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NBA's Chris Paul Joins Digital Media Startup Greenfly As Strategic Investor And Partner

Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul is one of the newest faces to join digital media startup Greenfly’s latest funding round, and the perks come with some new titles. TechCrunch reports that the NBA All-Star’s investment will have him serve as a strategic investor and partner in the company through its $8.4 million strategic growth round. Existing investors in the round include Go4it Capital, Elysian Park Ventures, Alpha Edison and Iconica Partners, as well as others like Verance Capital, Higher Ground Labs, DD Venture Capital, SW19 Ventures, LinkinFirm and Allievo Capital. Greenfly’s new funding round puts the company at over $23 million raised since it was first founded by former Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Shawn Green and his cousin Daniel Kirschner — who previously served in senior roles at the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Communications Commission and Activision Blizzard. Greenfly is a company that considers itself a “leader in digital media monetization,”...

Njera Perkins

Aug 24, 2021

WhatsApp Jacks Snapchat's Famous 'View Once' Disappearing Feature

WhatsApp is introducing a new feature that may look awfully familiar to Snapchat users. The Verge reports that the Facebook-owned messaging app has launched a brand new “View Once” feature on the platform that will allow users to view photos and videos once before they’re deleted. According to WhatsApp, the feature was designed to give users “more control over their privacy” with end-to-end encryption that protects their personal messages. The way the feature works is when sending a photo or video to someone on the app, you can view the media once by tapping the “1” symbol next to the send button. After the recipient opens the message, it will then disappear forever. Now for WhatsApp users this may be a new phenomenon that could potentially grow to be popular on the app. However, for social media users who already subscribe to other popular messaging platforms like Snapchat, this feature is nothing new. WhatsApp’s “View Once” feature is expected to rival that of Snapchat’s stories...

Njera Perkins

Aug 5, 2021

The Black TikTok Strike Isn't About Crediting Viral Dances, It's About Protecting Black Creativity In Digital Spaces

The Black TikTok strike made headlines last month after Black creators seemingly refused to create choreography to Megan Thee Stallion’s “Thot Sh*t” single for non-Black TikTokers to steal without giving credit. However, that wasn’t the beginning and end of the strike’s mission. In fact, the Black TikTok strike was never solely about Black creators refusing to create dances. The real reason for the strike was fueled by users who were fed up and frustrated with the way Black creativity on apps like TikTok is constantly stolen, replicated and profited off of for the benefit of others. According to TikTok influencer Erick Louis — whose viral video helped spark the beginning of the strike — he originally joined the app back in November because he saw the community being built by Black TikTokers that stirred joy, education and entertainment on the platform. However, it’s been disheartening for him to see the way Black creators are excluded and taken advantage of while TikTok does little...

Njera Perkins

Jul 28, 2021

10 Cutting-Edge Music Tech Platforms Betting On The Future Of The Industry

If we’ve learned anything over the last year, it’s that technology has the power to transform, influence and shape entire industries with the latest tools and resources. While the pandemic completely turned the music industry on its back, technology became its saving grace to show us all our future possibilities. From virtual concerts to emerging platforms, the music industry was under pressure to still deliver entertainment, and innovative tech made sure that happened. Some of the best things birthed out of the pandemic stemmed from tech startups, apps and social media — including things like Verzuz and hybrid awards shows . And what’s better, Black leaders and changemakers were at the center of it all. To close out Black Music Month, we’re highlighting some revolutionary Black-owned companies that are shifting the way the industry will operate in years to come. Check out some of the hottest tech innovations that the music industry is betting on to shape its future. Music Breakr...

Njera Perkins

Jun 30, 2021

How Sugaberry Co-Founders Tika Sumpter and Thai Randolph Launched a Lifestyle Brand to Uplift Black Moms

One year ago, co-founders Tika Sumpter and Thai Randolph found themselves launching Sugaberry — a forward-thinking lifestyle brand created by and for modern moms of color — at the peak of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Today, they celebrate one year of maintaining said brand to connect a community centered around Black women’s wellness and motherhood. The idea behind Sugaberry’s digital platform originally came from famed actress, producer and entrepreneur Sumpter who took note of the lack of representation for Black moms and expecting mothers online and in media. “The seed for [Sugaberry] started with me feeling like there wasn’t a place for Black moms or women who were interested in maybe having a child to go to,” Sumpter shared with AfroTech. “There was no thought or care put forth for us. I just felt like the joy of motherhood wasn’t really offered to Black women as far as what we see in media.” From there, she came up with a business proposal that she approached Randolph with —...

Njera Perkins

Mar 23, 2021

How Black Love Inspired Married Couple Khadeen & Devale Ellis to Build a Digital Dynasty For Their Family

Love in the era of social media has made it possible for your ordinary couples to display their relationships on large-scale platforms, giving the world a glimpse into their everyday lives. YouTube, in recent years, has become the number one hotspot for most couples to make a name for themselves online, but millennial married couple Khadeen and Devale Ellis changed the game when they used their public displays of affection to redefine how a relationship can be the foundation for creating a legacy. As the building blocks for what can now be considered their growing digital dynasty, The Ellises are showing the world how Black love has been the key to them becoming role models for what marriage should look like today. Before they became TV and YouTube stars, The Ellises began their loving journey into the digital space with an idea to use their marriage and family to dispel stereotypes about Black people and how we’re perceived to the public. “I said to Khadeen at that time, I really...

Njera Perkins

Feb 13, 2021

YouTube Unveils Its #YouTubeBlackVoices Grant Recipients to Celebrate Today's Innovative Creators

In June of last year during the height of Black Lives Matter protests and social unrest, global video-streaming platform YouTube announced its $100 million #BlackVoices Fund dedicated to amplifying Black perspectives. According to an announcement, the fund was used to “invest with an intention: to present fresh narratives that emphasize the intellectual power, authenticity, dignity and joy of Black voices, as well as to educate audiences about racial justice.” As part of this global fund, this week YouTube revealed its #YouTubeBlackVoices Creator Class of 2021, consisting of 132 Black creators and artists selected to receive grants to assist them in their creative endeavors. “We believe that Black stories matter. That is why we created the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a global, multi-year commitment to center and grow Black creators and artists on our platform, as well as to produce and acquire new YouTube Original programs,...

Njera Perkins

Jan 15, 2021

Talent Platform Career Karma is Using Its Rapid Growth to Become the Top Hub For Career Advice

Over the course of 2020, Americans have witnessed a large decline in employment across the country due to the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. To add onto that, income inequality and rapid reskilling for under-sourced people have both become some of the most critical issues in our society that need to be addressed. In an effort to provide viable solutions for the blue-collar workforce during this crucial time, online talent platform Career Karma has set out to build a repeatable and scalable system designed to match workers across the country with higher-paying jobs and more fulfilling careers. “We want to help a billion people in ten years,” said CEO and co-founder Ruben Harris. “In the last year, over 50 million Americans filed for unemployment due to COVID-19, most of them being Black and brown [people]. We want to effectively reskill and upskill those people quickly into jobs in a short amount of time and there’s no other platform that exists in order to do that.”...

Njera Perkins

Dec 9, 2020

Kevin Hart & Charlamagne Tha God Announce Audible Partnership to Amplify Black Voices

Media giants Kevin Hart and Charlamagne Tha God have announced an exclusive partnership with online platform Audible in an effort to bring forth more Black voices to the forefront of culturally-nuanced conversations, Forbes reports . According to Audible , the global multi-year, multi-project development, production, and audio licensing deal is an innovative collaboration that joins both Kevin’s Hartbeat Productions and Charlamagne’s CTHAGOD World Productions, to achieve a common goal that aims to amplify rising Black creatives and their unique narratives.   View this post on Instagram   Been working on this for a minute with my brother @cthagod ….We are finally here and I’m hype as hell about it damn it!!!!! It’s not just about what you do…it’s also about the opportunities that you create for others….I can’t wait for you all to get a major dose of what we have coming your way!!!!!!! Major thank you to @audible for understanding and believing in our vision!!!!!!! A post shared by...

Njera Perkins

Oct 27, 2020

These 10 Innovative Black Women Are Bringing Sneaker Culture to the Digital World

Sneaker culture has become a widespread phenomenon in the digital age that was brought to life via the internet. Sneakerheads have existed long before digital media became popularized, but platforms such as Instagram, Tumblr, and others gave them a place to thrive and connect. Though sneaker culture continues to grow and expand through different avenues, one thing remains unchanged — women, especially Black women, are still fighting their way into the “boys club.” “I’ve noticed that Black women, rather than waiting for major corporations to co-sign them, are actually creating their own spaces, platforms and events,” shared Robyn Mowatt — former sneaker columnist/ associate editor at HYPEBAE and current OkayPlayer staff writer. “This means that they’re taking control of their narratives and also making space for the next generation of young women to have ownership of streetwear/sneaker culture on their own terms,” she added. No longer needing approval from the industry’s gatekeepers,...

Njera Perkins

Oct 12, 2020

Black Woman-Led Tech Company Launches Two Digital Platforms to Lead Big Tech Market

Black women in tech are coming after big tech companies to be the new contenders in the market. Parent company Urrgent Technology — led by founder Shantell “Charisma” Graham — recently announced a huge launch into the big tech market, unveiling two inaugural digital platforms — StoopUp and — according to a press release . StoopUp — a free social networking app that allows users to create a digital “Neighborhood” based on shared and given support from others — and — an online platform for freelancers that creates more opportunities for people of color — are both a part of Graham’s mission to uplift underserved communities and push consumers to accrue economic wealth in the sector. “We’re not reinventing the wheel but we are headed in a more positive direction for the end-users, said Graham in a press statement . “Two separate platforms – each bringing a conscientious, user-first standard, because we have to work and uplift each other as a whole.” According to...

Njera Perkins

Sep 8, 2020

Black Influencers and POC Call Out the Industry's Racist and Sexist Ways

Social media has been a game-changer for many influencers, especially as platforms like TikTok and Instagram see a major surge in users. The internet has become a place for people in the creative industry to make a name for themselves, but for Black influencers, they still struggle against the gatekeepers of advertising who are responsible for paying these creatives for their work. Ethnicity pay gaps aren’t a new notion, but more recently, Black influencers and people of color have pushed back against the industry to call out their racist and sexist ways. In addition to the ethnicity pay gap, Black influencers are even being stripped away from their credits for creating trends that are ultimately stolen by their white counterparts to benefit from. TikTok was recently accused of trying to create an “aspirational air” for their platform by allegedly configuring the app to hide content from people who appeared to be “ugly, poor or disabled users,” according to the Guardian. While it is...

Njera Perkins

Apr 15, 2020

10 Black Men Who Found Success Through Digital Platforms

Black excellence is more than just a trendy phrase – it’s a lifestyle practiced by today’s rising millennial moguls. From entrepreneurs and CEOs to social media influencers and media personalities, these Black men are walking their respective paths to becoming the industry’s next big thing. Read more about these influential leaders below. Kid Fury Photo Credit: Craig Barritt/Getty Images As co-host of The Read, internet personality Kid Fury has come a long way to secure his place in the media and entertainment industry. Fury started his YouTube channel back in 2009 growing his fan base online by posting hilarious videos audiences gravitated to. Three years later, he found himself in New York City co-hosting comedy show and podcast, The Read , with his friend Crissle West . The wildly popular show was later picked up by Fuse, featuring special celebrity guests and beloved segments like Hot Tops and The Read. Fury has focused his time and talents on hosting live podcast shows, growing...

Njera Perkins

Mar 30, 2020