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February 2011

INSIDE

Inspire, Inform & Educate

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Edition

Proud to be... Shirley C. Taylor SAC Creations

Annie Malone: Businesswoman Original A history lesson on an early African American Entrepreneur. PAGE 30

Charles S. Dutton U.S. Dream Academy

Little Known Black History “sayings”

State Representative Ron Reynolds & MR. D-MARS

Funny, Fictional Moments in Black History. PAGE 42

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Women in it to Win It! 2011

Clinette Gares Mop’s Grill

Wendi - Ann & Jacqui Francis Jamaica House

Tanjian Norman Houston Colon Care Center

Kristi Smith 2011 Ms. Pearland

Sandi Johnson Operation Get Fit


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Publisher’s Message

Keith J. Davis, Sr. SR. PUBLISHER Keith J. Davis, Sr. VICE PRESIDENT Kevin Davis JR. PUBLISHER Keith J. Davis, Jr. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Christopher P. Kirksey EDITING CONSULTANT ReShonda Tate-Billingsley

Each year our country dedicates the month of February to celebrate the many accomplishments of African Americans and recognizing their extensive contributions to a diverse American society. Black History Month is a time to reflect on the advancements African Americans have made in this country and show respect to heroes of the past, while acknowledging the leaders of today who will guide our country to even greater heights. d-mars.com honors the countless successes and sacrifices that African Americans have made and continue to make to help this country remain the greatest country in the world. Black History Month: because of… the countless African Americans who have helped build and sacrifice for this country so that we are able to live in the land of the free!

ACCOUNTING MANAGER Eugenie Doualla

Thank you for your continued support of d-mars.com. When you support d-mars.com, you are supporting more than just our company; you are supporting the communities in which we live and work. Working together, we can succeed in making positive things happen.

OPERATIONS INTERN Ashriel Dunham

CONTENTS

SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Mike Jones C.T. Foster PHOTOGRAPHY Leon Galbreath Grady Carter MARKETING CONSULTANTS Johnny Ray Davis, Jr. MULTIMEDIA DIRECTOR Andrea Hennekes

Ron E. Reynolds: Keeping the Community Informed……………………..... 5 Jamaican Chef to the Prime Minister opens restaurant in Galleria area….. 6 Mentorships help women advance their careers……………………………. 7 Writer’s poetry evokes tears of joy……………………………………………. 8 Redefining One’s Path……………………………………………………........ 10 Think like the Rich…………………………………………………………........ 15 Local Fitness Guru leading the way to wellness and delivering results….. 17 Texas Southern University Launching Urban Academic Village…………... 17 Broadway, TV and film star Charles S. Dutton………………………........... 18 3 Power Moves to Make Your Business Dreams Happen for 2011…….... 18 The History of Black History........................................................................ 20

LAYOUT & GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Ghuzzala Malik (Faith) Myron Davis

Butter Cream Babies: The Sweet Lovers Delight………………………....... 22

DISTRIBUTION Booker T. Davis, Jr. Johnny Ray Davis, Jr.

Annie Malone: Businesswoman Original…………………………………...... 30

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Christina R. Grochett Danny McKinney Ashriel Dunham Noel Pinnock Charles Swindell Nikitia Johnson Nickcole Byrd

Thunder Soul tells the true story…………………………………………….... 39 Warning: Are you and your business becoming irrelevant?........................ 41

Who can find virtuous women...In it to Win it?........................................... 27 Metlife Study: Secure the Future of Your Business……………………….... 29 Black History Month: Because of…………………………………………...... 32 Traits of Successful Business Women……………………………………….. 34

Little Known Black History “sayings” ………………………………………... 42 Social Security: Get the most out of your benefits…………………............ 44 Social Media: This thing is Bigger than you think! ……………………........ 46

MR. D-MARS D-MARS.com Business Journal Tip of the Month “When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.”

7322 Southwest Fwy, Suite 806 Houston, Texas 77074 713-272-9511 . Phone 713-272-6364 . Fax 1-800-453-8752 . Toll Free www.d-mars.com

“d-mars.com is certified with SBE, HUB, DBE & Port of Houston SBDP.”

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Ron E . Reynolds :

A Public Servant who truly Embodies Keeping the Community Informed

It’s Tuesday, January 11, 2011, at the Austin State Capitol on inauguration day, Ron E. Reynolds (D-Texas) was officially sworn in as State Representative of Fort Bend County House District 27. “I’m ready to serve the citizens of Fort Bend in this official capacity and look forward to representing the voice of my constituents,” said Reynolds. ”Texas may face a $27 billion shortfall. I look forward to working across the aisle to find ways to lower the deficit that won’t compromise our children’s education and Texas’ global competitive advantage.” Reynolds, attorney and Fort Bend County’s State Representative, is a long time resident of Fort Bend County

inherent responsibility for keeping the community abreast of current issues that impact their lives. Reynolds believes that by investing in the community, he has made a positive impact on the business and economic base in Fort Bend County. Commensurate with the belief, to whom much is given, much is required; Reynolds has devoted his life to serving the community. Some of his civic and other affiliations include but are not limited to the following: for numerous honors and awards: • President, NAACP Missouri City & Ft. Bend Vicinity Branch • Vice President, Fort Bend Democrats • Parliamentarian, Sienna Democrats • Brookhollow Baptist Church, Legal Ministry Chair • Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class 2007 • Past President, Houston Lawyer’s Association • 100 Black Men of America – Houston Chapter • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. • Mason, Prince Hall Ever Ready Lodge • Board member, Houston Citizen’s Chamber of Commerce • Board member, Tri-County Black Chamber of Commerce • Board member, Jazz Education, Inc. • Constable Ruben Davis Advisory Council • Co-Chair Fort Bend International Festival and Mayor’s Jazz Brunch • Fort Bend ISD Bond Advisory Committee • Fort Bend County Democratic Party, sustaining member • Houston Area Urban League • Member of Fort Bend Democratic Club and Black Dems • Legal Counsel for Houston Black Expo and a non-profit organization benefiting sickle-cell research • Texas Parkway Alliance • Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce

who grew up in Missouri City. He is a product of Fort Bend County public schools, Blue Ridge Elementary and Quail Valley Middle School. He went on to attend Texas Southern University and received a B.S. degree in Public Affairs, “magna cum laude”. Ron received a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Texas Tech University School of Law. Reynolds is a successful small business owner of a title company and is a name partner in the Brown, Brown & Reynolds, P.C., law firm. He is a former Associate Municipal Judge for The City of Houston and TSU Adjunct Professor (College of Public Affairs). Reynolds has written numerous articles relative to Consumer Rights, Civil Rights, Civic Engagement, and Employment Law because he embodies an Reynolds has won and been recognized february 2011

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• Recipient of the Missouri City Juneteenth Community Service Award • Ever Ready Lodge 2007 Trailblazer’s Award • Named “Houston’s Top Attorney” by H Texas Magazine • American Red Cross Humanitarian Award • YMCA Minority Achievers Award • MLK Drum Major For Justice Award • NAACP ALEX Award for Legal Excellence • 2 time HCCC Business Pinnacle Award winner • Named Houston’s Top 40 Leaders Under 40 • EEOC Civil Rights All-Star Award • Senator Rodney Ellis Texas Leader of the Future Award • Who’s Who in Law and Who’s Who in Black Houston (Cutline) Reynolds with wife Dr. Jonita Wallace Reynolds and daughter, Lacey Ronee. “As State Representative of District 27, I serve the residents and business owners in Fort Bend County by advocating for high-quality education, affordable health care, and economic empowerment in our community.” Above all his accomplishments Reynolds is most proud and grateful for his family. He is married to Dr. Jonita Wallace Reynolds and has one daughter, Lacey Ronee Reynolds. “I’m proud to be

the first African American State Representative in Fort Bend County since Reconstruction. I represent House District 27 which covers the Fort Bend part of the City of Houston, parts of Missouri City, Sugar Land, Stafford, Rich-

mond, Rosenberg, Fresno and Arcola. I have one of the most diverse districts in Texas., said Reynolds. Reynolds say he is very blessed to have been elected to serve his community. “I realize that as a Public Servant that I’m here to serve my community and speak out for those that often don’t have a voice -- the least, the last and the lost.” Reynolds says his main goal is to serve the residents and business owners in Fort Bend County by advocating for high-quality education for their children, affordable health care, and economic empowerment for small business owners and minorities.

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amaican Chef to the Prime Minister opens restaurant in Galleria area

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ome taste the succulent dishes of Jamaica right here in Houston at Jamaica House Restaurant. This restaurant is a cultural café located in the Galleria, area bringing the best of gourmet Caribbean cuisine and culture. Enjoy succulent dishes flavored with Jamaican traditions of jerk, curry, and other spices. Dine to the rhythms of classic reggae and island tunes and be sure to check out their selection of imported hand-crafted items in the gift display. Jacqui Francis, a native of Kingston,

(left to right) Wendi-Ann Francis-Walker & Jacqui

Francis / Owner

Jamaica proudly boasts twenty three years of catering to International Dignitaries, Heads of States, and recording artists and has now brought the flavors of her country to Houston. Francis served as the head chef at the Jamaica House (the Office of the Prime Minister). Francis has prepared and served meals for the Queen of England, many Presidents and several world dignitaries: just to name a few, such as singer Joe, Shaggy, Kenny Rogers, and Randy Crawford. She has also prepared meals

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for Johnny Cochran, Cuban President Fidel Castro and Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne. Jamaica House has also been featured on Great Day Houston with Debra Duncan and the 2010 I-fest featuring the Caribbean. The island atmosphere, friendly service, cuisine, and cultural additions make this a distinctive experience. Jamaica is noted for producing the best coffee and guests can explore the taste and aromas of their freshly brewed Blue Mountain coffee. The restaurant boasts many sodas from the island, which are delicious. You must try their flavored teas, Jamaican Ginger beer and the Sangria, called Sorrel. Wendi-Ann Francis-Walker, daughter of Francis, also a native of Jamaica, joins her mother in this venture. Walker says their desire was to, “Replicate the island experience for those curious about the island culture.” She, too has a rich history in the Jamaican food industry; her desire was to introduce the gourmet side of Jamaica’s cuisine to Houstonians and the diverse international community. Jamaica House motto is “Our House is Your House” and the menu is a true representation of Jamaica’s cultural diversity. Walker says you can “take your taste buds on a tropical voyage with our eclectic gourmet dishes.” In addition to tasty dishes, allow the rhythms of the island to sway you on Friday and Saturday nights between 8-10pm when live music is featured. Stop by for spoken word on Monday nights 7-9pm to hear local poets recite their lines. Jamaica House is located at 6357 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 770575103. For more information call 713-339-1004 or visit www.myjamaicahouse.com. Check them out on Facebook (Jamaica House) and Twitter (JamaicaHouseTX).

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Mentorships Help Women Advance Their Careers in the program. Regardless of the format, mentors are role models who can help women balance full-time careers with their personal lives. When choosing a mentor, individuals should consider professional aspirations, personal learning styles and rapport. As the South Texas Vice President for University of Phoenix, I have personally mentored more than 100 staff members and encourage all of our employees to build mentoring relationships. Many of these mentees have been promoted into management roles at the By Christina Robinson Grochett, campus or other University locations. University of Phoenix – Our campuses encourage staff memHouston Vice President bers to develop professional roadmaps Christina Robinson Grochett is the and we provide tools and offer flexible State Vice President/ Director of South Texas he top 500 companies schedules to support mentoring efforts. for University of Phoenix. An accomplished with the best record leader and champion of higher learning, she of promoting women Elements of a Positive Mentoring was selected as one of the 2010 Women of outperformed their Relationship Influence by Houston Woman Magazine competitors by 41 to • Create a big-picture plan together and one of the Top 10 business women by 116 percent in the that includes a clear path to ad- the American Business Women’s Association last two decades, according to a study in 2008. Under her leadership, the Houston vancement and potential barriers last year from Pepperdine University. • Identify patterns and trends in the campuses were selected as a 2009 Best Place As more women earn advanced degrees company and industry and begin their corporate ladder climb, • Honor priorities and work through many turn to other female professionissues together als who can act as a coach and enhance • Anticipate challenges as the learning their communication, management and process begins problem-solving abilities. These relationships are helping women to success• Predict outcomes and create alternafully navigate their careers and secure tives to fall back upon high-profile management positions. • Develop and be accountable for a Mentoring relationships often pair schedule to ensure strategic goals a seasoned professional with someone are met new to the career or the organization. • Provide ongoing encouragement However, mentoring relationships can and support also benefit seasoned employees by ex• Share real-life experiences and exposing them to different perspectives. amples The purpose of the relationship is to provide guidance and support, and • Maintain confidentiality to build a share challenges, solutions and experitrusting relationship ences. Whether this is through a formal • Spend more time listening than talkmentorship program or simply an ining formal friendship, the relationship ul• Present information and new skills timately helps both individuals mature in small amounts to avoid “overand grow as professionals. load” Studies have shown that those in

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mentoring programs advance their career at an accelerated rate. For example, University of Pennsylvania recently studied more than 1,000 employees at a large technology company over five years and found that those enrolled in mentoring programs (as both mentors and mentees) were promoted at six times the rate of those who were not. In addition, the retention rates of these employees were 72 percent on average, compared with 49 percent for those not february 2011

to Work by The Houston Business Journal and were awarded with the 2010, 2009 and 2008 Alfred P. Sloan Awards from the City of Houston for Workplace Flexibility and Innovation.

• Network with managers and peers I have found mentoring relationships have positive effects not only for employees, but also for myself. Through both formal and informal mentorships, I feel our staff members have taught me as much as I have taught them. Together, we have grown as professionals and have learned more about the value of integrity, collaboration, tenacity, challenging the status quo and having fun. www.

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Writer’s poetry evokes tears of joy

Shirley Crews Taylor

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SAC Creations Personalized Poetry began in 2001. After years of writing poems for others, people would have such a strong emotional response to her writing. She often heared from friends and family that her writing was a true gift. Her words have been described as “anointed,” “healing,” and “inspiring.” Her writing has been known to invoke tears of joy. Shirley Crews Taylor has been writing since the third grade and in 1993 published a book of poetry entitled “Let Love Live.” It was a collection of poems that were written for others. The book’s title, “Let Love Live” embodies a poem that Taylor wrote for a friend. Taylor says, “My friend Teresa had just broken up with her boyfriend. I wrote the poem based on our conversation and I could tell how strongly she felt about him. She gave the poem to him and they got back together. I have always had a strong empathy for feelings of others and have been coined, “the Heart-Reader.” Taylor says after much encouragement and prayer she decided to do some research to see if there was a need for this service. “One day I mentioned to my hair dresser who suggested I go by this local black art store. I went by and the owner and I were into a lengthy conversation when the phone rang. It was someone on the phone looking for a person to write a personal poem to give to her sister for their first anniversary. The owner gave me the phone, we exchanged numbers. I spoke with her by phone later to get details about what she wanted to say to her sister. I ended up writing her a poem and meeting her at Bellaire and 59 South the next day. She february 2011

was very pleased,” said Taylor. This was Taylor’s sign -- and from that day, the calls from friends and referrals started. “Each of them needing a poem for this or that and willing to pay for the work,” Taylor says before she knew it, she was very busy writing poems and creating plaques and framed documents. “But I was torn and felt this wasn’t a professional job and I needed to get a “day” job using my Business Management and Masters in Industrial Psychology knowledge. I had gained extensive experience in Human Resources and Career Counseling and later that year, I received a full-time job with benefits so I abandoned the business of writing poetry for benefits. This was part of my journey to get to where I am today,” says Taylor. “This was a turning point for me because I thought I could not use all of my gifts. There was such an internal struggle because I knew I wasn’t fully doing what my heart was telling me to do.” Today, Taylor owns a local professional development firm, TCT Enterprises, LLC and SAC Creations (SACC) is now a division. Through her coaching and consulting services, she incorporates inspirational writing. “With SACC, I work with individuals, corporations, wedding/event planners as well as churches and funeral homes, says Taylor. Taylor writes custom poetry for all occasions.

A few examples:

Congratulations!

Mr. R. T. Williams, our father and your “Mr. Right”.

I Love You and I Do! (To a couple getting married)

Taylor says: Why I write:

Al, before all these witnesses I vow to take you as my partner, my sweetie, my king, You are my joy, my inspiration, my love, and it will be a pleasure to wear your ring. You call me your angel, your beautiful black queen, and your love has truly captured my heart, I’ve never been one to believe in love at first sight, but it happened like you said from the start.

“Although I strayed away from writing poetry for others, I now respect my gift and want to use all my talents to help others to heal and grow. I am here to communicate the message of hope and encouragement to be the channel to help others express their feelings when they might not know how. Today SACC has created unique poems and custom gifts for others. S A C plans to grow the business based on a reputation for top-notch creative, individualized My first example was for Mothers Day poetic gifts.” Taylor plans to release her to a grandmother coming from her new book entitled “Let love Live” this year. grandson. She would keep the baby and always joke him about FedEx’s him Taylor’s process: back to his mom for smiling so much. The first step is to meet with clients Happy 80th Birthday by phone or person and conduct an To our mother Mrs. Lucille interview and listen to what they Williams would like to do. The Book: Born the third oldest child on October 1st in 1922, God truly made something special the day he created you. You were saved at the age of 14, and still serves God faithfully today, You have always been quiet, very serious, fun and loving in your own way. You loved all your brothers, but had only one sister to whom you were really tight. And for 53 years you were married to

Taylor says what Clients get: “I know that clients can go to Hallmark or some card store and find a poetic message. What I provide is a very personal, unique message from the heart using the client’s words. We can also provide a finished gift, whether it’s a plaque or a frame and we can do very custom gifts in a format of their choice; a personal keepsake that can be treasured for a lifetime.”

(To a couple getting married) Congratulations... It seems like just yesterday that you two fell so hard, so fast; I wish you only the best and with God’s help, your love will last. You both have so much in common-you’re off beat sense of humor, your love for Purple and a Star Trek fan; It seems you two get each other like no one else can. You two have a love that’s very complex, and for years ran deep; May you make many happy memories, and there be only joy and love in your heart as into matrimony you leap… www.

Shirley Crews Taylor When you want it to be unique… When you want it to be special… When you want it to be personal…

10701 Corporate Drive, Suite 190 Stafford, TX 77477

832.288.5631

www.sacpoems.com | info@sacpoems.com 8.


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Redefining One’s Path The first step is acknowledging and embracing the call to step back and analyze one’s current and future path. 2. Do You – Going Natural

By Tanjian Norman Owner of Houston Colon Care Center Certified Colon Hydrotherapist

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In April of 2009, as a result of hearing layoff rumors I proactively started a technology consulting firm. In April of 2010, I was laid off along with 120 others. This was a great opportunity to work in my company full-time. This experience was a good foray into entrepreneurship.

I always wanted to have chemical-free Make Lemonade from Lemons. hair but was hesitant because of my job has a consultant. As 5. Time Out - Take a Vacation part of my path resetIn June 2010 I took a cruise with my ting process, I decidfamily; on the trip my sister (a suced to go natural and cessful business owner in Tulsa, OK) yes I got the quizzical stressed the importance of working looks and questions. a business that you have passion for. But, overall the benUpon my return I carefully reflected efits and the experience far out-weighed any negative comments. Today, am I nurturing baby locks and enjoying what God has naturally given me.

on this and started to gain a clearer picture of my path. Taking time out to rejuvenate the soul and spend time with close family and friends helps to gain new perspectives. 6. I can See the Path - Body Wellness Since 2007, as a result of a medical crisis I became interested in health and wellness; and taking the advice from my sister I started to seriously consider entering the health and wellness field. After many months of soul searching, analyzing and reanalyzing and researching different business markets this felt right and the vision was firmly elucidated on my mind. Now that I had firm goals and a newly defined path it was time to execute. So, I followed my passion for body wellness and opened the Houston Colon Care Center. The journey of redefining my path took some time and it wasn’t easy with a few bumps and roadblocks along the way. However, I look forward to this new path with renewed commitment to health and wellness, faith and determination that all things are possible.

Find something you always wanted to do and Do IT!

s I embrace 2011, I reflect on my life’s journey 3. You are Not Alone -- St. John’s over the past 2 years and United Methodist Downtown marvel at how much has In June 2009, I started attending changed in my personal services at St John’s and realized I and professional life. Over a span of was not alone on my journey. Each two years I have redefined my life’s path service strengthened my faith and with 6 Take Action Steps. encouraged me to go into my prayer closet and seek God’s strength, wis1. THE START – Something Got to dom and discernment on my life. It Change was in these times of soul searching In Feb 2009, by all accounts I had and worship I started to reflect on accomplished the American dream my passions and how they could be and my professional and personal incorporated into my life’s mission. life reflected my successes - I was a Taking a journey without a clear manager at a major consulting firm, destination is disconcerting, I did was considered a “expert” in my not know what I wanted to do, but field, had 17 plus years of corporate I definitely did not want to continue experience and all of the fancy mateon my existing path. rial stuff that goes along with it. But, this one day I was sensing incomTrust and believe that you are not pleteness --- I was unhappy, stressed alone. While on your journey, surand the passion and self of purpose round yourself with mentors, trustwas gone. I literally wanted to esworthy friends and faith. cape the life I worked so hard for. After much reflection on that day I 4. Blessing In Disguise – Being Laid knew it was time to reset my path. Off february 2011

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Think Like the Rich By Danny McKinney, J.D., Contributing Writer

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n order to become rich, you have to think like the rich. These ideas and concepts were not taught in my community growing up as a child.

I believe it all begins with your relationship and beliefs that you have about money and wealth. This single factor alone, will determine whether you are rich or poor in life, whether money flows to you or away from you. If your mental relationship with money is not healthy, you will make decisions that will ultimately sabotage any desire you have to be rich.

comes in automatically from cash- I will begin with step one out of five and generating assets; not a business you the rest will follow in the next issue. operated. That might take one hour of your time to manage per month. Step #1: Forget The Past, And Forget The Present. Because the single most valuable asset of all, is the one thing you can’t Your past and present circumstances buy, and that you can’t get more of have nothing to do with your future. The first thing you need to realize is that -- your time. whether you were rich or poor growing up doesn’t matter. No one within my So my definition of “rich” is this: family tree has ever been what I conIt’s, “the ability to create your dreams sider wealthy, and all of the rich kids into reality without financial con- I envied back in high school are living uninspired lives of finanstraints.” cial meThe greatest achievement in life is to have the ability to create the world around you, so that it matches the dreams in your mind. This is how the most advanced city in the world sprung from the desert sands of Dubai in less than 10 years. This is how Bugatti built the 253 mph Veyron. This is how Steve Jobs created the iPhone and how Paul Allen and Burt Rutan built Spaceship 1.

So first and foremost, we should probably start with the definition of “Wealth”? Whatever those What does it mean to be “Rich”? dreams may be in To some, “rich” may be a monetary your mind, make them number, to others, it might be the abil- come true; whether it’s ity to retire, to others it may just be as unlimited time with your simple as being able to pay your bills; family, a new dress, the chance I have a different definition of what it to work full-time for your favorite charmeans to “be rich”- being rich is being ity, or your dream home. able to own your own time. Having the financial means and the Even though you may make a lot of ability to say, “yes, I can make this real money, which is coming from various if I want,” is the ultimate expression of businesses you owned and had to run wealth that someone can experience. or different jobs you worked, is your money working for you? In most cases With your active income replaced with the more money your businesses made, passive income, (providing you with an the more you had to work, and the less infinite amount of free time), you can happy your became. You are working work and create simply because you for you money, but your money is not want to, not because you have to. That working for you. We all suffer from this is being rich. That is wealth. as business owners. So, let’s dive into your relationship with That’s why it is important to turn you money, and the mindset you’ll need active income -- the money you work to unlock in order to become truly for -- into passive income. --money that wealthy. february 2011

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diocrity, or even poverty today.

mixed into Ramen soup, or $.99 cent boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese. Living like this would make you feel like nothing; but deep inside your core, most of you have an unwavering belief that you would be a millionaire and that you will change the world for the better. Despite your situation at this time, and despite the fact that no one in my family had ever achieved that kind of wealth before, you believed that you deserved to be rich and that nothing could stop you. One day, some of us made a conscious decision that wealth was in my future, and from that moment on you were rich. It simply meant taking reality time to catch up to that decisive moment. The reality you live in today is simply the physical manifestation of the thoughts and beliefs you’ve held for the past years. Your reality five years from now will be a result of the new thoughts and beliefs you decide to adopt today. So Step #1: to acquiring wealth is to make the conscious decision right now, to let go of your past and let go of your present. It doesn’t matter if you came from money or not, and it doesn’t matter if you’re poor at this very moment. Accept the belief that you deserve to be wealthy, and that you will become wealthy, even if you’re not sure how it will happen just yet.

I filled out my first job application and started sacking groceries when I turned 14. It doesn’t matter if you were an average student in high school; even if you didn’t do well in college, or even if you have started failing businesses, or This will set your subconscious on a bounced from one corporate job to an- mission to create your new reality. You’ll start to make different choices, and betother in order to pay the rent. ter decisions that will lead you toward Even if the only furniture in your apart- your goal. ment consisted of a bed, a desk, and a small TV perched upon a food tray; or An incredible book on this topic that will even if the entire living room has noth- help you make this transition is Pyschoing but bare carpet; even if you do your Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Matlz, laundry at the local Laundromat and your diet consist of frozen vegetables STAY INFORMED. 15.


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Local Fitness Guru leading the way to wellness and delivering results

Sandi Johnson Physical, mental, spiritual and emotional wellness are the key components to maintaining a balanced life and overall well-being. Regular exercise and healthy nutrition are the first steps in achieving a healthy body and sound mind. Sandi Johnson at Operation Get Fit will provide you with the support, the motivation, and the education you need to achieve your fitness goals. You will reach levels of excellence that you never thought possible.

Sandi Johnson Sandi’s love for fitness began with track as she took the Edmond Memo-

rial Bulldogs girls track team to state in two events. Sandi went on to Langston University where she became a University cheerleader and began her fitness career by becoming a University Aerobics instructor. With 19 years in the health and fitness industry, Sandi’s passion for fitness led her to start Operation Get Fit, a fitness and nutrition company that offers youth, adults and seniors programming. Operation Get Fit serves the community by providing fitness and nutrition programs in HISD after-school programs, Houston Public Libraries, City of Houston Multi-Service Centers, local community centers and at various local parks. Sandi’s contagious enthusiasm and energy motivates and encourages her clients to stick to a nutrition and exercise regime to meet their goals and change their lives. Sandi is a trainer, speaker and life coach who addresses good nutrition and healthy eating habits, weight loss, and exercise and fitness. Sandi focuses on health concerns that continue to plague our community such as: childhood obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Sandi’s practical approach to fitness and nutrition inspires and educates clients and audiences to takes action to make lifestyle changes to achieve and maintain health and over-

all wellness. Sandi has a Bachelors of Science from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is a Certified Personal Trainer and Boot Camp Instructor. Her certifications also include Aquatic Instructor, Arthritis Foundation, American Heart Association, Heart saver CPR & AED, and American Safety & Health Institute. Sandi delivers results.

Adult Boot Camp Operation Get Fit Boot Camp is intense and challenging! Using supportive and motivational routines, our team of expert certified personal trainers will lead you through an intense eight-week outdoor fitness program. The program is designed to put you in the best shape of your life. You’ll be surrounded by other team members who, just like you, want to make dramatic changes in their physical and mental well-being. We will challenge you to push yourself to reach new fitness levels. The workouts are safe and effective leaving you feeling fit, toned, strong and motivated. Our trainers stress proper form, proper breathing and good technique and safety. Our expert staff puts your health and fitness first and will be happy to modify your workouts so that any modification to workout may be made do pre-existing injuries. Change

the way you look and improve the way you feel. Eight weeks to a new you!

Youth Fitness for Kids Youth Fitness addresses the need for physical activities necessary to live a healthy lifestyle and in helping to combat the current youth obesity epidemic. This program provides fitness training, nutritional information, and dance! The workouts are designed to increase self-esteem, decrease body fat, increase strength and endurance, improve agility, balance and coordination. We encourage teamwork through partner and group exercises. Our workouts are self-paced, individually challenging and a lot of fun! Each workout begins with a five minute stretch and warm up followed by 40 minutes of fitness activities, 10 minutes of dance and five minutes of stretch and cool down. All under the guidance and supervision of certified personal trainers and qualified fitness professionals. Operation Get Fit Youth Fitness is a fun environment where kids can exercise, build relationships, gain nutritional information, and learn strategies to live an overall healthy lifestyle. For more information or to contact Sandi call 832-419-9598 or info@operationgetfit.com

Texas Southern University Launching Urban Academic Village with $2.74 Million Funding from Houston Endowment

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ouston Endowment has awarded a $2.74 million grant to Texas Southern University (TSU) to conduct a pilot study of the University’s new Urban Academic Village, a freshman and sophomore enhancement program to improve retention and increase graduation rates. “We are particularly grateful to Houston Endowment for their endorsement of this important program and of the changes that have taken place at Texas Southern over the past 3 years,” Rudley said. “Houston Endowment is glad to assist Texas Southern University as it commits to improve the academic success of its undergraduate students,” said Houston Endowment President Larry R. Faulkner. “President Rudley has chosen an ambitious, thoughtful approach toward this central concern february 2011

of any university.” To prepare Texas Southern freshmen to pursue their degree plan to graduation, the University’s new Urban Academic Village is a holistic, student-centered, 24/7 academic community approach concerned with the academic performance, mental well-being, emotional stability and personal growth of freshmen and sophomore students on campus. Research has shown that students are most vulnerable to dropping out of college in the first and second years with 75 percent of college dropouts occurring between the freshman and sophomore years. This national data has proved true at Texas Southern which currently sees nearly a third of all freshmen leaving at the end of the first year. In addition to providing students with enhanced academic services, the Urban Academic Village will provide an array of activities intended to amplify www.

student engagement. Programs that improve student engagement with their peers, faculty and the broader university community have been shown to have a positive effect on academic success and degree completion. The pilot program will renovate an existing residence hall to provide 24/7 academic support, institute new intervention and evaluation programs, and develop additional tutoring, mentoring and extra-curricular programming to better integrate freshmen into campus life. The plan calls for redesigning an existing residence hall to add expanded common areas, computer labs, and faculty and counselor apartments providing 24/7 faculty and staff support for 400 incoming freshmen. During spring 2011 the university will review best retention and student success practices from across the country to develop the full enhancement program that will launch in Au-

gust 2011. Dr. Sunny Ohia, TSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research, is overseeing the project. The grant will cover $1 million in renovations for the residence hall and $1.74 million to develop and implement the academic enhancement and evaluation programs. All students participating in the pilot will be full-time students who meet the basic admissions requirements to attend Texas Southern. The students will commit to continuing as full-time students and to participating in all enhancement and outreach activities throughout the two years of the study. A total of 800 students will participate in the pilot program and their progress will be tracked through their sophomore year. Their grades, retention and persistence data will be monitored and compared to the rest of the 2011 and 2012 freshman classes. 17.


Broadway, TV and film star Charles S. Dutton Kicks off U.S. Dream Academy 10 City Tour in Houston to Benefit At Risk Youth

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harles S. Dutton’s journey through life, from the streets of East Baltimore to becoming an Emmy Award-winning actor, director and Broadway star, is an unusual story of inspiration. He defied low expectations, incarceration and pursued his dream against all odds, which is the basis of Dutton’s powerful one-man show, “From Jail to Yale: Serving Time on Stage.” Dutton will kick off a 10-city tour of his show on February 26, 2011 at 6:45 p.m. at the University of Houston’s Cullen Performance Hall (4800 Calhoun Road, Houston, TX 77204). The show will be presented by the U.S. Dream Academy, in partnership with the University of Houston’s Department of African American Studies. Dutton’s life lessons and passion to inspire troubled youth is at the core

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of this tour. Not only is he sharing his incredible story, he is also donating all proceeds from his performances to the U.S. Dream Academy’s critical programs to empower children who are at-risk of future incarceration and maximize their potential by providing them with academics, social and values enrichment through supportive mentoring and the use of technology. The U.S. Dream Academy and the University of Houston African American Studies program have partnered to bring Dutton to Cullen Performance Hall for a one-night-only performance at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011. Dutton will also participate in a moderated conversation with university students from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25, in the Honors College lounge in the M.D. Anderson Library. “This program will provide a structural analysis of culture, race, class, and

gender,” said Dr. James Conyers, chair of the African American Studies program. “Charles Dutton has a history of developing committed art with an emphasis on Africana life and customs.” “We are very pleased for this opportunity to partner with the University of Houston’s Department of African American Studies to bring this riveting stage presentation to campus,” said Wintley Phipps, founder and chief executive officer of the U.S. Dream Academy. “Charles Dutton is a consummate master of acting and we are grateful for his willingness to share his time and talent to raise much needed funds for our after school program in Houston.” The theater event is a fundraiser benefitting U.S. Dream Academy, a national after school and mentoring program that motivates children with relatives in prison to break the cycle of incarceration in their families. The

program, founded by renowned gospel singer Wintley Phipps, is currently operating in 10 cities nationwide. Its research-based initiatives challenge nearly 800 young people daily and engage them in active learning through one-to-one mentoring, strong academics, and technology-driven activities and curricula. Visit our website at www.usdreamacademy.org. The Houston Dream Academy Learning Center is located at Foster Elementary School at the intersection of Yellowstone and Scott Streets. It serves more than 60 students daily between the ages of 8–13 through skill-building, character-building and dream-building activities, including cultivating their appreciation for the arts. For more information or to purchase tickets go to www.usdreamacademy.org or call (800)USDREAM (800873-0326)

Power Moves to Make Your Business Dreams Happen for 2011

By Nickcole Byrd, MBA Life and Business Coach Each New Year, many entrepreneurs resolve to make goals and resolutions that most of them find that at the end of the year they did not accomplish and for a big part, they never even attempted. february 2011

The New Developments in and Directions for Goal-Setting Research Psychology Journal states: Between 40% to 50% of American adults make New Year’s resolutions. Of those, 77% will keep their commitment for one week, 55% for one month, 40% for six months, and only 19% for two years.

and get moving in it!

Power Move #2

These statistics tell us that there are some underlying challenges as to why we struggle with making our passions happen. With those challenges, there are some strategies we can put in place to beat the odds when it comes to reaching success.

Get into the know. Many dreams perish before they even get started simply for a lack of understanding and clarity about where it is you are trying to go. Start by reading books and magazines in your industry. You can join a master mind group to help generate ideas and get information for planning. Each of these are great motivators to get you excited and knowledgeable about your business area and shed light on where exactly you want to go in your success

Power Move #1

Power Move #3

Be Bold! Let go of all the reservations about your past failures and move forward in the new! Try something new do something new, visit the museum in your area, get inspired go to that weekly networking event, getting out of your comfort zone takes practice so be bold

Be aggressive! When you try something new in your business or your life and you see it not working as expected try it again, try it in a different way, push harder, ask somebody for help! A simple internet search will help those creative juices flowing. Hustle, Hustle, Hustle,

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anything worth going after should cause you to be aggressive in the way you think and the action steps you take. There you have it, three strategies for making your dreams in happen in 2011! Nickcole Byrd is a business and marketing professor and life and business coach with over ten plus years experience in entrepreneurship and business processes. She has a passion for empowering and inspiring women leaders to making their dreams happen. Nickcole is also the author of both the Powerupbusinesstraining.com blog and nickcolebbyrd.com and the book The Purple Book of Success.

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The History of Black History

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mericans have recognized black history annually since 1926, first as “Negro History Week” and later as Black History Month. What you might not know is that black history had barely begun to be studiedor even documented-when the tradition originated. Although blacks have been in America at least as far back as colonial times, it was not until the 20th century that they gained a respectable presence in the history books. In 2009, the NAACP marked its 100th anniversary. Spurred by growing racial violence in the early twentieth century, and particularly by race riots in Springfield Illinois, a group of African American leaders joined together to form a new permanent civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). There are several interesting

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Black history facts. We owe the celebration of Black History Month as Black awareness, and more importantly, the study of black history, to Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Born to parents who were former slaves, he spent his childhood working in the Kentucky coal mines and enrolled in high school at age twenty. He graduated within two years and later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. The scholar was disturbed to find in his studies that history books largely ignored the black American populationand when blacks did figure into the picture, it was generally in ways that reflected the inferior social position they were assigned at the time. Woodson, always one to act on his ambitions, decided to take on the challenge of writing black Americans into the nation’s history. He established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association

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for the Study of Afro-American Life and History) in 1915, and a year later founded the widely respected Journal of Negro History. In 1926, he launched Negro History Week as an initiative to

our reason for celebrating Black History Month. We must in doing so, acknowledge our Lord and Savior for bringing us this far and leading us into the next phase of opportunities, blessings and human-rights that are given to us by God and not by man Today we can be proud and honored to see the many races of people coming together as God would have itin all manner of his glory. We are coming together from all walks of life and from places around the globe, uniting as one voice; this is done, mostly in part by the prayers, hard work and sacrifices of people long past & present-people like Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey and Thurgood Marshall. Etc. We must not forget that because of these people and

bring national attention to the contributions of black people throughout American history. Woodson chose the second week of February for Negro History Week because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. However, February has much more than Douglass and Lincoln to show for its significance in black American history. Black History Month symbolizes the more than three hundred years of suffering, anguish, pain and struggle, our descendants of Africa endured, while adding to the prosperity of this country in all of its grandeur and elegance today; a grandeur and elegance brought about from the enslavement, hatred and abuses placed upon the backs of our descendants years back, that we must never forget or take for granted. In so much as Black History Month reminds us of events past and present, so does, the color of our skin, remind us that there is still much iniquity and pain to overcome; there is also hope and much being done on a positive scope that allows us to appreciate the significance of Black History-in and of itself. To be a race of people who have been oppressed and looked down upon for hundreds of years, we must pride ourselves with the great achievement of having exceeded all expectations, even today; thus, these accomplishments and acknowledgements are a huge part of

many others people of color and candor, we have gained and not lost through the years. The desegregation of public schools and polices like affirmative action have opened doors for us, as well as many other people of color in every shade of the rainbow, like never before. Black History Month is thereby, not only a reminder for Black American’s who are the descendents of African slaves, but a reminder for all races all over the world. It is far and foremost, a huge part of American History. A history that will never stop affecting a people destined to rise above any consequence of circumstance. President, Barack Obama, although a child of few advantages, continues to hold strong and study and is still amazingly fighting a good fight under a careful eye of blatant racism. The disruption and greed of a few will and can ultimately destroy us all, if we are not conscious of what is taking place before us. We must work together, realizing that we are a family and as a family, we must begin the road in reaching back and paving the way to victory, as those before us did for us many moons ago. No longer can we afford to let others make the important choices and decisions for our own. Let’s encourage our children to pick up a book and read so that they will develop a Pandora’s Box of knowledge that will ultimately set them free to explore, not only their history, but the history of people from all walks of life and from places around the globe. 20.


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Butter Cream Babies: The Sweet Lovers Delight By Ashriel Dunham, Operations Intern

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f you have a weakness for sweets, then there is no doubt, after you try Butter Cream Babies, it will have a special place in your heart. As soon as you step through the doors you will feel just like a kid in a candy store; and if you bring your kids along, they will be in heaven. Butter Cream Babies is the cutest little bakery shop you have ever seen. The sweet aroma of the butter cream will take you away; and the atmosphere will make you so comfortable, you will never want to leave. Butter Cream Babies features some of your favorite desserts -- including baby cakes, cupcakes, cupcake babies and couture cookies. Butter Cream baby cakes are available in a variety of flavors with lots of butter cream. Couture Cookies, baked to order, are ideal for any occasion. These little

cup cake decorating classes in store. These are unique and a fun way to make your next event memorable. Are you in charge of the next business event? Get Butter Cream Babies to cater it for you. There is nothing that would impress your boss or employees more then indulging them in their guilty pleasures of sweets. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, a sweet baby cake from Butter Cream Babies is the perfect way to let your sweet baby know how much you love them. Gift boxes are available for that special one this Valentine’s Day. You can even personalize your messages to make your loved one feel extra special. Butter Cream Babies offers a sweet little experience for kids of all ages. And as owner of Butter Cream Babies, Amy Scott says, “Always remember to eat your dessert first.” Then promise not to tell your mother.

treats make great wedding and party favors. At Butter Cream Babies, you choose a design, color, and color scheme that fits your event or wedding and they will bring your idea to life. At Butter Cream Babies, their specialty is the unique Mason Jar desserts. Mason Jar Desserts come in fresh Strawberry Shortcake and Banana Cream and are made to order. Don’t be discouraged by the idea of sweet cakes and cookies just because you are trying to watch your figure. Cupcake Babies are small wonders in all flavors for those of you who are counting calories. In addition to daily sales of great tasting cupcakes, Butter Cream Babies is the perfect bakery idea for any event. They have fun theme parties for every occasion (i.e. baby showers, wedding showers, birthday parties, day care events, public school and charter school field trips.) They also offer a cookie and

Mop’s Grill: Home of the famous Catfish Burger Serving up Home style Cooking with a Lotta Love

Clinette Gares Mop’s Grill is a mother-daughter owned and operated restaurant that offers the best southern home cooking in Texas. Located near the Reliant Stadium, just off Loop 610 @ Buffalo Speedway near Discount Tires, this amazing restaurant is a must visit. Sugar Land resident Clinette Garces, owner of the grill, named the restaurant after a nickname given her mother and offers menu items originated in her own kitchen. The eatery, described as “Home of the Mahi Mahi Burger”- made from the famous Hawaiian fish offers a wide range of Southern-style seafood dishes. Menu Items include: Burma Jean’s february 2011

Catfish, Chicken George Wings and Tumps Grilled Chicken sandwiches, just to name a few. (Most of the entrees are named after the owner’s family members). Please do not overlook the awesome specialty burgers…Turkey, Catfish, Veggie and Shrimp; all come with this amazing sauce. But wait… the buns are homemade from a special recipe of Clinette’s. And please don’t forget to ask for the sweet potato fries… to die for. These fan favorite entrees are sure to satisfy your taste buds. Mop’s Grill is sure to please you with its hearty and nicely seasoned gumbo that is an absolute delight accompanied with its house, spinach and grilled shrimp salads. You dare not let you leave without tasting the absolute best homemade desserts. Mop’s bright red and green walls are warm, inviting and welcoming to all its patrons. The laid-back environment is one that most will find comfortable and pleasant. Its central location (inside the loop) and kid-friendly atmosphere will appeal to the surrounding neighborhoods as a place to call home away from home. The kitchen staff and servers wait on the patrons with alacrity and is the reason Mop’s Grill is known for its outstanding customer service. Thirty-eight-year-old Garces never planned on operating a food estabwww.

lishment and describes her decision to open the restaurant as a step of faith. Mop’s Grill was founded in 2007 by a dream that God gave to Garces during a women’s conference here in Houston. “I stepped out on faith and have been continuing to pursue my dream ever since,” said Garces. Mop’s Grill has been featured on Great Day Houston and has been highlighted on B4UEat.com as well as Living Social. The restaurant is open Monday through Thursdays, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. The restaurant offers a casual dining atmosphere with menu items priced from $8 to $16. Everyone who enters and leaves will never forget there’s a lotta’ love in Mop’s cookin’! Mop’s Grill is located at 9882 Buffalo Speedway, Houston, Texas 77025. Please stop by or call 713-667 6677 (MOPS) for more information.

highly recommend you try this wonderful restaurant. I will surely be returning. MY REVIEW: I had the famous Mahi Mahi grilled burger for lunch and it was great. The rest of the menu looks interesting. I will be back. MY REVIEW: The fried catfish is superb. It actually melts in your mouth. I am originally from Louisiana and must admit that this is by far the best food I have ever eaten. The sweet potato fries are good too! I will definitely return again and again after that! Great food, quick & polite service, and nice atmosphere!

MY REVIEW: My husband is always on the look-out for something new and I am very skeptical. One day he decided to try Mop’s and I was hungry and not in the mood to argue. I truly enjoyed the catfish and have been back for it a number of times. The sweet potato fries Some of Mops’ Grill Reviews….. are excellent also. Of course my husband loves all of the different foods he MY REVIEW: We hosted my sister’s has ordered. Delicioso! birthday party at Mop’s Grill. We had the gumbo (man it was off the hook, MY REVIEW: This restaurant has the must try). The fried fish was perfectly best catfish I have ever had. They give seasoned and the service was great. The you alot of food and they are so nice in owner was most gracious to open on her there. My husband and I have been cravnormal day off, so this tells you what ing the catfish! I am so glad this place is type of a considerate person she is. So I open and please keep the gospel music! 22.


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Who Can Find Virtuous Women…In it to Win it?

By Author Noel Pinnock, B.S., M.P.A., C.A., CCC Contributing Writer

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et me re-introduce the virtuous woman who is in it to win it in 2011. She is the same yesterday as she is today. In D-mars January 2010 publication, I wrote: “The expression “virtuous woman” is from the Hebrew ishshah chayil and literally means one of power either in mind or body, or both. As one source comments, ‘She is the perfect housewife, the chaste helpmate of her husband, upright, God-fearing, economical, and wise’ (The Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 9, pg. 597).” There is very little deviation from this level of virtuosity. Seasons may change and years may come and go but at the heart of women in it to win it rests an unyielding desire to: − nurture and comfort − demonstrate compassion & wisdom − give life and live it to the fullest That is the great thing about women; God has equipped them with these unequivocal attributes and undergirds them with strong commitment to prayer and worship. They fill our homes with the sweet aroma of love and are vital to the enlargement of our territory and without them none of us would exist. The author of Proverbs chapter 31 describes her as a wife, mother, sister, auntie, grandmother, manufacturer, merchant, CEO, lawyer, pharmacist, astronaut, doctor, legislator, pharmacist, engineer, homemaker, teacher, professor, entertainer, counselor, preacher, and provider. This is not an exhaustive list but you get my drift. Women’s history demands a global perspective. There’s far more to it than Queen Elizabeth I or Sufebruary 2011

san B. Anthony. Max Dashu once wrote: “We need to refocus our historical attention from the school of “famous women” (often royal females) to encompass broader groupings of women with power. Women in it to win it are not only virtuous but also are also strong, ones who openly display power, knowledge, and skill, receiving public recognition and honor. They manage to wield power in societies that try to limit it or decree female submission; where their leadership is stigmatized and their creativity disdained. These women resist and overthrow oppressive traditions and regimes. They break the rules in defiance of unjust legal and religious “authorities” and pursue their vision in spite of the personal cost.” Who is that woman in your life that demonstrates these qualities? In my life it would be my wife, Tiffany, and mother, Debbie. In my last year article, I celebrated my wife’s resilience and dedication to excellence and commitment to her family. Therefore, in keeping with tradition, I reflect on the power and compassion of my mother because she also epitomizes and embodies these value-added qualities. Virtually working against all odds, she prepared her children; she refers to as “five reasons,” for the rigors of life and career. After raising her five boys, she returned to the workforce and obtained a degree and became on the first among her 12 brothers and sisters to obtain a degree of higher learning. With little to no support, she has managed to overcome the emotional and psychological difficulties of a divorce; after 30 years of marriage, a home arson, and re-activating her career pursuits while learning to manage everything by herself. If this is not enough to break most people, then I don’t know what else can. I celebrate her because at the end of the day, top of the morning, she is my hero. Yes…I know…mother’s day is more than four months out but it is my belief that we don’t need a holiday to recognize the women in our lives who are in it to win it because we should make it a standard operating procedure and be committed to doing it every day. Remember, the woman who chooses to win focuses on her spirituality and divine purpose as well as embraces her femininity while placing a strategic emphasis on the future in order to illuminate a formidable pathway to victory. Who can find a virtuous woman? For her worth exceeds the value of silver or gold. www.

Sandi Johnson Operation Get Fit

Tanjian Norman Houston Colon Care Center

Wendi - Ann Francis - Walker & Jacqui Francis / Jamaica House

Clinette Garces Mop’s Grill

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THE EXPERT NETWORK

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MetLife Study: Secure the Future of Your Business more family members to be at the top of the list of potential successors. If you wish to pass your business on to future generations, you will need to make an honest assessment of the respective needs of your family and business, the qualifications of any interested family members, and whether the family and business would be best served by a continued relationship. Communication with family members is extremely important in order to better ascertain overall interest or concern. You can prepare yourself by honestly evaluating and reflecting on the necessary components of a well-thought-out sucBy Charles Swindell, cession strategy. Here are some points Financial Services Representative that may require further elaboration: MetLife Bayou City TX Agency • a thorough job description of each Contributing Writer position, including details regarding areas of responsibility and delegation of duties; When it comes to your business, hoping for the best won’t ensure its future. Take Jack Stanton for example. Jack spent thirty years building a manufacturing giant, Stanton Solutions Corporation. However, due to the rigors of maintaining his company, he had little time for any personal financial and estate planning. Then, Jack died unexpectedly in a boating accident. All of a sudden, Stanton Solutions, a multimillion dollar manufacturing empire was facing an uncertain future caused by the loss of its owner and upper-most key executive. What would happen to your business and your family should you become disabled or die unexpectedly? Do you have key employees for family members who could step in and run the company in your absence?

Business Continuation Basics It is essential to the future of your business and your family to have a succession strategy in place. In order for your business to maintain continuity, you need to implement a succession strategy that coincides with your goals and objectives. Your strategy should be flexible enough to handle changes within the company and its related industry (ies). However, one of the keys to a succession strategy is determining who or whom your successor(s) will be. Deciding on, and preparing a successor may require years to familiarize him or her with the finer points of the business. Thus, it is important to select a replacement as soon as possible in order to maximize the possibility of a successful transition. In smaller businesses, it is not uncommon for one or february 2011

This article is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. You should consult with your advisor, attorney or accountant with regard to your individual situation. Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, MetLife is providing you with the following notification: The information contained in this document is not intended to (and can• a management/organizational plan; not) be used by anyone to avoid IRS • Assuring the availability of cash to penalties. This document supports the meet the demands of federal and/ promotion and marketing of insurance or state estate taxes; products. You should seek advice based • a list of potential successors to your ownership, taking every candidate’s job experience and academic background into consideration; and

on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. This article appears courtesy of Charles Swindell. Charles is a Registered Representative offering securities through MetLife Securities, Inc. (MSI) (member FINRA/ SIPC). Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC), New York, NY, 10166. He focuses on meeting the individual insurance and financial services needs of people in the African-American market. You can reach Charles at the office at 10333 Richmond Ave Suite 1050, Houston, TX 77042 and 832-251-5493. MSI and MLIC are MetLife companies.

• a mechanism to ensure extensive on-the-job training for the successor(s).

Other Considerations A succession strategy may also include a buy-sell agreement funded by life insurance. More than likely, your successor may not have the cash, or the ability, to borrow at the time of successorship. Under such an agreement, the death benefit proceeds of the life insurance can be used to provide the cash necessary for a successor to purchase an owner’s share of stock in the event of his or her untimely death. In addition, it may be prudent to explore how your unexpected disability could affect not only your plans for successorship, but also your financial well-being. Under a disability buyout arrangement, a disability buyout policy provides a successor with cash to purchase shares in the event of the owner’s untimely disability. You should consult with your insurance, legal and tax professionals to devise a plan of action that provides security for your business and your family. With proper planning, your objectives for business succession and securing your family’s future can be met. www.

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ANNIE MALONE:

Businesswoman Original Before Oprah Winfrey and Madame C.J. Walker, there was Annie Turnbo Malone (aka Annie Minerva Turnbo Pope Malone and Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone), an African American entrepreneur and philanthropist during the early 20th century. Malone is reportedly U.S.’s first black millionaire based on reports of $14 million in assets held in 1920 from her beauty and cosmetic enterprises.

ful Hair Grower. Some historians also credit Malone with developing the pressing iron and comb around this time. Malone sold her products locally.

ty products and distribution. She is widely regarded as the most successful black entrepreneur of the early 20th century and founder of the black beauty business in the United

In 1902, Malone moved her business to St. Louis, Missouri, where she hired and trained three assistants. As black women, they were denied access to traditional distribution systems, so they sold the products door-to-door and provided free demonstrations. In 1903, Malone married a Mr.Pope, but she divorced him after a short time because he tried to interfere with her business. During the 1904 World’s Fair, Malone opened a retail outlet. Visitors to St. Louis responded favorably to her products, prompting her to embark on an innovative marketing campaign aimed at distributing the product nationally. In addition to going door-to-door, she and her trained assistants traveled to black churches and community centers, providing free hair and scalp treatments. She held press conferences and advertised in black newspapers. Malone traveled throughout the South at a time of racial discrimination and violence, giving demonstrations in black churches and women’s clubs. Everywhere she went; she hired and trained women to serve as local sales agents. They, in turn, recruited others. By 1910, distribution had expanded nationally. One of her Malone’s recruits was Madame C.J. Walker, a former washerwoman who eventually founded her own company with similar beau-

States. However, historians credit Malone with having developed her products and distribution system first. Walker sold her own “Wonderful Hair Straightener,” which Malone called a fraudulent imitation. As a result, Malone trademarked Poro, a new name for her product and merchandising systems in 1906. (Poro is a West African word for an organization dedicated to disciplining and enhancing the body spiritually and physically.) In 1914, Malone married Aaron Eugene Malone, an ex-teacher and Bible salesman. Her husband became the company’s chief manager and president. The young couple did more than just manufacture beauty products. They also provided a way for African American women to improve themselves on many levels. At a time when few career opportunities were available, Poro offered them a chance at economic independence. Malone believed that if African American women improved their physical appearance, they would gain greater self-respect and achieve success in other areas of their lives.

rightly belongs to Malone. Malone was born Annie Minerva Turnbo born on August 9, 1869, in Metropolis, Illinois. She was the tenth of 11 children of Robert Turnbo, a poor farmer, and Isabella Cook Turnbo. Her parents died when Malone was young and an older sister raised her in nearby Peoria. Although she did attend school, frequent illness caused her to withdraw before completing high school. As a young girl, Malone enjoyed fashioning her own and her sisters’ hair. She became aware of differences in hair Annie Turnbo Malone (1869- texture and sought a way to straight1957) was an African American en hair.

entrepreneur and philanthropist during the early 20th century. She manufactured a line of beauty products for black women and created a unique distribution system that helped thousands of black women gain self-respect and economic independence. However, her contributions to African American culture are often overlooked because her business empire collapsed from mismanagement. One of her students, Madame C.J. Walker, created a similar enterprise and is largely credited with originating the black beauty business, a feat that february 2011

Started Hair-Care Business During the late 19th century, African American women used soap, goose fat, and heavy oils to straighten their hair. Chemical straighteners often damaged the scalp and hair follicles. While living in Lovejoy, Illinois, around the turn of the century, Malone developed a chemical product that straightened African American hair without damage. She claimed to have studied chemistry and to have been influenced by an aunt who was trained as an herbal doctor. She expanded her hair care line to include other beauty products, including her popular Wonderwww.

Committed to Black Community Malone was committed to community building and social welfare. To that end she built Poro College in 1918, a complex that included 30.


her business’s office, manufacturing operation, and training center as well as facilities for civic, religious, and social functions. The campus was located in St. Louis’s uppermiddle-class black neighborhood and served as a gathering place for the city’s African Americans, who were denied access to other entertainment and hospitality venues. The complex, which was valued at more than $1 million, included classrooms, barber shops, laboratories, an auditorium, dining facilities, a theater, gymnasium, chapel, and a roof garden. Many local and national organizations, including the National Negro Business League, were housed in the facility or used it for business functions. The training center provided cosmetology and sales training for women interested in joining the Poro agent network. It also taught students how to walk, talk, and behave in social situations. During the early 20th century, race improvement and positive selfimage were seen as a way to increase social mobility. By teaching deportment, Malone believed she was helping African American women improve their standing in the community. By 1926, the college employed 175 people. Franchised outlets in North and South America, Africa, and the Philippines employed some 75,000 women. Malone had become a wealthy woman. It is believed that she was worth $14 million at one point during the 1920s. Her 1924 income tax totaled nearly $40,000. However, despite her wealth, Malone lived conservatively and gave away much of her fortune to help other African Americans. She is one of America’s first major black philanthropists. Malone donated large sums to countless charities. At one time, it is believed that she was supporting two full-time students in every black land-grant college in the United States. She gave $25,000 to the Howard University Medical School during the 1920s that, at the time, was the largest gift the school had ever received from an African American. She also contributed to the Tuskegee Institute. Malone was also generous with february 2011

family and employees. She educated many of her nieces and nephews and bought homes for her brothers and sisters. She awarded employees with lavish gifts for attendance, punctuality, service anniversaries, and as rewards for investing in real estate. A $25,000 donation from Malone helped build the St. Louis Colored YWCA. She also contributed to several orphanages and donated the site for the St. Louis Colored Orphans’ Home. She raised most of the orphanage’s construction costs and served on the home’s executive board from 1919 to 1943. The home was renamed the Annie Malone Children’s Home in 1946. Malone also gave generously of her time in the community. She was president of the Colored Wom-

en’s Federated Clubs of St. Louis, an executive committee member of the National Negro Business League and the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, an honorary member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and a lifelong Republican.

Business Failure Malone’s generosity raised her stature in the community but contributed to the financial decline of her business. While she was spending time on civic affairs and distributing her wealth to various organizations, she left the day-to-day affairs of the business in the hands of managers, including her husband. Some of these managers were inexperienced or dishonest, eventually leading to the dismantling of her business empire. For the six years leading up to 1927, Annie and Aaron Malone became embroiled in a power struggle over control of the Poro business. The struggle was kept quiet until 1927, when Aaron Malone filed for divorce and demanded half the busiwww.

ness. He claimed that Poro’s success was due to contacts he brought to the company. He courted black leaders and politicians who sided with him in the highly publicized divorce. Annie Malone’s devotion to black women and charitable institutions led Poro workers and church leaders to support her. She also had the support of the press and Mary McLeod Bethune, president of the National Association of Colored Women. Having the support of so powerful a woman helped Annie Malone prevail in the dispute and allowed her to keep her business. She negotiated a settlement of $200,000. In 1930, Malone moved her business to Chicago, where its location became known as the Poro block. Her financial trouble continued when she became the target of lawsuits, including one by a former employee who claimed credit for her success. When the suit was settled in 1937, she was forced to sell the St. Louis property. Malone’s business was further crippled by enormous debt to the government for unpaid real estate and excise taxes. (The federal government required a 20 percent tax on luxuries, including hair-care products during the 1920s.) In 1943, she owed almost $100,000. The government was constantly taking her to court and by 1951, it took control of Poro. Most of the property was sold to pay the taxes. Malone’s business failure tarnished her image. Her former employee, Madame C.J. Walker, often overshadows Malone because Walker’s business remained successful and more widely known. Walker is often credited as the originator of the black beauty and cosmetics business and the direct distribution and sales agent system that Malone developed. Many historians believe Malone deserves more

credit for her devotion to helping African Americans gain financial independence and her generous donations to educational, civic, and social causes. Annie Turnbo Malone died of a stroke on May 10, 1957, in Chicago, Illinois. She was 87. By the time of her death, Malone had lost her national visibility and most of her money. Having no children, her estate, valued at $100,000, was left to her nieces and nephews.

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Black History Month: Because of...

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lack History Month is a remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. Since 1976, it is celebrated annually in the United States of America and Canada in February and the United Kingdom in the month of October. In the U.S., Black History Month is also referred to as AfricanAmerican History Month.

Black History Month actually started as Negro History Week in 1926. The goal of Black History Week was to educate Blacks about their cultural background, and instill in them a sense of pride in their race. Black History Month sparks an annual debate about the continued usefulness of a month dedicated to the history of one race. Some critics contend that

Black History Month undermines the with his co-inventor Dennis Moelle crecontention that African American his- ated a microcomputer system with bus tory is simply American history. control means for peripheral processing devices. This invention allows the use Black History Month actually started of computer plug-ins like disk drives, as Negro History Week in 1926 by Dr. speakers, scanners, etc... We can blog. Carter G. Woodson. We owe the celebration of Black History Month, and Because of Thomas J. Martin patented more importantly, the study of black a fire extinguisher in 1872 our kitchen history, to Dr. Woodson. Woodson was want burn down. born to parents who were former slaves; he spent his childhood working in the Because of Joseph Winters invented a Kentucky coal mines and enrolled in fire escape ladder in 1878 we have a way high school at age twenty. He graduated to escape a burning building. within two years and later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. The schol- Because of Lonnie G. Johnson (1949 ar was disturbed to find in his studies - ), an engineer who performed spacethat history books largely ignored the craft system design for NASA, invented black American population-and when the Super Soaker water gun - the numblacks did figure into the picture, it was ber one selling toy in America in 1991 generally in ways that reflected the in- -- we can win those summertime water ferior social position they were assigned fights! at the time. Because of John Love invented the penThe goal of Black History Week was cil sharpener in 1897 we were provided to educate Blacks about their cultural with a tool for learning. background, and instill in them a sense of pride in their race. What you might Because of music composer and pronot know is that black history had bare- ducer, Quincy Jones is the most Gramly begun to be studied-or even docu- my-nominated artist in the history of mented-when the tradition originated. the awards with 76 nominations and 26 Although blacks have been in America awards -- we heard some good music. at least as far back as colonial times, it was not until the 20th century that they And because of the 2.4 million black gained a respectable presence in the his- military veterans in the United States tory books. African Americans in the -the highest of any minority group (AcUnited States celebrate that month‌.. cording to the American Community Survey, in 2005) we are able to live in Because of Mark Dean (1957 - ) along the land of the free!

Advertise today in D-MARS Business Journal Call US TODAY! february 2011

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Traits of Successful Business Women

Are there some common traits of successful business women? What do many of these women have in common? While there is probably no magic formula, there do appear to be some characteristics that many successful women share. Let’s take a look at some of these traits.

Self-Confidence: Do you believe in yourself and your abilities? People (i.e. prospects) are attracted to confidence (confidence, not arrogance). Confidence will help you get through the learning curves and bumps in the road along the way. You need confidence to sell yourself and your company. Trust your own ideas and instincts. Desire and passion will start you on your journey, but you must believe in yourself to keep going and get there.

Focus: Plan your work and work your plan. Set long-term and short-term goals and take consistent action in moving toward them. Even your thoughts should be focused. Be sure your thoughts regarding your

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business are positive. Your mental attitude can be very powerful.

Resourcefulness: Successful business women take advantage of resources such as mentoring, training and coaching. Building a strong base of education, training and experience can help lead to success.

Good Writing Skills: Whether you are using blogs, articles, newspaper ads, social media, or fliers to market your business, it is imperative that your writing skills be up-to-par. Nothing will kill your credibility quicker than poor grammar and misspelled words. Proofread and have someone else proofread your work. Read your material out loud and don’t depend too much on “spell check.” These traits of successful business women are not difficult to attain. Believe in yourself, focus on your goals, brush up on your writing skills, and be sure to take advantage of available training, mentoring and coaching.

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THUNDER SOUL tells the true story of Conrad O. Johnson and Houston’s legendary Kashmere High School Stage Band

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t was afros and pleated shirts; James Brown and Bootsy Collins. It was the ’70s, and an inner-city Houston high school was about to make history. Charismatic band leader, Conrad “Prof ” Johnson would turn the school’s mediocre jazz band (Kashmere High School) into a legendary funk powerhouse. A documentary film has been made about the Kashmere Stage Band and their legendary band leader Conrad “Prof ” Johnson. The film Thunder Soul is directed by Mark Landsman, and premiered at SXSW in Austin TX, March 13, 2010. Thunder Soul follows the extraordinary reunion of alumni from Houston’s storied Kashmere High School Stage Band, who returns to their school for the first time in 35 years to pay tribute to their beloved leader - the 92 year-old “Prof ” - who transformed the school’s mediocre jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the late 60s and early 70s. Conrad Johnson passed away in 2008, only a few days after this reunion. Conrad O. Johnson, bandleader of the Kashmere High School Stage Band from 1968-1978 and owner of Kram Records, the label that issued the Band’s legendary eight albums and three 7” singles of Texas jazz, funk and soul music. He received one hell of a sendoff. The Kashmere Stage Band reunited for a performance at the High School’s auditorium. Filmmaker Mark Lands-

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man, who produced and directing the documentary on the Band, worked with Johnson’s foundation and Kashmere High School to set off the event for his crew’s cameras. But the reason that the Band’s members, many of whom left the music field after their departure from Kashmere High, reunited and rehearsed, daily, for a month prior to the concert, was to give Johnson the respect he deserved and had fought for, for so long. Johnson, known by those close to him simply as “Prof ” took the reins of the Band in the late 1960s and worked with his charges to perfect the idiom that they understood most: funk. Heavy funk at that. By the time that the band recorded their third album, “Thunder Soul,” they were funking like mini-JBs. And, by the time they won “Best Stage Band in the Nation” in 1972, they were funking as hard as the JBs themselves. Roadside Attractions, the U.S. theatrical distributor of Chris Rock’s Good Hair and The Cove (2009 Oscar winner for Best Documentary), will be releasing Thunder Soul in North America! Look for the movie coming soon to a theater near you in 2011!

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WARNING:

Are You and Your Business Becoming Irrelevant?

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ecrets to Making Your Business More Relevant and Instantly Putting You on the Fast Track to HUGE Profits in 2011! General Eric Shinseki was once quoted as saying, “If you don’t like change, you are going to like irrelevance.” Change is a natural part of life and business. Change is also, next to death, life’s most constant variable. Relevant businesses are cutting-edge, progressive, and must embrace change. So why do we so violently oppose change in search of the comfortable status quo? Contrapreneurs™ buck the trends, go contrary to the status quo, and embrace change. They seek change, recognizing that with change comes opportunity. There are countless examples of one-time corporate giants that were reduced to mediocrity (irrelevance) by ignoring change. Let’s look at Encyclopedia Britannica. Now, if you are 20 years old or younger, you’re probably thinking, “Encycl what?” Well, the encyclopedia, at one point, was arguably the number one source of information. Think of it as a hard copy of the internet. I remember that when I was younger, about once a year, we’d get that knock on the door. You know the knock I’m talking about: The Encyclopedia Salesman. He’d wear that slick polyester or double knit suit, a pair of cheap shoes and a mega-watt smile! Every house in my neighborhood had a set of encyclopedias. We sure did. If you had a question about anything from your body to reptiles to the solar system, where was the first place you’d look? The encyclopedia! They’d always try to sell us on the latest edition. Even though we already had the previous edition (which took up two whole rows on our bookshelf), my parents would february 2011

always buy a new set to make sure that we had the latest information. Imagine if Encyclopedia Britannica had been a bit more forward thinking. Imagine if they’d embraced the change of the internet. What if, in the mid to earlynineties, they had registered and properly marketed encyclopedia. com? It would have been a natural progression for the millions of people across the world to throw away those old, obsolete, big, bulky encyclopedias and log on to encyclopedia.com. Had they made the proper adjustment, would there even be a Google or a Bing? Encyclopedia. com would be the most visited site on the web, hands down. Encyclopedia Britannica, though still profitable, would have been a monster force in the world of information, just as Google is today. Yet because they ran from change instead of embracing it, they are now virtually irrelevant. Now let’s be real. Everyone desires to be significant, and no one likes irrelevance. We don’t desire irrelevance, yet we love comfort. We crave consistency and strive for predictability, yet both are diametrically opposed to change. It has been said that the worst enemy of a great new business idea is a great old business idea. People are reluctant to change if something has worked in the past. Far too often, we settle for good, not realizing that by changing, we could be great! My challenge to you is this: stop fighting the inevitable. Change will happen, so deal with it. When it comes, just ask, “How can I use this to better myself and my business?” Maybe your business can go to the next level by changing, but because you like comfort, you’re not taking that next step. You’re like the Encyclopedia Britannica people – simply waiting for the time when you’ll be irrelevant. Guess www.

what? You can no longer afford to react to the world. Contrapreneurs™ like you and I are paving the way for new technology, new innovations and new inventions. There are no limits, and quite honestly, there are no more excuses. So the real question for you today is this: “Do you like irrelevance?” If not, do something about it. SEE business differently, and most importantly, DO business differently. The ball, as we say, is now in your court. If you are serious about change and doing business differently in 2011 while making a ton of cash in the shortest amount of time, be sure to get the FREE REPORT:

“7 Strategies for New Business Owners that Put Your Business on the FAST Track to HUGE Profit and Beat the Pants Off Your Competition!” This powerful report is available at www.texasblackexpo. com/freereports.

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Little Known Black History “sayings” One of the most hilarious things we’ve seen on the internet in ages is Brokey McPoverty’s “Little Known Black History Facts.” The site pokes fun at fictional moments in black history in a way that only we can appreciate. Where else would you find out who invented “Hide and Go Get It” or who the first person was to put a utility bill in their child’s name? All of us are probably guilty of at least one thing on this site, so don’t get offended! Smile, laugh, and keep putting that bacon grease in the coffee can at the back of your stove. Compliments of: www.littleknownblackhistoryfacts.com.

lection plate.

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George Watley First person to sneak an entire dinner into a movie theatre.

use the phrase “I will cut you” in an argument.

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Sequoia Brimley First person to go straight to church on Sunday after leaving the club earlier that morning.

THE KENT FAMILY: First black

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Walker Birmingham First to serve fried hot dogs and bologna for breakfast.

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LOUISE PERKINS: First person

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Wilford Stillwell First to note that the devil is a liar.

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family to take an Olan Mills phoDe’Montrose Allen First to use a milk crate as a basket- tograph. ball hoop.

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Janice Scott FLORA LOU GILES: First to place First grown person to sell M&Ms on a bus/subway/train.

Charles “Sweet Mac” Farnsley First to call someone else a jive turkey.

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Amelia Wooten First to start a soul train line at a family reunion.

TORNETTE PITTS: First to warp

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SAMUEL HINKLEY, JR.: First a new model TV on top of an old, non-functioning floor model.

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to attempt to climb into a casket at the time-space continuum by slap- a funeral. Tamika Bunsen ping somebody into next week. First to begin a sentence with the phrase “my myself personally…” Antnee Harris Jerrin “Pooty” Smith First to wear socks with shower First to steal a shopping cart from shoes outside the house. THADDEUS COLLINS: First pera grocery store and use it as a gocart. Roland D. Miller, Jr. First to look at somebody like he RITA RODRICKS: First person to was short.

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3

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Rodney “Hot Rod” McKenzie First to tell someone that they play too much.

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son to wear a shower cap outside.

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Tamla Green First to call someone bourgie.

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SHERRAYA BARNES: Writer and composer of such songs as “Down Down Baby,” “Twee Lee Lee,” and CEEPHUS MCCOY: First to ask “Miss Mary Mack.” for change back from a church col february 2011

person to take a picture in front of an airbrushed backdrop featuring symbols of wealth (i.e. - cars, champagne, stacks of money, etc.).

Mamie Woolridge First to comment that the dead at a funeral looked “like he (was) layin’ there sleep

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ELROY DUNCAN: First to pro-

ous P.J. Jones is the Pastor”).

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RONETTA BARSLEY: First peson to purposefully walk pigeontoed because she thought it was cute.

claim that he looked “like new money.”

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Carmen Bluitt First to tell someone to pick his face up.

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Benita Mitchell First to make spaghetti with Ramen Noodles.

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TROY BOOKER: First to refer to a TOINE FULLER: First du-rag model.

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MAVIS BLACKWELL: First to

use the phrase “the illustrious” to describe her pastor (i.e. - “I am a member of 1st Corinthian Leather Baptist Church where the illustri- flavor of Kool-Aid as “red.” february 2011

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SOCIAL SECURITY Get the most out of your benefits By Nikitia Johnson, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

MEDICARE: GENERAL ENROLLMENT AND GENERAL INFORMATION Need Medicare Part B? If you’re eligible, now is the time to sign up. The general enrollment period for Medicare Part B runs from January 1 through March 31. Before you make a decision about general enrollment, let us fill you in on some general information. Medicare is a medical insurance program for retired and disabled people. Some people are covered only by one type of Medicare; others opt to pay extra for more coverage. Understanding Medicare can save you money; here are the facts. There are four parts to Medicare: Parts A, B, C and D. Part A helps pay for inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing care, hospice care, and other services. Part B helps pay for doctors’ fees, outpatient hospital visits, and other medical services and supplies not covered by Part A. Part C allows you to choose to receive all of your health care services through a provider organization. These plans, known as Medicare Advantage Plans, may help lower your costs of receiving medical services, or you may get extra benefits for an additional monthly fee. You must have both Parts A and B to enroll in Part C. And Part D is the Medicare Prescription Drug Program. Most people first become eligible for Medicare at age 65, and there is a monthly premium for Medicare Part B. In 2011, the standard premium is $115.40. Some high-income individuals pay more than the standard premium. Your Part B premium also can be higher if you do not enroll during your initial enrollment period, or when you first become eligible. There are exceptions to this rule. For example, you can delay your Medicare Part B enrollment without having to pay higher premiums if you are covered under a group health plan based on your own current employment or the current employment of any family member. If this situation applies to you, you can sign up for Medicare Part B without paying higher premiums: • Any month you are under a group health plan based on your own current employment or the current employment of any family member; or • Within eight months after your emfebruary 2011

ployment or group health plan cov- child’s birth record and mail your child’s Social Security card to you. If you do erage ends, whichever comes first. not get a Social Security number for If you are disabled and working (or your child before the April 18 tax filing you have coverage from a working fam- deadline but you still need to claim the child as a deduction on your tax return, ily member), the same rules apply. Remember: Most people are auto- you can: matically enrolled in Medicare Part B • File your income tax return without when they become eligible. If you don’t claiming the child and then file an enroll in Medicare Part B when you amended income tax return when first become eligible to apply and you the child has a Social Security numdon’t fit into one of the above categober; or ries, you’ll have to wait until the general • File with the Internal Revenue Serenrollment period, which is January 1 vice to extend the deadline for filing through March 31 of each year. At that your tax return. time, you may have to pay a higher Medicare Part B premium. Parents can claim their adopted For more information about Medichild for tax purposes while the adopcare Parts A, B, C, and D, visit the Cention process is still pending. You will ters for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website at www.medicare.gov. need to contact the Internal Revenue Or read our publication on Medicare Service for Form W-7A, Application at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10043. for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions. We can assign html. your adopted child a Social Security number before the adoption is comCLAIM THOSE TAX DEDUCTIONS: plete, but you may want to wait. Then, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS FOR you can apply for the number using KIDS your child’s new name, with your name as parent. There’s good news for tax filers in Remember, a Social Security num2011. The due date for your 2010 ber is not just for taxes. Your child also Federal income tax returns is Mon- may need a Social Security number for day, April 18, 2011, instead of the government benefits or other reasons, usual date of April 15. As you prepare such as opening a bank account or obyour tax documents, don’t forget you’ll taining medical coverage. need Social Security numbers for your If you need to apply for your child’s children if you want to claim them as Social Security card and number, now’s dependents on your return. the time. In most cases, parents request a To learn more, read our online pubSocial Security number for their child lication, Social Security Numbers For when applying for a birth certificate. Children, at www.socialsecurity.gov/ The state agency that issues birth certifi- pubs/10023.html. cates shares the child’s information with us and we mail the Social Security card BUSINESSES: FILE YOUR W-2s to you. However, if you didn’t apply for a number at the hospital, you must ap- ONLINE ply at a Social Security office or by mail. If you own a business and have emTo do so you will need : ployees, you know the law requires you • A completed Application For A So- to file W-2 forms each year for them. Depending on the size of your cial Security Card (Form SS-5); business and amount of time you have, • Original documents proving your that could leave you feeling like you’re child’s: drowning in paperwork. But Social Seo U.S. citizenship; curity offers more than a life preserver — we offer you a way to file your W-2s o Age; and without any paper at all! File your W-2s o Identity; and the fast, convenient, and paperless way • Original documents proving your — online. identity. Filing your W-2s electronically is After you apply, we will verify the free, fast, and secure! And there’s an www.

added bonus: when you file electronically, you receive an extra month to file because electronically filed W-2s aren’t due until March 31st. You’ll also receive an electronic acknowledgement receipt. And when you file electronically, you can print out your W-2s for your employees. Social Security’s free electronic filing option is available for any small business. It allows you to prepare and submit up to 20 W-2s (per report) over a secure Internet service. When you register to file electronically, here’s what you get: • Freedom from buying paper forms; • W-2s for your employees and for your records; • Electronic receipts you can use as proof that you filed on time; and • Extension to March 31 to file. You can register now to get started on your 2010 W-2s. Just take these seven simple steps: 1. Go to www.socialsecurity.gov/employer; 2. Select “Business Services Online” (BSO); 3. Select the “Register” button; 4. Complete the registration form, 5. Select your own password; 6. Select “Request access to BSO Services;” and 7. Complete the wizard for selecting the applications you want to access in BSO. To learn more, visit Social Security’s Business Services Online at www. socialsecurity.gov/bso. You also may want to review the 2010 Electronic W-2 Filing Handbook, available online at www.socialsecurity. gov/employer/bsohbnew.htm. 44.


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Who’s on Facebook?

The fastest growing age group on Facebook is users 26-34. The number of women outnumber men in every age group on Facebook. And teenagers now make up about 12% of the overall Facebook audience.

Who’s on Twitter?

Most Twitter users are between the ages of 18 and 49, are Caucasian, and have no kids. Once you have your goals and demographics in place you can do something like this:

1.

Set up a company blog or website. Your blog is your business hub. It is where you house all your value added content; it is where your readers get to know you as a company. This is your house of engagement. Check out Wordpress.com to get this going.

This thing is BIGGER than you think!

By Nickcole Byrd Contributing Writer This article has been written for all you Social Media skeptics. It is for those of you have decided to ploas ahead with your business goals without integrating some type of social media marketing strategy. This is not some ploy to get you to be a part of some fly-by-night fad, but to get you inspired and motivated to stop leaving thousands of dollars on the table because you refused to tap into a well oiled machine called the Internet. For those of you who are moved by numbers let’s take a look at some riveting stats from econsultancy.com: february 2011

Social networks and blogs are the 4th most popular online activities online, including beating personal email. 67% of global users visit member communities and 10% of all time spent on the internet is on social media sites. It’s been suggested that YouTube is likely to serve over 75 billion video streams to around 375 million unique visitors during this year. The online bookmarking service, Delicious, has more than five million users and over 150 million unique bookmarked URLs. Wikipedia (yes this is the site owner that published governmental secrets) currently has more than 13 million articles in more than 260 different languages. The site attracts over 60 million unique users a month and it’s often hotly debated that the information it contains is more reliable than any printed Encyclopaedia. Your business success depends on you being a part of some type of digital community. What you do online for 2011 can put your business on a path more quickly than most entrepreneurs can only imagine. Social Media can create business opportunities that are both lucrative but also provide your company with the ability to build a brand that will keep your customers screaming for more if you do it right. So without further delay, here are the basics you should have, SOCIAL MEDIA 101, to get your business, your products or service a part www.

of the Social Media movement.

First, define your goals for your social media strategy. • Are you trying to create awareness about your new product or service? • Are you simply trying to build a brand for your company or a personal brand for yourself?

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Secondly, set up a company Facebook Fan Page. Your fan page can be used to let your prospects know about company happenings, share insightful information, and direct them to your blog to check out your offers. The goal is to convert readers to buyers.

3.

Then, set-up a Twitter account. Use your Twitter account to share short, relevant and value added content to your prospects. Both your Facebook fan page and your Twitter account can be used simultaneously to drive traffic back to your company blog or website.

These three steps will ignite your • Are you trying to establish credibility in an industry, or become a boring marketing plan into a sure fire action plan of unlimited possibilities for sought out expert? your company and a strategic approach to making your business success goals Next, you need to explore what social venue your customer base happen for 2011.

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d-mars.com Business Journal 48  

Building Your Brand

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