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West L.A. Takes ‘A Journey to Taiwan’

: International Fashion Designer Malan Breton (middle) with former supermodel Beverly Johnson (right). (Photo by Naomi K. Bonman)

: International Fashion Designer Malan Breton (middle) with former supermodel Beverly Johnson (right). (Photo by Naomi K. Bonman)

By Naomi K. Bonman

It is not often that fashion and film collide, but it should more often. The evening of Monday, August 17 was just perfect. The weather was warm with a slight breeze as models, actors, actresses, and producers walked the red carpet in their best ensembles to support Taiwanese designer, Malan Breton, during the premiere of his documentary, “A Journey to Taiwan”.

Each celebrity guest filled the Regent Landmark Theatre in Westwood, Los Angeles to get first dibs on watching Breton lifted the veil on his recent and most uniquely inspirational journey to his homeland. Throughout the film he discussed his knowledge of his deeply intense love affair with the country of his birth. He also revealed his Spring/Summer 2015 women’s and men’s collection on screen, and some of his collections were seen on the red carpet guests.

Guests of the evening included Amanda Fields, Project Runway; Katie Clearly, actress/model; Julie Garnye, actress; Beverly Johnson, Top Model/actress; Matt Raimo, actor; Bert Keeter, Prect Runway; and a host of others.

Actress and former supermodel Beverly Johnson (Naomi K. Bonman)

Actress and former supermodel Beverly Johnson (Naomi K. Bonman)

Katie Clearly (Credit: Naomi K. Bonman)

Katie Clearly (Credit: Naomi K. Bonman)


“Ain’t Nobody Business!”


Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Now I know that this week message might sound similar to last week message, but to the Spirit direction. Amen!

Now that we got that out of the way… How many of you remember the movie, Lady Sings the Blues…. Diana Ross was superb and did she not sing that song…  Ain’t Nobody’s Business…. like it was nobody business…. Oh yes, she did!  She sang that song. She said, I’m gonna do just what I want to anyway, and don’t care if you all despise me. If I should take a notion to jump into the ocean, it ain’t nobody’s business if I do. If I go to church on Sunday and I shimmy down on Monday, It ain’t nobody’s business if I do, Lord no.” and Bobby Brown echoed, its “My Prerogative, why don’t they just let me live? I don’t need permission. Make my own decision, that’s my prerogative. I can do what I wanna do.” Cold parts about it….They are right. God has given you free will, “choice” and you have the right to accept Him or reject Him, but what I want you to know today is what you don’t have is His right to His judgment. But go ahead and enjoy your life; be happy, do what you want to do, and follow your heart desire, just remember though, that God is going to judge you for whatever you do; but don’t let that worry you or cause you pain because, “Ain’t nobody business if you do!”

Now because I don’t want you to be blind to the consequences of your choices; but want you to have a clear understanding about your choosing;  why you are still young before dismal and years come when you will say I don’t enjoy life; before the light of the sun, the moon, and the stars begins to grow dim for you; before the time comes when the rain cloud will never pass away; before your arms that have protected you begin to tremble and your legs which are now strong begin to grow weak; before your teeth become too few to chew your food and your eyes too dim to see clearly; before your tears become deaf to the noise of the streets; before you are barely able to hear the mill as it grind or music as it plays; before the songs of the dead awake you from your sleep; before you become afraid of high places; before your walking becomes dangerous for you; before your hair turn white and before you are hardly able to drag yourself alone… I want you to know that everybody got their business. You got yours and God has His. Do not be deceived. God will not be mocked!  [Ecclesiastes 11:10; 12:1-8].

I tell you, you better ask Eli [1Sam 2:27] did not God clearly reveal Himself to his father house when they were in Egypt? Yes, he did! Why? Because, “Ain’t Nobody Business” really is “Somebody Business,” God!  I tell you, we are so short-sighted, we choose wrong. We choose the world over choosing God. Careful!  Paul the apostle made a statement. [Eph 5:15-17] See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil, wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. Did you hear what he said- be careful how you live – redeem the time; (make the most of every opportunity). I want you to know that the Bible talks a great deal about wisdom and contrasts it with foolishness. Proverbs declares that there is nothing in the world that is more valuable than wisdom: Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7, NIV)

So often, we are encouraged to “follow our hearts” or to do what “feels right” or “live in the moment.” This is the epitome of foolishness! When you choose to think only about your present desires without really weighing the consequences of your actions, you act foolishly. Wisdom is about seeing the big picture and living based on what you know to be true rather than on what you feel. Paul says that since we have been made new by God, we must be careful to live wisely instead of living foolishly. In other words, be careful how you live, and walk in the way of wisdom as opposed to the way of foolishness. Remember that the choices you make have consequences—often consequences that you may not be able to anticipate. Paul wants you to understand that walking wisely is intended to protect you and to guide you along the best path for your life. Therefore, be deliberate in your choices, and choose to walk in the way of wisdom because there is a great deal at stake… If you didn’t know, now you know, “Ain’t Nobody Business is Somebody Business –God!”

California Celebrates Voting Rights Acts as Felons Regain Voter Eligibility

ap060209033384By McKenzie Jackson and Tanu Henry/California Black Media

For the past couple of weeks, America has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights act with events all around the country.

Last Thursday evening, many statewide and local organizations joined the commemoration with an event on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento. Legislative Black Caucus members partnered with the Sacramento branch of the NAACP and Urban league, civil groups, other elected officials from around the state and Californians from all walks of life to mark the historic legislation many regard the most important achievement of the Civil Rights Movement.

“As we see attempts to roll back voting rights in a number of states, it’s a good time to reflect on the widespread disenfranchisement of minorities and the struggle that led to passage of the Voting Rights Act,” said

Assemblymember Cheryl Weber (D-San Diego) who was an official host of the event about 100 people attended. “We need to revisit the history and heroes of that struggle and recommit ourselves to honor their sacrifice by exercising our right to decide who makes the decisions that affect our lives.”

For many voting rights advocates, California’s decision last week to restore voting rights to tens of thousands of felons serving sentences under community supervision makes marking the golden jubilee of the historic legislation even more special. California’s new policy comes at a time when there is growing support across the country among liberals, conservatives and moderates for extending voting rights to ex-felons.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla made the announcement last week after the state settled a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and a number of Civil rights groups on behalf of 60,000 felons.

 “If we are serious about slowing the revolving door at our jails and prisons, and serious about reducing recidivism, we need to engage – not shun – former offenders,” Padilla said. “Voting is a key part of that engagement; it is part of a process of becoming vested and having a stake in the community.”


All across the state there were Voting Rights celebrations honoring  the efforts of civil rights activists half a century ago whose actions led to former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act into law on Aug. 6, 1965.

At the largest commemoration in Los Angeles, Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely, a civil rights activist since she was a teenager in the 1960s, was the keynote speaker. Organizers held the event titled “ The 1965 Voting Rights Act 50th Anniversary Tribute Call-To-Action Mass Meeting” at Holman United Methodist Church Thursday evening.

Preacely, who was a member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, urged blacks to continue to fight for equal voting rights.

“I speak to all of us, all of you, about how critical it is that we each find our voice and stand for something,” she said. “This is the time; this is the place to work for equal rights.”

The landmark legislation outlawed the discriminatory voting practices taking place in the Deep South after the Civil War. The act was designed to enforce the voting rights cemented by the U.S Constitution, but voting advocates say more work needs to be done after U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in the Shelby v. Holder case.

The case’s verdict  nullified the Section 5 protections in the Act. The section required certain states and jurisdictions to get approval in advance from the Department of Justice when it made electoral changes, such as changing voting requirements.

Empowered by the Supreme Court’s ruling, over the last two years several states have enacted laws requiring certain types of identification to vote, cut back on early voting days and limited who can register voters.

Over a dozen speakers took to the pulpit at the historic Black church on the west side of Los Angeles and spoke of the importance of making sure everyone, particularly African Americans, have a right to step into the ballot box.

The speakers at Holman UMC included U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Los Angeles City Council members Marqueece Harris-Dawson and David Ryu; SCLC-Southern California President Pastor William D. Smart Jr.; Holman UMC Pastor Kelvin Sauls; CORE California Chair Adrian Dove; and Bend the Arc National Chair Stephen Rohde.

Other speakers were Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin, Los Angeles Urban League President and CEO Nolan Rollins and SCLC-Southern California Board Chairman Alice Golf.

The event was organized by a number of voting and civil rights groups and hosted by award-winning actor and singer Keith David. SCLC Freedom Singers and the Own Your Voice|Own Your Vote Ensemble performed during the two-hour tribute.

Congresswoman Bass, the Democrat whose district is in the greater Los Angeles area, called the Supreme Court’s judgement two years ago a mistake.  She is supporting the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015. The bill aims to amend the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with a key provision that would limit the power states have to amend federal voting laws. This bill is making its way through the United States House of Representatives.