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URBAN PROFESSIONAL LIFESTYLE

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For Custom Artwork Contact: Email:

blacknsamoan@yahoo.com

Web:

www.tauraunsartworld.com

Phone: 214-545-2023 14

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Magazine

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On Thursday, September 8, 2011 President Obama unveiled the American Jobs Act before a joint session of Congress. With a projected cost of $447 billion, the American Jobs Act uses a combination of tax cuts, credit and relief to spur job creation and calls for funding to rebuild the nation's infrastructure and repair thousands of schools. Moody's estimated the President's package would create 1.9 million jobs. This jobs package focuses on the 3R‟s which are Relief, Recovery and Reform. Relief for the unemployed and poor; Recovery of the economy to normal levels; and Reform of the financial system. It should be noted that the same 3R‟s were used by Congress as a respone to the Great Depression in 1933 and 1936. That legislation was called the New Deal. The New Deal brought millions of jobs and ushered our nation out of economic collapse and into an era of prosperity. President Obama‟s American Jobs Act if enacted has the potential to jumpstart our economy as did the various programs in the New Deal. Many believe that despite the fact that experts such as Moody support the President‟s plan, it‟s very doubtful that the American Jobs Act will even pass committee in the GOP controlled House of Representatives. Others believe that with the 2012 Presidential election just fourteen months away, the House will allow millions of Americans to continue to suffer the dredges of recession (i.e. unemployment, underemployment, foreclosure, layoff etc.) just to ensure their banner call that Obama be a “one term president.” We should hope that all of them are wrong. On the cover this month we profile the sensational Isis Sun. Isis is an erotic poetess and has won the 2011 National Poetry Award in the categories of “Poetry Album of the Year” for Boudoir and “Poetry Author of the Year”. She is working on her next erotika album, Allure, due out in the Winter of 2011-2012. We wish her continued success. We profile Newark, NJ based photographer Tamara Fleming. Tamara has an amazing gift that captures the essence of her clients. For our reader‟s pleasure we have included a short photo essay displaying some of Tamara‟s remarkable work. It gives us great pleasure and we are very honored to profile Mrs. Louise West. Mrs. West just graduated from the city of Country Club Hills‟ Senior Police Academy. We have an excellent interview conducted by our own Alicia Wilson in which Mrs. West discusses her accomplishment. Did I forget to tell you that Mrs. West will be celebrating her 91st birthday this month? Happy Birthday Mrs. West and continue to show us how to live life. 18

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We profile author and therapist Tyra Jones. Through her writings and her Healing Hearts consultancy Ms. Jones inspires our youth through devotional teachings. Next we profile rapper Lil Pat. Lil Pat was recently in Springfield, IL performing. More importantly he was performing to benefit a local recipient of the Make-a-Wish Foundation. We admire Lil Pat not just because he is a good artist but because he is a good young man. In our model showcase this month we profile the lovely Jazzy the Model. Jazzy is an aspiring model and spokesperson. Keep a look out for her because she is on the rise. We profile Lovelie Cosmetics, LLC and its founder Zuleika Hasbrouck. Ms. Hasbrouck has defied the odds and launched her own line of lip gloss. Her entrepreneurial spirit is a showcase for us all. We were very excited this month to profile Salesman Extraordinaire Mr. Mylas Copeland. Mylas is the General Manager with the Green Family of dealerships. Alicia Wilson has an in-depth interview with Mylas. Check it out and learn how a true professional does it. We profile author and entertainment consultant Jo Cato. We also profile Monte and Patricia Leu and their Leu‟isiana Po Boy Restaurant in Killeen, TX. This is Southern cuisine at its best. Lastly, but not least we profile the remarkable Karen Davis-Johnson. Mrs. DavisJohnson is an author a Father/Daughter relationship consultant. Mrs. Davis-Johnson is an immense resource for any and all desiring to know more about this wonderful but sometimes confusing relationship. We wish Mrs. Davis-Johnson continues success.

Hope you enjoy it! Regards,

W. E. “Pete” Reeves Founder/Publisher

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Publisher

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

Editor &

General Manager

W. E. “Pete” Reeves

IT Production Assistant

Natasha Crider

Senior Social Correspondent

Teresa Haley

Senior Southwest Region Correspondent

Tiffany Hatchett

Contributors

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

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

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

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life & style ………………

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

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

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

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in memoriam .................... 52

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DEPARTMENTS

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Isis Sun Dual 2011 National Poetry Award Winner By Alicia Wilson 24

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It was the Winter of 2007 when Isis Sun decided to dabble in the realm of poetry as a hobby. Posting a few pieces here and there on various poetry websites, the art was merely a creative outlet for her and a means for her to cope with the stresses of family and work. Little did she or anyone know that it would become a promising career and an elemental love for her and her fans. She fed off of several genres including philosophy, life, and love, but soon found out her main course belonged in the realm of erotica. Almost 1900 poems later, Isis published her first book, MUSE Volume I: Erotika Unveiled in October of 2009. The book became an instant success for the poet and she went on to establish herself as a respected writer within the erotic poetry community. Riding on the coattails of her first book, Isis went on to take home Poetry Soundtrack of the Year at the 2010 National Poetry Awards held in Raleigh, NC. Soon after, she turned the heat up a little more and began working on her debut CD Boudoir. Boudoir, released on December 21, 2010, is a culmination of Isis' belief in describing erotic scenes in the most vivid of detail, and arranging the verses in a way that allows the music to engage in the flow. When she met Jackie Clark, a bass guitarist out of Memphis, Tennessee, and the musical producer of her album, almost three years ago, it became a collaboration that was meant to transpire into something amazing. This CD jumps right into the sexy lines of Isis' patented style with “Confession #22�. The beats are playful, and the words jump right from the space between her lips into your eardrums for a carnal ride that is unforgettable... 25

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Boudoir is laced with silence...pieces with no music and riddled with the salacious moans and needs that Isis tends to convey so comfortably and confidently within her pieces. It's during these pieces that the listener can fully engage in her thought processes as raw as they present themselves. In “Tell Me You Want Me”, Isis emphatically portrays a woman with lust as the boss of her innermost wants, knowing she is dominantly submissive and willing to pull all the shots to get herself (and him) off. Then there is the deep tantric vibes that can be found in tracks like “3:33 Rising” that along with the prelude, “Midnight Impulse”, create a foreplay in the imagination that awakens all senses, and leads to the listener feeling like a fly on the wall watching the whole scene play out. Hence, to realize that the imagery feels like watching a movie is to understand exactly what Isis brings to the table...every time. Here's what some fans are saying about Boudoir: “Poetry like yours doesn't exist anywhere else which is why it feels like a private sweet to seep into the eros of our freedom...” – David Addams “Standing "O"vation!!!!!!! so real- so raw- so relevant. Makes me wants to call him- the one I am trying so hard right now to resist! Love the ending....Fabulous work Isis...” Lori A Rapp

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“The perfect blend of your voice, the music, the mood the set just right, demanding the awakening of all your senses. Poets scribed, musician swayed, and lovers cuddled. Then there some of us that just spellbound.” - Mangus Khan

Isis recently took home the 2011 National Poetry Award in the categories of “Poetry Album of the Year” for Boudoir and “Poetry Author of the Year”. She is working on her next erotika album, Allure, due out in the Winter of 2011-2012 and her second volume in the MUSE series, MUSE Volume II: Signed and Sealed due for release Spring 2012.

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V: Tell our readers a little

about yourself and what you are promoting? I‟m an East Coast poet and author out of the RTP area of North Carolina. I have written across several genres, but my main focus now is erotica. When people hear “Isis sun” or read/listen to my work, I want them to discover the sexy taboo within themselves every time. Sexuality is, by its very nature, a private platform. My goal is to promote and encourage open, healthy, and positive dialogue for men and women through my verses and by the exposition of my own sensual thoughts. I see you are a very accomplished poetess, what are some of the awards you have recently received and how that has affected your writing since receiving them? V:

I received the 2010 National Poetry Awards “Poetry Soundtrack of the Year” and most recently the 2011 National Poetry Awards “Poetry Album of the Year” for Boudoir and 2011 National Poetry Awards “Poetry Author of the Year”. As any poet who has an indescribable love for this art will say, the writing…the desire to express is gift enough that when you receive accolades for something you already genuinely enjoy doing, it becomes that icing on an already sweet moment. My writing has become more recognized, which in turn has given me more opportunities to showcase my art within features, interviews, and collaborations.

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V: Please tell us what is the inspiration behind the incredible passion

of this poetry? When did you first start writing? I consider myself a very sensual individual, so the expression comes natural to me. I have a firm belief that the bedroom is the integral conduit between two people that determines the success of the rest of the relationship. Sensuality and the ability to successfully keep it alive and at the forefront of communication creates a bond of expression that seals the passion needed to marry the art of love and lust. The inspiration behind my words resides on and in this premise. I started writing in Dec 2007, using poetry as a creative outlet to convey my own struggles, needs, triumphs, and setbacks. It was a hobby that quickly became a lyrical obsession. So, in a short time, I honed in on what I enjoyed the most (erotica) and started to develop a unique style of writing that was elaborate, but relatable. The word combinations and pentameters are expert and flows to its own rhythm, and the content I connected with instantly. What do you want your readers to come away with after reading or listening to your poetry? V:

I love expressing my work the same way I would if I were sitting right beside my man, or laying inside his afterglow. The rhythm and flow of the words serves to heighten my thought process, especially if I overlay the poetry over music. When you read or listen to what I say, I want the reader/listener to feel like I thumbed through his/her own private journal entries and penned the whispers of their own lust. In erotica (probably more so than any other genre of poetry), it is important to be able to connect to your audience intimately which ultimately leaves them feeling like they can further explore their own sensuality. Who has been your biggest influence in your life and did any works from Gwendolyn Brooks or Nikki Giovanni affect your writing? V:

My biggest influence contemporarily is Jill Scott. I have always been enamored by her verbal resilience and the way she creates the mood and vigor of her pieces 29

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through bold statements that embrace the culture of Black Goddess. She is an amazing driving force in the stamina of my own writes. Nikki Giovanni and Langston Hughes served as a solid foundation in finding my own love for language. Nikki‟s “Quilts” impressed me with her exceptional use of metaphors and descriptive language. Langston filled me with the flavor; the substance he meshed into his poetry was to me, like no other. “Madam and the Phone Bill” was so lighthearted and cleverly confrontational. I love both of these poets‟ versatility to be able to make their pieces serve as interpersonal highways into the human heart. V: I simply love “Work on Me First” and “

Afterglow Sunrise” I could just feel the strength, passion, and desire of those poems as I read them, is that how they are suppose to make you feel? You mentioned two pieces that I myself truly love. “Work On Me First” was written from the standpoint of a woman who craves to stay as far away from the mundane of the everyday world as she can. We all have been with someone that erases all traces of the stresses in the world. This poem was definitely a piece full of extreme desire and the need to stay in the moment. “Afterglow’s Sunrise” was actually created as a response to another poet‟s piece that was written in the same format. The words were still dripping off my pen when I wrote this one. The design and creativity of your website is absolutely amazing. Who takes the credit for that? V:

I created my website myself. From start to finish, the website took about 2 months to create. I taught myself and outlined what I wanted my fans to see. Most importantly, I wanted the site to be extremely navigable and interactive. V: Where do you see yourself and your poetry in the next 5 years?

What would you like to see happen that hasn‟t happened yet? 30

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Several opportunities have come up recently for me to get into videos, voiceovers, and more feature events. I would like to take my poetry on the road for tours and in front of the camera to produce a sort of documentary-style chronicle of where I‟m going in my poetry career. I‟d like to give erotica a new face within the poetry world that is unique, inviting, and artistically dynamic. Is Isis Sun your real name or stage name? Where does it derive and does it relate to your poetry? V:

My name is a stage name. As a lover of Kemet and Afrikan history, I strive to embody the qualities and attributes of Isis (Auset) in all things I do. Isis is supreme mother, Goddess of the unseen, representing the feminine principle and Het-hert as her essence channels through the realm of magic and creative spirit. As a writer of erotica, I aim to scribe supreme feminine prowess and tantric communion between my mind, my heartbeat, and the hidden energy between my legs. The second part of my name, “sun” comes from my love for sunrises and sunsets. During a very difficult part of my life, I looked towards sunrises and sunsets to symbolize the washing of the day‟s stresses off my being. I promised to wake up to a new me, a new beginning each morning through the sunrise, and to ceremoniously rid myself of the disparaging energy of the day I may have accumulated through the embrace of the sunset. V: I always include a fun question in my interviews. What would you

like our readers to know about you that they would think twice about but in a good way (lol)? I love the essence of a woman‟s body and am openly bisexual. For my fans, this may not be very surprising as some of my poetry has been written with women in mind as well and I‟ve displayed my work in such a way that reveals I have no inhibitions. Isis sun is available for bookings through Zion Promotions, LLC at 252-367-9200 or zionpromotions@gmail.com. 31

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RIPE I wish there was a way I could reverse the stroke of time And keep your stroke inside me just…one…more…minute.. ..Just…one….more… Because the rhythm‟s consistency with my tantric chants Made vertical feel like it had no choice but to stand straight up. It changed the altitude of vibes unseen so that high we both rode? Looked up to the monumental back-breaking eruption we exposed. We defied the laws of physic‟s wet statistics dangling by an equation incalculable. We cored fusion into a sensual crescendo that could never be emotionally augmented. You licked my one into a million needs I never knew I needed to last. Said, “I love the way you….” I never felt air leave the depth of my lungs So fast down the hills of my voluptuous framework bouncing the jungle beat of Slurred speech, vulgarity, and tenderized meat in places that spanks laid claim to. When it was over….and the goodbyes tasted like A spoonful of fuck me again – The leaving preceded the words we didn‟t say inside truth serum I drunk.. You… Bartered for a way to play inside lust‟s cornered sin. I have to rinse the reasons away so I‟ll come back to stretched skin And a drained thick that still stood at full attention inside the hips. Getting turned out? Getting turned out is like the sweet rush right when it hits the back of my throat And I finally feel how hot you heated it up for my exposed intentions to stay afloat In my raw connection to you. If the aftermath didn‟t taste so real, I could have walked away from the ripe moments I started to feel© A falling in love with you. A fermented sip of what time will always reveal. I‟m falling in love with ...You. ©copyright 2011, Isis sun. All Rights Reserved. 32

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SKINNY DIPPING I choose to spill my script as symbols for your thoughts to decipher. Pillow stain from last night‟s…hydroplane. ..Was dehydrated from the moment you inserted your godliness into my soul. „Cause I let the waters overflow; I let the gates of my resistance fly open While I spread these wings to accept all truth from thrust… Embrace the code I called you… So in turn I could finally interpret what it means to…trust. 5 am. Alone again. Dreams become fanatical figments of a slippery imagination. Dawn becomes its own writing instrument scribing tricks on my Sensual solitude. Wouldn‟t do breath justice just to say I miss you. Kissing the smell of my sheets is another way to dehydrate the memory

Work week calls…another moment I‟ve chosen to forget about And cloud with kids, and clothes, and dishes, and…. Laundry loads. Anything to muffle a minute or two into thinking they don‟t have to Tick tock back into my sheets… Back into a multitude of screams, shrieks, and bitten pleads to keep My body obligated. Remembering you keeps me undulated and pulsing Into a relapse my veins blaze for. Skinny dipping in the cold water of a heated love. Wake me up, please.

©copyright 2011, Isis sun. All Rights Reserved.

Like a post-it note that never made its mark on the forgotten. What if I don‟t reach out…

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"Erotika is my perfectly rolled verbal joint. It is my stash of Black Widow with no stems my syllables can trip over, but full of lustful seeds just waiting to gush a plethora of creativity into the next harvest." -- I.s

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“My lust alone would make the average man question the circumference of his inhibitions. So I bottle the unfiltered taboo of my love and wait with two glasses in my hand for my cork to be sensually popped, my passionate nature poured, and the fermented words from my lips to be savored with each slow sip of what I have to offer.� --I.s

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Faithful pray for needy members of their congregation affected by the recession at a Sunday church service on May 31, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Unholy crisis: Black churches facing foreclosure By Mashaun D. Simon

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Gone are the days when a faith-based institution or church could simply walk into a bank and make a loan request or an adjustment on an existing loan. According to Dr. Richmond McCoy, president and CEO of UrbanAmerica Advisors, big banks are pulling out of the real estate business. "They are not picking on churches," he said. "They have just come to realize it is no longer a lucrative business for them anymore." As a result, McCoy and his company are putting on an informative seminar, targeting faith-based institutions in Orlando, FL. The purpose of the meeting is to help churches get an understanding of the depth of their problem, McCoy said. "The urgency, and the size and magnitude of the financial crisis that faith base entities have to deal with are important. Our mission is to equip people with knowledge to get them to understand what is going on in the financial business." McCoy has 20 years of experience with faith-based entities, he said. Because he understands how to operate in these markets, he felt it necessary to get involved in some kind of way. "This is not new. But over the last year I have had all my pastor friends call me up for advice," he said. Where at one time there was less than a one 1 percent default rate in terms of churches not being able to pay their loans, now that number is up to 18 percent, reports McCoy. Even those churches that are current on their mortgages are in trouble. McCoy said those churches are in technical default. That means if the banks required them to pay off their loans today, they would not be able to make those payments. "The value of the real estate has decreased so much over the last three years," McCoy said. "Many churches cannot keep up with their loans because giving is down. Part of that reason is due to unemployment." Dexter Johnson, pastor of Higher Ground Empowerment Center in Atlanta, GA reports that is part of what happened to them. A series of unforeseen issues which included a natural disaster and the collapse of the real estate market triggered a three year long battle between his church and the bank which services their mortgage loan. "We took out a loan to do some serious renovations on the church while also acquiring financing to purchase some land near the church. The plan was to build a community center, multi-purpose living, subdivision, etc as a means of doing ministry and also bringing other income into the ministry," Johnson said. However, they could have never foreseen what would come next. In March of 2008 a rare tornado ripped through Atlanta, tearing up their church and causing them to be displaced. 42

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"In the midst of all that was happening, parishioners started losing jobs, while others left the church which caused a decline attendance resulting in a decline in offerings," Johnson said. "People had to decide between gas in their car or the church. They chose gas and I do not fault them for that." They made an attempt to get a loan re-modification, but the bank was not interested in re-negotiating, Johnson said. "One day called us in, said they would not be servicing our debt any longer and that we needed to find another institution." McCoy said this is the reality of what is going on now. And it does not help that banks are not being pressured by the federal government to deal with or solve their loans. "Put that all together with general devaluation, you are in deep trouble," he said. "Banks are not making money, so they are getting out of the business in the next 2 to 5 years. They are moving on to something else. They make a lot of money doing credit cards, auto loans, student loans, things that have very little risk. They are not doing much residential loans." But McCoy wants to make it clear that this "crisis" is not exclusive to churches. Small businesses looking to borrow money are also having this problem. "What we are trying to do is make churches stronger businesses. The real message here is that we are here to put out a clarion call to this community," McCoy said. "They have a real crisis on their hands and need to be made aware of that reality." Johnson has faith. He believes either someone will come forth, writing a check big enough to forgive the debt or they will find a new institution to service the loan. Or someone will buy the building and allow the church to lease it from them. In the meantime, their work continues. "We walk by faith and not by sight. In three years I have known churches that have been foreclosed," Johnson said. "We are still standing by the grace of God. We bend, but we don't break." Should Johnson and others divorce themselves from their faith? McCoy says no. However, he also wants churches and their leaders to be more equipped and versed in dealing with this issue. "It is a matter of understanding what is happening in the financial market, debt market and real estate market and position yourself so that you can survive," he said. "A big part of this is also getting churches and their leaders to understand they did not do anything wrong; this is not a contest between you and the bank. This is not a political issue. You have to deal with the business side of this. That is what this is." www.thegrio.com 43

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Is The Bible Relevant To Your Marriage? By Edward Lee

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Lately I have been running into a few people saying the same thing, and I decided to bring it to the BMWK family for further investigation. “Is the Bible still relevant for marriages today?” A few weeks ago a woman from one of the largest Christian family ministries was sharing with me that a seminary professor told her it would be impossible to live married according to the Bible. Specifically, it was that a man could not lead his family and still be a man according to the Bible. I raise the question because so often we hear that there is this great benefit in going to church together, praying, reading and studying the Bible together. But yet it seems that there are many, like the seminary professor, that feels that the principles of the Bible aren‟t “realistic” for our marriages today. Of course culturally there are huge differences. There are instances where first cousins are married to each other, or one man is married to more than one woman, along with a host of other situations that just would not happen today. However, even in these culturally different scenarios, is it still possible to find relevant solutions for our marriages today? Personally, I find no greater resource than the Bible. While the culture is very different, they walk or rode camels instead of cars, and there was neither the Internet, social media nor smart phones, but still I believe at the core of the message of the Bible and the couples captured in the Bible, there is wisdom for today. In my own marriage, we have seen how God has spoken to us, not so much in a audible booming voice from heaven. But through the examples of marriages that have endured, there are some of the same core concerns of communication or trust that my marriage has. Through principles like having the mind of Christ or loving each other like we love ourselves, we have gained a stronger marriage. Reading and applying the Bible has provided insight in to how we think both individually and as a couple. Recently, we have been challenged by two biblical couples, Chuza and Joanna and Aquilla and Priscilla, to be more conscious to look for ways to make a difference in the lives of others through our marriage. Sure, there are books and other sources that could have brought this to mind. However, there is something so powerful about the instruction and direction gained from being aligned with the truths of the Bible that cannot be duplicated. www.blackandmarriedwithkids.com

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Words of Inspiration, Inspired

Alpha-omega

My Lord. You are my confident because of you I am who I am. Because of you I have the faith to stand tall, walk so gracefully and smile ever so proudly. You have taught me that I am a beautiful woman from the inside out. No one has to turn my head with these words. You made me see my own potential. I am a phenomenal woman. I respect myself highly. I am a mother with heart full of love. My children are the center of my joy. I am a Christian. I believe in the Lord. I know with out doubt that you are my beginning and my ending. You are the first and the last. God made the world and our universe. As the globe slowly turns around, our life styles change from day to day. God is Alpha and the omega. He made everything on earth. He will always be our past, present and future for he is Jesus Christ, The Most High Lord. Amen joya may be contacted at iamjoya@gmail.com 46

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Author Jo LenaUrban Johnson a mission for Professionalon Lifestyle

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Good ... Absolute Good!

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

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"things U do" The things you do make me lose myself in you Extra slow is the way to go that way, I can savor every morsel, which further let's you know that I'm here to support you you're too good a man to let go neither of us planned this its kinda happenstance. We've both been wronged which doesnt make it right my plight is whether to release you into the darkness at night Your warmth surrounds me, your gaze is clear, from day one, the things you do wards off any fear, that attempts to attack me or what we've become from day one your sensitivity & compassion is what won my heart... It's a whirlwind...a secret brewing from within a romance for just us that comes with a spin a juicy chapter that excites me every day that we live life is too short thoughts of you is what gives, me courage to follow my heart & my dreams like you...our desire is to be true Yes, this kind of connection is just for us two. You're the yin to my yang the groove to my thang we dance to our own music the emotion we exchange is magical for far more reasons than one the realness and raw energy draws us closer neither of us can run from the truth the edginess, the passion, the flames that burn in our minds of the respect that we've gained Daily, the more I learn you it's clear the things you do make me lose myself in you your kiss is refreshing a new day is near!

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Michelle Davis Meaningless Sexual Encounters Sex is the most meaningful act that connects two individuals together for the purpose of deepening an already established connection. To me that connection would have to be mental, emotional, & spiritual. Sex, not just physical! As of late, I have had lots of thoughts surrounding sex and not the act of it but the disrespect and hastiness thatâ€&#x;s brought to it. How you ask? Well, more people than not have sex just for the sheer pleasure of it and that is just dandy because I too have engaged in sex for pleasure of it but how well do you know these individuals you are allowing "inside?" As I grow, evolve and come into the realization of who I am so does everything else I involve myself in including sex. I have come to realize that sex is more than two people getting together to hump and bump, wind, and grind, moan and groan! Our bodies are the storehouses for our essence, our spirits & our souls - that's where our power resides. And, with "entrance" comes access. When we allow someone entrance they now have access to our power. Everyone is not worthy of our power and until we realize our worth, we are laying down giving up power by way of meaningless sexual encounters to individuals who just are not worth it. Some have easy access with a one night passes. These are individuals that you may not know or ever see again. They get up and walk away with little pieces you. Some are people that we have aquatinted ourselves with and may have earned access but still do not deserve pieces of you. I now know what they mean when they say the power lies between our thighs and this is true because the entrance to our power is right between our thighs. When we give full access we become powerless to control our emotions. We become powerless to think clearly and why? Because we have not realized who we are, what we are worth and we must open our eyes and make them see that clearly, we are not just an azz! Do not be so quick to relinquish your power to those who are not worthy of you. When you let someone enter you make sure they get to know the INNER you. Reserve entrance for someone who not only deserves but is worthy of your power surge. Michelle Davis is a freelance writer based in Arkansas.

She may be contacted at

alwayzeevolving@gmail.com 51

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Songwriter Nick Ashford dies; had throat cancer 52

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Musicians Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson attend Natalie Cole's 60th Birthday Celebration at TAO on February 4, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Nick Ashford, one-half of the legendary Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson that penned elegant, soulful classics for the likes of Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye and funk hits for Chaka Khan and others, died Monday at age 70, his former publicist said. Ashford, who along with wife Valerie Simpson wrote some of Motown's biggest hits, died in a New York City hospital, said Liz Rosenberg, who was Ashford's longtime friend. He had been suffering from throat cancer and had undergone radiation treatment, she told The Associated Press. Though they had some of their greatest success at Motown with classics like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Reach Out And Touch Somebody's Hand" by Ross and "You're All I Need To Get By" by Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Ashford & Simpson also created anthems for others, like "I'm Every Woman" by Khan (and later remade by Whitney Houston). "They had magic and that's what creates those wonderful hits, that magic," Verdine White of Earth, Wind and Fire said after learning of his friend's death. "Without those songs, those artists wouldn't have been able to go to the next level." Ashford & Simpson also had success writing for themselves: Perhaps the bestknown song they sang was the 1980s hit "Solid As A Rock." Their relationship stretched more than four decades. They met in 1964 in a New York City church; Ashford, a South Carolina native, had come to the city to pursue a dance career. Simpson was a music student, and after connecting with her, they decided to start to write songs together. "They were always comfortable with each other and they made all of us comfortable, because they were comfortable," White said. Their first major success occurred when they came up with "Let's Go Get Stoned" for Ray Charles. That song became a huge hit, and soon, they came to the 53

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attention of Motown Records and began penning hits for their artists. The started out writing for Gaye and Terrell; in fact, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" was originally their hit, until Ross later rerecorded it and made it her signature song. "The thing is, they were married and working together, that was what was special about them; everybody admired that," White said. The duo, who were married for 38 years, helped sell millions of records for several artists. They also had success as their own entity, but despite "Solid As a Rock," their songs were dwarfed by those they penned for others. In recent years, the pair continued to perform. They also were owners of the New York City restaurant Sugar Bar, where many top names and emerging talents would put on showcases. Ashford is survived by his wife and two daughters.

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Motown figure Esther Gordy Edwards dies at age 91 55

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DETROIT (AP) -- Esther Gordy Edwards, who helped build Motown Records alongside her brother Berry Gordy Jr. and led efforts to turn its original Detroit headquarters into a museum, has died. She was 91. Edwards died Wednesday surrounded by family and friends in Detroit, the Motown Historical Museum said in a statement. Edwards was a Motown executive for nearly three decades, holding numerous leadership positions within the music company whose artists included Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and The Four Tops. Motown Records, which Berry Gordy started with a family loan in 1959, churned out scores of global hits from the building it dubbed "Hitsville, U.S.A." in Detroit. The company moved to Los Angeles in 1972. Edwards served as senior vice president, corporate secretary and director of Motown International Operations, where she was charged with exposing the famed "Motown sound" to international audiences.

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"I always thought I was the visionary in the family but I missed the biggest thing of all when Esther turned the so-called trash left behind after I sold the company in 1988 into a phenomenal world-class monument at the spot where Hitsville started -- the Motown museum," Berry Gordy said in a statement Thursday. "She nurtured it and held it together, all through the years, to protect the Motown legacy for generations to come -- which is only one of the reasons people all over the world will remember and celebrate Esther Gordy Edwards," he said.

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David Honeyboy Edwards, Delta Bluesman, Dies at 96 By Bill Friskics-Warren

Jack Vartoogian/FrontRowPhotos

David Honeyboy Edwards performing in New York in 1991.

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David Honeyboy Edwards, believed to have been the oldest surviving member of the first generation of Delta blues singers, died on Monday at his home in Chicago. He was 96. His death was announced by his manager, Michael Frank. Mr. Edwards‟s career spanned nearly the entire recorded history of the blues, from its early years in the Mississippi Delta to its migration to the nightclubs of Chicago and its emergence as an international phenomenon. Over eight decades Mr. Edwards knew or played with virtually every major figure who worked in the idiom, including Charley Patton, Muddy Waters and Howlin‟ Wolf. He was probably best known, though, as the last living link to Robert Johnson, widely hailed as the King of the Delta Blues. The two traveled together, performing on street corners and at picnics, dances and fish fries during the 1930s. “We would walk through the country with our guitars on our shoulders, stop at people‟s houses, play a little music, walk on,” Mr. Edwards said in an interview with the blues historian Robert Palmer, recalling his peripatetic years with Johnson. “We could hitchhike, transfer from truck to truck, or, if we couldn‟t catch one of them, we‟d go to the train yard, ‟cause the railroad was all through that part of the country then.” He added, “Man, we played for a lot of peoples.” Mr. Edwards had earlier apprenticed with the country bluesman Big Joe Williams. Unlike Williams and many of his other peers, however, Mr. Edwards did not record commercially until after World War II. Field recordings he made for the Library of Congress under the supervision of the folklorist Alan Lomax in 1942 are the only documents of Mr. Edwards‟s music from his years in the Delta. 60

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Citing the interplay between his coarse, keening vocals and his syncopated “talking” guitar on recordings like “Wind Howling Blues,” many historians regard these performances as classic examples of the deep, down-home blues that shaped rhythm and blues and rock ‟n‟ roll. Mr. Edwards was especially renowned for his intricate fingerpicking and his slashing bottleneck-slide guitar work. Though he played in much the same traditional style throughout his career, he also enjoyed the distinction of being one of the first Delta blues musicians to perform with a saxophonist and drummer. David Edwards was born June 28, 1915, in Shaw, Miss., in the Delta region. His parents, who worked as sharecroppers, gave him the nickname Honey, which later became Honeyboy. His mother played the guitar; his father, a fiddler and guitarist, performed at local social events. Mr. Edwards‟s father bought him his first guitar and taught him to play traditional folk ballads. His first real exposure to the blues came in 1929, when the celebrated country bluesman Tommy Johnson came to pick cotton at Wildwood Plantation, the farm near Greenwood where the Edwards family lived at the time. “They‟d pick cotton all through the day, and at night they‟d sit around and play the guitars,” Mr. Edwards recalled in his autobiography, “The World Don‟t Owe Me Nothing” (Chicago Review Press, 1997). “Drinking that white whiskey, that moonshine, I‟d just sit and look at them. I‟d say, „I wish I could play.‟ ” After spending the better part of two decades as an itinerant musician, Mr. Edwards made Chicago his permanent home in the 1950s. He performed frequently in its clubs and at the open-air market on Maxwell Street, but he recorded only sporadically during his first years there, notably for the independent Artist and Chess labels. Mr. Edwards achieved new popularity during the blues revival of the 1960s. Near the end of the decade he appeared with Willie Dixon and Buddy Guy on sessions that produced both volumes of the album “Blues Jam in Chicago” by the British rock band Fleetwood Mac. 61

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In 1972 Mr. Edwards met Mr. Frank, a blues aficionado and harmonica player, who would be his booking agent, manager and collaborator, on both stage and record, for the rest of his life. Mr. Edwards was elected to the Blues Hall of Fame in 1996 and named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002. In 2007 he appeared as himself in the movie “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.” Survivors include a daughter, a stepdaughter and several grandchildren. Mr. Edwards won a Grammy Award in 2008 for the album “Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live in Dallas,” a collaboration with Henry Townsend, Pinetop Perkins (who died in March) and Robert Lockwood Jr., and a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2010. He was still playing as many as 100 shows a year when he stopped touring, in 2008, and he continued to perform occasionally until this year. His last appearance was at a blues festival in Clarksdale, Miss., in April.

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Tablet, Netbook or Laptop: Which Should I Buy? K.T. Bradford

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The tablet market is getting interesting. After being dominated by Apple‟s iPad for more than a year, new Android, BlackBerry, and HP tablets are debuting this summer. With a slick user interface and the promise of ultraportability these mobile computers make many business owners wonder if they can ditch a traditional laptop for use on the move. So which is the best portable computer for you? Tablets Pros: Tablets are lightweight and portable, and many offer constant connectivity via 3G or 4G cellular networks. Like smartphones, they awake from sleep instantly at the touch of a button and keep your data updated in the background. Cons: Mobile operating systems don‟t offer the same level of functionality as desktop operating systems. While there are many apps that parallel the software you‟re used to, they don‟t always format well. We recommend: ASUS Eee Pad Transformer; $399 (Tablet); $149 (Dock). Netbooks Pros: Netbooks generally have 10-inch screens and weigh less than 3 pounds, making them perfect for portability. Most new netbooks run Windows 7 and cost $400 or less, so you won‟t need to buy new software or apps, and you know they‟ll work the same as on your desktop. Cons: Because of the low-power Intel Atom processors inside, netbooks are not as powerful as full-size laptops. Their keyboards tend to be smaller, and they don‟t have many ports, either. We recommend: Samsung NF310; $399 Traditional ultraportable laptops Pros: Just as with netbooks, an ultraportable laptop will run a full-fledged OS and the software you‟re used to. Plus, you get business-centric features such as fingerprint readers and eSATA ports for accessing external storage at higher speeds than with traditional USB ports. Ultraportables weigh as little as 3 pounds and can be super thin, so they won‟t weigh you down like full-sized laptops. Cons: Though thin and light, ultraportable computers aren‟t easy to break out when you‟re standing in line, waiting for a train, or hunkering down in a tight space. We recommend: Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s; $858.30. www.blackenterprise.com 65

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President Barack Obama delivers a speech to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. Watching are Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner. (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, POOL)

Should blacks be satisfied with Obama's jobs speech? By David A. Love

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In the midst of a great deal of prognostication and punditry out there in the media, the blogosphere, and America's political chatterati, President Obama delivered his address on jobs before a joint session of Congress on Thursday evening. Without question, of the broad cross section of Americans who are hurting in this crippled, hobbled economy, no group was more interested in what the president had to say than African-Americans. After all, black people are suffering from Depression levels of unemployment, as Congresswoman Maxine Waters (DCalifornia) recently brought to light. Over 26 percent of African-Americans either are unemployed or underemployed, the highest level in nearly three decades. In his speech, Obama unveiled his $447 billion American Jobs Act, which offers a mix of tax cuts, jobs and infrastructure funding. Digging deep into the details and analyzing both the policy implications and the rhetorical symbolism of his speech, the president addressed issues that directly impact the black community and the rest of the Democratic base, and speak to their concerns. In other words, it is a good start, if nothing else. 68

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However, consisting of two-thirds tax cuts, to some degree the president's jobs plan resembles a conservative Republican proposal. Further, he did not specifically discuss the high rate of black joblessness -a unique situation, to be sure -- and therefore failed to adequately allay the concerns of some of his prominent AfricanAmerican critics. "This past week, reporters have been asking, 'What will this speech mean for the President? What will it mean for Congress? How will it affect their polls, and the next election?'" President Obama offered as introductory remarks in his address. "But the millions of Americans who are watching right now, they don't care about politics. They have real-life concerns. Many have spent months looking for work. Others are doing their best just to scrape by -- giving up nights out with the family to save on gas or make the mortgage; postponing retirement to send a kid to college," he added. The president made a salient point that people do not care about politics, and he urged Congress to stop the "political circus" and "pass this jobs bill." But we should remember that this is politics that we're dealing with here, and this is an inherently political season. After all, we're in the middle of the 2012 presidential campaign season. Just look at the most recent GOP presidential debate at the Reagan Library, which provided viewers with a clear difference in vision between the two parties. The Republican Party has been accused of sabotaging the economy for political gain, with the primary goal of making Obama a one-term president. This point of view has evidence on its side, with the recent debt ceiling debacle as a case in point. Meanwhile, the president, facing low approval ratings for his handling of the economy, must show that he is engaged on the jobs issue and actively working to turn things around. Obama should be concerned that his base, jaded, demoralized and lacking enthusiasm, will stay away from the polls next year, even as he seems overly preoccupied with attracting independent voters. Obama's jobs proposal consists of four main components. Glancing over the Obama jobs plan, it is clear that African-Americans would stand to benefit from some of its provisions, but not necessarily all of them: 69

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Tax cuts. A tax cut for small businesses as opposed to large corporations, including an additional tax cut to businesses that hire people or increase wages. The extent to which a tax cut for small businesses will ultimately help black workers is uncertain. Although small businesses employ half of all Americans and account for 60 percent of gross job creation, African-Americans face extensive discrimination in hiring in that sector. Conceivably, to the extent that black businesses hire fellow blacks as employees, both groups would benefit. Jobs. The proposal provides work for returning veterans, 280,000 teachers who were laid off due to state budget cuts, and construction workers repairing the nation's crumbling infrastructure and modernizing over 35,000 public schools. A new Pathways Back to Work Fund would encourage employers to hire disadvantaged workers, provide job training to these workers, and expand summer and year-round jobs for low-income youth. Employment for veterans will benefit black people, who are disproportionately represented at around 19 percent of the military's active-duty enlisted force. In addition, rehiring of public school teachers and rebuilding public schools will benefit the poor students and children of color who occupy many of these schools. Further, black youth and adults, who have fewer job opportunities and lower pay than their white counterparts, stand to gain from Obama's program for disadvantaged workers. Relief for the unemployed. The president would extend unemployment insurance for a year, help the long-term unemployed find a job and ban hiring discrimination against them. His plan also includes a tax credit for businesses that hire workers who have been unemployed for over six months. AfricanAmericans are the most unemployed demographic in the United States and bearing the brunt of long-term joblessness. And many employers will not hire them because of their status. This is having a destructive impact on the black community. For the foundation of his jobs plan, Obama cited a Georgia program embraced by Republicans, in which unemployed job seekers who collect unemployment insurance are engaged in temporary work to build their skills. This Georgia program deserves greater scrutiny, given concerns over its legality, and the claims from critics that it exploits workers who are not being compensated for the very real work they are performing. Tax relief for middle- and working-class Americans. Cutting the payroll tax in half, saving families an average of $1,500 a year. Action by the president 70

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would eliminate barriers to the federal mortgage refinancing program, allowing more people to refinance their homes at low rates and stay in their homes. Black and Latino households have been particularly hit by the foreclosure crisis and predatory lending, as these groups lost 53 percent and two-thirds of their wealth, respectively, between 2005 and 2009. According to the White House blog, "the plan won't add a dime to the deficit and is fully paid for through a balanced deficit reduction plan that includes closing corporate tax loopholes and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share." The president, to his credit, helped his cause by displaying his backbone to his base and his adversaries alike. Now, that's something his supporters like to see. On the offensive in his address to Congress, Obama appeared aggressive and assertive, even confrontational in his defense of some fundamental ideals such as labor rights, national competitiveness and economic justice. "But what we can't do -- what I will not do -- is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades," the president said. "I reject the idea that we need to ask people to choose between their jobs and their safety. I reject the argument that says for the economy to grow, we have to roll back protections that ban hidden fees by credit card companies, or rules that keep our kids from being exposed to mercury, or laws that prevent the health insurance industry from shortchanging patients. I reject the idea that we have to strip away collective bargaining rights to compete in a global economy," Obama added. "We shouldn't be in a race to the bottom, where we try to offer the cheapest labor and the worst pollution standards. America should be in a race to the top. And I believe we can win that race. President Obama discussed the need to rebuild America, and how our crumbling infrastructure puts the country at a disadvantage when compared to its 71

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competitors. "Everyone here knows we have badly decaying roads and bridges all over the country. Our highways are clogged with traffic. Our skies are the most congested in the world. It's an outrage," Obama said. "Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us a economic superpower. And now we're going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads? At a time when millions of unemployed construction workers could build them right here in America?" the president asked. President Obama also invoked President Lincoln, the founder of the Republican Party, who was responsible for the Transcontinental Railroad, the National Academy of Sciences, and the first land grant colleges. And he used a Republican folk hero to make a case for a government role in investing in society. "Ask yourselves -- where would we be right now if the people who sat here before us decided not to build our highways, not to build our bridges, our dams, our airports? What would this country be like if we had chosen not to spend money on public high schools, or research universities, or community colleges? Millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, had the opportunity to go to school because of the G.I. Bill. Where would we be if they hadn't had that chance?" the president asked the crowd. And finally, President Obama addressed economic inequality, the need for fairness in the tax system and for the rich and corporations to pay their fair share and help the economy. "I'm also well aware that there are many Republicans who don't believe we should raise taxes on those who are most fortunate and can best

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afford it," the president said. "But here is what every American knows: While most people in this country struggle to make ends meet, a few of the most affluent citizens and most profitable corporations enjoy tax breaks and loopholes that nobody else gets. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary -- an outrage he has asked us to fix," Obama noted. Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies? Or should we use that money to give small business owners a tax credit when they hire new workers? Because we can't afford to do both," the president said. "Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires? Or should we put teachers back to work so our kids can graduate ready for college and good jobs? Right now, we can't afford to do both." President Obama is at his best when he is in campaign mode and speaking to his base with populist themes. Without question, he employed this strategy to a certain degree. Yet, simultaneously the president's address was an exercise in compromise -- compromise with Republicans who are less popular than the president, and whose policies are unsupported. For example, Obama borrowed the GOP talking points on reducing the deficit, during a recession, by cutting so-called entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. This, even as the majority of the public blames Bush for the nation's economic woes and calls for a tax increase for the wealthy, as opposed to cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. In addition, in his address Obama failed to discuss the impact of globalization, as unfair trade deals dump foreign products on U.S. shores, and corporate incentives ship jobs out of America's urban centers to cheaper labor markets in Asia. The president's progressive critics point to his tendency to cave in and give away the store to his adversaries, essentially compromising away his bargaining chips before the compromise even begins. Some poignant examples include the administration's failure to fight for a public option or single payer system in health care reform, and the recent abandonment of plans to toughen Bush-era EPA smog regulations in light of Republican opposition. Obama's first economic stimulus was helpful and kept the U.S. out of a depression, but was inadequate to life the economy out of the doldrums. He identified the need for a second stimulus in December 2009, yet did not fight for one. 73

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Now, with a jobs bill consisting mostly of tax cuts, the president seems eager to embrace and legitimize the economic philosophy of his adversaries. Granted, many of the tax breaks Obama proposes are of a more stimulative variety. Republicans should support it because it incorporates some of their favorite ideas. But there is a chance the GOP-controlled Congress will reject the halfmeasure at face value, if their stone-faced, applause-free reaction to his speech is any indication. In that case, Obama would have been better served to propose a more vigorous, multi-trillion-dollar stimulus package to bring jobs to the millions of jobless Americans. Perhaps such a proposal would fail in Congress as well. Nevertheless, without putting up a fight and making his best case to the public, we will never know. Moreover, the first black president, who made conspicuous appeals to the black community during the 2008 election, has been M.I.A. on the crisis of black unemployment -- or at least in speaking out on the problem in public. Given the devastating impact of the recession on urban communities, Congresswoman Waters demanded that the president care as much about unemployed black people, including 45 percent of black youth, as Iowa swing voters. "I wanted him to say something about the intolerable rate of unemployment in the AfricanAmerican community. He didn't quite get there," Waters told CBS News after the speech. "But he talked about long-term unemployed, he talked about disadvantaged youth." "I would have had even bigger plans, but it was a big plan and it included some of the ideas we have been pushing," she added. Perhaps the president's African-American critics expect too much when they demand that he explicitly mention black unemployment. Then again, he owes them a great deal. Blacks are the most reliable and faithful constituents in the Democratic base. They will not defect to the hostile territory on the other side, particularly with Barack Obama as the occupant of the White House. However, the 2012 election is nigh. And if unemployment remains chronically high -- as it likely will be, jobs bill or no -- President Obama may have to deal with an unenthusiastic black electorate that stays home on the Election Day. Meanwhile, the other side caters to their base, which includes the Tea Party, billionaires and hard right wing values voters. From time to time, the president needs to show that he cares about black people, as symbolism can go a long way.

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President Barack Obama waves to supporters during a Labor Day speech at Detroit's Renaissance Center, headquarters of General Motors, Monday, Sept., 5, 2011, in Detroit, Mich. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Will blacks who backed Obama in '08 stay home in 2012? By Jay Scott Smith 75

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DETROIT - It was a scene we're all accustomed to seeing. President Barack Obama speaking in front of a throng of ardent supporters, loudly cheering and chanting his name. His booming voice, energy, and trademark smile had the crowd hanging on every word. "We've got roads and bridges across this country that need rebuilding," he told an enthusiastic crowd of union members after the annual Labor Day parade in Detroit on Monday. "We've got more than 1 million unemployed construction workers ready to get dirty right now." It was in 2008, as Obama was on his way to winning the presidency, that he spoke at this same parade and put a stamp on his allegiance to labor unions. Union members, in turn, were some his biggest supporters key Midwest states such as Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana in his successful run for the White House. After this speech, which was highlighted by chants of "Jobs, jobs, jobs!" and "Four more years!", the president was greeted by the same awe and reverence that he received in three years ago from multiple large crowds in Detroit and across Michigan. Three years later, that support appears to be wavering. Detroit is the proverbial "Ground Zero" in terms of unemployment in this country. Michigan's unemployment rate was at staggering 10.9 percent in July. For blacks, the number nationally jumps to 16 percent. This is a point that has not been lost on the residents of the city and its surrounding areas. Detroit, the state's largest city, has an unemployment rate that is nearly double the state average, and -- according to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing -- is thought to be as high as 50 percent when adding in the underemployed. Detroit's population, estimated by last year's U.S. Census to be 713,777, is 90 percent black. "African-Americans are almost uniformly Democratic," said David Bositis of the Joint Center for Political Economic Studies in Washington, D.C. "A lot of that is because the modern Republican Party has become the manifestation of Southern white conservatives. There's no group that African-Americans have less in common with or are more suspicious of -- or don't like -- than Southern conservative whites." It was with near-unanimous support of blacks three years ago that helped propel Obama to a historic election victory. In 2008, Obama won 96 percent of black voters, which made up 13 percent of the total electorate.

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In Detroit, a heavily Democratic city notorious for low voter turnout, 53 percent of registered voters came out in 2008. It was the city's largest voter turnout since 65 percent voted in the 1980 election between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. With that groundswell of support, people were looking for nearly immediate "change" from Obama. "One of the reasons I voted for President Obama wasn't just about the historic nature of his presidency," said Lawrence Ross, author of The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities. "I thought we had a pragmatic progressive, someone who understood that he had the political momentum to make substantive changes. That's what happens when you say you want to be a transformational president. "But my first inkling that perhaps President Obama wasn't going to be as bold as his words: The Wall Street bailout. When an industry can cause a financial calamity through fraud and criminality -- and yet no one goes to jail -- that was a warning sign that power still resided with corporate interests."

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One of the biggest criticisms of the president has been his compromising with the Republicans in Congress. Obama is often criticized for giving in to GOP demands on everything from extending the Bush tax cuts, to the war in Afghanistan, to the debt-ceiling crisis, to the watering down of the health care reform bill -- that Republicans derisively call "Obama-care." It has often seemed as if Obama has capitulated far too greatly to the GOP, even when Democrats held the majority in both houses and he was playing from a position of strength. "He also began at the center, and moved right, instead of staking out a position that made the GOP move toward him," Ross said. "That emboldened the GOP and they haven't looked back ever since." Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West and television host Tavis Smiley are two of his loudest critics. They went on a 15-city tour known as the "Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience", where they openly criticized the president for not doing enough for the nation's poor. The tour was met by heavy backlash from Obama supporters and prominent members of the African-American community, including radio hosts Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey. Joyner issued a statement saying that Smiley -- a former correspondent and frequent guest on the Tom Joyner Morning Show -- and West were helping to stoke the climate that made it "acceptable" for Mark Halpern call the president a "d**k" on MSNBC's Morning Joe. Meanwhile, Harvey openly called West and Smiley "Uncle Toms". Rep. Maxine Waters, one of the most outspoken members of the Congressional Black Caucus, said during a Detroit CBC job fair at Wayne County Community College last month that she didn't know why President Obama was not visiting black communities on his Midwestern bus tour. "We're supportive of the president, but we're getting tired," Waters added. "And so, what we want to do is, we want to give the president every opportunity to show what he can do and what he's prepared to lead on. "We want to give him every opportunity, but our people are hurting. The unemployment is unconscionable. We don't know what the strategy is."

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It would outwardly appear that blacks have begun to lose faith in President Obama. But is this a case of perception not corresponding with reality? "In terms of African-American support, 90-plus percent of African-Americans would still vote for him if the election were held today," Bositis said. One of those supporters is Shanay Watson-Whittaker. A Bronx native now living in Detroit, Whittaker is a political activist and strident supporter of President Obama. "I watched the speech on Monday, in fact, Ken (her husband) and I gave out over 150 tickets to it," Whittaker said. "I respect and appreciate my president. I think he was handed a sh-- sandwich and did what he could to make it taste like honey." Recently a Gallup poll showed that President Obama's approval rating is at an alltime low of 39 percent. Political scientists consider the 40 percent level the "danger zone". However, his low approval rating and disappointment among the general public has proven to not correlate to black voters. "Disappointment, my a**," Whittaker said. "The president has an approval rating of 81 percent with African-Americans. All you hear is that loud minority as if it is the so-called voice of black America. I'll admit that he can do more but he has to deal with a very hostile congress that will do anything to stop him." Whittaker noted the numerous successes that the president has been apart of in his term, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, increased funding to HBCUs, the killing of Osama bin Laden, and health care reform. "Despite the desperate and, at times, devious way President Obama has been maligned, I still believe him to be the victim of a political 'dine 'n' dash'," said retired Army Sgt. Patrice Myles, who served 11 years in the Army and is now living in Chesterfield, 40 miles north of Detroit. "Any logical-minded person can see how we are still experiencing the ripple effects of George W. Bush." "As for Tavis Smiley and the rest I honestly am reminded of the phrase 'divide and conquer.' We as a people are notorious for turning on each other in the hopes of promoting ourselves or in attempt to deal with and disguise our own failures. Regardless of what Mr. Smiley would like us to believe, his bitterness (over thenSenator Obama not attending a summit he hosted in 2008) is blatant and shameful." One advantage that the president may have is that there is no clear alternative to him. The Democrats will not run anyone in a primary challenge against him, and blacks -- as well as other minorities and gays -- are by and large, turned off by the GOP and the Tea Party. Robert Putnam and David Campbell reported the results 79

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of their 3,000 person panel in the New York Times a few days ago study that the Tea Party aren't some new group. They are the most partisan Republicans. They always have been," Bositis said. "They're the most conservative. They are the most religious, compared to other Republicans. And they don't like blacks and immigrants." The threat of the Tea Party taking a stronghold in the federal government can be seen as the saving grace to the President in 2012. Of the current Republican frontrunners, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Texas governor Rick Perry, and Minnesota House Rep. Michele Bachmann, only Romney does not outwardly align himself with the Tea Party. The biggest problem the president is facing is not whether people will switch sides. It's whether people will turnout for him again. "I'd vote for him (again)," Ross said. "He was able to do something no other Democrat has been able to accomplish: National health care. Yes, it's imperfect, but it's going to do a lot of good. "The problem is whether millions of others will be enthusiastic enough to go out to vote. When you compromise basic Democratic principles, Democratic voters begin to think you're GOP-lite. No one wants to vote for GOP-lite." www.thegrio.com

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Springfield, IL NAACP Branch Opposes New Options Put forth by City Leaders Regarding High Speed Rail Planned for the 1oth Street Corridor in the Heart of Historically Black Community. By Teresa Haley 81

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Left: Obama Unveils High-Speed Railway Plan, April 16, 2009

On April 16, 2009, President Obama announced a new vision for developing high-speed passenger rail in America. The vision called for a collaborative effort among the Federal Government, States, railroads, and other key stakeholders to help transform America's transportation system through the creation of a national network of high-speed rail corridors. To achieve this vision, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) launched the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program in June 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). On January 28, 2010, Illinois was selected for a $1.2 billion federal award to bring high-speed passenger rail service to Illinois by 2014. In addition to the ARRA funding, the Illinois Capitol Bill has appropriated $400 million for high-speed rail. More than 90 percent of the over 35 million corridor trips have origins or destinations in Chicago or St. Louis. A more balanced transportation system in the corridor would provide travelers with greater mobility options. To achieve this, either a new transportation mode must be introduced, or improvements to an existing, less frequently used intercity passenger rail mode must be made. Reduced travel time, increased service reliability, and enhanced safety would attract travelers from automobile and air travel to a new or improved rail mode of transportation. In September 2010, one of the first construction projects in the national HighSpeed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program began along the Chicago to St. Louis route to prepare it for future train operations at up to 110 miles per hour. This track renewal project will be completed over two construction seasons: 2010 and 2011. The 2010 construction, completed in early December, included upgrading 76.5 miles of existing track from Brighton to Elkhart, excluding the Springfield area. A study is currently underway to determine the best route through Springfield.

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The State of Illinois has ensured that the Chicago to St. Louis corridor remains at the forefront of passenger rail development. On April 5, 2011, the second round of construction began to upgrade approximately 96 miles of existing track from Elkhart to Dwight. Construction is scheduled for completion in late summer 2011 (weather permitting). The Illinois High-Speed Rail project will reduce vehicle miles by 1.3 million miles. In September 2010, construction began upgrading approximately 90 miles of existing track to prepare the route for operations at up to 110 miles per hour. The track upgrades began in Godfrey and will proceed north to just south of Lincoln. Upgrades through Springfield will not take place at this time. A study is currently underway to determine the best route through that area. City leaders, community groups and residents have been going back and forth supporting their plans to have the high speed rail located on 3rd Street, 10th Street or 19th Street. The local hospital have denounced the location of the high speed rail on the 3rd Street corridor. Likewise, the Springfield, IL Branch of the NAACP has denounced the location of the high-speed rail on 10th Street corridor. The NAACP opposes the 10th Street corridor foir the following reasons: ďƒ˜ danger of railcar 83

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derailment within East Springfield, a predominantly Black community,  the lowering of properties values in East Springfield,  the threat of noise pollution, and  further isolation of East Springfield from needed services such as medial facilities. On Monday, August 29, 2011 Alderman Gail Simpson and Alderman Doris Turner through out yet another option supporting the mayor‟s plan. The newest and latest plan includes putting an overpass on South Grand at 19th Street and another overpass on Ash Street at 19th Street. This is considered a total disregard for and a slap in the face to the black community. In particular working class, middle class black families who built their subdivision over 40 years ago would be adversely affected. The new option means removing homes from Randall Court. Yes, one block of homeowners in Randall Court would have to be relocated. Why? The reason is that in order to put the overpass on Ash Street, homes one block on each side of the railroad tracks would have to be removed. On South Grand, homes on both sides of the track within one block would have to be removed as well. Yes, that includes Carter‟s Fish Market one of the most stable and most patronized establishments in the community. This would also

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cause problems for customers trying to get to Boydâ€&#x;s Restaurant as well which is another iconic establishment within the community. In addition, St. Patrickâ€&#x;s Elementary School will also be impacted. I forgot to mention that this new plan includes more green space on the Eastside. We do not need more green space! However, we do need better homes and safer neighborhoods. The green space would include bike trails. In conclusion, dumping more problems on an economically disadvantaged part of town is not best for the city of Springfield as a whole. We are concerned, generally, about so few medical services available in East Springfield. If the rail corridor relocates from 2nd Street to 10th Street, the number of freight trains will increase to 40 to 60 trains per day, interfering with timely access to hospitals and medical clinics that are primarily located in West Springfield. Other train-threats to East Springfield include possible chemical spills. Please join us on September 13, 2011 for the next NAACP meeting at Zion Baptist Church, 1601 E. Laurel. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Mayor Houston will be there to provide an update on the High Speed Rail.

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Miss: 1st black modern major-party nominee for governor

Democratic Mayor Johnny DuPree of Hattiesburg, speaks with the state newspaper editors and publishers at their state's press association convention in Biloxi, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree on Tuesday became the first black candidate in modern times to win major-party nod for Mississippi governor in a state that hasn't had a black statewide official since Reconstruction. DuPree, 57, won a Democratic primary runoff and advances to the Nov. 8 general election to face Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, 56, of Brandon. "I'm just so proud of the fact that we had people who believed in us, believed in the message, believed in what we're trying to accomplish. I'm so proud that people took a hold of that," DuPree said in a phone interview from a Hattiesburg community center, where he celebrated with family and supporters. DuPree is the first black mayor of Hattiesburg, and is running a race-neutral campaign. In a 15-second commercial recently posted to his campaign website, DuPree looks directly into the camera and says: "I'm here to talk to you about color -- green." DuPree holds up a $1 bill and continues: "Better jobs mean more money for Mississippians. And we do that with better schools and safer streets. More green means a better tomorrow." With a population that's 37 percent black, Mississippi has more black elected officials than any state in the nation. However, that doesn't extend statewide. Funding could be a challenge for DuPree in the 11 weeks leading to the general election. Bryant already has spent $3.1 million on his campaign -- more than twice as much combined as DuPree and his primary opponent, developer Bill Luckett, who is white. "We're going to campaign regardless of whether we have a million dollars or half a million dollars," DuPree said. Luckett was joined at his election-night party by actor Morgan Freeman, his partner in two Clarksdale businesses, and whom he had mentioned frequently during this campaign. Two other high-profile black politicians ran for Mississippi governor as independents in the 1970s. Charles Evers, brother of slain civil-rights leaders Medgar Evers, ran in 1971. State Sen. Henry Kirksey ran in 1975. Neither had to go through a primary. Republican Gov. Haley Barbour could not seek a third term this year. www.thegrio.com 87

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Gaddafi: the man who would be king of Africa

Muammar Gaddafi attends the inauguration ceremony of Jacob Zuma on May 9, 2009 in Pretoria, South Africa. Photograph: Gallo Images/Getty Images

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As the fall of the 42-year-old regime of Libya's eccentric leader Muammar Gaddafi approaches, one of his most important legacies will be his mischief in Africa. After seizing power, Colonel Gaddafi modelled his rule on Egypt's pan-Arab leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser. However, he failed to win support from Arab governments offended by his populist appeals to the "Arab street". Angered by the lack of Arab support, in contrast to strong black African backing following western-inspired United Nations economic and travel sanctions on Libya in 1992, Gaddafi swapped his pan-Arab robes for pan-African garments. These sanctions were eventually lifted in 1999 with the help of the South African leader, Nelson Mandela. Despite claims of his popularity in Africa, Gaddafi was viewed with widespread suspicion. Libya became isolated within the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) following Gaddafi's 1980 military intervention in Chad. Most governments boycotted an OAU summit in Tripoli in 1982. Gaddafi sent troops to bolster brutal Ugandan autocrat Idi Amin's regime between 1972 and 1979. He called for a jihad by Congolese Muslims against the autocratic western-backed regime of Mobutu Sese Seko. In the 1990s, Gaddafi provided military training to vicious rebel groups in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and backed Tuareg rebels in Mali. In 2000, widespread xenophobic attacks in Tripoli and Zawiyah against thousands of black African migrant workers led to several deaths, damaging Gaddafi's pan-African image. Following religious-related massacres in Nigeria last year, he called for the dismembering of the country into separate Muslim and Christian states. More positively, Gaddafi established a $5bn fund that invested in hotels, mobile phone companies, mosques and mining companies across Africa. He also did more than any other leader to ensure the creation of the African Union (AU) in 2002, hosting several meetings, and forcing Nigeria and South Africa to react to his frantic drive towards 89

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creating a federal body. The "Brother Leader's" quixotic vision of a United States of Africa – an all-African army and common monetary union – was, however, rejected by most African leaders. Gaddafi's delusions of grandeur were evident in his coronation as the "King of Kings" by 200 traditional African leaders in a bizarre ceremony in 2008. The Libyan leader's ambitions, however, often failed to match political realities on the ground: all seven regional integration schemes that Gaddafi attempted in Africa failed. While using his oil wealth to buy influence within the AU, many governments took his money, but did not necessarily support him. Gaddafi finally ascended the chair of the African Union in 2009, but only after South Africa's Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo had left the political stage, leaving leaders of lesser stature unable to obstruct his ambitions. His patronising bid to serve a second consecutive term as AU chair was, however, soundly rejected. He tried unsuccessfully to serve as a peacemaker in Ethiopia/Eritrea and Guinea-Bissau, and was accused of coddling fellow military putschists in Guinea, Mauritania, and Madagascar. Thabo Mbeki famously clashed with Gaddafi, while his successor as president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, has enjoyed better relations with him, enabling him to serve as an AU envoy to Tripoli during this crisis. The Libyan case, however, has revived the historical diplomatic rivalry between South Africa and Nigeria. Though both countries, as non-permanent members of the UN security council, voted to support Nato's intervention in Libya, Nigeria recently became the first African country to recognise the national transitional council: sweet revenge for Gaddafi's call for the partition of Nigeria. The Zuma administration, has, however, been stung by criticisms within the ruling African National Congress (in which Gaddafi still enjoys much popularity as a revolutionary leader) that South Africa's support of the UN resolution to protect civilians had opened the door to Nato's regime change agenda. Mbeki has also been involved in a vocal campaign, with 200 African personalities, to oppose the Nato intervention for having sidelined the AU. These pressures explain Zuma's cautious approach that delayed the unfreezing of some of Libya's assets, and South Africa has sought to stay close to the AU position of not recognising the country's transitional council. Ironically, while Gaddafi became increasingly isolated in his bid to lead Africa, his status as an international pariah appeared to have ended with the unilateral dismantling of his weapons of mass destruction programme in 2003. He subsequently co-operated with European governments to deter African migrants seeking to reach Europe. Salivating western leaders from Italy, Britain and the US (now among Nato countries seeking to topple his regime) queued up outside his tent in Tripoli to sign lucrative oil contracts. Lord Palmerston had famously noted that countries have neither permanent friends nor permanent enemies, but permanent interests. The strange disappearance of Libya's selfstyled "King of Kings" and his abandonment by his former African and western friends certainly confirm this dictum.

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Want To Go To Africa? Ghana Repatriation & Investment Tours Planned For 2012 Group picture of the last tour to Ghana in July 2011

base for people of African descent worldwide.

Africa for the Africans Tours & Investments is a black-owned Atlanta based international business enterprise specializing in Africa tours and investments services. According to them, "the African slave trade has completely divided our people globally and as a result we have been disconnected from our true roots and culture." As a result, they are dedicated to empowering Africa as a home

The company provides Africans throughout the Diaspora with a cultural and historical reconnection to the African continent. With a determined mission to foster lasting relationships with our African family, a vision inspired by the Honorable Marcus Garvey, who used the term "Africa for the Africans" to encourage a black nation and ownership of land outside of America. Africa for the African's vision has guided hundreds of people yearning to be exposed to opportunities in West Africa. Their tours are intended to enlighten, stimulate and create nothing less than a life changing experiences through investment forums, social network gatherings and repatriation services for our travelers. From humbling historical landmarks to the bustling marketplaces, they nurture and guide their groups through a colorful and emotional journey. Tour patrons are exposed to the many investments, land/home ownership opportunities that exist in Ghana as well as opportunities to experience the gift of giving by delivering valuable school supplies, toys and clothing to children's orphanages and schools during the tour. Their familial vibe and energy transforms the tours into something much more than a vacation package. Africa for the Africans is a fully fledged cultural movement. All are invited to come experience Ghana's culture, night life, shopping, networking, business, investment opportunities and more on the upcoming tours on the following dates: February 22 March 6, 2012, May 16 - 29, 2012, October 24 - November 6, 2012. For more details, visit www.africafortheafricans.org 91

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It's a Great Time to Be Racist By Nsenga Burton

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Let's face it: There's only one explanation for some of the attacks on President Obama. Racists have officially lost their minds. In recent weeks, the venom spewed at President Barack Obama would leave one to believe that we are in the midst of a racist renaissance. "A dick," "jackass," "tar baby, "your boy" -- you name it and the president has been called it. For some reason, some people are so enraged by how this country is purportedly being run that they cannot separate a real critique of the president's decisions from meanspirited name-calling related to his race. Yes, the country that likes to pretend that it is far removed from its racist past has engaged in the verbal equivalent of a throwback jersey. Some people have reached far back into that Reconstruction-era closet, pulled out that dingy jersey adorned with racial slurs, shaken it out and put it on proudly. Elected officials have reduced themselves to behaving like petulant children, storming in and out of meetings and running to the media to lob personal attacks at the president, then offering lame apologies shortly afterward. Is this the postracial era that so many people theorized about following the election of the nation's first black president? Try post-Reconstruction, because the harmful slurs and images being tossed around the Internet and in public spaces hark back more to a racist past than to a racially ambiguous future. It's not surprising that President Obama is being received in such a way. Trouble From the Start We got a peek at what was to come just seven months into President Obama's tenure. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouted, "You lie!" during the president's speech about health care reform. Clearly Wilson had a flashback to legalized segregation, when folks publicly bullied, threatened and heckled blacks to remind them of who was "in charge." Wilson subsequently issued an apology, saying his actions were "regrettable" and he'd let his emotions take over. He was just the first of a series of elected officials acting like fools and then offering weak apologies as a remedy for said actions. To be clear, "You lie!" is not a racist exclamation. Yet and still, it is insulting and in recent memory has not been used against any other president, even when he may have been lying about one thing or another. President George W. Bush and the weapons of mass destruction, for example, or President Bill Clinton and the Lewinsky scandal could have triggered such a response. 93

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One could argue that both presidents lied about these "issues," but no one saw fit to scream out "You lie" when either president was discussing the matter. However, before President Obama could get his words out, Wilson was hurling the insult in a televised session of Congress, which in my mind makes it a partisan act at best -- and a racist act at worst. Pundits and politicians like Wilson have been letting their emotions and their acidic tongues take over ever since. We've had other comments and shenanigans, like Tea Party member Marilyn Davenport of the Orange County Republican Central Committee sending out "chimp" emails of the first family, insisting that it was political satire and yet apologizing, while refusing to step down. That email was clearly racist because of the long history of comparing blacks to apes in art, literature, film and history, based on a so-called hierarchy of humans. The most recent example of racial commentary comes from Rep. Doug Lamborn (RColo.), who referred to President Obama as a "tar baby." He not only apologized but also said that he was certain the president would accept his apology because he is a "man of character." Lamborn's presumption that the president would accept his apology has nothing to do with Obama being a man of character. He's a black man, so he will ostensibly submit to the will of this white man, who has been described as the most conservative member of Congress. Inherent in Lamborn's "apology" is the audacity to believe that he can determine the thoughts and actions of President Obama without giving him the respect of a conversation, which is racist and insulting. Organized Racism Therein lies the rub: These examples of what appears to be a fundamental lack of respect for President Obama have more than offensive words behind them. Racism is the belief that races have distinctive cultural characteristics determined by hereditary factors and that this endows some races with an intrinsic superiority over others. These politicians and pundits appear to be engaging in racist acts based on this flawed ideology at the same time that all kinds of "movements" have sprung up in reaction to Obama's election. No other president has had his qualifications for the office challenged so vigorously. A "Birther movement" developed around fabrications about the citizenship of Obama (made up mostly by Orly Taitz, a Russian-born woman and recent citizen).

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A number of folks jumped on the bandwagon, calling for the president to "show his papers." Many Republicans, who just a few years ago had toyed with the idea of altering the Constitution so that the fan favorite and Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger could run for president, joined a movement that appeared to be the closest thing to a high-tech lynching seen in this century. Is it just partisanship? Could be, but it seems to be pretty darn close to racism. Rush Limbaugh and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are on record for wanting President Obama to fail. Why? McConnell and Limbaugh uttered these words early in Obama's tenure as president, even before he could reasonably have gotten anything off the ground. Could it be partisanship? Yes. Could it be a profound lack of patriotism? Yes. But again, it smacks of something that has nothing to do with partisanship or patriotism but with the basest of reasons for disliking and disrespecting someone: because he or she does not look like you. Is this why some people feel comfortable saying that President Obama hasn't done anything since he's been in office? Had Osama bin Laden been captured and killed while President George W. Bush was in office, there would have been a movement to make him President Emeritus of the United States. Instead, President Obama, the man whose administration actually delivered, is reduced to a brother hooping it up at the White House and doing nothing. This leads me right back to the racism that has been bubbling underground and resurfaced with the debt-ceiling debacle. Folks from all walks of life took that crisis as a get-out-of-jail-free card to spew venom on President Obama instead of dumping on those who would rather sink this country -- and may have done just that with the recent credit downgrade. How sinister can you be to purposely create a hole and then try to push the entire country into it? All of this because a black man is president? If it isn't because President Obama is black, then what is it? There is plenty to criticize about the current administration, but the inability to do so with respect for the man or the office is the giveaway. The racial climate is suffocating and getting worse. Every other week, another politician or pundit is apologizing for making what he or she keeps calling inappropriate comments about President Obama. But what these people call inappropriate, insulting or partisan, I call racist -- a term that describes abusive or aggressive behavior toward a member of another race based on the belief that some races have an intrinsic superiority over others. If this is not what we're witnessing, then I don't know what it is. Yes, it's a great time to be a racist, and a horrible time to be the nation's first black president. Nsenga Burton is The Root's editor-at-large. 95

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Investing in America's Growing Assets: Minorities By Mike Green How will America's economic portfolio change in the next few decades as we race toward 2050 when racial minorities are expected to emerge as the majority of the U.S. population? Investing today to uplift America's minority students and innovators seems prudent. Unfortunately, the excitement and energy of a nation that elected its first Black president a few years ago has dissipated. Did we expend all of our energy just to elect him to the office with none left over to do the necessary work? I was hopeful such an election would translate into changes in the education system that routinely relegates poor black and brown students to lives upon a conveyor belt of chaos and confusion, where the American Dream is an elusive nightmare. I was hopeful the infrastructure of private risk capital (angels and venture capitalists) would be expanded to include minorities. Unfortunately, both Whites and non-Whites seem to have relegated the president to the single-handed task of removing significant economic obstacles that block productive progress for millions of minorities. I don't know where the notion was conceived that the election of a Black leader would, in an instant, mitigate the economic imprisonment and wealth gap established by institutions of oppressive policies and practices that have remained from post-slavery to this presumed "post-racial" era. We should recognize the fact the election of President Barack Obama is a precedentsetting anomaly lacking the infrastructure of support necessary to make Obama's historic leadership much more than a first step in the right direction.

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I've heard the premise that we live in a "post-racial" America where the presumed dying embers of red-hot racism that fueled the production of an economic foundation and built this nation's institutions upon the backs of slave and low-cost labor for centuries is only kept alive today by those with a victim mentality who continue to rant and rave about racism. My response? Follow the economic data. The main economic categories that offer insight into a significantly divided Black and White America are simply: education and jobs. EDUCATION There's no need to belabor criticism of the failed system of public education, which services 50 million American students and dispenses disparate results along racial lines readily seen when relevant data are reviewed. Consider that 87 percent of eighth-graders in high-poverty schools are not proficient in math. 88 percent are not proficient in reading. The data indicate another economic crisis is set to hit the nation in 2015. Millions of unqualified students will flood the job market unable to obtain livable wages and engage in productive work. What will become of these masses of minorities in whom the nation has failed to adequately invest? JOBS On July 13, a coalition of more than 4,000 Black pastors released an open letter they signed and submitted to President Barack Obama petitioning to halt budget cuts that would negatively impact programs serving the poor. As Christian leaders, we are committed to fiscal responsibility and shared sacrifice. We are also committed to resist budget cuts that undermine the lives, dignity, and rights of poor and vulnerable people. The group, which calls itself Sojourners, made this specific point pertaining to the allocation of government resources: A fundamental task is to create jobs and spur economic growth. Decent jobs at decent wages are the best path out of poverty, and restoring growth is a powerful way to reduce deficits. The compassion on display by the pastors is honorable. Unfortunately, no data suggests that government has ever been the answer to the employment problem for Black Americans in any substantive way. In fact, the data suggest just the opposite: 97

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Since the days of Dr. Martin Luther King's call for jobs from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 to this very day, unemployment among Black Americans has remained nearly double the overall jobless rate every year in a pattern so consistent that it is the focus of discussions and debates among those who have knowledge of the data. "Job growth is going to be driven by the private sector but we can make some smart decision to encourage businesses to feel like this is the right time to invest and that America's the right place to invest," President Obama told the 26-member job council he formed in January 2011 with a goal of creating one million jobs. Historically, no such institutional investment focus has targeted regions predominantly dominated by African Americans. Historically, White American business owners have been reluctant to employ Blacks; and diversity, which receives some lip service, isn't high on the priority list for leaders in White corporations and White-owned small businesses that dominate America's job market. Need for Private Risk Capital The Census Bureau's most recent stats on 1.9 million Black-owned businesses reveal the vast majority are sole proprietorships; and of those with employees, very few have more than 100. Add to that fact the total gross revenue of all those businesses was $137.5B in 2007 ... before the economic recession. The revenue generated by all Black-owned business is less than 1 percent of GDP. The National Venture Capital Association boasts venture-backed companies produced $2.9T. That revenue amounted to 21% of the nation's $14T GDP in 2008. Compare that to Asian-owned businesses that produced $2.5T and employed half of all employed minorities in the nation. Black Americans have no such risk capital infrastructure. Angels and venture capitalists across the nation focus their investments on targeted regions. The private risk capital infrastructure, currently 65 years old, has largely ignored Black America, relegating more than a million innovative minority entrepreneurs to bootstrapping enterprises that lack the capital to move beyond the bootstrapping phase. Even Startup America, a national collaborative venture endorsed by President Obama to support innovation and spur job growth, has yet to provide a plan by which it will assist Black America's innovators who lack the infrastructure of business incubators, accelerators and connections to private risk capital. The options provided by Startup America make assumptions that do not address the challenges facing Black 98

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entrepreneurs, thus indicating a strong need for minority representation amongst the decision-makers presiding over partnerships and investments. For Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and other racial demographic societies that have been oppressed or ignored by the main power structure, the answer is we must invest in ourselves. As minorities continue to grow in number, but lack authority and economic power, it is vital that investments in the education of our children are sufficient to adequately prepare them to become both qualified job seekers as well as innovative job creators. We need strong minority leadership in the 21st century that will emerge from those cohorts in whom we invest today. Investing In America's Future We need more organizations such as these that invest in minority youth and the future of America: Usher's New Look Foundation: Usher Raymond IV is teaching youth entrepreneurial skills and global leadership with impressive results. His foundation, UNL, has developed a formula that shows every dollar spent generates 43 times return on investment. UNL hosts it Annual World Leadership Conference on July 20th in Atlanta and will honor Ted Turner among other leaders. "We're teaching youth about the world," says Shawn Wilson, UNL's president. "That's how we make them stronger -- by taking them outside the classroom, even overseas, to introduce them to new paradigms. We broaden their vision by exposing them to global issues. We help them think outside of the box to seek global solutions." Level Playing Field Institute: Promising high school students from poor backgrounds are often prevented from realizing their potential solely due to lack of economic resources. The Level Playing Field Institute's Summer Math and Science Honors (SMASH) Academy removes the financial problem and changes the equation. Currently, servicing 80 students on each of the campuses of UC Berkeley and Stanford University, SMASH is gearing up to expand across the nation and service students nationwide. Students spend three consecutive summers in 5-week immersive environments with top instructors. SMASH boasts 100 percent of its students are accepted to four-year universities, the vast majority majoring in a STEM field. 99

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"We shouldn't be thanked for doing what we do," says Level Playing Field Institute founder Freada Kapor Klein, "It should be a non-issue. These are incredibly talented, ambitious, wonderful kids. There shouldn't have to be anything special for them. They should be in institutions that recognize and reward their talents. And they're not. Our educational institutions aren't set up that way. Our workplaces aren't set up that way. "Being a real meritocracy is hard work. Let's get on it!" We're racing toward the year 2050. It's time to invest in those promising minority students and talented innovators who have failed to receive our focus and investment. After all, at the rate minority populations are growing, they represent the next generation of America's leaders building the American Dream of the 21st century. For further information contact www.blackinnovation.org

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Tamara Fleming Interview: Using Photography Capturing the Essence of Others 101

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V: Our readers are very curious about you what is your name the name of

your business and what exactly do you do and what do you promote? Tamara: First of all, thank you for the interview. Very much appreciated. My name is Tamara Fleming. Originally from North Carolina but I‟d like to call myself a “Newarker” because I‟ve been here for the last 15 years and the city and its people have grown on me and has helped influence many of my decisions as an urban entrepreneur. The name of my business is FirstEye MediaWorks but we (my business partner, Kimberlee Williams) do business as FEMWORKS. We are a multi-cultural marketing agency and have been in operation since 2004. Our services can be summed up to Campaign Development, Event Planning and Campaign Photography for businesses. So when you think of campaigns, it‟s everything thing from strategic marketing plans, public relations, branding & identity development, event production, key message development, social media management, photography to website design. So in other words, we‟re like a one stop shop for all your campaign initiatives. 102

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Our clients are typically non-profits and corporate clients. We market to them in a variety of ways with good ole networking being first on the list. There is nothing like getting a referral from someone you know and trust that a business you‟re thinking about doing business with is worth it. Social media strategies too, also help us with promotion. We use Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and LinkedIn to make this happen and we‟re also starting to use uStream for live access to what projects we‟re working on. V: When I spoke with you verbally, you mentioned that you were in a master‟s program what degree are you seeking and what previous education have you had? Tamara: Actually, I‟m in a bachelors program at Axia College online. I didn‟t take the traditional route of going to college right after high school. I was a little less goaled for career back then. I ended up getting married at 19 and that‟s when I moved to NJ. I did take a number of classes at my local Community College and received trade certifications. I‟d always had a great paying job and was in managerial positions but it wasn‟t until I started working at my last company did I start taking advantage of their tuition reimbursement program. So while managing the Photo Desk at PRNewswire, a news distribution company, I begin taking courses at New Jersey City University. All was going well until the big lay off but luckily I was able to transfer almost 60 credits to my current program to receive a BS in Communication With A Concentration In Communication And Technology. In addition to my online courses, I‟m in various leadership programs. I‟m a fellow in a two year Leadership program called Leadership Newark, graduating this September 103

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and I‟m also in a programs with Rutgers Business School called the Entrepreneur Pioneer Initiative (EPI) for first generation entrepreneurs. I graduate there this December. V: I love your portraits on your website your pictures are so full of life and make a statement what do you wish to convey to those who view your photos? Tamara: I look at my images as a celebration of life and opportunity. Although it wasn‟t necessarily intentional, most of my work is of African-Americans and people of color. It became a personal challenge to me to seek out and shoot people of color in a way that leaves them empowered and feeling good about themselves. In my many years of conversations with people, one thing that screamed loud and clear to me is that “WE” just have so many hang ups about who we are, or at least what we look like in pictures so most people are inclined not to be photographed. That‟s when I hone in about why it‟s important to do it any way. I strongly believe that our issues come from a place of pure insecurity and lack of self-confidence. Now, I‟m sure there are tons of us out there that are very secure and confidence but trust and believe, you are the few. I shoot everything from stock images, civil unions & weddings, corporate events to lifestyle and portraits and my businesses objectives is to provide real, relatable images of people of color for marketing purposes intended to help reach a specific target audience. Over all, I want people to see another person‟s spirit and to get who they are and how they‟ve shared themselves with the camera, which is not an easy thing to do.

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V: How did you get into photography? What are your thoughts while you are taking pictures? Tamara: Hmmm, so the first time I can remember that I started to appreciate taking pictures was when I was about 10 or so. I‟d been given the task of shooting well composed, focused images of my cousin Celina. Celina “hired” me to shoot her portraits so she could mail them to her then boyfriend who was stationed in Germany. She was very demanding and critical … think Naomi Campbell! LOL, she‟s going to kill me for saying this but it‟s true. At age 15, I was beginning to realize that the vision in one eye was off. After expressing my concern to my mom, she tried to remind me of a little accident that caused a sharp object to permanently scar my retina. So at this moment, I have only peripheral vision in one eye. I‟d always feared that one day I‟d be blind and from a young age. I remember thinking about how I was going to wake up and cherish being able to see even the littlest of things. I believe this is where my appreciation for photography came in, that and knowing that it‟s one of the few things that confirms your existence here on earth. When I‟m shooting, I‟m thinking of course about lighting and all, but the core of me is praising God for my talent and I‟m also thanking the other person‟s spirit for allowing me to capture them. It‟s the most intimate public engagement between people because it makes you vulnerable in a lot of ways. That‟s why I take it seriously and when I have sessions in my studio, I take my time to get to know and encourage my clients. I also give loads of positive, affirming words so they begin to let their ways down. It‟s a moment when we all share. I‟m sharing myself and asking others to do the same, and with that, results are always amazing. V: What is the “Status is everything” campaign? Tell us a little about this and how it made you feel as a business woman to receive the contract to work on that project? Tamara: This is a very powerful campaign. Can I tell you that my business partner and I were thrilled to have received this contract? It was right in line with that we‟ve always wanted to do and had being doing on various scales. We were charged with producing Newark‟s first HIV Testing Campaign, targeted to young MSM‟s (Men Who Sleep With Men). Newark has the highest cases of HIV/AIDS in the state and finally funds were granted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and NJ State Department of Health to produce this highly successful campaign. I don‟t even think they realized at the time, the impact it would truly have on the community and the people in Newark. Our client, African American Office of Gay Concerns (AAOGC), hand selected us to produce this campaign. Our relationship began with networking, face-to-face networking and when they received funds to launch the campaign, they already knew who they wanted to work with and I credit that to relationship building, a powerful 105

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strategy for growing business opportunities. I know there are loads of social media strategies to use but it‟s important to keep it simple and just get to know people like back in the day. V: That was a very successful campaign I remember the PSA ads on TV about it you reached a lot of people and alerted them to the seriousness of AIDS and how important it is to get tested. What other community activities are you involved in and organizations you belong to? Tamara: Yes, the campaign was historic for this area. Especially because it was the first time this city has seen a campaign with images and messages targeting Newark‟s LGBT community. PSA, TV, Outdoor Advertisements were seen and used throughout the area and penetrated this typically hard to reach audience well. I stay involved with community initiatives. I‟m a board member for Newark Essex Pride Coalition which produces a week long Gay Pride event in Newark. It‟s on its 8th year and attendance and awareness is growing leaps and bounds. I‟m also involved in other social initiatives like the one I participated in last year in Haiti. A group of my peers went to Haiti for 12 days to work with 100 girls that had been given vouchers to attend an enrichment camp at The Haitian Academy, the camp was called Bel Khan, which means “Beautiful Camp” in Creole. That experience helped change my life. My goal was to go and teach these girls photography by using donated digital cameras but my classes had a message. That message was something from my soul because I shared with them the issues I had about self-acceptance and self-love. I didn‟t like anything about my body and always compared myself to others and was extremely shy. My goal was to communicate self-acceptance for what you have because it‟s all you have, so just love it and love others and what they have.

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V: I love the fact that you work to help young girls establish a good positive self image physically and mentally. How long has this been a desire of yours and how have you used your talent to fuel that advantage? Tamara: I was a bully from 5-7th grade because I didn‟t like myself. My hands, feet, lips, eyes, nose, and even my forehead were in my mind too big and all the reasons why I couldn‟t be loved so I turned my dislike on others. It took a real look at myself through meditation that I realized what type of person I‟d been back then and why I was doing what I was doing. Once I became aware of this, I immediately saw that one of my missions was to help others realize what could be a bad move in life. It‟s now my goal to work with girls to teach them self-acceptance of the body so we can get over our issues so they don‟t manifest in other negative ways. We ALL have issues and hang-ups and around the age of 4, if not sooner, you start to compare and judge yourself from what others feel and think and what you think others are feeling and thinking about you. Kids are soo fragile and are soo easily influenced by their peers. My issue and how I overcame it will be someone else‟s solution. I did it in Africa back in 2006 when I traveled to Ghana and did it again in 2010 while in Haiti. What I want now is to work with urban kids the same way. I‟m fully committed to showing our girls through photography that it starts with loving yourself. V: I know with all the hats you wear and the multitasking it involves, how do you find time to relax and what do you do to relax? Tamara: Relax? LOL, I had to look that word up in the dictionary. Just kidding. Well it‟s funny but having your own business believe it or not often means that you have to schedule in “relaxing”. Seriously, your mind is always going a mile a minute. When I do relax, it‟s generally with close friends in lounge settings, a catch up with my best friend, going to my great aunts home to hear about the “good ole days”, or spending time with my new “friend”, but the ultimate relaxation is going home, back to North Carolina to spend time with my family and hearing “Aunt Tammy” called a million times an hour. That‟s what really puts a smile on my face. I really need to see them more. I‟m also meditating on a daily basis and it‟s working out greatly. I put it on my goal list and so far it‟s going quite well. V: Who has been the most influential person or people in your life? Tamara: My mom of course. That woman showed me what hard work is all about. I love her dearly. My grandmother, rest her soul was also a big influence and was in my eyes the first entrepreneur, I learned so much from her about love, character, selflessness and passion.

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My photography influences locally is hands down, Dwight Carter. This man, a great photographer and legend has been the source of inspiration for me for many years and I‟ve had the opportunity to work with him on various projects for notables such as Sweet Honey in the Rock, Susan Taylor, Harry Belafonte, Iyanla Vanzant, Dr. Adelaide L. Sanford, and many more. I credit him for getting on me to MOVE and just “shoot the darn thing”.. to let go of my fears, push past them and get ready for the next one because they will persist. V: What are your long range goals for you and your business 5 years from now? What would you like to see happen that hasn‟t happened yet? Tamara: We plan to expand, to have locations in various parts of the U.S. and do what we‟re doing in Newark, for other areas. I plan to have a non-profit focused on girl empowerment through arts and photography. I also plan on going to more countries to teach and capture positive images of our people of color. V: Tamara it‟s been a joy talking with you and conducting this interview do you have any advice for our readers that might be thinking about a career in photography or being an entrepreneur? Tamara: For anyone aiming or desiring to be a entrepreneur, my advice is the P‟s: PLAN-PRAY-PERSISTENT. The most essential thing you can do is have a clear plan of what it is you want. Plan and then go for it. Remember that you have to get over yourself, your fears and just do it. We‟re only human so what‟s the worst that can happen? If you fail, you get up and try it again but do things differently. PRAY – do this and do this often, you will often times wonder if you‟re doing the right thing but a relationship with your God will help clarify your goals and objectives. Be PERSISTENT – You will be discouraged. Let me say that again, you WILL be discouraged. That‟s normal and if you‟re in tuned with yourself, you‟ll be able to determine what it is you should be doing new and /or different. Invest time in seeing if your plan works and treat it like a baby to make sure your growing the way you should. Get a mentor and surround yourself with positive, movers and shakers! 108

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Following is a photo essay of some of Tammara Flemings’ work.

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ZoĂŤ Saldana Shines in Columbiana

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Zoë Yadira Saldana was born June 19, 1978 in Passaic NJ to a Puerto Rican mother and Dominican father. Her family relocated to the Dominican Republic when she was ten years old. There she practiced ballet at one of the most pretigious dance schools in the country. Saldana returned to New York at age 17, where she began involving herself in theatre groups such as Faces and the New York YouthTheatre. Her ballet training helped land her first on screen part as Eva in the dance film, Center Stage (2000). The actress‟ career continued to flourish with roles in Pirates of The Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) with Johnny Depp, The Terminal (2004) starring Tom Hanks, and Guess Who (2005) opposite Ashton Kutcher. Saldana continues to act and model with editorial features in Elle, Vanity Fair, V, GQ Italia, Glamour, and Nylon. Saldana‟s career climbed to new heights in 2009 when she played Uhura in Star Trek. She officially joined the A-list with her groundbreaking role as Neytiri, the Na‟vi princess, in James Cameron‟s Avatar (2009). Saldana brought her fictional character to life through motion capture technology. This visual effects fueled film has revolutionized 124

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the movie industry. Saldana has become a fashion icon with the help of her stylist Petra Flannery. Sheâ€&#x;s frequently spotted front row at fashion weeks around the globe and remains impressive on the red carpet. Saldana continues to seek roles that challenge her as a woman and as an artist. She has also become a pioneer in digital media as a founding partner and investor in both Juggernaut Investments and MyFDB.com.

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Rice's second autobiography will take us 'into secret negotiating rooms' where global peace hung in the balance, publishers say

Condoleezza Rice's 'candid' memoir to shed light on Bush administration

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Behind the scenes ... detail from the book cover of No Higher Honor by Condoleezza Rice. Photograph: Crown publishers/AP A "surprisingly candid" account of former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice's years in Washington will be published this November, its publishers have announced. Rice's memoir, No Higher Honour, will share "her unique perspective on the most consequential political, diplomatic and security issues of the Bush administration", from the 11 September attacks in 2001 and her appearance before the 9/11 commission, to the debates leading up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Rice, one of George W Bush's "closest confidantes", according to her publishers, was America's first female national security adviser between 2001 and 2004, becoming US secretary of state in 2005. The memoir, to be released on 1 November by Simon & Schuster in the UK and Crown in the US, is Rice's second autobiography, following an account of her younger years, Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family, which was published last year. Although it appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, the paper was not hugely impressed by the book, calling it "frustrating". "Surely there's a keen and kaleidoscopic mind in there. But that mind is rarely apparent in this softly flowing book," reviewer Dwight Garner wrote. "Reading it, from the perspective of ideas and intellect, is like watching a Toyota Prius compete in the Indianapolis 500 ‌ [It] ends where most readers would probably rather it began." This time round, Simon & Schuster and Crown promise Rice will be revealing "the behind-thescenes manoeuvres that kept the world's relationships with Iran, North Korea and Libya from collapsing into chaos", and taking the reader "into secret negotiating rooms where the fates of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Lebanon often hung in the balance". She will also be "surprisingly candid in her narrative of administration colleagues", they said; whether or not she will be making any revisions following Dick Cheney's depiction of her as naive in his own memoir, out next week, remains to be seen. A copy of Cheney's In My Time, obtained by the New York Times ahead of next week's publication, sees the former vice president criticise Rice "for naivety in the efforts to forge a nuclear weapons agreement with North Korea", as well as claim that his former colleague "came into my office, sat down in the chair next to my desk and tearfully admitted I had been right" over Bush's controversial "16 words" claim in 2003 that Saddam Hussein tried to obtain "significant quantities of uranium from Africa". "Mr Cheney said that unlike other aides, he saw no need to apologise for making that claim. He writes that Ms Rice eventually came around to his view," said the New York Times. Rice and Cheney's memoirs follow one from Bush himself, Decision Points, which was published last year – another "strikingly personal and candid account", its publisher said at the time. www.guardian.co.uk 127

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Mrs. Louise West graduates from Country Club Hills Senior Police Academy at age 90 By jasira

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Left: Mrs. Louis West in 1933 at 10 years old.

Louise West was born in 1920 in Forest City, Arkansas. In 1923, she moved to Chicago with her family during the Great Migration where she attended public school. She met Andrew West and corresponded with him by mail while he was in the military during WW2. They were married 65 years and had 5 children. Mrs. West owned and operated a flower shop on the South side of Chicago on 75th Street for 25 years. After closing the shop she would make flowers in her basement for many years. She has been involved in many activities over the years. Most recently, on May 11, 2011 she graduated from the Country Club Hill, Il Police Department‟s Senior Police Academy under Captain Terrie O‟Donnell and Chief of police Regina R. Evans. “I wanted to learn more about how police officers work. In particular I was interested in learning more about guns and the process of arresting people. I thought this knowledge would come in handy if someone needed help,” she says. Mrs. West is a bowling champion on the Nintindo Wii game. She celebrates her 91st birthday this month on September 20th. We wish Mrs. West a HAPPY BIRHTDAY!

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V: How did u hear about the senior police academy? Mrs. West: It's a program they offer at the senior living center where I live. They taught things like how to arrest a high speed chase on the highway, or a burglar, or people getting ill such as seniors getting overheated. I took a picture with the swat team. They showed us how to use the rifles for the swat team. V: What motivated you to do this at this point in your life? Mrs. West: They had this program for some seniors to attend this program every year. My husband was ill at that time, so i was unable to attend. I was the oldest one in the class. I am ninety years old, so when I graduated they gave me special honors. V: How do you plan to use this experience? Mrs. West: I live n the senior building. When my husband was ill I had to call on some of the senior people to help take care of my husband. It helped me to learn to take care of other people, or render aid before the 911 team gets here. V: How has it impacted your life? Mrs. West: It made me feel, since I live alone, more safety for myself. It also helps me to aid my own self. We are able to instruct other seniors on how to help themselves. It shows seniors how to assist others even during a fall by teaching them how to get up out of a chair properly. V: Did joining the senior police academy have any physical effects on you? Mrs. West: No, it didn't. It was very helpful. I didn't think it would be this helpful when I started taking the class.

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V: What are some of the things you found most interesting? Mrs. West: We had k9 training and we also witnessed how police lock up offenders. We were also trained on how to put hand cuffs on & release them, which we would probably never use. V: How did your family feel about you joining the senior police academy? Mrs. West: When they knew anything about it I was already going to the classes. The first week we had to check our appearance & patrol procedures & record division to check people's backgrounds V: What did you learn? The second week we did senior crime safety methods. The third week we had jurisdiction assistance like when they go before the judge. Week four we were in the DUI division. Week five was k9 & tactical. Week six we went through the courthouse to learn their process. In Week 7 we did crime scene processing in which they showed us how to survey the crime scene. After that we graduated.

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Tyra Jones is Healing Hearts By Alicia Wilson

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I recently had the pleasure of conducting a in-depth interview with my sister Trya Jones. She is the youngest of my mother‟s four daughters. She is a dynamic young woman on the move and now author of her first book entitled, Reflections of His Love: A Devotional for Everyday Living . In this interview we discuss her book and hear Christian counseling service called Healing Hearts and a little about her ambitions and what she would like to see for herself in the future. Author. Teacher. Counselor. Mentor are just some words that describe Tyra De-Ann Jones. Tyra was introduced to the Lord at a young age. While she was growing up in Springfield IL, she attended St. John AME church where she developed her spiritual foundation. While attending St. John AME she served in the Young People‟s Division, where she was afforded many opportunities to travel. Tyra gave her life to Lord at the age of 12 while attending Camp Baber, an AME camp where young people would come and worship and grow in the Lord. Tyra did not know at the time, that she was making the best decision in her life. A decision that covered her for the rest of her life. The life that Tyra had is what she calls her “wilderness experience” she was a desperate soul in need of light. She knew the Lord, she gave her life to the Lord, but like so many others, she went on a pathway of promiscuity, alcoholism and trying to fit in with the wrong crowd and after 5 years of living in Edwardsville IL God led her to Houston Texas. Where He led her to the Fountain of Praise where Pastor Remus Wright and CoPastor Mia were her pastors. Under this teaching she has become a restored woman of God. She never realized that all the time she was asking God for a change and He wanted to go a step beyond that and give her a transformation, from a lowly caterpillar to a beautiful free flying, no longer bound butterfly. While at The Fountain of Praise Tyra was led to attend classes in the Christian Counseling ministry (HOPE). It was in this program that she learned biblical principles to natural problems. She acquired the skills necessary to be able to lead the people of God and even non-believers to solutions through the word of God. Upon completion of the program she received a certification of Christian Counseling, and in November 2009 Healing Hearts became an established business in Houston Texas. Tyra believes that true counseling comes through the Word of God. She believes that God sees the heart and the heart of man is his or her essence, if the spirit is whole the rest will follow. Tyra believes that through Healing Hearts she will heal hearts through the word of God, and give hope to the hope less. Her vision and purpose simply comes from Isaiah 61:1-2 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty (freedom) to the captives and opening of the prison to those who are bound. Tyra has always had a call to minister to youth. God has continually placed her in many school districts in Southern Illinois and in Houston Texas, where she worked with 133

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youth as a mentor, counselor and just a trusted confidant. She believes that they are the new generation, the Joshua generation God has brought forth, and her call is to instruct them, teach them, and lead them in the ways of God. Tyra is in the process of developing a new ministry for girls ages 11-17 called the Diamond Girls Club, which primarily focuses on teaching young girls what God says about purity, acceptance, and good self image. Tyra is an alumnus of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, where she graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Mass Communications specialization in TV and Radio production and a minor in Sociology; she is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.

V: Iâ€&#x;m sure our readers will like to know more about you tell us a about you book and counseling service Tyra: My book is called Reflections of His Love : Devotionals for Everyday Living. The book is actually a compilation of devotionals that I have written over my life. In my counseling busines I deal with the word of God. I was inspired and compelled to put Healing Hearts together as a business in his name as a reflection of the grace and mercy that God has had in my life. Healing Hearts is what I will be doing. Healing the hearts of his people. 134

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V: Is there a specific target audience for your book and service? Who would you like to see being helped by your services? Tyra: Anyone can come and get counseling I will not turn you away and I have a calling for youth. This book is actually geared to young people because of what they have to go through today. By working in the educational system I find that most of them find it hard to talk to family members about what may be troubling them and find it easier to talk to a stranger. V: You mentioned that you worked in the educational system when you lived in Houston, Texas from where you just relocated from. How long were you there what was your position ? Tyra: I lived in Houston for 8 years. I was a Behavior Individualist for K through 4th grade. I was the one they called when the child was acting out. They would call me and I would talk too them. That was my first job. The second job was in special education. I believe I was put in the position to touch the circle of girls that I mentored while I was there. V: Listening to you now from your experience is it different working with boys than girls and what are some of those differences? Tyra: With boys you have to be more raw. Some of them but not all them are emotional. Girls happen to be more accepting. I am a woman that they looked up to and its easier for them to relate to me.

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V: Who has been the most influential in your life and who do you look up too? Tyra: There are so many different people that have inspired me in a lot of different ways. I look up to my mother. She got her degree late and pledged a sorority at age 50 so I look up to her because she instilled persistence and intuitiveness in me . Reverend Burrows is another individual because she is true and real. V: I know you are a child of the 70s and that is a whole different generation than the one I grew up in, often called the “indifferent” generation, do you see yourself and your book and counseling service helping that generation? Tyra: I do I know that they have been coined Gen X but I just believe that they are misguided. I believe through my book, my speaking and my mentoring that they will come to identify with Christ and have Christ the centered foundation that they can build upon. Alot of them see the wrong things and are taught the wrong things to help build within then a biblical truth. V: What would you want someone that is reading your book to gain from it? Tyra: The underlying theme of my book is the LOVE OF GOD. My book actually has a journal that goes with it so as you are reading through it you can jot down things. We don‟t really tap into the fullness of God and the peace of God. We need to come back and confess and repent. There is so much richness in this book. The holy spirit has spoken to me and revealed a lot through revelation. The one thing that I want people to know when they read this book is that there is no kind of hurt that the love of God cannot heal. 137

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V: Where do you see yourself in five years with the biblical counseling and your book? Will you be writing more books in the future? Tyra: Yes. I will be writing more and in the next five years I hope that my future endeavors will include me going international and journeying to those places where they don‟t usually receive the word of God. I can see myself going on mission trips and spreading the word. In my counseling I like the way that God has set it up where I can go to Starbucks and I can talk to someone while they are there. It‟s just a broad band of faith and a journey that I have embarked on until it‟s time for me to walk away. V: Here is a fun question what would you like our readers to know about you Miss Jones that they normally wouldn‟t know or would probably give them a laugh? Tyra: I am a sports enthusiast. Love football. Love to talk to people about who I use to be. They look at me crazy. I love to write, boxing and hockey. No golf! I tried it and it didn‟t work . Tyra can be reached at her website www.TyraJones.com 138

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Lil Pat Grants a Wish

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In an era where most people are about what they can get from others, particularly in the industry of hip hop, one aspiring underground rapper sought to be an example of humbleness & selflessness as his efforts were to “give” from his heart in a small way. Patrick J. “Lil Pat” Sullivan of Rio Rancho, New Mexico arrived in Springfield, IL, August 12, 2011 with his entourage . His mother, Sherrie Sullivan, as his manger and agent, spearheaded a fundraising effort to help raise funds for a selected child via the Make a Wish Foundation. Sherrie Sullivan began planning the event earlier in the year. She contacted local artists in the Springfield, IL community in order to build a team of individuals who would want to help raise funds and awareness for the needs of children who have terminal illness. She contacted the local Make-A-Wish Foundation to sponsor a child. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a charitable organization that grants one wish for a child with a lifethreatening illness, or in this case, one small wish among a greater wish. Using Facebook as a networking tool, marking tool, and communication component, Sherry contacted friends and family as she booked the event at Camelot Banquet Center for Friday August 12. Prior to arriving at the grand event, Lil Pat made an appearance at several places around the Springfield area. One place in particular was the Springfield Boys and Girls Club Central building on South 15th Street. This was a day of celebration for the children who had been summer campers at the club. They had previously been introduced to the name and music of Lil Pat during the summer camp by Raaw‟el

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Letrice Ware who is program coordinator at Boys and Girls Club. Although the youth & their parents wanted Pat to stay longer, they were excited that Pat took the time to stop, share the reason why he was here, and sign autographs. That evening at 8:30 the actual event was kicked off by the talents of Raaw‟el Letrice Ware and the Youth Dance Team (Choreographed by Ms Erica Austin and Ms Penny). Following Raaw‟el‟s spoken word poem called “Change” and her song “Love Yourself”, Scooby the Lyricist, Pastor Mike and Tebe Zalango shared lyrics on positive change. There were a few others local artist who performed and blessed the mic‟ and the audience that night. The Lil Pat event took a pause for the cause to recognize the little princess who was the recipient of the funds raised that evening. Kaitlyn Ledferd age 6 smiled as she received a gift bag filled with things fitting for a little princess. Kaitlyn suffers from multiple illnesses that prevents her from speaking and communicated normally but the smile and energy Kaitlyn displayed indicated that she knew the evening was all about her. She knew she was a royal little princess created by the Lord. 141

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This type of giving back is what most certainly is needed across the industry of hip hopmainstream and underground alike. Lil Pat was a blessing to little Kaitlyn. Pat‟s passion stems from overcoming a life threaten illness himself. At age 18 (now 21) Lil Pat was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid (in 2009). Now he lives his life as a testament of hope and healing for others as he inspires audiences & individuals with his music. Lil Pat took the stage shortly after artist who followed the “giving” of gifts. He captured the hearts of the audience (the young ladies in particular). His lyrics were fresh and creative. His flow was smooth and uplifting. He demonstrated the talent of an artist well on his way to the top. The entire event was filled with a positive spiritual energy. Repeatedly and unplanned the artists all seemed to reiterate a theme of “Positive Change” and trusting in something greater than their situations. For those who missed Lil Pat and would like to know more about him you can “like” him on Facebook at www.facebook/lilpat.com or at www,lilpat.com. Raaw‟el Letrice Ware may be contacted via email at raawwords@yahoo.com 142

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“I was Born In New Orleans, LA & Studied At National Institute Of Technology in Houston TX. I love $hopping and I ADORE Modeling! I Also love looking good, smelling good and taking care of my body. I am s people person with an an outstanding personality. To nook me for any shows or events check out my online portfolio at http://www.wix.com/jazzymodel50418/jazzy-the-model-bio� 145

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Zuleika Hasbrouck Founder, Lovelei Cosmetics, LLC 149

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LA native and founder of Lovelei Cosmetics, LLC, Zuleika Hasbrouck became fascinated with the world of beauty at an early age. “I can remember dressing up, putting on makeup, and going to modeling auditions as a child,” she says. It is not surprising that Zuleika gravitated to the beauty industry as a young woman. She received her cosmetology license in 1997, and spent the next several years working in some of the top hair salons in the LA area before concentrating on make-up artistry. After five years working in managerial positions for well known cosmetic companies, including Clinique®, Estee Lauder®, and Joe Malone®, Zuleika found her niche. She expanded her industry knowledge by assisting Emmy Award® winning make-up artist Natalie Wood, working in entertainment television, and coordinating many red carpet celebrity events. This combined knowledge about the industry, along with her passion for beauty, led Zuleika to form her own company in 2003. Lovelei Cosmetics specializes in combining health and beauty by creating fresh, lightweight cosmetics for women with a variety of enriched skin tones. “Our aim is to become the leader in nature inspired cosmetics that help women to look and feel their

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natural best,� says Zuleika. The company has grown from a personal beauty consultation business, to launching its first product line of lip-glosses. "I believe many multi-ethnic women are looking for the right colors and shades for their skin tones with exotic oils, smooth texture and a luscious look," she says. Tootsee Gloss is a line of fun, trendy, retro, innovative shades that have high quality ingredients. Lovelei Cosmetics plans to offer a selection of other color cosmetics following the successful launch of its lip gloss line. For purchase information, please contact Lovelei Cosmetics at info@loveleicosmetics.com. 151

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Janet Jackson featured in Blackglama‟s iconic “What Becomes A Legend Most?” advertising campaign. 153

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Janet Jackson has created an iconic place in the history of entertainment. Her albums, including Control, janet, All For You and Number Ones, have sold over 100 million copies worldwide making her one of the best-selling female artists of all time. She is the only recording artist to have Grammy™ nominations spanning the categories Dance, Pop, Rap, Rock and R&B. Her breakthrough album, Control, was nominated for the Grammy™ Award for Album of the Year in 1987 and has been listed as one of the 200 Definitive Albums of All Time by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Janet is also an accomplished actress, with starring roles in television and film including Poetic Justice, Nutty Professor, Why Did I Get Married? and Why Did I Get Married Too?. She is an Oscar™ nominated song writer for “Again,” the theme from Poetic Justice, and her theme song “Nothing” from Why Did I Get Married Too? went to number one on iTunes. Jackson is currently filming her starring role in For Colored Girls. Now Janet Jackson joins a roster of some of the world‟s most legendary entertainers who have starred in the popular Blackglama “What Becomes a Legend Most?” campaign. Since the campaign‟s inception four decades ago, Blackglama legends have included Sophia Loren, Diana Ross, Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, Lena Horne and Liza Minnelli. “For decades, Blackglama has represented the finest, most exclusive mink in the world,” says Joe Morelli, CEO of Blackglama. “Throughout its illustrious history, Blackglama has remained a dynamic and powerful player in the fashion industry. Much like 154

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Blackglama, Janet Jackson has occupied a similar position in her respective industry. Janet is an icon in the world of music and entertainment, a true legend. She represents everything that this storied campaign embodies. Janet is to entertainment what Blackglama is to luxury.” The global “What Becomes a Legend Most?” campaign featuring Janet Jackson, under the creative direction of Blackglama‟s advertising agency Laspata DeCaro, was photographed by Rocco Laspata. Beginning in September, the ads will run in national print outlets including Vanity Fair, Vogue, W, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Harper‟s Bazaar and Women‟s Wear Daily; international print including Vanity Fair, Vogue, Elle, In Style and Harper‟s Bazaar in Italy, France, Japan, Russia, China and Korea; outdoor including a billboard in Times Square in New York City; and online including Style.com and WWD.com. “Janet defines the very essence of what the word „legend‟ implies,” says Charles DeCaro, co-creative director of Laspata DeCaro. “When we decided to return Blackglama to its celebrity associated branding roots, she was the perfect fit in the evolution of the iconic campaign. Janet‟s distinction as a legend is particularly poignant in that she is a relevant tour de force with a universal, multi-dimensional appeal.” 155

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On shooting Janet Jackson for the campaign, Rocca Laspata, photographer and co-creative director of Laspata DeCaro, says, “The chemistry between who is before and behind the lens is crucial in any successful sitting. Janet completely gets that dynamic and delivers 100% in establishing a one-on-one connection. She is extremely focused on set and I fell completely in love with her.” “Selecting an image for the Blackglama campaign is unique in that you‟re not only looking for a compelling visual but a certain nuance that captures the „legend,‟” says DeCaro. “When the image we ultimately selected appeared on the computer screen, there was a collective, „We have it.‟ It visually communicates Janet‟s legend – her approachability, her sparkle, her smile, her

magic.”

A behind-the-scenes video that documents the making of the ad campaign in which Janet Jackson provides inspirational commentary will live on the Blackglama and official Janet Jackson websites. www.blackglama.com 156

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Relationship Vitalities By Destinee Love We get into relationships for the love, right? Love is what we want to feel. The more we experience, the more intimacy and more close the relationship seems to us. But most of us feel no true sense of control over how much love we can experience or provide for our partner. In the beginning stages we felt a lot of love and appreciation from our mate. In the dating phase, it was pretty great. Once we are living together after the initial dating phase, we sometimes felt loved and sometimes felt distant - or just okay or whatever. However, there are ways to make each other feel really loved every day. The first thing you need to do is to discover your personal structure for feeling loved. Yes, you have a "structure" for feeling loved by your mate. There is some thing or a combination of things that he/she can do that make you feel really loved. You know what it is though you may not have thought about it in this way before. For example, you are not overwhelmed by feelings of love when a fly buzzes around your ear. When your lover whispers warm words into your ear you may feel loved beyond. The point is that some things make you feel loved, and some do not. Feelings of love don't just happen to us. Oftentimes, feelings are results; they have causes or "structures.” Of all the things your mate does, when you can identify the behaviors that make you feel loved you can start to feel its purpose. Some pointers to keep in mind:    

Bringing more love into your relationship on purpose every day. Learn skills to help you keep love thriving. Learn about the importance of play to a healthy love life. Learn the key words to acceptance and imperfections of each other

In my next article, I will discuss keeping the intimacy and closeness in your relationship. Much Love, and remember to “Keep It Sexi!!!”

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To order visit: www.destineelove.net

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Leu'isiana Po Boys has American Southern cuisine at its best By Tiffany Hatchett

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V: How did you know you wanted to start a restaurant? Monte Leu: It was a child hood dream. My mother asked me to write a presentation about what I wanted to do with my life at 8 years old. I wanted to go to Arizona State University and play baseball, then move to Texas to become a business man. V: How long has your restaurant been open? Monte Leu: Since Oct 2010. We wanted to pass on a legacy to our children. V: What did you have to do to prepare to start your business? The Leu's: We stepped out on faith. In the past, Monte would attempt to resign from work, but was always eligible for rehire. This time, he gave two daysâ€&#x; notice which prevented him from returning to work, and reneging on this business venture. He didn't want to do that this time around. He was able to get his retirement money and purchase the equipment before we opened doors, which further let him know you're in this. There will be no backing out!! V: Was there ever any doubts that this would work? 163

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The Leu's: Patricia had doubts until she put it in Godâ€&#x;s hands. He stopped her & said trust me! V: Where were you employed when you had the vision to open the restaurant? Monte Leu: I worked for Dallas County for 23 yrs. My wife works from home as a consultant with a major company that enables her to work at the restaurant during the day. This further confirms that stepping out on faith is our reward. Prior to the opening of the restaurant Patricia was working in Houston commuting back and forth working. A door opened during the midst of planning the opening of Leu'isiana Po Boys. At that point, we stopped working in fear and asked God to order their steps and He removed all stumbling blocks V: What can your customers expect from their dining experience? Patricia Leu: Our customers are entertained and welcomed by me. We also have live music monthly. Additionally, we are both chefs and enjoy personally preparing food for our customers. To learn more visit www.lueisianaPoBoys.com.

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Lactose Intolerant? 5 Alternatives To Cow’s Milk 165

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75 percent of African Americans and Native Americans are lactose intolerant and don‟t fully process the sugar lactose in milk because of a deficiency of the enzyme lactase, reported The University of Maryland Medical Center. This isn‟t a dire matter but it does make drinking cow‟s milk a burden. If you‟re not sure if you‟re lactose intolerant look for symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, bloating, and gas about 30 minutes to two hours after you drink milk. Other people may be allergic to the additives and hormones is cow‟s milk. So if you‟re not able to enjoy the classic milk and cookies snack and want to move on to another option besides Lactaid, try these alternatives. Almond Milk 

This sweet substitute for cow‟s milk is made when roasted almonds are crushed, then mixed with water vitamins, stabilizers and often a sweetener like evaporated cane juice, according to the Wall Street Journal. An added bonus is that an eight once glass of milk is only 60 calories compared to about 130 calories in two percent cow‟s milk.

75 percent of African Americans and Native Americans are lactose intolerant and don‟t fully process the sugar lactose in milk because of a deficiency of the enzyme lactase, reported The University of Maryland Medical Center. This isn‟t a dire matter but it does make drinking cow‟s milk a burden. If you‟re not sure if you‟re lactose intolerant look for symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, bloating, and gas about 30 minutes to two hours after you drink milk. Other people may be allergic to the additives and hormones is cow‟s milk. So if you‟re not able to enjoy the classic milk and cookies snack and want to move on to another option besides Lactaid, try these alternatives. Almond Milk 

This sweet substitute for cow‟s milk is made when roasted almonds are crushed, then mixed with water vitamins, stabilizers and often a sweetener like evaporated cane juice, according to the Wall Street Journal. An added bonus is that an eight once glass of milk is only 60 calories compared to about 130 calories in two percent cow‟s milk.

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Coconut Milk 

If you‟re a fan a Vita Coco, try it‟s milky cousin. Coconut milk is thicker and more flavorful than coconut water and is also low in calories at around 80 calories per glass.

Goat’s Milk 

If you can get over the idea of drinking goat‟s milk you may find that you like it‟s tangy flavor. For many people goat‟s milk proves to be a nice alternative to cow‟s milk because it is more easily digestible. You can purchase a low fat version if you‟re counting calories and you‟ll still have a glass of milk that‟s rich in taste and in omega-3 fatty acids. Rice Milk This choice is great for those lactose intolerant and looking for a semi-sweet flavor. 

The milk is made from a combination of rice and water and is usually fortified with Calcium and vitamins A and B12. With about 120 calories per eight ounces, it‟s not the lightest option but it‟s worth a taste. Soy Milk 

This is a popular favorite for people who can‟t tolerate cow‟s milk because soy milk is lactose and hormone free. The milk is low in fat with about 90 calories per cup and is rich in vegetable proteins.

www.Frugivore.com

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Karen Davis-Johnson, M.A. Psychotherapist, Public Speaker and Father/Daughter Relationship Consultant

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Karen Davis-Johnson, M.A./PhD student of Psychology, is a Individual and Family Psychotherapist, Public Speaker and Father-Daughter Relationship Consultant. As Founder of The Online Institute for FatherDaughter Communications (IFDC); an online information center, she offers Father-Daughter and MaleFemale Relationship-skills training, via online webinars and downloadable literature or in-person weekend workshops or via her private practice (by appointment only); located in the Family Counseling Institute in South Holland, IL. She also serves as the, Publisher of The Journal for Father Daughter Communications, an internet news, and global reporting media enterprise; an affiliate of IFDC. Additionally, she offers training workshops, personal coaching and professional counseling, through her Consulting company, Johnson and Johnson ConsultingCFLS. Mrs. Davis-Johnson's expertise lies in helping people increase their emotional intelligence, leadership and communication skills. She helps brings into awareness, unconscious, neurologically established patterns of behavior, that trigger internal thought processes, beliefs and practices, that do not support her clientâ€&#x;s goals as professionals, co-workers, spouses and parents. Mrs. Davis-Johnson continues to be driven by her passion to support the development of healthy families, by increasing understanding about the life-long impact father emotional-detachment, has on a female's psychosocial development, her established

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ideas and beliefs about men, relationships and parenting and how she communicates and interacts with men in general. She has motivated fathers to become GREAT dads and inspired women, who did not grow up with the benefit of a healthy fatherdaughter connection toward healing, health and happiness. She is a published author and researcher who will continue to write about the dynamics of fathers and daughters-look for her upcoming book “A Father’s Guide to Parenting Daughters” Ms. Davis-Johnson earned her M.A. in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago and is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology.

Book Excerpt PREFACE ……………………………………… After conducting countless interviews with fathers and daughter, who so graciously allowed me in their homes, and in their hearts-to whom I will be eternally grateful, the poems in this book simply began to channel through me. Begging for a voice…asking to simply be heard. It is important that their love, pain, joys, struggle, heartbreaks and successes; experienced through their life journey together, be shared. Equally as important, is the impact and imprint their experiences had on their lives, the commonalities we share and those they share with thousands of other daughters. It is my hope that this small collection will touch the hearts of fathers and daughters everywhere, allowing them to connect on some level to the emotional framework that supports their relationship. I encourage fathers who may, or may not, have the type of emotional relationship with their daughter that they desire and deserve, to read this book together.

Through God’s grace, I offer this book as a symbolic voice for daughters everywhere, in celebration of love, life, and happiness with prayers for understanding, healing, bonding and growth. 170

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Many men become fathers without the benefit of positive role models, or anyone they trust who can offer them advice

Moments Like This He’s mine I’m his In moments like this Bedtime stories Or barbeques He steals my heart With the tone he uses My baby girl! My cutie pie! Lift me up To the sky Giggles Smiles Happy & Free Daddy’s precious little baby Twirl me around Give me a kiss He’s mine I’m his in moments like this.

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Dance with her always She will never be too young or to old.

Learn to read her moods. The days will come when she won’t talk about everything with you

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When she pushes your buttons, AND SHE WILL! Never REJECT her.

All of your interactions with her, set a pattern she will use in her male-female relationship as a woman..

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Conversations with your daughter about sex just might be the hardest conversation ever.

They are also the most important ones you will ever have. Keep the lines of communication open even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

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Surgeon general: Hair shouldn't keep you out of gym 175

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The U.S. surgeon general stopped by the spectacle known as the Bronner Bros. International Hair Show on Sunday – and it wasn‟t for a new 'do. What better place to talk about health than at a hair show that draws 60,000 stylists? Dr. Regina Benjamin discussed the widely held belief that black women don‟t exercise because it might ruin their hairstyle. It turns out Benjamin has struggled with this issue too. The interview has been edited for brevity. What brings you to the hair show? Actually it‟s the perfect event. My priority as surgeon general is prevention. Everything that we do is to try to build a healthy and fit nation. What we find when talking particularly with African American women - I‟m later finding this with other women, too - was that when we talk about exercise, we hear, “I don‟t want to sweat my hair back or I don‟t want to mess up my hairstyle. It cost me too much to get my hair done this week.” When United Healthcare came and talked about this last year, it was a successful at the Bronner Bros. Hair Show with 60,000 hairdressers. What better audience would be to help us find exercise-friendly hairstyles? This is trying to encourage women to continue to exercise and be healthy and give them a way to do that without messing up their hair. Is there evidence that this hair issue is really why some women don't exercise or is this anecdotal? There are some studies there. I‟ve talked to a number of women and that‟s the first thing they‟ll tell you. I know that was an issue for me. I didn‟t want to mess up my hair. You sweat a lot in your hair and it changes your hairstyle completely. Unlike other races and ethnic groups, you can‟t wash your hair and go out. African Americans, most of us can‟t do that. We need to spend a little bit more time on our hair. We need something that cuts down on getting hair back in a nice hairstyle. So I don‟t think it‟s something anecdotal. I‟ve talked to women a lot because I‟m doing this conference and it‟s a real issue. 176

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In the black culture, a richness of hairstory Benjamin's office cited two studies that examined why fewer than 30% of minority women in the United States get the recommended level of exercise. The reasons were lack of time followed by "economic constraints, major life changes or traumas, safety issues, weather and environment, the hassle of personal care such as showering and keeping hair looking good," according to the American Journal of Public Health. Has this hair issue become an easy crutch for not exercising? It‟s an easy excuse, but it‟s a real excuse. If you go out and spend $40-50 to get your hair done, you don‟t want to go out and get it all sweaty and wet that afternoon before you got to show it off. Other ethnic groups would come up and say the same thing. I‟ve heard it from Hispanics. I‟ve heard it from a couple of my older white patients that I have at home. They‟re saying I get my hair done every weekend- I don‟t want to be exercising after I get my hair done. I don‟t think it‟s limited to African American women. How do you deal with this issue? I exercise at night. That‟s my solution: Exercise at night so when I finish, I can be at home. I‟m a night person anyway. Did it ever prevent you from exercising? A little bit. Early on when I was in college, I remember I liked swimming, but I didn‟t swim because it messed your hair up. It was a factor, it was a thought – it didn‟t stop all the way, it becomes a decision point. 'Can I touch it?' The fascination with natural, African-American hair

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Are there hairstyles that work with exercising? Last year, what we found was that the hairdressers and stylists tend to be able to show things they can do and different products that makes the hairstyle lasts longer. There are natural hairstyles, braids, short hairstyles and things like that. They‟re really creative. Is it strange to talk about health at a hair show? Everyone has to be involved. Health care doesn‟t just occur in doctor‟s office – it occurs in the home, work place, where you worship. We all have a role to play in our own health. What better place than the hairdresser? People will talk to their hairdressers about almost anything. We like to engage hair dressers to get out our public health messages. When you‟re sitting in the chair, it‟s a good place to have conversations about sensitive issues, public health issues… about getting HIV testing - everyone should get tested - things like diabetes and heart disease, strokes and getting your blood pressure checked. The other thing, we have the Affordable Care Act. Hairdressers are business people and just reminding them that the Affordable Care Act really has some things to help small business owners. They‟re eligible for tax credit for up to 35% if they provide health insurance to their employees- and that‟s going up to in 2014 to 50%. Many don‟t know those benefits are available to small business owners. www.cnn.com

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Magazine

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business

Mylas Copeland; Salesman Extraordinaire 182

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By Alicia Wilson I had the pleasure recently of interviewing Mr. Mylas Copeland General Manager of Green Toyota, Scion, Volkswagon and Audi located in Springfield, Ill. During the hustle and bustle of selling and the buying of cars, I was impressed with Mr. Copelandâ€&#x;s professional attitude and knowledge while performing his job all while I was conducting the interview. He is definitely multitasked and a people person with his staff and the customers. One of the salesmen came in and was having difficulty with a customer finalizing a transaction Mr. Copland crunched numbers, gave advice, offered assistance, and a hypothetical sales scenarios that the salesman could use to close out the sale all in about seven minutes flat. This man truly knows his craft and anyone who works with him such as the salesman will tell you as he did in the office when the sale was finally closed and the customer satisfied. I asked Mr. Copeland to give us a little time so we the readers of VOICE Magazine could get more insight about this very energetic and personable man and a little about the business he manages on a day to day basis. V: Our readers at Illinois Voice would like to know a little more about you what you can tell us. Mylas: I came to Springfield In 1997 working at this store. I was born and raised in Decatur, Ill and attend schools there and college for my formal education. I started out in the D J business and eventually ended up working for the radio station WSOY as sports service announcer and later moved into the media sales position that I held for some years. It was this job through one of the clients that brought me to automotive sales. I accepted a position with Buick GMC as a service director and in one year improved customer service in that department from low customer satisfaction to 100%.Later as that store was sold I got a call to work at Green Toyota on Dirksen and worked there in the same capacity as a service director and improved that department also with that being done I was noticed and was asked to work more directly in sales. Accepting that position I worked my way up to General Manager by hard work, good work ethic, and impressive customer ethics. I am married and have two beautiful children ages 6 and 7. V: As a very visible African-American in our community, what were some of the obstacles you have faced to achieve the position you are in today? 183

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Above: The Peacekeepers and the 911 Riders from LA, August 23, 2011

Mylas: It wasn‟t so much having obstacles getting here, its staying here that has been the challenge. Even in this day and age you will still find people that have a hard time spending their money with a person of color. Do I encounter this every day? No. Have I encountered it being here? No. Is it blatantly obvious? No. Does it still exist? Yes. V: I see your advertisements in the television media all the time, what message do you wish to convey to potential customers and future car buyers? Mylas: I created the tag line “We are all in this together” to show the consumer that we are 100% vested in this community and if you give us a chance we will take care of you. If you want it...we got it, if we don‟t, I will get it and if we can‟t find it…they don‟t have it. V: What is a “normal” day for you at the dealer ship? Im witnessing what goes on and that is quite a bit in just the 20 minutes I‟ve been here I can‟t imagine what this is like full throttle throughout the day but you can enlighten us. Mylas: There is no “normal” day here for me…what you have witnessed is pretty much what happens the taking care of our customers appraising and selling cars buying cars 184

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detailing and crunching numbers and through all of that making sure our customers are well taken care of a 10 to 12 hour day is “normal” for me. V: What expectations and standards do you hold your staff too from administration to salesmen to detailers that are nonnegotiable? Mylas: Professionalism in all aspects. V: Do you stand behind the product you sell? Mylas: Yes I do why? Because I believe in it!! Everyone in my family from relatives to close friends drivesa Toyota because I have taken care of them as a customer‟s years later I want them to be able to tell someone else that I took care of them when they bought their car. V: What advice would you have for our readers who want to buy a car but have no car buying experience? Mylas: Find someone you can believe in and trust and don‟t accept the first thing you are told explore all your options... I believe in the “Sphere of Influence” taking care of the customer and good word of mouth will go a lot farther today than years ago with social media increasing the sphere almost 3 times what it was just 10 years ago. V: How do you and your staff go out of the way to make the customers experience here a positive one? Mylas: We just have fun…and that attitude radiates to the customers when they come in. V: I know there maybe some good perks that come with your position but what are some of the disadvantages if any? Mylas: Time constraints…Its hard for me to go so long a day and days and not see my family as much as I would like. I see my kids in the morning when I get them ready for school and sometimes I don‟t see them again until they are in bed when I come home...that is hard for me sometimes. V: What advice would you give to anyone thinking of going into the automotive business as an owner, manager, and salesperson? 185

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Mylas: Be persistent!! Don‟t give up!! Work from the ground up take heed to a lot of advice from experienced people and always take care of the customer! V: Thank you so much Mylas for donating your time and expertise today for this interview, I‟m sure our readers will be well informed as well as entertained, for my last question and this is a fun one…. How many suits do you have? I see you are always impeccably dressed especially in the commercials and I see your ads on all the time I said to myself wow he must have a lot of suits. Mylas: Lol Alicia funny…Well to squelch your curiosity. I have 15 suites, 3 blazers, and 15 pairs of slacks.

Below: 2011 United Cerebral Palsy Telethon

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Jo Cato; “The Pulse of Consumers” 189

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Jo Cato is a committed initiator and closer of deliverables. She has a reputation for being direct and delivering. She has relationships in the business that were established over 20 years ago, and is very well respected by the icons and influencers of the world. Cato is a community advocate has years of experience increasing companyâ€&#x;s revenue. She is creative and visionary with the right connections and delivers in a timely fashion. Cato is President of M| Three Mass Media a global strategic marketing/branding, business development, public relations, tourism, integrated technology, and advertising firm. M| Three increases revenue, visibility, consumers and/or audience participation and sales. M| Three merged with Periwinkle and has focused experience on luxury products, entertainment, lifestyle and many key industries.

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Cato is a prolific speaker and 20/20 business prognosticator. She is a passionate possibility seeker with a diverse following because of her natural appeal and interpersonal skills. Beyond her degrees and honors she has held substantial corporate positions and been chosen to be the keynote speaker for Colorado Air Force Base/MLK Day, the Mid South Delta Consortium composed of 13 universities and colleges, the Prudential connection across the country, National Bar Association, etc. She has a passion that mesmerizes her audiences and causes contagious enthusiasm for her messages. Cato lectures across the country on Cutting Edge Technology, strategic marketing, integrated communications, motivation, conflict resolution, tourism, event management, and corporate synergy. She has hosted the White House Fellows for the urban visit program. Additionally, her business was selected among 3 for the Harvard University Undergraduate NY businesses to visit. Cato was an associate professor at College of Southern Nevada and taught Promotional Marketing/Public Relations. Cato creates STRATEGY that addresses selling to mass marketing, urban/emerging markets and niche markets. She is considered the “electricity of the internet and 192

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mobiles, and the Pulse of Consumers”. Cato has her finger on the pulse of society and understands the very heartbeat of social media. Cato has relationships that range from east coast to west coast and from “A” List celebrities to CEO to the hospitality and gaming industries. She has a successful track record with Fortune 500 Companies, major Entertainment Entities, global leaders and countries. Developed outreach marketing and promotional strategies, and relationships with Fortune 500 companies. Cato coordinated the community outreach for the City of Las Vegas and the minority communities when led to the success of Forest City Enterprises building the new city hall project downtown Las Vegas. New Year‟s Eve Celebrations, Awards Ceremonies from NAACP Image Awards to Taste and Tunes Festival, and much more… She created Ethnography Training for Poker Palace Casino and Cannery Casinos to train their marketing account managers in marketing to diverse markets, viral marketing, etc. 193

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Reputation Her global and national relationships allow for joint venture coordination and collaborations that launch businesses and positively affect revenue. She is an effective marketing expert with insight into the behind the scenes activities that effect your company and its industry. Cato provides a concise view of current, past and future happenings. Her direct relationships with marquis media outlets, entertainers in film/ television/music, trendsetters, major CEOs and Forbes billionaires, athletes, and multiple industries give her direct access behind and in front of the scene. Her massive rolodex allows for accurate and informative messages to the media, feature stories, major headlines and great photos opt for client products. She is a knowledgeable leader with a gregarious personality, contagious enthusiasm and great style. Professional Career Market Outreach – She has access to Prestige Mass Affluent and Grassroots target markets. Respected and recognized in all forms of communications from radio to television, print, etc. Catoâ€&#x;s name is as well known in mainstream as in diverse communities of Asian Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans, Women, Gay and Lesbian, Entertainment/Celebrities, Professional Athletes and Immigrant groups. Her ability to combine business synergism with cultures to leverage business opportunities, enhance positive visibility, increase awareness of social responsibility, recruitment and retention and political capital for companies is unparalleled.

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Unique Marketing Effectiveness and Efficiency Cato created a nontraditional and unconventional broad diversity and mainstream marketing technique with a proven track record. Although the process can be duplicated it is only effective and efficient because of the executor and the varied relationships. Cato developed over many years with Fortune 500 corporations, civic organizations, foundations, and in the political arenas. Cato‟s strong suits includes: being a spokespersons; exploiting electronic and print media/public relations; creating, coordinating and implementing multi-cultural and mainstream marketing strategies and outreach programs which focus on the mass-affluent and grassroots target markets. Cato has developed relationships with more than 20 credible minority mass affluent groups across the country and continues to enhance her relationships with mainstream groups. A partial listing of Cato‟s awards and honors include: NAACP Las Vegas Branch Small Business Award, Small Business Administration (SBA) Minority Business Champion 2010, Channel 8 – Las Vegas – Community Spirit Honoree, In Business Las Vegas – Woman To Watch, Uptown Magazine Top 100 Minority Woman to Watch. Cato has been highlighted in a feature article; In Business Las Vegas, NV Magazine, Ebony, Black Enterprise, QTibe etc. She was chosen 2 years in a row to deliver the keynote speech at the Ultimate Women‟s Forum, She is a member of the Executive Committee NAACP Las Vegas Branch, National Coalition of100 Black Women and Ambassador for NABfeme. Cato‟s Board Memberships have included: NAACP Las Vegas Branch, City of North Las Vegas Planning Commission, State of Nevada Governor‟s Investment Board, National Association of Women in Communications and Las Vegas Black Historical Society. Cato has a M.A., Economics from George Washington University School of Business, a B.A. in Economics from University of Nevada Las Vegas and an Executive MBA from Arizona State University. For information, contact 702-743-7087. 195

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Donald Young serves to Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)

Is Donald Young the next great American tennis star? By Stefen Lovelace

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This was the script the Donald Young movie was supposed to follow. The former tennis prodigy, and up until recently, current tennis disappointment, was supposed to be the Tiger Woods of tennis. Instead he's been called a "bust," a "failure," with critics repeatedly questioning his work ethic and desire. Young was discovered by John McEnroe at 10, won a Junior Grand Slam at 15, was a household name in tennis circles at 18 and nearly forgotten about by 2011, at just 22. Before last weekend, he was remembered more for a very public profanity-laced Twitter fight with the United States Tennis Association, than from anything he did on the court. Now? He's the redemption story. He's the kid that is finally growing up and reaching his potential. And he may just be the next great American tennis star. Last Friday, Young played arguably the most exciting match of the U.S. Open, defeating Stanislas Wawrinka in five sets -- 7-6 (7), 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) -- and showing the same fight and will that most of his doubters claimed he'd never have. He followed up that victory with a straight set win over No. 24 Juan Ignacio Chela last Sunday. Today he'll face No. 4 Andy Murray in the fourth round. Murray, 24, has had much greater success in the sport, though Young defeated him earlier this year at Indian Wells. Young was supposed to be a star too, but after years of disappointment, and even admitting that he thought about quitting from the game, Young is the player everyone is rooting for. 198

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Maybe he got too much too soon. How else to explain a 17-year-old gracing the cover of major magazines before he was even allowed to vote? The early pressure clearly got to him. In an interview with FoxSports.com, Roger Federer said Young: "has been real good at a very young age. His coming onto tour was rather complicated, I think. Getting a lot of wild-cards (free passes into tournaments) and getting a lot of help creates a lot of pressure, right? "So that's hard to live up to. I had expectations, too. But I had them when I was 17, 18, 19. He maybe had them when he was 15, 16, 17. It's a big difference. Seems like he's making his move now." And he may be making his move just in time. It's been no secret that there's a dearth of American-born talent in tennis. Andy Roddick is the biggest name, and he's clearly on the downslope of his career. 199

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From looking at the feel-good stories around the country, it seems that everyone is rooting for Young. And it's more than just cheering for a young, black kid to take over tennis. More than anything, the sentiment that this was an American player at rock bottom, making a wildly entertaining run, at a time when men's American tennis is terrible. There's been other great U.S. Open stories. Serena Williams' dominance is always captivating. AfricanAmerican female tennis player Sachia Vickery and her mother Paula Liverpool have a heart-warming story of a woman that would do anything to help her daughter succeed at the game she was born to play. But Young's story is the one that potentially means the most for American tennis. And it's his story that will make people watch and follow a sport that continues to see less interest from the American fan. It's obviously still early. Murray is one of the best players in tennis, and even with the way Young is playing, he's a tremendous underdog in this match today. For a player that has lost to players ranked in the 300s this year, Young could easily flame out spectacularly today. But even if he does, this run may be the restart he needs to get his career back on track. He's still just 22. He is just starting to understand the commitment needed to excel at this game. Players like Federer and Nadal won't be around forever. If Young keeps getting better, there's certainly still time for him to reach his potential. For now, it's just fun to watch the redemption story take shape with each victory, with each lefty forehand, with each fist pump and loose smile. It's clear Young is having fun. This Donald Young movie is finally worth seeing. www.thegrio.com

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Harlem resident Anthony Whitaker, is an award winning artist and fashion designer born in The Bronx, New York and raised in Central Islip, New York. As a member of AABE, The American Association Of Blacks in Energy, he holds and maintains one of the most difficult technical managerial operating positions in the electrical transmission and distribution industry at ConEdison, New York's power utility. He is a member of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Possessing strong natural artistic and design capability Mr. Whitaker was awarded NAMSB's "New Face" award in 1998. The then president of the National Association of Men's Sportswear Buyers, Harvey Owen is quoted as saying that "Anthony shows great promise as a design leader with exceptional vision". Mr. Whitaker with his pristine expertise in art and in depth knowledge of symbolism has brilliantly captured a historic turning point and moment in human and Earth history via the photographic capture of Steel Standing. Steel Standing is a powerfully compelling and arresting black and white artistic photographic image that has truthfully captured the horrific tragedy of the attacks on New York City's World Trade Center, on September 11, 2001. It accomplishes this in way that dramatically and cathartically memorializes all 202

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those that perished on that sad day, and symbolically gives honor to the spirit of courage, strength, resilience, and rebirth. Anthony “The Man of Steel� Whitaker (as he has been called), felt the need to help the United States Military and the families of 9/11. He founded the Steel Standing Memorial Foundation in which he raises money for The National September 11th Memorial Museum and Wounded Warriors, a non-profit helping wounded soldiers after active duty in the United States military. Anthony Whitaker resides today in the historic African-American cultural center and neighborhood of Harlem New York City.

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VOICE MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2011 ISSUE