Founding of the Great Asante Kingdom, 18th Century Example of Political and Spiritual Governance

The history of African people who developed and achieved highly includes the Asantes. Their kingdom was established in 1701 in the area of modern-day Ghana after the venerable Osei Tutu  defeated rivals and united smaller ethnic groups into one people. Asante prosperity was firmly rooted in economic security afforded by the ready supply and trading of gold and other products. Traders, politicians, soldiers, farmers, and other knowledgable and skilled citizens populated the kingdom. Guided by its own constitution, the Asante kingdom grew into a highly functioning state, the most powerful in the coastal region for over 200 years.
In addition to its powerful military and well organized governance, collaboration with the powerful traditional priest Okomfo Anokye sealed the Asante victory. The Asantehene Osei Tutu alliance with Okomfo Anokye represented an indivisible relationship between political and spiritual allegiance that substantiated political leadership, compelled moral behavior, and encouraged ethical governance. When Okomfo Anokye facilitated the miraculous delivery of the sacred golden stool—representing the soul of the Asante people—the ordination of divine Asante leadership, solidarity, and protection were complete. This action acknowledged a greater power and its influence on all aspects of life. The spiritual orientation animated a common African knowing central to the growth and development of the Asante and other early African nations.
To learn more about the Asante kingdom and how its two extraordinary founders—Asantehene Osei Tutu and Okomfo Anokye—worked together to build and consolidate the kingdom, click below.

2021 May Newsletter, History and Culture

Celebrating Maroon Resistance, Refusal, and Reinvention

Over time, Africans and their global descendants have persevered and achieved the impossible, again and again. No circumstances better illustrate their remarkable strength and tenacity than periods of enslavement. In the United States, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and other locations—Black people routinely refused to be enslaved, and established places, processes, and protective strategies for becoming and remaining free. The powerful people who fought to live in self-governing communities became known as Maroons.

Maroon history is extraordinary in its display of courage, ingenuity, and the ability of Black people to thwart subjugation and create independent communities. From smaller short-term locations in the United States, to the nearly 100-year-old nation of Palmares in Brazil—the size, span, and governance of maroon communities varied widely.
What did not vary was a pattern of building safe communities where Black people controlled their destinies. After all, those were the kind of communities, indeed nations—like the Asante kingdom—from which many Africans were stolen. Considering the multitude of self-governing skills and abilities enslaved Africans brought and passed on to their descendants, the prevalence of maroon communities throughout the Diaspora becomes a logical expectation. 

Because maroon history represents the collective efforts of Black people around the globe to organize themselves as sustained, autonomous, protected communities, its area of study may
be among the best to inform how people of African descent can build and sustain productive communities today. Click below to learn more about this rich area of study and the enduring lessons it offers.
To learn how maroon history can help socialize healthy Black communities, click here to purchase “The Maroon Within Us,” a book by Dr. Asa Hilliard, from Black Classic Press.

2021 May Newsletter, History and Culture

21-Year-Old Black Man Builds Charter School for Young Boys in Georgia

When King Randall was 19-years-old, he saw the glaring need to support teenage boys become healthy, skilled, and self-loving members of their communities. That’s when he started an after-school program that provided a safe space where participants  learned vocational, literacy, and other life-skills.
His work with the after-school program inspired Randall to do more. He really wanted to start a charter school. So, he contacted the Dougherty County School System Superintendent and inquired if there were any school buildings not being used. The day Randall made that phone call, was the day he found out 3 schools were available. One of them has now become the site for the New Life Preparatory School for Boys.
Randall’s 21-year-old example is a wonderful reminder of the power of young adults. His actions underscore what can become available in life when more is imagined and pursued. To learn more about the young Brother and his efforts, click below.

Inspired to Save Black Lives, ANJEL App Lets Users Activate Own Body Cam

Like other Black folks taking action to safeguard Black people and communities, James A. Samuel has developed an app that can immediately turn your cell phone into a body camera and record the actions of the police or any aggressor. Once activated, the ANJEL Tech app not only begins recording, it sends a livestream of the interaction to designated recipients, along with directions to your location. The app can be discreetly activated without the aggressor knowing a recording is in progress.
Explaining how he was so affected by the recent police killings and assaults on Black people, Samuel stated “Watching George Floyd asphyxiated on that asphalt scared me, awakened me, and motivated me to change the world.” That Samuel is directing his fear, passion, and technological expertise toward keeping people safe is a welcomed contribution to efforts to save Black lives.

To find out more about the ANJEL Tech app, click below.

2021 May Newsletter, Present Day Achievements, 

Black Supplier of Mannequins Makes Millions

Twenty years ago, when Judi Henderson-Townsend began selling mannequins, she was not planning to turn her side hustle into a full-time undertaking. She was compelled to do so after
discovering the only mannequin supplier in her city was going out of business. So, she purchased his inventory and opened Mannequin Madness, a company that has grown into a
global enterprise that generates millions of dollars in sales each year.

From her Oakland California factory, Henderson-Townsend rents and recycles mannequins. Her notoriety as the “Mannequin Queen” reflects not only her entrepreneurial success, but the
impact of her company’s recycling focus on the industry and environment.

To learn more about the brilliant Sister who built an unconventional business into a 20-year success story, click below.

Black Restauranteurs Committed to Hiring Formerly Incarcerated

At a restaurant known as Down North, located in a city named Philadelphia, two childhood friends are making and selling pizza like none others. Down North pizza and other menu items are prepared exclusively by people formerly incarcerated. That’s the news many are celebrating, for good reason.

Understanding the massive over incarceration of Black men and women in the United States, and the difficulties they often encounter once released, Kurt Evans and Muhammad Abdul-
Hadid decided to help mitigate the employment discrimination many face. From the vast pool of former inmates, Evans and Abdul-Hadid are hiring, training, and producing their own pipeline of great employees.
During a recent Good Morning America interview, Evans explained “It was very important for us to help these people coming from the system and break the cycle of mass
incarceration.” The owners’ commitment extends to their provision of short-term housing for some employees who need a place to say as they reestablish themselves in their communities.

Click below to learn more about a heroic business model demonstrating a great added advantage that can come with business ownership. Be inspired by what is achieved when Black people take care of Black people.

She Envisioned Highly & Now Owns A New York Water Bottling Company

YESS Water Works is the first water bottling company in New York State that is owned and operated by an African American woman. The series of events that led Paulla McCarthy to purchase the company are as intriguing as they are inspiring. At every turn, the nurse and astute mother of 3 appears to have unknowingly prepared herself for this entrepreneurial leap. From the founding of her non-profit youth agency, to training her twin boys to sell bottled water as an exercise in financial literacy, one step at a time McCarthy was readied for this opportunity.

Even when McCarthy was unable to secure a conventional bank loan to finance the bottling facility purchase, she didn’t stop. With a creative mind and determined heart, she launched a number of revenue building strategies, including the 3 Million Gallon Challenge to pre-sell 3,000,000 gallons of water in 30 days.

To learn more about the indomitable spirit of a Black business woman, click below. Become familiar with what is possible for  people who vision highly, while taking smart, decisive