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32 Black-owned Ethiopian Restaurants

in Business Spotlight/Food & Drinks/Restaurants by

Ethiopian cuisine characteristically consists of vegetable and often very spicy meat dishes. This is usually in the form of wat, a thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread, which is about 50 centimeters in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour.

Those are the basics of what you need to know about Ethiopian food, so you can begin to feast on some the best dishes Ethiopia has to offer. We’ve compiled a list of restaurants to get you started!

Queen of Sheba (Tampa, FL)

Mellow eatery featuring exotic Ethiopian fare at standard or traditional woven tables.

East Africa Restaurant (Montreal Quebec)

Unassuming family-run eatery with made-to-order Ethiopian dishes served with injera flatbread.

Massawa (NYC)

One of the oldest Eritrean and Ethiopian restaurants in North America, Massawa, is a staple of New York City since 1987.

BETESEB (Silver Spring, MD)

At Beteseb Restaurant, we have an amazing menu that features freshly prepared Ethiopian dishes. We are a family-owned restaurant with warm and friendly staff who are ready to serve you.

Kibrom’s Ethiopian and Eritrean Cuisine (Boise, Idaho)

Kibrom’s Ethiopian and Eritrean Restaurant has fresh and healthy foods. We serve gluten-free Injera (Ethiopian & Eritrean bread), Rice with turmeric spice, Vegetarian, Vegan food, Lamb, Beef, Chicken with fresh Spicy (Berbere spice) 

Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant (Washington, DC)

Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant is the most enduring Ethiopian music entertainment landmark in the district. Our newly expanded VIP BAR can serve you with full bar for your private use for a number of Celebrations including Birthday Parties…

Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant (St. Paul, MN)

Quaint Ethiopian eatery dishes up an array of traditional meat & veggie plates in a colorful space.

Alem Ethiopian Village

Welcoming spot for Ethiopian cuisine, including a lunch buffet with vegetarian & vegan dishes.

Mahider Ethiopian Restaurant & Market (Salt Lake City)

Industry Cafe & Jazz (Culver City, CA)

Eritrean, Ethiopian & soul food eats in a simple setting, plus live jazz & spoken-word poetry.

Gojo Ethiopian Restaurant (Phoenix, AZ)

Relaxed eatery serving typical Ethiopian fare & traditional injera bread, plus beer & honey wine.

Teff (Stamford, Connecticut)

Fairfield County’s first and only Eritrean & Ethiopian Restaurant. A celebration of East African culture & cuisine. Ingredients handmade in Ethiopia by our family.

MLK Café (Oakland, CA)

Mlk Cafe and Restaurant is a full sports bar & restaurant serves Eritrean and Ethiopian dishes. Check menu for American breakfast, Pasta & Pizza selections…

Blue Nile Café (Kansas City, MO)

Bole Ethiopian (College Park, GA)

This comfy destination lures locals for traditional Ethiopian plates served in a relaxed atmosphere.

Assab Eritrean Restaurant (San Francisco, CA)

Warm, welcoming restaurant serving traditional Eritrean cuisine including sambusas & alicha.

Ethiopian Diamond (Chicago, IL)

Casual restaurant & bar featuring Ethiopian stews (both meat & veggie) & weekly live music.

Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant (Atlanta, GA)

A deliciously authentic Ethiopian dining experience awaits at Queen of Sheba.

Taste of Ethiopia (Greensboro, NC)

Specializing in Vegetarian Dishes With a plentiful array of both vegetarian and meat dishes, our menu is sure to hit the mark for any customer. Food is meant to be shared and enjoyed with good company! 

Empress Taytu Ethiopian Restaurant (Cleveland, OH)

“TENAYISTILLIN” (Hello in Amharic) Ethiopian food and service as authentic as the country itself. Some even say, “Better than DC!”

Ahadu Restaurant (Oakland, CA)

Ahadu Restaurant is one of Bay Area’s finest Ethiopian Restaurants. We welcome everyone who is ready to experience Chef Lula’s Magical Dishes.

Café Lalibela (Tempe, AZ)

Easygoing restaurant featuring traditional Ethiopian fare, wine & beer, plus gluten-free injera.

Tsion Cafe & Bakery (NYC)

As long time residents of Harlem, we wanted to bring something fresh, healthy, delicious to the taste buds and supportive the artistic talent that is near and far.

Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant & Lounge (Houston, TX)

Lucy is the common name of a specimen of A. afarensis, a direct ancestor of modern day humans whose ancient bones were discovered in the town of Hadar in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia’s Afar Depression.

Demera Ethiopian Restaurant (Chicago, IL)

Casual Ethiopian eatery with shared plates, house-roasted coffee & traditional music on weekends.

Mudai Ethiopian Restaurant (San Jose, CA)

A casual spot serving up Ethiopian food, including vegetarian options, plus beer & wine.

Azla Ethiopian Vegan (Los Angeles, CA)

When all six of Azla’s children transitioned to a vegetarian lifestyle over a decade ago-she began modifying traditional recipes to accomodate their growing health consciousness-without sacrificing flavor and heartiness.

Zoma (NYC)

Zoma is an ethiopian restaurant established in 2005. We honor and continue the old tradition of fresh ingridients, low and slow cooking (braising) and balanced flavoring whileserving our customers in an atmosphere thats modern and friendly.

Cafe Colucci (Oakland, CA)

Cafe Colucci is a small family owned restaurant in Oakland, California founded in 1991. Since then, we have delighted the palates of Bay Area residents with our unique, organic and flavorful Ethiopian dishes.

Alem Ethiopian Village (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Welcoming spot for Ethiopian cuisine, including a lunch buffet with vegetarian & vegan dishes.

Rosalind’s Ethiopian Cuisine (Los Angeles, CA)

“Rosalind’s . . .soaks up all the color and nuance of a very Ethiopian block like a great piece of spongy injera. [It] is sumptuous.” -LA Weekly

Awash Ethiopian Restaurant (Miami, FL)

The restaurant encompasses a traditional Ethiopian “Gojo bait” (country style home) environment. The interior features a center piece commonly found in a gojo home, designed by Fouad himself. 

QUEEN LATIFAH PLANS TO BUILD AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN NEWARK

in Black Lives Matter/Finance/Lifestyle by

by BLACK ENTERPRISE Editors

NJ.com is reporting that rapper-turned-movie-star Queen Latifah (born Dana Owens) is planning a $14 million dollar project to build affordable housing in her hometown of Newark.

From NJ.com:

Latifah, a co-president of BlueSugar Corporation, is working with GonSosa Development on the project, which is anchored outside of the city’s downtown, spanning the West and South wards.

The project includes 20 three-family town homes and a three-story mixed-used building with an additional 16 units. Plans for the building include a fitness center and 1,900 square feet of commercial space that will be rented to nonprofits. The 60 units in the townhouses will be market rate; the 16 units in the building will be affordable.

The hip-hop icon, has dedicated much of her time and resources to philanthropic efforts. Last year, she helped women crack the glass ceiling in Hollywood by funding and producing two independent projects created by women, reported The Shadow League.

She has become a bona fide movie star, after appearing in the acclaimed TV show Living Single in the 1990s, with such roles as Matron Mama Morton in the musical Chicagoand was nominated to receive an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her outstanding performance. She has also starred in Hairspray (2007), Secret Life of Bees (2008) and Mad Money (2008), and acted alongside critically acclaimed actors such as Jennifer Hudson, Dakota Fanning, Diane Keaton, Katie Holmes, Ice Cube, Will Ferrell, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, and many more.

Queen Latifah is also a sought-after spokesperson and ambassador for several leading corporate brands. She served as the face of Cover Girl’s makeup for women of color with the company’s Queen Collection of cosmetics.

In 2016, she partnered with Ahold USA, one of the world’s largest food retail groups, to create a collection of hand-picked, sustainably-sourced floral arrangements.

And recently, Owens was honored in AT&T’s “Dream In Black” Black Future Month — a celebration of people who are making history, now, while shaping the new future. Black Future Month highlights inspiring black creators including Queen Latifah, Keke Palmer, Reginae Carter, Terrence J, Phoebe Robinson, DeVon Franklin, Zendaya, Van Jones, Vic Mensa, Lena Waithe, Omari Hardwick, Jamil Smith, Angela Yee, Baron Davis, and a slew of others.

30 Black-owned Massage Therapists

in Business Spotlight/Health & Beauty/Lifestyle/Mental Health/Services by

feel.good.everywherebodywork | travel | love | massage | well-beinglocal – washington DC area; global – Chakra Verde

chakra verde (DMV)

feel.good.everywherebodywork | travel | love | massage | well-beinglocal – washington DC area; global – wherever the heart leads.

In His Hands Massage Therapy (Maryland)

Helping people reconnect Spirit, Soul, and Body! Our purpose is to facilitate “healing from the inside out”..

Life Essence Wellness Center (Maryland)

Integrative Massage Therapy, Integrative Nutrition And Microblading In Bowie, MD. $59/full 60 Minutes, $89/full 90 Minutes Using Vegan Products (Shea butter, Coconut Oil And CBD Oil). Microblading With 30 Minutes Upper Back, Neck And shoulder Massage

Body, Soul, & Spirit Spa(Pennsylvania)

We’re a full service salon and spa with a wide variety of products and services to enhance our overall well being.

Simply Panache Nail Bar and Pedi Spa (Virginia)

Imagine being warmly greeted as you are escorted to your seat at the nail bar or pedicure alcove in the pedi spa. Imagine relaxing aromas, fabulous décor, meeting up with friends at the nail bar, and sipping specialty drinks as you unwind…

Compliments Mobile Massage Services (New Jersey)

For those clients who prefer to get massages in the comfort of their own home or who wish to entertain friends with a customized pamper party, Welcome.

SKinfatuated Spa (New York)

SKinfatuated Spa is located in the fabulous Chelsea neighborhood in New York City. Situated within the upscale beauty community of Salons by JC, the SKinfatuated Spa suite offers an intimate setting for all of your skincare and brow needs.

Somatic Massage Therapy & Spa (Florida)

Specializing in Healthy Ski Facials and Therapeutic Massage

Somatic Massage Therapy (New York)

When you think of getting a massage, you may picture a luxury spa environment with candles and soothing music. However, when it comes to chronic pain and anxiety, you need something more focused on your long-term health and drug-free relief.

Beautiful Mountain Massage Therapy (Connecticut)

Beautiful Mountain Massage Therapy was established in November 2012 and Incorporated in February 2013 by Nicole Beaumont LMT, MBLEX President & CEO who attended the Swedish Institute College of Science in New York City.

Cher-Mère (Canada)

Natural and Organic Cosmetic and Day Spa offering services in manicure,pedicure, waxing, facials,massages and body therapies

Down To Reiki (California)

Vibe Smith is a certified Healing Hands Master and Reiki master. Vibe works with people from all walks of life and all types of physical and emotional pain, ranging from anger, emotional disconnection, PTSD, insecurity, unease and instability…

Escape Massage & Esthetics Studio (Connecticut)

Massage Therapy, Skincare, Waxing

Alkalign Wellness (Ohio)

at Alkalign Wellness our clients have and will always come first. We rest easy in bringing you convenience. Being healthy isn’t hard but neglect is. We understand that life can be hectic and time is a valuable thing.

Alignment Specific Chiropractic Clinic (South Carolina)

When your spine is aligned, your nervous system can deliver messages from the body to the brain, and from the brain back to the body, which is critical for good health and less pain. Stop suffering and call your Summerville chiropractor today!

Loose Massage Therapy Plus LLC (Michigan)

Our vision is to increase awareness about ” Personal Care” and the benefits of using massage therapy to combat pain and stress. We offer Ongoing Deals to help our customers afford monthly massage …

OMazing Massage (Georgia)

OMazing Massage is a leading provider of therapeutic massage therapy services for chronic pain relief in the Atlanta, GA and St. Louis, MO areas. Located in the heart of Maplewood, we pride ourselves on providing top quality massage services…

Terria’s Therapeutic Table and Chair Massage(Georgia)

Terria’s Therapeutic Table and Chair Massage is Atlanta based company. We are a Veteran-Owned and operated by a Licensed Massage Therapist who operates with professionalism and integrity. I provide mobile Massage Therapy services…

Heal With Crystal(Georgia)

Atlas Mobile Massage Therapy (Florida)

Veteran owned & operated company located in Jacksonville, Florida. We provide On-Site Chair Massage for Corporate Wellness Programs, Employee Appreciation, Promotional events and other small group events.

Andante Day Spa (Tennessee)

HEAD OVER HILL’S SALON AND DAY SPA (Illinois)

The staff at Heads Over Hill’s is educated and licensed in their profession-hand selected to provide the best service. Each is an artist with a gift to share. We hope everyone feels welcome here so please take advantage of all we have to offer you.

VEOLA’S DAY SPA(Illinois)

Veola’s Day Spa and Wellness Center is located in the heart of Chicago’s prominent Beverly Hills community. A full service day spa and wellness center, the facility is located at 2150 W. 95th Street. 

Appointed Time Mobile Massage (Florida)

It all started with a footrub… Having a grandmother with numerous health deficiencies, Jessica realized the effects of massage at an early age.

Massage Essential Time(Alabama)

We offer a variety of massage therapy services ranging from Swedish to customized massages, your ME TIME IS HERE! By Appointments Only

MY SPA MY WAY(Louisiana)

Whether you are a first-time spa guest or a seasoned spa veteran, we want to make your spa experience a truly transforming one. We have services designed to deliver optimal results in a quaint, comfortable and non-intimidating atmosphere.

Just Breathe Massage and Nutrition (Texas)

Massage has always been one of the most natural and instinctive means of relieving pain and discomfort. Whether you enjoy massage for stress relief, relaxation or preventive health care, Just Breathe Massage has a unique and professional…

Koffee Day Spa (Texas)

Koffee Day Spa is a boutique spa located in downtown Dallas. They provide Facials, Massage, Makeup, Manicure/Pedicure, Body Treatments and Waxing.

Anointed Touch(Arkansas)

OneLife Institute(California)

OneLife is an Oakland-based organization working at the intersection of spirituality and social action. Our mission is to nurture, inspire, and sustain people committed to healing and justice.

VIOLET J DAY SPA(California)

Violet J Spa and Wellness is a San Jose day spa dedicated to nurturing your well-being. Founded by Violet Johnson, PhD, the spa’s menu reflects her background as a nurse midwife and psychologist with her skill as an acclaimed esthetics professional.

‘Black Men in White Coats’ Are Inspiring Black Boys to Become Doctors Too!

in Black Lives Matter/Health & Beauty by

Dallas, TX — Dr. Dale Okorodudu, an African-American doctor and the founder of Black Men in White Coats, aims to make an impact on the world by helping develop future leaders in medicine. He recently organized a youth summit with a goal to inspire Black boys to pursue the career of becoming a doctor as well.

“Some alarming data came out that the number of Black men applying to the field of medicine was decreasing. There were actually less in 2011 than there was in 1978,” Dr. Okorodudu shared via the organization’s YouTube channel. “Our mission is to inspire the next generation of physician leaders and to diversify the field of medicine with a special emphasis on Black males.”

In hopes to do that, Dr. Okorodudu organized the first ever Black Men in White Coats Youth Summit at UT Southwestern last Sunday. It was attended by hundreds of students from third-grade level to middle and high school. They got to connect with educators, clinicians, and community leaders as well as discovered resources that would help them as they take on the path of becoming doctors.

African-American youth who attended the summit got to better understand the science behind the career. They experienced CPR training, demonstrations on how to make a splint, anatomy exploration, among others.

Parents, who were required to attend with elementary students, also benefited from the tips on how to help their children on that career path.

“I think it’s good to see the representation, to see someone that looks like them who has gone through the career pathway, so that way, they know that it’s very feasible. That it’s very possible for them,” Brittany Drake, one of the parents who attended the summit with her sons, told Fox 4 News.

Most importantly, the summit encouraged Black youth that they can be anything they put their mind into. It directly showed them what they can achieve in the future, like becoming a doctor.

“Medicine is a long road but it’s a road that many people who perhaps look like them have gone through and been successful. Medicine is a rewarding and exciting and interesting field. I hardly saw any Black males when I was coming up as a resident,” Dr. Emeka Etufugh shared. “I think it’s something to see somebody that looks like you, to inspire you, to help you know that it’s possible to come through this process and be a physician.”


Eleanor Holmes Norton Set to Introduce Bill to Require Federal Agencies to Advertise with Black Press

in Politics/Press Release by

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Legendary and longtime D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is hoping to accomplish what may not have been possible during the last Congress.

Norton, who is in her 28th year in Congress, plans to reintroduce H.R. 7215 which would require all government agencies to report on expenditures for contracts for advertisement and other purposes.

Her spokesman Benjamin Fritsch said this week that Norton would roll out the resolution soon.

She first introduced it last fall and it was referred to the House Committee on Budget but the 115th Congress then went into recess.

The new Democratic-controlled 116th Congress should afford Norton the opportunity to push through her resolution and perhaps gain a voting-member’s support to enact legislation.

Because she’s a D.C. delegate, Norton doesn’t enjoy full voting rights and isn’t permitted to vote on final legislation.

Still, her impact on Congress has resonated for nearly three decades and, at a 2016 Black Press Week event, Norton stood with leaders of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and the National Association of Hispanic Publications to call for a federal report on advertising spending by government agencies with minority-owned media.

Because of her relentless pursuit, Norton was able to obtain a new Government Accountability Office report that concluded that, of the $5 billion spent on advertising by federal agencies over the past decade, just $50 million went to Black-owned businesses.

The report didn’t detail how much of the $50 million went to Black newspaper owners, only that they were included among all black businesses.

After the report’s release in July, the NNPA called on Congressman Cedric Richmond, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to “forcefully raise their voices of discontent and reaffirmation of the demands for equity, justice and fairness and end to this kind of systemic refusal to treat African American-owned and Latino-owned businesses along with others in a just, fair and equitable manner.”

Norton said her bill would specifically require federal agencies to include in their annual budget requests to Congress the amount they spent in the most recent fiscal year on advertising contracts with newspapers and media companies owned by minorities and women, as well as projections of such spending for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Congresswoman also sent letters to all 12 appropriations subcommittees, requesting that they require each agency under their jurisdiction to include this advertising data in their budget requests.

“The federal government is the largest advertiser in the United States, and it has an obligation to ensure fair access to its contracts for minority and women-owned newspapers and media companies,” Norton said.

“My bill would provide the transparency to ensure federal agencies are striving to reach minorities, who often get their daily news from smaller media outlets who serve communities of color.”

Love Inspired Wine by John Legend

in Celebrity/Food & Drinks by

Legend Vineyard Exclusives was a dream long in the making. As with his music, John searched for the right collaborator, a vineyard whose pursuit of the perfect blend and standards of excellence equaled his own. With roots deep in the Napa Valley and award-winning wines known for beautiful balance, finesse and power, Raymond Vineyards was the perfect match.

Legend 

Introducing the LVE Collection by John Legend. The perfect harmony of passion, eloquence and Napa Valley tradition. A unique series of rich, soulful and complex notes inspired by true love, produced in collaboration with Napa Valley’s renowned Raymond Vineyards.

Raymond Vineyards 

Raymond Vineyards boasts an enduring forty-year reputation for elegant wines with a beautiful balance of finesse, power and complexity. Today, guided by the vision and passion of Proprietor Jean-Charles Boisset, Raymond is widely hailed as one of the Napa Valley’s pre-eminent producers, sustainable winegrowing leaders, and one of the wine world’s most dynamic and luxurious winery destinations.

With New Anti-Discrimination Guidelines, New York City Becomes a Safe Haven for Black Hair

in Racism/Uncategorized by

by Maiysha Kai

The New York City Commission on Human Rights is taking a major step in ensuring that none of the city’s residents are victims of hair bias. This week, the commission is releasing new guidelines that equate discrimination against any hairstyle within a workplace, school or public space with racial discrimination.

While the new amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law will protect all residents and visitors of New York City, it was specifically created to combat anti-black racism. “While grooming and appearance policies adversely impact many communities, this legal enforcement guidance focuses on policies addressing natural hair or hairstyles most commonly associated with Black people, who are frequent targets of race discrimination based on hair,” reads the formal announcement by the commission (pdf), which also notes:

Anti-Black racism is an invidious and persistent form of discrimination across the nation and in New York City. Anti-Black racism can be explicit and implicit, individual and structural, and it can manifest through entrenched stereotypes and biases, conscious and unconscious. Anti-Black bias also includes discrimination based on characteristics and cultural practices associated with being Black, including prohibitions on natural hair or hairstyles most closely associated with Black people. Bans or restrictions on natural hair or hairstyles associated with Black people are often rooted in white standards of appearance and perpetuate racist stereotypes that Black hairstyles are unprofessional. Such policies exacerbate anti-Black bias in employment, at school, while playing sports, and in other areas of daily living. The New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) protects the rights of New Yorkers to maintain natural hair or hairstyles that are closely associated with their racial, ethnic, or cultural identities. For Black people, this includes the right to maintain natural hair, treated or untreated hairstyles such as locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, fades, Afros, and/or the right to keep hair in an uncut or untrimmed state.

The new guidelines will provide anyone who has experienced discrimination, punishment or harassment due to their chosen hairstyle or texture with legal recourse. Those found in violation of the law can face a penalty of up to $250,000, with no cap on damages. The commission may also compel policy changes and re-hirings in instances of proven discrimination within companies. Notably, the guidelines will not interfere with health and safety mandates which may require hair to be worn up or in a net, so long as those mandates are unilateral, as the commission outlines.

By way of example, while an employer can impose requirements around maintaining a work appropriate appearance, they cannot enforce such policies in a discriminatory manner and/or target specific hair textures or hairstyles. Therefore, a grooming policy to maintain a “neat and orderly” appearance that prohibits locs or cornrows is discriminatory against Black people because it presumes that these hairstyles, which are commonly associated with Black people, are inherently messy or disorderly. This type of policy is also rooted in racially discriminatory stereotypes about Black people, and racial stereotyping is unlawful discrimination under the NYCHRL. …


Finally, employers may not ban, limit, or otherwise restrict natural hair or hairstyles associated with Black communities to promote a certain corporate image, because of customer preference, or under the guise of speculative health or safety concerns. An employee’s hair texture or hairstyle generally has no bearing on their ability to perform the essential functions of a job.

As the New York Times reports, the move makes New York City—already one of the most stringent on anti-discrimination laws in the country—ahead of the curve when it comes to confronting hair bias, which has recently made headlines around the country for affecting children as young as six years old.

With this in mind, the commission also rightly addresses both the physical and psychological dangers of hair mandates, using as examples historic perceptions of black hair that date back to slavery, the recently loosened regulations of the United States Army, and the very real risks of hair and scalp damage as a result of chemical styling. The commission even cites the significant financial impact of such mandates, as well as evidence presented by the American Journal of Epidemiology that links hair relaxers to the development of uterine fibroids.

Race discrimination based on hair and hairstyles most closely associated with Black people has caused significant physical and psychological harm to those who wish to maintain natural hair or specific hairstyles but are forced to choose between their livelihood or education and their cultural identity and/or hair health. Due to repeat manipulation or chemically-based styling (i.e., using straighteners or relaxing hair from its natural state), Black hair may become vulnerable to breakage and loss … In some cases, altering hair from its natural form by way of repeat manipulation or chemically-based styling may also expose individuals to risk of severe skin and scalp damage. Medical harm may also extend beyond the skin or scalp; for instance, a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology linked the use of hair relaxers to an increase in uterine fibroids, which disproportionately impact Black women.

“There’s nothing keeping us from calling out these policies prohibiting natural hair or hairstyles most closely associated with black people,” Carmelyn P. Malalis, commissioner and chairwoman of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, told the New York Times. “They are based on racist standards of appearance.”

Notably, New York City’s current first lady, Chirlane McCray, is a longtime wearer of locs, as is first daughter Chiara de Blasio (son Dante, long identified by his large Afro, wrote an op-ed last year about the racism he faced within the school system his father, Bill de Blasio, now runs).

The city’s new guidelines are an expansion of its current human rights laws, which includes the sale and display of racist iconography, a lesson learned by Prada when it was issued a cease-and-desist by the commission amid the controversy caused by products that evoked blackface on display in its SoHo flagship last December. That mandate, coupled with the new protections for black hair, are an overdue but progressive step in ensuring a more equitable and comfortable environment for all in America’s largest city, as the commission’s announcement states:

“Black hairstyles are protected racial characteristics under the NYCHRL because they are an inherent part of Black identity.”

First Black Woman to Hold Two Patents for A Natural Hair Accessory is making Black History!

in Uncategorized by

Ceata Lash, inventor of the PuffCuff Hair Clamp, shares her inspiring entrepreneurial journey in new mini-documentary launched at The Puff Cuff.

Marietta, GA — As we celebrate Black History Month, inventor of the PuffCuff® Hair Clamp and the first black woman to hold two natural hair accessory patents, Ceata Lash, stands out as a living legend who is blazing a new path in the hair industry. Her rise to success is chronicled in her newly released mini-documentary, which is accessible at www.thepuffcuff.com. This documentary offers viewers a raw, honest story of how Ceata Lash turned her idea born out of personal frustration into a global empire for textured and curly hair accessories.

About 12 years ago Ceata decided to stop chemically straightening her hair. “I actually had no idea what the hair growing out of my scalp would look like, so I didn’t know how to take care of it… Ever since the days of Madam CJ Walker, all we’ve ever known was straight hair,” Ceata states in the opening of the mini-documentary. After much research on natural hair styling, she found that most of the current hair accessories were designed with a bias towards straight hair. Ceata felt it wasn’t fair and realized she was facing a problem bigger than just her. She, along with many others with textured hair, needed a product to style thick, natural hair in an afro puff without the breakage or pain usually associated with using rubber or elastic bands that tug and rip the hair. “All I needed was something to hold my hair, not cinch it down,” she explains in the mini-documentary.

The mini-documentary continues where Ceata’s recounts her experience working as a senior graphic designer at a community college where she was the only black person in the department. During this time, she began experimenting with ways to style her natural hair, so that she would feel comfortable in a predominantly white environment. She decided to keep her hairstyling simple with a single afro puff but in order to achieve this style, Ceata had to use boot length shoestrings to gather her thick mane into a puff and keep it in place. However, she found that the tension and tightness created unbearable headaches throughout the day. She was sure others were suffering through the same issue. It was this very reason that inspired her to create a solution that ultimately became known as the PuffCuff– the only clamp for thick, curly hair on the market. The PuffCuff launched in 2013, and in 2017 Ceata became the first black woman to hold two natural hair accessory patents.

Over the years, Ceata and her innovative PuffCuff have been featured in Allure, Kontrol Magazine, Marie Claire, Black Enterprise, and more media outlets. In 2018, the leadership team of beauty retail pioneer, Sally Beauty, chose to grant Ceata the President’s Innovation Award for her invention of the ingenious PuffCuff as a part of Sally Beauty’s Cultivate Program. This program is aligned with Sally Beauty’s new business accelerator initiatives to help women beauty entrepreneurs grow their businesses. As a result of having received this coveted recognition, PuffCuff was granted fast track distribution into all 3,000 Sally Beauty stores and website by the end of 2019.

Toward the end of the mini-documentary, Ceata ends offering some words of encouragement, “Don’t give up. Keep running when you’re tired, and you don’t stop until the Lord tells you too. And he hasn’t told us to.”

A proven success story, Ceata’s legacy will serve to help pave the way for ushering in future generations of black inventors, especially those seeking to contribute to breakthroughs within the beauty industry. As for Ceata, she’ll remain on the front lines toward innovating solutions to end common beauty and grooming problems, all while further solidifying her spot as a game-changer in black history.

Visit www.ThePuffCuff.com to access the full mini-documentary highlighting Ceata Lash’s rise to success through the PuffCuff.

For product reviews and/or interviews with Ceata, please contact Eugene Salas with Beauty Maestros at esalas@brainchildassociates.com or 678-884-4008 ext. 702.

Black-Owned Tech Firm Developing Smart Phones Is Now Giving Them Away For Free

in Business Spotlight/Technology by

The brand new Figgers Neptune smart phone is available for free in most areas across the country, but users do have to subscribe to a plan.

Freddie Figgers, founder of the company, was recently featured on the new Netflix series called “Trigger Warning With Killer Mike”.

Nationwide — Freddie Figgers, CEO and founder of Figgers Communications, owns the first and only Black-owned telecommunications firm competing head-on with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. He is also now the only firm that is giving away his 4G smartphones for free when customers subscribe to a plan.

His newest smart phone model, called the Figgers Neptune, is comparable to Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy. It runs the Android operating system on a 4G network, features an HD responsive touch screen, a removable battery, a micro SIM.

The free smart phone offer is available in most areas across the country, and comes with several affordable plans including the Unlimited plan for $60/ month, the Economical plan for $40/ month, and the Senior plan for $15/ month. The phone also has a Shared Family plan for $120/ month.

All of the plans include unlimited calls, texting, and data usage, and other features like voicemail, caller ID, WIFI calling, call forwarding, and 3-way calling.

In his popular Netflix series called Trigger Warning, Killer Mike strongly encouraged the Black community to support Black-owned businesses and included Figgers Communications as a business that should be embraced by cell phone users nationwide.

For more details and/or to take advantage of the free smart phone offer, visit www.Figgers.com/free

To learn more about Freddie Figgers himself, watch his story on his official web site at www.Figgersinc.com

PRESS CONTACT:
Jakila Presha
Jakila@figgers.com
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When It Comes to Blackness, All Roads Lead to and Through East St. Louis. Period.

in Black Lives Matter/Lifestyle/News by

Alana Marie

Black demonstrators protest hiring practices at a $13 million federal housing project in East St. Louis, Illinois, Aug. 8, 1960.
Photo: AP Photo

Firstly, I want to make this clear: People often (always) confuse East St. Louis and St. Louis—they are not the same city. Kind of like assuming all black people look alike or just because our names are close than we must be sisters—nah. East St. Louis is literally “east” of St. Louis and is housed in the state of Illinois. So there’s East St. Louis, Ill., and there’s St. Louis, Mo. Granted, both cities are literally a rock’s throw from one another, but let you ask someone from East St. and St. Louis if they are from the opposite city….you just need to immediately apologize for your ignorance. 

The relationship between both cities is complex. St. Louis talks big shit about East St. Louis in the same way that a cocky older brother would talk about baby bro. However, can’t no other city speak ill of East St. Louis to St. Louis or it’s gone be big smoke. Similarly, both cities have played an integral role in some of the most historic events of our time (R.I.P, Mike Brown).

History

While the souf had agriculture on lock in the late 19th and early 20th century, up nawf had the industry booming—literally. Us melanated folks got tired of the BS that wypipo been on and sought better living upways. East St. Louis was a thriving city where just about everyone had a job to support their family because of the onset of World War I, and the great demand on the industrial market was set ablaze—not free from racism, of course, but the assumption was us black folks would fair better in Illinois than in Jim Crow-saturated Alabama and the such. Business was boomin’ so much that we were coming up in trains by the droves to set up shop wherever we could—miss one, next 15 one comin’ (word to Gucci).

The influx of blacks in both the city and the workforce got the wypipo draws all in a bunch and them doing what they do best when they feel threatened, they took out their feelings towards their personal plight on the first black person they saw—which then turned into hundreds of black lives lost. White residents were under the impression that the melanated migrants intentionally came to East St. Louis to steal their jobs when, in reality, the white folks’ failed attempts to unionize and subsequently going on strike made eager and hard-working black transplants all the more attractive to the factory employers.

According to author Elliot M. Rudwick, who wrote Race Riot at East St. Louis July 2, 1917:

Most (white) East St. Louisans did not belong to recognized labor unions and feared that job competition with the migrants would result in the denial of wage increases as well as the right of collective bargaining. As long as the whites believed they could obtain union recognition and job security, their hostility towards Negroes was held in check. However, the white labor leaders, like politicians in the 1916 presidential election, were prepared to use racist propaganda when, in their view, legitimate goals were jeopardized. Such a situation occurred during the spring of 1917 when a labor union was destroyed in one of East St. Louis’ largest industrial plant.

The destruction of the 1917 labor union set the stage for one of the most violent, bloodiest race riots on American soil. While an “official” death toll stated that only 39 blacks and eight whites were killed during the massacre, there were more than 250 black bodies unaccounted for once the riot residue settled. Word got around that the riot was so horrific that W.E.B. Dubois made it a point to visit East St. Louis and later draft the Massacre in East St. Louis report. A few weeks following the riot, the NAACP coordinated a massive protest in New York City with over 5,000 people, sending a message that the riot wasn’t just one city’s issue but it was (is) a problem for the entire nation. No need to go into detail about the gruesomeness of events—they are as hard to read as it is to write about them. If you are interested in learning more the accounts of July 2, 1917, check out another short piece I did on the race riot here and/or pick up Elliot M. Rudwick’s book.

Blackest Person From East St. Louis 

East St. Louis got a couple heavy hitters in the chamber (no pun intended). World-renowned dancer and choreographer Katherine Dunham created a Performing Arts Center for local youth to hone their artistic craft. Jazz extraordinaire Miles Davis. Olympic Gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee. And even though Tina “Switchin’ Hips Songstress” Turner and Ike “I Can’t Keep My Hands to Myself” Turner weren’t born in East. St. Louis, they spent a great deal of their career in the city—in fact, East St. Louis is where they first laid eyes on each other. Now based on what we know about that tumultuous-ass situation, that could’ve been the beginning of an end or end of a beginning—depends on who ya ask. Anywho, I digress.

As far as the blackest person from East St. Louis, if you ask me (and you are), I’m giving that title to no other than the basketball legend himself—Darius Miles. Bruh, if you have not read his writeup in The Players Tribune, “What the Hell Happened to Darius Miles,” do yourself a favor and open another browser to read it then come back to this. Thank and cash app me later ($AlanaFlowers). I’ll be kind enough to share a snippet:

I used to go back to East St. Louis every summer, even when I was in the league. I bought up damn near the whole block I grew up on. I remember as soon as I started getting some buzz, everybody would say, “Don’t forget about us.”

And I promised I wouldn’t.

In my mind, I was coming back for the kids, so they could see what kind of car I was driving, and how I was living, and the stories I was telling.… Just to see that it was possible to get up out of there.

I thought the streets loved me. That was my curse.

The streets don’t love you like that. The streets don’t love nobody.

When you’re young, you think the money is gonna last forever. I don’t care how street smart you are, or who you got in your corner, when you go from not having anything to making millions of dollars at 18, 19 years old, you’re not going to be prepared for it.

If you read the headlines about me now, it’s all about me going bankrupt. People ask me, “Man, how can you lose all that money?”

That part is easy to explain. You already heard that story a million times, with a million players. The cliche is that guys go broke buying Ferraris or whatever. Listen, it takes a long time to go broke buying Ferraris. What makes you go broke are shady business deals….

To sip the rest of this tea, you gotta finish the article. He shares his truth the only way an East St. Louis knee-gah can and I am here for it.

Food

East St. Louis may not have the staple food like the overrated Harold’s Chicken(all tea, no shade). However, it was the mom and pop shops from your everyday neighbors, educators and church folks that ensured anyone could have a cooked meal when asked. Places like Sandy’s BBQ, Red Door BBQ, and even Mellow Freeze ice cream shop, which recently celebrated its 45th anniversary in the Fall of 2018.

“The last hour of my show was always the special hour. Usually it was ladies back to back: Aretha and Gladys. So when I was asked to play this song, that’s what was going on. I was in my last hour. When I put it on, it was like ‘ahippity hoppity hippity. I was like ‘what is this?’Lo and behold, when I put it on the turntable, people just started calling up: ‘What is that? What is that?”—Edie AndersonMusic

Much like several other cities in the midwest (St. Louis, Chicago, etc), East St. Louis was a jazz, blues, and all-things-soultry stomping ground. This isn’t just the city where the Turners sparked their toxic love story but this is also where Ike Turner’s music group, Kings of Rhythm, built their momentum as musicians by playing all-nighters in hot nightlife spots such as Kingsbury’s, Club Manhattan and Sportsman. Per the request of the musical genius, Miles Davis, his parents granted him permission to enhance his craft for music and attend Julliard School of Music.

Unique Black Fact 

“Rapper’s Delight,” the song we credit as the origin of hip-hop, got its traction from a small radio station in East St. Louis. The founder of Sugar Hill Records, Sylvia Robinson, wasn’t getting no love when trying to get “Rapper’s Delight” some air time—New York City included. However, a DJ on the air in East St. Louis played the 15-minute track but not without hesitation (15 minutes is a long-ass time. We exit out of 30-second YouTube commercials).

On a serious tip, we know what all is said about the city. You could easily google East St. Louis after reading this article, and there would be rows and rows of redundant commentary about debt, destruction, dilapidation and death by murder. In fact, much of the conditions of the city are not by fault of its people but by the nature of deindustrialization and white (and black) flight as well as chronic federal budget cuts toward programs that many residents depend on.

Honestly, it really is an overexaggerated depiction of what occurs in thousands of other cities across the country but it appears to stick when it comes to East St. Louis. Despite it all, East St. Louisans ride for this city. Native born and bred make it a point to stick it out and invest in areas within our own God-given capacity. We stay and we ride it out to the wheels fall off despite the odds. Can’t get no blacker than that. To know East STL is to love East STL. Don’t believe me, head up 55 and see for yourself.

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