If you love the music of the Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Temptations, Stevie Wonder and more you will want to mark your calendar because tomorrow (Nov. 30th) Valray Productions presents An Annual showcase for Toys and a New York Musical by Roz Nixon’s “Get Ready: A Motown Revue,” at the Venice Theater, 7 Lock Street, in Manayunk off Main Street. Show time begins at 7 p.m.
Stemming from a theatrical background, it was fitting that Valray would grace Philly with her talent on stage in a musical, about musicians we all love. “I always had a love for the theater so I am going back to my roots and bringing something different to my audience.” Get Ready: A Motown Revue is the treat she is bringing to Philadelphia.
Roz Nixon, the creator of the play has produced several shows for 25 years. She is not new to this game. Roz is a Writer and Director of four critically acclaimed plays. Her love of music is what led her to celebrate Jazz legends. In the 90’s she wrote “Nothin’ But the Blues” and in 2000 Ms. Nixon presented “Dedicated to Louis Armstrong,” a salute to the greatest trumpeter of all times. The show traveled with the Bel Atlantic Jazz Festival and starred Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, Bernard Purdy and Jazz master John Hicks. “Dedicated to Louis Armstrong” was the first theatrical musical to ever be featured in a major Jazz Festival. Ms. Nixon also wrote ‘BILLIE’ a show that featured the key performances of the torch singer Billie Holiday and in 2011 she presented “SS Nirvana,” a story of Jazz & Love on the high seas.
Now as Motown celebrates its 60 anniversary, Nixon and Valray thought this New York play would be a great way to celebrate the music record company that started the career of many legends and would be a real pleasure to Philadelphia audience. Though the play consists of several New Yorkers, it also includes local artists like Valray who will be playing Mary Wells, Raiena Graham as Tammi Terrel and Dwight Smith as Marvin Gaye. Joining the cast are: Monifa White as Diana Ross, Matinez Little as Stevie Wonder, Priceless as Gladys Knight and Get Ready Cast as The Temptations.
To read more Philly Beat visit SCOOP USA Media, November 29, 2019, page 10
A message from Yanina
Eighteen years ago, Bobbie Carter, the mother of 9-children, (I was the youngest), passed from complications associated with diabetes. That is what I have learned to say over the years. We, helplessly watched our mother suffer with the crippling disease: First, losing her eye sight which was devastating since she was a reading aide at Heston School, 54th and Lansdowne, for well over 28 years. Then she had ulcers on her feet with the doctor’s request for amputation, but surgery was impossible because she had four (4) heart attacks and three (3) strokes. Watching her go from the pill, to insulin, then on dialysis 3-times a week, was heartbreaking. We watched her go through all the complications associated with diabetes: blurred vision/ blindness, heart attacks/strokes, Kidney issues and nerve problems causing amputations.
Diabetes has stricken my family leaving only two members without diabetes… my seven other siblings were diabetics. Did you know that if you have diabetes in your family, you could also eventually be diagnosed as a diabetic. So, who is at risk of getting diabetes:
If it runs in your family/heredity, kids, people over weight, people who don’t exercise, people who don’t eat lots of fruits and vegetables, people who are pregnant (gestational diabetes), people who are African American, Latinos, Asian, and Native American.
To read more Philly Beat visit SCOOP USA Media, November 8, 2019, page 13
Not a word was spoken as they watched in amazement the courage, strength and the story of a legendary woman, Harriet Tubman.
Harriet Tubman who stopped at nothing to free over 300 slaves when there was no hope. A special screening of "Harriet" was held earlier this week and through a special giveaway, guests from Scoop were invited to see the movie in advance. And according to the response of the crowd, they were amazed and fascinated by movie.
So often you think you know things and in a minute you find, they are not true... that was the case for me and many moviegoers agreed. “I was not here during that time period and neither were you,” said Trudy Haynes who joined me at the screening. “Just to see her overcome those obstacles was exceptional and amazing,” she added.
Congrats goes to Cynthia Erivo who plays the fearless leader and is surely gunning the Oscars.
From her escape from slavery through the dangerous missions she led to liberate hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad, the story of heroic abolitionist Harriet Tubman is told. Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.
To read more Philly Beat visit SCOOP USA Media, November 1, 2019, page 10
I don’t know if you are aware that after hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and caused major destruction and lost lives, crime was at a high and police corruption was on the rise. Like all over the world, stories of police brutality, corruption and those killed by the hands of cops were headlining the daily news. “With the implementation of the body cam (camera) things have begun to change,” said Deon Taylor, director of the controversial film, “Black and Blue,” in theaters this weekend.
The film takes place in New Orleans, the crime shown here is the same as the crime we see every day on the news.” Deon explained, “I am really going crazy about this movie, to have an African American female hero in a movie. It is a big deal as a director to shoot this.”
“We never would have thought that almost 10 months ago this movie would be released at this time. It is pretty special and for you to be able to turn on television and see folks wearing body cameras, or the use of cellphones just blew our minds,” Deon explained. The movie speaks the truth. He said he is shouting to everyone that Naomi should be recommended for all awards, for what she did in “Black and Blue.” It was different, being the first African American female hero. “Here you see an action movie that basically says look at the film and have a good time and in between the story and the ride you are getting a power message. It takes a lot to do that and Naomi delivers it.
“Black and Blue” is the story of a rookie police officer in New Orleans who has to balance her identity as a black woman with her role as a police officer, when she witnesses other police officers committing murder.
Just how did Deon prepare for directing this movie? Deon said, “I am from a violent place - Gary, Indiana - which is the murder capitol. So I have witnessed police brutality and corruption. I have dealt with stuff like this in real life, having my own run- ins with police, knowing the fear of a cop pulling up behind you. If I hadn’t been part of the culture, I would not have been able to do the movie. So to prepare for this film I went to New Orleans and I stayed for two months before shooting the movie. I rode with the police and saw a new regime in New Orleans, people who are working towards change.”
See more Philly Beat SCOOP USA Media, October 25, 2019, page 10
Movies are overwhelming movie critics and lovers as Philly presents special screening with some highly anticipated African American films. To start off, Scoop is giving you a chance to go see “Harriet” during a special promotion. See movie pass giveaway (in next week’s newspaper) for the long awaited story of, “Harriet” which is the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s life. Harriet’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history. The film stars the exceptional performance of Cynthia Erivo and cast Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles.
Make sure you pick up your Scoop next week and Get your passes fast. The screening is October 28th.
Director Deon Taylor of “Black and Blue” will be in town next week to promote the movie. This week there was a reception and screening of the movie in preparation for his Philadelphia visit. In “Black and Blue,” a rookie Detroit cop stumbles upon corrupt officers murdering a drug dealer, an incident captured by her body cam. They pursue her through the night in an attempt to destroy the footage, and to make matters worse, they've tipped off a criminal gang that she's responsible for the dealer's death. The film stars Tyrese Gibson and Alicia West.
The talk all week is about the Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx movie, “Just Mercy” which shadows world-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson as he recounts his experiences and details the case of a condemned death row prisoner whom he fought to free.
Read more Scoop USA Media, October 18, 2019, page 10
It may be a little early but I am excited for November to arrive as the Bobbie Carter Foundation hosts its Annual Diabetes Games Night, on Friday, November 8, 6-9 p.m. at the elegant Divinity Hall, 6011 Market Street, for National Diabetes Month. All year long I have heard the cries of my friends who asked, “When is the games night?” The question was endless since last year we didn’t have this special fun night because I was the victim of a bad car accident that left me with many limitations. But before I embark on the necessary surgery I must have, the Games night is happening--thanks to the help of some good friends, members, volunteers and supporters.
Jerry Carr, CEO of Home Health Care Plus and the Divinity Hall, who has donated the hall to foundation for this special occasion, was so supportive hearing that the Foundation has been educating the public for the past 18 years about Diabetes through special events, workshops and the media, he too wanted to help with of the cause. In addition, Robin Brunson, of the Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement, is sponsoring the catering for the event. Robin also felt committed to supporting the cause. So many of us have someone we know who has been infected with diabetes and this is a different way to getting the word out about this silent killer.
So what is “Diabetes Games Night” it is a night of Price Is Right and Diabetes Family Feud. Guests will receive numbers and are called to be participants in the games. Prizes are donated from various organizations and companies including Bynum Brothers restaurants, Eagles, art museums, radio stations, art galleries and more. There will be door prizes every half an hour, a consolation table for those who don’t win, full dinner, wine sampling, a cash bar and special vendors... all while being educated about diabetes. For tickets or more information call 856-228-5040. More on this event to come as we hopefully acquire more sponsors, I will keep you informed.
Read more Scoop USA Media, October 11, 2019, page 10
The Philadelphia International Film Festival and Market brought in a lot of celebrities this past week. Most know that Idris Elba was in town and was spotted riding a horse in North Philly, Strawberry Mansion and more while in production for his new film, “Concrete Cowboys.” The film, which costars Stranger Things’ Caleb McLaughlin, is inspired by a real-life black urban horsemanship community in the City of Brotherly Love.
As a special feature this year’s Film festival, SAG (Screen Actors Guild) member Nakia Dillard, who was the dialect coach for Idris Elba in production of “Concrete Cowboys,” stopped thru for the SAG Seminar where those interested in the business was able to ask questions and get direction in the business. He is joined in the photo with Filmmakers Robert X. Golphin and Rel Dowdell.
Robert, provided a series of clips educating viewers about the life and times of Marian Anderson, a famous American vocalist whose home, which is now a museum, should be visited by all.
Read more Scoop USA Media, October 4, 2019, page 10
Did you see “Hustlers” this past weekend? What were your thoughts? Well last week, there was a special screening for the film and I must say there was a mixed audience response. I thought the guys would love the sexy women, who pranced around in skimpy dresses, or not much of a dress at all. But much to my surprise that didn’t captivate men enough. I think they were mad at the con these girls played on unexpecting men. But what really ruffled their feathers was this was a true story. … no one could phantom how these women got over on these guys. So many ran to see the movie, but all weren’t loving it.
Last night, celebrities and influencers gathered at the Apollo Theater in Harlem for the Special Screening of “Godfather of Harlem”, starring Forest Whitaker (Bumpy Johnson), Nigel Thatch (Malcolm X) Giancarlo Esposito (Adam Clayton Powell Jr.) and Ilfenesh Hadera (Mayme Johnson). The event concluded with a concert featuring Swizz Beatz and Rick Ross. Other celebrities in attendance included Dave East, Lil Mama, June Ambrose, Cuba Gooding Jr. and much more.
Read more Scoop USA Media, September 27, 2019, page 11
If you did not make it to Earl Harvey, Publisher of The Black Professionals News (BPN) Annual Black Professionals Holiday Gala, then you missed a good time.
Philly’s finest came dressed to impress in the beautiful ambiance of The African American Museum of Philadelphia, 7th and Arch Streets, for a night of fine dining and delicious cuisine served by Philly's premier black owned restaurants and caterers. The event featured vendors, swag bags, local celebrities, special guests, elected officials and performances by local musicians.
The Gala took place on all 4 levels and included entertainment with a Jazz Band, Karaoke, DJ's and a record release party for Starlene Bey, local new artist discovered by music legend, writer, musician and music arranger Norman Connors, who also discovered Phyllis Hyman, Angela Bofil and more. She gave a live performance of “Old Friend,” the first ever remake of Phyllis Hymans song of the same name, on her album, “Classy and Soulful.”
Read more Scoop USA Media, December 14, 2018
Hundreds of gifts were collected at the Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018 show at the Venice Island Theater of Performing Arts, in Manayunk, PA. during Valray Productions’ Triple “A”: All About Aretha Tribute at the Second Annual Showcasing for Toys Celebrations. The full house show, honored the works of Aretha Franklin through the voices of local and national jazz and R&B artists, while collecting donated toys for two local shelters, something Aretha was known to do in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
Read more Scoop USA Media, December 21, 2018.
There is no better way to celebrate the holiday then to enjoy some Christmas Carols, coco and a special visit from Santa Claus. Well Diva Nation Philly brought in the holiday with a Free Philly Holiday Festival at City Hall Court Yard, 1400 John F Kennedy Blvd. this past Sunday. The Courtyard was packed with guest who enjoyed the Christmas Village and atmosphere of the holiday. Diva Nation is a group of jazz singers who spread joy throughout the yard, they included: Maya Belardo, Momma T. Curtis and Starlene Bey. Closing the show, Starlene brought Philly’s best known Santa to the stage Doug Paige who passed out treats to the children. It was a great way to kick off that Holiday week.
Read more Scoop USA Media, December 28, 2018.
It’s funny as we close a year and begin a new one, everyone wants to reflect on what happened in the past year. Not like we can’t forget some of the headlining events that took place.
Instead of dwelling on all the crazy things that happened, I asked folks the question over the past month, “ What Was the Most Memorable Moments in 2018 that stand out in your mind?” Well this is what I found out: Here are the 20 top issues my readers remembered:
1. The first thing mentioned was that Bill Cosby was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault in Norristown, PA and gets to 3-to-10 years in prison.
2. The highly anticipated Marvel movie “Black Panther,” starring Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan, hit theaters
3. The 2018 Olympics held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where South and North Korea were both present.
4. The Question which made national headlines, “Would Oprah Winfrey run for President of the United States, against Donald Trump during the next Election?”.
5. Star Amandla Stenberg steals the hearts of many in the movie, “The Hate U Give”
Read more Scoop USA Media, January 4, 2019.
e is known as the Big Brother of Philadelphia, and if you know him you know that title fits him perfectly. Decades ago, Charlie Mac was known for his Celebrity Weekends, where he brought in some 30 or more celebrities to tour the city and youth detention centers, and to break bread with the community at Myers Recreation Center, 5801 Kingsessing Ave. Following that he held the annual Celebrity Basketball Game and over the past few years he has created over 5 movies for Netflix. Now he has produced a movie that is currently in the theater and it is one that holds a lot of power with its message.
Read more, Scoop USA Media, January 25, 2019
Okay you may have seen this already, but I didn’t so I am sharing it with you. Disney finally pulled back the curtain on their new movie, “Aladdin” which showed off Will Smith as the Genie. Fans were unhappy because he didn’t look like the animated movie Genie, but this is not animated so adjust.
However, Smith was quick to clarify matters when he confirmed that it was just his human disguise and the blue Genie would, of course, be making an appearance (courtesy of special effects).
Read more, Scoop USA Media, February 1, 2019
As we celebrate Black History Month, we got to give props to the youngest female director, Marsai Martin, the youngest twin of the hit television sitcom, “Blackish” is showing she isn’t just crafty in front of the camera bust also behind the camera in the soon to be released film, “Little” which was written, directed and stars the young actress who also plays Jordan Sanders. The 14-year-old actress is gearing up to be the youngest executive producer of a major Hollywood movie in history. The movie centers around a woman named Jordan Sanders (Hall), whose callous behavior causes her to become cursed by a little girl. Jordan then turns back into her 13-year-old self (Martin), who must relive her childhood. In an interview with The Root, Martin confirmed that the movie is inspired by Tom Hank's 1988 classic Big.
Read more, Scoop USA Media, February 8, 2019
Congratulations goes out Que Rainey and the team at WRTI for presenting an outlet for local young men in North Philadelphia to come and spit lyrics and do a little freestyle rap. Last week I had the pleasure to be invited and to the first Free Style Friday at WRTI radio station on Cecil B. Moore Avenue and was impressed. According to Que Rainey, who opened his door on Fridays to his in-home basement studio to get young guys off the street and corners, the concept to open up WRTI studio was inspired by Que’s story. Rainey has been doing this for years which sparked the current documentary, “Quest”which has received rave reviews while on its tour around the world. “Quest” is an intimate documentary film in which director Jonathan Olshefski captures 10 years in the life of a family living in North Philadelphia. Synopsis: Filmed with vérité intimacy for nearly a decade, QUEST is the moving portrait of the Rainey family living in North Philadelphia. Beginning at the dawn of the Obama presidency, Christopher 'Quest' Rainey, and his wife, Christine'a 'Ma Quest' raise a family while nurturing a community of hip hop artists in their home music studio. It's a safe space where all are welcome, but this creative sanctuary can't always shield them from the strife that grips their neighborhood. Que’s daughter, PJ becomes a victim of gun violence and lost an eye from a stray bullet that came from a block away. Epic in scope, QUEST is a vivid illumination of race and class in America, and a testament to love, healing and hope.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, February 22, 2019
.In Honor of Women’s History Month, The Free Library of Philadelphia recently hosted a screening of ”Sisters in Freedom” a new documentary from History Making Productions that tells the story of the brave black and white women who banded together to fight slavery before abolition. If you missed the screening the filmmakers will bring the movie, discussion, and some history making lessons to Philadelphia’s neighborhood libraries throughout March. On Wednesday (Feb. 27th), during the last week of Black History Month, the Free Library of Philadelphia, 19th and Vine streets and History Making Productions opened this Women’s History Month series with a screening of the complete documentary followed by a panel discussion. Writer Nathaniel Popkin facilitated a panel which will include Dr. Emma Lapsansky-Werner (Haverford College) and Dr. Kate Oxx (St. Joseph’s University.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 1, 2019
By now you know that Rami Malek, won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance as legendary rock star, Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody.” The story of the legendary rock band Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury, leading up to their famous performance at Live Aid (1985). Rami became the first Egyptian American to win an acting Oscar.
It wasn’t until after the Oscars I decided to see what all the hoopla was all about. I was familiar with Rami in numerous other roles in which he impressed me with is talent. But in “Bohemian Rhapsody” he transformed himself into the undeniable front man of the band Queen…like Diana Ross did with Billy Holiday in the blockbuster “Lady Sings the Blues” which she truly deserved an Oscar.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 8, 2019
Hey Scoop family, I just got back from Atlanta and had a good vacation which was well over due. After two car accidents last year my health has not been good. So going away for some needed stress free time was great! But my journalist mode is always on and I will tell you about my experience. A few years ago I worked with this great program called Communities In Schools which is a special program in Philadelphia Schools, as I was going down the escalator in the airport, what did I see… several billboards promoting their Communities In Schools program. I was so excited to see such big advertisement promoting the program. We need that support for our program here in Philly. Now I have been to ATL several times and this was a first time seeing this. One of the things we got a chance to do was check out the Oak Comedy Lounge, formerly Rapper TI’s club, and thanks to Maurice Sims Productions, of ATL Comedy Jams, who invited me and my friends out for a night of comedy. And it was! My friend, Jerome Dorm who was a photographer for the New Observer, who now has the Atlanta market on a lock down joined me and my best friend Sherry Riddick for the fun.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 15, 2019
Going to the special screening of the movie, “Us” written and directed by Jordan Peele, who also was responsible for bringing us, “Get Out.” Well, Peel does it again. A family's serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begins to terrorize them. In order to get away from their busy lives, the Wilson family takes a vacation to Santa Cruz, California with the plan of spending time with their friends, the Tyler family. On a day at the beach, their young son Jason almost wanders off, causing his mother Adelaide to become protective of her family. That night, four mysterious people break into Adelaide's childhood home where they're staying. The family is shocked to find out that the intruders look like and talk like them, only with grotesque appearances. “Us” comes out this weekend and you will find this one just as intriguing as his first hit, “Get Out.”
Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 22, 2019
Hey you guys! This week I am just giving you the gossip in the Entertainment business. There is so much going on I got to share and give you my input on the issues or my thoughts. Starting with Wendy Williams to whom I have met on several occasions during her stunt here on Power99FM. I have been in her presence, interviewed her, read her book and shared a moment with her and Patty Jackson at her book signing event here in Philly some years ago. Ten years ago when she acquired her own talk show, I was glad for her. The Oprah Winfrey Show was no longer being aired and it was a good time for new comers to try it as talk show hosts. It’s 10 years later and Wendy is still rolling strong. But the talk show host recently had a public meltdown and took a leave of absence from her highly successful show. Upon returning, Wendy revealed to her audience about her battle with addiction and relapsing. According to Wendy, each day she leaves the show and goes straight to a rehab facility which is her home for now. Well hats off to you Wendy for getting help! Unfortunately while doing so it was announced early this week that her husband Kevin Hunter’s mistress gave birth to his baby in Philadelphia. It is reported that he was dating this mistress for 10 years.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 29, 2019
On Monday, May 13, 2019 Men of Baca Scholarship Golf Outting on the Links will have Who’s Who on the field in an effort to raise money for their Bronze Association for Cultural Advancement Scholarship Fund. This annual event will feature many other activities including a silent auction, longest drive, closest to the pin, hole-inone contest and team prizes. Non-golfers may register to join us for cocktail hour and dinner. This is a perfect way to entertain clients and network with like-minded people in a relaxed atmosphere. A Brief History of … “MEN OF BACA” The Bronze Association for Cultural Advancement was founded in 1960.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 12, 2019
Have you seen the hilarious comedy “Little” which is just a start for Marasi Martin, the mind behind the movie, who plans to do more movies. But “Little” is drippin’ with Black Girl Magic! with the amazing stars Marasi Martin, Regina Hall and Issa Rae.
While Marasi stole the show, Issa Rae was a great counterpart for the little actress, together they had viewers rolling in their seats. I know Marasi was special, well she showed how special she was in this Universal Pictures production. If you haven’t seen it you must.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 19, 2019
Congratulations to my dear friend of 48 years Kym Smith who was one of the models for the in the Bloomingdale Goes Red Fashion show on April 18, 2019 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bloomingdale ‘s King of Prussia. The event featured several women heart attack survivors who were able to strut their stuff down the runway for a good cause. The purpose of the event is to shop for the perfect red dress or accessories at the 16th Annual Go Red for Women Luncheon while enjoying a runway presentation of this spring’s very best styles all modeled by survivors. Ten percent of all sales will go to the American Heart Association‘s Go Red for Women movement. The women looked fabulous and Kym shined with this funky one piece jumper. Hats Off to you all!
Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 26, 2019
I was saddened when I heard the Filmmaker John Singleton had passed at 51, following a stroke. I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Singleton several times during his brilliant career. He made a point to stop in Philly to promote some of those awesome movies, particularly, “Boyz n the Hood”, and “Four Brothers.”
I remember him talking about how he wanted to write stories about the African American experience. And no one could really tell that story unless they were a part of the experience. Well, what he set out to do he accomplished with his powerful debut movie, ”Boyz n the Hood”, for which earned him a nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, at age 24, the first African American and youngest person to have ever been nominated for that award. A native of South Los Angeles, Singleton continued to make statements with films, such as “Poetic Justice”, “Higher Learning,” and “Baby Boy”, as in addressed the implications of inner-city violence. He also directed the drama “Rosewood” and the action films “Shaft”, “2 Fast 2 Furious”, and “Four Brothers.”
Read More Philly Beat Yanina Carter, Scoop USA Media, Entertainment News May 3, 2019
I am going to make this week’s piece short and sweet. Here are a few folks you need to keep a look out for because they are blowing up.
Well of course I have to start with Marsai Martin, the mastermind behind the sensational movie, “Little,” and the youngest executive producer in Hollywood. Girls Trip's Regina Hall and Black-ish's Marsai Martin both star as Jordan Sanders - Hall as the take-no-prisoners leader, adult version of Jordan and Martin as the 13-year-old version of her who wakes up in her adult self's penthouse just before a do-or-die presentation. Issa Rae plays Jordan's long-suffering assistant April, the only one in on the secret that her daily tormentor is now trapped in an awkward tween body just as everything is on the line. “Little” is an irreverent new comedy about the price of success, the power of sisterhood and having a second chance to grow up - and glow up - right. Look out she has more projects under her belt, we will let you know what’s up her sleeves as we find out.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 10, 2019
One of Philadelphia’s finest, Lillian Mildred Edmunds McCray spent her life helping others, was called home on Friday, April 26, 2019 and will be missed by all.
Lillian Mildred Edmunds McCray also known as Mommy, Lil, and GG (Great-Grandmom) to her family and Ms. Potato Salad and Miss Lil to her friends and co-workers. Lil was born in Philadelphia, PA on August 18, 1945. She was the second daughter and fourth oldest of eight children born to the late Gerald Ransome Edmunds, Sr. and Fannie Mae Edmunds.
Lil was educated in the Philadelphia Public School system and graduated from West Philadelphia High School in December 1962. She also attended Peirce College and the American School of Banking in the late 1960’s. Lil married her childhood sweetheart, Donald Roy McCray and four children were born from this union; Lisa, Donna, Dionne and Donald II. She enjoyed and loved being with her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, brothers and sister and many family and friends.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 17, 2019
Wow this past week was awesome! I still have a smile on my face. It’s so rewarding to help people and to see the pleasure on their faces from your outreach. For the past 18 years the Bobbie Carter Foundation has been committed to educating the public about diabetes. This effort is done though our community outreach programs that includes: Diabete Sundays, Diabetes Games Night, Jazzin for Diabetes, Diabetes Night at the Pearl Theater and Diabete Workshops at Heston School in West Philadelphia on the corner of 54th and Lansdowne and Lancaster Avenues.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 31, 2019
Hope you got a chance to go to the movies over the holiday and to the beach… I did. Here is what you missed. Last week The Philly Beat gave out a few tickets to the screening of the movie, 'Ma' starring Octavia Spencer. She really has you fooled in this one. Ma, is a lonely woman who befriends a group of teenagers and decides to let them party at her house. Just when the kids think their luck couldn't get any better, things start happening that make them question the intention of their host.
Octavia shows a different side of her as a deranged woman who seeks friendship and attention from a group of kids who after several encounters finds herself to be very strange. Ma, will make you laugh while scaring you to death. A good one.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, June 7, 2019
Last week I had the pleasure of going to Atlantic City to the Tropicana Casino, thanks to Ray who has grabbed the rings after the passing of our leader, Mike Reed, Of Crisis Intervention Network. What is so wonderful about this group is they allow the Bobbie Carter Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded that educates the community about diabetes, to use their trips as a fundraiser. So, off we go, a bus load of supporters went out for a day of fun, food and shopping. While enroute to AC, I took the opportunity to educate the 46 riders about diabetes, the warning signs, who is at risk, and complications of diabetes. The information was followed by questions to the group and prizes were given out to those who answered them correctly. Special thanks to Allied Intergraded Marketing Group who have been a strong supporter of the Bobbie Carter Foundation since its inception in 2001. ********** Last Tuesday, I was invited to go to New York to see and review the Broadway Musical, “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations,” at the Imperial Theatre at 249 W. 45th Street, on Broadway. The play was PERFECTLY Presented with its dazzling, electrifying spectacular portrayal of one of the world’s Greatest groups of all time.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, June 14, 2019
Everyone keeps asking me who is getting a show of their own. That is what I teased some weeks ago, and I thought I answered that question. If you missed it here it goes… Zoey from the hit show, “Black-ish” is now headed to college and has her own spinoff called,
“Grown-ish.” We saw this happen with the “Cosby Show,” when Denise, went off to college and from that came, “Different World.” A spinoff of ABC's 'Blackish,' Zoey Johnson is off to college and must live outside the nest, dealing with drugs, sex, and relationships along the way. “Grown-ish”is contemporary take on the current issues facing both students and administrators in the world of higher education. Yara Shahidi portrays Zoey Dre (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow's (Tracee Ellis Ross) popular, entitled, stylish and socially active 17year-old daughter - as she heads off to college and quickly discovers that not everything goes her way once she leaves the nest.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, June 28, 2019
Hope you enjoyed your Independence Day/Weekend celebration. There was a lot going on in and around the city, but when I woke up on the 4th of July, I turned on the news which I do every day, and once again the news was bombarded with negative headlines, making it a little hard to put a smile on your face.
First the news reported the Earthquake that hit California, with predictions that a big catastrophic earthquake was set to happen and expecting major damage. Well, I translated that to the famous words, “Get Out”… but unbeknownst to me there was no major warning of evacuations. Nonetheless the earthquakes have continued. United States has had: 46 earthquakes in the past 24 hours and 163 earthquakes in the past 7 days. Furthermore, the aftershocks have been horrible.
Right after that news, I heard about the Miami Dolphins football player, Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton, 22, suffered multiple injuries in a car accident early Thursday morning that required his left arm to be amputated at the scene. Norton's agent, Malki Kawa, confirmed on Twitter that his client suffered multiple injuries in the car accident, including losing his arm. Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Alex Camacho said the Ford F250, Norton was driving crashed into a concrete barrier and overturned early last Thursday on State Road 836 near Miami. Norton was transported to Ryder Trauma Center with severe injuries to his arm, according to Florida Highway Patrol. Norton's girlfriend was also injured in the crash. She suffered minor injuries and is expected to be OK, CBS Miami reported.
Read more ScoopUSA Media, July 12, 2019, page 7
I am happy to announce that the October Gallery is holding its Black Art Expo this week at Franklin Mills Building #3 Near Starbuck/Burlington at the Amaze Art Gallery, 1535 Franklin Mills Cir, Philadelphia, PA 19154. The free admission event showcases over thousands of art pieces and will run from Friday, July 19 - Sunday, July 28. Show times are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Celebrating 34 years in the African American Art Industry the October Gallery has operated a physical art gallery in Philadelphia, PA since 1985. They are one of the oldest African American art galleries in the nation that has been connecting people with art for 34 years delivering magic and romance to the art experience.
Art will be provided by: Charles Bibbs, Ernie Barnes, Annie Lee, Bold Urge, Chet Highsmith, David Laurie Cooper, Leon McDuffie, Monica Key, Tyrone Frisby, and Marsha Sickles. The Philadelphia Art Expo was established in 1985 at 3805 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It operated from this location for nine years. During the 1990s October Gallery operated six locations: two in Philadelphia – Old City on 2nd Street and The Gallery Mall East on Market Street; one in Cherry Hill, New Jersey; one in Echelon, New Jersey; one in Burlington, New Jersey; and one in Washington, DC.
Today, October Gallery’s art gallery location is 6353 Greene Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144. It also operates a number of small kiosk locations throughout the Philadelphia region. From the beginning they have received support from many celebrities including Billy Dee Williams, Tom Joyner, former President Bill Clinton, Ella Joyce, Clifton Davis, Ice T, Darrin Henson, Issac Haynes and more.
Read More Philly Beat, Scoop USA Media, July 19, 2019, page 9
Hey Fam, did you check me out on Facebook Live, on the New World View with David Barnes, Yanina Carter and Que Rainey. We had a great show that I want to share with you. It is a small world and I must acknowledge this regarding the Poetry and Jazz event on Saturday, July 27th. My High School (Lamberton) brother informed me about the event and wanted me to go, but I didn’t know my other Lamberton friends were also involved. Hosting the event will be Vanessa West, Board member Daryn West, Philly’s Glen Bryant to whom I am also a friend and former co worker along with Lambertonian Leroy Patterson who will also be jamming with Glen. But what makes this night so awesome is we are all coming together for a good cause.
Dayna ICare Foundation presents Poetry and Jazz on Saturday, July 27th at the German Society of Philadelphia, 611 Spring Garden, Phila., PA doors open at 6 p.m. and features, live bands, Geno Marritt & the Spirit of Jazz from the DC area., Vocalist LiveMonet Britt, Glen Bryant and Friends. An array of poets including author Terri Lyons and special tributes to Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou will also be presented.
But what makes the night so nice is the cause. The purpose of the event is to raise funds for Ethiopia Project, according to Dayna, “We are a Christian, 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that provides food, clothes, shelter, and pastoral care assistance to underprivileged children locally, and abroad, regardless of race, color, or religion or creed.”The foundation also has a local "GIFT A GARDEN." Dayna's iCare Foundation provides needy families with children, garden supplies, vegetable seeds, and reference material to grow gardens, both locally and nationally. Dayna's iCare Foundation took a team (with young adults) to Puerto Rico in May 2019, where garden supplies were distributed to needy families, as part of the foundation's national "Gift a Garden" program.
Read more Philly Beat, ScoopUSA Media, July 26, 2019 page 8
On July 26, 2019, Philly’s loved photographer Robert Mendelsohn, passed at 61years old and he will be truly missed. Since the announcement condolences have been pouring out throughout the city from city officials, community organizations, newspapers, radio stations friends and family. Robert touched the lives of thousands and he travelled throughout the city to cover multiple events in one day, on the bus.
Like many, I had a special relationship with Robert as a photographer and friend. In my earlier years when I was hitting the club with my crew of friends, Robert was right there with us. He would dance with us and laugh at our shenanigans. As a photojournalist, he assisted me with multiple jobs and events doing what he does best, taking photos. When he saw I had dropped from the scene due to some health problems, he reached out to me to make sure I was okay. That was the kind of friend he was. My heart hurts for his lost, kind words and gentile soul. Robert Mendelsohn, you will never be replaced, but always remembered by all.
Read More PhillyBeat, Scoop USA Media, August 2, 2019 page 9
I would like to start by congratulating Dayna’s ICare Foundation for an exceptional Evening of Poetry and Jazz last week at the German Society, 611 Spring Garden Street. The purpose of the event was to raise money for child homelessness, hunger and nakedness locally and nationally. Locally they provide food, clothes, shelter and assistance to needy children. Nationally they provide supplies for gardens and other needed items for third world countries.
The night included vendors, poetry and jazz by Glenn Bryan and Friends and the Geno Marriott and Spirit Jazz from Washington D.C. The poetry was inspirational and the music was superb. The performance by singer LivMonet Britt, brought the audience to their feet. There was a raffle for Eagle paraphanella. Dayna and her board did an excellent job for their first jazz event. Hats off to you!!
Read more PhillyBeat, ScoopUSA Media, August 9, 2019
I recently had the pleasure of going to Cape May for a weekend, thanks to my friends at the Periwinkle Inn, 1039 Beach Ave. Not a big huge hotel overwhelmed with guests, the Periwinkle Inn Cape May’s original boutique hotel, is perfectly located across the street from the beach. The quaint hotel offers a wide range of amenities for every guest, from in-room kitchenette, wifi, clean and fancy décor which is welcoming, as well as a lovely staff. Known for its lush garden, sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and the towns promenade, this is a family owned business that has provided over 45 years of serving its guests. With this being said, it comes as no surprise the Pagano Family, who owns the hotel is getting a little attention right now.
Jennifer Rose Pagano, daughter of the owners, will be receiving the Women of Empowerment Award, for her mentoring young adults in the field of hospitality by the organization P.O.W.E.R (Professional Organization of Women of Excellence Recognized. This 18,000 membership based organization which features celebrities, A-listers and everyday hardworking women from different backgrounds, cultures and who work in various industries and professions.
POWER will be acknowledging Jen for her hard work. Jen is the daughter of the owners and works the front desk, constantly interacting with the guest and jumping through hoops to make everyone happy. In addition to comforting the guests, Jen also makes jewelry in which Jacqueline Smith, of “Charlies Angels” is interested helping Jen to get more exposure. According to Jen the news came to her unexpectedly. “ I was informed that I was getting the Women of Empowerment Award from POWER and that Smith was going to interview me about the hotel’s longevity and my jewelry. Nicely displayed is the lobby are a variety of pieces that Jen has the pleasure of showcasing and selling.
Read More PhillyBeat, ScoopUSA Media, page 9