5 of Brooklyn’s Best Black-Owned Restaurants | Brooklyn Magazine

Brooklyn Magazine features Black Owned Restaurant Month. Food is how cultures keep their traditions alive. Wherever populations roam, the one thing they can always bring with them are their recipes – the kitchen smells, salty sweet tastes on their tongues. So for Brooklyn, one of the most diverse boroughs of New York City, the food industry is an introduction to multiple cultures. Why highlight Black Restaurants? Brooklyn Magazine reaches out to Brooklyn’s most prominent Black restauranteers and patrons for the answer.

via 5 of Brooklyn’s Best Black-Owned Restaurants | Brooklyn Magazine.

“Black Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population and will have a buying power of $1.4 trillion by 2019,” Jamilah points out, “but how much of that money flows back into our communities?” As rents in New York City rise (and rise, and rise), long-standing businesses struggle to stay afloat. Historically, gentrification has disproportionately displaced minority communities, and with them, minority-owned businesses. BORM is one of many relatively new resources designed to foster support for businesses owned by African Americans, including the online directory Support Black Owned and apps like Around the Way, which locates nearby black-owned businesses. BORM is designed to celebrate some excellent restaurants that New York City Restaurant Week might’ve missed, and also to foster support for businesses in communities facing gentrification.

BORM lasts from September 9th to 30th, with 13 restaurants in Brooklyn and Harlem offering custom $35 three-course prix-fixe menus from Monday to Wednesday each week. Here, participating Brooklyn restaurant owners tell their stories and offer sneak peeks of their prix-fixe menus.


Black Neighborhood Unites to Open a Grocery Store | Techyville | #OYRchallenge

This is the America I remember. With all of the haggling over politics and city officials doing their jobs appropriately, folks are getting tired of waiting. One New Black Wall St. GoFundMe campaign by the residents of Moodus, Ct, mainly Oya – Tef Shu, are bidding on an abandoned town up for auction in Connecticut to build a complete New Black Wall St community.

…for the empowerment of our people, and to create a front for independant black owned businesses to establish themselves. This is also a time for us to create housing for the black community , create schooling that is for us and taught by us , also a golden opportunity for us to practice agriculture and produce fresh and all natural foods.

Their campaign has taken in an added $1,000 in the last two hours, while I researched other action-oriented communities. We can only imagine how much more their campaign will garner before I finish this post. Habari  Gani, America! salutes your efforts.

Another move forward is by the Renaissance Community Co-op, a Black northeast Greensboro, North Carolina neighborhood, who are without a local grocery market. The residents decided it was time to band together and open one of their own. The video and excerpt from the titled Kacie Whaley article explains it all.

This is what happens when good people get sick and tired of the same ole thing pushed on them the same ole way.

In 2012, community members and leaders gathered  to form the Renaissance Co-op Committee RCC.  The RCC dedicated themselves to learning the ins and outs of opening and maintaining a cooperative grocery store, according to the store’s webpage.

In 2013, the RCC elected its Board of Directors for what would become the Renaissance Community Co-op, including a black president.

The aim of the community-owned store is to provide Greensboro with “healthy foods at affordable prices and [commit to] locally sourced foods, community education and dignified jobs,” the store’s webpage reads.

The co-op is serious about being committed to providing its workers with a livable wage.  They are starting their employees out with a wage of $10 per hour.The store is projected to open its doors officially in 2015, but for now, they are preparing for that day with community meetings and newsletters.  They are also taking donations and seeking those interested in becoming co-owners.

The co-op created a video called “We Want Co-op” in which members of the community, both young and old, express their desire to have a grocery store that citizens own and that they “can walk to.”

via Black Neighborhood Unites to Open a Grocery Store | Techyville.

Scientists Say It Only Takes 66 Days To Change Your Life, If You’re Strong Enough


In a study released in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Phillippa Lally and her team of researchers surveyed 96 people over a 12-week period to find exactly how long it takes to start a new habit.Over the 12 weeks, the participants chose a new habit and reported each day how automatic the behavior felt. At the end of the period, Lally analyzed the results and found the average time it took for the participants to pick up a new habit was 66 days.

via Scientists Say It Only Takes 66 Days To Change Your Life, If You’re Strong Enough.

Outrage and Calls for Change Follow Ferguson Officials Into Council Meeting – | #OYRchallenge

Ferguson holds its first city council meeting since the murder of an 18-year-old African American youth, Mike Brown. The Ferguson murder is one of many attacks on African American men across the United States. Is this the tipping point for African American families? In the context of media, political, social, and judicial scrambles to maintain anti-African American rhetoric and stereotypes, there is the most salient issue. How will African Americans redress the age old virus spread across America?  After all of the protests, will African American leadership sink back into the muddy American political pool, as they did after the Civil Rights Era? Or, will our young develop new substantive strategies, educators, and alliances out of this new surge of African American awakening? #OYRchallenge

Ferguson, MO first city council meeting after Mike Brown murder

New York Times: Residents pelted the stone-faced officials with angry questions: Why had Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson officer who shot the unarmed black teenager on Aug. 9, not been arrested? Why were young African-American men so frequently arrested by the police? And why were so few black residents elected to city government?

“The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us: That from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation…shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”  Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

via Outrage and Calls for Change Follow Ferguson Officials Into Council Meeting – #OYR challenge

Take the OYR Challenge #OYRchallenge

Ron Findley – Artist, Food-Activist, Gardener | #OYRchallenge

Ron Findley’s Ted Talk video is inspirational, while informative. Click the linkRon Findley, Gardener at Ted Talk , for his bio and further information about his program.

About Findley (Ted Talk):  Artist and designer Ron Finley couldn’t help but notice what was going on in his backyard. “South Central Los Angeles,” he quips, “home of the drive-thru and the drive-by.” And it’s the drive-thru fast-food stands that contribute more to the area’s poor health and high mortality rate, with one in two kids contracting a curable disease like Type 2 diabetes.

Starting your garden:

It is never too late to start a garden. Plants and vegetables are a versatile bunch. Some plants need the Winter periods to root and break hard casings, while others only need the Spring season to get ready to burst forth a hearty food supply. The video below may assist you in getting started.

Gardening tips from TED-Ed and some green-thumbed TED speakers


The “Own Your Racist” Challenge #OYRchallenge

What is the OYR challenge?

African Americans have been at war – mentally, physically, economically, and socially ever since the first African was dragged from a slave ship onto the American shores. The volumes of histories (European and African American), movies, television series, news reports, studies, and other publications serve as qualitative evidence to support this claim. It has always been the strategy of Racist and their racist collaborators (African American pseudo-intellectuals) to present the resulting body count as isolated or individual incidents to be argued within the confines of the criminal justice system, race discussion forums, and/or the same models used to maintain White Supremacy. Truth-be-told, these systems have eroded and the people lax into comfort that the myth of Black powerlessness is firmly in place. They have secured the veil with a 21st century Bi-racial President of their choosing, replacing the Civil Rights icons. Every playbook must be revised. Our young are inundated with slave songs, yet no one drills them with the principals that created Black Wall Street and other past ultra-wealthy and sound communities. There are only so many times African American children can attend the funeral of a murdered/lynched family member, friend or neighbor, buried with Amazing Grace and “I Have A Dream,” before they stop listening.

21st century African American youths acknowledge that they are human and know that humans are fallible. In a 1992 televised panel discussion, The Issue is Race, Sister Souljah points to the need for Black empowerment and business. She also points out that every municipality has their game in place to crush African American businesses much more easily now than with the attack on Black Wall St. Crime in the African American community, the most readily used silencing cue in the racist toolbox, reflects that humanity and the substantive pressures placed on that humanity. Our young in 2014 Ferguson, MI reformed the messages of African American history that racist and African American collaborators use to teach them powerlessness. Yet, take a look at how school systems are now trying to formulate a methodology to discuss the current events in Ferguson and other cities. Why control the conversation? For the same reason our children in African American venues are taught slave songs instead of empowering verse? Our dialogue needs to be controlled to include silencing, powerless training. Some HBCU institutions provide tools to exude our power, along with that the history lesson. The intelligent heed the message, the fearful and mediocre cite statistics, the European face of government, and class conscious models of respectability politics to quell their cognitive dissonance. But that dissonance also creates race-collaborators. This is also human. Fear is human.

To get you through this challenge, we need to revisit and establish in our lives how we accommodate, participate, and sometimes instigate our own demise. Here is the catch, if your town has no industry that will support your degree as well as your Africanism, there are always government positions available. And those who become a part of the machine (thinking they can make change from within), soon become THE MACHINE, despite their good intentions. Get over them … but do not give them a pass. Racist tactics are methodical complete with literature and verbal cues that African Americans are trained to absorb and respond to appropriately. Within this context, we must not forget that on an individual level, racist are confident that whatever their mistakes, there is a cue (crazy toolbox) to combat African American claims to racist attack and the victim will disregard their rights within that transaction. Add an insecure, incompetent collaborator and you have a cocktail for a now seemingly powerless victim.

I want to give you an example of using your power effectively within this context. The necessary back story is that in our region, African Americans rarely challenge the most minute situations, so racist have an exceptional comfort zone (no visible support for Trayvon Martin in public view). As the city fell into economic decline, the mayor initiated a campaign to bring a specific immigrant ethnicity to the area from New York City (I will not name the specific population; it is not about them) to purchase property and strengthen the communities. The specific ethnicity bought into the American slovenly African American stereotype for their benefit, and similar to Rwandan (Hutu/Tutsi) conflict, they assumed a position in our communities as a buffer and caste between the racist White population and the African American community. This actually occurred right after the 1994 Rwandan genocide and subsequent literature highlighting the European strategy that set the immigrant against the indigenous population (Mamdani, 2001)

While in college, I cashed my student loan checks at a local branch of the University’s banking institution, as I had done many semester previously. I approached the teller window, and handed her the check, along with my driver’s photo ID. The teller, immigrant woman, scowled at ID, turned it over, scowled again, then asked for a second form of ID. I then gave her my University photo ID bearing the same name and insignia as on the check. Her reaction was the same as with my driver’s license. She sighed and continued to scowl, leaning on her elbow on the counter, with no movement to either decline or process my transaction. I then grew impatient and asked for the bank manager. The teller was aghast. Apparently, she felt a stool in the bank afforded her power that I had no right to challenge. I reiterated, “I have no more to say to you.  It is obvious that you are not familiar with US identifications and should not hold this position. Please call the manager.” When the bank manager arrived, I informed her of the teller’s inability to read legal documents and that such deficiencies should have been addressed at her job interview. Furthermore, her behaviors may open the bank up to future lawsuits and other damages. The red-faced bank manager “shoved” the teller aside and promptly completed my transaction. By the way, said teller is now working at McDonalds. A brightly smiling young black male has taken her place on the stool.

So here is your challenge. There are two parts.

Part I: At least once per day, approach your racial encounters with power. Inner power. Victories, no matter how small, are the key to this challenge – no hubris, retaliations, pettiness, or abuses exude power or is the aim of this challenge (put away your crazy toolbox; not needed here). This can only be done if you follow principles that we ourselves will create during this adventure. There are a few listed to get you started.

  • We are human.
  • In our humanity, we fail, but as humans we are resilient and rise stronger.
  • Remember, racist gain their power in OUR acceptance of dehumanizing media, literature, slurs, and behaviors on their part.
  • We must know the laws and devices used to counter those laws that work in our benefit, during ANY transaction.
  • We must examine, in any situation, where and how we must exude our power effectively, and when racist malaise will cause them to empower YOU.
  • Recognize oppressive methodology, no matter who attempts it – these 4 indicators may help: Insult, Deny, Threaten, and Attack (these are all a part of the verbal cues). Find them in yourself first, and then you will recognize these tactics in others.
  • Act with a sound, still mind. If you become flustered, BREATHE, SING, or whatever you have to do to get back on track. It may seem crazy to the offender or allow them to feel momentarily “uber” empowered, but the whopper you will deliver will soon change that.
  • Most importantly, never, ever take your failure to control any situation as defeat. Remember, you were trained how to be powerless (regardless of how much Black literature you read or education). Regroup and fortify yourself for the next encounter, and you will recognize more of them as you learn to live as a citizen, instead of props in someone else’s theater.

Part II: You MUST develop your own strategies through these contacts and expand on these few lines with posts using the hashtag, #OYRchallenge. Your stories are important as they energize those too weak to accept this challenge. Start with the meager crumbs I have put before you and together we will create a banquet.

The alternative to this challenge is this – continue doing what you are doing expecting different results. Hence, buy a scooter to carry your crazy toolbox. It will only get heavier.

Mahmood Mamdani. When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

The Mother Of All Antioxidants | Collective-Evolution

Glutathione Benefits

Glutathione is a simple molecule produced naturally in the body at all times. It’s a combination of three building blocks of protein or amino acids — cysteine, glycine and glutamine.

The best part of glutathione is that is contains sulfur chemical groups that work to trap all the bad things like free radicals and toxins such as mercury and heavy metals in our body then flush them out. This is especially important in our current world of heavy metal bombardment.

via The Mother Of All Antioxidants | Collective-Evolution.

This Stanford Ph.D. Became A Fruit Picker To Feed California’s Hungry : The Salt : NPR

By some estimates, we Americans throw away about 40 percent of our food, from the cabbage that\’s wilting in our refrigerators, to the fruit that\’s falling off the orange tree in our neighbor\’s backyard.

In California\’s Central Valley, one woman has started a grass-roots effort to feed hungry people by rescuing some of that produce.

via This Stanford Ph.D. Became A Fruit Picker To Feed California’s Hungry : The Salt : NPR.

Sterling Fresh Foods LLC | Wendell Pierce

Sterling Fresh Foods LLC, was initiated by actor and director, Wendell Pierce.
Sterling Farms Foods brings supermarket services to the inner-cities. Bring a supermarket to YOUR inner-city neighborhood. With a purchase of $50.00 or more, Shuttle services available to take you home. Black Businessmen are addressing even our most simple concerns. Until YOU bring this convenience to your neighborhood, order online:
“Wendell Pierce is an internationally recognized actor, director, producer, and developer.”

How Crunch Time Between School And Sleep Shapes Kids Health : Shots – Health News : NPR

Its an important question for American families and the nation as a whole: Why do so many kids weigh too much?There are recent hints the epidemic may be abating slightly. Still, one in every three American kids is overweight or obese.

via How Crunch Time Between School And Sleep Shapes Kids Health : Shots – Health News : NPR.