Indie Soul: Comedian Michael Coylar and author Rodney Sampson

— If you missed Baltimore’s African-American Festival, then you missed a wonderful event. Of course the entertainment is what everyone keeps talking about but there were some educational events taking place as well.

Comedian Michael Coylar is hilarious, but his humor makes you think. One of the things he is proud of is his first book, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House…I Knocked on the Door and a Brother Answered.” Although it is written for kids, it really is written for adults too. The book is about President Obama and all that he has gone through during his presidency.

“I credit my mother for turning me on to Obama, because I had no idea who he was, but once I found out, I have been in his corner ever since,” states Coylar. Written in very understandable language that everyone can follow, it serves as a social awareness lesson and a reminder of what the Obama’s have accomplished. It’s great summer reading for the kids. For more information, email


(Courtesy photo)

Author Rodney Sampson

Author Rodney Sampson, was the hidden jewel of the festival. He discussed his book, “Kingonomics” which is inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King. According to Sampson, “It is very important that we understand how economics works when it comes to business. We have to work and network together in order to be successful.” In the book, the self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur provides 12 steps to success and to establish better business practices. Service, self-image, creativity, innovation, openness, and transparency are just some of the topics discussed. This is a must have if you are a business owner or thinking about going into business for yourself. For more on the book and Rodney Sampson: .

Indie Soul welcomes your questions and comments. To contact Phinesse Demps, call 410-366-3900 ext. 3016 or 410-501-0193 or email: Follow him on Twitter@lfpmedia.

Ultimate Fighting Championship Spotlight: Ovince St. Preux

There is a misconception that people who box or participate in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), have anger management issues, grew up fighting on the streets, or are just simple knuckleheads. This is not the case at all.

This week’s UFC Spotlight, Ovince St. Preux is a guy who loves to challenge himself. He is a college graduate from Tennessee University with a degree in Sociology. “I have always been an avid sports guy. When I got into this sport it was a way to push my body. I wanted to get better and stronger. I played football in college and even went out for the pros before finally settling in to MMA and I love it” states Ovince.

Ovince St. Preux, is no stranger to hard work and study. It is part of his make-up and Haitian heritage. “Education and hard work are what I was instilled with and I take pride with everything I do and want to be the best at it” says St. Preux. He proved that on June 14, 2014, in UFC174 as he took on the favorite Ryan Jimmo.

Jimmo was no match for the focused and determined Ovince St. Preux. The aggressive St. Preux defeated Jimmo with knockout in the second round and in the process broke Jimmo’s arm. Ovince summed up the fight, “I am not sure why he did not tap out. People were saying he said he broke his arm while we were fighting but I did not hear anything. Until the bell sounds or the referee calls the fight, I am going to continue to pressure on whoever my opponent is.”

Next up for Ovince is Ryan Badder on August 16th for UFC Fight Night in Maine. St. Preux says he’s already getting ready for battle. “I know many people wanted this fight to happen, so it is what it is. I am gonna train hard and prepare hard. The goal is to be the best. I have taken it a step at a time. First I was ranked in the 20’s now I am in the top 10. So I will be ready as only us Omega Psi Phi men can! You know how us dogs can be.”

For more on Ovince St. Preux, checkout

Melt away the belly

Let’s face it ladies…in the summer, we are surrounded with holidays that “require” us to eat bar-b-que, potato salad, soda wada and the works! What does that mean? – more FAT to have to deal with because what do we do for the holiday? We eat, eat, & eat some more. And we all know that the fat tends to head straight to our mid section and just sit there and wait to spread. How can we get rid of our belly fat? It’s really hard to say because our wonderful body’s have a mind of its own. Each individual body decides where it wants to burn off the fat and in what order.

The best way to lose our belly fat is by doing cardiovascular exercises like running, biking, and aerobic style exercises. It is very import to spice up and change your abdominal exercises. Make sure you include crunches to keep your core strong. One unfortunately thing is until the excess fat is gone in the midsection, you will not see the muscle definition. Therefore, if you are not doing cardio, crunches will not help your six pack to be seen for the summer.

If it’s difficult to run, join a ZUMBA class, or participate in aerobic exercise. Walking is an ideal exercise that nearly anyone can do to help burn that excess fat. The lower belly is a natural holding place for fat and an extremely stubborn spot to tone, so it can be quite challenging to get rid of lower belly fat. Regular crunches and sit-ups won’t be enough to get rid of lower belly fat. The key is in targeting the lower abdominals with specific exercises to tone the muscles and erase the fat. The proper exercises, coupled with a healthy diet and cardio routine, will help to conquer that stubborn belly fat. Here a few instructions to help you burn belly fat and tone belly muscles (abdominals):


Add more vegetables and lean proteins and less fat and sugar to your diet. The proteins will help you to build muscles and will burn fat in your lower belly. If you are like me, I looooove sweets/sugar. In that case, cutting your sugar intake in half will make a big difference in your fight against lower belly fat.

Just 30 minutes of cardio three times a week will work wonders. Pick your choice, either walk, jog, ride a bike or even dancing. Either are great choices. Doing cardio will help you lose that ugly layer of fat that keeps that nice six pack hidden..

Do a few reps of scissors. These are done by lying on your back with your hands underneath your buttocks. Lift your legs about a foot off the ground. Tighten your lower ab muscles and move your legs in a crisscross motion: first move your right leg over the left; then open your legs apart and move your left log over the right. Make sure you don’t bend your knees. Do this about 10 to 15 times.

Maintaining a healthy diet, and do these exercises about three times a week, or every other day will help you to be able to show off your six pack and enjoy your holiday meal all at the same time. The grilled meals are all good but do it in moderation.

The 2014 American Black Film Festival

— In 18 years, the American Black Film Festival has migrated from Acapulco, Mexico, to Los Angeles to Miami and now New York City. The locations have varied; the mission to bring African heritage films to audiences has not.

The 2014 festival started with the Big Apple’s premier of Think Like a Man Too, and ended with the first screening of the new Spike Lee horror movie Da Sweet Blood of Jesus. In between, the festival hosted a bevy of panels, acting boot camps, master classes and workshops at the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street. The screenings took place at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Theater on West 23rd Street.

Blackbird ()–This well-intentioned coming-of-age gay Black movie is set in rural Mississippi and burdened by an over-dramatic treatment. The sappy all-over-the-place script (Rikki Beadle Blair, Patrick-Ian Polk), with stilted dialogue and preposterous dramatic moments, is an impediment. Its unsettling mixture of religion and gay pride, certainly a new brew, never rings true. Oscar-winner Mo’Nique plays an angst-ridden mother and Isaiah Washington is an understanding pro-gay dad; neither is believable. The savvy young cast (Julian Walker, Kevin Allesee, Gary LeRoi Gray, Torrey Laamar, Nikki Jane) will go on to bigger and better projects; they are the film’s saving grace.

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (*1/2)—Spike Lee, the old guard of Black indie filmmaking, gets his mojo back with this classy, urbane vampire art film that is a beauty to behold (cinematography, art direction, set design, costumes) and a joy to listen to (gospel, jazz, soul, pop). Dr. Hess Greene (Stephen Tyrone Williams) is a blood-addicted rich man who alternates his time between a swank New York apartment and a tony house in Martha’s Vineyard. He’s smitten with the tough-talking British wife (Zaraah Abrahams) of a victim, and the two are obsessed with hemoglobin. Kudos to the very heady, tense and sensual script: edgy dialogue, unique characters, rampant sexuality, romance and an unfathomable storyline. If the film gets cut by 5-15 minutes it would be Lee’s most gripping and evocative – ever.

Hard Time Bus () – The cast in this soap-operaish British melodrama must be moonlighting from a Shakespearean theater company. They have perfect diction, laser-focus and great acting chops, which are wasted in a meandering relationship film. Mark (Neil Reidman) is having troubles with his lady-friend Denise (Naomi Ryan), whom he would like to marry. He gets caught up in his friends’ lovers quarrels, misunderstandings and other far-fetched machinations – veering off his own course. The script (Owen Mowatt) is very talky with long, drawn-out scenes that are far more suited for a theater piece than a movie. Dean Charles, in his directing debut, displays a promising talent.

Think Like A Man Too (*) – This sequel takes an assorted gaggle of friends to Las Vegas to help a couple (Terrence Jenkins, Regina Hall) with a meddling mother (Jennifer Lewis) get married. The best man, played by the increasingly manic and thoroughly likable Kevin Hart, leads the young men on a myriad of wild bachelor party escapades. The females’ bachelorette festivities are equally roguish. The director (Tim Story) uses a very staccato/MTVish editing style to give the film a rapid-fire pace that is daunting at times. However, there is a method to his rushed, jumpy directing style, which comes to fruition during a strip club melee that is totally chaotic and hysterical. The overall feel is hilarious, romantic and sweet.

Una Vida () – In New Orleans, a neuroscientist (Joaquim de Almeida), haunted by images of his mother, a victim of Alzheimer’s, transfers his love for her to an old street singer (Aunjanue Ellis, Men of Honor) who suffers from the same disease. Viewing the neighborhoods in the Big Easy is far more engaging than the storyline of this heavy-handed, snail-paced message movie. The beautiful cinematography keeps you engaged when the script lets you down. Bill Cobbs, Ruth Negga (World War Z) and Andre Royo (The Wire) also star, but Ellis steals all the scenes.

With ABFF’s registration at a midtown hotel, panels on 18th Street and screenings on 23rd Street, the disparate locations never seemed to give the festival a cohesive feel – a sense of community. The traveling back-and-forth must have been a chore for out-of-town visitors (For convenience sake, L.A.’s Pan African Film Festival takes place entirely at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza). Time will tell if the American Black Film Festival’s relocation to New York, without a central venue, was a wise decision.

For more information about the ABFF and for a full list of winners, go to

Predatory lenders take aim at our soldiers

— When it comes to payday and other small-dollar, high-cost loans, many think of urban areas plastered with signage and neon lights. And while those images are all too true, predatory lenders have another favored target: America’s military families.

Military installations populated by the men and women who wear the nation’s uniform are also easy targets for high-cost lending. Often young but earning a steady paycheck, high-cost lenders beckon them with a wide range of triple-digit interest rates on lending products ranging from payday and auto title loans to refund anticipation checks, installment loans and more.

In 2007 President George W. Bush signed into law the Military Lending Act (MLA). Before its enactment, the Department of Defense (DoD) found that “predatory lending undermines military readiness.” To address the abuses, MLA capped annual interest rates at 36 percent for consumer credit. Further, it banned the use of a borrower’s bank account as collateral for payday loans.

Has progress been made? Yes. But is small-dollar lending reform complete? No.

Last month DOD issued a report that noted how too many service members are still caught in predatory debt. Other predatory lending products, such as high-cost installment loans, are now being offered but fall outside the scope of the existing MLA. As a result, DOD now seeks to broaden its current protections to include other forms of abusive credit.

DOD advised Congress that consumer education alone was simply not enough to overcome predatory lenders’ aggressive marketing.

“While the Department also believes that education is both important and helpful, it is simply not as effective in steering vulnerable Service members away from high-cost loans as prohibiting those loans. . . . Financial protections are an important part of fulfilling the Department’s compact with Service members and their families,” it stated.

A survey of active duty Services members found that 88 percent of enlisted members said they did not think they would be inconvenienced if there was no access to credit products with more than 36 percent interest rates.

The Department of Defense also asked financial counselors who work with service members additional questions. Nearly the same proportion – 87 percent – did not view a 36 percent annual percentage rate as being too restrictive.

With these and other findings, DOD concluded that new, more comprehensive regulations are needed to protect service members from high-cost credit.

That same conclusion is shared by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). Independent research by CRL has found that high-cost lending robs the most financially vulnerable of their monetary assets:

Repeated payday borrowing costs consumers $3.5 billion in fees each year.

Like payday lenders, auto title lenders derive more revenues from fees than on the actual principal borrowed;

The average car title customer renews his/her loan eight times;

Like payday and car title loans, installment loans have also been associated with repeated refinances and account for as much as 75 percent of

this loan business; and installment loans typically include high-cost, add-on products such as credit life, disability insurances and discount clubs

that significantly raise the total costs of credit.

DOD reports that 67 percent of enlisted service members reported seeing other military members get in trouble using credit. Additionally, because of conflicting state statutes, only 24 states have the authority to enforce the MLA.

In states that already have a comprehensive rate cap in place to prevent high-cost loans of any type, they already extend these important protections to military and civilians alike. However, in states where such triple-digit interest debt trap lending is legal, the DOD’s enhancements would be a welcome way to protect active duty military nationwide.

Reacting to the Department’s report, CRL said, These findings are consistent with earlier analyses by our respective organizations that found that far too often, the important protections established by the Military Lending Act are easy to evade . . . We applaud the Department of Defense for its commitment to protecting the financial stability of service members and their families and we look forward to continued progress on this critical issue.”

FBI targets pimps, rescues 168 children in nationwide crackdown

The FBI has rescued 168 children and arrested 281 pimps in a countrywide crackdown on child sex trafficking.

The operation, which took place over the last week in more than 100 cities, involved nearly 400 law enforcement agencies, authorities said Monday.

The message, said FBI Director James Comey, should be clear: “Our children are not for sale. … We will respond and crush these pimps who would crush these children.”

Since 2008, the FBI and its partners have rescued close to 3,600 children. The agency said investigations have led to 1,450 convictions and the seizure of more than $3 million in assets.

“These are not far-away kids in faraway lands. These are our kids, on our street corners, our truck stops, our motels, our casinos. These are America’s children,” Comey said.

Speaking alongside the director, Leslie Caldwell, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s criminal division, stressed scores of more children remain victimized.

She urged anyone with information about such abuse to contact authorities.

“Just one call, just one online report could mean all the difference for a child who now can only dream of a normal childhood and a life outside prostitution,” Caldwell said.


™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Pitbull: 5 surprising facts about the superstar

Even if you don’t know his songs by name, chances are you’ve partied to Pitbull.

With his No. 1 hit “Give Me Everything” and collaborations with stars like Jennifer Lopez, Usher, Christina Aguilera, Chris Brown, Kesha and Shakira, the Cuban-American rapper born Armando Christian Perez is riding high with his career.

But Pitbull’s monster success hasn’t gone to his head. As he recently told Nischelle Turner on “CNN Spotlight”: He just wants to bring joy to his fans.

“When you make this music that makes everybody feel good, that is the goal,” he said. “When you come and see me … I want you to escape. No mortgage. No bills. No baby mama drama. No child support. No economy messed up. No war. No terrorists. Just come here and lose your mind and enjoy.”

But what makes Pitbull feel good? Snagging high-profile gigs like opening the World Cup or hosting the American Music Awards keeps him busy, but here are five things you may not know about Mr. Worldwide:

1. He plays hard, and he works hard.

Banish the thought that Pitbull is just a musician. Behind the scenes, he is also a savvy businessman who, in addition to a line of fragrances for men and women and a TV development company, also has partnerships with Kodak, Voli Vodka and Bud Light.

When asked for his best investment tips, Pitbull said: “Don’t be afraid to lose. Listen. And always invest in yourself.”

With almost 17 million Twitter followers and millions of downloads of his music, he is a pop culture force to be reckoned with.

“Pitbull is only going to get bigger,” Rolling Stone journalist Simon Vozick-Levinson said. “He’s someone who’s not going to stop until he takes over the entire world.”

“There’s nothing owed to you in life,” Pitbull said. “Those who make it work hard for it.”

2. His stage name has meaning.

According to the biography “Pitbull: Mr. Worldwide,” the rapper had a reason for wanting to be known after a particular breed of dog.

“(Pitbulls) bite to lock,” the book quotes him as saying. “The dog is too stupid to lose. And they’re outlawed in Dade County (Florida). They’re basically everything that I am. It’s been a constant fight.”

He told CNN that he admires the tenacity of the breed.

“I like the hunt; I like when people say you can’t, you won’t, you never will,” Pitbull said. “Those kind of things turn me on.”

It was around the release of his song “I Know You Want Me” that Pitbull began to expand his territory. He went from representing Miami as Mr. 305 (for the city’s area code) to the man we’ve now come to know as Mr. Worldwide.

“If you don’t know where you’re from, you don’t know where you’re going,” Pitbull said. “Believe me, I know where I’m from. I love it. I wear it on my chest. Everywhere I go everybody knows Mr. 305, Mr. Dade County, Miami boy representing. When I say Mr. Worldwide, it’s because we’re all around the world. Now, we’ve got to think of another name like Mr. Another Planet or something.”

3. His clothing does, too.

Fans can’t seem to get enough of Pitbull the sharp-dressed man (think tailored suits, not jeans and baseball caps), but to Pitbull, it’s more than just a fashion statement.

“What I’ve shown is evolution through the music business,” he said. “When people ask, ‘How come you don’t do music for the streets no more?’

“Man, I made music to get out the streets, not to stay in the streets. ‘How come you be putting on these suits now?’ It shows maturity; it shows growth; it shows evolution. This is what I want to teach y’all; this is what this music’s about. This is what this journey is about.”

“He’s the truth,” Usher said. “He’s consistent. He constantly is a gentleman. There’s something about a man who at every turn shows up with a suit on — and will sweat for two hours in it. He’s committed, man.”

4. He speaks his mind, whether you like it or not.

What is celebrity status if it doesn’t include a few beefs here and there? Pitbull has had his share of run-ins with other stars including Lindsay Lohan, who lost a defamation lawsuit against him after he rapped in a song, “I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan” in reference to her highly publicized arrests.

Rapper Lil Wayne also ran afoul of Pitbull after ranting against his beloved Miami Heat. Pitbull went so far as to record a “diss track” called “Welcome to Dade County.”

5. He is inspiring the next generation to be successful like him.

As Lil Wayne learned the hard way, Pitbull takes both Miami and sports seriously. But beyond recording music about it, he is using that passion to help shape the future. He helped create the Sports Leadership and Management Academy, aka SLAM, a charter school in Miami with a sports-based curriculum.

“The reason it’s so special is cause (the kids) are me,” Pitbull said. “I can say (to them), ‘I can tell you what’s going on in your house right now. I know. I feel you. I’ve been there.’ … If we catch them at that little age, mold their minds, teach them what it is to be motivated, self-inspire, believe in themselves because coming from the neighborhood we came from no one believed in us … this is changing the world little by little.”

CNN’s Nischelle Turner contributed to this story.

The rise of the civil rights museum

While architect Philip Freelon imagined designs for Atlanta’s new National Center for Civil and Human Rights, he did the usual research into the past, scanning images of the civil rights marches and protests it would surely address.

Around the same time, he couldn’t help but notice the front pages of modern newspapers that showed protesters around the world resolutely fighting their own battles. They were in different times, different worlds, but always, he saw the same image: People united, their arms interlocked or fingers woven together.

The gestures became the foundation for the design his team created, one that’s visible today as the new museum opens in downtown Atlanta. Even after the recession edited the grand space to less than half the size originally proposed, the symbol endured. The building evokes two linked hands; its exterior walls feature a mix of earthy shades that suggest different races coming together. Inside, exhibits in the nearly 43,000-square-foot museum link the historic stories of the American civil rights movement and modern human rights struggles around the world.

The Atlanta center is one of several museums tied to civil rights recently opened or in the works. Around the country, they serve as memorials, meeting spaces, tourist attractions and time capsules, all trying to reveal their stake in history while drawing a young, tech-savvy audience.

“The vision and mission of the institutions are different. What’s similar are those words, civil rights — segregation, violence, reconciliation, resilience, jubilation,” said Freelon, who created designs for civil rights-related museums in Washington, Mississippi, North Carolina and elsewhere.

They aren’t just places to preserve history or tell the story of a single race, said Ford Bell, president of the American Alliance of Museums. Museums and libraries have long been places where communities explore curiosities and conversations of the moment, he said; it’s why the United States saw a wave of natural history museums in the early 20th century, then science and technology centers and more recently, children’s museums.

The rise of high-profile civil rights museums comes as communities recognize old wounds that need to heal and fresh cuts that require care, he said.

“Museums are the way that we often address important issues in our society, where we talk about them together,” Bell said. “We as a society are still wrestling with issues related to human rights and civil rights, and a painful history.”

‘Stories are the most powerful tools’

Work on a civil rights museum in Atlanta began more than 10 years ago, when former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young and civil rights activist Evelyn Lowery approached then-Mayor Shirley Franklin with the idea. The city was already home to memorials and historic sites honoring Atlanta native Martin Luther King, Jr., but they intended this space to go beyond the King legacy, or even civil rights history.

“It became really clear that they believed … it was important to connect it to the current issues of the world and the United States,” said Franklin, the board chairwoman of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

“Atlanta has claimed a position for itself, historically, as a place where people grapple with human issues, fairness issues, justice issues. Atlanta has claimed its history for itself.”

The links weren’t so clear to everyone. It took time to convince people — including other civil rights activists and potential donors — that the voting rights marches and church bombings of the 1960s were tied to modern, global issues like child slavery and immigrant rights.

The $103 million museum contains large galleries devoted to both, and space to grow as the stories evolve, center director Doug Shipman said. Through original artworks and interactive displays laden with video and audio, museum leaders hope visitors will consider where they fit into civil rights history and how they can impact human rights issues today.

This could be a first taste of civil and human rights understanding for many visitors to the tourist-heavy area where the museum stands, Shipman said. It’s located beside the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola, in eyeshot of a large Ferris wheel and fountains often packed with gleeful children.

Shipman said they wanted the center to appeal not just to those who remembered the history it captures, but also to the 22-year-olds who can’t imagine it. He wants to hear grandparents sharing their protest memories and teens explaining their school campaigns against bullying. Visitors can tour museum exhibitions designed by Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe and human rights activist Jill Savitt in as little as 75 minutes. Another gallery displays a rotating collection of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s personal papers, which are housed at nearby Morehouse College.

The exhibits could be the gateway that leads visitors a few miles away to the historic Sweet Auburn district, King’s birth home or the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, Shipman said.

“This was trying to bring the stories to people who might not find them otherwise. Stories are the most powerful tools,” Shipman said. “If someone goes to one (attraction) and they’re inspired, it makes them more likely to go to another.

“Civil rights and human rights should be Atlanta’s signature, destination topic, like New Orleans and jazz.”

‘It’s not over’

Around the country, other cities are sharing their stake in the same story. Many realized they were losing the opportunity to capture the memories of those who witnessed the civil rights movement and were coming up on milestone anniversaries that would spur conversations around “freedom summer,” school desegregation, civil rights policy and touchstone events of the civil rights movement.

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is scheduled to open in 2016 on a five-acre tract on the National Mall in Washington.

In Memphis, the National Civil Rights Museum — the former Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed — reopened in April after a $28 million renovation, including new, interactive exhibitions.

The International Civil Rights Center and Museum opened in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 2010 to showcase the site where four black students sat-in at a whites-only Woolworth’s counter in 1960. Jackson, Mississippi, broke ground last year on a civil rights museum to sit beside a forthcoming state history museum. Charleston, South Carolina, is planning an International African American Museum.

These join myriad other museums and historic sites that consider the legacies of women, Native Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, or subjects like the African diaspora and the Holocaust.

“If you name a societal problem, I will find you a museum that’s working on it,” said Bell, the American Alliance of Museums leader. “The challenge will be to engage people, to help them learn important history … and how do they keep them looking forward?”

Explorations of civil and human rights can be good business for museums, industry leaders said, presenting history in new ways to young, diverse audiences while building lifelong educations for baby boomers who now make up the core of museum members. By being “neutral, optimistic” spaces to consider civil and human rights, they’re also expecting to draw in corporations and community groups that need to talk through the issues.

They’re reminders, too, that the work of the U.S. civil rights movement isn’t done, said Ellen Zisholtz, director of the I.B. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at historically black South Carolina State University. Museums can continue to tell stories of persecution and protest due to religion, gender, education, citizenship and class, as well as race.

“It’s important because it’s stuff that gets lost,” said Zisholtz, a member of the board of directors of the Association of African American Museums. “It’s not over. We’re going backward, not forward, at a time when we’re 50 or 60 years later (than the civil rights movement).

“The whole future of this country is for different communities who care about social justice to get together, and work together. If enough people committed themselves to it, what a difference it could make.”


™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

In sickness and in health, wedding insurance available

With the average wedding cost now reaching almost $30,000, many brides and grooms are searching not only for the perfect place for their nuptials, but also for protection should anything go wrong. Recognizing the significant financial contribution that couples make on their big day, Long & Foster Insurance, a leading independent insurance agency that represents many of the nation’s top-rated insurance companies, and Travelers now offer the Wedding Protector Plan, an insurance policy covering weddings.

“A wedding is one of the first large investments a couple will make, both emotionally and financially,” said Patrick Bain, president of Long & Foster Insurance. “Because there are so many moving parts, there are many opportunities for something to go wrong. It is important to protect such an investment.”

The Wedding Protector Plan provides coverage, with no deductible, for a variety of unfortunate occurrences associated with a wedding event. For example, coverage is provided if a hurricane causes the necessary and unavoidable cancellation or postponement of the event. Other covered items include postponement for withdrawal of military leave, forfeited and lost deposits, extra expenses associated with special attire, transportation, photography and entertainment expenses.

“A lot of time and money goes into planning your wedding,” said Bain. “Long & Foster Insurance wants to ensure that the wedding stays within your budget even if the unexpected happens.”

Vendor and venue problems remain the most frequent causes of wedding day mishaps for couples, according to an analysis of 2010 wedding insurance claims by Travelers.

For more information on the Wedding Protector Plan, visit, where you’ll find a quiz to assess how much risk surrounds your wedding, as well as examples of coverage provided. The website also offers an e-newsletter for newlyweds, which covers topics from lifestyle to money management tips, designed to help couples become in-synch with their lives as one.

As long as the wedding is more than 14 days away, it’s not too late to secure insurance. The Wedding Protector Plan can cover events in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Bermuda, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, the Caribbean Islands (excluding Cuba and Haiti) and cruise ships leaving from a port within those territories (some restrictions apply).

For more information on how to protect a wedding, contact Long & Foster Insurance or visit or

Indie Soul Reviews “The Good Son The Life of Ray ‘Boom-Boom’ Mancini”

One of the best lightweight fighters, Ray “Boom-Boom” Mancini was one of the most respected boxers in history. A single tragic moment changed his story.

The documentary, “The Good Son, The Life of Ray “Boom-Boom” Mancini,” is one of the best real life sports films produced in very long time. The life of Mancini is not just shared from his viewpoint but from those close to him like Actor Ed O’Neil (Modern Family), Actor Mickey Rourke (Sin City), sports icon Sugar Ray Leonard, family and others.

“The Good Son, The Life of Ray ‘Boom-Boom’ Mancini,” shares behind-the-scenes knowledge of what and who shaped the life of Ray Mancini. When he won he dedicated his victory to his idol – his dad. The story also relates the tragedy of losing his brother and one of the most regretful live sporting events in television history.

On November 13, 1982 from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas Mancini fought Deuk Koo Kim for the World Boxing Association lightweight championship. What happened in the 14th round forever changed what would have been one of the best matches in WBA history. Kim was knocked out in the 14th round and never recovered. The film takes a look at the other side of Mancini’s life after that fight.

The film also explores the perspectives of Kim’s fiancee, Young-Mi, who was pregnant at the time and her son Jiwan, who never had a chance to meet his dad. The last 13 minutes of the film show the Mancinis and Kims making peace.. As the film states, even Sylvester Stallone could not write a better story then this. If you love real sports stories, then this is a something to watch. For further information, visit .

Indie Soul welcomes your questions and comments. To contact Phinesse Demps, call 410-366-3900 ext. 3016 or 410-501-0193 or email: Follow him on Twitter@lfpmedia.