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  • Todd Tucker Discusses the I Am A Man Initiative and the Importance of Black Men Voting

    Many are saying that the 2020 election is one of the most important elections of our lifetime. Last week was voters registration day and we spoke with Todd Tucker about his new I Am A Man initiative, created by himself, Anthony Mackie, Omar Dorsey, Kellon Akeem and Kermit Quinn. The mission of the initiative is to encourage men of our communities to join them in a progressive social effort to register to vote. On how the I AM A Man initiative started: We're very powerful and at times we don't know our power. We have to engage. We have to be apart of the process. We have to be apart of the change. Myself, Anthony Mackie, Omar Dorsey, Quinn and Kellon that came together to do this. We got to do our part to get people out there to register and make sure that when it's time to vote that we're pushing them to go handle their business. Here's what Todd had to say about sifting through the fake news. It's very challenging. You have to do the work. You got to put in some work. You have to research what's going on. Who's running for what? Local offices, all the way up to the President. You got to do some research and read for yourself and not just listen to what you see or hear on the blog or the news sometimes. On felons being able to vote, he believes everyone deserves a second chance. For me, everyone deserves a second chance. I even think with felons, after a certain point, we need to erase. You did your time. At a certain point, some of those things that they got themselves into should be erased so that they can start over. As far as being able to vote, I definitely think they should have a right. Their voice should be heard as well. Watch the full interview below:

  • Jessie Collins Appointed As First Black Man to Produce the SuperBowl Halftime

    The National Football League, RocNation and Pepsi announced that Emmy-nominated producer Jessie Collins will be the executive producer for The Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show in 2021. “It is an honor to be a part of such an iconic show at such an important time in our history,” Collins said. “I am grateful to Jay-Z, Desiree Perez, the entire Roc Nation family and the NFL for granting me this opportunity.” With the event set to take place on February 7, in Tampa, Florida, Collins will be the first-ever Black man to produce the halftime show. "We look forward to our fans experiencing a memorable performance as part of the culmination of our 101st season," said Brian Rolapp, chief media and business officer at the NFL. The founder of Jesse Collins Entertainment, a live-event production company, Collins is known for producing the BET Awards, the BET Hip-Hop Awards, and the Soul Train Awards. Additionally, he worked on The Bobby Brown Story, Real Husbands of Hollywood and the CBS special John Lewis: Celebrating A Hero, Collins also received an Emmy nomination last year for the 61st annual Grammy Awards. His recommendation came from Jay-Z, whose RocNation signed a deal with the NFL last year which included consulting on the production of the halftime show. "Jesse Collins is innovative, creative and one of the only executive producers that speak fluent 'artist vision.' He‘s a true artist," Jay-Z said. "Jesse's insight and understanding create both extraordinary shows and true cultural moments. After working with Jesse for so many years, I look forward to all there is to come." At this time, no artists have been confirmed to perform during the next year’s halftime show.

  • New PSA Targets Black Male Voters Featuring Strippers

    With the 2020 elections right around the corner, there are a lot of interesting advertisements and public service announcements (PSA) coming out to grab voter’s attention. The most interesting is a recent PSA, titled “Get Your Booty to the Poll,” which features Atlanta strippers discussing the importance of voting in the upcoming elections. The PSA starts off with strippers doing what they do best, swinging on the pole and booty shaking to a catchy hip-hop song. However, after the booty-shaking captures the audience’s attention, the dancers stop dancing and start breaking down why it’s important to vote in the upcoming election. After its premiere on Tuesday, September 22, the PSA has gotten a lot of attention on social media, gaining 161,668 views on YouTube and many shares from notable people on Twitter. “If we are OK with famous people, like actors and actresses, athletes and any personality that has influence or title or a blue check beside their name on Instagram or social media being able to talk politics, then we should damn well be OK with these sisters using their agency to speak about issues that are most important and absolutely on point to motivate Black men,” said Mondale Robinson, president and founder of the Black Male Voter Project, to Yahoo Life. The PSA was developed from a project created by Atlanta-based director Angela Gomes Barnes and producer Paul Fox. The two started a GoFundMe called “Angela and Paul want black people to vote,” which has gained $13,774 of their $50,000 goal. “We're so glad we got your attention, but we still need your help! We are back to our day jobs, so we need to hire a social media manager and a community organizer to keep the campaign going. Voter apathy and suppression is real, and we want to keep people informed and engaged throughout this election cycle. We'd even like to shoot another PSA!- if we have enough support! As before, all proceeds not used for the campaign will be donated to the Black Male Voter Project, Fair Fight, and other non-profits committed to educating voters and fighting voter suppression in our communities. Thank you for all of the support, and don't forget to Get Your Booty to the Poll!,” read a statement on Gomes and Fox’s GoFundMe page.

  • DIY Jewelry Cleaner: 4 Simple Steps to Cleaning Your Jewelry

    Is your jewelry going rusty because you don’t use them as much anymore? Do you want to learn some useful tips for cleaning your jewelry? Are you thinking about using a DIY jewelry cleaner to polish your trinkets with? The jewelry market is one of the industries that got hit the hardest by the pandemic. The good news is that some parts of the industry still found success despite the pandemic. Yet, it’s also because of the coronavirus pandemic that it’s harder to get access to jewelry cleaners now. Thank the heavens for DIY jewelry cleaners! This guide will teach you how to use a DIY jewelry cleaner for the maintenance of your jewelry. Keep reading to learn more about how to use a DIY jewelry cleaner. 1. Knowledge Is the Key to Successful Jewelry Cleaning Before you clean your jewelry, you need to know how to do it right. As each piece of jewelry is different, the cleaning method for each material is also different. Certain materials don’t react well with generic jewelry cleaners. For example, gold jewelry needs to go into a gentle bath solution. If you want to clean silver jewelry, some ingredients help remove tarnish. Semi-precious stones can look shiny and new again when you let them soak in a solution of water and dish soap. We’ll discuss more on this below. Most pieces of jewelry will do well when you soak them in water and solution. In contrast, pearls are very porous, so you need to be extra careful with them so they don’t lose their luster. Pearls are the opposite, so never soak pearls or leave them to soak. A wiser decision is to research and educate yourself before you buy jewelry. Learn how easy or challenging maintaining a piece of jewelry is before you buy it. This way, you can avoid the obligation of cleaning them or taking them to the cleaners if you don’t have the time. 2. Create Your DIY Jewelry Cleaner After you’ve equipped yourself with the knowledge of cleaning jewelry, it’s time to create your DIY jewelry cleaner. You’ll notice that the most common DIY jewelry cleaner is the solution created by liquid dish soap and water. It’s the best homemade jewelry cleaner. It’s affordable, often available, and straightforward. Make sure you use mild liquid dish soap. Use this solution for gold and semi-precious stones. For gold jewelry, use sodium-free seltzer water to mix with mild dish soap. Be careful when you use anything stronger than liquid dish soap. You can also use baking powder and boiling water as a homemade jewelry cleaner. It’s great for sterling silver, gold, silver, and costume jewelry metals. As a note, be careful when you use boiling water on jewelry with crystals glued onto it. It can melt the glue that’s holding the crystal in. The trick is to avoid soaking the jewel-laden piece in the water for over 90 seconds. What to Avoid Using as DIY Cleaners Never use strong acids to clean your jewelry with, especially with metals such as silver. Don’t believe people when you hear them suggesting toothpaste as a jewelry cleaner. Toothpaste can indeed remove tarnish from silver, but it’s too abrasive for the metal. For that same reason, you want to avoid lemon juice and other acids. You can use denatured alcohol to clean off the residue from diamonds. However, avoid using it on other stones and pearls. Considering the drop in the diamond market from the pandemic, you want to keep what you’ve got safe and well-maintained. Liquid dish soap is the safest and strongest DIY jewelry cleaner you can get. Even then, you must mix it with warm or room-temperature water before you use it on any jewelry. Mild dish soap is strong enough to wash off the dirt on your ornaments and won’t affect the metal. 3. With Care and Patience, Clean Your Jewelry Now that you know what to use as a jewelry cleaner, let’s discuss how to clean your jewelry. First, place gold and semi-precious stones in a dish soap and water solution. Let them soak for about five minutes. Afterward, remove them from the solution and brush the crevices to remove the grime collected inside. In most cases, you want to take a soft toothbrush for children. Afterward, place them on a strainer, rinse with cool water, and dry with a soft cloth. Silver jewelry like silver chains for men will have a different style of cleaning. Dull silver can become shiny again when you rub dish soap and water solution on it with a cloth. If there is heavy tarnish, dip the silver in a baking soda and water paste. Use a soft cloth to work the paste into the crevices. Finally, rinse the silver jewelry, then buff and dry. Pearls are quite fragile, so you have to handle them with care when cleaning them. The proper way to clean pearls is to lay it on a soft cloth and to use a soft makeup brush. Dip the end of it into a mixture of warm water and a little shampoo. Brush the mixture over the pearls. Then use a damp cloth to clean the mixture off and rinse the pearls. You can also do this with other porous materials like turquoise and amber. 4. What to Consider Before Cleaning Jewelry If you’re unsure about how to clean certain pieces of jewelry, always research first. For example, you have a ring that has both gold and silver materials plus a pearl inlaid into it. You may need to take certain steps so both materials get cleaned well. Once you’re done cleaning and drying your necklaces, make sure you clasp them before you store them. Doing this will not only protect the necklace. It will also keep you from the troubles of having to deal with tangles when you need it again. Keep Your Jewelry Clean and Lustrous That ends our guide on how to use and create DIY jewelry cleaner. We hope the steps above help you learn the best way to keep your jewelry clean and presentable. We hope you learned something useful about the maintenance of various jewelry materials. Did you enjoy reading this informative jewelry cleaning guide? Do you want to learn more about proper jewelry maintenance? Check out our other content for more guides on the other ways to care for your jewelry.

  • Indulge in Some Self Care With These Products for Your Skin, Hair and Teeth

    Do you love it when you see someone with an amazing smile? Do you love seeing people with amazing and flawless skin? For me, the answer is yes. The truth is for most of us, we work hard to ensure our smile and skin are right but of course, we can't do it alone. Here are a few of the Black-owned brands that ensure we look how we feel. Holly Hall Supply Co., a Black-owned, dermatologist-developed line of products created with the goal of making high-quality skincare less intimidating and more accessible. Holly Hall provides Free Shipping in the U.S. and Dermatologist developed and tested, Paraben free products that are great for anyone with skin. Beard Game is one of the top-selling men's beard grooming products on the market today. With products that have been tested and approved, if you use each product, your face and your beard will thank you. Tress Organix is an all-natural product line was designed to revitalize damaged hair strands into stronger, longer tresses. By focusing on nourishing the scalp and the consistent moisturization throughout the follicles, Tress Organix products are designed to strengthen all hair textures with proper treatment and daily maintenance. Tackle stubborn hairs and boost smoothness and shine with the product that’s also designed to keep oils and moisturizing products close. Wave Glyder is a handheld styling tool that helps men achieve their smooth, wavy hair patterns outside of the barbershop. Created by a veteran barber who knows the needs of men’s naturally wavy hair, the Wave Glyder eliminates the traditional practice of using a plastic bag and smoothing pad. Buttah unites the best of nature and science in highly effective products for both women and men, formulated to reveal more radiant results. Each Buttah Skin product targets the issues we face every day - dryness, discoloration, oiliness, and blemishes with simple, proven-effective, good-for-you ingredients that leave your skin glowing, healthy, and renewed. The Smile Natural Products team is a group of entrepreneurs from Southern California with a passion for health and wellness. After struggling to find an ethical, big-brand hygiene company, they decided to create their own. All of Smile Natural Products have been thoughtfully designed with non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients to provide a healthier and friendlier hygiene solution. When we started Smile Natural Products, we laid out three key goals to guide our company: design products that make people look and feel great, Sustainably source products and packaging, Do awesome things for our community and the world!

  • 6 Podcasts to Keep You Informed On "The Culture"

    Over the years, podcasting has transformed into the phenomenon we know today. Along with the new trends and technology advancement, International Podcast Day has flourished as well. In 2014 National Podcast Day kicked off a celebration with six full hours of broadcasting. Founded by Steve Lee, the holiday evolved into what we know today with the help of his team. When the positive impact of international podcasting became apparent, the holiday was renamed and is now known as International Podcast Day. Between 2015 and 2019, countless hours have been broadcasted around the world. And as a result, ushering in podcasters and industry leaders from 70 countries to connect or collaborate. To celebrate the day, here's a lineup of podcasts you won't want to miss. Code Switch offers conversations regarding race, ethnicity, and culture from a multicultural perspective. Journalists Shereen Marisol Meraji and Gene Demby are the hosts. What's CODE SWITCH? It's the fearless conversations about race that you've been waiting for! Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. We explore how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. This podcast makes ALL OF US part of the conversation — because we're all part of the story. Hosted by Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings, The Nod digs deep into issues that directly connect with people of color. The Nod tells the stories of Black life that don’t get told anywhere else, from an explanation of how purple drink became associated with Black culture to the story of how an interracial drag troupe traveled the nation in the 1940s. We celebrate the genius, the innovation, and the resilience that is so particular to being Black -- in America, and around the world. The Read shares insight from Kid Fury and Crissle on our culture while also pushing the betterment of our people with the promotion of mental health and the need for therapy. Join bloggers Kid Fury and Crissle for their weekly podcast covering hip-hop and pop culture's most trying stars. Throwing shade and spilling tea with a flippant and humorous attitude, no star is safe from Fury and Crissle unless their name is Beyoncé. (Or Blue Ivy.) Along with fellow activists, DeRay Mckesson examines news, culture, social justice, and politics as he delves into current events that uniquely impact minorities on Pod Save The People. Organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics with analysis from Sam Sinyangwe, Kaya Henderson, and De’Ara Balenger. Then he sits down for deep conversations with experts, influencers, and diverse local and national leaders. New episodes every Tuesday. Discover your true potential when tuning in to The Gifted Connection Podcast with Nathan McClinton. As a Millennial Inspirational Enthusiast, McClinton hopes for listeners to discover their God-given talents and become the best version of themselves. Nathan McClinton is a Millennial Inspirational Enthusiast committed to helping you shatter your untapped potential and live out your dreams! The Gifted Connection is your safe place to live, learn, grow, and BECOME your best self! Join me, as I help you to live out your full potential through the expression of your God given Gift! Your Gift is about to Make ROOM for you. The question is...are you ready? The Joe Budden Podcast is hosted by Joe Budden and his friends Rory and Mal. The show is primarily a hip-hop podcast, but other topics such as basketball, politics, social issues and the music industry in general are regularly discussed. The show will occasionally feature musicians or music industry guests. Photo Credit: Indio's ENG4U Blog Source: International Podcast Day.com

  • Notable Black Men Speak Out On Recent Developments in the Breyonna Taylor Case

    It has been exactly a week since a grand jury indicted Brett Hankison, an officer involved in the Breonna Taylor murder in Kentucky. Hankison was indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, for firing several rounds outside of Taylor’s apartment on March 13, damaging property and putting neighboring citizens at risk. And while Hankison did fire his weapons that night, he was not the officer who shot and killed Taylor. Additionally, none of his fellow officers who were present that night were charged. For months, the country has been waiting to see some type of action taken against the officers for the death of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman who was killed when police entered her home with no knock or warning. Unfortunately, the recent developments in the case have not been anywhere close satisfactory for thousands of people who have protested and advocated for justice on Taylor’s behalf. Like others in disbelief, many notable Black men have shared their disappointment with this news. “Brett Hankison is indicted for shooting into the apartment NEXT to Breonna Taylor & not for KILLING HER. He’s fired for shooting into BREONNA TAYLOR’S apartment & not for KILLING HER. This is systemic racism. Property is worth more than a Black woman.” — W. Kamau Bell, comedian, TV host, via Twitter. “The white supremacist institution of policing that stole Breonna Taylor’s life from us must be abolished for the safety and well being of our people. #BreonnaTaylor #SayHerName #AbolishThePolice.” — Colin Kaepernick, via Twitter. “It’s really disappointing because justice should be served for her death, Breonna Taylor, and this movement in general, Black Lives Matter, and understanding the neglect of not only Black people but colored people in general. The injustices and the police brutality and the systematic racism and everything of that nature. It’s bigger than just sports or politics or the color of your skin. It’s about how you treat people.” — Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins, via press conference. "I’ve been lost for words today! I’m devastated, hurt, sad, mad! We want Justice for Breonna yet justice was met for her neighbors apartment walls and not her beautiful life. Was I surprised at the verdict. Absolutely not but damnit I was & still am hurt and heavy hearted!" — Lebron James, via Twitter. "Of course I'm upset about the Breonna Taylor verdict," he said. "It seems that not only should the cops have been charged, but it seems like the whole chain of command should have been reprimanded for such a heinous act. A woman's life was lost for absolutely nothing." — Chris Rock, during a Good Morning America interview. “It’s all kind of numbing. On one hand it’s like I KNOW I’m not crazy there’s a real problem in our country. On the other I’m sad that everyone doesn’t see it and some don’t want to. Of course I know God is at work. It’s just tough to process it all. #BreonnaTaylor” — Lecrae, recording artist, via Twitter. "I’m grieving for Breonna and her family. I’m grieving for so many other families that have had these interactions with police, that have had these killings caused by police that have gone with no accountability. It continues to happen. The system is not broken — it’s working exactly how it was designed.” — John Legend, during an MSNBC interview. “I don’t have many words right now.... but all I can say is I’m praying for the city of Louisville right now!!!” — Donovan Mitchell, NBA player, former Louisville Cardinals player, via Twitter. “No amount of money has ever brought a life back. Ask yourself ‘Why so long for Breonna Taylor?’” — Stevie Wonder, in a video message.

  • The Best Part of Waking Up is Black Owned Coffee Brands in Your Cup

    For most people, they can't start their day without a cup of coffee. I personally am not a coffee drinker but I see the extra boost that it gives people and with that strong scent, I can only imagine that the taste is just as powerful. Check out a few brands that are not only creating a name for themselves in the market but bringing a sense of pride to our culture and community. Cxffee Black Created in Memphis, Tennessee, Cxffee Black, is a brand that was created for the culture by Henderson, aka Bartholomew Jones. Its signature, Guji Mane, was created from the Sidamo Guji region of Ethiopia. You can see catchy phrases like: "Love Black people like you love black Cxffee," and "Make Cxffee black again," which you can also catch on apparel available on their website. Blk & Bold You may have seen the Blk & Bold brand in your local Whole Foods or Target stores. With a name like Blk and Bold, not only can you expect to drink something that has a powerful taste, but you can feel empowered while drinking it. Founders Rod Johnson and Pernell Cezar give back to the community by donating 5% of sales to supporting at-risk youth. You can also get specialty tees and if you fear running out of coffee, sign up for their subscription program, It'll save your life. Boon Boona Boon Boona is a brand that was birthed out of the need to provide green coffee to the East African area of Seattle, Washington. Founded by Efrem Fesaha, he brings to the table her knowledge of East African coffee ceremonies which included things like roasting the beans in a pan and brewing them in a Jebena, a clay dish. They also provide subscriptions for the many roasted flavors they provide. Sip & Sonder Sip & Sonder is a powerful female-led brand launched by Amanda-Jane Thomas and Shanita Nicholas in their coffeehouse in Inglewood, California. The ladies offer more than just coffee, it's about the experience of community and culture while enjoying a great beverage. If you take a look at the website, you see that "Sip & Sonder is an entrepreneurial and creative hub that houses a Coffee House and Creative Studio." Kahawa 1893 Kahawa 1893 is Kenyan coffee, founded by Margaret Nyamumbo, a third-generation farmer. Known for its rich flavor, the Kenyan coffee comes from being grown in high altitudes in nutrient-dense volcanic soil. The goal of the brand is to provide an amazing taste while empowering female coffee farmers.

  • Chris Rock and Megan Thee Stallion Set to Heat Up the Premiere of SNL's 46th Season

    Laughter is truly good for the soul. This is a saying that has been around in communities for years. That’s why this post is so meaningful. Now we all have our favorite comedians and we know how they make us feel on the inside. I mean just bursting with so much laughter. One comedian has paved the way for a lot of newcomers this day and age and he continues to thrive more and more. I’m talking about none other than comedian/actor Chris Rock. Since the 80s, Chris Rock has used his comedic talent to fill households across the world. From stand up to Saturday Night Live to blockbuster hit movies, Chris Rock has been a force to be reckoned with. Excitingly, the new 46th season of Saturday Night Live is set to air October 3, 2020, and you guessed it, Chris Rock will be the host of the iconic comedy show. In his early days, Chris Rock became a part of SNL in 1990 along with greats such as Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Farley, Rob Schneider, and more. They became known as the “Bad Boys” of SNL. With COVID-19 being the center of the country right now, it's great to see shows come back and be better than ever. SNL has been a highly anticipated show for quite some time, and I know that viewers literally cannot wait to glue their eyes to the screen this Saturday. To add to the excitement, none other than the hot girl herself Megan Thee Stallion will be making her SNL musical guest debut using those famous stronghold knees to rock the crowd. This will be an iconic premiere for her as well, and it’ll be good to take people’s minds from the Tory Lanez debacle currently swarming over social media right now. This premiere will be one for the books, especially for people of color. A Black host, and a Black musical guest! I’m here for it. Be sure to check your local listings for the 46th season premiere this Saturday, October 3rd.

  • 16-Year-Old Tech Activist Inspired the Youth to Learn Computer Programming With Virtual Camp

    During the global pandemic, The New Nerd CS+ Personal Development Virtual Summer Camp has created a fun outlet for youth as an alternative for traditional seasonal activities. Participating in the virtual camp allows students to connect with their peers and learn about computer programming as well as be mentored by other youth. Sixteen-year-old “tech activist” Ian Michael Brock oversaw the daily lessons of his virtual computer science summer camp, which was created for the enrichment of countless Black and brown youth. Many young people all over the country have benefitted from his sessions. Brock’s endeavors caught McDonald’s attention, and the restaurant franchise agreed to support his Dream Hustle Code non-profit as the leading sponsor of the Virtual Summer Camp. He felt the timing of McDonald’s sponsorship perfectly coincided with the brand’s Black & Positively Golden movement. Under the guidance of his parents Michael and Dulcevita Brock, he believes the massive support McDonald’s provides will lead to conversations about presenting minority youth with the realization that computer science could become a future career. McDonald’s is onboard with Brock’s inspirational vision. With a focus on students from grades 5th through 9th, Brock’s camp offers informative sessions that combine computer programming and personal development. “The hybrid, the online class introduced JavaScript through Code with Google’s Grasshopper application. The courses will continue through the fall academic semester to support after school virtual programs.” Seasoned in virtual instruction Ian Brock has served as a coach and mentor for youth across 28 U.S. states, Canada, the Philippines, and Africa. He maneuvered around the COVID-19 pandemic and turned a crisis into an opportunity to empower youth through long-distance learning. Impressed with Brock’s entrepreneurial spirit and the message behind the organization he co-founded, Google's headquarters in Mountainview and Los Angeles, California, invited him to speak twice. As a young visionary, he hopes to see a bridge between the gap created by racial, educational, and economic inequality. And that his fellow youth will become creators of new technologies and not remain consumers. Aside from being the co-founder of Dream Hustle Code and New Nerd, Brock is also a computer science activist, speaker, rookie coder, and soon-to-be-published author. For more information, please visit his website, and if you are interested in donating to the Nerd Virtual Programs, click here. Photo Credit: Dreamhustlecode.com

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