Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Chicken and Dumplings for here and one Smokey Robinson CD to go, please"

Smokey Robinson has become the first African American singer to be featured for sale in Cracker Barrel's exclusive CD line. Now, I know all the news we've heard about Cracker Barrel in the past hasn't always been in "our favor," but let's give Cracker Barrel their props for their efforts to diversify. Somebody had to be first. Who better than the 70 year old Motown legend?

I'm sorry but I do love their food, especially the chicken and dumplings, and anywhere I visit that has a Cracker Barrel, I have to stop in. . .look for them on "I-10." And if you don't happen to run into a Cracker Barrel on your travels, at least order Smokey's CD, titled, "Now and Then" online. The CD features 12 songs. Six are live versions of classics including “Going to a Go-Go,” “I Second That Emotion,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” and “The Tears of a Clown,” recorded in 2010.

Don't hate the player - hate the game! Order the CD. You know you want to! :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Honorary "Soul Sister" Teena Marie Dead At 54

Sending out prayers and love to all Teena Marie fans and family. Teena died in her sleep this morning at age 54.

Rest, In Peace.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chatting With Kimberla Lawson Roby

An Interview with Kimberla Lawson Roby

Q: In the two years since we last chatted, you’ve released two novels and one novella. “The Best of Everything,” “A Deep Dark Secret,” and “Be Careful What You Pray For.” You make Danielle Steele look like a “slacker.” When do you find time to sleep and how does it feel to be able to make a living doing something you love, which is writing?

KLR: Well, actually, I wish I could write as many books as Danielle Steel does each year, but even with only writing two books a year, I do find time to sleep and spend quality time with my husband. Then, as far as how it feels being able to earn a living from doing something I love, it’s a total blessing, and I thank God daily for allowing me to have a writing career.

Q: Each of your books, including the “Reverend Curtis Black” series, touches on so many different aspects of our lives as African Americans and African American women, in particular. Your books are so enjoyable and fun to read that I could literally sit down and read them without stopping. The only departure from that “urban chick-lit” niche was “A Deep Dark Secret.” It was an excellent book or “novella,” if you will, but so unlike anything else of yours I’ve read. I’ve never been a victim of sexual abuse, but so many boys and girls, men and women have. It’s something that as African Americans we tend to shove into a compartment of our brains and not talk about. You put it all out there. How difficult was it for you writing on this topic?

KLR: I’m glad you enjoyed it, and to be honest, it wasn’t difficult for me to write at all. At first, I wasn’t sure why it wasn’t, given the subject matter, but I think it’s because I truly believed the story needed to be written. Thank God, I didn’t experience nearly what the character, Jillian, experienced in the book, but I do know what it’s like to have an adult male touch me inappropriately when I was between the ages of six and eleven. I’ve also met so many women who are adult survivors of childhood sexual molestation and had never told another living soul until after reading "A Deep Dark Secret."

Q: “The Best of Everything.” This book was so good. In fact, you had me at the cover! I even had my daughter read it this summer. She’s 18 and I said, “It’s time you got a dose of reality, honey.” And I mean that because so many young girls, of all ethnic backgrounds, are sheltered and spoiled (like Alicia), coddled and can just make some outright bad choices. Young women need to know that there are all types of men out there. Some of whom can be trusted and some who can’t. Do you know anyone like Alicia and what research did you do to develop her character for “The Best of Everything?”

KLR: Unfortunately, I’ve met lots women, young and older who have shopping addictions or women who think they should be able to have anything they want. I also know women who are more interested in finding a man who can give them material things versus finding someone who will treat them well and love them unconditionally, and this is, of course, very sad.

Q: Okay. “Be Careful What You Pray For.” Every time I think I’ve read my favorite book of yours, you crank up the volume. Loved it. Why are we never satisfied and why does the grass always look greener on the other side? Do you think there are a lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing out there both in the church and outside of the church?

KLR: I’m so glad you loved "Be Careful What You Pray For." To answer your first question, I’m not sure why many people are never satisfied with what they have or why they are positive life could be so much better for them, if they could switch places with another individual. Maybe it’s because as human beings, we sometimes see what we want to see and want to believe that someone else has it better than we do. As far as wolves in sheep’s clothing, yes, this exists inside and outside of the church.

Q: My favorite pastor – Reverend Curtis Black. Considering what’s going on with the church today – I mean, in the past years, months, weeks, your books are moving from “fiction” to straight up “da truth.” How important do you think the black church is to African Americans overall?

KLR: The black church is extremely important to African-Americans, because most African-American adults began going to church as children and now those adults take their children to church. This is also the reason members of all congregations should make sure they have an upstanding pastor leading the church—someone who will set a good example for everyone. What the church should have is a pastor who is living the kind of life God wants all of us to live. No one is perfect, and we all fall short, but there are simply some things a pastor just shouldn’t do.

Q: Have you considered having Curtis Black establish branches of his ministry to include churches on the West Coast (i.e. Oakland or San Francisco)?

KLR: That’s too funny! Well, I guess you never know…especially since he’s known worldwide! He also now has his own Facebook page, too!

Q: Lastly, tell me what we can expect from your upcoming release “Love, Honor and Betray,”* without giving away anything because I can’t wait to read it!

KLR: Love, Honor, and Betray centers on Curtis, Charlotte, and Curtis’s little illegitimate two-year old daughter, Curtina, who must now move in with them permanently (her mother has just passed away). Unfortunately, however, Charlotte can’t stand the sight of her stepdaughter and wants her out, and this causes major problems along with much heartache and pain in the Black household.

Kimberla Lawson Roby is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Be Careful What You Pray For, A Deep Dark Secret, The Best of Everything, One in a Million, Sin No More, Love & Lies, Changing Faces, The Best-Kept Secret, Too Much of a Good Thing, A Taste of Reality, It's a Thin Line, Casting the First Stone, Here and Now, and her self-published debut title, Behind Closed Doors. Her novels have also frequented many other bestseller lists, including those in The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Emerge Magazine, Barnes and Noble,, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, and The Austin Chronicle to name a few. In addition, Ms. Roby received the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 for CASTING THE FIRST STONE. She is also the 2006, 2007 and 2009 recipient of the Author of the Year—Female award presented by the African-American Literary Award Show in New York, the recipient of the 1998 First-Time Author Award from Chicago’s Black History Month Book Fair and Conference, her fifth novel, A TASTE OF REALITY, was a 2004 finalist for the Atlanta Choice Awards sponsored by the Atlanta Daily World, and TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING received a 2004 Patron Choice Award from the Central Mississippi Regional Library System. She lives in Illinois with her husband, Will.

Bio courtesy of Hachette Book Group

For a complete bibliography of Ms. Lawson Roby's work, visit her website:

*Look for "Love, Honor and Betray" in bookstores everywhere on January 10, 2011!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

African American Holidays Cards - Do You Still Send Them?

It's December 19th and I haven't mailed one Christmas card. It seems that every year, I get fewer and fewer cards. Maybe it's because I've gotten out of the habit of sending them every year. Now, I send them every 2 years or so. He who hath a friend must first show himself friendly, right?

But, I realized that part of the reason I no longer write out holiday cards the day after Thanksgiving is due in part to the fact that I've gotten older and more cynical, but more importantly, I'm not excited about the selection of Black cards from which to choose.

I know that email has done away with the old-fashioned form of letter writing but nothing can replace the annual greeting from friends and family, right?

However, I used to get such a thrill out of finding the most unique Black Christmas cards. The cards that were made by African American artists and sold in African American stores. You know - "for us, by us."

In fact, my relatives would comment on how they couldn't wait to get my holiday cards every year to see what cute and unusual one they would receive. It just seems that once Black cards went "mainstream" and Hallmark and everybody in China was producing them, they lost their originality and thus the thrill was gone. At least for me.

So, as I ponder whether to send a cute little puppy or a traditional wreath or a Christmas tree this year, I pose the question, are African American holiday cards still relevant.

And, on that note - are we still celebrating Kwanzaa?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Old School Meets New School - Neyo "Libra Scale"

The perfect stocking stuffer for everyone on your list. I love Neyo. He is definitely "smooth R&B" but his contemporary sound makes him a favorite of all ages. It's clear that Michael Jackson was a huge influence on his music and style.

Check out his new CD, "Libra Scale" on Def Jam.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gene Washington Named One of "50 Greatest Vikings of All Time"

Eugene Washington (born November 23, 1944 in La Porte, Texas) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League. He played for the Minnesota Vikings (1967-1972) and the Denver Broncos (1973-1974). He wore #84 for Minnesota and Denver.*

For tickets and information on the "50 Greatest Vikings Event," go to:

*(From Wikipedia)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Prayer Time - Aretha Franklin Reportedly Battling Pancreatic Cancer

By now, you've all heard that the "Queen of Soul" underwent surgery last week for an "undisclosed procedure."

Now news sources close to the family are reporting that Ms. Franklin is being treated for pancreatic cancer.

We know that God is truly the ultimate healer and always has the final word.

Please lift her up in prayer. She has truly graced us with her gifts.

God Bless.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"GUMBO FOR THE SOUL" Call for Submissions


"Gumbo for the Soul: Men of Honor"
Call for Submissions Deadline Extended to March 2, 2011

The fourth title in the "Gumbo for the Soul" anthology series is "Gumbo for the Soul: Men of Honor," a compilation of literary offerings in which contributing writers celebrate Men of Honor impacting their respective lives with purpose. The book will salute fathers, grandfathers, godfathers, friends, mentors, uncles, brothers, nephews, husbands and boos, too! Both--best-selling authors and celebrated keynote speakers--George C. Fraser and Julia Hare, Ph.D. will contribute to the book.

NATIONWIDE: Just one month after the launch of the well-received anthology "Gumbo for the Soul: Women of Honor," Gumbo for the Soul Publications (GFTS) founder Beverly Black Johnson announced that George C. Fraser (Chairman and CEO of FraserNet, Inc.) and Dr. Julia Hare (National Executive Director of The Black Think Tank) have joined the GFTS family with the fourth upcoming title "Gumbo for the Soul: Men of Honor." Fraser will pen the book's foreword and Dr. Hare will contribute literary works featuring exceptional men that she has chosen to honor. To allow for this anthology to be the most comprehensive, Johnson and co-compiler Bruce George (co-founder of Def Poetry Jam) have extended the deadline for submissions of poetry, prose, essays and short stories to March 2, 2011. The book, which is planned to be released in time for Father's Day, is dedicated in loving memory of Johnson's father, Homer J. Black (April 22, 1931 to July 22, 2009).

"Gumbo for the Soul: Men of Honor" reflects the stories woven into our legacy, carried by time and preserved with love. Contributing writers will share inspirational stories, quotes and poetry reflecting on the past and present times where their respective men of honor made a difference in their lives. Proceeds from the book will benefit Project Fatherhood, a non-profit organization that addresses the problem of absentee fathers.

Founded in 1996 by Dr. Hershel Swinger, Project Fatherhood re-engages low-income fathers, particularly in urban settings, in the care and upbringing of their children. Through therapy, support, parenting education and other services fathers learn to be more loving, responsible parents and active participants in their children's lives Project Fatherhood reports over 40% of America's households are families without fathers. Gumbo for the Soul Publications and Project Fatherhood invite you to help change the statistics and make a difference by supporting and contributing to this publication. All writers are invited to contribute works to the inspirational and self-healing anthology.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Deadline March 2, 2011
for Gumbo for the Soul: Men of Honor
(Anticipated release June 2011)

Submit to:

Gumbo for the Soul: Men of Honor
Book cover "Fatherhood"
Illustrated by Synthia SAINT JAMES

Sponsor ad space is available inside the publication
For more detailed information and submission guidelines, visit:

Previously published GUMBO FOR THE SOUL Anthologies
Gumbo for the Soul: Women of Honor Special Pink Edition
(Oct. 2010, ISBN: 978-0979047916, $11.95 U.S.)
BOOK COVER: "Sisters of Courage" by Synthia SAINT JAMES
PROCEEDS Benefit: Sisters Network, Inc. San Francisco Chapter

Gumbo for the Soul: Here's Our Child-Where's the Village?
(Nov. 2008, ISBN: 978-1440101267, $11.95 U.S.)
BOOK COVER: "Grandmother Spirit" by Synthia SAINT JAMES
FOREWORD By: Tee C. Royal, founder of RAWSISTAZ Literary Group
PROCEEDS Benefit: African Cradle, Inc., an inter-country child adoption agency

Gumbo for the Soul: the Recipe for Literacy in the Black Community
(April 2007, ISBN: 978-0595429073, $24.95)
BOOK COVER: "With Honors" by Synthia SAINT JAMES
FOREWORD By: Heather Covington, author of Literary Divas: The Top 100+ Most
Admired African American Women in Literature and NAACP Image Award Nominee
PROCEEDS Benefit: Gumbo for the Soul Scholarship Awareness Program

GEORGE C. FRASER, Chairman and CEO of FraserNet, Inc., is a best-selling author and highly demanded motivational and keynote speaker. He founded FraserNet, Inc. 20 years ago with the vision to lead a global networking movement that brings together diverse human resources to increase opportunities for people of African descent. Fraser is considered by many to be a new voice for African Americans and one of the foremost authorities on economic development, networking and building effective relationships.

BRUCE GEORGE, a talented poet, author, educator, entrepreneur, activist, and Peabody and Tony Award winner is co-founder of Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on HBO. He signed on with Gumbo for the Soul Publications as Director of Business Development in 2007. George was the visionary for "Women of Honor" and is co-compiler, along with Beverly Black Johnson, of "Men of Honor."

JULIA HARE, PH.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist, best-selling author and National Executive Director of The Black Think Tank. The gifted speaker is in demand both nationally and internationally. She is a product of Tulsa's "Black Wall Street" where she has been inducted into the Booker T. Washington Hall of Fame. In its May 2008 issue, Ebony magazine named Dr. Hare among its "Ebony Power 150: the Most Influential Blacks in America."

Listen to blog talk radio interview with the "Gumbo for the Soul" family as they discuss the recently-released "Gumbo for the Soul: Women of Honor." TODAY, DECEMBER AT 4pm PST

"From the Heart & Soul" Radio Show with Lady Serenity; featuring "Gumbo for the Soul" anthology contributor and breast cancer survivor Crystal Brown-Tatum along with Beverly Black Johnson, founder of Gumbo for the Soul Publications.

Toni Beckham
209-832-8020 / 408-499-3664

Beverly Black Johnson

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Presents "A Joyful Noise"

Lorraine Hansberry Theatre presents:
“A Joyful Noise”

A Gospel Celebration of Christmas

Featuring Robin Hodge-Williams with Andre C. Andree
Directed by Buddy Butler

This is a limited run with only 14 performances from December 10-31, only!

Opens Friday, December 10, 2010

Fort Mason, Building D
San Francisco, California

As you may know, the two founders of the theatre, Stanley Williams and Quentin Easter, passed away in April and June of this year. LHT has decided to honor their legacy by making sure the theatre survives and continues to excel.

Groups of 10 or more may take advantage of a 16% discount which can increase up to 25% based upon number of the group and date to attend.

For more information:


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

California Elects Its First Female Attorney General - It's Official - Kamala Harris Won!

Three weeks later, Steve Cooley concedes which officially makes Kamala Harris the new Attorney General for California!

You go, girl!!

Read more at:

Dionne Warwick "My Life As I See It"

"For 50 years, the name Dionne Warwick has been synonymous with elegance, perfection and brilliance. Warwick, who hailed from a musically gifted family, came along at a time when computerized studio tracks were virtually non-existent, and the voice - accompanied by live music - was what made a hit record. Warwick broke new ground in music as the first "cross-over" artist from R&B into the pop genre and paved the way for generations of performers. What began for Warwick as being dubbed the "demo queen," recording the work of songwriters for the purpose of showcasing to record executives, has evolved into one of the most historic, pionering, and long-standing careers in show business."

(from inside flap)

(Book review coming soon)

"My Life As I See It" - Dionne Warwick (with David Freeman Wooley)

Dionne Warwick's new autobiography, "My Life As I See It," is now for sale at bookstores and online.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lest We Forget. . .Remembering Jonestown

Dr. Dick Gregory Leads Prayer Vigil at
32nd Annual Official Jonestown Memorial Service

Survivors, Families and Friends of Victims, and Community Leaders Take Part

OAKLAND, CA - On Nov. 18, 1978 the world as we knew it was changed forever. 918 adults and 305 children--including 40 infants--lost their lives along with U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan and a United Press International film crew. The place was Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana--that Paradise of Pain founded and led by James Warren "Jim" Jones, forever rendered infamous by its name "Jonestown."

Comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory said, "As a family man with ten children and 12 grandchildren, I can feel the pain of that tragedy and I want to share the sympathy with family and friends."

Dr. Richard Claxton "Dick" Gregory
Prayer Vigil at 32nd Annual Jonestown Memorial Service
Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010 | 11:00 a.m.
Evergreen Cemetery
6450 Camden St. (at Foothill Blvd.)
Oakland, CA

WHY: To honor the victims and remind the public of the tragic murders of hard working and generous people, who had been in search of better lives for themselves and their children, were killed by Jim Jones.

COST: FREE w/refreshments served

SPEAKERS: Professor Oba T'Shaka, former San Francisco State University chairman, representatives from Congresswoman Barbara Lee's office, Dr. Edgar Boyd, Dr. Jynona Norwood, and survivors and loved ones of victims of this tragedy

Dr. Jynona Norwood is founder and executive director of Jonestown Memorial Services and Wall. On that fateful day, her family lost 27 loved ones including her beloved mother and three-month-old cousin Charles Garry Henderson--the youngest child to perish in Jonestown. "Throughout the last 32 years I have paused to reflect on the sparks of life that God created who perished in Jonestown," commented Dr. Norwood. "After losing 27 vibrant loved ones, my family and hundreds of other affected parties will come together to say, "Love never dies, but lives on in our hearts and deeds." The Jonestown victims deserve a fitting Memorial Wall in their honor."

Community, civic and ministerial leaders will honor the memories of all victims of the Jonestown massacre.

Dr. Jynona Norwood

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kim Burrell In Concert on November 19, 2010

The BMC Worship and Fine Arts Ministry presents A Concert Experience featuring:


Friday, November 19, 2010
7:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Ticket Donation $30 in advance, $35 at the door

Beebe Memorial Cathedral
3900 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland, CA 94609


For more information, call 510.655.6114

Rev. Dr. Charley Hames, Jr. - Senior Pastor
"Life is a Cathedral Experience"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

OUT. The Glenn Burke Story

Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s “Out. The Glenn Burke Story” Premieres Wednesday, November 10 at San Francisco’s Castro Theater.

The premiere of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s Out. The Glenn Burke Story and special town hall edition of Chronicle Live from the Castro Theatre.

Wednesday, November 10th

Castro Theatre
429 Castro Street (at Market Street)
San Francisco, California

Limited tickets available at the Castro Theatre box office day of the event beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Doors open: 6:30 p.m.

Chronicle Live Town Hall: 9:15 p.m.

Admission $5.00, proceeds to benefit Marty’s Place – a community living facility that served as home to Glenn Burke.


"Out. The Glenn Burke Story" will debut on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area at 8:00 p.m.


"Glenn Burke’s journey through baseball began and ended in Oakland, California. His sports career had many stops along the way, starting as a multi-sport star at Berkeley High School, followed by a brief stint at the University of Nevada, Reno as a prized basketball recruit, and then moving into professional baseball with the Los Angeles Dodgers, being hailed by one coach as “the next Willie Mays.” Early in his career, Burke felt he had to hide his true self from his teammates. Later, when he began to reveal glimpses into his sexuality the baseball establishment began to close him out. Out. The Glenn Burke Story, is a one-hour program that documents Burke’s legacy as the first openly homosexual Major League Baseball player.

The documentary tells the dramatic tale of Burke’s Major League career as an outfielder for the Dodgers and as a starter in Game One of the 1977 World Series, to being traded to the Oakland Athletics the following season, and then walking away from the game that he deeply loved in 1980. Many of Burke’s teammates were aware of his homosexuality during his playing career, as were members of management. And many of those teammates believe that his sexuality led to the premature derailment of his baseball career.

Out. The Glenn Burke Story then follows him through his public announcement of his homosexuality in a 1982 Inside Sports magazine article and on The Today Show with Bryant Gumbel, to his downward spiral after his split from baseball, a split that drove Burke to drugs and prison, and eventually to living on the same San Francisco streets where he was once recognized as an icon.

Burke’s story took on another level of tragedy when he was diagnosed with AIDS in 1994. Yet at the end of Burke’s life, the game that he claimed abandoned him so many years before reached out to one of its own. The A’s found Burke and provided him with constant support in his final months, as did some of his former teammates.

Out. The Glenn Burke Story features numerous interviews with Burke’s teammates and friends, including Dusty Baker, Davey Lopes, Reggie Smith, Rick Monday, Manny Mota, Rickey Henderson, Claudell Washington, Mike Norris, Shooty Babitt, Tito Fuentes, and former Major Leaguer and gay rights activist Billy Bean.

Out. The Glenn Burke Story is narrated by Dave Morey, who was recently inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in the class of 2010 after 26 years as a morning host at KFOG and nearly 40 years in broadcasting.
(From Comcast News Release)

Monday, November 8, 2010

$20 Million Ain't Bad - But We Can Do Better - Go See "For Colored Girls"

Tyler Perry's and Lionsgates' "For Colored Girls" wound up in third place this weekend. $20.1 million. Strong number - be we can do better. Love him or hate him, we have some strong African American actors in this film and it's for us, by us - don't hate - appreciate.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Book Review: "The Presumption of Guilt The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America"

As Director, of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Ogletree’s, The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America, Charles J. Ogletree had to write this book. True to his position and profession the book further enlightens those who are aware and relentlessly educates those who are ignorant to the facts of inequitable treatment by law enforcement as a whole. In the most cohesive and surmounting prose, Attorney Charles J. Ogletree, makes an irrefutable case illuminating the injustices that racial profiling has perpetrated on minorities since humans were identified as Chattel. Fact upon fact and study after study are cited, quoted and assimilated to fact pattern of the case at hand, The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

I use this phrase too much but, “Do yourself a favor” and make this a must read. I for one, thought myself to be plugged-in and somewhat current on my facts but this book arms you with the background and research you need to talk intelligently about the interfacing between law enforcement and the citizen. I hope this exploratory treatise is required reading for Professor Ogletree’s students. It should also be required reading by citizens should they ever interface with the law enforcement community.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Original Playbill from San Francisco Run of "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf"

A warm thank you to Mary of San Francisco for sharing this photo with us of her original playbill from the San Francisco performance of Ntozake Shange's Obie Award-winning play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.

Mary remembers seeing the play with a group of women from her church in around 1978.

As you all know, Tyler Perry's movie ("For Colored Girls")based on the original play opens this coming Friday, November 5 in theaters nationwide.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's Election Day! Don't Forget To Vote!

It's not too late. . .wherever you are, in this country, don't forget your local and State elections. People died so that could have the right to vote.

You can make a difference. Remember, be part of the problem or part of the solution. Don't let your past disappointments keep you away from the polls!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Go. See. Marcus. Now Playing at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco

Tarell Alvin McCraney

I saw it tonight. You won't regret it. Get your tickets today.

"Marcus" or "The Secret of Sweet"

October 29–November 21, 2010
405 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

West Coast Premiere

By Tarell Alvin McCraney
Directed by Mark Rucker

"A don't-miss event of the season"
—San Francisco Chronicle

Friday, October 29, 2010

Oakland Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Presents their 15th Anniversary Benefit Gala - "Linking, Leveraging and Leading"

Saturday, November 6, 2010
6:30 p.m.
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
55 Fourth Street
San Francisco, CA

Celebrity Host: Nikki Thomas, KBLX 102.9 Radio Personality

Get your tickets online at:

CDA Consulting Group

2010 Corporate Leadership Award Recipients

Wells Fargo
Catholic Healthcare West

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Last Chance to Catch Carl Lumbly in "The Sunset Limited"

To kick off the season we bring one of the most insightful writers of our time, Cormac McCarthy (The Road, No Country for Old Men) together with two of the most powerful actors in the Bay Area, Carl Lumbly (Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, Alias, Cagney & Lacey) and Charles Dean (White Christmas, Awake and Sing!). A startling encounter on a New York subway platform leads two strangers to a run-down tenement where they engage in a brilliant verbal duel on a subject no less compelling than the meaning of life.

"Sunset Limited Pulses with Urgency", "Lumbly makes the words sing…English stages the interplay as a tense psychological cat-and-mouse game and brings it to a compelling climax." - Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle

SF Playhouse
533 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"For Colored Girls" Soundtrack Now Available For Pre-Order on Atlantic Records

I was thrilled to review the Soundtrack to Tyler Perry's upcoming movie, "For Colored Girls" (courtesy of Atlantic Records). In a nutshell, here is my review:

The songs from the soundtrack of "For Colored Girls," were expectedly “soulful” with a bit of eclectic-ness. Starting with the beautiful symphonic string tonality and spoken word which was indeed a mood setter and the revisit at soundtrack’s end, places an emphatic exclamation mark to a strong statement.

The playlist line-up includes ballad divas and is interspersed with “new women on the block” that provide a little edginess. The soundtrack whets the pallet in anticipation of an emotionally strife and tumultuous film. After listing to the album, I find it necessary to view the movie that follows the biorhythms and attempts to give visual clarity to this soundtrack that moves my soul.

Pre-Order now on Amazon and Atlantic Records.

Soundtrack becomes available on November 2.

List of Tracks:

1. “Main Title” – Loretta Devine, Kimberly Elise, Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Tessa Thompson, Kerry Washington with Joshua Bell, Aaron Zigman & The Hollywood Studio
2. “Longer & Stronger” – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
3. “All Day Long (Blue Skies)” – Estelle
4. “What More Can They Do” – Laura Izibor
5. “Sun” – Lalah Hathaway
6. “Ansomnia” – Zaki Ibrahim
7. “Settle” – Gladys Knight
8. “La Donna In Viola” – Karen Slack, Andrea Jones-Sojola & The Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra
9. “Sechita (A Senhora em Amarelo)” – Anika Noni Rose & Carondelet Percussion Ensemble
10. “Stand Up” – Macy Gray
11. “Without A Fight” – Janelle MonĂ e
12. “Four Women” – Nina Simone, Simone, Laura Izibor & Ledisi
13. “I Know Who I Am” – Leona Lewis

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Retired KPIX Newswoman Barbara Rodgers Inducted Into Knoxville College's Hall of Fame

Knoxville College President, Dr. Horace Judson, presents Barbara Rodgers with her Hall of Fame medallion and certificate.

The inaugural Robert H. Harvey Knoxville College Alumni Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held Friday, October 15, 2010 at the Knoxville Marriott Hotel, Grand Ballrooms.

Congratulations, Barbara!

See video below:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Professor Charles Ogletree in San Francisco

Photo: Charles Ogletree at Alexander Book Company, San Francisco

Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree was in San Francisco yesterday discussing his new book, "The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NPR Fires Analyst Juan Williams Over Comments Made on The O'Reilly Factor

NPR fired news analyst Juan Williams Wednesday night after comments made on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" that Muslims dressed in Muslim garb on planes made him nervous.

During an appearance Monday on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," Williams said: "Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Should Juan Williams have been fired?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Anita Hill Apologize?? Homey Don't Think So!

I've heard it all. By now, you've all heard about that crazy message that Virginia Thomas, the Caucasian wife of Clarence Thomas (yeah, the one that eeked his way onto the Supreme Court) left for Anita Hill, now a professor at Brandeis University, requesting an apology for her testimony about Clarence Thomas' sexual harrassment and country indecent jokes ("Who has put a pubic hair in my Coke?") directed at Anita Hill some two decades ago.

Well, Anita Hill did exactly what she should have done and turned the voicemail over to the FBI. Explain that, Virginia.

At the time of the hearings, Clarence Thomas referred to the inquistion as a "high tech lynching for uppity Blacks." Well, I say he still needs an old-fashioned butt-whooping for Uncle Toms.

Anita told the truth.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Black Marriage Negotiations" - Have You Seen This Video?

I guess I was too busy trying to "pay bills" last week. Somehow, I missed this video which has gone viral.

Check it out:

(Parental discretion advised)

Friday, October 15, 2010

"Don't Get Caught In South Central, While Drinking Your Juice in Da Hood" - TI Ordered Back to Prison

Rapper, T.I., has been ordered back to prison for eleven months following his arrest in Los Angeles last month.

Seriously, our criminal justice system is flawed. Clearly, what T.I. (real name Clifford Harris) needs is rehabilitation for his addictions. More jail time is not the answer.

Please let me know your thoughts. I'd love to hear from you.

SAVE THE DATE! DECEMBER 18, 2010 - Susan L. Taylor Comes to Fairfield, California (A Diamonds and Pearls Production)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Message From Tyler Perry

Subject: A Message from Tyler Perry - Something's Gotta Give

Hey there, I know I haven't written in a while, but I've been crazy busy
with 154 performances since the top of the year. I filmed two movies
this summer and I haven't had a break. It's all too much! Something's gotta
give here. I'm exhausted. Anyway, I wanted to talk to you about FOR COLORED

We are only a little more than 3 weeks out from FOR COLORED GIRLS, which
opens on November 5th. Wow, time is flying! I wanted to talk to you for
just a second about this film. There has been a lot of Internet chatter
about me doing this film. I've heard everything from, "I'm glad he's
doing it!", to "How dare he touch this!". Believe me, I know that this is
sensitive material and I handled it that way. If you don't believe me
see for yourself on November 5th.

If you know anything about the book or play, FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE
which is what my film is
based on, then you know that it is one of the most powerful literary works of
this century. But, if you know it, you are also thinking like I was, "How can
I make this into a movie?"

After reading the play a thousand times and listening to these poems a
million times, it hit me. There was only one way to approach it. So
what I did was, I put these characters in the situations around the poems, so
that they could speak the dialogue of the book without it sounding like a

And I have to tell you, I wasn't sure that it could be done. But, after
listening to Phylicia Rashad, Thandie Newton, Kerry Washington, Macy
Gray, Kimberly Elise, Tessa Thompson, Whoopi Goldberg, Loretta Devine, Anika
Noni Rose and Janet Jackson say these words it was awesomely seemless.

The stories are about eight women who live in NYC and we follow them
through their lives; follow them through loving, losing, giving too much of
themselves, being hurt and betrayed, but most of all, we follow each of
these women as they find love for themselves.

This movie is powerful. It is incredible. The performances in it are
astonishing, but most of all this film will leave you lifted.

I don't know if you know this either, but never in the history of a
feature film has there been an ensemble of this many black women. That alone is
worth celebrating. I hope you are planning to see it on November 5th.

By the way, you don't have to be a colored girl to be able to relate to
and enjoy this movie.

Click the link to view the trailers:

See ya soon,


Monday, October 11, 2010

Solomon "The King" Burke Has Died

Solomon Burke
(March 21, 1940 – October 10, 2010)

American Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter died in flight yesterday between Los Angeles and Amsterdam of natural causes. He had been scheduled to perform in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

He began as a gospel singer and moved into soul and blues before launching a successful career in Rock and Roll. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Among his many hits, is the most famous, "Cry to Me" which he recorded in the '60s and appeared later in the '80s on the soundtrack for "Dirty Dancing."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Albertina Walker, "Queen of Gospel" Passes Away In Her Hometown of Chicago

Sunrise: August 29, 1929

Sunset: October 8, 2010

Albertina Walker began singing at an early age and was greatly influenced by Mahalia Jackson. Mahalia Jackson took her on the road when she was a teenager. "

She was given the title "Queen of Gospel Music."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

BABJA Seventh Annual Young Journalists Scholarship Gala

Barbara Rodgers with high school student Ashley Williams and KRON TV4 anchor, Pam Moore at the Seventh Annual Young Journalists Scholarship Gala held at Scott's Seafood Restaurant in Oakland on Saturday, October 2, 2010. KCBS radio reporter Bob Butler was honored at the event for his contributions to broadcasting and journalism. Bob is also a National Vice President with AFTRA and Vice President-Broadcast with the National Association of Black Journalists.

For more information and to support Bay Area Black Journalists Association (BABJA):

Bob Butler Honored by Bay Area Black Journalists

KRON TV4 anchor Pam Moore and retired CBS5 anchor Barbara Rodgers congratulate KCBS Radio reporter Bob Butler on being the honoree at the Seventh Annual Young Journalists Scholarship Gala presented by the Bay Area Black Journalists Association (BABJA). The Gala was held at Scott's Seafood Restaurant in Oakland on Saturday, October 2, 2010. The recipient of this year's Chauncey Wendell Bailey, Jr., Scholarship was Reginald James, a student at Laney College in Oakland. The scholarship is named for Chauncey Bailey who was killed in August of 2007 by a group that was dissatisfied with the expose he was writing about them.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Save the Date, THURSDAY, October 21, 2010 - A Town Hall Meeting with Charles Ogletree

A Town Hall Meeting:
Charles Ogletree
Author of The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class, and Crime in America

Sargent Johnson Gallery (1st Floor)
762 Fulton Street @ Webster, San Francisco
Thursday, October 21, 2010 6PM-8:30PM

The Sargent Johnson Gallery, Mark Hilton Plummer, Infin8 Sync, and Julian Davis are delighted to host "A Town Hall Meeting with Charles Ogletree." Mr. Ogletree is a preeminent legal scholar at Harvard University, where he is the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and the director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice.

A Bay Area native, Professor Ogletree has the distinction of having taught both President and Mrs. Obama, during his illustrious tenure at Harvard. He will be discussing his latest book, "The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class, and Crime in America." Mr. Ogletree will discuss what we can learn from the arrest of his colleague and client, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and the racial profiling of black men, prominent and otherwise.

Preeminent Bay Area attorney John Burris will also join us. Mr. Burris recently represented the family of Oscar Grant after his tragic death at the hands of BART police officer Johannes Mehserle.

The admission for this event is $5 or free with the purchase of a book!

No charge for seniors and students. (No one turned away for lack of funds.)

African American Arts and Cultural Complex, San Francisco

Friday, October 1, 2010

I Am A Black American (don't tell nobody)

What is it about race that just plain makes some White folks uncomfortable? I had lunch today with a couple of ladies of the Caucasian persuasion. One of the women, started telling a story about a group of women whom she gets together with quite often. Women that she's been friends with since her child was in grammar school. Women who start these "mother's groups." I said that I never really got into those groups because when my daughter was in grammar school, it wasn't very diverse and I didn't think the other mothers were ever quite comfortable letting someone as, well, diverse, as me get that close to them. It was fine for my daughter to play with their kids. Everybody wants their kids to have "exposure," right? My daughter used to say, "Mom, I wonder why they don't invite you to join their book club, you're always reading!"

Anyway, when I mentioned the "R" word - race, my lunch mates practically croaked on their "croque sandwiches." For crying out loud, while we have a Black president, we also still have the KKK - oh, and don't leave out the Tea Party.

So, don't pretend that race doesn't matter or that nobody notices because the bottom line is that I am and always will be a Black woman, African American (born a Negro) and I'm not going to conceal it or apologize about that to anyone.

Race. The conversation that still needs to happen.

Racism. The gift that keeps on giving.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Book Review: "Getting to Happy" by Terry McMillan

I recently finished Terry McMillan's most recent novel, "Getting to Happy." I had been waiting for another book from her after "The Interruption of Everything," which I loved. "Getting to Happy" was worth the wait. I could have devoured this book in one sitting but opted to take small bites because I didn't want it to end.

It was so good catching up with Bernadine, Robin, Savannah and Gloria. I loved them all so much in "Waiting to Exhale," and they didn't disappoint in this sequel. I could relate to them on so many different levels and that's all I'm going to say on the subject here!

And even though I didn't agree with all of their decisions, I certainly respected and appreciated them for making their own choices.

Terry McMillan is winding up her book tour, but if you're in the Oakland area this weekend, Marcus Books will honoring her during their 50th Anniversary Celebration.

For more information on this event, call Marcus Books at (510) 652-2344.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Save The Date - Beta Dance Troupe (featuring Ethiopian and Israeli Dancers), Thursday, October 14, 2010

Back on Track is located in Third Baptist Church.

1399 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
PHONE: (415)346-9316

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bishop Kenneth Moales Passes Away of a Massive Heart Attack at Age 65

"Bishop Kenneth H. Moales, known as a man who loved God, his family, church and Kingdom pursuits, departed this life on Monday, September 20th, after he experienced a massive heart attack.

During the weekend of September 18-20, thousands had gathered in Bridgeport and the surrounding areas to celebrate his 65th Birthday. First Lady, Peggy, their three children, 12 grandchildren and one grandchild all took part in the festivities, along with many special friends including Bishop Alfred and Susie Owens, Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Vickie Winans, Bishop Albert Jamison, Mr. Quaford Coleman, Bishop Kenneth Dupree and many more.

Bishop Kenneth Moales was a leader of leaders with a strong Davidic anointing. He was the founding pastor of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit formerly the Prayer Tabernacle Church of Love, Bridgeport, Connecticut for 42 years.

He relished the fact that the church began out of a choir rehearsal where God touched his heart and “called” him to preach. His wife, Peggy has been by his side through it all. Although the couple endured many years of struggle, they never gave up!

Bishop Moales was a warrior! In fact, he popularized the “War Cry!” that has become the outcry of the masses who declare “VICTORY in Jesus!”—even in the midst of trying times!

Bishop Moales was the Presiding Prelate of the Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ (since 1995). Under his guidance, many notable pastors were being nurtured in their ministerial growth, among them, Bishop Hezekiah Walker, who may ascend to the helm of the organization.

Bishop Moales also served on the Executive Board of the Joint College of African American Pentecostal Bishops, and was lovingly referred to by Bishop J. D. Ellis as “Holy” Moales!

A man of music, Bishop Moales succeeded the Father of Gospel Music, Dr. Thomas A. Dorsey, as President of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, Inc., which celebrated 77 Years of Gospel Music Ministry in Orlando, FL (August 2010). Bishop Moales was intensely proud and protective of the “Dorsey” Convention and he gave it his best to make sure that it continued to flourish.

Bishop Moales was an advisory board member for Gospel Today Magazine. He had been featured in the magazine several times and was a key part of the magazine’s growth and success."

Final arrangements are as follows:

Saturday, September 25, 2010; 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Community & Civic Service (lie in state)
Prayer Tabernacle Church of Love
1243 Stratford Ave, Bridgeport, CT 06607

Sunday, September 26, 2010;
The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, 729 Union Ave, Bridgeport 06607
Morning Worship – 10:00 am
Body lies in state – 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Celebration of Life Musical – 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

(black attire)

Monday, September 27, 2010
The Arena at Harbor Yard, 600 Main St, Bridgeport, CT 06601
Body lies in state – 8:00 am
Homegoing Service – 10:00 am

(white attire)
Floral Arrangements: Morton’s Funeral Home, 25 Margaret E Morton Ln, Bridgeport, 06607 203.576.0326
Donations: The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit/Love Christian Academy

What an awesome man of God. Check out this War Cry!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bishop Eddie Long Has Been Named In Two Lawsuits Claiming Sexual Misconduct (But, Please, Don't Tell Anybody)

By now, I'm sure most of you have heard about the lawsuits that have been filed against Bishop Eddie Long, of Georgia. Bishop Long , pastor of New Birth Church in Lithonia, Georgia, is one of the most influential and powerful ministers in the Southeast and the country. He has also been one of the most outspoken opponents of gay rights. He has never attempted to hide his conservative views. In fact, when Coretta King's funeral was held at his church in 2006, Julian Bonds and other prominent African American leaders, refused to attend due to Bishop Long's oft-perceived "homophobic" views.

That said, I'm not the judge. I'm not the jury. But I have a serious problem with Black folks who refuse to even talk about it. Come on people. It's national news. CNN broke the story. Don't shoot the messenger.

I've been listening to the "The Light" all morning and Host Jerry Smith opened up the phone lines to take comments about this news. You would have thought he had burned the cross.

Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but just because we don't talk about it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

I'm not saying. I'm just saying.