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Archive for December 14th, 2015

Illinois Legislative Black Caucus to Detail How Budget Disproportionally Affects Black Community

Posted by Admin On December - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Illinois Legislative Black Caucus to Detail How Budget Disproportionally Affects Black Community

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus today will discuss a telling report detailing how the budget impasse is disproportionally affecting the black community. African-Americans make up nearly 15 percent of the population, yet 30 percent live in poverty. There are four areas of interest that affect the most vulnerable populations in the black community: early childhood education, violence prevention, MAP grant funding and senior concerns. These issues concentrate economic loss directly in communities where black people reside.

“The media constantly reports on how young black men and women are killed in Chicago almost daily, and that is extremely alarming,” said Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Kimberly A. Lightford. “Perhaps if we were funding violence prevention and after-school programs at an adequate level, then our children would have an alternative to the streets.”

The report outlines how the budget impasse is positioning the next generation of leaders for failure. Without funding for MAP grants, thousands of first-generation African-American students won’t have an opportunity to attend or continue their education.

“Minority students are disproportionally low-income,” Representative Will Davis said. “MAP grants help close the achievement gap between low-income black and white students.”

At 10:30 a.m. Monday in the Thompson Center Press room on the 15th floor, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus will host a press conference with community advocates to discuss how the ongoing budget fight is affecting the black community.

The ILBC is also calling on Governor Rauner to end this stalemate and sign the budget that elected representatives sent him to end this madness.

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Date: Monday, Dec. 14th

Location: Thompson Center – 15th Floor press room

CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield’s Statement on Commemoration Events Marking 150th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 13th Amendment

Posted by Admin On December - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield’s Statement on Commemoration Events Marking 150th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 13th Amendment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) delivered remarks during the Congressional Commemoration in honor of the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery in the United States.

Chairman Butterfield’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, follow:

On behalf of the 46 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, I would like to thank Speaker Paul Ryan and Congressional Leaders for authorizing and sponsoring this historic program.  We thank President Obama for his participation and issuing a 13th Amendment Proclamation last week.

            The ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment is arguably the most important day in African American history and, indeed, American history.  Thank you, Speaker Ryan and President Obama.

            The year was 1830.  Two million slaves resided in the United States.  In addition, there were 300,000 free people of color who had obtained their freedom. Many of them were engaged in business and were prospering.  Some had the audacity to attempt to teach slaves to read and write.  Some became preachers of the word of God.  Free blacks were doing great things, but they ran into resistance from slave holding states.

            In 1830 and 1831, many southern states, particularly my home State of North Carolina, made it unlawful to teach a slave to read or write.  They also made it unlawful for any free person of color (or slave) to preach in public, or officiate as a preacher or teacher in any prayer meeting or other worship where slaves of different families were gathered. 

The punishment for committing either crime was a fine for whites; for free persons of color (or slave offenders), the punishment was a sentence of twenty to thirty-nine lashes on the back.

            The teaching of slaves and the preaching by free blacks was greatly impeded, but it did not end.  Slavery continued.

            Ladies and Gentleman, the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Leaders are now proud to present you with a historic narrative about the challenging path along the road to Abolition. 

            You will find a ratification timeline printed on the back of your program.

Why the Bernie Blackout on Corporate Network News?

Posted by Admin On December - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Why the Bernie Blackout on Corporate Network News?

From: Bernie Press

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has made big gains in Iowa, leads most New Hampshire polls and fares better than Hillary Clinton in general election matchups against Donald Trump and other Republican White House hopefuls.

But the insurgent campaign that has drawn the biggest crowds on the presidential campaign trail has been all but ignored on the flagship television network newscasts, according to Tyndall Report, which tracks nightly news coverage by NBC, CBS and ABC.

“The corporately-owned may not like Bernie’s anti-establishment views but for the sake of American democracy they must allow for a fair debate in this presidential campaign,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager. “Bernie must receive the same level of coverage on the nightly news as other leading candidates.”

ABC’s “World News Tonight” has devoted 81 minutes to Donald Trump’s campaign so far this year compared to a mere 20 seconds on Sanders through the end of November. NBC’s “Nightly News” afforded 2.9 minutes of coverage to Sanders since January. The “CBS Evening News” provided viewers 6.4 minutes of coverage on the Vermont senator.

“The network newscasts are wildly overplaying Trump, who regularly attracts between 20-30 percent of primary voter support, while at the same time wildly underplaying Sanders, who regularly attracts between 20-30 percent of primary voter support,” according to a report Friday by the journalism watchdog group Media Matters for America analyzing the Tyndall report data.

Media Matters called the lack of coverage of Sanders a “rather stunning revelation.”

Writing for The Washington Post, media analyst Callum Borchers also looked at network news coverage. “If you’re not winning, saying outrageous things, or embroiled in an email scandal, it can be difficult to garner the attention,” he wrote.


National Council of Negro Women Names New Executive Director

Posted by Admin On December - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on National Council of Negro Women Names New Executive Director
Janice L. Mathis named executive director of the National Council of Negro Women
Mathis, a noted lawyer, diversity advocate and administrator, hails from Athens, Georgia 
Janice L. Mathis

WASHINGTON, DC (BlackNews.com) — The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) announced the appointment of Janice L. Mathis as the Executive Director of the 80-year old non-profit organization. Before relocating to Washington, D.C., Ms. Mathis will serve out the year as Vice President of the Citizenship Education Fund (CEF), a position she has held since 2000.

Janice Mathis, with her broad-based experience as a lawyer, negotiator, advocate, administrator and team builder, will serve NCNW well as we build on our legacy and pursue our forward-looking vision in the coming years, said Ingrid Saunders Jones, NCNW chair. Were pleased to have Janice onboard to lead this organization in our continuing efforts of advocating for African Americans, increasing civic participation, strengthening public policies and developing new programs and partnerships.
Ms. Mathis is noted for her decades of work with Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. She served as General Counsel and Chief of Staff to the Rainbow PUSH coalition. She helped negotiate numerous diversity and inclusion pacts with Fortune 100 firms, served on the Coca-Cola and Georgia Power diversity advisory councils,orchestrated legislative-related efforts in Georgia and shareholder activism nationally. She campaigned for media decency and reform of the criminal justice system and led CEFs financial literacy partnership with Wells Fargo. She also was managing partner of Thurmond, Mathis and Pickett, a general practice law firm in Athens, Georgia.
We will miss Janices insight and strategic thinking, but we wish her and NCNW every success, commented Rev. Jackson. They have made a wise choice.
Mathis earned a B.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University and is a graduate of the Lumpkin School of Law at the University of Georgia. The National Council of Negro Women is a Washington, D.C.-based international non-profit organization making a difference in the lives of women, children and families throughout the world through research, advocacy, and community-based services and programs. The organization was founded on December 5, 1935 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, President Emerita, led the organization for more than fifty years before passing in 2010.



For more information, please visit www.ncnw.org.

Photo: Janice L. Mathis

Former Deputy Sentenced to Six Years for Civil Rights Violations and Obstruction of Justice

Posted by Admin On December - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Former Deputy Sentenced to Six Years for Civil Rights Violations and Obstruction of Justice
FORT MYERS, FL—U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell yesterday sentenced Michael J. Ronga (44, Cape Coral) to six years in federal prison for deprivation of civil rights under color of law and obstruction of justice. Ronga was convicted by a federal jury on September 1, 2015.

According to evidence presented during the six-day trial, on May 5, 2013, Ronga, a deputy with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), provided a courtesy transport to victim R.L.C. Ronga subsequently assaulted R.L.C., causing bodily injury. He also robbed the victim of his cash and cellphone. R.L.C. reported the assault and robbery to the LCSO, and an investigation ensued. During the course of the investigation, Ronga lied to law enforcement about his interaction with the victim.

This case was investigated by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It was prosecuted by Chief Assistant United States Attorney Jesus M. Casas and Special Assistant United States Attorney Amira D. Fox.

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 10, 2015
  • Middle District of Florida (813) 274-6000

Illinois State Board of Education Releases Results From First Administration of New Statewide Assessment

Posted by Admin On December - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Illinois State Board of Education Releases Results From First Administration of New Statewide Assessment

Scores from the 2015 PARCC test provide a new baseline for measuring student growth


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Friday released the 2015 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment scores on the 2015 Illinois Report Card at www.illinoisreportcard.com.

The results show that 33 percent of Illinois students met or exceeded expectations for their grade level or course on this new assessment based on Illinois’ more rigorous learning standards in English language arts (ELA) and math. 

“We must remember that these results cannot and should not be compared to prior scores,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The PARCC test not only aligns to higher standards and asks students to demonstrate their understanding in a different way, but it also reflects student performance across five new, more nuanced performance levels.”

The PARCC test replaced the previous Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) and Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE). Students in grades 3-8 and some high school students began taking the PARCC test last March.

High school students took the PARCC test near the completion of courses that contain the corresponding standards.

This is unlike the state’s previous high school assessment, the PSAE, which was administered to all 11th-grade students. For the 2015 PARCC administration, school districts were allowed to choose what level of the PARCC test was given at the high school level. Roughly 50 percent administered the ELA/Literacy 3 and Algebra 2/Integrated Math 3 combination.

Districts’ ability to choose what high school courses were tested means that a different, more varied student population was assessed this year. Therefore, it is not accurate to compare districts’, schools’, and students’ PARCC performance to PSAE and ISAT scores.

The 2015 PARCC scores provide a brand new baseline for measuring student progress moving forward. Under the ISAT and PSAE, results were reported as having met or exceeded expectations. There are now five PARCC performance levels, which range from 1 to 5. With these new performance levels, ISBE is now focusing on student performance on a continuum.

“These results should not be used to label any student or school as failing or inadequate. We encourage school districts to take this year’s scores at face value and look for ways to improve areas where scores are not meeting expectations,” Smith said. “Next year, the 2016 scores will be available sooner and will be to track progress from this baseline year.”

Students falling within level 4 or 5 have readiness for the next grade level or course, which is considered on track for college and careers, as defined by the Illinois Learning Standards. They have a thorough understanding of grade-level content and are on the right track to being ready for college-level coursework. Students receiving a 3 are approaching expectations, but may need additional assistance mastering content. Students receiving a 1 or 2 need more assistance in mastering the content and are in need of greater supports. For additional information on how to access and understand the PARCC scores on the Report Card site, please visit www.isbe.net/assessment/pdfs/parcc/2015/score-reports/parcc-scores-rpt-card-guide.pdf.

Below is the percentage of Illinois student scores meeting or exceeding expectations (level 4 or 5) for the grades and subjects tested on the PARCC test:






















High School



Nearly 75 percent of students took the PARCC test online. ISBE expects proficiency levels to increase as both students and teachers become more familiar with the higher standards and the test’s technology.

Additional resources about how to interpret and understand the new PARCC results are available at:

Riveredge Announces First Summer 2016 Concert, Kool & The Gang on Friday, June 24

Posted by Admin On December - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Riveredge Announces First Summer 2016 Concert, Kool & The Gang on Friday, June 24

AURORA, IL – In over four decades, Kool & the Gang has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide, won two Grammys and seven AMAs, racked up 31 gold and platinum albums and scored a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

On Friday, June 24, 2016, Kool & the Gang will bring their funky jams to downtown Aurora’s RiverEdge Park. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

You won’t be able to stay in your seat when these music royals rock the Fox with hits including “Celebration,” “Jungle Boogie” and “Get Down On It.”

To add to the good times, Motown icon and founder of the Commodores Thomas McClary is bringing his legendary Motown sound along. With writing partner Lionel Richie, McClary is responsible for some of the biggest dance hits ever, including “Brickhouse” and “Too Hot to Trot” and ballads like “Easy.”

Online ticket sales started today at RiverEdgeAurora.com, making tickets to Kool & the Gang a hot new option for holiday gift-giving. Tickets are only $30 through May 31, and $45 after.

Phone and in-person sales start Saturday, December 26 at 10 a.m. Call the RiverEdge box office, 630.896.6666, or stop by in-person at RiverEdge’s satellite box office, the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Saturday.

Aurora’s popular summer concert venue, RiverEdge is located at 360 N. Broadway, directly across from Metra’s Aurora Transportation Center, on the east bank of the Fox River. Note: This event is general admission only. Guests are encouraged to bring folding and bag chairs.


Get down on this original music video by Kool & the Gang
Get down on this original music video by Kool & the Gang


About RiverEdge Park

In only its fourth season, Chicago and Chicago’s western suburbs have a terrific summer destination in RiverEdge Park, a beautiful outdoor concert venue in downtown Aurora.

Anchored by the contemporary John C. Dunham performance pavilion, RiverEdge is a general admission park with a capacity of up to 8,500, boasting state-of-the-art acoustics and lighting, a warm community feel anda gorgeous view on the banks of the Fox River.

RiverEdge is easily accessible from Chicago via Metra’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) line. Paid public parking is available in the Metra Lot, with additional private lots surrounding the Park and in downtown Aurora just a few blocks from RiverEdge.

Food and drink are available for purchase inside RiverEdge Park. Concessions at RiverEdge offer a diverse food menu along with a bar featuring a selection of domestic and craft beers, wine, sodas, bottled water and more. A busy row of festival food vendors will also set up tents to sell everything from hot dogs to funnel cakes. No outside food or drink (except sealed water bottles) are allowed in the park.

Scheduled events take place rain or shine, unless conditions endanger the safety of artists and the public. Concertgoers are advised to call the RiverEdge Park Weather Line, 630.723.2480, to check status if inclement weather is pending.

RiverEdge Park is managed and programmed by the Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA), which also oversees operations for Aurora’s historic Paramount Theatre.

For more information, visit RiverEdgeAurora.com or call the RiverEdge box office, 630.896.6666.

Photo Caption: Kool & The Gang (left) and Thomas McClarey

Charles H. Kable, IV Named Special Agent in Charge of Counterintelligence Division of the Washington Field Office

Posted by Admin On December - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Charles H. Kable, IV Named Special Agent in Charge of Counterintelligence Division of the Washington Field Office
FBI Director James B. Comey has named Charles H. Kable, IV as the special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division at the Washington Field Office. Mr. Kable most recently served as the chief of the Counterespionage Section at FBI Headquarters (FBIHQ) in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, Mr. Kable provided leadership and oversight to the field offices engaged in espionage, economic espionage, and insider threat investigations.

Mr. Kable entered on duty with the FBI in 2000 and was assigned to the San Francisco Field Office, Oakland Resident Agency, where he specialized in counterespionage investigations and counterintelligence operations.

Mr. Kable was then promoted to program manager and acting unit chief in the Chinese Counterespionage Unit within the Counterespionage Section at FBIHQ, where he provided leadership, guidance, and oversight to the field divisions on numerous high-profile counterespionage investigations.

In 2007, Mr. Kable was promoted to supervisory special agent of a counterintelligence squad in the San Antonio Field Office, Austin Resident Agency.

In 2009, Mr. Kable became the Chief of the Civilian Intelligence Officers in the Operations and Investigations Unit at FBIHQ, where he led investigations and operations directed against known and suspected Chinese intelligence officers in the U.S.

In 2011, Mr. Kable served as the assistant section chief of the Counterespionage Section, and in 2012 Mr. Kable was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Branch of the Los Angeles Field Office.

Before joining the FBI, Mr. Kable was a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy in the Pacific and, during his last fleet assignment, commissioned the guided missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69).

Mr. Kable reports to the Washington Field Office in the middle of December.

Washington, D.C. December 09, 2015
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

2016 Diverse Voices in Docs Application Open for Documentary Makers of Color to Incubate Films

Posted by Admin On December - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on 2016 Diverse Voices in Docs Application Open for Documentary Makers of Color to Incubate Films
December 19th application deadline to apply for six-month mentorship program starting January 2016


Diverse Voices in Docs Alum Raymond Lambert’s Film selected for Sundance Film Festival

CHICAGO, IL  – As the application deadline for the 2016 Diverse Voices in Docs approaches, Kartemquin and Community Film Workshop are celebrating the achievement of alum Raymond Lambert, a producer on Chicago’s Media Process Group’s Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, which will make its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.


“By providing training, access, and opportunity, Kartemquin is at the forefront of the film industry with DVID. I learned a great deal and met many talented filmmakers; several of whom I continue to collaborated with to this day,” said Lambert.


Raymond Lambert was a part of the inaugural 2013 DVID fellowship class, where he received 6 months of professional development and mentorship.   


Lambert is also the producer of a Kartemquin’s work-in-progress, All the Queen’s Horses, directed by Kelly Richmond Pope, also a graduate of the Diverse Voices in Docs program.

After 3 successful years, the program has continued to flourish that Kartemquin has hired a part-time program coordinator dedicated to its continual growth, Mr. Justin Williams.


“The air is primed for Chicagoans to tell their own stories own their own terms — these stories need a platform and development. We really want filmmakers of color to consider applying for our 2016 Diverse Voices in Docs cohort and take their stories to the next level,” said Justin Williams, Diverse Voices in Docs Coordinator.


“Our goal is to empower ordinary citizens in the use of media and to provide them access to resources to produce first-voice social issue documentaries,” said Margaret Caples, Executive Director of The Community Film Workshop.


Since 2013, Diverse Voices in Docs (#DVID) has incubated documentary projects of nearly 50 Midwest-based filmmakers of color. Organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago, participants meet six times in four-hour monthly workshops to receive professional advice and guidance for their films. Beyond connecting filmmakers to the professional documentary community, the program also provides a network of possible collaborators and funders.


This past October, a graduation ceremony for the 2015 DVID fellows was held at the University of Chicago’s Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. Acclaimed Chicago-based cinematographer Keith Walker (A Good Man, No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise) gave the keynote address. In 2014, Chaz Ebert (Life Itself) gave the keynote address to graduating DVID fellows.  A screening of clips from the DVID graduates’ works-in-progress followed.


In June 2015, DVID fellows pitched their projects to major industry funders including representatives from ITVS, MacArthur Foundation, WTTW Channel 11, POV, Chicken and Egg, and Bertha BritDoc Foundation. As the final session of the DVID program, the pitching panel is meant to prepare DVID fellows as they take their projects to the next level.


“What I didn’t learn as I set out to make my first feature documentary was that your story will make even more of a difference with guidance from veterans and a community of passionate filmmakers, which I found in Kartemquin’s Diverse Voices in Docs fellowship,” said Bing Liu, a DVID alum from 2015, whose film Minding the Gap, is a new Kartemquin production.


The mentorship and support from DVID has translated into tangible, beneficial results for Kartemquin and several of its DVID fellows. Two recent graduates have gone on to receive funding from ITVS. Additionally, in April, two recent graduates, Bing Liu and Jonathan Ashley, were invited to attend Tribeca Film Festival’s Industry Week with their projects.
2016 Diverse Voices in Docs application and submission form:  


About Diverse Voices in Docs
2016 Diverse Voices in Docs application information and submission form: www.kartemquin.com/diversevoices.
Application deadline: Saturday, December 19th


Workshop sessions focus on applied learning and honing skills in areas such as fundraising, storytelling, production techniques, distribution and marketing.
Further perks for enrolled filmmakers include networking sessions introducing them to notable broadcasters, funders and distributors; access to Kartemquin’s invite-only “KTQ Labs Feedback Screenings” program, where Kartemquin’s filmmaker community provides free rough-cut consulting; and access to job listings and informational resources.


Support for the program is provided by Voqal Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, The Seabury Foundation, Efroymson Fund, Kartemquin Films, and Community Film Workshop.


Eligibility Criteria
Applicants should have played a principal role in a completed production (producer, writer, director, editor, etc.) and have experience or work history that demonstrated their commitment to social issue documentary.
Applicants are evaluated solely by their application
Applicants must be a legal US resident
Applicants must NOT be a full-time student
Applicants commit to participating in all aspects of the program and attending all 6 classes.
There is no application fee. An enrollment fee of $110 is due upon acceptance to the program.
Decisions will be based on finalist interviews and work samples.


The Diverse Voices in Docs program will not provide: project funding, legal advice, equipment or post-production access.


About Kartemquin Films
Kartemquin Films is a collaborative center for documentary media makers who seek to foster a more engaged and empowered society. With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on nearly 50 years of being Chicago’s documentary powerhouse.


Kartemquin sparks democracy through documentary. Their films, such as The Interrupters, Hoop Dreams, and The Trials of Muhammad Ali have left a lasting impact on millions of viewers. A revered resource within the film community on issues of fair use, ethics, story and civic discourse, Kartemquin is internationally recognized for crafting quality documentaries backed by audience and community engagement strategies, and for its innovative media arts community programs. Kartemquin is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. www.kartemquin.com


About Community Film Workshop


Community Film Workshop has trained and mentored three generations of film, video and photographic artists in Chicago and nationally. In 2016, Community Film Workshop will celebrate its 45 Anniversary with a series of celebratory events and screenings of graduates work. Graduates work on nationally distributed feature films, at television stations, at media production centers and in the arts in Chicago and throughout the nation. Other graduates have become independent producers, cultural workers, teachers and media arts administrators. www.cfwchicago.org


Community Film Workshop of Chicago provides classes in video production and multimedia in under-served communities. Its teaching philosophy is rooted in the practice of the artist mentor relationship. CFWC believes that the difference between media about an indigenous group and those produced by people of that group is the producer’s’ perspective.  The disciplined and nurturing style of Community Film Workshop anchors the organization’s core values of media’s positive transforming power.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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