cultural-heritage 8The Florida Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. recently held their annual Pan African Cultural Heritage Leadership Conference at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Downtown Pensacola to launch their Pan African and National Cultural Heritage Initiative. ‘The Initiative’ includes the use of cultural economics, cultural heritage tourism, and the arts to promote and develop disadvantaged communities. The Initiative was developed based on research conducted in the promotion of the Historic Belmont De Villiers Community and its businesses and leaders. The conference speaker’s presented their individual programs and businesses and explained how their entities support the Pan African and National Cultural Heritage Initiative.

Approximately seventy Initiative partners and leaders were in attendance from across the globe. Nathalie Blanc Chekete, Cultural and Heritage Tourism Project Manager for the National Agency for Heritage and Tourism for the country of Benin, in Africa, spoke of her country’s work in developing a cultural heritage program and interviewed several of the conference attendees for feedback. Owen Roper traveled from Michigan to seek first hand advice on a community development project he is working on, that includes portions of the research model.

Highlights of the conference were presentations given by Dr. Phyllis Gray Ray, a professor and researcher at Florida A&M University and the Director of the Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute, Inc. Her review of her acclaimed book, "The African American Experience, Real and Imagined", that deals with the realities of African American history, was well receive. She was followed by Dr. Theresa Okorochukwu, a native of Nigeria, and graduate of the University of Florida and developer for African Network Television, located in Gainesville, Florida. Theresa’s presentation allowed the audience to see the potential of marketing to the African Diaspora and showcased the cultures and huge growth of the middle class population. She warned against the traditional stereotyping of the Great Continent and its people. Everyone was thoroughly impressed with her presentation and speech.

antv-staff orig

The Estevanico Awards’ were presented in several categories to each of the speakers for their work in support of the Pan African and National Cultural Heritage Initiative. The awards were presented by Captain Frank Smith, USN/Retired, and Chairman of the Florida Black Chamber. Hank Harris, Director for the National Black Tourism Marketing Corporation and Conference Sponsor, assisted Chairman Smith.

Awards were presented as follows:

Chairman’s Award’:  Dr. Phyllis Gray Ray, for work as Director, Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute, Inc.

Sponsor of the Year’: African Television Network, Inc., owned by Theresa and Victor Okorochukwu, for work in connecting and promoting Pan African culture and heritage.

Person of the Year’:  Alison Davenport, President - Johnson Beach Society, for her work on the Private Rosamond Johnson Beach Celebration and Commemoration.
President’s Award’:  Sonja Griffin Evans, Artist, for her work in support of Cultural Heritage Tourism and the Arts and her traveling exhibit, "From Whence I Came! – De Villiers!" 

Partner of the Year’:  Pam Tedesco, National and Florida Black Business Support Corporation, for her work in funding Black Businesses.

Cultural Heritage Tourism’: Kitty Pope, Publisher - African Diaspora Tourism Magazine, for her work in support of the Pan African and National Cultural Heritage Initiative.

Accolades were also given to Chef Judy Lewis and Chef Early McWilliams of Sister Sarah’s Catering for their outstanding meal and menu, and to Georgia Blackmon of the Gathering Awareness and Book Center for her excellent display of Black Classic Literature. Artist Erik O’Neal received praise for his artistic rendition of the ‘Estevanico Trail’. Kudos were also given to the National Black Tourism Marketing Corporation for their evolution as a national tourism marketing entity.

(Pensacola) The Florida Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. announced its Boards of Directors for the Affiliates Organizations under the Pan African and National Cultural Heritage Initiative. The chamber was organized in 2004 as a ‘State Chamber’, with the mission of supporting the economic development platform of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Incorporated, Washington, D.C.; and to act as a resource for minority chambers and economic development organizations in the State of Florida. The Florida Black Chamber’s primary focus is to be an advocate for Pan African American businesses and communities.  All effort is placed on accurately marketing, advertising, and promoting the culture and heritage of African Americans and seeking opportunities for minority owned businesses and chamber members, by involving the community, as a whole in our efforts. No resource or relationship is discarded in Florida Black Chamber’s effort to create jobs and business opportunities. A Pan African and global cultural marketing strategy enhances the opportunities and success for all initiative and chamber members. For more information on event, visit http://www.nbtmc.org/the-news-letter.html.


Pictured: Rev. Dr. Eugene Franklin presents Estevinico Awards to African Network Televison founders Theresa and Victor Okorochukwu. Hank Harris, Director of National Black Tourism Marketing Corporation looks on.



MaryA memorial statue for Jamaican-born Mary Seacole, believed to be the United Kingdom’s (UK) first in honour of a named black woman, was recently unveiled in London, Vivienne Siva reports for the Jamaica Information Service.

Mary Seacole cared for wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War from 1853 to 1856. She was born in Kingston in 1805 and died in London in 1881. The unveiling of the memorial follows a 12-year campaign, which raised £500,000 for the erection of the structure.

Jamaica’s Acting High Commissioner to the UK, Diedre Mills, who was among the speakers at the unveiling held in the gardens of the St. Thomas Hospital, said Mary Seacole left an indelible mark on society and will continue to inspire generations to come.  Mrs. Mills said that Jamaicans are proud that Mary Seacole is taking pride of place in London.

“I stand before you with a great sense of pride, not the least because I am a woman, not the least because I am Jamaican but more importantly, because I am a human being, who has been touched like you by the life of Mary Seacole.mary seacole statue g8yrc7 landscape 500-610x265

“If nothing else, the legacy that she has bequeathed to us speaks to the continued and undying support that we should give to each other. Support that simply responds to needs once they are recognised; support that speaks to an even deeper commitment and passion that we need to take care of each other,” she said.  Mrs. Mills also commended the work of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal and all those who supported the campaign, as well as the Mary Seacole Memorial Association, which continues to keep her legacy alive.

Chair of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal, Lord Clive Soley, said that after 12 years of campaigning, Mary Seacole was finally receiving the acknowledgement she deserves for her selfless support of British soldiers.

More than 300 guests attended the unveiling celebration.

Chairman of the Guy’s and St. Thomas’ National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust, Sir Hugh Taylor, said he is “delighted” that St. Thomas is hosting the statue. He said it is a fitting tribute to a woman who was a pioneer for the generations of nurses and other staff from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, who have served the NHS so well over the years. Actress and Broadcaster Baroness Benjamin unveiled the statue, which was created by sculptor Martin Jennings and stands opposite the Houses of Parliament.

It is inscribed with words written in 1857 by The Times’ Crimean War correspondent, Sir William Howard Russell: “I trust that England will not forget one who nursed her sick, who sought out her wounded to aid and succour them, and who performed the last offices for some of her illustrious dead.”

Source:Repeating Islands


 gambia roots


 Day 1, May 4, 2016:

Arrive Charlotte Airport (CLT) in time to check in for United Airlines flight 521, departing at 10:20 a.m. for Chicago, arriving at 11:19 a.m. Connect with UA flight 333 departing Chicago at 1:25 p.m. and arriving Dulles International International Airport/Washington, D.C. (IAD)at 4:14 p.m.   Connect with South African Airways (SA) flight 208 departing to Dakar at 5:40 p.m.

Day 2, May 5th: Goree Island

Arrive Dakar at 6:30 a.m. After assistance through customs and immigrations by our local representatives, you will be transferred to the Novotel Hotel in downtown Dakar. After checking into your rooms, enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the hotel restaurant and relax the remainder of the morning. After lunch on your own, you will depart for the harbour to board the ferry to Goree Island. Goree Island is the infamous departure point where for three centuries several million African slaves were shipped to the Americas. Visit the Slave House & the historical museum of Ifan. Then stroll through the narrow streets of Goree where you will see many colonial houses with their original balconies. After enjoying lunch at one of the seaside restaurants, you will board the ferry for the return ride to Dakar.                                   


Overnight at Novotel Hotel. B

Day 3, May 6th: Banjul/Roots Festival Welcome

After breakfast at 6:00 a.m. the hotel, depart the hotel at 7:00 a.m. to transfer to Banjul in a 25 seater air conditioned bus. Arrive at the border to have your passports checked for visas to The Gambia. After crossing the border into The Gambia, proceed to the ferry and the capital city of Banjul. Check into Laico Atlantic Hotel. In the evening depart at 7:00 for the official Festival welcome reception and dinner, “Night of the Griots” at the Ebunjan Theater location in Kanifing.

Overnight at Laico Atlantic Hotel. B

Day 4, May 7th: Official Festival Opening

After breakfast at your hotel, depart for the Official Opening of the 12th Edition of the International Roots Festival, presided by His Excellency The President of the Republic of The Gambia, Sheikh Professor Alhagi Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh. Enjoy and participate in the carnival procession of masquerades and cultural groups. Later that evening a Musical Jamboree is scheduled in the Independence Stadium Bakau featuring local and international artists.

Overnight at Laico Atlantic Hotel. B

Day 5, May 8th: City Tour of Banjul

After breakfast at your hotel depart for a city tour of Banjul,

capital city of The Gambia, a former British colony. Visit the historical museum, the Anglican Church, the huge Alberta Market, colorful with medicinal herbs, colorful tie dye fabrics, etc. Continue on to visit places of cultural interest including the

National Museum, Kachikally, the sacred Crocodile Bakau. In the afternoon enjoy visual arts, a craft exhibition, cultural entertainment and shopping at the Bakadaji Hotel grounds in Kotu.

Overnight at Laico Atlantic Hotel. B

Day 6, May 9th: Roots Pilgrimage

After breakfast you will depart for the Roots Pilgrimage, a day’s journey by road and by boat to the villages of Juffureh, Albreda, and Kunta Kinteh Island, formerly James Island, where you will meet the village elders and the Kinteh family. The day’s pilgrimage will also include a visit to other sites of historical importance including the Slavery Museum.

Accommodations at Laico Atlantic Hotel. BL

Day 7, May 10th: FUTAMPAF

After breakfast, depart from your hotel and drive straight to Kanilai Village, Foni Kansala for FUTAMPAF, the full day’s Rites of Passage, wherein you will be adopted by a Gambian family and become a Gambian citizen. FUTAMPAF is a Jola initiation ceremony hosted by His Excellency The President of The Republic of The Gambia. Gambian names will be given to initiates, cultural dances and kumpo masquerades will be featured.

Dinner and overnight at Kanilai Village. BL

Page Four

Day 8, May 11th: Symposium, African Gala Dinner & Awards

After breakfast depart in the early morning for return trip to Banjul. A symposium will be held at Kairaba Beach Hotel featuring various national and international speakers.

In the evening, enjoy an African Gala Dinner—The Taste of Africa—and Awards Night at Senegambia Beach Hotel Garden.

Overnight at Laico Atlantic Hotel. BD

 Day 9, May 12th: Depart for Dakar

After breakfast check out of the hotel by 12:00 noon, transfer to the ferry ad begin your drive back to Dakar. Upon arrival in Dakar, check into Hotel.

Overnight at Novotel Hotel in Dakar. B

Day 10, May 13th: City Sightseeing in Dakar

After breakfast check depart for a tour of the city, visiting

Interesting sites such as the IFAN African Ancient Arts Museum, and pass through Independence Square, stopping by the Presidential house and the National Parliament; continuing on to visit the African Renaissance Monument, stopping by the sand painting gallery, Soumbedioune Handicraft Center and Kermel market etc.

Enjoy Dinner in a local restaurant where you will have the opportunity to taste one of the Senegalese national dishes.

Overnight at Novotel Hotel. BD

Page Five

Day 11, May 14th: Day of Leisure in Dakar

After breakfast, enjoy the day at leisure, exploring the city on your own or relaxing at poolside. Check out of the Hotel by noon and be prepared for pick up and airport transfer at 10:00 p.m.

Day 12, May 15th: Departure Home

Check in and depart via your South African Airways flight 207 departing Dakar at 1:55 a.m., arriving Dulles at 6:25 a.m. Connect with United flight 6234 departing IAD at 10:00 p.m. and arriving Charlotte at 11:24 p.m.



  • Roundtrip International Airfare IAD/DKR
  • Roundtrip Domestic Airfare CLT/IAD
  • Hotel accommodations based on double occupancy
  • Roundtrip airport transfers in Dakar
  • Roundtrip Ground transportation to Banjul
  • Ferry crossing fees in Banjul
  • All tours as noted in Dakar (City and Goree Island)
  • Registration to the Roots Festival & all Festival Activities
  • Breakfast Daily and other meals as noted in itinerary
  • English speaking guide in Dakar and assistance in Banjul.


  • Meals Not mentioned
  • Any expenses of a personal nature
  • Gratuities/tips for drivers, guides and hotel
  • Any Visa Fees
  • (Travel Insurance is recommended and available through Henderson Travel Service.)

TOUR COST for a Minimum of 15 to 25 passengers:

NET Per Person based on Double Occupancy = $3,275.00

NET Single Supplement: $300.00

Note: All 2016 rates are subject to change.











Novotel: 4*

Avenue A.Fadiga

BP : 20 73

Tel: 22 33 849 6161

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Laico Atlantic Hotel

Tel: (to be provided)





HENDERSON TRAVEL SERVICE, 7961 Eastern Avenue, Suite 301, Silver Spring, MD 20910; (301)650-5700 EXT. 504











dr. david flemingDirector of National Museums Liverpool Dr. David Fleming has come on board as an Honorary International chair of the African Diaspora World Tourism Awards (ADWT-Awards) events that will take place in Atlanta, Ga. USA April 15-17, 2016.  He joins a stellar group of other leaders from around the globe who will help support ADWT-Awards, which is the first of its kind honoring leaders who have influenced black cultural heritage tourism.

Since becoming director of National Museums Liverpool in 2001, Dr. Fleming has supervised the completion of several major capital projects, including the opening of the International Slavery Museum in 2007 which welcomed its millionth visitor by 2010. The International Slavery Museum was the first museum of its kind to look at aspects of historical and contemporary slavery, and it is also an international hub for resources on human rights issues. 

Liverpool-Slavery-MuseumDr. Fleming set up the International Slavery Museum to shed more light on one of the darker, most shameful and neglected areas in history. His vision for the International Slavery Museum is to promote the understanding of transatlantic slavery and its enduring impact, and to address ignorance and misunderstanding by looking at the deep and permanent impact of slavery and the slave trade on Africa, South America, the USA, the Caribbean and Western Europe. “Its aim is to end racism, ignorance and intolerance and inequality,” says Dr. Fleming.

Since Dr. Fleming became Director of National Museums Liverpool, visitors have quadrupled, rising from around 700,000 per year to more than 3.2 million. Past president of the UK Museums Association, Dr. Fleming is also Founding president of the Federation of International Human Rights Museums and founding president of the Social Justice Alliance for Museums. Dr. Fleming sits on various boards in England and currently serves as Chairman, Mayor of Liverpool’s Cultural Heritage Task and Finish Group, Vice Chair and Treasurer, European Museum Forum, Special Advisor, International Museum of Democracy, Rosario, Argentina and Founding President of the Social Justice Alliance for Museums to name a few. He has published extensively and has lectured and advised museums, municipalities and governments worldwide in more than forty countries on museum management and leadership, city history museums, museum ethics, cultural heritage management, social inclusion and human rights. 

Dr. Fleming, who has long challenged the idea that museums should remain neutral and a-political, says that the most potent weapon at our disposal is education; the essence of museums, and the essence of the International Slavery Museum. He is honored to support the ADWT-Awards event by serving as an honorary chair.

Other international honorary chairs include: 1) Dr. Ewart Brown, the former Premier of Bermuda who was the recipient of the inaugural ADWT-Awards Person of the Year for his leadership in igniting the concept of African Diaspora Heritage Trails as a tourism product; 2) Mother Queen Best K. Olimi, the Mother Queen of the Tooro Kingdom of Uganda who is a founding leader and the current Continental President of The African Queen and Women Cultural Leaders Network; 3) Senator Princess Florence Ita-Giwa, a Nigerian princess who served as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1992 until 2003 and 4) Lou D’Amore, founder and president of International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) who is also a strategic partner for ADWT-Awards.

Also, returning as an honorary chair for the African Diaspora World Tourism Awards are Naomi King and Joe Beasley. Naomi King is the sister-in-law of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and the co-founder of the AD King Foundation that honors the legacy of her husband Rev. A.D. King, the brother of the late Dr. King’s brother. Joe Beasley is an international humanitarian and founder of the Joe Beasley Foundation that serves to promote social equality around the world.



The ADWT-Awards event will again be presented by African Diaspora Tourism with publisher Kitty J. Pope who is the founder/director and executive producer of the event. Helping to present the event is the AD King Foundation CEO Dr. Babs Onabanjo who is the ADWT-Awards producer.  Also helping as a producer is Africa’s tourism guru Ikechi Uko, a foremost travel branding expert from Nigeria who will present an African Tourism component, and socio-economic developer Rev. Eugene Franklin, founder of the Pan African Cultural Heritage Initiative who will present a Pan African Tourism component for the ADWT-Awards event. 

Like the previous one, this awards event week-end will include the awards Gala, cultural entertainment, a Hall of Fame Luncheon and a Travel Expo. The ADWT-Awards event will feature two new components where event attendees can learn various aspects about African Tourism as well as Diaspora Tourism. The two new components are: 1) Bantaba: Africa Comes to her Diaspora and 2) The Green Book Summit: The Pan African Cultural Heritage Tourism Roundtable. In addition to having seminars and informative meetings, Bantaba and the Green Book Summit will be a part of the Travel Expo. These two new additions to the ADWT-Awards and Travel Expo guarantee something for everyone interested in cultural heritage tourism.

The Master and Mistress of the Ceremony will be internationally acclaimed film, television and stage actor Afemo Omilami and founder of the globally renown Nomadness Travel Tribe Evita Robinson. Omilami has been in show business for almost 35 years where he is best known for his roles in legendary films such as The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Forrest Gump, Drumline, and The Blind Side. Robinson launched Nomadness Travel Tribe as an urban travel organization that has now turned into a full-fledged travel movement that now has a membership base of about 10,000 people in over three dozen countries.

For more information about the 2016 African Diaspora World Tourism Awards event, please contact Kitty J. Pope at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .    To Register Click Here.

Nominate Leaders for Awards 

F6ADD87EE6For the 5th year running, Victoria, capital of the enchanting Seychelles islands,played host to the most successful carnival yet, bringing together 40,000 spectators, 2,000 performers and 60 floats from all continents of the world, creating the biggest event in the West Indian Ocean. The glamorous spectacle showcased a vibrant range of different colours, tastes, smells and sounds, exciting the senses and unveiling a magical feast for the eyes. With all this going on it is no wonder that the world’s media were attracted, with over 200 journalists also present to witness the festivities and enjoy the hospitality of this proud nation. The carnival was originally made possible by the vision of Seychelles Tourism& Culture  Minister  Alain  St.  Ange.  Speaking  from  the  heart  at   the  officialopening ceremony in an inspiring address to the excited crowd, the minister stated:

"Five years ago we had a dream – a dream to create a cultural event thatwould invite the world to join together in a spirit of dialogue, in a spirit of peaceand in a spirit of total harmony and this immaterial of your religious affiliation,the color of your skin and of your political belief. Last year seyat the official opening of the carnival I stood before you, and as Iused the words of John Lennon, I said "You may say I am a dreamer, but I amnot the only one". Today I say look at what we can do when we work as one,look at the carnival a smalll country like Seychelles can stage for the world atlarge. We had a dream and as the popular Ghana song says, "If you dream, dream big, as big as the ocean" ­ and yes we did dream big for Seychelles.”He later went on to say: “With the needed tenacity and with determination ourdream and this is for each and every one of us, our dream can become areality. As I stand here tonight to open the 5th edition of our carnival I say wehave but one Seychelles, and we are but one people. Let us all look at thepast and  learn from that past as we embrace peace  in  the unity we haveduring this time of carnival. We had a dream, we had worked together to achieve this dream. We wantedto create an event, which promotes peace, unity and togetherness. Yes, theSeychelles Carnival has succeeded and we can proudly say that the carnivalhas managed to bring different nations and different people together and in a spirit of   total  harmony,  and  this   regardless  of  your   religious affiliation,   thecolour of your skin and of your political belief.Let us continue to dream together to see our Seychelles become the placewere unity reigns. One people we are and one nation we have. The tourismindustry remains an industry, which unites the people, and our cultural eventsconsolidate this unity. The achievements of the tourism industry are the resultof the joint government­private sector partnership.”

For more information on the destination in general visit www.seychelles.travel

Havana and Washington haven't fully hammered out how to restore relations yet, but the house-sharing application opens a new door between everyday Cubans and Americans, Howard LaFranchi reports for The Christian Science Monitorcub

Americans traveling to Cuba won’t yet find a Marriott or a Hilton for their stay on the communist island – but starting Thursday they can book a room in Cuban homes through Airbnb.

The announcement by the budget, in-home lodging site is the latest sign of the rush of interest by Americans in the long-off-limits Caribbean island. Prior to President Obama’s announcement in December of intentions to normalize relations with Havana, Cuba was mostly a no-go destination for American tourists.

Mr. Obama’s opening to Cuba has triggered something of a tourism gold rush among Americans intrigued by the prospect of a peek at Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

The entry of Airbnb into the Cuban market meets two of the objectives Obama listed when he outlined his new Cuba policy in December: It promotes contacts between Americans and the Cuban people, and it offers a new avenue to the small entrepreneurs blossoming across Cuba as President Raúl Castro cracks the door to private enterprise.

American and Cuban officials meeting since early this year have been unable to resolve differences standing in the way of reopening embassies in each other’s capitals – after a five-decade hiatus. But in the meantime the Obama administration has implemented a number of measures easing restrictions on travel and commerce between the two longtime adversaries.

Those measures have opened the Cuban door to enterprises like Airbnb.

The news may not sit well with opponents, particularly in Congress, of renewed relations with the Cuba of Raúl – and Fidel – Castro. But trade advocates were quick to welcome Airbnb’s announcement as a win-win for Cubans and Americans.

“Airbnb’s entry into Cuba is a prime example of the mutual benefit to Cubans and Americans that can come from relaxing US sanctions,” says Jake Colvin, vice president for global trade issues at the National Foreign Trade Council in Washington.

Recommended: Can the US-Cuba honeymoon last?

The arrival in Cuba of the online booking site for in-home lodging “will encourage people-to-people exchanges between Cubans and Americans, help meet soaring demand for rooms, and support and further encourage entrepreneurship and private enterprise in Cuba,” Mr. Colvin says.

The 55-year-old United States embargo on trade with Cuba remains in force, and can only be fully lifted by Congress – something almost no one in Washington envisions happening anytime soon. But Obama has taken the steps he can as president to ease commerce and travel restrictions.

While general tourism between the US and Cuba remains restricted, Americans who once had to break the law to visit the island just 90 miles from Key West, Fla., can now tour old Havana, sample Cuba’s vibrant music scene, or snorkel off a Cuban beach by booking a trip through an educational exchange program.

Airbnb’s entry into Cuba will make it easier for those Americans to book a stay in a Cuban home. But the Cuban practice of opening homes (and kitchens) to foreign tourists “has a long history,” as Colvin notes.

Beginning in the mid-1990s, Cubans prohibited from establishing private businesses furtively opened their kitchens to tourists seeking a home-cooked Cuban meal. Gradually the government began allowing Cubans to open very small restaurants – the number of chairs on offer was strictly controlled – and then to rent rooms to foreigners.

In announcing its expansion to Cuba, Airbnb said its site would initially offer about 1,000 rental opportunities across the island, with 40 percent in Havana and most of the rest in other traditional tourist destinations.

Source: Repeating Islands

For the original report go to http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2015/0402/Airbnb-launch-in-Cuba-Sign-of-American-tourism-gold-rush-video


ronOn January 16, 2015 Rabbi David Baron, Founder of the Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts at the Saban Theatre led a Shabbat Service attended by 500 guests in observance of the holiday celebrating the life and work of the late Civil Rights Activist and Leader, Martin Luther King Jr.  Service Participants included:  Axel Cruau, Consul général de France à Los Angeles; Reverend Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder and Chairman of the Modern Movement promoting the Juneteenth holiday and Jazz Pianist and Trumpeter; Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick, President of the Western Baptist State Convention of California; actor Gabriel Macht, star of the television showSUITS and Television Editor Ari Macht, both of whom served as Keynote Speakers; and actor Stephen Macht, who served as Event Producer.

Others who also participated in the service included:  Marianne Williamson, acclaimed spiritual author; 14­year­old opera singer Golda Berkman; Jazz musiciansJacques Lesure on Guitar, Teodress Avery on Saxophone, James Leary on Bass andCecil Brooks, III on Drums; and the Temple of the Arts’ Cantor, Ilysia J. Pierce and Music Director Sharon Farber.  Miss Israel 2013, Yityish “Titi” Aynaw delivered a video message honoring Reverend Dr. Ronald V. Myers.During the course of the service event participants lit 17 candles in memory of those killed in terrorist attacks in Paris recently as cellist Michael Fitzpatrick played a moving piece of music entitled “In Memoriam” written by composer CJ Vanston, while images of the 17 victims were projected onto a video screen above him.  Jazz Pianist Reverend Dr. Ronald V. Myers, along with the support of guitarist Jacques Lesure, saxophonist Theodress Avery, bass player James Leary and drummer Cecil Brooks, III, played a musicalized version of “Psalm 23,” supported by Narrator Loren Lester.  Singer Golda Berkman sang the song “Climb EveryMountain.”  Cantor Ilysia J. Pierce, supported by pianist Sharon Farber led the congregation in a rousing rendition of the anthem “We Shall Overcome” while all event participants locked arms and sang the song from the bimah of the synagogue.  Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick, who once marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, delivered the Benediction.

Rabbi David Baron said “The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, and the example of Reverend Dr. Ronald V. Myers, whom we honored tonight at our service, are men committed to unifying us not diving us.”  Rabbi Baron presented Reverend Dr. Ronald V. Myers with a special menorah in recognition of his service to mankind.  To learn more about the Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts at the Saban Theatre, please visit www.templeofthearts.org.

naomi-kingAfter 39 years, the sister-in-law of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. breaks her silence. Mrs. Naomi Ruth Barber King has decided to share her personal stories. She is the widow of the late Rev. Dr. Alfred Daniel Williams King who is the younger brother of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Rev. A.D. King was a formidable companion and confidant to his brother.  Mrs. King’s newly released book entitled, "A.D. and M.L. King…Two Brothers Who Dared to Dream," depicts the Civil Rights Movement in a rare collection that preserves the King Family Legacy.  

Mrs. King launched her book signing tour in Atlanta just
 this past July and later continued with her book signing at a private reception of community, business, and civic leaders in Chicago. Ms. King will engage the participants at book signings around the country abd beyond as she expounds on her life as the wife of an iconic Civil Rights leader. She is committed to illuminating the lives of these brothers with a vision, foot soldiers, husbands, fathers and leaders to ensure that “The Dream” is never forgotten. Upcoming booksignings to be announced.


This woman of grace and distinction is known as the “Butterfly Queen,” a metamorphosis that at the age of 82 brings her into the forefront of today’s turbulent social climate.  As Chairman Emeritus of the A.D King Foundation, Mrs. King worked to change an era of tension and mistrust between blacks and whites in America.  Now in 2014, our newspapers and television screens are filled with images of military tanks and rifles poised at innocent citizens protesting peacefully.  It is time to revisit the conversation and actualize the precepts of love, peace, equality and non-violence. 

ad-king-logoHer book  "A.D. and M.L. King… Two Brothers Who Dared to Dream" reflects on her life and the events that shaped the Civil Rights Movement, which were broadcast in black and white. Today in our current landscape, she sees similar images of the past now being broadcast in color. Mrs. King is moved to step forward to build a relevant dialogue that will empower and inspire our youth to retain hope, bridge the gap of turmoil and struggle and encourage people to live out their dreams.


Mrs. King wants to help our nation live by the principles of non-violence and love that her husband taught and lived by.  At this point we can begin to heal and celebrate our differences.  Almost four decades later, it is time to embrace our diversity by moving from division to unity, doubt to hope and from hate to love.  



Dr. Babs Onabanjo, co-founder and CEO of the Ad King Foundation, who helped her with the book is managing her book tour. For more information about book signings or to order the book, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


The A.D. King Foundation is a non-violent conflict resolution entity whose mission is to promote youth empowerment development and non-violent social change strategies as a way of life throughout the world.





nigeria SUPPORTERS-CLUB-300x200

Nigeria’s supporters cheer during a world cup qualifying playoff second leg against Ethiopia at U. J. Esuene Stadium, in Calabar, Nigeria on Nov. 16, 2013

Nigeria can make a strong case for recognition as the most soccer-crazed country in the world. In recent surveys, the most populous nation in Africa, with the continent’s largest economy, shows an unparalleled interest and participation in the sport. And Nigeria’s World Cup TV ratings would count as dazzling by the standards of the U.S.

According to a 2013 poll by market researcher Repucom, 83 percent of Nigerians report interest in soccer and 65 percent play the sport. Both results put Nigeria atop the 33 nations polled. The U.S., by comparison, has 27 percent interest and 10 percent participation. Here are the top 15 nations by soccer interest:

Soccer Love by Country 2Repucom surveyed a sample of 1,000 people in each market between the ages of 16 and 69. In Nigeria, surveys were conducted in person. To gauge soccer participation, Repucom spoke only with adults who play any kind of sport at least once a week. In Nigeria, that’s 37 percent of the larger population—meaning that the overall participation rate in soccer is 24 percent. Below are the top 15 nations by participation:

“Nigeria is a football crazy nation,” says Mike Wragg, Repucom’s global head of research. Unlike most large countries, Wragg says, the sport has no real rival. “There isn’t a second sport, like baseball or basketball, that has any kind of tradition at all.”

During the national team’s first World Cup match against Iran on Monday, 17.5 million Nigerians over the age of 15 tuned in to watch, according to surveys by GeoPoll, a Denver company that offers overnight audience measurement in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Nigeria. Every four hours, GeoPoll asks a sample of Nigerians about their recent TV viewing via text message. The company polls from a panel of more than 2,000 regular media consumers.

Soccer Love by Country 1Max Richman, GeoPoll’s chief data scientist, says roughly 73 percent of Nigeria’s over-15 population of 100 million watches TV at least once a month. That means nearly a quarter of all adult TV viewers in Nigeria tuned into the World Cup match on Monday at 8 p.m. local time.

In the U.S. the first national team match drew a combined audience of 15.9 million on ESPN and Univision. That number, which includes all viewers over the age of 2, was considered cause for celebration. And Nigeria has a total population (177 million) a little more than half as big as the U.S. (316 million).

Repucom’s Wragg says soccer is a key factor uniting Nigeria, a country with more than 250 ethnic groups and an almost even split between Muslims and Christians. “Whatever the political situation is in Nigeria,” says Wragg, “the one thing that everybody can get behind is the national football team.”

Still, there’s a vocal minority of Islamic extremists who view the sport as a Western decadence. At a public screening in the northern city of Damaturu of the World Cup match between Brazil and Mexico on Tuesday, at least 21 people were killed by a suicide bomber. Such screenings have been banned because of threats by Boko Haram, the same terrorist group responsible for the kidnapping of 276 teenage girls in April.

Still, Nigerians come out to watch. “We just hope that it does not get us,” one Nigerian soccer fan told the BBC, “but it is not enough to make people stop going to viewing centers.”

Source ATQ News

gollywood Garifuna Afro-Latino Entertainment, LLC recently annouced the launch of Gollywood.

Registered under International Class 041 for Cinema Studios, "Gollywood",  is an amalgamation of Garifuna and Hollywood, the center of the American film industry. The objective is to provide an active market, including Distribution and Marketing for Garifuna and Afro-Latino filmmakers beyond the Film Festival Circuit.  Unlike Hollywood, Gollywood does not exist as a physical place but across the Garifuna and Afro-Latino Diaspora, with its epicenter in New York City.The City of New York is home to the most innovative creators in the world. 


As the Cultural Capital of the World, New York City is privileged to be home to one of the original "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangibles Heritage of Humanity. On May 18th, 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) proclaimed the Garifuna Language, Dance and Music as a "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The Garífuna Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage has enriched New York City's cultural landscape for over 190 years!


New York was home to the first known Black Theatre Troupe, The African Company organized by William Henry Brown in 1816. Brown also wrote and staged the first African American play, The Drama of King Shotaway in 1823, a historical drama based on the Black Caribs (Garifunas)  defense of the island of St. Vincent in 1795 against British colonization, led  by the Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer.


"It is fitting that "Gollywood" be located the Cultural Capital of the world, as we plan to participate in the fastest growing segment of the global cultural industries by creating empowering, engaging and culturally relevant Digital Garifuna and Afro-Latino content." said Jose Francisco Avila, Managing partner of Garifuna Afro-Latino Entertainment, LLC.

lamyThe protection of children from all forms of exploitation, the fight against trafficking, anti-poaching and accessible tourism for all are among the work priorities defined by the newly formed World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE). The committee recently met at UNWTO headquarters to identify the major challenges facing responsible tourism and define its Action Plan for the coming four years.

Under the chairmanship of Pascal Lamy (former Director-General of World Trade Organization – WTO), the World Committee on Tourism Ethics met for the first time in its new constitution as appointed by the UNWTO General Assembly in August 2013.

(Photo) World Committee on Tourism Ethics Chiar Pascal Lamy (center) at a press conference with Haiti’s Minister of Commerce, Mr Wilson Laleau (right), and Hait’s Ambassador to the WTO, Mr Pierre-André Dunbar, in Port au Prince, Haiti.

“The World Committee on Tourism Ethics is not destined to solve major political and economic issues at the global level; it will be a useful instrument in interpreting a frontier area, which is tourism ethics, by binding people together in an operational way”, said Pascal Lamy.

“One billion tourists crossing international borders every year can mean one billion opportunities but also one billion catastrophes; it is up to us to decide. Governments, companies and tourists themselves need to ensure tourism works as a force of good and I am convinced that the new Committee on Tourism Ethics will assist greatly in this endeavor”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

The Action Plan of the Committee for the coming four years will focus on:

  • · the exploitation of children in all its forms;
  • · trafficking;
  • · poaching and the illegal trading of wildlife;
  • · accessible tourism for all;
  • promotion of fair models of all inclusive holidays; and
  • · unfounded ratings on travel portals which may impact the reputation of companies  and destinations

The World Committee on Tourism Ethics is an impartial body responsible for interpreting, applying and evaluating the provisions of the the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.


The UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET) is a set of principles designed to guide the development of tourism in a way that maximizes the socio-economic benefits of the sector, while minimizing any negative impacts. It was adopted in 1999 by the UNWTO General Assembly and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001.

The World Committee on Tourism Ethics, a subsidiary organ of the UNWTO General Assembly, reports directly to the Assembly. Members are elected in their personal capacities and not as officials of governments or representatives of their countries.

Members: Mr. I Gede Ardika (Former Minister of Tourism of Indonesia), Mr. Yoshiaki Hompo (Former Commissioner of Japan Tourism Agency), Ms. Fiona Jeffery (Former Chair of the World Travel Market), Mr. Khelil Lajmi (Former Minister of Tourism of Tunisia), Mr. Jean Marc Mignon (President, International Organisation for Social Tourism), Ms. Tanja Mihalic (Head of Institute of Tourism, University of Ljubljana), Mr. Ron Oswald (General Secretary, International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers´ Association), Mr. Eugenio Yunis (Executive Vice President, Federation of Tourism Enterprises of Chile); alternate members: Mr. Hiran Cooray (Chairman, Jetwing), Ms. Suzy Hatough (Director of Dar Al-Diafa for Tourism Human Resources Development Consultancy) and Ms. Gunnur Ozalp (Secretary-General, Association of Turkish Travel Agents).

A new biography seeks to give rock star status to one of reggae’s most militant musicians, Davina Hamilton reports in this article for The Voice Online.

LONG OVERSHADOWED by the mighty Bob Marley and even shunned by the Jamaican establishment for his outspoken political views, Peter Tosh, at last, has his story told in a new biography.

Steppin’ Razor: The Life of Peter Tosh charts the life of the Jamaican guitarist and singer, who shot to fame alongspeter toshide Marley and Bunny Wailer in the celebrated reggae group The Wailers.

Shining a light on the revolutionary musician who reportedly taught Marley to play the guitar, and who vehemently called for the legalisation of marijuana in his hit song Legalize It, the book by respected reggae journalist John Masouri, seeks to posthumously honour Tosh, who was murdered in his Jamaican home in 1987.

And according to Masouri, though Tosh was shunned and even beaten for his outspoken views on various social and political issues, he was a man ahead of his time.

“It’s interesting how some of the things that Peter articulated in his songs, such as the legalisation of marijuana – in songs like Legalize It and Bush Doctor – and the collapse of financial institutions – The Day The Dollar Died – have now come to fruition,” says the British writer, who enjoyed success with his first book, 2008’sWailing Blues: The Story Of Bob Marley’s Wailers. “The man had vision.”

In addition to receiving literary recognition in Steppin’ Razor – which takes its title from Tosh’s song of the same name – the musician’s solo album Legalize It is also set to be the subject of a planned feature film from Oscar-winning British director Kevin Macdonald.

Another posthumous honour came for Tosh in 2012, when he was awarded the Order of Merit by the Jamaican government – a feat that would have been unimaginable back in the seventies, when he was considered a thorn in the sides of the Jamaican establishment.

In 1978, during Marley’s famous One Love Peace Concert in Kingston, Tosh lambasted attending politicians, Prime Minister Michael Manley and Edward Seaga, leader of the opposition party Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), for their failure to legalise marijuana.

He also used the opportunity to bring to the politicians’ attention the bloody gun battles that were taking place in the country’s most impoverished districts, warning: “Hungry people are angry people.”

His public insubordination wouldn’t go ignored. Five months later, he was apprehended by police and beaten severely while in police custody.

Regarded by many as an intimidating figure (perhaps not least because he was 6ft 4in tall), Tosh, like many other black activists, was the type of man the establishment wished to silence. Undoubtedly the most militant member of The Wailers (he famously slammed the group’s one-time label boss Chris Blackwell, referring to him in an interview as “Chris White-worst”), what made Tosh quite so revolutionary?

“He was born black, poor and fatherless in a colonial society, governed by a ruling elite who had no interest in furthering the cause of people like himself,” Masouri reasons.

“The majority of people in similar situations spend their time complaining or assuming the role of victims, which isn’t meant as a criticism. Not Peter however – he was a fighter who believed in his chosen cause, and expressed himself without fear, despite near fatal beatings at the hands of the Jamaican police.”

Though Tosh’s outspoken nature and refusal to conform cost him international stardom (the decision taken by himself and Bunny Wailer to quit The Wailers, refusing to go on tour in 1974, meant the pair missed out on the global superstardom Marley achieved), Masouri says Tosh was not the type of person to put fame over his principles.

“[Conforming] would have meant compromising his integrity and Peter wasn’t the kind of person to undertake that willingly. He really did practise what he preached on many levels and whilst mainstream recognition brings undoubted rewards, I think we should honour artists like him regardless.

“’Time will tell’, as Bob Marley did say, and the merits of someone like Peter Tosh cannot be kept hidden indefinitely.”

Steppin’ Razor is the culmination of a tireless effort from Masouri, who interviewed over 100 of Tosh’s former friends, associates and fellow musicians for the book.

And despite his extensive reggae knowledge (several reggae artists have said after being interviewed by Masouri that he was able to remind them of facts they hadn’t even remembered about themselves), the author says he learned many new things about Tosh in writing the biography.

“I was always a Peter Tosh fan, from the early seventies. But after more than three years’ worth of research, I had a wealth of new material to draw from that even die-hard Peter Tosh fans should find of interest – particularly regarding his early years with [Jamaican producer] Coxsone Dodd and [US singer-songwriter] Johnny Nash, and his adventures with [British acts] Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones.”

Did Masouri ever meet Tosh?

“I did meet him briefly, backstage at a show in London, and found him an imposing character. He towered over me in his wraparound shades, surrounded by his dread entourage and was very imposing.

“Lots of people I interviewed for the book testify to how warm and humorous he was, but I never got the chance to experience that side of him unfortunately!”

Still, Masouri is keen for Tosh to get his dues. A man who made playing the guitar look effortless (if he’d been any more cool and laid back in the video for The Wailers 1973 hit Stir It Up, he would have been sleeping), Tosh, according to Masouri is worthy of rock star status.

“I wanted to write the book as an adventure story, and make it eminently readable to people who aren’t necessarily reggae fans or immersed in that culture. The idea was to present Peter’s life story in such a way that it could be afforded parity with that of any rock star.

“That’s because in nearly 30 years of writing about reggae music, I’ve consistently come up against this inherent bias that reggae is somehow inferior to other genres, and I wanted to try and change that somehow.”

He adds: “Peter was a visionary and he had a purpose, and it’s my fervent hope that his memory can now inspire a new generation of singer-songwriters to follow in his footsteps.”

Steppin’ Razor: The Life of Peter Tosh is available now from Amazon

For the original report go to http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/peter-tosh-reggae-revolutionary



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