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Don’t Believe The Myth That Black Fathers Are Not There For Their Children

in Black Lives Matter/Lifestyle/Racism
Black Fathers Matter
Black Fathers Matter

African-American fathers are involved, teaching their kids how to navigate the pitfalls of being Black in America.

Black men are victims of a myth that paints them as the most irresponsible and chronically absentee fathers in the nation. The fact is that African-American men are the most involved fathers.

Black men, compared to white and Hispanic fathers, were the most involved in their children’s daily lives—from talking to their kids to helping them with homework—according to a 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.

Most Black fathers live with their sons and daughters, the book All In by Josh Levs noted. About 2.5 million Black fathers live with their children, while approximately 1.7 million of them don’t live under the same roof with their kids. Many of these fathers don’t marry the mother of their children, but that doesn’t make them absentee fathers, as New York Time’s Charles Blow underscored.

In preparing their children for adulthood, African-American fathers are having serious conversations with their kids about how to navigate the pitfalls of being Black in America. Some of those conversations were shared with Time.

In conversations with their sons, many Black fathers are instructing them on how to manage encounters with law enforcement officers. They often emphasize to their sons at an early age that cops will view them as suspicious and dangerous for no other reason than the color of their skin. It’s a hard thing to tell one’s child, but their survival could depend on realizing that truth.

“I know that I have a special boy. But my reality as a father is, one day, this 10-year-old could not come home—at the hands of foolishness or hatred or misunderstanding,” Dame Drummer, a 40-year-old Oakland father said.

Black Woman-Owned Construction Firm Hired to Build New Terminals at JFK and Laguardia Airports

in Business Spotlight
Cheryl McKissack Daniel
Cheryl McKissack Daniel

Being a woman in the male-dominated construction industry could be challenging for some. But for Cheryl McKissack Daniel, who is the president and CEO of McKissack & McKissack, the oldest Black-owned and female-run construction company in the US, it always feels like home.

Based in New York City, McKissack & McKissack is known for several major projects including the revamping of Long Island’s railroad hub, which runs below the Brooklyn Net’s home. They are also the firm behind the new construction taking place at LaGuardia Airport and the new Terminal One at JFK.

The company’s history

In 1905, McKissack Daniel’s grandfather Moses McKissack, a former slave, founded the family business after learning the trade of making bricks. Since then, they built different buildings, homes, hospitals, including the Tuskegee Air Force Base where Black pilots trained to desegregate World War II.

Her father, William DeBerry McKissack, took over the business in 1968 and that was when she started knowing about how the business goes.

“We would go to work with him every Saturday starting at ten years old, walking construction sites, tracing documents, you know, learning about building systems early in life. It was all ingrained in us,” McKissack Daniel told CBS News.

From one generation to another

After her father suffered from a stroke in 1982, her mother, Leatrice B. McKissack, stepped in and managed to grow the business even more despite having no training in architecture. Some of the remarkable projects under her helm is the $50 million complex at Howard University and a building at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

In 2000, McKissack Daniel, a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree holder in Civil Engineering from Howard University, took over the business. With her leadership, their construction and design firm has been making a mark on some of the major landmarks in the nation.

Affirmative action really works

McKissack Daniel credits the company’s success, even in New York where it is now headquartered, to affirmative action. She said, “People do business with people who look like them. All the work that we’ve done outside of New York, it didn’t matter in New York.”

She said she always makes it a point to prioritize hiring minorities for her company. 61% of her employees are minorities and 34% are women. She also developed a job training workforce program to those who they couldn’t hire anymore.

Moreover, McKissack Daniel hopes that her story would be able to inspire other women of color “that the construction industry can build wealth” and that it can look like them.

For more information about McKissack & McKissack Construction Firm, visit

Black Grocery Coop Celebrates 10 Years

in Food & Drinks/Oakland Black Business City Guide
Black Grocery Coop Celebrates 10 Years

Mandela Grocery is a Black Grocery coop that’s on a mission to nourish their neighborhood of West Oakland with healthy food, wellness resources, and collective ownership. Their full-service grocery store sources from entrepreneurs and farmers in California with a focus on black and brown farmers and food makers.

Mandela Grocery is a Black Grocery coop that’s on a mission to nourish their neighborhood of West Oakland with healthy food, wellness resources, and collective ownership. Their full-service grocery store sources from entrepreneurs and farmers in California with a focus on black and brown farmers and food makers.

Prior to 2009, residents of West Oakland had to drive or take public transit to get groceries, or else resort to dollar stores and liquor stores for their grocery needs. Some might call it a food desert.


Mandela Grocery calls it a site of “food apartheid” — that is, a place where systemic racism has shaped the neighborhood’s lack of access to fresh food.

Black Grocery Coop

Now, the worker-owned grocery store is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The anniversary comes at a time when the co-op is undergoing a lot of exciting change.

The market was recently renovated and got a brand-new logo. And since long-term subletter Zella’s Soulful Kitchen moved, Mandela Grocery has taken over the space’s commercial kitchen, called The Co-op Kitchen.

Black Grocery Coop

It offers a selection of grab-and-go sandwiches like turkey cheddar and chickpea salad, plus coffee. Plans are in the works to offer green smoothies, espresso drinks, hot foods like rotisserie chicken, and plenty of plant-based options.

“It feels like a new beginning with all the transition that we’re in,” said Adrionna Fike, one of the co-op’s 10 worker-owners.

The 10-year celebration took place on June 5th. and featured around 15 food vendors and live music.

Booths included healing massage, acupuncture, yoga, herbal medicine, cooking demonstrations, blender-bike smoothies, a women’s refuge trailer, free books, free barbers, and more.

Meanwhile, Mandela Grocery is also helping to spread the model of the worker-owned cooperative grocery store. In order to support new cooperatives, Mandela Grocery will offer training programs in its store for the members of a new grocery cooperative currently known as The East Oakland Grocery Co-op.

Black Grocery Coop

The new cooperative is spearheaded by Aya Jeffers-Fabro of Acta Non Verba, an urban youth farming program in Deep East Oakland. The store will carry produce from Acta Non Verba’s urban farms right in East Oakland. While Fike said the cooperative is still searching for a location, the store is expected to open in fall 2020.

Source: EastBayExpress

Largest Black-Owned Hair Company Launches New All-Inclusive Service That Changes the Way You Buy and Install Hair

in Entrepreneurs/Health & Beauty
Mayvenn Install
Customer receiving a Mayvenn Install from a local hair stylist

Mayvenn Install pays for your next hair appointment by offering customers the hair of their choice and a service for the price of one (hair, shampoo, condition, braid down, sew-in and style)

Woman receiving Mayvenn Install

Customer receiving a Mayvenn Install from a local hair stylist

Nationwide — Mayvenn is more than a hair company. It’s a movement. Mayvenn Install is the latest development in the company’s dedication to helping hairstylists develop entrepreneurial talents and grow their own businesses, while making beauty accessible and affordable for all.

With the launch of Mayvenn Install, this program allows customers to buy hair directly from the company online. Then, Mayvenn matches customers with a local stylist within their network who will install the hair for free – all for the cost of the hair itself. It is essentially hair + service (shampoo, condition, braid down, sew-in, and style) for the price of one.

After checkout (purchase 3 or more bundles – closures or frontals included), Mayvenn emails a pre-paid voucher to use during the appointment. When a stylist scans it, they get paid instantly. Additionally, Mayvenn recently partnered with QuadPay to give you the option to pay for your orders over time, in 4 interest-free payments. Now, you can slay now and pay later.

To bring this program to life, Mayvenn raised $36 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and Essence Ventures. Other investments came from Serena Williams, Steve Stoute, Andre Iguodala, Jimmy Irvine, Cross Culture Ventures, Trinity Ventures, Impact America, and Core VC.

“Now with Mayvenn Install, customers will be able to buy hair and the installation service for probably 40% less than what they normally would have paid,” says Diishan Imira, CEO and co-founder of Mayvenn. “This not only expands the consumer’s access to high quality, affordable hair, but we are also focusing on helping black entrepreneurs. I am on a mission to empower hairstylists and put the money back into their pockets.”

Currently, there are over 25,000 Mayvenn Certified Stylists in over 250 cities across the USA. On average, Mayvenn Install saves customers between $200-$250 for services and products combined. To date, Mayvenn has paid over $20 million in commission to hairstylists across the country. As a result, some stylists receive an average of 20-40 new clients a month through the Mayvenn Install Matching Program.

Offering quality-guaranteed virgin hair, Mayvenn currently sells bundles, closures, frontals, wigs, clip-ins, and tape-ins. Each product is crafted with the highest industry standards and comes in a variety of textures and colors. The brand also offers free 30-days returns on hair that’s been unaltered, and 30-day exchanges on all hair – even if it’s been worn, cut, or colored.

“We needed a disruptor in the hair extension industry. A way for men and women to easily have access to quality extensions and exceptional service without the unreasonable price tag. With Mayvenn Install, this is now a reality.”

To Book Your Next Mayvenn Install, please visit

About Mayvenn:
Founded by Oakland native Diishan Imira in 2013, Mayvenn has become the industry’s largest Black-owned hair company. From the way we shop to empowering the communities we care about, Mayvenn aims to improve the process of getting your hair done, making quality products affordable for all. They recognize the innate magic that women of color possess – when properly supported, their reach and creativity is unparalleled. To date, Mayvenn has made over $75 million in revenue.

Janice McCafferty Communications
(773) 736-9034 – Direct

The Richest Self-Made Black Women

in Entrepreneurs/Finance
Rihanna is officially the wealthiest female musician on the planet

In addition to being the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs, black women are securing the bag and stacking their coins like never before. Several women of color were named on America’s Richest Self-Made Women list, recently published by Forbes. Here’s a look at the black women who made the list.




At just 31 years old, Rihanna is officially the wealthiest female musician on the planet, according to ForbesThe publication estimates her net worth at $600 million, trumping the wealth of fellow music superstars Madonna ($570 million), Celine Dion ($450 million), and Beyoncé ($400 million).

A large part of the singer’s wealth has been generated through her cosmetics company, Fenty Beauty, which launched in collaboration with luxury giant LVMH in September 2017. Noted for its inclusive range of 40 shades of foundation, Fenty reportedly racked up $100 million in sales within weeks due to the Bajan artist’s mass appeal and social media following. Since then, sales for the beauty brand have continued to soar.

“Fenty Beauty generated an estimated $570 million in revenue last year, after only 15 months in business. The entire operation is worth, conservatively, more than $3 billion. Forbes estimates thatLVMH owns an estimated 50% of it, while Rihanna has about 15%, a figure a spokesperson for the artist disputed but wouldn’t clarify further,” writes Forbes.

In May, LVMH announced that it was opening a fashion house under Fenty name. This makes the style icon the first black woman to head a major luxury fashion house. Her new clothing line with LVMH, which includes high-end clothes, shoes, accessories, and jewelry, launched in Paris on May 24. In addition, the pop star co-owns the Savage X Fenty lingerie line with TechStyle Fashion Group.


Janice Bryant Howroyd

Act-1 Group Founder and CEO Janice Bryant Howroyd (Image: Courtesy of Black Enterprise Business Report)

Janice Bryant Howroyd is the founder and CEO of ACT-1 Group and the first African American woman to run a billion-dollar business. Her company, which provides workforce solutions such as temporary staffing, raked in a whopping $2.8 billion in revenues in 2017 and placed as No. 2 on BLACK ENTERPRISE’S annual BE 100s list of the nation’s largest black businesses.

Bryant Howroyd launched the business back in 1978 with just $1,500, a $900 loan from her mother, a fax machine, and a phone. Today, the agency has over 17,000 clients and 2,600 employees in 19 different countries.



Sheila Johnson

Sheila Johnson is a business titan most known for co-founding Black Entertainment Television (BET) with then-husband Robert Johnson and selling it to Viacom for roughly $3 billion in 2000. Following their divorce in 2002, Johnson launched the Salamander Resort & Spa in 2005. The luxury hotel company owns two properties and manages five others around the Southeastern region of the United States. Its growth strategy has resulted in an impressive 24% jump in revenues, from $170 million in 2016 to $210 million in 2017.

Today, Johnson’s net worth is estimated at about $820 million while her resort company was recognized as the 2018 BE 100s Company of the Year.  



(Image: ABC/Rick Rowell via

With a net worth of a $2.5 billion, Oprah Winfrey is ranked as no.10 on the Forbes’s list and is one of just five black billionaires in the country. The “Queen of All Media” accumulated her staggering wealth thanks in large part to her partnership with Weight Watchers. Back in 2015, Winfrey bought a 10% stake and became an ambassador for the company. By June 2018, her stake was estimated at $427 million.

Winfrey also generates revenue through several other business endeavors, like her cable channel OWN. “Her 25.5% of the network is worth about $75 million,” reports Forbes. Last year, she inked a multi-year content partnership deal with Apple to create original content that will include a book club, documentaries, and TV series.



(Image: Instagram/Beyonce)

Although married to the first hip hop billionaire, Beyonce Knowles Carter is a business mogul who earns her own money and an unsurprising spot on the list. According to Forbes, the superstar is worth $400 million. Earlier this year, she announced a new partnership with Adidas to relaunch her activewear line, Ivy Park. She also stars in Disney’s 2019 Lion King remake.

Beyonce’s On The Run II stadium tour with husband Jay-Z grossed more than $250 million. The superstar singer also signed a deal with Netflix reportedly worth $60 million to releaseHomecoming, a live album and special documenting her groundbreaking 2018 performance at Coachella.

Furthermore, it is rumored that Beyonce scored big money when Uber went public last month. People magazine reports that Queen Bey received $6 million in restricted stock units (RSUs) from Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick to perform at an event. With the IPO, speculations abound that she made $300 million from her shares.


Serena Williams

Serena Williams (Wikimedia Commons)

Serena Williams is known for her prowess on and off the tennis court. The 23-time Grand Slam winner has made a number of boss business moves. She launched Serena Ventures, an investment firm focused on companies founded by women and minorities, which has invested in 34 startups in a portfolio worth at least $10 million.

In 2018, the tennis champ launched a self-funded clothing line called S by Serena. She also owns stakes in the Miami Dolphins and UFC and has signed multiple endorsement deals with major brands throughout her career, including Gatorade, Delta Air Lines, Aston Martin, Pepsi, and Beats by Dre.

Cities With The Highest Percentage Of Black Homeowners

in Finance
housing discrimination

Even though housing discrimination has been outlawed for 50 years, studies show that the U.S. black homeownership rate isn’t any higher than when the Fair Housing Act initially passed in 1968. In fact, the racial gap between white and black homeowners today is significant. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the homeownership rate among white Americans is 73.2%, while the black homeownership rate stands at 41.1%. In comparison, 42% of black households owned their homes back in 1970, two years after housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, and national origin was outlawed.

These staggering statics demonstrate that the obstacles blocking African Americans from buying homes extend beyond federal barriers – the issues are systemic. Economic disparities, for instance, put many communities of color across the country at a disadvantage, especially when it comes to homeownership. A new analysis conducted by LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, reveals how race impacts homeownership rates in the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas. The study found that black Americans tend to own a disproportionately low number of homes relative to their overall population.

According to the report, the U.S. cities that have the highest percentage of black homeowners are San Jose, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and Portland. On the other hand, the cities where black homeownership is lowest relative to overall population are Memphis, New Orleans, Baltimore, Virginia Beach, and Milwaukee, where the median household income for black residents is a mere $28,928.

The study also found that the average median household income for black Americans is $41,571, which is more than $30,000 below the average median household income for whites. “Because lenders evaluate a potential borrower’s income, this can pose challenges when it comes time to qualify for a mortgage,” states the report.

Here are other key findings from the report:


Americans who identify as black make up an average 15% of the population in each of the metropolitan areas featured in our study, but they only own an average of about 10% of owner-occupied homes.


Although they make up nearly half (47%) of the total population and are the largest racial group in Memphis, black Americans only own about 35% of the owner-occupied homes in the metro area.


Black Americans account for only 2.33% of San Jose’s overall population. The percentage of homes owned by black homeowners is nearly 1.5%, which is still a disproportionately small percentage.


Across the metropolitan areas featured in our study, the average median household income for black Americans is $41,571. This is more than $30,000 below the average median household income for white Americans. It’s also nearly $6,000 less than the incomes of Americans who identify as Native American or Alaskan Native. Because lenders evaluate a potential borrower’s income, this can pose challenges when it comes time to qualify for a mortgage.

Viiew the full study here: Homeownership Among Black Americans in U.S. Cities

by Selena Hill

Still The Most Ignored Demographic: Single, Black Fathers

in Black Lives Matter/Lifestyle

by Samara Lynn

One of the first articles I ever had published was a feature story I wrote many years ago on growing up with a single, black father. “Oprah doesn’t do stories on single, black dads,” I wrote. I complained about them being an ignored demographic.

Black Fathers Matter

To my surprise, I received several letters from black women angered by my article. I recall one stating that the single, black father was the exception, not the norm and why take focus off of black women who so often pull double duty as mother and father while working full time?

Those women deserve support and admiration. Yet, I said then as I say now: Black men with sole custody of their kids, comprise a small yet mighty group that deserves far more attention than received.

A look at the statistics: From the Pew Research center’s data from 2017; 36% of black children under 18-years-old live with married parents; 47% live with single mothers; 7% live with cohabitating partners; and 4% live with single fathers.

I was part of that scant percentage. My father had little-to-no resources when my mother just upped and left him with two pre-teen kids. He worked two, sometimes three jobs to keep paying the mortgage on the house he and my mother had just bought; and to provide for us. Although there was no time or money for vacations I cannot remember ever doing without lights, heat, air conditioning, school supplies, clothes—without any of the basic needs, really.

My father would come home from a two-hour commute every night just in time to make sure we were OK—fed, homework done—and then was back out the door two hours later—on yet another grueling two-hour train ride to his second job. Our lives ran that way for years until we kids were grown.

Still, I think my then-over-taxed father could have benefited with some support. In her book, “The Best Kept Secret: Single Black Fathers,” associate professor of sociology at Marquette University Roberta L. Coles writes that “monies, scholarly research, and public debate have nearly entirely focused on non-custodial fathers or so-called ‘irresponsible fathers’ for which black fathers have become the poster child.”

In her research, which included interviews of single, black fathers, Coles discovered, “African American fathers struggle to extricate themselves from the negative and restrictive cultural baggage that attends the ‘black male’ identity in American society.”

As a child, and even today as an adult, I get defensive about the persistently negative portrayals of black men as fathers as I remember my own and how he did so much to raise us.

So, what is my point? Well, I guess I wish there were more single, black fathers highlighted in media. I wish there were more policies and organizations that advocated for fathers’ rights when the father is the more fit custodial parent.

But, my point is also to highlight the single, black fathers out there this Father’s Day. I remember so well when my father removed the drop leaf that extended our dining room table after my mother left, shrinking it down into a small, encompassing circle. “We were a family of four, now we are a family of three,” he said.

He was right then, and we still are a strong family of three. And Happy Father’s Day to all of the single, black fathers.

Black-Owned Company Redefines Family Reunions — See Your Family Members Everyday on Your Walls!

in Art/Business Spotlight
Photo credit: Marvin Shaouni
James Oliver, Jr. founder and CEO of WeMontage

Solving the problem of not being able to regularly enjoy the coveted photos in Big Momma’s photo album.

Atlanta, GA — is an easy-to-use website that transforms memorable photos into peel and stick, removable wallpaper. With family reunions kicking off this summer, the tech company is making it easier for everyone in the family to enjoy the precious photos of the past, as well as the ones being taken at this year’s family reunion.

“Everyone knows Big Momma has the best photos of the family, but Big Momma won’t let you take the photos out of her house. If you scan those precious photos at the highest resolution, then save them as a jpeg, you can quickly upload them to and make a memorable montage that you can put on your walls and enjoy everyday in your home or office,” said James Oliver, Jr., Morehouse College alumnus and Founder of WeMontage.

You can also use Google Photos to create a shared album and have your family members add their favorite family photos. Once the photos are added to the Google Photos album, you can easily connect your Google Photos account via and upload your photos.

“Sharing photos taken at a family reunion is important because these are the good old days. The photos you take today at the family reunion will be the precious photos your family covets twenty years from now. And there is no better way to celebrate and enjoy those moments than on a large WeMontage,” said Oliver.

About the company
Founded in 2013 by James Oliver, Jr., is the world’s only website that lets you turn your permanent photo memories into removable, peel and stick wallpaper. WeMontage has been featured on the TODAY Show three times, Good Morning America, Martha Stewart’s website, and more.

James Oliver, Jr.
(347) 277-4039

Father’s Day Gift Buying Guide For Black Fathers

in Business Spotlight/Featured Business/Jewelry/Lifestyle
Photo Credit: The New York Times

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Urban Beard 

All Natural Beard Butter

Golden Grooming Co. 

Golden Grooming Co makes high quality, natural grooming products designed for men of color.

Bedroom Kandi 

Bedroom Kandi is an affordable line of luxury, sex-positive products designed to bring pleasure to singles and couples alike. 

Black Beard Brigade 

LOV Yourself. LOV Your Community: To promote healthier lifestyles by providing quality products and implementing solutions to strengthen the foundation of each client as well as the community.


H.I.M. (Healthy Image Men) is the perfect abbreviation for this unique men’s hair, beard, and skin products source. Originating in a high-end men’s spa, H.I.M. specialized in haircuts, hot towel shaves, skin care treatments, and associated products.

Scotch Porter

Scotch Porter is a premium-affordable men’s grooming brand, with a focus on delivering efficacious, high-quality products that give men the confidence, courage, and style they need to go out in the world and crush it.

Blue Goats 

Blue Goats is a Black-owned American clothing company primarily shipping to US customers committed to deliver Innovation and Convenience to its customers.

Verdure Watches 

Verdure Watches was founded in 2012 by owner and designer Eddie Johnson. His love of watches stems from generations of discriminating gentlemen who always expressed how important a watch is to a man’s attire.

Enbois by Maxim 

Maxim Thuriere founded this wooden watch and bracelet company in his college dorm at the University of South Florida — but he wanted his small business to serve a greater purpose than simply selling accessories for profit.

Stacks Custom Jewelry 

Ronald “Stacks” Dupont was born September 14, 1982 in the inner city of Miami called “Overtown”. A place where negativity often overshadows the light of positive events, locally famed African-American jeweler and owner/founder of Stacks Customs

Benjamin Banneker Watches

Banneker, Inc. is a watch and clock company founded in 2003 by Derrick Holmes. The watch and clock offerings of the company are differentiated in the marketplace by virtue of a unique design feature that connects us to our legendary namesake.

Black Daddy Gang Clothing

FlameKeepers Hat Club 

Custom hat boutique FlameKeepers Hat Club offers upscale, locally owned store offering an array of sophisticated hats for men, in many styles. Founder: Marc Williamson

Dapper Dan Clothing Line

Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day pioneered luxury hip-hop fashion in the ’80s and ’90s by remixing high-end brands into urban streetwear. However, after closing shop 25 years ago, the legendary designer opened a new store in Harlem…

TonyWuu Collection 

Helping the average man look exceptional, one handmade accessory at a time.

The Maximus Box 

The first ever Big and Tall clothing subscription service for men.

Harrison Blake Apparel

Harrison Blake Apparel has found a way to deliver high quality men’s accessories at a great price. The style and variety of products are sure to please any gentleman.


Bespoke and custom clothing store in Montclair, NJ.


SoleTouched was designed to assist sneaker owners and lovers, Restore.Recycle & Maintain their sneaker collection. Sneaker cleaning, restoring, customizing and consignment are just some of the ways SoleTouched rebirths your collection.

Sneakerscustom designs, manufactures and distributes custom sneakers and athletic footwear for men and women. Consumers can order direct from the company website or become authorized wholesalers.

Armando Cabral 

Eponymous men’s shoe collection from fashion model Armando Cabral. Enjoy.

Tucci Polo Inc

Tucci Polo Inc. serves the Luxury Footwear Leather goods & Accessories market. Known for exclusive top quality handmade luxury shoes & leather messenger bags for men and women who take pride in being…

Treason Toting Company 

Treason Toting Company was founded by Aaron Jones and Jason Bass in 2013 in Baltimore, MD. We met at a bar in Fells Point and became fast friends and business partners over a few glasses of whiskey.

Orchid Noire 

We are a team of enthusiastic purveyors of fine leather craft for travels near and far. As entrepreneurs we decided to collaborate our experience, love for exploration, and passion for travel into this boutique. 


Mifland Leather Goods is an American based mixed accessory goods company with a modern utilitarian approach. Through founder and brand director Tobi Egberongbe’s previous experiences and affinity to design, photography, architecture, contemporary…

Don Abram Harris Cigars 

Don Abram Harris Cigars (Lexington Park), is the first African American Cigar manufacturer ever in the United States. The brands plantation and manufacturing crew are all located in Puerto Rico.

Cigars 210 

Cigars 210 (Fort Washington, MD) is a full scale cigar retailer that offers the most popular cigar brands. We also offer a home for boutique cigars that are not commonly found in larger retailers.

Carolina Blue Cigars 

Carolina Blue Cigars (Huntersville, NC) are Dominican crafted, Carolina perfected with a goal to create an unforgettable cigar experience.

Brotherhood Cigars 

Welcome to the Brotherhood. Special Cigars for your special occasions. Our brand commemorates the bond of brothers and life friends in style. The Brotherhood brand signifies sacrifice, loyalty and selflessness!

Alourdam Cigars

Filled with a flavorful concoction Nicaraguan, long leaf tobaccos, Alourdam Cigars are simply an excellently blended hand-made. It offers crisp flavors of earth and cedar, infused with powerful nuances of espresso and cocoa

Rappers Chamillionaire And E-40 Are Looking To Invest $25,000 In A Minority-Owned Startup

in Entrepreneurs/Finance
(Image: Chamillionaire)

by Sequoia Blodgett

Earlier this year, Hakeem Seriki, a Grammy-winning hip hop artist, entrepreneur, and angel investor better known as Chamillionaire, launched a contest for black-founded start-ups and invested $10,000 in the winner. Now, the stakes are higher for round two. He, along with West Coast rapper and investor Earl “E-40” Stevens, and the equity investing platform Republic have teamed up to award a minority and/or women-founded startup with a $25,000 investment. The contest was announced on Convoz, an app and social video conversation platform that Chamillionaire launched last year.

In terms of Venture Capital investment, Caucasians make up 87% of VC-backed CEO’s and 97% of those positions are held by men. Chamillionaire and his celebrity friends, however, are working to change that. 

“I think there is a lack of diversity in the industry,” Chamillionaire told Yahoo! Finance when asked why founders of color aren’t getting financed. “Now that I’m here, I see that there is a certain type of founder that gets funding from these companies and I understand that people tend to spend money on things that they’re comfortable with so when you’re used to seeing somebody like Mark Zuckerburg walk in the door and you have an example of Marck Zuckerburg being successful then, of course, it’s more likely for you to spend money on investing in a startup like that.”

There’s no surprise that Chamillionaire teamed up with Republic for his new initiative. The rapper has been in the investment space for years and has championed the inclusion of more minorities in the tech and investing world. That mission makes Republic the perfect partner since the platform is built on the ethos of equalization of the fundraising landscape. Republic was created for startups to raise capital, giving the opportunity for everyone to invest. 

The deadline for submitting your investment pitch is June 15 and the winner will be announced June 21. To enter the competition, download the Convoz app for iOS or Android.

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