‘Life, Love, Soul’ addresses absentee fathers

The topic of absentee fathers has become a universal discussion across the country. Recently Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network dedicated a two-part series on “Oprah’s Lifeclass” to the subject of fatherless sons.

Although, it may not be an issue in every household, the topic resonated with director/writer Noel Calloway and led him to write and direct his first film “Life, Love, Soul.”

Calloway grew up in Harlem, New York in the foster care system because both of his parents were incarcerated. Despite his difficult childhood, Calloway finished high school and further pursued his education at Clark University in Atlanta, Georgia where he studied film.

“My passion behind creating this film was not only a direct reflection of my upbringing, but also seeing how many of my peers lived in households where the fathers were completely absent from their lives. Some never knew who their fathers were so it became more evident to me that there weren’t many men present in the household to teach the essentials from raising a boy into a man or a girl into a woman as well,” Calloway said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, out of 24 million children in America, one in three lives in a home without the presence of their biological father.

Calloway ent on to say that, “An absentee father or a fatherless son is a familiar connection with the imagery of African American males, which is depicted in entertainment. Those roles need to be changed by showcasing more positive images of African American men who can be considered roles models.”

Calloway’s film “Life, Love, Soul” drew in a number of talented actors including Chad Coleman (“The Walking Dead” and “The Wire”), Jamie Hector (“Night Catches Us” and “The Wire”), Terri J. Vaughn (“Meet The Browns”), Tami Roman (“Basketball Wives”), as well as up and coming actress Robbie Tate-Brickle.

In addition, Grammy award winning singer/songwriter Valerie Simpson of Ashford and Simpson made her acting acting debut in the film.

“Life, Love, Soul” was released on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 and is available for sale at Walmart, Amazon.com, as well as iTunes. For more information visit: www.noelcallowayfilms.com

Kove, Baltimore winner ‘Coors Light-Search for the Coldest’ semifinals

— In an industry many hip-hop artists are aspiring to conquer, The “Coors Light Search for the Coldest” competition offers individuals an opportunity to gain recognition in the music industry.

On Wednesday, July 10, 2013, the Coors Light sponsored event was held at the Baltimore Soundstage where two local hip hop artists, Kove and Aye Young Gunnah, both representing Baltimore competed on stage in front of a live audience for a chance to advance to the finals.

Although, Kove (pronounced “cuv”) will not advance to the finals in New York City, he believes the opportunity offered him the platform to showcase his talents yet again in front of the judges and a growing fan base. This is the second time Kove has made it into the semi-finals in the competition.

“When I’m on stage I get a rush of excitement and the feeling that comes over me when I’m performing is indescribable,” Kove said.

Celebrity judges included director/hip hop icon/actor Ice Cube, famed DJ/hip hop recording artist DJ Drama as well as former UKG rapper and public speaker Bun B.

When asked what led to his involvement with the competition, Bun B said, “I embraced this opportunity because I am able to witness first hand these aspiring artists grow into their own craft. It’s amazing to see artists aspiring for better and their hopes and dreams will eventually become a reality. I want to look back five or 10 years from now

and smile knowing I was a part of when these artists performed on stage, got their time to shine and next they’ve evolved in the industry.”

DJ Drama added, “I always feel very optimistic when we come to Baltimore every year for this event because it’s a great energy and a lot of support from those who attend the event. I believe there is some really good talent not just in Baltimore, but the DMV as a whole.”

The semi-finalists which consist of aspiring artists from across the U.S. are chosen via online votes by submitting their original music to the Coors Light Search for the Coldest MC submission website. After the semi-finalists are selected, the competition tour to various cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago and New Jersey where the selected artists compete.

To learn more about the Coors Light Search for the Coldest MC Competition visit: www.searchforthecoldest.com.

Author Kashaun Cooper releases inspirational book on fatherhood

— A father plays an essential role in the development and growth of a child. His presence for the monumental moments like a child’s first steps and first words are just as important as daily interactions like taking them to school and nightly tuck-ins.

On June 4, 2013, Baltimore native, author/motivational speaker/entrepreneur Kashaun Cooper released his book “The Champion Father,” that he hopes will help fathers along their journeys with their children. The inspirational book is designed to highlight fundamental tools in strengthening the relationships between fathers and their offspring. It also includes testimonials from men who have maintained healthy relationships with their children in the face of adversity.

When asked what led him to write the book Cooper says, “Through my non-profit organization Fathers Rock, Inc., I would hear amazing stories from fathers and how they were able to overcome certain obstacles to be a father to their child,” he said. “This compelled me to interview fathers across the nation, which concluded with one word, LOVE! My purpose is to show that being a father has many twists and turns, but what propels the champion father forward no matter what— is love.”

Unfortunately, in a society where more often than not a child lives in a fatherless home, Cooper hopes “The Champion Father” will encourage and inspire fathers to be more involved in their children’s lives.

Cooper, who is a father himself says, “For every father who reads ‘The Champion Father,’ my hope is that they will exit the book more empowered, knowing that they were born champions. And making the choice to become a champion father would put [their] child in the position of becoming a champion as well. I believe champion fathers create champion children, families and communities.”

Spoken like a true champion and man of courage, Cooper is humbled by the positive feedback his book has received and is inspired to continue spreading the message that no matter the path, all men have the potential to be champions.

To learn more about “The Champion Father” visit: http://www.championfather.net/index.html