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Volume 9 – Number 33 MAY/JUNE 2018










contents 7. Heart & Soul 8. Jones High School students perform at Carnegie Hall 9. Artist on the Rise – Lady Smooth Sax 10. Libraries Rock 13. Content creators connect to support film and music producers 14. Surprise mom this Mother’s Day 15. IFE-ILE keeps Afro-Cuban culture alive 16. ONYX Magazine’s Women on the Move 18. Leo Bennett: Father of Funk Fest 21. Good Read – Sarasota authors tour 23. Education 24. Money Matters 26. Why representation matters in mental healthcare roles 29. Father’s Day – Fathers want to have it all, too 30. Cover Story – Joe Morton: What’s next after “Scandal” 31. Paul Anthony is in Full Force against cancer


JOE MORTON WHAT’S NEXT AFTER “SCANDAL” In an exclusive interview with ONYX Magazine, Joe Morton explains how life looks after the hit show Cover and above photo by Benjo Arwas


35. Health/Wellness 37. Keep your shirt on – melanoma awareness 38. Profile: The Ritz Chamber Players 39. Profile: CeCe Teneal Williams and Soul Kamotion 41. Business 42. Technology 43. Real Estate 44. Nature hike leads to national bird 45. On the Quad 48. Men’s Fashion 49. Women’s Fashion 50. Florida Scope 52. ONYX on the Move 54. Food/Wine

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ASSOCIATE EDITORS Laura Dorsey Gayle Andrews Sharon Fletcher Jones



Family, Thank you to each of you for your words of encouragement, cards, flowers and acts of kindness shown to our family during the loss of my sister Pamela Marie Black. Her death was unexpected however, she lives on in all of those she mentored, and in the hours of hard work she devoted to ONYX Magazine, the building of the monument to honor Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune on the campus of BethuneCookman University and in so many other facets of life. Her motto in life was, “Do what you got to do!” She will be missed but not forgotten! Remaining true to our claim to entertain, inspire and inform this issue is dedicated to National Black Music Month. We are proud to feature legends who gave rise to much of the music we know and love today as well as a few new artists who are starting to climb the charts. On the cover, meet Emmy Award-winning actor Joe Morton. He is best known for his portrayal of ‘Papa Pope’ of ABC’s hit show ‘Scandal.’ As the hit series ends, Morton is delving into a music career of his own. Check out what he’s up to now as he transforms his career from television to the big stage. This issue will also include musical reviews from Full Force to Funk Fest. You’ll meet a few of Central Florida’s rising stars; Lady Smooth Sax (Jo Anna Fleming) and CeCe Teneal and Soul Kamotion, recap the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented to the choir and band at Jones High School, one of Florida’s oldest Black high schools, as they were selected to perform at New York City’s Carnegie Hall and much more.

PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR Brandi Jordan BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Matt deJager CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Talia Ashley Alexi Anderson Colin P. Davis Damani Dickerson Laura Dorsey Marianne Eggleston

Susan Friesen Lena Graham-Morris Mark Hillery Peter Jideonwo Sharon Fletcher Jones Gayle Kaufman

Yanela McLeod Damien Priester Erin Sullivan Neri Torres Kevin Washington, Ph.D.

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Kerrick Williams Photography Damani Dickerson Shane Valentine ONYX ADVISORY COMMITTEE Deidre Parker, Chair Michelle Tatom, Immediate Past Chair Bob Berryhill Dr. Lavon Bracy Bryon Brooks Marva Brown Johnson Hon. Mable Butler Yolanda Cash Jackson Dr. Cynthia Chestnut James Clark

John Crossman Tony Hill Alma Horne Rodney Hurst Ann Jenkins Connie Kinnard Larry Lee, Jr.

Nancy Port Schwalb Margaret J. Thompson Gail Thomas-DeWitt Hon. Alan Williams Carla Williams Dr. Samuel Wright Lady Dhyana Ziegler



Rich Lester and Lillian Seays ONYX Magazine is published by ONYX Communications and Media Group, Inc., Address: P.O. Box 555672, Orlando, Florida 32855-5872. Phone 321-418-7216. Subscription rate is $19.95 for six issues. For subscriptions and notification of address change, contact ONYX Magazine at the above address or e-mail us at Letters to the editor are encouraged. Copyright 2018 by ONYX Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the writer or interviewee and not necessarily those of the publisher. Manuscripts, photos and art should be submitted with a selfaddressed stamped envelope. The publisher does not assume responsibility for any materials not submitted in manner advised. Unsolicited materials are not subject to payment from ONYX Magazine.



Going and Growing with the Flow By Kevin Washington, Ph.D.


ife is filled with what appears to be ebbs and flows, ups and downs, increases and decreases. What you do during the down time will greatly influence how long and how high you fly when things are up. When things appear to be down, many often make some less than good decisions: engaging in unhealthy sex practices, illicit drug usage, excessive alcohol consumption, and very harsh talk. Negative thoughts create a reality of negativity. Remember that whatever you reap during the harvest was determined by what you planted during the sowing season. View life as a continuum and during down moments, continue to plant good thoughts, words and actions, because good planting eventually results in a good harvest. Even in unfavorable weather, a farmer continues to plant good seeds trusting that the good harvest will occur. The farmer knows that a bountiful harvest is contin-

gent upon his planting good seeds. He continues to plant even after experiencing unfavorable weather conditions because he knows that troubles don’t last always. The farmer knows there has to be a break in the weather sometime in his favor. The flow of life brings plenty to us at times and it withholds much from us at other times. Seek to experience abundance always and just grow with the flow of life. Here are few things you can do in the down times:

1. Gain control of your thoughts because every action is preceded by a thought. 2. Weed out negative thoughts and monitor self-talk. It is estimated that 60 percent of all talk is self-talk. Do not allow that which is stifling growth to take root within your mind. 3. State affirmations that affirm a more abundant reality. Make statements like: “It

is my time to be divine.” “I have tried that other mess, now I am going to be my very best.” “I am making strides toward manifesting my greatness.” When you know what you are all about, then you can throw the entire old negative junk out. Know that a down or slow moment is simply taking you through a transition for a profound life transformation. Know that things slow down so that the great moment can get lined up. Know that the down time is only a set up for your greatness to be manifested. Give your best to the universe even when you don’t feel like you have anything to give. Remember that the universe operates via the process of reciprocity. If you give nothing, then you should expect to receive the same. If you do the unexpected best, then you should not be surprised when the best comes to visit us at an unexpected time. We reap what we sow.

Kevin Washington, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and academician in Orlando and Washington, D.C.



Jones High School Students Perform at Carnegie Hall The Orlando students received a standing ovation from an audience of nearly 900. Staff Report


tudents at Jones High School (JHS) in Orlando held concerts, washed cars, and sold T-shirts to raise enough money for a chance of a lifetime—performing at the world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York City in April. The Concert Choir and Wind Ensemble needed $200,000 to accommodate more than 100 students, staff and chaperones. Comedienne Ellen DeGeneres heard of their efforts and, along with Wal Mart, donated $100,000 to help them make the trip. They raised more than $238,000 and were on their way. The WorldStrides Festival, run by an educational travel company, selected about 4,000 students from 90 U.S. schools through video auditions. In April, the youngsters stood on the famed stage and did what they do best. When the moment finally came for JHS, the students could not have been more elated. “Performing at Carnegie Hall made


me feel like I was a part of history,” Angel Thompson told ONYX Magazine. Thompson is an 11th grade principal clarinetist. “In the beginning, there was the sudden rush of nerves followed by adrenaline, but I would not have changed it for anything in the world.” Band Director Jamaal Nicholas, who also is an alum of Jones High School, described the experience as “absolutely breathtaking and deeply humbling.” The ensemble performed several songs, among them “Nathan Hale Trilogy,” by James Curnow. “Having the opportunity to conduct my students on one of the most coveted stages in the nation gave me tremendous pride,” he said. “I pray that my students, their families and the entire Jones High School community shares that pride and honor as we continue to build on what is a rich legacy of excellence.” The JHS Concert Choir selections included “Rockin’ Jerusalem” by Damon

H. Dandridge. One student said the experience was like a dream. “Carnegie Hall was a trip of a lifetime. Never in a million years did I think I would be on a stage that every great musician has performed on,” said David Danforth, and 11th grade tenor. “This was truly a dream come true and I did it with the best group of people, my family—the Jones High School Concert Choir.” “The experience at Carnegie Hall was life-changing. From the airplane ride to the performance on stage, it was just simply amazing,” said Andrea Green, the director of the Concert Choir and a JHS alum. “Our students were outstanding in rehearsals and received a standing ovation from the audience (of nearly 900) after their performance. I have never been so proud of a group of students who displayed true excellence in music.” The moment will not soon be forgotten. Congratulations!


Artist on the


Photo by Portrait Innovations

Lady Smooth Sax: JoAnna Fleming Music is a unique gift that evokes our emotions, gives expression to our deepest sorrows and to our greatest joys of life. At an early age, JoAnna Fleming (Lady Smooth Sax) came to appreciate this sentiment, which ultimately led her to becoming a professional saxophonist, singer and songwriter. Growing up in the small central Florida town of Espanola, JoAnna has many beautiful memories of quality time spent with family and friends. Those occasions were always made better by great music. The joy of listening to and creating music was instilled in JoAnna by her loving parents who have always shown a deep-rooted passion for music and taught their children to play nursery rhymes on the family organ, despite having no formal music training themselves.

Today, JoAnna brings joy to her listeners by performing live as a solo saxophonist, sharing song covers, and recording original music. She has performed live for audiences varying in size from several dozens to thousands of jazz festival concert goers. JoAnna has been performing in concerts and jazz bands since the age of 12. She later earned the John Philip Sousa Band Award, a pinnacle of achievement for high school band students. Throughout her college years, JoAnna collaborated with various local bands, and has since been performing Smooth Jazz, R&B, Pop, and Soul Music professionally throughout the Southeast. Recently, she parted with the corporate world to focus on performing full-time. Lady Smooth Sax has released two original singles (available on iTunes,

Spotify, Google Play) and is currently recording new and original upcoming releases! JoAnna’s love for the craft of creating music and inspiring others on their personal musical journeys, has led her to posting music videos and tutorial videos to help and encourage other artists. She is now an accomplished YouTube artist with more than four-million video views! Being an African-American female saxophonist at times has had its challenges, but as JoAnna navigates her way through life as a musician, she is determined to continue to create captivating music, and inspire as many as possible along the way. Contact Lady Smooth Sax via email at, or find her on social media via YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram.



Content Creators Connect To Support Film and Music Producers By Marianne Eggleston


lorida has thousands of content creators who aspire to gain access into Central Orlando’s entertainment business. Visit Orlando’s website indicates in 2017 there were about 68 million people traveling into Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties, whether for a day trip or a week-long vacation. Keep in mind, due to Orlando’s huge tourism population, the people who work and perform in most of the local area venues are very talented. This includes independent filmmakers, music producers, performers, actors, writers, students; and new talent both young and old. The Orlando Urban Film Festival (OUFF) is a Content Creators Connection and Network and a great place for creative people to collaborate and share ideas. OUFF helps to connect talent and showcase their products. The OUFF Team of executives have more than 20 years of experience working with major entertainment companies and superstars. OUFF has also helped hundreds of Central Florida’s independent filmmakers, actors, models and producers screen their projects in major movie theaters. Many students from area schools and colleges such as Full Sail University, University Central Florida, Valencia College, Dave’s School, and others have been honored and awarded by OUFF. The 5th annual OUFF hosts are Meekaaeel Muhammad, Dinahlynn Biggs and Lance Stephens. Muhammad is a songwriter, producer and studio engineer and designer. He has worked with Kool & The Gang, The Jacksons, Tyrese, Billy Ocean and others. Radio Personality Biggs has been a nationally syndicated program director, promoter, and producer for more than 35 years. Fashion designer Stephens, the founder and CEO of HakatRe, has an impressive background in art history, graphic design, music/soundtrack composition, multimedia and film. During the past two years OUFF has supported The Orlando Independent

Conductor Dunn Pearson, Jr., will be presented the Decathlon of Music Entertainment Award.

Filmmakers (OIF) group and will feature over 10 productions from their “Spring Flix Challenge.” The OIF Group has a membership over 2,000 from those interested in film arts. Documentary films to be screened and a panel discussion with the filmmakers include: Harry T. Moore - Dr. Florence Alexander, Director. The Groveland Four - Keith Salkowski, Director, Producer and Writer and Executive Producer National Productions WUCF Central Florida PBS. Lies Uncovered: The Truth About The Arthur G. Dozier Reform School For Boys - Duane Fernandez, Director. Rising Orlando filmmakers’ projects to include: James Hunter, Director - The Season, Sean Roberts, Director - Amrak: I Matter. Kyle Scott, Director-Amartre Productions - What The Heck Is Mumbo Sauce? Will Morris, performer/artist Echo music video, and Mothers Of No Tomorrow, Sixx King, Director-Jhonn de La Puente, Producer. Official Selection Winners from all submissions entered will also be included in this year’s screenings. As the first ever Decathlon of Music Entertainment Award for Composers and Arrangers is revealed, 2018 OUFF will honor industry legend Dunn Pearson Jr., an award-winning Composer and Arranger and pianist, and screen his Docudrama Unhinged. Dunn is lauded as one of the

top African-American music composers in the exclusive group along with Quincy Jones and Bernard Drayton to have major success in all genres of entertainment: movies, television, Broadway, music, and commercials. The event will honor Chubb Rock, a legendary Hip-Hop artist and syndicated radio host. Chubb Rock is known for his hit song “Treat ‘Em Right.” When not touring with Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane and other hip-hop legends, he interviews celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, T.I., Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Mary J. Blige, Tyrese, Tyler Perry and others in Atlanta on the No. 1 radio station Majic 97.5. OUFF’s Young Directors Program helps youth learn how to write well using audio and video images. This helps students to build high self-esteem, comprehend information, think critically and communicate through interpersonal communication and intrapersonal communication. 2018 OUFF is Thursday, May 24 - Saturday, May 26, 2018 at AMC Theatre 20 Universal Studios City Walk. The sponsors are AMC Theatre Universal Studios City Walk, United Arts, ONYX Magazine, Rosen Centre, and The Groove Night Club. Contact Angela Moore at 305-9126833 or email orlandourbanfilmfestival@ Visit the website http://www. ONYX MAGAZINE 13


Surprise Mom This Mother’s Day By Collin P. Davis


n the eyes of the world, you may be the most despised or hated person, but one thing is for sure--despite your wrongdoings, you will always remain a jewel in your mother’s eye. For most of us, it is our mother who is the confidant. That is probably because mothers are naturally more sensitive to a child’s needs and understand their trials and tribulations better. A mother is the person to go to for a hug, counseling or advice, because you know that she would only desire the best for you.


So, it is time to reciprocate those feelings and what better day to do it than on Mother’s Day? It presents the perfect day to delight your mother with a special gift. Here are a few Mother’s Day gift ideas: Handmade Gifts - Make your own handmade card and keep it beside hers bed on the morning of Mother’s Day. It would be the first thing she sees on waking up and will help start her day out happy. A handmade card would also be the best manifestation of her importance in your life and something that she will really cherish. Long-Awaited Gift - You could also gift her something that she had been contemplating to buy for some time. It could be a kitchen accessory, bedding products, a broom or any other ordinary product. However, for this you will need to keep a keen eye on her and find out yourself what she wants the most. Fashion Accessories - Women in general love fashion accessories, gold, apparel, designer bags, etc., and mothers are no exception to this phenomenon. If you have money to spend, then this is also an option to explore. Take her out for a dinner or movie in the evening and treat her like a queen. Kind Gestures - For the ones whose pockets are running dry or for those who don’t believe in such melodramatics, there are other alternatives. You could opt to cook the afternoon food on Mother’s Day or you could also take up the responsibility of cleaning up your house on that day. Give her a huge hug and plant a peck on her cheek, first thing in the morning when you get up. She would surely love such a gesture! More importantly, don’t forgot to wish your mom well on Mother’s Day. For most mothers, their kids are their greatest treasures and they feel far happier over their successes than even they do. Mother’s Day is a day to honor that seemingly endless love that they impart upon us in a small way.

Adobe Stock

By Collin P. Davis



AFRO-CUBAN CULTURE ALIVE IFE-ILE means House of Love or expanding lands in Yoruba. Provided by Neri Torres

IFE-ILE Dance Company is the most renowned Afro-Cuban dance troupe in Miami. Since its creation in 1996, it has been a forerunner for promoting Afro-Cuban culture in the U.S. Famous for its traditional Afro-Cuban dances, Mambo, Rumba, Conga, Chancleta, Son, Salsa, and the ritual dances of the Orishas, the company also boasts a repertoire featuring contemporary resulting from the fusion of Modern dance and Afro-Cuban forms. IFE-ILE programs help strengthen the reputation of Miami-Dade County as a destination for cultural heritage tourism and the arts. The company is a draw for the growing number of people, locally and worldwide, who are enchanted by

Afro-Cuban culture and eager to learn about and experience it. IFE-ILE helps to: • preserve and cultivate the heritage of Miami’s Afro-Cubans; • build bonds and cultural understanding between different communities, organizations and residents; and • enhance cultural awareness, pride and opportunities for residents of low-income neighborhoods. Through collaboration with government agencies, educational institutions, and local/national organizations, IFE-ILE offers programs in the schools and universities, tourist destinations and low-income neighborhoods of South Florida. Some of the partners are Florida International University, the City of Homestead, The Non-Violence Project USA and Viernes Culturales. In addition to representing Cuba and its vibrant color and tradition, IFE-ILE represents the diversity of Miami itself. It regularly collaborates with other arts, educational and social service organizations that serve the needs of Miami’s various cultural communities (Brazilian, Haitian, Jamaican, Puerto Rican, African-American, to name a few). Also, the company reaches people from throughout the U.S. through the workshops and events offered during our annual Afro-Cuban Dance Festival, which is celebrating 20 years in August.

IFE-ILE offer many kinds of events and programs, from our annual festival, workshops and master classes, corporate and private events, lectures, music tours, musicals, and products such as instructional videos and music CDs. The company’s most outstanding performances include the Latin Grammy Awards; and the Billboard Awards as part of famous Cuban singer Gloria Estefan’s production; Super Bowl Sunday festivals such as the Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife Festival and the Emancipation Celebration in Trinidad-Tobago. IFE-ILE also has performed in several videos. Commercials and documentaries include “Celia, The Queen,” a feature-length documentary chronicling the life of Cuban singer Celia Cruz; as well as Andy Garcia’s directorial debut drama film, “The Lost City.” IFE-ILE dancers are accompanied by live music played on a variety of traditional and classical instruments: bata drums, congas, chekeres, yesa drums, bells, wooden boxes, bongos, piano, tres, timbales and trumpets. The shows are always electrifying, leaving audiences enchanted with the live music, colorful costumes, and contagious energy of the performers. IFE-ILE’s repertoire ranges from short theater performances designed for schoolchildren to several mainstream production and concerts for larger scale audiences. Neri Torres is the artistic director for IFE-ILE ONYX MAGAZINE 15


ONYX Magazine CEO Rich Black, back row, center, is flanked by members of the ONYX Magazine Women on the Move Class of 2018. In front, David Bodden anchor of Spectrum News 13 in Orlando and Woman of the Year Mary Ann Carroll.

ONYX Magazine report



n its third annual event, the ONYX Magazine’s Women on the Move (WOTM) Awards Luncheon honored 31 women of color from around the state before a packed house at the Alfond Inn in Winter Park. More than 300 community leaders, family and friends attended the prestigious Women’s History Month celebration, which was hosted by Title Sponsor Herzing University and Presenting Membership Orlando Health. “ONYX Magazine is excited to continue our collaboration with our sponsors and community supporters to showcase these phenomenal women,” said ONYX Magazine’s President Rich Black. “They are trailblazers leading major businesses to succeed on national and international levels in several professional disciplines.” ONYX Magazine’s WOTM gave a special Woman of the Year salute to Mary Ann Carroll. Carroll is the only woman among the 26 Original Florida Highwaymen inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. The Florida Highwaymen is a group of self-

Photos by Shane Valentine

ONYX Magazine’s Women on the Move: A Stellar Event

ONYX Magazine Advisory Committee member John Crossman presents a certificate to Presenting Sponsor Herzing University’s President Heatherann Antonacci.

taught African-American landscape artists who painted during the 1950s to the 1980s. During this period galleries would not accept the art of painters who had not been professionally trained. So, the Florida Highwaymen sold their art along the highways and from door-to-door throughout the state. WOTM also recognized special guest Honorable Justice Julia Sarkodie-Mensah from Botswana, Africa. She has practiced for 32 years as a partner in one of the largest law firms in Botswana before her appointment as judge of the High Court of Botswana. She currently is a criminal justice expert for the Commonwealth Secretariat of Botswana. Leading this year’s event were Chair Deidre Parker, the president of Parker Realty Group; and Co-chair Nancy Port Schwalb, the president of Schwalb Public Relations. The awards luncheon was hosted by Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Public Affairs and Community Relations Senior Director Carolyn Fennell. Anchor/Reporter David Bodden of Spectrum 13 News Orlando read the honorees’ bios as they were presented. For entertainment during the luncheon, saxophonist JoAnna Fleming inspired the crowd with an outstanding musical performance.

International Woman on the Move, Justice Julia SarkodieMensah, second from right, receives her award from chair Dee Parker, far left, co-chair Nancy Port Schwalb, ONYX Magazine CEO Rich Black and Orlando Health Diversity Director Marisol Romany.

John Crossman presents a certificate to Member Partner Orlando Health, represented by Marisol Romany.

ONYX Goes Global

“The World Journal,” the largest Chinese language newspaper in the U.S., attended the 2018 ONYX Magazine’s Women on the Move. A story about the event landed above the fold in the paper, which is also shared in China.

Woman of the Year Mary Ann Carroll, second from right, receives her award from chair Dee Parker, far left, co-chair Nancy Port Schwalb, ONYX Magazine CEO Rich Black, and Herzing University President Heatherann Antonacci.



LEO BENNETT The Father of Funk Fest By D. Shenell Reed


eo Bennett gives credit to his Alma Mater. While a freshman at Florida A&M University (FAMU), he was tapped to oversee the Homecoming concerts and gained all the tools he needed to bring together a star-studded event that would have people talking for weeks. Nothing has changed about his shows; unless you count that they now draw crowds of around 18,000, they are on their way to an international platform, radio stations across the nation are tugging at his coattail to get them into their markets, and they have a household name: Funk Fest. An extremely modest Bennett takes it all in stride. While working as a pharmacist from time-to-time, this devoted husband and father, who says he gets his drive from his grandmother, is flawless in his selection of acts and caters right into the hands of his audience. In return, they have kept Funk Fest going for more than 15 years. In an exclusive interview with ONYX Magazine, he talks about his brainchild. What was the inspiration behind Funk Fest? I wanted to put together a festival in my hometown of Mobile, Ala., that would incorporate different types of music—Funk, Hip Hop, Jazz, R&B— into one event. That was really my inspiration. There really wasn’t a lot of this type of entertainment coming through the Deep South. So, I wanted to make this big outdoor picnic-in-the-park, family reunion type of atmosphere come to light. People needed that outlet to be able to let their hair down, have a good time, let the stress go and just enjoy each other’s company. 18 ONYX MAGAZINE

Why is it hard to get big concerts in small markets? Why do you continue to take Funk Fest to those markets? In entertainment, you go to the markets where you can get the highest price for the tickets. People are making six figures in Chicago, Atlanta, L.A. But in the South (and smaller markets), the salary might be less than $50,000. When the artists are charging so much money, a lot of promoters don’t want to take the loss, because they can’t charge a lot for the ticket. And the artists are not going to change their price to perform. But I’ve found out that cities that don’t get these concerts (smaller markets) are always the best cities. When we do come through their markets, we get a really good response, they’re thankful and they sup-

port it every year. It has been my niche to build the brand in those markets. We started with the smaller markets and bring the audiences something they can look forward to every year. Then we expanded to the larger markets like Dallas, Atlanta, etc. How did you know it was time to expand the Funk Fest? When I started in Mobile, word got around that Cumulus Radio station had a really good annual event that brought out a mature crowd. I got a call from Doc Winters, one of the only African-American executives with iHeart Radio. Doc is the director over these stations nationally, so I thought it was huge that he would call me. He asked me to bring Funk Fest to Jacksonville; they were delighted with our meeting and wanted to make it an annual

Funk Fest crowds get up to 18,000

event. Our first year in Jacksonville, we had about 10,000 at Metropolitan Park, which is where we still have it. After our first year, we continued to build and brand and other stations began to call and ask for Funk Fest—it was a domino effect from there. Do you plan to expand Funk Fest beyond the Southeast? A lot of people call from out West—the Oakland area, so we’re looking to go there and abroad in the U.K. And we’re planning to do our first Funk Fest Cruise in January of 2020. Tickets will go on sale in 2019. Do people ever ask, ‘Where is the funk in Funk Fest?’ People expect Cameo or Brick to perform, traditional Funk music. We wanted to make it not just Funk, because Funk is where the basis of this generation’s music started (Hip Hop, etc.) But we do have traditional Funk bands. George Clinton has performed; Cameo still performs with us once or twice a year. We’ve had SOS Band, Ohio Players—it just depends on the market. Xscape3 performed at Funk Fest in Orlando.

How has the corporate community responded? It is easier for corporate sponsors to attach their names to something that has already been established, so it took some time. For the first five years, I funded the Funk Fest myself. We lasted so long, corporate sponsors started taking notice. One of our biggest shows was in Charlotte, N.C., when Outkast performed—this concert was iconic for me, because Outkast is like the Rolling Stones of Hip Hop and I was the only African-American promoter to even get a date with Outkast. At that point, there was a spotlight on me and my company and then we started getting big sponsors. Fortune 500 companies became interested in Funk Fest and we were able to work with AT&T, Pepsi, Ford and others. Who is your main audience? Funk Fest began in 2003 and we have evolved. I have seen the older crowd in the early days; those people who probably now are in their 70s. Now, the younger generation is coming in for our acts like Fantasia, Plies, T.I. Our audience ranges from ages 35-50, but the core is around 40 years old. Where does a pharmacist get such a great grasp of marketing? I get my marketing skills from grassroots. It started with the Student Government Association (SGA) in college. Back then, we didn’t have Internet or Facebook, so you had to go door-to-door, put flyers up in the barber shops. We were foot soldiers—got our teams together, called people. It was pretty much word-of-mouth. When I graduated from FAM, I owned a restaurant in Mobile called the Jazzy Blues Café and a bar and grill in New Orleans called the Bourbon Room (which was bought by the House of Blues). So, when I finished school and I was still practicing pharmacy, I learned a lot about marketing during that time by dealing with radio and TV stations to promote my businesses.

How do you balance being a husband, father, pharmacist and promoter? I believe it’s by the grace of God. My grandmother, Bernice Montgomery, instilled that in me in a young age by just seeing her doing so much. She probably didn’t know what she was showing me. My grandmother was our family’s first graduate of college and she started her own daycare while teaching school; on top of that she did hair and bought real estate. She was always positive and always had something going. In the 1950s and 1960s in Alabama, it was rare that African Americans would buy land. She said always have a plan A, B and C; and that always stuck in my brain to always have something to fall back on. I love the medical field. After FAMU, I did well on the MCAT and was going to med school. But when I started working with the restaurant and the club and money started rolling in, I changed my plan. I still practice pharmacy now, but it’s only as needed. The entertainment side is taking up most of my time. My 15-year-old son, Leo Stone, and 13-year-old daughter, Kaia Milan, are busy with basketball, dance, volley ball. My wife, Stacey Stone-Bennett, is a corporate attorney in Charlotte. She works from home a lot, so it helps us keep the balance without the help of nannies. Tank wows the crowd in Orlando.



Sarasota Authors Tour to Share Their Stories The Authors Corner is five diverse authors who came together to encourage and support one another, and the community. Together, these women travel throughout the Sarasota region sharing their stories and encouraging the community. Don’t forget to add these titles to your summer reading list.

Newtown Alive

Illusions of Paradise By Pat McKanic A newspaper reporter moves to an island falls in love with a cop. Paradise found! While covering a murder, she discovers Paradise has a dark side. She suspects her lover’s boss, the police chief, is involved. What does her lover know? Nothing is what it seems. As she gets closer to the truth, her sources start turning up dead. She flees the island. But someone has plans for her, and paradise may be a purgatory from which there is no escape!

By: Rosalyn Howard, Ph.D. and Vickie Oldham, M.F.A. The history of Sarasota’s African-American community is chronicled in a book that answers questions about why the early settlers came to the tiny fishing village, how they earned money, why they organized a self-contained town within a town, their religious and social traditions, medical and military history, and education. “Mysterious” and often misunderstood characterized Newtown until now.

The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women By Marsha Haygood Now in its 11th printing, “The Little Black Book of Success” has been dubbed “a mentor in your pocket” and used as a resource to those who want to get or keep their career on track. It is built around core principles or “laws” with historical context, real-world examples, some traps to avoid and MAMA-isms- those things we all heard from our mothers and grandmothers that continue to serve as life and career truths.

The Road to Someplace Better: From the Segregated South to Harvard Business School and Beyond By Lillian Lincoln Lambert. This book tells about my journey to find my place in the world, a journey that had many roadblocks. The reader is given insight into what life was like growing up in the segregated south and how that experience prepared me for those roadblocks. It describes the paths I took and how I dealt with the adversities I meet at various stages of my life.

Beautiful I am By Alahna Nicolas “Beautiful I am” is a children’s book that touches on self-empowerment. Often times we are living to the standard of our surroundings instead of embracing our roots; loving exactly how God made us to be. “Beautiful I Am” will engage the reader to search for self-love and inspire them to exude the beauty within leaving a sense of realization that you are indeed enough!

For more information on the Authors Corner, contact Pat McKanic at All books may be purchased on



Youth Set Success in School as Top Priority UNCF Report

Tuition Hikes Could Mean Less Diversity on College Campuses

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early 70 percent of low-income African American youth surveyed indicate success in school is a top priority, and 89 percent agree it is important to obtain a post-secondary education, according to a new report issued by UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI). A Seat at the Table: African American Youth’s Perception of K-12 Education is the third report in UNCF’s three-part series on African American communities’ views of K-12 education. This newest research, which is a call to action around pre-kindergarten through post-secondary education, will be released during an annual education summit hosted today by UNCF. The summit serves as a platform for engagement and exploration of the role of African American students, leaders and voices–specifically the role of HBCUs–in education reform efforts, as UNCF seeks to ensure that these perspectives are truly amplified in both research and engagement efforts. “Contrary to a pervasive narrative that racial disparities in education are the sole

“African American youth indicated that success in school was their most important priority among other competing factors.” Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF

result of disengaged students, African American youth indicated that success in school was their most important priority among other competing factors,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF. “This is important because research suggests that students who are more engaged and more optimistic about education are more likely to aspire to attend college.” Read the full report at

As college tuition continues to rise at a staggering rate, people tend to worry about how much harder it becomes for students and families to pay for college. As researchers who focus on higher education, we found a different reason to worry. We examined tuition hikes at public four-year colleges and universities over a 14-year period. We wanted to see if tuition increases at public colleges and universities changed the racial and ethnic makeup of students on campus. What we found is that for every $1,000 increase in tuition at four-year nonselective public universities, diversity among full-time students decreased by 4.5 percent. In other words, as tuition goes up, diversity goes down. The end result is the nation’s colleges and universities become less reflective of the ethnic diversity of the United States as a whole. How long does it take for tuition to rise by $1,000 at a given university? A $1,000 hike could happen over the course of only one or two years in some cases. Over the past decade, tuition and fees rose by $2,690 at public four-year institutions. The fact that diversity drops when tuition rises at certain colleges and universities is a big deal. For starters, it means that more minorities might choose not to enroll in college and, therefore, forego the economic and social benefits of higher education. But less diversity doesn’t just affect those who are priced out of higher education. It also affects students who are able to afford college. A decade’s worth of research shows that more diversity on campus brings numerous benefits. These benefits include a richer intellectual environment that features a variety of different perspectives. Read the full article on The Conversation at ONYX MAGAZINE 23


By Laura Dorsey


his year, we acknowledge the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Rev King left many legacies: as a crusader for civil rights, voting rights, religious harmony, and peace. As Americans honor this anniversary, it is right to remember all his legacies, but for this article, the focus is the issue of income equality that motivated Dr. King in his commitment to economic justice. He said, “Now our struggle is for genuine equality, which means economic equality.” We can take some pride in the progress we have made, but also acknowledge that we have a long way to go. The wealth gap between black Americans and white Americans even seems to be widening. First, let’s distinguish the difference between wealth and income. Wealth is the value of everything a person or family owns, minus any debts. (The wealth gap measures the difference between the median wealth of blacks versus that of whites.) Income is what people earn from work. In theory, those who own a great deal of wealth may or may not have high incomes.


Ponder this: • Much of the wealth in the United States is held by whites. Blacks and Latinos make up 30 percent of the population, but only 7 percent of nation’s wealth. • According to the “New York Times,” for every $100 in white family wealth, black families hold just $5.04. • According to an article in “Forbes Magazine,” blacks earn 10 cents to the dollar of whites, and two-thirds of blacks are “asset poor.” • “Forbes Magazine” also records that by 2020 (just two years away) black households are projected to lose 18 percent of wealth and Latino households are projected to lose 12 percent. After those declines, the median white household will own 86 times more wealth than its black counterpart. Today, economists, psychologists and sociologists continue to discuss the racial and economic disparity in the United States. Racial wealth inequality is a huge problem that not only affects communities of color but also will have a lasting

A dollar circulates:

• • • •

6 hours in the black community 17 days in the white community 20 days in the Jewish community 30 days in the Asian community

Government policies encourage wealth building for white Americans to the detriment of black Americans and other communities of color. To fix it, we’ll need policies that will help close the gap. While we as individuals don’t make policy, we elect the legislators who do. We should use our collective voices to support and elect those people, especially people of color, that can put this type of policy reform in place.

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The Racial Wealth Gap 50 Years Later

impact on our entire country. Approximately 70 percent of our economic growth comes from consumer spending according to “The New York Times.” As black and Latino households grow to become the majority of the population, their inability to spend due to the lack of wealth will slow economic growth. Depending on who you talk to, there are multiple answers to solving this problem. An interview with Ken Bradshaw, an Orlando financial planner, suggests a few ideas. “Acquiring wealth, starting business models and identifying wealth strategies are truly some of the top priorities in the African- American business community and our at large communities. We need to support our businesses and educate our youth. We need better outcomes in the immediate future.” When asked about supporting black businesses Bradshaw provided me with these sobering statics from Black Men in

Now that we know part of the problem regarding the racial wealth gap, how do we resolve one of the solutions of supporting the Black-owned business community? After a little research, I have come up several activities that we can each do immediately to make a difference.

1 2

Shop Online – In this internet age that we live in, you can find black owned businesses through Google or any other search engine. If that is too difficult or time consuming, there is a website called Official Black Wall Street ( There are black -owned businesses that cover everything from hair products to clothing.


You go to the doctor anyway– By taking a little


Political Action - Government policies encourage

Black Business Directories and Online Clusters - There are numerous black-business apps and online directories that will assist consumers in locating black-owned businesses. They provide real-time data on businesses ranked by referrals and reviews. There are also several Facebook and LinkedIn Groups dedicated to promoting black-owned businesses and present a platform for black entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to network.


Social Media –Many opportunities might go missing


Chamber of Commerce –Your city’s Chamber of

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be searched for free. The Chamber usually holds networking events where business owners get together to network and build relationships. Business relationships, referrals and partnerships are great ways to grow and support Black-owned businesses.

in a normal online search, but social media allows you to spread the word to like-minded individuals with the push of a button. Facebook alone accounts for at least two hours out of most of the population’s time every day. This is free marketing, a reliable review from a trusted source (you) to people in your circle, and all it takes is a post or repost. I know of more vegan restaurants in the area (and I am not vegan) because of a multiple post regarding the best places for vegan soul food.

time to research or ask for a referral for an African American doctor, you can make one decision that will support not only a black business but the community as a whole.

wealth building for white Americans to the detriment of black Americans and other communities of color. To fix that, we need policies that will help close the gap. While we as individuals do not make policy, we elect the legislators who do. We should use our collective voices to support and elect those people, especially people of color, that can put these types of policy reforms in place and help reduce this racial wealth divide. There are no magic beans that we can buy that will grow a beanstalk and instantly make Black businesses successful overnight. It will take a lot of small steps to reap the big results of ending the racial wealth gap. You are going to make a purchase anyway. Why not take a little time to find a black-owned business? Why not give the money to a business that needs it and will make a difference in your community and help reduce the racial wealth gap?

Commerce can be used to find local business and who owns them. Most Chambers’ membership list can

Laura Dorsey is CEO of LLD Consulting and an associate editor of ONYX Magazine.



Why Racial Representation Matters in Mental Health


t’s a well-documented medical reality that some patients get worse care simply because of who they are. Women who go to the ER with acute abdominal pain are less likely to receive a painkiller; those who do wait longer for it than men who show up with similar symptoms. Obese people have shorter visits with their doctors and get less health education than their thinner counterparts. But does the quality of treatment also vary depending on the race of the doctor? Specifically, do African Americans who have mental health problems get more effective care from clinicians of their own race? A growing number of researchers argue the answer is yes. African Americans make up only four percent of the nation’s physicians, less than a third of their share of the US population. The lack of diversity is even starker among psychologists, just two percent of whom are African American.

At the same time, studies have shown clinicians are more likely to underdiagnose psychiatric conditions in African American patients than in white patients. They tend to miss more symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression in African American adults and more cases of ADHD in African American children. Dr. Norissa Williams, a clinical assistant professor for Counseling@NYU, which offers an online master’s in mental health counseling from NYU Steinhardt, believes mental health is studded with “cultural pain points” that can lead to missed or mistaken diagnoses. For instance, Williams, who is African American, says many African American women strongly identify as caretakers. This identification can make them reluctant to admit to any mental distress of their own. Racial and cultural differences also may surface in the ways patients relay their symptoms. Some Africans Americans

may mention body aches and pain when describing their depression. Similarly, some Asian Americans tend to label their symptoms with physical traits like “dizziness” instead of emotional terms. Those nuances often can go unnoticed by white doctors and therapists, says Williams, co-author of an upcoming paper in “Best Practices in Mental Health” about how cultural bias and stigma shortchange African Americans with psychiatric conditions. “The problem with misdiagnoses and underdiagnoses is that the client is not going to get the correct treatment or any treatment at all,” Williams says. Disparities in mental health treatments stem largely from systemic inequities. African Americans on average are seven times more likely than a white person to live in poor neighborhoods with little or no access to mental health services. Even with gains under the Affordable Care Act, 16 percent of African Americans remain uninsured.

Alexis Anderson is a Digital PR Coordinator covering K-12 education at 2U, Inc. Alexis supports outreach for their school counseling, teaching, mental health, and occupational therapy programs. Her article originally was published on and has been reprinted with permission.


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By Alexis Anderson

What’s more, race matching between providers and patients may not have much effect on clinical outcomes. In a 2011 meta-analysis from the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Counseling Psychology, researchers concluded African American mental-health patients in particular strongly preferred to have African American therapists and also rated their experience with them more positively. The improvements in the patients’ conditions, however, were largely unrelated to the race and ethnicity of the therapist. Nonetheless, some researchers argue that increasing the number of African American mental health professionals makes for good medicine. Trust and rapport between doctor

and patient can be particularly important in dealing with mental health issues. African Americans put a high premium on interpersonal relationships with their doctors, says Babe Kawaii-Bogue, a trauma counselor and the co-author of the paper with Williams. But many clinicians don’t – or can’t afford to – take the time to forge that link. African Americans also may feel they have historical reasons to mistrust a predominantly white medical establishment. Psychiatric illnesses are stigmatized and misunderstood within some parts of the African American community. However, African American patients strongly favor counseling to drug therapy.

Clinicians must be mindful when trying to connect or be culturally fluent. Without the right context or tone, their statement could be offensive. To prevent this, Williams suggests that practitioners take the implicit bias association test, in order to identify their own unconscious biases. In addition to identifying biases, practitioners should be proactive in continuing to educate themselves about the growing demographic of Americans who need mental health treatment. The more wellversed they are, the fewer chances stigma will continue to affect African Americans who are hesitant about seeking treatment.

Mental Health Status, Use of Services, and Disparities • Rates of mental illnesses in African Americans are care (rather than mental health specialists Compared similar with those of the general population. However, with the general population, African Americans disparities exist in regard to mental health care are less likely to be offered either evidence-based services. African Americans often receive poorer quality medication therapy or psychotherapy. of care and lack access to culturally competent care. • Compared with whites with the same symptoms, • Only one-in-three African Americans who need mental African Americans are more frequently diagnosed health care receives it. with schizophrenia and less frequently diagnosed • Compared with non-Hispanic whites, African Americans with mood disorders. Differences in how African with any mental illness have lower rates of any mental Americans express symptoms of emotional distress health service use including prescriptions medications may contribute to misdiagnosis. Physician-patient and outpatient services, but higher use of inpatient communication differs for African Americans and services. whites. One study found that physicians were 23% • The rate of illicit drug use among African Americans more verbally dominant, and engaged in 33% less is slightly higher than the national average (12.4% vs patient-centered communication with African 10.2%). Rate of alcohol use is slightly lower than the American patients than with white patients.15 national average (44.2% vs 52.7%) including heavy • Black people with mental health conditions, drinking (4.5% vs 6.2%) and binge drinking (21.6% vs particularly schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and 23%). other psychoses are more likely to be incarcerated • Rate of opioid overdose among African Americans than people of other races. Other common barriers (6.6%) is less than half of that for non-Hispanic whites include: the importance of family privacy, lack of (13.9%). knowledge regarding available treatments, and denial • Compared with whites, African Americans are: of mental health problems. Concerns about stigma, –By Alexis Anderson Less likely to receive medications, not receiving appropriate information guideline-consistent care about services, and dehumanizing services have also – Less frequently included in research been reported to hinder African Americans from – More likely to use emergency rooms or primary accessing mental health services.

This resource was prepared by the Division of Diversity and Health Equity. It was updated by Phillip Murray, M.D., and reviewed by Danielle Hairston, M.D., and the Council on Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities.



Fathers Want To “Have It All” Too By Gayle Kaufman

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ave you seen the T-shirt slogan: Dads don’t babysit (it’s called “parenting”)? This slogan calls out the gendered language we often still use to talk about fathers. Babysitters are temporary caregivers who step in to help out the parents. But the fact is that fathers are spending more time with their children than ever before. In fact, American fathers today spend 65 percent more time with their children during the workday than they did 30 years ago. According to the 2016 National Study of the Changing Workforce, almost half of fathers in heterosexual relationships say they share caregiving responsibilities equally or take on a greater share of caregiving than their partner. In 2016, we witnessed the first State of America’s Fathers, a report that draws on numerous social science research studies as well as new analysis of the 2016 National Study of the Changing Workforce. As a sociologist who studies fatherhood worldwide, I think the most important message of this report is a simple one: Fathers are parents, too. But dads’ desire to “have it all,” as we once talked about in relation to working mothers, means that they are also having

difficulties successfully combining work and family. The report, among other things, suggests that we need to pass paid, non-transferable, job-protected leave. I agree. The State of America’s Fathers report highlights that a majority of fathers experience work-life conflict, and that this has increased over time. For example, 60 percent of fathers in dual-earner families say they have problems balancing work and family, compared to 35 percent of such fathers in 1977. This is likely due to the fact that a majority of fathers feel they don’t spend enough time with their children. This situation may be due to the continued pressures on men to earn a good income. According to the 2016 National Study of the Changing Workforce, 64 percent of Americans feel that fathers should contribute financially even if taking care of the home and children. Millennials are just as likely to agree with this statement as baby boomers. Why should we be so concerned about men’s ability to balance work and family? The simple answer is that fathers who take leave and spend more time with their children are really good for their families. Their children benefit from better cognitive, behavioral, psychological and social outcomes.

According to the State of America’s Fathers report, these fathers also pave a path toward greater gender equality as their sons are more accepting of gender equality while their daughters feel more empowered. Their partners benefit because they are more likely to be satisfied with their relationships and less likely to experience postpartum depression. They are also more able to focus on their own careers, which has the potential to benefit the larger economy as well, with one estimate showing an increase of 5 percent in GDP if women’s labor force participation rate equaled men’s rate. Fathers themselves benefit by engaging in healthier behaviors and creating more ties to family and community. And in the end, men are just as capable of caring for children as women. It is the act of providing direct care for a child that increases one’s capacity for caregiving. Men’s body chemistry reacts the same way as women’s to close physical contact with infants. In other words, fathers show similar hormonal changes, and this means they can experience similar levels of bonding with their children. Read the full article on The Conversation at



JOE MORTON What’s Next After “Scandal” In an exclusive interview with ONYX Magazine, Joe Morton explains how life looks after the hit show By D. Shenell Reed


The cast of Scandal

he said of the show’s creator. “Scandal,” in many ways, was a masterpiece. The complexity of the characters was not like what we have seen in any television series. Many of the high-profile roles were that of ruthless killers who, after casually sawing a person into several pieces, would sit down with a glass of red wine and a cool conversation—Pope among them. It was hardly the kind of part anyone would expect Joe Morton to play. Why, he had played the sweet-natured

alien in the 1984 film “Brother From Another Planet;” the hard-working father and husband with a quirky son in the movie “Inkwell;” and the ambitious senator who won Whitley’s hand in NBC’s “A Different World,” although DeWayne Wayne got her back at the altar. Morton always played the solid, trustworthy man. So, what would inspire such a change? “Most of my career, I’ve played good guys,” said Morton. “I came to Hollywood looking for a very intelligent bad guy to do

Jim Cox

By now, you already know that Papa Pope was the hero who saved the “Gladiators” from a seemingly irreversible fate of life in prison following scores of gory tactics to cover up heinous crimes in the name of liberty. With one last scathing monologue, Pope ripped to shreds the very belief that the U.S. government had any power at all, but that the country had indeed been “run by a black man for the last 30 years.” B-613. Yes, Rowan “Eli” Pope actually donned the white hat and did the right thing to save a band of misguided “good guys.” So, life goes on for the characters of ABC’s “Scandal,” but only in our imaginations. After seven amazing seasons, the last lines of the script were uttered at the final table read. “We sat in silence for 20 seconds,” said the Emmy Award winning-Joe Morton who played the formidable Pope, head of B-613, a secret organization that made puppets of U.S. presidents. “The last show was stunning and, in many ways, Shonda’s (Rhimes) tempest. All her basic concepts and thoughts came through in the script,”

Jim Cox

something different…and the role of Rowan fell right into my lap.” ABC had already talked with his agent about adding Morton to the cast. After he watched the first season of the show and loved it, he was in. So, now that “Scandal” has called the final scene, Morton is on to being fabulous in other ways. Born in Harlem, New York, Joseph Thomas Morton, Jr., garnered a passion for music and began strumming the guitar and singing before he was a teenager. “I grew up in a period where everybody was playing guitars and Elvis Pressley was big and…rock ‘n roll was big. I was of an age where I wanted to learn how to do that. I began doing it and discovered I had talent in that department.” Morton even put a few bands together, recorded in the studio, and considered the recording industry as a career. However, he was completely turned off by it, calling the industry “biased and racist.” His passion led him to star in Broadway musicals like “Hair” and “Raisin,” the musical version of “Raisin in the Sun.” As great as it all was, when an acting part came up, Morton grabbed it. Now, he’s returning to music and is in the pre-stages of recording an album of his own songs, which have a blend of Rhythm & Blues, Blues and his favorite genre, Jazz. “I did a track on the latest Blues Brothers album and the guy who owned the studio heard what I did and was so impressed that he’s now helping us put an album of my own together…. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he said. Back on stage, Morton is gearing up to play Henry IV in a play of the same name starring actor Tom Hanks. Noticeably, Morton is neither white nor English, but he believes that should not exempt him from the part. “Storytelling doesn’t have to be literal; you don’t have to be white to play a white character, especially with Shakespeare—it is more metaphor than it is anything else,” he said. “I believe (director) Dan Sullivan is paralleling the relationship between the king and his son with the relationship the king has with his country, which is a wonderful way of talking about things…and you don’t have to be any particular color or race to have that conversation.”

Joe Morton as Dick Gregory in “Turn Me Loose”

I think in the story-telling genre, it’s important to be able to empathize with the characters in the story, and for the longest time African Americans in this country weren’t able to do that.

Building on that, he does believe it is critical that African Americans see themselves as completely developed characters with a large presence in film. “I think in the story-telling genre, it’s important to be able to empathize with the characters in the story, and for the longest time African Americans in this country weren’t able to do that. If I wanted to go see a movie, the only visions of myself that I might see were porters or domestics in somebody’s house or Bojangles…always

dancing and laughing…but they were not complete three-dimensional characters like all the white characters who surrounded them.” Now, African Americans are having more top accomplishments in film, with the success of movies like “Black Panther.” Morton says not only does it open the door for more tentpole black films to score well domestically and abroad, but socially it shows African Americans the enormity of what is possible. “So now little black boys and girls can go to that movie and see themselves on the screen—that in terms of story-telling is enormously important. That black children live in a time where there was a black man and woman who were the president and first lady of this country is gigantic, because you have that in your head as a possibility. It can happen. Those kind of images…are what you need to inspire you.” Morton, himself, has been inspired by seeing other African Americans in the industry who make bold moves to be heard. It is what moved him to recently portray comedian, activist Dick Gregory in the stage production “Turn Me Loose.” The play chronicles how Gregory was the first black stand-up to make whites laugh at the absurdity of bigotry. “Dick Gregory was a genius comedian and was the first comedian, as he would have put it, to stand flat-footed and talk about race in this country and he went even further by tearing down the black wall, if you will, in television,” Morton explains. There is so much more to come from Morton. He recently shot a pilot with CBS called “God Friended Me,” where he plays an Episcopal reverend with an atheist son who receives a Friend request from God. Also, he, along with a star-studded cast, read from “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates on stage at the Apollo in Harlem and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Morton hopes they will continue with the show. For now, we will have to imagine what shenanigans the cast of “Scandal” is conjuring up. One thing is for sure: Joe Morton owes us nothing—but his horizon is endless and we are all the way here for it. ONYX MAGAZINE 31


Members of Full Force with their mother, Carmen George.

Paul Anthony

IN FULL FORCE Paul Anthony Stands Firm Against Cancer


aul Anthony is best known for his leading role in Full Force, the music greats responsible for the development of 1980s group Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. But today, Anthony sings a different song. Anthony is a Cancer Champion of mantle cell lymphoma, MDS and acute leukemia, as documented in Full Force’s record breaking episode of TV One’s “Unsung.” Paul’s successful bone marrow transplant, courtesy of his brother Lou George, Jr., being a 10/10 donor match, was the primary motivation that prompted him to establish The Paul Anthony Foundation ( and The Paul Anthony Cancer Champions Initiative. He is educating and empowering other cancer survivors to transform their lives into Champions through the foundation by expressing the importance of cancer treatments, early testing, bone marrow, organ donations and the research that is needed in order to find a cure for lymphoma and other diseases. Paul Anthony is one of the members of the Grammy Award, Certified Production Team and 1990’s R&B music group, Full

Force. He has received many Gold, Platinum and Diamond record plaques, Broadcast Music Incorporated Awards, which resulted from working with various music artists such as: James Brown, Rihanna, Patti Labelle, Nicky Minaj, The Black Eyed Peas, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Justin Timberlake, N*Sync, Bob Dylan, UTFO, Britney Spears, Lil Kim, Method Man, Faith Evans, Cheryl Pepsii Riley, Fergie, Raphael Saadiq, Selena and many more. Also, Paul is an actor, known for the ground breaking urban classic films, “House Party” (1990) and “House Party 2” (1991) which also starred his brothers Lou George Jr (Bowlegged Lou) and Brian George (B-Fine). Also, Kid N Play, Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell Martin were actors in the films. Paul is credited with being the first to consistently bring bodybuilding, fitness and training to the Urban and Pop music industry by incorporating it in videos, film, television, concerts and recordings. Paul serves on Moffitt Cancer Center’s National Board of Advisors in Tampa, Fla., which is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Paul joins such respected board members, as former CNN White House Correspondent Sam Donaldson, NFL Dolphins Hall Of Fame Quarterback Bob Griese, and former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich. Paul aims to spread the message of health in bodybuilding, fitness, nutrition and the mind, body, spirit connection. Inspiring millions over a 30-year career, including Mr. Olympia favorite Kai Greene, Michael Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Will Smith, Sugar Ray Leonard, Busta Rhymes and many more, including pro athletes from all pro sports. ONYX MAGAZINE 33


7 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing the Weight By Damien Priester

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he most important reason you aren’t losing weight: You aren’t consistent. Ouch, yes that might hurt, but you know it’s true. One week you start eating healthy and exercising daily, but then by day four, you have a myriad of reasons to quit. A few weeks go by, a few pounds creep on, and then you give it another try—for eight days this time before you quit. So, the frustrating cycle continues. The stunning body transformation that you want will only come by changing your lifestyle as it relates to how you eat and how you exercise. Half-hearted attempts to change will only result in half-hearted results. Fully commit yourself to the process of transforming your body. Jump in with both feet and don’t look back! Seven More Reasons Your Are Not Losing Weight

Weight loss is often a frustrating pursuit, eluding even those who eat healthy and exercise. So what gives? Why won’t the scale budge even as you put out tremendous effort? Read on for the seven reasons that most fitness and health food lovers don’t lose the pounds that they want to. 1. You Don’t Sleep Enough Let’s start with the most rampant problem standing in the way of your fat loss. Most adults simply do not get adequate sleep to support weight loss. There is a scientific reason for this and it has everything to do with hormone levels. While you sleep, your cortisol levels decline while your growth hormone levels increase. This balance is essential for fat loss to occur. So, skipping on Zzz’s will throw your hormones into fat storing mode, while simultaneously causing you to feel hungrier and encouraging you to eat more calories.

2. You Eat too much Healthy Food Yes, my friend, there is such thing as too much healthy food. When it comes to weight gain, extra calories can come from just about anywhere before landing on your waistline – even from healthy foods. Sure, it will take you longer to gain weight by overeating roasted chicken and sweet potatoes than it would ice cream and chips, but the extra pounds will still add up. Control your portions, even of healthy foods, in order to make strides in your body transformation journey. 3. You Don’t Drink Enough Water Most of us are walking around in a state of partial dehydration everyday. In addition to being dangerous for all your major body CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE



4. You Eat Out Too Much Restaurant meals are higher in calories than meals prepared and eaten at home – across the board. There simply is no way around it. Even if you consciously attempt to eat small portions while eating out, it would be quite difficult to do. Restaurant food is created with consumer satisfaction in mind, and this means adding fats and sugars and salt to many of the menu items in order to produce the tastiest food possible! Unfortunately, the tastiest is also quite often the most fattening. Want more fat loss? Make simple, wholesome meals at home and eat with portion control.

5. You Don’t Get Enough Protein or Fiber Protein and fiber are the golden tickets to fat loss, but sadly your diet doesn’t contain nearly enough of it. It’s natural to enjoy the flavors of sugar, fat and carbs more than protein and fiber, and that’s why your diet is filled with more of these than it should be. While sugar, fat and carbs taste better than protein and fiber, these lead to dreaded weight gain. Consciously plan your meals around a base of protein and fiber, and then add in just enough complex carbs and healthy fats to keep it well rounded. Save the bulk of your sugar, fat and simple carb consumption for planned cheat meals to prevent ongoing weight gain. 6. Your Diet Is Filled with Packaged Foods I’m not talking about cookies and candies, because you know better than that. I’m talking about packaged protein bars, granola, crackers, rice cakes, protein cookies, and the plethora of packaged health foods that you have stashes of. Sure, these packaged foods may be healthier than snacks

Damien Priester is a personal trainer and owner of Prestige Fitness in Orlando.


from a vending machine, but in the grand scheme of your fat loss, the fewer packaged items the better when it comes to shedding pounds. Even the healthiest of packaged foods contain ingredients that are modified or processed to preserve the shelf life, and these ingredients have a negative impact on your waistline. Real, natural and whole always beats packaged. Take inventory of your daily diet and eliminate the packaged foods so that it’s no longer an everyday occurrence. 7. Your Workouts Are Too Easy Going through the motions at the gym simply doesn’t cut it when you want to transform your body. Most people want to stay as comfortable as possible at all times, and this usually means treading lightly through their workout, rather than going all in. While putting your body through the motions of exercise is better than sitting on the couch, it certainly won’t result in a sculpted body. Rate your perceived exertion in your last workout from one to 10. If it falls below an eight then your workout is in need of a serious revamp.

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organs, dehydration is perilous for fat loss. Not only does water serve as an appetite suppressant to fill your stomach and prevent you from overeating, thirst is often mistaken for hunger pains, leading to extra calories consumed and stored as fat. By sipping on water throughout the day you’ll avoid dehydration and will find it easier to move the number on your scale in a favorable direction.


Keep Your Shirt On What men need to know about melanoma before going topless this summer By Peter Jideonwo

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ay is Melanoma Awareness Month. For the most part, it is pretty safe to say the majority of people know the importance of wearing sunscreen before and during sun exposure, right? Well, according to a survey by the American Academy of Dermatology, men—40 percent of men who took the time to fill out the survey that is—often skip this crucial step, especially when it comes to the back area. The back area is the most common area for melanoma cancer to develop due to the inconvenience of not being able to apply the sunscreen to their backs themselves. Also, because of this, it is more difficult to check the back area for suspicious-looking moles. When it comes to melanoma cancer (the deadliest form of skin cancer) or any type of cancer for that matter, early detection is crucial. “Men over 50 are more than twice as likely as women to develop and die from skin cancer…men aren’t naturally more vulnerable to skin cancer than women. The problem is twofold: more sun exposure, and fewer visits to the doctor,” according to

So, what can you do? To help prevent skin cancer or sun damage, follow these simple yet very important tips: • Always apply sunscreen liberally to all exposed areas of the skin at least 15 minutes before stepping foot outside and be sure to do this all year round! Reapply every two hours. • For those hard-to-reach areas, including the back, grab a close friend or family member and ask them to apply it for you. Better yet, a lot of sunscreens come in the spray form so you can avoid those awkward backrubs. • If you can, avoid being outdoors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Why? That’s when the UV rays are the strongest. • Avoid tanning beds. • Examine your skin thoroughly every month. • Wear protective clothing, including UV-blocking sunglasses and sun hats. • Planning on being outside all day? Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has a SPF of 30 or higher.

People who have dark skin tones often believe they’re not at risk for skin cancer, but that is a dangerous misconception, says dermatologist Maritza I. Perez, M.D., a senior vice president of The Skin Cancer Foundation. While incidence of melanoma is higher in the Caucasian population, a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology showed it is more deadly in people of color. African-American patients were most likely to be diagnosed with melanoma in its later stages than any other group in the study, and they also had the worst prognosis and the lowest overall survival rate. It is crucial to detect skin cancer early, when it is easiest to treat and most likely to be cured.

WARNING SIGNS: • A bump, patch, sore or growth that bleeds, oozes, crusts, doesn’t heal or lasts longer than a month. This may indicate basal cell carcinoma. • An ulcer, scaly red patch, wartlike growth or sore that sometimes crusts or bleeds could be a sign of squamous cell carcinoma. This type of skin cancer can also develop in old scars or areas of previous physical trauma or inflammation. • New or existing moles that are asymmetrical, have an irregular border, more than one color, are larger than a pencil eraser or change in any way may indicate melanoma. Pay special attention to suspicious spots on the hands, soles of the feet or under the nails, which could signify acral lentiginous melanoma.

This story initially was published in and has been reprinted with permission. ONYX MAGAZINE 37


Terrance Patterson is the founder of The Ritz Chamber Players

he Ritz Chamber Players is hailed by “The Baltimore Sun” as “one of the most interesting and dynamic ensembles to emerge in recent years.” Boasting some of the world’s preeminent musicians spanning the African diaspora, it brings a fresh, new energy to the classical music genre. Its members perform with prestigious organizations including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and the London Symphony. Founded in 2002 by clarinetist and Artistic Director Terrance Patterson, the Ritz Chamber Players presents a landmark subscription series at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in Jacksonville, Florida combining exceptional artistry on stage with inspiring educational programs in schools and throughout the community. Through its concert series in Jacksonville and performances across the United States, the Ritz Chamber Players continues to build the participation of multicultural audiences that reflect our diverse society.


Called “a remarkable ensemble,” the group’s flexible structure allows for astonishing combinations of virtuoso players and rising stars, creating “riveting” performances of the standard classical music repertoire. The Ritz Chamber Players is also unique in its dedication to showcase the works of African-American composers with exceedingly artistic and informed interpretations. Its highly successful début concert at New York’s Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall was marked by a standing room only crowd, with critics proclaiming the group’s performance “extraordinary” and “vital and fresh.” The group made its international radio début on the BBC World Service and WYNC New York with a concert broadcast to more than 40 countries, and its first national television appearance on the 37th Annual NAACP Image Awards. The Ritz Chamber Players has been guests of the highly-praised National Public Radio and the Tavis Smiley Shows and is a regular performer at the Madison and Amelia Island Chamber Music Festivals.

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CeCe Teneal & Soul Kamotion Release First Single “What I’d Do To Get Your Love Back” is the first single from “#5or5000,” a blend of blues, soul and roots music.

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eCe Teneal & Soul Kamotion released the first single off of their new live album “#5or5000” on April 17. The album’s first single, “What I’d Do To Get Your Love Back” was originally written by CeCe’s mom, international blues singer Yvonne Jackson, and when the band listened to it, the words took on a whole new meaning. “The song is an opportunity to reflect on what that moment would be like to get someone’s love back for just one day – a parent, sibling, friend or love interest,” said CeCe. “We’ve all been there.” The band’s new live album, “#5or5000,” which will have a June 19 release, is a captivating, energetic and entertaining blend of songs that catapult fans to a place where

they just can’t hold back. It’s funky, fun, enchanting, powerful, faith-filled, purposeful, and reflective. It speaks to all stages of love and living and embracing our true life, while reminding people to appreciate their blessings and not take things for granted. In total, “#5or5000” reflects CeCe Teneal & Soul Kamotion’s mission of giving the same show and a hundred percent of themselves, whether there are five or five thousand people in the audience. This band Is a well-primed musical force and prepared to spread their message on a global scale. Soul Kamotion has been captivating the globe with original, live music for more than 16 years. Their blend of blues, soul and roots music uplifts and inspires audiences with messages of hope, love and the

belief that anything is possible. They pride themselves on providing incredible live music experiences that transcend cultural and generational barriers. The funkiest musicians to ever touch the stage, Soul Kamotion is the smooth and passionate, Chris Baptiste (Keys & MD); the creative and innovative Terrell Kimble (Bass), the ever-so rhythmic James Adkins (drums) and the multi-talented Lavon Rushing (Guitar). They have as their song “90 MPH” suggests, one gear – high energy. Lead singer CeCe Teneal is an award-winning, undeniable talent who both critics and fans call “a musical force to be reckoned with,” and her achievements in the industry over the past decade are certainly testament to that view.




7 Keys to Sticking to Your Goals and Achieving Anything By Susan Friesen

Change is hard. That’s why there aren’t thousands of self-help books telling people the secrets to change. But why is change so difficult and what can you do to make it easier? Here are seven tips to keep you inspired and moving forward towards your goals. 1. Create a New Belief Before you see change in your outer world, you need to start with change in your inner world. Who do you need to be and what do you need to believe about yourself to make this goal happen? Create an affirmation around the positive change you want to see. Here are some examples: • I AM making a difference in the lives of 1000’s of people across the world. • I AM a sought-after (fill in the blank) and thought-leader. Say your affirmations in the morning and at night and watch the transformation take place! 2. Break Big Goals into Smaller Achievable Steps While it’s great to have crazy big goals it can also leave you frustrated. That’s why it’s important to break your goals down into smaller bite-sized actions. Smaller goals will give you a sense of progress and being achievable which keeps you motivated.

Break them down into tasks with a time frame. That way you can check them off as you complete each task and feel more accomplished. 3. Schedule Time to Work on Goals If your goals are your top priority it only makes sense to schedule time on your calendar dedicated to achieving them. I know you must work IN your business, but reaching goals means time is needed to work ON your business. Block out time to work solely on tasks that help you achieve your goal. Guard that time carefully. Success requires dedicated time to put yourself first. 4. Get Support Have someone to be your cheerleader who can keep you focused and on track. Join an online support group. Hire a coach or mentor. Tell your best friend or spouse what you intend to do. Support will hold you accountable, keep you motivated, and help you when you feel stuck. 5. Celebrate Small Wins If you are putting in hard work remember to acknowledge your efforts and progress. Find an exciting way to reward yourself when you reach certain benchmarks.

Do you want a pedicure? Want a movie night? What about treating yourself to a nice massage? Find a reward that truly motivates you to put in the work and make it happen. 6. Visualize Your Goal-Completed Rewards Many athletes will tell you the secret to winning the game or achieving that record is to visualize them accomplishing it first. When you see yourself achieving the goal in your mind it puts the power of your subconscious to work for you. You’ll spot the resources and opportunities that are available to support you. Seeing it in your mind first is believing. Once you own that vision of your success you are half way there to achieving it. 7. Gear Up Get the tools, support and information you need to complete your goal. Do you need to get your business branding done or a new website built? Should you hire a new team memberV? Whatever your goal is there is a book you can read, a course you can take, or someone you can talk to that will enable you to move you forward. Invest in what you need to make it happen. Article by ONYX MAGAZINE 41


STEMulation STEM camps and classes provide children with an additional advantage in helping to prepare them for post-secondary education and real-world jobs. By Stephen Roome


Here are a few examples of how attending STEM classes and camps can help with a child’s educational development: 1. Learn New Skills Although they focus on science, technology, engineering and math, STEM classes can help children develop problem solving skills, critical thinking, discipline and focus. Children who attend STEM programs learn far more than just the basic concepts and applications—it is about furthering their education as a whole and helping them excel in other areas of education. 2. Prepare for the Future Having your child enrolled in a structured STEM summer camp can help acclimate them to new regiments, which helps them prepare for the future. They can gain invaluable experience by taking extra-curricular classes that will help them prepared for entering college and a career.

3. Inspiration and Exploration

Children participating in STEM classes and camps may find new areas of study they didn’t know about and find a renewed interest in something they had learned before. It opens their eyes to new fields of and inspires a lifetime of discovery. 4. Build Confidence & Leadership Skills Children (especially those who are gifted or have learning disabilities) can find it difficult to relate to peers their age. By allowing them to work in a collaborative environment with children who share the same interests, STEM camps can help these children build self-esteem and strong social skills that will benefit them well beyond their school years. Article by

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oday, you can’t give kids too big of an advantage to succeed. Often, schools may not provide all the support that children need to learn more about science, math, engineering, and technology. So, it is important for parents to consider alternative education programs that provide additional focus on STEM. Often, it is easy to find after-school programs or even STEM-themed summer camps to help further a child’s education. Studies have shown that children who attend extracurricular STEM-themed classes and programs are more likely to excel in those subjects. This, in turn, opens a wide array of college and career opportunities for them after they graduate. What’s more, the camps are designed to be as much fun for the kids as they are educational.


Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Sell Your Home Spring is in the air and homebuyers are coming out of hibernation. With the holidays over and the weather warming up, it is the time of year that is typically considered a hot period for the housing market. But this will not be your standard spring homebuying season – 2018 is expected to be a particularly powerful year for home sales. If you have considered selling your home, here are some reasons this season and this year is a great time to get started on those plans: It is the right time of year Spring is the undisputed champion of seasons for selling a home – not only are flowers in bloom and the sky blue for some great marketing photos, but also people are chomping at the bit to get the closing process started so they can be moved in and settled before

the children start school in the fall. However, if you are selling your vacation home then the best time to sell is during winter and spring months. These homebuyers will want to make sure it is ready for their next vacation. If your property is merely for investment, there is typically little influence of the seasons. This is because the main goal is to get a return on the investment.

The market is in the right place - A combination of low interest rates and low single-family housing inventory means there are a lot of eager homebuyers who must compete for what is on the market. The fact that it is a seller’s market—meaning the seller has an upper hand since there are more buyers than homes available—provides a great opening for homeowners looking to sell. Also, the opportunity is par-

ticularly good for those who have held off on selling in recent years while they wait for home values to go back up.

You have a whole new buyer pool. It is not just low interest rates that are bringing people back to the market—2018 is a prime time for the millennial generation to join the homebuying party. Not only is owning a home more desired, but it is also more feasible for millennials after at least a few years of working and saving. Get started now. There is still time to get your home on the market this spring to take advantage of the growing number of interested buyers, but successfully reaching potential buyers requires a bit more work than just an online post; and it is best to get started sooner rather than later.

Prep your Home Price it right the first time Stay competitive

The information in this article was compiled by Dee Parker, Broker/Owner at Parker Realty Group and Chair of ONYX Magazine Advisory Committee.



Nature Hike Leads to National Bird By Damani Dickerson


he need for scientists will always exist. With additional concerns constantly facing the environment and so many questions still requiring answers, we need kids excited and interested in the sciences inspired to be the voice of animals and nature for the future. A new project spearheaded by District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill, Lake Sunset/Luola Terrace Neighborhood Association and ONYX Magazine supporting children, community and science education and the sciences does just that. Recently, several dozen students from Legends Academy Charter Science Club (Orlando, FL) participated in a program that began with a short classroom presentation where students interacted with a rescued eagle named “Trouble” and ended with a fieldtrip to Lizzie Rodgers Park to observe a family of eagles in the wild. “Science complements children’s natural curiosity and helps them develop important life skills, such as critical thinking, math and an understanding of nature,” said Rich Black, the publisher of ONYX Magazine and president of Lake Sunset/Luola Terrace Neighborhood Association. “ I and the residents strongly support activities that help the the younger generation grow into productive members of the community.” Hill, a strong advocate for learning and healthy living, believes education is the greatest equalizer and all neighborhoods should have a park for family activities and community events. 44 ONYX MAGAZINE

A leader in the efforts to revitalize the park, she’s delighted to see her vision developing. “Education gives you power. This teaches the kids to respect nature in order to preserve it,” she said. “This green space is one of the best kept secrets in Orlando. Green spaces in neighborhood parks such as this bring people together.” A study done by U.S. Fish and Wildlife ranks Florida atop the list of states with the highest population of bald eagles and also the highest rate of development, making the disappearing natural habitats where eagles can foster their young a concern for the health of the population and its survival. Adapting to the environment, eagles are learning to live among people and the Lizzie Rodgers Park nest is a perfect example of that. The 3.14-acre park named after a local resident and humanitarian is a great resource for the area. Although first reported last year, it’s said the nest has been in the park for several. This year, the eagles affectionately named by the community “the Obamas,” returned and successfully raised two young. According to Shawnlei Breeding, Audubon Florida EagleWatch Program Manager for the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, the eagles return to the park is a testament to the neighborhood.

Shawnlei Breeding of the Audubon Florida Eagle Watch Program educates students about the national bird.

Kids view the “Royal Family” eagles, affectionately known by the community as “The Obamas” through binoculars

“Obviously if the eagles keep coming back they must be happy there. The park is fairly in an urban area and provides a nice natural oasis next to a beautiful lake,” Breeding said. “It is very important to protect some of these natural areas in these urban settings so that animals like eagles can have a place to raise their families and persist into the future in our state.” The science club is just one of the Academy’s many opportunities for development and includes kids interested in science from kindergarten to the eighth grade. Students meet after school two-to-three times a month for enrichment activities. The eagle presentation and fieldtrip are part of an overall initiative to involve the students in their neighborhood with more community-based activities. The program had a powerful impact and sparked interest with the students. All who participated were attentive and engaged, all the while smiling, pointing and gazing. “This was amazing. Our scholars got to see an eagle up close and were also exposed to something as rare as a nest of eagles right in their own back yard,” Executive Director of Legends Academy Charter Dr. Jennifer Porter Smith said. “This experience will be something they will always remember.”



FAMU Photo by Don Hayes

EWC Officially Announces Its 30Th President By Talia Ashley Dr. A. Zachary Faison Jr. has been selected as the 30th President and CEO of Edward Waters College via a unanimous vote by the College’s Board of Trustees. A native of Atlanta, Ga., Faison’s career includes distinguished professional experiences as a higher education executive administrator, educator and attorney. He is currently the general counsel and vice president of External Affairs at Tuskegee University where he serves as the university’s chief legal officer and provides principal oversight for its legislative and governmental relations functions. Dr. Faison brings an impressive résumé to Jacksonville’s Tiger Nation, and the campus community looks forward to continued focus on student success. Faison follows the leadership of Dr. Nathaniel Glover who served as president of the college for seven years. Faison graduated Magna Cum Laude from Albany State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. While there, he was an ASU Presidential/Foundation Scholar, ASU Velma Fudge Grant University Honors Program Graduate, ASU National Merit Scholar Graduate, an inductee of the Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society. He attended the University of Georgia School of Law (UGA) where he earned his Juris Doctorate (J.D.)

From the Mississippi Delta Promo 3 Delta Queen (L to R) Jessica Allen - Woman Three; Jewelisia Fagg - Woman One; Sarah Lubin - Woman Two.

FAMU Theatre Students to Make History in Scotland By Yanela McLeod When Jewelisia Fagg learned she was one of nine Florida A&M University theatre students selected to represent its Essential Theatre in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, she simply could not believe it. “I’m a small-town girl who has never been west of New Orleans or north of Washington, D.C.,” said Fagg, a senior theatre performance major from Gretna, Fla. “Performing during the Festival Fringe will increase my drive to excel in school and in my career, so that I can be afforded more opportunities to travel to other new and exciting places.” The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest performing arts festival in the world. The annually anticipated event, which will be held August 1-12, 2018, draws performing and visual artists from across the globe who gather to celebrate and appreciate a vast selection of world-wide performances. Valencia E. Matthews, Ph.D., dean of the FAMU College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, said, “The opportunity for our students to participate in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe provides an extraordinary experience for them, allowing them to engage artistically on the global stage as performers, designers, technicians, and arts administrators. They will use the experience to enrich themselves professionally and the Essential Theatre programmatically.” As part of the International Collegiate Theatre Festival Fringe, Essential Theatre will perform “From the Mississippi Delta,” written by critically acclaimed playwright, scholar and civil rights activist— the late Dr. Endesha Ida Mae Holland. The University’s contingent includes a student cast and crew, as well as program administrative and production personnel. Students were carefully selected based on their audition, good academic standing, character, work ethic, and contributions to the Essential Theatre. More information on the Theatre and how to become a supporter of this unique opportunity is available at FAMU. edu/EssentialTheatre.


ON THE QUAD Bethune-Cookman University to Receive Funds from Beyoncé


Rena Upshaw-Frazier and Anddrikk Frazier with their daughters; Heather Hayslett Packer, Will Packer, Birice Packer and Tameche Packer

Kente Awards

The University of South Florida presented the 2018 Kente Awards in Tampa with ONYX Magazine as the print Media Partner. The scholarship luncheon provided funds for 15 African-American students to continue their studies at the University. The keynote speaker was top movie producer, director and Florida A&M University graduate Will Packer, who inspired the crowd of more than 300 at the USF Marshall Center with a riveting speech about how to use your failures to help propel you forward — never give up! Packer’s father and USF graduate, William Packer, Sr., posthumously received the 2018 Joyce Russell Kente Alumni Award. The family was presented with a surprise gift by painter Raven Lawson. The Joyce Russell Kente Community Leader Award went to USF alum Anddrikk Frazier.

Photo by Kerrick Williams Photography

Bethune-Cookman University is all abuzz with the announcement that entertainer and philanthropist Beyoncé Knowles will award a $25,000 scholarship for the 2018 – 2019 school year to a deserving female student as part of her Homecoming Scholars Award Program. Beyoncé, indisputably one of the most influential entertainers of her generation, became the first African American woman to headline the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival since its inception 19 years ago. Her electrifying performance has since been dubbed “Beychella.” Following her HBCU homecomingthemed April 14 performance which “paid homage to excellence in education, was a celebration of the homecoming weekend experience and the highest display of college pride,” the newly-formed scholarship was shared. “The energy-filled production put the spotlight on art and culture, mixing the ancient and the modern, which resonated masterfully through the marching band, performance art, choir and dance. It was the impetus to mark her second scholarship program,” read a BeyGOOD press release. “I am truly grateful for this high honor in the legacy of our founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune,” said Bethune-Cookman University Interim President Hubert L. Grimes. “This gift reminds us of the importance of HBCUs and the support for our students from the entire community. We want to properly thank Beyoncé for selecting our university for this prestigious honor and financial support. The individual selected for this scholarship will reflect both our founder’s vision and the respect we have for Beyoncé and her many contributions to the fabric of our society,” Grimes said. The Homecoming Scholars Award Program for 2018 – 2019 will extend to all qualifying students at the four universities, which include Tuskegee University, Xavier and Wilberforce, regardless of gender. The disciplines will include literature, creative arts, African-American studies, science, education, business, communications, social sciences, computer science and engineering. All applicants must maintain a 3.5 GPA or above. Bethune-Cookman University will announce its Homecoming Scholars Award scholarship recipient at a later date.

Celebrating 50 Years: Building on the Legacy of Faith, Leadership and Service

National Alumni Association Bethune-Cookman University Orange County - Host Chapter Cynthia Walker-Bland, Chapter President Jennifer L. Adams, National President

June 27-July 1, 2018 Rosen Plaza Hotel 9700 International Drive, Orlando, FL (407) 996-9700 Rates - $125.00 – Single or Double

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Wednesday, June 27, 2018 2:00pm-6:00pm Registration & Information 3:00pm-5:00pm Executive Committee Meeting 7:00pm-9:00pm Opening & Welcome Program (Chapter Roll Call) 10:00pm-Midnight Hospitality or Free Time Thursday, June 28, 2018 8:00 am- 5:00pm Registration & Information 8:00 am -9:00am Continental Breakfast 9:00 am – 9:45 Institutional Advancement/Alumni Affairs 10:00am- 11:45am Workshop – “Making Healthy Choices” Noon-2:00pm Lunch Workshop _Team Building 2:30pm-4:30pm First Plenary Session 4:30pm-6:00pm Ms. Alumni Rehearsal 5:30pm-8:30 pm Glitz & Glam Day Party / President Hubert Grimes Reception (3Nine Club) Attire: Chic Party Wear Friday, June 29, 2018 8:00am-2:00pm Registration & Information 8:30am-10:30am Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Breakfast & Necrology Services Attire: White 10:45am-11:45 Workshop – “Get Your Finances in Order” 11:55am-1:00pm Workshop – “The Search for BCU’s Next President” 1:00pm Lunch on Your Own 2:30pm-5:00pm Second Plenary Session 5:00pm-6:00pm Ms. Alumni Rehearsal (if necessary) 7:30pm-10:30pm Ms. Alumni Coronation Attire: Semi-Formal 11:00pm Hospitality Saturday, June 30, 2018 8:00am-10:00am 8:30am- 10:30 am Noon-2:30pm 8:00pm-11:00pm

Registration & Information Third Plenary Session President’s State of the University Luncheon Golden Awards Gala Attire: Black Tie- “Shades of Gold”

Sunday, July 1, 2018 9:00am

Church Services

Check website for Registration, Hotel, Vendor and Sponsorships information



Successful Rules of Dressing For Men in 2018 By Mark Hillery


very year I enjoy sharing keys to a polished image. These tips are elements that progressive men can incorporate into their lives to increase their earning potential. This year was no exception, and I have dedicated several hours of research to identify the 7 Successful Rules of Dressing for Men in 2018.

wearer know when and how to wear them. Belts should match the shoes. Braces can match the tie or the pocket square, but again should not be clip-on suspenders. Lastly, socks are so fun. So, please avoid buying a boring pair. Rule #6 – Sophisticated men invest in a soft-edged briefcase. Most businessmen use some sort of electronic device when making business presentations. Purchase a briefcase that accommodates your laptop computer, notebooks and/or important documents. Consider staying neutral in color by carrying a black or brown briefcase to all of your business meetings.

Rule #1 – Successful men know the value of a business suit. Most men see the suit as their power uniform. Men regardless of profession need to look like they’re headed to the Boardroom to talk strategy. Simply purchasing a suit is not enough. Invest in a relationship with a talented tailor and get the perfect fit. The initial color choices should be Navy Blue, Black, and Gray. A two-button single breasted is the preference until you have enough variety in your wardrobe. Rule #2 – Every man knows the value of a classic timepiece! It’s time to lose the sports watch and relaxed approach to your professional success. Purchasing an expensive watch sends a message to others that you are serious about winning and that your time is valuable. Classic watches can range in price from several hundreds to thousands. Rule #3 – Successful men know how

to coordinate the shirt and necktie combination. Add power to your suit by coordinating patterned shirts and ties so that you wear the entire look with a confidence that says I know what I’m doing! Patterns in a dress shirt with competing and complimentary patterns in neckwear, is a bold move for the dapper gent. 48 ONYX MAGAZINE

Rule #4 – Serious and successful men wear dress shoes in 2018. Actually, well polished and maintained dress shoes. Men should own two pair of black and two pair of brown shoes for the sake of maintenance. Make sure to invest in wooden shoetree shapers and try not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Allowing the shoes to dry helps to retain its form and last even longer. Rule #5 – Men that invest in accessories such as belts, braces (not suspenders), lapel pins, pocket-squares and dress socks, demonstrate an appreciation for a complete head-to-toe look. Purchasing the items mentioned requires that the

Rule #7 – Successful men take their individual grooming and hygiene seriously. After completing rules 1-6, let your last stop be a visit to your favorite barber. Depending on your profession, you will have to decide the style of hair that fits your industry. Also, consider the value of a regular manicure and pedicure. While you won’t plan to walk around the office without your shoes, men need to present clean and well-maintained hands as part of a polished image.

Gentlemen, you deserve the right to enjoy the success that you crave and desire. Sometimes we are hesitant to ask for help pulling together all of the pieces that we need for a polished image. Looking and feeling your best is a deliberate act. I believe following these seven rules will effectively put you on the path to success in 2018.


From the Runway to Your Driveway Seven tips to boost your fashion statement By Lena Graham-Morris

We see magazine ads or runway shows and hesitate to incorporate the trends into our everyday looks. Here are seven ways to bring the runway to your driveway.

Hint: Seasons are a major inspiration on what the palates will be. Be on the lookout for what hues you see taking over magazine spreads and department store visuals.

1. Color Coated – Each season has a color palette. Take heed to editorial spreads and runway designs to find out what those colors are. Make a concerted effort to include those colors in your signature looks.

2. State Your Case – Grab your favorite magazine. Which accessories and jewelry stand out? Do they have a tribal feel, metallic glare, classic pearls? Add several statement pieces to your wardrobe line up and change the look and feel of your outfit. Hint: Don’t be afraid to raid a lower end accessory store to try out bolder pieces, mix and match and find out what tickles your fancy. 3. Locs of Love –Take note of the color, shape, and texture, of the season’s hair trends. Start with incorporating styling methods. Does this season’s look have body wave or bone straight? Hint: Try a wig or hair extensions if you want to test the waters without altering your precious tresses.

4. Lip Envy – One of the easiest ways to adjust your look and make a statement is to change your lip color. Is the season’s lip look bold with over stated lip liner, matte or glossy? Hint: Regardless of the trend, make sure that you are comfortable with your decision, don’t be afraid to test out colors at your local cosmetic counter. 5. Brow Power – Eyebrow shapes come and go, although you may hesitate to be as dramatic as some of the editorial trends, you can adjust the product to capture the runway inspiration. Use powder and an angle brush for a bolder brow, for a softer brow you can use a brow gel. Hint: All fabulous brows start with upkeep. Be sure to shape your brows regularly. 6. Make Me Up – For runway and print makeup, we often must exaggerate coverage and colors. You can still achieve the season’s looks by concentrating on the end effect. For instance, are cheeks bronzy or bold? Are eyes smoky or bright color? Hint: Maybe it’s time to change your blush or eyeliner. Small touches like these will allow you to keep up with the trends, but not feel coerced to dramatic change. 7. Head Over Heels – No outfit is complete without the ultimate shoe and realistically, we cannot emulate the high fashion trends in the office. However, we can take note to what the season’s shoe shapes and textures are so that we can update our shoe game appropriately. Is patent leather back, or will suede win? What heel is in this season? Rounded or pointy toe? Hint: No matter how beautiful the shoe is, make sure it is comfortable.



Mary McLeod Bethune’s Statue to Replace Confederate Memorial Mary McLeod Bethune’s statue will replace that of Confederate Gen. Edwin Kirby Smith in National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C. Bethune will be the first African-American woman to represent any state in the national hall. The Florida Senate voted 37-0 and the Florida House voted 111-1 for her likeness to take the Florida spot, joining the father of air conditioning, John Gorrie. Gov. Rick Scott signed the measure into law and, as is stated in the bill, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs will acquire and display Smith’s statue. The Florida Legislature voted to replace Smith in 2016 after nationwide outrage over the killing of nine African-Americans in a historic Charleston, S.C., church sparked discussion against Confederate symbols. Rep. Patrick Henry, D-Daytona Beach, sponsored the bill, but not all his colleagues were in favor. The lone opposer was Jay Fant, R-Jacksonville, who has filed legislation to block the removal of Confederate memorials, and who also is a candidate for attorney general. Widely known as the “First Lady of the Struggle,” Bethune is the founder of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona, Fla. She promoted the school nationally to prove the significant accomplishments African-Americans could make. Her efforts as an activist landed her in Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Black Cabinet,” and she went on to advise five U.S. presidents. Bethune was the only African-American woman present at the founding of the United Nations in 1945.


B-CU Kicks Off Nationwide Campaign to Raise Statue Funds The Bethune-Cookman University Board of Trustees and Interim President Hubert Grimes launched a nationwide ask to complete the Mary McLeod Bethune National Statuary Hall Campaign. The cost to complete is $400,000. Honorary fundraising chairpersons are Bethune-Cookman University Board of Trustees Nancy Lohman and Dr. Lucille O’Neal. Organizers encourage both alumni and students to participate in this historic project. Also, the community will be vital to this campaign and contribution of any amount will be acknowledged. For more information regarding the Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune National Statuary Hall Campaign, contact Bethune-Cookman University’s Office of Legacy and Women’s Initiative at 386-481-2374.

In 2002, Rich Black, an alumnus of BethuneCookman University and publisher of ONYX Magazine, served as the brain child and visionary behind the building of the first monument in Florida to recognize Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. The statue and monument was unveiled during the University’s centennial celebration in 2004. ONYX Magazine served as the media partner under the leadership of Co-Founders Lester and Lillian Seays.

Library Named for Former State Senator Vanguard Attorneys Blog Senator Arthenia Joyner has spent her career advocating for her community and in March, her passion and dedication was recognized in front of dozens of people at the Grand Opening Ceremony for the Arthenia L. Joyner University Area Community Library at 13619 N 22nd Street in Tampa. Nearly twenty years after an initial desire was expressed to build a library in University Area, the grand opening signifies an addition to the community that promotes accessibility, education and opportunity. Throughout her life, Senator Joyner has championed for her community and because of her tireless efforts. Tampa residents will be able to access computers, books and other educational resources at a state of the art facility. The doors at the library will remain “open to all” with hours that accommodate area residents.

University Area CDC

Tampa CDC Founder Named “Community Hero” Tampa Bay Lighting News Release The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Chloe Coney as the 39th Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight’s game versus the Arizona Coyotes. Coney, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the funds to the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa (CDC of Tampa). In 1992, Chloe founded the CDC of Tampa, a grassroots community-based development corporation that focuses on neighborhood revitalization and economic development to establish new businesses, create jobs and develop affordable housing. Over her decades of service, Chloe has worked on improving every aspect of East Tampa by getting the attention of philanthropists and private investors, as well as instilling pride and hope in residents and local businesses.

Chloe Coney becomes the 310th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community.

SPC President Named Among Top Women in Education St. Petersburg College President Tonjua Williams was named one of the top 25 women in higher education by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. In honor of Women’s History Month, Diverse highlighted women who have made a difference in society by tackling some of higher education’s toughest challenges, exhibiting extraordinary leadership skills and making a difference in their respective communities. “It is an honor to be recognized,” said SPC President Tonjua Williams. “However, I stand on the shoulders of great leaders who have invested in me over the years and inspired me to grow.” Williams is the seventh president of St. Petersburg College and has held various positions throughout her 30 plus years of experience in higher education. Williams is recognized nationally as an expert in student development and executing plans that transform departments and institutions.



Smokey Robinson, Jazz in the Gardens Anita Baker, Jazz in the Gardens

Jazz in the Gardens By Sharon Fletcher Jones Miami Gardens’ Jazz in the Gardens (JITG) 2018 delivered all that was promised and some. Vendors offering everything from fine art to fast foods saw lines of festival goers stretching far making JITG 2018 yet another great success. The two-day all-star line-up included Mr. Motown himself Smokey Robinson, the fantastic Fantasia, Chaka Khan, a crazy-sexy-cool Joe, the incomparable Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Anita Baker and JITG All-Stars featuring Pieces of A Dream with Walter Beasley and Avery Sunshine. JITG Loves the 90s brought artists including Salt-n-Pepa, Kid ‘n Play, Biz Markie and Trick Daddy to the stage. Once again, Jazz in the Gardens was the perfect setting for homecomings, reunions, meetups and date nights with many notable musical performances and host Rickey Smiley’s brand of pure entertainment. Smokey Robinson left everyone wondering what’s next for the crooner and proved he’s never lost his “sexy,” and Fantasia moved seamlessly from rockin’ the house to raising the roof with a gospel tribute. But the most anticipated performance by all accounts was given by Ms. Anita Baker. Designating JITG as part of her farewell tour, Baker held the audience captive while she sang hit after hit after hit. Calling herself an old lady and admitting to being winded, the consummate songstress never missed a beat and gave no less than her best to the adoring crowd. For the second year, local actor Alex Hibbert made an appearance along with his mom. The young actor who starred in the 2017 Best Picture Academy Award-winning “Moonlight” spoke about his current role on Showtime television’s “The Chi” and how proud he was to be a part of Marvel’s record-breaking blockbuster “Black Panther.”

Contemporary Wonders Orlando Ballet performed “Contemporary Wonders,” a production with three bold premieres, at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, May 4 through 6. The repertoire included the company premiere of Jessica Lang’s “From Foreign Lands and People,” and the world premieres of Arcadian Broad’s “Mad Hatter’s Wonderland,” and “Love Is,” a special collaboration between Artistic Director Robert Hill and renowned vocalist and “The Voice” star, Sisaundra Lewis. Making the creation of new works by Hill, Lewis and Broad possible, Krista and Jonathan Ledden, both Orlando


Robert, Sisaundra and Mark at “Contemporary Wonders” rehearsal.

Ballet board members, donated $100,000 to sponsor “Contemporary Wonders.” It is the single largest performance underwriting made by individuals in the history of Orlando Ballet. ONYX Magazine joined the cast during the launch of the show.

A Tribute to Ella! A Tribute to Ella! concert with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra performances was breathtaking. The acoustics in the Bob Carr auditorium were absolutely stunning to hear. Conductor Larry Blank led the musical pulse of the show and kept the perform- Kate Wilson, United Arts Board ers metrically in rhythm. Chair; Flora Maria Garcia, United Highlights throughout the Arts CEO and President; show were performed by Chris Barton, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Executive Director vocalists Capathia Jenkins, Harolyn Blackwell and Aisha de Haas. Ella’s signature songs included: Capathia Jenkins- “A Tisket A Tasket,” Harolyn Blackwell “Summertime” and Aisha deHaas – “Mr Paganini.” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” composed by Duke Ellington with and the lyrics written by Irving Mills, was performed by all three artists. The artists’ rhythmical interpretations resonated throughout the filled auditorium. A

few of the songs Ella sang during her career were composed George Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, and Duke Ellington. Harolyn Blackwell’s vocal performance of “Laura”, which has been recorded over 400 times, was amazing. The performers’ gowns were elegant and absolutely gorgeous and the audience responded overwhelmingly to each dress change.

George Edgecomb Fundraising Dinner ONYX Magazine attended the 35th annual George Edgecomb Bar Association Dinner in Tampa. This year’s event joined with ONYX advertiser Moffitt Cancer Center Center’s George Edgecomb Society to raise awareness about cancer health disparities. Hall of Fame Allison Edgecomb, Sports Announcer and pediatric Atty. H. Lee Moffitt and cancer patient champion Dick Doretha Edgecomb Vitale gave an inspiring speech and the audience raised more than $102,000 in pledges. Doretha Edgecomb and Center Founder H. Lee Moffitt attended the event with 800+ guests.

Keynote speaker Dick Vitale with event sponsor Victor Young, president of BMW/Lamborghini of Sarasota (center). From left, Joyce Austin, Tia Young, Anita Young, Jordyn Young.

Central Care Mission Breakfast ONYX Magazine is a proud Community Sponsor of Central Care Mission and the men it helps regain sobriety. ONYX attended the Mission’s Transforming Homelessness breakfast with about 700 guests. Valerie and Mike Lee told a heart wrenching story about their son Brent who lost his battle with opioids, but because of the Mission, he was back on track and had completed a promising job interview. According to Mission stats, 88 percent of the men make it successfully through the program.

BWOBEE Honors Luncheon ONYX Magazine attended Tampa’s Black Women Business Owners, Executives, and Entrepreneurs (BWBOEE) lunch meeting at the historic Ybor City restaurant Columbia. BWBOEE honored educator Doris Ross Reddick, the first black woman elected to the Hillsborough County School Board; and her daughter, Clemmie Perry, the founder of Women of Color Golf. Ross Reddick, who also just celebrated her 91st birthday, is a 1947 graduate of Bethune-Cookman University and none other than Mary McLeod Bethune signed her degree. BWOBEE also paid tribute to its founder Janet Brooks, who was a pioneer in the construction industry, ensuring that women and other minorities had a fair shot at getting top bids.

Doctors Marry in Soiree

Dr. Father James Duffy led a beautiful wedding mass at Good Shepard Catholic Church in Tallahassee, Florida on April 7. It marked the beginning of the union between Doctor Lauren Thornton, of Tallahassee, an anesthesiologist and Doctor Emil Fernando of Poplar Bluff, Mo., an internist. Lauren is the daughter of corporate and political media consultant and ONYX Magazine Associate Editor Gayle Andrews and retired state executive Harold Thornton of Tallahassee. Emil is the son of Doctor and Mrs. Joseph Fernando. Hundreds of guests attended the elegant reception celebration at the beautiful Southwood House.

Black, Brown and College Bound ONYX Magazine was a proud Media Partner with the Black, Brown and College Bound Summit at Hillsborough Community College. The Sylvia M. Carley Luncheon kicked off the three-day conference and featured keynote speaker Michael Strahan of “Good Morning America” and FOX Sports. Strahan spoke about his rise to football success and news/sports host fame! More than 500 men attending college participated in expert-led discussions that focused on health disparities, mental health wellness, technology, and leadership, among other topics.

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2 thick slices country-style bread, torn into bite-size pieces 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling Kosher salt or 1 tsp low sodium chicken base paste 1 large white onion, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1/2 tablespoons thyme leaves, dried 1/2 tsp oregano, dried Freshly ground black pepper 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cut into wedges 1/2 to 1 cup fat free half and half Hot sauce, to taste Garnish - shaved parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss bread with 2 tablespoons oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Bake, tossing halfway through, until golden brown and crunchy, 8–10 minutes; set croutons aside. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onion, garlic, chicken base, oregano and thyme; season with pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, 5–7 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until they just start to release their juices, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Transfer tomato mixture to a blender and blend until smooth; For creamy texture pour milk in while blending on high speed until smooth. When desired thick or thinness occurs. Taste and add hot sauce to your liking. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle soup with croutons and parmesan cheese flakes. Enjoy!

Roniece Weaver, M.S., L.D., R.D., is a registered dietician and president executive director and founding partner of Hebni Nutrition Consultants.


ONYX Magazine May/June 2018  

Joe Morton, black music month, leo bennett, paul anthony, lady smooth sax, joanna fleming, the ritz chamber players, funk fest, mary mcleod...

ONYX Magazine May/June 2018  

Joe Morton, black music month, leo bennett, paul anthony, lady smooth sax, joanna fleming, the ritz chamber players, funk fest, mary mcleod...