Tyler Perry Hosts Fundraisers for President Barack Obama

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

History in Southwest Atlanta: The President Visits Tyler Perry Studios

Movie mogul Tyler Perry helped raise millions for President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign by hosting fundraisers in Atlanta at his very own Tyler Perry Studios and at his private estate March 16. The cost of the fundraisers ranged from $250 to $35,800, with the least expensive ticket price giving guests entrance into the swank Tyler Perry Studios, a performance by Grammy nominated singer and producer Cee-Lo Green, a chance to hobnob amongst Atlanta dignitaries such as Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, and a chance to witness a historical campaign speech by President Barack Obama. A photo with President Obama cost $10,000. The highest priced ticket – $35,800 – included dinner at Perry’s mansion in Buckhead, where media mogul and Perry’s friend Oprah Winfrey was also present.

Perry was overwhelmed with emotion as he introduced the President to an exuberant crowd of more than a thousand supporters at Tyler Perry Studios chanting, “Four More Years!”

“This is surreal to me,” Perry said as he began to introduce the President. Perry shared how he had no role models growing up, but still imagined owning his own business and opening his own studio.

“But in everything that I have imagined I never thought there would be a day when the presidential motorcade would come through southwest Atlanta – giving all of these little boys and little girls a glimpse of what destiny looks like,” Perry said. “The very fact that the president is here should speak to the possibility of all of us taking the limits off our own imaginations. It should speak to the possibilities of all of us being better – a better you, a better me. It should speak to the possibilities of a better today and a better tomorrow. And in that better tomorrow it speaks to the possibility of four more years.”

Perry continued, “In all that I imagined, I never imagined that I would be able to say, ‘Ladies and gentleman, the President of The United States of America – President Barack Obama’.”

After joining Perry on stage, President Obama gave him his due. “When you look at a Tyler Perry and all that he’s achieved and the humility and graciousness with which he’s achieved it, you can’t help but be proud of him and proud of our country. So, give it up for Mr. Tyler Perry,” President Obama said.

The overzealous crowd continued to cheer throughout the President’s 30-minute speech about the economy, the uprooting the U.S. troops, and health care – just to name a few of his topics.

In regards to health care reform, President Obama stated, “You want to call it Obamacare − that’s okay, because I do care,” he affirmed to thunderous applause.     “That is why we passed it– because I care about folks who were going bankrupt − because they were getting sick. And I care about children who have preexisting conditions and their families couldn’t get them any kind of insurance. And so now we’ve got reforms that will ensure that in this great country of ours you won’t have to mortgage your house just because you get sick.”

By the close of his speech, the President promised to finish what he started. “I promise you change will come,” he re-affirmed. “The change you believe in will come. And we will remind the world once again just why it is the United States of America is the greatest country on Earth.”

By Sonya Jenkins


Sunday, February 12th, 2012

 WHITNEY HOUSTON – Aug. 9, 1963-Feb. 11, 2012


Click Here For – WhitneyHoustonTribute

Reprint of Sonya Jenkins’ cover story on WHITNEY HOUSTON for UPSCALE MAGAZINE – December/January 1993 (Partial Article)


A likely superstar from early childhood, singer/actress Whitney Houston is now the epitome of success. With three albums reaching multi-platinum status, her musical talent and powerful persona have charmed the music industry over the past decade. Whitney is the only artist to achieve seven consecutive No. 1 hits and the list of her accomplishments is endless. But from a very personal perspective, the accomplishments is endless. But from a very personal perspective, the accomplishment that truly measures the elusive entertainer’s success has little to do with all of the accolades, applause or her star status.  For Whitney, the true measure of success comes from what she has found with her soulmate and husband – singer Bobby Brown – and that is love.

When conversing with the multi-talented star, one can immediately detect her virtuous spirit. She is a confident woman who does not avoid discussing any topic. She is cordial and genuine, and she magnetizes most people with her beauty and grace. What is the magic ingredient? Is it her charming personality, or is it her articulate and lighthearted voice? One thing is for certain, Whitney Houston’s magical ingredient has its way of reaching out and touching live. At 29, she has blossomed into a self-assured woman who knows no boundaries.

Settled in her Mendham, N.J. estate, Whitney is unwinding from a road trip. She doesn’t get too comfortable because in just a few days, she has projects to finish that will take her out of the country. “Sometimes it gets to be a bit strenuous,” Whitney admits as she talks about the hectic life of an entertainer. “But it’s part of my job, so that’s what I do.”

This past July, Whitney was married to Brown in a gala ceremony. She feels that love and having a committed companion have surpassed all of her worldly accomplishments. “There is no rhyme or reason for love; it’s just there and when it happens, it happens, and it happened for me!” she says enthusiastically.

Still a newlywed and already expecting a baby in the spring, Whitney reveals that married life is very refreshing. “I am enjoying being married to a man who is secure with himself and who is truly devoted to his woman. I know that Bobby loves me, and I know that I love Bobby. When you have companionship that brings a certain amount of contentment into your life, you can share your thoughts with someone special,” explains Whitney. Whitney feels that communication is a must in a good marriage. “Bobby and I truly understand each other, and I think that’s the blessing of marriage – to have a partner to share and communicate with. I’ve always been a firm believer that love isn’t love until you give it away.”

Although Whitney and Bobby were considered an odd couple, the pair became good friends, and slowly their reationship progressed and became more romantic after meeting at “The Soul Train Music Awards” three years ago. “I didn’t think that Bobby liked me, and he didn’t think I liked him. It wasn’t until we got to know each other better that we learned we were very much alike,” she confides.

When asked about the things the two of them agree on the most, she sighs and says, ” We feel the same wayy about certain things. We love children, and we come from backgrounds that are surrounded by family. We love God, and we put Him first in our lives.” She conceded, “We have all the things that I think will hold a relationship together. It’s not the money, and it’s not the fame. We both had that on our own. It’s some more than that – it’s an affection – it’s a friendship – it’s love. There’s a bond that Bobby and I have, yet there are a lof of things that are different about us and that makes it good. I never wanted to be with someone exactly like myself. It took a while to find that someone, but I did and it just happened to be Bobby.”

To demonstrate their compatibility, the couple recorded the uptempo tune “Something In Common,” on Bobby’s latest self-titled album. Whitney’s lyrics are about her old-fashioned ways, and Bobby sings about some of the mistakes he’s made. All in all, the Boston-bred, streetwise singer and the God-fearing, sophisticated diva had enough in common to get them to the altar.

Although Whitney’s career is fast-paced and keeps her busy, she plans to curtail her activities for the preparation of her baby’s birth. “At least two months prior to my giving birth, I will definitely not do any work,” she states. “I’m taking it as slowly as I possibly can, but I’m an on-the-go kind of person. I like to keep busy, and staying busy kind of makes my pregnancy go a little bit faster. My mother carried all three of us and worked right up to a few days before she gave birth, so it can be done. Women do some incredible things,” she affirms.

Like others, Whitney’s private life has been scutinized by the public. Prior to her relationship with Bobby, Whitney could not seem to escape the public’s constant concern with her love life. If she was not dating a special man, she had to deal with rumors that questioned her femininity, bringing her much hurt and humiliation. “I used to let the rumors hurt me, because somebody is saying something about me which is not true. It’s a lie,” she states emphatically. “I know myself, and I know what I do and what I don’t do. It kind of dawned on me that peope who say what I am and what I like and what I don’t like, don’t really know me. So, I’ve tried not to really concern mysef with things people say about me. They don’t know who I am,” explains Whitney.



 We are deeply saddened by the tragic and untimely passing of Whitney Houston, whom we were blessed to have just completed work with on the remake of the film “Sparkle.” We ask the world to join us in lifting up Whitney’s family in prayer and ask God for their strength and comfort during this devastatingly difficult time. At the apex of her career, Whitney had nopeer, with a voice that shaped a generation. She has left behind a musical and film legacy that will endure…. she will be sorely missed by us all.

Bishop T.D Jakes


Remembering WHITNEY HOUSTON – One of my first cover stories as an entertainment journalist for a national magazine was of Whitney Houston in the early 90s – UPSCALE MAGAZINE. I absolutely loved her music, so when I was assigned the story and told that Whitney Houston would be calling me, I was super excited & nervous. I had met her a few years after she first came on the music scene and my brother had met her prior to me. Even back then, we felt like we had met a true Icon.  I am deeply saddened over her passing. Whitney was a Beautiful Talent who is Gone Too Soon. Rest In Peace, Whitney Houston – 1963-2011

Sonya Jenkins

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Hosts Mayor’s Masked Ball

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Hosts 28th Annual UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball Featuring a Special Performance by Keith Sweat



Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed hosted his second UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball Saturday, December 17 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.  Mayor Reed’s co-host of the 28th Annual Mayor’s Masked Ball was UNCF’s president and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax. The event benefitid UNCF and its 38 member colleges and universities and raised $1.2 million to aid Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU) students. Co-chairs for this year’s gala include Ms.Scarlet Pressley-Brown, director of external affairs and community relations and vice president for Delta Air Lines Foundation and Mr.Ralph Cleveland, executive vice president engineering and operations for AGL Resources. The founding sponsor of the UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball is Anheuser-Busch, Inc. and Marquis Sponsors include Coca Cola Company, Delta Air Lines and UPS.


                                          28th Annual UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball  – Atlanta


Saturday, September 10th, 2011


 By Sonya Jenkins














Actress Sanaa Lathan is making an indelible mark in Hollywood as a stellar actress in film, television and theatre. Best known for her roles in Love & Basketball, Brown Sugar, Something New and The Family That Preys, Sanaa is climbing the ladder of success with fortitude and fearlessness. Fabulous at 40 (her 40th birthday -Sept. 19), Sanaa stopped through Atlanta recently to promote her latest film, CONTAGION, where she plays “Aubrey,” the wife of “Dr. Ellis Cheever” (Laurence Fishburne).

Sanaa says it was great working with actor Laurence Fishburne – describing him as “sensitive and giving,” and refering to the director of CONTAGION, Steven Soderbergh, as a “wonderful visionary.”

The film is about a lethal airborne virus that spreads faster than the virus itself. But like anything that spreads rapidly, Sanaa believes one’s attitude and perception on life can also spread. In acting, she chooses not to focus on the difficulties she’s had to endure as an African-American actress, but instead, she focuses on her positive experiences.

“I’ve trained myself to be so focused on what’s going well that I won’t allow myself to even entertain difficulties because I feel so blessed in life and in my career,” says the New York born actress. It is no question that Sanaa, who has garnered a number of awards for her acting roles, including numerous NAACP Image Awards and a Tony Award nomination, believes what she focuses on will eventually manifest.

“This is a spiritual belief,” she explains. “When you focus on what’s difficult then it will be more difficult. When you focus on what’s good, it will be better. For me, if anything, the difficulties of being an actress have deepened my faith. It has deepened my spiritual practices.” Although Sanaa is careful about proclaiming to be a Christian, she says she does believe in the Bible and has daily conversations with God. “I am spiritual,” she affirms. “But I don’t necessarily go to church. I go to church every now and then.”

Sanaa is crossing her fingers that the Off Broadway play she stared in, “By the Way. Meet Vera Stark,” will go to BROADWAY, but she recently completed filming VIPIKA, a ‘vodoo thriller’ filmed in New Orleans, where she plays opposite Forest Whitaker and Omar Epps. In choosing roles, she admits to liking a challenge, but says it’s really about what comes up at the moment and whether she wants to tell the story. She also chooses roles based on the people who are involved in the project.

Although Sanaa is single at 40 with a craving for motherhood, she says she won’t allow her age to grip her with fear. “I do want to have kids. I want to be a mother,” she admits.  “I think that’s such a beautiful thing. I really just leave it in God’s hands and we shall see. Who knows what the future holds.”

Sanaa says she believes in love and is attracted to men who stimulate her mentally. “I cannot be bored,” she quips. She is also drawn to men with a sense of humor and a sense of spirituality. “And obviously somebody who is interested in being in a relationship,” she adds. “Because you can have all of those wonderful characteristics and if they ain’t interested in really having a real, committed relationship then it doesn’t matter.”

While her personal goals are something she ponders often, Sanaa says her main focus for now is to act in quality roles. Her advice to aspiring actors is to study the craft. “Get into acting class, do some theatre and act as much as you can,” she suggests. “I think a lot of people try to get into the business without having any kind of study, so I would encourage them to study.”

Sanaa, an English graduate of The University of California, Berkeley, who also studied acting at Yale University, is modest, yet very proud of her accomplishments.  When reminded of her numerous achievements as an actress, she sits back in her chair and gets misty-eyed.

“I’m getting to a point in my career where I have an actual body of work,” she says softly.

With a track record of success in acting, a great education and a fearless spirit, Sanaa Lathan’s body or work is sure to multiply – making her even more of a commodity as she climbs to the top of her game.


Actress Sanaa Lathan interviewed by Sonya Jenkins 9/9/11


Wednesday, September 7th, 2011


Stay tuned for Sonya’s Spotlight interview with SANAA!


Answer the following questions and e-mail your answers to and I will let you know who won the prizes!!




1.) Whose wife does Sanaa play in “Contagion?”

2.) What movie did Sanaa have a break-out role in -where she played a sport?

3.) When is Sanaa’s birthday?  

4.) What Ivy League college did Sanaa attend?

5.) What date will “CONTAGION” be released nationwide?



An international traveler reaches into the snack bowl at an airport bar before passing her credit card to a waiter.  A business meeting begins with a round of handshakes. A man coughs on a crowded bus…  One contact.  One instant.  And a lethal virus is transmitted.

When Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minneapolis from business in Hong Kong, what she thought was jet lag takes a virulent turn.  Two days later, she’s dead in the ER and the doctors tell her shocked and grieving husband (Matt Damon) they have no idea why.

Soon, others exhibit the same mysterious symptoms: hacking coughs and fever, followed by seizure, brain hemorrhage…and ultimately, death. In Minneapolis, Chicago, London, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong, the numbers quickly multiply: one case becomes four, then sixteen, then hundreds, thousands, as the contagion sweeps across all borders, fueled by the countless human interactions that make up the course of an average day.

A global pandemic explodes.

At the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers mobilize to break the code of a unique biological pathogen as it continues to mutate.  Deputy Director Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) tries to allay the growing panic despite his own personal concerns, and must send a brave young doctor (Kate Winslet) into harm’s way.  At the same time, amid a rising tide of suspicion over a potential vaccine—and who gets it first—Dr. Leonora Orantes (Marion Cotillard) of the World Health Organization works through the network of connections that could lead back to the source of what they’re dealing with.

As the death toll escalates and people struggle to protect themselves and their loved ones in a society breaking down, one activist blogger (Jude Law) claims the public isn’t getting the truth about what’s really going on, and sets off an epidemic of paranoia and fear as infectious as the virus itself.

Academy Award® winner Steven Soderbergh (“Traffic”) directs the global thriller “Contagion,” bringing together a stellar international ensemble cast led by Academy Award® winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose,” “Inception”); Academy Award® winner Matt Damon (“Good Will Hunting,” the “Bourne” films); Academy Award® nominee Laurence Fishburne (“What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “The Matrix”); Academy
Award® nominee Jude Law  (“Cold Mountain,” “Sherlock Holmes”); Academy Award® winner Gwyneth Paltrow (“Shakespeare in Love,” “Iron Man”); and Academy Award® winner Kate Winslet (“The Reader,” “Titanic”).

Directed by Steven Soderbergh from an original screenplay by Scott Z. Burns (“The Bourne Ultimatum,” “The Informant!”), the film also stars Bryan Cranston (AMC’s “Breaking Bad”), Jennifer Ehle (“The King’s Speech”) and Sanaa Lathan (“Alien Vs. Predator”).  It is produced by Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher and Gregory Jacobs, with Jeff Skoll, Michael Polaire, Jonathan King and Ricky Strauss serving as executive producers. The creative filmmaking team includes production designer Howard Cummings, Oscar®-winning editor Stephen Mirrione, costume designer Louise
Frogley and composer Cliff Martinez.

“Contagion” is rated PG-13 for disturbing content and some language.


Monday, March 28th, 2011

The 42ND NAACP IMAGE AWARDS celebrated the accomplishments of people of color working in the fields of literature, music, television and film, Friday, March 4, in a live broadcast from Los Angeles’ historic Shrine Auditorium. The special was hosted by Holly Robinson Peete and Wayne Brady. Special honors included the Chairman’s Award recipient Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin and President’s Award recipient General Colin L. Powell. Performers and Presenters included Halle Berry, LL Cool J, Affion Crockett, Kimberly Elise, Kerry Washington and Vanessa Williams, Angela Bassett, NAACP Chairwoman Roslyn M. Brock, actress Loretta Devine, singer Jason Derülo, actress/singer Kat Graham, actor Dulé Hill, actor Anthony Mackie, Judge Greg Mathis, actresses Tia and Tamera Mowry, actress Sandra Oh, comedian Russell Peters and actress Anika Noni Rose with a special appearance by Prince.

 Photos by Early Gibson

The 42nd NAACP Image Awards’ Recipients


Outstanding Comedy Series “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” (TBS)
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series David Mann -“Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns” (TBS)
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Vanessa Williams -“Desperate Housewives” (ABC) 
Outstanding Supporting Actorin a Comedy Series Ice Cube -“Are We There Yet?” (TBS) 
Outstanding Supporting Actressin a Comedy Series Sofia Vergara -“Modern Family” (ABC) 
Outstanding Drama Series “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series LL Cool J -“NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS) 
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Regina King -“Southland” (TNT)
Outstanding Supporting Actorin a Drama Series Terrence Howard -“Law & Order: Los Angeles” (NBC)
Outstanding Supporting Actressin a Drama Series S. Epatha Merkerson -“Law & Order” (NBC)
Outstanding Television Movie,Mini-Series or Dramatic Special “Sins of the Mother” (Lifetime Movie Network)
Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie,Mini-Series or Dramatic Special Idris Elba -“Luther” (BBC America)
Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special Jill Scott -“Sins of the Mother” (Lifetime Movie Network) 
Outstanding Actor in a DaytimeDrama Series Darnell Williams -“All My Children” (ABC)
Outstanding Actress in a DaytimeDrama Series Tatyana Ali -“The Young and the Restless” (CBS)
Outstanding News/InformationSeries or Special “Unsung” (TV One)
Outstanding Talk Series “The View” (ABC)
Outstanding Reality Series “Sunday Best” (BET Network)
Outstanding Variety Series or Special “UNCF An Evening of Stars Tribute to Lionel Ritchie(Syndicated)
Outstanding Children’s Program “True Jackson, VP” (Nickelodeon)
Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s ProgramSeries or Special Keke Palmer -“True Jackson, VP” (Nickelodeon) 
Outstanding New Artist Willow(Roc Nation/Columbia Records)
Outstanding Male Artist Usher(Laface/Jive Records)
Outstanding Female Artist Mary J. Blige(Geffen Records/Matriarch)
Outstanding Duo or Group or Collaboration John Legend and The Roots(Columbia Records)
Outstanding Jazz Album “From Billie Holiday to Edith Piaf – Live in Marciac” -The Wynton Marsalis Quintet & Richard Galliano(The Orchard)
Outstanding Gospel Album -Traditional or Contemporary “You Are Not Alone” -Mavis Staples (ANTI Records)
Outstanding World Music Album “VOCAbuLarieS” -Bobby McFerrin(Universal Music Group/Decca/Emarcy)
Outstanding Music Video “Un-thinkable (I’m Ready)” -Alicia Keys (J Records)
Outstanding Song “Bittersweet” -Fantasia (J Records)
Outstanding Album “Wake Up!” -John Legend and The Roots (Columbia Records)
Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction “Getting to Happy” -Terry McMillan (Penguin Group)
Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” -Michelle Alexander (The New Press)
Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” -Isabel Wilkerson (Random House)
Outstanding Literary Work –Biography/Auto-Biography  “You Don’t Know Me: Reflections of My Father, Ray Charles” -Ray Charles Robinson, Jr. (Crown)
Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional “A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie: And Other Lessons for Succeeding in Life” -Antwone Fisher(Touchstone, An Imprint of Simon & Schuster)
Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry “100 Best African-American Poems” -Nikki Giovanni (Sourcebooks MediaFusion)
Outstanding Literary Work – Children “My Brother Charlie”Holly Robinson Peete, Ryan Elizabeth Peete (Authors), Shane W. Evans (Illustrator) (Scholastic Press)
Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens “Condoleezza Rice A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me”Condoleezza Rice (Random House Children’s Books)
Outstanding Motion Picture “For Colored Girls” (Lionsgate/34th Street Films)
Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture Denzel Washington -“The Book of Eli” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Halle Berry -“Frankie & Alice” (Freestyle Releasing)
Outstanding Supporting Actorin a Motion Picture Samuel L. Jackson -“Mother and Child” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Outstanding Supporting Actressin a Motion Picture Kimberly Elise“For Colored Girls” (Lionsgate/34th Street Films)
Outstanding Independent Motion Picture “Frankie & Alice”(Freestyle Releasing)



Outstanding Foreign Motion Picture “Biutiful” (Roadside Attractions)
Outstanding Documentary(Theatrical or Television) “For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots” (PBS)
Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series   Aaron McGruder – “The Boondocks” – The Fund-Raiser (Cartoon Network)
Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series Shonda Rhimes – “Private Practice” – Did You Hear What Happened to Charlotte King? (ABC)
Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Theatrical or Television) Michael Elliot – “Just Wright”(Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series Kevin Rodney Sullivan – “Modern Family” –  Game Changer (ABC)
Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series Millicent Shelton – “Men of A Certain Age” – Go with the Flow (TNT)
Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Theatrical or Television) Tyler Perry – “For Colored Girls”(Lionsgate/34th Street Films)



Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

The Black Women Film Network Presented “The Untold Stories Luncheon” at the Marriott Marquis Hotel Friday, March 11. The luncheon was hosted by Executive Producer of Tyler Perry Studios, Roger Bobb, and News Anchor for 11 Alive, Karyn Greer. The 2011 honoress included Cassi Davis (Performance Award); Keisha Knight Pulliam (Founder’s Award); Kim Fields & Chip Fields (Trailblazer Award); Deanna Nowell (Pinnacle Award); Terri Vaughn (Creative Award); Omari Hardwick (Rising Star Award) and Tirrell Whittley (Innovator Award).

In addition to the luncheon,  the Bronzelens Film Festival joined AFFIRM (African American Film Festival Releasing Movement) in presenting the Atlanta-area theatrical release of the film “I WILL FOLLOW”, starring Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Omari Hardwick, Blair Underwood and Beverly Todd at AMC Phipps Plaza in Atlanta March 11 and March 12. Omari Hardwick was on hand to talk with the sold-out audience and greet attendees.  Sonya’s Spotlight Web Magazine’s publisher, Sonya Jenkins, was priveleged to conduct interviews.

The award-winning drama chronicles a day in the life of a grieving woman, and the twelve visitors who help her move forward. “I WILL FOLLOW” was written and Directed by 2011 NAACP Image Award nominee Ava DuVernay. The nation’s most respected film critic, Roger Ebert, gives I WILL FOLLOW a thumbs up! Ebert proclaims, “I WILL FOLLOW is one of the best films I’ve seen about the loss of a loved one.”

AFFRM will capitalize on the success of the film’s opening weekend with an aggressive expansion from five screens in five cities to 22 screens in 15 cities beginning Friday, March 18.  The additional cities include Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Charlotte and Jersey City.  The initial five markets will continue into second week.

“The success of AFFRM’s first theatrical release is a victory for those who believe in the necessity of diverse cinematic images,” explained I WILL FOLLOW director and AFFRM founder Ava DuVernay.  “I WILL FOLLOW marks the first-ever simultaneous national theatrical release by grassroots organizations, and I’m proud to stand with our partners at BronzeLens in Atlanta, Imagenation and Urbanworld in New York, ReelBlack in Philadelphia and Langston Hughes African-American Film Festival in Seattle as we celebrate this milestone in black film.”

“I WILL FOLLOW” Marked First-Ever Simultaneous National Theatrical Release Powered Solely By Grassroots Organizations .

Former NBA Icon Dominique Wilkins Hosts LEGENDARY AWARDS

Sunday, February 13th, 2011
NBA Hall of Famer, Dominique Wilkins’ Inaugural LEGENDARY AWARDS was a slam dunk Thursday, Feb. 10 at the Mason Murer Gallery in Atlanta. Wilkins, who turned 51 on January 12, celebrated his annual Salute to the Legend Weekend, Jan. 13-15, but the Legendary Awards, presented by Divas Unlimited Inc., was postponed until Feb. 10 due to inclement weather.
 The Legendary Awards, hosted by JaQuitta Williams and Jeff Johnson, honored individuals who’ve impacted Wilkins’ life in a positive way. The honorees included Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Monica Pearson, Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Daye Bexley (all Human Highlight Award Recipients), Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery (Pioneer Award Recipient), and The S.O.S Band (Legendary Award Recipients). The S.O.S Band gave a soulful performance that brought attendees to their feet at the finale’ of the Legendary Awards. Prior to their performance, Demetria McKinney, Tony Terry and Robin S belted out a few old hits by the legendary group, as a tribute. Mykel, Hank Stewart, Urban Light, Gerald Wilkins and The 2 Live Stews were just a few more performers and presenters celebrating Dominique Wilkins’ Legendary Awards, along with more than 250 guests.  

Photos from Legendary Awards and Dominique Wilkins’ Fan Appreciation and Birthday Celebration

Dominique is known as a great community leader in the city of Atlanta and chose The Diabetes Foundation as his foundation to support. This foundation is near and dear to his heart being that ten years ago he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and a few years before he lost his father to this silent killer. Dominique uses his diagnosis of diabetes to impact the lives of those around him and increase awareness. He works very closely with the Center for Health Transformation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to help those affected by diabetes. “After I discovered I had diabetes I made a personal commitment to motivate people to get screened and make positive lifestyle changes that can improve their health and their lives,” Dominique said.

Since retiring from an illustrious playing career in the NBA, the NBA Hall of Famer has remained active in the sport of basketball within the Atlanta Hawks organization. In 2005, Dominique was named the Hawks’ Vice President of Basketball, after previously holding roles including special assistant to the executive vice president and player development assistant. As Vice President of Basketball, Wilkins is responsible for advising the senior management team on basketball-related issues.

Dominique Wilkins is definitely making a difference.

12th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011



THE 12TH ANNUAL SUPER BOWL GOSPEL CELEBRATION SOLD OUT DESPITE THE DALLAS SNOW STORM, Friday, February 4 . The worst snow storm in Dallas, TX in 15 years didn’t stop thousands of fans from enjoying an evening of uplifting music, soul-stirring testimonies and empowering messages from acclaimed NFL players and gospel artists at the 12th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. CeCe Winans, Mary Mary, Marvin Sapp, Donnie McClurkin, Israel Houghton, James Fortune and the NFL Players Choir were just a few of the performers at this year’s sold-out event.

Since its inception, the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration has demonstrated growth year-over-year, with recent sell-outs of venues in Super Bowl host cities including San Diego, Tampa, Detroit, Jacksonville and Houston.  The event also serves as a fundraiser with a portion of the proceeds benefiting national and local charities. Close to $400,000 and 5,000 tickets have been donated over the last eleven years.

The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration transcends the typical Super Bowl Weekend event, bringing together two extremes, the excitement of the Big Game and the jubilance of soul-stirring music, all under one roof, in one evening, on one accord. That’s the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration…Bringing Gospel to the Biggest Game on Earth!

The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration is produced by Results Marketing & Media Inc.

Donnie McClurkin leads the NFL Player's Gospel Choir

Mary Mary

NFL Players Gospel Choir

Emmitt Smith and his wife, Patricia.


Super Bowl Gospel Celebration


Photos by Alexander Williams

Frank Ski Celebrity Wine Tasting & Live Auction

Saturday, December 18th, 2010
   On Sunday, December 5, the best wine and champagne flowed at the Frank Ski Celebrity Wine Tasting & Live Auction.  Guests in attendance included actor and comedian, Chris Tucker, R&B singer-songwriter, Ne-Yo, Former EVP of Warner Music Group and Manager to Trey Songz, Kevin Liles, Record Exec, Devyne Stephens, The Honorable Mayor Kasim Reed, TV & Film actors, Sean Blakemore, Jasmine Burke and Demetria Mckinney.PHOTOS BY JAKE MCDONALD –

Actress Demetria McKinney and actress/personality Free.

Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed and actress Noree Victoria.

Frank Ski Hosts Celebrity Wine Tasting and Auction - Photo by Ben Rose Photography

Frank Ski and his wife Tonya at the Frank Ski Wine Tasting Event.

Actor/comedian Chris Tucker, former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, and singer/songwiter Ne-Yo.Philanthropist and former NBA center Dikembe Mutombo.


Actress Monyetta Shaw and Singer/Songwriter Ne-Yo with Tonya Rodriguez and son.


Some of the highlights from this year’s live auction included:       

  • -Internationally renowned Armand de Brignac Champagne.  Rated the No.1 Champagne in the world, the metallic gold bottle well known for the “Ace of Spades” insignia was autographed by superstar Lil Wayne and went for $2,500.
  • -Dinner for four at Frank Ski’s favorite restaurant, McKendrick’s Steak House, with actor Boris Kodjoe, purchased for $750.
  • -A “battle” over a walk-on role in Tyler Perry’s next film.  Roger Bobb, (Tyler Perry Studios) then offered up TWO separate roles and red carpet tickets to the Atlanta premiere.  These “Perry Packages” went for $5,500 to Dr. Alfred  Jenkins and former Atlanta Hawks star, Kevin Willis.
  • -One dozen, 4-foot tall roses, courtesy of, every month for a year.  Winning bid was $2,800.

About The Frank Ski Kids Foundation

The Frank Ski Kids Foundation exposes kids to their future through science, technology, athletics and the arts. Through the efforts of the Foundation and the help of charitable contributors, observable differences in communities have been made. Our efforts to date have helped many children, but the needs of our children remain immense. We must continue with unfaltering determination and dedication.  For more information, visit, follow the Foundation on twitter @frankskikids or “like” them on Facebook (keywords “Frank Ski Kids Foundation”).