Thursday, April 25, 2013


Museum of African Diaspora
685 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA  94105


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

He's Back. . .Reverend Curtis Black, that is - Coming May 7, 2013 - "A HOUSE DIVIDED" by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Some people talk about "the Kennedy Curse," well, if I believed in voodoo, I would swear someone has a spell on the Black family because just when it seems like it's smooth sailing - trouble comes knocking.

Long before, "Scandal," and Olivia Pope, there was Curtis Black and Charlotte Black.  The Reverend and First Lady Black don't even have to look for problems, they just seem to find them.  Kind of like most families, huh?  

Except this family is mega-rich, mega-famous and mega-mixed up.

This is Ms. Lawson Roby's 10th book in the "Curtis Black" series.  

Honestly, when I received the review copy in the mail, I thought, "there's no way there can be any more secrets in that family."  I was wrong.

I always finish Kimberla's books thinking, "What will she do to top that?"  And somehow she manages to keep the reader interested - all these best sellers later.

Preorder at:  barnesandnoble

Preoder at:

May 7, 2013 A Reverend Curtis Black Novel

"Life is close to perfect for the Reverend Curtis Black and his wife, Charlotte--except their son Matthew and his girlfriend, Racquel, are about to become parents at the tender age of eighteen. Even though Curtis and Charlotte wish Matthew could focus on Harvard instead of fatherhood, they are determined to welcome their new grandson with open arms. But for Charlotte, welcoming her future in-laws is another story. Try as she might, Charlotte can't stand Racquel's mother, Vanessa--and the feeling appears to be mutual.

When the tension between Charlotte and Vanessa finally erupts, the stress sends an already-
fragile Racquel into early labor. Everyone is quick to blame Charlotte, including Matthew and Curtis. That her own husband would side with someone else infuriates Charlotte and strains the relationship they've only recently been able to repair. Her one ally is Racquel's father, but that brings problems of its own."


April 9, 2012
Entertainment, Features, Healthcare, Event Calendar


Beverly Brown's Totally Led Ministries Brings
"For Every Mountain" to El Cerrito Theater ~ May 4-5, 2013

Life regularly presents mental and emotional challenges. Most require professional intervention, but too often the issues are not recognized, denied, or simply ignored—leaving serious or harmful conditions untreated.  We are reminded daily how challenges can quickly spiral into desperate measures with devastating results. For this reason and many others, Grace Baptist Church (Pastor Charles L. Hopkins) and Totally Led Ministries (Executive Director, Minister George Brown) have collaborated to bring more attention to matters of mental health awareness, understanding, and treatment.  They are compelled to face their own "mountains" through faith, praise and professional services, if needed.

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA: The success of its San Francisco Bay Area premier, and fan's popular demand has commanded a repeat performance of Totally Led Ministries' inspirational gospel stage play "For Every Mountain."  On Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5, 2013 the beautifully remodeled El Cerrito Theater, 540 Ashbury Avenue, El Cerrito, CA, is set to host talented Bay Area actors, musicians and vocalists in this outstanding depiction of a modern day "Job" who is facing mental and emotional issues in today’s society.  Presented by Grace Baptist Church and Totally Led Ministries, "For Every Mountain" was written and is directed by veteran Bay Area playwright and director Beverly Brown. Job was a man in the bible who faced tremendous loss and a great trying of his faith. Through an unimaginable mental and emotional journey with his Maker, Job emerged stronger and with everything in his life multiplied.  He is often credited with teaching us the "Patience of Job."
"For Every Mountain" is an impactful and uplifting stage production with edgy, provocative and sometimes humorous dialogue that addresses the serious issues of mental and emotional disorders, along with soul-stirring gospel songs and music," commented co-producer Pastor Charles L.

Hopkins (Grace Baptist Church, Oakland, CA).  Bay Area Christian comedian Jared "J-Red" Walton will be on-hand to add a lighter, comedic air to both evenings.

Mental Health Resource Fair

In addition to live performances, a Mental Health Resource Fair will take place in the lobby of the theater on both days of the production. Professional representatives from Kaiser Permanente, Berkeley Christian Counselors, Family Education and Resource Center of Alameda County, Mental Health Friendly Congregations, and Family Paths of Alameda County will be on hand to distribute resource literature, answer questions, and make referrals.

 "Tri-Cities Community Development Center is fully engaged in illuminating stigma and improving mental health outcomes for African American consumers and family members--one congregation at a time," said the organization's president and CEO, Pastor Horacio Jones. The senior pastor of Family Bible Fellowship in Newark, CA continued, "Through our innovative collaboration with Alameda County Behavior Health Care Services we are partnering with African American churches to develop Mental Health Friendly Congregation (MHFC).  We are supporting the timely, relevant and cutting edge play "For Every Mountain."  This must-see play addresses community, societal and personal stigma and how through faith the mountains of shame, guilt and denial must come down."

"Family Paths is excited to team up with Totally Led Ministries for the Mental Health Resource Fair.  For over 40 years we've provided mental health counseling and supportive services to children, parents and families in Alameda County," said Kim Cohn Wilks, MFT, RDT/BCT, Psychotherapist and program coordinator for Family Paths, Inc.  "We strive to serve our community with respect, integrity, compassion and hope in everything that we do, from our 24-hour parent support hotline, to providing current resources and trauma-informed practices to our clients."

"I am intimately familiar with mental illness and emotional challenges," commented Brown's long-time friend and publicist Toni Beckham.  "Several family members, including myself, have been diagnosed and treated for affective, personality, anxiety or organic mental disorders.  Identification, proper drugs and/or psychological counseling are almost always required treatment to ensure one's affective behaviors and symptoms are minimized. Medication and psychological counseling therapy can lead to wondrous results, enabling the individuals to live as normal life as possible for self-sustainment and lessoning of negative or harmful behavioral effects on loved ones and the general public."

Tickets for the play are now available.  General seating is $25 per person. Children (age 15 and under) $15 at the door only. Group rates for ten or more persons are discounted to $22 per person. For ticket information, visit or contact Beverly Brown at (510) 677-7046 |

View "For Every Mountain" PROMOTIONAL VIDEO at


Totally Led Ministries (TLM)--a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization--is the result of a vision of its founder and Executive Director, Reverend George Brown, who saw the need for the clergy of Richmond, California to come together for a common cause. TLM’s goal is to help reduce violence in Richmond, and direct youth of the area to options other than drugs and violence.


Grace Baptist Church is located in the heart of East Oakland, California and is lead by the Anointed Pastor Charles L. Hopkins.  Grace Baptist Church faithfully serves the community through its Grace Scholarship Ministry and Acts of Grace Food Pantry, which has been rated the number one food bank in Alameda County.

Beverly Brown

Monday, April 8, 2013


You’ve probably heard India Arie pop back into the news the past week.  She’s got a new single and the controversy isn’t about the music, it’s about her skin color.  She insists she did not bleach her skin, despite appearing shades lighter on the cover for her new single, “Cocoa Cutter.”

I come from a family where each of us (three siblings in all) have a different complexion.  With me being the “brownest.”  It was never an issue for anyone in my immediate household, but boy did it cause concern for relatives.  Especially those down-south.  I recall how everyone was always trying to patronize me by telling me that my complexion was really pretty and that I had nice features.  Another way of saying, “too bad you’re chocolate, but you’re not totally messed up.”

When my daughter, who is in college, tells me that things really haven’t changed that much and the boys really still prefer the fair-skinned and mixed-race girls to the golden brown beauties, I dismiss her claims as “all in her head.” 

Where’s Spike Lee?  I think it’s time they re-released “School Daze” for a new generation.

Monday, April 1, 2013


Byron Pitts is joining ABC News as an anchor and chief national correspondent.  He’ll be based in New York and will start in a few weeks.

Pitts has served as a chief national correspondent for The CBS Evening News and a contributor to the newsmagazine 60 Minutes.