Supporting Black Love

FUBU | Black Owned | 2019

Businesses created by Black and Brown people stem from the deep roots of our passions. It may have take years to be realized; years to take the leap; the next step to completion; yet we do it.

The service or the product established is because we see a need to be addressed. We conquer our fear(s) and ignore the naysayers. We look past the doubts of close family and friends. We go against the grain and take the road less traveled.

 

For most of us growing up, our path was already paved. College was the route we had to choose. Graduate and obtain the corporate job (or now days non-profits or schools functioning like corporate companies). The American Dream is our goal. Yet we knew the American Dream was not set up with ‘Us” in mind.

 

Now that we’re creating our own streams of income, it exposes our resilience. It exposes our purpose. We did it for the money, yes. However, more importantly we did it to share the gift God gave us with the world.

If you are for Us, Buy From Us.

If you believe in Us, promote Us.

There is a product or service out there created with you in mind. We challenge you to buy Black this month and beyond.

This Is What We Do

We provide access to capital through Black Girl Ventures (@blackgirlventures https://www.blackgirlventures.or)

We shower you with self-care products with Divine Purity (https://www.divinepuritynatural.com/ @divinepurity)

We Connect. Inspire. And Challenge you by doing things with great care, purpose, and intention (@withgreatcare https://www.withgreatcare.com/ )

 

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We wear the Revolution (@radicalrevolutionclothingco)

Our beauty is in our hair

It’s in our skin (@nu_natural_organics)

We design your vision (@digibeedesignstudio https://www.digibeedesignstudio.com/

We UpStart other Black entrepreneurs (@theblackupstart)

 

Our bodies become the canvas (@lauresepaintz https://lauresepaintz.as.me/schedule.php/

Our voice speaks for the younger generation (@lifewiththeprincess https://bit.ly/2WCy8o4)

We bake for your event (@shopsweetcakes & https://www.krissyspastryloungeandcakestudios.com) and cook up the cuisine for your party (@bigjerkwings https://bigjerkwings.com/ & @sluttyveganatl http://sluttyveganatl.com/)

 

We educate your children

We pump our Black fists (@davidbannerlikespictures https://davidbannershop.com)

And we create notes of LOVE (@klovenotes)

We are Uprising through our stories (@wgcuprising)

Our art becomes fashion (@abellecreations)

Our stories speak peace, power, light (@peacepowerlight)

We wear our own brands (@wgcapparel & @monadelanapparel)

 

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We speak God’s truth (@its_priscillab)

We support fathers (@thelinnerfoundation) through community initiatives

Our music challenges your consciousness (@yushaassadmusic)

We are the change we want to see- our actions are political (@salimadofo @blackunitedfront)

 

We assist you in finding your dream home (@jantricejohnson https://www.smothermanpros.com)

Our gift is in our hands- we create masterpieces (@jlamaajstudio)

We make natural products for our children (@playpits https://playpits.com)

And time is on our side (@bensonwatch)

 

We have only touched the surface of businesses founded by Black people. Black Love is supporting Black Businesses. Buy Black this month and beyond.

 

#lovejoypeace

-K. Love

 

Just throw all the “R. Kelly’s” away

Uprising | 2019 | With Great Care & Justice

…or not. Do we really need to mute him and throw him (them) away? How do we make sense of this and where do we go from here?

This is a difficult piece to write and difficult for you to read because our opinions may differ. And that’s ok. Difficult for some because of their life situations and for others, the mass media has told you what and how to think about various subjects.

Let’s start with this

Facts to consider about Robert Sylvester Kelly:

  • He has (allegedly) slept with women who were under the age of 18
  • He has gone to trial on several occasions for sexual misconduct with women under 18
  • He has settled out of court and paid unknown sums of money to individuals and families
  • He went to trial for child pornography
  • He was sexual abused from age 6 or 7 to the age of 14

Here are questions to consider when thinking about #muterkelly:

  • What should adults do in the moment when they know “wrong” is happening?
  • How many of us (or people we know) are victims of sexual misconduct/abuse?
  • Have we decided to mute Harvey Weinstein? Burn all Playboy magazines? WIll we mute Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley?
  • Women- when you were between the ages of 14-17, did you ever desire a man that was too old for you (men that that were 18-25)?
  • When will sexual misconduct end?
  • After the age of 21, “Age Aint Nothin But A Number” is received with open arms. Men and women usually see no probably with a 5-20 year difference when dating.

Again, these are statements and questions to consider. They are not here to imply or lead you to think a certain way. There is a problem in the minds and hearts of some (if not most) people and that has to change.

Lisa Van Allen

Lisa has been vocal since 2018 about her accounts with singe, R. Kelly. She too appeared in the Docuseries, “Surviving R. Kelly”. Recently, she sat with Jada Pinkett Smith at the Red Table Talk Facebook TV series. Van Allen encourages young girls & woman to “Love yourself first”.

We must address the root of the problem and put an end to negative generational behaviors. Where do we begin to heal as a people?

There is a history of sexual predators way before R. Kelly. If we speak racially and historically, people of color are fairly new to this behavior. Whatever the case, the reality is, hurt people, hurt people. Individuals who were not protected as children, became adults who are hurt, abused, and need healing.

We cannot throw Robert Kelly away, nor can we throw all of the “R. Kelly’s” away. Why? Because they are our brothers and sisters. They are people who were and still misguided. Are we going to put the woman (who sexual abused him for years) under the jail cell? Should we have killed the man who tried to force R. Kelly to perform fellatio on him when he was a young boy?

r-kelly

We must start over with love and compassion. Healing and forgiveness. Justice and understanding.

We do NOT excuse his behavior. We do NOT condone his behavior. If he abused his power to do illegal sexual behaviors with teenage girls, take him to court.

Faith Rodgers

Faith Rodgers is suing R. Kelly for threats he (and his team) made after she testified to her experience(s) w/ Kelly on the lifetime Docuseries, “Surviving R. Kelly”.

This information is not new. We’ve known for years about his behavior, yet we went to his concerts, bought his albums, and played his music. He was “sick” then and today, he’s still “sick”.

The people around him should stand and say, “No, not anymore”. #timesup True friends or family members must say, “Brother, you need help”.

We have to take responsibility for our own thoughts and behaviors. We should show compassion. NOT just for R. Kelly. Compassion for EVERYONE in his circle- from the girls (now women). His children and ex-wife. His brothers, family members. His managers, lawyers, everyone.

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL, 21: Portrait of Tracy Sampson in Chicago, IL, (Photo by Whitten Sabbatini/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Tracy Sampson, former intern at Epic Records, shares that she was sexual abused by Kelly. It started when she was 16 years old as an intern.

Let us take a different approach at how we handle “monsters”.

May justice be served. May healing for all begin. May we handle human beings with great care, purpose, and intention.

Don’t mute him, them, or us. There are billions of stories to tell when it comes to sexual misconduct. Unmute them all.

 

 

 

Disclaimer-We believe all women and their stories. Especially Black women, we believe you and justice should be served

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!