By: Gregory Smith, Howard University News Service During the pandemic, Black businesses have faced challenges. Some were forced to close or nearly shut down, while others were fortunate to have an uptick in business. Black businesses were hit the hardest and had to adapt quickly to the mandatory shutdowns across the country while everyone was forced to stay at home. Here’s a look at how Black businesses from the nation’s capital to the deep south have managed to survive through creative strategies. WASHINGTON – Virginia Ali is owner of Ben’s Chili Bowl, an iconic restaurant she and her husband, Ben Ali, opened in 1958 in Washington D.C. Ben Ali died in 2009. He was 82. The restaurant has since become such a landmark that a long list of celebrities have made a trek through its doors, including former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Serena Williams, Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Durant, Steve Harvey, Kevin Hart, Mary J. Blige, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Anthony Bourdain. The restaurant is woven into the fabric of the city’s Black community. It helped serve the tens of thousands of protesters who came to Washington during the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968 and the March on Washington in 1963. Ben’s was one of the few restaurants open after curfew to provide food and shelter for those working to restore order after the Washington riots in 1968 following the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Still, Ali said that COVID-19 was the hardest obstacle that her business has ever faced, because this was the first time that her business had to close its doors for an extended amount of time. It normally stayed open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. and until 4 a.m. on the weekends, she said. “We didn’t receive the (federal Paycheck Protection Program) loan the first go around,” Ali said. “We had to cut back on staff, adjust our hours, and figure out a way to reach the community in a different and more effective way. This virus has been very frightening, but our community …
Former first lady — and many people’s “forever” first lady, Michelle Obama is encouraging Americans to get vaccinated. The coronavirus is still out there, and in order to fight it, we all need to continue following the Centers for Disease Control’s safety guidelines regarding proper hygiene, social distancing and wearing masks (if you are not vaccinated), but the best protection for everyone is to get their COVID-19 shots. In order to return to normal, we all must do our parts. From Mrs. Obama: “Hey everyone it’s Michelle Obama, and I wanted to let you know that Barack and I couldn’t be more thrilled that we got our Covid-19 vaccine. This is a deadly disease, and we know the vaccine will protect us from getting really sick. It’s how we’ll start getting back to seeing friends and family and doing all those things we love again. So I hope you’ll join me, Barack and millions of others around the country and get your vaccine as soon as it’s available to you. It’s safe, it’s free, and it could save your life or the life of someone you love. To learn more just go to CDC.gov/coronavirus. “I know it’s been a long, hard year, but we can beat back this pandemic. With your help, we can do this.” Paid for by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Republicans are sick and penicillin is not the cure, because they desire to live in an entirely White country. America was never a White country because Native Americans (Indians) and Mexicans were indigenous-inhabitants of the land when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. By and large, the Republican Party has a White Privilege agenda, and the Democratic Party has an inclusive Multi-Cultural American identity agenda as profoundly displayed in President Biden’s inaugural inclusive-programmatic format.
Barack and Michelle Obama are definitely among the most admired couples in the world in terms of #RelationshipGoals, and when it comes to Black America, they are a model we all try to follow for health, wealth, happiness, success and loyalty.
If there was ever any doubt about the continued greatness of Barack and Michelle Obama, here you go. The former president and first lady received their first Oscar nomination for their production company’s debut documentary.
October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com
As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.
Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.