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Black Enterprise Editor Honored With ‘Heroine of Excellence’ Award

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BLACK ENTERPRISE Digital Editor Selena Hill was honored as one of several Heroines of Excellence, at the eighth annual Beauty and the Beat award event, last week in New York City.

(Image: Udo Salters Photography)

Hill was awarded as an up-and-coming millennial making an impact through her work in the media industry.

The event was founded by DJ Jon Quick—a famous, New York-based DJ. In a 2012 interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE, Quick revealed his educational background in social work, and how his career in music has not dissuaded his interest in social and political causes:

“I was approached in late January 2012, to be a partner in a fundraising event by Obama Fundraising Committee member, Brian Benjamin, and his NYC based nonprofit, Young Professionals for Change. Seeing how I had just did a successful fundraiser the year before, called ‘Deejays for Japan,’ I decided to call the event ‘Deejays for Obama.’

Because everyone cannot afford to attend those amazing, $5,000-a-plate fundraisers, I wanted to do an event that the average working class professional could come to, and just donate whatever they could to the Obama victory fund. Some of the great DJs we’ve had volunteer their skills were D-Nice, Spinna, Pete Rock, and Goldfinger, to name a few.

Five events later, we have raised over $12,000 for Obama’s campaign. I should add that some Obama campaign staffers took notice, and recently coined their own official initiative ‘DJs for Obama.’”

Per its website, Beauty and the Beat is a fundraising event, with two purposes:

  1. To honor women of color who, through hard work, have become undeniable shooting stars in their respective industries.
  2. To raise money for worthy charities and causes.

This year’s event raised money for The Hip Hop Loves Foundation and The Urban Resource Institute.

(Image: Udo Salters Photography)

Past honorees include Black Girls Rock! Founder and CEO Beverly Bond; Al Jazeera News Anchor Richelle Carey; Maya Haile; and TV/radio medical expert Dr. Yael Varnado, also known as “Dr. V.”

“I am extremely humbled to accept one of the Beauty and the Beat: Heroine of Excellence awards, and I give all glory to God. To be recognized among such a prestigious and well-accomplished group of women is an honor. I commend DJ Jon Quick for creating this platform, which spotlights and celebrates women of color,” said Hill.

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Bozoma Saint John on Shift to Uber, ‘I’m Ready’

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Bozoma Saint John

(Image: Twitter/BozomaSaintJohn)

It’s official: Bozoma “Boz” Saint John is leaving her position as head of Global Consumer Marketing for Apple Music and iTunes and bringing her talents to Uber starting on June 12.

In an exclusive interview with Black Enterprise’s Caroline Clarke, Saint John said she plans to relocate to San Francisco, where Uber is based, once the school year ends for her daughter later this month. They currently live in L.A.

In the interim, the marketing guru is anxious to begin working as the company’s new chief brand officer. “People like me jump right into the deep end, head first,” she says.” I’m already going. The practical and logistical things will catch up.”

During her tenure at Apple, Saint John became one of the most visible execs at the company as well as in Silicon Valley. She also played a major role in expanding Apple Music and spearheaded successful ad campaigns like their popular commercial series starring Mary J. Blige, Kerry Washington, and Taraji P. Henson. In turn, revenue from the company’s services, which includes Apple Music, grew by 24% in the third quarter of 2016, generating a record-breaking $6.3 billion for that quarter. Plus, the number of paid Apple Music subscribers more than doubled to 20 million by the end of last year.

Nonetheless, she says her abrupt move to Uber was driven by her innate desire “to build and grow and innovate”—and “not necessarily about what was lacking at Apple for me, but what was the opportunity at Uber. The company has had such incredible growth in such a short amount of time. But, at the same time, as someone who loves marketing and branding, I can’t help but think, `What could I do?’”

Uber spokesperson MoMo Zhou says the company is “elated” to have the marketing genius come on board, which begins at a time when Uber finds itself in the midst of a publicity crisis caused by several different incidents this year. In addition, The New York Times reported Wednesday that the president of business for Asia Pacific was fired over his handling of a rape case involving an Uber driver in India. Meanwhile, the tech company recently fired 20 people over claims of misconduct involving sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and bullying.

Bozoma Saint John (Image: Instagram/BadAssBoz)

Nonetheless, Boz remains optimistic about her ability to rebrand the tech company. “There’s such a high ceiling for what can be accomplished for this brand. The service is so great but it’s time to develop what the brand is and to have the opportunity to do that just doesn’t come along that often in a career.”

Boz says the position chief brand officer “grew out of a need, but also out of a partnership. I spent quite a bit of time with [Uber CEO Travis Kalanick] and members of the leadership team talking about the need. The overarching need for real storytelling is apparent. When I look at all the things Uber is doing, there’s a lot of good and we need to focus on how to communicate that.”

Saint John says Uber is still fine tuning the details within her department. “Can I give you a description of all the departments and what’s going to be folded in? Not really, we’re still working through that. But I know what all the foundational elements are for creating a world-class marketing organization and branding team so I’m ready. But if I’m super honest, I know we’re going into unchartered territory, so I need to also be open to shift as necessary.”

She added, “There’s so much to be said for having the full confidence of the leadership team that is giving me the reins to be able to make change. That really is the secret weapon.”

 

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Activists and Hollywood Elite Celebrate the Gordon Parks Legacy

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Gordon Parks

(Image: Usher Raymond, Common, and Swizz Beatz | Photo credit: Owen Hoffmann and Patrick McMullan)

The Gordon Parks Foundation’s Annual Awards Dinner and Auction was a night filled with Hollywood elite and social consciousness, in celebration of the legacy of renowned photojournalist and film director Gordon Parks.

Each year, The Gordon Parks Foundation holds the annual ceremony to honor humanitarians, artists, and activists that are making a social impact.

This year, the function was held at New York’s Cipriani 42nd Street. Honorees included Congressman John Lewis, philanthropist Alexander Soros, singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, musician and educator Jon Batiste, and American Express Chairman/CEO Kenneth Chenault. The foundation’s co-chairs, Usher Raymond and Swizz Beatz, were also in attendance, along with presenters Stephen Colbert, Martin Scorsese, and special guest Valerie Jarrett.

Gordon Parks (Image: Mavis Staples and Congressman John Lewis | Photo credit: Owen Hoffmann and Patrick McMullan)

The awards dinner also included a live auction, which raised over $1.3 million for the foundation’s artistic and educational programs and initiatives. At one point during the night, Swizz Beatz joked about auctioning off a date with his wife, Alicia Keys, for $1 million.

Lewis, who was presented with The Gordon Parks Foundation Award by Usher, expressed how Parks’ and the arts influenced his career in politics and activism.“If it hadn’t been for the arts, I don’t know what would have happened to me. The paintings, the drawings, the dance and the music inspired me,” said Lewis, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Even when we were beaten or put in jail during the ‘60s, someone would just start singing a song. Even when we were marching on Washington in 1963, we were singing. The arts tend to liberate us and free us to be a little more human.”

On the red carpet, the civil rights hero shared a word of inspiration, encouraging the next generation of activists to remain vigilant and hopeful in the fight for social justice under the Trump administration.

Grammy and Academy Award-winning artist Common called Parks “one of the greatest American artists we’ve ever seen,” and expressed how honored he felt to perform at the event, reports THR.

“Gordon Parks has motivated me as an artist. His work, his photographs—they brought a story of black America and who we are in this country in a unique way,” he said. “He’s always inspired me. I used one of his photos for my album Like Water for Chocolate, and I got to participate in something where we recreated one of his photos. He’s always been an influence. So, when I was told that I could be a part of the Gordon Parks Foundation event, I wanted to honor him and pay respect to where a lot of this has come from.”

Gordon Parks (Image: Honoree Alexander Soros and Chelsea Clinton | Photo Credit: Matteo Prandoni)

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BE Heard: Dear Black People: Stop Defending Bill Maher

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Bill Maher has built a successful career on a signature brand of comedy that is relentlessly provocative and politically incorrect. But because he’s a staunch critic of President Donald J. Trump and an advocate for equality, social justice, free speech, and the legalization of marijuana, he reigns as one of the leading voices on the left. He also uses his platform as a HBO television host to call out Republicans, but still, that does not dismiss the fact that his politics are still very problematic. For example, he’s expressed a deep-seeded disdain for Islam and has made a number of sexist and transphobic remarks throughout his career. Nevertheless, fans have turned a blind eye, mainly because like Joy Behar stated Monday on The View, “Bill Maher is one of the good guys in this fight against Trump.”

Others argue that as a comedian, Maher holds a creative license to use inflammatory language. But can that line ever be crossed?

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For some (myself included), Maher finally crossed that line when he dropped the N-word Friday on his TV show Real Time With Bill Maher. In response, The Rev. Al Sharpton told TMZ that Maher’s use of the word was “outrageous,” while Chance the Rapper and DeRay Mckesson went as far as to call for Maher be fired from his TV hosting gig.

On the other hand, others have run to his defense, arguing that the joke he made using the racial slur falls in line with his style of comedy. Meanwhile, Whoopi Goldberg implied that Maher simply “made a mistake,” despite the causal nature and comfortability he showed when he used the word.

Should Bill Maher Be Fired?

Bill Maher

Black Enterprise decided to pose the question to our social media followers on Monday to get their take on the debate. The reaction we received has been mixed. Around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, a 24-hour Twitter poll showed that 59% of respondents agreed he should be fired, while 41% said he should not.

Thoughts? #billmaher

A post shared by Black Enterprise (@blackenterprise) on Jun 5, 2017 at 10:38am PDT

The meme we created for Instagram, however, sparked a fiery ongoing debate. To my surprise, a number of black Instagram users have rushed to his defense, arguing that Maher, a 61-year-old white man, gets a hall pass for using the N-word. Some argue that because he’s been an ally in the #BlackLivesMatter movement, he has somehow earned the right to use the word. Others justify Maher’s comment by pointing out that he has a history of dating black women like video vixen Karrine “Superhead” Steffans. Some said that the context in which he used the N-word was excusable since he referred to himself as a “House N—er,” rather than directing the slur to describe a black person.

Really, though?

Although I am upset and outraged over Maher’s comment, I’m even more flabbergasted by the response we received on our IG post. In my opinion, white liberals don’t ever get a pass to say the N-word, no matter how “woke” they might be. The N-word conjures the pain of our past and a dark history when slaves and black people living in the Jim Crow south were raped, harassed, and murdered. The word, itself, is a representation of the ugliest part of America — a country that was built on the backs of a stolen people and continues to disproportionately hurts people of color. The word should not be used at all, and especially not by white folks who can’t feel our pain.

And so what that Maher likes black women? White slave masters fetishized over black women, too. Some even claimed to have fallen in love with slaves. But that didn’t dilute a relationship that was based on white supremacy and racism.

And, to black apologists who argue that it’s not offensive when Maher said the N-word because of the context that he used it in, I ask: Why does that matter? He made a disgusting jest about slavery. He’s not laughing with us, he’s laughing at us. Don’t let his progressive politics fool you.

Maher has been using his privilege as a famous comedian to say racist, Islamophobic, misogynistic things for years. Despite the apology he issued for using the N-word, he needs to be held accountable. If he doesn’t face any real consequences, then this will open the door for other white folks to denigrate black people. It’s time for black people to call him out, not defend him, because we know better.

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[Updated] Bozoma Saint John Leaves Apple Music, Heads to Uber

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(Bozoma Saint John on the cover of the January/February 2017 edition of Black Enterprise Magazine)

[Updated: June 6, 2017; 7:58 pm]: Bozoma Saint John confirms her departure from Apple and her hiring at Uber as the company’s new Chief Brand Officer in an interview with Variety.

[Updated June 6, 2016 at 1:19 PM]: TechCrunch is reporting that Bozoma is heading to Uber. The information comes via a tip and TechCrunch is reporting it has “confirmed the appointment through multiple sources at Uber.”

After shaking up the tech world with her larger-than-life personality and marketing genius, Bozoma “Boz” Saint John is reportedly leaving her position as head of Global Consumer Marketing for Apple Music and iTunes.

Axios reported on Friday that Saint John—a self-described “head diva” who is responsible for helping Apple Music sales grow exponentially last year—plans to leave the billion-dollar music streaming service. Saint John has not yet responded to a Black Enterprise inquiry about the report.

Before starting her tenure at Apple Music, Saint John worked as Head of Music and Marketing Entertainment for PepsiCo where she played a major role in curating both Beyoncé’s sponsorship deal with Pepsi and her 2013 Super Bowl half-time performance. In 2014, the marketing exec began working for Beats Music, which was later acquired by Apple that same year.

However, her profile rose after she delivered a remarkably impressive presentation at the 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference, making her the first black woman to present at an Apple event. There, she demonstrated new Apple Music features while playing “Rapper’s Delight” on stage.

Under her leadership, revenues from Apple services, which includes Apple Music, grew by 24% in the third quarter of 2016, generating a record-breaking $6.3 billion for the quarter. Plus, the number of paid Apple Music subscribers more than doubled to 20 million by the end of the year. Saint John was also behind Apple Music’s popular commercial series, featuring Mary J. Blige, Kerry Washington, and Taraji P. Henson.

In addition to helping Apple Music make major strides, Saint John surfaced as one of the most visible executives at Apple. She was named to Fortune’s 40 Under 40 last year and spoke at its Most Powerful Women: Next Gen Summit. She also starred in an Apple Music commercial and graced the cover of Black Enterprise’s February 2017 Women of Power cover.

Born in Ghana, Saint John’s mere presence at Apple helped the company combat its highly scrutinized lack of diversity problem. With her signature high heels and big hair, she also served as a game-changing marketing leader in the industry at large.

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Steve Harvey Scores Two Daytime Emmy Awards

Steve Harvey

(Image: Values Partnerships)

Actor, comic, and media personality Steve Harvey added two more Emmy wins to his portfolio on Sunday at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

Harvey took home the Outstanding Game Show Host award for hosting Family Feud along with the Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host Emmy for his syndicated talk show, Steve Harvey. The veteran comedian, however, was not present to receive the awards in person during the live taping, which took place at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in California.

In addition to hosting those two Emmy-winning shows, Harvey also hosts a string of other programs. The star-studded version of his hit game show, Celebrity Family Feud, will debut on June 11 on ABC and feature stars such as Amy Schumer and George Lopez. Harvey’s own family members are also set to make an appearance on the show, reports TV Insider.

Ironically, his new reality competition, titled Steve Harvey’s Funderdome, will premiere on the same exact day and station. On the show, up-and-coming entrepreneurs will go head-to-head to compete for funding for their business, which will be determined by a live studio audience.

Meanwhile, the Little Big Shots spinoff, Little Big Shots: Forever Young, will premiere on NBC on June 21. Rather than showcase talented children, Harvey will conduct his signature couch interviews with senior citizens with unique talents and big personalities. Just like the original series, Harvey has teamed up with Ellen DeGeneres to executive produce the series.

And, if you still can’t get enough of the original king of comedy, you can also catch him emceeing the upcoming season of Showtime at the Apollo. Harvey will host the legendary music and comic showcase, which has been picked up by Fox, in a weekly series.


Selena HillSelena Hill is the Associate Digital Editor at Black Enterprise and the founder of Let Your Voice Be Heard! Radio. You can hear Hill and her team talk millennial politics and social issues every Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.

Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @MsSelenaHill.

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Jackie Robinson Museum to Open in New York City in 2019

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Jackie Robinson(The groundbreaking of the new Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City | Photo Credit: Twitter/nlbmprez)

The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony in New York City on Thursday to announce that the start of construction has begun for the highly anticipated Jackie Robinson Museum.

Breaking Barriers

Set to open in 2019, the Jackie Robinson Museum will be located in lower Manhattan, in honor of the trailblazer. Robinson was the first African American player in Major League Baseball, after signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. The museum will also celebrate Robinson’s legacy as a pioneer in the civil rights movement.

“Jack lived his life with such great purpose,” says Rachel Robinson, founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and wife of Jackie Robinson, in a press release. “I hope that visitors to the museum will not only learn about his journey and experience his energy, but that they will be inspired to view each day as a chance to make a difference.”

Both Robinson and her daughter Sharon attended the ceremonial groundbreaking, along with Commissioner Rob Manfred and other notables.

“Mom turns 95 in July, and this is her birthday present,” Sharon said of her mother, according to The New York Times. “This is what she wanted for his legacy—to show that struggle is a process. We knew him in the family not as a baseball player, but as an activist.”

Raising Funds

For decades, the JRF has been working toward building a museum to honor the Hall of Famer’s contribution to breaking down color barriers in athletics and stimulating a major cultural shift that altered the course of American history.

However, the organization has faced a few challenges while raising funds. Last year, MLB donated $1 million toward their fundraising drive. The foundation also received donations from Nike, Phil Knight, the Yawkey Foundation, the City of New York, Citi, Strada Education Network, the Tull Family Foundation, and Stephen Ross, bringing the total to $23.5 million, reports USA Today. Still, that meets just a little more than half of their goal of $42 million, which is intended to cover the museum’s operating endowment.

Jackie Robinson on Display

Once opened, the museum visitors can learn more about Robinson via interactive exhibitions, educational outreach efforts, and insightful programming.

“This will show artifacts, baseballs, and things you can see, but it’s more a living, breathing monument to what a man stood for—just as relevant today as it was then,” says Joseph Plumeri, the vice chairman of the First Data board of directors and chair of the Jackie Robinson Museum’s Legacy Campaign. “The museum is about honoring a legacy and the courage of a hero, who shaped American history. Through baseball and beyond, Jackie Robinson impacted a nation. He continues to serve as a reminder that all people deserve the absence of hate and discrimination and an equal opportunity to succeed,” he adds.

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Catch Up on All the Tea With These Great Weekend Reads

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We’ve survived yet another week of blunders—from the Trump administration to Shea Moisture, which demonstrated exactly what not to do as a brand, when it comes to marketing. Fortunately, the weekend is here, and we can take some time to catch up on all of the headlines that we may have missed throughout the week.

Here’s a round-up of the some of the news stories recently published on BlackEnterprise.com.

1.) President Trump’s 100 Days of Racism, Incompetence, and Failure

“In my opinion, President Trump gets an ‘F,’” says the article’s author, Stanley Fritz.

budget proposal(Source: iStock.com/andykatz)

After branding himself as the “ultimate negotiator,” President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office have proven to be an abject failure.

Read more here.


2.) Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds You: 3 Ways to Avoid the Shea Moisture Mistake

Shea Moisture has recently joined the ranks of Pepsi and United Airlines–companies who ruffled more than a few feathers.

Shea Moisture(Source: Twitter/SheaMoisture)

Black business owners can avoid Shea Moisture’s missteps, with these tips from BLACK ENTERPRISE‘s own in-house marketing rock star.

Read more here.


3.) Oprah Reveals That She Never Planned to Star in Henrietta Lacks [VIDEO]

At the premiere of the HBO film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Oprah Winfrey admitted that even she gets scared by big roles.

the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks(Source: HBO)

Read more here.


4.) 5 Career Gems That Obama Dropped at the University of Chicago

During his first public appearance since leaving office, Obama shared great career advice with the students at the University of Chicago.

Farewell(Source: Youtube)

Read more here.


5.)  Beyoncé Creates Scholarship Program to Empower Young Women in College

Beyoncé celebrates the one-year anniversary of the release of her solo album “Lemonade” by supporting the education of young women through the inception of new scholarship program, Formation Scholars.

(Source: Beyonce.com)

Read more here.


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President Trump’s 100 Days of Racism, Incompetence, and Failure

(Photo Credit: Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

After what has felt like a lifetime of off-the-cuff tweets, incoherent interviews, and a Russian investigation that won’t end, President Donald Trump has made it to his 100th day in office. In that time, he and his administration have gone out of their way to attack undocumented people, strip millions of Americans of affordable health insurance, and redistribute wealth to the “one percent.” So far, those goals have been stifled by the aggressive incompetence of the president and his staff. After branding himself as the “Ultimate Negotiator” and someone who would “never leave the White House,” Trump’s first hundred days have ended up the way as an abject failure.

Since taking office on January 20, 2017, The Donald has signed 77 executive orders, completed 13 golfing trips in nine weeks, and given his signature to 28 bills, 13 of which were bills specifically signed to reverse popular Obama policies on climate, internet privacy, and gun control. After promising to be a “president of action” that could get things done, the Trump administration has spent most of its time failing at its big campaign promises and embarrassing the U.S. abroad.

Health Care

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(Source: YouTube, User: MrCollinsOpus)

After seven years of Republican opposition to the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), Donald Trump came into the White House with an opportunity to, once again, reform America’s healthcare system. He promised to repeal and replace Obamacare on his first day in office with universal health care that the “government would pay for.”

While this announcement shocked most Democrats and scared Republicans to death, it ignited his base and gave hope to millions of Americans. Instead of living up to that promise, however, the president, with the help of the House Speaker Paul Ryan, rolled out a health care bill so poorly crafted, that even Republicans hated it. Under the bill titled the

Under this bill, titled the Affordable Healthcare Act:

  1. By 2026, 24 million people would lose their health insurance coverage.
  2. Insurance companies would be allowed to charge older people higher premiums.
  3. The top 1% of the population would receive a $500 million tax cut.
  4. Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion plan would be eliminated after 2020. This means that people who made too little to purchase their own insurance would have fewer—if any—options when looking for coverage.
  5. State funding for the regular Medicaid program would be slashed by radically changing how it was funded. This would force states to end coverage and eliminate health care services for seniors, people with disabilities, children, and working families.

After criticizing President Obama for “rushing” his health care bill, Trump and the Republican party tried to force a bill that no one liked, in less than two weeks. The bill was so universally hated that Ryan was forced to pull it from the floor, because the House was not going to have enough votes to pass it.

The Muslim Ban

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(Source: YouTube, User: ITV News)

When Trump wasn’t trying to force horrible legislation down our throats, he was often signing meaningless executive orders with vague language and unclear directives. However, not all of his executive actions were toothless. About a week after Trump was inaugurated, the president signed an order that banned people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen from entering the country.

According to Politifact, “The order suspended for 120 days entry of all refugees — those who want to resettle in the United States — and barred refugees from Syria indefinitely. That’s in addition to the 90-day prohibition imposed on citizens of the seven countries with any type of visa, including tourists or those coming on business.”

Almost immediately after this order was announced, protests broke out across the country, including actions at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City. The Trump administration tried to respond to the protest by claiming that the order “was not a Muslim ban,” even though President Trump was actively calling it that on Twitter.

A week after the botched order, a Seattle judge blocked the ban with a restraining order. Furious that his half-witted order could be denied by a judge, Trump and his administration quickly wrote another one, this time removing Iraq from the excluded list, but, unfortunately for him, that order was blocked as well.

National Embarrassment

After eight years of President Obama, most people around the world thought pretty highly of the United States. Then, Trump walked into the White House.

During the second month of his administration, the Republican president got on two phone calls that were so bizarre, it’s hard to believe it actually happened. In a call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Trump bragged about the size of his Electoral college win, tried to go back on a refugee agreement, yelled at the prime minister, and then hung up on him.

Just as the American press was taking this information in, it was revealed that, in another call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, he threatened to send U.S. troops into Mexico to deal with the “bad hombres” on the border and invade Mexico.

100 Days of Failure

In an effort to not pummel you with depressing news and White House updates, I am ending with the few examples listed above. But, this piece barely hits the tip of the iceberg on Trump’s incompetence. I didn’t even get into his lack of a plan for Syria; the “mother of all bombs,” which got a lot of press coverage yet accomplished nothing; or the roster of administration officials that lied about their communication with Russia. The only thing President Trump has done right has been avoiding getting the U.S. sucked into another war. However, that could very well change in another week or two, making that one bright spot of hope no longer applicable.

We have had bad presidents before—for a while, it looked like George W. Bush had set the bar for failure—but Trump is fighting, tooth and nail, to outdo him. But, have no fear! Every time Trump tries to set the country back, adding another stroke of hatred and fear, there is a movement ready to resist and fight at every step of the way. As much as Trump’s ineffectiveness comes from an amateur staff and a refusal to use critical thinking, concerned Americans have played a big role in stopping the worst of his policies. While Trump and his administration are doing everything to set this country back, we must continue to push back and stand up for justice.

The first 100 days are complete—but remember—that was just round one.


Stanley Fritz is the communications associate at Citizen Action of New York, and the engineer/co-host of “Let Your Voice Be Heard! Radio.”

Tune in every Sunday at 11 a.m. EST, or subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

You can also follow him on Twitter at @StanFritz.

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6-Year-Old Girl Creates Coloring Book That Celebrates Black Indigenous Culture

coloring book (Image: via www.Princessvanae.com)

Coloring is often seen as a fun, creative pastime for children or an activity of leisure for grown folks who need a mental break from adulting. But, the purpose of coloring doesn’t end there. One little girl is using the recreation as a tool of empowerment and education around black and indigenous history.

Last month, 6-year-old girl Vanae James-Bey and her mother, Veronica Bey, released a coloring book titled The Indigenous Adventures of Princess Vanae, which explores the history and culture of black indigenous people in Africa and the Americas. Geared toward children ages 5 to 13, the coloring book is currently being sold for $12.95 at www.PrincessVanae.com. Since its release, Bey says it has been purchased and praised around the world.

“We’ve received tons of positive feedback, with orders from Australia to Amsterdam,” Bey told the Atlanta Black Star.

Bey says that the idea for the book stemmed from her desire to teach her daughter about the depths of their identity and ancestry. “Our family has indigenous American roots that we are in touch with and it’s always been important for them to know and understand that,” said the mother. However, Bey said she found it very difficult to find lessons plans on the topic.

“Culture is very important to our family,” she said. “Being home-schooled, we tend to stick to a more Afrocentric curriculum and noticed how hard it was to find specific materials for lessons and how many other parents [and] students must feel the same.”

Bey added that it was also very important for her to expose her daughter to the history of black and indigenous [cultures] that expand beyond American slavery and genocide.

“We have friends whose children go to public schools and are taught that Native Americans are extinct or are only taught about slavery as black history, I didn’t want that to be my children’s introduction to their history.”

Next up, the mother-and-daughter duo plan to create more stories that teach about black people from other cultures.

“We plan on making more volumes because we couldn’t fit all cultures into one,” Bey said. “Fiction books [are also on the way]. Wherever black people are in the word as a distinct culture, we plan to explore them all.”

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