Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Recently I paid a visit to my elderly and ailing Aunt, and for the first time in my life I honestly began to think of my life 50 years from now. How I would age and who would I share my elderly days with. This is something, if we live to see those 'Golden Years', will face. So let's face it with beauty and glory.
“Visits are the Best Medicine” And I wondered just how he would handle her dying slowly right before his eyes. She – my aunt – no longer able to walk or fully feed herself on her own. He – my uncle – who reminds me more and more as he ages of my daddy. For him, that’s his woman. His Heart. His Blood. His Sweetheart. His Sweet 16. His Prom Date. His Miss Universe. His Gem. His Diamond. His Fire and Desire. His eyes still glowing as if today was the day he first laid eyes on her. As if today was the day he asked her for her hand in marriage. She’s his heart and he’s going to be there with her. That’s the beauty in Love. That’s the beauty in old age. That’s the beauty in growing old together. That’s the beauty of Love. And when he walked through the door, Oh she rose out of her slight state of dementia. Straightened her sluggish body in the wheelchair, the best she could. Propped her chin up high with a faint upward tilt to the left. She smiled the biggest smile today and balled her tiny and frail right hand into a fist, raised it high in the air like victory was won. Lips part, teeth exposed – “There’s my Joe!” Her Joe – Her Boxer. Her Man who is fighting for Her. “Visits are the best Medicine,” Uncle Joe said.
With that in mind, we have developed a partnership with Philadelphia band, GrindCity. GrindCity’s commitment is the real deal; they are a socially conscious band as concerned with the message as the music. They have recently garnered rave reviews as the opening act for Living Colour: http://bit.ly/OmDPC
The band continues to impress fans while spreading awareness about Ubuntu Education Fund and the importance of practicing safe-sex. By making music that moves the crowd and partnering with causes they genuinely believe in, GrindCity has yet to hit a false note.
For details about the tour please visit them at:
Check them! http://www.myspace.com/joandgrindcity
In Cologne, Germany, The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) yesterday selected Cleveland, Ohio as the site for the 2014 Gay Games. Cleveland was chosen over Boston and Washington D.C. which had been competing for the eight day event.
The Gay Games, also known as the Gay Olympics, will expect to draw over 12,000 athletes from around the world. Chicago hosted the Gay Games in 2006. As a mid-sized city, Cleveland offers a unique venue to the games. Transportation in and out of the city is excellent, and unlike other major cities where the games have been held in the past, Cleveland will prove to be much more affordable to athletes, spectators and the event itself. Hotel and daily living rates will likely cost half what larger metropolitan cities command. Unlike subsidized and sponsored International Olympic Committee (IOC) athletes, participants in the Gay Games shoulder their own costs of training, travel and participation. Lower costs could boost athlete and spectator participation.
Activity and cash starved businesses in the Cleveland/Akron area, hit especially hard by the recession and automobile crisis will be offering great facilities, enticing pricing and open arms to the 2014 Gay Games. The City of Cleveland and the Akron/Summit County Convention and Visitors Bureau (ASCVB) together have committed $800,000 to the event.
"Right now, we're over the moon. This is the largest event that has ever come to our area as far as the number of people, economic impact and national exposure," said Susan Hamo, ASCVB President.
Kevin Boyer, Co-Vice Chair for the 2006 Chicago Gay Games and FGG spokesperson offered: "A Gay Games selection process is always inspiring. Either Boston, Cleveland and Washington, DC, would have been great 2014 hosts. Cleveland gives the Gay Games movement a chance to create significant change. They have demonstrated already that they understand the mission of the Gay Games and they will be a great host."
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
by Richard E. Pelzer II
aka Lil Mogul
As many of you know, Richard E. Pelzer Sr., Lil Mogul’s Dad and business mentor, would tell me, "no person or company can be great without first being brave." That statement always stayed with me as an entrepreneur. In an economy that's got a lot of businesses basing their decisions on fear, it's important that companies turn up the volume on their brave stance ... because no economic climate needs or rewards bravery more than one in crisis.
Scores of other brands were born and bred during economic slumps: Def Jam, Revlon, Charles Schwab, Microsoft, FUBU and MTV. At the start of the Eisenhower recession, April 1955, a salesman named Kroc inked a franchising deal with the brothers McDonald’s. And in 2001, another year of economic and social upheaval, Apple introduced the iPod.
Outlined below are a set of practices that can help drive your company bravest work, called "A Blueprint For Bravery."
1. Build A Brave Culture
Company philosophies are about as useful as a box of wet matches unless they're part of the culture. And a culture can't be brave unless its people are. The minute you get behind your own philosophy, you'll notice that brave people - clients and employees with extra fight in them - will start to find you. Building a brave culture can include exercises such as asking new hires to participate in random acts of bravery. Or instructing your planners write "brave criteria" into their briefs. A good employee is one who knows they're on to something when an idea makes them a little nervous.
2. Make It Real
Bravery's intangible. To make it concrete, give it a physical presence in the world. Start with an identity system that communicates your position clearly. For example, I write down my thoughts, I challenge myself to overcome my deepest personal fears, displaying them in frames on my office wall.
This isn't about dressing up the office. It's about committing wholeheartedly to the value you want others to embrace. By making this abstract quality real for you, you're extending the philosophy beyond work and into lives. And that gets poured back into your business.
3. Unleash Secret Weapons (In A Stealth Way)
An army that charges blindly into the fray isn't brave so much as suicidal. Before going to battle, arm yourself with intelligence, insights and brand strategy. Gather and examine all the data in collaborative, partnerships/client meetings. During these "Brave Sessions," identify the lethal "Weapon," or marketing strength, which you'll use to slay your client's marketing "Goliaths," or challenges.
Go deeper than your typical strength/weakness analysis, because when it comes to challenger brands facing goliath competitors, the best weapon will tend to be a secret weapon-an opportunity that hasn't been leveraged fully or at all.
4. Be Firm In Belief, Brave In Battle
Unless they have something to believe in a conviction that's bigger than the battle-armies will retreat. It's important to work with clients to develop a "Brand Belief," a guiding principle that gives creative’s and clients a greater sense of purpose and meaning. It's something to live up to, bigger than any one product or service.
5. FINALLY, Speak The Truth
Brave marketers can handle the truth. They rely on their teams to hold them accountable, to turn good ideas into brave ideas. They accept the cold truth about their own ideas for the sake of bigger, bolder solutions. And they step up to tell clients the truth for the same reason.
In business as in life, you can't teach bravery anymore than you can teach creativity. But you can establish a set of conditions that allows courage to flourish. And when you do, this otherwise immeasurable quality -- without which greatness isn't possible -- produces highly measurable results. I think Franklin D. Roosevelt said it best, and with perfect simplicity: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Obama's Small Business Stimulus Plan - Start Your Small Business With Obama's Stimulus Package
If you have been struggling with trying to stay in business, you're not alone. The slow economy has been responsible for affecting the lives of millions, for the US and everywhere else. Entrepreneurs and small-business owners who groaned about corporate government bailouts received word in March of this year that President Obama announced a plan to inject $15 billion into the small-business loan market. He has seen what homeowners, companies, and consumers are going through, and put forth a $787 billion stimulus in February of 2009 to promote economic growth.
The good news is that since everyone is facing financial strains, the Stimulus has a program that targets small businesses. Receiving assistance can make the difference in having your company rise above to the level of bigger corporations with whom you might have been finding difficult to compete. Here's what you can do to benefit from the Stimulus:
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has come up with a way for you to be guaranteed for up to a $35,000 loan without having to pay for it for up to 12 months. They have $426,000,000 in government funding to use toward helping small businesses like yours, so that it keep you from losing your company.
For tips and facts about how you can benefit from Obama's Home Stimulus Plan - or to find out if you qualify, visit the no nonsense home stimulus guide: http://ObamasStimulusPackage.net
Colman Domingo, who appeared in the hit 'Passing Strange,' in 'A Boy and His Soul,' which he wrote and directed. The sense of smell is the strongest memory trigger.
But the ears are nothing to sniff at. Hearing tunes from vintage records rockets Colman Domingo back to the '70s and '80s, and he takes us with him in his vibrant memoir, "A Boy and His Soul." Domingo who also appeared as a regular on the second season of Logo TV's The Big Gay Sketch Show, produced by Rosie O'Donnell was best known character is his impression of Maya Angelou.
Over the one-man play's 85 minutes, he celebrates a gawky gay kid from not-always-sunny Philadelphia who comes of age, comes out of the closet and comes to see things "with adult eyes." The story is set in motion when Domingo returns to his childhood home, which his folks are selling. A big event for anyone. Flipping through old LPs by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Earth, Wind & Fire in the cluttered basement — neatly realized by designers Rachel Hauck (set) and Marcus Doshi (lights) — memories bubble up faster than you can say betcha by golly, wow.
Domingo's experiences, whether it's his struggles with homosexuality or his mother Edie's mortality, aren't all that extraordinary. What gives the show its unique groove is the star himself and his contagious enthusiasm for the soul, R&B and disco tunes that became the soundtrack to his life. Domingo, who was impressive in "Passing Strange," is commanding and endearing, whether he's acting, singing along to the music (he asks you to, as well) or shaking what his mama (and choreographer Ken Roberson) gave him.
Scheduled now until October 18, performances of A BOY AND HIS SOUL run Tuesdays at 7:00pm; Wednesdays through Fridays at 8:00pm; Saturdays at 3:00pm & 8:00pm and Sundays at 3:00pm at the Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street, NYC). Tickets are $55, and can be purchased either by calling 212-353-0303, or by visiting the Vineyard Theatre website - http://www.vineyardtheatre.org/. Read more: 'Passing Strange,' in 'A Boy and His Soul' by Joe Dziemianowicz
Monday, September 28, 2009
Kanye West Talks Gay Rumors & Acceptance
September 18th, 2009 www.blackgaygossip.comCelebrities, Culture, Entertainment, Kanye West
Putting the drama of the VMAs behind him, Kanye West sat down with Devi Dev to talk about Bloggers, fashion, his legacy and once again, gay rumors that have surrounded him. While he adamantly denied being gay, he also advocated acceptance of gay people in the Black community. “First of all what we need to get past… as Black people, especially, is the concept that gay people are bad,” he explained. “Because if people accept them, then the concept of someone being gay or being cool with someone gay wouldn’t even matter if you have acceptance. So the thing is…because they don’t have acceptance of gay people, that’s the reason why they try to use it as the thing to try to bring me down.”
Kanye then spoke proudly of the gay people in his life. “The gay people that I actually know…are so genius and bring such incredible gifts to the world,” he said. “The only gay people I know are like some of the most incredible people on the planet actually.”
Check out audio of the interview below
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Brazil (Portuguese: Brasil), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is a country in South America. It is the fifth largest country by geographical area, occupying nearly half of South America, the fifth most populous country, and the fourth most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of over 4,655 mi. It is bordered on the north by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and the French overseas department of French Guiana; on the northwest by Colombia; on the west by Bolivia and Peru; on the southwest by Argentina and Paraguay and on the south by Uruguay.
Brazil three largest cities: 1) Sao Paulo, 2) Rio de Janeiro and 3) Salvador
LGBT Bahian Guide
Salvador Bahia - Brazil
Salvador, the third largest city in Brazil, is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. It is surrounded by beaches, amazing historical buildings and the spirits of the slaves. Because beaches surround it people go to chill and relax, eat, dance and exercise there. One of the most popular beaches in Salvador is the Porto da Barra.
The city of Salvador is notable in Brazil for its cuisine, music and architecture. Over 80% of the population of metropolitan region of Salvador has Black African ancestry. The African influence in many cultural aspects of the city makes it the center of Afro-Brazilian culture. It has many historical monuments dating from the 17th through the 19th centuries.
The weekends especially Sunday is the most crowded so what your belongings. Everything can disappear in a moment by anyone.
Other attractions include the historical Old City “Pelourinho” with its cobblestone streets, massive churches, town squares full of music and a carnival every night and the “lighthouse” which is not only a major tourist attraction by day but at night behind the lighthouse is another story. Not for the week of heart. This is a serious cruising area. It is dark and dangerous.
The people of Salvador are warm and accommodating. There is not much in the way of “gay clubs” however gay locals and tourist visit the saunas for socializing. Many have food, bars, beautiful people and regular sauna amenities.
If you go to Brazil make sure you spend a few days in Salvodor da Bahia.
ZenBiz Travel by Laurence Pinckney
One of the biggest productions in the history of Brazilian cinema, Besouro (Beetle) is confirmed for theatrical release in Brazil in October 2009 with international launches to follow. Directed by João Daniel Tikhomiroff, Besouro is an action movie set in 1920s Bahia, the story of a legendary capoeira fighter who uses the power of Candomble to fight the harsh conditions which, even post-abolition, the black population endured in Brazil. With action director Huan-Chiu Ku (Kill Bill, Matrix) the film promises spectacular stunt sequences and a soundtrack featuringGilberto Gil, Naná Vasconcelos, Rica Amabis, Tejo and Naçao Zumbi
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Judges Ciara, Kevin Tancharoen, director of the re-invented film "Fame," and Ashlan Gorse, E! News show host, named singing duo Craig Lewis as the grand prize winner in the Fame National Talent Search finale.
"You're like all The Jackson 5s rolled into two," said Gorse in her appraisal of the Craig Lewis performance. Jeffery Lewis and Zuri Craig, the duo from Atlanta, Ga., took the stage with neon clothing and cartoon backpacks, shocking the judges as they belted out their rendition of "Out Here on My Own" from the movie "Fame."
Audience members of all ages screamed for Craig Lewis as they worked their way past the stage and into the stands. Post-show, Ciara said she was judging on a number of factors, which made it a tough call between Craig Lewis and singer Georgia Napolitano from Texas.
"It's about the charisma, talent, stage presence, energy, that connection," she said. Lewis said he had no idea he and singing partner, Craig, were going to win. "I can't even think of the words to explain what I'm feeling," said the 26-year-old. Craig, 24, expected winning to change his life, but not until after celebrating his victory with some thrills at Magic Mountain.
Craig Lewis won a $5,000 cash prize, a photo spread in OK! Magazine, a five day trip to Hollywood to meet with a top agent and studio executive, a VIP card valued at $1,500 to Johnny Rockets, a gift card to Sephora, as well the inclusion of their winning performance on the "Fame" DVD. The movie "Fame" releases in theaters Sept. 25.
The duo has amassed an impressive amount of fans, their most popular YouTube video has over 600,000 views, and their ever-growing fan base includes some celebrity admirers such as American Idol winner, Fantasia Barrino and Oscar Award winning actress and American Idol contestant, Jennifer Hudson to name a few .
Check out their most recent performance of their rendition of the song that sealed their fame, “Out Here On My Own” from the movie FAME view the link below.
For booking or more information please contact their management at:
Eric Majette, Jr.
Majestic Entertainment Group
“If there were, we wouldn’t use this option,” replied Density. “You know the GeoGlobe is broken so we can’t teleport to Emthira, and J9 is on a research expedition so she isn’t here to fix it.”
“When is J9 coming back anyway?” asked Buff.
“I’m not sure,” Density said. “I just hope that whatever she discovers helps us find the remaining GeoGrams.”
“It’s going to be okay,” Logic softly said to Elle. “We’re not heavy at all, and we’ll be very careful.” Elle was going to shape herself into a helicopter, and Buff, Density and Logic were going to ride inside of her to get to Emthira.
“We should have our own jet like the X-Men’s blackbird or somethin’,” Buff stated.
“And where we would keep such an aircraft?” Density explained. “I know we have been in New York several months, but as you and Logic will soon see, we never stay in one place for too long before we are off on the next lead to a GeoGram.”
“Why have we been in New York so long?” Buff questioned.
“Partly to get you and Logic adjusted to the GeoGrand life, partly because the queen thought it best if we laid low for awhile to ensure the Great Sphere remains secured in our possession. I have a feeling that this meeting she has requested will affect our current status quo, though.”
“I feel kinda weird not packing anything,” Logic said.
“Don’t worry. Everything you will need will be taken care of when we arrive in Emthira.”
“Plus,” Elle began, “I don’t need any extra weight to carry. Its bad enough I have to fly all the way there and carry you all besides. You know I’m delicate a flower,” she cooed. Logic was about to open his mouth to say something, but Elle cut him off. “And don’t you even start tryin’ to read.”
“Well don’t leave yourself open,” Logic snickered.
“Let’s get this show on the road,” Elle said. Suddenly her womanly figured expanded into a neat, pink helicopter.
“Why does it have to be pink?” Buff groaned.
“Because today, I’m channeling Lil’ Kim,” Elle replied while Logic and Density laughed. The three Geomen climbed into the helicopter and took their seats. “Please prepare for takeoff,” Elle’s voice said coming in thru a speaker system.
“I knew you were a powerful shape changer,” Logic began, “But I didn’t know you were this powerful. This is like a real helicopter!”
“The only limits to my shape changing are my imagination,” Elle crooned through the speaker. “Okay here we go!” The propellers slowly began to turn faster and faster, lifting the helicopter into the air.
“We have our own Ellecopter!” Logic said excitedly.
“That’s cute,” Density replied.
“Don’t name me like that,” Elle said. “I don’t plan on making this a habit.” Elle was now flying over Coney Island and headed in a southerly direction toward the Caribbean. Emthira was located in the Southern Hemisphere on an uncharted landmass a lil’ over halfway between Africa & South America.
“How is it that no one has discovered Emthira?” Buff inquired.
“When the Geomen settled in this dimension thousands of years ago,” Density replied, “The Geomen magicians banded together and cast a spell over Emthira so that only Geomen could see it.”
“Why don’t ships bump into it accidentally?” Logic asked.
“That’s part of the spell. Anyone who isn’t a Geomen subconsciously avoids Emthira as they approach it. Sailors who chart their course through Emthira avoid it without realizing that their subtlety sailing off course.”
“Wow, that is amazing,” the couple both said, astonished.
As the foursome moved toward the south, they were all absorbed in their own thoughts. Elle was eagerly awaiting the chance to see her boyfriend again and enjoy the celebrity status that came with being a GeoGrand in Emthira. Buff was happy to finally get away from New York on his own terms without depending on anyone. Density was anxiously anticipating seeing her mother again. Logic was thinking about his powers and meeting others like himself in Emthira.
Suddenly, the Ellecopter dropped sharply, and Elle screamed over the loudspeaker. “Someone is shooting at me!” she shouted.
Density hurriedly looked out of the window and saw a sleek black jet hot on their heels shooting at them.
“Can you shake them?” Density asked.
“I’m a helicopter, not a jet, but I’m gonna alter my backside to give us a boost. Get ready,” Elle warned. The three Geomen were thrown back on their seats as Elle doubled her speed.
“They’re still gaining!” Buff exclaimed as the unmarked jet continued to shoot towards them.
“It’s the PolyGens!” Logic shouted. “I can feel their presence!”
“How did they know we were even on our way to Emthira?” Density wondered.
“Arrrgh!!!” Elle cried out in pain over the speaker system, “We’re going down! I can’t maintain this shape!” The helicopter fluttered and then began a speedy descent towards the clear, blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Six Brooklyn tourists on trial in Antigua and Barbuda on charges stemming from a dispute with a taxi driver issued a lengthy statement Wednesday outlining their version of events.
To get those travelers here, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. is launching an aggressive campaign today called Philly 360. While the tourism group has marketed to African Americans since 1997, this is the first time it is targeting the emerging and coveted group of urban African Americans under 40 who travel.
Philadelphia's "creative ambassadors" (from left): Ethel Cee, Rakia Reynolds, Stacey "Flygirrl" Wilson, Rah Crawford, Syreeta Scott, Tayyib Smith, Rich Medina, and Khari Mateen. As part of the marketing campaign to attract young, affluent African Americans, they represent what the city offers in arts, culture, film, and business. Photo by Ron Tarver
"It's not to make us Atlanta. We want to have the buzz of Atlanta," said Patricia Washington, vice president of cultural tourism for the marketing firm. "Philly has a lot that it can deliver." Recent studies show African American travelers were getting younger and more affluent. African American buying power was at $913 billion last year, or 8.5 percent of all U.S. buying power, up from 7.4 percent in 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth.
Nationwide, African American travelers are more likely to have been born between 1955 and 1981; they are quick to adopt mobile technology; and they often seek out urban travel experiences rather than rural areas, according to a May 2009 joint report by the U.S. Travel Association and YPartnership.
The campaign is called Philly 360 because it aims to give visitors a full, 360-degree view of all the city offers. Its goal is to get Philadelphia on the list of hot spots for African Americans, joining destinations such as Atlanta, New York, Baltimore, Washington, and Miami.
Perhaps the tourism group's biggest marketing tool is its "creative ambassadors" - nine trendsetters in the local arts, culture, film, and business community who were chosen by the marketing firm in February as the campaign's first faces.
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