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Shelly Cayette Makes History As The First Chief Operating Officer Of An NBA Team

Okay, ladies, let’s get in formation! According to Bleacher Report, the Cleveland Cavaliers have officially promoted Shelly Cayette to both executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO). She will now make history as the first Black woman to serve as COO of an NBA team. “Look, I’ve got to tell you – part of me would like to see the day when I’m not making history,” said Cayette. “It’s nice to know that I’m the first, but hopefully I can open doors so there aren’t any more first. The goal is to do away with firsts.” This isn’t the first time the Cleveland Cavaliers have broken gender-related barriers. In fact, the team hired Lindsay Gottlieb, making her the first woman to join an NBA coaching staff.

Shanique Yates

Jan 27, 2022

Salenah Cartier Repeats History As The Youngest University Of Houston Graduate For The Second Year In A Row

The only competition for Salenah Cartier is herself! Salenah Cartier is reportedly the youngest graduate from the University of Houston (UH) for the second year in a row. She was only 17-years-old when she made history as the youngest graduate from UH, where she earned a degree in psychology and business. Now, Salenah Cartier has done it again after receiving her master’s of education in curriculum and instruction from the college of education.

Shanique Yates

Dec 27, 2021

How Wieden & Kennedy's John 'JP' Petty Found His Identity At An HBCU — 'It Was Very Necessary'

When John “JP” Petty was promoted to an executive level at Wieden & Kennedy, he couldn’t help but shout out his Historically Black College and University (HBCU) alma mater, Lincoln University. According to Petty, the education he got from the acclaimed HBCU was indeed second to none — but in actuality, he got so much more, too. “Without Lincoln, I wouldn’t have gotten to know myself ,” he told AfroTech. “That’s where I came to my full realization of self, as a Black man — and how it helped me find my place in this world. It was there that I realized I didn’t have to be an athlete, or a rapper, to be a success in this world. I could do it on my own terms, in my own way — so, yes, I fully recommend that anyone who can, should absolutely attend an HBCU. It was very necessary for me, and it can be very necessary for you, too.” Until now, Petty has served as head of social for W+K’s New York office, where he has been integral in building a robust social practice, as well as helping to...

In 2014, Kobe Bryant Invested $6M In BodyArmor — Now, The Sports Drink Company Is Being Acquired For $5.6B

BodyArmor, a sports drink company that received an initial investment from the late Kobe Bryant, will be acquired for $5.6 billion by the Coca-Cola company. According to CNBC, the acquisition will be the largest of its kind by the soft drink company, which will have full control of the brand. The Coca-Cola Company is looking to position BodyArmor as the direct competition to Gatorade, which is owned by Pepsico. Gatorade currently has about 70 percent of the market share in sports drinks, which gives its parent company nearly full dominance over the market. What makes this full acquisition so notable is that Coca-Cola was once the sports drink’s second-largest shareholder. They bought into the company back in 2018 in a deal that gave them 15 percent ownership in the company. At the time, too, the late Kobe Bryant was the third-largest shareholder in the company, as well — and his investment was made just two years after the company was launched. According to the outlet, Kobe Bryant’s...

Black History & Coffee Are Served In Equal Measure In This Alabama Café

Imagine a café where you can get your daily cup of coffee and a history lesson at the same time. Catrice and Jakyra Hixon’s coffee shop — Melanin Café — does just that. The couple recently opened their café in Opelika, Alabama with the hopes to serve quality coffee while celebrating melanin and fostering a peaceful environment, The Associated Press reports . The café is even more of a family affair with Hixon’s sister, Crystal Slaughter, as part of the team as the café’s baker. Black history is cleverly taught through the café’s menu in that “every drink has a name associated with lesser-known Black contributors and landmarks.” “We learned about Black history in school, but we only got civil rights, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks,” Hixon said. “I wanted to bring forward people we don’t really know about, people like inventors, scientists and doctors.” Their menu also puts a focus on the local Opelika history, such as a drink named after Dr. John W. Darden — Opelika’s first Black...

Ngozi Nwanji

Oct 1, 2021

Dr. Patricia Bath To Become One Of The First Black Women Inducted Into The National Inventors Hall of Fame

This recognition is well overdue! Dr. Patricia Era Bath shook the world up when she invented one of the most important surgical tools in history while stepping further into her role as a groundbreaking ophthalmologist. Now, the late doctor will be honored by the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), reports PR Newswire. She along with Marian Croak will be the first two Black women a part of the NIHF Inductee Class of 2022 on May 5. In 1986, Dr. Bath invented what is arguably one of the most important surgical tools in the history of ophthalmology — the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment. Her use of the Excimer Laser helped to create a device and new method that is responsible for the minimally invasive cataract surgery that we know today. “To know that my mother is part of the 2022 class of National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees is an unbelievable honor,” said her daughter Dr. Eraka Bath. “Her incredible path- and her contributions to the study of ophthalmology, cannot be...

Shanique Yates

Sep 22, 2021

Da’Vion Tatum Made History As His High School's First Black Male Valedictorian — Now, He's Enrolled At Harvard

Da’Vion Tatum is making history as he heads to Harvard University! Tatum has not only made history as the first Black male valedictorian of his high school, but he has millions of dollars worth of scholarships and acceptances into 11 various colleges and universities to match. Now, he wants to use his story to inspire and encourage other young men. “My story specifically can help other young Black men to know that just because society may say one thing about you, or there may be a stigma or stereotype that surrounds being a Black man, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re confined to that , ” said Tatum in an interview with Fox 26 Houston earlier last month. Not only is he at Harvard, but the 18-year-old penned his very own autobiography, “Thriving In My Own Lane,” to further share all that it took for him to reach such a monumental milestone in his life. The Westfield High School graduate first began writing the book in eighth grade. “It was to show that regardless of what’s happening...

Shanique Yates

Sep 8, 2021

Darrel Harris Went From Making $10.50/Hour To Yellow Trucking Company's First Black President

Education may not be everything, but a strong work ethic is, and Darrel Harris is proof of that in the trucking industry. For Harris, formal education wasn’t in his plans when he sought a career, but making money and a life for himself was. Thanks to advice from his mother’s boyfriend at age 19, he landed a job as a dock worker where he says the money made was like a dream come true coming from where he was from, Yahoo! Finance reports. “I went down there and applied for the job and I’ll never forget they offered me $10.50 an hour as a part-time dockworker and where I come from that’s real money,” said Harris in an interview with Black Enterprise. “I remember at the time thinking if I can hang on to this job and make $10.50 a year for the rest of my career I’ll be happy.” Life had bigger plans for Harris, who over about two and a half decades managed to work his way up the trucking and shipping industry ladder to become Yellow Trucking’s first Black president. In April, Harris...

Shanique Yates

Aug 19, 2021

UNCF, Getty Images Partner For Scholarship Program To Document HBCUs' Visual History

The United Negro College Fund is teaming up with Getty Images to invest in the future of young Black leaders and their history. According to a press release, their partnership includes creating the UNCF-Getty Images Scholarship for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The scholarship will be funded by revenue produced by the inaugural Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs, which aims to support the digitization of HBCUs’ visual history. “We thank Getty Images for its partnership and investment in our students’ futures. The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs exemplifies Getty Images’ commitment to support HBCUs and to give a visual life to previously untold stories,” UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax said in a statement. “There is a wealth of unseen imagery within the archives of HBCUs that have rarely been seen, and these grants from Getty Images will be an essential part of the on-going documentation and preservation of Black...

Njera Perkins

Aug 12, 2021

Cynthia Erivo Connects With Adobe For A 3D Storytelling Project To Prove That 'Skate History Is Black History'

Skating has played a pivotal role in Black culture for decades. From civil rights movements to a resurgence of Black skaters across social media during the pandemic to give us all a glimpse of Black joy — these are all a part of a larger story of the rich Black history that’s shaped the world of roller skating as we know it. On Aug. 10, Adobe announced a new project with “Widows” actress Cynthia Erivo. The project “Stories on Skates” transforms the narrative of the rich history of the Black skate community around the world into 3D roller skate designs aimed to share the prolific stories and history which all have been influenced by the rink. “I was so excited to work with Adobe on Stories on Skates to showcase Black skating culture, especially as an expression of Black joy and creativity,” shared Erivo in an official press release. “This project brings to life stories from the rink that are inspiring, important, and deserve to be remembered. My hope is that Stories on Skates is a...

Shanique Yates

Aug 10, 2021

Strive Masiyiwa Net Worth: Here's What Britain's First Black Billionaire Is Up To As A Coronavirus Envoy

While the name Strive Masiyiwa may not ring immediate bells, he’s one of the best-known men on the African continent. The London-based Zimbabwean billionaire, who is the founder of Econet Global, has been making headlines all over the world as a so-called “coronavirus envoy.” He’s been holding local and regional governments to account for their failure to produce the life-saving vaccines, and he’s been dragging Covax — created by the World Health Organization to deliver the COVID-19 vaccines to so-called “developing countries” — by its collective neck for their continued failure to deliver on their promises. Let’s break down everything we know about this businessman and philanthropist, and get a better understanding of why his work is so vital. Strive Masiyiwa Net Worth 2021: A Full Breakdown Considered one of the richest men in Africa, and Britain’s first Black billionaire, Strive Masiyiwa has a net worth of $1.6 billion USD, according to Forbes Magazine. Most of his assets come...

Woman Wins $302K In Delaware's Vaccine Incentive Program

A Black woman has just won $302,000 in Delaware’s vaccine incentive program. According to the local ABC affiliate in Delaware, Sophie Poindexter got entered into the lottery after signing up for the COVID-19 vaccine. The Newark, DE native was automatically entered into the program, which is called DE Wins! “They told me, ‘You’re going to need to sit down for this because you’re the big winner,'” she said to the outlet. Poindexter also said that she plans to use some of the money to book a trip. Congratulations are in order, then, for Poindexter! Delaware is one of many states that have a vaccine incentive program. The ABC affiliate in Missouri is also offering a similar vaccine incentive program, where residents of the state who get the COVID-19 vaccine are automatically entered to win cash prizes. Prizes in Missouri include $10,000 cash or $10,000 toward an education savings account. 900 winners total will be selected to win that money. And the National Governor’s Association has a...

First-Ever Black Girl Duo Wins Harvard’s International Debate Competition

Two Black girl scholars are being celebrated for going above and beyond for their debate team. According to Black Enterprise, 16-year-old Jayla Jackson and 17-year-old Emani Stanton have been honored by the Harvard Debate Council for being the first-ever Black girl duo to take home the grand prize title for the team. “Our 4th consecutive championship win was brought home to Atlanta by Jayla & Emani with an #UNDEFEATED record as they became the FIRST EVER Black girl duo to win Harvard’s international debate competition against over one hundred debaters from around the world,” the Harvard Diversity Project said on their official Instagram account. “They have shown the world what’s possible when the playing field is leveled!”   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Harvard Diversity Project (@harvarddcdp) Jayla and Emani are part of Harvard University’s Harvard Diversity Project, which was founded in 2017 by coach and author Brandon Fleming. The Atlanta-based Diversity Project...

Meet LaToya Drake, Google’s First-Ever Head Of Media Representation

When the Google News Initiative (GNI) first announced they were tackling the issue of “diversity,” many thought it was just another sop to progress. But, as it turned out, the move was — at least on the surface — genuine. But that didn’t mean that its new and first-ever head of media representation, LaToya Drake, didn’t face her fair share of issues when she first got there. “In the beginning, it was rough for a number of reasons,” she said to AfroTech. “But through a great confluence of events at the Google News Initiative, I was able to shift the perception and the goal of the role. It became ‘hot,’ if you will, to care about these sorts of things. But, as I tell everyone I work with, this is a movement , not a moment. ” As a founding member of the GNI, as it’s known, Drake provides television and radio commentary on news, social media, and pop culture trends, usually on high-profile outlets and news programs. The goal, ultimately, is to not only change the conversation around the...