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T.D. Jakes Real Estate Ventures Joins Miami's Largest Black-Owned Real Estate Developer To Build Affordable Housing In South Florida

Bishop T.D. Jakes is continuing to take action in real estate. As previously reported by AFROTECH, the senior pastor of The Potter’s House is behind T.D. Jakes Real Estate Ventures, which works to create affordable housing across the U.S.

Dec 12, 2023

Amanda Gorman's Book Sales Hit A New Peak After A Florida School Banned 'The Hill We Climb'

The shine of Amanda Gorman’s work can’t be dimmed. Following a Florida school banning “The Hill We Climb,” sales have skyrocketed for the presidential inauguration poem as well as the poet’s “Call Us What We Carry” and “Change Sings,” according to Variety. The pieces of work have even taken over Amazon’s best-seller list. Plus, the pre-order for Gorman’s upcoming children’s book “Something, Someday” is No. 2 on Amazon’s list of best-selling new releases in children’s books on prejudice and racism, as of this writing.

Jun 1, 2023

Jaden Rashada Released From Florida Gators After $13M NIL Deal Falls Through

Jaden Rashada’s name, image, and likeness (NIL) deal with the Gator Collective took a turn.  

Jan 24, 2023

This Black Farmer Is Behind The First Business To Receive A Medical Marijuana License From State Of Florida

Terry Donnell Gwinn can celebrate becoming the first business to be licensed as a medical marijuana operator in Florida — and it’s long overdue.

Sep 28, 2022

NFL Star Lamar Jackson Files Trademarks For New Soul Food Restaurant In His Hometown

Lamar Jackson could possibly be the next restaurant owner in the foreseeable future. On May 18, trademark attorney Josh Gerben disclosed that the Baltimore Ravens star filed two new trademarks.

May 19, 2022

Shaquille O'Neal Proves Everything's Bigger In Texas As He's Set To Open 50 Big Chicken Locations

Shaquille O’Neal is always raising the bar! As AfroTech previously reported, the basketball legend and serial entrepreneur became a co-owner of Big Chicken in 2018 before introducing the restaurant chain to Las Vegas and California. Now, it appears Shaq is still on the move! Houston Chronicle reports Big Chicken will be opening 50 locations throughout Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin. The first restaurants are expected to open at an undisclosed date later this year and it appears Houstonians and Austinites will have first dibs. “Big Chicken is exactly the kind of brand that succeeds in Texas: pioneering and bold, yet rooted in delicious tradition. Our restaurant industry’s rich diversity is our greatest strength, and we’re absolutely thrilled that Shaquille O’Neal and the Big Chicken team are joining us,” said Emily Williams Knight, president and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association, according to the Houston Chronicle. “Welcome back home to Texas, Shaq.” Big Chicken’s...

Apr 8, 2022

Baby Blue Claims He Was Tricked Into A $24M PPP Loan Scam That Landed Him In Prison

There’s been a lot of trickery going on when it comes to various scams across the internet and one certain move has landed musician Baby Blue in the hot seat. Complex reports that the Pretty Ricky bandmate, whose government name is Diamond “Blue” Smith has officially turned himself in to start his 20-month prison sentence due to his alleged involvement in a $24 million COVID-19 loan scam. In a recent interview, he says that a lie got him caught up in the madness that ultimately led to time in prison. He claims, according to the outlet, that as the “only” man with face masks in America, he “made a quarter of a million dollars in 20 days” after managing to sell two million masks. And he alleges that those said masks came from a clothing manufacturer in China.

Feb 16, 2022

Will A Solar Farm Harm The Black Community In Archer, Florida? Residents & Experts Weigh In

When an energy company decided it wanted to build a solar farm in the sleepy town of Archer, Florida, activists stood up and took notice. The town, which is steeped in Black history (rock legend Bo Diddley was born there), is also one of the few counties in Florida where Black homeownership — the prime driver for middle-class wealth — is at a much higher rate than most other counties in Florida. Yet, if this proposed solar farm — reported recently by The Grio — were to go up on 650 acres of vacant farmland near the St. Petersburg area, the residents would receive no benefits from its presence. And, in fact, they’d be all but driven out — which, they say, is the point. Jeraldine McMillan, who is a native of Archer, told the local CBS affiliate that none of the residents would receive benefits like cheaper electricity, for example. “We get our power from Clay Electric, and this whole project does not benefit us at all, and that’s where they overlooked us,” she said. “We grew up in...

Is Rick Ross Investing In The Miami Heat? 'I'm Confident, We'll Bring Them Big Trophies Back'

Rick Ross, the biggest boss, is always thinking of his next move. According to Kulture Hub, Rick Ross could soon make his stake in the sports industry as an investor in the National Basketball Association’s Miami Heat. The move would be only right for the rapper and entrepreneur who has been an avid supporter of the team and is considered by many as a Miami legend. “I’m still interested in getting a small percentage of an NFL or NBA team,” Rick Ross shared during an episode of Uninterrupted’s Certified Buckets podcast when asked his stance on making a sports investment move. “I’d just invest in the Heat because we got some beautiful additions. And like I say I’m one of those people that can look three seasons ahead… I’m confident, we’ll bring them big trophies back.” As someone who was raised in Dade County, Rick Ross has been a fan of the Miami Heat since day one. He went from watching games from awful seats to garnering relationships with the players, President Pat Riley, and the...

Nov 16, 2021

Florida A&M University Small Business Incubator Backed By $100,000 Grant From Wells Fargo

Serving as the leading bank of Florida A&M University (FAMU) , The Wells Fargo Foundation has placed a generous contribution to spur women and minority-owned businesses. The $100,000 grant is a part of Wells Fargo’s continued partnership with FAMU to commit a total of $500,000 across Orlando and Tallahassee, FL. The funds will back the creation of a small business incubator and support the project’s staff operations, business development, and expansions goals. “As FAMU’s official bank, we are pleased to see Wells Fargo stepping up its commitment to small business development. This initiative will catalyze entrepreneurship and reap dividends for years to come,” says FAMU President Larry Robinson in an official press release from the FAMU Forward. The incubator will sow seeds of promise for many minority businesses who participate. In an interview with Tallahassee Democrat, Shawnta S. Friday-Stroud- vice president for University Advancement and director of the FAMU Foundation- noted...

Oct 25, 2021

Founder Desiree Noisette Makes Herstory As Florida's First Black Woman Winemaker

Florida woman Desiree Noisette founded her wine brand Mermosa four years ago, and today she’s recognized for making history as the state’s first-ever Black woman winemaker, Click Orlando reports. According to the outlet, it was Noisette’s family’s own love story that inspired her to create her own wine company. “Mermosa is inspired by our family’s first mermaid. Her name was Celestine Noisette,” she recalled of a story that goes back to the late 1700s when Celestine met and married a white Frenchman named Phillipe in Haiti. “Then shortly after they moved to Charleston, South Carolina. And when they moved to Charleston, Phillipe, unfortunately, had to protect his family from being sold into the slave trade because his wife was black and his children were mixed.” Phillipe reportedly wrote a fake bill of sale to purchase his wife and children, but the state of South Carolina denied his petition. Nonetheless, Phillipe continued his efforts to save his family and even wrote in his will...

Mar 22, 2021

Black-Owned Grocery Chain Vegan Fine Foods Aims to Expand to Every Major City by 2024

A new vegan grocery store is coming to a city near you! According to Black Business, Vegan Fine Foods is not only an all-vegan grocery store, but it’s Black-owned and located in Fort Lauderdale, FL with intentions of opening locations in major cities across the United States by 2024. “I spent years living in food deserts with little to no accessibility to nutrient-dense foods and I see how damaging that can be for underserved communities,” Vegan Fine Foods founder Steven Smith told VegNews. It was this very experience that encouraged him to launch the vegan company in 2016 just after his departure from an engineering career at PepsiCo. and Proctor & Gamble. Today he aims to provide a one-stop-shop for all things vegan and plant-based, expanding his grocery chain by opening both company-owned locations and franchises. Black Business reports after raising over $1.4 million in 2019 for developments, new equipment, and the implementation of a new point-of-sale and inventory management...

Jan 25, 2021

Black-Owned and Operated News Network Makes Historic Launch

On Feb. 10, the Black News Channel (BNC) launched in select markets across the U.S. making it the only Black news station in the nation. According to a press release, the broadcasting station was founded by J.C. Watts, Jr. and Bob Brillante. BNC — based in Tallahassee, FL — is dedicated to “culturally specific, intelligent programming that is informative, educational, inspiring, and empowering to its audience,” as stated in their press release . As an alternative to other national news broadcasting stations, the BNC will be the nation’s only provider of 24/7 news coverage dedicated to covering the unique perspective of African American communities. The BNC took to Twitter to announce its launch: Launch day is here! Join Rarione Maniece & Lauren McCoy live for BNC Morning Edition 6am-9am & 10am for Being A Woman. Only on The Black News Channel! #Bnc #BlackNews #TheBlackNewsChannel — BNC (@BlackNewsC) February 10, 2020 Built on the tagline “Truth...

Feb 14, 2020

A Florida Police Department Wants To Implement 'Real-Time' Facial Recognition. Here's Why That's Concerning

Facial recognition is becoming more and more common with law enforcement. In May 2018, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) obtained documents that showed Amazon’s Rekognition was sold to law enforcement in Orlando and Oregon. Now, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) in Florida is looking to use real-time facial recognition, as reported by Orlando Weekly . That essentially refers to a system where every person who passes by a camera running “real-time” software has their face scanned — no matter what. Facial recognition in Florida isn’t new. Biometric Update reported that PCSO already runs the largest facial recognition database in the United States, known as FR-Net. It contains 25 million identified faces pulled from various sources like driver’s licenses, mugshots, and federal IDs. However, the desire to begin implementing real-time facial recognition is a huge switch up from Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri’s previous stance. When questioned by Florida legislators...

Apr 30, 2019