What’s next for Diane Rehm?

By Margaret Foster
Posted on November 01, 2021

With a voice as familiar as that of a friend, longtime radio talk show host Diane Rehm, 85, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Virtual 50+Expo. Her remarks, in the form of a video conversation with Beacon publisher Stuart Rosenthal, will be accessible with the rest of the Expo’s features through January 2022 at beacon50expo.com. As Rehm’s colleague Kojo Nnamdi (himself a ... READ MORE

From local band to Hollywood star

By Nick Clarkson
Posted on October 19, 2021

For actor, producer and Ellicott City native Johnny Alonso, the road to Hollywood didn’t start in the traditional way. The son of two doctors, Alonso first took to the stage as a teenager with a band he formed with his brother, James, and two neighbors. As lead guitarist and singer for the band, Alonso discovered his love for performing. “That’s really where my acting career... READ MORE

Designing jewelry for 70 years

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on October 18, 2021

When artist Betty Cooke was a young girl growing up in Baltimore, she visited the Walters Art Gallery with her father. The museum’s gleaming medieval armor collection fascinated her at age 10. “I loved the details of the different colored metals coming together. They had such beautiful forms,” said Cooke, now 97, in an interview with the Beacon. Cooke went on to create jewelry... READ MORE

VCU historian focuses on segregation

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on October 11, 2021

In 1963, Dr. Betty Brown Bibbins was the first African American student to attend her local junior high school in Portsmouth, Virginia. On her first day of school, Bibbins and her parents were met by an angry crowd, a scene that persisted throughout the school year. The police escorted Betty to her classroom, and when she entered, her entire class moved to the other side of the... READ MORE

D.C. author publishes 19th book

By Margaret Foster
Posted on October 04, 2021

You know you’ve made it when your name appears in a clue on “Jeopardy!” In October 2020, a D.C. author’s name appeared in one of the show’s signature blue boxes: “Novelist Marita Golden paid homage to this woman in an essay called Zora & Me.” (“Who is Zora Neale Hurston?”) Marita Golden, author of 19 books, has had other brushes with fame. She has been interviewed... READ MORE

Political cartoonist speaks out

By Robert Friedman
Posted on September 21, 2021

A blond fellow in a blue suit charged with illegal drug possession stands next to the prosecuting attorney, who holds in his arms six bags of cocaine. They look up at the judge, who rules: “18 months in a medium-security facility.” A young Black fellow in a City Jail uniform, the same prosecutor by his side, this time holding just one packet of “crack,” stands before the same... READ MORE

The greening of Baltimore City

By Ashley Stimpson
Posted on September 20, 2021

Look out your window. If you see a leafy, mature tree, count yourself lucky. You probably breathe cleaner air, use less energy to cool your home, and enjoy a shady place to relax outdoors. Statistically, you’re less likely to be prescribed antidepressants or experience crime, too. Unfortunately, many residents of Baltimore City don’t see trees outside their homes — too many,... READ MORE

Baker built her business from scratch

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on September 07, 2021

Richmond entrepreneur Joye B. Moore makes 70 homemade sweet potato pies at a time — 700 a week. Starting this fall, that number will more than double to 1,500. Using a recipe passed down for generations from her North Carolina great-great-great grandmother, Moore launched Joyebells Sweet Potato Pies less than two years ago. Moore touts her pies as “smooth, homemade, backwoods... READ MORE

From storyteller to bestseller

By Katherine Mahoney
Posted on August 30, 2021

John Gilstrap has created stories for most of his life. As a child, he invented stories for neighborhood friends to inhabit while playing together. As an adult, he writes for hundreds of thousands of readers worldwide. Gilstrap, 64, is a New York Times bestselling author from Fairfax, Va., whose background in volunteer fire service and Master of Science degree in safety engineering help... READ MORE

Going solar in Howard County

By Catherine Brown
Posted on August 18, 2021

Howard County resident Ari Silver-Isenstadt has spent the last decade trying to reduce his carbon footprint to protect the environment, including switching to renewable energy. He and his wife first got their feet wet with renewable energy more than 10 years ago, when they installed solar thermal panels that used the heat of the sun to warm their hot water tank. After that initial... READ MORE