We salute the men listed in our annual list of INFLUENITAL BROTHA’S not only for the exceptional in work in their related fields but also for their commitment to uplifting of our people and community.
Emanuel – Recording Artist
Christian Hip Hop Veteran Da’ T.R.U.T.H. Rebrands Himself as Emanuel and released a New Album “Not Just for the Youth But for the Adult Listener”
Known to the Christian hip hop community as Da’ T.R.U.T.H., Emanuel Lee Lambert Jr. is rung in 2023 with a new name and a new album that proves hip hop is not just for the youth and, he said, “to build a bridge between the generations and cultures.”
“Early on, pastors and church leaders promoted Christian hip hop as exclusively for youth,” Emanuel said. “That discouraged those who were into Christian hip hop but were older from coming to the concerts. In mainstream hip hop, you have forty-somethings, fifty-somethings, and sixty-somethings going to Kendrick Lamar concerts, so the same should be true in Christian hip hop. You don’t age out of it.”
Emanuel added that the new album, titled Emanuel and released in partnership with Mixed Bag Entertainment, is a “sonic journey through my entire career.” That career includes years spent as a classroom-trained percussionist.
Emanuel is unwilling to compromise his convictions and commitment to the truth. “What has changed is how I disseminate that truth. Things that were once black and white to me are grayer now. As I grow older, I understand the complexity of life, and that it’s more about the conversation than having all the answers.”
Dr. Jonathan Shepherd – Medical Director at Hope Health Systems, Inc.
Dr. Jonathan Shepherd, MD is the Chief Medical Director with Hope Health Systems, Inc. He currently serves as President of the Board of Directors.
Dr. Shepherd is a board child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist and has received numerous awards for his clinical work and training programs. Dr. Shepherd holds a Doctorate of Medicine degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago; he completed his General Psychiatry residency at the University of Illinois Hospital and a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Dr. Shepard believes in the work that BMHA is doing. He is committed and invested because he believes in the mission of promoting and advancing the mental health and well-being of people of color. He wants to bring awareness to mental health disorders that are a part of our global community.
James Walker – Attorney, ATL
Attorney James L. Walker, Jr. has immersed himself in the entertainment industry in various capacities throughout his career. Attorney Walker owns and operates J. Walker and Associates, LLP, a leading general service law firm in the Greater Atlanta area. His practice includes entertainment law, television/film/theater contracts and clients, intellectual property, tax, non-profits, litigation, business law, and corporate law. Outside of legal practice, he currently serves as a Board Member and legal counsel for countless nonprofits including the Bronze Lens Film Festival, The National Black Arts Festival (NBAF), The Marquis Grissom Foundation, among many others. Additionally, Attorney Walker has set up a plethora of nonprofits and corporations and has won countless awards for his service.
In his career as an attorney, he has been involved in the counsel of radio and TV talent, corporations, musicians, filmmakers, athletes, over 100 churches, and more. Over twenty-five years ago, Attorney Walker acted on his ardent passion for the theater arts. Attorney Walker strongly asserted himself as a proponent of representation for young Black professionals on Broadway as an investor in the theater adaptation of Mama, I Want to Sing!. Since his work with Mama, I Want to Sing! Attorney Walker has continued to be an avid investor in Broadway plays and musicals, including The Temptations, Camelot, Piano Lessons, Sinatra, Here Lies Love, and 3 showings of MJ The Musical.
While Attorney Walker is very proud of his impressive career and ongoing philanthropy, he is most proud of his four children and their accomplishments. Zion, 20, is his youngest son who is a baseball player at Eastern Connecticut State University studying sports management. His daughter and second youngest, Joi, 24, is a Fulbright Scholar and graduate of the University of Georgia and is currently a 2nd year law student at Howard University School of Law. His second oldest, James, 28, is currently a practicing lawyer in New York City at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP. Finally, his oldest daughter, Jordan, is 30 and is a licensed real estate agent in Washington, D.C.
Stan Jones – Songwriter / Producer
Stan Jones was born in the Mississippi Delta and began demonstrating his range of artistic gifts at a young age with music surrounding him at every turn. The undeniable gifts of this highly sought after Singer/Songwriter/Producer were nurtured in his early years and continue to amass inevitable awards and recognition amongst continued growth.
Multi Award winning, Grammy nominated Singer, Songwriter and Producer Stan Jones has been honored for his success as writer and producer of the soul-stirring worship ballad “All I Need,” recorded by Brian Courtney Wilson. “All I Need” spent 92 weeks on the Billboard Hot Gospel Song Chart breaking the all-time record for the longest-running current single ever in the history of the Gospel Billboard Gospel Charts. Billboard Year-End charts would name Stan Jones as the #3 Songwriter and # 4 Producer of the Year. Jones’ Above STANdard Publishing was also ranked as the #3 Top Publisher among other honors in the Gospel category. “All I Need” went on to receive an ASCAP Award and a GMA Dove Award nomination for Urban Recorded Song of the Year.
Popular music accredited to Stan Jones includes penning the chart topping Hit single “He Has His Hands On You” on the history making Here I Am CD by eight time Grammy nominee Marvin Sapp; the Billboard chart topping single “I Recommend Jesus” by the award winning Canton Spirituals; the Hit single “Happy” by Tim Rogers & The Fellas as well as writing and producing “I Worship Your Name,” a Billboard charting single from the Grammy nominated Trin-i-tee 5:7 project, Angel & Chanelle which debuted at #1 on both Billboard’s Top Gospel Album Chart and Top Christian/Gospel Album Chart, #2 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip Hop Album Chart, #5 on the Independent Chart and #19 on the Billboard 200.
Stan Jones includes production and writing for Yolanda Adams, The Canton Spirituals, The Mississippi Mass Choir and single from Marvin Sapp “I Belong To You”, and producing a traditional gospel segment for the “Allstate Gospel Superfest” television show. Stan Jones recently wrote the latest single by Marvin Sapp entitled “All In Your Hands” which spent 2 consecutive weeks at Number 1 on the Billboard Chart. The newest hot chart topping single, “The Promise” by The Mississippi Mass Choir features Stan and Myron Butler.
Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack – President, Claflin University
Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack began his tenure as the ninth president of Claflin University on August 1, 2019, joining the pantheon of distinguished leaders of the first historically black college or university in South Carolina. Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Warmack served as president of Harris-Stowe State University for five years. He has more than 20 years of progressive administrative experience in higher education at five distinct institutions. Dr. Warmack provided leadership to more than 450 full and part-time faculty and staff and had oversight of a budget in excess of $32 million. Under his tenure, Harris-Stowe witnessed a transformation, unheralded in its 160-year history. Dr. Warmack shepherded more than $15 million in external funding to the institution, including a $5 million grant, the largest in the institution’s history.
Dr. Warmack was named the Delta State University “Black Alumnus of the Year” and was inducted into the institution’s Hall of Fame. Other awards and recognitions for his work in higher education and the community include but are not limited to, Delux Magazine Power 100 “Trailblazer Award” Recipient, St. Louis Business Journal “40 under 40,” St. Louis American “Salute to Excellence Young Leader Award,” The Rickey Smiley Foundation “Trailblazer Award,” Who’s Who in Color Most Intriguing People and “Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2018.”
Dr. Warmack was appointed as Chairman of the Missouri Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Statewide Commission in 2015 and served as Chairman for four years. He previously served on the boards of the Cortex Innovation Community, the Saint Louis Science Center, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, St. Louis Muny, the Greater St. Louis Area Council Boy Scouts of America, and the Millennium Leadership Initiative Executive Steering Committee. Other past board memberships include the United Way of Greater St. Louis, the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA) Foundation, and the Alumni Board of Directors for Delta State University. Dr. Warmack is a peer reviewer with the Higher Learning Commission, the largest regional accreditation body in the United States.
Dr. Warmack earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in sociology from Delta State University. He earned his doctorate in educational leadership with a specialization in higher education from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, and his post-doctoral studies in educational leadership at Harvard University School of Education.