PReporter March 2018

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MARCH 2018


Mayor Sharon Weston Broome

Joyce E. Howard

Reverend T.J. Jemison


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

6 Tips for Thinking Big and Realizing Your Dreams

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Legendary singer Billie Holiday with musicians including Ben Webster, left, and Johnny Russell, right, in Harlem in 1935.(Photo: JP Jazz Archive, Rev. T.J. Jemerison Redferns) We have come to the end of another Black History Month. I have enjoyed reading and learning about so many historical events and the great people here in our city of Baton Rouge, across the State of Louisiana as well as others in America and around the world who have shaped the course of our great and rich heritage. It is my hope that we continue to celebrate the achievements of great African-Americans for the next 11 months and pass this wealth of information down to our children for generations to come. Don’t let Black History end February 28th! Each year Americans set aside a few weeks to focus their historical hindsight on the contributions that people of African descent have made to this country. While not everyone agrees Black History Month is a good thing, there are several reasons why I think it’s appropriate to celebrate this occasion. THE HISTORY OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH First, let’s briefly recount the advent of Black History Month. Also called African-American History Month, this event originally began as Negro History Week in 1926. It took place during the second week of February because it coincided with the birthdates of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard-trained historian is credited with the creation of Negro History Week. In 1976, the bicentennial of the United States, President Gerald R. Ford expanded the week into a full month. He said the country needed to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” OBJECTIONS TO BLACK HISTORY MONTH Black History Month has been the subject of criticism from both Blacks and people of other races. Some argue it is unfair to devote an entire month to a single people group. Others contend that we should celebrate Black history throughout the entire year. Setting aside only one month, they say, gives people license to neglect this past for the other 11 months. Despite the objections, though, I believe some good can come from devoting a season to remembering a people who have made priceless deposits into the account of our nation’s history. Here are five reasons why we should celebrate Black History Month. 1. CELEBRATING HONORS THE HISTORIC LEADERS OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY I had the privilege of living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana which is the site of many significant events in Black History. As a child I had the opportunity to meet and know Rev. T. J. Jemison the leader of the 1953 Bus Boycott in Baton Rouge. I have had the opportunty to hear Rev. Jemison speak of justice and racial equality for all God’s people. I have witness the election of two Black Mayors here in the city of Baton Rouge, Melvin ‘Kip’ Holden the first African-American Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish as well as Baton Rouge current Mayor-President Sharon Western Broome, the first African-American Woman to hold this office in East Baton Rouge Parish. I dare not forget my own father, Bishop Ivory J Payne who in 1974 established the Scotland Press now 42 year old newspaper known as the Baton Rouge Weekly Press a publication dedicated to serving people it’s community and state. Heroes like these and many more deserve to be honored for the sacrifice and suffering they endured for the sake of racial equality. Celebrating Black History Month allows us to pause and remember their stories, so we can commemorate their achievements.

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Melvin Kip Holden

Sharon Weston Broome

2. CELEBRATING HELPS US TO BE BETTER STEWARDS OF THE PRIVILEGES WE’VE GAINED As a Pastor or as I say, “new preacher” we love to tell the “Ole Old Story” but forget about Our Ole Old Story. It was the custom of the Jews to pass down their history from generation to generaton. This is our responsibility as parents, pastors and teachers not just to tell the “Ole Old Story” but to tell the WHOLD STORY. It paines me to have to explain the significance of the Baton Rouge Bus Boycott, the Harlem Renaissance and Bishop Ivory J. Payne the Tuskegee Airmen to children who had never learned of such events, and the men and women who took part in them. To what would surely be the lament of many historic African American leaders, our children and so many others (including me) take for granted the rights that many people before them sweated, bled, and died to secure. Apart from an awareness of the past, we can never appreciate the blessings we enjoy in the present. 3. CELEBRATING PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY TO HIGHLIGHT THE BEST OF BLACK HISTORY & CULTURE All too often, only the most negative aspects of African American culture and communities get highlighted. We hear about the poverty rates, incarceration rates, the black on black crime rate and high school drop out rates. We are overwhelmed with images of unruly athletes and raunchy reality TV stars as paradigms of success for Black people. And we are daily subject to unfair stereotypes and assumptions from a culture that is, in some aspects, still learning and struggling to accept us. Black History Month provides the chance to focus on different aspects of our narrative as African Americans. We can applaud Madam C.J. Walker as the first self-made female millionaire in the U.S. We can let our eyes flit across the verses of poetry Phyllis Wheatley, the first African American poet and woman to publish a book. And we can groove to soulful jazz and somber blues music composed by the likes of Miles Davis and Robert Johnson. Black History Month spurs us to seek out and lift up the best in African American accomplishments. 4. CELEBRATING CREATES AWARENESS FOR ALL PEOPLE I recall my 8th-grade history textbook where little more than a page was devoted to the Civil Rights Movement. I remember my shock as a Christian to learn about the formation of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church, because in all my years in churches and Christian Sunday schools, no one had ever mentioned it. Unfortunately, it seems that apart from an intentional effort otherwise, Black history is often lost in the mists of time. When we observe Black History Month, we give citizens of all races the opportunity to learn about a past and a people of which they may have little awareness. It pains me to see people overlooking Black History Month because Black history (just like Hispanic, Asian, European, and Native history) belongs to all of us — black and white, men and women, young and old. The impact African Americans have made on this country is part of our collective consciousness. Contemplating Black history draws people of every race into the grand and diverse story of this nation. See FEBRUARY, on page 5 5.


During the 1953 bus boycott in Baton Rouge, the African American community organized free carpools, enabling protestors to go about their daily business while simultaneously showing they would no longer accept second-class citizenship.


In 1953 African Americans in Baton Rouge organized the first large-scale boycott of a southern city’s segregated bus system. When the leader of the boycott, Rev. T. J. Jemison, struck a deal with the city’s leadership after five days without gaining substantial improvements for black riders, many participants felt Jemison capitulated too quickly. However, the boycott made national headlines and inspired civil rights leaders across the South. Two and a half years later, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. conferred with Jemison about tactics used in Baton Rouge, and King applied those lessons when planning the bus boycott that ultimately defeated segregation in Montgomery, Alabama, and drew major media attention to the injustices of Jim Crow laws. Long-Simmering Resentment Baton Rouge’s black community had a particular grievance against the municipal bus service. In 1950 the financially stressed city bus company won an exclusive contract for service in Baton Rouge after successfully lobbying the city coun-

cil to revoke the licenses of nearly forty competing African American-owned bus services that transported black residents from their neighborhoods to jobs and businesses. Three years later, the council approved a fare increase from ten to fifteen cents for the still-struggling bus company. In 1953 African American residents of Baton Rouge faced daily reminders of the hold white supremacy had over their lives. One-third were unemployed, and most of those with jobs earned low wages as domestic workers or unskilled laborers. But several important factors made race relations in Baton Rouge different from other southern cities. Just north of the city was Southern University, a nexus for African American political organization, legal education, and economic development. Adjacent to the university campus, the sizable black middle-class community of Scotlandville was made up of educated professionals, business owners, skilled laborers, industrial workers, and teachers, whose union status or employment with national corporations provided a modicum of security. In addition, Afri-

leadership during the 1953 Baton Rouge bus boycott served as a model for King’s spearheading of the more publicized Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott of 1955. can American veterans of World War II had organized a successful Negro Chamber of Commerce and voters’ leagues. Baton Rouge also had the young Jemison, hired in 1949 as pastor of Mt. Zion First Baptist Church, the largest black church in Louisiana. His father was pres-

ident of the National Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest and most prestigious African American organization, with more than six million members. See BR BOYCOTT, on page 4

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In 1953, African Americans made up 70 percent of the Baton Rouge Bus Company’s business, but like everywhere else in the Jim Crow South, black riders were restricted to the “colored” section of buses and were often forced to stand over vacant seats. A New Order By mid-February 1953, the same day the bus company had asked the city council for a fare increase, Jemison made a bold and unusual appearance before the all-white council. He appealed for the right of black passengers, who paid the same fare as whites, to sit down when seats were available. One month later, with the bus company’s support, the city council unanimously approved Ordinance 222, which changed the segregated seating policy to a model already in place in some southern cities. Riders would fill the bus on a “first come, first served” basis, blacks from the back and whites from the front. Best of all for the bus company, buses with empty white sections would not have to pass up paying black riders. Bus drivers immediately received a directive about the new policy, but Ordinance 222 was not enforced for three months. The drivers refused to comply. By mid-June black leaders met quietly with city leaders to appeal for action, and after receiving assurance that the law would be enforced, B. J. Stanley, head of the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and Jemison wrote and distributed a flier advising black riders of their rights and what to do if bus drivers or police officers challenged them. Still, many African American riders did not know the new policy was on the books. Martha White, a twenty-three-year-old housekeeper, walked miles every day to her bus stop, stood on the bus, worked on her feet all day, and then had to endure the exhausting return trip home late in the evening. On June 15, 1955, White’s


bus was full of standing black passengers, and the “white” seats in the front were available. Worn out from her daily routine, White sat down behind the driver, explaining that she would get up if a white passenger boarded the bus. The driver ordered her out of the seat. Another African American woman sat down next to White and urged the other riders to stick together and remain on the bus. The driver threatened to have the women arrested and summoned police. That morning Jemison had been cruising downtown streets, ready to test the ordinance himself. Seeing the police by the bus, he stopped to find out what was happening. When he informed the police officer that White was within her rights, the bus driver ejected Jemison from the bus. H. D. Cauthen, the bus company manager, then arrived and ordered the driver to obey the city council’s ordinance, but the driver refused and Cauthen suspended him. The bus drivers’ union responded with a walkout. According to Adam Fairclough, a historian of the civil rights movement in Louisiana, the drivers “saw it as the African American community wielding political muscle and the white community giving in to that kind of political pressure.” The drivers claimed in official statements to be looking out for the rights of white riders, but public opinion in the press criticized the drivers and supported the city council’s actions. “This silly strike is sending Louisiana back to the days of King Cotton,” wrote one reader. “This is a progressive state and I hope the company fires all the drivers who don’t want to comply with the laws of the people.” After four days of striking, union leaders turned to State Attorney General Fred

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Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. -— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Baton Rouge bus boycott forced the white-owned bus company to compromise with black passengers; however, the civil rights protest fell short of complete desegregation. Leblanc, who overturned the ordinance, ruling that it violated Louisiana’s segregation laws. The June 18 decision that ended the drivers’ strike galvanized the African American community. Black leaders formed the United Defense League (UDL), with Jemison elected as president. The UDL board of directors included church leaders, officers of the First and Second Ward Voters Leagues, Esso (oil company) employees, and local educators. At a packed meeting called that night, participants vowed to stay out all night, knocking on doors and informing community members to stay off the buses the next day. To spread the word quickly, UDL secretary Raymond Scott made an announcement that night on WLCS radio, the city’s most popular station—ironically, a white-owned radio station. Scott appealed to black residents to refuse to ride city buses until the law was changed, and he announced that a carpool service would be available the next morning. By the first light of day, when city buses approached, black people waiting for rides would turn their backs. African Americans who owned automobiles would pick up anyone needing a ride and take them where they needed to go. The UDL’s nightly meetings during the boycott drew thousands of people, and organizers collected thousands of dollars to support the action. Gas station owner Horatio Thompson, the first black man in the South to operate an Esso service station franchise, did his part by selling gas to boycotters at cost. Within four days, the bus company manager was quoted in the press as saying the boycott was a hundred percent effective. “A continuation of this loss,” he said, “will ultimately mean

we will have to cease operations.” The historian Fairclough notes, “The sheer fact that they could boycott the buses for a week and do this in a very disciplined way was an example, and it showed that white supremacy was … simply not going to be accepted by black people in the South. … A revelation in consciousness was evolving.” Compromise or Capitulation? With the Baton Rouge Bus Company facing financial collapse (more than 80 percent of its riders were African American), events took a dangerously serious turn. African American leaders and city council members were receiving death threats. As boycott counsel Johnnie Jones drove his car across a set of railroad tracks, two other drivers intentionally trapped him there, with a train approaching, but eventually released him. On the evening of June 22 more than seven thousand African American citizens gathered in Baton Rouge’s municipal stadium. “We don’t have to ride the buses. There’s nothing wrong with our feet!” they shouted. “We’ll keep walking!” On June 23 Jemison announced he had reached an agreement with the city council, and the boycott was over. On June 24 the city council passed Ordinance 251 stipulating that the bus company would reduce the number of reserved “white” seats, but in exchange, the “first-come, first served” practice was ended, and black riders would have to remain standing even if seats in the whites-only area were available. JemiSee BR BOYCOTT, on page 5


Black commuters assembled at pickup points for free rides during the five-day Baton Rouge bus boycott of 1953. Horatio Thompson, the first African American in the South to own an Esso gasoline station franchise, sold gas at cost to carpool drivers.

BR Boycott from page 4 son’s acceptance of the compromise came as a complete surprise, even to UDL board members. Many in the black community felt betrayed by the deal. Some participants interviewed more than fifty years later still expressed anger over the boycott’s abrupt end, insisting the protestors could have accomplished more, while others believed that, at the time, the white establishment was not ready to make further concessions. Furthermore, because they were engaging in the first large-scale public transit boycott, the protest leaders had no way to predict the white community’s response to a full-fledged challenge to segregation. Jemison later stated that his personal ambitions outweighed the boycott’s potential consequences: “My father was president of the National Baptist Convention. I didn’t go to the end in desegregation. I stayed on the side where I could become president of the National Baptist Convention, which I did. I wasn’t trying to end segregation. We started the boycott simply to get seats for the people, and once we accomplished that, what else was there for us to get?” Short-lived as it was, the Baton Rouge civil rights action nevertheless made national headlines. The New York Times declared, “Bus Boycott Effective,” and widely circulated African

February from page 2 WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULD CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH As a believer, I see racial and ethnic diversity as an expression of God’s manifold beauty. No single race or its culture can comprehensively display the infinite glory of God’s image, so he gave us our differences to help us appreciate his splendor from various perspectives. God’s common and special grace even work themselves out in the providential movement of a particular race’s culture and history. We can look back on the

American newspapers like the Chicago Defender and the Pittsburgh Courier spread the news that twenty thousand black riders had boldly challenged segregation practices on Louisiana buses. Many lessons learned in Baton Rouge were put to work in Montgomery and in subsequent bus boycotts around the country. The Baton Rouge action showed that direct, peaceful protest could be effective if it was well organized and the cause appealed universally to the black community. One of the most important elements of the 1953 bus boycott was the emergence of religious leaders as protest organizers. Previously, much of the battle for civil rights had been waged in the courts, led by attorneys for the NAACP or unions. This boycott started from the grassroots and was led by a dynamic African American minister, imparting an air of righteousness to the struggle and conveying a kind of respectability on the protest that was afforded a greater degree of respect by whites. Furthermore, even though the threat of bloodshed existed, the boycott was resolved without violence. The boycott’s most significant impact was perhaps psychological: it demonstrated that change was possible, and it served as a stepping-stone toward one of the most significant social revolutions in history. brightest and darkest moments of our past and see God at work. He’s weaving an intricate tapestry of events that climax in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And one day Christ will return. And on that day, we will all look back at the history— not just of a single race but of people from every nation, tribe, and tongue — and see that our Creator had a plan all along. He is writing a story that points to his glory, and in the new creation, his people won’t have a month set aside to remember his greatness. We’ll have all eternity.

“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.” — Carter G. Woodson


uring the early years of the twentieth century, it was not known by many that Black people had a meaningful history, except that of being subjected to slavery. It is however, clear that Blacks have significantly impacted the development of the social, political, and economic structures of the United States and the world. Known as the “Father of Black History,” Carter G. Woodson is credited for bringing awareness of Blacks true place in history. Woodson’s brainchild, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc. continues to disseminate information about Black history, Black life and culture to the world.

Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) was the son of former slaves, and understood how important gaining a proper education is when striving to secure and make the most of one’s right to freedom. Although he did not begin his formal education until he was 20 years old, his dedication to study enabled him to earn a high school diploma in West Virginia and bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago in just a few years. In 1912, Woodson became the second African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard

University (the first was W. E. B. Du-Bois). Applying the insights he gained during his academic matriculation, Dr. Woodson began teaching Black students in the District of Columbia’s public schools and at Howard University.

Recognizing the dearth of information on the accomplishments of Blacks, in 1915, Dr. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Under Woodson’s pioneering leadership, the Association created research and publication outlets for Black scholars with the establishment of the Journal of Negro History (1916) and the Negro History Bulletin (1937). In 1926, Dr. Woodson initiated the celebration of Negro History Week, which corresponded with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, this celebration was expanded to include the entire month of February; and today Black History Month has gained recognition and support throughout the country, as people of all ethnic and social backgrounds discuss the Black experience and the many accomplishments made by Black people.

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NEWS Assistant Fire Chief Discuss Fire Safety Issues At AARP Chapter #1828 Monthly Meeting Mr. Mark Miles, Assistant Fire Chief and Public Relations Officer for East Baton Rouge Parish Fire Department enlightened Chapter members about fire safety techniques that can be used to reduce deaths and injuries due to fires at the March 9th meeting of the Chapter. As a result of the extreme cold weather experienced in South Louisiana during this winter, the Baton Rouge area experienced an alarming number of fires and deaths as a result of bad practic-

es and lack of the use of fire alarms. The Assistant Fire Chief had persons attending the meeting to sign a list so that they could receive fire alarms for their homes. In addition, he provided tips to reduce fires and a handout for those in attendance on fire safety strategies and techniques from the NFPA Public Education Division. Additional information can be secured from the following web site: www.

Visit our online for more news and events at

From left to right, Vera Collins, first vice president, Mark Miller, Assistant Fire Chief and Melba Moye, President of Chapter.



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6 Tips for Thinking Big and Realizing Your Dreams Most of us never reach of level of accomplishment that we dream of, mainly because of “small” thinking. Thinking big requires thick skin. If your plans are significant, plenty of people will do and say little things that can be discouraging. The biggest achievers have to face this challenge all the time. Learn to ignore it or consider keeping your plans to yourself. If you want to think big, try these tips: 1. Consider what will happen if you don’t think big. You’ll regret the things you didn’t do far more than the things that didn’t work out. So take a few minutes and imagine how you’ll feel if you never even try. Think about how you’ll feel 10 years from now. Sometimes pain is the greatest motivator. How much pain will you feel if you don’t take action today?

2. Be brave enough to let your creativity shine. You’re more creative than you realize. Just watch a child play by himself. You still have that ability to create with your mind. But if you’re like most adults, you’ve learned to stifle or ignore it. It might be your greatest strength. Let it out. 3. Stretch beyond your comfort zone. If you’re not making yourself at least a little uncomfortable, you’re not thinking big. If something seems comfortable to you, you’re probably already doing it. If you’re already doing it, it’s not going to take you to the next level. • Learning to deal with discomfort is an important part of achieving anything new. If you have enough motivation, anything is possible. Learning to lower your discomfort through healthy means is a valuable skill.



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4. It’s easier than it has ever been. The Internet and other forms of mass communication have made it easier to go global than ever before. All that’s required is success on a local level. That success can then be propagated to other places. Think about how difficult it would’ve been to spread your ideas to other countries 50 years ago. 5. Use your emotions as a guide. You’ll know you’re on to something when you’re overwhelmed with positive emotion. Keep thinking big until you come up with an idea that truly moves you. Then keep thinking and see if you can come up with something even better. • If you’re like most adults, you’ve become too logical and practical. But you have more capability to do the things that truly excite you than you realize. What do you really want to do? What excites you?

6. Spend time each day thinking big thoughts. Make it a habit to spend a few minutes each day coming up with great ideas. If you already have your great idea, spend the time developing ways to make it a reality. Keep improving your plan. • Make it a part of your daily routine. One possibility is to go to bed earlier and spend 30 minutes letting your imagination run wild before you sleep. Most of us think too small. We underestimate ourselves. We worry about failure. We worry about being too successful. But the world needs your big ideas, and you must think big to realize your ultimate potential for your own sake, too. Think big and have a life that’s exciting and fruitful. Think big and you’ll reach the end of your life free of regrets.

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JOYCE E. HOWARD First African American Woman U.S. Postal Mail Carrier in The City Of Baker, La., Teacher, Singer, Musician (1932 – 2003)

Joyce E. Howard, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana was the oldest of 14 siblings. She was a diverse, god-fearing woman, that touched the lives of many with zeal and enthusiasm. A loving mother of 4 children; Johnnie, Ralph, Raymond and Thelma. She taught all of her children to play piano, but only two of them stayed with it. Johnnie plays organ and piano, and Ralph plays drums and is learning to play bass guitar. She could often be heard saying ‘it is what it is”. Most of her life was dedicated to music. She played saxophone in the band at McKinley High School, where she graduated in 1948. She even sang with some bands for a while before re-dedicating

her life to Christ. She taught many musicians to play and choir members to sing. Her children gave her a surprise birthday luncheon and invited all the ministers, classmates, musicians, choir members, friends, and family to share with her. It was a great opportunity to “give her flowers while she could smell them and her accolades while she could hear them.” She had a way of leaving everlasting impressions on those she met. She organized and led the J Howard Singers. She played and sang in many churches and was known to take any song and make it a solo. At a time when discrimination was very high, Joyce became the first African American Woman U.S. Postal Mail Carri-

er in City of Baker, Louisiana. Her customers came to love her, frequently have water or coffee for her when she delivered to them. She was also known to sing on her routes. Joyce loved, praised, and served the Lord well. Her loyalty to her church, faithfulness to her family, love of music, and kindness to friends and strangers alike shall ever always.

SHARON WESTON BROOME First African-American Woman to Serve as Mayor-President of Baton Rouge • Sponsors welcome • 225.283.1209 8

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S h a r o n Weston Broome (born October 1956) is the current Mayor-President of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is a member of the Democratic Party. She was the first African-American woman to be in the Louisiana State Senate for District 15, in which she held her position from 2005 to 2016. She was elected Mayor-President of Baton Rouge on December 10, 2016, and was sworn into office on January 2, 2017. Broom is the first African-American woman to serve as Mayor-President of Baton Rouge. Her state senatorial predecessor, Democrat Kip Holden, is the departing Baton Rouge Mayor-President who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 24, 2015. Victory went instead to the Republican Billy Nungesser. From 2008 to 2016, Broome was the President Pro Tempore of the state Senate. In 2011, she was elected to her second full Senate term without opposition. Broome was succeeded in the state Senate by Regina Barrow, who had also followed her in the state House of Representatives. Barrow was succeeded in the House by Metro Council member Ronnie Edwards, who died of pancreatic cancer after only forty-four days of service. Both Barrow and Edwards were coincidentally born in Wilkinson County, Mississippi.


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He Promised Me BeBe Winans Featuring Tobbi & Tommi Introducing Kiandrae

Pure Flix Film God’s Not Dead: A Light In Darkness In Theaters March 30 PURE FLIX, the leading independent faith and family film studio, announces the completion of principal photography for GOD’S NOT DEAD: A LIGHT IN DARKNESS, scheduled to release in theatres next Easter on March 30, 2018. Filmed on location in Little Rock, Arkansas, GOD’S NOT DEAD: A LIGHT IN DARKNESS stars David A.R. White (GOD’S NOT DEAD), Emmy Award® and Golden Globe® nominee John Corbett (MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING), Shane Harper (GOD’S NOT DEAD), Ted McGinley (Married with Children), Jennifer Taylor (Two and a Half Men), and Academy Award® winner Tatum O’Neal (PAPER MOON). Additional cast includes Emmy Award® winner Gregory Alan Williams, Mike C. Manning, Samantha Boscarino, rap artist Shwayze, Jennifer Cipolla, and music legend Dr. Cissy Houston. Reprising their roles from GOD’S NOT DEAD are actors Shane Harper (“Josh”) and Benjamin Onyango (“Reverend Jude”). GOD’S NOT DEAD: A LIGHT IN DARKNESS is an inspirational drama that centers on Pastor Dave (David A.R. White) and the unimaginable tragedy he endures when his church, located on the grounds of the local university, is burned down. But his dreams of rebuilding the church face an unexpected setback when university officials reject his plans to rebuild, determining that the church is no longer relevant in today’s society. Trusting in the motto that he has lived by that “God is good all the time,” Pastor Dave enlists the legal help of his estranged brother Pearce (John Corbett), who is an attorney but also an atheist. As they partner together for a united cause, the brothers come to understand that not every victory requires defeating the opposition, and there is a greater win when you heal and rebuild with compassion and respect for others. “Audiences have continued to show support and interest in the GOD’S NOT DEAD films and their relatable characters who endure similar challenges in their personal faith and lives,” says Michael Scott, Pure Flix founding partner. “Our hope is that these films offer entertainment and encouragement, with a starting point for sharing faith

in a respectable and compassionate manner.” GOD’S NOT DEAD: A LIGHT IN DARKNESS is the latest addition in the film franchise, which started with GOD’S NOT DEAD, the highest-grossing independent faith film of 2014, taking in more than $60 million at the box office. GOD’S NOT DEAD: A LIGHT IN DARKNESS is Directed by Michael Mason and Produced by David A.R. White, Michael Scott, Brittany Yost, Elizabeth Travis, and Alysoun Wolfe, and Executive Produced by Troy Duhon and Robert Katz. Moviegoers can follow the film and watch the trailer on the official web site, on Facebook at, or on Twitter @GodsNotDeadFilm.

NEW Beverly CD debuts on Billboard & Amazon Top Ten! Debuting on Billboard & Amazon’s Top 10, Beverly Crawford’s brand new CD “THE ESSENTIAL BEVERLY CRAWFORD – VOL. 2” takes us straight to churchlike only Beverly can with her blazing new remake of her all-time classic – “Jesus Precious King 2.0 (PRAISE BREAK VERSION)”. Universally regarded as one of the top vocalists in the world, with a legion of ardent fans including Patti LaBelle, President Obama, Fantasia, etc., “The Essential Beverly Crawford – VOL. 2” CD also features legendary guest vocalists including soul icon Shirley Murdock, Shawn McLemore and more! In WALMART stores everywhere, “THE ESSENTIAL BEVERLY CRAW-

Billboard Charts for over 70+ weeks & garnered 7 Stellar Award nods (including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, etc), “It’s About Time For A Miracle”, and “Sweeping Through The City” which debuted #1 on Billboard Sales Chart!

FORD – VOL. 2″ is Beverly’s follow-up to her #1 chart-toppers “He’s Done Enough”, which dominated the

About Khalif M. Townes Khalif M. Townes is the Founder/ President/CEO of the That’s True Media, LLC (formally Urban Roundup Group, LLC.) He is also the creator of Townes formed to provide an outlet where up to the minute information on the Faith Based Community and Gospel Music Industry can be accessed with the click of a button.

BLACK HISTORY SPECIAL EDITION 2018 | | (888) 963-7186 |


MONEY 10 Easy to Minimize Household Expenses

Are you running out of money before you run out of month? Running a household can be expensive. With so many different expenses, it’s easy for the costs to get out of control unless you’re careful. You can certainly find more exciting ways to spend your money than paying too much to your auto insurance company! You can even add to your savings account each month. Avoid spending more than necessary on your household expenses: 1. Medication. Always ask if a generic version is available for your prescriptions. Generics can cost as much as 85% less. There are also online services that will inform you of the best prices for your medications. is a wellknown example. 2. Entertainment. Find ways to spend less money entertaining your family. Matinee movies are typically half the price of later showings. The park is free. During much of the year, the weekends offer various festivals and fairs that can

be both fun and inexpensive. 3. Cable TV. How many of your 172 stations do you actually watch? With much less expensive options like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, you might find satisfactory options for less money. 4. Cellphone. One of the reasons most monthly plans are so expensive is that the cost of the phone is included. You didn’t really think that fancy phone was free, did you? After your 2-year contract is up, you can continue using your phone and switch to a month-to-month plan that only costs about half as much. • If you can do without a smart phone, there are options for as little as $15/month for basic phone and text message service. 5. Food. Food is a significant and ongoing expense for all families. Eating out is especially expensive. Whether it’s morning gourmet coffee, going out for lunch every day, or taking the family out for dinner. • The grocery store can also be an

expensive place if you fail to keep the cost in mind. A family of four can easily spend $800 a month on food. This is an excellent category to minimize your expenses. 6. Plant a garden. Not only can you grow a lot of your own food for practically free, but also there always seems to be more than you can eat. Take the excess to a local farmers’ market and make a profit. Put that income towards the food purchases your garden can’t satisfy. 7. Refinance your home or automobile. Compare the interest rate of your loans to the current interest rate. You might be able cut your monthly payment considerably. Be sure to factor in the cost of refinancing. 8. Shop around for new insurance quotes. It’s a good idea to check your insurance rates each year. Do some research and ensure that you’re paying the lowest rate for the coverage you require.

9. Ask for a reduction in your credit card interest rate. Many credit card companies will lower your interest rate if you just ask. They’d rather receive less interest than risk having you transfer your balance and cancel your current credit card account. 10. Buy second-hand clothing. It’s easy to find perfectly good, brand-name clothing for as little as $2 per item. Consider how many pieces of clothing you own that you barely wear. There’s a lot of used clothing out there that’s practically brand new. It’s easy to believe that you’re already spending as little as possible on your household expenses. However, there are many ways to trim your expenses without dramatically altering your lifestyle. Spend your money on something more enjoyable or grow your savings for the future.

EMAIL MARKETING IMPACTING THE GLOBE WITH PRAISE WHAT IS A PRAISE EBLAST? Do you know about the events that are going on in your area? Are there times that you have missed a special event because you found out too late? Get in the know with Praise-Eblast. By simply joining our e-mail list at or texting “Add Me” and your email address to 225.224.8733, you can receive emails and texts for upcoming events in your area on your computer or digital device. For event promoters, a Praise eBlast, or Electronic Blasting of your effort/event shares information with a specified audience directly via the world wide web. Eblasts are used to introduce or reinforce an event, brand, product, service or offering. It will help build a relationship and help a person make an informed choice or decision yet with only a few seconds of a person’s attention.

The Praise EBlast has a high percentage of influencers, primarily church and community leaders including: Pastors as well as Church Staff Members, Business Owners & Christian Media Contacts who literally influence thousands in your city plus thousands of consumers who are looking for quality products and services. Pricing for our various services are listed below, after selecting a service option and deciding whether you will supply or have us to create your ad copy, simply call or text us at 225.445.8127 and 614.743.6179 or email us at If you would like to be made aware of your events across the city and across the globe, visit our website and join our email list or text your contact information to 225.224.8733.


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HEALTH Baton Rouge General Expands Services in Mid City Baton Rouge, La. – Beginning March 1, Baton Rouge General’s (BRG) Mid City Medicine Clinic will expand its services to accommodate walk-in patients while continuing to offer traditionally scheduled appointments. Patients can visit the clinic without an appointment between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The clinic, located on North Boulevard in Baton Rouge, provides internal medicine and primary care services, chronic disease management, treatment of acute illness, well woman exams, laboratory testing, adult immunizations, preventative healthcare and pre-operative clearance. “Our roots are in Mid City, and we are committed to growing the services we provide to the community,” said Edgardo Tenreiro, President and CEO of Baton Rouge General. “Appointments make a lot of sense, but there is no substitute for convenience when a problem arises unexpectedly. And walk-in pa-

tients will get the same, high-quality care you expect from BRG.” This service adds to BRG’s expansions and growing regional presence with two hospital campuses at Bluebonnet and in Mid City, a neighborhood hospital planned for Ascension Parish next year, 20 Baton Rouge General Physician clinics throughout the region, and two affiliated urgent care clinics in Baton Rouge and Prairieville. Last year, the organization also announced the 30,000-square-foot expansion of BRG’s Pennington Cancer Center and expansion of BRG’s Critical Care Tower and Regional Burn Center in 2019. Baton Rouge General has received an ‘A’ for patient safety from the Leapfrog Group six years in a row, more than any other local hospital. And Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana has repeatedly recognized Baton Rouge General Physicians for quality for its treatment of patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease.

Nurse Practitioner Leola Carter will join the team at the Mid City Medicine Clinic, located at 3401 North Boulevard, Suite 130. For more information, call (225) 387-7900 or visitmid- For more information, visit, find us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @BRGeneral.

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Tips for Planning a Memorable Vacation

How would you like to make your next vacation one that your whole family will remember for a lifetime? With a few simple strategies, you can create a vacation that gives all of you more recreation and less stress. All it takes is some advance planning and a few simple ideas.

you’re visiting gets the least amount of rain. PLAN A PLAYLIST FOR THE TRIP If your trip includes a long drive, create an MP3 or CD playlist for the drive. Incorporate music that every family member enjoys to keep children from becoming bored. If possible, keep most of the music upbeat to help the driver maintain a high energy level during the long drive.

THEME PARKS Is there a theme park a short drive away? If so, your whole family can find something they enjoy in one place without spending a great deal of money. Many theme parks provide attractions for smaller children as well as exciting rides for the thrill seekers in your family. If you plan ahead, you can make decisions that boost the entertainment value. For example, find out when the park is less crowded and go during those times. Often, theme parks offer lower rates during off-peak times or on weekdays. Rides will have shorter lines, and you can pack more fun into your day. When the weather warms up, a great way to beat the heat is at a water park. Enjoy the thrilling waterslides, wave pools, and more in a family-friendly environment.

FIND SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE When planning a trip, solicit input from the entire family. What activities will the kids enjoy? What does each member of the family like to do? What does your destination offer to satisfy the passions of each family member? When you travel for pleasure, variety is the key to creating lasting memories for everyone. If everyone’s interests and feelings are considered, the travel time will go more smoothly because everyone is looking forward to the trip. Plus, you stand a better chance of receiving cooperation from the kids when they know that they’ll have fun, too.

TAKE WEATHER INTO ACCOUNT Weather is an important factor in your plan. If the timing of your vacation is flexible, consider the type of weather that your family enjoys. Plan the timing of your vacation to avoid extreme hot or cold temperatures if possible. If you’re planning a camping trip or outdoor adventure, try to find out when the area

READ ONLINE REVIEWS If you search online for information about your destination, you’ll find reviews from people who have been to the restaurants and attractions nearby. Many times, online reviews provide inside information that can’t be found on an attraction’s website or brochure. People who submit bad reviews on-

line often point to places of interest that are better. You may get some great ideas for your trip that you wouldn’t have otherwise considered. WORK WITH A TRAVEL AGENT Whether you know it or not, travel agents are paid commission on travel packages, hotels rooms and cruises. Their pay is built into the price that you might see online, but they may have access to upgrades and specials that travel providers may not release to the public. In addition, travel agents have access to a wealth of knowledge about destinations. Travel agents can also provide payment plans when most online travel resellers require

payment in full at the time of booking. Vacations are a great time for family bonding. Family trips can be less stressful and much more fulfilling with a little advance planning. If you think carefully about the trip ahead and welcome the input of each family member, you can make memories that all of you will cherish for a lifetime. Celeste Payne is a Certified travel consultant. Visit her website at Interested in learning about becoming a home-based travel agent? Visit

Gospel Radio


KERWYN FEELING Mon, Wed, & Fri 7am-11am


CHURCH DIRECTORY Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. - Hebrews 10:25

10120 Florida Blvd Baton Rouge, LA 70815

ANTIOCH FULL GOSPEL BAPTIST CHURCH Bishop Ivory J Payne 1283 Rosenwald Road Baton Rouge, LA 70807 Radio Bradcast 8am Every 1st & 3rd Sun.


Sunday Worship 11am Sunday School 9am Bible Study 7pm The Lord’s Supper 3rd Sun. 11am

Bishop Eugene Harris 6538 Mickens Rd Baton Rouge, LA 70811

(225) 357-9717

NEW JERUSALEM FAITH FELLOWSHIP Pastor Donald Montgomery 960 N. 46th St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802 We believe in the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling, the Christian is enabled to live a holy and separated life in this present world.

Ph: 225-928-0646

Spirit of Truth International Ministries

Join us this Sunday at 11 am for our Worship Service


Kingdom Life Family Worship Center Dr. Dorothy Daniel, Sr. Pastor

10 am Sunday Bible Study Wednesday @ 7pm

8844 Greenwell Springs Road Baton Rouge, La 70814 For a ride to church call 225.778.5578 Pastor Cleve Dunn, Sr. & Pastor Evonne Dunn, THd.

8894 Airline Highway Baton Rouge, LA 70815

New Covenant Christian Center

Bishop Michael L. Smith, Pastor

Service Times Sunday Worship Service 11am Mid Week Bible Study Wednesday 7:30pm

6515 E Myrtle Ave • Baker, Louisiana (225) 775-3127

Add your church here. Call 225.445.8217

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NATIONAL EVENTS & CONFERENCES GRAMMY AWARDS n February 2018: The 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be presented at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA and will also air on the CBS television network. This popular annual event covers all genres of music, including Gospel and Christian. For more details, visit PRAYZE FACTOR PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS n December 2017: Nominations opens for Season 11 of The Prayze Factor People’s Choice Awards. For the complete schedule of dates for making nominations, round 1 voting, round 2 voting, finalist round voting and the grand finale’ championship (as details become available) -- visit or call Pastor T, President & Founder, at 678-383-0019. RHYTHM OF GOSPEL AWARDS n June 20th - 24th, 2018: The 10th Annual Rhythm Of Gospel Awards 2018 will be held in Greenville, SC. The event recognizes churches, pastors, choirs and independent gospel artists nationwide for their outstanding contributions to Gospel. For the 2018 location, nominees, showcase opportunities, registration and more information, visit or call Mark Rogers at 210-745-5858 ext. 109.

SOUTH FLORIDA GOSPEL MUSIC AWARDS n November 3rd - 4th, 2017: The South Florida Gospel Music Awards 2017 will be held in Palm Beach, FL. Independent gospel artists from across the US, Bahamas, Caribbean Islands, UK and the world will be recognized. Nominations for 2017 are now underway. Showcase and vendor opportunities are available. For more information, visit or call Peppi Hendrix at 561-853-8300.

TAMPA BAY GOSPEL AWARDS n TBA 2018: The Fourth Annual Tampa Bay Gospel Awards will be held in Tampa, FL. The event honors independent gospel groups, artists and others from across the state of Florida. For the 2018 nominees, hosts and more details as they become available, visit or call Jorad Holmes, CEO & Founder, at 941-526-0577.

SPIN AWARDS n October 28th, 2018: The 1st Annual Spin Awards 2018 will take place at the 3D Complex, 2244 Panola Road, Lithonia, GA. The Spin Awards honors those who spin the Gospel message -- including radio stations, announcers, hosts, podcastors and dee jays. For the 20178 nominees, tickets, hotel information and more details, visit or call BM Snowden at 323-250-0443.

VOICES OF GOSPEL MUSIC AWARDS n TBA 2018: The 3rd Annual Voices Of Gospel Music Awards will be held. The event recognizes, appreciates and honors independent and mainstream gospel artists. For the 2018 nominees, voting procedures and more details as they become available, visit or call 251-268-9585. Rev. Gary Johnson is CEO & Founder.

STELLAR GOSPEL MUSIC AWARDS n March 23rd - 24th, 2018: The 33rd Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards will be held at the Orleans Arena, 4500 West Tropicana Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89103. Two new events, The Independent Artist Showcase and The Quartet Showcase - both sponsored and directed by The Stellar Awards - will be added to the 2018 official weekend festivities. For the 2018 nominees, hosts, itinerary and more information, visit

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(listed by state, date) Florida n February 9th, 2018: Micanopy Tour Group presents the Gospel Show of the Year featuring Darryl McFadden & The Disciples, The Golden Wings, Jeffery Newberry & The Original Keynotes and others. Hosted by Freddie Rhodes of WCGL 1360. Venue: Upper-room Ministries, 3575 NE 15th Street, Gainesville, FL 32609. For details and tickets, call Mary Dunmore at 352-214-0890. (Photo: Darryl & Disciples). view flyer

SAVE THE DATE FOR THESE EVENTS IN 2018 Start planning early for the 2018 conferences GO ONLINE and REGISTER TODAY!


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Praise On The Go! Download the Tune In Radio App from the App Market on Your Iphone or Android Phone DOWNLOAD THE 247 PRAISE RADIO APP ON YOUR ANDROID AND IPHONE DEVICES

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Praise On The Go! Download the Tune In Radio App from the App Market on Your Iphone or Android Phone DOWNLOAD THE 247 PRAISE RADIO APP ON YOUR ANDROID AND IPHONE DEVICES

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