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51sNt ational Convention Cov era g e “Best Man Holiday” stars Morris Chestnut and Monica Calhoun (CENTER LEFT AND RIGHT) present a cappella group Traces of Blue with the Emerging Artist Award during the Signature Gala. PHOTO BY NYEMA VERNON JOURNAL Spring 2014 s41 and he was found not guilty. Zimmer-man, who defended his actions with the “Stand Your Ground” law, was ac-cused of the second-degree murder of 17-year-old unarmed Trayvon Mar-tin in Sanford, Fla. “Zimmerman just went free,” Stone said to audience members in disbelief. Later, when she performed her hit song, “Brotha,” Stone dedi-cated the song to Martin and asked the crowd to hold up their lighted phones in his memory. The tone of the entire evening quickly shifted towards honoring the memory of Trayvon Martin as Soror Ralph did an impromptu tribute to Martin. “Change must come. Change will come because Trayvon Martin was all of our children,” Ralph said. India.Arie performed and dedi-cated her first song, “A Change Gon-na Come” to Martin. “This wasn’t supposed to be in the show, but tonight it is,” Arie said before strumming her guitar. Arie also performed “Video,” “Private Par-ty” and “I Am Not My Hair.” The evening closed with the leg-endary singer Patti LaBelle, who set the stage with her own mini piano complete with two pairs of heels on top. LaBelle brought down the house with her classic hits, such as “I Got a New Attitude,” “If Only You Knew,” “He’s the Right Kinda Lover” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” As she sang, “You are my Friend,” a slide show presentation featured personal photos of LaBelle with entertainers she met along her lengthy career who have passed on. A photo of Mar-tin was also included. s


JournalSpring2014
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