DC Culture Cookout July 22

Proceeds from #EverythingDC DC Culture Cookout benefit the Charnice Milton Community Bookstore and Check It Enterprises. July 22, 1 – 9 p.m. $10 donations. The event will be held in the “secret garden” behind We Act Radio and Check It Enterprises, 1918 and 1920 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE.

Performances include Sugar Bear, featuring EU (Experience Unlimited), and Ja’Ness.

EU (Experience Unlimited) is one of the original Washington DC Go-Go bands. Fronted by founding member Gregory “Sugar Bear” Elliott, the original members all attended Ballou High School (currently the subject of a critically acclaimed documentary). The band chose the name Experience due to their respect for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Unlimited because they did not want to limit the range of their music. Their early regional hits included EU Freeze, Lock Your Butt, and Knock ‘Em Out Sugar Ray. Although they are best known for their Grammy nominated, massive worldwide hit Da-Butt from Spike Lee’s “School Daze” soundtrack, EU scored hits with Salt & Papa (Shake Your Thang), with rap innovator Kurtis Blow (Party Time), and on their own with Buck Wild and Taste of Your Love. Da Butt won Soul Train’s best R&B/Soul Single, Group in 1989.

Ja’Ness is a singer/songwriter/guitarist recognized locally and nationally for her music and efforts to spread positivity. (Visit Janessmusic.com for more information.)



Donate a Book You Love

“I am going to encourage everyone out there to honor my daughter by bringing a book by We Act Radio, a book that you love — not just something that you want to throw away — but something that impassioned you. She was impassioned by what she read and lived her life accordingly,” says Rev. Kenneth McClenton, father of the late Charnice Milton.

Video continues with a brief visit to the not-yet-renovated store space and a few remarks from bookstore organizer and We Act Radio co-owner, Kymone Freeman.

video from mpalacioart.com

EOTR Lacks General Interest Bookstores

Neighborhoods East of the River in Washington, DC, have not had a bookstore for many years. Pyramid Books, formerly on Good Hope Road, was the last in Ward 8. Ward 7’s last bookstore, on Sheriff Road, which sold Christian religious texts and related items, is also long gone. There are small shops, offering specialized books, inside the Frederick Douglass Home, America’s Islamic Heritage Museum, and a few other nearby spots. In addition, Mahogany Books, which opened in late 2017 — just around the corner — offers African American literature. But the Charnice Milton Community Bookstore will serve a serious need in the area.

“Every neighborhood deserves a bookstore,” says activist and co-owner of WeAct Radio Kymone Freeman. He also stresses the link between literacy and reduction in crime, especially the sort that took the life of journalist Charnice Milton in May 2015.

Kenneth McClenton, Open Heart Close Case, Inc. Chairman and father of Charnice Milton, says:

“This is a tremendous recognition of a great young woman’s life whose commitment to God and community rises above even the most hostile acts of mankind. This is a sincerely special way to offer her name as a testament to the power of reading and the hope of reviving a community.”