What a WONDERFUL week NABJ! It’s truly my ANNUAL THERAPY! 21 YEARS of NABJ Conventions! YIKES! GASP! LOL!
One highlight this week for me was getting the opportunity to HOST #NABJ40 AT THE APOLLO… and what a BLAST THAT WAS. A GLOWING REVIEW from Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist ER Shipp goes a LONG WAY! THANK YOU, SIS! REVIEW: "Displaying his unique talent as emcee, instigator, cajoler, cheerleader and performer, our Patrick The Entertainer helped kick off the 40th anniversary convention of the National Association of Black Journalists with a night of poetry, gymnastics and music by journalists and friends at the convention center in Minneapolis, temporarily transformed into The World Famous Apollo Theater. He even persuaded the likes of news executives Paula Madison and Cheryl Smith to party like it was 1999. Thank you, Patrick L. Riley. How will we top this next year in Washington D.C.?" MY RECAP: #NABJ40 kicked off with a FUN OPENING NIGHT event - KARAOKE, APOLLO-style!!!!! I sang "Reasons" and a Mariah Hollywood Walk of Fame shout out with "Can't Let Go". ALSO: We homaged Minneapolis' own Prince Roger Nelson by singing along on 1999...and we also did a #DABUTTmoment. Plus, of course, the #THEBOSS CHOIR FINALE! LOL! Our NABJ members enthusiastically sang, recited poetry, played sax, and danced for the GRAND PRIZE of a $100 GIFT CARD to TARGET! .... AND THE WINNER IS: NBCBLK MANAGING EDITOR Amber Payne whose rendition of Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You" STUNNED and PLEASANTLY SURPRISED the NABJ audience. Since my Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley sponsor Miss Jessie's is EXCLUSIVELY the sponsor that got me to (NABJ) National Association of Black Journalists' NABJ Convention & Career Fair, I want to shout out MISS JESSIE's CO-FOUNDER and OWNER MIKO BRANCH for making it possible for me to provide consolation prizes. They included MISS JESSIE'S product bags and Miss Jessie's: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch-Naturally! And big thanks to Executive Producer Manuel McDonnell Smith and my MARY aka our VOICE OF GODDESS/ON-SITE PRODUCER Angela Robinson and all those who helped make this go off as a great launch for the week. TOTAL FUN! ANNUAL THERAPY! I LOVE NABJ!#REASONS #EARTHWINDANDFIRE #billiesblack#allstarkaraoke #iammissjessies #NABJ40
I – as priority – want to shout out MISS JESSIE'S, one of my sponsors for “Billie’s Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley”: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2015/3/20/ask-patrick.html. Co-Founder Miko Branch was my EXCLUSIVE SPONSOR for #NABJ40. I couldn’t have done the trip without her support. LOOK OUT FOR MIKO at a city near you throughout the rest of the year. Stay tuned to LIFE OF RILEY for those dates in the coming weeks and months. Some coverage that’s coming up – culled from NABJ - includes NABJ Salute to Excellence award-winning PULSEBEAT with Greg Dunmore out of Detroit; several Minneapolis features – including its ‘Good Day’ FOX affiliate; etc. MIKO was also a panelist for the NABJ AUTHOR SHOWCASE: YOUR COMPELLING STORY - TELL IT & SELL IT #nabj40bioTelling one’s life story is difficult enough, but on top of that you must try to get it published and then convince the world that it is worthy of attention, and purchase. The individuals who grace this panel have managed to do all three, and they’ll share their insights on how they successfully crafted their biographies and brought them to a wider audience.
Location: Convention Center, 208AB
Richard Prince, “Journal-isms”
Miko Branch, Miss Jessie’s
Luther Campbell, Miami New Times
Paula Madison, Williams Group Holdings LLC James McGrath Morris, Biographer and Author
Iyanla Vanzant blessed our morning at #NABJ40 with a breakfast that gave us an intimate, sneak-peek of Iyanla: Fix My Life...and OH, WHAT A SEASON IT WILL BE! PROVOCATIVE! Was also cool to have Iyanla Vanzant be SUPER-EXCITED to see my sponsor for this NABJ Convention & Career Fair, Miss Jessie's and MIKO BRANCH! Iyanla exclaimed "I LOVE MISS JESSIE'S! HAVE IT IN NOW! LOL!" We gave her the best seller Miss Jessie's: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch-Naturally as well.
WGN America sponsored #NABJ40 Arts & Entertainment Task Force reception - featuring Empire breakout Jussie Smollett's real-life sister Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Friday Night Lights) to quite the ENTHUSIASTIC audience! My sponsor for this Convention, Miss Miko Branch aka MISS JESSIE'S says she will be tuning in to watch with her son. In the one-hour drama, bravery, ingenuity and power take center stage as slaves band together in the fight of their lives, their families, their future and their freedom. Smollett will appear as Josey, a wild-eyed runaway who doesn’t trust anyone, not even the people stationed along the way who would try to help him. Smollett-Bell plays the series regular role of Rosalee, a shy house slave with a powerful inner strength and courage. And I hear my other favorite Smollett, Jussie, will be in the mix of UNDERGROUND. Of course, his main return is EMPIRE: SEASON 2!!!!
THE REVOLUTION nor PRINCE were TELEVISED or RECORDED! Hell, they didn't even PERFORM! But we all still partied like it was 1999... and got to enjoy PAISLEY PARK. Richard Prince chronicled it best:http://mije.org/richardprince/nabj-audience-sees-prince-2-minutes! READ ON: At least 650 members of the National Association of Black Journalists accepted an invitation from Prince to pay $20 apiece to visit the Paisley Park studio complex used by the entertainer outside Minneapolis Saturday night in hopes of seeing the star himself.
But the NABJ members — and an additional 227 people who paid $50 for the privilege — saw an appearance of just two minutes or so in which the entertainer plugged his upcoming recording. He did not perform. Attendees spent an additional 110 minutes moving their bodies to dance tunes from the '70s and '80s transmitted with heavily enhanced bass beats inside a dimly lit airplane hanger-style hall that featured hefty speakers and a screen with kaleidoscopic images. Some partygoers were fine with what took place; others were not. While the everyday NABJ members were speculating on whether the star would show, 10 others received 45 minutes of interaction with the entertainer. In that meeting, Prince urged news coverage of what he called exploitation of young artists by the music business, which he said requires artists to relinquish too much to the industry, according to Bob Butler, the NABJ president who was among the attendees.
"He wants us to really write about what's going on in the music industry," Butler told Journal-isms. The rock star urged young artists not to sign contracts with the companies. Also in the meeting with Prince were Kelley L. Carter of BuzzFeed; Bryan Monroe, a past NABJ president; Eric Deggans, NPR television critic; Errin Whack, NABJ's vice president-print; incoming NABJ president Sarah J. Glover; ESPN host Michael Wilbon; Barbara Ciara, a past NABJ president; Trymaine Lee, a writer for MSNBC; and Carol Ash of WMAQ-TV in Chicago. "Prince has had a love/hate relationship with the Internet since the Napster days," Oscar Raymundo reported June 30 for Macworld. Last year, Prince quit Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and in July, his catalog was removed from iTunes and Spotify. The albums, including classics such as "Sign O The Times" and "Purple Rain," have found a home on a new venue assembled by Jay Z, Alvin Aqua Blanco reported Thursday for HipHopWired.com. Prince announced Thursday that the Tidal streaming service, assembled by Jay Z and including shareholder-artists Beyoncé, Madonna, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Jack White, would be the exclusive home of his upcoming record HITNRUN, to be released Sept. 7.
"After one meeting, it was obvious that Jay Z and the team he has assembled at TIDAL recognize and applaud the effort that real musicians put in2 their craft 2 achieve the very best they can at this pivotal time in the music industry," Prince said in a statement. "TIDAL have honored Us with a non-restrictive arrangement that once again allows Us to continue making art in the fashion. We've grown accustomed 2 and We're Extremely grateful 4 their generous support." It was that message that Prince used his two minutes to tell the Saturday night Paisley Park audience. "Jay Z and I have an album coming out on Jay Z's title. Downloads are coming. He needs our help," the entertainer said. And then he was gone. The dance music returned. Were audience members expecting too much? Butler messaged NABJ members on Friday, "I received a text on Wednesday that NABJ was invited to hold a dance party at Prince's Paisley Park. When I asked if Prince was going to be there I was told, 'I think so.' Cover charge is $20 at the door. Buses will take registered convention attendees from the Hilton to Paisley Park following the Salute to Excellence Gala." No cell phones were allowed. Attendees were urged to leave them behind. NABJ, which had already announced it faces a potential deficit, paid about $10,000 for buses to take members to Paisley Park in suburban Chanhassen, NABJ Executive Director Darryl R. Matthews told Journal-isms. Waiting for the return trip to Minneapolis, where the association is concluding its 40th anniversary convention, Derrick Clifton, deputy opinion editor ofdailydot.com who is based in New York, said of the evening, "I thought it was great. It's not every day you get to go to Paisley Park. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially if you're not in Minneapolis." The absence of cell phones "gave us as a community of journalists a chance to talk to each other," he said. With the devices, the journalists would probably be on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and trying to capture inside photographs of Paisley Park, Clifton added. However, Margo Spann, a Los Angeles-based journalist, told Journal-isms, "Disgusted is not the word to describe how I feel. With the number of restrictions put on, the event was hyped. What was presented I didn't have to wait two hours [for]. I feel disrespected." The entertainer could have delivered his message on Twitter and saved everyone's time, she said. For those in need of souvenirs, Prince T-shirts were available for $30, vinyl albums for $20, posters for $10 and tote bags for $40. The evening drew 877 people, according to Jason Carlson, Paisley Park's assistant manager.
LADIES WHO LUNCH
My brother friend Nathan Hale Williams Releases Debut Novel: Ladies Who Lunch & Love… and we are ALL TOO EXCITED! It’s about Four Fabulous NYC Women Share Their Tales of Triumphs, Tragedies and Love. Please see link to buy book BELOW. Ladies Who Lunch & Love, the dazzling debut novel from former Essence magazine columnist and NAACP Image Award nominee, Nathan Hale Williams, is the story of four fabulous New York society women navigating life and love while sharing their best friend. Not your typical snobs or real housewives, these ladies are down-to-earth, relatable women who know how to have a great time even when confronting life’s challenges. Over the course of a year, the narrator and the ladies go on a journey that forces them to examine their lives and choices, yet enjoying the glamorous side of NYC as the backdrop. Vikki is a twice-divorced magazine publisher contemplating a third trip down the aisle with her younger, multi-millionaire boyfriend. Krissy is a high-powered attorney with humble Harlem beginnings who has a penchant for downward spiraling men. Lauren, the nature loving trust-fund heiress, has to work for the first time because of her film producer husband’s drug addictions. And, Rebecca is the “house” wife of a business tycoon caught in an affair with a star ballet dancer. The other main character of the novel is New York City, which the narrator romanticizes as “the true love of his life.” “Ladies Who Lunch & Love combines the sultry urban drama of an E. Lynn Harris book with the romantic longings of a Candace Bushnell TV series in this exuberant debut novel" says Keith Boykin, New York Times bestselling author Ladies Who Lunch & Love is also a novelization of Nathan’s popular Essence magazine love and relationship advice column, “The Girl’s Best Friend.” It is heartwarming, complex, and full of relatable, but well-crafted characters who live extraordinary lives. Yet, every woman (and man) can identify with their stories and struggles. “Ladies Who Lunch & Love was a joy to write and I hope readers will enjoy these stories and life lessons embedded in a fun story,” says Mr. Williams.
BIO: Nathan Hale Williams is an award-winning filmmaker (Dirty Laundry & Love for Passion), producer, entertainment attorney and television personality. Nathan is the co-author of Inspiration: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World and contributing author of For Colored Boys…, which won the American Library Association’s Stonewall Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year. Nathan starred in Sundance Channel’s #1 rated original series, “Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys” as well as Showtime’s “American Candidate.” He recently moved to Los Angeles after living in Harlem, New York for fifteen years. ### Press Contact: Kiwan Michael Anderson, 323.614.5550 or KAnderson@a-plusevents.com