Browse Tag

black lives matter


Teen Who Documented George Floyd’s Murder, to be Honored with Courage Award

Darnella Frazier, 17, the woman who filmed the murder of George Floyd, is this year’s recipient of the Benenson Courage Award from PEN America, a leading literary and human rights organization, the Star-Tribune reported Wednesday.

“With nothing more than a cellphone and sheer guts, Darnella changed the course of history in this country, speaking a bold movement demanding an end to systemic anti-black racism and violence at the hands of police,” PEN CEO Suzanne Nossel said in a statement.

“With remarkable steadiness, Darnella carried out the expressive act of bearing witness, and allowing hundreds of millions around the world to see what she saw,” the statement said. “Without Darnella’s presence of mind and readiness to risk her own safety and well-being, we may never have known the truth about George Floyd’s murder.”

Floyd’s police-custody death on May 25 sparked global protests against police brutality and racial justice.

Frazier came upon the scene and started shooting video with her mobile phone, with the footage showing Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pressing his knee on the back of a handcuffed Floyd’s neck as he lay on the ground.

Chauvin, who was fired following the incident, pinned Floyd down for nearly nine minutes while he pleaded, “I can’t breathe.”

“The world needed to see what I was seeing,” Frazier said in an interview a day after the incident. “Stuff like this happens in silence too many times.”

The teen has not spoken publicly about her video since, but said through a family representative this week that she was “humbled” and “very grateful” for the award, the outlet reported.

The New York-based PEN awards were founded in 1963, with past recipients including Anita Hill, who testified against the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991, and a group of student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School following a massacre there.

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Michael Jordan, Jordan Brand Pledge $100M over 10 Years to Black Community

Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand have announced a $100 million donation to organizations dedicated to promoting racial equality and social justice.

Per a joint statement Friday from Jordan and Jordan Brand, the donation will be paid out over 10 years with the goal of “ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education”:


-Tony O. Lawson

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D.C. Mayor Renames Street in front of the White House “Black Lives Matter Plaza”

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser renamed the street in front of the White House “Black Lives Matter Plaza” on Friday and emblazoned the slogan in massive yellow letters on the road.

The actions are meant to honor demonstrators who are urging changes in police practices after the killing in police custody of George Floyd in Minneapolis, city officials said.

They come after several days of the mayor’s strong objections to the escalation of federal law enforcement and a military response to days of protests and unrest in the nation’s capital. Local artists and others joined city work crews to paint the giant slogan, starting around 4 a.m.

The art will take up two blocks on 16th Street NW, between K and H streets, an iconic promenade that leads directly north of the White House.

Shortly after 11 a.m., a city worker hung up a “Black Lives Matter Plz NW” sign at the corner of 16th and H streets NW. Bowser watched silently as onlookers cheered and the song “Rise Up” by Audra Day played from speakers.

-Tony O. Lawson

Related: Black Owned Eateries in DC You Should Know

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4 Smart & Easy Ways to Begin your Shoppe Black Journey!

One of the many thought provoking songs on Stevie Wonder’s 1976 double album Songs in the Key of Life is “Black Man”. The first line is “First man to die for the flag we now hold high (Crispus Attucks) was a Black man.”

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The lyrics go on to tell of the many unnoticed or underappreciated contributions people of color have made to America. Then there’s this striking, still relevant passage:

“We pledge allegiance all our lives to the magic colors red, blue, and white, but we all must be given the liberty that we defend. For with justice not for all men history will repeat again. It’s time we learned this world was made for all men.”

Unfortunately, many people would agree that Stevie’s impassioned declaration still does not reflect reality in America 40 years later. With modern technology and social media we continue bear witness to the brutal racism and racialized violence that still exists at an unfathomable level in America.

Just as Black Lives Matter, Black (earned) dollars matter. We must use our money to further prove just how much Black Lives Matter by supporting Black owned businesses. By doing this, we will demonstrate to non-Black owned businesses that our spending (or the absence thereof) is hugely significant. This is a call to action!


Ways to Begin your Shoppe Black Journey

Shopping Black is more than buying African print fashion, jewelry, and art, although buying those things is meaningful too. The goal of this article is to encourage you to dig deep and see where you can send significant amounts of money to Black owned businesses. Below are four steps to shopping Black and making a difference.

  1. Understand what your spending habits are. If you already have a budget you follow, this should be easy to do. Otherwise, jot down a list of all the categories of your spending. Then, next to each category, list the companies and professionals your money typically goes to each month. Here is a sample:
Category Provider
  • State Credit Union
  • Big Bank
  • Employment Credit Union
Retirement/Investments Big Bank
Mortgage/Rent Big Bank
Utilities Big Energy
  • Local Black Farmers
  • Latino Grocers
  • National Grocer
  • Black Personal Trainer
  • Black Zumba Instructor
  • National Health Insurance company
Car maintenance/gas
  • Big Gas
  • Chain Oil Change Co.
  • Big Tire Store
Loans/Credit Cards
  • Aunt Sallie Mae/Uncle Navient
  • Big Bank
Professional Services
  • Local Tax Guy
  • Black Attorney
  • Local Therapist(s)
  • Black Printer
  • Local Stylist
  • Black Natural Hair Care Shoppe
  • Local Black Fashion Designers
  • National clothing stores
  • Afro-Brazilian Drumming Group
  • Local bars
  • Black Made Wine and Spirits
  • BlackandSexyTV
  • KweliTV (Black)
  • Virp (Black)
  • Family Charity supporting Black kids going to college and traveling abroad
  • Various Crowdfunding Campaigns for Black artists and initiatives


Having an understanding of what you spend your money on and where you spend it is a great first step to shopping Black because you can then look for Black owned options that fit your specific needs and desires.

Simply committing to not buying products by big, multinational companies or not shopping at big box stores does not get you closer to spending your money with Black businesses.

Bonus: If you are someone who does not budget every month, completing this step puts you in a position to do so!


  1. Research Black Owned Businesses

Next, and this will take some patience and effort, you should research Black owned businesses and professionals that can fulfill your needs and wants. Refinancing your mortgage with a Black bank may not be a feasible or realistic short-term goal. However, who are the professionals within those companies that currently loan or hold your money?

You’re going to want to build relationships with them. This goes for insurance agents, realtors, mortgage brokers, etc. With respect to the entertainment category, consider “BlackandSexyTV and Chill” instead of “Netflix and Chill.”

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(Sidenote: the author is #TeamMilan! The actress is her BFF and linesister). If you want a simple place to start researching Black owned business, start at your plate. Look for local, Black farmers as a source for your food.


  1. Build Your Shopping Black Team

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Outside of gift and clothing products, it can be challenging to find Black business, especially if you do not live in a diverse area. Therefore, you should build a Shoppe Black team. Your team can be made up of friends and family, or folks from your place of worship. It can be your sorority sisters or fraternity brothers.

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Any logical connection to similarly interested people will work. If you have difficulty finding people in your personal network seek out like-minded people in groups such as Girltrek, Outdoor Afro, and on platforms such as

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And don’t think your team of people who are shopping Black have to only be Black. While the political statement of Blacks demonstrating the tremendous monetary power we have in the US is very critical, it is also important that Black businesses thrive and that requires everyone’s support.

4 . Spend, Document, and Share


Spending your Black dollars after you followed the first three steps should be easy. You should also document what you do and share your successes and learning moments with your network and the world. The Shoppe Black team would love help you do just that. When you share your Black business spending use the hashtag #ShoppeBlack. Also mention Shoppe Black on Twitter and Instagram (@shoppeblack).


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The Bottom Line

No matter what the reach of your spending is, you can make a difference in Black spending by directing money from just one budget item to a Black business or professional. The more you direct to Black Business, the greater the impact this entire movement will have.

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The author of this article recently had a “Shoppe Black Saturday” during which she endeavored to consume food and drink grown and/or sold by Black businesses. It’s a lot tougher than you think. Learn more about her experience here.

– Contributed by Mavis Gragg

Mavis Gragg is an attorney at the Gragg Law Firm, PLLC in Durham, North Carolina where she specializes in estate planning and estate administration. She is very passionate about maintaining and growing Black wealth through sound legal strategies and problem solving. When she is not being a justice girl, she can be found at an art gallery, trotting the globe, or on the dance floor.

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