Student Essay Contest On Palmer Haydmen for $$$$

palmer_hayden_painting_-_nara_-_559179The Museum of African American Art and Time Warner Cable are hosting a contest for Middle School, High School, and College students asking for a 500 word essay on the prolific African American painter Palmer Hayden who’s work often depicted African American life as it was at the time.  Hayden’s actual name was Peyton Hedgemen and was one  of the first African American painters to use African subjects and designs in his designs and paintings.  He painted in both oils and watercolors, and was a fruitful artist of his era.

Palmer Hayden 

The information below outlines the official rules and regulations governing the 2015 MAAA Student Essay Competition. Please read this entire document carefully.



Your essay should focus on the importance of Palmer Hayden as an artist and the importance to the community of having his collection at the Museum of African American Art.

Palmer C. Hayden was born in Widewater, Virginia, on January 15, 1890, and died on February 18, 1973, at the age of eighty-three. He gained recognition in 1926 when he won the first prize and a gold medal in painting at the first Harmon Foundation exhibition of black artists. An unpretentious yet perceptive observer, he attempted to convey in his paintings the experiences of black men in the United States, while at the same time uncovering the relationships among the events in his own life. After searching the country for an appropriate repository for her husband’s work, the late Miriam Hayden elected to bequeath forty paintings to the permanent collection of The Museum of African American Art. Mrs. Hayden selected MAAA with the understanding that the museum fulfill her wishes to preserve the collection and promote a wider appreciation of Palmer Hayden.

(The above text was excerpted and adapted from printed materials developed under guest curator Allan M. Gordon, PhD, for the 1988 exhibit

Echoes of Our Past: The Narrative Artistry of Palmer C. Hayden at The Museum of African American Art.)


To be eligible to participate in this contest, entrants must be enrolled in Middle School, High School, or College and must attend the Black History Month Celebration:


Entries can be submitted from February 23, 2015 to 11:59 pm on March 9, 2015.  Judging will take place from March 10, 2015 to March 13, 2015.  Winners will be announced on March 20, 2015.


(Submission of an essay does not guarantee an award.)

$200 FIRST PLACE for a Middle School Student

$200 FIRST PLACE for a High School Student

$200 FIRST PLACE for a College Student


To enter the contest you must agree to these Official Rules. Therefore please read the following rules prior to entry to ensure you understand and agree. You agree that submission of an entry in the contest constitutes agreement to these rules. You may not submit an entry to the contest and are not eligible to receive the prizes described in the official rules unless you agree to the official rules. These official rules form a binding legal agreement between you and the contest sponsors with respect to the contest.


Ø Essay can be no longer than 500 words. Student contact information and references are not included

in the total word count.

Ø Typed using double line spacing

Ø 12 point font size

Ø 1 inch margins (top, bottom, left and right)

Ø Page numbered (lower right)

Ø Essays containing plagiarized text will automatically be disqualified.


Ø Submitted essays must meet all competition requirements in order to be considered for any award.

Ø All Essays must be submitted as an email attachment to

on or before 11:59 pm on Monday, March 9, 2015.

Ø Essays must be submitted in Microsoft Word or Word Perfect readable format.

Ø A completed Student Information Cover Sheet must be submitted with the essay.

Ø The Cover Sheet should include: (1) student’s first and last name, (2) mailing address,

(3) phone number, (4) email address, and (5) the name of your school.


Winners will be notified by email. Winners must show picture identification to claim their prize.

By participating in the contest, each participant and winner waives any and all claims of liability against MAAA, and their employees and agents, for any personal injury or loss that may occur from the conduct of, or participating in the contest, or from the use of any prize.

By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation, of his or her name and/or likeness and/or voice/photograph and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium, (including without limitation, radio broadcasts; newspapers and other publications; television or film releases; slides; videotape; distribution over the internet; and picture data storage) MAAA may deem appropriate.


Elizabeth “Betty”

Black College Expo Back In Town!

bce_la600wThe 16th Annual Black College Expo is Back in LA this Saturday! January 31, 2015 9am-5pm.  This year’s expo is hosted by Kel Mitchell (Kean & Kel) and is complete with on-site acceptance (I was accepted to Hampton University on the spot back in 2004, just have all your documents necessary, be prepared, and wait in line, IT WAS WORTH! Shout Out To Hampton U Pirates!), seminars, artist and celebrity performances,   aftershow, and a stepshow.  I recommend this to all High School students, just so you can be prepared and knowledgeable of your options prior to becoming a senior.  Students of 11th andcashforcollege2015 (1) 12th grade also have a chance to win scholarships. Tickets are going for a mere $10.00 per person at the door, $8.00 per person online, and a discounted rate for groups of 15 or more.  So get there early and make one of the best decisions of your life, I did, I LOVE MY HIU!

16th Annual Black College Expo

Dr. George J. McKenna III Will Host His 1st Education Towne Hall


LAUSD District 1 Board Member, Dr. George J. McKenna III is hosting his first education town hall meeting this Saturday.  The key to the success of meeting the challenge we face as a school district is the active involvement of our parents, schools and community. Our interactive town halls are an opportunity for the entire school community to engage in a critical dialogue about the future of K-12 education. I’m looking forward to outlining my priorities, listening to the community, and empowering our parents and students with the knowledge of some of the resources the District and my office provide.

The town halls will be held at the following locations and times:

Saturday, January 31, 2015, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Audubon Middle School Auditorium
4120 11th Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90008

Thursday, February 19, 2015, 6 – 7:30 pm
Palms Middle School Auditorium
10860 Woodbine St., Los Angeles, CA 90034

Saturday, February 21, 2015, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Middle College High School on the campus of LA Southwest College
1600 Imperial Hwy., Bldg. 16, Los Angeles, CA 90047

Thursday, March 5, 2015, 6 – 7:30 pm
John Burroughs Middle School Auditorium
600 S. McCadden Pl., Los Angeles, CA 90005

McKenna’s Website

Education Towne Hall Flyer

Future Mayors, Assemblymen/women, And Senators

download (2)

Get your youth involved early in public policy to become tomorrows Mayors, Assemblymen/women, and Senators.  Students entering the 10th and 11th Grades are invited to join the 2015-2017 Youth Policy Council for students, committed to promoting civic engagement and raising awareness on policies that affect youth in Los Angeles. The students’ area will be determined by the school they attend, rather than the area they live, so if you know of a qualified teen going to school in South LA, please pass this amazing opportunity along. The paper application and Parental Consent form are attached. Fill them out, scan, and email them before February 16, 2015. The Mayor’s South LA Representative Tonna Onyendu —

REMINDER:  Youth are always welcome at our Neighborhood Council meetings, too! At 16, they are eligible to vote for Board Members

Round Up: 23rd Annual Empowerment Congress Summit

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Educate, Engage, Empower; I can truly say I feel all three after attending the 23rd Annual Empowerment Congress Summit.  I feel further educated about issued that have not only plagued black community but every minority in the country.  I feel engaged to learn more and empowered to share this knowledge with my peers.  The opening session began with an awesome poetic group called “Get Lit” who truly set the tone of the summit, I recommend everyone stop by this groups website and support by any means possible.  The opening session was also filled with powerful speeches lead by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, as well as Dr. Cornell West.  There were a series of workshops to attend to empower the community from  “Going Green without Green” to “Defining and Developing a Community Plan for Diversion.

While listening to Dr. West speak there were several things that stuck with me, one of which was “Too many black people love everybody but black people, I love everybody but I must start with my mother and father.”  This was an extremely powerful statement because I believe so many African American are so quick to uplift the American race while diminishing the value of the African American race because ideas portrayed to them through media, small encounters, and mere self hatred.  This goes hand-in-hand with something else Dr. West said, “Too many of us have been Niggerized, made to believe we’re less beautiful, less intellectual….”  I believe this is so true for to many times I hear my fellow brothers and sisters putting themselves down and not recognizing their own self worth.  These statements truly stuck with me because I feel they are the basis of self destruction within our own culture.  But that a whole another topic, check out the pictures and get ready for next years summit, I expect to see you there!

Get Lit – Poetic expression to at risk teen

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Dr. West Speak to Press during 23rd ECS

Empowerment Congress Draws Crowds

Press Release from the Office of Mark Ridley-Thomas regarding the Empowerment Congress Summit

Empowerment Congress Draws Crowds

More than 1,500 people – from ordinary citizens to elected officials, academic, religious and business leaders – gathered at USC’s Bovard Auditorium on Saturday to take part in the 23rd annual Empowerment Congress.

With the theme, 50 Years Later: Chaos or Community, the summit shone a spotlight on pivotal civil rights events in 1965 and their continuing relevance today.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas stressed it was ordinary citizens doing extraordinary deeds who won passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“They made it happen for us,” Ridley-Thomas said of the men and women who risked their lives to march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from Selma to Montgomery to demand the right to vote. “When we use our rights to advance community interests and increase civic engagement, we can secure victories such as a new train station at Leimert Park, the rebirth of a new MLK Medical Center campus, civilian oversight of the Sheriff’s Department and much more. If we stay on course, we can do tremendous things.”

The prominent author and academic, Cornel West, served as keynote speaker at the plenary session.

“Oh how beautiful it is to have all of us together,” he told the crowd. “It’s so rare in America for us to have a coming together, across race, across culture, even across class, trying to keep track of our fundamental humanity.”

Supervisor Hilda Solis, who also attended the plenary session, said, “Dr. King’s legacy should serve as a reminder to our communities that empowerment is still the first step on the march to justice.”

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell talked about ways the community can work together with law enforcement to prevent crime. He said there should be less focus on suppression, and more on addressing the underlying causes of crime.

The plenary session also included a spoken word performance by the award-winning young poets of Get Lit, a nationally recognized organization created to reach at-risk teens.

After the plenary session, participants attended forums on such issues as jail diversion programs, the fight against child sex trafficking, and the push for a living wage.

Get Lit’s Belissa Escobedo, 16, found the experience inspiring. “I think a lot of times, for a lot of youth, it’s difficult to be part of your community and be socially aware of what’s going on,” she said. “For me, being here was very empowering.”

The Empowerment Congress was born in the aftermath of the civil unrest in Los Angeles in 1992. Ridley-Thomas, then a Los Angeles City Councilman, wanted to create a model of civic engagement based on the principles of participatory democracy, reciprocal accountability and intentional civility. Now in its 23rd year, the Empowerment Congress is considered a forerunner to the neighborhood council movement nationwide.

23rd Annual Empowerment Congress Summit Press Release


The 23rd Annual Empowerment Congress Summit

The 23rd annual Empowerment Congress Summit will take place Saturday, January 17, at the University of Southern California. The summit, which begins at 9 a.m., will celebrate the 50th anniversary of key events in the civil rights movement including the Selma to Montgomery Marches and the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

 Professor Cornel West, the prominent author and academic, will serve as keynote speaker at the summit’s plenary session at Bovard Auditorium. Special guests include Los Angeles County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis and Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell. The critically acclaimed spoken word performers, Get Lit, will also participate. Both West and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who founded the Empowerment Congress, will hold a media availability immediately.

Workshops led by distinguished experts will begin at 11 a.m. on topics ranging from sex trafficking, child welfare, violence as a public health issue and others. A resource fair will be held in the afternoon, with more than 30 booths providing information about county and community services.

The Empowerment Congress was born in the aftermath of the Los Angeles civil unrest of 1992. Then City Councilman Ridley-Thomas founded the Empowerment Congress to serve as a model of civic engagement based on the principles of participatory democracy, reciprocal accountability and intentional civility. Now widely regarded as the forerunner to the neighborhood council movement, its motto is to Educate, Engage, Empower.

The Empowerment Congress Summit is a free event, but attendees are required to register:

South Los Angeles’s A C Bilbrew Library Getting $4.4-Million Makeover


A C Bilbrew Library of South Los Angeles is about to undergo $4.4-million transformation, slated to begin April of this year.  Located at  150 East El Segundo Blvd, the 21,000-square foot facility will receive a drastic renovation/well needed improvements.  I must stop and commend Chair of the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, this man does not take a break.  Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has made amazing strides for our community and should be praised and applauded for all his accomplishments.  Lead by the Chair, The county Board of Supervisors approved $4.4-million plan to refurbish and update much of the interior and exterior of the library using environmentally friendly materials and sustainable design techniques. Workers will use recycled materials, incorporate energy-efficient lighting, cooling and heating systems and other consumption-reducing measures. They will also install new walls and custom cabinetry, replace the carpet and ceiling, and update the data systems and public restrooms.

The library was named after Madame A C Bilbrew, a community leader, poet, musician and deputy to the late Los Angelesdownload County Supervisor James Hahn. She was also a radio pioneer, becoming the first black person in the country to have her own radio show.  A C Bilbrew Library houses the Black Resource Center, which supports research and study on social, historical, musical and cultural aspects unique to the black experience. It has hosted the Los Angeles County Public Library system’s African American History Month Celebration since 1980.

A C Bilbrew Library to Receive Huge Renovation

A C Bilbrew Project Approved

Grand Reopening of the Museum of African American Art


The newly renovated Museum of African American Art will reopen on Sunday, June 1st, with an exciting new exhibit by Buena Johnson!  Enjoy live music, poetry, and light refreshments at our grand reopening!  Artist BUENA JOHNSON is widely recognized for her legendary jazz, blues, and gospel fine art as well as her many commissioned portraits.  The Museum of African American Art is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization located on the 3rd floor in the Macy Building of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.


2:00 – 5:00 pm