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ISSUE L.A. FOCUS

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J U LY

2017

@LAFOCUSNEWS

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CHURCH NEWS: Pastor Fred Price Jr. Steps Down PAGE

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One On One: Zoe Saldana PAGE

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Upfront :CBC Rebuffs White House Invitation, Omarosa

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contents

JULY 2017

L.A. Focus Publication

Left: Florence LaRue’s 75th birthday bash with fellow 5th Dimension members Billy Davis Jr, and Marilyn McCoo;Center:(l) Kerman Maddox of Dakota Communications(c)Deborah Flint (Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director)(r) Metro CEO Phillip Washington attend the Second Annual Meet the Decision Makers African American History Event breakfast held at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel on Feb 21,2017;Right: (l) Grant Power(c) DeVon Franklin & Megan Good (r) Bishop Blake at West Angeles CDC 23rd Annual Unity Awards Gala to receive Family of the Year award.

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Commentary Congressional Black Caucus has a duty to meet with President Trump

From The Editor Navigating The Thin Line Between Scandal and Testimony

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Upfront

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Head to Head Inconvenients Truths About The GOP and Democrats

CBC Declines Meeting With Trump, Omarosa Responds Cannabis Stores Banned in Unincorporated Areas, Flourishes In L.A.; Minorities Losing Out

Headlines From Africa

8 Money Matters 10 Biz News Briefs Feature Story

“Fight Ain’t Over”: Democratic Lawmakers Urge Vigilance on Trumpcare

For A Fee Even Jail Can Be More Palatable Serena Williams Teams with Daily Harvest Carnival CEO Tops List TV One Launches “Lights, Camera, Career

On The Money World’s Highest Paid Athletes

staff

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

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

L.A. Focus–On the Word, is published monthly. Address all correspondence to: L.A. Focus, 333 W. Florence Ave., Suite C333 Inglewood, CA 90301 • (310) 677-6011 Fax: (310) 677-2338 Subscription rates $25.00 per year.

12One On One

Inside Hollywood Summer Road Trippin’ With the Girls

Zoe Saldana

14 Red Carpet Style 16 Eye On Gospel 17

Calendar/Around LA CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Foundation, Inc., Fashion Awards

Long Time Coming: Dr. Bobbby Jones Guess Who’s Doing a Gospel CD? Le’Andria is Back

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@Lafocusnews

@L.A.Focus

Pastor W. Harrison Trotter - Morning Star Baptist Church

How a Near Death Experience Saved Bishop Richard Sanders Life

Randolph’s Smoke House BBQ

BeBe Winans

Ebony CEO Linda Johnson Rice (left) was one of the honorees at the starstudded Ladylike Foundation fundraiser. The event is the brainchild of Leah WalkerPump (right). View more pictures from the event on pages 14-15.

Church News

Pastor Fred Price Steps Down, Apostle Frederick K.C. Price and Dr. Betty Price To Lead

20 Pastor Profile

Bishop Leon Martin - Love, Peace and

Happiness Church

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First Lady Files

Jasmine Morton-Robinson Pilgrim’s Hope Baptist Church

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.

#LAFOCUS

22 23Through The Storm In Good Taste 25 26 Saving Grace From The Pulpit

Cover Design:

Upscale Media

Group


Commentary

Quadricos Bernard Driskell Guest Columnist

Congressional Black Caucus has a duty to meet with President Trump he Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), which bills itself as the “conscience of the Congress,” is one of the most powerful caucuses in Congress. While many will differ on precisely what parameters translate into “powerful,” none can deny a clear element of clout and visibility the CBC has on Capitol Hill. Members of the caucus have histories of activism unparalleled by other legislators and, for nearly 50 years, they have taken unpopular stances, not only for interests of African Americans, but for the good of the entire country. Within the 115th Congress, the CBC has a historic membership of 49 U.S. representatives and two U.S. senators. Collectively, they represent 78 million Americans comprising 24 percent of the total U.S. population. About 17 million of those constituents are African Americans who makes up 41 percent of the total U.S. African American population. In addition, the CBC represents almost a fourth of the House Democratic Caucus. The CBC was founded in 1971, and since that time it has pushed into the mainstream by earning seniority and serving as chairpersons or ranking members of key congressional committees, with subsequent re-elections ensured by majority-minority districts. Yet, while their voices and antics have been seemingly effective throughout the years, their efficacy in furthering the substantive and enduring legislative goals of their largely African American constituency has been questioned. This month, according to Politico, four sources close to the Congressional Black Caucus have said the group feels that President Trump has done nothing to help advance their goals since the executive board met with him back in March. Therefore, they don’t believe meeting with him now would amount to much more than a photo-op for the president. This rationale is at best questionable. First, did the Congressional Black Caucus earnestly expect President Trump to advance its goals? Second, what led the officers of the CBC to believe that Trump would take their causes seriously? Third, is Trump’s demeanor sufficient reason to decline meeting with the president of the Unites States? I suppose one can reasonably understand the CBC’s position for not meeting with President Trump, given his “skinny” budget proposal cuts to many programs championed by CBC members and their constituents, his opposition to ObamaCare and to many more programs, and his penchant for bending the truth. However, this still leaves me with my first point. In 1971, President Richard Nixon refused to meet with the CBC and, upset by that refusal, the caucus publicly boycotted the State of the Union address that year. That action subsequently led to Nixon agreeing to meet with the caucus. Since that time, the

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CBC has masterfully used such tactics to gain national attention, obtain high level meetings, and raise the conscience of the country. Yet, this current refusal to continue to meet with President Trump is perplexing, as members of the caucus must resolve critical issues, including imbalances in the criminal justice system, discriminatory voter suppression, affordable healthcare and elimination of racial health disparities, promotion of U.S. foreign policy initiatives in Africa and other countries, expansion of access to prekindergarten through post-secondary education, and increasing support for historically black colleges and universities. The question thus begs, what then, is the strategy in this Trump era? The CBC must continue to be engaged, above all. It certainly has dealt with Republican presidents before, yet this administration seems to present some impasse. Many liberals and some African Americans will suggest that another meeting with the president is futile. But imagine if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders had refused to meet with President Johnson for a second, third, and fourth time? Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, recently wrote a letter to President Trump, saying, “The CBC, and the millions of people we represent, have a lot to lose under your administration.” Richmond continued, “I fail to see how a social gathering would benefit the policies we advocate for.” But in my view, the caucus needs a gathering with Trump to discuss, debate, and vocalize its issues. Dealing with this White House and administration may be a challenge, but it is no excuse not to meet. Dare I say, it is their duty to meet with the president and to continue the good fight for the districts and communities they represent because Rep. Richmond is correct — the millions of people they represent have a lot to lose. Working with this White House is not easy, but not engaging on behalf of fragile communities is more painful to the communities that the Congressional Black Caucus represents. Perhaps this is a strategy to give up Beltway politics and endorse a more grassroots progressive activism. But I doubt it, and it won’t work. Cynicism aside, the Congressional Black Caucus is essential. Its voice in the legislative process is critical, and many of its constituents living on the margins find solace in that voice. As former Rep. William Clay Sr. (D-Mo.) declared when the CBC was founded, “Black people have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies...just permanent interests.” Even in this Trump era, the caucus must live by this edict. Reverend Professor Quardricos Bernard Driskell is a healthcare lobbyist with 10 years of government relations experience. He is an adjunct professor of religion and politics at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management.

From the Editor

LISA COLLINS Publisher

“Navigating The Thin Line Between Scandal and Testimony”

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his bunk bed to watch TV. He stuck his thumb in his mouth and grabbed his blanked. Moments later, we began to smell smoke and it wasn’t long before that smoke filled the room. The fire department was called and by the time they arrived, the apartment was engaged in flames and all we had was destroyed. I still remember the firemen chastising my younger brother, just five, who had been playing with matches in the closet. When the flames actually caught fire on to clothes in the closet and grew bigger than he could manage, he shut the closet door, hoping it would go away. Sometimes when I look at what’s happening in D.C. and the debate over healthcare legislation, I feel like my brother felt when he closed the door and hoping it would go away. Instead, the truth is if there was ever a time to engage in the political process on behalf of yourself—if no one else—it is now, given the tense political climate and the critical issues being decided by lawmakers in Washington D.C. that will affect us all, most notably, Trump’s everevolving healthcare bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. Just as the Affordable Care Act has shaped so much the delivery of healthcare in this nation since it was passed into law in 2010, much is at stake, especially for the sick and elderly whose very lives depend on what is decided. What’s more, get into the habit of advocating for yourselves with elected. They work for you and it is up to you to let them know what you want, what you expect of them and to demand accountability for the tax dollars you are spending. Where do those monies go? Who gets those contracts? Let’s face it, part of the reason the black community remains stagnant is due to a lack of access to the kind of contracts to black business entities that could bring more jobs into the community to build wealth and stimulate greater enterprise. If you are frustrated with what’s going on in your community, you can positively channel that frustration into advocacy by calling your representatives and letting them know exactly what your concerns are and asking what they are doing to address them. One thing’s for sure, doing nothing changes little. Keep the faith.

L.A. Focus/July 2017

ome stories are more difficult to cover than others like that of recent news surrounding Crenshaw Christian Center and the decision by its pastor—Rev. Fred Price, Jr.—to step down (see page 18). It’s a fact of life that all news isn’t good and L.A. Focus has an obligation not just to report the good news, but the bad as well. Commenting on a story beyond the facts makes it all the more sensational and that we won’t do, but life happens (to everybody). Rev. Fred Price Jr. could have made a statement, free of the optics that make a video all the more powerful, but he courageously chose to face people— and all who would view his statement on YouTube and other social media outlets— head on. I applaud him for that conviction and for the church’s transparency. There is a thin line between a scandal and a testimony. Write a story one way and it’s a testimony. Frame a story another way and it’s a scandal. Given our close ties to the city’s religious community, L.A. Focus—as a professional body— has to walk that fine line more often than it wishes. But on the other side of that line are readers who get to determine for themselves whether they want to see things as a scandal or a testimony and that says more about them, than us. I know—and admire— the Price family. Their faith in God is unshakeable. What they have built—and how they have helped others and shaped the religious world with their vision—is something only God could have orchestrated and He is still in control. On the plane on my way home from a recent trip, I read an article featuring Bishop T.D. Jakes. In the story, Jakes is quoted as saying, “We mature to realize that we grow more in our suffering than we do in our success. Our success is just a distraction from the class of suffering where we are developed as human beings. And I hate it as much as anybody in the world. But everything I ever learned that mattered, I learned it from failure and falling and suffering. I celebrated success, but I learned it in suffering.” In our profile of BeBe Winans on page 26, he recalls a conversation he had with Maya Angelou about growing in “the struggle”. ‘Enjoy the struggle,” she admonished him. “Everyone is trying to get out of the struggle, but it’s in the struggle where you discover who you are. It’s in the struggle where you find out who people really are, and it’s in the struggle when you find out who God really is.” Turning to our feature story on page 10, I was just a little girl of maybe seven or so when one morning the apartment we were living in was set on fire. It was on a Sunday and my older brother and I were watching TV in a bedroom, when our younger brother emerged from out of the bedroom closet and proceeded to return to

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UpFront

News Briefs

CBC Rebuffs White House Invitation and Omarosa

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uring an initial March 22 meeting at the White House, members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) took issue with President Donald Trump on a number of issues that disproportionately impact African Americans, including the budget and healthcare, while presenting a 130-page policy document—including solutions to help advance black families—and asking that he facilitate meetings between the CBC and key Cabinet officials. Calling the meeting a positive first start, they agreed to continue the dialogue. But the 49-member group, dubbed as one of the most powerful lobbies in Congress, has had a change of heart, declining a follow-up invitation to meet with Trump last month. “We are serious about the work of advancing the interests of our people and the goals of the CBC. As a result, we took advantage of every opportunity to educate you on the needs of the Black community and provide you with the information and solutions necessary to act on them in good faith,” wrote CBC chair Cedric Richmond. “Through an objective assessment, we have seen no evidence that your Administration acted on our calls for action, and we have in fact witnessed steps that will affirmatively hurt

Black communities. While we agreed to explore possible future discussions when we first met, it has become abundantly clear that a conversation with the entire CBC would not be entirely productive, given the actions taken by your Administration since our first meeting. While you can solicit the engagement of individual members of our caucus, the CBC as a caucus declines your invitation to meet at this time.” The statement went on to list eight different issues that Trump’s administration had failed to take up, including concerns regarding Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Characterizing as a “social gathering” that would not benefit the policies they are advocating for, Richmond went on to say that the CBC would —in the future— “always be willing to engage in discussion and debate about policies and programs that will make America a more perfect union for all.” Some CBC members were also reportedly miffed about the invite being signed by “The Honorable Omarosa Manigault, charging that the president’s special assistant had neither earned the title, nor was working to raise the profile of their concerns. “Let’s be clear,” Manigault-Newman countered. “The United States Government Official Guide of protocol gives an outline of these things. I sent a text to the corresponding secretary of the White House who then does formatting, puts the title on it, sends it back and gets it cleared. So to insinuate that I’m trying to puff myself up when I don’t need to…I’m an assistant to the president.

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L.A. Focus/July 2017

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we are opposing the vote of the people. We are trying to create rational, responsible, and accountable cannabis commerce. This is not a gold rush for businesses. It is the people of California calling for smart, responsible regulation of marijuana, and those who operate illegally are in direct opposition to this call for accountability, transparency, and responsibility. Ridley-Thomas pointed out that cannabis remained illegal under federal law, adding to the difficulty of effectively regulating the business. “The County needs to establish guidelines and regulations for the cannabis industry to minimize these anticipated

Contributor

Manigault-Newman, whose official title is Assistant to the President and director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison, pointed out that Barack Obama didn’t meet with the CBC until 600 days into his administration while Trump’s meeting with the full Caucus came within 60 days. “And where in Washington have you ever heard of one meeting solving any particular policy issue let alone 49 different policy issues?” Manigault-Newman observed. “It’s unfortunate, but I’m very excited about the meetings I have set up with individual members of the Congressional Black Caucus and we have completely changed our approach. We know who the members are–the ones who are reasonable and are interested in working with this administration to get things done. Those are the people we are going to engage. “I’m not getting caught up in the sideshow. I’m in a position to be able to raise our issues as we make budgetary considerations, as we build on our infrastructure, and as we look at healthcare and education.” Fact is, last year alone, the federal government awarded over $470 billion in contracts to private companies for goods and services that created jobs and wealth. According to the Federal Procurement Data System, just 1.8% of those dollars were awarded to blackowned companies. “They’re even going against the mission of the organization,” ManigaultNewman added. “Shirley Chisholm, [co]founder of the Congressional Black Caucus said, ‘You can not make progress by sitting on the sidelines whimpering and complaining. The only way to make progress is by coming to the table with ideas.’”

Cannabis Stores Banned in Unincorporated Areas, Flourishes In L.A.; Minorities Losing Out ix months after the passage of prop 64—which legalized the use of recreational marijuana in California, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance prohibiting the opening of cannabis stores in unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County. The ordinance—which was passed by unanimous vote— bans commercial cannabis “businesses and activities” in county-operated areas. Following the November election, the board commissioned a study from the Department of Regional Planning of regulations that would address the concerns regarding anticipated challenges with cannabis businesses, while also implementing a moratorium to prohibit any cannabis stores from opening pending the outcome. The ordinance also imposes reasonable regulations on personal cannabis cultivation while businesses are further studied for potential regulation. “Many of us here face a great task—that of implementing Prop. 64,” said County Board of Supervisors chair Mark Ridley Thomas. “The ban does not mean that we are reinstating the war on drugs or that

KISHA SMITH

GERALD BELL Contributor

negative impacts,” Ridley-Thomas adds. “We need rules focused on creating responsible and accountable cannabis commerce. Equally important, we cannot ignore the public safety and public health issues associated with cannabis. We can expect that the issues we confront as we move forward will be unique and more profound than has been the experience in other jurisdictions.” In March, Los Angeles voters resoundingly chose to approve Proposition M, a measure designed to give operators in the city's legal cannabis industry both the room and regulation they need to grow. Southern California Coalition (SCC) Executive director Adam Spiker has been working closely with Donnie Anderson, chair of the California Minority Alliance to ensure that the return on the cannabis industry investment reaches minority communities across California. According to Anderson, there are 186 cannabis dispensaries in the state. Currently only eight combined have Black or Latino ownership. Spiker and his counterparts all agree that tightly regulated cannabis commerce will actually help clean up the rogue industry that its known for. They say the Cannabis continued to page 24

Supreme Court Sides with Religious Institutions

In a major separation of church and state decision, the Supreme Court sided with religious institutions, ruling 7-2 in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer that it violates the Constitution’s protection of the free exercise of religion to exclude churches from state programs with a secular intent. Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Missouri—which operates a preschool and day care center—wanted to participate in a state program that reimburses the cost of resurfacing playgrounds. Although Trinity Lutheran would have qualified, the state turned it down. Missouri’s constitution, like those in many states, prohibited the government from spending any public money on “any church, sect, or denomination of religion.” The exclusion has raised questions about how to uphold the Constitution’s prohibition on government support for religion without discriminating against those who are religious. “The exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution…and cannot stand,” wrote Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote, "If this separation means anything, it means that the government cannot, or at the very least need not, tax its citizens and turn that money over to houses of worship." Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas explicitly stated that the court's approval applied only to playground funding and should not be read as applying to parochial schools in general.

New Tax Agency Places Too Much Power in Governor’s Hands By Manny Otiko | California Black Media A plan to radically reshape the State Board of Equalization (BOE) has both Democrats and Republicans up in arms. According to SB 86, Democrats plan to create a new tax body that would be under the Governor’s Office. The legislation reads, “This bill would establish, in the Government Operations Agency, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration and would place the department under the control of a director appointed by the Governor and subject to confirmation by the Senate. The bill would also authorize the Governor to appoint a chief deputy director and a chief counsel.” Under the legislation, tax disputes would be settled by administrative judges, not board members of the BOE, who are elected. While some Democrats and Republicans believe this a power grab by the Governor’s office, the move was motivated by a March audit which revealed that the BOE couldn’t account for millions of dollars and that some board members were redirecting state employees to work on their own projects.


Inconvenients Truths About The GOP and Democrats

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sk any black person which University of Alabama? Democrats' political party has been black A few years later, the only Hoodwinking of people's political ally. With serious congressional oppoBlacks near unanimity, blacks would sition to the landmark Civil answer the Democratic Party. Asked which Rights Act of 1964 came from Democrats. political party has been hostile to blacks, 80% of Republicans in the House of they'd say the Republican Party with simi- Representatives supported the bill. Less lar unanimity. For better answers, check than 70% of Democrats did. Democratic out Prager University's five-minute clip senators, led by ex-Klansman Robert "The Inconvenient Truth About the Byrd's 14-hour filibuster, kept the bill tied Democratic Party," by Carol Swain, profes- up for 75 days, until Republicans mustered sor of political science at Vanderbilt enough votes to break University (http://tinyurl.com/kq3gxuw). the filibuster. Since its founding in the late 1820s, the Labor unions have Democratic Party has defended slavery, always been allied started the Civil War and opposed with the Democratic Reconstruction. The Democratic Party Party and have a hisimposed segregation. Its members engaged tory of racism. Most of in the lynchings of blacks and opposed the today's black leaders civil rights acts of the 1950s and 60s. give unquestioned During Reconstruction, hundreds of support to labor Walter Williams black men were elected to Southern state unions and their polilegislatures as Republicans, and 22 black cies that harm black workers, but yesterRepublicans served in the U.S. Congress by year's black leaders saw things differently. 1900. The Democratic Party did not elect a Frederick Douglass, in his 1874 essay "The black man to Congress until 1935. Folly, Tyranny, and Wickedness of Labor President Woodrow Wilson was a Unions," argued that unions were not Progressive Democrat and an avowed friends of blacks. W.E.B. Du Bois called racist who shared many views with the unions "the greatest enemy of the black KKK. He re-segregated the federal civil working man." Booker T. Washington also service. He screened the racist film. "The opposed unions because of their adverse Birth of a Nation," originally titled "The impact on blacks. Clansman," at the White House; it was the Today, Democrats use diplomacy to very first movie played at the White House. hoodwink blacks. They tell blacks to be What was the party of Orval Faubus, the against those — such as Education Arkansas governor who blocked the deseg- Secretary Betsy DeVos — who are for regation of Little Rock schools and defied school vouchers that enable black parents the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous 1954 to get their children out of rotten schools Brown v. Board of Education decision? run by Democrats at the National What was the party of Theophilus Education Association. Democrats are Eugene Connor, known as Bull Connor, using black congressmen to go after who, as city commissioner, set vicious dogs, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, fire hoses and billy clubs on black civil who is a high-profile conservative, champirights demonstrators in Birmingham, on of law and order, and supporter of Alabama? Connor said: "You can never President Donald Trump's. They view whip these birds if you don't keep you and Clarke as a threat to Democratic Party them separate. I found that out in interests. Indeed, if Democrats lost just 25 Birmingham. You've got to keep your white percent of the black vote, they would be in and black separate." deep political trouble. If you answered that Faubus and Connor By the way, none of what I've said should were Democrats, go to the head of the class. be taken as an argument that blacks By the way, it was Republican President should rush to become Republicans. I'd like Dwight D. Eisenhower who sent troops to to see the black community acting the way ensure that black students could attend most Japanese and Chinese communities Little Rock's Central High School. do — not getting into a tizzy over which What was the political party of Alabama political party is in power. Gov. George Wallace, who, during the Walter E. Williams is a professor of econom1960s Civil Rights movement, declared ics at George Mason University. To find out that he stood for "segregation now, segrega- more about Walter E. Williams, visit the tion tomorrow and segregation forever" and Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creblocked black students from entering the ators.com.

Headlines From Africa Botswana: Botswana is moving forward with the procurement of fighter jets, dismissing calls to halt multi procurement that is likely to spark an arms race within the region. Congo: The UN is sending a team to investigate reports that civilians are being butchered by pro-government forces and insurgents. According to reports, massacres and mutilations in Congo have left more than 3,000 dead since October. Ethiopia: Scoring double digit economic growth for the last 14 years, Ethiopia is on track to reach to the middle-income status by 2025 and become a manufacturing hub, according to Dr. Arkebe Equbay, special adviser to the Prime Minister, adding that Ethiopia is recognized as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Ivory Coast: A drop in global cocoa prices threatens to undermine efforts to stamp out child labor in Ghana and Ivory Coast, the world's two biggest growers, as falling incomes could force farmers to send their children to work. More than two million children are estimated to work in the cocoa industry across the two West African nations, where they carry heavy loads, spray pesticides and fell trees using sharp tools.

Lesotho: Three years after he was targeted by a coup and two days after the murder of his estranged wife, Lesotho's new prime minister, Thomas Thabane, took office as part of a new coalition government. Thabane's All Basotho Convention party won snap elections last month, but failed to get the necessary majority, leading it to negotiate joint rule with the Alliance of Democrats, the Basotho National Party, and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho. The new government hopes to end the party splits and tensions that have dogged the country. Liberia: Liberia and a Chinese company have signed the first ever steel manufacturing agreement in the West African country

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A look at current news from the continent of Africa in more than 169 years, heralding the end to the exportation of its rich unprocessed iron ores. Malawi: The Malawi government has committed to increase salaries of civil servants up to 20 percent from the proposed 10 percent to prevent a planned strike following workers demand for a 45 percent salary hike. Namibia: Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, urged a reversal of the sharp drop in Africa's exports to the United States since 2014 while encouraging American firms "to take a closer look at the opportunities Africa has to offer, in his recent address to the U.S. Africa Business Summit. "American companies come to Africa bringing their notebooks, while the Chinese companies come to the continent with their checkbooks," Adesina said. Nigeria: UNICEF has warned that more than 5.6 million children are at increased risk of contracting waterborne diseases, such as cholera and diarrhea infections, in conflict-affected areas of countries around Lake Chad as the rainy season begins. The humanitarian agency has linked the threat of disease outbreaks in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria with growing regional insecurity and increased population movements particularly in Nigeria's northeast. Mozambique: President Filipe Nyusi is asking Mozambican business people to rise to the challenge of demonstrating the potential of Mozambique on the United States market to establish sustainable partnerships with American companies. Somalia: The UN senior envoy in Somalia is decrying increased cases of sexual violence particularly in some makeshift settlements for internally displaced persons. 7,324 new gender-based violence incidents were reported in Somalia last year. Tanzania: The government has partnered with the Canadian based group, Nutritional International, to launch the 'Right Start' project, aimed at improving the health of pregnant women and reducing stunting among children in Simiyu and Mwanza regions. The five-year-project will reach over 200,000 pregnant women with iron and folic acid supplementation and over 100,000 adolescence girls and 360,000 children with nutrition services.

L.A. Focus/July 2017

Kenya: Kenya is promising free sanitary pads to all schoolgirls to encourage them to go to school during their periods, rather than stay at home with rags or tissues stuffed in their underwear. One in 10 African girls miss school during their periods, as menstruation is still taboo in many countries. "We are treating the access to sanitary pads as a basic human right," government spokesman Eric Kiraithe has said.

ow is the time for us to Trump himself, who as a canThe Republican brand the Republican didate said “I could stand in Party is starting to Party as a domestic terthe middle of 5th Avenue and look a lot like a rorist group. You know shoot somebody and I wouldterrorist group we need to do this, for the good n’t lose voters.” Trump, who of the country and for our future. fomented white supremacist violence These days in the GOP, it is becoming against protesters at his campaign rallies, harder to tell the difference between the is helping to set the tone for the rest of the politicians, the criminals, and the violent characters in his party, with actual Nazis extremists. Take for example the tragic working out of the West Wing and promuland senseless white supremacist attack in gating punitive policies against Latinos, Portland. After Muslims, blacks, the poor and others, Jeremy Joseph which are acts of violence unto themselves. Christian fatally Accusing a major political party of terrorstabbed two people in ism requires a working definition of terrorthe neck on a train ism. According to the FBI website, terrorfollowing his tirade ism is defined in the Code of Federal against two black Regulations as “the unlawful use of force teenagers, one of and violence against persons or property to whom was wearing a intimidate or coerce a government, the hijab, a top Oregon civilian population, or any segment thereDavid A. Love GOP official had to of, in furtherance of political or social weigh in and say something extra. objectives.” When other people expressed condoDomestic terrorism is “the unlawful lences and decried the rise of hate and vio- use, or threatened use, of force or violence lence, Multnomah County GOP Chair by a group or individual based and operatJames Buchal suggested that in response ing entirely within the United States or to street protests, GOP politicians might Puerto Rico without foreign direction comconsider using extremist antigovernment mitted against persons or property to militia groups such as the Oath Keepers intimidate or coerce a government, the and the Three Percenters for security. “I civilian population, or any segment theream sort of evolving to the point where I of in furtherance of political or social objecthink that it is appropriate for tives.” Republicans to continue to go out there,” You be the judge. Buchal told The Guardian. “And if they It all makes you wonder how we got to need to have a security force protecting this point, and how the former party of them, that’s an appropriate thing too.” Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass This comes as Mississippi state Rep. became the political arm of domestic white Karl Oliver apologized after calling for the terrorism. Granted, it was a long time lynching of lawmakers who support the coming. From the days of Barry Goldwater removal of Confederate monuments. and Nixon, the GOP used racial hatred Newly-elected Montana Congressman and resentment over civil rights as a marGreg Gianforte, who has ties to accused keting ploy. The race card politics of the white supremacists, beat up a Guardian Republican Southern Strategy lured the reporter, while Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Southern segregationists from the old made a joke about shooting reporters. And Democratic Party. because there is no shortage of the crazy in All the while, the party kept lurching to the Lone Star State — known for its good the right and failed to regulate its barbecue but equally for its history of unhinged, unstable element. Rather, the lynchings and racial violence — a Republicans, like their base of uneducated Republican lawmaker threatened to shoot white voters, became addicted to the opioid a Democratic colleague. After state Rep. of racism, and with it, enabled white male Matt Rinaldi told a group of Latino law- anger in all its toxicity. They embraced the makers he called ICE on protesters, he Tea Party and Birtherism and found comtook to Facebook and claimed he had been mon cause with the gun nuts, the militias assaulted by Rep. Ramon Romero and and the hate groups the Southern Poverty threatened by Rep. Poncho Nevarez for Law Center monitors so well. calling ICE, and told Nevarez he would After years of making Barack Obama shoot the lawmaker in self-defense. the black president their sworn enemy, the Then, of course, there is the command- GOP made 2016 a turning point with the er-in-chief, President Donald “covfefe” David Love continued to page 24

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MCKENZIE JACKSON AND MADLEN GRGODJAIAN/CALIFORNIA BLACK MEDIA WITH LISA COLLINS

L.A. Focus/July 2017

Contributors With the delay of a vote on Trump and the GOP’s health care bill, Democrats have won a small victory, but the war over healthcare rages on. So just what does the victory mean? One thing’s for sure, lawmakers agree. The bill is not dead—at least not yet. Meanwhile, growing protests over the controversial bill have led to a heightened awareness of the critical juncture the nation finds itself at in its quest for a healthcare system legislators can agree on. At press, the GOP needed just three votes to pass the bill. Four had publicly stated that they would not vote for the bill with a handful or so more expressing serious concerns. Senator Dean Heller of Nevada believed the cuts to Medicaid to be too severe. Characterizing the bill as “Obamacare Lite”, Senator Rand Paul said he’d vote no on the bill because it didn’t go far enough, stating that it needs more Obamacare repeal. Dissuaded by the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) analysis that the bill would mean 22 million Americans would lose their healthcare with the elderly and poor disproportionately hurt, Senator Susan Collins said she would vote against it, tweeting “I want to work w/ my GOP & Dem colleagues to fix the flaws in ACA.” But for Democrats the line in the sand has been drawn at the word: “repeal”. They say they will meet with GOP lawmakers to discuss changes to former President Barack Obama's signature legislation only if Republicans consider repairing and not repealing the American Care Act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, has been just as resistant, stating that talks with Democrats would be fruitless. President Trump, who has taken a lead role in getting the legislation passed, invited GOP Senators to the White House to and has said that the bill still needed a little negotiation. With nearly 40% of L.A. County residents are on Medi-Cal, passage of the bill would have been devastating for L.A. County, while in California Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid provides coverage for 13.5 million. States, in general, would likely be forced to reduce the number people are in their Medicaid programs or offer fewer benefits. But with federal funding projected to drop by 26 percent over 10 years, California would face the biggest losses of any state.

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In fact, California risks losing $114.6 billion in federal funds within a decade for its Medicaid program under the Senate health care bill, a decline that would require the state to completely dismantle and rebuild the public insurance program that now serves one-third of the state. Three of the Golden State's top Democrats denounced the Republican Senate-promoted Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 making the rounds in the nation's capital during a conference call with media members on the morning of June 27. Feinstein called the Republican legislation the most indefensible bill she had seen in her 24 years in the Senate. The senator recited the number of Americans that would lose health insurance if the act became law according to a June 26 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). "Twenty-two million Americans would lose their health coverage by 2026," Feinstein said. "That's between three and four million in California with 1.6 million losing insurance next year. California would see the nation's biggest increase in uninsured people next year. "I've always believed there are a couple of things that maybe can be fixed with Obamacare, but the basic bill is a good bill," she said. "It has worked and we have over 10 million more Americans with Obamacare today. Well over, probably 20 million by now." Harris said the health plan gives states a loophole where insurance companies aren't required to cover essential benefits. It would not be mandatory to cover treatment for preexisting conditions," she said. "For example, maternity care for pregnant women, mental health treatment for depression, and outpatient care for folks addicted to drugs including opioid." During the 27-minute call, the California lawmakers described the 25-page legislation authored by Republicans in closed-door meetings in Washington D.C. earlier this month as "disastrous" and a "junk plan." Feinstein said there were no public hearings on the measure and didn't know a single word in it until it was unveiled on June 23. "On lesser bills we hold hearings," she said, "but this

bill that impacts everybody and one sixth of our economy is done in secret by 12 white men." Harris said the act's architects have nothing to be proud of. "It's no wonder they did it in secret," she said. "It takes health insurance from millions of people. The combined population of 16 states." The senators and Brown said if the bill is legalized in its current form California's health system—Covered California, the state's health exchange, and Medi-Cal, California's safety net health program —would face dire problems including: •Having to replace around $24 billion in federal monies by 2026 for Medi-Cal. •Premiums increased by $619. •One in three or 14 million Californians losing MediCal coverage, including one in two children and special needs people and three in five seniors. •Hospitals facing $1.6 billion in uncompensated care in 2018. •Planned Parenthood barred from receiving federal money. •Increase the amount of premium subsidies for younger adults, and reduce the amount for older adults, while allowing subsidies to be used to buy individual plans outside Obamacare exchanges. •Allow older adults to be charged premiums that are five times higher the premiums charged younger adults, instead of the 3-to-1 ratio established by Obamacare. •Impose a premium penalty for people who do not maintain continuous health coverage. •Convert Medicaid funding for states to a block grant system. •Give states power to request waivers for insurers that allow them to charge people with pre-existing health conditions higher premiums if they let coverage lapse. •Establishes funding for states that can be used for "high-risk" individuals, or other purposes. "All these cuts are used to make the top one percent richer by giving them billions in tax breaks," Feinstein said. "This is a terrible bill, and we must defeat it." Brown said $400 billion of the measure's $700 billion


On lesser bills we hold hearings, but this bill that impacts everybody— and one sixth of our economy—is done in secret by 12 white men. It's no wonder they did it in secret. It takes health insurance from millions of people. The combined population of 16 states."

MAKING YOUR VOICE KNOWN To weigh in on the healthcare legislation and make your voice heard, call the U.S. Capitol Operator at (202) 224-3121, Press one for the U.S. Senate. A voice will then ask you for your Zip Code and then use that to connect you to your U.S. Senator. When that office answers the phone, be sure to ask for the name of the person to whom your are speaking, identify your city and state and tell them to record your objection to the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 slated for Senate debate.

L.A. Focus/July 2017

budget reduction would go to tax relief. The governor said if Republicans' goal were to reduce the economy's deficient, they wouldn't give a tax break. "This is such a political bill," Brown said. "It is very divisive. As I look across the political landscape of California and across the country we're more and more polarized. This is a time when the country should be united. This bill would cut right into the heart of what is a divided nation." The trio's tongue-lashing of the Republican legislation fell a day after the CBO announced that the bill would cause 15 million more people to be without insurance compared to the current health law; out-of-pocket expenses and premiums to skyrocket for some low-income Americans and people approaching retirement and reduce Medicaid spending by $772 billion over the next decade, which is something the administration of President Donald Trump said the proposed health market wouldn't do. The budget office said average premiums would go down mostly because the insurance citizens would pay for would be less valuable. Most Americans buying insurance under the bill would pay more for their care. A poll by USA Today and Suffolk University released on June 28 found that only 12 percent of Americans support the controversial health plan. Fifty-three percent say Congress should leave the ACA intact or work to fix its problems while leaving its framework alone. Brown said millions of people will suffer if the legislation becomes law. "The human impact is we would be a more divided California and more divided America," he said. It's really bad; it’s toxic. I just hope the word reaches Republicans." “You’ve not seen this kind of attack on poor people and poor bodies since the days black people were used to make free money as slaves,” said Rev. William Barber— a prominently featured speaker at the Democratic National Convention last summer who has been dubbed as “the closest person we have to a Martin Luther King Jr.” The Senate bill not only repeals the individual mandate to carry health care coverage, but the employer mandate as well for businesses with at least 50 employees. It also repeals most of the taxes under the ACA that impacted high-income earners and corporations, while cutting federal subsidies and the expansion of Medicaid. Just recently, Republicans revised the bill to include a penalty aimed at preventing people from signing up for coverage only once they are sick, which most believe would devastate the insurance market. “Essentially, if their plan were to go through, you would have millions of people who have coverage now…they would be cut out of pre-existing conditions,” Congresswoman Karen Bass has stated. “The essential health benefits—emergency room visits, pediatric care, substance abuse, mental health—they would make those optional. Even people who were covered by their employer would lose benefits they now have. “The bill is so unpopular because it provides anything but affordable care. It’s the exact opposite of Robin Hood: it takes from the poor and gives to the rich, cutting $800 billion in Medicaid, eliminating Planned Parenthood funding and basic medical benefits like maternity care and mental health services—all to give the wealthy a tax break. “I’m not fighting this bill simply because I’m a Democrat. I’m fighting it because it will cost lives.” According to a recent poll, 62 percent of Americans disapprove of the Republicans' health-care plan with just 17 percent of Americans approving of the plan. For now, the vote has been delayed until after the July 4 recess, but with the October 1 deadline for next year’s budget fast approaching, Republicans have little time to waste. "No amount of tinkering will change the fact that this bill would devastate health care in America, and we can't let that happen," Feinstein said, while encouraging Californians to call on U.S. representatives to vote against dismantling President Barack Obama's signature legislation. “We must keep up the fight against Trumpcare, which offers no care to our most vulnerable,” Sheila Jackson Lee tweeted. Insiders have said that the plan for now is to try and work out a compromise bill members can review over the July 4 holiday before returning to Washington for the vote. “The fight ain’t over yet,” tweeted former Congressional Black Caucus Chair G.K. Butterfield. “As Senate GOP scramble for votes on Trumpcare, we must remain vigilant.” And from Senator Elizabeth Warren, “Let’s be clear. The Republicans’ so-called “healthcare” bill comes back to life more often than the lead zombie in a horror movie.”

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MoneyMatters For A Fee Even Jail Can Be More Palatable

On the Money

ANTRACIA MOORINGS Staff Writer

I

a time. In Glendale, one can opt to serve f you weren’t sure that justice can Pay-To-Stay Daily Fees their time during any 2-4 day periods be a matter of how much money $125-100 until they have served their entire senyou have, consider Southern 1 Anaheim California’s “pay-to-stay”, “for profit”, 2 Beverly Hills $110 tence and inmates in Monrovia are not even allowed to do overnight stays. or private jails where for a fee, felony $100 Instead, for a fee, they serve in shifts offenders can opt for safer and more 3 Burbank comfortable living arrangements 4 Glendale $85 while performing cleanup, gardening and other duties. with such amenities as flat screen $75 Beginning in 2007, over two dozen city TVs, yoga, well-stocked commissaries 5 Hawthorne and or gyms. 6 Hermosa Beach $247 jails in principalities surrounding L.A. and L.A. county participate in the proYep, that’s right. Money talks even 7 La Verne $60 gram, including Burbank, Anaheim, with the jail system. Over 3,500 offenders—convicted of 8 Pasadena $143 Pasadena, Torrance, Hawthorne, crimes ranging from DUI convictions, Monterey Park, Glendale and Beverly 9 Redondo Beach $198 Hills. domestic violence and drug possession to assault, robbery and sex 10 Torrance $99 For cities, who receive anywhere from crimes—participated in pay-to-stay an average of $75 to $250 a day, it is a programs in Southern California from 2011 through 2015, means of income for facilities that are often underused. according to The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news For the state, it is at least in part an answer to overcrowdorganization focusing on the criminal justice system. ing. Fact is, state law allows people sentenced to time in For offenders, it is the offer of a less intimidating and county jails the option to pay a premium and serve that safer experience. time in a city jail, offering any number of special accomThere are requirements. Often, participants are modations including segregation from the general jail required to perform menial tasks around the jail. population of more serious and or violent offenders. And Without medical staff, most pay-to-stay programs with the passage of Prop 47, came the reclassification of won’t admit offenders with medical issues and some will crimes that once resulted in hard time in favor of alterna- not even accommodate those requiring medication. To tive sentencing options. that end, most of the jails require medical clearance. A For $127 a night in a Fullerton jail, an inmate got their history of violence will disqualify applicants from faciliown TV, phone and refrigerator. Seal Beach offered access ties. to a DVD player, movies and yard time. Some of the jails Of course, court approval is required for enrollment in offer work furlough. Several allow people to serve time on pay-to-stay programs and your attorney would have to weekends. In Huntington Beach, inmates paying $125 for petition the court on one’s behalf. But even with court the first day and $75 for each day thereafter were allowed approval, the final decision to accept or reject an applicato go to work during the day. In Hermosa Beach, partici- tion is in the hands of jail administrators. pants can serve their sentences consecutively or a little at Pay-To-Stay jails continued to page 24

World’s Highest Paid Athletes Forbes has released its 2017 list of the world’s highest paid athletes and it might surprise some to know that Lebron James is not #1. Instead soccer star Christiano Ronaldo scored the top slot earning a whopping $93 million. With $80 million in earnings, Lebron James came in at number two. Other blacks in the top ten included Kevin Durant at #5 with $60.6 million, Stephen Curry at #8 with $47.3 million, James Harden at #9 with $46.6 million and Lewis Hamilton closing out the top ten with $46 million. Russell Westbrooks’ $38.6 million earned him the #13 slot while Damian Lillard was close behind at #15 with $38.4 million. Tiger Woods who has topped the list six of the last ten years was a little off this year, pocketing $37.1 million to come in at #17. Dwayne Wade bowed in at #19 with his $36.2 million; Derrick Rose at #22 with $34.3 million and Jamaica’s Usain Bolt (the only athlete in track and field to make the top 100 list) weighed in at #23 with $34.2 million. Serena Williams, the only woman to make the list ranked #51 with $28 million and while Floyd Mayweather topped the list last year with $300 million, didn’t make the cut. So how did L.A. athletes fare? L.A. Clippers star Chris Paul ranked #35 (30.9 million) Blake Griffin at #44 ($28.1 million) and DeAndre Jordan at #85 ($22.2 million).

Biz NewsBriefs Serena Williams Teams with Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest, a subscription service that delivers premium, healthy, easy-tomake superfoods directly to customers' freezers, announced last month that 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion Serena Williams joined the company's Series A financing round. Founder/CEO Rachel Drori said the tennis star understood the company’s mission to provide convenient foods without nutritional compromise. "As we continue to grow the Daily Harvest brand, partnering with like-minded investors furthers our mission to

redefine the frozen food category,” said Drori. “We're excited to educate and inspire Americans across the country to incorporate healthier foods into their busy lives." Daily Harvest is one of the fastest-growing companies in the direct-to-consumer food space, delivering frozen, single-serving, organic smoothies, soups, overnight oats and chia puddings made with farm-frozen ingredients. "I invest in businesses that operate with sincerity and integrity and deliver a pure and uncompromised product," said Williams. "Daily Harvest reflects this strategy through both the team of employees and investors Rachel has developed, as well as delicious, healthy and convenient food. Carnival CEO Tops List Carnival CEO Arnold Donald topped the list of 100 global business executives on the 2017 Empower 100 Ethnic Minority Leaders List. “It is a great honor to be included,” said Donald. “I share the honor with our diverse team of brilliant and inspiring senior leaders at Carnival Corporation and our 120,000 dedicated employees from over 100 countries who support our 10 world-leading

L.A. BusinessSource Center-South Los Angeles can help you start or expand your business with quality services, including training, counseling, loan assistance and affordable office space.

L.A. Focus/July 2017

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cruise line brands. As the world’s largest leisure travel company with a fleet of 103 cruise ships visiting over 700 global ports, we take great pride in connecting nearly 12 million annual guests with people, cultures and places from around the world to help foster better understanding and appreciation of each other.” TV One Launches “Lights, Camera, Career” TV One is building on nationwide efforts to promote science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) among youth by launching its "Lights, Camera, Career" curriculum to schools nationwide. TV One STEAM integrates the arts into the more widely-recognized national efforts aimed at increasing minority representation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by exposing youth to the varied aspects of the entertainment industry. The curriculum, designed for students in grades 7-12, offers production-related lessons tied to “News One Now”, TV One’s morning news show, hosted by award-winning journalist Roland S. Martin.


INSIDE HO L LY W OOD with Neily Dickerson Summer Road Trippin’ With the Girls There are some people you meet, in life (high school), and the bond formed is eternal. When Sasha (Queen Latifah), Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith), Ryan (Regina Hall), & Dina (Tiffany Haddish) met, they developed an unbreakable connection and “The Flossy Posse” was born. When Ryan, a successful motivational speaker, decides— after not seeing her girls for an extended amount of time—that they need to reunite, they do so at the Essence Festival and it's non-stop fun, laughter, rachetness, and a friendship bathed in love called, "Girls Trip." The ladies weekend turn up becomes real and they take full advantage of everything that can be done during the

festival: concerts, fine men, shots, fine men, symposiums, and performances that will have you packing your bags

for next year's Essence Festival immediately. Of course, hang time with the girls wouldn't be complete without a lil' drama and when it implodes and causes confusion, the friends foundation is shaken and they are challenged to see just how deep their bond/love goes. The "Girls Trip" cast features a mix of great talent; Larenz Tate (Love Jones) as Julian, Mike Colter (Luke Cage) as Stuart, Kate Walsh (Private Practice) as Elizabeth, Kofi Siriboe (Queen Sugar) and several cameos that will make you go back and see it again and again! So ladies, pack your purses, call your besties and prepare yourselves to see the girlfriend movie of the year, "Girls Trip!"

Zoe Saldana

DUE IN tHEatERS tHIS mONtH

Despicable Me 3 July 1 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Is on Fire

HOLLYWOOD BUZZ

The summer couldn’t get any hotter for Baywatch star Dwayne Johnson, who in addition to returning to Season 3 of “Ballers” later this month has one dozen films in the pipeline, including “Fighting with My Family” (opposite Lena Headley and Vince Vaughan); San Andreas 2; Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle (with Kevin Hart and Nick Jonas in theaters this Christmas); and Skyscraper (with Neve Campbell). Johnson, who is currently filming “Rampage” with Naomie Harris—based on a classic videogame about a trio of city destroying monsters—has also produced an action-drama, Lifeline, that has been greenlit as a new series for YouTube Red. Ironically, his producing partner on four of his upcoming films is exwife, Dany Garcia, who is also his manager and runs the company they started together, Seven Bucks Production and is worth an estimated $70 million. Meanwhile, Johnson, who tops The Hollywood Reporter’s Top Actors chart, which ranks the most popular actors on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Google+, came in at #34 on the Hollywood Reporter’s recently released list of the Most Powerful Actors in Hollywood. Other blacks making the list included Oprah Winfrey (#9), Shonda Rhimes (37); ABC president Channing Dungey (55), Tyler Perry (67), Ava Duvernay (70), Denzel Washington (73), Steve Harvey (84), Kevin Hart (80) and Jordan Peele (93).

Shot Caller July 20

Q&a Hometown: New York Big Break: Avatar Current Projects: Avatar, I Kill Giants, Avengers (Infinity War), Gone Missing

Girls Trip July 21

Topping the list was Disney president Bob Iger. Casting News: Life couldn’t be sweeter for Tika Sumpter—a beautiful baby girl with The Have and the Have Nots co-star and fiancé Nicholas James, a hit show and now she’s signed on to star in the political thriller, The Pages. The film, centering on a former top U.S. security adviser Elizabeth “Libby” Lamm who is threatened by associates from her dark past, also stars Jamie Curtis. She just wrapped production on “The Old Man & The Gun” with Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover and C a s e y Affleck…In other casting news, Carmen Ejogo has signed on to star alongside D e n z e l Washington in his yet untitled upcoming legal thriller. In related news, John David Washington, the son of Denzel Washington and costar of the HBO series, Ballers, is on the rise with two other films in the works (“Eleven Days i n Hell” a n d “Monster”).

Atomic Blonde July 28 Double Duty for Kandi Burruss Kandi Burruss—who recently revealed that she almost exited “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” earlier this year after finding out during the finale that it was Phaedra who had lied about her wanting to drug and rape Porsha—will be doing double duty this season, working both the “Housewives” show and a reality show with Xscape. The Xscape show will also be on Bravo. Though fired, Parks will reportedly make one appearance on the upcoming season of “Housewives” to apologize to Porsha. Word is, none of the other castmates wanted to film with her. Meanwhile, Burress is playing a crack addicted mom in the upcoming feature, Never Heard, which also stars Karrueche, Romeo Miller, and Master P.

Spike Lee Set for She’s Got to Have It Debut Spike Lee fans will have to wait until Thanksgiving for the highly-publicized premiere of his “She’s Gotta Have It” series. Characterized as a contemporary update of Lee’s groundbreaking 1986 cult film, the Netflix series will star DeWanda Wise as Nola Darling. Lee will direct all ten episodes. Shot on a shoestring budget, the film grossed over $7 million…Laurence Fishburne and his Cinema Gypsy Productions (black-ish) re-upped his deal at ABC Studios and will continue to develop projects for the studio. In the works is its upcoming spinoff, College-ish, which will star Yara Shahidi…On The Rocks: Things aren’t looking so great for Shonda Rhimes new series, Still Star-Crossed. After three disappointing outings as part of ABC’s Monday night lineup, the show is being moved to Saturdays.

Professional dancer Zoe Saldana has grooved her way onto the Hollywood scene in 2009 with her role in Crossroads with Britney Spears and Drumline with Nick Cannon. The New Jersey native made her blockbuster debut in 2009 when she starred in the remake of Star Trek and Avatar. Since then, Saldana has starred in several films which include her most recent roles as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. What was the most fun part about coming back for the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel? I have to say the four hours of green make-up every day. Waking up at 2:35 every morning was a blast. Just coming back and working with my friends, working with the people that I love. We knew we had something special because James gave us the opportunity to just be super crazy with our characters in the first installment and coming back it just felt like coming back from a summer break. As an actress and a mother, how does it feel to see people dressed as one of the characters you’ve played in your films? I think that’s when it hits me that what I’m a part of is impactful. I’m a little bit of a workhorse and I don’t know if it's because of my insecurities or doubts as an artist and a person but I tend to not look at what I’m doing or what I’ve done and pat myself on the back. I just keep going and going and it’s only when I see a little girl or a woman dress in Neytiri, Uhura or Gamora that it hits me that I’ve been a part of cool things. It’s hard for me to believe that a little nerd from Queens has gotten so far and that’s a reminder to keep aiming high. How do you strike a balance between motherhood, being a wife and an actress? You have to make time for family but it takes a lot of meticulous planning and sacrifices. You have to make for your partner but it is just not at the same time that you are used to. When you have kids, your friends text you at six on your way home and you grab a bite with your spouse, you go meet up with your friends, yore home at 12. My husband would fly from LA to where I am filming so I can have time with him and the boys and then he would fly back to LA. You have several current and upcoming blockbuster films; do you try to strike a balance by doing small films in between? Yes, in-between movies, I did live by night and it was like a blast from the past. Instead of going straight to the future, I went back to 1930’s in Florida and getting to learn so much in all the research felt inspiring and I’m reminded as an artist to never stop searching and to continuously challenge myself.


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Calendar of events

Ongoing L.A. County Parks Department hosts Free Summer Lunch & Snacks Program (Through August 11) Free lunches to kids and teens ages 1 - 18 at over 100 parks Info: (818) 546-2384 laparks.org/foodprogram Celebrating the Artistry of Ella Fitzgerald (Through September 10) $10.95 – $12.95 M-F 10:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Weekends:10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. The Grammy Museum 800 W. Olympic Blvd Info: (213) 765-6800 www.grammymuseum.org

Maxine Waters Free • 7 p.m. -9 p.m. California African American Museum 600 State Drive • Exposition Park RSVP preferred (213) 744-2024 caamuseum.org

Friday, July 7 The Liturgical Dance Conference 2017 — religious choreography to gospel karate and sign language (Through Saturday) Citizens of Zion MBC 12930 South Lime St, Compton $45-$50 Registration: (562) 230-8962 (Helen Rivers) theeliturgicaldanceconference.org

Saturday, July 8

Tuesday, July 4 Queen Mary’s 4th of July Celebration Noon—11 p.m. at dusk • $24 - $99 Adults: $44 Child (4-11): $24 Parking: $20 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach Info: (877) 342-0738 www.queenmary.com Americafest at the Rose Bowl fireworks show and entertainment Entertainment 2 p.m.—10 p.m. Fireworks 9pm $13 (7 & under free) Parking $20 Rose Bowl Stadium 1001 Rose Bowl Drive Pasadena www.rosebowlstadium.com

Wednesday, July 5 Activism Now: Congresswoman

Sign Up For Medi-Cal & CalFresh 9:30 a.m. Los Angeles Central Library 630 West 5th Street www.lapl.org

6020 microsofttheater.com

Santa Monica Tickets: (310) 434-3200 www.thebroadstage.org Workshop: Help with Clearing Criminal Records Free • 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. L.A. Law Library 301 W. 1st Street Contact: (213) 785-2516 (800) 399-4529 to be pre-screened. Eligible candidates will be seen by appointment only). lalawlibrary.org/classes

Wednesday, July 12 The Espy Awards Hosted by Peyton Manning 5 p.m. • $115 - $600 Microsoft Theater 777 Chick Hearn Court Contact: (213) 763-

Friday, July 14 3rd Annual Leon Davis Memorial Golf Tournament Honoring Brenda Shockley and Col. Patricia Jackson-Kelley Brookside Golf Club Info: (323) 731-0140 holmanumc.com The Los Angeles Soul Music Festival Featuring Musiq Soulchild, After 7, Tony!Toni!Tone! K. Michelle, Carl Thomas (Through July 16) $70 - $255 700 Exposition Park Drive lasoulmusicfest.com

I Love The 90s Featuring Blackstreet, Kid N’Play, Montell Jordan & Tone Loc 7 p.m. $25 301

Monday, July 10 In Concert: The Roots 7 p.m. • $55 House of Blues 400 Disney Way #337 Anaheim, CA 92802 www.houseofblues.com/

EvENt SPOtLIgHt Saturday, July 15

Tuesday, July 11 On Stage: Born For This: The Musical (The Bebe Winans Story) (Through Sunday August 6) Call for Showtimes • $50 - $105 The Broad Stage 1310 11th Street

In Concert: Savion Glover 8 p.m. • $55+ John Anson Ford Amphitheatre 2580 Cahuenga Blvd East Tickets: (323) 461-3673 www.fordtheatres.org

L.A. Focus/July 2017

Jada Pinkett Smith at the red carpet for the CMT Awards to present the “Female Video of the Year“ award.

14

z “All Eye f the film Jr. and o s r e b m Cast me emetrius Shipp D nzeh. On Me”, Annie Ilo

hter er and her daug Nicole Ari Park tending at oe dj Ko e Le Sophie Tei Naaki on. undation Lunche the Ladylike Fo

Sugar Ra y Leonard wife Bern and his lo adette Ro vely bi at the Ladylike Foundati on Lunch eon.

Mother and daughter, Nicole and Bria Murphy attending the Ladylike Foundation Luncheon.


Sean “P-Diddy” Combs and his daughter Chance Combs at the Ladylike Foundation Lucheon, where he also donated $100,000 in scholarships.

Taye Diggs and his new lady, Amanza Smith spotted at the red carpet for the Tony Awards.

The Greek Theater 2700 North Vermont Ave. www.lagreektheatre.com

City of Industry Contact: (310) 674-6700 www.billpickettrodeo.com

Concert: Miki Howard (Through July 15) 8:30 p.m. • $25+ Catalina Bar & Grill (RSVP (323) 466-2210 .catalinajazzclub.com

People For Community Improvement 8th Annual Walk For Life Festival/Car Show and Concert with Tommy the Clown and Prince of L.A. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $5 • Free 17 & under 11922 S. Vermont Ave. Earvin Magic Johnson Park 905 E. El Segundo Blvd Info: (323) 303-3339

In Concert: Jon B. 9 p.m. • $5 - $15 The Novo 800 W Olympic Blvd Info: (213) 765-7000 www.thenovodtla.com

Saturday, July 15 In Concert: Joe (Marina Del Rey Summer Concert Series) 7 p.m. • Free Burton Chace Park 13650 Mindanao Way Contact: (310) 305-9545 www.visitmarinadelrey.com 33rd Annual Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo (Through Sunday) Sat: 7 p.m. • Sun: 3:30p.m. Child $20 adv. $25 door Adult $25 adv. $30 door Industry Hills Expo Center 16200 Temple Ave

Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA) celebrates the 9th Annual Season Finale Special tribute to Isaac Hayes 3:30 p.m. $25 - $75 Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S Grand Ave Los Angeles, CA 90012 www.musiccenter.org Community Coalition’s 2nd Annual People Power Convention 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Los Angeles Trade Technical College 400 West Washington Boulevard

Information: (323) 750-9087 Cocosouthla.org

Sunday, July 16 In Concert: Freda Payne 7:30 p.m. • $25+ Catalina Bar & Grill RSVP: (323) 466-2210 www.catalinajazzclub.com West Angeles Church Homecoming Weekend 8 a.m, 11 a.m, 7 p.m. West Angeles COGIC 3045 Crenshaw Blvd Info: (323) 733-8300 www.westla.org

Tuesday, July 18 Mime Workshop (Explore how to read, and then rewrite, our cultural stories without saying a word) Free • 7-9 p.m. CAAM 600 State Drive Exposition Park RSVP (213) 744-2024 www.caamuseum.org

254 E. Green Street Pasadena, 91101 Info: (888) 645-5006 http://roseconcerts.com Men Standing Against Trafficking Take a stand at trafficking in LA Sponsored by Care 18 LA 8:30 p.m. – 10:18 p.m. Mt Moriah Baptist Church 4269 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles

Wednesday, July 19 Concert: Ella & Dizzy: 100 Years, 1,000 Memories: Andra Day, Leslie Odom Jr., Patrice Rushen and more 8 p.m. • $9 - $62 Hollywood Bowl 2301 No. Highland Avenue Contact: (323) 850-2000 www.hollywoodbowl.com

Friday, July 21 Concert: Kool & The Gang, Morris Day & The Time, Village People (Through Saturday) 8 p.m. • $14-68 Hollywood Bowl 2301 No. Highland Ave

Contact: (323) 850-2000 hollywoodbowl.com

pasadenaplayhouse.org

Saturday, July 22 The Freestyle Summer Featuring Lisa Lisa, Jody Watley, Stevie B, Color Me Badd and more 5:30 p.m. • $40 - $298 The Greek Theater 2700 North Vermont Ave lagreektheatre.com

Divorce/Paternity Workshop those representing themselves in court Free • 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Torrance Self Help Center Room 160, 1st floor Torrance Courthouse 825 Maple Avenue Torrance Info: (213) 785.2516 lalawlibrary.org/classes

Sunday, July 23

Saturday, July 29

Musical to feed the less-fortunate. Donations accepted. Guest will be Scherrie Payne, Freda Payne, Mel Carter, and many others. Morning Star B.C 980 Rio Grande, Pasadena 91104.

Wednesday, July 26 On Stage: “Shout Sister Shout” (TheLife & Times of Sister Rosetta Tharpe” (Through August 20) Call for showtimes • $28 $121 Pasadena Playhouse 39 S. El Molino Avenue Tickets: (626) 356-7529 Pasadena

around los angeles Concert: Scherrie Payne & Lynda Lawrence: Formerly of the Supreme $25-$75 • 7 p.m. The Rose

Holly Robinson Peete, Tina Knowles Lawson and Nicole Ari Parker getitng camera ready at the Ladylike Foundation Luncheon.

-Lyen Gardner, Oprah Winfrey, Dawn DuVernay at a Av d an Kofi Siriboe, conference. “Queen Sugar”, press

Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival Through July 30 Jazz performances, Ethnic cuisine and arts Free • Sat: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. • Sun: Noon – 7:30 p.m. Central Avenue between 42nd & 43rd Street (In front of Dunbar Hotel) Info: (213) 202-5500

Sunday, July 30 In Concert: Lionel Richie With Mariah Carey 7 p.m. • $39.95 - $399.95 The Honda Center 2695 E. Katella Anaheim, 92806 Contact: (714) 704-2500 www.hollywoodbowl.com

Chris Brown and his daughter Royalty attending the red car pet of his documentary film “Welcom e To My Life”.

L.A. Focus/July 2017

loe x Halle Singer’s/Sister’s Ch at the Ladylike (Beyonce’s Protoge’s) on. Foundation Lunche

Friday, July 28

15


Re d Carpet Style

JANELLE MONAE looking sassy in her black and white asymmetrical Christian Siriano blazer and bootcut slacks.

LUPITA NYONGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;O in an exotic cut Jason Wu dress.

Stars hit the red carpet for the annual CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Foundation, Inc., Fashion Awards held in New York City on June 4, 2017.

JOAN SMALLS

KERRY WASHINGTON

spotted in sleek little black dress by Michael Kors.

in a soft yellow Prabal Gurung strapless gown.

GABRIELLE UNION in an edgy Rodarte gold extened blazer.


Eye On Gospel Long Time Coming After an eight-year hiatus, it appears Dr. Bobby Jones of (Bobby Jones Gospel) has heeded the calls of gospel artists and executives to bring back his renown Gospel Artist Retreats. The star-studded lineup for the muchloved gospel insider event reflects both its enduring popularity as well as how much it was missed. Those set to appear during the three-day confab set for October 16-18 in Nashville include Yolanda Adams, Vickie Winans, Dottie Peoples, Byron Cage, The Williams Brothers, Ricky Dillard and Kim Burrell. That’s it thus far as the event is still in the early planning stages, but Jones has said that it is catching on fast via word of mouth. “Anyone who hears about it is like, ‘Oh yes, let’s do it,’” Jones says of the excitement surrounding the event. “When they heard about it, the GMA (Gospel Music Association) called us and asked us to have the dates to coincide with their event so that we could join forces and create even greater synergy and Nashville was the perfect place for it as it’s more centrally located. “As it stands many of the artists who come in for the Dove Awards will already be in town and the GMA is also planning a brunch for us on that Tuesday. We will end that day early and those who want to go will join them at the Dove Awards and they will provide some VIP tickets for those who are coming to t h e retreat.”

Bobby Jones Industry Retreats were launched over two decades ago to give the artists a forum in which to network, showcase and share issues of importance to them in a vacation setting, with previous retreats held in Las Vegas and Florida with many of the performances broadcast on his BET show, Bobby Jones Gospel. While extremely popular amongst artists and industry insiders, the growing cost and responsibilities weighed so heavily on Jones that he stopped holding the retreats. “This time,” Jones said, “I’m getting a great deal of help with people like Phil Thornton and Sheila Belle volunteering to do things, the GMA joining forces, and of course having it here in Nashville makes it easier for me. We’re still in the planning stages, but it’s exciting. We’ve moved into a great position with the Impact Network and they’re in a great position with Comcast, so the showcases will air on that network,” said Jones, whose gospel show currently airs on the network. “We’ve decided to help these black men build their satellite network. “More than that, I’m happy that I’ll get to see my friends in one place and talk about some things that we do. We want to love on each other and network to help each other because the industry is moving in another way.” Later this month in Atlanta (July 22-28), the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc. will celebrate its 50th national convention this year. Organized in Detroit in 1968 by the late Rev. James Cleveland, it has grown to become the largest convention of its kind in the world. Highlights will include a 50th Anniversary Banquet, social media forum, the Al Hobbs luncheon, a newlylaunched Hip Hop division, performances from artists like Jekalyn Carr and Vashawn Mitchell, an international showcase with artists coming from the United Kingdom and Africa and special tributes to the late Rev. Charles H. Nicks, Jr and the late Kenny Taylor.

Guess Who’s Doing a Gospel CD? Surprise! Surprise! During a recent radio interview, Snoop [Dogg] shocked almost everyone with the revelation that he was working on a gospel album. Hardly a

revelation to all given that his mother, Beverly Broadous, is an ordained evangelist. The 45-year old rapper says he’s been contemplating a gospel album for some time. “It’s always been on my heart. I just never got around to it because I always be doing gangsta business or doing this or doing that. I just felt like it’s been on my heart too long. I need to do it now.” As to artists he might collaborate with? “All of the people that I know, from Charlie Wilson to Jeffrey Osborne, whoever I want to get down with,” the rapper said after mentioning that he’d already spoken with Faith Evans. “I’m gonna make it all the way right. It’s gonna feel good.”

Le’Andria is Back GRAMMY® and Stellar Award-winning artist Le’Andria is showcasing a fresh sound and elevating musical experience on 10 new songs, as the acclaimed vocalist released a new song and cover for her upcoming new album Bigger Than Me. The song, “All I Got”, impacted radio last month and the full album is scheduled for release on July 21. Crafting a new style together on a bold spiritual journey, Bigger Than Me is a loving celebration and reflection of God’s amazing gifts of constant love, strength, and power to deliver renewal to brighter days…Briefly: All grown up and on a mission, Grammy Award-Nominee and Stellar Award-Winner, Jekalyn Carr is calling for God’s people to unite with her new project, One Nation Under God. Carr’s second live project was recorded live last month at Brown Baptist Church in Southaven, MS and addresses how God desires to see His people, and how we should see ourselves—as one united body of believers…Congratulations to Shirley Caesar who joins an illustrious list of artists (including Sly Stone, Charley Pride, Nina Simone) set to receive Life Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammy’s Salute to Music Legends event on July 11 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. Confirmed performers include Andra Day and Kirk Franklin.


ChurchNews Pastor Fred Price Steps Down, Apostle Frederick K.C. Price and Dr. Betty Price To Lead

E

ight years after being installed as Senior Pastor of Crenshaw Christian Center by his father Apostle Frederick K.C. Price, Fred Price Jr, has officially stepped down as pastor of one of the city’s largest congregations. “I have struggled with serious personal misjudgments which have affected my life and my family, therefore I’m going to step down as pastor and submit myself to the father’s and the apostle’s plan of restoration,” he told the congregation of more than 10,000 members with wife Angel at his side. Both the local and national Christian community were stunned by the announcement. Church officials have not released any statements to the press about Price’s stepping down nor a change in leadership. But the question of who will take the reins of L.A.’s first mega church was answered by Crenshaw Christian Center CEO Angela Evans. After the emotionally-charged announcement, Evans addressed the transition. “I thought I should let you know that Apostle (Frederick K.C. Price), as the founder of this ministry and the overseer, will be the primary teacher and preacher while pastor is away. But until he is 100% healthy….it will be a matter of time. The mother of our ministry, Mrs. Apostle [Dr. Betty Price] said she would be sharing with us. The ministerial staff will continue to support them as they have the pastor. Bible studies, mid-week services and all of the activities will go forward as usual.” Christ Our Redeemer Launches First Black Christian Sports Camp in Orange County Christ AME church is writing history as they host their first black Christian sports camp July 14-15 at Mader Dei High School in Santa Ana. Upwards of 100 boys and girls, aged 8-18, are set to attend the first black Christian sports camp in Orange County, July 14-15 at Mader Dei High School in Santa Ana. Professional athletes from the NBA, NFL and major league baseball are set to coach, including former Clippers player Keyon Dooling and Seattle Seahawks running back Tre Madden. Former Olympic athletes will also be on hand to coach track and field. The camp is the brainchild of Christ Our Redeemer AME Pastor Mark Whitfield with the assistance of Bishop Kevin Van. “It’s called Victory Beyond the Game and we’re so excited,” Whitlock said. “Not only must we teach these kids how to succeed on the field, but we must mentor them to succeed in life, so we offer them the moral foundation and then we have partnered with professional athletes.”

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

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

Bryant Temple AME Church 2525 W. Vernon Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90008 (323) 293-6201 • F: (323) 293-0082 Rev. Dwaine A. Jackson Sunday School: 10am Early Worship: 8am Morning Worship: 10:30 am Bible Study (Tues): Noontime Pastor’s Bible Study( Tues): 7pm

Christ The Good Shepherd Episcopal Church 3303 W. Vernon Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90008 (323) 295-4139 • F: (323) 295-4681 Rev. Joseph Oloimooja Sunday School: 10am Early Worship: 8am Morning Worship: 10am Mon. Centering Prayer/Meditation: 6:30pm Mon. Overeaters Anonymous: 7pm Wed. Bible Study & Eucharist: 7pm Wed. Alcoholic Anonymous: 7:pm E: cgshepherd4041@sbcglobal.net Congregational Church of Christian Fellowship 2085 S. Hobart Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018 (323) 731-8869 •F: (323) 731-0851 www.christianfellowshipla.org Pastor James K. McKnight Sun. Early Worship: 8am Prayer Meeting: 10:30am Morning Worship: 11am Wed. Afternoon Bible Study: 1pm Wed. Prayer Meeting: 6pm Wed. Evening Bible Study: 7pm View Pastor McKnight’s Sermons on YouTube Crenshaw Christian Center 7901 South Vermont, Los Angeles, CA 90044 (323) 758-3777 • F: (323)565-4231 • www.faithdome.org Rev. Frederick Price Jr. Sunday Service: 10am Bible Study (Tue): 11am & 7pm Tue. Night Kidz Unlocked: 7pm Tue. Night Bible Study (Teens): 7pm Alcohol & Drug Abuse Program (Wed): 7pm Intercessory Prayer (Wed.): 7:30pm Prayer & Praise (Thurs.): 6:30pm

First AME Church (FAME) 2270 South Harvard Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018 (323) 735-1251 • F: (323) 735-3353 • www.famechurch.org Pastor J. Edgar Boyd, Senior Pastor/CEO Sunday School: 10am Worship: 8am, 10am, Noon Teen Church (2nd Sundays):Noon,Allen House Wed. Prayer Service: Noon Wed. Bible Study: 7pm Radio: 10:30am on KJLH-102.3FM 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 United Methodist Church 4112 West Slauson Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90043 (323) 294-6653 • F: (323) 294-8753 • graceumc1@earthlink.net Rev. Pastor Paul A. Hill • www.graceumcla.com Early Morning Worship: 7:45am Sunday School: 9:45am Morning Worship: 10:45am Wed. Bible Study: Noon & 7pm Fri. Alcoholic Anonymous: 7pm Tues. Prayer Fellowship: 6:30pm Super Seniors (Thurs/Bi-Monthly): 10:30am Follow us on Facebook Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church 5300 S. Denker Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90062 (323) 759-4996 Rev. DeNon Porter Early Worship: 8am Sunday School: 9:30am Mid-Morning Worship: 11am Radio-KALI 900AM: Sun. 11-Noon, 7-8pm KTYM 1460AM Sundays: 5:30pm Bible Study (Tues, Wed & Thurs): 7pm Holman United Methodist Church 3320 W. Adams Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018 (323) 731-7285 • F: (323) 731-2609 • www.holmanumc.com Rev. Kelvin Sauls Sunday School: 8:00, 9:45 & 11am Jazz for Soul 2nd & 4th Thur: 6:30 pm Early Worship: 8am Morning Worship: 11am Bible Study (Thurs.): Noon Sun. Radio: KJLH 102.3FM: 11am E: Holman@holmanumc.com Liberty Baptist Church 1500 West 51st Place, Los Angeles, CA 90062 (323) 295-3866 • F: (323) 295-0366 • E: LBCwim@aol.com Rev. Terry Lovell Brown Sr. Sunday Church School: 9am Morning Worship: 10:30am & 12:30pm Wed. Bible Study: noon & 6:30pm Prayer Meeting: 6pm Follow us on Twitter @dacrossculture www.thecrossculture.org Mt. Moriah Baptist Church of LA, Inc. 4269 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90037 (323) 846-1950 Rev. Melvin V. Wade, Sr. Sunday School: 8:15am Morning Worship: 9:45am Evening Worship: 6:30pm Mid-Week Worship (Wed): 7pm Bible Study (Wed.): 8pm

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

F: (323) 291-1133 • office@sinai.church • www.sinai.church Pastor George E. Hurtt, Pastor-Teacher Sunday Worship: 8am, 11am Discipleship Hour (Sun): 9:37am Noonday Prayer (Mon): Noon Noonday Bible Study (Tue): 12:00pm Tuesday Night in the Truth: 7:15pm Email: office@sinai.church •www.sinai.church 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 • www.mttabormbc.org Dr. Ticey M. Brown, D. Min. Pastor/Teacher Early Morning Worship: 8:00am Sunday School: 9:30am Mid Morning Worship: 11:00am Tues. Bible Study: 10:00am & 7:00pm Meeting/Bible Study: 6:30pm–8pm First Sun. Communion: 8:00am & 11:00am Baptism First Sunday

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: 8:00am & 11:00am Sunday School: 9:30am Prayer Meeting(WED): 6:30pm Bible Study(WED): 7pm & Noon The Church where “It pays to be nice”.

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church 2009 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90062 (323) 293-6448 • F: (323) 293-6605 Dr. Sylvester Washington Sunday School: 8:00am Morning Worship: 10:00am Tues. Bible Study: 11:00am Wed. Evangelism Class: 6:30pm First Sun. Holy Communion Service: 4:00pm www.pleasanthillbaptistchurch.org

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

Praises of Zion Baptist Church (“Praise City” 8222 So. San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90003 (323) 750-1033 • F: (323) 750-5458 • www.pozlive.com Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick, Sr. Pastor

One Church International 614 N. La Brea Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036 (818) 763-4521 • www.onechurchla.org Sr. Pastor Toure’ Roberts Sunday Worship: 9:00am, 11:00am & 1:00pm Wednesday Midweek Service: 8pm www.Channel1Live.tv—View live streaming

Early Morning Worship: 6:45am Educational Hour: 9:15am Mid-Morning Worship: 10:45am Wed. Bible Study: Noon & 7:00pm Sunday Broadcast: 7:00pm

CHURCHES CELEBRATING ANNIVERSARIES, REVIVALS AND SPECIAL EVENTS

PASTORAL VACANCY

MORNING STAR BAPTIST CHURCH

Greater Zion Church Family & Pastor Michael Fisher

Invites you to

proudly announce the grand opening of

“DAY OF JOY” With proceeds going to feed the less fortunate

St. Mark Baptist Church of Long Beach is prayerfully seeking pastoral candidates for

Sunday, July 23 • 3:30pm featuring

the full-time position of Senior Pastor. We

GZ Diner

SUNDAY, JUlY 9Th Open Tuesday-Sunday 7am-7pm Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner

seek a pastor with a heart for the people who shall serve as the spiritual leader of the church and lead with sound biblical doctrine in accordance with I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. The Pastor must possess the ability to effectively preach and teach the Word of God to a multi-generational and multicultural congregation.

Tony Wilkins

Scherrie Payne

Freda Payne

Also performing will be Dave Whitfield, Pastor Michael Thompson, Karen Wiggins, Juanita Parker Scott, Mel Carter, Hank Dixon and C.W. Choral.

Donations accepted Those interested should send an email, along with a copy of their resume to:stmarkbc1944@gmail.com

Morning Star Baptsit Church 980 Rio Grande Pasadena, CA 91104 (626) 794-4875

•BBQ •Burgers •Tacos •Burritos •Chicken Wings •Desserts “Food for the journey”

2405 N. Wilmington Avenue Compton, CA 90222 (Directly Across from Greater Zion Church)

New Antioch Church of God in Christ 7826 So. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90044 (323) 778-7965 Elder Jeffrey M. Lewis Sunday Early Morning Worship: 8:00am Sunday School: 9:30 am Morning Worship: 11:00am Tuesday Prayer and Bible Band: 11:00am Wednesday Bible Study: 7:30pm Wednesday in the Word: 7:30pm

New Mt. Calvary Baptist Church 402 E. El Segundo Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90061 (310)324-0644 • F: (310) 769-1287 Rev. Sonja Dawson, Senior Pastor • Rev. Lonnie Dawson, Sr., Founder (1962 - 2010) Morning Worship: 7:30am & 10:45am Sunday School: 9:45am Wed. Prayer/Bible Study: Noon Pastor’s Bible Study: 7:00pm

Second Location Golden West Baptist Church 4856 Golden West Ave, Temple City, CA 91780 Sunday Worship: 9:00am BishopR.A.Mckinley@hotmail.com

Pastor’s Bible Class & Sunday School: 8am Morning Worship: 9:30am Tues. Prayer: 7:00pm Tues. Bible Study: 8:00pm

Park Windsor Baptist Church 1842 W. 108th St. Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 756-3966 • RevTerrellTaylor@sbcglobal.net Rev. Terrell Taylor Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:00am Bible Study Wednesday: Noon & 7:00pm Communion: 1st Sunday at 8:00am & 11:00am

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: 8:00am & 11:00am Wednesday Bible Study & Mid Week Worship: Noon & 7:00pm Prayer Meeting: 6:30pm

Price Chapel AME Church 4000 W. Slauson Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90043 (323) 296-2406 • pricechapel@sbcglobal.net Rev. Benjamin Hollins Sunday Worship Service: 10:00am Sunday School: 8:30am Power Lunch Bible Study (Wed): 11:00am Praise & Worship Bible Study (Wed): 6:30pm

St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church 5017 S. Compton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011 (323) 231-1040 • stmarkmbcofla.org Rev. Dr. Lovely Haynes Sunday Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:00am Sunday School: 9:30am Mon-Wed: Prayer Bible Study: 6:00 - 6:55 pm Mon. Night Bible Study: 7:00pm Tue Choir Rehersal Wednesday Prayer: Noon Wed. Exposition of Sunday School Lesson: 7pm Wed. Prayer Meeting: 7:00pm Thurs. Evangelism: 7:00pm (enrollment required) St. Matthew Tabernacle of Praise “The S.T.O.P.” 3770 Santa Rosalia Dr. Baldwin Hills, CA 90008 (323) 291-1115 • F: (323) 293-0471 Rev. C.Barry Greene, Pastor Morning Worship: 8:00am Church School Hour: 10:15am Tuesday Hour of Power: 7:00pm www.thechurchstop.org E: thechurchstop@yahoo.com pastorcbgreene@aol.com

L.A. Focus/July 2017

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

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

19


Southern Saint Paul Church 4678 West Adams Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016 (323) 731-2703 • F: (323) 737-5202 • smbcla@gmail.com Rev. Xavier L. Thompson, Senior Pastor/Teacher L.I.F.E. Groups Sundays: 9:30am Morning Worship Service: 11:00am Baptism & Communion (First Sunday): 4:00pm Weekly Bible Enrichment Tuesdays: 7:00pm North Campus: 9:00am Wednesday bible Enrichment: 7:00pm 11137 Herrick Ave, Pacoima 91331 (818) 899-8031 st.paul@smbcla.org “Loving People Make Disciples” Trinity Baptist Church 2040 West Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90018 (323) 735-0044 • F: (323) 735-0219 Rev. Alvin Tunstill, Jr

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

www.trinitybaptistchurchofla.org www.westa.tv UpLift Christian Fellowship 4745 W. Slauson Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90056 (310) 927-3476 Pastor Anthony Thompson Sunday Worship: 10:00am Bible Study Wednesday: 7:00pm

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

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

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

Sunday Worship: 7:30 & 10:30am Sunday Church School: 9:00am Radio Broadcast KJLH FM: 9:00am Wed. Prayer & Bible Study: Noon-7:00pm

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

Sunday School: 8:00am & 10:30am Early Worship: 8:00am Morning Worship: 11:00am Evening Worship (North Campus): 7:00pm Wed. Mid-Week Worship: 7:00pm Sun. Radio Broadcast KJLH 102.3FM: 10:00am

In Altadena

Lifeline Fellowship Christian Center 2556 N. Lake Ave., Altadena, CA 91001 (626) 797-3585 • F: (626) 797-3233 • www.lifelinefcc.org Pastor Charles D. Dorsey Sunday School: 9:00am Early Worship (Glory Prayer): 8:00am Morning Worship: 10:30am Evening Worship (1st & 2nd Sun.): 5:00pm Wed. Bible Study: 7:00pm

Sunday School: 10:00am Morning Worship: 11:45am Evening Worship: 6:30pm Wed. Noon Day Bible Class: 12:30pm Wed. Bible Class: 7:30pm Resurrection Church L.A. 1135 East Janis St. Carson, CA 90746 Office Address: 1143 East Janis St. Carson, 90746 (310) 626-4864 • www.resurrectionchurchla.org Pastor Joseph Carlos Robinson Service times: 8:00am, 10:00am, 12:15pm Communion: every 5th Sunday Tuesday Bible Class: 7:30pm

Pastor Profile: Bishop Leon Martin Church: Love, Peace and Happiness Church How Long: 43 years Hometown: Houston, Texas Family: Married 44-years to Jacqueline Martin, 3 Children, 8 Grandchildren Radio Program: KJLH, Saturdays, 7am What led you to establish Love, Peace & Happiness Church in 1974? I just felt the call of God. I had just finished Bible college and worked in my previous church, Ephesian Church of God in Christ (Berkeley, CA) under the leadership of Bishop E.E. Cleveland, Sr. as the youth pastor and state president of the second jurisdiction. I was one of the system pastors at that church as well. And how long had you been working in church leadership? Since I was 18. I’m originally from Houston, Texas and that’s where I accepted my calling to ministry at 16. I came to California to go to Life Bible College and did four years of training ministry

there. I went to UCLA for two or three years and studied law and from there, I attended Friends University where I received my doctorate. You said school helped you to define your calling, what did you define it as? Originally I wanted to be a traveling evangelist, but I was miserable in the process. I found that my passion was for people and developing them. Personal evangelism outreach—that’s my emphasis today and we’ve been developing our ministry and publically making an impact on our community. Where did the ministry originate: Norwalk or LA? This ministry originated in my home in Compton with about four people. As it grew I asked a friend of mine, the late superintendent, Harold Connity, if I could start holding my Sunday morning services at his church on Saturday night. Was it difficult getting people to come to church on Saturday night? Not if you have something to offer. We presented a good program. We were excited, young and had a lot of tenthusiasm. Then all of a sudden a door came open for us in Los Angeles near Huntington Park on a street called Walnut Drive. Several pastors had informed me that it was known as a preacher’s graveyard, because about five or six pastors had been there and never could grow their church so I took on the challenge. We cleaned the place up and it was amazing how we began to grow that church with some intensive evangelism and soul wining. We went out on Saturdays and just began to teach the unchurched, the untaught, the uncommitted. People had a hard time finding the church so I started running buses throughout the community. I was the very first bus driver. We started with one bus, and ended up with five or six buses. The Sunday school got up to 800. My building wasn’t that large so we had Sunday school on the sidewalks, made classrooms out of the buses and used the park facilities. How did you get to Norwalk? I moved from Walnut to Manchester. We bought the whole block of Manchester and Menlo—right near Vermont. Then we went through a financial challenge and with all the permits and all the particulars, and a dry spell in our church. So I just walked into my congregation, one Sunday and I told them, I must have missed God. Because it shouldn’t take us this long to build a church and I walked away from everything.

You stopped preaching? Not stopped preaching, I just stopped focusing in on that area as far as the property and went into some serious prayer. I called a friend and asked if he had a church? He said, ‘I was at the gym and some guy walked up to me and asked me if I knew anybody that needed a church?’ He brought me here and met the guy and that’s how I ended up in Norwalk. I’ve been here now about 15 years, but in the meantime I started a church in Rialto. I had a couple of members who lived out there, and they said, ‘Pastor, you need to come.’ I went out there with two people and started a church there in a hotel and it began to grow. Then we found a space in a little shopping center and I would preach at the church in LA and then drive all the way to Rialto and have service. The next thing I know the place began to fill up. My key was outreach. I always built my churches through evangelism and outreach. That membership got up to about 350 and I appointed that church to my son. So your son followed you into ministry? Yes. When I released the Rialto church to my son, I was comfortable just being in Downey. Then all of a sudden the Lord put it in my spirit to go back to L.A. A friend called me and said he was having some financial problems with his building and needed my help financially. I said okay, I’m going to do this under one condition: if you will allow me to hold a service there on Sunday. I started the L.A. church with nobody and in one year that place was overflowing. Is that the church that’s now on Figueroa? Yes, we’ve been there for about five years, on 50th and Figueroa. That still is a baby church. I built that church for about five years and then I felt the need to go to Compton. I’m holding services at the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church with Rev. Richard Sanders. I’ve been there about two and half years and started with one member and now the church is growing and picking up momentum. What keeps you going? You can’t do this unless you have a sincere heart for the work of God. It’s a lot of work but what blesses me is to have a person come in one way and then see the transformation in their lives. I had a young man who blessed me on Sunday with his testimony. He said, ‘I was the guy who pushed a grocery cart. That guy who worked at a service station to wash your windows and slept under the bridge. The guy who jumped into the trash bin to eat the left over hamburgers at McDonalds, but I came to this church and I changed my


Citizens of Zion Missionary Baptist Church In Compton 12930 No. Lime Ave., Compton, CA 90221 (310) 638-0536 • F: (323) 636-2080 • www.citizensofzion.org Rev. Bobby Newman, Jr., Senior Pastor; Rev. B.T. Newman, Pastor (Pastor Emeritus) Sunday School: 9:00am Morning Service: 10:45am Wed. Mid-Week Bible Study: 7:00pm

Greater Zion Church Family 2408 North Wilmington Avenue, Compton, CA 90222 (310) 639-5535 • E: GreaterZionCF@gmail.com Reverend Michael J. Fisher & Dr. W. Jerome Fisher, Pastor Emeritus Sunday Morning Worship: 9:00am, 11:00am & 5:00pm Wed. Bible Studies: Noon-7:00pm www.greaterzionchurchfamily.com

Love and Unity Christian Fellowship 1840 S. Wilmington Ave, P.O. Box 5449, Compton 90220 (310) 604-5900 Fax: (310) 604-5915 Dr. Ron C Hill Sunday Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:30am Sunday Evening Worship: 6:30pm Bible Studies: Wed. 7:30pm & Sat. 9am Food for Your Soul Radio & Television Ministry: beblessedwebradio: Mon - Fri. 6:30am Church Channel: Tues. 5:30pm & Fri. 2:30pm

In Gardena

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

Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:00am Evening Worship: 6:00pm Bible Study (Wed): Noon & 7:00pm BET/Fresh Oil (Wed): 7:00am

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

First Lady Files Jasmine Morton-Robinson Pilgrim’s Hope Baptist Church

Jasmine Morton-Robinson has a rich ministry and musical legacy. As the daughter of Bishop Paul and Deborah Morton, she’s been on the front row to her parent’s ministry all her life. This is helping Ross, who married Rev. Tyron Robinson of Pilgrim’s Hope Baptist Church on March 31, 2017. Robinson, who has worked in ministry most of her life as a worship leader and administrator says her mother’s life as a pastor’s wife has provided a wealth of wisdom for her. “I’m Pastor Robinson’s wife first so my purpose is to serve him as he follows Christ and then comes serving the people he shepherds,” says the New Orleans native. “My mother always says ‘don’t get so close to the anointing that you don’t forget to honor it.’ So even though he’s my husband and friend, he is also an anointed man of God and that is his primary role in life.” The 39-year-old mother of two sons ages 13 and 9, holds down a full-time job at Loyola Marymount University as well as leading worship and spearheading a growth campaign at the church. While Robinson has had her share of trials (she lost her first-born child in 2003, an 18- month-old daughter named Kai to a virus that ultimately took her life) but she says, once again, her parents example helped her. “In the end, I trusted that my daughter was in a better place. I really had a peace about it because of my relationship with God and that’s a testament to the way I was raised. We’ve been through a lot but our faith is strong. I thank God for my parents and instilling that in me.” Faithful Central Bible Church 321 N. Eucalyptus Ave. Inglewood, CA 90301 (310) 330-8000 • F: (310) 330-8035 Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, Ph.D. Senior Pastor/Teacher Services at The Tabernacle: Sunday Services: 7:00am, 9:30am & 11:45am Wed. Mid-Week Service: 7:00pm The Tabernacle is located at 321 N. Eucalyptus Ave., Inglewood www.faithfulcentral.com Crusade Christian Faith Center 801 S. La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90301 (310) 330-8535 Bishop Virgil D. Patterson Sr.

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

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

www.thelibertychurch.com

Atherton Baptist Church 2627 W. 116th Street Hawthorne,CA 90250 (323) 757-3113 • www.athertonbc.org F: 323-757-8772 • athertonbaptist@sbcglobal.net Pastor Larry Weaver

In Hawthorne

Sunday Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:00 am Sunday Bible Enrichment Class: 9:45am Mon.-Thurs. Bible Study: 7:00pm Wednesday Bible Study: 12:30pm & 7:00pm Victory Institutional Baptist Church 4712 West El Segundo Blvd., Hawthorne, CA 90250 (310) 263-7073 • www.vibconline.com Pastor Richard Williams, III Sunday Morning Worship: 9:00am Sunday Evening Worship: 6:00pm Wed. Mid-Week Worship: 7:00pm Bible Study Tuesday: Noon & 7:00pm

Sunday School: 9:30am Early Worship: 8am Morning Worship: 10:45am Bible Adventure Hour (Tues): 6pm Bible Study (Tues): 7pm Bible Study (Thurs): Noon First Church of God Center of Hope 9550 Crenshaw Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90305 (323) 757-1804 www.go2Hope.com Pastor Geremy L. Dixon Morning Worship: 8:00am & 11:00am Wed. Mid-Week Service: Noon Wed. Teaching Ministry: 7:00pm 1st Sunday Communion 5th Sunday Baptism

Jacob’s Ladder Community Fellowship, inc. 1152 E. Hyde Park Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90303 (866) 330-1702 • F: (310) 674-0760 Watchman/Shepherd Dr. Robert T. Douglas Sr. Sunday School: 10:00am Morning Services: 11:45am Evening Service: 7:00pm Wed. Lock & Load Prayer: 7:00pm Wed. Bible Study: 7:30pm 3rd Friday Youth Night: 7:30pm KYTYM 1460AM (Sunday): 11:30am www.jacobladderschurch.com

Sunday School: 9:30am Early Worship: 8:00am Morning Worship: 11:00am First Sunday Evening Worship: 5:00pm Mid-Week Bible Study Wed.: 7:00pm Radio: KTYM 1460 AM Saturdays at 8:00pm & Mondays at 7:00pm

In Irvine

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

Sunday Worship: 8:00am, 10:30am New Generation Praise Service: 10:30am Sun. Bible Univ.: 9:30am Tues. Interactive Bible Study: 7:00pm Wed. Pastor's Bible Study: Noon, 7:00pm Thurs. Bible Study: 7:00pm Fri. Singles Bible Study (1st Fri): 7:00pm

Antioch Church of Long Beach 1535 Gundry Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 (562) 591-8778 • F: (562) 599-6048 Pastor Wayne Chaney Jr. Worship Services: 8am, 9:30am, 11:30am Tuesday Youth BibleStudy: 8:00am, 9:30am, 11:30am WednesdayBible Study: Noon

Christ Second Baptist Church In Long Beach 1471 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 (562) 599-3421 • Fax: (562) 599-6175 • www.csbclb.org Rev. Welton Pleasant II, Senior Pastor Sunday School: 8:30am Sunday Worship Service: 9:40am Wed. Bible Study: 7:00pm Wed Youth & Young Adult Ministry: 7:00pm

Gospel Memorial Church of God In Christ 1480 Atlantic Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 (562) 599-7389 • F: 562-599-5779 • gospelmemorial@aol.com Bishop Joe L. Ealy Sunday School: 9:30am Sunday Worship: 11:00am Evening Worship: 6:30pm Wed. Intercessory Prayer: 7:00pm Wed. Pastoral teaching adults: 7:30pm Wed. Youth Ministry Boot-Camp; Youth Bible Study: 7:00pm & Choir Rehearsal: 7:30pm Grant AME Church of Long Beach 1129 Alamitos Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 • (562) 437-1567 grantamelb@aol.com • www.grantamelb.org Rev. Michael W. Eagle, Sr. Sun. Worship Experience: 10:45am 3rd Sun. Healing & Annointing: 10:45am Wed. Bible Study: Noon & 6pm Mothers of Murdered Youth & Children Were all receive a little attention, affection and love. New Philadelphia A.M.E. Church 6380 S. Orange Avenue, Long Beach, Ca 90805 (562)422-9300•F: (562) 422-9400 Pastor Darryl E. Walker, Senior Pastor Worship: 9:00am —1st & 5th Sunday Sunday School/New Member Classes: 8:00am Live Streaming on NuPhilly AppNuPhilly website: 9:00am 2nd thru 4th Sunday Worship:7:30 am &10:00am•Sunday School New Member Classes: 9:00am Live Streaming on the NuPhilly App/website: 7:30am Pastor’s Bible Study: Wednesday Eve 7:00pm Mid-Week Bible Study: Thursday 12:00 noon

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

L.A. Focus/July 2017

In Inglewood Bible Enrichment Fellowship International 400 E. Kelso, Inglewood, CA 90301 (310) 330-4700 • www.bamcm.org Dr. Beverly “BAM” Crawford Morning Worship: 9:30am Tues. Bible Study: 7:30pm Wed. Mid-Week Prayer: 5am, Noon & 7:00pm Wednesday Pathway: 7:00pm Thurs Bible Study: 10:00am Sat Marriage & Family Prayer: 7:30am

True Friendship Missionary Baptist Church 7901 South Van Ness Ave. Inglewood, CA 90305 (323) 750-7304 Rev. James A. Perkins

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

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From the Pulpit: Morning Star B.C

MIlESTONES Pastor Juwane Hilton is Consecrated Bishop

“ The Presence of God In Our Life” haraoh was going to commit persecution upon the Israelite by killing every baby boy who was born to the Israelite women, and his plan was to use the Israelite midwives to perform the atrocity. But the midwives feared God more than they feared the Pharaoh, so they let the baby boys live. Jochebed, Moses’ mother, showed her faith in God by going through with the birth of Moses. God had divinely assured her that he would protect she and baby Moses. Jochebed hid baby Moses for three months, after that time she decided that she could no longer hide him, out of fear that the Egyptian authorities might find out. By the divine instruction of God, Jochebed built an ark-like basket and covered it with slim and pitch, put baby Moses inside and put the ark in the Nile river. Jochebed instructed her oldest child, Miriam, to watch the ark to see what happened to it. Exodus 2:5 says, “And the daughter of the Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river.” This has God written all over it. Here is a woman of royalty, with everything at her disposal, coming down to not just any river in Egypt, but to the most traveled, most popular river in all of Egypt to bathe herself. The Nile River was known for its swift current, venomous snakes, not to mention the crocodiles, yet here is Pharaoh’s daughter bathing in this river. Not only that, Jochebed happened to put baby Moses in that same river in the same vicinity as Pharaoh’s daughter. Again this has God written all over it. This is what we call divine intervention of God! What is the divine intervention? Simply put, it is God intervening in the affairs of the world. Divine intervention can be God causing something to happen or God preventing something from happening. For example: there was a commercial on television where this young lady went on a job interview. The owner of the company asked her a series of questions, and one of thee questions was, “What can you bring to my company”? She ran off a myriad of positive answers. But the most important question he asked her was, “Do you have a college degree?” Her answer was “no”. He then said, “I can’t use you”. As the young lady started to leave, the man reached out his hand and said, “But you are exactly what I need.” That is the divine intervention of God in the life of that young lady, causing something positive to happen when otherwise she would have been on to her next interview. There have been times in your life, when God has intervened. Sometimes you recognized it, but most times you didn’t. Perhaps you were sitting at a red signal light and it turned green for you to proceed, but for some unexplainable reason you just sat there for a few seconds. It’s a good thing you did, because someone from the opposing traffic ran through the red light. That was God intervening so that a bad thing would not happen to you. Or perhaps you went on an interview and arrived late, wasn’t dressed properly, didn't have good answers to the questions you were asked, but you got the job anyway. That was God intervening in your life something good to happen. The point is this: when we can’t take care of ourselves, He steps in and takes charge. The “b” portion of verse 5 says, “ And when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maiden to fetch it.” Remember Moses’ mother had made a basket-looking ark and placed him in it. The word “ark” takes me back to Genesis 6:14 where it says, “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.” The word “ark” in Hebrew is “tebah” and it means a “box.” Noah was to build an ark and offer a way of escape from the coming Judgment to a doomed generation. God gave h i m

L.A. Focus/July 2017

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Pastor Trotter

Hilton (City on The Hill in Carson) was consecrated as a Bishop in the 23-year old group espousing free expression of the gifts of the Spirit as a viable part of the body of Christ. The ceremony was held June 26-30 in Orlando, Florida, under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Joseph W. Walker, III.

Bishop Designate Sherman gordon to be Consecrated

Bishop Jawane Hilton gets congratulatory kiss from his daughter at Consecration ceremony

Last month—as part of the annual meeting of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, Pastor Jawane

Having served as the South Pacific Province Leader within Global United Fellowship, Bishop Designate Dr. Sherman A. Gordon will be consecrated as a bishop within the Lord’s Church of Global United Fellowship under the leadership of Presiding Bishop, Neil C. Ellis. Gordon upon reflecting on this journey states “it was rigid and arduous, but rewarding.” Dr. Gordon continues his greatest moment in Catechism was learning and seeing

Second Baptist Church In Monrovia 925 S. Shamrock Avenue • P.O. Box 479, Monrovia, CA 91017 •(626) 358-2136 • F: (626) 303-2477 Bishop W.M. Larue Dillard, Phd. Sunday Worship: 7:45am, 10:45am, 4:45pm Ministry Worship to Children/Youth Sunday: 9:45am - 10:45am Prayer/Academy of Biblical Studies (Wed): 10:45am - 6:45pm www.second-baptistchurch.com First AME Santa Monica In 1823 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404 (310) 450-0331 F: (310) 450-4680 Facebook: First AME Church Santa Monica Email:famecsm@verizon.net Rev. Rueben W. Ford, Pastor

Santa Monica

Sunday School: 9:30am Sunday Worship: 11:00am Bible Study/Prayer Meditation: Thursday 6pm “The Church In The Heart Of The Community with The Community at Heart”

In Westchester Arise Christian Center 6949 La Tijera Blvd. Suite C, Westchester, CA 90045 (310)568-8445•F: (310) 568-8430 • Arisechristiancenter.com Pastor Ron Taylor Morning Worship: 9:00am & 11:15am Bible Study Wednesday: 7:00pm Intercessory Prayer Tuesday : 7:00pm Intercessory Prayer Sunday: 8am - 8:45am Intercessory Prayer Thursday: 11:30pm - 12:30pm

instructions on how He wanted the ark built. The ark was to be shaped like a box, coffin to be precise. The ark was not made to sail, it was made to float and protect. It was to be made from gopher wood (cypress), the same wood ancient people used to make coffins. Gopher wood was incorruptible wood. When completed, the ark was to be covered with pitch on the inside and the outside. The word for pitch is the same word in the Old Testament for “atonement”. The word atonement means that God restores a relationship of harmony and unity between Himself and human beings, and it happened through the shedding of the blood of Jesus. The same way the pitch covered and protected those in the ark from the judgment of God, those who are in Jesus when God brings His wrath on the earth, the final time will be covered and protected by the blood of Jesus. The ark suggests the following picture or type; it was a place of salvation, safety, and security. So, when Moses’ mother made the ark-like basket and covered it with slime and pitch and placed baby Moses in it that was his ark of salvation—his safety and security from the wrath of the Pharaoh of Egypt. Egypt is always a picture of the world in Bible. All of us have had and will continue to have the Pharaohs of the world in our lives. Someone’s Pharaoh might be cancer or some other life-threatening debilitating disease, and another’s Pharaoh might be a spouse who is not only verbally abusive but physically abusive

the connection between the Founding Fathers of Christianity to the role he will assume shortly. As an ordained Bishop and the founding Senior Pastor at Family of Faith Christian Center in the City of Long Beach, California, Gordon will be able to reach even further within the religious community while continuing to serve in the local community. Dr. Gordon joins a Coalition of Bishops dedicated to serving as part of an international body of spiritual leaders, fellowships, and congregations united to strategically plan, implement, and execute transformative and generational change. The consecration is scheduled to take place at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, North Carolina on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 during the Annual Global United Fellowship “The Gathering” Conference.

Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church 980 Rio Grande Street, Pasadena, CA 91104 *Mailing Address: 1416 N. Mentor Ave. Pasadena, 91104 (626) 794-4875 • F: (626) 794-7815 Pastor W. Harrison Trotter Sunday School: 8:30am Sunday Worship: 10:00am Bible Study Wednesday: 7:00pm Intercessory Prayer (Fourth Wed.): 7:00pm Christians Uniting To Make A Difference -Eph. 4:13 Spirit of Zion Fellowship Church In Van Nuys 10853 Victory Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91601 (805) 517-1907 • www.mtzionla.org Pastor E.V. Hill II Sunday Worship: 1:00pm Children's Church: 1:11pm

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

In La Puente

Sunday School: 9:30 AM Early Worship: 8:00 AM Morning Worship: 11:00 AM Spanish Service: 9:30AM Bible Study: Every Wednesday 7:00 PM www.stsbc.org

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: 9:00am Sunday Worship: 10:00am Tuesday Bible Study: 7:00pm Mid-day Worship Thursday: Noon www.bethelemchurchpasadena.org

also, and yet another’s Pharaoh might be an evil boss they must face five days a week. The list of Pharaohs in the world are countless and dangerous so you must learn how to fight back to protect yourself. Sometimes your bank account is not sufficient because the bank accounts of the Pharaohs of the world are bigger. Sometimes your best friend can’t protect you because the Pharaohs of the word are stronger. Your psychiatrists don’t have the answers because the Pharaohs might be smarter. In the midst of the Pharaohs crisis you need help, you need answers and you need protection. Christ is the believer’s ark, the believer’s salvation from the wrath of God, the believer’s safety and security. To protect yourself, all you need to do is get on board the “ark” of protection, Jesus!


Through the Storm How a Near Death Experience Saved Bishop Richard Sanders Life

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f there’s one thing Bishop Richard Sanders is passionate about it’s preaching. So much so that he’s been dubbed the preacher with crazy faith, receiving numerous requests to speak at churches throughout the city. But on January 27, 2014 while preaching at Mount Moriah Baptist Church, Sanders felt the worst pain he’s ever felt in his life. So panicked were church officials by his reaction that they immediately called 911 and he was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where for the next three days doctors sought to find out what was going on. After a diagnosis of acid reflux, he was sent home. But the Indianapolis native could not shake the feeling that something was wrong and decided to visit his primary doctor. And he was right. As it turns out, Sanders had been bleeding internally for 10 days after being misdiagnosed and sent home. “My primary doctor immediately felt it was something, more serious, perhaps even an aneurysm. So she sent me to emergency,” he said. “They did a CAT Scan MRI and sure enough it was an aneurysm.” According to Center for Disease control (CDC), this condition is considered fatal and normally results in death following the traumatic rupture of the thoracic aorta, 75–90 percent of the time due to severe bleeding, and 80–85 percent of patients die before arriving at a hospital. “With the dissection of the aorta artery, you’re supposed to die right then. Sanders added. “Only one out of 1000 even make it to the hospital to have surgery and if you do have surgery only one out of 1000 come off the table.” Immediately Bishop Sanders was helicoptered from his primary doctor in Orange County to USC where they performed surgery. In addition to surgery, the doctors discovered that Sanders had lung complications and prescribed medicine and treatments combined with the medication for the surgery. The worst part of it was he was ordered to bed rest for a year and for Sanders, that meant no preaching at his Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in Compton where he has been senior pastor for 34 years. Despite the setback, his faith never wavered. Instead, though somewhat challenging, he used the time to regroup. “I’m not used to being dependent on people and there were periods when I was forbidden to even reach for anything.” He said, “When they split you open like that, the healing process of the chest and all that, you really don’t heal from that completely until about two to three years.” While the recuperation period wasn’t easy, Sanders took the time to reflect on his life, which allowed him to see and know God in a different light.

I’m that guy now who could easily be in the Bible. I could be one of those people who Jesus touched and healed. I’ve always read about those people and admired them from afar but now I’m one of them.” –Bishop Richard Sanders

Common signs and symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm include: •Sudden, extremely severe headache •Nausea and vomiting •Stiff neck •Blurred or double vision •Sensitivity to light •Seizure •A drooping eyelid •Loss of consciousness •Confusion

“Being a preacher of the gospel for 45-46 years you’d think you pretty much know Him, but in moments like these you meet a new dimension,” he said. “God certainly had my undivided attention for that year. Though painful at times, I would not change anything.” As the healing progress continued, the “crazy faith” preacher realized that he was not Superman and it was okay to take a minute to observe the “leaves on the tree.” Today Sanders is just glad to be alive. “God gave me a miracle and He did His job so I have to tell myself my job is to do maintenance on the miracle he gave me.” Prior to this experience, Sanders was an avid gym junkie having suffered with hypertension for several years. According to his doctor, having had such a healthy lifestyle somewhat saved his life, but he has since had to adjust his workout regime. “I’m that guy now who could easily be in the Bible. I could be one of those people who Jesus touched and healed. I’ve always read about those people and admired them from afar but now I’m one of them,” he said. From that experience, Sanders penned the book “ In His Hands” is the journey of someone who was not expected to make it after having two open-heart surgeries in a matter of 12 days. “I thought I had crazy faith but when you’ve been where I’ve been you really take inventory of life with all its impotence and with all of its accidents. You take inventory and you have to decide whether or not this is worth responding to,” he said. With God as his anchor, Sanders held steadfast to his mantra in Psalm 34:1 “I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise will continually be in my mouth.” “That’s a praise in the midst of calamity. It’s a song that was written by David while he was going through his trials and he declared whatever is going on in his life he’s going to give praise to God and that’s what I aim to do, I’ll bless him at all times.” Though still preaching, this experience has not only strengthened Sanders but has changed his method of delivery. “I was one of the preachers who was a son of our culture. We do the sermon and song. We do the hooping and the tuning up. We put the song to the message and we are very vibrant and demonstrative. Someone said I was the hardest working man in gospel, but after this experience, I’ve had to make some adjustments. “I still preach, but it’s done with temperance and moderation. I basically lecture and do more teaching.” He also encourages other pastors to take care of themselves by getting regular check-ups and being mindful of what they eat. “You don’t know when these things are going to occur. The one thing you can do is have the kind of body, physical strength and stamina to go through something like this. You also have to be mentally strong before you face these kinds of things so that when this storm comes, you are able to stand.”

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Cannabis continued from page 6

impact of the product and the stigma behind it has been flawed since the beginning. “We have to deal with educating the community now that this is a much safer plant and there are medicinal benefits to it,” Spiker says. “So, let’s find a way to regulate it and so we can stop the street sale of it because it’s going on everywhere.” “There is still plenty of cannabis being grown, sold and smoked and it’s completely unregulated, untested, untaxed, and that’s not fair to anyone,” Spiker laments. “That doesn’t help patients. It doesn’t help consumers. It doesn’t help purveyors of the business. It doesn’t help the community. When you regulate, you’re trying to help clean up things I think universally are not liked.” “The neighborhoods hurt by the war on drugs are the first one’s we’re going to dive into,” commits Anderson. “Our goal is to educate first because you can’t have success in a business that you have never operated.” Anderson said they have the support from Gov. Brown, the LAPD and the NAACP. “One thing I want the community to understand there is going to be an economic boom to take place in our community.” "When you realize that Los Angeles is the biggest cannabis market in the world, you understand how many eyeballs are on this city right now. We believe we're creating a model that other cities and states would want to use," Spiker said. Money Matters continued from page 13

Some like Beverly Hills require all fees to be paid in advance. Critics—some of whom have dubbed them “jail hotels”—argue that it is unfair with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) characterizing the program as “jail for the rich”. Administrators have to walk a fine line between keeping the programs punitive enough to get judges to make the referral and making their programs attractive to inmates. At one time the sales pitch for Pasadena’s program was ‘bad things happen to good people’. “They invest in being here,” said one official. “And we invest in rehabilitating them. “It’s not as bad as being in county jail, but by the same token, it’s no fun,” said Brenda Williams, who was more comfortable with the pay to stay program after a DUI arrest. “You might be paying, but it’s still a jail.’ David A. Love continued from page 9

full embrace of white nationalism. The extremist right wing fringe became the mainstream. While the Jim Crow politicians went hand in hand with the Ku Klux Klan back in the day, years later, the parties might have changed, but the game remains the same. And with elected officials acting like madmen, calling for violence, even threatening acts of terror themselves, this is a sign of a party that is off the rails and out of control. This isn’t funny, and at this rate, somebody is going to get hurt. Follow David A. Love on Twitter at @davidalove.

Pastor continued from page 20

life.’ Now he is a supervisor at a restaurant. He went back to Trade Tech and got his culinary degree. He’s married and has a beautiful family. These are the kind of things that keep me going. What in your service that causes them to change their lives? It's the power and the word of God. I tell them you give me one year—that's all I ask for and their lives will change. There’s a simplicity. I teach in a way they can understand it the promises of God and the blessings He intended for us. The Bible says the power of man has blinded our minds so you can’t see, but once you come into the knowledge of God then the scales fall from your eyes and you begin to see. Are there other ways that you engage people other than the word? Yes. Right now I am planning a financial empowerment workshop for those who want to become homeowners, those who want to start a non-profit, or those who need credit repair—things I know will help my people. We take them from the spiritual to help them in the natural aspect because that is what they need. I believe in the total man.

The California Legislative Black Caucus, Republican members, and Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosted a Juneteenth celebration that allowed guests to trace their heritage through the Freedman’s Bureau African American Family History Project at the State Capitol Monday, June 26. Participants were paired with volunteer's that helped make family member connections as far back as the mid-1800's, often by simply knowing a few details. According to the History.com web site the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, popularly known as the Freedmen's Bureau, was established in 1865 by Congress to help former Black slaves and poor whites in the South in the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War (186165). Some 4 million slaves gained their freedom as a result of the Union victory in the war, which left many communities in ruins and destroyed the South's plantation-based economy. The Freedmen's Bureau provided food, housing, and medical aid, established schools and offered legal assistance. It also attempted to settle former slaves on Confederate lands confiscated or abandoned during the war. However, the bureau was prevented from fully carrying out its programs due to a shortage of funds and personnel, along with the politics of race and Reconstruction. In 1872, Congress, in part under pressure from white Southerners, shut the bureau down.

What is your preaching style? I’m a teacher preacher. I’m a people person. I know most of my members by name, I stand at the door and I greet them after service. I have a beautiful relationship with all my members. I give them my cell number but I tell them how to use it. How did you receive the call? I come from a line of ministers. I have two or three uncles who were bishops in the COGIC church. I have six brothers and one sister and four of us are pastors. My sister works with T.D. Jakes. My mother told us boys that she was raising us up to be preachers of the gospel. What would people be surprised to find out about you? I’m under the radar, I don't bother nobody and very seldom do people hear about me, but I’m comfortable with who I am doing what I was assigned to do. So I’m not seeking the approval of man as long as God is pleased with what I’m doing.

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L.A. Focus/July 2017

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L.A. Focus/July 2017

s a pioneering gospel artist, Benjamin “BeBe” Winans knows what it’s like to take creative risks. They have powered the six time GRAMMY® Award-winner’s every move in a rise to fame that has yielded a string of hits—both solo, with his brothers, and as one half of the gospel’s best-selling brother-sister duo, BeBe & CeCe; a starring role on Broadway alongside Chaka Khan in Oprah Winfrey’s The Color Purple; and his own radio show on Sirius/XM’s Heart & Soul Channel. Now the star is rolling the dice on his biggest gamble to date—his highly- publicized stage musical, “Born for This: The BeBe Winans Story”. Kicking off The Broad Stage’s 2017-18 Theatre Season, the musical —directed by Randolph-Wright (Motown: The Musical)— is the coming of age story of Detroit teens BeBe and CeCe Winans who experience the ultimate in culture shock when invited to join Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's Praise The Lord Network in Pineville, North Carolina. The Bakkers become an unlikely surrogate family as the teenagers become the hottest stars in televangical America before crossing over to mainstream fame, where BeBe must reconcile the temptations of fame and fortune. Exceeding expectations in both Atlanta and Washington D.C., Los Angeles is just the third stop for the play which will run July 11 through August 6, and is ultimately headed for Broadway. Ironically, Winans says doing the play was not his idea. Instead, it was a conversation with Roberta Flack that got the ball rolling. “We were just talking”, Winans recalls, “when she detours from the conversation abruptly and says, ‘When are you going to write that musical about you, your sister and your family? You’ve got to do it. And then it’s a movie and TV…’ “I pulled the phone away from my ear and thought, Roberta didn’t take her medication,” he laughs. “After I hung up, I just remember sitting there,” Winans continues. “I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Five days later, I was in Montreal. I checked into the hotel and when I got to my room and opened my laptop, it was like a faucet came on. I sat there for about an hour and wrote the first draft of what is now “Born for This.” Nearly a decade would pass before the play debuted on April 5, 2016 at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta, and from the writing and casting to the financing, it's not only that the musical bears his story, but as writer, creator and producer—it’s the project Winans has waited his entire career to do. There is much people will find out about Winans that wasn’t easy for him to address in the two-hour production, including his initial rejection by the PTL> “I didn’t get the part. CeCe got the part,” he states. “I could have allowed rejection to stop me from what I believed God had called me to do, but I went to North Carolina so CeCe could have the opportunity. “People don’t understand that doors can open for you because you are there for other people.” The lead characters for the show were naturals. His nephew, Juan Winans, plays BeBe and

26

BeBe Winans

his niece, Greenleaf co-star Deborah Joy Winans plays CeCe. Casting is, in fact, one of the things he says the play got so spot on that it even caught some of his family members off guard. “When the actor who plays my [late] brother Ronald walked out on stage, they all lost it,” Winans reports. “They wept. I knew they were going to do that because one day I came into rehearsal and as soon as I finished speaking to him I had to run into the bathroom because I felt like my brother Ronald had just hugged me.” The greatest compliment, however, came from his Mom. “My mom called me and said, I’m proud of you, but I just have to say, you gave me a chance to see my husband and my son again.’ What may surprise theatergoers who have followed his career over the years is that this is not platform for the BeBe & CeCe melodies that helped to usher in a new era of crossover gospel hits, popularizing the genre to mainstream audiences. “It’s not a jukebox musical,” says Winans. “You have a little bit of [Winans’ classic hits] “Tomorrow” and “Question Is” and mine and CeCe’s “I Owe You Me”, but what I focused on was original songs that tell the story so that people are not disappointed when they leave. They are actually saying ‘where can I buy the music?’” And while there was no soundtrack available when the show first opened last year, Winans just completed an “inspired of” CD that features eight songs from the musical and three new songs, set for release this month. Guests on the CD include Tramaine Hawkins, Marvin Winans and newcomer Kiandra Richardson who reviewers say brings the Whitney Houston to life in the play. “When she comes out on stage, people think that Whitney is back. When she opens her mouth, their jaws drop,” notes Winans, who can hardly contain his excitement when speaking of her. Richardson had come to the last day of casting auditions for the Atlanta show. Winans had returned to his home in Nashville the day before. “We got a phone call from the casting director who said that a young lady had come in after I’d left and took her breath away. She videotaped the audition and sent it to you, but don't get too excited because she has already signed to be on the last year of “American Idol” and is scheduled to leave in a week to go to Los Angeles. “I opened up the video and when I saw her, chills went through me. The resemblance to Whitney was so striking. I thought if this girl can sing a little bit, I’m calling her. Then she opened her mouth and I was floored. I called and pleaded with her not to go to Los Angeles, but to come with us. Two days later, she called and

said, I’m not going. I’m coming with you.” While his name served as a guarantee of interest in the play, financing was a major hurdle, particularly for Winans, who was raised strictly by his parents to not ask for money. And while he raised a good portion of the enhancement of his musical, the balance came from a source inspired by the patriotic CD, America America, he’d released in 2012 amid a great deal of criticism. “People thought it was crazy when I did that album

It’s amazing how God has things lined up, but you have to be willing to go against the grain and not follow what people say, but follow what He says. It’s not about me. It’s about God getting the glory and opening up the door for others to come in.

five years ago, but I was just inspired to do it,” says Winans who—while raising money for the show—was asked to perform the title track at an event held at the Supreme Court. “Afterwards, this man comes up and says, ‘You moved my heart.’ He asked me for my card and long story short, he’s become my investor for the whole musical. Turns out he’s one of the richest men in America.” “It’s amazing how God has things lined up, but you have to be willing to go against the grain and not follow what people say, but what He says. It’s not about me. It’s about God getting the glory and opening up the door for others to come in.” Surprisingly, Winans—who serves as Executive Music Producer for the OWN Network series, “Greenleaf”—has always been more passionate about writing than singing. “I always knew I was not the person who was going to be on tour my whole life. It’s a great thing to go away for a minute. People appreciate you more and I’m always open to what’s next. I believe there’s always a next until you leave here.” And while the 54-year old Detroit native and the seventh child born to America’s famed gospel music dynasty, has said goodbye to many things, gospel is not one of them. “Gospel is a part of me. That’s who I am”, he states matter-of-factly. But today, the bigger picture for Winans is that the world his musical touches reaches far beyond gospel. “The faces of those who come to see the musical are black, white, older, younger…those who knew our music and those who didn't have any idea of our music. That to me has been the most enjoyable part of this journey. That the truth of our story is everyone’s story. “There have been so many testimonies from people who see this musical who have gone back after their careers or degrees, because they’ve been inspired and understand they too, were born for a reason.” It is by the grace of God that Winans has found his. “Through this journey,” he states, “there have been moments where I’ve heard some of the conversations that I had with Maya Angelou and in one of them she was talking about the struggle. She said, ‘BeBe, enjoy the struggle. Everyone is trying to get out of the struggle, but it’s in the struggle where you discover who you are. It’s in the struggle where you find out who people really are, and it’s in the struggle when you find out who God really is.”


L.A. Focus On The Word July 2017 Issue  
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