DUS Countdown to 2018
New beginnings come with reflecting on memories. Two months after what many said was one of the strangest elections in our country’s history, DUS’s introductory issue to the New Year travelled down memory lane reflecting on the legacy of the first African-American and 44th President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama. Allan Tellis paid tribute to First Lady Michelle Obama with “Behind Every Great Woman, There’s A Great Woman.” Remembering legacy comes with celebrating legacy and Laurence Washington shared Vern Howard’s memories as he celebrated 20 years as the Martin Luther King Jr. Marade chair. Howard, who was invited by the White House communication staff to be the guest of President Obama at the signing of stimulus package that was held in Denver 2009, also attended the dedication of Dr. King’s monument in Washington DC in October 2010.
This year’s very popular and proud Black History Month issue acknowledged those who have made positive contributions and impact on the African American community. Tanya Ishikawa featured Perry “P.J.” Jones on the cover, described as a little man with a big heart and massive history. Jones was a promoter in the music industry who worked with Prince and Earth, Wind, and Fire. History was made with Denver’s beloved hometown football team when the former University of Colorado Buff’s quarterback and graduate assistant what Vance Joseph became the new head coach for the Broncos; the first African American coach for the Denver Broncos organization and the 18th in the National Football League.
If women did not exist, neither would mankind! In celebration of Women’s History Month, DUS featured rising star SuCh, who shared with Khaleel Herbert her story of what she has done, her limitless possibilities and future plans. Dr. Rhonda Coleman and Dr. Tracey Jones with The Healing Garden shared their story with Allan Tellis on plans for THG and how it is a healing place for the mind, body and soul. Tellis also shared with readers how Linda Theus-Lee’s 3-in-1 woman show, “Lena, Nina and Me” was not only a tribute to two great singers and their artistry but how all three women are living their truths. Tellis also voiced the concerns from citizens after attending the Denver Police Department community meeting about closing the gap between people and police. Theo E.J. Wilson’s “White Conservative Deserve Trump” article embodies a new perspective on the new man “in the house” and how the conservative politics are impacting people of color.
As with most anniversaries, there is a theme. And to mark DUS 30th anniversary of proudly spreading the news about people of color, “DUS Power 30 – More Today Than Yesterday,” was ideal after serving the City of Denver for the past three decades. Since inception in April 1987, DUS has been the voice for the community and Charles Emmons penned its journey and DUS publisher, Rosalind “Bee” Harris who has been the driving force in carrying and developing DUS to what it is today. Allan Tells met with and wrote about comedian/actor Tommy Davidson whose fearless attitude has propelled him to be one of the most prolific figures in comedy today. Charles Emmons also chatted with three students with Youth With a Future, a companion program to the private nonprofit organization Transformational Leadership Forum, as they take steps to ensure their future.
Our May cover story by Charles Emmons featured the Denver Chapter of the Links, Incorporated and their friendship and sisterhood for 65 years. The local chapter has been a beacon for African-American advancement in economics, education and service. Restaurant owners Theodora Adwoa and Sylvester Ose, told their story to Allan Tellis of coming from Ghana to America and their trials and tribulations of running their family owned business, the African Grill. Tellis also shared some words to live by from award winning filmmaker Aishah Simmons who spoke in Denver as the Rachel B Noel Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Originally initiated as Black Music Month by President Jimmy Carter on June 7, 1979, today June is recognized as African American Music Appreciation Month. To celebrate Black music and those who are making a “note” in Denver and across the country, Charles Emmons looks into the life of music impresario Bobby Wells, who produced DUS’s 30th anniversary theme song, “More Today Than Yesterday.” Allan Tellis caught up with well- known Denver bassist Jeroan Adams who talked “music notes” and about the “real” roots of Black music. In the spirit of family and family reunions, Emmons also shared the roots of the Tyler family and the upcoming Tyler family reunion planned for Denver.
July’s cover story, “Summer Time in the Rockies” by Allan Tellis informed readers what to do and where to go for the best summer events. Charles Emmons attended a special reception for the Denver History Makers and wrote about the Chicago-based organization and how the community can help preserve the rich history of African Americans. And contributing writer, working as a summer intern, Khaleel Herbert earned a lot of credit after attending and covering the Mountain Region Black Economic Summit (MRBES), the Denver Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity 45th annual scholarship luncheon and a community-based basketball camp celebrating 10 years.
Home is where the heart is and requires great care. DUS’s cover story by Khaleel Herbert covered Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s State of the City Address as he discussed initiatives and ways to help and care for our “home” called Denver. Melovy Melvin visited “Coach” Copeland who shared his transition from one home to another and how it is providing a guiding light for those who walk through his “front door.” Khaleel Herbert also talked with Porter Lori about how his social activism was affected by residents and their homes at the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota. And Charles Emmons and Chandra Whitfield both shared stories of two “homeboys” who are pursuing their dreams as authors, writers and publishers.
This month DUS examined those who are making noise in the community, from speaking out on civil and human rights to learning how Black history has impacted lives to just lending a good laugh. Portia Prescott shares the Colorado Black Women for Political Action plans to encourage African American Women to participate in a Call To Activism and talks about local and national Black females who are standing up and speaking out. Latasha Bells’ journey from humble beginning in Denver’s Five Points community to becoming an entrepreneur and successful owner of Ashae Soaps is told by Allan Tellis. Charles Emmons talks about six students who capped off there summer trip to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C and how the trip provided them with the opportunity to delve further beyond the highlights of the scourge of slavery and civil rights. And Khaleel Herbert laughs with Colorado native, Stephen Agyei as he shared his story about his defeat and hilarious triumphs in pursuing a career in the comedic and entertainment industry.
Other than love, there is nothing more vital than the freedom of speech. While proudly and successfully spreading and delivering news in Colorado, Denver Urban Spectrum launched two new online magazines for the Gulf Coast region and Maryland as one of its 30 year anniversary goals. Tanya Ishikawa shared more on the new launch of Gulf Coast Urban Spectrum and Baltimore Urban Spectrum. This month’s cover story looked at “Denver Dreamers” and others who expressed their opinion on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) when news reached that the American immigration policy was in jeopardy under the administration of President Trump. Charles Emmons’s story “Yoga…It’s not just for White Girls,” follows entrepreneur Shelby Holly-Page who went from posting images of practicing yoga on Instagram to encouraging more yoga and physical exercise and posture for African Americans.
In November, we enter the season of giving and giving thanks. The 100 Men Who Cook turned the corner of five years and tells Laurence Washington their goal of supporting deserving nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to serving Denver’s youth. Washington also talked to well-known attorney Mike Sawaya who shares his story and life mission and how he gives back to the community. He says every client is important to him. Denver Urban Spectrum wins eight awards at the annual Colorado Association of Black Journalist banquet and Khaleel Herbert tells who took home the bacon and how much. And Mayor Michael B. Hancock gives thanks to the Little Rock Nine who celebrated 60 years of fighting social and racial injustices when they entered and attended Little Rock’s Central High School in September 1957.
Ending out the year, our cover story by Allan Tellis takes a look at the history of Kwanzaa, its founder Dr. Maulana Karenga, and how organizers in Denver plan to celebrate this special occasion. Angelle Fouther attended the Power of Black Women Summit and talks about who, what, where, when and why it happened. And lastly, Melovy Melvin recaps what has occurred in Denver and across the country with a recap of the year – which has been a lot.
See you in 2018!