Trump’s NFL Feud Competes With Health Care, Tax Pushes

President Donald Trump’s feud with the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem continued Monday, threatening to overshadow his domestic agenda as several legislative matters approach crucial milestones.

White House officials wanted to focus on policy this week, with time dedicated to health care, taxes, and a new science, technology, engineering and mathematics education initiative led by the president’s daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump.

What’s more, a senior North Korean official said Monday that Trump’s remarks last week before the United Nations General Assembly about destroying the isolated nation if it attacked America or its allies amounted to a declaration of war.

Two hours after those crisis-escalating remarks and after Trump’s oldest daughter briefed reporters during a call about spending at least $200 million annually on STEM education grants, the president’s press secretary was pelted with questions about his war of words with professional athletes, which his critics say have been tinged with racial buzzwords.

[On North Korea, Some Lawmakers See Scattershot Trump Approach]

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in her first appearance at the White House podium in 12 days, faced queries about Trump’s Friday night declaration that any NFL player — the majority of whom are African-American — who kneels during the national anthem should be fired or suspended. 

She said Trump’s comments and subsequent weekend tweets knocking players were about being “for something” rather than “against anyone.”

It is “always appropriate for [the] president of the United States to defend the [American] flag” and troops who fought to defend it, she said.

Trump’s critics have said those same forces also fought to keep intact players’ First Amendment rights to voice what they see as social ills.

[Trump, Afghan President Contradict One Another on Situation There]

Sanders later added that it is “always appropriate for the president of this country to promote our flag and national anthem.”

During her opening remarks, she praised the “Little Rock Nine” on the 60th anniversary of nine African-American students, escorted by federal troops, desegregating the Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. Sanders called them “American heroes who courageously advanced racial equality.”

Trump’s feud likely will play well with his political base, as it did during his Friday night rally in Huntsville, Alabama.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired!’” the president said. “You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’”

It wasn’t all about the NFL on Monday, though.  

Sanders announced Trump will travel to Indianapolis on Wednesday to stump for the still-in-development GOP tax package.

[Republicans Head Into Alabama Senate Race Homestretch]

One day after, Marc Short, White House legislative affairs director, said he expected the Senate to vote Wednesday on a health care overhaul measure from GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Sanders would not say when White House officials anticipate it hitting the floor. “Whether or not there’s a vote, we sure hope so,” she said.

But even as other topics came up, the focus kept coming back to football, and whether the president was singling out black athletes, even as owners are pushing back on his criticism.

“The president is not talking about race,” she said near the end of the briefing, adding that Trump is standing up for those who have “pride” in their country.

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Conference to focus on economic inclusion, equity

Kudzai Mabunda was not a good bet for traditional lenders.

Although she is a real estate broker and was a social worker in her native Zimbabwe, her idea for assisted-living homes for people with mental illnesses was not viewed as a good model, simply because mental health is not widely viewed as a profitable field.

Mabunda, of Hendersonville, went to Self-Help Credit Union, which lent her the money to open her first residence. Today, she operates several homes as well as a real estate business. “Someone believed in me,” Mabunda says. “Someone took a chance on me.”

Mabunda will be featured as a speaker for the third annual conference, “Bringing It Home: Building a Local Economy for Everyone,” 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 7, at the YMI Cultural Center in downtown Asheville. The theme this year is “Connecting the Dots: Working Together Toward a Stronger, More Equitable Economy.”

The conference is sponsored by a broad array of organizations, including Self-Help Credit Union,  Asheville Grown, Carolina Small Business Development Fund, the City of Asheville Office of Economic Development, Eagle Market Streets Development, HomeTrust Bank, Mountain BizWorks, Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Hola Carolina, SheVille Online Magazine for Women, Urban News and the YMI Cultural Center.

The conference aims to help people understand the importance of a local economy that includes a businesses operated by, targeted toward and serving a diverse population.

“It’s called ‘Building a Local Economy for Everyone’ because the focus is on everyone,” says Jane Hatley of Self-Help Credit Union. “If you’re interested in starting a local business, this is for you. If you’re interested in adding diversity to local business, this is for you. If you want to know more about eliminating racism in business practices, this is for you. If you just want to better understand the benefits of a diverse local economy, this is for you.”

The conference is free and includes free transportation, parking, child care, breakfast and lunch, Hatley says. “We have deliberately made it free so we don’t shut anyone out,”  she says.

Self-Help Credit Union is a community development financial institution that offers specialized loans to people with lower incomes and worker-owned cooperatives. Potential recipients are judged not on profit but on community impact, Hatley says.

Mabunda is a good example of someone with a great idea who just needed a leg up. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in urban studies. Many of the housing options she saw in this region for people with mental illnesses were not places in which she would wish to see her own loved ones, she says.

“People do better when they live in a neighborhood,” Mabunda says. “Everyone does better when they have a good place to live.” The $25,000 loan she got from Self-Help paid for the certification process and licensing fees for her first home.

Overcoming racial barriers

ROOTING OUT RACISM: Keynote speaker Deena Hayes-Greene will speak about the programs of the Racial Equity Institute in Greensboro at the conference.
ROOTING OUT RACISM: Keynote speaker Deena Hayes-Greene will speak about the programs of the Racial Equity Institute in Greensboro at the conference.

This year’s conference also includes keynote speaker Deena Hayes-Greene, managing director of the Racial Equity Institute in Greensboro, who will talk about the center’s methods for assessing and addressing racism.

Hayes-Greene was not available for comment but Associate Director Suzanna Plihcik said the institute offers two-day workshops for organizations and longer-term support — 18 months to two years in most cases — to help them root out institutional racism.

“Let’s put it this way: If you see one fish floating belly-up in a lake, you try to find out what happened to that fish. If you see half the fish in the lake floating belly-up, you need to look at the lake,” Plihcik says.  “You have to look across systems, not just at a single system, to see how things work. … Every system produces racial disparities — education, health care, the judicial system. Race trumps class in every system in the country.”

Hayes-Greene has been a member of the Guilford County Board of Education since 2002 and is former human relations commissioner for the city of Greensboro. She chairs the Achievement Gap, School Safety and Historically Underutilized Business Advisory committees in the district. She also serves on the Ole Asheboro Street Neighborhood Association, the Guilford County Gang Commission and as board chair at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

While the conference takes place at the at the YMI Cultural Center, workshops and other activities will also be held at Mount Zion  Missionary Baptist Church and The Block Off Biltmore. They include “Money, Money, Money,” on finding grant money and other sources of revenue for an organization or business; “Developing a Successful Built Environment Project,” with a panel of experts on understanding and carrying out a large project involving real estate; “Our Youth, Our Future,” a panel of people in organizations that work with youth; and breakout sessions on African-American and Latinx business in Asheville.

Immigration rights activist Marisol Jimenez will open the conference with an interactive activity on “Establishing Group Norms, Common Language.” The event will include performances by Word on the Street; a traveling exhibit from Duke University on “Trying to Get By: [Not] Making Ends Meet in NC”; and networking sessions. The exhibit, “Courage, Truth, Change:  Inspiring and Engaging Youth Through Art and Story,” which features portraits of several local youth leaders, will be on display at the YMI.

Registration is limited. To register, visit For information on the conference, call Hatley at 828-239-9231, ext. 3473.

Jack Good, Who Put Rock ’n’ Roll on TV With ‘Shindig,’ Dies at 86

The premiere of “Shindig” ended a relatively short professional journey for Mr. Good that began in 1956 when he became transfixed by an audience’s response to the movie “Rock Around the Clock,” with Bill Haley and His Comets. In rock ’n’ roll’s energy and excitement, he recognized music’s future, especially as a fuel for adolescent rebellion.

“It’s easy to call rock ’n’ roll vulgar, but to adolescents it is a release,” he told The New York Times in 1965. “Rock ’n’ roll, if it is anything, is pure joy in sound.

“I willingly embrace vulgarity,” he continued. “I prefer vulgarity, that is, to the excessive refinement that has long stifled British society. Like St. Paul, I’m a convert, but my conversion was to rock ’n’ roll.”

A job as a trainee producer at the BBC led to his first experiment in transforming what he had seen onscreen into a live show. On “Six-Five Special,” which had its premiere in 1957 (it was named for its 6:05 p.m. start-time), he filled the studio floor with young fans bopping to the music. The formula worked: Millions watched. But he chafed at the BBC’s demands that he add sports and comedy segments.

Forced out by the network, Mr. Good resurfaced at its commercial rival, ITV, where he produced “Oh Boy!” with much greater freedom. Performers followed one another quickly, giving the show a breakneck pace. British rock stars like Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde and Billy Fury were said to have received their first national exposure there.

“The aim was hypnosis and excitement — blitzkrieg time!” Mr. Good said in “A Good Man … Is Hard to Find,” a 2005 documentary about his life made by Greg Wise. “Jumping up and down, the adrenaline, the wildness. Yes, the danger of it all!”

Nik Cohn, the British rock journalist, wrote that Mr. Good had an understanding of rock music’s importance that was rare at the time.

“Everyone else saw pop as a one-shot craze and rushed to cash in on it fast before sanity returned and everything returned to normal,” Mr. Cohn wrote in “Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock” (1969). “By contrast, Good realized it clearly as a major phenomenon. I suppose he was the first pop intellectual.”

Mr. Good was born in West London on Aug. 7, 1931. His father, Bob, sold pianos at Harrods, where his mother, Amy, was a secretary. After serving in the Royal Air Force, Mr. Good graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied philology and was president of the drama society.

“Six-Five Special,” “Oh Boy!” and two other music shows in Britain did not end Mr. Good’s dreams of acting. He left for the United States, hoping to succeed in Hollywood. But he landed only a few parts, including one in “Father Goose” (1964), with Cary Grant, and another in “Clambake” (1967), with Elvis Presley.


Jack Good, television producer best known for “Shindig,” in an undated photograph. Credit Courtesy of Ron Furmanek

One day in 1962, soon after moving to the United States, while lazing around in his pajamas, he had an epiphany.

“I saw this so-called special done by a bloke, Dick Clark, and I’d already come to the conclusion that Dick Clark’s shows were hopeless and I could do better,” he said in the documentary. Mr. Clark was, at the time, the host of the long-running “American Bandstand.”

“I said to myself, like the prodigal son in the pigpen, that I’d go back to my father’s house” — referring to Mr. Haley, whom he saw as his muse — “and I devised a show, filmed it, taped it and sent it around to the networks,” he said.

That was the pilot for “Shindig,” which was picked up by ABC, but not until 1964.

“Shindig” was unlike “Bandstand” or “The Ed Sullivan Show.” It had a fast rhythm, like “Oh Boy!,” with rapid cutting and extreme close-ups. The dancers frugged, swam and twisted furiously. The house band featured Glen Campbell, Billy Preston and Leon Russell. And the guests — among them Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, the Righteous Brothers, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Bobby Sherman, the Isley Brothers, Sam Cooke and the Everly Brothers — covered a broad musical range.

The Beatles, taped in Britain, were guests on the show several months after Mr. Good produced a special with them there. The Stones appeared several times, once with the bluesman Howlin’ Wolf, one of their idols.

NBC countered with its own pop music show, “Hullabaloo,” which made its debut a few months after “Shindig.”

Donna Loren, a featured singer on “Shindig,” described Mr. Good as “the Norman Lear of rock ’n’ roll” for his insistence on booking African-American artists, against the objections of at least one executive at ABC. She said Mr. Good had resisted efforts by the network to limit the number of black performers on the pilot.

Mr. Mallet, his former assistant producer, agreed. “He was insulted by it,” he said in a telephone interview, “because at least 50 percent of his favorite people were people like Little Richard.”

Mr. Good said in the documentary that he told ABC that he would limit the number of black artists on the show if the network sent him a memo outlining its rules. (He also threatened to send it if he got it to Robert F. Kennedy, the attorney general.) He never got the memo.

He left “Shindig” after a year, exhausted by the demands of producing it but with something else in mind: a rock musical based on “Othello.” It became “Catch My Soul,” with William Marshall in the title role and Jerry Lee Lewis playing an unlikely Iago. When it played at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, Martin Bernheimer of The Los Angeles Times wrote that it was “an utterly brilliant and utterly maddening experience.”

Mr. Good also wrote the screenplay for the 1974 movie version.

In the early 1970s, Mr. Good moved to New Mexico with his family and continued to produce television programming for a few more years. But he had already begun to alter his life dramatically — mostly in service to his Roman Catholic faith.

Inspired by Rubens’s “The Descent From the Cross,” he learned to paint. And, after his divorce from the former Margit Tischer, he built a chapel beside his home in Cordova, N.M., where he lived alone and painted religious murals and icons.

One mural shows a wild-eyed, fanged devil — his head in the shape of a television set — playing an electric guitar.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Good, who lived in Oxfordshire, is survived by another daughter, Andrea; a son, Alexander; 10 grandchildren; and a brother, Robert.

Mr. Good expressed regrets about the direction rock took in the post-“Shindig” years. He wrote in The Los Angeles Times in 1967 that the music had been “ironed into one vast, hairy, paisley-patterned uniformity.”

But Mr. Mallet said that his cheeky former boss remained dedicated to the era he helped to influence.

“His idea of heaven,” he said, “was Jerry Lee or Cliff Richard or Elvis giving it 100 percent.”

Continue reading the main story RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

The resistance? How Indivisible could upend the Democratic Party

Washington: It started as a scrappy grass-roots protest movement against President Donald Trump, but now the resistance is attracting six- and seven-figure checks from major liberal donors, posing an insurgent challenge to some of the left’s most venerable institutions, and the Democratic Party itself.

The jockeying between groups, donors and operatives for cash and turf is occurring mostly behind the scenes. But it has grown acrimonious at times, with upstarts complaining they are being boxed out by a liberal establishment that they say enables the sort of Democratic timidity that paved the way for the Trump presidency.

The tug of war, more than the lingering squabbles between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, foreshadows a once-in-a-generation reorganisation of the American left that could dictate the tactics and ideology of the Democratic Party for years to come. If the newcomers prevail, they could pull the party further to the left, leading it to embrace policy positions like those advocated by Sanders, including single-payer health care and free tuition at public colleges.

The upending of the left comes amid a broader realignment in American politics, with the Republican Party establishment also contending with a rising rebellion, driven by pro-Trump populists. Just as the new forces on the right are threatening primary challenges to establishment Republicans, some groups on the left have begun talking about targeting Democratic incumbents in the 2018 midterm elections.

Entrenched Democratic groups are facing growing questions about the return on the hundreds of millions of dollars they have spent over the years. Groups affiliated with Clinton “spent so much money based on a bad strategy in this last cycle that they should step aside and let others lead in this moment,” said Quentin James, a founder of a political committee called the Collective PAC that supports African-American candidates.

James’ committee is among more than three dozen outfits that have started or reconfigured themselves since the election to try to harness the surge in anti-Trump activism. In addition to political committees, grass-roots mobilisation nonprofits and legal watchdog groups, there are for-profit companies providing technological help to the new groups, essentially forming a new liberal ecosystem outside the confines of the Democratic Party.

While the new groups gained early traction mostly on the strength of grass-roots volunteers and small donations — and with relatively meager overall budgets — they are beginning to attract attention from the left’s most generous benefactors.

“We’re in a disruptive period, and when we get through it, the progressive infrastructure landscape may look different,” said Gara LaMarche, president of the Democracy Alliance, a club of wealthy liberals who donate at least $200,000 a year to recommended groups. “There may be groups that have been around that don’t rise to the challenge, and there may be some new groups that do rise to the challenge, while others fade away.”

The Democracy Alliance has helped shape the institutional left, steering more than $600 million since its inception in 2005 to a portfolio of carefully selected groups, including pillars of the Clinton-aligned establishment like the think tank Centre for American Progress and the media watchdog Media Matters.

But this year, the Democracy Alliance hired Archana Sahgal, a former Obama White House official, to help the new anti-Trump groups, and it suspended its intensive vetting and approval process to recommend donations to a host of groups created since last fall’s election.

The Democracy Alliance distributed a “resistance map” to its donors in July including new groups focused on converting the anti-Trump energy into electoral wins, such as Flippable, Swing Left and Sister District, as well as legal watchdog groups and others focused on mobilising protesters, such as Women’s March and Indivisible.

Perhaps no group epitomises the differences between the legacy left and the grass-roots resistance like Indivisible. Started as a Google document detailing techniques for opposing the Republican agenda under Trump, the group now has a mostly Washington-based staff of about 40 people, with more than 6,000 volunteer chapters across the country. The national Indivisible hub, which consists of a pair of nonprofit groups, has raised nearly $6 million since its start, primarily through small-dollar donations made through its website.

Yet Indivisible has also received funding from tech entrepreneur Reid Hoffman, as well as foundations or coalitions tied to Democracy Alliance donors, including San Francisco mortgage billionaire Herbert Sandler, New York real estate heiress Patricia Bauman and oil heiress Leah Hunt-Hendrix.

And an advocacy group funded by billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros, a founding member of the Democracy Alliance and one of the most influential donors on the left, is considering a donation in the low six figures to Indivisible. Soros has already donated to a host of nonprofit groups playing key roles in the anti-Trump movement, including the Center for Community Change, Color of Change and Local Progress.

Indivisible would “gladly” accept a check from Soros or his foundation, said an official with the group, Sarah Dohl. But, she added, the group is committed to ensuring that money from major donors does not become a majority of the group’s revenue, “because we want to maintain our impendence both from the funders and from the party.”

New York Times

Introducing: The PhilAesthetic Scene with Steve Bryant

ABOVE PHOTO: Juliana Ribeiro

This week the SUN kicks off a new column which will cover Black/Latino cultural activities in Philadelphia called “The PhilAesthetic Scene”  by veteran cultural writer Steve Bryant, taking its inspiration from the Black Arts Movement which took place during the late 1960s and early ‘70s. 

Bryant has been writing about Jazz and Latin music for 30 years for a variety of publications including the Houston Sun, Michigan Chronicle, Detroit Metro Times, and the Philadelphia Tribune, He has written extensively about the Philadelphia Jazz and Latin Music Scene, as well as a myriad of Black and Latino artists and their work.


The PhilAesthetic Scene will spotlight the Black and Latino artists and organizations that perform, produce, and present music, theater, dance, poetry and visual arts in Philadelphia. A number of upcoming cultural events will also be highlighted on a bi-weekly basis.  Artists and organizations can send by email their information about their  event, concert, performance, etc., to

Upcoming Events

Sunday, October 8th

Ruth Naomi Floyd

If Abbey Lincoln and Cassandra Wilson sang gospel and spirituals, they would sound like Ruth Naomi Floyd, who has been one of Philadelphia’s best-kept secrets for the last three decades,  Based in the jazz idiom, this very versatile singer/composer is one of the few who can take gospel songs and spirituals and make them swing.  Ruth will premiere a three-song cycle based on excerpts from three of Frederick Douglass’s speeches, as well as perform her compositions.. Joining Ruth on this date will be a quintet of crack Philly musicians which will feature Keith Loftis on soprano and tenor saxophones, pianist Aaron Graves, guitarist Joshua Stamper, bassist Matthew Parish and drummer Mark Prince.  Also joining Ruth & Co. will be the Cairn University Gospel Quartet and special guest violinist Diane Monroe. 

4pm. $10-15

Chatlos Chapel, Cairn University,

200 Manor Ave., Langhorne, PA

Tuesday, October 10 – Saturday, October 14

Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz (Photo: © Google 2017)

Bahia Week in Philly

The Brazilian State of Bahia is the home of perhaps the oldest and largest community of African descendants in the Americas, with enslaved peoples coming from Nigeria, the Congo and Angola. It also is the largest repository of African-based music, religion, and culture in Brazil.  Bahia Week Festival 2017 is the renewal of a celebration held for the first time in 1984 in Philadelphia.  Curated by Ken Dossar, retired Professor of African Studies at Temple University and an authority on Afro-Brazilian culture, this year’s events aim to stimulate tourism growth in Bahia. Activities will be held in Philly from October 10-14. These include cultural events, panels and seminars, with a view to promoting business between Bahia and Pennsylvania. Highlighting the celebration will be a concert on Friday, October 13 by five musicians from Salvador, Bahia singer Juliana Ribeiro, Giba Conceciao, Isaias Rebelo, Marcos Bezzera, and Giroux Wanzalier.

8pm.  $35

Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts

738 S. Broad St. at Fitzwater

(215) 893-9912

Painted Bride Art Center (Photo: © Google 2017)

Saturday, October 14

J. Michael Harrison Presents: “Bridge @ The Bride”

J. Michael Harrison is one of the most popular radio hosts on WRTI. His weekly show, “The Bridge,” has showcased the best in progressive jazz for 20 years.

The Philadelphia jazz community comes out to celebrate this anniversary with a concert  featuring Hannibal Lokumbe, Clef Club Alumni Joseph Block and Nazir Ebo, Dave Burrell, Alfie Pollit, Tyrone Brown, Allan Nelson, Arnetta Johnson, and Joshua Sims.

8pm $20/$25

Painted Bride Art Center 

230 Vine St., Philadelphia

(215) 925-9914

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Denver Celebrates Corporate Wellness at 2017 Fall Fit Company Challenge

Teams from companies in Denver show the impact of their wellness programs by training for and conquering a 3-course fitness challenge hosted by Fit Company

DENVER, COLORADO, USA, October 6, 2017 / — On September 23, 2017 participants from companies located in the Denver area took part in the Fit Company Challenge, a corporate wellness event hosted by the Fit Company Institute. The challenge provided area companies an opportunity to come together as a team and spend a morning exercising, pushing their physical and mental limits and showing the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Companies split their team into squads of 3 to 4 people who worked together to complete a variety of fitness stations to challenge their fitness level and earn points for their company. Teams chose what level to go through each course which allowed participants of all fitness levels to push their physical fitness without going too far out of their comfort zone.

In the inaugural Denver event, Vivax Pros came out strong with 7 squads and took the top spot in the Large Team Division. From Vivax Pros team captain Manisha Haywood, “We at Vivax really think the overall wellbeing of our employees is very important. I am their Health Coach on staff here and I coach 3 CrossFit Style classes every day during the week at our Company gym “The Therapy Box”. And that is free for all employees. I also offer any nutritional guidance they need. By taking part in the Fit company Challenge – we had a goal to aim towards and got people excited to work out!”

Hunter Douglas Window Fashions took the top spot in the highly competitive Small Team division in the inaugural Denver Challenge. From Hunter Douglas team captain Sarah Wilkinson, “Here at Hunter Douglas taking some time during our day to exercise helps keep us motivated and keeps things fun! Having the opportunity to represent our company, challenge ourselves, and participate in a friendly competition wasn’t something we were going to miss! This was a great event that every participant enjoyed and can’t wait to compete in again!”

On event date, volunteers assisted the contenders through the courses from The Rebel Workout (, and Blunt Force Training ( Participants challenged their strength, conditioning, power, agility, and ended with a test of endurance to show their companies and colleagues that they practice what they preach. Participants used their involvement to bring out company team members, and family members to cheer them on and promote the importance of having fun and effective corporate wellness programs at their companies.

The challenge was held at Crescent Park, located a short drive from downtown Denver.

The following is a list of the top finishers in Denver that participated in the 2017 Fit Company Challenge:

Fit Company Fittest Awards

Large Division
1) Vivax Pros

Small Division
1) Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
2) MKK Consulting Engineers (Tie)
2) Swiftpage (Tie)
4) AllHealth Network
5) Applewood Plumbing

Micro Division
1) Ideas Made Measurable
2) Oakwood Homes
3) Red Door Interactive
4) Elevations Credit Union
5) Farm Plus Financial

Top Teams Overall
1) Vivax Pros – #1547
2) Vivax Pros – #1546
3) Vivax Pros – #1550
4) Vivax Pros – #1545
5) Ideas Made Measurable – #1534
6) Oakwood Homes – #1526
7) Ideas Made Measurable – #1535
8) MKK Consulting Engineers – #1524
9) AllHealth Network – #1539 (Tie)
9) Hunter Douglas Window Fashions – #1542 (Tie)
9) Vivax Pros – #1544 (Tie)

Top Teams By Course

Course 1 – Level 2
1) Vivax Pros – #1547
2) Vivax Pros – #1546
3) Vivax Pros – #1545
4) Vivax Pros – #1550

Course 1 – Level 1
1) Ideas Made Measurable – #1535
2) Ideas Made Measurable – #1534
3) Elevations Credit Union – #1530
4) MKK Consulting Engineers – #1524

Course 2 – Level 2
1) Vivax Pros – #1545
2) Vivax Pros – #1550
3) Vivax Pros – #1546
4) Vivax Pros – #1547

Course 2 – Level 1
1) Ideas Made Measurable – #1534
2) Ideas Made Measurable – #1535
3) Applewood Plumbing – #1533
4) MKK Consulting Engineers – #1524

Course 3 – Level 2
1) Hunter Douglas Window Fashions – #1542
2) Vivax Pros – #1547
3) AllHealth Network – #1539
4) Hunter Douglas Window Fashions – #1541

Course 3 – Level 1
1) MKK Consulting Engineers – #1524 (Tie)
1) Oakwood Homes – #1526 (Tie)
1) Ideas Made Measurable – #1534 (Tie)
4) Swiftpage – #1519

About the Fit Company Institute, LLC:

The Fit Company Institute is based in Austin, Texas and is dedicated to help companies thrive through wellness. The Fit Company Challenge helps companies be their best by creating the most productive, focused, energetic, happiest, and cohesive teams possible.

Find more at and upcoming events in cities across the US.

Matt Barker
Fit Company Institute
email us here

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Straight to the Point: Perms, Relaxers and Other Chemicals Have Been Scientifically Linked to Fibroids in African American Women

Since 1913, the hair game has been changed and upgraded to a whole new level. From Afros, to Jerry Curls, to hot combs, perms, braids, weaves and anything in between, Garrett Morgan, who was the owner of the Hair Refining Company, redefined black hair all in one container. “How did he do so?” you ask. He did it by inventing the perm, making the his company the proud provider of the number one product (chemical hair straightener). 

During this time frame, the product was selling and it was marketed on every platform imaginable. Mother’s were buying it, Mother’s were buying it for their daughters and even men were purchasing.

Garret Augustus Morgan observed that it was possible to change the natural and basic structure of the African American woman’s hair shaft when certain chemicals penetrate the cortical layer.

Although this hairstyle was pretty to some and coveted by others, in the long run, the chemicals in the product did nothing good for our black queens.

Contrary to popular belief (back then), the perm was full of harsh chemicals that became unappealing to African American women’s health. Over time, the harsh chemicals led to many black women suffering from hair loss and early-onset alopecia. It caused long term issues, hair health issues as well as scalp health problems.

Unfortunately America loves a beautiful woman.

Beautiful women are not unfortunate. The unfortunate part is that you have to be a “certain kind of woman”to be considered beautiful in the eyes of America.

Women of color, during that time, had little to no opportunities. So why not hop on the bandwagon and make yourself more likable.

African American women, during that time, felt that a less kinky-haired version, brought them closer to the beauty standards of America.

In the long run, the cost for beauty was health and to this very day, it still is. 

In the late ‘90s and early 2000s, researchers investigating the racial bias of uterine fibroids hypothesized that endocrine-disrupting chemicals in hair relaxers could impact a woman’s risk of developing the condition.

According to black women are 3 times more likely to get uterine fibroids and tumors than any other race.

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow on or in the muscle of the uterus. A study of 23,000 black women showed that fibroids may be linked to the chemical exposure through scalp burns that result from perms and hair relaxers used by many black women.

Hair relaxers contain a variety of toxic chemicals: lye-based relaxers contain sodium hydroxide; “no-lye” relaxers contain calcium hydroxide and guanidine carbonate; “thio” relaxers contain thioglycolic acid salts; and almost all varieties contain endocrine-disrupting phthalates, which often appear on a label as “fragrance” or “perfume”.

As black women, we have to be attentive to the things we put in our bodies, even if it is indirect. The look and management of a more soft and calm head of hair, can bring much interest to the eye, but a clear balance of style and health should always be at question.

If you ask me, natural is the best way to go! it’s how we were created. No alterations, no complications.

Sources: Minority Black Health Blog, Acessa Health, Evolution of Hair 

African American Enigma: Constructive Critici

[Comment: National]
During a BBC radio address titled, “The Russian Enigma,” on October 1, 1939, former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill said, “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia.  It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.  That key is Russian national interest.”

The simple meaning behind Churchill’s statement is–something that is a puzzle or something difficult to solve. Churchill’s statement sums up quite concisely, the relationship that many Black folk have with President Obama—an enigma.

In the 2008 presidential election, Black folk were the largest voting block for candidate Obama as a percentage—96%. But, yet, the first Black president has fewer Blacks serving in his administration than former President, George W. Bush. No Black female lawyers or judges were interviewed for the two Supreme Court picks the president has put on the bench. Even if he knew he would not choose them, at least interview them for the optics. Last year, in a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), President Obama said, “Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on. We’ve got work to do, CBC.”

A week earlier, President Obama spoke at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. He highlighted two specific pieces of legislation that he was actively trying to pass that would overwhelmingly be to the primary benefit of the Hispanic community—the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform. Not one time did he tell them to stop complaining.

A month later President Obama spoke before The Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group. Again, the president talked about how he repealed, “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and mandated hospital visitation rights for same sex couples. Again, not one time did he tell them to stop complaining.
Now, juxtapose that with what went on recently with respect to an eminently qualified African for a top global post.

By tradition, the head of the World Bank is always an American male and the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had always been a European male; until last year when the French fought for a woman to be chosen—Christine Lagarde. Recently President Obama nominated Dr. Jim Yong Kim, an American, to head the World Bank. But African countries challenged this arrangement very publically; they opposed the brazenly unfair process the World Bank used to choose Dr. Kim as the successor of the former president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick.

Kim’s strongest challenger was the Finance Minister of Nigeria, and a former Managing Director at The World Bank, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a female from a developing country. She was universally considered the best candidate in the field, even by those who supported Kim.

Russia, China and Mexico supported Kim. Ngozi was nominated by South Africa and was endorsed by all of the African members of the bank’s board, The African Union, Brazil, The Economist, Colombia, The New York Times, The Financial Times, and 39 former senior officials at the World Bank.

This is the first time in the history of the bank that the U.S. has been challenged by developing and emerging countries. South African Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, went so far as to say, “the bank’s selection process falls short and is not transparent or merit-based.”
President Obama promised to make his administration the most ethical, transparent administration in history. But, like in many of his actions, when he had the chance to turn his rhetoric into action, he became like sounding brass or the tingling cymbal; full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

As a result of Jesse Jackson’s unsuccessful presidential bids in 1984 and 1988, he made it possible to believe that a Black person could one day become president of the United States; so has Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s bid to become president of the World Bank. She did not win, but now other countries can envision a time in the not too distant future, that the head of the World Bank will be a non-American.
An African woman challenged Obama’s choice to lead the bank; she was universally considered the best qualified for the job. Yet Black Democrats in America refuse to challenge the first African American president even when warranted. They continue to make excuses for his lack of action—he needs more time; the President can’t undo in four years what took Bush eight years to create; or, he will pay attention to us in his second term.
This is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm. 

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