Hardcore Grind Magazine (December 2023)

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Editor’s Note Lissha Sadler Editor-in-Chief

Our featured cover interview is with the Legendary Songwriter|Film & Media Composer| Producer Rob 'Diggy' Morrison. Check out Lashaunda's Corner for tips for authors wanting to get the most out of events. We also have dynamic interviews with Felicia Hamilton, Dr. Smith Jax, Shaun Sinclair, Shawnte Barker, and Sadie Star. A shout-out To all the businesses that provided ads, and a big shout-out to Justin Q Young for doing the cover!!! I appreciate your support...

HARDCORE GRIND MAGAZINE intriguingmoves.com www.hardcoregrindmagazine.com


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Author | Producer| Radio Host| Insperational Speaker

FELICIA L. HAMILTON


THE

PRICE

OF INDEPENDENCE

Felicia L. Hamilton is the Host and Content Producer for "The Midday Groove with Felicia" on Magic 101.3 and the morning show host for Hot100. Ms. Hamilton is also the Promotions Director for 11 IHeartmedia stations in the Columbus, GA/Albany, GA market. Her books include CHOSEN, Real Women Wear Stilettos, Fierce, and her latest “Get Bossed Up or Stay Basic.” With over 20 years in the entertainment/event industry, Felicia has not only facilitated. Still, she has also been featured and hosted over 220 corporate and social events, interviewing over 100 celebrities and providing the vocals for numerous demo-specific commercials. Trained by one of the top motivational speakers in the world, Les Brown, Felicia has given countless speeches across the country for corporations, schools, churches, and non-profit organizations. Felicia has worked with numerous celebrities, political leaders, corporations, and community agencies. Ms. Hamilton has been featured on NBC, FOX, & and ABC television affiliates nationwide, along with an extensive list of national radio programs. Her “Bossed Up” approach to self-help has attracted over 1 Million people to watch her "Hustle Motivation" broadcasts on Facebook Live and Periscope. As a social influencer, Felicia reaches her following of over 100,000 fans across all her social media platforms and inspires them daily with lifestyle tips, mindset advice, and business strategies.


You started as an author doing speaking engagements with Les Brown. What was that change process like for you making that switch to radio? Felicia Hamilton: There wasn't a transition. I just shut down the other part of my life to focus only on working in radio. That's the career of radio, not just all the big things that come with this profession. I shut down all aspects of what made me the person I was the moment I stepped on the mic. It was almost like a period of regression, but there were many things going on behind the scenes in my life at the time. There were things in my life that were wreaking havoc and creating chaos. So, the radio was perfect for me because I could hide in plain sight, in the mix of things, and I still used my voice without tapping into it. When you're out there on the stage, speaking or writing, those are very vulnerable moments. And when you're true to it, you're giving every ounce of yourself. Well, for radio, for the first X number of years, I was not necessarily giving all of myself; I was working a job. So, I was in the forefront and doing things in the air and public, but at the same time, I was pretty much closed off behind the scenes and not in a vulnerable place. It wasn't a transition. It was a choice to put something down for a while because I did not know how to fuse who I was as I went into radio.

You have done so much along your journey. What's the best advice you've received? Felicia Hamilton: The best advice I ever received was, "Figure out how to make what you do work for you." And it took me all of these years to figure that out. So I’ve been in radio for ten years, and it took me nine years to figure out how that whole thing fit or where I fit in making it work for me. Because for the most part, I have been working in radio, but radio hasn't necessarily been working for me. I wasn't seeing the growth, the financial opportunities, or brand deals. That was because I had not learned how to infuse my life with being a radio personality and make that thing one thing. Now, I am just getting to the point of figuring it out. So that's why I'm excited because even though I've been given that advice consistently, I could not figure that thing out for the life of me. And now that I have, I realize why that advice was so valuable.

When you think about African Americans' contributions to media, what impact do you want your brand to leave? Felicia Hamilton: I'm so glad you asked that question. I want to make a full impact in the space where people can listen to me, watch me, or read something I have written and say, "You know what? I can be my transparent, vulnerable self. I can tap into that innermost place and give people the highest version of me possible because I'm healthy, whole, and ready to give the world who I have always been destined to be." So that is what I would want to leave. That's the type of impact that I feel I'm ready to leave with the world now.

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“It’s time to jump off the cliff and do it!”

You have written books, toured with Les Brown, and done so much radio. You are a speaker. What advice would you give those just starting their journey? Felicia Hamilton: I would advise now to decide who you want to end up with first. Not writing first, not training first, not interning for art, none of that. Decide who you want to end up first. And once you figure out that, reverse engineer your life from there. We spend a lot of time in the trial-anderror phases of the hustle because where we usually end up is not the lane we started in. And we know we want to be inside the grind. We know we want to grind in a hardcore manner. We know we want to be successful. But we don't always know what the end goal looks like.

What is next for Felicia l Hamilton? Felicia Hamilton: My podcast is coming out very soon, so stay tuned. That's all I can say right now. Other than that, I'm going all the way because I'm very clear on what it looks like now. But more books, more radio.

Stay connected with Felicia Hamilton on all platforms! To listen to the full interview follow Hardcore Grind Podcast on IHeart Radio. HARDCORE GRIND MAGAZINE

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ON THE BLACKSIDE 50 YEARS OF HOP-HOP Bas-1 Dopeskills is a Professor of Hip-Hop, Producer, DJ, Dancer, and Recording Artist hailing from Oakland, CA. The creator of cytoplasmz a rhyming and beat-producing collective. He has worked with such artists and groups as Hieroglyphics, Digital Underground, Del the Funkee Homosapien, Greman DJ Marius No1 aka Chief Rocker, Japanese Rapper Shingo2, Living Legends, DJ-Q-Bert, and Roc Raida to name a few. Bas-1 is a member of Stylelements Cru and Co-Host of HipHop Slam with Billy Jam. Currently, Bas is assisting and recording with Del Presents Manic Monday, as well as working on his 5th Electronic

Album

"Journey

Through

My

House

Of

Proverted

Electronics.

Wow, half a century has passed and we are still going strong! Hip-Hop was created on the South Side of Bronx. Now this is argued amongst New Yorkers from Brooklyn to Queens. I don’t know where you currently reside, but I can tell you this, all over America, everyone has a story of Hip-Hop relevant to the culture. I innocently began my journey into Hip-Hop by robotic dancing on the famed Pier 39 in San Francisco. Back then, arcades were being created, this was long before in-home consoles existed. So, let me break it down for you. Hip-Hop is the stepchild of Disco, Soul, R&B, and Rock-nRoll, but it did not begin from music alone... In the early days of Hip-Hop, it was about its art, dance, and DJ'ing aesthetics. As a practitioner, I can tell you firsthand Rap was the lowest on the totem pole. Most practitioners asserted their skills beyond just running their mouths. The early pioneers, such as Phase2, GrandMaster DST, and GrandMaster Melle Mel, to name a few, started dancing and DJ’n. GrandMasterCaz of the Cold Crush Brothers started as a DJ before becoming a Rap pioneer. Originality is the key to all forms of music, which remains true for Hip-Hop. At this time it was nowhere near the Trillion Dollar Phenomenon that it has grown to become. Society in the early days belittled the culture at every opportunity given. Society was not ready for the fact that untrained street kids incorporated different pieces of other dance disciplines and other aesthetics of art.

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The dance and its vocabulary would be ignored. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how JeanMicheal Basquiat was a street aerosol artist. However, he was not a very good one; nonetheless, he attempted to be the best artist he could. If not for Basquiat, you surely would not have MADONNA, who dated Basquiat at this time. Our continued self-belief and determination forced the world to take notice of our being. We inspired people to find the light in themselves. Hip-Hop, yes, the talentless street trash of nothing as seen by society, told us it takes no talent to talk over jungle bunny drums or spin on one’s back or head. These were quoted statements by many because they felt we were messing up the art of music with that ziggy zag. Hmmm, funny to look back on Hip-Hop’s early life. At 50 years old, Hip-Hop is still making things happen while people are not looking. Its resilience and truth exist when one searches for it. Jabbawokees are now in existence. The Rock Steady Crew is still in existence. Kendrick Lamar, Killer Mike, and J. Cole are just a few keeping Hip-Hop at the forefront. Hip-Hop State Of Mind on Bounce TV, and Rock The Bells Radio have been created so that Hip-Hop is never forgotten. Not to ignore its hardships, but Hip Hop is a world powerhouse. I say this to the reader of this article, anyone can be great without adversity. Character is how you look when life hits you with hardship. Hip-Hop has always looked appealing, so keep looking for the light of Hip-Hop and know it exists in you.

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ON THE BLACKSIDE CONTRIBUTING WRITERS JUDY A. HEWITT AND CAROLYN COLEMAN

ANGELS AMONG

US!

“SHARING TIPS FOR CAREGIVERS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON”

Christmas is approaching, such a festive season known as "the most wonderful time of the year." As we experience the twinkling lights, decorations, the sounds of carolers singing, the smell of the baked treats, the trimming of the trees, and the Christmas movies. On the other hand, caregivers sometimes feel distant as they have dedicated their lives to caring for others. Their acts of kindness are gifts that keep on giving. In their own words, "We are the silent voices," their stories go unheard, but their sacrifices speak volumes; the landscape of their lives has limited relief, hampering their socialization with others, so they feel isolated from family and friends. They sacrifice financially, especially if they are still gainfully employed, which adds additional stressors. Finally, they often neglect their health concerns to be there for their loved ones. By revealing some of their potential struggles, the caregiver may be willing but unable. Caregiving and Christmas remind us of the beauty of giving without expecting anything in return. They teach us that giving is not just about material presents but also about giving our time, hearts, and care to those who need it most.

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ANGELS AMONG

US!

IF THERE ARE CAREGIVERS IN YOUR LIFE, SOME OF THE BEST GIFTS HELP THEM FEEL SUPPORTED AND GIVE THEM WELL-DESERVED TIME OFF FROM CAREGIVING.

HERE ARE SOME HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FOR CAREGIVERS OFFER RESPITE CARE: Give caregivers a break by offering to take over caregiving duties for a few hours or a day, allowing them time to relax and enjoy the holiday season.

SEND A THOUGHTFUL CARD OR MESSAGE: GA heartfelt card or message expressing your gratitude and support can brighten a caregiver's day and remind them they are appreciated.

CARE PACKAGE: Assemble a care package with stress relief toys, herbal teas, and inspirational books.

HOME DECOR OR COMFORT ITEMS: Items like a cozy blanket, throw pillows, or artwork can help caregivers create a comfortable and welcoming environment.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT: Grief, stress, and burnout are common among caregivers. Be understanding and empathetic. Let them know it's okay to feel overwhelmed and that they don't have to go through it alone.

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Songwriter| Film & Media Composer| Music Producer

Rob ‘Diggy’ Morrison


“PERSEVERANCE IS THE KEY THAT UNLOCKS THE DOOR TO SUCCESS.” You've worked with such amazing artists behind the scenes like Beyonce, CeCe Peniston, Maya, Martha Washington... What was your most memorable session?

Chicago’s own Rob ‘Diggy’ Morrison is a Grammy award-winning musical savant who has stamped his legacy as a force in the film and entertainment Industry. Rob also uses his passion for music to be a long-time teacher to children with his "Film Scoring Workshops." Rob ‘Diggy’ Morrison has worked with such amazing artists as Beyonce, CeCe Peniston, Mya, and Martha Wash. He has also worked with Sofia Session Orchestra of Bulgaria for the film "Gandhi the Conspiracy.” Described as “The Sixth Man of Music Rob ‘Diggy’ Morrison has recently sealed his position as the Composer for the hit BET Series Carl Weber’s The Family Business.

ROB ‘DIGGY’ MORRISON: It's funny you mentioned him so his wife at the time Pam and I one of my Facebook friends, so I reached out to her and told her I was a composer, she connected me to his assistant Cassius Weatherby who was well known in the industry as well. I sent him a quick note and told him what I was doing, and he said, “Okay I will forward this over to Vassal, but send me your bio." I sent it over and was floored when they responded with various opportunities which led to them offering me a job. Listen, working with him taught me a lot about patience, discipline, and being prepared. I also learned to give myself grace, if you make a mistake, correct it and move on. Then he brought me in during a big project in 2011-2012 called the Swan Princess Christmas. It was different for me because I had never done animation, but the song I did was so phenomenal he added a small orchestra which comes on towards the end of the film. That just goes to show when you can execute projects, on cue when somebody says, which led to me working on a couple more things with him as well as with Sony. But, overall, you must be ready. And he taught me a lot about that.

Who has been your biggest support system throughout this journey? support system throughout this journey? ROB ‘DIGGY’ MORRISON: Naturally, I can say that if I'm in a zone of working and I feel aspirations, say for instance, for a movie. I can watch the film or flow with it I go straight through. I'm just like the viewing audience. I don't know what's coming next. So inspiration will come as I'm working and that gives me an opportunity now to play guesswork. Like what sound would I use next? And it could be somebody walking across the street or, or anything, but I want to use the best sound that attracts that ear and get that air attention.

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There's a high cost to pursuing your vision. What advice would you give to up-and-coming musicians? ROB

‘DIGGY’

MORRISON:

Higher

costs

with

musicians and paying the price is dedication. That's number one. Persistence, prayer, patience, you must have a bunch of things in place beforehand, before you even touch your instrument. Continue to believe in success, if you don't, then you're spinning your wheels. If I see where you're struggling, I'm going to say hey, look, you should try this. Because sometimes you can see potential in people when they don't see it in themselves. Don't be afraid, to post that you are a songwriter, producer, arranger, filmmaker, Secretary, whatever. Somebody's going to see your good works. Communication is key.

You have recently sealed his position as the Composer for the hit BET Series Carl Weber’s The Family Business. How did this opportunity present itself to you? ROB ‘DIGGY’ MORRISON: I got a call from Trey Haley of Tri Destin Studios, and he wanted to know if I could work on a series

called

Family

Business.

I’m

not

sure

who

recommended me but he gave me the information for the project, now mind you this is a major TV show shooting for Viacom-BET, and he trusted me wholeheartedly to get it done. He would send me episodes with my music added, and I was tasked with re-scoring it based on his initial edits. Once I caught a rhythm, I was on a roll. Connected with Rob ‘Diggy’ Morrison on all platforms @RobDiggy and @desiraebbb (Publicist) To listen to the full interview, follow Hardcore Grind Podcast on IHeart Radio.

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ON THE BLACKSIDE DEAR BLACK PEOPLE CONTRIBUTING WRITER VERNICE COOPER Vernice Cooper is a dynamic motivational speaker, consultant, awardwinning author, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who is determined to use her education and experience to inspire, motivate and transform lives.

Everyone deserves and needs mental wellness! It's time to move beyond the notion that therapy is only for or about white people. Black people must have access to mental health resources that resonate with our culture and recognize our history. We must prioritize Mental (Well)ness within the Black culture to create a true sense of safety, security, and community.

Systemic Distrust The long-standing effects of systemic racism and discrimination in the U.S. have created a deep mistrust of government programs, institutions, and services – including psychotherapy - within the black community. This issue must be addressed to ensure everyone can access mental health care. Black folks have often been overlooked in the world of therapy and mental health treatments. However, this doesn't mean we don't need them or won't benefit from them—it just means that Black communities must work diligently to find Black professionals with whom they can identify and connect. Healing is an important part of our journey as Black people, and seeking therapy is one way to move past stereotypes surrounding Black people and mental wellness.

Perspective Therapy is a powerful tool for self-discovery and growth, offering invaluable new perspectives to aid in making wiser decisions. It's easy to get caught up in our own echo chambers - be it with people we know personally or on social media – but therapy provides an oasis of clarity where impartial insight can help us reach a higher standard of living—speaking of echo chambers, who are the five most influential people in your life, online or otherwise? How do they positively (or negatively) impact your headspace? This is important to evaluate regularly as you increase your emotional intelligence.

3 Signs why you DON'T need therapy: You easily forgive people who are NOT sorry. Forgiveness reduces the likelihood of building resentment and improves overall mental and physical health. This is truly an indicator that you are well on your way to emotional wellness and healing. You've never been betrayed. People whom another human being has never betrayed may not need therapy because they don't have trouble with setting boundaries or establishing trust. All of your relationships are in "good standing" You may not be a good candidate for therapy if all of your relationships are in good standing. It means you don't suffer from grief and loss, you don't experience relational disappointment, and you have few reasons to be angry with others. Now that I've excluded the folks that don't need therapy, I hope to see the rest of you on the couch, djacent to a clinical professional, healing, processing, and growing.

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Lashaunda's Corner

TEN THINGS TO DO FOR HOLIDAY BOOK PROMOTION LaShaunda Hoffman is a five-time award-winning Book Promotion Strategist, Four-Time Amazon Bestselling Author, and Best New Author in 2022. She offers book promotion services and coaching to help authors increase their visibility, readership, and book sales. She is writing her first romance – Love In Space, on the Kindle Vella platform. Join her email list and receive a book promotion checklist to help you start promoting your books.

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1. SCHEDULE YOUR PROMOTION

Most authors take a break during the holiday, but I think it's a great way to make some nice holiday money, so I recommend you schedule your promotions while on holiday leave. Pick a day and schedule for November and December; you don't have to worry about it.

2. CREATE A MARKETING CALENDAR

What are your plans for the holiday season? If you plan on doing holiday promotions, your calendar will help you stay consistent with your campaigns to keep your book in front of your readers for the holidays. What type of campaigns: social media, newsletters, and paid advertisement.

3. PROMOTE YOUR HOLIDAY BOOKS

Do you have holiday books in your book list? This is the best time to promote them. Create holiday specials for new readers to introduce them to your holiday books.

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4. CREATE HOLIDAY CONTENT

Holiday-themed blog posts. Social media content - Share holiday stories. Newsletters - Books make good gifts. Create a holiday newsletter to feature your current books. Remember, most readers get gift cards for holidays. Send out an after-Christmas newsletter to remind them of the books they can get with those gift cards.

5. FOR YOUR READERS

Do you send gifts to your readers? It can be a gift card, calendars, books, or mugs. I've even received a planner with the author's website on it. Think of something cost-friendly that will let your readers know you appreciate them. Do you send out holiday cards to your readers? You can send out digital cards or put some in the mail. Let your readers know you are thinking of them during this holiday season.

6. HOLIDAY SALES

I am a bundle kind of girl. I like digital bundles, and I like a good book bundle. Bundles make great gifts. I have a client who offers book bundles for Christmas gifts, and she includes a tote with each order. Consider offering discounts, buy one get one free, or limited-time promotions for your readers.

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7. HOLIDAY FUN WITH YOUR READERS

Host a holiday reading inside your reader's group. Host an open house. Invite your readers to come and spend the holidays with you inside your reader's group or host a Zoom event. This season, sign up for holiday-themed book fairs, author signings, or literary events.

8. END OF THE YEAR SALE

Do you host the end-of-the-year sale? This is a great way to get rid of those books that are collecting dust in your closet. Offer some bundles. Offer some buy one get one free. Everybody loves a good sale.

Follow Lashaundra http://bit.ly/LCHLINKS22 http://lashaundahoffman.com Are You Ready To Become A Social Butterfly?

http://bit.ly/BORLCH Shop at SORMAG Boutique https://sormag-boutique.myshopify.com

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What's Hot In The Literary World Featured Author Short Story

LOVE

REVEALED Ingrid Brown is an Oklahoma native and was educated in Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma. She is the author of a mystery, Village Vengeance, and a historical romance, Miss Sadie's Song.

Part 1

Connect with Ingrid brown

https://authoringridbrown.medium.com/

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As we sat at Kurt’s funeral, my thoughts and emotions ran rampant. I felt guilty because I had not been aware of the gravity of his illness and had, therefore, not been a part of his life during those last months. I had no chance to say goodbye. My sense of loss was even more vivid as I listened to numerous people describe their relationship with Kurt. While listening, I realized I barely knew this person, my first cousin, and now I could only become acquainted with him through the fond verbal memories of others.

He had many victories accomplished during his lifetime. He had undergone a major transformation and overcame odds that would test the average person’s imagination. I had been aware of many obstacles but had no idea how Kurt had met these challenges. I felt guilty that one who knew so little of the person who lay at rest in the burgundy coffin had arrived at the funeral in one of the two family cars and was seated directly behind his closest relatives, ahead of many who had shared his trials and tribulations. They had “been there for him” while I had been unaware of his condition, yet at the request of his sister, Vickie, there I sat. However, these thoughts were to be only a minute portion of my feelings of guilt. The pastor of Kurt’s church, Brandon E. Kinkaid, was my first love. I had not seen him in over twenty years and rarely thought of him. When I did think of Brandon, it was always with fond memories and a smile. Ours was a young, innocent love that spanned junior and senior high school. We broke up during our senior year for no reason, yet we always had a warm, friendly dialogue whenever chance brought us together momentarily. As I prepared to travel to Omaha for Kurt’s funeral, I thought of all of those who would attend Kurt’s service, many of whom I had not seen since I left that fair city. Of course, as I reminisced, Brandon certainly came to mind. Over the years, I tried to imagine how he would look after twenty years. There was no particular attention to my thoughts of him and no extraordinary feeling. I imagined seeing and speaking to him again would be pleasant during an otherwise sad occasion. I was astounded by the emotion that overwhelmed me when I heard his voice. I felt as if I was losing my mind. Brandon looked over the crowd after the family filed into the sanctuary but did not speak. At that time, I was filled with warm, fond thoughts. To me, his appearance hadn’t changed. Although his hairline was receding minimally and he was wearing glasses, I saw the same boyishly handsome person I had known since I was thirteen. He stood only a moment before taking his seat. The music continued, and I focused on those participating in the program. Shortly, Brandon stood again and took his place behind the pulpit. He leaned toward the mike and uttered a phrase I can no longer recall in the beautiful baritone voice I had long ago forgotten. At that moment, my heart began to pound, and my face became so flushed that I feared I would faint. I felt shocked, confused, embarrassed, and guilty. Here I was at my cousin’s funeral, and I was feeling God only knows what for a man that I had not seen in decades. HARDCORE GRIND MAGAZINE

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Radio Host | Designer | Producer | Entrepreneur

Sadie Star


DR. KIANA DANCIE

The City of Glamour Sadie Star came across wanting to be a radio personality in the early 2000s. Her mentor and radio personality from v103 first introduced her to radio. From that point in her life, Sadie Star knew she wanted to become a Radio Personality. In 2017, she enrolled in an Illinois media school in downtown Chicago, Illinois. She signed up for Windy City Underground radio, where she became very popular on and off campus with talk radio. In 2018, Sadie Star graduated and continued to host Windy City Underground. She soon started her first shoe design, and from that excitement, she decided to start a shoe line in 2019 named after her mother, Sadie, who passed away in 1992. Later, she decided to leave Windy City Underground and start her own radio station, WSWT Internet Radio, where she interviewed celebrities and many more. In 2022, Sadie Star wanted more in the media world, so she decided to buy a Roku channel, Stand TV. Her vision for media was high, and her purpose was to have a family-oriented channel where families could come together to see positive things on television. In October of 2023, Sadie Star became the new host of Soul 106.3, The Sadie Star Show, and gave all thanks to her mentor, Seandale from Power 92, her brother Tyrone Walker Delle Del, and Jerome Pace.

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What inspired your journey into fashion and design? Sadie Star: It all started in an art class while in college. My professor gave a project on what you see yourself doing in 10 or 20 years. So, I went home, I thought about it. And I remember when I was a little girl, I always wanted a pair of fabulous shoes. Because growing up, I never had the cool shoes all my friends had on Track Nikes. My mother only bought those shoes for me when I was a certain age. So, I would always tell myself when I get older, I will buy my own shoes, however many I want. And that's what I did. Then, when I became a senior, I said, I am going to design shoes and then Sadie shoes. When I was old enough, I found a website to show me how I could design my own shoes. As time passed, I lost sight of that dream until I was in that class. So, for the project, I designed a shoe, and the actual first I created was that same show from college. And I was like, wow, look at God.

What was the best advice you received along the journey? Sadie Star: Coming up as a kid, my mom passed away when I was like 11 or 12. I didn't have many people in my corner. But the ones that did encourage me when I wanted to give up on certain things. They would always tell me to never give up on my dreams. I'm going to fight. I've been fighting my whole life spiritually. And I had a couple of people that took me under their wings. And just tell me that one day you will be something in life. I didn't see myself as they saw me because I didn't know who I was then. And as I got older, I always kept that in my memory, that I would be something great one day. I may not feel right now, but I will be something great one day. So, I carried that in my spirit throughout my journey.

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When you think about the contributions of African-American women to the fashion and beauty industry, what impact do you want your brand to have? do you want your brand to have? Sadie Star: I see so many great Black women doing wonderful things, and I love it. I love seeing our men do wonderful things, too. But as Black women, we go through so much in life. We carry a lot on our backs. I love that. Another Black woman encouraged me as well. With my shoe line, I want to make us aware. My shoes will fit different personalities, so when women wear them, they feel confident, fashionable, and comfortable. I want my legacy to keep going on and on and on for many generations.

Outside of fashion, you have your own television station and radio show. Talk a little about your journey. Sadie Star: When I graduated, I wanted to create a reality show in Chicago. Many shows are based out of LA, New York, and Atlanta, but Chicago is another big city that you don't hear of a reality having shown for some reason. Therefore, I did the research, and I purchased a Roku Channel on Roku TV. My station is all about rebuilding the community, education, and loving ourselves. You all check me out on Stan TV channel on Roku. I interviewed Chicago artists like Coldhard from Crucial Conflict, K Easy, and Kenny AJ, who has an incredible testimony. I am

You have your radio and TV stations, your shoe line, what's next? Sadie Star: I have a show coming out, which will be called Sadie. It is going to be up on my website, which is www.wswtinternetradio.com.

also a radio personality on Soul 106.3, which is the home of the Rickey Smiley Show here in Chicago, every Sunday from 8 to 9 p.m. God is good; my station is growing, and I genuinely appreciate it.

Stay connected with Sadie Star on all platforms! To listen to the full interview follow Hardcore Grind Podcast on IHeart Radio.

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ON THE BLACKSIDE

Ingrid Brown is an Oklahoma native and was educated in Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma. She is the author of a mystery, Village Vengeance, and a historical romance, Miss Sadie's Song.

Alzheimer's Care Givers I worked as a master's prepared Social Worker in many fields, including Geriatrics. In addition to my work-related experience, I was the lone caregiver for my mother, who suffered from Alzheimer's. Thankfully, my son and cousin joined me during the last years of a sixteen-year journey. While working in a Senior Health Care Center, I developed and facilitated, along with a Registered nurse, in an Alzheimer's Caregivers support group. During the nurse's career, she cared for patients troubled by memory loss. In addition to her professional experience, my co-facilitator was also involved in the care of three family members who suffered from Dementia. My job description also allowed me to counsel providers overwhelmed with the responsibilities and stress of their daunting tasks. My level of involvement leads me to believe caregiving can be a terminal condition. Those called to attend to others full-time often place the patient's needs above all else, including their well-being. I sacrificed my career, my home, and ultimately my health to provide for my mother because I saw no other choice. During my tenure in the medical field, I witnessed caregivers who surrendered much more than I did, with some giving their lives. Yes, it is not unusual to see the patient bury their caregiver. This is a drastic but realistic fact.

Because of my observations, I am committed to giving the caregiver a voice and assisting these heroic persons in permitting themselves to indulge in self-care regularly. This blog aims to share some of my experiences in the hope that some of you will do likewise. I want to speak about the importance of selfcare, give some recommendations on how the quest for self-care may be achieved, and dive into the importance of finding support. But first, I will offer some suggestions for an official diagnosis. Symptoms of Dementia include memory loss, declining motor function, disorientation, changing behavior, apparent cognitive decline, as well as other factors. However, these warning signs may also be manifested in other medical or emotional conditions. Before assuming your loved one has Alzheimer's or some other form of Dementia, please encourage your relative to have a complete physical. My mother had been widowed shortly before she demonstrated a number of the aforementioned behaviors as well as Anorexia. Although I assumed she had developed Alzheimer's, her doctor ruled out grieving, clinical depression, and malnutrition before he considered a diagnosis of Dementia. He then referred her to a neurologist who ran a battery of written and verbal tests and ordered an MRI. It was only after having the results of all testing that the verdict I feared was delivered. Upon receiving the test results from the neurologist, her primary care physician prescribed medication that would possibly slow the progression of the disease, ordered home health, and made numerous other recommendations. We know our relatives better than others, but most of us are not health professionals. If you have a medical background, you know that attempting to diagnose or treat a close relative is ill-advised. Get that complete physical done as soon as possible. Has your spouse, parent, or sibling shown signs of memory loss, altered behavior, etc? Let me hear from you. Let's take this journey together and remember whatever your challenges may be, Today, Choose Life.

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Stylist | Designer | Entrepreneur

Shawntè Barker


FASHION

Stylish LéNese Boutique

4905 Whetsel Ave - Cincinnati, OH 45227

EMPIRE A Fashion Designer and Boutique owner, Shawnté LéNese Barker has worked in the fashion industry for over 17 years. Born in Ohio, Shawnté graduated from the University of Cincinnati's College of Art, Architecture, and Planning. (DAAP) specializing in Fashion Design and Merchandising. She interned with Sears, American Eagle, and Neiman Marcus during college. Coming from a military family, Shawnté loved to travel, so when she graduated from college, she moved to New York City to pursue a job as a Designer. Her first job was at Polo Ralph Lauren as an assistant sweater designer, and then she moved to design for New York & Company. Three years later, Shawnté started working for the Jones Jeanswear Group, where she worked for five years as the Sweater Designer for Nine West Jeans and Anne Klein. Then, she was the Knitwear Designer for Jessica Simpson’s clothing line for two years. Next, Shawnté landed a job as the Sweater/Woven Designer for Women’s private brands at Macy’s, where she worked for six years and was later promoted to Senior Designer. Her journey brought her and her family back to Ohio to become a Senior Designer for Catherine’s/ Lane Bryant. Then Shawnté decided to move to Cincinnati and start her own business. She dreamed of owning her own boutique and fashion line. So, in September 2019, Shawnté opened Stylish LéNese Boutique in Madisonville, where she designs and curates a unique blend of modern and classic styles for Women and girls. This was a vision Shawnté had been thinking about for seven years, and now she is happy to see what new challenges and adventures come with it.

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What was the moment like when you decided to go into fashion? Shawnté Barker: I always wanted to be a fashion designer as a child. So, as a kid, I was constantly honing in on my art drawing, and then I got into sewing a little bit, trying to make my doll clothes and things. When I was in high school, I discovered that I loved science and math, But I kept returning to art and fashion. I'm happy that I had supportive parents. Back in the early 90s, people didn't understand what fashion meant. And when I told them I would be a fashion designer, they didn't know what it meant to be a fashion designer. And I'm just really thankful that my mom was okay with it. She told me I trust your opinion. You know the goals that you set for yourself. And I will help you find what that trajectory looks like. We visited different colleges, and I picked the University of Cincinnati, which offers a degree in fashion design, merchandising, and buying.

What inspires your design process when you're creating? Shawnté Barker: After working in the fashion industry for a long time, I saw what wasn't happening in the industry. How certain people's bodies weren't being looked at and how clothes weren't always fitting people. So I started to hone in on clothing that could help women who have different curvier body types. I get inspired by the culture and the richness of things that are going on in this world. More than anything my mom inspires me, and black women inspire me. I find things that I feel will complement our skin tones, clothes that'll fit our bodies, and our careers. Clothing that works within our busy lifestyle to help us feel confident in our bodies.

If you could change anything in the fashion industry? What would it be? And why?

Shawnté Barker: In my short 20 years of working in the industry, I have been through many ups and downs and worked for many different major corporations. And I am starting to see some changes. But I do want more inclusivity in the fashion industry, having more ethnic designers and more opportunities for people to be designers. I know back in the day, most fashion design degrees were five years, and having the money to afford all the materials and supplies you needed to go to college for fashion design was expensive.

then, working in the industry can be hard to get into and stay in. There also aren't a lot of opportunities throughout the entire United States. So you kind of have to be willing to work in certain pockets. So, I would make the fashion industry more inclusive and sustainable so that there will be opportunities and doors open for minorities.

How do you stay current on all the latest fashion trends and industry news? Shawnté Barker: I am one of those who likes to be up on all the things that are going on in the fashion industry. I read a lot of articles, I follow a lot of the various magazines, and some famous designers. I like to know what's going on in high-end and couture. Right now, celebrities are ruling fashion, and it is incredible to see a lot of actresses, actors, and singers doing well in fashion. They are pushing and moving back and forth, which is excellent, as well as understanding what's happening with fabrics and factories and some new processes. There's a lot of AI happening in fashion right now, and being able to design virtually and digitally helps us be more sustainable. All this virtual reality and virtual games for designing clothes in virtual reality are interesting to learn about. So, I'm trying to stay up on my fashion knowledge. It's always ever-changing. HARDCORE GRIND MAGAZINE

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Now, you own Stylish LéNese Boutique in Cincinnati, Ohio. Tell us about that journey because you left the fashion industry to pursue your brand. SHAWNTÈ BARKER: I always tell people, well, when you're from Ohio, you always come back to Ohio. My husband and I, being from Ohio, decided to come back home so that we could be here to help take care of our parents as they aged. There's no significant fashion industry presence here. There's not much going on. I can cater my design to my custom clients and showcase more of what I see the needs are for women today.

There's a heavy cost to pursuing your vision and pulling everything together. What advice would you give up-andcoming fashion designers who want to enter the industry? Shawnté Barker: It can be very challenging to be a new designer. And I'm learning that there are different niches within an industry. So, being a fashion designer and boutique owner, I've learned that they are two completely separate and different things. You can be a boutique owner and sell clothing. And you can also be a designer, have your own line, and sell clothing. And when you do both of them simultaneously, it has its own challenges because as you're running a business, you have to do many things behind the scenes. A lot of business has to be taken care of when you want to be creative, do your creative thing, have all your creative juices flowing, and make fabulous things. And sometimes you have to be able to bring those two sides of your brain together and mesh them, and you're almost always warring within yourself. So even though it may not be the easiest thing to do, I say if you're up for the challenge, then definitely do it. If you only want a clothing line and not have a store, there could be another way to do it without the challenges of having a store. But it was just the path that I chose, and although there have been many ups and downs, I am in my fourth year and hope to continue and grow into bigger and better things.

INow, you recently had a fashion show. How was that? Shawnté Barker: I love having a fashion show. I can't, I can't lie. I think most people who do fashion want to be able to celebrate it and show your designs. And the Pandemic has lessened our ability to have fashion shows. We were having them twice a year, and then when the Pandemic happened, things got a little crazy. We did not have any fashion shows, so I did someone else's fashion show, meaning I was just a participant in it. But this year was the first year I brought back a fashion show that was specifically for me. I'm the only designer celebrating some of my custom pieces and highlighting my fourth anniversary at the boutique. And it was terrific. Some of my supportive customers were there, and my mom and my husband were there helping out at work. It was a great show.

You teach, and you have your fashion line. You have the creative chops to do so much. What is next for Shante Barker? SHAWNTÈ BARKER: I think the future for me would be to continue to grow my clothing line and use my skills to teach fashion design and sewing. I would love to be able to increase the size of my sewing classes and be able to reach more people sharing my gifts with the world. As we continue to grow out of our current space, we will move into a larger one.

Stay connected with Stylish LéNese Boutique on all platforms! To listen to the full interview follow Hardcore Grind Podcast on IHeart Radio.

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Author| Speaker | Entrpreneur | Publisher

TERRIE BRANCH H A R D C O R E

G R I N D

M A G A Z I N E

32


Terrie’s love for home interior design and community development led her to attend school to become a licensed real estate agent in June 2023. Through her professional and community services, she aims to help more citizens of Hampton Roads discard renting and gain home ownership. She plans to achieve this as part of a fantastic team at CRS Realty Group powered by Coldwell Banker Premier in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Terrie attended Q C Design School for Interior Designing and Home Staging through 2010. Through her many accomplishments, Terrie also started her Cosmetic line, SheerBoss Cosmetics, Clink to ThisWine, in 2014. On top of her busy schedule, she took an interest in becoming a commissioned notary public (where she has served over five terms) as well as a home staging and interior designer. She worked as a freelance makeup artist in 2010 for MAC Cosmetics (with new business ventures on the horizon, be on the lookout!). Terrie's life motto is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”

Terrie Branch is a Hampton Roads, Virginia native. Her author journey began with her first book, "The Game From A Woman's Perspective," which was subsequently received with great reviews! With the success of her first book, she pursued her next writing project. Soon after, she signed with “Kiki Swinson Presents,” where she released her “Gotta Be Sheisty” series in 2015. After this, Terrie’s literary career started to skyrocket rapidly when, amongst other opportunities, she was invited to write an anthology with other successful authors from all over the U.S. The first Anthology is entitled "A Hood Summer Night's Dream" (released in April 2016), followed by the anthology “Sex Therapy”(released in the summer of 2016). In addition to Both Anthology releases in 2016, Terrie completed her fifth book, "Choose Your Poison.” All of her 2016 projects (both Anthology works, as well as “Choose Your Poison”) and the re-release of the “Gotta Be Sheisty” series (trilogy) were all under Shaunta Kenerly Presents (Kenerly Publications). Her later releases include a collaborative project with Author Justin Q Young entitled "Playing with Fiyah” and “Fiyah Starter," as well as “Damaged Goods,” an Anthology dedicated to Domestic violence. If she could choose a favorite book, she’d have to pick “Marley’s Coat,” a Children’s book about her beloved dog Marley that teaches a lesson on sharing! Her latest release is: “Death By Chocolate.” Terrie also serves proudly as a member of the Newport News branch of the NAACP. She served as the Newport News Branch-NAACP supervisory election committee chairman (2020), served on the WIN (Women in NAACP) committee (2019), Executive Board as Membership Committee Chairman, and currently serves as 2023 Vice President. Her passion for the homeless led her to serve on the Board of Directors for Menchville House Ministries.

A black woman who can write is powerful. What does that power mean to you? Terrie Branch: I get chills when I think about it. When I wrote these words, it's fantastic to say: I wrote this 60,000, 80,000, or 90,000word book. Sometimes, I flip through it. And to me, it means inspiration for others. When I see that, all I see is my purpose to inspire others. So when that power is inspiration, it's like it gave me the power to inspire others. And so that makes me get chills because that's something I love to do to help people know they can do certain things, you know. So that's what it means to me. Because when I look at a book and say, wait a minute, all of this, and several levels, is mind-blowing to me HARDCORE GRIND MAGAZINE

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You have a million things on your to-do list daily because of the dynamic and fabulous things you do business-wise and in the community. How do you manage your time to prevent burning out? Terrie Branch: I'm learning to take more self-care time today. Those moments, I can go and sit, just watching TV or looking at my phone, and not be assigned to a job, publishing projects, or doing hair. To sit down and be Terrie, just regular Terrie. Not Arthur, not an entrepreneur, not in the heat of organization, and nothing. It gives me time to relax. Sometimes, we all get caught up so much that we forget about ourselves. I had to like to step back. I'm learning to improve at that every day because I wasn't so good at self-care time initially. I'm the type that doesn't want to let anything fall. I don't want anything to go lacking. I had to tell myself sometimes you might miss a meeting or two. So, I've learned to improve and take care of myself.

You're a very accomplished author, ghostwriter, and publisher. When people start in the literary industry, it is sometimes very overwhelming. What would you say if you had to give the author Terrie Branch: It feels amazing. And I'm going to tell you why. I'm not a prejudiced person or advice?

Terrie Branch: Take your time. Great books are not anything like that, but what I love to see is our rushed. I thought in the beginning, hurry, hurry, hurry, own kind. How cool is it for a little girl, Brown Girl, hurry, but no, and they turned out great. I saw to see another little brown girl, just like her from growth in my work as I went along. I learned that the neighborhood, just like her books at great things aren't rushed. You take your time to Walmart? When I look at that deck, it also gives create great content versus quick content so that me chills because I never dreamed that I would you won't have to go back and look later and see so be. I'm speaking as a woman from a regular many errors. Also, never lose your voice. When you're neighborhood. I didn't have a silver spoon in my writing, stay focused on your voice. But be open to mouth. And now here I am. So that means so corrective criticism from different organizations or much to me because I never even dreamed I people in the industry. People who want to see you did it for fun for the first time. And it just took off are great. Always connect with professionals for your because I was adamant about if I'm going to literary work, not somebody in the neighborhood do it, I'm going to do it. Right. I'm going to be who says they know how to do something. Because professional, I'm going to look professional, those things are essential in developing the best almost speak professional. Amo, I'm going to dress nice. I'm going to work my butt off to book that you can. make sure that the whole look, everything is home, all working together. And so it's fantastic African Americans have been pioneering the to know that you are when I'm booked on a book industry for many years. How does that book tour. I was on a tour with Nikki Turner. And make you feel to be part of the elite authors in now I have Nikki Turner sitting in my chair to get African-American Literature? her hair done. And how cool is that for you to have one of your favorite authors sitting in your chair to do their hair? I'm rocking with the best. HARDCORE GRIND MAGAZINE

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You do a lot for your community, which is fabulous. Now, you're on the board of directors for the Menchville House Ministries. You guys provide temporary housing for the homeless, angered the vice president of the Newport News Chapter of the NAACP. Listen, how did those opportunities come about for you? Terrie Branch: I attended an event at Menchville House; it was an annual dinner. They pulled my heartstrings, and I heard the testimonies from their residents, past and present. I was like, I have to do something. I'm a hairstylist. Let me see what I can do to contribute, aside from just money. And next thing, you know, they had me filling out an application for their organization. They went through an interview process and background check, and the next thing they did was vote for me to be on the board of directors, which was so amazing to me. So now we are working together to make things even better for these homeless families. And it's so amazing to be a part of this because I always dreamed of helping the homeless when I was younger.

And here I am, faced with the opportunity to be on the board helping to run this organization. I started the NAACP just being on a committee of women in the NAACP, and then I'm going on get voted on to the Executive Board, which I was a membership chair for one of the terms. Then, I ran and became Vice President for NAACP in Newport News. Again, it was something I never even dreamed of happening.

Stay connected with Terrie Branch on all platforms! To listen to the full interview follow Hardcore Grind Podcast on IHeart Radio.

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Author| Philanthropist| Entrepreneur | Educator

DR. SMITH JAX 32


Dr. Smith is a Jacksonville native who is passionate about education. Dr. Smith is a University of North Florida graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Counselor Education, and a Doctoral degree in Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. From the time she entered college, she had a career with Duval County public schools. She worked her way through the ranks as she earned her degrees. Starting as a clerk, bookkeeper, teacher, and administrator. Dr. Smith has consistently been recognized for her dedication to student success. Additionally, I taught at Florida State College of Jacksonville, assisting students with earning their GED. As an educator with experience in elementary and secondary education, Dr. Smith wanted to make a difference in preschoolers’ lives educationally before entering a traditional classroom setting. After 16 years at Duval County Public Schools, Dr. Smith departed and opened her first preschool, Minds of the Future Academy. In 2019, Dr. Smith opened her 2nd school specializing in STEM education for kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students. After opening only a few months, city leaders recognized her school as one of a kind for the community. Dr. Smith has secured programs and partnerships to provide students access to lifelong learning beyond her school. She is also the owner and founder of Minds of the Future Foundation – her foundation mentors middle and high school students provides academic tutoring, and awards scholarships to high school seniors. In her personal time, she enjoys research and travel. HARDCORE GRIND MAGAZINE

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The students were already in school, so they were used to working with the particular teacher that they had had. And I tell you, it was tough. Even though it was tough, I didn’t have all the necessary tools, education, background, or training. But I was willing to learn. Learning it was exciting for me. And seeing those children’s faces made me feel like I was fulfilling a purpose. That is when I knew, and from that moment, I never left the field of education.

What inspired your journey into education?

DR. I was a mental health counselor. I graduated with my degree, undergrad, and graduate in medical counseling. I was an accredited counselor from an accredited program. I had an excellent salary but could never find comfort in the job. Going through high school, I was always told I wanted to make money. But even though I made money, I wasn’t happy in those jobs that I was working on. I didn’t feel like I was fulfilling the purpose or the need for my well-being. So, I worked as a bookkeeper in a school and loved it. And I made almost less than minimum wage, but I loved it. I remember working for the principal, and she said, “Hey, you have a bachelor’s degree?” And I was like, yeah. And she said, “Why are you sitting behind this desk? You need to be a teacher. So, what school are you interested in?” And I took a job at the high school that I graduated from. I was about 22 years old and entered the classroom as an English teacher in January.

What is your teaching philosophy? DR. SMITH: My teaching philosophy differs significantly from where I am now. Right now, I’m the Educated Entrepreneur. I love to say, “Get educated to win.” My teaching philosophy is a quote that I live by and teach my students: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. So, when I decided to enter entrepreneurship, I opened up the first free private STEM school on the east side of Jacksonville across the street from my alma mater, high school, my first teaching job. I utilized that quote myself. So, when I was teaching, I would see students that pretty much didn’t have any higher esteem learning because you can’t teach self-esteem, but I can teach you things that can build your self-esteem so they can take 100% of the shots.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

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What has been the biggest challenge in

I had opportunities to make money, but I

your journey?

wasn't happy. So, I had to find what made

DR. Smith: I think the biggest challenge, and even most relevant today, is a program's discipline.

I

believe

in

policy

and

am

responsible for myself as the organization's number one head; this is how I break it down to my parents, community, and employees. For my employees, I’m responsible for the economic development of ensuring they have a place to go to work and receive any income. Then, the most precious gem people have trusted me with is their children. I have a lot of responsibilities under my hat. So, I

me

happy

and

made

me

money.

Because at the end of the day, you have to live, and a lot of times when you're doing philanthropy, or as I call it, the Lord's work, often people do not think that you should be able to live and have a beautiful lifestyle. I will continue working hard and learn how to reap the benefits of

my

hard

Entrepreneur

work.

will

show

The

Educated

all

that

by

exposing, educating, and encouraging the next entrepreneur.

You have a documentary, children’s disciplined enough to understand the vision books, and two of the first free private for what we’re trying to do to prepare me for STEM schools on the east side of a bright future. With us being the first free Jacksonville., What's next? must ensure that my entire organization is

private STEM school owned by AfricanAmerican females in the east side of Jacksonville, we are making some noise. So, I have to ensure that the noise that I’m making,

the

interview

that

I’m

doing,

everything matches what is being seen inside the building.

Now you have a documentary coming out in December, Tell us about the educated entrepreneur. Dr. Smith: My documentary, The Educated Entrepreneur, is about my journey as an educator and entrepreneur. My educational journey started not so great, and I was always told to accept that educators don't make

money.

And

that's

the

actual

DR. Smith: I'm going to start more consulting. I was heavy in consulting in 2020. I believe it's vital worldwide to open up more educational facilities and provide training and support for current educators in the field to strengthen their educational training. If you Google education, it is one of the most complained about careers worldwide. It's not just a Florida thing. I believe in education. And I believe it needs to be respected just as it would be if you were a physician or an accountant. And I want to encourage people to stay in education. I want to encourage them to build from it, find what suits them best in education and what makes them happy, and go for it.

conversation many times: we give interviews and give you the pretty part of the journey Stay connected with Dr, Smith Jax on all truthfully. I didn't want to be educated platforms! To listen to the full interview because they didn't make money, and I follow Hardcore Grind Podcast on IHeart Radio. wanted to make money.

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IS TUBI TAKING OVER? Contributing Writer Kisha Green

Social Media Facebook: www.Facebook.com/1KishaGreen Twitter: @KishaGreen Instagram: @KishaGreen

Have I grabbed your attention? Well, there is some truth to the title because, for many independent writers and filmmakers, Tubi provides a platform for many to turn their dreams into feature film realities. In the last four years, Tubi entered the scene and quietly built a catalog of black independent films, and this was needed, especially if you were a viewer tired of the typical Netflix and chill. In contrast, Tubi showed movies with people of color from all over. Some were natural, and others needed a few acting classes, but they had a story to tell. Tubi gave them a platform when others treated the film industry like a gated community where only the elite were allowed entrance.


IS TUBI TAKING OVER?

Tubi showcases diverse talent combined with the programming of 40,000 films and television series from over 250 providers, including Fox and its affiliates, with over 65 million monthly active users. Tubi has become the home to a lot of actors and actresses who have become fan favorites, such as Jamal Woolard, Mena Monroe, Murda Pain, Kaamal Hasaun, Crystal the Doll, Shelby Leigh, Demaris Harvey, and Markeiva Albritten. These once unknowns have become very familiar, and viewers will agree if Tubi movies do not star those mentioned, they must not be good movies. Enter the plot twist as the beautiful and talented Mena Monroe steps from in front of the camera to behind it and writes and directs her film If I Can't. The film becomes the most popular movie on the Tubi (men and women lie, but numbers don't) but also brings actor Tristan Fazekas to becoming the most hated man on Tubi for his role as Scott. Popularity for an indie film was significant, especially for a female in a male-dominated industry. If this is just the beginning, the future looks very bright for Monroe and others like her who wanted to get their films in front of an audience; thanks to Tubi, she got 65 million. Salute!

Contributing Writer Kisha Green


IS TUBI TAKING OVER?

I watch a lot of Tubi; personally speaking, my film dreams became a reality as I have two films currently streaming on Tubi, Coke Queen, and The Last Bet, so I, too, am proof that hard work and resilience pay off, but that wasn't my first time working on a film as I worked a co-editor, and proofer for Tabari Sturdivant's Love Karma currently streaming on digital platforms. Not only is Tubi supporting the indie film scene but is a massive supporter of series too, as independent filmmaker Silk White has found success with his Black Excellence series as well as his latest blockbuster, All I Want Is You, starring Claudia Jordan, Crystal the Doll along with another Tubi fan-favorite, Lemastor Spratling that tells of a woman who is willing to risk it all when another woman tries to take her man. Fans raved all over social media as they eagerly awaited the sequel. And, of course, once a person enjoys your film, it piques their curiosity to check out other movies by the filmmaker. White is not a one-trick pony as before cinema; he was a best-selling author from NYC who transitioned from books to film with his series The Transporter and It's Lonely At the Top along with New York Times Best Selling Authors, Nikki Turner's On Da Run, Tressa "Azarel" Smallwood of MegaMind Media with the release of All In and The Available Wife, and Jaquavis Coleman's; Everything Is Both to name a few.

Contributing Writer Kisha Green


IS TUBI TAKING OVER?

There's no doubt the creativity and quick production makes Tubi a force to be reckoned with currently. Initially, people heard Tubi and thought it was low budget, but as of late, that has changed as the quality of films and series has improved. The Dirty D series has a huge following, and Chris Stokes and Marques Houston are leaving their film footprints with the success of The Assistant, Best Friend, No Way Out, and The Stepmother franchise while finding the perfect place for reality star turn-actress Erica Mena, who has mastered the art of playing crazy and psychotic. Tubi is legit with accompanying hashtags, memes, and Facebook Groups to support movies and dislike for some with complaints stemming from bad wigs, makeup, baby hair, and BBL's gone wrong, who should star in the next Tubi film and more, but one thing for sure is that they are watching, and that is all that matters.


AUTHOR| ACTOR| DIRECTOR|PRODUCER

SHAUN SINCLAIR


THE ART OF MULTIMEDIA "I don't like to look at the score when I'm still playing the game."

Shaun Sinclair began his entertainment journey when he penned his first novel, "Street Rap." The book was largely based on his life, and he used his real experiences to add unparalleled authenticity to the story. This would become his trademark writing style. He wrote ten more bestselling novels and secured a book deal with Kensington Publishing. Naturally, Mr. Sinclair turned his sights to film. He founded his production company, Pen 2 Pen Multimedia, in 2019 and quickly wrote, produced, and directed his first film, "The Setup". Next, he produced a documentary about his life, "Behind the Pen." Mr. Sinclair went on to produce and direct the feature film, "A Grandmother's Faith." Shaun Sinclair has several films in production.


A black man who can write and express himself is very powerful. What does that power mean for you? It means responsibility. With great power comes great responsibility. So it means responsibility, above all. And by that, I mean having a responsibility. Number one, tell true stories of what the black man experiences. Black man and woman are together and people, but I'm a black man first. And in America, we have to be able to make a distinction between us and everyone else, unfortunately. So, my responsibility is to utilize that justification positively.

What intrigues you the most about writing and storytelling?

Whenever the crowd loves what you're doing, and you're feeding off the energy of the crowd, when I put the mic down and move on to different things in life. I've always been looking for something that can give me the same feeling, and nothing has been able to come close to it until now. When we did the stage play at the Lorain here in Atlanta, I thoroughly enjoyed it because stage play acting differs from movie acting. You have to get stage play acting right because you only Now, you just appeared in your first got one shot. So the pressure of that is Stage Play. Talk a little bit about that exhilarating. I'm the kind of person who experience of playing Issac Hayes. excels under pressure. So just being able to What were these moments like for you have that type of experience on the stage and then have your cast mates to have your as you entered the acting world? back and just a whole different experience, Shaun Sinclair: So it's crazy. Because I just the camaraderie, the family, I love it. And it acted in a play I played where I played Issac looks like we're bringing again in January. Hayes, that was my first time doing a stage play. But of course, I acted in the film Setup, and I also acted in the film Fracture, which comes out next month. First, for the stage play, I enjoyed that experience because I have a background in doing music. I used to be a rapper, and when you perform on a stage, there is a feeling like no other. Shaun Sinclair: The ability to tell our stories because our real stories often aren't brought to the forefront in this culture. You know, they have many black stories written by people other than the people they're talking about. And so it has an unrealistic viewpoint or, you know, slant on it, I should say, for me, when I'm writing, I'm trying to be authentic to one era in which we live and authentic to ourselves.

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Pen2Pen Multimedia, let's talk a little bit about that. SHAUN SINCLAIR: Pen2Pen Multimedia is my baby, the parent company of my vision. I have a few Pen2Pen Films and Pen2Pen Publishing, all under a Pen2Pen Multimedia umbrella. We founded the company initially to do books, movies, and music. And it's so funny because when I first started the company Film, everything I'm doing right now was always the vision, even though I initially started by putting my books out. So, it's just a maturation process for the whole company. As a Publishing company, we've published well over 100 books at this point, closer to 120 books for other authors, not including the 18 I've put out myself. So we put our foot in that space, and then a couple of years ago, we jumped into the film. When we dabbled into film for the first time, we came out with The Setup, some documentaries, and some other films. But I'm shifting the focus primarily to films and the soundtracks behind them. So, everything has come full circle. I started Pen2Pen Multimedia as a book, film, and music company. I took a lot of time building it from the book standpoint, so I'm shifting the focus to movies for the next year or two. The same thing we did in the book space we're about to do in the film space. I will still have books, but my original vision was to have a movie component with every book I put out. I Budding authors sometimes face many have The Setup book coming in 2024, and we just wrapped up the film Sex Mogal, based on challenges that can be overwhelming and sometimes complex due to not one of my book series.

understanding the business side of books. What advice do you have for any aspiring creators?

SHAUN SINCLAIR: I would advise them to know there's a book business. So, once you finish writing your book, you must ensure your business is in order. And want to stop and listen to everybody who hasn't done what you've done or what you're trying to do. The main thing is to focus on your book, write the best book you can put out, and then worry about the book business. You want to transition your mind from the books to the book business.

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Your latest release on Tubi, “Lonely You're a screenwriter, producer, director, at the Top” 1 & 2, stars Karon Joseph author, and publisher. You've done music Riley, Whitney Code, Joshia l. Eady, and acting. What Kori Poe, and Kyra B, to name a is few. next for Shaun Sinclair and Pen2Pen What was the vision behind Multimedia? this project?

Shaun Sinclair: I want to maximize the film space. I have content for days, with 18 published books that must be on the big screen. I just wrapped the first movie based on one of my books. The thing about it is that we all have to understand our why. And my Why for being in a space is that I want to educate and entertain our people. As an author, I've sold over a million books. While that's great, and I appreciate all my readers. I understand some of our population will never read a book, but they will watch TV and go to the movies. So I will do the same thing but just the movie space. Put more movies out and perfect that craft, and I will become the best director of my generation.

Stay connected with Shaun Sinclair and Pen2Pen Multimedia on all platforms! To listen to the full interview follow Hardcore Grind Podcast on IHeart Radio.

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FATHER You loved me Fearlessly while giving me the foundation and assurance to flourish. You showered me with Attention and accolades, my confidence, towers high because you consistently nourished me. You Taught me to share; treasuring service to others, embodying peace and care. You Honored every promise with selfless action. You Empowered me with your knowledge and creativity; and despite obstacles and barriers you never lost traction. By Stephanie Fazekas

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