djque's Blog Power House Radio: Has All Your Favorite Genres. Serving The CommunityWith Something For Everyone Hip-Hop, Rap Old School, R&B, Soul, Pop Top 40, Jazz News & Hot Topicsen-uscomdjque@thepowerhouseradio.comhttp://thepowerhouseradio.netThePowerHouseRadiothe_power_house_radio Power House Radio1159680 2:17:00 AMYNff2600NNNNBD8FC37D-3F55-4743-8334-B20A91DE616Bdjque Commanders name Ryan Kerrigan assistant defensive line coach by djque0, 5 Sep 2022 14:29 GMTLOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. - The Washington Commanders announced today that Ryan Kerrigan has been named assistant defensive line coach. Kerrigan will fill the role previously held by Jeff Zgonina who was promoted to the role of defensive line coach in training camp. Kerrigan signed a one-day contract on July 29th, retiring as a member of the Burgundy and Gold. He is the Commanders all-time official sack leader and appeared in 172 games for the franchise from 2011-20. "Ryan Kerrigan is one of the most accomplished players in this franchise's history," said Head Coach Ron Rivera. "Following his retirement, we had a great talk about his goals for life after playing. Ryan had an interest in coaching and we were able to allow him to shadow our coaching staff this summer. He is an extremely hard worker with tremendous knowledge of the defensive line position group. I look forward to watching him develop as a coach and assist Coach Zgonina in the defensive line room." Kerrigan finished his career in Washington appearing in 172 games (143 starts) and registered 457 tackles (333 solo), including 117 for loss, 95.5 sacks, three interceptions which were all returned for touchdowns, 25 passes defensed and 26 forced fumbles. Along with being the franchise's all-time leader in official sacks, Kerrigan is also one-of-three players in NFL history to record 60-plus sacks and 3-plus interceptions returned for touchdowns joining Jason Taylor and Julius Peppers. He is also second in franchise history in multi-sack games (18), trailing only Dexter Manley. Kerrigan was selected in the first round (No. 16 overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft by Washington. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection during his tenure with the organization. Kerrigan was recently selected as one of the 10 new additions to the 90 Greatest List. He also had a streak of 139-consecutive games played from 2011-19.253554Ryan,Kerriganblogs/9-2022/253554-ryan-kerrigan-i-713-s.jpgLamont Dozier, Writer of Numerous Motown Hits, Dies at 81 by djque0, 10 Aug 2022 11:29 GMTThe Motown songwriter and producer Lamont Dozier in 1969. He helped write dozens of Motown classics. Between 1963 and 1972, he and his partners, Brian and Eddie Holland, were responsible for more than 80 singles that hit the Top 40 of the pop or R&B charts.Credit...Michael Ochs Archives, via Getty Images With the brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, Mr. Dozier wrote dozens of singles that reached the pop or R&B charts, including "You Can't Hurry Love," by the Supremes. Lamont Dozier, the prolific songwriter and producer who was crucial to the success of Motown Records as one-third of the Holland-Dozier-Holland team, died on Monday at his home near Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 81. Robin Terry, the chairwoman and chief executive of the Motown Museum in Detroit, confirmed the death but did not specify a cause. In collaboration with the brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, Mr. Dozier wrote songs for dozens of musical acts, but the trio worked most often with Martha and the Vandellas ("Heat Wave," "Jimmy Mack"), the Four Tops ("Bernadette," "I Can't Help Myself") and especially the Supremes ("You Can't Hurry Love," "Baby Love"). Between 1963 and 1972, the Holland-Dozier-Holland team was responsible for more than 80 singles that hit the Top 40 of the pop or R&B charts, including 15 songs that reached No. 1. "It was as if we were playing the lottery and winning every time," Mr. Dozier wrote in his autobiography, "How Sweet It Is" (2019, written with Scott B. Bomar). Nelson George, in his 1985 history of Motown, "Where Did Our Love Go?" (named after another Holland-Dozier-Holland hit), described how the youthful trio had won over the label's more experienced staff and musicians. "These kids," he wrote, "had a real insight into the taste of the buying public" and possessed "an innate gift for melody, a feel for story song lyrics, and an ability to create the recurring vocal and instrumental licks known as 'hooks.'" "Brian, Eddie and Lamont loved what they were doing," Mr. George added, "and worked around the clock, making music like old man Ford made cars." In his memoir, Mr. Dozier concurred: "We thought of H.D.H. as a factory within a factory." Lamont Herbert Dozier - he was named after Lamont Cranston, the lead character in the radio serial "The Shadow" - was born on June 16, 1941, in Detroit the oldest of five children of Willie Lee and Ethel Jeannette (Waters) Dozier. His mother largely raised the family, earning a living as a cook and housekeeper; his father worked at a gas station but had trouble keeping a job, perhaps because he suffered from chronic back pain as a result of a World War II injury (he fell off a truck). When Mr. Dozier was 5, his father took him to a concert with an all-star bill that included Count Basie, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald. While the music excited the young boy, he was also impressed by the audience's ecstatic reaction, and resolved that he would make people feel good in the same way. As a high school student, Mr. Dozier wrote songs, cutting up grocery bags so he would have paper for the lyrics, and formed the Romeos, an interracial doo-wop group. When the Romeos' song "Fine Fine Baby" was released by Atco Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic, in 1957, Mr. Dozier dropped out of high school at age 16, anticipating stardom. But when Atlantic's Jerry Wexler wanted a second single, Mr. Dozier overplayed his hand, saying the group would only make a full-length LP. He received a letter wishing him well and dropping the Romeos from the label. After the Romeos broke up, Mr. Dozier auditioned for Anna Records, a new label called founded by Billy Davis and the sisters Anna and Gwen Gordy; he was slotted into a group called the Voice Masters and hired as a custodian. In 1961, billed as Lamont Anthony, he released his first solo single, "Let's Talk It Over" - but he preferred the flip side, "Popeye," a song he wrote. "Popeye," which featured a young Marvin Gaye on drums, became a regional hit until it was squelched by King Features, owners of the cartoon and comic-strip character Popeye. After Anna Records folded in 1961, Mr. Dozier received a phone call from Berry Gordy Jr., brother of Anna and Gwen, offering him a job as a songwriter at his new label, Motown, with a salary of $25 a week as an advance against royalties. Mr. Dozier began collaborating with the young songwriter Brian Holland. "It was like Brian and I could complete one another's musical ideas the way certain people can finish one another's sentences," Mr. Dozier wrote in his memoir. "I realized right away that we shared a secret language of creativity." They were soon joined by Brian's older brother, Eddie, who specialized in lyrics, and began writing songs together - although hardly ever with all three parties in the same room. Mr. Dozier and Brian Holland would write the music and supervise an instrumental recording session with the Motown house band; Eddie Holland would then write lyrics to the track. When it came time to record vocals, Eddie Holland would guide the lead singer and Mr. Dozier would coach the backing vocalists. In his memoir, Mr. Dozier summed it up: "Brian was all music, Eddie was all lyrics, and I was the idea man who bridged both." Sometimes he would have an idea for a song's feel: He wrote the Four Tops' "Reach Out I'll Be There" thinking about Bob Dylan's phrasing on "Like a Rolling Stone." Sometimes he concocted an attention-grabbing gimmick, like the staccato guitars at the beginning of the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On" that evoked a radio news bulletin. And sometimes Mr. Dozier uttered a real-life sentence that worked in song, as he did one night when he was in a Detroit motel with a girlfriend and a different girlfriend started pounding on the door. He pleaded with the interloper, "Stop, in the name of love" - and then realized the potency of what he had said. The Holland-Dozier-Holland team quickly hammered the sentence into a three-minute single, the Supremes' "Stop! In the Name of Love." In 1965, Mr. Gordy circulated an audacious memo to Motown staffers that read in part: "We will release nothing less than Top Ten product on any artist; and because the Supremes' worldwide acceptance is greater than other artists, on them we will release only #1 records." Holland-Dozier-Holland stepped up: While they didn't hit the top every time with the Supremes, they wrote and produced an astonishing 10 No. 1 pop hits for the group. "I accepted that an artist career just wasn't in the cards for me at Motown," Mr. Dozier wrote in 2019. "I still wanted it, but I was constantly being bombarded with the demand for more songs and more productions for the growing roster of artists." When Marvin Gaye, who had turned himself from a drummer into a singing star, needed to record some material before he went on an extended tour, Mr. Dozier reluctantly surrendered a song he had been saving to relaunch his own career as an artist: "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)." Mr. Gaye showed up for the session with his golf clubs, late and unprepared, and nailed the song in one perfect take. Mr. Dozier and the Holland brothers left Motown in 1967, at the peak of their success, in a dispute over money and ownership, and started two labels of their own, Invictus and Hot Wax; their biggest hit was Freda Payne's "Band of Gold," a Top 10 hit in 1970. "Holland-Dozier-Holland left and the sound was gone," Mary Wilson of the Supremes lamented to The Washington Post in 1986. Mr. Dozier wrote some more hits with the Hollands (many credited to the collective pseudonym Edythe Wayne because of ongoing legal disputes with Motown) and struck out on his own in 1973, resuming his singing career. He released a dozen solo albums across the years, but without achieving stardom as a singer; he had the most chart success in 1974, most notably with the song "Trying to Hold On to My Woman," which reached the Top 20, and "Fish Ain't Bitin'," with lyrics urging Richard Nixon to resign, became a minor hit when his label publicized a letter it had received from the White House asking it to stop promoting the song. Mr. Dozier had greater success collaborating with other artists in the 1980s, writing songs with Eric Clapton, the Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall (who puckishly released "Infidelity" with the credit "Hucknall-Dozier-Hucknall") and Phil Collins, who hit No. 1 in 1989 with the Dozier-Collins song "Two Hearts." Information on survivors was not immediately available. Mr. Dozier served as an artist-in-residence professor at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music and as chairman of the board of the National Academy of Songwriters, imparting his hard-won wisdom to younger writers. "Always put the song ahead of your ego," he wrote in his memoir. And he revealed the secret to his relentless productivity: "Writer's block only exists in your mind, and if you let yourself have it, it will cripple your ability to function as a creative person. The answer to so-called writer's block is doing the work."251753Lamont,Dozierblogs/8-2022/251753-lamont-dozier-i-159-s.jpg39-Year Old Black Entrepreneur Makes History, Awarded $13.4 Billion Dollar Defense Contract by djque0, 24 Jul 2022 16:31 GMTMeet Isaac Barnes, the young founder and President of Eminent Future, whose Black-owned tech firm has been awarded a $13.4 billion dollar defense contract with the U.S. Airforce and the U.S. Spaceforce. Isaac is a marvel, reminiscent of young Black leaders transcending generations of relevant and personable individuals who have made such an extraordinary mark in history. Hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and growing up disadvantaged yet determined, Isaac's saga is one recognizable, with an unfamiliar progression. After dropping out of college, he would serve piously with the US Marines, where he prospered as a software engineer and data analyst supporting the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Isaac then went on to work for the Secretary of Defense to produce federal websites and digital products that saved millions of dollars for the Department of Defense. Isaac received numerous awards and accolades for his innovations. His passion for technology and being a steward for the people led him to serve with influence under both the Obama and Trump administrations. His team led the 2017 presidential records transition efforts for President Obama. Notwithstanding his apparent success and still seeking the need to serve by leading, Isaac went on to be the first Black multi-millionaire President of a Federal Digital Product and Innovation Company, Eminent Future. Serving as the President of Eminent Future, he has been paramount in securing a defense contract worth more than $13.4 billion whilst positioning the company to be one of the fastest-growing companies in Arlington, Virginia. Isaac emphatically states, "The biggest issue that we have in America is that we are not working together as one unit; we are not combined." Isaac combines leadership, entrepreneurship, technology, and spirituality to design growth opportunities within and between organizations and inclusive of communities to generate and instill that cohesive unity in America. On the heels of his remarkable accomplishments, Isaac, in conjunction with business partner Jose Risi established two crypto tokens, xMooney, and a stealth project. xMooney encourages its miners to reduce their carbon footprint while ensuring a more stable and secure blockchain. Now, Isaac is using his platform and resources to give back. He is a vocal advocate for diversity in tech and is working to close the black tech gap. His story inspires anyone who wants to make a difference in the world. He believes cryptocurrency and Web3 are the future, and he is creating pathways for more black and brown people to join the movement. About Isaac is a natural-born leader, and the President of Eminent Future, a digital product and innovation company focused on creating societal change, winning over $13B in federal contracts with the Pentagon, White House, and Department of State. He led software development teams for both President Obama and President Trump. He goes by Future President because he plans to run for office in the early 2030s and is passionate about helping to upgrade democracy, create pathways for more people to create generational wealth, and break generational curses using technology. More information can be found on and his company's website at EminentFuture.com250493Isaac,Barnesblogs/7-2022/250493-isaac-barnes-i-1078-s.jpgSaturday Night Party by djque0, 9 Jul 2022 02:57 GMTGrille No. 13 Presents Saturday Night Party MUSIC BY: DJ QUE FREE PARKING FREE ADMISSION GOOD DRINKS SATURDAY 7.30.22 9PM-2AM Grille No. 13 3016 WALDORF MARKET PL. WALDORF MD 20603249451Saturday,Nightblogs/7-2022/249451-saturday-night-i-15-s.jpgRihanna Is America's Youngest Self-Made Billionaire by djque0, 6 Jul 2022 17:25 GMTThe Barbados-native has ranked as the only self-made billionaire under 40 years old. Rihanna is now the youngest self-made billionaire in the country at just 34 years old. According to Forbes, the new mom, entrepreneur and entertainer's net worth is around $1.4 billion, and for the first time, the Barbados-native has ranked as the only self-made billionaire under 40 years old on the annual list coming in at No. 21. While the majority of her wealth doesn't stem from her popular music career, the nine-time Grammy award-winner credits her Fenty Beauty line, where she owns close to 50% of the company, which catapulted her into billionaire status.249269Rihannablogs/7-2022/249269-rihanna-i-592197-s.jpgR. KELLY SENTENCE TO 30 YEARS by djque0, 29 Jun 2022 19:33 GMTR. Kelly Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking Case. Nine months after a Brooklyn jury found R. Kelly guilty on all nine counts in his sex trafficking case in federal court, the singer has been sentenced to 30 years in prison. R. Kelly will be spending the next 30 years behind bars in relation to his sex trafficking case. On June 29, a judge announced the singer's sentence in a Brooklyn federal court, which came nine months after a jury found him guilty on all nine counts in his sexual abuse trial. The charges-which involved six female victims, inclusive of the late singer Aaliyah (who married R. Kelly in 1994 when she was 15 years old)-included racketeering, bribery, coercion, enticement and sex trafficking. The 55 year old born Robert Kelly, has denied any wrongdoing and previously pleaded not guilty to all counts against him. The accusations against him span from at least 1992 to 2017. Over the course of the highly publicized trial that began in federal court in Brooklyn last August, prosecutors called on dozens of witnesses to testify, including female and male accusers who claimed they were groomed for sex and endured psychological abuse while they were underage. According to NBC News, the accusers alleged they were forced to sign nondisclosure forms and were subjected to threats and punishments if they broke, as one victim described it, "Rob's rules." In a filing from early June, per the outlet, prosecutors said R. Kelly used his "fame, money and popularity" to "prey upon children and young women for his own sexual gratification." In court papers filed by the singer's attorneys, they contended that he should get a break in his sentencing judgement, partly due to him experiencing a "traumatic childhood involving severe, prolonged childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and violence." In January 2019, allegations against the singer were met with renewed attention following the premiere of Lifetime's docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly. The six-part feature, which included claims from a number of accusers, led to public calls for an official investigation. R. Kelly has been behind bars since his arrest in July 2019. Per NBC News, the performer is still facing child pornography and obstruction of justice charges in Chicago. His trial for that case is set to begin August 15.248836R.,KELLYblogs/6-2022/248836-r-kelly-i-116436-s.jpgColin Kaepernick Is Back Working Out On The NFL Platform by djque0, 25 May 2022 23:12 GMTColin Kaepernick was back on the grid Iron working out for the Las Vegas Raiders. Colin Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016 The year in which he began to kneel during the National Anthem protest for racial injustice.245462Colin,Kaepernickblogs/5-2022/245462-colin-kaepernick-i--s.jpgThe Return Of Caribbean Night by djque0, 7 May 2022 18:36 GMTTonight ladies & gentlemen it's the return of Caribbean Night w/DJ QUE DaHEADBANGER.243973Caribbean,Nightblogs/5-2022/243973-caribbean-night-i--s.jpgDwayne Haskins struck by car and killed by djque0, 9 Apr 2022 15:22 GMTDwayne Haskins, a former Ohio State star quarterback who was a first-round draft pick in Washington and most recently played in Pittsburgh, has died at the age of 24. Haskins was killed when he was hit by a car early this morning in South Florida, his agent told Adam Schefter. At Ohio State, Haskins started just one season but instantly became one of the best players in college football, setting Big Ten records and finishing third in Heisman Trophy voting in 2018. On the strength of that fantastic season, Washington chose Haskins with the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. But he struggled through an up-and-down rookie season and was released during his second season in 2020. The Steelers picked him up in 2021, and although he never got on the field for them in the regular season, they said this year that he would have an opportunity to compete for a starting job. Haskins was in Florida this week getting in offseason work with several other Steelers skill position players.240959Dwayne,Haskinsblogs/4-2022/240959-dwayne-haskins-i-19-s.jpgKetanji Brown Jackson becomes first Black woman confirmed to Supreme Court by djque0, 7 Apr 2022 23:49 GMTThe Senate voted to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman Supreme Court justice, with 3 GOP senators joining Democrats to vote in favor of her confirmation. Jackson's confirmation won't change the ideological balance of the court, but marks a significant historic milestone for the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary. Jackson currently sits on DC's federal appellate court and will be sworn after Justice Stephen Breyer retires sometime in the summer. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed Thursday to become the 116th Supreme Court Justice - here are key things to know about how today's vote unfolded: Jackson was confirmed by a vote of 53 yeas and 47 nays. Three GOP senators crossed party lines and voted for her: Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Jackson will be the first ever Black woman to sit on the bench. Biden had said during his 2020 presidential campaign that he was committed to nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court if elected. Ahead of the final vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the moment a "joyous, momentous, groundbreaking day." Schumer went on to say, "In the 233-year history of the Supreme Court, never, never has a Black woman held the title of Justice. Ketanji Brown Jackson will be the first, and I believe the first of more to come." The Senate chamber was packed for the Senate vote, with most senators seated at their desks. The vote initially proceeded quickly as a result, but was later held open for some time when it became clear that GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was the only senator who had not voted. The chamber waited for him to arrive and vote before it was gaveled closed. Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black woman to serve as vice president, presided over the chamber during the historic vote in her capacity as president of the Senate. Democratic senators erupted in applause after Jackson's confirmation was announced. Romney also joined in on the applause.240859Kentanji,,Brown-Jacksonblogs/4-2022/240859-kentanji-brownjacks-s.jpgSouth Jersey woman scores historic full-time football position at Howard University by djque0, 6 Apr 2022 13:31 GMTJanice Pettyjohn becomes the first woman hired for a full-time football position at Howard University. They call her Hellraiser. But bar raiser might be a better nickname after the latest accomplishment of Lumberton native Janice Pettyjohn. At almost 23, the Rancocas Valley Regional High School alumna is reaching new heights for womankind, becoming the first woman hired for a full-time football position at Howard University. But the road to Pettyjohn's historic hire wasn't always easy. Growing up, Pettyjohn gravitated more to arts than sports. "Ironically, I've always been artsy girl. So, painting, art, I still do to this day, that's what my hobbies surrounded," Pettyjohn said. In fact, health issues put an end to any hopes to participate in youth sports before they could even begin. Still, Pettyjohn was determined to find a way to be involved in Lumberton Middle School's extracurricular actvities. "No one wants to come right home after school; you want something to do," Pettyjohn said. "So I started managing the basketball team in seventh grade then I did it in eighth grade and it ended up just becoming something that I loved without realizing that I love because it just became second nature." As offseasons would come and go, time away from the court only increased Pettyjohn's interest in sports. Soon, middle school basketball team manager turned into Rancocas Valley Regional High School football team manager. As Pettyjohn leveled up, RVRHS staff like former head coach Dan Haussman couldn't help but notice her ability to get the job done. "She was always organized, she took on a ton of tasks, and we never had to worry about game set up," Haussman said. But where Haussman really got to know Pettyjohn's ability to rise to a challenge was in the anatomy and physiology class he teaches. "I watched Janice work really, really, hard because that's a college level honors course," Haussman. "That's when I really got to see the determination and the grit she exhibited as a student as well." In 2017, Pettyjohn graduated from RVRHS and took her studies to Howard University, one of more than 100 historically Black colleges and universities. There she enrolled in the university's sports medicine residency program. It took no time for Pettyjohn to come aboard the Bison football team when former head coach Mike London offered her an undergraduate position as a graphic designer and equipment manager. "And then from there, my name just kind of started floating around. And next thing I know, I'm working with operations, I'm working with the color commentating people on the radio, I'm working with the (sports information) department," Pettyjohn said. "I was always the person kind of with that mentality like that if it has to get done, I'm going to be the one that gets it done." When Larry Scott took over Bison coaching duties he assigned Pettyjohn new recruitment responsibilities. She found herself being treated more like an adult and less like a student. "... Despite the fact that I was at the time. He gave me the same responsibilities that he was doing and little did I know that he and Coach Scott both were preparing me for this job that they wanted me to have once I graduated," Pettyjohn said. In 2021, Pettyjohn graduated from Howard's Sports Medicine Residency program with a minor in sociology. Her original post-graduate plan was to attend medical school but realized that her heart wasn't in it. Pettyjohn was offered a full-time position with the Bison and has since transitioned to assistant director of football operations in addition to taking on the responsibilities of director of on-campus recruiting. This new position was developed specifically for Pettyjohn. She's involved in the recruiting process such as campus tours and runs operations such as maintenance of the football facilities and assists with coordination for events. The significance of not only being the first woman hired full-time, but also as a new college graduate making history is not lost on Pettyjohn. "I'm super grateful for this position," she said. "Being 22 years old and getting a full-time position at Howard fresh out of college - its rare. Coach Scott really saw the potential in me." With football being a male-dominated sport, Pettyjohn's current position is typically filled by men. Yet Pettyjohn says the biggest hurdle she faced was working in a high-level career at such an early age. "'I'm 22, about to be 23, doing what some 30 year old's are just getting started doing," Pettyjohn said. "You're finding coaches on my staff who have coached in the NFL, who have played in the NFL. Coaches, who I'm not going to necessarily say ages, but they're over the age of 40 and 50, who have been in this game for quite some time. So it was definitely a matter of building trust." And at times where Pettyjohn isn't giving herself enough credit, her coaches, players, and Howard faculty are there to lift her up. "Two of our associate AD's will literally just call me sometimes to say you're doing a great job. Our academic advisors will just call me and say you're doing it. And my coaches tell me all the time. So even when I don't feel it, if I don't give myself the credit, there's always someone else there in my ear," Pettyjohn said. When Rancocas Valley Regional High School Principal Joseph Martin found out Pettyjohn's history-making hire, he reached out to offer congratulations. "To me what really grabbed me was that this is a story of a young strong woman finding such tremendous career opportunities in a male dominated sport/industry," Martin said. In her current role, Pettyjohn draws from her sociology background to understand the impact students' backgrounds and resources have on their decision making. She has seen athletes ignore injuries to remain on the team. "Sometimes, sports are all they know. Their futures solely depend on their athletic abilities," she said. In the future Pettyjohn hopes to create a rehab facility in a low-income area to ensure all student athletes can receive the treatment they need to maintain their athletic abilities and careers. "Janice's future goals will better level the playing field for athletes from disadvantaged backgrounds, providing them with training, healthcare and other supports that will help them succeed both on and off the field," Martin said. "Those goals are what we are most proud to celebrate at RV when we share Janice's story!"240739Janice,Pettyjohnblogs/4-2022/240739-janice-pettyjohn-i--s.jpgTraci Braxton Passed Away @50 Years Old by djque0, 12 Mar 2022 16:44 GMTTraci Braxton, a singer who was the sister of Toni and Tamar Braxton, has passed away at the age of 50. Toni, 54, announced the news of her sister's death in a statement shared on Instagram this morning. "It is with the utmost regret that we inform you of the passing of our sister, Traci," she wrote alongside a black-and-white image of herself and her siblings. "Needless to say, she was a bright light, a wonderful daughter, an amazing sister, a loving mother, wife, grandmother and a respected performer. We will miss her dearly," Toni continued. "Traci passed this morning as the snow was falling, our angel is now a snowflake. We ask that you respect our privacy as we plan to send her home with love, celebrating her life," the "Un-Break My Heart" singer added. "We are family forever."239816Traci,Braxtonblogs/3-2022/239816-traci-braxton-i-525-s.jpgJohnny Grier, NFL's First Black Referee, Has Died at 74 by djque0, 10 Mar 2022 03:22 GMTJohnny Grier, the NFL's first Black referee, has died at the age of 74. A North Carolina native and University of D.C. graduate, Grier got his start as a high school referee in 1965 when he was 18. He later moved onto college football in 1972, Grier joined the NFL's officiating ranks as a field judge in 1981 and worked Super Bowl XXII following the 1987 season. He was promoted to referee the following year in 1988, becoming the first Black man to hold the position in the NFL. Over the course of his career, Grier worked 15 playoff games. He led an officiating crew during the 1993 AFC Championship game and was on the field for the debut of Art Shell, the modern NFL's first Black head coach. Grier's officiating career came to an abrupt end in 2004, when a leg injury forced him to retire from the profession. He went on to serve as officiating supervisor for the NFL and supervisor of officials for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.239609Johnny,Grierblogs/3-2022/239609-johnny-grier-i-6675-s.jpg1SERENA WILLIAMS' VENTURE CAPITAL FIRM RAISES $111 MILLION by djque0, 2 Mar 2022 17:54 GMTTennis superstar Serena Williams has just announced that her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures, has raised $111 million dollars in an inaugural fund. Serena Ventures invests in founders who "solve everyday problems through unconventional thinking and diverse points of view." For the past nine years, it has managed a portfolio of more than 60 angel investments, using Williams' own money. "As an angel investor, you can only do so much," the world-class athlete, businesswoman, and philanthropist told BLACK ENTERPRISE exclusively. "I knew that I wanted to do a fund, but I worked backward, by using my own capital and then creating a track record and getting to know everyone." Now, with funding from limited partners including Norwest, CapitalG, Kapor Foundation, and LionTree, among others, Serena Ventures will be able to take its investments to the next level. "The ability to write bigger checks and the ability to lead seed rounds really enables us to deliver on our mission and to unlock value for our investors and open doors for founders," Williams says. A passion for investing Williams first started investing a little over nine years ago because of what she calls a "natural draw" to technology and a desire to be involved with all of the startups she was seeing pop up in the space. Always ready for a new challenge, she started out by asking a lot of questions, then investing in a fund, and then becoming an angel investor. "This isn't new for me," she says. "This is something I've been doing for a really, really, really long time and it's something that I absolutely love and I'm super passionate about." Despite her busy schedule, Williams spends six or seven hours a day on her investing work: "I love looking at new companies, I love talking to founders, I absolutely love passing on the knowledge that I've been able to get and being able to impact other people." As she learned more about the world of funding, Williams was shocked by the inequities. "I was at a conference and Caryn Seidman-Becker, the founder of CLEAR, was on stage and she said less than 2% of all VC money goes to women. I legit thought she misspoke because 98% is a huge number," Williams says. "When I'm serving, I don't serve at 98%. Like that's not even possible, that's near perfect." "I couldn't wrap my mind around basically almost 100% of money is going to the men." And that's when Williams' investing mission was formed: "I wanted to really bring diversity to VC in the way that I could. And the only way to change those numbers was to be the person writing the big checks." That was about four years ago, when Williams hired Alison Rapaport Stillman as general partner and they began building a team-which just happens to be all women. "One of my favorite parts about my job is the people I get to work with every day and how much I get to learn from Serena and from the team around us," Rapaport Stillman says. "A team that's all women and from very different backgrounds, we see the world differently. We don't fit the mold of venture. For Williams, surrounding herself with other smart women was a no-brainer. "It's been proven that the more diverse your team, the better you do, and companies are now starting to realize that," she says. "And also, it's very authentic. I just want people that believe in our mission and that want to be a part of something really amazing. When it comes to our team, that's what everyone is on board for and they're really excited to help founders have an opportunity that they probably wouldn't have had before." Diversifying venture capital The firm's approach is to build a more inclusive future by investing in "overlooked, underestimated, and fledgling markets." "We want to make sure that we don't necessarily neatly check a box. Just to be clear, you don't have to be a person of color or a woman to be in our fund," Williams says. "Impact can take many forms," she continues. "We are focusing not just on the people, but on the market. We really believe that we can make the most by finding companies that solve bigger consumer problems, especially for people who have been ignored by the traditional players in the game." Still, 76% of Serena Ventures' portfolio founders come from historically underrepresented backgrounds. Williams understands firsthand the plight of founders of color. Even with her success and her privilege, she knows she's held to a different standard as a Black woman. "Sadly this is why I wanted to build a track record, because, quite frankly I knew that above other people I needed to have something that could speak for itself," she says. "That's just the way of the land. Let's just be honest, you know I couldn't just say 'Oh I'm going to do this and have fun with it.'" Just like on the court, Williams is all about performance: "I really wanted to spend time in creating something for that very reason, so when questions are asked it's like, not only do we have answers, but we have exits and we have unicorns. Like, look at what we have done."239140Serena,Williamsblogs/3-2022/239140-serena-williams-i--s.jpgSLAM DUNKIN': COLLEGE BASKETBALL STAR DEJA KELLY'S BIG-TIME ENDORSEMENT DEAL by djque0, 24 Feb 2022 13:54 GMTStudent-athlete Deja Kelly, a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been added to the roster of Dunkin' Donuts endorsers. Consumer brands are now swarming to college sports after the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced last June that student-athletes were cleared to profit off their name, image, and likeness, or NIL. While Dunkin' is no stranger to the sports world-former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, for example-it is one of the first to recruit college athletes in spokesperson deals. "I am so excited to announce that I am officially the captain of Team Dunkin'! I am a longtime Dunkin' fan so this is truly a dream come true-stay tuned to see how Dunkin' fuels me on and off the court," the 20-year-old guard posted on Instagram. As part of the deal, Kelly must "promote the coffee and doughnut brand on social channels and have their own co-branded meals in their college towns," according to Dunkin'. Her new deal of monetizing her NIL comes after signing with talent agency William Morris Endeavor (WME) Sports in September. In high school, Kelly became a top 10 recruit before choosing to hoop at UNC, which has storied a men's basketball program. She turned down multiple offers. "With me, I was really strategic in my recruiting process, and I wanted to go to a school where I could build my own name, I could build the program up, I could set my own legacy at the school eventually and win some championships of my own, instead of going to a school that was already established," she said. Dunkin' Donuts has confirmed plans to scout more student-athletes throughout the year, taking full advantage of the new NCAA guidelines.238827DEJA,KELLYblogs/2-2022/238827-deja-kelly-i-192234-s.jpgRESHONDA YOUNG IS ON A MISSION TO OPEN THE FIRST BLACK-OWNED BANK IN IOWA TO HELP CLOSE THE RACIAL W by djque0, 24 Feb 2022 13:49 GMTReShonda Young is trying to change her home state of Iowa by becoming the first person to open a Black-owned bank in the Hawkeye state. Young, a well-known businesswoman in the state and beyond, wants to break down the economic barriers and systemic racism in the banking industry and in her state, which often strangle the dreams of Black entrepreneurs. She's even found a location for her bank, the Ambassadors For Christ Church in the town of Waterloo. Now comes the hard part, convincing investors to buy in and buy in big. According to USA Today, Young's target amount to get started is $10 million. So far, Young says she has about 5% of the money needed. She's also had conversations with federal regulators. However, Young's goal also points to what many Americans and specifically Black people have known for decades, the racial wealth gap will keep growing and Black Americans as a whole will continue to be left behind. Due to decades of systemic racism, Black Americans have fewer savings in their bank accounts, less access to credit, and smaller credit accounts. The situation also extends to small Black businesses, which struggle to raise seed money and get started. Young, who previously owned Popcorn Heaven, has been helping Black Americans for years, buying homes to rent out, and has helped other Black entrepreneurs in Waterloo. She also sued the federal government in 2019 and won, forcing the federal government to push financial institutions to release race and other demographics of small business loan decisions as required by a 2010 law. The racial wealth gap has gotten so wide between Black and white Americans that the trend cannot be reversed without significant federal intervention. Young isn't holding her breath; instead, she's trying to be the change she wants to see. Black-owned banks have received significant investment in recent years due to the Black Lives Matter movement and the focus on social equity, but Black banks say more help and money is needed to begin closing the wealth gap.238825THE,FIRST,BLACK-OWNED,BANK,IN,IOWAblogs/2-2022/238825-the-first-blackowne-s.jpgHappy Birthday Chico Bean by djque0, 20 Feb 2022 20:36 GMTOn this day 34 years ago in Washington DC this funny guy was born. Chico Bean was born Anthony Jamal Bean on February 20, 1987, in Washington, DC. Bean spent his college years at Winston Salem State University, where he was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. It was during his time in North Carolina that the 5'7" funnyman met fellow members of his future improv crew, the Freestyle Funny Comedy Show. FFCS regularly performed on the college circuit, but it wasn't until Bean traveled to New York City and did a set at Nick Cannon's "Fresh Faces of Comedy" showcase that his career jumped to the next level. Bean auditioned for the fifth season of Wild 'N Out and the rest is history. He's been a fixture on the show ever since, earning cheers from the crowd for spitting bars while making them laugh. Bean brings a throwback style that makes you wonder if he missed an earlier calling as a '90s MC.237589Chico,Beanblogs/2-2022/237589-chico-bean-i-170602-s.jpgHappy Birthday Rihanna by djque0, 20 Feb 2022 07:25 GMTOn this day February 20th, 1988 in Saint Michael, Barbados a star was born. Robyn Rihanna Fenty is a Barbadian singer, songwriter, fashion designer, actress and businesswoman, who has been recognized for embracing various musical styles and reinventing her image throughout her career. ? Born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown, Barbados, Rihanna moved to the US in 2005, when she signed with Def Jam Recordings. She earned significant recognition following the release of her first two studio albums Music of the Sun (2005) and A Girl like Me (2006), both of which were influenced by Caribbean music and peaked within the top ten of the US Billboard 200 chart. Rihanna's third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), incorporated more elements of dance-pop and catapulted her to greater stardom, establishing her status as a sex symbol and a leading figure in the music industry. Its international chart-topping single "Umbrella" earned Rihanna her first Grammy Award, winning Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. ? Rihanna extended her fusion of pop, dance and R&B on her next four studio albums, Rated R (2009), Loud (2010), Talk That Talk (2011) and the Grammy Award-winning Unapologetic (2012). All four releases incorporated experimentation of various musical styles and consolidated Rihanna's international chart success, Unapologetic being her first number-one album in the US. The records spawned a string of chart-topping singles, including "Rude Boy", "Only Girl (In the World)", "What's My Name?", "S&M", "We Found Love", "Diamonds" and "Stay". Her eighth studio album, Anti (2016), showcased her control over artistic creativity after her departure from Def Jam. It became her second US number-one album and featured the chart-topping single "Work". Besides solo materials, Rihanna has collaborated with recording artists such as Drake, Eminem and Calvin Harris. ? Having sold over 250 million records, Rihanna is one of the world's best-selling music artists. She has earned 14 number-one singles and 31 top-ten singles in the US, and 30 top-ten entries in the UK. Her accolades include nine Grammy Awards, 13 American Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, and six Guinness World Records. Forbes ranked her among the top ten highest-paid celebrities in 2012 and 2014, and Time named her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world twice (2012 and 2018). Alongside a successful music career, Rihanna is well known for her involvement in humanitarian causes, entrepreneurial ventures and the fashion industry. She is the founder of nonprofit organization Clara Lionel Foundation, cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty, and fashion house Fenty under LVMH. In 2018, the Government of Barbados appointed her as an ambassador with duties promoting education, tourism and investment. ? Rihanna currently owns a $14 million penthouse in Manhattan, New York. She also purchased a house in West London for 7 million in June 2018, in order to be closer to her work with her FENTY fashion label. In December 2018, Rihanna put her Hollywood Hills mansion up for sale after a break-in six months before. The mansion was reported to have been selling for $10.4m. ? Forbes began reporting on Rihanna's earnings in 2012. ? Rihanna is well known for her tattoos, the most famous of which (such as the tribal design on her hand, the gun on her ribcage, and the "shhh..." on her finger) have been done by New York tattoo artist Bang Bang. She has a large tattoo of the Egyptian goddess Isis on her sternum, dedicated to her late grandmother. ? On May 19, 2021, American rapper ASAP Rocky confirmed during an interview with GQ that he and Rihanna are currently in a relationship. On January 31, 2022, it was revealed that the couple are expecting their first child.237559Rihannablogs/2-2022/237559-rihanna-i-32252-s.jpgHappy Belated Birthday Smokey Robinson by djque0, 20 Feb 2022 07:18 GMTOn February 19, 1940 in Detroit Michigan one of Motown greats was born. William "Smokey" Robinson Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and former record executive. Robinson was the founder and frontman of the Motown vocal group the Miracles, for which he was also chief songwriter and producer. Robinson led the group from its 1955 origins as "the Five Chimes" until 1972, when he announced a retirement from the group to focus on his role as Motown's vice president. However, Robinson returned to the music industry as a solo artist the following year. Following the sale of Motown Records in 1988, Robinson left the company in 1990. ? Robinson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. That same year, he was awarded an individual star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was awarded the 2016 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for his lifetime contributions to popular music. ? Smokey Robinson's single "Just to See Her"" from the One Heartbeat album was awarded the 1988 Grammy Award for Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. This was Robinson's first Grammy Award. One year later, in 1989, he was inducted to the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. In 1993, Robinson was awarded a medal at the National Medal of Arts. Two years before, he won the Heritage Award at the Soul Train Music Awards. In 2005, Smokey Robinson was voted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame. At its 138th Commencement Convocation in May 2006, Howard University conferred on Robinson the degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa. In December 2006 Robinson was one of five Kennedy Center honorees, along with Dolly Parton, Zubin Mehta, Steven Spielberg and Andrew Lloyd Webber. ? On March 20, 2009, the Miracles were finally honored as a group with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Smokey was present with original Miracles members Bobby Rogers, Pete Moore, (Bobby's cousin) Claudette Rogers, and Gloria White, accepting for her husband, the late Ronnie White, whose daughter Pamela and granddaughter Maya were there representing him as well. Smokey's replacement, 1970s Miracles lead singer Billy Griffin, was also honored. ? Controversially, original Miracle Marv Tarplin was not honored, against the wishes of his fellow Miracles and the group's fans, who felt that he should have also been there to share the honor. Later, Tarplin did receive his star. He was also inducted with the rest of the original Miracles, Bobby Rogers, Pete Moore, Ronnie White, and Claudette Robinson, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, 25 years after Robinson's controversial solo induction in 1987. He was also awarded Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. ? In 2009, Smokey Robinson received an honorary doctorate degree - along with Linda Ronstadt - and gave a commencement speech at Berklee College of Music's commencement ceremony. In 2015, he was given a BET Lifetime Achievement Award. ? Robinson was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. ? Robinson married his fellow Miracles member Claudette Rogers in 1959. The couple had two children, son Berry Robinson (born 1968), named after Motown's first label founder Berry Gordy, and daughter Tamla Robinson (born 1971), named after the original "Tamla" label set up by Gordy that would eventually become Motown. Robinson had another son, Trey (born 1984), with another woman, during his marriage to Claudette. After Robinson admitted this, he filed for legal separation and later divorce, which was granted in 1986. The Robinsons had separated once before, in 1974, and Robinson conducted an extramarital affair that became the concept of the song, "The Agony & The Ecstasy", later featured on A Quiet Storm. ? Robinson is married to Frances Gladney, after they wed in May 2002. They own a home in Pittsburgh and currently use it as a winery.237558Smokey,Robinsonblogs/2-2022/237558-smokey-robinson-i--s.jpgMeet The HBCU Graduate And Educator Set To Release 'The ABCs Of Black Wall Street' Books by djque0, 16 Feb 2022 14:58 GMTFormer Wall Street analyst Claudia Walker is dedicated to educating the masses about financial literacy within the Black community. Her new collection, The ABCs Of Black Wall Street books, empowers educators and parents to teach the youth that there is still a future for Black Wall Street. The Oakland-based speaker, author, and teacher has made her mark in teaching kids about the value of HBCUs and investing in the classroom. As a Spelman graduate, she continues to shed light on her experiences, while working to close the opportunity gap for Black students to learn finance and the options to apply to HBCUs. Her ambitious efforts led her to launch her publishing company HBCU Prep School, to become a part of the solution. "I want to normalize investing within the community and give my students age-appropriate information and spark conversations that help them recognize they can be investors, even if they are still in high school," Walker told Afro Tech. "There are conversations they can start having with their families that open up those lines of communication around building generational wealth." In January 2022, Walker shared with the world that she will be releasing The ABCs Of Black Wall Street, which consists of a coloring book and board book. According to the website, the children's collection breathes new life into the heart of Tulsa's historic Greenwood District. From Madam C.J. Walker and O.W. Gurley to Williams Dreamland Theater and Osborne Monroe's Roller Skating Rink, children will learn about the innovators, activists, entrepreneurs, and establishments that helped pioneer one of America's wealthiest Black communities. "The story of Black Wall Street is an amazing example of community members coming together, not just for their good, or the good of their family, but for the good of an entire community and for generations to come," Walker said regarding why she wanted to write the book. In addition to the launch of her book, Walker has distributed free stocks to underserved communities. She hopes that the stocks will give a child an early start to their financial journey. Community members, parents, and teachers received stocks on the child's behalf. Recipients ranged from eight-months-old to the age of six. Walker strives to normalize conversations surrounding "wealth-building, agency, and investing." The ABCs Of Black Wall Street Greenwood Avenue bundle is available for preorder online.237277HBCUblogs/2-2022/237277-hbcu-i-515572-s.jpg