What if Plastic Straws were not banned in restaurants?

Uprising experience | 2019 | What if?

Videos can go viral instantly, especially when individuals are being physically harmed or harassed in any way.

What if the person recording this video called the police on a white man harassing an employee at McDonald’s? Watch Self-Defense over plastic straws.

What if McDonald’s did not fire the young woman (or place her on leave), but transferred her to another location? After her transfer, check-in with her- her state of mind and how she is feeling after being assaulted by a man she was providing service to.

What if videos that go viral are used as learning opportunities to show what to or not do in heated situations.

What if the Black community started a GoFundMe account for the McDonald’s employee, Yasmine James (who apparently does not have health insurance)?

What if the McDonald’s cooperation takes this as an opportunity to update their training process- and add how to respond to physical assault, verbal threats, etc form customers? Or stress the importance of self-defense, safety, and customer service all in one.

What if we stop recording and call the police instead? Or better yet, speak up while recording. Record, speak up and have your friend call the police.

What if we stop talking about how others treat us unfairly and start treating others how they treat us. *For some, this goes against the motto, “Treat others they way you want to be treated”. *

Some of us can look at this video and blame the employee and say she was in the wrong and not hold that man accountable for any of his actions.

Did you hear? After he left the store, he (a homeless man) apparently called the police to report an “unarmed robbery” and that he was beaten by a group of Black men. #privilege 

We never know the whole story and we form our opinions off of 1 min videos and make judgmental statements. What if we really assessed each situation using our statistical thinking skills?

This is a clear example where it really doesn’t matter who said what (or how it was said), he reached across the counter and assaulted an employee (a woman serving and providing him customer service). Could she have walked away after she got all those hits in? Of course. She could have went to the back and cooled off. However, her response was simply self defense with added commentary.  

What if we knew everybody’s background and actually had empathy and compassion for them because of their past?

What if we could all get along?

*Pay attention- plastic straws are becoming a things of the past. Some places have replaced them completely with paper straws. Other places have plastic straws available by request.

 

 

Kwanzaa 2018

K. Love | December 2018 | Uprising

Kwanzaa is an African-American and Pan-African cultural holiday that is centered around seven principles, called Nguzo Saba (in Swahili). Kwanzaa is celebrated December 26th – January 1st.

Each day, we should greet one another with, “Habari Gani?”

Our response is- The principle for the day, “Umoja or Unity”

Although Kwanzaa is celebrated at the end of the year, we can live out the 7 principles all year long. How will you celebrate Kwanzaa with your family moving forward?

 

 

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K candles

The Kinara is the candle holder. The 7 candles represent the 7 principles. Black- The People. Red- The Struggle and Green-The future & hope that comes from the struggle.  

Each day, you light the candle (along with the previous day) to represent which day is being celebrated for the day.

For example, day 2 (Principle 2) is Kujichagulia. During the day’s ceremony, one would light a red candle and the black candle to show that we’re celebrating principle 2. Every day, light the day being celebrated and the previous days.

To get more information and understanding of the history of Kwanzaa, click here.

 

 

Celebrating Black Music!!

Kristi Love | Black Music Month

 

During the month of June, we celebrate the contributions African-Americans have made in the music industry. A month is never enough time to pay homage to artists, writers, and musicians who have positively impacted us, however, we’ll take this month to give more praise than ever before.
On this day, June 7th, 1979, President Jimmy Carter declared June the month of “Black Music Month” to recognize and celebrate Black music in America. He invited various artist and musicians to the White House that day to honor them.
Kenny Gamble and Dyana Williams are the brains behind Black Music Appreciation and Mrs. Williams is one of the main reasons it is viewed as a national month of recognition.
Although proclaimed in 1979, it did not become an officially recognized national celebration until a bill was passed in 2000.
In 2009, former President, Barak Obama officially changed the name to African-American Music Appreciation Month.
Throughout this month, we will highlight past and present artists from different genres who have made positive strives to bring us all of together through music.
Stay tuned for our featured artists and fun Black Music facts.

When they go low, we go HIGH

Kristi Love | April & May News

If you have missed the news in April and in these first 5 days of May, we’re here to help. We are only touching the surface of “Current Events” however these stories of overcoming and excellence should continue to be told.

*Always know what’s happening in your local community, city, and state. You can be a game changer by starting in your backyard.

Being Black and in STEM

Mikayla Sharrieff, India Skinner, and Bria Snell came up with an invention to purify lead-tainted water in school drinking fountains. This idea came from their personal experience at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, DC. Their innovative idea lead them to be entered into NASA’s high school competition,  They are finalist in the competition which includes seven other teams. These three DC teens were the only all Black all-female team in the contest. Online voting was encouraged (for one portion of the contest) and toward the end, the DC crew was ahead and winning. Until a well-known hacking group apparently became upset that the all Black female team was in the lead. On April 29th, NASA closed the online voting due to the negative online push to discredit the DC ladies.DC teens-NASA

It’s not social media that has spread the word, but individuals using social media to point out discrimination and requests for explanations. Theses 3 young ladies have responded with humility, courage, and they stay encouraged. DC’s Mayor, Muriel Bowser has committed to providing $4,000 to the ladies so they can continue to build on their idea. The final decision will still be in the hands of NASA and will be announced later this month.

 

Johnny-Wimbrey16x9

Seats Taken- We don’t like you, please leave

A couple in Plano, TX decided to dine at a well-known spot to them and may Texans, Sambuca 360 on Saturday even. They were seated, handed menu’s and completed their order. Out of nowhere, they were asked to move from their seats when another patron wanted to sit where they were sitting. Johnny Wimbrey (author and motivational speaker) and his wife were asked to move to another seat. They refused, stating they liked the view and respectful declined to move. *Something told them to start recording.

Moments later, the manager said they were trespassing, that he didn’t like them, and he was going to call the police. They left and watched from across the street when police arrived. Sambuca 360 apologized and blamed the hostess table for the mix-up. You decide. We are sure Mr. Wimbrey will no longer hold work luncheon of 200+ at this restaurant.

Can’t Sit Here

Rashon Nelson & Donte Robinson have accepted and settled with the city of Philadelphia for only $1 each. Instead of pocketing the larger amount for themselves, they asked for a commitment from the city to invest $200,000 in a pilot program for young high school entrepreneurs. They will continue to be involved in conversations about race relations throughout the city and the country. If you did not hear, last month, the two arrived early for a business meeting at a Starbucks in Philly.Starbucks men

While waiting they did not purchase any items and declined when the manager asked if they wanted to buy anything from the store. Within two minutes of arriving and declining the manager’s suggestion to purchase any items, the police were called on them. They remained calm and were arrested for trespassing. It was captured on video (that went viral) thanks to Melissa DePino. She knew that white people wait for friends all the time in Starbucks and are never asked to leave. Because of this incident, 8,000 Starbucks locations will close on May 29th for a diversity and inclusion one-day professional development.

Not On My Watch

James Shaw, Jr. has remained humble although the country has declared him a “Hero” because of his actions on April 23rd. James made a split second decision to fight instead of fleeing. James Shaw, Jr. stopped a mass shooter in Nashville (Antioch), TN at a Waffle House. The deranged white male shooter had already killed four people of color when he started to reload his gun to finish the massacre. Before the shooter could kill again, Mr. Shaw jumped in, wrestled with the shooter, grabbed the gun, and throw it behind the counter. James does not want to be labeled a hero- he wants us to know he went into self-preservation mode. His heroism has received national recognition (except from Trump) and James Shaw, Jr. is just happy to be alive and care for his 4-year old daughter. He started a $15, 000 GoFundMe account for the four victims because he wanted to help pay for their funerals. That fund raised over $200, 000. Then, journalist Yashar Ali started a GoFundMe account for Mr. Shaw and alone raised $205, 000.

James Shaw, Jr

Of course, Ellen caught wind of the story and brought him and his friend (who was with him April 23rd) to the show. She thanked him for his bravery and presented him with a check for $225, 000 where she and Shutterfly donated $20,000. The recognition didn’t end there. Ellen surprises James by having his all-time favorite NBA, Dwyane Wade come out to meet him. Wade also donated $20, 000 to James Shaw and thanked him because not only did his save lives, Wade can now tell his children about a hero in the community. James is passionate about mental health awareness and wants more advocacy and attention towards breaking the stigma and bringing awareness to mental health.

Stand Up For Right

In 2006, Nelson Mandela received the Ambassador of Conscience Award that is awarded by the Amnesty International. Amnesty is a Human Rights Advocacy Movement that exposes the truth and recognizes those that speak up against injustices. In April 2018, Colin Kaepernick was recognized for his work off the field.CK

Colin took a stand by taking a knee during the start of his last football season in 2016. He kneeled to draw attention to the injustice that happens to people of color, especially African Americans. Since late 2016, Colin has raised over 1 million dollars which he donated to organizations that address racial issues and provide advocacy and services to underserved individuals, families, and communities. He continues to speak for those who don’t have the appropriate resources to speak up and speak out about inequality, injustice, and more.

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

White mother

Last month, a mother deliberately drove her SUV off a cliff in California, killing herself, her Black adoptive children, and her partner. Child protective services had recently been contacted by neighbors and school officials because of reports of alleged child abuse and neglect. Instead of reaching out for help and/or fear of exposing their family feuds, she murdered the family. A person who is healthy mentally will not harm themselves and the people they claim to love, on purpose. We have to break the stigma and pay attention to the signs. Too many lives are being abused, mistreated, and murdered because of lack of mental health treatment and awareness.

News Worthy

Black Panther’s T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman will bring Wakanda to “The Mecca” on May 12th as the commencement speaker at his Alma mater, thee Howard University. #WakandaForever Chadwick

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize award for music, becoming the first rapper to receive the award and the first to not be a classical or jazz musician.

Kendrick Lamar

 

Recognizing Those Who Have Made an Impact on The World

Barbara Bush (b. June 8th, 1925 d. April 17th, 2018) – Former first lady of the United States as the wife of George H. W. Bush who was President from 1989-1993

Bush

This picture was taken on the day of Barbara Bush’s funeral. Pictured- George H.W. Bush, Mr. & Mrs. George W. Bush, Bill & Hillary Clinton, The Obama’a (Barack & Michelle), and First Lady, Melania Trump.

James Cone (b. August 5th, 1938 d. April 28th, 2018, 79 years old), Known as the first Black Liberation Theologian. Dr. James Cone

Verne Trayer

Verne Troyer (b.; January 1, 1969 d. April 21st, 2018), Known famously for his role in the Austin Powers movies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Do you have any news worth sharing? Please comment below. Thanks in advance!

History Lesson: From Woodstock to Coachella to BEYCHELLA. Translation- Black Woman- Know Thy Self

Kristi Love | Black Excellence

We don’t know how, but in case you missed it- Beyoncé performed at Coachella over the weekend. Here’s your lesson plan outlined

Beyoncé is the First Black Woman to perform as the headliner at Coachella

HBCU Homecoming/Halftime Show Experience

  • Her sorority- Beta Delta Kappa (BAK) including her line sisters (dancers)
  • Her probate- introducing the ‘Bug-a-Boos
  • Her step show
  • The band (The Buzz)- her halftime show with a Drum Line highlighting (of course) a majorette and the percussion section
  • Swag Surffin- if your HBCU didn’t play this on campus (at all), we may have to question if it’s an HBCU
  • Dislocating dancers and pop-lockers
  • Sphinx shaped bleachers

 

 

 

Beyoncé gave homage to:

  • Fela Kuti – The Buzz played ‘Zombie’
  • Nina Someone- 1954, ‘Lilac Wine’ and a small excerpt from ‘Strange Fruit’
  • Malcolm X- May 5th, 1962 speech, ‘Who taught you to hate yourself’ salute to Black women
  • Women Empowerment (specifically to Black Women)- ‘Ok ladies, now let’s get IN FORMATION
    • Excerpt from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2013 Tedx Talk, “We should all be feminist”
    • An all Female line of violinist

She sang the Black National Anthem- “Lift Every Voice”

  • We could end right here

Beyoncé’s fashion

  • Greek attire- Bodysuits, boots, jumpers, Greek lettering
  • Beyoncé’s Shield 2018- Branding and representation
  • Homage to the Black Egyptian Queen Nefertiti
  • Black Power/Black Fist
  • Black Panther
  • Infamous Bee- The Beyhive
  • Military attire

Special Guest

  • Her husband, Jay-Z
  • Destiny’s Child reunion- her ‘sisters’, Michelle and Kelly
  • Her sister/dance partner- Solange
  • The Les Twins- Laurent Nicolas & Larry Nicolas Bourgeois

Bak-7Bak-8Bak-9Bak-10

What did we miss? Please comment below on your favorite part of the show and more. What songs were played that we did not give props to? Beyoncé took us to Wakanda, a HBCU Homecoming, a probate, step show, and the halftime show. She gave us Black excellence and showed us poise in the midst of a wardrobe malfunction the last 10 minutes or so of her show. This two-hour show was one of her best performances to date. Lessons learned- Make no apologies for who you are. Be unapologetically Black- be YOU. Now stay woke!

Black Wall Street Revised

Kristi Love | Blogger

Over the Easter weekend, Charlotte, NC experienced Black Excellence on another level. O.U.R. Weekend: For The Culture exceeded their expectations and the team is already in planning mode for next year’s event. Black millennial’s made their voices known through curating an intentional weekend of events that made a positive impact on Charlotte’s Black communities.

O.U.R. Weekend sought to Own, Unite, and Revive for a united celebration of legacy, service and excellence. The creators of O.U.R. Weekend captured the essence of the Black family and community through embodying the Black Wall Street concept.

So what did you miss?

The weekend began with a Black Excellence Ball where individuals came together to honor culture and achievements of young and diverse professionals. Individuals attending the black tie event were met with a red carpet entrance, live band, a DJ, light refreshments, and live painting.

S. Marie

Black Excellence Ball host, Shelah Marie, founder of Curvy, Curly, Conscious. Photo from IG @theshelahmarie

It was hosted by the founder of Curvy, Curly, Conscious, Shelah Marie where she guided guests through her entrepreneurial endeavors and understanding of Black brilliance. The night of elegance was used to recognize what’s to come for young entrepreneurs and everybody in between.

Sunday’s event (O.U.R. Festival) was a perfect ending to the purpose behind the movement. The hosts of the event kept the party vibrant and engaging. MTV’s Wild N’ Out, Chico Bean and With Great Care’s Hip Hop artist, Yusha Assad created a structured, comedy infused gathering of community.

Yusha n Chico

O.U.R. Festival hosts, Yusha Assad @yushaassadmusic and Chico Bean @chicobean

When asked about the festival, Yusha said, “It was a dope weekend highlighting black culture, business, and black art. It had the blueprint of a revised Black Wall street but felt like a family reunion.”

Speaking of a family reunion, the event had games, a live DJ, and a double dutch battle (where Chico Bean jumped in). Patrons supported Black-owned businesses, enjoyed a sip and paint section, witnessed a DJ/producer beat battle and heard from local and national known artist. PatriceLive from the DMV graced the stage with songs from her upbeat, Wonder Woman album. Host, Yusha Assad performed, and producer Howard Cummings ended the weekend with his band, The Howard Cummings Project. Families, friends, and community partners mixed and mingled and the entire weekend was done with great care, purpose, and intention. What more could you ask for.

 

 

 

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No worries if you missed out on O.U.R. Weekend this year- there is more to come.

“Next year, O.U.R. Weekend is going to be twice as big! You all should look forward to tons of entertainment, meeting great people in the Charlotte community and beyond, and just having a great time”, says Bianca Payton, Publicity & Communication spokesperson. She went on to say, “We have an amazing platform and look forward to encouraging people to be their best selves, focus on their business and legacy, and be a positive influence in the Charlotte community. We will, of course, have some surprises! You will have to attend to find out!”

Stay up to date with O.U.R. Weekend at www.ourweekendfortheculture.com

*All proceeds from the weekend will support a Charlotte based non-profit organization, T.I.M.E. Foundation.

Align To Define

By: Luronda T. Jennings | March 2018 | Celebrating Women- Women’s History Month

 

Wandering through life distracted with no view

Allowing your past to repeatedly bruise you

Seeking direction from those who are unauthorized

Ignoring the signs to align so you can define

 

Door after door slamming in your face

You’re looking into the mirror at empty emotions you want to replace

Choosing to remain, allowing fear to fog your mind

Blocking the signs to align so you can define

 

Complacent insecurity traditionally acquired

Transparent incompatibility unconditionally hired

Your soul is yearning for true definition

But your mind is avoiding alignment with your divine destination

Tree-woman

Stop accepting what is meant to be neglected

Start embracing what is meant to be protected

Stop suppressing what is meant to amplified

Start aligning what is meant to be defined

 

The definition of your purpose aligned with the needs of this world

His power giving you strength to lay down and give birth

Nurturing the whole woman He created you to be

Seeking Him, loving everyone, and serving others until you reach your destiny

She could