RAMBLING ROSE: Live entertainment is hot in Baltimore!

Hello, my dear friends, how are you? It looks like fall is trying to make an appearance. The nights are getting a little chilly.

The Spindles will be performing at the “Nomads of Annapolis Old School R&B Revue” with Jim Ballard & Dr. Phill Butts 17 pieces band and Rosa Pryor’s group “Signature Live” from out of Washington, DC and much more on Sunday, September 28th at Annapolis High School, 2700 Riva Road in Annapolis, Maryland. For ticket information and bus transportation, call Phil Butts at 410-2944-4821.

(Courtesy Photo)

The Spindles will be performing at the “Nomads of Annapolis Old School R&B Revue” with Jim Ballard & Dr. Phill Butts 17 pieces band and Rosa Pryor’s group “Signature Live” from out of Washington, DC and much more on Sunday, September 28th at Annapolis High School, 2700 Riva Road in Annapolis, Maryland. For ticket information and bus transportation, call Phil Butts at 410-2944-4821.

You are invited to the Rosa Pryor Music Scholarship Fund Press Reception Party on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is free with live entertainment featuring vocalist Sharon Alford, who is Baltimore’s own Brenda Alford’s sister; Joe Hosea’s Band and “Dimitri” (a Michael Jackson performer). Ms. Maybelle will be the mistress of ceremony. The reception is a kick-off to the Rosa Pryor Music Scholarship Award Banquet Gala. You will have an opportunity to meet and greet the children who won scholarships and some of the honorees including: Dante Daniels, the owner of Maceo’s Lounge and Colin’s Seafood & Grill, Dennis Chambers, drummer; James Moody, drummer; Jacob Saulsbury, musician; Lady Rebecca, vocalist; Lucille Brooks, musician; Ronald Scott, owner of Caton Castle; Steve Scribner, vocalist; Kendra Holt, organist and Gaynell Colburn, musician. Tickets are available for the Banquet, by calling 410-833-9474.

The long-time R&B group, The Persuaders, will be singing their signature song “Thin Line between Love & Hate” and many others on Sunday, October 5 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Arch Social Club located at 2426 Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore.

Bilal Ali Productions presents “The Sax Divas” starring Sharon Thomas, Melinda Ford and special guest violinist, Chelsey Green. Also performing are Vivian Owens and saxophonist Marcus Mitchell. This event is Bilal’s 8th Annual fundraiser to benefit the homeless. All of this is happening on Saturday, September 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Gordon Center for the Performing Arts, 3506 Gwynnbrook Avenue, Owings Mills, Maryland. For ticket information, call, 443-540-7797.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts announces the relocation of the 19th Annual Baltimore Book Festival to the Inner Harbor. This year they will feature more than 200 authors, including yours truly, “Rambling Rose” with both of my books. There will also be other regional talent on several stages, book signings, comics, book arts, nearly 100 exhibitors and booksellers, children’s activities, cooking demos, exhibitors, panel discussions, poetry readings, live music and assortment of food, beer and wine. Best of all it is free. The dates are September 26-28th. For more information, call 1877-BALTIMORE, or visit www.baltimorebookfestival.org.

Well my dear friends, I am out of space and out of time, remember if you need me, call me at 410-833-9474 or email me at rosapryor@aol.com.


Entrepreneur of the Week: Nena Welborn

This week’s entrepreneur of the week is Nena M. Welborn. Her passion for fashion and design has led her to the position of store manager for one of the biggest retail businesses in the country, Jos. A Bank.

Six months ago, a new store in the Creative Center, 1848 Reisterstown Road, in Pikesville opened and Welborn was tapped to be manager. On Saturday September 21, 2014, Welborn and her staff celebrated being number one in sales among new stores in the area. Welborn credits her fine staff with helping to achieve that goal.

Being an entrepreneur is not always about owning a business. It can also mean working at something you love and enjoy doing. According to Welborn, “I have loved fashion. So I worked places where I can do what I really had a passion for. I would encourage those looking to get into the fashion industry to gain some experience working in the field, to get a feeling of what it is like, work with people, and then try your hand at owning your business. Never give up on your dreams or whatever it is you enjoy doing.” Words of wisdom from our Entrepreneur of the Week, Nena M. Welborn.

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

Howard County Cybersecurity Academy students mentored by experts

Last week 20 students from Howard County Public School System’s Cybersecurity Networking Academy got a special treat when Firoozeh Azarbaidjani-Do, co-founder and CEO of Phoenix TS, the internationally acclaimed and award-winning computer training solution provider, welcomed them to a cybersecurity mentoring program. The three-hour cybersecurity training session was led by Claude Williams, expert cyber specialist at Phoenix TS.

“During their three hour session with our team,” said Azarbaidjani-Do, “the students learned about Cryptography Basics, Encryption Basics and Protocols, and they were presented with scenarios and real-world situations that required the application of learned security concepts and techniques. The training was reinforced with an encryption challenge that tested students on specific encryption techniques learned during the session.”

The students from Howard County’s Cybersecurity Networking Academy are taught by Vipul Savalia. The Academy is designed for students who have an interest in expanding their knowledge and skills related to computer hardware, software, operating systems, fundamental and advanced networking, and cybersecurity related threats and mitigation techniques. Students gain practical hands-on experience in these fields and demonstrate their ability to analyze cyber threats by using networking devices, simulation tools, software and competitions. These courses prepare students to obtain a wide variety of industry recognized IT certifications.

On hand for the training session Savalia said, “Cybersecurity is an incredibly important feature of our modern age. A day doesn’t go by without more evidence that in order to be productive and to improve our lives, we have to protect our computers, which are the lifeblood of nearly every facet of our existence.”

He continued, “These students are our future and they are demonstrating their eagerness and commitment by participating in a variety of educational opportunities, such as this mentoring program. We are creating the next generation of cyber professionals and this mentoring plays a role in achieving this goal.”

Also attending were Howard County Public School System Deputy Superintendent Linda T. Wise and Howard County Board of Education member Sandra French. After the session, Deputy Superintendent Wise and Azarbaidjani-Do awarded the students Certificates of Recognition for their accomplishment.

“The Howard County Public School System has a deep and long term commitment to providing our students with a world-class education, said Deputy Superintendent Wise. “We’re incredibly proud of our Career Academy programs, of which the Cybersecurity Networking Academy is just one. Students in the academies have the ability to earn industry certifications that give them the opportunity to obtain employment while they continue their education.”

“For example, students in the Cybersecurity Networking Academy can leave high school as a Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT). Thanks to partners like Phoenix TS, they also have the opportunity to network with professionals in the field. We are very grateful to our neighbor, Phoenix TS, for the commitment they are showing to our students, and to their futures.”

Founded in 1998, Phoenix TS provides quality customized and off-the-shelf, instructor-led technical and end-user training services around the world. The company’s management has utilized its more than 30 years of combined experience in training and consulting to provide organizations like DISA, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force with the most effective training possible.

The company’s instructors have also successfully trained more than 80,000 professionals from nearly every government agency and commercial organization, along with government agencies in foreign countries such as Korea and Germany.

Jayne Matthews Hopson writes each week about educational matters because, “Only the educated are free.”

Torrey Smith dedicates reading room at local high school

— “You can’t control where you come from or your family situation, but you can control your future by making smart decisions and furthering your education.”

Those are the words of Baltimore Ravens wide receiver, Torrey Smith painted on the wall of a reading room that the Torrey Smith Foundation in partnership with the PWC Charitable Foundation dedicated to Benjamin Franklin High School in Baltimore.

Smith says that the story at Benjamin Franklin High School is what made him select it as the location for the reading room dedication. The school has seen a vast turn around in academics and is now able to offer two Advanced Placement courses. The focus is on developing what school officials refer to as “Academic Pride.”

Many know Torrey Smith as a professional football player, but there is much more to him than that. He understands the big picture and knows that he has a responsibility to help his community. Football is simply a platform by which he can do so.

“I feel like it’s our responsibility to do this. People are always going to highlight the negative. Right now, there are probably four or five stories in the league that everyone is talking about. Today and Tuesday there are probably a hundred guys doing community service things but no one will talk about that, only the negative things. I am just proud to be one of the many good guys in the league who are helping the community,” Smith said.

Torrey Smith is a person who really gets it. He knows that his message is not relevant if he doesn’t practice what he actually preaches. That’s why he has taken on a new challenge— balancing his cell phone and a book.

“I’ve been talking to kids about reading and the importance of it and I have started to challenge myself. I’ve been reading [for recreation] now more than I ever have, whether it’s a self-help book or just something that helps me to learn how people become successful,” said Smith. “I understand that I have to continue reading and if I am going to preach to someone about how important it is to read, I need to do so myself.”

The last book Torrey Smith read is “21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader” by John Maxwell.

Smith says the excitement young children have for reading needs to continue into high school because “better readers become better writers, better writers become better communicators, and better communicators become better leaders.”

Smith told the students to take advantage of the room because it’s a blessing and it is only going to help down the road when it’s time to get a job and enter the real world.

The reading room contains over 700 books and will serve 447 students at the high school. There are also electronic readers in the room. The room is referred to as a literacy oasis. It was made possible through a grant from the PWC Charitable Foundation. Barnes & Noble provided the books. Other sponsors include: Duron Paint Company; Creative Access; Scholastic and the Home Depot.

Six students from Benjamin Franklin High School were honored for their achievements in “community volunteerism.” They were accepted into Torrey’s Community Service Ring of Honor.

Torrey Smith is an example of how a person can be focused on the big picture and not be held back by obstacles that get in the way of success. He says that “it’s all about understanding that it’s not about where you come from or what situation that you deal with. It’s more about how you work to overcome it. You have to stay focused on what you can control, where you want to be.”

The Torrey Smith Foundation has a mission to “better the lives of Baltimore area youth by providing educational support, opportunities and resources.” The foundation offers four signature programs that include a Reading Oasis and a Back to School Drive. The Teaming Up With Torrey program gives fans a unique opportunity to work with him to help the community in Baltimore. There is also a scholarship program, the Tevin Jones Scholarship Fund, which is in honor of his late brother. The scholarship recipients receive $5,000 that is distributed over four years to help absorb the cost of higher education.

To learn more about the Torrey Smith Foundation, visit: TorreySmith.org

ABC’s ‘Black-ish’ gets a strong start

— ABC’s newest family, the affluent Johnsons on “Black-ish,” has been very well-received.

Read more: ABC TV adds people of color to fall lineup

The freshman comedy, about a successful African-American family man’s struggle with cultural identity, made its debut on the network Wednesday night to impressive ratings. The pilot episode had an audience of 10.8 million and a rating of 3.3 in the key demographic of 18-49.

By comparison, “Black-ish’s” lead-in, the multiple Emmy-winning “Modern Family,” started its sixth season Wednesday with 10.9 million watching and a rating of 3.7.

To put it another way: This is exactly how you want your pilot episode to launch.

Written by Kenya Barris and starring Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Laurence Fishburne, “Black-ish” centers on an African-American family living a comfortable life in the suburbs.

Dad Andre “Dre” Johnson (Anderson) is an advertising exec raising four kids with his doctor wife (Ross). He is also acutely aware of how far he’s come from his upbringing.

“I guess for a kid from the ‘hood, I’m living the American dream,” Anderson’s Dre says in an opening voiceover. “The only problem is, whatever American had this dream probably wasn’t where I’m from. And if he was, he should’ve mentioned the part about how when brothers start getting a little money, stuff starts getting a little weird.”

Dre admits that he sometimes feels like “a bit of an oddity” in his neighborhood, and throughout the pilot he worries that his four kids are growing up without a clear understanding of who they are. For example, his son Andre Jr. prefers to be called “Andy,” tries out for field hockey instead of his dad’s sport of choice, basketball, and is angling for a bar mitzvah for his birthday.

And at work, Dre is faced with eye-rolling questions from colleagues on “how a black man would say good morning,” and the possibility that he was promoted to head the agency’s “urban” division because of his race. (Dre’s internal response to the promotion: “Wait. Did they just put me in charge of black stuff?”)

But while Dre’s fretting could (and does) raise more serious conversations about race, class and identity, “Black-ish” is still a comedy, and critics have praised it for knowing just how to leverage its complex subject for laughs.

“Even in a better season, ABC’s provocative and very funny ‘Black-ish’ would stand out for its broad and biting satire of an uneasily post-racial society seen through a very modern-family prism,” said TV Guide.

“I’m grateful that ‘Black-ish’ exists, first and foremost because it’s funny,” said The Huffington Post’s Maureen Ryan. But, she continued, “‘Black-ish’ has to be more than just another pretty good sitcom. As one of the few comedies on a major network with a predominantly African-American cast, it has to navigate the issue of race in America. It can’t just be funny, it has to be astute and adept as well. The good news is that so far, it navigates that challenging territory with intelligence, wit and subversive purpose.”

Entertainment Weekly wasn’t as convinced, critiquing the series as “funny, but … not revolutionary.” Giving it a “B” grade, EW’s critic felt the comedy “skews too broad,” and some of that mixed reaction could be found on Twitter. Responses ranged as widely as flat-out hating it and finding it racist to being pleasantly surprised.

But of course, we’re only one episode in, as Time’s James Poniewozik pointed out in his review. ” ‘Black-ish’s’ nuance is promising — it’s aware that there’s not just one way to be black — and the sheer level of execution suggests it has staying power,” he said. “For now, I can only say what I want to hear about any new half-hour: it happens to be funny.”


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Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams debut on ‘The Voice’

Welcome to “The Voice’s” swiveling chairs, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams.

Season seven of NBC’s vocal competition kicked off Monday night, with Stefani and Williams as two of the series’ newest judges. Mainstays Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, the anchors of “The Voice” as other stars like Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green, Usher and Shakira have cycled through the judges’ panel, made sure to make them feel right at home during the premiere.

In the words of Williams, “This is going to be fun.”

In case you’ve forgotten how “The Voice” works, four judges go through rounds of blind auditions to build up teams of singers, whom the judges will then put through their paces until America crowns one of the contestants “The Voice.”

Stefani can rely on her prowess as a multitalented entertainer — she’s been a success as both part of a group and a solo artist, not to mention her fashion and beauty brands — to woo vocal contenders over to her side.

Her strategy worked well Monday, with Stefani able to grab Taylor John Williams, whose rendition of “Heartless” caught both her and Levine’s attention, and “Problem” singer Bryana Salaz for her team.

Pharrell Williams has his experience as a powerhouse producer on his side and pulled two of the night’s best performers, Luke Wade and Elyjuh Rene, into his group.

Shelton and Levine were not to be outdone.

Levine landed young talent Clara Hong and Transportation Security Administration employee Damien, whose “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” got all four judges to spin around in their chairs.

Shelton, meanwhile, brought previous contestant Allison Bray into his fold, along with crooner James David Carter, whose “Nobody Knows” had all the judges angling to work with him.

All in all, you could say Stefani’s and Williams’ first foray on “The Voice” was “Hella Good.”


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

Nick Markakis named Orioles nominee for 2014 Roberto Clemente Award

Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of MLB, announced that Nick Markakis was named the Orioles 2014 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Markakis is one of the 30 Club finalists for the annual Award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.

Each Club nominates one player to be considered for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet in an effort to pay tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. September 17th marks the 13th annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to officially recognize local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet and to honor Clemente’s legacy. The 15-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Markakis earned the Orioles nomination due to his work with many charities in and around the Baltimore community, including Casey Cares, Rose Street Community Center, American Heart Association, Lungevity Foundation, Baltimore City and County Public Schools, Pathfinders for Autism, Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, Orioles Charitable Foundation, and Orioles Military Appreciation Program.

In 2014, Markakis and his family made several financial contributions to the club and its charities, most significantly $75,000 to the Orioles Charitable Foundation. Markakis also donated to the Orioles Military Appreciation program, providing a catered suite, t-shirt, hat and meet and greet to select military members every Sunday home game and also contributed to the OriolesREACH Gameday Experience Program giving at-risk children the opportunity to experience an Orioles game.

Nick and his family served as “Race Ambassadors” for the Casey Cares 5K Run for the third consecutive year. They welcomed 2,100 runners at the starting line to kick-off the race. The race earned over $108,000 dollars for the Casey Cares Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides uplifting programs for critically ill children and their families.

Markakis is also serving as the Orioles spokesperson for the 2015 American Heart Association Heart Walk. The Markakis family has attended the annual Orioles Holiday Party for Kids the last six years, playing games, serving food and purchasing gifts for children from a selected inner city public school. They also purchased winter coats for the Rose Street Center, a community-based, multi-cultural youth and family development organization.

The Casey Cares Foundation will receive Chevy’s donation on behalf of Markakis winning the award, and Markakis will match that donation with a contribution to the Rose Street Community Center.

Report offers financial hope for minorities

Finally, there is some encouraging financial news for African Americans and Latinos.

A new report issued by the Center for American Progress (CAP) revealed that the projected population growth and the reduction of economic and health disparities between communities of color presents a clear opportunity to create a win-win situation for minorities and for the solvency of the nation’s Social Security system.

“Communities of color are growing at an impressive and inevitable rate, and policy investments that target their improvement are particularly important for the economic health of our nation as a whole,” said Farah Z. Ahmad, a policy analyst for CAP’s Progress 2050 project and co-author of the new report titled, “A Win-Win for an All-In Nation.”

“In 2010, communities of color comprised more than 36 percent of the U.S. population, and they are projected to make up the majority of the nation’s population by around 2043,” Ahmad said.

The authors of the August 25, 2014, report says that it’s undeniable that the rate at which minority communities are growing will naturally benefit Social Security’s finances because faster population growth translates into quicker employment growth, which means more workers will be contributing their payroll taxes to the system.

Currently, about one in five elderly Latinos and one in six retired African Americans live in poverty, said officials from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

Latinos and blacks tend to have lower lifetime earnings, which results in lower levels of Social Security income, Algernon Austin, EPI’s former director of Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy, noted in the agency’s report.

“But, it is also the case that these groups have less wealth and therefore depend on Social Security more,” Austin said. “Roughly 25.4 percent of Latino and 26.3 percent of black Social Security beneficiaries rely on Social Security for 100 percent of their income.”

However, authors of the CAP report said minority communities may finally be realizing higher living standards, which will result in a financial boost for Social Security.

The most recent Social Security Administration trustees’ report estimated that rising population growth and presumably, long-term employment growth and other factors like increased immigration will help to improve finances.

By raising salaries for those in minority communities, the long term outlook brightens considerably, according to the report’s authors.

Social Security’s solvency could be ensured by a higher minimum wage, which would benefit minorities in particular, and CAP officials said if disability incidences were lowered, it would also help to improve finances.

The trustees’ report estimated that 5.4 out of every 1,000 individuals who have the potential to become disabled are awarded benefits annually. They say if the total were lowered to 4.3, Social Security’s long-term financial shortfall could be reduced by 9.5 percent.

CAP officials said creating better jobs for minorities would be one way to help reduce disability rates because blacks and Latinos have the highest rate of disability claims.

“Increasing contributions to Social Security is vital to the long-term success at a time when Baby Boomers are retiring,” said Christian E. Weller, co-author of the report and a Senior Fellow at CAP.

“As the gap between the incomes Social Security receives from payroll taxes and the benefits it has promised widen with Baby Boomer retirement, Social Security’s trust funds will eventually run out of money,” Weller said. “This could mean benefit cuts, tax increases and even fund transfers from other parts of the government to cover the shortfall in 2033 and thereafter, unless something changes such as substantial improvements in the economic fortunes of communities of color.”

However, CAP officials said lawmakers can achieve financial victory for minorities by embracing policies like raising the minimum wage and passing legislation that helps to reduce disability incidences, which ultimately would improve the economic and physical health of blacks and Latinos.

“Such policies could raise the living standards of communities of color today and substantially improve Social Security’s finances in the long term,” Weller said. “That would lift up the economic security of struggling middle-class non-Latinos, white families and communities of color alike.”

‘Fight Hunger. Spark Change.’ campaign calls public to take action in fight against hunger

The Walmart Foundation has launches “Fight Hunger. Spark Change. ” a nationwide campaign calling on the public to get involved in the fight against hunger. The campaign will provide $3.7 million in grants to participating Feeding America food banks and local partner agencies that provide hunger relief to millions of people in need of food assistance.

As part of the initiative, Walmart is teaming up with acclaimed chef, cookbook author and TV host, G. Garvin, and calls on the public to support their local food banks by voting online at www.walmart.com/fightinghunger.

The initiative launches during a critical time in our nation when food banks are facing a growing need for donations due to historically high rates of food insecurity.

Feeding America recently released its Hunger in America 2014 report showing that in a single year one in seven Americans, including 12 million children, turn to the Feeding America food bank network for food assistance.

To help Feeding America meet this need, Walmart is teaming up with six of the nation’s largest food companies— including General Mills, Unilever, Hormel, ConAgra Foods, PepsiCo/Quaker and Kellogg Company— to support food banks and local partner agencies across the country.

“Hunger remains a serious issue in our country as millions of Americans don’t know where their next meal will come from. By engaging our associates, customers and suppliers in the fight against hunger, we can make a positive impact on this issue and ensure families have access to the healthier and nutritious food they need,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and senior vice president of Walmart Sustainability. “Through this initiative, we’re giving everyone in America the opportunity to make a difference by simply voting online for their local food bank.”

Until October 5, 2014, customers can visit www.walmart.com/fighthunger to cast one vote per day that will help direct grants to participating Feeding America food banks and local partner agencies across the country. The 50 winning food banks will each receive a $60,000-grant. The campaign also provides information on how customers can donate or volunteer to take a direct action in the fight against hunger in their local communities.

“One of my biggest passions as a chef is showing people how simple it can be to make healthy and delicious meals for their families,” said Chef Garvin. “Walmart’s Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign is making it simple and fun for the public to get involved and will help ensure all families have access to the healthy and nutritious food they need. I could not be more proud to support a cause that matters so much to so many.”

Through the initiative, the monetary equivalent of more than 37 million meals will be donated to Feeding America food banks and local agencies throughout the United States.

“At Feeding America, we believe no one in America should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from so we are proud to continue our partnership with Walmart to help make this vision a reality,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. “Through this initiative, Walmart, along with its associates, customers and suppliers will make a lasting impact in helping to reduce hunger in America.”

As the nation’s largest grocer, Walmart is in a unique leadership position to i

mpact the issue of hunger in the United States and joining with customers, suppliers, government agencies and nongovernmental organizations will only help magnify its efforts.

“The Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign is just one step towards Walmart’s larger commitment to provide meals to those in need, and give more people access to nutrition education. As part of that commitment, Walmart is also working to ensure the food donated is fresh and a healthy alternative.

To participate in the voting campaign, learn more about the program, including details on participating products, visit www.walmart.com/fighthunger.

Indie Soul: Black fall TV programming

Over the last few weeks we have taken a look at the new fall TV programming concentrating on shows that feature African American shows or shows that feature blacks in prominent roles. If you missed any of our past articles, make sure you visit us online at www.baltimoretimes-online.com and on Facebook: The Baltimore Times. This week we have a final look at significant shows:

The Real Talk Show: Last year a few markets received the honor of being the test market for the show featuring Tamar Braxton; Tamera Mowry; Loni Love; Jeannie Mai; and Adrienne Bailon. These women reflect the home audience and unapologetically say what women are actually thinking. Their unique perspectives are brought to life through their candid conversations about topics ranging from their own personal lives to the news of the day to beauty, fashion and relationships. The show airs locally on FOX45 at noon and 6 p.m. on Black Entertainment Television.

If Loving You Is Wrong: Tyler Perry’s latest show debuted on the OWN Network September 9th. If you missed it, never fear, checkout the website: www.oprah.com/app/if-loving-you-is-wrong, to get yourself caught up. The sexy, sleek drama features a diverse cast and storylines ranging from heartfelt to scandalous. It takes viewers into the lives of a group of husbands, wives and friends that live and love in the same middle class neighborhood. On the surface they are true-to-life, relatable people— raising children, working jobs, finding and maintaining romance—but just below the veneer of happiness, their lives are entangled by heartbreak, deceit and lies that threaten to destroy everything. The show stars April Walker, Dawan Owens, Denzel Wells, Edwina Findley Dickerson, Malik Whitefield, and Tiffany Haddish. Catch a new episode Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network.

Red Band Society: Many are saying this will be the new breakout hit for the 2014-2015 season. Starring Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer (“The Help,” “Fruitvale Station”), Dave Annable (“Brothers & Sisters,” “666 Park Avenue”) and a charismatic cast of fresh faces, “Red Band Society” is a provocative, unconventional and unique coming-of-age dramedy about a group of rule-bending friends and the adults who mentor them through the ups and downs of adolescence in Los Angeles’ Ocean Park Hospital. The show airs Wednesday’s at 9 p.m. on FOX.

Next week will mark the return of Indie Soul Student of the Week. Indie Soul welcomes your questions and comments. To contact Phinesse Demps, call 410-366-3900 ext. 3016 or 410-501-0193 or email: pdemps@btimes.com. Follow him on Twitter@lfpmedia.

Compiled by Phinesse Demps