Shanique Yates

AFROTECH STAFF

Shanique Yates

Shanique Liz Yates is an Atlanta-based journalist and content creator with a passion for storytelling on a range of topics that include business, culture, entertainment, and news. Her work can be found across platforms like aspireTV, REVOLT, BAUCE, and more!

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Sean Bankhead Confirms He'll Be Getting Paid For Victoria Monét's Dance Moves Making Their Way To The 'Fortnite' Video Game

Victoria Monét is the latest star to bring her talents to the video game industry. The “Jaguar II” crooner took to X, formerly Twitter, to share the news that her dance moves have made it to “Fortnite.” The popular online video game and platform, developed by Epic Games, was first released in 2017. For one of its games, “Fortnite Battle Royale,” the main objective is to be the last one standing on Battle Royale Island. Playable characters can “loot, build, explore, and fight” against 99 other players in the match to be declared the winner. Now, Monét is bringing the moves and choreography for her hit single “On My Mama” to the video game. “Fornite said lemme show ya’ll why they’re called V bucks,” she said in a post shared via X. “The ‘Lookin Good’ emote inspired by ‘On My Mama’ by Victoria Monét is now available.” The “On My Mama” music video, which now has amassed 62 million views on YouTube, is directed by Los Angeles, CA-based Grammy-nominated creator, child, per BET. It was...

Jul 15, 2024

Dr. Nancy Abu-Bonsrah Makes History As The First Black Woman To Graduate From Its Neurosurgery Program

This Black doctor just made history at Johns Hopkins University! In June 2024, Nancy Abu-Bonsrah achieved a historic feat, becoming the first Black woman to graduate from Johns Hopkins University’s neurosurgery program. She took to social media to announce the news, however, it was a close friend who noted that Dr. Abu-Bonsrah had quite literally also made history, Because Of Them We Can reports. “Congratulations to my dear friend, and the first Black woman to graduate from the neurosurgery program at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Nancy Abu-Bonsrah!,” wrote the woman called Anna, whose username is @itsafronomics. Congratulations to my dear friend, and the first Black woman to graduate from the neurosurgery program at John’s Hopkins, Dr. Nancy Abu-Bonsrah ( @BonsrahNancy )! #medtwitter pic.twitter.com/gdu6x7pF9i — Anna (@itsafronomics) June 28, 2024 According to Dr. Abu-Bonsrah,  becoming a neurosurgery doctor was a 12-year journey. She also noted that it felt “surreal” that she’d completed the...

Jul 12, 2024

These Black Founders Are Changing The Culture's Mindset Around Vegan Cuisine With Not 1 But 2 Restaurants In New Jersey

In November 2023, Brick City Vegan became Montclair, New Jersey’s only 100% plant-based vegan restaurant. Today, its culinary commitment is rooted in changing the culture’s mindset about eating plant-based foods. Brick City Vegan founders Adenah Bayoh and chef Emeka Onugha provide an array of dishes, such as made-from-scratch biscuits and plant-based burgers, that are not only better for its diners but for the planet overall, KGET.com reports. “I made the choice to become a vegan due to some health issues that I found myself dealing with,” Bayoh recalled in an interview with Blavity. “The food I loved growing up suddenly started making me sick, so I knew I had to listen to my body. It hasn’t always been easy because I’m a big foodie! I absolutely love good-tasting, satisfying food, and for a long time, people believed that being vegan meant we only eat lettuce, fruits, and veggies. Brick City Vegan is here to show the world that a plant-based diet can be just as tasty and fulfilling...

Jul 12, 2024

Small Business Owners Can Now Apply To This Program That’s Offering $20K Grants

Hello Alice is continuing its commitment to serving underserved entrepreneurs. In partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), Hello Alice has officially launched the next round of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company’s (BGE) Energizing Small Business grant program. The initiative offers $20,000 grants to central Maryland businesses to help them succeed and thrive, according to the Hello Alice website. No stranger to empowering local small businesses, the BGE Energizing Small Business grant deployed more than $2.5 million in grants to 129 small businesses in central Maryland in 2023. “When small businesses thrive, they become powerful economic engines, creating even more opportunities in their communities and we are so pleased to celebrate today’s grant recipients,” said BGE President and CEO Carim Khouzami in the 2023 grant announcement. “Since 2019, BGE has granted over $13 million to small businesses throughout Central Maryland. This is in addition to other small...

Jul 11, 2024

Hipgnosis, Holder Of Select Tracks From Artists Like 50 Cent And Eric Bellinger, Has Been Sold To Blackstone For $1.6B

The music catalog company holding the hits of artists like 50 Cent, Eric Bellinger, John Coltrane, and a host of others has officially been sold. Hipgnosis, which is described as having “a collection of proven hit Songs of cultural importance by some of the most talented and important Songwriters globally,” per its website, has sold its assets to Blackstone for $1.6 billion. Additionally, its leader, Merck Mercuriadis, who was once responsible for managing Beyoncé, has also stepped down from the company, The New York Times reports. The Hipgnosis Songs Fund is an “investment trust” currently listed on the London Stock Exchange in the U.K. and owns the rights of “tens of thousands of songs,” per the outlet. During a meeting on Monday, July 8, 2024, a board for the company voted to accept an offer from Blackstone, worth $1.6 billion, to purchase its assets. Already, Blackstone had taken majority control of the company’s “investment adviser” side of the business through a $1 billion...

Jul 10, 2024

Photographer Alleges Nike Deceived Him Out Of The Iconic Michael Jordan Logo Without Issuing Proper Credit Or Compensation

What was supposed to be a big moment in one photographer’s life has turned into a tale of survivor’s remorse after he claims that Nike tricked him out of credit for a photo he captured of Michael Jordan that would go on to become the logo for the company’s Jordan Brand. In a new short documentary, “Jumpman,” Jacobus “Co” Rentmeester accuses the leading athletic company of copying his work to create the Jordan Brand logo that has graced a plethora of sneakers and clothing products for decades. Originally shot during a photo shoot commissioned by Life magazine for the 1984 U.S. Olympic team, Jordan was instructed to perform a grand jeté, which is “a classical ballet move where a dancer jumps and spreads their legs wide,” Fortune magazine reports. Today, the Jordan Brand is worth $6 billion. However, Rentmeester’s disdain comes from what he believes was negligence on Nike’s part to properly credit and compensate him for the role his photo may have played in inspiring the logo.   View...

Jul 9, 2024

Black-Owned Bird Pizzeria In Charlotte, NC, Makes New York Times List Of Best Pizzas In The US As It Gears Up For Dine-In Expansion

A love for pizza has leveled up the lives of these Black business owners. Black-owned Bird Pizzeria was featured in the New York Times’ list of best pizza shops nationwide. The roundup, which included 22 restaurants, highlighted businesses across the U.S. The pizzeria, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been in business since December 2021, Black Enterprise reports. Husband-and-wife duo Kerrel and Nkem Thompson launched Bird Pizzeria as a pop-up restaurant before entering the takeout space. The pizzeria combines the couple’s love for pizza, which they recalled was the meal they enjoyed on their first date.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by BIRD (@birdpizzeria) Bird Pizzeria has plans to expand its space to allow dine-in seating for customers to enjoy their cuisine after the tattoo shop next door closed and the space became available. “We prayed about this space,” Nkem said, per The Charlotte Observer. “We’re just like, ‘Man, this would be amazing to be able to...

Jul 9, 2024

Steelo Brim, Alahna Jade, And Business Partners Want Customers To 'Feel Safe And Warm' At A New Black-Owned Restaurant In Hollywood

A new Black-owned restaurant has opened in Los Angeles. MTV “Ridiculousness” co-host Sterling “Steelo” Brim, Alahna Jade, and business partners Vincent Bryant and Scott Williams are the masterminds behind Linden. Located on the historic Sunset Boulevard, Linden is on a mission to bring delicious dishes from the Big Apple to Hollywood. “I’ve always had a passion for hosting and creating memorable experiences for others and found a lot of joy in curating vibes and bringing people together,” Jade told Blavity when asked about the inspiration behind the restaurant. “When Sterling and I came together as a couple, we realized that our shared love for hospitality was something we could turn into a fulfilling venture.” Brim’s introduction to the restaurant business started in New York with Las’ Lap, alongside Bryant and Williams, who are part of the team behind Linden.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by LINDEN (@lindenlosangeles) “The L.A. crowd was waiting on something like...

Jul 2, 2024

Black Americans Want To Know What Defines 'Black Jobs' Following Trump's Debate Remarks

Everyone wants to know what “Black jobs” are after Donald Trump suggested that they’re on the decline during the first 2024 presidential debate. As the countdown to the 2024 presidential election is underway, Trump and current President Joe Biden are ramping up their approach to gain support from Black voters. During the debate, one key issue that Biden and Trump honed in on was the current state of the economy, particularly the job market, The Hill reports. “The fact is that his big kill on the Black people is the millions of people that he’s allowed to come in through the border,” Trump said during the debate on June 27. “They’re taking Black jobs now – and it could be 18, it could be 19 and even 20 million people. They’re taking Black jobs, and they’re taking Hispanic jobs, and you haven’t seen it yet, but you’re gonna see something that’s going to be the worst in our history.” Originally, CNN anchor and debate moderator Dana Bash had asked Biden what he has done for Black...

Jul 1, 2024

Ernst & Young Is Looking For The 2025 Cohort For Its Accelerator Program Designed To Empower Black And Hispanic Entrepreneurs

Ernst & Young LLP (EY) aims to equip Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to scale and grow their businesses through the official opening of applications for its 2025 cohort of EY Entrepreneurs Access Network (EAN). Since EAN’s inception in 2019, EY has supported Black and Hispanic/Latino-owned businesses for their impact on their communities and the overall American economy, according to the EY website. Already Black and Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs have shown a proven track record of success, producing more than $183 billion and $800 billion, respectively. However, some roadblocks stand in the way of them reaching their full potential. Thus, EY wants to bridge the gap to access and resources for minorities throughout their entrepreneurial journeys. The 2025 EAN installment is another step toward helping them scale their businesses. “Black and Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs are among the unsung heroes of our economy,” Nit Reeder, EY EAN program director, said...

Jul 1, 2024

Detroit's Sports Rap Radio Makes History As The First All-Black-Led Sports Radio Station In The US

Detroit, MI, has done it again, and it’s only right that one of the Blackest cities in America becomes the home to the first all-Black-led sports radio station in the nation! Sports Rap Radio on AM 1270 made its debut on the airwaves in Motor City on June 4, and not only does it feature all Black hosts, but the radio station is also Black-owned, Blavity reports. “[This is] history-making,” said former Detroit sports anchor Rob Parker, per CBS News. “[It’s] groundbreaking, [and] we just believe that the time has come.” In addition to Parker, who is responsible for helping to bring this vision to life, the history-making team of co-owners includes Parker’s longtime friend Dave Kenney as well as athletes, former NBA player BJ Armstrong and University of Michigan wide receiver Maurice “Moe” Ways. “Moe was the missing piece. I needed somebody young, smart, from the city,” Parker told the outlet. The two have kept in touch since they first met, when Ways was a football star at Detroit...

Jun 27, 2024

Shaquille O'Neal Said He'd Be Opening 50 Big Chicken Locations In Texas In 2022, But What State Is He Heading To Next?

Shaquille O’Neal is taking his restaurant franchise talents to Nebraska. The former NBA superstar-turned-serial entrepreneur has announced that his fast-casual restaurant franchise, Big Chicken, will expand to the Omaha market, according to KETV Omaha. O’Neal plans to open two Big Chicken locations in Omaha, led by father-son duo and local entrepreneurs Tom and Zak Davis. “Our experience has provided us a perspective on Big Chicken that we feel fantastic about. We know that it is the right time to bring the quickly growing brand to Omaha,” said Tom, per KETV. “There are a lot of parallels for us with Big Chicken and its leadership team. We have a deep appreciation for running great restaurants, and Big Chicken’s team is equal to the match. We have been following the growth of Big Chicken for a while, and once we were finally able to try the menu, we decided to get serious about opening our own stores in Omaha.”   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Big Chicken...

Jun 27, 2024

Swizz Beatz Responds To Sell-Out Claims Amid New Verzuz Partnership With X

The next chapter in the legacy of Verzuz is here. On June 19 — Juneteenth — Swizz Beatz and Timbaland announced that their Verzuz music battle platform has a new home at X, Blavity reports. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!” Swizz Beatz, producer and co-founder of Verzuz, wrote in a post shared on Instagram. “Verzuz is back and 100% Black owned again. Let’s give the people what’s been missing.” In a separate statement, he called X, formerly Twitter, “the best partner for Verzuz.” “Not only are we excited to have Verzuz on X, we’re excited to help X build the biggest entertainment company in the world,” Swizz Beatz said. “I would like to thank Elon Musk, Linda Yaccarino, Brett Weitz, Mitchell Smith, and the entire X team for believing in the Verzuz vision. We can’t wait to get to work.”   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Swizz Beatz (@therealswizzz) Launched during the height of the pandemic in 2020, Verzuz gave music lovers battles between favorites like...

Jun 26, 2024

Universal Music Group Among Major Labels Suing AI Music Startups For Violating Copyright Laws

The battle between artificial intelligence (AI) software and the music industry continues in a new lawsuit against two AI music startups. Top record labels Universal Music Group (UMG), Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Records are accusing AI music creation programs Suno Inc. and Udio AI of “massive and ongoing infringement.” The lawsuit claims that the entities “copied sound recordings from the labels ‘en masse and ingested them into its AI model,’” a practice that the plaintiffs say violates copyright laws, Forbes reports. Moreover, Suno and Udio AI are accused of using artists’ songs to “train their AI services.” In the suit against Suno, the filings allege that if the company hadn’t “violated copyrights on such a large scale, Suno’s service would not be able to reproduce the convincing imitations of such a vast range of human musical expression at the quality that Suno touts.” Similarly, the accusations against Udio AI hold some of the same weight, noting that “since the day...

Jun 25, 2024

Michael B. Jordan Takes Inspiration From His Mother's Lupus Journey By Making Health Resources More Accessible In Black Communities

For the second year, actor Michael B. Jordan and flavored bottled water company Propel aim to bridge the gap between resources and access for people striving to regain control of their health. Last year in partnership with Propel, Jordan used his influence and Propel’s funds to equip the WalkGood LA studio — a space for yoga enthusiasts of all levels — with the resources needed to establish its presence in the health and wellness industry. “We were looking for different organizations in LA, wanted to kick it off in Los Angeles, and open up their first physical space, The WalkGood Yard. This space enabled [WalkGood LA] to expand their programs and classes in a central location, providing the facility and location to grow their brand and reach the community at large,” Jordan said in an interview with AFROTECH™. “This year, we’re creating spaces for other organizations. Instead of going to them, we’re opening under one roof, creating a rotating space for up to 16 organizations to come...

Jun 25, 2024