HBCU Round-Up: MEAC Announces Weekly Women’s Basketball Honors

Howard redshirt senior Te’Shya Heslip was selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, the conference office announced today. Coppin State’s Chance Graham earned Rookie of the Week honors, while Bethune-Cookman senior Kailyn Williams was named Defensive Player of the Week.

Heslip (G, 5-5, r-Sr., Dumfries, Va.) averaged 22.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game for the Bison. She was a combined 18-for-28 (.643) from the floor in wins over North Carolina Central and Norfolk State, and she scored a season-high 30 points on 11-for-18 shooting against the Spartans. Heslip also dished out six assists in each game, while also adding six rebounds and three steals against Norfolk State.

Graham (C, 6-3, Fr., Upper Marlboro, Md.) recorded her fourth double-double of the season, with 12 points and 14 rebounds in a win over Savannah State. She was 5-for-6 (.833) from the floor and added a steal on the defensive side of the ball.

Williams (C, 6-4 Sr., New Orleans, La.) averaged 13.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game in a pair of wins for the Lady Wildcats. She grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds in a win over Norfolk State to go along with six blocks, before adding nine boards and two blocks against North Carolina Central.

Other Top Performers

Kanesha Battle (B-CU) grabbed six rebounds against North Carolina Central.

Kendra Cooper (B-CU) averaged 13.5 points per game, including 14 against Norfolk State.

Genesis Lucas (CSU) scored 17 points and dished out seven assists, while also grabbing four steals, in a win over Savannah State.

Keena Samuels (CSU) scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had six assists against Savannah State.

Alicia McCray (FAMU) had 11 points and 13 rebounds, to go along with six blocks, in a win over Hampton.

Shakerrya Morrison (FAMU) recorded a double-double against Hampton with 11 points and 14 rebounds, while also grabbing 11 boards against South Carolina State.

Monnazjea Finney-Smith (HAM) averaged 15.0 points and 7.5 rebounds for the Lady Pirates, including 16 points and nine boards at Florida A&M.

Jayla Myles (HOW) grabbed 13 rebounds and had seven blocks against North Carolina Central.

Alexus Hicks (MDES) averaged 14.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, including 15 points and eight boards against North Carolina A&T State.

Moengaroa Subritzky (MDES) had double-doubles in both games this past week, including a 16-point, 11-rebound effort against Delaware State.

Alexus Lessears (NCAT) had 19 points and 14 rebounds against Savannah State, while also grabbing 13 rebounds against Maryland Eastern Shore.

Kayla Roberts (NSU) grabbed 13 rebounds against Bethune-Cookman, before recording 16 points and nine boards against Howard.

Gabrielle Swinson (NSU) scored 16 points at Bethune-Cookman.

Tiyonda Davis (SSU) grabbed nine rebounds and had two blocks against Coppin State.

Kenyata Hendrix (SSU) dropped 25 points at North Carolina A&T State, while also scoring 20 points against Coppin State.

Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ infuses horror with biting social satire

— With “Get Out,” writer-director-producer Jordan Peele — half of the “Key & Peele” comedy team — has delivered a bracing debut, a horror movie infused with biting social commentary and disarming humor.

Owing a debt to several culturally significant horror touchstones, most notably “The Stepford Wives,” the film niftily probes how African Americans are treated by well-meaning whites, before the slightly awkward exchanges and tone-deaf references give way to something considerably creepier lurking beneath the neatly manicured surface.

Daniel Kaluuya (featured in “Sicario”) stars as Chris, a photographer dating Rose (Allison Williams), who has convinced him to take a weekend trip to meet her parents. When he asks whether she has informed them that her new boyfriend is black, she assures him that her dad (Bradley Whitford) would have voted for Obama a third time if only he could.

The family’s idyllic country estate, and the warm reception Chris receives — including from Rose’s mom (Catherine Keener), a therapist who offers to use hypnosis to help him kick his smoking habit — initially comes across as welcoming, if perhaps trying a bit too hard. Think Woody Allen meeting Diane Keaton’s clan in “Annie Hall.”

Gradually, though, things begin to get weird, including the strange looks cast Chris’ way by the two African American servants (Betty Gabriel, Marcus Henderson), and the gathering of wealthy friends at which the family seems a little too eager to show Chris off.

The key lies in how Peele deftly unfolds the plot, which starts out like an updated version of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” a half-century later and morphs into what resembles a good feature-length episode of “Black Mirror” or “The Twilight Zone.” At first, Chris might even be guilty of paranoia, as Rose assures him her parents are simply kind of lame.

Peele nicely offsets the growing tension with comedy via Chris’ friend Rod (Montel “Lil Rel” Howery of NBC’s “The Carmichael Show”), a TSA agent with mild delusions of grandeur, who keeps warning his pal that not much good can come from meeting Rose’s folks.

The performances are uniformly good, especially in the blank-eyed, unsettling stares from the African Americans that Chris encounters. While the racial aspect feels provocative, the movie works on multiple levels, from the basic jump-out-at-you thrills to the way the action builds toward its big reveals.

Modest in scale (almost everything happens in one location), “Get Out” nevertheless signals Peele as a talent worth watching, joining the ranks of filmmakers who cut their teeth in the horror genre. Although the movie’s title comes in the form of a warning, in terms of simple exclamations, “Go see it” is equally sound advice.

“Get Out” will open in the U.S. on February 24. It’s rated R.

Outgoing US ambassador: America is ‘not an ethno-state’

— An outgoing career ambassador urged his colleagues on Friday to defend the rules-based world order in which the US supports a Europe “whole, free and at peace,” a thinly veiled critique of the Trump administration, which has questioned the importance of the transatlantic alliance.

Ambassador Daniel Fried, the outgoing coordinator for sanctions policy, did not mention President Donald Trump or speak directly to his policies, but the State Department officials present understood his meaning when he said “we are not an ethno-state, with identity rooted in shared blood.”

“The option of a white man’s republic ended at Appomattox,” he said in a farewell address at the State Department, referencing the 1865 battle that led to the surrender of the Confederate army and ended the Civil war.

Hundreds of foreign and civil service officers and current and former White House and Treasury officials gathered Tuesday to bid farewell to Fried, whose Foreign Service career spanned 40 years and seven presidencies.

His comments came amid widespread concerns about Trump’s policy toward Russia and what many see as contradictory messages from Washington regarding the future relationship between the US and Europe, including whether America will support the continuation of the European Union.

“Nothing can be taken for granted, and this great achievement is now under assault by Russia,” Fried said, referring to the freedom and security of Europe. “It is for the present generation to defend and, when the time comes again, extend freedom in Europe.”

Acting Deputy Secretary of State Tom Shannon called Fried a “national treasure” for his work to help advance freedom and security in Central and Eastern Europe throughout the Cold War and after the fall of the Soviet Union. He served as US ambassador to Poland and director for European affairs at the National Security Council before becoming the assistant secretary for Europe at the State Department.

In recent years Fried took on some of the most thankless tasks of US diplomacy — lobbying countries to take in Guantanamo detainees who were released from captivity and coordinating sanctions policy against North Korea over its nuclear program and against Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

Fried’s departure leaves another hole in the State Department’s senior ranks, with most career ambassadors having already being asked to leave or choosing to retire rather than work for the Trump administration.

Bad heart? Time to hit the gym

— Rick Murphy, a real estate appraiser in Atlanta, had no idea he had a bad heart.

When Murphy turned 50, he decided it was time to get in shape. It wasn’t long before he progressed from running races to an Ironman triathlon.

A fellow triathlete recommended he get checked out by a sports cardiologist, so he went to see Dr. Jonathan Kim at Emory Healthcare in July 2015.

“The next thing you know, Dr. Kim is saying, ‘I think we need to do a heart catheterization on you.’ “

One of the heart’s main arteries was over 95% blocked. Murphy was in the operating room within a few days.

“I was obviously surprised,” said Kim. “He could’ve been that unfortunate terrible story where somebody drops dead.”

“My only symptom was a little extra fatigue,” said Murphy, now 55. “I chalked it up to working too much and not getting enough sleep.”

Murphy wouldn’t be running another Ironman anytime soon, but he was eager to get back to his normal routine. And Kim prescribed just that: more exercise. Though the benefits of exercise are clear for those with an injured heart, Kim said, patients often want to know how best to exercise, how much and how hard.

Increasingly, experts are pushing patients with heart problems harder than what was considered useful — or perhaps even safe — in the past.

Let’s get physical

The idea that exercise can help hearts recover is a relatively modern one.

Until the 1950s, doctors often told cardiac patients to avoid any physical activity at all. In 1952, the recommendation that heart attack patients get out of the hospital bed and into an armchair was seen as controversial. It wasn’t until the late ’50s that exercise guidelines emerged for these patients.

Nowadays, aerobic exercise is seen as a key to recovery, said Kim, who runs an exercise physiology lab.

“One of the tenets of what we do is that exercise is medicine,” he said.

Aerobic exercises like swimming, jogging and cycling raise the heart rate. Over time, the heart becomes more efficient, allowing it to pump more blood with less effort. Exercise can also reverse some of the effects of heart disease, like the narrowing of arteries.

“The goal is to raise and sustain that elevated heart rate in what we call a training heart rate zone,” said Dr. Jonathan Whiteson, medical director for cardiac rehabilitation at NYU Langone Medical Center.

A typical target zone for aerobic exercise might be 70 to 80% of your maximum heart rate, said Whiteson, though many aim higher or lower.

Most people can calculate a ballpark maximum heart rate by subtracting their age from 220, said Whiteson. At 55, Murphy said his heart rate follows that trend to a T, peaking around 165. However, many heart attack survivors fall quite a bit lower, said Whiteson.

Exercise specialists like Whiteson and Kim use a battery of tests and gadgets to find each patient’s new normal — from heartbeat monitors to a mask that measures oxygen use. Once their patients are stable, it’s back to work — though slowly, at first.

“They try to get you up and moving around as soon as possible,” said Murphy.

A comeback workout

In recent years, doctors have continued to push the limits of what they thought cardiac patients could do, opting for high-intensity interval training over more moderate exercise, said Ray Squires, program director of cardiac health and rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic.

During high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, people push themselves for brief intervals — from 30 seconds to a few minutes — followed by a longer periods of lower-intensity exercise.

In 2009, Mayo Clinic began recommending HIIT to people who had been diagnosed with heart attack or heart failure.

“I don’t know if there was anybody else doing it in the United States” at the time, Squires said.

At Mayo, Squires and his team only initiate HIIT once their patients can do 20 minutes of moderate exercise, which may include brisk walking or even mowing the lawn.

High-intensity training has many different “flavors,” Squires said, which can depend on the age of the patient, their fitness level, the nature of their heart problem and other medical conditions, like arthritis, that might make certain exercises more difficult. There is no one way to do HIIT, he said.

Patients are often scared to push their hearts soon after a heart attack, Squires said, but most trust their doctors enough to try. Among the several thousand patients who have gone through Mayo’s 36-week program, “we have never seen a single event during HIIT,” he said.

Patients are more at risk for a physical injury than another heart attack, he added.

In one study, researchers in the Netherlands recorded only two fatal cardiac arrests over 46,000 hours of supervised high-intensity exercise. These cases were so few that they were unable to find a difference between that and moderate exercise; the authors concluded that the benefits of HIIT outweighed the risks.

Some studies suggest that high-intensity exercise might actually be better for cardiac patients than moderate-intensity exercise, nearly doubling their cardiorespiratory fitness according to one analysis.

“HIIT is not new,” said Squires. “It’s been used by athletes probably since the beginning of time.”

The first studies on HIIT in cardiac patients occurred in the late ’70s, but they were largely ignored, said Squires, even though they demonstrated “dramatic improvements” in many of these patients.

But the trend caught on among rehab centers and exercise enthusiasts alike. The American College of Sports Medicine listed HIIT as the No. 3 fitness trend for 2017. Gymgoers are increasingly looking to short, intense workouts as a way to pack the benefits of exercise into a shorter session.

This contrasts with expert recommendations that people get 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week.

“Some people just don’t have the time,” said Kim. “Some people just want to push themselves harder.”

But the science is still emerging, said Kim. For patients with an injured heart, it can be crucial to discuss their goals and fears with a cardiologist and personalize their exercise plan, he said.

“In the field of sports cardiology, we still have a lot of limitations between what we know and what we don’t know.”

It all ‘works out’ in the end

The benefits of cardiac rehab may be limited less by emerging science, and more by who has access to it.

A study released earlier this month added to findings that women and black patients are less likely to be referred to cardiac rehab than their male and white counterparts. Those with insurance coverage are three times more likely to be referred to cardiac rehab, according to another study.

But despite the high-tech tools and education that people can access in these programs, they aren’t a hard requirement for exercising after a heart problem, said Kim

“The benefits of exercise are as tried and true as anything we know about,” said Kim, “whether you have the technology or not.”

Ironman triathlete Rick Murphy has been following Kim’s orders; with 18 months of rehab under his belt, he has only two more to go.

Murphy has already signed up for a triathlon in May. He said that his experience inspired people close to him to get checked out, as well.

“I had a lot of friends who couldn’t believe that this actually happened to me after what I’ve been doing,” said Murphy. “It rocked a lot of people’s world.”

Jack & Jill of America Arundel Bay Area Chapter inspires kids to read

— Arundel Bay Area Chapter members of Jack & Jill of America partnered with local organizations to install a reading room in the child care center at Sarah’s House, a supportive housing program offering emergency and transitional housing for homeless families in Anne Arundel County.

Child care is among an array of services offered to residents at the facility.

In addition to building a culturally diverse reading corner, ABA members painted the space, replaced office furniture, and with support from the Target Corporation refinished the flooring with colorful, kid-friendly rugs. The space was decorated to provide a cozy environment for children to gather and read.

Earlier this month, the space was dedicated to Harriett E. Smith, the beloved director of child care for 10 years who passed away suddenly in November 2016.

“It is a delight for Sarah’s House Child Care to have received such a useful and beautiful donation,” A. Tucker, Sarah’s House school age liaison declared.

The President of the ABA Chapter, L.T. Harden reported, “children’s literacy is a national focus of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Literacy is inextricably tied to children’s success in life. As a Jack and Jill of America Chapter, we are elated that we can help support children’s literacy in our community. We thank everyone who helped make the reading corner a reality. We hope the reading corner will be in existence for years to come.”

The ABA chapter was formed in October 1990 and its mission has not changed. Since its inception, the ABA Chapter (formerly known as the Greater Glen Burnie Chapter) has been involved with community initiatives. This past year Chapter children and members volunteered at a shelter, donated books to reading program, made sandwiches for the homeless, caroled for senior citizens and made weekend food backpacks for needy children.

Jack and Jill of America, Inc., is a membership organization of mothers with children ages 2-19, dedicated to nurturing future African-American leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty. The organization aims to seek for all children the same advantages which Chapter members desire for their own children and support all national, regional and local legislation aimed at bettering the conditions of all children.

The ABA Chapter looks forward to continued involvement and support of children in the Anne Arundel County community.

Letters to the Editor:Re: Bill Cosby was right

As African-Americans slip further and further into economic and social chaos it has become abundantly clear that the current methods of fighting poverty have failed.

The nearly 4000 shootings in Chicago in 2016 of which 674 were fatal, the unemployment rate for African-Americans at nearly twice the national average and the poverty rate of 27 percent for African-Americans is ample proof that a change in direction in needed in fighting poverty.

For too long African-Americans have depended on the government and the established business community to provide us with jobs, education and sustenances. Because of this dependency we

have the worst schools, the lowest paying jobs and unsafe neighborhoods.

The solution to the problem is clear, we must start to depend on ourselves and take responsibility for our actions—that’s where Bill Cosby comes in.

Now, I know there is going to be some blowback because I said that Bill Cosby was right. After all, he has been vilified in the press but I believe in this case and probably in most cases the message is more important than the messenger.

No matter what you may think of Bill, his words in 2014 are as true today as they were when he spoke of the need for African-Americans to take responsibility for our actions.

In addition to Bill Cosby’s recommendations, I want to add my own which includes the need for African-Americans to build a $1 trillion investment fund to be used to build African American

businesses that will create jobs and generate prosperity in the black community.

It is time for African-Americans to take action and save our communities.

Elie Parker

San Leandro, CA

What African-Americans Need to Know about ALS

The Brigance Brigade Foundation, a Maryland-based nonprofit, has teamed up with the National Institutes of Health ALS Research Lab to expand research on the racial and ethnic differences across ALS cases.

Classified as an orphan disease occurring in a small portion of the population and commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Officials at the ALS Association note the three words that describe ALS— amyotrophic,” which refers to muscle and nourishment— when a muscle has no nourishment, it atrophies or wastes

away. Further, “lateral” identifies the area in an individual’s spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As the area degenerates, it leads to scarring and hardening or “sclerosis,” in the region.

Despite the over-sampling for minority populations with ALS, the percentage of African-American cases reported is not proportionate to the population.

“ALS is not spoken about in the African-American community because there are not a lot of African-Americans who are diagnosed with ALS,” said O.J. Brigance, who spent a decade fighting

the disease and as an activist on behalf of families with ALS.

The National ALS Registry gathered data from October 19, 2010 to December 31, 2011 and found that 12,187 individuals were living with ALS, which is more common among whites, males,

non-Hispanics, and those aged 60 to 69.

The study revealed that white men and women were twice as likely to have ALS than black men and women; and males had a higher rate than females across all races with four in 100,000

ever being diagnosed with ALS.

“In 2007, one of the first symptoms I experienced was a loss of strength in my right arm. I was playing racquetball and noticed I didn’t have the same power in my swing,” Brigance said. “I also started having twitching in my muscles, which I later learned were called fasciculations. I didn’t have any family history of ALS. I am what they call a sporadic case, which accounts for 95percent of cases.

“There are also familial cases of ALS, which account for the remaining five percent of cases,” Brigance said, noting that ALS is a disease that is diagnosed by process of elimination.

Brigance and his wife, Chanda, started the Brigance Brigade foundation in 2008 to help with the expenses not covered by insurance, but are critical to everyday quality of life.

While other organizations raise money for research, Brigance says they didn’t notice any that focused on patient services.

“We were seeing these medical bills roll in and wondered how families pay for this. That was the impetus for us starting the Brigance Brigade,” he said. “I am not saying raising money for research is not important. However, we also need to help those living with ALS right now.”

ALS has been shown to have a genetic basis and finding genes that cause ALS will help scientists learn how to treat it, yet African-Americans don’t often volunteer for genetic research studies, Brigance said.

Without African-American DNA in research studies, it’s unclear how blacks contract ALS, a fact that has the potential to leave the community out of the equation when effective treatments for the diseases are developed, he said.

This also hinders scientists from learning everything about the disease regardless of ethnicity.

The NIH needs comprehensive information about DNA from all backgrounds to know more precisely how the disease works so the foundation and the NIH are seeking to increase in enrollment in research studies.

“I would tell anyone diagnosed that even though they have been diagnosed with ALS, it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Will there be changes and lifestyle adjustments? Yes, but living lifestyle still possible,” Brigance said.

“I’m not saying living with ALS is easy by any stretch of the imagination. Quite the opposite, it will test every fiber of your being.

“However, I also believe that those who walk this journey with ALS have a certain intestinal fortitude and fight to accomplish whatever they put their minds to. Life has a way of preparing us

for every trial through previous life experiences.”

For more information or to contribute, visit www.brigancebrigade.org/

Local nonprofit gets its ‘game on’ for city’s first ever online giving tournament

MND prepares to go head-to-head

against 55 other local nonprofits

Maryland New Directions (MND) and Brackets for Good 2017 have teamed up for a March Madness fundraiser in Baltimore’s first ever online tournament, which tips off on February 24, 2017.

MND is an award winning nonprofit.

MND is an award winning nonprofit employment training and job placement agency dedicated to assisting low-income individuals to become self-sustaining members of the community.

Founded in 1973, nearly 140,000 clients have made significant life changes through MND.

In this bracket style online tournament, nonprofits must score enough points to advance to the next round. Donations translate into points— one point equals one dollar. MND will retain the donations raised throughout the six-round tournament. At the end of each round, the nonprofit with the most points in the individual match-up advances to the next round, the points are reset, and the fundraising continues until a champion is crowned. The Championship round commences March 31. The Baltimore tournament champion will also receive a grand prize donation of $10,000.

“Our team is in game mode for the competition. We’ve drafted some local businesses to support our tournament and coordinated fundraising events for the six-week tournament. Everyone from volunteers to board members is being put through their paces in order to spread the word, plan and man special events, and connect with their supporters,” said Barbara Reed, development manager for MND.

Serving low-income Baltimore residents for 44 years, MND offers, no-cost employment training and career counseling. The programs’ holistic and motivating approach gets measurable results

through continuous training, personalized coaching and ongoing support, equipping clients with the skills and confidence to overcome their obstacles and succeed.

MND’s Career Focus Program offers job readiness training to Baltimore residents who are struggling with significant barriers to employment. In one-on-one appointments, clients are assisted with writing resumes, practice interviewing and receive career counseling. Workshops are offered to help clients think like an employer, identify skills, set goals, search for jobs online and more. A fully equipped 32-station computer lab is also available to enhance computer literacy and conduct job searches. Job Ready clients are often connected with MND partner employers who are seeking workers.

Specialized training, such as the Maritime Transportation Distribution & Logistics Training Program offers industry specific education and preparedness while partnering with employers at, and near, the Port of Baltimore to provide motivated jobseekers with a comprehensive program and long-term career opportunity. Program participants have the opportunity to tour the Port of Baltimore, receive assistance in applying for their Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card and obtain forklift certification and/or additional industry certifications as desired.

MND provides services to hundreds of Baltimore area residents annually, with 358 clients receiving services in fiscal year 2016. While some attend only individualized services, 298 (83 percent) completed training and 211 have already secured employment. The average annual starting wage for an MND graduate is $12.25, forty percent higher than the minimum wage of $8.75. Additionally, MND’s ongoing supportive services with clients allows them to gauge an employment success and retention rate, currently reflecting an impressive 82.5percent for clients maintaining employment for one year or longer.

“MND is very fiscally responsible. Our costs per participant is one of the lowest in the workforce development field,” cited Grace Lee, executive director.

Local businesses are joining the ‘team’ to host events that support MND’s Jump Shot for Jobs campaign. Such events will include The Lord Baltimore Hotel’s Happy Hour (Feb 28, 4-7 p.m.), On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina’s Give Back (March 7, 5-9 p.m.), and the Mt. Washington Tavern’s Hang Time (March 9, 4-8 p.m.), with a portion of evenings’ proceeds donated to score points in hopes to advance MND forward through the brackets.

The public is invited to join the “fundraising” for MND and help improve the economic future for our city and its residents.

“If you’re interested in having a blast while supporting families and economic growth, we invite you to be part of our Jump Shots for Job Team. There are many ways to help raise awareness,

become a partner and participate in the giving,” said Reed.

To learn more about MND, visit: www.mdnewdirections.org or https://www.facebook.com/MNDBaltimore/. To donate and learn more about the Maryland New Directions 2017 Brackets for Good Tournament visit, https://baltimore.bfg.org/city.

Concluding Black History Month with “positive stories about positive people”

Hello my dear friends: The wonderful the weather is fit for a wonderful month of the year! Black History Month is one of my favorite months of the year. It encouraged me over 16 years ago to publish my book, African American Entertainment in Baltimore, to preserve the legacy of everyday people in Baltimore —especially Pennsylvania Avenue; a book of positive stories about positive people in pictures. It was and still is a success.

I so enjoy writing about the entertainment community of entertainment; it has given me lots of stories to tell. Well, my dear friends we are not finished yet. To close out Black History Month, I want to tell you about James Hamlin and his family, who built a bakery from the ground up called the Avenue Bakery, located in the heart of Pennsylvania Avenue on the corner of Baker Street. Now six years later, the Avenue Bakery is the first stop on The Pennsylvania Avenue National Heritage Tour, which continues

to attract a robust, eclectic, growing following statewide and regionally of all races and ages. Distinguished for its tasty offering of original Poppay’s Rolls,

heirloom-inspired baked goods. The tour is a museum-quality experience featuring a gallery stroll of archive footage and framed photos that bring the golden era of Pennsylvania Avenue to life under one roof. So my friends, not only does this black-owned bakery have a gallery of famous African American locals on the walls, but the owner is the baker behind

the best out-of-site homemade rolls made right on the premises. They melt in your mouth and would make your mother smile.

Adding to the legacy, James Hamlin invites you all to the unveiling of the photo montage featuring the life and impact of Thurgood Marshal, created by Stuart Hudgins on Friday, Feb. 24, 11

a.m., at the Avenue Bakery. The montage highlights his life and legacy. We will see you there.

The Harlem Gardens Apartments, located at 1700 Edmondson Ave. in Baltimore is having a Black History Celebration with music by Sister Drummers; griot Angela Dobson, and yours

truly will be there for a book signing on Friday, Feb. 24 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Black History Month ends with a jazz concert featuring Dr. Phill Butts Sunset Jazz Quartet with vocalist Denyse Pearson and Reggie Jackson on Sat., Feb. 25, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Caton Castle Lounge, 20 S. Caton Ave. Cash bar and the kitchen is open serving some dynamite soul food. For more information, call 443-859-0124.

Well, my dear friends, enjoy this beautiful weather, and be kind to each other. I got to go; I am out of space. I will see you somewhere, somehow. Remember, if you need me, call me at 410-833-9474 or email me atrosapryor@aol.com. UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS.

‘The Obama Years: The Power of Words’ screened at Reginald F. Lewis Museum

Former U.S. President Barack Obama was known as the nation’s “Commander In Chief,” but his extensive involvement in the creation of his speeches is deserving of another title “Writer In Chief.” In celebration of Black History Month, Smithsonian Channel will air a documentary that will take viewers inside the defining moments of his political career through the prism of his most memorable speeches. The film, “The Obama Years: The Power of Words,” provides a rare glimpse into the creation of the speeches delivered by the the gifted orator.

On February 9, 2017, Comcast, Smithsonian Channel and the Reginald F.Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture partnered to present a private screening of the film, which premieres on Monday, February 27, 2017 at 8 p.m.

Approximately 100 people attended the private screening, which took place at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture located on 830 E. Pratt Street in

Baltimore. The event also included a Reception, Panel Discussion, and Q&A session.

“The screening was a tremendous success,” said Brad Palazzo, director of External Affairs for Comcast’s Beltway Region. “We were honored to do the private screening, and the film was well received.Attendees learned about Barack Obama’s speech writing capability and his ability to deliver them. They were enlightened to learn how involved he was in the writing of his speeches.”

“The Obama Years: The Power of Words,” is narrated by Jesse Williams, star of the hit series Grey’s Anatomy. The program also features insights from eminent historians Doris Kearns Goodwin

and Douglas Brinkley and key members of Obama’s inner circle, including senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, Chief Strategist David Axelrod, and speechwriters Jon Favreau.

“He would edit and pull out paragraphs to make sure the words of his speeches were the words he wanted to deliver, said Palazzo. “He had speechwriters, but was very involved in the process. The film is very impressive.”

The panelists was comprised of the following individuals: E. Claire Jerry, Ph.D., Curator, Division of Political History, National Museum of American

History; Kimberly R. Moffitt, Ph.D., Associate Professor, American Studies, University of Maryland Baltimore County; Chris Hoelzl, Senior Vice President, Research & Development, Smithsonian

Channel; and Donna Rattley Washington, Regional Vice President of Government & Community Affairs, for Comcast.

“It was a nice panel discussion and timely, given the current political climate and a new president,” said Palazzo. “People who attended the screening really enjoyed the interaction, and the

two-way discussion with the panel.”

He added, “Comcast is committed to the community and to diversity. We love to partner with others who share this vison. We were happy to partner with Smithsonian Channel to bring this wonderful content to the masses.”