Speaker motivates as UNCP welcome 2023 Class

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke welcomed its Class of 2023 Monday at the First-Year Student Convocation. Motivational speaker Jovian Zayne implored students to be resilient during their academic journey for the next four years.

PEMBROKE — Jovian Zayne shared her personal story of beating the odds and becoming an international public speaker with The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s Class of 2023.

“I was sitting where you are sitting just a few years ago with so many hopes, dreams, questions, ideas, concerns and pressures,” said Zayne, keynote speaker at First-Year Student Convocation on Monday.

The ceremony, which marks the beginning of their academic journey, was attended by Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings, other university leaders, staff and faculty dressed in regalia in support of the newest members of the student body.

Zayne recited a story of a young girl who was discouraged by her high school guidance counselor and struggled during her first semester in college. The young girl didn’t give up. She persisted, earning a spot on the dean’s list and being the first African American woman to be elected student body president at UNC Chapel Hill.

“She persisted until she ran her own business and now she travels the country, speaking to people about purpose,” Zayne said. “She connects with CEOs and coaches and executives from Google and Goldman Sachs and now she is on stage talking to you at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

“I hope you have the resilience that this young girl had.”

Zayne leads the OnPurpose Movement, a firm committed to helping organizations and individuals to “live and work on purpose,” through targeted coaching, public speaking and facilitation experiences. Her work has been featured in NPR, Facebook Watch, The Huffington Post and Essence Magazine.

During her talk, she interacted with the fresh-faced audience, slapping high-fives with students seated on the front row inside the Givens Performing Arts Center. At one point, she asked them to stand and name one thing they are responsible for over the next four years.

One student yelled, “to make change.” Another responded, “walk across that stage.” A third student said, “to learn and grow as a person.”

Zayne told the first-year students their sole responsibility is to learn.

“You are going to learn a lot by accident. You are going to make mistakes. But you are not your mistakes.

“Each of you has the power to unlock the necessary resilience that keeps you going. For every class to every paper, for every club, for everything you want to explore while you are here …. be persistent and be brave!”

Nancy Lopez Aguirre attended Convocation with her friend Damondre Wells. They both live in Wallace.

“This is a big dream for me,” Aguirre said. “I am the first in my family to come to college. I’m majoring in Elementary Education, which is a personal passion for me because I will get to help my community in the same way it helped me.”

Canon Boone, a Business major from Huntersville, was pumped while looking ahead to the next four years at UNCP.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I want to either teach or start a business as an entrepreneur.”

Hannah Oxendine of Lumberton hasn’t declared a major, but is considering a career working with children.

“I am leaning toward anything in the health-care field, teaching kindergarten, working for a childcare provider or counseling,” she said.

Phillip Smith of Jacksonville is eager to jumpstart a career in Broadcasting.

“I am excited about getting set in my career path,” Smith said. “It was quite a journey figuring out exactly what I wanted to study because I had so many things pulling me in different directions, but I think I’ve found it.”

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke welcomed its Class of 2023 Monday at the First-Year Student Convocation. Motivational speaker Jovian Zayne implored students to be resilient during their academic journey for the next four years.

Mark Locklear is a Public Relations specialist for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Warren, Sanders get personal with young, black Christians

Updated 11:37 am PDT, Saturday, August 17, 2019

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. (AP) — Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren framed their Democratic presidential bids in personal, faith-based terms Saturday before black millennial Christians who could help determine which candidate becomes the leading progressive alternative to former Vice President Joe Biden.

Sanders, the Vermont senator whose struggles with black voters helped cost him the 2016 nomination, told the Young Leaders Conference assembly that his family history has shaped his approach to President Donald Trump’s divisiveness and the rise in white nationalism in the United States.

“I’m Jewish. My family came from Poland. My father’s whole family was wiped out by Hitler and his white nationalism,” Sanders said at the forum led by the Black Church PAC, a political action committee formed by prominent black pastors. “We will go to war against white nationalism and racism in every aspect of our lives.”

Warren, a Massachusetts senator and United Methodist, quoted her favorite Biblical passage, which features Jesus instructing his followers to provide for others, including the “least of these my brethren.”

“That’s about two things,” Warren said. “Every single one of us has the Lord within us. …. Secondly, the Lord does not call on us to sit back. The Lord does not just call on us to have a good heart. The Lord calls on us to act.”

Sanders and Warren are looking for ways to narrow the gap with Biden, who remains atop primary polls partly because of his standing with older black voters. Polls suggest that younger black voters, however, are far more divided in their support among the many Democratic candidates.

Both senators connected their biblical interpretations to their calls for major changes in how government approaches everything from economic regulation and taxation to criminal justice and health care.

“This is a righteous fight,” Warren said, who noted that she’s taught “fifth-grade Sunday School.”

Sanders, while not quoting Scripture as did Warren, declared that “the Bible, if it is about anything, is about justice.” His campaign, he said, is about “not just defeating the most dangerous president in modern American history. We are about transforming this nation to make it work for all of us.”

Black Church PAC leaders described the forums as a way for presidential candidates to reach a slice of the electorate that is often glossed over, even given the emphasis Democrats place on reaching black voters.

“Anybody who’s not talking to every community, particularly within the African American community, you’re running a fool’s race,” said the Rev. Leah Daughtry, a pastor from Washington, D.C., and member of the Democratic National Committee who co-moderated the forum.

Three other 2020 candidates — Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, former Obama housing chief Julian Castro and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana — attended the conference on Friday.

Mike McBride, a pastor who was Daughtry’s fellow moderator, stressed that the black church and the black community as a whole are not monolithic. Democrats, he said, must reach beyond the traditional Sunday services in places such as South Carolina, the first primary state with a significant black population. “We need candidates to show up on our turf, not always asking us to show up on their turf,” he said.

Daughtry said all Democratic candidates were invited, and she noted the absence of other leading candidates, including Biden, who is hosting fundraisers in the Northeast this weekend.

“He missed an opportunity,” she said, to reach “younger black voters who don’t know him like older folks do.”


Follow Bill Barrow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BillBarrowAP .

Dem Chairman touring rural NC, reflects on Richmond County’s growth


ROCKINGHAM — When it comes to 2020, North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman and Richmond County-native Wayne Goodwin is focused on the “kitchen table” and “pocketbook” issues that affect all voters.

“‘Are my kids going to have a better life than I did? Are they going to be able to attend a good public school? Are they going to be able to attend community college or university of their choice? Are we going to have clean air, clean water? Are we going to be able to pay for affordable medications and have access to health care?’” Goodwin said, listing the concerns he hears most often traveling around the state. “These are kitchen table-issues that the vast majority of citizens care about.”

As he travels across the state on his Rural NC Listening Tour 2019, aiming to surpass last year’s mark of visiting 43 counties in the state, Goodwin said his goal will be showing that Democratic candidates are poised to make the most difference on those issues as opposed to Republicans who he said have been focusing instead on “divisive social issues.”

This week, Goodwin made stops in Elizabethtown, Lumberton, Laurinburg and Rockingham. In Elizabethtown, he held a roundtable discussion on President Donald Trump’s tariffs with a dozen African-American farmers. In Lumberton, he met with leaders from the Lumbee and African-American communities about Medicaid expansion and how it could increase access to health care and add new jobs.

In Laurinburg and Rockingham, his discussions were held with local Democratic Party leaders on getting out the vote for Democratic candidate for the 9th Congressional District, Dan McCready.

Since his time in the House of Representatives from 1996 to 2004, a time when Richmond County was shedding manufacturing jobs, Goodwin said he’s seen “positive changes,” such as the recent addition of the likes of Enviva Biomass and Volumetric Building Companies.

“From what I’ve seen since then and particularly now is that a rebound is in effect,” Goodwin said. “I commend our local officials and our local economic development recruiters for what they are doing as the 21st century economy evolves. As we continue to become more and more of a transportation hub given the developments in the highway system here I think we will continue to rebound here.”

He attributed these new developments to the county having experienced leaders and newer leaders who understand the modern economy, and to Richmond Community College preparing the work force.

“I’m old enough to remember when the best job that one could get in the county was working with the railroad and I’m also old enough to remember that we’ve seen some dark days but that we are seeing a light at the end and that it will take continued focus by our local and state officials to have Richmond County being on the radar for economic expansion.”

Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]

Archway over Michigan Street Heritage Corridor called ‘game-changer’

The long-awaited Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor artistic archway is up and ready to spotlight Buffalo’s rich African American culture and heritage.

Spanning Michigan Avenue between Broadway and William Street, the archway aims to make the African American Heritage Corridor a destination point. It will be illuminated at night and serve as a beacon to the corridor.

“It’s going to be a game-changer for the corridor,” said Buffalo Common Council President Darius G. Pridgen, who represents the Ellicott District where the archway was installed Tuesday.

The structure is the only full archway in the city, Pridgen said. It is located near some of the corridor’s high-profile attractions including WUFO, the city’s first black-owned radio station; the Colored Musicians Club, a union hall for black musicians when unions were segregated; the Nash House Museum and its exhibits depicting the abolitionist and civil rights movements; and the Michigan Street Baptist Church, a stop on the Underground Railroad before escaping slaves crossed into Canada.

The archway also will get the attention of motorists traveling from the Kensington Expressway to places like Canalside, the KeyBank Center for concerts and Buffalo Sabres games, Sahlen Field for Buffalo Bisons games and people coming to work downtown.

“If people just ride down the street, they don’t know about the rich heritage that’s around here. They do now,” Pridgen said.

The project took more time and money than originally expected, but it was well worth the wait and the money, said Pridgen, who first envisioned the archway seven years ago.

Along the way, the project had some setbacks and “bumps in the road,” including wording on the bond document and clerical mistakes, Pridgen said.

“It took some time for us to get here, but we’re here,” he said. “I think it will attract a lot more tourism and give the corridor the respect it deserves.”

The $322,000 price tag, which includes the electricity, pillars, foundation, engineering, cobblestone and artist fees, is more than the $200,000 that was “guesstimated years ago,”  Pridgen said.

The price of materials contributed to the cost increase.

“The cost of steel increased over the years,” he said. “It’s more expensive than what we originally thought, but definitely worth every penny.”

The archway was designed by local African American artist Valeria Cray and fabricated by Lazarus Industries, a minority-owned business on High Street on the city’s East side.

Now that the archway project is complete, Pridgen plans to turn his attention to working with Mayor Byron W. Brown’s administration and state government to restore 509 Michigan Ave., a historic building next to the Michigan Street Baptist Church.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Metro banned ads for this art exhibition on the immigration crisis, then changed its mind

The Phillips Collection was founded nearly 100 years ago in a sprawling, elegant Dupont Circle mansion in Washington, DC. This summer, it’s been transformed. Curators have devoted three floors of gallery space to the exhibition “The Warmth of Other Suns: Stories of Global Displacement,” on view through Sept. 22.

It’s the most ambitious exhibition the museum has ever undertaken, according to Klaus Ottmann, the Phillips’ chief curator and deputy director for academic affairs. It includes more than 100 works by 75 artists from around the globe. Entire rooms had to be built to house video installations, which aren’t typically in the institution’s wheelhouse. Ottmann put the exhibition together with two guest curators from New York’s New Museum, Massimiliano Gioni and Natalie Bell.

Ottmann pointed out two videos by Francis Alÿs. In both, children with handmade boats walk into the Strait of Gibraltar, but one video was filmed on the Spanish side of the straight and the other from the Moroccan side. It’s hard to tell if the children are screaming with joy or fear as they get farther into the water.

The videos echo the plight of the estimated 2,262 migrants who drowned trying to reach Europe through the Mediterranean Sea last year.

“People get very emotional. I’ve seen people crying,” said Dani Levinas, the chairman of the Phillips Collection’s board and the exhibition’s champion. He felt it had to be in the museum, despite the significant financial and logistical hurdles it presented. His mother and father immigrated to Argentina from Poland and Lithuania respectively, and he immigrated to the US himself in 1980.

Levinas also defended the exhibition in a Washington Post op-ed last month after Metro rejected an ad campaign for it. The transit agency cited its rule prohibiting advertisements “intended to influence public policy” and “influence members of the public regarding an issue on which there are varying opinions.”

“I was very upset because I didn’t see this as a political statement,” Levinas said. “I couldn’t understand why they didn’t want to advertise it.”

Then, just last week, Metro reversed its decision but offered no explanation to the museum as to why. “We are unable to comment on deliberative process matters,” Metro spokesman Ian Jannetta wrote in an email.

The museum has already reallocated the money it was going to put towards the Metro ads, and Director Dorothy Kosinski said she wasn’t sure if they’d try to find more money for another campaign. She welcomed Metro’s change in thinking regardless.

“There’s nothing in the world that isn’t political,” she said. “And it’s kind of an illusion if a cultural institution thinks they’re neutral.”

The exhibition is something of a departure for the Phillips, which is best known for its permanent collection of impressionist and modern paintings by European masters like Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

But, Kosinski argued, immigrant artists are pillars of both the collection and “The Warmth of Other Suns.” One touchstone is Jacob Lawrence’s “Migration Series.” The colorful paintings, made between 1940 and 1941, document the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural south to urban north in the first half of the 20th century. They are currently on view next to works by contemporary black artists like Nari Ward and Beverly Buchanan.

“I feel that I’ve never understood the Jacob Lawrence series better,” Kosinski said as she looked around the gallery.

The museum’s famous Rothko Room has also been altered for the exhibition. Abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, a Russian immigrant to the US, helped design the meditative space himself. The room now also contains everyday objects found on the US-Mexico border, and interviews with migrants play over a loudspeaker.

“Not everyone liked that idea,” Ottmann laughed, “but I think it’s sometimes good to shake up the existing mindset.”

Both Kosinski and Ottmann made sure to point out an installation by French-Algerian artist Kader Attia. Clothes in different shades of blue covered the gallery floor — jeans, t-shirts, socks. At first, they appeared to have been randomly thrown about, but on second look they started to resemble an ocean wave.

Seen together, the clothes were something beautiful. Individually, they look like loss.

The Warmth of Other Suns” is on view at the Phillips Collection through Sept. 22. 

This story was originally published on wamu.org.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Legacy Day – Schedule of Events


Watching the Legacy Day Parade – Aug 21, 2017

Legacy Day is not just a block party on Saturday night.  There is a full schedule of events starting with a Genealogy Workshop in the morning at the library. There are activities throughout the day in Fountain Park, at the Kent County Library, at Sumner Hall, at the Historical Society’s Bordley Center, and at RiverArts.  The parade starts at 5:00 pm and features classic cars and sports cars along with the traditional bands, banners, dancers, marchers, and fire trucks.  The parade cars will be parked on display along Park Row and Spring Street after the parade.   Here is the schedule of activities for Legacy Day, Saturday, Aug. 17. All activities are free and open to the public.  Come on down and join the fun.

10:00 am – 12:30 pm – Genealogy Workshop with Vivian Fisher, a genealogist and deputy director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, African-American Department. The workshop will be followed by a light lunch — Kent County Library, 408 High Street, Chestertown

10:00 am – 7:00 pm — Exhibit on the history and influence of local African-American churches in Kent County, including photos and artifacts from 24 churches that were established more than 125 years ago, 15 of which are still holding services today. Six of these are still in their original 19th-century building. – presented by the Historical Society of Kent County in the Bordley History Center at 301 High Street, Chestertown

11:00 am – 4:00 pm – Stories and Snacks for the Young and Young at Heart — Sumner Hall, 206 South Queen Street, Chestertown

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm – Meet Harriet Tubman and Stay for Songs and Surprises — Sumner Hall, 206 South Queen Street, Chestertown

1:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Special Legacy Day Exhibition by Local Black Artists — Education Center, Chestertown RiverArts, 200 High Street, Suite A, Chestertown

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm – The History of Gospel, a Concert featuring Recording Artist, Dr. Anthony Brown — Bethel A.M.E. Church, 237 N. College Avenue, Chestertown

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Children’s Beading Craft Activity — KidSpot at Chestertown RiverArts, 315 High Street, Suite 108, Chestertown

3:00 pm – 10:00 pm – Food, Craft and Information Vendors
Fountain Park, between High Street and Spring Avenue, Chestertown

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Parade with MC Yvette Hynson (Lady Praise) —Down High Street, Chestertown

6:00 pm – 10:00 pm – Block Party, Dance Contest and Dancing in the Street with Quiet Fire and DJ Lonnie Butcher —High Street, between Cross Street and Spring Avenue, Chestertown

Legacy Day is produced by Sumner Hall with the Historical Society of Kent County and assistance from the Town of Chestertown and the Kent County Arts Council along with support from numerous local individuals, organizations, and businesses.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Nas Is Bringing His Innovative Illmatic to Seattle


In 1994, a 19-year-old Nas released Illmatic, an album that announced the full arrival of the modern age of hip-hop. This period, which began in 1993, came to an end with Wu-Tang Clan’s 1997 LP Wu-Tang Forever. What connects the modern period with the golden age (1984 to 1993) is that both prioritized black innovation. Black artists still called the shots; after 1997, the market—dominated by what the rapper Common once described as “white labels”—called the shots.

Though Biggie Smalls and 2Pac marked the rise and consolidation of what we now call rap, it was Nas who first initiated the break that would send rap to the mainstream and hip-hop to the underground. He did this by abandoning, on his sophomore record It Was Written, the black innovation that defined Illmatic, an album produced by the greatest minds of the modern period: DJ Premier, Q-Tip, Large Professor, and, of course, Pete Rock. Nas’s raps on Illmatic were raw and lyrical, personal and social, experimental and conventional. He had it all. Hip-hop had it all. And now almost all of this culture’s greatness is gone from the mainstream. Nas will now be remembered as the father of a number of rap multimillionaires and even billionaires. Long live Illmatic.

Nas will perform the entirety of Illmatic, plus select other cuts from his 25-year career, when he stops at ShoWare Center this Saturday, August 17. Tickets were still available at the time of this writing.

Now, here are the five choicest cuts off Illmatic, in order of their greatness, starting with the best:

1. “The World Is Yours,” produced by Pete Rock

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2. “Represent,” produced by DJ Premier

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3. “It Ain’t Hard to Tell,” produced by Large Professor

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4. “One Love” produced by Q-Tip

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5. “N.Y. State of Mind,” produced by DJ Premier

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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Denver Musicians Throw a Benefit for Immigrants in Sanctuary

Denver rapper Chris Steele, aka Time, met Jeanette Vizguerra through their work with the Romero Theater Troupe, the social justice theater company. The troupe was working on a skit about Vizguerra’s experiences as an undocumented immigrant. Through that, the two formed a strong friendship.

Vizguerra has been in and out of sanctuary at First Unitarian Society of Denver church, as her immigration hearings have made their way through the courts. In March, a two-year stay she had been granted was terminated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, so she returned to sanctuary, where she is unable to work. So Steele and other supportive musicians organized a benefit concert at the church. “We were like, we’ve got to do something,” says Steele. “We’ve got to raise money for her.”

The money will go to supporting the basic needs of Vizguerra and her children. She, in turn, will donate some of the proceeds to support Ingrid Encalada Latorre, another woman in sanctuary.

The concert, which takes place Saturday, August 17, from 5 to 10 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society of Denver, will include performances from Let Them Roar, Stay Tuned, Puente Libre, Sunny Sideways and Happy Sad. Baked goods and jewelry will also be available for purchase, and donations are being requested at the door.

Steele's lyrical content is uplifiting, challenging and inspirational.EXPAND

Steele’s lyrical content is uplifiting, challenging and inspirational.

Cameron Castro

Steele, who was born and raised in North Denver, has been dropping music since 2003, when he was in high school. He’s about to release a new album called These Sounds Kill Fascists. He’s also in the group Calm., which put out Things I Learned While Dying in Denver last year.

“We’ve always made music about protest, about radicalism. I’ve always been part of working for the anarchists,” Steele says. “I’m a white rapper, and I’m from a working class background. If you’re a white rapper and not trying to fight white supremacy and acknowledge hip-hop is a black art, you’re a minstrel show. You’re Elvis on Soundcloud.”

He expects the show will have a potluck feel, where friends get together to support each other.

“We’re trying to do what hip-hop has always done,” says Steele. “Show mutual aid and solidarity with people who need it.”

The Sanctuary For All Concert takes place from 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday, August 17, at First Unitarian Society of Denver, 1400 Lafayette Street. Donations will be accepted at the door. For more information, go to the concert’s Facebook page.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Tennessee Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Offers a Power Plant Worker with Mesothelioma in Tennessee Instant Access to The Nation’s Best Lawyers for Much Better Financial Settlement Results

Tennessee Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Offers a Power Plant Worker with Mesothelioma in Tennessee Instant Access to The Nation’s Best Lawyers for Much Better Financial Settlement Results – African American News Today – EIN News

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