The Bridge

Your “Better than Chocolate” issue Happy Valentine’s Day from our family to yours
Inside this issue
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Fashion Addik Tip of the Month Hits of the 90’s Keeping Love Alive Welcome to another edition of The Bridge… Two major celebrations occur in February that’s electrifying worldwide: Black History Month and Valentine’s Day. In which case, the Bridge staff sends a special thanks to all of you whose continuous support has allowed us to return for another edition. We will continue to keep you entertained with your support, love and assistance. This has kept us going and because of this, we know that what we produce will continue to catch your eyes. February showcases a time of love and reflections on Black American’s historical contributions and progress. As a reminder, don’t forget to get that gift for that special someone in addition to checking your local listings for events that commemorates Black Americans thorough out history. Just like always, we don’t want you to miss a thing. Check out this month’s highlights: Meet New York City’s Fashion Addik Poll: What’s the Smoothest Move You’ve Pulled on Someone For Valentine’s Day Putting the Spark Back in Your Love Life Lola Luv- The Most Hated on Chick in the Game Top Songs That Made You Wanna… Find out if your favorite song made the list And more…

Individual Highlights: The Review Pg. 7
Loving Your Style Pg. 8 Dad’s News Page 2

Pg. 9 The Poll: Smoothest Mom’s News Page 3
Kids’ News

Move 4 Page

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Dates to Save/ Check this out Services & Opportunities Keeping it Real: Black History Month Inspirational Corner Poetry Corner Lola Luv: The Most Hated on Chick in the Game

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Final Words/ Credits/ Contributors

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New York, New York, Big City of Dreams: There’s no stopping this ‘Fashion Addik’
The Bridge’s very own had a one on one with an up and coming designer from New York. Read on to find out why she can’t be stopped. ~Shawnette “Nette.Worker” Vaughn
So, I’m cruisin' along (on Myspace, of course!), and I come across a page that had the word 'Fashion' in the name. So I had to come to a screeching halt to check it out (just imagine me pumping the breaks on the 'back' button on the browser!). And whom do I find? None other than Ms. Pamala Davis, herself, also known as, 'Fashion Addik'. Hailing from the streets of NY, Ms. Davis knew her dreams of becoming a fashion designer would be unstoppable. I have to warn you, don't get it twisted; the lady you're about to find out about isn't just a designer. She’s a designer who remembers to not only create a design with beauty and sophistication, but with a lil' "SKUNK TO IT" as well. With a supportive group surrounding her, she's determined to mark her territory and claim what is rightfully hers. A deep passion and respect for fashion is what makes this New York native stand out from the rest as she rock’s a style no one can mistakenly say, 'that reminds me of something/someone', but instead, 'Wow she definitely has style sense of her own.’ While holding down a full time job, Davis makes time for another project which is currently in the works. The projects include, designing men and women Tshirts and her Spring/Summer 2008 Collection. So, you tell me-Is this lady unstoppable or what? Nette.Worker: How long have you been designing your own fashion? Pamala Davis: Well, my love for fashion has started at the age of 14. Therefore, I guess 13 years is how long I have been doing this, but in reality, I don’t look at the years, instead, I focus on my growth as an artist/designer. In this business, you have to crawl before you walk and the number of years doesn’t account for the experiences and valuable lessons I’ve learned along the way. NW: When did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer? PD: There was a neighbor who lived upstairs from me on the 5th floor names Anita; her daughter was my brother's best friend. I went to her house one day after school to pick up my little brother. When she opened the door, I immediately saw her sewing machine. I walked in her house and started talking about what she was doing. She told me that she was making herself a dress for an upcoming event. I was so amazed because besides her, the only other person I ever saw sew was my grandmother. She told me if I was interested in sewing, she would teach me. Well, lets just say I took her up on her offer! From that day until my 8th grade graduation night, she taught me everything from measuring to sewing without a pattern. I would never forget her for teaching me something that I absolutely love and feel so passionate about. NW: It seems that designers are coming out in masses trying to get their stuff noticed. What do you feel is necessary to become a designer? PD: I think what is necessary to become a designer is to be YOU! In addition, find the balance inside yourself so that you can illustrate your passion for everyone to see. There are many designers that are coming out in the masses but remember there is only one of you and I believe that a person can achieve anything if they set their minds to it. NW: Do you watch Project Runway-if so, who is your favorite and why? PD: I love Project Runway! When Project Runway first started, I was all over it. In the beginning, I don’t think they understood how much of an impact they were going to have on future designers around the world. I must admit though, this season I have been watching less of it because I feel the rawness is missing. I would like to see a Project Runway with fresh designers who have just graduated out of college that way we get to experience first hand, their journey. I want to see someone new that hasn't designed clothing for another celebrity and doesn't own a boutique in Los Angeles, lol. NW: Can you describe what your style is like, and does that influence how you design your pieces?
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PD: My brand represents BEAUTY, SOPHISTICATION with a twist of 'SKUNK' to it. My style is unique and I love to design oneof-a-kind pieces for people. There is nothing better than walking down 14th street with something no one else has on, and have random people stop you to inquire about how they can purchase that item. I get my inspiration from envisioning a young woman in her mid 20's to early 30's who wants to possess power, beauty and individuality without saying a word when she enters a room. NW: As we all anticipate the coming of the spring season (thanks to the little snow that has now scorned me!), what can we look forward to when the debut of your spring/summer 2008 collection comes out? PD: I am a perfectionist when it comes to designing. My collection for spring/summer 2008 is underway. Right now, I’m designing Tshirts for men and women, I feel in order to succeed in this business, and you have to start somewhere and have passion and believe in what you are doing. Last year I created a collection of ponchos, and displayed them in the Faculty/Staff Art Exhibit at my job. NW: When you're not designing clothes-what can we expect you to be doing? PD: well I am very busy at times. I have a full-time and part-time job. When there is free time available, you can always catch me relaxing at home, or-one of my pleasures shopping at Target! My mother thinks I’m crazy because I told her when I shop at Target it relaxes me! I love listening to music from around the world and dancing. NW: Taking a look at your fashionista collection, you have two pieces that I absolutely love to death-the Irish Rock Plaid and the Golden Lace...tell me how you came up with the concept of designs. PD: Thank you for the compliment. I came up with the Golden Lace concept by reading old Vogue magazines from the 1950's. Right when I was in the process of picking out the fabric a name popped into my head. Audrey Hepburn. She was a fashion Goddess. I used that inspiration and made a very chic dress that I'm truly proud of. I modernized the look by adding lace to the bottom to give it that sexy edge it needed. I am just like you in some ways, I sketch a little, but I am not the greatest. I like to call myself a 'freestyle designer'. Most people might call it crazy but hey whatever works for me, right! I love designing by looking, adding, and subtracting things. My other creation was the Irish Rock Star Plaid Dress. This by far was one of my favorites. I like to try my hand at many things. Even though designing dresses isn't my main squeeze, I love to try out new ventures. I am always inspired by different cultures. In this creation, I had the opportunity to incorporate a 'kilt style' pattern and put my special twist on it. Once the dress was done, I was so excited because I said, 'If only Sarah Jessica Parker could wear this on the set of Sex in the City!' lol. NW: I love the fashion of the 1940's-it seems like no matter what, the style was carried with a sense of elegance and ‘swagg’, if you will, which we don’t see much of these days. What fashion era do you wish you could’ve lived in? PD: I think I could have lived in the 1970’s. First off, my favorite movie in the world is Mahogany. The style Diana Ross had in that movie set off a movement. She had grace, beauty and confidence. She designed some of the costumes in the fashion show sequence herself. If you look at that movie and notice her style, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and many more couldn’t have been what they are now without a foundation to look upon. They have all adapted something from that era. NW: What style/trend are you feeling at the moment? PD: Well, I really don’t follow trends…I like to make them! Lol… No, it’s hard for me to say because I tend to dress differently. I love to see skinny jeans with a ruffled silk blouse, peek-a-boo toe shoes, and a large clutch bag with chunky bracelets! NW: Who is your favorite designer? Why? PD: Well, I have many, but my absolute favorite would have to be Alexander McQueen. He is fearless when it comes to setting his own fashionable pace. He’s not afraid of trying something new or edgy to convey to the world to see. He sets the bar for high drama that is clearly displayed at his fashion show. He inspires me to show people my fashion in a way that which they are not watching models walk, but to give my audience a show that will capture their attention from the time they sit down. If you don’t believe it, no one else will. NW: Mary J. Blige stated in an intro before one of her songs that if she weren’t dong music, she’d be braiding/doing hair, now if you weren’t a designer, what would you be doing? PD: Even though I can’t quite imagine me doing anything else, I guess if I wasn’t designing, I probably would have become an art teacher. I would give the children an oasis to come to where they can express themselves without the hassle of the world. Maybe one day I can inspire someone like my art teachers have inspired me when I was younger. Dancing is my love also.

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NW: We’re at a point in fashion times that designers are looking to getting their designs patented and/or trademarked to prevent the whole ‘copycat syndrome’. When seeing the work of other current and up and coming designers, what makes you different from them, how do you maintain your sense of originality to prevent ‘looking’ like others? PD: It’s so hard in the fashion world to try to become the first or getting your designs or ideas patented and/or trademarked. I think outside the box. I consider myself a designer that has a hint of classic taste to keep me balanced and on the other side of the spectrum-I have a rough edge to me. NW: What quote or saying do you live by on a daily basis (if any)? PD: I have two quotes that I like-Maya Angelou, ‘I want all my senses engaged. Let me absorb the world's variety and uniqueness.’ In addition, my other favorite is Sir Winston Churchill, ‘We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.’ NW: What is your motivation for doing what you do? PD: My motivation in life is just being thankful that GOD has blessed me to get up everyday to do something that I can’t imagine my life without. Many people walk this earth with having no idea of how their life will turn out, but I believe in talking positive and having faith that the Lord will guide me to righteousness. Mind, Soul and Body! Another thing that REALLY INSPIRES me is my love for music! I am what you call eclectic. I listen to everything from Punjabi/Bhangra music to Hip-Hop to Merengue and to anything that has a beat, lol. If I hear a song that I love, I automatically can envision it in a fashion show, and then I start to design in my head. NW: Any words of advice for aspiring designers? PD: The advice I would give to young designers would have to be, ‘always strive for greatness’. No one can ever tell you that you cannot do something. There are many people who will try to knock you down. Don’t let them get the best of you and most importantly, do what makes you happy! NW: How can you be reached? PD: I can be reached in many ways: my My Space url is: www.myspace.com/sivad_uniq and my email address is sivadfashion@yahoo.com and I have a fashion addict blog where you can also send me a message: www.addicted2fashion.wordpress.com

Tip of the Month
~Vernishia “Ladi.Vee” Vaughn

Spell Check~
My Space is an awesome place and it works in the favor of the account owner at most times. That is, if you use it the right way and to your advantage. The Internet overall is a good avenue for many if used correctly. As spring approaches, there will be more shows and events going down and if you’re like me and have a My Space page, you read you bulletins. Events include artist showcases, fashion shows, store openings, and page launches for Bloggers and the more I read what’s posted, I notice there isn’t really time taken out to put out the pertinent information that may perhaps be a little detrimental to getting people to tune in further finding more about what’s going on. With events like these coming up, especially when promoting them yourselves, funding and being the sole creator of the shows, keep in mind there are things that you may want to do. My Space and the Internet as I mentioned are good channels in getting the word out. I truly stress that you have to use both correctly in order for them to be effective in your movement. What I have noticed when reading bulletins, are misspelled words. I can speak first hand and admit I’m guilty of it as well. I know how it is to have so much information to get out having little to no time to post it. I get it all out, I hit post or send and forgetting to spell check. It reaches the masses and if they are like me, they would probably think, “Is she serious? She didn’t even take time to review this before sending.” Before you know it, DELETE! Yes, the email is deleted or if you’re on My Space, move on to the next bulletin. One thing I have come to realize and want to share with you is, how serious do you expect your information to be taken? Not that serious. Before posting your next event, take time out to check or have someone else check the spelling before hitting the finish button. For my fellow “My Spacer’s,” when posting a bulletin on My Space, chances are, you will go back to view the posting. Once you catch the error, it doesn’t hurt to go back and make edits and reposting it. The keyword for the day isn’t J-O-B, it’s SPELLCHECK.

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Music wonders: Top songs that’ll make you wanna…
~Shauntae “Miss.Shaun” Hinkle

STOP! Before you go out and make a mix tape to compliment that steamy night you're anticipating with your hot date, make note of 20 sexy songs from 20 pivotal R & B albums of the 90's.
20 Silk--Lose Control, Album: Lose Control (1992)- I still get shivers when I hear this track. 19. En Vogue--Don't Go, Album: Born to Sing (1990)- You can't deny that sista girls were doing some serious begging in this song. 18. Jon B.--They Don't Know, Album: Cool Relax (1995) This pioneer helped pave the way for more our soul brothers of the Caucasian persuasion. 17. Erykah Badu--Next Lifetime, Album: Baduizm (1997)- Why is it that when you're in a committed relationship, someone else always wants to come in and romance you? Erykah wondered the same thing on this hot track. 16. Dave Hollister--Favorite Girl, Album: Ghetto Hymns (1999)- No one could have told a woman to get lost, give a shout out to his lady, and then make his favorite girl feel oh so loved better than Dave. 15. Toni Braxton--Breathe Again, Album: Toni Braxton (1993)- Have you ever had a woman who literally told you that she would hold her breath until you came back in her life? Can we say SPRUNG? 14. Boyz II Men--Uh Ah, Album: Cooleyhighharmony (1991)- Google search the words and you'll probably say: Ooooooohhh! They so nasty! 13. Usher-- Nice & Slow, Album: My Way (1997)- On this album, Usher let the world know that he was new, improved and freaky as hell! 12. Brandy-- Have You Ever, Album: Never Say Never (1998)- Even though she started off singing the song in third person, we got the point. 11. SWV--You're Always on my mind, Album: It's About Time (1992)The song was great, no doubt. But whatever happened to the dude that was singing and playing the piano on this track? 10. Dru Hill-- Beauty, Album: Enter The Dru (1998)- There was nothing metrosexual (or homo) about Sisqo when he sang this song to homegirl. Then again, I keep thinking he's singing the song to me. 9. Maxwell--'Till the cops come knockin', Album: Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite (1996)- Ever have someone tell you they're going to give it to you until 5-0 comes lookin' for your behind? Now that's lovin'! 8. TLC--Red Light Special, Album: Crazy, Sexy, Cool (1994)- I don't know too many men that would turn down a whore-in-the-bedroom offer. 7. X-Scape-- Tonight, Album: Hummin' Commin' at cha (1993)Although this song was murdered by many drunk karaoke-goers, it's still one of their best songs and a great album. 6. D’Angelo-- Lady, Album: Brown Sugar (1995)- What better way to tell your lady that you love her than to stake your claim in a ghetto love song? Hey, it beats peeing on her. 5. Aaliyah--4 Page Letter, Album: One In A Million (1996)- We're still wondering if the letter was addressed to Damon Dash. Or at least I am. 4. R.Kelly--12 Play, Album: 12 Play (1993)-Despite his legal troubles, you cannot doubt that this song made you feel hot and bothered. Eventually you were bothered because of the alleged reasons behind his legal trouble. But nonetheless, you were hot. 3. Mary J. Blige--7 Days, Album: Share My World (1997)- After fighting through her own drama, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul polished her personal and let the world know where she stood one and for all on this album. All hail to the Queen. AND PM Dawn--Set Adrift on Memory Bliss, Album: Of the Heart, Of the Soul and of the Cross: The Utopian Experience (1991)- This song has been sampled and remade more than anyone could count. 2. Jodeci-- Forever My Lady, Album: Forever My Lady (1991)OOOOHHH YEAH! 1. Lauryn Hill ft. D’Angelo-Nothing Even Matters, Album: Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)What more can you say about this song or the album? Well, Wyclef has a lot to say about it, but a majority of her fans are still enjoying this timeless classic.

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Ladi.Vee shares tips on putting the spark back into your relationship.
What do you do when love between you and your other half is dying? Do you take Ne-Yo’s advice and make it work or do you throw in the towel? Instead of falling out of love, fall back into love as Ladi.Vee shares a few ideas on bringing fire back to into your love life. Vernishia “Ladi.Vee” Vaughn Falling in love is a term used to describe the sudden deep connection we experience with another human being. It can be so intoxicating that, in the beginning, the possibility of ever falling out of love is unimaginable. Successful couples know that romance can grow only when those initial feelings of connectedness are recognized and nurtured through communication and caring. As you move forward in relationships and come to a point where failure begins to exist, you sit back and ask, “What happened and what can I do to bring it back to the way it used to be?” Before going further, I must let you know that I am far from an expert on love, but those who know me know I love hard and at times never know what to say or do when the “falling out of love” stage surfaces. I wanted to share a few things from my personal bag that may assist you in keeping love alive. The most important thing you want to do when you feel things are spiraling downward, is take about fifteen to twenty minutes before going to bed at night to be with your partner without outside distractions. If this seems a bit too much to start out with, try it for a month, on a designated night during the week leading to progression in the amount of time dedicated to this routine. Turn off computers, stereos, and TVs; turning your full attention to each other. It’s a great way to stay current by airing differences or concerns, discussing positive ideas and insights, or reviewing interesting stories from books, magazines, or newspaper articles. A few other things you can do is, recite poetry or serenade your partner with a song, even if you can’t sing. Some of you may think, “I’m not married, nor do I live with my partner,” that’s okay. You can hook up by phone. I must admit that this is just one of those times where instant messaging and e-mail are poor substitutes for rekindling what was once there. Having a verbal heart to heart is a sure way of checking in at the end of a long day. Not only that, it also safeguards romance by encouraging you to continue open communication leading to everything that started at the beginning of your relationship, undivided attention. Give three sincere compliments to your mate (not about physical appearance because that’s inevitable), while giving compliments that range from what you like about them to the way they romance you. Be sure to state your compliments in a positive light, and accept your mate’s words when you’re on the receiving end. This means acknowledging the praise with a simple “Thank you,” nod of appreciation, or gentle kiss. It’s not wise to downplay what you are being praised for with a comment like, “Ah, it was really nothing.” Another thing to do bringing back the romance, spend a day together without spending any money whatsoever. Do what you might normally do, but avoid using cash or credit cards for any purchases, including food. A day of financial fasting will do both of you a lot of good beyond saving money. You’ll discover that you’ve probably been wasting money on frivolous or unnecessary purchases as you examine the impulses for spending that arise which in some cases probably led to the flame being extinguished in your relationship. Most importantly, you’ll find that you don’t have to spend any money to have a great time. Your happiness, as individuals and as a couple, depends much more on your creativity than on what’s in your wallet or purse. Practicing a few of these ideas with both parties participating can and will put the spark back into your love life. You don’t have to stop when things seem to be back on the up and up, try this as an everyday routine and while you’re at it, make up some of your own things to do as well.

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The Review
Funk Soul's Doctor, Amp Fiddler, has been in the game for what seems like forever. With a voice smooth like velvet, yet strong and seductive, it's no wonder why his album Afro Strut is a classic. In speaking with him one on one, Afro Strut is an album that is personal, sensual and comes from a time in the memory bank of the Detroit native's past. He exemplifies this most on tracks like Right Where You Are and Hustle. What makes Afro Strut so unique is Amp's eclectic musical style—it's like a fusion of funk, R &B and jazz that's blended better than a Starbucks latte at 7 a.m. Amp Fiddler put his heart and soul into composing and producing Afro Strut. Although I expect nothing less than perfection from the Doctor, it's going to be a challenge for Amp to top this timeless album. ~Shauntae “Miss.Shaun” Hinkle

When Jaheim stepped on the scene, he brought us Ghetto Love, and then commenced to bring us more with Still Ghetto. Those two weren’t enough so he gave us Ghetto Classics. If you haven’t noticed, all three album titles indicated to the masses, “Don’t get it twisted. I’m still from the hood.” This R&B crooner minus the soft frame of mind serenaded the ears of listeners and set quite the mood with his gracious voice. Although the New Jersey native stepped away from adding the word Ghetto to the album’s title, his latest project, The Makings of a Man, deals with the same subject matter- ghetto life. With, Makings of a Man dropping almost two months ago, happy isn’t the choice word I would like to use describing how I felt. I would like to say, I was truly satisfied with this project! The lyric quality was enough substance to fill me up the same way a full course meal would. In Makings, there are more appealing melodies and hooks where he truly showcases a lot of maturity and growth while painting a vivid picture. The album features production from R. Kelly with Hush and there’s a guest appearance from Keyshia Cole on I’ve Changed. There’s also a sample of Bobby Womack’s, If You Think You’re Lonely Now, with a song titled, Lonely. I won’t indulge you with all the tracks, I encourage you to go out and get it for yourselves. Makings of a Man has definitely marked a new phase for his personal life and his career. It is very safe to say, the voice of R&B is definitely back. ~Vernishia “Ladi.Vee” Vaughn

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Contacts~
Shawnette “Nette.Worker” Vaughn Email:
nette.worker@gmail.com

Loving Your Style
Providing tools and tips to assist you in better understanding and loving your style.
Fashion Diva, Nicholette Moore brings the current fashion trends forward by sharing tips on how to make certain styles work for you.

~Nicholette Moore

Phone: 513.546.9674 Website:
www.myspace.com/msterybeauty

Shauntae “Miss.Shaun” Hinkle Email:
miss.shaun@gmail.com

Website:
www.myspace.com/shauntaehl

Vernishia “Ladi.Vee” Vaughn Email:
ladi.vee@gmail.com

I love staying on top of what my favorite Fashionistas are wearing. Since many of us are currently victims to bitter cold and freezing wind chills, I’ve decided to keep the winter coat ball rolling. I am having so much fun this winter staying up to date with all of the adorable winter coat styles. Let me just say this, superheroes aren’t the only ones who can rock a fabulous cape. Stars including Jennifer Lopez have jumped on this “wannabe hero” wagon and are shielding themselves from the crippling cold. This look is great for everyone because the coats are one size fits all. The cape provides instant elegance when thrown over a cute top and a pair of jeans. If you opt to wear it in the evening feel free to drape it over favorite gown or party dress. Designers are calling the cape coat look “comfy chic” and I’m calling it “pure brilliance.” I love this look because depending on the fabric you decide to get, you can get your “Wonder Woman” on after the winter months when the air is still cool and maintain being a trendy fashion goddess.

Phone: 513.898.0495 Website:
www.myspace.com/finally_blessed www.myspace.com/ladiveespeaks

Mailing Address: Shawnette Vaughn c/o The Bridge P.O. Box 19012 Cincinnati, Ohio 45219

Coming up next issue…
• • • • • Adrian, Asylum Records latest addition. Spring Fashion with Fashion Diva, Nicolette Moore Meet the mastermind behind Girlfriends Get Together, Bettina Lee The Bridge’s, Artist, Model, Poet, Designer and businessman/woman of the month Poll: Spring-cleaning will be taking place. Find out who’s going to be cleaning what. …and more

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The Poll: What's the smoothest move you've pulled on someone for Valentine's Day?
There were a few who checked in for The Bridge’s poll: “What’s the smoothest move you’ve pulled on someone for Valentine’s Day? Want to know the responses? Read on, because an idea or two may be of some use to you.

“I'm really terrible on Valentines Day, because I don't believe that you should tell, or show the person that you
are with how much you care for them one day out of the year. I believe that every time a person sees their significant other should be Valentines Day.” ~Adrian Spokane, Washington, Artist, Asylum Records Adrian, Adrian

“I rented a room at the Hilton Mark hotel with a balcony on the lake and a Jacuzzi in the room. I had a friend go ahead of me and light candles and run a HOT bubble bath. Roses, confetti, and wine adorned the room, he knew not where we were going so he was shocked and totally surprised...in love I might say...and the rest of the night was history...literally.” ~S.R.H Washington D.C. S.R.H, S.R.H “I sent her a dozen roses, did a helicopter ride around New York City, and had a limo for the evening. During
dessert, served her with a very nice Movado watch then after that, gave her a full body massage when we got back to our suite at Trump Tower. It cost a bit of money, but hey, if you’re going to do it, go all out I say because if she is smiling you’re going to be smiling later!” ~Davinci, Brooklyn, N.Y. CEO, 5-S.M.E

“I don't do V-Day, but I have written a letter to the job of this male delivery guy only knowing his name. In the letter I told him that I thought he was cute and if he was free that upcoming Friday I'd like to go out. I missed him when he called me on Thursday. Got his message that Friday and we went out that night.” ~T. Brown Washington, D.C. T. Brown, “I’m a broke grad student so I have to budget carefully. Moreover I think it’s ridiculous to show love on days when I am told to by society.
I show my baby love all day everyday. Nevertheless, for my ego’s sake, I do the holiday thing so she can have something to tell her friends about. Last year, I decided to make Valentine’s Day eve a blockbuster night so I could fall asleep and spend the night intentionally. I set the alarm on my phone to wake me up between 5 and 6 a.m. I woke up, fixed breakfast in bed. I then had a masseuse come by which was the hard part because she lives in a gated community and the masseuse was a woman. I had to explain why there was a woman at the gate asking for me without blowing the surprise. In the end, it all panned out well. My baby girl was really happy and she threw me out the room so she could enjoy the massage. I snuck in to take pictures to remind her I am capable of doing some good.” ~Hannibal LeQuetor Hannibal

“I dressed up as a cocktail waitress, turned my den into a Cigar Bar lit with candles and soft music. Two chambermaids were serving him while I walked around in next to nothing in four-inch heels and a cashmere trench, making sure his every edible needs were met. Then I personally served him dessert!” Ms. Nickee, Atlanta, Ga., Model/CEO Diva Day International

“I took an ex on her dream vacation spot to Hawaii.” ~Marv, New York ”
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Dates to save
Calling all artists… So, you think you got skills? Next 2 Blow artist showcase will be the judge of that. Not only will this showcase take place Saturday, February 9th at Cobo Hall, located in Downtown Detroit, A&R’s from Def Jam, Atlantic, Roc A Fella, Jive and Zoe Pound records are going to be in the building. There’s a pre-screening Saturday and Sunday 4-6 p.m. at Club Alvins located at 5756 Cass Ave. between Warren and I-94 Freeway. There will be a $10 screening fee. Interested in being a part of the event? Register online at www.surethingpromotions@gmail.com or call Nikki Cola at (313) 826-8724. Remember, the doors open up at 9 p.m. with performances starting at 10:30 p.m. Damon Williams the comedian will be making an appearance on BET’s Def Comedy Jam on Sunday, March 2nd and on TV One’s
The Funny Spot, Saturday, March 8th. These are appearances you don’t want to miss.

Trey Songz will be at Hampton Coliseum (Hampton, Virginia) Friday, March 7th with The Southern Hustlin' Tour
Not only is Trey going to be in the building, he’ll be joined by Rick Ross, Plies, Shawty Lo, Webbie, Lil Boosie and Flo Rida. Tickets are on sale today $45 at the Coliseum box office and Ticketmaster. There are a limited number $10.30 tickets available now from all outlets from radio sponsor WOWI-FM (102.9). Visit www.103jamz.com or www.hampton.gov/coliseum for more information.

Launch Party… Black Business Directory with Dallas Chamber of Commerce and Enigma Entertainment, L.L.C. cordially invites
you to attend www.GoBlackBusiness.com’s launch party. The event will take place Thursday, February 21, 2008 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Black Academy of Arts & Letters Dallas Convention Center Theater in Dallas, Texas. Here you network with other owners of black businesses. RSVP required by Thursday, February 14, 2008 info@goblackbusiness.com or (214) 915-9936

Calling all Girlfriends… Tinalee Media & Events present this year’s 2nd Annual Girlfriends Get-Together in Washington, D.C.
This year, the event will take place Saturday, March 29th 1 p.m.- 3p.m. with a brunch at Napoleon Bistro & Lounge (www.napoleondc.com) in Adams Morgan. GGT’s concept is getting women to step outside of their box. Doing this allows you the opportunity to meet new girlfriends and network amongst business cohorts from various backgrounds. Bettina Lee President & CEO Tinalee Media & Events, Inc. (347) 621-1336 or (646) 246-6329 (c) www.tinaleemedia.com Elle ("L") Denise Chief Visionary Officer .elle-SHARP PR & Planning (202) 372-7674 www.myspace.com/elleSHARP

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Check it out…
Real Talk with Ju Rock
Ju Rock who hails from Toledo, Ohio by way of Buffalo, New York has been into music since the age of twelve. Years later, he has a new single, "Spilling My Drank" which is in heavy rotation with DJ’s playing it across the nation. Not only is music brewing in the pot, there’s a new ingredient he is adding and that’s a hotline, “Reality Talk,” which allows listeners to get involved with the discussion of the day either by phone or on the Internet. As his fan base continues to grow, Ju Rock is allowing all fans to download music from his website for free. To sign up or listen to Real Talk, hosted by Ju Rock, call (567) 202-1657 or go to www.saynow.com. You can also visit www.ju-rock.com or www.myspace.com/jurock to download free music.

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Services and opportunities

Book publishing… From your screen to your own book, made easy with Jakaylah Paperback Publishing.

If you are an aspiring writer, poet, self-published author this company is just for you. JPP is a small publishing house and a self-publishing service that allows writers to maintain creative control while obtaining professional product. They are also committed to excellence and prove so with their latest author, Eric Branch who promises if the book isn’t of satisfaction, there’s a money back guarantee. It doesn’t get any better than that. They offer a wide range of services to meet your needs and budget allowing you creative control over your project and more. Go to www.jakalahpaperbackpublishing.org for more information in beginning a publishing process for material that will surely reach the masses.

Photographic services… Are you in search of photographic services? If you’ve answered yes and happen to be in the
7-Cities area, which include Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach, McSand Photos is just the place for you. McSand Photos specialize in but not limited to wedding photography, various special events, photo restoration and enlargements. Their mission to give top quality service incorporates giving over the top service to those with big plans but a limited budget. For more information about services and possible travel to sites outside of the 7-Cities area, contact Tina at olasanders@yahoo.com also visit McSand Photo’s My Space page at www.myspace.com/mcsandphotos.

All serious film students… Brooklyn artist, Kel Spencer is looking for film students. If you believe you have what it
takes to film and produce contact Kel Spencer at www.myspace.com/kelspencer. There are two projects, which you will find out about from Kel Spencer if you are selected. Monetary allowance is available and is most definitely a good opportunity for interns and independent studies. This can also be a good project for you if you need a video project or assignment for class. Requirements: Be from the New York City area, be willing to travel, have to your own video camera, and most of all, and have video editing skills.

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Keeping It Real:
You, Me, Black History, All One Blood

~Shauntae “Miss. Shaun” Hinkle

It goes without saying that the American flag is much more than a symbol of our freedom, unity, liberty and pride. When you see that flag dancing on the wind on porch steps, flagpoles above military instillations or on the bumper of a car, I encourage you to pay special attention to the color red. The red runs long and far. There are many faces that look just like yours and mine whose blood pumps life into the veins of liberty that keeps our flag standing tall. Just picture it: You’re marching in formation down a sandy beach in a uniform drenched with sweat because you’re so nervous. Living to see tomorrow is something you keep telling yourself you’d do just to keep you going till the next minute. You look to your left. There is a man with heavy brown eyes. His nervous jaw is clenched but his head remains tall. Although you can see him longing for the wife he’s left behind and the 1-month old daughter he’ll never know if he will see again, he still holds his head tall. He grips his gun with everything he has left. You look to your right. Your spirit feels the lost disposition of the green-eyed man standing next to you. There are tears in his eyes and his feet hurt. He hasn’t slept in days. He’s dying from the inside out, but he still marches forward. He has no one to turn to, and he’ll be damned if he spends the rest of his years in misery. He wipes his tears away and concentrates on something in front of him as if his life depended on it. You follow his eyes. That flag looks beautiful against the wind. That flag is why you are here. You want everything that flag stands for. You refuse to allow fear to succumb you. You look to your regiment leader in front of you. His pale skin is red, his clothes look like yours and his nerves are on edge just like yours. He looks down at you. Time stops. He yells something inaudible. You hear a shot fire, and your body goes into reaction mode. You’re in a zone. You’re fighting for yourself, your mother, your father, your little boy back at home. All that you know is that you keep looking at that flag, tattered and bruised. But you refuse to fail. Where did the time go? It’s night time. You’re still surrounded by enemy fire. You take cover and look to your left. A man with skin the color of the midnight sky begs for your help. Please don’t let him die. He has a mother who loves him. His father is proud of him. He’s scared. Please don’t let him die. You turn your head to your right. Your regiment leader falls in next to you with blood seeping from his chest. You begin trying to help him. “What the hell are you doing? I’m dying for it, damn it. Get your ass up and fight for it too,” he yells with everything he has left. You look forward, and there it is. That beautiful flag, dancing against the wind and falling toward the smoky white sand. You run toward it. It’s covered in blood, smoke and tattered with bullet holes, but you refuse to let it touch the ground. You want what it stands for. You can’t picture the rest of your life without its symbolic glory. You feel a stinging sensation hit your arm, but you still run toward that flag.

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You see your life as an old man. You’re looking at that flag with your wife and your little boy. You begin to cry. “I did this for you,” you tell them. Your wife’s sweet scent enthralls you as you hold her and your son close to your body and closer to your soul. Your whole leg feels like it’s been set on fire, but you still keep running toward that flag. (continued on next page) You see yourself sitting in a chair talking to your son. “Don’t ever let anyone take this and what it stands for away from you,” you tell him as you hand him that flag. He smiles. You smile. You catch the flag just before it falls to the earth. You never let it touch the ground. This is how William Carney, the first black man to win the Congressional Medal of Honor, felt when he fought in a disastrous battle at Fort Wagner, South Carolina July, 1863 with the 54th Regiment. So when you see the color red dancing in the American flag, don’t just look at it as one of the colors in the American flag. Red is William Carney’s blood. It’s John Stockdale’s blood. It’s Pat Tillman’s blood. It’s the Tuskegee Airmen’s blood. It’s my blood. It’s your blood. Happy Black History Month!

Inspirational Corner
Destiny
Upon hearing the word Destiny, we seemingly understand that it pertains to fate as we may call it. However, as we look deeper into this word there’s an awesome discovery. Let’s start with a question or two. Ask yourself, “Who or what is the author of my Destiny?” “ Who or what controls my Destiny?” and “Can it be controlled? The Bible says: Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails (NIV). Here we find the word Purpose, which is a very close relative to the word Destiny. So because the words Purpose and Destiny are so closely related, we can begin to answer some of our questions. Well first off, Purpose to God is Destiny. This may not be the same in our eyes, but it is to God. It pleased God to send Jesus to die on the cross for us. Thus giving the Purpose of God and the Destiny of Jesus. Now as humans we are very inquisitive when it comes to our Purpose, our Destiny in life. So, because of our curiosity mixed with our desire to have a great life (who wouldn’t desire a great life?), we have many plans made in our hearts concerning our Purpose in life. But if I am not the author of my life and if I didn’t create my life, how is that I know the purpose of my life? For instance, let’s take a puppet master. When he/she creates a puppet only the puppet master knows the purpose of the puppet for which he/she created it. If the puppet desires to know or understand its purpose it cannot look at itself because the puppet didn’t create itself. Remember, Destiny. Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. God Bless Bro. Shawn Saxon

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So, I laid it all on the line
~Michael Tate
So I laid it all on the line, My inner thought My love, my time My emotions at that moment That moment in mine From the first to the last, all my children Birthed, created with love to last From the blood of my sword To the pages of my life Once hidden away for mine eyes only Ashamed, abandoned, and toss away Now forever longing Missing pieces litter the land All corners of the earth, stained by my hand Stained by my thoughts, stained by my heart My seeds never to return to me But always haunting my memory And as if trying to resurrect a sprit My eyes make love to the world And those in my life, at that moment That moment in mine, mind pregnant with the seed of life Seed nourished by the life of lives And developed by the interpretation of my heart Birthed to this cold world Delivered by the hand of the my eye Connection of me severed by the sword Bleeding the fruits of my thoughts on to the pages of life A new child is here for the world to see Hidden for mine only Tucked away, seen but never heard Banging the walls of its tomb, wanting to be heard But beat down by insecurities of mother And abandoned by father, waiting for the occasional viewing And the essence of what it is free. So, I laid it all on the line.

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Lola Luv: The Most Hated on Chick in the Game
~Vernishia “Ladi.Vee” Vaughn There is an old adage that says a picture is worth a thousand words. But in model, Lola Luv’s case, her picture is worth a short novel. Rumor mills are buzzing just as much as followers of the presidential debate are about Barack Obama and Hillary

Her bodacious butt is a product of plastic surgery. She’s slept with industry artists from Trey Songz to Young Jeezy. She sucker punched a radio show jock in a New York restaurant. The rumors about Lola Luv are endless and mostly untrue. Her mantra is to keep it moving and not even entertain the talk. “It [rumors] keeps people talking,” she says. Her curvaceous figure has pushed her to the top of her game, which is part of the reason why many joke about her “bright future behind her.” Anyone from D.C. who knows Lola will tell you that her road to fame didn’t come easy. Her career began as an exotic dancer, which eventually led her to becoming Chocolate City’s own eye candy and ultimately one of the baddest chicks in the (urban music) video game. It was Lola’s working relationship with professional photographer and modeling agent Mike Styles and his business partner Michelle Vierya that helped to launch her career. She has been featured in music videos by some of urban music’s most notorious, like G-Units Hands Up and I Know You Want Me, Young Jeezy’s, I Luv It, Kanye West’s Good Life and Trey Songz’s Wonder Woman. Lola also has other projects on the horizon including, a role in the upcoming Wendy Williams’ biopic; Queen of Media where she fills the role as the mistress Williams’ husband cheats with. Although hard work has gotten Lola where she is now, professionalism is how she maintains her fame. She makes it crystal clear that her working relationships with others in the music industry are strictly professional. That attitude, in addition to her hard work has taken her to the top as well, which is where the video vixen plans to remain. But first, she has to dodge the negativity along with the endless rumors. Thus being used as a channel to surpass those around her, she blossomed into a model sweeter than a box of chocolates and more beautiful than a dozen roses presented on Valentine’s Day. She’s definitely the piece of eye candy for men and women alike. Bloggers are talking about her. Your daddy’s-sister-cousin-baby daddy’s great grandmother’s talking about her. There’s even My Spacer’s and a few who claim to have shaken-a-tail feather beside her who’s talking about her and no one’s saying anything nice. With all of the complimentary media hype Lola’s been getting, how does she to keep it? Easy. Don’t entertain the questions and assumptions. Doing so, adds more fame allowing it to catch up with her stunning and hated on frame. Keeping this ethic is why she is the most hated on chick in the game. Fact or Fiction Fiction~ Lola was discovered by Trey Songz at a strip club in D.C. Fact~ Lola was discovered by Mike Styles and was signed on as a model at his agency Style Entertainment six months later. Fiction~ Lola’s teeth are fake. Fact~ Hey, not everyone has a great set of pearly whites. Fiction~ Lola’s measurements are 34-20-42. Fact~ Her measurements are 31-22-40. Fiction~ Lola has been tagged by Tyler Perry for an upcoming project. Fact~ Lola make her first acting debut in Wendy William’s biopic, Queen of Media.

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Final Words~Credits~ Contributors Final Words~
When we approach February the first thing that comes to mind is Valentines Day and love. Yes, February is most definitely the month for love and next to December is the most expensive month of all the other months in a year. While we think and reflect on love, don’t limit it to just loving our significant others. Let us not limit the love we pour out to our children, brothers, sisters, etc… Step outside the box and love someone who isn’t of your family. How about someone who’s of a different race? Try someone who’s not as fortunate as you. All of this ties in with our Keeping it Real section and how many of us grew up learning about certain things that pertain to our backgrounds and beliefs. In all that we have learned, at the end of the day, love overrides all and is the most powerful thing in this world next to God. The American flag symbols much more than just an American flag. It [the flag’s red stripes] runs long and far. There are many faces that look just like yours and mine whose blood pumps life into the veins of liberty that keeps our flag standing tall. So when you see the color red dancing in the American flag, don’t just look at it as one of the colors in the American flag. This symbolizes harmony amongst all of us no matter the skin color, background, social, marital, and financial status. Most of all, it symbolizes who we all are as an individual. Remember, there’s a lot to love for in this world as one who celebrates not only Valentines Day but Black History Month as well. In this issue we touched on various things but specifically, we introduced Pamala Davis and spoke on how Lola Luv is the most hated on chick in the game. While all of this may seem entertaining in a sense, this at the same time, dishes out a solid message; they are just like us. When I say us, I am referring to, Shawnette, Vernishia and Shauntae, who are the staff of The Bridge, newsletter where we “Connect yesterday, today and tomorrow.” All of our jobs may be different but there’s one common job we have and that is to love one another and stand proudly knowing that the red stripes in the American flag represents all of us as one. Let’s get out in unity showing our love this month as we reflect for everything it is and stands for and that is, Valentine’s Day and Black History month. Check your local listings for events for Valentine’s Day and Black History Month.

Credits~

Fashion Addik’s photos courtesy of Pamala Davis. Lovin Your Styles’s photo courtesy of Nicholette Moore. Amp Fiddler album photo courtesy of Amp Fiddler. Jaheim album photo courtesy of online website. Jakaylah Paperback Publishing photos courtesy of Jakaylah Paperback Publishing. McSand Photos photos courtesy of McSand Photos. Lola Luv photos courtesy of Real Talk N.Y. Adrian, Marv, Davinci, & Ms. Nickee’s photos courtesy of each named parties.

Contributors~
NVS would like to send a special thanks to our two contributors this issue, Nicholette Moore for Loving Your Style corner and Shawn Saxon for his input in Inspirational Corner. We would also like to extend thanks to, Elle ("L") Denise CVO/CEO of .elle-SHARP PR & Planning for assistance with the Poll section and Michael Tate for his poetry corner submission. -Got an event, album release, etc… let us know and we will share it with our readers. Send all inquiries to Vernishia at ladi.vee@gmail.com. -If you are interested in contributing to this newsletter send an email to ladi.vee@gmail.com. Currently there isn’t any compensation for any work submitted, but proper credit and exposure will be provided. Contributions can include features, tips, promotion, poetry, etc… 16

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