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‘DAD Speak’ Docu-short Gives Fathers A Chance to be Heard! – VIDEO



Sandra Evers Manly and LaRita Shelby BHERC 2019

DAD Speak features Ruffin Patterson, Dr. Loren M. Hill, writer/director LaRita Shelby, Mark Winkler and Reggie Simon (Editor). Dad Speak is Executive Produced by Sandra Evers-Manly for Films With A Purpose Photo: Keith Crosby 2019

*An array of films were presented at the recent S. E. Manly short film festival and African American film marketplace in Los Angeles, and among them was DAD Speak, a docu-short written/produced & directed by EURweb’s very own LaRita Shelby and Executive Produced by Sandra Evers-Manly for Films With A Purpose (FWAP).

DAD Speak was met with rave reviews from men who were relieved to finally see their stories told on the screen.  Women were also moved by the raw honestly of men who had at one time been separated from their children.

The film was inspired by LaRita Shelby’s own story of growing up without her father. She breaks the veil and shows that on the other side of an accomplished superwoman, was a girl who longed for her dad.  The men in the film are athletic director Ruffin Patterson, comedian Evan Lionel and Mark Winkler, author of My Daughter’s Keeper.

These guys hold nothing back.  They tell it all! Family court, strained relations with exes, the low points of missing their children and the battle to keep on their game face. Experts in the film are Rev. Jerrold Smith, a certified Life Coach and Dr. Loren M. Hill, a clinical psychologist.  See trailer here:

A serious buzz is brewing about this compelling docu-short. DAD Speak was also produced as a precursor to the feature film On My Father’s Side, which is based on the book of the same name by LaRita Shelby.   The screenplay is currently being shopped.

Sandra Evers-Manly, Executive Producer & Founder of Films With A Purpose congratulates LaRita Shelby Writer/Producer of DAD Speak a new docu-short. Photo: Keith Crosby

Sandra Evers-Manly reiterated the purpose of FWAP was to create films that bring about change and create dialogue.   In a short time, the film has done just that.  Shelby ended up turning down men who wanted a chance to tell their side of the story in DAD Speak, and she’s being flooded with calls about what’s next.

LaRita Shelby noted her commitment to honoring her late father Calvin Thomas Shelby, and in so doing she vows to give other fathers a chance to speak and be heard.  As she found out in her own life, all absent fathers are not created equal.  “There are many good men who want to be good fathers but are bound by circumstances.”

Gail Gibson, President of the Multi-cultural Motion Picture Association attends DAD Speak premiere and post book signing with LaRita Shelby Photo: Keith Crosby 2019

Gail Gibson, President of the Multi-cultural International Motion Picture Association was among the attendees at the premiere of DAD Speak and she made a surprise announcement that LaRita Shelby will be among the honorees at the 2020 Lady In Red Awards.

DAD Speak had a profound impact on both the men and women in the audience and plans are underway for it to hit the festival circuit.  For updates on DAD Speak or to join the conversation go to: To inquire about hosting the film email: [email protected]

DAD Speak features the score by Steven A. Taylor, with additional music by LaRita Shelby, Willie Daniels and Michael Wells for Wishing Well Productions.  Associate Producer is Eddie White. Editor is Reggie Simon for Simon Vision Media.

Films With A Purpose presents DAD Speak a docu-short by LaRita Shelby featuring Ruffin Patterson, Mark Winkler and Evan Lionel.

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The Virtual United Negro College Fund Tour Heads to NY, DC & NJ on Fri & Sat-Nov. 20 & 21 (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)




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*African American students interested in going to college can attend the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Fall 2020 virtual Empower Me Tour. Set for this Friday and Saturday (November 20 & 21, 2020), New York, District of Columbia, and New Jersey will be repped. (This year’s tour kicked off earlier this month in Wisconsin and Illinois). To register, go here.

The Empower Me Tour is an extension of the goals of the UNCF. Founded in 1944, the UNCF, a non-profit, has raised more than $5 billion and helped more than 500,000 students attend 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The EUR caught up with Stacey Lee, the tour’s director for four years, who discussed the importance of the event.

“The UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of education support to minority students,” said Lee. “The Empowerment Tour has been executed for the past 12 years and last year along we offered over $12 million dollars in scholarships.”

MORE NEWS/RELATED: BMEE Authors: Urgent Steps Are Necessary to Address Implicit Bias in Early Education  

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Stacey Lee, director of the Empower Me Tour. (Photo credit: UNCF)

Lee continued, “I think the great thing is that during these times, even with COVID-19, is that a number of corporations (Wells Fargo/P&/FedEx/Disney/Goldman Sachs) and donors have really been providing opportunity and financial access to our schools and students.”

The tour is packed with information and resources so that students and parents have the right tools to make informed decisions.

“It’s a free event that provides educational support, scholarships, interviews with colleges, empowerment, and information on how to get to and through college. We also provide this information for parents as well. We have a parent section that focuses on financial aid and the things you need to get your students to college.”

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Source: Empower Me Tour

Lee continued, “Sometimes we have students that don’t realize that they can attend college. They can receive scholarships. Some of them don’t even know what an HBCU is. So, it’s inspirational for me to see these students receive this information and the excitement that’s around this tour.”

In addition to college information, panel sessions on issues affecting the community will also take place. Legendary rapper Bun B will be part of a special My Black Is Beautiful panel. The panel will have discussions with girls and boys and the MC will lead the male portion.

“It’s about empowerment,” Bun B told the EUR. “It’s vital for us to lift each other up and amplify each other’s voices. We just talk about now what that role is in this COVID world. And with everything that we are seeing with young Black men on television, we want to keep them motivated and centered. We want to make sure that they are not discouraged in this moment.”

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Legendary rapper Bun B is a panelist at the Empower Me Tour. (Photo credit: UNCF)

Ever since Kamala Harris threw her hat into the presidential race and elected vice president of the United States, a spotlight has shined on the fact that she’s an HBCU grad (Howard University) and member of the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. These facts are not lost on the UNCF.

“Kamala has really boosted people’s awareness about HBCUs and (African American sororities) and the type of people that come out of HBCUs. HBCUS have also provided so many people from science, mathematics, and engineering programs (STEM).”

Bun B added, “We have more than enough examples to show you how beneficial an education from an HBCU can be. So, there is no reason to not be a part of an HBCU because the world is just as available to you as it is for anyone else attending any other type of university.”

Register for the virtual Empower Me Tour on November 20 & 21, 2020 here. Spring tour dates will be announced soon. For general information on the United Negro College Fund, go here.

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(Photo credit: UNCF)

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New Music Buzz: Jazzy Rita Shelby’s ‘Goodbye 2020’



Goodbye 2020 Jazzy Rita Shelby
Goodbye 2020 Jazzy Rita Shelby

After all that’s happened this year, it’s time to say Goodbye 2020. New single available by Jazzy Rita Shelby at most digital platforms.

*SB Music presents “Goodbye 2020” a new single for the times we are in.

“Goodbye 2020” is performed by Jazzy Rita Shelby and written by Miss Shelby (ASCAP) and Eddie Lawrence Miller (BMI).

It’s the perfect anthem to end a year that has impacted the globe.

Jazzy Rita Shelby Goodbye 2020 looking up - Copy

Jazzy Rita Shelby is fed up with this year and elated about her new single “Goodbye 2020.” Avail now from SB Music (Written by L. Shelby & E. Miller)

EURweb’s Jazzy Rita is also a prolific lyricist who has teamed up with Eddie Miller for “Goodbye 2020” because it was timely and convenient for the birth of a song such as this.

Eddie Miller is a coveted keyboardist & vocalist who performs regularly with Brian Culbertson and he’s the Rhodes Festival musical director. Jazzy Rita rose to notoriety as host & performer at The Starlight Jazz Serenade, an annual benefit concert in North Hollywood with an A list of stars.  As a teen Miss Shelby was inspired to write songs by the legendary David Porter.

This year has been a year like no other.  “Goodbye 2020” is an ode to the world for the year that we have seen and the hope that lies ahead.  Radio Programmers click here for adds.

MORE NEWS: THE REAL: The Ladies’ Experience With Stereotypes in Hollywood. Plus, Cheryl Hines Is Here!

“Goodbye 2020” is released on the SB Music label and was recorded at Wishing Wells Studio in Canoga Park, CA.  Willie Daniels and Mildred Black perform background vocals along with Jazzy Rita.  The video is produced & directed by Jazzy Rita (LaRita Shelby), filmed & edited by Reggie Simon of Simon Vision Media, with wardrobe styling by Jazzy Rita and Poet Roni Girl’s Army Couture.  “Goodbye 2020” is available on most digital platforms.  Click here to listen on Spotify.


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Celebrate Halloween with ‘Spell’ Starring Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine and John Beasley / WATCH




Spell - poster

*Today/TONIGHT is Halloween and what could be a more perfect way to celebrate than with the release of SPELL? Enjoy the clips below to get you in the spooky spirit!

Omari Hardwick (“Power,” Sorry to Bother You), Loretta Devine (“Black-ish,” Crash) and John Beasley (The Sum of All FearsThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) star in the terrifying thriller SPELL, coming to Premium Video-On-Demand and Digital today October 30 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

While flying to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia, an intense storm causes Marquis (Omari Hardwick) to lose control of the plane carrying him and his family.  He awakens wounded, alone and trapped in Ms. Eloise’s (Loretta Devine) attic, who claims she can nurse him back to health with the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin. Unable to call for help, Marquis desperately tries to outwit and break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.

WHOA! READ THIS: Disabled Siblings Found Living with Dead Body of Mother Decomposing Under Pile of Clothes

DIRECTED BY | Mark Tonderai


STARRING | Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine, John Beasley

AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS | Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, DirecTV, VUDU, Xfinity, FandangoNOW and more.

Rating | R – violence, disturbing/bloody images, and language







Paige Theall


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