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Opal Lee, An Activist Who Led The Charge To Make Juneteenth A Federal Holiday, Returns To Reclaim Land She Was Driven Off Of At Age 12

In 1939, Texas changemaker Opal Lee and her family were driven out of their home and off of their land by a racist white mob. She was only 12 years old at the time.

Shanique Yates

Jan 16, 2024

Malcolm Jenkins Invests In Millstone Spirits Group For First-Ever Whiskey With Grains Exclusively From Black And Brown Farmers

It’s no question that Malcolm Jenkins has continuously been on the frontline in support of Black and brown entrepreneurs. Spearheading change through Broad Street Ventures, the first Black athlete-led venture capital fund, the two-time Super Bowl champion has been on go-mode since its launch. As previously reported by AfroTech, the $10 million investment fund further created space for Black and brown women after bringing India Robinson and Sara “Lovestyle” Hood on board as investors. Now, less than four months later, Jenkins is onto his next impactful venture under Malcolm Inc. — his holding company.

Ngozi Nwanji

Jun 20, 2022

Black-Owned Houston Vodka Company To Launch On Juneteenth Weekend, Proceeds Will Benefit HBCUs Including Texas Southern University

Blossoming from the heart of Houston, another Black-owned vodka company has hit the market. Houston Chronicle reports 10 Black entrepreneurs and peers from Texas Southern University, Prairie View A&M University, The University of Texas at Austin, Wiley College, University of Houston, and Cornell University have joined forces to launch General Orders No. 3. (GO3) — named after the order which freed enslaved people on on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas. The group wanted to launch a Houston-made vodka encapsulating the spirit of Texas’ heritage and culture.

Samantha Dorisca

Jun 17, 2022

Walmart Pulls Juneteenth Themed Ice Cream From Its Shelves After Facing Backlash On Social Media

“Capitalists are gonna capitalize.” Following social media backlash, which included the aforementioned comment, Walmart has removed a red velvet and cheesecake ice cream from its shelves that was meant to celebrate the upcoming Juneteenth holiday. I better not see yall buying this. Capitalists are gonna capitalize, but this is ridiculous. — CHUCK JIGSAW CREEKMUR (@chuckcreekmur) May 22, 2022

Samantha Dorisca

May 24, 2022

Pharrell Williams Calls Out Corporations For Not Investing In 'Inclusive Businesses'

Pharrell Williams wants to see more wins for Black-owned businesses. Pharrell Williams presented the keynote speech at the Urban League of Hampton Roads’ (ULHR) annual Martin Luther King, Jr. awards program on Monday (Jan. 17). Here, Williams issued a call-to-action for businesses to pledge a higher commitment to Black entrepreneurs while also noting many businesses have already started their efforts. “There’s much more work to be done to achieve anything that resembles equality, business — thank God businesses are finally catching on,” Pharrell Williams said. “Corporations know that inclusive businesses are good businesses, right? Collectively big businesses are pouring billions of dollars into programs directed toward people of color — not all businesses, but the smart ones, the ones that will be here in 50 years.” Pharrell Williams goes on to highlight a few small wins that have arisen for the Black community in recent years. Historically Black Colleges & Universities are...

Samantha Dorisca

Jan 18, 2022

CEO Donald Hawkins Founded First Boulevard To Change The Way Black Americans Bank

Neobank First Boulevard is not only for the culture, but it’s by the culture. Not to be confused with a traditional bank, First Boulevard is a fully inclusive financial services company that not only believes that banking should be inclusive, but has a plan in place to help Black America build generational wealth, control spending, and receive paychecks up to two days early. “Through representation, our goal is to show others that the solutions we need can be effectively developed within our own communities,” said First Boulevard Founder and CEO, Donald Hawkins in an exclusive interview with AfroTech. “Our company looks like the market we serve and as a result, we have an unfair advantage when it comes to building products that Black America needs. Our diversity is our intellectual property and our members are the driving force behind what we do.” As an institution dedicated to the betterment of the community, it was only right that the neobank’s beta launch took place during...

Shanique Yates

Jun 26, 2021

Black Viral TikTok Artists Immortalized As NFT Holograms In Honor Of Juneteenth

Now that Juneteenth is officially a federal holiday, companies are getting in on the wave. Whether this is a good or a bad thing remains to be seen, but one of the first companies to honor the newly minted holiday has stepped up to the plate. In a press release announcement, it was revealed that Jadu, a leading mobile augmented reality platform known for creating hyper-realistic holographic performances of musicians such as Lil Nas X, announced the release of a collection of NFT holograms themed around Black artists performing some of this decade’s most impactful dances. Jalaiah Harmon, who created the “Renegade” dance that garnered more than 5 billion views on TikTok, is the first to be immortalized in honor of Juneteenth. Harmon, who first became famous when Charli D’Amelio ripped off the “Renegade” and claimed it as her own, was revealed to be the creator of the dance by Taylor Lorenz of The New York Times. Michelle Obama also tweeted out support for the teenager after the...

BLAQUE Launches First All-In-One Fitness & Wellness App Dedicated To The Black Community

This Juneteenth, it’s not only important to commemorate the value of Black liberation, but health and wellness as well — according to this New York city-based fitness club. Blaque — known as the first luxury fitness experience designed by Black people, for Black people — understands that our community has specific needs for wellness services because of the disproportionate rate at which preventable diseases affect us. This is what prompted the platform to launch The BLAQUE Movement App — the first all-in-one fitness app that caters to Black people. “Our mission [at BLAQUE] is to help Black people live their best lives through optimal fitness and wellness,” the company shares. “Our app-driven coaching program is built by fitness and wellness professionals and provides a customized, interactive and focused approach on cultivating members’ optimal well-being.”   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by BLAQUE.INC ( According to BLAQUE, the new app’s features include...

Njera Perkins

Jun 18, 2021

Crown Royal Regal Apple And Lucky Daye Join Forces To Honor Black Art Preservation For Juneteenth

Black music has always been the backbone of American culture. From soul to hip hop to rock-n-roll, we have paved the way for all genres of music so it’s only right that we celebrate us for Black Music Month! Crown Royal Regal Apple has partnered with singer and songwriter Lucky Daye to not only celebrate our music but to also honor Black art preservation and commemorate the Juneteenth Unityfest.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Lucky Daye (@iamluckydaye) “It’s important to preserve Black art and shine a light on it because at the end of the day, the people who go through the most have the most to say and that’s not just in terms of word quantity, but quality,” shared Lucky Daye in an exclusive interview with AfroTech. Thanks to his own personal connection to the arts, the “Roll Some Mo” singer will not only perform during Unityfest but is set to also honor the works of Crown Royal’s Black Art Preservation Project — a project that was launched while the nation was at...

Shanique Yates

Jun 18, 2021

OneUnited Bank, The Largest Black-Owned Bank In America, Is Providing Tools And Resources Needed To Survive

When it comes to wealth, Black Americans have always gotten the short end of the stick. In part, a lot of this is due to the lack of financial literacy which comes from a deep history of racism that has held our community back for centuries. “It is the most important issue facing Black Americans. Period,” said Kevin Cohee, Owner, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of OneUnited Bank. In an interview with AfroTech, he told us the role that the largest Black-owned bank in America plays when it comes to not only teaching the importance of financial literacy but providing the community with the tools and resources needed to survive and thrive in a place where the playing field has been everything except level. “It’s fairly understandable how we got into this situation,” continued Cohee. “We were slaves, then we weren’t but we were given no education, we were given no money, no compensation, and we were denied the opportunity to do things like for example, live in neighborhoods where...

Shanique Yates

Apr 22, 2021

Everything You Can Look Forward to Next Juneteenth

Juneteenth was created as a day to recognize the emancipation of Black enslaved inhabitants of Galveston, TX — who were the very last group of slaves to be freed in the United States. This year, we transformed it into a day to celebrate Black joy and life where the world finally joined along with us. The mass celebration was widely recognized among individuals, brands, and major corporations who honored the day in support of the Black community. Companies like Nike, Spotify, Target, Twitter, Uber, and many more recognized Juneteenth as a paid company holiday this year and plan to make it an official company holiday going forward, CNBC reports . Similar to how New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the day will be a formal holiday next year, according to BBC News . With the world’s desire to show massive support toward the Black community, new initiatives are being put into place for next year’s Juneteenth celebration. Several institutions across the country are creating...

Njera Perkins

Jun 24, 2020

These Black Artists Teamed Up With Instagram to Ignite Meaning Behind Juneteenth

Juneteenth has historically been a day in American history that’s not celebrated enough, but major brands and companies are hoping to change that this year. In light of recent tragic events, Black people and POC’s demands for social justice and real change in this country have sparked the start of a new revolution encouraging the world to take notes and listen. Storytelling during this time has taken on a new meaning for Black voices and to amplify those voices, Instagram is continuing their #ShareBlackStories initiative by partnering with three Black artists — Andrea Pippins , Marco Cheatham , and Mina Elise — to design a series of new stickers in celebration of Juneteenth. Credit: Instagram #ShareBlackStories has become a year-round storytelling movement on Instagram that amplifies Black voices and encourages freedom of expression and unique perspectives. For this year’s Freedom Day commemoration, Pippins, Cheatham, and Elise wanted to share their art which shows who they are as...

Njera Perkins

Jun 19, 2020

Microsoft Engineer Michael Brown is Organizing a Virtual Juneteenth Celebration

If the past few weeks have taught us anything, it’s that not even a global health pandemic can quell racism and intolerance. While COVID-19 has severely affected our ability to convene in large numbers, one Black techie is determined to help Black professionals celebrate Juneteenth nonetheless. Michael Brown, a senior software engineer at Microsoft is hosting Juneteenth Conference , as a way for Black people to “t ake a moment to pause and reflect and celebrate where we are.” In early June 2020, as he was reflecting on his Microsoft anniversary as well as current affairs in Black America, he decided he didn’t want Juneteenth to slide under the radar. Brown decided to take advantage of society’s new relationship with virtual social events to create something special. He wasn’t sure he would be able to get everything ready in time for this year. In fact, several of his friends told him that events like these take at least one year to plan. However, Brown pressed on with the hope that,...

Colleen Williams

Jun 18, 2020

Goalsetter to Launch Money-Saving Campaign #SavingOurSelves on Juneteenth

Amid conversations and uprisings surrounding racial justice, Juneteenth is quickly becoming a company holiday . However, with all of the increased awareness, Goalsetter is launching the #SavingOurSelves initiative to help reverse the wealth gap. Founded by Tanya Van Court, Goalsetter —a Black-owned app that provides culturally-relevant financial literacy tools for kids and families to save money—is committing to getting one million Black kids signed up for savings accounts. “Juneteenth is a celebration of our freedom from slavery, but African-Americans can’t truly celebrate freedom until we are financially liberated and the wealth gap is closed,” said Chairman of Vista Equity and Goalsetter investor Robert F. Smith. “By giving Black kids a savings and financial literacy app created by a Black entrepreneur, we can change the way a whole generation of Black kids learns about money and thinks about building wealth. And that can have a profound impact on our entire community.”...

Niki McGloster

Jun 15, 2020