Caribbean films showcased in annual ADIFF festival


The African Diaspora International Film Festival, ADIFF 2015 is being held from November 27 through December 13 in three venues in Manhattan: Chelsea Bow Tie Cinemas, MIST Harlem and Teachers College, Columbia University. The selection of films include many featuring the Caribbean. The Caribbean is a reservoir of talent in many areas and, as time goes by, the Caribbean presence in films is more and more remarkable. The 23rd African Diaspora International Film Festival will showcase, as is its tradition, a selection of good films coming from the Caribbean and about its people.

The Black British Film Program has a selection of four films about the presence of Black people in the UK with a very strong Caribbean flavor in front and behind the camera.  Let The Music Talk by Yvonne Deutchmann is a 1981 musical documentary never screened in the USA before. It tells the story of black music in Britain, from the calypso of Lord Kitchener arriving on the SS Windrush in 1948, gospel choirs, griots from Grenada, steel pans in schools and at the Notting Hill Carnival, jazz, Afro-rock, soul-funk with the Real Thing, reggae with Misty in Roots and Eddy Grant.

The Story of Lovers Rock by Menelik Shabazz, a favorite of ADIFF, tells the story of Lovers Rock as a musical genre and gives a voice to the Caribbean descendant people who created that music and culture in the UK. Honeytrap by Rebecca Johnson plays out as a tragedy. It tells a story of fifteen-year-old Layla (Jessica Sula – Skins), a beautiful and naive Trinidadian girl who, freshly arrived from her native land, quickly embarks on a journey of love, sex, hip hop and violence.

Second Coming by Debbie Tucker Green is an emotional and intimate drama about a woman in a London family who faces a dilemma with her husband (Idris Elba) and the tensions and communication issues associated with her situation. Other films in the festival have a Caribbean flavor including NY premiere and festival centerpiece “Cu-Bop: Cuba – New York Music Documentary” by Japanese filmmaker Shinishi Takahashi. Separated by an ocean, two Cuban jazz musicians continue to perform in spite of the difficulties they face. César López is recognized as Cuba’s premier saxophonist, having founded his landmark jazz band, the Havana Ensemble, in his native country.

The gifted young pianist Axel Tosca lives in New York City, the leader of (U)NITY, a band which fuses Afro-Cuban culture with modern jazz and hip-hop. With this documentary for all music lovers, first-time filmmaker Shinichi Takahashi explores the African roots of Cuban jazz and documents what happens when expats return to the source of their inspiration. The screening will be followed by a concert with Axel Tosca and his band. Shot in Haiti and Bangladesh, A Journey of a Thousand Miles tells us a story of two countries that are embarked in a mutual discovery of sorts. A contingent of Muslim, Bangladeshi police women is deployed in Haiti to serve as UN Peacekeepers to maintain peace after the 2010 earthquake. We then learn, as the camera follows three of these Muslims women, about life in Haiti and Bangladesh and the challenges faced by the population in both countries.

Black / Nowa, a “Hood” film set in Montreal, Canada that chronicles the lives of four people – including several youths of Haitian descent – living in a neighborhood plagued by poverty and violence, aspiring to freedom and happiness. Sand Dollars by Laura Amelia Guzman and Israel Cardenas is a film from the Dominican Republic submitted to the Oscar competition in the foreign film category. Sand Dollars is the story of Noeli (Yanet Mojica) whose love affair with Anne (Geraldine Chaplin) a woman double her age, is a rare subject in films.

For more information about the 23rd Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival e-mail Festival web site:––



Happy Thanksgiving to our readers, gratitude is never cliche


Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers, supporters who continue to make our site a part of your lives.  We appreciate your support over the years.

The family extends Happy Thanksgiving greetings to all of our readers and supporters.

For many families, this has been a very difficult year, with significant acts of terror across the globe, illness and the deaths of loved ones. Some families have experienced job loss or financial and medical uncertainty.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving usually means time for family, friends and food.

Yet, despite enormous challenges and regardless of the uncertainty that they bring, being thankful should be a constant in our lives because without much effort, we can all find several things in our lives for which we are grateful.

For some it might be the ability to wake up each morning and breathe fresh air, for others it might be having the comfort of being loved, while for others it might be the sense of satisfaction that comes from pursuing a career path that brings joy and fulfillment.happy thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving season take the time to express your gratitude for your life, family, friends, health, ability to earn, education and the ability to freely assemble and practice your religion as you please.

That’s just a short list of things we should be thankful for because being thankful is never cliché. Happy Thanksgiving!–


BREAKING: NYC mayor launches major mental health initiative

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio launched a comprehensive mental health initiative today.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio launched a comprehensive mental health initiative today.

By Carmen Glover

On Monday, November 22, 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, flanked by his wife, two children and staff, announced a major mental health initiative that is right on time since studies show that people who have mental illness often feel more lonely and hopeless during the holiday season.

“Maybe there’s a little hope that we can stare down these challenges and not be afraid to talk about them and seek the help that people deserve,” Mayor de Blasio said, in announcing that he will allocate $800 million over four years to fund his bold and much needed initiative named “Thrive NYC: A Road Map for Mental Health.”

Among the highlights of the initiative is the plan to train 2,250 mental health first aide workers, hire 100 school mental health consultants and hire 400 doctors for the NYC Mental Health Corps.

For a video of the Mental Health Road Map in action click here:

The mayor is no stranger to mental illness and substance abuse because he grew up in a household with a father who struggled with both. His father was an alcoholic who committed suicide when the mayor was 18. Also, de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara, 20, has battled substance abuse, anxiety and depression. Asked how she was coping during the press conference convened to talk about the initiative, Chiara smiled and said: “I’m doing better. I would say there’s always challenges.”

New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray, who has spearheaded her husband’s mental health agenda, was pleased with the massive financial commitment to the issue.

“The good news is that mental illness is treatable. We know what works. We have the tools.”

As the homeless population has exploded in New York City, data has shown a correlation between mental illness and homelessness. The new mental health initiative will go a long way towards curbing homelessness by reaching affected individuals before they descend into despair and provide vital services to those who already suffer in silence––




Jamaican roots group Raging Fyah tours USA on Dub Rockers label

Roots group Raging Fyah is currently on tour in the USA.

Roots group Raging Fyah is currently on tour in the USA.

By Tiffany Mea

Raging Fyah, one of Jamaica’s emerging roots rock bands, is currently on tour in the USA after signing to Dub Rockers, the newest imprint from the world’s largest reggae distributor VP Records.

The five-member group, hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, will release multiple albums on Dub Rockers, which will include publishing and merchandise rights. Their first studio album with label is slated for 2016.  Throughout November, Raging Fyah will tour California – performing in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles. Then, they head east for their New York City showcase on the 24th.  Billboard announced the full details on their signing, resulting in the band releasing an official statement about the news:.

Members of the roots group Raging Fyah.

Members of the roots group Raging Fyah.

“Many have compared our sound to the feel good reggae in the 1970s when it was all about the groove of the music, so signing with Dub Rockers/VP Records is like a match made in heaven being that they are known to be ‘miles ahead in reggae.’ With their experience in promoting reggae music from that time until now, we feel we are good hands.” the band’s statement read.

Chris Chin, president of VP Records added “Raging Fyah breeds a progressive sound while staying true to real roots reggae. You know it is made from the heart and can feel the positive energy they bring. It’s undeniable. This type of authenticity is rare and we are excited to help spread the word worldwide.”

This summer, prior to Raging Fyah’s signing, VP Records’ distribution arm VPAL reissued their first two albums Judgement Day (2011) and Destiny (2014) to get music enthusiasts acquainted with their soul-filled sound that has been making waves in the latest reggae renaissance.  Raging Fyah consists of Kumar Bent (lead singer), Courtland White (guitarist) Anthony Watson (drummer), Demar Gayle (keyboardist) and Delroy Hamilton (bassist).

Some of the members met at Edna Manley College of Visual & Performing Arts in Kingston, but the band itself didn’t form until 2006. Inspired by the likes The Wailers, Third World, Steel Pulse and Aswad, Raging Fyah tackles similar topics of socio-economics and politics with an underlying message of hope and inspiration. Fueled by passion, purpose and life experiences, their lyrics touch and motivate people from all walks of life and their lush lively instrumentation soothes the soul. Their vintage sound coupled with a fresh contemporary flare gives them a particular edge over their predecessors.

Members of the roots group Raging Fyah.

Members of the roots group Raging Fyah.

Since their debut, their infectious vibes have been spreading like wildfire. The band has already made a name for themselves in their native country playing large stage shows such as Reggae Sumfest, Rebel Salute and Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. They have also developed a devoted following internationally, after performing on South American stages as well as headlining major European reggae festivals (Summerjam, Rototom Sunsplash and Garance).

This spring and summer, Raging Fyah has been touring Europe non-stop – performing at both intimate venues and large-scale festivals throughout France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Germany Poland, Austria, Belgium, New Caledonia and more. They are steadily capturing the hearts of North American listeners too, earning highly-coveted performances at annual concerts like Sierra Nevada Reggae Festival in 2014. More U.S. dates will be announced for the rest of the year and 2016.  Watch Raging Fyah’s “Irie Vibe” off their latest album, Destiny.

Raging Fyah will be on tour in the US on Nov. 19 in San Francisco, CA at San Francisco State University; Nov. 20 in Los Angeles, CA, at The Mint;  Nov. 22 in Oakland, CA at The New Parish and Nov. 24 in New York, NY @ Milk River––

Having health insurance before emergency strikes is crucial

People rarely plan for hospital stays. Unfortunate incidents and illnesses force hundreds into the hospital on a daily basis. Are you prepared?

People rarely plan for hospital stays. Unfortunate incidents and illnesses force hundreds into the hospital on a daily basis. Are you prepared?

By Charles Glover, Jr.

If there is one lesson to take away from the month of October, which emphasized  Breast Cancer, Domestic Violence and Mental Health Awareness, it is that being proactive and prepared can save your life. Yet, how do you prepare for an accident, illness, violence, or natural disasters? While we pray for those harshly affected by Hurricane Patricia, it serves as a reminder that there is only so much we can plan for.


The job of a qualified insurance agent is to educate families and individuals about the potential pitfalls that exist in most insurance plans and help fill those gaps. Hospital indemnity plans and accident plans are the most common forms of protection that provide benefits directly to the insured in case of accident or illness, in many cases.

When you meet with your insurance agent, make sure you read the fine print in your insurance plan and ask many questions.

When you meet with your insurance agent, make sure you read the fine print in your insurance plan and ask many questions.

When a person is hurt or critically ill, the only thing they should have to worry about is healing. Unfortunately, healthcare costs can become an albatross resulting in substantial financial loss and, in many cases, bankruptcy.

As open enrollment continues, be sure to read the fine print on your health insurance plans and ask your insurance advisor as many questions as possible. There are plans to help those who have to go the hospital for a wide range of reasons including cancer, domestic violence, heart attack, stroke, slip and fall and mental health issues. Make sure you plan ahead so that when disaster strikes, the only concern is healing as soon as possible.––

Charles Glover, Jr., your Insurance Advisor, is a senior writer at and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets. 

Contact me directly at (470)755-9940 for your health insurance questions and concerns


Happy Veterans Day as uncertain times loom

Black Vet

Black Veterans face homelessness, mental illness, joblessness and lack of medical insurance at a higher rate than other veterans.

The family extends thanks to all veterans who fought to preserve our freedom, liberty and right to pursue our goals and dreams. Your sacrifices are not forgotten and society owes you an enormous debt.

Black veterans struggle to find employment after serving the country.

Black veterans struggle to find employment after serving the country.

As we honor our veterans, let us be mindful that many African-American veterans are homeless, jobless and lack health insurance. Let us remember that a significant aspect of honoring our veterans is to assist them in assimilating back into society so that they can share their skills to build the country’s economic engine, as they leave the armed forces.  veterans day

After all, the true expression of appreciation for their service is to provide them with the opportunity to earn and care for their families so that they can preserve their dignity and economic well-being. Happy Veteran’s Day–

Oakland nonprofit hosts inaugural event giving students laptops



Students are able to complete projects on the go with laptops.

Oakland, CA, November 8, 2015 – Oakland-based nonprofit Andrew Fluegelman Foundation, which was established in 2011, purchased over 50 new MacPro laptop computers for deserving college-bound students from the Oakland area. To raise funds for more computers and computer skills training, the Foundation is hosting its first annual Oakland Holiday Reggae Party & Fundraiser on December 6, at Kingston 11 Cuisine, 2270 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94612. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m.

“We want to send more of these future community leaders off to college with new laptops,” said Fluegelman Founder David Bunnell, “because having a personal state-of-the-art laptop levels the playing field for students who otherwise have to share library computers.”

Student proudly hold her laptop.

Student proudly hold her laptop.

The foundation also offers students free computer skills training and visitations to leading technology companies including Google and Twitter. Tickets for the event cost $100, which can be purchased at The event will feature live reggae entertainment from Ryan the Operator & Reggae All-Stars, dancing, sweet & savory Jamaican treats, complimentary champagne and valet parking.

The Andrew Fluegelman Foundation was established in the memory of our friend, Andrew Cardozo Fluegelman. The high tech genius was a publisher, photographer, programmer and attorney, best known as a pioneer of what is now known as the shareware business model for software marketing. He was also the founding editor of both PCWorld and MacWorld magazines, and leader of the 1970’s New Games movement, which advocated the development of noncompetitive games.

Fluegelman, who died in 1986, believed that owning a personal computer can permanently change a person’s life for the better. In keeping with his vision, we award new MacPro laptop computers to college-bound minority students based on need, achievement, and a commitment to a better tomorrow. A link to the application for the 2015-2016 school year will be available in January, 2016 on our Facebook page:––