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Michael Winslow (Photo Courtesy of Michael Winslow)

by Christy DeBoe Hicks

Is it a bird? A plane? Machine gunfire? A police siren? No. It’s Michael Winslow, doing what he has been doing since he was a child — imitating sounds and voices to perfection.

A man of 10,000 side effects (Video Courtesy of The Michael Winslow Collection)

Known as the “Man of 10,000 Sound Effects,” Winslow is best known for his role as Cadette/Sargent Larvelle Jones in all seven movies in the Police Academy franchise. Others know him from stand-up comedy routines, which he has performed at venues that range from small clubs to big television specials…


by Gwendolyn Quinn

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Rodd Houston working in his home studio (Photo Courtesy of The Rodd Houston Collection)

The “Browning of America” is not coming, it’s here. Over the past two decades, much has changed for African Americans in the voice arts industry. Black actors have not only used their voices to promote products and build brands globally, but their voices have also raised the consciousness of humanity about the scope of Black talent and social issues.

While many successful voiceover artists are on-camera actors as well, most voiceover talents moonlight and have other employment options to make ends meet while they pursue their passion as a voice actor. The voice arts is not a…


The “Browning of America” is not coming, it’s here. Over the past two decades, much has changed for African Americans in the voice arts industry. Black actors have not only used their voices to promote products and build brands globally, but their voices have also raised the consciousness of humanity about the scope of Black talent and social issues.

While many successful voiceover artists are on-camera actors as well, most voiceover talents moonlight and have other employment options to make ends meet while they pursue their passion as a voice actor. The voice arts is not a career for the…


by Christy DeBoe Hicks

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Joan Baker and Rudy Gaskins (Photo Courtesy of SOVAS)

Emmy Award-winning producer and director Rudy Gaskins, and voice actor, producer, and top-selling author Joan Baker have been partners in life and work for 26 years. They are cofounders of the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences (SOVAS), where Gaskins is president and CEO, and Baker is vice president. In this two-part story, Part I: How to Succeed in Business and Marriage by Really Trying reveals how Gaskins and Baker had a chance encounter that led to a life-long partnership.


by Christy DeBoe Hicks

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Power Couple Rudy Gaskins and Joan Baker (Photo Courtesy of SOVAS)

This is a love story in two parts. It is a story about a California girl who goes to the Big Apple to advance her show business career. She discovers her talent for voice acting, which leads her to meet and fall in love with a guy from Chocolate City, who hired her for a job. They make a connection and a commitment to each other and to support other voice actors while increasing the public recognition and appreciation of their beloved industry that brought them together.

Rudy Gaskins, an Emmy Award-winning producer and director, and…


by Christy DeBoe Hicks

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Joe Madison (Photo Courtesy of The Joe Madison Collection)

Known as “The Black Eagle,” Joe Madison is a legendary voice in radio and a dedicated human and civil rights activist. The host of The Joe Madison Show on SiriusXM Urban View, he has been named by Talkers magazine (known as the “Bible of Talk Radio”) as one of the 100 Most Important Talk Radio Hosts nine times, often in the top 10. Madison has been presented with numerous national and regional awards and honors, including an NAACP Image Award in 1996. In 2000, he received both a Southern Christian Leadership Award for Journalism and a…


by Christy DeBoe Hicks

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Tanya Hart (Photo Courtesy of The Tanya Hart Collection)

Tanya Hart is more than the sum of her parts, and her parts are quite impressive. She is a multimedia host, producer, commentator, company owner, content creator, podcaster, media coach, musician, wife, and mother. She is currently the host of Hollywood Live with Tanya Hart, a syndicated program that broadcasts to 300 stations on American Urban Radio Networks (AURN), the No.1 Nielsen-rated national audio network company reaching African Americans, which garners more than 25 million weekly listeners. She also creates content for AURN’s new media and online services, including her popular podcast Hollywood Live Extra.

Hart…


by Christy DeBoe Hicks

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Karen Hunter (Photo Courtesy of Karen Hunter)

“Straight, no chaser” — that is the way award-winning radio host, journalist, author, producer, professor, and publisher Karen Hunter describes her interview style. She also believes her candid, no-holds-barred conversations with a broad range of guests and lots of audience participation about the important topics of the day is the winning formula that drives the popularity of her radio program, The Karen Hunter Show, on the SiriusXM Urban View channel.

“The show is authentic,” she says. “There are very few places that you can go where you’re going to get the unvarnished truth about whatever the…


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NABJ President Dorothy Tucker (Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Tucker)

by Christy Hicks

Dorothy Tucker assumed the presidency of The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in August 2019. She took office just months before the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor would roil the nation, sending thousands of people into the streets to demand police accountability and reform, racial justice, and equity. At the same time, the world was gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic, which put a spotlight on healthcare disparities and inadequacies and changed the way we live, work, travel, entertain ourselves and connect with our families. In addition, the country was caught up in the drama…


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Wynona Redmond (Photo Courtesy of Wyn-Win Communications)

by Christy DeBoe Hicks

Public relations boss Wynona Redmond has a “see the silver lining,” “light a candle in the darkness” kind of vibe that is almost impossible to resist, even in the most challenging situations. In her professional work as president of her company Wyn-Win Communications, her advocacy for public relations professionals as president emeritus of the National Black Public Relations Society (NBPRS), and her community leadership, this Chicago-native and networking enthusiast is clear-eyed about the problems faced by African American public relations professionals and their communities. …

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