Category Archives: Finance

13Aug/18

Essence CEO Launches Funds for Black Businesses with Queen Latifah

Have you heard? At last month’s Essence Fest, Essence Ventures CEO Richelieu Dennis announced the official launch of the $100 million New Voices Foundation. Dennis, also Founder of the Shea Moisture Brand, had already invested more than $30 million in the 6 months prior to the announcement. “What many of you may not have known all these years is that when you were buying Shea Moisture products you weren’t just investing in that business,” said Dennis during the event’s opening press conference. “We need you to continue buying Shea Moisture so [that] we can continue putting that money back in[to] the community.” The New Voices Fund, dedicated to funding Black Women in business, was originally established in 2017.

Essence

Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence

As if that were not enough, the CEO also took the opportunity to announce the new Essence Creators and Makers Fund. Essence Ventures, the parent company of Essence Communications, has already invested $20 million into that fund under the guidance of Dennis. Focused on curating African-American content, production company ‘Flavor Unit Entertainment’ lead by Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere is the first partnership on the bill. Appropriately so, being that during the announcement Dennis gave credit to the duo for developing the idea in the first place. During a later panel discussion on Entrepreneurship, Queen Latifah spoke about the financial obstacles that new ventures often face. “One of the most difficult things is struggling to find the capital to continue your ideas. So by supporting us, you are going to keep this engine running in a way you [can’t] even imagine.” Flavor Unit Entertainment will both create and finance film, television, digital, and documentary-style content that reflects the lives and experiences of Women of Color. The Essence Platform — including print, digital, and live events — will be used to market and promote projects taken under the fund.

Essence

I truly respect Dennis for his direct actions against the disadvantages plaguing Black Economics. So far concerning the Makers and Creators who need to “own our content and not just be work for hire” and the Black Women Entrepreneurs that will receive funding for their businesses, I can’t wait to see what else is in store. “Essence and the vision… speaks to Black Women, but also that creates an economic engine through which… we can reinvest back into our community.” Dennis leads by the example that, with initiative, each of us can take part in the collective growth. I’m convinced that, in finding his purpose, Dennis has our backs for the long haul. That’s almost enough to make me grow back out my hair to support Shea Moisture again. Almost.

Essence

Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence

Stayed tuned for surfacing news about The Essence Creators and Makers Fund.

Applications for The New Voices Foundation are not yet open, however, you can initiate a profile on the site here.

The New Voices Fund is a 501( c)(3) Non-Profit Organization. Tax-deductible contributions can be made here.

24Apr/18
First Ladii

The Business of First Ladii

First LadiiHer name is Briana Barksdale, but she is known in the entertainment industry as First Ladii Briana B. She is originally from Greensboro, NC but she lived in Virginia for two years before relocating back to North Carolina to the state’s Capital, Raleigh.

Goals: A future goal that Briana sees for her financial literacy business is to help one thousand new clients gain financial freedom by the end of 2018.  

Bet You Didn’t Know!: If she could work with any top name in the entertainment industry she would choose to work with Oprah because she views her as the most successful woman of all time!

She has attended several schools – A&T, Columbia School of Broadcasting and is currently studying Entertainment Business at the Los Angelo’s Film School – and during her time at the previous schools, she majored in business, media, and broadcasting. It has always been her passion to help others achieve their goals or to motivate them to be “One Day closer to their Dreams.” She is very blessed to be working every day in her field of work and changing the financial lives of all people daily.

Her mother inspired her to start her own company. In growing up, her mother was an entrepreneur and she always had several side gigs. Her daughter studied her tactics and it inspired her to want to grow and achieve all that she could during her life. She currently maintains an established Credit Consulting franchise and specializes in Credit Restoration and Financial Literacy. She also owns a multi-production PR business called First Ladii Productions.

Life with The Company 

As a CEO, the qualities she feels are most valuable consist of leadership, tenacity, perseverance, and confidence.  Her credit restoration franchise offers services that mentor in the field and financial literacy services to help repair and retain all things financially related.

The biggest challenge she had to overcome when starting her business was the ability to overcome after failure and/or denial. In her position, she had to juggle so many companies and these tasks are sometimes difficult, but in situations of that nature, you have to reorganize your priorities.

Success is always around the corner! The contribution she made to her community through her success is of great importance. She was recently recognized by her partner company for reaching milestones in her credit literacy program. She also hosted a red carpet event with her production company that sponsors individuals with epilepsy.

First Ladii

Inquiring Minds Want to Know...

Are there any CEO boss ladies’ who are internationally known that you admire?

The CEO Boss Ladies that she admires are Issa Rae and Beyonce. She admires Beyonce because she has been consistent in her business ventures. She admires Issa Rae because she created a similar platform as her and her success is something that she models.

Are there any other creative talents that you have, that your audience doesn’t know about?

Barksdale shared that she has plenty of talents.  One of which is being a mother. She’s a mother of a two-year old. In addition, she writes and produces a radio show as well as a talk show entitled Goal Diggers. The show features and highlights individuals successfully chasing their dreams.

She can be reached through social media on the following platforms:

Personal:

@iamBrianaB (Facebook, Snapchat, IG, Twitter)

Business: (Facebook and IG)

@CreditBrianaB

@GoalDiggersShow

@ShayStarDOTcom

Her Websites:

www.FirstLadii.com

www.GoalDiggers.tv

www.ShayStar.com

www.myfes.net/BBarksdale

19Feb/18
Black Panther movie

My Reaction to the Black Panther movie aka Spoiler Alert!

Black Panther movieThe Black Panther movie released this weekend in all of it’s Black Excellence glory. It was worth the wait and the estimated $218M it earned during its opening weekend, shattering records and telling movie studios to STFU about Black movies not busting box offices wide open. More on that and my thoughts about the deeper storyline to come (skip to below the bullet points), but first my reactions to some of the Blackest moments and lines in the film. Ryan Coogler has a way of capturing the essence of Blackness, especially with Michael B. Jordan, from Fruitvale to Creed and now with Black Panther. The writers did an excellent job at including colloquialisms and mannerisms specific to Black culture and the actors did a phenomenal job of bringing them to life.

  • I loved the irony of the newscaster calling Wakanda a “third world country” which made me ask wtf defines a third world country to begin with?
  • Okoye (Danai Gurira): “Don’t freeze when you see her.” T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman): “What are you talking about? I never freeze.” Then he freezes, LMAO. Lupita has that effect, hunny.
  • Shuri (Letitia Wright) gives T’Challa a playful middle finger while walking away and Ramonda (Angela Bassett) calls her on it without even seeing it. Black Mothering at its finest…
  • Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) tells the lily-white museum director, “Don’t worry, I’m going to take it off of your hands,” referring to the Wakanda artifact. MJB is consistently Black as hell…
  • The boat ride to the ceremony with Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) giving us a taste of #danceislife deserves mention.
  • When T’Challa walked into the water and saw his nation rooting for him. That was powerful on multiple levels. We all need to be rooting for each other like that.
  • When Zuri (Forest Whitaker) asks if anyone of royal blood wishes to challenge for the throne and Shuri raises her hand only to ask them to wrap it up because her outfit is too tight. Typical Black sibling trolling.
  • Ramonda yelling to T’Challa “SHOW HIM WHO YOU ARE!” during the challenge with  M’Baku (Winston Duke). Babbbbbbyyyy, I felt that in my bones. That needs to be a daily affirmation.
  • I loved how every ritual was ancestrally-based.
  • T’Challa telling Nakia she would make a great Queen if she wasn’t so stubborn (I almost threw my boot at the screen), for Nakia to respond that is WHY she would make a great Queen. T’Challa just wanted her to admit that she wanted to be his Queen.
  • Shuri’s consistent afrobeat playing throughout her lab. *hearts*
  • Shuri yells “WHAT ARE THOSE” to T’Challa’s traditional sandals. She then gives him his new soundproof footwear and says she calls them… wait for it… sneakers… get it? LMAO! THEN she tells him about his new suit design and he’s all my suit is fine and she says, “Functional, but old. If people are shooting at me, wait, let me put on my helmet.” She had jewel after adorable jewel. She tells him to strike the suit and he boots it across the room and she yells at him for messing up her lab, but informs him of the suit’s design and that it absorbs and then redistributes kinetic energy. She takes out her camera, for research purposes, and tells him to strike the suit again only to howl laughing when he goes flying across the room when he is blasted back by his own force.
  • Okoye said she couldn’t wait to get her wig off of her head and that it was a disgrace. Shots fired?
  • Nakia in the green dress in the Korea scene. Have mercy.
  • Black Panther movie
  • Agent Ross’s ole bitchass needed to be popped in the mouth for how he was speaking to T’Challa at the table. Find some respect.
  • Okoye pointed out that no weapons were allowed yet yielded her weapon less than 60 seconds later when the fight broke out! Black women always prepared for EVERYTHING. That jump down from the 2nd level was the first of her notable jump scenes.
  • Shuri’s excitement when the car populated in her lab. Adorbs.
  • The quick shot of Nakia driving barefoot was a great attention to detail since she lost her shoe when she used it as a weapon in the fight.
  • When their car is blasted by Klaue, Okoye flips, grabs her spear in mid-effin-air, and lands on a piece of the car. Then Nakia comes hilariously sliding in with just the seat and steering wheel.
  • Can we talk about how T’Challa could’ve ended Klaue and Killmonger wouldn’t have had his dead body as leverage if we weren’t in such a digital age? Oh ok.
  • Okoye’s disdain for taking the shot Agent Ross into Wakanda to be healed, and Shuri saying, “great, another broken white boy for us to fix, this is going to be fun.” Classics.
  • Killmonger showing his Wakanda tattoo and killing Klaue made me smile.
  • When they revealed that Young T’Chaka (Atandwa Kani) and Young Kuri (Denzel Whitaker) left baby Erik after killing his father, N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown), I was livid. Though we are ultimately responsible for our actions, we cannot ignore the roots of our issues. People keep referring to Killmonger as the villain, but, in my opinion, he killed the main villain. He’s just a brother who needs some healing and therapy to learn to deal with his past and how to properly bring about the change he wants to see for his community.
  • Shuri to Agent Ross: “Don’t scare me like that colonizer!” when he woke and started asking her where he was. According to the internets, wypipo will officially be referred to as colonizers until further notice.
  • Black Panther movie
  • Killmonger points out there are 2 billion people that look like them struggling around the world and that Wakanda had the tools to LIBERATE them all. T’Challa remarks that it is not their way to use vibranium for they are not judge, jury, and executioner for people that are not their own and Killmonger then he says “Not your own? But didn’t life start right here on this continent? So aren’t all people your people?” JEWELS JUST FALLING FROM HIS LIPS!
  • Killmonger nonchalantly to Ramonda: “Hey Auntie.” By far tied for my favorite line of the movie. He makes the challenge for the throne and Zuri says it’ll take weeks. Killmonger says I don’t need the whole nation, I just need him. That was real. I also lowkey enjoyed watching him fight T’Challa . It was like he had the power of every oppressed souled within him. His pain was relatable. Hated that it was targeted towards his own blood, but that was also real. We usually strike out to those closest to us. Him having them burn all of the ancient flowers was egotistical and short sided, but also a key part of the character.
  • When Killmonger sits on the throne, he points out that where he’s from, Black people start revolutions without the firepower and resources to fight their oppressors. More jewel dropping…
  • Okoye’s face when W’Kabi agrees with Killmonger…
  • M’Baku to Agent Ross: “You cannot talk one more word or I will feed you to my children. Just kidding, we are vegetarians.” The vegan in me howled with laughter. Plus he made him shutup initially by overpowering his voice with their chants. Then he made Agent Ross turn away during the ritual. He won 4 times (presented the preserved T’Challa) in under 4 minutes.
  • I appreciate T’Challa realizing that his father was wrong for both leaving Killmonger and for turning his back on the Africans worldwide and for calling him out on it when they meet once again in the ancestral realm.
  • Killmonger: “All that challenge shit is over with. I’m the king now.” Hood af, lol!
  • W’Kabi so quickly fighting with Killmonger made the whole theater suck their teeth. Will Focus gon say he’s still in the sunken place. I DIED! LMAO
  • Killmonger got Black Panther suited. That shit was sexy.
  • We all felt Okoye’s pain when Killmonger killed one of her fellow Dora Milaje. *sad face*
  • Black Panther movie
  • Will also brought up a good point and asked where were the other 3 tribes during this fight before M’Baku’s tribe showed up to assist the Dora Milaje against W’Kabi and his tribe?
  • When W’Kabi and his techno rhino were charging towards M’Baku but Okoye stood between them and the rhino kissed her. All powerful. Then W’Kabi asked if she, his love, would kill him, and she said, for my nation, absolutely. POWERFULLLLLL.
  • So I was highkey pissed that T’Challa took Killmonger to look at the damn sunset instead of to Shuri, but later that was put into perspective for me (read below).
  • T’Challa: Maybe we can still save you…” Killmonger: “Why? So ya’ll could just lock me up? Nah. Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships. They knew death was better than bondage.” CHILLS. That line right there spoke volumes. VOLUMES!
  • T’Challa buying the block. Just. Yes.
  • The kids wanting to break apart Shuri’s ship to sell for parts. So real, lol. We need that community bridge building though.

Black Panther movieThere has been lots of debate about seeing a white studio production and where our dollars could have gone and even about the characters parallels to sections of society, but I personally feel like it’s all chest-inflated poppycock. 99.9% of movies that we love and hold as staples in our society are produced by white studios simply because, well, WE DON’T OWN ANY YET. Keyword, yet. So Malcolm X, Selma, Hidden Figures, Thurgood Marshall, Coming to America, and the likes that are so near and dear also fall under that umbrella, but we still went to see them in droves. Could we have collectively used that money and built a small town with our roughly 37% contribution to the $218 million? Most likely, but we already know we’re still combating centuries of conditioning and teaching ourselves to love ourselves and each other. So chill. It’s a process, and this movie is a major part of that process because representation matters. Seeing ourselves and what could be matters. Sometimes people need to see it to even know it’s possible.

Black Panther movie

Yes, this is in Africa.

The visuals and quotables definitely woke up some of the sleeping and even smacked a few people into loving themselves and reframing their thoughts on Africa. Yes, Wakanda is fake, but Africa’s beauty has never been a lie. It’s just been retold and intentionally hidden from the masses, especially Africans born in america, in attempts to continuously divide and conquer. This is touched on via Killmonger’s story. His story simultaneously parallels the american Hood King and the Revolutionary. He grew up without his parents, more specifically finding the dead body of his father. He had to learn and grow on his own which resulted in his genius-level intellect and thirst to avenge his father via combat and claim his spot on the throne. Via his research, he learned of the advancements of Wakanda and grew resentment because they had the capacity to liberate Black people globally, but never bothered to. He wanted to ‘stick it to the man,’ and rightfully so.

Black Panther movieKillmonger’s passion was in the right place, but his methods wouldn’t have fully resulted in the outcome suitable for most, mostly due to his dictator ways. T’challa had to come to learn that peace and hiding weren’t the way either. With their collective intellect, Shuri’s technological advancements, and Wakanda’s wealth and resources, they could have liberated Africans globally, but pride was a key factor in Killmonger having to die. (And also, as my bro Jashua Sa’Ra pointed out, “the movie studio couldn’t show us what it would’ve looked like if the forces joined in this already powerful Black Panther movie.” AKA the reason why the FBI killed Malcolm & Martin when their speeches started to mirror each other and they were on the verge of working together instead of fighting each other. Someone call up an independent Black production company to bring that story to life. “If Malcolm & Martin Lived to See Their 40s.”)

Leave your thoughts on the Black Panther movie in the comments. What rating do you give it?

24May/17

May Maven: Elle’s Elations

For today’s #WCW we’re featuring the lovely + talented Tarrin Davis, creator of Elle’s Elations. As many Black women entrepreneurs before her, Tarrin showed love for and respect to her ancestors by naming her company after her great-grandmother (Elease). Tarrin is a scientist by trade and an artist at heart. She makes her soaps entirely from scratch using cold and hot press. 98% of her products are vegan too!

Join us for a review of Elle’s Elations and use the coupon code TAJIMAG for a great discount this week!

FEATURED PRODUCT: Luxury Coffee Scrub 

First of all, when this coffee scrub was first described to us as a “luxury” product, we rolled our eyes. In this age of artisan paper clips and $300 romphims, there’s no telling what the next click on the internet will bring. When we actually tried it though? We agreed wholeheartedly. This caffeinated coffee scrub has the perfect thickness, created by its unique blend of organic, fair trade, dark roast Arabica beans and essential oils. After just one use, you can feel your skin getting firmer.

Coffee can do more than just wake you up for your daily grind. It has properties that significantly reduce under-eye puffiness,, battle cellulite, and prevent premature aging of your beautiful melanin-rich skin. This coffee scrub is also great for anyone who has to work around smoke or other smells that kind seep into your skin. As a natural odor defense, this coffee scrub from Elle’s Elations will work wonders. As an added benefit, this unique body scrub is packed with antioxidants to help ward off wrinkles.

If you’re worried about oily skin, this creation by Elle’s Elations is perfect because its emulsified. That means you don’t have the burden of dealing with stirring some messy concoction.

Use the Coupon Code: TAJIMAG to get a discount on your Elle’s Elations coffee scrub purchase

OTHER PRODUCTS WE TRIED (AND LOVED)

Strawberries & Bubbly

The lovely & elegant gold dusted Strawberry soap is worth gushing over. The bubbly champagne adds a touch of elegance to the already decadent beauty product. This soap is gentle and effective. The only down side is that over time, the gorgeous hand-crafted shape/design will shift. Maybe we should stock up before it sells out!

Pearberry Everything

Listen, if there is a product with the word “pearberry” in the name at the Elle’s Elation store, do yourself a favor and buy it. This has to be one of the most natural smelling and intoxicated scents. It puts Bath & Bodyworks to shame. We spent 10 minutes just smelling it. It goes on smooth and feels light on your skin. This is a great gift for someone on the go who love tElle's Elation Cremeo feel their best when they step out.

In addition to having a wonderful, high quality product line, Elle’s Elations also offers free advice, skin care solutions, and other beauty resources for free. Most notably, subscribers can access the blog and special discounts so you always look + feel your best.


This month only, use the Coupon Code: TAJIMAG to get a discount on your next Elle’s Elations purchase!

You can catch Elle’s Elations on Social Media to learn more and stay updated on new products!
Facebook: facebook.com/elleselations
Instgram: @elles_elations
Pinterest: @elleselations
Twitter: @EllesElations
Email:
[email protected]

 

06Apr/17
Black Land Matters

Duende NaturĂĄl & Black Land Matters Finds Egypt in Washington, DC

Black Land MattersDuende NaturĂĄl & Black Land Matters Finds Egypt in Washington, DC

 “Sharpen your eyes and tune your ear so you’ll know what you see, understand what you hear.” — Listervelt Middleton

As part of Duende NaturĂĄl and Black Land Matters 2017 tours we will be returning to Washington, DC May 20 for our 2nd annual Egypt On the Potomac Field Trip with Historian, Anthony Browder.

One of the most stunning symbols we learned on our inaugural trip last year was the presence of two *Tekhenw (pronounced ‘Tek-en-nu’) which symbolizes a timeline: the Tekhen on the left stands for the past, on the right the Tekhen stands for the future, and the space in between the present.

(*Tekhenw is plural for Tekhen, also erroneously called an Obelisk and Cleopatra’s Needle)

It is very clear Browder’s keen knowledge on the design and makeup of the Nations’ Capitol bear clairvoyance to the fact the trans-generational leaders of the world aim to maintain their position as vanguards of Afrikan cryptic knowledge and history having to only acknowledge its truth to another Afrikan if he is “on the level” — which in most cases means you’re male and a 32nd degree Mason — alarminlgy a reason as to why of the many original stolen Tekhenw placed around sacred places in the world, few — if any — are in pairs.

Black Land Matters

Anthony Browner

Browder quoted Listervelt throughout the field trip as we were introduced, better put, re-initiated into the mysteries of our Ancestors as creators of geometrics, math and symbolism using the constellations to bring the heavens to earth as masterfully done by Washington, DC planner, Benjamin Banneker — a free Afrikan by the way.

 

Through Browder’s easy to digest teaching style, in a few short hours we were equipped to exercise the significant power of recalling our past through observation of the alignment of building structures and numbered streets, and connecting it to the present to chart a promising future.

Thanks to Baba Browder, our eyes have been sharpened and ears tuned as we look to counter the next wave of Transition 13.

TRANSITION 13

Whenever dealing with the topic of history — particularly the role of its effect on the Afrikan Diaspora pre- and post colonialism, Browder’s poem, our plight is best described in poem, ’Transition 13’:

We knew not
We studied
We learned all there was to know
We taught others
Then we forgot what we had learned
And then we forgot that we had forgotten
Now we are taught
(By those who where once taught by us)
Knowledge
(That we already had)
So…
We study
We learn all there is to know
We teach others
Will we forget…AGAIN?

Taking the Egypt On the Potomac Field Trip reveals this hidden truth; our forgetting we forgot and then having been taught by the very ones responsible for this collective cultural amnesia.

It got me to thinking, Browder’s poem shows at the root of it all this memory loss is the driving point behind the loss of ourselves, our communities and our land.

Although at the core of issues we face as a community defensively are at the hands of racism, socio-economic displacement, and police brutality, there are offensive methods we’ve forgotten was in use before the days of integration when we were all that we had and realized through cooperative means we took care of ourselves. We did this through community, where we invested in each other.

Recognize, we are in the Information Age… a cultural reclamation is at hand.

Our intent through Duende Naturål and Black Land Matters is to serve as the metaphoric space between the Tekhenw (the present) to bridge a self-determining future for ourselves.

We’ve implemented a tangible resolution for those in search. At a bare-bones level we’re enrolling folks interested in committing to saving up to a minimum of $5,000 each to acquire Costa Rican and domestic land projects we’ve scouted to build intentional diasporic communities through membership in our Black Land Matters Real Estate Investment Trust (BLM-REIT) through what’s called an ASCA or Accumualting Savings & Credit Association.

This will enable us to participate in the (re)building and sustainability of our communities together instead of facing the virtually tedious task of doing it alone.

In alignment with the tenants of Sankofa (to go back and fetch our history), we of Duende Naturál and Black Land Matters understand the importance of “going back” to the historical makeup of this Nations’ Capitol to see the very real Afrikan presence that sits as the cornerstone of America — hidden in plain sight! This is what makes Anthony Browder’s work indispensably   invaluable! And the reason we are returning for his Field Trip this year.

From this reclamation we are able to shift from in between the Tekhenw (the present) to the Tekhen on the right which depicts our future — for we are rebuilding that future starting on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica.

So. With our eyes sharpened and ears tuned, we can now affirm to Ances-Star Listervelt Middleton we know what we see and understand what we hear: Wherever Blackfolk Are, Black Land Matters!

If you’re in the NYC/DC area we invite you to come with us May 20th to Browder’s Egypt On the Potomac Field Trip. For details and registration:

 Cooperatively.

Black Land Matters

 NEXT STEPS

  • Come with us to Costa Rica August 12-20, 2017: Join our annual August Family Caribbean Excursion on the Caribbean Coast and get a taste of ‘Pura Vida’ or ‘the Pure Life’! For details, goto: http://www.duendenatural.com/tour/

 ADDITIONAL SUPPORTIVE RESOURCES:

Books

  • Egypt On the Potomac, by Anthony Browder
  • Finding Karakhamun – The Collaborative Rediscovery of a Lost Tomb, by Anthony Browder
  • Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization (Exploding the Myths), by Anthony Browder
  • Afrikan Burial Ground – Urban Unrest – Remnants of Slavery in New York, by M’Bwebe Ishangi (eBook and Digital Print)

Articles

  • Sankofa Kemetamorphosis: Ancestral Calling…

http://daghettotymz.com/current/kemetamorphosis/kemetamorphosis.html

  • The Significance of Historical Consciousness

http://daghettotymz.com/current/significance/significance.html

  • The Unapologetic Quest to G.E.N.T.R.I.F.Y.: Ethnic Cleansing Through Economics

http://daghettotymz.com/current/gentrify/gentrify.html

  • KMT vs NYC & DC

http://daghettotymz.com/current/kmtny/kmtny.html

  • Her Em Akhet vs Sphinx

http://daghettotymz.com/current/heremakhetsphinx/heremakhetsphinx.html

Video

  • The Classified Origin of D.C.

When speaking of the origin of Washington, D.C., the founding “fathers” of this country showed their enormous affinity toward ancient Kemet. Master Historian, Anthony Browder reveals this Afrikan influence with his field trips of D.C. This Video Article both honorz and serves as a complimentary visual of his works.
> Watch here: http://duendenatural.com/may2017.html#classifieddcvid

  • ‘The Future of Our Past – Using Cooperatives to Survive and Compete in the Next Twenty Years’. Take a look at the core issues stemming from Emancipation as well as Integration that’s led to the rise and fall of our collective loss of landeconomics and opportunity and how resuscitating the use of the Cooperatives can be a key factor in the next two decades.
    > Watch here: http://duendenatural.com/media.html#mediavideo-1
  • Black Land Matters featured on the Laura Flanders show

Black Land Matters’ co-founder, Mark Scott joined Weeksville Heritage Center’s Tia Powell Harris on the Laura Flanders show on the historic relevance of using cooperatives as a tangible solution to addressing the disparities of POADUS’ (People of African Descent in the Untied States) socio-economic opportunities.
> Watch here: http://duendenatural.com/media.html#mediavideo-2

 ———

M’Bwebe Ishangi

Where Eco & Culture Meet.
DCEG, LLC
e: [email protected]
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Black Land Matters
Wherever Black folk are, Black Land Matters!
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03Feb/17
Bella's Adventures in Africa

Young African Sisters write Pan-African Children’s Book, Bella’s Adventures in Africa

Bella’s adventures in Africa is a self-published Pan African children’s book by British Zimbabwean sisters Rutendo Muzambi and Rebecca Darko, which is beautifully illustrated by Guy Stratton. It follows a girl who leaves England to embark on journey across Africa with her parents. It is a collection of nine short stories based in eight different African countries – Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, CĂ´te d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Egypt, and Ethiopia.

Bella's Adventures in AfricaRutendo’s inspiration for writing the book was derived from a number of experiences. One of the key reasons, was her passion for African culture and the need to promote more positive views of Africa. She has always been passionate about celebrating and embracing her African heritage. During her years in secondary school, she was awarded the Jack Petchey Award for her 5 year contribution and commitment to the annual black history competitions. However, she encountered negative stereotypical views from friends and colleagues, who would innocently ask whether Africans lived amongst wild animals and in tiny huts. These views were a far cry from the fun and happy childhood she and her sister had experienced and the modern Africa that we know and love. It appeared to them that some people did not realize that Africa is a continent of many nations, languages, cultures and values. Thus they wanted to write a book that moved away from the stereotypes and showed African children having fun adventures.

Like many other African young people, Rutendo and Rebecca followed the traditional route of going to university and gaining their educational qualifications. Rutendo gained her Masters degree in pharmacy whilst Rebecca also completed her Masters. However, they both still had a passion for writing and wanted to share their love of the African continent with other people. Thus during Rebecca’s maternity leave they began to write short adventure stories set in Africa and completed the book in December 2016.

With over 100 illustrations and adventurous short stories, this book shows African children having adventures. It is important for children to develop an understanding and appreciation of other cultures and to also foster a positive attitude towards people who are of a different background to them. When children of African heritage see themselves reflected in books, it enhances their self-esteem and builds their confidence. It also enables children of African heritage to see their continent in a more positive light, learn more about different African countries and to be proud of their African heritage.

Bella’s Adventures in Africa published on the 17th of January 2017. It is available on Amazon and on their website www.riverfrog.co.uk

Bella's Adventures in Africa  Bella's Adventures in Africa

03Feb/17
Kenneth McDuffie

Chef Kenneth McDuffie is Young & Hungry

Kenneth McDuffieKenneth McDuffie makes his brand known in the city where it all began… His Philadelphia. McDuffie, Philadelphia native, is an independent, motivated, and strong believer in God. With a big personality and an even larger heart, he has given his time, energy, love, and his passion for food to becoming an educator of the art of cooking. Being raised by his Great Grandmother, the late Esther A. Smith, who taught him everything that he needed to know about food, McDuffie began catering baby showers, church banquets, weddings, and later landed himself a job with a popular cruise line. He moved to Hawaii where Kenneth could share his passion for food on a greater bicoastal scale.

Kenneth McDuffiePrior to moving to Hawaii, Kenneth had already started his own catering business in 2009. He recently revamped his brand and changed the name to “Young and Hungry.” Young and Hungry has already cooked for celebrity clients such as hip hop artist Juelz Santana and Senator Vincent Hughes and his wife actress Sheryl Lee Ralph. McDuffie is a weekly guest with his own segment WCW (WE’RE COOKING WEDNESDAY) on the Big Nate & Da Big Bang Morning Show on URU Radio, he’s a guest on Moment with Purple Queen on PQ1Radio, and has also became a sponsor for the Philadelphia Democratic

National Convention BLK out Social Mixer. He cooked his well known Fish Tacos for Philly’s legendary radio DJ and philanthropist Ms. Patty Jackson. This past summer, McDuffie also became the 2016 Bell Award recipient at The Philadelphia Black Expo.

‘Don’t take criticism too personal. You are a wonderful person!’ – Kenneth McDuffie

Currently working towards opening his own restaurant, McDuffie is ready to make his big dream into a larger reality. His goals are to give back to his community, educate up and coming chefs, and advise the young chefs on thriving in their positions whether it is cooking or not. With a mission to encourage the

youth to stay humble and faithful, He also embeds in their minds to grab a bite of great opportunities offered in this world until they’re full and make sure to pay their blessings forward onto others. Check his hashtags #WIKJM #YoungandHungry #ChefKenny

Kenneth McDuffie

27Sep/16
life insurance

Taji Mag Interview with Life Insurance Agent Auria Moore

Taji Mag was fortunate enough to catch up with Auria Moore, licensed Life Insurance! See her advice on a necessary, but seldom spoke of topic in our community.

life insuranceTaji: How did you dive into the life insurance business?
Auria: I was probably the least likely candidate for the Life Insurance industry. As a young teenager, I made a decision to be totally immersed in the fashion world. I wanted that “glamorous” life and pursued it through an education at Fashion Industries H.S. followed by a bachelors degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology. As I matured and became more aware of the world around me (not the fancy world I strived to be apart of, but the real world in plain view from my Brooklyn window), I began to feel a disconnect… a conflict of interest. I worked 50-60 hours per week, stressed over the sales of clothing… CLOTHING. Why??? Why was I making myself sick from the stress over something so trivial. And not just any clothing, but lines/brands that sell for, on average, $100 a piece yet cost $3 to produce. I was helping keep the 1% rich off of the blood, sweat, and tears of my own people. I came to the sad realization that my people (and I) needed a major wake up call and priority reevaluation. I experienced the life of a mundane 9-5…6…7 just to pay bills and put a little something nice on my feet or on my back. I learned there was something much more important that was IS missing in our community. And that’s financial awareness, financial preparedness, financial accountability for ourselves and our generations to come. I asked myself one question “Bobby and Susie have trust funds, why don’t we?”… the rest is history.

Taji: Why is life insurance important?
Auria: Life Insurance is not only important, but imperative for a number of reasons. The most apparent reason is the future protection for one’s family, estate, business(es), and any goals that have been worked towards passionately. Too many of us sadly have to go door to door, or most recently with the reach of social media, set up a “Go Fund Me” just to put a loved one to rest. It’s not bad enough dealing with the loss of a soul that can never be replaced, now everyone who depended on this soul will most likely endure physical and financial upheaval. A provider is gone and there’s nothing to show for him/her other than memories formed over the years. It’s just not fair. The less apparent reason is much greater than the here and now. My targetlife-insurance client is my urban community for a very specific reason. I’m a huge proponent of building Black wealth because until we can build our own and learn to support each other’s entrepreneurial endeavors with our own dollars, our opposition will always be able to break us down. There’s a statistic on the length of time the Black dollar circulates around the black community vs. other communities. Jewish dollars stay within the Jewish community for months. Asian dollars stay within the Asian community for weeks. On average, the Black dollar stays within the Black community for FOUR HOURS. We must build wealth amongst our own and hold onto it. The easiest way to do that is to inherit it and continue to teach our children and grandchildren about true wealth so that they are able to maintain and further grow the legacies we leave behind… and the best part of it all is that it’s so much more affordable than people think.

Taji: How affordable can life insurance be for someone on a low budget?
Auria: If you can afford to spend $25 on coffee or takeout over a span of 30 days, then you can afford to make yourself worth $1 million and pass that along to your family at the time they need it most. What does $25 do for you in a month? What can $1 million do for your family in a lifetime? It’s all about priorities and there’s no reason why your family shouldn’t be at the top of that list.

Taji: What are you doing to spread the word to people in the Black community?
Auria: I’m fortunate enough to be in contact with awesome forward thinking business-minded people like the production team behind Taji Mag. Features and community seminars allow me a venue to spread the word and continue to educate. Often, I am at Nicholas Brooklyn (located at 560 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY) just having discussions with like-minded and curious members of the community.  I will talk to any and everyone who will listen. I also rely heavily on word-of-mouth referrals and personal testimonials as any business owner does. If you are interested in making a better life for yourself and your family, I can be reached at (646) 673-3281. Feel free to call or even shoot me a text. I’m here for you.

Thank you Auria for sharing your insight and being available to our community. The more we know, the better we do!
13Aug/16

Two Black Men Open Mobile Shower for the Homeless

mobile showerLive Fresh aims to provide Palm Beach County’s homeless individuals and families with a fresh shower, personal hygiene essentials and, the opportunity to Live FRESH via their mobile shower.

“Feeling Revitalized Encourages Sustainable Happiness”

“We will select service areas throughout Palm Beach based on critical need and community partnerships with local government, local faith based groups and non-profit organizations that assist the homeless. We will use our premiere mobile shower /personal hygiene facility, to make sure everyone in Palm Beach County has the ability to take a Fresh Shower. We will provide access to personal hygiene essentials including: Towel Soap ¡ Shampoo ¡ Conditioner ¡ Toothbrush ¡ Toothpaste ¡ Dental Floss ¡ Mouthwash ¡ Lotion ¡ Sunscreen ¡ Sanitary Napkins (for women) ¡ Condoms. We will provide support and assistance where possible. In doing this, we create a platform for refreshed communities, who generate fresh ideas, and begin embodying the notion that Feeling Revitalized Encourages Sustainable Happiness. By means of Genesis Community Health’s “outreach/ visiting clinics”, we will provide healthcare that brings services to the homeless. These clinics offer various health screenings, HIV Counseling and Testing, and referral services, linking the individual to a primary care facility and overall care with other supporting and partner organizations.”

Interested in Helping?

Almost 2.5 million youth, under the age of 18, experience homelessness in America each year. This historic high represents one in every 30 children in the U.S. Palm Beach County ranks #2 in Florida for children living in spaces not designed for human habitation. The average age of a homeless child in Palm Beach County is 7…

Help them make an IMPACT by contributing today! With your support, they can make sure our homeless brother sisters and children in Palm Beach County can live fresh.

Want to help out in a different way? Click here to check out the Live Fresh Wishlist!

10Apr/16
Black Woman Business Grant

BFABW is Granting $250 via the Black Woman Business Grant

Buy from a Black WomanBuy from a Black Woman (BFABW) is currently accepting applications for their Black Woman Business Grant. The Black Woman Business Grant is a small $250 grant that will be awarded to a black woman who is in the beginning phase of starting her business. This grant is to help with start up costs, legal form fees, supplies, or any other minuscule items that appear when starting a business. BFABW is a supportive movement to help bring awareness to Black Women business owners. Black Women are the least socially supported yet, the highest-ranking group of entrepreneurs in this country. BFABW wants to change the narrative for those Black Women who own businesses.

BFABW’s Mission: To educate, empower and inspire Black Women by providing the tools and resources that will allow them to be successful and socially supported.

 BFABW Vision: To be a trusted resource that helps educate, empower and inspire Black Women in business.

The Black Woman Business Grant is awarded once a quarter. This round’s winner will be announced April 19. Applications close 15 April at 5 pm EST. More information and applications can be found at www.buyfromablackwoman.com/#!black-woman-business-grant/k90k2!