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  • Writer's pictureTiasia Newman

Echoed Good News: Turning Up The Mic On Black Excellence With Tiasia Newman!

September 6, 2023

Shequeena Mckenzie became the first black female judge in Mccomb, Mississippi, at 28 years old. This honor will allow her to introduce empathy into the courtroom, where many black people have been ostracized and unfairly sentenced. All should rise in the presence of Judge Mckenzie.

Judge Shequeena McKenzie Picture Source Facebook

DNA exonerates man 47 years after he was wrongly convicted of rape. Leonard Mack of New York City is the victim of the longest-known wrongful conviction in US history to be overturned by DNA testing. Not only was Mack cleared, but another man was identified as the culprit and has since confessed to the 1975 crime. No amount of money the state will offer him will ever replace the years Mack has lost behind bars. Though his name has been cleared, Mack will never truly receive justice for this transgression.

Leonard Mack Photo Source "Essence Magazine & Innocence Project"

A mom and dad have partnered with their four daughters to open California's newest black-owned beauty supply. For years, other races have made millions from black women purchasing supplies for their hair. I'm glad the money can finally return to our communities. Many distributors answered to gatekeepers regarding black owners' ability to buy hair and other bulk items pivotal to owning a thriving beauty supply store. They will be able to sell people products that work on their hair because they have the same hair as their customers. Many of the stores owned by other races advise us to buy the most expensive product they have in hopes that it works, and we return to buy more. Many know nothing of what it takes to manage the mane of a black woman.

"Charlene's Beauty Supply Store" Photo Source

Victoria Scott Miller and her 11-year-old son Langston own Liberation Station Bookstore in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is the first black-owned children's bookstore in the state. Victoria stated, "We were filling a need for our children, and it just happened to fill a need for the community. Since the current generation of parents grew up watching "Reading Rainbow," we know that knowledge is truly power. I'm sure they will have enough customers for years to come.

Liberation Station Bookstore Picture Source L.S.B. Facebook

At 14, Zaila Avant-Gaurd became the first African American to win the National Spelling Bee. She beat out 207 contestants from 5 different countries. Can we say Black Girl Magic? We all remember Keke Palmer in "Akeelah And The Bee" and how proud we were when she won. Direct that same energy toward this little lady as she is destined to achieve many more amazing things throughout her life at the rate she is going.

Morehouse grads shape their black-owned marketing agency around the HBCU culture. Desmond Attmore and Brian Wright founded Six Degrees Marketing, an Atlanta-based agency that's become a go-to for global talent and brands. Attmore and Wright have brought notable campaigns to Atlanta that used only to take place in Los Angeles and New York. We need to see more black men dominating career options that don't require a ball or recording booth.

Picture Source Six Degrees Marketing Facebook Page

The Moorhouse College Polo Club has been certified by the US Polo Association, making it the first HBCU to house a polo team. The chains are being dropped from the ankles of the next generation. Our children are breaking boundaries and bringing us back to the reality of days gone by. It's not by chance that this group of black men grew up loving horses, let alone the ability to communicate with them. How many young men do you know that would even have the confidence to say they want to or even know how to play polo? Guess what? The number of them is about to increase.

Moore House Polo Club Members and sponsor picture source FB page

Black woman entrepreneur makes history with her 80 million dollar company by opening a flagship retail store. Charis Jones is the founder and CEO of Sassy Jones, the fastest-growing black privately held retailer. What began as a part-time jewelry business has evolved into a multi-million dollar empire. Jones said, "I am thrilled to open our first location where customers near and far can come for a fully immersive shopping experience." Some of Jones' success can be attributed to her unique following and the support of people like Kim Coles, Cynthia Bailey, and others from the cast of The Real Housewives. If you're a business owner, here is some inspiration to keep up with the Jones'.

Picture Source "Sassy Jones Boutique" Face Book Page.

Angel Gregorio, a serial entrepreneur and Howard University alum, has launched the first black-owned strip mall in Washington DC with affordable commercial space specifically for black women business owners called Black And. A fantastic play on words as she and her peers march forward in business through Washington.

The 36-year-old CEO has sold over 2.3 million Philly cheesesteaks in Atlanta in the last year alone. I'm not surprised at the profits because I know first hand the food in Georgia is nothing to write home about. The fact that he has the Philly swag and food is a no-brainer for a come-up. My grandmother used to say if you want to touch somebody's heart, feed them. I gather it works on their wallets, too.

Picture Source Big Dave's Cheesesteaks FaceBook Page.

Ed Hennings spent 25 years in prison and now owns his own box truck company. Go Time Trucking is about more than delivering goods. He is also dropping off inspiration. After his release in 2016, Hennings turned his life around and opened three businesses: a barbershop, an apparel line, and a box truck company. Ed stated, "Whether it be in prison or out here in the free world, there's a lot of brokenness, so people need some inspiration and know they can make it." when asked why he is doing what he's doing. Many men are right back on the streets or behind bars when they leave prison. Hennings proves that reform has nothing to do with jail and everything to do with a healthy mindset and a desire to do better.

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