Mayor answers questions on issues facing African American community


Domestic violence, sex trafficking and the economy; these are the problems citizens asked Toledo’s Mayor about Monday night at a community Mayoral forum at the Frederick Douglass Community center.

The room was packed for the second Community Mayoral Forum bringing Black Lives Matter organizers and the Young Black Voters together to highlight issues facing Toledo neighborhoods right now.

Organizers said at some other forums, the average person may not feel comfortable coming up and asking the candidates questions and they wanted this to feel different.

“They can come and ask their questions, and have them answered in a relaxed setting,” said Ruth Leonard, a teacher and event organizer with the Community Solidarity Response Network of Toledo.

At the forum, a panel asked questions on the problem of sex trafficking, domestic violence and economic injustice among black citizens.

“The thing that I’m most concerned about is the rate of homelessness for TPS students, and working to bring that number down,” said Leonard.

Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson answered a question on improving Toledo’s economy, with what she said she’s done to bring more companies to Toledo. But she said they can’t find enough workers here.

“They cannot find people to work,” the mayor said strongly at the event. “And it is not necessarily because they do not have the skills. It is either because they don’t have a driver’s license, they can’t show up on time or they’re not drug free. “

The audience wrote questions down for the mayor.

One shouted out “I disagree,” when Mayor Hicks-Hudson answered one question with a call to the community to get involved solving social and family issues, not just city government.

The Mayor told the audience, “If we’re here having a conversation, let’s have a real conversation about what we all must do.”

Mayoral candidate Wade Kapszukiewicz attended the last forum hosted by these groups, but said he received the invitation late to this one and was booked at another event so he could not attend.

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Nevada Corporate Whistleblower Center Now Urges an Employee of a Company That Is Overbilling the Defense Department or any Federal Agency in Nevada To Call About Rewards

If you can prove your Nevada based employer has overbilled the US Government and the amount of overbilling is at least a million dollars please call us at 866-714-6466”

— Nevada Corporate Whistleblower Center

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, October 31, 2017 / — The Nevada Corporate Whistleblower Center says, “We are urging an employee of a Nevada based company that is providing any type of imaginable service to the US Department of Defense or any other federal agency to call us anytime at 866-714-6466 if their employer is involved in significant overbilling, fraud or if the company is out of compliance with their federal contract. As we would like to discuss the rewards for this type of information can be substantial.” http://Nevada.CorporateWhistleblower.Com

The Nevada Corporate Whistleblower Center is especially interested in hearing from an employee with proof their Nevada based employer is overbilling the US federal government for the following types of services:

* A Nevada based company providing transportation or logistics services to the US Department of Defense or any other federal agency.
* A Nevada based company providing any type of food, fuel or security services to the US Department of Defense.
* A Nevada based road builder or construction company providing services to the Department of Transportation or any other federal agency.
* A Nevada based company providing housing services to the Department of Defense, HUD or GSA
* A company in Nevada overbilling the US General Services Administration on a contract, or out of compliance with a GSA contract.
* A Nevada based food distribution company that is overbilling the Department of Agriculture for school lunch programs, or any other type of food service.
* A Nevada based environmental contractor that is overbilling the EPA for work being done at a Super Fund site.
* Special note the business could be located anywhere in Washington State including Las Vegas, Henderson, Reno, Paradise, Enterprise, Sparks, or Carson City.

According to the Nevada Corporate Whistleblower Center, “If you can prove your Nevada based employer has overbilled the US Government and the amount of overbilling is at least a million dollars please call us anytime at 866-714-6466 and let’s discuss how the whistleblower reward program works. Why sit on a potentially winning lotto ticket without ever knowing what it might have been worth?” http://Nevada.CorporateWhistleblower.Com

Simple rules for a whistleblower from the Nevada Corporate Whistleblower Center: Do not go to the government first if you are a potential whistleblower with substantial proof of wrongdoing. The Nevada Corporate Whistleblower Center says, “Major whistleblowers frequently go to the government thinking they will help. It’s a huge mistake. Do not go to the news media with your whistleblower information. Public revelation of a whistleblower’s information could destroy any prospect for a reward. Do not try to force a company/employer or individual to come clean about significant Medicare fraud, overbilling the federal government for services never rendered, multi-million-dollar state or federal tax evasion, or a Nevada based company falsely claiming to be a minority owned business to get preferential treatment on federal or state projects. Come to us first, tell us what type of information you have, and if we think it’s sufficient, we will help you with a focus on you getting rewarded.”

Unlike any group in the US the Corporate Whistleblower Center can assist a potential whistleblower with packaging or building out their information to potentially increase the reward potential. They will also provide the whistleblower with access to some of the most skilled whistleblower attorneys in the nation. For more information a possible whistleblower with substantial proof of wrongdoing in Nevada can contact the Whistleblower Center at 866-714-6466 or contact them via their website at http://Nevada.CorporateWhistleBlower.Com.

Thomas Martin
Nevada Corporate Whistleblower Center
email us here

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

NAACP Tells African Americans Not to Fly American Airlines

“The series of recent incidents involve troublesome conduct by American Airlines and they suggest a corporate culture of racial insensitivity and possible racial bias on the part of American Airlines,” the civil rights group wrote in the statement. 

In one incident of mistreatment, an African-American passenger was asked to move to the coach section of a flight even though she had a first-class ticket, while a white woman traveling with her was allowed to stay in first class.

In another instance, an African-American passenger was forced to give up his prebooked seats on a flight after he responded to “discriminatory” comments made to him by white passengers, against whom no measures were taken for their remarks.

Other instances involve an African-American woman being removed from a flight for having her seat changed without her approval and another African-American woman and her baby being removed from a flight after she asked for her stroller to be retrieved from checked baggage. 

In the statement, the NAACP added that “in light of these confrontations, we have today taken the action of issuing a national advisory alerting travelers — especially African-Americans — to exercise caution, in that booking and boarding flights on American Airlines could subject them to disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions.”

In response, American Airlines issued a statement saying, “We are disappointed to hear about this travel advisory as our team members — a diverse community of gate agents, pilots and flight attendants — are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds.”

“Every day American [Airlines] is committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with us.”

Wichita leaders, trailblazers honored at Kansas African American Museum

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas African American Museum in Wichita honored Wichita leaders Saturday night. Some of those honored sat in on the historic 1958 Dockum Drug Store sit-in.

“When you’re 18 or 19, 20 you don’t realize the importance until years after,” said Arlene Ruffin, an original participant of the Dockum sit-ins.

Ruffin remembers her involvement with the historic sit-in over 50 years later. The protest helped change the course of segregation as well as African American history.

“It was a challenge,” explained Ruffin. “And we weren’t sure whether it would be dangerous or scary so you just go on.”

Saturday, Arlene among others, were honored for their bravery and their efforts to blaze the trail for many African American generations to come.

It was all part of A Tribute to Trailblazers Gala.

“Trailblazers used to be an exhibit where we honored people who had blazed a trail for others,” explained Mark McCormick, Kansas African American Museum Director.

Now, Trailblazers serves as the biggest fundraiser for the African American Museum. It showcases prominent individuals within the community.

Speakers at the event inspired the audience and gave them a sense of appreciation for those who have blazed a trail.

“It really inspired a lot of others particularly the ones in Oklahoma City,” said McCormick. “Ours were non-violent, although there was always a threat of violence, in Oklahoma City there was violence.”

One of the biggest engagements for the evening was the announcement for the newest piece of memorial to honor the 1958 Dockum Drugstore lunch counter sit-in.

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Female minority candidates face more obstacles

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Detroit — The Women’s March may be a national movement but the real work lies ahead at the local level, said organizers of the Women’s Convention on Sunday.

That includes pushing for policy changes and supporting candidates locally “who look like us,” activists said, urging on some 5,000 women and men who attended the gathering to seek out more women for roles in politics.

If the weekend was about shoring up support and acknowledging the anger that has gripped many people over the decisions of the Trump administration over the past 10 months, speakers at the convention, whose theme was “Reclaiming Our Time” at Cobo Center, recognized that wasn’t enough.

“What we’ve seen over the last 11 months is we are really good at resisting,” said Bob Bland, a co-chair of the Women’s March, speaking during a closing panel Sunday. “But resistance is not enough.”

Speakers and activists urged the crowd to look ahead to reshape the political landscape by:

■Encouraging more women to run for office and train them how to develop their political instincts

■Establishing more Democratic clubs

■Flipping back counties that turned red in the last election

The three-day convention, a follow-up to the historic Women’s March in Washington, D.C, in January during President Trump’s inauguration, drew participants from all over the world. Topics ranged from everything from running for political office to building coalitions. More than 170 workshops and sessions were held throughout the weekend, some covering delicate topics about race and including people of color within the Women’s March movement. Workshops and speakers also talked about tackling “white privilege” and being more inclusive in discussions and policy making.


Thousands of women attend Reclaiming Our Time The Women’s Convention at Cobo Center, presented by The Women’s March, as they honor and listen to Congresswoman Maxine Waters speak. Todd McInturf, The Detroit News

Organizers said Sunday that activists may be distracted by what Trump may do next, but “what we have to do is stay on course,” said Carmen Perez, another Women’s March co-chair.

“If we’re going to have tangible solutions, making a policy-based difference, we need to ensure that there are legislators who think like us and look like us,” said Angela Rye, a political commentator.

National organizers said they chose Detroit for the convention because it faces many of the issues that the country is grappling with, including immigration and school reform.

“ … It is a microcosm of all the issues we’re dealing with on the national level,” said activist Linda Sarsour.

Jessyca Mathewsa teacher at Flint’s Carman-Ainsworth High School, said she wanted to learn more for her students. Mathews, who is black, said she talked to several women who are white about what they can do to be allies.

“People want to help,” said Mathews, 40. “… I found that to be really refreshing and inspiring.”

Attendees broke into statewide caucuses Sunday to discuss, plan their next steps. At the Michigan caucus, hundreds of attendees broke into groups based on county.

In the Macomb County group — Macomb played a key role in helping Trump win Michigan last November — more than two dozen women gathered to discuss local Democratic clubs and the need for more female political candidates.

“We were a county that flipped” from Democratic to Republican, said Kathy Lohr of Harrison Township. “If we don’t do something quick, we aren’t turning back. We don’t have candidates. We are severely lacking.”

At a panel called “Running as Women of Color: Our Personal Stories,” four women — including Sommer Foster, the first African-American woman elected to the Canton Township Board of Trustees — shared the challenges they’ve faced and tips for others considering running for office. Studies show women have to be asked seven times to run for office before they will and minority women have to be asked two to three times more than that.

And while female minority candidates often face resistance, sometimes from within their own party, they need to keep persisting, said the panel. Some groups that train women on how to run for political office such as Emerge America had tables at the convention.

“What we’re trying to do is change the face of power, change the face of leadership,” said Fayrouz Saad, a candidate for Congress in Michigan’s 11th District who went through training with Emerge Michigan.

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Twitter: @mfeighan

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Graphic: US singer Chrisette Michele accused of stealing another woman’s miscarriage photo

American R&B and soul singer, Chrisette Michele has been accused of lifting another woman’s miscarriage photo for her Instagram post.

Last week, the “No Political Genius” singer took to Instagram where she revealed in a series of emotional posts some of the struggles she encountered after she performed at President Trump’s inaugural balls in January.

Michele faced severe backlash after she performed at Trump’s inaugural balls despite many black artistes declining the offer to grace the stage.

According to her, following the controversial performance she was dropped by her record label, battled with depression, suicidal thoughts and suffered a miscarriage but it was Yoga that saved her life.

In the post where the singer revealed that she suffered a miscarriage, she attached a graphic photo, which her fans have now linked to another woman who really had a miscarriage in 2014 and posted it on community baby center See it here and see Chrisette’s post below..

Graphic: US singer Chrisette Michele accused of stealing another woman

Graphic: US singer Chrisette Michele accused of stealing another woman

Graphic: US singer Chrisette Michele accused of stealing another woman
Source: Instagram

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Montana’s Native American Children Face Greater Inequities That Hamper Their Well Being

Montana’s Native American children face greater barriers to opportunity than their peers in other states according to the 2017 Race for Results study released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The Race for Results index graded states on a scale from zero to 1000.

In Montana, white children scored 671. By contrast the state’s Native American children scored 267, placing them the second lowest in the nation for any racial or ethnic group except for Native American children in South Dakota.

Jennifer Calder of Montana Kids Count says the isolation of reservation communities combined with poverty are factors in the state’s low scores.

“Living at the poverty level is incredibly stressful and profoundly stressful for children and creates a lot of instability in both in housing and food and a lot of transition for those children,” she says.

One measuring stick was to look at how many families live at least at 200% of the poverty level. Calder says that income level, $48,500 for a family of 4 in 2015, affords limited economic stability.

The report notes that Montana being a rural state, combined with low-incomes, further perpetuates the cycle of inter-generational poverty for Native American families.

“When we have a blanket statement that says it’s isolation then that doesn’t cut it for me. Poverty and isolation, says State Representative Sharon Stewart Peregoy of Crow Agency on the Crow Indian Reservation.  “There’s more barriers and more obstacles and situations that tell a bigger story.”

Stewart-Peregoy is talking about cultural differences and the fact that for many American Indian children English is a second language. While she recognizes data on reading at grade level or high school graduation rates are important, she says there are factors other that go into the well-being of a Native American child.

“When you have these measures, these European measures, upon Native children, upon Latino children, upon African-American children you’re looking at it from a different litmus test,” Stewart-Peregoy says. “And it’s also for lack of a better word a white, middle-class perspective. It’s not the reality of the children of poverty and it’s not the reality of the children of color within their communities.”

Stewart-Peregoy teaches Crow Studies at Little Big Horn College. She says while Montana has policies like Indian Education for All, there also needs to be frank public discussion about racism and bias.

“That’s the conversation we need to have because those experiences can make or break a student at any level whether they are in preschool or all the way into college,” she says.

True, says Jennifer Calder of Montana Kid’s Count. The report does note that. Still, she says, the goal of this report to acknowledge the gap is real between Indian and non-Indian children.

“And this report is trying to talk about it in a way that is not inflammatory, that’s not blaming,” says Calder.  “It’s just describing the reality of the experience. That there are huge percentages of American Indian children that grow up in high poverty neighborhoods and that automatically creates fewer opportunities for them. So what are we going to do about that?”

Calder points to programs like high quality preschool or Medicaid can help close the gap.

The 2017 Race for Results report comes at a time when Governor Steve Bullock is considering additional cuts to state programs – including to education and health care – because of the current state budget crisis. Tax collections are coming in lower than projections. The Bullock Administration projects the state will be $227 million dollars in the red. Montana’s Constitution requires a balanced budget.

2b Acting encourages use of mobiles in Theatre

Turning mobiles off in a theatre is no longer necessary as using an App is now being made part of the on-stage performance.

LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM, October 29, 2017 / — Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series ‘Breaking Bad’, gave an example on a recent episode of ‘The Graham Norton Show’ of how annoyed he was with an audience member using a mobile during his stage performance. His opinion is shared not only by other performers but also by audiences distracted by those who disrespectfully share their time between using their device and engaging with what is happening on stage.

For these reasons, nearly all theatres ask audiences to switch off their mobiles. Why then is a theatre company encouraging audiences to keep their mobiles on and use it during the performance of their new play?
2b Acting, a Yorkshire based digital media and theatre company, is asking the audience to use an In-View App on their mobile during their new play, ‘For the love of oranges’. Although the play is written to be enjoyed without the App by using it the audience can reveal added information to make more of what they see.

“The mobile has become an integral part of everyday life. Multi-tasking with it is now common place.”, says the play’s Director David Jones. “As a creative company, it makes sense, therefore, to include it in storytelling. Being able to extend the stage in this way is amazing and I am surprised by the level of objection being encountered as, if successful, it will open new creative and commercial possibilities. For this reason, I am very excited”.

Perhaps there is a method in this perceived madness as the idea does keep people’s mobiles occupied and their minds within the world of the performance. Also, the younger generation’s engagement with theatre, or the lack of it, will continue to force the industry to consider new ways of connecting.

This fusion of digital and live performance is not new as the industry has already seen use made of Augmented Reality and similar technologies. However, this method is perhaps the first to allow an audience to choose. Do you watch it with mobile on or with mobile off?

The public performance of the play is on the 10th November at Seven Arts Theatre, Chapel Allerton, Leeds.

David Jones
2b Acting
email us here

Kim Kardashian accused of racism after dressing up as Aaliyah

Kim Kardashian at NBC Upfronts at the Rockefeller Center in New York on May 15, 2017. (Dan Jackman/

Kim Kardashian has divided opinion by dressing up as late singer Aaliyah for Halloween.

The reality TV star went all out for this year’s spooky holiday and dressed up as musical icons Madonna, Cher, and Aaliyah for costume parties held over the weekend.

But many took offense to Kim paying homage to Aaliyah, who died in 2001 aged 22 in a plane crash, and labelled her costume racist.

Kim, 37, was dressed in black leather trousers, a rhinestone-encrusted bikini-style top, with a matching choker and belt. She also wore heavy eye make-up, with the whole look reminiscent of Aaliyah’s “Try Again” video.

“Legend or not Aaliyah is a black woman and you’re not. It’s offensive and you shouldn’t push this limit, but ok…,” one Twitter user posted, while another slammed: “It’s offensive because babygirl is DEAD & you can’t pay hommage when you’re an Armenian just using her look as a costume. That’s the issue (sic).”

However, not everyone agreed with the sentiments, with lots of social media users pointing out Kim didn’t try and alter the color of her skin for the costume.

“What’s the issue with Kim Kardashian dressing up as Aaliyah? IT’S HALLOWEEN Y’all acting as if she did black face,” one shot back at haters.

“Kimberly Kardashian West looks great dressed as Aaliyah. THAT is how you pay respect without doing Blackface. Great job @KimKardashian!” another stated.

And some users even highlighted the hypocrisy of the situation.

“Kim Kardashian dresses as Madonna. Not one word. She dresses as Aaliyah and she’s racist,” another fan commented.

Over the weekend, Kim’s older sister Kourtney, 38, also decided to pay tribute to a black artist, and dressed up as the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, while she partied with Kim in her Madonna costume. Again, the outfit triggered debate online, though the siblings looked in their element channeling the 1991 Oscars, when Madonna took Michael as her date to the glitzy ceremony.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

We are the garden we need to grow: Black Table Arts creates unconventional space for Black creatives

For Keno Evol, Tupac – and by extension, hip hop – was his first gateway into art as activism. It was through hip-hop that a young Evol heard Tupac rhyme about the complexities of Black life in America and his hopes for community as a Black man. In his intros and outros, Tupac held conversation and Evol listened. So when Evol envisioned Black Table Arts (BTA), a pro-Black nonprofit arts organization, he went back to hip hop.

“Hip hop is what I want Black Table Arts to be at its best. Which is a mode for having fun, a mode for critical thinking, a mode for being socially engaged with the local landscape of community,” Evol said.

Evol, a poet by practice and executive director of BTA seems to have accomplished just this. Since 2016, his nonprofit has been creating spaces for Black creatives to gather and explore their arts through events like The Free Black Table Open Mic, Black Lines Matter writing workshop, a bonfire for Black creatives called The Glow and panel discussions such as Black Creatives Talk Sustainability.

Keno Evol, poet and executive director of Black Table Arts. Photo courtesy of Black Table Arts.

BTA appears at a time when the Black Twin Cities community is much in need of spaces whose focus is not only to congregate in the name of social engagement, but also to hone in on Black joy à la hip hop. The initiative follows another effort to create spaces for Black writers and other writers of color to write and share freely, such as David Mura’s Creative Writing for Writers of Color and Indigenous Writers workshop, also held at the Loft Literary Center. While both classes are open to the public, they are very strongly pro-Black and pro-people of color centered. BTA events over the last two years, from the fatal shootings of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile, to the vilification of the local Black Lives Matter movement and the election of President Donald Trump on an overtly racist platform have left communities of color often gathering in protest. What does it mean to have a space like BTA that intends to do the opposite?

“It’s pure magic that’s intentional and accessible. I’m a fan,” Nimo Farah, a local artist and activist who has performed at BTA-sponsored events said. “It’s young people inspiring each other and creating while paying respect to the creative and pioneering elders and ancestors that came before them.”

This paying of respect is central to BTA’s ethos whose mission seeks to conjure other worlds through Black art by connecting creatives and cultivating volume in black life. Here, conjuring is removed from the supernatural and the magical. Likewise the connection of creatives isn’t limited to the people in the room at events like The Free Black Table Open Mic. BTA relies on a long line of Black scholars, artists, writers and thinkers to evoke imagination and connect Black creatives, historical and present.

From Vincent Harding, who in writing Rev. Martin Luther King’s 1967 “Beyond Vietnam” sermon, penned the phrase “I am a citizen of a country that does not exist yet,” to Octavia Butler who wrote science fiction because “there were no walls to hem you in,” to Minneapolis’ own Chaun Webster who envisaged “resistance as a spatial phenomenon” in creating Ancestry Books, Evol’s practice of art – and BTA’s – is informed by these conjurings of Black thought. With this history of imaginative thinking inspiring future action, Evol and his team want encourage radical creativity – and creating with a purpose.

“It’s about being in the future, or dreaming about the future now,” Evol stated. “When I think of Black Table Arts, I think of sci-fi social work.”

The notion of ‘sci-fi social work,’ is the ability to engage with and solve social problems both in the present and future by changing the landscape in which the issues themselves emerge. Lakresha Williams, project manager at BTA added, “It’s about recognizing that artistry can be used as a weapon. For me, my artistry is service. How can that be used to influence the landscapes that we are creating?”

Talking to Evol, one can’t help but get carried away in his imagination of place and time, how he bends each to imagine a new way of being present. BTA, which sprang out of the successful Free Black Table Open Mic, is an organic extension of this in its creation of radical spaces for Black folks in Minnesota to mold their futures. Take for instance the approach of the BTA Open Mic which is open to the public and held at the Illusion Theater. Or the nonprofit’s other flagship program, Black Lines Matter, a writing workshop hosted weekly at the Loft Literary Center. Both events are open to the public, but they are very strongly pro-Black, with the sign-up sheet at Free Black Table Open Mic exclusively for POC artists. The creativity being nurtured and explored is that of Black artists.

“Our programs are public but we center Black joy and Black folks in a particular way that is unapologetic and folks have received that well so far,” Evol said. “There have been times where I have had to request people to leave, not by virtue of them being there but because they’ve done something in the space that was inappropriate or they’ve affected someone in the space that was inappropriate. But for the most part it’s been good.”

This centering has been a crucial selling point to BTA participants like Taylor Seaberg who regularly attends Black Lines Matter. A jazz/neo-soul/alt-folk guitarist, Seaberg has struggled to find welcoming spaces as a Black artist in the Twin Cities. The kinds of spaces that encourage banding together and a combining of joint skill sets as marginalized people.

For Seaberg, Black Lines Matter provides a “space to home in on my thoughts in a space that isn’t culturally violated or suppressed by whiteness. We talk about Black conjuring and Black spirituality in a way that separates itself from Western convention and share this cultural bond even if the context we come from is different.”

Seaberg also admits that the way artists navigate the room changes when the space is filled with just Black folks: what becomes spoken and unspoken, what is judged and who is critiquing is vital to creating liberated Black Art and the conjuring of other worlds.

BTA also sees itself, and functions, as an all-inclusive space for Black creatives. For instance, it’s Black Lines Matter classroom is intentionally multigenerational and multi-experience in an attempt to “uncensor hierarchy” Evol said.

“There is a particular sort of joy and intelligence that emerges in the community when elders talk to the young folks and young folks talk to the elders and there is more of a horizontal form of collaboration rather than hierarchical. We dialogue, we talk to each other in Black Lines Matter,” he said.

Zola Ellen, who volunteers at BTA as a photographer often brings her eight year-old son to Black Lines Matter.

“It’s been extra dope bringing him with me in an atmosphere where he is learning about his history, is being challenged to think critically, and share his thoughts. These are things he doesn’t get from school,” Ellen said.

The inclusivity of BTA goes beyond ensuring all age groups are represented in the creation of space as an act of resistance. BTA also makes room for Black queer and trans individuals who do not fit into heteronormative notions of what Blackness should be and remain doubly marginalized. Though Evol doesn’t identify as Queer, he believes that we have a responsibility to make visible those pushed to the margins by society. All while remaining conscious of our privileges in these contexts.

In March of this year, BTA sponsored Black Queer Ink. In partnership with Patrick’s Cabaret, the event invited Black Queer artists including Nimo Farah, Dua Saleh, Erin Sharkey, Simone Williams and BTA’s own Zola Ellen to share their stories and talents. In creating the space, Evol, “only wanted to be a bridge to gather that particular space.” He did not host that event or receive any dues from it. Through other events like Conjuring Other Ways Home – Writing On Black Adoption, Evol who is himself an adoptee is creating avenues for the multiplicity of identities present in the Twin Cities Black community to emerge and find their footing in the realization of new kinds of public spaces.

The future of BTA is perhaps best ensconced in Harriet Tubman’s last words, ‘I go to prepare a place for you,’ which Evol cites as a source of inspiration. BTA hopes create this place for future generations by establishing a non-conventional art center with the aesthetic of a home that can serve as a hub for gathering, the development of Black Art, late night events, and as a resource to those “who are Black, pushed on the edge of society and rendered invisible.”

“One unofficial slogan of Black Table Arts is, ‘We are the garden we need to grow.’ I’m interested in gathering and modalities of joy, preservation and kicking it. We believe there’s a pedagogy in kicking it,” Evol said. It’s safe to say, that Black Table Arts will be around, kicking it, for the foreseeable future.

Want to support Black Table Arts? Join its membership program and help power its free, public, all-ages programming.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment