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We Thank You Our 44th President Barack Hussein Obama II

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Magazine‌ is the publication that celebrates the diversity and talent that surrounds us daily from a positive perspective. Featuring the best of the best via the arts,entertainment, luxury, lifestyle of professionals and more. Reaching various consumers across the country and overseas, our editorial content, promotion, and brand extensions communicate this ideal to the masses. For interviews, advertising or additional questions or comments: or

U.S. & Internationally Loved! 4/ Urban Tymes Magazine

iss m u o y Did ’s h t n o m last issue? 5/ Urban Tymes Magazine

Brothers Gonna Work It Out !

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The Urban Perspective pg


Teka’s Take pg


ESSENTIALS HEALTH Travis Woodard pg 12



26 Contributing Writers: Shakeema Bouyer Kisha Green Teka Rose Contributing Photos: GVS Michael Snell Silvio Suarez #Cwspeaks

Literary With Kisha Greene pg 26 The


Demetrai Johnson

Raphael Basisa of Flawless Capture Productions. MB Photography PIO Urban Tymes Media 7/ Urban Tymes Magazine

5 Top pg 29 pg 34

The URBAN perspective When I started on this path to have positive brothers in this issue, it was on the suggestion tby a dear friend Shakeema Boyer to feature many civil rights activists in our area. But as I thought about it and allowed my spirit to speak, my thoughts were that we need a more positive representation of our brothers. Not saying that all brothers portray negativity, but in light of recent events, and the current culture of negativity that seems to envelop us all like a musty coat that serves no purpose except to remind you of its odor…I had to do this. Thanks to Tangi Watts -Davis for keeping me on course ! Granted, each brother I’ve reached out to, I’ve watched and worked with. Some answered the call, some could not. But I feel that during its creation, the magazine did what it was intended to do…be a vehicle, a catalyst, to introduce people to thoughts, ideas, dreams, and positive imagery for all to be inspired by.

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To watch these brothers at the shoot fellowship and connect was truly a blessing ot my heart, I mean that. Because today we’ve had cast upon our shoulders the concept of being hard, determined, money focused and self edification…but this day I did not see that. I saw the culmination of years of growth, evolution, mistakes and sacrifices freely shared amongst each gentleman . No Alpha -males, just good brothers ready to continue the work that our ancestors laid before us ..or as Brother Gary Crump would say :Collaboration over Comeptition!”

So I hope that you enjoy this issue. Share with another young man. Prove to him that we as men are not the sum of our conditions, but the result of our spirit driven toward excellence Peace

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Teka’s Take On…Lift EVERY Voice? those that have looked up to these leaders for years. While I am in no way minimizing our history and those that have contributed so much to it, I am over being forced into such a short period of time to explore, learn and teach our children with. As Americans, we are not afforded the opportunity for our children to truly learn history as it was and I by no means ever would leave that in the careless hands of our education system, but would instead like for them to at least “get it right”. That way, we As we can save ourselves the time and trouble of usher into the 2nd month of 2017, I know some people are dragging their feet begrudg- having to correct and fill in the extreme gaps in the chopped and screwed versions of ingly into February. Aside from our typical Black History. winter woes, which let’s face it, we’ve been lucky with our fairly mild winter thus far But I digress. (crosses fingers, eyes and toes). But with a new “President” on the cusp of his four year This month’s take is actually a look into how, stint as Commander-In-Chief, most Ameridespite our ancestors’ greatest efforts, we do cans cannot find one loving thing about the month supposedly dedicated to love. Oh yes, not choose to “Life Every Voice & Sing”, but and the blacks, cant forget the illustrious 28, instead use our voices for dissension, and ridicule. A far cry from the poem turned song sometimes 29 days reserved for our people and dubbed the Black National Anthem. I feel to squeeze an entire history into. A time for as a community, a race and a Nation, we book reports from the kiddos on Harriet, couldn’t be further from the hope those lyrics Frederick, Dr. King and Mary McLeod once brought our people. Even our elders Bethune. The many unsung heroes and heroines that have helped to shape and build once respected life lessons are being our country while providing inspiration to all of disputed as baseless rhetoric or unreliable counsel as reflected in the “I’m not my 10/ Urban Tymes Magazine

supplements for their minds, bodies and souls. A place where women are regarded as necessary as their male counterparts to the growth and building of the community, as they have been throughout history as our dark past has taught us. A unity so strong, that our harmonies resound loud as the rolling sea. Its time. It’s time for us to stop allowing ourselves to be swayed from what was once worth risking life and limb for. Hell yes, Black Lives Matter, and its time we all start acting like it in every word we speak, every article we read or write, every social media post we make or share, every opportunity we have How did we get to the point where available to build someone else in our movement towards positivity was met head on with cynicism? When and why did community up, every chance to serve others and give back to others. Your personal we stop applauding those doing well for themselves and their community? Maybe circle may be small, but make yourself so large your contribution can be seen for those ghost “haters” everyone is always talking about are very real. People are so miles. Words are power. Let your words exude excellence in every syllable flicked very brave behind the letters on their keyboard. Is social media to blame? News from your tongue. Give pause to harsh words, use your voice to elevate…yourself media outlets? I have no real answer for and others. Proverbs 18:21 reads “Death how we got here, but truly believe there and life are in the power of the tongue, are enough of “us” that are ready to be And those who love it will eat its fruit. And freed from the internal segregation that has been created amongst us as a people. before you anti believers jump down my throat, just the words resonate a moment We’re still reeling from what will be and reflect on them, what they are saying. seemingly an unfortunately long 4 years, no matter how #Unbothered you are. You Everyone has this great power; it should be respected and always used with cauwill be affected in one regard or another. tion. Life your voice and make the change you wish to see manifest. I could go on, I’m a firm believer in safety in numbers…no, not the mob mentality type, but will let you all take it from here. Love Love! but the type that incites real change. The people who share their specific talents, traits, trades to build and rebuild structures ~ Teka Rose and communities and give our people our Urban Tymes Contributing Writer very own hope for our future on this earth. That type of self-reliant change in a community that makes others take notice Social: FB: | IG: @ImTekaRose | Twitter: @TekaRose and join in the movement. Everyone is needed, and all are welcomed here. It’s a place where our children can be fed mentally, spiritually with nutritious grandparents, you can catch these hands” t-shirts would suggest. Self-service has become king and everyone honestly believes their cause/case or situation is more of a “real struggle” than others. How did we get so far from removed from the generations that hoped for peace and unity for all? Were our grand and great grandparents not the very people that fought for our equality, with “their hands”? They paid for so much more than we’ll ever know or truly understand as we have never lived in that part of history.

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Your Life, Your Health & You!

Travis Woodard, Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer and Military Veteran born in Greensboro, North Carolina and devoted father currently residing in Charlotte, North Carolina. Woodard is the passionate owner of Resolve Therapy & Wellness a massage therapy wellness center specializing in Massage Therapy, Clinical Massage and more. Outside of working his massage therapy business, he likes to stay active by indoor rock climbing and bowling. Woodard attended, graduated and obtained licensure at Southeastern Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina and also holds certification in Personal Training. He is very serious about his craft and stays current with education and trends by taking continued education classes. Opening Resolve Therapy & Wellness in 2016, Travis developed the concept of the center because he wanted to help his clients to “resolve� their problems. The mission of Resolve Therapy & Wellness is to continue to educate and show people the importance of massage therapy for their overall quality of life.

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A new year, and people note that is the beginning of a “new you” What are your thoughts on that? I don't think people should wait until the new year and because I feel it is a trend that people tend to follow. But on the flipside, if that's the spark that it takes for a person to get where they need to be health-wise, kudos to them! So many times, it seems hard to get started down that road to body wellness. What are some tips that someone can utilize to begin the process, or get over that hurdle? Figure out your reasoning or "your why" in order to help you get started and keep your path to wellness. When training and working with your clients, what is the number one concern they have, or area they are trying to change? #1 concern is weight loss, most women need help with their stomach and want to build curves. Travis, how important is massage therapy in everyday life? That's a long answer (laughs). The short answer depends on what you want to achieve. Long answer: Massage is very important whether its a -Mother with three kids, Full-time job and is stressed but looking to de-stress -Athletic person who works on the regular and deals with soreness but looking for relief -Tension headaches can help to relieve that pressure that causes the headache. You definitely do a lot to help other reach their physical goals, which also lead to mental strengthening and a positive outlook. Share with us, what Travis does to “unwind?” If the weather is nice, I like to do outdoor activities and also ride on my motorcycle; it proves to be very therapeutic to me. If I have time, I like to lounge, lay around and be lazy because I'm always busy.

Thanks again! 5736 N Tryon Street Suite 110 Charlotte, North Carolina Get Directions @ResolveTherapyandWellness Message Now Call (704) 750-1239

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Livio Harris By CWDigsby

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"Everyone knows what I do but not very many people know who I am." -Livio Harris

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CW: Let’s talk about your beginning. LH: I’m originally from Kansas City, St Louis and raised in Kansas City MO. I started singing at the age of 9, playing the guitar at age 11, so I took a liking to the music business. I’m the only one in my family that’s actually in the music business. After high school I went to the Marine Corp did my years there, came out of there and moved to California to pursue my dream, I was like I didn’t know anybody there, but I’m going to see what happens. So I came out the CA as a writer and a producer first, and then I brought up some friends from back home (KC) to out here to form a group called FourSure…. And then we met some gentlemen connected with Uptown. Uptown records had an A&R by the name of Kurt Woodley, who started managing us, became our manager overall. He got us a deal with Uptown, literally a week after Jodeci had just got signed, and he (Kurt) managed Mary J Blige at the time when she first came out. So we signed with Uptown records as artists and we also kept producing other artists as well. Jeff Redd was one of the clients. So we started with that, and after years of singing in the group, it kinda got old for me, so I started playing in the game of management and my first client was Adina Howard. Adina Howard had the big record “Freak Like Me.” So I discovered her, managed her, wrote her records, produced it, A&R, the whole project, that ended up doing a couple million singles and a million albums. And to this day, fast forward 23 years later she’s still a household name in the business. So that brought me into the management world and I started managing actors and producers, songwriters and managing an amazing publishing company, which is Notting Hill Music Publishing, which I spent 21 years with them. I’ve just been rolling ever since!

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CW: You’ve worked with the who’s who in the music industry. I’m sure with all that there has been invaluable knowledge gained along the way? LH: Yes, yes, of course…. With Uptown label, on the Uptown side of things, P Diddy was actually a seventeen year old A&R at the time and he was actually in charge of overseeing our record. So I had the privilege of working with him. Andre Harrell is still a mentor. Through Sylvia (Rhone) we did Adina Howard, which opened up the doors to working with Keith Sweat and various other artists on that roster with Elektra Records and Sylvia Rhone. Yes I had the pleasure of working with a lot of great people in general! CW Question, for those up and coming artists.. What is it that you look for, in up and coming artists? What do they need to have? LH: Well as an artist, something original and unique. Like Drake…when he first came on the set, he came with a total unique sound and with the rap/singing. Something special that stands out, like Beyonce, someone multi-talented, somebody that can do more than just the music. I was fortunate enough to represent clients like Lil J, (Jonathan McDaniels) who I made sure was not just stuck in the world of just music. He was a young rapper, fourteen at the time I met him. So I’ve always pushed “be an artist, but try to expand beyond that, become an actor.” So now he’s an actor, a rapper, a host for a TV show. So if one doesn’t work, you’ve got backup plans, because it’s a tough game out here. The industry, it’s not like what it used to be, so you always gotta have options. I look for artists that are multi-faceted, a person that can do it all.

Amidst the multiple projects he has…Had to ask, what’s next? Well…the film and TV bug has bitten Livio Harris. “Being able to be a part of producing a hit TV LH: Man, I think I’ve gained definitely a lot of show or movie, and still bring music into those knowledge and rubbing elbows with the right people, and still learning. Even though it’s been things. And after that accomplishment, he envisions himself writing a book. “Then that’s it, to 27 years I know everything, I still want to just learn more. I’ve been successful with it, the fact leave a good name and a good legacy behind.” that I still love the game, because most people To keep up with Livio and see what this music would be like, “man I’m out, I’m tired, I’m gonna veteran has in store for, follow him at: retire from it.” I still love it, like I’m just getting Livio Harris-CEO started. Who's Harris Entertainment I think I’ve gained a lot. I’ve gained a lot of Who's Harris Music Publishing great friends, knowledge and successes. To think, that when I first came out here, it was to 323 606-3373-Office just write for people. I had no idea 27 years lat- er that I would have a record deal, or manage a successful Platinum artist. Manage a success- Message Now ful actor, and run a publishing company that Twitter: @LivioHarris was unknown in America and ended up becoming a 50 million dollar a year business. So I’ve http://WWW.TWITTER.COM/LIVIOHARRIS gained a lot CW Wow, so tell us, what have you gained out of it?

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J_ AKA_ Julio J_aka_Julio

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ewanda R. Jackson was born and raised in Cambridge, MD on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She has been writing since she was a little girl but her dreams were placed on hold while she pursued her education, built her career, and became a mom. After high school, she attended Bowie State University for three years before moving to Wilmington, DE. After her daughter was born, she received her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration as well as her M.B.A. from Wesley College. She spent years in the accounting field before deciding she wanted a change. She enrolled in school again and completed the Corporate Law program at Widener School of Law and obtained her Paralegal certificate. She now works in the Trust and Estate Planning business and in her spare time, she loves reading, cooking, traveling, and of course writing.

LR: Yes, before I met my publisher that is exactly what I doing. I was looking to hire a literary agent because I needed someone who had knowledge of the industry and could help market me to the right audience and help me build me brand. KG: What is one word to best describe your writing style?

KG: What is your favorite genre? Why? LR: My favorite genre is romance suspense. I’m a sucker for a good love story but I love the twist and turns that occur on the suspense side. You get a surprise ending to a good old fashion love story…it’s the best of both worlds. KG: How many books do you read a month?

KG: What is your greatest literary accomplish? LR: Believe it or not, it’s having my very first book published. I will never forget that feeling.

LR: Before I started writing I read about 10-15 books per month. But now it’s about 2-3 and if I release that month, I read my own book as well. KG: When did you decide to write professionally? LR: Back in 2010. I was sitting in a contract law class and I started writing Secrets, Lies, and The Cover-Up. I knew then I wanted to have it published and become a professional writer but I needed to wait until I actually had the time to do it correctly. KG: Did you ever consider hiring a literary agent and hopping your manuscript to a major publisher? Why or not?

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LR: Suspense KG: Describe your writing life. LR: My writing life is more than what I expected. I initially wanted to write to get my stories out in hopes that readers enjoy them. I never thought that I would have die hard readers that read every single book I put out and tell me that I am one of their favorite authors. So far my writing life is heading in the exact direction I had hoped that it would.

KG: How have you handled an unhappy reader regarding a book you wrote? LR: I haven’t had one yet (That I am aware of) but I take the opinions of my readers very seriously. Should that happen, I would let them know that I appreciate their feedback and that I will definitely consider any suggestions that they make as long as they are reasonable. I would also gift a copy of my next book, in hopes they enjoy it. KG: What advice would you give an aspiring author? LR: Don’t give up. This industry can be very cut throat and frustrating. There will be lots of road blocks and disappointments but you have to keep pushing if you really want to be a writer. KG: Who is the target audience for readers of your work?

LR: Over the age of 18 and anyone who loves romance or suspense. KG: Tell me about your latest release and what made you write it. LR: My latest release is called Secret, Lies & The Cover Up. It’s about a hit woman named Haven who works for her crime boss uncle but ends up falling in love with her next target. She now has to decide if she stays loyal to her uncle who raised her after her parents died or if she should take a chance on love. I wrote this because I loved the idea of her character. She was woman who felt forced into the only life she knew but then she found that there was way more to life than what she had been exposed too. KG: What’s next for you? What can readers expect from you? LR: I have two projects that I will be releasing very soon, hopefully this month. They are called Falling for his Wife and Two Men One Heart. Readers can expect my usual twist in both of these. Both will reveal very taboo relationships also. Secret,Lies & The Cover Up Synopsis

the lonelier she becomes. In walks the sexy and charming Antonio Blake. He On the surface, Leah Rawson appears to gives her an offer she can’t refuse: comhave it all. She has a great career, a won- panionship and sex with no strings atderful marriage, and a bright future. Howtached. What she doesn’t know is that ever, looks can be deceiving and although Antonio has an agenda, and Leah soon Leah and her husband Brenden are sucfinds herself telling lies, keeping secrets, cessful, they have grown apart. She wants and trapped in the middle of a cover-up nothing more than to get her marriage back orchestrated by those closest to her. on track to how it used to be, but the more she tries, the more he seems to resist and

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With Kisha Green! These are some buzz worthy books! Each month Kisha brings further enlightenment to reading by featuring 5 phenomenal books plus one extra(1 will always be a nonfiction or one children's book) for you to learn more about and add to your personal library! 1. Lust by Victoria Christopher Murray 2. Stalker by Brenda Hampton 3. High Cotton by Darryl Pinckney 4. The Playbook by Kwame Alexander 5. Cheaper To Keep Her by Kiki Swinson *Nonfiction Pick: The Meaning of Michelle by Various Writers Edited by Veronica Chambers

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Author Latise M. Howie

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“We all recognize the fact that if any radical social, political, and economic changes are to take place in our society, the people, the masses, must bring them about. In the struggle we must seek more than civil rights; we must work for the community of love, peace and true brotherhood. Our minds, souls, and hearts cannot rest until freedom and justice exist for all the people. “ John Lewis, 23 Speaks at March on Washington, 1963 (Am Legacy, Fall '03)

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Darren “Jaz” Vincent By CWDigsby 34/ Urban Tymes Magazine


to be successful. Reading just opened my mind to it. So yes, I went through all those years without picking up a book, I didn’t think it was necessary. Nobody in the hood tried to inspire me to pick up a book, not that they needed to, but that type of language didn’t exist. You are a motivational speaker as well; we need to let our readers know about that. How you engage with individuals on a daily basis encouraging them, promoting them to be better. How important is it that young people understand that reading is cool, that its necessary? Rather you are reading on the computer or reading a book, I feel like whatever you want to be in this lifetime, whatever your dreams are, you can look up or read about that person or that thing that did what you want to do. You can find out how to make it work for yourself. When I talk to kids, they say they want to be like Man, what’s going on with you? Jordan (Michael). The good thing about a Oh man I’m great. Thank you for having book is that you can read hundreds of me. books on Michael Jordan, what it took for There’s a lot that you are definitely known for Jaz, how you’re pretty much him to become who he became, instead an open book when it comes to where of just saying “I want to be like Michael you came from…to where you are right Jordan.” That’s the beauty I love about books. I know people read them for differnow. You stated in an interview some ent reasons, but I like them because they time ago that you was “a hardheaded are outlets, they make me full. I can read young Black boy who didn’t want to on Law because I have to deal with Law pick up a book.” Let’s reflect on that, the Darren Vincent then, to the Darren when running a business. I can read on small business owners, how to be sucVincent now. Well a quick note, again I’m from Niagara cessful in small business, etcetera, etcetera. That’s what I get from books, and Falls New York..most people think it’s a nice place, but that’s Niagara Falls Cana- that’s what I try to inspire others to get from them. da. Niagara Falls NY is like Buffalo or Rochester, it’s a hood, and it’s upsetting.’s a household name if you’re in NoDa, and recently you So, I grew up, my mother was on drugs, opened up a spot in the University ardad didn’t exist, so I fought in the streets ea. Even attending them, it draws so a lot. And at one point, I kinda felt like many individuals from all walks of life, there was just no way out of there, because I was born into it, didn’t know any- all genres; it’s really diversity at its prime. Did you ever envision, from thing better. It wasn’t until I changed, Real Eyes to Red@28 that it would be when a friend convinces me to read that book that changed my life that helped me that way? What was your initial conto understand that there were other ways cept when you first opened? arren Vincent was 30 years old before reading his first book. From there a change he notes occurred. Coming from the tough area of Niagara Falls, NY to now residing here in Charlotte NC, he has undoubted seen much, experienced much and from that he’s opened a bookstore, started a major literary festival and performed beside some of the most respected speakers in this country including Cornel West, Dick Gregory, Nikki Giovanni, Susan Taylor, Michael Beckwith and more. Two flourishing businesses and speaking at schools about twice a week he promotes the importance of reading. Truly a busy brother, we sat with Darren to learn more about the drive and passion to get others to realize the power that books contain and the worlds they allow us to explore!

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The funny thing is that I used to host the Charlotte Literary Festival, and of course I had the bookstore. One year we did it at the convention center and my son said “Dad, great job” and he said that around eight thousand came out that year. And I was looking at the surveys at that time and I was like well, I really didn’t do a great job, because I attracted a lot of readers. My goal has always been to inspire the non-readers, those who were like me who didn’t pick up a book. And he (my son) looked at me and said “well you’ve got a literary festival and a bookstore, what non-readers are going to come to something like that? You need something that’s going to attract them.” So I thought hard and strong about it, looked up things that brought people together, so that’s why I put the hookah market inside Red, because that device is very social, it’s a social magnet. The word “Red” came from if you look back beyond fifty years ago; you look in the dictionary, read used to be RED with the symbol above the “e”. So per that conversation me and my son had, that’s what inspired Red@28, and the goal was always to bring people together but in a literary type setting but without saying it’s a bookstore, per se.

when I come up to them and say “I own Red@28.” Some look at it as a bar, some say it’s a club, we don’t have dance floors and stuff like that, but that’s how they label me…a Black man with a bar. Unfortunately, a lot of Black owned bars close, so my goal has always been to, whether it’s the Health Department, Fire Department, Mayor of Charlotte, to look them in the face and say “this is not what I stand for” to look at me as a business owner not just a Black business owner, and I demand respect when it comes to being a small business owner, as a Black man…if that makes sense. So I try to lead as a role model. So whatever interview I do when I hire somebody I have over forty some employees. I’m always stressing, however you might perceive me, I don’t break rules. Everything is done the way it’s supposed to be done, and I stress that with everybody that I pay. I don’t look to get favors; I look to doing the right thing when it comes to running a business, because I know how I’m labeled. I try to make Red a place where we all can come together and not label each other. From all the pain and stress of life, we can come into Red, and it’s like we’re all one culture, one color, and there’s no labels. That’s the kind of environment I want to create.

With Charlotte changing, matter of fact, the whole country changing in light of recent events, as a business owner, how do you relate? What are your thoughts? The funny thing is, I was just telling a friend of mine how I’ve always looked up to the basketball player LeBron James. One reason why I look up to him is because he is a clean role-model as a Black man. He shows evolution, he’s always evolving. The reason why I brought him up is because that’s how I try to live my life. What I mean by all that is, I know as a small business owner, as a Black man, how the average person perceives me

Last question, I think you’ll enjoy this one…..your greatest supporter, which I would suspect would be your wife Michelle. Yes!

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How has the journey been for the two of you in this? I know there’s a beautiful story behind the two of you and I know that she’s been inspirational, always by your side. Share with us that. Back in Niagara Falls, we are both from Niagara Falls; I would see her from a distance. She would talk to me; I normally wouldn’t have a conversation with her

because she was young. Moving forward some years, we talked, we started dating; she wanted to get out of Niagara Falls, I was scared, and she jumped up and left. Move forward a couple of years after that, I remember getting into some huge fight up in Buffalo and remember bleeding real bad. I got down on my knees and prayed and said “I quit God, I’m ready to go. Just tell me where to go!” And out of nowhere I got a phone call from her saying she needed a roommate, and I remember her words saying “you are one of those rare people I trust. Can you come down here and be my roommate?” So that’s how I left the hood, came down here, became her roommate. We were close friends for years, never got into an argument, never fighting, just cool friends. And it took some time to realize that it was more than just friendship, it was lover there. At that time I proposed to her and here we are. She helps run Red@28, she has a Finance degree, and at one point she said she didn’t know what she was going to do with it, and now she runs the finances for Red, the Human Resources for Red. It was that piece that I couldn’t put in place for years, I was really weak in that area, and all of the sudden she came and filled that void, the one void I couldn’t conquer myself. That was magical…she keeps Red alive! Her and my son, they do a great job. That’s the story, that’s the piece that a lot of people need to hear today. Thank you for that. If you don’t mind, I want to share one other quick thing with that. We do a lot of relationship forums every Monday at Red, and I hear so many, especially women, that say “this man is not about this, “or “he aint got his things together, I’m not dealing with him.” I mean, my wife took me in when I was at my lowest, and I have to stress that. I was broke; I came down here with no job, a garbage bag

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and a mattress. So I had nothing, and I’m not saying that a woman is supposed to take care of a guy, but I needed a person like that to help me see my potential. And that push, pushed me to where I’m at now. I think we need sometimes in our community. We have to work together, and a lot of us are looking for something right at that moment, that selfishness that says “you just gotta give me for us to be right,” versus “let me give you something and in return hopefully it comes back and makes us both real.” Any closing thoughts? One, I want to say I love what ya’ll are doing, I would love to support it more. I hope we can stay in communication. I just want to stress that I feel like one of my Godly goals on this earth is to inspire people to become the person they want to become, or need to become. I feel like when you don’t become that person. It’s called spiritual suicide, you become like a zombie to life, just trying to survive. I’ve been taught to create great balance when it comes to work and play. I try to take a vacation once a month, even a mini one. I don’t want to live just to work, and my point is, I feel like the game of life is yours to mold, but people feel like the game of life molds them. It’s like the comparison, are you an actor or a director in the game of life? A lot of people are actors; they feel like somebody is designing their life for them versus being a director. You direct where your life needs to go.

James Shepherd James Shepherd was born in Columbia, TN about 20 miles outside of Nashville. He moved around a lot during his childhood even lived with his grandparents briefly. Early on in his teens he began living the street life and living a criminal lifestyle. After the birth of his daughter Samiah, he began prioritizing his responsibilities. Running the streets was no longer important as being a father. While working at Ford Motor Company as a contractor, he was wrongfully charged and ultimately wrongfully convicted of first degree murder. While incarcerated and serving a life sentence in the M.D.O.C (Michigan Department of Corrections). His appeal was granted and he was finally released. Since then, he has been busy at work in the communities of inner cities from Charlotte, NC to the streets of Michigan and plans to motivate and continue speaking and sharing his experiences to hopefully help others young and old.

You had a “Mission Moment” speaking to the Goodwill Board of Directors. How did that feel? To be recognized by my instructors and faculty at my school and workplace was a very humbling experience. Hearing the response from family, friends and associates on YouTube makes me want to keep speaking and hopefully make a difference in someone’s life! At a recent speaking engagement you did at Randolph Middle School, there was a profound statement: It was said “we must breathe life into our youth.” Explain what that means. Through personal experience, I believe we all have the ability to nurture our youth with wisdom about our own times growing up, we all have been young before. So when you breathe life, you are filling that child with that which it needs to grow.

One can see that the situation, as you put it, made you “grow up.” As you Your life had some challenges and dis- talk to these young people, what is your purpose, or hope overall? I’m appointments in the beginning, gonna do my part to see things change in reflecting on 2011. Please, do you our neighborhoods and in the mentality of mind sharing with us that time? Yes our own people. We are dying in the sir. I was arrested in 2011 and wrongly convicted of first degree murder. I served streets by the hands of the police, but even worse, our own people. We gotta do almost five years of a life sentence. better! I’m going to continue mentoring, speaking, writing and remaining active in You stated during that time you were innocent, yet your spirit was constant- the community. ly tested. How did you maintain brother? In my mind, my back was against the So what’s next for James Shepherd? Honestly, I’m just living in the moment, wall, it was do or die. All I could think about day in and day out was my daugh- and taking opportunities as they come. Like this interview! Thank you Urban ter, and how I couldn’t let her grow up Tymes Magazine for the opportunity! without me. That was my motivation through all the setbacks and hard times!

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Bishop Marvin L. McMillan is the Founder/Pastor of the Galilean Deliverance Community Church, Sounds of Praise, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, under the covering of Apostle Allen H. Simmons. Bishop grew up in a full gospel, bible believing, Pentecostal church under the leadership of the late, Bishop Nathaniel Pollock. Born an ambassador for Christ, in 1978, at age 11 Bishop confessed Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, and was baptized with the gift of the Holy Spirit. Bishop faithfully served in the Church of Christ Written in Heaven organization while growing up. He started singing in the church from the age of 3, and as he grew older, he directed and sang with different choirs and groups and he was also known as an anointed soloist. Bishop has recorded professionally with some of those choirs and groups but that was only the beginning of his ministry. However, from a child, it was evident that Bishop McMillan was a preacher. Bishop was called into the ministry at the age of 16 and after years of running from God, in 1992, Bishop decided to stop and answer the call to run with God. "IF YOU CAN'T BEAT HIM....YOU MIGHT AS WELL, JOIN HIM!" In 1996, Bishop was ordained in the Church of God in Christ, Atlanta, GA, by then, Presiding Bishop Chandler D. Owens, and in 2004 he was consecrated as Bishop. As a third generation preacher who operates under the apostolic anointing to do the will of God,He is a member of cross denominational partnerships, as well as Community Based, Faith Based Initiatives and collaborations committed to the spiritual, physical and mental growth, as well as, the financial independence development of the Body of Christ. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, he actively travels, internationally, sharing his many testimo-

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nies of how the Lord saved, healed, delivered and set him free from many adversity encounters. Bishop is an Evangelist, Prophet, and Conference Speaker, whose anointed ministry imparts life, reconciliation, healing and restoration through impromptu Holy Spirit lead illustrations. Bishop McMillan demonstrates a level of biblical and theological knowledge suitable for the ministry. The wisdom and insight he embodies is evidence of his prominence as a leader after God's own heart. His influence, as a visionary and leader, is a direct result of his diversity as a multi-dimensional man of God. Bishop McMillan is married to the lovely Elect Lady Vengie McMillan, whom God has anointed and given a powerful ministry, as well; they are blessed with 3 gifted children, MarVenus, MarJanae and Marvin, Jr. Bishop McMillan is inspired by his Parents, Elder Jeremiah and Elder Gloria McMillan, who has always believed in and encouraged him from a child to the present. Motivated by what he was taught over the years by the leaders in his life. God’s call for Bishop to be a “protector”, led him to establish his own security business, "The Hidden Muscle". Known as a man with muscles in the physical, Bishop strives to let everyone know that the “hidden muscle” is God’s Holy Spirit, strengthening him to do the impossible. Bishop is also the founder of "Muscle Praisers", a next generation youth group geared towards praising God as they discover and receive every promise that he has made for their lives. Last, but not least, Bishop was in a head on collision car accident in 2005, where he was pronounced DEAD, at the scene. God awakened him, gave him the keys to the kingdom, and propelled him to go to the next level. With the Holy Spirit in charge, Bishop boldly announces, “We are still walking through doors that God has opened for us; we refuse to carry keys and not use them!!!!!!”

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resources while maximize cost savings and efficiency. The business case is to ensure the community public safety approach is balanced at achieving the results the community expects. This cannot occur in a public safety bubble or silos. Male kids, between the ages of 11-20 seem to be the center of attention across the country, especially with law enforcements interaction with them and the negativity it has fostered. What do you this we as a community need to do or that law enforcement would need to do to stem this? I spent years advocating for Emotional Intelligence (EI) as a core training and developing imperative for police trainees and career police personnel. This training should provide police officers and leaders with the increased personal awareness, improved thinking skills and better self-management. These attributes equips the professional law enforcement officer with the necessary ability to empathize and improve relationships and effectively collaborate with youth and young adults. Frankly it is up to the law enforcement community to lead these efforts and be intentional about this critical need to positively enhance these interactions.

Your diversity and background for many years have been centered on the human condition, seeing both sides to an individual. You’re talking to a young man, in his teens. Would you say that insight brings you a He shares with you the situation at home, greater understanding for the position as which may not be the “ideal family Sheriff? life” versus the life he has in the streets. Absolutely! Unlike most traditionally trained law What do you tell him? enforcement professionals, I tried throughout of Men were at one point in their life young boys. my career to be highly intentional about leveraging diverse skills building and core com- Each of us made a deliberate decision in our minds to rise above what may have been petencies around career tracks that support challenging family or personal situation. I will meeting the human condition. For this reason, the Sheriff is uniquely elected to balance public share with any young man the need to first make up his mind about what it is he wants. In safety while developing policies and practices that vein, encourage his made up mind to not that support advancing the human condition. allow a temporary family situation erode his For this reason, the people elect the Sheriff. I made up mind. Life will be filled with temporary have understood this fundamental each time I situations. However, I made up mind will sustain have sought the Sheriff office. him and keep him focused. You’ve mentioned a greater collaboration Powerful statement you would share with between Sheriff and Police in a prior others….. interview. Does that still ring true today? The need for Police and Sheriff to collaborate is To be true first requires a reconciliation of truth greater today then anytime in our history of pub- in your mind, the birth place of personal lic safety. Collaboration is essential to leverage integrity. 43/ Urban Tymes Magazine

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When you meet Shaun “Lucky” Corbett, you meet a quiet man that is focused at his chair, a devoted father, event creator, and great businessman. But Shaun is also the community servant. A brother with a vision to make his community better and those he comes into contact with. From Cops & Barbers to meetings with those that are in the public’s eye and hold political power. His message is clear with each one he meets. It’s about the community……. “When I was growing up, I didn’t have, so when I did get into a position to have, I wanted to give to my community. I wanted to be an example for those young brothers, that instead of going out here and doing the drug dealing and robbing people, you can obtain so much more on your own. The barbershop was the cornerstone of the community, helped those in need and giving back always. That’s what I want this to be, a positive influence! “ “The way I see it, I myself shouldn’t grow and my community not grow as well.” "I truly feel that as African American men, we truly need to totally restructure how we think and view each other! We have been conditioned to think that the only way we can get up is by standing on the neck of our brother but we will bend over backwards for someone that doesn't even look like us. We have to realize that this system isn't designed with our success in mind and at the time it was designed, we were in a 45/ Urban Tymes Magazine

horrific state as a people. To date, we are still operating within that same system that was designed to keep us divided, in competition with each other and at our own throats. But, in all truth we're supposed to be doing the exact opposite; operate in a spirit of togetherness and unity."

If you don’t know this gentleman, our opportunity is for us to introduce you to Attorney William Harding, and vice versa! He is very much involved in the community, so much so that he’s back and forth literally between states to make thing happen on a legal level, but also in the community. Brother Harding thank you for taking time and energy to sit with us! Well it’s an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to be introduced to some and renew to others, and I am humbled by it. I mean that sincerely. I have a question in regards to you slogan or your mantra; “If you have a phone, you have a lawyer.” Now I’ve got to ask, where did that come from? (Laughter) Well that’s a great question, and a great way to start this interview. As much as I would like to, I can’t take all of the credit for that. When I opened my law firm here in Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the things that I observed is that there’s a whole bunch of lawyers down here, and I knew that I was going to need something that would improve my branding and that something that would hit home. So I had talked to my staff and did a round table and we talked, and I really emphasized branding. How do we distinguish ourselves from every other law firm here in the CharlotteMecklenburg area? We tossed a lot of ideas, and as I said, it has to be simple, but it has to have meaning and purpose. And I thought about it, what is some of the key issues that attorneys or lawyers have in respect to their clients? 46/ Urban Tymes Magazine


William H. Harding

believe that we particularly as members of minority communities, and I don’t mean just African Americans, I mean all members of minority communities , should first look to do those things, and make those changes in our individual lives that don’t make us prone to unfair targeting, meaning we got to make sure we do our part. My mom would say, “You gotta clean up things at home, first!” We got to make sure we are not out in areas which are high crime and they are going to target you whether you are doing nothing wrong at all. Don’t get me wrong, we obviously live in communities and some of the communities are in high crime areas, but you’ve got to be careful as you go in and out of the particular neighborhoods. For example, you don’t want to have an open container or smell like you just smoked a whole bunch of weed, because that’s going to give them more reason to stop you and clearly impede your liberties. We’ve got to do things where we are making sure we are being productive members of society, and doing things that is not going to give them the reason or the suspicion to stop us or to target us. Because when that happens, far too often members of our community get the short end of the stick. Meaning you take a situation with an officer that is not trained properly or simply scared, and encounters someone who they don’t if you will, look at that person as having civil liberties, looking I want to shift gears, in regards to at them less than they should, then bad society. In today’s society it seems we are constantly hearing how many African things can happen . And I don’t know how Americans are being targeted by law en- many times as you indicated in your quesforcement. With you being in that particu- tion, how many times have we looked on television, or on video, or looked on our lar field (law) from a legal point of view, phone and saw some young African Ameriand this is on both sides, for those that feel as though they are being targeted, to can person getting shot to death over a traffic stop? When did the sentence for those that actually enforcing the law. speeding become death? That’s a problem! What would you suggest that we do in And the reality of it all is that just as those light of recent events? are being targeted has a part to play and That’s an excellent question. Unfortunately it’s a complicated issue. But, I firmly believe need to make sure they are doing the right things, not involving ourselves in activities that it’s a two part solution, meaning I believe that those that are being targeted have that we shouldn’t. I believe that those who are targeting, particularly law enforcement a part to play in resolving this issue or imhave to have more sensitivity to our commuproving this issue. And I also believe that nity and not just police us, but also get inthose that are doing the targeting have a volved in those communities. part to play in resolving this issue. I will begin with those that are being targeted. I And one of the issues is access, and often clients have a hard time reaching their lawyer. So I and my staff thought, one of the things, if I somehow could incorporate in my branding that you can get to me, that I am accessible to my clients or potential clients, I think that would go a long way. I don’t know about you, but most folks I know, not just in Charlotte, but across this country, have a phone. So if you have a phone, you have a lawyer…. that makes a lot of sense. I put across what my goal was, and the goal was to get to my client base that you can get to me. So the branding and slogan just came together, and it has worked well. I am very proud of it, and it goes a little more than that Carey, and that is when a client comes and hires me, one of the things I do with all my clients is that I give them my cell phone number. I think I’m the only lawyer in the country that does that. Now don’t get me wrong, it can be a tremendous task in trying to keep up with all the phone calls and text messages, and it’s not easy. But it helps with communication with the client. While I’m not perfect, I try to do much as I can to give clients access to me so they are able to communicate with me and I can address whatever concerns they have. That’s the story behind the slogan “if you have a phone, you have a lawyer.”

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So we don’t see minorities as just “them” or “us against them.” But that these are members that I have sworn to protect and to serve. So when you have more “community policing” as opposed to just “policing” I think that going to help to bridge the gap between those who are targeting and those that are being targeted. And if you would Carey, I would point out a program that is hear in Charlotte which I am in involved in and clearly support and congratulate the efforts of Shaun Corbett, and that program is “Cops & Barbers” and Shaun has made tremendous effort and strides of bridging the gap between law enforcement and members of our community. Where he has had forums and people get to sit down and talk with cops, rub shoulders with them, voice their opinions,. And I think that when we focus on efforts such as this, the whole thing of “us against them” tends to be diminished, because you then see the people that you are policing as humans. That these folks have families, they have husbands and wives and sons, and daughters, mothers and fathers. And so you tend to humanize the people and the community, so it’s not just about “I fear you “and “I have authority over you, so I’m going to do whatever.” It’s more so “how can I help you? How can I be of service to you?” and still enforce the law. And I’m not advocating that law enforcement to take a blind eye to crime, by no means am I doing that. There has to be a level of deference and a level of humanity and humility while they are executing their duties as law enforcement officers. Because you’re not just supposed to police, you’re supposed to also protect and serve. I believe if we focus on this, both from a community standpoint and a law enforcement standpoint that we will make tremendous strides and a lot of these tragedies that we see in our communities regularly, I think they will be less frequent than they are. That’s my hope, and to a certain extent, my prayer. I want to throw this question at you, which is lighter in its intent. What would 48/ Urban Tymes Magazine

be one thing that you would share with our readers that is a little known fact about William H. Harding? (Laughing) Wow, hmm.. well at least for most folk here in Charlotte, before I relocated here to Charlotte, I lived in West Virginia, went to undergrad at Marshall University before going to law school at West Virginia University School of Law. One of the things that allowed me, or was a vehicle to my higher education and receiving a law degree was my love of music, particularly I used to DJ. And it’s an interesting story of how that came about, but I learned, taught myself how to DJ. Originally I managed a club a nightclub in Huntington West Virginia, and when the DJ that I hired, sometime would come late or not do the job that folks deserved, it became aggravating. And as the manager of the club, I had the responsibility of hiring and firing people, so it’s hard to fire someone when you don’t have a replacement. I felt it wasn’t fair to folks that if the DJ isn’t good that your experience was bad. So I literally taught myself how to DJ. Did for many years and ended up buying the club, my love of music really was behind all that as far as deejaying. I did it for many years until it came a time in which I didn’t have the time to do it because of my law practice and my obligation to my clients. It’s kind of difficult to stay up until 2-3 in the morning then turn around and be in court at 9 am. So I had to depart from that, but literally deejaying put me through undergrad, allowed me to get through undergrad as well as law school and support my family for many years. And to this day I respect and admire what a DJ does, and I often credit my ability to talk on a microphone to hundreds, sometimes thousands of people when I deejayed. How I could just get on the mic and do my thing to, if you will, “rock the crowd” that it was nothing when I went into a courtroom and there was twelve jurors. I was used to public speaking all the time, but this was in a different forum.

So I give credit to that often, because it kind of got my feet wet to the power of communication. And now I just do it a little differently, I do it in a courtroom, across the country. Most folk don’t know that…but thanks to that question, the cat’s out the bag!

has so much promise, and I would just encourage everyone to do what you can, even if it’s just a little bit. That’s to check on a neighbor or to encourage a young person to stay in school or work hard or whatever it may be. I would encourage that we all get involved in our community.

How has the transition from West Virginia to Charlotte been for you and your family? Amazing ! I moved here in 2007 and since then, I’ve moved my mother here, my brother relocated here to Charlotte, him and his family. My oldest son moved to Charlotte and has since graduated from North Carolina Central. My sister relocated to Charlotte, and four lovely years ago I got married in Charlotte to my wife Keisha, and we all love Charlotte! It’s been very good to us, and I’m grateful to be a Charlottean. I only wish I would have gotten here sooner, but I guess God had His time in all of this and while I would have liked to have gotten here sooner, God took a different approach to it. I’m really grateful to be here, and I tell anybody that listens that Charlotte is America’s best kept secret! If I have my way, I’m going to make sure people know about it.

Thank you for your time, energy and openness in regards to your career and the things that go on here in Charlotte that we as individuals in this community are charged to do. Any closing words? First and foremost, thank you Mr. Digsby for the opportunity to communicate with your readers and through your work. And I wanted to say that is a sincere honor to have the opportunity to be on this platform, I don’t say that lightly. I would also say that I am the eternal optimist, and I believe that this city 49/ Urban Tymes Magazine

When we do that, our future is going to be amazing!

MARIO BLACK Mario Black, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, realized his life’s passion at an early age. As a child growing up in the historic Earl Village community, currently known as First Ward, he learned that whatever life presented he would one day overcome life's challenges.

He is a graduate of West Charlotte Senior High School and in May 2016, he earned a dual degree in General Education K-8 and Special Education K-12 from Grand Canyon University. He has chosen to continue to his studies with GCU and is currently enrolled in the graduate program for Secondary Education. Mr. Black has worked in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools in a variety of roles, such as: Teacher Assistant, EC Assistant, Behavioral Modification Technician, Behavioral Support within the EC department and Technology Facilitator. He now proudly serves as a 7th grade Social Studies teacher at Bruns Academy. His passion for today's youth expands outside of his classroom each day. An example of this came in 2013 when he founded Million Youth March Of Charlotte, after the tragic deaths of Davion Funderburk and Inna Gonzalez who were killed in a shooting in broad daylight. The sole Mission for Million Youth March Of Charlotte was formed as a platform to encourage unity in the city of Charlotte and promote non-violence among our youth ages 13-25. The organization is all inclusive of ethnic and religious backgrounds that can agree to the common goal of Taking A Stand, Joining Hands and Uniting as One to end the senseless violence that continues to plague our communities. What is his reason for being an activist?

His response: As a Charlotte native, I've seen a lot of changes from my childhood to now. Policing is different and not necessarily in a good way. No not every officer that is a part of the police force is a bad cop but those that are, are the ones that gives that negative perception that the community has formed. You hardly see officers in the community they serve getting to know those within the communities. This is something that I long to see again. As a child growing up in the projects in downtown Charlotte "EARL VILLAGE" I can remember officers in the community getting to know us. They knew us by name and we knew them by name. 50/ Urban Tymes Magazine


[This has led to] our current state of affairs and It's disheartening knowing that our young black males coming up today do not stand a chance. As a parent, first and foremost, I can't imagine receiving that call that my son has been a victim of police brutality or my kids receiving the news that I, their dad, has. As a community, we must get back to the basics of educating our children coming up today as to what to do and what not to do if they encounter a situation with law enforcement. By doing so we could be potentially saving lives. On the flip side of that law enforcement need stronger trainings put into place as well that will in return hold them accountable for their negative actions.

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To improve race relations and bridging the gap between generations I plan on having these conversations with our teens of Million Youth March Of Charlotte Teen Advisory Board which will be able to take the tools they have learned with us into their schools and classrooms. The question was asked how do I see myself as a modern-day activist. The funny part about that is, I don't. It's my passion, it's my calling and I love impacting the lives of our children in hopes that it will impact our community for the betterment so that we will see that CHANGE within our communities, within this generation and within ourselves.

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When meeting Carey Digsby, one is surprised with who and what he does quietly. An accomplished magazine publisher, author, businessman and family man are just to name a few of his many talents. With a belief that “There’s a wonderful light out there, and we can accomplish so much if we believe in it,” has guided Carey not only in his multiple successes in life, but the need to help others along the way. Originally from Long Island N.Y.; Carey’s family relocated to Charlotte to help care for his grandmother who was a pillar to his confidence by being one of his biggest believers in his future successes. After graduating from Garinger Senior High School, Carey was accepted to several Universities. He made the decision to remain close to his family after the birth of his first son and later graduated from college with degrees in Business Management and Marketing. After working for different companies in the corporate sector, Carey’s affinity for the arts manifested itself in the form of his highly recognized Urban Tymes Magazine, which is now one of the most popular and diverse online and print journals gaining widespread attention with its cultural friendly flare. Recently, he and Demario McElwain of JDS partnered and created another sensational publication: Musiek Magazine, which features Indie artists and the culture that supports them! But beyond the magazines, Carey turned to a new chapter in life and penned two books: “This Tree Can Bear Fruit” and “It Starts With a Seed”. Both consisting of poems, positive quotes and scripture tied together with his life experiences from working closely within the community.

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Carey continuously cultivates his passion for leadership and his community spending free time mentoring youth and being a motivational speaker whenever he is called, and sharing with his readers weekly posts and videos via his writing moniker: #cwspeaks.

LeMond’s background in style and clothing spans over twenty years. He reminisces his early days in high school outfitting and arranging clothing for singing groups and other clubs. Fast forward to his service in the Army, then working for various national clothing stores, flying across the US to set stores, establish protocols and styles in those outlets. Not a novice to the game, he also modeled throughout the years, and has given much seasoned advice to those coming into the game. In 2013, he was inducted into the Fashion Guild in Charlotte NC…a prestigious place for those that are well known in the style and fashion realm in and outside of Charlotte. Interviews and news features shortly followed the man with the gift of dapper! Many models contact LeMond for his styling abilities, and even more call him to be in photo shoots as well

“I just want to be a good steward over what God has given me” he says. “Like my Grandma used to tell me, God blesses you with something, you make sure to pass it on to someone else!” Daily he posts inspirational thoughts and scriptures to help motivate and encourage others. And you can also catch him giving his time to those at the Free Store in NoDa, helping to outfit those men that are less fortunate and also teaching young men how to tie a tie or prepare their clothing for an event, as well as educating older brothers on how to be Dapper as @#$& he colorfully says to his closest friends. His mantra: “Fashion is my ministry!” #staydappermyfriends

LeMond Hart

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Linel “Lee” Williams, III was born and raised in Carthage, NC, just outside of Charlotte, NC. Lee learned how to work hard and take advantage of the opportunities given to him from his parents. His athletic ability and drive earned him a scholarship to the University of Richmond, where he graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Religious Studies. After graduation, Lee began his career working his way up in the Enterprise Rent-a-Car management program before switching career paths and working for Travelers Insurance as a claims adjustor. While successful in his career, Lee’s passion for life has always led him to seek out other ventures and hobbies.

Positive One is a mindset. Individuals who are Positive One see their lives and the world through a positive lens. They recognize their own unique gifts and try to use them to help improve the world and not give in to the doubt and fear that keeps people from even trying. Positive One promotes individuality over conformity; be bold and be proud of who you are regardless of societal or peer pressure saying differently.

The goal of Positive One is to change the world through optimism and positivity and develop a world where people are comfortable and confident to be whom they are and not judge or be judged by others. Positive One believes no one person is better than another because of what they have, can/can’t do, what they look like, whatever the reason. People are simply different and it’s the differences that bring the beauty out in the world. This passion also led him into a conversation The Positive One mindset promotes with friend and business partner Mark Frazi- individuals developing their own gifts in life and not focusing on the gifts of others. When er. During that conversation one summer individuals make the decision to focus on night the two discussed how they could what they can control and contribute to their make life better not just for themselves, but for the world…and that night the concept that community, we can begin building stronger communities throughout the world. has become Positive One was born.

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Mark Frazier was born in Plainfield, NJ. After graduating from Centenary College in 1997 he worked for a major corporation in the car rental industry for 17 years holding leadership positions such as Branch Manager, Business Rental Sales Manager and Area Manager. Today he owns and operates multiple businesses as an entrepreneur. Mark has a strong passion for entrepreneurship and furthermore empowering and encouraging youth to become entrepreneurs. The belief is if young people at an early age begin to develop ideas and work towards those ideas it builds their self- confidence, self-worth and self-awareness, ultimately they enter into their adult life with a stronger sense of self. Over the last 10 years Mark has worked with young people in multiple capacities; Football and basketball coach, mentor and volunteer in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system. Mark’s passion for working with young people is centered around the fact that “children are our future�. As adults we are always preparing for our life tomorrow, so why would we not invest in our most precious resource, our children. The OnMyGenius Campaign is that investment and the goal is to reach as many young people as possible and aid them in character development, positive mindset and believing in themselves.

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Gary Crump 60/ Urban Tymes Magazine

Gary Crump is founder of MEN of DESTINY, an organization designed to Engage, Educate, and Empower our communities at risk youth through Interactive/Practical Life Skills Workshops, Community Service Projects, and Team Building Events. Gary over the past few years has worked with many For Profit/Non Profit organizations across Charlotte to provide our at risk youth the opportunity to show that they are young Queens and Kings. Gary is currently working on MEN OF DESTINY’S number one initiative “BOOTS ON THE GROUND” geared to challenge all organizations to get out of the meetings and out into the community and develop a “COLLABORATION OVER COMPETITION” environment. Gary feels that this is a key and necessary component to bringing peace and harmony to our communities.

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John Barnett 62/ Urban Tymes Magazine

Your work has been instrumental in bringing awareness to society on unjust methods and situations. What wisdom have you gained during this journey? The wisdom I have gained has been priceless. Two things that stand out is that thru consistency and determination, you will either win or see change. My motto is: "Pressure bust pipes!" If you dig deep enough, you will be able to tap into that inner spirit and its "that" inner spirit that what will help you gain wisdom on your journey.

that's why I admire, respect and love them so much. They all talked about God. The God they spoke about still exist and the God that has changed my life is real. I make no mistake about it. I Give All Praises To God.. and I THANK GOD FOR MY VOICE!!!!

Thank you John for a moment to sit and really know your thoughts and views ! Thank you for all you do and what you have done in the past to make our community, our state, this country better! RESPECT, One thing that is truly interesting is the way you convey to people the reality of a situation, ts E-mail address: like a "wake up call!" How do you do that? I was taught by my mentor, The Rev. Al Sharpton Twitter: @CivilRightsCEO that when he was challenged in his attempt to expose 'crack houses' in New York. It was his father-figure, the late great James Brown (Godfather of Soul), that taught him how to shed light on injustices. He told him, "If you ever want to expose wrong doing or bring attention to something, you gotta so what I do with soul music. You have to be 'loud' and 'dramatic'!" I never forgot that! Since then, I've been using that advice in some of my biggest civil rights cases. Young men and women today feel slighted it seems, from the system, to at home, and many other areas. How are you able to reach them John? What's the secret? My way of reaching the youth is 'no secret'.. its simple. I tell them where I came from, relate to them on their level, speak their language and then try me best to set and example for them to follow. The youth listening to Lil' Wayne is no different than my uncle listening to Little Richard. You must communicate without hesitation You make no shorts on how God truly moves in your life, and made a way for you to do what you love every single day! Do you ever regret it? Absolutely not! I truly believe that if God had not changed my life, alter my path and if He wasn't using me, I would not be where I am today. When I think about Dr. King, Malcolm X, Tupac, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson or even Muhammad Ali; they all had something in common and

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Brandon A. Miller

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over the years to the youth he mentors. “Mentoring and empowering young people is no easy task and is something that cannot be done by one person or one entity” he says. Brandon, Who was your biggest influence in your life, that set you on the path of social engagement and involvement? I have a few… Malcolm X: Definitely my favorite civil rights leader. He was a true prophet of the people. He saw things that we are looking at now. If we look at our political system, the ballot or the bullet wasn’t so far off. Brother Malcolm speaking on the importance of reinvesting in the black community wasn’t far off and we are dealing with the effects ignoring some of his prophecies Keith Smith, Phi Beta Sigma and the Sigma Beta Club of Charlotte were instrumental in my development as an adolescent. When my father chose drugs over his family and responsibilities, it was Bro. Keith Smith, Phi Beta Sigma and the Sigma Beta Club of Charlotte that took me in and appreciated the scars that I had. I would not be blessed enough to interview with you, without their hands in my development Dr. Claude W. Barnes. Dr. Barnes really opened my eyes to the revolution and encouraging me to be a revolutionary. He gave me Che to read. He gave me Marx and Garvey to read. Dr. Barnes made me appreciate why you needed both Brandon A. Miller is the Executive Director of Y.E.S of Charlotte, a program whose mission is Martin and Malcolm… why we needed both Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. The to advance the ideals of leadership, citizenship, and academic excellence through little things I fell in love with; cigars and cognac and great martinis. Dr. Barnes did what a mentoring programs, educational and public mentor should always do, make be better and health initiatives and strong collaborative put me in better spots to help others win. partnerships. As Brandon states “our youth are our foundation and our future and my vision of Youth Educational Society is to see the What words of encouragement would you give lives of the youth improve and for every young to our youth today? Embrace your scars, that’s what makes you man and woman to be empowered to make a beautiful. We don’t have to get lost in anger or positive change in the world.” An active member and past Chapter President embarrassment, but uplift the success of how of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Beta Rho Chapter we have overcome our adversity. We are living and walking testimonies don’t let fear still located here in Charlotte, he strives daily to impart the wisdom and knowledge he’s gained yours. 65/ Urban Tymes Magazine

At just 17 years old, Reed started his own non-profit called "Inspire the Fire." Serving approx 400 youth yearly, Reed's nonprofit helps young people succeed on stage and in life. Youth often enter the program beset by many challenges. The arts reach students who are not otherwise being reached. Over 5,000 youth have found a safe haven at Inspire The Fire since its inception. Reed's nonprofit has become a "movement" and garnered national attention as finalist on NBC's "America's Got Talent" praised by Howard Stern as the "Urban Glee." The late Dr. Maya Angelou praised the group at the Biltmore House exclaiming "you're better than you think you are." later Reed would be invited by Oprah Winfrey to celebrate Angelou's legacy at two events. Awarded by 3 Charlotte Mayor's with "Inspire The Fire Day," Reed and his nonprofit continue serving hundreds through the arts and service. The music career for Reed has no signs of slowing down. BMI John Lennon Award Winning Songwriter. Third place winner of the International songwriting competition. Reed and his music group received GRAMMYŽ certificates for their work on the GRAMMY Award-winning project, O Happy Day featuring Bono, Josh Stone, Queen Latifah, Mavis Staples etc.Recognized for their talent, Reed & his group GAP were selected to perform at the 2012 Democratic National Convention for President Obama with American Idol Finalist Jessica Sanchez. Recently, Reed made Billboard history with the No 1. Song “Necessary".

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A Special Thanks to the Brothers that gave of their time, energy and wisdom to allow this issue, this fellowship, to come to fruition! Brandon A. Miller Y.E.S. of Charlotte (704) 584 9544 Email:

Attorney William H. Harding 9115 Harris Corners Parkway, Suite 220 Charlotte, NC 28269 US 704-504-7854

LeMond Caryton-Hart The House of LeMond 3010 Monroe Rd. Suite 103 Charlotte, North Carolina (704) 712-9531

Bishop Marvin L. McMillan Galilean Deliverance Community Church 1220 E 10th St, Charlotte, NC 28204 (704) 334-8900

Gary Crump Men of Destiny (704) 421-1185

Antoine Ensley sley/

John Barnett T.H.U.G. (True Healing Under God) Civil Rights Serving N.C., S.C., GA, TN, VA, MD, NY, LA, AL & FL Mobile Office Number: (803) 4126854 Facebook: E-mail address: Twitter: @CivilRightsCEO

Dennis Reed Inspire the Fire 8511 Davis Lake Pkwy, Ste C6 Charlotte, North Carolina (704) 597-9577 @inspirethefireinc

Shaun “Lucky” Corbett Da Lucky Spot Barber Shop 3720 N. Tryon St. Suite 102 Charlotte, NC, United States 28206 (704) 333-7325 Lee Williams/ Mark Fraizer I Am Positive One Mario Black Million Youth March (980) 349-9328

Darren “Jaz” Vincent Red@28 2424 N Davidson St Charlotte, North Carolina (704) 377-8989 @Red28th James Shepherd herd/ Carey Digsby Urban Tymes Magazine Musiek Magazine UTMedia Thank you Tailored Smoke for allowing our photo shoot there!

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Your Style Game…..

“L”VATED The House of LeMond 74/ Urban Tymes Magazine


3010 Monroe Rd Charlotte NC 28205 (704) 712-9531

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Essential Outerwear For This Season By GvS -Michael Snell Clothier

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s the winter days draw firmly upon us, men are looking for ways to keep warm while staying on top of today's fashion trends. Fortunately, this season has several forgiving fashion trends that look great on just about every body type. Let's take a look at some of the best staples of outerwear that a man's wardrobe should feature this year: Puffer Vests Puffer vests or "bodywarmers" were once industrial staples that warehouse workers would use when walking between cold or frozen environments to standard room temperatures. They have the stiff insulation that keeps a man's vital areas warm without the added bulk of a full jacket. They're mostly suitable for those days that are in between cold, but not truly freezing. For truly cold conditions, there's no substitute for a warm jacket that covers a man's torso in its entirety. However, for quick ventures outside or a simple run to the local grocery store, then a puffer vest is likely a suitable option to keep a man warm for the short time he's exposed to the elements.

Hiking Boots If there's one thing that can be said for the winter season, it is its unpredictable ways. While not technically outerwear, this is why a man's footwear needs to be truly versatile in order to meet the needs of the season while still retaining a masculine charm. Hiking boots tend to be the best option when it comes to both weatherproofing technologies and rugged styling that ensures men are never out of place when it comes to both the weather and various social requirements. Since the winter is no stranger to wet conditions, men should opt for hiking boots with manufactured Gore Tex uppers, which will help ensure a breathable yet completely waterproof fit that goes quite a way in ensuring comfortable feet throughout the winter season.

Bold Scarf Scarves were once the accessory that would get boys bullied on the school yard. That impression has faded over time and today, scarves are one of the most widely accepted and prominent fashion accessory men can choose. However, because of their rapid rise in popularity, a typical scarf is just all too common of an outerwear nowadays. This is why men need to choose bold patterns that really standoff of their clothes. A man's winter wardrobe tends to be a bit drab or even monochromatic, which works in his favour when looking for the most ornate and decorative patterns on scarves.

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The Voice of the Indie Artists‌. Worldwide

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Urban Tymes Feb 2017 issue Featuring Positive Brothers  

February’s issue is “Collaboration over Competition! Fourteen men from different backgrounds and abilities connect together on one day to ne...

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