If you attend a community event in Las Vegas these days, chances are that you’ll hear Christian Shelton belting out a popular R&B song or even an opera selection. He has enjoyed singing since he was very young, but didn’t truly grasp the power of his voice until he got to the Las Vegas Academy of the Performing Arts.
“I really didn’t know what I would specialize in when I entered the Academy,” said Shelton. “I was initially very nervous because I had never sung in front of anyone. It was a different experience, but singing worked out for me and it is the best. I love it.”
Shelton’s love for singing both classical and R&B songs recently earned him, for the second year in a row, the 2019 State Solo & Ensemble Command Performance Award for Vocal Solo Male. He won the honor by besting the most talented male vocalists from high schools across Nevada.
Now 18, Shelton recently traveled with his school choir to Austria — where he performed in some of the world’s most esteemed cathedrals. Defining his singing voice as a tenor, Shelton acknowledges that opera is challenging.
“Singing opera takes a lot of training,” he said. “You have to rely on your own voice with classical — you can’t use a microphone. You have to depend of self-amplification.”
Shelton is excited to be on his way to UNLV, where he will continue his studies in music and technology. After high school, he will seek to audition for “American Idol” and “The Voice.”
Reflecting on his favorite tune, Shelton said, “I can say my favorite song is ‘The Impossible Dream.’ There is a classical version of the song, but I truly like the version that Luther Vandross sang. I really love singing that song.”
A crowd of admirers gathered recently in Las Vegas for a campaign stop by Senator Cory Booker, who is criss-crossing the country in his bid to take on Donald Trump for the presidency in 2020. Introduced by his mother, Carolyn — a resident of Las Vegas — Booker began his speech with a focus on uniting America. The diverse audience asked questions of Booker as it related to health care, mental illness, economic development, and education. He took the time to answer the questions presented to him by the enthusiastic crowd, which heartily embraced his campaign theme: “Justice for All!”
Big Mama, what should I do with my teenage children for the summer months, so that they are not bored and don’t get into things they shouldn’t?
Have your children get involved with being your house managers. Give them responsibilities that build confidence. Have them remind you of important things you want to accomplish during the week. Tell them you are preparing them to be the CEOs of their own households. Stay engaged with them and structure their time for business, family, and free time to have fun.
Big Mama, how can I give myself and my husband our own individual time in our home to enjoy our friends?
It’s all about time. Chose the time that you want to have friends over and your husband can have his time. Give each other a “time out,” to enjoy good friends undisturbed.
Big Mama, when should I quit my job if I don’t want to wait for retirement?
If you are still at an age where you can’t retire, don’t quit a job unless you have another or a savings that can save you economically if you need it.
Big Mama, how do I stay on my diet when my husband brings home fast food all the time?
You can try to have a serious conversation with him and make him feel empowered by empowering you to stay on your diet. Or, you just have to be strong and don’t eat foods that are bad for you and your weight loss goals. You have to LOVE YOU.
Big Mama, how do I tell my supervisor at work that I was insulted by something that was done without jeopardizing our good working relationship?
Pick the perfect time when your supervisor might receive what you would like to share. Body language is so important. You have to put your own need to speak up on the back burner until the time is right to share. The rule of thumb is to wait 24 hours before you speak when you are upset.
Email the questions you would like to ask to firstname.lastname@example.org
BY DR. TIFFANY TYLER
This month we celebrate Mother’s Day. This annual acknowledgment is a great time to remember that mothers often serve as our first teachers. Moreover, it is a great time to ask ourselves what are we birthing.
In this vein, I encourage you to consider all the lessons you’ve been taught along the way. As I ponder my journey, I am reminded of my mother and aunts. The many lessons my mother instilled included old Southern adages, as well as biblical principles. I didn’t always understand the lesson at first — but they have served me well.
Some of the adages or lessons included sayings like, “Everything that you want in a partner, be that yourself.”
I distinctly remember my aunt, Martha Tyler Tolbert, saying: “Tiffany, don’t settle for writing your name on the wall — make sure it is written in history books!”
Other lessons included adages like, “A dog that will bring a bone, will carry a bone.” I was unclear at the time what this meant, but later came to appreciate this statement on the nature of “perceived confidentiality” and gossip.
As I consider the rich investment made by my mother, Rosie Mae Tyler, I am also challenged to ask what am I birthing and what will others say about the results of my engagement (teaching).
It is important to note that mothering or nurturing does not require us to be mothers of physical birth. Should we choose, we can nurture others through mentorship, sponsorship or apprenticeship. We can also choose to birth things like hope, peace, transformation, and joy.
Now, more than ever, we have a nation — a community, a generation — in need of our ability and willingness to nurture, teach, and care! There are tangible opportunities, each day, to give others the benefit of our learning and to learn from one another.
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, I ask you to join me in consciously birthing the peace, prosperity, hope, and future we desire. I ask you to join me in nurturing a collective consciousness that elevates our community and empowers our children. Join me in seeding the life we want for ourselves and others. Let’s birth together!
BY SHERYL THORNTON-BURNHAM
With anticipation brewing for the 2020 NFL season — when our beloved team will officially become the Las Vegas Raiders — there is also a little sadness.
The sadness comes in the form of a loss of a family member who will not be able to share in the excitement that comes with a new beginning for our team. The Raider Legends community is a close-knit family unit. We refer to each other as brother or sister. The ties that bind us go beyond a blood relation. We are tied together by the Silver and Black. When a brother or a sister transitions from this life to the next, we mourn — but then we celebrate.
There is a long list of former players who proudly wore the Raider uniform and are no longer with us on this earthly plane, but who have a permanent place in our hearts and minds. They have given so much of themselves on and off the field. They were not just players in this brutal game; they were fathers, they were sons, they were husbands and they were Raiders!
With Memorial Day upon us, it is only befitting that we pay homage to a few of our fallen — those who gave all they had and left it on the field. Now, I could write a neverending story of losses suffered by the Raider Nation, but at this moment I would like to remember four greats that had an impact on my life: Al Davis, David Humm, Clem Daniels and Cedrick Hardman.
I could tell you stories about each of these tremendous Raider Legends. Each one was unique in his own right and left an indelible mark on the Silver & Black and on me. Each one taught me something that I carry with me to this day.
Al Davis (who owned the team from 1972 until his passing in 2011) had a stern personality and was unapologetic about what he believed in. He rewarded loyalty.
Quarterback David Humm, no matter how may have felt personally, always showed happiness to everyone who crossed his path — and when he spoke to you, made you feel like you were the most important person in the world.
Running back Clem Daniels was proud and kind — but if you got on his bad side, he would give you this death stare that could stop you in your tracks.
Defensive end Cedrick Hardman was kind-hearted and funny. He had the best stories — next to David Humm, that is.
I could go on and on about the ones that we have lost — such as Lyle Alzado, Todd Christensen, Kenny Stabler, Dan Turk and Gene Upshaw. And we know that the nature of life means that this list will continue to grow. I choose to keep each one locked in my heart and their memories alive with personal stories. Continue to rest in heaven, my Raider family. You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten. Once a Raider, always a Raider!
BY DR. ELLEN BROWN
When something is important to us, we invest effort into it. It is said that everything begins with an idea, which is a thought. How many times have you had an idea but not taken action — only to see it realized through someone else? You might say, “They stole my idea!” Did they? What did you do with your idea?
Nurturing our power involves finding ways to add action to the creations of our minds. Think of some recent issue in the news or your community that grabbed your attention. Maybe it made you think deeper and became important to you. How could you have given it your power? Could you write a letter? Call a hotline? Go to a meeting? Raise your hand and ask a question? Bring up the topic among friends or coworkers?
There are several choices to select from when thoughts grow beyond our minds. The most obvious choice is to give it life by taking action. Giving life is the power that activates what could have been just something inside of your head. That action can be as simple as sharing your thoughts with someone who will listen. What reaction did you get in return? Was it valuable feedback? Power in the rough is the fire and energy at the center of action. It is not always good, but that is where you must make choices. It is often your choice to make something happen or not. You may remember a song many of us sang in Sunday School:
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, shine shine. Put it under a bushel? NO! I’m gonna let it shine!
That song was my first lesson in power. My power. God gives us the little light, but we all must choose how, when, and where to let it shine. You have the power that sparks the light, which leads to things happening. If you want change in your community, you spark that light. There is no They, Them, Him, Her or Y’all without your spark of light. You are the thought that creates and nurtures the spark — and that leads to action. Let it shine, let it shine, let it SHINE!
Ellen writes on political topics that encourage interest, discussion and action. Have a comment, question or idea? Contact Dr. Brown at email@example.com.
It was March 31 when rap star Nipsey Hussle was shot dead outside his Marathon Clothing store in the Hyde Park section of South Los Angeles. That day that will always be remembered for the overwhelming reaction to the tragedy, which sent shockwaves through Black communities across America and the world.
Born Ermias Asghedom, the 33-year-old was a gifted musician — but he touched lives well beyond his natural ability to fuse lyrics, beats, and moods into a sound that captured the complex spirit of a community. A committed change agent, Nipsey invested strategically in real estate and used his influence to create new opportunities in the neighborhood that raised him — fostering a culture of economic self-reliance, creativity, technological innovation and visionary thinking that sought to lift up everyone.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Nipsey once said that his music was partly about how to succeed as a young black entrepreneur. “In our culture, there’s a narrative that says, ‘Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers,” he told the Los Angeles Times last year. “And that’s cool, but there should be something that says, ‘Follow Elon Musk; follow (Mark) Zuckerberg.” He hoped to provide a “bridge … between Silicon Valley and the inner city,” as he put it in a video last year.
Even as, in death, he will forever be a symbol of the senseless violence that lingers in our inner cities, Nipsey’s success also provides a roadmap to an ethos that other entrepreneurs can emulate: an unbreakable mission to hustle each day — not just for what “you” want, but what “we” need.
Thousands gathered in communities around the country, including Historic West Las Vegas, to mourn Nipsey’s passing — because what he did to help his own L.A. community exemplified dreams for every “hood.”
Songstress and producer Ariella Azmarellda Blu is usually performing live on stages around the country — but now she has planted new roots as a radio talk show host for KUNV 91.5 FM.
“It is such as blessing to join EMG UNLV Rebel Radio at UNLV,” she says. “I have my own segmented show whereby I conduct interviews with celebrities, extraordinary people and business spotlights in Vegas. It was all a blessing that happened after KUNV 91.5 FM producers heard me being interviewed on the Steve Allen Show and liked how smooth I was and offered me my own show. My show segment airs every Monday from 4 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. on KUNV 91.5 FM.”
May is Lupus Awareness Month, and many women wonder whether lupus may increase the risk for birth defects.
Women with lupus can have healthy pregnancies — however, they also have a higher chance for complications.
Lupus is formally known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It is an autoimmune disease that affects many different parts of the body. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune system attacks its own cells or organs. SLE affects women more than men. Most women are diagnosed in their 20s or 30s.
Lupus does not affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant. However, some women with high disease activity have reported missing periods, which may make it harder to get pregnant. Some medications used to treat lupus can affect how your ovaries work and this might make it harder to get pregnant. Women with kidney disease may also have a harder time getting pregnant.
It is not clear whether pregnancy increases the number of lupus flares or new symptoms of lupus in women who are expecting. But some studies have suggested a small increased chance for flares — with symptoms that range from very mild to severe.
Yes, lupus in the mother can lead to symptoms of lupus in the baby. This is called neonatal lupus erythematosus (NLE). NLE is seen mostly in children whose mothers have certain antibodies in their blood. Several of the signs of neonatal lupus (like rashes, blood abnormalities that only show up in a blood test, and liver problems) are usually temporary and often disappear by age 6 months — sometimes sooner.
If you have a diagnosis of lupus, it is important to see your Ob/Gyn prior to becoming pregnant in order to discuss your medical care during pregnancy. Baseline blood tests are usually taken to determine how well your kidneys and other organs are working before pregnancy. It is also important to discuss your medications to make sure they are safe to use in pregnancy.
For additional information call the Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.