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Expanded Muhammad Ali Festival in Louisville to Take Place June 4-13, 2021



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Mohammad Ali Attending The 20th Anniversary Of 'Wild World Of Sports'

1981: Mohammad Ali attending the 20th anniversary of ABC’s ‘Wild World Of Sports’. (Photo by ABC via Getty Images)

*LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — The annual Muhammad Ali Festival, a community wide celebration that marks the anniversary of Muhammad Ali’s passing and celebrates his impactful legacy and love for Louisville, will take place June 4-13, 2021.

With the recent societal issues that continue to shake up our world—the coronavirus pandemic, a reawakening of racial justice and equality, and a consequent downturn in the tourism industry—the expanded 2021 Muhammad Ali Festival is crafted to provide inspiration, entertainment, education, and activation through events that generate a sense of unity, justice, and a rebirth of Muhammad Ali’s hometown of Louisville. The Festival will kick off with the annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards on June 4 and conclude with the Derby City Jazz Festival on June 11-13.

Key partners in the 2021 Ali Festival include Louisville Tourism, the Muhammad Ali Center, Louisville Sports Commission and Derby City Jazz Festival.

“Muhammad Ali was a fighter and a uniter,” said Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center. “When he passed away on June 3, 2016, Louisville was at the center of a bright and steady spotlight of international news coverage when visitors from all cultures, ages, religions, and races came together with a unified and peaceful intent. Through next year’s Muhammad Ali Festival, we will strive to capture that same sense of harmony and healing, share the power of Muhammad’s legacy, and amplify his voice for social justice through a series of community events that touch people in a personal way and that serve a higher purpose.”

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Cassius Clay

LONG ISLAND, NY – MAY 17: Cassius Clay, 20 year old heavyweight contender from Louisville, Kentucky poses for the camera on May 17, 1962 in Long Island, New York. (Photo by Stanley Weston/Getty Images)

Muhammad Ali Festival events will regenerate tourism to the City and will include diverse activities that involve the community.

“The tourism industry in Louisville is down but not out.  As Louisville’s Muhammad Ali once said ‘You don’t lose if you get knocked down; you lose if you stay down,’ and we don’t intend to stay down,” said Karen Williams, President and CEO of Louisville Tourism. “We look forward to this unique festival drawing positive attention to Bourbon City as we continue to honor Louisville’s famous son as well as the City’s authentic bourbon tourism, black culture heritage and iconic museums and attractions, with the Muhammad Ali Center at the core of the festival. This celebration in June will support Louisville’s tourism rebirth, igniting the passion and unity we saw from our community after his passing nearly five years ago.”

The Muhammad Ali Festival will also focus on health equity and wellness. As an athlete, Muhammad Ali became the first three-time heavyweight champion of the world. He was disciplined in his training regimen and dedicated to healthy eating and wellness.

“Muhammad Ali said that champions were made in the long, lonely hours training and preparing for competition, and he practiced what he preached,” said Louisville Sports Commission President and CEO Karl F. Schmitt Jr. “And even when he was no longer in the ring, Muhammad continued to teach us to not shy away from adversity when he shared his Parkinson’s disease battle in front of billions of people as he lit the torch at the Atlanta Olympics. The Muhammad Ali Festival embraces his spirit by adopting exercise and other movement activities as a lifestyle that can lead to better health for all people.”

Festival-goers can unite and bond through a series of musical performances during the last three days of the 10-day Muhammad Ali Festival. “We are very pleased to be a part of the re-birth of the city through the Muhammad Ali Festival,” said Max Maxwell, President and CEO of Derby City Jazz Festival.  “After several successful years of bringing people together from across the country, the Derby City Jazz Festival’s programming has grown to include a vast array of experiences to benefit the community, build morale and further establish Louisville as a multicultural destination city.  We are thrilled to bring a great line-up of well-known national music acts, health and wellness activations (Fabulous and Fit After Fifty) and unique shopping experiences from vendors in and around the Louisville area.”

More details about the 2021 Muhammad Ali Festival are forthcoming.

For information on how to participate, contact Karl Schmitt Jr. at [email protected] or 502-262-2807; or Jeanie Kahnke at [email protected] or 502-992-5301.

About the Muhammad Ali Center
The Muhammad Ali Center, a 501(c)3 corporation, was cofounded by Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The international cultural center promotes the Six Core Principles of Muhammad Ali (Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality) in ways that inspire personal and global greatness and provides programming and events around the focus areas of education, gender equity, and global citizenship. The Ali Center is formally associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications, and in 2020, became one of the newest stops on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. The Center’s headquarters also contains an award-winning museum experience. For more information, please visit

About Louisville Tourism
Since 1968, Louisville Tourism’s primary goal has been to enhance the area’s economy through tourism development – to promote and sell Louisville as a world-class destination. Tourism is the third largest industry in Louisville supporting over 60,000 local tourism-related jobs in the Louisville MSA. Guests are coming from around the globe to attend a meeting, convention, special event, as a leisure guest or a combination.  Prior to the global pandemic, more than 16.4 million annual visitors were experiencing Louisville’s authenticity, bourbon and culinary scenes and our unique brand of Southerness.

About the Louisville Sports Commission
The Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) is a Louisville, Kentucky-based 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to create a legacy of economic and social vitality through sports. The LSC attracts and hosts sporting events and activities that have a positive economic impact on Louisville, enhance the area’s image as a premier sports destination, promote active lifestyles and improve the quality of life for community members of all ages, and connect local businesses with student-athletes for future job opportunities. More information is available online at, @SportsinLou and

About the Derby City Jazz Festival
Your New Home for Smooth Jazz: The first Derby City Jazz Festival took place on July 1st and 2nd 2016 on Fourth Street Live. With the city in full support, Mayor Greg Fischer participated in the event’s unveiling. The festival is the culmination of the city’s commitment to bringing a diverse and unique group of jazz & R&B musicians to Louisville to deliver an unparalleled collection of performances. For its 5th year, D.C.J.F. will once again curate a world-class lineup that will also include local artists. Patrons will also enjoy the unique charms that Louisville has to offer. Vendors and businesses will participate to bring matchless experiences and products to the two day festival. The festival, Louisville’s largest signature smooth jazz festival will also feature a personal health and wellness forum titled “Fabulous and Fit After Fifty” A national speaker and local panelist will discuss women’s empowerment and take a holistic approach to women’s issues. Please visit  






Rosanne Mastin
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King Yahweh and The Kingdom of Yahweh Host All-White Affair and Fundraiser / PHOTOS



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King Yahweh and Milinda Smith

*When royalty calls, you answer! Especially when it’s in the name of charity. On Saturday, November 21st, 2020 King Yahweh and The Kingdom of Yahweh hosted a slew of dignitaries, influencers, and members of The Kingdom of Yahweh to his South Florida castle for an evening of luxury while fundraising.

The all-white royal affair showcased lions, monkeys, performers, and chefs preparing a menu with a range from chicken to fish to lamb. Long story short, if you missed it, you missed something spectacular!

A few of the personalities and influencers in attendance included model Caroline Schwitzky with her gal pal in attendance, Love & Hip Hop’s Shay Johnson & Nikki Natural, Miss Jamaica World 2016 runner-up Milinda Smith, and public relations specialist to the stars Cori Williams.

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King Yahweh and Nobles

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2 beautiful guests enjoying the all-white affair

When asked about the evening, most attendees were speechless and expressed nothing but joy and appreciation to King Yahweh and The Kingdom of Yahweh for the royal invite and the opportunity to be able to contribute towards a positive change in the world.

While the evening was opulent, the cause was even grander. King Yahweh and The Kingdom of Yahweh takes honor in being of assistance to all humanity in multiple facets of outreach. This event was another way of setting the stage to aid in The Kingdom of Yahweh’s initiative to eradicate homelessness and hunger in various cities across the world.

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King Yahweh and a monk

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King Yahweh and 2 cast members of ‘Love and Hip Hop: Miami’

For years The Kingdom of Yahweh has been making a significant impact when it comes to aiding the citizens of the world, and the plan is never to stop helping one another.

“I’m here to unite the world in peace, love, and joy. I won’t fail, and neither will I be discouraged.” – King Yahweh.


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Ben Crump to Announce Suit Against Local Jacksonville HOA for Harassment Over Back Lives Matter flag



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Attorney Ben Crump (Getty)

*JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump; co-counsels Matthew Dietz and David Cronin; Keenya Robertson, National Fair Housing Alliance Chairperson; and Antoine Mickle will hold a virtual news conference on Nov. 24 at 11 a.m. ET to announce a federal lawsuit against River Point Community Association, River City Management Services, Shantell Hughes (community president), and Sharleen Thompson-Messinese (property manager).

On Oct. 20, 2020, Mickle, a homeowner and resident of the River Point community in Jacksonville, Florida, received a letter from the River Point Community Association advising him that the Black Lives Matter flag displayed on his property was in violation of the community’s rules and was considered a “nuisance.” Although there were many other flags displayed throughout the community including those in support of sports teams, the Trump campaign, and Blue Lives Matter, the owners of those flags did not receive any letters of reprimand and were not asked to remove them from their properties. It is evident from the Association’s actions that Mickle was harassed and discriminated against because of his race and support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Attorney Ben Crump
Attorney Matthew Dietz
Attorney David Cronin
Keenya Robertson, National Fair Housing Alliance Chairperson
Antoine Mickle

November 24, 2020, at 11 a.m ET

Register in advance for the Zoom virtual press conference:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the press conference via Zoo


Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump and his national network of specialized attorneys have spearheaded a legal movement to better protect the rights of marginalized citizens. He has led landscape-changing civil rights cases and represented clients in a wide range of areas including civil rights, personal injury, labor and employment, class actions, and more. Ben Crump Law is dedicated to holding the powerful accountable. For more, visit or call (800) 935-8111.

Matthew W. Dietz, Esq. is a nationally known civil rights lawyer and litigation director of Disability Independence Group, Disability Independence Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes recruitment, education and employment of persons with disabilities thereby improving their lives through competitive employment and financial stability; and through the changing of society’s perception of person with disabilities. 

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BHERC Festival Panels Feature Top Film & TV Pros and 140+ Must-See Films Offered in Final Weeks



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*(Hollywood, CA) – As The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) reaches midway  of the month-long 26th Annual African American Film Marketplace & S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase (AAFM SEMSFS) airing online at www.BHERC.TV now through Saturday, November 28, 2020, Executive Director and Festival Curator John Forbes is pleased to announce the programming for the final two weeks of the festival. The virtual festival has entertained more than 5300 attendees from across the globe who have watched on-demand the industry panels, special events and screenings and the 140 curated films with stories of all genres told by diverse filmmakers from 18 countries and 20 US states of all ages, the youngest being nine years old.

As the festival begins its closing two weeks, BHERC invites the public to consider the festival as their choice or entertainment, inspiration and enlightenment during the upcoming Holiday season and recently stricter imposed nation-wide stay-at-home orders.  The festival continues to offer the complete portfolio of 140 films that may be sorted and selected by genres such as: Action, Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Historical, Horror, Inspirational, Music, Romance, Sci-Fi, Spoken Word, and Thriller.  They may also explore by topics such as Art, Diversity, Family, Faith-Based, LGBTQ, Mental Health, People with Disabilities and Social Justice.  The festival also plays host to a few young filmmakers from Film schools such as: Academy of Art, Florida State University, High Definition Film Academy, Loyola Marymount University, New York Film Academy, Oral Roberts University, University of California Los Angeles, and University of Southern California.  However, the youngest filmmaker is a self-taught nine-year old.

In addition, the November 20 thru 22, weekend offers a bonanza of diverse panels.  Beginning this Friday, newcomers and those interested in a career in television can log and join professionals as they discuss share vital insight and information in the panel “The Road To Hollywood,” Friday, November 20, 2020, 5:00PM (PDT).  Top television professionals will discuss the various careers within the industry such as: casting, make-up, screen writing, editing, visual effects, cinematography, animation, producing and directing.  They will discuss how to go about assessing your skills and deciding which category to pursue.  The all important question, “Should I go to film school?” How can I get experience. Once you get the experience, how do you get the jobs. Where do you look for the jobs, how do you build your network. “There are many paths to a successful career.  Some have been thru film school many have not,” stated Sandra Evers-Manly, President and Founder, BHERC.  “In all of the paths we will explore we will find that the elements of passion, determination and patience were fundamental to those successes.”  The moderator is Academy Award-nominated filmmaker David Massey, “Last Breeze of Summer.” Panelists include Tamera Gregory, Head of Television of Wilmore Films; Illunga Adell, Writer “Sanford and Son” (first Black writer for a TV sitcom); Mary Jo Miller, Associate Director Operations, Walt Disney; Frank Bennett Gonzales, Executive in Charge of Diversity, Programs and Committee; Directors Guild of America, INC. (DGA) and Attorney Danielle M. Forbes, Counsel Writer Guild of America, West, INC. (WGA).

Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 11:00AM (PDT) BHERC hosts “Cinematographers on Cinematography”.  The panel will share what it means to be a working cinematographer, or director of photography (DP), what they do?  What equipment is used, lighting techniques, and challenges faced to “get the shot.” Best practices for partnership with Directors and what aspiring Directors should know. What DP’s can do to make this relationship successful. Do you shoot with or without and editor? Who else to you work with?  What skills do you need to be a Cinematographer? Moderated by Mobolaji Olambiwonnu, Director of Photography (DP), filmmaker and Founder, SPORAS. Panelists include: John Njaga Demps, DP; Emmy-winning John Simmons, ASC.; Emmy-winning Donald A. Morgan, ASC, and Michelle Crenshaw, DP.

Moderating McHenry Trial Screening

Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 5:00PM (PDT) BHERC hosts “The McHenry Trial: Don’t Judge a Kid by Their Hoodie” screening. The story of a young and brilliant academic phenom who passes the bar exam at age 14 and finds himself defending his homeless father on a murder charge. He faces an old school segregationist judge, and an arrogant prosecutor preparing to celebrate his 50th consecutive case win.   Moderated by Emmy-nominated William Allen Young, Actor-Director “Code Black”, “Moesha.” Panelists include: Ken Sagoes, Executive Producer-Writer-Director, Karen Bolt, Producer and cast: Loretta Devine (Doris McHenry unconfirmed), Kaleb Alexander Roberts (DeShawn McHenry), Hiram A. Murray (Shawn McHenry), Melvin Ward (Norman McHenry), Bob Rumnock (Judge Carnige), Thomas Gipson (Prosecutor Brad), Pablo Sandstrom (Lawyer Eric Askew), Kevin Flood (Lawyer Ozwald Askew), Temple Poteat (Lawyer Kerri Turner), Sammie Wayne IV (Harvey Venson), Michael Nelson (Logan Parmell), Ronan Barbour (Guard).


Sandra Evers Manly & BHERC hosts 2020 Virtual Film Fest & Panel Discussions info:

Sunday, November 22, 2020 4:00PM (PDT) Join President and Founder Sandra Evers-Manly, cousin of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers as she leads the audience through a screening and discussion of selected courageous Social Justice films from the 2020 festival.  During the discussion, the audience is invited to share how these films and “social justice” films in general impact and/or inform their actions and involvement in social justice issues.    

Closing Night Celebration is a call to support Black Business.  In lieu of the fan favorite in-person Closing Night “Soul Food & Film” event, BHERC asks that attendees locate and order their “Soul Food” or favored cuisine from a local Black business to enjoy during our VIRTUAL closing night “Soul Food & Film” program Sunday, November 29, 2020 5:00PM (PDT).  In Los Angeles BHERC recommends Gwen’s Specialty Cakes & Catering.  Call 310.677.9979 to place orders

Don’t miss these exciting events during the final two weeks of the 26th Annual African American Film Marketplace & S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase (AAFM SEMSFS).  Register Today at www.BHERC.TV for panels and Festival passes. $75.00 for a full Festival Pass, $25.00 for a Day Pass and $10.00 for a block of 5 films.  All panels and special events are Free.



In February 2020 BHERC launched BHERC TV a leading world-wide provider of narrative and documentary short films about the African American experience, as well as content from across the diaspora and diverse populations. Offering an affordable streaming entertainment service with paid memberships in over seven countries, BHERC TV members enjoy a wide variety of genres and languages and may watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Film lovers can play, pause and resume watching without commercials.  Find out more on BHERC.TV

About Black Hollywood Education & Resource Center

Founded in 1996 by Sandra Evers-Manly, BHERC is a nonprofit, public benefit organization designed to advocate, educate, research, develop, and preserve the history and future of African Americans in film and television. BHERC programs include film festivals, mentoring, book signings, script readings, film and animation contests, scholarships, and other programs and special events. BHERC recognizes the contributions of African American men and women in front of and behind the scenes in the entertainment industry.



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