Archive for May, 2012

The Bridge: Gays, Fear & Ignorance

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Health & Fitness, Women's Interests with tags , , on May 29, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Gays, just like any other group of people taunted by bigots, have always found a modicum of comfort and relative acceptance in the Black community.

While there are hateful people in the Black community, Blacks haven’t been running out to form angry mobs to chase down gay people and harm or kill them.

Even some of the most religious African Americans who are opposed to homosexuality as a lifestyle have gay friends.  And one has only to take a cursory look at the Black church to see that there is a strong gay presence, particularly in the choirs. There is a wink and a nod when the preacher speaks fire and brimstone against homosexuality, because there is rarely a hateful word against the homosexuals themselves as individuals.

When a Black person says “I don’t hate gay people, I have gay friends,” it’s not the same as a racist claiming the one token Black to deny his/her hatred of Blacks. Most African Americans actually do have gay friends and gay family members. And they would protect those loved ones with tooth and nail.

But that has little to do with gay politics, including the gay marriage movement.

While some African Americans are staunchly against gay marriage, many, like myself, simply don’t care.

I don’t care who marries whom.

But I do care that you pretend it is the same as slavery.

Damn you for that.

Blacks who oppose gay marriage are neither hateful nor ignorant and every time a gay person speaks such stupidity, such tactical hatred, there is far less tolerance and far less openness to gay politics.

I don’t know why the Gay Mafia (GLAAD) pretends not to understand this.

Their politics get so much blowback because they keep trying to force people to embrace politics and beliefs that are counter to the core beliefs of many African Americans, which is neither anti-gay, gay hatred nor ignorance. But if they keep up their gangster tactics, they will find more opposition to more of their positions.

For example, I was once friendly to gays and the gay rights movement, but now I’m angry. I am no longer friendly to their politics.

Do I hate gays?

No, but I hate people who claim that I do.

Do I condone violence against gays?

Hell no! But I want to beat the hell out of people who pretend that somehow, opposition to their politics is equivalent to hatred of the people.

I have loved ones who have lifestyles which could be defined as gay. But none of them has ever come up to me to tell me that they are gay or to discuss what they do as gay people. They simply live their lives as good, loving human beings, just as I do.

Honestly, for some, it’s not as simple as fear or ignorance.

For some, there is no opposition to or hatred of gay people.

And honestly, there is no real difficulty with gay rights.

The problem, which the Gay Mafia does not want to admit, is that some people are offended by the gangster politics of the movement and its supporters. We are told: “Support gay marriage or you hate gays. Support gay marriage or you are ignorant.”

How about this: Some of us just don’t care.

But when we see the gay marriage movement compared to slavery and when we see gays demand that Blacks support them (based on what?), and when we see that the gay community has no concern for the racism it seeps out, then we either say: “I don’t care, or I stand against your movement because your politics deeply offend me.”

I don’t hate gay people. I have no fear of gays or the gay lifestyle.

I am not anti-gay. I’m too busy being pro-me.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles in 2001 and will become a feature film in 2012. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

GUARDING OUR IMAGES–AND MINDS

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Ramey Commentaries with tags on May 29, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Mike Ramey

The business of business is to make money.
 
Black folk–especially our youth–need to be aware of this basic point.
 
The mainstream media of this country is–above all–a business. The news media of the USA is–a business. The sports industry of America–is a business. Your local television and radio station, major newspaper or magazines and even your minority-owned newspapers and magazines are all businesses. Each of them have boardrooms, lawyers, advisors and accountants focused on one thing. That one thing: making money.
 
Pity the person who steps in between them and their profits. Even with the truth!
 
 
OUR ECONOMIC WOES…WON’T DETER THEM:
 
The arrogance of the entertainment/sports/media kabal (which is what I call them because the three are cash linked) is best explained by them. Thus, reading the occasional media sheets, web accounts and business briefs on them pays big dividends in understanding one’s adversary.
 
A few years back, 2010 I believe, the annual ‘take’ at the Hollywood box office was published at about 10 Billion dollars. Industry analysts called this ‘an economic loss’. In 2012, we’ve read about certain ‘blockbuster’ movies that have lost out at the box office–like it was the fault of the viewing public. I recall reading that Hollywood ‘hates’ G or PG themed movies, but ‘thrives’ on R rated material. In reality–if you are wise about how the entertainment industry functions–it is INDUSTRY knowledge that G and PG movies actually account for more than 75% of the box office receipts EACH year…and R-rated fare only brings in about ten percent of box office cash.
 
Seems to me that movies should be made that the public likes…but I digress.
 
THE KABAL SHOWS ITS TEETH–WITH OUR IMAGES IN THEM:
 
If you think that the new normal is viewing or reading news stories depicting ONLY; a) Black men being arrested; b) Black women on welfare or on corners; c) oversexed young Black women fighting each other in the streets, or; d) young Black men locked into a sports-rap-hip-hop-gang slanging personna a generation after the Civil Rights movement concluded, you’ve been hoodwinked by the MSM…TOO!
 
The propaganda tactics of the MSM have become tragic of late. A few years ago, a few tell-all books and articles were released by industry insiders. Surprisingly, many stalwarts of the MSM admitted that they ‘intentionally put forth’ their liberal political/social/moral agendas through their programs–many of them depicting people of color negatively in far too many cases.
 
THE VIDEO SCREEN VS. REALITY:
 
The real world does not ‘run’ on a sitcom or reality clock. It runs on faith in God, loyalty, respect for authority, and perseverance.
 
The Kabal INTENTIONALLY doesn’t get this. A lot of OUR young men and young women don’t ‘get’ it either. In our advanced technical age, African Americans are STILL the number one consumers of television. America still is the number one exporter of entertainment to the rest of the world. In fact, the American entertainment industry has been quietly marketing major motion pictures overseas–OUTSIDE of the USA–prior to domestic release–in order for them to ‘firm up’ their box office take. OUR images STILL have not improved, but our consumption INCREASES!
 
MONITOR YOUR CONSUMPTION & PROTECT YOUR MIND:
 
Television and the MSM are now ‘a vast white-land’…by deliberate design.
 
Doubt me? Next time you watch the local news or pick up the latest video game fare for your child or yourself, spot the number of racially stereotyped characters among the heroes, villains and supporting cast. History has repeated itself!
 
The same ‘lack of color’ on the tube which sparked the riots of the sixties is going on in our enlightened 21st century!
In my travels, I have covered, appeared before, or observed courts and judges. The FIRST rule of thumb? NEVER address a judge by their first name. This is considered a major no-no and could earn one a possible trip to jail. The SECOND rule of thumb? Dress for success. It shows respect for the judge, and for the system of law.
Why is it important for us to monitor what we watch? Why is it crucial that young people especially need to be able to separate fact from fiction or myth from reality?
 
Let’s start with the obvious–the subjects of marriage, sex outside of marriage, and OOW births. Young Black men MUST learn how to prepare themselves to become husbands–not rappers, thugs and baby machines. Young Black women MUST learn how to become wives–not video vixens and thuggettes. Children born outside of wedlock are not cute; they are bastards–as outlined in the Bible. Homes are built by families headed by husbands, supported by wives, and are populated by obedient children trained by their parents. The MSM hates what I have mentioned, because it robs them of revenue and viewership. God loves and blesses the nation and people who side with Him.
 
It’s your call–blessing or cursing in your own life. Guard your mind, protect your image and you WON’T be hypnotized by those who glorify the negative.
 
We don’t have to ‘buy in’ to the propaganda and images which appear before us. We can either put pressure on the holders to the keys of the MSM to better represent us, or, we can opt out of the brainwashing by restricting our consumption of their wares.
 
In plain terms: You can spend your money where our images are sunny!
 
Whether you call them the MSM, Hollywood, sports journalism or ‘the Kabal’, they are ALL businesses. Until we get tired of being ‘hoodwinked’ and understand that not everything that depicts us and our race–even from those of our race–is good for us, we will continue to be consumers, rather than producers. Not only that, but those of our own race–and you KNOW who they are–need to also be put on notice that we won’t be a part of their ‘plantation minstrel shows’ as well.
 
Either better images…or lower profits.
 
The images and minds we NEED to protect are oursnot theirs
 
RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites and gracious blogs around the world. To correspond, email manhoodline@yahoo.com. © 2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.
 

Brian Owens: The Voice of American Soul

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Music and Video Releases with tags , , on May 26, 2012 by Gary Johnson

Sitting across the table from Brian Owens, one might get the feeling of conversing with — as some say — an old soul. There is a calmness and self-assuredness that suggests he’s been here before, even though he is only on the verge of becoming the new voice of American soul. He doesn’t project the harried, fast-paced life of a national recording artist, but rather the soulful energy that dominates his music.

Raised in St. Louis, his music reflects a city infused with blues, soul, and folk, resulting in a style that is distinctly his own, yet reminiscent of artists like Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Al Green, and, for those who know him, his father Thomas Owens who chose not to pursue a music career. “I want to be my own voice, but in a way that’s familiar to people,” Owens says. “So I welcome the comparisons because it means that people take comfort in my influences. People also say, ’You sing like your father,’ which is still a nod to good tradition. I’m glad to do that.”

As one of the lead singers of Sidewinder, the Air Force band that became a YouTube sensation with 2.5 million views, Brian has been featured with the band on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Entertainment Tonight, and Fox and Friends. And he is determined to balance the media attention with a level head. “I’m very excited about the exposure,” he says. “Positive exposure is always good, even when I’m not at the forefront. I believe it will come back to me in a good way.”

In the meantime, Owens is preparing for the launch of his first major release, Moods and Messages — a self-proclaimed soundtrack to his journey as a soul artist. With the backing of St. Louis-based Destin2B1 Records and distribution through New York-based RED, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, Owens says, “Moods and Messages is about balancing out how we feel and what we give out to the world in terms of messages. So moods and messages often conflict, but you have to choose what your life will say, despite how you feel … It’s about making choices.”

The album displays Brian’s personal choices — serving in the Air Force, becoming a husband and father, performing — as they constantly shape his music into messages that are encouraging, thought-provoking, and touching. From social awareness to loving tributes to family, Brian masters the art of effortless lyrics and melodies to deliver messages that are powerfully relevant.

In his first nationally distributed single, “I Just Want to Feel Alright,” Owens evokes some of the most universal experiences of pain and desperation, even tapping into the mood of a country recovering from war and economic recession. It is a cathartic, yet hopeful anthem for our times.

The upbeat track “Open (Lovely Day)”, is a light-hearted reminder to count the blessings life gives daily, and to see the possibilities in every moment.  “Oh I” is a soulful, love ballad that pays tribute to the perfect partner– her kiss, her touch, her smile. “Keep Movin On”, is a message of encouragement  that acknowledges some of the most common adversities of our time through song. From the lost job, to the sacrificial life of a soldier, to the sharp pain of loneliness. A break from the deep messages woven throughout the album, “Let’s Get Out” is a fun reminder that sometimes, a little escape is all you ever need.

Brian attributes much of his style of interpretation to the consistency of human nature. “I’ve found that there is nothing new to write about – just new ways to write about the traditional, but exciting cycles of life. Music that reaches and touches people is about human nature. That doesn’t change. What makes us vulnerable, what makes us scared, what makes us happy — it never changes.”

WEBSITE                    TWITTER                 FACEBOOK

brianowens.tv              @brianowenstv           facebook.com/brianowens.tv

EPK Link
http://www.reverbnation.com/c./rpk/514908?access_code=b17ffd435ef77d23785b&auto_play=true

Website
www.brianowens.tv

Facebook
www.facebook.com/brianowens.tv

Twitter
www.twitter.com/brianowenstv

YOUTUBE LINKS

Brian Owens Promotional Reel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cizpsQUpnBw

I Just Want to Feel Alright (LIVE)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps4tXXaF2jM

Show Me St. Louis Profile
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNlhyFxfKpM

Great Day St. Louis Performance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8pzVBvXQR4

Game 1 World Series Performance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9UXt27x5Vc

What Black Men Think Hits The Documentary Channel

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, Movie and DVD News, Racism with tags , , , on May 22, 2012 by Gary Johnson

Our friend and a favorite filmmaker Janks Morton’s groundbreaking film “What Black Men Think” will be featured on the Documentary Channel.  Click here for more details.

The Bridge: In Honor of Malcolm X

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , , on May 22, 2012 by Gary Johnson

 Malcolm X

By Darryl James 

May 19th is the birth date of El Haaj Malik El-Shabazz, known to us as Malcolm X.

Who was Malcolm X?

Malcolm X was a number of things to a number of people.

To white racists, he was the physical manifestation of the chickens coming home to roost—the sins of the father being visited upon the sons. He was committed to the respect and protection of the Black community and unwavering in the extent to which he was willing to go and to which he was willing to influence millions to go to oppose and stamp out oppression.

His mission? In his own words, it was “to bring about the complete independence of people of African descent here in the western hemisphere…and bring about the freedom of these people by any means necessary.”

Those means included violent retaliation, of course, but those means also included economic revolution. Malcolm X advocated Black self-reliance as a means to freedom.

“If you can’t do for yourself what the white man is doing for himself, don’t say you’re equal with the white man,” Malcolm chided.” If you can’t set up a factory like he sets up a factory, don’t talk that old equality talk.”

Brother Malcolm became the universal symbol for Black Manhood as he challenged white superiority and privilege in a way that frightened America and made conscious Black people proud.

He also challenged the foundation and purpose of the Civil Rights Movement, which did not make him an enemy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as many people today believe.

 It is ignorant to detract from one man to glorify the other. Brother Malcolm was as crucial and relevant as Brother Martin, but a fearful nation would not embrace him the same because he represented the fiery response to violence—a divergent option to Brother Martin, but certainly not an opposite option.

In a 2005 installment of his column for the New York Daily News, Stanley Crouch, a self-hating Negro, claimed that Malcolm X was a “heckler of the Civil Rights Movement” and a “minor figure,” calling the Nation of Islam a “cult,” and a “cartoon version of Islam.”

Boot-licking House Negro bitches like the “writer” Stanley Crouch can deride Malcolm X from the comfort of the twenty-first century, but in his weak little heart which pumps lemonade, Crouch knows damned well that he would never have had the testicular fortitude to be one tenth of what Malcolm X was to America—a proud Black man unafraid to tell the world what was wrong with this nation and unafraid to face it, sacrificing his life for the people he loved.

Crouch, a revisionist idiot, has no real concept of history, particularly where Black people are concerned. Malcolm and Martin had two different movements, which were moving closer to each other before they were assassinated. To call Malcolm a “heckler of the Civil Rights Movement,” is ignorant and demonstrates self-hatred.

Malcolm’s critical challenge of the foundation and purpose of the Civil Rights Movement is very different from being a “heckler,” which is someone who sits inactively on the sidelines tossing negativity.

Certainly, Martin was and is larger than Malcolm, but that has more to do with who he had following him and the times to come. Malcolm was about hate the way Martin was a racist—both false assumptions made only by idiots.

The reality is that Martin was safer than Malcolm—for whites and for scared Negroes who didn’t want anyone to make too much noise and piss off the white establishment they feared and revered.

But Martin also had detractors, many of whom hated him as they hated Malcolm. Some Negroes were afraid that Martin, too, would upset the apple cart and make it harder for them to kiss white people’s collective asses.

Malcolm X, much like Dr. King, was evolving from fighting a domestic fight on the home front for civil rights into waging a war on the world stage for human rights.

And they were both taking an economic revolution to the bottom of society.

At the end of the day, there is never a reason to choose and no one should be asked to.

But there is a reason to celebrate. To celebrate the birth of a beautiful, strong human being who changed the way Black men thought of themselves and frankly, the way the world thought of Black men.

The late Ossie Davis, who delivered the eulogy for Malcolm X in the Spike Lee film and in life at the funeral, said it best:  “Malcolm was our manhood. Our living Black manhood.”

(Malcolm was) “Our own Black shining prince who didn’t hesitate to die, because he loved us so.”

And those of us who understood him, love him as well.

Happy Birthday Brother Malcolm.

 Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles in 2001 and will become a feature film in 2012. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

The Kirk Whalum Interview – Part I

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, Gary A. Johnson, Music and Video Releases with tags , , , , , on May 21, 2012 by Gary Johnson

Black Men In America.com Exclusive Interview

By Gary A. Johnson

Most artists would be daunted at the thought of remaking a classic work of art made by legends, but not Grammy winner Kirk Whalum.  The multi-dimensional saxophonist adeptly steps into the role of John Coltrane and tapped his brother, vocalist Kevin Whalum, to fill the shoes of Johnny Hartman on an unabashedly romantic collection of duets originally recorded in 1963 by the seminal artists.  Romance Language, due to be released on Valentine’s Day by Rendezvous Music, consists of all six songs that comprise the Coltrane/Hartman recording along with a handful of modern ballads to complete the disc produced by Kirk Whalum and John Stoddart.

Romance Language is Kirk Whalum’s 19th album as a front man since his 1985 solo debut, Floppy Disk.  He topped the Billboard contemporary jazz album charts twice (And You Know That! and Cache) and amassed 11 Grammy nominations.  Whalum took home a coveted Grammy earlier this year for a duet with Lalah Hathaway that appeared on his The Gospel According to Jazz: Chapter III.  An ordained minister who earned a Master’s degree in the Art of Religion, Kirk Whalum has forged an unparalleled career path in both the secular and the non-secular music words, garnering hits, awards and accolades for his jazz, R&B and gospel recordings.  His soulfully expressive tenor sax voice is unique and has appeared on literally hundreds of recordings by Barbara Streisand, Quincy Jones, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, George Benson, Al Jarreau, Michael McDonald, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, and Larry Carlton as well as on collaborative albums with Bob James, Rick Braun and Norman Brown.  When not recording or performing, he educates and mentors the next generation of musicians in his role as president/CEO of the STAX Music Academy and the STAX Museum of American Soul Music. 

Earlier this month, Black Men In America.com Founder & Publisher Gary Johnson conducted an exclusive interview with Kirk Whalum.  This is Part I of that interview.

BMIA.com:  Hey Kirk.  How are you doing?

Kirk Whalum:  Hey Gary I’m doing great Gary.  Thank you so much.

BMIA.com:  I’m really excited to talk to you, so let’s get right to it.  Let’s talk about your new CD “Romance Language.”

Kirk Whalum:  I want to talk about this.  This is unlike any project I’ve ever done.  For someone like me to take the music of the great John Coltrane and doing my own version of his music is kind of scary.  I’ve studied John Coltrane’s music and his life.  I wrote about him in my seminary final project.  I believe he would be happy with this effort because the spiritual focus of his life would dictate that his music be shared with new and expanding audiences.

BMIA.com:  That’s great.  Kirk, at what age did your musical journey begin?

Kirk Whalum:  That’s hard to say.  I can remember being about 3 or 4 years old and seeing my grandmother as the organist for a pretty high brow baptist church.  She played the pipe organ.  For me to be there and see her was a good experience.

BMIA.com:  You’ve played with a lot of people.  Who would you consider to be your musical influences?

Kirk Whalum:  We can start with Hank Crawford on saxophone.  He was my biggest influence.  There’s a guy who pastors in Chicago named Ossie Smith who plays the saxophone.  He is an amazingly well rounded musician.  He was the first one to pull me aside and begin to show me different things such as jazz theory and improvisation.  I owe a lot to him.  In terms of big names, there’s Arnett Cobb who is a famed saxophonist.  I wear a ring on my finger given to me by Arnett Cobb’s daughter.  I missed his funeral because I was in Japan.  When he was alive he was a very big part of my musical development.  Those were my biggest influences.  In terms of the people I played with, I’d have to say Bob James was the first big one.  He was the one who really discovered me.  I played and toured with him.  He got me signed to Columbia Records and produced my first three records.

BMIA.com:  You mentioned that you’ve been to Japan.  I know you speak more than one language.  What languages do you speak?

Kirk Whalum:  I speak Spanish and French.

BMIA.com:  Let me shift back to music.  What was it like playing with your brother and your Uncle who is affectionately known as “Peanut?”

Kirk Whalum:  I’ve recorded with both of them quite a few times.  I keep creating ways for us to collaborate.  These are two world class talents.  These are people who deserve to be heard.  I also work with my nephews and my son.

BMIA.com:  How long have you been married?

Kirk Whalum:  I have been married for 32 years in August 2012.

BMIA.com:  What is the secret to being married?

Kirk Whalum:  I trust God for that relationship.  I know that it’s his Grace that he saved my life.  Marriage is about forgiveness.  We have to constantly be in forgiveness mode and nurture the relationship.

BMIA.com:  What advice do you have to help young people who want a career in the music business?

Kirk Whalum:  One important thing for them to know is that they can control their destiny.  There’s so many aspects of the music industry that are out of their control, but the most important aspect of the business is within their control and that has to do with being diligent and pursuing your craft.

BMIA.com:  Is that you playing the saxophone solo on Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You,” from the soundtrack of the movie “The Bodyguard?”

Kirk Whalum:  Yes sir.

BMIA.com:  What was it like working with Whitney Houston?

Kirk Whalum:  I played with Whitney for 7 years.  The movie “The Bodyguard” was completely unique.  I was touring with Whitney and I was living in Paris.  She had insisted to the Director that she wanted to sing that song live to the film.  They were against recording music live to the film because there are too many things that can go wrong.  Whitney gave the producers an ultimatum.  She put her foot down and insisted that she sing live with her band or she would not sing the song.

BMIA.com:  You’re President/CEO of the STAX Music Museum.  Is that correct?

Kirk Whalum:  Yes.

BMIA.com:  What’s going on with the legendary STAX?

Kirk Whalum:  If it’s a raw funky groove, chances are it’s not Motown, its STAX.  STAX was known for. Booker T & the M.G’s, Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, The Staples Singer, Albert King and Rufus Thomas.  STAX music was organic and raw.  In 1989, the building was torn down.  A few years later the building was erected and the STAX Music Academy is up and running.  The Academy has a charter school providing kids with a world class education, and music is a part of the curriculum.  The STAX Music Academy is an after school program of about 75-80 kids who come from different backgrounds.  The kids are talented and incredible.

For more information you can visit Kirk Whalum’s official web site at www.kirkwhalum.com.  Part II of our exclusive interview with Kirk Whalum will be posted next week.

Special thanks to Juanita Stephens for arranging this exclusive interview.

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In America.com a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In America.com Blog.  Gary is also the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.

The CEO Manny Halley

Posted in Black Men, Black Men In America, Music and Video Releases with tags , , on May 13, 2012 by Gary Johnson

In January 1999, Imani Entertainment Group began its journey in becoming one of the premier entertainment companies in the world. Created and nurtured by Founder, Manny Halley, IEG has become a major player in the entertainment world. With a bevy of companies under the IEG umbrella ranging from management to book publishing. This company has set its sights on all aspects of the entertainment world and with hard work, dedication, and a fresh outlook they are posed to take over.

Without a doubt, one of the most influential voices in the entertainment industry is mega successful entrepreneur and music mogul, Manny Halley.  The CEO, of Imani Entertainment Group is responsible for discovering the voice and talent of Grammy Award Nominated R&B singer/songwriter Keyshia Cole.  Born and raised in the inner city streets of Brooklyn, NY, Manny brings the hustle mentality and heart of the streets to the board room serving as the executive producer for Keyshia Cole’s, “The Way It Is” reality series which holds the #1 spot for the highest rated BET program in history and running the nation’s best-selling IHOP for the past 10 years.  With his family by his side, Manny has sought to create a leading empire that the entertainment industry has yet to see.

In 2003, a friend of Halley’s arranged a meeting for him to meet a rising songstress making noise out of Oakland, CA.  The sultry soprano was none other than Keyshia Cole who once she sang for Halley was signed on the spot to his growing entertainment company.  Within the year, Halley arranged a meeting for Cole to meet with Chairman of Geffen Records, Ron Fair, who would be responsible for signing and executive producing Keyshia’s debut and Grammy nominated sophomore albums, “The Way It Is” and “Just Like You.”

In 2006, in conjunction with BET, Halley developed and co-produced the hit reality television series, “The Way It Is”, an original program giving audiences the ultimate backstage pass into the life of Keyshia Cole.  On October 30, 2007, the second season aired following Cole’s new claim to fame and recording of her second album, “Just Like You” while dealing with the demons of her and her family’s past.  Halley’s role was highlighted in the series as viewers saw how flawlessly Halley handled Cole’s day-to-day affairs with press, studio time, artist collaborations and even her family.  The show premiered with outstanding ratings with the second season finale drawing in a reported 3 million viewers and 2 million households becoming BET’s largest returning series and original series in BET history.

A man of strength, faith and humility, Imani “Manny” Halley will not rest until the world knows who Imani Entertainment is. His commitment, dedication and loyalty to his artist and more importantly best interest are unsurpassed.  Halley has merged his many talents and keen sense of delivering what the public wants into his latest endeavors.  If his track record is any indication, the future looks might bright for the entertainment mogul.

http://imanientgroup.com/    Manny Halley (@mannytheceo) on Twitter

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