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Richelieu Dennis’ Sundial Media Group, Which Is Home To Essence, Afropunk, And More, Acquires Refinery29

Sundial Media Group is adding another media conglomerate to its portfolio. According to a news release shared with AFROTECH™, Richelieu Dennis’ Sundial Media Group (SMG) has officially acquired Refinery29 (R29), a creative digital media and entertainment platform focusing on multigenerational women. The company previously belonged to the Vice Media umbrella. “We’re very excited about the expansive ecosystem we’re building at Sundial Media Group. R29 is an incredible brand with a phenomenal team that will play an important role in reimagining how media serves the need for connection, culture, and commerce in these distinct, but complementary communities of the New General Market,” said Dennis in a press statement. In addition to the acquisition, it has also been announced that Cory Haik will serve as R29 CEO and the company will operate as a standalone business within SMG. “We’ve been admiring the work of this R29 team for a while, and we’re excited to see what they will now do...

Shanique Yates

Apr 19, 2024

In 3 Years Since Joining The Utah Jazz Ownership Group, Dwyane Wade Has Watched Its Valuation Go From $1.75B To $3.46B

Never underestimate the power of a good hobby! Following his retirement from the NBA, Dwyane Wade, like many greats who have since left the league, picked up a new golfing habit, which ultimately led him to become a minority owner in the NBA team Utah Jazz. According to Boardroom, the move made in 2021 by Wade continues to get better with time. When he initially joined the ownership group, the former Miami Heat star saw the team at a valuation of $1.75 billion. Today that number has increased to $3.46 billion, per an April 16 Instagram post by Boardroom. “If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore,” said Wade on social media at the time of the deal. “Second act activated.”   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Boardroom (@boardroom) The Sporting News reports that the deal was made possible thanks to a friendship between the majority owner, Ryan Smith, and Wade that began on the golf course. Smith, a billionaire whose fortune was...

Shanique Yates

Apr 18, 2024

McKinley Thompson Jr. Broke Barriers And Developed Concepts That Led To The Bronco, Mustang And More At Ford Motor Co.

From the time he was a kid, McKinley Thompson Jr. was never afraid to chase his dreams, and now everyone has him to thank for the Ford Bronco that the culture grew to know and love. Thanks to Thompson’s imagination and skill, he made history as the first Black designer to be hired by Ford Motor Co., and his first assignment consisted of working at Ford’s advanced design studio in Dearborn, MI, per the Ford media website. His love for cars first began around age 12 when he spotted a silver-gray DeSoto Airflow in Queens, NY, the neighborhood where he was raised. “It just so happened that the clouds opened up for the sunshine to come through,” Thompson recalled in a 2001 interview that was documented by The Henry Ford. “It lit that car up like a searchlight. I was never so impressed with anything in all my life. I knew that’s what I wanted to do – I wanted to be an automobile designer.” While serving as an Army Signal Corps in World War II, Thompson learned drafting and began work as...

Shanique Yates

Apr 17, 2024

Jeremiah Daniels, IV Makes History As The First African American Male Salutatorian At Boca Ciega High School

This high school senior is raising the bar! Jeremiah Daniels, IV can celebrate becoming the first African American male salutatorian at Boca Ciega High School, FOX 13 News reports. “I’m just glad for the opportunity to be able to create Black history and be a part of something bigger,” Jeremiah said.

Samantha Dorisca

Apr 25, 2022

Meet The Black Geniuses With Some Of The Highest IQs In The World

While a high IQ is often touted as a status symbol — a sign that the person who has it is amongst the most intelligent in the world — there’s actually a disparity, rooted in racism and white supremacy, in who earns a “genius-level” IQ ranking. In 1998, Brookings released a report that explained how Black people — especially Black Americans — consistently score lower than white Americans on standardized IQ tests. While the gap has narrowed since 1970, “the typical American black still scores below 75 percent of American whites on almost every standardized test. This statistic does not imply, of course, that all blacks score below all whites. There is a lot of overlap between the two groups. Nonetheless, the test score gap is large enough to have significant social and economic consequences.” So, when someone is certified as having a “high IQ,” it’s a good thing. But it’s even better if that “someone” is a Black man or woman, especially — according to Forbes — when a perceived low IQ...

Meet The Mississippi High School Student Who Received Over $1 Million In Scholarship Offers

Xavian Branch has options when it comes to his college decision. According to Blavity, the Mississippi student has been accepted to 20 different colleges and if that news isn’t good enough to jump for joy, the fact that he has also received $1.5 million in scholarship offers definitely is! Branch is a senior at The Jim Hill High School located in Jackson, Mississippi, and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma program participant graduating with a 4.8 GPA. He is also the class valedictorian. “When I look back at all the work that I did, I wouldn’t regret anything,” said Branch in an interview. After applying to colleges thanks to the help of his academic adviser Frank J. Branch, the opportunities are endless as that Branch has been accepted into 20 different schools and has been offered $1.5 million in scholarships. His mother, Zandra Branch is one proud mother and is excited to see all that he continues to accomplish. “I just can’t say enough about my baby,” she said. ” I want...

Shanique Yates

Jun 3, 2021

How Amber Goodwin Fought For Justice, Then Graduated Law School

Amber Goodwin will be graduating from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota on June 6, 2021. She will be 41 years old when she graduates. But don’t think that this is some standard “ non-traditional graduation story. ” In fact, there’s nothing “standard” about Amber Goodwin at all. Twenty years prior to her graduation day, Goodwin graduated from college but didn’t get accepted into any of her chosen law schools. But she didn’t let this rejection get her down. “My mentality was: I’m going to keep applying places and they have to tell me no,” Amber Goodwin said to Good Morning America (GMA). “I’m not going to call the question on myself. If people tell me no, then that’s on them, and I’ll just keep trying.” If someone had told me when I was rejected from many law schools 20 yrs ago that at 41 yrs old I would be in a magazine spread from a Bar Association while still in law school I would have said you were crazy. I only hope my ancestors are proud. tnx to...

This First-Generation College Student Just Graduated From Harvard Law School

Derrick Parker Jr. just graduated from Harvard Law School, and according to his Facebook page, he’s his “ancestors’ wildest dreams.” We can’t help but be inclined to agree. From a young age, Parker always seemed destined for success. Originally from Kansas City, MO, Parker came up in humble circumstances. His father was a barber, and his mother was a factory worker. Despite these circumstances, they saved enough money to send him to Lincoln College Preparatory Academy. While there, Parker was 1st Chair Trombone in both the jazz band and wind ensemble. But that’s not all the Harvard Law School graduate achieved. He was also elected Senior Class President, Homecoming King, Prom King, and was also 1st Team All-Conference starting quarterback on the football team. Instagram /Derrick Parker Jr. In 2018, he graduated from Morehouse College as the valedictorian before heading off to Harvard Law School. While at Morehouse, he graduated as the highest-ranking scholar in his class, a junior...

Founder Trell Thomas Started A Business To Celebrate Black Brands, One Year Later It Lands Him An Amazon Partnership

Our nation’s approach to celebrating Black culture over the last year has been viewed as a performative trend that’s just catching up with us, but for founder Trell Thomas he’s also been ahead of the curve. Last year in April, Thomas — an entertainment entrepreneur and founder of the Black Excellence Brunch — was gearing up to launch his collection of Black Excellence Boxes as a means to honor the Black-owned businesses he’s long since admired. “I had been thinking about this [idea] for awhile, before supporting Black businesses became trendy,” he told AfroTech. “I remember being at ESSENCE Fest walking past all those booths and I was so inspired by all these Black entrepreneurs that I was seeing.” As an extension of his mainstay brand, Thomas came up with a plan at the start of the pandemic to send out curated-boxes filled with products from Black-owned brands similar to other subscription box companies like Birchbox. The purpose of the special-made boxes was to both celebrate...

Njera Perkins

Mar 22, 2021

Ten Black Students Chosen As 2021 Rhodes Scholars Tie For Most Ever in a Single Class

The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and highest honor any student can receive for an international postgraduate program to continue their studies at the University of Oxford. For the second time in its 118-year history, ten Black Americans have been chosen as U.S. Rhodes Scholars, tying up the 2017 record for the most ever in a single class, according to Black Enterprise. There were a total of 32 Americans selected for this year’s Rhodes Scholars class, and according to a press statement from the American secretary of the Rhodes Trust Elliot F. Gerson, it’s one of the most diverse groups ever. “This year’s American Rhodes Scholars—independently elected by 16 committees around the country meeting simultaneously—reflect the remarkable diversity that characterizes and strengthens the United States. Twenty-two of the 32 are students of color; ten are Black, equal to the greatest number ever elected in one year in the United States. Nine are first-generation Americans or immigrants; and...

Njera Perkins

Nov 24, 2020

Meet Jasmine Bowers, the First Black Person to Obtain a Doctorate in Computer Science From UF

Black people are continuing to raise the bar in education, and University of Florida graduate Jasmine Bowers is no exception as she’s the first Black person to obtain a doctorate in computer science from the university, Black News reports . Despite living through a global pandemic and social upheaval in America, Bowers powered through her final semester making history in the process. According to Bowers, the motivation for her latest accomplishment started at a young age when her mother taught her how to use [Microsoft] Excel to create a “wish list.” “I grew up in a household where I was encouraged to embrace technology,” Bowers told Because of Them We Can . “I also had the freedom to utilize technologies that included computers and other equipment that my mother, a [self-taught] engineer, had.” “The Ph.D. was and is the pinnacle of the seed planted years ago, deposits from teachers, internship experiences, amazing...

Njera Perkins

Aug 13, 2020

Master P Champions Black Ownership and Adds 'Rap Noodles' to His Growing Empire

Percy Miller — better known as “Master P” — sets a strong example for Black entrepreneurs to follow. His legacy as a businessman has always stressed the importance of Black ownership — preaching about how our community should support Black-owned businesses and build our own independent brands. This week he made another stake for Black businesses promoting his new ramen noodles product, Rap Noodles , with a viral video. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Master P (@masterp) In the video, Miller says “I want to ask ya’ll one thing: Who owns Ramen Noodles? Do ya’ll know? Probably don’t,” as he juxtaposes multi-million dollar company Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup. “This guy comes over to this country and made a trillion-dollar business,” he added. Miller is only interested in progressing the Black community by pushing his businesses which include his ramen noodles brand sold in chain stores all across the country. “You have to be committed to what you do. Everybody thinks it’s...

Njera Perkins

May 6, 2020

Black Woman Earns Two Degrees From Two Universities in the Same Week

Ashley Williams has mastered the art of practicing Black girl magic, and the proof is not only in her master’s but her law degree that she earned the exact same week. Before you ask — no, she wasn’t enrolled in a dual program, she actually attended two different universities located in two states at the same time. In 2019, Williams earned a master’s degree in political management from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., just two days later received her JD from the University of Pennsylvania, according to Because of Them We Can. To add to the abundance of Black girl magic, Williams completed her master’s while she was working as a special advisor and director of special projects to the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. “I was really interested in beginning a program that would allow me to build upon my undergraduate degree, love for politics, and allow me to continue working. I knew I needed to grow. The Political Management degree at GW was perfect,“...

Devin Crudup

Apr 17, 2020