Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

We are now embarking on a New Year. 2012. Wow!  May God continue to bless and protect you all~ Happy New Year everyone!  Truly, C

(Photo courtesy of NYE07BHorizontal.jpg)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

"FELA!" - Ahmanson Theater ~ Now Through January 22, 2012

 Lena Coles-Dennis called me up and asked if I wanted to go see the Nigerian musical, "Fela!", now playing at the Ahmanson Theater. So you guessed it - after a quick meeting at in Century City,
I hopped in my whip and headed on downtown! Once I arrived at the Ahmanson Theater, there were so many people excitedly trying to get parked and get into the theater to see "Fela!" Got to the Box Office and picked up my tickets in Will Call, I raced to my seat with not a minute to spare - The lights went down and the show began!
From the start, the lead actor, Sahr Ngaujah, tactfully proved one of my Grand Father's favorite sayings,
 "Some of the biggest truths are told through jokes."  You owe it to yourself to go see "FELA!" and please keep in mind, unless you've walked a mile in a man's shoes, you should not judge him...

Okay, so, right before our very eyes, the spirit and the likeness of the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti =
Fela Kuti is standing and performing live! As a matter of fact, the entire cast brings their "A" game!

What is truly unique is how the musical explores in detail, the multi-faceted, symbiotic relationship between Fela Kuti and his Mother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, is explored through the Yoruba religion that is practiced by the Kuti Family/Tribe.

Melanie Marshall, who portrays Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, has a mellifluous voice, the essence of a Mother's love, and simply evokes emotions that are sure to move your soul!

 "FELA!"  Cast members, Melanie Marshall, Sahr Ngaujah,
Sandra Izsadore, Paulette Ivory

A native Nigerian, Fela Kuti was born in Abeokuta, Ogun StateNigeria,
 on October 15, 1938 - August 2, 1997.
He was his a human rights activist, a musician and a composer who was the catalyst that created Afrobeat sound.

His parents sent Fela Kuti abroad to the UK to study Medicine, and instead,  Fela Kuti decided to to learn more about music, and increasing the awareness of the political strife in his native land, Nigeria.
 "FELA!" has some of the most outstanding dancers I've ever seen! All of the performers are lively and beautiful and make you want to jump up and dance to the rhythm of the beat of the drums! Yeah, it is truly an excellent rendition of the life of one of Nigeria's Native Sons, a man that danced to the beat of his own drum, that was considered a threat to the Nigerian Government(1970-1997).

Long live the King of Afrobeat - Fela Kuti! "Yeah Yeah!

Visionary, Jim Lewis, multi-talented choreographer, Bill T. Jones, and the entire cast of men and women who perform are excellent! The vocals are amazing!

I'm just going to tell you now, get into your Whip and head to the Ahmanson Theater's Box Office and grab a seat while they are still available. Also upload the music on Facebook, and follow "FELA!" on Twitter -!/felamusical

 I have a feeling that the entire series is going to be sold out because the night we attended, as far as the eye can see, there was not ONE vacant seat in the house!

Love & light, C
(Photos are the sole property of  Ryan Miller | |, "FELA!" is Produced by Shawn"Jay-Z" Carter,
Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith,  Ahmanson Theater. No copy write infringement intended)

Thursday, November 24, 2011


When I woke up this morning, I was only too happy to get the turkey in the oven, with all of the trimmings - in record time. My Mother still makes the best turkey and dressing on planet earth, but I think that I do okay. I say that to say to you, no matter what you are doing today - whether it is celebrating Thanksgiving with the people that you love, or not, just take a moment and look at what is is that you have and not dwell on the things that you do not.  You'd be surprised at how fortunate you are!
Why don't you sit down - here, at Villa Blanca, and make a list.  Go ahead, get out a pen and paper and make a list - I dare you!  Enjoy your day, with gratitude...Love & light, Carla

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dancing With The Stars ~ Meet Urban Ballroom Dancing!

ABCs Dancing With The Stars is in it's 13th Season, and they have narrowed it down to 3 couples.
Whew! What, with 3 couples having to do so many routines in one evening -
The Tango, Cha-Cha, The Waltz - and I enjoy watching every minute of it!
Motown Ballroom Dancers
~ But hold up!
Wait a minute ~ Stop the show!
 Someone needs to tell the Execs. over at
ABCs "Dancing With The Stars" about the Brothers in
Inglewood, CA who are considered the BEST in Urban Contemporary Ballroom Dancing.
Who might that be? To answer that question, I went to the man that educated me -
Roy (Bro.Roy) Dennis, Roy will tell you it's all about the history of Urban Contemporary Ballroom Dance and how this style of dance came to be called Urban Contemporary Ballroom Dancing.
Roy (Bro. Roy) Dennis
It got its start in Detroit, Michigan. There were three dancers - Capers Tyus, Tyrone Bradley and Linda Harris friends that grew up watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, and they developed their own techniques and methods of teaching ballroom dancing.

Capers Tyus taught his brother Michael and his sisters, Dorothy and Gwen - you see, as you might know, it takes two partners, executing the steps derived from the cha-cha. Well, Capers Tyus took the style of dance cross country, always dressed to the "Nines" and taught so many others throughout the United States the techniques.  This style of dance  - "A three count movement derived from the Cha-Cha, an International ballroom dance with a soulful beat!" - became known as,
the "Detroit Ballroom" and or "Motown Ballroom".

During the early 80s, Capers and Michael that have successfully competed all around the USA.
This dance has a soulful flavor and is an extract of International Ballroom.  They moved to Southern California, and continued to compete in the United States and Canada. In 1996, Capers Tyus(R.I.P) opened a dance studio in Leimert Park called "Dance in Motion", where thousands of people came to learn and dance this Urban flavored ballroom dance in night clubs throughout Detroit and LA.

Now, to fast forward, there is a group of gentlemen that Roy(Bro.Roy)Dennis and my friend
Lena Cole-Dennis introduced me to last weekend ~ I introduce you to, "The Gents".

 "The Gents" are a group of well dressed, intelligent Black men who are Masters of
Urban Contemporary Ballroom Dancing. These professional men(career professionals) have found a way to work within the community to do several things;

1) Carry on the Art of Soulful Dance with style

2) Get women to want to exercise on a regular basis, because the movement that is required to do the variety of dances that they do, keeps one on the move! These Gentlemen - "The Gents", make women feel  as if they are treasured and beautiful, no matter what size, shape, height, etc. Not judging or condeming the ones that are Full-Figured. Instead they welcome all, showing women that they can eat, socialize, look pretty and get their exercise in all within the same evening! Oh yes, these men go to work on the dance floor and the women follow - with a smile and grace.

It's a lovely thing, Urban Ballroom Dancing. It's a wonderful to actually see people of all ages and nationalities glide across the dance floor, having fun and exercising!

Hats off to Roy (Bro. Roy) Dennis and his entire team of people, from the reception area, Food Servers and Security ~ They are all professional and kind. Thank you all for your hospitality!

I would recccomend that everyone widen their horizons and take a course with friends and family. Practice for Wedding Dance Lessons, an office party with a twist, -  just try something new!
Contact: Roy (Bro. Roy)Dennis or Facebook or call 909.373.3954

All photos are the sole property of Urban Contemporary Ballroom Dancing, and Roy (Bro.Roy) Dennis,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Taste and Style Just Aren't Enough* - Hammer Museum

Curator Frank Sirmans and  Art historian Karin Higa, joins Gallerist Alonzo Davis, Vaughn Payne and Joy Simmons as they sit and discuss the climate that helped to create
 such fantastic artistic expressions during the 1960s and 1970s in Southern California, specifically,
Los Angeles. Taste and Style Just Aren't Enough* - Hammer Museum

Saturday, October 22, 2011

CareNow/LA - Oct 21, 2011

"Two-time Daytime Emmy®Award-Winning Host, Dr. Mehmet Oz...At The Largest Free Clinic Of Its Kind"

It was "Dark-Thirty" in the morning when we all arrived at the LA Sports Arena, on Friday.
What I mean is, the sun hadn't even come out yet.  We looked around, and who do you think was standing there in his scrubs, motivating the multi-faceted medical staff who had volunteered to help the 5,000+ people who waited in line patiently last Monday (Oct 17, 2011) to get the wristbands that would allow so many to receive free medical, dental and vision care Thursday - Sunday
(Oct 20-23, 2011).
The team were in full force with Dr. Mehmet Oz spending the day at the LA Sports Arena - yes Honey, Dr. Oz was in the house!

 It came as no surprise to find out first hand, how truly passionate and sincere Dr. Oz is regarding helping all of us, one person at a time, to become the best me, excuse me,
I meant to say, the best WE that WE can be! Nationwide, Americans are wrestling with diabetes, obesity, hyper-tension - all major issues that Dr. Oz is consciously taking people by the hand and making sure that they understand that this life we are living, is not a dress rehearsal. For real though...

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and his incredible Staff, are making sure that for the very first time, there will be follow-up appointments at the various clinics in the County of Los Angeles, for so many people; Don't get me wrong, the free health clinics are wonderful - but you mean to tell me there will be follow-up appointments made as well? Snap-Snap!- Say what?!) it was a new twist to a fabulous dance that we thought we already knew!

Do yourself a favor, take a moment and look around you. Do you like what you see? If so - great! Then you will learn to fine-tune what it is that you are doing that makes your life work for you.
If not, then you are going to be enlightened by truth. We all know that the truth will set you free!
Dr. Oz  is on weekdays -  Monday - Friday on KABC (LA, CA) -  3:00pm - 4:00pm PST.

Love & light,
(All photos and quotes in reference to Dr. Oz are taken from CareNow/LA, and are the sole property of , Sony Pictures, ABC7 Dr. Oz Show

Friday, October 21, 2011

CareNowUS.ORG - Day 2 of the 4 Day, Free Medical, Dental and Vision Care in LA

Today is day 1 of 4 for free medical, dental and vision care to anyone who waited in line on Monday, Oct 17,2011, at the LA Sports Arena. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and his excellent Staff, have been hands on since day one - They are on it! There are so many wonderful volunteers from various educational institutions, professional Dr's and RNs, LVNs and more, who have shown up and are here to help.

Thursday, Oct 20, 2011, there were 1,030 people were assisted.
Friday, Oct 21, 2011, many more will be assisted. The doors will open and many more will be taken care of, and there will be follow-up appointments as well. 

It is a beautiful thing when people from all walks of life, can go to a safe haven and receive the best dental, medical and vision care in the country!
The people who comprise 
really do care about the thousands of people that they assist. Over the next 3 days, thousands of people will receive the medical assistance that they really need. 

Today, we need more Dentists. If you or anyone you know can volunteer, please contact
- We need you!
(Photographer: Mohammed Al-Rawi. All photos are the sole property of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

South Africa Anniversary: Safari | Bernestine Singley | Article/Story/Poem/Essay | Red Room

South Africa Anniversary: Safari | Bernestine Singley | Article/Story/Poem/Essay | Red Room

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mark Ridley-Thomas CareNow/LA Clinic -

 Today the City and County of LA are offering free medical, dental and vision care. Go get your wrist bands - first come first serve, the first 5,000 people to show up at the LA Sports Arena will be seen this week!

IF you or anyone you know needs assistance please come on over! Spread the word!

Location:    LA Sports Arena is located at: 3939 Figueroa Street, LA, CA 

Love & light, 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Taste of Soul Festival Family Festival - October 15, 2011 10:00am - 5:00pm (btw Crenshaw & Rodeo Road)

Today is the 6th Annual Los Angeles Sentinel Taste of SOUL Family Festival! Every single year, the festival has more and more food vendors with a huge variety of excellent dishes to enjoy as you walk about, listening to great music - just look at a couple of the radio stations that are sponsors! - 94.7 The, There will be sooooo many talented people performing! I just love Denise Williams, Florence LaRueDoug E. Fresh, Lenny Williams,Sheryl Lee Ralph, Al B. Sure, Tyrese, J. Anthony BrownJohnny Gil, Goapele, Naughty By Nature, N'Dambi, Esnavi, just to name a few! 
Every year, it's been a very peaceful, family oriented event - Come on over to Crenshaw Blvd, and enjoy the day! Love, Carla
LA Sentinel's Taste of Soul Family Festival

Friday, October 14, 2011

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network - Lifelesson # 5 - Joy Rising!

Didn't I tell you that you'd learn something positive and helpful from Oprah's Life Classes? So, tomorrow on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, is
 Lifelesson # 5, Joy Rising!
So, do yourself a favor and watch that episode and let me know how all of the positivity that you've observed these past few days on OWN have affected you. You see, Oprah wants YOU to be the best that YOU can be - word?

Love & light,

(All photos/atwork are the sole property of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

OWN: Life Lesson # 4 - The Truth Will Set You Free

OWN: Life Lesson # 4
These past few days on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network - Oprah really gets down to the heart of the matter regarding improving ones life.
Those of you who believe in Jesus Christ know that beyond a reasonable doubt that in the Bible, at John 8:32, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives and while there he said some of the most prophetic words, "You will know the truth and the truth shall set you free."
Tune in this evening and listen and learn. Oprah is going to break it down in Oprah's Lifeclass # 4! Today's topic is: The Truth Shall Set You Free.
I'm a life long student and will be in class this evening - you coming?

Note to self: Do not be ego tripping - Lifelesson # 1
Truly, Carla

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Aretha Franklin ~ Nessun Dorma (Re-Upload From Former Account)

Happy Born Day, Luciano Pavarotti!

Grammys 1998 ~ Aretha Franklin performed live at a moment's notice for Luciano Pavarotti. Ms. Franklin delivers a beautiful rendition of Nessun Dorma that I still cannot forget. Each time that I listen to this eloquent performance, it gives me goose bumps and makes me so proud!

Love & light, Carla

OWN: Life Lessons # 3: You Become What You Believe

Life is all about learning and growing. Oprah Winfrey is opening up her heart and mind to help people around the globe free their minds. Are you ready? Let's GO!
Tune in to Oprah Winfrey's OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) is opening up the doors through a series of Life Lessons:
 #1) False Power of Ego w/ Eckhart Tolle
 #2) Letting Go of Anger w/ Dr. Iyanla Vanzant
 #3: You Become What You Believe  - Have Faith in Yourself
 #4) The Truth Will Set You Free 
 #5) Joy Rising ( The Car Giveaway)

There comes a time when we have to step back and assess what it is that we want out of life. There are many many different paths we can take to get where we want to go. I was always taught that you are what you think you are - and that is real!

(All photos and information are the sole property of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Letting Go of Anger - Oprah's Lifeclass # 2 ~ OWN: Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Iyanla Vanzant

In general, I am known as a Peace Maker. Always have been the one that can use words to calm people down and make them see that violence is not the answer. As my Great-Aunt Theresa  Evans says,
" I am a kind, loving person, but I've got some piss and vinegar in me too!"

Have you ever gotten so angry with someone until you just tear up and walk away in order not to haul off and slap them? I've been there. So many of us have been to the brink of being so angry that we just have to walk away - or else! 
Well, this evening, Oprah Winfrey and
 Dr. Iyanla Vanzant are going to sit down and discuss a universal topic that creeps into every last one of our lives at one point or another and that is "Letting Go of Anger". Tune into  the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and learn how one can "manage" being angry. You know why? Because as Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Iyanla Vanzant have proven, by example, in their lives -
 "Life is too short" to walk around angry. Talk about it and let it go!

Click on the link and visit or go to OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network on Facebook.
You won't regret it...
Love & light,
(All photos are the sole property of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network,
and Dr. Iyanla Vanzant's photo is from

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Woke Up Feeling Eartha Kitt ~ C'est Si Bon (1962)

This morning I woke up feeling like the fabulous Eartha Kitt.   
Al Young, Poet Laureate of California....(Courtesy Photo) did a fabulous job of remembering Ms. Eartha KittVisit. You Tube and watch the video -  C'est Si Bon ~ Ms. Kitt is truly fabulous ~

C'est Si Bon ~

 Enjoy your day!
Smooches, Carla

Sunday, September 25, 2011

22nd Annual HAL Awards in Beverly Hills, CA

There will be a Tribute to Heroes and Legends on Sunday, September 25, 2011, at the Beverly Hills Hotel, in the beautiful city of Beverly Hills, CA. This year, the Honorees are:
Ray Parker JR., Sonja Norwood, Jay Brown, and the Temptations. The Mistress of Ceremonies will be the  highly favored  Jo-Marie Payton

Created by songwriter and Motown Alumna, Ms. Janie Bradford, who states ," The Heroes And Legends (HAL) Scholarship Foundation was created to give recognition to "at risk" youth " The Foundation was also created to give recognition to those who embrace what Ms. Bradford has accomplished in the community, on a global basis,  through this recognition.  
'The primary purpose of HAL is twofold: First, to help talented young people in the community realize their lofty -but- attainable dreams of shaping careers for themselves in one of the many performing arts.
We do this by providing much needed scholarship funds.
Secondly, HAL spotlights positive role models from many diverse backgrounds,
including leaders in the fields of music, theatre, motion pictures and business each year at the
Annual HAL Awards and Scholarship Dinner, Silent Auction, Dinner and Awards.'

If you'd like to support the HAL Scholarship Foundation, please get in contact with them -
361 South Oakhurst Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 or or call 310.274.1609

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's Been 10 Years Since You've Been Gone

Dear Dad, It's been 10 years since you've laid down with my Ancestors. You were born on purpose with a purpose, and through which we, your children came through you. If you and Mother had not decided to take a chance and love each other, against all odds, I would not be here. So, I just wanted to let you know that all the rides that I got a chance to take on your shoulders, all the walks through San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, all the sand castles that we built in the sand box, all the pushes on the swings that you gave us, all the walks through the rain in the Golden Gate Park with you and Mother, all the trips to Petrini's Market on Fulton and Masonic,  and Gene's Market on the corner of Hayes St., just around the corner from our apartment at 825 Masonic - are not forgotten.

You served this beautiful country, this United States of America, in the Navy - and you proudly wore your years of service like a badge. Although you were in a terrible car accident a few years after getting out of the Navy, and paralyzed from the neck down, you still managed to somehow make me feel like the most blessed, beautiful baby girl in the world! I can still here you say, " You are my heart piece, and Daddy loves you, loves you!" Oh Daddy. Despite being a quadriplegic, and on an emotional roller coaster - angry, sad, grateful and mad  at times,  you always managed to shift gears emotionally to let us know that you loved us. To tell us that all of us were conceived in love was a beautiful thing. I thank you and Mother for that.
I carry that love with me today and always, Dad. Missing you, your baby girl, Carla
( My Dad was buried with full regalia at Golden Gate National Cemetery.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Black Business Association Honors Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn @ City Club On Bunker Hill, LA, CA

Last evening, the Black Business Association, held a private reception for The Honorable Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn, at City Club On Bunker Hill.

There was a wonderful turnout of people from all across the USA, there to welcome Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn, who was nominated as a member of the Federal Communications Commission on June 25, 2009, and sworn in by the President of the United States, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a five year term, which runs until June 30, 2012. President Obama, swore in Commissioner Mignon Clyburn on August 3, 2009.

Commissioner Clyburn has a long history of public service and dedication to the public interest. Currently, Commissioner Clyburn is the publisher and general manager of The Coastal Times, a Charleston-based weekly newspaper that focused primarily on issues affecting the African American community. She owned and operated the family-founded newspaper following her graduation from the University of South Carolina, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Banking, Finance & Economics.

Prior to her swearing in as Commissioner, Ms. Clyburn served for 11 years as the representative of South Carolina’s sixth district on the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSC).
She was sworn in for her first term in July 1998, and was subsequently reelected in 2002 and 2006. She served as chair of the PSC from July 2002 through June 2004.

For more information regarding BBA, please contact Earl 'Skip' Cooper, II
President and CEO of BBA
323-857-4600 or -

It was an honor to meet so many amazing people -Assemblymember Steven C.Bradford, former FCC Commissioner, Rachelle Chong, Vice President of Government Affairs, California Region - Comcast Cable, Kim Anthony, President of Urban Leadership Network, from the Honorable Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa's office - Linda Smith, Managing Director, Public & Private Partnerships, Office of Economic & Business Policy - Small Business, James V. Burks, Special Projects, Community Arts Division and Marilyn F. Solomon, MBA OBE, Solomon Leadership Foundation SLF, Honorable Judge Kevin Ross and the lovely Marva Smith Battle Bey, Executive Director of the Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation.

I'd like to thank Steven D.Turner, managing director, Slaton Group - for the invite - it was a lovely!
Angela Kronenberg - Wireline Legal Advisor, Office of Commissioner Mignon L.Clyburn, you are awesome!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Branford Marsalis Quartet | Orange County Great Park

There are so many wonderful things happening here in Southern California this summer!

Today, July 9th, the Orange County Great Park marks the debut of two new Park developments in Orange County, CA - The Palm Court Arts Complex and the North Lawn sports field, which are both part of a $70 million Western Sector Park Development Plan, which will eventually increase the size of the Park to more than 200 acres. The Orange County Great Park is actually larger then Northern California's historical Golden Gate Park located in San Francisco (which is 200 acres, and was built in 1093). The Orange County Great Park is considered to be the largest park built in the 21st Century - amazing!

Want to listen to some live Jazz? The incomparable Branford Marsalis Quartet will be performing at the Orange County Great Park on August 6, 2011 @ 8:00 PM - Branford Marsalis Quartet Orange County Great Park.

I tell you, thanks to The Orange County Great Park, the summer of 2011 offers everyone in Southern California a fun activity filled summer!


(Great job, Brendan McDevitt! I'd like to wish Brendan and Avis' eldest son, Jordan, a Happy Birthday! You are a blessing and a joy, Jordan McDevitt!)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Haters A Poem by Maya Angelou

A hater is someone who is jealous and envious and spends all their
Time trying to make you look small so they can look tall.
They are very negative people to say the least. Nothing is ever
Good enough!

When you make your mark, you will always attract some haters…

That’s why you have to be careful with whom you share your
Blessings and your dreams, because some folk can’t handle seeing
You blessed…

It’s dangerous to be like somebody else… If God wanted you to be
Like somebody else, He would have given you what He gave them! Right?

You never know what people have gone through to get what they

The problem I have with haters is that they see my glory, but they
Don’t know my story….

If the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, you
Can rest assured that the water bill is higher there too!

We’ve all got some haters among us!

Some people envy you because you can:
a) Have a relationship with God
b) Light up a room when you walk in
c) Start your own business
d) Tell a man/woman to hit the curb
(if he/she isn’t about the right thing)
e) you are a strong person and don’t let people run you over
f) you have a strong and loving marriage and they can’t get in-between spouses to spoil it

Haters can’t stand to see you happy.
Haters will never want to see you succeed.
Most of our haters are people who are supposed to be
On our side (like some family and friends).

How do you handle your undercover haters?
You can handle these haters by:

1. Knowing who you are & who your true friends are

2. Having a purpose to your life: Purpose does not
Mean having a job. You can have a job and still be

A purpose is having a clear sense of what God has called you to be.
Your purpose is not defined by what others think about you

3. By remembering that what you have is by divine
Prerogative and not human manipulation.

Fulfill your dreams! You only have one life to live…when its your
Time to leave this earth, you want to be able to say, ‘I’ve lived my
Life and fulfilled my dreams, Now I’m ready to go HOME!

When God gives you favor, you can tell your haters, ‘Don’t look at
Me…Look at who is in charge of me…’

Pass this to all of your family & friends who you know are
Not hating on you including the person who sent it to you.

If you don’t get it back, maybe you called somebody out!
Don’t worry about it, it’s not your problem, it’s theirs.
Just pray for them, that their life can be as fulfilled as
Yours! Watch out for Haters…BUT most of all don’t become

Maya Angelou

Friday, May 13, 2011

Stevie Wonder "If It's Magic"

I just love this song so much! Happy Born Day, Stevie Wonder!

Love & light,

Happy Born Day Stevie Wonder!

Today is Stevie Wonder's birthday and I am truly glad to be able to have lived in the same time/space/continuum. Why? Because his music is amazing. As a children growing up in our household, our Mother would put on one of Stevie Wonder's albums, playing them until they warped!
Some would say that Stevie Wonder's music is prophetic, therapeutic and can cause you to reflect on your life - Lyrics that soothe the soul, make you happy, making you want to jump up and dance, put you in the mood for love, or, sit down and make you take a long hard look at the World; Stevie Wonder's music can make makes you think about current events, religion, the sun and the moon, rocket jets, or even random acts of kindness - your present life and contemplate on one's future.

Side bar: I met Stevie Wonder in the lobby of the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel) - thus the photo of the lobby.

So I'm taking a moment to reflect, with Sissy(my sister), on the life and the legacy of Stevie Wonder. Congratulations Stevie, on receiving an honorary degree from Tulane University, New Orleans, LA!

We love you Stevie Wonder!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day - A Native San Franciscan's Perspective

There were no birther issues - I was born in San Francisco, CA - the 31st State to be admitted to the Union, at Letterman General Hospital located on the Presidio Army Base -to Gladys and Albert Spells Thomas Sr. My Father proudly served in the Navy and my Mother worked in private industry.

My Mother had a clear job description for us children; be respectful and obedient to your parents and grand parents, respect other adults, do your house work and home work, get good grades and have f-u-n!

It was our job.

Why? Because my parents believed that since childhood is such a short period of time, children should not have to worry about adult problems.
I clearly remember the mornings that my Mom got us bathed, clothed and fed, and my Dad took us to play in Golden Gate Park in the mornings. My grandfather would pick us up after school on Wednesdays and take us to Golden Gate Park to play as well. It was our routine.

It all seems like yesterday.

My father was in a terrible car accident that rendered him a quadriplegic 6 months after my brother, Stuart's death - SIDS - and my Mother had to deal with the death of a child and a husband with special needs and raise her surving children. Wow. Mother, you are my Super Hero. You still found time to love and care for us, despite the other things crowding in on our time/space/life. Without your love, we don't know where we'd be.
Mother, we'd like to thank you for always being there for us, making sacrifices for us and making sure that we as siblings were taught to care for, like and love one another - look out for one another. Mother, Al, Carla, Valerie, Detroit, Rebecca and Malisa love you very much - This I know for sure.

Hats off to you women that took the time to realize that children don't ask to be born, but once here, they deserve quality time, love and attention.

To all of the Mothers whose hearts allowed enough space in them to love and nurture children that were birthed by another Mother, but loved by you -
May you continue to be blessed 1,000 fold.

Truly with love & light,

A Bridge to Strawberry Hill - Stowe Lake - Golden Gate Park -

Sunday, May 1, 2011

2011 African Goodwill Recognition Awards - Ambassadors of Goodwill

Saturday evening, April 30, 2011, in African tradition, African Focus, Inc.,
Hosted its 8th Annual African Goodwill Recognition Awards Ceremony 2011, honoring the "Ambassadors of Goodwill" at the Veterans Memorial Complex, in Culver City, CA.

The MCs for the evening were Monie Mon, Michael Coylar and Razaaq Adoti, were keeping the audience on our feet with lots of laughter and entertainment! Keith David (Voice of the character, Dr. Facilier in The Princess and The Frog) was one of the Presenters as well as Lara Okunubi.

Her Excellency Josephone Elechi - Wife of the Governor of Ebonyi State Nigeria

I sat at my friend, Dawn Sutherland - VP Finance /Controller at Xerox Corporation's table; also seated at Dawn's table, the South African Consul General Cyril S. Ndaba and guest, Jessie -Entrepreneur, Karen - A Writer for International Travel/Tourism, Darrell G. Smith - VP Marketing, The Africa Channel, Roni D. Williams of Pramount Pictures, and a gentleman from Zimbabwe.

African Focus, Inc., Uchenna Nworgu, Founder - Executive Director, gave a very compelling opening address, encouraging us all to focus on Mr. Nworgu's organization's Mission Statement:
"Our focus is to promote growth and well being of Africans all around the world through knowledge and appreciation of one another as well as building a bridge of love and understanding with other people."

Moza Mjasiri-Cooper, born in Zanzibar, Tanzania was selected as one of the Honorees for 2011. Moza is an accomplished, very intelligent, well spoken, well read woman that is a Princess and a Warrior - a woman of strength, courage and wisdom; she is remarkably kind and has a heart and a happy spirit, and I count her as my friend. Congratulations, Moza and family -

I salute you - as well as your fellow recipients and their families.

The Host African Countries:
Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Sierra Leone

The Host families : Mr. & Mrs. Damiania Kigoye, Elder Uzoma N. & Mrs. Ijeoma Nwasu , Dr. Solomon & Mrs. Henrietta Egbuho, Mr. Ikechukwu & Mrs. Chika Onyebalu, Mr. Ike and Mrs. Chika Onyebalu, Arthur & Mrs. Vanessa Ssembusi, Mr. Mboyo Djweya, Dr. Daniel & Mrs. Hope Williams, Honorable Dr. Hillary & Chief Mrs. Uloma Ihenacho, Dr. Tom Spencer-Walthers and Chinelo Udo.

The welcoming of His Royal Highness King Julius I. Osuchukwu, Obaire of Eziama Obaire, Imo, State of Nigeria, the 2011 Induction Presiding King, was something one can never forget - it was an honor to stand and cheer the entire court.

Special acknowledgment of appreciation goes to Professor Adebowale Adefuye, Nigerian Ambassador to the USA.

Inductees - Countries:
Assemblymember Steven C. Bradford - Uganda
Betty Arnold - Nigeria
Orlando Love - Nigeria
Caroline V. Brown - Uganda
Linda Smith - Nigeria
Vincent Southerland - Nigeria
Rosalind Pennington - Nigeria
Dr. Zyra McCloud - Nigeria
Mel Hughes - Sierra Leone
Sherice Norris - Nigeria

My friend Dawn Sutherland was also the Presenter of Betty Arnold's Ambassador Award - congratulations, Betty Arnold and family!

All of the tables were full to capacity, there were hundreds of well dressed men, women and children on hand to celebrate the past, connecting it to the present and into the future lives of the 2011 African Goodwill Award Honorees.

The 2011 Honorees were:
Bishop Noel Jones - City of Refuge - The Brothers Keeper Award

Omotola J. Ekeinde - Goodwill & Achievement Award

Ambassador of Goodwill Award
Her Excellency Josephone Elechi - Wife of the Governor of Ebonyi State Nigeria
Namdi Asomugha - NFL Cornerback
Betty L. Arnold - VP, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt - Xerox Corporation
Moza Mjasiri - Cooper - CEO - Black Art Los Angeles, Non-Profit Organization

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the AFI Vision, the event was a success! Thank you, Emmily Alexander, Co-Founder & President of the Homecoming Study in Africa, Board Member, Carol Barton-Forbes - CEO and the entire Executive Working Committee of AFI - Especially Patrick Anyawoke for all of your help - Hats off to you all for a job well done!

Entertainment Line up: Marva Smith, Vivian Love, Young Wisdon, Melissa McCloud, Vivian Nwokocha, Jamorra Styles, Precission Dance Company and Akalaka Dancers Dancers.

Award Models: Daisy Noelle, Ada Azubuike and Lovelyn Alobwede

Sponsorship : The Africa Channel, in conjunction with Ethiopian Airlines, Toyota, Hansen's Natural, UnionBank, MoneyGram, OurWeekly Magazine, Avlon, The Immigrant Magazine, Clear Essence, A&A International Shipping Inc., Healthline Foundation, Africa House ,
Marine Enterprise African Gift Store - Rodney Garcia 310.874.4952

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Madea's Big Happy Family - Go See It!

Last evening, Leonard and I decided that we needed a real good laugh, you know, something to take our thoughts off of other things that are currently happening in the world. We heard on KJLH Radio that Tyler Perry's "Madea's Big Happy Family" was opening up tonight. So, we jumped into our whip and headed to The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center to the 8:15pm showing of "Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Family". We got there early so that we could get some good seats because the theater was packed with people rushing to see the movie. Tyler Perry's Mother wit and timing was excellent! The film makes one think about the choices that they make regarding business, family, spouses and life.

The entire cast was excellent. Tyler Perry truly gets into character as Madea, bringing home major thoughts and ideas regarding what's important and what's not. Loretta Divine's character, Aunt Shirley, is a kind, loving, caring mother that gives so much to her children and they take and take and take advantage of her. You've just fall in love with Aunt Shirley. Shad "Bow Wow" Moss plays the teenage son, Byron, who has a son and gets involved with women that seem to be concentrated on making Byron a "Bad Boy" for life. Shad "Bow Wow" Moss is one of my favorites in film and off the screen. He is one of the most respectful teenagers that I've ever met in Beverly Hills.

I wish Tyler Perry, Loretta Divine, Shad "Bow Wow" and the entire cast much continued success! You all are ON IT!!!

For theaters and showtimes, please visit: Tyler Perry's "Madea's Big Happy Family"

Love & light,

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- From The Mountain Top

There's so much irony w/regards to American and British history.

On April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., gave his last heart wrenching speech,

" I Have Been To The Mountain Top".

On April 4, 1968, a sniper took his life, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Just thinking about how and why he was murdered still brings tears to my eyes.

If only Dr. King Jr. could see that he paid the price for Global change. If only he could see how far we have grown as a Nation in 43 years.

Dr. King Jr., if only you could see the first Black President - President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama break down barriers; yesterday they traveled across the ocean to the U.K., for the G20 Conference. During the G20 Reception at Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II, of England, broke protocol to embrace the First Lady.

This is a first in British and American history.

It was truly symbolic of change.

Dr. King Jr.,The Obamas' would make you proud. They are intelligent, capable, fearful of God - and they love each other. President Obama and his wife are what you hoped and prayed for. They are what we need Globally today to help move this beautiful country forward. Why? Because they represent red, yellow, black, white and brown. They represent America.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dame Elizabeth Taylor - February 27, 1932 - March 23, 2011

Founding International Chairman and Secretary of American Foundation for AIDS Research, one can honestly say that helping people is what English born, Classic American Hollywood Star - Dame Elizabeth Taylor did so well by spending her time and dispelling the ignorance and raising the consciousness of so many people regarding HIV/AIDS - stating,

"Well, I kept seeing all these news reports on this new disease and kept asking myself why no one was doing anything. And then I realized I was just like them. I wasn't doing anything to help."

As the late Michael Jackson, a long time friend of Dame Elizabeth Taylor said in song, "I'm starting with the man in the mirror..." Will you do the same? Why not donate your time and resources to making AIDS a thing of the past...The following people at amfAR are setting a prime example of what we can do to make a difference in this world. I call these people Warriors for a cause - making a difference every single day of their lives - hats off to you all at amfAR!

Rowena Johnston, Ph.D. - Vice President and Director, Research

Kent Cozad - Director, Grants Administration and Compliance

Marije Klep - Grants Administrator

Jordan Kramer - Grants Administrator

Russell Ramm - Grants Administrator

Lisa Chiu - Coordinator, Prevention Science

Research Program
120 Wall St, 13th floor
New York, NY 10005
(212) 806-1600
fax (212) 806-1601

Make that change.

R.I.P. Dame Elizabeth Taylor.

We love you!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Disney & KaBOOM Makes Children In Inglewood's Playground Dreams Come True!

Just imagine, you are a child and you are asked to draw your Dream playground, and Disney and KaBOOM! makes it happen!

Disney partnered with the City of Inglewood's Park and Recreation Division, KaBOOM! and Home Depot to build a community playground - a Dream playground that took a few hours to create - yes, done in a day!

KaBOOM! , a national non-profit organization, works with communities to build playgrounds ideally within walking distance of every child's home.

Disney and the City of Inglewood had so many helpful volunteers from the Staff at Disney and the Inglewood community, working shoulder to shoulder, to create a new playground for children ages 2-12. KaBOOM! truly believes that children everywhere should play in a nice clean, fun neighborhood park.

Queen Park, is located at 652 Queen St., Inglewood, CA 90301, right off of Prairie St. The park is very inviting with multiple slides, swings, 2 hopscotch courts, plenty of running and space!

Guess what? The City of Inglewood Parks and Recreation, supports the Let's Move initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama's active road map to eating healthy, getting active and taking simple steps to succeed in making "America's Move to Raise a Healthier Generation of Kids".
The City of Inglewood saw the need to create a garden that grows all kinds of wonderful veggies - green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes and so many other yummy veggies as well - and it is lovely!

Today the children living in the Inglewood community got the surprise of their lives when they got home from school today. I have to say, working with the people in the community like Ann and her beautiful daughter, Denzel, Pat, Jenny, and the Staff at Disney that volunteer to create great playgrounds like Queen Park, - I mean really good people, like my team member Rick
(a husband and a father of 3 children under the age of 5), Caroline and Adam, were genuinely happy to make the children of Inglewood's Dream playground come true.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Land of Promise: The Story of Allensworth

I will never forget the first time that I read about Colonal Allen Allensworth, who founded the self sufficient all Black Township of Allensworth - illegally educating himself and totally believing in Self Determination. Colonal Allensworth was a man that created ways out of situations when sometimes it looked like there was no way out. Colonal Allensworth dedicated his life to creating the kind of world that was inclusive of African Americans, carving a nice slice of the American Dream out of a piece of land in California. Colonal Allensworth survived being held in captivity, escaping being enslaved, fighting for his freedom in the military, climbing the ranks and being the highest ranking African American commissioned officers in the all Black 24th Infantry Regiment commissioned by President Grover Cleaveland. Colonal Allensworth never developed an inferiority complex, never accepting that Blacks were "less than"; during his lifetime, he dealt with all kinds of adversity and rose above it, even being the second colored Chaplain in the Army.
For more information, please read Alice C. Royal's book entitled: "Allensworth, The Freedom Colony -
A California African American Township" and please get in contact with, The Friends of Allensworth - The San Diego Chapter # 12
The video is produced by Pamela Harris Productions via You Tube.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

February 5, 2011 - The Kinsey Collection - What You Didn't Learn In High School History

Have you ever had a chance to sit down and talk to scholars about one of your most favorite topics - In this case American History - having thought provoking queries answered in a four part series?

Well, that is what it's like to get a moment in time to sit down in the same space/time continuum with Bernard & Shirley Kinsey as they lecture on the many accomplishments that African Americans have contributed to the unique history of America the Beautiful!
Bernard and Shirley Kinsey are sharing their knowledge - bringing multiple historical artifacts and documentation that provides invaluable information to the table - information that might be difficult to hear at times because the Kinsey's do not romanticize history, no, they state the facts.
Won't you join in celebrating the richness of our contributions to the Amercian Culture - today?
~ Dates: Feb 5, 12th, 19th, 26th - 2011
~ Time: @ 8:00pm - 11:00pm
~ Location: Ebony Repertory Theatre
Nate Holden Performing Arts Center
4718 West Washington Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90016
~ 323.964.9766
(If you are seeking knowledge and truth, you and your family will be there.)
Please do yourself a favor and pick up the Book, "The Kinsey Collection" so that you can reflect on the truths that are layered within the fabric that shaped, outlined and created the Majesty that is America.
This is information that should be passed down from generation to generation regardless of what your ethnic background is.
Love & light,