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B.L.A.C.K Honors African American Top Hitters

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, AUGUST 18th, 2020

African Americans have always been talented, brave warriors, and the best of us deserved their rise to fame. In many cases however, this was frowned upon and our Kings were pushed back into the shadows. Facing segregation and invisible racial barriers that kept them from advancing to stardom, our top hitters had to evoke the spiritual strength of their ancestors if they were to ever claim their right to be recognized among the best.

In 1998, Kim Greene unwittingly inspired her partner to re-engage his passion for creating authentic memorabilia to honor African Americans in the sporting arena who made us proud. She had purchased Negro League baseball items from a company in New York, only to find out later that the logos had been designed by the very person she was purchasing them for. Her partner, Anthony Robinson. This was all the motivation he needed. I mean, seeing your work being bought and sold in any market can definitely strengthen your vision.

Kim and Anthony started their campaign to ensure that only high quality products were presented to represent such a rich and dynamic history as that of the Negro League.  It was easy to find Negro League gear, but it would often be presented on low quality material. They both wasted no time in becoming a part of the solution. BWM visited their online boutique at B.L.A.C.K and noticed immediately that their items featured only authentic logos and designs. It wasn’t hard to tell that they were committed to the vision that their company stands for: B.L.A.C.K (Bases Loaded Authentic Clothing and Kaps) “Empowering our Future by Honoring and Preserving our Past.” 

“We saw an opportunity to change that. And we were blessed to be able to spend a lot of time with Negro League players which helped drive that determination to make sure that the history that they helped to create was well represented and accurate.”

Kim Greene

Honoring the Negro League

The National Negro League was formed on February 13, 1920 under the guidance of Andrew “Rube” Foster.

Around the 19th century and before, blacks were prohibited from playing professional baseball in the predominately white major leagues and also the minor leagues. Those who were committed to the sport were left with no other alternative but to form their own leagues.

In 1920, Rube Foster had predicted that if the Negro Leagues maintained a high caliber of performance on the field, the players would be prepared to answer the call when the major leagues were ready to open their doors. By 1947, despite the fact that most of the major-league teams were not ready to accept blacks, Jackie Robinson made his historic walk onto the Dodgers’ Ebbets Field, breaking the color line for good. (via history.net)

Since that historic day, 35 of our top players in baseball have been inducted into the hall of fame, including names that you know;

  • Satchel Paige (1971)
  • Josh Gibson (1972)
  • Buck Leonard (1972)
  • Monte Irvin (1973)

See a full list here

B.L.A.C.K honors their legacy by providing the best quality authentic outerwear featuring the logos and designs that preserve their memory.

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Honoring the Tuskeegee Airmen

The Tuskeegee Airmen

Around the 1920s and 1930s, racial segregation was rampant in the US, and filtered into all segments including the armed forces. Much of the military establishment believed that blacks were inferior to whites and would therefore perform poorly in combat. In many cases they were thought to lack the physical and mental ability to even assist their white counterparts in battle. Young African Americans who aspired to become pilots were facing an uphill climb that seemed insurmountable. How did they overcome these obstacles?

When the US Air Corps (AAC) began ramping up its training program in preparation for looming wars, black newspaper publications joined the NAACP in a campaign to fight for the rights of our young black men to join the armed forces. In September 1940, the then President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, announced that the AAC would soon begin to include black pilots in their training programs. The war department chose the Tuskeegee Army airfield in Tuskeegee Alabama. This is pretty much how our black war heroes got their name.

In 2007, over 300 of the original Tuskeegee airmen received congressional gold medals from George W. Bush. In 2009, the surviving pilots and support crew were specially invited to the inauguration ceremony of the first African American President, Barack Obama.

“My career in public service was made possible by the path heroes like the Tuskegee Airmen trail-blazed.”

Barack Obama

Authentic, quality clothing and other items to celebrate and honor the legacy of these warriors of the skies can be found in store.


Honoring the Buffalo Soldiers

Buffalo Soldiers

Following the Civil War of 1865, African American Soldiers were enlisted to serve on the Western Frontier. They were put in place to control Native Americans, capture cattle thieves and protect settlers. The 9th and 10th cavalry regiments were dubbed “buffalo soldiers” by Native Americans. No one knows the reason for this, but you can take a wild guess. It could have had something to do with their appearance, or perhaps their aggression on the battle field. Whatever the cause, the name has transcended time to this day.

The 9th and 10th cavalry were stationed in both Kansas and Texas respectively, and participated in many Indian Wars as America became obsessed with westward expansion. About 20% of US troops that participated in these wars were buffalo soldiers. After having the Indians in check, they were stationed in Florida, during the Spanish American War. They faced blatant racism from their counterparts and superiors and endured brutal weather conditions, but still they endured and were found to be the most courageous in battle.

Today, a museum can be found in their honor, in Houston Texas. Bob Marley and the Wailers also immortalized them in the well-known reggae song “Buffalo Soldier.”

Get official Buffalo Soldier merchandise on B.L.A.C.K

BWM is inspired by the commitment of this black owned business in honoring our fighters in both the sporting arena and on the battlefield. Not only does the store offer apparel and memorabilia in honor of these men, Kim Greene also produces black baby dolls that are quite unique and lifelike and make wonderful collectors items. What’s not to like about this store?

How B.L.A.C.K gives back

Although Kim and Anthony have encountered their fair share of obstacles, including finding highly qualified manufacturers who share their level of commitment, they press on. They are now seeking to expand their line to include other elements of black military history (Montford Point Marines, Harlem Hellfighters, RedBall Express and Golden 13, to name a few. They endeavor to continue educating the masses on these pieces of history that are not often discussed. Spending time with the people who have actually created this history has been an honor for them and has cemented their goal to educate and uplift as they sell.

The apparel and memorabilia sold in store helps to promote black history and raises funds for and awareness of black historical museums across the USA. They also raise funds for the surviving black history makers.

Their plans are to expand so that they can be an actual funding source for a young entrepreneurial training center and youth scholarship fund for an HBCU. They also hope to open their line to include other black historical organizations that deserve recognition. Did we say we are totally inspired? This definitely looks like a black owned superstore to support!

Shop Here or Donate

“NEVER take criticism from someone that you would never go to for advice.”

Kim Greene
Kim Greene with the late Rep John Lewis at an event in DC this past December

Related: Black History Milestones – A Timeline

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Husband and Wife duo making strides in the Farming Industry

by Taryn St.Louis, July 20, 2020

The effects of covid-19 can be felt worldwide. Most persons who were previously employed and living comfortably have been thrust into financial uncertainty. The same can be said for businesses. The owners of both large and small enterprises have had to find creative ways to keep their businesses afloat. Some have been successful, others not so much, and the remainder have had to deviate to new ventures in order to keep food on their tables and their bills paid. This husband and wife team have taken the necessary initiative and deviated into the farming business.

Meet the Huntes

Marlon and Tavia Hunte reside in Swetes Village on the beautiful island of Antigua with their two children, Tequon, age 21 Serenity, age 12. This married couple are both seasoned innovators; Marlon is an AC Technician, and Tavia is a Performing Arts Lecturer at the Antigua State College. She is also renowned on the island as the owner/director of the Shiva School of Dance. Their businesses both took financial hits when covid-19 struck the island in March 2020. Marlon, as the head of his household, saw the impact this could have on his family and quickly began the process of educating his wife on the art of backyard gardening. This did not progress well for Tavia, and they both soon realized she just wasn’t cut out for watering plants.

A New Plan

After realizing that backyard gardening may not be the ideal, Marlon came up with a new plan – A Chicken Farm. Although she was skeptical at first, Tavia decided to place her trust in their team and through productive communication, they both executed the plan successfully. Hunte Chicken Farm was established and they both may just have found the winning formula for business.

It’s Hard Work, But Worth It

“The labor of killing and cleaning chickens requires early morning preparations and being on your feet literally the entire day.” According to Tavia, they both have had experience in raising and preparing poultry for their own family events, but entering the chicken farming business definitely required detailed execution. Tavia therefore conducted her own analyses and research to ensure the business would be viable. As an added bonus, they were both successful in the subject area of Agricultural Sciences in Secondary school, and this aided them both in developing a top notch, innovative process to raising a high-quality product for distribution.

“Our mission is to provide a fresh a product that conveys our care and love for community as well as create a thriving industry to help build and sustain our local economy”.

Tavia Hunte

Fresh, Smoked or Seasoned!

At Hunte Chicken Farm, you can have your poultry prepared your way.

  • Fresh: So that you can season and prepare just the way you like it.
  • Seasoned: Skillfully seasoned with their very own blend of savory herbs and spices, (NO MSG) and ready to cook!
  • Smoked: Cooked in a specially designed smoker oven prepared with their our own blend of herbs and spices, (NO MSG)… and topped off with their very own Hunte’s Farm Barbecue Sauce made from scratch no PRESERVATIVES!

Customers must place their orders in advance. They however receive a call from the farm before distribution, for updating purposes. Any other necessary details are also discussed in advance, inclusive of delivery/collection details and costs. For your convenience, Hunte’s chicken is now available for delivery on the packed app!

The way forward

Marlon and Tavia’s poultry farm continues to grow by leaps and bounds despite the odds. Their family unit IS their team, but they have welcomed overwhelming support from friends and well-wishers. According to Tavia, they did their first distribution of poultry on the last weekend in May and were sold out by the Sunday with little advertising. They are now set to triple their production batch as they have been receiving lots of interest from new customers. Their vision is to expand, so they have hopes of receiving assistance in acquiring lands (preferably government allocated) for lease so that increased technical infrastructure can be put in place.

“A business is about transformation, once you are filling a need you are making an impact and that makes all the difference in how you prepare and distribute your product its about energy. It’s about love.”

Tavia Hunte

Solid Business Advice

This team stands firm in the belief that it is time for black owned businesses to unlearn many of the perceptions and misconceptions that have caused us not to advance economically. Long term benefits, including legacy building and generational wealth should be the main goals. They believe more focus should be placed on investments, and the stronghold of consumerism within our communities needs to be addressed.

Coming together to fight the many negative habits that have held us back for generations requires commitment. Commitment to ourselves, commitment to our families and commitment to future generations whom we have not yet met. Marlon and Tavia Hunte are doing their part to ensure that a new legacy is built. With their passion and perseverance, their business can only progress to unimaginable heights as they stand strong in their motto, “From our farm, to your hands.”

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5 Ways Will and Jada are building Black Generational Wealth

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, JULY 13, 2020

Jada and Will took their issues to the Red Table last week and we were all here for it! The personal entanglements of these Hollywood stars are now no secret. The internet went crazy with funny memes and opinions from all angles. Some were judgmental of Jada and were not afraid to voice their opinion that her actions were somewhat ‘predatory’ toward August, who is 21 years her younger, and plagued with a troubled past riddled with addiction and abuse. In all of this Will has maintained his composure, although it has been confirmed that he’s had many insecurities regarding his wife since her ‘friendship’ with legendary rap artist, Tupac Shakur.

So what do we do with all this information? It was given to us, freely, even though we didn’t ask for it. But in situations such as this, and like any other situation in Hollywood, we encourage our fans to find the lesson. Their contributions to the black community as a whole may be overshadowed right now, because of the relationship ‘drama’, but let’s not forget that Will and Jada have built a dynamic black family that is capable of handing down generational wealth. How?

By Marrying Black

Many would disagree with the notion that one has to marry black in order to hand down black generational wealth. But, think about it for a moment. Generational wealth comes from Families. If we have no families, there is no generational wealth to be passed on. To create black children, black families must exist. Will and Jada have produced a beautiful black family of five. The two children of their marriage, Jaden and Willow were born in 1998 and 2000 respectively. Black love was a vital component in this scenario, and Will and Jada do Love each other, no matter what it may look like to an outsider.

By Investing in their children’s education

Will and Jada began homeschooling their two children, Willow and Jaden, back in 2001. Pinkett Smith told Essence in 2005 that they made this decision due to their extensive travel schedule, and their dissatisfaction with the US Schooling system. “The school system in this country – public and private – is designed for the industrial age,” she said in an excerpt shared by People. “We’re in a technological age. We don’t want our kids to memorize. We want them to learn.” It’s obvious that it worked. Their non-traditional teaching methods allowed their children’s creative abilities to flourish.

By supporting their children

Will has been quite vocal over the years, expressing the productive ways in which himself and Jada, raise their children. They don’t ‘punish’ them, having decided that their children should be accorded responsibility from a young age. Their children are encouraged to be creative and honest about their personal style and not to resort to the ‘norms of society.’ They don’t give their children fashion advice either. Allowing them to be themselves in every way possible has fostered their children’s creative abilities. It’s obvious that their parenting techniques have brought some very creative youth into our lives. Jaden is a rapper, singer, songwriter, and actor, Willow is a singer, songwriter, record producer, actress and dancer. Trey (Willard Caroll Smith) , Will’s eldest son from a previous marriage, who appeared in the music video for Will Smith’s 1998 single “Just The Two of Us”, has followed his father’s footsteps by pursuing a career in the music industry.

By Investing in business

Family owned businesses have always had great potential for success. More than 30% of family businesses are passed down to the second generation. In many cases the second generation ends up making technological improvements because of modernized resources being readily available. Both Will and Jada have built wealth on their own from acting/music industry. However, their entrepreneurial and investing efforts as husband and wife are noteworthy.

  • In 2019, Will and Jada launched Westbrook, a cross-platform multimedia company that will be home to the Smith family’s original content.
  • In 2015, Will Smith and his son, Jaden, became co-founders of an eco-friendly water startup, Just Water.
  • In 2019, Will attended a TechCrunch Disrupt Conference, and invested approximately US $10,000 in Socionado, the winner of the pitch contest. Socionado specializes in content for employer branding.
  • Will is co-founder of Dreamers VC, a venture capital fund that connects Japanese corporate investors with US startups.
  • In 2013, Jada invested in Tech Startup, Bipper, an Anti-Human trafficking app that is set to fight Human Trafficking worldwide.
  • In 2018, Jada launched Red-Table talk, a Facebook watch forum dedicated to discussing a variety of perspectives. A month after its launch, it was reported that Facebook ordered another 13 episodes of the series.

By Investing in Real Estate

Their luxury property collection began in 1998, a year after their marriage, when they acquired an 8000 sq ft property in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, worth $937,500. It didn’t stop there, as they went on to add a luxury five bedroom, 6 bathroom estate to their collection. Located in the exclusive Hidden Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, this mansion is now home to their son, Jaden Smith. They also acquired several properties on the tropical island of Hawaii. Their first was acquired in 2009. It is a lavish ocean front property spread across 7 acres. They made a tidy profit on the deal, fetching $20 Million when it went up for sale in 2011. That is, $6.5 million more than they paid for it. Will owns a $2.5 Million Dollar, custom RV, he nicknamed “The Heat.” The lavish two-storey motor home was used while filming Men in black III, Ali, and The pursuit of Happyness. Nothing beats a family home, and Will and Jada ensured that among all their real estate pursuits, they will always have a place to have everyone over for Thanksgiving dinner. Their sprawling $42 Million Dollar estate, nestled in the LA county neighborhood of Calabasas, features its own zipcode, 25,000 sq. ft. of living space, nine bedrooms, a home theater, an eight-car garage, and luxe swimming pool and private recording studio. How’s that for luxury!

Like every other relationship on this planet, Will’s and Jada’s isn’t perfect, but their communication as a married couple, and their work ethic are point. They know exactly what they want, and they have made steps to ensure that they have built a strong black family that will, if nothing else, ensure that wealth is handed down throughout their bloodlines.