June 20, 2019 

By Cora Jackson-Fossett 

Contributing Writer 

 

The popular tunes of singer Marvin Gaye echoed throughout the dedication ceremony that added his name to the Dockweiler postal station in South L.A.

 

Thanks to legislation sponsored by U.S. Representative Karen Bass and passed into law by the U.S. Congress, the station at 3585 S. Vermont Ave. is now known as the Marvin Gaye Post Office, an action that pairs nicely with the Marvin Gaye stamp, which was issued in April.

 

 

More than two hundred people shouted cheers and applauded loudly as the sign was unveiled designating the location’s new name.  Gaye’s family was on hand to witness the occasion along with elected officials, community leaders and many who are still inspired by his music.

 

As one of the leading artists of Motown, Gaye cemented his place in the hearts of both Black and White America with songs such as “Ain’t That Peculiar,” “How Sweet It Is” and “Let’s Get It On.”  He ignited social justice campaigns with his 1971 groundbreaking album, “What’s Going On,” which addressed contemporary issues such as poverty, drug abuse, suffering and the Vietnam War.  Proving that his music remains popular, the crowd sang along and danced to his records, which served as a backdrop to the ceremony.

 

“I’ve always been a Marvin Gaye fan my whole life and when the family approached me, I said ‘absolutely, this is something we have to do,’” said Bass. “I knew the Democrats would not have a problem with it and I went to the Republican leadership and said, ‘we got to get this done’ and they were on it.  I’m very happy that after a long time, we’re getting this done.”

 

Sharing his sentiments, City Council President Herb Wesson said, “It’s so important that we take this station and name it after an individual that not only grooved us with his voice and wonderful music, but he was also one of the first to come up with songs that had social significance and meaning and inspiration – things that made us to be proud of who we are, proud of how we look, and proud of how we act.”

 

L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, L.A. Councilman Marqueese Harris-Dawson and L.A. Postmaster, Joe Zapata delivered similar comments about Gaye’s enduring legacy. Calling Gaye “one of the most influential music performers of his generation,” Zapata said, “The United States Postal Service is privileged to have the name of legendary music icon, Marvin Gaye, forever associated with the Dockweiler Post Office.”

 

Gaye’s niece, Karla Gordy Bristol, offered a more intimate reflection about her uncle, recalling his fun personality as well as his kindness and thoughtfulness to his family.  Bristol also read a letter from Gaye’s son, Marvin III, who expressed appreciation to Bass and noted that his father is the first Motown artist to have a stamp and post office named for him during the record company’s 60th year celebration. 

 

Marvin III is currently touring with his play about his father, “The Pride and Joy Marvin Gaye Musical.”  Also, Ron Brewington read a statement from Gaye’s children, Nona and Frankie, which conveyed their gratefulness for the naming of the post office.

 

“I just want to say, Marvin, well done,” said Gaye’s sister, Zeola. “Growing up with my brother and hearing him sing on the corners and doo-wopping with his group, I would have never thought in a million years that I would be standing here saying thank you for the post office being dedicated to him.

 

You can buy his stamp at his post office! You can’t get any better than that. Thank you so much from the family!”

 

As the ceremony closed, Bass reminded the audience of the significance of Gaye’s lyrics. “Marvin Gaye had a message 30, 40-years-ago that resonates today. He talked about justice, discrimination, the challenges that we face as a people and unfortunately, we still continue to face those challenges today,” she said.

 

“When we listen to his music, we can be inspired and remember that the struggle continues.  We’re not going to allow ourselves to go backwards!”

 

Category: Arts & Culture

June 20, 2019 

By Michael R. Sisak 

Associated Press 

 

Cuba Gooding Jr. turned himself in and was arrested Thursday on charges he groped a woman in an encounter at a New York City night spot that appears to have been caught on video.

 

The 51-year-old Oscar-winning star of “Jerry Maguire” denies the allegations and pleaded not guilty to forcible touching and sexual abuse charges at a night court arraignment.

 

He was released on his own recognizance after about six hours in police custody.

 

Gooding did not discuss his case as he left court, instead offering well wishes to David Ortiz, the Boston Red Sox star hospitalized after he was shot Sunday in the Dominican Republic.

 

“Get well, Big Papi,” Gooding said while passing a phalanx of cameras and reporters in the courthouse lobby.

 

Before getting into a car outside, he added: “It’s been a long day.”

 

A 29-year-old woman told police that Gooding place his hand on her breast and squeezed it without her consent Sunday night at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge. The woman said she believed Gooding was intoxicated.

 

Video obtained by TMZ that the website says is from inside the bar on the night in question appears to show Gooding putting his hand on or near a woman’s leg and breast as they sit on a couch with another woman between them.

 

Gooding is then seen pulling the woman’s hand to his lips, as if to kiss it, and leaning toward her before another man steps up and talks with them.

 

The video could be key evidence for prosecutors, but Gooding’s lawyer said the footage showed “not the slightest scintilla of inappropriate conduct” and will exonerate him.

 

“Mr. Gooding has not acted inappropriately in any shape or form,” lawyer Mark Heller said.

 

“Nothing in the video could even be considered ambiguous, and I frankly am shocked and horrified that this case is being prosecuted,” he added.

 

Gooding, in a dark blue suit, smiled and waved as he walked into a police station Thursday afternoon to meet with special victims investigators. Inside, they took his fingerprints and a mug shot before leading him out in handcuffs.

 

Later, Gooding sat on a wooden bench in the front row of an austere courtroom, his hands cuffed behind his back and his face turned serious as he waited for his case to be called. As a detective uncuffed him, he uncurled his hands and shook them out.

 

A conviction could put Gooding behind bars for up to a year. He is due back in court June 26.

 

Heller said he doubted the accuser would show up for court hearings and suggested that prosecutors should charge her with perjury if she testified in court and her allegations were contradicted by video.

 

The NYPD has not identified the accuser.

 

Heller said that after he and his staff reviewed the two-hour security video, he was hesitant to let Gooding surrender and thought police and prosecutors would drop the case.

 

The Manhattan district attorney’s office did not comment.

 

“I am highly confident that he will be totally exonerated,” Heller said.

 

Heller also disputed allegations in media reports from a second woman said to have come forward in recent days and told police that Gooding grabbed her buttocks at a New York City restaurant in 2008.

 

Gooding was not charged on that allegation.

 

“There is no pattern of conduct,” Heller said in an interview Thursday. “It is not uncommon for people to come out of the woodwork when these things happen.”

 

Gooding was involved in another bar-related episode in New Orleans in 2012. A bartender said that the actor was agitated by patrons who wanted photos with him and that he pushed her when she asked him to leave.

 

An arrest warrant was issued, but the bartender declined to press charges.

 

As for Sunday night, Gooding told TMZ that he was at Magic Hour partying with friends but didn’t touch anyone. He said there’s a video that shows “what really happened.”

 

“I trust the system and will let the process speak for itself,” Gooding said in the TMZ interview.

 

Videos posted on social media show Gooding at the Manhattan bar Sunday night singing the Journey hit “Faithfully” and posing for pictures with fans.

 

The bar, on the roof of the Moxy Hotel south of Times Square, features mini golf and sweeping views of the Empire State Building and other Big Apple landmarks.

 

Gooding, a Bronx native, rose to fame after starring in “Boyz N the Hood” in 1991.

 

Six years later, he won an Oscar for his role as NFL player in “Jerry Maguire.” His character’s signature line, “Show me the money,” became a catchphrase.

 

Gooding was nominated for an Emmy Award last year for playing the title character in the FX series “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” He recently appeared on Broadway and London’s West End as lawyer Billy Flynn in “Chicago.”

 

Associated Press writer Kiley Armstrong contributed to this report.

Category: Arts & Culture

June 20, 2019

Aries 

MAR 21 - APR 19 

An emotional awakening is possible this week concerning whether or not you're truly fulfilled in your current relationship dynamic. Have you been overly idealistic about your special someone, refusing to see reality? As Maya Angelou said: "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." If you've been trying to convince yourself that your lover is someone you only wished for them to be, then this could be a rough stretch of time for you. If, however, you've been sticking to reality all along, then you'll be just fine.

 

Taurus 

APR 20 - MAY 20 

Your words will have a sharp bite, so be careful how you choose to use them. It's possible that you'll instigate your lover into defense mode, and if so, you'll have no qualms about pushing his or her buttons. Unfortunately, this might be a time where, once you've had an opportunity to settle down and reflect on what you've said, you'll only regret it. Before you lose your temper and say something you wish you could take back, ask yourself the following questions: "Is it helpful? Is it necessary? Is it kind?" If the answer to any of these questions is "no" then you may want to keep quiet.

 

Gemini 

MAY 21 - JUN 20 

A Full Moon in your partnership sector on Monday will bring illumination regarding your relationship. If things are going well, then you're likely to feel an extraordinary level of bonding and commitment to your mate. You'll easily express your emotions to each other, and you may also get the sense that this relationship is meant to expand your horizons. It is. If things are not going well, however, you'll no longer be able to ignore what's wrong. The greatest realization you might have is that you've put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket. It might be time to fix that.

 

Cancer 

JUN 21 - JUL 22 

This might be a touchy week for you when it comes to love. Your passions and strong opinions might be so powerful that your partner responds with a force that takes you by surprise and takes your relationship by storm. Although you won't back down, this may not be an ideal solution since it's likely to add even more fuel to whatever fire is happening in your relationship. Handle with care! If single, you might have a different scenario. Primal desire between you and someone you meet can become intense very quickly!

 

Leo 

JUL 23 - AUG 22 

More is better this week when it comes to love! If you're single, a Full Moon in your romance sector might leave you feeling all the feels for someone new you meet. You might feel yourself quickly swept away by this person and all of the excitement he or she introduces into your world. If you're already dating someone, the two of you can go overboard indulging each other. You might try to outdo one another with gifts, or just shower so much affection on your sweetheart that he or she is overwhelmed with joy. It's a good thing -- even if it's too much!

 

Virgo 

AUG 23 - SEP 22 

You may have intense feelings of desire for someone this week. If you're single, you might be surprised by how much you instantly crave the touch of someone new you meet. You may be tempted to become physical before you get to know each other very well. Another possibility is that you will feel as if someone is obsessed with you and is making you uncomfortable with his or her pursuit. It can even feel like a creepy stalker situation. Be careful!

  

Libra 

SEP 23 - OCT 22 

Saying what's on your mind will be easy this week thanks to a Full Moon landing in your communication sector. You'll be able to convey your grand thoughts to anyone without holding back. If you're single, then it'll be a perfect time to open your mind to getting to know someone you find interesting. This won't be a week for small talk, however -- you'll want to get right to the type of conversation that expands your horizons. If someone has a small mind, then you'll quickly move on to another romantic prospect.

 

Scorpio 

OCT 23 - NOV 21 

Neptune, the planet of delusion and also confusion, will turn retrograde in your true love sector this Friday. For the next several months this might help you clear up any cobwebs in your romantic world. If you've been wondering whether or not you and someone you're dating truly belong together, this is a time when you're likely to take the relationship much more at face value rather than give into any of your fairytale notions. Once you see the person you love, but with all of their warts, you may also decide that you love him or her even more.

  

Sagittarius 

NOV 22 - DEC 21 

There is a Full Moon in your sign this Monday, so you'll definitely feel your emotions amped up in a turbocharged way. Your partner might even think you're being hypersensitive about a situation and that you're touchier than usual, taking something personal that isn't meant to be that way at all. If you think there's a shred of truth to this potential, consider why you're feeling so out of sorts. Maybe there's something that needs attention in your love life to help restore that feeling of security in your relationship. If single, you might have a "woe is me" moment about feeling lonely. Don't wallow for too long -- it's not your nature.

 

Capricorn 

DEC 22 - JAN 19 

Mercury and Mars, now in your relationship sector, will oppose Pluto, the planet of control, now in your sign. There might be a war of words between you and your mate that stems from each of you wanting the upper hand about something. The problem with this approach is that the harder you push, the more resistance you'll get. And that goes both ways! When you get caught up in a power struggle like this it's often difficult to remember that, ultimately, you're on the same team. If this situation begins to divide you, however, you might begin to second guess whether or not you truly are meant to be a couple.

  

Aquarius 

JAN 20 - FEB 18 

With Venus in your romance sector, there is no shortage of dating opportunities for you these days. You're enjoying the pleasures of life and you're also loving the fact that so many people out there are making you feel attractive, adored, and valued. This Sunday, however, Venus will oppose Jupiter, making all of this goodness explode into a gluttonous situation. You might have thought you wanted to have your cake and eat it too, only to realize you're completely stuffed. Be careful what you wish for!

  

Pisces 

FEB 19 - MAR 20 

If you've started dating someone new, you might realize that this person is not as compatible as you initially thought. All of the chemistry you share with them might have clouded your judgment. Now that you're getting to know each other more, you may decide that you want to bail before you go any deeper. Alternatively, if you're in an exclusive relationship, you and your mate could have quite the argument this week about your sex life. Someone isn't happy. Someone may also smell betrayal. If this is the case, you'll get to the bottom of it.

Category: Arts & Culture

June 20, 2019 

By Lapacazo Sandoval 

Contributing Writer 

 

Jasmin Brown is pretty. Jasmin Brown is determined.  Jasmin Brown is fascinating enough to garner one million followers on Instagram (Jasmin Brown ),  but the really cool thing about Ms. Brown is that she’s funny enough to be employed by comedy impresario, Kevin Hart which means that sis is hella-funny!

 

Brown, also known as Watch Jazzy, started getting noticed with her, now, infamous “in-car” rants and original characters, such as Toya Turnup, Termite and Reggie, Jasmin. Besides scooping up over one million followers on “the gram” she caught and kept the attention of the aforementioned producer/actor/ writer Hart, proving that moving from Miami, FL to Los Angeles, CA was a smart, smart move.

 

Now as the host of 'Kevin Hart's Laugh Out Loud' on Bounce TV the versatile actress who confessed — “I had no idea I was going into comedy” — is making industry veterans who know their way around comedy stop and take notice. 

 

“Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud” features a curated collection of the award-winning content from Hart's popular and celebrated Laugh Out Loud digital service. The 10-episode season is executive produced by Hart and Jasmin “Jazzy” Brown introduces the funny and highly-entertaining segments. The series is produced in partnership between Bounce and Lionsgate Television.

 

Here is what Jasmin Brown had to share about why she now loves comedy and working with Kevin Hart (Click to watch the promo).

 

L.A. Watts Times: What’s funny, to you?

 

Jasmin “Jazzy” Brown:  Honest­ly, I find a lot of random things funny. I’m a people watcher so sometimes just seeing how people act in natural situations is funny to me. Other than that, I love relatable comedy.

 

LAWT: Do you feel that comedy can be therapeutic?

 

JJB: Comedy can be therapeutic and often times light-hearted and easy to receive. It’s the same way music can share a different message than a “speech” can. We just digest it easier.

 

LAWT: I must know this, name our top three comedians.

 

JJB: Wow, I get asked this question often and my favorites remain the same. Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, and Dave Chappelle. Those were the first 3 men that opened me up to characters and being unapologetically original.

 

LAWT: If you were not making a living in comedy what profession would you choose?

 

JJB: [I’d be] an esthetician. I love skin care and different regimens! I could probably open up a spa with all the products I have in my bathroom. Lol.

 

LAWT: What do you love about comedy?

 

JJB: To hear people laughing makes me feel, happy. So much joy and healing come from laughter. If I can make you laugh, I’m healing you in a way. Therefore, you feel close to me for a moment. That’s the feeling I strive for.

 

LAWT: Kevin Hart (in my opinion) is one of the hardest working men in the industry.  Along with talent, he’s driven and disciplined. What’s your take on your boss?

 

JJB: Kevin Hart is phenomenal but he’s a normal guy. I think people put so much pressure on him to be funny every day. Even though he is! He’s really just a normal everyday person like you and me. Which is why he’s so relatable and loved. Marathon of KHLOL will run Thursday, July 4, 2019 - 9 episodes starting at 5 pm.

 

LAWT: Thanks. Duly noted, July 4th.  So, what’s next for Jasmin Brow

 

JJB: What’s next?  I’m back on the road doing my comedy shows so be on the lookout for updates! I’m also in some really big rooms having next level conversations about my passion projects. I’m also a writer so you’ll be seeing stuff I’m producing in the near future! My comedy EP is in development and my first movie “Always A Bridesmaid” will be screening late October so be on the lookout for that as well!

 

Follow Jasmin “Jazzy” Brown:  IG: Jasmin Brown – 1M or on Twitter: Jasmin Brown.

 

“Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud” now on Bounce every Monday night through the summer.

Category: Arts & Culture

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