All Articles Tagged "washington dc"

Do You Know Self-Respecting Black People Who Support Donald Trump?

July 20th, 2016 - By Patia Braithwaite
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Donald Trump, pastors

AP Images

A recent article in the Washington Post stated that Donald Trump has less than one percent of the Black vote in swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. It goes on to assert that only six percent of Black people support Trump nationally. Whether you’re into Hillary Clinton or not, the lack of Black support for Trump probably makes you sigh with relief. You might think to yourself, of course! No self-respecting black person I know would vote for Trump. Except maybe Uncle Freddy, but Freddy is crazy. Then, if you’re like me, you’d go outside, sit on the stoop with your wine glass and strike up a conversation with your neighbor.

And you’d discover that you’ve found an anomaly: They support Donald Trump .

So there we were, sitting on our stoop, my neighbor and I. There were kids across the street playing basketball, and the local bootlegger had just come by with some movies. All was well. The sun was setting and our conversation flowed easily from movies, to music, to current events, and finally politics.

Why don’t I sit out here more often? I thought to myself, as my neighbor was bringing up the 2016 election.

“That’s why I mess with Trump,” he said. 

At first, it didn’t register. My neighbor is pretty chill, but sometimes he flirts with me, so conversations always require me to filter out half of what he says. I was about to file his comment in the same place I put his unwanted compliments when he added, “Well, I really support Bernie, but if not Bernie than Trump.”

“Wait,” I turned to him, “Trump over Hillary?”

“Yeah,” he replied. “Of course.”

It took me a second, but I finally fixed my side-eye to ask him why. Under what circumstance could he possibly “mess with Trump”? I expected him to rail against the amorality of the Clinton administration or the rise of political dynasties. I expected him to extol the virtues of Bernie Sanders (a.k.a., the unsullied), the brokenness of our electoral system, or point to Clinton legislation that fostered the mass incarceration of Black people. Did he do that? No. No, he did not.

“Trump is going to bring our jobs back,” he stated.

There was a look of determination and triumph in his eyes. When I tried to explain why it was economically impossible for any president to overturn the tide of globalization, he silenced me.

“You clearly never needed a low-paying job before.”

I didn’t tell him I could use one right now.

This conversation with my neighbor isn’t an isolated instance. In the wake of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile’s deaths, a good friend of mine was trying to make sense of the wreckage.

“I just feel like Trump can turn all this around.”

“Huh?” I wrote back. “You think Trump will crack down on police brutality?”

“Yeah,” he said. “Trumpknows what’s up.”

Now, despite Trump’s insistence that “the system is rigged against him too,” and that we Black folks aren’t wrong for thinking that, most of us can admit that easing systemic racism isn’t The Donald’s primary political agenda. And based on his past comments, it doesn’t even register as a concern.

I chalked my friend’s ramblings up to those of a person who has just endured the trauma of seeing two police shootings in less than 24 hours, but I was shocked. I don’t live in the South. I don’t roll with conservative Christians, and I consider most of my friends to be well-informed citizens, yet there are Black Trump supporters in my own backyard.

“How will having Donald Trump really impact your daily life,” my neighbor asked me the night we hung out on the stoop. “What are you so afraid of?”

I rattled off xenophobia, economic turmoil, and the danger of Trump’s potential Supreme Court appointments, but his question struck a nerve. The truth is that state and local elections have far greater impact than federal ones, and I’m not actually registered to vote in the district where I sleep. After I went upstairs, his question stayed with me.

What are you so afraid of?

There are tons of reasons why Trump  is unfit to be president. Beyond the legislative and economic implications of a Trump administration (which are scary enough), what scares me most is the possibility that if he’s elected, it could embolden racists to act out their hateful ideations. Just as #Brexit was met with a surge of idiots bigots harassing people in the streets, a Trump election could turn anti-immigration rhetoric into full-blown hate crimes. To be a Black person in this country is to understand the effects of bigotry, hatred, and fear on a visceral level. To support Trump would be an act of radical amnesia — increasingly hard to do given the current state of affairs.

What scares you most about a Trump administration? Any Black Trump supporters want to defend the man?

I Went On A Girls’ Getaway In Washington D.C. Thanks To The 2016 RAV4 Hybrid Truck

April 27th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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One of my best friends from childhood had to fly into D.C. from California recently to give a presentation at a conference. (She’s a molecular and cellular biology expert–so, in layman’s terms, my friend is a smartypants). Since I live in NYC, she suggested that we come together to hang out in the Chocolate City for a few days. She had never been to D.C. and wanted to sightsee, and while I had been twice in my life, there were many things I hadn’t had the chance to observe. So I called up my friends at Toyota/Scion to see if they could help me traverse the roads to get there.

Thankfully, they had a 2016 RAV4 Hybrid SUV available for me to travel in. And boy was I excited! For one, I hadn’t had the chance to be behind the wheel of a hybrid car before, and secondly, the new model is incredibly spacious. And as a tall chick with long legs driving for upwards of four hours by myself, I needed my space.

When I finally hit the road, I was impressed by the handle of the car, as well as the mileage and power of my first hybrid vehicle. When I had to hit tight corners and winding ramps, the car was more than capable of doing so, and smoothly. The sound system was fantastic, and the heated front seats allowed me to warm up after making a mad dash to the car in the wee hours of Friday morning to beat work traffic.

DC girls getaway

Once I finally made it to DC, we enjoyed the social scene. We did breakfast at The Coupe in Columbia Heights. Had injera and drinks at Ethiopic Restaurant in the H Street Corridor, as well as yoga and brunch (shout out to DC Harvest) on H Street. Walked for hours on the National Mall, taking pictures at The White House, The Lincoln Memorial and The Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial. And we checked out a party for Emancipation Day after chowing down at the amazing restaurant The Hamilton, both in downtown D.C. And we also checked out the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and the Washington National Cathedral. We did all these things with the help of the RAV4 Hybrid, which was small enough to fit into tight spaces on the street, as well as even tighter spots in parking garages. And when we did any shopping or took our luggage with us in the car, there was a Tonneau cover to keep our stuff from being seen–and possibly stolen. And despite the car’s battery taking up some of the cargo space, we had enough room for our baggage.

There were moments where I had light issues with the car, namely with the front and rear parking sonar. They worked too well at times. Sometimes they went off for the smallest things (like backing out of a parking spot near a garbage container). So if you were trying to maneuver into or out of a tight space, the loud, alarming beeping could make you want to abort mission. But honestly, that’s my only real complaint. (Oh, well, that and my initial struggle to connect my phone to Bluetooth to play my jams. It all worked out, though.)

The car was a pretty quiet ride — especially in the EV mode (Electric Vehicle). It’s comfortable to drive in, what with its bucket seating and the aforementioned seat warmers. And the opportunity to pull back the moon roof had me moving along happily with the sun riding shotgun more times than not. I enjoyed the AWD (All Wheel Drive) and really appreciated the fuel economy. It didn’t cost much to fill up the car completely, and I was actually able to drive from New York to D.C. to the different sights and sounds around town without having to fill up the car again until late in the evening before I traveled back. And the braking was a lifesaver for me because I had a few moments when I had to come to abrupt stops on the highway, and when I did, there was no screeching from the car or unease exuding from me. The backup camera is awesome. And for the person with too many gadgets, there are lots of outlets and a USB port for charging. The revised styling and features on this hybrid, to me, make it the perfect SUV to hit the road in, as opposed to sportier, bulkier models. And it’s not too bad on your wallet, with an updated suggested retail price of $25,250.

I appreciated the hybrid technology, the fuel efficiency, as well as the smooth and entertaining ride overall. So if you’re looking for something new and spacious, don’t let the word “hybrid” make you roll your eyes and run in the opposite direction. This model has everything you need for daily errands or even just for a girls’ getaway.


Kandi Regrets Being So Open About Her Marriage On Tv

February 18th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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RHOA star Kandi Burruss low-key denies pregnancy rumors on Instagram.

Source: Instagram

During this past episode of “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” Kandi and Todd have been on two different pages. There were several communication issues that seemed to trip them up. Kandi’s play was canceled and in response Todd asked her if she “did her research.” And though he might have been trying to provide a solution or rationalize the cancelation, it came off as dismissive and insulting. Of course she did her research! Kandi is a businesswoman. But I digress.

Then when the two were in LA filming, Todd decided that he was going to hang back for a few days afterward and kick it with his boys.

This compounded by the fact that they’d only had sex once that week, led Kandi to believe that he might be stepping out on her. And Kandi told her friend Carmen that she suspected Todd of cheating. Sadly, all of this took place on camera.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times; when it comes to relationships, sometimes it’s just better to keep your drama and messiness behind closed doors. And as a newlywed, Kandi is also learning that lesson.

In her blog for Bravo Kandi wrote:

As soon as Todd and I got married he had to leave for LA to start production on his show. We went from being together every day to going weeks without seeing each other. It took some time to adjust. Things were tense for a short period of time, but we’re great now. I do regret talking about it on TV. I’m a very open person, but I’m learning that it’s not always a great idea to be an open book when it comes to your marriage.

Let the church say Amen!

We could go on and on about the couples whose marriages have failed with the help of reality tv. Though most of us don’t have cameras in our homes, the same concept applies when you consider telling your friends about every argument and issue that arises in your relationship. Sometimes…no, most times, it’s better to work it out amongst yourselves, or with a neutral third party, and keep it moving.

Basically, when you tell your friends and family about the drama in your relationship, they’re listening as people who are loyal to you…not your man or partner. They’ll be looking at him crazy from now until eternity if you ever mention anything he might have done wrong. Even after you’ve moved past the argument and the dust has settled, your people will still be holding a grudge. Not to mention, you conveniently forgot to tell them how you were acting a fool. They weren’t there for his apology and the resolution and you didn’t update them on how his behavior has changed for the better. One, because those make up stories aren’t as juicy and two, because they’re not in the relationship and have little incentive to forgive his offenses.

That’s just what happens when you invite outside opinions into your relationship.

And that’s what Kandi is doing by discussing her relationship with Todd, not only with her friend, but with millions of viewers around the country and world. Inviting them to cast judgment without knowing even half of the story. As one of my coworkers mentioned, it also adds fuel to that very messy fire Mama Joyce started. God knows the world doesn’t want her to be right about Todd. But I’m sure listening to Kandi discuss what seem like normal communication issues is making her feel really validated right now.

But it’s hard not to discuss your relationship when you roll deep with your man and cameras are following you around all the time. As we were discussing this at work, someone suggested that it might be time for Kandi and Todd to step away from RHOA in an attempt to preserve their marriage. I’ll be honest, my first reaction was “Nooooo.” I don’t even watch RHOA anymore but when I did, I always appreciated Kandi’s levelheadedness and her ability to avoid the cattiness that has been associated with the show. If she leaves, doesn’t it seem like all hell will break loose? Who is going to bring the ackright?

And while the show might take yet another dip in classiness, it just might help to keep Kandi and Todd together.

DC Names New Director Of African American Affairs, Rahman Branch

February 8th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Democratic Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has selected former high school principal Rahman Branch as the city’s first director of African American affairs. The city may no longer be majority African American, but the District has named a full-time government advocate for Black citizens.  The city’s Black population is at 49.5 percent, according to census demographic data.“We see income gaps growing, we’re not satisfied with how fast we’re closing educational gaps, and we know that we have to invest in good jobs and affordable housing,” said Bowser. She is the latest  in a succession of black mayors dating to 1967.

“There’s a need for this kind of office because the growth of D.C. and the expansion of D.C. and making sure every resident of D.C. plays a part in that is really what the community has requested,” said Branch.

More than three years have passed since the D.C. Council created an unpaid Commission on African-American Affairs to “assist the Mayor in planning policies beneficial to African American communities with low economic, education, or health indicators.” Branch will be its first full-time director.

“The Commission on African-American Affairs, meanwhile, is gathering data on the exodus of the city’s black residents and businesses, and analyzing the disparities affecting those who remain,” reports The Washington Post.

Another Historic Black Church Gone: DC’s Alexander Memorial Baptist Sold For $6.5M

July 28th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Another historic Black church is being sold, this time in the Georgetown section of Washington DC. Over the years, the 106-year-old Alexander Memorial Baptist Church has seen its congregation shrink and it is for this reason the pastor says the building will be sold to a developer for $6.5 million. In May, Atlanta’s oldest Black church, Friendship Baptist Church sold its building  for $19.5 million to make room for the new Atlanta Falcons stadium. Condominiums or townhouses are expected to be built on the site of Alexander Memorial.

It is reported that Reverend Jesse Plater, who has been the pastor at Alexander Memorial for the last eight years, is looking for a school auditorium to hold services temporarily. This has left some churchgoers dismayed.

“So, if we don’t have a place to go, why are you still selling the church?” member Alfred May asked WJLA-ABC News. “Don’t sell this church because you can’t maintain a congregation,” May said. “Someone else can. Another pastor can come in and draw the people.”

They are also complaining that the pastor sold the building for less than it’s worth. Homes in Georgetown sell for at least $1 million, so some say the AMBC lots and buildings should have gone for more.

“I guess he thinks $6 million is a lot of money, but if you gonna get another church … build another church, that’s no money,” said another church member.

According to the church’s website: “The formation of the Alexander Memorial Baptist Church began on July 26, 1908, with a group of worshippers from the First Baptist Church of Georgetown…They named the church after the Reverend Sandy Alexander, the founder of First Baptist. In 1909, the church purchased property located in the Georgetown Section (2709–2717 N Street) of Washington, DC and constructed a church building. The cornerstone was laid later that year. Rev. Carroll served as the minister until his resignation in 1914.”

Other Black churches in Washington, DC, have been bought and turned into condominiums as well, such as Faith Baptist Church on Capitol Hill and Mt. Joy Baptist Church.

Do you think the pastor is wrong in this case?

And for more about the money involved in the black church, check out the new Moguldom Studios documentary “Black Church Inc.” available on iTunes and Google Play. Watch the trailer here. Buy your copy today!

The Government Shutdown Will Hit Black Federal Workers Hardest

October 2nd, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Getty Images

Getty Images

The government shutdown will most immediately affect the livelihoods of thousands of federal workers, but it will be black federal workers who will be hit the hardest.

“The shutdown will impact in different ways some of the nation’s more than 2 million civilian workers, about a fifth of whom experts estimate to be people of color,” reports TheGrio.

African Americans represent approximately half of the minorities who would be out of work, according to various data.

President Barack Obama says he knows how dire this situation is. In a speech yesterday, he warned that as “America’s largest employer,” a federal government that’s ceased operations could cause widespread distress.

“Office buildings would close. Paychecks would be delayed. Vital services that seniors and veterans, women and children, businesses and our economy depend on would be hamstrung,” the President said. “Business owners would see delays… in permits, ” he added. “Veterans who’ve sacrificed for their country will find their support centers unstaffed. Tourists will find every one of America’s national parks and monuments, from Yosemite to the Smithsonian to the Statue of Liberty, immediately closed.”

Hundreds of thousands of public servants who remain on the job will do so without pay, Obama said. And several hundred thousand more are indefinitely furloughed without pay.

Federal employees aren’t the only ones upset.

In Washington, D.C. , the Mayor Vincent C. Gray called everyone back to work. He declared all District government operations as “essential” during the federal shutdown and sent a letter to the head of the federal Office of Management and Budget explaining his decision. But some lawyers called  this action illegal.

“I have determined that everything the District government does – protecting the health, safety and welfare of our residents and visitors – is essential,” said Gray in a radio address.

“It is ridiculous that a city of 632,000 people – a city where we have balanced our budget for 18 consecutive years and have a rainy-day fund of well over a billion dollars – cannot spend its residents’ own local tax dollars to provide them the services they’ve paid for without Congressional approval,” the Mayor said.

Some government services will continue. Seniors on Social Security receive their checks, mail delivery will continue and government operations related to national security or public safety will go on.

We have some tips that will hopefully be of some service to the workers who have been furloughed. Check them out here.

‘Scandal’ Watch Series Becomes Interactive In Washington, DC For Season Premiere

September 30th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Source: ABC

Source: ABC



From Black Enterprise 

Imagine merging the book club concept and television viewing party concept. What if this new cultural interactive event was framed around the ABC hit series Scandal? It could be quite the social media phenomenon. Cultural architect Risikat “Kat” Okedeyi of LiL SoSo Productions, Inc., and Capitol Hill power couple Danielle and Aisha Moodie-Mills of the weekly politics and pop culture show Politini, will produce and curate a weekly Scandal Watch.

“This event is a tremendous way to catalyze culture and community in the new, fashionably political Washington, or Poliwood, as we call it,” says Danielle. Aisha adds, “Politini sparks dialogue that integrates our social, cultural, and political selves, so it’s exciting to construct a salon that galvanizes the enthusiasm of all layers of D.C.—Politicos, Creatives, and Social Entrepreneurs alike.”

The Scandal Watch kick-off will coincide with the season premiere of the popular television drama (now in its third season) on October 3rd in Washington, DC. The event will begin with an exclusive live streamed videotaping of Politini, featuring a panel of political and cultural influencers who will turn a critical eye on Scandal to discuss how creator/writer Shonda Rhimes’ (also of ABC TV’s Grey’s Anatomyfame) multi-ethnic and multi-dimensional characters defy stereotypes and shift culture.

Read more at Black Enterprise 

All He Needed Was A Nap: Tyrese Passes Out In Nightclub Due To Exhaustion

August 25th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Tyrese’ Instagram

“Sleep is for sucker,” huh? Well, tell that to Tyrese who wishes he could get more of it.

The solo singer and member of new R&B group TGT (Tyrese Ginuwine Tank) was at The Park nightclub in Washington, D.C. Friday night when he unexpectedly hit the floor. According to TMZ, he was literally in the midst of partying when he fainted. He hit the dance floor so hard he hurt his arm (as you can see in the picture).

A spokesperson for Tyrese told TMZ “Tyrese has been going non-stop since July promoting his new TGT album.” I know, some of you are thinking that’s only been a few weeks but adding on that constant traveling, it could be make for a very weak body.

Tyrese posted the photo of his arm in a sling with a caption reading that he just couldn’t wait to get back to his daughter in Los Angeles. He should be back by now and hopefully, able to get a little rest before he says to get back on that promotion train.

Your health is super important and although we may laugh and talk about celebrities, many of them do have grueling schedules (similar to many of us who work long hours or have multiple jobs) that cause them to rarely get a decent night of sleep.

Feel better, Tyrese!

Morning Preciousness: FLOTUS Gets Down With Pre-K Class

May 27th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: AP Images

Source: AP Images

Michelle Obama kicked off her Memorial Day weekend with soul. On Friday, while most of us were sitting at the desk, waiting for the clock to strike five, Mrs. Obama visited Mrs. Lyons Pre-K class, in Washington, DC, for a “funky good time.”

While she was there she played “Freeze Dance” with the students as they danced along to James Brown’s “Doing It To Death.” You would think the kids would be a little hesitant to dance in front of the First Lady of the United States, but these kids, from Savoy Elementary School, were ready to shake something. The kids were singing along, hopping around, looking at Mrs. Obama for approval and encouragement, and one student did his version of “The Jerk” the entire time. In between dance moves, they looked at their teacher to know when to freeze.

Savoy Elementary was one of the eight schools in DC that participated in the President’s Turnaround Arts Initiative. The goal was for these once underperforming schools to use the arts to transform the culture, climate and academic success. Savoy, which used to be the lowest performing school in the district, is now improving with rising test scores, increased enrollment and higher teacher-student attendance.

The students, along with their teacher explained that they play Freeze Dance because it allows them to exercise, focus and have fun. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Check out the video of the students getting down on the next page.

Real Life Tia & Tamera: Two Girls Reunite At A Track Meet, Realize They’re Sisters

May 13th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Wusa9

Source: Wusa9

Were you ever one of those girls who wondered if you’d ever find your long lost sister at a random outing, like Tia and Tamera did in “Sister Sister”? Well, life imitated art back in January when 17 year old sisters Jordan and Robin Jeter met each other at a track meet.

In an interview with Washington D.C.’s CBS affiliate, WUSA9, the girls described their encounter.

“My team was like she looks just like you,” said Jordan.  The two talked briefly at the meet and once Jordan found out Robin’s last name was Jeter she started crying.

Jordan, the girl on the right, was put up for adoption shortly after her birth while Robin stayed with her biological mother before being sent to foster care and then to a legal guardian. Jordan, is a junior and Robin is a senior. The girls attended schools just ten minutes away from one another and played the same sports but never crossed paths.

Their chance meeting almost didn’t happen. Jordan only joined the track team as a way to stay in shape.

Though they look and sound just alike, the two are not twins. They were born within 9 months of each other. Robin, the girl on the left, says initially she didn’t know she had siblings. As time went on she knew she had one but never knew she had a sister.

When the two met, they immediately started catching up on the last 17 years. In their first phone conversation, Robin asked Jordan all types of questions, trying to fill in the blanks.

“I asked her what’s your mother’s name on your birth certificate, what’s her birthday, what does your birth certificate say at the bottom,” says Robin.

Jordan laughed as she recounted that conversation.

“I was like what is this an interrogation?”

After 17 years, those questions were more than necessary. The two discovered that they wear the same show size, have the same double-jointed thumbs and sound very much alike on the phone.

While the two are having fun catching up, they recognize that they have more work to do to find their other siblings.