ONME partners across California to recognize Juneteenth & Black Music Month theme 'Black Excellence'

By ONME Newswire

Despite the racial unrest in this country, the ONME Network highlights Black excellence throughout California by celebrating Juneteenth and Black Music Month through weekly live online and television broadcasts.


Starting Saturday, June 19 - July 10th, all of California is invited to the Virtual 2021 California Juneteenth - Celebrating Black Excellence to enjoy this commemorative holiday through a month of free African and African-American cultural arts: rhythmic, musical jazz, and blues numbers; poetic prose; Black films and shorts; gallery arts and learning about local cultural arts and Black history from local museums throughout California.


Each week, the hourly broadcast will feature a professional video production of California's curated content in history, talent, music, and community. This Juneteenth, the ONME Network and friends, will showcase the theme Black Excellence throughout California by elevating Black voices throughout the state. Tune in for messages from spiritual leaders and government officials, learn about three African American museums, get edutained on the history of jazz and blues, and enjoy a compilation of Black talent from throughout CA.


Recognizing there is more power when local communities are involved, the ONME Network has partnered with local museums, talent, and schools to elevate Black Excellence in northern, central, and the southern parts of California. ONME podcasts producers hosts will mange different segments weekly: Ken McCoy of the Ken McCoy Entertainment Report (KMER); Joquoya Muprhy of News and Coffee; Julia Dudley Najieb of News Too Real and Jordan Murphy of The Event Podcast.


The hosts see this is an opportunity to witness how music, community, and history can elevate unity throughout California.


Several sponsors decided to support local territories where a portion of the proceeds will go directly to three California-based museums and talented artists throughout the regions. The production will also highlight Black students across California graduated or are graduating in the coming weeks.



About the Museum Partners

The African American Historical and Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley

Event co-host and partner The African-American Historical & Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley (AAHCMSJV) is a historical icon nestled in Fresno, CA, downtown's Art Mural District Fulton St. since 1993, reflecting the African-American community leaders and figures from throughout the San Joaquin Valley.


California Jazz and Blues Museum

Event partner the California Jazz and Blues Museum was started by Barbara Morrison, a Jazz and Blues Legend. As a Vocalist, she has been featured on two Grammy Award-nominated albums. For a third Grammy Award-nominated album, Barbara Morrison's Blue Lady Records served as Producer. A multi-hyphenate, Barbara Morrison is also the Founder of The Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center and the Founder and President of the California Jazz & Blues Museum, located in Leimert Park, CA. Morrison also serves as an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies in the Global/Ethnomusicology Department at UCLA in Westwood, CA.


Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum

Event partner, the Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum, was founded by Shonna McDaniels, a visual artist and community activist, envisioned an institution to preserve Black history and celebrate African American people's accomplishments and legacy. The museum is named for Sojourner Truth, who, although born a slave, worked tirelessly for abolition, women's rights, non-violence, and civil and economic advancement of oppressed people. The museum gives homage to Mrs. Sojourner by expanding the historical & biographical knowledge of her life's work and carrying on her mission by teaching, demonstrating, and promoting projects that accentuate the ideals and principles for which she stood.

About Juneteenth

Juneteenth and Black Music Month purposely go hand-in-hand historically, where mostly communities celebrate both through music and history.


Juneteenth is an American national holiday celebrating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans; it would be June 19, 1865, when the official enforced announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas, and more generally throughout the former Confederacy of the southern United States would be enforced by troops going territory to territory to make sure slaves were released from these plantations.


With thousands of people of all ethnicities expected to watch online, this live online broadcast is edited into weekly shows up to one hour representing a mixture of talent from southern, central, and northern parts of California.


The shows will also be available for later viewing on public access TV for patrons who missed the live online event or for attendees who want to relive the fun moments in their living rooms.


Below is the scheduled lineup for each week from June 19 through July 10.


Episode 1 - June 19

This week, the ONME Network kicks off Juneteenth with a special community-centric episode where locals from throughout California share what Juneteenth and Black Excellence means to them. Check out messages from California politicians, spiritual leaders, and Black businesses as we kick off Juneteeth and recognize Black graduates in between programming.


Episode 2 - June 26

Join us for the second episode of A Virtual 2021 California Juneteenth as we continue to celebrate Black excellence with a special highlight on the history of blues and jazz by Leonard L. Longmire. The AAHCMSJV presents the 2021 Jazz and Blues awardees for the recognition of two phenomenal jazz and blues musicians, Barbara Morrison and Lennice Bolton, Sr.


In addition to celebrating Black excellence in music, there will be special performances by musicians based in California, along with recognizing Black graduates in between programming.


Episode 3 - July 3

After a AAHCMSJV sponsored presentation of Central Valley Black Women Excellence in Politics, join KMER host, Ken McCoy as he interviews the African American Historical and Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley Aspiring Females Reaching Others in Politics (A.F.R.O.) awardees, Paula Massey and Kimberly Tapscott-Munson. These two women are highlighted for their striving excellence in Central Valley politics.


Following the presentation, stay tuned for brief presentations from our partnering museums in Los Angeles and Sacramento, as well as artists profiles of talented Black artists from throughout California.


Episode 4 - July 10

In the finale of A Virtual 2021 California Juneteenth, the ONME Network closes with a second concert finale of Black talented musicians, dancers, poets, rappers, and filmmakers. This episode is the culmination of Black entertainment represented throughout California.


You don't want to miss out on the variety of talents through California, here are two spotlights:

Dizzy Jenkins is an NYC-born, Oakland-based multi-genre singer/songwriter and Bomba drummer/composer. Her projects include 2 hip-hop albums and songwriting for a Bay Area heavy metal band, collaborations in the cumbia, indie, hip hop, bomba genres, drumming, and vocals with Bay Area bomba ensemble, Taller Bombalele. Her musical style is influenced by numerous forms of music, Afro-Nuyorican culture, and the various subcultures of the NYC creative scene.


Rose Sanchez has always had a passion for film. After studying video production for four years at a prestigious technical high school in New Jersey, Rose decided to move her talent to the west coast. A move to California for film school led to contacts in the real estate marketing world. Rose has been honored to work with top real estate brokerages, as well as leading real estate agents in the San Diego community. An expansion in business has also lead to an expansion in video marketing. Rose now works with businesses and growing entrepreneurs all over San Diego county. She is always excited to use her film/creative background to break standards in the commercial videography world.

About Black Music Month

On June 7, 1979, President Jimmy Carter decreed June to be Black Music Month.


Historically rooted in rich African traditions and the conflicted slave trade, black folk music provided the soil for jazz to grow. Other sounds began to join the chorus. From rhythm and blues to barbershop and swing, the artists responded to every era with a fresh wave of inspiration and visionary sound.


In honor of Black Music Month, the AAHCMSJV will highlight two jazz and blues legends:


Barbara Morrison seems equally at home in a broad range of idioms, from pop to R&B to the blues, but the blues is unquestionably her forte. Morrison has been compared to some of the greatest female jazz and blues singers. Her singing has been described as “soul-stirring, sizzling,” her style, “graceful,” her pacing, “flawless.” The New York Times stated, “A joy, at Carnegie Hall, Barbara Morrison delivered one song a la Esther Phillips and another with Ella Fitzgerald’s blithe scat singing.”


In addition to teaching at UCLA, Morrison is a teacher, founder, and director of her own school of music in Inglewood, California, teaching beginning to advanced music, jazz/blues interpretation, and history, acting, and concert performing techniques. She has also worked closely with the late Dr. Beverly Robinson of the UCLA Theater Department, on productions of “For Colored Girls” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”


The AAHCMSJV will also recognize the life and legacy of Lennice Lee Bolton, Sr. Lennice Sr.’ s love for music, which led him to be a performer of blues, jazz, country music and R&B. His travels led him and his musician friends to tours throughout the country; Bolton played for singer, Etta James, music band, Merging Traffic and few other well known upcoming bands. During the summers he played guitar at the UC Berkeley campus, participating in the summer jam sessions.


In the Central Valley, Bolton played with local blues legend and 2019 AAHCMSJV Awardee Bobby Brown, and 2014 & 2018 AAHCMSJV Awardee (posthumously) Curtis "Papa Bear" Hatcher.


A performer at heart, throughout the 70's Bolton also performed throughout California, playing guitar, keyboard and singing in the underground circuit, entertaining crowds in bars, personal parties, and special occasions.


Bolton played for the various Juneteenth celebrations in Fresno, CA, from the 1980s' to the 2000.


Lennice Bolton, Sr. was born in Martinez, CA and was raised in Richmond, CA, attending John F. Kennedy High School. He first learned classical piano from his aunt, who was also his legal guardian at the time. To start out, he did not have a keyboard to practice from his lessons, so, his aunt cut out a piece of cardboard and drew on the piano keys. He then taught himself guitar from notes of the piano keyboard. In Richmond, CA Bolton also took music theory classes at Contra Costa College and excelled.


Bolton lived out 20 years thereafter in Fresno, C as an established musician, then moving to Bossier City, LA in 2016, where he passed away, June 29, 2020.


He was loved by many and dug deeply into this life and shared his experiences. He taught by example. He saw life in a unique, musical way. He was fun-loving and loved making the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Honoring Central Valley Black women in politics making a difference

The AAHCMSJV will present a historical narrative of the current Central Valley Black Women Excellence in Politics. Then KMER host, Ken McCoy will interview the African American Historical and Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley Aspiring Females Reaching Others in Politics (A.F.R.O.) awardees, Paula Massey and Kimberly Tapscott-Munson. These two women are highlighted for their striving excellence in Central Valley politics.

While studying for a Bachelor's in Liberal Arts, obtained from Fresno Pacific University, it became apparent to Kimberly Tapscott-Munson that through education we can uplift the community. While working at Fresno Unified School District for 20 years, Munson had the opportunity to support and encourage students and their parents. Munson would like to implement mentoring and job training programs for our youth. It is important to invest in our children, for they are our future.


Kimberly grew up in the Bay Area, and in Fresno, California during the summers and holiday vacations. Although Kimberly was an only child for a while, she was never lonely with the company and love that she received from her large number of cousins and family members in Fresno. She attended Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School in Berkeley, California where she cultivated her love and desire to help others. Kimberly has lived in Richmond, Oakland, and San Jose, California. She attended Los Paseos Elementary School, where she was a Girl Scout, for seven years. During this time, Kimberly was also raised under the loving touch of Betty Kennedy-Tapscott, her second Mother. Kimberly attended Britton Middle School and Live Oak High School, all located in Morgan Hill, California. Kimberly studied the Art of Ballet for 10 years and mastered dance en pointe. In 1982 Kimberly graduated from Skyline High School, located in the hills of Oakland, California. Kimberly, an expert skier, enjoys skiing at her favorite slopes of Heavenly, Bear Valley, and Squaw Valley in Olympic Valley, California. Kimberly also modeled professionally for a private designer, while she resided in the Bay Area.


Paula Massey is a Trustee on the Hanford Joint Union High School Board Area 2. She is also the CEO and co-founder of Women with Visions Unlimited, Inc., whose goal is to reach as many children as possible through their literacy program. The program provides books and diagnostic testing to determine the accurate level of learning in Math and Reading/Language Arts to children. Over the past 14 years, the organization has conducted real-life youth conferences, genius school, and Saturday art classes.


Massey is the former president of Hanford Branch 1039 NAACP, former president of the Kings County Black History Committee, and former owner and operator of Paula’s Elementary Academy. Massey was instrumental in starting the Lily of the Valley Christian Learning Center teaching students from pre-K to 12th grade. Massey is a Tutor and the business owner of "Black Canvas Designs" Jewelry Designer.


She received an Associate of Science Degree in Child Development, a Bachelor’s Degree, a Master’s Degree, and an Honorary Doctorate from Mt. Carmel Theological Seminary, Fresno, CA. Massey was awarded the Congressional Record by Congressman TJ Cox of the 21st Congressional District, CA for the work that she does in the community. In August 2019, Massey was presented with the City of Hanford Proclamation for Valley Fever Awareness Month.


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