Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Big Props to Chiara de Blasio

I know this is the time of year when we're supposed to talk about all things merry and bright, but everything isn't merry or bright.  Sometimes we need to talk about what's real.  Especially in the African American community.

Which is why I was so impressed by Chiara de Blasio's candid YouTube interview about her struggles with depression and substance abuse. 

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio's daughter doesn't just have her own personal style, she has a lot of courage.  I hope that her personal story will be the catalyst to open up continued discussion about the challenges facing young people, our young people, today.

We've been keeping secrets for far too long. 

Here's the youtube clip of her interview.  What a strong young woman!


We support you, Chiara!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Ex-Mas from Victoria Christopher Murray

After you've wrapped all the gifts, and put the kids to bed, this is a cute little read for the season.

There's no lack of drama in this novella and if you're dreading the holidays with your own family, this book might make you count your blessings.

A guilty, harmless, yet enjoyable pleasure from Essence Magazine's Bestselling Author, Victoria Christopher Murray.

Book Description:  

Six years ago, Sheridan, Kendall, and Asia each had an "ex" in their lives. From a broken marriage, to the shattered bond of trust, to the destruction of a bright future, all three deeply felt the loss of their men. To help cope with the pain, their pastor organized a support group for the trio, which blossomed into a strong sisterhood. Although it has taken years, they have slowly rebuilt their lives.

But now, their exes are back--at Christmas! And the wonderful holiday season is flipped upside down when Sheridan has to sit down with her ex and his fiancée, Kendall has to break bread with the two people she hates the most, and Asia has to make nice with her ex's wife.

None of the women want to be there, and they let everyone know it! Three dinners, three disasters, one Merry Ex-Mas.

Available in paperback or on kindle.

I downloaded mine on the kindle and finished it in two nights.  

Available at Amazon.com

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

Former Minnesota Viking Gene Washington Named Recipient of the Big Ten's Ford-Kinnick Leadership Award

Texas native, Minnesota resident and Michigan State alum,  Gene Washington was named the recipient of the Big Ten's Ford-Kinnick Leadership Award.

The awards recognize Big Ten football players that have achieved success in the areas of humanitarianism and leadership after their college careers have ended.

The award will be presented to the College Football Hall of Famer, on December 7th, in Indianapolis, on the field, (after the 7:00 P.M. Kick-off) during the nationally televised (Michigan State vs Ohio State) Big Ten Championship game. 

 For more information on these awards,  visit www.bigten.org.

Monday, November 25, 2013

ChurchGurl Foundation Honors Cathy D. Adams

Monday, December 2, 2013
8 p.m.
Yoshi's of Oakland
For More Information, visit:


Cathy D. Adams is founder and president of one of the Bay Area's premier event management companies, CDA Consulting Group. She is also the founding president emeritus of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women-Oakland/Bay Area Chapter (NCBW/OBAC).

Cathy has worked in the community, informing and educating, and was instrumental in the founding concept for the NCBW/OBAC 'Sistahs Getting Real About HIV/AIDS' Campaign & World AIDS Forum, which will observe its tenth year anniversary on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2013.

A Commissioner on the Alameda County Commission on the Status of Women, Cathy is a graduate of Jackson State University Mississippi with a degree in Mass Communications.

In observance of her great work in the Bay Area community, the Church Gurls Foundation will honor the multi-award recipient with its 2013 Women Empowerment Award during an affair to be held on Monday, December 2, 2013 at Yoshi's Oakland in Jack London Square.

Friday, November 15, 2013

"12 Years A Slave" - The Movie that Every Free Black Man and Woman MUST See

After seeing the trailers, I said that I would not see "12 Years A Slave."  

Even though it is based on a true story, I thought, "this is too painful and I refuse to put myself through it."

And then I started thinking, "Do I really want to go to the office and have my white colleagues telling me about the movie?"  And that was all the motivation it took for me to put my own personal sensitivities aside and get to the theater.

If the Academy doesn't recognize this film and its amazing talent (especially Chiwetel Ejiofor who plays the main character, Solomon Northrup, a free black man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery), there is no hope for the film industry.  The director, Steve McQueen, is brilliant.  Give him his Oscar today.

Is it painful?  Brutally.  Will it make you angry?  Absolutely.  If it doesn't, check your pulse.  

I experienced every range of emotions possible, including a couple of chuckles during some scenes (watch for Alfre Woodard).  

But, it also reminds you that there were some good people, especially, the abolitionists, who did try to do the right thing, even when it might mean risking their own lives.

It is absolutely important that you see this movie.  You owe it your ancestors.   

In fact, I plan to see it again with my daughter who swears she can't handle it.  No African American who is over the age of 18, should get a "pass" to skip this one.  

Attendance is mandatory. 

Monday, November 11, 2013


 Saturday, November 9, 2013, Hilton Hotel Union Square


Tavis Smiley, Keynote Speaker
Barbara Rodgers, Mistress of Ceremonies

(Photos Courtesy of Lance Burton/Planet Fillmore (C))


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"The African Americans - Many Rivers to Cross" - Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s PBS Documentary

I have to preface this "review," by saying that I only caught the last half-hour of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s latest documentary on PBS.  

However, what I did see was what public television should be:  thought provoking, well-researched, well-told and important to be told.

And while portions of the 30 minutes I did catch were very uplifting (I absolutely loved seeing Black folks start their own communities, businesses and churches during Reconstruction), I was still terribly troubled by the images of black men hanging in the center of town.

Gates, in my opinion, never disappoints, or fails to educate.  The documentary touched on "Plessy v. Ferguson," and the interviews with African American scholars and historians, both Black and White, gave me hope that there are still academics who devote their lives' work to making sure African American history is researched, pursued and preserved with passion.

But, back to those men hanging in the town square.  

Honestly, as much as I love this type of programming, I'm always angry, frustrated and mad as hell at what our people have had to endure.  And continue to endure (lest we forget Trayvon Martin).

Still, it's important.  And if the people who lived through these turbulent times could deal with it, I can certainly endure watching what they went through - the past should not be forgotten.

That said, I'm not sure I'm ready for "12 Years A Slave."  I'm still having thoughts about "Django Unchained."

And, yes, I do plan to catch "Many Rivers to Cross" in its entirety.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Friday, November 8, 2013
11:30 AM – 1 PM
The City Club, 155 Sansome St.
San Francisco

The Bay Area Black Journalists Association and broadcasting legend Belva Davis will be awarding $10,000 in scholarships to deserving college journalism students during BABJA’s 2013 Scholarship Luncheon on Friday, November 8 at the City Club of San Francisco.  The Luncheon is the much-anticipated follow-up to BABJA & Friends successful “A Tribute to Belva” fundraiser in February. Please join us and consider becoming a sponsor at our Scholarship Luncheon as we support the next generation of journalists!

Presenting Sponsor: $10,000
• Present two $2,500 scholarships to students
• Signage and recognition in the program
• Two Tables

Co-Sponsor: $5,000
• Signage and recognition in the program
• Two Tables

Table Sponsor: $1,000
• Signage and program recognition
• One Table

Individual Tickets: $75.00

To purchase tickets, please go to http://babja.org/2013-luncheon

To learn how to partner with BABJA on additional projects that include training and support for students and working journalists, please contact BABJA President Terry Collins at 415-320-3441 or tcollilns@ap.org or terrycollins100@yahoo.com.

If you would like to be a sponsor of this year’s event, please contact BABJA Treasurer John W. Ellis IV at 510-682-4398 or wordsmithcpr@gmail.com


Terry Collins, BABJA President

John W. Ellis IV, BABJA Treasurer

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Baggage Claim - A Cute and Funny Romantic Comedy

Don't listen to the critics.  "Baggage Claim" is worth seeing.

No, this is not an Oscar-worthy film.  But it should at least get an NAACP Image Award nod.

I almost missed it.  Whenever I asked a friend if they'd seen the movie, their answer was either, "No," or "No, and I don't plan to see it."  Thank God, it lasted at least three weeks in the theaters.

There are some very teachable moments in this film.  And I think it's a great film for young women to see.  I plan to encourage my daughter and her friends to see it before it leaves the big screen.  At the very least, I'm going to buy it for her when it comes out on DVD.

The acting is good, the lines are well-delivered, and I laughed a lot.  Every time we make a film, it won't be historical, but it's entertainment.  And I'm happy to see filmmakers like David E. Talbert who are able to pursue their craft.  

We should support our art and applaud our hard working actors.  If we don't support us, who will?    

A delightful romantic comedy.

Monday, October 7, 2013



6:00 p.m. - Reception and Silent Auction

7:30 p.m. - Dinner and Awards Program





DANNY GLOVER, Patron of Culture

ALFRE WOODARD, Performing Arts Program Honoree

DR. SANDRA HERNANDEZ,  Legacy of Philanthropy

HENNESY V.S., Corporate Leadership Award

Emcee:  Pam Moore
Award Winning News Anchor, KRON Channel 4

A CDA Consulting Group Production, (510) 653-4085

Saturday, September 28, 2013



Tickets Available from Ticketmaster: