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Money Matters: Atlanta Housewife Cashes In On Passion For Hair PAGE





Grace: Deborah Cox Stars In “The Bodyguard” At the Hollywood Pantages




May 2017

L.A. Focus Publication

Left: Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Kelly Rowland attend Wearable Arts Gala Center; Magic & Cookie Johnson, John W. Mack, Dana Henry, Nolan Rollins, Holly Robinson-Peete and Rodney Peete. Attend the 44th Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Dinner. Right: Apostile “Bam” Crawfield & Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas attend the 25th Anniversary of L.A.’s Civil Unrest Ceremony.

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One On One

Commentary “Remembering the Role of L.A.’s Black Media”

From The Editor Upfront

Auntie Maxine Keeps The Heat Up On Trump: Fatal Shooting of Black Males Still Dominate Headlines

Head to Head

7 Headlines From Africa Trump’s First 100 Days Report Card: Pass or Fail

Money Matters

9 Biz News Briefs

Atlanta Housewife Cashes In On Passion For Hair

Gabrielle Union Expands Into Beauty Industry;Beyonce Launches Formation Scholars; Radio One Celebrates Another Expansion

On The Money Derek Jeter’s Ownership Stake

10 Inside Hollywood 13 Feature Story

Growing Gentrification Concerns As L.A. Residents May Have to Dig Deep to Stay

BET Teases New Season;Viola Davis & Husband Pact With TV One;


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

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

Wendy Raquel Robinson

14 Calendar/Around LA 16 Red Carpet Style Eye On Gospel 17 Church News 18 The 2017 MET Gala Awards

Forgiving James Fortune:Tye Tribbett Crack’s Top 10 Gospel Airplay with New Release,Work It Out: Anthony Brown Launches Clothing Line Apostle Beverly”Bam” Crawford Hosts 6th Annual Women’s Empowerment Conference:The Black Church & HIV Initiative Urge Pastor to Incorporate HIV into Ministry:First Lady Sarah Jakes Releases Book

20 From The Pulpit 22 Through The Storm 23 Pastor Profile

Reverend Mary Minor Brookins Kirkland Community AME

“Aint’t No Sunshine When He’s Gone” Pastor Edgar Boyd

Brush With Cancer Led Actor to Launch Skincare Brand- Hill Harper



First Lady Larleslie McDaniel A Place of Worship

Greg King

Deborah Cox

KCCD founder/president Hyepin Im addresses more than 1,000 at the 25th Saigu commemorative service for the 25th anniversary of the L.A. Riots in Koreatown, stressing unity and greater communication between Koreans and blacks.

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.


24 In Good Taste 25 Saving Grace 26

First Lady Files

Cover Design: Feature Image: Upscale Media Group and students atFounder Angie Evans the Price III Chris Frederick K.C. tian Schools


Jasmyne Cannick California Black Media

“Remembering the Role of L.A.’s Black Media 25 Years After the 1992 Civil Unrest” I was having a conversation recently with a local producer who was trying to put together a piece commemorating the 25th anniversary of the South Central Los Angeles Riots. Before I could even get into the conversation—which was probably my fifth at the time on the exact same subject I’d had with other producers—I had to break down for her the difference between labeling what happened in 1992 as a riot versus a rebellion, uprising or civil unrest and the reaction that “riot” evokes in the people she’s trying to get to participate. In my experience, those looking from the outside in often use the term riot while those who were there understand that it wasn’t just Black people wilin’ it out for the sake of wilin’ out. Over the next few days there is no angle that is not going to be exploited and exhausted in discussing and dissecting what happened in Los Angeles 25 years ago—except for one. The role that the Black media played in communicating to and connecting the stories of the Blacks in South Los Angeles to Blacks everywhere. In 1992 our version of social media happened weekly on Thursdays and Fridays when most Black newspapers published. When the 1992 Civil Unrest occurred, the mainstream media was scrambling trying to find and hire Black reporters and photographers who could get into Black neighborhoods and get stories without being booted out by angry residents who were tired of being exploited and mischaracterized on the evening news andin the Los Angeles Times. Television newscasts opened with commentators using words like “riot” and with images of Black people running through the streets of South Los Angeles, Watts and Compton with couches, television, shoes and groceries. Believe it or not, there are even some reporters and photographers today that have written reflection pieces commemorating the 25th anniversary as if they survived World War 3 those six days in the spring of 1992. But what about the drumbeat of the Black community? Los Angeles’ Black media has not had their story told. The story of how newspapers like the Los Angeles Wave, Los Angeles Sentinel, L.A. Watts Times and Final Call continue today providing Blacks in Los Angeles with culturally relevant news from a Black perspective. How when in 1992 Black people were being labeled as thieves, looters, rioters, and arsonists and seemingly being compared to animals running wild and in need of control —it was the Black media who set the story straight and explained that a community of people who have suffered police brutality and abject poverty didn’t necessarily view the structures


From the Editor

burned down as their own and that while there was some unnecessary looting, the majority of the looting was for food and necessities. And then there’s the story of how 25 years later, an early morning show called the Front Page on a little Black owned radio station called KJLH is still on the air discussing issues from a Black perspective. It was KJLH who helped a woman who had called into the station crying about needing her insulin and being unable to get it because her local drugstore had been burnt down. Within hours the station had connected her with a doctor who was able to help her. It was KJLH who broadcasted around the clock from their 3847 Crenshaw location when reporters from other stations like KFWB were not allowed into the area or were chased out of the community by Blacks. I spoke with former KJLH News Director Carl Nelson who explained to me that after the death of teenager Latasha Harlins it was KJLH who opened their phone lines to the community who by then were beyond frustrated with their relationship with the Korean American community. A year later when the acquittals were announced for the four Los Angeles police officers involved in videotaped arrest and beating of Rodney King, it was KJLH who everyone had to tune into listen to because the brothas in the community wouldn’t let anyone who didn’t live over there past a perimeter set up on Crenshaw and Adams—including reporters and photographers. What started off in 1991 as 15 minutes at six in the morning for the community to sound off on issues important to them morphed into 90 minutes of L.A. radio’s longest running daily news talk show for, about and by Black people. A show that can still be heard in Los Angeles from 4:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. on KJLH Monday through Friday. So while the mainstream media is falling over themselves trying to retell the events of 1992, I think it’s important to remember the role that the Black media played in telling and sharing our stories. What happened in 1992 was not just a bunch of angry poor Black people trying to come up on free stuff and burning buildings down. It was six days in the spring of 1992 before the advent of social media and the Black Lives Matters movement when Black people in Los Angeles collectively said and showed that their lives mattered. Jasmyne A. Cannick is nationally known TV and radio commentator on social, political, and race issues who works in politics as a communications strategist. Follow her on Twitter @Jasmyne, on Facebook @JasmyneCannick or visit


“SAIGU Reflections”


Historically, Koreans had not fared much better than blacks except for in areas like business ownership. In many cases—like homeownership rates, mortgage debt and public sector households —they fared worse, according to a “Color of Wealth in Los Angeles County” study comprised for KCCD. Many had sympathized with Blacks after seeing the beating of Rodney King and understood their anger. But it was during the riots Korean Americans faced the harsh truth that they had little political capital and without it, their victimization had—like Blacks—been marginalized. “Nothing in my life indicated I was a secondary citizen until the L.A. riots,” recalled Korean businessman Chang Lee to CNN. “The LAPD powers that be decided to protect the ‘haves’ and the Korean community did not have any political voice or power. They left us to burn.” On Saturday, April 29, 2017 Im and the KCCD held a commemorative service for the 25th anniversary of the L.A. Riots in Koreatown to not only remember the injustices that led to the uprising, but to reaffirm shared values and unite communities in solidarity. “The L.A. riots was not a black-Korean issue,” said one speaker. “It was a poverty issue; it was an issue of language barriers.” Life teaches us more than anything that people are people. They love. They fear. They strive to be successful and take care of their families. They want to be respected and treated fairly. In the words of the late Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?” Turning to this issues highlights—upfront is Auntie Maxine (Waters), who has become a newfound hero for so many for the way she has kept the heat up on President Donald Trump. See our story on page 6. Our feature delves into our changing communities and the gentrification underway in the southland starting on page 10. You’ll be inspired by Hill Harper’s brush with cancer and how it led him to establish a healthy skincare brand (page 23) and how Pastor Mary Minor put a broken church back on the right track. Also on page 6, the latest on the recently passed healthcare legislation and what it means for blacks. Finally, as this month is Mother’s Day, I want to celebrate my mother, Aleasta Newborn, my stepmother, Evelyn Boyd-Granville, and all those mothers who have sacrificed more than they could ever say to see their kids grow into healthy adults and despite all our efforts could never be repaid for all they have given. Happy Mother’s Day to all. Keep the faith.

L.A. Focus/May 2017

here were two flashpoints most Black Angelenos attribute to the underlying root cause of the L.A. riots, which observed its 25th anniversary last month. One happened when a Simi Valley jury acquitted four white Los Angeles police officers on April 29, 1992. The other happened six months before when Soon Ja Du a 51-year-old Korean store owner was fined $500 and sentenced to five years probation and 400 hours of community service, but no prison time for fatally shooting a 15year old black teen, Latasha Harlins in the back of the head after an over-the-counter scuffle involving a bottle of juice the woman believed Harlins was trying to steal. The shooting—just 13 days after the videotaped beating of Rodney King—inflamed already deep animosities between Korean shopkeepers and their black customers in South-Central Los Angeles. The simmering tensions and anger of that decision months before not only fueled the riots, but led to the destruction of more than the directed its frustration and hate against the Korean community that led to approximately $1 billion in damage, nearly half of which was sustained by Korean-owned businesses. Korean businessman who tired of wondering where the police were as their businesses were looted and burned to the ground took to arming themselves as if in armed combat in a street war taking to the rooftops of their buildings to protect all they had worked hard to accumulate. And after shooting at cars to stave off looters and arsonists, one Korean man— happy to see the LAPD finally arrive—was promptly handcuffed and had his firearm confiscated. A majority of the businesses lost were uninsured, leaving folks to start over with nothing and many of those who had insurance saw their businesses fail within weeks. Last month—more than ever before—Angelenos came to terms with their side of the story, believed by some Koreans to be the “greatest injury and tragedy to the Korean community” in the history of Korean immigration and dubbed 'Saigu' (meaning 4-2-9— the date of April 29). Many of the observations from last month’s commemoration of the were directed towards the heretofore untold side of L.A.’s Korean community—a community whose stoic silence before what happened 25 fateful years set them up as sitting ducks for the anger and frustration that had boiled over. Some recall it as a clash between two cultures, Blacks whose incomes relegated them to South Central housing and Koreans, whose piece of the American dream was a community largely left behind by white and Jewish storeowners in the decade following the Watts riots. But for those like Hypein Im, founder and president of Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD), it’s the similarities that ring truest. “There are so much more alike than we are different,” said Im who is one of many who have worked over the past two and a half decades to create bridges between the two communities to foster greater communication and understanding and to mend cultural tensions.


UpFront Auntie Maxine Keeps The Heat Up On Trump With His Impreachment As Her Primary Goal LOS ANGELES-Don’t mess with auntie. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For her constituents in the 43rd District, which encompasses a large swath of South Los Angeles, Waters is the pitbull advocate they need to represent them in the House of Representatives. To her peers over on Capitol Hill, Waters mean something entirely different. She is that no-nonsense hardliner that draws a line in the sand and dares you to cross it. Apparently, President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devn Nunes (R-CA) and others within the Republican Party have made the mistake of crossing ethics, and perhaps, treasonous lines in Waters’ eyes. And she hasn’t been quiet about it. Waters have been front and center in criticizing the actions of Trump, dumping gasoline on the fire known as the Bill O’Reilly sexual harassment scandal and taking the hardball playbook in standing up for issues such as supporting the political football known as Planned Parenthood. Waters has a reputation of pulling no punches, which is why Dr. Gloria Zuurveen, owner/founder and publisher of Pace News as well as a Los Angeles Press Club boardmember, invited her to speak. Waters didn’t hold back in releasing her feelings about collusion allegations between White House staff members and associates and Russia, and the overall corruption atmosphere in Washington, D.C. Dubbed A Conversation with Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the hour-long discussion, which was moderated by NBC’s Beverly White, Waters didn’t waste time before going into attack mode. Her first line of action was making a beeline in going after Trump. “My constituents…people are outraged at

the actions that are being taken by this president,” Waters said. “As a matter of fact, he turned a lot of them off during the campaign, as he did me.” Waters said it was Trump’s actions during the 2016 presidential campaign trail that left her sour about him being a potentially respectable commander-inchief. “When I saw him mock a disabled journalist (Serge Kovaleski), and basically make fun of him, I was turned off,” said Waters. “When he talked about grabbing women by their private parts, I was turned off. And I was at a place in Missouri, where he literally stalked Hilary Clinton, got in her face, called her crooked. And when she was trying to make her presentation, he just surrounded her.” It is no surprise that Waters sees Trump as less than respectable. “This is a dishonorable man,” Waters said. “This is a person who does not respect others. This is a person that does not deserve to be respected. And my constituents ….they want us to do something

Fatal Shooting of Black Males Still Dominate Headlines


L.A. Focus/ May 2017

ust about the time Walter Scott’s killer pleaded guilty, there was yet another senseless shooting of an unarmed black male. The Dallas County District Attorney's Office is investigating the shooting of Jordan Edwards, a 15year-old high school freshman who many are calling a talented athlete and straight-A student. On April 29, 2017 Edwards was shot as the car driven by his 16-year-old brother was leaving the party after the police were called when neighbors complained that the party was too loud. Roy Oliver, a six-year veteran of the Balch Springs Police Department, fired multiple rifle rounds at their vehicle. One of the bullets hit Edwards in the head and he later died from the injury. Oliver has since been fired. Early police statement falsely reported the car was "driving aggressively towards the officer." Footage later proved that was not the case. The Edwards family called for "Justice for Jordan" while requesting that people "refrain from protests or marches in Jordan's and in our family's name as we prepare for this funeral." Five months after a jury deadlocked on state murder charges


against Michael Slager in the 2015 slaying of Walter Scott, the former North Charles-ton police officer pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges. Slager was caught on cell phone video firing at Scott's back from 17 feet away. Five of eight bullets hit him. The plea agreement in the civil rights case made no mention of race but said Slager used deadly force knowing that it was "unnecessary and excessive, and therefore unreasonable under the circumstances." Slager, 35, admitted to a felony civil rights violation in a deal that will lead to two other federal charges being dropped against him, the South Carolina U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release. The plea deal also calls for the state to drop murder charges against Slager, bringing an end to the legal battle against the ex-officer more than two years after Scott was shot. Slager had pulled Scott over on April 4, 2015, because of a broken taillight on his 1990 Mercedes. Scott's family said he may have fled because he was worried about going to jail as he was $18,000 behind on child support. Slager could get up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing.

News Briefs DENNIS J. FREEMAN Courtesy of Pace News

about him, and when I called for impeachment, even though some of my colleagues said, ‘Shh! Don’t say that. It’s too soon.’ My constituents said, ‘Go get him.’” Trump wasn’t Waters’ only target. She saved a stingy rebuke for O’Reilly, the Fox News host accused by multiple women of sexual harassment. O’Reilly and Fox News recently shelled out $13 million to settle layers of sexual harassment claims (five). When White mentioned that O’Reilly had fled the backslash from his sexual harassment claims by going on vacation, Waters responded in only the way she can. “I’m hoping it is a permanent vacation,” Waters said. “This man has gotten away with some of the most outrageous and ridiculous things that he says year in and year out. He doesn’t deserve to be on television. He doesn’t deserve to have a channel.” Waters words proved to be prophetic because O’Reilly’s vacation became permanent as he was fired by Fox News on April 20, just one week later.

AHCA Passes House, Moves To Senate In a 217-213 vote, the House of Representatives’ passed Trump’s controversial American Health Care Act (AHCA), moving one step closer to the president’s promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare. “Obamacare is dead”, Trump remarked of the vote that led to near bedlam. “God have mercy on your souls,” said Sheila Jackson Lee of the legislation she dubbed as "the mother of all bombs" of healthcare dropped on the American people. “I am a person living with a preexisting disease...a breast cancer survivor. This heartless and callous bill, with 24 millionplus people being thrown off the healthcare [rolls], a reverse Robin Hood of stealing from the poor and the seniors laying in their beds—where you’re doing an age tax that is five times more than any other young person has to pay, is disgraceful.” “Today, the House of Representatives passed Trumpcare 2.0, forgetting those with pre-existing conditions in favor of a plan that won’t cover substance use treatment, mental health treatment, or maternity care,” stated Congresswoman Karen Bass. “There’s no way to tell how much this will cost those living in my district, as House Republicans rushed the bill AHCA continued to page 6

Urbsn League Releases Annual State Of Black America Report The National Urban League has released its annual status report, `The State of Black America.' The report reveals that while the Black community has made great strides, it must work to protect the ground it has made. The 2017 report, "Protect Our Progress," examines key areas such as jobs, wages, education, health care, voting rights, criminal justice reform, and financial literacy. "It's important that people understand we have to fight to protect the progress that's been made," said Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League (NUL). "And at the same time, resist any rollbacks." The report highlights small, but important, developments over the past year such as Black Americans now being 72.3 percent equal to their white counterparts, a slight increase from last year when they stood at 72.2 percent. Education moved to 78.2 percent from 77.4 percent last year and health outcomes improved from 79.4 percent to 80 percent, which may be because of more equal Medicare expenditures among blacks and whites. Economics—which is employment rates, wages, and business ownership— increased slightly to 56.5 percent from 56.2 percent. Morial writes in the 20 page (executive summary) of the report that it's "impossible" to discuss the current state of Black America without addressing the country's new political realities. Since President Donald Trump entered the White House in January, and Republicans assumed control of both chambers of Congress, critics have noted an increase in hate crimes; denounced policies impacting immigrants and Muslims; and protested efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and more.

Obama’s Presidential Library Plans Unveiled Former President Barack Obama shared plans for his future presidential center early this month, highlighting a place for youth and community programs on the South Side of Chicago where he raised his family and jumpstarted his political career. The $500 million project is a 225,000 square-foot, three-structure complex with a public plaza and surrounding park land near the shores of Lake Michigan. It will house a library, museum and forum, as well as classrooms, meeting spaces, a community garden and a recreational area. The goal is to "create an institution that will train the next generation of leadership," Obama announced. "So that they can take up the torch and lead the process of change in the future." Private donations will fund the institution and construction could take four years, though Obama said programming could begin as soon as this year.

Trump’s First 100 Days Report Card: Pass or Fail


resident Donald Trump's we got into a place that was Trump's Biggest biggest achievement in his really good. Violence was first 100 days? Easy. He Achievement in His low, the economy was grow1st 100 Days? stopped the left. ing, politics looked like it Stopping the Left Measure Trump's first 100 days was heading in the right not just by looking at what he has or has direction. ... We thought we had it going not accomplished. Look at what America exactly in the right direction, but now we would have experienced under the alterna- watch it fall apart. It's frustrating. ... I tive: Hillary Clinton. think, maybe, if we had stayed a little more Under Clinton, the debate would not be might have prevented it." on how to replace Obamacare, but how Under Obama, we bombed Libya, a misquickly can the left realize its ultimate sion that the Obama ambition, a Canadian-style, single-payer administration admitsystem. The issue would not be how steep ted was done for the tax cuts, but how many "rich" people, humanitarian reasons. aka job creators, would experience yet Libyan dictator Moamanother growth-restricting tax hike. mar Gadhafi had paid Under Clinton, the $100 billion-plus reparations for the terannually in new regulations imposed by rorist explosion of Pan President Barack Obama—much of it to Am Flight 103 over fight "climate change"—would continue to Scotland. And followrise. This stopped. President Trump signed ing the American-led Larry Elder an executive order that requires an elimi- invasion of Iraq, Gadhafi had surrendered nation of two regulations for every new reg- his weapons of mass destruction to the U.S. ulation proposed by an executive departYet under President Obama, America ment or agency in 2017, with a zero-dollar joined the French and British in bombing net increase in the cost of regulations. Libya to rid the country of Gadhafi. Under Clinton, newly confirmed conser- Incredibly, after criticizing George W. Bush vative Justice Neil Gorsuch would've been for not thinking through the invasion of another Ruth Bader Ginsburg/Sonia Iraq, when he was asked what he thought Sotomayor/Elena Kagan clone. Four left- was the "biggest mistake" of his presidency, wing SCOTUS justices, in the Heller case, Obama said, "Probably failing to plan for ruled that there is not an individual right the day after what I think was the right to keep and bear arms. Spare us a fifth. thing to do in intervening in Libya." Trump, too, has put the left-wing media For the most part, President Trump has on notice. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Through delivered on his promises, or has attemptWikiLeaks, we found that John Harwood, a ed to deliver on them. debate moderator, emailed a letter to Take immigration. While the wall conHillary Clinton campaign manager John struction has not begun, nor has Trump Podesta, bragging about a question he’d been able to figure out a way to get Mexico put to Donald Trump. He also emailed to pay for it, a psychological wall has advice on dealing with the challenge posed already gone up. Border-crossing appreby Dr. Ben Carson. Staffers for newsmen hensions were down more than 60% from Jake Tapper and Wolf Blitzer of CNN con- January to March, after Trump made it tacted the DNC to seek questions they clear the welcome mat has been rolled up. might put to Republican presidential candiAs for the "failure" to repeal and replace dates. There were many other examples of Obamacare, businesspeople nevertheless flat-out collusion, well beyond the liberal have confidence that whatever emerges bias we've come to expect. will be less expensive, less onerous and less President Trump also changed eight intrusive than what they would have faced years of Obama's "leading from behind" for- under a President Hillary Clinton. eign policy by using our largest nonUltimately, Trump will likely be judged nuclear bomb on ISIS in Afghanistan and on one thing — the economy. If he manages bombing Syria for its use of chemical a 4% GDP growth, as promised during the weapons. Under Obama, we pulled out all campaign, few will care about his tweets. the troops from Iraq, despite the objections After 100 days of Trump, the earth did of his foreign policy and national security not open up and swallow America. His critand defense teams. One of the members of ics can crawl out from under the bed. The the Joint Chiefs of Staff, now-retired Army stock market has hit record highs; smallGen. Ray Odierno, said: "I go back to the business and consumer confidence polls work we did in 2007 (through) 2010, and Elder continued to page 24

Headlines From Africa


A look at current news from the continent of Africa the national grid. Sierra Leone: The nation’s Human Rights Commission and Children’s Commission have been directed to develop a project proposal for the supply of cold weather gear and medicines that will mitigate the chances of death and other complications affecting street children during the coming rainy season. South Africa: Motorists will have to dig deeper into their pockets next month as the price of petrol is set to increase by 49 cents a litre. Sudan: South Sudanese authorities blame fake news reports of a coup attempt and President Salva Kiir was stepping down from office caused a panic in south Sudan leading to South Sudan security forces being put on high alert. Somalia: Amid efforts to halt cross-border attacks by al-Shabab, Kenya and Ethiopia have been accused of using excessive force against Somali civilians, according to an internal report by aid agencies working in Somalia. The report says Ethiopia deployed a paramilitary force along the border to push back pastoralists who had settled in a "grey zone" between Somalia and Ethiopia. It says the force, known as the Liyu Police, committed acts of sexual violence, including a practice called “break and rape” in which women's limbs are fractured. Tanzania: Lawmakers have tasked the government with explaining when it will specifically revise the heavily criticized Law of Marriage Act of 1976 in order to protect young girls from being married off at a tender age in the face of increasing child marriages and school drop-out rates across the country. Debate on the marriage act started since 1994, with mostly contested sections being 13 and 17 of the law that allows a boy child to marry at age of 18 -- while a girl at the tender age of 14. Zambia: A bid by lawyers to have treason charges against Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema dropped has been rejected by a Lusaka court, which ruled that it did not have the authority to overturn treason charges brought against Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema. Hichilema, leader of the opposition United Party for National Development, was arrested during a police raid on his home on April 10. He has been charged with plotting with other people to overthrow the government between October 2016 and April 2017.

L.A. Focus/ May 2017

Angola: Despite efforts to prevent it, Malaria continues to be the biggest cause of morbidity and mortality in the country, according to the director of Angola’s health ministry. Four million cases of malaria resulting in more than 15,000 deaths were recorded the nation’s 18 provinces in the last 12 months, which the hardest hit segment of the populace being pregnant women and children under five. Burundi: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein recently expressed outrage at a troubling—and increasingly widespread—pattern of rallies in several provinces across the country, where young men from the Imbonerakure militia repeatedly chant a call to impregnate or kill opponents. According to the statement, High Commissioner Zeid said the organized nature of the marches, coupled with reports of ongoing serious human rights violations, lay bare the "campaign of terror" and rape being waged in Burundi. Cameroon: Government officials have launched another program to boost agricultural productivity. The Agriculture Value Chain Development Project code, sponsored by the African Development Bank to the tune of over FCFA 75 billion, will create 6,000 jobs for youths and over 24000 indirect jobs, while improving living conditions and ensure food security. Ivory Coast: The World Bank will grant Ivory Coast $100 million to $125 million in budget support in the coming months as a sharp drop in cocoa prices has negatively impacted the world’s biggest cocoa producer. The amount of aid will depend on the “strength of the reforms” that the Ivory Coast government puts in place. Cocoa—Ivory Coast’s biggest export crop — accounts for about a fifth of the nation’s shipments. Nigeria: The United Nations says it needs $4.4 billion by July to prevent famine in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeastern Nigeria. U.N. humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien told Security Council members that the United Nations is facing its largest humanitarian crisis to date and that without the necessary funding and full, safe and unimpeded access for aid workers, people will die. Kenya: Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the international trade association for the wind power industry, says Kenya is setting the pace in the region in the use of wind as a renewable source of energy by initiating the generation of 700 megawatts for

ince taking office 100 days accomplished, but let’s rewind to ago, President Donald J. 100 Days In: The when Trump was a candidate and Hate That Hate Trump has done little to was prone to spouting what he’d Created nothing of what he promaccomplish his first 100 days. ised to accomplish when he was a candiHere is Donald Trump’s proposed plan date. In fact, not only has Trump now for his first 100 days, straight from his denounced the first 100 days as an “artifi- website, a plan that Trump claimed was “a cial benchmark,” but he doesn’t seem to contract” between himself and the even remember goals he and his adminis- “American voter” to “Make America Great tration promised to achieve in the first 100 Again.” Trump now admits that he doesn’t days of his presidency. Yet after such a dis- know what his contract with the American mal showing, the voter said and that the 100-day benchmark worst by any presi- isn’t important. During a recent interview dent in his first 100 with the Associated Press, Trump was days in office, not only asked: “You put out a 100-day plan. Do you are almost 96% of feel like you should be held accountable to Trump voters pleased that plan?” with the president “Somebody put out the concept of a hunthus far, they would dred-day plan,” Trump responded. “But vote for him again. yeah. Well, I’m mostly there on most items. Which leads me to Go over the items, and I’ll talk to you ... ” Stephen Crockett this: If Trump voters To spare you the time and energy wastweren’t voting for Trump’s racist, xenopho- ed in reading a list of unfulfilled promises, bic ideology, what were they voting for? In I assure you that the plan proposed three fact, after seeing that he didn’t deliver on main areas of focus: cleaning up any of the promises he made for his first Washington, protecting American workers 100 days, what is the attraction about and restoring rule of law. He also swore he maintaining their vote if not hate? would repeal and replace Obamacare and Many have argued that calling Trump build a wall along the Southern border voters racist, all 59 million of them, is (that Mexico would pay for). ridiculous. But if Trump voters weren’t votAnd like most things associated with ing for the man because his racist, xeno- Trump, it’s been a lot of big talk and little phobic rhetoric aligned with their personal results. Since taking office, Trump has not beliefs, what were they voting for? Trump only failed to clean up Washington but also has arguably had the worst 100-day run of hasn’t even fully staffed 90 percent of the a U.S. president in the last 100 years, and top positions for which he’s responsible. if Trump voters still believe in their presiOne reason Trump is having trouble filldent after this poor showing, clearly they ing these positions is that he can’t stop the aren’t connected to his policy or politics. infighting within the Republican Party and His candidacy and the subsequent 100 inside the White House. Since taking office, days as president have been mired in scan- Trump has tried to run the White House dal and deceit. As a candidate, Trump was like a trumped-up version (pun intended) of swimming in a sea of litigation, from ques- The Apprentice. At one point he attempted, tionable business dealings to allegations of and failed miserably, to ram a dejected and sexual assault. dismal health care bill down the throats of There are rumblings of the Trump Congress, one that even Republicans administration’s close ties to Russia and refused to get behind. Russia’s interference with the 2016 elecNot to mention the actual real in-house tion; the hiring and firing of national secu- fighting between white nationalist Steve rity adviser Michael Flynn; the failed Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared immigration ban; the perpetual weekends Kushner over who gets to play president away from the White House; the while the president is present. Tourette’s-like ramblings on Twitter, But let’s not get stuck there. Remember including claims former President Barack the racist birdcall of “Build the wall” that Obama wiretapped his phone; the mess Trump voters would yell? He swore that that is Devin Nunes; ethics and question- Mexico was going to pay for it, and since able nepotism violations; and the gutter taking office, he’s switched gears completeball that was Trumpcare. ly and is currently trying to find the fundIn truth, the list of scandals, lies and ing in Congress to pay for a wall that could failures from this administration’s first 100 cost nearly “$70 billion to build and $150 days is much longer than anything it’s Crockett continued to page 24


MoneyMatters Atlanta Housewife Cashes In On Passion For Hair Real Housewife Brands Bethenny Frankel Skinnygirl Lisa Vanderpump Restaurants; Vanderpump Pets Bedroom Kandi; Restaurant Kandi Burruss NeNe Leakes Clothing Line/NeNe Leakes Store Kyle Richards Kyle by Alene Clothing Store Cynthia Bailey Bailey Agency; Eyewear; Cargo Porsha Williams Virgin Naked Hair Collection Teresa Guidice Proseco; Cookbooks

Catfights, cattiness, glitz, fashion and secret revelations have fueled the success of one of cable TV’s most successful franchises— Bravo’s Real Housewives—growing it into an empire with an estimated net worth of over half a billion dollars. But Bravo execs aren’t the only ones cashing in on the platform of the 2 million+ viewers on any given night. From clothing lines and sex toys to eyewear and Pinot Grigio, the housewives themselves are racking up some big profits with some lucrative business startups, the latest of which comes from the Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kenya Moore. Last month, Moore embarked a national tour to promote her Kenya Moore Hair Line, a collection of sulfate, phosphate and paraben-free products designed to grow hair longer and thicker. “I’ve always had a passion for hair care,” states the Detroit native, who was crowned Miss USA in 1993. “My grandmother used to tell me as a child that your hair was your crowning glory. That’s stuck with me my entire life and I feel like I just want to empower other women to love their hair. “As women, we like to change it up with a weave or a wig or extensions, color—things like that, but what I believe most empowers women is when they’re proud of what they have naturally. I just want to help women get their hair back healthy and strong and for them to feel good about themselves.” Priced from $14.99 to $16.99, the line

includes growth repair shampoo and conditioner, a growth serum and restorative growth mask. “I also have a product coming out that addresses edges and helping them to grow back your edges,” Moore reports. “It’s a big concern in our community because we’ve gotten traction alopecia from the weave and lace-fronts and the damage from the glue that has led to permanent hair loss in a lot of black women.” The line—available from Sally’s beauty and online at—is what Moore works on fulltime the seven months out of the year she’s not taping The Real Housewives of Atlanta. “I have partners, but it is borne from my passion for hair care. I have a big part in the developmental stages and formulas. It is 100% black-owned, double minority and it’s growing exponentially,” she reports. “It’s amazing the response that we’ve gotten from the fans. People who have tried it absolutely love it.” And being that Moore is the face of her brand, being on the show has provided a big boost to sales. “Obviously, the Real Housewives gives us a platform of millions worldwide every time the show airs,” Moore observes. “That’s a marketing platform with a broad reach that we’re not paying for. My brand is already recognized globally from London to South Africa.” Her business acumen is the result of her experience as a producer of seven films and TV projects as well as prior business endeavors including her fitness video, Booty Boot Camp. For her fearlessness, she Money Matters continued to page 24

On the Money Derek Jeter’s Ownership Stake Derek Jeter, who earned over $265 million over his 20-year career with the Yankees with whom he won five world series, will join Magic Johnson as one of the only minority superstar athletes to have an ownership stake in a major league baseball team. The ownership group led by Jeter and and former Florida governor Jeb Bush has won the auction to buy the Miami Marlins. The reported $1.3 billion price tag would be the second highest paid for a baseball team behind the $2 billion paid for the Dodgers in 2012. Surprising too, given the team’s record. Jeter, who has started a website for athletes and a publishing imprint since retiring from the Yankees in 2014, has long wanted to own a franchise. Though an unlikely pairing to most, Bush follows in the footsteps of his brother, George who was managing general partner of the Texas Rangers for five years before going into politics. The combined status of Bush and Jeter as owners is likely to not only enhance the team’s branding, but may also make its final approval by Major League B a s e b a l l — a process now pending—a done deal. But not so fast say insiders, who say there are multiple offers on the table and that and that Bush and Jeter still had money to raise.

Biz NewsBriefs Gabrielle Union Expands Into Beauty Industry

Actress Gabrielle Union is cashing in on her passion for style, partnering with women’s retailer, New York & Company (formerly Lerner’s) to be the face of the company’s 7th Avenue Design Studio collection. The actress—who currently stars in BET’s “Being Mary Jane”— will launch her own namesake collection, exclusive to New York & Company in August. The 7th Avenue Design Studio includes chic dresses, modern suiting, and versatile separates. Customers will see Gabrielle’s campaign in stores and online as well

as in print advertising, digital marketing, and social media. “I want to bring a Gabrielle spin to New York & Company by adding a unique element of style to the office—chic jumpsuits in the boardroom, dramatic coats over suiting,” said Union. “I am excited to work with a brand that’s known for embracing diversity and that caters specifically to women — especially women who want to look on-point without breaking the bank,” Union added. Earlier this year the actress who is married to Basketball star, Dwyane Wade, debuted a line of hair care products, Flawless. The brand contains 10 products priced from $19 to $29, including shampoo, conditioner, a hair masque, blow dry cream, hair protection spray, shine spray, an oil treatment and edge control gel. Beyonce Launches Formation Scholars Adding to the celebration of the one year anniversary of the release of her Lemonade, Beyonce has announced the establishment of Formation Scholars, a program targeting young women in college or graduate school. According to a statement posted on her website, the schol-

arship’s mission is to encourage and support young women who are unafraid to think outside the box and are “bold, conscious and confident." Beginning with the 2017/2018 academic year, four scholarships will be handed out to students studying creative arts, music, literature or African-American Studies at four participating universities: Berklee College of Music, Howard University, Parsons School of Design and Spelman College. One student will be selected from each school for the four scholarships. Those seeking more information about details and application deadlines can contact the colleges directly. Radio One Celebrates Another Expansion Radio One announced its acquisition of Red Zebra Broadcastings' WWXT-FM and WXGI-AM. While Red Zebra, a sports marketing company, moves toward a more digital delivery system, Radio One, the largest urban radio broadcaster in the country expands its Washington, DC market and diversifies its Richmond market with this acquisition. The deal is anticipated to close by the end of June.

GERALD BELL Contributor


L.A. Focus/ May 2017

espite opposition from members of the community, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a $1.2 billion hotel, housing, and retail project to break ground in South Central LA. With a 12-0 vote, the proposal passed last November to develop The Reef project–a massive undertaking that supporters say will transform the blighted area below the 10 Freeway, and create nearly 900 new job opportunities. The Reef covers two city blocks south of downtown Los Angeles on Washington Boulevard to the north, 21st Street to the south, Hill Street to the west, and Main Street to the east – separated by Broadway. According to the project’s dedicated website (, The Reef will roll-out 895 luxury condominiums, 528 apartments, a 208-room hotel, grocery store, pharmacy, multiple restaurants, a fitness studio, art gallery and parking for both cars and bicycles. Fears and frustration have been mounting that the high-end development will dramatically hike living costs in the area and force out several thousand residents. The United Neighbors in Defense Against Displacement (UNIDAD), a local coalition that appealed the project, argue that the city has not properly assessed the economic impact of the project, and the organization reports an estimated 43,000 residents could be displaced. Last year, in heated hearings at City Hall, South Central residents complained that the project would speed up gentrification and attract new residents who have been priced out of downtown Los Angeles, Echo Park and Silver Lake, and ultimately push poorer people further away from South LA. “The fact that developers are coming into formerly under-served areas I think is a good thing,” said City Councilman Curren Price of the 9th District. “Some people say it’s regentrification. I call it revitalization. But we don’t want only market rate housing, we want affordable housing. There has to be a balance and that has to be the task of not only elected officials, but community folks who are expressing concerns.” Price said there are thirteen sites that have been identified in District 9 that provide over 700 units of new affordable housing for families. Some of these developments are already being occupied while others are breaking ground this year and in 2018. They’re making affordable housing possible for families along the Blue Line, community living for seniors and even a veteran’s living community with wrap around services. Fact is, the resiliency of Los Angeles continues to be tested. This time it’s neither an earthquakes or rioting - but LA is up against a shortage of housing and more than brick and mortar is being demanded to satisfy those who want to move in, as well as longtime residents who are feeling threatened. Accommodating the population growth is going to mean increased density in Los Angeles. Real estate developers are hoping their proposed new plans will address the shortfall by erecting massive tall build-


Seldom do we talk about how new developments often contribute to increased policing and criminalization of Black, Latino and homeless residents. Further, growing business improvement districts also add additional layers of security and can call upon LAPD to expand their patrol resources. While this can be reassuring to some, it is clear that this has resulted in increased police brutality against – and incarceration of – Black and Latino members of our community.

ings with apartments, condos and shopping centers in neighborhoods long characterized by affordable homes and living standards. In Inglewood, there are plans for 3000 market rate luxury apartments at the Rams Stadium/Hollywood Park Development. In Boyle Heights, there are 4,400 luxury apartments going up, and in the Crenshaw/ Leimert Park area – in addition to the renovation and expansion of the mall – a new hotel, and nearly 1,000 all luxury apartments and condos are to be constructed. As a renter in the Leimert Park community Damien Goodmon is also the Executive Director of the nonprofit Crenshaw Subway Coalition (CSC). The organization empowers stakeholder groups in the Crenshaw, Leimert Park, and Hyde Park areas to highlight the issues of equitable and community-centered transportation planning to achieve racial and economic justice for South Los Angeles. Goodmon argues that there are many LA residents who are faced with their home values and rents starting to triple. He’s contends that the market rate big-project developments are presenting “ramifications that are being felt far and wide.” “What we’re seeing is homes in Liemert Park that went for $200,000 are now going for $700,000,” Goodmon reports. “Homes that were bought by teachers and other public sector workers – not managers – just regular old folk, are unaffordable now. What gets lost is our political power, our social institutions, our churches, and our Community based organizations when people are pushed out.” Moreover, Goodmon goes on to stress, “The fear at least for myself and others that represent the black community in LA is the cultural and economic commerce center in the Crenshaw corridor, and Inglewood as well. If we don’t take – not these miniscule actions – but concrete actions within this time frame, we’ll lose [that heritage].” Price concurs that housing costs are rising in Los Angeles and he is sensitive to those who are expressing worry about the potential displacement of low income residents. “The cost of living is going up everywhere and not just in South LA,” asserts Price. “It’s a reality that we all are confronting.” Additional Los Angeles developments on the horizon include the 30-story Cumulus Skyscraper that will add 1,200 luxury units at La Cienega and Jefferson. Paul Ong, director of UCLA Luskin’s Center for Neighborhood Knowledge and a professor of urban planning, says there's been a strong interest lately in neighborhoods near subway and light-rail stops. "These locations have the potential for extensive private investments because transit gives people an alternative to using cars. This is particularly attractive to today’s young professionals," he said. One of Ong’s major findings was that areas around transit stations are transforming, and that these transformations are often, "in the direction of neighborhood upscaling and gentrification." These changes bring in

Map of gentrification in Los Angeles created by UCLA researchers more white, college-educated people and higher rents, and often result in the displacement of "disadvantaged populations," which includes residents with low-incomes and less than a high-school diploma. Rising rents have been a leading cause in L.A.’s declining black population as Latinos now comprise the majority in communities that were once majority black and with two light rail transit lines running through it, cultural landmarks like Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills and View Park—characterized as the black Beverly Hills) are experiencing an influx of whites—priced out of the Westside— that has led to rising tension. “I’m sick of them walking their babies, riding their bicycles, and because in many cases they’re willing to pay more, they’re driving up the prices even more,” said one resident who preferred to remain anonymous. Meanwhile, whites who joined a local jogging club were mocked by some black residents as they jogged past and a photo of four white women in a car heading to the nearby Crenshaw mall sparked internet debate. “Within the last five years, the area has been diversifying”, observed realtor Janet Singleton. “The location is prime and it’s the best price per square foot. In fact, it’s the last best deal in the city and it’s understandable some blacks might want to keep the community the way it’s been culturally. They’ve been proud all their lives to be able to say that this community of beautiful homes and architecture is their community.” Ong said that most of those who can afford higher housing costs do not purposefully want to displace people living in poorer households, “but, nonetheless, gentrifiers are a part of the larger socioeconomic process.” The goal of the Urban Displacement Project, according to the researchers, is not to stop neighborhood change because many people can benefit from these developments. “The challenge,” Ong said, “is ensuring that progress is fair and just.” “From an economics perspective growth is good,” said Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, who agrees that “the price of housing is becoming too expensive particularly for people who already live in LA, and more particularly people who are Generation X and Millennials.” “The question is what kind of growth,” Ridley-Thomas said. “You have to produce more housing to stabilize the

costs. The more you produce the less there is in the way of increased prices. The key to it all is making sure that those who are of limited financial means are not excluded from new developments, and that’s the challenge.” “The concern I have” adds Price, “is that we may have citizens in the district who will not take advantage of these new developments. I am pushing for job training and employment and making sure our public-sector facilities are up to speed and that the streets are clean and that we are creating an environment that will be conducive for people to invest their private-sector dollars.” Price also said that the message he is sending to developers is that he wants to ensure that the people in the community as we know are going to benefit from these upgrades and improvements. Therefore, he says part of the plan is always to enter in to development agreements that will allocate a percentage of the project to affordable housing units, as well as offer funds to address employment training and youth needs in the community. Developers of the Reef committed to the city that they would set aside 5% of the rental units for low-income housing. In addition, they agreed to establish a $15 million affordable housing fund and give an additional $3 million to community organizations for youth programs, job training and violence prevention initiatives. Still opponents say the developer’s concessions are not enough and are asking for 50% of the units to be affordable housing. There is also speculation that the City of Los Angeles was quick to approve the project before the implementation of Measure JJJ, a ballot measure approved by LA voters requiring residential developers to make 20 percent of all condominiums and 11-25 percent of apartments in their buildings affordable. None of the condos at The Reef will be designated affordable. “This is why displacement from one's home is a primary driver of our growing homeless population because families already living on the edge are pushed beyond the brink,” said Joe Donlin, Director of Equitable Development for Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, a local nonprofit organization that advocates for economic justice and tenant rights in South Los Angeles. Escalating the dissention even further are concerns that the project’s gentrification of the neighborhood will make life for those who can afford to stay more challeng-

ing in other ways. Lower income residents fear they will be profiled so that higher income residents will be made to feel more safe and comfortable. “Seldom do we talk about how new developments often contribute to increased policing and criminalization of Black, Latino and homeless residents,” Donlin continued. Further, growing business improvement districts also add additional layers of security and can call upon LAPD to expand their patrol resources. While this can be reassuring to some, it is clear that this has resulted in increased police brutality against – and incarceration of – Black and Latino members of our community.” “It’s ridiculous to think that you just have to build more houses and that the housing prices will come down. That’s trickled down housing theory and it never works,” Goodmon says. “It’s been a decision made by global capital powers to invest in speculative real estate markets and it’s resulting in increased housing prices everywhere. Now we in LA feel it intensely. There are even middle class white people can’t afford to live in the city.” Through the work that Goodmon is engaged in at the CSC he hopes to influence residents to recognize the value of not just their individual homes but the value of their entire community. “We demand that new developments be based on a principal of community wealth,” says Goodmon. “Community economic development typically only favors a few and it frequently will bring in multinational corporations that at best provide poverty level wages. [We insist upon] community wealth building where the community has ownership now and the future.” “For all the neglect from the public and private sector that our communities of color – specifically our cultural center like Leimert Park and Borough Heights – have endured, there is still a sense of community among them,” Goodmon said. “We come from these communities and there is great pride in what we have built.” “Los Angeles is experiencing unprecedented growth,” Ridley-Thomas offers. “It would be irresponsible if we left the least of these behind or if we forgot the historic communities that have made this region so culturally rich. I believe there is a great opportunity and a bit of a challenge. I would rather be in an era of growth than an era of stagnation.”

INSIDE HO L LY W OOD with Neily Dickerson A Night with Netlfix Netflix, Netflix, Netflix! I used to say, I would never watch T, shows on a smart phone or any other device, but baby when Netflix released House of Cards, I couldn’t stop watching and was hooked. From there, I became a die-hard fan of streaming and watching shows anywhere and at any time. since House of Cards, I have watched Orange Is The New Black, Narcos, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Stranger Things, Grace & Frankie and a host of other shows on Netflix. The other great thing about Netflix is you have the opportunity to go back and watch shows you miss, that are no longer on and those you just missed, because you didn’t watch them. Some

of those missed shows were: Sons Of Anarchy, Reign, Bates Motel, American Horror Story, Revenge, Breaking Bad. Shows that I miss and go back for another watch are: Dexter, The Tudors, Nurse Jackie, and you get the picture. In addition to the series above, I’m going to recommend a few shows an d


Guardians of the Galaxy V.2 May 5

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword • May 12


BET Teases New Season New shows from Steve Harvey, Wanda Sykes and Kevin Hart will spice up BET’s 2017-18 programming slate as revealed at a recent presentation in New York. Both Sykes and Harvey will have late night comedy shows while Hart will have a scripted dramedy. Other highlights from next season include The Bobby Brown Story miniseries as a follow-up to its hugely successful The New Edition Story, and docuseries Death Row Chronicles, the story behind Death Row Records. The Quad, The Breaks and Hit the Floor have made the cut of those returning. “Over the last 37 years, BET has cultivated a deep and lasting relationship with our viewers, as we remain the premiere destination for lovers of African-American culture. This year, we are saying yes to all things black, with more premium original programming and best-in-class tentpoles that reflect and invigorate our viewers,” said Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO, BET Networks. “BET’s global influence is stronger than ever and we are continuing to expand beyond the television screen to impact our audience –and the world– across multiple platforms.” Viola Davis and Husband Pact With TV One Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis and her husband, Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions have teamed (“Preachers of L.A.”) for a limited series entitled Two Sides of the Truth, that was produced for TV One. The show will focus on four high profile cases that have been watershed moments for law enforcement and the Black community.

movies, note - the shows I watch aren't for everybody - but below are some that I think are excellent! There’s something here for everyone. Amazon & Hulu got next. I started with Netflix and never thought to watch the others and honestly, at some point you have to get up, turn the TV off & get to life. So I've recently watched: The Crown, Burning Sands, Dave Chappelle’s Comedy Specials, Peaky Blinders, 13th, Santa Clarita Diet, Cedric The Entertainer: Live From The Ville & one of my favorite entertainers, Adam Sandler's ~ Sandy Wexler featuring Jennifer Hudson. Now pace yourself, gather all your necessities like a blanket, snacks, etc., and enjoy some stay home entertainment via Netflix.


WendyRobinson Everything, Everything May 19

"Every other week we hear about these horrific incidences and many of them go unsolved and unresolved. We hope that this show can take those headlines and humanize them," said Davis. "We want to give an unbiased approach to digging into what really happened on those fateful days and in doing so, hopefully shed some light and bring some awareness to such an important issue," said Tennon. Casting News: Power‘s Omari Hardwick will team with Meagan Good, in the indie romance drama A Boy. A Girl. A Dream: Love On Election Night. The film —about a romance sparked on Trump’s election night—follows a Los Angeles club promoter n a m e d C a s s

Viola Davis

Baywatch May 25

(Hardwick), who on the night of the 2016 election meets a woman named Free (Good) who challenges him to revisit his broken dreams. Good is also set to star in Hulu’s upcoming Foxy Brown TV series, a reboot of the 1974 cult movie, starring Pam Grier. The project, exec produced by her husband, while Good will also serve as a producer on the show. The Rumor Mill: Tongues are still wagging over the recent filing of “Grey’s Anatomy” star Jesse Williams for divorce from wife Ayrn Drake-Lee. Williams filed last month to dissolve his five-year marriage to Drake-Lee, the mother of his two children. Unofficial reports are that Williams— who had been with Drake-Lee for 13 years—wanted to live the single life. He was photographed together with Derek Jeter ex Minka Kelly, but sources later said that they were just working on a video game…Briefly: Congrats to Ciara and husband, Russell Wilson, who welcomed their first child together, Sienna Princess Wilson…In honor of the one year anniversary of Prince's passing, RMA (Rogue Music Alliance) is releasing a special six song EP titled DELIVERANCE, of new, previously unreleased studio recordings from 2006-2008. While the title track, "Deliverance," is available now on iTunes, the EP will be released nationwide on June 2 at major brick and mortar stores. The songs were written and recorded when Prince was an independent artist in protest of the music industry. The majority of the sales will benefit Prince's estate. Ian Boxill, who co-wrote and co-produced the tracks, spent the past year finishing the production and mixing the songs. Said Boxill, " I hope when people hear Prince singing these songs it will bring comfort to many."

Hometown: Big Break: Other Notable Roles: Current Project: In the two decades since her starring role opposite Steve Harvey in The Steve Harvey Show to her most recent role as Tasha Mack (“The Game”), Wendy Raquel Robinson has built a solid reputation for herwork in nearly a dozen hit films—including “A Thin Line Between Love & Hate” and “Miss Congeniality”, a handful of TV series and TV movies as well as guest appearance on such hit shows as Grey’s Anatomy. But her passion off stage is her work with the Amazing Grace Conservatory (AGC) and the more than one thousand kids whose lives she has touched through it.

How did Amazing Grace Conservatory come to be? Divine intervention. Myself and my best friend Tracy Lamar Coley—who passed in 2002—were two struggling artists who just loved what we did. He was an incredible singer, I was a dancer and actress and we met on tour. He asked me, “what are you going to do this summer? and I said, “I don’t know.” So he got me hired at Marla Gibbs’ “Crossroads” and we started teaching. When she closed her doors, there were a lot of children who wanted to continue training so Marla gave us her blessing and we came together, developed a curriculum, found a space and started a school. How many students are currently enrolled? This semester—about 95 students. We’re honoring one of our distinguished alumni Ashton Sanders, who was in Moonlight, during our “Hope in the Hood” production. A huge percentage of our students have gone on in the industry What is AGC currently working on? We’re doing “Hope in the Hood”, an original musical that is based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I wrote it and I’m directing it. It’s a show I wrote 25 years ago that will debut on May When have you found yourself most in need of hope? There were two I can think of. I lost my house and everything I owned in 2004 in a fire so that was one moment. What do you think it is that keeps you a working actress? I’m really thankful for the training that I had coming up. It is also relationships—how we treat people, when we show up and don’t bring drama. People look at that. Also, always bringing you’re A-game no matter what. Which one of your characters are more like you? They’re all part of me. Tasha is that side that says things I wish I could. Regina was the smart intellectual side — the voice of reason. She is the AGC connect. Cruella De Ville is eccentric and as wild as she was, she’s also quirky and childlike with illusive dreams and always dreaming. That’s another side to me. No matter what, I bring a piece of Wendy to everything I do. Steve use to say I have like 14 different percontinued to page 24

Calendar of events Ongoing Photo Exhibition: “No Justice, No Peace” Examines one of the most notorious episodes of urban unrest in American history. (Through August 27) Tues - Sat 10:00am-5:00pm; Sun 11:00am-5:00pm California African American Museum 600 State Drive • Exposition Park RSVP preferred (213) 744-2024 Exhibit: Ella At 100: Celebrating The Artistry of Ella Fitzgerald Items on display include photos, wardrobe pieces, performance footage and more (Through September 10) $10.95 – 12.95 M-F 10:30am - 6:30pm; Weekends:10am - 6:30pm The Grammy Museum 800 W. Olympic Blvd Contact: (213) 765-6800 Shark Lagoon Nights (Fridays) Get up close with the ocean's ultimate predators 6–9pm • Free Aquarium Of The Pacific 100 Aquarium Way • Long Beach On Stage: The Bodyguard Starring Deborah Cox & Judson Mills (Through May 21)

$35-149 • Check for showtimes Hollywood Pantages Theatre 6233 Hollywood Blvd Contact: (323) 468-1770

Thursday, May 4 Inglewood Area Ministers Association 34th Annual Prayer Breakfast Keynote speaker: Dr. William Thurmond $35 • 7am – 9am First Church of God Center of Hope 9550 Crenshaw Blvd Contact: (310) 283-1985

Friday, May 5 In Concert: Keith Sweat 8PM • $55-65 City National Grove Of Anaheim 2200 E. Katella Avenue Anaheim, CA 92806 Contact: (714) 712 - 2700 Workshop: Know Your Rights – Interacting With The Police Free • 1:15pm – 2:15pm L.A. Law Library 301 West 1st Street Contact: (213) 785.2516

Gindi Auditorium 15600 Mulholland Drive Tickets: (323) 732-4283 On Stage: Tammi Mac’s Bag Lady 8PM • $40-60 (Through Sunday 7PM) Los Angeles Southwest College 1600 Imperial Highway

Sunday, May 7 Music 4 The Soul: Featuring Millie Jackson, the Dramatics & Latimore 6PM • $58 - 99 The Wiltern Theater 3790 Wilshire Blvd. Contact: (213) 388-1400

Monday, May 8 Booksigning: Gabby Sidibe “This Is

Just My Face: Try Not To Stare” Free • 7PM Barnes & Noble 189 The Grove Drive Suite K 30 Contact: (323) 525-0270

Thursday, May 11 Workshop: Your Divorce Options – What You Need To Know $10• 12pm – 1:30pm L.A. Law Library 301 West 1st Street Call: (213) 785.2516 Artworx LA 25th Annual Evening of Art Honoring Octavia Spencer Fundraiser to combat L.A. epidemic high school dropout crisis with a longterm, sequential arts pro-


Saturday, May 6 On Stage: Wendy Raquel Robinson & Amazing Grace Conservatory presents Hope In The Hood (An urban tale inspired by Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs) (Through Sunday, May 7) Call for show times $20 In advance • $25 at door

9th Annual A Pink Pump Affair Fundraiser honoring Roslyn Blake, Senator Actress Jamie Brewer & more • Mistress of Ceremony: CBS Anchor Pat Harvey • Honorary Chair: Senator Kamala Harris 12:30pm – 2:30pm • $400 – 1,000 Four Seasons Hotel 300 S. Doheny Drive • Beverly Hills Contact: (323) 291-7100

L.A. Focus/May 2017

Singer Michelle Williams shines at Wearable Arts Gala 2017


r and, acto la and husb s Ga le s w rt o A n Tina K Wearable st o h n awso Museum Richard L e Afro American 2017 at th

at the 44th Annual Tamera Mowry-Housely t month. Daytime Emmy Award las

Garcelle B eauvais last month bro in spring a ught t the Ceda rs Sinai an nual spring lun cheon.

The Fate of the Furious Stars Luda Cris and Tyrese Gibson at the Los Angeles Premiere.


Pastor Boyd from First AME speaking at the 25th Saigu commemorative service for the 25th anniversary of the L.A. Riots in Koreatown. With Korean and Civic leaders

7PM – 10PM • $300 Taglyan Cultural Complex 1201 Vine Street Contact: (323) 465-1404 Business Forum with Byron Scott and Fresh Pet Chairman Charlie Norris “Slam Dunk Success: Leading From Every Position on Life’s Court 7:45AM – 9:15AM 500 S. Figueroa Street

Friday, May 12 Conversation and Booksigning with Terry McMillan (Waiting To Exhale) McMillion will discuss her new novel, I Almost Forgot About You Free • 7-9PM California Afro American Museum • 600 State Drive • Exposition Park RSVP (213) 744-2024 On Stage: Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun $30 ($40 at the door) • 8pm Wilshire Ebell Theatre 4401 West 8th Street

www.raisininthesunla. FCBC Reperatory Company Presents Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple May 12-June 18 2017 Friday 8pm, Saturday 7pm Sunday 2pm $25 General Admission The Living Room 400 W. Florence Ave. Inglewood CA 90301 Get your Tickets today

Saturday, May 13 Queen Mary’s 6th Annual West Coast BBQ Classic Grill master competition, BBQ tastings for only $2 each, live music, “Kids Country” featuring inflatables, children’s activities and more. $24 (Parking $15) • 11am6pm 1126 Queens Highway Long Beach KIIS FM’s Wango Tango Featuring Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and more 5pm • $39.95 - $275 Stubhub Center 18400 S Avalon Blvd Carson

Thursday, May 18 On Stage: Five Guys Named Moe Starring Obba Babatunde, Reginald VelJohnson (Through June 11) Check for prices/showtimes Nate Holden Performing Arts Center 4718 W. Washington Blvd Contact: (323) 964-9768 Panel Discussion: Can We All Get Along? 25 Years Later With Rev. Cecil Murray, Author Mark Craig and Lora King (daughter of Rodney King) Free • 7-9PM California African American Museum 600 State Drive • Exposition Park RSVP (213) 744-2024 Southeast Symphony Presents “Serenades & Symphonies” 8pm • $1 - $105 First Congregational Church 540 S. Commonwealth Avenue Info: (310) 673-7372

Saturday, May 20 In Concert: Pretty Ricky 8:30PM • $10 The Novo 800 W Olympic Blvd Info: (213) 765-7000 Annual California Strawberry Festival (Through May 21) Cooking demonstrations, entertainment, attractions, arts & crafts Adults $12 Children $5 • 10am–6:30pm Strawberry Meadows of College Park 3250 South Rose Ave Oxnard

Sunday, May 21 In Concert: Bishop William Murphy, Kierra “Kiki” Sheard & Pastor Kim Burrell 5:30PM • $20 - 50 New Hope Baptist Church 5200 S. Central Avenue Contact: (562)-200-8890

Kap G 7:30PM • $49 -491 3900 W. Manchester Blvd Contact: (310) 330-7300

Wednesday, May 24 Genocide Coalition Symposium 2017 “Genocide Awareness Today and How to End it!” 7-9pm Adat Ari El Synagogue 12020 Burbank BLVD. Vaalley Village CA 91607 Contact Paul

Friday, May 26 In Concert: The M.E. Tour featuring Marsha Ambrosius & Eric Benet 7PM • $25 - 175 The Wiltern Theater 3790 Wilshire Blvd. Contact: (213) 388-1400

Saturday, May 27 In Concert: War & Los Lonely Boys (with Paul Rodriguez) 7PM • $29.50 - $129.50 The Greek Theater 2700 North Vermont Contact: (844) 524-7335

Sunday, May 28 In Concert: John Legend (Through Monday) 7PM • $73 - 977 The Greek Theater 2700 North Vermont Contact: (844) 524-7335

Monday, May 29 In Concert: T.I. Presents: The Hustle Hang 9pm • $37 - $201 The Belasco Theater 1050 S. Hill St. Contact: (213) 746-5670

Friday, June 2 Newport Beach Jazz Festival Featuring Vanessa Williams, The Ojays, David Sanborn, Bobby Caldwell, Kandace Springs, Norman Brown and more (Through June 4) $65 (day) $120 (2 day pass) Hyatt Regency Newport Beach 1107 Jamboree Rd Box Office: (949) 360-7800

around los angeles Blair Underwood relished his moment of victory after receiving the Creative Arts Award at the 44th Annual Emmy Daytime Awards.

In Concert: Chris Brown (The Party Tour) With Special guests Fabolous, O.T., Genasis and

Saturday, June 3 In Concert: Trey Songz With Mike Angel

rocked natural at the Gabriella Union-Wade te of the Furious. Fa e Th L.A. premiere of Actress Meagan Good, brought sass to the Wearable Arts Gala red-ca rpet

L.A. Focus/ May 2017

host, Wayne Brady “Let’s Make a Deal” (Maile Masako brought his daughter me Emmy Award. yti Brady) to the 44th Da

Tuesday, May 23


Re d Carpet Style

LUPITA NYONG O is stunning in a bright feather off the shoulder gown by Prada

Loving “Big Steve” Allen

SERENA WILLIAMS a mom-to-be, glows in a green Versace halter gown

“When Lisa and I spoke it was unanimously agreed upon that LA Focus would pay tribute to one of L.A.’s & the Gospel industry’s favorite men, Stephen Allen. Steve was one of the most, thoughtful, fun-loving, well dressed, supportive men you would ever meet. He meant what he said, and said what he meant. His presence in your life &/or at your event was his thumbs UP to you, that he was proud of, happy for, and sometimes simply just wanted to see what you were doing. “Big Steve”, my SteveO, you were special & loved. Rest well! LA Focus, Neily Dickerson This was one of the few cats in life that if he had your back, you were covered. He’ll def be missed. Rest in Heaven Big Steve—Pastor John P. Kee

L.A. Focus/May 2017

"T" was bigger than life! His reputation preceded him. A friend, encourager & he loved God! I believe he was put here to make us laugh! Love you "T" you will forever be in my hearts! Sharon Gray


Special thanks to J.P.K., T. Holmes, T. Holt and Neily Dickerson

I remember very early in the history of Gospo Centric, Steve was there! He would sit with me and give sage advise and made many introductions to me in the church and celebrity communities. He

The 2017 MET Gala Awards was the fashion event of the year. The theme “ Art Of The In-Between” . Held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City

RIHANNA embraces the theme of the night in a Comme des Garcons dress

was always generous, caring and was a one of a kind. Rest In Peace my friend! Vicki Mack Lataillade Uncle Steve from a babe @GBCC your presense was felt. U impacted so many lives. I'll always remember U gave Ambor the nickname "the church baby" THE FLEMING's I cherish the laughs, the encouraging words and our bond of friendship. I love you Steve. Marvin Williams My Steevy- Weevy was a ginormous soul and his absence makes my world smaller. A confidant, a ton of laughter, a team captain that pushed, encouraged, sharer of hard truths (always in love). A Champion of Christ, the very Fabric of Fashion, & most friend. Tammie Holt Steve's life was a Master's Class. He gave more than he took & laughed more than he frowned. The biggest thing about him, by far, was his DAMON WILLIAMS My friend loved Jesus & fashion. An amazing supporter. I will miss you man, but God knows best. James Robinson I'm going to miss seeing you in NY on Easter waving your

ZOE KRAVITZ KERRY WASHINGTON gorgeous in a strapless is fierce in a edgy cut? out patch work gown pink and black Oscar De La Renta gown by Michael Kors

hand & most importantly that smile of approval as I preach. You called me your New York Pastor and you were indeed my LA VIP member! See you in the RAPTURE! Bishop Hez Some of the happiest and funniest days of my life have been times shared with Steve. To say that I'll miss him is an understatement. You were truly one of a kind. Gone, but forgotten? NEVER I'll always love & miss you. Love forever, Troy Clark Steve, thank you for your love & support! I will always treasure all the memories and happy times! Love, Lennox It was a honor to know "Big Steve" and to work with him at "Greater Bethany" & with "The Gospel Wonders". Gone too soon, we will miss you bro. Chris Johnson Stephen- You shared prayers, praise, gifts, style, love of music, love of people and the love of God. Rest well my friend. ~Tonya Holmes Steve Allen was genuine. He was true to his beliefs and endearing to those he met. He will be missed. Adrian Warren Thank you for the laughs, prayer-filled moments in my life and Ashanti's! For never making someone feel like a

stranger. RIH! Aresa Rochester and Ashanti Scott To My Brother, My children and I will Miss you Dearly. Love, Michelle, Gabrielle & Gary To my beloved brother Big Steve - Thanks for over 25 years of some of the best laughs of my life! Until we meet AGAIN!! – Love your PCC Sista Deena Prosser On the behalf of Bishop Edward Wright and the Nehemiah Alliance Christian Fellowship International we celebrate the life of our dear friend Stephen Allen. Love you my Brother and look forward to seeing you in Paradise. I have known Steve “T” Allen for over 30 years and have never had a dull moment. He has been very instrumental in the fashion aspects of my life. I will truly miss our time gut busting laughter. I will see you in the Rapture! – Love, Eric Kirks You are basking in the presence of our Lord now, but our hearts ache in your absence. Until we meet again, rest well with Jesus! Love & Miss, you! Shelly Mae Over 25 years of friendship & kindness – Love your Brother! Pastor Curtis Allen Rest in Heaven to the Gentle

Eye On Gospel Forgiving James Fortune A year after being sentenced to five years probation, five days in jail, and 175 hours of community service for the 2014 assault on his then wife, Cheryl, multiple Grammy nominated and Stellar Award-winning acclaimed artist James Fortune is addressing forgiveness with the release of “I Forgive Me”, the lead single from his forthcoming album, Dear Future Me. Fortune, who has been in therapy since the assault, first admitted to being a perpetuator of domestic violence last summer on CBN, telling the reporter: “I was an abuser in more ways than one. But I believe that is how God is healing me." Slated for release in June, the album’s title track “Dear Future Me”, is an uplifting new anthem that soars with a lively mix of sounds and hopeful lyrics, which is available digitally along with the lead hit single “I Forgive Me”. The 17-track collection also features appearances from Tasha Cobbs, Kierra Sheard, Isaac C a r r e e ,

Zacardi Cortez, Todd Galberth, and Joseph “JoJo” Clarke. Meanwhile, Fortune’s ex-wife, Grammy Award nominated singer-songwriter, Cheryl Fortune, has landed on Billboard Magazine’s Gospel Airplay chart with her solo debut, “Fighters”, bowing in at No. 28. Fortune just wrapped production on a heart-wrenching concept music video of “Fighters” that sheds light on domestic abuse, sex trafficking, suicide and addiction. While the booming beat and message of the song is applicable to anyone facing an obstacle, it comes from a personal place for Fortune. “The last two years have been extremely difficult for me and my family but we’re fighting our way through it,” she says. “This song was born out of that situation and it’s a message of hope to anyone who has a fight on their hands. Whether it’s a relationship, trouble on the job or a health crisis, you can fight it and win.” “Fighters” anchors Fortune’s as yet untitled solo album debut that is expected to this summer. As a songwriter, Cheryl Fortune has penned songs that have been recorded by Shirley Caesar, Tasha Cobbs, Zacardi Cortez and Isaac Carree. She’s also co-written Billboard No. 1 hits such as “I Trust You,” “Still Able” and “Live Through It” for James Fortune & FIYA and co-wrote the group’s No. 2 smash, “Hold On,” which featured cameos by Fred Hammond and Monica. Tye Tribbett Crack’s Top 10 Gospel Airplay with New Release, Work It Out Two-Time Grammy, Soul Train, Dove and Stellar Award-winning recording artist, musician, songwriter, and producer Tye Tribbett celebrated his current radio single “Work It Out” cracking the Top 10 on Billboard Magazine’s Gospel Airplay Chart landing at No. 9 with +67 spins. “Work It Out” is the lead single from Tribbett’s forthcoming sixth album Bloody Win [Live] due out later this year. A song of patience and trust in God, “Work It Out” lays a straightforward declaration over an infectious beat that is resonating with listeners across the country.

Giant. I will always remember you ass one of the kindest funniest men I ever came in contact with. You will be in our hearts always! – Love Dolores Wright & Family I will always remember you! As a Giant! One to love God – One to love your people – one to protect – One to support-One to be faithful- One to be loyal-One to be Truthful – One to be who you were and will always be My Brother Stephen Allen! Hey Love you for Life Wendy Fletcher

the hard times you gave me now I see why, you gave me memories to laugh and cry. RIH, Love your BFF - Derek Lewis "Stephen, thank you for your love, wisdom, kindness, and millions of laughs. You are the epitome of a friend and I will miss you dearly. Love always Big Mama Almighty ~ Barbara Roddy A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. Dance on Steve dance on. - Robert Miller

When someone you love becomes a memory that memory becomes a treasure. We will forever love and appreciate you Steve! #Prom2K14 David, Deena & Dylan Bell

Still in disbelief & wishing it was a dream, but I know we can't question what God decides. Thank you for being a friend".Gonna miss you big guy William Jovan Bly

When someone you love becomes a memory that memory becomes a treasure. We will forever love and appreciate you Steve! #Prom2K14 David, Deena & Dylan Bell

Big Steve we've sang, shopped, laughed, and traveled together. Your smile, large personality and kindness will be missed love you. Anthony Roland

Steve, you sure knew how to make me laugh. Thank you for encouraging me to step out even when I didn’t want to. I’m sure going to miss you. Love, Christine Bereal

You consistent, caring & creative person; I will miss your constant smile, crushing hugs, charismatic friendship, & calls out of the blue. I will carry your memory in my heart. Love Cheryl Windom Davis

I will forever miss you, all

Steve Allen was a good

guy and my friend. He was kind to me and always asked about Taylor, my baby girl. I'll miss him supporting me in LA and everywhere. Yolanda Adams Thanks for giving all of us a piece of your heart. Randisha Parker Steve Allen we treasure you and all of your musical contributions. RIP Delta Dickerson I will always remember when you were around there was going to be laughter. RIH Auntie Brenda Steve, may you rest in heaven; your awesome audacious personality will be missed. Sandra Smith Steve you will never be forgotten, see you in the morning love always, Allegra & Elder Demetrius Tolefree Steve, thanks for letting me know that when I get depressed or frustrated that I should "Bake a cake," because you knew being in the kitchen calms me down! Stewart Marshall Gulley Victory In Jesus my Savor forever. What a tremendous spirit full of love and purpose. Spread your wings and Fly. Pastor Sean

and Lady Johnetta Tarkington Steve, thank you for your friendship throughout the years. Sleep well my friend until God calls us all together again. Ralph Maurice Williams Our hearts are grieving to know that you have made you earthly transition to you heavenly rest. We will miss you sir to be absence from the body is to be present with the lord. R.I.H Big Steve Clinner Moorer III Steve, your presence & humor at the office will definitely be missed. Shawana Sam co-worker A special friend to me. I will truly miss you. Nikki Ervin Steve you were my friend for many years. I am grateful God allowed our paths to cross. You’ve given me many laughs! I'll forever love you my friend... Stacy Thornton RIH I met you when I moved to Cali, one of the nicest persons I've met. I'm @ a Lost for Words Rest Well Buddy, Jesse J. A True Fashion Legend, I will always cherish all of our fashion talks & the pictures we shared of fashion. I’m going to miss seeing

The song reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Gospel Digital Songs chart upon its release. Tribbett joined forces with JJ Hairston, Tasha Cobbs and Jekalyn Carr for a 20-city “Bloody Win” Tour which kicked off April 16th in Orlando, Florida, with the official launch of his new church, liVe church at the Holy Land Experience. The tour will run for two months, making stops through the Midwest, East Coast, and the South. Tribbett can also be seen hosting the new Sunday morning inspirational show Joyful Noise on Black Entertainment Television (BET) every week. Anthony Brown Launches Clothing Line Stellar Award winning gospel recording artist Anthony Brown has expanded into retail with the launch of a Christian clothing line called Mercy Life+Apparel. Items range from t-shirts and sweatshirts to jerseys for men and women. Some are inspired by Anthony Brown’s lyrics, while others boost the popular Psalm 23. “I am so excited about our new brand,” he posted on Instagram. “As a believer, I think it’s important to be able to represent what I believe in mainstream culture. The brand is dope and features everyday wearable messages of hope and inspiration.” Meanwhile, Brown & group therAPy continued to prove their ‘worth’ last month as the new single, “Trust In You,” soared to #1 on the Gospel Digital Sales chart. “Trust In You,” marked Brown’s second single on Billboard’s Digital Sales chart. Brown recently debuted the video online while continuing to work on their third CD, A Long Way From Sunday, due later this year. Briefly: James Hall and his Brooklyn-based choir Worship and Praise celebrated 30 years in the music business with a reunion concert late last month. The event featured VaShawn Mitchell and legendary vocalist Lisa Page Brooks, with award winning recording artist Bishop Hezekiah Walker hosting…Finally, July 11 is the date set for the Los Angeles debut of BeBe Winans stage musical, Born For This. The show—marking the personal and career journey of BeBe Winans—will run through August 6 at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

you @ concerts & you whispering to me "You know we best dressed tonight" Rest In Heaven Fashion Steve Allen. Naima Smith Steve, You were truly a unique & well loved individual. The mold is officially broken & you have returned to our creator! Luv U Dana Hill "The Best Dressed Man in Gospel",—A supporter, warm-hearted soul & friend. We will miss U. With Love & condolences to the family, The Wilkins/Banks Family Steve thanks for a smile so bright and a heart full of love. R.I.H. Lisa Kennedy My Brother Steve, I'm going to miss you and your comedy after church. I thank you Big Steve for being you at all times. Evangelist Karen White Rest in peace my Bff & my confident. You have been the friend anyone could ever ask for. My family as well as myself will always treasure the memories shared. Farewell my love. Big girl ❤ Betty Jackson Steve “aka Big Poppa” I will always forever remember and appreciate you for being a true friend. Love

you man. Eric Wilson Just remembering Steve singing in Greater Bethany choir & dancing... dance on in heaven. Angela Handy Rest well Uncle Steve! We will miss you.. Love Dwan, Gimese, Kelsey and Koby Steve will be missed by so many, Gone from this earth but never from our heart...Love you RIP!!! Evangelist Kimberly Montgomery. Since 14 Big Bro, This one hurts, but you are resting, Kam You will Truly be MISSED my Gentle Giant!! I Love You ❤ & Rest Your Soul ❤......Patsy Steve, Thank you for 25 yrs of great friendship. You will NEVER be forgotten. I will ALWAYS love you, Friend!!! ERNIE CLOMAN Steven thank you for always loving me and supporting me no matter what. I will always love you. Toni Lewis Big Steve❤ I will miss our fun conversation and our talks about fashion. Love Kecia Sanders

ChurchNews Apostle Beverly “Bam” Crawford Hosts 6th Annual Women’s Empowerment Conference


postle Beverly “Bam” Crawford To Host 6th Annual Women’s Empowerment Conference Dr. Beverly "Bam" Crawford, Founder/President of The Company International and Pastor, Bible Enrichment Fellowship International will host, along with co-Host, Gabrianna Crawford, a.k.a. Punky G, Vice President, The Company International’s 6th Annual Women’s Empowerment Conference. The theme for the conference— June 1-3 at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa in San Diego—is “The Plan: Dream it. Plan it. Do it.” Attendees will gain inspiration through various participation levels of leadership, community partnerships, and information to restore and strengthen their dreams and goals. Confirmed guest speakers and performers include; Myesha Chaney, Antioch Church of Long Beach who starred in Oxygen’s “Preacher of LA” along with her husband Senior Pastor, Wayne Chaney. Myesha is also a nationally known recording artist, radio personality and author. Global Strategist Ivy McGregor of Parkwood Entertainment has a client list, which includes Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour. Also speaking are Attorney La’Chelle Monique Woodert, VA Loma Linda Healthcare System; Nutritionist Jayme Sachii, President, Ziquin Educational Group; and Darlyn Turner, former executive director for American Express. Vernessa Mitchell, Christian recording artist will perform, as will Punky G and Myesha Chaney, along with other surprise guests.

The Black Church & HIV Initiative Urge Pastor to Incorporate HIV into Ministry Last month, The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative announced the release of its newly updated pastoral resources for faith leaders. The Pastoral Brief and the Activity Manual offer a foundational approach for faith leaders to address HIV within the Black community from a social justice perspective. The Black Church & HIV initiative, a partnership between the NAACP and Gilead Sciences, Inc. that aims to address the urgent need for action on the HIV epidemic within the Black community, believes the faith community is part of the solution, just as it has been in addressing equity issues affecting African Americans for decades. “Historically, the Black Church has been instrumental in driving change on social justice issues,” says Dr. Marjorie Innocent, NAACP’s Senior Director of Health Programs. “There is a growing need for pastors and the faith community to help address the alarming rates of HIV among African Americans.” To download a copy of the Pastoral Brief or Activity Manual or learn more about The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative initiative, visit

One Church First Lady Sarah Jakes Releases New Book Pregnant at 14, married by 19, divorced by 23, and all while under the intense spotlight of being Bishop T.D. Jakes’s daughter, Sarah Jakes Roberts knows what it is like to break destructive cycles and discover the best that life has to offer to anyone who refuses to settle. Now an internationally renowned speaker, best-selling author, happily married supermom and businesswoman, Roberts shares the secrets that helped her to overcome. In her new book, Don’t Settle for Safe:Embracing the Uncomfortable to Become Unstoppable—now available in bookstores and online, Roberts shares the numerous life lessons she’s learned along the way with other women, helping them to see that they’re not disqualified by their pain and past mistakes...Finally, Congratulations to Mother Barbara McCoo Lewis who was recently appointed to the post of General Supervisor of the International Department of Women to the COGIC church.

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 Worship: 8:00 & 11:00am Sunday School & C.B.T.: 9:40am Monday Evangelism Training: 7:00pm Wednesday Prayer: 11:15am Sunday Radio KALI 900am @ 7:30am

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 (323) 731-8869 •F: (323) 731-0851 Pastor James K. McKnight Sun. Early Worship: 8am Prayer Meeting: 10:30am Morning Worship: 11am Wed. Afternoon Bible Study: 1pm Wed. Prayer Meeting: 6pm Wed. Evening Bible Study: 7pm View Pastor McKnight’s Sermons on YouTube

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

Crenshaw Christian Center 7901 South Vermont, Los Angeles, CA 90044 (323) 758-3777 • F: (323)565-4231 • Rev. Frederick Price Jr.

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

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

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

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 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 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”.

“You can end your search for a friendly church”

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


Firmly Rooted: 62 Years of God’s Faithfulness Praises Of Zion Missionary Baptist Church On behalf of Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick , Sr., we extend an invitation to you and your family to attend our services. As Pastor, I’m honored to be here at this special time in the history of Praises of Zion (Praise City), and look with anticipation to even greater things in the future! The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11-For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and the future. Saturday, May 6: Ushers Prayer Breakfast • 9am Sunday, May 21: 62nd Sanctuary Choir Day• 3:30pm Sunday, June 18: Father’s Day Musical 4:00pm Sunday, July 9:Super Sunday School @9:30am July 17- 21: Vacation Bible School (all ages) (Monday-Friday 6:30pm-8:30pm nightly) Sunday, July 29: Women Ministry Tea Sunday, July 30: Mass Choir Musical 4:00pm

For information, call (323) 750 1033 8222 S. San Pedro Street • Los Angeles, CA 90003

Upcoming Events for : New Pleasant Hill MBC June 25, 2017 Annual Women’s Day Theme: Women Giving God What We Owe Him . . . PRAISE!! Scripture from Hebrews 13:15 August 12, 2017 Pastor and Wife Appreciation Service November 12, 2017 Annual Church Anniversary Celebration Church Contacts: Sister Willie Booth or Sister Elanda Hayes

9537 South Vermont Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90044 (323) 755-1139 •Fax: (323) 755-8961

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

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

New Antioch Church of God in Christ 7826 So. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90044 (323) 778-7965 Elder Jeffrey M. Lewis

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

Sunday Early Morning Worship: 8am Sunday School: 9:30 am Morning Worship: 11am Tuesday Prayer and Bible Band: 11am Wednesday Bible Study: 7:30pm Wednesday in the Word: 7:30pm

Morning Worship: 7:30am & 10:45am Sunday School: 9:45am Wed. Prayer/Bible Study: Noon Pastor’s Bible Study: 7pm—View live streaming

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

May 17 -19, 2017 • 7pm Nightly Wednesday, May 17 Rev.Dr. Barry Settle, (Left) Pastor, Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church, Riverside Thursday, May 18 Rev. Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis (Center), Minister at Walker Temple AME, L.A. Both above services at Bryant Temple A.M.E. Church 2525 W. Vernon Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90008 Featuring Voices of the Temple Choir

Friday, May 19 Rev. Dr. Jamal H. Bryant (Right) Empowerment Temple A.M.E. Church, MD at Bethel A.M.E. Church 7900 S. Western Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90047 Feat/ LACAD of GMWA Dr. Rodena Preston-Williams Rep. Emeritus Calvin Bernard Rhone, Chapter Rep.

Praises of Zion Baptist Church (“Praise City”) 8222 So. San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90003 (323) 750-1033 • F: (323) 750-6458 • 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 Morning Broadcast: 5:30am Live streaming Sundays:12pm 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) 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

L.A. Focus/ May 2017

New Mt. Calvary Baptist Church 402 E. El Segundo Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90061 (310)324-0644 • F: (310) 769-1287 Rev. Sonja Dawson, Senior Pastor • Rev. Lonnie Dawson, Sr., Founder (1962 - 2010)

Sunday Worship: 9am, 11am & 1pm Wednesday Midweek Service: 8pm

Rev. Dwaine A. Jackson, MDiv.—Senior Pastor Theme—Beauty for Ashes: A Seaon of Restoration (Isaiah 61:3)


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

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

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

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

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: 12pm Every 1st Wed Mid Week Worship: 7pm Streaming live at Peace Apostolic Church 21224 Figueroa Street, Carson, CA 90745 (310) 212-5673 Suff. Bishop Howard A. Swancy Sunday School: 10am Morning Worship: 11:45am Evening Worship: 6:30pm Wed. Noon Day Bible Class: 12:30pm Wed. Bible Class: 7:30pm

Pastor Profile: Rev. Mary Minor Church: Brookins Kirkland Community AME How Long: A year and a half Hometown: Claremont School of Theology Family: Divorced mother of two children Bi-vocation: Project management consultant for Kaiser

L.A. Focus/ May 2017

How did you come to be a pastor? I got my initial call in 1983. I never thought it was to be a pastor. At that time, I was in the Baptist church and in the Baptist church you could be a missionary, you could be a Sunday School teacher but I never saw any pastors who were female. So, shortly after I got my call into ministry, the Lord moved me out of the Baptist church into the AME church. It was Mother’s Day of 1984 and my mom knew I was on a quest to find another church and invited me to go with her to First AME. As I was sitting there, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me and said join this church. I remember seeing the women in the pulpit leading the various forms of liturgy and I remember the Spirit saying, ‘you can do that’. I bargained with God and said, ‘if Mom joins the church, I’ll join.’ Well, moments later she tapped me on the shoulder and I said, ‘So where are you going?’ and she said, ‘I’m going to join the church.’ That’s how I got to FAME. But still I didn’t go right into ministry. After six years of preparation in 1989, the Spirit said ‘now, you’re ready. Go in there and tell Rev. Murray that you’ve been called into the ministry.’ I go in there and knock on the door and Rev. Murray opens the door and says, ‘I’ve been waiting on you.’ The rest is history. I graduated from Claremont in 1995 and I’m working part-time at the church. Rev. Murray offers me the minister of youth position. In 2000, when Bishop John Bryant comes, I get my first assignment as a pastor and I am a bi-vocational pastor. The first churches I went to were smaller churches and I didn’t want to be a burden on my churches, so I’ve always been a working pastor and been able to help my churches be successful not having to worry about the finances, but building the people. That’s always been my philosophy. How many churches have you pastored? Four. My first church was St. Mark AME. My second was Bethel AME in Perris. Then I got assigned to Murph Chapel AME in Valinda, California. I was there nine years and now I’m at Brookins AME. I was assigned there in November of 2015.


What did you think of pastors growing up? I always had a love for service in the church. I

joined the church at five years old. It was something the pastor said at the invitation. In those days, they preached those fire and brimstone sermons and I remember him saying if you don’t get saved and know Jesus, you could die and go to Hell and burn in the lake of fire and I didn’t want that. So, I went down the aisle. My mom said, ‘do you know what you’re doing?’ and I said, ‘yes.’ So, I joined the church and got baptized. Given all that Brookins AME has gone through— including losing its church—what were your thoughts upon receiving the assignment? I’m sitting at the annual conference and God had already prepared me that my work at Murph Chapel was over. Bishop Kirkland had always told the people ‘I’m coming for her’. So, I’m sitting there and the Spirit told me to go talk to Bishop now. I say to him, ‘Bishop, I just want to make sure that you understand I’m available to you.’ He looked over at me and said, ‘will you go to Brookins?’ I said to myself why would I want to go to Brookins, (They lost everything except two parcels of land—a parking lot across the street and the old church), but I said, ‘if in your time of prayer, the Holy Spirit is leading you to send me to Brookins, I’ll go.’ Sure enough, he assigned me there. I said, ‘okay, Lord, you’re sending me there. You know what has to be done and you’re going to make provisions.’ Within a year’s time of my being there, we had moved into a new church. When you got there in November of 2015, how many people were there? They were probably seeing 100 on a good day. But through the leading and preaching, people started coming back. Not only did people come back, but we also had people who were joining and now I probably see an average of 250 every week so we’re growing. Oh, and at that annual conference, they changed the name from Brookins to Brookins/Kirkland. Bishop and Mrs. Kirkland also joined the church and are fellowshipping with us. What is your style of ministry? My gift in ministry is the gift of empowerment. I want people to be knowledgeable of the word of God, so in my preaching style there’s teaching I do. I have the gift to encourage and to help people to discover what their innate gifts are, then to help them to develop them and once they develop them, to give them the opportunity to use them—equipping God’s people for service. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to deal with and what did you learn from it? In 1987, I was struggling with my ministry and prayed for the infilling of the Holy Spirit and speaking in

tongues. and right after that happened I contracted sarcoidosis. It’s a lung disease—the same illness Bernie Mac passed away from. So, as I sat on the side of my bed in November 1991, I felt like I was ready to die and throwing my hands up, I said, ‘okay Lord, if you me want to go, I’ll go, but if you let me stay, I’ll preach your word.” The Spirit said to me that’s all I needed you to do was to surrender and it was after that I started some medication, everything turned around and just like the illness came, it went. The Lord told me I was going through a pruning process—that there was stuff I needed to let go of before He could use me. Through that experience—one of my girlfriends who wasn’t saved, said, ‘I watched as you suffered but you remained committed and it’s through your witness that I want to know the Godyou serve.’ What is your vision for Brookins? I want Brookins to be a beacon in the community—a place where people who are lost and languishing can come and find refuge. Not just a church that meets on Sundays, but I want us to make the word “community” in our name come alive. You don’t have to be a churchmember. You can be a member of the community and come here and be served. I believe that once you’re served, you have to pay it forward and serve someone else.



Ana Guerrero

Dr. Cecil L. “Chip” Murray

Dr. Kathryn Jeffery

You are cordially invited to attend the

10th COUNCIL DISTRICT WOMEN’S STEERING COMMITTEE 42nd Annual Awards & Scholarship Luncheon Sunday, June 25th 1:30pm -‐6pm. Proud Bird Theme: “Embracing the Future” Keynote Speaker: Dr. Kathryn Jeffery, PhD. Special Guest: Dr. Cecil L. “Chip” Murray, PhD. VIP Reception  $150.00 General Admission $75.00 Entertainment, Vendors and Raffle. Sponsorship and Advertisement opportunities are still available.

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 L.A./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 at:



For information, call 310.677.6011

For more info, call 323-735-0879 or 323-309-7321 Crusade Christian Faith Center 801 S. La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90301 (310) 330-8535 Bishop Virgil D. Patterson Sr.

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

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

Early Worship: 8:30am Morning Worship: 9am & 11am Children’s Church: Both Services Word Power Wed.: 7-8pm

Service times: 8am,& 10am, Communion: every 5th Sunday Tuesday Bible Class: 7:30pm

Wed. Mid-Week Service: 7pm Sunday School: 9am Sunday Worship: 10:30am 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 Ministry: beblessedwebradio: Mon - Fri. 6:30am IMPACT TV: Tuesdays 3:00pm

The City of Refuge 14527 S. San Pedro Street, Gardena, CA 90248 (310) 516-1433 Bishop Noel Jones Morning Worship: 8am & 11am Evening Worship: 6pm Bible Study (Wed): Noon & 7pm BET/Fresh Oil (Wed): 7am

In Gardena

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

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

First Church of God Center of Hope 9550 Crenshaw Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90305 • (323) 757-1804 Pastor Geremy L. Dixon Morning Worship: 8am & 11am Wed. Mid-Week Service: Noon Wed. Teaching Ministry: 7pm 1st Sunday Communion 5th Sunday Baptism Jacob’s Ladder Community Fellowship, inc. 1152 E. Hyde Park Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90303 (866) 330-1702 • F: (310) 674-0760 Watchman/Shepherd Dr. Robert T. Douglas Sr. Sunday School: 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 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


From the Pulpit:


First AME Church

Passings: Renown Restaurateur Adolf Dulan, Dead at 83

Pastor J. Edgar Boyd “Ain’t no Sunshine When He’s Gone St. John 20:1-9, St. John 3:16

Adolf Dulan, owner of Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen and the self proclaimed “The King of Soul Food” in Los Angeles, passed away May 1st, 2017, at 5:22 am at Cedars Sinai Hospital. He was 83. Dulan and his family has reigned over the Los Angeles food scene for nearly 40 years. As a successful restaurateur, Adolf and the Dulan family launched Hamburger City in the 70s, Aunt Kizzy's Back Porch in the 80s and early 90s, and Dulan's Soul Food Kitchen. Son Greg is the

owner of Dulan’s on Crenshaw. Adolf was committed to providing generous portions, good service, and food that reminds one of being at grandma’s for Sunday dinner and received numerous commendations including: Community Based Business of the Year Award by Black Business Association and most recently 2016 Small Businessman of the Year from the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce.

L.A. Focus/ May 2017

arkness is powerful. It is something most of us fear. It tells us nothing about what the surrounding environment holds. It blocks out light and obscures images. Darkness withholds information about the environment. Darkness robs you of light, joy and strength. Darkness is the thief of faith, hope and eternal security. Darkness in its best seen in the absence of Jesus. Jesus died on the cross at Calvary on Friday evening between high noon and 3 p.m. He breathed the seven last words from the cross. The first of them was, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” The second was, “Into Thy hand I commend my spirit.” Then Jesus died. True Friendship Missionary Baptist Church John said in the first verse of that 20th chapter, the first 7901 South Van Ness Ave. Inglewood, CA 90305 (323) 750-7304 day of the week Mary Magdalene came early when it was Rev. James A. Perkins yet dark. She came early when she couldn’t see. She came early when she had to feel her way to the top where the Sunday School: 9:30am tomb was. She came looking to do what she could not do on Early Worship: 8am Friday because they had to hurry and get Jesus down off Morning Worship: 10:45am the cross because darkness was swiftly creeping upon them. Bible Adventure Hour (Tues): 6pm So, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus Bible Study (Tues): 7pm came to the tomb early that morning while it was still dark, Bible Study (Thurs): Noon looking for an opportunity to bless Jesus. Darkness is tough. It will scare you to death and rob all Antioch Church of Long Beach In Long Beach of your hope. It will make you become a dwarf in your aspi- 1535 Gundry Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 ration because you can't see and most of us want to see (562) 591-8778 • F: (562) 599-6048 before we move. Pastor Wayne Chaney Jr. Worship Services: 8am, 9:30am, 11:30am We want to see the platform before we take the first Tuesday Youth BibleStudy: 8am, 9:30am, step. We want to have a secure promise and indication that 11:30am everything is going to be alright. We want to see our way WednesdayBible Study: Noon through. When things are extremely bad, it may signal that it is about to get better. But when you think it can’t get any worse, hold on to your seatbelt because things are about to change and get better. Some of you might be in some dark places right now. You feel like giving up—I don’t have a job, my girlfriend has left Christ Second Baptist Church me, my boyfriend dumped me, they are raising the rent in 1471 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 my apartment. I’m afraid my cancer is about to come back, (562) 599-3421 • Fax: (562) 599-6175 • Rev. Welton Pleasant II, Senior Pastor my job is running out and I’m not prepared to change careers. My child will graduate high school in two months, Sunday School: 8:30am I don’t know where I’m going to get the rest of the $43,000 Sunday Worship Service: 9:40am for tuition by August. Wed. Bible Study: 7pm It's always dark just before the dawn. Darkness really is Wed Youth & Young Adult Ministry: 7pm an indication of the absence of Jesus because Jesus is the light of the world. When you live in Jesus you have light, you have sunshine, you have warmth and illumination. Bill Withers wrote a song titled, “Ain’t no Sunshine Gospel Memorial Church of God In Christ When She’s Gone.” But I really want to put it in a different 1480 Atlantic Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 content— ain’t no sunshine when He’s gone—only dark- (562) 599-7389 • F: 562-599-5779 • ness. When Jesus is gone out of your life there is no hope. Bishop Joe L. Ealy When He’s away from you, there is no aspiration. When Sunday School: 9:30am Sunday Worship: 11am He’s away, everything becomes cloudy and disfigured. When Evening Worship: 6:30pm Jesus is gone out of your life everything is a mess, nothing Wed. Intercessory Prayer: 7pm acts right, nothing feels right, nothing gets right, nothing Wed. Pastoral teaching adults: 7:30pm taste right, nothing pays right. The absence of Jesus is the Wed. Youth Ministry Boot-Camp; Youth Bible reality of darkness. Study: 7pm & Choir Rehearsal: 7:30pm Darkness breathes fear. If you’ve ever thought of walking on the dark side, don’t do it. Haters, backbiters, stabbers, negativity every- around you, you can’t see the darkness because He’s the where. No light. No hope that cancels out your darkness. He’s the peace that hope. No peace. No comes in the middle of your despair, He’s the hope that idea. No inspiration. comes to you in the time of your faithlessness. Darkness hides Darkness is the natural human nature of our human reality. When dark- experience. It’s the nature of our humanness to fear darkness comes, the things ness. Small children harbor their greatest fear in the around you can’t be cloak of darkness. The parents have to help them overseen but when you walk come darkness by putting a night light in to chase the even when the sun darkness away. goes down, The Bible says Nicodemus went to Jesus by night. He don’t be really wanted to hear what Jesus was saying. The afraid of it research said he was so wealthy that he could feed all the b e c a u s e inhabitants of Jerusalem for 10 years and not make a Jesus is dent in his wealth. He knew something had to be powerthe light ful about what Jesus was saying and he wanted a piece of of the it. But he was afraid to come to Jesus in the daytime. w o r l d . Some of us say, “I’ll follow Jesus, but do I have to walk When He down that aisle on Sunday morning? Can I just come l i v e s accept Jesus in your office? That will be alright but what inside of does it do about your witness to the rest of the dying y o u , world? You’re supposed to show your light before others e v e n so that they may see your good works and come and glothough rify your Father who lives in heaven. When you come, i t ' s you have to come out of your darkness. Unless you overd a r k come your darkness, you will be consumed by it.


Leaving L.A: Pastor Keith Jenkins Accepts New Post In Oregon Pastor Keith Jenkins preached his final sermon at New Life L.A. After seven years at the foursquare denomination, the former Marine and his wife, Coco, are returning to Oregon. A ceremony installing a new pastor is slated for later this month. He served as lead pastor at Jubilee World Outreach in Eugene, Oregon for 13 years, before moving to Southern California as Foursquare’s missional director for the former Greater Los Angeles District.

Grant AME Church of Long Beach 1129 Alamitos Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 • (562) 437-1567 • Rev. Michael W. Eagle, Sr. Sun. Worship Experience: 10:45am 3rd Sun. Healing & Annointing: 10:45am Wed. Bible Study: Noon & 6pm Mothers of Murdered Youth & Children Were all receive a little attention, affection and love. New Philadelphia A.M.E. Church 6380 S. Orange Avenue, Long Beach, Ca 90805 (562)422-9300•F: (562) 422-9400 Pastor Darryl E. Walker, Senior Pastor 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

Second Baptist Church In Monrovia 925 S. Shamrock Avenue • P.O. Box 479, Monrovia, CA 91017 •(626) 358-2136 • F: (626) 303-2477 Bishop W.M. Larue Dillard, Phd. Sunday Worship: 7:45am, 10:45am, 4:45pm Ministry Worship to Children/Youth Sunday: 9:45am - 10:45am Prayer/Academy of Biblical Studies (Wed): 10:45am - 6:45pm

You have to come outside of your fear in order to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. You have to come outside of the walls that box you in. Jesus is not a Donald Trump; He does not build walls, He builds bridges. Darkness harbors evil. That’s why for some the later the party starts the better the party is, because we don’t want light to see the stuff that we struggle with. We don’t want daybreak to see the stuff that we drink or smoke, the folks we hang with and what we do while we are hanging with them. Men and women love darkness because their deeds are evil. Darkness breeds evil and evil always breeds contempt and contempt breeds the deterioration of a faithful relationship with Jesus Christ and each other. Darkness is the incubator of ignorance. Ignorance starts with a lack of knowledge because there is no way to hate me and be justified in the situation just because my skin is black. There’s no way to hate me just because I’m a male or female or because you don’t find me in the right relationships with your homophobia—with your sexism. Darkness harbors ignorance because knowledge removes the darkness and Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus is the greatest gift the world has ever known. Ain’t no sunshine when He’s gone!

Through the Storm Brush With Cancer Led Actor to Launch Skincare Brand


his year, an estimated 64,300 adults —14,950 men and 49,350 women—in the United States will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer and by December 31, 2017, it will have claimed 1,980 lives. The fifth most common cancer in women, a recent study finds that thyroid cancer cases have more than tripled over the past four decades, and are continuing to climb more than three percent a year. The statistics are troubling and in 2010, noted actor Hill Harper became one of them. “I woke up and couldn’t swallow anything,” Harper recalled. “I knew I didn’t have a cold or strep throat, so I called a friend who is a doctor in Atlanta and after examining me, he ordered an ultrasound and a biopsy that ultimately revealed I had thyroid cancer.” At the time, the only true option for Harper was to have his thyroid surgically removed in a procedure known as a thyroidectomy, which meant taking a synthetic thyroid hormone for the rest of his life. Though shaken by the initial diagnosis —given that both his father, grandfather and an uncle had lost their lives to cancer— Harper maintained a positive outlook. “I was afraid, but I’m always operating from the standpoint of we’re going to win,” Harper said. “One of my favorite sayings is that FEAR is just an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. My doctors told me that my form of cancer was very treatable, and I also did my own research on thyroid cancer to learn as much as I could about the condition. Knowledge is power—power over fear.” Appointed by Barack Obama to the President’s Cancer Panel, Harper began to interface with some of the country’s most respected experts and what he learned would forever alter the course of his life. “They all started talking about your natural detoxification system and all of the things we incorporate into our lives impact our bodies ability to detoxify,” Harper recalled. “They believe quietly that the real reason we’re seeing this huge increase in cancer diagnosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease and the like is due to our bodies inability to detoxify because we’re loading it with too much stuff. “Skin is the largest organ of the body,” Harper continues. “My father died of cancer. My grandfather died of cancer. My uncle died of cancer and I did not want to follow in their footsteps so I started using all natural products to make sure that my liver wasn’t having to deal with those things. “But you begin to realize when you’re spending $40 for a shampoo, $40 for a conditioner and $100 for a lotion, that it’s not fair to people who can’t afford it. So, I started my own company of these all natural skincare products designed to keep skin and hair hydrated, while protecting it with antioxidants—that are very affordable called, Architect and Co., based on the belief that people can be the architects of their own lives.” A subscription-based business, the Premium Starter Hair & Body Collection Kit contains nourishing body wash, shampoo, restoring conditioner, an after shower hydrating oil spray and body lotion, and is priced as low as $29 each month. The men’s line is called H2L and the women’s line is called Jua, meaning “sun” in Swahili. Available online only, the products ship directly to consumers, enabling Harper to keep prices low. “These other product lines are taking huge margins,” Harper explains. “I don’t believe you have to do that. I believe you can do


I was afraid, but I’m always

operating from the standpoint of we’re

going to win. One of my favorite sayings is that FEAR is just an acronym for

False Evidence Appearing Real. My doctors told me that my form of cancer was very treatable and I also did my own research on thyroid cancer to learn as much as I could about the condition. Knowledge is power—power over fear. well and do good. That I can keep my doors open and stay in business and not try to jack you for every dollar you have just because you want to be healthy. “We have this amazing oil that I came up with the idea to use from the Baobab tree which is indigenous to Malawi, Zimbabwe, Madasgascar and it has vitamin A, D, F—all these wonderful properties and is particularly good for folks with melanin in their skin and we’re one of the only products that I know of distributing now with every single product infused with Baobab oil. Ironically, the had always been health conscious “Where I was falling down was what I put on my skin,” Harper states. “I do eat well, but the skin is the largest organ so everything you put on it gets absorbed. The best metaphor I use is that if I would come up to you with a little black bag and said you’re going to have to reach your hand in that bag every day and pull out whatever’s in it and eat it and you don’t know what it is, would you do that. Everyone says absolutely not, but we do that with our skin every day. We go to hotels, use their soap, the lotion and we don’t know what’s in that. Every single brand carried everywhere we shop have aluminum, parabens, sulfates for the most part— all these things that are damaging. They damage your endocrine system. They damage your liver.” Harper’s passion is as deeply rooted in his faith as it is his own health. “Faith plays a huge role, because I believe that I’m here for a purpose. God has you here for a reason and I don’t think my time was up.” The 50-year old actor/author is excited about the response to the business after having invested his own money. But April 27—the debut of the line on the Steve Harvey Show— was the real test. “I own this. I’m not a hired hand. If the business fails, I lose.” d For more information about The Architect Code, visit and

Thyroid cancer can cause any of the following signs or symptoms: • A lump in the neck, often growing quickly • Swelling in the neck • Pain in the front of the neck, sometimes going up to the ears • Hoarseness or other voice changes that do not go away • Trouble swallowing • Trouble breathing • A constant cough that is not due to a cold Today, Hill Harper encourages others to get regular screenings and to consult a doctor if they experience changes in their health, while and emphasizing that thyroid cancer, like many cancers, is “treatable and beatable.”

First AME Santa Monica In Santa Monica 1823 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404 (310) 450-0331 F: (310) 450-4680 E-mail Address: Facebook:First AME Church Santa Monica Rev. Reuben W. Ford, Pastor Sunday School: 9:30am Sunday Worship: 11am Bible Study/Prayer Meditation: Thursday 6pm

Arise Christian Center In Westchester 6949 LaTijera Blvd#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

In Pasadena Bethlehem Church 1550 North Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103 (626) 794-5211 • F: (626) 794-6592 Pastor Christopher A. Bourne Sunday School: 9am Sunday Worship: 10am Tuesday Bible Study: 7pm Mid-day Worship Thursday: Noon One On One continued from page 13

sonalities so maybe that’s what gets me the jobs. What are you currently working on? I have totally opened up myself to writing and directing the piece and I just finished “Boy Bye”, and it just got picked up by Netflix. It’s a movie I also starred in and produced, so I’m really excited about that. about that. Personally, I have some projects that I’m working on and developing that I’d like to produce. People have approached me about some theatre pieces

First Lady Files Larleslie McDaniel A Place of Worship As a First Lady, Leslie McDaniel— wife of Pastor Sheridan McDaniel (A Place of Worship in Fullerton)— knows her place: to be a good wife and to support the ministry God has called him to. She’s an administrator by trade, but that doesn’t scratch the surface of what Larleslie brings to the table. From worship leader to graphic design and coordinating conferences, he casts the vision and she makes it happen. “My husband is my biggest motivation,” said the L.A. native who has known him since she was 14. “We grew up together in the same church. He became a minister at 19. He started a bible study not long after being called and I was a part of that for many years.” Despite their history, Larleslie did not know she was going to be married to her husband. “We evolved into best friends and then into a dating relationship. It's kind of like we have been doing the same thing we’ve been doing for years. I used to go to revivals and I was the guest singer and he was the guest preacher.” Larleslie’s biggest challenge is tempering her passion and “making sure that you are not always constantly giving out and leaving yourself empty.” “What’s most important to me is lifestyle, so I do a lot with my team in making sure what we sing is what we live—that worship is not only a Sunday activity. What I love about being his wife is that he is a worshiper at home. We fast and pray together. We are excited about what the Lord is doing in Orange County.”

as well. Things are busy. What advice would you give to new and aspiring actors? Go for it! Believe in the passion and the dream that God has given you. Many times our breakthroughs can be hinged on whether we really believe in it or not. I encourage any young person or anyone in this industry, wherever they might be to believe in yourself, believe in your passion and purpose, and trust in God for your breakthrough.

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Larry Elder continued from page 6

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

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

St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church 1720 N. Walnut Avenue, La Puente, CA 91744 (626) 918-3225 • F: (626) 918-3265 Pastor Anthony Dockery

In La Puente

Sunday School: 9:30 AM Early Worship: 8:00 AM Morning Worship: 11:00 AM Spanish Service: 9:30AM Bible Study: Every Wednesday 7:00 PM Money Matters continued from page 8

credits her grandmother. “She always taught me that I could do anything that I dreamed of doing. I don't have limitations on myself. I don’t feel that a “no” is the end of my journey. I’m a finisher. I can be told 100 no’s and all I need is one yes and if I don’t get the one yes, I’ll create the yes for myself.” And the woman who is constantly asked ‘is that your real hair?’ has only just begun. “What’s next,” she says, “is what I’m doing now—cultivating the Kenya Moore brand of beauty/hair care. I have a product I truly believe in. Others who have tried it have had great success with my hair care and I just want to see it expanding and to develop more products. Becoming the next Madame CJ Walker, that’s really my goal. Stephen Crockett continued from page 7 She was a positive woman in American hismillion a year to maintain,” the New York tory who helped a lot of people feel better Times reports. about themselves, but also encouraged them To date, Trump’s biggest accomplishment to be great businesswomen as well.” is nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme AHCA continued from page 6 Court and actually getting him confirmed. through without a final price score, but we do It was clear during his run for the White know that this bill will cost people their lives. House that Trump was out of his depth, but The fate of our healthcare now rests in the he appealed to a sect of America that hated Senate’s hands to protect hundreds of thouformer President Obama because he was a sands of Californians and millions more black man. Trump ran on a platform of hate, Americans that stand to lose their coverage and those who agree with his brand of vitrishould the plan become law. Know that ol voted for him. Maybe all 59 million of despite this setback, our fight continues.” those who voted for Trump weren’t racist, The AHCA repeals the employer mandate but they had no problem voting for a man and the tax penalty for Obamacare's individwho is, and to those voters, it doesn’t matter ual mandate, freezes federal support for that he’s in bed with Russia, or that he won’t Medicaid expansion starting in 2020 and fulfill any of the promises he made while cuts funding to Planned Parenthood. The running for office. It doesn’t matter to them AHCA doubles the allowed tax-free annual that he vacations almost as much as he’s in contribution to Health Savings Accounts and office, or that he’s costing taxpayers billions allows carriers to offer cheaper plans to of dollars. younger consumers. They are willing to ignore the continual Those approaching 65 and low income lies that come from this administration, and wage earners are expected to be hit the hardthe 100 days of proof that nothing he says est, with blacks disproportionately hurt by means anything. Trump hates who racists the legislation, which bases tax credits on hate, and in the eyes of Trump voters, they age and not income. The AHCA prohibits will continue to root for their brand of deminsurance companies from charging more for agoguery and push for this sham of a presipre-existing conditions as long as their insurdent to stay in office because he hates the ance doesn't lapse. If coverage is interrupted way they do, and they love that more than for more than 63 days, they can incur a 30% the lies he tells or the promises he can’t penalty over their premium for one year. keep. Trump’s victory lap may be short-lived as Stephen A. Crockett, Jr. is a staff writer and the bill is likely to face an uphill battle in the news editor for The Root. Follow him on Senate, where it is expected to undergo Twitter: @SACrockettJr. major changes before it is even scheduled for a vote that won’t happen until GOP lawmakers have enough votes to guarantee a win.

show optimism in levels not seen anywhere from 10 to nearly 40 years, depending upon the poll. Something is happening. When Ronald Reagan died, George Will wrote: "Today Americans gratefully recall that at a turbulent moment in their national epic, Reagan became the great reassurer, the steadying captain of our clipper ship. He calmed the passengers — and the sea." It's not too soon to wonder whether someday something similar might be said of President Trump. Larry Elder is a best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit


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he has recorded 12 number-one hits on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart, was part of Cyndi Lauper’s 2008 True Colors tour, and while starting out performed as a backup vocalist for Celine Dion for six months. What’s more, Deborah Cox contributed songs to the movie soundtracks of Dr. Dolittle 2, Akeelah and the Bee and Meet the Browns, had her vocals featured in the movie Hotel Rwanda and for eight years the award winning vocalist’s signature hit and 1998 single, “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here”, held the record for longest-running number one single on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart after spending 14 weeks at the top. This month, the singer—once recognized as Canada’s top R&B artist— will begin a three-week stint at the Pantages starring as Rachel Marron in the North American Tour of the musical The Bodyguard. The role has special meaning for Cox, who also provided vocals for the 2015 Whitney Houston biopic, Whitney, directed by Angela Bassett. “I feel like this is natural—like it’s the next thing to be able to bring the essence of her voice and her story to the stage cause ultimately that’s what it’s about. It’s being able to live in the songs and tell the story,” says Cox, who made her Broadway debut in the Elton John-Tim Rice musical Aida in 2004. “I feel like it’s part of my duty as an artist and as somebody who has been close to her.” In fact, she credits one of the turning points in her career to working with Houston in 2000 when they recorded the duet, "Same Script, Different Cast", for the album “Whitney: The Greatest Hits”. One critic characterized it as “thrilling vocal sparring”, another called it one of the most interesting duets in years, while Billboard dubbed it a special highlight. Accolades aside, being able to stand on their own with Whitney Houston at her best was what sin-

Deborah Cox

gled Cox out for most. But it was on a more personal level that Houston impacted Cox’s career trajectory. “I was in between albums and approaching 30 and I was like should I start my family, should I do another record and going through that,” Cox recalled. “She was like family first, prioritize and make sure you have balance, which is partly why I haven’t recorded an album every single year or haven’t been on tour all the time because I’ve wanted that balance in my life. “I saw firsthand what it takes to have that level of superstardom and it’s very tough,” the happily married mother of three continued. “I remember those conversations with Whitney and it just resonated with me.” So for Cox, The Bodyguard is just as equally a labor of love. “I had a little resignation about what it was going to be like going from a film to a musical. I read the script and thought that it was done very well. They brought in a lot of the music to help tell the story and shape the characters and they added more music. In the film, there were five songs so they’ve added some of the earlier hits from Whitney’s career as well. The thing that’s most challenging is the fact that she’s very complex— a dancer, singer, actress and I display all of those on the show, which is really grueling.” With no cast album tied to the show, she released a tribute CD to Whitney in March of eight songs, due to the demand from those who’d seen the show to leave with something of Cox on the soundtrack. It will be closer to the end of the year when die-hard fans finally get what they’ve been asking for: a sixth studio CD from Cox. “It takes a lot of time to put together a body of work and I don’t like to rush anything,” Cox states. “I hadn’t really noticed that it’s been seven years since The Promise was out. Instead, I’ve put a lot of my focus into doing musicals because that’s where I get the opportunity to sing great music and ultimately for me, that’s what I love to do. I’m not interested in putting together a record just to “be relevant”. For all of her talent, Cox was not all that comfortable with her vocal gifts growing up. “I was very shy as a young girl and introverted,” Cox recalls. “I shied away (from my talent). I guess from a very early age my voice singled me out and that’s what made me uncomfortable.” The voice not only singled her out but opened doors, as by the age of 12, she was singing on TV commercials. By her teen years, she had become more comfortable with her vocal gifts. “I was like okay, this is what it’s going to be. I had to not be afraid of my light and understand that others were drawn to me because of it.”

That’s been the hardest walk —maintaining integrity while being in this industry and all

the time people are saying, ‘wow, you’re still married and have three children. How do you do it?’ The only way is through Christ.” Embracing her gifts, Cox began singing in nightclubs in and around Toronto and writing songs. It was through songwriting that she met her husband, also then a songwriter and producer. Today, the girl once shy, has become fearless. “When I know that I have purpose and a task, that’s when it just kicks in. It’s like you gotta do what you gotta do,” Cox goes on. “You’ve got to soldier it out.” It is mostly her faith that helps to keep the 42-year old, Toronto native grounded. Though raised in a Christian household, it was at 19 that Cox came to accept Christ as her personal savior. “That was when I started to really embody what being a Christian is and what the walk was going to be like. When it all really became extremely serious to me to be like if I’m going to continue to be in this business than I need to understand that I am not of this business and not of the world and there are certain things that I am just going to have to walk away from— and not be conformed to,” Cox said. “That’s been the hardest walk —maintaining integrity while being in this industry and all the time people are saying, ‘wow, you’re still married and have three children. How do you do it?’ The only way is through Christ. “Me and Justin (who plays the bodyguard) pray and try to get the cast members to just focus on what we’re about to do, knowing that our talents and we are the vessels to something very positive. So, we try and use the opportunity to inspire and keep our egos out of it.” Her faith, she says, is her saving grace. “I wouldn’t be here without it…without my close, intimate relationship with Jesus and knowing that I always have my faith to fall back on.” To be sure, Cox is living her dreams with The Bodyguard, which runs from May 2 through May 21, at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. “It’s a blessing every moment on that stage,” she states. “The Bodyguard is one of my all-time favorite movies and I get to tell the story and sing those great songs.”

L.A. Focus/ May 2017

“The Bodyguard” runs from May 2 - 21 at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre.


L.A. Focus On The Word May 2017 Issue  
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