Healthy Communities

The dream of Ujima Enterprises is to have students who are centered in their own historical experiences. Such students, given the objectives of the Ujima project, will be capable of creating healthy communities by transforming themselves into viable citizens. Nothing is so correct for these students as the attachment to cultural truths that produce in the children the kind of values that are necessary for advancement.

Dr. Molefi Kete Asante

UEI in the News

Get the latest news from the village. Activities, events, and updates.


Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History Set to Honor President Obama


The Smithsonians National Museum of African American History and Culture is set to create an exhibit featuring artifacts from President Barack Obamas first and second terms.One section will feature a large display about the first black president. Curators have been working since 2008 to gather objects, documents and images that capture his place in history. They are looking add more to the collection, starting with gathering materials from this weeks inauguration ceremony.

MORE:  Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History Set to Honor President Obama | Loop21.





3 Ways to Turn Your Idea into an Income Stream in 2013

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With my brand coaching clients, I have noticed a pattern of thinking that most would-be consultants generally fall into.  They don’t believe that they can do it, they don’t know how to package their services, and they don’t know how to charge.

If this sounds like you, this year I want you to step into the marketplace with a fresh frame of mind. If you have always wanted to offer your expertise to people, or you always find yourself giving away great advice for free, resolve to put these three tips into action this year.

Embrace your Expertise. Chances are, you are an expert at something. That something is the thing that people most frequently ask your opinion on or most frequently thank you for. Accept that this is true, and that what you do/have/give is good enough to charge for. Don’t worry about whether or not people pay.  People will always pay for something they want and something that they perceive will add value. That is the first step.

MORE:  3 Ways to Turn Your Idea into an Income Stream in 2013.




Quvenzhane Wallis Becomes Youngest Actress Ever Nominated for a Best Actress Oscar


One of the biggest news stories to come out of today’s announcement was the nomination of 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis. Wallis, who wowed audiences and critics in the independent film Beast of the Southern Wild, became the youngest person ever nominated for Best Actress.

When she heard the news, the Louisiana native said she yelled with excitement.

“It’s exciting, this is special,” she said,  telling the USA Today she is going to celebrate with “pizza, chicken and waffles and good stuff.”

Wallis, who shot the film when she was just six, is the only black actress in the category,

MORE:  Quvenzhane Wallis Becomes Youngest Actress Ever Nominated 




Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Adds Six New Original Series


2012 was a great year for the Oprah Winfrey Network. OWN, which once suffered from low ratings and management shake-ups, reached double-digit gains and soared with 11 months of consecutive ratings growth.

The 2013 season looks just as bright for OWN. Over the weekend, the network revealed six new original series to its lineup.

The shows include Raising Whitley, a reality series centered around the life of actress and comedienne Kym Whitley; Blackboard Wars, a docu-series about the transformation of New Orleans’ John McDonogh High School; Dogfellas, a show following dog groomer James “Head” Guiliani and Golden Sisters, a reality show starring real-life golden girls Mary, Josie & Teresa.

The lineup also includes two scripted series from OWN’s joint venture with Tyler Perry. The Have and the Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor are both scheduled to air on May 29th.

MORE:  Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Adds Six New Original Series – Black Listed – EBONY.




African American Physicists to Receive Presidential Awards

The newly named recipients will receive their awards at a White House ceremony next year.

“They represent the ingenuity and imagination that has long made this nation great — and they remind us of the enormous impact a few good ideas can have when these creative qualities are unleashed in an entrepreneurial environment,” said President Obama.

Gates is an American theoretical physicist, known for work on supersymmetry, supergravity and superstring theory .  He is currently John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park and serves on President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and was formerly President of the National Society of Black Physicists.

Dr. Carruthers was the principal scientist responsible for the development of the ultra-violet camera that made the trip to the moon aboard Apollo 16 in 1972.

MORE:  African American Physicists to Receive Presidential Awards – The Oakland Post Online.




New Study: Black Students Who Are Taught Racial Pride Do Better In School

Remember how good you felt when Black History Month rolled around and you finally got to learn and talk about significant African American historical figures in school? Well, according to new research published in the Journal of Child Development, affirming a black child’s desire to learn about their race does more than just give them a personal boost, it helps them academically as well.

The study, conducted by Ming-Te Wang and James P. Huguley of the University of Pittsburg and Harvard University respectively, found that “racial socialization”—teaching kids about their culture and involving them in activities that promote racial pride and connection—helps to offset the discrimination and racial prejudices children face by the outside world.

MORE:  New Study: Black Students Who Are Taught Racial Pride Do Better In School | Clutch Magazine.




Catching up with Elise Neal: Actress talks life, hair and controversial new film that examines black church


She is a native of Tennessee, born in the jazz rich city of Memphis, and hails from humble roots. Her mom was a nurse, her dad a blue-collar construction worker. She attended the historic University of the Arts College in Philadelphia for two years prior to moving to New York City where she began her acting career. Neal climbed her way up steadily and carefully, landing her first role on the soap opera Loving. She then moved to into prime time on SeaQuest2032 on which she played Lt. JJ Fredricks. In 1997, Elise made her major motion picture debut in John Singleton’s controversial film Rosewood starring as Scrappy.

Fast forward to 2012. Neal has a new TV One sitcom Belles, and is unveiling a new hair weave line in conjunction with California Lace Wigs & Weaves. She also has a starring role in the award-winning, forthcoming film The Undershepard starring Isaiah Washington and Malinda Williams.

We had a chance to speak with her about the controversial film, which was produced by radio personality Russ Parr, and her role in it as a church “bad girl” — a switch for her because she always plays the good one.

Here is a candid look into the mind and heart of one of Hollywood’s brightest shinning sister stars:

MORECatching up with Elise Neal: Actress talks life, hair and controversial new film that examines black church | theGrio.


13-year-old pens middle school success guide

Students can sometimes find the transition into middle school stressful and challenging, so one eighth grader used his experience to create a road map for success.

Madu Eneli, of Harker Heights, Texas, published a book titled, “Am I Ready for Middle School?” Its chapters are dedicated to topics like handling a heavier workload, reaching out for academic help, and navigating the social aspects of lunch and recess.

“I started thinking about writing the book last year after I started seventh grade,” Eneli told Harker Heights Herald. “I don’t think there’s another book like this that speaks to middle school kids.”

“Now is the time to dream big, work hard, have fun, and make new friends,” the back cover of the book reads.

MORE13-year-old pens middle school success guide | theGrio.


5 Olympic traits we can apply to achieve success

This Olympics has been filled with many great stories like that of Gabby Douglas, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, and Serena Williams. While very inspiring, there is still so much more that we can learn from these great athletes. Olympians are the best in the world at their respective sports, something that did not happen by accident. Here are five traits many Olympians share that can teach us how to improve our daily lives.

MORE5 Olympic traits we can apply to achieve success | theGrio.


NY Graduation Rates for Black, Hispanic Boys Lowest in Nation

For African-American and Hispanic male students, New York has the worst four-year high school graduation rate in the country, according to a study by the Schott Foundation for Public Education.

In fact, the researchers say, a meager 37% of black and Hispanic boys are graduating for New York high schools in four years.

The number for male, white students is 78%, according to the foundation’s report titled, “The Urgency of Now.”

“I think this is just an enormous tragedy and it’s happening under the nose of the people in the wealthiest city in the country,” said Michael Holzman of the Schott Foundation.

NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott says the city is working to improve graduation rates and his office points out that while the Schott study focuses on four-year graduation rates, many students do graduate in five or six years.

MORENY Graduation Rates for Black, Hispanic Boys Lowest in Nation | NBC New York.


The Root 100 2012 List: Black Influencers to Know

One core mission ofThe Root is to reveal and recognize African Americans who are breaking ground, raising the bar and effecting meaningful change in the world. We do that in many ways throughout the year, but our signature means of recognizing our community’s best and brightest, since 2009, is through The Root 100 annual list of black achievers and influencers, ages 25-45. The Root 100 honorees not only excel in their fields but also are people who use their influence to shape the world and make it a better place. Otherwise, what is all that influence really good for?

It’s in that spirit that we reveal our top-ranked honoree for 2012: scholar, author and MSNBC television-show host Melissa Harris-Perry. “For me, success is when I’m making a contribution and fully engaging all of my talents,” Harris-Perry once said. Evidence of that success over the past year is clear in how the Tulane University political science professor has handled the national platform that came with her new MSNBC news show, Melissa Harris-Perry. She has used it not only to air the typical hot-button issues that feed the cable-news beast, like the latest politician’s gaffe, but also to discuss the tough topics that many would rather not face, like felon voter rightsanti-Muslim bigotry and the way the poor are being ignored and vilifiedin politics.

Harris-Perry’s approach to success is one that is shared by others on The Root 100 2012 list, all of whom were noted for how they exercised their influence within the past year.

MOREThe Root 100 2012 List: Black Influencers to Know.


Happy Birthday Ray Charles!

Completely blind by the age of 7, not long after he witnessed the drowning death of his younger brother, Charles would grow to be a pioneer in the genre of soul music. His risky, solely authentic blend of R&B and gospel shocked and titillated fans around the world and “Rolling Stone” ranked him as No. 10 on their list of “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” in 2004, the year of his death.

Though he would battle drug abuse in his lifetime, his legacy of music, resilience, philanthropy, humor and wisdom serve as testaments to his strength and his unwavering belief that we’re “supposed to believe we’re here for a purpose.”

MORE:  Happy Birthday Ray Charles! | Breaking News for Black America.


Michelle Obama Leadership Lessons

Mom-in-Chief. Golden smile. Arguably one of the most progressive first ladies of our time. Michelle Obama has made her mark. Coloring outside the lines of past traditional roles of first ladies, Obama plays an active role in support of her husband’s agenda. Like many first ladies before her, Michelle skillfully weaves a personal identity of her husband— an image that will gainfully assist him to his reelection. However, she accomplishes what few great speakers have done, evoking  exemplary practices of leadership through her words.

In Leadership Challenge (Jossey Bass; $24.95), a Businessweek best-seller, authors James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner point out their five exemplary practices of leadership, all of which are embodied byFirst Lady Obama. Take a cue and learn from these tenants of excellence in your career and overall life:

MORE:  Michelle Obama Leadership Lessons.


Magic Johnson opens school to give high school dropouts a helping hand

The Magic Johnson Bridgescape center helps give those who have left school, or are at risk of dropping out, the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. The program, which has just opened its doors, is free and accepts students aged 14 to 20 years old.

Unlike traditional schools, Bridgescape takes a holistic approach, with life skills counselors as well as teachers on site to provide developmental and academic support. Students get academic credits online, including one-on-one and small group classes.

MORE:  Magic Johnson opens school to give high school dropouts a helping hand | theGrio.


What To Look Out For At Urbanworld 2012

The Urbanworld Festival gives talented individuals such as Ava Duvernay and Mara Brock Akil a chance to shine and display their filmmaking skills on an international scale. The five-day annual event which was founded by a woman–Stacy Spikes–seeks to redefine and advance “the roles of multicultural constituents in contemporary filmed entertainment.”

Because of the limited depiction of women of color in mainstream media and film, it may seem that there aren’t any black female directors, writers or producers, but, there are! This year, urban women hold their own, having a stake in every category of the acclaimed competition.

At last year’s event, Ava Duvernay made history as the first black woman to win the “U.S. Drama Directing” award! And, this year we hope she, or another talented beauty, takes it home as well!

via What To Look Out For At Urbanworld 2012 | Celebrity News & Style for Black Women.

Maya Angelou on Melissa Harris-Perry Show

Who knew Melissa Harris-Perry was a former student of Maya Angelou? This weekend the novelist, artist, activist and teacher spoke to the MSNBC host — who, like many fans and readers, is still clearly eager to learn from her — about topics ranging from the meaning of courage to the importance of education in the formation of identity.

Angelou explained at one point in the Melissa Harris-Perry show interview why she finds the hostile political climate leading up to the election heartbreaking.

Visit for breaking news


via Maya Angelou on Melissa Harris-Perry Show.



Live Your Life With Passion And Purpose [Tips]

If moving forward were as simple as it sounds everyone would be blissfully actualizing his or her unique purpose. But it’s not. It takes devotion, fearlessness and discipline. Luckily, it all starts with one step: Making the decision to change. If you are ready to embrace that choice this week, here are some things that can help you make the room in your life for not just what you have to do, but what you want to do.


1. Reconnect with Your Passion. Are you doing exactly— or at least most of— what you’ve always envisoned? If not, take time to think about what you’ve always dreamed of doing. Write it down. Next, start brainstorming around what that can look like for you today.

2. Create a Space. Many of us are surrounded by physical AND emotional clutter; both prevent us from having the clarity to move forward. Figure out what you need to readjust in your life in order to create a space where thinking is easy.

3. Define a Timeline. Nothing creates accountability like a deadline. Generate action dates for your goals—and honor them.

MORE:  Live Your Life With Passion And Purpose [Tips].


The Top 10 Highest-Paying Jobs Requiring a Two Year Degree

Lack of education is often cited as a main reason for higher rates of African-American unemployment. Yet getting an education to further your career can be a catch-22. Many people cannot afford to take a four-year break from working with little guarantee that they will be able to find a job with their bachelor’s. But this is not a reason to avoid getting a practical education. There are many lucrative careers for which qualified applicants will be in high demand in the coming years, which only require a two-year degree or vocational training. Here are some of the highest paying jobs that require only an associate degree according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Four of the highest paying jobs are in healthcare — and almost 600,000 registered nurses will be needed in the coming years. Are some of these jobs that only require a two-year degree right for you? Read on to decide.

MORE:  The Top 10 Highest-Paying Jobs Requiring a Two Year Degree


Earvin Magic Johnson Launches New Network Aspire

Basketball legend and entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson has spent numerous hours on TV over the years as the point guard for the Los Angles Lakers. More than twenty years after playing basketball, the hall of famer, who is now a successful, celebrated entrepreneur, is running his own television network. Tonight, Johnson debuts his Atlanta-based cable network ASPiRE to the public.

Johnson’s entry into television comes from the communication network Comcast Corp. Comcast first announced their partnership with him earlier this year. ASPiRE will go live tonight at 8pm EST, and joins other channels targeting African-American viewers such as TV One and BET.

Johnson says ASPiRE is focused on uplifting the image of African-Americans and celebrating the success of those in the Black community.

MORE:  Earvin Magic Johnson Launches New Network Aspire – Black Enterprise.


Black People Don’t Swim? Cullen Jones Becomes America’s Fastest Swimmer


Cullen Jones is headed to this year’s Olympic games. The former North Carolina State star qualified for two individual events over the weekend and earned the title of America’s fastest swimmer by besting rival Anthony Ervin by 1/100th of a second.

Jones will be competing in the men’s 50m and 100m freestyle races as well as the 4×100 relay race.

The swimmer, who has worked extensively to encourage African-American kids to take up swimming through the “Make A Splash” initiative, says his recent victory was the realization of a dream.

MORE:  Black People Don’t Swim? Cullen Jones Becomes America’s Fastest Swimmer | Clutch Magazine.


7 Black Females Who Broke Ground in the Medical Field

In 1976, at age 26, Alexa Canady became the first black female neurosurgeon in the United States when she was accepted as a resident at the University of Minnesota. In 1986, after four years at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Canady became chief of the hospital’s neurosurgery department. In 1993, she received the American Women’s Medical Association President’s Award. Canady’s research in neurosurgical techniques resulted in the invention of a programmable antisiphon shunt, which is used to treat excess fluid in the brain. She shares a U.S. patent for the device with two other neurosurgeons.


SOURCE 7 Black Females Who Broke Ground in the Medical Field | 


Full Episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass: The Power of Forgiveness


Full Episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass: the Tour: The Power of Forgiveness

It’s the definition of forgiveness Oprah has never forgotten: Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could be any different. Stop living in the space of “if only,” learn to let go of the past and move forward with the help of all of Oprah’s superstar teachers: Iyanla Vanzant, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra and Bishop T.D. Jakes.


SOURCE Full Episode of Oprahs Lifeclass: The Power of Forgiveness – Video – OWN TV.


Cool Jobs: Photographer Paid to Capture Beauty of City Life

Cool Jobs: Photographer Paid to Capture Beauty of City Life - Black Enterprise

THE GIG: Stephens, who calls himself a “one-man media content provider,” spends a lot of his days finding and shooting subjects for The People of Detroit photo project. Typically, his subjects are people he runs into throughout his day in the city. Each photo is accompanied by a biographic essay. “When I select a subject for the project, I make sure that person tells you something about Detroit you would not otherwise know. How do they fit into Detroit and the lager social context of urban living?” Stephens says. “Media coverage I saw of Detroit didn’t reflect at all the city that I know. The whole purpose of TPOD is to provide an alternative narrative. Contrary to what you see in the media, there are actual people here and occupied buildings. People live here.” Stephens also does corporate and retail photography.

SOURCE  Cool Jobs: Photographer Paid to Capture Beauty of City Life – Black Enterprise.


UBR Spotlight: Pre-Teen Entrepreneur Maya Penn

This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, UBR Contributor Renita D. Young speaks with pre-teen entrepreneur Maya Penn, the CEO and owner of Maya Ideas, an Canton, Georgia-based online boutique that sells eco-friendly garments and accessories designed by Penn and sold to customers around the globe.

An artist, animator, designer, illustrator and writer, Penn originally set up her business at the age of eight, when she linked up with the online craft store Etsy in 2007. Now age 12, she has demonstrated precocious business savvy, to say the least. Penn has been recognized on Forbes list of notable grade school entrepreneurs, and she donates 10 percent of the profits of her business to charities including Hosea Feed the Hungry, the Atlanta Food Bank, The Captain Planet Foundation and She joins the Roundtable to share what inspired her to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams at such an early age.

Also, UBR Contributor Samantha Pass talks with Dr. Antoine Moss, the founder and CEO of Style Consulting L.L.C. and the nonprofit organization C.H.A.N.G.E. Volunteers Inc., and a nationally recognized career development expert.

SOURCE  UBR Spotlight: Pre-Teen Entrepreneur Maya Penn – Black Enterprise.


Why Dr. Dre and Ice Cube Succeeded and NWA Did Not

I was asked to give my thoughts on NWA this week for a BET documentary on the impact of Hip-Hop on Black culture.  One thing that came to mind is the way Dr. Dre and Ice Cube were able to climb out of the war zone that was Compton and Death Row Records to become captains of the industry, while many of their homeboys simply perished. In that regard, their success makes for a case study that would be a fit for any business school in the country.

Here are some things that made Dre and Cube different from the rest:

SOURCE  Why Dr. Dre and Ice Cube Succeeded and NWA Did Not | Breaking News for Black America.


Deepak Chopra’s Advice on Maintaining Positivity

During dark, difficult times, staying positive can be challenging for many people. Watch as Deepak Chopra shares a lesson he learned from a young boy in Africa, a child who believes that if you’re victimized by your thoughts, you’re victimized by your past. Plus, Oprah reveals how she deals with negative press.

How to Maintain Positivity During Tough Times

During dark, difficult times, staying positive can be challenging for many people. Watch as Deepak Chopra shares a lesson he learned from a young boy in Africa, a child who believes that if you’re victimized by your thoughts, you’re victimized by your past. Plus, Oprah reveals how she deals with negative press.


SOURCE  Deepak Chopra’s Advice on Maintaining Positivity – Video – OWN TV.


Toussaint L’Ouverture: TV Movie on Haitian Revolution

The Haitian Revolution lasted 13 years before the nation, known then as Saint-Domingue, gained independence from France and became the world’s first free black republic. It actually took two declarations to achieve that historic marker: Toussaint L’Ouverture led the island slave revolt to a short-lived victory over British and Spanish colonizers in 1801. By 1804 Jean-Jacques Dessalines had succeeded him and defeated French forces; he was the country’s first president.

For years, many in Hollywood have tried to make a dramatized version of the revolution and its iconic leader, L’Ouverture. None succeeded until Toussaint, a two-part television series that averaged 3 million viewers when it aired in February on the French network France 2. Directed by Philippe Niang, produced by Eloa Prod and starring Jimmy Jean-Louis as the title character, the film was shot in France and Martinique.

Since its premiere, Toussaint has been racking up awards. It won best narrative feature at the Pan African Film and Arts Festival in Los Angeles, where Jean-Louis also came away with the award for best actor. In addition, the film won best Diaspora feature at the Africa Movie Academy Awards, which is considered the African Oscars. (According to Jean-Louis, several other domestic film-festival organizers have inquired about screening Toussaint, but there were no specific details at press time.)

SOURCE Toussaint L’Ouverture: TV Movie on Haitian Revolution.


Yandy Smiths Five Steps to Keeping Your Cool Under Stress

Working in entertainment can be very rewarding. In this industry, we work hard to play hard. The rewarding part for me, as a talent manager and business owner, is watching my work come alive and seeing the fruits of my labor come to fruition. But, the stress level is almost always at an all-time high. More often than not, things don’t always work out as one would plan. It’s not always smooth sailing, but when it is I’m so grateful.

Working well under pressure is a skill many employers value and one in which you need to make your specialty. You should be able to tackle anything thrown at you. Take when I had to put together an entire video shoot for my former client Jim Jones in only five days. I had to find a location, a director and handle a whole bunch of other intricate details that go into the production of a video. Talk about stressful! But, I got it done, my client was happy and the video was hot!

I’m going to give you five steps on how ‘Make it happen, captain’ while holding it all together:

SOURCE Yandy Smiths Five Steps to Keeping Your Cool Under Stress.


Designer to Watch: Aminah Muse of Yanghi


As the head of the Fashion Society at her high school, Aminah discovered her love for fashion design. Aminah wasn’t afraid to be innovative. She even made skirts out of old curtains.

Within five years, Aminah’s design aesthetic has evolved into garments filled with symmetry and with worldly inspirations. Inspired by her father’s Sudanese and Ethiopian background, she decided to create her own clothing line in 2010 called Yanghi.

The first garment Aminah composed for her line was “The Clash of Cultures” top. The garment featured an African wax print, dipped in red dye, with a diamond cut in the front, outlined by a Native-American quilted trim. Her designs showcase an inventive take on reconstruction and evoke cultural messages.

Yanghi means “superior one.” Aminah loves to clash colors and textures in order to produce effortless handcrafted pieces.


SOURCE: Designer to Watch: Aminah Muse of Yanghi | ClutchMagazine.


Black in Digital: Key Black Tech Gathering in NYC Tomorrow

Is there a significant black presence in the digital space? Tomorrow will be the third installment of the annual Digital Summit that’s designed to stimulate conversation around technology topics important to the black community. This year’s topic will be “The Entrepreneur and the Big Media Company: What Role Do ‘Acqui-Hires’ Play in the Media M&A Landscape.” If you fancy yourself to have been bitten by the entrepreneurship bug, or are just interested in technology in general the event will definitely be worth it.

SOURCE: Black in Digital: Key Black Tech Gathering in NYC Tomorrow | Breaking News for Black America.


Oprah’s Lifeclass Webcast Day Two: Anger with Iyanla Vanzant

If you can’t let something go, ask yourself if you know what anger really is. Watch Day 2 of Oprah’s Lifeclass webcast with relationship expert Iyanla Vanzant and find out how to stop holding on to the past and start living in the present.

via Oprah’s Lifeclass Webcast Day Two: Anger with Iyanla Vanzant – Video – OWN TV.


Code Academy Teaches Web Development to the Masses

Named after the year of the Great Chicago Fire, 1871, the 50,000 sq. ft. startup hub in downtown Chicago officially opened its doors last Thursday, ushering in the future of technology in one of Chicago’s oldest buildings, The Merchandise Mart. Now, engineers, designers, developers, entrepreneurs, startups, techies, and students can use the space to begin crafting their dreams, and Code Academy, a 12-week program that teaches non-techies web development, has been the first tenet to “beta- test” the space.  Even before the grand opening, Code Academy was able to pack the house with over 500 attendees for their first Demo Day.

Launched by two young African-American entrepreneurs, Neal Sales-Griffin and Mike McGee, Code Academy started its third semester with 80 students and three instructors. According to McGee, they should be in the neighborhood of $1 million in revenue by the end of this summer, which is the direct result of about two years of hard work, determination, networking and being told ‘no’ more times than they would’ve preferred.

Northwestern graduates, Sales-Griffin, 24, a business major and McGee, 23, a graphic design and political science major, knew nothing about software development before they founded their tech startup. But they attempted to learn code themselves over a 12-month period, scouring the web for classes, materials, and any resources they could find.

via Code Academy Teaches Web Development to the Masses – Black Enterprise.


Black Blogger Month: Double Saving Divas

For Chicago natives Tai and Tarin Perry, the gift of thrift was more of a necessity than a hobby. Born into a family of seven, the identical twins learned early how to make a dollar stretch. The sibling entrepreneurs recall begrudgingly helping their mother clip cereal promo coupons as children, until one day they realized all of clippings and codes had amounted to a free family trip to Disney World—only then did they see the benefits of saving and couponing.

Now at 32-years old, the twins have parlayed their long-standing knowledge into, a popular blog that offers up tips and tricks committed to helping others “Save without Compromise.” With over 44,000 unique visitors in monthly traffic, the Double Saving Divas have already captured the attention of daytime TV favorites Rachel Ray and Nate Berkus, as well as TLC’s Extreme Couponing. As’s Black Blogger Month continues, the Perry sisters share the importance of saving, branding in the digital world, and just what separates a business from a hobby.

via Black Blogger Month: Double Saving Divas-Black Enterprise.


How Floyd Mayweather Became a Social Media Heavyweight

Whether you love Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. or not, there’s no doubt that he’s playing for the right team, #TheMoneyTeam. He has the charisma and talent to back up his fearless demeanor, as well as the ability to make millions of people pay to watch him duke it out. Mayweather, an eight-time world champion, is doing what no other boxer in history has done, not even Muhammad Ali.

The pay-per-view champion collected a guaranteed $45 million for his latest fight with Miguel Cotto. It’s a purse that beats Nevada’s prior record of $30 million, which was achieved three times by Mike Tyson in both of his fights against Evander Holyfield and another against Frank Bruno. Based on salary alone, the 35-year-old boxer is the highest paid athlete in the world, according to ESPN magazine.  His multitiered brand has spread beyond the boxing ring, amassing an online following that rivals tech heavyweights and influencers. (His Klout score weights in at 84.)

  • Money May’s social media footprint speaks for itself:
  • Twitter: @FloydMayweather over 2.8 million followers
  • YouTube:  Floyd Mayweather over 18K subscribers; nearly 5 million views
  • Facebook: Floyd Mayweather about 1.4 million subscribers
  • Instagram: Floyd Mayweather over 300K followers

via How Floyd Mayweather Became a Social Media Heavyweight – Black Enterprise.


‘Awkward Black Girl’ Creator Issa Rae on Shorty Award Win and Online Racism

After beating out numerous other web series to win the 2012 Shorty Award for Best Web Show in March, Issa Rae took to Facebook and Twitter to announce the big win. Within minutes, producers and fans of two of the other nominated shows, as well as hashtag bandwagoners began bashing The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl on Twitter. Several commenters took the virtual belittling to the next level, not only downgrading the quality of the web series, but spewing racial epithets and making light of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. Rae spoke to about her Shorty Award win, the racist comments and why ABG haters are her motivators.


SOURCE: ‘Awkward Black Girl’ Creator Issa Rae on Shorty Award Win and Online Racism – Black Enterprise.


How I Did It: Digital Entrepreneur Asmau Ahmed Make Shopping Easier

Asmau Ahmed is founder of Plum Perfect, a visual search engine that provides personal beauty recommendations to shoppers when they upload their photos. Ahmed was able to combine her knowledge of technology and chemistry to provide a resource she found lacking while shopping as a consumer. Noticing a void in the market, Ahmed, a native of Nigeria, used her experience as a “citizen of the world” and her educational background to give women of all ethnic groups a Web tool that makes shopping for beauty products that much easier.

Writer Lauren DeLisa Coleman talked with Ahmed on how she came up with the venture and how women in tech-based businesses can prosper.

SOURCE: How I Did It: Digital Entrepreneur Asmau Ahmed Make Shopping Easier.


Cool Jobs: L’Oreal Chemist Takes Passion for Cosmetics Global

As a trained chemist and group leader at L’Oréal USA, Atis oversees a group of chemists and engineers as they work together to create cosmetics products for the various brands under the L’Oréal umbrella. Atis and two other chemists spent six years developing new shades of makeup that complement the diverse skin tones of women of color.  After taking skin tone measurements from over 27,000 women from 57 different countries, the end result was the launch of 30 new shades of make-up for various brands including L’Oréal’s True Match.

THE PERKS: Atis says one of the biggest joys from her job is being able to show by example that a science degree can be used for many careers outside of the usual ones.

THE WORKDAY: “When we were traveling to various places taking skin tone measurements, sometimes people thought we were just actors,” Atis says. “At first they didn’t believe that we were actually black women scientists. Once they figured that out, they would bring over their grandchildren and daughters to talk to us about our careers.”

SOURCE: Cool Jobs: L’Oreal Chemist Takes Passion for Cosmetics Global.


Toni Morrison to Receive America’s Highest Civilian Honor

The first female secretary of state, a former astronaut, and a musical pioneer are among this year’s recipients of the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

President Barack Obama will award the medals at the White House later this spring.

SOURCE: Toni Morrison to Receive America’s Highest Civilian Honor – Black Enterprise.


Second Annual Black Blogger Month Launches May 1, 2012

It’s that time of year again. Spring is in the air well, for most and is ready to celebrate the efforts of digital thought leaders with its second annual Black Blogger Month. Kicking off tomorrow, May 1, 2012, and continuing every weekday throughout the month of May, we’ll feature profiles and interviews with 20 of the best Black bloggers on the Web. From fashion and technology to relationships and politics to media and finance, every corner of the digital world is covered as these new wave entrepreneurs share their branding strategies, passions for blogging and the many ups and downs on their journey to success online.


SOURCE: Second Annual Black Blogger Month Launches May 1, 2012-Black Enterprise.


Jay-Z Launches New Facebook Game, Empire

Music mogul and entrepreneur Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter continues to extend his brand in innovative ways. After conquering fashion Rocawear, music Roc-A-Fella Records, real estate 40/40 Club and sports New Jersey Nets, among other mediums, he is currently developing a Facebook game called Empire. Recently released in beta format on the social media platform, the game allows users to play out a rags-to-riches story as a character, whose life mirrors Carter’s own rise from the Marcy Housing Projects in Brooklyn, NY to a glamorous life of fame and fortune.

While Empire is still being finalized, Facebook users can get updates on the game’s developments via its Facebook page.  Can’t knock the hustle.

SOURCE: Jay-Z Launches New Facebook Game, Empire – Black Enterprise.


Time Magazine: Most Influential Black People

Time magazine says that its annual list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” contains those who “inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world” and have “created a ripple effect in countless fields.” Divided into categories based on the nature of their contributions pioneers, moguls, leaders and icons, it includes some individuals you know well, and some you probably havent heard of.

President Obama is there — thats no surprise. For the first time since 1999, Oprah Winfrey didnt make the list, but Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan did, along with Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court; Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller; and University of Maryland educator Freeman Hrabowski. Black entertainers on the list include Rihanna, Viola Davis and Raphael Saadiq.

SOURCETime Magazine: Most Influential Black People.


The Importance of Ancestry

The importance of Ancestry and the ability to follow the line back to one’s origins. I see our children grow taller before our eyes when the receive their African Ancestry DNA certificate. Those certificates will be included in the books of their family stories which will be on display during our 14th Annual Juneteenth celebration on June 23, 2012 at 4:00 at WMU Dalton Recital Hall. The children depicted in this picture of the underwater sculpture are posed hand-in-hand in spite of their shackles imposed by the European Slave Trade. Such loving support and solidarity depicts the power of the African Spirit which is bringing our children into their own inherited power. The theme of Juneteenth this year is “The Freedom of Children”.

Princeton’s Tracy K. Smith Wins Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Tracy K. Smith, an assistant professor of creative writing in Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, today won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for “Life on Mars,” which the prize committee calls “a collection of bold, skillful poems, taking readers into the universe and moving them to an authentic mix of joy and pain.”

“Life on Mars,” published by Graywolf Press in 2011, is Smith’s third published collection. “This news is particularly elating, because I think of the book as a tribute to my father, who passed away in 2008,” she said.

SOURCE: Princeton’s Tracy K. Smith Wins Pulitzer Prize for Poetry | Your Black World.


Getting to know ‘Mad Men’s’ Dawn, the offices first black employee

The fifth season of “Mad Men” brought the dawn of a new day. And one result was the introduction of the latest female in Don Drapers life: Dawn Chambers, his new secretary and Sterling Cooper Draper Pryces first African American employee.

When viewers rejoined the 1960s-set drama after a 17-month hiatus, they were briefed on the racial tensions that spawned riots and protests during the period the series is set in. After jokingly advertising itself as an equal opportunity employer in an attempt to poke fun at one of their competitors woes, SCDP ended up hiring its first African American employee, played by Teyonnah Parris.

We spoke to Parris about joining the show, her relationship with Peggy and just how stingy Matt Weiner can be with details about the show.

SOURCE:  “>Getting to know Mad Mens Dawn, the offices first black employee –


Not African Enough in Africa

Once we get a full picture beyond what we’re taught in school, where the largest continent and birthplace of all mankind is reduced to being the starting point for the Atlantic Slave Trade, there becomes an eagerness to migrate back across the Atlantic. The yearning is not unlike some immigrants who seek entrance to American shores. Except we’re not seeking the opportunities and streets of gold that Fievel and his family expected; we’re seeking the “home” that the Middle Passage erased.

I get why. For many American Blacks, the overall American experience has never really felt like a place where you can kick up your feet and recline all the way back. You get moments where that happens, of course, but then you also get a startling awakening— like when people are surprised you don’t have any children out of wedlock, or you happen to be “so articulate,” or despite carrying a purse while you shop, you find yourself explaining “No, no, actually I don’t work here.” Those things remind you not to get too comfy. America is home in the sense of being the devil you know, a bit like a stereotypical step-child, the one you tolerate but don’t really love like your own.

In recent weeks those feelings have surfaced again for many who struggle to make sense of the injustice of Trayvon Martin’s killer walking around freely, the ignorance displayed in conservative columnist John Derbyshire’s piece for The National Review where he wrote of advising his children to avoid Black folk, and the obnoxiousness of those Twitter-racists who found outrage in a sympathetic book character being Black or Awkward Black Girl landing the Shorty Award for best web-series. I find, similar to Cinderella, we dream of an escape to a place where we fit, like a glass slipper on the correct foot. For me, that place was Africa, any country, any part.


via Not African Enough in Africa | Clutch Magazine.


10 Black Innovators to Watch

Last week, it was revealed that Ashton Kutcher would play Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs in an upcoming movie about the technology genius’ life. The announcement left us wondering: Which black trailblazer has what it takes to pick up where Jobs left off? Who is innovative enough to step up and match Jobs’ unabashed passion for design and creativity, and has a grasp on his/her target audience and one-of-a kind marketing tactics like the late visionary? takes a look at 10 innovators that have what it takes to be the next Steve Jobs.


via Ashton Kutcher to Play Steve Jobs, 10 Black Innovators to Watch – Black Enterprise.


5 African Fashion Professionals Blazing a Trail in the Diaspora

From designers to photographers, these five fashion industry professionals have taken their culture and influences from Africa abroad, creating a competitive niche and finding success in the international fashion industry.


via 5 African Fashion Professionals Blazing a Trail in the Diaspora.


Lee Elder: First Black Golfer At Masters, 37 Years Ago Today

Thirty-seven years ago today Elder became the first black golfer ever to play in the Masters.

He broke down racial barriers and paved the way for an entire generation of black golfers, most notably setting the stage for Tiger Woods‘ success at golf’s top US tournament.

In a 2010 interview, Elder, now 76, recalled the details of that day in April 1975.


via Lee Elder: First Black Golfer At Masters, 37 Years Ago Today | NewsOne.


Joyce Banda: Malawi’s First Female President

Joyce Banda is a longtime women’s-rights activist, educator and philanthropist. In addition to all that, the 62-year-old is also now Malawi’s first female president, and the African continent’s second. Banda, who was previously the country’s vice president, took on her new leadership role on Saturday, two days after the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika. reports on her history-making journey to lead the country, and the challenges she’s expected to face:


via Joyce Banda: Malawi’s First Female President.


Black Titanic Passenger Has Chicago Kinship

April 15th marks the 100 year anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking in the Atlantic.

The anniversary holds special meaning for Palatine’s Christine LeBrun, whose ancestor is believed to be the only black man on the ship’s maiden voyage. But according to LeBrun, 35, this detail is still generally disregarded, despite the numerous duplicated narratives.

LeBrun, an alumni relations director for a Catholic high school, was sitting with her uncle Robert’s wife in a hair salon in 2000 when her ancestry began to unfold.  Her aunt, flipping through a magazine, spotted a photo, integrated in an article about an exhibit on the Titanic that had opened at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.  The image struck her because it reminded her of her husband.

That man happened to be Joseph Laroche, a Haitian-born, French-educated engineer, with his pregnant wife, Juliette, 22, and their two daughters.


via Black Titanic Passenger Has Chicago Kinship | NBC Chicago.


Two Tuskegee Airmen Honored


Two Windsor Mill residents who are former members of the Tuskegee Airmen were the center of attention Monday afternoon at the Woodlawn Senior Center. They’re the only two remaining members of the Tuskegee Airmen in Baltimore County, according to a news release from Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetzs office.

Interestingly, the two former airmen, Cyril O. Byron Sr., 91, and Lemuel Arthur Lewie Jr., 92, reside within five minutes of each other.

Monday afternoon at the Woodlawn Senior Center, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz gave each an executive citation, and he honored them for their military service so many years ago during World War II.

The Tuskegee Airmen was an elite group of African-American pilots, “They were pioneers in equality and integration of the Armed Forces.”


via Two Tuskegee Airmen Honored – Pikesville, MD Patch.


Upcoming UPAT Parent-child Activity


This upcoming UPAT Parent-child Activity is sure to be satisfying and informative fun! Children are getting ready each month to perform “Music Together” with their parents as a demonstration during the Juneteenth program on June 23. Don’t you find children on stage simply fascinating? They have not yet learned to be inhibited and their sense of freedom is a reminder of our Spirit within.

No African-American senators likely in near future

There have been 1,931 members of the Senate, the chamber historian’s office said. Six African-Americans have served in the U.S. Senate, Muse said, and that includes Roland Burris of Illinois, who was appointed to President Barack Obama’s former seat and served less than a full term.

Six Latinos have held the title of U.S. senator.

“There does seem to be a ceiling,” University of Mississippi political science professor Marvin King said. “People are used to electing minority office holders. There are plenty of blacks in every state legislature, but going beyond that to winning statewide races seems to be a ceiling.”

Part of it might be simple math. Minorities, by definition, represent less than the majority of a population.

The same math might be affecting how African-Americans in the House of Representatives transition to the Senate, too. There are currently 44 black House members, a record-high number.


via No African-American senators likely in near future – In America – Blogs.


Stunning portraits of former slaves photographed seventy years after the Emancipation Proclamation

In the 1920s and 1930s, an interest in slave narratives was rekindled, and as part of the Federal Writers’ Project of the Work Progress Administration, more than 2,000 first-person accounts of slavery were collected, as well as 500 black and white photographs.

The collection was compiled in 17 states between 1936 and 1938. Many of the former slaves interviewed were well into their 80s and 90s – some were even past 100.


via Stunning portraits of former slaves photographed seventy years after the Emancipation Proclamation | Black Like Moi.


Elizabeth Catlett: My Time With the Artist

I was a young, wide-eyed magazine editor just starting my career when I had the great fortune to meet the artist Elizabeth Catlett. I was working at Essence magazine in the lifestyle department, and one of my beats was the art world. I would go to art openings all over New York City, learning about and meeting black artists who were presenting their work.

It was a fascinating experience, for so many reasons. Even though I grew up in a household where we appreciated fine art and did have paintings made by local black artists hanging on our walls, I had no idea that there were actual black masters. The only masters I knew about were Van Gogh, Matisse, Manet, Picasso and such. I knew nothing of Romare Bearden or Jacob Lawrence — or Elizabeth Catlett — back then. I had no idea that we had our own masters.


via Elizabeth Catlett: My Time With the Artist.


Nineteen Years of Ujima

Nineteen years ago in March of 1993, a proposal written in 1982 sprang from paper to life when Dr. Baraka-Love and students from Kalamazoo College began the journey to what has become Ujima Enterprises which sponsors Ujima Sasa! and Ujima Parents As Teachers. Working as volunteers at Lincoln International Studies School (LISS), under the leadership of the Principal, Ms Linda Comer, the K-College group conducted a “Rites of Passage program” and graduated 12 Boys from the program on March 26, 1993. The following year, 12 girls were added to the program which continued to operate at LISS until 2002 when it was moved to its own building–the Muzinda. The “Muzinda wetsika dze Afrika” (“Center of African Cultures” in the Shona Language) was named by Ujima Friend and support, Dr. Vimbai Chivaura from Zimbabwe. Our energies were gathered into a steadily increasing flow and gets fuller with each day.

Transforming white culture in the wake of Trayvon Martin shooting

When we all learned that a young African-American teenager, Trayvon Martin, was gunned down in a diverse suburban community, the first thing many of us wanted to know was the race of the guy who pulled the trigger. That man, George Zimmerman, was described as white by the media and Latino by his father. But why does it matter?

Far from the scene in Sanford, Florida, two Boston-area educators offered an explanation last weekend during a workshop on “Transforming Whiteness” at the Kirwan Institute conference on race in Columbus, Ohio. Susan Naimark and Paul Madden didnt mention the Martin case, but instead posed a broad and open-ended question to the interracial audience of progressive academics, social activists, and community organizers that could well resonate in the coming federal investigation of the shooting: “What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “white culture?”

Dare, if you will, to engage in a conversation about race in most places in our country, and the issue at hand will likely revolve around the status of black Americans. Perhaps in the fastest-growing parts of the nation, the topic may include concern about the increasing presence and plight of Latinos. Almost instinctively, Americans know and recognize “other” cultures, which are typically described with dark and foreboding adjectives.

But what is “white culture?” The audience attending this session–roughly half black and half white — seemed stumped. The workshop participants seemed to have no common answer. It took some gentle prodding from Naimark and Madden, both white, to get the conversation going among the otherwise talkative conference attendees. Eventually, as each person in the room offered a one-word definition, a portrait of whiteness emerged that was vague and elusive. For the most part, the groups definitions offered variations on a theme of “power” and “privilege.”


via Transforming white culture in the wake of Trayvon Martin shooting.


News Update



News for this week:
  • Catherine and Zaria are scheduling home visits. If one or both of you could reply to this email and let us know when the visits are, and with which families, that would be very helpful.
  • In the past week there was a meeting with the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and great participation with our board member Meg Blinkiewicz
  • Baba Moustapha Bangoura returns from Guinea to teach Drum and Dance; Zaria is training the students with the video of his first lesson. He will be back for the 24th and 25th to start classes again
  • Students are working on publishing their family stories–Book binding workshop on Friday the 30th
  • Board quarterly meeting on Tuesday the 27th
  • UPAT Parent Child group activity meeting Monday the 19th
Kalamazoo Public Schools superintendent, principal to get awards: Ujima Enterprises to confer honors at Juneteenth Celebration

The superintendent of the Kalamazoo Public Schools and principal of Kalamazoo Central High School are among those who will recognized Sunday for outstanding community service and for their efforts to advance education.

The awards are to be conferred at the Eleventh Annual Juneteenth Celebration, hosted by Ujima Enterprises Inc. at 3 p.m. at Western Michigan University’s Dalton Recital Hall.

The Juneteenth Celebration, an observance of culture “emphasizes the necessity of education and culture for youth and for progress toward intercultural understanding and communication,” according to Ujima Enterprises, a Kalamazoo-based, nonprofit educational, cultural and community-service organization.

via Kalamazoo Public Schools superintendent, principal to get awards: Ujima Enterprises to confer honors at Juneteenth Celebration |


Teaching Math

Dr. Freya Rivers excellent teaching is a benefit to Ujima Sasa! students. They are being introduced to a whole new world of math by this master teacher who has taken children to top state honors in academic testing.