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Exclusive Interview With Dr. Alvy Ph.D in Psychology PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Sunday, 10 June 2012 17:07

        Clinton congratulating Dr.  Alvy for an Award for Enhancing the Status of Parents, National Parents' Day, Oval Office, 1995



Dr. Kerby T. Alvy has decades of experience in clinical child psychology.  His approach focuses on preventing child abuse, drug abuse, juvenile delinquency and other problems--often intertwined--in which parent-child relationships are deemed a crucial factor.  It is important to note that 2 million kids were abused and neglected in the U.S. in 2008 (1).  Thus, Dr.  Alvy, an advocate of the welfare of children, is the executive director of the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring (CICC), based in North Hollywood, California.  The Center provides help to more than 20, 000 parents a year.  Dr. Alvy lends his expertise on child rearing on a regular basis to government and civic bodies.  He also appears on television and radio programs on child, family and parent training issues. In addition, he serves as a consultant to governmental agencies, corporations, news departments, film and television companies on these matters. He is a frequent keynote speaker and workshop leader at events nationwide.

Over the years, Dr.  Alvy has created, delivered and disseminated model parent training programs. All of the activities and projects of the CICC are designed to bring coherence and strength to the nationwide Effective Parenting Movement in order to improve the overall quality of parenting in the United States.  He and his organization work primarily with African-American and Latino children.

Dr. Alvy has been a Principal Investigator on research projects sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  He designed and advocated a federal government-led effective parenting initiative which he presented at a White House Briefing in December 2006.

Dr. Alvy has founded and directed several community service projects to increase parental effectiveness and reduce child abuse, drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, school failure and gang involvement. His projects have gained the support of various state and local funding agencies, and the support of over 75 private foundations and corporations, including the Ford Foundation, AT&T, Xerox, Annenberg, Mattel and Hearst.

A Conversation With The Great Actress: Keshia Knight Pulliam PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Friday, 01 June 2012 14:21

Born in Newark, New Jersey on April 9, 1979, Keshia Knight Pulliam entered showbiz at an early age, making TV commercials as a toddler and already landing a recurring role on Sesame Street by the age of 3. But it was on The Cosby Show that she wormed herself into America’s hearts as adorable Rudy Huxtable, the baby of the much-beloved television family.

In 1984, she earned an NAACP Image Award for her work on that celebrated series, and a couple of years after that she became the youngest actress ever to be nominated for an Emmy. When Cosby’s 8-year run ended, Keshia turned her attention to academics and eventually attending prestigious Spelman College in Atlanta where she majored in Sociology  (with a concentration in film) and graduated with honors 2001.

Soon after graduating, she returned to the limelight as a contestant on a couple of game shows, emerging victorious on celebrity versions of both Fear Factor and The Weakest Link. In an effort ostensibly-designed to shed her little girl image, Keshia next posed for a swimsuit/lingerie layout in Black Men’s Magazine in 2005.  Since then, she successfully made the transition back to acting, appearing in such movies as The Gospel, Beauty Shop and Death Toll, before returning to TV to join the cast of House of Payne. She won another NAACP Image Award for her performance on that Tyler Perry hit sitcom. Here, she talks about co-starring as Candace, a college student-turned-prostitute, in Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail, the #1 film at the box-office two weeks after its release.

[This interview was conducted in 2009] 

Exclusive Interview With The First Novelist Of The Great Olympian Dr. John B. Taylor DVM: Craig Williams PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Sunday, 20 May 2012 16:17

A New Jersey native, author Craig T. Williams wore many hats before becoming a writer. At Syracuse University, Williams earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He is equipped with 20 years of personal experience in the construction industry. He comes from a family unit of thriving entrepreneurs and started his uphill path working as a laborer in the family business precisely for his uncle during summers. He moved on to help build a new family enterprise when his father made the keen decision to leave Corporate America and  to develop his own construction empire. As such, Mr. Williams is a second generation General Contractor/Construction Manager, working for Pride Enterprises, Inc., a business he started in 1996 providing construction services to the public sector throughout the U.S. Clients include the Department of Defense, Department of the Interior, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the General Services Administration.

Pride Enterprises’ services comprise renovations, infrastructure, design/build projects and so on. Today, this leading firm handles all aspects of Construction Management, Consulting and Building. In just ten years since its inception, Pride Enterprises Inc. holds 21 active projects with a total contract value of over 20 million dollars. As President and CEO, Williams was honored as the  Small Business Administration’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005. He has also established a protégé firm, Fidelis Design and Construction, LLC, which has exhibited an explosive growth. It has an inclusive and diverse staff. It is noteworthy that Williams joined the committee of YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, which provides high school dropouts with the opportunity to earn a diploma and attain vital job skills. Being involved in this youth organization helped Williams to realize his devotion to giving back to the community and mentor others. Besides working as an entrepreneur, Willliams is propelled by a passion for research; his signature is Historical/Fiction. Having always been inspired by classic heroic tales like King Arthur, Robin Hood, and The Lord of the Rings, Mr. Williams became exceedingly aware that most of these stories did not feature heroes that he resembled. 

A Conversation With Beverly Johnson PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Sunday, 08 April 2012 17:00


Beverly Johnson is the first African-American supermodel, as well as an actress, author, activist, businesswoman and TV personality. She was the first Black model to appear on the cover of Vogue magazine in August 1974. A year later, she became the first Black woman to appear on the cover of the French edition of Elle magazine. Her beautiful face has graced over 500 magazine covers. Before modeling, Johnson aspired to become a lawyer. She was studying criminal justice at Northeastern University when she entered the fashion industry.

In 2006, Johnson was honored at Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball along with Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Tina Turner and other female African Americans in entertainment, civil rights, and the arts. Named by one of the 20th Century's most influential people in fashion by the New York Times, she changed the beauty ideal in modeling. As of 1975, every major American fashion couturier began using African American models.  The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. has a portrait of her on display as part of its "The Black List" exhibition, featuring photographs of 50 iconic African Americans.  

A Conversation With Filmmaker: Melvin Van Peebles PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Sunday, 25 March 2012 20:32

Born in Chicago on August 21, 1932, Melvin Van Peebles is best known as the incendiary iconoclast who financed, wrote, produced, scored, edited, distributed and starred in "Sweet Sweetback's Badass Song" (1971) the politically-progressive picture which single-handedly inspired the rise of the blaxploitation genre. What few folks realize, however, is that moviemaking was only a fraction of this Renaissance man's many talents.  

"How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (And Enjoy It)", a retrospective on the versatile maverick's entire career, reveals a man who also spent time as a novelist (in French), playwright, composer, painter, astronomer, enlisted man in the Air Force, and as a stock trader with a seat on the American Exchange on Wall Street.  Last year, Van Peebles started doing shows in NYC with members of Burnt Sugar, under the name Melvin Van Peebles wid Laxative.  In November, 2011, Melvin Van Peebles wid Laxative performed his song Love, that's America at Zebulon Cafe Concert, two weeks after the venue showcased the original video for this single involving Occupy Wall Street footage, which was uploaded to YouTube in October 2011.  

In speaking with blackfilm.com, Peebles shares his thoughts with me on just about everything and his documentary ''How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company''. 

[This interview was conducted in 2006]

KW: Hey, Melvin  [Peebles], thanks for the time.

MVP: No problemo. 

KW: Congratulations on your new movie, and recent lifetime achievement awards, even if, in my opinion, the recognition is a bit overdue.

MVP: Thanks, I'm really a happy camper, as they say. 

KW: Do you still have your seat on the American Stock Exchange?

MVP: No longer. Unless you're going to be there continually, you don't want to keep your seat because, first of all, it costs, but also, doing stocks is not something you can phone in. You got to do it right, otherwise. 

Exclusive Interview With One of the Best Principals in the U.S.: Baruti Kafele PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Sunday, 18 March 2012 19:47


Mr. Baruti Kafele was born in Orange, New Jersey. He is the son of Mrs. Delores C. James and Mr. Norman G. Hopkins. He has been a Principal at Newark Tech for the last four years (grades 9 to 12). Newark Tech High School is a regional public high school located in Newark that offers occupational and academic instruction for students in Essex County, New Jersey, operating as part of the Essex County Vocational Technical Schools. Created in 1914, the Essex County Vocational Technical School District is one of New Jersey's oldest and grandest Vocational Technical School Systems. It provides both technical education and academic instruction for high school and adult students in the Essex County region.

The district has four high schools: Bloomfield Tech, Newark Tech, North 13th Street Tech and West Caldwell Tech where about 2,200 students are enrolled. Newark Tech is the largest of the four schools in the Essex County Vocational Technical School District and is located on Market Street in Newark. It has over 700 students in its programs which include Health Careers, Dental Assistant and Music Production, among several others.

During the last two years, Essex County Newark Tech has been listed by U.S. News and World Report Magazine as one of the best high schools in the United States. Mr. Kafele previously was selected Teacher of the Year in the East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools. In addition, he was listed for "Who's Who Among America's Teachers" six times. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Kean University where he earned his B.S. degree in Management Science/Marketing in 1986. Furthermore, he received in Master's degree from New Jersey City University in 1996.

Exclusive Interview with the Former Supermodel: Waris Dirie PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Sunday, 18 March 2012 16:57

واريس ديري


In 1965, Waris Dirie (in Somali: Waris Diiriye) was born in Gallacaio desert, Somalia.  Her first name means in Somali Desert Flower. The daughter of Somalian nomads, Waris Dirie fled her native country at the age of 13 to escape an arranged marriage with a 60-year-old man. After fleeing Somalia, she ended up in London working as a housemaid. She was regularly beaten and practically kept as a slave with an illegal status at some point. In England, she was spotted by well-known British fashion photographer Terence Donovan.  It was a serendipitous moment which would determine a great future. Waris Dirie became a supermodel.  This sounds like a Cinderella story.

Waris Dirie worked for these brands: André Courrèges, Chanel 'Allure' fragrance, Express Jeans, H&M, Levi's, L'Oréal, Oil of Olay, Prescriptives make up, Revlon and so on.  She did many fashion shows, such as “Ready to wear – Spring/Summer 1996 (John Galliano, Ralph Lauren”, “Ready to wear – Autumn/Winter 2000 (Xuly Bet)”.  She did the cover of the 1987 Pirelli calendar.  She also appeared in prominent magazines like Elle, Glamour, Vogue and Marie Claire. Her modeling career has been showcased in the 1995 BBC documentary A Nomad in New York. We often hear supermodels say that their career was not planned.  Nothing from Waris  Dirie’s upbringing could have predicted the future that she had.  So, much like several other supermodels, it wasn’t her intention to be in the fashion business.

Exclusive Interview With Canadian Honourable Senator Oliver LL.D PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Monday, 05 March 2012 23:41

Honourable Dr. -Senator Oliver was born in 1938 in Wolfville (Nova Scotia), Canada. He is the son of the late Helena and Clifford H. Oliver. Senator Oliver is a descendant of African-American slave refugees who came to Canada during the War of 1812. Nova Scotia is home to (Canadian) descendants of U.S. slavery.  For more than 400 years, Blacks have been an integral part of the warp and weave of Canadian society and economy. Some were refugees from the United States, others were Black Loyalists (inhabitants of British America of African descent who joined British colonial forces during the American Revolutionary War) and so on. For instance, as an interpreter for the French and Natives in the early 1600s, Mathieu da Costa, a free man, undoubtedly played a role in the development of the fur trade industry along the Atlantic seacoast. Today, there are more than 800,000 Blacks in Canada and Statistics Canada projects that number will be more than double by 2031.

With long and deep ties to Canadian culture and history, Sen. Oliver is the nephew of Canadian opera singer Portia White and labor union activist Jack White; he is also the cousin of political strategist Shelia White and a descendant of politician Bill White. The latter, his maternal grandfather William A. White was born in 1874 to ex-slave parents in Virginia. He migrated to Canada in 1900, after a Canadian teacher of his in the U.S. state of Maryland impressed him so much that he perceived Canada as a land of opportunity for Blacks. He would later become Canada's first Black military officer and a chaplain.

Sen. Oliver's family is one of Canada’s most prominent Black families.  Sen. Oliver is currently one of two Black Conservative politicians in the Canadian Senate and has been active in politics for decades. Hence, he served as Director, Legal Affairs for the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) in six consecutive general elections, 1972-88; he also held many Executive Offices with the CPC - as National Vice President (Atlantic region), Director of the PCP Canada Fund, and a member of the Audit Committee of this Fund. Furthermore, Hon. -Sen. -Oliver served for years as Constitution Chairman and was a member of the Finance Committee for the Progressive Conservative Association of Nova Scotia. He is a former Vice-President of that Party.

Exclusive Interview With One Of The Biggest Asian-American Fashion And Style Experts: Jeannie Mai PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Monday, 20 February 2012 21:25

Jeannie Mai (born January 4, 1980) wears many hats.  She is an American makeup artist, fashion expert, actress and TV personality.  The eldest of three children, Mrs.  Mai and her two younger brothers grew up in San Jose, California.  She is the daughter of an immigrant father from Vietnam and mother from China.  She identifies herself as an afro-mexicasian because she grew up on the east side of San Jose where all her friends were African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians.  She once declared to the media that she feels at home whenever she is around these ethnicities.  Besides English, she speaks Vietnamese.  In her early life, Mrs.  Mai was a member of a family of 16 living under the same roof.  It included her extended family (aunts, uncles…).  This experience helped to shape her and to learn about the gift of sharing.  It also allowed her to develop communication skills, an invaluable asset for a future career.  Mrs.  Mai has a sparkling, spunky and feisty personality. Mrs.  Mai began to entertain people around her at an early age using her mother’s makeup to prepare herself before pretending to interview her family members.  Later, at age 18 she launched her career as a makeup artist for MAC Cosmetics while still living in San Jose.  As a trainee, she worked her way up from face to face until she was eventually traveling the world to do make up work with a roster of celebrity clients such as Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys and Rosario Dawson. Mrs.  Mai also worked with other prominent people such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Aniston.  She has served as a celebrity makeup stylist for MTV, TRL, KCL Los Angeles, and Good Morning Sacramento.

In 2003, Mai began auditioning for local television networks with self-written scripts to demonstrate her unique hosting talents. She landed a gig co-hosting the Emmy-nominated Asian American Magazine-Style show "Stir," on International Channel Networks. Not long after, the San Francisco local music channel, CMC, invited her to be the first female VJ to host her own music countdown. After attracting attention for her energetic personality and knack for style, Mai became an entertainment reporter and producer of the WB's "Daily Mixx." In 2005, Mai got her first prime time hosting role on "Character Fantasy" on the USA Network where she inspired guests each week to live their fantasies. Soon after, she appeared on MTV's "Granted" alongside Frankie Muniz and hosted various segments related to fashion and entertainment news on networks such as E!, Lifetime, TLC, and NBC.

A Tête-à-Tête With The Great Actor: Blair Underwood PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Saturday, 11 February 2012 18:55


Blair Underwood was born in Tacoma, Washington on August 25, 1964, but raised as an Army brat all over the country and also in Europe. After studying drama at Carnegie Mellon University, he embarked on a distinguished career which has included work in theater, on television and in feature films.  Though he made his big screen debut in 1985 in Krush Groove, the hunky heartthrob really  (Underwood was voted one of People's "50 Most Beautiful People" in 2000) found fame a couple of years later when he joined the ensemble cast of NBC's L.A. Law. A four-time winner of the NAACP's Image Award, he has also appeared on such TV shows as Sex and the City, A Different World, Knight Rider and The Cosby Show. His extensive list of movie credits include Malibu's Most Wanted, Full Frontal, Rules of Engagement, Deep Impact, Gattaca, and  Madea's Family Reunion, to name a few.  Furthermore, he has published a book inspired by his son, Paris, entitled, Before I Got Here: The Wondrous Things We Hear When We Listen to the Souls of Our Children.   

As a philanthropist, Underwood co-founded in 1989 Artists for a New South Africa, a non-profit organization dedicated to democracy and equality in South Africa.  The actor is a part of several charitable organizations.  Underwood got the 1993 Humanitarian Award for his work with the Los Angeles chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  In 2003, along with Ashley Judd, Underwood served as the spokesperson for YouthAIDS.  Moreover, he also appeared in a 2004 public service announcement for The Fulfillment Fund.  The actor supported President Barack Obama's candidacy and spoke at campaign rallies for Mr.  Obama. Underwood got to know Obama while researching his L.A. Law role at Harvard Law School, when Obama was president of the Harvard Law Review.  On a more personal level, on September 17, 1994, Underwood married Desiree DaCosta, with whom he has three children, Paris, Brielle, and Blake. 

In this revealing tête-à-tête, Blair shares his thoughts about an array of subjects, plus his latest flick, G, an update in blackface of The Great Gatsby, where he plays a bourgie brother whose wife falls for a gangsta rap mogul.

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