February 12, 2023

You may have the idea that what makes Dante Tick is all about the music A Dante Production provides, that is not so. The CEO of Dante is very driven to uplift the culture awareness of all things cultural. “What Makes Dante Tick?,” is going to expand the articles to move up a level. We all get very tired of the NEWS and how we are portrayed in the news as a people.  The founder of BLACK MEN IN AMERICA. COM has allowed me to expand my segments and center them around the area in which we live. Various new things are coming up such as:

The Thought Brothers Podcast which also started this month on the newest show heading to the TOP:  https://youtu.be/WkvomFmo3gQ

Calculations Talk Show

This show “Calculations,” provides some real-life thoughts from a cast of real people. Please sign up to receive it with frequency.

The new “What Makes Dante Tick?” is also providing new articles about real life in North Central Florida. The CEO of A Dante Production is very interested in things that are cultural and uplifting. What does that mean?

Cultural means relating to a particular society and its ideas, customs, music, and art. Below is and fantastic example of what is happening in North Central Florida. Too many people are comfortable with being uncomfortable.

F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival 2023

Donna M. Gray-Banks, Founder/Director

Growing up in Pittsburgh, PA., in a row house in a melanated neighborhood never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what is now titled “The F.R.E.S.H. Book International Book Festival.”  My grandmother was from Charleston South Carolina, and part of the Gullah Geechee nation, and being proud of who you are and whose you are in God’s eyes.  She loved to be read to and of course I was always there to read the Bible, or the jet magazine (that had been shared by two or three families) and the local Black Newspaper the Pittsburgh Courier.  Reading was essential to me as I always knew that I would not stay in the neighborhood that gave me so much comfort in many ways and strangled my creativity in other ways.

Living in a row house, multiple families shared the dwelling and only one official bathroom, the other was in the basement where other creatures dwelled, but in a pinch, you would take a stick and run down the steps and relieve yourself.  I was found almost nightly in the closet where there was a pull-down light and steps to the attic.  That was the only place for peace in a house filled with adults and children.  My mother would come and find me with pencil in hand, note pad, and pillow asleep in the closet.

Fast forward, leaving the comfort of the melanated neighborhood and life in a city where I could get around on the bus with my eyes closed, I ventured to Washington, DC, which was nicknamed “Chocolate City” at that time to work for the federal government.  Still unsure of where my passion for writing would take me, I was the secretary for every women’s organization I joined.  Wrote love letters for male and female friends for their mates for Valentines Day and Birthdays.  Then I joined the Black Expressions Book Club and fell in love with Sister Souljah’s The Coldest Winter Ever and Liar’s Game by Eric Jerome Dickey.  I was enthralled with the idea that I could get a book written by someone who looked like me monthly.  It was orgasmic. I had been keeping a journal most of my life so there were note pads and hundreds of composition books in my apartment at the time.  I knew that one day I would write about the historical moments that shook the world to the core and being in DC just amplified all of those situations.  But then life happens, marriage, children, life and death, mortgages, memories and missed opportunities.  But in 2008, I would not be denied the opportunity to write a book.  I went back in time and took a closet in my home and made it an office and from the closet “Ila’s Diamonds” the trilogy and F.R.E.S.H. were birthed.  Once I became a published author, I quickly found out that there were no marketing tools to assist us and Amazon was not as popular as it is today.  Traveling to book festivals near and far I found that what I did not receive was a mentor, someone to show me the ropes of the industry, or at least warn me of the landmines.  F.R.E.S.H. was given to me divinely, the name, the logo, the mission, and the slogan “Literacy is a Legacy.”  At F.R.E.S.H. we are laser focused on assisting young authors and seasoned authors with assistance to help promote their book(s).  New technology is introduced, and old methodologies are incorporated with new.  The pandemic opened the world for F.R.E.S.H. via the internet to meet, promote and market melanated authors from across the country and that connection has been eye opening and the knowledge received about the Windrush generation of melanated people who were wrongly detained, denied legal rights, threatened with deportation, etc.  The story was so like our experience in the United States it brought tears to the eyes of us on the Internet workshop.

F.R.E.S.H. is about bringing kindred spirits together in all forms of literacy, film, poetry, writing, music, nonverbal and audio.  Come join us and have an amazing experience.  This year we have incorporated children’s theater, young and upcoming authors, poets, amazing veterans, and our partners from across the country will be joining us once again as well.

F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival Schedule 2023 

Tickets to all events:  www.freshbookfestivals.net

Thursday, February 23, 2023 –F.R.E.S.H Film Festival

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Captain Willie Miller Instructional Center (IC)
1 Aerospace Boulevard
Daytona Beach, FL

Reception:  6:30 p.m.

Film Presentation 7:15 p.m.

Friday, February 24, 2023

The F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival begins at 12:00 noon.

Julia T and Charles W Cherry Sr., Cultural and Educational Center

925 George W. Engram Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Kaleidoscope of poetry in the music studio 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 pm.


Saturday, February 25, 2023

The Festival begins at 10:00 a.m.

After Party – Regional Poetry Slam – Midtown Café – 8:00 p.m.

Located 5 blocks from the Cultural Center


  • General Admission:  $8.00 per day
  • Seniors over 60  $5.00 per day
  • Students, Teachers with ID – Free
  • Movie Ticket Only  – $5.00

Questions about registration?  Please email freshbookfestivals@gmail.com

Dante’s final thoughts:

Why are we comfortable with being uncomfortable?

For some, the perfect getaway is filled with endless laughs, quality entertainment, and seriously good food.

For others? They prefer meeting new dance partners, jamming out to live music, and… eating seriously good food.

Whatever your idea of a perfect getaway is,  do something to change your life style.  Stop complaining about doing nothing.

A Dante Production

In a very short period of time, A Dante Production (ADP), has emerged as one of the premier event and entertainment companies in Central Florida.  The company has earned a reputation for providing:

  • Exceptional music entertainment and management to enrich and enhance the quality of life for our patrons.
  •  An infrastructure to meet the diverse needs of the citizens in North Central, Florida.
  • Concerts and live entertainment in a friendly and welcoming environment for visitors and residents.

There is much work to be done.  The inclusion of new talent (Pride, R&B Divas, and the Divas of Jazz) are why the company is emerging as a force within the community.  Finding talent at all levels in the community speaks to our values and integrity as an organization.

Stay tuned, as we make a deliberate effort to have a positive impact in the communities that we do business. 

Below are some of the people that make Dante tick: