Just 2 more days until the Taste of Soul rocks Crenshaw Boulevard and everyone here at the Sentinel is fired up and ready to go. Preparing for a block party with over 100,000 guest is no small task and much of the credit has to go to Brenda Marsh-Mitchell who has been working overtime to make sure this year's Taste of Soul is by far the biggest and the best.
We also have to give a lot of credit to all three of our radio partners in this event 94.7 The Wave (main stage), 102.3 Radio Free KJLH (gospel stage), and 93.5 The Beat (The J. Spot comedy and Blues Stage) who have not only promoted this event like no other event, but who have also been willing to check there radio competitive egos at the door in order to collectively bring to this community a truly outstanding day of fun, food, and community.
This year we are adding a few new pieces to Taste of Soul. First off, we are hosting a community forum in the TV One tent, which will feature to panel discussions on both ballot initiatives this year as well as a piece on the changing dynamics of Urban Politics. This will be the first time that we have been able to add an educational component to Taste of Soul and many of the panelist are excited about bringing this type of open dialogue to you the members of our community. Big shot out to our Religious Editor Niele Anderson who has been driving this component.
As most of you know Taste of Soul each and every year has grown and grown. Our first year we went from MLK and Crenshaw to Coliseum and hosted over 35,000 people, last year we stretched out to Rodeo and hosted over 75,000 (most people say we were already over 100,000) but this year we are pushing past Rodeo and we are certain we will be well over 100,000 and probably closer to 125,000. Well, as you can imagine this is no easy task and I want to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful people at both the City of Los Angeles and The County of Los Angeles who are helping bring this to fruition. I want all of you to realize that this is a coordinated effort between police, fire, sanitation, public works, council staffs from the 8th, 9th and 10th Council Districts, as well as from Supervisor Yvonne Burke's 2nd Supervisorial District, and all of these people and departments as well as several I am probably forgetting have all worked wonderfully together to make this day a demonstration of absolutely everything I community has to offer.
Now, switching gears for a minute. Just 19 more days until election day and only 5 more days left to register someone to vote. In the next few weeks I expect this campaign to get increasing nastier on behalf of the Republican Party and the McCain Palin ticket. What we have seen and will continue to see is the signs of a desperate party trying to deny and ignore the 8 years of Republican failure and economic ruin that Bush, McCain, Palin and the entire Republican party have brought to this country. They are playing the fear card and inevitably the race card trying to convince Americans not to make the desperately needed Change. I would not be surprised if in the last few days they just come straight out and say "Do you really want a***** to be President"? Again, these are the signs of a desperate people fighting a Change that we all so desperately need.
But, I say to you all. Please, let's stay the course. Let's not get caught up in believing we have already won. We have not. We must finish the task of registering people to vote (we have until Monday, October 20, 2008) and then we must begin the task of getting people to vote. Absentee is the best way, but after absentee we must make sure EVERYONE gets to the polls. Not only here in California, but everywhere in America. Let's make sure we have record numbers of Black folks showing up everywhere in America. In the South, in the swing states, in middle America. Everywhere. All too often the African American vote gets dismissed, we my friends this is our time. Let's show the world that our vote counts, that America can and will be the nation we have promised and claimed to be for oh so many years. Let's all get out and Vote Barack Obama for President of these United States.
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."
See you all Saturday, at Taste of Soul.
God Bless You,
Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
President & Executive Editor