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buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...

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Friday, August 15, 2014

NEW MUSIC: Rance Allen Group, A Lil' Louder

buzzz worthy. . .

"A Lil' Louder (Clap Your Hands)" mixes gospel, R&B and soul in a powerful 
song described as the modern-day "Miracle Worker."

(Indianapolis, IN; Tyscot Music & Entertainment; August 15, 2014) Yes. You've heard the buzz that the legendary Rance Allen Group has been in the studio and the group's debut single "A Lil' Louder (Clap Your Hands)" is nothing less than a gospel hit. Fans of the Stellar award-winning Rance Allen Group (RAG) will hear a fresh, new sound from one of the most successful gospel trios in history. Backed by the stratospheric falsetto of Bishop Rance and brothers Thomas and Steve, "A Lil' Louder" will excite loyal fans and attract new listeners who crave the kind of gospel sound that makes it impossible to stay seated. The single sets the tone for the much anticipated RAG project.

"We know this song will make anybody listening get on up, clap their hands, and praise the Lord," said Bishop Allen who started the group over 40 years ago. "You see, all of God's children face strife, pain and life difficulties."

"But, through it all, God is there. He's with you all the way - through all your trials and all your triumphs. 'A Lil' Louder' inspires listeners to just take a few minutes and praise Him.Always remember that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. You have a praise inside of you...you just have to make sure that you give God a praise that is bigger than any problem you might have. So clap your hands a little louder!"

Known for such beloved gospel anthems as "Something about the Name Jesus," "Do Your Will" and the cross-over smash "Miracle Worker,""A Lil' Louder"might be a surprise to some. While it is unmistakably gospel music, there is a heavy layer of R&B and soul sounds to compliment the lyrics. Tyscot Music & Entertainment founder Dr. Leonard Scott calls the fresh, new style the "modern-day 'Miracle Worker.'"

"The horns, the rhythmic hand-clapping and the captivating message behind the song gives this iconic group an updated, 2014 feel," said Scott. "The Rance Allen Group's music has captured Christians for more than 40 years and we know that A Lil' Louder is the kind of song that keeps the trio's legacy alive... not just for their original fan-base, but for their children, grandchildren and generations to come."

Co-written by Floyd "Timeless" Thomas and Rance Allen, "A Lil' Louder (Clap Your Hands)" reminds listeners to clap hands, stomp feet and raise their voices in praise to God for the good He's done.  

"The energy this song brought out in us in the recording studio was truly God-sent," said Bishop Allen. "I am humbled by the blessing our Father has bestowed in us and I hope that whoever hears this track will praise Him for what He's doing and what he brought them through."

Visit www.tyscot.com to listen to "A Lil' Louder (Clap Your Hands)".
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Micahel Brown was more than just a black man

buzzz worthy. . .

By Mona Austin

"It's more to being a Black man than just being a Black man." Pastor Leandria Johnson

Tensions came to a head in St. Louis Sunday as rioters responded to a policeman killing an unarmed black teen, 18-year-old Michael Brown.  Reports indicate this week would have been Brown's first day of college.

In the above quote, Johnson prayed for a covering of protection over Black men during a concert at Bethune Cookman College in Florida earlier this year (Start at 1:41, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McOmuzTOozM). Eerily, her words seem to apply to the very event that transpired in St. Louis, but can apply to numerous news headlines involving the death or injury of individuals whose only "crime" appears to be existing while Black in America, whether they are male or female.     (Let us not forget there have also been numerous reports of Black women being the victims of police brutality recently.) Brown's death is the fourth killing of a black person by a police officer that made national news headlines over the last month.

The year 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of several critical milestones in Civil Rights including the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which made discrimination on the basis of race illegal.  In the face of intensifying injustice, such incidents could set the country back 50 years.

Let's not let this happen. We have come too far to turn back now.

Violence is not the answer.  However, neither is silence.  America must cry for St. Louis just as much as she cries for Sandy Hook. Every soul must grieve this loss.

When a Black life is taken senselessly, there should be no difference when a non-Black person is killed senselessly.  Our collective  response to inhumane conduct regardless of the racial make-up of the killer or the killed should be outrage.

I agree with Johnson.   Pray for all families involved.#don'tshoot#saveoursonsanddaughters#nomore#nomas

President Obama released a statement of the death of Michael Brown earlier this week.  read it here.
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buzzz worthy. . .


August 14, 2014 (New York, NY) -- Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, VaShawn Mitchell, will introduce all new music with the release of the
'GOD MY GOD' EP on all digital platforms, August 19, 2014.

The extended play release will include Mitchell's rising new radio single, "God My God," along with three additional songs "Amaze Me," featuring Anthony Brown, "This Is To You," and "Your Name ... The Moment."  The 'GOD MY GOD' EP available for download on iTunes, Amazon.com, Google Play and all other digital outlets, is a preview of the powerful worship, eclectic style and visionary music Mitchell will release this year.  The songs were part of an epic 2-part live recording in Chicago and Atlanta.  VaShawn will release the entire live recording as a full-length album entitled, UNSTOPPABLE in the Fall. 

Mitchell recently introduced "God My God," at live performances in New York at Central Park and Sirius XM radio to tremendous response.  Radio was recently serviced with the single which immediately connected. Jerry Smith, Inspirational Programming Content Director for Radio One Gospel had this to say "Congrats to VaShawn Mitchell on such an amazing song... "God My God" is a great follow-up to "Turning Around For Me!"  Very uplifting and inspiring.  Sounds like VaShawn is on his way with another HIT single!" 

VaShawn wrote the powerful and personal ballad during a challenging time. "After my first back surgery, the pain worsened which threatened another operation. My chiropractor said if you don't want another surgery just call on the God you sing about," explained VaShawn. "This truly served as a reminder to call on His Name ... that God's Name has ALL power.  His Name is a strong tower ... I run to and am safe."  

The 'GOD MY GOD' digital EP available August 19, 2014.   For more information on VaShawn Mitchell check out https://www.facebook.com/VaShawnMitchell
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

REPORT: Green Revolution Blooming at America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities

buzzz worthy. . .

Atlanta, GA - The 2014 HBCU Green Report released today provides clear evidence that there is significant activity underway on historically black colleges and university (HBCU) campuses to promote sustainable living and adopt energy efficient practices despite their absence in major national green surveys. A collaborative project of the Building Green Initiative (BGI) at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) and the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development (NCIMED), the report found hothouses of sustainable innovation at HBCUs across the country.

"It is unfortunate that our HBCUs are not better represented in mainstream reports," says Dr. Carlton BrownEd.D.,  president, Clark Atlanta University.  "The HBCU Green Report reveals that HBCUs have embraced environmental stewardship as a core value and are striving to green our campuses, curriculum and communities that we serve."

A few eco-friendly highlights featured in the report include the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's solar farm which generates enough power to supply 1000 average homes;  Spelman College's  Laura Spelman Rockefeller Hall, a recent LEED Gold renovation; Florida A&M has instituted a new green fee;  Morehouse takes students to Ghana for a sustainable development course; and,  Huston Tillotson is converting a dumpster into an eco-home.  Howard University's "Green Team" won the D.C. Power Down energy conservation competition reducing overall energy use by 14 percent  and also won second place in this year's Home Depot Retool Your School contest.

Andrea Harris, president, NCIMED adds, "The report clearly demonstrates numerous policies and practices adopted by these institutions that not only will have a significant impact on reducing carbon emissions, lowering greenhouse gases, minimizing water pollution and unnecessary consumption, and dramatically decreasing the flow of solid waste to landfills, but also demonstrates that they get the message that energy efficiency and sustainability can have a significant impact on the bottom line."

The BGI team noted that they were motivated to produce the HBCU Green Report to dispel the myth that black colleges are not going green that is reinforced when 99% of HBCUs are still absent from influential higher education green survey's likeThe Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges which was released earlier this week. 

"The HBCU Green Report is our second sustainability survey of minority-serving institutions and the timing could not be better with the recent release of the Green 2.0 Diversity Report" says Felicia M. Davis, director of the Building Green Initiative at CAU.  "Were it not for the HBCU Green Report, it would appear that Chaney University is the only HBCU going green.  This flawed impression is a disservice to the entire higher education community, especially for students seeking green campuses."  

Clark Atlanta University, BGI host, has committed to a 20 percent reduction of energy consumption across the campus within five years; doubling campus recycling efforts by 2015; reducing emissions by motivating the University community to walk, bike, carpool or use public transit to get to and from campus; promoting LEED-certified buildings and landscapes; and ensuring that sustainability issues remain an integral part of CAU's academic curriculum and the CAU experience.

Forty-three institutions participated in this year's HBCU Green Report, representing a wide swath of representing a wide swath of rural, suburban and urban institutions. Respondents were nearly evenly split between private (52.17 percent) and public (47.83 percent) institutions. The survey collected sustainability data in five essential categories: Administration, Green Building, Student Involvement, Food and Recycling, and Climate Change and Energy.

From its inception at UNCF in 2010, the Building Green Initiative has worked to advance campus-wide sustainability at minority-serving institutions.  Since moving to Clark Atlanta University last year, the Kresge Foundation funded, Building Green Initiative has coordinated the Atlanta University Center Vine City EcoDistrict sustainability planning process selected as a national "Target City".  BGI also expanded support for HBCU sustainability activities and managed the UNCF/Toyota Green Ambassador program impacting 27 HBCU campuses.  Working in partnership with all of the major national higher education sustainability organizations BGI maintains the www.buildinggreennetwork.orgwebsite where the full report can be downloaded.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

VIDEO: Gospel stars show Sunday Best contestants how its done

buzzz worthy. . .

By Mona Austin

The special guests  performance on the duets show of Sunday Best that aired weeks ago is still on people's minds in social media feeds.   Donnie McClurkin and Tye Tribbett were paired together on the opening performance singing "We Are Victorious."   The gents were ater joned by Dorinda Clark Cole on the toe tapper "Write My Name" as Sunday Best contestants surrounded them rejoicing in pews on the stage. The spirit rose so high that McClurkin left the stage and  tossed the mic to judges Kiki Sheard and Yolanda Adams.  By the time the mic reached mentor Kim Burrell, the audience reached another level of praise.  This was definitely one for the history books and an excellent demonstration of how to share the stage with peers for the aspiring talent on the show .

 "Write My Name “is featured on McClurkin’s current album, DUETS on RCA Inspirational.
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buzzz worthy. . .

McClurkin, Dorinda Clark-Cole, And Tye Tribbett’s Extended Version of Sunday Best Performance
Draws Extra Stellar Voices the Stage
Los Angeles, CA (August 11, 2014) - Long-time Co-Host , Sherri Shepherd, of  ABC’s Daytime talk show, The View said her good-byes and thank you(s)for her last episode that aired this week. Shepherd invited her favorite gospel singers:  Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams and Kirk Franklin to close out the old and ring in the new with an inspiring musical performance.   She was serenaded with a beautiful rendition of Michael W. Smith’s classic “A Friend’s A Friend Forever.”  Other friends that surprised Shepherd for the farewell show was comedian; Arsenio Hall and R&B group Bev, Biv and DeVoe.

“We had a blast hanging with Sherri during the taping of her on her last episode on the View.  I wish her nothing but the best as she pursues other endeavors in the entertainment industry.  You haven’t seen the last of Sherri Shepherd,” says McClurkin.

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buzzz worthy. . .

 A week in advance of the season two premiere of  "Preacher of L.A." fans of the doc-series will have the chance to see what's in store exclusively at participating AMC Theatres on Tuesday, August 12 at 7 p.m.

The AMC theater in Alexandria will be one of several locations around the country to screen the show.  The preview will also be available in Dallas, Atlanta, Houston and Tampa.

In season one viewers were introduced to a pack of  bold, uniquely different pastors in Southern California: Bishop Noel Jones, Minister Deitrick Haddon, Bishop Clarence McClendon, Pastor Jay Haizlip, Pastor Wayne Chaney, and Bishop Ron Gibson. Each man let cameras into their pulpit and personal lives leading to heated discussions online.

In season two viewers will learn more about the women who stand by the pastors' sides.

The following synopsis was offered in a  press release. . .

Sparks fly when Pastor Jay confronts Deitrick about Dominique's hidden pregnancy during their wedding. Bishop Ron clashes with Bishop Noel about Loretta's involvement in the event and their relationship status. Meanwhile, Loretta herself faces off with First Lady LaVette at Dominique's Sip N See. Will the preachers be able to put their differences aside and come together to plan this impactful event?

Season Two premieres on Wednesday, August 20 at 10 PM ET/PT on Oxygen.  In addition, Oxygen will air four "Preachers of L.A." after-show specials beginning Wednesday, August 27 at 11 PM ET/PT. Hosted by network personality Susie Castillo and relationship expert Paul Brunson, the cast will open up about love, relationships, faith, family, and compromise as they go in-depth on some of the most talked-about controversial topics of the season.

"Preachers of L.A." is produced by L. Plummer Media in association with Relevé Entertainment, with Lemuel Plummer, Holly Carter, Chris Costine and Deitrick Haddon serving as Executive Producers.

The "Preachers of L.A." screening is free and open to the public. Fans can RSVP by visiting http://www.preachersoflatour.com/ and select the "RSVP NOW" button to choose a city and reserve seats. Seating will be on a first come, first served basis.


AMC Phipps Plaza 14
3500 Peachtree Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30326

AMC Mesquite 30
19919 LBJ Freeway
Mesquite, TX 75149

AMC Hoffman Center 22
206 Swamp Fox Road
Alexandria, VA 22314

AMC Gulf Pointe 30
11801 South Sam Houston Pkwy East
Houston, TX 77089

AMC The Regency 20
2496 W. Brandon Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33511

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