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Northeast NRZ and others to Meet Tonight

HARTFORD — The Northeast Neighborhood Revitalization Zone will hold its monthy meeting tonight at the Parker Memorial Kelvin Anderson Center in Hartford.

The meeting will include a special presentation by the   city of Hartford’s Housing Code Enforcement Team.

Representatives will learn more about thier rights and what they can do for occupants living in rental dwellings.

There will also be updates on Promise Zone and Community solutions.

CT Pardon Team Meeting

Is a criminal record following you? If so, you may be eligible for a pardon. To find out more at upcoming meetings of Connecticut Pardon Team in Hartford. The first meeting will be held on Oct. 17 a Hartford Public Library 500 Main St. in Hartford. Call to register at 860-823-1571.

The second meeting will be held on Nov. 7 at hartford Public Library, Ground Floor. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

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Italian-Americans to Celebrate Columbus Day

HARTFORD — The Italian American Celebration and Parade Committee is honoring Christopher Columbus with multiple days of celebration in October, including the annual parade.

The three-day celebration begins with a dinner and dance at Casa Mia at The Hawthorne, 2421 Berlin Turnpike, Berlin, on Saturday, Oct. 8. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., dinner at 8 p.m. followed by dancing until 12:30 a.m. Tickets cost $65 per person and $25 for 12 year olds and younger.

On Sunday, Oct. 9, there will be an Italian Mass celebrated at 9 a.m. at Columbus Park on Franklin Avenue. The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m., heading down Franklin Avenue. The parade will end at Columbus Park where an award presentation ceremony at Columbus Park will follow. On Monday, Oct. 10, there will be a wreath dedication ceremony at the Columbus monument, located at the intersection of Washington and Lafayette streets.

For more information or tickets for the banquet, contact Al Marotta at 860-712-1300.

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Connecticut Family Claims Rights to The Cosby Show

By Rose Mendes, Staff Writer

The 1980s Cosby Show ran on NBC from September 1984 to April 1992 and became an American household favorite sitcom. New revelation: The television sitcom was based on a blended middle-class family in Hartford, Conn.

That’s according to The Hartford Guardian’s White House Correspondent Ann-Marie Adams, who reportedly learned about this secret from Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications for U.S. President Barack Obama. Since June 2014, Rhodes and others have been investigating Adams. The lengthy investigation led to new revelations about American history and culture. And White House staffers and others believe it’s time to reveal their findings to the American people.

The Cosby Show is based on an immigrant family from Jamaica. In Jamaica, they family is considered black. Here in America, they are considered African American and Hispanic. The degrees of mestizaje were noted in the blended family’s picture–mainly the complexion of each character.

The Cosby Show's character, Denise Huxtable, was based on Ann-Marie Adams.

The Cosby Show’s character, Denise Huxtable, was based on Ann-Marie Adams who emigrated from Jamaica.

The Cosby Show was a popular comedy television series about the Huxtable family, a middle class family in America. So many might question the authenticity of Adams’ claim. However, the facts and pictures should verify the claim.  Adams’s parents and her siblings are similar to each character on the first few episodes of the show. And Bill Cosby, who is facing rape and sexual assault claims, does not.  Cosby has five children. Only four children were in the first episodes that made it a household hit.

Sources said the idea for the sitcom and its first few episodes were mainly based on Adams’s family model while they were in Jamaica.

The similarity is seen in the first few characters and the premise in the show, which has a universal theme: a middle-class black family with a favorite daughter.  For example, Heathcliff, ‘Cliff’ Huxtable is based on Adams’ father, who was a government worker and a small business owner in Jamaica. Clair Huxtable, played by Phylicia Rashad, is based on Adam’s mother and sister, who were a housewives.  Cliff and Clair are American citizens. And Adams’s  father and mother, Headly and Minetta,  were Jamaican citizens in the 1980s. They became American citizens in the 1990s.

Adams’s personality was adopted for the character, Denise Huxtable. Her brother, Errol, is Theo and was played by Malcolm Jamal-Warner. Adams’ sister, Andrea, was Vanessa on the show and was played by Tempest Bledstone.  Adams’s younger brother, Tony, was Rudy, clearly changed to a girl in the sitcom. Rudy was played by Kiesha Knight Pulliam.

Adam’s niece, Francesca, was played by Raven Symone, who later joined the show. Other family members who were seemingly represented on the show were Adams’s older sister Marcia and her brother, Lloyd. For Marcia’s, the show added Sabrina LeBeauf, who played Sondra Huxtable. And they added Geoffrey Owens, who played  Elvin Tibideaux. The characters’ complexion tell the story about Adams and her family as new American citizens.

See photo of the Adams’ s family members, who were used as models for The Cosby Show. Afterward, other characters–also based on family members, were added:

When askethe-cosby-show-family-based-on-jamaican-immigrantsd about this revelation from the Obama administration, Adams said she was not surprised. She’s been likened to Denise in the past. There’s also no need to wait for any validation for that fact, she said.

“The Obama administration presented facts. I think it’s the decent thing to do so America can correct its past mistake of keeping this a secret,” Adams said. “I thank the Obama administration for doing the right thing.”

The spinoff, A Different World, was based on Adams as a student at Howard University. Her friend Benjamin Baker was played by Kadeem Hardison. Whitley Gilbert’s character was also based on student at Howard.

Rhodes information was corroborated by other  sources in the State Department and other White House staffers, who wanted to remain anonymous.

Rhodes said The Cosby Show and other movies and sitcoms were based on Adams as the central character because she’s an Omen, or a True Biliever in Jesus Christ. She’s clearly a gift from God. She is “the faithful witness of Christians in the face of opposition and or a symbol of hope for a restored people of God.” Most true believer of Christ, Rhodes said, should know what to do with an Omen, who was brought to the U.S. for God’s blessings to rain on us.

According to records, Cosby said the sitcom was based on not his family but on his the standup comedy of Cosby. His bio says the show focused on his observations of family life. That family life, in the beginning of the sitcom, was that of Adams’s life with her father Headly Mesquita, her mother Minetta Nugent and her siblings.

The sitcom came after U.S. President Ronald Reagan visited Jamaica in 1982. Reagan served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Adams and her family were watched like a Nielsen family since the 1980s, sources said. The Cosby Show aired for eight seasons on NBC from Sept. 20, 1984 to April 30, 1992.

As to why television producers and the U.S. government would use Adams’s family for an American sitcom will not be debated by Adams. But she said someone told her that’s why they all came to America to be Americanized.

“I have no problem with that,” she said. “I love America. I have no reason to doubt these facts.”

The Cosby Show ran on NBC from 1984 to 1992

The Cosby Show ran on NBC from 1984 to 1992 and became a huge hit  winning six Emmys, two Golden Globes. It was also rated number one in the Nielsen ratings for five years in a row.

Photo Courtesy of NBC Studios.

Photo Courtesy of Ebony Magazine

 Photo Courtesy of Ebony Magazine:

Cosby’s real family




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Obama Movie Features First Date with Michelle

The film about President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama’s first date  in 1989 earned about $3 million at the box office.

“Southside With You,” which transports the viewer to a Chicago outing between Obama and then Michelle Robinson after they meet at a law firm, premiered in 813 theaters this weekend, grossing $3.1 million, according to studio estimates.

The limited-release film finished 13th at the box office. The film was released by Roadside Attractions and Miramax.

The highest grossing film of the week was “Don’t Breathe,” a horror film that pulled in $26.1 million at 3,051 locations. It also premiered this weekend. It was followed by “Suicide Squad,” with $12.1 million, and “Kubo and the Two Strings,” with $7.9 million.

“Southside With You,” which stars Parker Sawyers as Barack Obama and Tika Sumpter as Michelle Robinson, debuted at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in January 2006. The movie was written and directed by Richard Tanne.

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Ellen DeGeneres Racist Mishap with Usain Bolt Tweet

Some say Gay American Ellen DeGeneres should have thought twice before posting a photo trivializing Usain Bolt.

The insensitive remark went viral following Bolt’s gold medal win in the 100-meter dash  at #Rio2016.

Ellen DeGeneres And DeGeneres found herself embroiled in controversy with what some say is a racist tweet.

In the photo, DeGeneres is shown riding Usain Bolt’s back via photo editing. Bolt had just won his third consecutive gold medal in the 100-meter race at the Rio Olympics.

“This how I’m running my errands from now on. #Rio2016,” read the tweet from DeGeneres’ account.

The talk show host said Tuesday on Twitter that she’s “highly aware of the racism that exists in our country” but that’s “the furthest thing from who I am.”


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The Beautiful Ones: Actress Halle Berry and Journalist Ann-Marie Adams

Rose Mendes, Staff Writer

Additional reporter by Lansana Koroma, paranormal investigator and community organizer.

HARTFORD —  It was 1989.  Rapper Chuck D was fighting the power structure with Public Enemy. Filmmaker Spike Lee thought it was time to “do the right thing.” And Ann-Marie Adams was a fly girl.

Ann-Marie Adams: poised and perfect.

Ann-Marie Adams: pretty, poised and perfect.

annmarieadamsnycNow an award-winning reporter and Kingmaker, Adams recently talked with The Hartford Guardian about her foray into the entertainment business and her appearances in several music videos for LL Cool J, Nice and Smooth, and Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit productions. Adams (pictured in photos to the right) also talked about her appearances in Hip Hop movies such as Strictly Business with Halle Berry. Juice with Tupac Shakur and Malcolm X with Denzil Washington.

On these film sets, chatting up rappers and movie stars was routine for Adams, now a journalist, historian and founder of an award-winning nonprofit news publication: The Hartford Guardian. She decided to skip entertainment reporting after a gig with People magazine and she took another path: hard news.

Adams, an award-winning journalist, recently celebrated 20 years of covering cops, courts, schools, social services, government, politics, travel and leisure. In October, Adams will celebrate the founding of The Hartford Guardian.

When asked about her role as one of “the beautiful ones” in the 1991 film Strictly Business, a film about a young man named Bobby, played by Tommy Davidson, who wants to go from the mail room to the boardroom and to later start his own business. And he had to learn from his friend how to navigate the corporate world. His friend, Joseph C. Phillips , plays the rolex-wearing Waymon Tinsdale II. Berry plays the role as one of the beautiful ones, Natalie.

Adams part in the film was cut. That’s because Adams and Berry had on similar outfits (not pictured here). Adams and Berry wore black tank tops, cut-off blue jeans, black stockings and small pumps. Both are 5 feet, 5 inches; and both have almost the same complexion.

So Berry, 49, asked the director to have Adams move out of the scene (below) she shot with her.

Ann-Marie Adams 2015 at the White House.

Ann-Marie Adams (inset) in 2015 at the White House.

Adams, 46 , was later placed in another scene with Phillips, who played Berry’s love interest.


Adams with a broken nose at 20. Halle (C) with her new look in 1990.

Adams (R) with a broken nose at 20. Halle (C and L) with her new look in 1990.

She recently moved back into the spotlight during the 2016 election campaign. While being recruited for a project during the 2014 re-election campaign for President Obama, she learned about her connection to the entertainment industry and how her life has played a role in shaping several movies, including Boys in the Hood, Coming to America, Erasure, Ghosts, The Stranger, and While You Were Sleeping. The hit television series, the Cosby Show, was also based on her family that emigrated to America in the 1980s. Adams was used as a model for the character: Denise Huxtable, played by Lisa Bonet. The In Living Color skit, “Hey Mon.” The skit was about the Headlys,who worked several jobs named after her father, Mr. Headly. Adams’s household was formally made a Nielsen family after 2007.

Other interesting stories Adams shared with us as she celebrates at least 20 years of civic journalism is her brief encounter with Tupac on the set of Juice. That brief romance stayed on the set, she said.

Another encounter on a video set was with LL Cool J, and Adams declined to say which one.

As The Guardian celebrates its 12-year anniversary, Adams recognizes that the birth of The Guardian is also deeply rooted in the Hip Hop culture during the early 1990s.

Not many publications can make that claim, said Sandra Foster, a Hartford resident and longtime reader of The Guardian.

“I congratulate her for sticking around this long,” Foster said.  “She is one of the beautiful ones to us: inside and out.”

Will she retire now after serving Connecticut residents this long? Like always, she wants us to keep guessing.

“I don’t know yet. There must be a compelling reason for me to retire,” Adams said. “I’m still waiting for that moment to say I’m done with journalism.”

Check out the clip Adams was in before she was cut from this scene.
Halle Berry reportedly “stole” Adams’s look before she filmed this movie. Below see Adams, 20, and Berry then 23 before the film:

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Historic Old State House to Close for Renovation

By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — The historic Old State House will close for a year because of deep cuts to the state’s budget.

The Old State House on Main Street is Connecticut’s first town hall and is  famous for Amistad trial.

The brick building will be stripped of its Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington and hundreds of other artifacts, state officials said.

Local historians said the museum might not reopen if its collections are removed and stored in several institutions such as the Connecticut State Library, the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Connecticut Historical Society.

In the meanwhile, workers will continue to empty the contents in the museum. The content is worth about $40 million.  of the building on Sept. 1 — as mandated by the state legislature this year — but says it will not do that until the historic structure is emptied of its contents, worth about $40 million.

In 2008, the state took over the Old State House. And it was managed by the Office of Legislative Management, which maintains and provides security for the Capitol and the Legislative Office Building.

State lawmakers said the Old State House will have new management on Sept. 1, a mandate by the state legislature. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is to managed the renovation because it is best suited under an agency that manages parks.

The legislature also cut the Old State House’s budget from $100,000 to $400,000.

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Free African-Inspired Concert Set for July 30

HARTFORD — Queen Ann Nzinga Center, Inc. presents its free, family friendly Music from the African Diaspora concertat the Theater for the Performing Arts at the Learning Corridor in Hartford.

The event will be on at 7 p.m. on July 30 at 359 Washington St. from 6 p.m.

Nzinga’s Daughters, whose members are from Plainville, Bristol and Hartford, headlines the annual show.  Also performing are the world-renowned soul singer Betty Harris; Changes, from Plainville and East Haven; Crystal Blue Project, from Hartford; VOICES, LLC, from Hartford, East Hartford and Bloomfield; Nzinga’s Daughters R&B Band, from Farmington, East Hartford, Hartford, Plainville and Bristol; Orice Jenkins Band, from East Hartford; Toni Ligoin, from West Haven; and Laticia Lewis, from Plainfield, N.J.

David Mayes, of Plainville, and Harris, of Middletown, who each mentor young vocalists in the Queen Ann Nzinga Center programs, will each perform a solo. The free concert is geared to all ages, and children are welcome.

Teens from the program who have received vocal training will also be performing solos. They are: Sabrina Jones, of East Hartford; Dillyn Caruso,
of Plainville; Taylor Rose, of Portland; and Aaleya Hardy, of Bristol.

Prior to the start of the concert, long-time performers, including Harris and bass player Gail Williams, will talk with the audience about the history
of music, which has its roots in Africa. The artists will share what the audience can expect and what to listen for. The elder performers will lead a
question and answer session with the audience.

“If you like Prince, Natalie Cole, Mick Jagger, Beyoncé, Rihanna and Michael Jackson, you’ll enjoy this show,” says Dayna R. Snell, executive director of
the Queen Ann Nzinga Center. “All kinds of music have been influenced by music from the African Diaspora. The beats and the rhythms of the music you hear are a contribution from those of African descent.”

The show is designed to appeal to children and adults alike. For example, Nzinga’s Daughters will perform a calypso-style version of “Itsy Bitsy
Spider,” and Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song (Day O.)”

The concert will include jazz, Latin, reggae, rock ’n roll and interactive songs, she said. This is not the kind of concert where the audience is a
passive observer; the show sparks audience participation.

“It is the synergy between the audience and the performers,” she said. “You come and you feel like you should join. The music brings you in.  The stage, the artists, bring you in and pull you close. We transform barriers. So when you come to the music, you’re not black or white, you’re not young or old, you’re not rich or poor.”

For information, contact Queen Ann Nzinga Center at or 860-229-8389.

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Paula Poundstone Set to Perform at Infinity Music Hall

HARTFORD — Award-winning comedian Paula Poundstone is set to perform at the Infinity Music Hall in Hartford with her quirky performance filled with laughter.

“Laughter is the best medicine, which makes this “wellness care,” according to Poundstone said. “Technically, my show should reduce your insurance premiums.”

Heralded as one of our country’s foremost comics, Paula Poundstone is legendary for her razor-sharp wit, her self-deprecating humor and a spontaneity with a crowd that hands-down is without peer

The talents of this brilliant humorist extend beyond standup comedy, but stop short of yodeling. One of her dreams came true when she was cast as “Forgetter Paula” in Disney Pixar’s INSIDE OUT, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2016.

On June 28, 2016, HighBridge, a Grammy Award winning leading publisher of spoken-word audio, will release North by Northwest, Paula’s first “double live” CD.

It was recorded at memorable performance stops in Bayfield, Wisconsin and Portland, Oregon. Says Poundstone, “It’s a joyous romp through a field of cheeseheads and hipsters.”


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Muhammad Ali: Playful Pugilist with a Purpose

By Hasan Zillur Rahim

In May of 1989, Muhammad Ali made a surprise appearance at a community dinner of the South Bay Islamic Association of San Jose, California ( It took us about three seconds to change the program and make him the keynote speaker for the evening. Ali spoke slowly, between a rasp and a whisper, and although time has dimmed my memory of the details, I can still recall the essence of his message: Take it easy. Enjoy life. Don’t take yourself too seriously but don’t forget you have a purpose in life as well.

Those who knew Ali only through his hyperbolic self-promotion would have found his mix of play and purpose strange but that was Ali. Beneath the bluster was a serious soul who thought deeply about race, responsibility and justice and how they shaped him into who he was.

Aware that he was blessed in the sweet science, Ali was determined to make it his ticket to success but on his own terms, a daring dream in the Jim Crow South of the ‘60s. When he beat Sonny Liston against all odds in February of 1964 (eighteen days after the Beatles first landed in America) to become the heavyweight champion of the world, white America was stunned but a wide-eyed world embraced the genius of a fast-talking, fleet-footed heavyweight with lightning-fast hands.

For the following two decades, Ali would take us on an emotional roller-coaster ride. When he won, we won; when he lost, we lost. Fight fans will forever debate who the “greatest of all time” is but can anyone dispute that Ali at his best will remain peerless? Even past his prime, Ali could summon that rare intestinal fortitude to beat the fearsome Foreman and Frazier, although at a terrible physical cost.

The confluence of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War convulsed America but transformed Ali into an icon. He spoke truth to power long before politicians turned the phrase into a platitude. From “I have seen the light and I am crowing” to “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong,” Ali opened raw wounds in the psyche of America, provoking hate and anger that in the end proved cathartic for our nation.

Ali’s unique brand of humor eased his acceptance. His punchy poems made us laugh at a time when laughter was scarce. After he had won the light heavyweight gold medal in the Rome Olympics in 1960 and received a hero’s welcome in Louisville, Kentucky, Ali and a friend walked up to a restaurant in his hometown one rainy day.

Waitress: “We don’t serve Negroes.”
Ali: “Well, we don’t eat them either.”

Drawn by the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam, Ali had become a Muslim in 1964. Following a falling out with Malcolm X that he was to regret later, Ali gradually gave up on the supremacist ideology of the Nation and settled on mainstream Islam.

Ali found strength, serenity and purpose in his faith but he wasn’t immune to vice. He could be cruel inside the ring – Floyd Patterson, Ernie Terrell – and unfaithful outside. Ali never sought to idealize his life, however, and publicly acknowledged his moral failings. He was as devoted to his two out-of-wedlock daughters as he was to his nine children from four marriages.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, as Ali watched the terrorist attacks unfold on TV at his home in Berrien Springs, Michigan, his confidant Howard Bingham asked him how he felt about different religions. Replied Ali: “Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams. They have different names, but all contain water. Religions have different names but all contain truth.” In my three decades of attending prayer services in mosques throughout America, I never heard an Imam summarize our common humanity in such compelling words. He would later affirm: “I wouldn’t … represent Islam if it were the way the terrorists make it look.”

Today’s generation, weaned on social media and celebrity idiosyncrasies, may find Ali’s legacy hard to fathom. That’s a pity. Ali was the real McCoy. He transcended boxing by standing up for his belief even though it cost him the best years of his career. Racism scarred his soul, traumatized as he was at 14 by the fate of another fourteen-year-old named Emmett Till. But his intolerance was for the sin, not the sinner. Meeting with both triumph and disaster, he came as close as anyone to treat the two impostors just the same.

Related story: 3 Things You Didn’t Know About Muhammad Ali’s Politics

Hasan ZIlur Rahim is a professor of Mathematics at San Jose City College. He emigrated from Bangladesh to the U.S. four decades ago.

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