DECEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER

African Kings Who Ruled India

The span and diversity of the African diaspora reflects a fascinating story of how people of African descent have and continue to influence the world. While some influences were the result of enslavement, a good deal  reflected the ventures of sovereign explorers, traders, and others who   ruled. India is one among many nations where African influences are firmly rooted. Consider for example, India’s dark-complexioned Dravidians, known to have established a dominant civilization in southern Asia well before the founding of Greece and Rome.
 
As Kamala Harris, United States Vice-President Elect, of Jamaican and Indian descent, prepares to become the first Black and Indian Vice-President, interest in India’s history and culture have heightened. To learn more about India’s African influences, including when the famed Italian explorer, Marco Polo observed how the darkest complexioned in India were “considered better,” click below.

2020 December Newsletter, History and Culture

William Monroe Trotter, 1872 - 1934 Uncompromising Editor, Activist Demanded Accountability for Black Votes

When United States President-elect Joseph Biden recently stated “The African American community stood up again for me. They always have my back, and I’ll have yours,” during an early victory speech, he articulated the kind of accountability for which Black newspaper editor and activist William Monroe Trotter dedicated his life. In 1901 the Harvard University graduate and W. E. B. DuBois contemporary founded The Guardian newspaper as an instrument for Black uplift. He was a staunch proponent of Black political independence that did not wed Black support to a particular political party. Instead, Trotter encouraged Black people to only support those politicians—whether Democratic or Republican—that clearly furthered Black interests. After confronting President Woodrow Willson–face to face—about the many Black votes Wilson received, based on promises he did not remotely attempt to keep, Trotter, became widely known as a sincere and uncompromising political strategist. He implored Black people to—above all—hold politicians who benefit from Black voters, accountable.

In the current post-election climate, lessons from William Monroe Trotter’s activism—both his accomplishments and defeats—may offer valuable insight on how Black people collect and secure pre-election political promises. Click below to learn from a great Black activist and strategist, unrelenting in his commitment to Black people.

2020 December Newsletter, History and Culture

Brothers Open First Black-Owned
Anime Studio In Japan

Arthall Isom and his twin brother Darnell, have taken a big leap. Actually, they’ve taken two. First, they moved from the United States to Japan, and then opened the D’art Shtajio Anime studio. It is the only Black-owned Anime studio in Japan, and gaining traction. Having worked on projects with Jay-Z, The Weekend, Pharrell, and others, the Isom twins have ventured beyond common expectations of what young Black men can accomplish.
 
Apparently, they visioned their lives beyond convention, took action, and thereby produced a powerful demonstration of the more Black people have and can achieve. To learn more about the pioneering venture of 2 bold and creative Black men, click below.

2020 December Newsletter, Present Day Achievements

NAGAST Athletic Footwear Promotes
Black Unity and Pride

There is an athletic shoe company that promotes Black unity. In fact, when Tarik Edmonson founded Nagast footwear in 2015, his business plan focused on generating profit while fostering unity and pride in Black communities. That is why each Nagast product is designed using words, colors, and imagery inspired by the Black uplift work of The Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association. From the pink and white “UNIA Star Jumper” shoe to the “Red Black and Green African Runner,” Nagast designs affirm a proud  heritage.
 
The button below links to the Nagast website where athletic shoes, boots, and other wearable products can be purchased. You will also find a video interview of Edmonson discussing his business journey and earlier efforts of Black entrepreneurs to design and sell athletic shoes. Click below.

2020 December Newsletter, Present Day Achievement 

The African Countries Producing Highest Percentages of Female Inventors In The World

According to the 2019 edition of the “Gender Profiles in Worldwide Patenting” report, that tracks trends in female inventorship, there is a much higher percentage of African women in Togo and Uganda associated with patent applications than any other countries in the world. The high percentages suggest a greater degree of gender equity may be practiced, as relates to scientific innovation, in those 2 countries and other African nations where percentages far exceed those in the United Kingdom and United States.
 
Given African gender parity that was more prominent in many precolonial societies prior to the imposition of foreign patriarchal values, the greater percentage of female inventors may represent a return to more equitable indigenous practices.These and other indicators of African female empowerment are advancements to celebrate. Click below to learn which other African nations have similarly achieved.

2020 December Newsletter, Present Day Achievements

26-Year-Old Opens First Black-Owned Drive-In Movie in Houston

Demonstrating how Black people often persevere in the midst of challenges, Khairi Sharif recently opened Space City Shows, Houston’s first Black-owned drive-in movie theater. Sharif appears to have taken full advantage of the seclusion COVID-19 safety precautions afforded many, choosing to spend his alone time thinking about and planning a better life. In the midst of the pandemic, Sharif created what he describes as ” a new place to quarantine [where] the best seats in the house are the ones you bring.”
 
At twenty-six years-old, Sharif is hoping his example will inspire Black youth and young adults to pursue their aspirations. To learn more about the young man who, while facing adversity chose to accomplish highly, click below.

2020 December Newsletter, Present Day Achievement

Black Scientist Creates Ingenious
Self-Growing Farming System

Veteran scientist and innovator Darral Addison, owner of Torpedopots, has designed and produced a patented line of self-growing planters that actually grow more, using less. With degrees in chemistry and physics, Addison developed a minimalist approach to gardening that yields greater volume. His one-of-a-kind product could play a significant role in mitigating food scarcity and the impact of land shortage. Perhaps the best news of all for urban dwellers and others with limited access to land, Torpedopots are well suited for creating indoor gardens that can produce fresh vegetables year-round, using very little space. This technology could bring an oasis of fresh-foods to food deserts common to many Black communities.
 
To learn more about Torpedopots, click below to read further and watch a video interview with the inventor and CEO.

2020 December Newsletter, Present Day Achievement

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