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Gail Mitchell, Stevie Wonder’s KJLH and Dick Griffey Honored by Black Business Association

It’s a “Virtual Salute to Black Music” with Howard Hewitt, Klymaxx & The Whispers Thursday, June 25, 2020 @7PM on Facebook Live



BBA 2020 Black Music Salute gail kjlh dick

BBA 2020 Black Music Salute gail kjlh dick howard whispers

*Los Angeles, CA — The Black Business Association (BBA), the oldest ethnic business organization in the State of California, will host its Annual “Virtual Salute to Black Music Awards” on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 7 PM on Facebook Live. The event is held in recognition of Black  Music Appreciation Month.

Special confirmed honorees are: Gail Mitchell, Executive Director for Billboard R&B & Hip Hop receiving the Outstanding Excellence in Journalism Award, KJLH Radio Station, Owner Stevie Wonder, will receive the Historical Black-Owned Radio Station of Excellence Award and Dick Griffey, Founder, Solar Records, (Posthumously) receiving the Lifetime Legacy Award.

Special Guest Performances by Howard Hewett and Klymaxx, along with Guest Appearances by The Whispers, LA Reid, Leon Sylvers III, Reggie & Vincent Calloways, original members of Midnight Starr, Carrie Lucas-Griffey, Carolyn Griffey, Senator Holly J. Mitchell, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Virgil Roberts Esq, Dina Andrews, and Council Members Herb J. Wesson, Jr. and Curren D. Price, Jr. The show will be M.C. by Andre Ray, Former Lead Singer, LTD (Replacing Jeffrey Osborne), and Staff Writer Solar Records.

In keeping with the Event Theme, “The Business behind the Music,” the (BBA) recognizes the honorees for their contributions in the advancement of African-Americans in the music Industry. Now, more than ever the (BBA) recognizes that in light of the current Black Lives Matter Movement; there is an even greater imperative, to acknowledge those that help to propel Black Lives into success. Among past Honorees are Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, Siedah Garrett, Janet Jackson, Clarence Avant, Valerie Ervin, and Jheryl Busby.

SIGN UP HERE! [Limited Space Available]

About the (BBA)

Celebrating 50 Years of service, the Black Business Association (BBA), was founded in 1970.  Headquartered in Los Angeles, the oldest active ethnic business organization in the State of California, has been committed to ensuring that African Americans and other diverse business owners benefit from (BBA) advocacy, efforts to impact, improve, and implement policy, that improves access to contracting and procurement opportunities with the public and private sector, in addition to providing access to financial resources. The (BBA) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.

About Gail Mitchell

Gail Mitchell – Executive Director of R&B and Hip Hop for Billboard Magazine and  During her 21 years at Billboard, Ms. Mitchell has interviewed or written about legends like Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, John Legend, Chuck D and JayZ.  She has moderated panels for industry organizations such as ASCAP and BMI Publishing, The Recording Academy, and The Grammy Museum.  She has represented Billboard Magazine in stories and broadcast interviews for various media outlets including CNN, NBC’s Today Show, CBS This Morning, ABC – E TV, TV Guide, BET, BBC – well, let’s just say if it’s about music, Gail Mitchell is the one they call. Mitchell is a  graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

About KJLH Radio Station

Kindness, Joy, Love, and Happiness; 102.3 KJLH, has enjoyed that moniker of their call letters for decades.  The oldest Black owned Radio Station on the West Coast, KJLH, was first owned by African American Businessman John Lamar Hill in 1965, a former member of the Black Business Association, and owner of Angelus Funeral Home in Los Angeles. In 1979, Stevie Wonder’s Taxi Productions purchased KJLH from Hill, and it became a great competitor to other stations in the market.  Now called “Radio Free, KJLH”, the station is still the home of Kindness, Joy, Love and Happiness with an Urban Contemporary format and expanded programming to include R&B, Hip-Hop, a little smooth jazz and gospel. KJLH links the diverse populations of Los Angeles not only through music; their programming includes the famous Townhall broadcasts, The Front Page with Dominique DiPrima, and the syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Show.   Their Sunday lineup is a Gospel Experience with broadcasts of sermons from local churches, followed by Aundrae Russell’s “Spread The Word.”

About Richard “Dick” Griffey

Richard Gilbert Griffey was born on November 16, 1938 in the housing projects of Nashville, Tennessee. After moving to Los Angeles in the 1960’s, Griffey worked as a talent coordinator on Soul Train, the musical-variety show created by Don Cornelius, and together they established Soul Train Records in 1975. Griffey formed his own label, SOLAR RECORDS, an acronym for Sound of Los Angeles Records, in 1977. Leon Sylvers, from the Sylvers Family band of the 70’s, was hand-picked by Griffey to be the Solar House producer.  Solar artists included Shalamar – who released the hits “The Second Time Around” and “This is For The Lover In You”, and The Whispers with Chart Toppers, “Lady”, “Rock Steady” and the classic, “And The Beat Goes On”.  And who doesn’t remember going on a fantastic voyage with Lakeside.  Other Solar acts include The Deele, Dynasty, Klymaxx, and Midnight Starr. Legendary singer, writer, producer and businessman, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, who had been frustrated in his role as a background singer with The Deele, credits Griffey with encouraging him to step out on his own to pursue a solo career. He and former Deele member, Antonio “L A “ Reid started LaFace Records which produced a string of Grammy-winning megahits. In the early 1990’s, Griffey had a hand in launching the rap label Death Row Records, which was co-founded by Dr. Dre and one-time bodyguard Suge Knight.  It was Griffey’s Solar Studios in which portions of Dr. Dre’s album, The Chronic was recorded. Dick Griffey travelled to Africa extensively, and developed a beautiful love and affinity for the Motherland.  He created a Solar headquarters in Nigeria to distribute music throughout the continent, and to produce live performances. On September 24, 2010, Mr. Griffey made his transition at the age of 71.  Wherever he would go, he left a heart print.

For more information to participate as a Sponsor for the Black Music Month event, call the Sabra Waddy, (BBA) Virtual Event Producer, at (818) 605.7405 or email: [email protected].




Edna Sims, ESP Public Relations
[email protected]

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Mary J. Blige, Kenya Barris and More to Appear At 2020 ABFF Online Edition



ABFF 2020a


Ten Day Virtual Fest Available to Global Audience August 21-30
Features Mix of Live and On Demand Content

ABFF 2020

*The first virtual edition of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), now in its 24th year, will feature a robust slate of speakers including Stacey Abrams, Kenya Barris, Mary J. Blige, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Barry Jenkins, Gabrielle Union and Lena Waithe, as well as panels ranging from the business of Hollywood to spotlights on new films and television series. The festival will offer a mix of live and on-demand content from August 21st to 30th at

Opening night will feature the HBO Short Film Competition, a platform which has been responsible for showcasing the early work of such industry notables as Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Ben Watkins (Hand of God) and Stephen Caple Jr. (Creed II) followed by a virtual version of ABFF’s legendary “White Party.” It will close with “The Best of American Black Film Festival Awards” Ceremony, hosted by Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker and simulcast on, followed by a post-awards celebration. Presenters include: Lee Daniels (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Laz Alonso (The Boys), Bevy Smith (BEVELATIONS) Logan Browning (Dear White People) and Spike Lee (Da 5 Bloods).

Jemele Hill will host a Cadillac sponsored one-on-one conversation with Blige, who is this year’s festival ambassador. In addition to “Conversations With” Blige and Abrams, Angela Rye will moderate a discussion with Barris. Evening programming will also include “Comics on Comedy” hosted by Yvonne Orji (Insecure) featuring Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), a screening of Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn, presented by HBO, a first look at the highly anticipated Universal Pictures film, Candyman with director/co-writer Nia DaCosta, and a panel on the new animated series Woke from Sony Pictures Entertainment. Additional highlights include a conversation with directors Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Old Guard), Christine Swanson (The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel) and Jacqueline Olive (Always in Season). Amazon Studios presents a Hot at Amazon panel featuring Barry Jenkins, Lena Waithe and Tracy Oliver; a Garrett Bradley Time conversation as well as a discussion with Stacy Abrams. STARZ presents Power Book II: Ghost panel with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Michael Rainey Jr., Naturi Naughton, Mary J. Blige and Cliff “Method Man” Smith. Netflix brings a discussion with The 40-Year-Old Version writer/director Radha Blank.

There will be opportunities to meet the filmmakers from the competitive categories, panel discussions on “The Hollywood Executive Experience Through The Black Lens,“ ”Navigating the Network and Studio Process,” and ”Black Female Perspectives on Directing and Storytelling” among others. The 90 films featured during the program will be available on-demand for the duration of the festival. The schedule is available here.

“We are gratified by the outpouring of industry support for this year’s ABFF, creating an opportunity for us to reach a global audience with a broad range of compelling content both live and on-demand,” said Jeff Friday, founder and CEO ABFF Ventures. “Although we plan to be back in Miami for 2021, this year’s virtual festival enables us to engage with an audience that might never be able to attend a destination event. Thanks to our sponsors and everyone who participated, we are able to deliver provocative conversation and compelling entertainment when our community most needs it.”

Sponsors to date include WarnerMedia, HBO® (Founding), Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (Presenting Sponsors); Comcast NBCUniversal, Amazon Studios (Premier Sponsors); Cadillac, Sony Pictures Entertainment, IMDb, Netflix, Motion Picture Association (MPA), Jeff Friday Media, Prudential Financial, Starz, a Lionsgate company UMC, Verizon Media (Official Sponsors); AspireTV, Facebook, Morgan Stanley, and Universal Production Music (Supporting Sponsors);, Film Independent, and Variety (Marketing Partners).

For more information on ABFF and up-to-date news, go to and follow @ABFF on Twitter and @AmericanBlackFilmFestival on Instagram and Facebook. Join in on the conversation by using #ABFF20 and #ABFF.





ABFF (American Black Film Festival)
[email protected]

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Winners Announced for the AAFCA TV Honors presented by the African American Film Critics Association



Kenya Barris
kenya barris - besties-lead-01

Kenya Barris

* The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) today announced the virtual edition of its 2nd Annual AAFCA TV Honors.

Launched last year with tremendous success, AAFCA was at the forefront of honoring Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us,” including recognizing breakout star Jharrel Jerome’s performance.

This year AAFCA is pleased to honor a number of outstanding shows, creators and performers, including ABC’s Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson-produced “For Life” for Best Drama and HBO’s “Insecure” for Best Comedy. Viola Davis (“How To Get Away with Murder,” ABC) and Sterling K. Brown (“This is Us,” NBC) will be honored as Best Actress and Best Actor respectively. Jeremy Pope and Laura Harrier who star in Netflix’ “Hollywood” will be honored as Breakout Performers. TV trailblazer Kenya Barris will receive the organization’s ICON Award for his groundbreaking contributions to television, beginning with the creation of “Black-ish” on ABC and now “#blackAF” on Netflix. The award will be presented by Rashida Jones. Macro Television Studios will receive the organization’s Inclusion Award recognizing an organization with a demonstrable commitment to inclusion in their programming and corporate activities. Best YA honors go to “Never Have I Ever” (Netflix) with the Best Animated prize going to “Central Park” (AppleTV+). HBO’s “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children” and “The Last Dance” from ESPN Films/Netflix will receive top documentary honors. “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel” (Lifetime) was named Best TV Movie. “I Promise,” the inspiring documentary series on Quibi, chronicling the first year of LeBron James launching the I Promise School in his hometown, will receive the organization’s inaugural award for Best Short Form. A full list of honorees follows:


  • TV Icon – Kenya Barris
  • Inclusion Award – MACRO Television Studios
  • Best Actress – Viola Davis, “How To Get Away With Murder” (ABC)
  • Best Actor – Sterling K. Brown, “This is Us” (NBC)
  • Best Drama – “For Life” (ABC)
  • Best Comedy – “Insecure” (HBO)
  • Best TV Movie – “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel” (Lifetime)
  • Breakout Performers – Jeremy Pope / Laura Harrier, “Hollywood” (Netflix)
  • Best YA – “Never Have I Ever” (Netflix)
  • Best Animated – “Central Park” (Apple TV+)
  • Best Documentary – “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children” (HBO) and “The Last Dance (ESPN Films/Netflix)
  • Best Short Form – “I Promise” (Quibi)

“In a time of such uncertainty, we have witnessed how powerful the medium of television and streaming is,” stated AAFCA co-founder and President Gil Robertson. “We couldn’t be more proud to honor shows and performances that uplift and inspire at a time when we all need entertainment the most. We are especially grateful to have partners like Morgan Stanley as well as the ongoing support of the entertainment community at large helping us with our year-round activities that highlight not only film, television and journalism, but also diversity, inclusion and equality.”

In recognition of the devastating impact of the global pandemic, AAFCA will feature first responders, ranging from essential frontline workers like healthcare personnel and firefighters, to government leaders, alongside Hollywood stars, as AAFCA TV Honors presenters. “As an organization, with a passion for community awareness and outreach,” Robertson stated, “we could not ignore the heroic efforts of those in our larger community during this unprecedented time. This is just a small gesture to recognize them in some way and convey our tremendous gratitude.”

Financial powerhouse, Morgan Stanley, is the presenting sponsor of the 2nd Annual AAFCA TV Honors. Over the past several years, Morgan Stanley has served as a consistent and reliable supporter of AAFCA’s ongoing efforts and activities. “As a proud supporter of the creative community, Morgan Stanley is honored to partner with the African American Film Critics Association, an organization that continues to recognize some of the most talented Black television creators, writers, producers, actors and actresses of our generation, to sponsor the 2nd annual AAFCA TV Honors,” stated Sandra L. Richards, Head of Morgan Stanley Global Sports and Entertainment. “Now more than ever, it is imperative to create and support platforms that amplify Black voices, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the AAFCA to help do just that.”

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Reps. Karen Bass, James Clyburn, Jane Elliott and More Join Lorna M. Johnson Virtual Town Hall Today At 3PM West/6PM East



Karen Bass1a

Virtual Townhall



‘One Nation, Under God, Indivisible… Conversations That Inspire Liberty and Justice f or All’ ; Leaders Who Approach and Shift Cultural Norms Relating to Bias, Hate, And Disparities

Panelists to include (*and subject to change):

  • Congress member and Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Karen Bass (CA: 37th District)
  • Mayor of Compton (CA), Aja Brown
  • House of Representatives member and House Majority Whip (SC, Sixth District), James E. Clyburn
  • Musician/Activist/Author  (KLAN – DESTINE Relationships ”) , Daryl Davis
  • American Diversity Educator (Blue Eyes & Brown Eyes Exercise) Jane Elliott
  • Author, Producer, Filmmaker, and human rights activist TM Garret
  • Philanthropist and Nurse Midwife Lorna M. Johnson
  • Pastor Michael Smith (The Church of Jacksonville, FL)
  • Activist/Producer/Chairman of the Special Olympics /Founder of Unite , Timothy Shriver


  • Karen Bass – Congressmember (CA: 37th Congressional District) and Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus
  • Mayor of Compton (CA), Aja Brown
  • House of Representatives and Majority Whip (SC, Sixth Congressional District), James E. Clyburn
  • Daryl Davis – Author, “KLAN – DESTINE Relationships,” conversations with the K.K.K.
  • Jane Elliott – American Diversity Educator, The Blue Eyes & Brown Eyes Exercise
  • T M Garret – Author, producer, filmmaker and human rights activist
  • Lorna M Johnson – Founder, Lorna M. Johnson Institute, Philanthropist, Activist, Nurse Midwife . Co – moderator
  • Pastor Michael Smith (The Jacksonville Church, FL)
  • Tim Shriver – Activist, Special Olympics Chair, and founder of Unite


“One Nation, Under God, Indivisible… Conversations that inspire liberty and justice for all,”; a free, Virtual Town Hall about the fierce urgency of this moment for healing communications between friends, and bridging the divide between race, culture, faith, and politics.


Wednesday, August 5 , from 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. E.T. to 4: 0 0 p.m.PT/7:00 p.m. ET





Edna Sims
ESP Public Relations
[email protected]

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