T.D. Jakes. (30261)
Janelle Monae. (30259)

Florida

Tom Joyner, host of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show, along with Allstate Insurance Company, is celebrating family fun and excitement with the 2013 Allstate Tom Joyner Family Reunion. This Labor Day weekend, Aug. 29-Sept. 2, families from all over the country will join Joyner and his celebrity friends for a weekend filled with concerts, access to Universal Studios, Sea World and Islands of Adventure; interaction with celebrities and leaders, enlightening seminars, and endless activities for people of all ages inside the free expo that is open to the public. The event will be held at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando. The event will kick off with Janelle Monae at the Allstate Welcome Party. Grammy-award winning artist Fantasia and TGT (Tyrese, Ginuwine, and Tank) will headline Friday night; Jermaine Dupri presenting his So So Def 20 Tour headlines Saturday night, and there will be a Sunday morning Gospel event featuring James Fortune with Kurt Carr.

Now in its sophomore year, Caribe Arts Fest brings the essence of the Americas and the Caribbean to downtown Fort Lauderdale through art exhibits, independent films, music and educational workshops. Taking place Oct. 17-20, the festival has collaborated with Nova Southeastern University Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Broward County Cultural Division and the city of Fort Lauderdale to showcase the unique cultural differences that make the county a true national gem. The four-day celebration will consist of industry professionals facilitating educational workshops; international artist, such as Haitian artist Eduoard Duval Carrie and Dillard High School celebrating the 10 year anniversary of “The Indigo Room-The Revival”; and Caribbean filmmaker, such as Dalton Narine from Trinidad screening his Carnival documentary, “Mas Man.” These scheduled events will be held at NSU’s Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale.

Georgia

Four-time Grammy nominee Melba Moore stars in Darryl Reuben Hall’s “Frat House” at the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival Oct. 4-5. Moore, who won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for “Purlie,” will play the role of President Johns in this Gospel musical spin on the “Parable of the Prodigal Son.” “Frat House” will also feature T’ Keyah Crystal Keymah (”In Living Color,” “That’s So Raven,” and “Cosby”) in the role of Officer Brendetta, and Broadway performer Darryl Reuben Hall (NYCO’s “Porgy and Bess”) will play Dean Upton. The story follows Thomas, the son of a pastor, who leaves home to attend college and pledges a fraternity against his father’s advice.

Missouri

A rodeo clown’s controversial Missouri State Fair antics went viral after President Barack Obama was spoofed and mocked. But the clown says it was all in good fun as has been done with other presidents. Tuffy Gessling, who found himself at the center of a firestorm and received numerous death threats, has decided to speak out after his antics drew angry rebukes from politicians, a lifetime ban from the Missouri State Fair and more personal hits than he ever faced in the ring. “I didn’t do this to do any hating on anyone. I did this to be funny. I did it to be a joke,” Gessling said. “I didn’t think anything more of it than what we’ve done 15 years ago, 10 years ago, five years ago, when we’ve done it with Bush, Clinton and Ronald Reagan. I never did anything because of anybody’s race. I don’t care what color somebody is. If they’re blue, white, green, polka dotted, striped … it doesn’t bother me one bit,” Gessling said. He adds it was not about politics either. When asked if he was a Democrat or a Republican, Gessling simply replied, “I am a rodeo clown.”

New York

Author, scholar, artist Elaine Richardson (Dr. E) has been nominated by the esteemed African American Literary Awards Show for her memoir “PHD to Ph.D: How Education Saved My Life” in the category of Best Non Fiction. Using her personal story as an inspirational example to troubled teens and adults; mother, daughter, sexual assault survivor, Ohio State University professor Dr. E shows a path to recovery through education of self and spiritual healing. This nomination is an addition to recognition for her efforts to combat at-youth risk behavior specifically among African American teen girls. The ninth annual African American Literary Awards Show will be held Sept. 26 at Landmark on the Park in New York City. For more information on Dr. E, visit her website www.phdtophd.com

South Carolina

A group of customers at a Wild Wing restaurant in Charleston were allegedly forced to wait two hours for their table and then were ultimately denied service on the basis of their race. According to reports, a family of 25 African Americans were asked to leave because a White customer felt “threatened.” The party reportedly had caused no conflict during their wait. When the store manager came over to explain the “situation,” one member of the party began to record the conversation that ensued, after which time the group was asked to leave. After failed attempts to reach the restaurants corporate office, the Brown family took to Facebook to encourage a boycott of the restaurant.

Texas

The Potter’s House church, led by Bishop T.D. Jakes, is donating $10,000 to the National Action Network in honor of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Located in Dallas, The Potter’s House is a 30,000-member nondenominational, multicultural church and humanitarian organization led by Bishop Jakes. “It is a tremendous privilege to contribute to the National Action Network and to the legacy of an inspiring leader and powerful movement that changed the course of history,” said Jakes. “Today, I honor Dr. Martin Luther King, who embodied the spirit of Jesus when he challenged us to elevate ourselves and respond to physical force with soul force.”

Washington

Police said Monday that the 88-year-old World War II vet, who died last week following a brutal beating in a parking lot in Spokane, Wash., tried to fend off his attackers. Two teenagers are in custody, including one arrested early Monday. Delbert Belton’s death Thursday came 68 years after he survived being shot in the leg during the World War II battle of Okinawa. Spokane police Chief Frank Straub Jr. said information provided by church leaders and family members led investigators to a Spokane apartment where they found 16-year-old Kenan Adams-Kinard early Monday morning. Police arrested him and three others who were with him on charges of rendering criminal assistance—a felony. Straub did not identify the other three, and it was not immediately clear if they were adults or juveniles. He described them as friends of Adams-Kinard, one of two teenagers accused of trying to rob Belton in the parking lot of Spokane’s Eagles Lodge.

International

U.S.-based African Embassies have tapped a fertile pipeline of African Americans with interests in their African homeland countries. Through AfricanAncestry.com, the pioneers of DNA-based ancestry tracing for people of African descent, newly discovered descendants enjoy ‘diplomatic relations’ with specialized trips to Africa; information exchange from their African countries of origin; and direct access to African ambassadors in the U.S., including embassy-sponsored national celebrations of their African homelands. AfricanAncestry.com currently works with Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Gabon among others to strengthen connections to Africa and African American communities across the U.S. Partnering embassies gain cross-cultural education, tourism, investments and philanthropy in their respective countries.