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11th Annual Taste of Soul Food and Festival in L.A. Draws Packed Out Crowd

Angela Coggs

Angela Coggs

By Angela M. Coggs

On Saturday, October 15, 2016 over 350,000 residents converged on Crenshaw Boulevard for Los Angeles’ largest street festival and the largest gathering of African American Businesses in the country- Taste of Soul. Bakewell Media hosted the 11th Annual Taste of Soul Food and Family Festival 2016 from 10:00am to 7:00pm in Los Angeles, California. The event took place on Crenshaw Blvd. between Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Rodeo.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, U.S. Senator Isadore Hall III, and Taste of Soul Founder Danny Bakewell

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, U.S. Senator Isadore Hall III, and Taste of Soul Founder Danny Bakewell

This year’s festival themed: “It’s A Family Affair” has become the 11th in what is now known as a destination event for all of not only the city of Los Angeles but Los Angeles County and surrounding communities. It was attended by over 350,000 men, women, students, children, celebrities and dignitaries from all over Southern California and across the United States, including a few residents from Riverside County.

“I had a great time. Everyone was so cool,” said LaToya Jones, teacher in the Riverside Unified School District for the past 15 years. This was her second time attending the Taste of Soul with her husband David. “I ABSOLUTELY loved Jazmine Sullivan’s performance. She is a true beauty with an incomparable voice and humble heart. The KJLH DJ had the crowd moving. The food was scrumptious. I can’t wait until next year.”

The event was a success. Free concerts took place on three major stages (KJLH, The Wave, and McDonalds). This year’s TOS was bigger and better than ever. With radio partners KJLH and 94.7 The Wave pulling together first class entertainment. KJLH featured contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, and R&B. Hosted by KJLH radio personality DJ Mal-Ski. This year, KJLH 102.3 radio station celebrated TOS’s eleventh anniversary by bringing back some local talent and artists such as MAJOR, Guordan Banks, 112, Mike “Mike Philly” Phillips, and Jazmine Sullivan. The KJLH music stage was sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings.

94.7 The WAVE, whose music stage is sponsored by Budweiser this year, has been a media partner and radio sponsor with the Taste of Soul Festival since 2008.This year, the radio station took music lovers back to some of the greatest hits from artists including Chosen Recovery Gospel Group, On Tour, Tom Browne, Troop and War.

Mike Philly

Mike Philly

The gospel stage which in year two was only a small stage in front of the Sentinel offices, has now has grown to feature The McDonalds Gospel Fest on the Brenda Marsh Mitchell Gospel Stage. The 2016 Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour at Taste of Soul featured every genre within the gospel music industry: contemporary, traditional, inspirational, instrumental, hip-hop, and comedy. Hosted by syndicated radio personality Lonnie Hunter, attendees experienced

Jazmine Sullivan- Incomparable Vocalist

Jazmine Sullivan- Incomparable Vocalist

renowned gospel artists Donald Lawrence, Marvin Sapp, Karen Clark-Sheard, Charles Jenkins, Jonathan McReynolds, Canton Jones, and Doug Williams. Also, acclaimed comedian, Small Fire provided entertainment for the entire family and community to enjoy.

There were various food and non-food vendors in attendance. Some of the notable food vendors included (African) Cocoa & Pitta Catering and Rafikiz Foodz, (American) Da Mudd Duck and Dipping Chicken, (BBQ) Big Mama’s Succulent & Savory BBQ, Bludso’s BBQ, Dulan’s, Gettch Grubb On, Not Your Mama’s Kitchen and Shabazz Good Food, (Creole & Jamaican) L.A. Jerk Shack and Smhokin Pot, and (Desserts & Treats) Sharon’s Heavenly Cobblers, Coco’s Lip Smacking Cupcakes, and Fun Time Kettle Corn.

There was plenty of love and no incidents were reported. This event has grown from having 35,000 in 2005 people in attendance during the first year to have over 350,000 in 2016. Over 350,000 African Americans gathered in the Black Community to celebrate, to share in a day of unity, love and togetherness.

Last year, Kamala Harris, currently California Attorney General now running for the United States Senate, attended the Taste of Soul in 2015. “It’s one of the most enjoyable things I do all year. Where else can you have all of the community turn out, family… it’s about love of community, supporting our local businesses. It is really one of the most important events in all of Los Angeles.”

It’s been called Los Angeles’s largest street festival for good reason. Thousands of attendees arrive every year to indulge in the “soulful.” From soul food to soul music, it’s hard not to have a great time. It’s a local gem that will be back again next year and the people are already looking forward to it.



Entertainment Journalist Launches Socially Consciousness Apparel and Accessory Line

Men’s Purpose Tank available online now. Photo by Naomi K. Bonman

Men’s Purpose Tank available online now. Photo by Naomi K. Bonman

RIVERSIDE, CA- Defining and bridging the gap between entertainment and socially consciousness news for millennials of color, veteran journalist Naomi K. Bonman decided that to launch a new platform under her entertainment platform Sophisticated Relations. 

Purposely Awakened was officially launched in Summer 2016 with the sole purpose of making millennials more aware of their culture, history, and business perspectives because in order for change to be created, you first have to know who you are, where you come from, and where you are going. When you know where you’re going, then you know your purpose and are ‘Purposely Awakened’. 

Just has Sophisticated Relations, Purposely Awakened started as a media site and Instagram page for people to go to and receive news and information on the things that really matter and makes a benefit in life. Now the site is expanding and offers clothing and accessories that promote brand identity and culture awareness.

To check out the store and to make a purchase, please visit www.purposelyawakened.com/shop. Also be sure to follow them on Instagram @PurposelyAwakened_, Twitter @PurposelyAwake_, and Facebook: PurposelyAwakenedMovement.

BOTTOMLINE: Your vote is very important! Let’s review the Propositions.

Publisher’s Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

If you have seen any of the TV commercials or print ads regarding the Propositions, you are probably as confused as they apparently want you to be. Leading up to a forum, members of San Bernardino’s North-West PAC will join me on the “Empire Talks Back” (ETB) radio program as my guests to discuss and clarify the 17 Propositions that are on the California State Ballot. We discussed 51 thru 56 last Sunday… That program can be seen at this link   www.ustream.tv/recorded/92095530  

We will discuss Propositions 57 thru 62 this Sunday Morning on the “ETB” radio broadcast. We will review props 63 thru 67 the following Sunday, October 23rd. The NWPAC is hosting a forum on Saturday October 29th to review all 17 propositions as well as the measures on the San Bernardino City ballot. I will provide actual recommendations on the Sunday October 30th ETB program. Those recommendations will also be published in the November 3rd edition of WssNews.

ETB is broadcast on KCAA 1050-AM Radio each Sunday Morning at 10:00 with live stream video via www.kcaaradio.com and can be heard directly on your phone by dialing 832-909-1050.

The North-West PAC is presenting the forum to discuss the Propositions and San Bernardino Measures on Saturday October 29th at 2050 North Mt Vernon Ave. Refreshments will be served at the forum which begins at 9am.