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In this powerful episode, we sit down with Kenneth Muhammad, a former inmate turned advocate for restorative justice in the Mid-South. Kenneth shares his transformative journey from incarceration to becoming a key figure in the movement for justice reform. Discover how his experiences have shaped his mission to promote healing, accountability, and …
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She's your favorite songwriter's favorite songwriter! Grammy Award-winning songwriter Crystal Nicole joins me for episode 293. With over 20 years of experience, Crystal has penned chart-topping hits for Beyoncé, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, JLo, Jennifer Hudson, Camila Cabello, Chris Brown, Monica, Lecrae, and many more. Now…
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Warren Patten Jr. is a leadership coach, award-winning author and speaker for TEDx Orangemound. In 2022, he started Patten Entertrainment with a focus on leadership skills, profit productivity, people culture, and employee retention. Mr. Patten is also the author of "Father Knowts: Being A Better Father On Purpose" and 2X Award-Winning children’s b…
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Anthony Sain is the host of the Anthony Sain Show with Bluff City Media as well was the founder of Asylum Media Group - an organization created to provide mentorship to young up and coming journalists and content creators. He is a father and an advocate for the youth of the city of Memphis.Tune in to hear Anthony's journey in addition to plenty of …
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Whitehaven native, Brandy J. Flynn, is a licensed therapist, officiant and cancer survivor. She is a luminary committed to empowering our communities to be resilient and transparent as it relates to mental health. Featured in numerous media outlets, Brandy has been in the counseling field for over two decades and has a growing private practice whic…
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North Memphis native, Simone Santana, known to many as Simone the Mastermind or YellaBizBae, is a multifaceted individual with diverse talents and expertise including operations specialist, marketing strategist, author, podcaster and speaker. Simone provides creators and solopreneurs with a simplified understanding of digital marketing strategies t…
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Memphis-based photojournalist and interdisciplinary artist Ariel J. Cobbert joins me for episode 288. In 2018, Cobbert received her BA in Print Journalism and African American Studies from the University of Mississippi. Her work has since featured in national publications including the New York Times, National Geographic, Bloomberg, CNN, and the Hu…
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As one of the South's foremost Black-led arts organizations and a rare ballet company with a BIPOC dancer roster, Collage Dance is reshaping cultural paradigms. Through transformative arts education, captivating performances, and advocacy for diversity, Collage Dance has left an indelible mark on the Southern dance landscape. In this episode, I sit…
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Get ready to laugh out loud! Our latest podcast episode features the hilarious and talented comedian, Alex Thomas! Join us as we dive into the world of comedy, hear Alex's side-splitting stories, learn about his golf venture INGLEWOODS, and get an inside look at his journey in the entertainment industry. Don't miss this uproarious episode - tune in…
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Meet Christine Weinreich, the Executive Director of the Memphis Library Foundation and a dedicated advocate for education and literacy. Armed with a law degree from the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Christine strongly believes in the transformative power of education to drive individual success and foster community develo…
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From Houston to Memphis, DJ 007 has been a powerhouse on the turntables. With roots in radio from a young age, DJ 007's passion for music and spotlighting creative talent has been unwavering. Making his mark in Memphis, he held it down on-air and in the club scene at both Hot 107.1FM and K97FM. At iHeartRadio, DJ 007 pioneered Indie Day Radio, show…
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LeMoyne Owen College is a four-year liberal arts college located in Memphis, TN that provides a transformative experience for students with a proud tradition of educating notable alumni. Last week I sat down for a live podcast at the historic Cossitt Library with Interim President, Dr. Christopher B. Davis, Director of Alumni Relations, Dr. June Ch…
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Alfred Kainga is a talented acclaimed Zimbabwean-born comedian based in the United States, celebrated for his engaging stand-up comedy performances. He’s renowned for his distinctive storytelling style and humor, often delving into various facets of everyday life, cultural nuances, and societal observations. Kainga has been celebrated for his remar…
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I sit down with creator Delvin “DeshowMercy” Young on episode 281! His journey begins leaving Dallas, TX at a young age settling in Memphis with his grandmother. After graduating from Raleigh-Egypt High School, Delvin moved to Hollywood, CA and was discovered by a movie director. He began acting and modeling and later suffered a severe injury that …
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Take a listen to this exclusive VE episode with comedians Cocoa Brown, Big Vino and Skeet Carter. We learn quite a bit about the challenges women face in the comedy industry including some of the expectations surrounding content. You'll notice that pay inequities are a huge part of this world as well. However, we ultimately shine light on the amazi…
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Westwood native Camille Leigh's photographic journey stands as a testament to her unwavering dedication and passion for her craft. Following her graduation from the University of Memphis in 2010, where she earned a degree in Spanish and Philosophy, she could have ventured into a teaching career. However, life had different plans for her.Today, with…
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North Memphis native Dr. Trenton M. Watson lives and breathes education as the Principal for Westwood High School. He's been in this particular role for the past 6 months and has made true connections with his students. On this episode, you'll learn about Dr. Watson's vast experience teaching within the Memphis Shelby County School system and how h…
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Ali Manning is a food scientist, author, and the CEO/Founder of Umami Food Consulting, LLC. She is the creator of Food Science 4 Kids, a program that teaches grade-school children foodscience education and allows them to perform hands-on activities that enrich their daily lives. Ali is also the Program Consultant with Project Green Fork (a local re…
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Michalyn Easter-Thomas with Memphis River Parks is curating work around Tom Lee Park's art installation by artist Theaster Gates titled "A Moment to Listening." For the opening, until the remainder of the year, she has gathered local creatives that includes Fenton Wright (The Big We), Jennifer McGrath (Orpheum Memphis) and Gabrielle Brooks (Urban A…
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Episode 275 is filled with Black Girl Magic as I sit down with Kimel Fryer and Kayla Myers of Indie Memphis. The 24th annual Indie Memphis Film Festival is happening October 24th-29th at Crosstown Theater, Circuit Playhouse, Hattiloo Theatre, Playhouse on the Square, Malco Studio on the Square, and online filled with a diverse lineup of films, shor…
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Last year I had the opportunity to interview Memphis Mayor-Elect Paul Young twice on the Verbally Effective Podcast. The first sitting was prior to Young's announcement of running for Mayor and the second was months later after the declaration. I thought it would be fitting to run back the original episode which is filled with Paul's personality an…
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Anasa Troutman is a cultural strategist, producer, writer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. As CEO & Founder of The BIG We and BIG We Foundation, Anasa works to build & execute stories & strategies that are aligned with her vision world where all communities can experience safety, abundance, creativity, and joy.Best known for her 20 year partnersh…
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Outreach Specialist Adrianne Vestal and Sigma Pi Phi Delta Boule Social Action Chairman Melvin Burgess stopped by the podcast to discuss the The Parity Project. Currently, the fraternity has an initiative to dismantle disparities locally and nationally through the Parity Project, a national call to action to achieve economic parity for Black Americ…
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Kevin Whitted is a Player Development Coach, former NBA player, Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Famer, and McDonald’s All-American. He is also the founder of Kevin Whitted Basketball Services (KWBS), a year-round player development curriculum-based training program that services youth, collegiate, and professional basketball players throughout th…
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Did you know that up to 40% of the food supply in the U.S. is wasted, and up to 21% of Tennessee landfills are made up of wasted food. Locally, restaurants are second only to households in their generation of food waste in Memphis. As a program of Clean Memphis, Project Green Fork (PGF) contributes to a more sustainable Mid-South by helping local r…
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South Memphis native Carol Coletta is president and CEO of the Memphis River Parks Partnership and named of the 100 most influential urban planning experts. She is leading the relaunch of a nonprofit to develop, manage and program six miles of riverfront and five park districts along the Mississippi River. Carol has been living in downtown Memphis …
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North Memphis native Chef Eli Townsend sat down with Ena Esco for a live Verbally Effective podcast at the historic Cossitt Library in downtown Memphis last week. Chef Eli shared the intricate details of his upbringing including how his love for cooking began and opening a restraunt. Not only is Eli the owner of Dos Hermanos Cafe, he is also the Pr…
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From Aretha Franklin, Al Green and Isaac Hayes to Three 6 Mafia, 8Ball & MJG and Yo Gotti, Memphis has always been fertile soil for producing music superstars. Entering that arena with all the aspirations of a young Al Green is rising singer/songwriter and Memphis native, Kendrick P.Like so many before him, Kendrick P. began singing in his grandfat…
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The annual Southern Heritage Classic Cultural Celebration is amongst us and I thought it would be fitting to have the founder, Fred Jones Jr. sit down with me for a live podcast at the historic Cossitt Library. Growing up in the Cleaborn Homes housing community in the Memphis area, Fred attended Booker T. Washington High School active in baseball, …
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Kontji Anthony is the CEO and co-founder of Youdle. Before Kontji became a technologist, she was the main co-anchor at WMC-TV in Memphis where she worked for 17 years. Kontji sits down with Ena Esco for a live podcast recording at the historic Cossitt Library. She shares that her goal is to scale the tech industry and make Memphis a destination for…
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Take a listen to the live podcast with actor and social entrepreneur, Bertram Williams Jr. recorded live at Cossitt Library on June 29th. We discussed his passion for food justice coupled with his "Big Farma" persona that he's using as a tool to reach the youth. We also hit on the intricacies of the SAF/AFTRA writer's strike and how it has affected…
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A proud North Memphis native, Tikeila Rucker is a mother of three. She is a dedicated educator, social, and civil rights activist, and a catalyst for change. With a passion for justice and equality, she has been actively involved in shaping her community for over a decade.Having served as the former President of the United Education Association of …
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Memphis native Darryl Sanford has been playing music all of his life. From playing the drums at the age of two and later matriculating to the piano, Darryl developed an ear for music. Darryl teaches music theory and is also a member of the legendary Bar-Kays.Darryl first started playing for churches as a teenager and has been playing for churches a…
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Event promoter and Manager of the PC Band, Jeromy "Pep" Thomas, joined me for a live interview on WYXR for Black Music Month. Hailing from West Memphis, AR, Pep's gift for music began in the church. He developed the PC Band ten years ago with four additional members consisting of singers and musicians. The letters "PC" stands for Perfect Combinatio…
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New York native and Sustainable Funding Coach, Stormi Banks joins me for Ep 260!!! Stormi is the founder of Pink Print, a digital consulting firm helping women entrepreneurs gain access to funding to start or scale their business. PInk Print has helped more than 10K women entrepreneurs gain access to over $5M in business funding.Take a listen as En…
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We are ushering in Black Music Month with an AMAZING talent! With over a decade of experience in the entertainment field; Keia Johnson has made a name for herself as the multifaceted Artist that attacks each opportunity with gusto and her signature smile.Known for her bigger than life laugh and sultry voice Keia is no stranger to the Entertainment …
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South Memphis native, Laquita Jones, is a Carver High School Graduate, Author and Serial Entrepreneur is one Memphis' most impressive and vibrant faces in the entertainment and business arena. For over 10 years, Xclusive Memphis has assisted with marketing and promotions for countless celebrities; as well as educating, empowering and equipping aspi…
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Holly Springs, Ms native, Cj Nevels, is an actor and entrepreneur with three years of experience on the stage and aspires to take on the film industry. His journey began at New Direction Church where he was featured in a Christmas play. What started as an act of service for the church, led to an aspiration for a career. Take a listen as Ena and CJ …
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I recently had the opportunity to interview the student who helped Tom Shadyac with finding Memphis Rox in 2018, Chris Dean along with Executive Director, Zach Rogers and PR, Alex Williams. Listening to Chris tell his story about growing up in South Memphis and finding a strong connection with rock climbing was definitely insightful. Find out how M…
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On episode 255 we sit down with Flip My Life founders Marybeth Conley and Rick Woodall. You may remember Marybeth Conley gracing your television screens weekday mornings for Live at 9 on WREG news. Although MBC never wanted to be in broadcasting, her career spans over forty years with a start at a CBS affiliate in sales. Within three months, she qu…
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Dr. Vernell Bennett-Fairs began her tenure as the 13th president of LeMoyne-Owen College on January 5, 2021. Dr. Bennett-Fairs is the second woman chosen to lead the only historically black college in Memphis, TN.Dr. Bennett-Fairs’ career spans 26 years in higher education. She is a trained vocalist and orator who has served as an associate profess…
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I had the pleasure of chopping it up with sports journalist, writer and podcaster Parish Sharkey and artist, producer and radio personality Nicole Covington today on WYXR for Verbally Effective Live. We talked all things Memphis including Grizzlies, Tigers, WWE, Music and Culture. WYXR is in the midst of the Spring Pledge Drive and we happily raise…
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Jamal Whitlow joins Ena for a second time around live on WYXR for Verbally Effective. Jamal is the founder of Privileged brand in addition to being the creator of LOL Music Festival. Take a listen as Jamal and Ena tackles Memphis culture and politics in the beginning and ends with deets on LOL Music Festival.…
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Eureka McAfee is a South Memphis native who is currently the Principal at Alcy Elementary School. She is a graduate of LeMoyne Owen College and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Eureka begins the podcast with how the two of us first met when she and Coach Nedra Brown came to Millington, TN on a volleyball recruitment visit. McAFee talks ab…
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Christie Taylor was born in Washington D.C., and in the early 1970’s moved with family to West Tennessee. Her early years fostered in her a strong affinity for music performance and radio. Her love of “all things artsy” led to her pursuit of a Communication Degree with concentration in Radio, TV, and Film; and later graduated with a Bachelor in Dra…
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Cleveland, Ohio native, Jarrett Stephens, is the Athletic Director and the Men's Head Basketball Coach at Southwest TN Community College. Jarrett shares his story of often being the only black person growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland. His senior year he and his mom attended a HBCU College Fair where he was recruited on a choir and baseball sch…
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Jennifer Elaine (Jenn) is a Professional Fine Artist blessing homes and offices with aesthetically dope Black art around the world. Originally from Louisville, KY, Jennifer she relocated to Memphis, TN in 2010 and has embraced the city with her creativity and ambition. God revealed her passion and natural talent of painting in the summer of 2015 af…
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Get into this DEEP CUT with the President of UNAPOLOGETIC Label, Kid Maestro. Learn more about the journey of this phenomenal creative and how the new OUTERSPACEMANE studio was formed.Born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago, Kid Maestro moved to Memphis and planted himself deep into the creative community of the city. A few years later, Kid…
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Keenan Shotwell is a native Memphian and believes in the power of music to make people realize and celebrate all that they have in common with other people. He began playing music at a young age andpracticed music at the Jackson Studios during the early 90s. Keenan mastered the piano and organ while a student at the University of Memphis. As his sk…
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