Black Wall Street SOUTHEAST is Tonight! MEET THE HONOREES: The Art-drenaline Cafe, Elvera Patrick, Cornelius Adams, Bruce Brown, Gist Family Catering Service, Mignon Brown-Anderson ….

black wall street southeast3By Bmorenews Staff

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 2, 2016) – Momma’s Safe Haven in conjunction with present the third installment of Black Wall Street SOUTHEAST featuring The Joe Manns Black Wall Street Awards on Thursday, June 2, 2016 (5:30 pm to 8 pm) at Malcolm X Opportunity Center at 1351 Alabama Avenue SE.

This is a part of the ORIGINAL Black Wall Street SERIES *NYC *MD *DC *ATL *NOLA and is dedicated to the memory of the 600 black businesses that were bombed and burned to the ground in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the race riots of 1921. The goal is to celebrate black entrepreneurs and professionals as well as the people who support them regardless of race. Founded in 2011 by, the series has honored hundreds in 5 US cities with the coveted Joe Manns Black Wall Street Award.


The Art-drenaline Café specializes in freshly-made and artfully-crafted foods and beverages. It is looking to change the way DC eats! Yet while delicious, healthy food is their passion, their broader calling is to help support the transformation of District residents’ well-being, starting in Anacostia and Ward 8.

Their vision seeks to expand and educate more health-conscious consumers with the knowledge and skills to plan and prepare healthy menus at home or as trained-professionals in the culinary arts sector. From Artisan Cheese boards to their sauces, coffee, smoothies, dressings, and incredible desserts too – The Art-drenaline Café’s food is made with fresh ingredients daily! They strive to create an inspiring dining experience serving up artfully prepared fresh meals that are healthy for both people and the environment. Their menu is designed with a balance of healthy ingredients at prices that are affordable to area residents.

The Art-drenaline team loves Anacostia! As homeowners and proprietors, they’ve always enjoyed being deeply involved in events, organizations, and initiatives that move our community forward. They work towards addressing health and income disparities and further the farm-to-table movement for the benefit of area residents.

Meet the Business Owners: Shawn Lightfoot, a Chef with over 25 years of food preparation experience, he is committed to creating memorable dining experiences for all guests. Chef Lightfoot earned a degree from the Baltimore International Culinary Institute in Baltimore, MD.

With an MBA in Business Management, a B.A. in Commercial Art/Graphic Design and as the former Center Director of the DC Small Business Development Center in southeast Washington, D.C., Amanda Stephenson has been at the forefront of the development and support of small businesses throughout the Greater District of Columbia/Baltimore, Maryland metropolitan areas. Her experience includes over 10 years of practice in coordinating the design, development, marketing, delivery, and evaluation of programs within the framework of community planning and economic development practices and principles with an emphasis on business development.

Elvera Patrick. Elvera first gained interest in sewing while attending Hart Junior High School. Her classes included Home Economics and Sewing. It was there where she learned the fundamental techniques of sewing.

Her strong desire to give back to the community is a example of a true humanitarian. She is driven to share her passion for fashion design and gourmet creations with youths 6 to 15 by providing sewing lessons at Momma’s Safe Haven Program in Ward 8.  She has created a collection for the Celebrity Run Way Cuties and Rip the Runway DMV KIDS. Her fashion designs have graced the runway in many fashion shows. She has become the designer for prom Queens and graduates at Ballou High Schools.

Even more, Elvera enjoys creating designs for her grandchildren who are models for Glamma Gottcha Runway Fashions. She is the mother of 4 and has 15 grandchildren, and one great grandchild whom she loves and adores. She is a model herself with “Katie Shephard and her Senior Models.” And she is also the owner of Care 4 U Child Development and Royaltea Events. She is the former Ms. SENIOR CONGRESS HEIGHTS 2013.


Cornelius Adams

Cornelius Adams the Founder and CEO of “Vital Entertainment Inc” and “Vital Magazine” is a man of many talents and wears many hats. Born in Newark, New Jersey, he moved to Baltimore after his parents got divorced at the age of 7. This is where Adams started his entertainment career many years ago.

Living in West Baltimore in one of the most violent neighborhoods in the city (Pennsylvania Avenue and Murphy Homes Projects), Adams had his first look at poverty very early. The second child of three, he never had dreams of being in the entertainment business. Instead, he had dreams of becoming a professional athlete.

His mother was a singer and music had an everyday presence in his household, but standing 6’6”, the young Adams was encouraged by his father to play basketball. After several injuries, his basketball dreams were over and a new season of his life began: Entertainment!

However, before Mr. Adams could test the waters in the entertainment industry, he had to make sure he could feed his two daughters first. A single dad, he knew that success in the entertainment business was not guaranteed. Picking up a job to feed his family and living the realities of the world gave him everything he needed to make his entrance into the entertainment world.

Now an author, a playwright, an actor, and a music producer, Cornelius Adams has fine-tuned his skills over the years. With a strong passion for the arts, he has a body of work that consists of stage plays like “Dairy of A Single Dad”, “My First Love”, “ Where Can A Good Man Find A Good Woman?” and “Momma’s Kitchen”. Also, in 2014 he released his book called “The Power Of  A Woman”, a motivational book for women “letting women know they can change anything in their life if only they believe in ‘the Power’ they possess.”

With plans on expanding his brand, he is also planning to take his stage plays on the road. Also, Adams is stepping into the film business with his first movie scheduled for release in the fall of 2016 called “A Father’s Love”. Never at a lost for words when talking about the things he loves – God, family, friends and the arts – Adams is always trying to better himself as a person and as a businessman.

Tea Time with Free is under the umbrella of Freestyle Productions of DC since 2011. The mission is to help support community businesses and talent. Ms. Cubbage is a native Washingtonian and a certified Mental Health Instructor.

b brown

Bruce Brown

Bruce Brown: The Filmmaker

Bruce Brown, started shooting and directing 8mm films at the early age of 10. He became fascinated by photographic images, from the moment his sister took him to see his very first feature film at the Senator Theater, “while watching the white screen ignite into hundreds of places…that’s where the obsession with manipulating light and time, and telling stories all began”. Growing up in Southeast Washington and immediately wanting to pursue his dreams, at the age of 12, Bruce decided to form a movie company with his childhood friend, Byron Woodfork, and they began to round up the kids in his South East neighborhood and have them act out their favorite television shows while Brown operated the camera.

Brown was also an artist, sketching caricatures and cartoons from the limitless warehouse of images he kept stored in his head. His animation talents were not nourished at that time, since he found no role models or support in the public school system. He thus picked up a camera and there he found his niche, a place where his passion could run wild, his dreams could become reality. At 14, he began to catch the bus across town to WRC TV-4 in upper North West Washington and sat outside the studio begging someone to take him inside.

“All I wanted to do was go inside and look around,” recalls Brown. “Eventually, (News 4 anchor) Jim Vance got tired of watching me sit there and took me inside. From there I started working on NBC’s children’s television show ‘Stuff.'”

Brown started his first video production company at 16, while simultaneously attending Anacostia Senior High School and Washington’s Penn Career Center. He booked weddings, fashion shows, etc. – whatever needed to be videotaped, while his mother helped out by driving him all over D.C.

After a few years of working as an engineer and camera operator for several local production companies, Brown pursued formal training at the Sony Institute in North Carolina and the American University Advanced Cinematography Program. Currently, Brown is the President and CEO of Bruce Brown Filmworks, Inc., a full service film and video production facility located in Lanham, Maryland. Since 1988, Brown has serviced the industry’s best, and now works with a stellar list of Fortune 500 clients as well as Federal, state and local governmental agencies. Further, he produces segments for television and a host of other creative projects.

While operating his production company, Brown somehow finds time to devote to the creation and production of full length motion pictures. In 1997, he premiered “Streetwise a/k/a 24-7”. The film was shown regionally in the theaters and nationally on video. It has since become a “cult classic” with fans and audiences ranging in age from 9 to 90. With sales and rentals nationwide being handled by ‘Blockbuster’, Brown can never seem to keep a copy of the movie for himself.

Brown is truly a genius story-teller, and because of his independent status, he is able to bring his highly complex tales and characters to life with startling realism. After receiving acclaim and national recognition for his first independent film, Brown began putting the pieces in place to film a sequel, with the idea that in order to portray exactly what he wanted, exactly the way he wanted it to be done, and stay true to his craft, he would have to self-finance the entire project. And that is exactly what he did!

Gist Family Catering Service was started by Willie James Gist in June, 1988 at a graduation party for his wife, Yvonne. Willie had worked for over 30 years in the food industry at such places as Emerson’s Steak House, Beefsteak Charlie’s and Wendy’s. Willie started out as a bus boy, then became a cook and eventually advanced into management.

While establishing Gist Family Catering Service, Willie worked at Culli-Temps as a temporary Chef. This position afforded him the opportunity to have a flexible schedule as he was growing the business. Gist Family Catering’s first regular clients were Africare and the National Council of Negro Women. He provided services to Verizon, too.

Gist Family Catering Service’s first establishment was at 11th and Lamont Streets NW. The business outgrew this establishment within a year and then moved to Vermont and R Streets NW around the corner from Metropolitan Baptist Church.

Our current location is at 7816 Eastern Ave, NW. Gist Family Catering has always been located in Washington, DC.

Willie passed on February 15, 2009. His wife took over the ownership of the business. Linda Badgett, his sister, serves as manager and Crystal Gist, his daughter, serves as assistant manager. Poinier (“Miss P”) Roberts serves as Office Assistant. The Board of Directors includes Yvonne and his daughters, Nicole Gist Butler and Crystal.

Willie’s grandchildren, Britney and Christian Gist, continue his legacy by working at the Gist Family Catering Service during the summer months and school holidays.


Mignon Brown-Anderson, Joe Manns Black Wall Street Honoree. (Black Wall Street SOUTHEAST, Ward 8)

Mignon Brown-Anderson is a born and raised Washingtonian, the mother of two sons (Joseph and Derek Brown), an author, an advocate, a survivor of DV, and the Founder/President of The LaKeisha Brown Foundation (LBF).

LBF was established in the spring of 2007 in memory of her daughter, LaKeisha Nicole Brown. Lisa was an aspiring 18 year-old model, a loving daughter, sister and friend whose life was tragically cut short at the hands of an abusive relationship. Sadly, like many youth across our city, LaKeisha was not given the chance to live out her dreams. However, her legacy lives on through LBF, and through perseverance and sponsorship, we can help other young ladies fulfill their dreams and help our community.

LBF prides itself on reaching out to the many abused, lost, abandoned and misguided young woman and girls victims of domestic violence within the District of Columbia Metropolitan area.

Mignon said, “We want to provide these young ladies with an opportunity to not only set goals, but to realize them.” She added, “Our first priority is to help our young ladies recognize their self-worth and to guide them on the right path to success for their personal and professional lives. We want to provide a solid foundation of guidance, love and support for those who otherwise may not have one.”

Mignon, has appeared on numerous radio/internet shows and has also been a guest on WJLA-7 to discussed the issues of domestic violence within the family. Mignon has also hosted many domestic violence workshops, symposiums and other events to bring awareness and to educate the community of this silent epidemic.

mo betta

Mo Betta

Mo Betta – Hip Hop Artist, Philanthropist, Mentor, and Founder of the #SantaCause campaign (an annual fundraiser for Safe Shores DC to help sexually & physically abused children).

The Vegan Experience by Chef Velvet, is a new medium-sized cafe located in an upcoming trendy neighborhood of Woodridge on Rhode Island Ave (Washington, DC). The emphasis is on vegan, organic food (when possible) and juices. V’s Vegan’s commitment to vegan and organic ingredients is based on their dedication to provide only the best food for their clientele.

V’s Vegan Experience is a great place to eat, combining an artistic and intriguing atmosphere with spectacular vegan food and juices. We pride ourselves on hiring some of our youth from our Vegan in the hod program.

Harold Foster is a Native Washingtonian who has been on the frontline fighting for the rights of the voiceless citizens of DC.  He has been working with the youth of DC for over 40 years and he is dedicated to making a positive difference in their lives. He founded “Out of the Mouths of Babes” to encourage youth to learn more about Black History.  He also partners with other organizations to help ensure that the children of DC are increasingly knowledgeable about Black History facts.