NBC4 will air a Life Connected Special in celebration of Black History Month on Sunday, February 24 at 9:30 a.m. The show is the third in a series of 30-minute heritage month specials and is part of the station’s initiative to look deeper into the diverse communities that make up the unique landscape of Los Angeles. NBC4 has also aired original programming for Hispanic and Native Indian Heritage Months, and is beginning to plan for an Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Special in May.
For Black History Month, Life Connected will feature stories about celebrations, triumph, individuals and events that have enhanced Southern California. The Black History Month Special is hosted by Michael Brownlee, anchor of Today In L.A. Other featured segments will be reported by NBC4 Evening News Anchors Colleen Williams and Chuck Henry, Meteorologist Byron Miranda and General Assignment Reporters Beverly White and Gordon Takumatsu.
The Special begins with a segment by Beverly White, who gives a deep overview of the significant contributions and positive impact the African American community has had on Los Angeles lifestyle and history. She takes a look at the size of the African American population in Los Angeles and its powerful influence within the community.
In another story, Gordon Tokumatsu tells the story of Millicent “Mama” Hill, who started Mama Hill’s Help, Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes education, reduces gang violence, and strengthens families in South Los Angeles. A retired school teacher, Mama Hill started her nationally renowned organization out of her home in 2000. Known by everyone in the community as a “Safe Haven,” Mama Hill’s provides a safe after school program for children between the ages of 5 and 18, where they can get tutoring, job skills training, gang intervention/prevention and more.
Chuck Henry meets with Charlie Fyffe, a young African American entrepreneur, who founded and serves as Executive Pastry Chef for Charlie’s Brownies, a gourmet desserts catering company in Los Angeles. Henry talks to Charlie about his vision of starting a business and how he realized his dream. We also hear about Charlie’s dedication to giving back to the community through youth motivational speaking on leadership, education, and the importance of financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
The Special continues with Michael Brownlee spotlighting radio station KJLH-FM, owned by Stevie Wonder, which is one of only a handful of black owned and operated radio stations in the country. Brownlee visits with two radio jocks, who talk about how they have thrived from music ranging from jazz, hip hop and rap. They also discuss the benefits of serving the local community.
Brownlee also conducts an interview with Debra Lee, chairman and chief executive officer of Black Entertainment Television, in which she discusses the significant influence African Americans have had in the media.
Bryon Miranda visits a local hair salon to look at the trend of black women literally returning to their roots. After decades of costly and sometimes dangerous weaves and straightening products, Miranda uncovers the inspiration behind the movement to go “natural.”
Concluding the program, Colleen Williams takes a look at Black Girls RUN!, a group created to combat the growing obesity epidemic in the African-American community and provide encouragement and resources to both new and veteran runners. African American women have the highest rates of obesity in the country and Black Girls RUN! is on a mission to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority. NBC4 goes for a run with the group, from start to finish, getting a feel for what the group is all about.