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URBAN PROFESSIONAL LIFESTYLE

Annual Natural Hair Special Edition

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For Custom Artwork Contact: Email:

blacknsamoan@yahoo.com

Web:

www.tauraunsartworld.com

Phone: 214-545-2023 15

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Magazine

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As our nation struggles to remain out of recession we the voting public has been witnessing everything that is wrong with our government. What we are seeing are uncompromising politicians who serve special interest groups, affiliate political parties and outdated ideologies. In order for our nation to move forward all us rich, middle class and poor must comment to the greater good in order to insure the survival of our democratic and capitalist society. Our nation is in dire need of an economic policy that will jolt jobs into our economy. This is a reality democrats, republicans, independents and tea party members must commit to if we are to grow economy. Our nation needs JOBS but most of all we need a grand commitment from all of our elected officials in Washington to stop playing Russian Roulette with our lives. The problem is that most members of Congress are millionaires and are not in the same predicament as ordinary Americans. If they were, we would not be in this mess!!! On a more positive note don‘t forget to watch the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dedication on the 28th of this month. Check your local listing for information. On the Cover this month we profile the extraordinarily talented Akua Allrich. Akua is a very versatile musician in the tradition of Nina Simone and Mariam Makeba. We were grateful this month for her interview which was conducted by Michelle Davis one of our contributors. Take a minute to visit her website and take a listen…I guarantee you will like it. Another group musician of impeccable caliber is Chicago‘s Aniba Hotep & The Soul Collective whose music has been described as ―thunderous honey.‖ Describe as “a southern girl with the musical ancestry of would-be bluesmen and country preachers, Aniba has an uncanny ability to not only excel at many genres, but serve as a griot through her conversational method of songwriting.” We have an excellent interview with Aniba conducted by our very own Alicia Wilson. This is a must read! We also profile the beautiful Aleshia Steele as she braces for her fourth Texas Urban Music Summit to be held next month in Houston, TX. Ms. Steele is an 18

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entrepreneur with a serious pulse on the Texas music scene. excellent interview conducted by jasira.

We have an

We are extremely proud of former Springfield resident Jamerson Holloway. Mr. Holloway is proof positive that dedication and perseverance reign when working toward your goals. The VOICE has supported Mr. Holloway for Producer for the Year at this year‘s Black Music Awards to be held in Las Vegas thus month. Congratulations Mr. Holloway. Thus month we have added a new section entitled ―crème de la crème‖ to showcase talented models who are movers and shakers or on their way to becoming movers and shakers in the modeling industry. Our inaugural profilee is the New Orleans‘s lovely Ms. Janay Vurae. Janay is an independent model that is paving the way for a ―new breed of model.‖ This month is the first Annual Natural Hair Special Edition. We have some excellent articles on natural hair as well as some profile photos of some talented individuals proudly wearing their locs, afros, balds and braids. In addition, we have an interview of Mahogony Kyles of Kyles Natural Hair conducted by Alicia Wilson. Mrs. Kyles is taking full advantage of the internet to showcase her hair designs. We also profile the very talented Akilah Brock. As Akilah proudly states, ―with killer curves, colorful music and an equally as imaginative marketing plan packed for her journey, not even Jay-Z could knock her hustle.” She is Getting it In! Hope you enjoy it! Regards,

W. E. ―Pete‖ Reeves Founder/Publisher

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Publisher

VERVE Media, Inc. P.O. Box 2704 Springfield, Illinois 62708 Office : 217-761-5778 Fax: 217-793-6939 Cell: 901-832-1144 Email: voicemagonline@gmail.com Web Site: myillinoisvoice.yolasite.com

Editor &

General Manager

W. E. “Pete” Reeves

IT Production Assistant

Natasha Crider

Senior Social Correspondent

Teresa Haley

Senior Southwest Region Correspondent

Tiffany Hatchett

Contributors

Malcolm Beal-Reeves Joya Abdul Zarif Tia Dent Pat Moody Ball-j Teresa Haley Joyce Nash Michael Johnson Yogini Mafdet Jael Mack Meier Lathan Michelle Davis

Jo Lena Johnson Prophetess Jennie Chalden Destinee Love Celeste Poole Sarah T. McGee Tainted Lucas Mier Lathan Sylphia R. Lindsay Nell Clay Alicia Wilson jasira William Bishop III

VOICE is published monthly. © Copyright 2011 by VERVE MEDIA, INC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form without permission is prohibited. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: VERVE MEDIA, INC., P.O. BOX 2704, Springfield, Illinois 62708. SUBSCRIPTIONS: Send $50 a year: (Add $15 per year for overseas delivery.) Manuscripts, photographs, illustrations and letters to the editor are welcome, but VOICE can take no responsibility for them while in transit or in the office of the publication. Letters may be edited. Information published in VOICE is gathered from reliable sources, but the accuracy of this information cannot be guaranteed. Opinions expressed in VOICE are those of their authors, and no information or opinions expressed in VOICE represent an endorsement or solicitation for purchase or sale by VOICE or its staff.

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life & style ………………

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on the move ……………

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wellness ...................

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money ......................

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on the cover ........ ............. 24

business ...................

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inspiration ......................

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sports .......................

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in memoriam .................... 47

bids & notices …………

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web culture ......................

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remembrances ……….

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national...........................

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world..............................

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opinion...........................

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urbanity ..........................

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crème de la crème …………

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DEPARTMENTS

publisher’s page ...............

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The Extraordinary Akua Allrich

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Jazz vocalist and DCnative Akua Allrich has proven herself to be a musician of extraordinary talent and crowd-moving passion. With finesse and charisma, this vocalist, composer and teacher, has successfully etched out a place for her unique musical expression, electrifying audiences in and around the nation‘s capital with sold-out performances. With the launch of her independently produced album, A Peace of Mine, in 2010, the young artist‘s music and concerts created a significant buzz with critics and music-lovers alike. Said Franz Matzner of All About Jazz, ―Akua Allrich‘s music flows with a free, natural energy as engaging as her equally ingenuous personality.‖ Her appeal has reached across US borders and she has earned international attention. In 2011, Allrich signed a distribution deal with Japanese record label AGATE/Inpartmaint Inc. The CD was released in Japan during their ―Golden Week‖ in May 2011. Music lovers and tastemakers from around the world have expressed their appreciation and excitement at Allrich's new brand of music. Allrich‘s style is fluid and ever evolving. Her musical roots run deeply into blues, soul and rhythm and blues, with a clear grounding in jazz and pan-African music. She sings in many languages including Portuguese, French, Spanish, English, Xhosa, and Twi. Given her ability to capture the essence of a broad range of musical genres, Allrich is often likened to legendary artists such as Oscar Brown, Jr., Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone. She has developed popular tribute programs involving the latter two women and other great African American women of jazz.

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Akua Allrich was educated at Howard University, where she obtained her BM in jazz vocals and a master‘s degree in social work. She was taught, coached and mentored by talented musicians such as world-renowned singer/drummer Grady Tate, singer Kehembe V. Eichelberger, and pianist Charles Covington. She is the child of a musical family (her father, Agyei Akoto, was a founding member of the jazz group, Nation, and recorded two albums during Allrich‘s youth). Her home held a wealth of cherished recordings that she and her siblings were invited to explore. In fact, she did not buy any albums until her second year in college because her parents had such an amazing collection of jazz records.

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One of the first jazz albums she bought was John Coltrane‘s Live at the Village Vanguard: The Master Takes. Allrich has already proven her abilities as a performer and bandleader by producing and performing many successful solo and group programs. In addition to focusing on her own engaging compositions, she keeps an ear to the rest of the world and to other eras and artists. Akua Allrich has inspired music lovers from all walks on an international scale, who enjoy her exceptional artistry and eagerly await her next offering. Below is an interview of Akua Allrich conducted by Michelle Davis on behalf of VOICE Magazine. This beautiful Washington, D.C. native took time out of her busy schedule to give me an inside peek into her life and career. I had the great pleasure of chatting with Akua Allrich whose music is just as refreshing as she is. She is a multi talented artist whose music encompasses many genres. Her newest c.d. “Peace of Mine,” is like a bowl gumbo in that she has mixed in the perfect blends of jazz, reggae, R&B., and Pan African beats all on one c.d. that will appease to the tastes of any music lover. Her talent goes beyond the ordinary in that she sings in many languages to include Portuguese, French, Spanish, English, Xhosa, and Twi. Music runs through her DNA and her love for music can be felt, heard and seen through her performances. V: What is the meaning of your name? Akua: It means, ―Female child born on Wednesday.‖ 27

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V: I noticed that your name was African; were you born in Africa? Akua: No, actually my parents are both from Mississippi and I was born and raised in Washington, DC. My parents both went to Howard University where they reclaimed their African history. In doing so, they decided to adapt to the ways and traditions of the Akan people. They were drawn to this particular ethnic group. It was actually phenomenal how they managed to bring us up according to African traditions in a Western society. They were a part of a community of like minded individuals who also took part in raising their families the same way. So, I am quite sure this made it easy. V: How would you describe your style? Akua: It is actually a conglomeration of my experiences as an ―African in America.‖ I wanted my music to reflect all of my experiences. I grew up in America but I embraced the African in me as well, so I would have to say my music is a free flow mix of Pan African jazz. V: What song do you remember most as a child? Akua: If I had to choose just one, I would say, John Coltrane, ―A Love Supreme.‖ My father was all about Coltrane. V: Thinking back to early childhood, what was your first experience with music? Akua: I was born into music; it as always been a part of me. My father was a jazz musician; he recorded two albums and he plays mostly all of the wind instruments, particularly the saxophone. And my personal experience would have to be when I was a little girl; I was singing ―Susanne,‖ by Nina Simone in my parent‘s living room. I was spinning around with my eyes closed thinking they couldn‘t see me. Music allows me to transcend this earthly plane; it allows me to 28

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swim in the universe. I was in my own world and music tends to do this for me. It takes me away. V: Do you play an instrument? Akua: Laughing… No, I play ―at‖ the piano. I am able to write music based on chord changes. But most recently it was suggested to me to sing and play because people would love to hear that; so I took a stab at it and the audience was very accepting. V: What made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in music? AKua: This is a story in and of itself….. I went to college to pursue a degree in Biology, but I was failing all the tests. My mom suggested that I do what my heart told me to do. So with mom‘s advice, I changed my major to music. After I graduated, I started performing locally, but something was not vibing for me. I knew that I wanted to raise a family and a musical career would mean me staying out late nights in smoke filled clubs. I also noticed that all of my friends who were pursing their music careers were not in a steady relationship; they were single. So, I decided to put aside the music thing for a moment to figure out later on. Later on brings us to now; my husband mentioned the music thing so I spoke to a friend of mine who happens to be a very talented pianist and also has a family, and I told her I wanted to start singing again and she agreed. My husband supported the idea and has been a huge supporter every since. He loves me more now that I am singing. V: When you are operating in your gift and doing what you love, the people you surround yourself with are happier as well. Akua: That is so true.

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V: Why did you decide to self-produce your latest album and in doing this were you able to be true to yourself and your art? Akua: I wanted the freedom to express myself; so my husband and I produced most of the album ourselves. It was very expensive but you cannot buy freedom. If I had decided someone else creative control, I am sure all the genres would not have been displayed on this album. That was the upside of it. The downside is that I tend to be a bit spacey in that I need parameters; otherwise I am all over the place. I wanted to be able to represent where I came from hence the reason for R&B, you have to have that if you are a young person; jazz is my base, and African and Reggae beats are also a reflection of me and this album is a mix of that. V: How did you come up with the name of the album, “Peace of Mine?” Akua: Actually, my friend and I were tossing around ideas and just happened upon that title. It is a play on words, and it just means that my album is a ―Peace of Mine.‖ It brings me peace knowing that this project is a reflection of me. V: I love your debut song titled, “Hard to get,” where did the title derive from? 30

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Akua: Songwriter/Producer, Jermaine Mobley sent the track to me and told me to write to it. He already had the melody played out so I wrote a poem which actually turned into a song. This song was really easy to write; it just flowed. V: Other than your father, who would you say has been your biggest influence and why? Akua: I would have to say my mother because she pushed me to go ahead and pursue my dream. I could actually cry right now because my mom is my rock. She pushed me to do what I love. She actually feared me going away to travel internationally because I am such a free spirit and this would mean me going away and leaving alone. But yet, she still pushed me even though she had that fear. V: How does it feel to be compared to musical greats such as Nina Simone, Oscar Brown J.R. and Miriam Makeba? Akua: It is very humbling and at the same time it is also a huge responsibility. The one thing I have in common with all these artists is they all took on the responsibility to speak to and for the people. My parents raised me to respect art as a tool. It was instilled in me to also speak to and for the people. While this is a huge and daunting task, I take the responsibility. Anyone can take the easy road; I choose to be responsible. I have huge mountain to climb, but I can do it. V: Yes, you have big shoes to fill and you are doing a great job of accomplishing that task, you have no toe room left. You should be honored to be compared to the greats. Akua: Awe, thank you so much for that Michelle. V: You did an awesome job of diversifying the album. There was a mixture of everything. When you listen to some artists, they focus on one genre of music. This album was a melting pot of sorts; how did you manage that? Akua: My focus was not to have a focus if you can understand that. I was traditionally trained in jazz vocals; however, jazz is not my full experience so to focus on that one aspect would not have told the story of my complete experience. V: How did you develop a relationship with Japan; I see you have connections there? 31

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Akua: Well they contacted me directly. I thought it was a fluke at first. I had to obtain an attorney; it has all been so surreal. I also had to hire a manager in the process. His name is Omrao Brown who runs a notable jazz club, Bohemain Caverns. He does a great job of looking out for my best interest. We have developed a great working relationship. My career has taken off and I couldn‘t be happier. V: Thank you so much for your time. I have really enjoyed this interview and wish you best of luck on all of your endeavors. Akua: Thank you Michelle, you are great! If you would like to purchase Akua‘s C.D. please visit her website: www.akuaallrich.com or www.cdbaby.com/akuaallrich For booking information please contact Omrao Brown at 202-681-6448 or via email at booking@AkuaAllrich.com.

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Why the black church must get real on HIV/AIDS By Mashaun D. Simon 35

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Photo courtesy of Trinity United Church of Christ, taken by Daryle E. Brown, Dir. of Multi-Media Communications.

Before HIV and AIDS can be dealt with, something first has to be done about what one religious leader and advocate calls "CIV." CIV stands for "Christian Ignorance Virus," and the term comes from Otis Moss III, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Rodney Johnson, co-chair of that church's HIV/AIDS Support Ministry, said he adopted the phrase after he heard Moss say it one Sunday. "I was giving a talk at the church and Pastor Moss got up after me to speak," Johnson said. "He said, 'Rodney, I talked to CDC today and they have another disease out there more prevalent that HIV today...'" Confused as to what his pastor was talking about, Johnson waited patiently to see what Moss' next words would be. "He said, 'CIV - Christian ignorance virus. That is what a lot of churches have to deal with. Once we get rid of that, then they can deal with HIV.'"

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Johnson has been the chair of Trinity UCC's ministry for the past four or five years. He is also involved in the UCC's national HIV/AIDS initiative The ministry's creation was a reactionary one, he said.

diagnosed and was being treated rather awfully."

"Dr. Jeremiah Wright started the ministry in 1993 as a response to the treatment of the son of one of our deacons," Johnson said. "The young man has been

What started as a support group for its members, with an initial ministry membership of less than 100, quickly grew. They turned their focus on the community, going out to educate and support any and everyone. Soon they started working with Provident Hospital and also started holding an annual Youth Summit. "We wanted to do more than just talk about the problem from the pulpit; we wanted to lead by example," Johnson said. "Just last month Pastor Moss talked to be about getting test at least four times a year from the pulpit and getting the community involved." Trinity UCC is not the only church doing this work. Many churches are stepping up and have turned their attention to the HIV epidemic in the black community. Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia is one. Recently, during his pastoral observation, Dr. Alyn Waller, Enon's pastor, expressed the importance of support in numbers. "The point of bringing this before the congregation on Sunday morning is, if we claim that something is important to the black church it will show up on Sunday morning. If it does not have some place in the Sunday morning worship, then it really is not important," Waller said. Waller said that in his observation, people are afraid to get tested because of the stigma HIV and AIDS carry. People do not want to get tested simply because they think they are going to be judged. 37

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"But, if we test in big numbers then you won't have to worry about the stigma, if people will see you and how they will treat you," he told his members. Two days prior, Waller served as a panelist on "HIV/AIDS: 30 Years Later" as part of the annual convention of the National Association of Black Journalists. He felt it was necessary to be a part of the panel because the church had gotten a black eye on the subject for 20 years, and the assumption that the church is not in the conversation needed to be dispelled. Not to mention, he said, he wanted to set an example. "There has been this assumption that whenever you see a man is standing up and talking about [HIV or AIDS], then he is gay or HIV-positive. Well I am neither," Waller said. "Other men and women need to be being given permission to get into this fight. It is sort of a, 'Come on in the water, it is fine, approach." Bottom line for Waller, is that the church has a responsibility.

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"HIV and AIDS is killing our community because of society and judgmental behavior surrounding diseases that are behavior based," he said. "Stigma and ignorance are running the day." Over the last 30 years, more than 200,000 black Americans with AIDS have died, according to the CDC. And HIV/AIDS is the third leading cause of death among black men and women ages 35 to 44. The rate among African Americans is eight times that of those Caucasian Americans living with HIV. David Malebranche, an assistant professor of medicine at Emory University, believes before the church can discuss HIV and AIDS, it has to first step back and deal with issues of sexuality. "The church does not even talk about sexuality. To leap frog to homosexuality is a challenge," said Malebranche whose research explores the reasons behind the HIV racial disparity in the Black community. "Are people going to be honest about sexuality and how they are going to express their sexuality in a church setting?" Malebranche said he has worked with a lot of churches in different areas on this topic and recognizes that what works for him is how he approaches the discussion. Many times, he said, gay advocates come into arenas and shove "gay" down others' throats. "A lot of churches do not dig that. A lot of the gay movement comes from the white gay movement. The approach," he said, "Has to be about sexuality and then dealt with in a larger context. Work on sexuality curriculum and work on it in the larger context." He said when gay advocates hit churches over the head with such a loaded word like gay, people lose the point and get stuck there, which is where a lot of churches fall prey. He suggests the best way to influence understanding is twofold. First, sexuality must be normalized. Second, those involved in the debate churches - must be given a point-of-reference they can understand. "Ask them to put themselves in the shoes of others. Suggest that they think or feel or be attracted in a manner that is different from where they are normally...ask a straight man to no longer be straight," he said. Recently Malebranche participated in a talk with a group of pastors in Cartersville, GA, a town 40 to 50 miles northwest of Atlanta. They talked about this very issue, he said. The pastors wanted to do some HIV work.

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"It was not so much about let's put together a template to see how we can attack this. It was more about let's talk through it. What are the issues, HIV prevention, sexuality issues, etc," Malebranche said. "They all seemed very committed to wanting to do things. There were pastors there that had already done a lot of work around HIV and HIV ministry." And some were honest about their struggles around doing what they felt was right and obeying scripture. "They felt helpless. 'These are not my rules,' they told me. 'This is God's word. I am conflicted,'" Malebranche said they shared with him. "I was very clear to the group that as pastors and as people of the cloth, if they want to get involved in the work they have to check themselves. HIV is not like high blood pressure." Things have been changing, said Raymond R. Duke, communicable disease specialist for STAND Inc. Prevention Services. "People are fed up," he said. "Just recently the Pope relaxed the Vatican's stance on condom use. Wow, what a huge step in the right direction that was. So things are changing." Duke who is also an ordained minister said people are even changing the way they view bible, how it's been used and who is welcomed at the table. "Church goers are demanding change and even the design and make up of our traditional churches are changing thus changing how HIV/AIDS and stigma are viewed," he said. "There will be differences in theology based upon cultural differences and people's beliefs, but it is my prayer that we don't measure the way we help and heal by the ruler we have used on HIV/AIDS these past 30 years." Malebranche is encouraged. "I think there are some really good churches," he said, referencing the Cartersville meeting. "Churches want to talk about this stuff in a mature manner. We disagree about our faith, but that does not mean we cannot be united in discussing this issue and its importance in the community." www.thegrio.com 40

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Words of Inspiration, Inspired WITHIN MY SOUL Deep down inside me I speak to my spirit that lies within. This is where I often go when I want to be far away. I listen and talk to the voices deep in my soul. My heart is comfortable there. I feel so sufficient and content there. I wish you could experience the happiness and joy down in my soul. It‘s a place I can go. It's so quiet and still God steps inside and takes control of me. He stirs the fire up from head to toe down inside my soul.

My spirit begins to have church within me. I can hear the preacher speaking the gospel in the presence of God‘s people. I can hear music, hand clapping and yes songs down in my soul.

As the people stand up and testify, I can hear. I see

happy tears begin falling everywhere. It makes me think about cool running blue waters. My spirit feels like someone could be baptized and anointed here today as they step out of the cool water.

There‘s dancing and shouting glorifying there Lord with praise. The sweet Holy Spirit lives so far deep down inside of me. My soul sings out from the temple God made with in me. joya may be contacted at iamjoya@gmail.com 41

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Author Jo Lena Johnson on a mission for Good ... Absolute Good!

By Raaw'el In order to BE something You must DO something 43

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For Tony As I watch the world unfold in such a way that mimics the end of the coming days they say, the last days are near although to me they're here because compassion for others is obsolete. Fighting heads up use to be a small feat but never will I fear because I believe and was raised to conceive the importance of that which is the inevitable of what's to be...that violence, killing and shooting can't be. The solution to the problems looming in our heads you see. Sheer terror and disbelief is what we dread instead we turn our heads to ways of our youth & what‘s seemingly more uncouth is that in a time where discipline with love use to be about rearing OUR children to learn no doubt...today we teach that God is the way, not knowing that what's instilled in us from our born day is what paves the way. As I watch the world unfold, my family and friends and love one's I hold as close to my chest as they're allowed to be to try to protect them from gun violence and OUR governments trickery. Yes, Uncle Sam controls our money and our minds, no doubt...the only way out is for us to excavate a corner of our third eye that's programmed in our heads for one nation under God is what's ultimately led. Lady America is under siege from other nation‘s and prejudice hid behind rules and religion but the reality of this vision is that senseless crime, hatred and killing is to me the unraveling of the world unfolding before thee. Not only are we threatened from overseas but America's own children are killing off their own families. Father God, can you hear us as our parents cry? For this mockery of a family united is one enormous lie. I've seen my uncle, my brother, and my dad fall to thee, a blood soaked garment from a bullet wound causing us to tread lightly... watching the world unfold as our children kill each other in desolate communities that offers nothing for them to hold but an unforgiving picture of a bleak future leaves them with nothing else to do...what do you propose that our babies have to glean from in this cold, cold world? Today we lost another one of our youth which hurts me deeply. His name is Anthony Gant, Jr aka Tony. I've known him since birth, he was a good son no doubt, that somehow lost his way…death was his way out. Another senseless killing of a King such as He, whose potential was taken too early, in a world unfolding before thee. 45

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Stay in the Stand Ephesians Chapter 6:13 discusses when you have done all to stand, continue to stand. The body of Christ has moved out of transition to shifting. If the enemy can get you out of position then he has your stand so it is important that we are in position in this season as God is about to release his glory upon the men and women of God. We are about to see the greatest move of God than we have ever seen in this season which will include Miracles, signs and wonders and the enemy knows his time is coming to a close. So the spirit of distraction comes to hinder us, delay us and causes us to be discouraged. We must stand on the word of God like never before. Like our elders use to say, ―in spite of what it looks like, looks can be deceiving.‖ September is the month of birthing. Some of you will birth new works, businesses, creative ideas and witty inventions that will bring streams of wealth to the body of Christ. The transfer of wealth has already been made in the spirit. We must be in position to receive it. So the Lord has been aligning things in our lives, circumstances and situations so we won‘t miss the latter rain. The Lord is disconnecting folks from our lives that have been toxic to our destiny and purpose but he is also connecting us to people that will draw out gifting and anointing upon our lives. I encourage everyone to let God finish what he has started. The word of God says he that began a good work will complete it. Let God finish the work. Stay in the Stand! We are about to walk into the greatest time of our lives. Don‘t let the devil take your stand…in Jesus‘ Name! If this ministry has been a blessing to you please write me at 3489 Torres St Navarre, Florida 32563 or e-mail me at jenniechalden@yahoo.com and tell me your testimonies. Also, if the Lord speaks to you to sow a seed into this anointing on my life please obey the Lord. He will bless you for your obedience and your sacrifice.

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Remembering Dr. Frank Hale, 84 By F. Finley McRae

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The legendary Ohio educator was hailed as a statesman and humanist. Dr. Frank Hale: Educator Dead at 84 The legendary Ohio educator was hailed as a statesman and humanist. The legendary Ohio educator was hailed as a statesman and humanist. 08/17/2011 - 19:03 Dr. Frank Hale, a pioneer in making graduate education accessible to African Americans, was remembered in a seven-hour funeral service last week in Columbus, Ohio. Some 36 speakers -including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Samuel DuBois Cook, president emeritus of Dillard University -- lauded Hale, the charming visionary whose 60-year career left a bold, bright stamp on higher education and progress for people of color. Hale, 84, died July 27 of pancreatic cancer. Other prominent speakers were E. Gordon Gee, the president of Ohio State University, and Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman. Hale was Ohio State University Graduate School's first black associate dean, and in 1971 he became the university's second black vice provost. The university's Frank W. Hale Black Cultural Center, named to honor his achievements benefiting blacks, women and minorities, is one of the most visible symbols of his legacy there. In 1971, at Hale's urging, the university committed $15 million -- then a very large sum -- for minority graduate fellowships. At least 1,200 awards were made to minorities, of whom 80 percent earned master's degrees and/or doctorates. Under his leadership, the university became a national model for successful racial inclusion. In the 1970s and '80s, according to the Ohio State News, it attracted the highest number of minority Ph.D. students among America's four-year colleges and universities. Hale, who retired after a 54-year career at Ohio State, also distinguished himself at two African-American colleges: Oakwood College, in Huntsville, Ala., as president from 1966-1971; and Central State University, as chair of the English department, before that appointment. 48

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Inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2010, Hale was noted for his uncanny vision and belief in the gifts possessed by everyone he met. Gee said Hale was a "remarkable man and a remarkable life lived in service to the cause of opportunity and equality, who opened the doors to underserved students through sheer force of his intellect and determination." Cook, 82, who became the first African-American professor to join the faculty of a predominantly white Southern university when he accepted a position at Duke, was interviewed by The Root. He recalled Hale's "great contributions to American higher education, made through enormous sacrifices." Hale's abiding strength and fundamental genius, said Cook, who was the first black president of the Southern Political Science Association, "was his vision, through which he saw blacks and whites as part of the same humanity and rooted in the same Divine creation." G. Michael Payne, executive director of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, said, "Dr. Hale's life and death bring to mind the wise words of the late Senator Robert Kennedy: What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but love, wisdom and compassion toward one another and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within or country, whether they be white or whether they be black." www.theroot.com 49

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How tweets may bring an end to hiphop's Game By Mike McCray

Rapper Game attends 2010 VH1 Hip Hop Honors at Hammerstein Ballroom on June 3, 2010 in New York, New York. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

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For celebs facing Twitter fire, few things save face after a stream of offbeat and incendiary tweets like saying your account has been hacked. By this point, the gesture is a subtle admission of guilt but still enough of an excuse to have critics back off without having to actually admit any wrongdoing. It's a must-have in the social media arsenal but when it comes to law enforcement, innocence will take a little more convincing. Especially for rapper The Game, who allegedly upped the ante on his classically West Coast crusade against all things police related after a tweet from his account listed the number to a Compton sheriff's station as an internship opportunity. Needless to say, calls from a few hundred of his more than 500,000 followers incited a telephone flash mob that tangled and overwhelmed the emergency phone system last Friday. Los Angeles County prosecutors allege the tweet from his account was in fact from the rapper and will turnover evidence of the criminal investigation to the district attorney's office before deciding whether to move forward with charges against the rapper in the future. For both sides the stunt was a testament to the power of social media. 51

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For law enforcement, it forces them to re-evaluate and possibly prepare for future incidents like this. What if it had been a bigger celebrity than The Game directing more than a million followers to do one thing? We've seen how social media in Egypt and most recently, London, helped spawn, cultivate and ultimately launch uprisings. What would stop someone from shutting down emergency communication other than the hope that they were moral enough to not stand in the way of authorities ability to help those genuinely in need? Outside of directing celebrities to either man up to their actions change their password from something as simple as '1-2-3-4,' without a example of them flexing some legal might, what power do they have to stop it? For The Game especially, the allegations seem to fit in line with his disillusionment with police after several, public run-ins all over the country. The most notable for me was the YouTube video of the artist handcuffed and sitting on the mall floor in Greensboro, N.C. years ago. Urging his cameraman to continue filming after the artist, at the height of his fame then, walked through the mall and caused a stir that eventually ended in the incident escalating and him being led out of the only mall in the city in handcuffs. His staunchly anti-law enforcement angle is rooted in way more than a persona, or a childhood influenced by gangster rap and the L.A. riots, for him its much more personal. But for his music, what the stunt actually adds to the lore of The Game is negligible. Like most of the buzz surrounding him in recent years, it has nothing to do with a hit record. It's amazing his talking points are still allowed to be where he stacks up in the pantheon of rappers considering his catalog does little to even warrant 52

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the argument but for social media sake, his most recent harassment was one of the most relevant moves he could make. And it's safe to say as long as celebs can depend on the flimsiest, 21st century equivalent of 'wasn't me,' don't be surprised to see the move happen more and more often. We've seen artists take control or tear down the social media walls themselves before. Some will remember rapper Maino addressing an 'internet thug' in person and broadcasting the face-to-face altercation for all to see he wasn't to messed with. 50 Cent took the hijinks up a notch but hacking one of his favorite targets, Rick Ross, account and interacting with fans who believed it to be the actual artist. There's still varying opinions as to the reality of our social media lives. What many take as just entertainment can have very real consequences. People take the wall created by a computer or mobile device as an opportunity to be as disparaging and insulting as possible because there's no real threat to have to say those same things in the presence of a star and amongst millions of tweets, those negative ones will disappear into the ether after a string of retweets and a couple hours. Few ever consider their attempts at humor ever reaching the eyes of their target and when they do even fewer are prepared for what could happen. Some recognize how instigating anything with a celebrity and especially getting a digital rise out them can be self-aggrandizing and propel them to a certain level of shortlived internet stardom and when artists decide to lash out, unlike a hacker, there's no incentive to owning up to published streams of consciousness for accused celebs who can't figure a better way out of hot water in short time. For gossip blogs and entertainment reporters, romps like The Game's keep things fresh but for the celebrities involved, attempting to up the digital ante can have potentially disastrous outcomes including real life charges when they're only excuse is 'it was only Twitter.' www.thegrio.com 53

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Your iPhone password can be hacked in 18 minutes and other surprising cybersecurity facts This year's Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas offered up a shocking, quirky and often downright strange view of the security space. Hacking your iPhone's defenses A "brute force" attack on an iPhone can cycle through nine password guesses per second, according to Dino Dai Zovi, an independent security consultant and notorious Apple hacker. Which means... -A password made up of 4 numeric characters would take 18 minutes to hack -Alphanumeric characters are trickier. A password with 4 of them would take 51 hours to break. -5 alphanumeric characters: 8 years -8 alphanumeric characters: 13,000 years Your Facebook profile could expose you A 1997 MIT study found that 87% of the country's population can be uniquely identified simply by knowing a person's birthday, gender, and zip code -- all information that Facebook users routinely put on their profiles. In 2000, 100 billion photos were shot 54

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worldwide, according to Future Image analyst Tony Henning. In 2010, there were 2.5 billion photos uploaded by Facebook users alone -- each month. What's the connection? With new facial recognition software able to match offline faces to a rapidly growing number of online photos, your face can soon be linked to all the information you post to Facebook. And that information can be connected to a host of potentially sensitive information about you. Your iPhone password can be hacked in 18 minutes and other surprising cybersecurity facts A stolen laptop puts your cloud at risk It is possible to steal all the data you have saved on the Internet from a stolen hard drive. To do this, hackers would need to steal the disk, the disk image, Windows credentials, Wi-Fi information, registry and browser history, and then use that to access cloud data. That may sound like a lot of steps. But once a thief physically has possession of your PC, the only item on that list that's potentially hard to crack is your Windows credentials (your user name and password) -- and even that can be quite easy to access on older computers. On pre-Windows 7 machines, system passwords can be guessed by "brute force" applications that automatically test every combination. That's because Microsoft did hackers a favor by limiting the number of possibilities. Older Windows versions store your password by breaking it up smaller chunks. Brute force programs can go to work on multiple chunks at once, cracking even very long passwords fairly quickly. "If you are using XP, our ability to recover your password is about 100%. That's just how it is," Elie Bursztein, a researcher in the Stanford University Security Lab, said at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference last week. www.cnn.com 55

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MLK Memorial Foundation Announces Plans for August 28 MLK Memorial Dedication 57

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About the Memorial The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is conceived of as an engaging landscape experience tied to other landscapes and monuments, not as a single object or memorial dominating the site. The composition of the memorial utilizes landscape elements to powerfully convey four fundamental and recurring themes throughout Dr. King's message: justice, democracy, hope and love. The semicircular geometry of the memorial, juxtaposed within the triangular configuration of the site, engages the Tidal Basin and frames views to the water.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial The main entrance through the crescent-shaped inscription wall is aligned along the axis of the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, placing this memorial directly in line with the larger democratic ideals that form the context for King's words and deeds. The memorial is envisioned as a quiet and receptive space, yet at the same time, powerful and emotionally evocative, reflecting the spirit of the message Dr. King delivered and the role he played in society. The King Memorial is intended to be personally transformative for visitors, building a sense of commitment to the promise of positive change and active citizenship. Drawing from Dr. King's own rich metaphorical language, the themes of "the Man, the Movement and the Message" are intertwined into a larger experience of place.

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Site Location - Context The National Capital Planning Commission and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts approved the site location for the King Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC December 1999. The Memorial‘s address will be 1964 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20024. The street number is a reference to the Civil Right‘s Act of 1964, a milestone which Dr. King played an integral role in achieving.

The approved site creates a visual "line of leadership" from the Lincoln Memorial, which honors the President who protected the United States from internal strife, and where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech; to the Jefferson Memorial, which honors the President who helped create the United States as the author of the Declaration of Independence.

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Site Location - Memorial

Dr. King's Memorial is situated on a four-acre plot on the northwest corner of the Tidal Basin adjacent to the Roosevelt Memorial. The Tidal Basin is a man made body of water to the south of the National Mall which acts as an overflow catch basin when the Potomac River swells, helping to prevent extensive flooding of the Mall. The site is situated within the precinct of Washington, DC‘s famous cherry blossom trees, a gift from Japan as a sign of peace. Before the King Memorial was built, millions of visitors would come to Washington, DC each spring to witness the beauty of the two week blooming period. During this short timeframe, the Tidal Basin is surrounded by delicate pink and white blossoms on hundreds of trees, a vision that enhances the experience of the Nation‘s Capital, and announces the arrival of spring each year to its residents. 60

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Dr. King's Spiritual Presence Dr. Martin Luther King is remembered as a great orator whose impact on the nation came from the eloquence and inspirational quality of his words. His speeches, sermons and public addresses melded themes of democracy deeply embedded in the American conscience, and reinvigorated these messages with clear and insightful reflections on the true meaning of justice and equality. Within the memorial, quotes from Dr. King's sermons and speeches, are inscribed at a large scale on the smooth surfaces of the inscription wall. These passages will be reinforced through the referential use of water, stone, landscaping and light as metaphorical elements that heighten an awareness of his message. All of the senses will be engaged through the experience of the memorial, and, foremost, through the visual perception of space, using contrast and juxtaposition, scale and height and the bold display of carefully selected words expressing his spirit. The inspirational text and the mood created by the sound of the water, its cooling mists, and the visual complexity of the contrasting rough and smooth surfaces of stone, the gradual changes in grade and the patterns of light and darkness will dramatically underscore the visual sense of the man and the qualities of courage, conviction and leadership that characterize his life and work. Added to these powerful sensory experiences will be a sculptural representation of Dr. King himself. This is not conceived of as a pure figurative depiction of his physical being, separate and apart from other elements, but rather would give another dimension and layer of meaning to the experience of the memorial as a whole. Dr. King will appear as an integral part of the "Stone of Hope", as if he embodies the stone itself. He will be positioned on the side of the stone facing the Jefferson Memorial and will be gradually revealed as part of the procession towards the Tidal Basin. "There are two types of laws: there are just laws and there are unjust laws...What is the difference between the two?...An unjust law is a man-made code that is out of harmony with the moral law...Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Isn't segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, an expression of his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness?" – Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963

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At first, as one enters the main space, the central stone will appear somehow cleft from the stones flanking the portal entry, but pushed forward so as to be visually isolated from the rest of the memorial grounds. As one gets closer to the monolith, its roughhewn edges toward the memorial will begin to take on a vaguely familiar contour, recognizable, but not entirely clear. Finally, as one looks back to the inscription wall and main space from the stone, the image of Dr. King will be fully revealed. He will be seen looking across the Tidal Basin. This representation will stir the emotions, transcend the physical and symbolic and directly engage the imagination of the viewer. World peace through nonviolent means is neither absurd nor unattainable. All other methods have failed. Thus we must begin anew. Nonviolence is a good starting point. Those of us who believe in this method can be voices of reason, sanity, and understanding amid the voices of violence, hatred, and emotion. We can very well set a mood of peace out of which a system of peace can be built. – Martin Luther King, Jr. December 1964 The entire memorial invokes the memory and spiritual presence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through the visual experience of place, reinforced by the full range of sensory perception, the metaphorical use of water, stone and other landscape elements, the powerful display of passages from his sermons and speeches and the appearance of his physical image in the "Stone of Hope". For more information, photos, or to schedule interviews with Harry Johnson, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. please contact Dan Gregory at 202.414.0785 or dgregory@susandavis.com.

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(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Post office cuts could deliver a blow to the black community By Michele Balani

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For many of those who grew up thinking that the U.S. Postal Service was one of the few American institutions that could never fail, the announcements that the agency is considering cutting 120,000 jobs and closing 3,700 locations is a painful reminder of how the once-thriving business is slowly losing its influence and profit-making ability. With $8.5 billion in losses in 2010 alone, the agency is also proposing the removal of 480,000 pensioners and 600,000 employees from federal health insurance plans, further proof that it may have trouble bouncing back from years spent lingering in the red. The post office has not received government funding since 1971, and the agency makes its money through revenue derived from mailing fees and other services. In April, USPS spokesperson Sue Brennan claimed that only 19 percent of its 32,000 post offices covered their costs. Though it still delivers 40 percent of the world's mail, shipping volume is down, and with competitors like FedEx, DHL and UPS biting at their heels, the post office has been forced to rethink their business strategies. Over the last century, the Postal Service has served as a reliable source of employment for minorities, providing them with a steady stream of well-paying jobs and decent insurance and pension packages. This is particularly true for 64

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African-Americans, who have historically regarded postal positions as viable middle collar careers. According to Philip Rubio, author of There's Always Work at the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice and Equality, by 1970, blacks made up one-fifth of the postal workforce and "were twice as likely to work at the post office than whites," which paved the way for many other minorities to seek employment by the agency. The potential cuts to 20 percent of the Postal Service workforce, and the slashing of its benefit programs have left many wondering what effect it will have on those in the black community who depend on the USPS for their livelihoods. As the nation recovers from a poor economy and staggering unemployment rates that are at Depression-era levels for African Americans nationwide, the proposed layoffs have the potential to send some black households spiraling into a chasm of financial uncertainty. And with a recent Pew Research Center study finding that the Recession hit minorities families the hardest and caused their median wealth to fall well below that of white families, it could also cause thousands of African-American postal workers who were considered to be part of a thriving middle class to become another statistic of this negative trend. About 39 percent of all post office workers are minorities, and 21 percent are African-Americans, according to William Burrus, the former president of the American Postal Workers Union. In July 2010, Burris told NPR the story of how he first gained employment in the postal service when he got out of the Army, and about how lucrative these types of careers were to those in the black community who were seeking employment in the 1950s. "I was looking for a job, and discussed it with my father, who was a product of the upward mobility of the African-American community," Burrus said on NPR. "And I asked his advice as to would the Postal Service be a good place of employment. 'He said, it's your decision, son. But they don't have strikes.' I had to find employment. I was a painter and I was looking for something more permanent and more reliable. And I was hired from the exam and went in as a career employee in February of 1958." Throughout the years, many black veterans and college graduates flocked to work at the post office, particularly because of the job security these opportunities promised, and "the fact that a civil service appointment meant something, and it was a decent salary, it had other benefits, sick leave, annual leave, and it has status in the community," Rubio told NPR in the interview with the radio network and Burrus. 65

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"Black postal workers in general were oftentimes thought of as middle-class. And, in fact, they were also very much civically engaged. And what you have are people who are well-educated and able to find a job where the hours permit them to go to school or that they can work while they're trying to start their businesses up or start their practices up." The Postal Service first opened up employment opportunities to AfricanAmericans after the Civil War, and although it has helped countless black people build a better financial foundation for their families, many postal workers have had to endure discrimination and unequal pay throughout the agency's history. "That was from the start when African-Americans entered the post office, that was how they literally entered the post office was having to fight, first of all, fight to get into the post office and once they were there, fighting discrimination both in the post office and the unions, fighting to - for the right to get promotions, fighting against Jim Crow union locals, which unfortunately persisted right up into the early '60s," added Rubio. "And I talk about how they essentially brought the civil rights movement into the post office, into the labor movement and took labor issues into the civil rights movement." The fight, it seems, continues for many black post office employees. The Postal Service has reduced its workforce by 212,000 positions in the past 10 years. In addition to the current set of proposed layoffs, the agency may replace workers with contractors and take all of its current employees and retirees off of its the federal health and retirement benefit plan--which accounts for a third of the Postal Service's labor expenses--and put them on a new plan run directly by the company. USPS has also proposed eliminating required prepayments into the employee retirement plan, which could save them $5.4 billion this year alone. The plan calls for the agency to put an end to Saturday service, which would not only have a negative impact on postal employees because of the decreased revenue that will result from the closures, but it would also have a trickle-down effect on consumers. The company recently sent out a statement to its employees that detailed the proposed changes. The statement, entitled "Financial crisis calls for significant actions," reads: "We will be insolvent next month due to significant declines in mail volume and retiree health benefit pre-funding costs imposed by Congress. However, exceptional circumstances require exceptional remedies. The Postal Service is facing dire economic challenges that threaten its very existence." The proposed plan would require congressional approval and the cuts wouldn't take effect until 2015, which could provide some USPS employees with the opportunity to look for alternate work. Rubio, who got his first postal job in 1980, recently wrote an editorial in the New York Daily News, and he spoke about the impact that being 66

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employed by the agency had on his life. He also warned of the negative effects the impending layoffs will have on black postal workers. "When I think of the post office, I don't just think of an agency that delivers to all homes and businesses in the nation," he writes. "I think of the postal job I got in 1980 - first as a distribution clerk, then, soon after, as a letter carrier. This was a job that helped us buy a home and send our children to college, helped put my wife through graduate school and allowed me to go on and continue my education and earn a doctorate in history in 2006." "Last month, right after the announced planned closures, residents and postal workers in the Bronx held a protest to save post offices in the borough that stands to lose 17 post offices - the most in the city," he continues. "They told reporters of their concerns over the loss of service and jobs. These voices must be heard. Millions of Americans continue to see the post office as an invaluable nationwide network that provides both jobs and services - and don't want to see those vanish without a fight." Now may be the time for the biggest fight of all for black post office workers. Given the dismal unemployment figures and shaky economic climate, the jobs lost due to the cuts could have a far-reaching impact that will not only effect a generation of minority workers, but the future of the nation's economy and global mailing options. And while an ideal outcome that benefits all parties may not be possible, many can only hope that a future resolution will not push back all of the gains made by African-American postal employees over the last century.

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Obama's 'Satan sandwich' leaves sour taste with Black Caucus By Jeff Jonhson

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., leader of the Congressional Black Caucus, speaking on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, July 20, 2011. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, DCalif., listens at left. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

With the Senate having finally passed a debt ceiling deal, many are asking if a crisis has really been avoided. If you ask Missouri Congressman and Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairman Emmanuel Cleaver the answer would be a resounding no. In what has to be the most colorful description of anything political in 2011, the chairman described the deal as a "sugar coated Satan sandwich", that was void of anything that ensured the protection of America's poor. While many dismissed this comment as nothing more than manna from heaven for the 24 hour news cycle that often seems lost in a wilderness of irrelevance, the Chairman had a point. However the really demonic aspect of this deal is that it doesn't meaningfully impact anything. The crisis that could have arisen from default was avoided, but a uniquely American way of doing politics and spending has been preserved, through the very deal that had the potential of putting the country on a track to tax reform, responsible (or at least reduced) spending, and a focus on debt reduction vs. expansion. What I find more offensive than the reality that little was accomplished is the discussion about who won and lost.

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One of the things that has me baffled is where was the CBC on this debate? They were silent in the early stages of the discussion, when the lines were drawn by the White House, the Tea Party and Democratic and GOP leadership. Then, during the height of the negotiations on terms that -- for better or worse -had been established, the CBC held a press conference to push for a "14th Amendment option" to raise the debt ceiling without congress' consent; an option the White House had already dismissed. Thus, the CBC simply ensured their own irrelevance in the fight. For the Chairman to then label the result of weeks of negotiations a "Satan sandwich" removed the Caucus' responsibility to help determine the ingredients before the sandwich was made. The Tea Party won a political war, gaining the most by sacrificing the least. They also won because Washington lowered itself to the rules of engagement of a group of lawmakers who believe compromise is not a family value. When the history of the debt ceiling debate is written, it will record that politics won and the American people lost. The CBC's position and the Chairman's remarks were merely fodder for the show. I have heard some ask if this positioning by the CBC further damages what has been a challenging relationship between the president and the CBC. I think it is necessary to rebuke that notion as unnecessarily divisive. As the country faces legitimate economic and employment issues (none of which were addressed with this bill) the focus of the country and its lawmakers should swiftly move beyond the debt ceiling deal, but not the economic and procedural deficiencies that got us there in the first place. I believe that the CBC is essential to ensuring that the middle class and the poor are represented as entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare are at risk of total destruction vs. fiscally smart reform. There will be times when the CBC and the president square off; but they should do so in the name of challenging the president to champion issues that he politically cannot come out supporting from the onset. The debt ceiling was a distraction that I believe President Obama navigated to the best of his ability. However, it is going to take a more courageous White House and a more aggressive Democratic Party to go toe-to-toe with an emboldened GOP and a tea party that is playing for keeps. www.thegrio.com

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NAACP National Convention July 2011 Pictorial Review By Teresa Haley

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Somalia famine appeal pictorial review

“With malice toward none, with charity for all.� Abraham Lincoln 87

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How Sudanese girls are taught to be second-class By Mildred Antenor

A girl walks down a road with a bowl of corn on her head January 15, 2011 in the town of Yambio, south Sudan. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Sudanese women have always been brainwashed to feel as if they are worthless. In a country where well over 80 percent of women are kept in domestic-type roles and forced to become child brides they are reduced to a life of slavery. For example in Southern Sudan, it is estimated that nearly half of adolescent girls don't have access to primary education resulting in much of the female population struggling with illiteracy. Studies conducted recently found that girls in Southern Sudan are more likely to die in childbirth than finish primary school. These are young women who have children prematurely and are forced to marry at the age of 12 years old or younger and are reduced to a life of slavery. UNICEF and the Government of Southern Sudan's Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, found that, cultural factors driven mainly by attitudes and traditions leading to early marriages and pregnancies are some of the leading contributors to girls remaining uneducated. And although, international involvement like UNICEF and others have worked tirelessly to remove this suppressive barrier for Sudanese women, eliminating the educational element is the primary weapon that is used in a patriarchal society to keep women in a 2nd class status. Because when the oppressed are not schooled and taught to think for themselves, they very rarely as questions and inquire about why things are as they are. For example, in addition to keeping Sudanese women uneducated, many girls in the Sudan are fed less than their brothers and are kept home from school to farm and do various types of domestic work. It's believed in the Sudan that male children are more valuable than female children and that sacrifices and any fruitful harvest that comes into a family should go directly to the male children. For example, traditional practices and village customs, such as forcing the widows of men who have died of AIDS to marry their brother-in-laws, often add to the spread of HIV and make a charade out of international efforts on the rights of women. To add fuel to the fire, in the traditional tribal custom, men are largely always the absolute power in social units, while it puts large restrictions on women. Women are denied many basic liberties such as freedom of expression, freedom of movement, and the right of making their own decisions. This power is reflected not only in the law that governs the country, but also in the functioning of basic social institutions including schools, health services, employment and the family. As a consequence, women are not permitted an exit visa to leave Sudan without a written letter of approval by a husband, brother, father or male guardian, this 96

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rule by the way is standard no matter what her age is. While men are not asked to present such a letter. It's not surprising too that with such stifling patriarchy that a high mortality rate among women and children in Sudan would exist as well. Malnutrition is rampant and is the cause of many deaths in the Sudan. In keeping with the lack of medical care for reproduction and childbirth, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is widely practiced. But, how do these restricting and confining patriarchal ways of life effect women in the Sudan who must deal with humiliation day after day? There are obviously psychological consequences that these women face. Studies show that the patriarchal system does not only affect women but it affects men as well. Because of male-dominated systems in the Sudan and elsewhere, both males and females view women as the less valued gender. And women who are habitually oppressed in patriarchal societies often become the oppressors of other women as well. The U.N., UNICEF and several international conventions on the rights of women have worked diligently to bring about change in how women are treated in the Sudan, but with little success. With such strong tribal customs and ingrained cultural beliefs from one generation to the next, it is practically impossible to bring about a sweeping change so quickly. Change of this magnitude, generally happens slowly and with small steps. For example, the negative cultural impact of FGM is very deep, and attempting to adjust that paradigm would take years. Instead, why not focus on the unhealthy practice of FGM and how it can cause infection and death. In the same vein, public education on issues such as health, hygiene and welfare should be targeted. Furthermore, Sudanese women should have a principal role in drafting their own laws because of how that would directly affect them. The positive experience of Tunisian women in writing their own personal laws is a good example that should be shown to the Sudanese. Because after all, learning from ones peers is one of the most effective ways of getting an idea across eliciting change.

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'Moving on up' isn't what it used to be for black families By Michael Arceneaux

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It's no secret that no matter what blows are dealt to the American economy, its citizens of color will feel them with far greater intensity than the rest of the nation. However, much of the dialogue about the sour economic times and the effects it's had on black and Latino communities has been relegated to the poor. Such attention is warranted, but that sort of linear coverage might have indirectly given other factions within each group a false sense of security. It may also be clouding the narrative about the root of these financial woes and just how dire they may be for all minorities. Hopefully, the US 2010 research project and their newly unveiled findings will offer a much-needed dose of perspective to the conversation. According to new analysis of census data, the most successful blacks and Latinos are more likely to have poor neighbors than their wealthier white counterparts. US 2010 reveals that the average affluent black and Hispanic household -- defined as earning more than $75,000 a year -- lives in a poorer neighborhood than the average lower-income non-Hispanic white household that makes less than $40,000 a year. Sociologist John Logan, who helmed the US2010 Project at Brown University was blunt about his findings, telling USA Today, "Blacks are segregated and even affluent blacks are pretty segregated." Logan added, "African-Americans who really succeeded live in neighborhoods where people around them have not succeeded to the same extent." These disparities are greatest in metro areas in the Northeast and Midwest while lowest are in cities in the South. Admittedly, these findings won't exactly send shock waves to most blacks. Many of us have grown accustomed to the notion that more times than not, a large share of well-off blacks live in areas only a few bus stops away from their less successful brethren. For those itching to roast the "stunt and shows" segment of the race, this data will lend some credence to the perception that some upper-middle class and middle class blacks are having to live "down" in order to give airs that they're still on the financial up and up. 99

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But to bemoan that novelty distracts us from the greater issues at hand. Logan further lamented: "White middle-class families have the option to live in a community that matches their own credentials. If you're African-American and want to live with people like you in social class, you have to live in a community where you are in the minority." Not every black person feels as if they have to move away from their less successful counterparts once they reach a certain level of success in order to signify it. That said, it's a shame a large share of blacks aren't even afforded the option. The end result is being segregated to areas plagued with an unequal allocation of resources -- the kind that affects schools, health care, and neighborhood amenities. Factors related to social mobility. Worse is the realization that this trend won't be changing anytime soon. None of this is good news for the black middle class, which was already a fairly new and quite shaky concept. In 1997, "Black Wealth/White Wealth," sociologists Melvin Oliver and Thomas Shapiro wrote that middle-class blacks "possess only 15 cents for every dollar of wealth held by middle-class whites." They concluded the black middle class was "precarious and fragile." Now more than ever following additional reports that the median wealth of white households is nearly 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households. And one of the fundamental aspects to attain middle class status and wealth -- home ownership - could soon become a more daunting task. There's currently a proposal under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 calling for a return to the decades-old practice of requiring a 20 percent down payment or more for a home loan. Guess which groups will be greater hurt by that requirement? Thus, not only is it harder to achieve social mobility as a minority in this country, but once you do chances are you will continue to be burdened with some of the very pitfalls an increase in wealth and income are supposed to spare you from. BeyoncĂŠ has a better chance of divorcing Jay-Z to marry Barney than blacks do getting this Congress to address any of these matters. Sadly, until our elected officials do truly "moving on up" will be harder for all minorities -- upper middle class, middle class, and working poor alike.

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Aniba Hotep (translated as: "Messenger of Peace") is a rare vocalist whose sound has been described as "thunderous honey", jazz and R&B to the taste, gospel and folk going down. A southern girl with the musical ancestry of would-be bluesmen and country preachers, Aniba has an uncanny ability to not only excel at many genres, but serve as a griot through her conversational method of songwriting. Aniba Hotep was born and bred on Mahalia Jackson, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and Shirley Murdock. She began as a local celebrity in her hometown at age eight, cutting her teeth in talent shows and composing her own music in academic honors programs, leading her to the famed Apollo Theater at the age of twelve. Aniba stepped away from the spotlight in 1995 to pursue her education and figure out where her sound fit in the mid-90's music industry. By 2001 her love of writing and her rediscovery as an artist called her to a new arena of music that finally felt like home. Together with the inspired sounds of the Sol Collective, Aniba is geared for her life's mission; to interpret and tell the story of a people as only she can. Aniba Hotep & The Sol Collective is a gifted crew of artists comprised of many things, but namely, 1) talent, 2) an unshakable love for music, and 3) divine intervention. 103

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Aniba Hotep and the Sol Collective is a gifted band comprised of everything that makes soul music beautiful. Aniba Hotep (vocals) is an accomplished vocalist/songwriter whose southern gospel roots provide the quiet yet thunderous backdrop to the stark musical images of Louis Wells (keyboards), Will Baggett (bass), Aum Mu Ra El (lead/rhythm guitar), Benjamin Washington (clarinet/flute/saxophone), Wallace Wilbourn (saxophone), Donnell Dagley (trombone) and Michael "Q" Mitchell (drums). Respectively, these artists have performed at the Apollo Theater, studied under Donald "Buster" Woods (one of the top organ players in Chicago), played with the Chicago Sinfionetta, acted as band leaders for the Chicago Public School system for over ten years, performed alongside Jennifer Hudson, Janet Jackson, Lalah Hathaway, Bilal, Sy Smith, Julie Dexter, Yazahrah, the late James Brown, and at the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

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Together with the complimentary vocal stylings of Neri Ma'at and Sahura Seshmu (background vocals) they have amazed audiences with their performances at The House of Blues, Club Dream, Wine Styles, Soul Vegetarian Restaurant , South Shore Cultural Center, Chicago State University, The Checkerboard Lounge, The Subterranean, Real Men Love (sponsored by Real Men Cook) Ai Sushi Restaurant and Lounge, The Jacob Carruthers Center (with famed author and lecturer Ashra Kwesi) and the Harold Washington Cultural Center where they opened for platinum recording artist Carl Thomas. Their music has graced The Excalibur, The Mekhasken House, WVON’S Pre-Kwanzaa Event, won the Thursday Night Open Mic at Jokes and Notes (hosted by WGCI‘S Tony Scofield), and even political arenas such as The Roast and Toast of Emil Jones, President of the Illinois Senate, and “One Day of Rain”, a historical unveiling of renown artist Abiola Akintolas‘ tribute sculpture to President Barack Obama. They have capped off their rising success with an Album Release Party hosted by actress/vocalist Cynda Williams of “Mo Betta Blues” fame, and graced the stage alongside The Legendary Drifters, Gerald Alston from The Manhattans, and recently received billing alongside legendary platinum selling band Mint Condition at the House of Blues (sponsored by Live Nation).

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Aniba Hotep & the Sol Collective have partnered with 220 Communications and are in the works of doing some exciting things to promote their debut album “Sol of a Goddess�. It could be best described as a medley of textures and tones that stimulate and heal all of the frayed nerves in your spirit that are in dire need of a healing- an accomplishment that can only be established by a clarity of what is essential for solar energy to illuminate the way. Imagine closing your eyes and taking a sip from an infusion of everything that makes soul music beautiful. A medley of textures and tones that stimulate and heal all the frayed nerves in your spirit that are in dire need of a remedy. This spiritual overhaul can only be accomplished by an established clarity of what is essential to the soul. Their EP, "The Solution" is now available on CD: http://www.cdbaby.com/c d/anibahotep

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Aniba Hotep was interviewed by Alicia Wilson who is also a VOICE Contributor. V: When did you as an individual first, become interested in music and what inspired you to take it to this level? Aniba Hotep: I had the privilege of being really drenched in gospel and blues, which are both genres that encourage you to want to sing in the first place. In the midst of being encouraged one day, I discovered that although I was four, I kind of had the tone and technical structure of the song I was singing down pretty well. When I learned that it was something I could do, I started performing music that was popular at that time (pretty much all Whitney Houston covers). By the time I was in high school/college, Mary J. Blige and Faith Evans had pretty much taken over, and I was at a crossroads. The music I composed didn‘t really reflect the pop sensibilities of Whitney, but to try to be an Urban R&B Diva would have just been disingenuous on my part, so I lost my interest in music for a while, not knowing how I would fit. I started listening to music I remembered from my childhood, (The Best Of Otis Redding, a tape I saved up for and bought myself when I was twelve after hearing ―Dreams‖ by accident. It was a source of musical joy and embarrassment, as my uncle could not understand why his niece would take twelve dollars and not buy KRS-1, or The Boys, or something else that showed my interest in being a normal pre-teen…) The Staple Singers, Shirley Brown, Bobby Womack, etc., and realized that my songwriting was not without a place in the music pantheon, it just, amidst hip hop and jazz and folk rock and country, had a strong old soul influence. Once I accepted that as a part of who I was growing into, I never looked back. I kept writing and looking for a vocalist to express what my songs were about, until with a little ―push‖ from my current manager Ishmael White, I decided to take the torch myself. We‘ve been cultivating our own path ever since. V: Our readers would be most interested in knowing how long the band has been together and how did you come about acquiring such talented and soulful musicians? Aniba Hotep: Well the truth is that a band would have been the only way I could effectively make music. As most artists starting out, I have had my share of working with producers and track makers who may incorporate these really soulful samples, but what I learned in my experience of working with them is that tracks really closed me in creatively. We were asked to do a show around 2007, and we really wanted to do our previously tracked music with a live band. I was honest with my manager Ishmael and told him that I needed a larger sound and how much I really needed to spread my wings musically and vocally, and after 110

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asking around or working and sweating let my manager tell it. lol, we were introduced to Louis Wells who played keys, and Michael ―Q‖ Mitchell, who played drums. After this show, Ishmael really felt like we should just join forces and see what happens. He had this vision that to long to mention here lol. So, eventually William Bagget, our current M.D (Musical Director)., and Aum Mu Ra El, our guitarist joined. We have been playing together for almost four years, with Will, Ra, and Louis still, and added Anthony Reid as our new drummer about two years ago. Wallace Wilborn and Leon Q Allen hold down my horn section, while Neri Ma‘at and Caress Sahura are my background singers. There are also wonderful musicians who don‘t do every show with us, but I very much consider them a part of the Sol Collective Family such as Paul Hall, Troni Dionne, Rico Harmon, Sam Fuller and Slim* They are our extended family from another great group called Verzatile. V: The music is absolutely incredible and I am a fan,. Would you consider yourself more of a songwriter or a vocalist? Or on equal plane with both talents? Aniba Hotep:

Well… (lol)

Until I started performing with my band, I thought of myself as a superior songwriter and burgeoning singer, or should I say performer. Songwriting was a personal freedom, one in which I could allow myself all of the expression and general confidences that I wanted at the time. Singing in front of people is something that I found even as a child to be very invasive, and my apprehension for that was one of the reasons I stopped. What happened was that as I was describing how I wanted my songs to go, I would have to do some sort of 111

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112 impression, like, ―And on this part, I do like a Mavis thing…‖, and I discovered Urban Professional Lifestyle


that I could do that myself. Oddly enough, after all of those years of winning talent shows for singing ‗The Greatest Love Of All‖ , I was finally secure in my voice when I learned I shared the same tones as the people I loved to listen to. So the answer is I consider myself to be equally talented at both. V: Being a vocalist and performer myself I know how important it is to posess the one skill that determines whether you are a “good” performer or a “great” performer being able to connect with your audience, what part of yourself do you like to see connect with your audience during a performance? Aniba Hotep: What I like the most now about performing for an audience is not feeling a particular way if I don‘t see every single person validating my performance by an obvious smile or some other action. I have learned that people take in a performance in different ways, and my commitment to re-telling these songs and conveying them my way is really contingent on my ability to not be directly shut down by anyone‘s … anything lol. I like being up there and being carried by something not only larger than the possibility of someone not caring for my show, but larger than myself. It‘s truly a spiritual feeling if you allow it to be. V: Who is responsible for your manner of dress and the stylings for your stage performances? Aniba Hotep: Madame Pilar Audain Reed is our stylist and creative director and has been from the beginning. She has been instrumental in our particular image and her direction in style really helped draw the attention we needed as an 113

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up and coming act. The cool thing is she makes everything from scratch. The jewelry, the dress everything, so it makes it really easy to stand out. V: As with most bands I know it hasn’t been easy to staying together and performing top notch material what would you say is the “glue” that keeps you all together and functioning musically, harmoniously and enables you to keep delivering effective performances for as long as you have? Aniba Hotep: I think all of us know that what we have is precious, that it‘s not a dime a dozen sound, look, feel, or group of people. That would be the only way I could explain that really. We don‘t have a benefactor and everything we do from printing CD‘s to promotion is a grass roots effort, but we all believe that there is something beyond what we can foresee at the moment. And I can‘t forget the love we get from the people is amazing, I can‘t tell you how many times we have heard, ―you all are what we have been waiting for‖ I didn‘t know people still play and sing like that, or ― how come the world doesn‘t know about you all‖? That fuels us as well it‘s like a Soul mission were on! V: What are your future aspirations for yourself and the group and where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Aniba Hotep: I see us with a major publishing/distribution deal, selling at least 3/4million records. Developing other artist as well as a natural beauty line that I been working on. We are also working on about three different projects now that I‘m gonna stay hush about until they‘re done lol… V: Any band worth its salt eventually moves aways from covers and works diligently on their original music Ive listend to your originals and they definitely carry their weight in sound and quality, I also heard a 114

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Micheal Jackson cover that was excellent,. Which leads me to the question what are some of your favorite covers to perform and did any of those artists inspire you? Aniba Hotep:

Let‘s See…

My favorites to perform are sometimes not the covers we really get to do lol, I‘m a lover of B-Side or otherwise lesser known songs, and I had to move from being strictly a balladeer to being an up tempo girl real quick, in my experience with keeping the audiences happy. I loved doing ―Daydreaming‖ by Aretha Franklin, ―Love Hangover‖ by Diana Ross, ― ―Tired of Being Alone‖, by Al Green…. As far as influences, I do get to do The Staple Singers and Al Green, but will probably incorporate more Otis Redding and Prince into my acoustic projects, I‘m really into thick, raspy, yet smooth tones. lol… Thank You By The Way, for the Michael Jackson comment, I of course went through this insane Thriller phase around ‘84, (then went through another one after I saw Moonwalker lol) so to hear that I did him justice does my heart good… V: Who coordinate the music for your sets? How do you decide what you are going to sing? Aniba Hotep: We think about what fits our sound, what we think people would like, propose performing it and then we rehearse to see if it‘s a fit. Some songs sound really great , you really love listening to them at home, but they kind of fall flat in a live setting. The songs that resonate with us end up on the stage. And sometimes, you find out on stage if they really work lol. Now, if your asking about intros to a show or changes/ transitions that usually happens with our Bass player William Baggett. He usually hears something crazy (lol) from some of his old soul/ Hip Hop records that he will text to the whole band sometimes 2-3 am in bold type WE NEED TO DO THIS ON THE SHOW. lol V: This is a fun question…what would you say is the strangest place the band has performed or was invited to perform? Aniba Hotep:

I can‘t answer that lol… sorry… 115

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Aleshia Steele‘s Texas Urban Music Summit Showcases Industry Talent

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VOICE had an opportunity to interview the spectacular Aleshia Steele on her venture. The interview was conducted by jasira. V: How long has the Texas Urban Music Summit been in existence? Since 2008 V: What has changed in the industry? Aleshia Steele: One key component that has changed is the way to market, promote, & sell music due to the era we're in right now. Digital marketing, social networking sites like face book and twitter, itunes, etc. V: What are some of the most challenging moments of production in the Summit? Aleshia Steele: Dealing with people that don't move as quickly as I do.. Procrastinators, people that do more talking about what they can and will do then actually doing it is very challenging. These days everyone perfers to communicate by texting and emails. No one answers their phone and some people even have on their voice mails "don't leave a message, text me" which defeats the purpose of having voice mail. How can anyone effectively conduct business with a communication preference like texting? In my opinion, the most effecitve way to communicate, especially about business, is verbal. I tell everyone who I do business with that I'm a verbal communicator and to call me to have dialog about the situation, then follow up with an email if documentation or follow up is required. That's best practice when conducting business and I learned that in my 20 years in the financial banking industry. At times texting is necessary, but some people go overboard with it. V: What artists have come out because of being profiled in the Texas Urban Music Summit? Aleshia Steele: The Texas UMS exposed artists such as Dorrough & Lil Will, he's the originator of "My Dougie". Ultra Publishing in New York signed artists in 117

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Dallas with publishing deals from their participation at the Texas Urban Music Summit and artists gained radio play from their exposure as well. V: What recommendations would you have for someone coming into the industry from a marketing or management perspective? Aleshia Steele: Anyone who wants to be successful must have a good team and support system around them. You have to seperate the movers and shakers from the fakers. Having the right people in the right position makes ALL the difference. After all, you're only as successful as the people you surround yourself with. V: What can the people expect to be different this year? Alesha Steele: This years theme is Honoring and Respecting the DJ so our first annual DJ Honors Ceremony and the special tributes are new editions. The Texas Urban Music Summit isn't just another " music conference". It's a music/entertainment event that includes full productions even on the production side throughout the weekend. Producers tend to get overlooked in this game just like the DJ and I plan on changing that. I will also be debuting my first artist signed to A. Steele Unlimited, Inc. Storii Jones. I have a new production company that is going to put on an AMAZING fashion show presented by Mahiri Takai, Fashion editor, celebrity stylist, and designer, sponsored by Party Profiler, Zaji Magazine, and Streets Profit. The show will be hosted by Liz Lyz Williams of America's Next Top Model Cycle 15. V: What's this years platform? Aleshia Steele:

Grand Hustle & Flow Artist showcase Panel Discussions Gone But Never Forgotten Tribute Texas UMS "Splash Down" Pool Party BBQ H-Town Stand Up Tribute iStandard Producer Showcase Fashion Show 118

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A. Steele Unlimited, Inc. showcase DJ Honors Ceremony After Parties each night V: I hear that CDs are going to be a thing of the past. What can we look forward to in the future? Aleshia Steele: What some viewed as the future is what's going on now in the present. We're living in the futuristic era now with iTunes, online marketing, social sites, jump drives etc. I imagine things getting even more digital and with technology moving like it is, I'm sure it will be possible. For information on the Texas Urban Music Summit please contact: Renee Rochone, Media International On Behalf of: Texas Urban Music Summit 4 www.Texasums.com (214) 558-4099

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Jamerson Holloway Has Eyes on Black Music Awards The profound honesty and sensitivity found in his timeless music has made Jamerson Holloway one of America‘s premier record producers. His immediately recognizable talent has reached great heights by combining soulful warmth and a genuine feel for the hip hop genre. Jamerson‘s

ability to produce top class music is uncanny. His music experience is rooted from childhood. At age 8 Jamerson started playing violin in school and played for 8 years. He twice auditioned and earned a spot with the Illinois AllState Honors Orchestra. In high school he transitioned to choir where he won many awards and a scholarship for singing to Springfield College of Illinois. During this period he developed his love for piano and guitar. He was introduced to producing hip-hop artists while in high school. Jamerson has produced and executive produced a series of projects since 1989. In 1994, he founded Ski Dog Records as a channel to bring unsigned Las Vegas hip-hop to the marketplace. A partial timeline of Jamerson‘s production credits include: 1994 Jahil Slimm – Madcamp Syndrome 1997 Criminal Trigga B – Portrait of a Hustler 1998 Jahil Slimm – For the Love of Money 121

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1999 2000 2001 2002

Jahil Slimm – The Familation II Sense – Don‘t Hate the Plyaer Hate the Game Ski Dog Records presents Family Ties II Sense – Jiggle Jangle Christmas for the I Have a Dream Foundation®

2004 2008 2009 2010

II Sense – Heat City Criminal Trigga B – XXXplicit Wildcard – Joker‘s Wild WestCoast Anthem – Eternally Foremost

In addition to the above, Jamerson has produced many of Las Vegas‘ lounge entertainers such as, Will Lewis, Spanki, Stone, Lady V, Mahogany, Promiss, Knia, Stephanie Anderson, Doomsday Productions etc. ―We sell thousands of digital downloads annually and we are available at www.skidogrecords.com, www.Amazon.com and www.cdbaby.com.

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New Ultimate Spider-Man is half black, half Hispanic

In this comic book image released by Marvel Comics, a page from "Ultimate Fallout," is shown. In the wake of the death of Peter Parker, Ultimate Spider-Man is still slinging webs across Manhattan. (AP Photo/Marvel Comics)

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Peter Parker is dead and gone, but Spider-Man's still slinging webs and fighting crime. And it's not just a new teenager climbing Manhattan buildings, it's an entirely new crime-fighter, from the color of his suit to the complexion of his skin. Meet Miles Morales, a half-black, half-Hispanic American teenager who, inspired to do good after the death of Parker at the hands of the Green Goblin, takes flight and has his first fight in the pages of Marvel Comics' "Ultimate Fallout" No. 4, in comic shops on Wednesday. The Ultimates imprint is separate from Marvel's bigger universe, where Parker is alive and well. Writer Brian Michael Bendis, who has scripted every issue of Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man since it first debuted in 2000 to wide acclaim, maintained a new hero would replace Parker, felled in the pages of "Ultimate Spider-Man" No. 160 this summer.

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But as to whom that was a closely guarded secret, until now. Bendis said that the decision came down to the story, to keep it fresh and vital and new. Morales, he explained, is nothing like his predecessor. "He's younger than Peter Parker, he's coming from a completely different background, a completely different world view," Bendis said. "It's Peter Parker's death that inspires this kid to step up." Bendis said his decision was made before actor Donald Glover's efforts to be considered for next year's Spider-Man film went viral. He had talked it over with Joe Quesada, Marvel's chief creative officer. "Joe and I talked about it at great length -- what if he was an African-American and how interesting it would be," Bendis said. Later, he saw Glover on the television show "Community," wearing Spider-Man pajamas, and knew he was on the right track. Making Spider-Man a black character is not a publicity effort, it's reflective of an industry keeping pace with modern society, said Axel Alonso, Marvel's editor-in-chief. "As someone who grew up on a steady diet of 'Luke Cage, Hero For Hire' and 'Shang Chi, Master of Kung Fu,' I am personally invested," he said. "This was a conscious decision. Here at Marvel, we pride ourselves on reflecting the real world in all its diversity," Alonso added, adding that Morales' stories would be on par with those of Parker. "Morales' adventures will be fleshed out in the coming months with the start of "Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man" in September that is being illustrated by Sara Pichelli. Bendis is excited about the possibilities that Morales brings. "I'm now sitting with a pile of legitimately new Spider-Man stories to tell and that is the best news a writer could have," he said. Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. 125

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Janya Vurae� Paving the Way for a New Breed of Model

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When LL described his “Around the Way Girl” he must have had New Orleans model Janay Vurae‘ in mind. With her confident swagger and full lips, its easy to see why she was the lead in Super Blanco‘s “I Bet I Do’ video. Inspired by Melyssa Ford, Janya was always attracted to the world of pop culture as a child. However, she sees herself blossoming into an entrepreneur possibly in makeup artistry and hair design through her connections in entertainment. Singing is also on her agenda. ―Going from still shoots to doing that video has been the highlight of my career so far,‖ says the 5‘4‖, 36-29-29 nursing student. ―I‘m also well known for hosting events around New Orleans and being on the reality show First Date. Janya admits that the industry has shown her some unpleasant times. Like most models in their beginning stages, she‘s experienced fraudulent and money hungry talent scouts. However, Janay intends to hold her ground because she knows the fame will come in due time. ―I will not indulge in any pornographic content or raunchy nudity. I‘m paving the way for a new breed of model,‖ says Janay. Janay Vurae is an independent model and is currently available for booking in print, promo and eye candy modeling. Serious business inquiries can be sent to jayavurae1990@yahoo.com. 127

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Annual Natural Hair Special Edition

On Raising Girls Who Love Their Hair

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Last weekend, my niece grabbed a blanket, stuffed the tip in a ponytail holder and ran around our living room with her ―hair‖ flowing. She motioned toward the blanket and asked ―Doesn‘t my hair look pretty?‖ I couldn‘t help but go into teaching mode. ―I like your hair like it is,‖ I said, fondly smoothing over her mound of curly ringlets and removing the blanket. ―Do you like it?‖ She smiled, nodded her head and ran back off to play. Too often I overhear mothers in the hair aisle at the supermarket searching for relaxer boxes while criticizing kinky-haired daughters who stand dejectedly by. I can‘t help but shutter as seeds are planted that label their hair bad, difficult and wrong, seeds that could stay with them for years to come. I remember as a child wondering why my hair ―poofed‖ up instead of hanging down like the white girls I went to school with and the beautiful black women I saw on TV and in magazines. I determined I wasn‘t born with ―good hair‖ and needed to change it immediately. Then, I could‘ve benefitted from someone helping me to see the beauty in my own texture—especially since I was hard-pressed to see a ton of gorgeous naturalhaired women in the media in the ‘90s. When I decided last year to grow out of my relaxer, I had to shed those limiting notions of beauty that I had adhered too for the majority of my life. Looking back at what a liberating and challenging process that was, I resolved to encourage my niece to love her texture early. And if she decides to get a relaxer later on in life, that‘s completely her choice but I will not force that decision on her like so many of our women tend to do. For now, I want her to embrace what grows out of her head naturally and to believe, with confidence, that there is nothing wrong with her hair. www.cocoandcreme.com 134

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Erykah Badu to Lead Natural Hair Parade By Tia Williams Are you planning to be anywhere near Dallas, Texas on September 3rd? Time to book your tickets, natural ladies -because Erykah Badu is hosting a Natural Hair Parade & Festival in her hometown. The celebration is the brainchild of famed, Dallas-based natural hair stylist Isis Brantley. "We're calling for sponsors, schools, churches, community organizations, bands, clubs, parents, and children of all ages to join us as we celebrate and share knowledge," she said in a press release. Her good friend Badu has challenged her to get four hundred people to march in the parade! To help reach her goal, Isis is asking natural ladies to send out the following tweet: "Natural Hair Parade & Festival by @Naturallyisis Sept. 3, 2011 Dallas, TX #Naturalhair #Laboroflove FREE RSVP." Read more: http://www.essence.com/2011/08/17/erykah-badu-to-lead-natural-hairparade/#ixzz1VOVZ8qRG 135

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The Natural Recipes of Kyles Natural Hair Left: Mahogany Kyles V: What is your name and what exactly do you promote? Mahogany Kyles: My name is Mahogany Kyles. I am one half of a ―natural everything‖ enthusiast ( especially hair) husband and wife team .

ad every day people‘s lives

We promote loving the natural you be that through motivational articles, music, do it yourself hair instructional tutorial, natural recipes for natural beauty products, organic home remedies,

V: What inspired you to take this endeavor full on…and what do accomplish?

u hope to

Mahogany Kyles: We just believe it‘s easier to be the natural you which is who you really are. Complete love and dedication to natural hair, body, skin, and self inspired us to take this endeavor full on. We notice that a lot of people have negative images about themselves and a small but visible symbol is our hair. Our aim is to shine a whole new light on something that should be embraced THE NATURAL HEALTHY YOU. It is our firm belief that no matter what you do in life if you do not give 120% in it then it is no purpose in doing it at all. We would like to be a educational link for like-minded individuals in the natural hair community and one day have an online publication dedicated to the very things we promote heavily on our blog. V: Do you see a trend of African American women going back to natural hair? Mahogany Kyles: We like that not only are African American but women of various ethnic back grounds are becoming more conscious of themselves. Though it seems to be just a trend it would we would like it to be a long lasting one.

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V: I think it ingenious to offer separate advice about men and womens hair…I see you incorporate that on your facebook page…How has the male response been toward your products and question forums? Mahogany Kyles: Well honestly men have LOVED the fact they we have created an environment that is equally as cool for them to hang too. Believe it or not we get inboxed all the time on what products they can use on their hair. And some are natural hair geniuses in their own right. We would like to help guide men and women by educating them on how to naturally improve themselves. V: Are there any particular products that you promote that you are especially fond of? Mahogany Kyles: We love products that you can make at ease from simple ingredients at your home. Not to say we don‘t like commercial natural products as well, but we try to make the site so if you want to know how to make your own natural hair products you can. We also embrace small vendors if a person would rather just let someone else do all the dirty work. V: What advice would you give a woman that wants to go a natural style and leave weaves and perms behind? What is to be expected during the transition? Mahogany Kyles: The best advice we would give is to be PATIENT and open minded .We would tell them that each natural hair journey is as unique as the person. Every product will not work for every hair type.

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Every hair style will not fit everyone‘s taste…but loving whatever hair you were born with is the first step in loving who you really are. Each person can expect different things transitioning, but usually the first Phase is the transition from perm where some hair is natural and the rest is processed ( or some just cut all of their hair off at the very beginning ). The next step may be doing some form of protective styling (some opt to have add on through this phase). As the natural hair grows longer , the permed ends usually start to break off, leading many ladies to do what they call ―the big chop‖ and results in a twa (teeny weeny afro); From there the woman can allow for the final stage of being natural , which is allowing her hair to achieve its maximal growth potential , and then some may after all of that may loc their hair. It‘s really a beautiful process and can have any variation of these phases. V: Braids are considered a natural style…are there some types of braids or braiding style that you would not recommend? Mahogany Kyles: We would not recommend any braiding that is braided too tightly around the scalp as it promotes a female patterned baldness called alopecia. Any braided technique is excellent , just watch out for those sensitive edges. V: Ive noticed that you have several media outlets for information about your product..which outlet do you prefer and which outlet provides you with the most customer interaction? 138

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Mahogany Kyles: Word of mouth has been our best methods of exposure, though you can find us on youtube by searching http://www.youtube.com/user/KylesNaturalHair?feature=mhee . V: I noticed on you face book page that you have pics of you clients..you work with. Do you have a salon or work privately? We actually use the people you see as hair models to demonstrate what one can achieve with their own hair. Our main focus is educating people on how to do hair themselves. The best way we do this is through our blog http://kylesnaturalhair.blogspot.com/ . V: What vision do you have for you company and where do you see yourself in its growth in 5 years? What are the media outlets you subscribe too so we the readers can have access to your knowledge and expertise on natural hair care? Mahogany Kyles: That‘s a good question we love natural hair so much our main objective is to be more informative to our growing audience. Believe it or not we don‘t subscribe to many media outlets in respects to hair styles per say however when it comes to natural care products we associate with others who share their knowledge and we pass it on.

The following pages highlight some various natural styles worn by some very talented individuals. 139

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Real Talk By Alicia Wilson Greetings my brothers and sisters in love. I just want to say I appreciate all of you that read this article and I hope it finds you all in blessed health and strength. I want to talk about Forgiveness‘. In the span or your existence there has been somebody that has done you wrong. It has happened to everyone on this planet. Sometimes it happens more than once in which someone you truly trusted and believed in hurt you emotionally , physically or in some cases both. What I find interesting is it is not just exclusive to romantic relationships. There are many family issues that come about because someone in the family perpetrated wrong on another family member that had their trust. Even platonic friends have ―fell out‖ because of acts considered by one to be ―unforgivable‖. Dealing with the consequences of the effects of some of these issues as a counseling psychologist and even as woman and a friend can be a daunting task. People need to learn to forgive others. I know that it‘s easier said than done depending on the situation but moving forward in life cannot happen if you keep holding grudges. Plotting and scheming revenge may make you feel better but what have you truly accomplished in the end? Psychologically the person you may want to exact revenge on is suffering just as much as you are… believe it or not. If it appears they seem to have no remorse it is because they do not know how to go about asking your forgiveness. The bible even says we are to forgive our brother 70 times. A lot of you can do the math but I‘m sure Jesus did not mean for you to take that number literally. He meant it as an example to always be prepared to forgive your brother or sister consistently and as a way to release yourself from the harm of falling into a hate filled, vengeful and non-constructive attitude about your fellow man which can block the loving and compassionate attitude of the good person that you all have the capability of being. 1. 2. 3.

4.

Realize that you are not to blame and honestly BELIEVE IT! After you have calmed down depending on the situation, try to tell that person HONESTLY how feel about what happened and leave it at that. I know this will not sit right with some people but put YOURSELF in their shoes. What events or ill- nurturing or mishaps may have caused their behavior toward you? Sometimes finding out why a person does something can have a positive effect on how to deal with it. And lastly pray about it and back to 1. Realize that you are not to blame and honestly BELIEVE IT!

You have done all you can do now and moving forward can be painful but in all cases of betrayed trust against you it is necessary. Take care my brothers and sisters…in love. 160

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“Love – Giving it a Second Chance” By Destinee Love It happens time and time again. I‟m sure it has happened to you… When we graduate from high-school we tell ourselves that we need a change, we need to get away from it all and go far, far away to „start over‟. We graduate from college and again, tell ourselves it‟s time for a fresh start – that we‟ve been in the same routine for years and it‟s time to finally ‟start over‟. We‟re at a Company and dislike the job – working for the man and dreading every single day, or maybe we don‟t even dislike what we do, we just get bored – and something inside tells us it‟s time to „start over‟. The craze about starting over We, as a society, as humans, are obsessed with starting over. We crave new beginnings, we relish in our moments of resolution. The day you say you‟re fed up you‟re moving away. The day you say you‟re going to start exercising and be healthy. The day you say you‟re done with a horrible relationship or a bad work atmosphere. But the thing about starting over is, it doesn‟t have to be this huge monumental event, it doesn‟t have to happen all at once. And, once you make the decision you chose, you’re not automatically stuck with it for life. So what’s holding you back? I think (very) often what holds us back is fear. Fear of change, fear of failure, and more specifically, fear of making that resolution, starting over, and realizing that maybe it wasn’t the best decision, that maybe you want to go back to the way things were. You quit your job to 161

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pursue starting your own company, but after a while realize that the corporate world wasn‟t as evil as you made it out to be. You break up with your long-term boyfriend/girlfriend and after dating a few, realize that you were truly in love with that person. You move far away to start a new life, and then realize that everything you wanted was where you were. The beauty of starting over But here‟s the thing – when you come full circle, you‟re still starting over in anything you do in life, and odds are, you‟re coming back with (so) much more than you left with. More life experience, more failures, more successes, more importantly another chance at love. Don‟t be afraid to move away, try new things, and meet other people. You never know what the outcome may be of it. Remember, love takes time and patience. But also don‟t hesitate to „go back‟ if that one was meant for you– you‟re not selling out or settling by trying something new, realizing it isn‟t quite for you, and re-appreciating what you had all along…Just a thought. Much Love!

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Akilah Brock Getting It In 164

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It takes a lot of balls walking up to Jay-Z. But that‘s exactly what Kingston, Jamaica born Akilah did when a mutual acquaintance gave her the opportunity to meet the God MC during a 2005 record release party for Ne-Yo. After a brief verbal exchange, Jay gave the upstart two words of advice that she‘s embraced ever since: ―Come harder.‖ Blessed with a go-getter spirit and determination, Ms. Akilah Brock has matched her talent with a hustle Mr. Carter couldn‘t deny. Akilah has always been impassioned by the arts. After being transplanted from the home of Bob Marley to the birthplace of Nas (Queens, NY) as an infant, the little Leo would be introduced to dancing and modeling at an early age. While attending the highly prestigious Benjamin Cardozo High School, Akilah became the director for Senior S.I.N.G., a high school performance competition that put her in charge of 75 of her classmates. Unfortunately it would take tragedy for Akilah to embrace her immense leadership and musical potential. In October 2004 Akilah‘s mother passed away due to Cancer. Looking for an emotional outlet, she poured her pain into a heartfelt poem called ―Sunrise to Sunset.‖ Reciting the powerful words to her friends at every instance, Akilah finally recorded the poem as a song on the one-year anniversary of her mother‘s passing. After that first experience in the studio, Akilah the artist was born. ―I was able to release so many emotions,‖ she 165

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remembers. ―It just felt like the words were coming from another place.‖ Inspired by artists like Salt-N-Pepa, The Notorious B.I.G. and Onyx, Akilah set out to craft songs with mass appeal and a message. Her successful mission can be heard on her eclectic debut "TE$TIMONEY", with inspirational tracks like the rise-up anthem ―Get It In‖ and the rock-tinged ―Automatic Addict‖. There‘s also her current single, ―Icy Hot,‖ which is a standout party cut that will keep dance floors packed and have bodies rockin‘ all night long. It‘s the road to success for Akilah Brock. With killer curves, colorful music and an equally as imaginative marketing plan packed for her journey, not even Jay-Z could knock her hustle. Listen to Akilah‘s soundtrack at: http://soundcloud.com/akilahbrock/sets/testimoney

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Why Minorities Reach for Bottled Water Over Tap & How Marketers Persuade Them 170

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Research has shown that minorities consume bottled water more often than white Americans, and spend a greater proportion of their income (about 1%, compared to the 0.4% white Americans dole out) on this superfluous commodity every year. A recent study in the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine confirmed this trend – finding that Latino and black parents were three times more likely to sate their children‘s thirst with bottled water, compared with white parents. What sets this study apart from previous ones, is that it pinpoints the reasons why minority parents perceive bottled water to be superior, and thus a necessary expense. They genuinely believe it to be cleaner, safer, healthier, and more convenient than the stuff that pours out of the spigot (virtually) gratis. Health experts and tap water advocates heartily disagree and will produce reams of data revealing tap water to be pure, healthful, and entirely sanitary. In fact, authors of the recent study note that the reliance on bottled water may contribute to dental issues in minority children who don‘t benefit from the fluoride purposefully added to tap water to maintain the nation‘s oral health. What‘s more, a National Resources Defense Council investigation discovered the 17% of bottled waters contained unsafe levels of bacterial loads, and 22% were contaminated with chemicals, including arsenic. Still, with 10 billion gallons of bottled water imbibed annually in the US, bottled water brands have been actively courting the minority market. Here are four strategies they’ve used to convince black and Latino consumers to swig from their bottles. Latino-specific Bottled Water Brands What better way to attract the attention of a minority group than by putting out a product that is aimed directly, if not almost exclusively, at them. Paul Kurkulis founder and president of Las Oleadas, an Aspenbased company, has been hawking a brand of mineral -enhanced bottled water called Oleada in Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and California, with his focus being the Hispanic market. Loosely translated Las Oleadas means ―the momentum that drives a wave.‖ The text on the labels were originally only in Spanish, but they now also feature English, since Kurkulis found he had inadvertently garnered some non-Spanish speaking customers. In 2006, Ravinia Partners, launched AguaBlue. After years of research, they put out the bottled water that sought to pull at the emotional heartstrings of the Latino consumer. The striking, full color label features the flags of Latin American countries, and bilingual production information. Perusing the water aisle, the Guatamalan, Columbian or Puerto Rican shopper spots his or her flag, and swells with pride and warm feelings. Naturally, this makes him or him opt for a bottle of AguaBlue over another generic brand. Targeting Minority Moms Over the last two years ago, Coca Cola and Nestle have both rolled out campaigns aimed at minority moms. According to Miriam Muley, author of The 85% Niche: The Power of Women of All Colors—Latina, Black and Asian, 46% of all mothers in the US are Latina, 171

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Black or Asian. In April, 2009, Dasani enlisted R&B star Chilli from the Grammy award winning group TLC to deliver its message of health and hydration to African American mothers in a special Mother‘s Day program. Via radio, print and in-store advertising, black women were sold on how drinking Dasani was just one step to a happier, more beautiful, more fulfilled, and more balanced them. By visiting the Dasani website, moms could see the latest fashion trends, elicit health and beauty tips and enter contests to win spa-cations. ―Among African American consumers, African American moms are the gatekeeper to the household,‖ said Yolanda White, assistant vice president, African American Marketing, Coca-Cola North America, in an Ad Age interview. ―We over-index in single-family households, and so reaching Mom is critical.‖ Summer and fall of 2010 saw Nestle‘s Pure Life water campaign, ―Better Habits for a Better Life‖, played out with a vengeance. This time it was Latina moms who were being canvassed, and this time, the campaign wasn‘t so much about their health and wellbeing, but rather those of their families. At the heart of the campaign was a challenge titled ―La Promesa Nestle Pure Life,‖ and it basically called upon mothers to pledge to replace one sugary drink in their family‘s day with water, or rather, a bottle of Pure Life. Once her pledge was registered, mom was in the running to win over $20,000 worth of prizes, and a trip for four to Miami. Celebrity Endorsements Brands have long since recognized the value of celebrity endorsements to increase sales. But, it wasn‘t until the mid-90′s that advertisers really started to take the African American market seriously and realized the profits to be cultivated if they started to use black stars. Remember what Tina Turner did for Hanes hosiery? Well, the bottled water industry certainly does. Coca Cola‘s enlisting of TLC‘s Chili, a 38 year-old-old actress, singer, and single mother to promote Dasani‘s Mother‘s Day campaign, was perfectly executed. The star embraces independence, strong family principles and a commitment to health, and, well, looking good – values integral to today‘s black mother. ―Chilli embodies the struggles and the balance we see in our target audience,‖ said Yolanda White of Coca Cola, as reported in Adweek.com. ―She gives 172

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reassurance to moms that you can still be a great mom, take care of yourself and look beautiful.‖ Nestle had their own superstar mom in Hispanic TV host Cristina Saralegui to serve as the brand‘s spokeswoman, as well as to appear in TV commercials. In one such ad, a mother is seen in a supermarket deciding between a sugary drink or water as she runs into Saralegui, who conveys to her the importance of water. Between 2008 and 2010 when Hispanic commericals featuring Salalegui were aired on TV, the awareness of Pure Life water, and purchase intent levels quadrupled among Hispanics. All this isn‘t to suggest that the boys are neglected. Black comedian and actor Daman Wayans, once endorsed PepsiCo‘s Aquafina in the early nineties, now the brand is endorsed by Dominican football player Luis Castillo of the San Diego Chargers Playing the “Purity” Game In 2008, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) investigated the quality of bottled water. It tested 10 major brands, and found an array of chemical contaminants in all of them at levels no different than routinely found in tap water. Despite this, the cornerstone of ad campaigns of many bottled water brands is the apparent unmatched purity of their products, which intentionally plays up to the concerns of consumers worried that tap water is contaminated, polluted or simply unclean. Unknown to many, municipal tap water is the source for 47.8%of bottled water, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation‘s annual report for 2009. Aquafina draws on the same water that you do in your kitchen, whereas Nestle gets most of its water for its regional North American brands from spring sources. Despite this distinction, Aquafina nonsensically features a mountain landscape on the label. Moreover, its slogans harp on about purity left, right and center: ―Nothing but pure refreshment,‖ ‖So pure, we promise nothing,‖ and ―Aquafina bottled water. Purity Guaranteed‖. Nestle‘s Poland Spring is big on purity too, but the real focus is on the ―naturalness‖ of its water source. The brand‘s advertising is potent with images of verdant, lush forested landscapes, rolling hills and clear blue skies. In this ad here, the tagline reads ―Born Better,‖ and the accompanying text says: ―Every drop of Poland Spring‘s 100% Natural Spring Water comes from carefully selected natural springs. When you start with something better, you get something better.‖ Better than tap water, Nestle insinuates. Really? Ever wonder where the water from your faucet comes from? Lakes, rivers and groundwater that accumulates in underground wells from rain, melted snow and sleet. Sounds pretty ―natural‖, doesn‘t it? 173

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Genetic research changes view of disease in African-Americans By Dr. Tyeese Gaines 174

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For the first time, researchers are looking into the genetic makeup of African-Americans and changing the way physicians view minority illnesses. Researchers recently discovered a gene unique to African-Americans that could explain why asthma affects this population at a higher rate. The gene was identified after nine different research teams pooled data on over 5,000 people with asthma of European-American, AfricanAmerican, African-Caribbean, and Latino ancestry. For a disease that affects one in six African-American children, and is responsible for three times more deaths of African-Americans compared to whites, this new discovery is exciting for the black community, experts say. This study is one of several recent projects. Efforts to understand the genetic makeup of humans started in the mid1980s, after which the Human Genome Project began. For over a decade, geneticists mapped out all 20,000 to 25,000 genes in the human DNA. Scientists at the University of Oxford recently focused their genetic research on minority populations and were surprised to find glaring differences between African-Americans and those of non-African descent. "This is more rationale as to why we need to explore disease across other populations," says Dr. Rick Kittles, Director of the Institute of Human Genetics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Because, he adds, genetic researchers historically only studied whites. This year, Kittles and his team looked at 6,400 men with prostate cancer and discovered a gene more prevalent among African-American men. His hope is that additional genetic research will lead to a better understanding of this illness that affects one in five black men, killing one in 20 at a rate much higher than white men. 175

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Uncovering these diseaseand race-specific genes may eventually allow physicians to screen African-Americans years before these diseases develop. However, cost will make widespread testing difficult. With one in four AfricanAmerican living in poverty, one in five uninsured, and most with limited access to care, the costly genetic screening could overlook the

populations it is created for.

"We have to be aggressive and advocate on several levels," Kittles says. "You see these tests at the boutique clinics where patients are highly insured or over-insured. But, everybody should benefit." However, Kittles cautions that this research is simply the first step and just one part of the mystery of minority health disparities. Despite what his team has found, he believes that many health disparities are not influenced solely by genetics. Diseases like asthma have long been linked to poverty, urban areas, problems with access to health care and environmental concerns like pollution or secondhand smoke. Yet, these new advances raise questions about how much weight those factors have compared to genetic causes. To answer this question, Dr. Charles Rotimi at the Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health leads a team responsible for uncovering the genetics of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes -- three conditions that affect and kill African-Americans more than any other group. Their most recent project involves identifying the roles of both lifestyle and genes with respect to risk. Some public health advocates are concerned about the ethics behind genetic testing of African-Americans and the possibility of discrimination. However, geneticists seem to agree that this type of research is long overdue in this population and has the potential to answer many questions about African-Americans and lifethreatening disease. www.thegrio.com

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The Right Way to Use Coupons for Big Savings By Sheiresa Ngo

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The process can be worth the time investment to cut costs

series on couponing).

Do you see people in line at the supermarket handing over a wad of coupons and saving a ton of cash at the register? Does a little twinge of envy and wonder well up in your chest? Well, there‘s no need to be jealous. You, too, can learn the tricks of ―couponing‖ and stretch your grocery budget. You may be surprised to know there‘s a right way and a wrong way to use coupons. The right way saves you money. The wrong way will drain your cash (and time) while giving you a false sense of accomplishment. (We‘ll discuss the wrong way in Part 2 of this

Here are four tips on how to work those coupon savings in your favor. Step 1: Plan ahead. Plan your meals for the week ahead of time. This way, you‘ll clip coupons according to what you need instead of what‘s on sale. This will also save you from wandering aimlessly through the grocery store aisles, deciding what you need to buy. Step 2: Look for coupons. Store circulars and the Sunday paper aren‘t the only places you‘ll find coupons. There are also coupons online. Some of the most popular coupon sites are Coupons.com and CouponCabin.com. Some store website also feature printable coupons. In addition, if you sign up for a store‘s mailing list, you‘ll often get coupons in the mail or via e-mail. Step 3: Look for sales. The best way to maximize your savings is to use coupons when they match up with the store sales for the week. Also go to stores that double or triple coupons for even bigger savings. Step 4: Branch out. Don‘t feel obligated to only stick to certain brands. If you see a coupon for an item that you need, but it‘s not the brand you usually buy, try it. The savings will be worth it. Also try shopping at different stores. For example, Target has great deals on groceries. In addition, make sure to sign up for store loyalty cards. Now that you‘re armed with information, you can go out and shop with confidence! And don‘t forget to let us know how much you saved! Say tuned for part 2 of this series to learn about the wrong way to use www.blackenterprise.com 180

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business

Is Entrepreneurship the Right Move for You? By Alan Hughes

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These 5 steps will help determine if you're ready to be your own boss Entrepreneurship can lead to a prosperous future filled with wealth, security, job creation, freedom to make your own decisions and more. In the past few years in particular, scores of downsized managers and executives have pursued entrepreneurship as a means of creating a job. But Carol Roth, author of The Entrepreneur Equation says before taking the plunge into business owner, one must first ask himself or herself, ―Should I?‖ ―If you think about the fact that up to 90 percent of business are failing, or failing to succeed within five years, the fact that everyone seems to think that if they get downsized, then the best option is to go to something with a 90 percent failure rate, is a little bit illogical,‖ says Roth. ―So, that‘s why I think it‘s very, very dangerous particularly in our current time where somebody says, ‗okay, I‘ve been rejected by a company and I‘m going to take control of my own destiny,‘ not realizing that, okay, you were rejected by one company and maybe rejected by a few others, but you‘ve got 306 million potential customers in America that can reject you day in and day out.‖ Roth, an entrepreneur herself, suggests a bit of introspection to determine if you‘re cut out for the roller coaster ride that is entrepreneurship. Are you Santa Claus or are you an elf? This may sound silly at first, but the first step, according to Roth is to ensure that you have the personality to lead a team. ―Santa Claus has the whole strategic vision and breaks down all the different tasks and oversees everything where each elf then executes only one or a couple of things.‖ She says. ―Do you like to have the vision, do you like to really oversee and wear multiple hats, or are you somebody who does a lot better when you‘re given a really specific task? If you‘re more like an elf, then you‘re definitely not suited for entrepreneurship.‖ Are you cut out for risky business? There‘s always a high degree of risk in launching a venture and it‘s important to gauge your tolerance beforehand. ―There are a lot of very high highs and a lot of very low lows in entrepreneurship and you don‘t have a lot of visibility on that,‖ Roth says. So, it is very much like being on a roller coaster, and so you‘re up and you‘re down and all of a sudden you hit a corkscrew. Are you somebody who can go with that or does that make you very uncomfortable?‖ What’s your motivation? According to Roth, a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs go in with the wrong mindset. ―A lot of entrepreneurs are very focused on themselves. They‘re 182

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not happy in their job and looking to be more fulfilled, or they have a passion, or a creativity, or they want more,‖ she says. ―But, business isn‘t about you; it‘s about your customers. The businesses that thrive and succeed are the ones that address a customer need and service that better than anybody else can. If you‘re not entirely focused on your customer, you‘re not going to succeed as a businessperson.‖ Don’t hop on the bandwagon. ―Every third business that I get pitched is Groupon for sock puppets or Groupon for roller-skaters or whatever it is, and you can‘t just hop on a bandwagon,‖ asserts Roth. ―You really have to look at the customer opportunity and then figure out why you‘re best suited to serve that. So, I think a lot of people are motivated by the wrong reasons and not understanding the true dynamics of business.‖ Check the timing. Just because an opportunity is not right for you today, doesn‘t mean that it‘s not right for you ever. ―So, one of my favorite things are the people who come to me and tell me that they want to open a restaurant. We get lots of people who what to open a restaurant and I say,‘Have you ever worked in a restaurant?‘ And they say, ‗Well, no.‘ And I say, ‗Well, why don‘t you go work in one.‘ She suggests looking at the business through thoroughly to learn everything you can first and try and figure out those things that might trip you up or that you might not know before investing money.

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Running back Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans looks on during a NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on November 14, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)

Why NFL running backs are routinely disrespected By Marcus Vanderberg

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After the millionaires (the players) and the billionaires (the owners) held football fans hostage for months during the NFL lockout, the last thing we were expecting this preseason was a prolonged holdout. And if this were any other sport, you could make the argument that Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson is being selfish by putting himself before his team by holding out for more money. But this is the National Football League and Johnson plays a position that's often underpaid and replaced at the first sign of breaking down. Johnson has yet to report to training camp as the NFL regular season gets underway in just three weeks. Last year, the 25-year-old held out for more money and the Titans eventually met Johnson's demands by paying him $2 million for the 2010 season. He's due to make only $1.065 million this season with two years left on his rookie contract.

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This time around, Johnson wants to become the highest-paid running back in the NFL, with a contract extension that would pay him $39 million over the first three years. To put that amount in perspective, running back DeAngelo Williams signed a five-year, $43 million contract with the Carolina Panthers last month, including $21 million in guaranteed money. Johnson's numbers speak for themselves. His 4,598 rushing yards in his first three seasons in the NFL tops the likes of Adrian Peterson, who is set to make more than $10 million this season in the final deal of his five-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings. In 2009, Johnson became the sixth running back in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards. While his numbers fell back to earth last season, Johnson is approaching the prime of his career. History has proven that running backs need to get that big payday from an organization much earlier than a star quarterback or wide receiver. Peyton Manning can get a $90 million contract at the age of 35 because the quarterback position isn't nearly as taxing on the body as running back. In the world of non-guaranteed contracts, running backs normally have one chance to strike it rich before hitting the magical age of 30. Only 26 running backs age 30 or older have rushed for 1,000 yards in a season -- a feat nobody accomplished during the 2010 season. Even in their prime, the often electric players out of the backfield get the short end of the stick when it comes to guaranteed money and job security. Two recent examples of running backs that were tossed aside by their organizations for younger, cheaper options are LaDainian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook. Tomlinson was the face of the San Diego Chargers franchise for nine seasons, rushing for more than 12,000 yards during his tenure with The Bolts. Eventually seven consecutive seasons of 300 or more carries caught up to Tomlinson, who saw a steep decline in his production when he turned 30. He signed a eight-year, $50.5 million contract in 2004 that made him the highest-paid running back at the time. Tomlinson was released in February 2010 with one year remaining on his deal and replaced two months later by rookie Ryan Mathews out of Fresno State. The writing was on the wall in the case of Westbrook, who was released by the Philadelphia Eagles last February as well. A rash of injuries severely impacted Westbrook's production on the field shortly after signing a five-year, $32 million extension with the Eagles. Faced with the option of paying Westbrook $7.5 million for the season or rolling the dice on a younger, more durable running back in then rookie LeSean McCoy, the decision was simple. Running backs holding out for more money is hardly a new concept. Similar to Johnson, Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson ran for more than 2,000 yards (2,105, an NFL record) in 187

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just his second season in the league. After missing two regular season games, Dickerson settled his contract dispute with the Los Angeles Rams. Plus, we can't forget the infamous Emmitt Smith 1993 holdout where Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones caved after his team got off to a 0-2 start. Smith lived up to his new contract, leading the NFL in rushing in just 14 games. For a position that is primarily filled by African-Americans (sorry, Peyton Hillis), running backs are often unfairly labeled as being greedy when it's time to get their money. Show me the column where the media rips owners for not living up to their end of the bargain when they cut running backs loose. That's right -- it doesn't exist. Johnson should be applauded for trying to cash in while he's still physically able to dominate on the football field. No matter how much money we make within our profession, I've yet to meet someone who doesn't want more.

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The end of the American Civil War in 1865 ushered in an era of increased education and employment opportunities for black Americans. This created the first black middle class in America, and its members began expecting the same lifestyle afforded to white Americans. But in 1896, racial equality was delivered a crushing blow when the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court case declared racial segregation to be constitutionally acceptable. This created even harsher conditions for African-Americans, particularly in some Southern states that sought to minimize the equality that former slaves and their descendants might aspire toward. The South also became gradually more and more economically depressed as boll weevils began to infest cotton crops. This reduced the amount of labor needed in the South. As a result, blacks began to head to the Northern United States by the millions. Racism, while still a serious obstacle, was considered much less brutal there than in the South. In addition, the North granted all adult men with the right to vote; provided better educational advancement for African-Americans and their children; and offered greater job opportunities as a result of World War I and the industrial revolution. This phenomenon, known as the Great Migration, brought more than seven million AfricanAmericans to the North.

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Voice Magazine August 2011 Issue  

The digital destination for today's African American Urban Professional.