YOU SIN ME

Date posted: May 16, 2022

As a mother and daughter in “Wrath: A Seven Deadly Sins Story,” Michelle Williams and Tina Knowles-Lawson showcase the dangers of obsession.

A+E Network’s Lifetime Channel recently featured the film “Wrath: A Seven Deadly Sins Story,” starring Michelle Williams and Tina Knowles-Lawson. Beyond their roles in the thriller, which is executive-produced by T.D. Jakes, Derrick Williams, and Shaun Robinson, the two have a longstanding connection: Williams was a member of Destiny’s Child, one of the most successful recording groups of all time; and Knowles-Lawson — a fashion designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist — happens to be Beyoncé’s mother.

The movie, which is an entertaining thriller but also a modern morality tale of sorts, follows single attorney Chastity Jeffries (Williams). who thinks she has met the man of her dreams, Xavier (Antonio Cupo). As his affection turns to obsession, Chastity realizes that she has been swept up by Xavier’s passion and abandoned her principles. When Xavier’s jealousy and wrath lead to suspicious actions and dangerous threats, Chastity confides in her mother Sarah (Knowles-Lawson) and turns to her former childhood boyfriend Roger Thompkins (Romeo Miller). But in the end, it is Chastity that will have to fight to save herself.

Executive Producer Shaun Robinson with singer Eric Benet

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this May, it is noteworthy that Knowles-Lawson’s portrayal of Sarah centers on the character providing various moments of maternal wisdom. Knowles-Lawson began her career as a stylist for the superstar group Destiny’s Child and later designed for Beyoncé’s world music tours, television performances and red carpet appearances. As a designer, she created successful clothing lines, House of Dereon, Dereon and Miss Tina. Her philanthropic work includes the establishment of The Knowles-Rowland Center for youth in Houston Texas, the Survivor Foundation and Miss A Meal. Tina is the author of “Destiny’s Style” and is now working on her second book. With husband, actor Richard Lawson, her latest philanthropic initiative is the launch of the non-profit WACO Theater Center in Los Angeles. The WACO Theater is dedicated to the empowerment of artists within a diversified pool of L.A. communities and creates a space where art can be made and artists can thrive.

As part of their many initiatives, the center offers community mentorship programs, which includes Tina’s Angels, a year-long mentorship program and platform that focuses on the education and empowerment of girls and emphasizes the importance of proper etiquette, dental and personal hygiene and exposure to arts and culture. The overall goal of the mentorship program is to provide experiences that will improve the young people’s quality of life and encourage them to dream big.

As for Williams, she reunited with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Kelly Rowland in 2018 for a long-awaited Destiny’s Child reunion performance during both weekends of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. She has also recorded four critically-acclaimed albums as a solo artist — including “Journey to Freedom,” which featured the certified gold single “Say Yes.”

Between recording projects, Williams made her theatrical stage debut in the title role of the hit Broadway musical “Aida.” Williams has since appeared in productions of “The Color Purple,” and Broadway and London’s West End productions of “Chicago.” She also was featured in the acclaimed stage play “What My Husband Doesn’t Know,” and a national tour with the musical “Fela!” Williams also starred in the Oxygen network series “Fix My Choir” and has served as a guest host on the talk shows such as “The View,” “ET,” “The Real” and many more. In 2019, after making it to the semifinal round, Williams was revealed as “Butterfly” on the #1 rated FOX television show, “The Masked Singer.”

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Looking at the Life of Nevada’s First Black Female Pediatrician

Date posted:

BY PAUL HARASIM

Dr. Beverly Neyland

Growing up in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, Beverly Neyland realized that before her parents took her and her brother and sister on a car trip, they had to know in advance where they’d stay. The African-American girl didn’t know why, just figured it was one of those parental prerogatives.

But many years later, in 2018, when “The Green Book” opened in movie theaters, she learned why. An Oscar-winning film named for a Jim Crow-era travel guide written by Victor Hugo Green that highlighted safe places for Blacks to stay and eat while on the road. The movie tells the story of an unlikely friendship that develops between a Black classical pianist and his white chauffeur and bodyguard as they experience a concert tour chock full of racism.

“When I asked my parents about the ‘Green Book,’ they explained it,” said Dr. Beverly Neyland, now a professor of pediatrics at the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV.

What Neyland, now in her 70s and the first female Black pediatrician in Nevada, has experienced and accomplished in an America that hasn’t always been welcoming, is a slice of history that can be celebrated any time we need an example of an American who’s made a difference.

Born in a farmhouse in Gloster, MS, Neyland has achieved much in her life, including chief of pediatrics at both University Medical Center and Sunrise Hospital.

Neyland credits her parents for her success. Her father worked his way to a PhD, and her mother earned a master’s degree while their three children were growing up. Her father became Florida A&M University’s Dean of Arts and Sciences; her mother, an early preschool educator, also taught at Florida A&M and was present with President Lyndon Johnson in the White House Rose Garden for the signing of the legislation that began the Head Start program.

“They believed their children could be whatever they wanted to be,” she said of her parents.

After completing a pediatric residency through UCLA, Neyland, who graduated from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, found a job opening in Las Vegas in 1974.

Dr. Scott Denton, who’s worked with Dr. Neyland at UMC, Sunrise and the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine, isn’t surprised his colleague became president of the pediatric section of the National Medical Association and president of the Nevada Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“She’s the perfect person to head something,” Denton said. “She’s just very calm and collected, gets along with everybody. Her patients and students love her. She’s a real people person who uses humor to defuse difficult situations. There are a lot of egos in the medical field and she’s able to handle that when she’s leading a group, no doubt because she’s intellectually gifted. She always speaks her mind, but in a very diplomatic, articulate manner, delineating her points well. She’s always able to cut through the noise to get to the point.”

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Getting Your House in Order (Make Your Healthcare Wishes Known)

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Getting Your House in Order (Make Your Healthcare Wishes Known)

By Cassandra Cotton, Nathan Adelson Hospice Community Outreach Manager

Did you know?

90% of people say that talking with their loved ones about their healthcare wishes is important.

27% have actually done so.

82% of people say it’s important to put their wishes in writing.

23% have actually done it.

Advance care planning is a process of thinking about and sharing your wishes for future health care. Advance directives are legal documents that communicate a person’s wishes about health care decisions in the event the person becomes incapable of making them.

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) — which exists to inspire, educate, and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.

Since 2008, independent organizations have used April 16 for a collective national effort focused on advance care planning. NHDD was founded as a moment to provide clear, concise, and consistent information on healthcare decision-making to both the public and providers/facilities.

National Healthcare Decisions Day encourages citizens to have conversations about their healthcare decisions.

“Deciding Tomorrow Today” is a program developed by Nathan Adelson Hospice to help facilitate important conversations about end-of-life values and priorities among individuals, family members, friends and healthcare providers. Working in hospice, we know how important those conversations and written instructions are.

It’s often better to discuss your wishes and goals now — prior to becoming ill — to avoid surprises when your loved ones hear of your desires. It is important to advise your family and friends of your choice even if they are not going to be your designated decision maker.

IMPORTANT TOPICS TO COVER

What kind of treatments do I want or not want?

Where do I want my care to be given (home, nursing home, hospital, hospice facility)?

What is most important to me in my final stage of life?

Once you have completed your written advance directive, you may keep a copy in the “Nevada Living Will Lockbox” with the Nevada Secretary of State. (www.nvsos.gov)

“The Living Will Lockbox” allows families and healthcare providers to avoid struggling with difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient.

Advance directives are useless if they are not available when it is time for that treatment or care to be provided. Whenever necessary, authorized healthcare providers can easily access these documents quickly — resulting in better care for patients and clear direction for healthcare providers.

The Living Will Lockbox is about providing Nevadans with the assurance that their wishes regarding the course of their medical treatment will be made available.

Since its inception on March 25, 2008, more than 6,500 registrants, 50 hospitals and medical groups, and 50 law firms throughout Nevada use the Living Will Lockbox. The program is operated at no charge to the taxpayers of Nevada through grants and sponsorships.

For more information about “Deciding Tomorrow Today and the Living Will Lock Box, please visit our web @ www.nah.org or call Nathan Adelson Hospice’s main number at (702) 733.0320.

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YOU! HAVE THE POWER | Dr. Ellen Brown

Date posted:

Be Careful with Your Power

BY DR. ELLEN BROWN

DR. ELLEN BROWN

April 2022 brought a boatload of public actions and experiences taking place around the action and process of power. My monthly article is intended to remind you that power is omnipresent, and it is within one’s reach, if only we believe it is possible and reach for it with that belief. But what about the outcome when power — legitimate power — oversteps acceptable boundaries to impose upon others illegitimately.

I am treading lightly on a very hot topic that seems to be front and center on the world stage. I am talking about Will Smith’s seemingly impromptu act at the Oscars. If you are unaware of this event, you may be better off leaving the details where they are.

Only days before the infamous slap in the face levied on Chris Rock by Smith, I sat through an entire interview of Smith conducted by Oprah Winfrey. His book about himself was released November 2021 and almost instantly became a bestseller. In his interview, Will annotated the personal story of his life, intermingling the victories with the failures. As I watched and listened to his story of what seemed like power lost versus power gained, I became connected in a new way to this superstar whose successes were clearly built upon beliefs of power coming true. In the interview with Oprah, Smith convinced me that his rise to fame and fortune created a power that was an amazing expression of belief, support, and follow through. He was the epitome of a man with power. A winner many times over in many different categories. So, what happened on Sunday, March 27, 2022? Will Smith lost his power. Really lost his power.

Your power is a fluid force. It ebbs and flows to the betterment of its force. There are times when we may feel we have lost that magical source or other times we are sailing high with no end in sight. When we attain power from the universe, we have to recognize its source and treat it with humility, because it is not intended to raise us up above all others forever. You have the power and it must be treated with respect as it was not obtained without other sources of force

Dr. Ellen Brown enjoys writing on political topics that encourage and invite discussion leading to action. She is a retired university educator and Dean, and currently an Affiliate Faculty member at Regis University, Denver. Contact her at ebrown.nci@gmail.com

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HISTORIC BLACK VEGAS | Josephine Baker’s Las Vegas Legacy

Date posted:
Claytee D. White

Josephine Baker’s Las Vegas Legacy

BY CLAYTEE D. WHITE

During the Jim Crow era, Josephine Baker left the United States and moved to Paris, France where she was treated in a professional, inclusive manner. There, she could entertain in front of integrated audiences, unlike only performing for segregated audiences in this country.

Josephine Baker

However, when she journeyed back to the U.S. to entertain after World War II, she demanded an integrated audience. One of her performances during this USA tour took place at the Last Frontier Hotel in 1952, when Blacks were only allowed to enter back doors of hotel casinos, could not dine nor gamble nor attend shows in those elegant confines of the Las Vegas Strip.

Baker had worked with the French Underground helping to resist the Germans after the invasion and occupation of Paris. Her act of resistance in Las Vegas did not win any wars but helped to chip away the barriers of racism in public accommodations. Her contract with the Last Frontier assured her a few tables each night for blacks to mingle in the showroom. It took a village to make this happen.

According to Lubertha Johnson, J. David Hoggard, and Woodrow Wilson, all leaders of the Black community, Baker took a cab to the Westside and located the president of the local NAACP and requested his help in integrating her audiences for the coming two weeks. Wilson, the NAACP president at the time, agreed to help with this act of defiance. All three remember that Josephine Baker was not only integrating the performance space but was staying in a cottage at the hotel as well.

They remembered her first night: When we got there, a line had formed and we went and stood in line. People looked but didn’t say anything. When they opened the door and started letting people in, we got to the door and the doorman said we could not come in. We asked “why?” and he said that he just couldn’t. So we said we are not going to move. Many people were in line behind us by that time and he called a security guard. The security guard called the manager.

In the meantime, Woodrow left to use the telephone to call Mrs. Baker. The manager told us that there was no way we could go in and if we did not move we would be arrested. Well, in a couple of minutes, Josephine Baker showed up, reminded them of the clause in her contract, and threatened not to perform if we were not seated. We had no more trouble.

Baker had resisted Nazi German practices during WWII and in her 1951-1952 US tour, resisted American systemic racism. Her bravery is still remembered and revered in Paris and in Las Vegas.

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Don’t Be House Poor

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BY CRAIG KIRKLAND, EVP/Director of Retail Banking, Nevada State Bank

Craig Kirkland

The foundation of the American dream is home ownership. Part of the promise of America is that anyone can come here and work hard and build wealth. In doing so, we eventually become part of the banking mainstream when we access credit to purchase a home to call our own. 

The low cost of credit in recent years has given borrowers more purchasing power, which in turn has helped drive up demand and housing prices. Prospective homebuyers want to know how much house they can afford. Lenders typically look for 28 percent/36 percent debt-to-income ratios when evaluating how much to lend on a mortgage. That means no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income should go toward your housing expense. That’s called the front-end ratio, whereas the 36 percent represents the back-end ratio. That means your total monthly debt obligations, (generally payments on your credit report) including housing, should not exceed 36 percent of your gross monthly income. 

Being “house poor” is when a disproportionate amount of your income is going toward your housing expense. Pay special attention to the 36 percent back-end ratio. Maybe when you bought your house, you were at or near the 28 percent guideline, but after the close, you bought a new car. That new car payment could put you over the 36 percent back-end guideline. 

It’s not very difficult to get overextended. While you may have locked in a great fixed-rate mortgage, home-related expenses will continue to rise, including things like HOA fees, taxes, insurance, utilities, etc. Add in today’s higher gas prices and across-the-board higher prices due to inflation, and despite being disciplined financially, your cash flow will get tighter and tighter if your income does not go up. 

So, what are some of your options if you are house poor? 

Beware of getting into more house than you can afford and then be careful not to take on additional debt on top of your house payment. If you cannot afford it, don’t do it! Be mindful of the 28/36 percent lender guidelines. If you are already overextended, consider taking steps to alleviate your condition by either increasing cash inflows and/or reducing outflows.

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HEALTHIER YOU: We can protect the lives of pregnant women of color

Date posted:

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

DR. ANNETTE MAYES

Approximately 700 women die in the United States each year as a result of pregnancy or its complications, and there are significant racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related mortality.

From 2007-2016, Black and American Indian /Alaska Native women suffered significantly more pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 births than did white, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander women. Disparities persisted over time and across age groups — and were present even in states with the lowest pregnancy-related mortality ratios and among groups with higher levels of education. The cause-specific proportion of pregnancy-related deaths varied by race/ethnicity.

Identifying factors that drive differences in pregnancy-related deaths and implementing prevention strategies to address them could reduce racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related mortality. Strategies to address racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related deaths — including improving women’s health and access to quality care in the preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum periods — can be implemented through coordination at the community, health facility, patient and family, and health care provider levels.

Chronic diseases associated with increased risk for pregnancy-related mortality (e.g. hypertension) are more prevalent and less well controlled in Black women. Ensuring access to quality care, including specialist providers, during preconception, pregnancy, and the postpartum period is crucial for all women to identify and manage chronic medical conditions.

Systemic factors: gaps in health care coverage and preventive care, lack of coordinated health care, and social services are contributors to pregnancy-related deaths. We can improve outcomes by addressing these factors and ensuring the pregnant women at high risk for complications receive care in facilities. In addition, innovative delivery of care models in the preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum periods might be further evaluated for their potential to reduce maternal disparities.

For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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PEACE: A Mother’s Love Is Peace

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The feeling of ultimate love is the love from a mother. A mother whose embrace is unconditional, ordained by the universe. The breath a mother uses to speak life into any situation serves as the guide to travel. Wisdom is a mother’s embodiment that is expressed to serve as the ultimate reference point.

The nourishment a mother lends to grow her children in the right direction is both intellectual and instinctive. The earth revolves around the mother’s will to make the wrongs right in accordance with His plan.

The eyes of a mother see all things and choose to navigate towards progress. The lessons taught are both verbal and wordless, but they serve as the ultimate directive. She makes no apologies for sitting on her throne.

Mother, Mom, or Mama is our cry to feel her warmth. She answers always with consistency. There is no expiration date for a mother’s love for her family and children. Her orders have been written in stone and stand strong like the pyramids in Egypt. The mystique is forever a marvel.

The river runs through her every movement, weaving in rhythmic motion to meet the unexpected. The house is built and maintained with spiritual flow. Love is its own foundation, opening closed doors to experience the gift of life.

Her beauty is mirrored through the flowers, oceans, trees, and green grass that is granted her glance.

Mama is SHE, HER, and more importantly our PEACE. Thank you!

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Letter from the Publishers

Date posted:

Welcome to the Mother of All Editions

Las Vegas Black Image publishers Charles Tureaud and Kimberly Bailey Tureaud

Happy Mother’s Day!

This special issue pays tribute to our wonderful Queen Mothers. We are excited to have Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Knowles Lawson, on the cover as she debuts her acting career in “Wrath: A Seven Deadly Sins Story,” alongside former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams on A&E’s Lifetime Channel. Hoping Knowles-Lawson’s non-stop career moves inspire other mothers to never stop pursuing their dreams — even when your children go on to live their best lives.

We thank the community who participated in our Community Speaks section to share how their mothers used loving discipline that put them on the positive pathways to live successful lives. The celebration continues with a pictorial tribute featuring community mothers who are always giving their best.

The Las Vegas Black Image executive publishing team never fails with optimal graphic design, editing, distribution and printing. We thank them all.

To our writers: we appreciate you and continue to rise because of your insightful, engaging, educational and inspirational monthly contributions.

Remember to email us at cdalasvegas@gmail.com if you have any interesting stories you want to see in Las Vegas Black Image.

Thank you again to all our loyal readers, advertisers and supporters who have made it possible for Las Vegas Black Image Magazine to continue publishing now for 15 years.

Charles Tureaud & Kimberly Bailey Tureaud
Publishers

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America is not in a good place | By Louie Overstreet

Date posted:

commit

BY LOUIE OVERSTREET

Louie Overstreet

Our nation is in a bad place, due to the fact that we — as individuals, members of a tribe, and our institutions — are failing us, and our federal government always has one foot in and one foot out of a global crisis.

Sadly, we could (with reason or common sense) move away from the bad places we presently find ourselves living in.

If our present situation existed when we entered WWII, there is no way we could have defeated the Axis forces in three years and eight months. Today, we cannot organize a political weenie roast as evidenced by the RNC pulling the plug on future presidential debates.

Bad places include the following:

Routine traffic stops resulting in the death of unarmed Black men.

Failure to pass reasonable gun laws, resulting in insane levels of individual and mass murders.

One tribe’s control of institutions that promote unfair and unjust actions to create advantages for themselves — most notably the rich and privileged in American society.

Mega churches abandoning the teachings of the Bible to become mostly Republican political pawns.

Acts of insurrection.

● Our foreign policy initiatives seem to always result in armed conflicts that now have the world on the brink of total annihilation.

Reason is the Slim in the parable about Slim and none, where Slim has left town, which leaves us with Common Sense. He recently died, as reported in the London Times, and was the last surviving member of his family. His parents Truth and Trust died years ago. His daughter Discretion and son Responsibility both suffered untimely deaths: Discretion died due to the unavailability of a safe abortion; Responsibility died from a gunshot wound, after a traffic stop.

Thus, unless Slim returns to town or Common Sense is resurrected, the only advice I can offer Americans nowadays is this: women and children first, and every man for himself.

Whether you choose to believe Ripley, the editor who answered Virginia’s letter to Santa Claus or me for that matter, one thing is certain: America is really in a bad place.

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