When the holidays arrive, families and foodies everywhere delight in mouth-watering home-cooked meals that feed mind, body and soul. Speaking of soul, that’s what you’ll find in the hearts and kitchens of many African-Americans who hold fast to holiday cooking traditions that have endured generations. Nowhere is this more evident than the 2018 release of the book, “Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original.” The book pays homage to Ms. Lewis, one of America’s beloved chefs who was born not far from Richmond in Freetown, (Orange County) Virginia.
Ms. Lewis, who died in 2006 at age 89, left a legacy and love of cooking that lives on in her seminal cookbooks that the New York Times says “revived the nearly forgotten genre of Clarinex while offering a glimpse into African-American farm life in the early 20th century.” Her cookbooks include: The Edna Lewis Cookbook (1972), The Taste of Country Cooking (1976) and In Pursuit of Flavor (1988).
Join us as local and regional food experts discuss why chefs such as Ms. Lewis continue to inspire legions of novice and experienced cooks. Our panel of food experts will include Herman Baskerville, chef, owner of Big Herm’s Kitchen; Betty Thompson Morton, kitchen culinary consultant, cookbook author (formerly of Reynolds Kitchens); Keva Miller, chef and owner of FEEDSHINE LLC.
The BND Institute of Media and Culture Inc.
Kitchen Talk: African-American Holiday Cooking
Inspired by the book: “Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original”
This program is free and open to the public.
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018
Richmond Public Library
101 East Franklin Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Enjoy samples of holiday dishes following the discussion
Program sponsors: John R. Rich, Senior Investments Manager; Michael L. Harvey, MLH Assets LP; NDUTIME Youth and Family Services.
The BND Institute of Media and Culture Presents “Pens Up, Fears Down: Write Now!” led by award-winning author Sadeqa Johnson.In this class, we will massage the knots and unravel the tales traveling through your head. We will explore memory, character and story with writing exercises that will inspire you to put your fears down and get the writing onto the page. This class is for those who have a desire to write but need a gentle push and loving environment to get started, and for writers who need to dedicate some time to improving the craft of writing. All levels are welcome.
This class is limited to 10 people.
When: September 22, 2018
Time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Rolling Hills Subdivision (adjoining Chamberlayne Farms), Richmond, Va. 23227
Cost: $50 per person (includes lunch and beverages)
Contact: Bonnie Newman Davis, email@example.com
About the Author and Instructor
Sadeqa Johnson, a former public relations manager, spent several years working with well-known authors such as JK Rowling, Bebe Moore Campbell and Bishop TD Jakes before becoming an author herself. She is the author of Love in a Carry-on Bag, Second House From the Corner and And Then There Was Me. Her awards include, a Phillis Wheatley award for Best Fiction, Black Pearl Magazine Author of the Year, and the NBCC Author of the year for best fiction. She is a member of the Tall Poppy Writers, a Kimbilio Fellow, motivational speaker, half marathon runner, sometimes yogi, wife and mother of three wonderful children.
We TRULY appreciate Karla Redditte of NBC12 – Richmond for coming out to capture our camp for an amazing news segment that aired Aug. 3, 2018. Click here to view the video.
Finally, please enjoy this excellent video created by Dexter Johnson. A website featuring our campers’ work is being updated and the link soon will be made available for interested audiences.
Amplifying Their Voices
The BND Institute of Media and Culture’s Multimedia Summer Journalism Program, in partnership with Ephesus Junior Academy, combines journalism and multi-platform media technology for students in grades 8 through 12 to create and display their work via an online presence. In addition, students will build their confidence as they learn about media literacy and gain more awareness about their individual and collective communities. This program will tap into and explore students’ creativity, writing, editing and video skills. Students will work with professional media writers, editors, videographers and special guests who will lead them through various aspects of digital storytelling. Click HERE for application. For more information , contact Bonnie Newman Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Some of his players include (the late) Sen. Dr. Benjamin Lambert Sr.and Kermit Blount, former head coach at Winston Salem State University to name just a few,” says Paul J. Lawrence, the son of the late Angier “Horse” Lawrence. “(My father) said what he meant and meant what he said. Everyone loved to hear him lay folks out… unless he was talking to you. And I was not immune to that because I was his son.”
Join us June 16, 2018 @ the Richmond Public Library as Richmonder Paul J. Lawrence, president of the Richmond, Va. chapter of the N.C. A&T State University Alumni Association, reflects on the lessons learned from his trailblazing father, the late Angier “Horse” Lawrence. After Mr. Lawrence’s presentation, attendees may share their own reflections of their fathers or other significant men who helped shape their lives.
Born and raised in Richmond, Va., Paul J. Lawrence’s parents were two educators whose early emphasis on the importance of education and learning was not lost on their child. Paul attended Richmond’s Benedictine High School where he excelled in the military and academics. At Benedictine, Paul was the first black cadet to achieve the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the school’s history. While there, he also was a three-time state discus champion and, upon graduation, he received a full ROTC Scholarship.
Paul used that scholarship at North Carolina A&T State University where he majored in mechanical engineering. With an career that spans some 22 years in the United States and internationally, Paul currently works as an engineer at AMF Bakery Systems in Richmond. His impressive design portfolio includes work with Walt Disney Imagineering with rides in Anaheim, California and Orlando, Florida. His aerospace work for Zodiac Aerospace has been used by Gulfstream Airbus and Boeing.
Paul currently is the president of the Richmond Chapter of the North Carolina A&T Alumni Association. He is also on the Stem Board of advisors of the Chesterfield County School system.
Most of Paul’s time outside of work is spent mentoring young people and following sports such as Formula One Racing and Football.
Angier “Horse” Lawrence
Mr. Lawrence was born in Durham, North Carolina and graduated from North Carolina College in 1949. He joined the coaching staff at NCC. He later earned his Master’s degree from New York University in Health and Physical Education and joined the faculty at Huntington High School in Newport News, Virginia. In 1953, Coach Lawrence began coaching football, basketball, track and baseball at Virginia Randolph High School. He was there for 15 years. In 1957 “Horse” became a CIAA Basketball Official, where he delighted spectators and players until 1988. He served as an official in many NCAA regional tournaments, VHSL tournaments, CIAA and MEAC tournaments.
In 1968 Coach Lawrence moved to Richmond Public Schools’ Armstrong High School to fill the head football coaching position vacated by the retirement of Maxie C. Robinson. He served until 1979, when he became head of the school’s Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. He served in this position at the time of his death.
Date and Time:
Richmond Public Library
101 East Franklin Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219.
Refreshments will be provided.
This article is reprinted courtesy of Richmond Magazine, April 22, 2018
Putting Dreams on Screen
Richmond native Tamika Lamison creates cinematic legacies for terminally ill children
April 22, 2018
Richmond native Tamika Lamison, an award-winning actress and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, was juggling several projects when 16-year-old Anthony Conti’s grandmother contacted her two years ago.
Conti, who lived in Boston, had recently been diagnosed with stage 4 adrenal cortical cancer, discovered while the young man was in a summer film camp. Given just a few months to live, Conti knew about Lamison’s Make a Film Foundation, which grants “film wishes” to children who have serious or life-threatening medical conditions. The children are teamed with notable actors, writers and directors who help them create short film legacies.
Conti “wanted to show the world what he could do,” his grandmother told Lamison, who created MAFF in 2007 and is the organization’s producer and executive director.
When Conti’s request came in, in addition to running MAFF Lamison was working in the education department at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and navigating various film projects. With Conti’s very serious diagnosis, she didn’t believe there was enough time to make Conti’s film. But in speaking with others about the young man’s work, Lamison changed her mind.
On Saturday afternoon, April 28, at The Byrd Theatre, Conti’s film “The Black Ghiandola,” will be the “spotlight” feature during the Richmond International Film & Music Festival. Created through Lamison’s foundation, the film is about a young man, played by Conti, who risks his life saving a young girl he has grown to love after his family has been killed during a zombie apocalypse.
In addition to Conti, the film stars J.K.Simmons, Johnny Depp, David Lynch, Laura Dern and Chad L. Coleman (“The Walking Dead”). The film’s cowriters are Scott Kosar (“Texas Chainsaw Massacre”) and Wash Westmoreland (“Still Alice”). Producers included Lamison, Adele Rene and Bettina Fisher, with consulting producers Peter Farrelly and Sean Furst.
Because Conti was critically ill, Lamison had to work fast in assembling a team to make his screenplay into a film. It was completed shortly before Conti’s death in January 2017. Lamison relied on her strong network and reputation to secure and coordinate the 100 to 250 people who donated their time to work on the film.
“I went to people who I knew would want to be involved, such as Chad Coleman,” she says. “Chad always says yes. Those two weeks [of filming] were the fastest I ever worked, but also the most magical and intense. Everyone — big stars and celebrities — said yes.”
Lamison describes making films with terminally ill young people “bittersweet.” Such films are creating a legacy and voice to share that will live forever, she explains.
Anthony Conti on the set of “The Black Ghiandola” (Goodluck Road Photography by Jenna Hagel courtesy Make a Film Foundation)
“These kids really understand what they’re doing. Anthony verbalized very clearly and directly that he wanted to live even though his doctors told him he was going to die. That was the most difficult part. So we tried to reframe it by saying, ‘Your work will allow you to live forever.’ So when I see the film I say, ‘There’s Anthony.’ But I do have to compartmentalize things, and there are times when [his death] hits me directly.”
Before flying to Richmond for the film festival, Lamison, 48, talked about the acting and filmmaking journey that began in right here in her hometown. Lamison is a 1987 graduate of Huguenot High School and a former member of Richmond’s Jazz Actors Troupe. After graduating from American University with a degree in performing arts and theater, she moved to New York, performed in several stage shows and wrote her first screenplay, “The Jar by the Door,” which was a Sundance Finalist and won the Gordon Parks Indie Film Award. She then attended the New York Film Academy to learn filmmaking and graduated having made her first short film.
After gaining her filmmaking chops, Lamison moved to Los Angeles and won several fellowships and awards in writing and directing, including the ABC/Walt Disney Fellowship in Screenwriting for “Memoirs of a Virgin Whore,” the Guy Hanks and Marvin Miller Fellowship, the CBS Director’s Initiative and AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women Fellowship, in which she wrote, directed and produced the multi-award-winning short film “Hope.” She also directed BET’s first reality TV show, “College Hill”; produced the award-winning “The Male Groupie,” which aired on HBO; and produced and directed the short film ”Spin.”
More recently she produced and starred in the feature film “Last Life,” with Michael Phillip Edwards, who also wrote and directed the film, and Coleman, Lamison’s close friend who also hails from Richmond. The film, which recently won Best Film, Best Actor and Best Actress at the Houston Black Film Festival, also will be shown during the Richmond International Film Festival’s spotlight session on April 28.
Through MAFF, Tamika has produced three award-winning narrative short films working with directors such as Patricia Cardoso (“Real Women Have Curves”) and others. Another film, “The Magic Bracelet,” was adapted by Academy Award-winning writer Diablo Cody (“Juno”) and continues to win awards on the film festival circuit.
While pleased with the success she has achieved in the film and entertainment industry, Lamison recognizes that much work remains for women to gain more and equal opportunities. She recently emerged as a voice for the “Me Too” movement after revealing her own sexual harassment experience with NBC talk show host Megyn Kelly.
On Kelly’s February 7 show, Lamison described her unwanted sexual encounter in 1996 with Vincent Cirrincione, a well-known talent agent credited for building the careers of African-American actresses such as Halle Berry and Taraji P. Henson. Her comments came after accusations of sexual misconduct by nine actresses last winter. Cirrincione, 70, closed his talent agency three days before Lamison appeared on Kelly’s show.
Lamison says she decided to share her story on national television because “even though I said no and shut down the manager’s advances and his ‘proposition’ of managing me for ‘favors,’ he should never have abused his power in that way. And it did affect me.”
Since the Megyn Kelly segment aired, Lamison says she now feels “a sense of relief” and has received nothing but support, including an invitation to speak at the recent Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls’ Empowerment conference in New York. “I felt compelled to share my story so that other women, especially those who had more horrible and profound experiences, would be encouraged to share their voices as well.”
Equally important, she says, was her desire to support other women who’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted; to remind people that the “Me Too” movement was created 10 years ago by Tarana Burke, an African-American woman; and to “put it behind me with forgiveness and healing.”
Before her encounter with Cirrincione, Lamison’s fate as a celebrated film and stage actress seemed to be sealed.
“I believe that perhaps the reason I was so attracted to continuing my work behind the scenes is that in some ways I found more power in producing, writing and directing,” says Lamison. “It empowered me in a different way.”
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The BND Institute of Media and Culture presents award-winning authors who will coach novice and experienced writers who seek to polish their writing skills during a writing workshop on May 12, 2018. Some attendees may need help with writing basics such as improving their language skills, grammar, spelling, word usage and diction. Others may require tips and techniques to structure their writing, develop their storytelling skills or need a nudge to get their creative juices flowing. Our coaches will answer questions, while guiding and providing workshop participants tools for writing a memoir or works of fiction and nonfiction. They’ll also lend advice about how to navigate the publishing world.
STAY TUNED FOR THE NEW DATE AND TIME!
Honoring Women Who Tell Our Stories
Richmond, Virginia is fortunate to have numerous educators, historians, journalists and writers who routinely capture and record its fascinating legacy and traditions. On Saturday, March 31, 2018, the BND Institute of Media and Culture honored three Richmond-area educators whose thirst for knowledge about family, church, community, education and justice made history. Speakers and honorees Elvatrice Belsches, Brenda Dabney Nichols and Elizabeth Johnson Rice shared their most intriguing discoveries unearthed during years of research and curiosity. Cathy M. Jackson, PhD., a journalism professor and historian at Norfolk State University moderated the discussion.
The BND Institute of Media and Culture sincerely appreciates the support of its patrons and sponsors: AfroEconomics with JB Bryan, Maxamus Insurance, John R. Rich, G.A. Carter and NBC12-Richmond. #women’shistorymonth.
About the speakers:
Elvatrice Belsches, a Richmond native, historian and researcher, is curator of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia’s new exhibit, “Yesterday’s Stories, Today’s Inspiration,” which chronicles aspects of the African American experience. Mrs. Belsches, a researcher for the film “Lincoln,” has documented the African-American experience for decades. She also authored the pictorial publication, “Black America Series: Richmond ,Virginia” ( Arcadia Publishing). In 2017, Mrs. Belsches was asked to bring to life the Black History Museum exhibit. The exhibit opened in February 2018. It covers themes as diverse as the early years, education, the early worship experience,” Mrs. Belsches recently told Richmond’s NBC12. “(Museum visitors) are going to learn about the powerful roots of resistance and roots of success here. The exhibit has inspirational and incredible stories, told through photographs provided by repositories around the country, here in Virginia and by families themselves.”
Elizabeth Johnson Rice was among 34 Virginia Union University students who were arrested in 1960 after they staged a sit-in at Thalhimers department store for its refusal to serve African-Americans in its restaurants. This was the first mass-arrest in the civil rights movement. Mrs. Rice went on to represent the university on NBC’s Today Show, which was then hosted by Dave Garroway and Florence Henderson. Her brother, Ford T. Johnson, Jr., was arrested with her during the 1960 sit-ins. His 1962 Supreme Court case (Johnson v. Commonwealth of Virginia) resulted in the desegregation of all public federal facilities in the United States. Two years ago Mrs. Rice stood at the site of the former Thalhimers store for a more celebratory reason: The unveiling of a Virginia historical marker commemorating the VUU students’ heroic actions 58 years ago. The marker, erected by the state Department of Historic Resources, is on East Broad Street between 7th and 8th streets, where Thalhimers once stood. The store closed in 1992 and was demolished in 2004. During the installation ceremony Mrs. Rice said: “Just the fact we’re being remembered feels good. This historical marker will be here when we’re all gone.
Brenda Dabney Nichols, a retired Henrico County Schools teacher and music educator, is the author of “African-Americans of Henrico County: 1863-1993” (2010). The book explores the origin and history of numerous African-American communities during and after slavery. Churches and schools that served Henrico’s black population are frequently cited in Mrs. Dabney’s book. Several years ago, Mrs. Nichols and members of Henrico County’s Quioccasin and Westwood Baptist churches formed a committee to maintain and improve the status of three Henrico County cemeteries: Quioccasin, Westwood and Pryor (QWP) memorial cemeteries. The cemeteries also are final resting places for the late state Sen. Benjamin J. Lambert III, his brother, the late Richmond attorney Leonard Lambert, and the late Rev. Paul Nichols, Mrs. Dabney’s husband. Mrs. Nichols is the great granddaughter of Jesse Scott Pryor Sr. ,for whom the J.S. Pryor Sr. Memorial Cemetery is named and was purchased in 1939 by his descendants for family members’ burials. The QWP committee worked with the Henrico Department of Recreation and Parks and its Historic Preservation Advisory Committee to purchase and establish a historical marker for the cemeteries. The marker was placed on a median strip on Quioccasin Road in August 2016.
Photos from March 31, 2018 program.