Tamela Mann Realizes a Dream

Grammy-nominated artist to judge Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound performance.

As finalist choirs from across the country prepare to perform for sold-out audiences and some of the biggest names in gospel music at Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound competition, they have an unlikely champion in GRAMMY®-nominated artist Tamela Mann. Mann, who joins the gospel music competition this year as a judge, recalls the first time she had the opportunity to perform for one of her music heroes.

She was 12 years old when she sang at a workshop for gospel legend Dr. Mattie Moss Clark and an audience of 1,500 people. “I was nervous, but it was a big thing for me,” she said. “It makes people feel special to be able to perform in front of people they love.  It’s important to them and to me.”

This year, more than 40 church and community choirs are preparing to sing for Mann and fellow judges Hezekiah Walker and VaShawn Mitchell and hosts Donald Lawrence and Yolanda Adams. The choirs are competing for a chance to win a How Sweet the Sound/eOne music recording contract, up to $50,000 in cash and prizes, and the title “America’s Best Gospel Choir.”

And as the choirs prepare to make their debut on the How Sweet the Sound stage, Mann says that in addition to practicing, each choir member should prepare themselves mentally and spiritually. “You have to bring your whole heart and being into your performance,” she said. “It’s about inspiration and spreading the good news, so that when people leave, they take something with them.”     

Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound competition is in its sixth year and will travel to seven cities across the country, including New Orleans, Dallas, Baltimore, New York, Detroit, Chicago and Atlanta.

The 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington Remembered by Hundreds of Thousands

Washington, D.C. – Over the weekend thousands gathered at the National Mall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Speakers including Martin Luther King III and Democratic Rep. John Lewis, who was the youngest speaker at the 1963 march, encouraged the crowd to continue fighting for social justice. Attorney General Eric Holder kicked off the celebration, acknowledging the work of civil rights leaders from the Martin Luther King, Jr. era.

“But for them, I would not be Attorney General of the United States and Barack Obama would not President of the United States of America,” Holder said

People arrive at the National Mall to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I have a Dream’ speech on August 24, 2013 in Washington, DC

 

Students of Howard University march from campus to the Lincoln Memorial to participate in the Realize the Dream Rally for the 50th anniversary of the March in Washington August 24, 2013.

Students of Howard University march from campus to the Lincoln Memorial to participate in the Realize the Dream Rally for the 50th anniversary of the March in Washington August 24, 2013.

The Merge Summit Returns For Fifth Year August 22-24, 2013 Merging Faith and Entertainment

D.L. Hughley to Host Nationally Syndicated Afternoon Drive Radio Broadcast

Dallas, TX — REACH Media Inc. today announced that comedian, author, actor and television personality D.L. Hughley has been signed to host a weekday radio broadcast, with a launch date to be announced in the near future. THE D.L. HUGHLEY SHOW will be a daily themed, music intensive afternoon drive program from 3-7pm ET hosted by one of the brightest comedic minds. The show will be distributed by REACH Media Inc. which currently reaches an audience of over 12 million listeners, predominantly African American, through radio, as well as digital media.

Hughley, ready to take people on a no holds ride of humor and reality in the afternoons, stated, “I’m very excited to get back to radio and it couldn’t have come at a better time.  I think radio fits my sensibility.  I want to be fast, I want to be funny, I want to be topical.  I want to make people laugh a lot and think a little. Some people want to push the envelope – I want to see if I can singe it a little.”

Hughley established himself as a stand-up comedian propelling to stardom with the Original Kings of Comedy Tour and a subsequent movie release. He went on to a have hit television show, The Hughleys, and has followed that up with a successful best-selling book, comedy specials, and television appearances.  Known for being astute and politically savvy in true comedian style, D.L. served as host of his own talk show on CNN, D.L. Hughley Breaks the News.

On radio, Hughley previously hosted a fast developing morning show in New York in 2009 -2010. According to REACH Media CEO David Kantor, “D.L. is the right personality to provide a new style of content in afternoon drive time. The D.L. Hughley Show will be engaging and fun, along with great music.” Cumulus Media Networks will partner with REACH Media Inc. in affiliation and other aspects of the show.

Photo Credit: Rance Elgin (left to right D.L. Hughley with David Kantor, REACH Media CEO)

Tyler Perry’s ‘The Haves and the Have Nots’ breaks 2 million viewers

During its July 30 episode, Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots broke the 2 million viewer mark.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the scripted drama is averaging 1.7 million viewers and a 1.5. rating among women 25-54.

Late last month it was reported that with the help of Tyler Perry’s two new shows, OWN has turned a profit four months ahead of the projected timeline.
Perry’s shows, The Haves and the Have Nots and the sitcom Love Thy Neighbor, are the highest-rated programs on the network.

The “The Haves and the Have Nots” airs on Oprah’s OWN network Tuesday nights at 9 p.m.

50th anniversary March on Washington, DC Set

marchThe District of Columbia is organizing several events leading up to the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington August 28, 2013. During a news conference at the African-American Civil War Museum Wednesday, Mayor Vincent Gray provided some insight on planned events.

The main event, announced by Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network, is the rally and commemorative march at the Lincoln Memorial August 24. A separate march, planned for August 28, will include a march to the Department of Justice and a rally on the mall.

Before marching the main event at the Lincoln Memorial, officials plan a rally at the D.C. War Memorial near the National Mall. Rally participants will focus on full enfranchisement for District of Columbia residents, voting rights, immigration reform, LGBT rights and gun violence.

In the days and weeks leading up to both events, D.C. officials also plan to highlight people, landmarks and artifacts that were important to the 1963 march through a series of seminars, forums and social events.

The 50th anniversary March on Washington is just as significant as the 1963 march. Many of the issues surrounding jobs, justice and poverty continue to challenge many Americans, and residents of the District of Columbia remain disenfranchised by the federal government. District residents do not have representation in the Senate and have a non-voting delegate the House of Representatives.

“People understand the plight to which we are subjected in the city,” said Mayor Gray, “they are very supportive … the District of Columbia should be freed from this kind of bondage. How can a nation that prides itself for supporting democracy all around the world deprive the people of the District of Columbia of the experience of democracy in this city.”

Janaye Ingram, D.C. Bureau Chief for the National Action Network, agreed that district residents are disenfranchised and said that current issues make the anniversary March on Washington just as relevant as the march 50 years ago.

“In 2011 and 2012 we saw many voter laws that [sought] to disenfranchise voters,” Ingram said. “The fact that the Voting Rights Act was gutted in a sense; taking Section 4 and making it invalid. With the case of George Zimmerman and the verdict coming out, we need to address some of the laws on a state level.”

Ingram also mentioned women’s issues and unresolved immigration reform as platforms substantiating the need for continued diligence in the current civil rights era. America has made progress in the last 50 years — including the election President Barack Obama — but as the Mayor further explained, more has yet to be done.

“I think it’s wonderful to see the progress that’s been made over these 50 years – the fact that we do have an African-American president – but the reality is that we still have many challenges. Certainly the District of Columbia is symbolic of those challenges that still are before us,” Gray told those who attended the news conference.

“When you have unemployment at the level we have, disproportionately affecting African-Americans and Latinos. When you see educational underachievement at the levels we still have, especially disproportionately to those who would be defined as minorities, you know that we still have challenges.”