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The Official Magazine of Focused Radio

living Black History 2017

Our History is up to us to want to know it 1 The Focus

#ExclusiveIndie Charts inside

Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc.

SERCAP is Spreading the Word

SERCAP is challenging YOU to

Turn off the Tap and go...

A Day Without Indoor Plumbing Accept the Challenge:

• Register @ • Collect Pledges / Donations • Pick a Day to Challenge Yourself to go 24 Hours without using the Indoor Plumbing in your house! • Take Pictures and Videos and post online using: #ADayWithoutIndoorPlumbing • Share your Experience! *Proceeds benefit families and communities without adequate access to clean, safe drinking water! 2 The Focus

focus points 8. A View from Mecca-Self Love 11. Cover Story: knowing your history is up to you 16. Roanoke Non-Profit Spotlight 19. In Pictures: Roanoke Refugee Rally 28. The Heart of the Matter 30. Fashion: Fashionista Roanoke 38. Exclusive indie

Editor in chief: TommyP content supervisor: Erica Jenkins lead visual artist: naadir love Each month “The Focus� spotlights small businesses, entrepreneurs, community events, political topics fashion and the arts, we are poised to stay relevant and to influence what people are talking about and doing.

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From the Editor Everyone does Black History in the dedicated month for that right? Well not everybody. We wanted to do this special edition of The Focus Magazine a few days after February to reiterate that Black History is American History and it goes all year long. I take a journey back in the times of historic Gainsboro, the area of Roanoke that provided most of it’s black history content. Remembering a time when families knew the value of helping each other in order to keep the community strong. A time before Urban renewal and other initiatives drove the very existence of Black harmony out of the way. We also stopped by many other events that took place in the Star City during black history month. We have a gallery of pics from the refugee rally that was held by the MLK statue which drew all races and creeds out to show unity against the proposed actions of President Trump. The same day a rally for justice was held to stop killing black people being the theme. We also had the thrill of being invited to the red carpet of the 6th annual Black Girls Really Rock program held at Fleming. So many great things that show how, we are making instant history right now! #StayFocusedMyFriends 4 The Focus

Funny, insightful, and the perfect way to get your day started...

Weekday Mornings 8a until Noon only on

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Self Love

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by Mecca G of the Tommy P N Da’ Mornin Show

A View From Mecca The Bible teaches us that “God is love” and that we are to “Love our neighbors as ourselves”. But what if I have no love of self? What then can I give my neighbor? Will i instead resent my neighbor, hate my neighbor, or even kill my neighbor? I believe lack of self love is a huge part of the problem with all the violence and killing all over the world and especially right here in the inner cities. My community, My people, My neighbors killing one another, not putting any value on life. Showing No Love. Is it because we lack “Self Love”? how can I value your life when I don’t truly value my own? Who teaches us to love ourselves? To value ourselves, and to respect ourselves? I ask these questions because there’s a lot written in songs, books, and movies about Loving another person, but not too much written about “self Love”. Where does it come from? And how do I find it? It has taken me many years to Love Me. I don’t think I was taught this at home. Growing up in a home with no father and an emotionally unavailable mother, I had no understanding of “self Love”, and my interpretation of love mostly came from listening to music. I remember my mother playing those soulful love songs on our old record player, and I would close my eyes and sing along and wish that someone would show me the kind of love that the people were singing about in their songs. I wanted to feel love and to be loved. I remember hearing a song it was called, “I want to know what Love is”and that’s what I wanted, ‘Love” I wanted someone to love me, but I never new that Love came from within and that the love I longed for, first needed to come from me. It’s been a long journey to “Self Love” and acceptance. Without “self love”, we wonder aimlessly through life allowing and settling for less than we truly deserve, trying to fill a void that we may not even know we have. Looking for love in all the wrong places, expecting the relationships we have with others to complete us and to give us what we are lacking inside, but another person can’t give me “self love”. People can compliment us and tell us how smart,beautiful or creative we are. They may even try to reassure us that they love and value us as a person, but until we learn to love ourselves, other peoples words will be just that. Words with no meaning. I think I started to ‘Practice” loving myself around the age of 30. I started giving myself positive self talk. I gave myself permission to be proud of my own accomplishments and to recognize my shortcomings and be okay with those too. I learned to think of myself as a beautiful person, Inside and out. I also learned that loving myself means sometimes I have to be a little selfish, and by that I mean learning to put myself first. Like I said, its been a journey to ‘self love” and for me, I have to continually reassure myself by practicing giving myself “love”and showing myself ‘Love” and how do I do this? I take care of me, I take time to do things that make me happy and feel beautiful. I have a picture hanging in my room, it reads, “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful” this is a daily reminder to me that I may not be beautiful like you, I’m beautiful like me. I believe that when we have “self Love” we then can freely give “love to another person. We can want for our brothers, what we have ourselves. To love yourself will allow us to have love, compassion, understanding and empathy for our brothers our lovers and even our neighbors. Elizabeth Barrett wrote in her poem (sonnet 43) “How Do I Love Thee,? Let me count the ways...” What if the question was rephrased and she asked, “How Do I Love Me? Let me count the ways...” My response would be, I love Me completely and unconditionally. I love Me in my darkest hours and on my brightest days. Today I am a happily single woman, alone but certainly not lonely. I’m having a beautiful love affair with myself. Now, I say MY own Name, and it feels good to me. 9 The Focus

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all month long with our Give a Pint campaign! March 1-31, participating donors at our donor centers and mobile drives will receive a limited edition t-shirt, while supplies last.


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The Gainsboro library is a source for all things “Historically Black� that happened in Roanoke. Many great and historical things came out of the historic gainsboro area. Film creator Oscar micheaux once took residence in this lovely area that laid the fabric for a once thriving community. Take a journey with me as we get a recollection of memories compiled by a lovely lady that not only was a part of the area, but once ran the museum that speaks all about it.

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It’s not like you can go too many places Downtown Roanoke and not run into someone who hasn’t been blessed by Ms. Darcel Walters smile and love she spread during her time living here. Ms. Darcell was very active in a lot of the culture changing elements of the Star-City. Once a downtown business owner, she also was the curator at the Harrison Museum at one time. The stories she tells of “Old Gainsboro” have always been a great 12 The Focus

cinematic depiction of the times I knew nothing about. I asked her this month if she would recall some of those times with me for a “living History” piece. Ms. Darcel said: I lived at 25 Patton right across from St. Andrews Church. Walking to school I would see neighbors who would all greet me with a smile. I recall meeting new friends at Gilmer School. “May Day” events were great and you could really feel the love of

the community even though times weren’t the best. Henry St. was a very popular area. With stores, resturaunts, and everything else you needed, the area was self sustaining. I remember Kaiser’s Record store as the place people would go to get teh new music. You know, the newest 45’s that had an A&B side you had to flip yourself for continous play. Mr. Moses store down at the 13 The Focus

corner of Gilmer and Jefferson is where you got your milk and bread. The kids got allowances and couldn’t wait to spend it on goodies from the store. You could get mint julips, banana splits, and 5 cents got you 10 pieces of candy. I remember African-American police officers, doing the patrolling of the neighborhood. If you did somehting you had no business doing anyone of the community would get it right there and then get you to your parents for follow-up correction. It was a different time. A time when you could rely on your community to help each other when someone was in need. If a house got burned up or some other mishap, it was almost understood that the people of “The village” would come together to make things right. There was never a sense of lack. We had everything. We all depended on each other and it was a very nuturing enviroment.” As she told me those stories I found myself drifiting into the imaginary time capsule that allowed me to experience this phenomenon. I knew it once was here because you can still feel the love in the area. All we have to do is want to know our history and write a new narritive.

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Have your taxes prepared by Wesley Pughsley Jr. & Associates and mention the Renaissance Academy, 5% of your prep fee will be donated to this great organization!

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Roanoke Merchant Spotlight

Much needed

Hope 16 The Focus

Longevity is in Style

Hope Cupit , a Roanoke native, leads an organization that has provided much needed assistance for families needing one of life’s most essential resources. 17 The Focus

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Hope Cupit, President and CEO of Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project(SERCAP). SERCAP serves a 7 state region in Delaware , Maryland , Virginia , North Carolina , South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. This wonderful organization’s mission is to improve the quality of life for low income individuals. By promoting affordable water and waste water facilities , community development ,environmental health and economic self-sufficiency. I was very impressed with all the wonderful things that SERCAP has to offer. They offer a wide range of loans and grants for various water issues. It amazed me that the loans have interest rates that range from 1 to 4% because it is typically unheard of. So if you have issues with or need a new well you can get a loan with a interest rate of only 1%. If you have septic issues you can get a loan up to $9,000 with a 2 to 4% interest rate. Need home improvements that have to do with upgrading the bathroom or kitchen you can get a loan up to $15,000 a interest rate of only 2 to 4%. They do have grants as well for pipes that burst , a new water heater or anything that deals with water , grants are only available in Va. When Hope explained all this to me I definitely felt like I had to get this out there. Being a home owner myself I know that there are many issues that you have to face when it comes to home ownership . It’s hard enough to keep up with mortgage payments much less any issues that occur with the home itself especially water issues. That’s why I wanted to hear more about SERCAP so that I could share the knowledge of what exactly the Agency does. I truly appreciate Hope Cupit for taking the time to educate me about SERCAP and all the amazing things that they do for people with water and waste water issues. Hope is truly a superior leader and a great asset for SERCAP. For more information on SERCAP , Please contact Ellen Smith at 540345-1184 or visit

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Rallying for Fair Treatment of refugees

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#GetThewordout Since March 2014, Faith 4 A Cure and Virginia Blood Services has partnered together to “GET THE WORD OUT” about Sickle Cell Anemia. In order to do so we have used a diverse range of settings, such as: • Higher Education • Faith-based Organizations and forums • Community Engagement • Media/Broadcasting • Health Fairs • Public Service Announcements • Blood Drives At some point in their life, Sickle Cell patients will need a blood transfusion. In many cases blood transfusions are routine treatments. Because of this fact, the primary focus in getting the word out is through hosting blood drives throughout the state of Virginia. It doesn’t just stop here. Faith 4 A Cure is on a mission to create awareness and education not just in Virginia but globally through the use of social media, web presence, radio and television, speaking engagements, educational forums, and much more.

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Upcoming Exhibitions 2017-2019 Romare Bearden: Pictures of America

January 28 – June 18, 2017, Bank of America Foundation/Dominion Resources Gallery Tying loans to works in the Museum’s collection, this spotlight exhibition will feature work of renowned artist Romare Bearden. The complex and colorful art of Bearden (1911-1988) is autobiographical and metaphorical. Rooted in the history of Western, African, and Asian art, as well as in literature and music, Bearden found his primary motifs in his personal experiences rooted in the life of his community.

American Impressionism in the Garden

February 19 - May 14, 2017, Special Exhibition Gallery Organized by the New York Botanical Garden, the exhibition explores the catalytic impact of Impressionism on American artists at the turn of the 19th century. Their embrace of Impressionism's brilliant palette and vibrant brushwork inspired these artists to create masterful images of the American garden, both public and private.

Homeward Bound

March 2 – July 16, 2017, Medical Facilities of America Gallery and Temporary Exhibition Gallery Introducing the Museum’s first juried triennial Homeward Bound, a major exhibition presenting work in all media by artists living in Virginia. The museum invites resident artists to apply for consideration. The exhibition is juried by Bradley Sumrall, chief curator of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Paul Villinski: New Installation

June 16, 2017 – December 31, 2018, City of Roanoke Atrium A pilot of single-engine airplanes, metaphors of flight often appear in Paul Villinski’s installations. Villinski will create a new work for the Museum’s atrium titled Flower Bomber that celebrates his love of flight. The work’s bay doors will release a huge stream of flowers flowing from the airplane to the floor below.

Jared Soares: Hip-Hop Roanoke

July 29, 2017 – February 25, 2018, David R. and Susan S. Goode Gallery Washington, DC-based photographer Jared Soares moved to Roanoke, Virginia, in 2006 to intern with the photography department of the Roanoke Times. He was hired full-time in 2007 and worked with award winning author and reporter Beth Macy. He has produced in-depth documentary work on the hip-hop culture of Roanoke.

Exquisite Corpse: Mural Collaboration

Summer, 2017, Taubman Museum of Art Mural Wall The Taubman Museum of Art shares a 120-foot wall with the City of Roanoke and periodically invites local artists to create one-of-a-kind murals. This time, the Museum intends to present a new community mural inspired by a 19th-century parlor game called the “exquisite corpse.”

Image credits top to bottom: Romare Bearden (American, 1911-1988) The Train, 1975, Etching with aquatint, 22 1/8” x 29 3/4”, Collection of the Taubman Museum of Art, Gift of the 1995 Collectors Circle, 1995.004, © Romare Bearden Foundation; Frederick Childe Hassam (American, 1859-1935) Descending the Steps, Central Park, 1895, Oil on canvas, 22 3/8” x 22 ¼”, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Gift of the Estate of Hildegarde Graham von Roijen; Paul Villinski (American, Born 1960), Flower Bomber, 2017, Site-specific atrium installation, Digital maquette, Courtesy of the Artist; Jared Soares (American, Contemporary), LV Skinny, 2012, Archival pigment print, Courtesy of the Artist.

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Upcoming Exhibitions 2017-2019 Paul Villinski: Farther

June 16, 2017 – January 14, 2018, Contemporary Gallery A major mid-career survey on multi-media New York-based artist Paul Villinski. Emphasizing a lifelong concern for environmental issues, Villinski’s site-specific installations and sculptures in Farther are created out of recycled and found materials.

12 x 12: Small Works from the Heywood and Cynthia Fralin Collection July 8 – December 3, 2017, Bank of America/Dominion Resources Gallery

Diminutive in scale but powerful in presence, 12 x 12 features renowned paintings and works on paper created by some of the most well known American artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. The works, smaller than 12 inches square, are created by such luminaries as Robert Henri, Winslow Homer and Milton Avery.

Tangled: Fiber Art Now!

August 5, 2017 – February 4, 2018 Medical Facilities of America Gallery and the Temporary Exhibition Gallery Featuring several contemporary artists who are redefining how we perceive fiber arts such as weaving, quilting and felting, Tangled will feature installations, performances and interactive work using fiber-based materials in remarkable ways.


September 9, 2017 – February 18, 2018, Special Exhibition Gallery Delighting the child in all of us, Play will highlight four artists who are using toys to create magical transformative installations and participatory experiences for “the kid in all of us.” Play will present artists working in media from crayons to building blocks and inflatables. A special ticket package will be offered for family visits.

Outside Eyes: New Perspectives on the Collection

September 16, 2017 – February 18, 2019, American Art Gallery and the Susan Macdowell Eakins and Thomas Eakins Gallery Featuring the expertise of an array of individuals from various disciplines such as medicine, fashion and music, Outside Eyes will highlight works from the Museum’s collection accompanied by commentary as new perspectives.

Image credits top to bottom: Paul Villinski (American, Born 1960), Fable, 2010, Cello, aluminum (found cans), soot, wire, 96” x 65” x 16”, Courtesy of the Artist; John Steuart Curry (American, 1897-1946), Paris Café, Undated, Oil on canvas, Courtesy of the Heywood and Cynthia Fralin Collection; Angela Ellsworth (American, Contemporary), They Long to Be, 2015, 26,477 pearl corsage pins, fabric, steel, 18" x 27" x 13", Courtesy Sette Gallery; William Bradford (American, 1827-1892), Voyage of the Polaris, 1875, Oil on canvas, 43” x 72”, Acquired with funds provided by the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust, 2002.004.

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Get Yours

Vice Mayor Anita Price wearing #Forever44

TommyP wearing #StarCityClothing

Founder/Creator Brandon Crafter wearing #TagRoanoke Custom Apparel Manufacturer

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Social Institution for like-minded entrepreneurs, tradespeople, and small business who aspire improvement for themselves and their community. Fueled by forward thinking, creativity and resilience our mission is to provide our members with feasible solutions that will lead them to success.

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Getting to The Heart of The Matter is a radio show hosted by Elder Lanell Otey, born and raised in New York and currently residing in Roanoke, VA and Co-hosted by Pastor Clifton Williams, Sr. (The Gathering Place Ministries), also from Roanoke, VA. The Show is featured on Focused Radio. With all that is going on in our world today; (New political leaders, the pushing of homosexuality in prime-time TV shows and movies, militarization of our police forces, the decline of the Christian Church and much more), this show is produced for one purpose, and that is to get to the heart of what matters the most, your eternal existence! As believers in Christ, we have a responsibility to bring light and share light in dark places. This show will get to the root of what’s going on in current and historical events that need and deserve a biblical explanation. When you tune in to “The Heart of the Matter”, you will hear a biblically based Word from our Host, Co-Host and or, special guest. You will also hear inspirational music from national and local artist during our two-hour show. Most importantly, you will hear a full break down of the Word you heard at the beginning of our program. Elder Lanell and Pastor Clifton Williams and sometimes special guest will get to the Heart of the Matter of what matters most!

We are very excited about sharing the Word of God and bringing light to a dark world.

The Heart of the Matter Sundays 10a-12n

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Pastor Williams

Help us continue to increase that number by signing up to donate at a Virginia Blood Services hosted Blood Drive or at a local Donor Center.

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Saturday, May 13 10:00am – 4:00pm The Historic Lawson Building Bloodmobile

401 Gainsboro Rd., NW

Sign up at

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Take a Stand, Make a Statement

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s l ir ck G k Ro c a ly l B al Re

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Stylist April Ward had her fashions on display at the 6th Anual Black Girls Really Rock

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The lovely ladies of Focused Radio (l-r Erica Kane, Monique, and Mecca G) were on the red carpet

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Learn more about April Ward’s designs and other fashion creators by visiting Fashionista Roanoke on Facebook

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Star City Emcee, Kimbro has been giving hip-hop heads music to bop to for a while now. His latest single “Need That� is making a strong buzz for the veteran!

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Exclusive Indie airplay 1. Kimbro- Need That feat. Chris Prythm & Young Observe 2. None of Them- Skip of WELOOSE 3. Experimental - Joon D 4. Leave- Tripp 5. Pressing On- M.L. Hardy 6. Man Down- S. Type 7. Mr PR$E- I WANT U 8. Hard Times- Star-Citi ft Mike Harris and Ally Celestro 9. Best of Me- T. Soul 10. I Need You- Jeremy Wilder

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The Focus Magazine Special Edition  

Living Black History edition. We don't want to forget all the wonderful events that took place during February. Since we believe Black histo...

The Focus Magazine Special Edition  

Living Black History edition. We don't want to forget all the wonderful events that took place during February. Since we believe Black histo...