickrema contends, who don’t have it. And whatever resources those units for individuals and families who are chronical- “There have been some very, very supportive neigh- faith institutions provide they will extend those to ly homeless, and temporary shelter facilities, stor- borhoods who understand [the importance] of sup- people who really need them.” age facilities, shower facilities and other facilities portive housing in their neighborhood.” The passing of Measure HHH is only one step, and supportive services or goods to those who are at It has been reported that under Measure HHH, but a sizable one for the City of Los Angeles. HHH one stage of homelessness or another. These devel- 12 parcels of land have been identified as possible will provide 10,000 units in a city whose estimated opments will also mean affordable housing or units development sites in Lincoln Heights, Sylmar, homeless population of 26,000 sits in a county for veterans and for individuals and families who Marina Del Rey, Westchester and San Pedro. where there are 47,000 homeless people to are extremely low income as defined by HUD for the Wickrema did not confirm such reports but says attend to. Simple math reveals that over 20,000 County of Los Angeles. Additionally, these housing there are both “non-profit and for private developers homeless citizens are still hoping for more than benefits will be extended to individuals and families with real estate representatives looking at the best a sidewalk or tent to provide shelter at night. “I would like to see us pass Measure H on who are not currently homeless but are at risk of available sites.” homelessness; provided that not more than 20% of This set of 47 comprehensive strategies that the March 7th because that would give the county general obligation bond proceeds are used exclusive- LAHSA, the City, County and others have joined resources to help the 88 cities in the county of ly for those purposes. forces with pinpoints six areas: Prevent LA,” says Ridley Thomas. “Cities can’t do it With bond funds being allocated to start con- Homelessness, Subsidize Housing, Increase Income, without the county.”


MoneyMatters Tidal Music and Sprint Join Forces Late last month, news broke that a deal between phone provider Sprint and Tidal had been finalized. Sprint paid $200 million to acquire 33% of the music streaming service. Tidal was launched in 2014 by Swedish company Aspiro. A year later, rapper and businessman Jay Z bought Tidal for $56 million and re-launched with the purpose of bringing artists and fans together through the exclusive use of artist content. Unfortunately, since Tidal’s launch in 2014, Jay Z experienced backlash as a result of the general public deeming the app to be overpriced at $20 per month. Jay Z hoped that Tidal’s exclusive content from big-name artists would help it stand out, but people felt that wasn’t enough to justify spending upwards of $240 a year for the service. Many agreed that signing up for Tidal, which essentially is a more expensive version of Spotify, would only succeed in making the rich richer and drive more individuals towards music piracy. According to Victor Luckerson, who wrote the Time Magazine article “Drake Reportedly Walked Out on Tidal At the Very Last Minute”, artists who initially signed on with Tidal, including megastars Drake and Taylor Swift, began backing out after the general public turned on the app, causing more outcry. Sprint is currently in the same boat as Tidal: trying to stay afloat against major competitors. As of January 2017, Sprint is

On the Money SIDNEY PINN


rated as the fourth most subscribed phone company against Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. The collective venture between Tidal and Sprint could bring in much-needed promotion to the phone service. In 2015, Tidal reached out to Sprint to strike a deal and was denied. So why invest in Tidal now? According to reporters Moritz Scott and Davis Michelle, author’s of “Going Broke Slowly: A Guide to Sprint’s $33 Billion Debt, as well as Tero Kuittinen, authors of “The Numbers Don’t Lie” in BGR magazine, both Sprint’s and Tidal’s numbers have been nominal as of recent. Sprint has been under scrutiny for years now due to their mediocre phone service in comparison to that of their rivals. Through this joint venture, both parties seem to hope to bring in new subscribers and higher sales rates. Tidal’s net worth is now a whopping $600 million compared to its 2015 net worth of $250 million. Of course this major boost in Tidal’s net worth can only be attributed to the $200 million dollar deal, not the amount of subscribers Tidal is actually pulling in. Tidal’s new net worth has no relation to possible future sales and profits. And questions still abound as to how Tidal is going to be combined with Sprint users. Will these 45 million customers have free Tidal access, or will Tidal be discounted to Sprint users? Could forcing Tidal on Sprint users cause backlash rather than excitement for the app as planned? Despite these unanswered questions, with this collaboration both parties seem to be getting what they desperately need. Sprint is getting a magnitude of promotional service by signing with Tidal, which could possibly put a dent in their current billion dollar debt, and Tidal now has Sprint’s 45 million subscribers to add to their company, which could help considerably in the process of competing with other major music streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify.

Obama’s New Digs So where did the Obamas move after leaving the White House? Well, the toney Washington D.C. section known as Kolarama, which is located in the northwest quadrant of the city, just two miles from the White House, where they’ve leased an nine bedroom, 8,200 square foot, three story home valued at $7 million. The area— a favorite of past presidents such as Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt—is home to a number of embassies, four Supreme Court justices and high-profile politicians including Bill & Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield and the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Ivanka Trump and her husband recently became the area’s newest residents, shelling out $5.5 million for their six-bedroom, 6,870square foot home, located around the corner from the Obamas. On average a four-bedroom house in the upscale and exclusive neighborhood would go for about $3 million and average around 4,000 square feet. According to the New York Post’s Page Six, the Obamas may also be spending more time in Southern California with the purchase of a home in Rancho Mirage.

Biz NewsBriefs

L.A. Focus/February 2017

Rosalind Brewer Exits Sam’s Club; Joins Starbuck’s


It did not take long for former Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer who exited the company after five years to land new powerfulposition. Brewer—listed as the 64th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes Magazine in 2014 and No. 19 on Fortune's Most Power Women in business list —has been named to Starbuck’s Board of Directors. One of the few top AfricanAmerican executives in retail, Brewer made large strides in e-commerce with initiatives such as drive-through pick up of online orders and

scan-and-go, which allows members to scan items with their own phones and speed up checkout, while at the 650store Sam’s Club chain. The Spelman College grad left the $57 billion-a-year company for "a new challenge."

Multicultural Millenials Spend Over $65 Million Per year A new study released by Nielsen last month keys in on the purchasing power and influence of multicultural millennials, who spend over $65 billion per year, with an increasing majority of those dollars being spent online. They also influence more than $1 trillion in total CPG and entertainment spending. The report, Multicultural Millennials: The Multiplier Effect, examines key spending trends, lifestyle preferences and how advertisers can tap into this demographic. 21 of 25 of the most populated U.S. counties are a multicultural majority, with 44% of multicultural millennials choosing to live in the top 10 Nielsen DMAs, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston. According to Courtney Jones, vice president of Multicultural Growth and Strategy at Nielsen, many of



them are first generation professionals, who are in prime acquisition mode. “A growing disposable income among multicultural millennials is a ripe opportunity for companies that court them, and make an effort to cultivate and earn their business.”

JPMorgan Chase Settles Mortgage Discrimination Suit JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to shell out $55 million to settle a lawsuit filed by U.S. Justice Department, accusing the bank of discriminating against minority borrowers by allowing mortgage brokers to charge them more for home loans. The Justice Department also accused the bank of willfully violating the U.S. Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Between 2006 and 2009, JPMorgan charged some 53,000 black and Hispanic borrowers more than white borrowers with the same credit and risk profile, according to the lawsuit. Though agreeing to the settlement, PMorgan denied the allegations, adding that they “remain committed to providing equal access to credit.”



Pastor Tyron Robinson Pilgrimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hope Baptist Church FEB 12

Pastor A.D. Iverson Paradise Baptist Church FEB 19

Bishop Stephen L. Fletcher & Lady Wendy Fletcher New Life Ministries FEB 26



MAR 05 3:30PM

INSIDE HO L LY W OOD with Neily Dickerson The Quad: Putting HBCU’s in the Spotlight Having attended a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), (Howard University, also known as the Mecca) and being an avid fan of the hit show, A Different World, when I heard about BET’s new show, The Quad I hoped it would perfectly combine my real life experiences with some of my favorite A Different World episodes. I was given the opportunity to preview the two-hour movie that will lead into the weekly series and it did not disappoint. Here’s a breakdown on The Quad breakdown: student body is filled with drama, the administration is conflicted in leadership, there’s a band, fraternities/sororities—all filled with unexpected twists and turns that will

keep audiences watching and tweeting. The show includes an all-star cast Anika Noni Rose (Tiana, the voice of Disney’s first Black princess, Power, Roots), Payton ‘Alex’ Smith (Luke Cage, Mad Money), Ruben SantiagoHudson (Castle, American Gangster), Jasmine Guy (A Different World) and several others. My hope is that The Quad will ignite

the desire for students to pursue higher learning whether it’s at a traditional four-year institution, a historically black college, trade school, or a specialty institution, it is important that students are encouraged to delve into and acquire knowledge in their area of interest. As we celebrate Black History Month, The Quad offers insight into how the next generation is evolving. These future activist, teachers, doctors, athletes, are assuring its predecessors that we really are "gone be alright" while passing the torch to the generation that follows allowing them to shine bright. One last thing: since we are celebrating Black History Month I challenge you all to see the NAACP-nominated, "I Am Not Your Negro."

Tony Rock


A United Kingdom February 10

John Wick: Chapter 2 February 10

Oscars Not So White... This Year At Least


Last year, the big news surrounding the Academy Awards was the “Oscars So White Controversy” sparked by the second straight year no minorities were nominated in any of the four acting categories. Well, Oscar’s not so white this year as blacks were represented in all of the four acting categories,—dominating the best supporting actress category with three nominations— Viola Davis (“Fences”), Octavia Spencer (“Hidden Figures”) and Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”). Denzel Washington’s performance in “Fences” earned him an Oscar nod in the best actor category, while Mahershala Ali was nominated for his breakout role in “Moonlight” and Ruth Negga earned a best actress nod for “Loving”. Other black nominees include Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, and in the documentary category Ava Duvernay earned a nomination for her feature, “13th”, while “I Am Not Your Negro” by Raoul Peck was also nominated, as was Ezra Edelman’s OJ: Made In America. Blacks also made headway in the editing category with Moonlight’s Joi McMillon and in producing with nods to Denzel Washington (Fences), Pharrell Williams (Hidden Fences) and Kimberly Steward (Manchester By The Sea). Writing nominations went to Jenkins, Tarell Alvin

The Lego Batman Movie February 10

McCraney and August Wilson. In the best picture category, there’s Fences, Hidden Figures and Moonlight.

The One To Watch It was his breakout role as hip hop legend Dr. Dre in the N.W.A. rap biopic “Straight Outta Compton”, that got Corey Hawkins noticed. Come next month, America will be seeing a lot more of him as he stars as Eric Carter in the latest reboot of Fox’s 24 franchise, 24: Legacy, succeeding Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer as the hero. The show centers on Carter, a troubled youth turned Army Rangers hero returning home to Virginia with his wife Nicole and the trouble that follows him back – compelling him to ask CTU for help in saving his life, and stopping what potentially could be one of the largest-scale terror attacks on American soil. And while the original series dealt with Al-Queda like forces, the new show reflects a post-ISIS world. Hawkins, however, is not limiting his talents to TV. Come spring, he’s set to join Allison Janney for a 15-week run in a Broadway revival of Six Degrees Of Separation.

Dirty Laundry

Mahershala Ali


The battle between Paula Patton and exhusband, Robin Thicke, just seems to

Fist Fight February 17

keep getting uglier and uglier. Late last month, Patton was granted a restraining order instructing Thicke to stay 100 yards away from Patton and their six-year old son, Julian. For the past couple of months, the couple have been trading accusations against each other—the most troubling of which include allegations of abuse. Patton was reportedly barred from the funeral of Robin’s dad, Alan Thicke. The couple have been ordered to undergo family therapy.

Ready For Another Shaft? First came Richard Roundtree as the iconic private eye dick, Shaft. Then came Samuel Jackson who played his nephew in the 2000 remake directed by John Singleton. And now, New Line Cinema is set to introduce another Shaft. This time, unofficial reports have the plot keying in on the son of Shaft who is walking a thin line between the law and organized crime…In casting news, Collateral Beauty co-star Jacob Lattimore has been cast as a series regular in Showtime’s “The Chi”, a coming-of-age story that follows a half dozen interrelated characters in the South Side of Chicago. (Common is among the executive producers)…Malcolm Jamal Warner has landed a co-starring role in a new drama from ABC entitled “Ten Days In The Valley”. Kyra Sedgewick stars in the series about an overworked TV producer whose young daughter goes missing bringing her world and controversial police series crashing down around her…Finally, Ice Cube has just inked a partnership with a Hong Kong entrepreneur that will establish his company as a major buyer of original content with the funding to develop —and then deliver —fully developed projects to studios.

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York Big Break: Battle Bots Other Notable Roles: Everybody Hates Chris, Think Like a Man, All of Us, Real Husbands of Hollywood, Mann and Wife, Redemption of a Dog, Single Ladies, The Tony Rock Project, Three Can Play That Game. Current Project: The Game of Dating Last month comedian, actor and producer, Tony Rock, returned to primetime television as the host of TV One’s new game show “The Game of Dating”, airing Tuesdays at 8pm. Without hinging on his brother’s Chris Rock’s fame, Tony built a name for himself while appearing in several movies and TV. Series. Q. What attracted you to taking on the role as host “The Game of Dating”? A. I’m a stand-up comic first and foremost and anytime I get the opportunity to do what I do, I’m going to take it. I’m one of the quickest at making a joke up right there on the spot and making something funny, and playing off of what happens in a room. The fact that I am watching something that can potentially be hilarious, then I am going to make it incredibly funny. Q. Do you believe that “The Game of Dating” reflects how much dating has changed over the years? A. I don’t think the show actually reflects that. Dating has changed over the years because of social media. The ability to sweep someone off their feet is done. There’s no more sweeping a girl off her feet because that actually took work. You had to know what she was into, you had to know what she liked, you had to ask questions to get to the core of who she really is and be a good listener. Now you can just go on her Instagram page and see what she likes, what she likes to do, what she likes to eat, who her friends are and everything is given to you so that is how dating has changed these days. Q: Are yyou a good date? A: I’m the best dater ever! I rarely go on bad dates because I understand body language so I know when someone is genuinely into me and my time is too valuable so if the date is not going well I will end it. Q: How would you end a date? A: I’ll say like, I don’t think you are having a good time or I’m not having a good time so rather than just dragging this on for the rest of our evening we could both be doing something we both enjoy. I’ll pay for the meal and let her get a doggy bag, call a car for her, I’ll be a nice guy, but I am going to end it. Q: What do you believe is the biggest mistake women make when it comes to dating? A: The biggest mistake, it’s a couple of things but the first one that jumped out to me is being attracted to a guy for disingenuous reasons. Just because a guy has a nicer car doesn’t make him a nicer person, just because a guy has nicer clothes, doesn’t make him a Tony Rock continued to page 26

Calendar of events

Ongoing Art exhibition: “Do I Look Like a Lady?” (Through February 6) $12 • MOCA 250 S. Grand Avenue Information: (213) 626-6222 On Stage: “Motown The Musical” (Through February 12) Pantages Theatre $35 - $135 • Check for showtimes 6233 Hollywood Blvd Tickets: (800) 982-2787

8PM • Free Nate Holden Performing Center 4718 W. Washington Blvd Information: (323) 964-9768 Booksigning: Keke Palmer “I Don’t Belong To You: Quiet The Noise and Find Your Voice” 2PM • Free Barnes & Noble 189 The Grove Drive Information: (323) 525-0270

Tuesday, February 7

BFit Yoga Class Free •10 -11:00am Saturdays Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza 3650 West Martin Luther King Bl Information: (323) 290-6636

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration & Lecture 4PM – 9PM Holman United Methodist Church 3320 W. Adams Blvd Information: (323) 731-7285

Thursday, February 2

Wednesday, February 8

23rd Annual Unity Awards Gala Honorees include DeVon Franklin & Meagan Good 6PM – 9PM • $300 Regent Beverly Wilshire 9500 Wilshire Blvd Information: (323) 7513440

Saturday, February 4 a Nation”

Screening: Nate Parker’s “Birth of

In Concert: Alicia Keys $125 • 7PM Belasco Theatre 1050 South Hill Street Contact: 213) 746-5670

L.A. Focus/February 2017


ce on and I el Jacks u e m r a p S . l, e the L.A Vin Dies e” selfie at g a a G e k r e ta Cube of Xand “Return miere of

The 25th Annual Pan-African American Film & Art Festival (Through Feb. 20) Opening night film is “King of The Dancehall” (Nick Cannon, Whoopie Goldberg) while showcased films include “41st & Central: The Untold Story of the L.A. Black Panthers”; “Media” (Brian White,

e e red carpet at th Jamie Foxx on th pless” premiere of “Slee

Friday, February 10 “A Matter of Balance” An

award-winning program designed to manage falls and increase activity levels (Also Feb. 17, Feb. 24, March 3) 9AM – 11AM Holman United Methodist Church 3320 W. Adams Blvd Information: (323) 731-7285

Saturday, February 11 94.7 The Wave Love Affair Concert Featuring The Delfonics, GQ, The Impressions, The Moments, Color Me Badd, Heatwave, Atlantic Starr and Barbara Lynn Honda Center 7:30PM • $34-79 2695 E. Katella • Anaheim In Concert: Stephanie Mills $69 – 149 •


Thursday, February 9

Taraji P. Henson wowed them on the red carpet at last month’s SAG Awards

Penny Johnson Jerald, Stephen Bishop, Gary Douradan, Pooch Hall, Denise Boutte); “Civil Brand” (LisaRaye, N'Bushe Wright, Monica Calhoun, DaBrat, MC Lyte, Mos Def) and “Shoot The Messenger” (David Oyelowo). Alfre Woodard to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Opening Night Gala. Other highlights include panels and conversations with Sanaa Latham, Salli Richardson and Alfre Woodard. An artfest features fine art and crafs. Baldwin Hills Cren-shaw Plaza Contact: (310) 337-4737

Saturday, February 11 48th Annual NAACP Image Awards Celebrating the outstanding performances of people of color in the arts. (Broadcasting live on TV One) 6pm $150-$500 Pasadena Civic Auditorium 300 E. Green Street Tickets: (323) 938-2790 Pictured: Denzel Washington (“Fences”)

Gabrielle Un black glitt ion shimmers in lo n ery gown at “Sleeple g ss” premiere


Tichina Arnold came out to show her support for the cast of “Sleepless”

Viola Davis reclines on the Hollywood Walk of Fame star she received last month.

Israel Houghton and new wife, Adrienne Bailon take in BMI’s Annual Gospel Trailblazer’s luncheon in Atlanta last month.

Terrace Theater—Long Beach Convention Center 300 East Ocean Boulevard Tickets: (562) 436-3661 The Summit: Manhattan Transfer Meets Take 6 8pm • $58–$82 Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts 12700 Center Court Drive Contact: (562) 916-8500 In Concert: Branford Marsalis 8PM • $71 -$128 Royce Hall 340 Royce Drive – UCLA Tickets: (800) 840-9227 A Conversation With Mrs. Cookie Johnson Featuring Q&A and booksigning 9AM – Noon Faithful Central Bible Church —The Living Room 333 W. Florence Ave Information: (310) 3308000

March 5) Special Guest Speakers Annual Musical—March 5 All services at 7PM Mt. Zion MBC 1300 East 50th Street Contact: (323) 235-2103

Tuesday, February 14 CAAM: After School Drop in after school art workshops (Also Tues, February 28) 1:30 – 3:30PM • Free CAAM 600 State Drive Exposition Park RSVP: (213) 744-2024 In Concert: Tank & Carl Thomas 9pm • $58 - 99 Saban Theater 8440 Wilshire Blvd Beverly Hills Contact: (323) 655-0111

Thursday, February 16 In Conversation: Betye and Alison Saar 9PM • Free CAAM - 600 State Drive Exposition Park RSVP: (213) 744-2024

Screening: Get In The Way: The Journey of John Lewis 8PM • Free Nate Holden Performing Arts Center 4718 W. Washington Blvd Info: (323) 964-9768 The Milestone Tour Feat. Chrisette Michele & Daley 8:00pm • $39.75-114.50 The Novo 800 W Olympic Blvd Contact: (213) 765-7000 In Concert: Keith Sweat 7:30pm • $49.50—$115.50 Microsoft Theater 777 Chick Hearn Court L.A. Cookie Con 2017 Dessert and baking extravaganza featuring demos, celebrity guests and competitions (Through Sunday) $25-59 L.A. Convention Center — South Hall K Contact: (818) 495-5732

Fullerton professor Anthony Sparks 3:00 – 5:00PM • Free CAAM - 600 State Drive Exposition Park RSVP: (213) 744-2024

Black Panther Party Leader Elaine Brown 7:00 – 9:00PM • Free CAAM – 600 State Drive Exposition Park RSVP: (213) 744-2024

In Concert: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Terence Blanchard Los Angeles Philharmonic Walt Disney Concert Hall 7:30PM • $56 - $133 151 S. Grand Avenue Tickets: (323) 850-2000

Saturday, February 25

The Original Harlem Globetrotters World Tour 12:30pm • 5:45pm $25-$275 Staples Center 1111 S. Figueroa Street

Tuesday, February 21 “Leaders On The Move” Meet Decision Makers Phillip Washington (Metro) and Deborah Flint (LAX) w. Dominique DiPrima 8-10am • $50 Doubletree By Hilton 120 So Los Angeles Street Contact: (213) 223-2421

Aquarium of the Pacific’s 15th Annual African American Festival (Through Sunday) Featuring, live entertainment arts and crafts, ethnic food, hip hop/ break dancers, tap dancers, West African dancers, and storytellers. 9am—5pm • $17.95-$29.95 100 Aquarium Way Long Beach Info: (562) 590-3100 “The Conversation” Features: Brunch, entertainment, awards, networking and free gifts Special guests: Comedian Ramona Stephens, Evangelist Gaynelle Dawson and Message in the Ministry Hosted by “The Matriarch Society” 10am - 3pm • $35.00 4101 E. Willow Street Long Beach

around los angeles

Sunday, February 12

12th Annual Pastoral Appreciation Celebration of Pastor E.V. Hill II (Also Feb. 19, Feb. 26 and

Saturday, February 18

Sunday, February 19

Truth to Power: African American Comedians and Social Commentary Lecture by Cal State

In Conversation: Former

Heritage Festival 2017 “Inventors & Inventions of Our Land” Featuring: JREDD Featuring food, music, vendors and fashion show Noon – 5PM 3320 West Adams Blvd Contact: (323) 731-7285

Sunday, February 26 On Stage: Good Grief (A first-generation comingof-age journey of love, loss for a good Nigerian girl) (Through March 26) Kirk Douglas Theatre 9820 Washington Blvd Culver City Info: (213) 972-7231 In Concert: Stylistics with Peaches and Herb 6pm • $51.50 – 151.50 The Wiltern 3790 Wilshire Blvd. Info: (213) 388-1400 57th Annual Concert of Negro Spirituals 4PM – 7PM • $15 - 50 Holman UMC 3320 West Adams Blvd Contact: (323) 731-7285

nned in this hot Kerry Washington stu SAG awards white number at the

Octavia Spencer was sophistocated in black while striking her red carpet pose at the SAG awards

Viola Davis was joined by her husband, Julius Tennon and da ughter, at her Hollywood star ceremony.

L.A. Focus/February 2017

and wife, Ryan Sterling K. Brown up the heat at Michelle Bath turn the SAG awards

Wednesday, February 22


Re d Carpet Style

JANELLE MONAE never disappoints us in a custom made black sequin bodysuit,silk taffeta covered in oversize polka-dot paillettes gown by Armani Privey

NAOMIE HARRIS killed it in this stunning strapless metallic-effect dress by Armani Prive

The stars were shinning brightly at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards last month in Beverly Hills. Janelle Monae is our pick for best dressed but Tracey Edmonds and Naomie Harris sure gave her a run for the money. Pictures are courtesy of E! Live From The Red Carpet.

TRACY EDMONDS in a sexy sardonyx air mesh gown with a peplum waistline by Lexi Clothing

KERRY WASHINGTON in a yellow lace dress by Dolce & Gabbana

NAOMI CAMPBELL rocks in an intricate one-sholder lavender & black sequin pleated Atelier Versace gown

Eye On Gospel Kim Burrell Sparks LGBT Controversy With Sermon Kim Burrell has never been one to mince words and it cost her last month when statements made about the LGBT community during a sermon at her Houston-based, Love & Liberty Fellowship Church, went viral. “That perverted homosexual spirit, and the spirit of delusion and confusion, it h a s deceived many m e n a n d women. … It has come into our church and it has embarrassed the kingdom of God,” Burrell said. “Anybody in this room who feels the homosexual spirit, beg God to free you,” she continued. As video of the went viral, sermon Burrell took to Facebook in defense, stating: “I never said ‘LGBT’ last night. I said ‘S-I-N. “I know that people are going to be mad. … To every person that is dealing with the homosexual spirit,

that has it, I love you because God loves you. But God hates the sin in you and me, anything that is against the nature of God. I’m called to do what God called me to do, and that’s it, and I do it with passion. … I make no excuses or apologies.” The artist, who was scheduled to appear on the Ellen Show, was dropped after the controversial statements amidst the backlash that swiftly followed. Then, BMI announced that it had retracted its invitation for Burrell take part at its January 14 “Trailblazers of Gospel Music”. Burrell had been set to not only be honored along with Marvin Sapp, but to also appear. “Given the controversy surrounding this year’s co-honoree Kim Burrell, we have asked her to not take part in the ceremony in order to allow the focus to remain on the songwriters and their music. BMI was founded over 76 years ago with an open door policy to welcome songwriters across all genres, and that same spirit of tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness continues today," the statement said. In the wake of the statements, her Bridging The Gap radio show—a combination of gospel and interviews—which premiered on Texas Southern University radio station KTSU last June, was also canceled. Burrell, had been enjoying a wave of publicity thanks to guest vocals on Frank Ocean’s 2016 album, Blonde, and a duet with Pharrell Williams on “I See a Victory”, from the Hidden Figures soundtrack. Said Williams, “I condemn hate speech of any kind. There is no room in this world for any kind of prejudice.” Janelle Monae, who stars in the movie, posted on Instagram:“I unequivocally repudiate ANY AND ALL hateful comments against the LGBTQ community. I am personally beyond exhausted by the ignorance and bigotry living in some people. “At times I want to punch and I want to slap a lot of people when I read and hear the s--t that comes out their mouthes! I will rejoice when folks stop thinking they ARE GOD, Jesus’ assistant, picking and choosing what ‘sins’ are acceptable in the Bible, and using the Bible as a whip!” When it seemed as though Shirley Caesar had come to her defense, she took a lot of heat and had to clarify her statements, while sitting down with Bishop George Bloomer.

“I would never say anything to harm anybody. The Lord has been too good to me. I just don’t have time for that.” Bishop Yvette Flunder, a pastor from Oakland, CA, who is a lesbian, wrote an open letter to "Pastor Kim Burrell" suggesting that she had "touched the nerve of a wounded, greatly unappreciated and misunderstood group of people who have contributed countless underrated and unappreciated gifts to the church…" Burrell calls all the controversy the work of the devil, saying it was “designed by the enemy to make it look like I have a personal agenda against people. It’s a heartbreak…” She went on to say that what people were saying about her was not rocking her world. “I’m not to be shaken, cause I’m out there for God,” Burrell said, “and I came on here because I love people.”

Fortune Hurt In Car Collision Caused By Drunk Driver The holidays didn’t end so well for singer James Fortune who was hit by a drunk driver during a four car collision. The singer, who was on his way to church, was kept overnight at the hospital and then released the following day. A photo of Fortune, on a stretcher, on his way to the hospital was posted on his timeline with the following message: “Please pray for our brother James Fortune who on his way to church tonight was hit by a drunk driver in a four-car accident. God spared his life and he is responsive. Pray for a speedy recovery. God bless you and thanks for the prayers! #covered #Jesus #jamesfortune,” the post read. Now back at home and on the mend, Fortune is thankful for all those fans who reached out. Briefly: Ten-time GRAMMY® Award winning recording artist, songwriter and producer Kirk Franklin, has released his latest single, “My World Needs You” to radio stations and debuted a visual for the song exclusively on The heartfelt song speaks about the social injustices happening around the world today and calling upon God to bring strength in time of hardships. Penned by Franklin, his message on “My World Needs You” supports his continued endeavors in addressing and reflecting on issues that anyone faces, and uniting together to help each other.

Through the Storm


L.A. Pastor Becomes A Certrified Walking Miracle

he year was 2008. Rosalynn Brookins had hit her stride in life and couldn’t have been happier about it. She was studying theology, had begun preaching in and around Los Angeles, was raising her ten-year old son, Wellington, while caring for her late husband of 19 years, Bishop H. Hartford Brookins, and had just returned from a mission trip to Zambia. But that fall—in 2007—her world was about to turn upside down and her faith tested in a way she could have never imagined. “My hip started hurting really badly, but I was thinking that it was sciatica,” Brookins states. “I called the doctor and told him I thought I had sciatica and without question he referred me to pain management and therapy. But on the fourth visit, as the therapist was trying to give me some leg lifts to strengthen the muscle, I screamed to high heaven. ‘This’, the therapist said, ‘is not sciatica’”. A set of X-rays would bring more questions than answers. Recalls Brookins, “I remember sitting in the doctor’s office and all these doctors start running back and forth. Finally I ask what was going on?’ Then pointing to the X-ray, the doctor said, ‘Mrs. Brookins, right here—where your pelvic and fibula are— you don’t have any bones. There’s a growth there and that is what’s holding together your pelvic bone and fibula.’” Provided with crutches, and told to stay off her feet, a terrified Brookins was directed to a bone specialist and warned one wrong move could lead to a broken hip. Three days later while at home, she fell and broke her hip. Rushed to the hospital, they performed surgery to put a rod in her hip and— at the same time— a biopsy to see whether or not the tumors were cancerous. The results came back negative for cancer, but for as good as the report was, Brookins would spend the next three months in a nursing home. “The day they drove me there in an ambulance, I looked at the facility and realizing it was a nursing home, broke down and cried so profusely they had to sedate me,” Brookins recalls. “Surely, I thought, this is not where I’m going to live the rest of my life. But over the next three months, the seminary student would come to think of her time in the nursing home as divine assignment as she brought three people to Christ and would often witness to two young nurses would come to the foot of my bed

Mary Magdalene

Missionary Baptist Church MMMBC, A Los Angeles church committed to the practice and teachings of Jesus Christ is accepting applications for a pastor. We are seeking a mature man of God in accordance with 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:7. The pastor must be willing to work with the deacons,trustees and other committees to lead a growing congregation toward a higher level of worship and community engagement.

Applicants may mail or drop off resumes to: MMMBC; 5102 S. Western Avenue, L.A. CA/ or email to

I just didn’t believe I was going to die. I knew God had called me to the ministry and His ministry had not yet been manifested.”

and ask me to talk about God. After three months in rehab, Brookins returned home, but wouldn’t be there long after tests revealed that the number of tumors had grown from three to six. And so it was back to the hospital for another exploratory procedure. “As I enter the hospital using my walker with my good friend, Yvette Williams, there was this woman in the waiting area who was absolutely beautiful. She told me about her husband who was in heaven and said she had something for me. “I’m looking at this lady thinking, ‘you don’t even know me,” Brookins continues. “She has a piece of paper in her hand and hands it to me. It was a picture of a physician who was performing a surgery and behind the physician was Jesus guiding his hand. I broke down into tears. I knew then and there that I would be okay,” she recalls. “So as I came to, the doctor came in and I looked at him and asked, ‘yes or no’, and he said ‘yes’.” Brookins had Hemangioendothelioma, a rare form of inoperable bone cancer in her pelvic, fibula, hip, tailbone and spine and was told to get her house in order as she had only five months to live. “Then I said where’s the lady who gave me this paper? And they said what lady? There’s no lady here and the nurse said I’m the only one here in the recovery room and I handed her the paper and said ‘where did the paper come from?’ She couldn’t answer me, but I knew God had made a visitation.” She sent her son to Arkansas to live with her brother and begin daily radiation treatment. “They asked me to see a psychiatrist to deal the process of dying,” Brookins continues. “Because I refused, they believed I was in a state of denial. But that was not the case. I just didn’t believe I was going to die. I knew God had called me to the ministry and His ministry had not yet been manifested. “Still, I did everything else they wanted me to do,” Brookins said. “I went to all of the treatments and took all of the horrible medicine and endured a great deal of pain, but I believed in God’s power.” In the nine years that followed, Brookins lived with that death sentence from the doctor. She received her first pastoral post at Walker Temple AME, saw her son go off to college and buried her late husband, Bishop H.H. Brookins. For doctors, her health remained unresolved, the tumors holding her bones in place still visible and a limp the only physical reminder. Then last summer, she contracted what she thought was a cold. “The doctor said I had a bacterial infection in my lym-

A Memoriam For Margaret Ann Roland A Tribute to a Special Woman of God Remembering Her Life Honoring Her Memory Preserving Her Legacy Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017• 4pm Tree Of Life Missionary Baptist Church 9702 S. Holmes Ave Los Angeles, CA 90002 Reverend Marcus A. Murchinson, Pastor

phatic system which compromised my immune system, so for two months, I was to rest and stay away from people. But by August, I could not walk. It was so bad that I had to hold my left hand on my left hip to walk and I stayed out of the pulpit for two months. In September, I went back to the doctor in excruciating pain.” The cancer had returned—this time to her left side and they put her back on a cane. “I called my presiding Elder, broke down in tears and said I can’t go through it again, even though the Lord would not allow me to say it was cancer. “I went to preach for my friend, Debra Ward, on the first Sunday in October. That same Sunday, I’d announced to my congregation that I would not be going out to preach anymore. “Pastor Debra was in her office and she could see I was in so much pain. She turned to me and said, ‘you walked in on a cane, but you will not walk out on a cane’. And I’m thinking, yeah, yeah, yeah. The name of the sermon was “My name is Miracle” and I preached about the woman with the issue of blood. “It was probably one of the most powerful sermons I’ve ever preached. People were going crazy. I started flowing in the prophetic, laying hands on folks and they were getting healed. Then I limped back over to my seat. Pastor Debra stands up and calls Apostle Al Fornis to pray for all the preachers. He says, so Pastor Roz, do you believe the Lord can heal you? I said, Yes, Lord. ‘God is going to heal you supernaturally,’ he said. And he started blowing on the hip all the way up from and by the time he finished I was out cold on the floor. “When I came to, I’m looking at my feet going, ‘Oh my God, look at my legs. They were the same length so while I’m on the floor, people took pictures. All of a sudden, you hear this loud pop like a gun, it was my ankle popping into place and like that, the pain was gone.” She had already been scheduled to go back to the doctor for a biopsy in the weeks that followed. “The very people who had given me this death sentence nine years ago were the people who had given me the cane two months ago, so I walk in with these red high heels on. The nurse was saying, ‘What are you doing in heels and you don’t have a limp.’ “I just came by to let the doctor know that God had healed me,’ I told her. The doctor says, ‘Oh, she’s crazy.’ I said, ‘I promise you I’m not.’” A physician’s assistant was asked to examine her and finding no evidence of the tumor, excitedly called her doctor to the room, who was astonished at the revelation. “I requested a letter,” Brookins continues. “I told the doctor you must say it's a miracle, because no one believes in miracles so there has to be tangible evidence that I’m a walking talking miracle. Today, the letter is framed in my office.” For Brookins, healing is both physical and spiritual. “We won’t always get it in the natural,” she explains. “Sometimes you’ll go to the doctor and still have diabetes, cancer or glaucoma, but in the spiritual world He gives you that peace that surpasses all understanding and the knowledge that when medical science runs out, that’s when we get the opportunity to see God work.”

ChurchNews Stephen Davis Named to New Birth


ew Birth Missionary Baptist Church has announced that Stephen A. Davis has been selected to secede the late Bishop Eddie Long as senior pastor. Davis had been serving as senior pastor, president and board chairman of New Birth Birmingham in Alabama and was named by Long as his successor before his death. Upwards of 6,500 turned out for the funeral of Bishop Eddie Long, senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, one of the largest congregations in the nation. Speakers included Former Georgia governor Roy E. Barnes, Bishops Kenneth C. Ulmer, Dale C. Bronner, and Tudor Bismark, Trumpet Awards founder Xernona Clayton and Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, who said, “This was a father figure to me. This man taught me so much of how to even be a man.' “This man is real and just perhaps, perhaps, perhaps all the media, all the naysayers, all the doubters, perhaps, perhaps you were wrong about this man'”. Long, who died of cancer on January 15, was 63. Rev. Michael Fisher was among L.A. pastors paying their respects. Said Fisher, "Undeniably he was an innovator and he shifted the perspective of traditional church, especially in the Baptist realm. He shifted the paradigm of how we do church…how we thought of church. In a statement, Bernice King (daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), who was an elder with the church until 2011 passed along her heartfelt prayers and condolences. "As I reflect on his life,” King stated, “I am especially remembering Bishop Long's support during some of the most difficult times in my life ... the passing of my mother in 2006, and the sudden loss of my sister in 2007."

E. Wayne Gaddis To Be Installed As Pastor of St. Augustine MBC Later this month, members of St. August Missionary Baptist Church will celebrate the installation of Dr. E. Wayne Gaddis as their senior pastor. Gaddis, who serves as pastor of Greater True Light M.B.C., was called to pastor the church in October and has since held a vote to merge the two churches into one. “We are still putting things together and it is going well,” said Gaddis, who also serves as president of the California Missionary Baptist State Convention. “Now we are just one happy family excited for what the future holds and what we will be able to offer to the community.”

Shooting on Bishop Carlton Pearson Biopic Gets underway Shooting began last month on “Come Sunday”, a biopic based on the rise and fall of Bishop Carlton Pearson, the televangelist who once pastored one of Tulsa’s largest Pentecostal churches and lost it when he adopted a Unitarian universalist theology. Chiwetel Ejiofor, who received an Academy Award nomination for the film “12 Years a Slave,” is set to play Pearson, while Martin Sheen has been cast as Oral Roberts. Pearson’s wife, Gina, will be played by Condola Rashad, daughter of Phylicia Rashad. Carlton Pearson will serve as a consultant for the film and is said to be preaching in two churches in Atlanta (during filming) to give Ejiofor a feel for a Pentecostal service. Other Pentecostal preachers are also reportedly being brought in as advisers. “They want it to be comprehensive and not onesided,” Pearson told a Tulsa newspaper. Pearson, who once pastored the 5,000-member Higher Dimensions Family Church in Tulsa, drew crowds upwards of 40,000 to his Azuza conferences and regularly appeared on Christian TV fell from grace after embracing the view that all human beings will ultimately be restored to a right relationship with God in Heaven and that all human beings are already reconciled to God even if they are unaware of it. He subsequently lost his church, was dropped from the board of Oral Roberts University and ostracized by national Christian leaders.

Amen L.A. (Affirming Ministry Enlightening Nations) 1455 W. 94th St. Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 229-9351 • Rev. Dr. DiAnn L. Johnson Sunday Morning Worship: 9:30am-10:30am PTP / Preach the word- Teach the word - practice the word

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

Bethel Missionary Baptist Church of South L.A. 10905 S. Compton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90059 (323) 566.5286 Pastor Reginald A. Pope Sunday School: 9:30am Morning Worship: 8am • 11am Children’s Church: 11am (2nd/4th Sundays) Evangelism Training/Bible Study/Independent Prayer: (Mon): 7:29pm Mobile Prayer/Bible Study: (Wed) 11am Book by Book Bible Study (Wed.): 6:30pm

First AME Church (FAME) 2270 South Harvard Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018 (323) 735-1251 • F: (323) 735-3353 • Pastor J. Edgar Boyd, Senior Pastor/CEO Sunday School: 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 First AME is the oldest Black Church in the City Grant AME Church 10435 S. Central Avenue • Los Angeles, CA 90002 (323) 564-1151 • F: (323) 564-5027 Rev. Dr. J. Arthur Rumph, Senior Pastor Sunday School: 8am Worship: 9:30am Wed. Bible Study: 11:30am •6pm

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:

Bethlehem Temple Church, INC. 958 East 52nd Street Los Angeles, CA 90011 (323) 232-8429 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 • Rev. Pastor Paul A. Hill • 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 Follow us on Facebook

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

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

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:

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

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

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

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 View Pastor McKnight’s Sermons on YouTube Crenshaw Christian Center 7901 South Vermont, Los Angeles, CA 90044 (323) 758-3777 • F: (323)565-4231 • 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

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:

Sunday Church School: 9am Morning Worship: 10:30am & 12:30pm Wed. Bible Study: noon & 6:30pm Prayer Meeting: 6pm Follow us on Twitter @dacrossculture McCarty Memorial Christian Church 4101 West Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018 (323) 731-4131 Pastor Edward Anderson Sunday School: 9:30am Morning Worship: 10:45am Bible Study: Noon, Tuesdays

Mt. Moriah Baptist Church of LA, Inc. 4269 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90037 (323) 846-1950 Rev. Melvin V. Wade, Sr. Sunday School: 8:15am Morning Worship: 9:45am Evening Worship: 6:30pm Mid-Week Worship (Wed): 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 • • 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: • Our Goal: To win more Christians & develop better Christians to the glory of God. (Matt. 28:18-20) Mt. Tabor Missionary Baptist Church 6614 S. Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 753-3189 • F: (323) 753-1018 • Dr. Ticey M. Brown, D. Min. Pastor/Teacher Early Morning Worship: 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

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

Paradise Baptist Church 5100 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90037 (323) 231-4366 Dr. Aaron Iverson Pastor’s Bible Class & Sunday School: 8am Morning Worship: 9:30am Tues. Prayer: 7pm Tues. Bible Study: 8pm

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

“You can end your search for a friendly church” Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church 1300 E. 50th Street Los Angeles, CA 90011 (323) 235-2103 • F: (323) 235-3177 • Dr. Edward V. Hill, II, Pastor Sunday Intercessory Prayer: 9:15am Morning Worship: 9:30am Children’s Church: 9:30am Sunday School: 11:30am Baptism: 2nd Sun. & Lord’s Supper: 1st. Sun. Tues. Pastor’s Bible Study: 6:30pm Wed. Noon-day Prayer: Noon New Antioch Church of God in Christ 7826 So. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90044 (323) 778-7965 Elder Jeffrey M. Lewis Sunday Early Morning Worship: 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

New Mt. Calvary Baptist Church 402 E. El Segundo Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90061 (310)324-0644 • F: (310) 769-1287 Rev. Sonja Dawson, Senior Pastor • Rev. Lonnie Dawson, Sr., Founder (1962 - 2010) Morning Worship: 7:30am & 10:45am Sunday School: 9:45am Wed. Prayer/Bible Study: Noon Pastor’s Bible Study: 7pm

New Pilgrim Baptist Church 8225 So. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90003 (626)215-5175 • Office: (323) 789-6218 Bishop R. A. McKinley, Senior Pastor Sunday Worship: 11am Second Location Golden West Baptist Church 4856 Golden West Ave, Temple City, CA 91780 Sunday Worship: 9am

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

First Lady Files Channe´Thompson Uplift Christian Fellowship For Channé Thompson of Uplift Christian Fellowship, being a first lady is a harmonizing act of priorities—God and family first, then partnering in ministry with her husband, Pastor Anthony L. Thompson, who planted God’s church in August 2014. “I see this journey as a labor of love,” says the L.A. native with a Texas southern upbringing, who accepted Christ at the age of 12. “Being that we are a church plant, I serve in every area: administration, facilities, planning, and of course, the women’s ministry. “For Pastor Anthony, I am the eyes and ears. I have his back, his shoulder and his right hand making sure he’s covered. It’s really about me being a connector for my husband, for my children and Uplift.” “Before we married, we were friends, prayer partners, and involved in church activities for a long time and I knew he had a heart for God and His people; so it was not a surprise when he accepted his call to preach.” Today, they are a team with two kids, Kaia and Joshua, making up “The Four Thompsons”. “Our prayer is to continue to see God’s work magnified. "Kingdom Forward" is our theme for 2017 and we believe in meeting people where they are—no matter where they are in their journey of life. Our desire is to equip those striving to learn, grow and move forward in the work God has for them — developing them so that they can develop others.” 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 E:

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church 2009 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90062 (323) 293-6448 • F: (323) 293-6605 Dr. Sylvester Washington Sunday School: 8am Morning Worship: 10am Tues. Bible Study: 11am Wed. Evangelism Class: 6:30pm First Sun. Holy Communion Service: 4pm

Praises of Zion Baptist Church (“Praise City” 8222 So. San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90003 (323) 750-1033 • F: (323) 750-5458 • Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick, Sr. Pastor Early Morning Worship: 6:45am Educational Hour: 9:15am Mid-Morning Worship: 10:45am Wed. Bible Study: Noon & 7pm Sunday Broadcast: 7pm

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

Southern Saint Paul Church 4678 West Adams Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016 (323) 731-2703 • F: (323) 737-5202 • Rev. Xavier L. Thompson, Sr. Pastor L.I.F.E. Groups Sundays: 8:00am Saint Paul Campus:9:00am Baptism & Communion (First Sunday): 5pm Word Wednesday: 6:45pm “One Church For All Generations”

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 UpLift Christian Fellowship 4745 W. Slauson Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90056 (310) 927-3476 Pastor Anthony Thompson Sunday Worship: 10am Bible Study Wednesday: 7pm

Worship Services: 8am & 11am Sunday School: 9:30am Prayer Meeting(WED): 6:30pm Bible Study(WED): 7pm & Noon The Church where “It pays to be nice”.

St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church 5017 S. Compton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011 (323) 231-1040 • 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)

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

L.A. Focus/February 2017

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


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

West Angeles Church of God In Christ 3045 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016 (323) 733-8300 Bishop Charles E. Blake Sunday School: 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

Lifeline Fellowship Christian Center In Altadena 2556 N. Lake Ave., Altadena, CA 91001 (626) 797-3585 • F: (626) 797-3233 • Pastor Charles D. Dorsey Sunday School: 9am Early Worship (Glory Prayer): 8am Morning Worship: 10:30am Evening Worship (1st & 2nd Sun.): 5pm Wed. Bible Study: 7pm

Judson Baptist Church In 451 E. 223rd St, Carson, CA 90745 (310) 834-2630 • F: (310) 513-0943 • Dr. Johnny V. Baylor, Pastor/Teacher


Sunday Worship Service: 9:30am Children’s Church (Except 5th Sun): 9:30am 2nd & 4th Sun. Speak Life Youth Ministry: 12:30pm Wed. Bible Study: Noon Streaming live at

Sunday School: 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 • 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 • 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: Reverend Michael J. Fisher & Dr. W. Jerome Fisher, Pastor Emeritus Sunday Morning Worship: 9am, 11am & 5pm Wed. Bible Studies: Noon-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

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

In Gardena

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

Pastor Profile: Dwaine Jackson Church: Bryant Temple AME How Long: Three months Hometown: San Francisco (Raised in Los Angeles Education:Antioch University; Payne Theological Seminary Family: Married to wife, LaShawnda 10 years; Eight children How did you get involved in ministry? I grew up in the AME church. My grandmother went to Bethel AME on 79th and Western so we started to go there and I stayed there until I was assigned to my first church. I knew at the age of 20, I would be a preacher. I felt the move of God in my life and the spirit moving in me. I was in the choir, I was an usher, I was everything and I enjoyed it until the first time they had me pray before the congregation on a third Sunday—which was our youth Sunday— and I was in tears. I prayed and something happened that day. It was just the power of the Holy Ghost and I felt the call of God on my life. Did you want to become a preacher? If it were my choice, I would not have been a preacher. Initially, I wanted to be an attorney. Did preaching come natural to you? I was always a talker. In fact, during my college years I was like a party promoter because I was looking for ways to make money, so we started doing parties and I became the MC. Then God changed that from partying to the Word. I began to get deeper into the Word and was always in church and always wanted to pray. I eventually became the chaplain of my fraternity. What were your aspirations? I got ordained an Elder in 1996. My ministry was helping the homeless and those with substance abuse issues. I was also bringing community projects to the church. Then something happened and God gave me the desire to pastor. Six years ago, I was assigned by Bishop Kirkland to Bethel AME in Barstow. I stayed in Barstow two years and got the assignment to St. James AME church and was there for three years. The church was able to start to grow again and after that, I received this assignment. All [Bryant Temple] needed was direction. They were having some financial struggles. When I got there on November 1, our arrears were about $26,000 and as of last month, we don't have any arrears.

Should we chalk that up to a keen sense of business? Not only that but I suggested the members take ownership in what they call their church. One thing I say to them is that if pastor suggests something and we take a vote and it doesn’t go pastor’s way, I’m still willing to work and try what they want. However, if it does not work their way, all I ask is that we try my way. I also said if you are going to be an officer in this church I am expecting that you fulfill the duty of the officer. Don’t look to the pastor to do your job. I said if the pastor is held accountable, I am going to hold my officers accountable as well and they all bought into it. We are still in the honeymoon period, but we are having a good time. What are some of programs you hope to bring to Bryant Temple? We must go outside the walls of Bryant Temple. There are people who deal with mental health situations or the homeless sleeping right across the street. We are hoping right now for a women’s shelter program. I believe that every ministry or organization at Bryant Temple must be committed to doing a community service project. More importantly, when people come to the church, we say welcome but we don’t look at what their issues are—what it is that’s weighing them down? What brought them here? I go to church every week and look for something to change in my life. People are coming because they want something in their lives. The goal is to be change agents and help them to find the change they’re looking for. Would the boy you were at say 15 be surprised at the man you’ve become? Yes! Initially, I liked the streets, however, my grandmother was never going to allow me to stay out there too long. I use to sneak off and hang out with certain crowds but when my mother and

grandmother found out it was trouble. So they would easy pull me back in. that’s why I say yes and no. Anytime they let up off me, I would have been in trouble. What has preaching to others taught you about yourself? Most of the time I’m preaching to other people I am preaching to myself. Let me give you a good example: I just preached a sermon two weeks ago where I talked about Mary and Joseph—how Mary became pregnant and they weren’t married and so that was an interruption and embarrassment. Then two days ago my mother was rushed to the hospital. They thought she was having a stroke and so God allowed me to preach that sermon to prepare me for my mother going to the hospital unexpectedly. You have to believe what you are preaching to the people. You have to show that you have faith that God will do just what He said He will do. I believe that God keeps every promise He made and He won't leave nor forsake you. You’ve observed the L.A. church scene all your life, what do you think about it? I have to be careful with this one. I believe there is a lot of room for growth. The church has to supportive of one another. The church has to stand on what we preach. I think the church needs to become more community involved. Things happen in our city and we jump on the bandwagon and begin to” fight the good fight,” but how long does that fight last? I believe if we are going to be in it, let's be in it. We have to be in it when the cameras are gone. We have to be there when the politicians are gone. We have to be there to fight the fight. What do you think is the biggest issue facing the church right now? If we don’t look at that 18-35 group, the Pastor continued to page 26

From the Pulpit: Mt. Tabor Baptist Church n Mark 10:46-52, Jesus is passing through Jericho on his final journey to Jerusalem. Jericho is one of the most significant cities in the biblical story. It was at Jericho that God summoned Moses to the top of mount Nebo. It was at Jericho that Joshua marched around the walls until they fell down. It was at Jericho that a tax collector named Zacchaeus met the master and discovered that this man receives sinners and it was on the road to Jericho that a good Samaritan stopped to bind up the wounds of a man that he had been beat up, passed up and then picked up. Jericho represents the ebb and flow of our life experiences because life is up and down. You’ve had good days and bad days, but it’s good to know in the words of this passage that even in our own Jerichos, Jesus passes by. In our text, as Jesus passes through Jericho, Bartholomew seems to be saying, don’t forget about me. The good news is although the text indicates there was a great number of people with Him, the Lord heard him crying out for mercy. That’s the word to someone: that the Lord knows you—individually and intimately. He knows your name, He knows your need and He said in His word that He knows the very hairs that are on your head. When you pray, he hears you. He was en-route to a divinely determined appointment on Calvary but when He hears the request from this fellow, the Bible says Jesus stood still. He interrupted His itinerary for one individual despite the eternal significance of His sacred schedule. He stopped because Bartholomew called His name. He stopped because He heard somebody saying come by here and anyone here can identify with this fellow who called on the Lord and sometimes the hustle of all your whole life experience, you too have sat in your own Jericho and said “Lord, don’t forget about me.” The Lord will hear and respond to your prayer. The challenge is to look beyond the symptoms to the source. Often burdens come in bundles. We are often pressured by perplexing problems, and we’ve all suffered from dilemmas Bartholomew faced. First of all, he was blind, secondly he was bankrupt, and finally he was burdened. He was blind, and when we visualize our problems


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

In Hawthorne

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

Victory Institutional Baptist Church 4712 West El Segundo Blvd., Hawthorne, CA 90250 (310) 263-7073 • Pastor Richard Williams, III Sunday Morning Worship: 9am Sunday Evening Worship: 6pm Wed. Mid-Week Worship: 7pm Bible Study Tuesday: Noon & 7pm

“Be Encouraged: The Lord Hears Your Prayer”

brothers and sisters, we must confess that sometimes we don’t see what ultimately matters in life. Our perceptions are often blurred by the cataracts of carnality so that we are blind to the blessings that God has given us and sometimes we settle for a cheap substitute. We engage in erroneous evaluation and make bad bargains but the problem is we value eyesight more than insight, the material more than the spiritual, and earthly things more than eternal treasures. He was blind. Secondly, he was bankrupt and when we visualize our problems spiritually we realize that we search for security and for significance. We often end up economically depressed and morally deficient. We overspend our financial resources and neglect the spiritual growth to strive and accomplish two things. One to satisfy obsessions and to secure possessions and yet we are never really satisfied. Don’t we all know that our lives are unfulfilled without God. As the text says, he sat by the highway, and if body language means anything he is saying I don’t have the energy to go on. He’s a perfect picture of those who have lost their spiritual expectations, their spiritual anticipation, and hope. He’s sad because he was carrying some things that were weighing him down. We all can identify with this fellow and so whatever your problem is, it has a source and many of the problems we endure because we’ve been spiritually blind, we’ve been morally bankrupt and emotionally burdened, but when we cry out to the Lord, not only does it expose our emptiness, but it exposes an expectation that comes to the only one who can satisfy the hunger we have. Don’t make prayer your last refuge. God does not break into our lives. If you want the door to be opened, knock and the door shall be opened. Notice when Bartholomew prayed, Jesus was on his way out of Jericho. And the word to some today is you never know when it's your last time, but each day we ought to live like this is the last day. If you need to seek Him, you need to do so now. Don’t wait till Sunday morning, now is the time. The 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 Pastor Geremy L. Dixon

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 • 9:30am • 11:45am Wed. Mid-Week Service: 7pm

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

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

Morning Worship: 8am & 11am Wed. Mid-Week Service: Noon Wed. Teaching Ministry: 7pm 1st Sunday Communion 5th Sunday Baptism

Pastor Ticey Brown New Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church 434 S. Grevillea, Inglewood CA 90301 (310) 673-6250 Office • (310) 673-2153 Rev. Dr. Phillip A. Lewis, D. D., D. Th., Senior Pastor Sunday School: 9:30am Early Worship: 8am Morning Worship: 11am First Sunday Evening Worship: 5pm Mid-Week Bible Study Wed.: 7pm Radio: KTYM 1460 AM Saturdays at 8pm & Mondays at 7pm

In Irvine

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

PASTORAL VACANCY Greater Temple of God Christian Fellowship Inc. is currently accepting applications for a pastor. Greater Temple has been a cornerstone for over 49 years in the South Central/Watts community. We are seeking a man of God in accordance with Titus 1:7: “For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain”; and 1 Timothy 3:2 “An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach.” The Pastor will lead bible study, work closely with the deacons, trustees, and other committees.

Applicants may request an application by email or until vacancy is filled at: Or by mail to: Greater Temple Of God Christian Fellowship P.O. Box 512096 • Los Angeles, CA 90051

L.A. Focus/February 2017

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

anecdote for your agony is the Word of God. How many of you know there’s hope in the Word? There’s help in the Word, there’s healing in the Word when he noticed what Bartholomew didn’t ask. He didn’t ask for a mansion. He cried out for mercy. That’s what we need more of than anything else. Jeremiah says it’s because of God’s mercy that we’ve not been cut down and His compassion never fails and His mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness. My word to that person who is praying and crying out to the Lord is that the Lord hears you. The Lord hears your prayer on your Jericho road. Keep on praying. Be purposeful in your praying. Be personal in your praying. Be passionate in your praying. Whatever your problem is the Lord has the power to fix it. Whatever your problem is the Lord has the power to mend it. Whatever your problem is the Lord has the power to heal it and His power often works immediately. Like grandma said, He is a right now God and He does not operate in chronological time but according to a divinely determined time. He may not come when you want Him but he is always on time.


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

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

Gospel Memorial Church of God In Christ 1480 Atlantic Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 (562) 599-7389 • F: 562-599-5779 • Bishop Joe L. Ealy Sunday School: 9:30am Sunday Worship: 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 Grant AME Church of Long Beach 1129 Alamitos Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 • (562) 437-1567 • Rev. Michael W. Eagle, Sr. Sun. Worship Experience: 10:45am 3rd Sun. Healing & Annointing: 10:45am Wed. Bible Study: Noon & 6pm Mothers of Murdered Youth & Children Were all receive a little attention, affection and love.

Pastor continued from page 22 church will die. If you go to most churches, you don’t have young adults. We do well at attracting them, but we have to be able to keep them. To allow them to take ownership in what's going on and be a part of what is happening—make them officers and leaders in the church. I know we have our tradition and I love our tradition, but we have to have that non-traditional service where you don’t have to come in wearing a suit and tie, you can come in relaxed and casual. What can we expect from Bryant Temple now—will they be a player in the community? You could expect for our doors to be open to the community. Expect us to reach out to our youth and young adults by ways of bringing programs that will not only attract them, but keep them. And yes, we will definitely be a player in the community. Healthcare continued from page 6

L.A. Focus/February 2017

places. We can lift up the successes of the California exchange and other exchanges through advocacy, through voices and through coming to the defense of Obamacare. We are supporting organizations, like Health Access, Families USA, Insure the Uninsured Project and other advocacy organizations and strengthening their capacity to bring the fight forward. That is number one. Number two is how do we manage on a parallel track to help get the right kind of people and the right kind of voices and the right kind of ideas in the repeal and replace conversation and debate? Q: What could California do to the provisions of health

26 maintain

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 1st & 5th Sunday Worship: 9am Sunday School/New Member Classes:8am Live Streaming on NuPhilly AppNuPhilly website: 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 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.

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 Christians Uniting To Make A Difference -Eph. 4:13

First AME Santa Monica 1823 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404 (310) 450-0331 Pastor Rueben Ford Sunday School: 9:30am Sunday Worship: 11am Bible Study: Thursday 6pm

Spirit of Zion Fellowship Church 10853 Victory Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91601 (805) 517-1907 • Pastor E.V. Hill II

Sunday School: 9am Sunday Worship: 10am Tuesday Bible Study: 7pm Mid-day Worship Thursday: Noon

reform even if the Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act? As you can imagine, a whirlwind of conversations [about options] is already unfolding. I will put them in three categories. The first category is let’s just preserve the progress we have made through Medicaid expansion and look to replace the anticipated loss of any federal dollars with state dollars or other revenue sources. Sources of those dollars could be the state general fund, a new tax, anything from soda taxes to marijuana taxes. The second is that we are free to do something different. You still have the financing issues to deal with, but you are not really building on what Obamacare has done. You are basically tearing that down and starting with something completely different. The third category is something in between those two. You preserve an aspect or two of Obamacare and build off of it. So that might be keeping the exchange and putting everything under it — Medicaid, Medicare and more of the individual market. In a sense, you are building from what Obamacare gave you and saying you can go even further. Our mission is to expand coverage and improve health for all. We are ready to invest in those ideas and make sure there is a healthy marketplace of ideas of what to do next in California. Q: In the short-term, if the federal government takes away the money, does the exchange shut down? Do people who gained coverage through the Medicaid expansion lose it? If they just take away the money without a replacement scenario, then we are back to seven million uninsured in California and in relatively short order. That is absent the state of California coming to the rescue with some general fund dollars. What we have in our favor against that is that you have midterm elections in two

In Van Nuys

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

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

In Pasadena Bethlehem Church 1550 North Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103 (626) 794-5211 • F: (626) 794-6592 Pastor Christopher A. Bourne

In Santa Monica

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

years and the GOP Congress would have to explain to their constituents how they gleefully eviscerated Obamacare and didn’t replace it with anything and now those constituents don’t have health coverage. I think the politics would mitigate against that worst case scenario. Areva Martin continued from page 8 oids were killing more blacks than whites that congress would have passed the same timely law. But that would be naïve, because in America black lives matter—just not as much as white ones. Passionate, outspoken and insightful, Areva Martin is one of the nation’s leading voices in the media. An attorney, advocate, legal and social issues commentator and talk show host, she is an audience favorite on a long list of shows from Dr. Phil to AC 360. For more information, visit: Unsung Hero continued from page 6 said. “I didn’t fear no man. If I didn’t wanna say ‘yes sir, no sir’, I had that right. I had to be free.” To be a freedom fighter, she said, required mental toughness. “I can still hear that sound when the police struck protesters over the head with their billy clubs,” she recalled. Asked if she ever took a beating while demonstrating, Leatha chuckled, inadvertently showing off her white teeth, she replied, “I was fast on my feet.” Despite the great risk to herself and her family, Leatha maintained she would have embarked on the same path for racial equality if she had to do it all over again. And she noted that as an active member of her church, she is just as passionate about the social and racial issues of today. “The fight continues because I don’t want my grandchildren shot down on the street because of their color,” she said.

Her granddaughter, Disha Ave McNeese, a gifted 13-year-old violinist described Leatha’s tenacity, strength, and fighting spirit as a unique quality. “My Gammy,” she called Leatha, “will give anything and everything that she has to anyone in need. Her love is unconditional.” Leatha’s only daughter Aveli Clay McCoy echoed similar sentiments. “It takes someone with a huge heart to not only have lived through those horrific times but also remain loving to everybody no matter the person’s ethnicity,” said McCoy. “In spite of all what she endured, none of it tarnished her as a person,” she added. As people began deserting the office building once the clock struck 5, Leatha explained why she insist on being called by her first name. “For so long the white man made us say ‘Mr. This and Mr. That, and you call my wife, Mrs. This, and Mrs. That.” African-Americans learned to accept this as the norm, she said. “Well, if I get married fifty times over I’m still going to be me. So call me Leatha.” Tony Rock continued from page 15 nicer person, just because a guy has a nicer job, doesn’t make him a nicer person. I see a lot of that dating in LA. If you have the things that attract women in LA, you get more girls. This is not all girls but some of them seem to be material-oriented and that’s not a genuine way to date somebody. Q: If you could stick to one of your professions [acting, producing, comedian] which one would you choose and why? A: Stand up comedy is the first love. That was the goal when I was a little kid. I didn’t say I wanted to be in a sitcom, I didn’t say I wanted to host a game show, I didn’t say I wanted to do anything else, but stand-up comedy so I will take that first every time. Stand up has afforded me to do very major things in my career.


to Pie e’s Sweet Pota n u th e B d o Le Mary Mc Ingredients: unds) Filling yams (about 4 po sweet potatoes or ium ed d m ne fte 9 r or margarine, so cup (2 sticks) butte 1 r ga su cup granulated 1/2 n sugar ow br ed ck cup firmly pa 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 eggs, well beaten 3 cups milk 2 tablespoon vanilla 1 Crust ssic single crusts unbaked 9-inch cla 3


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ash. nder. Peel and m Directions: t potatoes until te ee sw il bo g, in fill 1. For and nutmeg in 350 degrees. own sugar, salt br 2. Heat oven to r, ga su ed at eamy. Beat in tter, granul ctric mixer until cr 3. Combine bu ele of d ee sp m iu at med in milk and vanillarge bowl. Beat Beat in eggs. Beat d. ixe m ll we til g about 4 cups fill sweet potatoes, un d pie shells, usin ke ba un 3 to in n la slowly. Spoo til set. ing per shell. 60 minutes or un degrees for 50 to 0 gfri 35 re at in ke e Ba or 4. rving. St perature before se Cool to room tem erator. g in greased ing as a puddin Variation: Bake fill s as X3/4-inch gl 12 1/2 X 8 1/2 for about ke Ba . baking dish til set. one hour or un cups o Sprinkle with tw alm sh ar miniature m 5 en ov to rn tu lows. Re til un or es ut in m to 10 are marshmallows d. ne lightly brow

Behind The Beauty “the cut game”

L.A. Focus/February 2017

As I scroll through Instagram, I see more and more barber videos and I'm astonished at how the barber industry has evolved. The charm of the barber shop has grown from a place to talk sports and get a tight fade, to full-service men's grooming providing the edge men look for. Barbers are now offering not only designer cuts that rival Picasso, but detox facials as well. If your beard is not connecting, barbers have new techniques to will give you the perfect line. There are even hair extensions to give you the perfect flat top. And hair color is not just for Eminem. New barbers from all ethnic backgrounds and areas are entering the industry giving it a new flair. There are also more product and hair care lines created for men coming to retail. I recently sat down with friend and barber Trevor Graham to get his take on this quickly growing industry. The owner of In the Cut Barber Salon (located at 216-220 W. Regent Street, Inglewood), Trevor is a 36-year veteran who got his start cutting hair for friends at the age of 14 while a student at Verbum Dei High School. What is the current state of men’s grooming? “Those before 1995 saw it as valid and took the business seriously. From 1996 until 2000 it was treated casu-


ally and becoming a casualty. Many viewed this art and craft as a hustle in order to achieve a level of financial “okayedness.” From 2000-2002, it started growing and becoming more serious. You were able to see people who viewed this as a business. They took it seriously and purchased homes, raised families etc.. Starting in 2013, barbering took a more serious approach spawning from the seriousness and the rebirthing of designs and graphics. Then in 2014-15, the true essence of barbering took on its true meaning with the rebirth of the beard, which is barbering’s true origin.” What's the state of the barber industry? Where do you see it going in the next 3-5 years? “There's a fork in the road. Those who are completely dedicated and all in will force the casual barber to commit career suicide. The businessman will come to take over his kitchen.” So, there’s competition, but that means there will be even more growth in the industry. The barbershop is not just about the cut, but also about the experience. In the Cut has flat screen TVs and old-school arcade video games. Audacity in View Park boasts a custom suit gallery at the entrance of the shop. Barber Lounge in the Westfield Shopping Center Culver City has a full bar at

with Nichol Goff t h e i r entrance— and the amenities go on. T h e afflue n t male h a s h i s choice o f grooming and pampering. What does this mean for the male client? Enjoy!”


Nicole Goff is the owner/operator of Golden Grassroots Sales & Marketing and Runway Lashes Cosmetic & Beauty Spa, a full service salon offering eyelashes, hair care and styling, eyebrows, nails, pedicures, makeup, waxing and massages. They are located at 5591 W. Manchester Avenue in Inglewood. For more information, call (424) 702-5580


“The Quest For Michelle Obama Arms” I remember the first time I laid eyes on Michelle Obama. I thought to myself, “she is absolutely beautiful, extremely intelligent and her arms are AMAZING.” The former First Lady’s beautifully-toned arms are the envy of woman. Since Michelle Obama hit the scene, women have taken notice of her signature bare arms and are working harder than ever to get their own arms in shape. It’s really great to witness the fitness craze Obama started. However, there are other muscle groups that are essential to creating those lean, toned and sculpted “Michelle Obama arms”. I train arms twice a week with two days of rest in between. This gives my arms the opportunity to grow correctly because muscles don’t grow when you’re working out. Muscles grow when resting. When training arms most people focus on the bicep because it is the most noticeable part of the arm. What many don’t realize is that your triceps make up 2/3 of the arms muscle mass. However, the bicep accounts for only 1/3 of that muscle mass. If you work your triceps in combination with your bicep your arms will look much better. I like training with weights. Adding weights to your regimen will simply get you to your goal faster. However, you don’t always have to use weights to tone arms. When I’m not using weights, I like to build muscle the old school way. With concentrated effort and the right exercises

such as push-ups, arm circles, bench dips and ball tossing you can get the look that you want without weights.

Michelle Obama like guns

My favorite exercises for toning and sculpting my arms are: standing biceps curls, hammer curls, concentration curls, triceps kick backs, scull crushers and triceps bench dips. When I started working my arms it took about six weeks for me to see any significant difference. However, the compliments came a lot sooner. Every time I moved someone mentioned how great my arms looked. It doesn’t take much to get your arms in shape. Simply work hard and stay consistent. If you paid close attention to Obama’s you may notice that her shoulders are amazing as well. Shoulders are important when building perfect arms. Shoulders have three areas of focus—the front, side, and rear. Your side deltoids should grow in proportion to your biceps so that

What many don’t realize is that your triceps make up 2/3 of the arms muscle mass. However, the bicep accounts for only 1/3 of that muscle mass. If you work your triceps in combination with your bicep your arms will look much better”

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your biceps and arms appear more defined and sculpted. My favorite shoulder exercises are: military press, lateral raises, bent over lateral raises and upright rows. I work through a combination of these exercises twice a week for 30 minutes. When engaging in these exercises it’s important to keep the number of sets per exercise and the number of repetitions high. For example, when performing Standing Bicep Curls do 4 sets or more with 15 to 25 repetitions per set. Remember, when creating tone and definition keep the intensity level high by changing exercises, raising the poundage and keeping the rest periods between exercises short.

Diet is Everything and Cardio is King

Getting the proper amount of protein in every meal is essential to building lean muscle mass. Your diet should provide one gram of high quality protein per pound of body weight each day and approximately 300–500 more calories than your maintenance calorie intake level. I also supplement my diet with high quality vitamins and minerals to ensure I receive the nutrients needed to perform at optimals level and build the muscle I desire. Reducing your body fat is also key when defining your arms. The lower your body fat percentage the more your muscle definition will show. This is why cardiovascular exercise is as equally important as diet. Having nicely defined, “Michelle Obama arms” allows you to wear whatever you want. Whether it’s sleeveless, strapless or backless. What I love the most about having nicely defined arms is being less stressed, more confident, and feeling stronger than ever.



L.A. Focus/February 2017

ime flies and for CeCe Winans who has spent the better part of the last several years building the Nashville Life Church she and her husband established and now co-pastor—that meant she hadn’t released an album in the last nine years. Much has changed since then, but for this ten-time Grammy winner who owns the distinction of being the darling of gospel music, one thing is constant and that is the devotion of fans who have made her the genre’s sixth —and seventh (as Bebe & Cece) —biggest selling brands, fueling seven solo albums to the top of the charts and selling five million units. A string of number one hits include such classics as “Alabaster Box”, “Well Alright” and “Count On Me” with Whitney Houston. Never mind the multiplatinum success—and hits—she enjoyed with her brother Bebe as one of gospel’s hottest selling duos. With a name that is synonymous to gospel, there is little fear that any new release would be met with anything less than success. Even without having released a record in nearly a decade, Winans was the 15th most streamed artist in gospel music in 2015 and remained one of its most in-demand performers. Still, the Nashville-based artist who has authored three books, is not one to rest on her laurels as she believes her latest release, “Let Them Fall In Love”— released on February 3— is sure to show. The album, a departure from her trademark praise and worship style, is the vision of her son, Alvin Love III, an up and coming songwriter and producer who wrote all but two of the songs on the album. “My son Alvin came to me about five or six years ago and shared with me this idea of a record that would be relevant—young and hip but at the same time bold lyrics, lyrics that would definitely need to be said. He understood who I was as an artist and it took him a while to sell me on some of the styles because the styles are very different,” Winans says of the throwback album that fuzes gospel, pop and R&B. It took some convincing to get Winans to see things his way and perform songs she would have been prohibited from listening to growing up in Detroit. “It had to be something I feel I’m anointed and passionate about and after I meditated on it and he started showing me the lyrics, everything started to come together and a light went off,” Winans said. “Being the age that I am and having done the music for as long, it's easy to get into the comfort of my way and if you are going to really give somebody something new and fresh you have to let your way go. I did that because I wanted to accomplish something that would be outstanding and fresh and I love the record. The message is strong and fans are going to hear a lot of unexpected things but I believe all of my listeners, who have been with me over the years, will love it. I also believe I am going to get a lot newer listeners.” The biggest challenge for the 52-year old mother of two was taking orders from her son. “Going into the studio and him saying, ‘No Mom do it again, do it again.’ I said wait a minute, I have to actually listen to you, but I had to listen to him because he is a great artist and he has a good ear. He hears things I would never hear and so it was a really great experience for me to see him do what I know he’s been called to do


Cece Winans

We can always look back and be blessed by what God has done, but God is a moving God,” Winans reflects. “He’s always doing something new and different and I can say this is my best work because I’m more mature now. I’m better, I know who I am. I know the impact I want to have.”

and to see God’s faithfulness. That was pretty awesome.” What else was awesome for the veteran recording artist was the chance to sing with fellow vocal powerhouses, The Clark Sisters on the track, “Hey Devil”. ““Hey Devil” is full of attitude so I brought the girls. Nobody can sing like the Clark sisters and so they came in and I was like, you know what saints, I know we are talking about the devil but we can’t just say anything. We were going to put a stiletto in his eye. That song to me empowers or should I say reminds us of the authority we have in Jesus because as believers we forget who we are and what we possess and for some reason we act like the devil has almost as much power as God and he doesn’t.” “It was my first time recording with all of the Clark sisters and my mom was in there for this session so I knew this song was going to be different. She had her little iPad and they started singing and she said: “I like that, Hey Devil.” I was like okay we’ve got mom so if she is 80 and loves it and I have my son and he loves it, it's transcending generations.” What’s more, at this stage in her life, Winans says it’s about excellence. “So each song is a strong message. Each song has a style that embodies power and passion.” She is joined by Hezekiah Walker on “Dancing In The Spirit”, channeling big brother Marvin on the remake of the song he recorded 30 years ago. “He sang it on a Ron Winans and Friends album and he killed it. So I took some of his ad-libs and I tried to be Marvin in this song but I didn’t quite make it, but I mean there’s no choir like Hezekiah Walker’s choir. It was unbelievable. The first song she heard was the title track, “Let Them Fall In Love”. "I told my son that it had to be the heartbeat of the record," says Winans,” of the album is recorded on Pure Springs Records, the label she established in 2000. "There's a lot of different styles and a lot of strong messages on there, but all of them are to bring us to the point of falling in love with love, faith, joy, and peace. This is why I came back after nine years." Ironically, Priscilla "CeCe" Winans has never seen herself as a star or even a great vocalist. "I can choose people off the top of my head who sing three times better than I do,” reveals Winans who was the eighth of ten children born to one of gospel music's most renowned musical families. “I don't worry about that because it's not about my voice; it's about the anointing God has given me. When I do a project and feel

God is pleased with it, I just sit back and brace myself for where it’s going to go." Thus far, her music has only gone one way—straight to the top of the charts, beginning with a successive string of hits that landed she and her brother Benjamin "BeBe" Winans at number one in 1987 with the release of "I.O.U. Me" off their self-titled debut album. Their near-ten year rein on top would bring two more number one radio singles, four gold albums, (two of which - "Lord Lift Us Up" and "Addictive Love" - went platinum), seven Grammy Awards, nine Dove Awards, three NAACP Image Awards and a Soul Train Award. Then, with a step out on faith in 1996, she released her first-ever solo recording titled “Alone In His Presence She was more than pleased with the outcome. The record was certified gold with sales topping 500,000 units and brought another Grammy. Taking risks is something Winans—who established her own label, has written three books and even done some acting—seems to be more comfortable with. “We can always look back and be blessed by what God has done, but God is a moving God,” Winans reflects. “He’s always doing something new and different and I can say this is my best work because I’m more mature now. I’m better, I know who I am. I know the impact I want to have.” And Winans has never been shy about using her fame to fuel her ministry or the work she has done for girls. Said Winans, "Yes, I want to sell more albums. Yes, I want to have a bigger audience because I feel the world needs to hear what I have to say. But I don't worry about that because God's will for my life is the only thing I want. So I don't judge my success on the charts, or on how many albums I sold. I judge it from the peace I feel within myself that I'm right where God wants me to be, because I ' v e learned that every door He wants me to go through, He opens. A n d everywhere I've been and what I have achieved is all because of Him."

L.A. Focus On The Word February 2017  
L.A. Focus On The Word February 2017