HESPERIA, CA- It’s almost time to reconnect with our roots and honor our ancestors. That’s right, Black History Month! Come spend it at the High Desert Black History Month 2014 Celebration in honor of the late Nelson Mandela. The theme this year is, “A Legacy of Hope”. The event will take place on Sunday, February 23 at Seventh Day Adventist Church, 9875 Seventh Ave in Hesperia from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Honorees include Channel 9 News Anchor Pat Harvey and Pastor Jon and Leita Harris of Castle Rock Christian Church. Hosted by BET comedian Annie McKnight, enjoy an evening of cultural education, wonderful entertainment, and delicious food! For information on vendor space call (760) 887-3746. (Written by Noelle Lilley)
SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Internationally acclaimed poet and author, Mr. Eddie Bell, shared his career as a poet and discussed his poetry and writings at the PAL Center and Charter Academy in San Bernardino on Thursday, February 13.
Mr. Bell, a motivational speaker and educational consultant, told of his personal experiences, and related stories about people and life experiences through the eyes of a Black man. Several members of the audience noted similar experiences of inequitable treatment to overcome during their lifetime. The overarching theme was to overcome all obstacles and achieve the goals that one sets for self.
His poems about life evoked deeply felt emotions as he presented in oral form. He is the recipient of multiple grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the French Ministry of Culture, and other sources. His works, published in English, have also been translated into French and Russian. Accessible to audiences old and young, and without racial or cultural barriers, during the question and answer period, the totally immersed students and teachers exhibited their intense appreciation of the opportunity to interact with this very personable and noted poet.
Mr. Bell was accompanied by Dr. Brian Haynes, Vice Presidentof Student Affairs at California State University San Bernardino.
LOS ANGELES, CA- On Sunday, February 16 at Rave Cinemas in Los Angeles, the Pan African Film Festival closed out it’s festivities with the premiere of the film “Blackbird”. The closing kicked off with a red carpet where the cast and crew posed for photos for the media, as well as other celebrities who walked the red carpet in support of the film. Following the red carpet was the movie screening and question and answer session, followed by a private media briefing and after party.
“Blackbird” is a story that centers on a church choir singer, portrayed by Julian Walker, in a small Mississippi town who feels like a misfit as he struggles with his sexual awakening and the realization that he is gay. This is a coming of age story for that young African American boy or girl who struggles with their sexual orientation. The film is directed by Patrick Ian Polk in an adaption of the novel by Larry Duplechan. Monique and her husband Sidney Hicks are also executive producers of the film. (Written by Naomi K. Bonman)