LL COOL J hosts his 15th Annual Jump & Ball Youth Camp

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LL Cool J posing the Jump Ball team

Over the weekend, LL COOL J returned to his hometown in Queens to host the closing ceremonies of the 15th Annual Jump & Ball Community Camp. LL was greeted by the more than 200 youth who participated in the month long camp and residents of the neighborhood where he grew up.

Launched in 2005 by LL COOL J, Jump & Ball is a free and fun-filled camp every Saturday & Sunday during the month of August for hundreds of kids from Southeast Queens.

The program was developed as an opportunity for the kids in the community to not only learn the game of basketball but also learn team building and leadership skills critical to life off the court.

LL has always been an avid philanthropist involved in numerous causes including literacy for kids as well as music and arts programs in schools. Celebrating its 15th Anniversary this year, LL’s charity “Jump & Ball” – which takes place every August in his hometown of Queens, New York – aims to give back to his local community by offering a five-week athletic and team building program dedicated to bringing wholesome fun to young people.

Guests enjoyed lie music courtesy of Rock the Bells, LL COOL J’s curated Sirius XM channel featuring classic hip hop, a special performance by the Harlem Globetrotters, free food, free back to school haircuts and more.

LL and youth at Jump and Ball

Spike Lee is first black person to lead Cannes Film Festival jury

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Spike Lee pictured in cap and giving the peace sign

Acclaimed director Spike Lee will head to this year’s Cannes Film Festival as the first black president of its jury. “I’m honored to be the first person of the African diaspora (USA) to be named President of the Cannes Jury and of a main film festival,” the “Do The Right Thing” director said in a statement.

“My biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere,” Lee continued. “I was shocked, happy, surprised and proud all at the same time.”

The festival’s organizers said they are looking forward to seeing how Lee injects his personality “to shake things up” at May’s event. “Spike Lee’s perspective is more valuable than ever. Cannes is a natural homeland and a global sounding board for those who (re)awaken minds and question our stances and fixed ideas,” festival organizers said in a statement.

The New York native, who works almost exclusively on his own screenplays, first formed a relationship with the prestigious festival back in 1986, when he presented his first feature film “She’s Gotta Have It.” Since then, Lee has presented six films at Cannes: “Do The Right Thing,” “Jungle Fever,” “Girl 6,” “Summer of Sam,” “Ten Minutes Older” and “BlacKkKlansman.”

Continue on to CBS News to read the complete article.

Missy Elliott, Stevie Nicks, Tame Impala, Miley Cyrus Top Governors Ball Lineup

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Missy Elliott

New York’s Governors Ball has announced the lineup for its 10th annual festival, and it’s a wide mix of styles, genres and eras: Missy Elliott — making her first major NYC performance in over a decade — Tame Impala, Stevie Nicks, Vampire Weekend, Solange, Miley Cyrus, Flume, Ellie Goulding, H.E.R., Swae Lee, Rufus Du Sol, Portugal. The Man, Foals, Summer Walker, Jon Bellion, Khruangbin, Carly Rae Jepsen, Maren Morris, Of Monsters and Men, Milky Chance, Bleachers, Banks and many more.

Not for nothing, the festival features several female headliners, unlike the recently announced Coachella lineup.

While the lineup features many strong performers, Elliott’s rare appearance could be this year’s highlight: While she has performed and dropped music sporadically over the past 15 years — last summer’s “Iconography” EP was her first non-single release since 2005 —  she is a roof-raising live performer, and this festival spot is likely to feature stellar choreography and a relentless barrage of her hits.

Continue on to Variety to read the complete article and view the full line up.

51st NAACP Image Awards Nominations Announced

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5ist Image Awards collage of nominees

The nominees for the 51st NAACP Image Awards were announced recently at a joint press conference with Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP and Connie Orlando, Executive Vice-President, Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy. The winners will be revealed during the two-hour LIVE TV special airing on BET Networks on Saturday, February 22, 2020 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m.CT.

Netflix leads the television category nominations with 30, with an additional 12 nominations in the motion picture categories for a total of 42. RCA Records leads in the music recording categories with 14, followed by Columbia Records and BMG, respectively, with seven. Universal Pictures leads the motion picture categories with 15 nominations, and Penguin Random House has 8 nominations followed by HarperCollins with four in the literary categories.

“Representation across entertainment and the arts has profound meaning and unparalleled power to shape perceptions, influence culture, and galvanize communities,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “This year’s nominees have conveyed a wide range of authentic stories and experiences that have resonated with many, and we’re proud to continue celebrating their outstanding achievements and performances.”

“This is a historic occasion for BET Networks, and we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate our network’s 40th anniversary in conjunction with this milestone moment of hosting the NAACP Image Awards,” said Scott Mills, President of BET Networks. “It is our distinct privilege to be able to acknowledge contributions of talent in TV, music, movies and literature and we look forward to celebrating these contributions next month.”
The NAACP Image Awards honors the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature, and film and also recognizes individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. The Image Awards previously aired on TV One.

In previous years, Image Awards attendees included Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, Anthony Anderson, Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore, Halle Berry, Common, Dwayne Johnson, Steve Harvey, Audra Day, John Legend, Lena Waithe, Tracee Ellis Ross, David Oyelowo, Laverne Cox, Octavia Spencer, Issa Rae, Trevor Noah, Terry Crews, Yara Shahidi, Danai Gurira, Jacob Latimore, Jay Pharoah, Jemele Hill, Josh Gad, Loretta Devine, Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Meta Golding, Michael Smith, Tyler James Williams, Ava DuVernay, Chadwick Boseman, and many more.

Voting is now open to the public to determine the winners of the 51stNAACP IMAGE AWARDS by visiting www.naacpimageawards.net– Winners will be revealed during the 51stNAACP Image Awards telecast. For all information and the latest news, please visit the official NAACP Image Awards website at www.naacpimageawards.net or on Facebook at naacpimageawards and Twitter @naacpimageaward (#NAACPImageAwards).

The complete list of categories and nominees for the 51stNAACP Image Awards follows:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Angela Bassett
Billy Porter
Lizzo
Regina King
Tyler Perry

TELEVISION CATEGORIES

Outstanding Comedy Series

“Ballers” (HBO)
“black-ish” (ABC)
“Dear White People” (Netflix)
“grown-ish” (Freeform)
“theNeighborhood” (CBS)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson – “black-ish” (ABC)
Cedric The Entertainer – “theNeighborhood” (CBS)
Don Cheadle – “Black Monday” (Showtime)
Dwayne Johnson – “Ballers” (HBO)
Tracy Morgan – “The Last O.G.” (TBS)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series

Logan Browning – “Dear White People” (Netflix)
Jill Scott – “First Wives Club” (BET+)
Tiffany Haddish – “The Last O.G.” (TBS)
Tracee Ellis Ross – “black-ish” (ABC)
Yara Shahidi – “grown-ish” (Freeform)

Continue on to Ebony to read the complete article.

Cynthia Erivo could become the youngest EGOT winner

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Cynthia Erivo on the red carpet at the Premiere of HBO's "The Outsider"

Cynthia Erivo is one step closer to EGOT status with an Oscar nomination for her turn as the iconic freedom fighter and suffragist Harriet Tubman in Kasi Lemmons’ ‘Harriet.’

British actress Cynthia Erivo was nominated for her first Oscar on Monday morning for her performance as the iconic freedom fighter and abolitionist Harriet Tubman in Kasi Lemmons’ “Harriet.”

The stage and screen actress (along with powerhouse singer — she is also nominated in the original song category) also earned Golden Globe, SAG and Critics’ Choice nominations for the role.

And while BAFTA controversially snubbed acting nominees of color entirely, the ceremony still asked her to perform (she declined).

Erivo was the only person of color nominated for an acting Oscar this year.

“Harriet,” distributed by Focus Features, exceeded box office forecasts when it opened in November, debuting to $12 million on its way to $43 million to date in global ticket sales. It marks the first feature leading role for Erivo, who stole scenes in 2018’s “Widows” and “Bad Times at the El Royale.”

She was first approached about “Harriet” while in the midst of a Tony-winning turn in the Broadway production of “The Color Purple.” The production is also responsible for her subsequent Grammy (for the cast recording) and Daytime Emmy (for a cast performance on NBC’s “Today”) wins. (For those who don’t want to count Daytime Emmys in EGOT status, Erivo will also headline the upcoming limited series “Genius: Aretha” for National Geographic. And playing music singer Aretha Franklin could put her in Primetime Emmy contention as well.)

Continue on to the LA Times to read the complete article.

Tiffany Haddish Stars in ‘Like a Boss,’ in Theaters Today

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Like a Boss premiere photo of the cast, including Tiffany Hassish, pose on the pink carpet

Tiffany Haddish is her usual hilarious self in the new film Like a Boss, which recently opened across the nation. In it, Mia (Haddish) and her best friend, Mel (Rose Byrne), are living their best lives running the own cosmetics company they’ve built from the ground up.

Unfortunately, however, they’re in over their heads financially and the prospect of a big buyout offer from a notorious titan of the cosmetics industry, Claire Luna (Salma Hayek), proves too tempting to pass up, which puts Mel and Mia’s lifelong friendship in jeopardy. The beauty business is about to get ugly.

The Paramount Pictures film, directed by Miguel Arteta and executive produced by Haddish and Nicolas Stern, also stars Billy Porter, Jennifer Coolidge, Ari Graynor, Natasha Rothwell, Jessica St. Clair and Karan Soni.

Watch the Trailer!

Continue on to Ebony to read the complete article.

MBEs: Get Certified Today

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diverse business group walking and talking

Why certify? Businesses that are certified as minority owned are subject to different laws and regulations than other businesses and as such are very different entities from typical enterprises. Unlike a standard business license or registration, a minority-owned business enterprise certification is not required to run a minority-owned business, although certification can provide many benefits for a company—especially in regards to government contracting.

Below are some of the certification processes your company can expect to navigate when seeking minority-owned business enterprise certification. Also listed are the requirements that must be met by businesses that are seeking certification.

  • Manufacturers – Maximum number of employees must not surpass 500 or 1500, depending on the product being manufactured.
  • Wholesalers – Maximum number of employees must not surpass 100 or 500, depending on the product being provided.
  • Service providers – Annual sales receipts must not be higher than $2.5 or $21.5 million, depending on the service being provided.
  • Retailers – Annual sales receipts must not be higher than $5.0 or $21.0 million, depending on the product being provided.
  • General and Heavy Construction businesses – Annual sales receipts must not exceed $13.5 or $17 million, depending on the type of construction the company is engaged in.
  • Special Trade Construction businesses – Annual receipts must not be higher than $7 million.
  • Agricultural businesses – Annual sales receipts must not be higher than $0.5 to $9.0 million, depending on the agricultural product being produced.

Business Requirements

1) The company applying for certification must have a racial minority owner who owns at least 51 percent of the company.

2) The same owner must hold the highest position in the company.

3) The company must pay a fee based on company annual gross sales and also file an application that details basic company information, such as what year the business was founded.

4) The company’s primary business locations must be available for site visits.

Getting Bids

Build Relationships. When it comes to winning bids in the government contracting marketplace, contacts are everything. Business owners are advised to take the time to make connections, build relationships and network extensively. The contacts a business develops are often the key to furthering their success in government contracting. Proactively networking with larger companies, agencies and even competitors can lead to subcontracting opportunities while also showing agencies that you are a trustworthy and reliable business partner.

Subcontract. Building a reputation as a professional enterprise is crucial to the success of any business. Winning a government bid isn’t only about the monetary aspects involved with a contract; other factors are evaluated, too. An agency will often look at company financials, work history and reputation before selecting a winning organization. It helps to have contacts who can vouch for your company and the work that you do. By subcontracting, you build your reputation and gain valuable experience.

You never know when the contacts you develop will come in handy. Therefore, you should make each and every relationship meaningful because in the long run, these are the relationships that will further your company’s success.

Government RFPs are a great way for minority-owned business enterprises (MBE) to win spot and term contracts. Every year, the U.S. federal government spends more than $200 billion on goods and services, all of which are provided by private companies and many of which are minority-owned businesses. From federal to state, local and special districts, all levels of government have programs in place to increase their involvement with certified minority-owned business enterprises. Only companies who have gone through the MBE certification process are eligible for the money that is made available through such programs.

Source: BidNet

Former Memphis Firefighter Launches New Career With America’s Top-Rated Home Inspection Company

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Former firefighter Byron Matthews in his Pillar to Post uniform

When Byron Matthews says he has a thorough understanding of building structure, he is not exaggerating. Recently, the 46-year-old Matthews became a franchise owner with the No. 1 home inspection company in North America, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®. Matthews serves clients throughout Shelby County and west Tennessee.

But prior to joining Pillar To Post Home Inspectors, Matthews spent 15 years as a firefighter and EMT for the city of Memphis. A Memphis resident, Matthews says his prior career gave him the perfect foundation for his new one. “Being a firefighter for 15 years and having an understanding of home structures, foundations and fire inspections make a great fit for being a home inspector,” Matthews said.

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the brand to which more than three million families have turned to for over 25 years to be their trusted advisor when buying or selling a home. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors has ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise 500® for 23 years in a row, and the past 8 years they landed the top spot in their category.

A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ service.

“I always wanted to be a business owner, so this was a great match for me,” Matthews said. “My goal is to expand my business and be a role model in my community.”

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are more than 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The company has ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500® for 23 years in a row, the past 8 years as No.1 in Category. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit www.pillartopost.com. To inquire about a franchise, go to www.pillartopostfranchise.com.

The No. 1 job of 2019 pays $140,000 — and its hiring growth has exploded 74%

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human hand touching robotic hand

Career and job site LinkedIn released its annual “Emerging Jobs” list, which identifies the roles that have seen the largest rate of hiring growth from 2015 through 2019. No. 1 on the list: Artificial Intelligence Specialist — typically an engineer, researcher or other specialty that focuses on machine learning and artificial intelligence, figuring out things like where it makes sense to implement AI or building AI systems. Hiring for this role has been tremendous, growing 74% annually in the past 4 years alone.

Hiring for this role has been tremendous, growing 74% annually in the past 4 years alone. “AI has infiltrated every industry, and right now the demand for people skilled in AI is outpacing the supply for it,” Guy Berger, the principal economist at LinkedIn, tells MarketWatch. “This is the third year in a row a role related to machine learning or artificial intelligence has topped the list, and we can only expect demand to increase.”

The pay is impressive too, with AI roles often commanding six figures. Jobs site Indeed notes that artificial intelligence engineers in San Francisco, for example, rake in $120,000 to upwards of $160,000. Sometimes AI roles can garner pay of $250,000 or more.

LinkedIn isn’t the only company to highlight an AI specialty role as a job to watch. Indeed’s annual list of the “25 best jobs of 2019” named machine learning engineer as No. 1, citing a 344% increase in job postings in the past few years and an annual base salaries of $146,000, among other perks.

So what’s behind this rapid growth in AI jobs? Berger says that “almost everyone” is hiring for these roles from the obvious (tech and automotive) to the more surprising (higher education and sports).

And these offer a real opportunity even for people who aren’t currently in AI: “We’re in an extremely tight labor market so companies are really looking to hire whoever can get the job done,” says Berger — who notes that learning skills like TensorFlow and Python, as well as diving into machine learning and natural language processing, could help you land the role. You can often take these kinds of classes as certificate programs from local universities, coding schools and more.

Rounding out the top 5 jobs on LinkedIn’s emerging jobs report are robotics engineers (40% annual hiring growth), data scientist (37%), full stack engineer (35%) and site reliability engineer (34%). “While many of these jobs are tech roles, they’re not necessarily in the tech industry. Every company has had to embrace tech at some level and we’re seeing that reflected in these high-growth jobs,” adds Berger.

But interestingly, there are also a number of client-facing roles that are experiencing rapid hiring growth, such as customer success specialist and sales development representative. Many roles like this “are heavily reliant on relationships, so being skilled in things like communication, problem-solving and collaboration are key,” Berger notes, adding that for these kinds of gigs companies “will rely on people skills that can’t be automated, successfully complementing new technologies.”

LinkedIn’s Top 10 Emerging Jobs
1. Artificial Intelligence Specialist
2. Robotics Engineer
3. Data Scientist
4. Full Stack Engineer
5. Site Reliability Engineer
6. Customer Success Specialist
7. Sales Development Representative
8. Data Engineer
9. Behavioral Health Technician
10. Cyber Security Specialist

Continue on to MarketWatch to read the complete article.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Gives Kids a Shot That Can’t be Blocked

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on a stage dressed in a suit smiling

By Brady Rhoades

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — NBA Hall of Famer, best-selling author, renowned columnist, historian, philanthropist— is laser-focused on underprivileged kids.

The key to empowering them?

Education.

Through his Skyhook Foundation and Camp Skyhook, he’s on a mission to give inner city kids a “shot that can’t be blocked” at careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math; many educators have added arts to the concept and use the acronym STEAM).

“The feedback from the kids is always a highlight for me,” he said, in an interview with STEAM Magazine. “They are enthusiastic, grateful, and excited about the experience. Horace Mann once said that ‘a house without books is like a room without windows.’ Before attending Camp Skyhook, many of our students couldn’t see themselves pursuing a STEM-related career. We’re building windows so they can see more possibilities for their future.

“Our students often come from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods,” Abdul-Jabbar continued. “They’re used to running the race of life with weights attached to them. Their shot at equal opportunities — whether in education, jobs, health care, etc. — is blocked by systemic social inequalities. We try to create a path where their shot at life can’t be blocked because of those disadvantages. We’re trying to even the playing field.”

Abdul-Jabbar is so committed to this venture that he’s sold personal memorabilia, such as championship rings and MVP plaques, in order to raise $2.8 million – a portion of which was donated to Camp Skyhook.

“Looking back on what I have done with my life, instead of gazing at the sparkle of jewels or gold plating celebrating something I did a long time ago, I’d rather look into the delighted face of a child holding their first caterpillar and think about what I might be doing for their future,” he said. “That’s a history that has no price.”

Kareem out in community visiting with a young boy in the library
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar out in community visiting with a young boy in the library

So what exactly are the Skyhook Foundation and Camp Skyhook?

The Los Angeles non-profit helps public school students in the city access a free, fun, weeklong STEM education camp in the Angeles National Forest. Every week throughout the year, in cooperation with the Los Angeles Unified School District, groups of fourth and fifth graders attend Camp Skyhook at the Clear Creek Outdoor Education Center. The hands-on science curriculum encourages students to study nature up close. They also get to hike, swim and sing songs around campfires.

Currently, there’s a six-year waiting list for students to get into the camp.

“I’m happy we’re doing what we are, but I’m frustrated because we want to do even more,” said the six-time NBA champion and six-time MVP. “This program gives students STEM-based activities in an environment they rarely experience: the natural world. It also inspires their curiosity and sense of wonder.”

Abdul-Jabbar said it’s paramount to increase opportunities in STEM, especially for minorities.

“African-American men make up only 3 percent of science and engineering occupations versus 49 percent white men,” he said. “Black women have only 2 percent versus 18 percent for white women. Part of the reason is that a STEM education doesn’t seem like a real possibility to many minority children educated in inferior schools. We can turn that around. We have to turn it around.”

One of the iconic photos in UCLA basketball history taken by Norm Levin: Lew Alcindor, the 7-foot-2 big man who would one day wind up as NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, getting all of the ball for a blocked shot against the University of Minnesota on Dec. 27, 1967
One of the iconic photos in UCLA basketball history taken by Norm Levin: Lew Alcindor, the 7-foot-2 big man who would one day wind up as NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, getting all of the ball for a blocked shot against the University of Minnesota on Dec. 27, 1967.

A native of Harlem, Abdul-Jabbar was a three-time NCAA champion and three-time Player of the Year at UCLA, where he played under legendary coach John Wooden.

He played 20 seasons in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. During his career as a center, Abdul-Jabbar was a record 19-time NBA All-Star.

For Lakers fans, he is, perhaps, most beloved for his dominating performance in the 1985 finals against the Boston Celtics. The Lakers broke a decades-long losing streak to the Celtics and Abdul-Jabbar was named finals MVP.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995 and named one of the 50 greatest players in league history in 1996. A statue showing him wielding the greatest weapon in basketball annals – the skyhook – was unveiled outside of Staples Center in 2012.

Since his stellar professional career, he has gone on to become a celebrated New York Times-bestselling author, a filmmaker, and a columnist for The Guardian and the Hollywood Reporter. He writes insightful and in-depth columns about pop culture and social justice.

His curiosity is nothing less than feral.

Did you know he’s huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, and his latest writing project — co-authored by Anna Waterhouse — is a mystery novel? It’s called Mycroft and Sherlock, The Empty Birdcage.

On top of all that, President Barack Obama awarded him the Medal

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama.

of Freedom in 2016.

“I can do more than stuff a ball through a hoop,” he said. “My mind is my greatest asset.”

The same can be said of the children he’s helping, even if they don’t know it yet.

The Skyhook Foundation — the website for information and donations at https://skyhookfoundation.org/ — is demonstrably effective. Did you think for a second Abdul-Jabbar wouldn’t track the results?

“We know it’s effective because our follow-up research shows that students have increased interest in science, engineering and the environment,” he said. “In practical terms, it means they take more science classes and feel more confident in the classroom asking and answering questions. Former participants who are now adults tell us this was their most memorable elementary school experience.”

It’s widely agreed-upon that Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook was unstoppable—virtually unblockable. He shot thousands upon thousands of them, and tallied 38,387 points in his career. He is the greatest scorer in the history of professional basketball. Nobody’s ever re-created that magnificent hook shot.

Abdul-Jabbar’s message to kids: Develop a shot that can’t be blocked.

The game of life is played on a surface supremely larger than the 94-x-50-foot chunk of wood hoops players play on.

The winning play? Give yourself a shot to be an all-star in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

Miss Jamaica Crowned 2019 Miss World, Becomes the 5th Black Woman This Year to Win a Major Pageant

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miss jamaica miss world toni ann singh wears her sash on stage with her crown

Yet another Black woman has won a prestigious international beauty pageant. Miss Jamaica Toni-Ann Singh was recently crowned Miss World 2019 becoming the fifth Black woman this year to win a major pageant.

“To that little girl in St. Thomas, Jamaica and all the girls around the world – please believe in yourself. Please know that you are worthy and capable of achieving your dreams. This crown is not mine but yours. You have a PURPOSE,” Singh wrote on Twitter after the pageant.

Singh, who is 23-years old, was a native of St. Thomas, Jamaica. She graduated from Florida State University with a degree in psychology and women studies. She also planned to attend medical school before the pageant.

During the pageant, Singh wowed the audience with her own rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” on the talent portion and with her answers on the Q&A round.

“I think I represent something special, a generation of women that are pushing forward to change the world,” Singh answered the question of British journalist Piers Morgan.

Singh is the fourth representative from Jamaica that brought home the Miss World crown since it started in 1959. Jamaica has previously won the title in 1963, 1976, and 1993.

Singh’s win came after the historic win of Black women in most prestigious beauty pageants — 2019 Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, 2019 Miss USA Cheslie Kryst, 2019 Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris, and 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin.

Continue on to Black News to read the complete article.

Black girl magic: 4 women are redefining beauty after reigning in major beauty pageants

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Black women beauth pageant winners seated together with their sashes on

When Zozibini Tunzi was crowned the winner of Miss Universe 2019, it wasn’t just a personal victory for the 26-year-old from South Africa — it was history in the making.

For the first time ever, four of the major beauty pageants — Miss Universe, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America — were won by black women.

“I think it’s such a great move forward as … the world and as a society say, ‘Look, women who were in the past never had opportunities to do things like this are now here,’” Tunzi told ABC News’ Linsey Davis in an interview that aired Friday on “Good Morning America.”

In an exclusive interview with three of the four pageant winners, Tunzi, joined by Kaliegh Garris, Miss Teen USA 2019, and Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019, spoke about what it means for all of them to represent other black women and pave the way for women of color across the world.

Nia Franklin also won the Miss America pageant last year.

For decades, a moment like this was not possible. In its first 30 years, black women weren’t even allowed to compete in the Miss America pageant.

“I think there are times where I am disappointed, because people will sometimes comment on our social media,” said Kryst. “And they’ll say, ‘Why are we talking about your race? Like, you guys are just four amazing women.’ Like, yes, we’re four amazing women, but there was a time when we literally could not win.”

Continue on to Good Morning America to read the complete article.

Da Lucky Spot: Meet the Charlotte Man Behind Walmart’s First Black-Owned Barbershop

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Entrepreneur Shaun Corbett cuts the ribbon on Da Lucky Spot, Walmart’s first Black-owned barbershop.

The philosopher Seneca said luck is where opportunity meets preparation. For Charlotte, North Carolina, barber Shaun “Lucky” Corbett, his golden opportunity paved the way for what would become Walmart‘s first Black-owned and operated barbershop.

On Sept. 26, Corbett was joined by dozens of community supporters eager to witness the moment he opened the doors of Da Lucky Spot Barbershop at the Walmart on Wilkinson Boulevard. The grand opening festivities were replete with balloons, laughter and plenty of smiles as folks gathered to celebrate the accomplished businessman.

Corbett, 40, has established himself as a leader in the local community over the last several years with his charitable give-back programs. As a licensed barber, he envisioned his shop as a space offering fellowship and suppport, especially for the neighborhood’s youth.

The road hasn’t always been smooth, however, and like most business owners, Corbett relied on his faith to get him through the rough spots.

“How I landed it was never giving up, seeing the vision [and] just working diligently,” he told Atlanta Black Star via phone. “Development is the main thing … understanding and being intentional about conversations I have when I have the opportunity to help.”

Corbett got his start in 2005 after enrolling in the No Grease barber school, the Charlotte Agenda reported. He spent his weekends cutting heads at the barber shop and served up slices at a local pizzeria to cover his hefty tuition — $10,000 to be exact.

By the next year, he was a full-time barber with his own chair. Corbett was eventually able to open his first Lucky Spot shop on North Tyrone Street in 2010.

The space quickly became more than just a barbershop. Corbett hosted a number of community programs, including his handing out of turkeys to families in need each Thanksgiving, after-school tutoring sessions for the kids and a backpack drive for students headed back to school in the fall. The local leader is perhaps best known for his acclaimed Cops & Barbers program, which aims to build trust between police and the communities they serve.

Continue on the Atlanta Black Star to read the complete article.

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