Home Interviews
Exclusive Interview With The Co-Founder Of The Irie Festival: Phillip Vassell PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Friday, 01 July 2011 15:51

Phillip Vassell was born in Jamaica and has been living in Canada since 1975.  Vassell is the brilliant co-founder, editor, and co-publisher of Word magazine, established in 1992.  It is one of the first urban Canadian magazines and the first torontonian leading magazine in this realm.  It was created out of a need to showcase and give voice to black urban culture.  Prior to Word, Phillip Vassell worked five years at CBC (Canada’s national public radio and television broadcaster) as a journalist, editorial assistant and researcher.  At the time, Mr. Vassell saw and still sees himself as a "journalist" and wants to be acknowledged as such, "not as a Black journalist". While at CBC, Phillip decided to look at the hiring practices of mainstream media outlets and found that there was an under-representation which didn’t reflect Canada’s diverse population.  In this regard, he, along with his wife Donna McCurvin, thought that it was important to create a magazine which gives another perspective.  Word reflects the Arts through music, film, video, literature and visual mediums. Word looks at Art from a black and urban perspective.  Among many others, Mr.  Vassell has interviewed well-known people such as the legendary Quincy Jones for Word magazine.  As for the future of Word, Vassell believes that his publication is like Motown where music is made by Blacks and has found a universal audience in the process. This is based on surveys conducted by the magazine which revealed that a 45-50 percent readership is from non-African backgrounds.  For Vassell, Black urban culture is universal.

Read more
A Conversation With The Former Miss Iowa and The Physician Dr. Caudle M.D PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Boyce Watkins Ph.D   
Monday, 27 June 2011 18:20

Dr. Jennifer Caudle is the woman that you want your daughter to become.  The word "impressive" doesn't do justice to what you see when you study the life of Dr. Jennifer Caudle. As if being a physician isn't already a powerful achievement, Dr. Caudle is also a highly-accomplished cellist (she performs with orchestras in cities around the U.S) and also Miss Iowa 1999-2000. After speaking with Dr. Caudle [a cum laude graduate of Princeton University] at length, I got the sense that she values the idea of having a life worth living, and is determined to also give back to her community in the process.   She has pursued excellence for her entire life and brings much-needed expertise to the African American community, particularly on matters of health and education.  The child of two teachers (one being a high school principal), Dr. Caudle reflects the discipline and educational excellence that represents the very best of what the black community has to offer.  The physician is not a one-trick human being, and she also shows us that we can do anything we put our minds to.  [This interview was conducted in February 2011]. 

Read More
Interview With The Apprentice 4 Winner: Dr. Pinkett Ph.D PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Sunday, 22 May 2011 22:44

The Apprentice Interview

A Tête-à-Tête with Trump’s New Apprentice

Thirty four year-old Randal Pinkett was born in Philadelphia, PA but raised in East Windsor, NJ with his brother, Dan, by his parents, Elizabeth and the late Leslie Pinkett. A relative newlywed, Randal currently resides in Somerset, NJ with Zahara Wadud-Pinkett, his wife of just one year.   Dr. Pinkett holds five academic degrees, including a Bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Rutgers University; a Master’s in computer science from Oxford University, England as a Rhodes Scholar; a Master’s in electrical engineering, an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. from MIT. A proud member of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, he firmly believes that "to whom much is given, much is expected."   So it should come as no surprise that prior to becoming Donald Trump’s new Apprentice, Randal Pinkett had already established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, author, scholar and community servant. He is the Co-Founder, President and CEO of BCT Partners, a multi-million dollar management, technology and policy consulting firm based in Newark, NJ.   

Read more
Interview With The First Sister of the United States: Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng Ph.D PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Saturday, 21 May 2011 04:40

Born in Jakarta, Indonesia on August 15, 1970, Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng is a lecturer at the University of Hawaii’s College of Education but is perhaps better known as the sister of Barack Obama. Named after the poet Maya Angelou, Maya has just published “Ladder to the Moon,” a picture book inspired by her young daughter Suhaila’s questions about the grandmother she never knew, Grandma Annie.

Here, the First Sister talks about both her best-seller and about her family, including what it was like growing up with a big brother who would one day become the 44th President of the United States. 

Exclusive Interview With The Great Olympic Tap Dancer: Travis Knights PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Sunday, 15 May 2011 18:03

Travis Knights was born to dance.  He is a native of Quebec.  His father is from Trinidad and his mother from Nova Scotia.  Everything began for Knights in Montreal.  He started tap dancing in 1993 at the age of ten at the Ethel Bruneau Dance Studio in Montreal.  It is important to note that Mrs.  Bruneau, called the «Tap Queen of Montreal » by the late Gregory Hines, is the pioneer of tap dancing in Quebec.  Knights was inspired as a child to become a tap dancer after seeing the legendary Gregory Hines pay tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. and he hasn’t never looked back.  He danced with the great Gregory Hines at the reputable Montreal International Jazz Festival in 1996.  Knights studied the film « Tap » and on stage he did a couple steps from that picture in the Jazz Festival.  In this respect, his talent was recognized and he appeared later with Hines and Savion Glover (one of the youngest males to be nominated for a Tony Award) in the biopic movie Bojangles (2000) which portrayed the life of the late performer Bill Robinson, considered the greatest tap dancer of all time.  In 2000, Knights was featured in a CFCF TV documentary about dance Variations on a New Generation in which he represented the realm of tap across Canada.  In 2006, Travis Knights was chosen to dance in the Warner Brothers animated movie « Happy Feet ».  In 2007, he became a tap consultant for the Cirque du Soleil’s first dance research project and performed at the Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival.  The same year, he was involved in the Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival.  In 2008, he appeared in the TV Commercial for the popular show So You Think You Can Dance.  The same year, he was cast as a soloist in a touring show called « Wonderland:  A Tap Tribute to Stevie Wonder », and he realized a dream by performing at The Apollo Theatre in Ayodele’s Diary of a Tap Dancer with Jason Janas.  On February 12th 2010, Knights along with Justin Jackson, another native from Montreal had the honor of tap dancing at the Opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver.  As of last spring, Knights joined the famous international Australian troupe Tap Dogs  (for a North American tour) which had a great impression on him since his childhood.  He danced with this troupe in 2010 at the Just for Laugh Festival (the third time that Knights participated at this great event) in Montreal where he started the tour. Moreover, he appeared in popular Quebec shows such as « Bons Baisers de France » and on Christiane Charette’s radio program on Radio-Canada.  Knights also collaborated with a myriad of great Canadian artists such as Grégory Charles, René Simard, Patrick Huard and others.

Read more
Exclusive Interview With The Celebrity Hairstylist Dwayne Ross PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 19:35

Alvin “Dwayne” Ross is known in the U.S. and internationally as an expert cosmetologist. During his 18 years as a stylist, his passion for hair color has fueled him to accomplish many notable goals.  In September 2000, Dwayne’s reputation attained national status when the American Board of Certified Hair colorists appointed him a “Master Haircolorist”.  To achieve this goal, one must be a licensed hairstylist and pass an extensive exam that covers chemistry, physiology and psychological aspects of hair color. While maintaining his clientele in both Manhattan and Los Angeles, Dwayne took on the challenge of teaching hair color in New York City. He instructed the core basics of the science of hair color, color correction, troubleshooting, and the advance techniques to licensed professionals all over the country.

Dwayne’s commitment to mastering the art of hair color reached its height in March 2001 when the Los Angeles County Cosmetology Apprenticeship Council named him “Master Cosmetology Trainer” which means he is qualified to privately teach students to become hairstylists in the state of California. These students benefit from working side by side with a “Master Trainer”, receiving personalized attention as well as being introduced to a unique and exciting approach to the craft of cosmetology.

This new approach to teaching is in tune with Dwayne’s philosophy of giving back to the community. He enjoys spending his time working with others by lending his talents to several charity events and causes such as celebrity fashion shows and mentoring youth. As a mentor, Dwayne’s enthusiasm inspires those around him to set high standards of excellence.

 In May 2006, Dwayne Ross opened his own salon “Verve Lounge Hair Salon” in Beverly Hills. Team work is an integral part of this salon’s ethos and success.  It is also important to mention that Ross’ business has a social aspect.  For instance, in the past the Salon raised money for cancer.  Mr.  Ross currently works with celebrities and fashion models in the film and television industries. He has created amazing hair styles for prominent people, such as Heather Locklear, Kate Beckinsale and Jennifer Lopez.  He recently joined the prestigious Cloutier Agency.  Also, lately he was recently featured in the March 2011 issue of the well-known Sophisticate’s Hairstyle Guide Magazine.  Mr.  Ross has an easy but confident approach and demeanour which have ensured a faithful clientele in the entertainment industry. We spoke to Mr.  Ross the 7th of February 2011.

Interview With The Great Dexter King PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 14:55

Black America was plunged into mourning on April 4th in 1968, the day that Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King was felled by an assassin's bullet. Afterall, Dr. King, as the eloquent spokesman for the Civil Rights Movement, had embraced non-violent resistance to embarrass The South into ending its state-mandated, Jim Crow system of segregation. If not for his genius and selfless leadership, this country, most likely, would yet, to this day, have a strictly-enforced social code relegating African-Americans to second-class status, with separate seating on buses, separate water fountains, and so forth.

Freedom of Information Act documents prove that freeing his people from such an effective system of subjugation and exploitation was absolutely infuriating to many people in positions of power. So, Martin was wise enough to understand that he would probably have to pay with his life for so effectively speaking the truth. And the excerpt above from his final speech indicates that he knew when the end was imminent. And as awful as his loss was for his followers, it still paled in comparison to the grief visited upon his widow, Coretta Scott King, and their four very young children.  One of his sons, Dexter, has just published Growing Up King, An Intimate Memoir and he was gracious enough to spend some time with me, talking about his life, his mother, his siblings, and, of course, his martyred father.  [This interview was conducted in 2004].

Read more
Interview With The Governor Deval Patrick PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Monday, 18 April 2011 16:20

Deval Laurdine Patrick was born on July 31, 1956 in Chicago where he and his elder sister, Rhonda, were raised by their mother, Emily “Mae” Wintersmith, in the home of their maternal grandparents after she was abandoned by her husband. Their absentee father, the late Pat Patrick, was a legendary jazz saxophonist who recorded and performed with everybody from Duke Ellington to Miles Davis to Thelonious Monk to Sun Ra.

Deval exhibited enough promise in junior high to land a scholarship to Milton Academy, a prestigious boarding school located in Massachusetts outside Boston. From there, he went on to earn both undergraduate and law degrees at Harvard University.

He subsequently worked with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and then as an Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under President Clinton. He also enjoyed stints as general counsel at Texaco and Coca-Cola before deciding to run for Governor of Massachusetts, a position he has held since 2007.  Last fall, he made history by becoming the first African-American in the United States ever to be re-elected as a governor.  On a more personal level, Gov.  Patrick and his wife Diane, who is also a lawyer, have a couple of college-age daughters, Sarah and Katherine. 

Here, he talks about his autobiography, “A Reason to Believe.”

Kam Williams, J.D. talks to Governor Deval Patrick, J.D: 

Kam Williams: Hi Governor Patrick, thanks for the interview.

Deval Patrick: You bet. Thank you.

KW: I really enjoyed your autobiography on several different levels. But I should tell you right off the bat that I played in a group with your dad back in the day during my very brief jazz career. 

DV: Come on?

KW: It’s true. And I even got to record on an album with him once with the Sound Awareness Ensemble led by Robert Northern, aka Brother Ahh. Your father was a very positive influence on my life.

DP:  Oh, wow! I might have guessed that, because he paid a lot of attention to younger musicians. 

KW: Absolutely! And not just in terms of music, but as far as diet and nutrition, too. And that was also a pivotal period in my personal development when I took my African name, Kamau.

Read more
A Portrait Of The Surgeon Dr. L. Patricia Turner, M.D. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Sunday, 10 April 2011 22:31

Dr.  Turner M.D is a general surgeon and assistant professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  She is an associate program director for the General Surgery Residency Program at the University of Maryland Medical Centre. She serves as chair of the Surgical Caucus of the American Medical Association (AMA) Young Physicians Section and is a member of the Editorial Board of Surgical News. Her academic interests include teaching and training paradigms for medical students and residents in open and laparoscopic surgery.

Dr.  Turner received her medical degree at Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and completed her surgical residency at Howard University Hospital.  Throughout her residency, she was a senior staff fellow at the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, Laboratory of Kidney and Electrolyte Metabolism.  Dr.  Turner’s fellowship training was in minimally invasive and laparoscopic surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center & Weill-Cornell University School of Medicine in New York.  Dr. Turner's clinical practice focuses on minimallyinvasive/laparoscopic, gastrointestinal and endocrine surgery. She has a diverse research background, including studying nitric oxide and the kidneys. In organized medicine, Dr. Turner has held the position of resident on the general surgery RRC and was the resident member on the AMA Council on Scientific Affairs.  Given her considerable experience in her field, we asked Dr. Turner what was her best operation and why. “This is a tough question to answer.  I guess, I would say that every operation has a different scenario which is exciting.  It happens that I have to deal with trauma patients, life and death situations. I enjoy using new techniques (such as laparoscopy when we first tried it) which have not been employed before.  I like that kind of challenge and opportunity.  There are specific patients which resonate with you”.

Interview With The Oscar Winning Actor Nicolas Cage PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Sunday, 10 April 2011 19:06

Nicolas Kim Coppola was born in Long Beach, California on January 7, 1964 to August Coppola, an English professor, and Joy Vogelsang, a dancer and choreographer. He attended Beverly Hills High in L.A., which is where he developed an interest in acting prior to studying theater at UCLA. 

Nicolas Cage made his big screen debut in 1982 in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, before changing his surname name to Cage to avoid any accusations of nepotism as the nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola. He then embarked on a remarkable career which has included an Oscar win in 1996 for Leaving Las Vegas as well as memorable performances in everything from Raising Arizona to Moonstruck to Face/Off to Snake Eyes to Adaptation to National Treasure 1 & 2 to The Bad Lieutenant to Kick-Ass which was #2 on this critic’s Top 10 List for 2010.

Here, he talks about his latest film, Drive Angry 3-D, a supernatural thriller where he plays a fugitive from Hell intent on rescuing his granddaughter from the gang of goons who also murdered his daughter. 


<< Start < Prev 11 12 13 14 Next > End >>

Page 12 of 14