Soul and Salsa Fall Issue 2021

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A Celebration of Nature by Award-Winning Spanish Designer Laia Mauri


ward-winning Spanish designer and artist Laia Mauri launched her distinctive fashion and costume brand in 2003. Her highly-creative designs feature top-quality fabrics and elegant finishes with a focus on “awareness of the new era.” All pieces are hand crafted, either one-of-a-kind or part of a limited edition, created with the Soul, a transforming energy in each garment that inspires the wearer. They are also non-toxic, eco-friendly and animal friendly. Laia Mauri designs are not manufactured, they are made, creating garments that last over time and leave great memories. All Laia Mauri pieces are made by hand in Barcelona, Spain. Latest Collection Laia Mauri’s latest collection is “Nature”, inspired by the transformation and a woman’s expression of herself as nature. It is an homage to the beauty and renaissance of the wearer. Each piece is an expression of the intimate relationship between the wearer and nature, and how this connection creates harmony, love and well-being for the earth and the planet. See the collection. About the Designer Laia Mauri is a young Catalan designer, the granddaughter of a tailor. She studied fine arts and fashion design and is an expert in stage arts: theater, dance, film and TV. She has participated in numerous prestigious fashion, art and costume projects, exhibitions and events including the Route of Art in Castelló d’Empúries, Artbox.Talent Together We Are One at SwissArtExpo (Zurich), 1st International Contemporary Exhibition in Monaco (2020), Art Basel Artweek (Miami), 25th International Art Exhibition of Valmy (France), the Cannes Fashion Festival, Fashion Week Valencia, Bridal Week Barcelona, the Spanishthaifashionawards Competition (Madrid), and films/series including Loco por tí,  El mismo día a la misma hora, Love gets a Room, The Vampire in Martorell, El inocente (Netflix), Hache (Netflix), The Practitioner (Netflix), The Inimitable 1920 (Vodafone 2) and Los Europeos, as well as working with tops brands such as BMW, Coca-Cola, Huawei. More information For more information visit Photos | Video Laia Mauri Designs is part of Couture Fashion Week New York’s ongoing ancillary projects to present extraordinary designers from around the world to its audiences and the international press. Couture Fashion Week New York Instagram @cfwnyc See Laia Mauri continued on page 5

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Designer Laia Mauri

Designer Laia Mauri


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table of contents

And the Beat Goes On: The Inspiring Story of the Caesars... Pg 24 Publisher Soul and Salsa Media Editor at Large Kim Wilcott Harris Assistant Editor Gustavus Betts

6 Soul and Salsa Beauty

32 Broadway is Back

Sports Editor Robert Wilson Events/Fashion Editors Shun Willis Asia Arreguin Michelle Jackson Jayden Harris Sales Manager G. Buford Food Writer Ty Beamon Contributing Writers Kaillaby Rebecca Breitfeller Brenden Rodenberg Aisha K. Staggers Jessica Brant Janina Akporavbare Danielle Broadway Contributing Photographers ZWI Photography Tal Campbell On the Cover: Coffey Caesar and Xandria Photography: Tal Campbell Hair/Makeup: Be TY Fashion: Fashion Den Jewelry: Jewels at the Fashion Den

COPYRIGHT Soul and Salsa Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction, either in whole or in part is forbidden without written permission.

10 Emerald Khan The Sparkling Jewel of Dallas

20 The 93rd Annual Academy Awards

28 Bruce Beach History and Present day

34 There is Magic in Vegas

35 Top 10 Cultural Dishes from around the would

37 ATX + Pakistan Shop Asia

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Soul and Salsa Beauty

Name : Charlotte Cheatham I’ve been modeling for about two years and published in a few magazines like boss man, and portfolio. My favorite type of modeling is Editorial print. I’ve walked for a few famous designers such as Milano di rouge and Paola Estefania. My hobbies are singing, baking and working out My favorite movie is land of the lost I love comedies My Favorite Artist, Beyoncé (she’s been my idol since I was a little girl) My Fantasy Destination, Bora Bora definitely When I travel I always bring a bikini because there just might be a random trip to the beach. Of course I alsotake 4 different changes of clothes for each day I’m gone. I like to be over prepared than under. Courtesy of Derrick Hutchinson and Anerrick Model Management

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Charlotte Cheatham

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Jaljuda Comedy through the Pain

ongratulations to Texas’ own Jaljuda, the winner of this year’s Soul and Salsa spotlight competition! Jaljuda is a comedian straight out of St. Augustine who has been making her way through the comedy circuit for nearly ten years. Her blue style of Comedy has graced stages from Los Angeles to Fort Worth and notably at the “In The Spirit Entertainment/Dallas Jazz Collective” concert for Juneteenth.

By Kaillaby Jaljuda has a chivalrous spirit; she lives vicariously through her favorite bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  She doesn’t just make people laugh with her raw, unfiltered self-deprecating humor “I already planned out my funeral. I was like, look, don’t y’all let

my sister fall in that casket with me. You gotta get in here and stay here. You not going to be going in and out of my casket. [laughs]” she teaches people lessons through her real-life experiences. If she had it her way, the youth would learn from her past mistakes, and she would advocate for the increasing homeless population in Texas. “We have so many empty buildings. Why doesn’t somebody buy one of these buildings and get a grant and set it up to where people can have somewhere to stay and help people get on their feet? There’s not a lot of those programs around here.” The stand-up comic used her platform to touch on conversations that are on everyone’s minds but not on enough lips. Like the significance of discussions about health amongst black families and how it affects future generations, “And now I’m dealing with having to get on the transplant list [for kidney failure]. It’s something that runs in my family, and I had no idea until I started dealing with it; this is why black people need to sit down and have a conversation about health”.  We had the pleasure of speaking with Jaljuda about her flourishing career post-COVID, where she is taking advantage of virtual platforms like Clubhouse “it’s so crazy how Clubhouse has gotten me more comfortable performing or auditioning. In ways that I never would have thought before.” Read on to learn about why her comedy career is here to stay, the inspiration behind her first book, and how she’s raising awareness for a life-altering health condition that affects not just her but black and brown people at alarming rates. See Jaljuda continued on page 9

Jaljuda Comedy through the Pain SoulandSalsa: What type of Comedy do you like to perform and why?  Jaljuda: Typically, I perform unfiltered blue Comedy. I do clean Comedy occasionally, but I feel more restricted, and I have to be more mindful of what I say. So I tend to go towards blue Comedy because clean Comedy doesn’t match a lot of the struggles and frustrations that I deal with kidney disease, being a single parent, trying to get on the transplant list, or just navigating a lot of day-to-day issues. SoulandSalsa- I’m sorry to hear that.  Jaljuda: It’s something that runs in my family, and I had no idea that it ran in my family until I started dealing with it. I had a little cousin in Dallas. He was a rapper. His name was Cameron Price; he was one of those people who wanted people to be positive and to see the best in people. He got killed helping one of his friends, and his mom wanted me to have his kidneys, but, at the time, I wasn’t on the transplant list, and they weren’t able to do it. Then, when they did his autopsy, they found out he had the same disease I have, and they didn’t even know. At twenty-one years old, he had kidney failure, and he didn’t even know because he wasn’t even showing signs of it. SoulandSalsa: What are the symptoms?  Jaljuda: I didn’t get symptoms until I was down to 20% kidney function. I went to L.A. for the Comics Rock Convention, and I got off the plane, and I was feeling bad. Right before I did all of that, I had a whole bunch of trips

where I was driving for shows back and forth, and I noticed my legs were swelling a little bit. [Thinking] Maybe I’m not getting good circulation. Maybe I’m doing too much. I got to L. A and it got BAD. I’m like, what’s going on? This is not normal. I get back to Texas; the swelling goes away. Then a few days later, I wake up, and my legs were swollen to the point where I can’t even bend my knees. I went to the hospital, and they ran some tests and said, “look, we’re going to send you to Parkland [hospital] because your kidneys are failing. You have diabetes, high blood pressure, and it’s making it worse.” They sent me, did a whole bunch of tests, and they’re like, “yeah, your kidneys are 80% Scar Tissue.” They started making me go to classes about dialysis and stuff.  If it wasn’t for my daughter, I probably wouldn’t even do half of the stuff I’m doing now because they just pushed so much stuff up on me. In the last five years, I’ve had fifteen surgeries. I tell everybody, if you feel bad, go to the doctor. If you’re not comfortable with your doctor, find another doctor. A lot of the time, people don’t take black people as seriously as they should, which is why we have one of the highest mortality rates when it comes to black women giving birth in hospitals. It’s ridiculous.

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able to go on my Facebook page, and everything they’ll need I’ll post in the description. More people need kidneys than any other organ. If you can donate, donate. Even if you don’t match somebody, they have a transplant exchange program. But I just want people to go and get their kidneys checked out because it’s more black and brown people suffering from kidney failure than anybody else. There’s a petition going around on to get the government to continue to pay for people’s anti-rejection drugs (these pills break down your immune system enough so that your body doesn’t attack the new organ). Because when you get a transplant, the government only covers the anti-rejection drugs that you have to be on for the rest of your life, for three years. People are trying to get the government to pay for those medications for the duration of a person’s life. They pay for dialysis until you die. It would be cheaper to pay for anti-rejection drugs over the long term than dialysis.  SoulandSalsa: And you have been continuing to perform, even under your condition. Jaljuda: You can’t stay away from it. You can’t. That’s just how it is with Comedy. It’s like a love-hate relationship. SoulandSalsa: What do you think it is that pulls you back?

Jaljuda- I feel like it’s like therapy. Sometimes I be needing to get stuff off of my chest. I tell a lot of people the only time I feel seen is when I’m on stage. We have this mentality of,” Oh, SoulandSalsa: What can we do to help?  she doesn’t have things. She doesn’t have a car, she doesn’t have a house, Jaljuda: It’s more people on the kidney she doesn’t have a husband. So she transplant list than anybody else. But can’t tell me anything.” But people fail once I’m on the list, I’ll start posting to realize, sometimes the poorest peomy link, and if people want to sign up ple are the wisest people. Just because to be a potential living donor, they’ll be See Jaljuda continued on page 13

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Emerald Khan: The Sparkling Jewel of Dallas


merald Khan is a true gem. She is living proof that you can overcome any hurdle with passion, resilience, and a great support system, including a pandemic and a near-fatal accident. Emerald is a force to be reckoned with, juggling an independent singing career, a full-time job in Corporate America, and single motherhood. But don’t be fooled by the tragic backstory; she doesn’t let hard times get her down, choosing instead to laugh in the face of adversity. “I gotta laugh about it.” The sultry Caribbean beauty hails from the U.S.V.I. and has come a long way since her first appearance in our 2012 issue, including landing a leading role in the feature film “Metronome” directed by Kimberly Skyrme. “I’m just super grateful to be a part of this. Playing the female lead and telling a story

By Kaillaby

that is highly moving. Think about the vibe that we have as ‘Mo Better Blues’’ mixed with ‘Idlewild.’ “ When she’s not conquering new art mediums, Emerald can be found blessing Texas with her New Jazz sound, frequenting local venues in the Dallas and Fort Worth area ( Buttons, The Balcony Club, and Buzzbrews, to name a few). She covers songs with a voice that would make her idol Ella Fitzgerald proud, including a unique mix of her single “Nirvana’s Paradise” and Sade’s “Smooth Operator.” And although Dallas is her home, she is animate that she will perform wherever her talent takes her. “Honey, wherever they let me sing, and they’re enjoying the vibe that I’m bringing, I’m there.” Like the jazz juggernauts before her, Emerald Khan knows the value of a supreme band; she has shared the

stage with legendary acts like Bobby Sparks, The Roots, Stone Mecca, and Linny Nance. Recently, the Hollywood-glam songbird caught up with Soul and Salsa to chat about her future plans, how her life was impacted by the pandemic, and the steps she’s taking to be the “master of energy” out in Dallas. SoulandSalsa-Where do you draw your inspiration from? E.K.- Life. Yeah, my life. It’s just like acting, where I pull emotion and feelings. A lot of my songs are written by a variety of personal experiences. One of my favorites is called “Nirvana’s Paradise”. It was my letter to this guy that I was talking to. Yeah, sometimes music has the words that we don’t, you know? But that’s where I draw my inspiration for my music, through those emotions. Those feelings, the stories of memories, those experiences good or bad ugly and different. SoulandSalsa: Your bio mentions that you have experience, not just in national entertainment but local entertainment, as well. What can you tell me about the underground jazz scene? Where’d you get your start? E.K.- I started in D.C., and that’s why I always go back there. Played at the White House Correspondents Dinner, played at MSNBC’S event, I played in a lot of amazing functions and unforgettable experiences out in the DMV. It was a place where I toured for a good long time, that was my home.That’s where I graduated from Duke Ellington. My first gig was at the Bohemian Cavern, where I got my first check for getting up on the stage. It’s where I started my career. D.C. was my other home just like Dallas is now. That’s my local scene. I play in Buttons, The Balcony Club, Buzzbrews with Jah-Born. I’ve played with some amazing [artists] See Emerald continued on page 11

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Emerald Khan: The Sparkling Jewel of Dallas

Bobby Sparks, Shaun Martin, Stone Mecca, Linny Nance, Liz Mikel, Jason Davis, Mahogany. In Dallas, these are some amazing players and artists so playing with them out here has been absolutely amazing. I’ve enjoyed every moment. Every venue from down in Fort Worth to Austin. Honey, I’m out there. SoulandSalsa-Can you tell me about your injury and how it affected your life and your career?

E.K.- I was on a damn scooter with my family in Austin, and the scooter flipped. [laughs] I fell off that scooter, and I incurred ten skull fractures, eight in-ear fractures on my right side, three brain hemorrhages. I had a traumatic brain injury. Epilepsy is now something that I have to live with, vertigo. I lost functionality and balance. I couldn’t hear. I lost a lot of important gigs that were lined up–honey, look, and this

is just days before my birthday! I had a great neurologist, great E.N.T. The people at my job actually encouraged me to just sing a little something, you know, just cuz I got really sad. It was difficult. [I did] a little bit of singing, nothing too much, just about 30-45 seconds. And then that turned into another play, and more acting, and more film work just kind of trickled in. Coronavirus happening was kind of a beautiful blessing for me because it allowed me to take my time and not have to feel rushed because I couldn’t do a lot anyway. Things changed a lot. My sound is different. My voice is different. The way I manage my time is different. SoulandSalsa: So this all occurred right before the pandemic? E.K.: My ear injury was [in] late summer 2018. In summer 2019, I got back on stage for the first time. I sat in at the artist showcase hosted by Liz Mikel,

and I played “Smooth Operator,” and it was so beautiful to feel welcomed, to be encouraged, and to remember why I was doing it. [To] have that feeling of sharing energy with the audience again. A lot of great musicians and friends of mine really just pushed me to keep going, and my family, of course. I started moving forward, playing a little bit harder, and I was getting ready to start again. March 13th, 2020, we were all ready to do all kinds of shows at least once a month. I was really doing stuff little by little unfolding into what was going to be the next catapult for me to continue forward, and then COVID happens, and then things started canceling. SoulandSalsa: So, during the pandemic, things had to come to a halt, and you found yourself having to find new ways to express your creativity. What other platforms did you utilize to grow your artistry? E.K.: The pandemic by itself was a blessing because, again, you see how the process stopped abruptly and then had the flexibility to grow over time. We started doing these low-key, cameras-only events where it’s only the production team in buildings with the owner and the promoter. I had more interaction on Instagram, my artist page on Facebook. Also, we got Mico, where I was doing concerts. Mico was another live social audio app, similar to Clubhouse.[I] did some reviews on films and just really used everything God has given me. It was quite the journey, but it was great because I discovered some new talents and gifts that I kind of buried for a while. SoulandSalsa- Stemming off of some talents that you have, I know in the early parts of your career, you were a rapper and featured on songs like Estelle’s “Whatever You Like Remix.” How has rap influenced See Emerald continued on page 14

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“Musicians Monetize Internet and Fan


erzuz battles and virtual concerts are some of the popular ways musicians have learned to make money during the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 was an excruciatingly painful year for many creative types, especially professional musicians whose bulk sales stem from touring, merchandise, and live concerts. With the entire world shut down, what was an artist to do? Enter Timbaland and Swizz Beats, two successful producers whose Verzuz battle series was a boon for the new music economy. For those who don’t know, Verzuz is a webcast series where two artists go toeto-toe or battle to prove whose body of work is the greatest. The platform’s popularity grew as more musicians hopped on board to boost their brands. “Without advertising, 30,000 people started to pay attention. It was just us up there going at it. Engagement on Instagram Live is usually 30, 40 seconds long—not four or five hours,” Swizz Beats told GQ earlier this year. Brandy vs. Monica, and DMX vs.

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Power in the New Music Economy” By Jessica Brant Snoop Dogg were among some of the fan’s favorite performances. According to Billboard, six million people tuned into the Brandy and Monica battle the most-watched Verzuz to date. The duo garnered a combined 21.9 million streams for their respective catalogs. Monica’s 2003 hit, “So Gone,” skyrocketed from 356,000 clicks to 840,000 clicks after the battle. Brandy’s 2020 single “Borderline” drew in 571,000 streams. DMX and Snoop Dogg also enjoyed impressively high streaming numbers. The East Coast vs. West Coast pairing garnered 1.4-million views during the July broadcast. Recently, Verzuz was acquired by Triller, an entertainment-based platform used by musicians and celebrities. The acquisition means even larger viewership numbers, as Triller is reported to enjoy between 50 and 65 million active monthly users. “By putting Verzuz in the Triller Network, it has expanded the Verzuz brand to go side by side with the powerful Triller app. We will be able to continue to grow and evolve the music business as a whole, as we have been

doing,” Swizz Beats and Timbaland jointly told Complex magazine. Also, online music subscription sales on platforms such as Spotify rose 70 percent this year. Following the Vervez trend, musicians are hosting live performances on Facebook and Instagram Live. These concerts provide more intimate interactions between fans and when they choose to release new music, perform old sets or host private shows. Virtual formats that existed before the pandemic, such as NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, are thriving under COVID-19 restrictions. Concert apps have also adjusted to the new music economy. Songkick, Live Nation, and Bandsintown all feature up-to-date calendars of live stream events in every city. Even as ticket sales increase for live events in the coming months, it is predicted that the popularity of Verzuz match-ups will continue to trend. People enjoy having perks at home, and the convenience of virtual concerts allows fans to buy a front row experience without the extra fuss.

Jaljuda Comedy through the Pain

people don’t have the things you think equates to success and wisdom does not mean they’re not smart. So, when I’m on stage, people listen to me. I’m doing this until the day they put me in the ground.  SoulandSalsa- How is performing on Clubhouse different from performing live?  Jaljuda: At first, I did not want to do it because I was like, how is this experience going to compare to real life? However, it has been filling that void for me because, where I live now, there are no open mics. I have to drive to Louisiana, Dallas, or Houston to do anything comedy-related. I have been networking, meeting people, making

friends, and it’s helping me get back into the flow of writing. I’ve been doing different workshops and open mics, and it’s helping me develop my craft. I was very pleasantly surprised.  SoulandSalsa: You are an author. Congratulations! Tell me about your book “See Me”.

Jaljuda: I started writing the story when I was a freshman in college, and it was a short one-page story that I wrote, and then I forgot about it.  Years later, I found it, and I just started writing it. Everything I write, I try to put my experiences into it because I feel like, well, maybe somebody else can relate to it and maybe somebody else can take from it. It’s okay to make mis-

takes. Just don’t make the mistakes I’ve made because I’ve already made them for you. Make different mistakes. People don’t realize dating as a black woman is a different experience than a lot of other cultures, and I took a lot of the heartache and situations I’ve been in, and I put it into that book.  Follow Jaljuda on Facebook, where you can keep track of her budding comedic career as well as her healthcare journey. Tune in to her live podcast on Sundays and Mondays on “Stereo,” a live audio app. You can find a link to the show on her I.G. page @iamjaljuda. Her book “See Me” is available now on Amazon. com.

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Emerald Khan: The Sparkling Jewel of Dallas

your sound?

E.K.- I’m a big advocate for the spoken word technique, as you can tell, from many of the songs that I do. Everything from most currently and recently, the “Jazz for Life” album [produced by Ski Johnson], where I do the featured track “Jazz for life” and keeping that rhythmical syncopation, is something that’s assisted me. It’s probably the primary tool that’s assisted me with incorporating that syncopated rhythm. Plus a legato of melody, which is mixing them together. It’s helped me create what is now known as new jazz or jazz pop. Being a part of that movement with blues pop and jazz pop. We were literally reshaping this classic sound as it continuously grows. I love the hiphop genre in regards to elements of it lyrically. Everybody’s got their own rhythm, and that’s where rap has influenced me–the rhythm that I love, and I’m incorporating that with the spoken word piece, “Where are you” high spoken word. “Nirvana’s Paradise,” high spoken words, “Jazz for life,” “Not your Daddy’s Jazz,” like even if I’m singing in a melody, “Club Love” is another one. SoulandSalsa: Our first time featuring you was back in 2012. How have you grown as an artist since then? E.K.- I’ve grown tremendously. I went and earned my degree, I have an M.B.A. in Global business management. My son is now growing into a healthy, happy, highly intelligent teenager. I’m very proud of him. I’ve been able to secure some solid investments and help my family grow and be secured. That was important for me because of my upbringing and having a very difficult childhood, and wanting to have something different for my son in spite of being a Performing Artist. I didn’t want him to miss out on the important things while I was out here living my dream, he’s very much a part of it. I’m more in tune with my performance, my public

presence, and understanding that I’ve got to give myself grace, just as much as I give other people grace. If I can be patient with someone else, then why can’t I be patient with myself? I’ve learned a lot musically. Found some musicians that vibe really good with me, performed at some of the most exquisite, amazing events that I’ve ever imagined and attended. I mean, like performing at an Embassy that’s mind-blowing, you know? “Jazz for Life” was an amazing project, since my injury this is my first time leading a record. I wrote this song and it was just a good time putting everything into perspective and remembering all of these beautiful moments and then bringing in pieces of Ski’s [Johnson] life with mine. Beautiful album altogether. I’m very proud of that song because that ended up being the title track. My career has grown. There’s “Metronome the movie”, which I’m absolutely honored to be a part of. Harry Heyman is the executive producer and then my male counterpart is Julio Fernandez, an amazing actor and upcoming producer-director, he studied under Kimberly [Skyrme] and she’s been in this industry for a long time. Having a strong support system of musicians that really are out here supporting each other and building each other, I’m super grateful. Even the fans and the followers, people that listen to my music overseas, they were DMing, and having that engagement was important for me. A lot of grounding in my community and laying the roots, and being a part of that. SoulandSalsa: In addition to you having your hands full with your own career in music and film, you’re also finding the space and the energy to give back. I think that’s beautiful. E.K.: Thank you, thank you, for me, I had a really tough and hard road, and I can say that my higher power, God, has blessed me with some amazing people in my life that have helped me get through some of the hardest times.

Can’t always do everything by yourself, and sometimes God’ll bless somebody to try to be that hand to stand in the gap for you or at least pray with you through it. So if I can do the same for somebody else, I feel like I’m just returning the favor. Remember, my life would have been so different if I didn’t have that trumpet. I wouldn’t be the woman that I am today if my mother’s friend hadn’t given me that trumpet. You can add humanitarianism to Emerald Khan’s ever-growing resume. She proudly volunteers in her community. She partners with R.I.F.T.A (the Renaissaince Initiative for the Arts) and works with local organizations, like the African American Museum and the Dallas International Street Church, to provide free arts programs and resources for children that “help build my community and be a part of the change that I wanted–not to see but to feel.” Fans will be delighted to know that she has a few projects in the works, including 3 albums (a cover album, a Christmas album, and her own originals) and 2 feature films. She is looking forward to bringing untold stories to life in “Boss Lady”(directed by Dr. David Ollie) and “Metronome the movie” “I love being a part of a production that really dives into things that we’re afraid to talk about in the community; we’re afraid to talk about rape. We’re afraid to talk about trauma. We’re afraid to talk about how people are dealing with emotional distress and failure. And I love being able to tell these stories and to talk about surviving, not just surviving but overcoming it. I’d like to encourage folks to go check that out.” For more information on Metronome, check out their instagram page @metronomethemovie. Stay connected with Emerald Khan through her website, where you can track her latest shows, new releases, and upcoming projects.

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Washed was up for the Gold. The Amazon original series was nominated for an Emmy! The show features a splendid bouquet of black talent, including the lovely Jaquai Wade Pearson, who steals the scene with her comedic timing, and two-time Emmy-winning director (and creator) Jerod Couch. The Dallas-based show takes a realistic approach to the Black millennial experience, showing the struggles of 30 somethings as the arrival of the big 3-0 makes them wonder, “Am I happy with life and the way things are going?” Do I want to settle here?” This quest for self-actualization results in panicked, brash decisions for some (I’m looking at you, Mark!) and tough life-changing decisions for many (I can’t believe Mya said no!). However, each of these characters has one common goal: to achieve their version of happiness. Whether that lies in money, love, power, or respect, they’re all chasing dreams.  But the reality is, we can’t have it all. #Washed asks the question: what are you willing to sacrifice to achieve hap-

By Kaillaby

piness?  To celebrate its nomination (for Outstanding Art Direction/Set Decoration/ Scenic Design for a Drama or Daytime Fiction Program), here’s a sneak peek of what to expect in season 2.  #Washed follows an ensemble of millennials in the metropolis of Dallas, Texas. We begin with the newly single Mya (played by the radiant Nadirah Shakir), who’s seemingly enjoying her best life until it’s made clear that her recent breakup has left her scorned. When her friends (played by the lovely Jacquai Wade Pearson and Yvonne Williams) attempts to get her back into dating fails, Mya is left defeated. Meanwhile, Amber gets caught in Mya’s crosshairs. After sharing the news about a dream job opportunity at a local comedy club, Mya proposes that Amber may be “too old to be chasing dreams.” Can Amber achieve her goal and become the next big comedienne out of Dallas, or will she settle and continue to live a life unfulfilled? Eric (played by the remarkable Byron Hardy) is caught in the mix of street life and finds himself getting deeper into the game. He links up with Smoke, an O.G on a quest to be the “Tony Montana of Dallas” (played by the talented Dennis Raveneau). Smoke will stop at nothing to get to the top, and Eric quickly learns that it’s every man for himself in the streets of Dallas. How far can he go before he inevitably falls victim to the consequences of street life? At the same time, his childhood friend Mark (played by the gorgeous Corey) has hit

rock bottom; after quitting his job and losing the love of his life, we find him restless, without direction, and crashing at his parent’s house. Just when it seems like things couldn’t get any worse for our protagonist, his parents kick him out, leaving him homeless. Mark is down, but he may not be out. He’s been working on a plan that he claims is a real “game-changer.” Will Mark stay stuck in this self-conflicted funk, or will he find a way to make it past his struggles? The value of this series comes from its representation. It doesn’t attempt to dilute its tale (or lingo). It gives you the unfiltered approach to the Black experience in Dallas and what that looks like on all ends of the spectrum: the

streets, the careerman and woman, the dream chasers, and the whole nine. In a perfect world, the show would end on a high note, with all of these characters achieving their dreams decidedly so. But if great tv has taught us anything, it’s that the best endings are never happy. They teach us lessons instead. I look forward to what I’ll learn from #Washed. Be sure to mark your calendars, fans! In the meantime, you can catch seasons 1 and 2 of #Washed right now on Amazon.

Fall 2021 17

to be the Most Diverse Award Show Ever!”

The 93rd Annual Academy Awards was Shaping Up

By Gustavus Betts: Oscar photography provided by:Matt Petit, Richard photography


he 93rd Annual Academy Awards program was one of the most inclusive and diverse award shows ever! On Sunday April 25, 2021 at Union Station Los Angeles and the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center, the festivities were also broadcast live on ABC (8pm ET/5pm PT.) Nine nonwhite actors were nominated – setting an Oscar record for diversity on the heels of the #OscarSoWhite 2015 and 2016 ceremonies. Minari’s Korean American actor Steven Yeun became the first Asian American ever nominated for best actor. Co-star Yuh-Jung Youn was also nominated for best supporting actress as well. Riz Ahmed – also Asian American – is the first person Pakistani/ Muslim to be nominated for best actor for his role in the film Sound of Metal which centers on the life of a heavy metal drummer’s life as he deals with hearing loss. Also, Chinese American

Harbaugh and Troy Harvey witH A.M.P.AS filmmaker, Chloé Zhao, was the first nonwhite female to win an Oscr for her film Nomadland. She was also the first woman of any color to receive four Oscar nominations in a single year. According to USA Today, six Black actors are in the top five categories: Viola Davis for her starring role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Zendaya for Malcolm & Marie, as well as Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) for best actress. Unfortunately, Day and Davis did not win in their respective categories. Chadwick Boseman received two nods: one for best actor in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and one for best supporting actor in Da 5 Bloods. Delroy Lindo was also nominated for best actor in Da 5 Bloods, as well as Leslie Odom Jr for his role in One Night in Miami. Daniel Kaluuya was also nominated for best supporting actor (Judas and the Black Messiah. The

Oscar® nominee Andra Day credit: Troy Harvey / A.M.P.A.S.

first time women of color won for Hair and Makeup included Mia Neal, Jamika to close the night. Other nominees included, but not limited to the following: (For a complete list visit Oscar. org.) BEST ACTOR Anthony Hopkins – The Father, Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Gary Oldman – Mank, Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal, and Steven Yeun – Minari. In Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, tension boils over when legendary Blues singer Ma Rainey and her band record a studio album in 1927 Chicago. BEST ACTRESS Andra Day – The United States vs. Billie Holiday, + Viola Davis – Ma Rainey Black Bottom, Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman, Frances Mc Dormandy – Normadland, Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman.

Tiara Thomas poses backstage with the Oscar® for Original Song credit: Troy Harvey / A.M.P.A.S.

“Davis has the most physically trans-

See Oscars continued on page 20

18 Fall 2021


The Cultural Cuisines of Florida

hen one thinks of the different culinary cuisine in the United States, we tend to associate certain states with certain dishes. Louisiana, for instance, is known for its Cajun flavor, and Maine for its seafood dishes. Another example is New York and Chicago-style pizza or the multi-state battle over which style of barbecue reigns supreme. Typically, Florida is not one of the states associated with a particular type of cooking, but as anyone who has even visited could tell you, the state is a huge mixing pot of different cultural cuisines. Not many states border an ocean. However, Florida has access to diverse sea life. This makes it much somewhat easier for restaurants in the state to acquire fresh and high-quality seafood, and brings in more exotic ocean fare. However, conch, a large mollusk typically deep-fried into fritters, is a popular dish, but has to be imported from the Caribbean islands due to overfishing in Florida. In addition to the seasoned fish dishes from the Caribbean and Pacific Islands, plenty of seafood is cooked using styles from all over the American South: in-

By: Brenden Rodenberg

cluding fish fries, and low country boils (mixtures of shrimp, crab, vegetables and sausage) can be found nearly everywhere in the state. Restaurants, too, offer diverse and unique culinary experiences by putting their own spins on seafood such as: pier restaurants (sometimes referred to as Gulf-to-Table restaurants)- which typically serve as boat landing and launching points. These seafood eateries are a common sight along the beaches and ports along the Florida coast - offering fresh fish caught in the area. Another popular type of seafood restaurant is the fish camp- small restaurants focused on fish and steak that are usually family-owned and located on smaller piers that often double as fishing and docking spots. Fish camps can be found all over the state, even in the most unexpected places. Clark’s Fish Camp, one of my favorites, lurks in the backwoods of Jacksonville and under the bridges of Port Orange with hidden seafood gems like DJ’s or Our Deck Down Under. Due to Florida’s heritage and early settlement by Spanish explorers, Spanish cooking has also made a major impact

on the restaurant culture of the state. It’s easy to find it wherever you go. In addition, some of the food stylings of Florida are inspired by Cuban culture serving a lot of dishes involving rice, fruit, Cuban bread and grilled meat. Desserts like Key West’s Key Lime Pie and orange cake are also part of many menus. While seafood and Spanish cuisine tend to be more common in Florida, if you look hard enough, you can find a variety of food to satisfy any craving - like Anime-themed noodle bars or family-owned Irish pubs. From upscale steakhouses to typical chain fare, Florida’s culinary climate is as diverse as its culture. In a state where you can find anything to eat, it’s only natural that every so often you are sure to encounter some dishes you would never expect. For more adventurous eaters, it’s possible to track down these unusual snacks at places such as: Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum in St. Augustine that features edible insects. Clark’s in Jacksonville offers a wide variety of exotic game (ranging from Yak to Ostrich to Kangaroo to Alligator) - fried or grilled. If you visit Florida, you might want to check out these strange establishments.


Fall 2021 19


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20 Fall 2021

to be the Most Diverse Award Show Ever!”

The 93rd Annual Academy Awards was Shaping Up formative role and that sort of thing is catnip for [Oscar] voters.” – Kyle Buchanan, the New York Times BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah, LaKeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah, Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami, Paul Raci – Sound of Metal, Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Youn – Minari.

Minari tells the story of a Korean American family who moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream.

1964, in Miami, Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) joins Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, and Malcolm X to discuss the responsibility of being successful black men during the Civil Rights Movement.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, and The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Kaluuya won a Golden Globe, a SAG award, as well as a BAFTA award for his performance as the Black Panther Party leader.

In Promising Young Woman, nothing in Cassie’s life (Carey Mulligan) is quite what it seems. She’s wickedly smart, cunning, and living a secret double life.



Amanda Seyfried – Mank, Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy, Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Olivia Coleman – The Father, and Yuh-Jung

Borat’s Subsequent Moviefilm, The Father, Nomadland, One Night in Miami, and The White Tiger. One Night in Miami: On February 25,

Oscar® nominee Andra Day credit: Troy Harvey / A.M.P.A.S.

ANIMATED FEATURE Onward, Over the Mood, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Soul, and Wolfwalkers Joe (Jamie Foxx) is a middle-school band teacher whose real passion is jazz. When he travels to another realm to help someone else find their passion, he soon discovers what it means to have soul.

Oscar® nominees Celeste Waite (L) and Daniel Pemberton credit: Richard Harbaugh / A.M.P.A.S.

“We’re seeing notable gains for different communities, and it is important to celebrate that. There are still voices missing – for example, One Night in Miami director Regina King was left out of the directing nominations and few if any Latinx nominees were named this year. So, there is room for the Academy to continue its efforts,” argues Dr. Stacey L. Smith of USC’s Anneberg inclusion initiative.

Fall 2021 21

to be the Most Diverse Award Show Ever!”

The 93rd Annual Academy Awards was Shaping Up

Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson, and Sergio Lopez-Rivera pose backstage with the Oscar® for Makeup and Hairstyling credit: Troy Harvey / A.M.P.A.S.

Oscar® nominee Viola Davis on the red credit: Matt Petit / A.M.P.A.S.

H.E.R credit: Troy Harvey/ A.M.P.A.S

22 Fall 2021


or years, even prior to his death, I have wanted to hear music from Prince’s infamous vault. I’ve heard some of the bootlegs, but I wanted a full complete work that was properly engineered and possibly had a message while dancing my behind off. However, it seemed all hope of that had died along with him on April 21, 2016. Following Prince’s death, the Prince Estate worked in collaboration with Warner Brothers, his former record label, to deliver some high quality reissues that contained extra songs he had recorded during those periods. First came the Purple Rain Super Deluxe,

Prince’s ‘Welcome 2 America’ is Black Truth in Sound

By: Aisha Staggers then Sign ‘O The Times and 1999. There were other releases as well like the 1983 Piano and a Microphone and Originals. While all of these excited me, none of them hit the spot the way the new release Welcome 2 America has. Prince’s estate released Welcome 2 America in partnership with Sony on July 30. It is the first posthumous album of new music from the late artist. The album was released after much anticipation by fans and music critics who wondered what Prince in 2010 would sound like in 2021.

The reviews for Welcome 2 America have been phenomenal from music critics and fans alike. Over the release’s weekend, the Prince’s estate held a celebration that included a listening party for the album and a viewing of the accompanying 2011 “Welcome 2 America” concert tour that features what you expect from Prince, but also cover jams like “Fantastic Voyage,” “What Have you Done For Me Lately,” and a stirring rendition of India.Arie’s “Brown Skin” sang beautifully by Prince collaborator Shelby J. On Welcome 2 America, fans will find some songs that sound categorically

Fall 2021 23

Prince’s ‘Welcome 2 America’ is Black Truth in Sound

the release. While we both aren’t too crazy about “Hot Summer,” Jill gave this album a chef’s kiss and I the unapologetic Black fist. Welcome 2 America is Prince recording a full album of historically Black music, something a lot of fans aren’t used to. With this album, he is saying, “I’m a Black man in America and this is what I see and how I see it, in case you forgot.”

like Prince - “1010 (Rin Tin Tin)” with its opening synth and piano riffs and Prince’s trademark falsetto, “When She Comes,” which is as sexy and soulful as “Insatiable” and “Scandalous” from the 1990s. However, there are new sounds that bring one back to the music of Curtis Mayfield, like “Born 2 Die,” and “Running Game (Son of a Slave Master)” which is Prince meets Hip Hop meets the 1970s. These are some of my favorites, but I am a fan of the entire album. As a listener of Prince since 1982, I have learned that you cannot just listen to the singles. If you want the full experience, you have to listen to the whole album in sequence, because he is trying

to get you to expand your mind and to think on a level you did not think possible. It is unfortunate in my Prince musical journey; I have come across some racism in the purple fandom. I do not expect these folks to like this album. Prince really dives into his Black roots here and reminds his fans “I am a Black man and what affects the Black community affects me, too.” I spoke with former Prince collaborator Jill Jones who worked with Prince on 1999, Purple Rain and so many others, including her own self-titled eponymous album for his label Paisley Park. We spoke about the album on our weekly podcast “State of Things with Aisha and Jill,” a few days before

Know the whys explaining his shelving of the album will never be known. We can only speculate. Perhaps he thought it would not be well received at a time when he was making a play for pop hit history once again. Perhaps he thought we would need it later, after all, he was always a forward thinking artist. He had been writing about the the trials of Black people throughout his career and knew somehow that we did not need Welcome to America until it now. After George Floyd, a pandemic, and a number of other inhumane treatments against people of color, this is the album we need. The album is perfect in its message for the now. Perhaps Prince knew that. Prince’s Welcome 2 America is where truth reigns and music is the rule

24 Fall 2021

And the Beat Goes On:

The Inspiring Story of the Caesars


By Kaillaby: Photos by Tal Cambell

offey Caesar is what you get when you marry beauty, grace, dedication, and perseverance. The Dallas native has worn many hats, including wife, mom, European supermodel, and full-time Licensed Minister of the Gospel of Yeshua. You could give her Texas upbringing the credit for her poise and charisma, but honestly, I think there’s just something about Coffey. Coffey Caesar is a super model, not just on the runways in France, but to women of color– she is the fearless black woman who refused to let her dreams become smothered by insecurity, doubt, or lack of representation. When her modeling agent Kim Dawson suggested moving from her small town-suburb of Fruitdale, Texas, to Paris, France, she took a leap of faith and never looked back. Since then, she conquered the fashion and entertainment industries and even mastered the French language, (oui. She’s self-taught). Coffey is fearlessness incarnate, what we millennials would call “goals.” She’ll perk up your ears with her laughter, command your attention with her elegance, and can still strut along a straight line because, according to her, “you just can’t take the model out of the girl!” Coffey thanks the Lord first and foremost and says that all praises are due to Him and His glory. Now

with her baby girl, the multi-talented Alexandria Caesar, “Xandria” on her own quest to pop stardom, we had to sit down with these two Southern Belles to share their pasts, get a glimpse of their futures and find out where they draw their inspirations from. Soul and SalsaWhen did you start modeling? CC- I got the bug at about 16–I mean, I did little things around the community, just to get acclimated into it, and then I was represented by Kim Dawson. My dad sent me to L. A soon as I finished high school, because I wanted to model, act, and so forth, but I wasn’t ready for L.A. Soul and SalsaWhat happened in L.A. that made you decide it wasn’t the right time for you? CC- I lived with my cousins, and their way of life was a little bit fast, faster than what I was used to here in Texas. We work hard, and I have never seen people that partied all night and went to work the next morning. [laughs] I came back and went to business school and got an Associate’s in stenography. I worked for an insurance company for about six months and it just wasn’t me so after that I went to the University of Houston and got my Fashion Design and Merchandising degree. I came back to Dallas, modelled full time, and after a year or two, Kim suggested I try Paris. I worked with my agent Guy Herron, who signed her on as an Exotic Model, my entire career in Paris. Soul & SalsaWhat did you take with you? CC- Everything I owned at that point: my portfolio and the clothing that I had. Coats, all the research that I had done about the weather in Paris, everything I owned was with me at that point.

Fall 2021 25

The Inspiring Story of the Caesars Soul & SalsaOK, so your portfolio, your clothing, your coats, research, any makeup or skincare? CC- Yeah, I was a big natural skin care artist, so a good natural soap and then the makeup–I didn’t have a particular line. Nothing that stands out. Right now, I’m a vegan (so is Xandria), so I switched from my more designer brands and commercial brands to more vegan brands. One of my staunchest beauty secrets is lemon juice. I used lemon juice as a toner for over fifty years to restore PH balance. Soul & SalsaAny other beauty tips? CC- Cucumber, honey, oatmeal; any of these would make a good mask. I would use cucumbers to calm down your eyes. If you need to clean your skin good, mix a little bit of honey and oatmeal together and use it as a scrub/ exfoliate and rinse it off with warm water Soul & SalsaYou said that both you and Alexandria are Vegans. Describe a day in the life of a Vegan. CC- This morning, I made my own biscuits, and I had Vegan sausage and Vegan eggs for breakfast. We’ll fix anything from Caesar salad with Vegan chicken, tacos, burritos, whatever we want. We eat anything that we normally eat, being black. We just learned to substitute Vegan ingredients.

had a taste for meat, even as a child. I didn’t know then that it was called “Vegan” until I grew up and started intermingling with other cultures and other races. You just have to learn how to keep your protein up and use spices (which, by the way, are Vegan). You can get protein in so many foods other than meat(s). Soul & SalsaWhat kinds of designs did you make at the University of Houston? CC- When I was in design school, we learned the history of fashion design, the history of textiles, the science behind fabrics, all of these things, but a lot of it didn’t reflect me as a black person. There weren’t a lot of pictures in these books of me and my people. So my question to my design instructors was, “well, what did the servants wear?”[imitating an instructor] “just take off all the frills on everything and that’s what the servants wore.” OK, then I’m going to design that. [laughs] So I started to design what I called simple, elegant clothing. That’s where my line got its name from, [in French] “ L’ E l é g a n c e Simple,” which means simple elegance. I was one of the forerunners of loose-fitting, two-toned clothing. Soul & SalsaDo you design now?

Soul & SalsaWhat inspired your Vegan lifestyle?

CC- Nothing as far as production. I still sketch, I’ve got sketches everywhere, so whenever I get the opportunity to pull my clothing line together again, which will be in the near future, then, yes, I’m ready.

CC- We don’t like killing animals for food. It’s not necessary. I never really

Soul & SalsaWhat did you learn from Guy Her-

ron? How did he inspire you? CC- Persistence. He was the most versatile agent in Paris at that time, to me. He had a category called the Exotics, where we were had a distinctive looks, a different type of look. We weren’t just blonde, blue eyed, and six feet. There were a variety of models in his agency, and I thought that was really cool. Soul & SalsaThroughout your career, who have you modeled for? CC-I got a chance to grace Chanel’s runway, Yves Saint Laurent’s runway, and Givenchy’s runway. My breadand-butter was a Prêt-à-Porter line with Jean Bailley, Prêt-à-Porter simply means “Ready to Wear.” (that’s clothing that is sold mass-produced for stores). These particular garments can be graded from a size 0 up to a 16. Jacques Dela Mar and Carol Little’s line was another line I did a lot Fashion Week Modeling. Soul & SalsaTalk to me about what a typical gosee was like. What was your go-to plan of action? CC- I’d get a call from my agent saying this is the time, the brief description of what they’re looking for and

26 Fall 2021 a place to be. If they really liked you, then you could see it on their face, and they would tell you that they’d get in touch with your agent. If they really, really liked you, then they’d book you right on the spot and just let your agent know. I knew I had to get up every day and go on go-sees or just sit in somebody’s face in somebody’s Boutique or somebody’s showroom, so it was a matter of looking my best [with] my go see bag and portfolio every day. Soul & SalsaIt sounds like you really had to hustle and put yourself out there. CC- Yep. All the time. When I wasn’t modeling, I was on the road with this girl group called Citizens Gang. That kept me busy during the offseason. Soul & SalsaDid you ever go on tour? CC- We went to France, Italy, Germany, Austria, throughout Europe, I didn’t get to Spain with the group, but I went to Spain on my own as a solo artist. I also went to Kenya and Ivory Coast in Africa both doing Commercials. Soul & SalsaAt one point, you were singing on your own? What was that like? CC- It was good. I did get to work with

The Inspiring Story of the Caesars

my own producer and write a half dozen original songs. And it was OK while it did last. Soul & SalsaHow do you feel modeling is different on the runway now?

Coffey Caesar- I don’t see very much difference other than the girls spend a lot less time on the runway than we did, we at least did one or two turns, maybe inner, to the middle, maybe turn down at the end of stage, pause, turn back up. You could turn in the middle again and then at the end of your presentation you would turn back and look at the audience and exit. They don’t do that today. They just go out on the runway, walk to the end, come back and they’re gone. We had a bit more technique then. Soul & SalsaWhat tips would you give an upcoming model? CC- It’s not personal when they say, “we don’t want you.” They don’t mean they don’t want YOU; they don’t want your look for this particular moment. They’re looking for a specific look. Nobody ever tells us models that [laughs]. You have to want to do the job. It’s not easy. You have to really want to be a model. The glamor portion is seen, but, like any job, the backstage is not seen, and that’s where the work comes in. Soul & SalsaWhat advice do you like to give Xandria considering that you walked down this path before? CC- Be true to yourself and don’t let go of your morals and your upbringing, not for $1. Stay true to yourself and your upbringing ‘cause you will be challenged and you will be tempted. There’s lots and lots of Temptation out there but remember who you are. Soul & SalsaWhen [Ale] Xandria was growing up, did you know that she would follow in your footsteps? Or did she just so

happen to end up singing and modeling?

CC- I didn’t know, but both her dad and I have been in the entertainment industry. He was a singer and played drums. Soul & SalsaYour Husband is a musician? CC- Yeah, he sang in a rock group in his early 20s and did a lot of live shows on Greenville Avenue [in Dallas] when the clubs were prevalent, and then for our church, New Life Church. He taught himself to play the bongos and was in the choir and the band for years. So that’s always been a part of her life (and her brother’s life). They both have been inside dance classes, sports events, acting classes, art classes as much as they wanted. I did teach them early about manners. One of my big philosophies is manners can open doors for you that your voice cannot. So yes, I didn’t know what her career would be. I just imparted upon both of them things that I knew helped me in getting as far as I got in life and of course, as every parent, you want your children to go further than you. Soul & SalsaI am aware that you were a model, singer, dancer, and you owned a

Fall 2021 27

The Inspiring Story of the Caesars

Modeling Agency! Tell me, what was it like to own a Model Management Company? CC- The company was called GCC Talent Model Agency, and it was fun owning it, but I didn’t have very much management sense, and that was my downfall. I knew how to go after modeling gigs for me, but I didn’t know how to manage a group of people. Soul & SalsaNow, you’re a Real Estate Broker. CC- I know, yeah and another manager [laughs] Soul & SalsaWhat made you choose that path, and what have you accomplished so far? CC- When I returned from Europe, after the clothing line and after the agency, I needed something to do–I’m was a new mother, middle age and had office space. I was talking to my mom, and she suggested, why don’t you try real estate, the field has really opened up for women since you’ve been gone? So, a light bulb went off. I got a license to become an agent, and I worked with one of the best companies, Century 21, then Hoffman International. I got my training with them as a new agent, and the rest is history. Although her daughter wasn’t there to witness her conquer the European market, it didn’t prevent Alexandria Caesar from pursuing a career in entertainment. The singer/songwriter knew she wanted to entertain since she was a kid starring in local church plays directed by her mom. From there, the love of acting blossomed into modeling, and

by 18, Alexandria started doing commercial modeling and found a home in a local agency in Austin, Texas, which is where she attended Texas State University. She quickly realized the commercial world was not for her, and wanted a creative outlet that would allow her more control over her image and the ability to speak for herself. That’s when Xandria Caesar was born. Xandria proudly boasts about being just like Coffey and says that her beauty and poise enamored her as a young girl, when she would often confuse her for Whitney Houston! Her massive closet and extensive wardrobe is something she still reminisces about “When I was younger, I would just go in there–there’s literally colors everywhere, and I thought that was so cool! It looked like a mall! Just, oh my God, all these clothes, shoes, everything! She just dressed nice every single day, even waking up.” Xandria says her mom

never pressured her to pursue a career in entertainment, and life just wound up that way. Still, she credits the childhood stories about her mother’s career and her overall teachings and support as to why she feels like she can conquer anything she sets her mind to. The Caesars are still pursuing their passions and walking their paths of Entrepreneurship; Xandria has released several music videos and vlogs, which are available now on her Youtube channel “All Things Xandria.” Her latest single, “Cuffed Up,” is available now on Tidal, Spotify, and Apple Music. Coffey is the owner of Coffey Caesar Real Estate Firm, LLC, a full-service Real Estate firm that handles Residential, Commercial and Investments Real Estate transactions in Dallas. They both actively own and work at Dallas Gopsel Connection, which is an online multi-media platform. Coffey is actively looking to expand the Real Estate Firm and bring new talent on board. “I have an investor who works with me, one full-time agent, and one part-time investor. [We’re] looking for other investors or other full-time Realtors to come on board.” Although they’re often busy chasing their own success, the two hope to collaborate on a future project in fashion, combining Coffey’s technical training and Xandria’s natural talent for repurposing garments “I really want her to design an award show dress for me, I think that would be so great.” Xandria continues,” and then also maybe a photoshoot”. Coffey is definitely up to it. “Yes, yes, yes. I would love to collaborate with her”. When asked if we can expect Coffey to return to the modeling scene, she laughs, “I would love to. I have a long hallway in my office, and sometimes when I’m just praising God, then, yes, I do walk that runway every chance I get [laughs]” You can follow this dynamic twosome on I.G. @xandriacaesar and @coffeycaesar.

28 Fall 2021

Bruce Beach History and Present Day By Janina Akporavbare - Photos by; Teddy Parker Senate unanimously approved SB796 which took steps toward returning the beach back to its rightful owners - the descendants of WIlla and Charles Bruce. Kyla Coates, the policy deputy who handles Bruce Beach and Janice Hanh, a member of the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors authorized the motion to support Bill SB 796. They are ecstatic as well as hopeful for the beach’s future. Coates knows that she and her colleagues are working their hardest to return the beach back to the Bruce family. Coates recalls the process it took to get them to this point.


alifornia is known for its beaches.That is what makes the Golden State so great However, many visitors do not think of the history hidden amongst each grain of sand. Bruce’s Beach, located in the city of Manhattan Beach, was founded by Willa and Charles Bruce. The couple bought the land 1912, which cost approximately a thousand dollars at the time. The couple decided they wanted to turn the land into a beach resort for the African American community and provide opportunities unavailable at other beaches due to racial segregation. With the help of business savvy George H. Peck, the Bruce’s dream became a reality. The resort became a bustling, safe place for African Americans on the west coast. However, there soon was trouble in

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) would not let that be the end of the Bruce’s family’s hard work. The organization was able to get the city to overturn its closure of the beach after a lengthy battle with city officials. The public was now able to have free access to the beach beginning in 2007. Also, the beach’s name was changed to Bruce’s Beach, in order to honor the founders.

“Last year, a grassroots organization from Manhattan Beach was started by a woman named Kovanda Ward . She is a resident of Manhattan Beach and found out about the history of the beach. Ward arranged a Juneteenth celebration last year at Bruce’s Beach to draw attention to its history. When my boss, Hahn, heard about the event through Ward, she advocated for its return to the family. Hanh was horrified that the county of Los Angeles had come to own the land that had once belonged to Bruce family. She realized that there was nothing to do but to give the land back. We then started the process of talking to our county CEO - asking about the necessary steps to right this wrong. We discovered we needed the state of California to lift restrictions, because there some restrictions where in place on how the land could be used after when the county acquired it. And so the state needed to pass a bill to lift those restrictions in order to allow the county to then transfer the land back to the Bruce family. That’s how SB 796 came about.”

Now, Los Angeles county is going one step further, in order to pay respects to its founders. The California State

The team continues to fight to get Bill SB 796 passed on April 20, 2021. On June 2, 2021, the California Senate

paradise. Tensions arose between the resort and its white neighbors. Subsequently, the property was acquired by Los Angeles county via eminent domain on the 1920s, and the beach was closed.

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Bruce Beach History and Present Day approved the measure, and the family hopes to start managing the property in 2022. However, some people are skeptical of this news. This is because others fear that it may change beachgoers’ experience. Coates hopes to clear that misconception up.

“What happened a 100 years ago was

wrong,” said Kayla. “It was racist; the land should never have been taken from the family. It was done so intentionally to drive out a successful black business that attracted black beach goers to an area that was predominantly white. And in our opinion, the land should be returned to its rightful owner. SB 796 allows us to do that. If our actions are successful, it will not affect the beach goers at all. This is because the beach is still public. It is a California law that all beaches are public. Transferring the land will not impact the public’s access to the beach at all.” Therefore, returning the land will be

beneficial to all. The general population will gets to enjoy a beach with a rich history. In the meantime, the beach continues to live up to its mission of its founders. On Juneteenth, a gathering was held commemorating Kavon Ward’s fight to get the property returned to its rightful owners. “[It was] a cultural event reminiscent of the Juneteenth block parties I used to experience as a kid growing up in Harlem. There [was] music, dancers, spoken word performances, food trucks, and vendors,” Ward explains. The event was a success. Beachgoers used Bruce’s Beach as a place to have fun and also remember the property’s legacy. Today, Bruce’s Beach is worth an estimated $75 million.

30 Fall 2021

Meet Me at the Movies


ovie goers, rejoice! Movie theaters and film festivals are finally reopening for red carpet premieres, date nights, and daily screenings of our favorite films. The development of the COVID-19 vaccine and the reopening of most areas could not have come at a better time. Due to both the pandemic, there was a monumental rise in streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Brick-and-mortar movie houses took a tremendous hit in 2020. Not only did the total global box office revenue drop approximately 72 percent, most theaters were hit even harder with the closure of independent cinemas closing their doors entirely and even harder.

By: Brendan Rodenberg Fortunately, as of May 2021, most movie theater chains - including big names such as Cinemark and Regal have reopened to the public with new and long-awaited fare for their movie going audience. “Godzilla vs. Kong,” which was one of the first to reenter cinemas, grossed over $96 million despite being available in roughly only 3000 theaters. “A Quiet Place Part II” has already raked in over $50 million since its release. It would seem that the public missed the theater experience as much as the industry misses its customers. Film festivals like Cannes and Sundance, are also reopening in person viewings. A press release from the 2022 Sundance Film Festival stated, “We can’t wait to return to Park City,

Salt Lake City, and beyond. We are in the process of designing a safe and accessible festival where our audiences and artists can come together to celebrate and discover new work, and each other.” For those of us with movie mania, searching for their next film fix, websites such as “Screendaily”offers constantly updated lists of film festivals expected to proceed as planned - as well as a list of countries that have allowed theaters to reopen for public use (and the limits each country has put in place). As a moviegoer, I am very excited to attend premieres of both the latest Hollywood blockbusters and film festivals together with fellow cinema supporters once again!

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32 Fall 2021

Broadway is Back!

By Kaillaby


remember when Broadway went dark in New York City, back in March 2020. This was due to the spread of COVID-19 that began to devastate the United States. The world was in a panic, and businesses were closing left and right - some of which would never see the light of day again. Broadway announced the cancellation of shows and live entertainment - leaving the streets empty and lifeless. What was once a hotspot for art, culture, flashing lights and show tunes, Broadway became a ghost town, a mere shadow of the city that is known for attracting tourists from all over the world. It was at this exact moment that reality set in. The city that never sleeps was finally being put to rest. Although the famous saying on Broadway is “the show must go on”, here we are over a year later without a curtain call in sight. However, fans may soon see an end to

Broadway’s dark days. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio recently announced the city’s plan to resume opening up businesses at 100% capacity in July, paving the way for Broadway to return to us by September 2021! With this announcement of the long-awaited return of live theatre, we can’t help but wonder: are the people ready? Will the introduction of COVID vaccinations be enough of an incentive for fans to come out and be supportive? To gain some insight, I sat down with Broadway stars Tamar Greene of “Hamilton” and Matt Manuel of “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”, who were kind enough to share their thoughts and views of Broadway’s highly anticipated return. Tamar Greene Soul and Salsa: Have you personally noticed any change in support from fans between the

start of the pandemic to now - more specifically, their willingness to attend shows? Tamar Greene: I think everyone, fans and actors alike, really were like what’s gonna happen? What’s it going to look like? I think everyone desires to see live theater again. S&S: Would you say you’re more excited or anxious to return to the stage? TG: I’m very excited. I was anxious and had some concerns surrounding the pandemic in regards to vaccines. I’ve been very excited to see my friends and my Hamilton family again. I love all of them so much. We have weekly meetings and it’s nice to see them in person - not just their squares on zoom. I am definitely looking forward to putting on the costumes and jumping back into the role. As part of the Racial Justice Task Force (a group of diverse people united to achieve meaningful and sustained progress in the fight against racism), I feel like I am making a difference by investing in communities that have been traditionally ignored. S&S: Do you believe fans will support Broadway’s return this fall? TG: Yeah, I really do. It’s not just about

Broadway is Back! pandemic to now?

making money. They are really taking precautions to ensure that everyone will be safe. They are listening to the CDC recommendations, as far as the comeback for Broadway. I know that the fans are super excited. We have already sold out through September. S&S: If you could speak to the fans who may still be on the fence about attending Hamilton, what would you say to them to ease their minds? TG: At the end of the day, do what makes you feel comfortable. Wear a mask and get the vaccine, because that is the road to us moving forward. *** Matt Manuel S&S: Have you noticed a change in the support from fans from the start of the

MM: I see comments from people who can’t wait to see live music and live theater. I’m sure there’s going to be people who have trepidation, but there has been steady support. Early on, it was like we just missed the show (Ain’t too Proud to Beg). People were like, I didn’t realize the importance of this show.. Now people are like, I cannot wait to be in that theater one more time. That speaks to how well the show is constructed. Everybody put their all into keeping the story of the legacy of the show alive. It has so many commonalities with what’s happening today: social change, race and racial injustice, and I think there are people who want to support POCs right now. I’m thankful for that.

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body and mind together in order to deliver a better performance. I think one thing has been very clear - people are ready to do stuff. So if we know anything, we know that people are going to

S&S: Are you more excited or anxious to return to the stage? MM- I›m anxious. I’m not even going to lie to you. I have been in this show for a year and a half, but it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. I’ll take this opportunity very, very seriously. I don’t want to let anyone down. Right now, I’m just working on myself, you know, working out, mediation and things like that. I am trying to get my

be there in the theater. I think the return of Broadway will be something that fills seats. How many? We don’t know, but I think with the vaccinations and people wearing their masks, we can do it safely. S&S: What would you say to fans who might be hesitant on returning to live theater? MM: We’re having a lot of conversations on how to keep patrons safe when they come in those doors. If the audience doesn’t feel like now is not the right time to return to the theater that’s okay. You do what you need to do to ensure your peace of mind, your health, and the health of your family. We will be here and that is the good news. You can catch Hamilton when it returns to theatres on September 14, 2021, and Ain’t Too Proud to Beg when it premieres on October 16, 2021.

34 Fall 2021

There is MAGIC in Vegas

By Rebecca Breitfeller - Check out for dates he MAGIC fashion trade show of California show moved to Las Vegas, with disappointment when COVID-19 Las Vegas is the one-stop-shop where it rapidly gained national recog- led to the cancellation of the highly for all things in the fashion mar- nition. The MAGIC fashion and trade publicized event in September-October ketplace, including women’s and men’s show prides itself on not just being a of 2020. However, there has been a relfashion, footwear, accessories, and fashion event, but a total fashion expe- atively quick turnaround and MAGIC more. This exhibit helps pave the path rience. It also features new trends, op- is making its debut in New York City between brands and buyers, as well as portunities to network with designers, this Fall. The traditional format will facilitates networking and marketing owners, and influencers to gain insight make its way to the East Coast in hopes opportunities. The MAGIC trade show from the top leaders in the industry. Ce- of gaining a whole new array of audiof Las Vegas has a deep and rich his- lebrities even turn up to showcase their ence. The typical selections of apparel, tory, but after the pandemic scare, the brands, support others or to simply footwear, and accessories will be found question is where does it stand today? keep up to date on all things fashion. at the NYC convention, as well as the From Beyonce, the Kardashians, Avril introduction of a brand new curation Starting in 1933, the MAGIC fashion Lavigne, P Diddy and so many others, entitled, “Emerging Designers.” With event was originally known better by its it’s no wonder the MAGIC trade show the introduction of this new category, acronym – Men’s Apparel Guild in Cal- has astonishing success. MAGIC hopes to build even more reifornia. It originally showcased men’s lationships among brands, business opfashion, but has evolved to include As a global leader in fashion in Las portunities, young and emerging artists. women’s apparel as well. By1989, the Vegas each year, all involved were met


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Top 10 Cultuarl Dishes from Around the world


ood is important to all people and cultures. Each different culture brings its own unique flair to the table. Here are the Top 10 cultural dishes we’ve chosen from around the world. Jollof Rice | Nigeria The existence of the African country of Nigeria can be traced back to colonizers engaged in trade across the region. Many African civilizations settled in what is now Nigeria - bringing along with them their own food cultures, such as the ancient Wolof Empire. Also known as the Jolof Empire - a West African state ruled by Senegal from 1350 to 1549, and introduced Nigeria to jollof rice.

By Ty Beamon birth of street tacos. Traditional Mexican street tacos are typically sold in taquerias, but were first introduced in the silver mines in Mexico around the 19th century. Cooked meats (like barbacoa, tacos al pastor, and carne asada) are served on two corn tortillas garnished with chopped onions, cilantro or salsa. Authentic street tacos do not use lettuce, tomatoes or cheese.

In 1889, King Umberto and Queen Margherita of Savoy made a visit to Naples

North America | Buffalo Wings North America has a complicated relationship when it comes to a signature national cultural dish, because it’s a country filled with diverse cuisines and cultures. However, one signature food

Jollof rice is a spicy rice-based stew made with a combination of tomatoes, onions, peppers, and a variety of seasonings. It is an iconic staple in celebratory social gatherings. This rich, dark orange bit of deliciousness can be consumed by itself or with sides such as: moin-moin,( a soft, creamy bean pudding), coleslaw, or poached or soft boiled eggs. Street Tacos | Mexico Mexican cultural history spans three

dear to most Americans is the beloved buffalo wing.

millennia. The country was first populated by a complex indigenous population, before developing into a unique, multicultural society. Fun Fact: Mexico’s official name is United Mexican States (or Estados Unidos), because it is a federation of states. It is also the

Italian cuisine really started to take shape after the fall of the Roman Empire when different cities began to separate and form their own traditions and customs. Different types of breads and pastas were made during this period, such as Neapolitan pizza.

Buffalo wings are the invention of Buffalo, New York restaurant owner Teressa Bellissimo in 1964. Bellissimo combined leftover chicken wings in her own special hot sauce. Served with celery and blue cheese, the buffalo wing was a hit and really started to take off in the 1990s. In 1990, McDonald’s began selling “Mighty Wings. KFC introduced hot wings later that same year. Domino’s Pizza added them to their menu in 1994. Wings also correlate with American football. Neapolitan Pizza | Italy

- a city responsible for the invention of pizza. As a tribute to the queen, local pizza maker, Raffaele Esposito, baked a pie whose colors mirrored those of the Italian flag: red (tomatoes), white (mozzarella), and green (basil). Ironically, this style of pizza gave birth to the famous New York style pizza and was first introduced by Italian immigrants in the U.S. in the early 20th century. Masala Dosa | India Indian cuisine consists of a variety of regional and traditional native cuisines. These cuisines vary and use available spices like herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Indian foods are heavily influenced by religion, Hinduism and Islam in particular - like Masala Dosa. Masala Dosa has its origins in the Indian state of Kamataka, and is made from rice, lentils, potato, fenugreek, ghee, and curry leaves. These thin pancakes or crepes are served with sambar (a spicy condiment made of fruits or vegSee dishes continued on page 36

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Top 10 Cultuarl Dishes from Around the world the origins of the dish to soldiers from the army of Alexander the Great where they would skewer meat on long knives repeatedly rotated over an open flame. Primarily derived from lamb-based, but can also be prepared with pork or chicken or beef. Gyros are usually served wrapped or stuffed into pita bread along with tomato, onion, fried potatoes and tzatziki - a dip made with yogurt, cucumber, garlic, salt, olive oil, sometimes with vinegar or lemon juice, dill, mint, parsley and thyme. Sushi | Japan

etables with vinegar, spices, and sugar). It made its debut in Udupi restaurants in Mumbai in the 1930s. Empanadas | Spain The cuisine of Spain is influenced by its Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic Ocean surroundings. Seafood is plentiful and popular in many traditional Spanish dishes. The Spanish introduced the world to the empanada that first appeared during the time of the Moorish invasions. These decadent, crescent moon shaped delights are stuffed with meat or seafood such as: beef, chicken, tuna, ham, chorizo, pulled pork, lobster, crab, potato, vegetables, cheese, or fruit.

Chickpeas were widely available in the Middle East. A dish produced from the over abundance was hummus. Its basic ingredients are smashed chickpeas, sesame,lemon and garlic - complete with olive oil, whole chickpeas, parsley, and paprika, and are eaten with pita bread for dipping. Gyros | Greece Greece is often considered to be the cradle of Western culture and democra-

Did you know the word empanada comes from the Galician verb “empanar” meaning embreaded or wrapped or coated in bread, and is the creation of the ancient nomadic people of the Middle East who needed ways to keep food from spoiling during their long, desert travels?

The concept of sushi was introduced in the ninth century. The Buddhist practice of abstaining from meat had many turning to fish as an alternative. During the 15th century, sushi became a popular snack and a main entree. Sushi actually means sour rice, and has become a universal food that can be commonly enjoyed at sushi bars and restaurants outside of Japan. Falafel | Israel As most know, Israel is regarded as the Holy Land for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Israel is also famous for its falafels. Falafels were made popular in Israel by Yemeni Jews in the 1950s.

Hummus | Egypt The unique Egyptian cuisine has been informed, historically, by its neighbors from the Middle East: Persians (from modern day Iraqi), Greeks and Romans (modern day Italians), as well as Arabs and Ottomans (from modern day Turkey). Some examples of traditional Egyptian cuisine include: rice-stuffed vegetables and grape leaves, hummus, shawarma, and kebob.

Typical Japanese cuisine is rice based. Seafood is very common, mostly grilled, but served raw as well in dishes such as: sashimi or sushi. Traditionally, the Japanese shunned meat because of their widespread belief in Buddhism. The Japanese diet usually consists of grains with grains with vegetables or seaweeds, poultry secondary, and red meat consumed sparingly.

cy. Greece is also known for its mastery of biology, literature, history, philosophy, and physics. Another significant contribution was the gyro The term gyro is indicative of a ring or circle created by the rotation of meat as it cooks. Greek historians attribute

Falafels are fast and easy to make, and are more nutritious and better for your health over burgers and fries. Typically served in pita bread, these deep fried chickpeas wonders are served with hummus and Tahini dip or salad items Falafels date back to the days of the Christian Copy of Egypt who forbade the eating of meat during certain holidays. Falafels are a common street food in the Middle East, and are the most popular fast food item in Tel Aviv.

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ATX + Pakistan Shop Asia

By Janina Akporavbare - Photography by Cheryl Bemis o connect entrepreneurs, investors, influencers, and educators in Austin’s thriving startup community to their counterparts in Pakistan. The ATX+PAK program offers two diverse paths for people to embark on.


Americans can either collaborate with people in the fashion industry or in the global market. Both programs offer participants a unique opportunity to get their voice heard internationally, collaborate with businesses, and increase import/export activity between Pakistan and the United States. The fashion forward initiative, in particular, has been gaining popularity. The debut, called ATX+PAK, happened in November 2019 in Pakistan. It was also hosted in Austin, Texas in July of 2019. This gave fashion designers a chance to showcase goods, fashion brands, textiles, and artisans from Pakistan in a prime retail spot. The event was very beneficial to all parties involved and soon became a tradition. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ATX +Pakistan Shop Asia was forced to adapt to hard circumstances. The show was original-

ly planned as an in-person event at the League of Rebels Flagship store during the last week of June. Designers were going to have two weeks to interact with consumers and participate in business development. Luckily, a group of smart and motivated people got together and was able to make the show a reality. On June 24, 2021, held a preview event at the Omni Hotel, Downtown Austin, to offer a sneak peek at the 2021 Shop South Asia Virtual Experience —A curated, limited run pop-up shop on—which kicks off the final phase of funded programming of the Fashion Forward Initiative track. The ATX+PAK launched virtually on June28th on Site visitors are able to fully explore Pakistan and learn about all the brands and goods on sale. They are also able to easily purchase from the designers. Notable designers featured are Talat Khan and Asif Chaudhry. Khan created a bold line of clothing and jewelry, named Tanias. The products feature vibrant shapes and

patterns. Chaudry created Golmohar. This clothing line incorporates fashion styles of South Asia, but has a unique twist. Regardless of the designer, all of the products featured were a success. The show’s easy accessibility gave it a unique advantage. Now, the ATX+PAK program can be accessed by anyone, not just people in Pakistan or Texas. The pandemic turned out to be helpful; switching the show online may be more advantageous. Through a collaboration with Austin based Fireshow Media, 13 international startups will receive advanced Business Expansion Curriculum including: Marketing through establishing Thought Leadership in the US, Content Creation Training for Marketing, Online Customer Acquisition Channels, Advanced Leadership & Company Management, Revenue Generation & Scaling in the US as well as customized business content creation, and customized mentoring and blueprints to help them scale their businesses into the U.S. via the Austin market.

38 Fall 2021

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40 Fall 2021

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