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RODNEYSE BICHOTTE DEMOCRAT for NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY 42nd District Our Current Democratic 42nd Statecommittee Female District Leader
“Empowering the community with a new generation of proven leadership”
WHY BICHOTTE? Appointed as an OBAMA delegate for the 2012 Democratic National Convention Will advocate for the minimum wage increase and job creation Committed to protecting Education, Health Care programs and Hospitals from excessive cuts Will lobby vigorously for Brooklyn residents’ fair share of funding and resources Dedicated to quality senior housing and services Will support the New York State Dream Act and Immigration reform Has successfully lobbied and advocated for job creation, foreclosure prevention funding, quality education and health care Will support funding for summer youth programs Focused on helping constituents obtain affordable housing and homeownership Increase access to ●government contracts for MAY 2012 VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
VOTE “BICHOTTE” SEPTEMBER 11th, 2012
DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY 42nd Assembly District
Vote for Your 2012 OBAMA DELEGATE About Rodneyse Bichotte
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Haitian-American Parents a product Union worker Product of the Public School System
Former Math Public School Teacher Former Engineer Former Investment Banker and Finance Manager
MBA, Northwestern University MS in Electrical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology BS Electrical Engineering, SUNY Buffalo BS in Mathematics And Secondary Education, Buffalo State
Habitat For Humanity, Advocacy Chair Community Board 17 Council of Urban Professional, Former board member
Appointed as OBAMA Delegate 2012 Education Lobby in Albany and Washington Homeownership and Foreclosure Forum Job Creation forums and grant writing for small businesses Immigration reform initiatives and advocacy Safer Streets Initiatives Senior Citizen Estate planning Workshop College Credit Forum and Youth Programs
CONTACT www.RodneyseBichotte.com Twitter: vote_bichotte ▪ Facebook: RodneyseBichotte Email: email@example.com Phone:888-410-2340 PO Box 340604 Brooklyn, NY 11234
“Together, we can help President Barack Obama get reelected for a second term”
VOTE your OBAMA Delegate RODNEYSE BICHOTTE for New York State Assembly & MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine State Committee Female
VOTE “BICHOTTE” SEPTEMBER 11th, 2012
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19 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
There are a lot of issues confronting us as an nation, especially as the November Presidential election nears, that definitely needs addressing. Such issues include:
Maintaining our momentum out of the Great Depression; The onslaught of voter suppression legislation throughout the country; Staying focused on the Trayvon Martin case and its importance to abolish “Stand Your Ground “ legislation; Increasing the wealth of our families and communities through increased entrepreneurism; Sustaining the health and wellness of our communities;
The above are just a few of the pressing issues of our day. I chose not to discuss any of those issues but instead to concentrate on something that is of great importance to us all. It doesn’t matter your position in life. You can be Democrat, Republican or Independent. You can be rich or you can be poor. You can be uneducated or have advanced degrees from some of the best universities in the country. You can have a house on the hill or shack in the bottoms. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your beliefs are or where you come from, we share a commonality amongst us all. We are the children of the foundation of our society… the beautiful women that bore us. Some call her Mom or Mother. Other’s call her Mam or Madea. It doesn’t matter what you call her but what does matter is when you call her she is there for you. In most cases it doesn’t matter if you are right or wrong. She is there for you. If you are wrong she’s going let you know later but she’s going be there for you. I am blessed by The Most High Lord to still have my Mother is my life. Just being able to talk to her, see her smile or listen to her crack jokes is a gift from God. Some of us are not as blessed as I am because they have lost their Mother to the fleeting of time. However, I know as you know that Mothers are like nature…they are everywhere and always around even when they are no longer physically here. Hence, the terms Mother Nature and Mother Earth.
“We are born from the womb of our mother; we are buried in the womb of the earth” - Ethiopian Proverb So this month I would like to tell my Mother and Mother’s all over…Thank you for giving us life and we love you!! 20 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
On the cover this month we profile the beautiful and talented actress Kerry Washington. I have personally been a big fan of Kerry’s from her days when she acted in Save the Last Dance to her impeccable role as Honey Bee in the award winning film Ray. Kerry is currently starring in a television series called “Scandal” which airs on Thursday’s on ABC. It doesn’t matter if you are a Kerry Washington fan as I am or if you are new to her, you will definitely enjoy it. We also profile the immensely intelligent and community oriented Rodneyse Bichotte. Rodneyse is a candidate for the New York Assembly for the 42nd District. Her steadfast devotion to providing affordable homeownership, financial literacy, exceptional healthcare, high-quality education and social reform is demonstrated through her ongoing involvement in initiatives such as coordinating job fairs, promoting census awareness and delivering on the ground relief efforts in Haiti. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Rodneyse is proud of her Haitian-American roots and looks forward to serving her constituents on the state level. Rodneyse has our support and the full endorsement of VOICE Magazine. We wish her continued success. Char Couture is a gifted jewelry designer and smart entrepreneur. Her dedication led to her newly launched on line fashion boutique called Nizuri.com. Nizuri offers exotic jewelry and clothing to a growing customer base who desire the high fashion look at affordable prices. We also profile London based shoe and accessories designer BUBUSHIIKY. BUBUSHIIKY is an innovative fashion brand that uses creativity and substance to provide quality products, highlighting particular elements of an individual's style and personality. Check out their new line at http://shop.bubushiiky.com/. We are pleased to profile Mr. Stanley Everage and the growing National Black Television Network (“Nbtv”). Nationalblacktv.com (NBTV) is among the world's leaders in online news and information delivery. Staffed 24 hours, seven days a week by a dedicated staff NBTV relies heavily on its global team of almost 2,000 news professionals. Happy Mother’s Day! Regards,
W. E. “Pete” Reeves Founder/Publisher 21 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Why Black America Creates Virtually No Jobs & What We Can Do About It By Mike Green, p. 93
Daymond John: Investing in America By Mike Green, p. 172
Publisher’s Page ............... 20 On the Cover ........ ............. 26 In Memoriam .................... 38 Inspiration ...................... 45 Web Culture ..................... 54 Politics………………………….. 59 National........................... 82 Diaspora Watch............... 86 Dialogue........................... 93 Urbanity .......................... 107
Crème De La Crème ………… 154 Life & Style ……………………. 133 Wellness ........................... 163 Money ............................... 172 Business ........................... 183 Sports ............................... 188 In Remembrance ……………. 196
VOICE Magazine 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 Magazine can take no responsibility for them22 while in transit or in the office of the publication. MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine
Letters may be edited. Information published in VOICE Magazine is gathered from reliable sources, but the accuracy of this information cannot be guaranteed. Opinions expressed in VOICE Magazine are those of their authors, and no information or opinions expressed in VOICE Magazine represent an endorsement or solicitation for purchase or sale by VOICE Magazine or its staff.
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Nicole Renee Boisseau, p. 50
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Kerry Washington Shines in “Scandal”
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Winner of “Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture” for Ray at the NAACP Image Awards in 2005 and nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for “Best Actress” in the film Lift in 2002, Kerry Washington is a versatile and fearless actress with an impressive list of credits.
Early Life Washington was born in the the Bronx, New York City, the daughter of Valerie, a professor and educational consultant, and a real estate broker father. She performed with the Tada theater teen group and attended the Spence School in Manhattan, graduating in 1994. She attended The George Washington University, graduating in 1998. She also studied at Michael Howard Studios in New York City.
Career Washington made her screen debut in the ABC telefilm Magical MakeOver (1994). She was in the cast of the 1996 PBS sketch comedy-style educational series Standard Deviants, and she appeared in the short "3D" and the feature film Our Song in 2000. She went on to appear in several movies, including Save the Last Dance (2001), The Human Stain (2003), Spike Lee's She Hate Me (2004), Ray (2004), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Little Man (2006), I Think I Love My Wife (2007), and as a wife of 1970s Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the UK historical drama The Last King of Scotland (2006). Washington has also appeared in the recurring role of Chelina Hall on the ABC television series Boston Legal, and in several episodes of the A&E cableTV series 100 Centre Street.
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She is the new spokesperson for L'Oréal, appearing in commercials and ads alongside fellow actresses Scarlett Johansson and Eva Longoria, and model Doutzen Kroes. She also co-directed and appeared in the music video for hip-hop artist Common's song, "I Want You", the fourth single off of his album Finding Forever. Washington narrated the critically acclaimed documentary about the New Orleans-based teenage TBC Brass Band, From the Mouthpiece on Back. She also appears in Maxwell's "Bad Habits" video. In 2009, Washington performed in The People Speaka documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States”. In 2010, she made her Broadway debut in David Mamet's Race, alongside James Spader, David Alan Grier, and Richard Thomas. She also appeared in Tyler Perry's 2010 film For Colored Girls. In October 2011 it was confirmed that she would be starring in Quentin Tarantino's new film Django Unchained.
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Left: Kerry Washington in For Colored Girls close up.
She garnered critical acclaim for her roles in The Last King of Scotland opposite Forest Whitaker for which she was nominated for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” at the NAACP Image Awards in 2007, The Dead Girl opposite Marcia Gay Harden and Brittany Murphy, and in Lakeview Terrace starring opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Patrick Wilson. Kerry was nominated for Best Actress for the 2011 BET Awards. In 2010, Kerry starred in Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls with an all star cast including Phylicia Rashad, Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson and Thandie Newton, as well as in Night Catches Us, with Anthony Mackie in which she received a NAACP nominated for best actress. She can currently be seen opposite Eddie Murphy in Paramount’s A Thousand Words. Other upcoming projects include The Details alongside Tobey Maguire, Ray Liotta and Laura Linney, We the Peeples with Craig Robinson, Whoopi Goldberg and David Allan Grier and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained with Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz. Prior to these films, Washington starred as Alicia Masters in Fantastic Four and it’s sequel Rise of the Silver Surfer, I Think I Love My Wife opposite Chris Rock, the Wayans Brothers’ comedy Little Man, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Spike Lee’s She Hate Me, Sidney Lumet’s HBO film Strip Search and the independent film Sexual Life. Other film credits for Washington include Against the Ropes, The United States of Leland, The Human Stain, Bad Company, Save the Last Dance for which she received a Teen Choice Award for Best Breakout Performance, and the highly acclaimed independent film, Our Song. In 2010, Washington made her Broadway debut in David Mamet’s provocative hit Race with James Spader and Jason Alan Grier. 28 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: The cast of Scandal. Left to Right: Henry Ian Cusick, Katie Lowes, Guillermo Diaz, Kerry Washington, Columbus Short, Darby Stanchfield, Jeff Perry and Tony Goldwyn Left: Kerry Washington as Olivia pope in Scandal
In TV, Washington appeared with Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Sean Penn in Howard Zinnâ€™s documentaryThe People Speak, which premiered on the History Channel in December 2009. She also voiced the role of Princess Shuri in the BET animated series Black Panther.
Scandal Actress Kerry Washington is generating a great deal of excitement with her latest role as the star of ABC's newest show, Scandal. The hour-long drama is a vehicle of producer Shonda Rhimes, of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice fame, and is the first to be centered around a black woman, Washington's crisis manager, Judy Smith.
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Above: Kerry Washington as Olivia pope in Scandal
Scandal is one of the most highly anticipated network shows in the new Primetime line-ups. As the competition for ratings heats up, ABC has decided to wager it’s success on a dramatic thriller, starring Kerri Washington and a cast comprised almost entirely of minorities. Scandal is set in Washington D.C. Kerri Washington leads the cast as, Olivia Pope, the President’s former communication’s director and the founder of a highly coveted crisis management firm. D.C.’s most vaunted power brokers turn to her to repair their reputations when the tumult of scandal undermines their elite status. Intricate drama ensues as each episode unfolds into an exciting thriller. Scandal is a rare exercise in diversity with a storyline that centers around a full cast of minority principal actors. Columbus Short (of Stomp The Yard), plays a skilled litigator. Guillermo Diaz is the firms crackerjack hacking expert and Darby Stanchfield is the firms top investigator. Katie Lowes plays an inexperienced neophyte that quickly becomes acquainted with the real world of crisis care. Veteran actor Tony Goldwyn plays President Grant and Kerri Washington’s forbidden love interest. The husband, father and President presents a compelling and complex love story, wrought with scintillating but forbidden affection. Jeff Perry, plays Cyrus Greene, 30 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
the noble true believer and aid to President Grant. He is the President’s moral compass and uses political cunning to temper the intimate instincts of Pope and Grant. Rounding out the cast is the Peruvian born, Stephen Finch, as a brilliant defense attorney. Scandal is also produced by Shona Rhimes, the African American creative genius behind Grey’s Anatomy. For Left: Kerry Washington Chris Rock in “I think I Love my Wife.”
fans of the hospital drama, Scandal will not disappoint. It bares all of the markings of a Shonda Rhimes creation. Sexual tension and intricate plot lines conspire to create a compelling drama that is likely to enhance Rhimes’s reputation for television excellence. In a Primetime line-up that often fails to produce any meaningful roles for minorities, it is worth noting that ABC has bet the farm on a cast with 2 African Americans, two Hispanics and two (technically three) women! But Scandal isn’t depending on ethnic or gender solidarity for its audience. It is a genuinely compelling, slickly produced and well funded production. Time will tell if viewers consider Scandal, Worthy of their time! With black women filling the roles of executive producer (Rhimes), producer (Smith) and lead actress (Washington), Scandal, even before its premiere last night, has brought a whiff of optimism to African-American women in entertainment. "I think it's a really special time to be a woman of color in this business. The landscape of who has the power is changing," she told Essence in a recent interview, "We are in more influential positions and are able to have a say in the stories that are told." Following an awards season that shone a spotlight on talents like Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer from the hit film, The Help, and with news that Gabrielle Union will be the lead of a Mara Brock Akil show that's set to air on BET, Washington has good reason to be optimistic. Washington herself will be seen alongside Eddie Murphy, Diahann Carroll and Jamie Foxx in three separate movies over the next year. She tells Essence, "I feel very lucky to be in this business now."
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But is one actress' good fortune applicable to the rest of black women working in Hollywood? There's little doubt that Scandal will deliver the drama and draw a fan base, seeing as how its creator, Shonda Rhimes, is the mastermind behind ABC cash cows Private Practice and Grey's Anatomy. Call it the "Shonda Effect," if you will -- the almost-solid guarantee that anything Rhimes touches will bring in the viewers and the dollars. Outside of Rhimes, though, it's still difficult to tell whether shows led by black women will draw the support they need to not only survive, but thrive. Take the cop drama, Southland, led by Regina King. Though the show has a loyal fan base, it was cancelled after airing just seven episodes of its first season on NBC. TNT eventually picked up the show and just concluded its fourth season. Yet, despite critical acclaim, Southland again may be on the verge of cancellation. And last year, TNT canned Jada Pinkett Smith'sHawthoRNe after three seasons. Right: Kerry Washington in Catherine Malandrino at the Time 100 Gala in 2011.
While The Help showed that the film industry may be getting better at recognizing great black lead actresses (albeit in controversial roles), the small screen has yet show that it's as friendly. So it's hard to jump up and down and celebrate a new dawn for black women on TV just yet, even if Kerry Washington is leading a drama that's expected to be a hit. The final verdict won't be in until the ratings are, or until the show continually draws good reviews and is picked up beyond a first season. It will be easier to have more faith in Hollywood's relationship with black actresses once Hollywood shows it's committed to that relationship. It will be easier when black actresses become more visible in roles across the spectrum, (think fantasy hits like Harry Potter, or 32 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
romantic dramas like The Notebook) and not just ones that call for an African-American female. It would be nice, too, to see more unknown black ingĂŠnues suddenly become household names thanks to a hit show or film, much like Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone, Kristin Stewart in Twilight or Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Surely there is a young brown face out there who can draw America's fascination in the same way, given the right script and a good PR push. It wouldn't hurt either to see a brown face included in Vanity Fair's annual (and consistently overwhelmingly white) Hollywood cover. It may be an exciting time to try new things as a black actress in Hollywood, but it's still Hollywood. And there's still a ways to go. Nothing is more telling than Kerry Washington's recounting of a luncheon where she rubbed elbows with scores of other black actresses, many of whom had auditioned for Scandal. Upon seeing Washington, they told her, "You have to bring it. For all of us."
Personal Life Washington was engaged to actor David Moscow from October 2044 to march 2007. As a sort of souvenir or memento, she usually tries to keep something from every character that she plays, such as an item of wardrobe or a piece of furniture from the house the character lived in. 33 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Left: LARRY HARDY/T&D Recording artist Usher, actress Kerry Washington, presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama and state Rep. Bakari Sellers stand together at a campaign event at SmithHammond-Middleton Memorial Center at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg.
Politics She is at times referred to as a political activist and was a supporter of Barack Obama's presidential candidacy. Washington has also spent time volunteering through the Adopt-a-Classroom program in New York as well as with Co-Op America, now known as Green America. Washington is an active member of the V-Counsel, an esteemed group of advisors to V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, and she serves on the board of Voices of a People’s History, a non-profit arts and education group which uses live performance and educational programs to illuminate the primary source material that inspired the book, Voices of a People’s History of the United States. She also sits on the Artist’s Committee for the largest national advocacy association for the arts, Americans For The Arts.
Awards and Honors In 2004 Kerry received the Hollywood Life Breakthrough award. In 2005 Kerry received the Young Artist award from Americans for the Arts; this award is for incredible accomplishments and exemplary leadership. In 2008 Washington received several accolades including the Women’s Project Women of Achievement Award, the GWU Alumni Association’s Recent Alumni Achievement Award, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Phoenix Award, for Washington’s commitment to social advocacy. In 2009, Washington received the US Conference of Mayors Artist-Citizen Award for public leadership in the arts.
2007- Best Actress The Last King of Scotland: Nominated
Black Reel Awards
2011- Outstanding Supporting Actress For Colored Girls: Nominated
2011- Outstanding Actress Night Catches Us: Won 34 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Left: Kerry Washington and Anthony Mackie in NYC at the “Night Catches Us” premiere.
2011- Outstanding Ensemble Night Catches Us: Nominated
2011- Outstanding Ensemble For Colored Girls: Won
2009- Outstanding Ensemble Miracle at St. Anna: Nominated
2007- Outstanding Supporting Actress The Last King of Scotland: Nominated
2005- Outstanding Actress, Drama Ray: Nominated
2003- Outstanding Actress, Network/Cable Lift : Nominated
2002- Outstanding Independent Actor Lift: Nominated
2002- Outstanding Supporting Actress Theatrical, Save the Last Dance: Nominated Image Awards
2011- Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Night Catches Us: Nominated
2007- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture The Last King of Scotland: Nominated
2006- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Boston Legal: Nominated
2005- Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Ray: Won
Independent Spirit Awards
2002- Best Female Lead Lift: Nominated
2005- Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical Ray: Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards
2005- Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture Ray: Nominated 35 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
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Legendary NCCU coach LeRoy Walker dies at age 93
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LeRoy T. Walker (June 14, 1918 - April 23, 2012) was the first black president of the United States Olympic Committee. In the 1996 Olympics, Dr. Walker was delegated to lead a 10,000 member group of the most talented athletes in the world. His goal is to make sure that American citizens have a feeling of ownership in the program, “We ought to keep them informed. We ought to let them know what the Olympic movement is all about and what’s happening to the dollars that they give,” said Walker. In 1988, he was the treasurer of the committee’s contingency fund. While under his wing, the fund increased about $43 million. Later, he gave up his six figure salary position as the director of sports for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games to take the unpaid presidency position. Dr. Walker received degrees from Benedict College and Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. in biomechanics at New York University. He went back to Benedict College to begin a track and field collegiate coaching career. He received enough sports scholarships to finance his college expenses. In 1945, he became the head coach for the North Carolina Central University track team. He also chaired the physical education and recreation departments. NCCU track and field athletes were all in the Olympic Games between the years 1956 and 1980. When Dr. Walker retired in 1986 as North Carolina’s chancellor-emeritus, his team won 11 gold 39 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
medals, 80 were named All-American, and 35 had national championships. In addition to coaching NCCU, he coached track teams from other countries. Israel and Ethiopia in 1960, Trinidad and Tobago in 1964, Jamaica in 1968, and Kenya in 1972. The last team he led to the Olympic Games was for the United States in 1976. The team included Bruce Jenner and Edwin Moses. He has a daughter, Dr. Carolyn Walker Hopp, and a son, LeRoy T. Walker Jr. His home is in Durham, NC. Katherine, his wife, died in 1978. Dr. Walker was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Awards In 1991 Walker was awarded the Eagle Award from the United States Sports Academy. The Eagle Award is the Academy's highest international honor and was awarded to Walker for his significant contributions to international sport.
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'America's oldest teen' Dick Clark dies 41 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Broadcast icon Dick Clark, the longtime host of the influential "American Bandstand," has died, publicist Paul Shefrin said. He was 82. Clark suffered a heart attack while at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica for an outpatient procedure, his publicist said Wednesday. "Attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful." The family has not yet decided whether there will be a public memorial service for the multifaceted Clark, although Shefrin said, "There will be no funeral." Clark suffered what was then described as "a mild stroke" in December 2004, just months after announcing he had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. That stroke forced Clark to cut back on his on-camera work, including giving up the hosting duties for the "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" specials. He returned as a co-host with Ryan Seacrest on December 31, 2005 Clark anguished each year over whether to continue appearing on the annual show because of limitations on his speech from the stroke, U.S. Rep. David Dreier, a longtime friend, told CNN Wednesday. "But then he would get deluged by people who were stroke victims and other people who had infirmities and they were such admirers of his fighting spirit," said Dreier, R-California. Clark's "American Bandstand" work, which he began when it was a local TV show in Philadelphia in 1956, earned him the nickname "America's oldest living teenager." The dance show was picked up by ABC and broadcast nationally a year later. "If you didn't go on 'American Bandstand,' you hadn't made it yet," singer Aretha Franklin told "AC360." The savvy entrepreneur was a pioneer in introducing African-American and other performers to millions of young TV viewers. His audiences were integrated, among the first on television. "Only God is responsible for making more stars than Dick Clark," said singer Tony Orlando, who was 16 when he first appeared on Clark's show in 1961. 42 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Entertainers told CNN on Wednesday that Clark knew that music transcends race. "Dick understood the connection that music had. It wasn't about black, it wasn't about white," Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men told "Piers Morgan Tonight." Seacrest gave a statement to CNN expressing deep sadness for "the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark." "He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life," Seacrest said. "I idolized him from the start, and I was graced early on in my career with his generous advice and counsel. When I joined his show in 2006, it was a dream come true to work with him every New Year's Eve for the last six years." Seacrest called Clark "smart, charming, funny and always a true gentleman." Another major figure on the music scene was too upset to talk about Clark's death. Radio host Casey Kasem's wife, Jean, told CNN that Clark served as substitute host for Kasem's popular "American Top 40." "We just feel that he was one of the most magnanimous human beings that we ever knew in the industry," Jean Kasem said of Clark. Clark became wealthy as a businessman, producing successful TV shows through Dick Clark Productions. He created the American Music Awards in the 1970s, a competitor to the Grammy Awards. He sold the company to Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder in 2007. "One of the real draws when we purchased Dick Clark Productions was the opportunity to build on the tremendous foundation of programming that this icon of American broadcasting created," Snyder said Wednesday. "I got to know Dick over the past five years, and he was just as personable and warm in person as he was on television. Once you got to know Dick, it was obvious why he was so beloved by his fans. He was, in every sense of the word, a giant." Born Richard Wagstaff Clark in Mount Vernon, New York, on November 30, 1929, he began his broadcast career working at a radio station managed by his father. 43 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Clark, who was married three times, is survived by his wife, Kari, two sons and a daughter. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Clark in its nonperformer category in 1993. Clark also hosted numerous other television favorites, including the "Pyramid" game shows and "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes." "This guy was the best," said singer Freddy Cannon, who appeared on "American Bandstand" 110 times. "He helped me from the very bottom of my career all through the '80s and the '90s, and he's going to be missed a lot." Former CNN talk host Larry King said Clark's secret for success was his ability to be natural on camera.
"The hardest thing in the business is to be yourself, and no one knew that better than Dick Clark," King said. Clark's passing follows by less than three months the death of another TV dance show icon, Don Cornelius, the creator of "Soul Train." Cornelius was found dead of what authorities said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Los Angeles on February 1. He was 75. 44 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Sainthood for First Black Priest? 45 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Born a slave, condemned to a lifetime of frustration and failure, and even in death denied a burial spot all of his own -- this was the story of Augustine Tolton, a native of Ralls County and the first full blooded Negro Catholic priest in the United States. It was years after his death before this humble man was accorded the respect that was denied him in life. He was buried in a plot below the level of other graves in St. Peters Cemetery in Quincy, Ill., so that eventually another priest’s coffin could be placed above his. And his name is engraved on the back side of the stone that bears the name of one of his white colleagues. But time has brought him into his own, and the honor of having his remains has become a matter of some dispute. Father Landry Genosky, O.F.M., a professor at Quincy College, has become an acknowledged authority on Father Tolton’s life. Recently there have been moves made in the Springfield, Ill., diocese, designed to have the Negro priest’s body exhumed and moved to Springfield. “The people there,” Father Landry said, “seem to think that because of the connection of Lincoln, the emancipator, and Springfield this should be done.’ But he emphasized that he felt the body should, and will remain in Quincy, where the priest spent most of his life, and where his vocation to the priesthood was nurtured. Augustine Tolton was born April 1, 1854, in the Brush Creek Community, about 12 miles southeast of Monroe City. His parents, Peter Paul and Martha Tolton, were slaves belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Elliott. Martha was Mrs. Elliott’s (Savilla) personal slave, having been brought from Kentucky when the couple migrated to Missouri. 46 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Many descendants and relatives of the Elliotts still live in this area, among them Mrs. Savilla Maddox, granddaughter and namesake of Mrs. Elliott. Also related, though more distantly, is Mrs. Alma Lindhorst. She grew up on the Elliott farm where Father Tolton was born, now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Manning Thompson. Mrs. Lindhorst can recall playing as a child on the foundation ruins of the cabin where the Toltons lived. Augustine was baptised in St. Peter’s Church at Brush Creek with Mrs. Elliott as his godmother. Father John O’Sullivan performed the ceremony. Mrs. Lindhorst recalls that Mrs. Elliott gave the small boy and his brother, two years his senior, religious instructions. Life changed dramatically for the Negro boy when he was seven years old. Father Landry tells two versions of the changes that took place for the Toltons when the Civil War broke out. One version comes from “west of the Mississippi,” chiefly from people living in the Monroe City area, while the other version is told by Quincy residents. The main facts are the same, but the human interest element differs dramatically. The story, as told by local people, including Mrs. Lindhorst, says that the Toltons were freed by their masters, and the father left for St. Louis to join the Union Army. There he died of dysentery. Martha, with her nine and seven year old sons and a 20 month old daughter, fled to Hannibal, where she narrowly escaped being taken as “Contraband.” According to this story, she was assisted by a white neighbor, Constable Lee Hardy, in her flight. Finding an old boat the frightened woman rowed across the Mississippi and practically ran the 21 miles to Quincy which was free territory. The Quincy version of Mrs. Tolton’s escape claims that the slaves were not freed, but that they escaped their masters. Mrs. Lindhorst doubts the veracity of the story, as she does one which some people tell of the Elliott’s cruelty to their slaves. One story written of the priest’s life tells how he watched his mother being beaten, and to this Mrs. Lindhorst says, “Nonsense. Cousin Savilla was known everywhere for her kindness, and I know of no one who remembers such a story.”
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Mrs. Maddox agreed with Mrs. Lindhorst, recalling that her grandmother was one of the gentlest persons she had ever known. Augustine went to work in Quincy when just seven years old. Along with his mother and older brother, he found employment in a tobacco factory. Later he was to work in a saddlery, as custodian of St. Peters Church, and as a factory hand. He also started formal education, attending the segregated Lincoln Public School for three months. Moving to St. Boniface Parochial School must have given him an indication of the problems that lay ahead,. for prejudice caused him to be taken out of this school before one term was up. But then Father Peter McGirr, pastor of St Lawrence Church, later to be changed to St. Peters, admitted all the Tolton children to his school. There the young Negro boy graduated with distinction and was confirmed. For some time Augustine was tutored privately by Quincy priests, who sensed the beginning of vocation. The young man assisted the priests in the spiritual care of Quincyâ€™s Negro Catholics, and expressed a desire to become a priest. But his efforts to enter a seminary were thwarted by the same old enemy, prejudice. He was even denied entry into a seminary whose white priests were being trained to serve the American Negro. Ironically, the prejudice that prevented this brilliant young man from studying for the priesthood in his own land was the cause of his being sent to the foremost college of the Catholic Church. Finding that he could not pursue his studies here, some of his priest benefactors found channels through which he might be sent to the College of Sacred Propaganda at Rome. There, after six years, of study, Father Augustine Tolton was ordained a Catholic priest (1886). Receiving his priesthood from Cardinal Parocchi in St. John Lateran in Rome, the young prelate was informed that his mission was to be the Negroes of the United States. Returning to Quincy, Father Tolton celebrated his first Solemn High Mass at St. Boniface where he had served as an altar boy years before. He was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Negro Church and soon became quite well known in Quincy for his excellent sermons, his splendid education, and his eloquent voice. But although the young priest succeeded in attracting many whites as well as his own people to his services, the ugly face of prejudice soon appeared again. The large number of people who sought his classes of inquiry, the crowded Sunday Masses, the coming together of people of both races in his church brought down on him not only the jealously and scorn of some white 48 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
priests, but also the envy of some Protestant Negro ministers. The combination was too much. He bowed to prejudice and left Quincy, accepting an invitation to found a Negro church in Chicago. He began his ministry there in the basement of “Old St. Mary’s,” while laboriously building up a parish among the entire Negro community. Four years after his arrival there, Mrs. Anna O’Neil donated $10,000 for the building of a Negro church, which was to be named St. Monica’s. Success of a sort appeared to be within the reach of this young man, only 43 years old, after a lifetime of frustration caused exclusively by the color of his skin. He had been invited to preach in the Cathedral of Baltimore and had been sought by Bishops and Cardinals who wanted him to establish Negro churches in their dioceses. But on July, 1897 with Chicago in the grip of an intense heat wave, Father Token suffered a heat stroke. His name appeared in Chicago papers among lists of those thus struck down, although there were a number of stories that circulated about his death. It was said that he was killed by Chicago thugs and that he died of tuberculosis, but newspaper accounts dispute these stories. Father Tolton’s remains were brought back to Quincy as he had requested. He is buried there in a circular plot in the center of St. Peters Cemetery. Why was his coffin placed so deep in the ground that another priest, one who died early in the 1900’s could be buried above him? Did the prejudice that plagued him in life follow him even in death? Father Landry thinks so. Considering the racial atmosphere of the country in 1897, he explained, it is remarkable that Father Tolton was allowed a burial spot in a white cemetery at all. Further service to prejudice is evident in the fact that the inscription for Father Tolton is on the back side of the large cross that marks the other priest’s grave. Father Tolton spent only a few years in this area, leaving his native Brush Creek when a lad. Yet Brush Creek claims him as its own, and he is considered as one of it’s most illustrious sons. Some people think that the Taken families who live in Monroe City are related to Father Tolton, the spelling of the name having been changed over the years. Father Landry doubts this, as he has found no evidence in his studies to indicate that anyone bearing the name was left in Missouri. Yet there are local people who insist that the relationship exists. The 79 years since Father Tolton’s death have seen many changes in the lot of the American Negro. But there is still a long way to go before equality is more than a word. Father Tolton was probably Northeast Missouri’s outstanding black citizen in the 19th Century. Although his efforts appeared to meet failure on every side, his was a triumph of the spirit, and it paved the way for other triumphs for his people. 49 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
pile up and get cobweb's, smell like mildew and grow mold because we're holding on to it and lying to ourselves saying, "This is still some good, I'm going to use this one day soon. The day I throw it away will be the day that I need it." BS! Say it with me now with feeling- CAPITAL “B” CAPITAL “S” EXCLAIMATION POINT! It's outdated, broken, or plain-ole don’t work, and has been sitting in there for years!
Time to Clean House By Nicole Renee Boisseau It's all too easy to talk about the madness that we see around us. Turn on the TV and its there. Turn on the radio and its there. Search the Internet and it's there. Go to work and its there. Go out with friends and its there. Go to meetings, gatherings, church, organizations and its there. Go home with family and its there. Go alone and by yourself in solitude and its there. Madness is there within where it has been the whole time. It's high time to clean the “inner-house”. Not that surface cleaning that makes it comfortable enough to sit in a room or enough to invite guest over for a few hours. I'm talking about that deep down cleaning where the best bet is to start with every closet in the house, under the beds, in the basement, attic, storage closet and crawl space. Yeah, those places where CRAP just
This is how many keep their homes, which is a reflection of how they keep themselves in mind and body. It's time to face the junk by opening the door to it and removing it don't even look at the junk just dump it. Give no room for excuses as to why it may be useful one fine day. Knock down the cobwebs, sweep the debris, cleanse with water (A GOOD CRY), burn some oil or incense for a sweet smelling savor (INSPIRATION), and create a new space. The new space is the newly transformed YOU. Since matter is spirit materialized it would be good to do this cleaning exercise in your home as an outward manifestation of the intentional cleansing taking place within. Try it. I dare you. Nicole Renee Boisseau reigns from Chicago, IL., she is the founder and CEO of www.NicoleReneeBoisseau.com which is a website fully loaded with inspiration for practical living.
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I have taught ya’ll that we are family and
God is Lord…. I am mother.
I have taught ya’ll al about Sunday school
I am your mother, a proud Black individual,
and the preacher man. I have taught you how
strong, woman. I love God, church and my
to stay out of trouble and to see about one
pastor. I am a smart intelligent loving
another… I am mother.
woman…. I am mother.
I’m quite sure they will understand that I am
I have taught you right from wrong and I have
your mother and a beautiful woman I am I
taught you to be strong and I have taught you
always will be, always am…. I am mother
to give ad forgive…. I am mother.
So when you tell someone who I am, just say,
I raised ya’ll the best I can and taught ya’ll
how to be a woman or am man…. I am mother.
Happy Mother’s Day!
When ya’ll were young as kids I taught ya’ll have to respect people like you should…. I am mother. 51 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
You're one step closer to paving the way... to greatness...a career with passion, that's fun. God only knows what's on the horizon. CONGRATULATIONS!! Your time is here. Relish & marvel in it;
you will persevere! But there is one catch;
you can't stop here!!
Graduation day is enormous to so
Think about what's really in your
heart of hearts?
It comes at a time when life's
What is it that you really want to do?
challenges are plenty.
This ceremony is just the beginning
of what God has for you.
Is today your day? Family, fun and classmates are all coming to celebrate!!!!
Tiffaby Hatchett may be contacted at email@example.com
You've won!! To all the naysayers, life for you, has just begun!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! The time is near. All that hard work is paying off for you, my dear. Today is your day!! 52 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
53 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
54 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Previous page: A YouTube video announcing 'Anontune' decries corporate involvement in online music
Anontune: the new social music platform from 'Anonymous'
In a move sure to attract attention from the music industry, a small group of coders claiming to be part of Anonymous is putting together a social music platform. The rather ambitious goal: Create a service that seamlessly pulls up songs streaming from all around the internet. The project, called Anontune and still in its infancy, is designed to pull songs from thirdparty sources like YouTube and let anonymous users put them into playlists and share them â€” while keeping the service from being shut down by music industry lawsuits.
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Reached by e-mail, one of the creators of Anontune told Wired the project was started by a group of anons who met online six years ago on what was then an underground hacking site. The group, mostly focused at the time on "cracking," began discussing music, favorite artists and what they would do to fix current music business models. "We would say stuff like, 'People really use YouTube as a music player yet it really sucks for that purpose ... it's too unorganized,'" the anon wrote to Wired. "And then, 'YouTube does make a good music player but you can't play all your songs on it since the obscure ones aren't uploaded,' then eventually, 'Hmmm, what if you were to combine music websites like Myspace, Yahoo, YouTube and others?'" On the ever-sprawling internet, music can pop up anywhere â€” Tumblr pages, blogs, The Hype Machine (to name but a few). Almost any song is available at any time, whether posted by legitimate sources or uploaded by fans or pirates, and Anontune would tap into that rich reservoir. It wouldn't be the first time Anonymous squared off with the record industry: When popular file-sharing site Megaupload was shuttered by the Justice Department in January, Anonymous retaliated by attacking the websites of the Recording Industry Association of America and the DoJ. The DDoS attacks provide an undeniable look at what Anonymous can do in a copyfight, but if the creators of Anontune succeed, they could make something far more disruptive to the music industry. The Anontune concept remained nothing more than talk until one day in early December, when an anon posted a link to Anontune and said he planned to make their ideas a reality. The others looked at the site. Although it wasn't very good, the working prototype got enough people interested in the project that they "formed a team that day and stopped hacking," the anon said. The platform has been in development for just a few months, according to the video above (titled "Message From Anonymous: Music Has Changed"). Although Anontune is still very rudimentary, the service is meant to improve the way music is played online. 56 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
"It has come to our attention that the state of online music has been sabotaged by the fat hands of corporate involvement," the Anontune video's voiceover states. "These changes have led to a world in which your enjoyment of music is controlled and billed by the minute." How Anontune Works (And a Word of Caution) Anontune works by automating what most people do online manually. After setting up an account, users can build playlists by simply typing in the names of songs they want to hear, or they can choose from the names of songs imported from their iPods. Anontune's "music engine" — which runs in a user's browser — then finds the songs on the web. Currently most of the tracks come from YouTube and SoundCloud, but there are plans in the works to add Yahoo Music, Myspace Music, Bandcamp and others. From there, users, of which there are currently fewer than 1,000, just press play. (A word of caution to curious readers: The system relies on executing a Java applet. Unless you are extremely trusting or using VMWare, you should think very carefully about running code on your machine that was written by members of Anonymous.) The stated central aims of the service's creators are to provide a flexible, open platform for users to listen to music without having to pirate it or face legal repercussions. True to form, users of the service can largely remain anonymous. Although the site is still very crude and its origins obscure, the idea of Anonymous — even a few far-flung members of the group — tackling online music is compelling. But Anontune could come into the world with a target on its back, even if it operates using completely legitimate methods, according to Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Corynne McSherry. "What we're seeing here is a situation where the government is getting much more involved in enforcement, and we know that the U.S. government doesn't like Anonymous all that much anyway," McSherry said in an interview with Wired. Other music services can attempt to cut deals with music labels to avoid legal hot water, but that's not really an option here. 57 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
"I think content owners, if they feel like the site is a really viable site, they're going to be pretty nervous [about this]," McSherry said. "Because they like to have people that they can make deals with, and there's no one to make a deal with in this situation." It's hard not to notice that Anontune is popping up just as the U.S. government's case against Megaupload is getting heated. Even though Anontune's creators say the service isn't a rebuttal to the shuttering of the file-sharing service, its timely unveiling could serve as a model for a different way for Anonymous to respond to incidents (as opposed to, say, directing Low Orbit Ion Cannons at the website of the Recording Industry Association of America). "The project is not so much a response to Megaupload but a response to the tycoons from the RIAA shutting down music services," the anon wrote to Wired. "You may have heard about what Anonymous has done in Operation Payback. We believe the underlying reasons for the revolt were (mostly) correct, however their approach is unlikely to change anything in the long run." When asked about Anontune by Wired, an RIAA spokesman declined to comment. Anontune's creators hope that in its complete version â€” it's only about 20 percent there so far, our source said â€” the service can improve the way people engage with music. "We have a lot of plans regarding this," the Anontune co-creator told Wired. "The development of software to assist in achieving musical peak experiences, illumination of the functions and roles of music, psychometric testing based on music preference. It's all there and this is possibly the most interesting part of the whole project." Anontune's technical aspects can be reviewed online, and the site's operators are taking donations. Even though its creators are still hurriedly trying to get the service up to snuff, the site has massive goals. One only needs to look at the final note on the above clip's YouTube page to get a taste. "We need to think bigger," it reads. "This is Operation Mozart." www.cnn.com 58 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Rodneyse Bichotte Candidate for New York State Assembly 42nd Assembly District
59 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
odneyse Bichotte is the 42nd Assembly State Committeewoman / District Leader dedicated to improving the neighborhoods and lives of her fellow Brooklyn residents. Her steadfast devotion to providing affordable homeownership, financial literacy, exceptional healthcare, high-quality education and social reform is demonstrated through her ongoing involvement in initiatives such as coordinating job fairs, promoting census awareness and delivering on the ground relief efforts in Haiti. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Rodneyse is proud of her Haitian-American roots. Her father was the lead saxophonist of legendary Haitian jazz band, “Jazz Des Jeunes”, while her mother is considered to be a “matriarch” in the Haitian Caribbean community. Both of her parents worked as factory textile workers in the 70's. Her father was also a health care union worker while her mother, a present retiree, worked over 30 years as housekeeper, member of union Local 6. From these humble beginnings, Rodneyse learned the importance of hard work and compassion. A true product of the “Big Apple”, she matriculated through New York City Public Schools such as, PS 198, Andries Hudde Junior High, Sheepshead Bay, and the LaGuardia School of Music and Arts & Performing Arts, where she studied classical music such as Beethoven, Schubert and Mozart. Later, Rodneyse continued her studies
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Above: Haitian Parade-Meeting the local residents
at both Buffalo State College and SUNY at Buffalo, where she received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering; Illinois Institute of Technology where she received her Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering; and Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she received her MBA in Finance and Marketing. Her professional career carried her to Chicago, Japan, and China for several years before returning back home to work on Wall Street as a Corporate and Investment Banker. Through it all, Rodneyse never strayed from giving her time to those that needed it most â€“ her community. She has proudly served on the Board of several organizations, which include: Habitat for Humanity (Brooklyn Leadership board and Fox Valley), Community Board 17(appointed by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz), Turning Point, Coach for Living, Council of Urban Professionals Leadership Board, Haitian American Business Network, Medgar Evers Institutional Review Board and Kellogg Alumni Leadership Club. She has also been the chairperson of the economic development committee of the award winning chapter, Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
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62 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: Mayor Bloomberg and Rodneyse at the 90th Anniversay NY Urban League Left: Haitian TPS Clinic at PS 181 hosted by Assemblyman Karim Camara and Councilman Mathieu Eugene
Candidacy for New York State Assembly, 42 District On February 14, 2012, Rodneyse Bichotte, State Committee Woman/District Leader of the 42nd Assembly District announced her candidacy for the office of New York State Assembly, 42nd District â€“ which includes the Flatbush, East Flatbush and Midwood sections of Brooklyn. On her candidacy, Rodneyse stated,
63 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
“Over the past six months I’ve received overwhelming encouragement from city and state elected officials, community leaders and most importantly the residents of our district. After some counsel and much prayer, I have decided to move forward with a run for State Assembly,” said Bichotte. “More can and should be done to ensure the 42nd Assembly District’s voice is reflected loud and clear in the halls of our state capitol. I am convinced that being in the State Assembly will allow me to more effectively address the issues facing our community.” Two years ago Bichotte burst on to the Brooklyn political scene with an unexpected victory in a highly contested district leader race. Commenting on this election, Crain New York business called Bichotte “a face to watch in Brooklyn politics.” Rodneyse is an alumnus of the White House Project from Brooklyn College and coordinates the Shirley Chisholm Scholarship with the Brooklyn College Women’s Department. Additionally, Rodneyse dedicates her time to the students at Brooklyn College and Long Island University by presenting on the topics of credit management and financial literacy. While living in Chicago, Rodneyse served on President Obama’s then US senatorial campaign with the Will County Democratic Club. In Brooklyn, she has worked on a number of initiatives with the local elected officials and community based organization in the areas of economic development, immigration, social services and education. i.e. Neighborhood Housing Services, Habitat for Humanity Department of Aging, Flatbush YMCA, Brooklyn College, Economic Development Corporation JumpStart NYC, District 22 Schools, Benjamin Banneker, Churches, Brooklyn Bar association, Haitian American Caucus, Haitian American Business Network, Haitian Cultural Exchange, CUNY Citizen and Immigration Project, Census Bureau, Bedford Central Community Development, Voter's registration with Brooklyn Borough President 64 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: State Senator Eric Adams & Rodneyse at his annual Cradle to College Workshop.
and many more Her most recent display of commitment and service was when she traveled on a week-long medical mission to Haiti to help those impacted by the devastating earthquake. She administered medicine, offered counsel and support and prayed with families to help heal their wounds, both physically and spiritually. Rodneyse has been a dedicated public servant for over 20 years, and have continuously worked on a number of initiatives with her local elected officials such as councilman Jumaane D. Williams, Senator Kevin S. Parker, Assemblyman Karim Camara, Senator Eric Adams, Senator John L. Sampson, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz while serving as a resource channel for the people. Rodneyse currently resides in the Flatbush neighborhood. She is an effective advocate for the people. If elected as the 42nd Assembly District Leader, she will perform her duties with intelligence and integrity, with a foundation of compassion, and respect for all of her neighbors regardless of ethnic background.
65 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
As Assemblywoman for the 42nd Assembly District, Rodneyse will continue to focus on her platform of advancing Job Creation, Education, Healthcare and Housing. In her current post as District Leader, residents have described Rodneyse as being engaging, results oriented and someone who takes initiative. “I didn’t know about District Leaders before Rodneyse. She is everywhere, and she listens to you. I think she’ll work hard for us as the Assemblywoman,” said one resident.
“The State of New York is a microcosm of the nation, “ said Rodneyse. “The issues of concern are shared statewide, city wide and community wide. It’s all about building New York State at a 2012 ● VOICE Magazine grassroots level.” MAYvoicemagonline.com
Above: Boris Noble with Rodneyse Bichotte
Bridging the Gap of Racial Intolerance In 1939, Haiti opened its doors to fleeing Jewish refugees. Haiti opened its doors to fleeing European refugees, facing the threat, atrocities and genocide of Nazi politicizes. The people of Haiti wanted to keep as many Jews as possible safe from the most horrific circumstance imaginable. In 2010, The First Haiti Jewish Refugee Legacy Project Tikkun Olam Award was presented to Rodneyse Bichotte and Boris Noble. Tikkun Olam is a fundamental Jewish principle and lived value. According to Wikipedia, Tikkun Olam is “a Hebrew phrase that means ‘repairing the world.’ In Judaism, the concept of tikkun olam originated in the early rabbinic period. The concept was given new meanings in the kabbalah of the medieval period and further connotations in modern Judaism “Regarding the meaning of the award, its mission is to recognize individuals and organizations who are working in the areas of remembrance of WWII, revealing Haiti’s role in saving Jewish refugees’ lives during the Shoah and building bridges to new understanding of the current connection between the Jewish and Haitian people. This 67 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
project, begun shortly after the Haiti earthquake in January 2010, is a deeply meaningful effort to repair broken links in information and connections in these areas of research.” The first Tikkum Olam Award was to be given to Boris Noble and he recommended Rodneyse for the award as well. Boris Noble had been volunteering for Rodneyse who ran for the district leader position in the 42nd Assembly District here in Brooklyn, NY since May of 2010. The 42nd district is a diverse district with a majority of Caribbean-Americans and with a substantial number of Orthodox and other Jews. Amongst the Caribbean’s the Haitian population is in the majority. According to Mr. Noble, “Rodneyse and I decided that it is necessary to have the Jewish and Haitian populations work together for common goals and to get to know one another in the Flatbush community. We were successful, and Rodneyse won the race 52% to 48% carrying the Jewish populations overwhelmingly (in the 90 percentile) on election day which was September 14. Rodneyse met with various rabbis and Jewish community leaders in her efforts. She met with representatives of The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (“AIPAC”) as well. Below: Rodneyse, Blondell (her chief of staff) to the right is Leon Golden Berg (chariman of COJO), Martin Kahan (Treasurer/CFO of COJO)
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Left: Rodneyse at the Yad Vashem Holacoust Museum in Isreal.
Rodneyse visits the Cradle of Life After receiving the Tikkun Olam Award, Rodneyse visited holocaust museum Yad Vashem. In her article, The Cradle of Life: My visit to Israel, Rodneyse stated, â€œIn 2011 if I had the distinguished privilege of travel to Israel. It was an honor to see the beauty and diversity of the people, the land and the climate. Not only did I feel a special connection to this land from a religious perspective, but I now have a greater understanding of some of the major issues facing this country. While there, I had the opportunity to visit Sderot (near the border of Gaza) and the immigration centers which allowed me to see firsthand some of the struggles of the residents. In addition, I visited the holocaust museum Yad VAshem, which was a stirring and eye-opening experience that gave me a clearer picture of the events that impacted the Jewish people. I was able to see the commitment the people have to this land and how they wish for a 69 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
better future for their children. I look forward to studying this issue further and journeying back to Israel at some point in the near future,” Above: Rodneyse on Pharmacy Duty during the Haiti Medical Mission after the 2010 earthquake.
Commitment to Haiti Rodneyse has been on missions to Haiti providing medical assistance after the 2010 earthquake and building homes for destitute Haitians with Habitat for Humanity. When discussing her Habitat for Humanity mission, Rodneyse states, “At first, I really didn’t want to go,” said Rodneyse whose day job in Corporate Development Mergers and Acquisitions at American Express and her other job as Democratic District Leader in the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, a non-paid elected position, keeps her really busy. “I’m on the Board of Habitat for Humanity-NYC,” Rodneyse said. “ I am the Haitian Board member; I chair the Advocacy Committee.” The Brooklynite returned to New York very happy, almost transformed, after one week of sweating while doing construction under Haiti’s sun at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project Build, an annual, internationally-recognized week of building simple, decent and affordable housing with and for families in need. Four hundred twenty international volunteers raised $5000 each to build 100 homes for Haitians who lost everything in the earthquake. 70 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above & Left: Rodneyse on Haiti Habitat for Humanity Mission.
While some volunteers had been on many previous Habitat Builds, this was a first for Rodneyse who has been involved with Habitat for over 20 years. Construction took place in Santo, a neighborhood of Leogane, the earthquake’s epicenter–where 80% of the city was destroyed–about 16 miles south of Port-au-Prince. “You’re working alongside these (new) homeowners, people who haven’t a home, there’s no agriculture, and they’re excited to have been selected to be a homeowner,” were reflections from Rodneyse, who worked with a team of 10 volunteers on two houses during the five working days in Haiti. The homes are simple, two-room frame houses, on foundations that were built prior to the volunteer’s arrival. “I learned how to hammer better. What was really hard were the hurricane clips, metal plates used to connect 2x4’s together tight. It was hard to hammer,” said Rodneyse of her newly gained construction skills. There is room in the back for an owner to expand the house (and also for a garden.)
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Delegate Left: Rodneyse with Obama at fundraiser event In January 2012, The Haitian American Association for Political Action PAC (HAAPAPAC) announced that Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, U.S. Representative for New York’s 11th Congressional District, had nominated Rodneyse, as an Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
Rodneyse is hoping her new role in the State Assembly will provide an avenue for supporting President Obama’s efforts in New York State. She served on then Obama senatorial campaign with the Will County Democratic Club in 2004, while living in Chicago. The President’s campaign selects its New York delegates from the list provided by the county and state Democratic parties, as well as Congressional Members. Rodneyse Bichotte is listed in the (attached link) PolitickerNY article under CD11. All other New York delegates are also listed according to their Congressional District. To view the list click link below: http://www.politickerny.com/2012/01/11/which-new-yorkers-are-obama-delegates/ Rodneyse states, “I’m looking forward to supporting President Obama in North Carolina. This first term has presented many challenges for our President. He inherited a rapidly declining economy which he stabilized and is now growing again; he captured the world’s biggest terrorist and ended a major war, he extended benefits for the millions of unemployed Americans; he saved our now booming US auto industry; and he brought health care coverage to millions of Americans who did not have it. This is more than most Presidents have accomplished in two terms. The American voters will look back on these accomplishments and quickly realize he is and has been the best person for the job. There is no doubt in my mind that 2012 will be an Obama Re-election year.”
72 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Below is an interview of Rodneyse Bichotte conducted by VOICE Magazine. VOICE: field?
What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this
BICHOTTE: I have two Professions: My most recent profession is in the Private Sector is field of Finance, Investment Banking and corporate development. However my work in the public servant sector is an elected position as the Democratic State committee woman I am currently a candidate for New York State Assembly which is a job in itself VOICE:
What is the biggest challenge of your work?
BICHOTTE: My Biggest challenge is managing two professions / jobs at the same time. As a non-paid elected official with no paid staff or office, I have to manage helping people on a daily basis, planning and organizing forums all while working in the Private sector VOICE:
What is your proudest achievement?
BICHOTTE: Getting elected into office in 2010 73 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
VOICE: What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most? BICHOTTE: Political: Shirley Chisholm, Barack Obama, Donna Brazile, Hilary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet, Martin Luther King and my Mother VOICE: Where do you see yourself in ten years? BICHOTTE: I don’t know. I may be in politics and it may not be, after all I have had career changes VOICE:
What is one thing you’ve learned from your career that you would pass along to young people who want their careers and lives to have an impact?
BICHOTTE: Have options, prepare for opportunities and always surround yourself with influential giants VOICE:
As a lifer long Brooklynite, what impact do you think you will have as a New York State Assemblywoman?
BICHOTTE: My Impact will be significantly greater than the status quo as it pertains to my district. I am active competent and energetic leader with experiences from the private and public sector that would drive results not only in legislation but in the community. VOICE:
You were recently named an Obama delegate for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Can you explain to our readers the importance of being a convention delegate, especially in this upcoming Presidential election?
BICHOTTE: The importance of being an Obama delegate is to be a representative on behalf of my district and the entire Democratic Party in support of our President Obama for his re-election. For more information on Rodneyse Bichotte or to volunteer for or to donate to her campaign please visit her website at: www.rodneysebichotte.com. 74 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
2012 Bichotte will:
“Building our State at the grassroots level”
Advocate for the minimum wage increase & job creation Protect Education & Health Care programs from excessive cuts Support funding for summer youth programs Lobby vigorously for our fair share of funding and resources Dedicated to quality senior housing and services Support the New York State Dream Act Increase access to government contracts for small businesses
VOTE MAY 2012BICHOTTE ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com In 2012!
Recent Achievements: Recently named an Obama delegate for the 2012 Democratic National Convention Lobbied and advocated for job creation, foreclosure prevention funding, quality education and health care Helped constituents learn about affordable housing and homeownership and tenant-Landlord rights Conducted rehabilitation workshops for exonerated ex-inmates
CONTACT www.RodneyseBichotte.com Twitter: vote_bichotte 75 Facebook: Rodneyse Bichotte Email: firstname.lastname@example.org PO Box 340604 * Brooklyn, NY 11234
Protesters Rally Against Unwelcomed Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Who Compares Self to Abe Lincoln in Illinois Chamber Of Commerce Speech This page: Teresa Haley, Teamsterâ€™s Local Union 916 member and President of the Springfield Branch NAACP speaking at We Are One rally in Springfield, Illinois on April 17, 2012.
76 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Right: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, April 17, 2012 in Springfield, Ill. Walker says he's using Illinois and its many problems as an argument for keeping him in office. The first-term Republican faces a recall election in June primarily because he restricted union bargaining rights for state employees. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was greeted in what is likely, by now, a familiar manner when he addressed business leaders in Springfield, Ill., Tuesday morning: By thousands of protesters. Thousands of sign-wielding union workers angrily protested Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s speech before business leaders in Springfield Tuesday The gathering outside the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel at some points seemed more rock concert than political rally, among other things featuring two 20-foot inflatable, red-eyed rats and a taller cutout of Walker with the words "Don't Badger Us" on it. Walker’s signature on a bill that severely curtailed the collective bargaining rights of public-sector unions has made him an enemy to organized labor nationwide. Shelley Brown, an unemployed resident of Decatur, stood outside the hotel brandishing a sign featuring a giant middle finger that was surrounded by the words: “Scott Walker Go Home.” “Scott Walker is a union buster, and he signs laws that are against women’s rights. He’s trouble,” Brown said. “We don’t need him in Illinois. He did enough in Wisconsin.” Springfield police estimated that 3,500 to 4,000 people attended the rally, said Ernie Slottag, the city’s communications director. According to the Associated Press, a giant, 20-foot inflatable rat (see below) was held up by labor groups protesting the Republican governor's stance toward collective bargaining rights and other issues. Inside the Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center, however, Walker, who will face a June recall election, was met with multiple standing ovations from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business, the AP reports. 77 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: Protesters at We Are One Anti Walker Rally
Walker used the opportunity to address and Illinois crowd to deride the state's financial health when compared to his own state's. "Illinois and Wisconsin, like nearly every other state, had big deficits. We had a $3.7 billion deficit," Walker said, according to NBC Chicago. "A year later, after we balanced a $3.6 billion budget deficit, things havenâ€™t gotten any better in Springfield. When you raise taxes on business and individuals, it drives away wealth." Walker's statement echoed Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch's vow, made Monday to some 300 individuals who attended a Tea Party-sponsored Tax Day rally in downtown Chicago, that the Badger State would gladly continue to "poach" businesses from Illinois, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. 78 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: Protesters march outside the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Hotel where Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is speaking to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, April 17, 2012 in Springfield, Ill. Walker says he's using Illinois and its many problems as an argument for keeping him in office. The firstterm Republican faces a recall election in June primarily because he restricted union bargaining rights for state employees. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
Robert Guy, state director of the United Transportation Union-Illinois Legislative Board, criticized Walker’s decision to forego federal funding of high-speed rail between Madison, Wis., and Milwaukee, which he said cost Wisconsin residents hundreds of jobs. “That’s not only snubbing the president, that’s also snubbing the residents of Wisconsin,” Guy said. Earlier this month, Walker also signed legislation that repealed a 2009 Wisconsin law that gave workers, especially women, more legal avenues to fight wage discrimination. “It just doesn’t make sense,” said Jim Alderson, a retired Illinois Department of Transportation worker, about what some rally-goers called Walker’s “war on women.” The “Unwelcome Walker” rally featured a number of union officials and labor supporters from Illinois and Wisconsin who praised the value and values of unions.
79 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: Protesters at We Are One Anti Walker Rally
“If we allow what happened in Wisconsin to happen here in Illinois, thousands of people will not be able to retire without taking on a second job just to make ends meet,” said Teresa Haley, President of the Springfield Branch NAACP who spoke on behalf of the NAACP and its national partnership with organized labor. “This nation was built on blood, sweat and tears. Since 1870, one of the forces behind the blood, sweat and tears was labor unions,” said the Rev. T. Ray McJunkins, pastor of Union Baptist Church at 1405 E. Monroe St. “The voice of the labor union, the strength of the labor union, is the ability to sit down at the conference table and collectively bargain for fairness and equality.” The Wisconsin governor went on to seemingly compare himself to former President Abraham Lincoln as another controversial lawmaker who possessed "the courage to move the state forward," NBC reports. Above: Protesters at We Are One Anti Walker Rally
80 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Left: Protesters march outside the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Hotel where Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is speaking to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, April 17, 2012 in Springfield, Ill. Walker says he's using Illinois and its many problems as an argument for keeping him in office. The firstterm Republican faces a recall election in June primarily because he restricted union bargaining rights for state employees. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
"Wisconsin couldnâ€™t wait. We had to take action," Walker told the crowd of hundreds of business leaders of his record on working with public employee unions, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Democratic Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn released a statement in response to Walker's speech and pointed to a Chicago Tribune editorial published Tuesday that argued "while Wisconsin is a great place to vacation, Illinois is where you want to locate your company." "One would wonder what a governor with a terrible economic record could have to say about jobs and economic growth," Quinn's statement read. "While Governor Walker might be fond of anti-worker and tea party rhetoric, the facts aren't on his side." "We hope Governor Walker enjoyed his trip to Illinois, and that he saw for himself what a great place it is to do business," the statement continued. Since Walker took office last year, Wisconsin has, according to federal data, lost more jobs than any other state, although the state's unemployment rate has gone down. www.sj-r.com, www.huffingtonpost.com 81 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Trayvon Martin case: Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester, Jr. named as new judge in Zimmerman trial By Alexis Garrett Stodhill
82 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Left: George Zimmerman appears for a bond hearing with his attorney Mark O'Mara (L) at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility April 12, 2012 in Sanford, Florida. (Photo by Gary Green/The Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images)
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester, Jr. has been named as the new judge in the trial of George Zimmerman, the seconddegree murder defendant in the case of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman faced a bond hearing on April 20, 2012 at 9 a.m., at which time Judge Lester granted Zimmerman bail at $150,000. Zimmerman killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26 in Sanford, Fla. with a registered handgun. The African-American teen was unarmed. Controversy over the Sanford police department's decision not to charge Zimmerman for the shooting led to nationwide outrage, which some believe sparked the investigation resulting in Zimmerman's arrest. Scrutiny over how his trial will be handled remains high. Lester was assigned to the case through random rotation. He replaced Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler, who had originally been assigned to the trial. Recksiedler recused herself today, because Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara requested that she step aside over a potential conflict of interest. Recksiedler's husband is a partner in the firm of Mark NeJame, an attorney who has been hired to analyze the Zimmerman trial for CNN. NeJame was also under consideration to represent Zimmerman before O'Mara was chosen. In addition, a second judge stepped aside immediately after Recksiedler, Circuit Judge John Galluzzo. Galluzzo was next in the rotation, but has practiced law with O'Mara. Zimmerman's attorney is also the godfather of one of Galluzzo's children. All criminal judges in Seminole County are assigned at random according to a rotation system. Judge Lester will hold Zimmerman's bond hearing in Recksiedler's court room, number 5D, at the Seminole Criminal Justice Center on Friday.
83 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Right: Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, sits with her other son, Jahvaris Fulton, as they attend service at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church for the first time since the arrest of Zimmerman on April 15, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Lester, 58, has been a judge for 15 years, having won his judgeship in 1997 against an incumbent. According to the Orlando Sentinel, "[h]e is popular with attorneys," "has a reputation for doing things quickly," and "has a great deal of experience with criminal trials, including high-profile cases." Lester is noted for handing down death sentences for murder, although life in prison is the toughest sentence for Zimmerman's charge of murder in the second degree. Below: Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, sits with her other son, Jahvaris Fulton, as they attend service at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church for the first time since the arrest of Zimmerman on April 15, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
84 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, is hugged as her other son, Jahvaris Fulton, looks on as they attend service at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church for the first time since the arrest of Zimmerman on April 15, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Below: Sybrina Fulton leaves the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church after service.
85 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
James Ibori and the 'somebodies' and 'nobodies' of Nigeria By Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
86 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Left: James Ibori, who was sentenced to 13 years prison at Southwark crown court. Photograph: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images
The most corrupt officials are often the most generous, but letting this system continue only preserves the giver's power This week, former Nigerian state governor James Ibori was sentenced by a British judge to 13 years in prison. He is guilty on two counts. One is corruption â€“ a crime of which many other Nigerian leaders are guilty. But the second is his belief that some people are "somebodies" who are born to own, control and enjoy while others are "nobodies" whose lot is to serve, toil and endure â€“ a mindset shared by most Nigerians, at every stratum of our society. Here, the politician can't accept that "nobodies" like his driver and cobbler are expected to appoint him to the throne. Instead, he seeks the anointing of powerful godfathers, and then arranges to rig the elections. The nurse takes home the bedding donated by charity to the government hospital wards; she knows that the wretched patients are used to sleeping on sheet-less beds in their homes anyway. The newspaper editor would rather make a lead story of the minister's mother-in-law's 80th birthday ceremony than of the fact that 400 children died of lead poisoning in Zamfara state. The wealthy madam doesn't bother that the nannies accompanying her prim children are dressed in rags; she can afford to clothe them nicely, but then, she can also afford to cast pearls on swine. The dead body lies in the street until it bloats and bursts, because no person of worth has reported a missing relative. 87 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Is it then surprising that many Nigerians will do almost anything to rise just that one more level higher than someone else? All in the hope of more dignity and more respect. And as soon as someone on a lower rung edges that one level up, they immediately claim their license to disparage and abuse as they have seen others do, and so the cycle of oppression continues. But being "somebody" in our society is not all about barking orders and being waited on hand and foot. It's a role that comes with great responsibility. The "nobodies" look up to you for solutions to all their problems. They consider it their right to reach out to you for aid. And the more people reaching out for your help, the more highly you are regarded. Public officers even tend to view their jobs â€“ when they bother to do them â€“ as an extension of their philanthropy. TV stations constantly show grateful citizens expressing their appreciation to the governor or council chairman or minister for "what he has done for us". Left: James Ibori has admitted stealing money from Delta state and laundering it in London through a number of offshore companies. Photograph: Metropolitan Police/PA
These acts of charity include building roads, renovating schools or drilling boreholes. The masses don't realise that these good works are their entitlement, the natural functions of a government. And so some of the most corrupt government officials are the most generous, preferring to dispense their state's budget directly from their pockets rather than from the public treasury. The stories of Ibori's "generosity" are enough to fill the pages of an encyclopaedia. Some I've heard could bring tears to your eyes. This false charity preserves the giver's power, keeping the people ever grateful and indebted. No wonder Ibori's squadron of supporters are ready to bite anyone that threatens the hand that feeds them.
88 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: James Ibori compound in Abuja, Nigeria
On the same day that Ibori was sentenced, a group calling themselves the South-South Grassroots Coalition took full pages in some Nigerian newspapers to announce their unwavering support for him. They drew comparisons between their compatriot's current "persecution" by Britain, and that of Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi of Benin and Jaja of Opobo, two traditional rulers from the same Niger Delta region as Ibori whose historic resistance to the British colonial government fetched them exiles in foreign lands. The Urhobo Youth Leaders Association, official representatives of Ibori's 14 millionmember tribe, also threatened to sabotage Nigeria's oil production when a Dubai court decided in 2010 that he was to be extradited from the UAE to Britain. The previous year, three days after Nigeria's defunct NEXT newspaper published documents showing evidence that Ibori was indeed an ex-convict, he was the chief speaker at a Nigerian Institute of International Affairs event. His talk was something along the lines of "how to move Nigeria forward". Even if all our leaders were to be immediately marched off to British jails and a new set took over, very little would change. There is a multitude of latent Iboris temporarily keeping themselves occupied with noisy calls for reform. I wish my country could show other Africans the way forward by bringing in experts who can advise how to change the attitudes of our people. That is our only hope for permanent, long-term deliverance from degeneration on this continent. www.guardian.uk.co 89 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Naomi Campbell called to testify over alleged blood diamond gift Julian Borger, Diplomatic Editor 90 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above:: Naomi Campbell arrives for the screening of Biutiful, presented at Cannes. Prosecutors call the model to testify over a 'blood diamond' she allegedly received from Liberia's ex-president Charles Taylor. Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images
UN war crimes prosecutors call for Naomi Campbell to testify over claims she was given jewels by Liberia's former president UN war crimes prosecutors in The Hague today called for the British supermodel Naomi Campbell to be compelled to testify over claims that she was given "blood diamonds" by Liberia's former president Charles Taylor. A request to subpoena Campbell, the actor Mia Farrow and Campbell's former agent, Carole White, was presented to the special court for Sierra Leone, which was set up in 2002 to try those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during that country's civil war. Much of the violence was blamed on Taylor, who was arrested while trying to escape in a car stuffed with cash in 2006 and extradited to stand trial in The Hague. One of the charges is that he used diamonds seized from Sierra Leone's gem mines to enrich himself and fund his Revolutionary United Front rebels, responsible for mass killings and mutilations in the fighting that lasted from 1991 to 2001. The prosecution has asked to reopen its case after Farrow claimed that Campbell had told her that she had been given a rough diamond by Taylor in September 1997 while she was a guest of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. White has testified that she heard Taylor say he was going to give Campbell diamonds and was present when they were delivered. 91 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: Charles Taylor testifies at the Hague. Left: Naomi Campell testifies at the Hague.
Campbell has refused to comment, storming out of one interview when asked about the issue, knocking over a camera on her way out. She told the US chatshow host Oprah Winfrey: "I don't want to get involved in this man's case – he has done some terrible things. I don't want to put my family in danger." The court documents issued yesterday state: "Ms Campbell, as the actual recipient of the accused's gift of diamonds, is clearly in a position to provide material evidence about this event." The court documents also say repeated attempts to interview the model had been unsuccessful and that she had publicly stated she did not want to be involved. "Thus, judicial intervention in the form of a subpoena is necessary," the prosecution argues. Farrow told prosecutors that Campbell told her that "she had been awakened in the night by knocking at her door. She opened the door to find two or three men – I do not recall how many – who presented her with a large diamond which they said was from Charles Taylor." Taylor has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He has dismissed the Campbell diamonds story as "total nonsense". 92 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Why Black America Creates Virtually No Jobs & What We Can Do About It By Mike Green This page: Black unemployed man in Jim Crow South
93 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Black Americans are no strangers to entrepreneurship. But sheer numbers of entrepreneurs do not translate into fast-growing companies that create jobs. Case and point: The Bureau of Labor Statistics data show a 60 percent spike in Black entrepreneurship between 2002 and 2007, equivalent to 1.9 million Black-owned businesses. However, more than 1.8 million of those businesses were sole proprietors with zero employees. Thus, it’s no surprise there’s zero job growth and chronic high unemployment across Black America. According to a 2010 report published by the Kauffman Foundation, nearly all net new job growth in the nation since 1980 has come from “high-growth” growth companies, those whose revenues grow quickly.
Above: An unemployment line, Photo Courtesy of Flickr/The Patron Saint
To add insult to injury, the nation’s 1.9 million Black-owned businesses combined produced less than 1 percent of the nation’s GDP. And that was at the height of entrepreneurship in Black America … before the economic collapse. Why do our businesses stagnate? Many reasons have been put forward, but one that is critical —lack of funding — will very soon have a potential solution. 94 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
High-growth entrepreneurship often requires the risk of significant capital investment in the beginning of a company, in the seed stage, where the difference between the life and death of an idea depends upon the availability of capital to sustain the business long enough to reach critical milestones. Without enough capital to maintain the startup through the “Valley of Death,” where entrepreneurs start their race against time and depleting cash reserves to reach a sustainable stream of revenue, the vast majority of these risk-taking job creators will watch their ideas die in the incubation or “seed” stage. Funding is so essential to the process of innovation that Steve Blank, professor of entrepreneurship at Stanford University said in his Secret History of Silicon Valley, “Silicon Valley would still be a bunch of engineers working in their garages without a culture of risk capital.” There is no “culture of risk capital” in Black America. But this month, President Obama signed into law a bill that could change that. The JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups), signed into law on April 5, 2012 allows entrepreneurs to raise money — through a process called “crowdfunding” — from people previously ineligible to participate in certain types of investments. For communities and entrepreneurs that have historically been disconnected from investing in private companies, the law is a boon. “It’s difficult to raise funds because we are not in Silicon Valley where there are many investors that understand technology,” said Andres Montgomery an African-American tech entrepreneur who is CEO of his start-up Dreem Digital in Salem, Oregon. The former Microsoft principal leads an award-winning team of experienced developers who deliver customized mobile education applications to K-12 schools, yet struggles to raise much-needed capital to grow his company. www.bici.org
95 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
“Our area understands agriculture so it’s a challenge to get a bank or investors that look to do collateral-backed financing (a tractor) to understand funding IP (intellectual property),” Montgomery said. “The flip side is if we were in Silicon Valley our cost would be much higher — at least double — and the competition for attention would be more intense, since there would be many more tech startups to compete with. Crowdfunding allows investors that like the idea, but are not part of the VC (venture capital) community, to participate in an idea they like with less risk,” Montgomery said. Before the JOBS Act, companies could raise money by soliciting the general public only under two circumstances: 1) hire a specialist to prepare expensive documents explaining the investment and submitting those documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for approval before soliciting the public, or 2) after soliciting the public, sell only to people who are SEC-qualified accredited investors. To qualify, investors had to have a net worth of $1 million and a minimum of $200,000 in annual income for the two most recent years, along with a reasonable expectation of future income at that level in the upcoming year.
96 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
To find people who meet these criteria, new companies often turned to angel investor networks — groups of accredited investors organized to find high-growth investment opportunities. The Angel Capital Association (ACA) – formed in 2006 — is the national trade association for these groups of risk astute seed stage investors. Today, the ACA website declares 160 angel group members with more than 7,000 accredited investors. The ACA boasts a wing, supported by the Kauffman Foundation, which educates newly formed angel groups and individuals. But such groups of SEC accredited investors typically target nearby geographic regions and prefer familiar networks and frameworks. Nationally, there aren’t enough of these angel groups to hear pitches from all the entrepreneurs seeking to raise money. So the odds are low for everyone. But for minority entrepreneurs, the odds are worse. Only one ACA angel group in the nation is founded by black Americans. One focus of the Minority Angel investment Network (MAIN) is to increase the amount of quality deals arranged with minority-led startups. Despite the low flow of high-growth investment deals in the pipeline, MAIN remains optimistic about the opportunity to develop deals in both majority and minority sectors. The group is participating in a reception on April 26 in Philadelphia co-hosted by the Angel Venture Forum and the law firm, Schnader, Harrison, Segal, Lewis LLP. The reception celebrates the “minority high growth and tech ecosystem.” No one yet knows the ultimate impact of the JOBS Act, because the rules for the new law are still being deliberated and will be decided by the SEC within 270 days from the day it was signed by President Obama. But we do know this: Under the JOBS Act, companies will be able use the crowdfunding option to raise up to $1 million without a requirement to sell only to accredited investors. This promises to open the door for high-growth entrepreneurship and job growth in economically disconnected sectors nationwide. But for those eager to participate, a few warnings: Entrepreneurs must be careful about marketing their investments before seeing the regulations, which may place a certain amount of liability upon the founders. And crowdfunders should create reasonable profit expectations. The likelihood that crowdfunders will receive large equity shares of a startup aren’t high, but crowdfunders may not have to wait until a liquidity event (company is sold or merges with another) to get a payout, as angel investors and VCs do. If SEC rules allow it, they may be able to participate in profit sharing. The evolution of the crowdfunding process is stirring a wave of excitement across the innovation landscape and there’s even a national crowdfunding association, established 97 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
two weeks before Obama signed the JOBS Act into law, which plans to work with the SEC to help establish competent, fair regulations that don’t prohibit access to the new economic frontier for risk-taking innovators or the risk astute crowds seeking to support them. Left: Black Founders Meetup group at 500 Startups in Mountain View, California. To create jobs, we need to target our support to entrepreneurs building high growth companies. Photo courtesy of Flickr/adria.richards
The rush to the new economic frontier was already underway before Obama paved the path with the JOBS Act. Many websites facilitating crowdfunding have already been established. But they have been carefully architected to comply with the old laws and provide unique ways for primarily social entrepreneurs to fund small projects, not high-growth businesses. Without question, the JOBS Act is a landmark legal evolution in the control over job growth in America and is one of the most important economic laws that have a direct impact on opportunities for job growth in black America. Crowdfunding could be the crowbar that pries open historically closed doors, potentially leading to the development of thriving urban economic ecosystems that increase the GDP and the competitiveness of the nation by incorporating into the economy those historically excluded. Despite the omission of black America from the current national innovation ecosystems, black innovators continue to emerge, suggesting there are investment opportunities within black America. To create more of these innovators, we ought to foster, nurture and augment urban innovation ecosystems, by investing in STEM education and other resources that help create entrepreneurs who produce job growth. The game has changed. The race is on. The gate to the new economic frontier is flooding with crowdfunders and expanded opportunities for high-growth entrepreneurs. Black Americans have never had a better opportunity to engage in America’s economy. But let’s not forget this is a race — a competitive landscape in which millions are rushing past us toward the unknown and unseen. It is time for an economic movement across black America. We are witnessing history being made. We have to decide now whether we intend to enter through the economic doorway opened by a black president and transition from a past of poverty to a future of prosperity, or remain flat-footed while the race into the 21st century leaves us in the past. www.bici.org 98 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
American Legislative Exchange Council’s Ends Anti-Democratic Policies after Losing Corporate Support By Teresa Haley
99 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is an ideologically conservative group consisting of business interests and conservative state legislators for the purpose of drafting research, policy papers and model legislation to assist and influence state legislatures and promote conservative initiatives. According to the organization's website, members share a common belief that "government closest to the people" is "fundamentally more effective, more just, and a better guarantor of freedom than the distant, bloated federal government in Washington, D.C." ALEC is perhaps most well-known for drafting model legislation that can be easily adopted by state legislators and introduced as legislation. ALEC also serves as a networking tool among state legislators, allowing them to research the handling and "best practices" of policy in other states. ALEC currently has more than 2,000 legislative members representing all 50 states, amounting to nearly one-third of all sitting legislators, as well as more than 85 members of Congress and 14 sitting or former governors who are considered "alumni". ALEC also claims approximately 300 corporate, foundation, and other private-sector members. A list of ALEC leaders in the states shows that party affiliation is predominately Republican. Florida 'Stand Your Ground' law According to weblog Talking Points Memo, the Florida Stand-your-ground law was identical to a bill proposed by ALEC. The law has frequently been mentioned as the reason George Zimmerman was not immediately arrested in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. 100 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
However, the legislator who wrote the law, Dennis Baxley, wrote that the Stand Your Ground law does not seem to apply in this case and that authorities are still investigating the matter. Boycott On April 4, 2012 the political advocacy group Color of Change announced a call to boycott Coca-Cola due to its support of ALEC and their advocacy work that allegedly encourages voter suppression through voter ID laws. Within hours, Coca-Cola announced it was ending its relationship with ALEC in apparent response to the threatened boycott. Kraft Foods and Intuit dropped support for the group under apparent pressure. Additionally, Pepsi had quietly withdrawn its support of ALEC earlier in the year. On April 9th the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also withdrew their support for ALEC. McDonald's severed ties with ALEC on April 10, 2012. On April 12, Reed Elsevier dropped ALEC and Wendy's said that it had done so at the end of 2011. Mars, Inc. has also dropped its membership with ALEC.
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Public Safety and Elections Task Force disbanded
On April 17, 2012, ALEC announced that it was disbanding its Public Safety and Elections Task Force, which provided model bills for voter-ID requirements and “stand your ground” gun laws. "Today we are redoubling our efforts on the economic front, a priority that has been the hallmark of our organization for decades. Fostering the exchange of pro-growth, solutions-oriented ideas is precisely why ALEC exists," said David Frizell, an Indiana state representative and chair of ALEC in a press release. In eliminating its Public Safety and Elections Task Force that deals with non-economic issues, Frizell added, "We are refocusing our commitment to free-market, limited government and pro-growth principles, and have made changes internally to reflect this renewed focus." NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous made the following statement on the decision by ALEC to discontinue their Public Safety and Elections Task Force: “We are encouraged that the nationwide campaign by civil rights advocates has forced ALEC to rethink its voter suppression and criminal protection work, but we know that for so many Americans, the damage has already been done,” said Jealous. “This year, because of ALEC, millions of voters who had been eligible to vote in 2008 will be denied 102 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
access to the ballot box. ALEC has drafted hundreds of model bills, resolutions, and policy statements, dissem-inating them in state legislatures around the country. Their model bills formed the basis of the Voter-ID laws enacted in several states and the stand-your-ground legislation that gained national notoriety in the wake of the Trayvon Martin murder, in addition to anti-immigrant legislation like Alabama’s HB 56. Jealous continued, “ALEC came to this decision after enough of their corporate sponsors, many of whom have been strong advocates of civil rights and public safety in the past, were made aware of their anti-democratic activities and dropped their support. The NAACP has been working with many of these courageous companies, and we will continue to monitor ALEC and make sure this move is more than just window dressing.” Last December, the NAACP published a groundbreaking report, Defending Democracy: Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America, that exposed the role ALEC played in propagating voter ID laws. Later that month, the Association led a rally of 25,000 people in front of the New York headquarters of the ALEC-funders David & Charles Koch to protest the voter suppression measures. Teresa Haley may be contacted at email@example.com.
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George Zimmerman’s ‘sorry’ day in court By Jonathan Capehart This [April 20, 2012] was a big day for George Zimmerman. A photograph reportedly of his head wounds minutes after he killed an unarmed Trayvon Martin emerged just as he was due in court for a bail hearing. Zimmerman will be released on $150,000 bond and a few other conditions. But the storyline of what happened that rainy night on Feb. 26 is as opaque as ever. This morning, Matt Gutman of ABC News showed a picture of the back of Zimmerman’s bloody head taken just two minutes after he killed Trayvon. The person who took the photo did not see the altercation, but heard it. According to Gutman, a “wobbly Zimmerman asked the photographer to call Zimmerman’s wife allegedly blurting out, ‘Man, just tell her I shot someone.’ ” From the very beginning, the Zimmerman story presented by his family and leaks from the Sanford Police Department has been that he was in a life-or-death struggle. That his head was bashed repeatedly on the sidewalk. That his nose was broken. The surveillance video of Zimmerman’s arrival at the Sanford Police Department — looking rather tidy for all that to have happened — fed the impression that all was not right with the story that had been presented. The emergence of the bloody-head photo doesn’t change that. The ABC News report visually confirms what was said in the police “Partial Report Only” by Officer Timothy Smith. While I was in such close contact with Zimmerman, I could observe that his back appeared to be wet and was covered in grass, as if he’d been laying on his back on the ground. Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and the back of the head ..... Zimmerman was placed in the rear of my police vehicle and was given first aid by the SFD. Where is that first-aid report? It’s a question I asked last month. Considering that special prosecutor Angela Corey saw the photo ABC News revealed today before she filed the affidavit that led to Zimmerman’s arrest, my guess is she’s seen it. That may also explain why Dale Gilbreath in the state attorney’s office said without explanation, 104 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: George Zimmerman arrives for bond hearing on April 20, 2012. Left: Giving testimony at bond hearing.
“That is not consistent with the evidence we found,” when he pushed back on the assertion that Zimmerman’s head was repeatedly smashed onto the sidewalk.
Trayvon was just a 17-year-old boy was walking back home from a store in the rain while talking on the phone with his girlfriend. He notices a man he doesn’t know watching him. He tries to get back to his dad’s fiancee’s apartment and he is confronted by the stranger. The girlfriend would tell lawyers for Trayvon’s family, “Trayvon said, ‘What, are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.’ Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell.” A minute later, Trayvon was dead.
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Above; Sabrina Fulton, left, mother of slain teen Trayvon Martin and family attorney Benjamin Crump arrive for the bond hearing of George Zimmerman at the Seminole county courthouse in Sanford, Florida, Friday, April 20, 2012. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/MCT) Left: Sabrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the parent’s of trayvon martin, at the Zimmerman bond hearing.
“I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son,” Zimmerman told Trayvon’s mother and father while testifying on his own behalf at the bail hearing. “I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not.” Zimmerman is 28 years old. In the 911 call he said “late teens” when asked by the dispatcher for Trayvon’s age. That’s hardly “a little bit younger.” But I digress. The trial will get into a whole lot more questions with actual evidence, assuming the case is not thrown out thanks to Florida’s insane “stand your ground” law. Trayvon’s family would not have suffered a loss had Zimmerman stayed in his car as the 911 dispatcher requested. The killer’s condolences would not have been necessary had he let the police do their jobs instead of taking matters into his own hands. And a national uproar over his ability to take a life without being held accountable in a court of law would not have been required had he been arrested and charged the night he took the life of a teenager armed only with an iced tea and a bag of Skittles. 106 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
The Story of Obama's Kenyan Sister A documentarian discusses The Education of Auma Obama and how families shape our identities. By: Akoto Ofori-Atta 107 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Left: Branwen Okpako (Courtesy of Branwen Okpako); Auma Obama (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
"I don't know if he's seen it, but I do know that he's requested a copy and that it was delivered to the White House and received," said Nigerian-born filmmaker Branwen Okpako on whether or not the president has seen her most recent film, The Education of Auma Obama, about his older half-sister. Auma, whom Okpako describes as "mellow, enlightened and insightful," is a brilliant scholar who studied linguistics and contemporary dance in Heidelberg, Germany, before enrolling in film school in Berlin in 1992, where she first met Okpako. Auma eventually moved back to Kenya to help young Kenyans develop into community activists. The film is an intimate portrait of her life -- her education, beliefs and politics, as well as her relationship with both her father and her half-brother. But it is also about the complex histories that make us who we are; the traits that we inherit from our families that shape our identities, beliefs and desires. After a screening at the African Film Festival in New York earlier this month, The Root spoke with Okpako about her project, what it was like to film her friend and what she wants people to know about the Obamas. The Root: How did this movie come about? What made you decide to do a documentary on Auma Obama? Branwen Okpako: My films are all personal to my own experiences. I've made both documentaries and fiction films about identity, place, belonging, representation and visibility. These themes were always present in my films because of being Nigerian, going to school in Germany and having a mother from Wales. The whole multicultural experience has very much been part of my life, and I tried to put that in my films. So I had a three-picture deal with a TV station in Germany and had already done two films. They asked, "Why don't you do a portrait about Barack Obama?" There are so many aspects of his life that were of great interest to me. But with him, I would miss the personal thing because I don't know him, and he's such a public figure. I thought that better suited to me would be the story of Auma.
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Above: President Obama with his Kenyan family
Knowing the kind of understanding that she has, and her dynamism as a protagonist, I thought it would make a great film. TR: Auma and President Obama's father, his life and his legacy, are featured prominently in the film. How do you see the three of them connected? BO: I think that they, the Obamas, as a family have a specific characteristic. Every family has a characteristic. What is important to us in our family? What are the themes we push? What do we represent? And I think that with [the Obamas] this idea of civic responsibility, this idea of adventure and curiosity, are all present. It was even there with Barack Sr.'s father. My father is a pharmacologist. He studied abroad and was a professor in the U.K. and got his Ph.D. He came back [to Nigeria]. He's an old man now, but he always says, "We
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Above: President Barack Obama's sister, Auma Obama, gives him a hug during a visit to the Oval Office, May 8, 2009, prior to his meeting with his senior advisors. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
have all these herbs and all these ways of healing ourselves, and we went away to get answers when the answers are all right here." Who do they tell all of these things to? Us, their children. So we go on and take up the responsibility and say we have to do this, we have to do it better and live up to the expectations of our parents. And that's why we are the way we are. And that's why Auma is the way she is. That voice, her father's voice, is there in her ear, you know. TR: What did you learn about your friend Auma while filming the documentary? BO: I didn't know her life story. We had always talked about our politics and our ideas, but it was through making this film that I got to know her story. Her friends are like family to her. Her aunts are important to her. I learned of one of Auma's aunts, who is younger than Auma because her grandfather married a younger woman. She is the one who told the story of Barack Sr.'s death [in the film]. I learned so many things that you can't anticipate.
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Even though I talk to mostly women in the film, her father's presence is there. I hadn't read President Obama's book until after I did the film, but look at the title: Dreams of My Father. There is something about the aspirations of our fathers. Anyone whose father was young at the beginning of the independence of African countries knows this. Those guys were taught at a young age that they could take charge of their countries. The torch wasn't given to the old or to the experienced. It was given to the young. They were in their 30s when they took over their countries. They were full of dynamic ideas, and then of course the disappointment comes, the reality of politics and the global situation and so forth. And who gets to hear about how [disappointment] feels? It's the kids. It's us. TR: Disappointment comes up quite a bit. What were you trying to convey to your audience about being let down? BO: I don't see disappointment as a main theme. The main theme is empowerment. You can change the world. It doesn't have to be in some lofty position. Right in your backyard, with your friends, colleagues and young people around you -- just sharing ideas and treating each other with respect and listening to each other and just trying to understand yourself. It's all a contribution to making [the] world a better place. And Auma's story is all about a simple woman, a simple family. Even if you are president, you're just a simple person. Everyone is. Nobody is more than anybody else. No one is more important than anybody else. I feel strongly about this. Some people live in a village, but they are royalty in their own way. And there is nothing disappointing about that. That is wonderful.
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Why Terrance Dean is more Than Just a Bestselling Author On April 4th,  music producer and popular New York DJ personality Mister Cee was arrested for sexual lewd acts with a man. On April 17th, “straight” rapper Lil B sent the Hip Hop world into a frenzy when he announced plans to title his upcoming album, “I’m Gay.” Then on May 15th,  CNN’s beloved news anchor, Don Lemon ‘came out’ and went public revealing he’s gay. But on June 14th, when entertainment industry insider and best-selling author Terrance Dean releases his anxiously anticipated debut novel MOGUL (Atria Books Original Paperback – June 2011; $15) these revelations will all make sense. Though fictional, MOGUL goes deep inside Hip Hop to reveal just how rampant homosexuality reigns in an industry that on the surface purports hypermasculinity as its calling card. MOGULfollows Aaron “Big A.T.” Tremble, a young music icon, as he juggles money, fame, women and running a record label, while indulging in a clandestine relationship with his hot superstar artist, the sexy hunk, Tickman. MOGUL gives readers the inner behind-the-scenes moves of a community of down low and gay industry companions, known as ‘the family,’ who support and propel Big A.T. as Hip Hop’s most beloved producer. MOGUL is the explosive factor that ties together the recent rash of real life homosexual media reveals. Society is not as ‘straight’ as it seems! A rollercoaster read MOGUL will incite speculation as Dean paints a true-to-life portrait of the entertainment business and its many personalities. His larger-than-life characters hint at real life celebrities. The drama reads like the events of today’s fast 113 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
paced headlines. And the sex sizzles off the pages. Dean’s debut fiction release centers him as a novelist grounded in the game. Interestingly, amid the excitement, passion and suspense, Dean writes with truth and sincerity that evokes compassion for his characters. He keeps the reader entertained, while at the same time dispelling the many misaligned preconceptions about what one thinks they know about not only the entertainment business, but the world of men who love men. Speaker, Educator, Author, and Hip Hop Head, Terrance Dean was born in Detroit, MI. He attended Fisk University where he graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Communication. Dean has worked in the entertainment industry for over 15 years with heavy hitters such as Spike Lee, Rob Reiner, Keenan Ivory Wayans, and Anjelica Houston. He has worked with television and film production companies such as B.E.T., Savoy Television, Para-mount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Sony Pictures. Most recently, Dean worked with MTV Networks for over six years helping to produce live award shows and events including MTV Video Music Awards, Movie Awards, Hip Hop Honors, Rock Honors, Sports & Music Festival, and Choose or Lose. Dean is also the founder/creator of Men’s Empowerment, Inc. and co-creator of The Gathering of Men with Adeyemi Bandele. Adeyemi is the husband and spiritual partner of acclaimed teacher and best-selling author Iyanla Vanzant. Deans’ New York based organization, Men’s Empowerment, has been in existence for over five years and has over 300 men of color from various backgrounds involved with the organization. Men’s Empowerment is an organization that is dedicated to the transformation of men of color in their communities for their own self-empowerment. The not-for-profit organization is a hugely popular empowerment group, which allows men of color to communicate, share and participate in an environment where brothers can “check their egos at the door” and create bonding relationships with one another. The brothers share experiences in their lives, which helps build a foundation of support for men to freely be in a room exchanging information to make powerful transformations in their lives. 114 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Some of the featured guest speakers have included, Emil Wilbekin, former Editor-inChief, VIBE Magazine; Kevin Powell, Author and Activist; Stacy Spikes, CEO Urbanworld Film Group; Gordon Chambers, Grammy Award Song Writer; Omar Tyree, Author; and Kevin Lyles, Chairman of Warner Music Group. Dean’s lecturing and workshops have been featured at noted institutions such as Brown University, Ohio University, Syracuse University, University of North Carolina-Pembroke, Rutgers University, Claflin University, Allen University, Voorhees College, Medgar Evars College, Long Island University, Cheyney University, College of Mount St. Joseph, Ramapo College, Brooklyn College, Kentucky State University, Barber-Scotia College, New Jersey City University, New York University, Morris Brown College, Albany State University, Drew University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Wayne State University and also at The New York City Adult Learning Center, The Hip Hop Hall of Fame, Edwin Gould Children’s Services, The Southwest Fatherhood Conference, New York Citiworks, The Learning Annex, The Children’s Village, Inwood House, The New York Prison System, Michigan Human Services Youth Detention Facility, Paul Robeson Academy, Cerveny Middle School, East Lake Baptist Church, St. John A.M.E. Church, Oakley Full Gospel Baptist Church, Clinton Memorial A.M.E. Church, Abyssinian Baptist Church and the Old English 800 Business Seminar. Dean is a 2005 John Seigenthaler Journalism Fellow from Vanderbilt University. He is a contributing writer to the anthologies, “Souls of My Brothers” and “Always Too Soon.” Dean has been featured in Newsweek, Time magazine, New York Magazine, The Observer UK, Genre, VIBE, Hip Hop Weekly, Toronto NOW and Essence magazine. He has also appeared across the country, and internationally, on popular syndicated radio shows – NPR, The BBC, Russ Par, and The Wendy Williams Experience. He has made national television appearances on Fox’s The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, and Fox’s Red Eye, NBC 10 Philadelphia, ABC 6 Philadelphia, WB 11 New York, and FOX 2 in Detroit. Dean has written for VIBE Magazine, ESSENCE, The 115 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Advocate, The New York Sun, The Tennessean, Fatherhood Today, The Michigan Chronicle’s Front Page, Flirtingtime.com and Blackmeninamerica.com. Dean’s other works include: Straight, From Your Gay Best Friend In today's society, from the inner-city to suburban America, nearly every woman has a gay best friend - the one who gives it to them straight about life, clothes, sex, and relationships. For example, on the number-one cable show on the Bravo Network, The Real Housewives of Atlanta The break-out star of the show, NeNe, has introduced the world to her gay best friend, Dwight Eubanks. Every woman deserves to have a gay best friend in her life. No should be without one. Straight, From Your Gay Best Friend gives women direct, and poignant, though often tongue in cheek, advice from Terrance Dean, their new gay best friend, on some of life's most challenging issues--family, friends, career, love, sex, and intimate relationships with men. Dean offers direct and to-the-point insights, mixed with a little sass, wit, humor, forwardness, and spirituality, as only a gay man can do. He speaks candidly to women on healing their souls of past hurts in order to tap into their fabulousness. Also included are meaningful and powerful inspirational stories from women who were seeking to live fabulous and fierce lives filled with abundant love and joy, as well as have intimate relationships with men. These women learned to reclaim, rediscover, and heal themselves. Dean also dedicates a chapter to the most controversial topic in the black community-down low gay men. I am often asked by women, "How can I tell if my man is on the down low?" Or, "What are some signs I need to look out for so I do not end up in a relationship with a down low man?" This chapter will help women identify if the man they are in a relationship with or considering dating may be on the down low. Dean gives straight answers on when to leave a relationship, how to make it last, how to open up, how to get into the dating game, when to stop being a doormat, and how often 116 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
times the woman may just not be into the man. When many women experience a tumultuous break-up or suffer through a challenging relationship, they turn to their gay best friends. Sure, they seek advice from their girlfriends, but it's always the gay best friend who's unique perspective helps them through the rough spots, encouraging her, inspiring her, and giving her the straight truth about relationships, and herself. His book will help women discover the power they need for a life of abundant success, prosperity, and happiness with loving relationships. It dispense practical advice and tips on creating healthy and loving relationships with themselves and any man they desire. And, itâ€™s all done from a place of love, from their gay best friend. Hiding In Hip Hop Everyone wants to know the truth about their favorite celebrities' heart's desire. Within the masculine culture of Hip Hop and Hollywood, there is a well-known gay subculture that industry insiders are keenly aware of but choose to hide. Terrance Dean worked his way up for more than ten years in the entertainment industry from intern to executive, and has lived the life of glitz and bling along with Hollywood and Hip Hop's most glamorous. With a family full of secrets and working in an industry founded on maleness -- where one's job, friendships, and reputation all depend on remaining on the down low and in hiding -- Dean writes a revealing account of the journey of coming out from hiding. Full of startling anecdotes and incredible true stories, Hiding in Hip Hop is not a traditional tell-all. A personal and poignant memoir, it is also one of the most provocative and honest looks at stardom and sexuality.
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Reclaim your power Reclaim Your Power! A 30-Day Guide to Hope, Healing, and Inspiration for Men of Color is a compact but powerful book in which community philanthropist Terrance Dean provides men of color with meaningful, spiritual meditations that can be practiced anywhere at any time. Quotations and exercises further build upon the daily lessons in the book. Among them: Listen; Be Still; Can’t No One Stop You but You; Faith; Have Integrity; and Move, Mountain, Get out of My Way! “It’s no accident that you have this book in your hands,” writes Dean in his Introduction. “You or someone you know has thought enough about you to get you started or help you remember your connection to Spirit. Know that everything is divinely created and that you are meant to be here, right now, at this time, to become aware of your greatness. I encourage you to read this book and be open to its message.” Visible Lives Visible Lives: Three Stories in Tribute to E. Lynn Harris (Kensington) by Terrance Dean, Stanley Bennett, Clay, and James Earl Hardy Three friends honor and pay tribute to New York Times best-selling author E. Lynn Harris with three original novellas. A riveting anthology, Visible Lives, is a first of its kind, and truly a befitting memorial for one of literature's leading pioneers in black gay fiction. Terrance Dean may be contacted via Twitter at http://twitter.com/terrancedean and at http://www.mrterrancedean.com
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How That Tupac Hologram At Coachella Worked 120 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
EnlargeChristopher Polk/Getty Images
Above: Near the end of his headlining set at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts festival, Snoop Dogg (left) performed next to a hologram of the deceased Tupac Shakur. Left; Coachella Music Festival
Tupac Shakur was killed more than 15 years ago â€” three years before the first Coachella Valley Music & Arts festival was held. But thanks to a trick of light, he's probably the single most talked about musician who performed at this year's version of the festival. Tupac At Coachella: A Long History Of Singing Ghosts Except, well, "performed" is a funny word to use. The Tupac who appeared onstage during the headlining set by Snoop Doggand Dr. Dre on Sunday was a hologram, more a feat of technology and bravado than a performance. The image looked shockingly good, but how did it work? James Montgomery wrote about the Tupac hologram for MTV news, and explained to NPR's Audie Cornish that the Digital Domain Media Group, a company that has produced special effects for movies like X-Men: First Class, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,used "really old theatrical technology" with a "2012 spin." 121 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above; Schematic of how hologram works.
"There's an overhead projector that sort of reflects down onto basically a tilted piece of glass that's sort of on the stage floor," Montgomery says. "That then reflects the, well, reflection onto a mylar sort of screen, and it projects in this sort of 3-D kind of thing where it allows the other performers to sort of walk in front of Tupac and basically interact [with] him." Montgomery says the exact technique behind the technology is still a little bit in the dark, so to speak. "You don't know whether or not they hired an actor to portray him and then sort of put digital clothing over this actor in post-production, or they built it in a computer," he says. But the technology is there, and don't bet it'll be limited to this single appearance. Already, Snoop and Dre are reportedly thinking about taking the Tupac hologram out on tour. Montgomery thinks it won't end there. "Once this becomes a little less cost prohibitive, given the wild popularity of deceased stars like Elvis or Michael Jackson, I can see Las Vegas shelling out a lot of money to have these sort of 'live reviews,' " he says. "It's also interesting if you look at the current stars of today, someone like Madonna or a Paul McCartney. Are they looking at what happened with Tupac, and are they thinking, maybe I have to rewrite my will and sort of include something that says, 'I don't want my likeness projected in 3-D holographic form at any point in the future.' " 122 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Tupac's Coachella Hologram Made Wiz Khalifa Uneasy Tupac's hologram stole the show at Coachella this past weekend, but Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg also had a few notable live guests. Eminem, 50 Cent and Warren G all made appearances, as did Kendrick Lamar and Wiz Khalifa, who performed "Young, Wild and Free" with Snoop early in the set. Wiz didn't get to spend time on stage with Holo-Pac, but he appreciated the significance of the night. Left: Wiz Khalifa performing at Coachella
"I went out before the holographic Tupac so I actually didn't get to share [the stage]," Khalifa told MTV News on Wednesday during a break from shooting the "Payphone" music video with Maroon 5. "It's cool. Dr. Dre and Snoop are alive, so that was pretty awesome to be up there with them, but yeah, it was awesome." Khalifa admitted that the 'Pac-o-gram made him a bit uneasy though. "I don't know, it kinda freaked me out," he said. Kendrick Lamar, who performed his new single "The Recipe" alongside Dr. Dre that same night, was excited by the optical illusion. "It was just a crazy feeling, made me think of that one moment when I seen dude in real life," K. Dot told MTV News. The Good Doctor told TMZ that he hopes to expand on the technology that was used to resurrect the fallen rap legend onstage. "Right now it's flat, it just looks like it's threedimensional from the front. But I'm working on some new and different things for the future," he said. "Hopefully, we can see Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye. Let's see what happens."
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Tupac Coachella 'Hologram' May Go On Tour
Getty Images It wasn't enough to just raise him from the dead -now Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre might take be starting a Tupac Revivalist Roadshow. The two rap superstars put together an all-star ensemble for their Coachella performance Sunday, but the event was truly made by the 2D reflected image of a walking, talking, singing Tupac Shakur, who performed two songs for the inawe concert audience (and then, a massive audience on YouTube). The computer work was done by Digital Domain Image Group, which told The Wall Street Journalthat it created an entire synthetic human without use of archival footage for the show. Their work might not be done, as the Journal reports that Dre has been considering taking the spectacle on tour. "This is just the beginning," Ed Ulbrich, the company's creative director, told the newspaper. "Dre has a massive vision for this." In an interview with MTV, Ulbrich said that normal digital re-creations cost anywhere from $100,000 to $400,000.
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"I can't say how much that event cost, but I can say it's affordable in the sense that if we had to bring entertainers around the world and create concerts across the country, we could put [artists] in every venue in the country," he told the network's website. "I can't say how much that event cost, but I can say it's affordable in the sense that if we had to bring entertainers around the world and create concerts across the country, we could put [artists] in every venue in the country," he told the network's website. Tupac Hologram Sparks 48% Rise in Digital Domain Shares
Digital Domain Media Group Inc. (DDMG), creator of a lifelike Tupac Shakur visual effect seen onstage at the Coachella music festival, has gained 48 percent since a performance on April 15 showcased the technology. Digital Domain, a special-effects company based in Port St. Lucie, Florida, climbed 18 percent to $7.55 at the close in New York, extending its gain from $5.11 on April 13, the last trading day before the performance in California. Founded in 1993 by film industry icon James Cameron and two business partners, digital production company Digital Domain has delivered innovative visuals for more than 80 movies â€“ some of the most successful entertainment properties, including Titanic, Apollo n13, the Transformers trilogy and TRON Legacy. Its artists have earned multiple Academy Awards. A creative force in advertising, Digital Domain has created 125 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
imagery for what we believe are some of the world’s most visually arresting commercials. Video showing Shakur, who died in 1996, seeming to perform onstage with rappers Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, has appeared on cable news channels including Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s CNN and Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s CNBC, and has been a top draw on Google Inc. (GOOG)’s YouTube. Dr. Dre may tour with the Tupac hologram, said Tony Wible, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. “Their long-term goal is to be the next Pixar,” said Wible, referring to the Walt Disney Co. animation studio that produced the “Toy Story” movies. “And there’s reason to believe they can go in that direction with the talent they have hired.” Shannon Burns, vice president of investor relations for Digital Domain, said the company had agreed with Dr. Dre not to discuss the technology until after this weekend. Digital Domain is co-producing a movie, “Ender’s Game,” with Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF)’s Summit film unit, and is expanding into China and Abu 126 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
company won an Oscar in 2009 for its work on “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” in which Brad Pitt’s
holographic projection, is scheduled to perform again on April 22 during the second weekend of the music festival, located about 23 miles (37 kilometers) east of Palm Springs, California.
“They have an animation slate that’s building momentum and now people are seeing its technology can be used in other areas,” said Wible, who recommends buying the shares. “People are now seeing commercial applications for this hologram.” 127 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Nbtv delivers informative news 24/7
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Left: 12th Annual Rainbow Push Creating Opportunity Conference November 4, 2011
On August 24, 2003 the National Black Television (NBTV) President Dr. Stanley Everage Jr. found himself being inspired by sermon that was preached by Pastor James Williams of the beautiful Zion Baptist Church in Algiers Louisiana. The sermon had a lasting effect on Minister Everage’s soul. As a result of that sermon, to this day he has found himself working with various community leaders, business leaders, and political leaders thorough out America to help bring about social change. That special day was Pride of Algiers Lodge No. 102 F& AM 100th Year Anniversary, and the theme was There’s Still Hope. It was this event that launched the National Black Young Men & Women of America (“N.B.Y.M.W.A “) which is an organization that’s involved in activist movements to help create a more positive, social economic African American community. One of N.B.Y.M.W.A’s most important community services took place within the New Orleans Public School Board System, which has had serious problems as a result of Hurricane Katrina. N.B.Y.M.W.A , which was engaged in a mentioning program at area High Schools, main focus was to encourage youth on the importance of obtaining a good education. N.B.Y.M.W.A believes that prevention, intervention, and neighborhood revitalization are key components in which it attempts to improve and revitalize the economic and social conditions of distressed neighborhoods. Unfortunately, as faith would have it, the organization encountered major obstacles due to the effect Hurricane Katrina had on the public school system in New Orleans, which continues to face major challenges. Understanding that the ills that affected the New Orleans affect communities of color across the country, N.B.Y.M.W.A now provides services to impact the economic strength within urban America. Upon keeping our mission active as it relates to empowering the African American Community we have covered several areas in the community addressing the concerns of the day. Our agenda has broaden we are now a major media awareness out let for the African American Community. Mainly our focus is to strengthen the voice of the African American Community, and give the world a different view about the community. 129 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Since Hurricane Katrina the organization’s headquarters have been in the greater Atlanta community, where it has continued to address some of the most challenging issues in our community. Establishing the National Black Young Men & Women of America in Atlanta has brought tremendous national notoriety to the organization’s mission.
Above: Stanley Everage speaking at conference.
Also being in Atlanta has afforded it the opportunity to reach a class of African Americans that main stream media doesn’t cover. One of the major focuses of the organization has been the development of its internet television station as an outlet to give exposure to those events, places and people who are having a positive impact within the African American community. Nationalblacktv.com (NBTV) is among the world's leaders in online news and information delivery. Staffed 24 hours, seven days a week by a dedicated staff in the National Black 130 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
World headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and in bureaus worldwide, NBTV relies heavily on national blacks global team of almost 2,000 news professionals. Left: NBTV covers Box Tops for education Program with Susan Taylor Editor Emeritus, Essence Magazine
Nationalblacktv.com (NBTV) features the latest multimedia technologies, from live video streaming to audio packages to search able archives of news features and background information. The site is updated continuously throughout the day. In addition, NBTV showcases HBCUs across America in an effort to raise awareness of the talent we have in our community, increase sponsorships and to show the misguided youth that there is something much bigger out there in the world for them. Showcasing the college life to these youths gives them a birds-eye view of what life could be if they stay focused on their goals and dreams. Right: NBTV covers Marc Daniels with Operation Weed Out Hate.
According to Mr. Everage, “now it is time for the African American community and the entire human family to begin to respectfully recognize the successes within the African American Community. Often times the media gives a negative and unrealistic view of the African American community, and our website is geared toward setting the record straight. If you know about African Americans who are making a major impact in your community we ask that you help support this effort by sending in information about them.” Mr. Eveage continues, the African American Community is the 8th strongest Economic Power in the World. If there are 270 Nations in the United Nations, the African American 131 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Left: NBTV Interviews 2011 SWAC Champions Grambling State University
community within the U.S. 8th concerning economics, what an amazing position to hold in the world economy. In addition, an African American man holds the highest office in our country and is the most powerful man in the World. Mr. Everage Jr. was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. Iit was there that he received his formal education at Warren Easton Fundamental Senior High School in 1992. From there Mr. Everage received a music scholarship to Grambling State University. Mr. Everage then transferred to an Aviation college in 1995 and finished at Hallmark College of Aviation where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation Engineering in 1997. Right: NBTV at the Winston Salem State University “Return to Glory”
After completing College like most ambitious college graduates he couldn't wait to move into the work force. He began a career as an Aircraft Engineer for Northrop Grumman Aviation Corporation in 1997. He later became a member of the Join Stars Program for the United States Air Force as an engineer receiving his Security Clearance in Lake Charles, LA. After leaving Lake Charles, LA, he returned back to his native home of New Orleans, LA where he worked as an Engineer for NASA from 2000 until 2003. “It is our goal to become the premiere online TV destination not only for those within our community but also for those outside our community so that they can see first-hand our individual and collective successes, “ says Mr. Everage. For more information or to get your event covered visit NBTV at www.nbtv1.com. 132 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
The B U B U S H II K Y Story So Far 133 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: Emily Osei- Blavo Bubushiiky Founder Right: Sayo Martin Babatunde, Corporate Strategist
What is B U B U S H II K Y? B U B U S H II K Y is an innovative fashion brand that uses creativity and substance to provide quality products, highlighting particular elements of an individual's style and personality. We mix traditional concepts, contemporary styles and unique ideas to produce trend setting badges of comment and loyalty to what we stand for. B U B U S H II K Y is regarded 'The Heel Of Africa', this is primarily because we use African patterns, fabrics and traditional styles to bring 134 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
the beauty of the African culture to the world. Our products are not merely footwear displaying African patterns, but they also carry a worldwide message. We believe that Africa is not just a patch of land in the southern Hemisphere but in addition to this; it encapsulates ideas and character traits that can be found in every individual. Africa is beautiful, resourceful, strong, optimistic, diverse and much more. A heel is a form of support; it helps define the structure of the legs, assists the posture of the body and can transform an outfit or a mood. At B U B U S H II K Y our products are a part of a process and through fashion, we wish to support, assist and highlight the beauty of what we believe Africa is which we believe can be found in every individual regardless of ethnicity. The History Of B U B U S H II K Y Emily The Motherâ€Ś The concept of the B U B U S H II K Y was birthed from the passion and creativity of Emily Osei- Blavo. A young talented designer born in London whose parents are originally from Ghana. Emily comes from a family involved in fashion on various levels. Being the daughter of a seamstress, she put her hands to a sewing machine early and learnt how to create everything out of anything fairly quickly. Like most young people in London, she attended school and college and had a strong creative desire to implement experiments through hand-made products. Following this she began to study Product and Furniture Design at Kingston University but left once she realized her true passion;
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expressing her ideas through footwear, clothes and accessories. She took time out of university and whilst working at Aldo, the luxury shoe department at Harvey Nichols and then Selfridges (which houses the largest Shoe Gallery in the world), Emily learnt to channel her creativity into customizing footwear, and accessories at a higher standard and with a greater level of innovation and dedication. During this process, Emily received regular requests to create and customize for friends and family which eventually evolved into a client base far beyond her immediate circle. Her skills and products were so well spoken of, that she was swamped with constant orders. This demand developed a great reputation for herself and B U B U S H II K Y encouraging her to take her talent to a global audience. Along Came Sayo Martinâ€Ś In 2011 Sayo Martin Babatunde a young law graduate running his own online media platform, possessing a keen eye for business and creativity, stumbled upon Emily's 136 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
creations on Facebook. He contacted her simply to commend her on what he felt was superb work and offered her a hand in the legal endeavors related to her products, if ever needed. Working closely with artists of all types, this young man was no stranger to great ideas and how to implement them. He has assisted and advised recording artists, book authors, chefs and other fashion designers, also helping other businesses through consultation and hands-on planning. In 2010 he developed a deep interest in womenâ€™s shoes, born out of the boredom he encountered while travelling to work on London undergound trains earlier that year. Along the way, while looking closely on a few marketing and legal aspects, Sayo noticed that Emilyâ€™s creativity and talents were not being maximised and they both realised they shared the vision of taking the concept of the brand global. They developed a friendship based on the beautiful chemistry that exists between them. Along with prayer and careful thought, the two agreed to collaborate, and soon combined their creativity and business skills to develop and disperse the message of
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B U S H II K Y around the world. We Are All African, Even You! UK based designer Emily Osei-Blavo has begun her mission to share the depth and beauty of the African culture with the world. Her fashion label B U B U S H II K Y is not just another passenger aboard the current fashion bandwagon that is using African prints, patterns and fabrics on everything from jewelry to bed sheets. The brand has a deeper aim: it intends to highlight and promote the beautiful qualities of the African culture which can be found in each individual. At the end of March 2012 B U B U S H II K Y who currently create and sell womanâ€™s shoes and accessories, made their first official collection available to the world, of which already has been received positively by hundreds of fans. B U B U S H II K Y believes that fashion is a visual language using style to communicate elements of an individualâ€™s personality and mood. Colours, textures and designs tell stories and give information that affects how we all see and interact with each other. Marketing experts liken successful fashion brands to religions, stating that each carries a central message that it openly promotes while simultaneously using strategic techniques to consciously and sub-consciously communicate beliefs and viewpoints to the world. B U B U S H II K Y regards Africa as much more than a continent or culture. In general, there is an undeniable; beauty, resourcefulness and strength Africa has in its environment and its people but also an invisible limit on who is regarded as African. This up and coming fashion house believes being African is more than just having an ancestral connection to a patch of land in the southern hemisphere. They believe every individual shares the natural beauty, resourcefulness and strength Africa has, and they wish to use their creativity to promote and display this message. Using African cultural influences such as patterns, fabrics and materials, B U B U S H II K Y uses its luxury heels to invite all, regardless of their ethnicity, to be all the things Africa is; not because they are African but because those individuals are also those things that Africa is. Emily and her team have begun to do this through the shoes in their spring collection which was released at the end of March 2012. It is an exclusive and limited range of 15 pairs of shoes in 3 beautiful designs made available to purchase only on their website www.shop.bubushiiky.com.
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A colourful court shoe with strong blue tones, complimented by a vibrant hint of pink.
£59.99 The Lime Court
An elegant court shoe with a beautiful chocolate brown body and striking highlights of lime green yellow and turquoise.
The Perry Platt
A stylish and colorful plat formed shoe with strong blue tones, complimented by a vibrant hint of pink.
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Lime Clutch Description The equally elegant clutch box to match the Lime Court with a beautiful chocolate brown
body and striking highlights of lime green yellow and turquoise.
£29.99 Description The matching accessory to the Rosalind and Perry Platt. A small rounded clutch bag with a strong blue tones, complimented by a vibrant hint of pink. As of April 20, 2012 currency conversion from British Pound to United States Dollar would be as follows: ₤59.99 = $96.74 ₤29.99 = $48.36
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Char Couture the Inspiration Behind Nizuri Exotic Jewelry & Clothing 141 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Chicago resident Char Couture was born in Springfield, IL, but has lived in Memphis, Atlanta and Dallas. The 5 foot 9 inch Char Couture started in the fashion world at the age of sixteen making prom dresses with my mother. “I was super skinny and tall so I couldn’t find anything to fit me, so my mom and I designed and made my first dress. When I received best dressed in high school, I knew then I had talent so I started just making my own clothes and putting outfits together. In college, I used to compete in the talents shows and I started having mini fashion shows. I never studied fashion design in college that was something I taught myself and learned from my family,” says Char Couture. While living in Memphis, she owned her own boutique called Curvy Divas. This business was in operation from 2009 until 2011. Curvy Divas focused on full-figured women. “At that time no one else had a plus size boutique so I instantly saw an opportunity. This is when my popularity as a designer spread in the south and I started to do fashion shows centered on the plus size market,” she says. “However, after the passing of my grandmother in May 2011, I lost the desire to do clothing alltogether and I closed down the boutique and moved to Chicago,” says Char Couture with reflection. In September 2011, Char Couture started working on a jewelry line just for therapy reasons and she named it “Nizuri” which means “Beautiful Inside” in Swahili. Again, customers began to like the 142 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Nizuri Spring Fling Collection 2012
Python Cuff Bracelet
White House Pearl Necklace Set
To view the full Spring Fling Catalogue, please visit www.nizuri.com
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Above & Left: Blue Striped Back Dress $19.95 Model: Shaniqua White Campbell
items that she was selling and so her focus centered on just jewelry. Her web based business www.nizuri.com has garnered an impressive following and its customer list is growing. According to Char Couture, “the jewelry reflects modern, ethnic and pop culture. Although we have a lot of trendy items, we try to incorporate pieces that you necessarily wouldn't see every day. I make a lot of the hoop earrings myself and some of the bangle work is done by me as well. “ “My goal for the line is to promote uniqueness and beauty in jewelry. I want it to reflect culture and life!” Although she has a lot of people wanting me to do wholesale, Char Couture wants to keep Nizuri as a separate business. “I’m currently in a number of fashion shows and my goal is to keep working on the marketing and to continue to build the brand, “ she says. To order exotic jewelry and/or clothing please visit www.nizuri.com. 144 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
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Remembering Love By Destinee Love When you think of your past love, you may view it as a failure. But when you find a new love, you view the past as a teacher. In the game of love, it doesn’t really matter who won or who lost. What is important is that you know when to hold on and when to let go. You know you really love someone when you want him or he r to be happy, even if their happiness means that you’re not a part of it. Everything happens for the best. If the person you love doesn’t love you back, don’t be afraid to love someone else again, for you’ll never know unless you give it a try. You’ll never love a person you love unless you risk for love. Love strives in hurting. If you don’t get hurt, you don’t learn how to love. Love doesn’t hurt all the time. Though the hurting is still there to test you and to help you grow. Don’t find love, let love find you. That’s why it’s called falling in love because you don’t force yourself to fall. You just fall. You cannot finish a book without closing its chapters. If you want to go on, then you have to leave the past as you turn the pages. Love is not destroyed by a single failure or won by a single caress. It is a lifetime venture in which we are always learning, discovering and growing. The greatest irony of love is letting go when you need to hold on, and holding on when you need to let go. We lose someone we love only when we are destined to find someone else who can love us even more than we can love ourselves. On falling out of love, take some time to heal and then get back on the horse. But don’t ever make the same mistake of riding the same one that threw you the first time. To love is to risk rejection, to live is to risk dying, to hope is to risk failure. But risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing! To reach for another is to risk involvement, to expose your feelings is to expose true self; to love is to risk to be loved in return. How to define love… fall but do not stumble, be constant but not too persistent, share and never be unfair, understand and try not to demand, hurt but never keep the pain. 146 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Love is like a knife. It can stab the heart or it can carve wonderful images into the soul that always last for a lifetime. Love is supposed to be the most wonderful feeling. It should inspire you and give you strength and joy. But sometimes, the things that give you joy can also hurt you in the end. Loving people means giving them the freedom to be whom they choose to be and where they choose to be. For all the heartaches and the tears out, for gloomy days and fruitless years, you should give thanks, for you know, that there were the things that helped you grow. Loving someone means giving him or her the freedom to find their way, whether it leads towards you or away from you. Love is a painful risk to take but the risk must be taken no matter how scary or painful, for only then you’ll experience the fullness of humanity and that is love. Only love can hurt your heart, fill you with desire and tear you apart. Only love can make you cry and only love knows why. If you’re not ready to cry, then you’re not ready to fall in love. There comes a time in our lives when we become afraid to fall in love because every time we do, we get hurt. But then, I figured that’s why it’s called falling in love. Much Love, Mother’s Day !!!!! and remember to “Keep It Sexi!!!” For order information: http://www.essenceofdestinee.com
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The Law of Attraction By Sereda Aleta Dailey Introduction to the Law of Attraction Manifesting happens every day whether we want it to or not, we are always attracting things and people to us. The absolute key to Manifesting without missing a mark is to do so with confident intention and complete awareness. There is so much you can do to transform your situation into a one that’s full of peace and resources. For ultimate success we should be mindful of several items from day to day. This may seem like a heavy burden, but trust me it is just a bit more than you may be doing right now. You will see, this is small measure of work to do. I promise this new process to be worth every single moment for you. It is true; most people don’t think they have the time to add even one more detail to their daily routines. I will show you that changing your thinking is the first step restructuring any situations. There is some re- programming that needs to take place to see results. You will see your life reshaping right before your very eyes, as you enter this process with new information. Making a change has never been as rewarding for us on the inside as well as the outside. The changes we make now have the chance to propel us to a constant balance that so many beings seek. The keys to co- creating are in you. Once you experience the direct influence that you have on your world, that’s it. You can have the life you know you were meant to live right here, right now. Full of good health, resources and surrounded with all that you want. Before we can have abundance in our lives, we have to make some assessments to highlight past patterns but also to identify the areas we should do differently. This cannot be overlooked if an individual wants to be proactive in the world. So again, the beginning of building and maintaining abundance is to process our current perception of reality with a fine toothed comb before we can expect to see any lasting improvements in our lives now or in the future. 148 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Law of Attraction 101: What Do You Want? There is no reason to hold back now is there? The universe is already aware of the correct time and space to send you what you desire. As you write down your goals, I want you to be very unreasonable about the goals you write down. The key to acquiring anything in this life is to first identify what you intend on attracting first. You must be clear on what you want since the (unlimited stream) we call the universe wants to support your most desired as soon as the time is right. When â€Ś is one thing you do not have to think about. The universe measures time in a totally different sense than we do. The universe is vast and limitless. You need not be concerned about how or when something will happen. Leave that task to the Forces that are to take care of. Again, the first key to having your desires is to identify what they are. For example: What do you want to see in your life three years from now, what about three months from now or even next month? Start asking questions and write down some answers. This exercise does not have to be too intense, but it is a major step in moving forward on your manifesting journey. Look at it as an opportunity to be the best you can be!
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Clarify your goals with joy. Over time you may want to add to your list and tweak it to your liking. That is great. Do not think of writing down your goals as a one time thing. Over time you will definitely have more goals and desires. Remember I said dream big!Adding to your goals from time to time will keep your list current and in harmony with the direction you are walking in. Here is an example of someoneâ€™s list of goals: 1. Abundance in all areas of my life 2. Stability 3. I want to win 4. Good health 5. A husband and three beautiful children 6. To travel the world 7. A successful business executive 8. A healthy relationship with my family In a future post you will see how to turn your list of wants into actual affirmations which is a very important step in the law of attraction process. As time goes on uncertainty about what you desire will go away, then a new vibrancy can flow into your mind and bring to the surface all the things that make you smile. As you watch your desires come to life. You will find even more reasons to smile. When individuals do not feel open about identifying their goals its because there is usually fear present. 150 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
It is important to understand that fear is nothing but a diagnostic message that the kidneys are sending to the brain signaling a call to us for attention. When we experience fear it is not an emotion as we have been conditioned to believe. Instead it is natures alarm from the kidneys to come balance and heal this particular organ. Please read more about this in the Chinese 5 organ profiling system. This process is quite simple but very comprehensive as well, the body shows us exactly what is out of harmony all the time. We only have to know how to read the signals it sends out. As with everything else in the world, with time, comes greater understanding. Next just for fun, write a list of things you do not want, put that list on top of the trash, place it in a drawer, in an envelope or just throw it away. Smile as do it. You may want to keep this list tucked away somewhere instead of simply throwing it away for review later. This way you can see the difference it has made in your life to have attracted what you want. Blissfully- Keep on glowingâ€Ś I â™Ľ YOU. Sereda may be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Multi Talented Erica Franklin 154 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Erica ‘EFrank’ Franklin born January 17, 1989 on the North side of Chicago is a model, singer, dancer, actress, and licensed cosmetologist. After spending 2 years at Howard University studying musical theater, she decided to pursue a career in cosmetology at Aveda Institute in Chicago. She began taking dance lessons at the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center (Homer Bryant) and joined the Jimmy Payne dance company at the age of 12. Her credits include performing at the Taste of Chicago, The Anthem Theater, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Nobel Street Theater, Columbia College, The Ravinia with Lane Alexander, and more. Erica has held leads in her high school musicals and performed with The Little Opera House Theater in the opera Don Pasquale. Erica has also worked as a backup singer with upcoming Chicago artists, such as singer Ben Official, rapper Reno Chinati, and rapper B.A.M Bno. On the side, she works as a show room model at Merchandise Mart for fashion houses and Chicago designer Darlinda Russell. As a talent of Lily's Talent Agency and HD The Agency, Erica has appeared in HAS Magazine, Uptown Magazine, Kiss Magazine, and New York Fashion week 2011. Erica’s latest shoot for www.khojodressss.com as the new face of Khojo Dresses. The future is looking very bright for Erica Franklin. 155 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
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Study shows violence changes the DNA of children By Donovan X Ramsey
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Above: Nadashia Thomas, 6, a cousin of Derrion Albert, holds a sign beside a poster of Derrion Albert at Fenger High School in Chicago, Sept. 28, 2009. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
New research in the field of neuroscience has found that early childhood abuse can leave effects beyond life-long emotional scars: it can change a child's DNA. A new study reveals that changes to DNA that typically come with age are accelerated in the cases of children who witnessed violence. In an upcoming article in Molecular Psychiatry, researchers at Duke University examined a phenomenon called telomere erosion in children. Telomeres are sequences on a chromosome that duplicate over the course of one's life; with every duplication, the telomere shortens. New technologies allow research scientists to examine the length of these DNA segments, and they have been implicated in everything from obesity to smoking and psychiatric disorders. A review of the literature showed that adults who had experienced childhood adversity had shorter telomeres than others, prompting the Duke study. In a study of more than 164 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
2000 children from the ages of 5 to 10, it was found that telomere erosion was accelerated in relation to witnessing violence. Violence was defined in the study as "exposure to maternal domestic violence, frequent bullying victimization and physical maltreatment by an adult." The Duke study was not the first to examine the lasting effects of violence on DNA. Previous literature examining the brains of suicide victims with a history of childhood abuse showed there were changes to the part of their brains that regulates stress. These changes were not found in suicide victims with no abuse history or individuals who died of other causes. Other research on the topic also showed that effects of early abuse could be genetically inherited from a mother to child. www.blackdoctor.org
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Canned Goods: What You May Not Know By Karissa Lang, BDO Contributing Writer
I think it’s safe to assume that we’ve all heard about how unhealthy canned foods are due to being over-processed and high in sodium. But is that the only thing we have to be cautious about? Unfortunately, it’s not. If you read the ingredient list on a can of soup, you’re likely to see items like carrots, wild rice, perhaps some noodles. What you won’t see listed: the industrial chemical BPA, or bisphenol A. BPA is found in some plastic bottles and in the epoxy resins used to coat the inside of many food and beverage cans. Previous studies have shown that some BPA from can linings does get into the foods they hold. Some scientists are concerned about BPA exposure because the chemical can act like the hormone estrogen, and studies show that high levels can affect sexual development in animals. The Food and Drug Administration will soon decide what it considers a safe level of exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA), which some studies have linked to reproductive abnormalities and a heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. The good news is that some companies are wising up to these findings. Recently, the traditionally family-friendly Campbell’s Soup brand began to attract attention from moms for all the wrong reasons: A report released by advocacy group Breast Cancer Fund found the company’s soup to have some of the highest BPA levels among a variety of canned foods it tested. Anticipating not only a potential FDA change on BPA, but also continued consumer backlash, Campbell’s announced today its plan to phase out the use of the chemical in its can linings.
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The So what do you do about keeping safe from BPA? Aside from avoiding canned goods all together (this includes food and drink), here are a few tips on how to stay safe: Drink tap water or rely on BPA-free stainless steel water bottles (from companies like Nalgene or Sigg) instead of slugging down bottled water.
Instead of eating microwavable meals that come out of plastic containers, eat only freshly-prepared, organic foods.
Instead of using plastic utensils, rely on the longer-lasting variety.
To be safe, avoid all canned foods and replace with noncanned variations (replace canned soup with soup in a carton, for example) unless cans denote that they have a BPA-free lining. If that’s not possible, avoid these specific canned foods, which are known to be high in BPA: coconut milk, soup, meat, vegetables, meals, juice, fish, beans, mealreplacement drinks, and fruit (yes, we realize that encompasses most canned foods). Take special care to avoid foods that are acidic, salty, or fatty.
Steer clear of plastic storage containers for leftover food. Instead, use glass containers along with BPA-free plastic lids. The food should not touch the lids.
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Tropical Mango-Carrot with Pineapple Smoothie By Tracy Russell Here’s a delicious fruit smoothie for you. I love the tropical blend of flavors and the beautiful orange color. The orange color also means that there is a super dose of beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. This smoothie also provides a good source of vitamin C. Enhance the tropical flavor blend by using fresh coconut water instead of plain water. You can also add greens to this smoothie, and pretty much any leafy green will be masked by the sweet mango and pineapple flavors.
Tropical Mango-Carrot with Pineapple Smoothie Recipe
1 large mango, peeled and pitted 1 medium carrot 1/4 cup pineapple 4 to 6 ounces of filtered water
Add all the ingredients to your blender and blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy.
Nutrition Information Calories: 180 Fat: 0g Protein: 1g Carbohydrates: 46g Fiber: 6g (20% RDA) Calcium: 4% RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) Iron: 0.6mg Vitamin A: 393% RDA Vitamin C: 90% RDA This smoothie is also a rich source of vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin K, copper and manganese.
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VERVE Media, Inc. 815 E.H. Crump Blvd. Memphis, Tennessee 38126 Phone: (901) 832-1144 Fax: (901) 577-1659 Email: email@example.com Web: www.voicemagonline.com
Editor-In-Chief Graphic Designer Senior Social Contributor Senior Interviewer
Willie “Pete” Reeves Tranell Jones/ Flash-out Graphics Teresa Haley Tiffany Hatchett
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Daymond John: Investing in America
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A young entrepreneur, industry pioneer, highly regarded marketing expert, and a man who has surpassed new heights of commercial and financial success are just a few ways people have described Daymond John. Over the last 20 years, The Shark, Daymond John, has evolved from one of the most successful fashion icons of his generation to a highly sought after branding expert, author, consultant, and business as well as motivational speaker. Daymond's creative vision and strong knowledge of the marketplace created one of the most iconic fashion brands in recent years. FUBU, standing for "For Us By Us", represents a lifestyle that was neglected by other clothing companies. Realizing this need in the marketplace, Daymond helped to create the untapped urban apparel space and laid the groundwork for other companies to compete in this newly established market. Daymond grew up in the community of Hollis, Queens, which was an incubator for stars of a new genre of music called Hip-Hop. With acts like RUN DMC, Salt-N-Peppa and LL Cool J rapidly making names for themselves, Daymond was surrounded by people who gave him the inspiration to create a clothing line, which would ultimately change the fashion world. His first foray into the apparel market came when he wanted a tie-top hat he had seen in a popular music video, but could not find one for a good price. With the sewing skills he had learned from his mother, Daymond started making the hats for himself and his friends. Realizing he was on to something, Daymond made a sizeable order of the tie-top hats, sold them on the streets of Queens one day, and made $800 in just a few hours. There was a buzz about Daymond's products that simply could not be ignored. Based on that early success, Daymond recruited some of his neighborhood friends Keith Perrin, J Martin, and Carl Brown - and FUBU was born. They created a distinctive FUBU logo and began sewing it on T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats. The brand hit a tipping point when Daymond convinced Hollis native and Hip-Hop superstar, LL Cool J, to wear FUBU for a promotional campaign. This was the catalyst behind the Hip-Hop community supporting the new brand and instantly giving it credibility. In need of startup capital to keep up with demand, Daymond and his mother mortgaged the home they collectively owned for $100,000. Soon, the home was turned into a makeshift factory and office space. FUBU gained even more nationwide exposure when Daymond and his partners traveled to the industry trade show Magic in Las Vegas. Despite not being able to afford a booth at the event, the FUBU team showed buyers the distinctively cut, vibrantly colored sportswear in their hotel room. The company came back to Queens with over $300,000 172 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
worth of orders. FUBU soon had a contract with the New York City-based department store chain Macy's, and it began expanding its line to include jeans and outerwear. A distribution deal with Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung allowed their designs to be manufactured and delivered on a massive scale. With the brand transcending into the mainstream markets, FUBU recorded annual sales of $350 million, placing it in the same stratosphere as designer labels such as Donna Karan New York and Tommy Hilfiger. The momentum of the line didn't stop there. FUBU quickly became an international success and in 2001 it grew to almost 75 freestanding stores in countries such as Mexico, Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, China, and Japan. Daymond always admired the effect that brands had on people and culture, and at that point he decided to co-brand some of his FUBU products with brands that he grew up on such as the Cosby kids, the Harlem Globetrotters, and Muhammad Ali. In attempt to expand his fashion empire, Mr. John and partners would also acquire several other apparel companies that appealed to all different kinds of consumer bases. Willie Esco, Kappa USA, Drunkin Monkey, Heatherette, Coogi and Crown Holder are some just to name a few. Acquiring and operating so many diverse products slowly made Mr. John an expert in marketing and branding. The media and large corporations alike would quickly take notice and sought out Daymond for interviews, consulting and speaking on his knowledge of this space. Since his humble upbringing in Hollis Queens, Mr. John has never forgotten the importance of giving back. Mr. John and the FUBU foundation have given away millions to various organizations. As Mr. John grew to be a sought after speaker, his dedication to his company would not permit him the time to share his knowledge with as many people as he would of liked to, so in 2005 Daymond entered the literary world with his first book Display of Power: How FUBU Changed A World Of Fashion, Branding And Lifestyle, which tells the story of his awe inspiring journey and provides a roadmap for those who aspire to succeed in business and in life. Daymond followed up his with his second book, The Brand Within: How We Brand Ourselves, From Birth ToThe Boardroom, which examines the loyal relationships companies seek to establish with the public by attaching celebrities to their brands and the instantaneous impulses 173 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
consumers exhibit when purchasing a product. Drawing on his cutting edge experiences in the fashion business, as well as his hard-won insights developed as a sought-after marketing consultant to trendsetters and tastemakers, the author argues that branding relationships have now seeped into every aspect of our lives. In 2009, John joined the cast of the ABC entrepreneurial business show, Shark Tank, created by acclaimed TV producer Mark Burnett. As one of the "Sharks", Daymond and four other prominent executives listen to business pitches from everyday people hoping to launch their company or product to new heights. Investing his own money in every project, Daymond becomes partners with the entrepreneurs and helps turn their dreams into a reality. Millions of viewers tune into the show as Daymond demonstrates his marketing prowess and entrepreneurial insights, which have earned him his nickname as "The Shark."
Due to the increasing amount of requests from major companies, Shark Branding was formed to provide companies with the marketing insights that have made The Shark, Daymond John's companies successful over the years. The firm consults companies on innovative strategies to connect with their consumers more effectively by associating with the world's most influential celebrities, musicians, and personalities. Whether it's activating a celebrity endorsement, integrating product in a music video or TV show, or consulting on how to effectively speak to their consumers, companies rely on Shark Branding to utilize Daymond's contacts, strategies, and relationships to produce real results and increased sales.
In recognition of his contributions to fashion and the face of American business, Daymond has been celebrated with some of the most prestigious awards including: keys to over a dozen cities, Brandweek Marketer of the Year, the Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign, the first ever Essence Award given to a company, Crain's Business of New York Forty Under Forty Award, Ernst & Young's New 174 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: Cast of ABCâ€™s Shark Tank from top left: Robert Herjavec, Kevin Harrington, Daymond John
York Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Brandeis University International Business School's Asper Award for Excellence in Global Entrepreneurship, the NAACP Entrepreneurs of the Year Award, and the Congressional Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship just to name a few. Below is a previous interview of Daymond John conducted by Mike Green of the Black Innovation and Competitiveness Initiative "The new rules we passed restore what should be any financial system's core purpose: getting funding to entrepreneurs with the best ideas. ... After all, innovation is what America has always been about." President Barack Obama State of the Union Address Jan. 24, 2012 *** Just before President Obama spoke to Congress and the nation in his State of the Union address, I sat down with Daymond John, founder of FUBU and one of the stars of the ABC reality show, "Shark Tank," to talk about entrepreneurship, angel investing, job growth, education and... transforming Silicon Valley. 175 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Q: Do you consider yourself an angel? A: Yes, I do. I'm not friends and family and I'm not part of a venture fund. Q: Steve Blank, professor of entrepreneurship at Stanford University, says without a culture of risk capital in Silicon Valley, the global innovation hub it has become would instead be little more than a place with a bunch of smart engineers working out of their garages. That speaks volumes about the value of risk capital investment in developing an innovation ecosystem. You are part of that ecosystem. How important do you think it is for job growth and wealth creation? A: I think it is by far the most important aspect of our ecosystem to have risk-taking investors and (access to) capital. The reason people come to us is because guys like us do not have the restrictions and the same amount of requests that the banks and the financial institutions have. We do risk investments and 10 percent of our capital ends up creating a return, and the return is greater than all the risks taken. But there's a lot of capital put into the system that traditionally would never be deployed to these startup companies and we never get a return on it. These companies and individuals often don't have to risk a lot of their personal finances. And once we deploy the capital and things do not go well, they are still in a position to move forward and create different and new entities after learning what has happened in the past. So, for various reasons, I think it's extremely valuable. Q: Michael Arrington's now infamous remark to CNN's Soledad O'Brien, that he didn't know a single black CEO or entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, has raised the question of the underrepresentation of black founders leading tech startups. But it also raises the question regarding the lack of black angel investors in the space. What can be done to attract the participation of high net worth African Americans to get involved in angel investing and immediately develop minority angel groups as a method of spurring job growth and wealth creation?
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A: I don't know the landscape of how many African American angels are out there. When I speak at a lot of the conferences, I think it's maybe a representation of the demographics of the United States. I do see about 10 percent African American angel investors and/or venture capitalists. But I do agree there's a lack of CEOs and people of color in Silicon Valley. I'm the kind of person that when I saw a lack of African Americans in the apparel business, that was something I set out to do and I lead by example. My No. 1 agenda over the next five years is to change Silicon Valley -- the face of it -- by bringing the same mentality I had with FUBU, which is bringing popular culture -- all my artists, myself, my capital and my friends -- to Silicon Valley. If you look at the last show (ABC's "Shark Tank" episode aired Jan. 20, 2012), Mark Cuban and I back a CEO of a tech company, "EZ VIP" (Alashe Nelson); that's my first foray into that territory. I don't necessarily know from any other standpoint how to make things happen besides attacking it myself. Q: How can a culture of high-growth entrepreneurship and an urban innovation ecosystem be cultivated in Urban America? A: I think it's an education process. I think African Americans are resilient and hustlers by nature. I think they need to understand that you can take that hustle to the boardroom, but it has to be an education process. Right now they don't understand how, but the (access to) the money is out there. Opportunities are there. I'm working with Startup America, and I work with the NFTEprogram as well as Babson University. So I work with a lot of programs that are trying to give African Americans information these opportunities exist. Q: What do you think about Rick Santorum's assessment that bringing back the waning manufacturing industry is the best option for black Americans to earn income? A: I can't say it's the best option. I think it's a needed option; and I don't think it's solely for African Americans. I think that is what we need as a country. I think the reason he's saying that is African Americans know how to be blue collar workers. Because the hurdles... and access to education may not be readily available, or they may not feel that is the way they want to go. Blue collar manufacturing can be something that can be easy to get into as you have seen historically in Detroit. 177 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
But, do I think manufacturing should be brought back to America as a whole? I think we should not only rely on the tech-based and new startups. Prices overseas on goods and labor has risen. I think as Americans, especially African Americans, we make the best products... and with the highest standard of quality. And I think we need to bring manufacturing here in general. Q: As an investor in startups and early stage companies, what do you look for in the founders, the team and the presentation? A: In the founders I look for a person I feel is trustworthy, driven and smart. I invest in the person first, because in the event the business fails the person and I can move forward and create another business. In the business itself and/or the product, I love to look at things that have some kind of patent or proprietary aspect to it. I like to look at things that have been developed and re-developed over the course of time so I know the bugs are worked out of it. And in the business itself, I like to look at sales, by far. I want to see that there is a vetted track record of sales to show the price point has worked. And from a delivery and distribution standpoint, that it has worked and they have targeted a certain demographic and/or customer. I like to look at the scalability, that there is scale and upswing, and a place to make a profit, and great margins that will support the business. Q: How important is STEM education? (science, technology, engineering and math) A: We are in a day and age of technology, science and coding and things of that nature. So, to understand the basics of it is very important. I know that even now, programmers and things of that nature we're outsourcing to China and India. An average (American) kid who knows simple programming, science and math can get a job as a programmer easily. Those are the jobs that are available. I think whatever industry you're in, you're going to have to deal with that aspect of the business... 178 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
whether you're making clothes or a new technology. So, I think by far it's one of the most important things we can do. Q: What is the most important lesson you've learned as a star on ABC's "Shark Tank?" A: I learned that, by far, it's the person pitching and the person behind the company. The person as a personal brand is more important than anything else. I've seen great products, and the person's sales were not reliable or believable or trustworthy or driven enoug ... and it died. And I've seen products that were things I would look over; and the person, no matter whether I invested in them or not, was resilient enough to get the job done and grow the product and/or the business. Q: Tell me about an investment that didn't work out the way you thought it would, but the person in whom you invested made it worthwhile. A: Companies sometimes take three to five years to show any kind of profit. But TC Pets, led by a young lady named Lisa Lloyd that I invested in, is very similar to the newer version of pillow pets. And it came out at a time that I think was a key time. She's been working and trying to get the product to flourish and to grow. And no matter what, over the last three years -- she has tried different routes, whether it be direct television or international distribution in kids stores, in plush toys, in furniture stores... I think that TC Pets still has viability. I think that it's something that will grow. 179 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
But by far Lisa is... I think she's a genius. I think she's a very driven woman, a woman with three kids who is an inventor. She knows how to license products, and Lisa and I have done other businesses. I value her now more than just a partner. I value her as a friend. That becomes way more valuable than the company. Q: What one question would you ask of America or any of its leaders? A: Where are the tax incentives for manufacturers and producers to develop factories and jobs here instead of having to go overseas? If a garment costs me $50 to make here why would I be able to get it overseas for $40? I'd rather make it here, develop factories and jobs and deal with insurance and medical and everything else I have to do, employment and everything else. I'd rather do that here if there's a tax incentive for me to do it. If not, I can just send my money overseas and get a product cheaper without any of the hassle. But, if you give incentives to manufacturers and people who create jobs, they will work with regards to building our communities and jobs and keep the money within our country. So, where are the incentives? I don't want to give my money overseas.
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4 Apps to Boost Your Score By Bridget McCrea Left: Michael Nolen (Photo by Quantrell D. Colbert)
Michael Nolen was unhappy with his credit report. It was back in 2010 when the Atlanta-based real estate agent saw his credit score drop by more than 100 points. A housing market drop and dwindling home sales made commission checks harder to come by for agents like Nolen, who as a result maxed out his credit cards and depleted his cash reserves. “My credit score was good enough for the things that I needed, but not high enough for larger purchases, such as a new vehicle,” says Nolen. To improve his financial status he started paying all credit card and loan bills on or before their due dates. He paid down all open lines of credit to the point where their individual balances didn’t exceed 33% of their total available credit. “One card with a $3,000 limit, I never let my balance exceed $1,000,” Nolen explains. As the real estate market—and his business’ sales—slowly began to improve, Nolen says improved cash flow allowed him to pay more than the minimum amounts owed on each card. His efforts paid off with his credit score increasing 50 points in January 2011. “I’ll keep working at it,” says Nolen, “and watching that number grow.” Your credit rating or FICO score, which ranges from 300 to 850 (the higher the better), is based on accumulated information that tells lenders whether or not you’ll pay back your loans on time and in full. A score above 700 is considered good. “A poor credit score can affect different aspects of your life,” says Bill Hampton, general partner with certified public accountant and business consulting firm Bishop, Hampton & Associates L.L.C. Certified Public Accountants and Business Consultants in Atlanta. Landlords look at scores when deciding whether to rent. Insurance companies use them to determine whether or not to provide auto, home, or other types of coverage. Employers even use scores when making hiring decisions. The negative impact can go beyond the one-time denial. “From a long-term perspective,” says Robbie Hampton, managing partner at Bishop, Hampton & Associates, “paying higher rates to finance companies and lenders decreases your wealth and ability to pass assets down to future generations.”
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There are ways that you can better manage your debt and improve your credit rating. Several personal finance tools and mobile apps provide monthly credit score updates plus track spending and saving. Here are four worth checking out. 1. Equifax offers a free app that allows you to track your credit score and handle other tasks from an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone. Using your phone’s GPS location, this app also shows you how your credit measures up to others in your area and alerts you to key credit file changes. 2. Experian offers the FreeCreditScore.com app for subscribers to its service (free trial available), which provides credit score alerts, a credit score center, and credit score estimator to help you plan for major financial decisions. Subscribers also have access to fraud resolution and other services. 3. Loan Shark’s iPhone app helps users figure out the impact of additional monthly or yearly payments, and determines equity and trade-in values for homes and cars. Priced at $2.99, this app lets you create a full amortization table that includes the details of each month’s payment. 4. Credit Card Statistics is a free Web-based tool via AnnualCreditReport.com that offers information on credit scores, current balances, credit limits, and credit limit use. This site allows you to request a free credit file every 12 months from each of the major credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. When you review your credit score and explore ways to improve it, remember there “is no magic formula,” says Robbie Hampton. “Everyone starts at a different number that’s impacted when loans are paid off or brought up to date. The most important step you can take is to commit to improvement and stay on course.” Be patient: It’s a lot easier to reduce a credit score than to raise one. 182 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Why Asking For A Job Applicant’s Facebook Password Is Fair Game By Alfred Edmond, Jr. 183 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Depending on the job, access to the social media communications of a potential hire may be in your company's best interest It would take a heck of a job opportunity for me to give this business owner my Facebook password, but I wouldn't fault him for asking. “Should business owners be allowed to ask job applicants for their Facebook passwords?” Many people who watched me on MSNBC’s Your Business on Sunday were surprised to hear that my answer is “Yes,” including the show’s host, JJ Ramberg. (For those who missed it, the show reairs on Saturday, April 7, at 5:30 a.m.) This question became a hot news topic last week, especially in business and social media circles, when Congress failed to pass legislation that would have banned the practice of employers asking employees to reveal their Facebook passwords. Now, if I was asked the same question as a guest on a show called Your Career, I would have been hard-pressed to think of a situation where I would share my Facebook password with a potential employer. For me to consider it, I would have to want the job pretty badly, with the amount and type of compensation (including benefits, perks and even an equity stake in the company) being major considerations. But before doing so, I would see if there were other ways I could address the potential employer’s concerns without revealing my password, such as changing my privacy settings to give them the ability to view all of my Facebook content. If they persist with their request for my password, I would try to negotiate terms to strictly limit both its use of the password and the length of time the potential employer would have access to it before I could change it. I might even consider getting an employment attorney to negotiate an 184 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
agreement, include terms of confidentiality, to be signed by both me and the potential employer before sharing my password. Of course, for the vast majority of positions, neither I nor a company looking to hire would deem it worth the time and expense to jump through all of these hoops. Most companies would not care to have password access to an applicant’s social media accounts. (For what it’s worth, Facebook’s terms of rights and responsibilities forbids users from sharing their passwords.) In probably 99 percent of such cases, if a potential employer made such a request, my answer would be, “No, I will not share my password. Are there alternatives you are willing to consider to satisfy your concerns?” I accept that I’d risk not being hired as a result. On the other hand, if that was all it took for me not to be hired, I’d question how badly they really wanted me in the first place, as well as whether that was the kind of place I would have been happy working for. But for certain companies and positions, especially if I wanted the job badly enough, I’d consider a request for my Facebook password at least up for negotiation. That said, my response on Your Business was from the perspective of the business owner. And if I’m the owner of certain types of businesses, or trying to fill certain types of positions, I believe I should be able to ask job applicants for access to their Facebook accounts. The applicant may choose not to answer, but I should be able to ask. Depending on the position, knowing everything I possibly can about an applicant is critical to not only making the best hire, but to protecting the interests of my current employees, customers, partners and as well as the financial interests of the company.
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5 Facebook Timeline Tips for Brands By Hajj Flemings Don’t get left behind! See how brands can shine with the platform’s latest feature Facebook Timeline first debuted on personal pages and is coming full circle with full integration for brand pages. The Timeline feature is a great storytelling tool that both big brands and small businesses alike can use to their advantage, creating more engaging and interactive content. Currently, Timeline is an opt-in element, but after March 30 the changes [have][ automatically be applied to all pages. Instead of getting caught up in the last-minute rush, see how your brand can take it to the next level by optimizing its Facebook presence now: Choose a Compelling Cover Image Curation, curation and…even more curation. Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time in the social media space has been inundated with this term. Curation, the hottest trend in social networks today, is evident in the success of Instagramand Pinterest, which allows users to create strong, compelling visual content. Facebook Timeline enables companies to showcase strong images through their cover photos. The social networking site’s guidelinesprohibit the use of any promotional language (i.e. website address, call to actions or contact information) in one’s cover images. For strong brand page examples, take a look at Red Bull, CocaCola, Sharpie, and Harley-Davidson. Photo Tips Remember: For cover photos, use engaging images. Select a minimum width of 399 pixels. Also note that the profile photo is the perfect place to put your brand’s logo. When it comes to profile photos, place your company’s logo in an appropriate spot on the image. This photo should be a minimum width of 180 pixels. The latest version of the Instagram app allows users to upload photos with graphic effects to their timeline. Hence, brands can add a creative feel to their always professional appearance.
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Record Those Memorable Milestones Facebook’s latest addition allows brands to showcase their rich history, going as far back as January 1, 1800. Found on the rightside of the Facebook page, the milestones are listed vertically by year and when clicked on open to display full screen photos with content, location and time. Milestone Tips List key moments or significant events in your company history. Use engaging images that connect directly to the moment you are sharing. Make It Stick By Pinning Your Post
Regardless of posting date, you can highlight a specific post so that it appears at the top of your page. The post will remain up for 7 days, and then return to its original date. No Middleman: Foster Consumer-to-Brand Contact Fans can now communicate with brands directly via private messages. Small businesses can use this messaging feature, found on the admin panel, as a channel to start collecting feedback and engaging customers. Capitalize on Central Control The admin panel allows brands to manage their insights, new “likes,” messages and notifications from one central location. The admin panel provides a snapshot of a brand’s day-to-day activity: Insights – Houses your Facebook brand page’s analytics, which includes “likes,” reach and how people are talking about your page New “Likes” – Lists Facebook users who have recently liked your page Messages – Manage your private messages from fans Notifications – You will be notified when users interact on your page www.blackenterprise.com 187 MAY 2012 ● VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Jabari Parker: Teen hoops star in spotlight leans on family, God By Andrew Seligman
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Above: In this photo taken in Chicago on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, Jabari Parker celebrates with his Simeon Career Academy teammates after winning an Illinois state super sectional basketball playoff game. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
This is what it's like to be Jabari Parker, the nation's top high school basketball player. One day he's presenting a project in his Spanish class, turns around and sees Alonzo Mourning. Parker takes a seat and grins. The former Miami Heat star is making a surprise visit to give him the Gatorade Basketball Player of the Year award. And there are nights like this. Parker and his teammates from Simeon Career Academy are holed up in a classroom after beating Whitney Young in the Illinois state playoffs. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Michigan State's Tom Izzo were in the stands. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his wife were there, too, sitting next to Parker's mom, Lola. As Simeon holds its postgame meeting, a crowd gathers in the hallway, waiting to get a glimpse of the team and its 17-year-old star. Parker slips out a back entrance, trying to make a quiet exit. Nice try, but no luck. It's hard to hide when you're 6-foot-8 and 220 pounds. The young fans see him and run down the street, with one screaming "Jabari!" and begging for an autograph. The thing is, they're not even from Simeon. They're from other schools, but they've seen Parker on YouTube or TV and want a brush with fame, with the latest phenom from the South Side school that produced Derrick Rose. 189 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
In this photo taken in Summit, Ill., on Friday, March 9, 2012, Simeon Career Academy's Jabari Parker focuses in on the opening jump ball during a Illinois state sectional championship game against Marist. Parker might be the most wanted man in college basketball at the moment, but colleges around the country will have to wait a year while the junior phenom finishes high school, the same school that produced Derrick Rose. (AP Photo/Charles Rex
Parker slumps down in a car as it pulls away. This is one of those occasional nights when he's just not in the mood, when he's weary of the attention and can't make himself face it. He is, after all, a teen in unusual circumstances. Parker is a prodigy, and that can be dicey in any era. Before he was Kareem, Lew Alcindor led his Manhattan high school team on a 71-game winning streak and went on to become the leading NBA scorer of all time. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett all made successful jumps from high school to the NBA when the league allowed it. But for every safe landing, there are plenty of players who never became one of the game's best -- JaRon Rush and Sebastian Telfair, to name just two. Parker is determined to follow his own path, keeping all the adulation in perspective. Most nights, he tries to accommodate his young fans. He poses for pictures and signs autographs to show his appreciation. "I can see myself as a role model," Parker says. Good thing, too. In a world fueled by social media, where every move is caught on camera or dissected in 140 characters, the lights are shining brighter than ever on sports' youngest stars. "I used to hear all this stuff about Kareem, Lew Alcindor, all the players having hundreds of letters," says Jabari's father, Sonny Parker, who played six seasons with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA after starring at Chicago's Farragut Career Academy, where Garnett played as a senior. "Now, he can't go to the bathroom without it (being posted) on Twitter." It wasn't like that during Sonny's NBA career, which ended in 1982. Or even when Rose was finishing high school, just five years ago. "The media has definitely changed where it's even crazier," Rose says. "I can only imagine." What it means is that Parker, a softspoken young man who likes old "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" reruns and NBA matchups on 190 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: In this photo taken in Summit, Ill., on Friday, March 9, 2012, Jabari Parker breaks his solitude on the bench with a smile and acknowledgement from teammates, as he is introduced into an Illinois sectional championship basketball game against Marist. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
ESPN Classic, feels a lot of pressure to be perfect. "You can't really mess up," he says. "There's always going to be a camera on you everywhere you go." So how does he cope? Answer: faith and family. A devout Mormon like his mother, Jabari worships at a church near the University of Chicago and the Parker home, a simple brick bungalow in a working-class section of the city's largely African-American South Shore neighborhood. It is not a flashy place, but it is, like Parker and his family, solid. "I take for granted having two parents and a good inner circle," he says. "And I know that a lot of people that are superstars in the sports world right now didn't have a lot of the resources that I have." Few have the talent he has. Lola Parker could see it when Jabari, the youngest of seven children, was in the second grade and going against fourth and fifth-graders in a league set up by Sonny, who established a foundation to help inner city youth in Chicago after he retired. Sonny, by the way, isn't the only professional athlete in the family. Lola has four relatives with pro football experience: Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Moeaki; Baltimore Ravens nose tackle Haloti Ngata; Philadelphia Eagles fullback Stanley Havili; and, running back Harvey Unga, a 2010 supplemental draft pick by the Chicago Bears. 191 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Right: In this photo taken in Chicago, on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, Simeon's Jabari Parker dunks the ball during an Illinois state super sectional playoff basketball game against Evanston. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Jabari might be the best of the bunch. Scholarship offers started when he was in the sixth grade. Back then, they came from Illinois, Brigham Young, Washington, Purdue and Kansas, the Parkers say. UCLA started showing interest, too, and pretty much everyone was offering one by the time he hit high school. To get an idea how big Parker is now, go back to an evening in September, when Simeon hosted an open gym. Not even a practice, mind you, but an open gym. A who's who of coaches jammed the court from baseline to baseline. Krzyzewski was there. So were Izzo and Roy Williams (North Carolina), Thad Matta (Ohio State) and Bill Self (Kansas). In all, some 40 coaches looked on, and as word spread that this was no ordinary session, that something special was happening, fans started packing the place, too. "It was like the movie 'Blue Chips' -- and this was open gym," Sonny says. "The school had been in session a couple days. They closed down the barber shop, they came over to the school. It was packed in the gym. The coaches were coming in limos. It was unbelievable." It's easier to understand why once you've seen Parker, who played varsity as a freshman -- something not even Rose did. Parker might grab a rebound, bring the ball up the court and try to set up his teammates as he runs the offense. The next possession, he might bury one from the outside. He averaged about 20 points last season and could probably score 35 a game, but he makes a concerted effort to play within his team's system and take over only when needed. "He knows we have a good team, so he passes the ball," guard Reggie Norris says. "When it's time for him to step up, he scores." Parker takes pride in getting his teammates chances to shine for college scouts. It's one reason why he's waited to narrow his own list of finalists. You see, he figures that'll keep the scouts coming and give his teammates exposure.
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Left: In this photo taken in Chicago, on Friday, Feb. 17, 2012, Jabari Parker sits in solitude, preparing mentally during player introductions for the Chicago City Championship basketball game against Proviso East. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
"He's good, a polished player to be so young," says Rose, who gets to keep an eye on Parker while he leads the hometown Chicago Bulls. "Has the will to win, and that's all you need." Yet, it's about more than honors and accolades, fame and fortune, to the Parkers. It's about the impact, on and off the court. Lola Parker mentions what happened at the De La Salle game in February, when Jabari led his Wolverines to an easy victory over a talented squad just one night after winning the city championship. The crowd included Louisville coach Rick Pitino and thenIllinois coach Bruce Weber. Southern California's Kevin O'Neill was there, too, but it was a father sitting in front of Lola with his three young sons that stood out to her. They kept asking Parker for autographs and pictures as he was warming up. When Lola told the dad she was Jabari's mother, and would set up the boys after the game, the man was overcome with gratitude. He said one of his boys was doing terrible in school. So he collected all the articles he could find on Jabari and made his sons read them, hoping they'd be an inspiration. The child with bad grades had turned things around, Lola recalls. "He said, 'You don't know what impact Jabari has done for my three boys, but it has changed their whole character, their grades, the way they're thinking and their attitudes,'" she recalls. After last year's state championship win, Jabari gave his medal to the son of a former bishop from his church because the boy's family had traveled all the way from California to see him play. "That little piece (of metal) doesn't really mean that much to me, but the memory means a lot," he says. The family's faith is a respite for Jabari, who rises at 5 a.m. three days a week to attend a Bible study at his church before school. On one particular morning, he is the first to arrive, taking the rare moment of quiet to gather his thoughts and pray. 193 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: In this photo taken in Chicago, Tuesday, March 13, 2012, Simeon Career Academy's Jabari Parker looks out over the court during an Illinois state high school basketball playoff game. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
When the others join him, they sing a hymn and hear lessons based on the Old Testament, about avoiding the temptations teens face, valuing parents and giving back. Parker says he would come to this Bible study five days a week if he didn't have to trouble someone that early in the morning for a ride. "It gives me a better view of life," he says. On his bedroom door is a reminder to "put the Lord first" along with several sheets of 8by-10 white paper. One lists the Ten Commandments. The other shows his "Always Remember" list, with his own personal rules: "Don't be quick to judge" and "Think positive things," among them. Amid all the trophies is a Kobe Bryant Team USA jersey, hanging where Sonny had put Jabari's U.S. team jersey after he returned from the FIBA Americas U16 Championship last summer. Within about 10 minutes the teen had replaced it. Why? "I don't look up to myself," he told Lola. He does look up to his older brother Christian, which explains why their old bunk bed -or the remaining bottom half -- is still in the room. Jabari had the top part and, well, he grew out of it. Yet for sentimental reasons, he won't get rid of the bed. He also keeps a drawing and poem Christian, who now lives in Seattle, gave him. In it, big brother praises Jabari's athletic talent -- "heart, love for the game, commitment and a future to be the one.""He's my biggest fan," Parker says. 194 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: Simeon junior Jabari Parker is the 2012 Mr. Basketball of Illinois. (William DeShazer, Chicago Tribune)
His father is there, too, to offer sports advice. His mom, who works as a nanny, has found herself playing the role of agent, taking calls from media and helping her son set up visits to prospective schools. At the start of each week, they sit down and go through their calendars and requests. Often, it is Jabari who is asking for less -- fewer interviews, fewer obligations, more time to rest and focus on his game. His ability to set limits has quickly become a survival skill. "He tells us, 'Mom and dad, don't you guys get caught up into this,'" his dad says. "He tries to keep US grounded from all this." It's not easy when he's penciled in as an AllAmerican and All-Star, and he wonders: "What if I don't make it one day? What am I going to do with my life?" For now, he plans to narrow his list of colleges down to five later this spring. A Mormon mission is a possibility for him at some point, too. Before he does that, he talks about needing to "polish up the little things before I step into the real world." An ability to express himself more smoothly, even when he's tired, is among the items on his to-do list. Playing to his ability is another. "I just want to prove to myself every time I'm on the court that I'm able to live up to those expectations," he says. Whatever happens, though, he and his parents insist that being famous, and even making a lot of money, isn't the focus. They all vow that Jabari will earn a college degree, one way or another, in a world where the starting five for national champion Kentucky all left school just weeks after claiming the title. It may seem old school. But that's just fine with the Parkers. " The ultimate for us and our children is being a good example and being a good person, giving back," Lola says. "That's really very dear and precious to Jabari and also to us." www.ap.com 195 MAY 2012 â—? VOICE Magazine voicemagonline.com
Above: December 1, 1955. While Rosa Parks was not the first person to refuse to move to the back of the bus, her action served as the impetus to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. When asked why she didn’t give up her seat, she explained it wasn’t because she was tired or because she was old. She stated, “No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” Her seemingly simple gesture fueled a national movement. Below: April 13, 2012 President Obama Sits inside Rosa Parks Bus. During a recent visit to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, he sat for a moment inside the actual city bus where the civil rights icon refused to give up her seat. "I just sat in there for a moment and pondered the courage and tenacity that is part of our very recent history but is also part of that long line of folks who sometimes are nameless, often times didn't make the history books, but who constantly insisted on their dignity, their share of the American dream."
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