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Authors & Artists Magazine Hi Everyone! The holidays are here – fast and furious. We’ve got an issue filled with interviews with some dynamic people. In Authors section, Derrick Watkins introduces his book “Why Good Girls Date Bad Boys”. This book is sure to make us think. Terry McMillan is back with the sequel to Waiting to Exhale. Getting to Happy is a great read that takes us back to those characters we fell in love with. In our interview, Terry shares her life since Exhale and the lessons she’s learned along the way. El Debarge is Back…and Back Large! After his Soul Train Music Awards performance….we are sure to enjoy his new music. Welcome back, El! We garnered an exclusive interview with LaTonya Washington of LW Special Event’s Management…Girlfriend is doing her thing! Read more (and watch videos) of Real Talk and Shades of Beauty….You’ll be truly amazed. Lastly, Naimah Fuller, documentary filmmaker shares her experiences in filming the documentary A Place Called Home: The Documentary Movie, and her growth as a filmmaker. The interview explores her film and the Black migration back to the South. Enjoy this issue. Let us know what you think at email@example.com. Here we go!
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Contents Why Good Girls Date Bad Boys By Derrick Watkins View video trailer CLICK HERE Why do Good Girls Date Bad Boys? This is a question with many, MANY answers. Could it be the raggedy clothes, the dangerous lifestyle, the show of strength or the things he can buy?
Publisher’s Message………..Pg. 2 Authors……………………. Pg. 3 Authors on the Rise………...Pg. 4 Cover Story ……………….Pg.5 Music …….………………..Pg. 12 Television... ….……………Pg. 14 Exclusive Interview...……...Pg. 15 Fashion……………………..Pg. 20 Designer Profile……...…….Pg. 21 Film……………………… Pg. 23
Maybe it’s the thrill of the chase, or the challenge of securing his affections. Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt that many women settle for less than they deserve when it comes to the opposite sex. In this book, readers learn the Signs and Symptoms of women who settle for men who are REALLY not into them! As a reformed Bad Boy who has let many good women get away because of inappropriate comments or actions, I will share with you my experience and in depth research about Why Good Girls Date Bad Boys!
You will learn: * Are Cheaters Repeaters? * What is Real Love? * The Power of TRUE Love? * The difference between Good Guys and Bad Boys? * Being Single Can Be a Good Thing? * How to take your Life back? And Much.. Much….more…. The goal of this book is to Empower Women and Educate Men Everywhere! Whether you’re currently in an abusive relationship, or you’re just coming out of one, Why Good Girls Date Bad Boys will provide you with the information you need to find self-love so you can find the love of your life! To learn more or purchase the book, visit http://derrickwatkins.com/why-good-girls-date-bad-boys/ .
Broken Promises Never Mend By Allison Essence M. Edwards To purchase, CLICK HERE Tamika Adams never lost in anything she did as a child. Now all grown up she's seeking to win in the battle called Love. Soon she meets a suitable opponent in Quincy Thompson, a man who definetely brings his A-game and quickly sweeps her off her feet. When their two worlds collide, its filled with passion, love and sex. However lurking in the shadows are secrets and lies from the past that will turn their world upside down and cause their alliances to shift. Will they continue to play on the same side or will their fight for love simply be a recipe for disaster!? To learn more about Allison Essence M. Edwards, visit http://www.facebook.com/illuminnessencepub .
Tiffany L. Warren Tiffany L. Warren, is an author, playwright, songwriter, mother and wife. Her debut novel What a Sista Should Do, was released in June of 2005 and has ministered to over 50,000 readers. Her second book, Farther than I Meant to Go, Longer than I Meant to Stay was a national bestseller. In 2006, Tiffany and her husband, Brent, founded Warren Productions and released their first gospel musical. What a Sista Should Do - The Stage Play debuted in Cleveland, OH at the famed Allen Theatre. Tiffany is also the visionary behind the Faith and Fiction Fellowship tour. Presently, the authors have visited groups in Atlanta, Houston, New York, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Charlotte. Tiffany resides in northern Texas with her husband Brent and their five children. Learn more about Tiffany at http://www.tiffanylwarren.com/.
Farther Than I Meant to Go, Longer Than I Meant to Stay CLICK HERE to purchase As President of Grace Savings and Loans, Charmayne Ellis is an established, polished professional. Although she has reached great success, her ridiculing mother and wise cracking younger sister won't let her forget that she is a 36-year-old, overweight, unmarried woman. In an attempt to help, Charmayne's best friend, Lynette, is obsessed with setting her up on a series of pity-driven blind dates. When a drop-dead gorgeous man, Travis Moon, shows interest, Charmayne's caution light blinks ke crazy. But out of loneliness and pressure from her family Charmayne ignores her gut feeling and gets married. Yet instead of marital bliss, Charmayne begins to discover new things about her husband that force her to question her marriage and her faith in God.
James Cañón James was born and raised in Colombia. After majoring in advertising in Bogotá, he moved to New York to learn English. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. His debut novel, Tales from the Town of Widows & Chronicles from the Land of Men, has been published in over twenty countries. It was selected as one of the “Ten Best Books of the year” by the American School Library Journal, and it has received several awards, among them the 2008 Prix du Premier Roman Étranger and the 2008 Prix des lecteurs de Vincennes. James’ short stories and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals in the US, Mexico, France, Belgium and Latvia. He’s currently at work on his second novel. Learn more about James at http://jamescanon.com/index.php . Tales From the Town of Widows CLICK HERE to purchase On November 15, 1992, the men of the tiny Colombian town of Mariquita are forced by guerillas to join or die on the spot, which some do. The town's women enter a particularly grievous widowhood. Chapters covering the years that follow chronicle the town's decay and introduce women struggling to survive without men and without meaningful government. Cleotilde Guarnizo, a traveler seeking respite, is hired to be the schoolteacher. Dona Emilia laments the loss of clients for her brothel. Magnolia Morales, meanwhile, forms a group devoted to reminiscing about the men, which becomes a "magical whorehouse," where lonely women seduce men from neighboring Honda before they reach Dona Emilia's.
A Conversation With
Terry McMillan Q. The women of Waiting to Exhale became cultural touchstones and their stories inspired a hit movie. Why do you think these characters struck such a nerve? In 1992, it seemed that a lot of college-educated women (of all ethnicities) were having a tough time getting a date, which meant a boyfriend or husband was almost out of the question. Me included. The cover story of just about every major women's magazine focused on how and where to meet the man of your dreams. Women in their thirties, who thought they'd done everything "right," were finding themselves alone and often lonely. My girlfriends and I were among them. I think a lot of women related to the women in Exhale for this very reason: knowing they weren't alone, that other women were going through the same thing, and that their expectations weren't too high. By dramatizing the experiences of Savannah, Gloria, Robin, and Bernadine, I think many women identified with at least one of these women's struggles. Q. You've revisited these characters, despite your belief that, as you put it old characters should be left behind like old lovers. In what ways did this experience surprise you? Do you think you would ever revisit any of your other characters now? First, I've never reread a novel I've written. I didn't remember a lot of the details of what had happened to these women back in 1990. I thought they were a little desperate, foolish, silly, angry, and, on occasion, pessimistic. I didn't remember feeling like this when I was in my thirties, but I suppose I did. I was somewhat embarrassed for them and by their behavior. Notwithstanding, I was glad to have been able to capture the emotional reality for myself and a lot of other women in that place and time. And I am grateful some of us have gotten past thinking that men are the key to our happiness. I had no intention of writing a sequel to Exhale and I have no intention of revisiting any of the characters who might still be living inside my other novels. I loved them as hard as anyone while telling their story, but I hope the endings provided them and me with enough closure to let them rest in peace!
I think all women struggle with the same issues. Being African American just adds another dimension to some of them. â€“Terry McMillan Q. Where did you get your initial inspiration for Savannah, Bernadine, Robin, and Gloria, and where did you get your inspiration for their current situations? What aspects of yourself, if any, have you put into these characters? What preparation goes into creating such memorable women? Originally, I was thinking about my situation as well as those of my friends, in addition to reading about the distress many women seemed to be going through, over the notion that the clock was ticking. The idea that without a husband the chances of reproduction were slim. I started thinking about the various types of women who might have found themselves confronting the possibility of not having children, something that women before them weren't really concerned with. I also knew there were women who had already had children and been married, but I wondered what life might be like when your marriage ends or if you become a single parent in your thirties. I started thinking about what some women want from men, the types of disappointments and betrayal some had experienced, and how some of us make bad choices, and how some have simply given up. I also wanted my characters to have high expectations because I believe we should. I think about types of behavior when I create characters. I wanted to write about someone who was warm, caring, and a good mom, who didn't think she would ever find love again. I wanted her to be overweight because many women who are see themselves as unattractive. I wanted her to be strong in other areas of her life: she was a successful entrepreneur. This would be Gloria. Of course there are women who settle for whatever they can get and seem to be somewhat clueless when it comes to their personal life but quite proficient in their professional life. This is how Robin came into being. Some women feel fortunate when they meet the man of their dreams in college, marry, have 2.0 kids, live an upper-middle-class life, but what does a woman do after her husband decides to call it quits and trades her in for a new and improved version? I wanted to know what a woman would do and what kinds of regrets she might have, but also, one who wouldn't just settle for being a casualty and step up to home plate again. This was Bernadine. And Savannah. I just wanted her to be sassy, outspoken, honest, and knew what she wanted and didn't want and wasn't willing to settle or feel sorry for herself because she didn't have a fella, and that she wasn't going to act like she was for sale. She'd spend the rest of her life alone if she had to. This was a big deal to me at the time, and yet I wanted these women to be friends, to share a bond, because most of my friends and I had one, and still do. Mostly, I wanted to give these women plausible experiences that could have happened to women in real life, particularly their reactions to them. I didn't know they would ultimately be so memorable.
Q. Your books focus on African American women's struggles with men, money, and self-esteem, but these same issues plague women of all races. Are there distinctive aspects of the African American woman's experience? I think all women struggle with the same issues. Being African American just adds another dimension to some of them. In 2010, I would like to think that it's somewhat obvious, without having to go through the history of being black in America. However, there are more black men in prison than in college. There are more black women in college than black men. Black women outearn most black men. Drugs and violence plague our communities. Some black women (not me) feel that the rise in interracial marriages (i.e., black men marrying white women) has created a situation where there are even fewer available black men. I have an aversion to writing didactically, so I tell stories about black women that hopefully all women can relate to, regardless of race. And when I read novels whose protagonists are white, I'm not thinking: "Oh gee, this woman is white!" I relate to the human component we all share in that we all want to be loved and be happy but things get in the way. There's no color on that. Q. When writing, do you have an ideal reader in mind? How would you characterize your relationship with your audience? I don't think of my audience when telling a story. I'm thinking about my characters. While writing, it isn't a "story" I'm "telling" but a reenactment of someone's experiences as they're being told to me. I basically become the characters and share their fears, worries, and goals. When all is said and done, it feels like there is an intimacy my readers share with my characters, and thus, me, since I was the conduit! I also respect my audience. I don't like to insult their intelligence nor do I assume they will like my stories just because I wrote them. Q. A number of the men in Getting to Happy mistreat the women in their lives, by lying, cheating, or swindling. Which male character did you find the most difficult to write? Are these behaviors representative of the relationships you see around you? As the mother of a son, what advice can you give to parents to keep their sons from becoming like some of the men in your novels? I didn't find any of the male characters hard to write. I have come to realize that a lot of men (not all) are sneaky: they lie to women to protect their own self-interest, often without any regard to the impact their I think of my work as behavior may have on the women who love them. They make songs contemporary literature about this and they're on Billboard's Top 10! I, of course, was the victim that is written in a of a major form of betrayal, but I know there are millions of women out there who have been deceived on many levels. It doesn't matter how voice and style that deep the wound is, you still bleed and have to heal. Men get away with reflects of the world in too much, and a lot of women know it. This is why so many women which I liveâ€Ś. suffer from heartache. I chose to dramatize it because the aftermath Terry McMillan impacts just about every area of your life.
If a young boy loves and respects his mother, chances are heâ€™s going to respect women when he grows up. -Terry McMillan
t I raised my son to show everybody respect, to be honest, to not be afraid to express his feelings, even if they're uncomfortable, to know that he's not the only one who has feelings, and that what he does affects others. If a young boy loves and respects his mother, chances are he's going to respect women when he grows up. They make the best boyfriends and husbands. And it's quite obvious. Q. How would you describe your writing? What strength or trait do you think runs through all your novels? In terms of style, subject, or process, what aspects of your writing do you aim to develop? I think of my work as contemporary literature that is written in a voice and style that reflect the reality of the world in which I live. I tell realistic stories that are not formulaic. They don't guarantee happy endings. I write it the way I see it and don't apologize for my style. Even though my work has been deemed "pop fiction," I resent the label, and wonder what the writing of Virginia Woolf, Katherine Anne Porter, Ring Lardner, and Anton Chekhov would have been called had they gotten on the New York Times bestseller list. We all write about what we see and find perplexing, and if thousands of readers embrace your work, why label it negatively? I write mostly about women's empowerment. I write about characters who have been victimized but who refuse to be victims. I write about characters who are proactive and not passive. Sometimes they must react to situations, but this is usually a diversion, not the track they were on. I want to write more about people I empathize with but may have nothing in common with. Q. As a mother, writer, and woman, how has your own life changed over the past fifteen years? Over the past fifteen years I've managed to be more mindful of what's truly important in my life. I've learned how valuable my health is, something I used to take for granted. I've had to get used to the idea that my son, a college graduate and budding guitarist, is living on his own and chances are he's never going to sleep in his old room again. He's a man and not my little boy. I'm very proud to be his mother and he has let me know over the years that he's glad that I'm his mom. I married a much younger man, whom I loved dearly. I had some of the happiest years of my life while married to him. I was also devastated to learn that he was gay. I went through a horrible and very public divorce and discovered how angry I could get. I didn't enjoy feeling as though my heart and soul were like sandpaper and nothing could smooth them out. After three years, however, I was worn out, and the ugliness, angst, anger, hatred, flew out of me and up into the ozone. I got my spirit back.
Q. Have you "gotten to happy"? Is happiness sustainable or is it necessary to occasionally feel pain or sadness in order to appreciate when life is good? I've felt happiness on many levels and about many things recently. I do not believe it is a feeling that is sustainable. Our lives are a series of valleys and peaks, and how we handle the valleys; how we address them and learn from them determine how long those peaks last. The better we are at solving our problems, owning up to them, and the more things we do that make us happy and allow us to feel joy, the more often we'll feel it. What more can you ask for? All I know is that when you're down, or feeling "navy blue" you have to know in your heart that it's only temporary and allow yourself the time to grieve, but when you get tired of living in that cave, walk out into the light and be grateful that you feel it again. Q. What did you learn from adapting Waiting to Exhale into a film that you would apply if Getting to Happy makes it to the big screen too? I'm co-writing the screenplay for Happy right now, something I swore I'd never do again. It was time consuming. In the past, I didn't have another novel in the works, but this time I do. I never thought that Exhale was going to be such a hit with readers, and I was surprised when it was optioned to become a motion picture. It's a different world, making movies, and I certainly respect the interest and attention my books have gotten, but I prefer writing fiction. Q. What is your next writing project? I have about seventy pages of a novel written. I stopped in the middle of something and I'm dying to know how my character is going to handle it. A good place to stop. Courtesy Penguin Group USA. Get more on Terry McMillan upcoming events at http://terrymcmillan.com/
MICHAEL (CD) By: Michael Jackson
CLICK HERE to purchase MICHAEL is the much anticipated album of newly completed recordings from Michael Jackson. The creative process never stopped for the King of Pop who was always planning for his next album; unbeknownst to many fans around the world Michael Jackson was writing and recording songs continuously everywhere from a friend’s home in New Jersey to studios in Las Vegas and Los Angeles with a small group of handpicked collaborators. Now, through the unique stories that will be told about the songs that comprise MICHAEL, fans will get mind-blowing insight into how this artist worked and a chance to hear the songs he most recently created along with tracks that Michael had a desire to bring to fruition.
Second Chance (Deluxe Edition) (CD) By: El Debarge
CLICK HERE to purchase El DeBarge''s triumphant return to the stage at the 2010 "BET Awards" on June 27th was only the beginning of life''s second chance for one of R&B Pop''s most distinctive and popular voices. On the star-studded show, DeBarge performed the title track from his forthcoming aptly titled album Second Chance, to be released on Geffen Records, and a medley of his R&B smash hits "All This Love, "I Like It," Time Will Reveal," and "Rhythm Of The Night." The soulful performance by the charismatic DeBarge opened an exciting new chapter for the man whose emotional, uplifting music has romanced one generation of fans and is set to do the same for another. "I want the world to know that everybody deserves a second chance," says DeBarge. His long-awaited fifth solo album, Second Chance tells his story of redemption, which followed a period of personal turmoil for the immensely talented singer and songwriter. Earlier, his tender falsetto and smooth love songs resulted in 16 Top 10s both with his family group DeBarge, one of America''s most popular young R&B Pop acts of the `80s, and as a solo artist. But El continued to be heard even after exiting the scene following 1994''s Heart Mind And Soul, a collaboration with Babyface. Everyone from The Notorious B.I.G. and Ashanti to Mariah Carey and Patti LaBelle has covered or sampled hits featuring him as lead singer, many of which he also wrote and produced. Now the original is back--refreshed, rededicated and ready to take his place once more among the genuine stars of R&B.
O Holy Night (CD/DVD) By: Jackie Evancho
CLICK HERE to purchase Jackie Evancho is a 10-year-old soprano prodigy whose performances on "America''s Got Talent" won the hearts of millions and brought her into the national spotlight. Her new CD/DVD set, O Holy Night, features the Christmas favorites “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night” plus the beautiful classics “Pie Jesu” and “Panis Angelicus” – both of which Jackie performed on "America’s Got Talent."
“Men of a Certain Age “ : Making Failure and Frustration Funny and Touching The second-season premiere of Men of a Certain Age on Monday night found our trio of pals – Ray Romano’s Joe; Andre Braugher’s Owen, Scott Bakula’s Terry – facing, or avoiding, new challenges. Joe was self-treating his gambling addiction by geting in shape for a golf senior tour; Owen was trying to assume the mantle of leadership at his father’s car dealership; and Terry was swallowing his actor’s ego and trying to boost his income by selling cars at that same dealership. It’s not a spoiler to say that they’re all failing, in varying degrees. But the achievement of this series that it makes middle-age failure so energetically entertaining. No other show would, or could, make one of its stand-out moments include a man’s embarrassment at having to use reading-glasses for the first time in front of his date. Self-conscious about aging and his newly-single status, Joe can barely bring himself to do things that might bring him pleasure, whether it’s playing golf or playing the field. Similarly, Owen can’t revel in the victory he secured at the end of last season – forcing his imperious dad (Richard Gant) to let him run the dealership – because as soon as he takes over, he faces new ego-battering problems, such as a sales staff that dismisses him as a mere Daddy’s-boy. There’s a loose, almost ragged pace to Men that’s unlike other TV shows’ rhythms — it’s more like a rambling indie film each week. In the case of Romano and Braugher, it plays against their most familiar TV images. Romano played a needy wuss in Everybody Loves Raymond; Braugher has specialized in brainy authority types, whether it was in the wonderful Homicide: Life on the Street or the shortlived Gideon’s Crossing. As for Bakula, he’s trading on all the good will you have for him in shows ranging from Quantum Leap to Star Trek: Enterprise — his Terry is a version of Scott Bakula if Bakula had never had that earlier degree of success. Men of a Certain Age contains a core of blunt truth: Life isn’t easy, or tidy, or pretty. This dark-tinged show is frequently very funny, never more so than when the pals gather for a diner meal, to whine and tease each other. The dialogue has a cutting crispness; the pace of the hour zips along, no matter how logy its anti-heroes may become. Indeed, Men of a Certain Age is downright inspirational to anyone, of any age. But don’t tell these guys that: They want to moan for your — and their — pleasure.
Authors & Artists Talks with LW Special Events Managements’
LW Special Events Management LLC is a multifaceted event planning/production company that cultivates personality to accompany each client’s artistic vision. The company specializes in catered events, galas, themed birthday parties/anniversaries, seminars and network gatherings; it has produced projects such as Shades of Beauty, Real Talk the Movement and TwentyOne Shades, a mentoring/workshop event for girls ages 15 to 21. The company is strong in negotiation, PR, budgeting, staff, and production management.
A&A: Ms. Washington, it’s an honor to interview you. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. A&A: LaTonya, there are lots of facets to you, but let’s start at the beginning. Tell us about your upbringing. Where did you grow up? What were you like as a child? LW: Hello Gina…it’s an honor and privilege to share with you…what a joy! I was born in Youngstown, Ohio, raised by both parents, in a loving Christian home and the baby of the clan, three brothers and one sister. As a toddler, I was told I was a quiet soul, but trust me, I got into mischief and was sneaky. I got spankings on many occasions. As I got older, being raised with boys in the house, I was somewhat of a tom boy….I played basketball, volleyball and ran track. My family was musically inclined and I was taught to play the piano at the age of 7 by my sister who is currently a music professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. On the flip side, I suffered from kidney problems and had to have surgery on a yearly basis from the age of about 8 to 12. I still remember being in the hospital as a young kid, walking around with an IV in my arm and a Foley catheter. They didn’t think I would have a “normal life” but I had a praying mother and here I am today, healed, no problems.
A&A: Tell us about your journey from childhood to today. How has certain experiences helped you become the confident, strong woman we see today? LW: In my childhood, I dreamed of becoming a nurse. So once I graduated from high school, I went to nursing school, graduated from there and had a career in nursing. At that moment, I realized I was being set up for my journey; to be an authentic nurse, you must have a caring and nurturing spirit, a love for people and that’s what I had and yet have. I taught Sunday School, sang in the church choir and always had a love for young people and that’s why I am a mentor. I married at the age of 23, which ended in divorce at the age of 35. You ask what experiences helped me become the confident, strong woman you see today? Well, the trials and tribulations I went through while in a bad marriage that ended in divorce was the beginning of my experience of becoming a strong woman.
I wanted to do what I love to do…on my own terms…..I took a leap of faith, dive into the deep waters…… -La Tonya Washington A&A: Tell us about your family today? LW: Today, I am a single woman, I have a son who turns 20 this month and is currently attending Sonoma State University in Northern California. He wants to become an educator with an emphasis on Math and Physics. He is the head coach at a middle school in Rohnert Park, California, the city where he attends school and is also the Student Coach for Sonoma State University’s Men’s Basketball Team. I think I did alright raising him. I’m so proud of him. My father passed away some 12 years ago. My mother is still alive and lives in the state of Michigan along with my sister and her family.
A&A: You have tremendous presence, tremendous confidence and a true love for helping people – where did that come from? LW: To see me now, you would never know that I suffered from low selfesteem growing up because I was considered “dark.” In my day, dark-skin was not the “in” thing. It wasn’t until my late teens that I realized I was okay in the skin I was in. I believe the tremendous presence just comes from the confidence that I have in myself. The confidence only came after I began to love myself. It was also the trials and tribulations that I went through during my marriage that I used to fuel me and to develop a confident spirit. I truly am a survivor. The true love for people is there because I have a compassion for people. I don’t like to see people hurt, because I was hurt and it is not a good feeling. I have a love for God and with that, there is a love for His people. I love to see the underdog come out on top. I just love, love, love! A&A: You are truly an entrepreneur at heart. Where did those planning and leadership qualities come from? LW: It came from me always being asked to put together events, plan parties and plan and organize weddings. I always had a leadership mentality and was always asked to head up something; you see the word…ALWAYS! So that’s where that came from. I just took it to the next level and said, “Well, if I’m going to lead, I might as well go all the way and become my own boss.” A&A: You began LW Special Events Management in 2007. How did this come about? LW: It came about because I realized I no longer wanted to work for others. I had a passion for what I did and wanted to be able to run a thing the way I wanted it to be run. I wanted to be able to employ others. I wanted to be able to go on vacation when I felt like taking a vacation. I wanted to do what I loved to do on my own terms and took a leap of faith, dive into the deep waters. Talk about a leap of faith….WOWEE! It is a leap and glad I did because I love it but do believe, you have to stay persistent, consistent, positive, and hang around like-minded folk. If you have a passion for a thing, it helps you want to continue on and not throw in the towel.
A&A: Tell us about the mission of LW Special Events Management. LW: The mission of LW Special Events Management, LLC is to bring joy to people who have the task of putting together a function and knowing they can’t do it alone but realizing they can call on a company who is able to take their vision and pull off a wonderful gala, party, seminar or function without a hiccup. It brings me so much joy to see smiles on the faces of people enjoying an event. The mission is also to manage people on a day-to-day basis who are in need of guidance and organization in their efforts as an artist and/or leader and seeing them walk in confidence because they know “we got them.”
A&A: We met this year on Facebook. I gotta say, I’ve made some excellent connections with explosively creative people on FB – of which you are one. Tell us about the origination of Real Talk: The Movement and your vision. View Real Talk video CLICK HERE LW: Real Talk: The Movement came about a year ago after I was approached by men and a conversation was had regarding the male/female relationship. They felt women really did not understand them or their language. I began to hear too much of that and so decided to develop a non-hostile environment where men and women could come together and we learn how to better communicate with one another. Some times people just want to be heard and for the most part, most folk ain’t trying to listen…but we need to do a better job at listening. I want to see us walk, talk, live in peace and harmony. I want to see more marriages. I want to see people in happy relationships. I want to see people happy. No man is an island….we were not made to be alone so I feel it is a mandate on my part to aid in the process. We live in a microwave society, want everything right now and if something does not go our way, we are too eager to throw it out in the wash. I want us to begin seeing each other the way God’s sees us….wonderfully and beautifully made in His image. A&A: After attending my first Real Talk session, I left fully exhilarated by the exchange between the men and women. It’s amazing how different we all see things. This NEEDS to be a movement to open a real dialog between men and women. What are your plans for Real Talk? LW: Real Talk will continue on a monthly basis on-site so we can continue to talk, learn more about each other, listen to one another and develop further friendships. Real Talk is also going radio in January and studio tapings in the year 2011 as well. Trust me, it is a movement. As Martin Luther King said “I have a dream.”
A&A: You’ve got a lot going on. Shades of Beauty. Tell us about this element of your business? View Shades of Beauty video, CLICK HERE LW: Shades of Beauty was something I developed about a year ago because I realized women really do not take the time out for themselves. It is a beauty experience for women who give all. Shades of Beauty is a unique, full day event targeting the health, beauty and professional needs of today’s woman from massage therapy, skin care, hair and makeup to fashion. It’s a day for them to be catered to, a spa day. The goal is also to gather a diverse group of women together who are able to network and learn from recognized experts the basics for great health and wellbeing. A&A: Shades of Beauty is touring this year? What is the tour schedule so our readers can come out? LW: Yes it is and we are so excited about it! We will be in Los Angeles February 2011, Jackson, Misssissippi in March 2011, I believe Las Vegas, NV in April and the list goes on. For further information of our tour, they can visit us at lwspecialevents.com for full details. We have our all male Glam Squad made up of celebrity stylists, certified professional therapists, hospitality that is second-to-none ready to rock and roll! We also have gifts, gifts and more gifts! A&A: On another topic….Love the Twitter Campaign you guys did. Tell us the inspiration for it?
LW: I was called in by publicist, Sabrina J of Celebrity Style Entertainment to do some interviews. Unbeknown to me, I became a real part of the campaign for the future. The Twitter Campaign was organized by musician/artist Mikal Kamil, Will.I.Am, actor Jimmy Jean Louis and directed by Bill Duke. It is a support for and showing our solidarity from the entertainment industry as well as regular folk that we are with our President, President Barack Obama. A documentary is being put together for the 2012 election and we are trying to get over a million people to tweet that they are behind our President. No signs, just TWEETS! Oh Yes We Can! There is a lot going on with that campaign and I am working with ViM Production on it.
…Not only will we begin global dialog, but we will provide solutions and ways to handle confronting situations. ….That’s a beautiful thing….I tell you, it is a Movement!
A&A: Okay, let’s get to the latest….you’re promoting your video for Real Talk and doing a show on
BlogTalkRadio….Share???? LW: Yes, Yes, Yes! We are going radio January 2011. Looks like it will be on Thursday evenings. We want people to talk about their concerns and we want to ignite dialogue across the globe between the sexes. I’m excited because I am a Midwestern gal and so I get the opportunity to hear from friends and folk around the world. Not only will we begin global dialogue, but we will provide solutions and ways to handle confronting situations. We want to see people healed, people forgiving themselves and others and most importantly, learning to love themselves and thereby being able to love one another. That’s a beautiful thing. I tell you, it is a Movement! A&A: Great things are happening with LW Special Events Management, so we hope to hit you up for updates for upcoming issues…Are you game? LW: Of course!
A&A: Last question – What does LaTonya Washington know for sure? LW: I know that I’ve been chosen to do what I do. I know that nothing just happens. I know that I am a child of God. I know that I am a survivor. I know that I am blessed and highly favored. I know that I AM LOVE! For more information on LaTonya Washington, and LW Special Events Management, visit http://lwspecialevents.com/Home_Page.php
Real Talk Tanzore Lounge 50 N. LaCienega Blvd Beverly Hills, CA Friday, December 17, 2010 – 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Fashion Know It All: Knits How to look sharp in a holey sweater By Anne Slowey I’m noticing a lot of knits with holes in them for spring. Please explain. This season’s open-weave sweaters and dresses are yet another staple from—you guessed it—the ’80s! Popular when New York wasn’t such a homogenized, safe place (thank Rudy) and the majority of people who lived below 14th Street were unemployed artists or musicians, the whole secondhand phenomenon took off mainly because no one could afford anything that cost more than a dollar or two. I, for one, didn’t have the money for a winter coat, so when temperatures dropped I added a natty, hole-ridden varsity sweater to my ensemble. Now, oh so many years later, I have to confess that I own the upscale version: a Martin Margiela riff on a regulation navy sweater with giant holes in it and a dress-and-cardigan multicolor number from Rodarte. Both constantly snag on everything—even the Rodarte girls threw up their hands after I sent my dress back twice for repairs because it caught on my stilettos. But what was once annoying has become a Zen exercise in detachment: This knitwear is dynamic, and if things fall apart (Chinua Achebe, anyone?), you just gotta go with the flow. Or take a knitting class and fix it yourself. But now that Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy are tacking away from their signature look and other designers are jumping in, do handcrafted knits still have relevance? I say yes. There’s something super sexy about these knits—whether the bright tankdresses from Michael Kors or the harder-edged version at Edun. Tom Scott and Frank Tell did great roomy-top options too. It’s a look that is sharp in that ―don’t mess with me‖ way but elegant in its embrace of refined decay. Clearly, designers are still intuiting the turmoil that exists in the world, but they’re putting a lighter face on it. And what’s particularly stellar about these knits is that they’re intensely versatile. You may spend a lot to own one, but all you have to do is pair it with leggings or shorts— and, presto, instant street cred. And come June, after you’ve worn it out in heavy rotation, take it to the beach and stand out as extra chic. Remember, don’t mind the wear and tear. What’s one more hole in a holey sweater? —Submitted by Catherine in Vernon Hills, IL
Alejandro Ingelmo Wants a Strong, Powerful Woman in His Shoes By Davina Catt, courtesy New York Magazine
With his super-sexy, fiercely edgy, modern designs, Alejandro Ingelmo is the man to watch when it comes to high-fashion footwear. He's got shoes in his blood â€” four generations of his family have worked in the business in his native Cuba. Madonna wore a pair of heels for her H&M campaign, Jeffrey requested that he produce a men's collection, and he most recently was a CFDA/Vogue finalist. Lucky for us, he slowed down his rollercoaster ride just long enough to talk about his dedication to both quality and his BlackBerry. Generations of your family have worked in the shoe business. Did you always want to be a shoe designer, or did you just fall into it? It was actually the last thing on my mind. I had wanted to go to design school since I was young, but not necessarily fashion. I went to Parsons and explored different things, such as design and pattern cutting and then shoe design, and realized it came naturally to me. Admittedly my grandfather's great understanding of craftsmanship and quality has really influenced my mentality towards design. From where do you source your materials? Is it hard to get access to good resources as a younger label? I source everything from Italy, all my leather. When you start out, you want to make a mark, and one of the biggest challenges was getting access to good materials. What is the inspiration behind your designs? How would you describe your direction or aesthetic? I don't really think in terms of inspiration. For me it's all about "the new" â€” new materials, new textures. My creations are very forward. It's an edgy aesthetic, very strong, very sexy, very modern.
What type of woman wears Alejandro Ingelmo shoes? She is a modern woman. She is not the type to be at home cleaning and cooking! She has a powerful position in the world. What's in your future? To keep on. I have just started doing bags â€” a small collection of clutches for spring/summer, which will develop into a full bag range. What trends right now do you like? I don't follow trends, but if anything, I like what's going on with women's fashion. The boxy shapes and the extremes â€” as seen at Gareth Pugh. I think it's where we are moving towards. What trends do you wish would just go away? Prints. I think they are just a way of disguising bad fabrics. I love to see the use of bold color and good fabric and stitching. What do you think every woman should have in her wardrobe? You know what I am going to say! A good pair of shoes! Which designers do you wear yourself? Dior Homme, Tim Hamilton shirts, my own shoes. I actually just bought a Dior Homme suit for the CFDA because I didn't own one! What is the one item you can't live without? Starbucks coffee, my BlackBerry! Learn more at http://www.alejandroingelmo.com/index.html
A Conversation with Naimah Fuller – Producer of Upcoming Film
A Place Called Home – The Documentary Movie CLICK HERE TO VIEW MOVIE TRAILER NAIMAH FULLER is the producer/writer/director of this incredible documentary. Five years in the making, the savvy producer has finally completed principle photography and is currently in the post production editing phase of the project, with a release date set for 2011. HOME - THE DOCUMENTARY MOVIE explores the mass migration of African Americans relocating to the southern regions of the U.S. in the turn of the 21st century. This mass migration reflects the historical Great Migration that took place during the midtwentieth century nearly seven million black folks left the south and moved to the north and the west. The project asks the poignant question: What is causing this 21st century mass migration of African Americans to leave the north, the mid-west, and the west coast to relocate to the southern regions of the country. Maya Angelou, Morgan Freeman, are among those who share their migration stories.
AAM: It’s an honor to interview you. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Tell us about your upbringing. Did you grow up in a creative home? N. Fuller: My father was a photographer, but by the time I discovered his creativity, he was on to more practical creative endeavors, like providing for our family. So regarding creativity during my upbringing years, what I observed most was how creative my family was as entrepreneurs rather than artists. AAM: You were raised by your great-grandmothers. What was that like?
Dr. Maya Angelou
N. FULLER: Both my grandmother‟s were deceased before I was born, so my great-grandmothers took their place in my life. I spent various periods of my early childhood between these two women. Being a child of divorced parents, my great-grandmothers were very involved in my life as a small child. I was showered with so much love from these two women. So it was about love, it was also about spirituality, in that I was introduced to prayer and faith and tapping in a High Power. And it was also about learning how to be in the world. How to have respect for my elders, how to sit at the table and eat properly, how to treat others with respect, and how to hold my own head up and be proud of myself. In essence, I was given a strong foundation of self-esteem by both my great-grandmothers. CLICK HERE for Budget
Just being around Mr. Parks was a great inspiration to me. He set the professional bar for me on every level. – Naimah Fuller
AAM: What was your greatest inspiration for pursuing a career in film? N. FULLER: My greatest inspiration for pursuing a career in film was the excitement of being on a movie set of a Warner Bros. Production or Paramount Pictures production. When I got into film there were very few African Americans working in that industry. It was the end of the Blackploitation era, and going into the 80‟s was a time of change for blacks in the motion picture business. So it was very exciting to be able to walk onto a movie set and be part of that collaborative creative filmmaking process AAM: How did you feel after your first month of film school? If you remember, what was required of you? N. FULLER: My major in college was Commercial Photography. My interest in photography was part of my DNA, because my father, my grandfather, and my great-grandfather were all photographers. However, as fate would have it after I completed my photography courses, I immediately moved to NYC, and began working with Gordon Parks. Just being around Mr. Parks was a great inspiration to me. He set the professional bar for me on every level. Not only was he a successful photographer, he was a filmmaker, a writer, and a composer of music. So the whole filmmaking school process was not how I entered the life of a filmmaker. My entrance to filmmaking was through “old-school”, rather than film school. However I did have some formal filmmaking training for short period at the Studio Museum In Harlem. The interesting thing about the majority of people who are in the motion picture business even today, most of them never went to “film school”. The old saying “it‟s not what you know, but who you know,” is how the entertainment industry operates more often than not. Similar to the music industry; I doubt if most of the rappers or and R & B and even Pop artists that we follow, ever went to music school. Name any one of them: Jay Z, Beyonce, Sting. So my training in the craft of filmmaking was not from a formal classroom experience, all though I did go back to school after I was already in the business. I would dare say, that even the people who started the film industry probably didn‟t even have a high school diploma (lol). Filmmaking is more entrepreneurial than academic. Gordon Parks (Above) Some of Mr. Parks photos below…
AAM: What was your first real job in journalism and documentary production? Tell us about that experience. N. FULLER: Wow! My career has by no means followed the usual course of trajectory into journalism or documentary filmmaking for that matter. By the time I began a career as a journalist, I had already worked in the motion picture business for several years in several capacities, including script supervisor, assistant director, director, producer, etc. I went from working on large movie productions to working in broadcast news at WABCTV in NYC. It was at WABC-TV that I began my career in journalism, during which I enrolled at the New School of Social Research to study journalism, and television production. WABC paid for my education, so I took advantage of it. But my first real documentary project was a film I did on my mentor Gordon Parks during his production in Texas of Leadbelly the historically famous folk and blues singer, for Paramount Pictures. That project ultimately received several awards including Best Writer and Best Producer of a Documentary Film. AAM: Tell us about A Place Called Home: The Great Migration of The 21st Century N. FULLER: Home began as an observation of a paradigm shift that I found myself in middle of. That shift was the migration of black folks moving en mass to the south at the beginning of the 21st century, of which I was part because I had just moved from New York City to Atlanta. At first the filmmaker in me wanted to capture the whole concept of Atlanta as the new Mecca. But as I continued to explore the project of documenting people relocating to Atlanta, I soon realized that it much more than that. That‟s when the journalist in me began to see the bigger picture. That in fact, what I was actually experiencing was a Great Migration, much like the Great Migration of the mid 20th century when over six million black people moved away the south, to the north and the west, in the largest mass migration of any ethnic group in the history of this nation. Those people had no idea that they were making history, and that their migration experience would re-shape the concept of “urban-life” in America. As I pursued the HOME project – I realized that history was repeating itself in a reversal of trends, as black people were relocating and moving back to the south in even larger numbers than had occurred in the previous Great Migration, and are in fact re-shaping what is becoming the New South. That is in essence of what HOME – THE DOCUMENTARY MOVIE is about. The real title of the project is A PLACE CALLED HOME – THE GREAT MIGRATION OF THE 21ST CENTURY
It takes a lot of courage to pick up and move your life to a completely unfamiliar environment. Especially to the South… AAM: You’re working with some heavy weights in this movie – Dr. Maya Angelou, Morgan Freeman, Danny Glover - how did that come about? N. FULLER: How that came about was from years of being a producer and being an independent filmmaker. It is what I call being an „entrepreneurial filmmaker”. In other words, as the producer, you simply make it happen. Danny Glover is someone whom I had the privilege of working with on previous project in the development of a screenplay I wrote that Danny was interested in developing and producing. As far as his involvement in the HOME project, was through Divine intervention. I was in Texas shooting at a FEMA rescue encampment during the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, and Danny was happened to be there in support of the people who had been displaced during the hurricane. After a brief conversation, he agreed to let me include him in my project, and we just starting shooting. Morgan‟s involvement happened in a more formal way. I read an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about Morgan moving back to Mississippi. The article talked about how he had returned to Mississippi where he was born and raised, and that he had open a blues club, etc. After reading that article I knew I had to get him involved in the project. So one morning after saying a few prayers, I picked up the phone and called his club in Clarksdale, Mississippi. That phone call led to me driving from Atlanta to Clarksdale, to meet him at his blues club, Ground Zero, only to discover he wouldn‟t be there. But with some persistence, and the help of his business partner Bill Luckett, Morgan and I eventually met and the rest is history. So I would say it was Divine intervention and a little tenacity on my part that resulted in Morgan Freeman‟s contribution to the project. A similar scenario occurred with Dr. Angelou, whom I had no previous contact with. But I had several friends and associates who knew her well. In particular Rev. CT Vivian was my initial introduction to Dr. Angelou. Ultimately, it was Judge D‟Army Bailey of Memphis, Tennessee, who actually made a phone to Dr. Angleou, and from there I was invited to her home in Winston-Salem for the first of many trips that followed and allowed me not only have her involvement in my project but to also establish a relationship with her. But again, prayer and persistence opened the door. This project has been blessed, and I have been equally blessed to be its steward. I could go on and on how I have been blessed to get the support so many incredible people for this project. Including Ambassador Andrew Young, Rev. CT Vivian, Mayor Shirley Franklin, Judge D‟Army Bailey, jazz great Terence Blanchard, India Arie, T.I, but just importantly, all the unsung people whose courageous spirits have given them a vision of re-creating their lives in the south, in spite of the south‟s notorious history of blatant racism. It takes a lot of courage to pick up and move your life to a completely unfamiliar environment. Especially, to the south where historically, black people have experienced enormous pain and loss of life from the terrorism associated with the apartheid policies of Jim Crow laws. So the film is about re-newel, hope and healing, and about re-shaping our history as we live out Dr. King‟s “promised land” prophecy.
AAM: What do you hope to communicate with this movie? N. FULLER: My hope is that this movie will show that as Dr. Angelou states, that black people in America have not only survived, but have thrived in spite of all the challenges we have overcome, including slavery, Jim Crow, and so on. I hope to also illustrate how the Civil Rights Movement continues to play a role in the lives of African Americans, in ways that even Dr. King himself probably never imagined. As Rev. CT Vivian so eloquently put it: â€œHad it not been for the Civil Rights Movement there would not be this migration back.â€? So my hope is to show the world how black people in the United States are continuing to make huge contributions in re-shaping the south, and making the new south a destination not just for African Americans who are returning to their ancestral homeland in this country, but is also a place where people from around the globe feel safe and at home. AAM: What has been the response to the project? N. FULLER: The response thus far has been extremely positive. People are very interested in the film because so seldom do we have an opportunity to view of our lives in a context other than as socially dysfunctional, or in sports and entertainment. People are interested in seeing our diversity, and this film offers that picture. Even though there are a few famous people in the film, the majority of the people who contributed to the project are not famous, but are real life people whose courage and determination have lead them on a path of renewal, which is what the migration experience is all about. AAM: What are other projects you have in the works? N. FULLER: Aside from this project, which I am currently in the editing process at this time, I am also in the process of editing the manuscript of my first novel. In addition, I am very involved in the endeavors of other entrepreneurs through services I provide through my company Earthlight Media.
AAM: You have created a media company. Tell us about it. N. FULLER: The company is Earthlight Media Arts & Services, LLC, which I established in 2004. What started out as primarily a video service company has evolved into a multimedia consulting company that provides marketing and promotion services to online businesses. Right now the company primarily assists small business owners in establishing an on-line presence through creating various tools that drive business to their products and services, including website design, video production, marketing and promotion plans and strategies. 13. What are new areas you want to conquer? N. FULLER: What new areas do I want conquer? I want to conquer being a better human being, and to continue to grow as an artist. I also hope to conquer the challenge of living well and having a life of purpose without having to pursue extreme levels of monetary wealth. I think so much emphasis is being placed on gaining monetary wealth, so much so that people are missing the boat on the wealth to found in the Art of Living. What I have during of doing this project is that, it is not money that determines how successful our life are, but moreover it is how we see ourselves in the world. When individuals realize that they don‟t have to be a Donald Trump or a Jay Z to have a place in the world to be happy with who they are. So I am in continuous pursuit of creating a place for myself in the world that I feel good about as an artist and as a human being, while I continue to negotiate the tremendous shifts that are taking place in the world around me. AAM: Are marriage and family in the plan for you now or in the future? N. FULLER: Family is an ongoing part of my life. As far as the future goes regarding marriage; who can say what the future will bring. I pray for a happy life that I can share with someone in whatever way it presents itself. I am open to all the wonderful possibilities that await me. AAM: What do you love about your life? N. FULLER: I love that I am alive, that I am healthy, I love that my creativity continues to flow and evolve with the times. I love the people in my life, my friends and my family, and I am very enamored by the Facebook phenomenon and all the incredible people I have met and continue to met on a daily bases. It is totally mind blowing when one actually gets to interact in a meaningful way with human beings from the around the globe. It‟s awesome. So I have admit l am loving my Facebook experience, for what it‟s worth. AAM: And lastly, what do you know for sure? N.FULLER: I know for sure that I am alive and I am blessed. These two things I know for sure. Learn more about Naimah Fuller’s work by visiting http://sites.google.com/site/theplacecalledhome/aplacecalledhome
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