PROMINENT BLACK LEADERS PART OF NEW $10 MILLION FUND TO MAKE LOANS TO BLACK BUSINESSES

Black small business owners starting or expanding a business can now perhaps get some fresh capital from the African American Chamber Fund (AACF). The new fund, a program led by Jersey City, New Jersey-based World Business Lenders, will initially offer up to $10 million in loans to black businesses.
Borrowers must seek financing through a U.S. based African American Chamber of Commerce office, a move to help ensure loans are made in black business communities.
World Business Lenders (WBL) has compiled an elite list of “Board of Managers” for the AACF. The list consists of high-profile individuals with political, business, spiritual, and athletic backgrounds who will reach out to local chambers to affiliate with.
Also known as advisory board members, they include U.S. Congressman Ed Towns (D-NY), Washington, D.C. Archbishop David J. Billings III, World Business Lenders CEO/Founder Doug Nadius, as well as Bob Beamon and Jackie Joyner Kersee, both Olympic gold medalists. Derrick Chambers, program manager of AACF/WBL, is a former NFL player for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

 

Organizers report there are currently 2.6 million black-owned businesses in the United States, employing 975,000 workers across the nation and generating $150 billion in annual receipts.
“Clearly, African American entrepreneurs are a driving force in our nation’s economy but, like all minority groups, they have more difficulty getting access to capital,” Bishop Billings, Fund Vice Chairman stated publicly earlier this year. “Our goal is to ensure that the opportunity to thrive is available to every single one of these entrepreneurs who want to create more economic growth for our communities.”

 

An alternative lender, WBL allows borrowers to use real estate as collateral to get short-term business loans. Its AACF unit can make unsecured loans based on the guidance and insight borrowers receive from a local chamber. The bottom line is borrowers can pursue loans they might not from traditional lenders like banks.

 

Currently, the AACF has launched the program with the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce in New York, and the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Brooklyn, New York.

 

The AACF is in talks with other black chambers nationally, including the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce in Chicago and the Mississippi Black Chamber of Commerce in Jackson to affiliate with the fund, Chambers says. He added the AAFC will also determine whether to make loans to black businesses at a local chamber outside of their business location.

 

AACF borrowers can seek loans ranging from $25,000 to $2 million. Chambers figures the average size of a typical loan will be from $25,000 to $100,000. He added the criteria to receive a loan will be based on an interview about the applicant’s financial background, why they need the loan, and other factors. Loan participants can use the money for business purposes, including buying equipment, inventory, as well as cash flow for payroll.

Coca-Cola unveils new sparkling water brand with a jolt of caffeine

  • Coca-Cola will launch a sparkling water brand called AHA in early 2020.
  • American consumption of soda is falling as consumers turn to healthier alternatives, like sparkling water or seltzer.
  • PepsiCo expects that its flavored sparkling water brand Bubly will become one of its next billion-dollar brands.

Coca-Cola on Thursday unveiled a new sparkling water line, its first new brand in more than a decade.

The beverage giant will launch AHA in early 2020.

The announcement comes as American consumption of soda continues to fall, forcing Coke and its rival PepsiCo to invest more in marketing of their legacy soda brands and think of healthier alternatives.

Flavored sparkling water or seltzer has become a popular alternative for consumers. LaCroix, which is owned by National Beverage, was once the leader in the category. But it is now losing market share as upstarts like Spindrift and more established companies enter the arena. Pepsi, for example, expects that its Bubly brand, launched in 2018, will become one of its next billion-dollar brands.

Coke is trying to position the new brand as different from the competition. Two of AHA’s eight flavors, Citrus + Green Tea and Black Cherry + Coffee, will contain added caffeine. But not too different: AHA will be sold in cans, not bottles.

AHA is not Coke’s first entrance into sparkling water. The Atlanta-based company launched Dasani’s line of sparkling water in 2014, which will be replaced by AHA in retail stores. In 2015, Coke also launched a sparkling version of Smartwater. Coke will also introduce flavors to its nonsparkling Smartwater drinks in 2020. In 2017, it acquired Topo Chico, a sparkling mineral water brand with a cult following in Mexico and Texas.

In 2018, retail sales of Coke’s North American sparkling water drinks jumped 27%, according to Nielsen. But the company’s net revenue declined 10% to $31.9 billion that year.

Coca-Cola shares, which have a market value of $226.2 billion, have gained more than 11% since the start of the year, while Pepsi’s stock, valued at nearly $188 billion, rose nearly 22% over the same period. Shares of LaCroix’s parent, which has a market value of $2.1 billion, are down 37% year to date.

SOURCE: CNBC

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Celebrating the Life of John Witherspoon

“You win some, you lose some, but you live to fight another day.”⠀ ⠀

John Witherspoon (born John Weatherspoon; January 27, 1942 – October 29, 2019) was an American actor and comedian who performed in dozens of television shows and films.

Best known for his role as Willie Jones for the Friday series,  Witherspoon also starred in films such as Hollywood Shuffle (1987), Boomerang (1992) and Vampire In Brooklyn (1995). He has also made appearances on television shows such as The Wayans Bros. (1995–99), The Tracy Morgan Show (2003), Barnaby Jones (1973), The Boondocks (2005–present), The Five Heartbeats (1991) and Black Jesus (2014).[1][2] He wrote a film, From the Old School, in which he played an elderly working man who tries to prevent a neighborhood convenience store from being developed into a strip club.

Early life

John Weatherspoon was born on January 27, 1942, in DetroitMichiganHe later changed his surname to “Witherspoon”. Witherspoon was one of 11 siblings.  His elder brother, William, became a songwriter for Motown, with whom he penned the lyrics of the 1966 hit single “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted“.[6] Another sibling, Cato, was a longtime director of the PBS-TV Network/CH56 in Detroit for almost four decades. Their sister, Gertrude Stacks, is a evangelist and the pastor of a Pentecostal church in Detroit.

Witherspoon had a passion for music and learned to play the trumpet and French horn.

Career

Witherspoon worked occasionally as a model. During the 1960s and 1970s, he began to take a liking towards comedy. During that time he began his stand-up comedy career. As a result, he had many friends in the business, including Tim Reid (while he was working on WKRP in Cincinnati and The Richard Pryor Show), Robin Williams (also on The Richard Pryor Show), Jay Leno, and David Letterman.

Witherspoon has performed in many feature films (usually comedies), including Friday (and its sequel Next Friday) as well as Hollywood ShuffleI’m Gonna Get You SuckaBirdVampire in Brooklyn, and The Meteor Man.

Witherspoon was also known for his over-the-top characters in films like House Party, in which he played an irritated neighbor who is repeatedly woken up by the party. In the film Boomerang with Eddie Murphy where he plays Mr. Jackson, the ill-mannered father of Murphy’s best friend.

Television

His first television appearance was on the 1970s CBS television show Barnaby Jonesplaying a camp counselor for drug-addicted youth.  Subsequent appearances were on Good Times What’s Happening!!  and The Incredible Hulk. In 1977, he became a regular on the series The Richard Pryor Show, an NBC American comedy series. This then led to his appearance in WKRP In Cincinnati in 1978 in the fourth-season episode “Circumstantial Evidence” in which Witherspoon played Detective Davies.

In 1981, he appeared in Hill Street Blues, an NBC police drama, as a man who tries to buy a hotdog from undercover Detective Belker. In 1981, he had an appearance on L.A. Law, an NBC legal drama, in the episode “On Your Honor” as Mark Steadman. He appeared in other television series including You Again? as Osborne, 227, which was an NBC comedy about women who lived in a majority-black apartment complex, and What’s Happening Now!!, the sequel to What’s Happening!!.

A year later Witherspoon was in Amen (1988), an American television sitcom that ran on NBC, as the bailiff. The show was known for being one of the shows during the 1980s that featured an almost entirely black cast.

Next came spots on Townsend Television (1993), Cosmic Slop (1994), and Murder Was The Case (1994) as a drunk.

He appeared in Fox‘s Living Single (1997) episode “Three Men and a Buckeye” as Smoke Eye Howard. His largest role in a television series was in The Wayans Bros. (1995–1999) which aired on The WB and starred Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans, who played brothers Shawn and Marlon Williams.[7] Witherspoon played their father, John “Pops” Williams.

Witherspoon was on the Kids’ WB animation series Waynehead, which was about a young boy growing up poor in the HarlemNew York City. The show was aired on Saturday mornings and was based on creator Damon Wayans‘ life.

In 2003, Witherspoon made a showing on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, a reality television show that selected the comedian out of a group and gave him a contract, in the Las Vegas finals. Also in 2003, he performed in The Proud Family, an animated series that aired on Disney Channel, as Oran Jones in the episode “Adventures in Bebe Sitting.” He also performed in an episode of another Disney Channel’s animated series, Kim Possible.

He starred in the comedy series The Tracy Morgan Show as Spoon in all 18 episodes of the show.

In 2004, he was in Pryor Offenses, a television movie where he played Willie the Wino. In 2005, he was seen in the Comedy Central talk show Weekends at the D.L. where he played the character of Michael Johnson. In the same year, he began starring in Aaron McGruder‘s animated series The Boondocks as Robert Jebediah “Granddad” Freeman; this Cartoon Network series ran for four seasons. In 2006, he performed in a television movie, Thugaboo: A Miracle on D-Roc’s Street, a story about a group of kids who find the true meaning of Christmas. In the movie he plays Real Santa, a Christmas singer on the radio. His next appearance was on The Super Rumble Mixshow in 2008. He also appeared in another Aaron McGruder series, Black Jesus, portraying Lloyd, a homeless man.

In 2011, he starred in a Final Destination spoof with Shane Dawson on YouTube. In May 2013, he featured on “Saturday (skit)”, from rapper Logic on his latest mixtape Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever.

Music videos

Witherspoon appeared in a number of music videos in the music industry. He was in the music video for hip-hop superstar Jay-Z‘s 2000 single “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)“. He was also in Field Mob‘s music video for their song “Sick of Being Lonely“. Other music movies include Goodie Mob‘s “They Don’t Dance No Mo'” and LL Cool J‘s “Ain’t Nobody”.

Comedy tour

Witherspoon went back to his comedian roots and started a comedy tour that premiered on television on March 28, 2008 on Showtime Network. On his 2009 tour, he had 19 stops across the country. In December 2011, Witherspoon performed his stand up comedy act once again on stage at the Funny Bone comedy club at Harrah’s Casino in Tunica, Mississippi.

Personal life and death

In 1988, Witherspoon married Angela Robinson. They have two children, John David (“J.D.”) and Alexander. J.D. is known for making skits and gameplay videos on YouTube, and currently hosts the mobile game show Confetti on Facebook WatchDavid Letterman is the godfather to Witherspoon’s two sons.

Witherspoon died suddenly at his home on October 29, 2019.

Multiple celebrities including Samuel L. JacksonIce Cube, and Magic Johnson took to Twitter to pay their respects to Witherspoon.

SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

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Entrepreneur Creates Flashcards That Teach Children About Black Millionaires and Billionaires

New Orleans-based media company, Raising Black Millionaires, has just released the first volume in their series of Raising Black Millionaires Flashcards, to empower parents and educators of Black children with an effective and easy tool that builds self-confidence, high self-esteem, and limitless earning potential for all ages. The once blog turned media company produces infotainment products and resources to help raise Black children to be wealthy and maintain wealth, and they’re causing huge mental shifts for Black families and classrooms across the nation.

New Orleans-based media company, Raising Black Millionaires, has just released the first volume in their series of Raising Black Millionaires Flashcards, to empower parents and educators of Black children with an effective and easy tool that builds self-confidence, high self-esteem, and limitless earning potential for all ages. The once blog turned media company produces infotainment products and resources to help raise Black children to be wealthy and maintain wealth, and they’re causing huge mental shifts for Black families and classrooms across the nation.

Thiah continues, “We wanted to create a flashcard that sparks an exploration into our giants in business who are making some remarkable moves and accomplishments, most of which our community has no knowledge. We feel that this is essential to do, because our children need to see Black people who acquired wealth through means other than entertainment and sports; so that their worlds of opportunity could be broadened, and any existing self-limiting/self-defeating images could be combated by them seeing people who have wealth and look just like them. With that in mind, the cards were designed for them to learn about one new person each week, by starting with the card then looking the person up on Google, following them on social media, and viewing their speeches or interviews on YouTube or podcasts.”

“When Robert F. Smith announced that he was paying off the student loans for those graduates from Morehouse, my first thought was that this man is one of a handful of ‘our’ billionaires in this country. All Black people in America should know who he is, and we wanted to provide a resource that would make knowing easier. We’re certain that these cards will give parents and teachers tools that will help them to help our children to identify themselves as people of greatness and introduce them to industries that they likely have never been exposed to before, giving them more career choices.”

While the flashcards are a new release, Raising Black Millionaires has been creating fun educational content for several years. They have a blog that provides parents with easy-to-use tips on how to develop children’s financial literacy, business knowledge, wealth mindset, and much more. After the successful release of their first book How To Raise Your Black Child To Be A Millionaire: Child-rearing Secrets of the Black Elite in 2015, the company started the Raising Black Millionaires Podcast where Mrs. Muhammad interviews Black Millionaires to find out the childrearing techniques and strategies their parents used to get them to their various levels of success; and which of those same techniques they’ve used in rearing their children to continue their legacies. The company is on schedule to begin filming their television show this Fall.

To get your deck of the Raising Black Millionaires cards, go to https://raisingblackmillionaires.com/

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Black-Owned Laundrymats Making Big Profits Off Your Dirty Laundry

But here are a few Black-owned laundrymats in various cities across the country:

#1 – S&R Laundry Services: Back in 2009, owners Simeon and Ruth Chance (originally from Guyana) came up with the idea for their company when their washing machine broke and they had to use a local laundrymat. Soon after, they launched their very own pick-up and delivery laundry service in the Baltimore, Maryland area. Since then, they’ve opened their first storefront dry cleaner store.

#2 – Heavenly Washes Laundry Matt: (pictured above) Based in Winter Haven, Florida, CEO Shaterra Jordan came up with the business idea while sleeping in a dream when she was collecting unemployment from the field of her studies, nursing. She stepped out on faith with her 401k in hand and opened her first location in 2013. She opened her second location in 2015.

#3 – Laundry Cafe: Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this Black-owned laundrymat is the creative vision of two humble individuals who grew up in the inner city and share the commitment of providing an upscale laundry experience to their customers in underserved communities. They say that this allows them to reinvest in and uplift the communities they serve.

#4 – Kimbark Laundry & Dry Cleaning: In 2007, after selling some South Side apartment buildings they co-owned, Fylynne Crawford and her husband Darryl were shopping for a new business venture in the Chicago, Illinois area. Through a broker, they learned that Kimbark Coin Laundry was for sale, and so they bought it. They have since added a drop-off laundry service, a dry-cleaning service and a pick-up and delivery service.

A valuable Black history lesson

Although very few laundrymats are Black-owned, according to MadameNoire.com, African Americans have always been leaders in the industry. In fact, what is now called “dry cleaning” is actually a process that was patented in 1821 by a Black entrepreneur/tailor from New York City named Thomas Jennings.

Back then, however, it was called “dry scouring”. He reportedly was the first Black man to ever receive a patent, and even more, he used his profits to help free slaves and end slavery in the Northeast.

For details on how to start a coin-operated laundrymat, visit www.entrepreneur.com/article/190424

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The Morehouse Mystique: Lessons to Develop Black Men

More than just an institutional biography, this story of Morehouse College discusses how the all-male African American school in Atlanta continues to build its legacy as an institution that develops its students into successful men of the highest caliber. Though Morehouse offers its students an excellent liberal arts education in an environment that is conducive to academic, social, and spiritual growth, the book posits that it has something more to explain its extraordinary success rate.

The analysis of this quality—deemed “the Morehouse Mystique”—includes an appraisal of the challenges of being black and male in America and examines the college’s astute approach to leadership development, which has produced such famed alumni as Martin Luther King Jr., and Spike Lee. By carefully dissecting the way that Morehouse nurtures its students, the discussion maintains that other institutions, and by extension American society, can take better strides toward helping black men reach their full potential.

ABOUT DR. JOHN EAVES

In November 2014, Dr. John Eaves was elected to his third four-year term as Chairman of the Fulton County Commission receiving 63 percent of the popular vote. Since 2007, he has led the state’s most populous and dynamic county, home to nearly one million residents and 14 municipalities including Georgia’s capital city of Atlanta.

Chairman Eave’s distinguished career spans the academic and educational sectors, community service and business leadership, both domestically and abroad. His passion for connecting Georgia businesses and entrepreneurs with opportunities abroad is borne out by his efforts to leverage metro Atlanta’s dynamic global economy and standing as the home of the world’s busiest airport.

An international specialist, Chairman Eaves has visited and met with citizens of more than 50 nations around the globe. He received the American Marshall Plan Memorial Fellowship-German Marshall Fund and two Fulbright scholarships. John is also a former National Director of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Volunteer for Youth Program, an administrator https://chiefessays.net/ at Post College in Connecticut and at Davidson College in North Carolina.

Before entering politics, John’s career took him through the halls of academia and to a post as the Southeast Regional Director of the Peace Corps for seven years, where he helped bring education and healthcare assistance to the people of South Africa, Sierra Leone, Paraguay, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.

Most recently, John Eaves worked in partnership with the West African nation of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and the Brazilian state of Bahia to structure bilateral cooperative agreements in economic development, healthcare, education, the arts and human rights between Fulton County and each of those governmental entities. As Commission Chairman, Eaves has concentrated on business growth and the economic recovery, re-instating a previous program as the Fulton County Economic Development Division to create jobs, retain and attract businesses from North Atlanta to South Fulton.

He also devised joint commissions between Fulton and DeKalb Counties on Transportation, Housing and Healthcare – key areas of investment and innovation for bolstering metro Atlanta’s bright future. A prudent steward of county resources, he has championed the Fulton County Budget Commission, applying efficient operations and fiduciary accountability to grow the county’s reserves.

Chairman Eaves firmly believes that education is integral to the betterment of all Georgians and as an unwavering advocate of active lifestyles and preventative healthcare, Eaves has been a champion for the Grady Hospital System and fought to ensure adequate annual funding.

Chairman Eaves has a growing interest in efforts to transform the criminal justice system.  In 2014, he established the SMART Justice Advisory Council and joined President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force.  In 2015, he spearheaded the county’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative and became a leading partner in the White House Data-Driven Justice (DDJ) communities.  From these combined find bride scam efforts, meaningful reform will be realized in reducing the jail population, decreasing the rate of recidivism, strengthening alternative sentencing efforts and fostering greater opportunity for at-risk youth.

Chairman Eaves is a 1984 graduate of Morehouse College, where he was a four-year letterman on the football team and captain in his senior year.  He earned a Master’s Degree in Religion from Yale University and obtained his Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina. When he isn’t working for Fulton County, John stays busy as an Executive Consultant with TalentQuest.

John resides in Atlanta and is the devoted father of two children; Isaac and Keturah.

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Rep. Elijah Cummings, Democratic leader and regular Trump target, dies at 68

I awake to such difficult news. Our prayers go out to the Cummings family.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) has died, according to a statement from his office.

The Democratic member of Congress chaired the House Oversight Committee, which is among the panels investigating the impeachment of President Donald Trump. He was 68.

Cummings died at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Baltimore at approximately 2:30 a.m. Thursday “due to complications concerning longstanding health challenges,” his office confirmed in a statement to HuffPost. He did not return to work following an unidentified medical procedure in September.

Congressman Cummings was an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility,” his wife Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the Maryland Democratic Party chair, said in a statement.

“He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation’s diversity was our promise, not our problem,” she added. “It’s been an honor to walk by his side on this incredible journey. I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly.”

Cummings, the son of a sharecropper, practiced law for almost two decades and served in the Maryland House of Delegates before winning his congressional seat in 1996, where he was renowned for championing civil rights issues.

His House committee’s probes into the Trump administration drew fierce anger from the president. In July, Trump tweeted racist insults about Cummings and his majority-black district, calling it a “rodent-infested mess.”

Cummings earlier this year said he had “no doubt” that Trump is a racist after the president said four Democratic members of Congress ― all women of color ― should “go back” to other countries.

On the only time in 2017 that Cummings talked one-on-one with Trump about lowering drug prices, the Baltimore Sun reported him as telling the president: “Mr. President. You’re now 70-something, I’m 60-something. Very soon you and I will be dancing with the angels. The thing that you and I need to do is figure out what we can do — what present can we bring to generations unborn?” #SPMGMedia

Johns Hopkins Researcher, Professor Wins Nobel Prize For Medicine

Dr. Gregg L. Semenza of Johns Hopkins Medicine was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with two other researchers.

A Johns Hopkins researcher has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine, the Nobel Assembly announced Monday morning. He was one of three doctors whose research revealed how cells respond to the availability of oxygen.

Gregg L. Semenza, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor of genetic medicine for Johns Hopkins Medicine and is the director of the vascular program for the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering.

Semenza, William G. Kaelin Jr. of Harvard University and British scientist Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe were all awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology. Each made separate discoveries in their laboratories that overlapped to elucidate how cells respond to oxygen.

“The seminal discoveries by this year’s Nobel Laureates revealed the mechanism for one of life’s most essential adaptive processes. They established the basis for our understanding of how oxygen levels affect cellular metabolism and physiological function,” according to a statement from the Nobel Committee. “Their discoveries have also paved the way for promising new strategies to fight anemia, cancer and many other diseases.”

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Multiple Grammy Award winner and American soprano Jessye Norman has died

Jessye Norman, the majestic American soprano who brought a sumptuous, shimmering voice to a broad range of roles at the Metropolitan Opera and houses around the world, died on Monday in New York. She was 74.

The cause was septic shock and multiple organ failure following complications of a spinal cord injury she suffered in 2015, according to a statement by her family.

Ms. Norman, who found acclaim as well as a recitalist and on the concert stage, was one of the most decorated of American singers. She won five Grammy Awards, four for her recordings and one for lifetime achievement. She received the prestigious Kennedy Center Award in 1997 and the National Medal of Arts in 2009. #SPMGMedia

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