“For Over Eighty Years The Voice of Our Community Speaking for Itself

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  VOL. LXXVV, NO. 49  •  $1.00 + CA. Sales Tax 

“For Over Eighty Years The Voice of Our Community Speaking for Itself


THURSDAY,  DECEMBER 12 - 18, 2013

 SEPTEMBER 17, 2015

VOL. LXXXI  NO 52 $1.00 +CA

. Sales Tax  


      “For Over Eighty Years The Voice of Our Community Speaking for Itself”     


{See NAN A-8}

{See WATERS A-9}

{See NAACP A-8}

Hurricane Irma hits Florida



{See OMAROSA  A-8}








171 Members of Con-

gress, led by Congress-

woman Maxine Waters 

(CA-43), Ranking Mem-

ber of the House Financial 

Services Committee, sent a 

letter to the Deputy Attor-

ney General of the United 

States, Rod J. Rosenstein, 

to express their support 

for the investigation be-

ing conducted by Special 

Counsel Robert S. Muel-

ler, III.

Special Counsel Muel-

ler was appointed by Mr. 

Rosenstein on May 17, 

2017 to lead an investiga-

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43) speaks at her "Protect 

Mueller" Press Conference on December 21, 2017 on Capitol 

Hill and announces a letter of support signed by 171 Members 

of House Democratic Caucus for the Special Counsel's 

investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.







 Ronald Eskew (AKA 

Najee Ali) has spent the 

past two weeks trying to 

minimize and spin his 

dismissal from National 

Action Network.  He 

has attacked his friend 

and loyal supporter, the 

Reverend K.W. Tulloss, 

both in publicly and in 

private, while trying to 

deflect blame for his own 

malicious actions and de-


Last week, the Senti-

nel reported in an article 

written by Jasmyne Can-

nick that NAN and Ali 

had parted ways because 

of the numerous allega-

tions made by Najee's wife 

of spousal abuse and the 

affects this abuse was hav-

ing on their daughter.  Ali 

quickly went on the attack, 

trying to assert that these 

allegations were false. 


However, Rev. Tulloss 

and National Action Net-

work  released  an  official 

statement  confirming  that 

the reports written by Jas-

myne Cannick were in fact 


Controversy, criminal 

and inappropriate behav-

ior are nothing new for Ali.  

He has been denounced 

and even involved in both 

verbal and physical al-

tercations with members 

of several organizations. 


He previously promoted 

himself as the leader of a 

community-based organi-









Omarosa Manigault 

Newman, who has re-

signed under duress from 

her public liaison job at 

the White House, is leav-

ing true to form - amidst a 

cloud of controversy and 

with sparks flying. 

Omarosa's Final Days 

at White House Full of 


 Some say she blocked qualified Black applicants;  Others say that's not possible, 

NNPA president says she may have been fighting for diversity

The White House has 

confirmed  her  resignation 

effective Jan. 20. The of-

ficial White House reason 

was that she is leaving to 

pursue "other opportuni-


"Thank you Omarosa 

for your service! I wish 

you continued success," 

says a Dec. 13 tweet from 

President Donald Trump, 

who had handpicked 

Manigault Newman - best 

known  for  her  first  name 

only. A personal friend of 

Trump's, they have known 

each other 14 years since 

her national television 

debut on his reality show, 

"The Apprentice."

 Omarosa Manigault Newman stares into camera as 

Black photographer Cheriss May takes photo early in 

the Trump administration. 

The 49th annual awards 

telecast  hosted by Anthony 


Airs Live January 15th 

— MLK Day







Contributing Writer 

Leonard James, III has a 

voice that is as comforting 

as running water.  It’s low,  

resonaing, authoritative and 

it lingers in the mind.  These 

are great qualities to pos-

sess and as the chairman of 



Ronald Eskew 

Leonard James, III


NAN Confirms Ronald 

Eskew aka 'Najee Ali' was 

dumped for abusing his wife













 (courtesy photo)







This year, the Sentinel featured many articles and some extraordinary people stood out. Some stood out for their stand for 

justice, some made an impression with infamy and while other rose to the spotlight pursuing their passion. 

Here are some of the Top People of 2017.

Colin Kaepernick

The movement that the former 49ers quarterback con-

tinued long after he went into free agency before the 2017 

season. No teams offered Kaepernick a contract, caus-

ing African Americans to boycott the NFL. After Donald 

Trump made divisive comments about the National An-

them protests, multitudes of NFL players began kneeling 

and protesting during the National Anthem. Through it all, 

Kaepernick continued to donate money to organizations; 

he ultimately became the GQ Humanitarian of the Year 

and won the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy 






Mayor Butts

The city of Inglewood has and is making big moves. 

From the L.A. Rams and the L.A. Chargers, to recent talks 

about the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, and the 

building of a state-of-the-art stadium. All of these phe-

nomenal things that have taken place have happened un-

der the leadership of the city’s mayor James Butts. The 

Inglewood mayor has taken part in increasing the number 

of jobs for Inglewood residents resulting in city’s the un-

employment rate dropping 12 percent, one of the lowest 

in the state of California. During 2012 and 2017 property 

value has increased by 102 percent. Looking back at his 

accomplishments in law enforcement and throughout his 

career in public office, Butt’s views community pride as 

the legacy of Inglewood.

Tabay Atkins

Tabay  Atkins  is  the  youngest  certified  yoga  teacher 

in America having practiced yoga since he was just six-

years-old. When he was 10, he asked to get his certifica-

tion to become a yoga instructor. Atkins was inspired by 

his mother, Sahel Anvarinejad, who started practicing 

yoga as a part of her recovery from stage 3 Non-Hodgkin’s 

Lymphoma. Now at 11, he teaches three classes a week at 

Care4Yoga studio in San Clemente, California.

LaVar Ball

The proud father and entrepreneur became famous 

for vocalizing his opinions of his sons: Lonzo, LiAngelo, 

and LaMelo Ball. Telling the world that his sons can out-

play NBA Champion Steph Curry and talking about LeB-

ron James’ son made him controversial. Ball furthered 

his company Big Baller Brand with the release of its first 

shoe ZO2 Prime Remix for $495. The lives of the Ball 

family was showcased through their Facebook reality 

show series “Ball in the Family,” which was released in 

August 2017.

O.J. Simpson

He was the center of one of the most watched and in-

famous trials in history. Former NFL star, O.J. Simpson, 

was released this year after serving nine years of a 33-year 

sentence for a Las Vegas kidnapping and armed robbery. 

Simpson’s freedom comes with some limitations: the Ne-

vada parole board forbids parolees from associating with 

ex-convicts and people who engage in criminal activity 

and he can’t consume large amounts of alcohol, or be in 

the possession of guns or drugs. According to Simpson’s 

parole release plan he will reside in Las Vegas, Nevada 

but it was rumored that Simpson had plans to move to 

Florida where two of his children live.

Jemele Hill

The ESPN personality, along with her former “His and 

Hers” co-host, Michael Smith, were promoted to become 

co-hosts of the 6:00 PM EST edition of Sports Center in 

February. In September, Hill sent out a tweet calling Don-

ald Trump a white Supremist. Her comments on Twitter 

caused Trump’s press secretary to demand her to be fired. 

After Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones detested NFL 

players’ national anthem protest, Hill took to Twitter again 

to  suggest  a  financial  protest  against  Jones’  advertisers. 

The tweets caused Hill to be suspended from ESPN for 

two weeks. Many celebrities, including Common and Ava 

DuVernay, rallied to her cause with the hashtags #IStand-

WithJemele and #IStandWithJemeleHill

Tiffany Haddish

Veteran comedian returned to her role as Nekeisha 

for the final season of “The Carmichael Show.” Haddish 

gained national attention for her breakout movie role in 

blockbuster  film  “Girls  Trip,”  acting  alongside  Regina 

Hall, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Queen Latifah. The com-

edy movie with a $19 million production budget made 

well over $100 million both in the U.S. and globally. In 

November, Haddish hosted an episode of Saturday Night 

Live. Haddish also became an author, penning her mem-

oir “The Last Black Unicorn.” 

Ayesha Curry

Wife of reigning NBA champion Steph Curry made 

strides on the television screen with the second season of 

her cooking show “Ayesha’s Home Kitchen.” Curry also 

opened a restaurant in San Francisco called International 

Smoke and released a line of cookware this year. The 

cookbook author was set to co-host “The Great Ameri-

can Cooking Show” with former NFL player Anthony 

“Spice” Adams, but the show was cancelled due to sexual 

harassment allegations on a chef-judge on the show.

Actress Meghan Markle, 36, announcement of her 

engagement to Britain’s prince Harry, made headlines 

across the world and the residents of South Los Angeles 

couldn’t be more inspired by this Cinderella-like story 

of  a  local Black girl  in  the  neighborhood  finding  love 

with a true life prince. Aside from her career as an 

actress, Markle is a feminist and a philanthropist. In 

2014, she worked as a counselor for the international 

charity, One Young World. Two years later, she became a 

global ambassador for World Vision Canada, where she 

traveled to Rwanda for the Clean Water Campaign. She 

also worked as an advocate for the United Nations Entity 

for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. 

As we head into a new year, the eyes of the world will be 

on Prince Harry and Markle as they make their journey 

to their royal wedding




{See PEOPLE  A-9}





Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland.







{See OBAMA A-?}



These are some of the top stories that gripped the headlines of 2017. From natural disasters to a new medical center in 

the Crenshaw District, big news happened locally and nationally. Here are some of the stories in review.





Hurricane Harvey

In August of 2017, more 

than 11 trillion gallons of 

water poured over Southern 

Texas after Hurricane Harvey 

hit. The tropical storm created 

catastrophic damage leaving 

structural damage to buildings, 

some complete roof failure, and 

complete destruction of mobile 

homes. During this time, Hous-

ton Mayor Sylvester Turner 

refused to evacuate the city’s 

most vulnerable neighborhoods where Black people in poor communities who reside in 

flood risk neighborhoods.

Mass Shooting in 


Just months after Texas 

was hit by Hurricane Har-

vey, a deadly mass shoot-

ing rocked the state leav-

ing 26 dead and more than 

20 injured. On November 

5, 26-year-old white male 

Devin  Kelley  opened  fire 

inside First Baptist Church 

in Sutherland Springs, 

Texas during their 11 a.m. service. The event became the deadliest mass shooting in the 

state’s history!

Mass Shooting Las Vegas

On Sunday, October 

1, 64-year-old retiree Ste-

phen Craig Paddock used a 

hammer-like tool to smash 

out the windows in his hotel 

room  on  the  32nd  floor  of 

the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay 

Hotel  and  Casino  and  fired 

away on 22,000 country mu-

sic festivalgoers during the 

“Route 91 Harvest Festival.” 

Paddock who took his own 

life after his killing spree, left an estimated 59 people dead and 527 injured. The attack 

will be the remembered as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history!

Kaiser Baldwin Hills

In November 2016, 

the Kaiser Permanente 

Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw 

Medical (KPBHC) facil-

ity celebrated its topping 

off signaling the end of 

major construction. Then, 

in August 2017, KPBHC 

had an open house where 

thousands of community 

members came to view the 

new facility, which later 

opened to the public on 

Sept 7. The KPBHC facility is a cutting-edge, 

four-story  medical  office 

building complete with LEED Gold certification. The facility features world class pro-

viders, technologically advanced exam rooms, equipped with the ability to conduct real 

time virtual consults with other Kaiser Permanente providers throughout the region. The 

100,000-square-foot building includes a conference room and outdoor event space that 

will be available to local community groups. In keeping with a healthy community, the 

grounds have incorporated a 2.5 acres of “green” space, including a contiguous, two-mile 

walk path. The Baldwin Hills – Crenshaw Medical Offices will be a part of the West Los 

Angeles Medical Center Service Area, which includes nearly 220,000 members.

 Sexual Allegations and Misconduct Controversy

What  could  have  arguably 

started with Bill Cosby in 2015, 

erupted in 2017 as sexual allega-

tions took every corner of media 

by  storm  from  the  White  House 

to the boardroom. The #MeTOO 

campaign empowered many to be-

gin vocalizing their stories of sex-

ual abuse, misconduct and rape. Democratic Rep. John Conyers resigned from Congress 

recently, becoming the first Capitol Hill politician to lose his job in the torrent of sexual 

misconduct allegations sweeping through the nation’s workplaces. Three women and 

possibly more have come forward accusing music mogul, Russell Simmons, of rape. Talk 

show host and author, Tavis Smiley has also come under the light of accusation of sexual 

misconduct. He has been accused of having “multiple” sexual relationships with employ-

ees with allegations that their jobs hinged on alleged sexual relationships. Actor Terry 

Crews came forward as a victim of sexual misconduct accusing talent agent, Adam Venit, 

of making sexual gestures towards him and grabbing his genitals. Three-time Olympic 

champion, Gabrielle Douglas came forward alleging she was sexually abused by former 

USA Gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar. The list of sexual allegations and miscon-

duct continue to grow and conversations about appropriate behavior in the work place are 

now under scrutiny more than ever.

Progress or Gentrification?

The South Los Angeles area, 

once an unpopular destination 

in the eyes of many, is now be-

coming a hub of new attractions, 

business and opportunity. From 

the new Kaiser Baldwin Hills to 

football stadiums, to new busi-

nesses popping up all over, the 

South Los Angeles area seems 

poised for progress—but there 

are some who disagree. Many 

in the area see the flags of gen-

trification being planted and wonder how much of their neighborhood will be left. The 

Baldwin, Crenshaw and Leimert Park communities are one of the largest, predominately 

Black, communities in Los Angeles.  There are concerned residents who have questions 

for corporate developers, corporate landlords, and Wall Street speculators, who seemd to 

be transforming the neighborhoods into high-priced markets at the expense of working-

class communities. Multiple local organizations like the Crenshaw Subway Coalition try 

to keep the community informed and invite representatives of said corporate groups to 

speak with people in the neighborhood. Whether is gentrification or progress, only time 

will tell.

Taste of Soul

For 12 years, Taste of Soul 

has continued to bring the 

community together for a day 

of brotherhood, fun and enter-

tainment. This year, Taste of 

Soul Nation joined members 

of Bakewell Media and Moth-

ers In Action on Crenshaw 

Blvd., at what is the largest 

street festival in Los Angeles 

city & county. Taste of Soul partners make the 

historic festival possible – the 

Sentinel, Brotherhood Crusade, city of Los Angeles, county of Los Angeles, 102.3 KJLH, 

94.7 the WAVE, CBS2/KCAL 9 & AAUC.  This year may have been the best Taste of 

Soul yet with returning vendors and new ones added, four stages, all with stellar line-ups 

and a notable list of sponsors, including Hyundai, McDonald’s and Bank of America. The 

event, once again, wrapped up at 7:00 p.m. on the boulevard without incident.

Hyundai Couple

For  the  first  time  ever, 

Hyundai Motor America in 

partnership with Taste of Soul 

(TOS) gave away a brand new 

2018 Hyundai Sonata SEL as 

part of its Hyundai Better L.A. 

contest. Earlier this month, 

married couple, Daniel and La 

Mikia Castillo were announced 

the winners of the contest dur-

ing a ceremonial check presen-

tation at the L.A. Auto Show.

Dr. Dre Donation

In June of this year hip-hop 

legend Andre “Dr. Dre” Young 

made a 10 million dollar do-

nation towards the Compton 

High School performing arts 

center. The center will have ap-

proximately 1,200 seats, state 

of the art technology, and small 

studio rooms for producing, 

instruments, and photography.  

According to Compton Unified 

School District, there will be a 

joint agreement with the city of 

Compton that will allow mem-

bers of the community to have 

access to the center outside of school hours. The estimated completion date of the project 

is four and a half years.

Libya Slave Trade

Recent discovery of slave trades in Libya broke after CNN released footage of their 

investigation on the heinous 

slave auction. The evidence 

caused  hundreds  of  West  Af-

rican migrants to be returned 

to their homes. The backlash 

inspired the African Union to 

return at least 20,000 migrants 

from the North African coun-

try by the middle of January. 

Members of the Congressional 

Black Caucus (CBC) includ-

ing CBC foreign affairs and 

national security task force co-

chair Karen Bass have rallied 

for the freedom of the slave trade victims, who were refugees trying to escape their own 

countries to reach Europe by way of Libya. The CBC also introduced a resolution in the 

House to address slave auctions and met with the Libya ambassador. 

Donald Trump

File Photo

The 45th President of the United States, Donald 

Trump, took office on January 20, 2017.  His presidency 

aside from former president Barack Obama, has been 

one of the most controversial presidencies in U.S. his-

tory. During Trump’s presidential reign, his ties to Russia 

have been a major concern of many political figures, as 

well as the American people. Since he has taken office, 











Rep. John Conyers

Tavis Smiley

Russell Simmons

Gabrielle Douglas

Terry Crews

{See OBAMA A-?}









  a.  B





Special to the Sentinel 

The South Coast Air 

Quality Management Dis-

trict will host its “Build-

ing Upon the Dream: Day 

of Service Forum” in the 

Tuskegee Room of The 

Proud Bird Event Center 

near Los Angeles Interna-

tional Airport on Saturday, 

Jan. 13.

Los Angeles City 

Council President Herb 

Wesson will emcee our 

event and former Los 

Angeles Mayor Antonio 

Villaraigosa will give the 

keynote speech.  Civil 

rights activist and success-

ful businessman, Danny 

Bakewell, Sr. will be hon-

ored with SCAQMD’s En-

vironmental Justice for All 


This forum aims to 

memorialize Dr. Martin 

Luther King, Jr.’s fight for 

justice for all and show 

how his dream can be ma-

terialized through the ef-

forts of SCAQMD and its 

environmental justice part-

ners to clean the air. 

I’m pleased that 

SCAQMD is sponsoring 

Log on to 


to watch a brand new web episode where we talk #BlackGirlMagic

with Nielsen Senior Vice President, Cheryl Grace. 



LA Sentinel Newspaper

the MLK observance for the 

fourth time.  It is my hope 

that participants will be in-

spired and encouraged to 

get involved and to be opti-

mistic about the positive re-

sults that activism can bring 

to their communities.

Another great example 

of Dr. King’s legacy is En-

vironmental Justice for 

All Award honoree Danny 

Bakewell, Sr.  He has been 

on the front lines in com-

munities of color for social 

and environmental justice 

for decades.  He started 

out as a community orga-

nizer and eventually rose 

to become the CEO of the 

Brotherhood Crusade and 

co-founded the National 

Black United Fund.  The 

Brotherhood Crusade is 

a 48-year-old grassroots 

organization with a vision 

of improving quality of 

life and meeting the un-

met needs of low-income, 

underserved, under-repre-

sented and disenfranchised 

individuals in South Los 


Danny is one of many 

in our community who have 

followed in Dr. King’s foot-

steps  to  continue  the  fight 

for justice.  King’s message 

is universal. It challenged 

all people to understand that 

if our society is striving for 

fairness, that achievement 

has little value if our coun-

try is divided where certain 

communities take the brunt 

of air pollution while other 

communities  benefit  from 

economic progress.  

King’s message is the 

same with what environ-

mental justice advocates 

seek to gain for com-

munities affected by air 

pollution.  They want 

fairness that other com-

munities share in the bur-

den of air pollution.  We 

must challenge industries 

to seek ways to be eco-

nomically viable while 

being conscious that the 

pursuit  of  profits  should 

never harm or disenfran-

chise communities.

 “Yet, in spite of these spectacular strides in science and technology, and still 

unlimited ones to come, something basic is missing. There is a sort of poverty 

of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological 

abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become 

morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea 

like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, The Quest for Peace and Justice, 

Nobel Peace Prize speech, Dec. 11, 1964

SCAQMD Chairman, Dr. William A. Burke with 2017 MLK Forum keynote speaker 

Maryum "May May" Ali (daughter of the late Muhammad Ali).

 Photo By: South Coast Air Quality Management 


Dr. Burke greets attendees.

 Photo By: South Coast Air Quality Management District

Dr. Burke chats with SCAQMD Executive Officer Wayne Nastri. 

Photo Credit: South Coast Air Quality 

Management District









Ali Abdullah created the Claim It! phone applica-

tion, which gives away all types of free items, from 

cleaning supplies to drinks at trendy restaurants. While 

the app was still in the early developing phase, Abdullah 

thought it would be great to have a Claim It! truck that 

people could come to and get free stuff. While the Claim 

It! truck is still active, the application has broadened it-

self to the entire country. Now people can get deals that 

are posted on the Claim It! app from the comfort of their home. Another unique addition 

is the ability for app users to promote their own business. Not only can the app users 

claim free items, but they can give out free items to promote their brand with just a few 


Carline Smothers created and self-published 

two books: “Fanmi Mwen (My Family),” written 

in Haitian Creole and English, and “Mmmmm! 

Soup Joumou,” a children’s book series that high-

lights their Haitian heritage. Smothers started Zoe 

Beautee in 2011, offering a line of t-shirts that 

sport the Creole phrase Bèl Fanm (Beautiful Wom-

an) in order to celebrate the beauty of the Haitian 

language. “My goal is to help build confidence and 

self-love,” says Carline. All products are available for purchase at www.zoebeautee.com

Dr. Carliss McGhee is president of the Inglewood 

School Board and is dedicated to see students succeed and 

“be a voice for transparency, oversight and accountability 

for Inglewood Unified School district.” She discovered her 

dual passions for helping children and raising money after 

graduating from college and landing a teaching position with 

the Urban League Head Start Pre-school in East L.A. Now 

serving her second term as president, McGhee chalked up a 

number of successes in the past four years.  Under her lead-

ership, the district’s budget was balanced, two dual language 

immersion programs were established, pathway partnerships 

were instituted with local community colleges, tender-care 

programs for 4-year-olds were implemented at the elementary school level, and the Par-

ent Teacher Association became energized and actively involved.

Dr. La Tanya R. Hines is an M.D., OB/GYN at Kai-

ser Permanente (KP) Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Medical, 

the new facility in the heart of South L.A. She is dedicated 

to building a good healthcare system where all parts are 

working together in unison. Hines knows that taking care 

of one’s health depends, not just on good health insurance 

but the surrounding environment as well. At KP Bald-

win Hills-Crenshaw Medical, Hines believes she and the 

medical community there can make well-rounded health 

something achievable in the community.

Fashion designer, Elizabeth Laine brings fashion and philan-

thropy together with her Elizabeth Laine handbag line, which also 

come with care packages that are given out to those in need on Skid 

Row. For every handbag that is sold, Laine creates care packages for 

the homeless on Skid Row. Three years ago, she spent her birthday 

giving back and feeding the homeless. It became a tradition and last 

year Laine added to it by creating care packages that she personally 

hands out on Skid Row. The care packages contain a toothbrush, 

toothpaste, lotion, lip-balm, soap, deodorant, socks, razors, hand 

sanitizer and sanitary napkins.

Glenna Wilson is a Taste of Soul (TOS) vendor, who brings Bi-

bles and hope to every festival. She is a retired registered nurse hav-

ing worked for the Department of Public Health for the county of Los 

Angeles. She worked for the county for 16 years as an investigator 

and health facility evaluator. Wilson was drawn to set up a booth at 

TOS 2013 because she wanted to make a difference on a personal and 

human level. Wilson wanted to share the good news of Jesus Christ 

with attendees at the festival. Wilson funds the items she gives away 

and has given away up to 2,000 Bibles at every TOS.

Harry Grammer has been named a CNN hero 

for his efforts with incarcerated youth. His organiza-

tion, New Earth, is providing youth and young adults 

– ages 13-25 with arts, meditation, jobs and more. 

New Earth started with only three students and is 

now serving over 2,500. The organization started in 

a coffee shop with open-mic sessions and has since 

grown to two reentry centers that show students a 

new way of life. The centers provide an accredited high school diploma, counseling, art, 

yoga, and job training. There is an 83 percent success rate in keeping the students who 

Grammer works with out of the juvenile probation system once they are released.

Columnist, on-air and in-print pop culture critic, and political 

commentator,  Jasmyne Cannick has been a champion across 

the board in 2017 for Black, LGBTQ and Women’s issues. She 

spoke at the #MeToo March in November drawing attention 

to the Black communities’ accountability in the treatment of 

Black women in popular media. She has raised her voice against 

thoughtless comments made by on-air personalities like KFI AM 

640’s Bill Handel on his opinion of Rep. Frederica Wilson. Can-

nick is also front-and-center in keeping the community informed 

on the disparities and issues in the the Black LGBTQ commu-

nity. She has been very vocal in-person and print in getting jus-

tice for Gemmel Moore, a young, Black gay man, who was found dead of a crystal meth 

overdose in democratic donor, Ed Buck’s, West Hollywood home on July 27.

Jeffery Wallace is giving employment opportunities to 

young adults throughout Los Angeles through his program, 

LeadersUp. What started as just an idea through Starbucks has 

grown  into a $3.8  million non-profit  organization with loca-

tions in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. LeadersUp 

works with youth, ages 18 to 24 to prepare them for employ-

ment with companies including FedEx, AT&T, Target and 

more. Not only does the organization connect the youth with 

employment, but it also works with the young adults for a year 

after being employed to help them stay employed and move up 

in the companies. For more information about LeadersUp, visit www.leadersup.org.

Kyra Young, CEO of “Kyra Shea Medley’s” 

(KSM) experienced firsthand the struggle of finding 

hair and skin products for Black women who live on 

campus and attend a predominantly white institution. 

As a result, she along with her longtime boyfriend 

and COO of KSM, John Moore and CFO Michael 

Moore, created a line of ten different butter creams 

In a year of confusion, doubt and uncertainty, a light shined through giving pure inspiration. This is a list consisting 

of people who made a difference through education, entrepreneurship, healthcare, philanthropy and love for their 

community. These Black men and women, through their passions, gave the community inspiration.

and four baby butters. The entire line is composed of multipurpose, organic, vegan and 

cruelty free products for Black women. For more information on KSM please visit https://

kyrasheamedleys.com/  Customers can also purchase KSM products at select beauty sup-

plies and Target stores. For more information on, “The Spot” check out http://www.thes-


Kára McCullough is Miss USA 2017, a 26-year-old retired 

Navy veteran and STEM research scientist, who currently spends 

her days inspiring young girls and women around the world. She 

wants to use her podium to encourage women of color – and all 

women – to embrace what makes them whole and happy. Mc-

Cullough states the most gratifying part about being a scientist is 

sharing her passion with students and seeing the growth and ex-

citement that comes from STEM education. When it comes to the 

adversity women face in the workplace, she feels there is still so 

much more to accomplish but encourages others to counter adver-

sity by confiding in mentors who may have experienced the same.

Kia Patterson has been working in the grocery store 

industry for 17 years and this year became the owner of 

Grocery Outlet in the city of Compton. She started a train-

ing process with Grocery Outlet in June of 2016. After 

training, she gathered her investments and set up a busi-

ness plan leading her to own the Compton Grocery Outlet 

on April 1, 2017. Patterson gives back through the Magic 

Johnson Foundation by helping with fundraisers for dif-

ferent schools in Compton. She has also partnered with El 

Camino Compton Center by helping them launch a low-

cost food pantry to help college students.

Lola Omolola has created a network of over a million 

Nigerian women through Facebook. Her group Female in 

Nigeria (FIN) has become the first place where Nigerian 

women can talk about their struggles with thousands of 

other women. When starting the Facebook group, Omo-

lola just looked for quotes and inspiring stories. She read 

stories about women not being able to rent an apartment 

without a man. She even heard stories about women not 

being able to get a haircut without a man’s permission. FIN 

has become a place where Nigerian women can vent and 

gain support from other women.

Mitchell Lyons, a Dorsey High Alum and Kay-

veon Munir

, a Crenshaw High Alum, held their first 

turkey giveaway event in 2017. The two friends de-

cided they were going to do something they always 

wanted to do for their community and give back for 

the Thanksgiving. Munir currently is an independent, 

personal chef and Lyons is a UCLA graduate and 

business owner. They’ve known each other for 15 

years through youth football and come from big fami-

lies, which have integrated into one big family. Along with giving away turkeys, they also 

had side dishes needed to help make the holiday more enjoyable. They met their goal and 

gave away 120 turkeys in less than an hour.

Founded in 2011 by Natalyn Randle, the Business 

Women Rock Conference & Expo (BBWR) has grown 

exponentially, boasting hundreds of attendees during last 

year’s expo and connecting thousands more. BBWR also 

has an online business directory that connects business 

owners in different industries. This year, Randle stated that 

adding a second day to the expo was essential to ensure 

women walked away with the tools needed to build their 

businesses. The Black Business Women Rock expo took 

place on November 17-18 at the Torrance Marriot in Tor-

rance. To see highlights from the event, visit www.black-


Reginald Webb is creating a generational legacy with 

two of his children. Between the three of them, the fam-

ily owns 16 McDonald’s restaurant locations in the Inland 

Empire. After graduating college, Webb’s children worked 

for other companies initially. His daughter, Kiana, owned 

a clothing store, while his son, Kyle, worked for ABC. The 

siblings came to the conclusion that the family business was 

what they would enjoy most.  They applied to and completed 

the  McDonald’s  Second  Generation  Program  for  certifica-

tion. Kiana works as the chief operating officer while Kyle 

works  as  the  chief  financial  officer.  The  family  has  other 

business ventures through their company Webb Family In-

vestments. They also have an organization called the Cooperative Economic Empower-

ment Movement, geared towards turning the dollar back in to the Black community. This 

organization provides entrepreneurial workshops and support to Black business owners. 

Along with business ventures, the Webb family also gives back by providing scholarships 

and funding to high schools in the Inland Empire.

Emmy-award winning journalist, Shaun Robinson, started 

the S.H.A.U.N. Foundation for Girls, which makes grants for 

grassroot nonprofits that work in five areas of girls’ issues. The 

foundation promotes girls’ knowledge and exposure to STEM, 

Health, Arts, Unity and Neighborhoods. In August 2017, she 

hosted a free event raising awareness on human sex trafficking at 

the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. The event was free and 

open to the public. For more information on how to get involved 

with the S.H.A.U.N. Foundation for Girls, visit shaunfoundation-


What began as inner-city youth choosing the art of dance 

over drugs and gangs, blossomed into a dance crew who is now 

hired to travel and perform for crowds all over the world, includ-

ing London, Japan, Germany, and Hong Kong. For over two de-

cades, Krump legend and battle zone creator Thomas “Tommy 

the Clown” Johnson and his dance crew, the T-Squad, have enter-

tained crazed fans and performed in front of sold-out crowds at the 

Inglewood Forum.  


TyAnthony Davis, 29, is starting his own charter 

school in Watts. After a recent LAUSD board meeting, 

Vox Collegiate was approved and will be open in the Fall 

of 2018. After graduating, Davis joined Teach for America 

and started teaching fourth graders in Las Vegas. He re-

ceived his master’s degree in the process but had a yearn-

ing to go further. He went to Harvard to get his juris doc-

torate but still had a place in his heart for teaching. After 

two years of practicing law in Los Angeles, he decided 

that it was time for him to start his own school. Vox Col-

legiate will cover grade levels 6-12. The school will start 


Conservatives’ claim 

that identity politics, as 

practiced by Blacks and 

other people of color is not 

the “American way” is both 

hypocritical and patently 

false. It is the American 

way!  (Identity politics is 

widely  defined  as  strong, 

self-enhancing  positions 

by a racial, ethnic, or any 

other special interest group, 

to  advance  that  group’s 

political and/or economic 

interests.)  This  column 

regularly  asserts  Blacks 

themselves  must  define 

their own agenda and self-

serving  identity  politics  is 

indispensable for effective-

ly collaborating with other 

groups  to  gain  social  and 

economic justice.

Conservatives’ insis-

tence that identity politics 

is contrary to the nation’s 

best interests is simply a 

smokescreen  for  perpetu-

ating  racism  and  white 

privilege.    From  its  very 

beginning,  identity  poli-

tics was a major factor in 

this  nation’s White Anglo-

Saxon Protestants (WASP) 

pillaging the lives and land 

of Native Americans.  Prej-

udice and bigotry exists in 

all  groups,  but  there  is  an 

extremely important dif-

ference  between  prejudice 

and  bigotry-  and  racism. 

Racism is the power of 

the dominant racial or eth-

nic group to control others 

based on race or ethnicity.  

Therefore,  it  is  virtually 

impossible for Blacks and 

others of color to be rac-

ist  in  this  country  because 

they have neither the power 

to control other groups, nor 

America’s wealth nor re-

sources.  (However,  when 

Blacks, or others of color

are the dominant group, as 

is  the  case  in  many  coun-

tries throughout the world, 

it follows, they too can be 


Conservatives oppose 

Black identity politics be-

cause they fear that greater 

Black unity would strength-

en and enable them to forge 

alliances with other groups, 

thereby  posing  a  threat  to 

white dominance. Needless 

to say, Tea Party, as well as 

rank  and  file  Republicans 

i.e.,  regular  conservatives, 

are interested in protect-

ing the status quo, and for 

them,  “justice  for  all”  is 

nothing  more  than  politi-

cal rhetoric. Similarly, con-

servatives  also  denounce 

cultural  solidarity  among 

Blacks and other so-called 

minorities of color, even 

though  cultural  solidarity 

is an integral component of 

racism and white privilege.  

 Demographic diversity 

in the 21st century has in-

creased, but powerful right-

wing  forces’  opposition 

to  liberalism  and  progres-

sivism  got  uglier  during 

Barack Obama’s presiden-

cy. Even members of Con-

gress joined in stonewalling 

and  denigrating  the  presi-

dent. Is there really   any 

doubt that the unprecedent-

ed attacks on Obama were 

anything  but  racist?    Or, 

that those atacks happened 

with little or no public out-

cry. (Conservative attacks, 

notwithstanding, the   big-

gest   challenge for Blacks 

themselves, was, and is, to 

develop  strategic  alterna-

tives that protect their spe-

cific interests, more on this 


After the Civil War, 

certain  non-WASP  Euro-

pean  immigrants  were  not 

welcomed and considered 

a  threat  to  America’s  cul-

ture.    But  because  they 

were  white,  European  im-

migrants  were  able  to  as-

similate  and  eventually 

ascend  to  high  level  posi-

tions in both the private 

sector  and  government. 

Not so for Blacks who ob-

viously  could  not  pass  the 

color  muster.  I  maintain 

that for Blacks to gain full 

social, economic and politi-

cal justice will first require 

their  reclaiming  self-em-

powering  moral  and  ethi-

cal  values-  as  opposed  to 

embracing America’s  indi-

vidualism and materialism.  

This is a daunting but indis-

pensable task. 

There are many reasons 

for Blacks’ apparent dif-

ficulty  in  forging  sustain-

able  unity,  some  obvious, 

some not.  An important but 

little discussed problem, as 

mentioned earlier, is most 

Blacks have internalized 

the white majority’s values 

without  full  access  to  its 

benefits.  Psychologically, 

for Black people to seri-

ously  challenge  the  domi-

nant  society  is  tantamount 

to  challenging  themselves. 

Also, there is merit to the 

argument it would be a ma-

jor victory if Blacks exert-

ed political and economic 



with  their  numbers  in  the 


Racism is the axis of 

white  supremacy  and  con-

tinues  to  determine  who 

gets  what,  politically  and 

economically.  Conserva-

tives’  strong  opposition, 

not  only  to  Obama,  but  to 

Black progress continues to 

serve to reinforce barriers 

to Black progress. And race 

remains  both  the  source 

and  potential  solution  for 

human rights and relations 

problems in the 21st cen-

tury.    While  a  post-racial 

society  is  pure  fiction, 

highly touted multicultural-

ism is no panacea; no mat-

ter how well-intentioned, 

multiculturalism  too  tends 

to dampen the need for a 

more  inclusive  and  equi-

table identity politics that 

unapologetically  accords 

righteous  weight  to  all 

groups  especially  at  high 

level  bargaining  tables.  

Clearly, Blacks, Latinos, 

and others most in need, are 

not given equal status in the 

social  justice  and  political 


A related aside:  Presi-

dent Obama’s tendency to 

downplay  racial  inequi-

ties  served  to  aggravate, 

not alleviate Blacks’ prob-

lems.  He said things like, 

“My stimulus package will 

lift all boats.” But was the 

Black boat really part of the 

fleet?    Coupled  with  other 

disturbing  indicators  like 

bailing  out  banks  and  big 

corporations, the Obama’s 

administration attention to 

Blacks’ specific needs was 

grossly  inadequate.  Indis-

putably,  the  economic  re-

covery did not help most 

Blacks, who remain at vir-

tually at the bottom of ev-

ery political, economic and 

quality of life indicator. 

It is critically important 

that  the  Black  community 

determines its own politi-

cal and economic priorities 

by working together to de-

velop  strategies  that  chal-

lenge  the  barriers  to  long 

range  progress.  This  is 

daunting but essential task, 

especially in light of Don-

ald  Trump’s  presidency 

and conservatives’ increas-

ing   opposition to all things 

“liberal.” For Black people, 

identity politics should be a 

source of pride and solidar-

ity, just as it is for the hypo-

critical Tea Party and rank 

and  file  conservatives.  We 

must  never  minimize  the 

importance of identity poli-

tics because it is indispens-

able in any viable equation 

for Black empowerment. 




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