Momentum Honors honored me this past weekend at SOHO House in NYC with its Pillar of Empowerment Award! Blessed! Beyonce donated 100K to the cause which is MOMENTUM's TEEN program. She didn't attend. Was at the BET Awards 2014. But this gracious gift comes in the wake of her donating 10K each of the last two years. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
To: Robinson Lynn and the MOMENTUM TEAM
To: Tamara and the MOMENTUM TEENS TEAM
To: ALL OF MY FELLOW HONOREES – including Sylvia High (I TRULY AM HONORED TO BE IN YOUR ESTEEMED COMPANY)!
To: ALL MY MOMENTUM FAMILY and your FRIENDS AND FAMILY – many of whom came out!
A SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO CURTIS DENNIS who has continued to be a role model for BEING THE DIFFERENCE beyond RESIDENTIAL. I love you, Curtis! Thank you!
AND MICHELE BREIER with whom I had the JOY to CO-SENIOR LT 16. THANKS FOR COMING, MICHELE!
I AM AN AUTHENTIC, LOVING, VULNERABLE MAN.
I GRADUATED THE BASIC IN JULY 2004;
THE ADVANCED IN SEPTEMBER 2004;
AND LEADERSHIP (LT 12) JANUARY 2005.
AS I MENTIONED, I WAS SENIOR STAFF FOR LT 16 AND A RECURRING INTRO NIGHT HOST.
I ACCEPT THIS AWARD IN THE MEMORY OF LT 10'S NENE OFUATEY-KODJOE - MY EMO.
ALSO TO THE MEMORY OF MOMENTUM Founder Robin Lynn WHO generously launched the Nene Ofuatey-Kodjoe Momentum Education Scholarship in April 2005. AS A RESULT, DOZENS - IN ROBIN'S WORDS - HAVE "GOTTEN TO GO" BECAUSE OF THIS GENEROUS GIFT.
AND TO MY LIFE PARTNER OF 8-1/2 YEARS, ANTHONY HARPER, ONE OF MOMENTUM'S NENE SCHOLARS: I LOVE YOU AND THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME AND ALLOWING ME TO LOVE YOU - THROUGH IT ALL!
THANKS EVERYBODY! AND A BIG SHOUT OUT to those who came out to surprise me: PETE; CECIL (who introduced Kodjoe to the work); MARJORIE MCFARLANE; LUSTER CHAUNCEY; AMANDA; PETER; et al! THANKS ALL!
SSU MEDIA HIGH
HOMETOWN BOY [me] is too EXCITED TO BE back home in Savannah as Keynote Speaker for the SSU MEDIA HIGH program! THE CLOSING CEREMONY & LUNCHEON at Savannah State University’s Department of Mass Communications (Adams Hall) was an INSPIRATIONAL LOVE FEST – WWW.SSUMEDIAHIGH.NET.SPONSORS/PARTICIPANTS included WTOC – the first TV station to hire me (in high school) as “teleprompter” for the 5p and 6p newscasts. Contributor Kim Gusby saw my visit newsworthy enough to tease it on “Coastal Sunrise” - http://bit.ly/lor_ssuhigh. WSAV sent cameras to the event as well for later newscasts. One of my NABJ mentors/Spelman big sister Wanda Lloyd is Chair of SSU’s Department of Mass Communications (She too is childhood BFFs with my favorite teacher from Windsor Forest High School, Mrs. Linda Green, who surprised me! And what a full-circle moment as in order for me to be able to do the WTOC gig, Mrs. Green took me to my mom’s job to get the car – so I could get downtown. Then, I’d pick mom up after the 6p newscast wrapped! THANK YOU, LINDA GREEN!). And to my NABJ sister Tina A. Brown, THANK YOU for inviting me as she is DIRECTOR of SSU Media High and a friend for life. Though I am a MOREHOUSE MAN, I followed a similar curriculum as Spelmanite Wanda Lloyd as we both studied much of our chosen professions' basics at CLARK ATLANTA UNIVERSITY's Mass Media Arts Department. So, this was even more of a FULL CIRCLE moment to be speaking at SSU as Wanda Lloyd is a Savannah native as well! And what a blessing that my DAD – 80-YEARS-YOUNG – RETIRED CMSGT USAF HERMAN L. RILEY SR. – was able to join me along with his wife Diana. Appreciated his support, pride, and hospitality while I was home.FEELING FULL, BLESSED, and ENCOURAGED at the new generation of multi-platform journalists before us!CONGRATS to the SSU MEDIA HIGH grads of SUMMER 2014! AND YOU MUST KNOW it was GREAT to hang out with my family afterwards! We ALWAYS have a GREAT TIME! LOVE Y'ALL! AND LOVE SAVANNAH! #SSUMEDIA HIGH
Summer karaoke break
The SPRING 2014 SERIES of “BILLIE’S BLACK PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE WITH PATRICK L. RILEY” wrapped last week! ! And so happy that GORDON CHAMBERS chose our final TUESDAY to come out, support, and sing (songs from his catalog like “Missing You” - the Grammy nominated theme of Set It Off (performed by Brandy, Tamia, Gladys Knight and Chaka Khan) and my favorite, Brownstone's Grammy nominated hit "If You Love Me" which he rocked a caapella (and you know I joined in).
Gordon graciously joined our “The Boss” chorus on that Diana Ross disco anthem penned and produced by the Ashford & Simpson. To buy Gordon’s amazing music and find out where he’s performing next, check out http://gordonchambers.com/. Among many magical moments last night (STAY TUNED for clips throughout the day), GRAND FINALE WINNER Husain Mello Deas Williams came and blessed our FINAL installment in our SPRING 2014 SERIES of Billie's Black PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley! He redeemed his winning recently as he sang in that night's Motown the Musical and later enjoyed a scrumptious meal at Billie's Black Gourmet Soul! We're PROUD of you, HUSAIN! MUCH LOVE! My nephew Herman Lee Riley III and so many of our ALL STAR KARAOKE FAITHFULS were in the house as well as my Morehouse brethren BFFs Michael K. Watts, Mario Ephraim; and a VERY SPECIAL APPEARANCE by fellow Morehouse College Glee Club brother and professional vocalist (of the Opera kind), Cornelius V. Johnson - performing Porgy & Bess nearby. He BLESSED our GRAND FINALE with a beautiful "SUMMERTIME". It brought me to tears! THANKS TO EVERYBODY FOR YOUR SUPPORT! I LOVE YOU! P.S. Since Billie's Black Presents All Star Karaoke served as such a great back-drop for BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS, just drop a line to email@example.com. I'll forward you accordingly to BILLIE'S BLACK as they will work with you on available dates; menu; method(s) of payment; particulars - including a premium option of booking our ALL STAR KARAOKE TEAM to host and produce your special celebration. It's a great way to celebrate for you and your friends. Please feel free to pass this along and let everyone know!!! We have had such an amazing time at “Billie’s Black Presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley”. Some amazing All Star performers have graced the stage including Recording Artists/R&B Divas – Atlanta: Monifah & Keke Wyatt; recording artist Shaliek; our All Star Karaoke faithfuls, like Fashion Queen’s Bevy Smith; GMA/ABC News Correspondent Mara Schiavocampo; celebrity hairstylist Carla Bone (clients including Jada Pinkett Smith and Kerry Washington) and Brian Badie (clients including Ice T, Coco, etc.); Mindy Project's Xosha Roquemore; Anthony Wayne (Broadway’s “Pippin’” and “Mighty Real Sylvester”); and so many more! THANKS TO ALL FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!#motownmay
Film Life Presents the 18th annual American Black Film Festival took place in NYC for the first time: www.abff.com. TWITTER - @abff. SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to my friend Patrik-Ian Polk on his NEW FILM “BLACKBIRD”: TWITTER - @blkbirdthefilm. MO'NIQUE stars! ANOTHER SHOUT OUT to my colleague Kai Brown’s brother Tobi Gadison who starred in ‘Myra’s Angel’, which made its ABFF debut this weekend. The script was penned by Skye Dennis and directed by Hakim Hudson. The film tells the story of a a man’s (played by Tobi Gadison) journey for redemption as he tries to clear his name of a robbery he didn’t commit. ALSO: We saw "Life's Essentials with Ruby Dee," Documentary About Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, made its big screen premiere at the American Black Film Festival. The film, which is the work of Mr. Davis and Ms. Dee's grandson Muta'Ali, is part tribute, part history lesson and part coming-of-age story and gives viewers an intimate look into the "remarkable lives of the couple many consider the all-time king and queen of Black Hollywood," according to production notes. Shout out to my dear friends Teri Prettyman Bowles and husband Alvin Bowles - Associate Producers on the project. OH! A wonderful hang on Friday with dear friend Jason Johnson would have us run into Kate Mulgrew from “Orange is the New Black”! #ABFF2014 #nyc #oitnb REST IN PEACE, RUBY DEE! WE MISS YOU ALREADY! XOXOXOXO
WELL, MISS ROSS performed to a PACKED HOUSE at MADISON SQUARE GARDEN – THE THEATER this weekend! THAT’S ALL! SO GOOD to hang out with my ROSS enthusiasts as Rhonda Ross opened with her electrifying set followed bombastically by MISS ROSS who was in GREAT FORM --- effortlessly giving her audience HIT after HIT after HIT! “SING RAIF,” Miss Ross exclaimed on “The Boss” – looking out to her quite enthusiastic grandson, Diana and Berry Gordy’s grandboy! “Raif! You’re THE BOSS!” LOL! SHOUT OUT TO ALL MY ROSS PEEPS! Derrick even got to see MISS ROSS for the first time! She did not disappoint ONE BIT!
Shout out to Dwayne Ashley, Vice President of Development at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and my BFF, Miss Sidra Smith, NAACP Image Award winning producer for “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” – THE DOCUMENTARY of 2013-2014 season, if you ask me! They each made sure I was in the house for Jazz at Lincoln Center's SWING, A SUMMER BENEFIT COCKTAIL PARTY inside the gorgeous Appel Room in at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall – overlooking Columbus Circle and the South entrance to Central Park. The night included a FAMILY REUNION (of sorts) as so many of my industry buddies and associates were in the house! Primarily, though, there were performances by Jonathan Batiste, Cécile McLorin Salvant, The Rodriguez. In the 2013-14 season, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s performance and education initiatives impacted audiences on both local and global scale. The organization served 724 children through its WeBop early childhood education program, while 2,700 schools participated in the annual Essentially Ellington high school jazz program. Honorary Chairs are Tonya and Spike Lee, Maya Haile and Marcus Samuelsson, Lance Riddick, Mickalene Thomas, Tamara Tunie, Eboni Marshall Turman and Rossie Turman, III, Jeffrey Wright. swing! Chair is Lola C. West. swing! Co-Chairs are Valerie S. Brown, Mignon Espy-Edwards, Christopher Montgomery, Kimberly Steward. swing! Co-Presenters are Valentino D. Carlotti, Reginald Van Lee, The Steward Family Foundation. swing! Host Committee includes Ken Allen, Paul Atkins, Kelly Smith Beaty, Kesha Cash, Harriette Cole, Candice Cook, Dionyse Fitzwilliam, Ian S. Fuller, Phyllis Hollis, Jim Johnson, Angela Kyle, Ed Lewis, Spencer Means, Courtney Lee Mitchell and Marcus Mitchell, Jarrod Guy Randolph, Ayo Roach, Trevor Scotland, Clinton Townsend, Nicole Valentine, Faye Wattleton, Eric Woods. #jalcnyc
Anthony Harper and I loved us some FIFTH HARMONY during the second season of The X Factor. The group consists of members Ally Brooke Hernandez, Normani Hamilton, Dinah Jane Hansen, Camila Cabello, and Lauren Jauregui. They signed a joint deal with Syco Music, owned by Simon Cowell, and Epic Records, L.A. Reid's record label, after finishing in third place behind Tate Stevens and Carly Rose Sonenclar on the show. NOW, THEY ARE SOON COMING OUT (Pre-Order Fifth Harmony's NEW single 'BO$$' on iTunes http://smarturl.it/5HBOSS). WAS TOO EXCITED to refer colleague and LIFE OF RILEY consultant Derrick Hemphill to an opportunity that he shot and produced for an upcoming talk show about which I won’t say much now (BUT STAY TUNED). THE BONUS: My day’s work was happening nearby – so I just HAD to stop by and hear their new song BOSS (You know, I love a BOSS! LOL!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isXyg_2PsdU&feature=kp. BECOME one of the HARMONIES (along with me) and follow FIFTH HARMONY at : https://twitter.com/5HonTour; Instagram @5HonTour_; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fifthharmonyupdates; and Tumblr: http://5hontour.tumblr.com/. #5HonTour #5thharmony #fifthharmony
TONI SEAWRIGHT & MJ
Was too excited to host TONI SEAWRIGHT’s 50th Birthday Honoring the Music and Legacy of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson with family and friends in Brooklyn, New York at the 5 Spot. I sang “Got to Be There” with the HOT BAND! Shout out to them for rehearsing with me a couple of days prior to ensure I could hit those CHAKA notes. I even rehearsed at our closing night of ALL STAR KARAOKE: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152301811918737&set=vb.662073736&type=3&theater.
You guys know “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” is a recurring client – content which features updates on some of the biggest newsmakers and most memorable Oprah show guests of all time. Next Sunday, July 9 at 9p ET, please check out my update with television host and journalist Geraldo Rivera – another full circle moment as he was my first boss in New York City circa 1995-1997. ALSO in the show: Party of Five’s Scott Wolf; Elvira, Mistress of the Dark; author Terry McMillan and the survivor of a brutal shark attack. PROMO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvsCU4ZVl8Y
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