As The World Works On Itself, Black Culture Keeps It Pushing
“I’m back on the block with it/wait let me clear that up/I’m back to the blocks that you get when your block get it” – Beanie Sigel
What’s up, yo!
It’s hot outside. Prices are up. Beyoncé has a new album and a summer hit. And companies are still apologizing for anti-Black racism and prejudice.
Welcome to August 2022, the latest month in a summer where the winds of change have been swirling fiercely, yet so much remains the same.
For many Black Americans, change is not reaching the areas it needs to fast enough. Look no further than Airbnb, which this week had to apologize for hosts who promoted properties as former slave quarters. Or take Sesame Place, which had to issue two statements last month after a costumed actor snubbed young Black girls. Meanwhile, pandemic-related mental health issues continue to disproportionately affect Black and Brown people, a new CVS Health-Harris Poll survey found.
Yet we press on, celebrating and uplifting our culture as the world works on change.
The Black on the Block event, a pop-up marketplace and festival centered on Black businesses, is an example of that. Co-founders and sisters Char and Lanie Edwards launched it in Los Angeles in 2021 after experiences being the only Black vendors in most marketplaces. This year they partnered with National Football League wide receiver Stefon Diggs to run the event in Washington, DC (Watch For(bes) The Culture founder Rashaad Lambert interview them here.)
And, as you’ll see below, Black entrepreneurs continue to make headlines for raising capital and their net worth.
It’s only right that we pay homage to two Black trailblazers who passed away over the past week—Hall of Fame basketball player and coach Bill Russell and actress Nichelle Nichols, who played Lieutenant Uhura on ‘Star Trek.’ (Martin Luther King Jr. was a fan of Nichols). Each were change makers who not only pushed the Culture forward, but society forward.
PS I’m in Las Vegas this week at the National Association of Black Journalists conference. Catch y’all soon!
Black On The Block And Stefon Diggs Partner To Create A Unique Marketplace For Black-Owned Businesses. On July 17, newly renovated Franklin Park located between K & 14th St. in Washington DC turned into an immersive marketplace filled with Black-owned vendors for the city’s first-ever “Black on the Block” event.
Embedded Integration Platform Paragon Raises $13 Million To Become The Bridge Between Software Applications. Los Angeles-based startup Paragon recently raised $13 million in a Series A round led by Inspired Capital, with participation by other investors. The company was co-founded by CEO Brandon Foo (right) and chief technology officer Ishmael Samuel (left) in August 2019 to make it easier for software companies to integrate their product with other software. Foo and Samuel are 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 honorees.
Black And Hispanic Americans Are More Likely To Be Struggling With Mental Health. Here’s What Employers And Communities Can Do. Forty percent of Hispanic Americans and 29% of Black Americans rated their mental health as poor, according to a July CVS Health-Harris Poll survey, compared with 22% of respondents who identified as white. The data illustrate how Black and Hispanic Americans bore the brunt of the mental health crisis that’s arisen in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
WATCH | Meet The Woman Helping Build The Kardashian’s Billion Dollar Business Empire. Emma Grede is the CEO of Good American, the size-inclusive fashion brand she launched with Khloe Kardashian in 2016. She’s the only Black newcomer to Forbes’ 2022 list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women, with a net worth $360 million. Raised in East London by a single mother, Grede started a paper route at age 12 and saved her pennies to buy fashion magazines. She founded marketing agency ITB Worldwide in 2008 and is the first Black woman to serve as an investor on the popular ABC series Shark Tank .
“We know that the response to a broken arm is to head to the hospital, head to the doctor, head to urgent care. It’s important for us to know that when we are mentally feeling unwell, it is just as important for us to seek care.”
—Tracy J. Edmonds Diversity and inclusion consultant, former chief diversity officer at Anthem Inc.
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