Black History Month Celebrated With Hip-Hop icon Fonzworth Bentley and Entrepreneur Randal Pinkett

PHILADELPHIA, January 31, 2011—MTV personality and hip-hop entertainer Fonzworth Bentley will be featured from 5 - 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 26 in the Bonnell Building Large Auditorium (BG-10), 17th Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets.

Bentley’s performance is part of the College’s Black History Month celebration, which also will include a presentation at 11:15 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 23, in Room BG-10 by Randal Pinkett, founder, chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, a Newark, N.J.-based, multimillion-dollar consulting company specializing in program management, information technology and public policy. Pinkett received national attention in 2005 when he was named winner of “The Apprentice” television showfeaturing corporate titan Donald Trump.

Both Pinkett and Bentley are popular speakers and book authors. Bentley also is a musical entertainer and one of hip-hop’s arbiters of manners and style. His single, “Everybody,” features hip-hop stars Kanye West and Andre 3000 as members of Cool-Outrageous-Lovers-Of-Unique-Raw-Style (C.O.L.O.U.R.S.), Bentley’s first musical project. He also hosted MTV’s “From G’s to Gents,” a show demonstrating his knowledge of how to be a gentleman while maintaining masculinity. He became the Mr. Manners of the hip-hop generation after a stint as personal assistant to the megastar rapper and trendsetter Sean “Diddy” Combs.

“Our mission is to promote civility and Fonzworth Bentley has a unique way of promoting this message through his platform of manners, fashion, music, style and swagger,” said Jenavia Thompson-Weaver, assistant director for Student Leadership and Involvement at the College. “The young people really respond to him.”

The event will begin with Bentley’s interactive lecture and a book signing for his book, Advance Your Swagger: How to Use Manners, Confidence and Style to Get Ahead, from 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Feb. 26. Student acts will perform from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., after which Bentley’s musical performance will begin.

Tickets for the Bentley lecture and concert are $10 for Community College of Philadelphia students and alumni, and $20 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday–Friday in the Student Life Center (Room S1-19) in the Winnet Building on 17th  Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets.

On Feb. 23, Pinkett will speak about the issues revealed in Black Faces in White Places:10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, the recently released book he co-authored with Jeffrey Robbins. Robbins is a co-founder of BCT Partners, a faculty member at Rutgers University School of Business and a sought-after media commentator. The authors argue that unlike previous generations of African-Americans who fought to shatter racial barriers and glass ceilings to gain entrance to professions, businesses and institutions once closed to them, today’s black achievers face the challenge of how to survive and thrive on the other side of the racial barrier. The book presents strategies to help African-Americans when it becomes all too clear that being good is not good enough.

After winning the fourth season of “The Apprentice,” Pinkett spent a year working as an executive with Trump Entertainment Resorts in Atlantic City. He then returned to run BCT Partners, the firm he co-founded with Robbins in 2001.

Pinkett was born in Philadelphia and raised in New Jersey. A Rhodes Scholar, he has a bachelor’s degree in Science from Rutgers University, a master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Oxford in England, as well as master’s degrees in Science and Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he also received a doctorate in Philosophy in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Laboratory.

Pinkett’s lecture will be free and open to the public and is sponsored by the College’s Student Planning Board and Philadelphia L.E.A.D.S., (Leadership + Education + Achievement + Diversity = Success), a student leadership society at the College.