Fred jan issue 2011 1

Page 1



U.S. $4.99


Canada $5.99










Premiere Issue




Rogue Police



“OH, OH, OH!!!!!”

Shemar MOORE On Life, Love and Lies

The Magazine that takes you on a journey into Fashion, Arts, Entertainment, Gospel, Hair, Health, Fitness, Relationships, Sports & Business


We are hiring

Professsional Sales Associates and Recruiters. You must be a people person, have sales experience, meet deadlines, and be available to attend events. We meet the celebrities, we work hard, but we have Fun! Fun! Fun!

Contact Wendy Johnson at 910-224-6633/910-867-6333 or email your resume to:

TABLE OF CONTENTS Publisher’s page




Newsbreak: Aids is not a secret / shaniya Davis update herring purple heart / vivica foxx salutes wounded warrior


fabolous holiday fashions




THE BIRTH OF Fred Hammond








THE Montage MAN












The rescue of a refugee / sanda markovic












OASIS/Montage January 2011

Carolyn herring-Moore Founder and Editor-In-Chief Wendy Johnson Chief Executive Director Events/Gospel Editor Angela Weis Administrative Assistant Nicole Vornheder Military Editor Traverro Harden Relationships Carolyn Moore Locks Lance Robinson Passion for Fashion Paradise Moore Sports Editor Wendy Johnson Montage Man Editor

Stephanie Brown Health Editor Nicole Samuels (Kia) Outside Editor Contributing Writer Raja Abdulrahim Contributing Writer C.L. McQueen _____________________________ Marketing Department Lance Robinson Executive Marketing Director Wendy Johnson Executive Marketing Assistant Gilda Harris Lance Robinson Michael Chester Sophia, Sandhills Modeling Agency Wendy Johnson Photography Rod Sterling Graphic Design

We the staff of Oasis Montage Magazine wish our sponsors, readers, family and friends a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Blessings, Carolyn Herring-Moore CEO/Founder and Editor-In-Chief Wendy Johnson Chief Executive Director

OASIS/Montage January 2011

ORDER YOUR SUBSCRIPTION NAME ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER EMAIL ADDRESS INCLUDE CHECK OR M.O TO: OASIS Montage MAGAZINE 269 Westlake Drive Suite 202 Fayetteville, North Carolina 910-867-6333 $3.99 per issue savings $1.00 or $15.96 for 4 issues per year savings $$4.04 Please allow 2 wks for shipping once order is received


1940 Skibo Road

Fayetteville, NC 28314 910-988-5565

Offering Very Competitive Price for Wedding Receptions, Family Reunions, Birthday Parties (Children/Adults) and all other events

ADVERTISEMENT SPECIAL $100 PER HOUR Call Today to Schedule Your Event Mention This Ad to Receive an Additional 10% Discount OASIS/Montage January 2011

Oasis Montage



eet the publisher of Oasis Montage Magazine, Carolyn Herring-Moore. In 2008, Carolyn, the daughter of Joe, Ethel and Virginia Herring, was given the vision of one day publishing and owning her own magazine. Carolyn is a natural born entrepreneur that graduated with an Associates Degree in Radio and Television Broadcasting from Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as well as a degree in Communications from Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. Carolyn is a national playwright who has written two major productions, The Gift of Giving, starring Lenny Williams, and Women Shoptalk while Real Men Wait, which is currently on tour. The magazine Oasis Montage Magazine takes you on an extraordinary peaceful journey into a world of Fashion, Arts, Entertainment and Gospel. This quarterly artistic magazine, features a progressive and clear understanding of journalistic creative designs and intriguing stories. The magazine is a national publication that offers advertisement designed by marketing pioneers with creative

OASIS/Montage January 2011

ability. OASIS Montage gives an exciting illustration of interesting editorial concepts with a clear focus of interesting big and small cultural coverage. Our objective is to introduce our readers to a world full of success stories of the small town Icons that brings you joy and laughter of how they went from rags to riches. OASIS Montage readers are kept abreast with the latest fashions and hairstyles, celebrity profiles, cultural changes, health and beauty, and what’s hot in music industry. We share exciting celebrity stories, fashion, fitness, hair and real talk with the Montage Man. The Oasis Montage Staff looks forward to taking you on another eye catching, unforgettable, and extraordinary journey in the next issue full of exiting articles. In this January issue, you will enjoy reading about comedians, J. Anthony Brown, and Sinbad. You will hear the voices of the Life After Abuse stories from Mildred Muhammad, and my own story called, “Just Fix it.” I pray this Holiday issue will take you on a true journey of God’s Love. Remember, Jesus is the Reason for the Season, and He is “The Gift of Giving.”

Wendy Johnson


letters to the editor Dear Carolyn,

Premiere Issue


Rogue Police





“Congratulations on publishing the first edition of the Oasis Montage Magazine. We are just thrilled and Madea and I (your Dad) wish you all the best for your continued success as the Editor-In-Chief. We think it is beautiful.”

“OH, OH, OH!!!!!”

Shemar MOORE On Life, Love and Lies

Love, Madea & Dad Herring Lake City, FL


Congratulations Montage. The magazine is awesome. It is a magazine of quality, very professional, current and informative. This magazine is between Jet and Ebony, I love it. The name is very unique. Keep doing what you do. I’m very proud of you guys especially to my sister Wendy who is the Chief Executive Director.

Gwendolyn Artis Richmond, VA Congratulations on a fabulous magazine. It is very informative. It is an outstanding quality product. I enjoyed reading the magazine. You need to distribute more here. I enjoyed reading the bio page on the staff. It gives it a more personal touch.

Kenneth Sheppard Sr. Richmond, VA

Dear Montage,’ I was excited to read the magazine. Whoever does your layout is an excellent artist. The colors are vibrant and the design is excellent. It is a very nice magazine and I love the layout of it. I look forward to being your next Montage Man when I get $75.00.

Kenneth Sheppard Jr. Richmond, VA

Dear Oasis Montage, I am a distributer for the magazine, and I love the magazine. It looks real good. I read the story about the Police Brutality. That is a sad story, but I am glad there is help out here in Colorado Springs for victims to prevent this from happening to anyone else.

Penny Naab New Look Beauty Supply Colorado Springs, CO

Dear Single Woman Editor, The article on the “Single Woman,” really hit home for me. I can relate to Nneka and her words on the struggles of a single woman. I truly know the feeling of struggling with loneliness for I have found myself with the same issue from time to time. Her quote, “Remember, some men are placed in your life for a season, so don’t try to extend their stay with excuses.” This statement is so true. So many times women will just hold onto a man simply because they don’t want to be alone. It’s like holding onto a dress that’s two sizes too small but you hold onto it because you keep telling yourself you are going to get in it again. The same goes for holding onto a man that has come for a season and a particular purpose. No matter how wrong of a fit it may be or how uncomfortable it is, she will tell herself, “This is going to work.” You have to tell yourself, “He was never meant to stay.” It is unfortunate, but she refuses to let him go because it’s a warm body. He is someone to hold onto, someone to talk to, however, his time is up, he is now trespassing and she is harboring a trespasser who does not belong to her. So I said all that to say, “It’s okay to be single.” Learn to accept where you are, because when you get where you are going, you will appreciate it more.

Pam Johnson Kansas City, MO

To the Montage Magazine Staff and my sister Carolyn, The magazine looks real good. I think it is inspirational to our young people that may not have the ability to step out on faith. I had a hard time reading the brutality article. It was emotional to see someone treated so bad and beaten. I understand that the article helps put closure to the death of a loved one because it helped me. Like Tyler Perry came out on Oprah, I too felt so much pain and fear. How do you say, “Why me, why do I have to be hurt like that?” The magazine is great! Congratulations.

Lillian Frye Sedalia, MO

OASIS/Montage January 2011


aids is not a secret


was a 15 year old highschool student and I lost my virginity to my highschool boyfriend. By the time I was 19 years old, I was diagnosed with HIV. The news was devastating and I stayed in hiding for years keeping my illness from my friends. I am now 23 years old and I can honestly say, “I am not proud nor am I ashamed to be HIV positive.” For the first time in my life, I have control over my life more now than ever. I am no longer in hiding, and I have found my ministry to help others. To some, this disease may have control, but for me, I am in control. I am currently working for a non-profit organization training to teach our people to be self reliant and self sufficient. Helping others is my way of learning that I am an overcomer. I may not be able to beat this illness, but I can help others receive the knowledge to keep from getting the disease. Contracting HIV has been a rude awakening to me knowing my purpose in life. To many I have contracted a death threat, but to me I can help others live long healthy lives with this disease. Helping others is helping me feel good about myself. The lack of knowledge is a deadly game that many people play. The more I speak about my condition the more I learn that I am not the only one going through this situation. Hundreds of individuals in Fayetteville, NC and surrounding areas are living with this same chronic illness. They do not know that there are advances in medication, support groups and programs that will help pay for medication. These programs help to pay for medical appointments and they help guide you to live a longer and healthier life style. Yes 20+ years ago we needed to worry due to no medication being available and HIV being known as a death threat but today in 2010, we can be healthy with HIV positive. I’ve disclosed my own personal experience of living with the HIV

OASIS/Montage January 2011

disease sharing my story with the old, the young, men, women, and local detention centers. I share information with neighboring community events to make them aware of this steadily growing disease that is overtaking our communities. No one ever educated me about the HIV disease when I decided to become sexually active. I was left worried and depressed when I was diagnosed in June 2006. With the lack of knowledge, or ignorance as I call it, there was a grim depiction of my future; or at least I thought there was. My strength to press on was difficult. After I cried for months I soon ran out of tears and decided to do something about my illness, I stopped being mad at myself and I decided to fight back. I channeled that negative energy into positive fight for eternity. It was through the grace of God I learned to I first identify myself by remembering to never give up. He has not given up on me, so I can’t give up on myself. He has blessed me to be smart, talented, open hearted and open minded. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I have decided to spread the good news to the whole world. I faithfully go to my doctor’s appointments every 3 months, and I have learned to take control of this disease and not let it take control of me. As long as I do what I am supposed to do, I will live a longer life. As humans need to take care of ourselves and not wait until a major health issue comes into our life before we decide to be healthy. We all need to eat better, exercise and maintain our well being. My spirit to live has ignited fuel by my fear and the perspective of those who are against me. I’ve learned to deal with reality and I eventually realized that people will always find a way to be against you. I can no longer focus on the people that do not support my work to help others, I foremost had to learn to love myself. Love comes from within yourself and loving you for who you are.

Shannon Bayless

By Stephanie Brown

wnewsbreaknewsbreaknewsbreaknew SHANIYA’S LOVE LIVES

You have to accept your own mistakes and flaws in life even when others don’t. You have to learn to take those trials throughout life and use them as learning tools for your future. Yes I know I’m not perfect, no one is and life still goes on. Through Him I pray to see another day and pray for the strength to do better than the day before. Being HIV positive does not mean you have a death sentence or you are limited to doing things, for me it means that I am a person who cares about other people and our community. The knowledge I now have, I want to give to those that have a lack of it. What I have gained over the years about the HIV disease, needs to desperately distributed to others I share my story with. I was put on this earth for a purpose and for most, they would figure this to be impossible. I want to be the voice for those who can’t speak out. Their silence is the background of letting others know while I am speaking, someone is listening. If you are you living with the HIV virus and you are finding it hard to cope with your diagnosis, simply contact me. I will be there for you when you are feeling down or you feel like giving up. I can help you with many avenues and community resources that can help. I am availabe anytime. You may me by email at or sjbrown02@ or find me on Facebook under Stephanie Brown. Please note, I am qualified to help, and anything you share with me is confidential. You need to know that if I am in control of this disease, you can be in control too.

By Stephanie Brown Children are gifts from God and God ordained adults to protect them. In today’s society, our children are being abused, and mislead by a world full of mindless men. Shaniya Davis was a little girl used and abused by a mindless man. It’s almost been a year since the terrible death of the Ville’s precious angel. Back in November, 2009 little miss Shaniya Davis was taken from her home and brutally raped and strangled to death by the multi-felon Mario Andrette McNeill. He left her body south of Sanford off of Walker Road near N.C. 87. McNeill admitted to carrying the little girl from a hotel room in Lee County after he was seen on surveillance videos. Antoinette Davis, the mother of the child, was arrested days later for human trafficking, felony child abuse involving prostitution, filing a false police report, and interfering with a police investigation. Her bail was set for only $51,000. Ms. Davis was released out on bond while Mario remains incarcerated in the North Carolina Detention Center. He is separated from inmate population. Many believe that Davis’ bail was set too low for the torment that she caused her innocent daughter. Reports state Davis was not fit to take care of her Children at Shaniya’s event child due to her drug abuse and reported neglect of her children. The Cumberland County Department of Social Services (DSS) previously answered calls regarding Davis answer calls regarding her 7 year old son. According to Davis Uncle, Michael Davis, Shaniya was not included in this DSS report. According to Bradley Lockhart, Shaniya’s father, Davis had worked hard to get her life together and had been working for at least six months. She had even gotten a place of her own. Lockhart says, “She had asked if she could be a mother, and I felt she was sincere in asking. I figured she could be given another chance.” Months after the Davis release on bail, her baby was born and the baby girl is now in hands of foster care residing in Fayetteville, North Carolina on a low profile. Children are gifts from God and God ordained adults to protect them. In today’s society, Shaniya’s father and Carolyn our children are being abused, and mislead by a world full of mindless men. Shaniya Davis was a little girl used and abused by a mindless man. On Tuesday, November 16, 2010, Shaniya was remembered by the City of Fayetteville, North Carolina. A memorial service was sponsored by Joe Freeman, best friend of Brad Lockhart, Shaniya’s father and Freedom International Ministries. It was a night of praise, worship, love, and a peace of dove release. The service included inspirational words by the pastor, family friend Rachel Cox, and organizations that challenge the community to Stop the Hurt of a child. A powerful prayer by the pastor was ministered. Pastor brought all children to the podium as they were united by all adults and parents for unity love.= The service ended with inspirational words and a look back of a video clipping of the 2009 Home going. The video clipping was ministered by Pastor Brian Thompson of Simon Temple AME Zion Church. Thompson’s words left a clear understanding that, “We must stop the blame, anger, and pointing the finger at others.” In closing, he asked, “What are you going to do?” The city of Fayetteville is on the move to make a difference and no longer talking about it, they are doing something about it. They are no longer turning the other cheek and pretending they saw nothing and no nothing. They are forming organizations to “Stop the Hurt.” Sharing the love of Shaniya, lives with us forever.

OASIS/Montage January 2011


Long wait for recognition ends as man receives Purple Heart


By Raja Abdulrahim

fter waiting 35 years, Joe Herring said receiving a Purple Heart was a little bittersweet. “I feel good about receiving it even after 35 years,” he said. “I think I earned it doing the job I was requested to do.” Herring, who served 26 years with the Army, was a convoy commander with the 8th Transportation Group in Vietnam when he was injured in an ambush by the Viet Cong on June 28, 1969. He was returning with a convoy to Qui Nhon after delivering supplies at the time. Herring, who wears a hearing aid in both ears, sustained internal damage to his ears and could not hear for several days. He said during that time the sound in his ears was “like a telephone off the hook.” The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces who are wounded during war, but because Herring was not hospitalized for his injuries he did not follow up with getting the medal. “I figured it would catch up with me sooner or later,” he said. Herring has received numerous other medals including the Vietnam Cross Gallantry with Palm, National Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal. But after more than three decades, he still had no Purple Heart so he decided to pursue it himself. Herring’s wife, Ethel, said she thinks he finally pursued it because he heard about another solider receiving the award. She said she didn’t know why it meant so much to her husband saying only, “He’s so military-oriented.” In February, Herring sent a letter to Sen. Bill Nelson regarding the medal. Within a week, he received a response saying Nelson’s staff was looking into the matter.

OASIS/Montage January 2011

After only a few weeks, Herring received a letter informing him that he would finally get his due and that Nelson, a member of the Armed Services Committee, would like to present him with it. Herring said the ceremony would be arranged at the senator’s convenience. “And today is that day,” Herring said Tuesday at the Quality Inn where about 30 family and friends had gathered in the lobby to watch Nelson pin the purple-rib boned medal on his shirt. “Sgt. Herring, it’s really a privilege,” Nelson said as he struggled with pinning the medal. The medal will be hung up, along with his other medals and his discharge papers, in the Herrings’ family room. “It feels different,” Herring said before the ceremony. “I’ve never been the star.” Nelson said all veterans, like Herring, are “humble; they don’t want to talk about their heroism.” Herring said his family was more excited than he was. His wife said she felt “fantastic” and their three children were “overjoyed.” Six of his eight siblings, four sisters and two brothers, also attended the ceremony. Hazel Williams, Herring’s younger sister, traveled from Georgia to attend. “This is the first time we have had a ceremony in the family,” she said. “When they told me it was going to happen I said, ‘Oh I’ll be there.’ Herring was described as “elated” Tuesday. “I’ve been in units where awards are awarded several months later and I always figured it would catch up to me,” he said. After receiving the medal, several people laughed. “And it did.”

(Editor’s Note: “I am Carolyn Herring Moore, Editor-In- Chief, and I want the whole world to know that this is my daddy and I am proud of him.”)



Carolyn Moore


he Salute to the Wounded Warriors held at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, Fayetteville, North Carolina, was a wonderful program that honored our soldiers. The program was sponsored by The Fayetteville Business and Professional League, CDSS Group, LLC, Bragg Regional Task Force, Inc., and The National Council of Negro Women. The special guest speaker made this a program to the wounded warriors that most men will never forget. The male fans call her sexy, fine, and pretty, but Floyd Shorter, President of the Fayetteville Business & Professional League, says, “Sorry dear wife, this woman looks good.” The woman that men love is the Award-Winning Actress, Vivica A. Fox. ” Vivica and Poet Wes Brown were the featured guests at this Day of Honor. The program opened with a prayer by Reverend John Cook of Snyder Memorial Baptist Church. The prayer followed with The Military Posting of Colors, The National Anthem, Recognition of Heroes by Councilman D.J. Haire, and The Fayetteville State Concert Choir, under the direction of Professor Denise Payton. Vivica was introduced by her cousin, Curtis Strong, the Chief Executive Officer, of CDSS Group, LLC. She humbly took the microphone and spoke very graciously. She was full of emotion and extremely honored to be a guest. She was very happy that her cousin, Curtis could arrange to have her be a guest. Vivica shared her admiration for the military and how her brother is in the military. In her speech, she spoke emotionally about her upbringing in the church in Indianapolis, Indiana, and how she left home at age 17 in pursuit of her dream. She said, “The nay sayers said to me, “you ain’t going to

make it.” They don’t know all that I went through and the sacrifices’ I endured. I attended Golden West College, and I use to sneak to Hollywood for auditions, and I was turned down several times. They would always ask me, do you have an agent? I was just a pretty black girl to them with no agent. Satan was busy; I had to earn everything I got with pride.” Vivica ended her speech announcing her performance in the theatrical play, Cheaper to Keep Her, starring her and Brian McKnight. She said it is very demanding performing three to five shows a week with little sleep. She and the cast open every show with prayer and hearing a voice from God. She says, “It’s a sacrifice and a lot of work. It’s not as easy as people think it is. Money, fame and glamour are a lot to keep up with and I work hard.” Tearfully, her final words of encouragement were, “Stick together, love and lift each other up and God Bless you.” Vivica received flowers, plaques, money and gifts from President Floyd Shorter, NCNW Marilyn Powell-Godette, and Padra Strong of the CDSS Group, LLC. Wes Brown, the twin brother of motivational speaker, Les Brown, entertained the audience with a comedic poem. Wes was a 24 year Purple Heart, and Airborne Trooper. In closing of his poem, Wes left the military soldiers with an inspirational word. He said, “Be all that you can be. This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” The Wounded Soldier’s Program was a memorable day, and the program ended with tears of joy and a song sung by Fayetteville State University Choir.

OASIS/Montage January 2011


OASIS/Montage January 2011

Sophia w/sandhills modeling agency

Fabulous Holiday Fashions

Lance Robinson

OASIS/Montage January 2011


Lance Robinson

12 OASIS/Montage December/January 2011

Sophia, Sandhills Modeling

OASIS/Montage January 2011


Lance Robinson

14 OASIS/Montage/January 2011

OASIS/Montage January 2011


Wendy Johnson / Dress Design by GiGi Hunter


Photos By Wendy Johnson Hair designs by Charlise Curtis Co-Owner of X Salon/UnisexSalon

16 OASIS/Montage January 2011



ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS for Infants, Children, Teenagers and Adults

Open Late For Your Convenience

Hours: Monday - Thursday 8AM-8PM Friday 8AM-2PM Saturday 8AM-12PM Bryan C. Dunston, DDS Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

Sidney A. Brooks, Sr., DDS, MGD, ABGD General Dentist

919.499.9950 55 Amarillo Lane * Sanford * 8 miles North of Spring Lake

ACCEPTING ALL INSURANCE PLANS Providers for United Concordia, Delta Dental, Medicaid, and North Carolina Health Choice OASIS/Montage December/January 2011 17


FRED HAMMOND By Carolyn Herring-Moore


n embryo in the womb of a woman flutters and turns. A baby inside the woman flips, and kicks to music that is heard. When a newborn is born, he coos and smiles in his sleep, he hears the voice of the angels speak. When the baby becomes a toddler, he learns to not touch something hot, he walks,

and runs, and he falls into the wrong spot. When that toddler becomes a child, he seeks attention, hugs and love. He can only trust and lean from the man above. That child is young and looks for direction, peace and guidance. He turns to a male and female cousin, who tries to touch him inappropriately in silence. That child finds peace with a friend, a few years older; they listen to music to soothe pain wishing they were older. The child is sad that he is only liked, but not loved by this woman that birthed him, that child who is now a man, is the birth of Fred Hammond. 18

OASIS/Montage January 2011

The wonderful Award Winning Gospel Artist of 20 Stellar Awards’ and 12 Grammy Awards’ we all love, is Fred Hammond. Fred’s story of who he really is was revealed 3 years ago before his mother died. Fred grew up in Detroit, Michigan and his mother at the time, was a single mom that raised he and his brother. Fred was given a gift of music at an early age. He had a small inexpensive guitar, and later his mother purchased him a $400.00 guitar. At that time, Fred’s mother had no idea that this guitar was going to bring out his gifts in such a magnitude. Fred did not have the desire to be a great entertainer. Living in the city of Detroit, there was a lot of talent. Fred says, “Detroit is not a place to flock, and my mother never flocked me at Christmas like most parents do. She use to tell me, “If you open your mouth, you could sing as well as Michael Jackson,” but I was shy. All I wanted to do was just play the drums. I didn’t think I could sing. I loved Jermaine Jackson and Stevie Wonder. I was fascinated with drums, the bass, and all the old school artist. I use to listen to James Cleveland, Lou Rawls, Eddie Kendricks, Smokey Robinson, and since my dad liked jazz, I listened to a lot of that. We had Hi Fi back in the 60’s. It was a big old piece of wood that stood 3 feet tall and 10 albums would spin on it. It was so loud, you could hear it outside. I loved Stevie Wonder’s song, Signed, Sealed, Delivered. My life was watching cartoons doing my chores, and hanging out with my friend who was 4 years older than I was. I was about 8 or 9, and I’d go to his house to listen to Jimmy Hendricks. I loved going to his room, he had privacy. He had the coolest room, and his walls were filled with things a little boy my age shouldn’t have seen, but I liked it. My life as a kid later led to drugs. My cousin would have me sniffing glue. I never knew at the time that this could damage your ribs and kidney’s. My cousin use to watch me get high. He is no longer alive; he died in a drug deal.”

“She use to tell me, ‘If you open your mouth, you could sing as well as Michael Jackson,’” OASIS/Montage January 2011


“I had nothing that looked like life, it was only because of the Holy Ghost that I made it. I was a product of a mistake and Fred was exposed to a lot of brutality, drugs, prostitution, orgies, and babysitters that tried to molest him along with his female and male cousins. His father, who was a wonderful man, adopted him. Ray Hammond was a great father to Fred. He taught him how to be a man. Fred says, “I had nothing that resembles a normal life, my father died when I was 9 of colon cancer and I was the protector of the family. How do you protect a family at 9 years old? My mother was always angry with me, I was a secret that everyone else knew about, and she wished I was never born. My mother liked me but she did not love me. My mother was a nurse and she worked 2 jobs. She was a choir director and I use to watch her direct the choir. She put fire in a choir that could not sing. My mother had a passion for God.”

20 OASIS/Montage January 2011

Fred’s voice became emotional when he discussed his mother. He shared the story of how he was aborted. I told him I did not understand how a person can be alive, but be aborted? Fred then went on to say, “I had nothing that looked like life, it was only because of the Holy Ghost that I made it. I was a product of a mistake and illegitimate. My mother and I had a rocky relationship; I tried hard to make her laugh. My sense of humor is because of her, she never laughed. 3 months before my mother passed away, she told me how she aborted me. My mother was 72 years old when she told me this story; her heart was broken as she apologized. She went on to tell me that she had a DNC (minor surgery to remove tissue from uterus) when she was 3 months pregnant with me. After the DNC, she went home, called the clinic and told them she

thought the procedure did not work. They told her to come back. When she went back, they laid my mother down and they were going to crush my head. This was legal, but my mother said she ran out the clinic yelling, “God is going to kill me.” I am not supposed to be here today, God thought enough of me that he pushed me back into her womb. I am supposed to be doing, what I am doing today.” The ministry of Fred Hammond is like none other. He shared an emotional and unforgettable story that has truly made him the man he is today. I asked Fred about his father, and why his mother tried to abort him, he went on to say, “My mother was about to lose her family, the man she was with was not my father. It was a bad relationship and having an abortion was to save her life. I was labeled illegitimate and a mistake.” I then asked Fred if he ever knew his biological father, he responded, “I didn’t know him as my dad, or who he was, but I found out that he was there most of my life. I have his temperament and I am gifted like him. He was a cool calm cat, one of the gentlest guys I had ever met. He loved God and his family. I was his secret. When I was 28 years old with my group Commissioned, a message was delivered to us while we were rehearsing. The message was, “he died.” At that time, I did not know this man was my dad or who he was. This man was there in most of my life, he was in the shadow of my life. The group all knew who he was, we all knew him, and I just didn’t know he was my dad. I cried, I felt like my soul was crying as I was sitting with 2 guys. I didn’t know why, or what was going on. 3 years after his death, my mom told me he was the guy. All I could say was, “Wow.” It didn’t feel great, I was never angry, but I did have counseling. My mom thought I would never forgive her, but all I wanted was to be allowed to talk about him. It was not an easy time, it was rough. I and wrote him letters and I needed him at times. I always forgave him and my mom.” I asked Fred if who he is today was inspired by his mom, he responded, “I would say so. That guitar she brought for me years ago made me what I am today. It has allowed me to make sure my mom had the best life she could have ever had. She did not want for anything. Her departure was emotional, but I could say, yes it is because of her and God.” Fred and I talked briefly about his divorce and his children. His

daughter, Breeann is 22 and she a national spokes model. She is a licensed cosmetologist, and like her mother, she has a 3.8 G.P.A. in college. She is a wonderful singer, and Fred puts her out front to sing a cappella during concerts. His son, Darious is his heart. Darious is a quarterback and defensive back in football. He often comes to Fred’s room singing. Fred says he knows Darious is going to be great. When we talked about Fred Hammond’s music and world of business, his voice lit up with joy and he immediately started discussing his partner, Roy Campbell. Fred expressed a genuine love for this man. Roy Campbell is Fred’s partner that resides in Florida. When he talked about Roy, Fred was proud of their relationship and talked about Roy’s support. Fred says, “Tons of investors would not try, but they did not have a heart for God; this is what brought me to Jacksonville, this is what brought me to Roy Campbell. Roy had a heart for my music, and he has been right there. We are learning a lot. This guy stuck by me, he is encouraging, and he has a heart for God. At the end of the day, we are recipients to make this happen. We are fighting an industry that is hard. Roy has truly been a blessing to me and my family. There is no one that has done the things that Roy has done for us. Though we are in two different states, we are partners.” FHFE, FRED HAMMOND FAMILY Entertainment has released their praise and worship CD which includes a DVD. The DVD is presented by Fred Hammond and R.L. Campbell Management Services Inc. The DVD has warehouse worship and it is an innovative Gospel and Arts presentation. Over 200 people came to audition for this production. It is combined with live music, dance, drama and inspirational messages. I found Fred to be a wonderful man of God with a heart of Gold. His love for God is his first love, and God is the master of his music. A favorite song that he has produced, is Blessed. Like Fred, it is a wonderful testimony to know that God brought you through the trials, and He blessed you. It was truly an honor to be allowed to tell the story of such a humble and great artist. My heart goes out to Fred for sharing his emotional and inspirational life. I can truly say that I was blessed by the story of a mother and a wonderful man. I thank God for The Birth of Fred Hammond.

I didn’t know him as my dad,

or who he was,

but I found out

that he was there most of my life

OASIS/Montage January 2011


SINBAD KEEPS IT CLEAN By Carolyn Herring-Moore


e’s back and he’s a bad brother. He has gone from playing Colorado college basketball, to the military, to a World of Clean Comedy. The great family man has had his ups and downs, but no matter where he goes telling his comedic jokes, he keeps it clean. The man I’m talking about is the famous actor and comedian, David Atkins, also known as Sinbad. He is the son of a preacher, and he has a love for children. Starting out in comedy, Sinbad traveled on the Greyhound Bus, city to city, just to keep it clean. His love for God and family has allowed him to be a well respected comedian. In November, 2010, Sinbad came to the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, NC. He worked the audience with his personal touch and humor. He has no script and as a stand-up and he personally talks to the audience. The joke that had folks rolling in laughter was the one about his father calling his name loudly, Sinbad answered, “What!” His dad made an appearance face to face with him, and he began to stutter. “(with anger) Who you talking to?” Sinbad replied, “Ddddaaaddd I was talking to my friends (stuttering) uh the ones down the street, I was just talking to myself.” His dad laughed and said, “That was a good one son.” There is no doubt, he is a natu-

22 OASIS/Montage January 2011

ral comedian. One woman said to him after the show, “I love you Sinbad, you just have clean comedy for the whole family, I wish there were more comedians like you.” He was gracious and humbly received the comments. His limo was ready, but he took out time to talk to the fans. Sinbad made his historical mark starring in movies such as Houseguest and Cosby spinoff, A Different World. He is a man that is making a difference in the community with his fight on Aids, and no matter where he goes, he keeps it clean.

Shemar MOORE OASIS/Montage January 2011 23

24 OASIS/Montage January 2011

Zenobia Smith

The “Kansas City Songbird” with a Message for the World By Traverro L. Harden


ophistication, charisma, class, and downright professionalthat was my first impression of Ms. Zenobia Smith. To make the first impression even more poignant- we were interviewing via telephone. What a woman! Model, songwriter, voice instructor, actress and singer- the “Kansas City Songbird” talks to Montage Oasis about her triumphs, obstacles, and vision for her work. Now known as the “Kansas City Songbird” for some thirty years, Zenobia Smith got her start in music singing with her five siblings under the group name “The Smith Family” in Ogden, Utah. The last of the progeny of a family of musical prodigies, she was able to witness the rise in notoriety of her siblings in the local music industry after her move to Kansas City, Missouri in the late 1970s. Spontaneous on-stage performances at the request of her gospel artist sister and her love-ballad writing brother gave rise to a comfort with being in the spotlight. It was after college that Zenobia began her ascent into gospel music, “I had given myself and my gift back to the giver of life. And I knew that my destiny was about spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love all music, and enjoy singing R & B and some jazz, but gospel music is my heart’s desire. I have no regrets.” Her adventures in the music industry and collaborations with fellow gospel artists have given this songbird wind beneath her wings. She stated, “I love Minister Daryl Coley; we actually became prayer partners having worked together when I was on Genetter Bradly’s Board of Directors for her Music and Arts Seminars. I enjoyed meeting Donny Hathaway in a recording studio in Chicago while recording with the group Roger Akers and God’s Chosen People. I have loved traveling abroad and realizing the love for gospel music in Germany. I met Jennifer Holliday and Yolanda Adams in Houston, Texas before they became well known. And Pastor Shirley Caesar pulled me on stage to sing with her.” Although she has counted her journey in the music industry so far as a blessing, it has not been without its obstacles. While attempting to record and finalize her soon to be released album entitled, “An Invitation to Sing,” the producer held the music for three years. After a brief legal battle, Zenobia was able to relinquish her material and begin recording under the production of what she deems “a like spirited” producer, Jonathon Strother (also her nephew). Her persistence, professionalism, and commitment to her vision have turned the dream of a new album into a reality. Her favorite singles on the

upcoming release are “Isaiah 40:31” and “Thank You.” Of “Isaiah 40:31,” she says, “We live in a microwave world. We want instant coffee, instant tea, instant oatmeal, and we want to drive through and supersize everything as we go. Isaiah says, ‘They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.’ When we wait on the Lord, that means we trust Him, and seek His face while you praise His name, then you can turn around and see the salvation of God and His blessings will overtake you.” At this point, I realize she’s ministering to me. She continues, “My next favorite song is ‘Thank You.’ The reason I love this track is because I feel so blessed to be able to wake up and see brand new mercies every day- to have health and strength, food, and shelter. God is so great and merciful that I cannot begin to tell it all!” Ms. Z, as I have so affectionately dubbed her, has ministered on stage with the likes of Pastor Shirley Caesar and Vanessa Bell Armstrong while recording with Edwin Hawkins, Minister Daryl Coley, and Richard Smallwood- just to name a few. Although she counts gospel music as her primary goal, this performance diva is also thespian and model venturing into, and doing well, in the arenas of stage acting and plus-size modeling. On October 31, 2010, Zenobia took the stage in Fayetteville, North Carolina as “Rain,” a woman in love and scorned in Carolyn Moore’s stage play “Women Shop Talk While Real Men Wait.” When asked what “Women Shop Talk” was for her, she answered, “Playing the part of Rain was different. I have played mothers, aunties, and grandmothers before but never a woman in love. So I had to wrap my mind around this role…I became one with Miss Rain and I really loved playing her. Even more, I loved all the people that I got to meet while doing the play.” With the overall life purpose and vision to go another level in ministering and “give people hope, make folks smile, and help soothe broken hearts,” Zenobia Smith plans to continue shining her light and life unto the world to be a testimony and pillar of God’s greatness and strength. When she passes from this earthly realm, she opts for the one line eulogy, “If you knew me, you had to have loved me, and if you know what I know, keep smiling because I will see you again.” It’s obvious that with her skills, talents, and message for the world, even beyond the sky- is no limit for this soaring “songbird.”

I had given

myself and

my gift back to the giver of life.

Peace and Blessings

OASIS/Montage January 2011 25



Listen up ladies as this issue’s Montage man takes us on a journey through his thoughts on Life, loyalty, and love.

Alvin C. Williamson What makes you a Montage Man? “I believe a real Montage Man is a God Fearing Man. I firmly believe and live Philippians 4:13 “I Can Do All Things through Christ, who Strengthens Me.” A Montage Man is charismatic, dapper, intelligent and very well groomed. He can cook, clean, or when called upon can be the best dressed Man in the room. A Montage Man sets an example for his family, and especially for his children. I never bring my work home, so my children only know me as their father and not as the Army Medical Service Officer. Through all my strengths, no man is without weakness. I believe a Montage Man sets the tone for his children and keeps them from discovering that he has weaknesses. A Montage Man is a Dreamer. I have big dreams for my family and I aspire to make each year better than the next. I think a Montage Man listens, is loving and is willing to compromise for his woman. He holds it down in the house, he cooks, cleans and do the laundry sometimes so his Montage Woman doesn’t feel like she’s being a slave for him. He does little things like that to let his woman know he’s thinking about her needs too. Lastly and most importantly, I believe that greatest reason I am a Montage Man is that I Love and treat my wife Like No Other! To me the best example a father of boys can set for his children, is to love and Honor their Mother. Treat her as the beautiful African queen she is and provide for, encourage her and always keep her beside me. For these reasons I believe I am a Montage Man. What type of lady would be your Montage Woman?? I believe My Montage Woman is a God Fearing Woman. I believe very firmly that we should be of the same yoke and so she should believe and live Philippians 4:13 “I Can Do All Things through Christ, who Strengthens Me.” With that said my Montage Woman is a beautiful, intelligent, sexy, elegant and sassy woman. My Montage Woman is a woman who is capable of being good on her own but extraordinary with her Man. My Montage Woman is a proud woman. She will not stand for any mess nor will she take no mess. My Montage Woman is a woman who takes pride in being a Mother. Children deserve the best and boys and girls need that Motherly Love and Affection, as well as that sharp tongue to cut straight through the nonsense and get them back into shape when necessary. My Montage Woman must arouse my intellect through thought as well as command my attention just by walking by. My Montage Woman loves me with all my good and flawed deeds. I am nowhere near perfect and have my faults; however my Montage Woman loves me for me. She must believe that God handpicked us to be as one. Lastly, I believe without a shadow of doubt that my woman is a Montage Woman, because she treats me as a King. She encourages me to be better each day. Whether in fatherhood, work, Church or life in general, she pushes for excellence. They say one way to kill a Black Man is to kill his dream, My Montage Woman believes in my dreams. We are where we are today as a family because of it. My Montage Woman My Wife Renee!!!

26 OASIS/Montage January 2011

Last issue’s

Montage Man Ilkan Ali




There was laughter, a dinner buffet, and a night of dancing that was in the house of Bentleys. What more could the over 25 year old ask for. They enjoyed good old fashion comedy in the house of Bentley’s Night Club. The crowd laughed out loud and danced all night until after hours. Local Fayetteville comedians entertained the audience as Comedian and movie Drumline’s Actor; J. Anthony Brown hosted the stage with his jokes. The VIP crowd loved the show and they greeted the comedians after the show for pictures and autographs. The Promoters, Panama and Melissa are a couple that seeks to keep the Fort Bragg and Fayetteville community happy with their upcoming events. It is their determination to make the little city of Fayetteville the most desirable place to enjoy with some good old fashion fun and a night on the town. Thanks to Panama and Melissa, laughter in the house of Bentleys, was a standing room event. The couple and their staff look forward to bringing their next show to Fayetteville.

OASIS/Montage January 2011 27

Words and photos by Wendy Johnson


s saggin your pants here to stay? Is it in forever or are our young men so lost that this fad and trend setting phase is out of control. Parents are speaking out about their disappointment. They are disappointed that their children are becoming a part of the trend. The children are no longer leaders, they have now

become a part of today’s saggin phase. They are now bringing their crack to the younger family members and bringing a world of displayed crack, to their mama’s house. 28 OASIS/Montage January 2011

Inger Guin, a 45yr-old mother of Louisville, KY says, “It’s disappointing to see boys, young men and even older men, with their pants hanging down showing their underwear. Hopefully they’re clean! Some of them don’t even wear underwear and that’s just NASTY! They wear their pants so low they can’t even walk properly. If they try to run, it’s a wrap, everything is falling. Some women are even saggin, what type of statement are they making? These young men wear pants that are too big for them just so they can get their swag, I mean sag on. They even sag in skinny jeans and that looks awful. As soon as they bend over, all you see is CRACK IN THA HOUSE. What is up with the today’s parents? Are they feeding into this madness or what?” Louise, a 46 year old Christian woman with teenage sons of her own says, “Don’t nobody wanna see your dirty dralls in public. You know I tell my boys the same thing my mama told me, wear clean underwear when you go outside because you never know when you are going to get into an accident.” I visited the Historical Black College, Fayetteville State University and interviewed a few students that were not saggin. I asked each one of them, Why do you think young men sag? Kevin Paige Jr., a senior at the college says, “The reason why men sag is because they think it makes them look cool or thuggish.” Justin Sanker says, “They sag because they think they can get a woman’s attention doing it, but in all actuality, it’s not cute.” I ran into a well dressed communication major, Terrence J. Lynch, and he says, “The real meaning of saggin is not being implied, and instead it is glamorized and portrayed as acceptable. It is also appealing to the eye.” The last student I interviewed was Odell Winfield. Odell is a junior and states,“The reason why young men sag is because they are ignorant to the history behind it.” Saggin follows along with it not only being a fashion statement, but in reality, prisoners wear their pants low because they aren’t allowed to wear belts. Belts are used as weapons to commit suicide or to hang fellow inmates. A 35 year old former inmate of Missouri says, “One reason men in prison wear their pants low is to let other inmates know that they are the property of another man. The lower you wear your pants, the easier it is for other inmates to have physical access to you.” In the historical research I found, there was a written article by a college student. The article stated, “Slave owners’ intentions for not allowing slaves to wear belts were to demoralize the field workers. Slaves were forbidden to wear belts as they worked in the fields and other areas.” This of course was a prevention to keep slaves from running. It is unfortunate that today’s trend to sag in society has taken over. For women it is even more disappointing that some men no longer dress to be presentable or dress to please them. Women watch men walk and sag, and parents are disappointed that young mean are running a contest to see who can sag their pants the lowest. Are our young men going to ever wake up? Will this trend and fashion statement every change, or IS CRACK GOING TO BE IN THA HOUSE FOREVER?

OASIS/Montage January 2011 29


By Mike and Diana Midyette

30 OASIS/Montage January 2011

Lance Robinson


e are Mike and Diana Midyette. Our daughter, Jole’, born January 16, 1980, was diagnosed with Wilm’s Tumor at thirteen months of age. Wilm’s Tumor is a childhood form of cancer that develops in the kidneys of children age four and under. The cancer was found to be totally contained in Jole’s right kidney. The kidney was removed and she endured six months of chemotherapy. We were told her left kidney might sustain damage from the chemotherapy. At age seventeen Jole’ was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome. This meant her left kidney had suffered damage and was starting to have problems. At age twenty-three she was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), which meant her remaining kidney was failing. She was eventually put on dialysis and placed on the list for a kidney transplant. On February 11, 2006 we very unexpectedly lost our daughter when she suddenly stopped breathing and could not be revived. She was twentysix-years-old. In the last several years of her life Jole’ became very involved with The American Cancer Society and Relay For Life, helping to raise money for The American Cancer Society (ACS). In the summer of 2005 Jole’ held the first Team Underdog car show as a means to raise funds. For this she re-

ceived the 2005 Top Individual Fund Raiser award from the ACS Relay For Life. She intended for this to be an annual event. Her family and friends have taken hold of that vision and hope to take it to the extent Jole’ intended. We have expanded our sights to include a non-profit organization called The Joy Of Love Everlasting (JOLE) Foundation and sometimes includes partnering with other organizations such and The National Kidney Foundation and Operation Home Front. As she became more ill, Jole’ became uninsurable. When she passed away there were no funds to help with her funeral and burial expenses. Thanks to many of our family and friends we received help to get this accomplished. The original purpose of the JOLE Foundation was to help with the medical and/or funeral expenses families must face when a loved one is considered uninsurable. As laws change and are enacted the JOLE Foundation will help others in other ways (yet to be established). We held car shows in 2006, 2007, and now in 2010. The winners of this year’s Team Underdog car show were as follows: Motorcycle: 1st Place-Roberto Santana-’07 American Iron Horse Legend 2nd Place-Kenneth Melvin-’05 Harley Ultra Classic Classic: 1st Place-Jesse Spencer-’72 Camaro 2nd Place-Melissa & Sean Deutsch-’65 Chevelle Modern: 1st Place-Shawn Hudson-’07 Chrysler 300 2nd Place-Bob Workman-2010 Camaro Full-size Truck,Van,SUV: 1st Place-Chris Howell-’02 Ford Harley Davidson Truck 2nd Place-Kenneth Melvin-’84 Silverado Mini-Truck: 1st Place-Shane Cashwell-’96 Ranger 2nd Place-Max Tapiz-’92 Ranger People’s Choice: Jerry Beck-’94 GMC Jimmy Gavin’s Award: Martin Williams-’59 Ford Galaxie

OASIS/Montage January 2011


THE SILENT DRUM Words and photos by Lance Robinson


n September 18, 2010, a wondrous experience of an American Indian festival was taking place on the beach at Buckroe Beach Park. This was a magnificent display of Indian pride and culture. The beat of drums were heard from a distance. Crowds gathered near the beach and in between the bodies of the people, bright colors and lots of movement could be seen. Along with the beating of the drums,a rhythmic chanting was recognized. The vibrant colors and brilliant red colored featherd clothing was of an amazing true life experience of an Indian Pow Wow. This was a phenominal experience of a the frontier days. Jose an Indian and his family are from Equador. They travel through out the year with the Pow wow almost every weekend. The main purpose of the Pow Wow is to give them an opportunity as Indians to gather and commune with each other. By doing so, they are keeping in touch with their rich heritage and traditions. As we all know, if it were not for the Indians generosity and hospitality, the first settlers would not have made it to tell there story. Without the help of the Native American Indians, we would not have one of our most important holidays, the holiday that brings families together from all four corners of the planet. This is the one holiday that allows families and friends to take time out to put differences aside and embrace each other with forgiveness. This is the holiday that people go shopping for great sales, and movies are made. On this day, large stage show productions take place in New York. Less not forget this is the holiday where the largest and most festive parades in the country take place on this holday, “ Thanks Giving�. It seems as though the world has forgotten how this all began and who to thank. The Indians were here first, but looking at the world, you would not know it. The Indians were forced to live on Reservations in a land where they used to roam free, we should remember them as we give thanks to our God Almighty.

32 OASIS/Montage January 2011

OASIS/Montage January 2011 33

34 OASIS/Montage January 2011

OASIS/Montage January 2011 35



By Paradise Moore

36 OASIS/Montage January 2011

Wendy Johnson and Lance Robinson


he NBA Team, Charlotte Bobcats purchased by Michael Jordan in March, 2010, played against the Oklahoma Thunder in Fayetteville, North Carolina at the Cumberland County Coliseum. Michael Jordan purchased this team for $275,000 million dollars from BET’S, Bob Johnson. Jordan, a native of North Carolina is determined to turn this team around that places 22 out of 44 teams. Jordan was on the bench at the Fayetteville Pre-Season Game. At the time of purchase, Jordan said to the news, “I’ve never been asked to be out at the forefront of an organization. I never had the financial commitment to do that. Now I have. Now I’m involved. How can I not, when I own 80 percent of the basketball team, I have to put my face on the organization?” Jordan was a man of his word; he was out on the forefront. Although the Bobcats lost playing against the Thunders, they played a good game and gave the Thunders a run for their money. Jordan left the game with a smile of pride and determination to make the Bobcats a winning team. When the game was over, The Bobcats signed autographs on the backs of t-shirts of Charlotte children from an elementary school. These children traveled to watch the game and waited patiently outside the locker rooms. The players were honored and took pictures with the children.

OASIS/Montage January 2011 37


Wendy Johnson

By Nicole Vornheder

38 OASIS/Montage January 2011


he is young and beautiful young college student of Methodist University, Fayetteville, North Carolina. Her life has been a tremendous hardship and horrible effects that would leave most people scared for life, but not this young lady. She has bounced back from a tragic childhood to a gorgeous model of Oasis Montage Magazine. Her name is Sanda Markovic, a rescued refugee. Sanda is Croation and she grew up in Bosnia. When she was 4 years old, her country went to war. She remembers watching her neighbors running from their homes with a radio sharing news about the war. Shortly after the war started, her father left to join troops as a sense of duty to defend his country. Her mother and brother left Bosnia to go to Kastela, which is located at the southern tip of Croatia. Because they left Bosnia, Sanda and her family have now become refugees. Their first stop was a resort for refugees which later led to them being relocated to a hotel in the slums of Kastela. A few months later, they moved in with a cousin and stayed with them for 2 years. When the war ended, Sanda, her mother and brother left Bosnia to go to Kastela, which is located at the southern tip of Croatia. They found their home to be intact as well as the churches and schools. The war left these things untouched. Although their lives were altered, the Markovic family tried t`o have a sense of normalcy for their children and she excelled in her studies. Upon her second year in high school, she was chosen to go to the Sarajevo to represent her school in a competition. This was to represent the United World College.

This is a program sponsored by Nelson Mandela and Shelby Davis as an effort to promote international understanding. Sanda was then chosen to represent Bosnia at the Red Cross Nordic United World College. It was her first time away from home and everything was taught in English. Sanda could only speak conversational English and studying was difficult for her. She won a full scholarship to attend Red Cross Nordic United World College. In 2006, she graduated from the United World College with International Baccalaureate which is the one of the most demanding high school programs in the world. In the same year she won 2 full scholarships from Methodist University. She is extremely proud of being chosen first to represent Bosnia in Norway, and then in America. While at Methodist University, she participated in a fundraiser to help raise money for S.O.S children in Bosnia. She believes that everything she has gone through in her life has made her a better person. She was taught not to take anything or anyone for granted. While still living in United States on a working visa, she continues with her goals and she is planning to attend Methodist University once again, but this time pursuing her Master’s degree. Sanda was once a lost child who has now bloomed into a wonderful woman of God. She is determined to not let the tragedy of the past destroy her dreams and ambitions. Today, she is grateful to be restored and a rescued refugee.

OASIS/Montage January 2011 39

One Woman’s Journey from Victim to

Survivor T

here are many definitions for the word “victim.” I have never thought of myself as one because of the way women are treated under this title. Therefore, I did my research of this word, to find a definition that would describe it in terms that I would understand. The definition that settles within my spirit is as follows: Victim – One harmed by or made to suffer from an act, circumstance, agency, or condition. For me…this definition is correct for every aspect of what I went through as a victim of domestic violence. Sniper Targets Wife My journey into domestic violence began early in my childhood, when no one was clear on what domestic violence really was. It would take me years to understand it and still, after my personal experience, I’m puzzled as to why this terrible social dis-ease has not come to an abrupt halt! I am Mildred D. Muhammad. My former husband, John Allen Muhammad, the convicted sniper for the DC metropolitan area, would be arrested for randomly killing innocent people in a reign of terror that held the Washington, DC area literally hostage for weeks in 2002. It would come out later to the public that I was the intended target, although law enforcement knew it at the time. The theory: after my death, John would come in as the grieving father to reclaim the children, and to receive the crime victim compensation monies. No one would have been the wiser because I would have been randomly killed like the other victims. He would have been looked upon as a loving father re-gaining custody of his traumatized children. Abuse Not Physical Because my abuse was not physical, I was not taken seriously by anyone! I was a lone voice crying in the wilderness for help and my cries went unheard. I truly believe if I’d had a scratch or a bruise or broken bones, then “real” help would have been available to me. Psychological Warefare John’s abuse towards me was mental, verbal, spiritual, economic,

40 OASIS/Montage January 2011

By Mildred D. Muhammad

and involved stalking – all the abuses that cannot be seen by others! He was very strategic, analytical, and proficient with the way he carried out this abuse. Because he was trained in the military as a combat engineer, he was skilled in psychological warfare and used me, without my knowledge, as his “test project.” He would make me think I was not clear on what I was saying. In domestic violence, it’s called “crazy-making.” I thought I was going out of my mind. He would jokingly put me down in front of others, but I knew he was serious. Others would laugh because they thought it was funny. I would walk away hurt. I remember telling him how I felt. His response: “It’s mind over matter. I don’t mind because you don’t matter!” Fasting When we separated, he would give me $50 a month for food for me, our three children and my mother to live on. Someone had to sacrifice for there to be enough food for everyone to eat. I began practicing, thoroughly, one of my pillars of my faith: fasting. I would eat enough to sustain myself, but the bulk of the food would go to my children and my mother. He still had a key to the house and would come into the house in the middle of the night and stand over me. I was too scared to move. I believe that had I moved, I would have been killed. I knew since he was trained in military warfare, his night vision was already in effect. Had I opened my eyes, he would have seen the white of my eyes. I could not take that chance, so I listened closely for footsteps and movements as he left the house. I soon saved enough money to have the locks changed on the doors. That angered him even more! I truly believe from my personal experience that those of us who suffer without physical scars in silence with verbal, emotional, mental, economic and spiritual abuse are traumatized severely as victims. All the evil, hurtful things that are said will continue to play long after he is out of the picture. I believe that it is equally difficult to come back from, to live with, and to move forward from. “As My Enemy, I Will Kill You” When John said to me, face-to-face, “you have become my enemy and as my enemy, I will kill you,” I knew it was time to leave. Anyone who really knew John knows that when he said that to me, his intent was very clear. Now, what was I going to do about it? I began going first to friends. They sent me back telling me that he was tired, and asked “did I have food ready for him when he was hungry?” Moreover, some even asked what I did to him, or what wasn’t I doing for him. In essence, it was “my fault.” When he forced his way into the house, I called the police. When they arrived, he had already left the residence. They told me that since his name was on the lease, there was nothing they could do.

They told me I should file a restraining order to begin a paper trail to document his behavior. They gave me the paperwork stating where to go to file. The next day, I went to the courthouse to file the restraining order. It was a one-page document that took me four hours to complete, not because it was complicated, but because I was crying so hard, I could not see the page. I was thinking, “what am I doing here, how did it get to this, and what did I do to make him feel this way about me?” So many questions, not enough answers! I even thought of walking out, not filing the paperwork at all. I called a friend and was told to complete the paperwork. “You have to protect yourself and your children,” my friend said. After that conversation, I went to the bathroom, washed my face, and completed the paperwork. That was the hardest thing I had to do at that time. The restraining order was issued in February 2000. Child Visitation We had decided verbally that visitation of our children would be every other weekend. A friend of ours would transport our children between us. That went well for two weekends. The third weekend, March 22, 2000, would be the last weekend I would see my children. March 27th was my mother’s birthday. He was supposed to bring them back by 5:30 p.m. for her birthday because my children and I had plans to take my Mom to her favorite restaurant. 5:30 p.m. came and our friend brought a note to my mother from my youngest daughter, Taalibah. In the note were two dollars and a picture she had drawn telling her grandmother, “Happy Birthday.” I asked our friend where the children were. He said he didn’t know. I began paging John at that time. It was at 7:35 p.m. that he returned the call. Our son, John Jr, was on the phone. I asked him to ask his dad when he and his sisters would return home. I heard him ask his dad the question. Then he came back to the phone and said we would be back in an hour. “We are shopping for the clothes you told dad we needed,” he said. I said “okay.” That would be 8:35 p.m. When the time came and went, I began paging him again. It wasn’t until 11:35 p.m. that he called back. This time it was John Sr. I asked, “when are you bringing the children back?” He said, “we are en-route from Seattle and will be there shortly.” Again, I said “okay.” It was in the process of hanging up the phone that I became nervous. I felt butterflies in my stomach. I knew something was wrong. He did not bring them back! My heart stopped beating; my world became gray! My children were gone! My life as I had known it with my children was over. I didn’t panic. I waited until the next day. I called the school at the time I knew they should be there. I spoke with the secretary and asked if my children were there. She said, “no, Mrs. Muhammad. You can call back anytime.” I continued to call for that week. They were not there. Finally, I went to the school that Friday. I spoke with the secretary. She said they were not there. I went to Mrs. Bullock’s class. She was John’s favorite teacher. The children were outside playing for recess. I went into her classroom, closed her door, walked over to her and said, “John has kidnapped the children.” I began crying uncontrollably. She hugged me, and helped me to sit down. She gave me tissue to wipe my tears. She asked, “Have you called the police?” I told her no. She told me to go home and call the police. She gave me a strong hug and told me if I needed anything to let her know. I needed that. On my way home, I could only think of my mother. When I arrived home, she saw me and screamed to the top of her voice because she did not see the children with me. “He took our babies, he took our babies,” she said as she was crying. “What are we going to do?” I said, “I don’t know Mom, but I will do something.” I learned later that John had emptied the bank accounts, which left

me penniless. Because of the stress I was under, I had passed out. The doctors found that I had lost three units of blood and needed to be hospitalized. It was at that time that my mother called the hospital, and informed them that John had called her and said that he was coming to kill me. The hospital took the necessary precautions and secured me in a different room. After four days in the hospital, my mother moved to Maryland and I moved into a shelter. I was there for eight months before moving back to Maryland. It would be September 4, 2001, before I would get my children back. I learned that John had taken them to Antigua the night he was supposed to bring them back from shopping. He had them there for 18 months without my knowledge. And it was there that he met and victimized Lee Malvo. D.C. Shootings The shootings began in September 2002. Everyone was terrified of the sniper, including me! We were looking for a white box truck with two white men doing the shootings. The police came to my home October 23rd to question me about John. They later took me to the police station where they would tell me they were naming him as the sniper. They knew he came here to kill me. They placed my family and me under police protection until the threat of danger was over. After that time, I went to various agencies for assistance. However, because I did not have the physical injuries to “prove” that I was a victim, I could not get the financial assistance that I needed for my children and me. They offered counseling, but we needed food, clothing and shelter. Most, if not all, agencies are set up to assist victims/ survivors that have physical scars with their financial well-being along with counseling. For those of us who don’t have any scars, we have a serious uphill battle getting the assistance we need. Commitment to Positive Difference This has to change! There are thousands of women who suffer in silence (i.e., professionals, service workers, homemakers, etc) who don’t have physical scars because their victimizers are aware of the attention this will bring to the situation. You never know who you are sitting next to…a victim or a survivor? Just like there is a “victim compensation” program…there should be a “survivor’s compensation” program. I began thinking of other women who have suffered because they did not have the scars to prove their abuse and began my organization, After The Trauma, Inc. My focus is to help survivors of domestic violence get the assistance needed. This organization has become my passion. I have spoken at victim assistance conferences across the nation about my experiences, with the hope that it will help other survivors in their recovery process. I personally provide support and referrals to other survivors who contact me in desperate need of guidance and assistance. I wake up every day committed to making a positive difference for women like me. I feel I am up to the challenge. This is the work I’m to do to add another link in the chain of organizations in the struggle to help other women who find themselves in a domestic violence situation. I am one voice. Let our voices together continue to make a sound loud enough to be heard by those who can change the laws to protect the women in this country! I’m a Survivor and I’m not going to give up! Mildred D. Muhammad is the Founder/Executive Director of After the Trauma, Inc. (, a Maryland-based National Organization that assists women and children who are victimized by domestic violence.

OASIS/Montage January 2011


just fix it! MY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TRAGEDY By Carolyn Herring-Moore

42 OASIS/Montage January 2011

of names while kicking me. He then spit on me and started walking towards me. Ed then picked my body up and started carrying me to the car. At that moment all I could think was, “He is going to drive me somewhere to kill me.” We arrived at the military base, Fort Carson Hospital. Ed tried to check me in, but they told him I’d have to go to Memorial Hospital because that particular weekend was not my drill weekend. The ambulance rushed me to Memorial Hospital where I met Colorado Springs first black doctor, Dr. Oderia Mitchell. When he saw me, he looked at me and gave me my options to fix my leg. When he asked me what happened, all I could silently mumble was, “Just fix it.”

Gilda Harris


have had several tragedies in my life, but the one but the one that left me speechless and mumbling the words, “Just Fix it,” stands closest to my mind. It was my last incident of Domestic Violence; married to my ex-husband, Ed. It was on a first Sunday, we had just come home from church and serving communion. Ed said, “They’re talking about me in the church. They’re saying I am gay.” I immediately started laughing. Ed became offensive with my laughter and started getting loud and violent. I saw that my laughter made him angry and I told him I was just going to go change my clothes and take a walk. Ed then became more vocal and asked me if I were the one that started the roomer in the church. I thought to myself, “Me start a rumor? That’s ludicrous!” I responded, “Why would I do something stupid like that? That would reflect me. Maybe it is your fault they are talking about you. Every time we get in an argument, you are the one that goes to stay with the gay pianist. All men stay with him whenever they have marital problems. I’m going to take a walk.” Ed became extremely mad and yelled, “You don’t walk away from me, let me help you out the door.” A total transition of my life had immediately came over me. Ed picked me up over his 6ft 2in body, and threw me over his shoulders. My body went one direction, and my left leg went another. My leg snapped in half and began to hang with the bone protruding out of my skin. I could not scream or holler. The pain was worse than child birth. Tears flowed from my eyes like a water faucet. I then said, “You broke my leg.” Ed started yelling even louder in anger calling me all kinds

marry the right rib By Angela Weis

Wendy Johnson


en it’s time to find that individual who has your rib, and women whose rib do you have? We must stop settling for whoever comes along. God has only created one person for each of us. That individual has been pre-ordained to be our other half. A wedding is an event little girls dream of. They plan and even role play marriage their entire lives! Do marriages last forever? Does every girl truly find her prince charming? So many questions, but the answers are unique in each couple! These days people marry for numerous reasons. They marry for love, financial stability and just because it is the right thing to do. Ask yourself, “Why did I get married?” God never meant for us to be alone. (Genesis 2: 23-24.) “The man

said, ”This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman,” for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” God created man and then made woman to complement him. Marriage is God’s fix for the fact that “it is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18.) Every person dreams and makes plans for the future and they work hard to see those dreams and plans come true. But to make the most of life, we must include God’s plan in our plans. He alone knows what is best for us; he alone can fulfill his purpose for us. As you make plans and dream dreams, talk with God about your plans. Make sure the spirit of the Lord speaks to you and you marry the right rib.

OASIS/Montage January 2011 43

adult affair I

t’s not a husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend or a harem of women; it’s a unique, descent, friendship thang. Some would classify this as a business unusual unity, and some would call this an “Adult Affair.” I was a 19 year old young man from Saginaw, MI. I had a first time relationship with a woman named Irene. Irene was a smart career minded woman who chose me to impregnate her. Irene found me to be attractive with gray eyes, wavy hair with light skin. I was chosen to create a son named after me, LaMar. My relationship with Irene was very infrequent, distant and non-loving. Irene’s love interest was not a kind of a man like me; Irene needed me to suffice her present relationship with a she. Irene was a lesson for me as a young man to learn, I learned that women can be users. Irene changed my perspective on life, and I quickly learned how to have an Adult Affair. My 7th Sense of Reason evolved eight years later allowing me to interpret the Privilege of being where no man has ever been. I received key elements of an “Adult Affair.” It is above all, out of upmost respect for my mind; and the success in achieving the ulterior goal of success and psychological skills. I applied the elements of an “Adult Affair” to a Native American Lady while traveling between KansasOklahoma. I met Nimuli, a single lady with two kids, and she was living off a supplemental income, welfare. Nimuli was certified in upholstery, with diploma-equipment. I asked Nimuli why she doesn’t

44 OASIS/Montage January 2011

apply her skills or start her own business. She explained, “There’s no upholstery jobs, and if I had money to start my own business, I wouldn’t be on welfare.” I then suggested she needed me, a man to be in her life to help her start her own upholstery business. She queried if there was any strings attached. I explained that I am not talking about a hair-pie, love or girlfriend boyfriend relationship; I am talking about an “Adult Affair.” This is an affair where the word man is symbolic to the mind. I will apply my mind to her skills and build her into a successful woman. In my mind, this would be her success and ultinmately it is my success. This of course would be my initial investment. Nimuli and I entered the “Adult Affair” contract which was to be real with one another. I acquired couches, love-seats and chairs from garage sales inter alia and invested into necessary fabric and materials. Nimuli applied her upholstery skills and we sold them via newspaper ads, bazaars, and etc. 10 months later, Nimuli had a store front and a contract that provided welfare recipients with refurbished furniture. In 14 months, Nimuli passed the $30,000 mark; and told me she was tired of me. I pray that every woman that reads this article realizes there is a marked difference between a relationship and an “Adult Affair.” Choose who you will, but consider giving yourself to a man of God because he has committed to your success, not your physical form.

Lance Robinson


Living Life in Love

The best is yet to come

Text and Photos by Wendy Johnson


wo couples were entering the Golden Corral Restaurant on Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, NC. As the first couple entered, she kissed his cheek during their night out on the town. Al and Ruth stopped to eat at one of their favorite restaurants. During their night out, they enjoyed their meal and each other as they gazed into each other eyes while they were living life in love. One could only dream of being married for 40 years. Al and Ruth Kozusko spent their 40th anniversary at a place where Ruth always wanted to go, The Pittsburg Zoo. Al loved the idea because he is a Pittsburg Steeler fan and going to the Keystone State turned out to be an eventful and memorable anniversary. During their interview, they were asked, “How does it feel to be married for so many years?” Ruth said, “It only feels like 8 years and you have to have GOD in your life in order to succeed in anything.” Al said, “Being with Ruth feels like we just met.” Some people can’t even imagine themselves being married to the same person for 1 year, let alone 58 years. Flora and Alger Hardnett was the second couple, they are an excellent example of living life in love. Mr. and Mrs. Hardnett are childhood sweethearts and have been married for 58 years. They lived right next door to each other until he graduated from high school and joined the Military. During their interview, they were asked the same question, “How does it feel to be married for so many years?” Their answer was quite different. Flora said, “Everything has its ups and downs but you have to have faith and trust in each other.” Both couples are a true inspiration to young couples that may find it hard to stay together. As you can tell by both interviews, they are living life in love, and “The best is yet to come.”

The Kozuskos

The Hardnetts

“Happy Hours” Mon-Tue 9:30a.m.-2:00p.m.

Located at: 6085 Raeford Rd. Suite 104 Fayetteville, NC 28304

Shampoo Roller Set $15.00 Wrap $10.00 Trim $10.00 Shampoo Only $5.00 Relaxer Deal $60.00 (Relaxer, Haircut and conditioner) OASIS/Montage January 2011 45