With considerable humility and appreciation I would like to thank you for selecting me to be included in your publication’s “20 Most Influential Persons” in Lansing. Often times we attempt to make a contribution in our community without any desire for recognition. We just continue on trying to help somebody and if it means calling on someone who can make a difference so be it. I like to say while its never been my interest or desire to seek recognition its comforting to know that your contributions are appreciated.
You should take comfort in knowing that your publication plays a significant role in our community by enlightening folks of color and others of the accomplishments by our own. It also serves as a information piece to educate our youth that they to can become a “leader” in the community. The “20” selected individuals included are excellent role models and I hope we realize and appreciate what each represent to our community.
Finally, Rina continue on, continuing on, doing what you do best and that is serving as a beacon light that informs, educate and encourage our community to do their part.
Larry L. Leatherwood
Dear Mr. Leatherwood,
Thank you for your letter. It was a wonderful time last year just being able to watch people. Yes, the newspaper is informative and it touches many. I try to be a truthful and insightful as possible. Someday, I would love to see you all in the same room together just having a good time. Someday.
This wasn’t my first time in Lansing. Though perhaps it was since the last time I was there I stayed in East Lansing (I have been told by several local people not to confuse the two).
One thing was becoming obvious to me. This trip was going to be as dull as the last one. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m quite sure Lansing is a fun place if you are not much older than 30. It’s a college town and I remember college, some of it anyway, the amounts of alcohol that was consumed then tends to make some of it blend together. Anyway, I’m a brother that’s now 40 and change (how much change, dear reader, shall remain my own little secret!), so I don’t roll like that. I’m looking for a nice laid back place with some good live music, preferably Jazz.
So imagine my surprise when I stumbled across 621. A nice little club on Michigan just before you cross the tracks. I found a place with good food and very good conversation. Well dressed men, old school brothers like myself, and fine women. Now this was my kind of place, not a pair of Air Jordan’s in the house. I was thinking to myself it would be too much to expect a band….they had a band!! This was shaping up to be a fine evening.
I took a seat at and waited for the music to start.
The name of the band was Soul Content. The band, musically, was outstanding. The lead guitar player was very good. The man can play, I’ve heard many club players and he was a good one. The horn section, which is rare these days, was very good also. Nice combination of instruments. The lead singer was…well don’t get me wrong, she can sing, I think the problem was the song selection. She has a good voice but at the critical moment in a song, when you need to hold that high note or that extended note, she falters. She has the talent; I think she just needs to refine it a bit. Also from an acoustical point, the band was very loud so she had to be loud. In a club that size volume can take away from the quality. She does Sade pretty well. To the band: Sade has a song titled “Maureen” learn that song, that’s one you could do well. Then turn it down a bit.
Overall, I would like to hear them again. They certainly have skills, and they play a mean “Give Up The Funk”. As an old school brother I can sure appreciate that.
You just need to ask the hotels that you stay at if they carry any of the multicultural newspapers. I am sure they will say no. But if visitors are more like you they will start to complain about the lack of diversity in the dissemination of information.
Thanks for picking up a copy of The New Citizens Press. Next time you come to Lansing give us a call we will let you know what is going on.
I hope that you come back to visit when Soul Content plays again. They have a huge following here in Lansing. It was my first time hearing them so I can’t really respond so I will have go to more of their gigs.
Soul Content also performs at Beggar’s Banquet in East Lansing and Gregory’s Ice and Smoke.
The New Citizens Press also has several different poetry events in the Lansing area.
Lansing is a great place for entertainment. Once mainstream become inclusive I believe that all our visitors will see the vision that the city has to be a world class city.