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Cannabis Activist Ed Forchion Challenges New Jersey on Race, Reefer and Religion Before the U.S. Supreme Court

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Trenton, NJ – In perhaps one of the boldest moves in the recent history of marijuana activism, long time cannabis advocate and Trentonian newspaper columnist, Ed Forchion aka NJWeedman, and his lawyers, New Jersey attorneys Allan Marain, Esq. and John Vincent Saykanic, Esq., are challenging the state of New Jersey before the United States Supreme Court regarding pertinent issues pertaining to reefer, racial discrimination and religion. Forchion’s legal team filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court (US Supreme Court Docket – 15-8533) on March 8, 2016, presenting ten questions for review and response from the Court.
Per the subject of race and religion, as it relates to cannabis, the filing marks a landmark stance in the marijuana movement. Forchion considers the petition a direct challenge to recently revealed comments by former Nixon domestic policy chief, John Ehrlichman, that the war on drugs was a political assault against blacks and hippies. (http://tinyurl.com/http-www-cnn-com-2016-03-23)
The document leads with its most powerful query, directly asking the presiding judges, “Are New Jersey’s drug laws inherently discriminatory against African Americans and discriminatory as applied by law enforcement?”
In addition, the other questions presented to the Court include:
2. Has New Jersey decided an important federal question in a way that conflicts with other state courts of last resort as petitioner was precluded from arguing to the jury by way of nullification that marijuana should not be a substance proscribed by New Jersey as part of his defense at trial?
3. Is a state court of last resort in hopeless conflict with the United States Court of Appeals concerning First Amendment Free Exercise Clause as it relates to the right to use marijuana as a religious sacrament?
4. Does New Jersey’s criminalization of marijuana deprive Rastafarians of their sacramental use of cannabis in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act?
 
Read the full filing here:http://goo.gl/TKyvVl
 
“Twenty-three states and the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. have legalized the use of cannabis in some form or fashion,” cites Attorney John Vincent Saykanic. “But we still have an uphill battle to go. While marijuana has received more mainstream recognition and acceptance over the years, and has now evolved into a multi-million dollar legal industry in some parts of the country, a disproportionate number of people of color are sadly sitting in jail cells serving quite frankly, ridiculous and unfair sentences. I have worked tirelessly with Forchion over the years because I believe his legal battles serve the greater interest of many. This U.S. Supreme Court filing is perhaps one of our loudest legal statements yet.”
 
“I’ve always known the marijuana laws are racist and I’ve always thought of marijuana legalization as a civil rights issue,” expresses Forchion. “States throughout the South began implementing drug laws as part of the explicitly racist Jim Crow system, with Southern lawmakers being quite open about the racist motivations behind the laws. Northern states such as New Jersey stripped offensive racist language from their official legal statements, but their anti-drug policies were hardly less racist.”
Forchion is encouraged by US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s recent endorsement of jury nullification (see http://goo.gl/YA5zOS ) and further argues that, “all marijuana defendants should be allowed to present these facts to jurors and encourage nullification verdicts”.

Forchion’s long standing battle for marijuana law reform has been documented for over two decades. Considered by many as the “grandfather of marijuana reform in New Jersey,” Forchion is a bone cancer patient who states he needs marijuana for his symptoms.
Amongst his many trials and tribulations, Forchion pleaded guilty in 2000 to charges of conspiracy to distribute and marijuana possession and was released on parole after serving 18 months on a reduced sentence. He was arrested again in Burlington County, N.J., in 2010 on marijuana possession and distribution charges. He has fought those charges. Forchion argued his medical condition gave him a “medical necessity” defense to possess and appealed the decision to the NJ Supreme Court and now the US Supreme Court.
Forchion achieved Hollywood notoriety when he opened a marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles in 2008, saying it was a temple that used marijuana as part of its religious ceremonies. The California temple was shut down after a federal drug raid in 2011.
Currently Forchion, a Rastafarian, is the owner of his own restaurant, NJWeedman’s Joint and spiritual sanctuary, Liberty Bell Temple III, which he opened last year directly across from New Jersey’s Trenton City Hall. The restaurant and sanctuary receive not only a steady stream of customers but also international media attention.
Read more about Forchion’s stance for marijuana reform in the Trentonian at http://goo.gl/fAkLsU .

Media Personality Tavis Smiley to Present Comedy Producer Michael Williams with Award at Comic Rocks! Convention Tribute Dinner

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Los Angeles – Before there was Def Jam, Comedy Central or Comic View, there was The Comedy Act Theater (CAT), the very first Black comedy club in the country. Just ask Chris Tucker, Eddie Murphy, Damon Wayans or a host of others to name the individual who was singularly responsible for nurturing and launching the careers of most of the country’s superstar Black comedians and they will each name maverick entrepreneur Michael Williams, the founder/owner of the Comedy Act Theater. The Comedy Act Theater laid the foundation and set the blueprint for Black comedy and Black comedy clubs today.
Many industry insiders consider Williams the ‘unacknowledged’ godfather of contemporary African American comedy. But on Friday, April 29, that will all change when comedienne Hope Flood presents her “Awards Dinner and Special Tribute to Michael Williams,” starting at 7:00 p.m. with purple carpet arrivals,  at the Regency West located at 3339 W. 43rd St. in Los Angeles, the original home of the Comedy Act Theater aka “The House that Robin Harris Built.” The evening is the highlight of her 5th Annual Comics Rock! Convention, an industry event that hosts workshops and seminars for aspiring comedians, actors and producers.
Tavis Smiley

Celebrated media personality Tavis Smiley will present Williams with his award and veteran comedic talent Ricky Harris will host the evening as comedians, celebrities and industry professionals pay tribute to the legacy of Williams’ efforts. The affair launches with a “purple carpet” arrival and includes a buffet dinner, awards presentation and after party.   Tickets are $35 in advance and can be purchased online at www.ComicsRockConvention.com or at the door.

Ricky Harris
Ricky Harris
The extensive list of Comedy Act Theater performers who either got their start or performed there regularly include Chris Rock, Robin Harris, Jamie Foxx, Martin Lawrence, Monique, Keenan Wayans, Sinbad, Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, and Tommy Davidson to name a few. The Comedy Act Theater was considered “the place” for African American talent in entertainment, sports and fashion in the 80’s. Whoopi Goldberg taped her HBO special at the Comedy Act.
“As comedians, we all owe so much to Michael Williams. His theater was our learning ground, our shelter, and our comedy home. I am just deeply humbled to be able to produce this event in his honor. It is so long overdue. I’m anticipating some really special surprises with several comedic legends reaching out on this night to just say ‘we remember when’ and ‘thank you Michael,'” expresses Hope Flood.
For more information on the Comic Rocks! Convention, happening April 26 to 30 at J. Anthony Brown’s JSpot Comedy Club, go to www.ComicsRockConvention.com and mark your calendars for the “Comics Rock the Court Charity Celebrity Basketball Game” on Saturday, April 30, from noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Jesse Owens Park, 9651 S. Western Avenue in Los Angeles.

Knights of the West Social Club Presents “Spring Fling Extravaganza Awards Show” With Patrice Rushen, Chico DeBarge and more

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The City of Angels will soar on a heavenly, musical flight when the
Knights of the West Social Club presents the “The Spring Fling Extravaganza Awards Show,” a benefit concert event featuring the legendary Patrice Rushen, on Saturday, April 16 at the Prince Hall Memorial Auditorium

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The City of Angels will soar on a heavenly, musical flight when the Knights of the West Social Club presents the “The Spring Fling Extravaganza Awards Show,” a benefit concert event featuring the legendary Patrice Rushen, on Saturday, April 16 at the Prince Hall Memorial Auditorium.  Melodic bliss is sure to bless the rafters as multi-Grammy nominated pianist Patrice Rushen is joined by soulful crooner Chico DeBarge, master violinist Karen Briggs, Sir Stringfellow & The Mo Betta Experience Band and comic king Shang Forbes for a grand evening of celebration and entertainment.

Karen Briggs
 
Comedian Shang

The Knights of the West Social Club, an extension of Western Knights #56 Free and Accepted Masons, continue their legacy of service with this wonderful presentation, as a portion of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Breast Cancer Awareness, The John and Evelyn Friar Scholarship Fund and Robert W. Brown Scholarship Foundation. Local community leaders that have helped to shape and influence the lives of Los Angeles residents will also be recognized and honored. The performances begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Prince Hall Memorial Auditorium, located at 9027 S. Figueroa St. in Los Angeles.

 
A classically trained pianist, Rushen has spent a lifetime honing the skills that make her one of the music industry’s most versatile and sought after artists. Admired by many for her groundbreaking achievements, Rushen has amassed an impressive list of “firsts,” including the first woman to serve as musical director for the 46th, 47th and 48th Annual Grammy Awards; the first woman in 43 years to serve as head composer/musical director for television’s highest honor, the Emmy Awards; and the first woman musical director of the NAACP Image Awards, an honor she held for 12 consecutive years.
 
“We are extremely proud to have Patrice Rushen highlight this special occasion, alongside phenomenal artists, as we pay tribute to our community honorees,” cites Aaron Harris, co-chair, special projects committee for the Knights of the West Social Club. “Our lodge has a tradition of commitment to our community and this concert continues our legacy. We are hoping the community comes out to support our honorees while enjoying a relaxing evening of great music.
Ticket prices range from $40.00 to $75.00 and can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/western-knights-presents-the-spring-fling-extravaganza-2016-tickets-23071232678?aff=ebrowse

For additional event information go to http://theloop411.com/eblast/knightsofthewest.html or call (323) 481-0228 or (213) 479-0267.

Veteran Journalist Ann Brown Scoops Exclusive First Interview with Former Katt Williams’ Assistant, Brooks Jackson Colyar

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Veteran Journalist Ann Brown
Scoops Exclusive First Interview with
Former Katt Williams’ Assistant,
Brooks Jackson Colyar
top: journalist Ann Brown / photo credit: Joli Moniz
bottom: comedian Katt Wiliams with Brook Jackson Colyar photo credit: Koi Sojer for Katt Williams image
Veteran  journalist Ann Brown has displayed her savvy reporter instinct once again, recently uncovering and revealing intriguing insights behind the saga of comedian Katt Williams.
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Los Angeles – Veteran journalist and native New Yorker Ann Brown has been living in Praia, Cape Verde since 2010, but it hasn’t deterred her from covering current urban news and staying on the pulse of urban entertainment. Brown has displayed her savvy reporter instinct once again, recently uncovering and revealing intriguing insights behind the saga of comedian Katt Williams. The embattled comic has been top gossip fodder with his trail of numerous arrests and seemingly erratic behavior for several weeks now. Brown scooped an exclusive interview with Williams’ former personal assistant, Brooks Jackson Colyar. In a story that is truly befitting of Women’s History Month, Colyar reveals to Brown how Williams saved her life after her devastating divorce from an almost 30-year marriage with comedian Michael Colyar.
Ann Brown details the compelling conversation with Brooks Jackson Colyar in Parlé and Madame Noire magazines, with each interview revealing varying details of Brooks’ work relationship with Williams, spanning almost three years. Brooks worked for Williams from 2012 to 2015, a time period that reflected stability and growth in the comic’s career. Brooks notes that the comedian employed her when she felt destitute. After having managed her ex-husband’s career and being lulled into a sense of false security and happiness during their relationship, she found herself suffering from depression and unemployment. The interview is a compassionate one, revealing the supportive and shadow roles women often quietly orchestrate behind the scenes of public figure men.
“Brooks is a very private person,” notes Brown. “She had never done any interviews or really spoke publicly about her divorce from Colyar or her work relationship with Katt Williams. I found her to be a very intelligent and articulate businesswoman. Her concern and love for Katt Williams speaks volumes about his character, his genius and his current predicament. The interview adds a valued dimension to a hot topic that has been surrounded with sensationalism. Brooks provided a really humane perspective to the Katt Williams conversation.”

Brooks Jackson Colyar /
photo credit: Johnny Pena Photography
Ann Brown has covered entertainment, lifestyle, business and health and beauty issues for almost three decades. She co-founded and co-published The A-List Magazine, the only urban Hollywood trade blog and is a former managing editor for Black Radio Exclusive. Her work has appeared in MadameNoire.com, Black Enterprise, Essence, Parle Magazine, Launch.com, The Source and Upscale Magazine, to name just a few. She also produced and co-hosted various radio and television programs, including “The Julie Show,” a nationally syndicated radio program hosted by Downtown Julie Brown.
 
Read both interviews with Brooks Jackson Colyar at

http://www.parlemag.com/2016/03/brooks-jackson-colyar-speaks-on-katt-williams/
and  http://madamenoire.com/620903/co-worker-spirals/ .

To Be Young, Gifted and Gay – Hip Hop Phenom Rahccy Slays with “Miss Jill on 108th”

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 Rahccy
Los Angeles – Imagine if Lauryn Hill, Meshell Ndegeocello  and Angie Stone were all harmonizing together on one song. You would have Ndegeochello’s bottomless, balmy bass, Hill’s wicked, spitfire lyricism and Angie Stone’s lusciously seductive tonality. What if however, one tiny, unassuming woman could stand alone and deliver all that fervor with a frequency so intense, the sounds drifting into your eardrums would cause your being to shudder.

Covert Entertainment’s 23-year-old powerhouse performer, Rahccy, is all of these things and more; packing pain, pushing power, igniting love and stirring the fever with her every verse. With the release of her debut single, “Miss Jill on 108th Rahccy is single-handedly revamping hip hop and restructuring its current status quo. Young, gifted and unapologetically gay, Rahccy is knocking down musical walls and rebuilding them her way.

Backed by the production wizardry of Covert Entertainment CEO Dwayne “Muffla” Simon and Four Choice Productions, Rahccy’s strong intention to do hip hop her way is more than just some new artist’s bright eyed notion. Notably, her producer Simon is the man responsible for lacing hip hop with his talent by writing, producing and arranging super hits for artists such as LL Cool J, Run DMC and Ice Cube.

Rooted in the Los Angeles’ community of Watts, Rahccy is that flower determined to bloom between the cracks of concrete. Her childhood home stands on the very corner where the historical and brutal riots tore apart the city in 1965. Alchemizing an inimitable brand of hip hop, neo soul and gospel and delivering gold, one can hear the pathos of street survival in every lingering beat. With “Miss Jill On 108th” Rahccy’s old soul sentiment beams bright as she pays homage to the many older, faceless women in the community who are encountered only briefly but leave a lasting spell. Rahccy holds the torch for those who can’t.
Singing in church since the age of eight, Rahccy’s talent garnered her initial recognition in high school when she teamed up with fellow student Rob “Galli” Salazar and won their high school competition “Bringin’ Down the House” performing at the legendary House Of Blues in Los Angeles. The duo’s bond continued and they were featured in a short documentary called “South Of Stars” by KPCC, which still garners views online. After surviving a near fatal car crash in 2015, her life shifted dramatically as she healed and returned back to the studio with a vengeance.
Cites her producer Dwayne “Muffla” Simon, “With a string of multi-platinum hits from my work with LL Cool J to name just a few, I thought my music days were over. The music scene has changed so much and no one was lighting a fire for me. Then I heard Rahccy and I knew I had to come out of retirement. She has that rare quality that artist possess when they are bigger than themselves. Rahccy has that ‘it’ quality that legends are made of. As a producer, I’m more than excited because I know she is going to blaze hip hop with her passion.”

Chuck D, Rahccy and super producer “Muffla”
“I know I’m an old soul,” cites Rahccy. “I was raised by my grandparents and they taught me some things crucial about love and respect. The fight of being a woman of color and a lesbian is real. As a part of that community, I’m a tool to be used in the larger context of things. I envision my music as a pioneer for change. We don’t see, hear or celebrate many artists that look and sound like me. I’m here to change that.”
“Miss Jill On 108th” is available on iTunes and wherever online music is sold. Check out Rahccy at http://www.covertentertainmentsoundworks.com/#!rahccy—artist/vbf5i.

Friend her on social media on Facebook at Rahccy, and on Twitter and Instagram at @RahccyMusic.

Legendary Comedienne Marsha Warfield Headlines Funny Lady Hope Flood’s 5th Annual Comics Rock! Convention

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hope flood 1

 

Los Angeles – Five years of funny is no small feat when you are a female in a male dominated industry coordinating an annual comedy fest. In fact, it is literally not a joke. But comedienne Hope Flood has handled it with amazing finesse and style as her Comics Rock! Convention returns, April 26 to 30 at J. Anthony Brown’s JSpot Comedy Club, located at 5581 W. Manchester Boulevard in Westchester, CA. Celebrating five fun-infused years, Comics Rock! Convention has become a “must attend” industry event with its presentation of workshops and seminars for aspiring comedians, actors and producers, where they network and showcase their talents.

Legendary funny lady Marsha Warfield will headline the festivities moderating the highly anticipated “Comics Rock! Forum” from noon to 2:00 p.m. PT on Tuesday, April 26 at the JSpot Comedy Club and she will celebrity host a Comedy Night Showcase later that evening, starting at 9:00 p.m. at The Ha Ha Cafe at 4712 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood.  The “Comics Rock! Forum” is a special gathering where up and comers have the opportunity to ask questions and seek counsel from veteran talent.

Comedienne Marsha Warfield

Marsha Warfield is possibly best remembered for her 1986-92 role of Roz Russell on the popular NBC sitcom, “Night Court.”  Warfield’s Comics Rock! Convention appearances are part of her resurgence on the scene after a 20 year hiatus.

This year’s highlights also include an “Awards Dinner and Special Tribute to Michael Williams,” the founder of the Comedy Act Theater, on Friday, April 29, starting at 7:00 p.m. at the Regency West located at 3339 W. 43rd St. in Los Angeles. An after party will conclude the affair. The Comics Rock the Court Celebrity Basketball Game” also returns this year on Saturday, April 30, from noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Jesse Owens Park, 9651 S. Western Avenue in Los Angeles.

Comedians Luenell (“Katt Wiliams:  American Hustle”), Shang (BET’s “Comic View”), Cocoa Butter (Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse) and Paul Mooney’s sons, the Mooney Twins (Bravo’s “Newlyweds:  The First Year”) are just a sampling of the talent scheduled to present workshops and seminars. Workshops will include “Comedy 101” offered by Hope Flood; “Writing & Performance Technique” by Greg Dean; “The Art of Stand Up Comedy” with David Arnold and Attorney Antavius Weems‘ “How to Inc U.”
Celebrity hosted comedy club showcases will cap each evening and will be held at some of Los Angeles’ hottest mainstream comedy clubs, including the Ha Ha Cafe in North Hollywood, the JSpot Comedy Club and Sal’s Comedy Hole in West Hollywood.
Females in Comedy Association (FICA) group shot.
As the founder of Females in Comedy Association (FICA), Flood originally introduced the comedy convention as the “Females in Comedy Convention,” before expanding her vision to embrace both genders. With FICA however, she still continues to offer female comedians tools for networking, mentoring, and collaborating as well as fueling awareness for comediennes in the entertainment industry. Comics Rock! Convention continues to honor females in comedy this year with a special day of gifting and pampering at the “Pamper Me Soiree” on April 26 at the JSpot.

“It has been five years now and each year I’m inspired because not only does Comics Rock! Convention continue to grow, but more and more comedians are looking to us to be that resource that replenishes them each year. I feel that too many people take ‘funny’ for granted, like it doesn’t require work, skill and dedication. Comedians work hard to make people laugh and I am humbled to be able to provide this annual haven for our community. Five years is a wonderful milestone for me,” reveals Hope.

Hope Flood has always possessed a vision beyond the punch line. Early on in her career she published the first nationally distributed comedy magazine, “Comedy, the Magazine.” Her original weekly showcases were training grounds for talent like Jamie Foxx and Chris Tucker early in their careers. She has served as an on-air radio personality on Dallas’ KRNB 105.7 radio with BJ & The Morning Show and has appeared on the Russell Simmon’s HBO All-Star Def Comedy Jam, Comedy Central’s “Comic Groove” hosted by Tracy Morgan, and “Comics Unleashed Hot Chocolate with Byron Allen,” to name a few.

Hope has been a semi-finalist in the Old English 800 Women’s Comedy Crunch and a two-time semi-finalist in the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition.  Her appearances also include ten seasons on BET’s “Comicview,” where she won her own one hour “Grandstand Comedy Jam Special” and she was later picked as one of BET’s “39 Most Favorite Comedians.”

Hope’s razor-sharp wit and amazing acuity to uncover the joke in everyday life scenarios keeps her at the forefront of comedy. For registration and more information regarding sponsorship, vendors or attendance, go to www.comicsrockconvention.com.

Grandson of Comedy Legend Paul Mooney Marries on National TV

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Erica & Adonis Gladney
Adonis Gladney, the grandson of the celebrated comedian Paul Mooney,  recently wed his new bride, Erica Gladney, on national TV, sharing their wedding vows in a beautiful ceremony.
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Phoenix, AZ – When your grandfather is a living comedy legend, fame and notoriety naturally run in the family. Such is the case with Adonis Gladney, the grandson of the celebrated comedian Paul Mooney. Gladney, alongside his new bride, Erica Gladney, recently wed on national TV sharing their wedding vows in a beautiful ceremony. Mooney was unable to attend the wedding but gave the couple his blessings prior to their nuptials.

New bride Erica Gladney, comic legend Paul Mooney, groom and grandson, Adonis Gladney
Mooney is particularly pleased about his first-born grandson’s new slate in life. The young couple’s relationship went through an initial bout of turmoil during the course of their six-year romance.  Adonis was sent away in 2009 to serve a 13-month Federal prison stint for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act after Federal authorities accused him of selling counterfeit computer software.
Adonis, who was 24 at the time, is believed to be the first person convicted for DMCA violations dealing with the circumvention of security protections on software. Following his arrest, officials seized $74,038 and two custom-built Lamborghinis from the young computer geek, who had accumulated over three million dollars in profit. Erica stayed by her man’s side through the ordeal and the two have continued to prosper.
Says Mooney, “My grandson didn’t follow my passion for comedy, but sadly, in the grand scheme of things, the joke ended up on him when he was arrested and sentenced. It warms my heart to know that all of that is behind him now.”
Adonis’ grandfather, Paul Mooney, is currently on tour with another comedy legend, Dick Gregory. Mooney has written material for Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Dave Chappelle to name a few. Recognized as the comedic force behind some of Pryor’s best bits, Mooney is also the creator of the classic characters Homey D. Clown for In Living Color and Negrodamus for Chappelle’s Show.
Watch Adonis and Erica Gladney on Bravo’s “Newlyweds: The First Year” on Wednesday nights at 10:00 pm ET/PT.

Interact personally with the couple on Facebook at Adonis and Erica ; on Twitter at @AdonisGladney and @EricaJohns88; and on Instagram at @AdonisGladney and @EricaGladney88.

“The Committee” Selects a Black Female President in Bestselling Author Terry E. Hill’s New Release

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Author to Commemorate Martin Luther King Day
with a 25 Book Giveaway
Facebook Contest
Terry E. Hill’s “The Committee” is a beguiling tale that twirls Illuminati conspiracy, New Orleans voodoo, American politics and a subplot gay affair in a delicious twist of turbulence and turmoil.
San Francisco – With Come Sunday Morning, When Sunday Comes Again and The Last Sunday, author Terry E. Hill has proven himself an adept story weaver. Enthralling his readers with a trilogy based inside a megachurch setting, his well-spun plots of scandal, suspense and seduction were delivered with acute precision. Skillfully whipping his readers into a page-turning frenzy, they rushed to keep abreast of characters bigger than the books that encased them.  With the release of The Committee on Urban Renaissance, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp., the author ups the ante and moves into the world of politics.

The Committee is a beguiling tale that twirls Illuminati conspiracy, New Orleans voodoo, American politics and a subplot gay affair in a delicious twist of turbulence and turmoil. We find out that the secret society behind the country’s biggest political ploys is a mysterious New Orleans family of Creole women who head “The Committee.” It is they who in fact control the white men mistaken to be the country’s power figures! “The Committee” has selected every US president since James Monroe and controls much of the country’s economy. When they make the decision that the United States is not only ready for a Black woman president, but also select her, the phrase, ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ takes on new and insidious meaning.

Camille Ernestine Hardaway is the first African American female mayor of Los Angeles and she has it all – stunning good looks, power, a seemingly devoted husband and influential allies. “The Committee” has decided that she will be the first Black female President of the United States and will stop at nothing to ensure their rising candidate reaches the White House. Author Terry E. Hill sublimely works hypnosis with the written word as he winds the reader deeper down a sinister black hole with each chapter. The Committee’s lethal combination of manipulation, intimidation, mysticism and murder make for the most intoxicating political thriller.
With an adoring fan base waiting in high anticipation, Hill is hosting a Facebook contest. The author (on Facebook at Terry E. Hill ) will give away 25 autographed copies of The Committee to the lucky winner. The contest ends at midnight on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 18th. Participants can find more details on The Committee’s Facebook page and / or enter on his Facebook page.
Author Terry E. Hill

The Committee is Hill’s fourth novel. Come Sunday Morning was his first book, followed by When Sunday Comes Again in 2012 and The Last Sunday in 2013. The publisher consolidated Hill’s first two books into one and re-released it 2014 as The Come Sunday Morning Saga. Come Sunday Morning was selected as number three of the five best fiction books for 2012 by the Sankofa Literary Society. When Sunday Comes Again was released in the summer of 2012 and made the AALBC (African American Literary Book Club) Urban Fiction Best Seller List. Hill’s novels have also been featured on the Bestsellers List of Black Expressions and have been selected as best books of the month and year by various bookstores and book clubs throughout the country. The Sunday Morning Saga has been acquired by more than 10,000 libraries in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Hill has developed a significant and very loyal audience who eagerly await each new release. Elev8.com, an online property of Hello Beautiful, profiled the author as the next E. Lynn Harris for his clever storytelling and LGBT subplots. He and his writings have been featured on BET.com’s monthly YOU GOTTA HAVE IT column, Crème Magazine, Elev8/Hello Beautiful, Black Literature Magazine and The Literary Network.

Hill’s writings are amazing works of fiction that continuously stir conversation on important topics nationwide.  Purchase The Committee on Amazon.com and wherever books are sold. Visit the author’s website at http://www.terryehill.com/ .
Follow Terry E. Hill on Facebook at Terry E. Hill and #ReadTheCommittee now!

Doll Maker Bush Empress Crafts Personal Spirit Dolls for Transformative Healing and Gifting

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This holiday season, craftswoman Bush Empress is adding to a cultural legacy and introducing a magical line of handmade collectibles known as Personal Spirit Dolls.
Los Angeles – Around the world, dolls are a recognized as universal forces to contend with. For centuries they have served as creative artifacts used as toys, religious objects and in celebratory displays. This holiday season, craftswoman Bush Empress is adding to this cultural legacy and introducing a magical line of handmade collectibles known as Personal Spirit Dolls. Personal Spirit Dolls are palm sized little beings that merge natural elements with the wonderment of imagination to promote healing, transformation and delight! In a world riddled with trauma, Bush Empress’ spirit dolls serve as therapeutic amulets that open the heart, assist with managing stress and bring harmonizing joy to the beholder.

Personal Spirit Dolls are sacred entities that carry the essence of the living earth. Each doll is individually handmade by Bush Empress with a

Dollmaker Bush Empress

l llnatural materials that include corn husk, tree twigs, colorful cloth materials, seeds, stones, shells, feathers and crystals. The dolls represent the natural forces of fire, water, air, earth and ether and combine the influences ofBush Empress’ Native American, ancestral African and European roots. Bush Empress prays over each doll, implanting within them divine intentions and then blesses them with essential oils made from flowers,herbs, roots and barks. Each doll comes with its own carrying pouch.

There are seven dolls total, each one representing a special meaning and named accordingly. The collection includes Peaceful Serenity; Blessed; Windancer; Spiritual Sweetness; Guidance; Victory and Protection. As Bush Empress explains, “Everything has the capacity to heal and the Personal Spirit Dolls are potent consecrated healers. Each doll is created to carry a specific vibration to represent a special quality or concern. The dolls are small enough to be carried in one’s purse or pouch and can grace an individual alter space in the home. They are also distinctive and poetic pieces of art and no two dolls are exactly alike.”
A native of New Orleans, raised in San Francisco and now residing in Los Angeles, Bush Empress reveals that the Personal Spirit Dolls evolved from her intuitive inspiration, personal experience, and clairvoyant moments. At the age of seven, Bush Empress remembers seeing things that no one else could. Her father told her at a young age that she was gifted with healing hands. For the past three decades she has spiraled in her own creativity, working as a professional chef, a visual artist and craftswoman, herbalist and spiritual healer.

A mother of five children and a grandmother, Bush Empress hopes to instill vibrant blessings through the dolls. “Mother earth is in great need of healing and we must all do our part. My dolls carry a life force that is fueled by the earth. I created them for ‘soul’ sa

Assorted products from Bush Empress

tisfaction,” explains Bush Empress, “to aide in enhancing the quality of individual lives. Each doll calls to a particular aspect of one’s inner being. The doll’s very presence rekindles the higher consciousness and nourishes the mind, body and spirit.”

Bush Empress can custom designs dolls upon request and also offers a line of anointing oils, herbal baths, incense, sage feathers, gem elixirs, and beauty and body products. Take a look inside her mystical lair on Instagram at @Personal_Spirit_Dolls or email her at bushempress_5@yahoo.com.

Author A.A. Jones Takes the “Plunge” in Underwater Pole Dance Video to Announce the Re-Release of “Tilt”

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                                                                                          photography by Brett Stanley
                                            
Burbank, CA – Author A.A. Jones is re-releasing her memoirs, “Tilt Diary of a Virgin Stripper” just in time for holiday reading. Instead of doing it with a bang however, the self-confessed housewife by day and exotic dancer by night has taken a plunge instead. “Plunge” is the title of her provocative yet inspirational pole dance shot underwater by world-renowned photographer Brett Stanley. Just like with her book “Tilt,” the video encourages viewers to strip away their inhibitions and live fearlessly. It is Jones’ ongoing message of empowerment for women and men alike.
Author A.A. Jones
                   photo by Ed Magik

A corporate fitness instructor and dog behaviorist, A.A. Jones enthralled readers in 2013 with her literary reveal detailing her moonlighting nightlife escapades. More than just a day-to-day account of a housewife thrown into the underground world of exotic dance, sex and drama, “Tilt Diary” emerged as an intimate, soul-bearing account of a woman making her way in a man’s world and owning her power. “Tilt” fueled the imaginations of readers around the world and was acknowledged as a Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner. 

Jones is continuing her liberation movement with “Plunge.” The one minute and 30 second production dives deep. Jones dances underwater around a pole in a sea of soothing aqua blue.   The dance progresses via a series of photo stills exquisitely shot by Stanley, while Jones is heard narrating an impassioned soliloquy about overcoming fear and embracing courage.

An award winning commercial and underwater photographer, Brett Stanley has traveled the globe shooting breathtaking imagery. Jones is part of his Underwater Pole Dancing series, an exhibition that has garnered him international attention and acclaim.
“Photographing Jones for the underwater pole series added another dimension to my work,” cites Brett. “I found her amazingly creative and great to work with. Jones’ storyline for the shoot was compelling and unique, and the resulting images are some of my favorites.”

“Plunge” by A.A. Jones
“The underwater shoot was a tremendous challenge for me,” reveals Jones. “The experience took me back to the first time I walked into a club to audition to dance. The alarm in both instances was almost crippling. I had to force myself to take the plunge in both situations. Just like the nightclub experience changed my life, the underwater shoot did too. I am finding more and more that fear should never hold you back from following your heart. “Plunge” is the astonishing result of me embracing courage instead.”
“I am re-releasing my book “Tilt” because I want to remind everyone to never stop dreaming about what you could, should, or want to do it. Face your fear and take the plunge. It is the only way to discover how powerful you really are!” offers Jones.
Go deeper with Jones at https://vimeo.com/147427618  to view the video, follow her blog at http://tiltdiary.wordpress.com/ and purchase “Tilt Diary of a Virgin Stripper” on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

Screenwriter Lorna O. Releases Script for Megachurch TV Pilot “MERCY ROAD” on New Web Portal

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photo credit_ Dr. Boogie/
www.BoogieSecrets.com
                                                   
Los Angeles – Hollywood is an ‘inside‘ job. Brilliant scripts are written every day, and many of them, if not ‘greenlit,‘ are ever actually read outside of industry professionals. Author and television writer Lorna Clarke Osunsanmi aka Lorna O., has decided to do something about this perceived writer’s dilemma. She has ‘self’ published her original television pilot, MERCY ROAD and is making it available for everyone to not only read, but to also offer input. In a town that operates largely on ‘who you know,’ she is making an effort to expand her already very influential circle with the launch of her new writer’s portal, www.WritersAlwaysWrite.com.
MERCY ROAD is the first of many of her scripts to be made available for free download in their original screen format at the web portal. WritersAlwaysWrite.com offers readers not only the opportunity to meet potential characters before they actualize on the small and big screen, but also a peek at how scripts are actually formatted and submitted.
Lorna has worked for executives and writers in television and film for 10 years, on such shows as “Dexter,” “The Shield,” and the film “Get Him to the Greek,” written and directed by Nicholas Stoller which starred Russell Brand. Her first writing credit came on the Netflix original television series, “Hemlock Grove.”She co-wrote the season finale with her mentor, executive producer Charles “Chic” Eglee and executive producer Peter Blake. Lorna also wrote and produced the popular Bollywood web series titled “ChaDo.”  Additionally, she collaborated with Eglee and producers at Overbrook Entertainment and BET on the animated television series titled “Cypha.
With MERCY ROAD we find Eli Mercer as the Senior Pastor at Mercy Road Church and Ministries. His wife, First Lady Luna Mercer is dying of breast cancer. She is undergoing chemotherapy but doesn’t believe it is working. She makes a decision that could destroy the church and everybody affiliated with it. Meanwhile, Eli still has to handle the day-to-day affairs of a newly built megachurch that grew exponentially in a short time. He’s on the cusp of becoming the next T.D. Jakes or Joel Osteen if he can stay focused and keep the faith, even under pressure to bend to the last wish of his ailing wife. MERCY ROAD is the re-imaging of the story of Abraham set inside a megachurch.
With Oprah Winfrey’s own megachurch series, “Greenleaf,” starring Emmy Award winners Keith David and actress Lynn Whitfield, starting production and Fox TV’s recent announcement to develop an untitled megachurch mystery drama project from writer Julian Breece, Lorna O. is anticipating a surge in Black church themed productions.
“I am excited that producers and studios are reading MERCY ROAD, but I also wanted to know what the public thought,” explains Lorna. “I grew up in the church and a megachurch so I know how intimate and misunderstood that community is because the people talking the loudest about God and faith don’t necessarily represent the whole. MERCY ROAD is edgy in that it goes behind the veil and shows the humanity, frailty and the good hearts behind pastors and the wives who operate on an abnormally bright platform. As a writer, I want to hear from people inside that community and out. Is this something they want to see? And would they watch it? WriterAlwaysWrite.com is my way of taking my work to the streets.”
Lorna O. is also a well-established life and love coach and the author of “Becoming BOLD,” a definitive guide to self-actualization and transformation. A woman who practices what she preaches, Lorna acknowledges that the launch of WritersAlwaysWrite.com is a bold and unprecedented move in the entertainment capital of Hollywood.
“This isn’t done in television and film-ever! There’s a fear it won’t get made if it’s made public, which is absurd otherwise books would never be adapted. Additionally, script format is designed for production professionals as a blueprint to make the movie or show. Everything in a script is whittled down to its bare essentials, and that style is not meant for public consumption. So I had some trepidation about how people would respond to the writing format. Ultimately, however, I felt WritersAlwaysWrite.com was a must do,” cites Lorna. “It offers readers not only a different perspective but also valuable insight into the world of television and movie making.”
Lorna O. graduated magna cum laude from Texas Woman’s University and is a native of Christiansted, St. Croix U.S. Virgin Islands. A new mother of two young children and married to popular sci-fi director, Olatunde Osunsanmi (“The Fourth Kind,” “Falling Skies”), she is half of one of Hollywood’s most promising upcoming power couples.
Read the drama that is traveling MERCY ROAD at  www.WritersAlwaysWrite.com now!

Ice T, Too Short, Yo Yo and Kurupt Support Havoc Da MouthPiece’s Proclaim To “Go Hard” It’s “Gaim Chng3r” Time

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havoc
Los Angeles – Straight outta’ South Central Los Angeles, Havoc Da MouthPiece hails as one the true originators of West Coast gangsta’ hip hop! Real hip hop hard heads recall Havoc as a standout pioneer, spearheading the West Coast reign when he was the front man for the rap crew South Central Cartel aka SCC. The group were the first ‘left’ coast rappers to sign to Def Jam and nurtured a loyal cult following with hits like “U Gotta Deal Wit Dis,” “Pops Was a Rolla,” All Day Everyday,” “Eastside-Westside” and “It’s an S.C.C Thang.”
Ironically, Havoc, a Chicago native, also has roots nestled deep in the legacy of R&B as well. Havoc is not only a rap legend, but he is also the son of legend. His father, Robert “Squirrel” Lester was one of the founding members of the legendary soul group the Chi-Lites.

Considering the depth of his musical roots coupled with his passion, there is probably no one better positioned to revive the West Coast rap scene by not only recapturing its history, but also continuing its vintage sound. Under the banner of his new imprint, Gaim Chng3r Enterprizes, Havoc is steadfastly forging a new legacy in hip hop. For the past two years he has been documenting historic interviews with major artists who were in the game from the very beginning. Over 30 artists have been interviewed to date, including Ice-T, Too Short, Warren G, Kurupt, Yo Yo, Da Brat, Ms. Toi, Xzibit and Lighter Shade of Brown.  The footage will be revealed in his new film,“Go Hard: The True Untold Story of West Coast Hip Hip,” slated for release in 2016 and the soundtrack, featuring several of Gaim Chng3r’s newly signed acts, is available now!

Ice T visits the “Go Hard set.

Interview snippets and promotional shout outs from a slew of veteran rap artists including hip hop heroes like Rappin 4-Tay,JJ Fad, Kam, Money B and WC, as well as videos from Gaim Chng3r’s new artists, are featured on the Gaim Chng3r Enterprize YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVUNdNFf1eFlCB_O3bZxZhw. The page is also an archive for vintage music videos from over 30 acts supportive of and or featured in the film project.

Havoc has masterminded a diverse assembly of artists for Gaim Chng3r’s roster, all reflecting his hardcore sentiments about the wild, wild west. The “Go Hard” soundtrack  is fully loaded with thirteen rough and ride ’em tracks that sizzle with scorching West Coast heat. Female vocalist Neveah regulates the seduction with “Boom,” Chanel Royale rips the heat on “187 Murder,” and Drewp featuring J. Blue keeps it real South Central with their own cartel on “Talkin’ Money” and break down the politics of green.  Tiffani Lewis’  “Pain,” featuring Cali Pitts, is a street litany that flows R&B with a hardcore rap edge and D.K.F.C.’s “It’s Over” bounces like a low rider with pure ghetto heat. Jank Mobb spits real, raw and unapologetically ruthless on “Sum_Mo_Sh*t,” leaving Shoota Mac featuring J. Blue to take it to the bedroom with “Private Affair” and new super producer Big E regulates with impact on “Wat I’m On.”

“South Central Cartel helped to carve the landscape of the West Coast rap scene. We were right alongside artists like N.W.A. and Tupac back in the day, giving the world a peak into this Cali street life,” notes Havoc.

Flashback photo:  standing left to right: unidentified, DJ Kaos (SCC), (unidentified),  Havoc Da Mouthpieice (SCC), Spice 1 and LV (SCC)
kneeling:  Tupac, DJ Gripp, Prodeje (SCC) and Havikk the Rhymeson (SCC)

“I’ve been true to this music for three decades now, different incarnations, but always true to the game. With ‘Go Hard: The True Untold Story of West Coast Hip Hip,’ I am not only honoring and celebrating this west side journey, I am positioning it for a greater outreach into the future. Gaim Chng3r is the new face of West Coast rap and the rebel cry is ‘Go Hard’ because we can’t go home, this is home! The movie ‘Straight Outta Compton’ was only a small part of the story, but it proved that the world remembers and that they want more! ‘Go Hard’ is taking it back to the streets South Central style. We bringing Watts, the Bay, Sacramento and the entire coast along for this ride!”

Check out the Gaim Chng3r Enterprize’s YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7R3NMq3MKk.

Get your Gaim Chng3r app on Google Play and iTunes.

Ride with Gaim Chng3r on their website at: http://www.gaimchng3r.com/.
Pick up the “Go Hard: The True Untold Story of West Coast Hip Hip,” soundtrack at iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and where ever music is sold.