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How This Mompreneur And Her Daughter Landed At A Mary J. Blige Festival After Frequently Getting 'Kicked Out' Of Other Vending Opportunities For Their Restaurant

Mary J. Blige’s Strength Of A Woman Festival (SOAW) returned for a Mother’s Day takeover in a new city this year, along with new faces and places to support. “We started doing pop-ups at bars, and it was just me and my daughter,” Chef Shelly Flash of 2 Girls & A Cookshop told AFROTECH™ during the third annual SOAW, the festival’s first time appearing in Blige’s home of New York, NY. “We used to get kicked out all the time, and it’s like we just had a mission. We were like, ‘We should share our food with the world because we’re first-gens, and a lot of times first-generation Jamaicans, we’re not represented.’ Either you’re all in the culture or you’re in this melted pot. We are always in this floating melting pot. We live in the best city in the world — that’s New York — and so what we decided to do is just keep putting out one Jamaican taco at a time.” She added, “And in Jamaica, we always say ‘Out of many, one person.’ At 2 Girls we say, ‘Out of many, one culture.’ We believe that...

Shanique Yates

May 14, 2024

Big3, A Pro Basketball League Founded By Ice Cube, Sells Its First Team In A Reported $10M Deal

Ice Cube is finally putting plans in motion to sell teams included in his Big3 basketball league roster. According to Bloomberg, in a deal worth $10 million, the 3-on-3 basketball league has sold its first team to an outside party. Led by investment firm DCB Sports, a group has acquired the team, with Los Angeles, CA, to serve as its home city. This also launches the league’s transition from a touring league to a city-centric model. All 12 teams on the roster have been put up for sale. “We need to plant our roots in cities so we can be more than a rolling all-star game coming through,” Ice Cube said in an interview with the outlet. “It’s really about growing the sport and the league.” Created in 2017, teams in the Big3, which include the 3 Headed Monsters, Ghost Ballers, and more, have been owned and operated by the league. Per the report, management aims to announce four new ownership groups by the start of its season, which kicks off in June.   View this post on Instagram   A post...

Shanique Yates

May 13, 2024

Why Victoria Monét Says 'You Have To Take Matters Into Your Own Hands' And Taught Herself How To Engineer In The Studio

For years, Victoria Monét has been behind the scenes penning some of the culture’s biggest hits for artists such as T.I., Chloe x Halle, and a host of others. Now, she is racking up her wins as an independent artist, showing no signs of letting up anytime soon. During the 2024 Grammy Awards, Monét was a force to be reckoned with, attaining seven nominations and walking away with three awards, including making history as the first Black woman to win Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical), according to The Hollywood Reporter. This feat hits close to home for the “How Does It Make You Feel” crooner whose entry into engineering emerged following frustrations from studio sessions she was having in the past. “The story of why I even know how to engineer is because I was working in a studio and wanting to record, and the people I was working with were getting sick of recording me,” she told Blavity in an interview earlier this year.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Victoria...

Shanique Yates

Mar 20, 2024

Robert McTyre Jr. Landed A Job Working On Jordan Peele's 'Nope' After Previously Losing His Job And Going Homeless

As AfroTech just told you, Jordan Peele’s “Nope” had a stellar debut at the box office, earning $44 million in ticket sales. Peele and co-stars Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya have been receiving their flowers, even well before the film’s release. However, we should also highlight the hidden figures who helped bring the film to life. Detroit native Robert McTyre Jr. worked on the film as a lighting technician. Looking at where he was just over a decade ago, McTyre might not have believed he would be a part of a multi-million dollar project.

Samantha Dorisca

Jul 25, 2022

Exclusive: Chris Webber Joins Coinllectibles As President, Gears Up To Drop Debut NFT Collection

Nearly two decades later, Chris Webber is still making the right shots. The former NBA player is diving headfirst into the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) space, taking a seat at the table as president of Coinllectibles. Webber’s introduction to the technology company began after a conversation centering around The Chris Webber Collection of African-American Artifacts and Documents, which includes a postcard Malcolm X sent to Alex Haley when he was in Mecca and the first poetry book written by an African author. Now Webber will continue developing more groundbreaking collections — this time by disrupting the NFT space. “The business has allowed me to stay competitive, empower people, and learn. What attracted me to Coinllectibles was the opportunity to work with arguably one of the best when it comes to NFTs, especially cryptocurrency, but also the fact that I can merge sports,” Webber told AfroTech exclusively. According to a press release, Webber’s role will bridge the crossroads of...

Samantha Dorisca

Mar 28, 2022

Allyson Felix Talks About 'Learning Her Own Worth' With UBS' Wale Ogunleye

When it comes to tapping into the power of how intersectional sports is, Wale Ogunleye has been at the forefront especially now as the Head of Sports and Entertainment at UBS, a global financial services company. In 2021, the former NFL player spoke with AfroTech and shared how he’s teaching financial literacy to today’s athletes. Now, Ogunleye recently hosted a fireside chat for UBS — along with Jane Schwartzberg — where he spoke with U.S. Olympian Allyson Felix. When Felix made the daring move to depart from her Nike deal due to their lack of support for pregnant female athletes and new mothers, her leap of faith was a wake up call for action heard across the nation. The gold medalist’s courage and advocacy for women and motherhood is what specifically moved Ogunleye to feature her for UBS. Photo Credit: Vivien Killilea “The sports world intersects with corporate America and corporate America puts their limitations and marginalizes women and people from diverse backgrounds,”...

Ngozi Nwanji

Feb 4, 2022

Mother-Daughter Duo Launch Record Label To Provide A Safe Space For Women To Thrive In The Music Industry

The daunting reality many women face navigating the music industry is one of concern. Prevalent issues such as misogyny, harassment, and sexual violence are some of the evils preventing women from thriving in the industry. It was to Selena B. Hunter’s dismay when she realized her musically inclined daughter, Nia Hunter, desired to have a career in the very industry that was dysfunctional. Rather than dismiss the idea and shield her daughter from entertainment, she decided to create a safe space for all women. “I had to figure out a way that her father and I could be comfortable with her being in this industry,” Selena told AfroTech. “The only way was with me stepping up and supporting her by building an infrastructure around her where I felt comfortable as a parent first because she’s a woman as well.” In a pursuit to not only keep her daughter’s vision alive, and even beyond that, Hathor Entertainment was born in Los Angeles, CA. The mother-daughter duo debuted the record label on...

Samantha Dorisca

Sep 10, 2021

Diddy, WME Launch ‘The Excellence Program’ To Help Aspiring Entertainment Execs Break Into The Business

Sean “Diddy” Combs knows firsthand how tough it is to break into the entertainment business, but his latest initiative aims to make that process a whole lot easier. The music mogul revealed that he’s inked a deal with WME in all areas to launch “The Excellence Program” — a free virtual development program and resume database designed for aspiring entertainment executives who come from underrepresented communities, Variety reports. According to the outlet, the new program — created in partnership with Endeavor — is a six-week experience that will offer eligible students insight on how to break into entertainment, marketing, music or fashion. As someone who’s had to carve his own lane in the industry, Combs aims to use this program as a way to pay it forward and level the playing field for all who aspire to lead in the entertainment business. “Beginning my career as an intern changed my life, so it’s been a lifelong dream to give the next generation of entrepreneurs and executives...

Njera Perkins

Jun 17, 2021

Thank These 4 Black Women Who Invented the Foundation For Modern-Day Entertainment

Black History Month is always a beautiful (albeit too short) celebration of Black excellence across the diaspora throughout the years. And let’s be honest, there’s a host of things that wouldn’t exist without Black women, including much of today’s modern-day entertainment. Black women, like Dr. Shirley Jackson, invented technologies that changed communication, and as a result, enhanced the way we are entertained, whether watching a basketball game on TV, streaming a movie on Hulu, or throwing a party via Zoom. Without further ado, tip your hat to these four Black women inventors who laid the groundwork for modern-day technology. Martha Jones Before we honor the women who are responsible for modern-day entertainment, we must salute Martha Jones from Amelia County, VA. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Jones became the first Black woman to be granted a U.S. patent in May 1868. Although her invention, a cornhusker, is unrelated to entertainment, we can assume...

Niki McGloster

Feb 2, 2021

DJ Khaled, Miguel, & More Are Using This Black Founder's App That Makes Streaming Accessible to All

Advanced and innovative practices in the tech space continue to shape the future of the entertainment industry. As brands cash in on the trends creating new entertainment experiences, more tech companies are emerging to set the standard. #BeApp — a new digital platform that allows users to livestream their favorite music artists and concerts — is striving to create inclusive ways for the average person to access various forms of entertainment, no matter where they’re located. Courtesy of #BeApp Founder Ray Smith — a West Philadelphia native who’s worked in the livestream space for over 15 years — realized at a young age that his access to big-ticket concerts and festivals was limited. Now, he’s created #BeApp to democratize a simpler way to bring people real-life entertainment experiences on their devices. “The inspiration is really born out of a lack of being able to access entertainment,” said Smith. “We’re using the power of the web to connect people with music when there is no...

Njera Perkins

Sep 28, 2020

Howard U Awarded $1M Gift For Coates-Forbes-Watson-HBO Dream Seekers Endowed Fellowship

Now is as good a time as any for young people to tap into the initiatives and resources companies are providing as stepping stones to getting involved in the entertainment realm. In conjunction with its recent announcement of the upcoming premiere of HBO special “Between The World and Me”based on the NYT best-selling book by Ta-Nehisi Coates, premium cable network HBO is pledging a $1 million gift to Howard University students who are looking to pursue entertainment careers, REVOLT reports . Howard University announces the Coates-Forbes-Watson-HBO Dream Seekers Endowed Fellowship, made possible through a $1 million gift by @HBO in partnership with alumni Ta-Nehisi Coates, @Kamilahf and @skelechiwatson . Thank you for this generous gift! — Howard University (@HowardU) July 27, 2020 Howard alumni Coates, as well as director Kamilah Forbes and award-winning actress Susan Kelechi Watson, have not only joined forces to bring “Between The...

Njera Perkins

Aug 3, 2020

Warner Bros. Names Johanna Fuentes as Head of Global Communications

As more women of color step into leadership roles in the entertainment world, this media veteran finds herself climbing the ladder at another major company. Showtime’s head of communications, Johanna Fuentes is making a transition to Warner Bros. as their head of global communications. “It’s a transformative moment in our industry, and I couldn’t be prouder to join a legacy and storied company like Warner Bros.,” said Fuentes on her new role. “I believe in Ann’s vision for the future of the company and am excited to work with some of the top communications professionals and storytellers in our field as we map the strategy for the continued expansion of our iconic brands, films, games and television series.” Fuentes has led a rewarding career in entertainment since beginning her career at CBS corporation in 2001, according to The Hollywood Reporter. As a former director of entertainment communications, she worked on programs including “Survivor” and “Everybody Hates Chris.” Fuentes...

Njera Perkins

Apr 14, 2020

The Apollo Goes Digital for the First Time in History

In light of social distancing, The Apollo Theater is staying ahead of the curve and going digital for the first time in its 86-year history. The Harlem theater closed its doors due to the coronavirus outbreak, but that’s not stopping the show from going on. The iconic Amateur Night segment will conduct remote auditions and as an alternative, the theater asked participants to submit videos online. Stay home, stay safe and settle in because Amateur Night at the Apollo is coming to you LIVE ON FACEBOOK, tonight starting at 7:30pm! 🔴 #AmateurNightApollo — apollotheater (@ApolloTheater) March 25, 2020 “Digital technology has enabled us to stay more connected than ever before, and during these uncertain times it is incredibly vital for the Apollo Theater to continue to engage with artists and audiences around the world,” Kamilah Forbes, Apollo Theater Executive Producer, said in a statement . The Apollo is inviting singers, dancers,...

Njera Perkins

Mar 26, 2020

Netflix, British-Nigerian Actor John Boyega to Produce African Films

Netflix continues to widen its global content in a deal with British-Nigerian actor John Boyega, says Variety . Through the “Star Wars” star’s UpperRoom Productions, the online streaming service will develop non-English language films. In a statement, Netflix explained that the output from Boyega’s production house will include film projects based on a variety of aspects from East and West African countries. I am thrilled to announce that my production company, UpperRoom Productions, will be partnering with Netflix International, to develop a slate of non English feature films. — John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) March 10, 2020 “Africa has a rich history in storytelling,” said David Kosse, VP of international film at Netflix. “For Netflix, this partnership with John and UpperRoom presents an opportunity to further our investment in the continent…” Recently, Netflix has positioned itself as a hub for unique African stories . Its first original series, “Queen Sono,”...

Niki McGloster

Mar 10, 2020

This Black Media Entrepreneur Got Her Film Picked Up By Hulu After Facing Rejection

Chasing your dreams is no easy task, but when you’re determined to beat the odds nothing can stand in your way. Take it from Angela Marie Hutchinson — producer, casting director, scriptwriter, and media entrepreneur of her own entertainment empire. For over ten years, Hutchinson fought to get her screenplay “Hollywood Chaos” funded and produced, but her efforts were of no avail. Fed up with rejection after rejection, she took matters into her own hands and found the means to produce the feature film herself. The film was also successfully picked up by Hulu. “Sometimes we feel like it’s bad to quit so we keep on going. We keep receiving the rejection thinking that eventually a yes will come along. And that’s just not the case. Sometimes the yes will never come until you create it. You have to do something different than what you were doing before,” Hutchinson said, according to Black Enterprise. No longer operating on the scale of getting rejected, Hutchinson created the opportunity...

Njera Perkins

Mar 8, 2020