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T.D. Jakes’ daughter releases second book on overcoming obstacles

FLORIDA COURIER — Following in the footsteps of her father, New York Times bestselling author T.D. Jakes, Cora Jakes Coleman has once again added author to her list of accomplished professional titles.

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By The Florida Courier

Following in the footsteps of her father, New York Times bestselling author T.D. Jakes, Cora Jakes Coleman has once again added author to her list of accomplished professional titles.

Already a preacher, spiritual advisor to numerous celebrities and director of the Children’s Ministry at The Potter’s House Church of Dallas, Coleman shares her personal journey with infertility, loss, depression and insecurity in her upcoming book, “Ferocious Warrior: Dismantle Your Enemy and Rise’’ (Charisma House, July 16).

In “Ferocious Warrior,” Coleman details how she faced and overcame difficult obstacles common to women, including infertility. Leading with faith after two failed in vitro fertilization attempts, Coleman realized her lifelong dream of becoming a mother through adoption.

‘STILL FIGHTING’

Now the mother of a girl and a boy, Coleman shares how ferocious faith wouldn’t allow her to give up on her dreams.

“I have fought, and am still fighting, hard against infertility, but I have learned that infertility goes beyond the physical,” said Coleman.

She also discusses how she battled and won over depression and insecurity.

In her latest book, Coleman encourages readers, especially women, to learn how to pray by faith. She details the hurt and disappointment she felt after losing the foster son she had loved since his birth.

“God used the hurt in my heart to heal me,” she said. “God always has a plan. I couldn’t see what God would bring after heartbreak. I just believed He would bring something good.”

POWERFUL PRAYERS

In “Ferocious Warrior,’’ Coleman offers strategies to help identify the tactics and agenda of the enemy, and the obstacles to your breakthrough.

Known around the world as a ferocious prayer warrior who often moves audiences to tears, Coleman also gives step-by-step instructions on how to implement the five principles of prayer.

Each chapter ends with prayers that teaches the reader the secret of how to pray and ask God for exactly what you want. These powerful prayers encourage readers to use pain as a catalyst to catapult them to the next level.

In spite facing many difficult challenges in life, Coleman shows how to think like a warrior and win even the toughest fights in life, career, relationships, and love.

“Ferocious Warrior: Dismantle Your Enemy and Rise’’ will be released on July 16 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.

This article originally appeared in the Florida Courier.

2018 NNPA DTU Journalism Fellowship

Church Ministers Through Little Library

THE AFRO — St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo in Hyattsville, MD. is using books as a means of bringing education, entertainment and hope to the community.

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St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo in Hyattsville, MD. officially dedicated the first Little Library solely for children on June 30. (Photo by: Micha Green)

By Micha Green

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo in Hyattsville, MD. is using books as a means of bringing education, entertainment and hope to the community.

Two days after St. Matthew’s church member Bernard Jarvis, 25, was gunned down in nearby Brentwood in Northeast, D.C., the parish unveiled a Little Library for children in the neighborhood between services on June 30.  While the planning of the Little Library had been in the works for months, Rector Rev. Vidal Rivas and Associate Priest Sister Elena Thompson remembered Jarvis during the Little Library dedication.

As the community mourned the loss of Jarvis, the birth of the Little Library brought a clear sense of joy to those who attended its unveiling.

“I think this is a little hope, to say as we remember the member that passed away, we can still continue to support those little kids that are growing up and contributing to this Little Library in his memory as well,” Hyattsville City Council member Edoard Haba (Ward 4) told the AFRO.

Haba shared that he felt the creation of the Little Library was important to children’s education and thus kids’ overall growth.

“Education is important in youth and kids’ development,” he said.

The City Council member is so inspired by the Little Library concept that he is working to have more built throughout Hyattsville.

“As part of my vision for the community, I also plan to install a couple more of these Little Libraries throughout the community.  We have three that are slated to be installed by the end of this month,” he said.

While Hyattsville already has a Little Library, according to Sister Thompson explained that the St. Matthew’s location is the only one solely dedicated to young people.

“The Little Library is a movement that is all across the country now, and they’re about a dozen Little Libraries already in Hyattsville, but this is the first one specifically dedicated to books for children,” she told the AFRO.

Thompson shared the logical and historic reasons why having a Little Library made sense for the neighborhood surrounding St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo.

“We got the idea to put the Little Library here in two ways. One of which is that we have many children, when school gets out, walking right past our building. And the second is that this parish has a history of providing library services to the community, that goes back to the years in which the Hyattsville library was racially segregated,” she said.

According to Thompson, parish families worked to create an inclusive library.

“There was a family here named Hotchkiss who wanted to be sure that reading and books were available to all children. And so they and others established a parish library.  The family of Owen Thomas gave a large grant, when this building was built in 1953, to make sure that there’d be a dedicated library space to which everyone could come,” she told the AFRO.

However, overtime, the demand for an inclusive library affiliated with the church became less as the public library eventually integrated.

“So we still have some of those old books, and we got into a discussion about what we should do with our old books from our old library and the children who are here in our church, in our day school and in the public school who come walking past us,” Thompson said. “And we brought up the idea of a Little Library and the Junior Warden immediately said, ‘I would like to build that.’  His name is Jose Ramirez. Jose went to his workshop, and over the next three months, built this library from scratch, and last Monday installed it.”

The need for a Little Library was further emphasized once installed, as community members began using it  before the formal dedication.

“The community already responded- brought books, taken books and we are looking forward to a big outreach as well as an internal ministry for the Parish,” Thompson explained.

Using the ministry of education, the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) group at  St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo will be sharing the Little Library idea.

“Our ECW is going on a visit to another parish that has another school, and we hope to be able to tell them our story, and help them to begin a Little Library ministry of their own.”

This article originally appeared in The Afro

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#NNPA BlackPress

COMMENTARY: Celebrity Trials, Legacies Lost, Lives Shattered, What’s the Real Truth?

NNPA NEWSWIRE — …the odds of a black man winning inside an American courtroom are tantamount to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell waiting tables at a soul food restaurant in Harlem and offering reparations for slavery.

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The Cosby, Simpson and Jackson trials are the subject of my new book, “Celebrity Trials: Legacies Lost, Lives Shattered. What’s the Real Truth?”

By Stacy M. Brown
@StacyBrownMedia

When National Newspaper Publishers Association President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., assigned me to cover the Bill Cosby criminal trial in 2017, I didn’t think it would be as taxing as the experience of covering Michael Jackson’s trial in 2005 and the infamous O.J. Simpson civil trial a decade prior to that. I was wrong.

The three trials are the subject of my new book, “Celebrity Trials: Legacies Lost, Lives Shattered. What’s the Real Truth?”

The book is available in Kindle and paperback on Amazon.com.

As for the Bill Cosby trial, I initially thought I would get the cold shoulder from Cosby, whom I had famously (or infamously) called at his home in 2014 when his sexual assault scandal first broke.

“I just want the Black Press to be fair,” Cosby told me, before almost daily inviting me back to a private sitting room to discuss the case.

In truth, Cosby wanted all media to be fair. That he felt the need to ask for fairness is shameful, but in the era of Fake News, it was understandable.

Cosby would even call me at home and speak with my wife and children, telling them to behave themselves and, of course, making them roll on the floor laughing with his latest jokes.

And, after two jury selections, two trials, a hung jury and ultimately a guilty verdict and prison, it was even easier to understand why Cosby asked for fairness – he didn’t get it from mainstream media and only the Black Press presented — with pin-point accuracy — the accounts of a trial that was reminiscent of how trials against black men were carried out during and before the Civil Rights era.

It is probably why many African Americans still celebrate the not guilty verdicts bestowed upon Michael Jackson and O.J. Simpson.

Because all too often, the odds of a black man prevailing in a high-profile criminal court case being tried in an American courtroom are tantamount to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell waiting tables at a soul food restaurant in Harlem while offering reparations for slavery.

The day Cosby was to be sentenced, he called me while enroute to the courthouse.

I said to him, “Don’t you have an appointment?”

To which he said, “I’m not worried about that.”

He wanted to know how my son was doing.

You see, during the course of our conversations, I shared with him something that was troubling my son, and Cosby and his crisis manager, Andrew Wyatt, made it a point to check in regularly.

And, on the day he knew he was losing his freedom – within moments of actually losing that freedom – Cosby’s concern was the well-being of my son.

I not only covered Jackson’s trial, but had the unenviable task of being called as a prosecution witness.

I remember briefly speaking with Michael Jackson the day before my testimony.

He offered me his Bible and we shared a brief laugh. He was with his children and he and I both were in a bit of a hurry.

Emotionally, I felt badly for Michael. But rationally, I believed he was guilty of the charges being levied against him.

His brother-in-law was asked to testify against him, and I’ll never forget the phone call from him brother-in-law asking me to “please, see if you can talk to the district attorney, the detectives. If I testify against him, I’m going to lose my family.”

I had to help but, what could I do? In the end, he wasn’t compelled to testify, and Michael Jackson walked out of court a free man, but to borrow a phrase, he was “a dead man walking.”

At the time, California-based Sky News asked me where I saw Michael in five years. My response: “Dead.”

That was because Michael’s family had repeatedly told me that he was heavily using drugs.

Each time I saw Michael, it seemed to have confirmed their fears, although when he died four years after the trial ended, the medical examiner didn’t find any illegal drugs in his system.

During one of my visits to Neverland Ranch, Michael’s famous home, I remember seeing a guest book that he wanted every visitor to sign, and among the famous names was O.J. Simpson.

Simpson’s criminal trial in 1995 was an example of “wrong place, wrong time.” Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti decided to try Simpson in Los Angeles instead of Santa Monica where the crime took place.

Garcetti, in my mind, wanted a jury of blacks and other minorities to find O.J. guilty. However, Garcetti later explained to me that he asked for the venue change for the trial because the Santa Monica courthouse wasn’t large enough to accommodate the number of media and others covering and attending the trial. Imagine that, the media decides where justice takes place.

O.J., in my view, got away with murder.

He was found liable by a civil jury and ordered to pay $33 million (equivalent to $55.5 in 2019).

Even though he was acquitted of the murder charges (perhaps becauseof the fact that he was acquitted), Simpson never fully appreciated the zeal to see him behind bars — for any reason — held and maintained by a large percentage of the American public. As a result of that zeal and arguably, his own poor judgement, he served nearly a decade in prison for attempting to steal memorabilia that he argued actually belonged to him.

In 2007, Simpson was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada and charged with armed robbery and kidnapping when he and a group of other men entered a room at the Palace Station Hotel Casino and took sports memorabilia at gunpoint.

While Simpson admitted to taking the items, which were previously stolen from him, he denied breaking into the hotel room and also denied that he or anyone else was armed.

Simpson was arrested along with three other men and charged with multiple felony accounts. Eventually, all three of Simpson’s co-defendants plea-bargained with the prosecutors in exchange for reduced sentences and an agreement to testify against Simpson at trial that guns were used in the robbery.

For more behind-the-scenes insights into the legal sagas of Cosby, Simpson and Jackson, read my book.

Click herefor more information.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of BlackPressUSA.com or the National Newspaper Publishers Association

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Dennis-Benn’s novel of Jamaican immigrant is magnetic, wrenching

FLORIDA COURIER — In her new novel, Nicole Dennis-Benn contrasts the deep chasm between the American dream and immigrant reality, and the result is magnetic and wrenching. The story is a perfect fit for the author: Her first novel, “Here Comes the Sun,” laid bare the poster image of Jamaica as a tropical paradise, revealing the ugly truths behind the promises of sun, sand and sex.

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Dennis-Benn was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. She holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She lives with her wife in Brooklyn, New York.

By Connie Ogle

In America, anyone can be anything. That’s what the dream assures us, right?

We live in the land of opportunity for anyone willing to work hard. Unless of course you get here the wrong way. Then there’s little opportunity, few choices, constant unease, quick despair. You don’t belong.

In her new novel, Nicole Dennis-Benn contrasts the deep chasm between the American dream and immigrant reality, and the result is magnetic and wrenching.

The story is a perfect fit for the author: Her first novel, “Here Comes the Sun,” laid bare the poster image of Jamaica as a tropical paradise, revealing the ugly truths behind the promises of sun, sand and sex.

Another mirage

Now, in “Patsy,” she exposes another mirage, returning to themes she explored with insight and empathy — sexism, racism, colorism, homophobia, motherhood and poverty.

What must women sacrifice, Dennis-Benn asks, to become their true selves? It’s not just a question for the privileged. Patsy, a civil servant in Jamaica, knows her answer.

In a fair world, her affinity for math would lead her to a desirable job.

Accounting, maybe. But such work is impossible to find, because dark-skinned, poor women like Patsy have little value in her town.

So Patsy has invested the little money she has saved and spent it on a visa application. She is going to America, she tells her 5-year-old daughter Tru, to “mek t’ings bettah fah you. Fall all ah we.”

A new life

This is a lie. Patsy hopes to find a better job — after all, she has taken two courses at a community college and once solved 100 math problems in a row at school.

But she won’t return to Jamaica because Cicely is in America. Cicely, her beautiful friend who emigrated and married for a green card.

Patsy and Cicely loved each other once, and Cicely still writes hopeful letters to Patsy, encouraging her to come to New York. And so Patsy leaves Tru to build a new life. But America is less a paradise than a treacherous illusion.

Hard choices

A mother who abandons her child is a monster in most cultures, but Dennis-Benn’s deep compassion for Patsy — for all women facing unthinkable choices — forces you to reconsider your own preconceptions.

She urges you to think about this woman’s desperation, her fear, her past, her yearning for connection. She never wanted to be a mother, and Tru’s father, a married police officer, can provide a stable home for the girl.

That rationalization doesn’t soothe Patsy’s guilt, nor does it comfort Tru, who clings to her mother’s promise to return for as long as she can.

Eventually, though, Tru has to grow up and make hard choices of her own.

Two views

“Patsy” is told from both points of view, mother and daughter, the voices raw, honest and haunting. Patsy faces the irony that the only options open to her are nanny jobs, caring for the children of others.

She hates being labeled “illegal” and “can’t understand why she’s deemed a criminal for wanting more.” She wonders: “What am I good at?” and simply doesn’t know.

As a teenager, Tru begins to reject the role her culture has carved out for her (Dennis-Benn has a lot to say about how girls are raised in her native Jamaica).

Both women suffer depression, a battle all the harder to win when you don’t have the means to fight it.

But reinvention and redemption are possible. The story ends on a note of hope, though it comes at a price. What are you good at, Patsy? Loving. Learning. Living. The most human strengths of all.

This article originally appeared in the Florida Courier

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Jeanne B. Goodwin Story Telling Festival Wednesday, July 10th At Rudisill Regional Library.

OKLAHOMA EAGLE — Celebrate the rich tradition of sharing wisdom and humor through words during the “Jeanne B. Goodwin Storytelling Festival” on Wednesday, July 10 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Rudisill Regional Library. See stories brought to life by performer Linda Gorham. For more than 25 years, Gorham has presented her award-winning stories around the world. She will inspire children using movement, humor, and zaniness as she tells imaginative folktales and personal tales.

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Linda Gorham (Photo by: lindagorham.com)

The Oklahoma Eagle Newswire

Celebrate the rich tradition of sharing wisdom and humor through words during the “Jeanne B. Goodwin Storytelling Festival” on Wednesday, July 10 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Rudisill Regional Library. See stories brought to life by performer Linda Gorham. For more than 25 years, Gorham has presented her award-winning stories around the world. She will inspire children using movement, humor, and zaniness as she tells imaginative folktales and personal tales.

The festival is part of the Tulsa City-County Library’s Birth to Pre-K & Children’s Summer Reading Program, May 28-August 3, 2019.

While we hope that you would come, we understand if it will not be feasible for you to attend.  Family that can attend are asked to share a treat as the children exit the auditorium and walk through the Jeanne B. Goodwin Story Time Room.

Should you have questions, please contact Cher Lyons, Rudisill Regional Library Youth Librarian (clyons@tulsalibrary.org) or me (info is below).

“Linda can rivet people of all walks of life with tales from all over the world – To some, Gorham is a hip, here-and-now, modern day griot.” – Chicago Tribune for more information on Linda Gorham follow the link below.

www.lindagorham.com

This article originally appeared in the Oklahoma Eagle. 

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BOOK REVIEW: Dallas Weekly Publisher James Washington, Releases Book of Popular Columns

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Many argue that James Washington’s style of journalism and talent for delivering simple straightforward advice is tailor-made for a book. And now, Washington has obliged, penning the new book, “Spiritually Speaking: Reflections for and from a New Christian,” which is available on Amazon.com.

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James A. Washington is a father, husband, Christian, writer, entrepreneur and the owner/publisher of the Dallas Weekly.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Sometimes words alone cannot convey meaning and feelings the way we’d like them to, Dallas Weekly Publisher James Washington wrote in one of his popular “Spiritually Speaking” Columns for BlackPressUSA.com.

“Trust for example. The reference point for my meaning is “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all things acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight,” Washington wrote, citing a passage from the book of Proverbs (chapter 3, verses 5-6).

As he has become well-known for, Washington provided his readers with a thorough explanation – one that likely encouraged and built up many.

“Trust is such a complex thing. Have you ever been betrayed by someone in whom you had total trust? Have you been able to totally trust another person since? You can see how easily misplaced trust puts you in a terribly vulnerable place. It’s uncomfortable. It’s abnormal. It ain’t fun,” Washington said.

Many argue that James Washington’s style of journalism and talent for delivering simple straightforward advice is tailor-made for a book. And now, Washington has obliged, penning the new book, “Spiritually Speaking: Reflections for and from a New Christian,” available on Amazon.com.

The 258-page book is written to give spiritual insight to the New Christian, Washington said.

It is not based on doctrine but rather unquestioned faith; the kind that answers the question, “Why me?” and understands the answer is and always has been “Why not you?” he said.

“Spiritually Speaking: Reflections for and from a New Christian,” is a collection of some of the columns Washington has written under the heading, “Spiritually Speaking.”

Each week, millions of readers find that they can easily relate to Washington’s prose, which is as thought-provoking as it is rich in spiritual wisdom.

“This week allow me to talk about freedom,” one of Washington’s columns began. “The freedom I’m talking about is the freedom afforded you when you come to Christ. There is something quite liberating when you know or realize that you’ve been, as they say, ‘set free.’”

Even though he writes regularly for the printed and digital press, writing a book hadn’t always been on Washington’s radar. “It was a suggestion from a very good friend who reads the column regularly,” Washington said. “I know it was not something that ever occurred to me and then I asked a few people who wholeheartedly agreed that it was a good thing,” he said.

“I never knew how much support [the book] had until I began receiving emails for markets around the country who read the columns in National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) newspapers,” Washington said.

The NNPA is the trade organization that represents African American-owned newspapers and media companies throughout the country, providing authors like Washington the opportunity to reach all 47 million people of African descent in the United States — along with the millions of others that read NNPA member content online and in print each week.

In addition to his family and supporters, Washington drew inspiration from a host of other people and places. “Inspiration comes from a myriad of sources; some from the pulpit, some from Bible study, but mostly from life situations,” he said.

“Many columns have come from simple meditation, prayer and my Bible’s concordance,” Washington said.

When asked whether there’s a primary or underlying message to be taken from his columns and book, Washington said it’s a difficult question because he doesn’t view himself as a minister.

“I am just a sinner who has come to grips with the blessing of being able to write. I began this journey to publicly declare this talent as a gift from God,” Washington said.

“The result is personal and public evidence that God is indeed in charge. Anything that results from this declaration is His doing, including my first book. I’m just doing what I am led to do. It is truly humbling and amazing to see how folks are responding. I am overwhelmed at times,” he said.

A book signing for “Spiritually Speaking: Reflections for and from a New Christian,” is scheduled for Sunday, July 21, at First Baptist Church in East Point Georgia. Donald Suggs, publisher of the St. Louis American Newspaper, plans to host a second signing for Washington later in the summer.

To order your copy of Spiritually Speaking: Reflections for and from a New Christian,” click here.

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John’s Island Book Sale set for July 26-27

CHARLESTON CHRONICLE — Love a bargain? Come to the Charleston Friends of the Library John’s Island Book Sale on Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27 at the John’s Island Branch 3531 Maybank Hwy., 29455. Browse through more than 10,000 gently used books, CDs, DVDs, and audio books at great prices.

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By The Charleston Chronicle

Love a bargain? Come to the Charleston Friends of the Library John’s Island Book Sale on Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27 at the John’s Island Branch 3531 Maybank Hwy., 29455. Browse through more than 10,000 gently used books, CDs, DVDs, and audio books at great prices.

Books, DVDs, and CDs, will be available with prices starting at $1 for paperbacks and $3 for hardback books. Items include mysteries, romances, classics, children’s books, local histories, cookbooks and a variety of non-fiction topics. Children’s books start at just $0.50 each. Find great books, great bargains and support your local Library.

The Charleston Friends of the Library is a non-profit volunteer organization that raises money through book sales to help fund library services, equipment, training, materials and public programming. The Friends collect and sort donated books for resale to raise money.

Schedule and details: 

  • Friday, July 26 from 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 27 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Admission is free Friday and Saturday.
  • A special event for Friends of the Library members will be held at the John’s Island Branch, Thursday evening, July 25 from 5:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

For more information on our John’s Island Book Sale, visit www.CharlestonLibraryFriends.

This article originally appeared in the Charleston Chronicle

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