The Denver Urban Spectrum kicked off the year celebrating the birthday and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose “dream” is intertwined in the framework of America. In his honor, we recognized three African-American men who are living their dream. DUS contributor Charles Emmons sat down with Chefs Daniel Young, Scott Durrah, and Donald James who shared their journey on the who, what, where, when and why of their careers and who helped along the way. DUS also shared the opening of a new dispensary opening in LoHi – also a business entity of Chef Scott. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance brought the 28th annual International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference and Festival to Denver, as founder and artistic director Cleo Parker Robinson also bid farewell to her father, Jonathan “J.P.” Parker.
In celebration of Black Heritage Month, our cover story featured Anthony Brownlee, who talked with Charles Emmons about the driving force behind his success as president, managing partner and general manager of Land Rover Denver. Denver Urban Spectrum welcomed back longtime friend, Jamal Mootoo who shared how his life has changed after serving as a minister under the leadership of Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam 20 years ago. Like in previous years and commemorating Black History, we recognized our “quiet movers and shakers,” who were selected by the community as the 2016 African-Americans Who Make A Difference. Fourteen honorees shared with US what motivated them to become active in their community, suggestions to address the challenges that face the community, and how they would like to be remembered.
In honor of Women’s History, DUS contributor Charles Emmons reached out to several African-American women who were hoping to help shape Denver’s political landscape in several high profile positions. These were Colorado State Representatives Rhonda Fields and Angela Williams, Khadija Haynes, Elet Valentine, Michelle Wheeler, Leslie Herod, Janet Buckner, Dominique Jackson, and Naquetta Ricks. Misti Aas shared how and why local and well- known vocalist, Linda Styles stepped out on faith to start her own long-overdue entertainment band. And Melovy Melvin talked with health and wellness specialist, Angle Nixon, who brought her expertise and business, EuroSlim, to the Mile High City from the UK nine years ago.
Spring time was in the air, and Denver not only welcomed the spring-blooming flowers, but also Hollywood actor, Morris Chestnut as the host of Derby 16.
DUS contributor Charles Emmons shared two historic stories this month. Black Elks Speaks, a production at the Aurora Fox Center retold the story recounting the history of Native-Americans from the arrival of Columbus through escalating incidents including the Sand Creek Massacre culminating in Wounded Knee. Multi-talented muti-instrumentalist Najee marked 30 years since Najee’s Theme debuted as a solo artist. He celebrated his anniversary with a multi-city tour that started at the Soiled Dove Underground in Denver. And Annette Walker talked about “Preserving, Documenting, and Writing History” from the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library in honor of the Arturo (arthur) Schomburg to the late Paul Stewart’s collection as it was transitioned into the Black America West Museum in Five Points. DUS also wished Greg Moore the best of wishes, as he resigned as editor of the Denver Post after 14 years of making a difference for journalists over the years.
The world mourned the loss of musical icon and legend Prince, whom DUS dedicated the month’s issue. And with that, health was at the forefront. Welcoming back long-time supporter and an award-winning journalist as managing editor, Laurence Washington talked about the challenge Black churches have taken to get at least 1,000 peopled tested for the HIV/AIDS virus. DUS shared other health related stories about an upcoming women’s symposium and healthy fats and why everyone should visit a dietician. Entertainment was also bountiful in this issue. Chante “songbird” Moore graced Denver with her presence and Denver drummer Steven Dunn, talks about Tears of Joy. Charles Emmons tells readers about the Colorado Flyers who celebrated its 50th reunion at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library and their aim of helping young people get college scholarships.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter christened June as Black Music Month and President Obama proclaimed it the national observance as African-American Music Appreciation month with the mission to recognize the rich and influential legacy of Black music. Jazz saxophonist, Harold Rapp II shared with DUS editor, Laurence Washington the obstacles he had to overcome in order to get to a point of his promising career as a musician. Local artist and music aficionado Juliette Hemingway, who’s art piece was featured on the cover, talked to Khaleel Herbert about bringing a unique perspective to her craft, and why blue is not always blue, and how “Music is the common thread that holds all of us together no matter who we are, where we live or how we live our lives.” Juneteenth organizer Norman Harris told DUS writer Melovy Melvin where the Juneteenth Musical Festival has been, where it is today and where he would like to see it go in the future as this holiday marked the oldest celebration to commemorate African-American emancipation from slavery in the U.S.
This month, flipping the script, DUS talked about “new” beginnings as our cover story. The Gathering Place, which was founded to help homeless women and children, launched Art Restart to help them with rebuilding their lives. Comedian Sam Adams talked with Managing Editor Laurence Washington about how and why he enjoys making people laugh, meeting Bill Cosby and his plans to move forward in the world of comedy. Contributor Ifalade TaShia Asante was invited to Washington D.C. to attend and participate in the United States of Women Summit. Hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and media mogul Oprah Winfrey, she shared how the 5,000 attendees were educated, enlightened and inspired – and what they took away with them.
This month we recognized those who give and why. Our cover story features EPIC – Elevating
Philanthropy in Communities of Color and Black philanthropy and the “Four T’s” – The Time Givers, Talent Givers, Givers of Treasure, and the Testifiers. Laurence Washington met with Hassan Latif and shared how he gives through his Second Chance Center in Aurora, a non-profit re-entry program founded by Latif in February of 2012. Washington also talked with Skip Reeves as his A Funk Above the Rest radio program, which can be heard on public radio KGNU and digital radio KZKO, celebrated its 10th anniversary with a concert at the Adams County Fair Grounds. And with the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, Melovy Melvin tells readers how Rev. Quincy Shannon and others “sat-in” at a spiritual space to promote healing.
Denver Urban Spectrum featured African-American women who were the breakout stars at this summer’s Olympics in Rio led by 19-year-old Simone Biles, who flipped and turned her way into Olympic history. Other Olympic medalist were track stars Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, and Kristi Castlin; runners Tianna Bartoletta and Brittney Reese; swimmer Simone Manual; boxer Clarissa Shields; shot put thrower Michelle Carter; and fencer Ibthihaj Muhammad who became the first Muslim-American woman to compete for the U.S. in a hijab. Contributor Donna Garrnet shared details as the Montbello Organizing Committee prepared for its 50th anniversary and invited the public to celebrate “50 Years of Diversity.” DUS contributor, Luciana attended and talked with Colorado Clinton Campaign Director, Emmy Ruiz at a business luncheon hosted by former Denver Mayor and First Lady, Wellington and Wilma Webb. The Colorado Association of Black Journalist honored its own at the annual CABJ Media Awards and Scholarship Banquet where DUS walked away with five honors. The journalist community also mourned the passing of veteran journalist George Curry.
Our cover story features a humble young man who because of his work ethics, humbleness and faith, was a first round draft pick for the Denver Nuggets. Read about Malik Beasley and his supportive and actor parents and grandfather who he considers his personal “heroes and shero.” Contributor Charles Emmons talks about Youth with a Future, an urban leadership development program based in spiritual and Christian values. And Allan Tellis shares what he learned at the Colorado Black Round Table’s community discussion panel on the findings of Dr. Sharon Bailey’s report about the experience of African-American educators and students within Denver Public Schools. Also, DPS dedicated the Regis Groff Campus in Northeast Denver in honor of longtime Denver educator (and politician) Regis Groff.
With the campaign ads, political talk, and the media coverage, the race for a new president of the United States had been frustrating and exciting for the American people and all around the world. DUS contributor writer Charles Emmons hit the trails right behind those who supported Secretary Hillary Clinton and shared their thoughts and reasons why they supported her candidacy. Melovy Melvin gave her views as a first time voter as a millennial, while encouraging other millennials to get out and vote. And Tanya Ishikawa talked about the Denver-based watch enterprise Banneker Watches, and how they look forward to the launch of a new watch line, the Black Eagle, in honor of nationally recognized DJ Joe Madison. DUS publisher reflected, memorialized and dedicated the issue to the lives of friend Lawrence “Larry” Borom and cousin Harold Whitfield.
As the year ends and the long anticipated election has elected a new President to the disappointment of many, this month we focus on the politics of politics with a variety of perspectives that will give you the who, what, where, when and why President-elect Trump will serve as the 45th President of the United States.