Let me start off this week’s “Talk to Danny” by thanking the 75,000+ (some say it was closer to 100,000) people who came out and supported “Taste of Soul”. Saturday, October 13, was truly a historic event, as Councilmember Bernard Parks put it “This is the largest gathering of African Americans at a public event in the history of Los Angeles.”
Even though we got coverage this year from several media outlets including NBC and CBS, I couldn’t help but notice that the L.A. Times was once again nowhere to be found (I shouldn’t be surprised but I am), maybe the reporter who was covering the ducks at Lincoln Park (front page of Sunday’s California Section) was far too busy. I guess a day where thousands of African Americans come together to celebrate our love for community, culture, and each other is not in there minds news worthy, but that’s okay. As we all know, we will just keep on rolling, supporting each other and thanks to the lack of coverage it is a constant reminder of the need for the Black press in general and the Black media a whole.
To our partners in this event, Cathy Hughes, V100, Councilmembers Hall and Parks as well as Councilmember Perry and Supervisor Burke, and to all of the hard working people of the City of Los Angeles, I have to say THANK YOU, and without the spirit of collaboration and willingness to work together an event of this magnitude could and would not be possible.
Taste of Soul is but a glimpse of the kind of impact we can have on our community if we all came to the table to work together, checking our egos at the door and being committed to making a better way for our community while at the same time making a better way for ourselves.
Switching gears, while Taste of Soul was a glorious day within our community, there was a shadow of sadness over our entire community this week. As many of you know we lost one of our most beloved leaders, Muhammad Ali Nassardeen, the president and founder of Recycling Black Dollars, to a massive heart attack on Thursday. I will never forget the drop in my stomach when I heard the news at the 100 Black Men’s Dinner, and I couldn’t forget that I was just with him on Monday helping to celebrate the birthday of Reverend Jesse Jackson at the AEG Reception held at the Staples Center.
While I walked and enjoyed the flavor of the day at Taste of Soul, I couldn’t help but think how much Muhammad would have enjoyed the day, watching all of the African American business owners and all the African American shoppers coming together supporting each other and ultimately bringing into fruition, his vision of “Recycling Black Dollars” within our own community.
With the passing of my dear friend and brother, many of his friends and family have come together in support and honor of him and his entire family by starting the Muhammad Nassardeen Memorial Fund. We are asking that every person, business and/or organization that has been touched by Muhammad and his love of our community, honor him by making a donation to this fund.
Checks should be made out to “The Muhammad Nassardeen Memorial Fund” c/o Broadway Federal Bank, 4800 Wilshire Boulevard, P.O. Box 19848, Los Angeles, CA 90010 or can be dropped off to any Broadway Federal Branch Location. Donations may also be dropped off to The Los Angeles Sentinel, 3800 Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90008.
For other bank locations where you can drop off donations, go to: www.broadwayfederal.com.
I also want to give special recognition to Mr. Paul Hudson and the fabulous staff over at Broadway Federal Bank who stepped up at a moment’s notice and assisted me and the Nassardeen Family in setting up the memorial fund. It is only through the support of friends and family that will all get through these most difficult times.
So in honor of my brother, I am ending this week’s column the way Muhammad ended all of our telephone conversations, by saying “I Love and Appreciate You [Brother]”.
So, whether you agree or disagree, now more than ever I really need your input. I need to hear from you. I need to know what is going on in our community. I also need to know what other stories we need to tell, and what is on your mind. I really do want to hear from you, I want you to “Talk to Danny.”
Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
President & Executive Editor